Crystal Loves Kangaroos (Meet Autostraddle’s Resident Aussie)

Hi! I’m Crystal from Australia and I’m here as your foreign correspondent. Why am I involved with a bunch of Americans, you ask?


crystal_nat_alex_riese1Well, I met Riese on the internet which I hear is the best way to meet special people. Then on my way to SxSW last year, I dropped into her Harlem apartment and stayed for a while. And at her L Word viewings, I met Alex, Carly, Stef and Natalie. And now here I am.

Following Riese’s orders and Carly’s example, today I will be sharing an interview I’ve done with myself. It will cover everything you could possibly want to know about me and perhaps a few things that you don’t.

Q: Crystal, thanks for joining us.
A: It’s a pleasure to be here.

Q: So, how old were you when you first started smoking crack?
A: I thought we agreed that we weren’t going to talk about crack.

Q: I thought this was a site for women AT THE EDGE!
A: [sighs, grabs bag] I’m gonna edge on out.

Q: Where are you going? Back to your den of iniquity?!!
A: [brief hesitation, stony silence.]


Q: Soooo anyway, why are you here? Are you a subject matter expert on girl-on-girl culture?
A: Not really. I’ve never read Tipping The Velvet, and I didn’t watch The L Word until I met Riese in 2008. But I do sleep with women, so that’s reasonably queer.

Q: How many?
A: [leaps up, pointing] Look! A plane! boomerang!

Q: What will you bring to the Autostraddle table?
A: Mainly music content, because that’s what I love. I’ll also be the first writer to bring an international perspective to Autostraddle, ’cause things are different here on my underside of the world. This week I’m going to do a report on Sydney’s lesbian culture/scene/landscape, which will involve donning my best leather wristband and bar-hopping my way around town. [If you live in Sydney and plan to be out on said town, drop me an email] At the moment I also have interviews planned with comedian DeAnne Smith and all-girl punk pop band called the Spazzys. There are lots of interviews that I’m keen to have a crack at.

Q: Have a “crack” at? Do you realise that people rarely understand what you’re saying?
A: Yes, I do. It’s because I’m from Australia.

Q: So do you live anywhere near Josef Fritzl? Did you know him? What a monster! 24 years in the basement!steve-irwin
A: No, Fritzl lives in Austria. I’m from Australia – think Missy Higgins, Portia de Rossi, Heath Ledger, Steve Irwin. And Vegemite, Speedos, the Hills Hoist, note pads, cask wine….

Q: And Nicole Kidman, right?

A: No thanks. Did you see the Baz Luhrman epic Australia?

Q: Back to music then. I’m really so so busy – why should I read your music content when Stef’s is so darn good?
A: I’ll cover different artists than Stef, mainly Australian and UK acts. You should probably expect to see a mix of news, gossip and recommendations.

Q: Is there anything we shouldn’t expect from you?
Consistency. Subtleties. Succinctness. Or anything that involves a lot of objectivity.

Q: I heard you were fired once over a review you gave Kelis’ ‘Milkshake‘. Did you really write, “this song is catchy, but it may not catch on to mainstream radio?” I mean, really? That song was a global hit.
A: You heard about that!? It’s true – but I wasn’t fired, I was demoted. I upset a lot of important people that day, it was sort of career-limiting.

Q: But Autostraddle is still willing to take you on despite this reputation?
A: Yes.

Q: Why?
A: Because of crack and most likely something related to my milkshake.

Q: Is there anything we shouldn’t expect from you?
Consistency. Subtleties. Succinctness. Or anything that involves a lot of objectivity.

Q: If you were a boxer, what song would you walk down to the boxing ring to?
A: Great question! Remarkably, my lovely co-worker asked me the exact same question this morning. Say I lost my mind and did become a boxer, my song would be ‘Take The Power Back’ by Rage Against The Machine. Or if I felt like dancing or skipping down to the ring with the same commitment, it would be ‘Addicted To Bass’, by Josh Abrahams (ft. Amiel).

