Wooly Vintage

After yesterdays depressing post, lets talk about something a little bit cheerier: Music I've been digging recently. A bunch of friends recommending stuff to me, my own google-fu and the festival I attended recently have stocked up my ipod with a bunch of cool new rad tunes which need to be shared with the world (It's been a while since I've done one of these post, so there are a lot of artists to get through!) 

Potato Potato: At the start of the year I met a very lovely lady called Merryn Jeann. She's a beautiful singer/guitarist and songwriter (and was also kind enough to put on a house show with Shapes during our EP launch tour). I was recently stalking her artist page on facebook because she uploaded some demo's of her solo stuff, and came across some posts about her old band, potato potato. With their silky, flowing guitar parts and 4 part vocal harmonies, their sound is the musical equivalent of dripping complementary ink colours into water and watching the clouds of pigment swirl.

Eros: Now, after massaging my ears with the lovely sound of Potato Potato, I stalked their facebook page and came across Eros. This is a stunning one off duet release from a couple of peeps who used to be based up in Byron Bay. This folk duo have created a 6 track ep of intricate guitar lines and stunning vocal harmonies. 

The Bean Project: Now this quirky duo actually found me. They contacted shapes earlier in the year for a gig, and after looking up their links I fell for their classic folk songs with whimsical french horn detailing. 

Catriona McKay: Is a scottish harpist and composer who writes beautiful intricate folk songs. The album I've been listening to, Starfish, is kind of like the Goat Rodeo sessions, but with a harp as well. 

Colour: Remember how I went through a little bit of a math rock binge? Well, this is yet another band to add to my growing mathrock audio collection. This band contained tangled hair before they were tangled hair. Their music has everything I used to love about brit pop as a teen, with none of the stuff I hate about brit pop. 

Greshka: I love me some good old weird ass gypsy/klezmer/fusion music, and that's exactly what Greskha deliver. It's really fun, a little silly, and contains the best (and only) dulcimer I've ever heard. What could be better? :D 

Kalidad: Describe themselves as Mexican heavy metal, and whilst I don't necessarily agree that they're "heavy" I can hear the metallic influences in their delicious folk-fusion writing. I'm a bit of a sucker for spanish oriented classical/flamenco guitar lines, and Kalidad certainly offer that and more. 

Quantum Milkshake: There are very few bands which I would describe as "genera defying", but Quantum Milkshake fits the "genera defying" bill. They're a jazz/everything fusion band with shifting time signatures, complex harmonic structures and detailed use of texture mixed with a little bit of genius and a little bit of madness. They also have a flute in their band (everyone knows that bands with flutes are the best types of bands) To top it all off they recently released their first album, which is a bunch of fun!

Space Cabonara: These dudes are best summed up as dreamy psychedelic trip rock. Their music is clever and beautiful, and so very very lush. I can't help but crave pasta every time I look at their name. 

Tinpan Orange: I was lucky enough to see this stunning folk trio at Perisher Peak festival (which I played with the Button Collective a few weeks ago). As much as I dig their recorded sound, this is a band which is best heard live. The atmosphere they make together is like nothing else I've seen, and when their leading lady lets the fiddle loose, goodness, there are no words. Great band yo. 

So that's some of the new stuff I've been listening to recently! Enjoy :D 

Emeralds on Mustard.

I'm going through a tough mental period at the moment which is resulting in a loss of motivation, and most worryingly for me, a loss of motivation to get dressed. It's not that I have nothing to wear (because that's absolutely not how I feel) it's more that I'm struggling with the combination of early mornings that my school bands require, the late nights that my performances and rehearsal require and the bitter cold that is the Australian winter. I basically want to spend 24/7 rugged up in multiple comfy layers of knit and blankets. 

All of those things put together mean that I'm basically throwing on a pair of thick tights, a plain, but nice enough dress and my favourite coat, which there's absolutely nothing wrong with, but it leaves me feeling "not put together" and dowdy. I miss colour, unexpected details and the motivation to have those things, but I don't currently have the energy or control over my exhaustion levels to change my mindset or patterns. 

I'm going to get real for a sec here. The way I'm feeling is not normal. I've been in this place many times before and usually I've had the luxury of time to get help so I can dig myself out of this hole. I've not got that luxury this time around. All of my time (During clinical hours) is taken up with immovable work, and I'm holding it together "well enough" that on good days I can convince myself that there's nothing wrong and I'm being an idiot. 

The day I put this outfit together was one of these aforementioned good days. I had energy the night before, and got up before I had to (which is a rarity these days). I really dig the combination of mustard and emerald (and I have no idea why I haven't combined these colour before!). I'm not really sure where this post was going, but a jumble of words is all I can manage at the moment. 

Diagonal Fan Skirt

I feel like I open pretty much every blog post like this, but whatever. So sorry I've been gone! I've had so many gigs recently, which means I haven't had time to shoot much, or post much (because my gigs are at night after work, which is when I take my photos and do my blog posts) 

I've had these images since the 10th of March (which was 11 days ago D:) It legitimately feels as though I shot these photos like 2 days ago. Whoops. 

