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It's hard to believe.
June 19, 2009

An age has passed - 7 months exactly - since the last update to this page. That seems somewhat ridiculous!

ii - new recordings, shows
Alex and Jon have been playing and recording a lot in preparation for a second ii album. Planned for completion in the next few months, you can expect a new direction spurred by the pair's renewed fervour for minimal electronica, abstract techno, musique concrete and digital synthesis. Nothing too serious, though. ii will be next play at Horse Bazaar for friend and collaborator Anonymeye's album launch this Wednesday June 24.

Aleks and the Ramps - Midnight Believer
Aleks and the Ramps, meanwhile, have completed second album Midnight Believer, which is out now through Stomp. After a February tour around New Zealand (including Camp A Low Hum), the band launched first single 'Antique Limb' in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in May. Songs from the album have been receiving airplay on Triple J as well as heavy rotation on community radio nationwide, with the album being featured on stations such as FBi and Triple R. The Ramps are currently on tour for the launch of Midnight Believer, playing in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Hobart, Adelaide and Melbourne. Visit their website for dates and updates.

Dizzydonor offshoot Its Its will spend the second half of July in Wiluna, Western Australia, as artists-in-residence for the Awesome Arts Creative Challenge 2009 - an arts festival involving children in remote regional communities. Its Its will produce a series of audio pieces reflecting young peoples' experience in their town, and the people they look up to.

Stranger of the Month is currently open at 24HR ART in Australia's Northern Territory, a part of the Pro-Tribute exhibition which runs until 25 July. The exhibition is curated by Hugh Davies.


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I was shaking at the sight.
November 19, 2008

Are you more rubber band or string?

Collapse - Melbourne premiere opens tonight
Jon and Nadia have been working on the sound design and composition for a large scale, site-specific experimental performance/installation project called Collapse, produced by Red Cabbage (for whom, you may recall, the pair provided a soundtrack to the Hedge-mony DVD). The show centres around the narrative of a society in crisis, and questions the ideas of humanity, grace and memory in post-apocalyptic adversity. It runs Wednesday to Sunday, 19-30 November, from 7:30pm (for a 7:45pm boat departure, so no latecomers). Tickets are $30/$24, including boat and bus journey, available from Hobson's Bay Tickets (03 9932 1000). The boat departs from Scienceworks Jetty, Spotswood.

Alpen/Sopp Collective - The Ongoing Moment
As previously noted, Jon visited Sydney earlier this year to record with Alpen and a collective of musicians, producing an album in two days from improvisation, alongside visual artists doing much the same. Well, the physical product has arrived - a deluxe, limited edition poster-and-album pack. It's striking and very nice indeed. You can purchase yours from Feral Media for $32 (plus postage), or visit The Ongoing Moment site to find out more, to view the artwork, and to listen to samples of the music.

Radio Australia's Pacific Break
Jon also spent the week of 9-16 November in Port Vila, Vanuatu, as digital producer of Pacific Break - a music competition for bands of the Pacific Islands. Jon's job was to document the competition's outcome: the winning band's appearance at the annual Fest'Napuan music festival, which features the best string bands and pop outfits (mostly leaning toward the reggae end of things, admittedly) from Vanuatu and the region. He collected interviews, live video footage, audio recordings and photographs; the results can be seen, slowly unfolding, here: http://blogs.radioaustralia.net.au/pacificbreak.

Mark Barrage launches his second album, Delays, next Wednesday (November 26) at The Toff in Town. Go to it. It's going to rule! Hard.


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And / more.
September 15, 2008

So much news and, as usual, so little time to tell you about it. This has been an incredibly busy year!

Book launch and new project - this week
First up, Jon's got a ten-minute sound/music piece (a triptych based around the Newport / Hobsons Bay area, in Melbourne's west) in the latest And Collective book/CD project. The whole thing's being launched this Thursday September 18, at Metropolis Bookshop, from 6 to 9pm. Everyone's welcome. The book features work by Marc Martin, Justine Ellis, Dan Rule, Warwick Baker, Tom Civil, Oslo Davis, Kubota Fumikazu, Rachael Wenona Guy, Andy Jackson, Kyle de Kuijer, Brigid McCarthy, Meg Mundell, Mandy Ord, Liza Power, Memuzin River, Lou Smith, Salote Tawale, Eve Vincent - and, on the CD, Perfect Black Swan, Nadia Combe (of Scissors for Sparrow!), Saddleback, Bird Traps, Chris Smith and Lee Memorial. Previous instalments of the And Collective's independently published books have been really engaging documents of a Melbourne creative community, so it's very exciting to see another edition.

ii's Australian tour and other goings on
ii have been on tour through August and September, hot on the heels of Aleks and the Ramps' Canadian tour (which ended about two weeks before the ii tour kicked off!). The pair made their way to Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane over a couple of weekends, and played with Underlapper, Shoeb Ahmad, Moonmilk, The Desks, Aviator Lane, Archeopteryx, Panoptique Electrical, Tristan Louth-Robbins, Pacific By Rail, Magic Window, The Ghost of 29 Megacycles, M. Rosner, Adam Trainer, Tujiko Noriko, Blank Realm, Yeow Meow, and Lawrence English/Eugene Carchesio/Leighton Craig. It all wrapped up with a hometown show alongside the amazing Beach House. Sincere thanks to everybody who helped ii out along the way - including Jen and Keith, Lawrence English, Jason Sweeney, Ross Manning, Dan Lewis, Traianos Pakioufakis, Greg Taw, Warwick Smith, Shoeb Ahmad, Michael Radzevicius, Alicia Woodrow, Taryn, Anwyn, Danny and Caroline, the wonderful people at FELT in Adelaide and Serial Space in Sydney - and to all new and old friends for making it so great. (You can see some photos of ii in Brisbane here and here.)

