an australian girl living in new york writing about music, fashion and life in general.

Archive for January, 2010

a photographic memory.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/29/2010


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the story so far, including just a few highlights.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/28/2010

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over seven months since the last time my feet were planted firmly on Australian soil. For the last six of those seven months I’ve been a resident of New York City, definitely something I never thought would happen. Spending this time in America was something I always dreamed about but not something I completely expected to happen.

The 22nd June 2009 seems like only yesterday but when I actually take the time to think about it, the 22nd June 2009 may as well be a lifetime ago. So much has occurred in the 218 days that have passed since then. Not only did I experience the longest day of my life, – 22nd June was the never-ending Monday if there ever was one; instead of a summer solstice on December 21st everything was reversed and I got to live the shortest day of the year twice because of being in the Southern Hemisphere for their winter solstice as well.

Apart from living in New York, I’ve been to Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Francisco, San Diego, Mexico, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and Denver; as well as driving through Connecticut and New Jersey. Let’s not forget the curious adventures in Doylestown, PA as well! In the small amount of time I’ve been here I’ve been to more places than some Americans go to in their entire lifetimes! In every state and in every city there were adventures experienced and memories made.

If best laid plans always came to fruition then I would not be living in New York right now. Instead, I would be on the other side of the country in San Francisco. As soon as I arrived there I fell in love with it, it was so familiar yet so different. The majestic Golden Gate Bridge rising out of the mist and glowing orange in the sunlight, the searing heat from the wharf parking lot where Warped Tour was held, the dollhouse-like terraces lining the hilly streets, – there was nothing I could find to dislike about San Francisco, – not even the dirty street punks that lined Haight Street begging for my spare change every time I walked past them.

Fate intervened though and at the end of July I found myself packing my bag in Boston for New York. If I fell in love with San Francisco, I fell in lust with New York City. It captivated me before I even set foot in it. As the train pulled into Penn Station I already recognized names of places I’d only heard of on TV and the movies, – Union Square, 34th Street, Times Square, the list just goes on and on. Summer in the city can be cruel, it was so humid that it was almost impossible to get dry after a shower and you could forget about trying to straighten your hair! The humidity was relieved by afternoon rain and thunder storms that cooled the air for the kind of warm summer nights where you don’t need a jacket and it’s impossible to imagine it ever being colder than 65F.

I could ramble on and on about everything I’ve seen and done here in America but that would could occupy an entire book. Some of my highlights that I can think of off the top of my head are below:

Seeing the Hollywood sign up close and personal; the Hollywood Hills in the early hours of the morning and the surprise appearance of a deer; going to a show at the Viper Room.

I’ve sunbathed in San Diego and swum in the Pacific Ocean; I tried to snorkel but ended up with a nose full of salt water instead. I met more foreigners than Americans in Pacific Beach and realized just how bad the Australian accent sounds thanks to the other backpackers at the Banana Boat Hostel.

I went to Mexico. We drank margaritas for lunch and watched in horror as the Mexican barman went around our group with a whistle, a bottle of tequila and a towel. There was no tequila left by the time he’d gone through everyone. I almost didn’t get back over the border from Mexico, the only reason I’m on the right side of the US-Mexican border today is due to some quick thinking from the group leader from our hostel.

A $90 cab ride from Sacramento to Marysville. Yes, $90. Thank God for backstage passes to Mayhem fest, margaritas the size of my head, 100F temperatures in the shade (and air-con tour buses to match!), new friends, Slayer, boca burgers that got cooked for me and a free ride back to the hotel. Pretty much the best $90 cab ride ever. And this Sacramento experience led to me returning there in December to continue the party times.

Staying in the house that Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy lives in. Seeing raccoons (that may or may not have been infected with rabies) at 2 in the morning. Learning that there’s more to Milwaukee than just beer, beer, beer and more beer.

Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Visiting New York City, Paris and a tropical volcanic island all in one night and never leaving The Strip. VIP clubs with neon blue drinks, fake shots, winning 15 cents on a poker machine, flamingoes wherever I turned, walking through the desert to Wholefoods, $2 margaritas at five in the morning.

Hearing Billy Joel & Elton John serenade the crowd at Wrigley Stadium in Chicago as we rushed past to go see Four Year Strong/Set Your Goals; seeing Aleks & Matt in Chicago for total Soundwave reunions on the other side of the world.

The dodgey $12/night hostel in downtown Brooklyn that marked the start of the New York adventure/obsession. No power on the top floor, leaking air-con, broken showers but that didn’t stop Mayan and I from bonding over Mischa Barton having a breakdown. Crazy French people with champagne and expensive private booths at hole-in-the-wall clubs.

