Friday, March 28, 2008

Does a digestible Sydney music scene exist?

My fiance and I moved here about 10 months ago from Chicago - we are late 20s working professionals who love to dance and are very into music but don't go to clubby clubs or stay out until 10am. We have friends and they are generally pub-goers, and none of them are in tune with any sort of musical happenings. We have gone out to Melt in Kingsx and Ruby Rabbit (or something like that) on Oxford, and that's as close as we've come to finding our "scene." We also had a fun night at Oxford Arts Factory once... we need more stimulus. Time Out was our go-to in Chicago and we had dj friends to help guide us, but TO hasn't really broken the surface here just yet and the dj friends are now in London/Chi.

Sydney seems somewhat clic oriented, so it's tough to break into social circles - we want to find places to go out are not big pubs with bad music and not untz untz clubs with bad music, but some middle ground with cool djs or bands, and we want to hang out with likeminded folk - I like to refer to us as yupsters (yuppy hipsters) but are totally down to hang with any music lovers, regardless of profession/ambition/sneaker collection. We like indie rock, electronic, and anything inventive. We are avid podcasters, and do maddecent, nyub, fabric, and on the regular, to name a few. Personally my favorite artists at the mo are Modeselektor, Panda Bear, Jens Lekman, and I just downloaded Devotchka which is excellent and the new Raconteurs album. A wide spectrum if you've heard some of those guys, but the theme is creative new stuff. We blog sometimes too.

Please holler. No we don't want a threesome.
Josh & Rupal

Thursday, March 13, 2008

some textual delight

I'm on the road, so I'm going to regale you with tales of strong coffee and strange architecture instead of my normal photo dump with a title.

I was in London last week, and amidst work and meetings I had a weekend of fun and fancy free. Saturday I got to meet up with Kelly Love and a bunch of her friends in Kendal Green (they all taught English in Japan together, very interesting dynamic) - one couple had just had a baby and I played with their 6 month old and looked out at the cloudy rainy day and thought life was pretty good. We had tea and chatted about life in London, real estate, telecommunications, and babies - then moved on to "The Island," a trendy pub down the street.

I ordered a bloody mary, which was quite good - Kelly and I shared a lasagna made with sweet potato which seems like a bad idea but was executed with skill. Roy stopped by and complained about how all the beautiful women in London are married/committed, and we chatted music and London social life before Roy & I relocated to Shortage for dinner with Kim & a few others. We were 15 minutes late, and this was a huge deal. Dinner was fun if a bit uptight, but I enjoyed it. The food was mediocre, particularly compared to lunch - but this wasn't the main point of contention; I had gotten myself into trouble again by bringing up a controversial topic (Australian racism) which did not go over well. One of the beauties of not seeing people again: the lack of consequence of honesty.

We moved on to Bar Music Hall, which was loud and big - I'm done with loud and big, so after a few cocktails Roy and I ditched the crew and went to a place called "Jaguar Shoes and Handbags," which was exactly as hipster as it sounds. This place was incredibly crowded but small and nooky, which I was impressed with. Somehow we got drinks and a seat very quickly even amidst the mustaches and party dresses. Fantastic.

Kelly and 2 of hers met up, and Roy left, and I found myself dozing off. Was it the tequila, the lack of sleep, or the chair? I have no idea. All I know is I was about to get in a cab when instead I said "Now, we are going dancing." Off to "Plastic People," which is one of my favorite places I've ever been, ever. Half of a sign on the front door and no line/one rough looking East London bouncer leads you to believe you are walking into a sticky situation, but downstairs is nothing but an amazing sound system, a dj playing soul/electro/jazz/booty bass/jamaican dancehall/add other exotic genres here.

Sunday was mostly taken up with Scrabble in the oldest pub in Kensignton or Heathbridge or whatever, and a pie. My team won, which is a shocker since I have nothing to contribute in any scrabble situation. I also walked around Camden markets which I would encourage anyone and everyone to not do. Then I met up with Tania & Alfanso who took me to tea and then a light dinner back in red brick or red brick road. I missed the Spittlefields markets, which despite their name are evidently not to be written off.Good times... now I'm ready to go back home (in Barcelona at the mo, but more travel time ahead - off to Singapore). Adios.

Tuesday Surfing

On Tuesday, a vendor took me and my team surfing in Bondi. We left work at 4pm and took lessons as we watched the sun set.

Surfing was followed by some primo burgers (and fries and onion rings and wine and beers and dessert). In addition to a lot of other things, Andy ate a one pound burger, no sweat. All in all, a great Tuesday.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hunter Valley is mountainous

Mountainous? Hunter Valley? I didn't realise in order to have a valley you must have mountains. I thought wine valleys were flat and boring, but hunter suprised me big time. We were hiking (bushwalking, the aussies call it) in some pretty rugged terrain.

We stayed at Willowgatehall, and it was excellent - the wine was delicious, and the weather was perfect. Another one for the record books.