Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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18 Aug 2006

The Dream Double Bill.

hhIf I were able to design my dream double act to appear at a venue near me, it would have to be David Holmgren and Richard Heinberg, the two best thinkers around on the whole area of peak oil and what we can do about it. Richard is one of the best speakers on peak oil around, he addresses the subject with such compassion and insight, and is a great orator, that any opportunity to hear him is always very illuminating. David Holmgren, co-founder of permaculture, is an amazing thinker on energy and sustainability, and how permaculture’s role is as a design science for this period of energy descent. The opportunity to see them together at one event is a rare occurence, and I would heartily recommend it.

Richard is in Australia for 6 talks with David. Unfortunately it is taking place at the opposite end of the globe from me, but if any of our readers at that end of the Earth are able to go, don’t miss it. Of course if I were to be able to design my dream double bill in music, it would have to be Can jamming with the Velvet Underground, but I disgress. Below you can see the press release from Holmgren Design Services with all the more detailed info.

**Australia Aug 20 to Sep 6: Richard Heinberg & David Holmgren on Peak Oil & Permaculture.**
Holmgren Design Services
In August-Sept 2006 David Holmgren will be joined by Richard Heinberg, leading environmental educator from California on a public speaking tour explaining the truth and opportunities from the coming end of cheap energy. As well as taking the message to a larger public audiences in big capital city venues, this tour aims to make clear the sustainable alternatives to the “war that will never end in our lifetimes” and the “something will save our unsustainable addictions” stories which are the default reactions to the realities of peak oil.

This tour will provide resources for the sceptical to get up to speed on the coming changes as well as inspiration and empowerment for those already on the path of a more productive and saner way of life. It aims to cement the connections between emerging peak oil activism and 25 years of permaculture inspired activism on creative bottom up solutions to energy crisis.

While the historic peaking and decline in world oil supply is becoming more widely discussed in the media, it is a bad news story to rival climate change. Heinberg and Holmgren make a great team to distill the key understandings behind the avalanche of confusing information and empower people to take Peak Oil as the upheaval which will call us to refocus on opportunities to rebuild personal and household self reliance and relocalise our community and economies using a diverse range of familiar and novel strategies pioneered by the permaculture and related movements over the last 30 years.

Heinberg, author of two best selling books on *Peak Oil: The Party’s Over* and *Powerdown*, grapples with the geological, ecological, economic political and psycho-social implications of Peak Oil which is holistic and down to earth.

Holmgren, co-originator of the Permaculture concept in the 1970’s and author of *Permaculture:Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability*, shows how permaculture is much more than a form of organic gardening; in fact an empowering design system for the energy descent future.

**Tour Destinations:**

* Sunshine Coast (Sunday 20th August)
* Brisbane (Wednesday 23rd August) – What happens when we can’t afford oil and water & Local Solutions to the Decline of Oil
* Perth (Thursday 24th – Friday 25th August)
* Adelaide(Monday 28th August) – Further details
* Sydney(Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st August) – Further details
* Hobart (Friday 1st September)
* Melbourne (Monday 4th – Wednesday 6th Sept) – Peak Oil Debate & Peak Oil and Food Security – highly recommended all day workshop.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


18 Aug 11:40pm

hi Rob,
Cannot agree more with you abou the dream double bill, but the quesiton remains, which period Can?
Looking forward to seeing H2 on Aug 29.

18 Aug 11:46pm

wooops, there was a wee bit more.
I was to say my dream bill would include another H – Hopkins.
I would love to see the H3 tour down here soon. You have to catch a boat though.

all the best,

19 Aug 7:35am

Thanks. For me it would have to be 1969-72. The best part of that was when they were locked away in the castle, playing non-stop. Once the singers left it all went a bit downhill. There’s a great clip of that period [here]( Was there ever a greater drummer?

Thanks Rob, yep, Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, Monster Movie are my favourite too. I could not help putting em on today…
Most pieces were, as I recall, recorded “live” on four (or two?) track recorder and edited later. Who needs all those multi tracks? Another fine example of “appropriate technology” that works, perhaps.

20 Aug 5:33pm

Indeed. Not to forget ‘Soundtracks’. Often seen as an optional extra, but containing the monumental ‘Mother Sky’, and also ‘Soul Desert’ and ‘She Brings the Rain’. You’re right about how they made music, they jammed for hours, and Holger Czukay edited it down. In many ways they were years ahead of their time. They were very skillful editors of music, especially given the technology. I wonder if the original jams will ever see the light of day?

