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Columns

Posted 22 Feb 2017 @ 3:42pm

There aren’t enough nicknames in comedy. Musicians have got all the good nicknames locked up.

 

Elvis is The King. Beyoncé’s The Queen. Prince is self-explanatory. Aretha Franklin is the Godmother of Soul. Sinatra is the Chairman of the Board. Bruce Springsteen’s The Boss.

 

If I got into rock’n’roll now, I’d be lucky to end up with the nickname ‘The Assistant...

Posted 22 Feb 2017 @ 2:43pm

French touch (or French disco house) was an important part of my entry into electronic music.

 

While we’re just about all familiar with Daft Punk, digging even just a tiny bit deeper into labels like Roulé, Disques Solid, Vulture Music and Robsoul unearths an incredible wealth of French talent that has soundtracked the lives of millions of people worldwide for the last 25 years...

Posted 22 Feb 2017 @ 2:16pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, we journey back in time to a world where heroine addicts were revolutionaries, Japanese schoolgirls were terrifying, and Ice Cube still had relevance.

 

As usual, on quieter release weeks, I'll put you on to a show that's been keeping me entertained and distracted from...

Posted 21 Feb 2017 @ 3:37pm

A year before Guns N’ Roses released Appetite For Destruction, the hard-rocking debut record that sold 30 million copies and set them up as the most dangerous band in the world, Slash was sitting cross-legged, picking an acoustic guitar while Axl Rose delivered the most earnest, yearning lyrics of his career.

 

 

The song was a five-minute ballad named ‘November...

Posted 16 Feb 2017 @ 11:35am

With the marriage equality debate coming back from the dead à la Lazarus, there’s been a lot of speculation around how and when equality is going to happen. If it happens.

 

There’s talk that some Liberal MPs are now pushing for a free vote on same-sex marriage, leaving the charred remains of the plebiscite firmly in the past. 

 

There is ample evidence that most...

Posted 16 Feb 2017 @ 9:02am

Whenever you tell people you ‘freelance’, all they hear is, “I haven’t showered today,” which is as offensive as it is sometimes true.

 

The only career that gets more derision is comedian. OK, maybe performance poet, but comedian’s not far off.

 

Freelancing is hard, but even harder is explaining what that means to your family. Up until this year, my parents still...

Posted 15 Feb 2017 @ 6:23pm

Discourse and discussion on the many-headed beast that is electronic music* seems infinitely couched in rose-tint, reverence and revisionism.

 

Even as electronic music continues to seep into our greater cultural consciousness – one way or another – academic representation in this field has, for the most part, barely scratched at its many surfaces. 

 

One potential...

Posted 15 Feb 2017 @ 2:42pm

The most celebrated song by the most famous man in musical history had a pretty shoddy start.

 

The ‘Billie Jean’ demo is fascinating because you can hear the bones of the song, musically speaking, but lyrically, MJ is nowhere near where he should be.

 

“More kick and stuff in the phones, I need it,” he orders the engineer as that familiar bassline creeps in. “More...

Posted 15 Feb 2017 @ 2:23pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, we have one major Chinese American co-production, one China vs America production, one Vietnamese release and one American film set in Japan. Asia is the future (and the past).

 

Two special mentions this week - firstly, Hidden Figures officially opens this week (jumped...

Posted 9 Feb 2017 @ 4:51pm

Something happens around this time every summer, when everybody’s brains jam up like Hubba Bubba in bicycle spokes and you hear the same sentences again and again.

 

“How hot is it!”

 

“Apparently it’s gonna be 38 on Thursday.”

 

“Man it’s a hot one, like seven inches from the midday sun.”

 

How is it that between March and November,...

Posted 9 Feb 2017 @ 1:14pm

Remember when Gough Whitlam petitioned us to embrace change? To accept, to act, and to acknowledge?

 

Me neither, though his legacy is starting to look pretty bloody golden when it comes to progressing both as a society and as a species. These are testing, trying times characterised by oppression, aggression and fearmongering. Where once change was promised to take us forward, it...

Posted 9 Feb 2017 @ 11:16am

News: February 2017

 

Good Game Says Goodbye

In rather unexpected and sad news, Good Game – Australia’s longest-running television show about video games – has been cancelled. “After the program’s summer break, two of the key presenters of Good Game announced they were leaving to pursue other opportunities,”...

Posted 8 Feb 2017 @ 3:32pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Oscar season is in full swing - I hope you've tuned your heart strings, 'cause they're about to get a hecka workout.

 

This week, Denzel directs a heavy-hitter, two tales aim straight for the tear ducts, fathers tussle with sons and one ditzy lass fails to notice the key...

Posted 8 Feb 2017 @ 3:01pm

‘Under Pressure’ was born of dissatisfaction.

 

Originally titled ‘Feel Like’, the song was written by drummer Roger Taylor, and although the musical bones are in place on the demo, the song itself is a mess. Considering the quite sophisticated lyrics of ‘Under Pressure’, the demo seems like someone has taken some teenage poetry, removed every second word, auto-translated it to...

Posted 2 Feb 2017 @ 11:54am

News that inspires optimism has been hard to come by of late. The state of politics, though usually abysmal, has become, for me, a quagmire of fatigue and alternative facts. Donald Trump has launched his reign of terror with an anti-abortion executive order, casting darkness and uncertainty across the entire world, while here at home, Mike Baird has unceremoniously fucked off into the sunset...

