Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where are all the filmmakers? Kino #31

I can't really put into words how Kino has changed my life. I was first encouraged to come along by one Kate Taylor, who I'd worked with on one infamous film set in early 2008. It took a few Kino's before I decided to take up the recommendation, the constant talk of it whirring through my new set of, what is now known as Punk Monk, pals. I didn't know what to expect of this "Kino" constantly reiterated as, "no, not Keno, KINO!" It certainly wasn't a bunch of old gamblers sitting in a stinky pub watching numbers come up on a screen and drinking away another loss.

No, Kino doesn't take that risk- a good time is always guaranteed. Kino does have drinks however, and a crowd and a big screen. Held in the cool, underground Fraser Studios, behind the Clare, Kino is a night of open mic film screenings, friendly film makers or at least film-friendly folk who enjoy hanging out in a warm, creative atmosphere where a cover charge gets you whisky or beer all night and crepes assembled on the spot by awesome volunteers like myself. You can bring a film you've made or just come hang out, and though there are rules, most people almost want to break them with the punishment a challenge film to be delivered at the next event.

With film culture and most of what is cool, so underground here in Sydney, groups such as Kino (which operates in cells internationally) are so important in helping people connect to like- minded folk. Kino has given me what are now my best friends and colleagues and motivated me to make my own films and run events. It really is a fabulous vibe! Come along (the next one is next Mon) and see what its all about- it's a Monday well spent indeed!

Photos of Kinos past by Victoria Waghorn and the Kino tribe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DIY Dreams

My 10th blog post at my new site- thanks to everyone that keeps popping in and having a peek!

I've been lo-fi diy dreaming as usual lately- zines, moss terrariums, mixtapes, joker collecting, matchbox gifts have all been on my mind. With fragments of three zine projects littering me and alex's abode, a mounting jar collection under the sink and plastic bags full of misty mountain moss, mix tape lists to be collated and the early phases of a Solitaire Mystery (and Sophia Bella)- inspired joker collection amongst the rubble of put to bed projects; peacock heads, flowery treetops and newspaper glued to the ground, it's no wonder our house resembles a junkyard.

This post isn't about much but I'm super keen to start a zine swap network and also expand on the communal zine making idea launched at ALGAE RHYTHM 0.05: Portals and then at Born in the Doorway and The Lurkers show. I know there are zine enthusiasts in Sydney- let's connect!

Pictured above are some of the latest babes: moss terrariums. Some collected from our moss run at Bouddi, some from the Blue Mountains courtesy of one of our dearest friends Vic. Is anyone else into making these? I want to collaborate! We have a gazillion jars, so lets go moss scavenging together. Yes?

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Kate Taylor (Punk Monk) The Sleeper

(to be) Lurked:

Where an individual feels compelled to act on a political issue within his or her immediate community or global community as result of experiencing another individual(s) act of anti-humourless political activism/performance. Eg. 'I/they have been 'Lurked'.

Some punk monks and a bunch of others crammed into the Red Rattler last night and got lurkED for the launch of The Lurkers new album ‘Shoot to the Moon’ and to send them off to Germany and then to the UN Climate Conference and beyond!

They promised a mighty hoedown suitable for your grandmother, your sister, your lover and any other and a hoedown they certainly delivered on all fronts. Punk Monk featured some shorts from their collection and Kino friend’s selection and got every comfy for the first act Emma Davis. An uplifting and activating support act -though no-one was prompted to jump up and start booty shaking, there was a lulling quality to her vocals that allowed the audience to sit back and be drifted away into a comforting reverie.

The Lurkers took to the stage, double bass, banjo and guitars in hand, voices aready (although Martin forgot his, with his health) smiles upon their faces staring into a crowd of about 200 people who almost couldn’t contain themselves with excitement. These guys have a serious following of very cool, supportive and eclectic fans, friends or to-be’s of each. I haven’t been to many folk/bluegrass shows before but there is a particular presence in the room- an embracing openness and intimacy- I felt like I was hanging out with a huge family (and every generation was counted for from infants’ to grandpappas’).

