Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interview: Hugh Sheridan for Tom Magazine

 Hugh Sheridan knows he has a lot to prove in order to shake off the negativity that normally follows the musical pursuits of Aussie actors-turned-singers. Luckily for the Packed to the Rafters star, he was destined to be a muso before he could walk. Born to a jazz singer father, and with musical siblings including radio announcer sister, Zoe Sheridan, performing seems to be in his blood. The NIDA, Australian Ballet School, and Victorian College of the Arts graduate has had a busy couple of years. Alongside the massive success of Packed to the Rafters, for which he picked up a Silver Logie, comes his debut album, Speak Love, a soft and uplifting pop record headed for strong airplay these holidays. Sheridan takes a breather from his hectic schedule to talk to TOM, before jetting off to Hong Kong for a gig - apparently as a favour to his landlord.

Ect. Ect, here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: 'New Moon OMPS' for Tom Magazine

Jumping on the Twilight bandwagon, I reviewed the New Moon soundtrack for Tom Magazine. It's actually very good. Read here.

New Moon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warner)

First things first. This album will sell like hotcakes, only better, if not just for the Twilight saga logo, and the fold-out poster found inside the cover. Oh Em Gee. You can have Robert Patterson on your wall. The rest of us who aren’t obsessed by this glittery vamp-mance of epic proportions will boycott it for the same reasons. I’ll admit that I only wanted to listen to this album because of the Death Cab for Cutie contribution, ‘Meet Me at the Equinox’ - more on that later. But as a collection of original tracks exclusive to the soundtrack, how does it rate? Admittedly, ‘twihard’ or not, the whole collection is amazing.

Etc. Etc.

Updates and inspirations: Gingerbread - Eve's Harvest

So excited to hear a short story I wrote last semester, 'Gingerbread' has been accepted for a new anthology featuring emerging female writers, 'Eve's Harvest'. Won't be out for quite some time now - Feburary at the earliest, but until then, muchly excited! May now get around to writing a bit more fiction to see what else I can get out there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feature: 'The Grinch' for Unisex Magazine

Grouchy Christmas article up in the latest Unisex mag, issue 4, page 11. Digital link here, or grab a copy on campus. =]

Friday, October 30, 2009

Updates and inspirations: Sunset Sounds

The lovely people at Tom Mag are sending me to review Sunset Sounds soon... it just wouldn't be a festival without Yves Klein Blue!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Updates and inspirations: QUT Online Journalism

Was given a prize for being amungst the three finalists for the QUT Online Journalism 'Great Ones' award for my stories on Whoo, free USB!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feature: 'Google' for Unisex Magazine

New article up in the latest Unisex mag, issue 3. Online edition can be viewed here. Page 22.

Feature: various for QUTE Issue 4

Have four articles in the latest issue of QUT zine, QUTE. Click to enlarge.

Scans up!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

News: various for Subtropic Online

Some feature news pieces for, a QUT journalism collaboration.

Hot rods and cool cats hit West End

Thousands of revellers from around Australia and internationally cruised to the 10th Greazefest Kustom Kulture Festival in West End last weekend.
Organisers say it is the largest celebration of vintage cars and fashion, rockabilly music, lowbrow art, and tattooing in the Southern Hemisphere.
The four-day event sold out its late night performances on Friday and Saturday nights.
The celebrations culminated in the all-ages hot rod show on Sunday, where vintage and customised car lovers young and old could get a taste of yesteryear.
The festival included some of the premier rockabilly acts in the world, Marti Brom – based in the US, Australia’s The Satellites, and Johnny Law and The Pistol Packin’ Daddies.


Hawkins graces Myer’s Brisbane spring-summer launch.

Australian model Jennifer Hawkins hit the catwalk in Myer Brisbane last week to debut the store’s Spring-Summer collection.
The arrival of Hawkins on the runway caused a stir with the crowd, with many lining up afterwards to score an autograph.
Ex-Miss Universe Hawkins was not the only one to elicit cheers and wolf whistles from the audience – with shirtless male models and a trio of plus-sized models also crowd pleasers.


Cruelty concerns won't deter Warwick rodeo

Cruelty concerns forced wild horse racing off the Warwick rodeo program on Queensland’s Darling Downs, but animal welfare groups say they cannot target other events.
The Warwick Show Association cancelled the event a week before the RSPCA planned to approach them with concerns, following the animal welfare group’s successful bid to stop the event at the Mt Isa rodeo.
The Warwick rodeo is regulated by the Australian Professional Rodeo Association, which does not sanction wild horse racing or the tactics such as ‘ear biting’ used during the event.
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said they see the cancellation as a victory and believe there would be grounds to prosecute riders for animal cruelty if it continued.
“We believe, certainly in the past there’s been clear evidence of cruelty to the animals in the wild horse races,” Mr Beatty said.


Interview: Bluejuice for Tom Magazine

Interview with Bluejuice for Tom Magazine, here.

Bluejuice make the music of pop artists and have the stories of rock stars. The morning after playing a sold out gig at Brisbane’s The Zoo, band members Jake Stone and Stav Yiannoukas chat to Tom Magazine about their upcoming album and tour, jumping rope and breaking bones.

Although tired and facing a day of press junkets, followed by the drive to Coolangatta for their show that night, Yiannoukas and Stone seem rapt with their Brissie gig - at least comparatively.

"No fire extinguisher shutdown incidents this time," Yiannoukas jokes dryly. "Last time we came there was some drunk crazy lady who set off a fire extinguisher, and in about ten seconds the whole room filled with this thick fog which choked everyone and we were evacuated mid song, basically."

Stone explains that having to evacuate 350 drunken people from the venue wasn’t exactly easy.

"We evacuated into the band room, and they were vomiting from the powder, and we had to give them beer so they could wash their mouths and eyes out," Stone says, while Yiannoukas adds, "It was like, please don’t vomit on our gear! It was hilarious."

Bluejuice have been touring nationally to promote ‘Broken Leg’, the lead single from their forthcoming second release, Head of the Hawk. Despite calling Sydney home, they say Brisbane is like a home away from home, and one of their favourite cities to play. Stone says, "Generally the warmer places like Perth, Brissie and Adelaide are more willing to dance and have fun". Good thing too, as their infectious and unabashedly pop sound would get anyone on their feet. That’s the idea, anyway.