There have also been a number of reviews of Landlakes, and interviews/features. ii are now working on new recorded material, and are playing the following dates in Melbourne:
  • Sunday 21 September - Kerala Gallery, 283 High St, Northcote - 3pm (Michael O'Dwyer's Simple Gifts exhibition / High Vibes festival) - free
  • Tuesday 30 September - The Toff in Town - with Spartak (Canberra - album launch), Panoptique Electrical, and Part-Timer - $10
  • Friday 3 October - Pony - with ZOND, KES (solo) and Popolice - $10 - click for poster

Aleks and the Ramps recording second album
Meanwhile, Aleks and the Ramps have been busying themselves in the studio, working on their second album. After a handful of days rehearsing and writing and a week in the studio with engineer and Baby Papa Casey Rice, the quintet are completing recording and editing at home. You can expect to see it on shelves in a few months; in the meantime, the Ramps will be appearing at Mistletone's next seasonal soirée, Springtones. Click here to see the poster with all the details. (Dizzydonor produced this poster for Mistletone.) Other bands include Lucky Dragons (USA), Sly Hats, Hi God People and The Motifs.

The Ongoing Moment
After returning from Canada (but before setting off again with ii), Jon popped up to Sydney to play guitar/synth in Alpen's Working Bee project, part of the Underbelly Public Arts Lab + Festival at Carriageworks in Redfern. You can read all about the project, watch videos and learn more about the other musicians and artists involved at the Underbelly website, or download the extended 22-track version of the album for free (it's almost two hours long!). The full recordings amount to over seven hours of audio. The project was transformed into an exhibition the following weekend at Carriageworks, and will soon be released as a physical product through Feral Media.

Scissors, and suchlike
Unfortunately still no movement on the Scissors for Sparrow record; let's just say it'll be a Summer project. In the meantime, Jon is working with Nadia on a new sound design and composition project, an abstract performance production by Red Cabbage. This will be performed in a season of ten dates at the end of November; naturally, we'll post details when they come to hand.

Small, good things
Finally, as Spring takes hold and you clamber forth from your den, hungry for things to see and do, let us refer you to some good stuff we've seen floating around. Mark Barrage (Scissors for Sparrow) is releasing his latest album, Delays, this October (through the aforementioned, fabulous Mistletone Records). Judging by his recent live shows, it's going to be incredibly good. Inquiet have just released a new album, Inq Beyong, which is a stellar piece of abstract, richly atmospheric, tropicalia-tinged pop. Wherever you are in the world, Anacortes' finest, Mount Eerie, is probably going past you sometime soon (check out those tour dates!) - and if you can't make any of those shows, you owe it to yourself to listen to his/their latest releases, Dawn and Lost Wisdom. Both are exemplary. And let's not forget that Deerhoof are geniuses.

Take care, and be generous. You know - buck the trend.


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Hey, guy.
June 15, 2008

Canadians have a certain way of speaking in the West, and another in the East. But if there's one thing that unites all Canadians, it's the phrase: hey, guy.

The Aleks and the Ramps tour blog is where you can read the ramblings of a handful of travel-worn, heat-exhausted Melbourne kids (currently midway through their traipsings).

Finally, some lovely Canadians have taken an interest in Melbourne's indie music - kudos to them. You can read a little about their radio show on the Carload of Whatever blog; they played some of our favourite artists, such as Pompey, Inquiet, Drama for Yamaha, Barrage and Flying Scribble. They also gave all dizzydonor-related things a spin!


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June 2, 2008

One actually struggles to believe it's been four months since news, solely because there's been so much going on. Let us try, then, to be brief.

ii have received some funding from Sound Travellers (under the watchful eye of the Australia Council, of course) to tour Australia in July and August, visiting Perth, Adelaide and Canberra for the first time, while also taking in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane (sorry Tasmania, but you had us in February). While full details are yet to be announced, there are shows with the magical Tujiko Noriko (JP) and the insanely amazing Beach House (US). It's shaping up to be a good thing.

Jon and Nadia will soon begin work on another Red Cabbage work, this time set in a fascinatingly spooky maritime location. Production is slated to begin in August, with a series of performances happening through December.

And Jon's about to visit Canada with Aleks and the Ramps; the group will be playing at North by Northeast, and roaming about the vast yet mild nation for a couple of weeks on either side of it. They'll also hopefully visit Olympia and Anacortes, Washington (USA) for a brief holiday. Upon their return to Australia in July, pending the completion of the ii tour, the Ramps will begin recording their second album roughly around August. Canadians and Canadiennes, take note - the band are sporting newly-designed (by Aleks, Janita and Jon) t-shirts and bags. They're spunky. Find out all about the Canada tour here.

It hasn't all been good news, though. In a jarring and unexpected twist, Stranger of the Month curator Kerrie-Dee Johns passed away just days before the project was to launch, coinciding with the beginning of the Next Wave festival. The artists - and some very generous assistants - helped to make the project happen in a modified format, despite the difficulty of the task and the need to reflect on the tragedy of Kerrie's passing. She was a witty, intelligent friend to so many of us who'll miss her very much. An obituary was published in Melbourne's The Age newspaper recently.

You can find out more about Stranger of the Month, or contribute to it, at its project website.

Well, see you soon. If you're in Canada, that means sooner; if you're not, I'm afraid we'll just have to see you later.


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February 16, 2008

Humans. ii's new and exciting album, Landlakes, is out now in Australian record stores (and online) with the assistance of Feral Media. Touch it, listen to it, smell it, love it! Etcetera, etcetera. 'Oho' was playlisted on Sydney's FBi radio in late January, and other tracks have found their way onto airwaves around this crispy Cruskit of a continent. Also, this bit of niceness.

