december / january 2 Tea and a Biccie: The Fearless Vampire Killers 4 Crumbs 6 biscuit Diary 7 This month we're loving... 8 Debate: Should university degrees be free? 10 Chrissy Cheer 12 New Year's Peeve 14 Fashion: Market Day 20 Style Spotters 22 Food: Christmas Citrus Chicken 24 Food: White chocolate, macadamia and banana cookies 26 Music: The Grates 28 Travel: Explore Lucera 42 Short Story: The Power of Charity
ON THE COVER Photographer: Chris Whitfield Stylist: sofia polak Make up: Jolina O'Hair Makeup Hair: Sherryn O'Connor Model: Emma Wannell Outfit: Parliament Clothing
Editor Jil Hogan Creative Director / Co-Editor Sarah Robertson eb Design W Rowan Hogan Layout and Design Jil Hogan, Photography Chris Whitfield, Sarah Robertson, Michael Murchie Contributors Rowan Hunnam, Beth MacKenzie, Anna Angel, Danni Bain, Charly Lindsay, Erin Radford, Gina Baldassarre, Kade Morton Advertising & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org www.biscuitmagazine.com.au biscuit magazine is free and issued monthly. Email contact@biscuit magazine.com.au. ABN 33 407 496 992. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the copyright holder.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
tea & â€‰a biccie
tea and a biccieâ€Ś with Al Marx I am Al Marx from The Fearless Vampire Killers. I grew up on muesli. When I'm driving I try to hold my breath. My favourite song to make love to is You're the Best from Karate Kid. If I could swap lives with anyone it would be Barack Obama because then I could fix this shit. The first CD I ever owned was the Men in Black Soundtrack. My favourite thing on T.V. is Qi.
If I had to eat only one thing for the rest of my life it would be muesli. You will rarely catch me in Spain.
and completely down to earth. They just care about music and fun which is what all bands should do. The Fearless Vampire Killers have just released their debut album, Batmania. Click below to watch the video for catchy track, You & Me.
Something I hate more than anything else in the world is self-centered people who assume everyone else is also being self-centered. My professional highlight so far has been The Vasco Era tour because Vasco are awesome guys
DON'T GO TO THE BEACH WITHOUT WATCHING THIS
DRINKING WITH ZAC, TAYLOR AND ISAAC
The sun's out, and after a long year, most of us are fairly keen to finish up at work, and get outside and lap up every tiny bit of summer that we can.
The trend over the past couple of years has seen more than a few bands who we had more than seen the back of reform and return with a world-wide tour. I barely even batted an eyelid when I heard news that The Vengaboys are visiting our shores next year (and I'm not ashamed to admit, I was a little excited).
But before you do, take the five minutes and four seconds to watch, 'Dear 16-year-old-me'. The video has been doing the rounds on Facebook, and even though it's an American video, there's nowhere that it's more relevant than in Australia. Click below to watch now.
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But this recent news has even raised my eyebrows. According to Rolling Stone, 90s teen heartthrobs - who are apparently still making music - are planning to try their hand at brewing. The brew will reportedly be an India Pale Ale called - wait for it MMMHop IPA. You can't make this stuff up.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
GET LOVED FOR FREE Nothing much comes for free these days. But Faker are giving away their album Get Loved. For free. The boys decided to produce their own record for the first time, with the help of a few friends, with the record produced in a studio at Nathanâ€™s house. Head to www.faker.com.au to Get Loved now.
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To win yourself a double pass to The Iron Lady, visit www.biscuitmagazine.com.au. Good luck!
THE IRON LADY The Iron Lady tells the compelling story of Margaret Thatcher, a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world. The story concerns power and the price that is paid for power, and is a surprising and intimate portrait of an extraordinary and complex woman. Directed by the Bafta nominated Phyllida Lloyd (Mamma Mia, Macbeth). The film stars Academy Award-winners Meryl Streep as Lady Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher. Their young selves are played by Alexandra Roach and Harry Lloyd. The rest of the cast of family and friends, politicians and advisers, is made up of the very best of British acting talent, including: Olivia Colman, Nicholas Farrell, Susan Brown, Roger Allam, Anthony Head, Julian Wadham, Pip Torrens, Nick Dunning, Richard E Grant, David Westhead, Angus Wright and John Sessions. In Cinemas December 26.