Seeing Blink 182 at Jones Beach; dragging Mayan to Angels & Kings the night after just so I could see Pete, Brendan, Mark and Vinnie all in the same room; overly-friendly and overly-generous bartenders; my friends putting up with me making them go see all of Vinnie’s shows in the Manhattan/Brooklyn area.

Seeing the Empire State, the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty for the first time. Picnicking in Central Park and watching squirrels run in and out of the tree roots, – if I could keep one as a pet I would. I’ve window-shopped Fifth Avenue, – Tiffany & Co., Bendels, Saks, Barneys, as well as hundreds of designer stores up and down the avenue. I visited the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center and spent a few minutes watching the ice-skaters glide around the shadow of the main building.

I’ve paid my respects at Ground Zero and cried in the September 11th Memorial Museum.

I’ve seen Kahlo to Warhole at MOMA; gazed upon the French Impressionists at the Met; stared in wondrous awe at Van Gough and Dali; walked through an Egyptian temple older than Jesus; had a face-off with a Tyrannosaurus Rex skull; and touched a meteor that came from a place in outer space where stars are made.

I know now that a half empty subway carriage isn’t something to be thankful for, – usually the vacant seats surround a person that smells worse than anything you could imagine. I’ve conquered the subway map and know the uptown F train never comes when you need it to and the Brooklyn bound M train always leaves the Myrtle Wykoff station a minute before the connecting J train arrives; chance meetings on the subway with people you haven’t seen in awhile.

I’ve come to call Brooklyn my home; drinking Turkey’s Nest giant-sized margaritas in McCarren Park in the summertime, posing for photos with oversized Christmas trees in the wintertime. The weekend ritual of Turkey’s Nest, Union Pool and Legion; not leaving Legion until the dj’s have played Jay-Z and Alicia Keys ode to New York at least twice; photobooth photos and the Mexican taco truck in the backyard of Union Pool; my fast food saviour and  an all-round yummy meal of vegan pizza at Vinnies. Haunting Buffalo Exchange and Beacons Closet and filling my wardrobe full of wonderful, crazy, beautiful vintage finds. Wandering up and down Bedford Ave on the weekend seeing what the sidewalk vendors have on offer; $2 roadside pretzels becoming a main source of my nutrition, especially when coupled with a can of $1 Dr. Pepper.

Living through my first White Christmas and temperatures that stay in the minus range for days on end; waking up to watch snow fall outside my window; walking through snow drifts up to my knees just to get home; the simultaneous crunch and silence of the snow as it piles up.

Being a tour guide for the seemingly endless parade of Australians visiting; getting to show everyone my favourite places in my adopted city and starting trends with vodka-sours; Tash and I getting our photo on a fifteen story billboard in Times Square.

Most importantly, meeting people that will be friends for life. Without them I know my experience would not be half as amazing as it is.

New York is known as the city that never sleeps. I’ve certainly had my share of sleepless nights here so far and am looking forward to the many more to come in the next six months. There is an indescribable quality to this city that I don’t think I could ever describe to someone who hasn’t spent time here. Every morning as my train goes over the Williamsburg Bridge, crossing over from Brooklyn to Manhattan, I make a point to always look up from whatever book I’m reading to look out over the city skyline. Everyday the sight of the sprawling city and towering buildings makes me want to pinch myself just to make sure it’s all real. Yes, I’m really in New York.

my favourite new york building, the chrysler, as viewed from the empire state building.

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another night at webster hall

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/21/2010

The Revolutions & Resolutions Tour with The Audition/The Dangerous Summer/The Right Coast

01/20/10 Webster Hall NYC

The only band that I had heard of on this line-up was The Audition, but it was a Wednesday night and I was cashed up with Christmas money and the show was only $12 so I really couldn’t say no. There were some local bands on the line-up opening the show but because I had to come from work uptown I missed them and got there just in time to catch the band The Right Coast start playing.

My first thought upon entering the Studio at Webster Hall was one of surprise and along the lines of “Wow, I didn’t realize The Audition were so popular”. The room was almost completely packed, – very different from the last time I was here to see the tour. The crowd was a mix of high school kids (as well as a few parental chaperones!) and young adults. It was a bit disconcerting to witness a stronger crowd singalong to Ke$ha’s song ‘Tik Tok’ than Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Sweetness’ when they played back to back on the PA system in-between bands.

