Milk Bar Milk Bar is your cultural and creative guide to the best of Melbourne Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:11:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Marion Cranes Tue, 19 Sep 2017 20:00:52 +0000 The upcoming postal vote signals a monumental shift in recognising same-sex marriage and equality among the LGBTIQ community. Outdated alarmist parliamentary rants aside, saying yes to love — no matter what gender or sexual preference someone is — is the biggest triumph our generation can achieve. Enter The Marion Cranes, dubbed the queer synth-pop duo that will flirt with you and be as camp as hell. 

Milk Bar Mag caught up with the up-and-coming queer band on their new heart-tugging ballad ‘Feel (Gay Love)’, the sexy dance cover of Robbie William’s hit. ‘We wanted to do an anthem to remind us all to stay positive and keep our sense of humour while this ridiculous charade plays out,’ says band member Glen Prins. The other half of The Marion Cranes Dane Yule adds, ‘we’re from New Zealand and unfortunately unable to vote, but this is our contribution to marriage equality.’ 

Are you ready to shake your booty and sing at the top of your lungs? The Marion Cranes debut EP Sexy Motivation tackles queer themes in an unique and rare way while remaining upbeat and spacious. Their tunes will see you dancing yourself to become a sweaty mess. 

Playing in a string of gigs over the coming months, jump on their Soundcloud page to immerse yourself in their new song, Feel (Gay Love). 


The Marion Cranes 
Facebook Page

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Proud Sprout Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:00:27 +0000 The newest kid on the Gertrude and Smith Street junction has proudly sprouted and its Sri Lankan and Nepalese brunch vibes are generating some serious buzz. Milk Bar Mag was excited to check out the latest eatery. Once there, it was clear Proud Sprout Cafe means business with its sleek aesthetic, polished service and an irresistible menu. 

The immaculate fifty-seat establishment includes a backyard outdoor space for the warmer months and is the brainchild of charismatic husband–wife duo Karishma and Waseem. Both decided to introduce all the delicious flavours and aromas of their respective childhood upbringing in Nepal and Sri Lanka. When asked about the inspiration behind the name, Karishma remarks that ‘every sprout has its own unique journey’. Marking their second restaurant endeavour – their first being Little Temper in Hawthorn – both are proud of their heritage and personal stories, and of course, their passion for food. 

Karishma’s warm and welcoming energy engulfs you on entry and did not waver as we were seated in a booth. Canvassing the menu, two clear winners emerge: the pulled beef brisket benedict and the rikshawala. The rikshawala is especially exotic, a small pan full of cumin cauliflower, sujuk, potatoes and topped with two fried eggs, chilli yoghurt and served with roti paratha. The brisket? Well yes, it’s amazing. The slow cooked beef simply melts in your mouth. Their coffee of choice is Padre – a great choice indeed – and for those after more spice, Proud Sprout serves up a mean chai and tumeric latte. 

The clean white walls, gorgeous light fittings and appropriately placed greenery makes Proud Sprout one cafe to keep in mind. Enjoy! 

Proud Sprout 
76 Smith Street, Collingwood
Open Tuesday to Sunday, Tuesday to Friday, 7am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 4pm

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Human/Ordinary Sun, 17 Sep 2017 20:00:01 +0000 Human/Ordinary is a fascinating podcast featuring stories that have shaped Melbourne, exploring what it means to be human. The independent production fronted by all-round genius Sam Loy, delves into the extraordinary tales everyday people have to tell. Milk Bar Mag was lucky enough to catch up with Sam and talk about the origins, the future and why you should be listening to Human/Ordinary.

Thanks for meeting us, Sam. You’re quite the creative guy, working as a writer, actor, producer and director. Could you tell our readers a little more about you and your creative path? 

I’m what you might call a ‘lapsed writer’. I had always been keen on writing, right from when I was a young tacker, and went to uni straight out of high school to study professional writing.

But, as I tell any young person these days who’ll listen, I don’t think anyone should take on further education just after they’ve completed 13 years of learning and have officially become an adult. Because I left without finishing my degree and spent the next 8 or so years living the life of a tortured artist while doing fuck-all creatively. I did do a bit of film work and some theatre, but nothing that paid the bills.

I went around the world, got into adventures, had my heart broke and also did some breaking, and then came back to Melbourne and went back to Uni to become a youth worker. That saw me through until my daughter was born and I was thrust into a cold and damp existential crisis.

The only way out was to re-embrace my past creativity, and I chose the highly-profitable and glamorous path of producing a podcast.

You’re a youth worker by day, but by night study our culture, our relationships and all the things that make us human and package it as Human/Ordinary. What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned putting these episodes together? 