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DECEMBER '11 - JANUARY '12
The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep hits cinemas today. Turn to page 3 for your chance to win tickets@
Psychological disaster film Melancholia starring Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsg책rd is released in cinemas nationwide today.
28-1 Falls Festival hits Victoria and Tasmania, with a lineup including Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, 360 and Kimbra.
The Easy Star All Stars play tonight at The Zoo in Brisbane. Check out www. selecttouring.com. au for full list of dates.
New Year's Day
7-29 Sydney comes alive with the Sydney Festival with a massive lineup of theatre, music, film, dance and more.
Australia Day After a few weeks back at work, we get a well-earned public holiday!
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
Kanye and Kasabian pop in to Melbourne today for Big Day Out. Check out www.bigdayout.com for a full list of dates.
this month we're loving... to k c i Cl buy
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These quirky Thomas Paul Luddite iPad and camera case. iPad envelope $59. Camera Case $44. Available from www.muse.net.au.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and an incredibly relaxing festive season. See you in the New Year.
The biscuit team x Baking for Christmas! Turn to page 28 to channel your inner Nigella. Don't skimp on the butter.
As the holidays get closer, is it just us or are the days starting to drrraaagggggg?..... Need a way to pass the afternoon? Look no further than Draw a Stickman. You're welcome.
Can't....stop.....listening. Melbourne duo Big Scary's debut LP 'Vacation' is filled with ultimate chill out Summer tracks. www.biscuitmagazine.com.au
Shoulduniversity degrees be free?
by Rowan Hunnam
by Beth MacKenzie
I am afraid this isn’t a debate. It is just how it has to be. A statement of a matter of future fact.
Before I start my spiel about why university degrees shouldn’t be free, I thought I’d share a little about myself.
In today’s society, from cities to outlying regional areas, it just has to be easy for young people.
I’m 20 years old and have just finished my third year at university. I’ve currently racked up nearly $17,000 in debt and I have not paid off a single cent. By the time I finish university, I should owe the government a grand total of about $30,000.
We’re talking about making higher education free. This isn’t to suggest its for everyone. Because it isn’t. I am all for leaving school and going smack-bang into a hands-on apprenticeship, or whatever. But, there really is nothing, and I mean nothing, more important than knowledge. I worry myself to sleep regularly, at the noticeable and growing lack of education. If we suggest money is the limiting factor, why should young people be punished for the poor choices or poor situations of their parents? For some families, its just not an option. And that is unbearably unfair. Free education would mean everyone has the opportunity of learning, and growing. University is not about obtaining copious amounts of irrelevant knowledge that we can rattle off on the first day of our new jobs. University is not about the social life. University is not about text books, exams, essays or productivity. University is about providing a platform from which the art of learning a specific subject is approached. And that is vital. I dislike societal drains, yes. And I recognise that in providing free, and we’re talking free, not cheaper, higher education to one and all, we would be looking at some serious tax payers’ money. But switched on, knowledgeable graduates are good for the economy and useful to society. So why don’t we stop dishing out to mothers to have more children (we have just hit 7 billion people), and put the money towards something more useful. Like ensuring everyone has the option of further studies, without strings. Not to mention the hefty repayments graduates make well into their 30s. Its hardly giving graduates a solid starting point is it, hardly providing encouragement for them to further their education. Unless they have a helping hand from mum and dad, students often leave university with significant debts. And that’s no way to begin a lifetime of contributing to society.
So, why with all this debt, which is enough to buy a decent car, do I still think we should pay for our university education? My first argument is simple: if you’re motivated to complete a degree, then you’re willing to pay the tens of thousands of dollars for your education. If you didn’t have to pay for your education, then would you care if you didn’t do so well? I know myself that if I didn’t have to pay for university, then I wouldn’t care so much if I failed an assignment or a unit. I can just repeat it again the following semester with no monetary consequences. Secondly, it motivates the right people to go. I’m not saying that everyone doesn’t deserve the same chance at a higher education, but if anyone could attend, then the drop out rate would likely be much higher. There’s a reason the Government put the “Learning or Earning” policy in place. Finally, think yourself lucky that we’re not the United States. In October this year, the total amount of money owed by students reached over $1 trillion and exceeded credit card debt for the first time. While tuition fees for both Australia and the US are above the average, Australian students at least have the support of the Government, allowing us to pay off our degree once we have a full time job and earn a minimum of $45,000. Whether you agree with me or not, consider yourself fortunate to at least have the opportunity to go to university. At the end of the day, it’s not a huge price to pay for our education and a higher standard of living.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
By Danni Bain
Chrissy Cheer I feel jibbed. And Bing Crosby is to blame.
fire while it snows outside.