I should have been doing a blog about music really, rather than all this peak oil carry on! My all time desert island disc by Can is ‘Yoo Doo Right’, an astonishing piece of music however many times I hear it. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time. We have gone a long way off the Holmgren/Heinberg thread but I am rather enjoying myself….

rita (not a metre maid)
20 Aug 11:58pm

I agree that we are a wee bit off topic, but hey, it is reassuring that the peakers are not all boring old farts, but do appreciate and talk about good music (and other culture stuff), and enjoy it.

“Yoo Doo Right” is an astonishing piece, which goes on for 20 mins, but I reckon the whole Monster Movie is a monster desert island album (remember to take a solar panel or two).

Malcolm Moony, the singer, said something like, having played the piece for more than an hour, he went out for dinner with the guitarist Michael Karoli, came back to the studio to find that the others were still playing the same piece, so they joined back in.
I wonder if the entire unedited recording is still kept somewhere.

The jam-now-edit-later technique was used by other people, I know of two examples. Nick Cave and the Sad Bees did it when they recorded “Tower of Songs” for the Cohen tribute album ” I’m your fan”. An unedited 33 min version appear on a bootleg called “more pricks than kicks”. It is okay, but, er, needs editing.
Also Einsturzende Neubauten did “Headcleaner” in the similar manner, I think. The longer version was used for a performance in Vienna, while the 15 min version appeared in “Tabula Rasa”.

Did Hendrix use the similar method? What about D3 (Dirty Three)?

And in a desperate attempt to put this back on track, so to speak, would Heinberg play his stuff in Sydney?

Adam F
21 Aug 4:56am

Apparently ex-Can vocalist Damo Suzuki lives in Melbourne now, so maybe we can get violinist Heinberg and Suzuki together at last! The Necks could do a good job on rhythm.

I totally agree that they are the two most insightful peak oil speakers around. A Hx3 tour would be an even better bill though! Can we get you out here one day Rob?

21 Aug 7:00am

Suzuki and Heinberg, fantastic! Your kind thoughts about my joining in the jam session might be slightly inhibited by today’s post!

Never thought I would find out where my hero now lives on a peaker site from none other than Mr Adam “EG/ETS” F (thanks for your great job).

Melbourne must be a happening place indeed. Yep, Tony Buck’s a great drummer (though I have not seen him performing live since the days of Peril).

Shall we organise a Rob “cult rev” Hopkins tour down under seriously? Who should we have for support? Damo?

Adam F
21 Aug 12:19pm

Ah that was bad timing re the self-imposed flying ban. Good on you but it’s sad that Australia won’t hear your fret work Rob. Perhaps we can get you out here by boat one day… did you see ‘The new age of sail’ by Dmitry Orlov? (Way of the future.)
A friend did a workshop on the weekend about traveling for free by crewing on ships.

Actually the EDAP concept has got me enthused about the idea of ‘going on holiday’ within my own suburb — I mean just meeting more people really, at an interesting intersection. Got to be at least 50 countries represented in my burb. Talking with people about peak oil and its implications, what they value, what thoughts they have etc, that’s a pretty unique opportunity.

Rita, thanks, and that Yoo Doo Right story is crazy. I listened to it last night… I never expected to learn more about Can on a peaker site either 🙂 Right now I can’t stop listening to Jennifer Gentle… kind of Syd Barret inspired italian boys, so there’s some pointless trivia. they capture the absurdity of the age that’s for sure.

Adam, it is not the end of the world.
Rob either has to catch a boat all the way to Ostralia, or via trans-siberia rail, then a boat down under. Easy.

He can stop over and do courses/lectures along the way, like in Japan. (I am happy to offer my service to organise/tour manage/interepret the Japan leg.) Or he can do an FH King( “farmers of 40 centuries”) kind of tour.

It may take months before he can get home, but that’s how o/s travel was done in the past and will be in future.

Jennifer Gentle did a record with Japan’s psychedelic Acid Mother Temple, who, when performing in the All Tommorow’s Parties in England early this year, was apparently joined on stage by none other than Damo! Sorry about this absolutely pointless peakless trivia, but I had to say it.

Nicholas Harvey
23 Aug 9:15pm

And presumably it would be the Velvets with John Cale. It just wouldn’t do without his viola.

23 Aug 11:22pm

Absolutely. It would have to be the Velvets pre-Doug Yule. Although the ‘What Goes On’ that he plays on on Live 69 is, for me, the greatest rhythm guitar ever recorded. But yes, it has to be Cale, Reed, Morrison and Tucker (and forget their reforming as being a bad dream…).

Nicholas Harvey
24 Aug 5:23pm

Yes ‘What Goes On’ goes on many of my compilations – Sterling Morrison’s seering guitar solo…mmmmmm. Sadly he won’t be joining in. And we must also have ‘Sweet Jane’, one of the best guitar chord sequences ever.

Now I’ll have to go and investigate Can.