Landlakes will be launched in Melbourne on Wednesday March 5 at The Toff in Town with Sly Hats, Barrage and (a rare live appearance by) Pompey. Sydney doesn't miss out, with a show on Thursday March 6 at the Sound Lounge (Seymour Theatre). ii are joined by Seaworthy and Assemblage, plus the inimitable Peter Hollo playing tunes between and after sets. Tasmania has already had its dose, with a show at Fern Tree Community Centre and another - the launch proper - at the Mt Stuart Rd mansion in North Hobart. If you'd like to hear some of the album, visit ii's Myspace profile, or check out the profile created especially for you to preview the record.

In other news, Aleks and the Ramps - fresh from supporting New York's Matt & Kim - will be supporting the legendary Sea and Cake when they play at Melbourne's Northcote Social Club on Saturday March 8. There's plenty more around the corner, but we're keeping a lid on it.

And for the curious connoisseur, the elusive Scissors for Sparrow are hiding away from live shows at the moment, as they prepare a new release, and Alex travels Earth's Northern Hemisphere for a couple of mid-year months. Be assured that the gang will reconnect with their chakras and unleash further slices of pop eardrum on your ears later in 2008.

ii's landlakes - launches in melbourne and sydney


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The Last Snowstorm of the Year
December 30, 2007

Well... not exactly; the last day of Melbourne's year is forecast to be a scorching 41°C! Nonetheless, this being our final 2007 update, we're going to take a bit of poetic license. Majorly.

It's been a very busy year - with more recording, travelling, show-going, writing, meeting, designing and thinking than ever. We're proud of what we've been able to get done - ii's Landlakes album is now being printed, burnt and assembled for a February release, and the duo reached out into new territories both geographically and aesthetically this year; Blood was launched with great success at the Melbourne Writers Festival; Scissors for Sparrow have made strong progress on their first album; and we've been able to take all of this music interstate, to share with our dearest friends (and kind strangers). We've also worked on countless small projects too numerous to list.

All that said, there's plenty to look forward to in the new year. Aleks and the Ramps are playing in Melbourne on January 4th (Ding Dong Lounge - Bootleg), 18th (The Old Bar, with France's Ladybird, and Summer Cats), and 19th (Super8 Diaries documentary launch - with a million other bands). They're also heading to Launceston and Hobart in early February, with ii - who will be launching Landlakes there, with guest players. ii will then likely visit Sydney and Brisbane to play additional launches... check back here for more details, coming soon. There are also murmurings of new bands/groupings and projects, so look out for some more ace music in 2008!

We hope that you've some things to be proud of in your year, too. There are some years which are brilliant and fulfilling, and others that are a struggle to survive. And then there are years which are a combination of both. Thanks for being our friend in 2007. See you on the other side of the (not so) great divide.


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Art / After Dark!
October 5, 2007

Again, apologies for the lack of action here. ii and Aleks and the Ramps went to Brisbane last week (and, on the way back, lost our musical luggage - never fear, it's safe now!). The Ramps, ii and Scissors for Sparrow also made it to Sydney, with the Ramps adding a Canberra show, and I went to Newcastle briefly to set up shop with Stranger of the Month at This Is Not Art. And while ii didn't manage to record with Seaworthy, they did collaborate onstage (at Underlapper's Sydney album launch), and have all but finished their record, too - with mastering booked for next week, and artwork completed (thanks to the amazing Royce from Brothersister Records)!


Just two things to quickly tell you about today. Tonight, in fact, Scissors for Sparrow will be playing at the National Gallery of Victoria (St Kilda Rd, Melbourne), in the Great Hall, from 5:45pm. The night (our familiar old Art After Dark shindig!) itself extends from 5 to 9pm, and the Guggenheim Exhibition will be open (for its last weekend in town!), with food and drink available too. Also playing are The Emergency, and Meccanoid DJs Not Happy Jan, Quirk, Glitch and Toupee. Flyer here.

Finally, ii will be playing next Thursday (October 11) at the After Dark (High St, Northcote), with some of our favourites: Prettyboycrossover and Flying Scribble. Learn all about it in this informative piece of promotional art.


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Life x 1208940721089476012!
August 15, 2007

A frantic couple of months ahead! ii and Aleks and the Ramps in particular are playing tonnes this month, while Scissors for Sparrow polish their chops (bad, bad phrasing) for recording while in Sydney early next month. Incidentally, ii are also finishing their album off amidst all the performance action. And in September, ii, Scissors for Sparrow and Aleks and the Ramps will be all over the east coast, including Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane. I'm wiping sweat from my brow just thinking about it all.

There are simply too many shows to list here, so check out ii's shows page to find out where, when and why they're playing. Ramps shows can be found on their Myspace page. Scissors for Sparrow will next play at Sydney's Seymour Theatre, on Thursday September 6 - joined by Anonymeye (also of Melbourne, and with whom Jon and Alex of ii/s4s will be playing too) and Clairaudience, who're launching their debut album on the night! It should be great. (Click here for the flyer.) While up in Sydney, ii are also hoping to record with Seaworthy instigator Cameron Webb, artist-in-residence at Olympic Park - and full-time lovely human.

Jon will be appearing on (Melbourne radio station) RRR's To and Fro programme this coming Tuesday night, between midnight and 2am (technically Wednesday, for the pedantic). He'll be sharing some favoured local tunes with the airwave-consuming public. He's also got a book launch on the afternoon of Sunday August 26 at the Malthouse Theatre in Southbank - details here.

You can also take a look at this flyer, below, which will basically tell you that ii are collaborating with cellists Emily Williams and Francesca Mountfort at NGV International's Art After Dark series this month, at the NGV on St Kilda Rd, in Melbourne. In the event's final week, Fran is unable to make it, so guitarist Seth Rees will likely take her position onstage.

Click here to see the poster!