"We’re not looking for approval, all we’re really looking for is drunken dancing," Stone says."

Although," Yiannoukas laughs, "not always drunken dancing, sometimes just drunken watching, that can be good too."

When asked if audiences are applauded for getting up and dancing while sober, Yiannoukas laughs as if this is a crazy suggestion.

"Nobody wants anyone to dance when they’re sober," Stone says seriously. "It looks like you’re at a wedding - we’re not that kind of band."

Etc, and so on, and so forth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Updates and inspirations:

I thought I'd post a complete list of my interviews and reviews that have featured on Click here for those, though most of them are quite old now.

Feature: various for Unisex Magazine

Have two fluffy articles in the latest Unisex mag, issue 2 2009. Here's a link to the online version. Pages 22 and 25.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review: 'Inglourious Basterds' for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.

Inglourious Basterds
Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent
Reviewed by Anna Angel.

We’ve all come to expect certain things from a Tarantino film. Gore, gore, witty dialogue between intense and over-dramatised characters, and gore. This time around, he gives audiences all the basic ingredients, plus a good dose of humour and satire. Quentin Tarantino presents WWII history, and it is much more interesting than the original.

Inglorious Basterds opens in France, where Jewish girl, Shosanna Dreyfus, brilliantly played by Melanie Laurent, witnesses the execution of her family at the hands of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. The story follows the revenge of Shosanna, now hiding in Paris, and the Nazi-killing duties of The Basterds, a guerrilla squad of Jewish avengers from the US, lead by Lt Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). The action picks up when a Nazi propaganda film premiere is to be held at Shosanna’s own movie theatre, giving her the chance to exact her revenge.

From the outset it is often dialogue-driven, and sometimes slow moving, but continually gripping. There are definite moments of heightened action, and slower-paced scenes with underlying tensions. Despite this light and shade, almost every minute of this two and a half hour film is worthwhile. At least, I can honestly say it felt like the fastest two and a half hours of my life. Tarantino, as always, isn’t afraid to shock, and the result is levels of gore that will have you covering your eyes; those uncomfortable with bloody violence need not apply.

While the characters of Raine and Landa are comical, exaggerated and fundamental to the success of the film, they are dangerously shallow stereotypes. This is a brilliantly funny and shocking film if taken satirically, as the quest for revenge seems to negate all humanity, with both the Nazis and their avengers portrayed as bloodthirsty and unforgiving. Tarantino makes no attempt to be historically accurate, favouring juicy, fictitious drama over the facts, perhaps another reason why this film shines when taken lightly. Inglourious Basterds is in cinemas now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Features: various for Cream Magazine

I recently spent two weeks in the Cream office in Sydney, and here is the result! All published in issue 48.



(Click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Review: 'Everything is True' by Paul Dempsey for Cream Magazine

For Cream Magazine.
Paul Dempsey - 'Everything Is True'

When Something For Kate's Paul Dempsey says he's releasing a solo effort, he's not using the term loosely. Dempsey penned and sung every lyric, and played every instrument heard on the record, which he co-produced. He takes a 'one guy and a guitar' approach, and the results are so fundamentally different to the sonic formula of SFK that it is virtually unrecognisable. All eleven tracks are unadorned, and the album is packed with intimate whispers backed by sweeping, simple guitar melodies. This newfound softness and absence of bass is becoming of Dempsey's tender vocals; refreshingly light and effortless. Lead singles 'Out The Airlock' and 'Ramona Was A Waitress' are obvious highlights, amongst serenely charming tracks that reveal their strength with multiple listens.

Anna Angel
'Everything Is True' is out through Capitol/EMI.

Review: 'The Eternal' by Sonic Youth for Cream Magazine

For Cream Magazine.

Sonic Youth - 'The Eternal'

Despite being old enough to have school-wagging grandkids of their own, Sonic Youth are reliving the tingly-toed feeling of walking out of those school-gates for the last time. The '80s alt-rock pioneers ditched their major label, getting back their indie roots and, so they say, their freedom. Whatever they've been doing, it's working. 'The Eternal' is the most focused and fulfilling of any SY offerings of the past decade, stripping their sound back to a blank canvas of simple, unforced emotion. There are some quietly brilliant gems tucked away on this release, amongst a backdrop of guitar jams and ferocious lyrics. Tracks worthy of repeat listen include 'Leaky Lifeboat', an ironically upbeat tribute to late beat poet, Gregory Corso, and closing track 'Massage The History', a subdued and desperate wave of nostalgia. No band is eternal, but after almost 30 years, SY look like being here for the long haul.

Anna Angel
'The Eternal' is out through Remote Control.

Review: Splendour In The Grass 2009 for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine. Warning: massively, and ridiculously long.

Splendour in the Grass
Byron Bay 25/07/09 - 26/07/09

Ahh, music festivals. Obscene ticket prices, and more time spent queuing for soiled Port-a-Loos and overpriced food and alcohol than actually seeing bands perform. You leave with miscellaneous bruises, a 2-day hangover, and your wallet empty of anything but the mud you’ll find in strange crevices for weeks to come. Say what you will, at the end of the weekend it was all worth it.
17,300 people made the voyage to Byron Bay for the two day musical orgy - 200 less than usual, as some fans demanded refunds when Janes Addiction pulled out ‘due to illness’ at the last minute. Aussie veterans The Living End stepped up to replace them, drawing a crowd at least five times larger than the number that forwent the festival altogether. Of these revellers, there were ageing hippies, ravers in fluro jumpsuits, scantily clad party girls, costumed weirdos, and card-carrying hipsters. But mostly, the Wayfarer and store-bought tie-dye wearing hipsters. What else could bring such a colourful and eclectic bunch together but good ol’ fashion music?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Interview: Yves Klein Blue for Tom Magazine

Interview and Review.
For Tom Magazine.

You can’t tell from listening to it, but Yves Klein Blue front man Michael Tomlinson completed their debut record, Ragged and Ecstatic, from the toilet of a pokey flat in downtown Los Angeles. Tomlinson, who hid in the toilet with an acoustic guitar at 2am so he wouldn’t wake anyone else, says he is "often surprised by the material I can come up with while sitting on the toilet."