When fellow Pennsylvanian band The Starting Line announced their indefinite hiatus/break-up early in 2008, my heart broke just a bit. After watching The Right Coast I realized I’d found a band to help mend that broken heart TSL left me with. Their songs are catchy and their all-round obvious enthusiasm towards the crowd, each other and their music is something a lot of bands have forgotten about in their pursuit of fame and fortune. The song ‘Madeline’ was one that particularly stuck in my head.

Next up were the band The Dangerous Summer. They weren’t as poppy as TRC but I still really enjoyed their music. It was genuine and heartfelt and they had the crowd singing along in no time. Sticking to TSL theme for the night, if TRC reminded me of early TSL material, then TDS could be compared to a cross between later TSL material (think the album Direction) and Jimmy Eat World.

By the time The Audition took the stage I was tired and contemplating leaving early because I’d already seen them play on quite a few occasions previously. A few songs into their set and I couldn’t leave; even though most of the songs I knew weren’t played until the tail-end of the set the music won me over. The band are about to release a new album in March so they played a few new songs but kept it balanced with old ones. Some memorable songs of the night include: My Temperature’s Rising, Los Angeles, Baby You Ruined This, It’s Gonna Be Hard (When I’m Gone), Approach the Bench and Don’t Be So Hard.

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the acacia strain

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/21/2010

The Acacia Strain played at Santos Party House on Saturday night, here’s the one photo that’s semi-viewable that I was able to take. I didn’t venture any closer to the stage n fear of getting my face moshed on beyond recognition.

The Acacia Strain at Santos Party House

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a late night at 538 johnson street

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/18/2010

The presale tickets for the Hope Conspiracy, Blacklisted and United Nations show at the Cakeshop in the Lower East Side on Friday night sold-out long before the show, and due to the small capacity of the venue, only a lucky few got to purchase tickets on the night. Unfortunately our little group of three were not among those lucky few; luckily though, Blacklisted and opening act Mother of Mercy decided to play a late night show at a loft in Brooklyn.

We ventured out to the Jefferson stop on the L train and after a few wrong turns we made it to the show. I’m not sure what the deal with 538 Johnson Street Ave is, it looks like people live there and also some of the apartments might be studio spaces but the loft that had the show was someone’s actual home. It was a pretty awesome space, two levels, with the entire middle section of the floor on the second level cut away so you can see everything that was going on downstairs.

The band set up so that the pit was directly below the hole in the upper floor, everyone present on the second floor had a perfect birds-eye view of what was going on downstairs without having to worry about getting hit in the face by flailing arms and legs. The hole in the floor also allowed the more brave souls in the crowd to perform a psychotic stage dive from the second floor down into the pit below.

It was a crazy night and full of adventures, some of which I have photographic evidence of below.

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i couldn’t wait for summer and the WARPED TOUR!

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/14/2010

So looking back over my photos of the 2009 Warped Tour made me nostalgic and that, coupled with the fact that the line-up and dates for the 2010 tour have recently been announced, I felt like writing down what I can remember…

The lead-up to attending the Vans Warped Tour has been a long one for me. When I was 16 years old Warped came out to Australia and it was the first big festival that I ever attended. The memories I have of that day are fading but I still look back on it and smile. It was a day at Dee Why beach filled with music and sun.

I loved that day in Dee Why so much that in my high school yearbook under my ‘goals’ section I wrote something along the lines of ‘Go to Warped Tour in California’. Obviously, when I was younger I really set the bar high for the future.

Finally, seven years and hundreds of shows later I had come full circle. June 26th marked the San Francisco leg of the the tour. The realization of a dream; the official beginning of my American adventure.

After a false start or two that morning, with my best friend and partner in crime, Jules, we made it to one of the piers down at the wharves in San Francisco. The show was sold-out but luckily we had guest-list spots lined up through Bad Religion Greg.

The smile on my face probably made me look like a crazy person but at that point in time I really didn’t care. With a line-up that included Alexisonfire, Bayside, A Day To Remember, Bad Religion, NOFX, 3OH!3, Senses Fail and many more who wouldn’t be smiling? The day was going to be one big punk rock ‘n’ roll adventure under the Californian sun in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.

Warped Tour brings together a bunch of bands from all genres that can be loosely classified as ‘punk’ (and a few that really can’t) and puts them on the road for the entire summer. Each day, 30 or 40 bands can play so it can be a bit of an ordeal trying to work out what bands to see and where and when they’re playing, as well as trips to the merch and food tents and the port-a-potties.

I have extremely bad luck when it comes to seeing the band Bayside play. They’ve toured Australia twice, first in support of Funeral For A Friend and second as a part of the 2009 Soundwave Festival. Both times I’ve had tickets to see them and both times I’ve missed their set. Because Warped changes the playing times of the bands every day and there is no way of knowing what band is playing when until you get there, I was pretty sure that my bad luck would continue and I’d already have missed them. Imagine my surprise and happiness when I discovered we hadn’t missed them! Bayside were officially the first band I got to see on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour.

