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Columns

Posted 16 Dec 2016 @ 12:43pm

In 1963, author and political commentator James Baldwin was interviewed on television by noted talking head Kenneth Clark.

 

The conversation was incendiary, touching on everything from Cuba to communism and murder, with the ever-eloquent Baldwin blasting whatever subject he turned his mind to. But it was after six solid minutes that he began recounting a story that would stick...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 12:49pm

Christmas Gift Ideas

 

Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset ($299.95)

 

 

Buying a gaming headset can present a frustratingly difficult choice, but the G933 takes all that indecision away with a slew of nifty...

Posted 15 Dec 2016 @ 12:17pm

It’s been an unquestionably awful year for countless reasons, not least the news that Steve Aoki has recently been nominated for a Grammy (while both are essentially devoid of any and all romance, it’s still appalling).

 

Communally we have grieved for the loss of mentors, of poets, of visionaries, and of peers and fellow human beings. The recent tragedy in Oakland, California,...

Posted 14 Dec 2016 @ 6:16pm

My girlfriend and I spent the past week in the hot, damp armpit of Australia: Queensland.

 

I’ve always had a curious disdain for Queensland. I’ve spent countless summers there, frolicking on its pristine, deadly beaches, flouncing around Movie World, snorkelling on the reef, hanging out at Airlie’s famed lagoon, et cetera. I’ve had a good time, so it shouldn’t follow that all of...

Posted 13 Dec 2016 @ 2:44pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, Disney beats everyone to the punch, with what is shaping up to be the biggest screen event of the year.

 

I, too, intend to punch first by getting a few more of these big ol' Boxing Day launches out of the way. I'm dosing you out another three so that you can still fit...

Posted 9 Dec 2016 @ 2:00pm

Some 13 years ago, Julia Jacklin was standing in the corner of LKM Dance Studios in Springwood, watching a star in the making. 

 

A girl named Liz Hughes, a fellow 12-year-old sporting a pair of sparkly rainbow hoop earrings, was choreographing a dance all of her own, fashioning a jig set to ‘Young Hearts Run Free’. Jacklin was transfixed, too nervous to approach her. “We didn’t...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 4:39pm

The offices of ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW) are adorned with an endless parade of posters depicting sad-looking young (and sometimes older) men with their heads in their hands, with some scaremongering “Are You Being Safe?” messaging underscoring the images. 

 

In contrast, there is also an endless parade of posters depicting guys of all types having a grand old time,...

Posted 8 Dec 2016 @ 4:14pm

The demise of Vestax in 2014 due to bankruptcy was an especially sad day for DJs and the wider music community.

 

First established in Tokyo in the late ’70s selling electric guitars and multi-track recorders, Vestax morphed into an audio and DJ equipment firm, changing the face of DJing with the release of its VCI-100 all-in-one DJ controller. It incorporated some of the most...

Posted 6 Dec 2016 @ 12:36pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. I'm easing the BOXING DAY OVERLOAD here by introducing a film *previewed* this week that doesn't launch for a fortnight.

 

In an interesting turn of events after last week's strong female turnout,...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 5:26pm

It's official: summer is upon us.

 

With the temperatures rising, Sydneysiders are now free to do what they do best - flock to the beach en masse, towels in hand and slathered in sunscreen. And aren't we just spoilt for choice? Sydney is an embarassment of riches when it comes to scenic spots to set up and stare at the waves, and sometimes choosing a destination for your beach...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 1:07pm

Sunday November 20 was the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

 

Trans Sydney Pride (TSP) held Sydney’s first candlelight vigil to remember and honour transgender people from communities all over the world. The march drew around 250-300 people, and I suspect – and hope – that in the coming years, this number will grow. 

 

The Transgender Day of Remembrance honours the...

Posted 1 Dec 2016 @ 11:15am

New Releases:

 

With the peak release mania now over, it’s time to wrap up the year with a slow trickle of titles designed to keep you gaming.

 

First up on Friday December 2 is Steep (PS4, XBO, PC) [above] – Ubisoft’s open-world snow-based sports title. Whether you choose to ski,...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 6:19pm

There’s been much ado lately about a Melbourne set by Russian DJ and producer Nina Kraviz.

 

Throughout the course of the night, Kraviz inflected her mix with a variety of genres and sounds, as well we might expect her to.

 

The event, which saw a number of patrons loudly and unsubtly complain about ‘not getting what they paid for’ (blithering, relentless lines of...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 2:11pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the ladies reign supreme with lead roles in all five films.

 

Plus, three of the six directors are women, meaning actual equal representation! At least for this week, anyway.

 

The women in these stories are not two-dimensional: they are champions, leaders...

Posted 25 Nov 2016 @ 5:28pm

One night in 1998, three white New Yorkers won an award. 