The band followed producer Kevin Augunas, and found themselves isolated in a 2-room flat, ten minutes from Fairfax Studios, where they spent three months recording. "We would have gone anywhere that Kevin was, we were really attracted to what he’d done with other groups, like Cold War Kids," Tomlinson says of their time in LA. "There was nothing for us to do there but focus on the songs, there were no distractions. Because of that, it turned into something much more than I ever thought it would."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Feature: 'Grace around the world' for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.
Grace Around The World

Jeff Buckley’s tragic death at the untimely age of thirty-one, back in 1997, left thousands of fans devastated. None more so, however, than Jeff’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, Mary Guibert, his mother. As this year marks the 15th anniversary of Buckley’s esteemed Grace, we chat with the woman who has dedicated the last twelve years of her life to preserving Jeff’s legacy. Guibert is the executive producer of a CD/DVD of Buckley’s Grace, performed live at venues across the globe, which has just hit shelves. Grace Around the World may be Guibert’s latest pet project, but she’s been responsible for every post-humus Buckley release, from the incomplete record, Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk, to the documentary of his life to be released next year.

"We knew from the very beginning that some of the footage existed, but they were stones without relation," Guibert says of her son’s concert footage. "But as folks started cleaning out their closets, going through boxes and saying ‘Do I really need this cassette anymore?’, footage started to show up of performances and interviews, and we knew we could make a cohesive programme."

Guibert says that Grace Around the World is mainly for previous Buckley fans, but she won’t rule out the possibility of the release drawing in new listeners. "It’s not going to be selling millions of copies like a new release would, however, it’s a special occasion and I don’t think you ever outgrow Jeff," Guibert says. "The guys who discovered him when they were 17 and are now in their twenties still listen to Jeff, the guys that discovered him in ‘94 in their thirties have turned their teenage kids on to him now. If anything his fan base has grown over the last twelve years."

Review: 'Journal for Plague Lovers' by Manic Street Preachers for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.
Journal for Plague Lovers (Sony)

Welsh rockers, Manic Street Preachers are back with a fantastic ninth studio release, built from material left behind by lyricist and rhythm guitarist, Richey Edwards, mere weeks before his 1995 disappearance. Edwards was officially declared dead in 2008, and this record, using his brilliant, often heavy and morose lyrics, is a stunning tribute to his genius. Journal for Plague Lovers is at times witty and retro-tinged, as well as wonderfully despairing. During certain tracks it is discernable that the group have taken Edwards lyrics and attempted to fit music around them, and occasionally the lyrics feel squashed and ill fitting. Aside from that one complaint, the record is touching and clever.

‘Jackie Collins Existential Question Time’ is a witty, comical track that asks all the big questions of life - some too rude to mention here. This Brit-pop infused rock track impresses, as the intelligence of Edward’s lyricism is discovered, "Mummy, what’s a Sex Pistol?" Another standout track is the almost disturbing, ‘Virginia State Epileptic Colony’, an over-the-top, ballsy comment on the crudeness of mental health systems. The track is heavier, with darkly brilliant lyrics and no-holds-barred rock.

The album ends with what can be perceived (although, it is just speculation) to be a suicide note from Edwards. The lyrics to ‘William’s Last Words’, which are hauntingly gorgeous, certainly read like one, and some members of the band haven’t ruled this out. The track is steady, quiet and heart-breakingly beautiful. The album is work a listen, if not just for this one gem, that will linger with you long after the record ends.

(By Anna Angel)

Review: 'Inshalla' by Eskimo Joe for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.
Inshalla (Warner Music)

Eskimo Joe saw international success with their third release, Black Fingernails, Red Wine, but how does their highly anticipated follow-up, Inshalla, compare? This time around the band have enlisted the help of Brit, Gil Norton to produce this record in Byron Bay. The Perth band dabble with louder and softer tunes, but never stray too far from their winning, signature style. Why would they? The record consists of some strong moments, peppered with blander, filler tracks. Overall, it’s sure to placate Eskimo Joe fans, and cement their growing popularity in the international market.

The record opens with lead single, ‘Foreign Land’, an appealing, catchy rock tune with oddly infectious infusions of folk music. ‘Losing Friends Over Love’ is a perfectly radio-friendly, wonderfully upbeat rock track, ‘How did everything go wrong/ we all just try to carry on’. ‘The Sound of Your Heart’ and ‘Please Elise’ are examples of the gentle, yet upbeat rock ballads that make up Inshalla, fusing desperate croons with crowd-pleasing choruses.
(Anna Angel)

Review: 'Million Dollar Sex Party' by X & Hell for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.
Million Dollar Sex Party (Solid State/Illusive)

Melbourne-based rap duo X & Hell try their hand at infusing their style with dance, soul and pop influences. The result is some fun and varied tracks, that never feels overly repetitive. X & Hell’s sound is complimented nicely by the addition of synth, and classic pop beats. This is not, despite the friendly sound, an album headed for tweenage iPods and over-play on generic radio stations. If the lyrics are listened to, you’ll find yourself nodding your head along to tunes littered with intense profanities, with some pretty questionable subject matters; classic sex, drugs and...rap. Despite the occasional cringe at overt sexual innuendo, or homophobic reference, it’s still easy listening.

The title track is a furious upbeat collaboration with Paris Wells. X & Hell explore the general shitness of life as a starving, would-be rap artist, demanding that one day they get their deserved fame, or as they like to call it, ‘I want my million dollar sex party!’ Another standout track is the lovechild of cheesy synth and classic rap, ‘My Fkn Hat’. The song makes for hilarious listening, telling the tale of a man with a bald patch who refuses to take off his hat in public. If that alone doesn’t draw you in, the chorus of, ‘no, I won’t take my motherfuckin’ hat off,’ is a killer.
(Anna Angel)

Review: 'RE: Generations' by Nat King Cole for Tom Magazine

For Tom Magazine.
Tribute Album: RE: Generations (Capitol/EMI)

A bevy of contemporary musicians try their hand at remixing tracks from jazz giant Nat King Cole’s catalogue, on this ambitious compilation, RE: Generations. The idea behind this record is genius’ take some of the world’s hottest contemporary acts, like Cut Chemist and TV on the Radio, and let them run loose with a musical legend. The only downfall of this record, is that in trying to mix Cole’s sound with as many genres as possible, from reggae, to techno, it’s hit and miss as to what works (and a lot of it does) and what really, really, doesn’t. Re: Generations is a wonderful testament to Cole’s prolific work, and the influence modern music can find in him.

