Q&A: Music journalist David James Young

Avid gig goer, musician, podcaster and music writer David james Young. Photo courtesy DJY.

BY AARON STREATFEILD @slazanom

Avid gig goer, musician, podcaster and one of a select few journalists in Australia that write about music for a living – David James Young discusses the journey that led to his career in music journalism.

Saving the bees

Street art by Louis Masai Michel, who is raising awareness of the plight of the bee. Photo: Facebook
Street art by Louis Masai Michel, who is raising awareness of the plight of the bee. Photo: Facebook

BY SEGOLENE MISSELYN
@SMisselyn

Louis Masai Michel is a street artist with a penchant for animal rights. In his case, he’s raising awareness of the plight of probably the most important animal on earth: the bee.

Our Culture, Our Compass

Women at campsites, by May Hinch. Photo: Sereima Tarogi
Women at campsites, by May Hinch. Photo: Sereima Tarogi

BY SEREIMA TAROGI

“Tradition and culture create an integral part of who we become and how we pass this narrative to our children. It links us to our past and transports us to now, today. Bringing the old ways to a contemporary forum that speaks to our link to our Ancestors, bringing it to an evolutionary viewpoint. ” – Artist Kim Healey

Hidden away in Sydney’s ‘Little Italy’ in Leichhardt, the Boomalli Artists Co-operative is one of Australia’s longest-running Aboriginal owned and operated art galleries. The word Boomalli is derived from three different language groups in NSW and means ‘to strike; to make a mark’.

Review: The Composer Is Dead!

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“The Composer is Dead” … vibrant and perfectly crafted. Photo: Alexandra Talifero

 

BY ALEXANDRA TALIFERO

‘The Composer is Dead’ is a fabulous murder-mystery story, written and composed as an orchestral presentation by Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey in 2006. It was principally designed as an entertaining, educational piece for children to learn about the world of traditional concert orchestras.

Review:Australian Vernacular Photography

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BY CONSTANZA AHUMADA AND STEPHANIE ATHANASSIOU

To be able to travel back in time seems only reachable through our dreams and imagination.  The 1960s – 2000s was a time of classic humid weather, striving revolutionists and outback civilisation. To be able to understand the deeper meaning of the common slang “g’day mate”, the Australian Vernacular Photography exhibition depicts the typical larrikinism and outdoor living of Australians in the late 1960s and 2000s.

Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KEYHAN FARAHMAND

‘Afghanistan, hidden treasures’ and Khadim Ali’s ‘The haunted lotus’ are two exhibitions showing at the Art Gallery of NSW. ‘Hidden treasures’ is a collection of valuable artefacts from Kabul’s national museum, and originally from four parts of Afghanistan: Ai-Khanum, Begram, Tepe Fullol and Tillya Tepe.  ‘The haunted lotus’ shows painting by artist Khadim Ali.

 Afghanistan, hidden treasures

Ai-Khanum, “Lady Moon” in Uzbek, was founded in the 4th century BC by one of Alexander’s followers, and is located in the northern part of Afghanistan between the Amou-Darya river and Kokcha. The Afghan king Mohammad Zaher Shah first encountered Ai-Khanum, one of the most beautiful towns in Central Asia, while out hunting in 1961.

Three years later archaeological excavations began, supervised by the French Paul Bernard. But The Russo-Afghan war, followed by the civil war and thne Taliban war, forced the excavations to stop.  Although since 2006 French archaeologists started to cautiously return to Ai-Khanum, the site was severely damaged by looters and fights between Taliban and anti-Taliban’s forces.

 The City of Begram, Silk Road trading post, 1st – 2nd centuries BC

The Silk Road, or Silk Route is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. They connected the West and East by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads and urban dwellers from China to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time. The ancient city of Begram was partially excavated in the 1930s and 1940s by French archaeologists who uncovered a building with several rooms. Two of the rooms, Room 10 and Room 13, contained a remarkable cache of trade objects, such as bronzes from the Greco-roman world, glassware and porphyry from Roman Egypt, lacquered bowls from China, and ivory furniture ornaments carved in India.