Him and the white Christmases he bragged about in verse; sleigh bells, snowmen, north pointing poles and other homages to pretty much anything reflective of the northern hemisphere throughout December.
I’m not saying we Australians haven’t made our own traditions, some of them quite nice. I’ll be the first to pull out the Havaianas and fire up the barbie with one hand whilst sipping some punch-packing alcohol concoction my aunty hands out like water on Christmas Day, out of the other.
For us Australia-dwelling folk who find ourselves sitting, soaking, in our own bodily fluids because it’s hotter here than a mincepie fresh out of the oven, it’s not so easy to harness this ‘magic of Christmas’ that we hear about. No matter what customs we ‘borrow’ and adapt to our sunburned nation –egg-nog, carols, National Lampoon’s annual tales of fails, tree-decorating whilst swooning to Frank Sinatra convincing us he will be home for Christmas (more lies)– somewhere along the way I’ve discovered we have to work a lot harder to make Christmas happen here in December. Forgive me if BBQ sausage rotation duties, and striking that perfect balance of sand and chafe between the legs aren’t enough to get me feeling so seasonally whimsical as say, walking down fairy-light-lit streets, making snow angels and snuggling a loved one near a
However every time I watch bloody Love Actually I am overcome by the urge to visit lastminute.com.au to buy me a ticket out of this sweatbox and into the sweet embrace of London winter…or New York… Paris…. anywhere that guarantees legitimate winter wonderland. Of course, before actualization, I realize that’s a terrible idea and the amount of money I have is less than equal to the amount of money required for even the cab ride to the airport. So I channel Banksy and graffiti my windows with white spray paint instead, which is supposed to make it look like it just snowed. Which is ironic when you have to walk around naked because even bikinis induce mild heat stroke. (Not even being dramatic). I’ve contemplated waging a strike for a date change for the Aussie Christmas, circa July
sometime. That would work; we’re all a lot less busy that time of the year too. It won’t fix the snow issue, but we’ll have time to work that one through. It sure would seem magical to have Christmastime associated with things other than extreme heat, flies, and the need to hitch your maxi-dress up well and good into your underwear to get anywhere. Can ‘love actually be all around’ when we all smell of RID, the dish of the season is a shish kebab, it’s acceptable to sport Bintang wife-beaters at any occasion and everyone is alarmingly ever-ready for a game of beach cricket? Actually, that said I kind of dig our Christmases as unconventional as they are. Sure we’ll never have Jimmy Stewart or even Tim Allen star in a film adaptation of them, but they’re uniquely ours, representative of us as Australians – laid back, up for some fun, and a little bit alcoholic. I’ll give the Aussie Christmas another go, and if that fails I can always head to an airport where everyone is blissfully in love, or so Hugh Grant tells me. Make Merry well.
