Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I've written about this academically but it came up again on the weekend at Unconvention where I shared a panel with Andrew Stafford, author of Pig City.

My critical stance is this: I love the book but I don't like some of the uses it's been put to; none of which are Stafford's fault, mind you.

My problem?

To me, the historical lineage of Brisbane music is very, very clear. The Saints put out an independent record and played in houses when they couldn't find venues. Thirty years later Brisbane bands put out their own records and play in houses/warehouses when they can't find venues. Why? Because the city can still be violent and culturally parochial (something Stafford himself has taken to pointing out lately).

So with all that in mind...

I argue that you can't acknowledge the story of Brisbane's professional development in the music sector without also acknowledging that other group of musicians - the majority of musicians - for whom the actual week-to-week practice of music has gone largely unchanged. The ingenuity of the city, its humour, its good-natured wretchedness and slothfulness, the way it sweats and throws up and sings out of tune, off mic, all that has to be there alongside the story of The Veronicas or the story of our city isn't history, it's a press release.

Both stories are true. They speak directly to the other.

We need to celebrate both.

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