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East side!
July 16, 2007

I'm still falling asleep, but I'll be wide awake this Friday - when Scissors for Sparrow join Aleks and the Ramps and Extreme Wheeze on stage at the East Brunswick Club in Melbourne. It's set to be a huge show; the farewell of amazing dancetastic Ramps drummer Captain Rad, the welcome of new drummer Black Wasp, and a whole host of guest Ramps. Scissors for Sparrow will bust out a fresh new cover of a brilliant DAT Politics song, and will have t-shirts for hardcore merch hounds too.

View the flyer here!

Friday July 20. East Brunswick Club, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. $8. 8:30pm.


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Wind panther.
June 27, 2007

I'm falling asleep even as I attempt to write this, so I'll keep it brief. ii and Scissors for Sparrow are both playing a large number of shows over the next couple of months. Stay tuned. The first pair of these are this week, and are as follows:

- Thursday 28 June, The Rob Roy. The Spheres, The Black Hundred, Underlapper (Sydney - CD launch) and ii. Click for flyer.
- Friday 29 June, Gertrudes. Underlapper, Scissors for Sparrow and Anonymeye. Click for flyer.

I'm far too sleepy to type any more. Bon nuit.


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I see nothing but people.
June 8, 2007

It's hard to believe over two months have passed between updates. So much has happened. Where to start?

Well, there haven't been any ii releases yet, due to dilly-dallying and funding issues mostly. However, Alex and Jon will be playing alongside a string quartet put together by cellist Emily Williams, for the National Gallery of Victoria's Art After Dark programme, every Wednesday night in August. ii will also be playing 'normal' shows around Melbourne on June 21 (Forepaw, with Magnetics/Francis Plagne/downtown), June 28 (Rob Roy, with Underlapper (Sydney), The Spheres and The Black Hundred), July 12 (Glasshouse, with Shoeb Ahmad, Man Killed and Anonymeye), and finally August 4 (Hell's Kitchen, with The Walking Band). More details closer to time.

Not to be left out, Scissors for Sparrow will also be playing the NGV's Art After Dark programme on October 5, this time invited by the Meccanoid gang. The band has also been asked to play a couple of special shows - the soonest being this Saturday, supporting Japan's finest soft out-poppers, Tenniscoats! It's an early, all-ages affair at Brunswick's Cloud City warehouse (23 Prentice St, Brunswick, VIC, Australia). Also playing will be Panel of Judges (after s4s), and Monnone Alone (Mark Monnone of The Lucksmiths, before s4s). Doors open at 7pm. See this flyer for full details.

Scissors for Sparrow are also playing a couple of other shows soon - June 29 (Gertrude's, with Underlapper and Anonymeye) being the soonest. It's special, because it's Underlapper's Red Spring album launch! Scissors for Sparrow's Jon produced the track 'Left Wing Guardian' from this album.

Jon has been working hard on the Stranger of the Month project with Kerrie-Dee Johns, and an anthology of writing called Blood - including a story called 'Curtain' by Jon - will be launched at the Melbourne Writer's Festival in late August. He has also become the newest member of surreal noise-pop band Aleks and the Ramps, joining on drums in a vague attempt at filling the gap left by all-singing all-dancing departee, Schultz. Prior to this, Aleks and the Ramps had invited Scissors for Sparrow to join them in relaunching their debut album, Pisces vs Aquarius, at the East Brunswick Club on July 20. Also playing will be Ramps spin-off Extreme Wheeze & the Nasty Coughs, and World's End Press.

Sorry we haven't got an RSS feed or few yet - these things take time! Also, ii's and Scissors for Sparrow's 'shows' pages will be updated as soon as this busy weekend passes. In the meantime, come and see us out on the weekend, or on one of our many other outings!


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April 5, 2007

At the moment, we're struggling to find time enough to even breathe. Or sleep. Or cook. Or play in what remains of the sun as Autumn swallows our humble city. We look forward to these things and more. The future will be an amazing place.

In the meantime, we'll sit here looking hopeful, our heads busied with lots of things. We're currently near the end of producing a song for Underlapper's new album Red Spring, due mid-year on Feral Media; and both ii and Scissors for Sparrow will be playing with Underlapper in June. Other shows are also pending for these bands - check out their 'shows' pages for more comprehensive information.

The nearest shows are for ii - next Thursday April 12 at Spoon Café (with Keith Mason - exciting!) - and Sunday April 15 at The Afterdark.

ii are currently preparing a couple of releases - a 12" vinyl record through Sound&Fury, a debut album on Feral Media, and finally, the release of the remarkable 18 minute improvised piece, Crying, Eating (on a split 12" record through Feral later this year). Scissors for Sparrow are also working on new songs, and are hoping to release their debut album soon. Jon has had a little artwork appear in a group exhibition in North Geelong this past month, and has also just today produced a track called 'Left Wing Guardian' for Sydney group Underlapper's forthcoming album, Red Spring.

Coming soon to this page, also, is an RSS feed. It'll be a good way to stay up to date with what's going on without having to check back on this page all the time. Stay tuned.

That's the sum of things for the moment. Take care, stay warm, and be kind.


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Two become one.
February 11, 2007

Hi! Nice to see you again, and hopefully your new year is going well thus far. Over Christmas, we've been on our feet; the Hedge-mony DVD soundtrack is now finished, we're working on some drums for pastiche-hopper Artifishal Limb, and producing a brand new tune for Underlapper, whose new album is shaping up to be something really special. Jon's been in China, and is now working on a project for Next Wave 2008 with curator Kerrie-Dee Johns. In addition to all that, we've started some website maintenance work for our near neighbours Head Gap, whose new studio is beautiful - with former Ricaine frontman Neil Thomason and Little Ugly Girls drummer Sloth sharing time behind the mixing desk. Goodness.

So you see, it's not like we've been getting lazy.

