Tag Archives: music

Love letters to corporations episode #6

My dearest ticketek,

I am writing today to commend you on your excellent and innovate business model of charging for delivery of etickets, a service which, by my mathematical reckoning, costs you precisely $0.000000000 dollars. I had once believed that your email delivery prices of $4-5 would be the absolute zenith of your entrepreneurial courage. But lo! I was mistaken. Please accept my most humble apologies for doubting the ambitious heights of your brave and fearless profiteering, for I have recently learned that you charged $7.60 for delivery of etickets to Jack White’s recent Sydney performance.

“I’m going to Australia! / A seven dollar ticket fee won’t hold them back…”

This is a profit earning venture of the highest and most laudable courage. I can only imagine that upon hearing this news drug kingpins, such as the Wire’s Avon Barksdale, leaned back in their comfy leather chairs and proclaimed:

“Goddamn dawg, we in the wrong motherf**king business up in here. We shootin’ fools and getting sprayed wit bullets to get that green and those dudes up in ticketek just be kicking back in airconditioning getting mad cash thrown at ’em by charging delivery for ETICKETS? Etickets don’t cost no money to deliver! Don’t those Aussie punters be knowing dat? I wanna deliver a K of blow, I gotta pay my drivers, my security, my dealers, gotta pay the Five-0 ta look the other way, that sh*t costs money yo! I gotta factor that into the cost of my product. You ain’t gotta do that to send a goddamn email! Dem Aussies got ta get a rudimentary understanding of the inherent dangers of allowing a monopolised system to exploit its users, yo.”

Recently, I released my second novel, which retails for $17.95 RRP. I decided that for copies sold via my website I would incorporate the $3 packaging and posting cost into a $19.95 bundle so that it could come in at slightly less than a $20 note, or the cost of ten packs of tim-tams (units of tim tams are how I calculate the vast majority of my financial transactions, much to the chagrin of my accountant.)

  +              OR    x 10                             

I realise now that this is insane. I mean, by way of contrast, for you to send 1 000 tickets would cost you $0 and earn $7 600, whereas to ship 1 000 of my books would cost $3 000 and earn me $ 3000 thus making a profit of zero. Inspired by your daylight robbery entrepreneurial spirit , I have some suggestions for further business innovations:

1 Have you thought of charging your customers for the air that they will be breathing at the event? Clearly some people may be unhappy about this, but of course, they are always welcome to bring their own oxygen tanks!

2 How about charging the punters each time they go to the bathroom OR even better, a per minute fee? This would have the extra benefit of discouraging girls from spending hours in the bathroom discussing theoretical physics (I assume that’s why they spend so goddamn long in there?)

“So anyway, then I was all like, OMFG, if you can’t coalesce with me on Schrodinger’s Cat then we are NEVER going to see eye to eye on the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox!  It’s totes OVER!”

3 Finally, what about charging a small fee to people walking past your venues and overhearing your events? I mean, those parasitical bastards are benefitting from your entertainment events and paying nothing!

Thanks for your time and keep up the great work.

Swarm Regards,

J. M. Donellan

PS I have charged you $7.60 to receive this email. My invoice is attached. Payment is due within 7 days.



R.I.P. Rave

Rave Magazine 2

As a teenage music nerd, my bedroom walls were perennially populated by posters featuring various scowling dudes with guitars looking down on me lying on my bed losing myself in my headphones whilst devouring Rave magazine. Growing up I always thought that being a music writer would be the most inconceivably, unbelievably, incontrovertibly cool job imaginable. Years later, I moved into my first Brisbane sharehouse with two wonderful girls, one of whom was just starting to pick up speed as the lead singer of now superstar act the Grates. Her then boyfriend wrote for another local music mag, and it occurred to me for the first time that music writers were actual people who existed in the real world and breathed and ate and drew on the fridge and used the bathroom when you really, really needed it. 


It wasn't until late last year, when I'd accomplished the infinitely more arduous task of having my first novel published that I got around to signing up with Rave. In the short time since then I've reviewed countless gigs and albums and squeezed in just a handful of interviews. As a writer, it's been a fun challenge to pump out tiny bite sized non-fiction pieces at a high rate of frequency, as opposed to my primary concern of churning out massive 80 – 100k word fictional behemoths every few years (if that.)

