You are here: Home > swine flu and jazz

June 16, 2009

swine flu and jazz

Posted by dogpossum on June 16, 2009 6:09 PM in the category djing and domesticity and lindy hop and other dances and music | Comments (3)

The weather is fairly shit (it's cold and rainy) and I've been ill with a craptastic cold since Friday, so spirits are low here at chateau de snot.

Today I finally felt a bit more normal and had managed to get a better night's sleep last night. This cold did impede my research, but it didn't stop me sewing yesterday. Not sewing terribly well I discovered today, but yesterday I took a lot of care and time to make a skirt that's kind of mutant and a collared shirt that's... well, let's just say interesting. I am trying to get better at making collared shirts with set-in sleeves. I haven't sewn anything in about six months, so it's all a bit challenging. But sewing's not really all that complicated, and it's difficult to forget how to do it. I have made one white collared shirt so far, and it's a bit bung. The problem really is the colour. I look really, really bad in white, and this style really doesn't suit me - too much white fabric and too much shoulder-structure-action. Ah, well. I'll have another bash tomorrow.

Being ill in our noisy house has finally convinced me that we probably should move somewhere quieter and on a quieter street. The Squeeze is agreed: quieter house would be good. But our house is large and has a garden and is renovated. So it'll be a smaller (and probably crapper) quieter flat. The thought of moving is anxiety-inducing, of course, but it'll be worth it for the chance at better nights' sleep, uninterrupted by loud trucks. So I'll start looking into that this week. Sigh.

We're off to Tasmania for Devil City Swing on Monday, going a bit earlier so we can have a bit of a non-dance related holiday. I'm looking forward to just being away. There's some dancing involved, but no major sets (one band breaks night - blurgh - and one late night - the first of the night, so not a terribly great spot). I'm sucking it up, though, as it means I'll be able to go home earlier on the early night and the band breaks set is the DJ version of community service, I've decided. I'm still packing injury, having overdone it a bit with the cranky poo last week, so no - or very, very little - dancing for me over the weekend. Good thing the DCS exchange is not a hard-dancing event - there'll be lots of people to talk to. And, if I play my cards right, plenty of little bubbies to squeeze (Hobart dancers tend to bring their bubs to dances - can I get an amen?!).

On other, DJ related fronts, I have a lindy set on Saturday night at the Roxbury, which I'm hoping will be as fun as the previous weekend, which was a big night. It was the Friday of a long weekend, though, so I can't really expect the same size crowd. And I did have a bit of a crappy technical experience (wtf's new about that? I have decided I suck with technical stuff - must get my learn on IMMEDIATELY to rectify this). But I am looking forward to it. I'm also down for a blues night on Sunday, which'll be good as there're blues workshops on that weekend. This week is also balboa week at the Bald Face Stag (urkiest venue ever), but I haven't heard back about that. I'm up for the challenge though: one day I will be a badass balboa DJ.

I am, as a consequence, trying to get on top of my music so I can play some decent sets in the coming week. There'll be at least four of them, possibly five, in all the major dance styles, I'm going to need to have mad skillz and a clue about my entire collection. I do have some lovely new things from emusic, though, which is always exciting. I've also sorted out my technical problems (knock on wood), so things should be a bit smoother. A visit to Hobart does mean, however, a trip to the best music shop in the country:

Music Without Frontiers
147 Collins St, Hobart, TAS 7000
p: (03) 6231 5411

It does not have a website. It's also very tiny. And it has the best range of jazz I've ever seen in a real, live shop. And its divided into 'nostalgia', 'classic' and 'bop', then with a separate section for blues (subdivided into jump blues and trad blues). Then that side of the shop moves into soul and funk. It's an absolutely fabulous collection. I've been there a million times, but I've never quite gotten to the other 3 racks of CDs. It carries _everything_: opera, country, alt., pop, etc. EVERYTHING. And the guy knows everything about each CD. He's also a bit loopy, but then, you'd have to be. And he's just had to deal with the opening of a JB HiFi, which sucks arses. He needs a website. He always cuts me a deal on my CDs, and is very occasionally patient when I want to preview stuff. I spend a few hundred bucks there each visit, and I see him about two times a year. And every CD I've bought from him has been really amazingly great. More expensive than the internets, but then I'm buying from a real person, the only person in a small city who bothers to bring quality music to the people, regardless of label or fad.

