Never have I dreamt of this before

Never have I dreamt of this before
by Phillip Ellis

Never have I dreamt of this before.
You are as a mystery of glory,
making me know this, beloved adored
never have I dreamt of this before.

Of your reveries I set store,
adoring alone the divine story
never had I dreamt of this before:
you are as my mystery of glory.

WARNING: This Could Be Your New Obsession

You may have heard of Roller Derby; women on skates with a touch of violence? It’s back with a vengeance, but not as violent as it used to be. It’s a contact sport played on four wheeled skates around a skate track, and is the fastest growing women’s sport at the moment. It has been for a while, with players from all walks of life getting their skates on and hitting the track.

Visually, a lot of people may associate it with tattooed girls in short skirts and fishnets beating each other up. Style is all part of the fun. Bruises become beautiful badges of honour. Fishnets, knee high socks and short-shorts or skirts are standard derby attire. And no, just because the girl is wearing fishnets and a short, short skirt, it doesn’t mean she’s up for it! Then there is the all important derby name of course which is a play on words such as Iron Maiden, Carmen Forya and Mince Meat Molly.

Roller Derby has its stereotypes including that (a) all players are gay, and (b) they’re all heavily tattooed, pierced and aggressive all the time. But in truth training sessions see women and men of varying backgrounds and sexual orientations building their derby skills. Some are tattooed and pierced, some are not; it has no affect on their skating skills. Mums, lawyers, photographers, office workers, engineers, photographers, teachers…the only requirement is that players be over 18. It is a contact sport after all. “The vast majority of skaters are clean cut, upstanding citizens and certainly I have never come across a more open-minded, intelligent group of women in my life.” says Morgan, the Media Officer for Perth Roller Derby. In fact the Derby community is amazingly supportive and hospitable. Players have been known to pack their skates when they travel and be welcomed to training sessions with a league on the other side of the world. As a sport, Roller Derby first popped up during the Depression, and was televised in the 1940s & 50s. It was huge in the 1960s and 70s in Australia, with sell-out crowds of over 5000 spectators a common occurrence, but then faded away. In 2000 the Texas Roller Girls re-invigorated the sport with a fresh approach of feminism and third-wave punk aesthetics, focusing on a grass-roots volunteer run approach. It’s been spreading like wildfire ever since. On each team you have a pivot, three blockers and one jammer. The jammers start from a little further back than the pack of pivots and blockers, and from there they have to get past the blockers from the other team and lap them. For every opposing player that a team’s jammer laps and passes, they get a point for their team. As tradition – dictates, most points win. Continue reading

Outpost

Outpost is not a grand work of literary art. It’s a bloody, gory survival story that offers some kind of insight into the human soul, yet refrains from ramming its intellectual concepts down your throat. It might not be a classic, but it’s worth a read for the experience of reading an author who knows how to find meaning in a nihilistic situation. Outpost is Adam Baker’s first offering to the genre of thriller/horror and offers a present day world beset by a deadly plague with the few apparent survivors isolated in the cold Arctic Circle. Throughout the book it’s unsure which will kill them first; the freezing arctic temperatures or the infected humans heading their way.

The survivors are located on an off-shore oil rig, about to return home, when channels on their television show scenes of chaos and death before going out one by one, leaving them stranded with limited supplies and the long Arctic winter approaching. Baker’s fairly original protagonist is Jane, a morbidly obese decan that is forced into the role of hero when encounters with the infected threaten her livelihood and that of everyone else on the rig. As for the key antagonists within the tale, it’s a fairly new twist on an overdone movie monster, less Dawn of the Dead and more 28 Days Later, so expect less feeding and more maiming. The origins of the infection itself are a little vague, though an alien metallic substance seems to take over the host in strange new ways; some are even lucid which gives the reader an interesting new perspective on life after infection.

As the general plot goes it’s pretty standard end of the world fare with a couple of twists and a few murky plot points that nag the mind a bit, but don’t interfere too much with the immersion of the story. The writing is fluid and polished with no jarring sentences or awkward dialogue. In fact most, if not all of Baker’s characters are fleshed-out with real flaws and personalities which can be one of the things that make or break an apocalypse story. Sure the survivors might live, but do you really care which ones make it out alive? Overall Outpost is very enjoyable, not too pretentious and provides a fresh twist on an overdone genre.

