A New Weird Australia newsletter, dispatched in October 2020.
Calling time on anti-social media
I've despaired many (many) times about social media; particularly about the 'bait and switch' from an original premise/promise of a thriving, engaged community; to a model that fails on so many levels to meaningfully connect us to the people and things that we give a fuck about. It seems like a simple thing to get right, but the most popular platforms are driven by other desires, and in doing so, they screw it up spectacularly.
This is a preamble to say that this newsletter is the most direct way to share what New Weird Australia has been up to, and I'm going to pull focus away from chasing eyeballs on socials to concentrate more on this channel. So you can expect to see a little less on Fa(r)cebook and a little more here. And Tik Tok be damned.
So here's what we've been up to.
Let's Buy Music on Buy Music Club
As much as folks hate social media, they also love sticking the knife into Spotify too - and with good reason, given the pittance that is paid to artists off the back of their labours. Look, I've dabbled there, and I have a couple of New Weird playlists on there right now, but there are far more meaningful ways to connect with music on a deeper level; and some of those ways do help to put some cash money into artists' pockets; to fuel them ever forward.
So you can find a new playlist (of sorts) on Buy Music Club. A simple list of New Weird Australia albums that I've been getting into; with links to listen and buy the full releases on Bandcamp. The list for Spring 2020 is up now with music from Naretha Williams, Shoeb Ahmad, Core Self, Ela Stiles, Wytchings, Bridget Chappel and a bunch more. If people seem into this, I'll keep doing it.
Listen to a new Podcast with Laurence Pike
There's a new podcast out this week where I planned to talk to drummer, percussionist and composer Laurence Pike about his new album 'Prophecy', but we ended up discussing the role of art in an apocalypse; the nature of cultural dynamics; change versus conservatism - and we topped it off with a tangential chat about spiritual jazz.
You can find this episode in all the usual places, including Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud and the New Weird website. Make sure you subscribe if you haven't done so, as I have chats with Penelope Trappes and Jessica At Birth due to land in coming weeks. If you like what you hear, please click a couple of buttons and give it a rating / thumbs up / adoration, as that apparently helps other folks find the podcast when they're otherwise searching for something else. Surprise and delight those folks!
Listen to a Not-Quite-As-New Podcast with Sumn Conduit
The podcast before this one featured a chat with Sumn Conduit - the duo of Indigenous Australian improviser and experimental vocalist Sonya Holowell, and modular synthesist and composer Ben Carey. Together, it's a pretty incredible marriage of style and process; all the more impressive given its entirely improvisational nature. It's another wide discussion - on the ‘oneness and multiplicity’ of their approach; using visual stimuli in improvisation; the meaning and contradictions of ‘experimental music’; and Sonya’s recent long-form article, ‘Decolonising the High Arts’. Another great chat, well worth 40 mins of your time. - on Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud or web.
Fall into your couch with the Solitary Wave Film
Off the back of the recent Solitary Wave compilation, I asked some of the contributors to submit a video for a Launch Film - which can you find on YouTube. 14 tracks all up, some exclusive to the film - an hour or so of new Australian music, direct from the margins.
And … Next.
The next New Weird Australia compilation is underway, slowly but surely; eyeing up a release early next year. And maybe I'll do a radio show in 2021, if there's still a station left that will have me. If you're making music, I want to hear what you're up to - send me some links to your work. I can't always respond quickly, but be assured, I listen to everything that gets sent my way. Some of it inspires a quick spur into action, sometimes it just sits in my head and creeps up on me slowly. It's a fucking process or something.
Thanks for getting to the end.
Love your work. Stay close.
New Weird Australia out and about