Monday, December 28, 2009

BYE BYE 2009

A poem everyone should read : THE RAVEN

horizontal spaceOnce upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

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2009 has been fucken amazing.

Best Moments : 

Broadcast @ CMJ
Pitchfork Stage
Going to JayZ's resturant - for real. 
Animal Collective
Flaming Lips
Liam buying a van you can sleep in.
Playing heaps of shows
Grizzly Bear
Key Rings
Blue ray - or green ray or whatever it is
writing music with weird people
Politics - like seriously what's happening?
Jonti winning TED
SD winning a SMAC 

man just stuff 

There are far to many to mention actually - see you all in 2010.
2 years to 2012 - we better make it count.
(just in case)

Happy End of Year everyone.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Broadcast and the Focus Group

On Wednesday I returned to my Album Show on FBi for the first time in about three months. It seemed fitting to play a record by one of the incredible artists we watched while in the US, so luckily I was able to get my hands on a copy of Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (available to download via Warp). Jonti and I saw them perform at le Poission Rouge during CMJ, and I'm pretty sure that out of all the shows I've seen this year nobody else has surpassed them in measures of mind-melting-ness - the way we couldn't stand up straight due to the onslaught of stupefying visuals and sonics in perfect synaesthetic collision is still as fresh in my mind three months on as Animal Collective's show at the Enmore is from last Friday night. Broadcast's collaborator on this record is The Focus Group (aka Julian House) who is co-owner of Ghost Box Records, a British label who release music in the vein of musique-concrete, folklore, vintage electronics and hauted televison soundtracks from the 1970s.

I just learned yesterday that this record was named Best of 2009 by The Wire:

Here are the first two videos to be released with the record - #1: Witch Cults and #2: I See, So I See So:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back home!

Tanya and I arrived back in Sydney a couple of days ago, jet lag still sliding over. We miss NYC and all our new friends like crazy, but can't argue that to return home to Sydney summer is pretty much the same as winning a great prize... just like these great prizes that have been lauded upon us just in time for our return!

FBI 94.5 and Timeout Sydney SMAC Awards 2009 - Next Big Thing

It's really encouraging to know that these awards were voted by Sydney public - after a year of working hard it's awesome to feel the support of our peers. The awards ceremony was rad too, I got a chance to kill fifty birds with one stone and say hi to many friends I hadn't seen in a couple of months, all who were looking no less than smashing.

triple j Unearthed - Big Day Out 2010

We were also fortunate enough to be selected to play a slot at Big Day Out 2010 in Sydney as a part of triple J's Unearthed - kind of living a dream had when we were 14 years old, not bad!

Oh and still speaking of awards/prizes, Jonti and Will are still in NYC under the guise of Jonti's solo project Danimals because of this... pretty fucking astounding right?

And so seeing as these guys are unexpectedly still outta town, Tan and I decided to reinterpret our songs for the gig we were booked to play at Oxford Art Factory tonight (!) with 'friend bands' Fergus Brown and WIM. At first a little unsure of how were were going to do it without the other kids, we've brought in the help of our producer extroadinaire Jono Ma + beloved Sherlock's brethren Graeme Pillemer to reinterpret the songs and turn them into hypo-techno-African-kraut jams using loop pedals, floor toms, Korg MS20, Roland 808 and Tanya's kitch (and fucking incredible) Lowrey organ. Can't wait, it sounded and felt incredible in rehearsal last night! Come!