Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

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Circa Nocturna Gothic Fashion show: photos

March 8, 2009

please go to the most exc ellent Dogmatic Blog (highly recommended by Underground Melbourne) for a great photoset of the recent Circa Nocturna gothic fashion parade.  As an added bonus, you can check his other always interesting entries and the photoset of last night’s Gary Numan concert, to boot!

How up to the minute and dedicated is THAT?

 

http://www.dogmaticblog.com/2009/03/01/circa-nocturnacarnivale-nocturna-2009/

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Minotaur – comics, books, figurines and a plethora of ephemera

January 22, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Minotaur yet, well, I’m afraid you’re missing what is arguably  Melbourne’s most voluminous slice of geek/collector culture.  Downstairs on Elizabeth St, between Collins and Lt Collins, Minotaur is a heftily sized L shaped emporium of pop-culture.  From the latest comics and graphic novels from Marvel, DC, Wildstorm, Vertigo and a swag of other publishers to Manga and Hentai, novels, biograhies plus art books and erotica, any fan of the popular written word will have a home here at Minotaur.  For the true fan, of course, there are also figurines a plenty of your favourite comic book, film or novel hero – from A Nightmare Before Christmas to Lord of the Rings, Hellboy to Dexter. 

There is really not enough room for me to try to list the gamut of Minotaur’s stock, and they have even more online in their webstore!!!

The main plusses of Minotaur are that it goes further than almost any other store I’ve seen in Australia to cover the entire world of pop culture and its’ ephemera.  Nothing is too silly, too gimmicky, too obscure for Minotaur: from Emily breathmints to Deathnote shoulderbags, Simpsons toothbrushes and Dexter bobbleheads. At the same time they have a huge back catalogue of trade comics and art books for those who are more serious/completist about their fandom.

The main doubts I have about Minotaur is that they are too large and busy to have any care or attention to their customers:  or perhaps they’re just wary of the passion fans have and they know they’ll get stuck for hours on some obscure point about Batman’s costume if they’re not careful.  However, the smaller comic stores do seem to have more of a personal touch than Minotaur.  But if you want to collect not only your favourite TV show, but the resulting comic, or film, or poster, or patch, or novelty gimcrack, or figurine, or spinoff series, or flavoured gum: Minotaur is the place for you.  Most insane at Christmas, on shipment days and sometimes on the weekend.

Details:

   Minotaur Entertainment     Phone: +61 3 9670  5414 
    121 Elizabeth Street   Comics: +61 3 9670  5415   
    Melbourne 3000   Fax: +61 3 9670  7670
   
   

Email: shop@minotaur.com.au

Shop Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday:  9:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

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Polyester Books – 330 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

December 30, 2008

Polyester Books – “the world’s freakiest bookstore”.  

Aaah the memories of being a wee lass and seeing my first mind-boggling dose of counter culture for the first time:  realising that not only were subjects like street art, tattooing, fetishism, the occult and alternative music things that other people were interested in, but they were taken SERIOUSLY!  And people wrote BOOKS about them!  The jolly all round squee-ness of realising that there are communities open to dissenting views and that you can be educated about them… well, let’s just say it warms the cockles of this slightly more grown up and savvy heart.  

Polyester Books is indeed a paradise for the profane, a haven for the heretical, a counter cultural cornucopia.  As their website shows, the topics you can browse through at Polyester include:  Globalisation, Freaks and Tattoos, Mind Expansion, Satanic/Witchcraft/Magick, Pop culture, True Crime and ‘Weird Shit’.  Of course, this also means you can purchase from their website too, but a visit is definitely worth your while, what  with their charismatic staff, often great music selection and the ability to leaf through some of these titles to read and see with your own eyes what in fact they’re about before shelling out your hard earned or pressuring your open minded friends for a book on the UFOs that Ate Elvis. 

The best thing about Polyester Books – they’re totally dedicated to supporting counterculture: so much so that they’ve worn 2 brushes with the law and seizures of property because the books they import are sometimes considered rather.naughty.indeed.  And that from Norwegian Black Metal to Zombie Skinheads:  they’ve really got books on absolutely everything kinda kooky at Polyester.  Including some great local and import Zines. 