Review by Rhiannon Emery

Since the darkness

Since the darkness
by Sue Clennel

Since the darkness I have been on the wrong side, the listing side of the ship.

There are always new arrivals
who wait with me to watch the moon suck us in.
Balancing, balancing.
Scared of the flick knives of cold Januarys.
Scared of the barbed kisses of fished out Mondays.

On shore, beefy voices tell us to sing,
commend a new glue for this crew of scraped knees,
sigh navigator wise at our silent impasse.

The New Day

The New Day
by Phillip Ellis

I will drown in the new day
as though it, too, were an ocean.
And there’s more than to just say
I will drown in the new day:
I’ll seek beauty, float away
on the high tide’s sweet emotion,
I will drown in the new day
as though it, too, were an ocean.

A Love Letter From A Stray Moon

In ‘A Love Letter from a Stray Moon’, Jay Griffiths portrays a partly fictional story of the late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It is a tale of love and suffering, spanning from Kahlo’s work, the accident that devastated her life, and the relationship she shared with Diego Rivera, a Mexican painter who became her husband in 1929. Using the perspective of the moon to sometimes narrate the story, we learn about Frida’s struggle through being unable to have a child due to lifelong health problems and injuries caused by a traffic accident as a teenager, which left her with relapses of excessive pain for the rest of her life. Due to her inability, Kahlo found other means to experience motherhood, in caring for Rivera and via the creative processes of her art, bringing to life many pieces now described as illustrative of national and indigenous Mexican traditions.

A Love Letter Form a Stray Moon coverThis is a story that’s appeal does not lie in the plot. The plot itself is quite common, explaining aspects of Frida Kahlo that most people who are familiar with her work would know. Alternatively, the hook is in the poetry of the words, the lyrical way in which the story is told, making it so surprisingly easy to read. The passion in which Griffiths beautifully describes everything, transports the reader into Frida’s mind and body, allowing every emotion to be experienced with her. In this way, ‘A Love Letter from a Stray Moon’ acts as an ethereal boundary between Kahlo and the reader, a rare value for a book.

The only downfall with this novel, however, is its length. I found myself wanting to know more, to take more in. Even though I wanted to learn a more about the characters and places, the story is about Frida herself, her life, and her battle. The heartache and grief that Frida felt throughout her life is particularly apparent in the text, yet it is very fast paced and we learn so few details about the history behind her life. With that said, had Griffiths told us more about the surroundings, or the many people involved, it would have taken away from the beauty and anguish.

‘A Love Letter from a Stray Moon’, is an extraordinary third novel from Griffiths, a tale of love and loss, so eloquently told. With each chapter being more captivating than the last and each sentence tied together so fluently, it is almost impossible to put this book down. I do not think it is the sort of book that would generally be glanced at twice, for the blurb does not give away any hints, however I would recommend it to anyone that desired something original and consuming.

Originally Published in Metior Issue 1, 2011

Words by Kate Collier

On a New World

“On a New World”
by Phillip Ellis

Above the vaulted sky hung silently,
lonely upon such an empty world,
silence, lay around me,
and it fenced me into the thought of gods
but of them none ever was,
the sky, still as sigh or stone, ever alone, ever alone.

Cut Copy

Guitarist Tim Hoey talks about the cultural influences behind Zonoscope, the desire to create a new world of immersion for listeners and the months of touring to come.

With the anticipated release of their third album creating some not-to-be-messed-with hype amongst national media outlets and their continual war against free downloads, Cut Copy has reason enough to want a break. However this Melbourne synth-pop band will have to pack vegemite and photos of loved ones to prepare for the many months of international touring ahead.

Since the bands forming was there a significant moment in time that made you realise the success that cut copy was going to be?

I guess everybody measures success differently, our goals are always artistic ones, and every time we finish a record we are surprised by what we have come up with. We certainly don’t want to get to a point where we rest on our laurels, where we feel like we’ve made it as a successful band, and then continue to produce. I don’t think I could ever think of music in that way, or art in that way, it’s about constantly evolving and attracting a new audience every time. Certainly, the first time we went overseas as a band was quite an amazing experience, I never thought I would do that.

Do you think that experience (touring internationally), changed the way you approached song writing?