Some of the tracks, which take on a Latin, or jazzy feel, still capture the basic spirit and tone of Cole’s sound, with subtle, fun differences. Cole’s daughter, Natalie Cole, does a wonderful job on ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’, their voices work beautifully together, and the upbeat jazz tunes complete the picture. Some of the collaborating artists push genre boundaries with a number of winning tracks, and some bizarre mash-ups. Cut Chemist’s effort, ‘Day In Day Out’, fuses techno (complete with record scratches and breakdowns) with Cole’s smooth vocals. Unfortunately, either something is missing, or there’s too much going on, as the track ends up feeling hectic, and just a little odd. ‘Walkin’ My Baby Back Home’, featuring hip hop group, The Roots, maintains an old-school feel, despite rap breakdowns, as they manage to meet Cole with modern hip hop. Another standout track is ‘Hit That Jive Jack’, produced by Souldiggaz, and featuring Izza Kizza. Cole’s recognisable vocals melt into contemporary, upbeat hip hop/dance: blend until smooth, and add a pinch of kick-ass rhythm.

(Anna Angel)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Updates and inspirations: 16style

Now blogging for 16style, a teen fashion blog, as well as writing for Tom Magazine, which is essentially a music and entertainment source.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fiction: 'Stray Into The Woods, Little Red' for Six Sentences

Fiction in six sentences. An old piece published on, Nov last year.

Stray Into the Woods, Little Red

She couldn’t remember why they’d fought, or even if they had. She is alone, straying much too far away, listening to strangers laugh unfamiliar yet unmistakably beautiful tunes; it is of no consequence now. A young girl weaves through the pines, towering giants sway to an inaudible melody, a reluctant swing set sighs under a delicate frame; the child’s world is untainted and all is as it should be. Letting the earth melt softly into her back, she closes her eyes; black speckles replace the girl’s red pinafore. Rough fingers seek hers through the supple veil of grass, and squinting through the sun, she finds him next to her. Night falls and he fades into a bruised sky, she is alone once more, yearning for home, where everything was as it should be.6S

Anna Angel is studying Journalism and Creative Writing, and is often told her name makes her sound like a superhero, or a porn star. She is neither.

Review: 'NEON Essentials Vol 1' for Tom Magazine


Neon Essentials Vol. 1 (Neon/Warner)

Neon Essentials Vol 1 brings a bucket load of dance mixes from some of the hottest acts around, across two discs, one mixed by TV Rock, the other by Chardy. Neon is an essential ‘throw-the-record-on, let-the-non-stop-dancing-begin album’, having the benefit of being mixed so every track blends seamlessly into one. In order to properly review this record, I couldn’t just listen to it; I had to make sure it had the ‘booty-shake seal of approval’ first. So, yes, I got down in my pyjamas to what, I must say, are some pretty stellar mixes from artists like Armand Van Helden, Tommie Sunshine and Empire of the Sun. With rises in intensity, some mellower moments, but 100% persistent energy, I give Neon four booty-shakes out of five. Not bad at all.

On disc one, Sidney Samson’s ‘Riverside’ is intense, persistent, and addictive, despite the only lyrics being, "Riverside, Motherfucker!" TV Rock’s remix of ‘Hey Boys and Girls’, by Evermore, is a standout, with the benefit of sing-a-long lyrics. Disc 2, mixed by Chardy, does not always flow as smoothly as the first disc, with some sudden groove-killing drops in intensity. However, there are some killer tracks, bass heavy, and a whole lot of fun. Two tracks by Bingo Players, ‘Get Up’, and ‘Chop’ are ridiculously infectious with strong beats, and hip-hop vocals. The record finishes strong, with Empire of the Sun’s ‘We are the People’, remixed by Sam La More, fusing an unrelenting rhythm with an undeniably catchy hit.

(Anna Angel)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Interview: Ash Grunwald for Tom Magazine

Ash Grunwald.

"I live outside all the time; if I was at home, I’d probably be stuck inside doing this interview," Ash Grunwald, who is travelling through Western Australian in his new motor home, says. "But instead, I’ve got a cuppa, in a nice park, and I’m sitting here jumping on rocks as I’m talking. It’s great."

The Australian bluesman is nomadic by nature, taking his life on the road in his stride, although he admits that if you want to be a musician, you don’t really have a choice but to love travelling.

"I’m kind of addicted to touring; it’s a great way to live, you’ve got your whole life with you, you feel free - you don’t have to have a normal life," Grunwald enthuses.

Review: 'Mean Everything to Nothing' by Manchester Orchestra for Tom Magazine



Mean Everything to Nothing (Favourite Gentlemen/ Sony)

Manchester Orchestra (read; an indie-rock quartet from Atlanta) ask all the big life questions on their sophomore album. Mean Everything to Nothing deals mainly with religion and crises of faith, through a rollercoaster of musical influences and styles. Manchester Orchestra’s versatility and development really shows on this record as sweet intros melt into powerful choruses, and Andy Hull’s almost whispered vocals turn into wonderfully executed screams. The band’s preoccupation with religion may begin to grate some listeners, but there is enough here to make sure they aren’t lumped as ‘Christian rock’ - namely, angsty questions of faith, and a wider musical appeal.

The lead single, ‘I’ve Got Friends’ is fun and biting southern-rock, with a killer chorus and just the right amount of venom, as Hull sings, "I’ve got friends in all the right places/ I know what they want and I know they don’t want me to stay". The title track is emotive as Hull sings "I don’t know much but a crutch is a crutch/ If it’s holding you from moving on", as this time around, they focus on putting, and losing faith in individual people. ‘Shake It Out’ is a sure-fire winner, fusing teenage angst and catchy hooks - possibly the world’s most popular combination. Darker moments on the record seem to channel Nirvana, as in the gritty, ‘Pride’ which uses repetition to effect through heartbreaking verses like, "What a dead head/ I think I’m dying/ I think I’m dying for another one".

This is definitely a stronger effort than their first release, showing maturity while managing not to completely remake their original style. Fans should be pleased, and newcomers who appreciate any component of their Modest Mouse meets Nirvana, meets Jesus, meets Dashboard Confessional mash-up should be won over.

