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Monthly Archives: March 2014

ImageOne week later and I’m just about caught up on sleep enough to post about the fourth YAH. This was, yet again, our biggest year by far in terms of profile and attendance. I think there were a fair few events that were amongst our most successful, including Free Music For Rich Kids, the multi-stage mini-music fest that was my baby. The Neon Night Rider saw almost 200 people cover their bikes with glowing materials and show up to ride around the lake together. An all-nude Riot Grrl band called Glitoris packed out our shopfront space (previously the ANZ bank) on a Monday night. We spread ourselves broad with more different types of event than ever before. We also spread ourselves thin, and the production team learnt some hard lessons about what we’ll need to do to keep doing right by our artists and audiences. That said, the You Are Here crew is still the most effective, impressive and funnest team I’ve ever been lucky enough to work with.

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I’ve never thought that the goal of YAH should be to expand its scale or financial resources. I want more audiences for our artists, that’s a fact; but I could never ignore that the best YAH moments are often happening in the nooks and crannys. Some stuff can only live there, and only be caught by those who know that they want to catch it.

ImageNightfort was a noise-music-and-readings sleepover gig held in a giant blanket fort built inside a museum gallery. About 90 people came, most of them with sleeping bags and pillows, most of them staying until dawn. What would be the Bigger version of such an event?Image

ImageImageOn the other hand, there were many many other events that could have happily supported many more punters than we were able to provide. Now that I’ve finished my first year as a full creative producer I feel more responsibility than ever, and I’m glad that there’s more minds than just mine that’ll be making these decisions. Anyhoo, lemme take you through some moments caught by Adam ‘Lucky Lens’ Thomas: Band sets, theatre shows, artist olympics, dance pieces and the usual load of stuff that can better be shown than described.

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You Are Here finished last week.  I had a blast – this year I:

  •          Competed every day for ten days in the Artists Olympics (placing second overall – woo!)
  •          Performed (with Faux Faux Amis) at Free Music For Rich Kids
  •          Had  a film (my 2nd short) screened at Zonk Vision’s One Minute Film Festival
  •          Guested on the panel ‘Should You Art For Free?’

Twister - You Are Here - Luke McGrath

Photo by Adam Thomas

Which sounds like a lot, but compared to last year, was a breeze.  What’s more, without having to dash home to edit every night, I got to experience more than any other year.  Not including the many things I part-caught, I saw Unsex Me, I Sold My Soul For Rock’n’Roll And I Didn’t Charge It Anything, Glitoris, gRage with Anja Loughhead, In Canberra Tonight, Hexidecibel, Lady Lolz and The Mayfly Project.

I’d like to thank the producers, including Nick, for curating another amazingly diverse selection of works.  It is one of my favourite times of year, and I have made and cemented so many friendships through my participation.

Faux Faux Amis played at You Are Here on Friday.  It was the perfect forum to launch Faux Faux Amis 2.0 – now with singers Melanie Twidale and Catherine James.  

With Naomi Milthorpe, Mel and I founded The Bluffhearts.  We’ve been wanting to play together again ever since (side note: my one time playing bass was as fill-in for Mel’s punk group The Cannibal Tads – the Tads said I sucked at bass, but looked good doing so ).  Mel also drums for PROM.  In contrast, this was Catherine’s first time on stage – I’ve been encouraging/hassling Catherine to do more music for years (she owns the same drum machine I use in Babyfreeze, and the first video I ever made was for one of her songs. We nearly started a dancehall project together in 2012 before she confessed she doesn’t actually like dancehall music).  It’s a joy to have them in the band and to be playing alongside two of my favourite people. 

 

It’s unclear who’s idea it actually was to have Mel and Catherine join – I think it was their idea, but they’re convinced it was mine (alcohol was involved).  Either way, it’s brilliant, so I’m happy to take credit for it.  We are working towards something unique in the pop landscape – I can’t recount another garage-punk band with “shoop shoop” singers (Mel’s term) – maybe as a studio afterthought, but not as full and integral members. 

 

Mel and Catherine are writing their own vocal arrangements, which is really the only way it could work.  Still, like Nick’s experience with Nickamc, it’s scary to relinquish control.  And again like Nick’s experience, I was nervous before hearing what they would come up with… but elated afterwards.  All their ideas were like better versions of my own – I can’t wait to write some songs that capitalize on our new sound.

I also pushed to get them integrated into our current projection.   

Faux Faux Amis - Melanie Twidale

Faux Faux Amis - Catherine James

 

The sound mix was the best we’d had, rendering us so slick, no less an authority than Dave Finnigan described us as ‘party rock’.  My work colleague Steve Boardman was also moved enough to write his first rock review.

 

For Projet de Producteur, we’ve got a couple of things brewing over the next three months. 

 

·         Back in January, we recorded a version of Holiday Inn at Nick McCorriston’s studio.  Paul Heslin and I (under our ‘schizophilliac’ moniker) will now be remixing it.  In May, Lou and I will shoot a video for the remix on location in New York.  We were also delighted to have The Blade Winner cover Holiday Inn on LocalNLive the other week – I’ll share some audio of it shortly.

 

·         Our next show will likely be our cassingle launch of 50/50.  The cassettes have been stamped and will be dubbed in the next fortnight (I got the master dubbed by tape king Coolio Desgracias).  Fittingly, we’ve made fifty.  Also on-theme, we’ve placed the same song on both sides of a dual coloured cassette.  

  

Faux Faux Amis - Perfect Human

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http://youareherecanberra.com.au/

Today is the first day of You Are Here 2014! 11 days of Free Music, Artist Olympics, Giant Blanket Forts, Neon Night Rides, Grages, BadSlams and more New Weird Art than I can even hold in my head (which is actually my job)!

You can check out the whole program at the link above, and follow the photos and videos on the You Are Here Facebook to watch my slow physical deterioration over the eleven days!