New Year's Peeve
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
By Anna Angel
Let’s try a little experiment. I want you to picture a New Year’s Eve memory. Just go with the first that comes to mind. While we’re sharing, here’s mine. It was 2009, at one to midnight on the last day of December. At that moment, I stopped throwing up on a stranger’s porch and was swept up in the romantic New Year’s Eve kiss I’d been hoping for. Whether that anecdote is somewhat sweet or wholly revolting depends on your point of view. What’s a given is New Year’s Eve ending in disappointing laced with regret wrapped in vomit. You’ll have a better take-home memory of ringing in 2012 if you save yourself the jacked up taxi fares and fall asleep at 10:30pm watching re-runs of Jersey Shore. ‘But, Anna’, you say, ‘I’ve never thrown up on my own shoes’. Fine, fancy pants. Here’s a few perfectly valid reasons to boycott the celebrations. Fireworks Someone in your party has convinced you it’s crucial to arrive early to secure one of the ‘good spots’. You’ve been perched on a picnic blanket for so long your bottom has gone numb by the time the crowds stream in. They stand on your blanket; they knock over your drink. They make tutting noises at you that say, “how selfish, taking up that much space, oh my” until you’re so uncomfortable you stand up. Right when the ‘big event’ is
about to begin, a loving father takes his child onto his shoulders. The firework display begins and you crane your neck but all you can see is a faint glow emanating from behind this kid’s head. There are no ‘good spots’. Your only other viewing option is to rock up with fifteen minutes to spare, weave through sticky throngs of bodies, lose your friends and go hoarse from screaming down the phone. “Where? Where are you? Just text me. TEXT ME. I’m by the tree. TREE!” You find each other, tired and hungry, having missed the whole shebang. Do you want to bore adults and frighten animals and small children? Get some fireworks into your New Year’s plans. Alternatively, hold a lighter to your eye line, crack ice with your teeth and shout ‘boom’ for fifteen minutes. Expectations Someone once declared the way you ring in the New Year dictates the nature of the twelve months ahead. Not only is that the stupidest suggestion, but it’s one that’s become extremely popular. Why do we preen and plan for this one night of debauchery above the other 364? It’s an inner desperation to prove we’ve either had an amazing, successful, positive-adjectiveladen year, or that we at least have one coming up. Add to that Hollywood’s insistence
on counting down to midnight in every NYE scene, as glitter falls from the sky and everyone at the event neatly partners up for a smooch. You can’t top that. If you try, you’ll just get a shard of plastic confetti in your eye and the number of someone you’ll never call. Money Many cultures celebrate the New Year by making blessings and wishes for good fortune, prosperity and health. There are offerings or ceremonies to promote abundance in the year ahead, prayers and salutations. Mexican tradition is to eat a grape for each of twelve chimes counting down to midnight, making a wish upon each one. Spanish superstition says it’s good luck to purchase a new pair of red undies to wear on the night, and in the Philippines you might throw coins and wear polka dots to attract wealth. Modern Australian tradition is to make a large monetary offering to the beverage Gods, and wish upon a taxi home. What we seem to forget is, by drinking away all our loose change, there's a 100 per cent chance we’ll be starting the year off poorer. Pyjamas You can’t wear these to any New Year’s celebration except the one on your couch. ‘Nuff said.
This Page: Models: Iris H & Yoanna. Designer: Wild Orchid (www.wildorchid. net.au). Accessories: Wild Orchid.Opposite Page. Top left: Model: Yoanna. Designer: Bluebird Designs (www.bluebirddesigns.com. au). Accessories: Sister in Style (www.facebook.com/ sisterinstyle). Bottom left: Model: Shelby. Designer: Erin Hassall (erin.hassall@hotmail. com). Right. Model: Iris H. Designer: Bluebird Designs. Accessories: Sister in Style.
market day Photographer: Michael Murchie | Make Up: Tegan Munro | Models: Iris H @ Busy Models, Shelby @ Busy Models, Yoanna @ Busy Models, Tiffany Jade (unrepresented) | Location: Miami Designer Markets (http://www. facebook.com/miami.designer.markets)
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DECEMBER2011 OCTOBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
fashion Left: Models: Iris H & Shelby. Designer: Erin Hassall (erin.hassall@hotmail. com). Below: Models: Iris H & Yoanna. Designer: Lil Gem Designs. Accessories: misstrudie.com.au.
Opposite Page. Left: Model: Tiffany Jade. Designer: Neverland Clothing (www.facebook.com/neverland.clothing). Accessories: Long Way Home (www.facebook.com/long.way.home.boutique). Top Right: Model: Iris H. Designer: Wild Orchid (www.wildorchid.net.au). Accessories: Wild Orchid. Bottom Right: Model: Yoanna. Designer: Wild Orchid. Accessories: Wild Orchid.
Above: Models: Shelby & Tiffany Jade. Designer: Neverland Clothing (www.facebook.com/neverland.clothing). Accessories: Long Way Home (www.facebook.com/long.way.home.boutique).
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Opposite Page. Top: Models: Yoanna & Iris H. Designer: Neverland Clothing. Accessories: Long Way Home. Bottom left: Model: Shelby. Designer: Wild Orchid (www.wildorchid.net.au). Accessories: Wild Orchid. Middle. Model: Iris H. Designer: Erin Hassall (erin.hassall@hotmail. com). Bottom Right: Model: Yoanna. Designer: Wild Orchid. Accessories: Wild Orchid.