(Anna Angel)

Review: 'White Lies for Dark Times' by Ben Harper and Relentless7 for Tom Magazine



White Lies for Dark Times (Virgin/EMI)

Ben Harper’s new project with Relentless 7 sees the artist move in a new direction with this blazing, emotion-ridden folk/roots/classic rock hybrid. Harper’s signature vocals and guitar are augmented by Jason Mozersky’s on lead guitar, Jesse Ingalls on bass and keys and drummer Jordan Richardson. This, Harper’s 9th studio release, brims in part with darker, tougher and sometimes downright pessimistic influences. Half of the tracks, like the lead single ‘Shimmer and Shine’, are focused on finding happiness through escapism.

The darker tracks are the backbone of the record. Harper does depression surprisingly well, especially on the resonating break up track, ‘Up To You Now’, "You wrote a list of all your demands/ and you nailed it to both of my hands". ‘Skin Thin’ is a sparse and raw folk track that again deals with failures, "It’s all I can do to hold on/ we’re just skin thin". ‘Fly One Time’ is the highlight of the record with almost restrained vocals; "now you’re caught between/ what you can’t leave behind/ and all that you may never find/ so fly".

White Lies for Dark Times flows well from one track to the other, with no real rough patches. The record has the feel of being a complete album, not just a collection of songs, with a discernable theme slipping through each track. The mixture of the forlorn and the hopeful is a winning combination.

(Anna Angel)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Review: 'Ocean Pearl' by J.C. Burke

Ocean Pearl by J.C. Burke

Reviewed By Anna Angel

J.C. Burke’s Starfish Sisters are back; or are they? The highly anticipated sequel to Starfish Sisters, which revolves around a group of teenage pro-surfers - Ocean Pearl - sees their friendships all but torn apart by secrets and lies. This book is bursting with teenage angst, but the well-developed characters give it a pervading sense of reality; readers will get tangled in J.C. Burke’s juicy teen drama, but with two feet planted firmly on the ground.

You don’t have to be a fan of surfing to appreciate these novels; you just need to have been a teenage girl, a friend, a daughter. Ocean Pearl revolves around the relationships these girls have, their lives, and their secrets; they just happen to be kick-ass surfers. The Starfish Sisters are: Micki, a passionate surfer whose desperate home situation leaves her with plenty to hide, Georgie, who’s straining under the weight of all her friend’s secrets, not to mention some of her own, Kia, who needs the Starfish Sisters to stay together, and Ace’s, whose self-absorption could see her lose her best friend, her boyfriend and her sponsorship, all at the same time.

Five months after the Starfish Sisters first drew readers in, the girls are again at training camp, vying for a spot on the Australian female junior surfing team. Unlike when they first met, the bonds of their ‘sisterhood’ are struggling under a whole pile of lies, backstabbing, and betrayals. They’ve made a pact to stick together, and to tell each other everything, but how long can that last? Ace betrays Micki, Georgie betrays Ace, Kia betrays them all, back and forth, until the plotline is sufficiently twisted, and resembles a real life group of friends. While these books are aimed at a female, teenage audience, they’re not all boyfriends, BFFs, periods, and pashes. Along with their fair share of the former, they feature heavy topics such as self-harm, drug addiction, body image, and self esteem. This is no Saddle Club, no matter how cute the name ‘Starfish Sisters’ may be.

Ocean Pearl continues to use the joint narration of the four very different main characters to highlight their individual problems, and reveal the intricate ways in which their reflected personalities hide their true feelings. The strength of the Starfish Sisters series lies in this style of narration, as the reader is allowed understanding of each character’s true selves, and therefore no character is left as a sidekick, or a two-dimensional prototype character. Despite this being the second book in the series, and by the look of things, certainly not the last, it stands well on its own. If you’re not familiar with the Starfish Sisters yet, now is the time to get reading. This compelling sequel will leave you guessing how J.C. Burke will weave the loose-ends left over by Ocean Pearl for the next instalment.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview: Phrase for Tom Magazine

For, and,


Melbourne hip-hop artist Phrase splutters, in the middle of a coughing fit, that he really doesn’t like doing interviews. Followers of his twitter page will know he’s "so sick of talking about myself!", but with his second record, Clockwork about to be released, the media-shy Phrase is busy doing just that. The album would have been out over twelve months ages ago if it wasn’t for record company dramas...

"It’s been ages - it’s just been sitting on the shelf. I’m really anxious to finally get it out there," Phrase - born Harley Webster - said.

The album takes a completely different direction than his first record, Talk With Force, which was written when Phrase was just 19, and, he says, "in a completely different headspace".

"There was a young male aggression coming through; I felt like I had to prove something to myself and to everyone around me. The new album is coming from a much calmer, more mature place."

Clockwork, which features a number of winning collaborations, was modelled on old Aussie releases, like Cold Chisel, that Phrase dug out of his parent’s collection. The record focuses on some very anti-government and anti-authority sentiments, which Phrase puts down to his troubled childhood.

"Growing up, I didn’t fit in at school," he recalls. "The schooling system doesn’t fit every kid, you know, you’re either academic or you drop out; you fit in, or you don’t. Life’s like that too - so the album represents being in control, and inspiring other people to do their own thing."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interview: The Veils for Tom Magazine

From and

The Veils.

It’s quarter to nine in the morning in London, and Finn Andrews is already on his second interview for the day, so you can forgive him if he sounds a little tired. Andrews, lead singer/songwriter, and the man behind London-based alt-indie outfit The Veils may not yet be entirely awake, but as he talks about their new release, it’s clear Sun Gangs is his little bundle of joy.

"It is very personal, and there was a lot of thought put into it," Andrews says quietly, "I’m really looking forward to getting out and showing it to people."

Andrews believes Sun Gangs, their third record, which he spent two years writing, is their strongest record to date, showing much progression from their critically acclaimed 2005 release, Nux Vomica.

"It’s hard to say what the main changes are, but this is the most confident record we’ve made," he explains. "It has the broadest scope, with extreme differences in mood throughout."

Sun Gangs, essentially a break-up album, maps the two years of Andrews’ life during which he was writing the record; beginning at the end of one relationship, and ending at the start of another.

"I write every day, it’s quite a routine manner. It’s hard for me to see, but my music progresses as my life does, you know? You try not to think about sounding like something, and just write what’s important to you."