I made this skirt two weeks ago in a fit of "I have too much fabric and nothing to wear tomorrow" (both of which is untrue. There is no such thing as "too much fabric" and I definitely have lots of stuff to wear!!) I originally wanted the top fabric to scallop down the length of the pleats, but I didn't have the patience to figure out how to do it. I also think it wouldn't have looked as good (The lace definately finishes it off nicely. If I'd scalloped the diagonal part, I would have finished the skirt hem with scallops, making it infinately harder to style.) 

I used two different cottons. The patterned multi coloured cotton was a gift from my parents 3 years ago. They bought it for me right after I started sewing regularly. I don't remember when I bought the bottom cotton, but it was also several years ago. It doesn't come through in the photos, but it's actually a matte dual tone (it's a brown and greeny blue colour in real life) Because of the fabric type, it's a very subtle dual tone, but very very pretty.

Something exciting happened to me last week as well! One of my favourite bloggers Anna (From Melodic, Thrifty and Chic) did a blog feature on me :D You can read it here

Till next time (xoxo, Gossip Girl) 

Thoughts on Australia Day, white privilege and systemic racism.

Race is a topic I don't really talk about online very often.  As a cis white woman I benefit from white privilege ( I am not the subject of racial discrimination and do not have to deal with racism being directed at me, granting me various race related privileges in society), which is also why I tend keep silent when it comes to discussions about race and racism. I don't want my voice to overpower the voice of someone of colour. I feel in this case I can make an exception, because, culturally, my race is most of the problem surrounding systemic racism in Australia, particularly where Aboriginal people and culture is concerned, and most recently (in the  public eye) on Australia day. 

Disclaimer: I've been thinking about this for a while, and I apologise in advanced if I've caused offence, or spoken in ignorance. As someone with a white heritage and perspective, I cannot possibly fully understand or appreciate the complexity of this issue. That being said, I have tried to be as informed and write as accurately and sensitively as possible. Feel free to let me know if I didn't get it right. 

The 26th of January marks Australia day, which a celebration of how gosh darn great Australia is. For many it's a time to get together with a bunch of mates and have a barbecue laced with flag memorabilia and drowned in litres of beer. But for others it marks the anniversary of an unforgivable act. 

I've seen many people online refer to the 26th, not as Australia day, but as Invasion day or Survival day. It's the anniversary of the First Fleet, and thereby the beginning of the destruction of many Aboriginal cultures, languages, way of life, and people. 

On an unrelated note, i bought a new bag (which is a big little deal because I never buy bags. $7 at Vinnies. Actually really excited) Dress: Thrifted. Belt: Home made, Socks: Ebay, Shoes: Gift. 

On an unrelated note, i bought a new bag (which is a big little deal because I never buy bags. $7 at Vinnies. Actually really excited) Dress: Thrifted. Belt: Home made, Socks: Ebay, Shoes: Gift. 

Basically, for many, Australia day is rubbing salt in a very historically complex, and heart breaking devastating wound. Personally, I've never been particularly patriotic, but this year was the first year I consciously questioned and rejected the celebrations and ideas behind them. Why should we celebrate on a day that symbolises so much loss for those we stole this land from? 

I think part of the reason we as a nation are so insensitive to the greater symbolism and racist undercurrents of Australia day is the historical separation created in formal education, and the huge double standard between white and black history. 

When I think about the way Aboriginal history was taught in primary and highschool I can start to pick apart where my own historical ignorance started. We rarely learn't about individual people, or delved into the minute details from an Aboriginal perspective. It was almost as if the events which transpired, and those hey affected were dehumanised through the amount of time which passed between the event and the subject popping up in the classroom. 

Comparing this to the white/european history we were taught (especially concerning WWII), the double standard is quite evident.  The way this history was presented didn't dehumanise the people it affected, nor did it distance us from the events that transpired. 

I suppose educational ignorance is one place that my white privilege really shines through. I didn't notice, nor at the time really care because I didn't have to. As someone with a mixbagged european immigrant heritage it wasn't "really" my past. But now, knowing what I know, and especially knowing what I know I don't know, this is my past, and my future. I have to accept responsibility for the actions of those in the past, for without their settlement, I wouldn't inhabit Australia, and Aboriginal history would look very very different. I also have to acknowledge my involvement in the future of taking the steps to extinguish modern oppression and the racism ingrained in our culture.  

I hate that this land was stolen from the traditional owners. I hate that my ancestors have caused so much pain and loss, and continue to perpetuate those same attitudes, whilst insisting that everything is ok, and that Aboriginal people should just get over it because it happened hundreds of years ago (hypocrisy much?)

On the other hand, I am so grateful that I've grown up in such a lovely country. I just wish it didn't have to come at such a huge cost. 

I would like to pay my respect to Elders past and present. I would also like to apologise, for the past behaviour of my ancestors, and the present behaviour of my contemporaries.