Saturday, 18 March 2017

Feel The Music

It makes sense that you listen with your ears to music - after all, that's what it's there for, but using your hearing receptacles are not the only way to enjoy it!

It popped up again on the ABC a few weeks ago (and from a few years before that) - the work of Amber Galloway Gallego. In fact, she is a pioneer of the industry, signing in real time - not just the words but the situations - of the music! 

See more here, video from the ABC article

But it is definitely interesting and important to consider how all of us 'listen' to music.
And of course, if you're not going to listen to music you can always read about it!

Some of our top picks are:

DIG by David Nichols
"The period from 1960 to 1985 saw Australia casting off its colonial cultural shackles and taking on the world. Dig is the first in depth account of the massive upsurge in musical creativity that swept the country during those years, and David Nichols is the perfect guide, combining scholarly research with narrative flair in this enthralling and authoritative history." [from the blurb] 

EVERY SONG EVER by Ben Ratcliff

'A remarkable new book ... goes leaping from Beethoven to Big Black, from Morton Feldman to Curtis Mayfield, identifying continuities while delighting in contrasts' Alex Ross, New Yorker
For the first time ever, we have all the music in the world to choose from. As Ben Ratliff, one of America's celebrated music critics, shows us, it's time to listen in a new way too. Opening our ears to unexpected connections, new experiences and little-known delights, this book will change the way you appreciate music forever.
'Masterly ... An instructive guide to opening one's mind and compiling a new kind of playlist ... succeeds brilliantly' John Clarke, Independent
'Smart, provocative ... in every case informative' August Kleinzahler, The New York Times Book Review
'Like a trip into the world's coolest record store' David Browne, Rolling Stone

Both of these books are sure to have your toes tapping and songs stuck in your head in no time

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Why Can't You Give Your Presence for your Present?

Since working at a bookshop, I've given almost every single person a book for their birthday. *Hot tip, if you want a new book invite me to your party ;) But anyway, moving on, it's both the lazy and non lazy approach because anyone who has had to buy a book as a present knows how many ways it can go a little bit wrong. The problem is, when you know them and are friends (clearly, you're celebrating with them) but you are just short of that knowledge of what is it that they have on their shelf. You find yourself questioning everything: do they need a book about hats? have I ever seen them wearing hats? who is their favourite characters from history? what is their favourite cuisine? do they even like reading?! And the list goes on. Well, my friends, here are some of my tips for choosing a book as a present! Goodness knows I need all the help I can get!

  • Not to be picky but I think in these instances, hardcover really does give the gift an extra layer of special(ness) 
  • I tend to go with non-ficton here because unless it's a classic, I feel like it ages less quickly as something you can keep on your shelf and keep referring too over the years
  • Especially if it's about a subject that the receiver really likes - there are some pretty specific categories out there!
  • Sometimes it's hard to know what kind of book they'd lean towards but in the event that you have absolutely no idea, I usually look in the biography or coffee table book section, be it history, photography or other general interest. 
  • But think outside the square! Where did they go for their holiday recently? What do you do together? That might help you to think of some ideas
PRESENT FOR A CHILD (who you may or may not know)
  • I think I've somewhat covered this before in a previous post so let's deal with selecting presents for kids you don't know  
  • The first question focuses on you: what kind of book do you want to get for them? Fiction (and if so: serious, challenging, funny, to increase their confidence - it's all up to you), an activity book perhaps, a picture book or if they're under five - something for them to play with now or keep for later?
  • Once you've identified that a friendly staff member will help you pick out something fitting!

Of course it would be much easier if your present could just be your presence

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Marching Towards Better Design

It is officially, one hundred percent now March. Uni is back, school is in full swing and your holiday tan may or may not have already worn off (say hi to your melanin for me) so it seems that all is normal in the world. Actually not all is normal because the hot weather seems to be coming now but indeed that is an issue for another time. 

But do not despair! Because March contains one of the swishest festival/weeks of the year! That is, MELBOURNE DESIGN WEEK from 16-26 March!

 Organised by the NGV, it's a week of talks, exhibitions, book launches and events!

Here of some of my picks (all blurbs from the NGV website):

PANEL: Does Blak Design Matter
As Australian Indigenous designers are leading a movement away from collaborative or consultative models to Indigenous-led design, the question is posed; what is meaningful Indigenous design, and why does it matter? From interior and product design to landscape, architecture and town planning, this panel, hosted by Daniel Browning, examines the practices of some outstanding Indigenous designers and interrogates how Indigenous design is defined, received, and made visible in Australia’s contemporary design environment. 

Open State: Planex Tour
Presented by Open House Melbourne
Take a tour of one of Victoria’s leading steel furniture manufacturers to see robotics and automation in action. An Australian family owned furniture designer with over 40 years experience manufacturing steel furniture, Planex demonstrate a commitment to designed-in longevity with the ability to reuse, reconfigure and recycle. They like to call this ‘built-out obsolescence’ which forms the basis of their design philosophy. Designed by Inarc Architects and winner of the RAIA ‘Best Commercial Building: 2004’, Planex’s 7000m2 purpose built, solar powered production facility has become a benchmark for Australian manufacturing. Presented by Planex the tour will run for 45 minutes and feature the product showroom, manufacturing plant, steel punching line, powder coat line, followed by coffee and tea with an opportunity to meet designers and architectural consultants.

Presented by RMIT Design HubRMIT Design Hub are hosting a special celebration for the exhibition High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion as part of Melbourne Design Week. The party includes D&K’s performance All or Nothing and a live DJ set by Andras & Lewis Fidock, presenters of RRR’s Strange Holiday. High Risk Dressing / Critical Fashion looks at the ideas and community coalescing within contemporary fashion practice today through the lens of Melbourne’s Fashion Design Council (1983 – 1993). The exhibition also features a new ‘collective’ of contemporary fashion practitioners that activate the space through a program of fashion presentations, performances, films, publications and residencies

And finally, to cap things off, the annual Melbourne Art Book Fair!

This fair has books from a myriad of independent, cutting edge and international art book publishers. 

It's a bit hard to explain so just get down there and check it out for yourself!