SHIRT - ASOS, CHINOS BY ASOS, SHOES CONVERSE, HAT - BORROWED
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
Captured by Sarah Robertson
SHIRT - VINTAGE, SINGLET - BORROWED, SHORTS - MYER, SHOES - CONVERSE
Christmas Citrus Chicken If you're not really a fan of turkey because of its ability to become dry every time you cook it except that once; causing both you and your guests to have to drown the annual white meat in enough gravy to put the Brisbane floods to shame, then why not try roasting a couple of chickens this festive season?
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
Citrus roasted chicken is a fresh, tasty option to your Christmas dinner this year. Drizzle the moist meat with Citrus Gravy; made with delicious pan juices and fresh orange juice, and serve with crispy roast potatoes, baked zucchini, sautee'd mushrooms and blanched asparagus for a true Christmas meal.
By Sarah Robertson
sips and nibbles
What to do: 1. Wash chickens and preheat oven to 180C. 2. Dice onion, shallots, chives, garlic and bacon and cook in fry pan until golden. Squeeze lemon juice over mixture, add salt to taste and allow to cool. 3. Cut 2 oranges in quarters and stuff into both chicken cavities. 4. Slice Â˝ lemon into large round disks. 5. Make a small incision at the base of the skin overlapping each chicken breast. Expand space underneath the skin by inserting index finger and moving around underneath skin to separate from the flesh. Stuff butter into breast incisions and then fill with bacon mixture. 6. Slide a slice of lemon into each incision and arrange over the top of the bacon mixture. Slice legs and insert leftover mixture and small piece of lemon into each incision.
Ingredients 1 large lemon 3 oranges 4 cloves garlic 1 bunch chives
7. Rub entire chicken/s with olive oil and then squeeze remaining lemon over chickens before dusting with salt and pepper to taste. 8. Cook in oven for an hour and a half or until golden and juices run clear. 9. Carve chicken and serve with roast potatoes, blanched asparagus, baked zucchini and mushrooms. Drizzle with citrus gravy and enjoy with a glass of white.
1 large rasher bacon 2 shallots
2 tsp rosemary
1. Take pan juices from roast chicken and tip into a small sauce pan. Squeeze half of remaining orange into mixture and bring to a medium heat.
4 tsp butter 1 brown onion 1 tsp crushed garlic Olive oil Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste 2 large chickens 1tsp plain flour
2. Slice remainder of orange into small wedges and place into mixture. Bring mixture to the boil before bringing to a simmer. 3. Mix flour in approx 30ml cold water and stir to a smooth consistency. Stir flour mixture through sauce and allow to thicken on a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. 4. Drizzle sauce over roast chicken and serve. www.biscuitmagazine.com.au
By Erin Radford
Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. 2. In a bowl (or large jug), stir together the banana, butter, brown sugar and vanilla. (makes 20-24) Ingredients: · 1 ½ (scant) cups well-mashed bananas (about 3-4 medium-large bananas) · 1 tsp vanilla extract · ½ (scant) cup melted butter · 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar (get rid of lumps) · 1 ½ cups rolled oats · ½ cup almond meal · 1 tsp baking powder · ½ tsp cinnamon
3. Put the oats, almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in the second bowl and mix to combine. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together thoroughly. Fold in the white chocolate and nuts. (Note that this dough is quite wet, but it’s nothing to worry about.) 5. Spoon the cookie dough out onto the trays using a tablespoon. Make sure the cookies are reasonably flat and not too heaped – they won’t spread at all so the middle won’t cook properly if they aren’t spread out before baking. 6. Put the trays in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies), swapping the trays halfway through.
· ½ tsp salt
7. They’re done when the tops are golden and the bottoms are nicely brown.
· ¾ cup chopped salted & roasted macadamias
8. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
· ¾ cup white chocolate, chopped into 5mm square pieces
These are best straight from the oven, but still good for a couple of days.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
White chocolate, macadamia and banana cookies
Charly Lindsay chats to The Grates Vocalist Patience Hodgson, and drummer Ben Marshall, about their music, fishing and a few other things along the way.