In sing-a-long style, with interludes of folk jokes (!) and in-band banter, it was hard not to either clap, tap your foot or bop your head (or dance wildly beneath the stage). The Lurkers don’t take themselves too seriously, emphasizing which songs were about Climate Change ("yes, another about Climate Change!", they’d add cheekily) and attaching anecdotes to each song such as discovering that sulphur may be added to the air to counter "the bad stuff in the air" turning the now blue sky white and how that “scared the shit” out of them or how at a festival gig someone suggested, in the prelude to a song about Nick’s grandmothers Alzhiemers that perhaps each time she heard a joke she’d heard before she was just “being polite” and not mentioning it. These personal touches, really helped the audience to connect to the songs and added something special to the gig for people to relate to. They certainly put everything they have into their sets and then some, coming back after an already epic bill to give us more (more, more!)

At the end of the night, the beautiful vibe in the room was presented physically in the branches of leaves, scrawled with well wishes for The Lurkers for their journey to Copenhagen and hopes for the future of our planet written by those present. What better way to set off towards hectic Copenhagen (where a rumoured 30,000 youth climate activists will join Martin, Mithra and Nick) then with this group of Sydneysiders cheering you on all the way?

Look out for The Lurkers in Copenhagen with two giant blow up kangaroos and a lot of heart.

You can follow them here and here.

For more information or to get a copy of the to-be-zine created from the leaves of the wish tree or if you have photos/questions about/love letters regarding the night, we’d love to hear from you- give me a bell:

Photos: Clare and Alex.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hope for Hopetoun?

(Michael Prechtl, Hopetoun Hotel, Sept)

(Sister Jane by Fastlane/ Faster Louder, Hopetoun Hotel, Sept)

In September, Punk Monk was given free reign of the Hopetoun to splash mutating, dripping colour and pattern over bands Wade Jackson, Sister Jane and Hailer. As far as I am aware, this is the first live liquid light show to beam there paying homage to psychedelic forefathers such as The Joshua Light Show (still pumping out light shows 09) with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and other 60s/70s acts like Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead.

Punk Monk revived this with some old school overhead projectors back at ALGAE RHYTHM 0.02: PSYCHOCHEMICAL with the idea that it's important sometimes to feel like your on acid when you're not. Acid opens up your senses to let in more spine tingly textured, sweet tasting colour and light- why shouldn't we feel this sometimes anyway (without always having to take drugs- although don't get me wrong, they have their place)? There is stimulus everywhere, let's get some of it together to create events that allow you to take a nice trip into a beautiful wonderland. We're expanding this idea more and more, and I'm sure you can't escape how excited we were to be given the opportunity to take over The Factory for BORN IN THE DOORWAY last weekend. We're still buzzing and we have to thank venues for letting us get out our often messy supplies (dyes, cooking oil, paints, glue, detergent... ) and transforming their floors into playgrounds. We're relatively new in the game, but we grow up a little more each event we make our experiment- watch this space-----

(Shirley Chen, Born in the Doorway, Oct)

The reason I am lamenting this Hopetoun gig at the moment is in response to the recent closing of The Hopetoun Hotel. Will this gig, epic as it was, be the last I ever see at The Hopetoun? This the place my ears have rung out to my favourite bands, big and not so, where I have first experienced my now favs- this the place I fell in LOVE!? How can it be that one of my relationships can outlast The Hopetoun. Panic ensues...

I have now discovered The Harp in Tempe has been shut, hopefully temporarily and that The Annandale is possibly up for closure. There are many reasons/speculations for reasons ranging from noise complaints, financial difficulties, some kind of fuzzy code violations, management issues, council hassles etc etc etc but in the end what it seems to come down to is: Support.

