-by Kathryn Ford

(Photo Credit: Adam Thomas)

The Money Bin

Saturday 15 March 2014

Performance poet Chris Huet, aka CJ Bowerbird, shared the stage with his brother Pete Huet, part time zinester and bassist for indie rock band Waterford for Saturday night’s gRage session in the Money Bin. The Huet brothers sat onstage in two hideous mossy-coloured single sofas dredged up from the past alongside 2XX FM host and gRage presenter, Yen Eriksen, as part of the You Are Here 2014 arts festival.

A small audience sank down into bean bags and patterned couches in the venue’s makeshift lounge room for YAH‘s live version of the music video program Rage, complete with its own guest programmers.

Between each music video, Eriksen chatted with CJ and Pete about work processes and practice, the importance of narrative and musicality within art, and whether or not there exists a Sigur Rós music video featuring Icelandic elves.

At times the trio had trouble keeping a natural Q&A rhythm so there were a few uncomfortable pauses and strained responses throughout the discussion. Pete sometimes seemed uneasy being interviewed on stage but Eriksen still managed to persuade him to join her in a short grapevine dance demonstration. A compelling music video selection, CJ’s grounding stage presence and Pete’s self deprecating humour all drew smiles from the audience throughout the night.

The videos picked by Pete and CJ challenged or surpassed the conventions of the music video medium. In particular Pete’s pick, the Bastards of Young by The Replacements supplanted the commonplace flashy music video with a black and white clip that consists of a 4 minute stony close up of a stereo blasting out the track.

The night was bookended with music videos that CJ confessed have been known to make him cry.  Viðrar vel til loftárása by Sigur Rós was the first, a haunting and gorgeously shot clip that tells the story of the reactions of a community and family to two young boys exploring their sexuality. The final music video of the night was the stunning cover of electronic duo Crystal Castles’ Untrust Us by the Capital Children’s Choir. In this recording the original synthetic sounds are replaced with an insane combination of angelic voices and the simple sound of clapping hands.

An enjoyable surprise came at the end of the night with a performance from CJ and Pete that involved the brothers reading aloud each other’s poems and written works. Most emotive were the pieces about childhood. Pete recreated CJ’s experience of whoooooing down a hill on a billy cart and CJ crawled through a storm water drain from Pete’s memory. This clever exchange of words was a well played move by the Huet brothers that showed that they too could move beyond the conventions of their medium for a night.

20140310_145525Kathryn Ford is one of those twenty-somethings that can be found wandering around government buildings and cafes in Canberra.  She adores art and a powerful film, book or show can light her up for days or turn her into an angsty mess ruminating over every melancholic moment.

She is stoked to check out some YAH events and see how this city moves during an arts festival. She is confident that YAH will leave us all equipped with the ability to defend ourselves from parasitic ear-entering Yeerks and gifted with mad dance skillz that can only be learned from dancing in the dark.


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