Recently I stumbled upon a cover of the The Avalanches ‘Since I Left You’ by up and coming Australian producer, Jonti. I don’t think I’d be the first to say that it was an ambitious feat to try and cover such a classic song well, but after a string of successes including being the first Australian to be signed onto Stones Throw Records, Jonti no doubt felt up to the challenge. It was a beautiful cover but this did lead me to think, the music industry can be so fickle. One minute an artist is completely unknown and the next, sometimes simply via positioning every Tom, Dick and Harry is talking about them.
Stones Throw Records have a reputation for curating a line up of artists on their roster that are respected for the quality of music they make as well as the intrinsic link this music has to the culture they are a part of. From Madlib to Dilla to more contemporary counterparts such as Mayer Hawthorne what rings true about signing these artists cements the credibility of the label as one of the leading forces in underground hip-hop circles. So perhaps the decision to sign a young Sydney-based emerging producer, Jonti would confuse some but Peanut Butter Wolfe maintains, “I understand the pop references because his music is so catchy, but the arrangements blew me away. I couldn’t figure out how the hell he did what he did. That he did it all on his own at such an early age kinda scared me. I knew right away I needed to add him to the roster.”
What will be interesting, is to see if Jont’s music reputation continues to grow or if he fizzles out after his flavour of the week status. Last January, I interviewed Jonti for a radio show I presented and produced called ‘The Range’ on Radio Adelaide. A transcript of the interview can be found below.
When I was growing up, most evenings after school were spent at a library half way between my school and home waiting for my parents who were juggling study and work commitments to create a life for us in a new world to pick me up.
Through sheer necessity, I spent countless hours in this second home of mine and without realising what was happening, I’d eventually be able to walk past the book stands in the fiction section of the library and come to realise that they all contained a piece of me. I’d spin the free standing book shelves and on each spin I’d recognise a title that contained in them pages of words with a new lesson learnt, a new perspective on the world, a new heartache, a new triumph and ultimately a new friend.
I wouldn’t trade those days for anything; the books became my best friends and helped me forge a path forward with all the knowledge and lessons in them that they contained. Eventually though my circumstances changed, and nights spent at the library became fewer and farer in between. I came to know what my parents were dealing with in the form of juggling work and study commitments and I’d come to say see you later to the friends I’d grown to know so well.
Recently my passion for reading reignited as a mentor of mine leant me this book by Huraki Murakami called ‘The Wind Up Bird Chronicle’ to read. A real life mentor, led me to another teacher, in the form of Murakami’s words. His words are like silk, and although I could spend time explaining the plot in the form of a review, I’d rather not as I feel like that would detract from the most valuable thing about his writing; the ability to transport you to another world whilst simultaneously providing you with lessons and teachings applicable to your current state and being.
Here is a quote, that struck me most fondly.
“Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity usually evaporates. Gust have to go for the long haul. Curiosity’s like a fun friend you can’t really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own - with whatever guts you can muster”
― Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
I read this quote to mean, do not be complacent, ask questions and question, but also be prepared to face the challenges the answers to these questions raise. Be brave and keep fighting the good fight because what’s harder than asking questions is facing the answers they hold.
Now I have a whole new list of books I want to read, and I wonder who will still be by my side for the next chapter.
Shot in black and white (in a remarkably unpretentious way) Celebrity tells the story of a Woody stand in, performed by Kenneth Branagh, and the ex wife whom he has recently divorced, a mousy, nervous woman, well played by Judy Davis.
Branagh’s stunning portrayal of even the most sublime Woody mannerisms has been well commented on, and Davis’ character has more than a passing resemblance to Mia Farrow… As I said, nothing new here, no pretense of disguising the film’s roots in the film maker’s real life.
Celebrity, Woody Allen (1998)
Despite it’s sometimes ponderous subject matter, Celebrity is a funny film. Allen has a much underappreciated sense of slapstick, and it’s used to great effect when a professional call girl played by BeBe Nuewirth begins choking on a banana while instructing Judy Davis’ character in the art of fellatio.
This set of prints was the last project Louise Bourgeois completed before her death in May 2010.
Louise Bourgeois started each of the pieces by painting delicate and fluid male and female torsos using red, blue and black gouache pigments with water. These were then passed over to Emin who has drawn smaller figures on or near the torsos and handwritten sentences below to narrate the images. Emin later said: “I carried the images around the world with me from Australia to France, but I was too scared to touch them”.
"Do Not Abandon Me" was an exhibition of collaborative artworks by Louise Bourgeois and Tracy Emin. The sixteen intimate works confronted themes of identity, sexuality and the fear of loss and abandonment.
Motherwell’s greatest goal was to use the staging of his work to convey the mental and physical engagement of the artist with the canvas. Stark black paint was one of the customary elements in his paintings. The paint was often diluted to varying consistencies, adding an illusionary element of shadow and an exceptional depth in field in his work.
TheAbstract Expressionists sought to create essential images that revealed emotional truth and authenticity of feeling. Their interest was in exploring the deeper sense of reality beyond the recognizable image.
In 1940, Robert Motherwell came to New York City and joined a group of artists that would be forever linked to one of paintings most influential movements, Abstract Expressionism. This group included Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline.