Different spheres

Silly face
At St Kilda Beach
Lazing on the pier at St Kilda Beach on a sunny holiday afternoon

Music is one of those things which is greatly enhanced when it’s a shared cultural experience. A concert or a dance is much more enjoyable when not only you, but everyone else around you is familiar with the material – or if not, at least appreciative of the performance. So many concerts are made or broken by the crowd.

My friend Danielle was down from Sydney this week, and it rapidly became apparent that in our musical spheres, there is little common ground. She’s aNova andMix listener – I’mJJJ andPBS. And never the Twain shall meet.

So she’d be talking about some top 40 hit, or playing me some MP3 she’d found, or showing me a promotional CD
she had, almost incredulous that I hadn’t heard them. Occasionally I could justifiably claim that I’d heard a snippet of one of them on the radio, but for the most part it’s true: I have no idea who the fuck any of them are. Does that make me an old fuddy duddy as far as music goes? Perhaps.

On Thursday night we went to the Palace at St Kilda for theMS benefit gig. Ahhh… a host of big names of the (mostly) local music industry:Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males, Dan Brodie, Dallas Crane (okay I admit it, I’m not familiar with him), most ofthe Cruel Sea (with special guestMichael Franti from Spearhead), and Paul Kelly (with special guest Renee Geyer). It was huge. The crowd were into it, especially when Franti took the stage. Was Danielle impressed? I rather think not actually. Wrong sphere, you see.

But no matter. The Palace was an interesting venue. They had a smoke free room upstairs, from which you could watch the concert through a glass pane. Shame the sound was so muffled in there, and smokers kept sneaking in. Still, it provided some respite from the delightful aroma of cigarettes. Maybe one day the situation will be reversed, and the smokers will be confined up there.

On Friday we wandered around the beach, and up to the Shrine. TheANZAC Day activities had died down by then, but there were still a lot of people about. Okay call me a wimp for not having gone to the dawn service, but the concert the night before had gone until about 2am.

As 5pm approached and the Shrine shut for the day, a uniformed soldier pulled the flags down off the flag pole with some difficulty, at one point the huge flag engulfing him almost completely. I didn’t see if he managed to fold it up neatly without help.

On Saturday night after dropping Danielle back at the airport to fly home, I had a walk around the street with the prospective house in it. It was something I always planned to do in that situation – a kind of test to determine if there were noisy neighbours in the vicinity, as there are where I live now. All was quiet. No noisy parties. No cars up on blocks in the gardens. No howling dogs. No scary deranged-looking people walking the street. No yoofs on the corner. Just a quiet, peaceful evening in suburbia. It was not an exhaustive test by any means, but the walk was pleasant, and it gave me a chance to work off dinner.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.