Interview: David M McLean, Skinny Devil Music Lab and Lexington Music Awards

Image courtesy of David M McLean

David M McLean is yet another of those prolific musical entities that are the engine room of independent music. You know the sort of person who slogs away in the foreground and background, tirelessly making things happen and ensuring the world is a music-filled and art-filled place to live, breathe, and hear.

A writer, composer, guitarist, producer, teacher, and possibly most front-brain right now, the brains* behind the Lexifest music awards for Lexington, Kentucky.

* Refer to the audio for how the brains and brawn of this event are distributed and attributed.

Late last year, I spoke with David as he sat in his truck with his cell phone somewhere on a cool Lexington KY evening. We spoke so long that my intention was to break the interview into two parts. However, after a series of technical gremlins and many edits later, I’ve whittled this down into the one sound file.

Part of the editing leaves the back end of our chat slamming like a door in a stiff breeze, so apologies for my abruptness!

I’m looking forward to hearing about Lexifest 2017, and here’s hoping the blizzards stay away from town in the run-up this year!

Image courtesy of David M McLean

[Audio] Fred Smith Launches ‘Dust of Uruzgan’ Book

Image courtesy of Fred Smith

The first lesson of communication is that everyone digests information in different ways, and the savvy communicator has their content in multiple formats for multiple audiences.

Fred Smith certainly has a few bases covered with his ‘Dust of Uruzgan’ project.

“It started as a war then turned into an album and then into a theatre show then into a musical and now into a book. It’s a pretty straightforward sort of setup, really.”

Fred Smith spoke just before his Brisbane book launch and a house concert in Maleny, however, unfortunately we weren’t able to get this out of the post-production mill prior to those events.

So if you ignore the tense issue of the direction we’re facing in terms of those dates (i.e. it’s behind you), herewith the interview:


And yes, there is an award in a supporting role for Fred’s daughter Olympia, though we’ve cut out and saved some of the higher high C notes she regaled us with for the extended 12″ remix.

Fred next takes the book on the road to Melbourne, Victorian regional centres, Canberra, Sydney, then back to Queensland for some regional appearances.

All tour details are at:

Details of the book are at the Allen & Unwin site:

Image courtesy of Fred Smith

From The Vault: Interview with Myf Warhurst, Spicks and Specktacular (2011)


In eight days’ time (Sunday 30 October 2016), Overheard Productions is closing its doors OR it might be transitioning into something similar only different.

Yeah, I’d put money on the latter!

Hold on. 30/10/2016 = 13 = 4 = death. Strangely appropriate in one way, but a bit final given my plans! Meh, that numbers game is like a horoscope to me. Interesting for shizs and giggles, but not to be taken overly serious.

[Just look over there while I throw some salt over my left shoulder and turn around three times.]

Over the next eight days, I’m going to (as time permits) resurrect some old interviews and sound files. I’m paying these days for unlimited Soundcloud space, so I might as well make use of it.

This is one that I strangely never attached to a WordPress document, which is very weird since it’s one of my favourites with one of my all-time favourite on air/screen people.

When the Spicks and Specks offered me a choice of Alan Brough or Myf to interview, I did think that Alan would be a fascinating man to speak with given his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and his brilliantly dry and funny wit.

But dude. Myf Warhurst. MYF WARHURST!!!


I was like a cat on a hot tin roof, though not as alley cat-like as my daughter figured (as mentioned in the interview).


Myf is currently presenting the lunch show (11am to 2pm ADST) on Double J radio (digital radio, online and Channel 200 on Free To Air television). Though at the time of writing (Saturday 22 October 2016), I believe she may still be overseas and the chair is being skillfully warmed by the aforementioned Alan Brough.

No, that must have been a pack of lies, as my late mother would say. Looks like she’s back!


I Love Musicians But I Couldn’t Eat A Whole One OR Why I’m Closing Overheard Productions Down On Sunday 30 October 2016 Pt 37

I took this shot on a night when I invited all my Sydney contacts to celebrate 10 years (?) of Overheard Productions. I got one RSVP to say they couldn’t come.

This is a common occurrence, that thing what just happened here about half an hour ago.

After a fairly rugged day, I was choosing to turn off the brain – the analytical, always-thinking, always-connecting, always spotting opportunities or potential brain.

