‘My Best Friend in Beaches’, taken from ‘Grey Hair’ Exhibition, Skenes Creek, May 2011, photo by Alicia Bee.


I was born in the mountains to a hippy couple who studied Buddhism.

I drew a lot of flowers in my childhood after studying the painting of blossoms.

This week I have been studying Zen; again –

in a course that does not involve painting.

I am presently working on another koan.

I know nothing.

But can teach you this;

Chan is Chinese for Zen.

Already I had returned to Chan Painting and was given a title by my teacher last year.

My Chan painting name is JOURNEY ON THE VALLEY PATH.

This is about my journey as I learn to walk in the valley after living so long in the mountains.

This weeks Chan blossom paintings were not amazing and I preferred my other subjects but all still appear infantile when finished.

I don’t know if my paintings live up to my title and they wont be exhibited too soon, but continue to practise.

I still have a lot to learn about painting in black and Chan Painting because it is a big brush.

At the turn of the century there was a trend for boys in some rock bands to tattoo their band name on their body, which always seemed a little weird. However instead of laughing too hard I thought of a plan to get an army of followers to tattoo my penny tattoo to their arm (we will talk about this another time).

Recently I thought of developing my plan by following the trend of people that prefer to tattoo Asian characters to their bodies.

If I have online followers in the future they will tattoo these words to their back.


(which means Journey On the Valley Path)

or 猪小姐记者

which means Miss Piggy Journalist.

Looks cool doesn’t it? An interpreter quoted $200 flat rate to interpret the 4 words, and said they got a lot of requests from people who want to get the phrase right before they inked themselves. I didn’t take her up on the offer and have been learning language online myself using GOOGLE TRANSLATE.

This also means that I wouldn’t advise anyone to tattoo that phrase above before it is checked by a scholar and my practice is developed more.

Get your friends to join the mail list, and become a fan online. We are not doing any tattooing at the moment, and you can learn more about Chan and Chinese characters generally before you make the commitment.

Read at bottom for my Haiku lessons and more understandings of the weeks events.



1 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2011.

Former hills resident and frequently spotted local shopper ALICIA BEE launches her first exhibition of photography in the hills with a live music show on Saturday 3 September at BURRINJA CAFÉ GALLERY 351 Glenfern Road Upwey.

This debut series of photographs launched MAY 2011 at STUDIO 7A on BRUNSWICK STREET FITZROY has also had pieces shown at SHABANA JACOBSON GALLERY and BRUNSWICK STREET GALLERIES as part of the SMALL WORKS COMPETITION.

Featured in the exhibition is a PREVIEW of ALICIA BEE’s FRINGE FESTIVAL SHOW ‘GOOD MOURNING’ which will also show GREY HAIR pieces along with other photographs, and poetry.

Some shots ALICIA BEE took of beach rocks are used in an essay of natural geology aging and human concepts of GREY HAIR.
Chosen to help promote the exhibition is a great local acts that offers thoughtful new discussion on Australian folk music Penelope Swales performing acoustic.








7PM, it will be

$9 entry (cover charge for music).

Facebook Event :


‘Roof’, Butler Mastering, Leichardt Sydney.


I started a sound column when in Sydney at The Brag, which was later found in Beat and Mixdown, before it stopped because they wouldn’t pay me enough. It has become legendary as the first sound column in street press nationally, however it was often seen as an advertising marketing incentive and many magazines have published various sound or studio liftouts since and always will. Perhaps they wont remember that the sound column was started by a girl from Melbourne in 2003, who literally called every studio in two states (hundreds) for a period of time to stay in touch. Later I even made national calls for the Mixdown column but the cash streetpress paid couldn’t even cover the cost of phonecalls, can you believe the pennies they pay the street paparazzi? These days a lot more studios are online and you can email for a direct response.

What I didn’t know before interviewing Paul Butler  about BUTLER MASTERING was that instead of a biography he displays an interview from Drum Media exploring his world of sound, which was just found. That was the other streetpress! But don’t worry Im not jealous or anything; we all know which ALICIA (from the attic) really ‘ruled the world’, and who actually did it first.

See below articles the reference to the COPYCATS of BALLARAT, but pause here let go of any angry thoughts that I am a mean person before you read this interview with Paul Butler and remember this blog is MISS PIGGY JOURNALIST is a space for opinionated editorial.

ALICIA BEE – Have you studied sound?

PAUL BUTLER – Yep, formally with SAE back in 2001, it was a good base of information I guess but my real knowledge came from experience in the field. I’ve worked in many parts of the industry and with so many talented people that have really broadened my skills and helped me approach my true passion [Mastering] with a different mindset to most.

ALICIA BEE –  When did Butler Mastering start?

PAUL BUTLER – I’ve been operating as “The Butler” for about 6 years now, working with mainly Indie artists as I travelled with work [Radio & Live Production], the business [and myself] are now grounded in a new studio in Leichhardt [Sydney].

ALICIA BEE – What does the company do?

PAUL BUTLER – We’re a dedicated Mastering facility, mastering music for artists from all over the world. We have studio partners in New York and London which feed us work, as well as online [eMastering] for musicians from anywhere you can imagine… Nepalese Rock! Cuban Pop! South American Rap, we’ve done some interesting work.

ALICIA BEE – What was the last thing you learnt about in sound?

PAUL BUTLER – I’ve been delving further into [analogue] audio electronics lately, really enjoying learning about circuit designs and their effects in the real world.


RAT VS POSSUM launch ‘Fat Monk,’ single from their upcoming second album ‘Let Music & Bodies Unite’ at RAOB GAB which is also called The Buffalo Club at 22 Sutherland Street Melbourne on Friday 16 September 2011 with support from Horse Macgyver and Time Shield.
Tickets are $10 and only available at the door only from 8.30pm.
Rat Vs Possum are a HIP band and they introduced me to The Buffalo Club venue and taught me about DJs NO ZU, Toy Balloon and Nick Rave & the Bad Speed. We chatted online about Eastern religions and FAT MONKs and very basically about the band.