Tepe Fullol, bronze Age farmland

The treasures discovered in Tepe Fullol are some of the oldest archaeological in Afghanistan and date back to the 2200-1900 BC. Afghan farmers found these gold and silver treasures in near Fullol village in north east Afghanistan. The bowls found on this site were made by local craftsmen, and the gold may have been obtained from sources close to the Amou-Darya river. Some of the beaded objects may have been inspired by works brought in from outside Afghanistan.

In 1978, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi discovered several graves that had been dug in a very old place in Tillya Tepe.  He unearthed an exquisite golden crown that was capable of splitting into smaller pieces and could be easily placed in a small box for transport . This ancient piece showed that this cemetery belonged to Kushan rulers – a wealthy family. These Ancient works include more than 20 thousand pieces of jewellery in the shape of cupid, or the god of love, fish and animals, legendary rugged design embellished with semi-precious stones. Design and applied art works of these examples clearly show the local ancient art, which was influenced by ancient Greece, Central Asia and Iran.

Since September 2006 the ‘Afghanistan, hidden treasures’ exhibition has travelled the world, starting in Paris, and after that Turin, Amsterdam, New York, Francisco, Texas, Washington, Ottawa, London, Stockholm, and Norway. According to national Museum of Afghanistan curator Kabul Omran Khan Masoudi, the main reason for the travelling exhibition is to change “distorted faces” of “war-torn” Afghanistan, and to show the world about the ancient civilization of Afghanistan. Until now, nearly more than US$3 million has been raised for the museum around the world.  The art works are on display at the  Art Gallery of NSW until June 15.

The Haunted Lotus

‘The haunted lotus’ is a display of paintings by Afghan artist Khadim Ali. The ideas for the paintings came from the Persian Book of Kings, or Shahnama. Ali’s father had read the book to him when he was a little boy, and Ali relates the paintings to violence in Afghanistan. he identifies the book’s hero with the history of Hazara people in Afghanistan, especially people living in the caves at Bamyan, made world famous as the place that statues of the great Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Also on display are handmade carpets made from his paintings by artisans in Kabul.  

Ali was born in Bamyan and grew up in Pakistan as a refugee. He trained in classical miniature painting at the National College of Art at Lahore, and studied calligraphy in Tehran. His work has been included in museums and private collections around the world. Ali now lives and works between Sydney, Quetta in Pakistan, and Kabul.

Check in: Wes Anderson’s new film

Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, Saoirse Ronan as Agatha and Tony Revolori as Zero in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Photo: Facebook

 

BY JASMINE VASARHELYI

 
Wes Anderson. Simply the name should be enough to for people to know who the man is.

For those who don’t, Wes Anderson is an American director and one of the most prominent filmmakers of our time, an individual with raw imagination and the genius to generate rare tapestries of film.

In 2014 Anderson will strike back again on the silver screen with another timeless film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. A drama-comedy, the film stars actors Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, Adrian Brody and other actors who have previously worked alongside Anderson in past features.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is an adventure story: it tells of Gustave H (Ralph Finnes), an illustrious concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), the naïve lobby boy who becomes his trusted friend. It’s a delightful tale about a stolen renaissance painting and the ongoing fight for an enormous family fortune. Meanwhile the hotel becomes the abode of an array of compelling characters.

Critics cannot get enough of the film.

Nico Hines from The Daily Beast said: “This might just be Wes Anderson’s best film; it’s certainly his most thrilling.”

Jessica Kiang from The Playlist: “a glorious, mischievous sequence of pictorialist plays taking place in a world so perfectly contained it might as well be in a snowglobe. This trademark fetishistic detail makes it feel like it was somehow loved into being …”

Emma Morgan from Total Film: ”Wes Anderson’s eighth feature has a heft beneath its icing, heart behind its artifice. Check in, and you won’t want to leave.”
 
The Grand Budapest Hotel runs for 1 hr. 40 minutes, and opens on April 10.
 