With a remote control device, nay, two remote control devices in hand/s: terrestrial AND satellite television, and the owner had gone to bed with her laptop and dog, so the televisual airwaves and receiving flat-screen monitoring thing were mine, all mine.

And then I happened to look at social media and there it was: a friend was sharing some banal meme about cats or food or hovercraft or I honestly cannot remember what it was. And he was starting into a long line of banter on the same topic.

There’s nothing wrong with that. I do it meself. At some great length.


After I’ve spent hours and hours at all hours of the night and day, day and night, pushing other people’s barrows using my own peculiar mad skillz, for other people, pretty much 99.36% of the time pro bono, the other 0.64% for a contra deal (no cash changes hands).

One thing that I sometimes, often times, ask in return is that the recipient of such largesse (albeit in a skills transfer sense) does is to just share some stuff that isn’t about them.

We do love the introverted creative artist. Deeply. And I have a whole article to share (probably fecking sooner than later… my dictionary declares ‘fecking’ a word – hooray!) soon on introversion and extroversion from my very much layman’s perspective.

But here is the root cause of a lot of my frustration dealing with musicians and artists GENERALLY as I have done for these past eight years and… well, let’s actually say 11.5 years: you shit me to tears at times!

Ask a direct question and you get your motives questioned.

Ask them to perform a task and everything but will be achieved. I have a classic example here, but it would be too pointed… wait a minute, they don’t read my stuff. Let ‘er rip.

No, they do, actually, so let’s keep that one for the book. Released in 2017 through that publisher you may have heard about before but may not.

Make a simple statement and just watch the assumptions, and false conclusions, and non sequiturs that start sprouting up like bamboo.

Contrary to popular belief, I ain’t doing this for my health!

Here’s a recent salient example. An American muso shared with a muso friend on Facebook a picture of a rain-spattered window with the simple caption: “The devil’s beating his wife again”.

I pointed out mildly to start with that this was pretty offensive, and on the first mild challenge, I countered that it was a ‘fucking dick act’ and should never have seen the light of day.

By the time the originator had chimed in to the discussion, between the two I’d had at least three accusations aimed at me that were all patently false: they were putting words into my mouth. I parried and objected.

The last time I went back to counter their ripostes, I’d either been blocked by the first guy or the post had been deleted. I’m ok with either or both.

If you’re casual enough about domestic violence to use it in a laconic reference to the weather, get out of my face, postcode and hemisphere. Oh, they already got the last one sorted. Sweet, but stay off my news feed too, Chuckles.

But back to the apathy thing.

The next few months have got to be about getting my ducks in a row. Otherwise I end up like our friend Seymour in the background.

I won’t go into it all again here, but the only way for independent artists to survive if they’re going to use social media as a tool, crutch, aid, whatever is to take a peak outside their own little world and start sharing others’ stuff.

It’s so crashingly, stupefyingly simple and it takes less time than it does to make one banal multi-paragraph comment on your mate’s meme he pinched off The Chive.

But tonight when I saw this muso starting to get in to some massive, trivial piece of fluff, I mused that I had emailled him directly and almost begged him to just share this other touring person’s post so that they too might live. And eat. And etc.

Ignored. But you’ve got to see this cat juggle an apple, a copy of Mein Kampf, and a dildo.

I’ve had it. I’m up! I’m dry! Spent!

I’m a communicator, but I cannot communicate with influence sufficiently to sell this message, so I’m going to stop trying.

Overheard Productions is closing down on Sunday 30 October 2016 at 18:36, and that is the second time it’s moved, but I’m fairly sure it’s the last time.

Why? Because that night I will be admiring the last rays of light from a rural property on the north-west outskirts of Brisbanalia, with another day or maybe two of guaranteed roof over my headness before I move on to right now I’m really not sure.

But at that time, a great weight will have lifted off my shoulders, because at that point I shall step out of the metaphorical phone box, allowing my long cape to flap in the breeze and I shall bellow unto the pool, spa, and surrounding properties:

“I’m just a gal who CAN say, ‘NO!’ now!”

Forza last Sunday in October.

Bill Quinn
Overheard Productions – but not for very much longer

Currently skulking in the Moreton Bay region but moving south to the Gold Coast on the morning tides and prevailing northerly winds

20:36 Thursday 20 October 2016

My 36 year old English Yew bowl is going to ground in Woodford
I’ve buried a lot of my past – literally. But it’s time to dredge some stuff to the surface. Duck!

