Friday, January 29, 2016

"...she asked for my love and I gave her a dangerous mind..."

-The end of the FOMA 2016 visit-

Along the same theme of my being remiss in noting all of the changes in my local area, we went out to the 'Apple Shed'.
When I first moved to Hobart I was on this 'Bulmers' hard cider kick, but I had trouble finding that cider here.  There were the three various Mercury ciders, but they weren't the 'easy' drinking I was used too.  Pubs didn't always stock them, and I was sorted given 'a look' when I asked for them.

On the road to Huonvilled there is an 'Apple Shed', I went one time to see if there was cider and do a bit of exploring.
It was a funny place, with a bit of history about the apple farming in Tasmania- but it was a bit too quirky for me to add it to my list of sights when visitors are here.

Of course that has all changed.
Tasmania seems to have almost as many ciders as they do micro-brews.
One of the popular cider makers, Willie Smith's has taken over (joined with?) The Apple Shed, and now it part quirk, part really lovely place to have lunch.

It was so crowded we picked a far off spot in the back garden to eat.  
I wish I could explain how strange it is to write 'crowded' and and be talking about anywhere in 'huonville'.  I had a special cider that was only available on tap called 'Stromtrooper' - a bled of rare and almost extinct heritage apples.
I was like 1) Star Wars pun 2) Exotic rare almost 'extinct' apple = How can I say No?
It was really good, my companion (the one who didn't have to worry about going on the limit as she was not driving) did a 'flight' to try four of the ciders but went back for one of mine.  She also bought a 'growler' which is not something I knew about...It's a large old-fashioned (read = trendy, hip) jug for taking away cider.  When we go back she'll get $18 dollars off for bringing the jug back. Although now that I am thinking about it, I suppose it is just a running $18 deposit one time deposit if you always want to re-fill it...

Finally here is some history if you are interested: 

Monday, January 25, 2016

" caught yourself a trick down on Sunset & Vine..."

"I am so behind myself...or MOFO adventures continued."

I often refer to myself as a 'tourist in my own town', but as far as Hobart is concerned I have been falling short of that marker.
 Saff has been asking me about going to the site of the Cascades Female Factory for a couple of years now.  Zok and I went about ten years ago and all that was there was a marker and some ruins.  I was putting her off because of what I remembered.
However, this has completely changed. 
We booked in for a mid-morning tour, and coincidentally our night event was a three-piece band 'Bush Gothic' who rearrange traditional 'transport' songs and convict ballads.
Our morning was spent learning about some of the women, why they were transported, how their lives progressed. Followed by the musical version. So to speak.  In case you do not know...Van Diemens is the original (European) name for Tasmania.

The words are taken from the description of one female convict, there were many young teens transported, and many babies born along the way (the whole way, the crews allowed themselves the "convenience" of prisoners on board).
The photo is an arts project done using the descendant of a convict, staged with the items that convict was transported for.  Most people were transported for petty theft.
I could write a lot about transportation to Australia, but there is some much current injustice and cruelty in todays prison systems that I don't feel it is necessary to dig into the past for examples that would evoke emotion.

The performance was held in the Rosny Barn, and the singer knew the story of the convict slash settlers that first built and operated the barn. How about that?
The barn is becoming a favorite, I went there a few times for the market-
Now, they are running (the Clarence council) a series of outdoor movies.

All in all, I thought we planned out a tidily informative and fun day.
Also, I totally would have been transported...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"...make me baby...make me know you really care..." FOMA Jan. 13-14

 My gal-pal for FOMA arrived, and we started out quietly...sneaking gin-tonic-cucumber drinks into the Croquet Club to sip while watching my hero compete. Why is he my hero?  Well, for one thing he drove so I could drink!  We had dinner out in Salamanca and then went to see our first event: 'Syncing Feeling' by Kyle Page and Amber Haines.  I loved it...I wished that the Peacock Theater had more events like this...the setting and the show brought to mind what I miss about LA and Seattle.

 While waiting for our hero to arrive (who needs uber)- we wandered into a new bar, the drinks were all a bit sappy for me or so I thought until swayed by this "artisan" burnt orange bitters, coffee martini.  

After a very hot day, the day ended up changing to moody clouds.

Our second day was our stand by, dinner at The Tasmanian Quartermasters, a trip to Cracked and Spineless books, and watching 'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)'
with live accompaniment by Antonio Sanchez(who composed and performed the score for the movie) - I will always embrace any type of 'event' cinema.  I love seeing films in odd places.  


Saturday, January 2, 2016

"...Do you like the world around you? Are you ready to behave? Outside of society, they're waitin' for me. Outside of society, that's where I want to be..."

I haven't written a rant in a long time.
But here is one.