 
Official website: http://www.grandbudapesthotel.com/
 

Q&A: Lime Cordiale’s Louis and Oli

Louis (L) and Oli Leimbach of Lime Cordiale. Photo: Laura-Mae Williams

 
 
Northern Beaches brothers, Oli and Louis Leimbach are on their rise to fame. With an upcoming tour of the U.S and various festival appearances, Lime Cordiale is working up a storm. Known for their chilled out personalities and unique beach pop music, it’s no doubt that everyone is keen for a new album, inspired by the Lime Cordiale boy’s international adventures. They spoke with LAURA-MAE WILLIAMS.
 
When & why did you guys form Lime Cordiale?
Oli: I had some bands in high school. In high school they just kinda form and drop off and change names and someone quits and everything just kind of tumbles downhill. Then, after high school we just started playing together, we were on a bit of a family holiday and we didn’t really have anything to do and we just started playing together. As you get older, as brothers, you kinda stop fighting and you work together a bit more.

What’s your favourite thing about being in a band?
Louis: Playing music.
Oli: (Laughs) Yeah but just how you meet so many people. There are just so many different people at every gig. It’s the easiest way of making friends, when you’re in Melbourne or just a different city. There are so many people there and you have a reason to say hi and you can kinda hang out and they can show you the cool places and the different cities. Just having a purpose when you’re travelling, I think, is one of the coolest things.

What’s been your craziest/favourite gig?
Oli: Early on we did one at Palm Beach, on a wharf and we kinda threw a party and built a stage on the wharf and about a thousand people rocked up. It went insane. It was just way too much.
Louis: This girl fell off the stairs and broke her head open. Then we had to get it shut down.

What’s been your biggest challenge as a band?
Oli: Louis broke his leg on a Wednesday, (and) we had a gig on the Friday in Melbourne. He broke it, spent a night in hospital and we had to put him in the car and drive about 20hrs, do the gig, and drive straight back. Louis couldn’t even get out of the car.
Louis: Broke it skateboarding. Really badly. That was probably the biggest challenge, for me! It was fine, I was so high on… medical little things.

You’re about to go and do a tour around the U.S. Where are you going?
Oli: We are going to go, Austin Texas because there’s a big festival called South by Southwest and that’s our main thing over there, we are playing five times at that festival, different showcases and things. It’s like a showcase sort of festival to show off bands. Then we will be going back to L.A and hopefully doing a bit of a tour, its being set up at the moment.

What are you looking forward to most over there?
Louis: Just to go surfing over there. Pretty keen to do that.
Oli: Just being somewhere different, it’s a bit freaky because we kind of just have to start again in a lot of ways, because our fan base that we have is here. Yeah, just travelling and seeing new things as well. It’s just a completely different world.

Will this tour inspire a new album for Lime Cordiale?
Louis: Yeah, I think so. Oli is writing one at the moment about L.A and he hasn’t even been there yet. He’s cheating.
 

Lime Cordiale’s Sleeping At Your Door
 

Yoko: Revolution never rests

Works by Yoko Ono at Sydney’s MCA.

 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JASMINE VASARHELYI

 
Her vision inspired generations, her voice speaks when the fearful were silent, and it is her originality that has established Yoko Ono – Japanese-American artist and wife of the late John Lennon – as a legend in her own right.

This summer at Sydney’s Modern Contemporary Art Yoko’s exhibition War is over! (If you want it) is an intimate collection of all of her artworks, a documentation of her life and the way she has viewed the chaotic world since the revolutionary 1960s and 70s. The exhibition is a maze that maps her groundbreaking work from erotic sculptures to captivating installations, hand-written texts, short films and sound commentary. The public also has full access to participate in a collection of hands-on activities, repairing and arranging broken china, imprinting world maps with peace stamps and writing personal messages of love and peace to anyone in their life, placing the notes on the wall or hanging cards from the wishing tree.

Lennon once famously described Yoko as “the world’s most famous unknown artist”, even though at the time she was already an established artist. At her Sydney exhibition opening Yoko said: “John protected me and he did love my work, and there weren’t very [many] people then who loved my work.

“And he probably felt he had to take care of me.”

Now 81 years old, Yoko still travels extensively around the world, creating new platforms for herself as an individual and an artist. She summarises her philosophy on life simply: “Think peace, act peace, spread peace, Sydney.”

The exhibition will run until February 23 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, Circular Quay. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults, kids are free.