Q: Now the dinner party question. Who are you inviting, and why?
1) Bret Easton Ellis, because I have a lot of questions about Less Than Zero.

Q: Did you know that Riese did not like that book?
A: I did not write this question. But to answer it, yes. Riese has mentioned this once or 20 times since I met her.

Q: Okay then. Who else for the dinner party?
A: 2) The editor of Defamer Australia, because she’s the funniest writer that I do not know.

Q: Who is the funniest person that you do know?
A: I didn’t write this question either.

Q: It’s Riese, isn’t it?
A: Of course! Anyhow —
3) Raine Maida, because I’ve been in love with his songs for about a decade now.

Q: What would you serve for dinner?
A: I’d probably get the food delivered.

Q: Oh look, we’re out of time.
A: Cheers.


And we’re back to writing about things that I’m really into right now, specifically from Australia. Everything below will be old, old news for Australians – but as most of you are overseas, we’re good to go. Consider it an Australian pop cultural awakening, of sorts.

My interview has taken up a lot of space already, so I’ll keep this short. Enjoy the brevity, it doesn’t happen very often.

Luke Steele, Empire of the Sun and their debut album, Walking On A Dream

Are any of you familiar with Luke Steele, the frontman of The Sleepy Jackson? Well he’s a musical prodigy of sorts, I don’t know how he does it. His new act is Empire Of The Sun, and their debut album Walking On A Dream is absolutely incredible – laid back, easily consumed and perfect for pop lovers. It’s released in the US next month. Check out its title single below.

Sarah Blasko’s Planet New Year

Love a good video clip? Yeah me too. This one is probably my favourite of all time. Below, Aussie singer Sarah Blasko meets a piano named Keyth – they fall in love, get married and give birth to a baby piano. What more do you need to know?

Evermore’s third album, Truth Of The World: Welcome To The Show

So I mentioned Evermore in the Daily Fix last week, but I’m going to give them another shout out. These boys were the very first band I worked with, and their latest album ‘Truth Of The World’ is making my heart burst with pride. Not because this is my favourite style of music, but because they’ve released a concept album and it was a mighty ballsy thing to do. Here’s their latest single, ‘Hey Boys And Girls’:

Ruby Rose

Ruby Rose, an MTV VJ, is one of Australia’s favourite lesbians. Never heard of her? Well, you will soon. Here’s a TV interview she recently did with Rove:

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. Hey, I’m an Aussie and it’s nice to see some Australian content :-) Welcome, look forward to reading more.

  2. So about the Sarah Blasko music vid.. I thought maybe you were just kidding or that piano meant something else in Australia. But no. Instead, I actually did see Sarah and a piano hit it off which is just amazing. Plus, the song’s pretty good too so good times all around.
    I’m also really liking Evermore.
    I’m looking forward to more music from down under. =]

    • I know, incredible right?!
      I’m glad you enjoyed Sarah Blasko’s music too, I’m sure I’ll be sharing more stuff from her in the future.

  3. Pingback: Crystal Loves Kangaroos I Lesbian and Bisexual Women at the Edge … |

  4. i actually read that entire thing in an australian accent. which made it all the more endearing.

    i saw missy higgins when she came through houston a few months ago. she kept pronouncing houston ‘hey-youston!”; that was endearing as well.

    looking forward to reading what you contribute – it’s the only time i can read in an accent!


    • Hang on, so ‘hey-youston’ isn’t actually how you pronounce Houston? Good to know ;)
      Next time I write, I’ll throw in lots of ‘youse’ that’ll make your accent really pop.

  5. You forgot to mention that Walking on a Dream made it to #4 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2008, the largest public song poll in the world (we won’t talk about the song that came first =[ )

    Love that Sarah Blasko song, have heard it on triple j a few times but didn’t know who sung it, it’s fantastic!

