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datarock ben cameron AS their name suggests, Norweigan electro rock outfit Datarock are an eclectic bunch, with seemingly more influences than actual songs. “We take our inspiration from all sorts of places,” Fredrik Saroea said from his hometown of Bergen, Norway. “We don’t take a scientist approach, we just do whatever. “We are just music fans.
For the first 500 shows we didn’t really regard ourselves as musicians. Datarock was like a cover band who made their own cover songs.” The novices made good, with the slightly warped blueprint, keep a laundry list of influences. They emerged from Bergen’s alternative house scene, where clear divisions existed between traditional guitar rock and electronica– two schools Datarock would successfully mesh. With their DNA rooted in the late 1980s Manchester scene, they took lashings of Devo, Talking Heads and Blondie, and mixed it with
“90s alternative house stuff ”, of the Royksopp ilk. The finished product caused quite the stir when it reached Australian radiowaves in 2005, through the unique, “electro clash” inspired, Computer Camp Love. The song Saroea scribbled on the back of a napkin, drunk in a bar one night, captured Aussie hearts and moved feet. He owes a debt of gratitude to Aussie listeners; after visiting our shores twice in 2006, their music went viral. “It really kickstarted our international career,” he said. Their fondness for fetch-
ing jump suits in their music videos also endeared them to the music fan looking for something a little left of centre. “We always wear them. Actually no, they always wear us,” he laughed. Today, Saroea has just stepped off the plane from a month-long tour of 20 shows in seven countries, from the US, France to Argentina. Kind of like music’s answer to The Amazing Race. The highpoint of the tour was Santiago, Chile, which hosted festival juggernaut Lollapalooza for the first time in Latin America.
“Everywhere we go in Latin America, we have a audience of approximately a thousand in club venues. So it was crazy,” he said. It was a wild, disorientating jaunt for Saroea and his cohorts. “It was really weird, some of the guys thought we were in Singapore but we were in Santiago,” he laughed. Their latest release is California, a place Saroea is fascinated by. An EP, California is a slight compromise in size, at a time when bands across the world are fighting for attention from others, either dead or
alive. “In this day and age you’re not only competing against your peers, you compete against everything ever released,” he said. “I don’t think our fans care about albums, most of them care about songs. “I don’t like basing my entire career on songs, even though I sort of have to, so an EP is the perfect middle ground for us. “It’s sad there are many songs on albums nobody really cared to get to know.” Datarock play Groovin The Moo on April 30.
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The Girl of His Dreams
Thursday, April 21, 2011 – Bendigo Weekly
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JUDGING from the packed house and level of energy at Dudley House last Friday night, this year’s Raw Arts Awards were a hit. As I walked in little men were running around in suits all dressed up for the occasion; photographers snapped away furiously, posing young artists in front of their work. People were crowding around artworks fervently debating their meaning. Unfortunately I just missed Cr James Reade announcing the winners, but I didn’t miss the excitement – nor the amazing array of art in the space. Fortunately I did bump straight into local artist Hugh Waller, who turned out to be the Visual Art judge for this year. He also happened to be standing underneath the winning work, Public Liberty, a lino-cut triptych by 16 year-old Catholic College art student, Morgan McCormick. I went straight into grill mode with Hugh. Why did it win? What did you like about it? What does it say to you? Was it a big job? With his usual good-natured humour and grinning broadly, Hugh did his best to answer my barrage of questions. “Look it just really worked,” he said about Morgan’s three beautiful red-and-black works, mounted high