Speaking of which; you'll want to make sure you get plenty of sleep before Saturday February 24, when both ii and Scissors for Sparrow are making live appearances. Firstly, Scissors for Sparrow will be playing at Applecore: Backyard Stacks On #5 in the afternoon, sharing a bill with Shooting at Unarmed Men (featuring some fellow who was in Mclusky), Actor/Model, Aleks & The Ramps, Pikelet, Applecross, Talkshow Boy, Dane Certificate and Sarah Mackintosh.

9 - 10 Shooting At Unarmed Men
8 – 8.45 Actor/Model
7 – 7.40 Talk Show Boy
6 – 6.40 Pikelet
5 – 5.40 Applecross
4 – 4.40 Scissors For Sparrow
3 – 3.40 Aleks & The Ramps
2 – 2.40 Dane Certificate
1 – 1.40 Sarah Mackintosh

It's $5 to come along, with a cheap barbeque and BYO drinks/comforts/snacks. The address for this Applecore episode is 167 Clauscen St, North Fitzroy, and the whole event lasts from 1pm-10pm.

thumbnail link to s4s gig flyer thumbnail link to ii gig flyer

Later on, ii take a little break from their recording (which has reached the halfway mark!) to play at The Afterdark (565 High St, Northcote, Victoria.. Australia). The lineup also features KES band, Pikelet, Could've Moved Mountains, and Bum Creek. Entry by gold coin. It does in fact kick off at around 8pm (contrary to the time listed on the flyer), with ii playing from 9-10pm, and KES ending things from 12-1am.

Right now, we're off to investigate this much-hyped 'restfulness' fad. See you on the pillow.


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Two things.
December 14, 2006

Just a short update today, as it's a manic week ahead. Firstly, we have created a small site that'll serve as a meeting point for friends of Dan McCluskey. It's at http://www.dizzydonor.org/danmc/ - click the address to have a look.

Scissors for Sparrow will be playing at Applecore this weekend. Applecore is an annual all-day backyard show, and this year it'll feature tables and chairs, umbrellas, a free barbeque and the comfortable surrounds of a big backyard. And, hopefully, you and your friends. Come along early - it's $5 donation entry and that includes barbequed goods... bring your own everything else. The address is 43 Pender Street, Thornbury . Other bands playing are Hand Hell, Actor/Model, Little Athletics, Popolice, The Sterlings, and Ouch My Face. Scissors for Sparrow will be kicking the afternoon off at 2pm. As Jamie is in Sydney this month, the lineup for this appearance is Nadia, Alex, Mark & Jon, with new recruit Prudence. See you in the backyard.


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Sleepy pea.
November 16, 2006

Hello again. Another busy month has slipped into the past, and here's what's news. Firstly, both Scissors for Sparrow and ii are featured on the Melbourne International Arts Festival's Ringtone Society project. You can preview the all-new loop-ready ringtones on their site, and download them in a number of continents around the world! You will need to browse the Australian Society ringtones to find all the Dizzydonor-related pieces, but these links should get you started if you want to cut to the chase:

- Scissors for Sparrow - 'Slow Key' ringtone
- ii - '_n' ringtone

You may remember mention of a film clip for ii's piece called 'Water Torture'. Well, you can now view this short video on YouTube. Click here to watch it! More videos to come soon, including more live footage from the first Scissors for Sparrow show (at Melbourne's Rob Roy Hotel), and our recent short, Make A Monster. For the time being, you can scroll down to see a video of 'Bed Day!' played live in 2005.

The line-up for next week's Scissors for Sparrow show has been all but finalised. Joining Jon will be Alex (also of ii), Nadia, Mark, and Jamie (who's pretty much in transit between New York and Sydney at the moment, recording a new album with his other band, Architecture in Helsinki). Speaking of the show - the other band who'll be playing are called Mayaan, and they're a folk-styled duo. There may be another act confirmed in the next day or so. Here's a flyer:

dan mccluskey memorial gig - flyer image

The door charge for this show is $12/10, all of which goes to the Daniel McCluskey Memorial Prize which is currently being setup — a yearly humanitarian law prize presented through the University of Melbourne Faculty of Law. Dan was an extremely close friend and a member of Scissors for Sparrow. He died suddenly in January of this year, and the prize is intended to reflect his work and interest in social justice and human rights. This will be the first time the band has played in over a year, the last time being with Dan, of course.

Scissors for Sparrow live in 2005

Finally, don't forget ii's show at the Tote on Saturday November 25, with Could've Moved Mountains. It kicks off at about 4pm. Experimental string group Tarantula are unconfirmed thus far.

That's it for now - have an interesting day! See you soon.


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Monsters. Memories.
October 9, 2006

We've been so busy that we've barely had a moment to write about it! First of all, you can enjoy brand new music from ii and Scissors for Sparrow, as both are included on the fantastic new compilation album that comes with issue 9 of Mess + Noise magazine. Keeping them company on the disc (which features another fantastic design by Sopp Collective) are artists such as Tunng, Because of Ghosts (who are currently touting their debut album), and Alpen (whose video clip, also by Sopp, was just accepted into the touring programme of ResFest '06!).

While it's not quite a full return to the stage just yet, Scissors for Sparrow will be playing soon under the name Scissors for Sparrow (mini!). The group's line-up is presently unconfirmed, but it will be a diminished, simplified incarnation. It's a memorial fundraiser for late bandmember Dan, and it'll be at Fitzroy, Melbourne's Cape Lounge (yes) on Thursday, November 23, from 8pm. More details on who else will play as the date approaches. From Scissors (mini!), you can expect a more pared-back, simple and subdued sound.

The above show will probably make use of material constructed in early November, when Scissors for Sparrow will spend a week in the studio with Alpen and Barrage. Meanwhile, ii's recording has taken some interesting turns - but no giveaways just yet! Jon is currently making a film, Make A Monster, and writing reviews for PBS-fm and Thermostat; Nadia and Jon are also continuing work on the Red Cabbage soundtrack project.

