‘Organic Dinner with organic pototoes, organic beans, organic veal and organic tomato sauce’, May 12 2011, Brunswick, photo by Alicia Bee.


We all know that JULY 2011 stalker anthem ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ may have just replaced the MAY 1983 STING / THE POLICE single EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE  in our recent music memory, to remind us that someone is always trying to call our old number listed in the past AMID directory.
This is dedicated to all the people of the past year that I have blocked on Facebook, who have become just like a spick or specks program that doesn’t repeat.
Please don’t call, or email me or contact me in person.
You have given me space to have more friends and meet more positive people on social networks.
If you are really upset just listen to the song above for music therapy, or if you’d prefer to leave this page, just listen to THE POLICE.


2003 was the year I thought the ARIA Awards spelled Australian Music patriotism though I hadn’t yet sat through a gruelling 6 hour event.
The ARIAs will never seem the same again in spite of who wins and whether the choice seems legitimate, or a pop label decision.
Part of the feeling of torture of sitting through an ARIAs came from the enclosure conditions of the event, that did not allow people to leave the building and return.
If you choose to leave early they will tell you that there are no PASS OUTS, and that if you leave you cant come back, which is the same restrictions they put on ALL AGE events and other concerts.
You may not want to stay in that room all night.
That year in 2003 I also produced two draft articles about the ARIAs that made enemies not of moguls like Mark Pope and the ARIA board, but media staff too scared to know their jobs and allow writers to do their own.
As they were unpublished I thought this issue could return to that golden year of the ARIA awards and find out what it was that stopped me attending any other award ceremony to date and kept me from watching the television broadcast.
Though some people would think that such a change of heart and enthusiasm for The ARIAs shows far greater troubles, it has not curbed my love of Australian music and I still work in the industry.


The 2011 ARIA Award ceremony was highlighted with the best tweets and status updates from a panel of Australian music media screeners who watched from home, or attended the event and submitted one line reviews on Facebook that did little to break the happiness of my little world when I checked emails in between watching a VHS copy of THE SKATEBOARD KID and a 2010 documentary on THE DOORS entitled WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE.
Social networking has been the most positive method of reviewing the event since the 2003 ARIA, and my preferred way of gaining ARIA news for the past few years.
Lets take a step backwards and look at some highlights of my past writing about the ARIAs.

PAST – 16th ARIA AWARDS 2002.

This article I only wrote for journalism school to practise a new method of feature article writing. I didn’t care then that it wasn’t published as it was just a class exercise. The article made reference to the TV sponsorship of the Australian music event, and give you an idea of my political beliefs that formed the basis for my column editorial.