Morgan McCormick on the walls of Dudley House. “It was well put together and very dynamic. The layers worked well, and you can really see the potential of the artist.” For the Visual Art Acquisitive Award – Morgan’s winning piece will be bought by Bendigo Council on top of her $1000 cash scholarship prize – Hugh had to select the winning entry. He also selected the Highly Commended runner-up, Stephanie Rigney for Dreaming of a Blue Dress, who won $250. He chose from what was a highly competitive selection of 53 works. It was a big show by anyone’s standards, filled with visual art of all description – paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography. Not an easy task. Raw Arts has run since 1997, and presented by the City of Greater Bendigo via their Yo Bendigo youth
website. Entrants ranged from 9 to 25. Prizes were also presented for Performing Arts (winner James Earl, Music); Literature (winner Emily Tatti for her story “In The Heat”) and Digital Media (Tobias Mambwe for Building All Is Love). I managed to find Morgan who was in the midst of being congratulated by all and sundry, just after accepting her award. She was flabbergasted. “What was your reaction when you won?”, I asked. “No words came out – I was just shocked!” she laughed, still gobsmacked, and coming off the end of a long, sustained blush. “This is the first real art competition I’ve entered – and I won it!” Drawing since she was little, Morgan learned the linocut technique – a handmade printmaking technique, rarer in these days of
Make it a classic Mother’s Day Join thousands of men, women and children in the 8km run or 4km run/walk around Beischer Park and Kennington Reservoir on Sunday May 8th. For more than a decade, the Mother’s Day Classic fun run and walk has provided communities with a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day and raise funds for breast cancer research. Online registrations now open at www.mothersdayclassic.com.au go to Regional Events Bendigo
digital image-making – at Catholic College. Looking at her dystopian triptych, I immediately thought it was a response to 9/11. “No, it’s meant to represent the man-made world,” she explained. “We had an art project – to create a piece of work that represented either the natural world or manmade.” The idea to represent the latter “just clicked straight away”, she said. Clearly it was a winner. Morgan has great plans for her prize money. “I’m going to buy a caravan with it so I can put it in our backyard and have it as a studio. That way I won’t have to clean it up after I make something!” A readymade studio. Perfect for a young artist about to come into her own. ‘A Best of Raw’ display is scheduled for early May at Shop 7, Allans Walk, community exhibition space.
BEING spoilt for choice is generally not something that people from regional areas can come to expect, especially not when it comes to live music offerings. However, this month is absolutely jampacked with sensational gigs and it is making it incredibly difficult to decide which bands to go and see. Groovin The Moo is just around the corner, not to mention the awesome follow-up Jam With Toast morningafter-concert in The Civic Gardens. Visiting The Musicman Megastore on April 27 are two sensational Christian metal groups from the USA known as Oh Sleeper and The Chariot. Judging by the footage I’ve seen, the chaotic performances will be nothing short of incredible. This weekend in particular is also packed full of musical offerings, with a host of talent making the trip up from Melbourne to get in on our Easter festivities and play us some music. The music kicks off this Friday night with Grand Perceptor, Rowan Blackmore and Aimee V playing The Newmarket Hotel while Eddie Amiet
BY JAKE SHATZ
and The Tides play The Basement Bar. Saturday is a massive day of music, starting off with Downtown Bendigo’s Rock and Blues festival taking place live on Bull Street in the afternoon. Acoustic singer TJ opens the event at 2pm ahead of infectious Melbourne soul group Cold Snap, phenomenal multi-instrumentalist Bones Blackwood and the sensational rock trio that is the Andrew Higgs Band. From there, Cold Snap head to the Gold Dust Lounge, Bones makes his way to the Basement Bar and Andrew Higgs gears up for another set at The Golden Vine Hotel, each giving punters another chance to get amongst some great live music. Saturday night also sees The Newmarket Hotel play host to an allstar host of Bendigo musicians known as Band of Cloud. There’s so much going on Bendigo, do yourself a favour and go and check out some of the great talent visiting your city. If you’re anything like me you may just find yourself running between venues.
