Showing all posts tagged: entertainment

Pub Choir gather nineteen thousand people to sing Africa by Toto

18 April 2024

From time to time, a few years ago now, I found myself walking passed a bar called The Dock (Facebook page), on Monday evenings. The bar, located in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern, was host to something I’d not witnessed at a watering hole before: everyone singing.

And, as far as I could tell, without musical accompaniment. I later learned these sessions were called the Sea Shantys. They were clearly a drawcard for the bar, as every time I went passed at least, there seemed to be standing room only inside.

To the best of my knowledge, given I’ve not been over that way recently, these singalongs still continue, recent pandemic lockdowns notwithstanding.

Short wonder then Australian community organisation Pub Choir, was able to gather close to nineteen thousand people, from all across Australia, to perform a rendition of Africa, the 1982 hit by American band Toto, in August last year. See what you think. It ain’t half bad, if you ask me.

Yep: it’s gonna to take a lot to drag me away from you…


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Trailer for Heartbreak High second series, airing 11 April 2024

1 April 2024

The first episode of season two of Sydney set, Australian high school drama, Heartbreak High, goes to air on Thursday 11 April 2024. This is a day fans of the rebooted show (which aired in 2022), and indeed the original 1990’s series, will have marked on their calendars.

Check out the trailer. It looks like Sydney based activist Danny Lim has a cameo at some point in the second series. Anyone who’s in Sydney on any sort of regular basis has been seen Lim, pacing the streets, with one of his sometimes controversial sandwich board signs.

In other news, it occurs to me that Heartbreak High makes my high school days, which had their moments (well, one or two…), seem positively sedate in comparison. Maybe that was something to do with the high school I went to though.


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Tilda Cobham-Hervey cast as Esme in The Dictionary of Lost Words play

19 September 2023

The Dictionary Of Lost Words show poster

Adelaide based Australian actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey will take the lead role of Esme, in the stage adaptation of The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on the 2020 novel of the same name, written by Australian author Pip Williams.

Set at the beginning of the twentieth century in the British city of Oxford, The Dictionary of Lost Words is a fictionalised recounting of the story behind the publication of the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Spanning several decades, the story is narrated by Esme, the daughter of one of the dictionary’s lexicographers.

Last November, the State Theatre Company of South Australia announced they were working with Jessica Arthur to bring Williams’ novel to the stage, which opens on Friday 22 September 2023, in the South Australian capital. After a three week season, the show moves to Sydney, for a season of about seven weeks at Sydney Opera House, from Thursday 26 October 2023.

Cobham-Hervey is both a screen and stage actor. Past film credits include 52 Tuesdays, Hotel Mumbai, and I Am Woman, while previous stage roles include Things I Know to Be True and Vale.


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The Weekend by Charlotte Wood adapted for stage at Belvoir St Theatre

14 August 2023

A stage adaptation of Australian author Charlotte Wood’s 2019 novel, The Weekend, opened in Sydney on Saturday 5 August 2023. I read a few months ago that a production company had bought the film rights, but I didn’t know about the stage adaptation.

Much of the dark humour permeating the novel was voiced through the internal monologue of the characters, something I hope is carried over somehow in the dramatic adaptations.

If you’re in Sydney, the show is on until Sunday 10 September 2023, at the Belvoir St Theatre.


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You Already Know, the new single from Jacoténe

10 August 2023

Jacoténe, the Melbourne based Australian soul and pop singer, whose vocals reminds more than a few people of Amy Winehouse, has released a new single, You Already Know. This a year after she won Triple J’s Unearthed High with her song I Need Therapy.



A history of the Beastie Boys as hip hop turns 50 this year

10 August 2023

One for fans of erstwhile New York City hip hop act, the Beastie Boys, a write up from 2015 by Don Condon, music editor at Double J.

As well as being one of the world’s great hip hop groups, the Beastie Boys’ evolution also happens to be one of the scene’s most fascinating.

As well as bringing hip hop to a wider mainstream audience, the Beasties can also be credited for opening up the genre’s horizons, fusing in everything from alt-rock and sample-based psychedelics to punk ferocity.

And they did all with a sense of adventure, fun, and camaraderie.

