THREE22 April 02.09
O TO Y N I NG
OU UR S
ALSO INSIDE: THE BASICS, NICK WARREN, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP AND MORE
FREE STUFF Want to win a small swag of elpees? Or perhaps know a lovely lass who would lap up a lascivious ladies night? Then send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and keep watching the skies..
night is back! After a sell out show last year in Canberra, the Sydney Hotshots are set to present their biggest and best show yet at The Lighthouse in Belconnen on Monday April 20 and at Casino Canberra on Saturday May 2. The dazzling costumes and brilliantly choreographed routines are sure to get hearts racing while the games and super fun-filled antics of the Hotshots will ensure everyone has a great night! With music spanning generations it’s a show for women of all ages and for all occasions. Call 6257 7074 for enquiries. To win one of two double passes to either show, tell us what makes you hot.
Comin’ To Ya Live Melbourne’s True Live are finally back with the follow-up to their highly exalted debut LP, 2006’s The Shape of It; an album that earned the group a huge following around the country and established expectations that their sophomore release, Found Lost, may just be something truly incredible. And that it is. It’s classical music that ran away and joined the circus, it’s hip-hop’s bizarre cousin, it’s soul with a supercharged turbo engine. It’s the Tarantino remake of funk. True Live’s sound is the prodigal bastard son of a musical orgy, but now the son is a sophisticated gentleman - albeit one that’s high on acid. To bag a copy, tell us who’d be present at your musical orgy. Hottie Alert! Slap on that sunblock, whip out that zinc and rifle through your third drawer down for those super chunky Cancer Council-approved sunnies, ’cause Canberra is about to get a hell of a lot hotter. The biggest threat to climate change and Australia’s favourite ladies
A Series of Tubes 22-year-old kingpin Reuben Ingall - formerly of Canberra’s outrageous, enthralling and dearly departed Inflatable Ingrid, who now plays in McClane and does his dutiable DJ rounds - has just released a concept CD composed entirely of audio from YouTube videos. You could call it The Soundtrack to Your Life, but its actual title is YouTube Will Eat Itself. Ingall is attempting to unite the worldwide YouTube community by “creating ensembles out of hundreds of YouTube contributors who have never met.” Highlights include angry children’s screaming reworked into metal vocals, a capella rap battles transformed into a hip-hop mash-up, and
a soulful collaboration where Tibetan monks, an Argentine guitarist and a German drummer meet for a jam sesh. According to Ingall, “YouTube Will Eat Itself captures the whimsy and ‘hey world, look what I made’-ism of the online community, as well as commenting on ongoing trends.” To win one of five copies send us the link to your fav YouTube vid.
is the super bouncy track you’re currently hearing on triple j – the one that covers the chorus of The Cure’s Close to Me and makes you entirely forget what that song is about because you’re too busy rustling around in your back shed in search of your Kanga Bouncer. To score a copy of Jigsaw, tell us about the most outrageous jig you ever saw.
Back in the studio and back in control, Lady Sovereign’s forthcoming album Jigsaw is everything we have come to expect from a rapper whose unique flow and gutsy sensibility has already wowed hundreds
MC Sean Ray, aka Snob Scrilla (pictured above), grew up in the US but moved to Oz when he was 18. His debut EP The Day Before… saw singles There You Go Again and Chasing Ghosts win over radio programmers and fans alike, with triple j adding both songs to high rotation. Snob Scrilla’s music is written in a world of musical ADD, which is far too varied to have just one solitary influence. Incorporating the grunge of indie rock, the rhymes of socially conscious hip-hop and dance-worthy synths straight outta the ‘80s, Day One is his debut long-player and is set to be one of 2009’s highlight releases, with Rolling Stone giving it a tasty four stars and calling it “a hit record.” All up, Day One is an album of contrasts – beat heavy party jams collide with highly charged political observations, while a sense of personal regret plays out through Snob’s honest storytelling. Says Snob, “Some of the characters on the album are just my perceptions, or representations of groups in society, and some are real people who have been in my life.” To nab a copy describe what you think a ‘Scrilla’ might be.
