Featured Podcast: The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe is a new comedy podcast series produced by the team here at Potato Revolution. How did it come to be? Well, that’s the interesting bit.

It all started way back in the middle of last year (2017) when Andy and I (Mog) brought Randy Adeva and Beau Windon onto The Spudcast to teach us all about improv comedy. Before then, I didn’t know too much about this well-established performance technique.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ugh. Improv… that’s like the word “moist”. And for a while there, that’s how I felt too. But don’t think that, the thing about improv is that when it’s done well, you don’t even know it’s improv. Hell, some of the best movie moments of all time are the result of improv.

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Adric the Helien

Improv done right is wonderful, and with recommendations from Randy and Beau, I discovered some live shows that allowed me to rethink the whole improv=moist comparison. Like sex, improv is best when everyone involved is communicating and working to a common goal (I’m aware that sex is also moist and may confuse this metaphor. Like sex, don’t overthink it).

So, somewhere between then and now, Beau had this idea that maybe he wanted to record an improv podcast. Something comedy-driven with an ongoing story like Hello from the magic Tavern or Welcome to Night Vale. And like all good improv performers, he followed up this idea with “yes, and…”

Before I knew it, he had assembled around him some friends from the Improv Conspiracy (Indiana Kiely and Tom Fahey), and together they came up with a premise, along with their own characters to bring to the show as well.

The only thing missing was a producer, and when Beau asked if I’d like to do it, I jumped at the chance.

Over the Christmas break, we got to putting together ideas and co-ordinating how we were going to do this thing. We put some time aside, spent some money and followed up on a few connections. Pretty soon, our release date arrived and on the 18/02/18, we delivered the first three episodes to the world.

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Mickle Mantel

The story follows Chase Quarterly (Beau Windon), Katherine Wilder (Indiana Kiely), and Bocky the idea rooster (Tom Fahey) as, together, they commence work as new employees for the Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe. Quest Inns can be found in the furthest and most remote reaches of the universe, away from the prying eyes of any kind of governed law where they provide budget accommodation as well as functioning as transaction points for those that wish to pick up a quest or two for some easy cash. What’s odd about this one, however, is the circumstances that have led to needing new staff. It seems that the last employees moved on rather suddenly, leaving the new team to pick up the mess.

Chase is a time-traveller who’s lost his time machine, Katherine is a shentaur (that’s a female centaur) and the last of her species, while Bocky is genetically-engineered poultry with the mind of a scientific genius. Each has started this job to escape their past, but with each new and unexpected guest that arrives at the Quest Inn, they find that sometimes, the past has a habit of catching up.

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Cecily

So far we’ve met a variety of intriguing characters including: Cecily (Caitlyn Staples), a jewel thief on the run from pretty much everything; Mickle Mantel (Tom Burton), the tricky fox of dubious intent, and;  Adric the Helien (Lukas Quinn), who has been sent by management to keep tabs on the team.

Producing this series has been a so much fun and I hope that, as a listener, you get to experience a bit of that energy. With a new guest (almost) every episode, and a few favourites returning, it’s an absolute joy to be a part of bringing this creature to life.

From plugging stuff in, to recording, editing, and getting the world excited through little promos like this, we’re all really proud of how it’s all coming together.

As for future plans, we have ideas for the coming season and are even thinking about live shows (which are going to be next-level awesome) so keep an eye out for those.


With a new episode released every Sunday, follow the adventures of Chase, Katherine and Bocky at:

http://www.thequestinn.com/

You can also find us on iTunes and Spotify.

Reviewed: In The Dark Spaces – Cally Black

Book Review – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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Category: YA Sci-fi/Fantasy Thriller

On its journey back to Earth, a deep space mining freighter is attacked. The aliens responsible are vicious, crow-like in appearance and very efficient killers. The assault leaves few survivors. Tamara, a stowaway on this ship, escapes death only when she attempts to communicate with the creatures using words from their own language. Once taken captive, Tamara must learn more words and submit to the aliens’ demands if she is to survive. Driven by her belief that Gub (a small child she helped raise on the freighter) is still alive somewhere out there, Tamara endures many horrors in the hope that she might somehow escape and begin her search for him.

