"ALABAMA 3... sublime madness"
A few years ago in the muddy playground of the Byron Bay Bluesfest, I indulged in the music of many great favourites ... Ben Harper, John Butler Trio, Angelique Kidjo, Toni Childs, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Christine Anu and Xavier Rudd. And then I discovered ALABAMA 3 and found that extra something I'd been looking for.
Alabama 3 is four piece band from Brixton in the UK. Their music has been described as soul, pop, punk rock, delta blues, gospel, country techno and electro. Just imagine a melodic Tom Waits with a funky, punk rock, soul, blues band and then add soul singer, Aurora Dawn, who just blows you away with her powerful voice.
It's Alabama 3's stripped down acoustic style that I love, created by Rock Freebase on guitar and Harpo Strangelove on harmonica, plus the gravely voice of of Larry Love and the pure power of Aurora Dawn. For some strange reason, when they play I imagine Mickey Rourke in the film 'Angel Heart' (a fav of mine)
Last night, I went to LIZOTTE'S in Kincumber to hear them play. Lizotte's is famous for their award winning dining shows. I believe their chef serves some of the very best food on the coast. I had Salt and Pepper squid with herb & paw paw salad & passionfruit mayonnaise, followed by crispy skinned salmon with potato herb croquette & beetroot puree. And for sweets, I couldn't resist the 'Ju Ju's' chocolate, hazelnut & Frangelico self saucing pudding & raspberry sorbet, which was incredible. So after that there was no dancing for me, but I was happy to sit back with a cocktail and enjoy the music in this intimate space.
The ALABAMA 3 CD's sold out at Bluesfest and they didn't have any to sell at Lizotte's, but you can buy them online from their website. You can see them live at Lizotte's Sydney on April 3rd, Bluesfest on 5th & 6th and the University of Sydney on 7th, before they go to Melbourne.
"A visual feast, feel good film, with ongoing 'laugh out loud' moments. I highly recommend it"
I saw this film yesterday with my Mum and one of my best friends, it was my birthday. We went to the Ettalong 'Cinema Paradiso', on the Central Coast. I particularly like the little glass booths for families with babies, a 12 week old was in there enjoying (sleeping through) his first film and we didn't hear a peep. Later we consumed a 'well plated' mushroom stir fry, ice cream and passion fruit, Lindt balls and Swisse Giandor chocolate and a gorgeous Australian Penola Estate, Coonawara 2008 Merlot... perfect. Tonight will be the second half of my celebrations, I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
A fashion stylist can redesign your entire look, starting by sorting through your wardrobe, followed by shopping with or for you and then teaching you how to co-ordinate garments. Most commonly, stylists will work with celebrities or models and sometimes the looks they create set fashion trends for the season. Stylists are often employed to create an image for TV shows, films or editorial fashion. The work consists of consulting, researching, sourcing items, getting to know designers, doing fittings, getting everything to the shoots, pulling the look together, doing returns and keeping records. I hear the job is incredibly satisfying.
I recently asked Stylist BIANCA CHONG a few questions...
NAOMI: You’re making it big in styling, how did you carve a place for yourself in this wild fashion battleground?
BIANCA: I started working in London at Calvin Klein as a Visual Merchandiser and styled some of their fashion shows, look books and show rooms. I then moved to Brussels in Belgium and worked for Levi’s European HQ as a VM – co ordinate for Europe which involved VM and styling marketing campaigns, fashion shows and look books. Now I'm back in Sydney as a freelance fashion/props/interior stylist.
NAOMI: Is there an illusive garment or accessory you’re in search of right now?
BIANCA: I am looking for an amazing kaftan, which I don’t have to iron, looks amazing and I can wear day and night, teamed with a killer pair of heels or boots and belt it low slung, with my big handbag.
NAOMI: Rummaging through a garage sale, what item would you scramble for - shrieking in delight?
BIANCA: Anything sparkly, vintage, original and a rare find. I hate looking like everybody else.
NAOMI: When you put your sequined toolbox down whom, (stylist, designer, model, hobo) would you love to chew the gibberish with, in an all night café?
BIANCA: Johnny Depp Please, he is hot, and amazing actor and I love his eclectic sense of style.
NAOMI: What fashion faux pas should be exterminated?
BIANCA: Bubble skirts, so done in the 80’s, they looked hideous then why bring them back?
NAOMI: What mad new look spikes your passion?
BIANCA: I love my bright block colours which we have seen around this season, I was in Singapore last week and Kate Spade are doing amazing bright pink and orange clutches. I will have one of those thanks.
The images here are a sample of Bianca's styling
BIANCA CHONG can be contacted at HOUSE OF RED
Excited, it's movie time... my absolute favourite thing... or maybe on par with fine dining. And I'm travelling an hour and a half to get there - it's MIRROR MIRROR with Julia Roberts, I'm a big fan. The travel is alright, it allows me time to think, write, read and plot.
I'd rather see films in the cinema than on DVD. I like the event of it - the audience reactions, the choc tops and the chat afterward. I'm just thinking I'll share with you my 3 favourite cinemas in Australia.