January 24th, 2004


Greta Gertler @ Bar Open (2)

Tonight I went to Bar Open to see Greta Gertler. She sang and played a Wurlitzer electric piano, and was accompanied by several musicians, including Lara from FourPlay (on violin), a singer-songwriter from New York on guitar and a local saxophonist. She played two sets with an interval between them; IMHO, the second set was better; the slower, more minor-key pieces in it worked better with the minimal lineup than some of the more upbeat pieces, which seemed to suffer somewhat for lack of percussion and bass. Mind you, the AC/DC cover she did was quite good too.

At one stage, between songs, Greta mentioned that Brunswick St. and inner Melbourne was a lot like Brooklyn, New York. Annoyingly enough, at times it was hard to hear what she was saying between songs because of all the drunken idiots in the room shouting to their mates, completely oblivious to the fact that there's a band playing on stage, let alone that the musicians performing have travelled from far away to be here. Though I suppose that's par for the course if there's no cover charge.

Book shopping

This afternoon, I made my way down to Reader's Feast and traded in part of the voucher they sent me (as part of their 10%-of-purchases programme) for a copy of Simon Winchester's Outposts: Journeys to the surviving relics of the British Empire. It promises to be an interesting read.

This evening, meanwhile, on my way to the Greta Gertler gig at Bar Open, I stepped into the Brunswick Street Bookshop and left with a copy of Jeffrey Masson's The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats. (It's a study of cat psychology; it's written by a cat fancier, though tends to be somewhat intellectual, with leanings towards evolutionary psychology, rather than indulging in gift-calendar sentimentalism.) I've read the first chapter so far, and it already hints at the question of what sort of mental model cats have of people and their motivations; there's probably a PhD in that question for someone.