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Margaret from Ainslie takes a stick to the CMC and Insatiable Banalities on Chief Minister’s talkback

johnboy 15 November 2008 84

[First filed: November 14, 2008 @ 10:30]

So there I was listening to Chief Minister’s talkback on 666 and between the usual old farts, party shills and other assorted nutbaggery I was surprised to hear a familiar voice.

Here’s a link to a recording of the segment.

There on the radio was the drop-in star of last night’s Insatiable Banalities podcast, who was shrieking over the actors doing a play reading. Something to look forward to in future when the podcast goes up.

Anyway Margaret was not so kind as to promote the Canberra Musician’s Club by name. But she did a great job of dropping a bucket on them and in particular the Backyard Backanalias.

At the moment the Backanalias are so pared back that sexual favours are being traded to gain a coveted “+1” with someone who’s on the guest list, and haven’t been held in 6 months. But it seems that not enough for Margaret.

Jon Stanhope did a commendable job of seeking conciliation.

Response from the CMC to follow shortly.

Margaret from Ainslie

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UPDATED: Here’s President McCrae’s response (the photograph is of his meeting with Chief Minister Stanhope at the CMC launch earlier this year):

    First I would like to say that many activities occur at our residence, only a few of which (Backanalias and Club picnics/meetings) are associated with the Canberra Musicians Club. It was never intended for the CMC to have any involvement in the Backanalias. Unfortunately, as the various authorities, alerted by our neighbour, became interested, we had to change tack in an effort to continue what we think is becoming and should continue to be a great social and cultural institution for Canberra.

    The changes we have made are in line with all the advice we have received from ACT police, health and liquor licensing officers. In fact, there is now nothing to distinguish the Backanalia in its proposed form from any ordinary house party, other than that the music is live (which frequently happens at house parties anyway). Given we will be running at most 6-7 of these events per annum, we don’t consider it to be too great an imposition on the neighbourhood. We purposely pick acts that are at the quieter end of the spectrum and amplify to a minimum. We put (even) quieter acts on later in the evening and stop all amplified play at 11pm. We are limiting attendance to 150 people. There will be no money exchanged except for a donation, 100% of which will go to the musicians. We are giving away sausage sandwiches. It is entirely byo.

    Having said all that, we (that is I, not the Club) have made some mistakes, especially in not properly consulting our neighbours, although I reject Margaret’s assertion that we have ‘never’ consulted her. In fact she is the only neighbour that we consulted about it before the first show in the current location. Last night’s incident was unfortunate. The recording of Podcasts (which is what was happening, and which have no connection to the CMC besides my involvement in both) normally takes place inside the shed, but the warmth of the evening and the unusually large group of participants decided us on moving outside. I had no idea that the content would be so full of ‘explicatives’ and I will be making a personal apology about that and a couple of other incidents later today.

    On the other hand, the feedback from other neighbours has been almost universally positive (one neighbour complained once, and then his wife came to the next one and advised my mother that they both approved). Many near neighbours have begun attending, some have joined the Club, and we feel like we are responsible for bringing the local community together to a degree. Margaret has complained once to us directly, not about a Backanalia, but about a small spontaneous party we held where unfortunately we allowed our high spirits to get the better of us and played too loud and too late. It’s not something we intend to repeat.

    The Club is very gratified to apparently have John Stanhope’s support. We feel that our objectives are in line with government policy on promoting the arts in Canberra and, while our mode of operation may be a little on the edge at present, it is our fervent desire to be able to operate entirely legitimately in a permanent location as soon as possible. We have every sympathy for our neighbour and will do all in our power to assuage her in this matter, but her complaint highlights an issue that spreads wider than our neighbourhood, frequently embroiling managers of urban venues where city living has created a conflict of interests. While the government may support contemporary music, it has done little to address these growing impingements on the ability of musicians to ply there trade in Canberra.

    The Canberra Musicians Club is determined to overcome these issues and find a home that will allow the best of local music to be presented in the manner it deserves. We are happy to work with the government and any other organisations to achieve these goals. We invite all interested parties to join in us this endeavour. In the mean time we will continue to operate as we have done, prioritising the music and solving such problems as arise with creativity, a spirit of co-operativeness and unrestrained passion. We mean no harm to anyone and we do not intend to continue running the Backanalia at its present location hereafter.

    Nigel McRae
    President
    Canberra Musicians Club

FURTHER UPDATE: Score one for complaining to the Chief Minister, the event has now been cancelled.

Also for the benefit of the intellectually disabled gentleman who complained allow me to disclose for those who missed it (after publishing it previously) that I’m a member of the CMC, was in fact in the group which riled Margaret last night (disclosed above), and the CMC are sponsors of RiotACT (as, so it happens, RiotACT is of the CMC).


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84 Responses to Margaret from Ainslie takes a stick to the CMC and Insatiable Banalities on Chief Minister’s talkback
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Dante 6:28 pm 14 Nov 08

What a NIMBY.

Spam Box 6:19 pm 14 Nov 08

Good response Nigel - smart move... you guys would have got your arse kicked if you hadn't done something like that

I-filed 5:35 pm 14 Nov 08

My neighbours across the back fence play loud 2ca type music all day - that happens to be music I don't like - about every fortnight in summer. It is really stressful and annoying if I'm in my back yard. I think an event that attracts 400 people should certainly be held in a hall. I'm actually with Margaret (other than the explicative language bit - that was uncalled for). Just put yourselves in Margaret's shoes - 11 pm cessation still means four hours of loud music next door - and then loud voices thereafter. If people want to hold big parties, maybe find a farmhouse just outside Canberra to rent!

barking toad 5:28 pm 14 Nov 08

Anyone who rings the mayor to complain would normally deserve full support because the complaint would be about his incompetence.

