31 August 2008

Celebrate Redfern!

Craig and I met last weekend's beautiful Saturday with laziness and boredom. We nearly wasted the entire day; our only saving grace was talking with my parents and Emma back home. Well, Emma was in Flint, not home...

Regardless, to make up for our boring day, in the evening, we thought to check out a flick at the Dendy Newtown, an artsy cinema in everyone's favourity artsy neighbourhood. But after much discussion, not excluding the fact that I am already in Newtown 5 perfectly valid days every week, we decided to look into Sydney's music scene.

Now, we have tried to figure out Sydney's music scene before; again, the licensing issues with bars and music venues thwarted our attempts. It turns out the coolest places to hear powerpop in Sydney are either hotels or art galleries. It's a little confusing. Trolling about myspace, we saw a flyer for a show featuring the Lovers (with former members of the Reigning Sound), The Pink Hits (who were connected to Eddy Current Suppression Ring), and M.O.T.O (a great band from Chicago that Gentleman Jesse "borrowed" from). We knew this was where we needed to be: The Reigning Sound is one of our favorite bands. Eddy Current were recommended by Valerie and Dave, whose recommendation is not to be taken lightly, and the Pink Hits were a top friend of several Aussie powerpop acts. And just the fact that Jesse liked something by M.O.T.O. enough to...ahem...reference it, meant we'd probably like them a lot. The show was at the Excelsior Hotel, in Surry Hills, a short walk from our place. Brilliant.

The show was tons of fun; I didn't realize how much I missed being in a dark room listening to loud music with a beer in my hand and going to bed with a ring in my ears.

The Pink Hits were pretty good:

M.O.T.O was heaps of fun, as the Aussie hipster would say.

Waking up on Sunday morning was not an easy feat, and I think we barely managed to stumble out the door around 1pm. But you have to understand: that's only because we were determined. You see, Sunday had been marked on our calenders for a long time. Ever since we moved to Waterloo, we've been looking wistfully at the green temporary fencing across the street. Redfern Park has been under renovation for two years, and we didn't think it would ever be done. My dreams of living next to a park would have to wait, oh, like so many others. But one day last week--oh wonder of days--we got a postcard: Celebrate Redfern! The park officially opened up on Sunday, with a huge festival. Free coffee, free food, free plants to take home. The Rabbitohs (South Sydney's Rugby League, who once had Redfern Park as their home) were out and signing autographs. They're way too huge for Redfern Park now, but it was nice that they were showing some home love.

They had a new playground built for kids, designed by a local Indigenous artist. She based all the structures on native Australian flora, and the playground looks really neat. The mist fountain's design is based on lotus stems.

One of the structures is 3-D type that says "Biami," which is one of the Indigenous names of the creator spirit. I noticed none of the kids were playing on the letters, and I thought maybe the kids were a little perplexed by it. Surely, kids grow accustomed to a certain number of basic playground structures. Clearly, kids would need a minute to figure out how to interact with one so strange as type.

Obviously, I was wrong.

But it turns out Craig wasn't the only one excited about crawling all over letters.

Of course, Australia can't call it a festival without some amount of terrifying spectacle. Behold the Return of Treeface--

I swear, it's enough to make me swear off festivals!

1 comment:

  1. Just a correction to Nija's post: the Sydney band playing before MOTO was the Pink Fits, not the Pink Hits. Feel we ought to give them their due, and as such please check out www.myspace.com/thepinkfits and listen to some of their stuff. You'll probably enjoy it a lot, especially the tune "Maybe Tomorrow." I could swear I was hearing a Greg Cartwright tune when they played that one.