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When Cool Became a Household Name: Heathers

It’s been done before and it will be done again, but just like so many things, it will never be done as good as the first time. Alicia Silverstone tried it in Clueless, Lindsay Lohan worked it in Mean Girls and Kirsten Dunst definitely had the cool factor going on in Bring it On, but none of them will ever inspire girl crushes to the magnitude that Winona did in 1989’s Heathers – pre-kooky-department-store-thievery of course.

The Perfect Composition

photo: Margaret Sevenjhazi

Luna Park

photos: Lisa Zhu

Multiple Taste Sensations: Time to Vino

Darlinghurst’s Time To Vino popped up on the Sydney bar scene when it needed it most, and we still can’t get enough of it. It could be that the atmosphere that keeps us coming back for more. Or maybe it’s the wine. Or the service. Or the food. Stop it, you’re confusing me.

Bringing Controversy to Convention: Ben Frost

The entrance of the building leading up to Worlds End studio, the artspace where Ben Frost lives and creates, is the perfect setting for a horror movie. The multiple coats of paint that cover the walls in varying shapes and tags create a labyrinth of statements that compete for your attention, and in turn create a labyrinth of space – every direction seems to run into the starting point. Like Ben’s work, it is a rejection of the very notion of standard living, and you can almost feel it retaliating against convention. Indeed, Worlds End is a place where white walls can experience the sweet taste of creative afterlife.

It may sound a bit surprising, then, that an artist such as Ben Frost is now being represented by a space defined by its white walls. The Redfern-based Boutwell Draper Gallery has recently picked him up, and much to Sydney’s benefit, will be showcasing a solo show of his tonight. What this apparent acquisition means for the art world at large is a step in a refreshingly different direction, one where the terms ‘lowbrow’ and ‘highbrow’ might finally cease to exist and break the divide which they themselves define. Still, for an artist like Ben, I couldn’t help but wonder what his thoughts were on such a conventional venture?

“I have always had a chip on my soldier about being represented by a commercial gallery – these kind of spaces have looked down on my kind of art for so many years,” he says.
“Essentially, a gallery is a space to show my work. We haven’t defined our relationship yet, so we’ll see what happens… but I know I can’t do artist-run shows forever.”

They're Flying High: Lost Valentinos

Sydney band Lost Valentinos have been getting plenty of airplay in both Australia and the UK. They released their debut LP Cities of Gold last month, and we sat down with the bands lead singer, Nik Yiannikas, to talk about it.

Throw a Party, Make A Friend: Social Inclusion Week

The fast life is seductively appealing, no question, but as its vortex continues to suck us in, it becomes ultimately clear that we know more about our favourite technological gadgets than we do about each other. Tea parties have been replaced by Facebook Chat, there are an astonishing number of people on Twitter on a Friday night and we no longer have to borrow sugar from our neighbour when we can simply order it online. Indeed, these are the days when nobody knows our name, and they couldn’t really care less whether we came – unless of course we get so drunk that we throw up all over their shoes. Then they might notice.

Classics Never Die: Wuthering Heights

Wolfmother has just released a cover of Kate Bush’s song Wuthering Heights, which is in turn a lyrical & musical retelling of a 19th century book by the same name. You may have heard of it.

That right there? That was a joke. Of course you’ve heard of it –it’s one of the most beloved books of all time. Whenever newspapers are making best-read lists, it’s there. Whenever 15 year-old girls are scouring bookcases for something new to read, it’s there. Whenever literary types are being interviewed about old favourites, it’s there.
Wuthering Heights continues to be bought, which is interesting because it doesn’t get taught at school. I suspect this has something to do with the incest, murder, rage and jealousy prevalent within the novel; topics that teachers are, unsurprisingly, somewhat loathe to touch upon (except if they are hidden in the linguistic gymnastics of Shakespeare of course).

City Jumpsuit

photo: Margaret Sevenjhazi

Sculpture By the Sea

photos: Lisa Zhu

Heaven Topped With Gruyere Cream: Universal Restaurant

Christine Mansfield’s Darlinghurst establishment, Universal Restaurant, delivers food at a fine-dining standard with a relaxed atmosphere that lets you enjoy the matched wines and fresh, fun cocktails probably a little more than you should.

In an interesting approach, Universal’s menu is a “build-your-own” degustation. Each dish is entrée sized so you can order and try a few different things, tapas-style. As someone who hates committing to just one meal, this suits me just fine- it provides a bit more freedom to experiment. I may not want to entirely commit to a main meal of sweetbreads (ah, yep, that’s offal folks) but I’ll certainly have a crack at in as just one dish in an entire meal. I’m brave but I’m not that brave!

Traveling Between Creative Landscapes: Tabitha Emma

Tabitha Emma

Teacups, old typewriters and watercolour-painted mushrooms are just a few of the elements which evoke the sense of sentimental value prevalent within newcomer Tabitha Emma’s artwork. Portraying the kitsch with a powering sense of nostalgia, her illustrations are the things that reflective daydreams are made of.

