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Sunday, 07 February


Byron Bay Blog: James Thomson and the Strange Pilgrims – Highway Nights Tour "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Released in June 2015 to a wave of critical acclaim, James Thomson’s second album Cold Moon wowed multiple national publications and has been heralded as one of the finest Americana albums of recent years.

Following the success of their Spring 2015 tour, James Thomson is joined by The Strange Pilgrims; with Craig Rattray on bass, Jason Lowe on steel/lead guitar and Tim Burns (ex-Perry Keyes) on drums. TheHighway Nights tour will take the band to new cities and towns along the East coast from Brisbane to Melbourne, kicking off on Friday February 12th at The Rails, Byron Bay.

In their hometown show in Newcastle NSW, James Thomson and The Strange Pilgrims will also feature as part of this year’s Surfest after party, alongside Northern Beaches Punk Rock legends The Celibate Rifles. Now in its 31st year, Surfest is one of Australia’s best established surf competitions, which sets the perfect stage for a standout hometown gig on Saturday, February 27 at the Nationally renowned Cambridge Hotel. In a one off solo appearance on the tour, James Thomson will also join Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes at The Retreat in Melbourne on Thursday, March 3, before heading North for a final show in Sydney at the ever-popular, Newtown Social Club.

Following successive National tours with Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers) and Mark Olson (The Jayhawks) in support of his self titled debut album, James left Australia in late 2013 to write, perform and travel through the United States.
During this trip James wrote the majority of the songs on Cold Moon and once back in Australia headed into the studio for the Cold Moon recording sessions, which were scheduled around a sold out National tour with Nashville-based artists Robert Ellis and Jonny Fritz.

Audiences and reviewers rightly note the influence of artists like Neil Young & JJ Cale on James’ music, but his part traditionalist, part renegade approach to song writing see’s these influences fit na...


The Witches Kitchen: Fig and Rosemary Schiacciata "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

fig and rosemary schiacciata

I’m still on a fig roll.  Figs are in season in the southern hemisphere, and our trees all have a decent crop this year.  I made a baked fig rice pudding for a barbeque last night, but it was only ok.  I think maybe rice pudding really needs no eggs and to be served in a bowl rather than sliced.

This fig and rosemary schiacciata (or focaccia? I’m not sure of the difference) though was recipe-writing worthy.   It starts with a sourdough and a rosemary infused honey oil, for which you need almost no time for making but at least 10 hours or so for proving. So this is a magnificent weekend brunch that fits with a lazy Sunday morning, but you need to remember to start it the night before.

Step 1:

The Rosemary Oil

  • Roughly chop a good handful of fresh rosemary.  Put it in a small pot and just cover with olive oil.  Add a good teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat the oil till it just starts to bubble, then turn it off and let the pot sit, so that the rosemary infuses the warm oil

The Sourdough

  • Take the sourdough starter out of the fridge.
  • Mix 1  cup of unbleached bakers flour, 1  cup of water, and 1 cup of starter.
  • Put half of it back in the fridge.  You should be left with 1 cup of fed starter, to put in a bowl covered with a clean cloth on the kitchen bench for a few hour...


North Coast Voices: This infantile individual has followers in Australia? "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

This is the world according to very infantile Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh creator of Return of Kings:

“1. Men and women are genetically different, both physically and mentally. Sex roles evolved in all mammals. Humans are not exempt.
2. Men will opt out of monogamy and reproduction if there are no incentives to engage in them.


North Coast Voices: The strange case of Julian Assange continues..... "IndyWatch Feed Northcoast"

Julian Assange has reportedly been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 12 June 2012, a total of 1,328 days since he sought asylum there.

The legal matter which triggered his request for asylum remains unresolved to date.

On 5 February 2016 the Office of High CommissionerHuman Rights, United Nations, issued this statement:

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Deems the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Julian Assange as arbitrary

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Saturday, 06 February


Black Mark: Dada Centennial 1916-2016 "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

“Where is the monument to the folk who took a stand against the war rather than those who capitulated to its madness?” Robert Nelson asked in The Age on Remembrance Day, 11 November, 2015

Dear Robert Nelson, the monument exists but it is not in the architecture of state power, the column, the triumphant arch or faux tomb of imperial power dominating territory. It is a single word “Dada”.