Thanks to the passes we’d gotten we were able to watch all the bands from side of stage and wander around backstage the rest of the day. A Day To Remember were playing the same stage straight after Bayside finished so we had a quick trip to the catering tent for some much-needed water then it was back to side of stage. ADTR had recently released a new album so their half hour set had some new songs but it was nice to hear them throw in crowd favorites like Monument and The Plot to Blow Up the Panhandle.

I was only familiar with one of 3OH!3’s songs but Jules was in total obsession mode so we walked over to the main stage when ADTR had finished their set. Even though it was only early in the afternoon the crowd gathered to watch the Colorado pair play their unique blend of punk/rap/dance beats was pretty large. What almost brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard was the little kid in front of me who looked no older than 12 that sang along to every single word. Hopefully he didn’t understand the meaning behind most of the lyrics (‘Whiskey’s on the rocks while your sister’s on my mouth’ anyone?).

It was a bit funny to watch NOFX take the stage as 3OH!3 finished up, one band represents a new breed of musicians that push the musical boundaries of what most would define as punk, while the other is almost a straight up definition of what you would consider a punk band, albeit a bit older now. Of course NOFX frontman Fat Mike baited the crowd, taking stabs at bands he didn’t think were worthy enough to be on this tour. Standard Fat Mike commentary really. It didn’t stop them from playing a short, fast and fun set, basically a greatest hits collection.

We only caught a few songs of Bad Religion’s set, by that time in the afternoon we were both dying of heat/sun stroke/hunger/thirst. Instead of trying to make it back over to the backstage catering tent we went to find some food down by all the band merch tents. As we sat in the shade of the trash cans eating our food we were serenaded by the sounds of Madina Lake from a nearby stage.

Towards the end of the day the last two bands we were really looking forward to seeing were Senses Fail and I Set My Friends On Fire. Senses Fail are a band I’ve seen countless times but I really love their music. I wasn’t too keen on the fact that the singer Buddy decided their set was the right time to let everyone watching know his distaste for a lot of the other bands on the tour. Sorry, but there’s only room for one Fat Mike on this tour. Apart from his tirades between songs it was a good set though.

Last band of the day was I Set My Friends On Fire. I wasn’t quite sure they’d be able to pull off their sound live but they did a pretty good job of it. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact they didn’t play their cover of the Soldier Boy song they’re so well-known for. In the end it didn’t really matter though, I was still glad I got to see them.

As well as a day filled with music here are a few other things I can remember; within a few minutes of walking into the venue some young teenagers approached us and asked if we were famous; there was an English band we met in the catering tent that were complete babes (if only they had American accents!); the female security guards were psychos, and not in a good way; in every direction we turned there were so many amazing dudes that it was hard to breathe.

There you have it, good-bye to the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. See you again in 2010!

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if life was a movie and death was the ending…

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/14/2010

Maybe the cold weather brings out the morbid side of me, or maybe I was in a melancholy mood, but today for some reason I started thinking about songs that would be good to play at funerals. Then that train of thought brought out the narcissist in me and I began thinking about the songs that would play  if my life were a movie. In particular, what songs would play at the funeral/the ending/as the credits were rolling.

A quick search on google reinforced what I already thought would be true – people play really bad music at funerals. According to Creative Funeral Ideas the most popular songs played at funerals in North America right now consist of:

  1. Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On
  2. Robbie Williams – Angels
  3. Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings
  4. Elton John – Candle in the Wind
  5. The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
  6. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  7. Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Good-bye

These songs would be fine if it was a funeral for someone born circa 1970 or before, or even for someone that is a fan of those late night radio shows where a presenter with a super husky voice takes love song dedications but for your average teenager or 20-something hipster, Celine Dion belting out a ballad ode to a sinking ship is just not going to cut it. And for the soundtrack of my life, I definitely don’t want a 90’s power ballad closing the show.

So what follows is my carefully thought out list of songs that would be good to play at a the aforementioned ending, definitely no Celine Dion or Bette Midler allowed.

Imogen HeapSpeeding Cars: I’m pretty sure the first time I heard this song was when it was used in the television show ‘The OC’. It may have even been used for Marissa’s death scene, don’t quote me on that one though. The slow piano chords and the brooding lyrics are enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes. It also references angels and love, and the chorus repeatedly says “bye bye baby….none of us were angels and you know I love you yet”.