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SIMON: You’ve got a massive Australian tour, including five Groovin The Moo shows coming up. What kind of work goes into a tour of this scale? ESO: We try to amp it up everytime, not just to keep it fresh for the audience but to keep it fresh for ourselves. This puppy’s definitely got some legs let me tell you. We’ve got an incredible light show, it’s like an extravaganza, I’m scared of getting blind out there. It’ll be one of the longest sets we’ve ever done with a lot more underground tracks that we normally don’t do live at festivals. It’s going to be all balls out. We’ve got super support acts like Horrorshow who are absolutely killing it at the moment. SIMON: With the Groovin The Moo shows, are they going to be different to the gigs you’ve been doing around the country? ESO: Absolutely mate, absolutely. There will be people going to both shows, so we have to keep that in mind and keep it fresh for those crowds. SIMON: You’ve done some US dates recently too? ESO: It was a week-long festival (South by Southwest) in Austin, Texas where they shut down the town and it’s people busking on every corner, every pub has somebody playing in it. It’s an incredible place for musicians all around the world to network and find out about each other, so we were definitely over there holding the flag for Australian hip hop. It’s amazing, the festival is kind of open to the whole world. Wolfmother and The Temper Trap both played there, now they’re enjoying success in the states. SIMON: Back to your new album, Running On Air, you had two massive features on it with Xzibit and RZA, how did you manage to get those guys on board? ESO: We were like teenagers in the studio. Our management said there was a chance RZA might want to do a track . We know he wasn’t going to be over here to do it so we sent him a beat and he was basically like “Yep, this is my sh*t right here”. That was really cool, I’ve been a big Wu Tang Clan fan since Year Seven with my little Walkman on. Xzibit was different, he was already over here doing a show in Adelaide. We called him up and asked him if he’d be interested. We knew him because we’d done some touring with him so we had that connection already. He said no worries and come out to the studio in Mount Macedon and he stayed the night and we let him pick the beat. It was pretty surreal as I listened to these guys growing up. I remember as a kid wondering ‘Could you imagine if we worked with this person or that person?’ If you had told us
BLISS N ESO are gunning for The Hilltop Hoods big time, holders of the throne as Australia’s number one hip hop act. And through hits like The Sea is Rising and Eye of the Storm, it seems like every local hip hop fan is partial to a bit of B & E. Simon Blake from Phoenix FM’s hip hop show, This Or That, caught up with one half of the duo, Eso aka Max “Tha Bizness” MacKinnon, before embarking on a huge national tour. back then we’d end up working with RZA, I’d be like “Nah, you’re lying mate”. It’s very very humbling to get those kind of guys on the album. SIMON: I guess it’s a good sign of where Aussie hip hop has gone on the map too. ESO: For sure mate, let’s bridge the gap, let’s bridge the gap. SIMON: I saw some footage the other day of Bliss working with M Phases. Has it always been that as soon as you finish one album, you pretty much move on to the next one? ESO: Mate we thrash hip hop. If I buy a new album I thrash that puppy, so a month later I say to myself, “You know what, I may not put that on today”. That’s what it’s like with our music, we do so many live shows, we want to keep it fresh for ourselves and keep doing new things on stage. We’ve developed a really successful process for our production. When we’re writing for a track we’ll listen to the beat and think about the type of emotions we want to express. But for others we put the beat on and just freestyle to it so it’s not textbook stuff, we can be a little bit more open. Like my verse on Where The Wild Things Are was just a cool freestyle, I had nothing on a piece of paper. For Family Affair that chorus was a freestyle. The process allows for really intense writing but then we have a loose and free kind of thing. Bliss N Eso play Groovin The Moo in Bendigo on April 30. You can hear Simon Blake on Phoenix FM’s hip hop show, This Or That.
HE celebrations continue at Safe ‘n’ Superior. After six months at 77a High Street, Kangaroo Flat, Safe ‘n’ Superior are having their first stocktake clearance sale in their new showroom, where massive reductions can be found on a wide range of stock including venetian, roman and roller blinds. They also have samples of the extensive range available in the latest PVC bistro blinds, folding arm awnings, plantation shutters and vertical blinds and drapes to enhance your residence or business, all in the latest colours and textures. “Why not come and see for yourself you never know what you may find,” Joy from Safe ’n’ Superior said.
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Safe ‘n’ Superior are able to supply and fit custom-made quality products for both internal and external use at very competitive prices. From garage doors and awnings through to drapes, blinds and pelmets, Safe‘n’Superior have you covered. Safe ’n’ Superior are conveniently located at 77a High Street, Kangaroo Flat, just down from KFC. Call the showroom today on 5447 3500. You can also get in touch with them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org Safe ’n’ Superior are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
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light after dark Artist: Clare Maguire. Publisher: Universal Review by Steve Kendall
Bendigo Weekly – Thursday, April 21, 2011
I FIND it worrying when I am told about the next great voice. Funnily enough I like to decide for myself. Clare Maguire’s press has given her such an accolade. With Irish roots and now living in England, Clare has been a keen singer since she was a child and puts her heart and soul into this album, with great results. She has a great voice without a doubt, but I’m wondering if the pop style she presents is the right genre. There’s a depth of quality that’s lost in the pop production. There is Celtic soul and power there; maybe future albums will develop into a different mould. Take a listen to the final track, “This is Not the End”, when you get the chance, that’s where I see her cast. That said Clare is a winner and the album is good. Give it a listen, and you can ignore me and decide for yourself.
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