‘Electricity Pole’, Photo by Alicia Bee,  2 April 2007, Brunswick.

PUBLIC SPEECH – PIGGIES IN THE LONGEST WINTER

2 June 2011.

Miss Piggy Journalism writes about herself in a personal blog. It is ‘experiential journalism’ in the footsteps of Hunter S. Thompson. You see, Hunter was Gonzo, I am Miss Piggy.

Consider the different muppet characters for a moment. Gonzo, a long nosed puppet with a cute little jacket and tie often did not have the best of luck in The Muppets, he wasn’t the main character but was well liked. Later Gonzo would marry a chicken, but he spent a little bit of time trying to woo other female characters unsuccessfully. Hunter S. Thompson used humor when he likened himself to Gonzo.

Miss Piggy was a bossy boots, wannabe beauty queen, singer and dancer who drank champagne and often karate chops people in anger. She is the character I have chosen for my style of journalism, a vain narcissist in a generation Y era where my face is multiplied with numerous profile pictures attached to my social network. I am a product of the ‘muppet baby’ age, and want it better than Hunter S. Thompson and other New Journalists had before us. Please supply a champagne rider for all complimentary tickets or I’ll karate chop you!

Miss Piggy Journalist is probably not going to be even scaled through this blog because it is meant to be about me. That’s why I have a photo and some of my poetry each issue and put such self referential links to each interview with personal anecdotes, review and editorial opinion that may never make print publication anywhere else.

Today the blog ego clouds my interview with MICK HARVEY with another story introduction, while ALYSIA MANCEAU’s album reviews probably spends too much time on my EMPRESS story but then perhaps I spent too much time at the EMPRESS in the (sparkling wine millennium ) year 2000.

Does anyone remember the sparkling wine from 1999? Do you remember how many brands went through you hands while you played the flute?

Though this week Australia has had some positive political movement in the way of live cattle trade it is important to remember to be thoughtful in all food, cosmetic and household buying.

Miss Piggy Journalist supports cruelty free meat industries, and insists that you choose FREE RANGE HAM and PORK when you need to purchase or eat a PIG.  This Beatles song is another example of the kind of insults pigs get, including blame for ‘swine flu’ and references to ‘police’.

Be kind to pigs for acting like their species – perhaps if you think BABE (movie) not PIGSTY mess you will understand a lot more about the species and their need for protection.

PHOTOGRAPHY – GREY HAIR EXHIBITION

I’m now a well hung artist! My photos have been already been shown in two galleries Studio 7A and the Shabana Jacobson Gallery, while 10 pieces will be in the Small Works Exhibition at Brunswick Street Galleries from June 14 – 28. 

You are invited to check out part of the GREY HAIR exhibition at 322 Brunswick Street in Fitzroy; make a purchase and collect a piece before prices goes up.

Later from 1 – 25 September 20011, a hills exhibition will be held at Burrinja Café Gallery with a music entertainment launch.

POPULAR MUSIC – MICK HARVEY

When I discovered the title of Mick Harvey’s new album ‘Sketches of The Book of The Dead’ I was devastated by its similarity to my next collection of poetry entitled ‘The Book of the Dead and Wounded’. This happens in the Arts often, I decided and so made contact with my network friend to tell him about my project and ask him to play at my launch.

Though he gently suggested changing my title, I wanted to keep it in line with references to the Buddhist text The Tibetan book of the Dead in line with other dharma poetry links and will use it.

The esteemed Mick Harvey has produced a well received album of songs that deal with the loss of friends and others called Sketches of the ‘Book of The Dead’. After his TOFF and PURE POP launches in Melbourne, he flew away to start a tour with PJ HARVEY and present the album to European audiences with some extra shows.

ALICIA BEE – You have said you were moved by Rowland S Howard’s death, can you describe the song reference you wrote about him?

MICK HARVEY – I wasn’t specifically moved by Rowland’s death more than some other people’s. Obviously we were very close and had a long history. The song I wrote about him really came out of the fact that he asked me to do so. I had talked to him about the project I was working on and that was his response and it makes up the basic content of the chorus, that request.

ALICIA BEE –  In your intention does the title of the album relate to the Buddhist or Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’?

MICK HARVEY – No, not at all. It relates much more to the Book of the Dead written about in Luis Buñuel’s autobiography in which he had a list of his friends who had passed away. From memory he describes almost ceremonially entering people in it each time someone died, with their name and date. This was more where I was coming from, clearly the people in my songs are all personal connections.

ALICIA BEE – Where are you going with PJ Harvey? When did you both first become friends?

MICK HARVEY – Well, I’m going on tour with her, I guess it would be best to check her web site for details. I don’t feel like listing cities here. We have been friends since the mid-90s. We met at a Bad Seeds album launch in London and we just get on very well, still seem to, so it’s a friendship first and a working relationship second.

POPULAR MUSIC – ALYSIA MANCEAU The Longest Winter REVIEW

Before starting this review I went from my home office to my bedroom and had plans to curl up in bed and write a review on a notepad because it was just so cold. It seemed only logical to go back into the office and try and be professional about Winter and write directly on computer instead of twice.