As a final word for this update, we urge you to again consider your lifestyle and its environmental impact. Yeah, we know - everyone's on this bandwagon since An Inconvenient Truth, but y'know, it's been a concern of ours for a long while. And to be honest, we're glad that people are thinking more about these things. Fingers crossed it's not a trend that passes.

Alright; it's time for us to get back to work. Busy times in changing climes!


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Mess / Foliage
August 30, 2006

With heads firmly placed between the speakers of life, we say, we of the Dizzydonor persuasion are currently busying ourselves with a number of projects. Firstly, there's the soundtrack commission for a DVD showcasing the Red Cabbage Hedge-mony project. Nadia and Jon are working hard at producing a fitting soundtrack to the grand and haunting spectacle of hundreds of suited and hedged performers silently confusing people on a hot, hot afternoon. The community radio database site is still in development, and welcomes your suggested names (we'll work out a reward for any successful ideas). Make it catchy, kids.

Scissors for Sparrow and ii have both been working on new material that will meet your ears in coming months. In particular, the ii album recording project is coming along nicely, incorporating plenty of improvised material as well as more tightly-crafted adventures. The first taste of these sessions is a track called 'Oho', available very soon, and for free. Keep your eyes on Mess + Noise and Feral Media if you're keen for as-yet-unheard stuff from both groups!

Scissors for Sparrow is currently seeking interested musicians (from Melbourne or Sydney only - sorry) to play in the band for live shows. Contact details are on the about page. The group are also working on a remix project with Faux Pas, as he wanders through the Northern Hemisphere with a laptop. As you do.


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Chills and hills
July 22, 2006

Hello. How's it?

A couple of small announcements to make for now, as we breathe mist into the chill of our living rooms. Firstly, ii will be playing at Bar Open on Sunday July 23, with Alps of New South Wales and Could've Moved Mountains. Entry is free and ii will play at roughly 8pm. It's probably the last ii appearance for a while, as the focus is turned toward the completion of an album — with encouraging signs so far. In the meantime, the Electundra CD/DVD are still available from Metropolis Bookshop in Melbourne.

In Scissors for Sparrow news, "Youth With A (Tele)Vision" (Oh... Hello! EP, 2005) has been picked for Noise's Emergent Project. This means the tune will be featured on ABC Radio National's Sound Quality programme, and included in a cover CD with the next issue of Cyclic Defrost — which, incidentally, will also feature the Scissors for Sparrow interview slated for the previous issue (which has been rolled into the current, super-comprehensive issue). This issue will be distributed overseas, too — so perhaps if you're not reading this from Australia, you'll find in your lucky hands a copy nonetheless. Double the fun, huh?


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Shortwave China
June 14, 2006

Apologies for the late notice, but we've only just been informed that a Scissors for Sparrow interview will be aired on Radio Australia in China over the next couple of days. The interview will first be heard at roughly 10:10pm on Wednesday June 14, and will be repeated at 9:15pm on Friday June 16 (Beijing time). For those within range of Radio Australia's Chinese service, a tuning guide is available here.

Also, don't forget to catch ii at Electundra on Sunday June 18. Joining ii will be fine instrumentalists such as Qua, Because of Ghosts, Isnod and Amplifier Machine. ii will play at 8pm; entry is $8 including the festival DVD, which includes the brand new 'Water Torture' film clip. See you there.


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Sweet tooth
May 20, 2006

We are pleased to announce that a couple of ii mobile phone ringtones are on sale through candyspace.tv, alongside amazing artists, designers, photographers, illustrators and animators including trunk, Alpen, Ben O'Brien, Isan and Comatone. We hope to be able to add to this collection soon, having recorded a rather large basket of excellent new ii material recently.

Visit Candyspace for more details, and look for us under Audio/Sound Works.


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May 15, 2006

ii are playing a show this coming Sunday, May 21, at the Arthouse on Melbourne's northern edge. Joining them will be Schottky Noise, Daysworth Fighting and Needletail (ex-Breeds There A Man). The love starts at 7pm, with ii playing at 7:30, and the other bands following in the above order. Nobody seems to know how much it costs, if anything.

In other news... well, there isn't really any. Yet. That's not to say you shouldn't stay on your toes.


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Food for hungry eyes and ears
April 22, 2006

ii can now happily announce that they will be playing at Electundra (held at Loop, Melbourne) on June 18, 2006, at roughly 8pm. The evening also features Qua, Digit Span Test, and Three Month Sunset. Stick that one in your PDA.

In related news, Jon has created a video clip for the ii piece, 'Water Torture', for inclusion on the associated festival DVD. We hope to be able to offer it for viewing on Dizzydonor soon. Additionally, ii appear to have begrudgingly succumbed to the unstoppable juggernaut that is MySpace, and have now got some kind of profile there. The upside is that you can listen to (and even download) ii's music without affecting Dizzydonor's precious bandwidth. Touché.

Next — and we only just this very second realised this — Cyclic Defrost's interview with Scissors for Sparrow is now online in Issue #13. That means it's also available in print. The bonus is that you, dear web user, can download two Scissors for Sparrow songs for free. As if that weren't enough, Jon's interview with Broadcast is also available online now.

Finally. Dizzydonor today turns one year old. Such an ineffable year.


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Scissors for Sparrow news
April 5, 2006

Have you been finding it difficult to get your paws on Scissors for Sparrow releases? Are we simply playing too-hard-to-get?

Well, you're currently standing ankle-deep in some puddle of luck. We have made our Sydney '05 tour release, "Oh... Hello!", available for legal download through the omnipresent iTunes Music Store. For those of you unfamiliar with Western capitalism, let us help you with it: buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy buy.

To celebrate (and to provide some balance), we've decided to offer some tunes for illegal download! Head to the Scissors for Sparrow - Records page to find four free tunes. They're vintage and rough, truly ditties of a forgotten era — now go, scroll down, and have some fun.


