Monthly Archives: February 2014

5 Road trips you must take from Sydney!

After living in Melbourne for 3 years, I’m returning to my home city of Sydney. I can’t wait to again appreciate the harbourside beauty and exploring this amazing area after so much time away. Within one to two hours of Sydney there are some incredible locations that are just calling for a road trip, here are my top 5:

Blue Mountains

 

The Blue Mountains is a Sydney icon. A popular tourist attraction but also a lovely escape for locals. It’s an easy drive in the car if you want to make a beeline for the B&B’s hidden in the hills surrounded by trees. For those looking for the more leisurely pace of life, there are plenty of famous places to stop along the way. The Leura lolly shop is a must, the incredible three sisters and a picnic at Wentworth Falls. (Photo from http://www.myopera.com.)

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Royal National Park – Bundeena

 

The Royal National Park in Sydney’s South East is heritage listed and remains the World’s second oldest national park. Drive through the incredible Australian bush, around winding roads and take the road to Bundeena to enjoy the serenity of this coastal gem. Snorkeling, fishing, swimming and picnics are popular activities in Bundeena and you can be sure to find a secret spot just for you and your group.

 

Hunter Valley Region

 

One of Australia’s most popular wine regions has to be the Hunter Valley. Whether it’s a romantic weekend getaway or a day trip with a group of friends, you will love the picturesque area that is the Hunter. Visit the Cellar Door and sample the magnificent wines, sample the many restaurants which boast local produce and enjoy watching a sunset over the vineyards.

 

Palm Beach

 

For those who love the seaside, we highly recommend the real life home of the TV series Home & Away, Palm Beach. Although the area is famous for the filming of the popular show, it’s also an incredibly beautiful and relaxing area to escape to. Soak up the sun and if you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk up Barrenjoey Lighthouse for a spectacular view of this beautiful beach. 

 

Kiama

 

Jump in the car and head straight towards the incredible coastline of New South Wales south coast. You can tour around the cliff hugging beach roads or take the highway straight through until you hit the charming seaside town of Kiama. The famous blowhole is a marvel not to be missed and the fish and chips for lunch are second to none. Don’t miss out on the terrace shops for some unique and interesting gift items or pelican feeding time down by the fisherman’s wharf. (Photo from http://www.visitnsw.com.au)Image

 

For a great road trip alternative, why not choose Drivenow

offer you the chance to take a road trip for next to nothing. Seriously, from $1 a day you could take a campervan from Adelaide to Brisbane or Darwin to Alice Springs. With a fuel allowance of $50 or more available and a range of Km included free, this is an affordable way to enjoy a mini holiday or a road trip to some great locations around Sydney.

 

 


Don’t miss Australian Marta Pacek as she tours and releases new album

Loving the sound of the singer songwriter at the moment and it’s so nice to see something unique and special in the sounds of Canadian music influence from an Australian Artist. Learn more about Marta Pacek and her upcoming tour and album release.

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AWARD-WINNING ALT-COUNTRY SONGSTRESS MARTA PACEK

NEW ALBUM VOODOO DOLLS and FALSE ALARMS FROM

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Armed with a collection of new original songs, Australian Alternative folk-songstress Marta Pacek is set to release her new album, Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms, on Feb 27, 2014. To coincide with the release, Marta will embark on an Australian tour spanning VIC, ACT & NSW, following with an additional 15 Canadian and 11 U.S. shows in May 2014.

After spending the past two years touring North America and Australia behind her last album Rebel Baby, Marta Pacek was ready to stretch and grow in the studio. Her new songs caught the interest of producer Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Angus & Julia Stone, Glen Hansard) who also brought his bass playing and beats to the project. Albetta harnessed the precision and groove of electronic drumbeats while honoring Marta’s noir folk compositions, giving birth to an even fiercer shade of truth for the confessional songstress (as seen in her latest video for the Sombre track Sometimes You Lose – shot in Toronto, Canada).   “I was open to a lot of different ideas this time out”, says Marta, explaining the presence of electronic drumbeats throughout Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms.

