Tag Archives: the grates

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. 

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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.)

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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.

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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

GIGS 

Cut chemist

Bright Eyes

2011 Poetry Slam

Ball Park Music

ALBUMS

WILLIS EARL BEAL – acousmatic sorcery

 

BIG DEAL – Lights Out

 

STEVE SMYTH – self-titled

 

VAMPIRES, ROCKSTARS, TWITTER AND MY BOOK (WHICH MENTIONS NONE OF THESE).

My
debut novel, A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India, was released in America last
week. Although it won't see release here in Australia until next month, I was
obviously fairly excited to be a thrilling 683,960
th on amazon.com's sales
ranking. This means that there are exactly 683 959 books that are better
promoted, better written or just better in general than mine. Titles currently outselling my book include: the brilliantly titled The Clique #8: Sealed with a Diss: A Clique Novel (Clique Series),

Diss           Palin
         

and Sarah: How a Hockey mum turned the Political Establishment upside down. Interesting side note, the original title for this book was Sarah Palin: the hockey mum who can 'practically see Russia from her house.'

Since my book has been released it's received the glowing personal recommendations  of old housemates the grates and randomly shown up at the top of a list of travel books in Japan.

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Amazon.com
describes it as 'Part comedy, part tragedy, part henna-drawn thriller
peppered with romance and intrigue…a spiritual journey across the continents
of the soul.
' but there aren't any
vampires, wizards, references to twitter or religious cults being investigated
by dashing  yet  surprisingly inept cryptologists so I'm obviously out of touch with what the
(mainstream) public wants.

Case
in point: my original blurb for the book. My publisher rejected this on the
grounds that 'It's not nice to insult your audience on the back cover.' Why
not? Plenty of my readers will insult me I'm sure! I felt it deserved seeing
the light of day, if only on the internet, enjoy:

So, you’ve picked up this book from the shelf of a
bookstore or library or friend’s place and you are thinking to yourself: ‘perhaps
this particular novel shall distract me from the dull drudgery of my life?
Perhaps it contains the elements which I find desirous within a piece of
literary fiction?’

As it so happens, this novel contains five of the
following ten subjects, you are free to select which of these you hope it
contains and then peruse its contents to see if you are correct. For those of
you who elect to continue, welcome aboard. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.
To those who are about to return this book to the shelf or hurl it away in
disgust, perhaps you’d be better off with a Jackie Collins novel? You obviously
have terrible taste.

 A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India may contain
traces of:

1 Black humour

2 Philosophical discourse

3 Excessive references to Ricky Ponting

4 Travel

5 The threat of international terrorism!

6 Revenge

7 Car chases

8 Explosions!!!!

9 Politics

10 Love conquering against all odds (followed by
making out in the parking lot)

 In addition to being a source of literary
entertainment, A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in India may also be employed as a
highly effective paperweight, moderately effective source of kindling or rather
ineffective weapon in hand to hand combat.

If
you want to buy the book to use for any of the above purposes you can get it
from here:
amazon.com and preview it online here: google books

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If
you prefer the anachronistically tangible experience of using your legs to
enter a store and talking to a human to make your purchases then you can order
it at any bookstore in Americaville or Canadatown. If
you like the book and want to write a glowing review I would be eternally
grateful. If you hate it please send all scathing literary criticism to my
personal email address: dan.brown@doubledaybooks.com