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More of it
March 28, 2006

We're very pleased to announce that ii will be accompanied by Ben Mastwyk (real-time video) at Electundra this June. Ben has been working on live video performances for many events lately, including our own Party Shuffle event.

Also, the dizzydonor-designed website at Doctor-Luke.com is online. This time, it's paediatric.

Jon's playing some records this Thursday night (March 30), at the And Collective's Personal Empires book launch at Loop, 7pm onwards. Find out more about the book here.

Finally, we'll be visiting Hong Kong in April, and would love to hear from anybody who can suggest interesting things there. For the rest of you, until next time — take good care.


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Hedges, Tundra, Waves.
March 21, 2006

This Sunday March 26, Hedge-mony will take over the forecourt of Melbourne Museum, creating a 300-strong human maze which you can enter. Performances begin at 1:30pm, with the maze at 5pm; register to enter the maze from 4pm.

(It's presented by our friends at Red Cabbage. Find out more: Next Wave Festival '06.)

Also, ii are pleased to be performing at this year's Electundra festival at Loop in Melbourne. More details on this as it approaches. However, stay tuned for our first ever foray into video, in the form of a clip. And expect a new release soon.

The latest dizzydonor project is a website which invites submissions from community radio stations who stream online, anywhere around the world. In particular, we invite those of you who have a show which focusses primarily on music to get in contact. We are in the midst of developing a tool which will enable fans of certain genres to easily locate streaming shows in their favoured style, from one centralised resource.

We are also building a blog-style site for friends and family of the late Dan McCluskey. A place to touch base and share thoughts with all the other people who knew and loved Dan. If you would like to be kept abreast of these developments, please contact us.


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Gang Battles
March 8, 2006

Hello again. Dizzydonor is currently working on Dr Luke's site. Also, if you're a fan of outsider musicality, you'll love New York's Gang Gang Dance — we were lucky enough to interview one of them, the transcript of which can be viewed here. We also chatted with Jon Stanier of Battles, who — now that we think of it — are also weird New York music makers. Are you sensing a trend?

For ii fans, the split 7" is apparently being re-pressed, as the first pressing is sold out. Hey, don't say you weren't warned...

Stay tuned for the next issue of Cyclic Defrost, which features (among other things) an article on Scissors for Sparrow, as well as Jon's article on Broadcast. It's due out the week beginning March 13; possibly a little later for those of you overseas. You will also be able to download it from the Cyclic Defrost website.

The only other thing that's happening is that the days are slowly getting cooler, and we're not yet sure whether we are ready for the melancholy of another winter... just yet.


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Small steps
February 23rd, 2006

ii will play their first show for 2006 with The Rich and The Curious Few, on Wednesday March 1. This will be at Pony in Melbourne's CBD (68 Lt Collins St, to be precise). It's five dollars, and will probably start around 9.

In other ii news, the split 7" with Castings is reportedly almost sold out. So if you want one, get in touch with Steadycam Records on the double. Only $12 including postage.

Jon has started assembling the Scissors for Sparrow album. Slowly and deliberately.


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Dan's gone
January 21st, 2006

Nothing could ever prepare you for the day your best friend is suddenly, inexplicably gone. Daniel McCluskey passed away on January 20, 2006. There's a child's voice in my head that, in quiet moments, repeats: "Give him back."

Dan was 24. We grew through the later years of high school together, writing songs, playing guitars, obsessing over Pearl Jam, and sharing secrets. More recently, Daniel joined Scissors for Sparrow on guitar and synth. He was indispensable, with his musical intuition and ease, and we were happy to be playing music together again. At other times, we'd sit in the car outside his house for maybe an hour, talking or mulling things over, or saying nothing.

Those were long goodbyes, which is what makes this short one so difficult.

See you later, Dan. Take care.


by the lamp light
January 16th, 2006

As usual, these are busy days for dizzydonor. Why? We're taking on lots of projects, that's why!

This month, we're developing a website for Dr Luke, a consultant paediatrician. We've also taken on some communications work for Feral Media, which is hugely exciting. Meanwhile, both ii and Scissors for Sparrow are in the studio (which is temporarily called nest!), sifting through sounds in search of the aceness. And, soon, Soundplay will undergo a visual and textual revamp - nice!

On another note, Fibonacci have hung up their, uh, boots. With a core lineup of Ben Butcher, Irit Rozenfeld, Troy Naumoff and Jon Tjhia, the group invited guests to play at almost every live appearance, and was exclusively an improvisational unit. There are a number of recordings - live to tape and live to air - which you can trade for (or buy, I suppose) if you ask kindly. Thanks to everybody who came to shows, listened to their radios, or helped in any way.


my best friend plays drums all the time
December 7th, 2005

Sorry for the lack of updates, but dizzydonor has seen busy times — the results of which you'll soon be able to see and hear. A fine case in point: Underexposed — a collaborative multimedia performance by 13 sound and video artists. Details as below.

Another exciting project we've been working on is Stories from a Caravan - a fine documentary short film which we'll hopefully see on television soon. dizzydonor have been providing sound editing and post-production for this project, which features some hilarious and heartbreaking (as well as just plain curious) insights into the lives of marginalised people.

Additionally, Jon's done some work for the ABC's dig internet radio in the past couple of months. Writing, editing, thinking and talking about music - does work get any better than that?

The other thing that's happened is that we've moved. Having left the comforts of Northcote (and helpscene project studio) behind, you can now find dizzydonor in a broader, more comfortable space in Preston. Come and visit us sometime. (Special thanks to Sarah, master truck driver.)