If you like sci-fi laced with edge-of-your-seat thrills and action, then Cally Black’s Ampersand Prize-winning novel is a must read. The word ‘genre-bending’ seems to crop up frequently in conversations surrounding this book. After reading In the Dark Spaces, I can certainly see why. This novel is difficult to categorise. On the one hand it’s a science fiction thriller, but it’s also a hostage/survival story. It’s got straight-up action sequences and the drama feels very much like what you’d find in a tale about the American frontier or the Australian settlers—except it’s in space.

Tamara’s story is one of survival and explores the moral dilemmas faced when self-preservation conflicts with loyalty. It’s about family, belonging and bridging the (sometimes vast) gaps in communication that have, and continue to exist between cultures. By showing both sides of the coin, Cally Black allows the reader to empathise with and understand, not only the alien crow-people or Garuwa (as they come to be known), but also the money-driven mining company. The motivations and consequences of failure that each side face is very real, and Tamara experiences the grey area that exists between the often black and white arguments for and against war.

If it weren’t for a few scenes in this book, I would be happy to recommend this for younger readers but due to the violence, it’s more suited to 14+. Basically, if you’re a little squeamish when it comes to violence, tread with caution.

Cally Black’s In the Dark Spaces is a well-paced story with a strong, original voice and believable characters. Tamara, with her limited yet insightful view of her world, will stay with you long after you’ve read this one.


Price: $19.99

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Country: Australia

Published: 1 August 2017

Pages: 328

ISBN: 9781760128647

Featured Album: Resolution (2017) by Krisis

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Krisis (aka Shannon Michels) is a Wollongong-based music producer who’s been tinkering away in his studio on beats and soundscapes for the better half of his life now. His new instrumental album Resolution is the culmination of this work.

“I had 17 years of my work to make something from. I chose to choose tracks from the last five years to give it some sort of coherence … my music has evolved.”

The Gong, as it’s known, is a seaside city of almost 300,000 on the east coast of NSW characterised by picturesque beaches and surrounding bushland. This natural beauty cocoons Wollongong’s heavy industry, the city’s beating heart that lights up the night sky like some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare.

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By Robert Montgomery [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In Resolution, the influence of his hometown and the hip-hop sensibilities that Krisis was weaned on are evident. The tracks It Isn’t Any Fun and Respek reflect these roots and from track to track, you can feel the evolution. The Bottom, Got Dark and Hard Labour thump, brood, and evoke imagery that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Philip K Dick novel, and the lighter, more contemplative tracks Tribute, New Dawn and The End Is A New beginning speak a language that suggests maturity that only comes with experience.

Among its influences, the album draws on triphop, dubstep, trap and ambient music to present an eclectic collection of tracks that reflect urban living, science fiction themes, and the fragility of humanity. It’s a solid collection of sounds that illustrates the breadth of ideas and moods that Krisis is able to evoke through his soundscapes.

Pump up that bass and give it a listen.

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Follow and support Krisis on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Artist Showcase – Bryn DC

Art – by Bryn DC
Words – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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This accepted reality is but a delicately thin veil. What lies beneath, one can’t even begin to comprehend. Unless of course, you are artist Bryn DC, whose body of work explores this realm of unimaginable horror, bringing nightmares to life through sculpture, photography and moving images.

The year is 2006. The place, a student house in Canberra. Like the others at this party, I am an aspiring young artist, drawn by the promise of something deliciously bohemian and debaucherously dangerous. Not quite Dogs in Space, but still very exciting to a wide-eyed country boy like me. Every room buzzes with an energy that only the young, inspired, and hopeful can create. The bottle in my hand is empty. This minor setback leads me to the kitchen where I retrieve a fresh bottle from the fridge. I remove the twist-top lid and flick it in the general direction of the bin when I am accosted by a tall teenager with angular features.

“Birdseed under the eyelids!” he shouts, wild eyes gleaming under a floppy fringe, “Can you imagine anything more painful?” He gesticulates the action with his hands. As strange as he is, he certainly has my attention.

Flashforward three years, after I’ve escaped our nation’s Capital Territory to settle in Melbourne, and I’ve all but forgotten about this strange boy. Unbeknownst to me, the strange boy has outgrown Canberra and I am surprised to learn that he’s living a suburb away, on the couch of a mutual friend. In need of a place to stay until he finds his feet, he moves in to the spare room of our Brunswick house with my brother and me. With two cats and a backyard, this arrangement is good, if not a little chaotic. The place has become some kind of halfway-home for artists and backpackers. I move out, and life goes on.