"It’s the same as the music I fell in love with; it’s the storytelling, the words that I enjoyed."

When asked what music it was that first inspired him to tell his own story, he laughs, "I really need to think up some more obscure references. I had a really populist taste, I still do really. I was listening to Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan growing up. I always find myself going back to those records; I was listening to Rain Dogs by Tom Waits recently, actually."

Andrews grew up in New Zealand with his mother and sister, while his father, Barry Andrews, of ‘70’s rock group, XTC, lived in London. He originally planned to pursue a career in art, or film, but when he was 16, he found himself unwittingly following in his father’s footsteps, as he moved back to London to try to sign to a label.

"I don’t know if there’s some weird genetic predisposition to it, but it’s been nice having someone you can trust and confide in about your music, though".

The Veils, whilst essentially an indie/alternative group, follow a largely different path to the majority of indie groups of today, who favouring a retro-inspired, beat-heavy sound. The Veils have a theatrical and stirring style, almost epically melodramatic, with Andrews throwing chameleon-like vocals into the mix.

"We’re always pretty outside of what’s going on. I don’t understand how you end up with so many groups all doing the same kind of thing at the same time," he says. "I think growing up in NZ really helps with that, you’re quite secluded, you’re off in your own bubble. I don’t really pay attention to what else is out there, or what will get on the radio."

Andrews, who possesses wildly unique vocals that would be difficult to describe or compare, is constantly amused by the downright bizarre comparisons his music inspires.

"It’s great when journalists run off on a spiel, and you’re thinking "Oh, God" - you get some really fantastic things. Like, one journalist said I sounded like Van Morrison and Eartha Kitt, put through a vacuum cleaner," he laughs.

The Veils’ have finally settled on a band line-up, after the original group disbanded in 2004, and their keyboard player left the group following the release of Nux Vomica. Andrews enlisted Sophie Burn on bass, Dan Raishbrook on guitar, and drummer Henning Dietz to complete Sun Gangs.

"I always write the album and then get a band to put it all together, and it’s the first record with a band in existence while it was being written, so it was very freeing to not have to worry about that. It still begins very personally, I still write for myself, but I feel very close to them."

The Veils will be spending most of this year taking Sun Gangs on the road, leaving first for Europe, then heading to the US, Australia and Japan. Andrews is enthused to begin touring again, admitting that while his music comes from his love of writing, "performing for people really gives you a sense of purpose".

"It’s always amazing, the people that show up. We did a show in Barcelona a few months ago where we were expecting to play to a couple of hundred people, and there was over a thousand people lined up down the street," he laughs, still sounding astonished, "it was like being in a film - being in a film about a rock band."

Sun Gangs is out now through Rough Trade Records.

By Anna Angel

Review: 'When Giants Walked the Earth' by Mick Wall for Tom Magazine


Title: When Giants Walked the Earth: a Biography of Led Zeppelin
Author: Mick Wall
Publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Reviewed by Anna Angel

Forget sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Mick Wall presents groupies in handcuffs, heroin addiction, and Led Zeppelin. When Giants Walked the Earth is an unrestrained look at the spectacular rise and eventual fall of arguably the world’s biggest rock band, Led Zeppelin. This is not just another half-arsed attempt at a biography by someone who knows little more than what a Wikipedia stub would reveal. Wall, a renowned music journalist who has been a confidant to members of the band for many years, presents the story as it is - no fluff, no favouritism. Comments from guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones, as well as other major figures, pepper the biography. Interestingly, Wall has used fictional ‘flashbacks’ to significant moments in the band member’s lives to introduce each chapter.

Wall follows the band from its formation in a dingy room in London’s Chinatown, where, as Jimmy Page put it, "It was like a thunderbolt, a lightning flash-boosh!" Led Zeppelin was born. The musical and personal lives of the group - often intertwining - are charted, noting everything from Page’s obsession with the occult, and the ‘jinx’ that many believed to be on the band, to the punches and TV sets thrown by John Bonham.

Their rise to fame saw them becoming ‘rock gods’ in a sense, untouchable, worshipped, and powerful. With this came a life of excess; excess drugs, booze, women, and partying. The tragic accidents, deaths, and drug addictions that plagued Led Zeppelin powered their premature demise and disbanding. When Giants Walked the Earth comments that even without such personal troubles, Led Zeppelin’s career was already heading downhill, in what was then a rapidly changing musical landscape.

The story of Led Zeppelin is funny, tragic, musically significant, and in no way dull. Wall has compiled a definitive and comprehensive account of the quintessential rock outfit, their music, the member’s lives, their reputation, and their legacy.

Review: 'Yes' by Pet Shop Boys for Tom Magazine



Yes (Parlophone/EMI)

Yes, Pet Shop Boys are back. The Boys aren’t getting any younger, but their brand of synth-pop doesn’t seem to be getting old. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who make up Pet Shop Boys, picked up a Brit award for Outstanding Contribution to Music at this year’s ceremony. Having sold over 50 million records internationally, and with ten studio records to their name, it’s little wonder.

Yes opens with the lazily upbeat single ‘Love Etc’ that, through its catchy lyrics and infectious optimism, will have you believing in love again. Tennant sings "I believe, call me naive/ love is for free".

Other highlights include ‘More Than a Dream’, equally as optimistic, hypnotising listeners into a state of hopefulness with its anthemic lyrics, "I believe we can change/ we can make it more than a dream". In ‘All Over The World’, the duo sample Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’, creating an epic tribute to pop music, and the effect it has on people.

Whist the majority of the record is brightly nostalgic; there are some tracks that standout for their sobriety, almost overshadowing the up-tempo numbers. ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘King of Rome’ make the most of Tennant’s lingering vocals, creating emotional tension with low-key synth, while ‘Legacy’ is a beautiful slow ballad, with sharp, satirical lyrics, "have you realised/ your computer’s a spy/ give him a ring, he’ll explain why/ the bourgeois will get over it/ look at me, I’m so over it".

By Anna Angel

Monday, April 20, 2009

Review: 'To Lose My Life' by The White Lies for Tom Magazine



To Lose My Life (Fiction Records)

Lyrics like "The quilt of darkness dotted with our teardrops", and "I leave my memoirs in blood on the floor", could very well belong to a greasy-haired, pale-faced screamo band, sounding both angry and unintelligible. Instead, they’re the work of former indie-pop trio, Fear of Flying, who have reinvented their name and darkened their shirts and lyrics.