RaveMagCover    Rave-Mag

I was devastated when I received news that Rave was shutting down, and not only because of the fact that I will now have to start PAYING for gigs like a total loser. Rave provided valuable exposure for local bands and artists, great opportunities for local writers and photographers and, perhaps most importantly, was an entirely independent operation. Independent media is important; the beauty of working for Rave was that we didn't have to serve anyone's agenda. My editors would occasionally ask me to change a few things here and there, but this was more for content quality than because we were beholden to some corporate giant with vested interests (just look at the whole Rinehart/fairfax debacle at present). Clearly music journalism is nowhere near as important as political journalism, but journalistic integrity is of fundamental importance in terms of filtering what and how information reaching the masses and and we are currently seeing a dangerous erosion of its values which the loss of important independent media sources will only exacerbate. Thank Christ operations like New Matilda and The Conversation are still afloat.

Rave3 Rave4  Rave5 

Here are a few highlights from my time with Rave; bands I would never have otherwise heard of, concerts I might never have gone to, interviews with amazing people I would otherwise have never met. Thanks to all the wonderful writers, editors and photographs and bands that I've worked with. This city is filled to the absolute bursting point with obscenely gifted artists and it's been an absolute blast working with a team dedicated to celebrating this this talent. See you at a gig sometime!

INTERVIEW with Jo Nesbo


Cut chemist

Bright Eyes

2011 Poetry Slam

Ball Park Music


WILLIS EARL BEAL – acousmatic sorcery


BIG DEAL – Lights Out


STEVE SMYTH – self-titled


Exit Stage Zed

If you'd like to listen to my voice as well as read my words (although I'm not sure why you would, I have to listen to my voice all the time and it's pretty damn annoying.) You can check out the new show I'm doing on 4zzz with Darragh and Jodi. Exit Stage Zed runs from 4-6pm every Saturday. We'll be focusing on playing live recordings and music from bands gigging around town each week. 

You can check out our 4zzz page here facebook here and twitter here.

Hit us up on the facebook page if you have any suggestions for live albums to play or if you want to throw us demos and such. Also 4zzz is running a drive to raise money for a new transmitter and you should probably donate between nine and ten million dollars.

SHOOT art party!!

Poster_final shoot

The 4c arts collective is hosting another one of our (in)famous art parties, and you had better be there. I could explain to you why you need to come, but why bother when I can just get two cartoon robots to do it for me?


celebration of new growth, sudden actions and distilled moments. The
latest & greatest 4c art party explores all those strange and
wonderful ideas that have been blooming deep in the delicious depths of
your psyche. A evening filled to the blissful bursting point with music,
visual art, performance and all kinds of other joys, wonders and frivolities.

Best night of your life or your money's whack.

4c arts collective. We put the 'art' in party.





Lyall / Emily Devers / Clinton Cunningham / The Bookery Cook / Andrew
Forsyth / Monica Rohan / Mealie Bardo / Liana Evans / Jason Fitzgerald /
Deborah Parker


Emily Devers / These
Lovely Creatures / Genevieve Butler / Mckenzie Briggs / Sandy Hsu /
Liesel Zink / Guns and Kids – Kimie Mizuno /


Degrees is a campaign initiative of Friends of the Earth Brisbane Co-op
Ltd. The Six Degrees campaign works with communities and groups across
the state to reduce Queensland’s dependence on the coal industry, and to
ensure a just and measured transition to a safe climate future. We are
working towards the creation of an ecologically sustainable and socially
just society through community action.


FUTURE SPECS: putting the “art” in party

Future specs 


YOU: "Oh hey man, how's it going?"    

THEM: "Oh hey there guy! Well, you know, pretty good, Carol's been redecoratising the living room and my little girl got a triple double goldstar trophy sceptre for her report on Miley Cyrus."

YOU: "Um…I'm pretty sure that there's no such thing as a triple double trophy sceptre…"

THEM: "what about you?"

YOU: "I'm going to FUTURE SPECS with all my heart and most of my liver!"

THEM: "Future Specs? I don't know Jimbo Jones, that sounds like lefto hippie commie pinko bullshit propoganda juice. Will there be….arty things?"

YOU: "All the types! Sound types! Look at it with your eyes types! Touchy touch with your fingies types! Watch the people do the things types! Plus there will be super cheap booze."

THEM: "Well Jackie James, that does sounds like all the fun things in the world. I guess I'll go. How when why wherefore?"


