What a wonderful christmas present for everyone in the bay who likes to get their rock on for the festive season. With little warning, the Great Northern advertised and starting selling tickets to a single show on the 23rd Dec which sold out pretty quickly.
Let’s go back a step though… before Wolfmother broke out with JJJ’s album of the year and their classic zeppelin-esqe single “Woman” they played a free show at the Great Northern to a fairly small crowd. Fast forward another crazy 18 months and the same band is playing huge outdoors festivals, stadiums and generally scorching the USA circuit. Then we come back to Byron Bay a little over a year ago where the band announces they are breaking up after a final show at the Splendor in the Grass festival.
After the original lineup fell apart, Andrew Stockdale got a new group of players together and recorded Cosmic Egg… in Federal, not far from Byron Bay. What is it with Byron Bay? Andrew hasn’t kept his enthusiasm for the town unknown, and has openly expressed his desire to buy a house here one day. It’snot uncommon to see Stockdale’s fro surfing the pass, or around town with his wife and daughter.
It’s nice to see the people who were involved in the band still kicking around, as of course without the members who left, the band would never have existed in the first place. Whether you’re listening to Wolfmother on your Mobile Phones, your iPods or your sound-system they’re always going to rock out pretty hard. Especially that first album.
But I digress. The album’s out, and the new lineup are set to crank as touring begins for 2010, so the Byron show felt like a rebirth of sorts, a small local gig for an adoptive local getting his new band ready for a big year. They didn’t miss a beat, and the loud progressive guitar riffs were tight and thumping. I came out covered in sweat and smiling. If this gig is any indication of the coming year for Wolfmother, the new band have nothing to worry about.
This was the weirdest thing. The photo (panorama stitch from iPhone’s crappy camera) doesn’t do it justice. People were literally lining the streets to take photos as this giant UFO-shaped cloud rolled over the town. In about 10 minutes, the whole thing had broken up and it didn’t turn into rain or weather at all. Click the photo for a better look at the alien invasion.
Earlier this week, the Australian government’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy announced the the filtering trials were a success, and that the government would push forward with mandatory internet filtering, forcing all ISPs to filter a government controlled blacklist of websites.
On Thursday, an IT colleague of mine registered stephenconroy.com.au on which he setup a simple anti-censorship website deriding the governments actions, linking to news articles and calling for community support (of which there is quite a lot). Shortly afterwards, the Sydney Morning Herald got wind of the “prank” and published the link in a topical article about the proposed filter. He has also been approached by supportive law experts, journalists and the community at large.
On Friday afternoon, AUDA’s (Australia’s Domain Authority) CEO personally issued my colleague with a policy challenge (presumably instigated by Stephen Conroy’s office), and took the domain offline in 3 hours. The speed of this takedown is remarkable, even by DMCA-USA standards. Their own policy documents describe a 20-day dispute resolution process.
A similar takedown happened in 2006 when then Prime Minister ordered the shutdown of another critical website. In recent polls upwards of 95% of Australians are against internet filtering, so why are we sitting around like lambs to the slaughter while our citizens voices are being SILENCED by our government(s)? This takedown action is precedented, totalitarian, and completely repugnant.
Stephenconroy.com.au is currently being hosted at http://stephen-conroy.com/. Visit for news, updates and grassroots action.