Books About Girls in Bands

I’m ashamed to admit it but we’re five months into the year and I’ve only completed reading two books. TWO. This is coming from someone who would regularly smash out a book a week back in the day. I blame Netflix. As such, I’ve made it my mission to get into the habit of reading more books on the reg. Right now my list of books to read is filled with stories about female musicians. It all started when I read Just Kids by Patti Smith, which quickly earned its spot as one of my favourite books of all time. I’ve recently bought M Train and Girl in a Band, which I cannot wait to get stuck into (the difficult part is deciding which one to read first). In the interest of grrrl power, and maybe starting an ad hoc book club of some sort, I’ve compiled a short list of books about or by girls in bands. Feel free to add any more in the comments section.

Just Kids by Patti Smith – “the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies”.

M Train by Patti Smith – “M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today”.

Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon – as a “founding member of Sonic Youth and role model for a generation of women… she writes frankly about her route from girl to woman and pioneering icon within the music and art scene of New York City in the 1980s and 90s as well as marriage, motherhood, and independence”.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein – “this book captures the experience of being a young woman, a born performer and an outsider, and ultimately finding one’s true calling through hard work, courage and the intoxicating power of rock and roll”.

Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus – “the first-ever history of Riot Grrrl, is a gripping narrative with a sound track: a lyrical, punk-infused chronicle of a group of extraordinary young women coming of age angrily, collectively, and publicly”.

Falls Festival Film Photos

Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Remember how it took me 6 months to develop my film photos from Sydney? Well, here are my photos from Falls Festival at Byron Bay nearly a WHOLE YEAR LATER. Timeliness is not my strong point, obviously. Although, with Falls Festival coming up again soon I guess this post is sort-of-maybe timely again. I really wanted to embrace Falls Festival, because I’d heard so many good things about the Lorne and Marion Bay festivals, however Byron Bay didn’t really cut it for me. Don’t get me wrong, the musical acts were all top notch, but the entire experience just wore me down. Which is weird because usually I love Byron Bay festivals. Despite being a pretty adept camper, I struggled with the festival camping situation. The searing summer heat, thunderstorms, and bare minimum shade really got to me in the end. And don’t get me started on those composting toilets. It probably didn’t help that I was coming down with a summer cold, either. Thems the breaks I guess. For those heading to Falls at Byron Bay this year, the following is a list of things I learnt or would do differently if I had the chance.

1. Test out your camping gear. Make sure your tent can withhold a thunderstorm. Summer storms are rife around these parts and you don’t want to be caught off guard. We were lucky in that our cheap tent from Kmart held the rain at bay (#blessed) but others around us with seemingly solid tent set ups weren’t so lucky. 
2. Wear sunscreen. LOTS OF SUNSCREEN. Think the amount you’ve put on is enough? Nope. Double that. Apply that stuff liberally. Shade is a luxury on these grounds. Also avoid wearing anything that’s going to leave you with a weird tan for the rest of the year. Learn from my mistakes etc.
3. Start training for those hill climbs NOW. One of the main entrances to the amphitheatre involves hiking up a bitch of a hill. If you’re constantly zipping between stages, you will feel the burn. There ‘s another entrance to the amphitheatre on lower ground but it’s not always the most direct route. Start on those squats and lunges now and by the time the festival rolls around everything will be a cake walk.
4. Plan your escape and stick to it. If you’re staying the full length of the festival, avoid the mass exodus and potential traffic jams by leaving super early on the last day. I’m talking pack most of your gear the night before and leave at 5:30 in the morning early. As someone who survived the great Splendour in the Grass/Woodfordia traffic jam of 2010, I have well and truly learnt my lesson. Every minute counts. If I were to do Falls again I would even consider booking accommodation elsewhere for the final night and not have to deal with the mad rush to leave in the morning. 
5. This is one of those wishful thinking tips but if you can, scam some VIP passes. Anything VIP. Even if it’s not *really* VIP. Just so you at least give yourself the chance to use some clean toilets/access some shade/avoid queues… anything. One time I won VIP tickets to a festival I would usually avoid but HOLY MOLY what a difference proper toilets/full-strength alcohol/VIP viewing platforms/not having to deal with shirtless bros makes. This is probably just coming from someone who is getting older and more weary of festival crowds but whatever. 

There are definitely way more generic advice tips like drink plenty of water, pack snacks etc. but they’re pretty much givens and these were my main takeaways from the festival. The only festival I’ve got lined up this season is Laneway and luckily that’s a one day-er, at home, and rarely requires any planning other than “just show up and have a good time”.

Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay
Falls Festival, Byron Bay

^ Someone brought a T-rex along to Tkay Maidza’s set. They probably couldn’t find a Brontosaurus.

APT8

Untitled

The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) has recently opened at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and earlier this week I popped by to check it out. The APT exhibitions are the Gallery’s flagship contemporary art series and they’re the only exhibition series to in the world to focus on the contemporary art of Asia, Australia and the Pacific. I grew up going to see the APT exhibitions and they’re always a memorable experience. The current exhibition features many larger than life works and interactive and sensory experiences. My favourite had to be the  installation by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian which was a recreation of their Dubai home-studio (spoiler: it’s bonkers). I visited the exhibition with my mum and I’m pretty sure her favourite was the structure by Asim Waqif which looked like a bunch of pylons but is embedded with lights and sensors to be triggered by the viewer (seriously I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mum so amused by something). APT8 runs until April next year and entry is free.


Top tip: wear footwear that you can easily remove as there are a few installations that require you to remove your shoes in order to participate (I was wearing buckled sandals and couldn’t be bothered constantly taking them off and putting them back on).



APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
APT8
1, 2 & 3. Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Sesam Rahmanian / “All The Rivers Run Into The Sea. Over.” / “Copy. Yet, The Sea Is Not Full. Over.” 2015
4. Warped mother-daughter selfies in the walls around Choi Jeong Hwa’s The Mandala of Flowers 

5. Choi Jong Hwa / Cosmos 2015
6. Min Thein Sung / Another Realm (horses) 2015
7. Asim Waqif / All we leave behind are the memories 2015

[Images captured on iPhone 6 and edited with the VSCO app]

Sydney Travel: Art Galleries

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Hi, my name is Sophie and I’m an art gallery junkie. For me, no trip is complete without a cultural excursion to an art gallery. It’s one way for me to stack cities up against each other. “You’ve got James Turrell? Well WE’VE got David Lynch” etc. My trip to Sydney coincided with the opening of the Light Show exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which I was really looking forward to. Photos weren’t allowed inside the actual exhibit (although plenty of people were trying) so the ones here are from the Luminous exhibit and other collections. The next day I escaped the torrential rain and retreated to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Despite visiting the art galleries on separate occasions, they’re so close by that you could easily nerd out and make a day of it. While there was plenty to see at the Art Gallery of NSW, I did go during a weird in-between phase so a few of the collections were in the process of either being dismantled or put together. Turns out I missed out on some really interesting exhibits like Loud! and Matisse And The Moderns by only a few days. While there are plenty of other galleries in Sydney I would have loved to have visited, like the White Rabbit Gallery, the MCA and Art Gallery of NSW are must-dos for those short on time.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of NSW
[Images taken on an iPhone 6 and edited in VSCOcam]

What’s On at GoMA

Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
I went to the Gallery of Modern Art on the weekend to check out a few of their latest exhibits (you can see my last trip to the Future Beauty exhibit here). The big drawcard right now is the David Lynch: Between Two Worlds retrospective but there’s also the recently opened Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land exhibit, the Japanese Art After 1989 exhibit, and the gallery’s collection of Indigenous art on display as well. While the David Lynch retrospective is on the unsettling/moody/messed up side of things, the Michael Parekowhai and Japanese art exhibits are a good remedy to that. I’ve already shared some photos over on Instagram but here are a few more that I snapped on my iPhone.

Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA Michael Parekowhai exhibit at GoMA
David Lynch: Between Two Worlds
David Lynch: Between Two Worlds Japanese Art After 1989
Japanese Art After 1989
Japanese Art After 1989

Michael Parekowhai: The Promised Land
1. He Kōrero Pūrākau Te Awanui o Te Moto: Story of a New Zealand River, 2011 & Rules of the Game, 2015
2. Home Front, 2015
3. The Horn of Africa, 2006
4. The English Channel, 2015

David Lynch: Between Two Worlds
5. I forget what this series was called. Oops.
6. Woman With  Dream, 2007

We Can Make a Better Future: Japanese Art After 1989
7. Y.N.G.M.S. (Y.N.G.’s Mobile Studio), 2009 by Yoshitomo Nara and graf
8. PixCell Double Deer #4, 2010 by Kohei Nawa
9. Soul Under the Moon, 2002 by Yayoi Kusama. I’ve visited this installation pretty much every time it’s been on display at the gallery. The first time I was still in high school. I still love it.