20th Feb TwentyTen


26 Church st, 

Fortitude Valley (just near the PCYC)






Citizen loud 



 Lix Anna



Beau Allen, Lix BacskayAnna Cooke & Rozina SulimanRenata Fojtikova, Andrew Forsyth, Hannah Groff, David Heckenber, Monica Rohan, Jose William Vigers  


Daniel Santangeli, Giema Contini, Kieran Law, Gen Ganner, Thomas Quirk & Manda Boyd, Leena Reithmuller, Emma Schofield, Robert Millet's Amazing Time Machine

presented by the 4c arts collective 

FACEBOOK: 4c arts collective

TWITTER: @4carts


0406 083 976

SOUNDS OF SPRING REVIEW (simulcast from 4zzz)

be forgiven for thinking that 2009’s Sounds of Spring was a government
conspiracy to lure all the violent bogans in Brisbane into one concentrated
area for scientific observation. Whilst shirtless, ass-grabbing, beer
can-hurling jerks are an unfortunate certainty at just about any festival,
today it seems like they constitute the vast majority of the crowd, by way of

SOS 09


of many elefant traks artists on the S.O.S. bill. Astronomy Class deliver a
solid, high energy set. Bass lines from here ‘til new year underpin fluid flows
and rapid rhymes. This is a group that obviously loves what they do and they
crowd responds enthusiastically. Although, just quietly, most of the people in
the tent appear so blitzed that you could just place one of those toy monkeys
with a cymbal and a motorised disco ball in front of them and tell them it was
the chemical brothers and they’d be happy.



elefant traks act, this is a duo that not only takes the cake, but remixes it
into a delicious funk and hash laced truffle. This is top level instrumental
hip-hop. Fuzzed up, dubbed out, spliced up beats and scratches all cut up with
the samples that matches. It’s not every day you see a group that can
seamlessly blend dubstep, dancehall, salsa and aussie hip-hop all within the
time it takes to prepare a pack of maggi noodles. Hermitude pull out some crowd
pleasing scratch technique and keytar solos that leave an already ecstatic
crowd nearly catatonic with glee.


of the underground rock scene (I was going to say indie, but that word has been
inconveniently re-appropriated) the Fauves are a solidly entertaining act.
Bouncy basslines form the backdrop to some very catchy melodies and hilariously
self-effacing banter; both in lyrics and between songs. If you want to quit
your job, start dating a girl who works in a comic book/record store and start
a band then this is the perfect soundtrack for your misadventures.

British india  


a band that is well suited a festival crowd, British India tear straight into a
riotous set that has punters singing along at the top of their soon to be
dust-encumbered lungs. The radio singles are the obvious highlights; ‘run the
red light’ in particular is well received. The band don’t waste a lot of time
with banter, but make use of the ol’ live version breakdown/build up and give
the crowd more they want in spades. A mid set power cut only serves to enamour
punters even more when the amps click back on. The band rip through a selection
of old and new material, before departing to thunderous applause.



WA based 5 piece draw their material tonight almost entirely from the excellent
‘Cruel Guards’ record. Making their way through the uplifting JJJ favourite ‘Don’t
fight it,’ the majestic ‘Get us home’ and the sombre but enchanting title track
of their recent album. ‘Ruins’ would have been a set highlight for me, if not
for the couple who instead on furiously macking in front of me. Just a note to
you two lovebirds: singing along to a song where the lead vocal hook is: “I
don’t know what we’ll become / I just know that I’m not the one / Yeah I know
that I’m not the one.” with absolutely no trace of irony whilst staring
sickeningly into each other’s eyes may have been hilarious if it wasn’t so

Little birdy


Perth pop-rockers (what the hell do you call people from Perth? Help me
wikipedia help me!) Little Birdy take the stage next, opening with catchier
than syphilis-on-a-convict-ship single ‘come on, come on.’ A black and white
clad Katy Steele leads the band through a wide selection of material old and
new including ‘Relapse,’ ‘Beautiful to me’ and other helium voice drenched pop
melodies. The songs form a strangely sweet sonic backdrop to the arrival of a
dust storm that makes the sky resemble the set of Apocalypse now.

Butterfly Effect

Butterfly effect deliver everything you’d expect and then some, their set is a
sonic wall loud guitars paired with Clint’s distinctive melodic roar backed by
a solid rhythm section. No strangers to the festival stage, the Brissie quartet
have the crowd in the palms of their sweaty hands. Regardless, all I can think
whenever I see this band’s name is how pissed off they must have been when that
2004 Ashton Kutcher movie came out.

at this point I was forced to depart due to the least rock and roll end to an
evening possible: severe and heinous reaction to tiny dust particles that
caused my brain to feel as though it had been invaded by two morris dancing
elephants. I’ll make up for it by getting into a fight with a bouncer Lady
Sovereign style next weekend, I promise.