Posted 2 Feb 2017 @ 11:23am

Women are sorely underrepresented in electronic music.

 

Of that there is no doubt, and unsurprisingly it’s been a topic of considerable recent interest. If boiled down to percentages, estimates of female DJs appearing on festival bills range anywhere from three to ten per cent, and let’s bear in mind that festivals are generally able to accommodate a much larger scope and wider...

Posted 1 Feb 2017 @ 3:57pm

Last year, one of my favourite American comedians, Hannibal Buress, toured his stand-up to Australia, and at 1am on a Friday night in Sydney he tweeted, “Hey Sydney, who did this? This shit sucks.”

 

I’ve never met Hannibal, but I was embarrassed. It felt like when you take a friend to a restaurant you picked, and the food sucks. And then the restaurant owner kicks you both out...

Posted 31 Jan 2017 @ 1:40pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases, and oh boy are there a lot of reasons to be a grouchy fella at this very mo.

 

As it's a quiet week, your bonus is a Netflix Original that I've thoroughly enjoyed, therefore you better thoroughly enjoy it or I'll come to your house and I will cut you.

 

Also, shout...

Posted 27 Jan 2017 @ 11:45am

Paul Kean’s life was changed by stolen songs. 

 

Music was ever-present as he grew up in New Zealand in the ’60s – as dependable as the slow, cold mist of Christchurch rain – largely thanks to his parents. His father had a soft spot for the piano and a deep baritone voice; his mother a passionate, undying love of hymnals.

 

But it wasn’t until he travelled overseas...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 5:42pm

Do you suffer from a prolonged or pronounced sense of inner emptiness or lack of self-worth?

 

Have you experienced a bankruptcy of the soul? Has life become bereft of meaning? A drawn-out existential crisis brought on by grind of the generic daily modicum? Or has music simply lost its charm and romance?

 

Then the healing quality of spiritual jazz could be just the...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 1:00pm

I’ve only ever had a dim awareness of the existence of gay organisations.

 

Aside from the obvious Mardi Gras and organisations built around sexual health and mental well-being, I’ve been uncharacteristically unperturbed by other queer spheres outside that general area. I realise this means that I’ve not been doing my duty as a queer citizen or something – but the truth is not so...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 12:42pm

New Releases

 

The year might only have just gotten started, but the video game industry is back in full swing, meaning there’s a bunch of titles vying for your attention in February. 

 

First up on Thursday February 2, Abzû, a popular PS4 indie gem, scores its own retail release. A day later on Friday February 3...

Posted 25 Jan 2017 @ 9:28am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This is a goddamn glorious week, you guys. Look at this friggin' lineup!

 

The two most critically acclaimed flicks of the week are African-American stories with majority black casts; Batfleck has freed himself (momentarily) from the Justice League; a long-lost pariah returns with...

Posted 20 Jan 2017 @ 2:09pm

Of all that Mike Baird did over the course of his three years as Premier of New South Wales, nothing defined him as much as his approach to social media. 

 

He was a politician who lived through Twitter and Facebook, and his extended, bitter falling out with the internet proved symbolic of his entire approach to running Sydney. He was a man unwilling to back down, but more than...

Posted 20 Jan 2017 @ 1:41pm

Event Cinemas George St kicks off its new season of In The House cult classics on Friday February 3.

 

Cult cinema cures every single ailment known to humankind.

 

Seriously though. The medicinal effects of genre film might not yet be properly understood, but all who have dedicated themselves to the art form...

Posted 19 Jan 2017 @ 4:00pm

As someone socialised to navigate through heterosexual spaces, I never considered that one day I’d have to readjust so much of my perspective and my behaviours to safely (and without offending anyone) navigate through homosexual ones.

 

A lot of what I was taught growing up – whether it was directly through my parents or indirectly through whatever social rules I absorbed by...

Posted 19 Jan 2017 @ 12:02pm

The last four years have seen cuts proposed to community radio funding on a number of occasions, with $1.4 million ripped from its underbelly over the next four years (from 2016 on).

 

The above is a perfectly normal sentence if divorced from its context. But once we actually consider what this means to millions of people, it’s a sobering and altogether infuriating situation....

Posted 17 Jan 2017 @ 12:35pm

Welcome to the first of 2017's weekly rundowns on what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. It's good to be back! Two films premiere this week, but I wouldn't dare omit my opinions on those that slipped under the holiday radar.

 

Four major studio features and one exciting new indie flick grace the page today, along with a genuine plea to avoid one of the big...

Posted 13 Jan 2017 @ 11:12am

Parramatta Park is hosting a Hottest 100 party this Australia Day with live music from L-Fresh The Lion, Olympia, VXV and more.

 

There is no real reason triple j’s Hottest 100 should matter as much as it does.

 

It is a glorified user feedback form, one hampered by a series of major restrictions and odd biases (...

Posted 4 Jan 2017 @ 11:00am

It’s a brand new year, ladies and gentlemen, so if you have a little bit of money left over from the silly season, here’s what you could be spending it on.

 

It’s a pretty slow start to the month, but things do gear up on Wednesday January 18 when Gravity Rush 2 crash-lands onto PS4. It’s the sequel to the PS Vita original that has you returning to a world where the laws of...

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