White Lies have travelled back to the eighties and brought Goth-rock and retro synth back with them. Constantly compared to Joy Division and Tears for Fears, these Brits have experienced an amazing amount of hype surrounding the release of their debut album, which went to #1 on the UK charts. Whilst they planned to record an album with a darker feel to it, I don’t think anyone expected it to be so darn depressing. Haunted fairgrounds, suicide pacts, murder, and unrequited love from the grave are all topics featuring in To Lose My Life. If these lyrics were any more macabre, they’d be pulled directly from a Bram Stoker novel. However, the sound is something entirely different.

Straightforward indie-rock with smatterings of synth and church organs make up the bulk of To Lose My Life. In fact, musically, the album is as harmless as sound-alike’s, The Killers. Vocalist Harry McVeigh’s unwavering baritone carries the record through with persistent emotion and strength, adding that something extra otherwise needed to make it really work.

‘Farewell to the Fairground’ is a paint-by-numbers guitar-pop piece complete with catchy hooks, about a haunted old fairground, that works surprisingly well. ‘From the Stars’ is a brilliantly depressive track about a man suffering a mental breakdown, during which McVeigh sings, "He catches raindrops from his window/ It reminds him how we fall/From the stars back to our seas/Where we’ve never felt so small". This proves itself to be really quite a decent album, one that should impress fans of indie-rock, retro Goth-rock, and poetry-writing mass-murders alike. It’s a strange mix, but it blends smoothly.

By Anna Angel

Review: 'Keep It Hid' by Dan Auerbach for Tom Magazine

From and


Keep It Hid (Nonesuch/Warner)

Behind a massive red beard hides vocalist and guitarist from the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, with a new solo album of smooth blues/rock tracks that show he has a few tricks left nestled in his beard.

Possibly due to working with different musicians instead of his usual band, Keep It Hid features many instruments unseen on The Black Keys albums (keyboards, maracas etc.), giving it a unique feeling despite Auerbach’s telltale voice. The swinging, fast-paced, guitar-and-power-vocals-based sound of The Black Keys is replaced with a cleaner, down-tempo sound that serves to accentuate his vocals. The resulting tracks are powerful yet languid, and somehow feel deliberate, as if they’re taking the time to fully develop.

Recorded and written largely by Auerbach, aside from a few collaborative efforts, the record features a few standout tracks. ‘When the Night Comes’ is a soulful and evocative piece that shows the power of Auerbach’s voice as he gently croons, "When the night comes/Don’t be afraid/You’re only dreaming..." In contrast, ‘Mean Monsoon’ is an old-school blues tune with smooth catchy choruses - fit for a 60’s gangster film - where he sings "Put a dollar in the jukebox/But don’t you play our favourite tune".

While Keep It Hid is not a dramatic step away from his work with The Black Keys, Auerbach shows his talent as a solo artist on this record, most likely appeasing Black Keys fans, and hopefully, gaining him some in his own right. Just one listen takes you to a place where life is simple, the music is all blues, and the bars serve milk, if you just close your eyes.

By Anna Angel

Review: 'He's Just Not That Into You' for Tom Magazine


Title: He’s Just Not That Into You - The No-Excuses Truth To Understanding Guys
Author: Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reviewed by Anna Angel

It was an episode of Sex and the City, which was then elaborated into a book, and recently made into a fuzzy chick-flick. It was an international phenomenon - hell, it was on Oprah. So, what’s the big deal about the phrase, "He’s just not that into you"? Mainly it’s that nobody would have ever said that to a woman before, for fear of having their eyes carved out with a nailfile. What you did say was, "You’re so hot! Of course he likes you, he’s probably just busy, /he’s just gotten out a relationship/he’s lying dead in a gutter so he wasn’t able to call." Why? Because it makes you feel better. It gives you hope. Greg Behrendt wants to take this hope and crush it into tiny little pieces. It all sounds rather gloomy, but it actually makes a lot of sense.

He’s Just Not That Into You, by a writer and a consultant of Sex and the City, hilariously outlines the common excuses women use to hold onto relationships that simply aren’t going anywhere. Most female readers will recognise an excuse they’ve told themselves, or told one of their friends, throughout the book. The authors don’t so much want to break the hearts of women everywhere, but to help them "set yourself free to find the guy who is really into you, and would love to show you how much." They really hammer the message home, with handy chapter titles like, ‘He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Breaking Up With You’, and ‘He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Married (and Other Insane Variations of Being Unavailable)’.

Behrendt and Tuccillo say a guy is just not that into you if he’s not asking you out. For them, this means a girl should never ask a guy out (because if a guy wanted to ask you out, he would). They also don’t believe in grey areas - you’d be better off single than in an unsatisfying relationship. For a hopeless romantic this can seem a little depressing and jaded. If you’re not the rose-carrying, valentine’s-card-writing kind, you may just shrug your shoulders and say "duh!" Ultimately, though, there are some good lessons in here for every single woman.

It can seem a little silly and repetitive at times, with colouring-in exercises and fake reader scenarios throughout, all illustrating the same six words. However, most readers will at least come away with a sense of liberation, thinking "Hell yes, I deserve a fantastic relationship!" Whether or not this book can really help you get one is debatable, but it’s a sure esteem booster, and a welcome reminder that no woman should put up with crap for the sake of being in a relationship. Just try not to take it too seriously. No matter what Oprah says, this is a dating guide, not the bible.

Opinion: 'Tofu and Steak Sitting In a Tree'

Written with a vegan website in mind.

If you ever want to elicit a raised eyebrow and a snicker from a pizza boy, try the following order: one Meat Lovers with extra cheese and extra bacon, one Vegetarian with no cheese. Any vegan or vegetarian who, like me, has ever dated a hardcore omnivore will know you can sometimes feel like a bit of an odd pair, especially when eating out. It can also seem like their lifestyle so strongly violates your personal beliefs, that there is no way you can co-exist.

Having recently stood by my partner’s side as he chewed his way through a Hungry Jack’s Quad Stack burger (four beef patties, two rashers of bacon, four slices of cheese, no less) I tried my hardest to be as supportive of his lifestyle as he had admittedly been of mine, whilst fighting down physical repulsion. It was at that point that I realised his omnivorous diet is, if I’m painful honest, a downright unattractive quality to me. As I declined a kiss post-burger, knowing some part of the four beef patties he had just consumed surely would have remained behind, I was reminded of a news article I saw some months ago.