Overheard Productions Closing Down Sale continues until Sunday 23 October 2016


Earlier this week, we announced a very short closing down sale to last until 18:36 AEST (Gold Coast, Australia) which meant an elapsed time of about four and a half days.

Sadly, this week has been high-JACKed by a bit of illness, some frustrating global and national organisations behaving very badly, and just two or three individuals in my worlds acting like petulant pre-school children.

Actually, that’s an unfair comparison: I know many very mature pre-schoolers.

We’ll have a bit more to say about the reasons for this decision at the end of Sunday 23 October, coming as it does only about six weeks before the 13th anniversary of the business starting in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

And no, that’s nothing to do with the fear of reaching 13. Numbers for us are like horoscopes: they’re a bit of harmless fun, but not to be taken seriously. Take 50, for example. (Everyone thinks I’m in my forties!)

But for now, let’s just say that there are new chapters to be written, projects to put in place without distractions, and maybe a few legacy barnacles collected along the way that we’ll happily scrape off the hull as we shut the doors.

Billgella Lawsoote eating out -- one of my FAVOURITE things to do. I LOVE eating out!
“Tired, tired, tired, tired!”

There will also be some thanks and acknowledgements because it’s been quite a ride. When I started the business, bursting out of a small business forum like a man possessed, I was a cashed-up (sort of, actually, no not really but I was on a good salary) salaried worker, and had a stable apartment that I was renting in inner Belconnen (across the road from the Gull Service Station).

Today, I literally have no idea where I will be come 18:36 on Sunday 23 October 2016.


I could have an educated guess which state I’ll be in (dazed and confused), but that’s it. And as for salary now, well, let’s just say I’m looking forward to getting a new business going in the not-too distant, funded under the NEIS scheme. That entity is a bit of a mystery as I still have a business and financial plan to develop, and grants to finalise.

For now, let’s just say the next eight (lucky 8) days shall be diverse, unpredictable, challenging, fun, and a lot of hard yakka while I sweep up the floors and clear out the cupboards. Yes, those were metaphors!

Come with? It might be fun!

Bill Quinn
Overheard Productions (but not for very much longer)
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (until Monday morning)

22:36 Saturday 15 October 2016 AEST

The Overheard Productions 36 Challenge – Saturday 8 October 2016 – to be rescheduled


Bill The Housesitter
Bill: Before

Admittedly, this photo is a few years old now. So it’s even better to stick it here as a flag in the soil now, the night before this [was] all to kick off.

Because tomorrow it starts. [It didn’t.]

Good luck to all who sail in her.


So we got to 36 words last night. I’d been up since 1am that day, with only a one hour nana nap. 

When it got to late in the evening, only one Guinness at the Bowlo, one Bulmers at the Surf Club, and a night cap back home, I’d spoken with 36 people in three different languages – four if you count gibberish – had published one interview, and was valiantly trying to line up six more.

But this time yestetday I saw a sign. 

It’s why I’ll be heading south soon, and by soon I mean, today.

And there I will start my journey.

I actually used that word. The j word. It’s in my top ten swear jar words.

SLAP! Ouch!! Testicles were not designed for rough treatment unless that’s your thing in which case fill your boots.

Maybe literally.



These were calls with Vodafone Australia.

Any questions?


[Audio] Karen Green Artist from Canberra talks about art, social justice, and Grey Woman Matters

Grey Woman Matters exhibition, 2014. Image reprinted by kind permission of Karen Green

Audio of interview of Karen Green Artist also of Grey Matters Woman (Facebook).

Karen Green talks with Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions about art, entering the Archibald Prize 2016, and expressing her passion for social justice through art and Twitter.

Karen Green first came to the attention of Bill Quinn of Overheard Productions while he was presenting various programs on Artsound FM in Canberra from 2008 to 2012.

Karen came into the studio with fellow artist Gosia Orzechowska one morning for a chat, and Overheard Productions has been interested in her works ever since.

In more recent times, Karen Green has been very active on Twitter, sharing thoughts, links and events about social justice. It was this interest that led to a chain of events that saw her enter a portrait of Kon Karapanagiotidis of the Melbourne-based Asylum Seekers Resource Centre in the 2016 Archibald Prize.


Kon Karapanagiotidis by Karen Green.
Entry in 2016 Archibald Prize. Reprinted with kind permission of Karen Green. Continue reading