In the next couple of months, you can expect more recording from Scissors for Sparrow and ii, some more writing (we did an interview with Broadcast for Cyclic Defrost which you can read here, if you're interested), a greater focus on illustration and graphic work, and maybe even... a short holiday.


underexposed image
December 7th, 2005

Date: Saturday 10 - Monday 12 December, 2005
Time: 7:30pm
Venue: Old Council Chambers in Trades Hall
(Cnr Victoria Pde and Lygon St, Melbourne)
Tickets: $12/$8
Booking and Enquiries: (03) 9486 8109 or info@dotmov.org
Artists: Samuel Acres, Nigel Brown, Anthea Caddy, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Benjamin Ducroz, Ryan Hayward, Aasmund Heimark, Natalie Kumpis, Eugenia Lim, Michael Prior, Jon Tjhia, Maggie Topliss, Benny Woo.

Jon composed and recorded the main theme and another piece for the show. The show itself is a very unconventional marriage of linear narrative, abstract moving-image art, and acoustic/electronic sound. It's presented by dotmov.

Click to view flyer (200kb). And click here for full information.


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Plastic cotton tree
October 16th, 2005

Feral Media, with their clever friends at Sopp Collective, have put together a fantastic compilation disc in aid of FBi Radio (Sydney). It’s called Plastic Cotton Tree, and it features exclusives, unreleased gems, and hard to find instances of its constituent artists. What’s more, it comes in a wax-sealed envelope, along with a special hand-printed cloth bag and badge.

Oh, and it contains Top of the Hill, Bottom of the Valley... Uhh!, by none other than Scissors for Sparrow - a track which, incidentally, has been added to rotation at said radio station. Hooray for that.

Naturally, something this handmade had to be limited. It’s almost sold-out, but if you’re keen, Feral Media could surely give you more information...


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Thanks, dweeb!
October 12th, 2005

A sincere thank you to all who played in, or listened to, Dizzydonor’s two events at the Fringe Festival. Sticks + Tones was recorded, and will be broadcast on SBS Alchemy Radio (nationwide) soon, we hope. There are also plans for a follow-up event (with some major tweaks) in the new year. You, as ever, will be kept well informed.


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Bones broken, eyes to the sky 7"
August 30th, 2005

Whoa! After a long wait, Steadycam Records have released the ii and Castings split 7", called Bones broken, eyes to the sky. It features the track beofre, as well as another great new Castings recording. And it’s a 45rpm lathe-cut single in a beautiful handmade jacket.

Details / pictures / pricing / procurement exclusively here : http://www.steadycamrecords.com.au/backgroundfrequencies.html

Also, it’s a very limited edition of 100 copies (they’re handmade, see)...

The Wire (issue 261) said of this release:

"The folks behind the Background Frequencies series of lathe cut singles have signed off on the project with a split release from Castings and ii entitled Bones broken, eyes to the sky. Castings, a multi-limbed outfit that hover between Sydney and Newcastle, Australia, spew a murky blat of subliminal circuitry on their contribution, 'No Puppet, No Dice'. There is something refreshingly non-pro about their approach to such bourgeois notions as programming the drum machine. They squeeze lurching gait from the instrument, which they subsequently efface with red eyed squirts of analogue synthesis. Low level hum from an unknown, unidentifiable source girds the composition.

Flip the record for ii's 'Beofre' and things get polite with the Melbourne two piece hanging miniature melodies for a brittle guitar over clicking, impatient drums. It sounds too post rock at first blush but the subtle charm of ii's music transcends that tired, fossilised genre, particularly when 'Beofre' unwinds to a quiescent pond of reflective drone, with the odd blip sounding out as underwater navigation."

Bourgeois, eh?


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Playing favourites
August 26th, 2005

If you missed the Scissors for Sparrow road show in Sydney recently, that’s too bad. However, while in Sydney, Jon recorded an edition of ‘Playing Favourites’ with Eliza Sarlos at 2SER radio. Word on the street is that it was tonnes of fun, with Jon’s typical rambling about music expertly sculpted by the dab conversational skills (and fader-hand) of Ms Sarlos. We’ll let you know when it airs.

The new Scissors for Sparrow disc (see below) has been receiving airplay in sydney, not least on the Cyclic Defrost radio show, Paradigm Shift, and Peter Hollo’s Utility Fog show. Thank you.


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blink blink blink...
August 22nd, 2005

Wow. Just like that, our Sydney jaunt is over! We had a great time, and are thrilled to report that Sparrow Hill’s album launch went wonderfully. Our deepest thanks go to Sparrow Hill, Feral Media, and Frigid for being amazing hosts and clever cultural initiators.

We also danced on the Mandarin Club’s bouncy dancefloor, thumbwrestled boys in the toilet queue, and even sampled deep-fried (and crumbed) sushi rolls. Sydney, you are so wrong!

Funnily enough, we made a tour souvenir for you harbour folk. It’s called Oh...hello!, and seeing as we’ve left your borders, you can now buy it from gifted records, Sound and Fury, and Paint It Black. You can also hear it on FBI radio and 2SER (Sydney), and possibly even Triple J everywhere else. It contains six tracks (20 minutes); this includes two brand new recordings (mixed the night before we left Melbourne).

Finally — heartfelt thanks to the extended Scissors troupe! The band were:

from Melbourne
Jon Tjhia - drums/guitar/bass/vocal/computer/korg/clapping
Mark Gomes - guitar/sampler/drums/clapping
Daniel McCluskey - guitar/korg/clapping
Nadia Combe - bass/guitar/clapping
Tania Smith - guitar/percussion/sampler/clapping

Sydney locals
Danny Jumpertz - effects/sampler/percussion/coins/clapping
Sonia Tsai - guitar/percussion/sampler/vocal/clapping
Melissa Ratliff - electric piano/vocal/percussion/clapping
Dale Harrison - bass/clapping

Yes — we like clapping!™

Special mentions to Luke Dearnley for sorting our big band sound, Dan for the massive mixing desk needed to accommodate us, all those who shared their houses with us, and Georgina Smith for merch (and those beautiful felt sparrows). And... here ends this verbose message.