Why you do it.

9.56pm on Friday 31 July, somewhere deep in the northern fringes of the Cancers. It’s a solidly superior week, and I’m stoked to be skulking in the skull of David Finig cause he’s a lucky kid. Let me give you a quick rundown:

Tonight I gave a short seminar on playbuilding and devising practice at the opening of the Australian National University Theatre Society’s 24 Hours of Theatre festival. Five teams are creating entirely new plays from scratch over the course of 24 hours during which, I believe, it is forbidden for them to sleep. I’m one of the judges at tomorrow night’s presentation – in the meantime, it’s being monitored through hourly updates on the 24 Hours of Theatre blog. I am utterly onside with the intent and approach of this festival. Word to Duncan Ragg and Andrew McBain for stringing it together, and many thanks for bringing me onboard.


In another age the members of NUTS would have been part of a pitchfork wielding mob; now they make theatre.

Following that, I trampled to the Front Cafe in Lyneham to give a feature set at the Traverse Poetry Slam‘s 3rd birthday celebrations. It was packed with good human beings and good poetry and I did a piece about Hiroshima and another piece containing all the open-mic performances stapled together. Many kinds of fun: word to Jules and Bonnie for making magical things happen every month.


10 Days of AWESOME.

In other news, I am the Assistant Editor for the new 10 Days of Science blog, created as a part of NSW and ACT’s National Science Week. You can roll that way to read a selection of sharp-witted articles on the nature of science, edited by the redoubtable Kate Hennessy.


Goofbang cover image by Arran Mckenna.

And last of all (well, for now) the first issue of Goofbang has been launched! Goofbang is a free digital zine featuring music, writing, video and visual art, curated by the animal who is the enigma who is the artist and polymath Nick McCorriston. Drawing contributions from Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Newcastle artists, Goofbang is an ongoing project, so if you’re interested in contributing, go there.

That’s all for now. There are other projects on the boil: World Interplay in several weeks, the Crack Theatre Festival in early October, the endless (glorious) tail-chasing of funding applications, and somewhere in the middle there are nights like tonight when everything is rad.

Finnigan and Brother


image by adam thomas

Finnigan and Brother is the duo of siblings Chris and David Finnigan. Formed in Canberra, Australia, Finnigan and Brother have performed their ragged blend of music and spoken word for crowds around Australia and Colombia.

Chris creates eerie and blissful songs and soundscapes using a guitar, loop station and FX pedal, over which David performs scattered story-poems sampling popstar interviews, overheard conversations, science texts, FM/AM radio and ancient historians.

In 2012, Chris and David undertook a month-long residency in Colombia, working on new material and performing gigs with Colombian artists in galleries and arts spaces throughout Medellin. The songs composed and performed during this residency will be released in 2013 as Finnigan and Brother’s debut LP.


image by adam thomas

BIO

Living under the same roof since 1988, musician Chris and David have collaborated on all kinds of creative and not-creative projects. However, despite countless hours writing, travelling, theatre-making and cooking together, the brothers only began playing music in 2007.

After collaborating as two parts of the music/performance/visual art/cooking experiment Fight Fire With Knives, the brothers joined forces with laptop artist Paul Heslin in 2008 to form Diplodocus. Finally, Chris and David decided to refine their countless jams into songs for a public audience and work seriously as a pair.

The brothers first performed at the 2009 Multicultural Fringe Festival in the Cancers, where they were mistakenly (but understandably) billed as Finnigan and Brother. Following a series of online releases and radio play, in 2010 Chris and David performed a live feature set on Sydney’s FBI Radio show Sunday Night at the Movies.

In 2012, the brothers were invited to undertake a residency at the Campos de Gutierrez artist space in Medellin, Colombia. Over their month-long stay in the foothills of the Andes, Chris and David wrote and composed a series of new songs, as well as performing gigs in galleries and community arts spaces around Medellin. Upon returning to Australia, Finnigan and Brother performed a series of gigs in Canberra before recording their new material with producer Nick McCorriston at RMIT Studios in Melbourne.

Finnigan and Brother’s debut LP will be released in 2013.


image by adam thomas

WRITINGS

Being in Colombia, this is what is happening
Blog written during our residency in Colombia discussing the Campos de Gutierrez artist space.

What happened at Altavista
An account of an incredible experience performing at a community concert in Altavista, a barrio on the outskirts of Medellin.

a sudden rush of Finnigan and Brother activity
Photos and thoughts from our short series of gigs upon returning to Australia.

Christmas is the Time
The story behind our 2012 seasonal release Christmas Is The Time, including the full text of backing track Because.