The 17th ARIA Awards will again be sponsored by international companies like McDonalds and Coca Cola. Although the date has not been set the October Australian music award ceremony will be televised on Network Ten, who choose the sponsors last year.
The 2002 television broadcast sold eight sponsorship packages to McDonalds, Coca Cola, Midouri Illusions, Colorado, Australis, Trident, Starburst and Daihatsu.
“In all honesty I don’t think the industry was there drinking coca cola,” Mark Pope, event producer of the 2003 ARIA Awards said.
The industry were treated to the hospitality of a Midouri Illusions sponsored after-party, while the new vanilla coke was offered in the gold area.
Banners of the companies were displayed in the foyer which was the only reminder of sponsorship to the inside music industry.
“The only complaint we had was from a rabid vegetarian who didn’t enjoy their meal,” Pope said.
Viewers at home sat through six commercials multiplied by twelve advertisement breaks.
Network Ten gave figures that said the television audience was up by 60% with a 1.25 million viewing audience.
Although Network Ten has commented that sponsorship packages have not been finalized Pope was confident that last years sponsors would return.
“Everybody was pretty happy and most will come back (as sponsors),” he said.
A post ARIA press release quotes, “Ten is proud to have delivered the best ARIA awards ever we look forward to another superb Awards telecast next year and to continue to promote and support Australia’s music industry across their network schedule.”
The 16th Aria Awards were the biggest yet and were compared to the Grammy and MTV awards.
The brief of the 2002 ARIA awards as decided by the ARIA board, and listed on the website was to ‘create an awards show with credibility and relevance to the music community – a show that would stand alongside the Brits and the Grammys as a world class music event from one of the world’s greatest music producing nations’. The ARIA board also wanted to extend an invitation to the fans who wanted to attend the event.
Held at the Superdome, the event offered seats to the public as a form of revenue for the $A1M show.
Network Ten sold its own advertising to collect their share of revenue.
Last years eight sponsors were a result of the network “approaching clients and companies expressing interest in the sponsorship packages,” said Peter Van Dyke, Network 10 marketing department.
Network Ten cannot comment on the sponsorships for this year until signed and closer to date.
“Sponsorship in sport or entertainment is pretty much a fact of life these days,” Pope said.
It is not a part of sponsorship selection criteria to search for Australian products for the event.
When asked whether AUSBUYS products could be sought to buy back Australian music Pope said “that’s a good question.”
The brief for the event also included a return to an event where the music industry has ‘fun from the outset of proceedings’.
The music industry is said to have enjoyed themselves on the night, while “in the past the night seems to have been endured rather than enjoyed” said Pope.
Past awards offered cramped seating, while last years event seated guests with a meal and drinks.
Opinion from inside the music industry was closed and several top heads declined to comment or have an opinion on sponsorship of the Australian music event.
Michael Chugg, music promoter said, “I have no problems with this, this sponsorship enables the producers to produce a world class show which they did last year & I’m sure (will) do an even better show this year.”
“I neither eat maccas or drink coke but millions of Australians do & none of these people will think twice about the sponsors but they will cast a critical eye over the telecast,” Michael Chugg warned.
Pope said that the television broadcast is the best way of promoting Australian music which is the ARIA’s goal.
“The ARIA’s brief is to promote music, we all know that to reach a number of people is to get it on TV, because its on TV there are commercials,” he said.
The event staged in Sydney is not now only about the enjoyment of those working within the music industry and the television broadcast extends the event to those in other states.
The Superdome seating also allows room for fans, “until recently tickets had never been open to the public. Last year 3000 tickets were sold to the public and there’s more room, we can fit 7000,” Pope said.


This is the article written later in the year for my BRAG streetpress column called ‘ROCK AND ROLL LESSONS’ that gave music industry advice for new bands.
This issue was cut after the editor ALISON JONES received a 20 minute complaint call from then so called industry insider PHIL TRIPP suggesting that any kind of ARIA negative publicity would not be needed at all, after he had already scolded me for writing the first article above in which he refused comment.
It was just a few weeks before ALISON JONES quit, and the year before PHIL TRIP spent many moaning emails suggesting that no-one loves him and that he would prefer to breed LOVE BIRDS (true story).
Just in case you were getting excited about the ARIA awards or were very disillusioned if you watched it, it was felt with all good judgment that I needed to remind the readers that the ARIAs is a really long and boring night.
This article editorial columns should have been published in streetpress in October 2003, but it took the squeeze as too negative.
This article will never be too negative, the 2003 ARIA awards will go down as the most boring in Australian music history – THE YEAR DELTA WON EVERYTHING just before she announced she was well again from HODGEKINS DISEASE.
I got so bored of working in music in Sydney and choose to relocate back to MELBOURNE, for THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME at the worst times of our lives.
HUNTER S THOMPSON himself was rejected by many editors, and as MISS PIGGY JOURNALIST follows in the same experiential GONZO journalist rants of ego, you have to read the article that was cut from STREETPRESS in 2003 because an industry insider complained.

ROCK AND ROLL LESSON # 66.6 – Don’t go to the ARIA Awards for Career Advancement by Alicia Bee