These venues have supported our Sydney music scene for decades housing all genres and a range of events mainly by independent artists/groups which need as much support as they do. They provide. We need to provide right on back. I'm not sure what action needs to be taken from here. Perhaps we can revive the campaign that fbi so successfully boosted their community station with? Ideas?

Speaking of, the Red Rattler chicks have none less than mortgaged their lives and worked their asses off in between full time jobs elsewhere to open their space in Marrickville. In the spirit of cheaper rent for artists to house events in and a higher accessibility to these spaces, these incredibly cool women deserve a massive pat on the back. With venues threatened with closure, we can only hope others spring up to help fill the massive gap. Punk Monk have been involved at the Red Rattler for Kino Kabaret (#2 David Lynch) events and Canadian Film Festival nights (Know Your Mushrooms) and received so much willing support and friendly vibes from the red rattlers.

(Victoria Waghorn, Know Your Mushrooms, Aug)

We'll be there on Friday night with The Lurkers who are all about anti-humourlessness activism are about to go to Copenhagen to prompt world leaders to "pull their fingers out and stop burning up our future by burning up coal". Should be fun so come Get Lurked.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Art In Your Face Recovery

We've had a couple of days now to recover from being BORN IN THE DOORWAY and now it's time to reflect on what a great time we all had and to sift through all the art we made on the night.

With about 53 zine pages to collate into one beautiful little document of the experience (my gosh there were some talented and creative little bees there that night!) fellow Punk Monk Alex and I will be busy bees ourselves getting them to you all. (Which reminds me- did you forget to put your mailing address down? e-mail me at clare@punk-monk, simple!).

With an overload of photo opportunities, we now wait for our film to develop and upload so we can bring you all a collection of memes to keep that smile on your face alive. Here are some from the very lovely and talented Amelia over at Throw Shapes (may I say a very cool sydney based blog giving spotlight to the underground in independent arts, music and grassroots) with many thanks:

In the meantime, Glamour Cock is being pulled apart and reincarnated in the lead up to The Lurkers gig on Friday at Red Rattler. Come along to see how it pans out and be part of something very special. If you haven't been lurked before, I think it's time to find out what it means..

Got pix, got words, got love?

Get Lurked

Sydney eco- terrorists The Lurkers have more than one agenda set for their Red Rattler show this Friday (23.10). The folk trio who describe their music (and vibe) as 'subversive home-spun bluegrass' are putting on a big old hoe-down to celebrate the wholesome year so far spent, to launch their album 'Shoot to the Moon' and to get them in the spirit for campaigning for the future of our planet at the Copenhagen Climate conference.

Pretty Boy Floyd, Desert Rat Shorty and the Weary Hobo aim to activate others in their community via art, music and awareness. Their songs are satiric and uplifting and they bring an energy so important when trying to drive home a message. Have you seen them busking in Newtown or at Addison Rd markets or travelling far and wide around the country to folk festivals in their big yellow van? They've put in a lot of miles and a lot of passion and they seem to just never stop.

Friday night will be no different. With an eclectic mixture of silly, pretty and poignant films selected by Punk Monk Propaganda to start off the night, we'll be treated to the moving tunes of Emma Davis before The Lurkers hit the stage with some 'old timey music' with a contemporary twist .

Come and send off your good vibes, wishes and grand hopes for the climate change conference in some live sculpture, paper folding and alt-petition activities. Get involved, show your support and enjoy some sweet songs. Maybe you'll experience something you never have before and we're guaranteed some surprises!

Here's a sneak peak of the progress of the magic wishing vessel to house the greatest hopes of Sydney-siders for the decisions which will determine the earth's future.

