You Can't Fake Real - Rookie

Throughout my education, I got good grades, was accepted into the university I wanted, earned academic awards throughout college, and got an internship that turned into a job that put me on the career path I’ve always wanted and got me started as a writer. Despite the long hours I put in, the personal time and experiences I sacrificed, and the career pitfalls I’ve dealt with in order to get to where I am now, it all still feels like dumb luck. When people offer me compliments on the things I’ve achieved, the excuses that my success is NOT MY FAULT flow freely: I was in the right place at the right time; I was one of those lucky people whose brain is wired to suit that formal educational structure; I showed up for an interview when the boss was desperate for someone to fill a role. It feels more acceptable to shuffle my feet and credit chance than it does to say “thank you,” even though I know in actuality that my successes are largely the result of my own efforts. It’s like nothing I achieve ever feels good enough, or like I should be proud of it, even though I’m not really sure what (or whose) standard I’m measuring myself and my work up against.

The Importance of Music to Girls - Rookie

Earlier this year, in Belfast, Ireland, Miley Cyrus did a cover of the Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”.

This performance was immediately all over my Facebook news feed. Friends of mine, and rock critics that I follow, were calling it “offensive” and “sacrilegious.” One commenter on Rolling Stone’s website summed up their reaction thusly: “She can be a cracked-out, attention-whoring clown all she wants. That does NOT entitle this brat to mess with other people’s music.”

Slagfest: Broken Hill's Premier Wuss Rock Festival - Noisey

Photography by Mia Mala McDonald

Slagfest is the best music festival you've never heard of. The brainchild of Steph Hughes and her mate Darren Hanlon, the festival took place Saturday June 7 at Broken Hill's Palace Hotel with a line-up featuring Steph’s band Dick Diver, Hanlon, The Burnt Sausages and Shelley Short, as well as locals Abbacash and Brother Didge & Friends.

It wasn't just the "famous mound of mining grot known as the Slag Heap" from which the festival took its name that's significant about the place Steph and Darren chose to host the gig; the Palace is the same venue where everyone got drunk in Wake in Fright and where Bern said, "Why don't you just light your tampon, and blow your box apart?" in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. As far as venues go, this one is a national treasure.

Sadly, we couldn't make it to the debut of Broken Hill's Premier Wuss Rock Festival, so we caught up with Steph once she got home to get the lowdown on the weekend that she hoped would "blaze new trails and free the freaks".