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Aug. 4th, 2008

Bjork's Web

The divine Sigur Ros at Festering Hole

When I first discovered Sigur Ros was hitting Melbourne to promote the release of their latest album 'Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust' ('With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly') I was ecstatic. When I discovered they were going to be playing at Festival Hall aka 'Festering Hole', I was less than impressed. I'd seen Sigur Ros once before at the magnificant Palais Theatre so this venue choice was an extreme step down. Still, I bought my ticket and waited for July. 

The last Friday in July came about like a slap in the face. Putting on my extra high heels (shorties and general admission don't really go hand in hand!) John and I made our way to the old sweatbox-of-a-venue; Agaetis Byrjun playing in the car all the while. When we got there we met up with Pennie and Mark and quickly made our way to the front of the floor. Keeping with the trend of both Bjork concerts we were once again stage left! A good spot though. In front of Kjarri's piano. It was here that we waited patiently for over an hour; enduring a rather boring support act (certainly no Amiina!). 

At around
9:00 the lights went down and the cheers roared away. On came the band; Jonsi looking rather awesome in glitter, feathers and a jacket I wanted to steal! 



They opened up the night with Svefn-g-englar which was wonderful. Glosoli (one of my favourite tracks) followed and the beautiful Se Lest. Towards the end of the latter song a brass band dressed in white entered the stage playing; much to the delight of everyone, including Jonsi! The band then remained on stage throughout the remainder of the night; providing brass backing, some vocals, clapping and general dancing sillyness. They were a nice little addition to the concert.

Here's my poor quality phone capture of the brass band with Jonsi on xylophone.
   

Next played was Ny Batteri and Vid Spilum Endalaust: a track which I had overlooked on the new album but truely rocked live. In fact, I would honestly say that their new tracks were the highlights of the night. Inni Mer Syngur made me the happiest little thing alive. It sounded even better live than on the album. As did Festival. Fljotavik was just perfect. Jonsi's voice seemed to catch the breath of each and every audience member as blue light flooded the stage and flutter paper fell from the ceiling like snow. 

From time to time throughout the night I would just watch Kjarri. He fascinated me. He had a quiet charm about him and I loved watching him when he was clearly in his own head space; tapping his hands on his legs or gazing off into the distance while playing piano.

I captured him doing just that.
 

Gobbledigook (the first single from their new album) closed the night. It was facking brilliant live! Unfortunately though, my plans to get naked and run up on the stage fell through due to weather conditions ;) Anyway, the drums came out, rainbow lights filled the stage, flutter canons were shot into the audience as everyone clapped along and joined the band in singing the delightful ole "la la la la's" that make the song so joyful!  

Someone else's capture during Gobble.


My hands were so sore after but I was too busy buzzing to care! The band soon came back on stage for a tremendous performance of the hefty and intense Popplagid. I looked over at Mark to give him a "oh my god isn't this awesome" look  but he was way too busy headbanging! It was MAD!!!

Want some light with your encore?!


The end of the track was met with rapturous applause and much foot stomping. Sigur then left the stage abruptly only to eventually return for a second encore. By this stage some of the audience had left the venue thinking the show was over, and weren't allowed back in. I feel sorry for them because they truely missed out on something special. The band played the last track of their new album: All Alright, and it was gorgeous.

Enormous love guys!

Claps all round.


And the traditional Sigur Ros bow.


While it was no romantic, immense Palais performance, it was wonderful all the same.

Takk. 

Oh...and a few more photos I took that I thought were kind of nice!





 

Jun. 22nd, 2008

Bjork's Web

R.I.P Uni

Uni is done and dusted. I mean completely. I mean forever. 

The other day when I was handing in my very last assignment and returning a book to the library I felt the pang. I didn't think that I would considering most of my friends graduated last year; but still, I felt a little sad in the knowledge that this would be the last time I would ever step foot in Deakin.  All the stressing and assignments and boring lectures aside; I'm going to miss that place. Truth be told I kind of loved my course. It gave me a lot of opportunity to discover my own talents, to look into different avenues and to meet people (whether it be tutors, lecturers or students) who have changed my life in some small way or other. Hell! I did a radioplay in a recording studio, I tried puppetry, studied ecofeminism, performed in a lift, went to the zoo, tried acrobatics, wrote a few plays, wrote about Bjork, cried in character, made a short film, constructed a fort, was "one" with a pole (don't ask!) and found each and every sexual innuendo in children's texts - all for the sake of 'eduaction'! Pretty sweet really. Yep. For the most part, I'll miss it.

So now I'm in work/fringe limbo. I'm caught in a place between work and workshopping 'Fizzy Train' for the Fringe Festival. I need need need money to travel to Europe this time next year (and therefore need need need more shifts), but from now until October I need to dedicate a decent chunk of my time to making this play sweller then ever before. So I can't really start job hunting for a few more months. It's a bit of a pity, but who in their right mind would pass up performing their own work in the Fringe?! It's a brill opportunity. 

Well, that's it for now. Back to work I suppose.

xx.

Apr. 17th, 2008

Bjork's Web

Little notes and a little quiz.

My hands are absolutely freezing. Wasn't it supposed to be 26 degrees today? What happened to that?! Well, the last few hours have been dedicated to cooking pancakes and chomping (yes, chomping) away at my online unit :  'History of Interactive Games'. As if my life needs ANOTHER forum! 

MAN! There's a car alarm bleeping like crazy. Oh...it stopped!

Yes, well, in other news my stereo AND my ipod seem to be conspiring against me at the moment. Both conveniently died at the same time, leaving me in a musicless world. It's awful! Luckily Trav has offered to lend me his ipod mini! How I love that boy. Goodbye shallow, annoying tram chatter ; hello my beauitful distractions.