Another three years pass, and it comes to be that once again, I have a spare room that Bryn DC ends up living in. With more cats and more backyard, it is slightly less chaotic—though not by much.

Situations and living arrangements change again and again. Every now and then our paths cross, but there is always one constant with Bryn DC, and that’s his passion for horror and art.

Over the years, like many of us, he’s tried his hand at a variety of disciplines to expand his knowledge, and to find his true calling as an artist. The journey has brought him to now, where he’s landed with both feet firmly on the ground, in photography. Drawing on his wide range of skills and experience in special effects and sculpture, he’s able to tell tales that span horror, alternate dystopian timelines (both past and future), and all in a style that is truly recognisable as his own.

The proof is in the pudding.

For more art and full credits visit: https://bryndc.com/


Follow and support Bryn DC at:

https://www.facebook.com/bryndcphotography/

https://www.instagram.com/bryndc/

 

 

22 animators collaborate on Rick and Morty season 3 trailer

Rick and Morty continues to be the most exciting thing on television at the moment, and with season 3 set to air at the end of the month, we can’t wait to check it out.

To prepare us, Adult Swim has released “Exquisite Corpse”, a promo for the coming season that showcases no less than 22 different artists.

Following the format of the surrealist parlour game of the same name, each artist has contributed a segment of their choosing to the completed piece. Individual segments are informed by only a small fraction of the whole, in this case, the last frame of the segment preceding.

For more details on the creation of the trailer and the animators involved, check out this article at itsnicethat.com.

Comic – Mike & Liam: don’t touch my dictaphone

Comic – Story by Morgan Thistlethwaite / Photography by Just ‘n Idea Productions

Starring Andy and Mog as Mike & Liam, the photos for this comic were taken many years ago with our good friends at Just ‘n Idea Productions, who were also responsible for our very first promotional images.

The comic was going to appear in a Potato Revolution ‘zine that never left the planning phase and now it’s here for your viewing pleasure.

To see more fantastic photography from Just ‘n Idea Productions, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or visit the website.

Featured Podcast: Tales from the Mind Boat

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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Artist Trav Nash has achieved a lot in his time. I first met him in his previous incarnation as a comedian and room-runner for a modest little comedy night called Death Star Comedy back in 2011.

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When not weaving one of his high-energy comic stories on stage, you could find him each week, somewhere off to the side, making sure that proceedings went smoothly and drawing in his ever-present sketchbook.

Since then, among the many projects he’s managed to complete are, a point-and-click adventure game, and also an online comic.

The Trav Nash of today has moved away from the mantle of comedian but still tells stories that you can sometimes hear at storytelling events, like Bazaar Tales, in and around Melbourne. If you do manage to see him, you’ll find that he still carries his sketchbook (a necessary accessory if ever he gets made into a collectible action figure).

This sketchbook yields a bountiful collection of drawings that you can see and buy here on his Tumblr.

Sketchbook in hand, he’s still just off to the side making sure proceedings are running smoothly, but it’s no longer a comedy night he’s running but his day-by-day existence, chronicled in part by Tales from the Mind Boat.

Each episode features Trav’s musings and attempts of making sense of the world as he sees it. There’s also a story from his own past or that of a guest and the package is woven together by the soothing musical sounds of Tim Whitt. Sometimes funny, sad, poignant, or strange; what each story shares is that that they are all true.

With a list of guest storytellers that includes Justin Hamilton, Jon Bennett, Rob Hunter, and a huge variety of equally-entertaining people that you may not have heard of (but probably should), this podcast is well-worth the half an hour of your time that it asks.

Interested but don’t know where to start? Here are some recommendations:

Good-Grief-Peanuts-square-itunes-300x300If you want to hear Trav’s standup material, Episode 46 features a live recording of his 2011 show “Good Grief”.

Episode 50 is an off-script tangent on what the podcast means to Trav. Guest storyteller Gabe Hogan tells of a truly startling post-gig experience in the outer suburbs of Melbourne.

In Episode 61, Trav documents the process of telling a story at Bazaar Tales. Included is a live recording from the night that has potatoes in it.

For more Tales from the Mind Boat, go to iTunes and follow the show on Facebook.