The worst thing about Polyester Books:  they should be open later – I guess there’s always the interwebs, but if this were Greenwich Village they’d be open until 4am: sometimes you don’t really want to read about satanic bondage in the whitehouse until after 1am, y’know.  seriously. 

Details in their sig above. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-8pm.  

Subscribe to their mailing list through the website.

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Printed Image Bookshop – Chapel Street. Closing Down Sale

January 6, 2008

At some stage very soon The Printed Image (website)  bookshop was to be featured as an essential Underground Melbourne visit.  Unfortunately, anyone who would like to do that has got until the 18th of January to do so, as very sadly it seems the bookshop is closing down after 30 years in the biz.

A specialty photographic bookshop, The Printed Image has always had an astounding selection of titles both practical and prettily frivolous.  Titles about photographic theory and cameras rub spines with collections from every major photographer of the 20th and 21st century, with many difficult to find elsewhere titles.  

Their subject matter areas according to the website are as follows: Australian Compilations Digital imaging Fashion and glamour History of photography Landscape Monographs Native American Indians Nature Nudes – male Nudes – female Portrait Sports and travel Technical Theory and criticism Women photographers< Yearbooks

Also in years gone by, postcards – including 2nd hand antique postcards, calendars and gift cards have also been available, but the main emphasis has always been firmly on the still frame in all its’ glory.Why they’re now closing is not known, but it certainly is a shame for photographers and appreciators of photography everywhere. As part of closing down, they’re having a big sale until the 18th so if you have the chance scurry on by before the end.  Also check their website (link above) while it’s still up – there are some great links to camera clubs etc on there.

Thanks Printed Image for many great years of supporting photography and art, and you will be missed by Melbourne!!!!  

Details: 226 Chapel Street, Prahran.Ph: 9521 1244. Fax: 9521 3368
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10am  – 6pm, Sat –  10am – 5pm, Sun – closed.    

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Metropolis Books and Music – Swanston Street, Melbourne

January 5, 2008


Metropolis Books and Music (website here) is tucked away in Curtin House on Swanston Street in the city.  It’s just a couple of doors up from record store Collectors Corner, and is above beloved watering hole Cookie by a couple of floors.  Curtin House is becoming quite the culture-consumption nexus, what with food and drink (Cookie), burlesque and performance (The Toff in Town) and clothing, jewellery, books and music on level 3, including Metropolis. 
 
Some people might remember the days when Metropolis was in St Kilda, and for those who do the city store will need little introduction as the basic ideas behind the curation of materials on offer are the same.  For those who don’t:  Metropolis is divided into two parts: part one is a bookshop centred broadly around The Arts:  film, graphic design, music, photography, visual art, music and cult crafts.   From small colourful gifty-books about pretty nonsense  (most book shops have these, but Metropolis’ selection are prettier, odder and often locally produced) to impressive hardbacks on architecture, film directors eg Tim Burton, David Lynch, typography, photography and much more.   If you’re after a present or are a little light on the pocket, they also stock fantastic cards and postcards – eg ‘hard boiled’ crime covers on postcards, local artists work, indian kitsch and many more.  
 
In the other part of the store is Metropolis music, sourcing some truly obscure sounds.  A large experimental section includes an admirably large amount of vinyl LPs, featuring much Sun O))), industrial artists, breakcore, some field recordings and more.  New York No Wave rereleases, ambient, psychedelia and indie classics are also on offer – again many on cd – plus the occasional tshirt or other paraphernalia.  
 
Both sections sell gig tickets for numerous events, many at The Toff In Town one floor below.
 
The best thing about Metropolis:  many, many pretty things.  I particularly like the cult film section, but am impressed by the solid selection in visual art, photography, textiles… also the experimental music section which, since the closure of synaesthesia records, may be the most contemporary experimental available over the counter (new, particularly).
 
