Random Play by Graham Reid


Dog Day's Afternoons

Unfortunately I'm not going to be in Sydney for the Lou Reed/Laurie Anderson conceit which is concert for dogs. The idea is that the "music/performance" is pitched beyond human hearing so only dogs will, like, kinda get it.

This raises a number of issues, not the least -- and I put on my critic hat at this point -- how will we know if it is any good? Will a dog-critic which can type post a review on the internet?

Will it be the most exceptional thing since Wagner first mounted (doggy style analogies may follow, be warned) his Ring Cycle thing, or will it be . . . hmm . . . a dog of a concert?

I won't know, it's a bit later next week and I will be gone by then.

But here I am in Sydney with a wonderful view of the Opera House from my room (more of that in a minute) and tomorrow Lou'N'Laurie -- the happy couple who have curated the Vivid Festival -- will be appearing at a press conference, and later I will be seeing Lou as part of the Metal Machine Trio which will improv around the idea of his terrific Metal Machine Music album.

There will also be noise-core Boris from Japan, Rickie Lee Jones, photos of old New York (old being maybe the 70s?) and something involving Lou and Hal Wilner.

Frankly, and if I sound indifferent that isn't the case, I can't wait.

I have always loved Sydney in the face of Melbourne's artsy side -- because Sydney has art to burn. Today I spentn time at some galleries in Dank Street, tomorrow I'll trawl the MCA, maybe go to Cockatoo Island for the Big Bienniale Art there, see some small galleries . . . and perhaps even check out Mike Nock who is playing.

And more.

But no, this isn't what I call envy writing: I mentioned my room with a view.

I am at the Sydney YHA on Cumberland St (the classsic old Australian Hotel is right next door - and still does big fat pizzas) and my modest but seviceable double room (with ensuite and a view) costs $A159 a night.

Affordable -- and also historic because it is built on acknowledged Aboriginal land and large parts which are open to the guests are archeological sites in progress.

That's very good value on all levels of cultural and fiscal importance.

Tonight a few of us are going to see the illuminations over the Opera House and up Macquarie St, then dinner at Neil Perry's Spice Temple which I have previously poked my nose into and had a cocktail at, but haven't actually tucked in at.

Maybe tomorrow when I report in again it will be envy writing?

Right now though the YHA (here) comes highly recommended for travellers on a budget like me.

It's within a dog whistle of the MCA and the Opera House.

But: I did not abandon Elsewhere. Heaps of new music, interviews and articles have been added since you last looked -- and From the Vaults here delivers everything from bubblegum pop to soul searching, gay-pride hip-hop and . . just stupid stuff too.

Over and out from Sydneyside.

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