I don’t think I learnt it from the podcast —  because youth work teaches you the same thing — but it has reinforced for me the idea that everybody is the result of their own unique experiences. You can’t know someone from just one aspect of their life. It’s a trite statement, but I do think we have more in common than we realise, but we use these little facets of each others lives to make groups and divide. It’s very tribal.

In your original episode, Episode 00 — Big Trouble in Little Coburg, you begin by saying you planned to just make a story. Did you ever foresee that you would go on to complete Season Two?

The funny thing is the original name of my podcast was My New Two Month Project, because I have a habit of starting a new thing, doing it heaps, and then just abandoning it. I’ve dabbled in t-shirt printing, magic, music and blog writing to name a few. And I honestly thought that this podcast would be the same.

But as soon as I got into it, I absolutely loved it. Plus, people were enjoying the stories, so it was a no-brainer to keep going. I think I’ve been smarter about how much time I can feasibly invest in the podcast, as opposed to the ways I’ve approached other creative endeavours in the past. I have a couple of jobs and a family that keeps me busy, so I try to be realistic about what I can accomplish and then I work my arse off to achieve that.

Could you give readers a run through of what they can expect when they listen to the Headstone series, the second season of Human/Ordinary

The idea for Headstone started years ago when I lived near the Melbourne General Cemetery. I used to walk through it because I found it peaceful and I liked looking at the headstones and making up stories based on the epitaphs. Then I started to think that it would be a good idea to make a TV show which unearthed some of these stories.

Fast forward 8 or so years and I adapted that idea as a podcast. My marketing line is that Headstone is a series of stories about death, dying, and living with our mortality. So there’s a love story about how my Nan and Pop got together and supported each other until my Pop died; a story about the Chinese community in Melbourne honouring dead strangers; one about grief; and another where I tell the story behind an Elvis Presley memorial in Melbourne.

I try not to make them morbid, but some of them can be pretty sad. Ultimately, I think that death — as one of the only things that is truly universal — should be spoken about and prepared for a lot more.

Do you think there is a need to share local stories with the community without a personal bias? Is that hard to achieve? 

I think bias is a hard thing to achieve because our interpretation of the world is linked to our personal experience of it. At the risk of sounding like a post-modern dweeb, I think that we need to be aware of the way our subjective experiences colour are objective appraisals of what’s going on around us. And we need to understand that what may seem fundamental to us may not to another, and vice versa.

Nah, that sounds like classic post-modern dweebishness. But I do think that one of the ways to make our world better, is by humanising all the people living in it. Intrinsic to that is telling people’s stories so we can understand and empathise with the ways they see the world.

Or we could just keep fighting each other, I dunno.

Why do you think the medium of podcasts has seen quite the resurgence in recent time? 

I think it’s very accessible — for both creators and the audience — so that they’re easy to make and consume. Some podcasts can be recorded and uploaded within the same day, making them timely and responsive to an audience. Then you can just download and listen on your phone as you’re doing the dishes or walking the dog.

Podcasts also can be very personable, so that the listener can feel that they’re being spoken to directly. Once you get rid of the aesthetics and camera techniques of tv and movies, content becomes a lot more intimate, because you’re just left with someone’s voice. And they’re right in your ear holes, telling you a story.

What’s more, I think there’s an amazing diversity of content out there. There’s pretty much something for everybody. There’s a podcast called Whiskey Cats, which is literally just about whiskey and cats. It’s actually popular, and I think that’s fantastic. Nothing like that could be made in any other medium and be interesting.

Do you have plans to create a Season Three? If so, can you give your fans a snippet of what they can expect? 

We’re actually trying to get backing to make Headstone more of a permanent thing, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

If nothing happens on that front, there will certainly be a Season Three. I’m liking the idea of making each season about something in particular at the moment, and I’m thinking for the next season I’d like to focus on stories about work. We spend so much of our lives working, or looking for work, or wishing we could change our jobs and longing for the day when we don’t have to work anymore.

I’m really interested in people who do jobs that are a little bit different or sometimes ignored. I’ve always wanted to find out what it’s like to be the person who washes the windows on a high-rise building, or works at a sewerage farm, or as a ‘charity-mugger’ (chugger). I’d love to find out what their days are like and what they think about what they do.

Jump on their website to learn more about Human/Ordinary or to start listening.


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The House Of Dior Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:00:33 +0000 The House Of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition brings together fashion and art in the always-beautiful National Gallery of Victoria. The exhibition houses pieces of Dior fashion collected over the past 70 years. For decades Dior has been a fashion icon and in this extravagant exhibition, the work and talent stands out from the rest. 