Ok, since I've clearly got nothing better to do than avoid additional homework, here's a quiz.

You can only use ONE word!

1. Where is your mobile?................................. Bag 
2. Your significant other? ................................ Lovelyhead
3. Your hair? ...................................................... Dead
4. Your mother?................................................. Overworked
5. Your father? ................................................... Similar
6. Your favorite thing? ...................................... Bjork!
7. Your dream last night?................................ Unmemorable
8. Your favorite drink?....................................... Stones
9. Your dream/goal?......................................... Creation
10. The room you're in?................................... Kitchstudy
11. Your hobby?................................................ Scribbling
12. Your fear?.................................................... Worthlessness
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?......Iceland
14. Where were you last night?...................... Mums
15. What you're not?......................................... Decisive
16. Muffins?........................................................ Nickname
17. One of your wish list items........................Stereo
18. Where you grew up?.................................. Knox
19. The last thing you did?............................... Scratch
20. What are you wearing?.............................. Colours
21. Your TV? ....................................................... Massive
22. Your pets?..................................................... Novie!
23. Your computer?............................................ Friendly
24. Your life?....................................................... Exciting
25. Your mood?.................................................. Reflective
26. Missing someone?..................................... No
27. Your car?....................................................... Invisible
28. Something you're not wearing?................ Dragon 
29. Favorite store?............................................. JB
30. Your summer?............................................. Concerts!
31. Like someone?............................................ Someones
32. Your favorite color........................................ Pastel
33, When is the last time you laughed?......... Afternoon
34. Last time you cried?.................................... Days
35. Who will repost this?................................... Confucians

Apr. 12th, 2008

Bjork's Web

She comes in colours everywhere, she combs her hair, she's like a rainbow...

 Life has been fairly sweet to me of late.

I'm currently the proud temporary owner of Brett's Super Nintendo 64, complete with Super Mario 64 - only the best game EVER!!! I've seriously been craving this game for a month straight. So, when Brett kindly lent me his console and a shoebox full of games I was quite the happy chappy to say the least! Who doesn't love fighting a giant bob-omb?! Haha! So yes, the last few days have been filled with much family/friend bonding over Mario Party, Pokemon Snap, Donkey Kong 64 and of course Super Mario 64. The other night in fact, Ross came over for dinner and some ultra rad old school gaming. We (sucessfully) made crispy noodle salad with chicken and then went head to head to um...head with my Dad in Mario Party. Ross's decision to play Yoshi ultimately lead to his new nickname care of Dad: Roshi! 

On a completely different note I was absolutely devastated to discover, quite late in the game mind you, that one of my favourite nude/photography mags 'Not Only in Black and White' is no longer in production! Booooo!! I suppose this means I should look into buying back editions. On a more positive chord though, I have found a new potential favourite in 'Lula: the girl of my dreams' : a lovely art/photography/culture mag from the UK. Damn shame it's $25 a copy. Never mind. It's stunning.

Oh, and did I mention that I am now the proud owner of a pet?! His name is Novie and he's a beautiful blue, red, green and purple Siamese Fighting Fish. When I first got him he travelled home with me on the bus. The plan was that he was going to live in the 'lake' section of my bonsai tree bowl. This plan failed miserably when I discovered that the bowl actually leaked if you put too much water in it. So, for a short while, Novie was kept in a glass measuring jug beside my bed. One night, as I was drifting off to sleep I heard a little "bloop" sound. I turned on my lamp only to discover that Novie had jumped out of the jug and onto the table. Poor little sod. I actually almost started crying. John rescued him though. I bought a tank with a lid on it the very next day! 

Meet him!


He changes colours in the sun. He comes up to the surface for air. He wags his tail when you approach him. He eats his food in a feisty manner. He's much more active than your average Betta Fish. He's really very charming.

In other news, Lucy, Maddy and I (aka 'A Lot Of Bread') will be reuniting to enter our strange, self indulgent, fantastical, dumbtelligent play 'All Aboard the Fizzy Train' into the Fringe Festival!! Also, we'll be creating a Fizzy-esque short play which will be showing at Federation Square in the next month as part of a playwright festival. Yay! Glee! So happy to be working with these girls once again. Even if it does mean that I have a little more on my plate. 

Oh, and a little word of advice. If you ever feel too lazy to go out and buy dishwashing powder and so, simply decide to fill your dishwasher with a hellovalotta Morning Fresh - DON'T!! This is what happens...





I was fascinated by the strange shape the foam made upon leaking though. It looks like a possum tail. Proof that if you're not making enough art; art will find you.

xx.

Apr. 1st, 2008

Bjork's Web

Parties by the plenty load!

The last four or so days have rocked quite substantially. Allow me to document.

Thursday
The night was spent at a fantastic (and warm!) little cocktail bar in the CBD called Bar 1806.  Sarah (as in, Sydney Sarah!) was celebrating her 22nd and had invited John and I to join her. True, drinks were a bit on the pricey side, but damn were they worth it!! I tried something called a Sapphire Cilantro which consisted of strawberries, vanilla, coriander and gin. Absolutely beautiful. The night was very cosy. There's something about hanging with John, Sarah, Mark and Frog that puts me in a wonderful glow-worm of a mood! They're a special kind of awesome! If Trav and Elisha had been able to make it I'm fairly sure I would have combusted from the powerful concentration of loveliness!