The new album starts off with the pulsating and haunting feel of The Hunted, while Nothing Going On begins with a surprising hip hop feel, taking the listener on a journey back to 50s rock ‘n’ roll. Favourite Thing veers into Alt Country before pulling at your heartstrings with the sombre Sometimes You Lose and Thar She Blows. Marta nods to Fleetwood Mac in All I Need and Not Leaving Here Alone”would feel right at home on a Tarantino soundtrack. Two standout tracks are Pass Me Over, where Marta channels Joan Baez and One Day, which was written with noted songwriter Todd Clark (Pilot Speed, Philip Phillips, Goo Goo Dolls), there being an additional version of the song to end the album.  Check out Nothing Going On  the first single off the album to get a taste of what to expect.

Beginning her career by writing & recording songs with Mark Seymour, front man of Iconic Australian group Hunters & Collectors, it’s clear his song crafting secrets were passed onto her. Since Toronto-based management lured her to Toronto in 2008, Marta has had an amazing journey. She won Best International Artist at the Barrie New Music Festival in 2009, her second album Rebel Baby, released in 2012 and produced by Jason Mercer (Ani DiFranco & Ron Sexsmith) was very well received, not only internationally but locally as well, when she was awarded Best Alternative-Country song for her single A Girl Gets By at the Canberra Country Music Awards.  Her cover of Patty Griffin’s song Nobody’s Crying was featured on the ABC/Global series Rookie Blue, she’s written for the TV series Radio Man and licensed her music for film. All of which she hopes to do more of. And she’s toured. A lot. Bringing her music to her ever-growing fan base in Troubadoria – her live-in touring van. She is a modern-day gypsy. With Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms, Marta has harnessed an abundance of experiences into an album of personal confessions and a soundscape perfect for taking that long and reflective drive.

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On top of her passion for music, the songstress has a flare for fashion that has developed into a personal style that often channels a vintage aesthetic, with a feminine rebellious edge. She has extended her love of precious things to her growing fan base, and has spent time developing her own unique, handcrafted “Marta Pacek” branded merchandise. Currently her range includes women’s apple pendant necklaces carved from willow wood, baby harmonica necklaces, and willow wood iPhone covers.

Last year, Marta had great successes touring internationally, covering more ground in the U.S. Midwest, Eastern Canada, and she is now ready to tour her home country of Australia. Her stunning vocals and roots charm allow Marta to be naked in front of all of us; somehow making us feel a little more human with every story she shares.  The forthcoming Australian tour will see Marta double billing with Canadian artist blueVenus.  Founded in 1998 by singer/songwriter and violinist Andrea de Boer, Toronto’s blueVenus is known for not only their captivating lyrical musings but also for their polished, but highly textured, mélange of sounds. Described as “hypnotic and impressive” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Germany’s national newspaper, de Boer’s voice is a blend of a sultry, bluesy Janis Joplin with the youthful wariness of Fiona Apple.

Marta Pacek dates

Catch Marta Pacek & Blue Venus (Canada) on the following dates:

MARTA PACEK & BLUE VENUS (Canada) – 2014 Australian Tour Dates

27 Feb – Beav’s Bar, Geelong, VIC

28 Feb – Babushka Lounge, Ballarat, VIC

1 March – Pure Pop Records, St Kilda, VIC **ALBUM LAUNCH**

8 Mar – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT

9 Mar – Jamberoo Pub, Jamberoo, NSW

12 Mar – The Vanguard, Syd NSW + Luke O’Shea

14 Mar – The Great Northern Trading Post, Laguna NSW

15 Mar – House concert, Wingham NSW

20 Mar – The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC

www.martapacek.com

www.bluevenusmusic.com

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ALL FIRED UP – THE LAZYS Tour in Australia

THE LAZYS TOUR

Following their recent stint in NY, The Lazys are ALL FIRED UP about returning to what they do best, playing live.

Lazys 2014 Web Banner

Taking the opportunity to road test their new material from their forthcoming album ‘ALL FIRED UP’, recorded late last year in New York with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F. (The Grates, Monster Truck, The Stills, Hollerado, The Trews, Priestess), the NSW Central Coast rock 5-piece will undertake a series of pub and club shows throughout NSW from February to April before they head over to North America.

With a reputation for pumping out a kick-arse live show, The Lazys are keen to film a kick-arse live clip for the new single, title track ‘ALL FIRED UP, and would like for their supporters to get actively involved at these shows. The band are asking punters to film ‘ALL FIRED UP from the crowd and send on to the band where footage will be used as the official clip for the song. The band will credit punters names on their Facebook page and tail at the end of the clip for any footage used. Send your clips to the band via their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thelazys

Catch The Lazy’s live at the following shows and look out for the debut album ‘All Fired Up’ later this year. See tour dates attached.