‘The fact that at the other end of the world people are thinking about us it’s of great significance and it’s deeply moving for all of us,’ says the CEO of Christian Dior Couture, Serge Brunschwig.

The Dior designers are a talent like no other.  This exhibition has works from the seven designers whose work has made Dior into what it is today. These include Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Walking through this one of a kind exhibition there is the essence of being on a Dior runway show.  With high ceilings and chandeliers around every corner, it really is glamour at its finest. This exhibition plays homage to Dior’s brand through beauty and enchantment. 

You are taken on a journey through fashion history from 1947 to 2017 with twists and turns of tulle and silk as 140 garments are on display from the fashion house. There are accessories for days including some shoes, hats and headpieces. Some iconic and signature pieces will be recognisable to the Dior obsessed, along with classic gowns and evening wear. You can even check out Miranda Kerr’s wedding dress on display!

Christian Dior opened his fashion house in 1946, after working as a fashion illustrator and designer. The rich history behind Dior is incomparable to many. Dior runway shows now happen all around the world. In spring 1948 Dior had its first full collection shown out of Paris. This spectacular show was held in Sydney. This show was in collaboration with David Jones and models wore fifty original pieces created by Christian Dior.

Dior couture is a culture in its own respect. The exhibition gives NGV visitors the legacy behind Dior. This includes Christian Dior’s early influences and insights into the workrooms past and present. We see how the designers complete and finish the garments with the importance of accessories.

With this never before seen exhibition we are invited into the Dior world to learn and to be amazed. The fashion house brought a new wave of femininity within the fashion world. Dior’s timeless elegance can be seen throughout this exhibition.

Fargo and Co 
National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Till Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Open everyday, 10am to 5pm

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Fargo and Co Tue, 12 Sep 2017 20:00:20 +0000 After a night with a bit of a twist? Head to Richmond’s newest cocktail bar on Swan Street to figure out the mystery that is Fargo and Co. The signature cocktail menu will leave you wanting more, especially the sweet High Interest or perhaps something with a bit of a kick, such as the Heist — the cocktails are definitely not something to miss.

With brunch for the day and cocktails for the night, Fargo and Co is a place you want to go, and the sooner the better. Their brunch menu provides a range of items for the simple price of $15, that ranges from toasted oat and mixed seed granola with rhubarb, poached pears and yoghurt sorbet, or if you are looking for something to warm you up, try the fried egg and bacon burger with bbq sauce and pickles.

Fargo and Co have added a new element and great atmospheric vibes to the standard afternoon. Event and function rooms are available for larger bookings, that will allow for everyone to enjoy a drink together and be held hostage by Fargo and Co. You will be excited to show your friends this new beauty, and they will be glad you did.

Fargo and Co 
216 Swan Street, Richmond
Open Wednesday to Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4pm to late, Friday to Sunday, 11am to late

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Australia Day Mon, 11 Sep 2017 20:00:08 +0000 Kriv Stenders’ Australia Day depicts our nation in a state of emergency, popularising every moral panic and exaggerating every social tension currently swirling around the rhetoric. Starring Bryan Brown, Shari Sebbens and Sean Keenan, the film takes place over a 12-hour period on our controversial national holiday, weaving the fascinating stories of three Australians from diverse backgrounds.  

Set in humid Brisbane, the film opens with three characters running for their lives, trying to escape a yet-to-be revealed danger. After much running – and there is a lot – we learn April (Miah Madden), a fourteen-year-old Indigenous girl, has fled a police chase resulting in a car accident that kills her elder sister; Sami (Elias Anton), an Iranian-Australian teen, has left an unconscious girl in a car after giving her party pills the night before; and nineteen-year-old Chinese tourist, Lan (Jenny Wu), is fleeing from her ‘uncle’ and runs into bankrupt farmer Terry (Brown). 

As the film unfolds, April tries to track down her drug-dependent mother but encounters many dangers, including a heroin-abusing paedophile who holds her captive in his house. Sonya Mackenzie (Sebbens) – the police officer who caused the car accident – desperately tries to right a wrong and manages to rescue April, ultimately convincing the terrified teen she will be safe. April’s narrative feels the most real, and her harrowing circumstances expose how helpless and disadvantaged people in the community are. 

Not a dazzler by any means, Australia Day has few charms, presenting a disillusioned view of our nation – one that is fractured, factional and fragile. Any complex thought regarding current tensions that do exist are let down with implausible plot points, and we never truly learn about the characters’ motivations. Brown’s character Terry is a huge let down when the narrative nose dives into the absurd and although he ultimately saves Lan from an illegal sex ring, his image is tarnished. 

