Image courtesy of Nashville Arts Magazine – nashvillearts.com

For posterity’s sake, Death of a Scenester has decided to take a short break for the rest of 2012. This means that Issue Six will not be published in October as initially planned. That being said, we have some exciting plans for our trusty publication that has been supporting writers and artists since 2009. We will be reinventing DOAS in early 2013, in a brand new format, and will be eagerly waiting your words, art and support then. In the meanwhile, to our regular contributors, there are many brilliant publications which need your work. Scroll through our EWF reviews for a quick snapshot of who and where they are. Do stay tuned, and thank you immensely for the past few years. Here’s to brand new challenges!


Ali, Katie, Megs and Shalini

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This gallery contains 13 photos.

DEATH OF A SCENESTER attended Page Parlour last week. It caps of the eleven-day Emerging Writers’ Fest and is our favourite bit —when indie publishers get to show off their hard work under glass triangles at The Atrium in Fed … Continue reading

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Animal is now available online

Go to our Archive section for all of our back issues. 🙂

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For those of you who attended our launch  a couple of weeks ago, you would have caught Lisa Dempster’s, CEO of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, speech. 2012 marks Lisa’s final year as CEO and DOAS’ third appearance at EWF. We are going to be exhibiting at Page Parlour and speaking at the Pitch. We urge you to check out some of the events at this annual literary fest  they are the ultimate cheer squad for new writing talent. They are also one of the few writers’ festivals that treat their digital program as an equal . Writers and illustrators, if you have to pick, we suggest you visit Page Parlour, it is a good chance to meet other publishers and authors involved in the festival other publishers will be there with their contact details and ‘how-to-submit’ guides. See you there!


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Given we had less than 24 hours to find a new venue for the Death of a Scenester: ISSUE 5 – FOOD launch, everything turned out rather swimmingly.

Due to council related issues, our original venue, the rather excellent warehouse space at Yarra Sculpture Gallery was unable to host us. But we had an ace up our sleeves in the form of the incredibly accommodating School House Studios in Abbotsford. It was agreed by all that the school hall at the old Steiner School was a stunner. Miracles do happen!

The night kicked off with an author-only event catered by 3 Ravens, Bar Open, Twenty and Six espresso and the Northcote Bake Shop. The rest of the crowd soon poured up the stairwell, into the hall, each taking a copy of the ISSUE 5 – FOOD with them.

Our first act for the evening, Hayley Couper, got proceedings underway with a dark and beautiful set of soulful song writing. We then welcomed Lisa Dempster to the stage to officially launch the new issue. Lisa, a long time proponent of independent publishing in Victoria, and a fan of all things food-related, expressed her desire to see writing on food step away from the direction favoured by mainstream media — to hear people’s stories and experiences in a way that she and other like-minded people could relate to. A reading by our author Sam Bonwick on the sordid history of synthesised foods followed on from this.

To place emphasis on one particular part of the evening may seem a little unfair, but next up was what most would consider the main event THE GREAT JANE AUSTEN JELLY WRESTLE hosted by the Rag and Bone Man Press. Click on the link for the video, as it speaks for itself. The end of the evening saw Immigrant Union grace the stage. Having just launched their album on the roof of the Evelyn that very afternoon, we were extremely lucky to have them there.

For those of you who came and supported us, we thank you immensely. The night was a hit and we are looking forward to the success of Issue #5 Food.

Death of a Scenester ‘Food’ Launch – Interview with Estelle Tang from 3000 & Kill Your Darlings

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The launch tonight is now at:

School House Studios

97 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

Just 750m around the corner from the old venue.

Sorry for the trouble folks! See you from 7pm!

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Publisher, writer, vegan-myth destroyer and Emerging Writers’ Festival director Lisa Dempster will be doing the honours of officially launching our fifth issue tomorrow. The EWF have been genuinely supportive of Death of a Scenester, and many other new publications and writers, which is a real testament to the great people that run this festival. We’re very pleased to have her with us on Saturday.

2012 is your final year as EWF director. Albeit it having been a group effort, what was your proudest achievement with EWF?
The festival has doubled in size since I came onboard, which is a major source of pride for me, but more importantly I think the EWF has a really solid sense of community and camaraderie which I have been pleased to contribute to.  Event-wise, the travel-themed Slide Night in 2011 was my absolute best festival moment ever – it featured some of my favourite writers telling brilliant travel stories, it was chilled out and entertaining and had an all-round good vibe. Also, boogying on down with the festival crew at our closing night party is always the best feeling!

Can you tell us about a raging author success story as a result of participating  in EWF?
It’s the little stories I love the most, actually. Seeing someone come along to the festival and leave with the confidence to call themselves a writer, for example – I love that. Or finding out that a writer met their agent at the festival. Or seeing a friendship form at one of our parties. What we do really makes a difference to writers, and watching people reach milestones in their careers has been one of the most satisfying parts of my job.