music You're just back from the States with a new American drummer. How are you finding your time back here, and such a hectic tour schedule? Patience: In some aspects it's really hectic, but we've actually just spent four days in Kilcare, which was not hectic at all. It was fantastic, just sitting on the beach and staying in a beach house. It's kind of hectic from this point out, but we got a four day holiday which we normally never get. I think you have the tendency to have a holiday when you have someone with you from the States, because he's never seen any of it before. One time we went on this four hour detour when we were in San Francisco. We were driving from somewhere in Los Angeles to San Francisco, and they asked us if we wanted to take the scenic route, and we were like, "Definitely", but it added like four hours to the trip. It was like we had this mental blank and forgot that we come from Australia, where every city is on the coast and where we have the best beaches. So we did the scenic route in California and we land on the beach, and we all just went, "Yeah this is okay, not bad", and the people that had driven us were all like, "oh this the best, wasn't it worth it?" and we were all like, Mum's the word, but no, not worth it. We've taken him (Ben) to a few beaches now, and we took him fishing, but nobody caught anything, which was a little bit sad. The Summer’s Breath tour schedule looks really full on. How do you handle long tours and
what are your favourite and least favourite parts of touring? Ben: It’s good. I like it when I’m busy, it’s almost like when you have a day off that it throws you off schedule, so I’d rather do a show every night, I get in to it. My least favourite part is the time between sound check and actually hitting the stage. As the headline band you do your sound check first and you play last, so there are hours where you can’t really do anything but just sit around. You can go back to your hotel room if it’s close, but that’s just boring. My favourite part is obviously playing live shows. How do you find the music scene over here in Australia compared to back home in the USA, especially for up and coming bands? Ben: It can be really hard. I think Australia almost has it better for bands that are coming up. In the States you really have to have a lot of people behind you in order to get anything done. If you make it as an Indie artist in the States, in the true sense, so you're not even on a label or anything, that is a really big accomplishment. Whereas here it seems like Triple J are really supportive, and it's nationwide so you can really do a lot with Triple J. The band that opened for us Big Scary, they're Gladiators, and they're not a label at all, they're just doing it all themselves. I think that's really cool, that a band can do that. I think what's happening with venues is the same thing that's happening with festivals as well, there is so much over-exposure at the moment.
There are so many festivals and so many gigs all the time, but that stuff always happens, it's a cycle. Things get over-saturated and some businesses fail and it goes back down and then people come back to it again. What impact do you think the Internet is having on the music industry? Ben: Ultimately I think it's a good thing, as it really allows everyone to get their stuff out there. The one bad thing the Internet has done is that it has given people the impression that everything should be free: music, movies, art, everything like that and if only we could fix that part of it, I think it would be really, really great. Australia has seen lots of independent labels start up over the last few years and bands start up labels as well. Are you seeing a lot of the same things back in the States? Ben: I don't know anybody that has started a label; a lot of my friends are working for either management companies or small labels. There are a lot of new labels though, and there are a lot of bands out there like Big Scary that are just doing it on their own. One of my favourite parts about living in New York is that, if it's good, you'll hear about it, whether it's music or a restaurant, or a club, and I think that's the biggest thing. You have to make your product or your song or whatever, great. If you make something truly great, people will like it and they'll buy it.
travel Lucera is the kind of place you dream about when you think of a typical smalltown European experience. This town is Melbourne on steroids, full of alleys and laneways made of black and white cobblestones, hip cafés, bakeries, and fresh produce stalls. But unlike Melbourne, Lucera has thousands of years of history, dating back to the time of the Roman Empire and encompassing countless takeovers, including a period of Islamic settlement.
By Gina Baldassarre been built on the ruins of the last medieval mosque in Italy, while the Augustan amphitheatre, once the site of gladiatorial battles and animal fights, has been preserved remarkably well. Of course, it’s the castle that makes for the best tourist attraction. Work has been done to allow visitors to enter and climb the main tower, which gives a stunning view of the surrounding tablelands.
