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Posts Tagged ‘self-referential’

This post sort of violates this blog’s description, seeing as it’s about a band. But I think  I’m going to expand the blog to cover all the arts, focused on what’s going on in melbourne. A kind of ‘what’s going on in the melbourne music/theatre/film/miscellanious world. But for now- Me and the Grownups.

 

Me and the Grownups are the most original band you’ll hear this year.
Paul Shields
Scene Magazine

They’re a Melbourne band who are playing at the Astor cinema tonight (as in Thursday). Most bands claim to have a ‘completely original sound’ or to be ‘genre-defying’, but Me and the Grownups really are. They’ve got Violin/Viola (Jonathan Drefus), guitar (Adrian Sergovich) and vocals (Anita Lester) and their genre would have to be described as folk-pop-jazz-classical. The instuments and Anita’s voice weave around each other, on much more equal status than the usual ‘vocals with backing’. Anita’s lyrics read like poetry, whipping up beautifully unusual imagery. There’s not really any need for me to go on describing their music, you can have a listen here.
As I said, they started up in 2006, and since then they’ve released two albums, Battling the Mountains the Sky and the Sea and Knowing Lovers, Naive Lovers. Staunchly percussion free throughout both albums, they let a hint of drums onto the title track of their recent EP My Perfect Storm. Tonight they’ll be backed up by a woodwind quartet, something they have rather a penchant for, and Timothy Nelson’s from Perth is also playing. Anita animates, along with doing all the bands artwork, and some of her animations will be on view. Sometimes I find their music lacks a gut-punching emotional core, especially in recording, but at the one other night-time gig of theirs I’ve been to it was most definitely present. With no ready-made market for their music (too classical to be pop and too pop to be classical), they’re slowly but surely winning people over. Have a listen, and if you like what you hear, I’ll see you there!

DISCLAIMER: I have been known to know this particular band’s frontwoman.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114632393234&index=1

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/meandthegrownups

Me and the Grownups (w Timothy Nelson). Vocals– Anita Lester. Violin, Viola– Jonathan Dreyfus. Guitar– Adrian Sergovich. 17 September, 8.00pm-10.30pm (Timothy Nelson at 8.00, Grownups at 9.00). Astor Theatre, corner Chapel Street and Dandenong Road, St. Kilda. $17/$13.

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Setting Off

Until this year I didn’t see plays. People who know me find that strange, cos I’ve always had an interest in theatre, and done my share of drama classes and school plays. I think part of the reason is that it’s very rare for me to see a play I like: to date I have seen only two plays that I have been taken by (Affection by Ranters Theatre and They’re All in Their Little Boxes by Louris Van Der Geer, a friend of mine whose second play I review below)). Of course, it works the other way as well; obviously you won’t see many plays you like if you don’t see many plays full-stop.  This year I’ve started seeing plays, or theatrical experiments, or whatever they’re calling them these days.  I’ve also started reading a lot about the theatre, and thinking a lot about the theatre. I began working on a play of my own this year, and that prompted the increase in all things theatrical. On Saturday night I went to Hatched, a mini-festival at St. Martins Youth Arts Centre. One show I saw in Hatched was Honey-Bun and Baby Doll. I was  giving  my thoughts on the show to Louris Van Der Geer, the writer and director, and I told her I hadn’t been able to enjoy her show properly because I kept analysing it, trying to work out what I’d say about it afterwards. Analysing pieces of theatre and making references and connections comes naturally to me. I see this as a burden, the intellectualism and critical tendency chokes my creative spirit and makes it really hard for me to do anything theatre-related without being constantly self critical, halting any progress. But during the course of the conversation with Louris we realised the tendency to analyse and to make reference to other things in theatre suits the role of a critic perfectly. Louris joked ‘you could be the next Alison Croggon’. (thus exciting me to the level where I wrote everything in capitals for the next few minutes. Yes we were talking over the internet, what, do you think I interact with other humans face to face?). So I thought ‘why not give theatre review blogging a go?’. Rather than just damning my tendency to analyse and place in a broader context, why not put it to good use? In my reviews here I’m not concerned with making a by the numbers summary of the production: how elegant/clumsy the set was, whether the director’s vision complemented the text; assesing each actor’s performance &c. &c. &c. Rather I’ll write some observations I have about the show, and try to analyse why. Or will I do that? I’m not sure. Basically I’ll write whatever I want to write,  with a tendency to diverge into wider ideas. Just letting you know that my reviews are not intended to be comprehensive or play the role that a review in a newspaper does (whatever the hell that is). Oh, and most of what I write will be heavily influenced and referenced to a certain few theatrical thinkers and doers (see recommended reading for details). I welcome, nay crave, comments. True dialogue is lost in our society! Let’s bring it back!

With that, we set off.

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