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Thursday, March 31, 2011


Some shots from recent Silver Cinder gigs at The Basement and The Old Manly Boat Shed. If you find yourself at a loose end tonight, we are going to be playing at the Clovelly Hotel, in Sydney's eastern suburbs. We'll be on stage at 9pm.

Thanks to Tessa for the photos.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Ronnie Johns Half Hour DVD: ON SALE NOW

They say that when you are on to a good thing, make sure you act fast. Well, we at the Ronnie Johns Official Brains Trust spat in the face of that saying by deciding to do a national tour of the Ronnie Johns Half Hour a cool 4 years after the show itself last aired on TV.

In early 2010, we got the Good Taste Pony out of storage and took a best of live show to Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Woollongong and Gosford, amongst others. Hell, we even made it to bloody Brisbane. No I'm only kidding. Brisbane was actually our best show. We played at the Tivoli. I almost didn't make it on stage because I was so starstruck by sharing the same green room as Powderfinger*.

Well, now we have a DVD of that Live Show for you guys to munch on. Not so much "back by popular demand" as back by "unsolicited silence from fanbase". You waited patiently, and in many cases, unknowingly for it, so here it is : The Ronnie Johns Half Hour Live On Stage DVD - now on sale in all good DVD stores.

*Powderfinger weren't actually in the green room at the same time as us, but there was a signed poster on the wall, so, like, they had been there... in the past. Hey! It still counts!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nina Simone - Do what you gotta do

Absolutely love the lyrics and phrasing in this song. Just listen to the wandering verses. It's as though she's trying to convince herself of what she's saying. This is Nina Simone at the top of her game. What a voice. Let's spare a thought too for the writer and composer. Amazing, soulful, passionate pop music. And to think that these days kids have to deal with Justin Bieber.

On the recording I own of this song, you can hear Nina telling the recording studio (and perhaps the band) to hurry up and get ready for a take. She says, "I got a lot of living to do before I die, and I ain't got no time to waste. Let's make it-" and then proceeds to launch into the song. It's a yummy moment.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Silver Cinder played at Adelaide Fringe

Silver Cinder played the Basement in Sydney last night in what was possibly our best show to date. Big shout out to Eric from New Caledonia who happened to come to the Basement with his new bride whilst on honeymoon in Sydney. Thanks for buying our cd's and make sure you spread the word back home!

While it seems like a long time ago now, Tam and I made the trek down to Radelaide last weekend to perform at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. On Friday we played a half hour set in the Deluxe tent at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. Then on Saturday we entertained for 2 hours at the outdoor bandstand. If you were walking down Rundle Street Mall at about 11pm on Saturday night, you would also have heard Tam and I busking. I have to say that, while it is daunting to busk, there is nothing like having to compete with traffic and city noise to get people's attention. It is very humbling. In a strange way, it was almost the highlight of the trip. Very real. Tam also managed to sneak in a quick trip to the Barossa, so all round, a fairly productive couple of days. The concave trundle bed at Quest Apartments was a bit of a struggle. Thanks again to Nick and Ben from Smart Casual and to David Quirk for making room for us!

Heads up to Tam for the photos.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Silver Cinder playing Adelaide Fringe

Silver Cinder are going to be playing at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in the Garden of Unearthly Delights this Friday at 6pm and Saturday at 2pm.

We are also very excited to unleash our new EP to our free settler friends in South Australia. The disks have been printed and Tam is currently putting the final touches on the artwork. It's exciting stuff.

If you haven't already done so, make sure you "like" Silver Cinder's page on facebook. Once you've liked it, we'll automatically keep you up to date with upcoming gigs and information.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Buechner and Childhood

When he was 10 years old, Frederick Buechner woke one morning to the news that his father had committed suicide. When he reflects on his life, Buechner talks of that morning as being the moment when "time" started. For in that moment came the dreaded confirmation that there were indeed things in life that could not be solved with the comforting word of a loved one or by the embrace of a grand-parent. All time before that moment, Buechner calls "below time". Below time is childhood's time, a time when life is appreciated for what it is, rather than for when it will end.

