What to do in Melbourne town.

21 09 2011

For anyone headed to Melbourne, here’s a selection of things super-cool-shit that kept me occupied around the city.

Accommodation. I stayed at littlegeorgestreet, in Fitzroy; kind of a post-modern B&B that I organised through AirBnB.

The lovely host, Ramona, worked at an organic bakery around the corner so breakfast was a treat. As was her amazing home with its collection of vintage sports equipment. Such a top find and only $60/night.

Ramona's groovy pad

Galleries and stores. So many to choose from, especially ’round Fitzroy. A few standouts were Lamington Drive in Collingwood with its awesome and awesomely cheap prints. Made me long for a house to hang them in.

panelpop goodness

Also Third Drawer Down for quirky gifts, and PanelPop, which prints photos or art onto recycled stone, framed with recycled timber. Freakin’ rad. We also went and checked out Space Invaders – street art at RMIT until Nov.

Bars n t’ings. First morning in Melbourne I focussed on getting lost among its multitude alleys until I stumbled upon Bar Americano, a tiny cafe serving the finest coffee I’ve  had since Italy.

Later that day we hit The Hardware Societe for lunch and then Thousand Pound Bend for a bunch of Doss Blockos beers. Originally, these beers were brewed at a squat in NY, and they come in a paper bag. Ghetto chic, huh? They also taste superb.

Finally to wind up our bar crawl, Anj took us to New Gold Mountain, an unassuming door in Chinatown requiring a phone call to enter and home to gold-standard cocktails.

Other junk. While visiting with my pal KJ, she decided she needed a vintage bicycle. Luckily, just around the corner in Fitzroy, we found Cameron Threthowan, a man dedicated to matching Melburnians with bikes. And boy, does he love his bikes. After enquiring about one stately cycle and pointing out in no uncertain terms I was not a customer, Cam insisted I take a spin, because “…they’re like dogs – they need a good run now and again.”  What a champ.

Also of note was the launch last week of Characters by Stephen Banham; a typographic journey through Melbourne, blending signwriting and storytelling. And regular readers of this column will know just how I feel about typography. I’m buying a copy.

the surf art of wolfgang bloch

1 08 2011

There’s no question I’ve spent more time looking for waves than riding them.

Apparently, that’s part of the fun.

I’m not so sure, but it is pretty special stumbling onto a good one after driving half the day.

Wolfgang Bloch also knows that moment; when you crest another dusty ridge and first glimpse distant, windswept perfection.

His palette of rocky browns and stormy greys bookend perfect pointbreaks, reeling off unridden in some faraway place.

It’s the sort of art that encourages you to get off the couch and hit the road and that’s very cool.



lyrical typography

30 08 2010

In my little-known capacity as a frustrated typographer and designer, I recently found time to make an attempt at presenting song lyrics as graphics.

This was inspired by the discovery of a website called Music Philosophy, found through the always amazing Lost At E Minor.

It looked like a lot of fun, so I had a go, as I’m forever quoting lyrics, writing them on t-shirts, jotting down neat ones in notebooks and so on.

Much of the enjoyment came with sourcing and screwing around with new fonts. I’m right into typography lately, even if my manipulation of the graphics etc, leaves a bit to be desired.

Must be such a great job though, working as a typographer. Turning words into art. Maybe I’ll combine it with journalism and have entire features appearing as intricate art projects, hundreds of metres long.

My own efforts were clearly inspired by those appearing on the Music Philosophy site, but I chose a few fave artists whose lyrics meant something to me.

It’s only my opinion, but the original site was cheapened slightly through displaying the lyrics of a few questionable musicians (Alanis Morrisette, Des’ree and My Most Hated Band In All The World – Live. Yuk)

There’s more than enough amazing musos out there to avoid promoting the work of chumps.  (Why, why do people like Dave Matthews Band? Why?)

But music is obviously a very personal thing though and Mr Music Philosophy remains far more talented than I’ll ever be. Enjoy.

Hmm, I'm pretty sure Trent Reznor wrote that.

my favourite from the site

Modest Mouse and Bukowski. Bingo! (That's mine)

Architecture in Helksinki. The band name deserves its own.

good old Youth Group. That's mine too.