At times provocative, Australia Day lacks the nuance to effectively handle the broad spectrum of social issues. Happy Straya Day, I think?

Australia Day 
In cinemas Thursday, 21 September 2017

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Italian Film Festival ticket giveaway Sun, 10 Sep 2017 20:00:12 +0000 The Italian Film Festival hits between Thursday, 14 September to Sunday, 8 October and Melbourne will witness Italy’s best motion pictures. Luckily, Milk Bar Mag was privileged to watch the film Indivisible, which has been recognised as the Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Antonia Truppo), and Best Costume Design at the Di Donatello Awards this year.

Indivisible is the story of two 18-year-old girls, Daisy and Viola, who have been attached at the hip since birth, with a natural gift for singing and performing. As their father exploits their talents, by hiring them out to community functions, the girls realise that the life their father has planned for them is not the lives they planned for themselves.

Whilst one of the twin’s longs to be an individual and live her own life, the other one is too scared to be separated and fears what may happen to the pair of them, if they are ever separated.

Indivisible is a film about family, love and finding yourself, and the journey two people make to find their individual paths in life. The director, Edoardo De Angelis, uses his skills in cinematography to show emotion through scenery, a captivating soundtrack and emotive dialogue.

The imagery and music that is used throughout the movie makes up for the minimal dialogue, although, when dialogue is used, it is strong and passionate, engaging the audience, allowing them to connect on a deep emotional level with the characters.

You can’t help but be drawn into the story the movie weaves, as you begin to empathise with the girls, the position they are in, and their desire to live their own lives.

The audience is taken on the journey of the girls’ lives, from start to finish, and they are left at the end of the film feeling touched by the story Edorardo has brought to life. 

To award our readers, we are giving away 10 FREE double-passes to the Italian Film Festival! All you need to do is email with the subject line ‘Italian Film Festival ticket giveaway’ with your name and postal address, and we’ll let you know if the tickets are yours.

Live la dolce vita! 

Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2017 
Thursday, 14 September to Sunday, 8 October 2017

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Nightdance Tue, 05 Sep 2017 20:00:06 +0000 Imagine a dark room, throbbing minimalist techno, pulsating fluoro lights, primal movements juxtaposing with rhythmic sensuality. Nightdance, a new work by Australian- and Berlin-based choreographer and performer Melanie Lane, gives the audience a voyeuristic fly on the wall look at a nightclub scene and all the hedonistic and eccentric things that go along with it.

Presented by Arts House and featuring Lane alongside her co-creators and co-performers Lilian Steiner and Gregory Lorenzutti, this mersmerising work is sometimes funny, sometimes uncomfortable, but always hypnotising. The piece transitions between slow, sensual movements and erratic, semi-violent repetition. Laugh-out-loud sequences such as raver robo cop shooting out his laser beams break up the intensity. Hints of burlesque, lap dance, masquerade and rave culture mesh together and keep the hour-long show enthralling the entire time.

The dancers are incredible: their level of control and strength is breathtaking. Most people doing the same moves would look ridiculous but they just look sexy. For the first half of the performance, the dancers face the audience, staring into the crowd with unwavering focus as they writhe around. It’s utterly captivating.

The three main performers are dressed simply in beige sheer clothing, highlighting their movements as they weave in and out of synchronicity with each other. As the piece progresses more characters emerge, such as Jersey Shore Barbie, head to toe glitter man, a stunning drag queen and a cabaret-style singer. Its inclusion of all types of different characters is refreshing. The stage is simply set, a satiny black sheet covers the floor until it also becomes a part of the performance. The flashing on-and-off again lighting added to the nightclub feel, but it was almost a bit too disruptive.

Nightdance is a voyeuristic window into nightclub culture. It shines a spotlight on its temptations and how that translates in the entertainment industry, while reveling in the primal joy of dancing and getting lost in its trance.

Nightdance at Arts House
521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

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Saint Lucia Mon, 04 Sep 2017 23:03:33 +0000 It’s really difficult to stand out in Melbourne these days. Everyone has their own version of single origin/cold drip/international coffee, avocado on toast and food that creates queues down the block. So how do you differentiate?

Pick a market that nobody has conquered and make it really freaking good. Enter Saint Lucia, a Caribbean restaurant that has a touch of Mexican influence and a relaxing vibe that manages to tuck in well — whilst also standing out — on the top end of Chapel Street with the big players like Tokyo Tina and Hawker Hall.