Where to from here?
In July I’m going to Bali for four months on an Asialink fellowship, to work with the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. As you can imagine, I’m really excited about that! (And yes, I’m going to eat all the tempeh!) In late 2012 I’ll come back to Australia and start hunting for my next challenge. I want to stay in festivals because I love artistic programming and I love the energy and dynamism of that kind of environment. I guess I just love the buzz you get from running a fantastic event!

What do you think is the most important thing that EWF should maintain, moving forward?
The festival should always retain it’s inclusive vibe and continue to deliver the ‘writers talking to writers about writing’ programming that we do so well. Plus the networking (and partying!) events will continue to expand. The fest is a really fabulous opportunity for writers to come together, and those casual conversations and connections can be so important in developing your career as a writer (not to mention it’s great to form a peer support network!).

You’ve been a vegan purveyor for awhile now—were you ever significantly bothered by the stereotypical non-vegan views veganism? Do you think it is important to consider these perceptions in some way?
Smashing vegan stereotypes is one of my favourite things to do!! There is so much ridiculous stereotyping of vegans out there – that we’re sick, weak, frail, super-healthy, super-un-healthy, radical, militant, angry or just plain weird… it used to bother me, but these days I just laugh it off. I like to think I’m a good ambassador for veganism – I’m energetic, focussed, fit, cheerful and generally pretty damn normal, and I just happen to be vegan. I understand how these perceptions come about, but really, in 2012 people are vegan for so many different reasons and there is so much good veggie food out there that the old stereotypes are just really dated.

You can follow Lisa’s blog at www.lisadempster.com.au

She also wrote a book! 

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Over the next two weeks, we interview the capable ladies and gentlemen speaking and performing at DOAS’ Issue #5 ‘FOOD’ launch on 12 May at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Collingwood.

Influenced by religious iconography, Latin American culture, family histories and an undying love for The King, Amy Bugeja works with mixed media, particularly film photography and wood.  She covered herself in grease a few weeks ago to host and document drunk and disorderly Elvis-themed dinner party. And why the hell not? Photos of the debauchery which ensued will be on display at DOAS’ launch this Saturday 12 of May.  

What gave you the idea of throwing and documenting an Elvis themed dinner party?
I wish I could say I was sitting on the toilet eating a hamburger when the idea occurred to me. However it was more to do with the fact that I’ve wanted to marry Elvis since I was a little girl. I wasn’t a smart little girl obviously (little known fact: Elvis is dead). So when DOAS’s theme was revealed to be ‘food’, I thought this could be the perfect opportunity to combine my love of the King, and my other love: making my friends throw up and documenting it. So we arranged a 50s style Elvis dinner party for the shoot. I’m vegetarian, so I had loads of fun deep-frying chicken and rolling meatballs for the dinner party. I’m the proud owner of the ‘Fit for a King’ cookbook, and so I chose from that the most fattening and revolting foods that would have surely lead to the Kings well-known constipation issues for the shoot. The aim was to get everyone very, very drunk so we could get the kind of photos I had in mind. And thanks to some very special mates volunteering to dress up, we got a bit ‘wrong’ in the bathroom and on the bed. That’s how all dinner parties should end: a bit ‘wrong’.

What food do you like?
I love spicy Mediterranean, Mexican and Vietnamese cooking. I’m also very fond of my Maltese heritage and take a lot of queues from that. Our family get-togethers’ growing up were always an opportunity for amazing food, heaps of grog and family fighting. Nowadays we sit around the table and reminisce about that time my Mum ran over and killed our dog, or the time my brother crashed my Dad’s midlife crisis car into a McDonald’s on Father’s Day. I think it is so important that food can bring people together like that.

What kind of art and literature are you inspired by?
I really love the aesthetics of religious iconography, Mediterranean and Latin American culture, and family histories. I love 50s Googie architecture and tacky drive-in cinema and motel signage. But most of all I love Melbourne’s suburbia and heritage. We have an amazingly recent history and it’s fascinating watching our suburbs and communities change. In terms of literature, I love Helen Garner for her brilliant and complex stories of Australian life. I’ve seen her speak a few times and she just hits you with this candor that you don’t often see. I also love Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his other worldly, beautifully cast sentences. I’m so bloody picky when it comes to authors, but these two have really blown me away. I’m also heavily influenced by music, and I’ve been listening to heaps of Bjorn Olsson and Harvey Averne lately. Swedish dreamy choral arrangements with whistling sounds lame to me, but I can assure you that Bjorn’s music is rad. Whereas Harvey rocks the 1960s Latin boogaloo.

Tell us a bit about your art as Hola Holga?
My last few exhibitions feature photographs of houses and buildings in my local suburbs that I’ve taken on my Holga camera, and then transferred onto wood panels. The photographs work with the knots of wood to create nostalgic 50s imagery. I’m currently working on a collaboration with a historian on 1950s architecture in Melbourne that I’m very excited about. Hopefully I can stage some pretty cool shots in some of the very first motels in Melbourne. And I’m travelling to Mexico and Cuba for dia de los Muertos this year so have already imported some Mexican ofrendas bases and hope to create my own personal offerings in that style.