Friday
I spent the majority of the day uni-ing it on up with my 'Sound and Voice' posse. Then, pretty much straight after uni, Ross and I headed to Little Collins St to see the amazingly talented Maddy and Lucy perform in 'Outrageous Orchestra' :The Deakin Comedy Revue. The night was bloody freezing. BLOODY FREEZING!! After finding a park and the venue itself, we were 'jaws on the floor' to discover that the show was fully booked out! Eventually though, after much pleading with the girls at the door (and dropping of Maddy and Lucys' names) we were let in for free on the proviso that we were to tell no one. Phew! But yes, the play was quite good. Many of the sketches with Lucy and Maddy were written by the pair, which meant that I really dug them. Our humour is pretty in sync. As a whole though, it left a little to be desired, but it was still pretty cool to see my lovely 'Fizzy Train' girls in action! Post-play Ross and I headed to IQ in Fitzroy where we met up with John. The place is pretty packed these days, which is good. But the music is more commercial, which is bad. Although there seems to be more girls there these days, which is good. But the furniture it still in desperate need of a clean.........or.........burning - bad obviously!! Apart from dropping a full glass of champagne, witnessing a guy pee in a basin only a foot away from me, and being groped and bitten by an overenthusiastic fellow who was trying to get in John and Ross's pants, the night was pretty swell! We also ran into Cam there which was lovely.  



Friday
Once again, another freezing night out. Luckily though, there was a fire to keep us warm. The evening was spent being childish and tipsy in aid of Dave's 22nd 'kid themed' backyard party! We played pass the parcel, whack the hell out of the pinata and pin the beefy arm on the Trogdor: an extremely nerdy version of pin the tail on the donkey. Before this party, it'd been ages since I'd been to a house party with 'the gang' - so it was heartwarming little gathering. For some reason I spent most of the night dancing, which is quite a rare thing for this little shy-head! But hell! These people are my friends. If I can't dance like an idiot in front of my friends, what hope have I got?! I had compiled quite a nice drink assortment as well. Tropical Malibu premix, Stones and ginger beer, Cosmo in a can (haha! classy ey?!) and an absinthe and soda premix called Upsynthe. Please oh please never try the latter. The novely of drinking premix absinthe soon wears off. Then you're just left with a bottle of medicine flavoured gluck. All in all though, a really nice night with much loving, laughing, sparkler lighting and shinanigans!

 

Saturday
This eve was dedicated to Nick's Cowboys and Indians themed 21st. Naturally I came as an indian (any excuse to wear feathers in my hair!). Mostly though, the party was filled with cowboys and cowgirls which had me feeling a little vulnerable I must say! T'was a great night though. For some reason I was on a bit of a natural high, and once again found myself going crazy on the dance floor. Usually, at big parties I tend to become introverted, but this particular evening I was quite the opposite. Towards the end of the night things got a fun kind of rowdy. I was shot by arrows and prodded by inflatable cacti while three grown men yehah'd their way past me on a plastic horse with wheels. Ah...it's the stuff parties are made of!

  

BBQ tomorrow.
Bed time now.

Mar. 26th, 2008

Bjork's Web

State of ?

I'm in a REALLY strange mood tonight. Sadness and helplessness have risen up in me out of nowhere. It could just be hormones, or more likely, it could be the fact that since I've turned 21, I've become a lot more introspective. John and I both. Who'd have known that a milestone birthday could actually make me seriously consider my future. It honestly has though. Truth be told, I'm fucking scared of what the future has to offer. Or even more so, what it doesn't have to offer.

I've been feeling disconnected from the world lately. This is a devastating thing for someone like me who thrives on my relationships with people. Family, friends, strangers...whoever. I'm seeing less of those I care about. Less heartfelt time. Less time in general. Conversations between myself and others seem to be covering the same old ground. I can't help but think to myself, what a waste of incredibly interesting people.

I'm having trouble being 'in the moment' as well. I recall many times in the past, putting life on hold for one night and just dedicating the evening to being stupid and careless and sexy and drunk. I miss those nights. Nights when EVERYONE wanted exactlly the same thing. When conversations would breed happiness and passion. These days I just can't seem to relax and enjoy the moment. There's always something that gets in the way. Formalities, work, study, convenience, insecurities, money, guilt, time. My mind is in a constant state of pre-event or post-event. 

I want to be radical. I want to have sex for a week straight. I want to avoid films, tv and definitely the computer. I want to confess some deeply personal things to people. I want to listen to music and create art and stop fussing around with unimportant shit like forums and my hair. I want the courage to speak up more often. I want to prove myself - to myself. I want to make others feel good. Really good. I want to stop falling into the same traps. I want lost hours back. I want people to stop assuming that I never feel alone because I'm with John. I still NEED my other friendships. I desperately want John to make progress and succeed in his artistic life, entirely for his own sake. Ditto for me. I want to find my own spark.

So who's asked me how I've been over the past couple of years? I mean REALLY been? And who have I asked for that matter? I remember a little while back, Steph asked how things were with me and it seemed like a such a foreign question. Perhaps because I could tell that she wasn't asking just to be polite. This is a rare thing. When I started to answer her I got so caught up in getting stuff off my chest that I began to feel gluttonous. Then I felt a little sorry for her because I had dug quite deep and unloaded all of this stuff on her in a matter of minutes. You know, sometimes you just need to be asked. Often I wont discuss something until someone specifically wants to know about it.

On a different note I had a dream lastnight that I was pregnant. I remember holding my stomach and crying my eyes out because I so desperately wanted to have the baby straight away. I didn't want to have to wait for it to grow. I sensed it was a "her". I remember feeling weak but amazing. Astonishingly beautiful. Eventually, once I had gotten used to the idea of being patient with her I felt hugely content. It was at this point that I woke up and realised that none of it was real. But wow, it felt real. Honestly, I missed her. Perhaps more frighteningly, for someone who's never really had any desire to be a mum, this morning for the first time, it felt right. It felt like something I truely wanted. I don't know. It's definitely not happening any time soon, that's for certain! But it was an interesting change in feelings on the topic.