Come along- it's a mere $10 which will all go towards representing your concerns in Copenhagen. Considering your friends The Lurkers may end up in a cell, perhaps they need all the support and well wishes you can muster! More details here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rebirth Complete

Guests were given the full rebirth treatment last night at Punk Monk Propaganda's BORN IN THE DOORWAY sensory art and music experience. The eclectic combination of diy craft (collective zine making, mixtape writing and throwie making, live painting), soundscape trances, psychedelic moving liquid light bouncing off all walls and melting onto bodies, a giant peacock (GLAMOUR COCK) that eats your rubbish and 4 sets of live music brought to you by Wade Jackson, Driftwood Drones, The Prayer Circle and Hailer, created an atmosphere of excitement, pleasure and refreshment.

Guest became artist as Punk Monk set off to re-write the bounds of the traditional music gig and revive the ethos of Warhol's own Factory- where individuals have a space to test their individual works (of any medium- music, art, installation..) and collaborate whilst partying on in a stimulating environment. We've been playing with this idea for a while: having smaller arts which happen during the night as a response to and with the input of audiences which together create the larger combined work- an interactive, inter-media and inter-sensory (we're making up our own terms now) social event.

Our monthly initiative ALGAE RHYTHM was catalyst to this attitude, where curated nights give anyone willing, a chance to showcase what they're into, what they want others to share with them and visa versa. BORN IN THE DOORWAY was a chance for us to combine live music (whereas we usually stick to film screenings as a focus) and to play in a larger venue with a bigger group of people to get involved or convert to the ways of the Punk Monk.

Success rained as to our surprise, a continuous stream of guests took up the activities and contributed to the collective works. Intimate groups sat in circles making their page to go in the zine and trustingly handing over their places of residence where they'd await the end product (a BORN IN THE DOORWAY super zine!) to be sent snail mail style. Sydney zine scene here we come- yes?!

Snail mail was again revived in the old tradition of mixtape writing with the lovely Tash, adapted to the burnt CD and to be dropped at random into unsuspecting mail boxes. Throwie- making with Michael was met with burning curiosity with small glowing lights ending up in a myriad of places from roofs, to pony tails, to glasses, piercings , glamour cock and anything metallic that could be found. Btw- Who wants to get a massive throwie posse together for a throw off guerrilla style?

Deo live painted scenes from around the shop in gorgeous spontaneous streaks and handed it over to any willing participants; groups huddled and painted together- sunsets, birds, faces in A1 glory were put aside to dry.

Liquid light by Alex and Kate and the VJing efforts of James added something that's been missing at gigs for a long time, not since bands like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Grateful Dead has a live show ever looked so deliciously colourful and felt so psychotropic.

Shell Child's audio soundscape on intimate headphones and being manipulated live for each individual was a multi-sensory adventure in a way not expected and relatively unexplored in an event environment. Whilst giggers rocked out to the bands, groups of two could be at the sound booth in their own cocoon of sound waves which vibrate through the body as you stare trance-like into a vortex.

Photography beautified the walls with Andy Stavert's work a special highlight- photos taken during the week from a bike ride around the area surrounding the Factory in a tribute to the best suburb in the inner west- Marrickville (I'm a little bias here).

All 4 bands put on smashing sets with Diftwood Drones and The Prayer Circle who I hadn't experienced live before, definite stand out acts. Look out for these guys.

A definite highlight of the night preceded headlining band Hailer, as the MC lifted the already sky rocketing mood of the room in a proposal to his now to- be wife. A tingly end to a tingly night.

Born in the Doorway was brought to you by (and with many thanks) Greg Winnifield, Bands Hailer, The Prayer Circle, Driftwood Drones and Wade Jackson, the Punk Monks: Kate, Alex, myself, Ky, Felix, Michael, Kaitlyn, Davey, Michelle, Dermot, Karina (did I forget anyone?) and artists James, Deo, Jay, Andy, Tash and Jo. Thanks to the Factory for having such an awesome contact for the night: Darren- a very patient and cool guy.

P.S Have photos, write-ups, comments of the night- e-mail me at, we'd love to see, know and geet your feedback!

Keep the spirit of the eco-sculpture GLAMOUR COCK alive, ( let's keep creating together.)