The downside: can there be a down side to great books and music?  It would be fantastic if it were open the same hours as Cookie and Toff – late night book and music browsing would be ideal.  
 
Details:
 
Metropolis Bookshop
Level 3 Curtin House
252 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000
Australia

ph: 03 9663 2015
fax: 03 9639 0024

books@metropolisbookshop.com.au
music@metropolisbookshop.com.au

Opening hours:
Mon – Thurs: 10 – 6
Fri: 10 – 7
Sat: 10 – 6
Sun: 12 – 5
 
 
 
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Peril Underground

December 28, 2007

So underground there ain’t no photos of it,  so just keep reading, and hopefully, one day my attempts at covert surveillance will bear the fruit I so obsessively hope for *wringing of slightly damp hands, deranged squint etc etc*.   

Peril Underground – once located on Swanston Street as Peril 305 in the days before Student Headquarters took over upper Swanston (not that there’s anything wrong with that etc) – now lurks subterranean and unique in a basement on Elizabeth Street near Flinders Street.  One enters via a laneway next to the horridly iconic  Golden Arches, where you then enter the basement on the right, descend with care down the rather unfriendly stairs (careful in stacked heels or pumps, people), and then you’ll find yourself in Alternative Paraphernalia Paradise.  Chief of the subcultural seraphim is owner Peter – a fixture of this downstairs lair and an affable and well versed fellow in alternative culture. His fair realm exhibits the following counties:

  The Tattoo and Piercing Parlour.  Often booked out and for good reason – so warning:  a casual impetuous (possibly drunk) visit hoping to be bedecked may not bear fruit. Book ahead if possible.

 Music store: featuring collectibles from teen-faves Tool, NIN, Manson etc to utterly obscure worthies like Shinjuku Thief, Laibach, Imperial marching music… with a lean towards industrial, gothic, “ebm”, metal and dark rock  this store ticks the angst-o-metre up to 11 and for anyone desiring an initial dip into the murky pool of these genres, a trip to Peril could just sort you out with your first few hours of listening!  For those already well familiar with  such sounds there’s unknown pleasures awaiting you, plus the added bonus of an extensive catalogue to order from if you can’t find it on the shelf. In the days of internet purchasing that feature may not hold such a drawcard – except in the case of the rare recordings Peter stocks… 

 The clothing emporium:  with humble beginnings as a small corner of the empire, the clothing behemoth has opened it’s silken maw and taken huge bites of the shop space, now emerging the uncontested winner and dominant area of Peril’s fifedom.  For club girls, victorian gents, cyber freaks and the casual Top Goth shopper alike, there’s gold in them thar frills…Thoughtfully accompanied by piercing jewellery, badges, patches and artwork, not to mention gig tix and -for veteran shoppers the beloved gift voucher – Peril supports local artisanship as well, with artwork, photography and clothing – plus cds of course – from the cloistered Melbourne gothic community on display to buy.  

Dvds: a small collection of cult dvds – music, documentary and film.  

Best thing about Peril: the staff! Peter and his revolving band of bon vivantes will entertain you, help you and  won’t scowl at you even if you are asking for a Tool live dvd.  Friday nights sees a cavalcade of musicians, artists, other shopkeepers and general layabouts descend for a rowdy or possibly quiet catch up… you’re still welcome to browse but you might be able to spot the Gothing ‘leet commingling…  

 The downside: the hours can be quite strict, and if not it’s spontaneously so.  Go during the day, don’t wander up after 6 expecting that because it’s alternative types they’ve got nothing better to do than entertain you in the evenings: they do. Also, they have no web presence to speak of which is nothing short of criminal… word is that they’re gearing up (only ten years too late!)  for cyberspace though, which can only be a Very Good Thing.  

 The oddest thing about Peril: they accept vouchers from other shops! So if you got a bum voucher for a present and don’t know what to do with it: take it down to Peril and try your luck trading it in for perilcash!!!

 Address: 17-19 Elizabeth St.City: MelbourneContact: 03-9614 2040 

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