Brand NewPlay Crack the Sky: Jesse Lacey’s voice in this song is so raw and emotion-filled that I think from the first time I heard it I knew it would be the perfect funeral song. It always reminds me of that movie ‘The Perfect Storm’ that had George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in it where they were fishermen and died when their boat got capsized by a huge wave but I think that’s probably because Lacey uses a boat metaphor the entire song. The lyric “I wish for one more day to give my love and repay debts” reminds us that life can come to an end very suddenly and unexpectedly.

Jeff BuckleyHallelujah: I was actually pretty surprised the results I googled didn’t bring up some version of Halelujah. I thought that the K. D. Lang version would be up there with the Dions and the Midlers, but it wasn’t. I think this song is the closest I would go to cliched because it’s a beautiful song and a classic, so why not include it in this list?

LCD SoundsystemSomeone Great: The first couple of times I heard this song the lyrics really stuck with me, I thought they sounded sad but I liked the way it was juxtaposed with the seemingly happy dance beat. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that it came on the radio and the DJ mentioned that the singer actually wrote it about someone they knew that died.

Rise AgainstSwing Life Away: I can actually picture Tim McIlrath sitting on his porch with an acoustic guitar singing this song. Its a jaded stripped-back song that has lyrics that ring true to any person that has grown-up a music-lover.

Jimmy Eat WorldHear You Me: This song reminds me of forgotten promises and words left unsaid. The soft guitars and distorted piano keys build on each other to a musical climax with sweet melodies that guarantee not a dry eye in the house.

Honorable Mentions:

Straylight Run – Existentialism On Prom Night

Bloc Party – SRXT

Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark

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my upcoming calendar.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/07/2010

shows to get excited about in the next month or so:

10th JanuaryTrophy Scars, Pianos Became the Teeth, The Saddest Landscape & Descender at the Yippie Cafe

15th January – The Hope Conspiracy, Blacklisted, United Nations & Mother of Mercy at the Cakeshop

16th January – The Acacia Strain, Disembodied & Torchbearer at Santos Party House

20th January – The Audition, The Dangerous Summer, Sparks the Rescue & The Right Coast

23rd January – Magrudergrind, Defeatist, Black Kites & Ramps at the Cakeshop

30th January – Between the Buried and Me at the Filmore

3rd February – MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK!!! at the Filmore

4th February – Anti-Flag, Cancer Bats & Aiden at the Highline Ballroom OR Cold Cave at the Mercury Lounge

12th February – Four Year Strong, Strike Anywhere, Title Fight & This Time Next Year at the Gramercy Theatre

18th February – New Found Glory, Saves the Day, Fireworks & Hellogoodbye at Irving Plaza

pretty siked for this one.

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a picture tells a thousand words

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/06/2010

2010 needs to be full of more memories like these.

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the time has come to start from scratch again.

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/04/2010

New year.

New resolutions.

I can’t remember what my resolution was this time last year, probably just something along the lines of ‘Make sure you have as much fun as possible’. Maybe there was even a ‘Lose 1 or 2 kilos’ in there somewhere.

Just to be clear on what I hope to achieve this year I’m going to make sure I remember it by writing it all down.

I haven’t really thought these out fully yet but this is what pops into my head when I think about the next 360-something days ahead. The fact that I’m already 4 days late in writing a resolution doesn’t necessarily mean anything either.


  1. Make the most of my time in New York City and America. Savour every day, every experience, every person I meet, every sight I see. This is an opportunity so many people would do anything for and I really shouldn’t take it for granted or waste it.
  2. Try to write or at least take photographs every day. Just do something creative every day so that I can have something to show for my time here.
  3. Sleep more.
  4. Have even more fun, but that doesn’t necessarily mean party more.
  5. Drink more (water).
  6. Buy more shoes!
  7. Get an internship, even if it is only a few hours a week.
  8. Go to the top of the Empire State Building – in the day time and the night time.
  9. Go to Washington DC.
  10. Go to Georgia.
  11. Get a ‘real’ job once I get back to Australia.
  12. Pay off at least half of my debts.
  13. Start planning my next trip.
  14. Move to Melbourne or at least set plans in motion to move to Melbourne by the end of the year.

I think most of these are achievable, especially since I can start doing the first 6 almost straight away. The seventh could take a little longer but I’ll start applying straight away. Washington, Georgia and the Empire State Building can all happen within the next few months whenever I have the time/am feeling the tourist urge. The last three can be held off until I get back to Australia in the second half of the year.

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR. no going back, let’s just look forward.

my soundtrack for cold windy January days is Owl City.

please don't let this be the story of my life. (again).

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