Of course, Lucera has a couple of museums that are worth visiting, almost for the buildings alone. The Lucera is an hour’s drive away from Bari, the capital of the Puglia region, and Palazzo Vescovile (Bishop’s Palace), sitting opposite the cathedral in the a 3-hour train trip away from Rome (Rome! 3 hours from Sydney will just get town square, and the Giuseppe Fiorello museum, named after the archaeologist you to Canberra). who led excavations in Pompeii, are With a population of 35 000, Lucera is living history, built in the 17th century for no bigger than your average Australian the town bishops and obscenely wealthy, suburb, everything within short walking respectively. What’s exhibited inside distance. The past two decades have these buildings is endlessly fascinating. seen apartment complexes and facilities As you would expect of an Italian town, rise on the outskirts of town, but the real beauty lies in the centro storico, the the food is fantastic. Lucera’s speciality is troccoli, a dish of a kind of very thick historic centre of town. spaghetti made fresh, by hand, just Although Lucera oozes history from before cooking. Lucera also does a every angle, the castle, amphitheatre, coffee and croissant very well. Cafés and and cathedral are arguably its most gelaterias are incredibly cheap compared significant, or at least most visible, to Australia, even more so considering historical sites. The cathedral dates the excellent quality. You can find pretty back to the 1300s, believed to have much anything here, though Lucera as
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
a whole seems to have a dependence on Illy coffee, the brand’s red and white logo nailed to the walls of most cafés. The one annoying thing (or perhaps you may find it quaint) is the fact that most shops close from 1pm to 5pm every day to allow for a family lunch and naptime. On the upside, shops are then open until 8:30/9pm. There’s no real ‘best time’ to visit Lucera. The summer months see the town celebrate the festival of its patron saint and other occasions, but summer in Italy is stunning and it’s almost worth visiting for that alone. However, there’s something to be said about winter in Lucera, when the Christmas decorations start to go up in the town centre and light up the ancient streets. Christmas is more than just a commercial holiday here, and it shows. Though it gets dark early, with the sun usually setting around 4pm, people come out in force every evening for a passegiata before dinner and a poke around in the shops. There’s a real sense of community spirit that really makes it feel like a proper Christmas (plus it’s cold instead of 40 degrees, which helps). Forget Melbourne; if you want the real European deal, Lucera’s the place to be. @GinaBaldassarre
Explore Lucera... www.biscuitmagazine.com.au
by Kade Morton
The Power of Charity Damaskenos Osbert read the note before him with a heavy heart. “Dear Berty...” he’s still not using my proper name... “hope you are well”, bla bla, “as you know my young pupil, this time of year is a time of giving with Charity Day approaching. In the spirit of giving I expect you to return to Guildford with a present for your master, specifically a 500 Turbo Destructo wand. The red one” ...yeah right... bla bla... “Failure to comply with the spirit of Charity Day will result in your TERMINATION FROM THE GUILD OF MAGES?!” That stupid wand costs thousands! Damaskenos looked out across the shimmering lake and sighed. The messenger bird cawed at him as if it was laughing. “I hope for both our sakes you can find the spirit of Charity Day in your heart.” What a joke. “Your deserving and expectant Master, Baldric Granz. P.S. This is not a joke, I checked with the Guild Adjudicator, he informed me the criteria for termination was, in his words, very vague.” Damaskenos screwed the message up into a ball and threw it at the messenger bird. It appeared his holidays had ended, and would only be followed by looking for anyone willing to hire a failed apprentice mage. After one more forlorn look across the lake district, Damaskenos headed back to the Flaming Weasel Inn to pack his belongings. He would leave for Guildford in the morning. The Flaming Weasel was rowdy.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012
Damaskenos picked his way between squabbling patrons to head for the upstairs rooms. One of the town guards rose from his table to refill his goblet and bumped into him.
That evening, he was enjoying his dinner of fried lake fish on toast at the Flaming Weasel before heading off to Guildford in the morning. His heart sank for the second time, when he saw the doors “Sorry sir,” Damaskenos said, wondering to the inn flung wide by the same guard from earlier. He had a crazy look on to himself why the uniformed guard his face. Damaskenos guessed that the was at the inn instead of guarding servant’s condition had worsened and something. The guard turned to the guard had come to take it out on regard Damaskenos. the fool who’d said he would be alright. “That’s all right...say, you’re a healer aren’t Damaskenos grabbed his fish and toast, you? You might be able to help me. I but was not able to make it up the stairs was looking for the town doctor, I need before the guard spotted him. a healer.” “There he is! Stop him!” A patron “These are mage robes, not healer’s grabbed Damaskenos. robes... hold on, what are you doing “Hold on! The information I provided drinking at the local inn?” does not constitute medical advice. The “I need you to take a look at one of my information is of a general nature and servants. He’s terribly ill.” does not take into account species, his, “And, I need a few thousands shekels. Can hers or its personal-” you pay me?” Damaskenos eyed the “You! You healed my servant!” guard’s coin purse with which he was “I... what?” going to pay for his refill. “He’s completely visible, you healed him!” “No... But he’s very ill. Wouldn’t want you to have his death on your conscious.” Damaskenos rolled his eyes.