Feb. 4th, 2008

Bjork's Web

No Longer a Bjork Concert Virgin!!!

Here ‘tis! My far-too-belated Bjork related blog!

21/01/08
Monday Evening

It was the night before John and I were to be leaving for Sydney, and I couldn’t sleep. No surprise really. For at least 7 years I had been waiting for the opportunity to see Bjork live, and in only a couple of days I would finally be granted this opportunity! I was absolutely stoked!!

The weeks leading up to this particular Monday evening had seen me religiously checking the Bjork 4um, cranking Bjork’s Live Box on my stereo nearly 24/7 and excitedly talking the ear off anyone who would listen. “Guess what I’m doing in 32 days, 4 hours, 21 minutes and 8 seconds?!!”

As fortunate as John and I were to be the proud owners of two tickets to Bjork’s first and only Australian solo show in 12 years; these tickets came at a price. $400 each to be exact! You see, John and I had tried our darndest to get hold of tickets when they first went on sale. We had woken up at least 2 hours before the tickets were to be released online. We had organised days prior to use John’s sister’s credit card and computer to make the purchase. But alas. No luck. For some odd reason, most likely due to the sever being too busy, we were unable to get tickets. We refreshed the page over and over again; no good. John’s sis travelled to Ticketek to try there; no good. The disappointment and stress of it all brought me to tears. So, what could we do next but jump on Ebay and buy ourselves a couple of ridiculously overpriced tickets off a scalper?! Yes I know scalpers are scum. And yes, John and I probably should have waited it out to see if more tickets were released down the track (they were dammit!). But at the time, we were desperate. And the idea of seeing my absolute favourite artist for the first (and perhaps only) time at a drunken, dirty, unappreciative and overcrowded Big Day Out gig was enough to make me weep. $400 tickets it was!

Me being me, I left packing until the last minute. The trip would only be for 3 days and 2 nights in total, so I didn’t really need to pack all that much anyway. Our flight was to be at 9:15. This would be my first time on a plane (and John’s). Not to mention, my first holiday with John in the whole 3 years we’ve been together. I was very much looking forward to it.

22/01/08
Tuesday


I was up. I was ready. I was on time. I was waiting eagerly at the front door! If it were any other day, I can pretty much guarantee I would be none of these things! But this was no ordinary day. This was Bjork Eve!!

My Dad had kindly offered to drive John and I to the airport as it was near where he had to work that day anyway. So, Bjork tickets securely blue tacked in my purse, John and I made our way to the (as John so endearingly referred to it) “plane station”! It wasn’t until we were about half an hour off reaching the airport that my Dad asked me whether there was any particular time that we had to drop our bags off. Oh dear!! Yes there was! In 20 minutes!! Because I’d never flown in a plane before I hadn’t even thought to check that! Luckily, with my Dad sitting over the speed limit ever-so-slightly, we made it to the airport on time.

After saying goodbyes and being completely baffled by the way the whole boarding thing works (well I was anyway), John and I hopped on the plane and sat there grinning and chatting away like…oh I don’t know…two people who’ve never been on a plane before and have just been given a window seat! I know many of you are probably over the whole experience of flying – but my God! How incredible! The clouds look like icebergs from above! It’s an entirely different world up there! Sadly, before I could scroll through my Ipod and properly suss out which song sounded the best while sailing through the clouds (turns out Tori Amos’ ‘Goodbye Pisces’ sounds magical up there) we were already landing in Sydney.

With 3 hours to kill until we had to check in to our hotel (the lovely four and a half star Saville on Bond) we decided to ditch our bags at the hotel and stroll down to the Opera House. The first thing that really struck us about Sydney was how hilly and criss-crossed the CBD was. Even armed with a map, John and I still found it a challenge to navigate our way around. Eventually though, after asking a few Sydneysiders for directions, we found our way there.

A view of the Harbour Bridge taken from the Botanical Gardens


Yay! We know where we are! We're such clever bunnies!


Many people may not be aware of it, but Bjork’s concert was to be held in the Sydney Opera House Forecourt, not in the Opera House itself. When John and I arrived, the setting up of the stage was already well underway.

Behold! A truck where Bjork will be!


After lolling around the Opera House and the Bjork stage, scoping out where we would have to que the next day and where would be the best vantage point, we strolled down along the harbour and bought ourselves some much needed brunch at a nice little Italian restaurant.

Ah. Relaxation with a view.


The view!


Soon enough it was time to check into the hotel so we made our way back there, grabbed our key cards and went on up to Floor 6. When we found our room we struggled for 5 minutes trying to get the damn door open. When we realised we weren’t making any progress we went downstairs to ask reception for help, only to find that we had to “give the door a good push – don’t worry about using the handle!” Haha! First impressions are swell!

John unpacks in style!


Naturally we immediately raid the fridge, only to find tiny milk!


It even makes my child-like hands seem relatively normal!


The hotel room was fairly swish. We had a full kitchen, big shower, dining table and couch, 2 TV’s, a stereo and a lovely queen size bed. The only disappointing thing about the room was our astonishingly narrow balcony and our…ahem…“view”!

So much for our plans of spending an evening relaxing on the balcony drinking fine wine!