Delta Goodrem wore a pink Lisa Ho dress (2011 ed I will never wear that label again).
I wore a khaki dress from Grace Brothers and sandals for the election.
The rest of the rock stars and music industry sat at tables in front eating while the live crowd watched.
It is obvious to sit through an award ceremony, that this is a music industry where votes are decided by moguls, men and money and far away from the Australian music fan.
The ARIAs awards ceremony is a really boring night for those not eating in the audience.
While our local music needs patriotism, I’m not sure how much we can put our hands together for a music industry that thugs its way to raise a male rock band and sells the bum of Kylie, Delta or any other piece of Australia.
Girl, boy; don’t think you are going to get anything for your music life out of watching the ARIA awards live at the event at the Superdome.
Stay home and watch it on TV, get pissed, and count the number of McDonalds and Coca Cola advertisements you have to sit through, while the dads at head office thought that those companies would sell Australian music to a wider public.
Lace it all up in Mount Franklin riders as you travel up and down the record company highway while Phil trips in the gold arena about how good rock was and someone spews another INXS cover for the Dinnegan party.
Thankyou Johnny Farnham for soundtracks to family holidays and our Australian music past but we are old enough now to know what we want.
(When this article was cut I repeated to the editor that “John Farnham said ‘we can write what we want to write’ in You’re The Voice,” so I shouldn’t be censored, but she never really knew the album).
It is good there are categories for awards in other genres like country, world, classical and soundtracks.
I still believe in the songs and records, but a room full of wrong fat men in an international record label is not music to the young and free who wanted a hometown without Maccas.
The people at these tables loved the event, and joked themselves through the night about who’s fucking who in a bible belt.
‘Are you ready Mr Music?’ you may ask as you play musical chairs for a better view and contact, but it’s not worth the nightmares days later.
Don’t sell your music to them before you did it for love.
The Waifs won the awards as Australian idols ‘Miss Independent’ this year, and you can.
Don’t go to the ARIA awards for career advancement! It’s too long to sit through.


Check out the LOVEBIRDS in this video clip for the PHILEDELPHIA act Kurt Vile’s single ‘Baby Arms’ from the album Smoke Ring For My Halo. Directed and filmed by Todd Cole entirely on the Windows Phone.


Sometimes people have to leave Melbourne to know how good it is. From a new vantage point overseas, interstate or on tour sometime musicians can get homesick.
Though Mark Gardner has heard my story of homesickness when living in the city of lights and the many trips from Sydney to Melbourne, his EP is about his own feelings on his family home somewhere on The Great Dividing Range.
Loving his country, Mark gives lyrical references to the Southern Cross, magpies and Australian living.
Loving his wife he dedicates the EP and songs to his family.
Though it is not clear from his long list of Australian music influences Hearts On Fire seems to be inspired by Koori rock, lyrics are punched and spoke with respect and celebration though Mark Gardner’s heritage is not Aboriginal.
Track 3 starts like many Australian folk songs with a didgeridoo.
“Across the borders, through the desert plains, I see the farmers dancing in the rain,’ sing the lyrics that with backing vocal call out for a chorus wanting to write their own national anthem.
“Some sing from the Alice, I sing from the great divide,” sings Mark Gardner from the South in popular community radio single The Great Divide.
Brass trumpet player Mark Gardner proves his ska influence seen from playing in The Loonee Tunes and The High Tides with simple EP highlight the House Of Love track influenced by Madness.


Melissa Main  started recording her Me You Kitchen Now EP in a sharehouse kitchen because she enjoyed the acoustics of the practice space. I bought an oven glove and tea towel from merchandise at her launch where band members and guest all wore aprons, it’s as homemade as GIT and the best of the girls of our past.
The newest Claire Bowditch that played before me this year and said she’d be my friend. She is a folk performer that plays guitar and uses vocals, and has produced a simple acoustic recording perhaps using only vocal microphone amplification as desired.
Melissa Main is the kind of new performer that amazes, to make you wonder how long it will take for her to be bigger; feeling lucky that you knew her somewhere in the past.
In spite of similarities to Claire’s voice, Melissa Main suggests she is not one of her influences.
Folk, jazz fun vocals with playful synchopation known in the live context to enjoy a loop backup of vocals; that we were all familiar with long before Kimbra gave us the instruction manual.
Melissa Main is a vocalist with strong range who showcases many styles on this release. Live she will charm with big white teeth, smiling through while she sings each word.
Female anthem ‘Amazons’ reminds us that the Belljar Hotel deserves some respect and could be sung to feminist music camps and other wild women communities that needed stronger role models that they weren’t getting on video hits.
‘Stretch Out The Sunset’ is the only example of loop vocals on the recording that reminds us again, many women have sung their own backup to the lead vocals for a past of endless sunsets.