upon thousands of fans the world over. Setting the record straight, Jigsaw tells Sov’s rollercoaster story of the last two years with her usual honesty, genre-defying beats and punchy, zest-fresh lyrics. Jigsaw is the follow up to Sov’s successful debut Public Warning. Since it was released in late 2006 she won the respect of Jay-Z, supported Gwen Stefani, became the only Brit to have a Number One on MTV America’s video countdown chart and procured even more fluoro puff jackets. Her first single So Human
STRUTH BE TOLD They say humans will spend a third of their lifetime sleeping. Me, on the other hand, will spend a ninth of my life lying in bed swearing, a ninth sitting in the kitchen at 3am eating ham and a ninth rolling around in a half-awake dream state full of haunting abstract memories. Rock and roll, brain, you god forsaken sponge! Where did it all go wrong? Insomnia. Discusszzzzzzzzzzz. When I was a child I used to lie awake at night freaked out by the sound of my own ears. My heartbeat made me imagine a fly practising 4/4 time on my eardrums. The alien washing machine held the ominousness of the Dr Who theme. With a mentally upset Mother in the next room, my brain was trained like a security dog to detect the faintest of sounds. I’d drift off eventually, crossing my fingers for a flying dream, but with an extended bout of bedwetting in the mix I must have associated sleeping with internalisation and anxiety. With my school days filled with mental and physical exercise, I got through my teenage years relatively unscathed. Like balding men shave their heads, I tackled insomnia by staying up all night with friends playing the Amiga. On top of this I was swimming with that oily teenage chemical, turning me into a lanky super sloth who could doze through a Mogwai concert. Post-high school and uni wasn’t an issue either, as I swung from one long term relationship to the next. In the arms of a lover I was emotionally sedated. As Angelina Jolie has said, sex is the best exercise. Sexercise. In 2003 the rot started in. I was single and broke in Sydney, living in a house directly next to a train line and under a flight path. One day a train and plane went by at the same time and the phone rang and I screamed. I started beating my own insomnia records. 3, 4, 5am. My life wasn’t working out and some kind of pressure valve had burst in my stream of consciousness. I was being carved to pieces by the viscous circle of not sleeping and then worrying about it. The morning birds were out of a Hitchcock horror. The first train arrived like a rail bomb. When I was with a girl it wasn’t a problem. I could cling to them like an only child koala and be soothed by their warmth, but sleeping by myself was becoming more and more hellish. Insomnia is Godfucking torture. In post-war East Germany sleep deprivation was a common technique to break captors. I’m often going to bed a defeated man. It’s like when you hang out with one friend for too long and they start to piss you off. Try six bonus hours with the most neurotic one who knows all your secrets. I drift off at four to be woken by toilet noises. I drift off at five and enter a long murky nightmare about my family. I awake like a smashed ant and spend the day doing my best Edward Norton in Fight Club, beating myself up in a carparks. I’m sick of feeling like a virus-riddled computer running at half capacity. I’m trying to funnel the fallout into a routine of exercise and early mornings. There are other practical things like no caffeine after four, no eating late and no internet before bed. Others have suggested warm milk, BBC World Service and masturbation (all at once). I feel like there’s a world of meditation out there I’m yet to explore, and I think of my mind as a startled stallion that can be handled and tamed. Oh for rain on the roof, freshly washed sheets and snuggling deep under the covers. Oh for drifting into a beautiful dream where you’re flying high above the fresh ocean, skimming the sun clouds of peace. JUSTIN HEAZLEWOOD Justin performs as The Bedroom Philosopher and writes for Frankie, Jmag and The Big Issue. www.bedroomphilosopher.com
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Belgian Chocolate Bath, Anyone?
Collaboration 4 Change is a global movement that aims to create positive social change through music to educate and empower young people. C4C is the brainchild of two young keensters, Dawn Miotshwa and Nic Mackay, who first met during the 2005 Oaktree tour of South Africa. The pair reconnected in 2007, bringing together their music and social development experience, to commence C4C. The movement was launched in partnership with Nelson Mandela’s 46664 in August last year in South Africa, where it began, and is now making its way to Australia. C4C are looking for Australian artists to join Bliss N Eso and The Simunye Sound crew, the Connections Zulu Choir and Evermore to contribute to recordings and live performances in 2009 and beyond. If you would like to participate in the global movement visit www.collaboration4change.com for more details.
Described as having a “voice as rich and sensuous as bathing in Belgian chocolate” by australianstage.com. au, Ruthie Foster (pictured right) is sure to tantalise the ears and soothe the soul. The extraordinarily gifted Texan singer songwriter has drawn comparisons to soul divas Aretha and Ella and is also said to have a touch of Janis in her deep, gritty voice. She was lauded at last year’s Austin Music Awards at South by South West, winning Best Female Vocalist, while her album Phenomenal Woman placed second for Album of the Year. Ruthie will be making her Canberra debut at The Folkus Room on Saturday April 4. Head to www. thefolkus.org.au for more info.