Dada, a little word that means everything and nothing. A word like a Buddhist mantra capable of destroying all illusions by using it as a substitute for all other words. Instead of patriotism, dada; instead of reason, dada.

Not that the word works like magic but the question that Dada posed still remains as potent as ever. What is art and culture doing other than making various governments look like a humane and decent society, masking and distracting from the genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes? If this is how much of an improvement the best of art and culture can do then why continue with it?

This is not a joke, this is a serious point.

Dada Zurich

Mark outside the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich

One hundred years ago on the 5th of February 1916 in Zurich three “oriental gentlemen,” as Hugo Ball described them in his diary arrived at the newly formed Cabaret Voltaire. The Cabaret Voltaire was a music and poetry night that Hugo Ball was running at the Holländische Meierei tavern in Zurich. Hugo Ball had had left Germany for neutral Switzerland, he had been an idealistic German patriot before he saw the horror war for himself....


Sunshine Coast Birdlife Australia Blog: Bli Bli Outing "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Rain threatened and delivered and yet the birders came! Nearly 40! Against my best expectations and I'm sure more than a few people arrived at Muller's Park this morning convinced that they would be birding alone.

Despite the rain the birding was good with over 80 spp recorded between the two sites; Muller's Park and the Finland Road area.

Muller Park, Bli Bli, Queensland, AU
Tom Corrigan - in action!

Feb 6, 2016 7:00 AM - 7:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 kilometer(s)
38 species

Plumed Whistling-Duck  2


Refugee Action Coalition: Minister playing loose with Nauru asylum and self-harm figures "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

The attempt by the Immigration Minister and The Weekend Australian (February 6-7) to link self-harm on Nauru with family members being brought to Australia is another shameful effort to cover up the real conditions on Nauru.

The people who have been brought to Australia have been brought because there was no adequate medical treatment for their physical and mental damage available on Nauru.

Refugee and asylum seekers have been brought to Australia to give birth, for kidney and heart disease, burns, bullet wounds and other physical injuries suffered in their home countries, back injuries, cancer, sexual assault and rape victims.

“The Minister will not release figures about the self-harm cases because he knows they would put the lie to any idea that self-harm is a major reason anyone has been brought from Nauru to Australia. Let alone the idea that family members have come with them. It is just not true,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Peter Dutton has also had another ‘Scott Morrison’ moment, suggesting that children were being coached into self-harm. Just as Scott Morrison had no evidence against Save the Children workers or anybody else, Peter Dutton has no evidence of his coaching allegations.”

The Minister’s concern that ‘self harm was a way of getting to Australia and appealing for residency’ is a complete fiction.

Similarly, it is absurd for Minister Dutton to suggest that the alternative to sending people to Nauru is to send them to their home countries.

“The Minister’s comments do reveal the motivation behind government policy; to use confinement on Nauru to create insufferable conditions that could force asylum seekers to consider return to persecution,” said Rintoul.

“The Minister knows that refugees cannot be sent to their home country. Most of the 267 presently in Australia are still waiting for their refugee assessment more than two years after being on...


James O'Brien: Noma Sydney "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

As we entered Noma (Sydney) for lunch yesterday, there was a real sense of “showbiz”. As we were shown to our table, the four of us were greeted by probably twenty or thirty staff. “Hello, hello, welcome”. Having lived all my life in Australia, I often feel cynical about such displays of hospitality. Though such displays often feel contrived, this seemed to me very genuine. Over the next two and half to three hours, as we enjoyed our meals, and chatted with the staff, it became pretty obvious the staff were, too, lovers of fine food.