Hola! Holga

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Over the next two weeks, we interview the capable ladies and gentlemen speaking and performing at DOAS’ Issue #5 ‘FOOD’ launch on 12 May at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery in Collingwood.

 We’re chuffed to have Hayley Couper and her band kick off the sounds at the launch. Originally from Tassie, Couper launched herself into the Melbourne music scene in 2010, promptly landing the Triple J UNEARTHED title not long after – quite the achievement if you didn’t already know. Couper and co have been working hard on producing an EP (with producer Woody Annison — Children Collide, Red Riders), and you, lucky punters, get a sneak peek at  DOAS launch numero cinco.

Being a musician, how important is food to you and how do you relate to the theme food?
I could say we’re starving artists, living on cask wine and mi goreng but we’re not. I had the band over for a dinner party last night. Last week guitarist Michael had us over for Bloody Mary Mussels. We eat well. Admittedly, I’m a feeder. I like to cook for friends and fatten my lovers with food. Oh and food pays the bills. I cook Mexican for a living.

How would you describe the writing process of your songs?
Sometimes a melody might buzz around in my head for ages. Annoying me and entertaining me at the same time. I’ll come up with the bones of a song, at least a verse and a chorus, take it to the band room and it will come to life from there. We might demo a few different versions, stop for cigarette and listen back to it. Sometimes many cigarettes are smoked. I feel like I’m cheating if I don’t know what my songs are about. Lyrics and melody are the ultimate marriage. I always want them to as good alone as they are together.

Do you have any other writers or artists (not from a musical background) who are a large influence to you?
The first book I read that inspired me was The Outsider by Albert Camus. The first poem that inspired me was ‘Stop all the Clocks’ by W.H. Auden. I appreciate the simple rhyme structure and imagery. And often take this approach to lyrics. Last year drummer Francis gave me Sylvia Plath’s Ariel for Christmas. He says sometimes I remind him of her.

You’re described as dreamy rock; can you elaborate on this?
There’s a certain sound scape to the melodies and guitar tones that make the music dreamy and a bit moody. But it’s rocking at the same time. It’s hypnotic and rhythmic — it’s dreamers that drink too much.

What’s in store for Hayley Couper in the future?
The band and I recently recorded an EP with Woody Annison, who’s a total legend. We had a lot fun in the studio. And the record sounds great! Stay tuned for release dates in June. Until then though, you can hear the live version performed at Death of a Scenester magazine launch Saturday May 12th and at the Old Bar on Saturday May 26th.

For more info and sample sounds, visit hayleycouper.com

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Over the next two weeks,  we interview the capable ladies and gents speaking and performing at DOAS’ Issue #5 ‘FOOD’ launch on 12 May.

We’re thrilled to have Immigrant Union play at the FOOD issue launch on 12 May. Rob Harrow, Peter Lubulwa, Courtney Barnett and Bones Sloane, replete with Dandy Warhol — Brent DeBoer, are launching their self-titled album elsewhere that afternoon, then rolling down the hill to Collingwood to play again. We highly recommend you do a psychedelic camp-fire core dirty double that day. DOAS interviewed Brent from Immigrant Union.

Do you like food and cooking? What’s your favourite?
I do like cooking. I am a stovetop cooker. Baking is not my thing. I like to be able to hold ingredients to my nose as I lean over the dish and sorta waft the aroma to my face to see if it will add to the dish. I can’t do that in the oven.

Do you have any food related songs?
No I don’t think so. My other band the Dandy Warhols has a song about nougat candy though. I have written a lot of songs about drinks!

Cheech and Chong, eh? What’s your favourite movie of theirs or movie that they’ve been in?
Up in smoke! That opening scene is so damned funny I can watch it over and over.

You all play in different bands — how does that work for you?
It’s a lot of air miles. I fly back and forth to Europe and America and Australia 4 or 5 times a year. It’s nice playing guitar in one band and drumming in another. The Dandy Warhols have a record coming out about the same time as Union so it will be a very busy and loud 2012 for me.

Tell me a bit about the history of Immigrant Union and what’s in store for the future?
Bob and I met years ago and started writing songs shortly after I moved to Australia. We have a new record to be released in a couple weeks that we recorded in Oregon. Now we have a solid 6 piece and have all the songs ready for our next record. We think it will be a very special album indeed.

Tell me about your fave bands and fave places to play?
I like all the same 1960s and 1970s bands as the next guy. I like a lot of hip hop and metal as well. Hmmm… I don’t really have a specific band I listen to more than another. I’ve been listening to a lot of Desmond Dekker actually. It’s so cool.

Immigrant Union launch their much awaited self-titled album on 12 May 2012 on the Evelyn Hotel Rooftop — 351 Brunswick St Fitzroy. Doors open 2pm, IU play at 5pm.

 IU Myspace
Facebook event page 

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