ALICIA BEE – Where is the Buffalo Club? what does RAOB GAB stand for?

DAPHNE SHUM – The Buffalo Club was named after the ancient burial ground for water buffaloes on which the venue was built, located in the Melbourne CBD. Can’t remember what RAOB GAB stands for although I feel like I’m exorcising demons and invoking the spirit when I say it out loud.

ALICIA BEE – What is a ‘Fat Monk’?

DAPHNE SHUM – We named our single Fat Monk because the main synth riff sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a fat monk strolling down the street. We’re deep like that. Right after the song was written I saw an actual fat monk hanging out in the city, so not only is the song deep, it was also prophetic.

ALICIA BEE – Have you studied buddhism? any eastern religion?

DAPHNE SHUM – Matt expressed an interest in tantra recently. It’s time for Sting to give someone else a go at being the musical spokesperson for tantra. As for myself and Adrian, we’re Asian so we’re basically zen mystics by birthright.

ALICIA BEE – Tell us the symbolism of the lotus?

DAPHNE SHUM – It’s a symbol of the flagrantly tasteless aesthetic orientalism in the artwork for our single. We can thank Oliver Hunter for that. Although when I compare his fat monk to the fat monk of my imagination, I realise we possess vastly different understandings of the word ‘fat’.

ALICIA BEE – Is Rat Vs Possum transendental meditation music?

DAPHNE SHUM – Maybe when slowed to 20 BPM. Or try downing a bottle of Dx before putting on our record and meditating.

ALICIA BEE – What has happened to Rat Vs Possum since its first Chinese Zodiac Year?

DAPHNE SHUM – Andrew went to Vietnam and had an allergic reaction after mistaking ornamental leaves in a vase for food, Adrian got laser eye surgery, Kieran’s house got robbed but the entire band’s gear was left untouched, I stopped needing to go to hospital all the time and started going to the gym instead, and Matt’s been trying to grow his hair out. That’s about it really. We also wrote some songs, played some shows, toured some, and are about to put out our second album.


When John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’ was sung in the primary schoolyard we’d changed the lyrics to Victorian references “West Virginia and Castlemaine” to counter the “Copycats from Ballarat” in a world of our own.

NEW SETTLEMENT ROAD is a familiar country journey to ‘Odelle,’ a house with a sweet female name. Local Victorian references found on New Settlement Road’s LP could take them on the ‘morning train’ from Frankston (if you too believed The Seekers Morningtown Ride was only a local ode to the south eastern train) to the dried Murray River with ‘Let The Rivers Run’ (from TV Series ‘All The Rivers Run’), but you may be confused when you find the song ‘Oh, My Home’ is actually written about The Kimberleys. Though they are a Mornington Peninsula band there are many phrases that you could sing anywhere; ‘cause worldwide there is a ‘city by the sea’ and a ‘rising sun’. There’s broken glass and cobblestones on the highway over the hills and in the valleys on New Settlement Road’s release.

Local music references also could come from the breath of graveled Lindsay Phillips trademark, while using the gardening tools of Augie March to understand how to write Bob Dylan for a band in Melbourne searching for “crowds to inspire”.

New Settlement Road are trying to catch the whispering on the wind romantically using daddy’s records like Donovan and Dylan in many songs chasing birds that migrate seasons to search for settlement and a home.

They mix working class submissiveness attitude and common sense country in ‘You May Not Have Control’ with other song lyrics that refer to kings and queens and “Bring(ing) down the Empire”.

They consider references to the afterlife in ‘Until I’m Gone’ with “skin and bones” in ‘Ben’ that could have buried a dog, but Im really into all that dead talk at the moment so its not macarb.

They are hoping for backing to do this all among the gentlest of musical genres, subtlety to the point of low-fi in song 4, against a too adventurous burst of big band noise later in the CD, but it’s a good sound of known  pockets of music they ‘lay down sally’ and only repetition will make it play more naturally and anyone can press repeat on a CD if they cant get the band to sound right.

They have the support of a chorus chant choir named ‘The Drunken Beasts’ found in ‘Briar Park’, and for their Australian music hotel sound they’d raised glasses in male voice giving us a drinking another anthem because already The Kill Devil Hills ruled the regional hotel and Cosmic Psychos owned the city pub.

Joining them in the folk rock waltz is Jen Anderson giving the recording the earth and acceptance that they were seeking in Woodstock’s Studio name. Listen for title song ‘Among the Gentlest of Birds’ for one of the subtlest didgeridoo additions to a white track from the back beaches.

NEW SETTLEMENT ROAD release AMONG THE GENTLEST OF BIRDS on SEPTEMBER 23 2011 preorder your copy here. New Settlement Road play The Empress on Saturday 1 September with Lachlan Bryers and the Blind Alley Band.


Designer gumboots

I can jump bigger puddles

Flowering in mud

Broken pencil lead

lost during more sharpening

shorter in hand

Mountain wind whistle

chimney becomes instrument

in wild weather

windy conductor

trees dance across snake gully

audience applause

Cockatoo ridges

white forest custodian

grace note reminders

lone ukelele

instrument of Pacific

island musician

acoustic guitar

singer songwriter on mic

local folk music

motorcycle noise

white envelope letter box

good news from afar

hot sun behind moon

a total lunar eclipse

earth in the middle

newspaper plastic

dry roll of daily headlines

flattened to read

light shower rainbow

kisses sky roof with smile

of clean teeth city

infused pot tea

poured soy milk bleaches brew

without stirring spoon


Alicia Bee © 2011.