Unfortunately, I was also led to believe there was a DVD player in the room. There wasn’t! Therefore our plans to watch my Bjork concert DVD’S that night had also fallen through! However, there was still the CD player! So, John and I took it upon ourselves to head out again in search of a JB Hifi! This also gave us an opportunity to look around other Sydney shops, as well as hunt down some drinks and something nice to cook for dinner (we had the facilities to make our own food, and housekeeping to clear the dishes, so why not!?) Turns out that the JB HiFi in the Sydney CBD stocks records. Records of Bjork, CocoRosie, Sigur Ros and Tori Amos to name a few! I so wanted to buy myself something. Pity I don’t have a record player! So, John and I picked up a copy of Bjork’s Greatest Hits and headed back to the hotel; stopping off at a terribly busy three story madhouse-of-a-supermarket on the way. Once back we attempted to play our newly bought CD. “Attempted”. The damn CD player wouldn’t work! Goodness! We can’t sit around a musicless room the night before a Bjork concert!

We ring the front desk.
“Ok, we’ll send someone up”.
The guy from the front desk comes up.
“How do you get this thing to close?”
The guy attempts to force the CD tray back in the system.
“You press the close button”
The guy takes our word for it.
“These things are shit” he says.
The guy fiddles around with the system doing nothing in particular.
“Oh fuck”
The guy does something wrong.
“Umm…”
John and I exchange amused glances while this four and a half star receptionist fumbles about punctuating each action with “fuck!” or “oh shit!”
“Um..I could get you a DVD player and you could play your CD’s through that…”
Perfect! Now John and I get to watch the DVD’s I brought along after all!

I’ll drink to that!


After a lovely dinner John and I decided to head back over to the Opera House. The night was balmy and beautiful and we didn’t want to waste it.

At night, Sydney looked like something out of a sci fi flick…sort of….










Unsurprisingly we ended up sitting on the Opera House steps in front of the Bjork stage (where they were doing a few lighting tests). I simply couldn’t stop myself from squealing when I caught a glimpse of something I recognised from the far-too-many circa Volta YouTube videos I had been watching over the past month. Bjork’s flag backdrop!

“Raise your flag! Higher! Higher!”




It was during our time on the steps, discussing our plans for the following night and taking photos such this…



...that I noticed another couple wandering around taking pictures of the stage. I was so very close to asking them if they were also in Sydney specifically to see Bjork, but for some reason or rather I didn’t. At the time I thought nothing of it, but stay tuned for freaky coincidental developments involving this couple!

So back to our hotel room we plodded; exhausted from the day’s adventures, and pumped for a fantastic following night.

 


23/1/08
Wednesday


T'was the big day, although I woke up suprisingly calm. Kettle boiling I put Bjork's Royal Opera House gig in the DVD player and stood on the balcony, sussing out the day. It was about 10:30 and warm. Sitting at a little cafe table in the alley below me were a couple who were speaking in sign language. It may have just been my imagination but it felt as though the whole of Sydney was quietly anticipating the evening's concert. Imagination no doubt! 

The day was special for another reason as well. It was John's birthday! So, being the loving girlfriend that I am I cooked pancakes for the two of us. Cheating of course with a shake'n serve mix!  I spent the next couple of hours getting ready. Strategically planting feathers in my hair while John flicked through the TV channels trying to find a program that wasn't blathering on about Heath Ledger's death. Yes, it was sad. No we don't need to watch a 20 minute interview with his Primary School drama teacher.

We had decided to dedicate much of the day to queing for Bjork, even though the tickets said that anyone queing before 6:00 would be turned away (lies!! all lies!!!). By the time we had left the hotel it was around 3:00. By the time we had found the Opera House it was around 4:00! How we could get lost after visiting it several times the previous day is beyond me!!  Then, it appeared before me....THE sign.....

THE sign


Then I noticed THE que!

THE que!


Obviously no one had been turned away from queing early as the tickets claimed they would be. But judging by the moderate length of the que given the measely two hours left until the gates were set to open, it appeared that the message had warned off quite a few fans. I was a happy little duck!!

I'm not sure if it was the prospect of seeing Bjork live in only a few hours, or my general antsyness over securing a good spot in the audience, but the butterflies in my belly were getting more frantic by the minute. After about 20 minutes of sitting around in the sun, I felt my fair skin crisping. So, inspired by the smart people around me I found the nearest souvenir shop and bought an umbrella. Because of this purchase, John and I then tragically ended up with the Umbrella Song stuck in our heads. But at least we were out of the sun!

Under my umberella ella ella eh eh eh...
 

John's ticket!


My ticket!


Eventually we got talking to some lovely Bjork fans sitting beside us in the que: Gareth (also from Melb) and Kerry (from Sydney). Our conversation (much to my delight) was interjected with sound tests of Innocence, Hunter, Wanderlust, Vertebrae by Verterbrae and Pluto. Hell yes!! It sounded amazing even from the gate! 

Pretty soon Elisha and Trav (also Melbournians) rocked up and joined us in the que. Elisha's face was priceless. She was positively glowing with excitement! It was like looking into a mirror!

-Oh and remember the couple we saw on the steps of the Opera House the previous night? This is where they came into play-

It was not long after Elisha and Trav had joined us in the que that they spotted some friends of theirs, also from Melbourne. So, being sociable little creatures they headed on over to them to have a chat. After a while I glanced over at them only to discover that the couple John and I had seen on the steps the previous night were in fact friends of Elisha and Trav! What were the odds?! It was at this point that I also realised I had even met this girl (Sarah) at the Amanda Palmer concert only a month or so earlier! As if things couldn't get any freakier, I later found out that the guy (Mark) standing with her was none other than a Bjork 4umer I had been PM-ing during the weeks before the concert! He had even mentioned that he was travelling with a girl named Sarah in his messages! Talk about a small world!!!

