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Archive for July, 2008

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Three Monkey’s Coffee & Tea House – food review

The Three Monkeys is a trendy and atmospheric café in the heart of Brisbane’s West End. Popular for its cheap, tasty cuisine and chilled out ambience, The Three Monkeys is somewhat of an institution with the local student population.

The café’s interior has a shabby relaxed vibe and a distinctly eastern style decor. A chess set sits in one corner, oriental rugs adorn the floor and the lighting is dim. An outdoor area boasts more tables set in the middle of a bamboo surrounded courtyard.

Meal prices are reasonable, tending to stay below the $20 mark, allowing for a relatively inexpensive but enjoyable meal.

The food served includes Panini’s, enchiladas, gourmet sandwiches and fresh salads. A glass case holds a wide variety of desserts, including a particularly delicious mango cheesecake. Drinks wise, The Three Monkeys is notable for offering customers the unique option of having their coffee served in a bowl.

Expect at least a small queue if you go… word of mouth has ensured that the café is never empty.

THREE MONKEY’S COFFEE & TEA HOUSE
58 Mollison St
South Brisbane 4101
(07) 3844 6045

- Review written by Victoria Nugent

Restraint (2008)

When catching a film a thriller doesn’t really appeal to me. Restraint however is an Australian film & I do my best to watch as many Australian flicks as possible. Restraint in the opening five minutes draws you to the screen. What better way to catch your attention than a beautiful woman (Dale – played by Teresa Palmer), a dead body in the trunk of a car & a murder!

Picture – Teresa Palmer

The film is about a young lady (Teresa Palmer) who learns the lessons of life the hard way & realises that growing up is all about choices, making decisions. Her boyfriend (Ron – Travis Fimmel) is a murderer & they both get into trouble & decide to hide out in a near by town. The house they choose to ransack is occupied by a gentleman (Andrew – Stephen Moyer) who is afraid to venture outside. Andrew is kept hostage in his own home.

The story line is quite good with plenty of twists & turns. The flick keeps you on the edge of your seat. The young Australian cast make this film what it is. I can guarantee Teresa Palmer is destined for great things and she was well supported. (not that she needs a great deal of support  … you’ll see).

Restraint is a low budget Australian film but different. A great film, fantastic acting, wonderful story line and a tremendous ending. I thoroughly recommend Restraint for something a little different.

- Liam Gibbs

When Emailing Lists Go Off – The Law isn’t the ass; it’s you!

I’m sure almost all of you would be on a mailing list of some sort, it’s unavoidable these days. It is the no-brainer PR tool of our era. When most people spend their working day sending and receiving, the easiest way for websites to target their market directly by getting you when you’re guard is down at the counter of your favourite store or at the door of a nightclub. It seems harmless enough at the time to scribble down your email address, but in fact you are soliciting a potential floodgate.Here in Australia, we have a adopted a law based on an American model.

The Spam Act of 2003 states that companies or websites using mailing lists are obliged to address specifics such as: –

- Consent – must obtain proof of consent to contact the recipient

- Identify – include accurate information to identify the website/organisation as the authorised sender of the message in the email

- Unsubscribe – email messages must have a functional unsubscribe facility allowing recipients to permanently opt out of the list at any time.

    Now, as long as I can easily unsubscribe at any time I have no issue being signed up to a mailing list. What really is annoying is when you have no way to unsubscribe or the mailing list breaks and then all sort of nonsense happens. This was the case last week with a mailing list for a methodical NY Street label. Their email list broke and all of a sudden every reply back was sent to everyone on the mailing list so it has become one big email orgy and so far it hasn’t occurred to anyone controlling it to shut it off.

    I have had the pleasure of experiencing this in the past when the sender was too cheap to use a third party web based emailer for sending out e-flyers. The result is a million people asking to be unsubscribed and telling everyone else not to reply all.

    I suppose these things happen, but there are A LOT of Australian small businesses and designers who fall into the same trap out of ignorance. This may well be a cheaper option, but you run the risk of breaking the law (OK, so who cares?) or alienating the exact people you are trying to win over which is far worse a crime!

    - David Goldberg – article provided by Design Federation

    Sydney Design 2008

    It’s that time of the year again when we welcome Sydney’s annual festival of design, presented by the Powerhouse Museum. Find out what design means to you through a 17-day program encompassing exhibitions and events at the Museum and satellite venues all over Sydney. Highlights this year include a series of special night openings to ignite the spirit of modernism and complement the new exhibition Modern times: the untold story of modernism in Australia.

    Young Blood: Designers Market is on in tandem with ‘designboom mart’, an international market that brings designers from around the globe to discuss and sell their wares.

    To coincide with SD08, the Powerhouse Museum and the British Council with Arts NSW will present the inaugural Design NSW: Travelling Scholarship, valued at $18,000, to an emerging local designer. The scholarship has been established to enable a young designer to undertake professional development activities abroad.