Though I’ve visited Copenhagen a few times, I’ve never been to Noma. Their seasons are always sold out weeks/months in advance. But I have read about Noma, and its reputation as a world class restaurant. In particular, I’ve been interested in the work done by the chef and co-owner, René Redzepi in re-inventing Nordic cuisine, and by his innovative use of unusual/interesting ingredients. When they announced a ten week season in Sydney, I was certainly interested, though not confident I’d be lucky enough to secure a seat/table. There are still 27,000 people (or something like that) on the waiting list. Thanks to the perseverance of Damien (running a couple of computers simultaneously) we were lucky enough to secure a table. And so yesterday, after months of anticipation, four of us sat down and enjoyed a remarkable lunch.

From the opener (macadamia in a spanner crab broth) to the closer (a fresh take on bon bons), everything was a surprise and a delight. There were many highlights. For me, they included the “dumpling” of marron and magpie goose (eat it like a taco), the sea urchin with tomatoes and berries, and the marinated fresh fruit (which included teaming up watermelon with a very bitter native plum). There were thirteen courses in all, and absolutely no sense of “I’m still hungry, let’s get some Maccas on the way home”.



Westender – West End 4101: Dancing against domestic violence "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

This Valentine’s Day, 14th February, a number of organisations in Brisbane will be taking part in the global One Billion Rising campaign, where people around the world are encouraged to rise up through dance to express their rage against injustice, and demonstrate the power of global solidarity and collective action. One Billion Rising One Billion […]

The post Dancing against domestic violence appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.


Westender – West End 4101: Inheritance – A blend of diverse narratives on topical issues "IndyWatch Feed Seq"

Seven local emerging contemporary jewellers and makers of small objects use their art to interpret the perpetual inheritance of social, political, environmental and cultural conditions that occur in our everyday lives. The artists use precious and semi-precious metals, wood, enamel, photographs, prints and found objects to make works around themes of climate change and environmental […]

The post Inheritance – A blend of diverse narratives on topical issues appeared first on Westender - West End 4101.

09:45 AGL gas company, the LNP’s major financial backer pulls out of Australia "IndyWatch Feed Capricornia"

CSG opponents claim a scalp, but battle far from over, says Katter

6 February 2016:   Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said today that coal seam gas opponents had claimed a ‘scalp’ in their ongoing war against CSG – as AGL Energy this week made a decision to cease its coal seam gas operations in Australia.

Mr Katter paid tribute to the tireless individuals who had fought against coal seam gas projects – from radio personalities, to Lock the Gate, to farmers, to knitting Nannas – but said the battle was far from over.

“Just this week I had a meeting with Dr David Pascoe and his wife Heather about this very issue – as early as four or five years ago they told me the issue of coal seam gas was so serious and so frightening it had the potential to redefine the political landscape of Australia.

“So we pay tribute to all of these people in having a very small win, but a win nonetheless.

bob-katter-001“The CSG industry has treated land owners – and I don’t just mean farmers – but land owners of Queensland with absolute contempt.

“They have jeopardised the water supply for vast areas of Queensland – and all for an industry that does not give two bob to the Australian economy.

“We have always been proudly a mining state but coal seam gas has, and is, seriously damaging the mining industry.

“When the construction and development phase is over the industry comes back to 2500 jobs, and almost its entire $25,000 million a year income will then line the pockets of rich foreign CSG giants,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter has constantly warned of the potentially catastrophic social and economic costs of coal seam gas aquifer drilling which threatens to contaminat......


Fig Jam and Lime Cordial: Chinese New Year Fans "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

Chinese New Year is on Monday 8th February, and I’ve been crafting! This year I’m just making fans, as I still have boxes of lanterns ready to go up next week (here are the instructions for a very simple one). The fans are great fun to assemble, and they sit flat against a wall, rather than […]


AWPA Sydney News: 1) Govt considers amnesty request from Papuan separatists "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

2) Island in focus: Papua  police seize ammunition,  firearms -
3) Seta claims innocence  in Freeport scandal

1) Govt considers amnesty  request from Papuan separatists | National | Fri, February 05 2016, 2:16 PM -


Natural Newstead: Finding some specials #2 "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

My rich vein of form in the Mia Mia continues unabated.

