Monk Bodhi Dharma…the skinny of it

Yesterday morning despite the rain and feeling pretty seedy my friend and I managed to drag ourselves out of bed for want of caffeine and actually located Monk Bodhi Dharma. Like all of ¬†Melbourne’s best spots it’s down an alleyway near the Safeway carpark behind Carlisle St, Balaclava (or St Kilda East…it’s the same suburb yea?)

I’d heard of it before and like the coffee fanatic I am, just had to go and see for myself…I hear the food is great but that will be another trip…

The coffee was, as reputed, very good. But the one thing that I really really loved about this place…no skim milk.

Brilliant.

I’ve always said when I open my own place I won’t have any skim milk…I realise a lot of people order skinny milk…but really it’s only 2% less than the full fattiness of fat milk at 4% fat…huge really…maybe just drink less? or start taking your coffee black? How about you just add water next time…

I reckon it’s hard to cut out such a huge percentage of customers (a majority of orders where I work are skim) but on the principle of it, that’s what I would do too…sure you need soy for those who can’t actually drink milk…for medical or other reasons…but I applaud them for doing it, and being rated one of Melbourne’s top coffee spots…people were literally standing in the rain waiting for a table.

Now that’s some dedication for a coffee.

flood relief @ The Espy

so I saw this poster when I was at the Espy a while ago and got pretty excited about the cover bands…not really noticing that it was for QLD flood relief…not that I’m not into helping the flood victims…of course when I found out it was for flood relief I was even happier about it.

now I haven’t seen a cover band per say…I’ve seen bands do covers, which is cool…there’s usually 2 ways to go about it…either you play the song as the original band played it (to the best of your ability) or you change it and play it in an original version, which can be good too…depending on the band..

I should have known with a name like Shred Zeppelin, what was going to be in store…without photos as proof, no one can really understand the awesomely horrendous gig that ensued…the lead singer’s resemblance to Robert Plant ends with a big pouf of long blond curls…his goatee resembling The Zohan a little more…I was disgusted by the pot belly hanging out of his open shirt (why!?) in an attempt to resemble his idol…and between the Blue Steel pouting and the interpretive dance (spirit fingers included), it was clear that many hours of video footage have been clocked up in every attempt to impersonate the epic singer.

the absolute best/worst part of it all was the female backup singer…to hit the high notes for our lead singer…I mean if you can’t hit the high notes what the hell are you doing in a Led Zep cover band?? the best member of the band (who may not even be part of the band?) was the guy on harmonica, who did some great “guitar solos” but really pulled them off…who is this band anyway?

after almost an hour break (and no drinks allowed outside) it was time for the Doors show…I dare say our lead had a good voice were it not for him bragging about being “so fucked on….you use your imagination…” – so…nothing? as he was swigging from a bottle of Jim Beam – who drinks JB straight anyway? and asked for a lighter for the audience to light his cigarette…I mean how awesomely rock n roll is this guy anyway? It was an amusing act, as we watched what was an accurate imitation of some of Morrison’s gigs…the try hard outdone only but the ancient guitarist (who was actually incredible) but unfortunately also looked like a closet serial killer, intense with concentration…

overall it was a fine line between enjoying great music, and ignoring that it was being horribly butchered…knowing the lead singers of both bands were rolling in their graves at that very moment…the bizarre mix of people, ages and backgrounds truly shows what the Espy, St Kilda and great music is about

I’m partly relieved that I didn’t have my camera…now back to the couch with more coffee…mmm coffee…

it was fun overall though I did have to make a quit exit as soon as the first notes of Stairway to Heaven started, not being able to stand the butchering of such an epic song.

now for something more enjoyable on this rainy grey sunday

St Kilda Live & Local Photos

Here is a selection of my photos from Live & Local week (a couple of weeks ago now)…they’re also on the facebook page for St Kilda Festival, though this is my selection (not a fan of them all)

That week was my first time shooting live bands at gigs..it was a lot of fun, though pretty tiring…the main thing i learnt about the whole thing is that bands are pretty hard to take photos of. They move a lot. And most of the bands I was shooting were up and coming bands, those not quite used to being on stage (from what I could tell) and some of them were so shy they were facing each other with their backs to the audience….hello…that’s not how it works here….you may be shy, but putting on a show is part of being a musician right…

Anyway short of telling them to turn around (I tried a couple of times) there’s not a lot I can do about it really…at the end of the day they’re the ones looking stupid in the photos…oh and the lighting! my god!! Most of these venues had pretty much no lights…making it pretty difficult for me…short of setting the lights up myself (which I did at the Sea Baths a couple of times…I now know where they keep their power boards and extension cables too)

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Good Vibes and getting over the Local

well St Kilda festival’s Live & Local was a total success, exhausting but so much fun! apart from some technical issues (more related to venues, organisers and bands) everything went pretty smoothly (if only an hour late or so every day…)

there are so many amazing bands playing in some rad venues around St Kilda,
I’ll get some of those photos up soon, they are currently on the facebook page for St Kilda Festival

after 8 days of running around St Kilda, to about 4-6 bands a night and so many venues (I can’t even recall how many now) I was pretty over it and so so tired, but it was well worth it

so here are a couple of photos from Good Vibes…thankfully it ended up being a beautiful day and the bands were incredible…mainly Phoenix which is the reason I was there…they were so worth the ticket price, they put on an amazing show

once I get the OK from the organisers the Live & Local photos will be up too…

Live & Local 2011

so I have a bunch of photos from the past couple weeks that I want to put up very soon…from the tennis and Australia day amongst other shenanigans…I’ll attempt to get around to it very soon I hope…but of course just as I was complaining about how bored I was a couple weeks ago it all picked up pace and I was back to the crazy busy life I had before…with hardly any free time…

this week is Live & Local, which is part of the St Kilda Festival…run by the council there are free gigs on every day at various venues around St Kilda (no surprise there..) for more info and a schedule check it out on http://www.stkildafestival.com.au/2011-s2/index.php
I am doing some photography for the festival so I’ll be down in St Kilda every day this week and hopefully next week I’ll be able to get some of those posted here too!

It’s a very musical week here in Melbourne between Laneway Festival, all the sideshows, Live & Local and of course Good Vibes this weekend too! there’s so much going on there’s no way to keep up…it’s time to make some tough decisions and choose where to hang…northside or southside…?
Obviously I’m south for the week but am very keen to check out Good Vibes on Sunday if I’m not totally burnt out by then..

Also thought I’d mention a band I saw last week at the Corner Hotel…The Naked and Famous…from NZ (surprisingly) they were AMAZING! I’d actually never heard of them beforehand, but I have a great friend who recommends gigs that he knows I’ll love and it was so damn good!

Now I mentioned briefly last post that I was about to undertake a week of hot yoga…I had every intention of going every day…and managed to do 5 out of 7, which considering the week I had is a pretty damn good effort I reckon! It was a supremely intense style of yoga, being in a very hot room and sweating like I’ve never sweat before…but it was a fantastic week of yoga and focus and planning days around yoga (drinking litres of water and eating around yoga) which has convinced me that I may incorporate this hot yoga into my weekly routine…maybe…I may also prefer doing yoga in a normal temperature and not being totally drenched coming out…wanting to pass out from the heat…we’ll see!

I do highly recommend Hot Box on Chapel Street, Prahran/Windsor…they have a great intro offer $20 for 7 days…check it out here:
http://www.hotboxyoga.com.au/

for now I’m having a wee rest of yoga in my busy week, and I’m back at tafe with one last semester ahead…looks like I’m back in full swing with that busy life I was missing not long ago…should have enjoyed the nothingness of it all a little more I reckon..