Annie Potts, co-director of University of Canterbury’s New Zealand Centre for Human and Animal Studies, coined the term ‘vegansexuals’ back in 2007, when her research into ethical food choices revealed a large number of veggos get squeamish at the thought of being intimate with partners who ate meat. I’m not convinced that a dietary preference for who you’ll jump into bed with constitutes a whole new sexuality to be formed – who needs more labels these days? Nevertheless, it does raise an interesting issue. It would certainly create less tension during mealtimes if both partners in a relationship were passionate about ethical lifestyles, not to mention the compassion often found in vegans and vegetarians could certainly be a positive quality in a prospective partner. Perhaps this is why a minefield of online dating sites have now become available to help vegans, vegetarians, and those favouring ‘greener’ lifestyles, find compatible partners. boasts over 2,000 members across the globe, ranging from hardcore vegans and raw foodists, to ‘vegetarian-ish’ singles. With several other veggie exclusive dating sites gaining members in the thousands, it seems there may well be more than a few ‘vegansexuals’ out there.

Whilst I would love my boyfriend to discover the joys of tempeh and embrace the vegan lifestyle, I don’t really see his partiality to bacon and pancakes (occasionally consumed at the same time) to be a deal breaker. Although I encourage him to try vegan foods and to make ethical purchases in the same manner I do anyone else, I believe it is important not to be overly aggressive. As vegans or vegetarians, we have certain expectations of those around us; we expect our loved ones not to be critical of our decision to lead an alternative lifestyle. In turn, we should show the same respect back to them. I have a sordid history of making nasty comments as my omnivorous friends consumed their carcass-based foods. I later realised this not only hurt my relationship with these people, but further alienated them from veganism. It helps to remember that constantly pushing omnivores to ‘convert’ could be as offensive as hearing “Just eat some god-damn steak”, as a vegan. When it’s obvious you aren’t judgemental of your partner’s choices, it can make it much easier for them to accept any ground rules you may need to lay down.

As with any other aspect of our relationships, the boundaries we enforce as vegans or vegetarians are highly personal to each individual. Some vegan friends of mine won’t date omnivores as a general rule, others are a lot more relaxed about their requirements. What you decide works for you all comes back to what you are comfortable with, and what you negotiate with your partner. Personally, I think I ask rather little of my favourite meat-eater. I can’t stand kissing after he’s eaten animal flesh, so as a courtesy to me, I ask him to at least wash it down with a drink beforehand. Friends I know who have the same issue request vigorous teeth brushing, others ask their partners not to consume animal products in their presence. Whatever your personal boundaries, it is just important that you make them clear from the offset to avoid conflicts down the track, and try to clearly communicate your reasoning.

Ideally, you and your omnivorous partner can reach a mutual respect for each other’s lifestyles. It may at first feel like too much hard work, but such contradicting lifestyles can co-exist harmoniously if both parties strive not to alienate each other, and to respect particular boundaries. Who knows, maybe one day after seeing how rewarding an ethical lifestyle can be, they’ll come around of their own volition. Just don’t count on it...

By Anna Angel

Opinion: 'Party Like It's the ICU'

Something I wrote an awfully long time ago.

I recently spent several hours in a public hospital emergency waiting room on a Saturday night. I prepared myself for the unavoidable paranoia that comes from sharing breathing space with a room full of strangers in various states of illness and disarray. I calmly accepted that I would wait it out in an uncomfortable chair to a soundtrack of screaming infants. This was all to be expected.

What surprised me about this particular clash with our buckling health system wasn’t that I saw a doctor not once during my seven-hour stay. My situation being far from dire, I had known I was in for a steamy all-night threesome with outdated magazines and vending machine coffee. Despite this, actually admitting defeat and returning home at four in the morning, sans medical assistance, was somewhat of a pain (read; freakin’ annoying!) What I didn’t anticipate was what kept me pushed further and further back in the waiting line.

The mind reels with macabre tragedies that might fill an early morning Brisbane emergency room. A three-car pile-up on the Story Bridge. A reclusive psychopath’s 2am stabbing frenzy. A freak smelting accident in the making of a late night snack. These were the kind of blood-and-guts disasters I’d been naively expecting. Instead, come midnight, the young girls started to stumble in, looking like a disco ball threw them up. Teetering in their high heels, the cackling groups would prop up their downfallen comrades. By three in the morning, the once passé waiting room looked like the hippest place in town to be severely intoxicated.

I’m not going to pretend that I’ve never indulged our current binge drinking culture. Unless you’re part of the monastery, chances are you have too. So naturally, watching the first few party martyrs sail past that elusive door which promised medical care, I felt a twinge of empathy. As the hours wore on my ability to feel compassion tapered slowly away. I witnessed an absurd number of drug and alcohol related hospitalisations that night, and it became obvious that hospital beds were quickly filling up with girls who just wanted to have fun.

I sleepwalked over to the Triage Nurse to check my standing in the perpetual waiting list, and overheard her speaking to a co-worker. “Here comes another one”, she said. In staggered a lone club-girl. I couldn’t help but wonder how the hysterical young lass, who soon became quietly fascinated by a nearby baby, had managed to transport herself to the emergency room. When I was able to speak to the nurse she told me flatly to save my time and go home. “It’s always too busy on a Saturday night,” she said, cocking her head towards the intoxicated blonde cooing incoherently to the child of a wary father.

Maybe I’m just bitter because I didn’t get to see a doctor, but there seemed something very wrong to me. You hear constantly how the younger generations are binge-drinking, hedonistic, slackers who leech off their parents. We very well may be. At the very least, there is a common mentality that our tendency to drink until we pass out in seedy public toilets is somehow normal. But I don’t believe it’s properly understood where this attitude comes from. What I saw was the sad consequence of a culture that is insistent on having fun, and so used to overindulging that it seems only natural to drink to excess as well. A few drinks out with the girls is one thing. After all, alcohol is widely seen as a social utility, with the ability to bring friends together. But let’s face it. When girls are wheeled into hospital in a state of semi-consciousness, how much fun can they possibly be having?

By Anna Angel