This immature Red-capped Robin was a nice observation – an indication of successful local breeding from a species that is thinly spread throughout the Muckleford bush.


Red-capped Robin (immature), Mia Mia Track, 3rd February 2016

Australian Owlet-nightjars are supposed to be nocturnal – this one may have been disturbed as I passed nearby. They often sit at hollow openings throughout the day and I’ve frequently disturbed individuals of this species on my wanderings. This one was very cooperative, albeit a bit higher up than I would have preferred. Owlet nightjars are extremely common, but most of them see us I’m sure from their cryptic vantage points without being observed.


Australian Owlet-nightjar, Mia Mia track, 3rd February 2016


ART and ARCHITECTURE, mainly: Inch Kenneth (Island) in the Scottish Hebrides "IndyWatch Feed Melbourne"

The island of Inch Kenneth lies a short distance off the west coast of Mull, not far from Ulva. Note Mull, Arran, Kintyre, Jura and Islay on the map.

Inch Kenneth is has typical Hebridean setting complete with sea cliffs, but its fertile soil promotes flower-rich grassland. Less than 2 ks in length and 1 k at its widest, the island provides easy walking surr­ounded by some wonderful scenery on the Isle of Mull.

The island might be tiny, but it has had four events in history of note.

Firstly the arrival of Christianity. The island was named after Saint Kenneth (c525-600) who was Irish abbot & miss­ion­ary. A contemporary of Columba, the two men started converting the Picts together. Pictish king Brude Mac Maelchon was one of Saint Kenneth’s success stories; he and his kingdom were converted to Christianity, either voluntarily or otherwise. Kenneth was one of the most popular Celtic saints and he clearly loved Scotland, but I am not sure why he chose a minutely small northern island to found monastery on.

warrior chief Hector McLean’s grave stone

Friday, 05 February


Radio Blue Mountains 89.1: RMS Community Information Sessions "IndyWatch Feed Sydney"

RMS Katoomba to Mount Victoria safety upgrade Community Information Sessions will be held in Phillips Hall, Blackheath Community Centre (NOT at BANC as advertised!) on Monday 15 February, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and on Tuesday 16 February, from 1pm to 4pm

Walk through The Gardens – enter the Hall through the double glass doors

roadworksFor more information:
1800 035 733 (toll free)

The post RMS Community Information Sessions appeared first on Radio Blue Mountains 89.1.


Ben's Blog: Fire in the Henge "IndyWatch Feed Cvic"

Henge Fire
Fire in the Henge
– Where two hapless hengemakers face the full force of the law

This story involves little drama but much melodrama.
Either a great calamity is averted due to scrupulous adhesion to the letter of the law, or a great deal of time effort and water is wasted due to a failure to apply just a modicum of good old fashioned common sense.
You be the judge.
The story begins right here in Sleepy Hollow, just across the road from our brand spanking new fire station. It is mid-March 2015. The Fringe Festival is taking shape. My contribution is a henge of fridges.
After much wrangling and cajoling and begging and pleading l finally wrestle 40 fridges from the clutches of the Lords of the Landfill, who are reluctant to part with them for reasons l cannot not fathom.
Studious students from all the local schools except South School have gone to great effort to adorn the fridges with pictures of food and filled the shelves with mock food; good food, bad food and absolutely rotten food.
Before we have even begun to arrange them, all hell brakes loose, a hue and cry from all corners of the shire.
The council, who see their primary role as keeping us all safe from harm, is flooded with distress calls laden with angst and anguish concerning the danger of the little kiddies becoming trapped inside the fridges and slowly being asphyxiated. Many old people still alive today vividly remember such horror stories from their youth, indelibly etched in their consciousnesses.
I try to reassure the agitated officer not to fret, modern fridges do not have latches or catches, any child can open them with ease. But he is not to be reassured. The fridges must be lain down lest a someone climb inside, rock the fridge till it falls on its door...

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