"For a child, all time is by and large 'now time' and is apparently endless. What child while summer is happening, bothers to think much that that summer will end. What child while snow is on the ground, stops to remember that the ground was once snowless. It's by its content rather than its duration that a child knows time, by its quality rather than its quantity. Happy times and sad times. The time that a rabbit bit your finger. The time you first tasted bananas and cream, the time you were crying yourself to sleep and someone came and lay beside you in the dark, for comfort.

Childhood's time is Adam and Eve's time, before they left the garden forever and from that point on divided everything into 'before' and 'after'. It's the time before God told them that the day would come when they would surely die, with the result that from that point on they made clocks and calendars for counting out their time like money and never again lived through a day of their lives without being haunted, somewhere in the depths of themselves, by the knowledge that each day brought them closer to the end of their lives.

Summers end, to be sure. And when the sun finally burns out like a match, summer will end for good. But be that as it way, it can never be otherwise than that there was a time when summers were. It can never be otherwise than that fifty years ago, on some July or August day at dusk, I raced as a child through fireflies across a green lawn, and in some way, with the insight of a child, sensed that that moment would never cease. What was true in my childhood belief that time would go on forever was that once a moment has come into being, its "having beeness" is beyond any power in heaven or on earth, in life or in death to touch.

And the people I knew as a child, my parents and grand parents, my brothers, the nurses that came and went, the teachers and friends, the characters in the books I read, I saw them all in very much the same way as boundless. It never crossed my mind that there had been a time before they were, or that there would come a time when they would be no longer. They were the Atlas's who held the world on their shoulders, held my world, held me, and their heads towered above the clouds. As with time I hadn't yet acquired the fateful skill of standing off from them to weigh and measure. I knew them not for whoever they were in themselves, but for whoever they were for me. Mummy, Daddy, Grandpa Kune, Grandma Neya. The names they had were the names that, like Adam, I gave them. And through these new names I gave them, I gave them new selves to be. I made my father a father, my mother a mother. And what they were apart from me I no more knew or cared than I knew or cared what the world had been before I appeared in it, or what the ocean was like when I wasn't there to feel the waves suck the sand out from under my feet...

...Home was not a place to me as a child. Home was people. How they live on, for all of us, those giants of a childhood. How well they take even death in their stride. Because although death can put an end to them right enough, it can never put an end to our relationship with them. Wherever or however else they might have come to light since, it's beyond a doubt they live still in us...

...Any house where my father and mother were, was home to me. But for that very reason, whenever they left, even for a day, even for an hour, it was home no longer, but a house with walls as frail as paper, and a roof as fragile as glass. My fear was that they would never come back.

I knew nothing more of death then than what I had learned from the slippery green frog that my friends and I tossed between us by the legs until it broke and its slippery life spilled out, and nothing more of darkness than the night. I'd never lost anything that I didn't know would be replaced if I really needed it by those that I loved, and I'd never been hurt beyond the power of a word of comfort to heal.

But whenever my mother and father left, taking home with them, I knew that hurt, loss, darkness, death could flatten that house in seconds. And to a degree that I had no way of knowing, and in a way that I couldn't possibly guess, I was of course right."

If Buechner's childhood was like Adam and Eve's time in Eden, that fateful morning when he woke to the news of his father's death was Buechner's fall from grace. But what I find hauntingly profound in Buechner's recount is that even in the magical, legendary land "below time", where the concept of time as having a finite duration is yet to be fully comprehended, there is nonetheless an awareness, albeit a very dim and distant one, that it is perhaps just possible that Eden will not last forever and that when it ends, the resulting world is one filled with as yet unknown sources of sadness: hurt, loss, and incredible, penetrating darkness. So that even in that land "below time", we are capable of grieving for the loss of our childlike innocence before we are even made aware of its very existence, or indeed the fact that it might not exist forever. We grieve for something we cannot know or fully understand, other than with our dimmest "below time" understanding of it, so that, when the source of that grief is confirmed, and we realise that our time spent "below time" was in fact always going to come to an end, we grieve again at the devastating confirmation of that truth, and at our prior unawareness of it, and perhaps most devastatingly of all, at the fact that things will never again be as they were in that now most precious of times: "below time".