Hold on to your hats, Melbourne GOOD BEER WEEK is almost upon us. Luckily, we’ve been training for this since last year. That’s right, ’training’. Strengthening our drinking arm. Repetitively. Every day. Circuit training between event locations. Working on our Personal Bests. And most importantly working with our man on the ground, Ryan Kemp, to compile this itinerary for GBW with built in pitstops to ensure your stomach is lined, your caffeine levels topped up and your sanity maintained. This is not a drill.
Back before the streets of Newtown were paved with burgers and fancy gelato, there was Bloodwood. Eight years ago, they were the first swell of what would be a wave of exciting new places to eat and drink in the area. As chef and co-owner Claire van Vuuren describes, “The area has changed from a place where a great community of people lived but often went elsewhere to eat and drink and party…Now diners from all over Sydney come here and we a have thriving community of locals who live, work and eat (and drink!) here. We all support one another and places like bloodwood have grown as part of and with the other venues in the area.”
Man comes into some money, buys his favourite bar in the world. It’s the sort of thing dreams are made of, or if not a dream, maybe a feel-good comedy script from the ‘80s starring Ted Danson. But it is the true story of James Young and how, after a rich and varied career, he came to take over Cherry Bar 12 years ago. As Young explains, “I’ve been a lawyer, I’ve done breakfast radio, I managed RRR radio station, I ran an advertising agency, I’ve had music labels, I’ve managed bands, but I’ve always just been very, very passionate about live music. About 12 years ago when I sold my advertising agency, for the first time in my life I came into a bit of money and decided to buy my favourite venue in the whole entire world - Cherry Bar - just to make sure I could always get in.”
International trade negotiations between Indonesia and Australia are looking pretty freaking sweet right now, at least in the music department, thanks to Sacred Blue Records. The new label is the brainchild of Melbourne’s Tom Hulse and Rektivianto Yoewono, lead singer of Indonesian rock band The Sigit. Together they’re bridging the gap in underground Indonesian rock n’ roll and kicking things off with a knees-up at Baha in Rye Victoria, hosting a bill of Indo and local acts. We encourage all within a 1000k radius to get there. In the meantime we tugged on the collar of Tom Hulse to get the inside word…
It’s no secret that independent record stores have been on the endangered species list for awhile. As a result, ten years ago Record Store Day was born, an international movement sparked by a shitty compressed mp3 world. This year’s RSD takes place on April 22. And while, in a perfect world EVERY DAY would be record store day, until then we’re happy to help give things a nudge in the right direction.