 

In and of itself, there’s nothing particularly striking about such an occurrence – after all, the years are marked by awards ceremonies, and we are largely numbed by the sight of rich people handing out statuettes to other rich people. So no, a trio of slightly dorky looking men in matching outfits taking to the podium...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 3:03pm

We’re all familiar with certain artisans in popular culture – our cultural discourse is very much dominated by these figures.

 

David Bowie and Prince are but two examples of those who’ve recently gone out as legends. These were innovators: iconic, radical symbols who subverted norms of sex, gender, appearance and creative expression, and are rightly held in high esteem. Their...

Posted 24 Nov 2016 @ 1:29pm

Back in October, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board member James Brechney called for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to be formally uninvited from the 2017 Mardi Gras Parade.

 

Shortly afterwards, a censure motion was put forward against Brechney and ultimately passed, only fuelling Brechney’s desire to continue seeking Turnbull’s official expulsion from the parade. 

...
Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 11:15am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. This week, the folks at A Night Of Horror/Fantastic Planet Film Festival are looking forward to your company.

 

But that's a story in and of itself. Instead, let's focus on a couple of...

Posted 18 Nov 2016 @ 12:45pm

We truly live in the new media age, hey?

 

“What do you want to watch tonight?” has transformed from a mere casual inquiry into a profound question now heavy with existentialist despair. What do you want to watch when you have one of the greatest audio-visual libraries of all time beamed directly into your living room; when you can access services like Netflix and Stan with ease...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 6:12pm

Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States.

 

Political analysts – and indeed, everyone who would call themselves left-leaning – are stunned and trying to figure out how this bigoted juggernaut came to be. Fundamentally, we need to be more compassionate to people who think differently. This requires stepping out of echo chambers and engaging with them as people, not as...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 5:34pm

NEWS

 

THE BOX TO BEAT

In a great turn of events for Microsoft fans, the Xbox One has become the best-selling video game console in Australia since the launch of the Xbox One S in August. The refreshed system features High Dynamic Range (HDR) gaming, 4K streaming and a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

 

“We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support and...

Posted 16 Nov 2016 @ 12:30pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases, AKA The Best Films To Plonk Yourself Down In Front Of As A Means To Overcoming The Encroaching Sense Of Dread Gnawing At Your Very Soul.

 

But enough despairing and finger-pointing - I get enough from social media. Time to soak up some stories and remind yourself that the world...

Posted 10 Nov 2016 @ 1:18pm

There are some among us who fondly cherish the memory of the dearly departed Central Station Records (OK, it’s not technically dead – it exists, albeit swallowed up into Universal Music Australia, so best to keep those rose-tints on).

 

Remembered for its landmark Central Station Records stores in Sydney (eventually laid to rest in what is now...

Posted 9 Nov 2016 @ 2:14pm

The Problem With Language

 

Recently I heard a woman say the phrase, “my girlfriend’s boyfriend”, and I must admit I entered a state of confusion for a few minutes. I wasn’t sure how to contribute to the conversation. I automatically assumed this person must be polyamorous, have multiple partners, or just be really open and evolved or something.

 

I was wrong. She...

Posted 8 Nov 2016 @ 4:12pm

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Dendy is seeing the biggest surge in new film with some international fare, but the real winner is Amy Adams, who is EVERYWHERE.

 

And what better time to distract yourself from the inevitable collapse of Western society?...

Posted 4 Nov 2016 @ 12:36pm

There is perhaps nothing less rock’n’roll than being nominated for a major music award. 

 

After all, the idea of receiving an accolade from the very system bands often find themselves directly opposed to seems almost oxymoronic: “Here’s your prize for not caring about things like prizes!” is what a MTV statuette or honorary induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems to...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 4:27pm

New Releases:

 

Been holding out for the annual video game flood? Well, that time is well and truly upon us, so now’s the perfect chance to work out what should be at the top of your list. 

 

Kicking off the month on Thursday November 3 is the latest expansion for The Sims 4: City Living (PC...

Posted 1 Nov 2016 @ 10:27am

Welcome to the BRAG's weekly rundown of what's hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Two of Hollywood's pariahs return to the screen this week, in a genre-diverse lineup featuring excellent entries from China and Korea.

 

The drama is laid on thick this first week of November - I guess it's winter in America, so we have the luxury of stepping out into the sunlight...

Posted 28 Oct 2016 @ 1:20pm

Halloween is objectively the greatest holiday of them all. Fight me.

 

I mean, seriously, Halloween provides an opportunity to binge on horror movies, objectively the greatest art form of them all (fight me, again) and to gorge on lollies. What more could you possibly want out of a holiday? Christmas and yer birthday can get stuffed.

 

That said, every perfect...

Posted 27 Oct 2016 @ 1:38pm

Sydney queer culture has been steadily eroded into a towering, homogenised dullness over the last decade.

 

The process has gained considerable momentum over the last two years and I could sit here and whine about the lockout laws being the death knell, but that would be far too convenient.

 

And inaccurate.

 

Sydney seems to be suffering from a...

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