Accessible Fantasy: Rebecca Murphy

Some girls like ballet and embroidery and having their shoes tinted to match a handbag. Sydney artist Rebecca Murphy is not one of them. A passionate proponent of the lowbrow scene, Murphy’s paintings are visceral and unabashedly bold. Creeping it’s way out of LA and San Francisco in the 70s, the lowbrow world is one of tattoo art, cartoons and a bit of punk. Murphy doesn’t dismiss her girliness altogether, she just sends it over to the naughty side of the tracks for a visit from time to time. The result is art with a sense of humour and a bit of spunk.

Inaccessible and incomprehensible are words that have been used now and then when discussing installation, performance or fine art. Lowbrow aims for the opposite experience. Murphy feels that “art is about communication and expressing yourself. But if the audience doesn’t get it then, as an artist, you’ve missed the point.”

Everyone’s Invited: Once Upon Exhibition

Once upon a time, an artist had an exhibition. She worked very hard on it, so by the time the date drew near, boy, was she excited. And a little bit nervous. What if nobody showed up? And then the date came.
Nobody showed up.

Follow the Leader (Cheetah)

Despite what some may think, and what some radio stations would like listeners to believe, the local music scene is not simply made up of contrived Aussie hip hop - alongside poor rhymes and poorer beats, there’s actually one or two bands that can not only play instruments, but play them well.
Bringing forth a blend of 70’s inspired folk/ pop/rock, Adelaide band Leader Cheetah spent much of 2009 living the dream of backseat drivers and roadside diners, as they travel the county in support of their debut album, Sunspot Letters.
Set to steal a few more hearts at The Annandale later this week, lead singer Dan Crannitch tells us what’s going down for these rad newbies on the scene.

Disbelief in the First-Person: Sydney Jewish Museum

“I am here as a result of a series of miracles. I am here to tell the tale. This is why we speak.”

And so begins my tour of the Sydney Jewish Museum. Along with a group of high school students, I am listening to Holocaust survivor David Benedikt tell a horror story that only those who have experienced the most prolific tale of Innocence Lost can relay. It is an understanding that people are fortuitously unable to fathom unless they have gone through it themselves, which is why hearing it come from the mouth of someone who has tends to arouse feelings of shock, disgust and disbelief – both in the human capability of evil and the ability of those who endured it to retain their faith in humanity.

A Christmas Carol. (The Adult Version.)

The newest film adaption of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol stars Jim Carrey in pretty much every role. It’s an interesting interpretation that sticks closely to Dicken’s original dialogue and moralistic tone, and delivers serious creepiness and darkness along the way. It’s way too dark for children, which reflects the ghoulishness that director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Cast Away) enjoyed with his previous film, Beowolf.

TAFE Fashion Awards

Adeeba, 17
I had been keeping an eye on this girl since I saw her because I really liked her dress. When I finally approached her to ask if I could take a photo she was about to approach me and ask the same thing. When I said it was for a style blog she said, ‘ME TOO!’. A great start to a fantastic night!

Amelia, 19
The amazing shoes hypnotized me. I took this photo straight after 17 year old Adeeba approached Amelia.

Tom & Samm
Such well dressed men! This is why I wish I was a man sometimes. I wanted to take a photo the whole night and I finally approached them at the end of the fashion parade.

words & photos: Margaret Sevenjhazi

Twilight over Rose Bay Golf Course

photo: Bobby Reynolds

Yep, we CAN have the best of both worlds: MART Gallery

There is a definite re-awakening every time fresh creative energy begins sprouting on the streets of Sydney, and in the case of MART gallery, it’s like a new recipe for chocolate cake topped with two equally delicious types of frosting. Combining music and art, MART gallery pays homage to the creators some of Australia’s best musical images, be it the posters, the video clips, the album artwork or the websites, all of which become as iconic to the music as the sound itself. After all, art is music’s ultimate muse, and this is exactly why industry veteran Mel Nahas decided that Sydney was aching for such a space on its art scene.

We’ll Keep This One, Thanks: Marina Didovich

Sydney has a lot to be excited about when our neighbour’s fashion finest step off the boat and into our garment bags. Indeed, the Australian fashion industry would not be what it is without the New Zealand fashion industry – we are intricately intertwined to the very last stitch, and the style set over the water have produced some of this side of the world’s most memorable moments in design. So when stylist extraordinaire Marina Didovich arrived in Sydney last year, it wasn’t long before she was snatched by the best and thrown styling gigs at all beautifully constructed angles.
Introduced to fashion through the delicious pages of the most prolific overseas titles, Marina’s taste for style was poisoned by the elite from the very start – and thank god for it.

Love In The Time of Reverb: The Laurels

They may not be as well known as their current touring partners Tame Impala, but lovers of psychedelic pop and shoegaze will likely be well versed in the sounds of local Sydney band, The Laurels.

After winning the Sydney University Band Competition in 2007, The Laurels have spent the past few years making their mark on the touring scene, pulling new fans and high-fives from critics across this country. And all without so much as an EP on the table.

