Monday, 14 June 2010

Idle Thoughts on UnConvention Brisbane

Yesterday I attended the second day of UnConvention Brisbane, a conference dedicating to exploring the various dimensions of the Brisbane independent music scene. While I only managed to make the second day due to the acquisition of life-threatening hangover the day prior, given the quality of the conference, I wish I had reconsidered drinking all those beverages on Friday night.

The first session featured a panel discussion on Music and the Media. Generally this session revolved around how and why people might get involved in music journalism (both in written form and over the wireless) and some tips and tricks about how to get your stuff published. Considering that I have spent many hours idly bashing away on this blog, this discussion was of particular interest to myself.

The insights provided by the panel members were very valuable. I particularly liked what Steve Bell of Timeoff and Chris Harms of Rave Magazine had to say about what makes the ideal street press writer. Matt Hickey from also had some very interesting things to say on the roles of weblogs in unearthering new sources of music and the trials and tribulations of doing so. Paul Curtis, manager of the likes of Regurgitator and founder of Valve Records, provided some humorous interludes. He almost seemed amazed at the changed nature in which music media is now delivered as well as how the industry has had to struggle with the behemoth of the Internet. While I've never seriously considered ever making a 'career' out of what I do here as a hobby, it was also interesting to hear what options one can create for themselves.

The Music as Culture session was similarly informative but more in a reflective manner. Featuring the likes of Everett True, Andrew Stafford, and Kellie Lloyd of Screamfeeder, this session devoted itself to talking about the place and importance of music within the culture of the city. Everett was at his inflammatory best, giving a great insight into how he perceives the Brisbane music scene as a relatively newcomer to the city. I particularly liked his point regarding the late-night midweek gigs and how they may contribute to undermining the scene. Andrew Stafford provided some interesting points on haircuts as well as jaded music criticism while Cam Smith relayed the cultural aspects of recording Brisbane's musicians. The panel's discussion on the comparative dimensions between scenes such as Melbourne and Brisbane was also extremely interesting, acknowledging that it might be a misnomer to believe Melbourne's scene is any better than our local one. Just as the music and the media session was educational, the music as cultural session was both humorous and informative.

You can tell that I really enjoyed it. I had suspicions at first that it would be simply a congratulatory circle jerk but I was wrong. Having a panel discussion allowed for an array of often divergent views to focus attention on what may be good and what may be not so good about the local music scenic. Furthermore, I also got to say 'hey' to some fellow bloggers, including Bianca from Music For the Laundromat and Jodi from Plus One. It's always great to put faces to names. Congratulations to Andrew McMillen and Dave Carter for organising what was a great and badly needed conference that I hope returns next year.


Andrew McMillen said...

Thanks for the feedback Darragh, glad that you made it on the Sunday. Thanks for your questions for the floor!

Darragh said...

No worries!

Jodi said...

I'm glad you paid more attention to the important stuff than I did! We should have come on saturday :( oh well, next year.

Darragh said...

I will be there with bells on next year. Literally.