MUSIC

Finnigan and Brother’s Bandcamp is the best place to grab our music. Hustle on over if you will, and grab some or all of the following:

christmas is the time
Finnigan and Brother’s 2012 christmas single, and the first release from their forthcoming LP.

two princes (live at the phoenix)
A live recording of David and Chris’ lo-fi cover of the Spin Doctors’ 1992 hit, which follows the story past the original’s happily-ever-after fade out. Recorded at Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit! at the Phoenix Pub in Canberra in August 2012.

the goddamn kings of leon.mp3 (2.4mb)
A gristly psych-jam cover of Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill’s between-song banter to a UK festival crowd. Performed live on FBI Radio in 2010.

solar system play.mp3 (12.6mb)
In August 2010, Finnigan and Brother were featured on Sydney FBI Radio show Sunday Night At The Movies show to debut their live radio play. Solar System Play is a prison-break story which the earth escapes from its orbit and runs from the sun out into the dark. This 20 minute multi-part epic combines natural history lessons, religious propaganda pop, deconstructed sound poetry and high-octane action sequences (breaking into the aquarium and punching the fish).

you can’t all be right.mp3 (3mb)
A 105 second slice of philosophical discource floating on the back of a single riff. A commentator on the Youtube clip for the song remarked, ‘There was no suggestion on Mormons at all save for the end general application of all religions.’

medical drama.mp3 (15mb)
Music for a tense medical drama. The climax of an episode. Long panning shots of the hospital. The patient is wheeled into the surgery. The doctor is sweating – he hasn’t performed surgery in five years – and he’s drunk. But there’s no-one else. The nurse offers him a tray full of fresh instruments. The doctor refuses. From his back pocket he produces a scalpel. Blunt. Dirty. Rust spots. Leaning in, he makes the first incision… (Also, check out the video for a sample of psychedelia done cheap.)

If you’d like more, check out the archived old page for Finnigan and Brother – there are a bundle of additional old tunes and Youtube clips there for your perusal and our embarrassment.


images by adam thomas

bitterly books

I feel proud to claim that I was an early appreciator of Bitterly Books. This is a series of book reviews by the superbly tongue-in-cheek Bitterly Indifferent, an American poster on the POE-News forums which I frequent. For a long time, Bitterly Indifferent’s reviews of second-hand self-help books and guides to New Age spirituality have been the best thing on the forums; now they have their own home. Go there. Delight.

The recent review of Communicating with Orcas: the Whale’s Perspective by Mary Getten is a well of fucking genius, but philistine that I am, I can’t go past the review of When Godly People Do Ungodly Things: Arming Yourself In An Age Of Seduction by Beth Moore.

Bad Slam set

On Tuesday 21 July I will be performing a set as a what-do-you-call-it ‘Feature Poet’ in Canberra for the Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit! evening at the Phoenix Bar in the Civic Interchange. This is exciting for me tonight because I have finally settled on exactly the content I’m going to perform. If any trainspotters happen along past this site who will also be at the slam on Tuesday, here’s a heads-up which hopefully won’t ruin it for you. For anyone else, this is purely for your interest. In no order, I will be performing:

Max Barker – a text message which I received from Max a fortnight ago
Dirty Dancing – ‘…and most of all, I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling for the rest of my life…’
Hadley – not telling
Steve Reich – Come Out
Tim Flannery – The Future Eaters
DOGMATRON – Looting the Aquarium
David Finig – Platypus Fever
Dreamworks / Warner Bros – Preview for The Island


I will be performing the preview for this horrible looking movie

Armchair critique

I realise that very few people will stumble past this blog on the hunt for intelligible political commentary, and that is as it should be. I am neither wise nor informed. But, through the vagaries of chance, birth, fate et al, I do follow the writings of Portopolitico on his Armchair Critique blog. I direct your attention there for his recent writings on ‘The Failings of the Green Lobby’:

Another key problem is the narrow perspective within which climate change stories are argued and reported. When the media do articulate the dangers of climate change, it is almost always through the threat of sea level rises or ice caps melting or polar bears dying at some distant point in the future. There is almost always a failure to extrapolate from these sea level rises the agricultural disasters and likely military confrontations that will inevitably result. Energy lobbies can always extrapolate the rising energy prices and probable job losses that will result from carbon mitigation schemes, but environmental lobbies never extrapolate just what a sea level rise means. The media often extrapolate sea level rises to mean higher insurance premiums for beach house owners which is ridiculous because in reality by the time the sea is lapping at your front porch it would be the least of your concerns.

Severe water shortages and the forced relocation of many communities away from the increasingly uninhabitable equatorial regions will almost certainly result in mass migrations of refugees and military confrontations, particularly in regard to China and India who both want to secure the dwindling water supplies from the Himalayas. At a local level, rural communities will require heavy subsidies and cities like Canberra will find themselves paying huge bills for water. Yet these rather obvious extrapolations are rarely mentioned despite the increasing volume of military geopolitical studies that reinforce these obvious conclusions.

On a very different slant, I advise you strongly to download the free compilation of Australian experimental music assembled by New Weird Australia. This first batch contains lovely tunes by Pimmon (whose new record Smudge Another Yesterday is out and requires your attention), Tom Smith aka Cleptocleptics, Anonymeye (Andrew Tuttle, co-director of the Sound Summit festival as part of This Is Not Art), and a stunningly gorgeous track by the brilliantly named Brutal Hate Mosh, who I’ve never encountered before but now dearly want to befriend.

disarm the wheatfiend!

Lo! Pictures from the recent production of my play Hate Restaurants at the Virgin Labfest in Manila! Director J Victor Villareal and his cast of (I assume) professional deviants have done an extraordinary job. Hate Restaurants is a rags-to-riches fairytale about a humble kitchenhand who grows up to have his head torn off and his blood used to decorate the entranceway of a pancake restaurant belonging to the Scientologists.

As you can see from the images, Villareal and co have taken this simple (but charming) premise and constructed an edifice of theatre which brings to mind all your favourite styles from the heyday of the Bubonic Plague. Plague-chic!


not from the Labfest production, but sexy nevertheless