Charlie, our host, is a big part of the lure of Lucia. He’s friendly, informative and has a beautiful energy that makes us feel so welcomed. The space has been created in memory of Charlie and his partner Steph’s travels around the Caribbean and American Gulf Coast and they’ve created a warm, sexy vibe that wraps itself around you the second you walk in — especially inviting  in the last days of a mean Melbourne winter.

The restaurant is small, the walls jumbled with a collection of trinkets collected by the couple during their travel experiences. The lighting is low and the music hums quietly, making for a relaxed vibe that could also trick you into wanting to throw back and spend your school night hollering with laughter, slumped over the bar with a rum cocktail.

We follow Charlie’s instructions and pick something off each section in the menu (separated into starters, tacos, barbecue and sides). We’re first presented with the most tantalising looking food you could possibly imagine — a macaroni & cheese donut. Whilst it sounds kind of ridiculous, they’ve really nailed the portion size and balance of cheese to crunch, so it tastes decadent, but not sickly.

Bit by bit, our spread continues — tender Bajan pork ribs literally drip off the bone (similar to the drool from our chins) and house BBQ wings have a sweetness that compliments their spice.  Whilst we do plan on rolling out of here, we’re mindful of enjoying our feast instead of getting too glutinous and choose to split two tacos: the smoked beef brisket dances with red cabbage, creole remoulade and pickled vegetables, whilst the buttermilk chicken, sandwiched with slaw, corn and scotch bonnet mayo is positively sinful.

If we thought it couldn’t get any better, we round it all off with a serving of roasted market vegetables topped with trini green sauce (a dish that has a distinct shoulder-shaking zest) and the most unbelievable corn bread I’ve ever had the pleasure of popping down my gob. Slathered with chilli butter, my dinner guest tells Charlie it’s ‘even better than my Nonna’s.’

He gets it.

If you’re a rum or tequila fan, you’re in great luck here. It’s a highlight on the menu, featured in many of the cocktails and cocktail pitchers. Try your hand at an Orange Street  — spiced rum, grand marnier, charred orange, brown sugar, cloves — or go the whole hog and order a pitcher of The Super Yacht, with spiced rum, aperol, lime, orange, cranberry, apple, mint and soda.

If you couldn’t already find a reason to visit, the $20 ribs & rum Tuesday special is insanely worth it. You’ll definitely need a booking.

Saint Lucia
78 Chapel Street, Windsor
Open Tuesday to Friday, 5pm to late, Saturday and Sunday, 4pm to late

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Goodbye to Berlin Sun, 03 Sep 2017 22:10:45 +0000 Calling all Cabaret fans!

Have you ever wondered what happened to Sally Bowles after the undesirables of 1930s Hitler held Berlin went running?

Written and performed by Priscilla Armstrong, Goodbye to Berlin is Sally Bowles’ final cabaret before she departs the ruins of her life in the crumbling city. Based in an abandoned house turned cocktail bar, the play weaves a story of Sally’s life after the story Cabaret as we know it ends.

The show is held out of The Butterfly Club, a heart of the city theatre — one of the most ‘Melbourne’ places you’ll step foot into, given its covert laneway location, kitschy décor and advocacy for grassroots production, where the cocktail bar will customise their drinks specials according to the shows.

Played out in just under an hour (a typical timeframe for a cabaret), Priscilla stated she wanted to deliver an accessible but thrilling piece of theatre.

‘I didn’t want this to be something only hard core theatre/cabaret audiences would enjoy. I wanted comedy, truth, insight, surprise and mostly to take people on a journey to a time that in many ways was more liberated than the world is today,’ divulged Priscilla.

She understands that most people don’t leave the cabaret asking the question of what happened to Sally, and adds that part of the accessibility of her piece is that even if you didn’t know Sally before, the show is enough for you to get to know her and enjoy a piece of theatre that could be appreciated as great show songs or strong, story/character driven music.

‘The show uses songs, storytelling to give reference to the world around Sally and help immerse the audience in this window in time,’ said Priscilla.

‘Sally Bowles was the last to let go of Berlin.  The world was falling apart around her, everyone was disappearing, hiding, running away but Sally wasn’t ready to let go. Sally throws an underground Cabaret in an attempt to raise some money but no-one really has any.’

Does she make it out? The answer is suggested in the show.

You can catch Sally’s last stand in Mansfield on Saturday, 16 September and Bright from Thursday, 7 to Sunday, 10 December. We can also look forward to hearing more from Priscilla, as she prepares to host another original production in 2018 about a wedding gone wrong to the backdrop of toe tapping country music.

Goodbye to Berlin 
The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, off Little Collins Street

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