Mark and Sarah in all their glory!


It was about 5:30 and the que stretched back further than I could see. Everyone had gotten the jitters and decided to stand. The next half hour was spent in almost total silence. Well, I was silent at least! Every couple of minutes I would check John's watch. At 5:50 an announcement was made by a woman with a megaphone.

"There's going to be a slight delay. Preperation is running later than expected. The gates should open at 6:15, rather than 6:00"

We'd already been waiting two hours. What was another 15 minutes? Goodness! How wrong I was. Those 15 minutes seemed to go on FOREVER! But eventually...

We were in! 


Notice the hundreds of people adorning the steps? They weren't there when we came in. I swiped this photo from someone on Flickr!!! Nope. When we came in those steps were empty. It was like Tool all over again let me tell you!

"NO RUNNING!! WALK PLEASE!!!"

Again, like at Tool, John and I found ourselves walking. Very fricken fast!! The plan was to bypass the merch stand and find a spot at the very front of the stage, to the left.  In the end: success! John, Trav, Elisha and I ended up to the left of the stage, right up against the barricade! We had a wonderful view of the stage. I was so happy I began jigging. All the queing had paid off!

Yo Sydney Bjork fans!!


Again, the previous photo wasn't taken by me. I swiped it! But this was what the audience would have looked like at about 7:00.

And here is...well...it's pretty self explanatory!

Token self explanatory photo possibly swiped from Mark or Sarah
 

I stood between John and a lesbian with butterfly wings. Directly in front of me was a large flutter canon (a contraption which fires out tickertape). On the stage was Shy Child - an electronic band consisting of two guys. They were good, but nothing special. Fun to bop along to I suppose. On the steps far behind me I saw a girl wearing a swan dress attempting to find herself a spot to sit. Apparently there were a few girls dressed in swan dresses there that evening. We waited and we waited and we waited. I knew that Bjork wouldn't come on until the sun had set.

The crowd anticipates...


This was taken by Trav who was 3 people to the left of me. Not a bad view ey? 


After Shy Child had finished the roadies began setting up the stage. Two flags were placed either side of the stage. By memory they had pictures of frogs and fossils and things on them. Then there were six big flags up the back of the stage, and many more where the 'Wonderbrass' band were going to be standing. There were also 3 large televison screens set up on the stage floor. These would later display the 'reactable' working its magic.

The 'reactable'



 My heart was beating in my chest a million miles an hour. The sun had set and the stage was set. An announcement was blasted over the speakers, telling us once again that at the request of Bjork there was to be no photography whatsoever during the evening's show. The press soon filed in and John and I began chatting to a lady who I think was overseeing them. She told us that they would only be hanging around for the first 3 songs and then they would be gone. I was happy about this because many of them were blocking our view. Then, it happened!

First to come on was the Wonderbrass band; playing their instruments loudly as they marched in unison wearing bright balloon-esque jumpsuits. A keyboardist and two...um...sound engineers (?) also entered the stage. The keyboardist (and the Wonderbrass) had indulged in some facepaint! Then....

...SHE came on!!!   

In a magnificant gold dress, waving about two porcupine looking things, she bounded onto the stage. Bare feet; hair out. Fearless and fantastic. The rush I felt in that moment was overwhelming. I was the luckiest duck in all of anywhere! By the sound of the crowd they obviously felt similarly!

Bjork!!!


And her porcupine things if you can see them!


Before I had a chance to blink or inhale a second time, flames were fired up into the air on either side of the stage and Earth Intruders thumped itself into action. The sound was incredible. Next was Hunter, in which she did her famous 'Hunter dance' (anyone who's a Bjork nerd like me will know what this is!)  It was also during this song that she unleashed a kind of streamer web which stretched out across the entire stage. Under all the lights it looked awesome.

Bjork's webbing




Unravel followed, and then, to my suprise and immense delight, one of my most loved Bjork tracks: Joga. As soon as I heard the first few notes I burst into tears! I never thought I'd be one of those people who cries at concerts but....there I was! For those four or so minutes I was completely under her spell. Lost in a whole other world. Unaware of anyone else around me. It was magical and perfect! I felt content.

Then came Who Is It (possibly my favourite track off Medulla), The Pleasure is All Mine (another Medulla edition) and Pagan Poetry. The Pleasure Is All Mine seemed to bring out a little of Bjork's tough side. At one stage she was standing at the very edge of the stage, directly in front of me, pointing a stern finger into the crowd and bellowing the lines "Women like us, we strengthen most". Her intense gaze at that point, and the way she stressed these particular lines made me, as a woman, feel strangely empowered. It was pretty cool! Pagan Poetry also blew me away. Her voice in this song was spectacular, and her sincere delivery of the lines "I love him, I love him, I love him I love him..." was really something to behold.

Belting it out!  


Next was Desired Constellation. For me, this was one of the highlights of the night for sure. Her impromptu inclusion of the lines "again and again and again....", sung in the way they were, brought so much more to the song. Stunning to say the very least. Changing the mood completely was Army of Me. Live, it was one hefty song. The beats were powerful and the lighting was incredible. John and I stomped, yelled and flailed about as green lazer lights rebounded off the grand Sydney Opera House sails. John; who prior to the concert hadn't much cared for Army of Me; was shortly converted.

I found myself rocking out to AOM in someone else's photo!


I also found John and Trav!


