Am honored to have been asked to write a piece for this year’s Men of Letters event. Bloody nervous though. To The Woman That Changed My Life.
This Sunday in Northcote!
I got the bulk emailout from global campaigners Avaaz at the same time the news came through that Tony Abbott and Environment Minister(?!) Greg Hunt had approved the Queensland Carmichael mine, the biggest hole in the ground anywhere under the equator. I know we’ve gotta have energy and we’ve gotta have jobs, but some are saying all the bustling activity around this hole might well deliver a fatal blow to the already ailing Great Barrier Reef.
These are simple facts. This beautiful colourful sensitive band of rainbow brilliance that we’ve been blessed with is bleaching out to a white skeleton of its former self, struggling under rising ocean temperatures. And now add this mine and its ships and spilled coal dust in the mix.
If you take away the massive tourism industry the reef supports you can’t put a price on it. It’s sad that any debate on climate change has a big dollar sign stamped on it. I despair that you and I are part of a minority who hold trees and mountains and nice clean blue swimming water, and just the feelings all these things give, as OUR currency.
Argh, and this is just one issue we’ve gotta fight for!
So Avaaz are staging a Global march this Sunday, pre-empting the UN Climate Summit that Ban Ki-moon is hosting for world leaders in New York a few days later. In fact they’re predicting 100,000 concerned planet-lovers to turn up for the NY one. The email was asking for people everywhere to sign up and stage their own events. I emailed them straight away to offer my help, for what it’s worth. I thought some friends and I could just play a free show somewhere? But within half hour I got a call from GetUp! who’re organising Australia’s main event here in Melbourne… it’s this weekend. Sunday, 21st September. They’ve asked me to play a few songs at the Treasury Gardens after the march and some guest speakers. I don’t have any environmental call-to-arms kinda songs (I gotta write one!) but I’ll sing some others anyway. So I hope you can get there!
So my brand new album WHERE DID YOU COME FROM? has finally gone to press. Here’s the cover designed by Eric Isaacson, the founder and artistic director of renowned Mississippi Records in Portland OR. This will be my first album release pressed on vinyl and will be available as a limited number, as well as on the embarrassingly antiquated CD format of course.
|The reason it has taken so long is that I’m attempting to write a book about the process and journey, to be released alongside the album. I plan to have them out together in February 2015 on my own label here in Australia Flippin Yeah Industries.Before that I’ll be putting out the first single, with some B-sides, as a 7″ in November this year. I’ll do the usual Xmas shows in December and at the moment we’re booking the album release Australian tour for March next year. We’ll be doing all the usual stops around the country, as well as a few festivals. And then hopefully touring for the rest of the year to wherever wants to hear me! This will include the US where the album will once again be released by Yep Roc Records, and hopefully UK/Europe.
Please stay tuned for updates over the coming months.
This was for sale on the March tour and we have some left over. Note that the album title has changed slightly since then which makes it even more rare!
Designed by Sydney graphic artist Andrew Fairclough, each poster is meticulously hand screen printed, signed and numbered up to 200.
Andrew designed the poster listening to rough mix tracks off the new album. His vision was to evoke the spirit of travel, movement and public transport, hence the horizontal design.
The print also comes with a download code to a free track, a demo version of a new song which will be on the new album called My Love is an Ocean Away.
Buy it HERE.
I’ve just released this album on my label Flippin Yeah and it’s stunning. Everyone I’ve played it to wonders why it’s not more widely available. That’s just the way Shelley and the band wanted it. It’s all covers chosen by herself, her father and Eric Issacson (owner of Mississippi Records), and was recorded and mixed in two days. An exercise in pure analogue, these songs never so much as brushed a computer and there’s an old-world warmth to them. We only pressed 110 copies on vinyl and have scant few left.
Each LP is hand screen-printed and assembled. You can listen to one of the songs originally by Tom Waits HERE.
Buy it HERE.
I’m in Byron Bay this week for the writers festival, attempting to decipher the mysteries of songwriting with Missy Higgins.
All info found on the festival website.
Friday 1 August, 1.45pm – 2.30pm
The Art of Songwriting
Chair: Anneli Knight
My buddy Steph Hughes and I uncharacteristically followed through on a drunken idea we had. And so Slag Fest is born! Come along on a road trip to Broken Hill…