Archive for March, 2009

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Absinthe Review – Jade Nouvelle-Orleans

Jade Nouvelle-Orleans Review 30 March 2009

Jade Liquers Absinthe has had a near mythical status over the past 10 years.  Literally meeting the oft-imagined archetype of mad scientists retro-engineering original absinthe with modern technology, the Jade portfolio of absinthe has had a very difficult birth.  Through government stalling, fluctuating business relationships,  frequent beating of the piñata of popular absinthe myth – the drinks affectionately known to many as Breaux’s Brews (after Jade’s founder Ted Breaux, scientist, absintheur and chiselled Val Kilmer look-alike) is subject of a tale I’m sure that will be told by a skillful raconteur still to come.  Unfortunately many of us involved in the proto-revival are not at an arms-length to the Jade story.  Many were recipients of early clandestine versions, some were avid supporters, some hardened critics.

Even fellow editor Mr Maxwell and myself were subjected to hours of consuming an early version of Jade in a steamy Bangkok summer at the infamous ‘Chateau Jade’ where some early distillation development occurred by the proprietor – but I assure you dear reader that we were there for the good company, Thai food and absinthe, not the dominatrixes in cat suits.  (But they certainly helped the atmosphere of decadence).

That brings me to the actual tasting of Nouvelle-Orleans….

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Posted by Jonathan on Mar 30th 2009 | Filed in Absinthe brands,Absinthe Reviews,Culture,Distilleries,News,Reviews | Comments (0)

Fringe Review – Hindu Temple Dancing

Adelaide Fringe Review – Shakti: Classical Hindu Temple Dancing, 21 March 09

Our closing review for the Adelaide Fringe (and what a festival it has been – kudo’s to all the hardworking organisers), touches on many diverse points, and for me sums up something of what the Fringe is about.

Shakti is a bit of an enigma.

Of combined Indian and Japanese heritage, this dancer represents a fierce alchemical polarity, the yub-yum if you will.  Her performance of Classical Hindu Temple Dancing represents one extreme balanced against another perfomance of hers in the Fringe, an adaption of Oscar Wilde’s play on Judean Princess, Salome, (a performance of which I am now kicking myself over for not seeing).  The latter performance, Salome, projects raw sensuality, human, physically manifested in an earthly domain, grounded.

The Hindu Temple Dance however wears a more conservative veil, seemingly more restrained.  However the energies invoked are in fact no different, no less potent and transformative, just channelled differently – the key difference is that these dances were originally were reserved for the Gods themselves.  There are striking parallels to traditions such as Vodou where there is a saying “You are not praying if you are not moving your feet”.

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Posted by Jonathan on Mar 22nd 2009 | Filed in Cabaret,Culture,Events,People,Reviews | Comments (0)

Fringe Review – Die Roten Punkte

Die Roten Punkte – Adelaide Fringe, Bosco Theatre, 17 March 2009

Have you ever wanted to think the worst of the White Stripes in a dirty Perez Hilton sort of way?

Now you can get your chance by indulging in the eurotrash high-jinks of Die Roten Punkte (which actually translates as the Red Dots – geddit?!? – and not a homage to John Lydon as you might badly translate if you only know your German from repeats of Hogan’s Heroes or reading subtitles of Inspector Rex).

This show is ultimately about therapy.  Certainly for our brother and sister act, Otto and Astrid, who through the therapeutic powers of drum and power chord written songs come to grips with family tragedy, alcoholism and suppressed incestory tendencies.  But maybe therapy for myself also, causing one to reflect upon ones younger formative musical years?

Our protagonists explore the fringes of straight edge and old school punk, Nick Cave-ish poetic indulgence, EBM/Eurosynthpop and yea verily, Bavarian beer hall songs.  I have to admit a guilty familiarity to the various musical phases one passes in one’s ‘yoof’, and scarily so I seemed to identify with the show with more irony then should probably be permitted.

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Posted by Jonathan on Mar 18th 2009 | Filed in Cabaret,Culture,Events,Music,People | Comments (0)

Fringe Review – CW Stoneking

Adelaide Fringe Review – CW Stoneking @ The Spiegeltent, 15 March 2009

Society loves a personality that is seemingly bigger than the frame in which it is carried  – individuals with a specifically tailored functional reality that invites a response from peers and public.  They are not necessary fictional, but rather an amplification of select traits of real individuals, and executed such that the character is self-sustaining and independent. They truly have a life of their own.

This is of course nothing new.  Artists and intellectuals have been indulging in literary creations as living breathing expressions of the Self for centuries  – authors such as Giacomo Casanova being an adept at exaggerating his own adventures, and his character being all the richer for it. But how many of them can truly use Casanovas reflective self-epitaph “I have lived”?

The personality under scrutiny tonight is Mr CW Stoneking, the son of noted playwright and poet Billy Marshall Stoneking.  If there are any inherited sins of the father, then it is the ability to tell a tale or two.  His songs are back stories. A musical biography.  Ship wrecks off the coast of West Africa, apprenticeships to Hoodoo root doctors in New Orleans, the life experiences of this Warrnambool warbler are the foundation for his style of Hokum Blues.  While Hokum is an oft used a synonym for fabrication – his voice and style are real, and by extension, CW Stoneking the Bluesman is real.

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Posted by Jonathan on Mar 16th 2009 | Filed in Cabaret,Culture,Events,Music,People | Comments (0)

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