On a slightly related front, emusic has decided to fucking FAIL me just as I was getting seriously addicted. Those of you who have accounts will know that they've decided to carry Sony products. This means that they're increasing prices (by a really big amount) and also limiting access only to people who are in the US or Europe. Unless you already have an account with them. This means that my 50 songs per month account, which cost me about $14.99 will now only get me 35 songs per month for the same price. There will also be - apparently - '<12 song album deals', where you can download an entire album for the price of 12 songs. But only on select albums. This is actually a super bargain for me, as most jazz albums (especially the older ones) are around 20 songs. But let's just wait and see which albums will be marked for the deal. I wish I'd downloaded all the Chron Classics I'd had my eye on; now they'll be far more expensive and less awesome a find. It's all a big shit, really. I've been expanding my musical purchases with emusic, particularly in terms of shopping outside jazz and blues, and in buying music from indy labels. I'll wait and see how the 12song deal goes, but I think I might ditch my emusic subscription for buying CDs from amazon or downloads and CDs from places like CDbaby.

There are far more interesting and coherent posts about the emusic changes over at flopearedmule here and here.

And I'm finally going to get my arse over to a Sydney Jazz Club gig to see some live music. Watching George Washingmachine at the recent Darling Harbour Jazz Fest (which wasn't terribly great - stage FAIL) I was reminded of the awesome musicians in this town. None of whom we see at lindy hop gigs. But I'm going to get it together and go check out some of the hot shit in this town:

The Bechet Night: Bridge City Jazz Band - David Ridyard, Frank Watts & Nesta Davies
Friday 19th June 7:30pm
Club Ashfield - 9798 6344

Note the glorious venue: Club Ashfield. The worst freakin' part of Sydney is the RSL/club/gambling culture. Pubs here SUCK ARSE, in part because they are so dependent on pokies and gambling for revenue. Liquour licenses are expensive, and it's not really possible for little pubs to get by without pokies. There's not the same community pub culture in Sydney as in Melbourne. This is a very great shame.

But I'm interested in the music. So I'll go check it out. Anyone in the neighbourhood is welcome to join The Squeeze and I. We will not be dining in, but instead getting our noodle on in the main drag of Ashfield, which is a gastronomic universe away from the Ashfield Club. Possibly not a universe we should be occupying. Or even visiting ( offers a disturbing amount of evidence).

I'm also planning on going to see the Ozcats (legends of Australian jazz) on July 31 at the Drummoyne RSL.

I have to pause at this point and say:


And, please, not one with comic sans. Man, jazznicks are crap at internet. I feel like hiring myself out to them, if only to save myself the pain of reading their websites or having to try and find a paper jazz newsletter so I can learn about them. These guys are _so_ into social media, but the sort of social media that involve paper and nannas talking hardcore at the bar.

I am also considering a trip to the Newcastle Jazz Festival (28th-30th August). The names on the program are pretty good, but mostly, I'm thinking about a fabulous hostel I stayed at in Newcastle years ago. It's an old, converted mansion on the beach and was just about the most fabulous hostel I've ever stayed in (this one, I think).

I am a big fat jazz nerd. But at least my shirts are interesting.

Posted by dogpossum on June 16, 2009 6:09 PM in the category djing and domesticity and lindy hop and other dances and music


Posted by: trev at June 16, 2009 7:53 PM

1) I wanna check out that Hobart CD store: Places like that are becoming a rarity.

2) What emusic discoveries have you made lately? I've just loaded up on Edmond Hall and Jubilee radio broadcasts.

3)Bechet Night! SO envious!

Posted by: trev at June 16, 2009 7:53 PM

Posted by: Scott F at June 22, 2009 1:41 PM

Don't tell Ainslie (as I'm on a strict budget), but one of the reasons why I'm so looking forward to going to Hobart is to get into Music Without Frontiers! Still the BEST cd store I've ever come across in the world!
Also- I used to live next door to that hostel in Newcastle. Great location!

Posted by: Scott F at June 22, 2009 1:41 PM

Posted by: Haydn at June 30, 2009 7:12 AM

I just noticed eMusic have put up their prices for 'Booster Packs' in the UK, which means, for tracks purchased over my monthly limit, instead of 30p a track, I pay 42p :(. On the plus side, there's more and more music available to buy online, and at the same time CD prices have got cheaper :)

Posted by: Haydn at June 30, 2009 7:12 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)