Lazys Poster 2014

Get ALL FIRED UP in 2014 with The Lazys at the following shows:

FRIDAY 21st FEBRUARY: PARTY IN THE PADDOCK – TASMANIA
http://www.partyinthepaddockfestival.com.au

SATURDAY 22nd FEBRUARY: FITZROY HOTEL – WINDSOR
http://www.fitzroyhotel.com.au

FRIDAY 28th FEBRUARY: TATTERSALLS HOTEL – PENRITH
http://www.tattersallshotelpenrith.com.au

FRIDAY 14th MARCH: STUDIO 6 – SUTHERLAND
http://www.facebook.com/Studio6sutherland

SATURDAY 15th MARCH: MOUNTAIN SOUNDS – CENTRAL COAST
http://www.mountainsoundsfestival.com.au

FRIDAY 21st MARCH: THE LANSDOWNE – SYDNEY
http://www.thelansdownehotel.com.au

SATURDAY 22nd MARCH: FITZROY HOTEL – WINDSOR
http://www.fitzroyhotel.com.au

THURSDAY 27th MARCH: FRANKIE’S PIZZA – SYDNE
http://www.frankiespizzabytheslice.com

FRIDAY 28th MARCH: TATTERSALLS HOTEL – PENRITH
http://www.tattersallshotelpenrith.com.au

SATURDAY 29th MARCH: COLLECTOR HOTEL – PARRAMATTA
http://www.collectorhotel.com.au

FRIDAY 4th APRIL: WOODPORT INN – ERINA CENTRAL COAST
http://www.woodportinn.com.au

SATURDAY 5th APRIL: LEWISHAM HOTEL – LEWISHAM
http://www.lewishamhotel.com.au

FRIDAY 11th APRIL: STUDIO 6 – SUTHERLAND
http://www.facebook.com/Studio6sutherland

THURSDAY 17th APRIL: FITZROY HOTEL – WINDSOR
http://www.fitzroyhotel.com.au

FRIDAY 18th APRIL: THE LANSDOWNE – SYDNEY
http://www.thelansdownehotel.com.au

SATURDAY 19th APRIL: TATTERSALLS HOTEL – PENRITH
http://www.tattersallshotelpenrith.com.au

SUNDAY 20th APRIL: FRANKIE’S PIZZA – SYDNEY
http://www.frankiespizzabytheslice.com


I’m home!! Namaste from India

I’m back in the land I love so much- India. This is the true home of my heart. As soon as I arrive I feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease. It feels as if I’ve never left and that I’ve returned to everything I know.

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This was my 7th visit to India. 7 times in the past 9 years since my first visit in 2005. I’ve made so many wonderful friends and experienced so much each time – it just keeps drawing me back.

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This trip was specifically to attend Air Cargo India 2014, a conference run by my  friend Priyo Patra and an event I had attended 2 years ago. I have a background in the freight forwarding industry and now work in marketing and PR which I apply to this industry. I thoroughly enjoy the event, the chance to be with my friends, meet new people and assist in the thing I love working on, social media and PR. I also get the chance to be in my favourite city in the world and visit my other dear friends. So – the choice was simple, and I booked the ticket.

The set up is on for Air Cargo India

The set up is on for Air Cargo India

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I shall return again in October for the wedding of my dearest and darling friends Priyo and Namrata. I couldn’t be happier for these two and already consider them to be like a sister and brother to me.

My gorgeous sister Namrata

My gorgeous sister Namrata

I think for the rest of my life I’ll be making visits at regular intervals and getting to know this country more and more.

How can you not love India! Westin Hotel

How can you not love India! Westin Hotel

Oh and I learnt this new phrase! “Athiti Devo Bhava”- it means “Guest is God”. This is entirely true of India and everyone embraces this. You are treated with respect and care, no matter how many times you visit and all are welcome! I will embrace this phrase and make sure to practice it also in my daily life and future encounters with my friends, family and guests.

 

MY favourite cold coffee drink by the pool

MY favourite cold coffee drink by the pool

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