“I didn’t do anything! Translucent fever only takes hours to break.”
“What are his symptoms?”
Unfortunately, Damaskenos’s statement “He was looking a bit pale this morning.” was drowned out by the manic patrons. “Did you say that boy is a healer?” “Pale, that’s the best you’ve got?” “Sort of a see-through kind of pale.” Damaskenos laughed. “Oh, that’s translucent fever! It’s been going around. Go home and your servant will be fine.” He then made his excuses and headed up to his room to pack.
“He’s a miracle worker!” “Did you hear that Grizwald, he’s a saint! Sent from the divine to aid us!” The crowd started to push. Damaskenos feared he may be crushed if he didn’t get out of the inn, now. He
needed a distraction. “You want a miracle? Eat this!” Damaskenos threw the fish and toast straight up and channelled a simple mirror spell. Holding a magical mirror in each hand, he held them facing each other. Just like a normal mirror, anything caught between them multiplies infinitely. The fish and toast fell between the two mirrors and copies began to spew from the mirrors. The crowd grabbed the food.
selection of fish cooking over a small fire.
The crowd roared ‘NO’, but the little girl wasn’t having any of it.
“Honoured stranger, could you spare me a fish?”
“I want a present! Let him go, please let him go I want a present!” She began to cry.
The fisherman got up and started to walk towards Damaskenos. “I’ve just been chased by a mob, and I didn’t get to eat dinner.” He doubled over to catch his breath. “I can’t head back to the Flaming Weasel until the mob calms down. Hold on, is that a -”
The club caught Damaskenos across the head.
“There’s enough to feed five hundred people!”
He awoke next morning with a headache, and quickly realised he was tied to something.
With the crowd now descending on the ever-widening pile of food and not himself, Damaskenos turned the mirrors to slag with a simple conflagration spell and ran. It wasn’t long though until people stopped stuffing their faces and realised their miracle worker had departed. The mob gave chase.
A cross. The mob, now including the fisherman, stood before him.
Damaskenos reached the edge of the lake. He looked back. The townsfolk would be on him again soon. But where he planned to go they could follow. A simple featherstep spell later and Damaskenos was running across the water, towards the small island in the centre of the lake. Upon reaching the island, the smell of food caught his attention. He hadn’t eaten much of his fish and toast at all, and coupled with the mad dash Damaskenos was actually quite hungry. Walking towards the smell, Damaskenos found a fisherman’s camp. He had a lovely
“The thief who tried to steal my fish is awake!”
“And you call me criminal,” Damaskenos chided the crowd, “making a little girl cry.” The crowd rumbled. “What will you give her?” “Bring her to me and I’ll show you.” The little girl was hoisted up on her father’s shoulders so she could speak with Damaskenos. “Is that toy your favourite?” Damaskenos asked the girl. She nodded. “Hold it up so I can see it.” The girl did, and Damaskenos cast a simple spell. The bird started singing.
“I didn’t steal your stupid fish!”
“It’s alive, my bird is alive! Daddy look, it’s alive! How did you do it stranger?”
“Because I bashed you before you could!” The crowd cheered.
“Get your father to cut me down and I’ll show you.”
“I was your divine saviour yesterday... Whoa! What are those for?” Damaskenos spotted a villager with three giant nails and a hammer.
On Charity’s eve, Damaskenos made it back to Guildford and regaled his master with his adventure.
“They’re to crucify you, you criminal!” More cheers. “This is insane...” Damaskenos started to panic. Then he saw a little girl in the crowd. She held a toy bird, probably her most favoured possession. “Hey! Crazy townsfolk! Hey! If I give that girl a present for Charity Day, will you let me go?”
“So Berty, what have you learned?” Baldric Granz asked his pupil. “That charity is very powerful...” “That’s very true. Charity is a powerful force. Speaking of Charity, I expect my 500 Turbo Destructo wand tomorrow.” Damaskenos sighed.
DECEMBER 2011 | JANUARY 2012