I Miss You then gave me another reason to dance about like an idiot! Although, I was suprised to look around mid-song only to discover that the audience didn't seem to be getting into it as much as I was. Or perhaps they were just too mesmerised to move. Bachelorette then let Bjork show off that epic voice of hers, while Cover Me had her displaying her more cheeky and animated side - mischievously stage whispering with the audience and accompanying a sip of her drink with a delicate little kick! Next was Wanderlust, a track off her latest album Volta. Honestly, this track was something else live. I was really impressed. The beats were great fun! Following this was Hyperballad. A crowd favourite, and the very track which had first introduced me to Bjork way back in year 9! Woah! Once again I was blown away. Bjork even held out her microphone towards the start of the track and encouraged the audience to sing some lines! And we did! Quite loudly!! From there on the crowd went schitzo! Dancing and screaming and what not. It was enormous and wonderful!



She then closed the concert with a bang. Pluto was this bang! It was harsh and meaty and all I'd hoped it would be! Strobes attacked the stage while flutter canons filled the sky with tickatape. I screamed so hard and loud that I started to feel dizzy. It was fantastic!! "Thenks for toonight" she said in that cute little Icelandic voice of hers.

And the crowd went wild!!


But this was not to be the end of the concert. Oh no. Eventually (after my hands were well and truely red and raw from applauding) she came back on stage, and commented on the view. Something to the effect of "It's such a wonderful view. With you, and the bridge, and that building (she signals towards the Opera House). And the moon has gatecrashed on us. In a big way (it was a low, full moon that night!)  

Note the gatecrashing moon!


She then went on to perform a beautiful brass version of Oceania (a song which she performed at the Olympics), in which she and the Wonderbrass girls took turns exchanging bows. I know it sounds typical, but I'm quite sure we made eye contact during this track. It had me reeling!

Her final song for the evening shook the whole of Sydney!! This was Declare Independence, another track off Volta. Dedicated to the Indigenous people of Australia, experiencing this track live was like nothing else I've ever experienced. The sheer power of her voice. Flutter canons booming. Thousands of fans screaming "Higher higher!!!" in unison. Ticketape filling my open mouth, sticking to my sweat and drying tears. Thick bass travelling through my chest. Thumping: in my ears and beneath my feet. The smell of smoke as fireworks punctured the night sky.





FUCKING INCREDIBLE!!!

Here's just a taste...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU3L3oZ_6iU&feature=related

With that, she left the stage, and I was left sitting on the ground; an overwhlemed, overjoyed, teary mess! After I had composed myself (sort of!) the battle for the setlists began! It was at this point that we also met up with Sarah and Mark. I can't quite remember if I said anything to them. I think I may have just hugged them! After pleading for ages with the wanky security guards for setlists, Mark took it upon himself to jump the barrior and grab one for himself. Success!! What a smart little cookie!

Time ticked on and setlists slowly disappeared. John and I eventually gave up. At least we had the memories. And pockets full of tickatape! I soon began chatting with a guy who was waiting for his backstage pass to be authenticated by security. I hoped that if I told him how much trouble John and I had gone to to get tickets he might take pity on us and grant us some backstage passes of our own!! Haha! No luck! But he was still quite interesting to talk to. He told me that the Wonderbrass band actually listen to Rage Against the Machine to wind down after a show. I found this amusing given that many Rage fans at the BDO had been giving Bjork a hard time on stage. When he headed off I turned to John only to find him holding some sort of large egg thing. That large egg thing was actually Bjork's streamer webbing from Hunter, wrapped up tightly by the roadies!! Ahhhhhhh!!! Bjork's prop!!! Setlist smetlist!

Don't believe me? See for yourself...


With the streamers hidden under John's Volta t-shirt, we headed out the gates, passing many happy people along the way. It was outside the gate that we ran into Gareth and Kerry. We gushed about the show a little (ok a lot!) and exchanged numbers. John and I were going to go back to the hotel to drop off the streamers, and then head out for post-Bjork drinks with Gareth. We ended up at the Opera House Bar in the end, which was lovely. There were these slanted kooshy couches which lent over the twinkling harbour.

The Opera House Bar


Fellow Bjork lover: Gareth


Unfortunately for us though, the bar was set to close soon. So we decided to wander the streets aimlessly in search of somewhere else to celebrate. While doing this we coincidently ran into Mark and Sarah (what is it with these two and strange coincidences?!) who were also looking for somewhere to drink. So, as a chipper little group we all headed to a nearby pub for schooners of beer (they don't have pots in Sydney) and much talk of music. It was a swell end to a swell night!

Ok...well...possibly the best night of my life!!!

John, Mark and I being...well...some kind of awesome!


And to think, this photo wasn't retouched in any way!!


Stay tuned for the next Bjork related installment: Bjork Day Out (lovingly ripped off from Mark!)

xx.

Jan. 21st, 2008

Bjork's Web

Only 2 little days until Bjork!

I'm leaving for Sydney tomorrow and I simply cannot wait! In the 3 years John and I have been together, not once have we gone holidaying. Yes, sure, it may only be for 3 days. But still. It's a holiday of sorts. We get to fly in a plane dammit!! Ok and yes, to some that may sound like a dreary thing rather than something to be excited about, but I've only ever been on a plane once when I was very little, and John has never been in one. So there! Unfortunately I have to get up way earlier than I'm used to because we're catching it at 9:15. Hehe! To be honest though, I don't think I'll be getting much sleep at all tonight. The knowledge that I'll soon be seeing Bjork at the Sydney Opera House is guaranteed to have me restless!! My thoughts are that the next couple of days are going to move really quickly.