(with) relish this dream

I am getting lost
in your understory
this beautiful drag
of an orang-utan dream

The Spiralling Road to an Imminent Finale: The Death of Bunny Munroe

Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro begins with a tragic event that sends the character into an ever-descending spiral of chaos and crazy fuelled by relentless sex and a fountain of cocaine. This is no Fear and Loathing riot of colour – it’s a quieter journey with wry humour and genuine warmth. Bunny is a complete and utter fool, but somehow he is a loveable fool just struggling to come to terms with life and adulthood. The novel tells the story of the last few weeks of his ridiculous life. Never fear, I’m not giving anything away, but it is called The DEATH of Bunny Munro, after all.

King Street Style

Perfect colour matching for a gloomy day in Newtown..

Steve, 30, artist.

shirt: op-shop.
jeans: American Apparel.
shoes: Camper.

photo: Margaret Sevenjhazi

Spring by the Harbour Bridge

photo: Lisa Zhu

Where All the Geeks Went Out to Play: Comic Kingdom

Know who `the man without fear’ is? Have a favourite X-Men character? Appreciate Harley Quinn more than Poison Ivy or Cat Woman? Want to slap someone in the face when you hear them ask who Frank Miller is? If you answered yes to any of the above then you, like myself, are a comic book geek. And by some sign of faith from the comic book gods above, we’re considered relatively cool at the moment thanks to the success of the Batman, Spiderman, Ironman, Hell Boy, Fantastic Four, X-Men and other film franchises.

The Ultimate Time-Traveller: Cybele Malinowski

For Cybele Malinowski, photography is more than what she does for a living. She is an artist who lives and breathes the images that surround her, and her many handy little (and not so little) cameras are just the means to commemorate them. Indeed, with her behind the lens, magical moments are seemingly endless.

When you meet Cybele you can almost see the perfect composition glowing in her eyes. Photography is her passion, her livelihood and her art, one which she is a freak at creating. Her portfolio spans through the music world, into the fashion one and beyond. When she’s not shooting Lady Gaga belting it out at a live show or telling models where to place their hands, she’s taking out her camera to capture, well, life, really. Within each and every photo, Cybele reaches beyond the two-dimensional end-result and manages to bring life to moments that have long ago passed. She has the ability to capture the essence of a live performance as if she is evoking the music to play for her and her alone, she is one of the fairytale-creators of fashion’s façade of glamour, and her portraiture somehow always grasps the personality behind the physical. Her talent is unquestionable, so it’s almost bizarre to comprehend that her parents didn’t give her a telephoto lens along with her baby food.

That One Time When A Trip to the Music Shop Became an Event: The Black Ryder

It’s not often that we’ll post an album launch in our scene section, but this one is so good that a trip to purchase it should be penned in your diary alongside dinner and buying toilet paper. Hauntingly melodic, The Black Ryder have achieved the kind of sound that takes artists years to perfect. Sydney can be proud to lay claim to the Surry Hills locals Aimée Nash and Scott Von Ryper, who started their journey together with a school crush gone bad…

Not Your Average Schoolkid: Tom Ugly

There are the normal kids in high school who are content simply dreaming about what they’re going to be ‘when they grow up’, but then of course there are those who, despite their tender years, are already running fast down the career path. Irritating, maybe, but admirable? Indeed.

As the country’s cesspool for potential young and upcomers, Triple J’s Unearthed competition has turned our attention to many talented young guns over the years, most recently in 2008 with the one Tom Ugly, formerly known as [is].

Goodbye, oh sexy clean shaven man. Hello, silly rugged beast.

Yes, it’s that time of year again: we have entered the month where the mo makes a valiant return to the facial fashion of men everywhere. Sure, they look a little ridiculous, make you think of Charlie Chaplin and are certainly not smooching material, let alone CUDDLE material, but the fact that razors have been made temporarily redundant and we are seemingly in a time warp back to when shaving cream clearly did not exist is, once again, all in the name of a good cause. A great cause, actually. And you know what? We think you should be reminded of it. And gentlemen, we think you should grow your mo. And ladies, we think you should encourage your gentleman to grow their mos. After all, even upper lips must start to build calluses eventually.


My friend Karl was a normal, happy guy. We were part of a sprawling group of friends. With the rest of our group, Karl and I shared most Saturday nights laughing, boozy & relaxed, be it at someone’s place or playing pool down the pub. Karl was a nice guy. A good guy.

The Hidden Treasure of ’87: Empire of the Sun

In 1987, it was all 3 Men and a Baby, Fatal Attraction, Beverly Hills Cop II, Lethal Weapon and Dirty Dancing. Back when Steve Guttenberg was the man, Swayze’s tight-dancing pants were the root of all crimes against decency and Mel wasn’t an anti-Semitic freakshow. Ah, the glory days.

Sunny Day Nostalgia

Justine, 24, Graphic Designer.

shirt: American Apparel.
skirt: London vintage.
necklace: Good Samaritans op-shop.
shoes: Seed.

photo: Margaret Sevenjhazi
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