But a whinge about neighbours on the ABC is the ghey.

I can picture Maggie with pursed lips, arms folded and tapping a foot at the brazeness of people having a good time

Swaggie 4:29 pm 14 Nov 08

Just a symptom of the ever increasing lack of consideration for other people so prevalent in society these days. She's exaggerated and Nigel has put his hand up and said they made a few mistakes. End of story

caf 4:20 pm 14 Nov 08

Have you heard the one about the bass player who locked his keys in his car?

It took him hours to get the drummer out.

Jim Jones 4:08 pm 14 Nov 08

[quote comment="153179"]And if anything this may help in the search for a permanent venue..[/quote]

Why not just move next door?

Jim Jones 4:06 pm 14 Nov 08

[quote comment="153182"]

Re Jim Jones' spirited defence of drummers:[/quote]

Now you're sucking all the fun out of it. I had a full tank of righteous drumming fury to lay out and now there's nothing ... NOTHING! Guess I'll have to go practice paradiddles for another 4 hours.

What's the difference between a drummer and a large pizza?

A large pizza can feed a family of four.

Sammy 3:59 pm 14 Nov 08

My sentiment on this issue is rapidly turning towards the defendant.

GB 3:38 pm 14 Nov 08

Onya Nigel - great response.

Re Jim Jones' spirited defence of drummers:

1) Joke. The djembe is the accordion of contemporary folk (apologies to all accordionists, and musical djembeistas).

2) I'm a drummer.

3) Drums don't annoy people, drummers do.

4) I quite like whiney, inauthentic folk crap.

5) I've just listened to several of the great songs of the past century. Nope. No drums.

6) Most of the music I like is neither inauthentic folk crap, nor drum-ridden.

7) Much of the music I like has drums.

8) See (1)

KandyA 3:37 pm 14 Nov 08

Im voting for Marg as stalwart crusader, wheres the votey thing?

I would like to reitorate that home renovators should still be forced to live in tents for the misery they cause others. JBoots and the CMC also,but possibly just for 1 weekend a month over the warmer months. be a pretty noisy tent, and tonnes of fun - perhaps a marquee gig is next for the CMC? coming to a park near you...? Nth Ainslie PS oval? could donate some musical services for their next fete for oval rent)

wishuwell: put me down for a Margret of Ainslies grandkids shirt also

even more seriously - seriously Boots, sort your neighbours out...nicely, with some charm and wit and outright bribery. Or possibly some compromise. Like ya shoulda 1st.

heres a poll for you - who wants a permenant muso venue, and who wants backyard gigs?

and who wants BOTH!

Thumper 3:29 pm 14 Nov 08

And if anything this may help in the search for a permanent venue..

stray 3:25 pm 14 Nov 08

Great response Nigel -very mature, responsible and accepting. Well done.

Jim Jones 3:01 pm 14 Nov 08

[quote comment="153157"]Bolstered by a blanket ban on drummers ... nobody needs drummers.[/quote]

So, the most popular, revolutionary and creative forms of music in the past century have been jazz and rock and roll—and its offshoots (from punk and metal to indie and the rest): music largely defined by its percussive force, and you can't handle drummers?

Imagine any of the great songs of the past century, then listen to them without drums. Apart from the whiney, wholly inauthentic folk crap, there's nothing left.

johnboy 2:43 pm 14 Nov 08

I want to know how the grand children could be appalled by words they were unfamiliar with.

GB 2:40 pm 14 Nov 08

[quote comment="153139"]Every second word? [/quote]

She may well have been exaggerating the evidence in anger, possibly even raving about things which are not her main point and which wouldn't really matter otherwise.

Apparently people do this out in the rest of the world too, not just ranters on riotact....

CMC is a great thing - its actually good that she chose not to drag it through the mud on radio, only the event as it apparently affects her.

#38 -- it doesn't have to be a slippery slope. If people are mostly reasonable, most other people just wear the inconvenience when things get out of hand. Repeatedly having the event at a place where neighbours don't want it just gets parties -- and live music -- a bad name. Ditto the band in a garage - if its way out of line, and repeated, find a better place or time or just spread the pain around a bit. If I'm having a quiet romantic dinner in the backyard and someone two doors up is having a wild expletive-ridden pissup with AC/DC on 11/10, then I'll be annoyed that I lucked out that night. If it happened regularly, I think its reasonable to ask them to think about changing their plan - or at least for them to ask people who want quiet to get out of town for the night.

#43 -- Its easy to characterise the person who wants quiet as "down on fun" -- but if they want quiet fun, then its the noisemaker who is being "down on fun." Noisy things at night don't have a monopoly on fun, nor do quiet ones. Cf the National Folk Festival's excellent plan of having the campground with "owls" and "chickens" ends. Bolstered by a blanket ban on drummers... nobody needs drummers.

In short: its a matter of respect, and degree.

Oh and if someone makes the “My grandchildren were appalled” tshirt, I want one (despite my lack of progeny)! It will make a nice buddy for my "We are the people our parents warned us against" button.

justbands 2:25 pm 14 Nov 08

Hehehe...nice post blind.

Granny 2:15 pm 14 Nov 08

You could adapt "Down on Love" to "Down on Fun" .... *hehe*

Granny 2:14 pm 14 Nov 08

What if a person wants to hold a wedding or christening or wake in their backyard? I got married in a friend's backyard in Braddon a long time ago.

Thumper 2:13 pm 14 Nov 08

Maybe we should organise some RA musos and go and serenade her on Xmas eve?

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