Archive for June, 2008

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History in the Remaking – The Pre-Ban Experience

This has been a bit of a nostalgic journey for me.

About 9 months ago I left Sydney and moved to Adelaide, yet now here I am, tracing paths in the back streets of Newtown on a Sunday afternoon, much like I used to do on a regular basis. Strong emotion stirs from the familiarity of footsteps on these same roads, the same stray cats, the same eccentric individuals perched in coffee shops or begging in a doorway, passing by the old 19th century houses that I have often thought ‘I’d like to live in that’, thinking about a parallel life that maybe is happening in another time and space.

The popular inner Sydney suburbs of Newtown, Camperdown, Erskineville and surrounds are an appropriate place to reflect on history, particularly the era when absinthe was in its heyday.  In these gracefully decaying streets are the lingering ghosts of previous centuries… the ‘Murdering Makins of MacDonaldtown’ who mercilessly did away with at least 13 babies while running a faux-child care operation out of labyrinthine lane ways; the blackened dusty workmen who laboured at the Eveleigh railyards or St Peters Brickworks; the juvenile delinquents of the  ‘Glebe Push’ and ‘Forty Thieves’ street gangs, notorious for their trail of theft and assault…

I spy with my little eye...

I spy with my little eye….

It is fitting, then, that we invoke these phantoms, that we grasp at the sounds and sights of another time, for on this afternoon both Robert and I journey to the house of our good friend Daniel to partake in something almost 100 years old, our own little time-travel experience….

– a sample of pre-ban Pernod Fils Absinthe, circa 1910.

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Posted by Jonathan on Jun 21st 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Events,History,News,Reviews | Comments (0)

Not So Plain Jaine


The Dark Cabaret musical genre continues to grow from strength to strength, and shows itself not to be a passing fad riding on the heels of burlesque, but the genuine discovery of a style and approach to song-writing that balances the historical and contemporary.

One such artist worth investigating as the soundtrack to your next absinthe imbibing is the brooding but sultry Nicki Jaine, who’s commanding voice is seemingly far greater than her diminutive stature.

Mesmerising cover versions of German cabaret songs from the 1940s emerge from within, along with her haunting original material. You would probably be forgiven for picturing in your mind something of a Marlene Deitrich-type with an acoustic guitar. And, in case you needed convincing of her credentials, in this genre through a good back story her musical education arose from individuals such as her grandfather, who reputedly learnt the fiddle from Transylvanian Gypsies.

Any more noir and it would hurt, no?

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Posted by Jonathan on Jun 16th 2008 | Filed in Cabaret,Music,People,Style | Comments (0)

Adventures in History


 Daniel Hatadi – Still life with Pernod Fils 1910 and Sydney Morning Herald 2008 

After a time of quietude and reverential repose, we are back… and do we have news for you.

Reviews a-plenty are in the works, so make sure you check back for our thoughts on Duplais Verte and St George, amongst quite a few others. The St George review is well worth looking out for, as it is the first Australian tasting of this marque which caused a stir in its native US, as much for its significance (the first absinthe distilled in the US post-ban) as for its formulation (which includes Tarragon and Stinging Nettles, amongst other things). We will also be conducting  some reviews of Ordinaire brands like La Fee Parisienne, Doubs, and Pernod.

If either Carfax or I can stand it, we will also be forcing ourselves to do some tastings of some of the typical ‘absinth’ brands you’re likely to encounter, and what, if anything they are even remotely appropriate for (apart from getting a fire started when you’re wood is a bit damp. No shit, it actually works). So, in the name of scientific endeavour, connoisseurship and the edification of the great unwashed, we will voluntarily imbibe foul smelling liquids and comment upon them. With as little obscenity as possible.

Most importantly, we were recently lucky enough to sample a bottle of preban absinthe, Pernod Fils circa 1910, which was simply sublime. Expect an imminent review with many, many pictures, such as the one by the dedicated, debauched and most generous of Libertines Daniel Hatadi featured above.

On top of all this loveliness, we have interviews, history updates and a series of photographic works in the offing, so stay tuned.

Posted by Robert on Jun 13th 2008 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Art,News,Reviews | Comments (0)

You saw me standing alone…

Ok, we have been a little quiet lately – what, with one of us in a study frenzy while the other is still catching up on life’s demands after a trip to the US.

But here, this week, in Enmore, old Sydney town, its new, its blue….

its the Blue Moon Cabaret!

(And apologies to members who received multiple emails from us on this – we had some slight technical difficulties)

Blue Moon

There will be burlesque, magicians, music, and our fine friends at Absinthe Salon will be lubricating the evening with the finest of the green muse.

And all you can eat. All for only $45 a ticket. This Thursday, 7th June.

Buy your tickets on line now at Under The Blue Moon.

Posted by Jonathan on Jun 2nd 2008 | Filed in Burlesque,Cabaret,Events,Fashion,Food,Music,News,Style,Uncategorized | Comments (0)