    Not sure about the new Evermore, I have to say I liked their older stuff a bit more. I loved Running (tho ever since it got used on the Wallabies ad all I can think of when I hear it is Lote Tuqiri scoring a try)

    Look forward to hearing more!

    Ps. HUGE fan of Ruby Rose’s new hair cut :D

    • It did? I was being un-Australian and missed most of the countdown. But you’re right, let’s not discuss the winner.

      Yeah the new Evermore stuff is not really my favourite kind of music – but I do give them serious credit for taking the risk of creating something different.

  6. Cool, I really like “Walking on a Dream”. Ruby Rose is hot and so are Australian accents.

  7. If I was walking down to the boxing ring I would want them to play “Blood and Fire” by the Indigo Girls so everyone would know that I MEAN BUSINESS.

  8. i couldn’t read this in an Aussie accent b/c i can’t even fake one in my head :(

    HOWEVER, it was still exciting in a boring ‘ol American accent! wheee! and Ruby Rose is purty.
    um, this was obviously the best thing i’ve read in a while: “I’ve never read Tipping The Velvet, and I didn’t watch The L Word until I met Riese in 2008. But I do sleep with women, so that’s reasonably queer.”

    • No fear, I can teach you how to speak Australian in time for the next post.

      – Elongate your vowels
      – Pronounce only 50% of letters in a word (e.g. Melbourne is said “Melbn”)
      – Don’t say ‘r’ at the end of words (e.g. ‘water’ is pronounced ‘wa-teh’)
      – End every sentence with the word “but”
      – Watch Crocodile Dundee

  9. great to read you, crystal. i love it that autostraddle will have an international flavour (hola!). also, i am obsessed with australia and i have always been, so it will be great to read you (i know, you probably don’t care about my feelings but still…)
    btw, is it true the thing about the toilet?

    • Of course I care, I am very caring. I hope one day you get to visit our country, we have kangaroos.
      And it’s true, the toilets do flush anti-clockwise in Australia. (Is that what you were referring to? Because if not then you’ll need to elaborate.)

      • yeah, i was referring to this. thanks for the clarification!
        i love kangaroos. i definitely owe a visit to the country, and when i come, i’d love to hang out!

  10. Ooooo I love the sleepy jackson, now I must check out Empire of the Sun!

    I didn’t know Ruby Rose cut her hair … v. exciting (not sarcasm, I promise).

    • Empire of the Sun also have this great track named “We Are The People” as well, definitely one to check out.

      That clip makes me want to know what hair product she uses, and I don’t even use hair product.

  11. Pingback: Crystal Loves Kangaroos I Lesbian and Bisexual Women at the Edge … |

  12. oh wait. so having an australian accent is supposed to be cute? damnit! according to 5/6 australians overseas i don’t have one. i think they’re wrong, but whatever.

    some random, the mX, yesterday: who is ruby rose anyway? what’s she famous for? surely she can’t just be famous for being a lesbian.

    don’t judge me for getting all my info from the mX. i spend alot of time on/waiting for public transport. my point is, some australians are behind the times. i should sms in a link to this.

    i have a lot of feelings about sarah blasko.

    • I don’t think the Australian accent is cute. But I’ve heard people say otherwise.
      And don’t listen to those ignorant MX readers. She’s totally famous for other stuff, like, um. hm. Actually…

  13. marlene!
    sorry, got excited. i found my way to your blog (crystal’s) through hers.
    LOVE the sarah blasko clip. and i heart ‘walking on a dream’.
    i’ve been told i have a ‘nothing’ accent – apparently, i don’t even sound australian to australians?

  14. I heart Aussies and Australian culture, but you lost me with the “Hills Hoist.”

    What is that??

    • I can’t believe I missed this comment! Apologies.
      A Hills Hoist is a clothes line, essentially. It’s an Aussie icon that’s found in most backyards in suburbia. But not mine – I live in a city apartment and we don’t have luxuries like clothes lines.

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