I have been ruminating on this first day of the 2016 calendar about an article in The New Yorker, ‘Reconsidering the Groupie’-
Why am I so irritated by this article?
My first thought is that I love the New Yorker, so even a small opinion piece missing the mark is distasteful to me.
My second thought is ‘Who is this author? What are her credentials?’ This is my ageism coming into play as I have already decided she must be at least half my age. (I did not use a search engine to try and unravel this mystery, but I did look at other articles she has written, and we do not share the same taste in music…and for me that means I can just stop investigating.)

Now, in 2016 I no longer inhabit the days when ‘Groupie’ was a term I had to deal with on a daily basis. I remember how appropriate I thought it was that Anna Gordy Gaye got a divorce settlement that was the proceeds from her (soon to be) ex-husbands next album.  I used to think that musicians fought with their partners to increase drama and the potential for writing songs. To be involved with any person that lives off their creativity, in a life where the personal and public are tangled is always slanted towards the male.  If you put Laurie Anderson’s name into a search engine all the results will be meshed with Lou Reed- but this doesn’t happen in the same frequency if you search for Lou Reed. This is an exemplifier of the world. 

I have a friend who is excellent at pointing out when people are being lazy about language.  I am also at fault of this sometimes, when the word isn’t in my personal sphere.  I am thinking I should give people some slack, maybe the word just isn’t salient for ‘them’.
Well, at least I am thinking that while I think of how the word ‘Groupie’ because a normal part of our vernacular.  How ‘Groupie’ is in the Chambers Dictionary’ (Australian) and the meaning  as: ‘a fan who follows pop groups or celebrities to all their performances with the hope of having sexual relations with them’  

I think about all the job interviews where I was asked if I “dated guys in bands” or if I planned on “having children”.
I think about that time I was told that I didn’t get the job because their biggest grossing act included a singer of whom I was “his type”. I remember still thanking the person for bringing me (across the country for sobbing out loud) in and giving me the chance to interview.
I remember thinking how ‘killer’ it was that now I was out of the running for a job simply because of sexual potential. 

 I used to use the analogy of nurses dating doctors when defending women in the music industry dating musicians.  The analogy is weak.  I was trying to explain that the industry means long hours, a lack of boundaries, close quarters (when touring). 
There is no time for hobbies, for an ‘outside’ life, so as a young woman in the industry – most people I would meet in my age range were musicians.  Also, many were like myself ‘trying to build a career’.  I always viewed the date offers from successful businessmen (men who worked at record companies, producers, managers) at least ten years older than I- as a move that would discredit me much faster than dating a musician that was my age, and in my economic bracket.
 Of course, now I can see that my having to think out any of these scenarios were all part of the same trap.  That my long hours of committed work could be discredited by whom I dated was reprehensible. 
When thinking of the term ‘groupie’, I always pictured some disgruntled guy making a quip- to discredit some woman being the source of the word ‘groupie’.  This was then spread around like some ‘insider’ word that was then seized upon by a journalist and voilà an insult is born.
This insult is just like any other that is invented to dis-credit and divide women. 
To justify passing them over for jobs, or paying them less money for equal work.  Being a child of the 1960s, I thought I was going to change the system from the inside.  I never feared that the title would be adhered to me, but I was guilty perhaps of adhering the label to other women.  
I was also guilty of thinking that a woman like Janis Joplin was an exception, I did not believe that because she could be a success that other women could also.  In fact, my thinking that was perpetuated by how many times I heard a man in power say “We already have a female artist on our roster”.  There is only room for one.

I was also let down that in this article of ‘reconsideration’ that the women so deemed by Rolling Stone (and perhaps by themselves) as ‘groupies’ were not credited with at the very least by leaving traditional rolls behind (we are talking early to mid-1960s here) to seek out a life of adventure and comparative freedom.  To choose and go after the sexual partner of their choice, not wait to be chosen. 

Then there is was what I see as the hypocrisy that women are allowed to, and in fact are dominate in selling products, often barely clothed and that is fine.
Modeling is a profession and sadly for many an ideal. In fact, Models are almost expected to date musicians, they are not groupies, they are a prize.
But women who are just spending their youth in a counter-culture of their choosing, they are somehow lesser than, being taken advantage of, being ‘groupies’.
In my case apparently a moniker I must avoid at all costs to be ‘taken seriously’.  Taken seriously! Interning for free.  Scouting out music for labels (of course if a musician talked to me after a gig, and gave me insight into what he or she wanted from their career that was a perk just overlooked).
Working for minimum wage or worse in trade for free tickets and bar tab (neither of which I needed, I was ‘in the scene’).
All these were expected steps towards my serious career. 
In the end I can’t see that my trying to hold some male ideal of the moral high ground helped me in any way.  Whichever label is applied, I am a woman, and thus can just be dismissed.
Of course I want to believe that 2016 is better, that the current generation of females are standing on ground that is more level.  However, this article made me think otherwise.