EXHIBIT A. The young boy sucks on his bottom lip, holding a microphone with both hands. He’s alone on the wide studio stage now. His eyes wet with tears, he looks to the wings where his mother is standing. She’s been crying, too, having minutes before (or seconds, to us at home) dashed onto the stage to wrap the boy in her arms. Behind the boy, a giant screen simulates a wall of blue and purple LED lights. A piano backing track starts up. The boy faces the studio audience once more. Calmer now, he raises the microphone to his lips.
EXHIBIT B. A part of a body – someone else’s body – is moving rhythmically against the small of my back. It’s dark and warm and the trim that separates the worn wood floor from the carpeted stage has been breached. Up front, two dancers – one wearing a baseball jersey cropped under the armpits, the other wearing the remainder of the jersey as a skirt – are throwing themselves into moves that might be described as a combination of hip-hop and interpretive. Grant Gronewold, an elfin 25-year-old with home-job tattoos covering his hands, has moved to the raised platform at the back of the stage. He’s gripping a microphone, calling raps towards Oscar Vincente Slorach-Thorn, whose slicked, noodle-like curls bounce to the distorted beats and sparkling effects he’s triggering on his drum machine and laptop. “Summon me, summon me, summon me,” Gronewold chants. Fifty or so people have squeezed into the enclave where the duo is performing. Without exception, everyone is dancing: rocking shoulders, bending knees, dropping to the floor and enacting entirely unpractised and almost painful-looking breakdance manoeuvres. When that happens, a holler goes up, laughter. Gronewold announces the dancer into the mic: “Go Callan, go Callan!”
EXHIBIT C. Grant Gronewold has a cold.
EXHIBIT D. Inside the ground-floor Brunswick apartment Gronewold shares with his mother, he sits at a study desk with a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza and a MacBook in front of him. Slorach-Thorn sits beside him on a swivel chair, also with a laptop open, headphones on, clicking between the tracks of a song in the production program Pro Tools.
Brothers Hand Mirror are at work. It’s the second day of a weeklong schedule to record songs for a new EP. The plan is to release the EP in little under three weeks, at the last of the Thursday-night shows Brothers Hand Mirror is playing through July at Melbourne’s Cobra Bar, upstairs of the proudly battered Collingwood venue The Tote. The first of those shows was a few nights ago, when Gronewold and Slorach-Thorn oversaw so much dancing and hollering…