    The Powerhouse is also proud to co-produce the exhibition Workshopped for the second year. A mainstay in the Sydney Design calendar, Workshopped has been exhibiting new Australian design — from prototypes to production pieces — in high-profile commercial settings for seven years. This year Workshopped returns to Chifley Plaza in the CBD.

    Further a field, Sydney Design’s many partners and supporters will present a great program of exhibitions, events, walks and talks at venues all over Sydney. The 12th International Design Festival runs from the 8th August to 24th August 2008.

    Splendour In the Grass 2008

    Splendour In the Grass is an annual music, arts and youth culture event which has taken place on the outskirts of Byron Bay each July/August since 2001. Past years have featured a staggering array of the world’s leading music talent including Coldplay, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Moby, Brian Wilson and many, many more.

    As well as the latest and best in music from Australia and overseas, the festival also features local arts and crafts, creative performance and cuisine.

    The festival is on the top of most discerning Australian music fan’s wish-lists of must-go Festivals, which combined with the event’s relatively small capacity compared to many of the summer festivals, results in feverish activity on the day tickets go on sale.  This year’s festival will be the eighth Splendour In the Grass. The two-day event accommodates 17,500 people and has sold out in advance in each year of its existence, often within hours of going on sale – all tickets to last year’s festival were snapped up in just 5 hours, while the preceding three years’ events sold out in a little over a day.

    Many who attend choose to immerse themselves in the full ‘Splendour experience’ by taking advantage of the on-site camping adjacent to the festival site. Campers set up their tents right outside the festival gates and quickly establish their own Splendour village for the weekend.

    Competition worth over $1000.00

    Thanks to Web Directions South, Design Federation and Web Directions are offering one lucky reader the chance to attend the Web Directions South Conference in Sydney on September 23 – 26th.

    The competition is drawn on the 21st August 2008. This prize is valued at $1050 and is

    “A definite must have for any web professional.”
    Dmitry Baranovskiy, Freelance web developer

    So how do you enter this amazing comp? Just go to the Design Federation website right here.

    The Herd talk with Two Flat Whites

    Klaus from Two Flat Whites caught up with Toe-Fu & Ozi Batla from The Herd. Formed in 2000 when the collective behind the independent Sydney-based record label Elefant Traks decided to collaborate on a release rather than work as individual producers and MCs. The result was a wildly diverse 18-track self-titled album that featured the triple j hit ‘Scallops’. With the success of that song The Herd toured extensively and developed into a cohesive unit – a big change given that, pre-Herd, they were a completely freestyle/improv group called Dase Team 5000.

    In winter 2007 The Herd focused on their most ambitious album to date – returning to the Central Coast A-frame house where they’d written much of their previous albums – for an extended period of writing. The resulting album, Summerland, was completed in early 2008, and features the first single ‘The King is Dead’.

    In between all this activity, members of The Herd released highly acclaimed solo albums: Unkle Ho – Roads to Roma (2004) and Circus Maximus (2007); Urthboy – Distant Sense of Random Menace (2004) and The Signal (2007); and Astronomy Class (featuring Ozi Batla) – Exit Strategy (2006).

    The Herd have a reputation as one of the country’s best live acts. An unconventional set-up, they perform with two MCs, two singers, an acoustic and an electric guitar, bass, piano accordion, clarinet, laptops and MPC.

    4 Albums deep, how have things changed since your first recording?

    Well we’ve all moved into a different phase of our lives is probably the main difference. We were in our early 20s when we put out the first album, and still finding our way in life and musically. We’re much more settled as a band on Summerland, and the fact that there is a permanent line-up now is probably indicative of where we’ve moved. There are heaps of collaborators of the first album and it really was a collective. That has the benefit of diversity but can lack sonic cohesion. I think we’ve matured as song-writers and managed to keep a focus on diverse sounds. Obviously there’s essential Herdos like Rok Poshtya, Jane Tyrrell and Sulo who weren’t so prominent at the start, and some beloved Herdos who are no longer there, most notably Bezerkatron, Snapsuit and Alejandro.

    What did you make of Radio Head having their album for download for whatever price the consumer decided, and is something like this feasible for smaller bands?

    It’s a great marketing idea, and it’s also a fascinating experiment in digital distribution. If it’s accurate, the leaked data that was reported on adds fuel to both sides of the argument. The record companies argue that it failed because only 40% of people paid for it. On the other hand, almost all of that 40% became direct profit for the band, after the minimal costs involved with digital distro and the minimal advertising they had to do. Of course, this could only work for a mega-band like Radiohead because of the massive number of units they shift. I reckon it gave a realistic indication of a price that makes it more attractive for people to buy albums, somewhere around $6-10 an album. It may make a difference to discerning listeners also that most of the money they paid went to the artist. The majors must hate Radiohead right now!

    Why do you think it is that Australians do the independent thing so well, and do you think major labels ever take risks on something that might not have mass appeal?