Certainly, travelling has been a big part of the way the sounds evolve because we have been able to absorb other cultures, to purchase records and gear from other places. We use that as a way of absorbing new music and we always take that home with us. Travelling and absorbing helps us start to think about what the next record is going to be like.

Stand out sounds from other countries that you would say have gone into Zonoscope?

There was a period in the 70’s and 80’s of artists being really inspired by African music and culture and it came across in their art and music. If you think of when Brian Eno and Talking Heads were collaborating and bands such as Liquid Liquid or Konk or Paul Simons Graceland, they were really influenced by this heavy, percussion, tribal sound. That is certainly something that we have picked up on and we thought it was a really interesting road to take. It is an approach that we had never really used with Cut Copy, so there was an emphasis on percussion on Zonoscope and it becoming more of a tribal sound.

Does the band have equal input in the song writing process, or is there a stand out member behind a lot of the song writing?

I think we all play our part, certainly Dan (Whitford) is the ringleader, there’s a great analogy said by Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan on 36 Chambers when he says “We form like Voltron and GZA is the head.” Well if we were Voltron, Dan would be the head. Dan is the main lyric writer and vocals and without him Cut Copy wouldn’t sound like it does. Dan had Cut Copy up and running before I even knew him actually. We knew mutual friends and I lived in Byron Bay at the time, he would come up to visit and stay. When I moved to Melbourne he asked me to work on the first record with him and it just snowballed into what it is now.

Can you shed some light on the album name, Zonoscope. is there a story behind it?

This album is about creating a new world for the listeners to immerse themselves in, and if you were using a lens to view this world, Zonoscope would be the lens you would use. It’s a word that we created, the idea being that for the rest of time when people talk about Zonoscope it will only have significance to this record and nothing else so we just thought that would be a really cool concept.

There has been a lot of talk about the cover art for the album, but who was responsible for the rest of the art in the sleeve and back?

That was done by Dan and ‘Alter’ his graphic design company, they handle the visual side of Cut Copy. They do all of the single artwork and have worked on all the sleeves. They also appropriated the cover image, done by Tsunehisa Kimura, whose work we commissioned for Zonoscope. Alter are a huge part of the Cut Copy family, it’s not just us (the band), there’s always a group of people we are working with that are just as integral as we are.

How have you found the response to zonoscope so far by the public and the media?

I’m not sure, we try and really shut off from that because it can be quite detrimental to your career if you’re reading too much of what people are saying. It works in two ways, because there could be 10 reviews of your record, there could be nine good reviews and one bad, but you will fixate on the bad one and start to self analyse. It can send you into a downward spiral of self analysis and being way too critical of yourself, but on the other hand if you read all the good reviews about yourself its quite a narcissistic process. I think once we finish an album and feel we have fully expressed our ideas, we’re happy with it, and hopefully people will appreciate that. With Zonoscope, we wanted it to be an album that revealed itself over time. People have become so accustomed to downloading music and putting it into iTunes along with a million other albums and just listening to bits and pieces. For us it was about a complete picture that you had to listen to a few times before really understanding where it was coming from. We didn’t want it to be an instant ‘hit’, we really like the idea of records that take time to reveal themselves after repeat listens. That is something Cut Copy tries to do with every album, we like to work to join the tracks together. It is a traditional way of thinking that we are very attached to.

How do you feel about your upcoming months of touring? is there anything you do to prepare yourselves for such and extensive tour?

You can’t really think about it too much otherwise you might have a nervous breakdown. We are all really excited after being holed up in the studio for the better part of a year, which is a very introverted experience. When you play live it’s the most immediate connection you have with your audience, so it will be good to get out and in front of the people again. However, it takes us away from the people we’re close toandwehavetospendalotof time apart from partners, family and friends. It can get quite difficult, but we realise we are in a very unique position and I never want to take that for granted.

Is there any particular country that you’re really excited for?

We are actually going to St Petersburg, Russia and when we go to America we’re going to New Orleans! We have never been to either of those places as a band before so we’re really excited! We’re always about trying to go to as many different and new places that we can, it’s a unique way of seeing the world and we try to go everywhere that appreciates our music.

Was it always planned for the last song on the album ‘Sun God’ to be a 15 minute epic? will you be incorporating it into your live sets?