Oh yes. And I have been very sneaky with John's birthday present this year. Dave and I, for the last couple of days, have been snooping around John's car to suss out the kind of speakers it can take. Given that John plays music in the car ALL THE TIME, and that he only has 2 crappy speakers and a tape deck, I have decided to buy him a good sound system. With the head unit and speakers it's going to cost roughly around $300 - so a couple of other peeps are going to put in for it. However, $300 is a really decent price for the quality of the system. We were lucky. The head unit we had our eye on was on sale the day we went to buy it, and I don't have to pay an installation fee because Dave (who knows way too much about electronics) has offered to install it while John and I are away. This is awesome because John has absolutely no idea that when we get home from our trip his car will be "fully pimped out"! Hehe! We even bought tiny metallic bows to decorate the system with! If we can organise it, everyone who's putting in will be there when we arrive at John's house. Yay! I'm excited for him!

On a not-so-good note, I had to buy a new phone today which set me back $250. Unfortunately, creamy soda had leaked into my bag a little while back, which wrecked the battery. Slowly and slowly my phone had been getting worse. So, yes. It was either start up another plan (no thankyou!), or buy a new phone. It really bites though because now I've lost the majority of my contacts. Hmmph!

Still, I wont let it rain on my parade.

BJORK!!!!!

Jan. 11th, 2008

Bjork's Web

19th's, spider cows, copious amounts of tea and anticipating Andrew.

Monday night plans with Pennie fell through in the end. Work for me that night was SO busy and I was absolutely stuffed afterwards. So it was postponed to the following night (lastnight).

Yesterday day I woke up at 11 or so (this is becoming a terrible habit), and travelled to Knox to find my brother a birthday present. This proved to be quite difficult since I had just bought him something for Christmas, and once again, he hadn't given me any suggestions as to what he would like. If I had the money I would have loved to have given him Guitar Hero. But unfortunately at the moment I have expenses by the bucketload. So I ended up buying him a black t-shirt with print on it (as if he needs any more of those!). While shopping that I ran into my mum, who was also looking for presents for Mitchell. So we ended up having afternoon tea and scurrying from shop to shop, deliberating whether he would like the tweed shorts or the denim shorts! Then Pennie picked me up and we headed to The Piercing Urge in Prahran so that she could get her collarbone surface piercing redone. Once again I ended up by Pennie's side; half out of interest, half for support. And once again we found ourselves discussing the small squishy cow attached to the roof of the parlour! It was over in not much time at all (the piercing process, not the discussion!) and we headed back to my place; picking up fish and chips, tea and iced tea, frozen yogurt and some movies to relax with along the way. The night was very chilled and made for many laughs and much gossiping. Pennie informed me that she had a date the following night (tonight) which was very exciting. It can be nice to live through single friends from time to time!

Today was pretty wonderful also. I spent much of the day on the new computer in my beautifully airconditioned house! My eftpos card finally arrived in the mail (I've been without one for about a week!), and I won an auction on ebay for a BDO ticket (my 21st birthday present for Pennie!). Then tonight I went out with Dad, John, Mitchell and his girlfriend Janelle to Taco Bills for Mitchells birthday. Oh yes! Margaritas!! T'was a lovely little evening but afterwards I felt way too full and far too tipsy for someone who'd only had the one alcoholic drink! Haha! Mitchell was much worse though. He'd downed one of those fishbowl sized Margaritas! Oh dear!

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting up with the girls for brunch to try and write Pennie's 21st speech which should be a bit of a laugh. Then tomorrow night I'm seeing the freakishly talented and charming Mr Andrew Bird at the Corner Hotel. This should prove to be both awesome and horrendous. The Corner Hotel in 40 degree heat? Hell no! Oh well. I'm very much looking forward to it anyway.

Jan. 8th, 2008

Bjork's Web

Generally, life is good.

I've finally written long overdue replys to comments and messages, both on MySpace and Facebook. It took me a couple of hours, but at least now I don't feel like I'm drowning in the social networking pool. Honestly, it's a sad state of affairs that I should be feeling that way to begin with.

Tonight should be fairly great. Once work is out of the way, Pennie is going to come around to my joint where cups of tea and d&m's will ensue. It feels like a while since I've spoken to anyone other than John about the things that matter most to me. It'll be nice to have a fresh perspective. The past 3 months or so have mostly involved me listening to the problems of my friends; not talking about my own per say. So my mind is cluttered like never before.

Elisha's 21st was the other night. It was hat themed which was a pain in the butt because it was oh-so-hot and the only hats I have in my possession are berets! I opted for a multitude of fascinaters instead. The party itself was pleasant but fairly uneventful. It was good to see Elisha glowing though as she fluttered from one group of guests to another. Unfortunately the dj was below average. He was reluctant to take requests (even from the birthday girl herself!) and he didn't even announce the last song. The music was BORING! The usual pub music (Bon Jovi, Abba, Cyndi Lauper etc). Some tracks were even played twice during the night. Ho hum! I'm soooo glad I'm not having a dj at my 21st shindig.

On another note I NEED a bigger wardrobe! Yesterday I put a whole heap of my clothes into storage (winter coats and the stuff I don't wear all that often) and the damn thing is still overflowing! All up it's probably about the size of a linen cupboard. Which is a joke. I hate seeing all my lovely (and sometimes expensive) dresses, corsets and skirts smooshed up together. Stupid Dad having a walk-in-wardrobe "filled" with about 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants! Grrrr! So now my stuff is divided into my wardrobe, my brothers, my dads and a cupboard!

Oh, and I highly recommend 'I Am Legend'. I was killing John's arm by gripping it with my nails the entire time. It's a desperate, suspenseful, interesting, frightening, clausteraphobic sci-fi/horror flick in which Will Smith never overacts. I was impressed. If you like zombies (like I do) - see it. If you like dogs, be prepared to get a little teary.

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