Why Yum Cha makes me as sad as a pork dumpling

Invite me to Yum Cha and I feel as sad as a pork dumpling that’s been wheeled around a restaurant for half an hour with no one wanting it.

I don’t get it. One thing I enjoy about restaurants is ordering food at the beginning and then it arrives while I enjoy the company of my family and friends. At Yum Cha the ordering is ceaseless.

Nothing about the Yum Cha procedure makes any sense to me. Upon arrival we are seated and immediately offered custard tarts. That’s dessert. But should we order them now? Will they be there later?  Continue reading

Allow me to introduce Mythical Me…

Here’s my business plan. People are going to give me money every month. They will do this willingly. They will not be unhappy about it. They will be enthusiastic and grateful at the beginning for the service that I offer them. A year or two or later when they decide to stop giving me money they will blame themselves.

What I’m describing is either a religion or a gym. The gym business is entirely based on you not turning up. All of those great machines, the steam room, the towels; it only works if you don’t use them. If every member of a gym turned up every morning, the gym would be overwhelmed like an ATM in Athens.

Gyms want to sign you up. They love you having a free week’s membership. They love showing you around the place. They love giving your exercise plan. They love getting your credit card details. And then they never want to see you again. And they won’t.  Continue reading

Talking Mozart with Fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout

Kristian Bezuidenhout has the most soothing voice in the world. I want him on my GPS.

Once you meet him and hear him speak, it makes perfect sense that he eschews the usual nine feet of black braggadocio that is the modern grand piano for a delicate box that looks exactly like – in his words – “what Schroeder played in Peanuts”.

This is modern piano’s great grandfather, the fortepiano. It’s five octaves, made of wood and leather and has knee pedals for tone and sustain. It’s Mozart’s axe.

We meet for The Mix in a rehearsal room with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and it was like a time machine. All I needed was a frilly shirt, buckles on my shoes and I could have sworn I was in Vienna in 1780.

Watch the entire episode of The Mix on iView.

Schroeder and his piano in Peanuts

The Mix: Stuart Coupe’s new book on Michael Gudinski

Michael Gudinksi always frightened me a little. All those rock tycoons did. Michael was quick, loud and as powerful as the best of them and he’d sweep into the bandroom after a gig simultaneously exuding affection and praise and demanding attention and action himself.

As a youngster horn player newly recruited to the world of Oz rock in Jo Camilleri’s Cha band or later in the Models, I didn’t have a clue how to talk to him. Stuart Coupe’s been a rock manager – Paul Kelly – and written for every major publication there is. His encounters with Michael were far more regular and significant. He’s written the book on him and we sat down at Stuart’s house – decorated in old school rock critic chic –  to talk all things Gudinksi and Mushroom.