So, how did a bunch of white kids playing ramshackle hardcore find themselves at the forefront of a cultural revolution?

And tomorrow, Friday 11 August, is a red-letter day for fans of the genre, being the fiftieth birthday of hip hop, which emerged at a party in NYC borough, The Bronx, on Saturday 11 August 1973.

Happy birthday hip hop.


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Find live music performances on the Live Music Archive

4 August 2023

The Live Music Archive, part of the Internet Archive, contains close to a quarter of a million entries, dating back to 1959. The chances of tracking down recordings of live performances by your favourite artists and bands are therefore probably pretty good.



Bryan Brown: Australian stories need streaming service quotas

14 July 2023

Australian actor Bryan Brown, speaking at the National Press Club this week, has joined calls for content quotas to be imposed on shows broadcast by streaming services in Australia. Local content quotas have been on the agenda for some time now, and are something Australian federal arts minister Tony Burke believes are necessary to support the Australian arts sector.

Australians spend billions of dollars on streaming services every year, and Brown thinks some of that money should be invested into stories that are about Australia, not just stories set locally:

What we are saying is that a percentage of that two billion bucks should go back into being stories that are actually about Australia. That are Australian stories, not just stories that are set in Australia with, in the main, American accents. With that extra money that we can get from the streamers, allows us more time to develop, allows us more time to be able to shoot, therefore allows us to make our shows reach the great heights that we want them to be.

In response, Bridget Fair, of FreeTV Australia, an advocate body representing local free-to-air television broadcasters, expressed concerns that quotas could drive up production costs:

The Australian screen sector is booming. With independent data from Screen Australia and the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that there is more production in this country right now than ever before, the Government needs to be very clear on what problem it is trying to solve. Simply adding fuel to an already raging fire of cost escalation in the production sector will have a significant impact on the ability of Australian broadcasters to continue to deliver the Australian programming that our community relies on.

It’s a hoary old chestnut, but quotas, if not applied correctly, have the potential to back fire. Aiming to have twenty-percent of shows seen on streaming services that are about Australia, made in Australia, is admirable, but not if the results are poor quality stories.


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Myf Warhurst with Melissa Fyfe on Good Weekend Talks podcast

3 July 2023

Radio and television broadcaster Myf Warhurst speaks to Good Weekend Magazine writer Melissa Fyfe, on the Good Weekend Talks podcast (Spotify link).

I used to listen to Warhurst when she presented on Australian radio station Triple J, from 2000 to 2007. She later had a show on Double J, originally known as Dig Radio, a digital station that was spun off from Triple J in 2002.

Her television credits include Spicks & Specks, a quiz show, and being an Australian commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest. Presently Warhurst is a narrator for stage rock musical, The Rocky Horror Show, which also happens to be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year.

Update: if Spotify is not your preferred streamer, you can also tune into the podcast via Apple, or Google.


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Debbie Disrupt, AI newsreader, broadcasting on Disrupt Radio

19 June 2023

Debbie Disrupt, Disrupt Radio's AI newsreader

Debbie Disrupt, AI newsreader, image via Disrupt Radio.

Entrepreneurial thinkers and business mavericks are in the sights of Disrupt Radio, Australia’s newest national radio network, which goes to air, or a streaming device near you, on Monday 26 June 2023. Australian comedian and broadcaster Libbi Gorr, also known as Elle McFeast and Irish rocker and activist Bob Geldof, will be kick starting proceedings during the station’s first week, with both set to feature on the breakfast show.

Veteran radio and television presenter, George Donikian has been brought on-board to read morning news bulletins, while Debbie Disrupt, an AI radio presenter will take the afternoon news shift. I don’t know if Debbie Disrupt is the first AI newsreader to ever present on a radio show, but her presence has media pundits talking. At the moment they remain unsure whether her participation is a cost consideration, or a publicity stunt.

I’m leaning more to the latter. Any suitably experienced radio presenter could read the news, but having an AI robot that can do the job instead? That’ll bring in the listeners, at least to begin with. I also see an element of expectation here. Something would be wrong if a start-up digital radio station called Disrupt didn’t have at least one AI presenter on the crew.


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