Foals, Holy Fire

The UK band, Foals, have finally released their long awaited album-Holy Fire. After their previously successful albums, Antidotes and Total Life Forever, Holy Fire has been two years in the making. After so long a wait, the album did not disappoint fans.  Under the genre of indie pop rock, they hit the scene in 2005 with crowd pleasers from their first album in 2008, Antidotes, featuring songs like ‘Olympic Airways’, and ‘Cassius’. Their tunes have featured in many british television shows such as ‘Skins’, ‘Outcasts’ and the award winning track, ‘Spanish Sahara’ in the British show ‘Misfits’. The band has been nominated for best album and won best track for ‘Spanish Sahara’ in 2011. With successful hits and international tours, Foals have made a comeback in the 2012 Triple J’s Hottest 100 list with their recent eps- ‘Inhaler’ and ‘My Number’. The band has a signature sound, tenor males in harmony with a head-bopping, syncopated, relaxed drum beat accompany the focus of their music- the electric guitar. Two great examples of this would have to be ‘Miami’ and ‘Inhaler’. Their earlier albums were a little experimental in terms of reimagining rhythm and beat, but as the band grew, their signature sound fully formed and they’ve gained a solid backing of supporters. This 2013, they featured as contenders at Big Day Out and toured Australia at the Oxford Art Factory in early January to promote their new release, Holy Fire. Jump on their album, out now!


Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

This year, the Art Gallery of New South Wales plays host to a collection of pieces by surrealist, Francis Bacon as part of the gallery’s International Art Series. Spanning from the early nineteen forties  until the late eighties, the exhibition covers approximately five decades of his artistry and showcases many unseen stimuli from his workshop and personal interests. The works have been drawn from over 37 different collections, including the Museum of Modern Art of in New York as well as the Tate Museum in London.

Bacon passed away in 1992, but was revolutionary for his time. In this collection of post-war pieces, Bacon exemplifies controversial modern art. Throughout the commentary of the exhibition, we learn of his influences, from studying the works of Impressionists such as van Gogh and abstract expressionists, such as Picasso. As the exhibition progresses, we see the influential nature of  these and other sources to Bacon’s work. Controversial and radical for it’s time, the art of Francis Bacon is experimental in textures and style, as well as subject matter, for a lot of his work presents a level of homosexual oppression.  Throughout the exhibition, we are shown his social commentary in works like ” The Crucifixion” and “Figure in landscape,” and these are said to encapsulate his social interests in human brutality and Nazi Germany, as well as his personal interests in radiography and lovers. Both of these artworks highlight the interrelation and combination of subject matter that Bacon exemplified in most of his pieces.

The exhibition itself is a mixture of different mediums- photography of Bacon and his studio, films from at critics and influential films from the 1920’s, as well as artefacts from his studio. The exhibition is a great showcase of selected works, however I felt that I need an introduction to his artistic capabilities and endeavors/career in interior design, rather than just a focus on his internal angst and social commentary. I felt that the exhibition was a little narrow in selection and I was Ieft wanting to know more of his progression through artistic styles and why those interested him. For example, late 2012, the gallery showcased the works of Picasso and they displayed the progression of his works- from his ability to sculpt and sketch like Michelango at age 11, to his deconstructionist abstract expressionism. It was because of this chronological progression that I understood the motives and reasoning behind a lot of the later works. I felt that this is was was lacking from the current Francis Bacon exhibition, although it was very interesting to see the masterpieces from one of the most intellectual and controversial artists of the 21st Century.

As an intellectual endeavor, I recommend catching this exhibition before it ends on the 24th of February.

Vintage Classics at a Vintage Cinema

Vintage classics at a vintage cinema.

As you push your way through the glass doors of the Hornsby Odeon cinema, you are welcomed to the venue with a subtle waft of popcorn, a buttery kind of aroma that is infused in the furniture and carpets, the warm kind of smell that lingers and brings with it memories of another time. The Hornsby Odeon Cinema is a vintage cinema that is left in time.

Walk your way up the grand staircase and notice the chandeliers that bathe the foyer in a dim wash. As with any current cinema, new releases are shown and the Odeon is a venue with no exception. However, if you cast your eye just above and beyond the popcorn bar, you’ll notice some friendly faces there to meet you. Beside the life-size Disney new release is a mounted frame from ‘Gone with the Wind’ and beside that, Marilyn Monroe greets you. Posters of Audrey Hepburn and her famous breakfast sit between the Three Stooges and Norman Bates. I guarantee, though, that a trip to the Odeon Cinema is no Hitchcock thriller.

On the contrary, the fantastic prices and combo deals, as well that fact that your ticket supports a local small business is thrilling enough to make you take the trip over to the old side of Hornsby. The cinema was opened in 1914 and sits directly opposite the train station. Affordable, and boasting 470 seats, the Odeon is a hidden gem in Hornsby, especially, when they hold their cult classic night. Every month or so, the Odeon holds a night dedicated to a classic film. In the past, they’ve shown ‘The Blues Brothers’ and their 106 miles to Chicago, they’ve gone ‘Back to the Future’ as well as shown ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’, among others. I paid the $9 for a Hitchcock marathon a few months ago and last night, a paid it again to see David Bowie in “The Labyrinth’. In a night of classic fun and entertainment, the cinema lowers ticket prices and entices movie-goers to go as their favourite character. Last night, I saw too many blonde mullets. Next time, perhaps late March or April (tba), I might see a sea of army uniforms as the Odeon brings back ‘Forrest Gump’.

The Odeon cinema is a great complex in itself, but as a vintage cinema showcasing vintage classics, don’t miss these opportunites to relive classic filmic blockbusters brought back to life.
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