I put a patchwork quilt around myself and started the draft of my blog as I wrote. Alysia Manceau’s The Longest Winter will now be the soundtrack of this 2011 winter.

I received my press copy just a day before pulling the photographic canvas to the frames for my exhibition, and played it while I worked with my hands at one of the most practical necessary artist tasks. It was easier just to play it again instead of changing record and I played it many times over the framing day. Normally a review would be played many times whilst writing a review, but this became a listening day as I bonded with my art and exhibition preparations.

The album took me back to the Empress where Alysia Manceau and I first met again recently (when I choose to give a gentle simple tip to the capable female on sound, and was happy to find my friend.)  My memories went over the days when I had worked at the Empress hotel in the year 2000 with so many people including bartenders Casey Sh and Sarah De Borre, waitress Kirsty Stegwazi, booker Carla Yamine and a chef called Rita.

PRIDE – ALICIA RULES THE WORLD.

Over listens I compared my music journey to that of Alysia Manceau, a female musician that has only just released her debut LP.  This Winter I come of age after releasing a book of creative writing and launching my first exhibition of photography.

There are some people that would wonder why this did not happen earlier

Perhaps it should have happened at the turn of the century when I was just doing music journalism and working nights at The Empress in that cold winter of the year 2000; at time Gersey Hope Springs was our favorite album, and the kitchen cassette machine played The Waifs Waitress song with The Sundays and other singing tapes by Concrete Blonde and The Clouds.

During that time Kirsty Stegwazi recorded the Roll On Summer song with Paul Kelly and released in October before summer it seemed like the biggest thing in the world, even if you were just singing along to your friends big hit.
POETIC – WINTER AT THE EMPRESS

When I got through all of my personal Empress memory readings and listened to Alysia’s own lyrical and professional story it gave me an idea of every songwriters path through older wiser ears more understanding of others experience.

Consider how lucky you are to be hearing about Alysia Manceau now while she is launching at The Empress, as I have done. Her own journey will take her from The Empress to many stages throughout her career.

PRETTY – LITTLE HORSES

‘The Boy I Left Behind’ is a country song that laments the regrets of a whiskey drinking female leaving her partner behind; as she reverses the well sung road ballad of male songwriter to rise above her influences and announces herself as a performer in her own name with or without a partner, band members or backing females.

Given time I was reminded of the lyrical content of Clare Bowditch’s ‘The Master’ from debut Red Raku Sweetly Sedated, as she sings about an older man in ‘Gypsy Boy’. Perhaps the female songwriter does have to master their own teacher to move through their career even these days in a modern music industry, though I wont bother to guess who could have been an early influence of Alysia Manceau here.

‘Gypsy Boy’ is a myth blend of male images that Alysia has taken through growth to use as muse for her own songwriting fodder, just as every male finger picker has taken lines about many females to write marketable love songs for radio, and make an audience fall in love with them enough to come to shows.

It would be an easy punt to say that one of Alysia Manceau’s male muses could have spent a bit of time at The Empress, no doubt over the past twenty years and that those that follow will spend some time in front or on the stage afterwards.

‘On this streets I am much older than you, and I am not your child fool,’ she tells to the male listener who she calls ‘Gypsy Boy’.

Alysia Manceau’s own full vocal sound strengths could remind of Neko Case and Suzannah Espie for it is delivered in a strong package. Her voice is given enough focus through dramatic violin and double bass for it to be considered emotionally beautiful in its body strength. Slide guitar and Lap Steel compliment Alysia Manceau’s own work as the main guitarist.

Alysia invested her own money to go into a studio that allowed her voice this respect; that can be sometimes difficult to command a first introduction full attention as a folk singer songwriter on a weeknight stage.

The Longest Winter sounds bigger than most releases of the same experienced scene and Alysia Manceau will rule our own music world very soon.

Alysia Manceau launches The Longest Winter at The Empress on Saturday 4 June 2011 with Lindsay Phillips, Rich Davies & Devils Union and Tender Bones.

alysialaunchposter

PROTEST – LIVE CATTLE TRADE

One of the most exciting animal liberation news stories this week was the adoption of the story based around the LIVE CATTLE TRADE footage taken by Animals Australia of the animal killing industry in Indonesia. Graphic footage stunned all viewers, not just vegetarians or those already concerned with animal rights.

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20110530/cattle/

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Senator Nick Xenophon announced the introduction of a bill to end live animal exports and it was supported by many politicians

Australia for the first time this century has made an acknowledgement of animal cruelty in the meat industry, though it still has a long way to go.

Australia can BAN ALL CAGE EGGS, make all parts of the MEAT INDUSTRY FREE RANGE and ensure killing practices are less cruel.

Sign the PETITION!

POETASTER

My Body.

By Alicia Bee 2011 ©

I am now an exhibitionist,

I have taken off all of my clothes,

For brush and pen of other artists,

You can see my body on the walls.

I have died for lines written in skin,

Drank the wines for their payment at shows,

And scraped the stairway on my thin shins.

They still don’t respect me as promised,

My hair is now removed from the chin,

They will have these bones after I decease,

You can see my body on the walls.

END. THANKS FOR READING. I LOVE YOU LIKE PIGGIES IN THE LONGEST WINTER.

Alicia Bee © 2011.

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