We will be playing ‘Sun God’ live; it’s definitely in the set list. When we made the record, and we finished that song it went for about four to five minutes with a little 40 second outro on the end. However after listening to it a few times it felt like it wanted to go somewhere else, so Dan stayed up over night working on this weird synth kind of jam and the next day we pulled it all together to make the finished product. The whole album is about immersing yourself in the listening experience. I know that it can sound like career suicide to put a 15 minute song on a record these days because people are so used to the very instant 3 minute songs and moving on to the next thing, but for some people hopefully it will be a rewarding listening experience.

Originally Published in Metior Issue 1, 2011

Words by Kyle Pauletto

President Notes

Hey Ya’ll. Welcome to 2011.

I’m Brodie, the 2011 Murdoch University Guild President. This year is going to be huge for The Guild (but everyone says that) with stuff like the new Student Services Fees; the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor; refurbishment of a number of Guild Outlets and a brand spanking new Club Handbook.

We’ve already undergone some pretty big changes, and we’re off and racing for the year. We’ve a heap of seriously awesome plans for 2011, and we’ll be launching a brand new initiative for Clubs in semester one, along with an even more exciting project planned for semester two (but I’m not telling you about that yet, it’s a secret…). Continue reading

How to Get Your Panties Whett

Big Day Out 2011 – The best line up I’ve ever experienced. ‘Faker’ wasn’t playing, which was good. Neither were ‘The Killers’, or ‘MUSE’ so it wasn’t a sell out. Hot denim shorts were in plenitude. Perverts, if you didn’t know it already, this is THE jailbait extravaganza of the festival season calendar. The Muscle Mitch Meatheads were also well represented, shirtless with zinc zigzagged faces. All the colours of the rainbow! The Bogan demographic rainbow. Glorious event, The BIG DAY OUT!

Congratulations to ‘The Fags’! Played at the Big Day Out! Doug May (Electric Guitar), brother of Abbe, swung windmills bigger than RAMMSTEIN’S German flag. Louis Miles sang about love, sex, glass and blood, reverberating from that beer belly. It was panty whetting! Experienced Big Day Out veteran Tony Pola (Beasts of Bourbon, The Transplants, Kim Salmon and The Surrealists) went to work on the drums. Anthony Chiovotti on bass was tall and sexy! Songs such as Fish, Mouth, Break Your Little Back, Flowers, Freedom Fighters of Love, Benny, Justify, I think I’m a Fag, were all totally sick! Like Louis, before the show.

Iggy Pop gave John Butler the finger. The sound was dreadful. Very much missing Ron Ashton on guitar, however I enjoyed seeing James Williamson. Mike Watt looks about twenty years older than last time. I lost my voice cheering.

‘TOOL’ played. I passed up seeing most of their show, as soon as I remembered seeing their exact same show last year. Honourable mention to ‘Primal Scream’, with a visually colourful show, sufficed as the pleasing substitute.

Nick Cave slung Warren Ellis by his collar down backwards onto his arse on the stage floor, sending maracas flying. Everyone saw Nick’s nips. I would have loved to have seen some sweaty zinc on that Cave belly, some fluorescent icing on that already delicious ‘Grinderman’ cake. The new album’s songs were surprisingly, far more impressive performed live.

Back to The Fags. Recently signed to MGM Distributions, this is an important Perth product! If you do not already know about these guys, go pay another $55 dollars for the next KARNIVOOL ticket you moron. Quality vs cuntity, take your prick. The Fags are live music in Perth that is refreshingly uncontrived. Ha! Their album was recorded at Begerk Studios last year. My favourite song – ‘I think I’m a fag’ is most disappointingly not on the album. However they will play it live, if you provide the appropriate harassment. So give way to total GAY A-BANDIN’ with THE FAGS album launch, supported by The Yokohomos at Mojo’s Bar, North Fremantle, 2ND April.

By Oscar Jack Churchill Riley – Rock muso journo MAVERICK! Full on completely biased lead singer of The Yokohomos, who may or may not be the boy- friend of Sonia Tubb, editor extraordinaire of this contro- versial, WORTH FIGHTING FOR publication. (Don’t edit NUFN of this! RUN IT, HONEY, RUN IT!)

Originally printed in Metior Issue 1, 2011

Words by Oscar Churchill-Riley