Australian politics, society & culture


The Dirty Three on stage at Fowler's Bar in Adelaide, 2010. © Ben Searcy
The Dirty Three’s 'Toward the Low Sun'
By Robert Forster
Allen Toussaint © Gilles Petard/Redferns
Allen Toussaint and New Orleans
By Paul Kelly
Carl Vine, 2011. © Keith Saunders. Image courtesy of Musica Viva.
Meeting composer Carl Vine
By Anna Goldsworthy
Scene from 'The Theft of Sita'. Image courtesy of Melbourne Festival.
An Australian–Indonesian production - ‘The Theft of Sita’, 2000
By Robyn Archer
The members of Ten Part Invention, founded by John Pochée (third from right).
Ten Part Invention - ‘Unidentified Spaces’, 2001
By John Clare
The incendiary Meow Meow, 2011. © Magnus Hastings
Meeting Meow Meow
By Peter Conrad
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Anna Krien
The Doors circa 1966. © Joel Brodksy / Corbis
Tom DiCillo’s 'When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors'
By Robert Forster
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Alan Saunders
Sarah Blasko's 'As Day Follows Night'
By Robert Forster
She’s a restless soul, Sarah Blasko, three albums in her recording career done: one in Los Angeles, one in Auckland, and now her latest from Stockholm. Each has been shaped by its location. From LA came the neat, crafted pop of her debut, The Overture & the Underscore (2004); from Auckland there was the nautically
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Paul Kelly
Robert Forster on Roberta Flack & Leonard Cohen live
By Robert Forster
First there was First Take, one of the best debut albums of all time. It was recorded by Roberta Flack in 1969 for Atlantic Records, produced by Joel Dorn, with a backing trio that included jazz giant Ron Carter on bass. Flack was 32 when she cut it, coming late to a recording career after years as a music and English
By Chloe Hooper
When I first travelled to Palm Island, to attend the inquest into Cameron Doomadgee's death in custody, I was venturing into Astley country. The great Thea Astley (1925-2004) had a love of the fecundity and the rot of tropical life, of small communities where agoraphobia and claustrophobia commingle, and she was one
Jazz pianist Andrea Keller
By Anna Goldsworthy
To get to Melbourne's Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, you have to drive down Little Lonsdale Street and park by the church. It is dark down there, and the laneway across the road is even darker - surely that can't be the one? But the map says it is, so you lock your car and venture gamely into the darkness. There are
How Do Creatures Think?
By Robyn Davidson
As I do. And have always done.I have studied them in the wild, worked with them, shared my homes with them. Though ‘pets' seems too diminished a term to give to those aliens who have, throughout my life, kept me company, amused me, amazed me. Dogs, cats, parrots, ravens ... they have reconnected me with nature when I'
The Saints
By Robert Forster
Pig City isn't a nice name for a town, is it? When Unkle Fats and the Parameters released a single in 1986 called ‘Pig City', the meaning of its title was immediately clear. ‘Pig' meant police and ‘city' was the town where the band lived, which was Brisbane. When the local music journalist Andrew
Joe Boyd’s 'White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s'
By Robert Forster
A friend of mine, younger than I, who works for a hip reissue label out of San Francisco, told me of an encounter with a member of a prominent San Franciscan band of the '60s. My friend, aided perhaps by the fact that he is not a native of the city, enjoys good relations with and access to most of the band members