    Australia, despite the best efforts of some local governments, still has a thriving live music scene, and has for many years. Good live venues and festivals are supportive of local indy music on the whole. Labels like Jarrah and Obese have succeeded in carving a niche out somewhere between the two, which is great. Most of the good groups that do cross over and go big have come up through the live scene and probably on an indy label at some stage – which might also be the answer to your second question. I think majors only allow for risk-taking where there’s proven popularity already. The label may take a risk initially by signing an edgy new band, but if they then put the creative clamps on them and weigh them down with massive recoupable costs, the band might lose the edge that made them appealing in the first place. Snap.

    Now that the king is dead, do you think things have changed much under K-Rudd?

    I suppose that depends on your politics, really, and how outraged or nonplussed you were by the Howard government. To put it in perspective: Howard in his first year slashe funding to higher education, introduced work for the dole, the Wik ten point plan to turn back Native Title laws, and seven cabinet ministers resigned. So far, Rudd has made an apology to the stolen generations, raitfied Kyoto, removed unfair Work Choices laws, and committed to pulling troops out of Iraq. So far, no minister has had to resign. If anything, things haven’t changed enough. Rudd’s been drawn into a number of complete distractions, like Bill Henson, or petrol subsidies. He has a talented group of people around him, and it’s probably still too early to say whether they’ll acheive their lofty goals. Hope so, though.

    And is it possible for us to have a female prime minister? (eg. Julia G)

    Yeah, we already did, remember? Julia Gillard was acting PM for a bit! Certainly it’s possible, look at South America – two female presidents in countries I would consider far more patriarchal than here.

    Who are you feeling right now musically? O/S Artists:

    Been feeling Chester P’s album, From the Ashes, bit old now but its dope, from legendary London duo Task Force. Grimey and musically hilarious. I’m on an Ethiopian jazz tip at the moment, so been listening to the Heliocentrics and Mulatu Ashtake live set. Plenty of Jorge Ben, a Tabua de Esmeralda, Samba Esquema Novo, Manu Chao’s new one La Radiolina seems lighter than his previous stuff but I kep putting it on.

    www.theherd.com.au
    www.myspace.com/runningwiththeherd
    www.elefanttraks.com

    The McFarlane Prize for 2008

    Are you a web designer/developer? Then why not enter your latest website to the McFarlane Prize. Thanks to our friends at Design Federation who are supporting this wonderful event, Two Flat Whites is proud to promote this competition to our readers.

    Now in its third year, the McFarlane Prize, named in honour of Australian open source and web standards pioneer Nigel McFarlane is now open for nominations. You may nominate your own work, or the work of others, but please familiarise yourself with the entry conditions before nominating.

    The Prize will be awarded to an Australian designer or team for a site launched or significantly upgraded between August 1 2007 and August 31 2008. Sites may be designed for Australian or non Australian individuals, organisations, companies or governments, but must be designed by a team which works in Australia for an Australian company, or by Australian citizens or permanent residents. Anyone may nominate a site, and there is no cost for nominating or being nominated for the prize.

    Nominations must be received using the official nomination form by August 31 2008. Good luck!

    Melbourne International Design Festival 2008

    The National Design Centre’s 2008 Melbourne International Design Festival is gearing up to be another eye-opening celebration of design. The highly-anticipated festival will be jam-packed with design-related activities and events, intermingled with a series of exciting surprises.

    Many of the MIDF events are free. Now in its fourth year, the festival has expanded to reflect the global nature of design. This year’s program includes long-time favourite, the Australian International Poster Annual, the popular PopUps program, Studio Open and a series of international and national exhibitions. Market-goers will be pleased to hear the Melbourne Design Market is also set to return during the Festival.

    For more information phone 03 9654 6335 or email info {at} nationaldesigncentre(.)com, or visit the website here. The National Design Centre’s 2008 Melbourne International Design Festival runs from the 17th to 27th of July 2008.

    Liana’s Italian Restaurant – food review

    If you are looking for a little ripper of an Italian Restaurant you cannot go past Liana’s Italian Restaurant in Parramatta. Situated on the corner of Phillip and Church St, Liana’s Italian Restaurant is back in the original owner’s hands and better than ever.

    Whether it is for a quick pasta or special occasion this is a great place to eat. Liana’s offers a wide variety of fine Italian cuisine which portrays both the authentic and classic flavours of Italy. The menu is extensive so there is something for everyone.

    We at Two Flat Whites have been a few times in the recent weeks and have been delighted trying a wide range of dishes from the Pasta, Risotto, Salad and even a wonderful Steak. As you would expect with an Italian Restaurant, there are Pizzas to be had and Liana’s offers something very different to most with its famous square Pizzas which are hearty and full of fresh ingredients. What also will entice customers is the size of the servings which are very generous and come at a very reasonable price.

    The food is scrumptious, but you cannot beat the fantastic service. The waitresses are friendly, enthusiastic and always smiling. So now is the time to venture into Parramatta and have a great meal. Let them know that Two Flat Whites sent you!

    Liana’s Italian Restaurant
    306 Church Street (cnr Phillip Street)
    Parramatta NSW 2150
    Tel: 02 9687 7979
    www.lianas.com.au

    Article written by Dean Lawrence.

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