The Weekend People liked t-shirt weather by The Lucksmiths and want you to get up out of bed, take your Killing Heidi Mascara and yesterday’s makeup off and fall in love with melodic pop of the Australian folk rock genre.
They have some guitar builds they heard from 90s bands like Pollyanna or the Internationalist day of Powderfinger and they have made some scarily tidy choruses ‘All The While’ in between their song structures.
They have composed their emo lyrics a little differently to the seniors who instead of sitting on couches suggest hiding underneath the covers, and further berating women that are ‘running to any man that will take them’, or people that sit ‘alone in their towers’.
I think they were at the Corner Hotel the night Glenn Richards from Augie March and his Friend The Murderer decided to kill for they use the same big themes with songs like ‘Murder On The Mind’ and ‘Thief’, suggesting that musicians are all innocent criminals who should be protected as artists from the crazy talk about media influence over youths.
On the other side of the Bob Dylan Tribute night the bands in our ‘Smaller World’ are healthy and happy playing in groups with females as equals, and will catch you if they see you are upset to say a friend is always closer nearby.
I made a trade with them for the live music booking, and make a pact with the song that their CD will be played in my sharehouse for at least a month.
They have a final lyric that says ‘you’re no better than me’ so it will sit with Tom Waits Bad As Me as I make my complaints to the captains of industry.


The Wonderful Lives believe the devil made them bad and admit to hearing voices in their head. It’s okay they grabbed some old records and listened safely to them in the right environment.
Apparently songwriter Lucas Preddey stole Neil Young Harvest from his old man and mother while searching for a Heart Of Gold and came up with a Polka for their funeral in Old Man Ocean.
Leaving the country influences in songs like Way Out To Sea a deep throat Nick Cave inspired crooner asks his babe to stop crying.
He continues his gothic style singing in The Dirty Bride this time as Roland S Howard had once altered his voice to sound like The Birthday party after Nick sung his song for so long.
There is danger in the dirge, a burial and the same old bones they moved from Melbourne.
‘Hells Bells,’ lyrics tells they shall dig a hole and bury bones like they too wrote The Book Of The Dead.
Apparently The Blue Mountains is much like the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne and The Wonderful Lives sing to the same mountain girl that likes going op shopping for vintage jewellery or shoes in Katoomba.
The party on the hill asks for a ‘bottle of rum’. They want to drink, getting drunk till they are through the process.
Then they again bring out the dead and play with the bones of those they have murdered.
The Wonderful Lives are As Bad as Tom Waits or other drunkard poets that don’t stop till they are dead. But that’s how I like them.


The best place to get music and art fliers on Sydney Road Brunswick is the chain record store TITLE. I got TITLE to price compare to JBHIFI when Tom Waits Bad As Me stopped playing for free early last month.
With my pocket and travel money I grabbed me a Flipper CD and some recorded spoken word poetry by PIRI THOMAS, then on the way out grabbed The Jackals release that was offered for FREE.
Melbourne band Jackalls didn’t read my blog to know that music lovers who buy records may take a liking to their 5 track CD and left a pile near the door so again to reward the score I write instead of playing a sport.
Their bass driven danger blues rock sings a whole Country Heart home from the Retreat, Edinburgh Castle, Penny Black and venues nearby where they have or will play and I’m guessing that’s why they gave it away.
I hear them beating around the bush and wonder what local radio show might give them a go.
I feel some crazy horseriding Cramps, rockerbilly silly vocals on some classic model rock instruments.
I imagine they could be eating spaghetti in a western Brunswick Hotel like The Union very soon.
Their cinema scape beats make you picture an older band with a vintage hearse carrying their equipment back around the same old haunts that they typed into the gig guide 20 years ago, and that just could mean they sound experienced as a Jackal.
Sit them alongside my love of wolf names next to Wolfmother, Wolfpack and Midnight Wolf in an Adalita DJ set at a Brunswick venue.


THE BELLJAR by Alicia Bee.
[Belljars are currently in fashion,
The blogs and book have been written,]
We are like living organisms watched in their own terrariums,
I am like a seventies houseplant that should never live in the city,
but survive with water and glimpses of sunlight.
I was once my fern tree living in Bondi displaced from the forest gully in a building of cockroaches,
that did not survive summer under the care of Sydneysiders.
I am now an inner city organic garden in Brunswick,
living on my orchard and vegetables I stay in Melbourne,
surviving with backyard and belljar supplies on water and glimpses of sunlight.
I have arranged the rocks and moss so that animals and reptiles may visit the terrarium.
They enter through the roof and bring supplies, and are watched to stay nights surviving on water and glimpses of sunlight.
I am now a modern macramé hanging tree fern, green and full from the indoor incubation,
creating rainforest conditions in amongst this swampland suburb, surviving in the glass of this city, with water and glimpses of sunlight.