Over the last 4 years I’ve interviewed countless musicians and artists on the practical side of their small artistic business. I started doing it for educational reasons.

I wanted to know how exactly one can make the switch from night-time to full-time artist whilst continuing to pay the rent and retain a level of respect. No one wants to work in a call center, but no one wants their music to become a jingle either.

If there was such a thing as a middle ground in Australia, I wanted to find it.

From the shallow depths of Devonport (via Hobart, Newcastle & Melbourne) comes a new musical project I’m involved in. Mersey. In recently months we’ve been testing the waters of Melbourne, playing sporadic shows in-between sporadic rehearsals. It’s a band of songs & rich guitars. Here’s a show we’re doing with friends East Brunswick All Girls Choir (perhaps my favourite band in Melbourne) and Heart Beach (perhaps my favourite band in Hobart).Pop it in your calendar!

From the shallow depths of Devonport (via Hobart, Newcastle & Melbourne) comes a new musical project I’m involved in. Mersey. In recently months we’ve been testing the waters of Melbourne, playing sporadic shows in-between sporadic rehearsals. It’s a band of songs & rich guitars. Here’s a show we’re doing with friends East Brunswick All Girls Choir (perhaps my favourite band in Melbourne) and Heart Beach (perhaps my favourite band in Hobart).

Pop it in your calendar!

The Call Centre

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As any fresh arts grad knows well, getting that first job is tiresome slog of embarrassing interviews and polite declines. I do my best to blame the GFC’s marriage to Tasmania’s well documentary job shortages, but the fact remains that for the better part of two years my life was (barely) sponsored by the dole.  Despite the pleasures of having time to focus on Ivy St, it was an incredibly depressing stretch.

Brief encounters with paid employment were few and far between as I desperately danced backwards down the creative arts path. Casual advertising, writing & film jobs helped to keep my spirits intact though for the most part it Dick Diver living – minus the optimism.

When debt came calling, so too did my heinous savior  From one side of the queue to the other, my first full-time job was led me to the Centrelink Call Center - where misery knows no bounds.  Where the bathroom breaks are scheduled months in advance and abuse is an hourly reminder of the exact price of your time. The prospect of becoming a future “TL” in one hand I looked swiftly to the other - truly I had found a lyrical gold mine surpassed only by a latter gig as a courtroom & wire-tap transcriber.

I gave my voice to the phones but kept my head in a notebook.

Inevitably it was only a few months before I was invited back to my rightful side of Centrelink queues. Getting fired isn’t something I’m proud of by my god the entire experience taught me a great deal about the significance of doing something you enjoy. Which, in more ways than one, brings me to where I am now.

In addition to writing the entire lyric set to Picture Machine, a short comic strip was born that I rediscovered last night whilst shifting through some old computer hard drives. Based entirely upon my call centre cell mate, I give you episode one of ‘Shake Every Bone’.

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I’ll Be Your Mirror is just the second time All Tomorrow’s Parties have set up camp on Australian soil. The first took place in 2009 and was curated by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This time around, local heroes The Drones curated an awesome line up that featured Einstûrzende Neubauten, My Bloody Valentine, The Dead C as well as former Hobart greats, The Stickmen

Man, it was damn good.

An Arts Grad in a Developer’s World

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Gone at the days of fortnight security and known continuing employment. I’ve taken the plunge.

In an effort to gain some more experience and better support some of the personal projects I’m working on, I’ve left my full time post and instead started working freelance as a digital content producer. 

How much mi goreng does this mean I’ll eat? Will the tax man understand my invoice attempts? And what am I doing on the 16th floor of a building the size of Tasmania?

All these questions and more will be answered (in time) over here.

Should you wear Jeans or Shorts today?

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In the un-sexy world of weather advisers, it’s the essential information that’s lost.  Who the hell knows what the mids and fronts do anyway? Born of a few beers and hack weekend comes Jeans or Shorts - a practical web application that strips the dribble and answers the only question you ever ask: ‘Should I wear Jeans or Shorts today?’

Needless to say it answers you in song.

Jeans or Shorts
isn’t my baby but rather the child of Melbourne musician and developer, Chris Campbell. The more exciting news is that after first working together through Ivy St (along with Patrick Hatch) in 2008, this year should see a few projects surface that Chris and I have been laboring over - some musical, some webical. More on this to come.

Politically Speaking: Labor, Liberal, Greens.

Some time ago I did a short series of interviews with three Tasmanian politicians; Will Hodgman, David O’Byrne and Nick McKim. The idea was to send off an identical set of questions of related to Tasmania’s Arts Landscape and to compare the manner in which each responds. Each was to be left completely unedited. First up…

Will Hodgman. Liberal Minister for Franklin and Leader of the Opposition….

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