Reading the Lifeline at Words in Winter

If all the world’s a stage, then we’re breaking down the big show into bite-sized acts. Five-minute acts, in fact, each one themed on a decade in a lifetime.

I’m joining four fellow Ballaratians to present Reading the Lifeline: an exquisite corpse as part of the Daylesford Words in Winter festival under the auspices of Words Out Loud.

Each of the five writers has been assigned two decades in a lifetime, round robin style, but there’s a catch – the last line of each piece must be the first line of the piece that follows, including that of the very last reading.

With Rebecca Fletcher, Kirstyn McDermott, Megan Riedl and Zoe Werner, I’ll be peeling back the layers of human life, a decade at a time, while celebrating the connections between us all.

Reading the Lifeline is on Saturday 17 August at 6pm at the Daylesford Hotel, 2 Burke Square. $5 entry. There will be chapbooks available so you can revisit the exquisite corpse ‘in the flesh’. All welcome.

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Words Out Loud – what a state we’re in!

Amber Wilson

Amber Wilson

Our first Thursday night Words Out Loud spoken word event, “state of the heart”, at Babushka went quite well last night! Lovely to see so many, and to have such a large audience of, well, audience, to support the readers.

I also had my first Babushka pizza and it was damn fine, thanks.

It was very chilled, hanging back in the beer garden after the event and then listening to Troy knock out some tunes — looking forward to the album, man.

Troy, singing us out

Troy, singing us out

The next spoken word night will be on Thursday, March 17, from 7pm, with  a theme of “falling” (autumnal or otherwise, broad themes are good themes, eh), again at Babushka.

The Facebook event site

Moira Finucane, does it again

glory box la revolucion


The milk was good, but it was the tomato sauce that took the prize.

There on Collingwood’s Melba Spiegeltent catwalk, Moira Finucane in a white gown, tearing out her heart — only her heart was a family-size bottle of tomato sauce, dribbling and spurting in time with her anguish. Exit to Hollywood blonde Clare St Clare taking that dripping container while singing Blue Velvet.

Yes, it’s Finucane & Smith, strutting their art — some new, some old — in Glory Box La Revolucion (until 13 September 2015).

The troupe provide about 90 minutes of entertainment: another highlight, one of the best covers of Bowie’s Wild is the Wind you’ll ever hear, by Mama Alto accompanied by piano.

That same piano that keeps our table, only a row back from the catwalk, safe from flying milk as Finucane empties two 2l bottles over plastic-wrapped audience, self and stage in wild abandon.

Elsewhere, she’s nude under witchy fingernails and black diaphanous cape, and rockin’ it out to Garbage (if memory serves) in jeans and leather jacket with St Clare.

There’s acrobatics involving chairs, rope, trapeze, cork screw … this is 18+ wine drinking. A bewigged industrial thrash dance. A song about more than coffee in Paris, an ooh la la to equality and respect.

Boobs, chuckles, politics, art: always entertaining. All in the luscious surrounds of the Spiegeltent with its Innocent Bystander pinot noir at the bar.

The card on the table tells us that Finucane & Smith are heading off to Cuba and may be some time. NO, we say. For all that we’ve seen of Moira Finucane, we still haven’t seen enough.
Melba Spiegeltent at Collingwood

SIDE DISH

lamp at savanna ethiopian eritrean restaurantBefore the gig, we had dinner at Savanna, an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Check out this funky ceiling lamp! Check out the delicious menu — we shared a platter of various veg and meat with injera for $45, washed down with organic Ethiopian shiraz at $6 a glass, and walked out pleasantly stuffed. Highly recommended.

Emilie Autumn Down Under – meow!

emilie autumn album opheliac

Emilie Autumn is heading for Australia for what is reportedly her first Antipodean tour – reason to celebrate for those who like their piano and violin served with lesbian pantomime, burlesque, circus and a good dollop of Victoriana, amongst other things.

I caught her act in San Francisco in October 09 and found it a hell of a lot of fun. EA’s Opheliac (there are several versions of the 2CD title, with catchy songs such as Dead is the New Alive, Liar and I Want My Innocence Back) has been a best-seller at Australia’s Ground Under Productions store, qualifying her as a bit of a goth darling, but the crowd at the charming Great American Music Hall showed plenty of non-goth/emo/alternative folks getting into the show, or at least hanging out for the sexy stuff.

EA has inculcated a strong following not just of her own brand of musical performance, but of her sideshow as well, with each of her gal pals drawing a fan base. There was hot competition at the SF gig to lock lips with Naughty Veronica, for instance.

There was slightly too much banter for comfort at the gig I saw, but I can’t see Emilie Autumn disappointing. One word of advice: if you don’t want to be the subject of a rant, don’t yell for her to take her gear off. I’m sure the ears of the unfortunate voyeur in the audience, a girl since you asked, must still be ringing.

Autumn plays Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in March.

Here’s a neat doco about the current tour:

In a similar vein, it’s worth pointing out that the erstwhile Amanda Palmer is hitting Australia again in February and March. Somewhat less histrionic than EA, but with a strong theatrical element thanks to the performances of the Danger Ensemble, Palmer put on one of the best shows I saw last year. Recommended.