Dream Dosh Individuum, a web-based superannuation company aimed at Gen Y, is launching its second Academy of Dreams sponsorship program for 2009 and 2010. Academy of Dreams is calling for entries from emerging Australian talent in the areas of music, sport and education, aiming to realise the dreams of young Australians who have a hidden or obvious talent in these areas, but lack the financial support to air-lift their ideas off the ground. This year, Individuum will throw a cool $25,000 in the winning applicants direction, so if you have a dream and you’re over 18, jump onto www.academyofdreams.com.au . Applications close May 10 2009. Design a Green Piece The power of the poster has always played a big part in cause-related campaigns; with the potential to shift attitudes and even impart social change, a striking image will stick in the mind - and maybe even on your car bumper. If you’re an enviro-minded poster art pro, then the Greenpeace’s 2009 Design Awards will surely pique your interest. Just whack together a poster that delivers the message ‘Be a Part of the Action’ and you may well see it plastered all over as part of major Greenpeace campaigns. For more info head to www. GreenpeaceDesignAwards.org.au . Submissions close June 15. Seeds of Change Now more a sapling than a seed, The JB Seed – the recently shorn John Butler’s (pictured below) arts grant program – is celebrating its fifth year of operation by throwing open its metaphorical doors, offering greater diversity and making the program more accessible for artists across a wider range of disciplines. They’ve introduced the JB Seed Jump grant to encourage musicians to expand their income potential in almost any area they require, and Art for the Public, which offers grants for visual artists who are undertaking projects to be delivered free to the public in the great outdoors or in prominent indoor spaces. The grants are worth up to $4000 and $5,000 respectively, so if you’re a poor, struggling, downtrodden muso, jump onto www.thejbseed. com and get applyin’, y’hear!
Who Likes Short Shorts? If you’ve made a short film between three and 30 minutes long within the last three years, well, don’t leave it hanging ‘round collecting dust - enter it in The Show Me Shorts Australian and Kiwi short film festival! Show Me Shorts will screen throughout New Zealand from November 5, along with workshops for budding short filmmakers to learn from the pros. “We’re looking for striking, well made films with a strong central idea that will capture the audience’s imagination,” festival director Gina Dellabarca says. This year, there are several new award categories to add to the list, so jump on to www.showmeshorts.co.nz for further info on how to enter your mini-masterpiece. Gum Ball Rolls Again The bush fiesta returns from whence it came, springing Phoenix like from the disappointing cancellation of last year (thank you very much local council) to sprout fresh roots back at the original site of 2005. Held on Saturday May 30 on the edge of the Upper Hunter, this year rolls out the likes of The Fumes, Maori soul roots songstress Mihirangi, Melbourne based Downhills Home, coastal blues patrol Marshall & The Fro and myriad others. Nestled amongst the pristine gums, the one day, all ages festival located about half an hour west of Maitland along the New England Highway also provides onsite camping, food and market stalls, a live art exhibition, children’s festival, charity fundraising and a popular BYO policy. Tickets are $70 inc (children U/12 are free) available via the website www.thegumball.com.au . The Bestie Boys Super Best Friends are back with a new EP Ready Aim Fire! which they’ll be launching at the ANU Bar on Friday April 24. It features new sounds and six new songs. Title-track Ready Aim Fire! and Everything’s Fine can be heard at www.myspace.com/superbestfriends. The Bestie Boys will be joined by Sydney synth-rockers Death Mattell and new Canberra allstar band Hoodlum Shouts, which boasts members of Mighty Few, Epic Flagon and Red Menace. Cost $10, doors 8pm, over 18s. Over and out.
AND ANOTHER THING...
YOU PISSED ME OFF
Has someone yanked yer chain recently? Well, send an email to email@example.com and have your sweet vengeance. And for the love of God, keep it brief! ALL ENTRIES CONTAIN GENUINE SPELLINGS.
Marshall Law frontman Andy Pyke is an excitable fellow. “I’ve got a disturbing vision of you in my head. Perhaps you’re mother was fearful for your long-term audio health?” I’ve just informed him that it hardly seems ten minutes ago that my mum was bashing on my bedroom door, screaming the now well-worn invitation to "TURN IT DOWN!" whilst I dervished around my room, bellowing out the lyrics to Hearts and Thunder from the ‘Law’s stellar, self-titled 1988 debut, when in fact said happening occurred twenty years ago. What makes a band which, with the best will in the world, didn’t quite attain world domination ‘back in the day’ keep going? (I ask this because, as you’ll remember if you read BMA religiously - and I know you do - ML have a new album - the frighteningly heavy Razorhead - gracing record shop shelves the world over as we speak). “Myself and (guitarist) Dave Martin, after the release of the Anthology album in 2003, started speaking to each other. We’d had a few years in the wilderness and decided that we still had a hunger and passion to write. For us it was unfinished business, so we started to pen ideas again and we wrote a plethora of new songs. Some of which made it onto the Razorhead album. We wanted to write fresh new ideas instead of trading on past glories because we like a challenge and also wanted to give metal fans something new and fresh from the metal writing slab.” I’ve no reason to suspect Mr Pyke is lying here, so I have to say he and Mr Martin have utterly succeeded in providing metal ears with something new and exciting. It’s especially reviving to hear an ‘old’ band not simply relying on trotting out the greatest hits tour for an ageing audience every eighteen months. But how do you go about writing and recording an album in the ’09 (or ’08 as it was then)? “We originally wrote an album's worth of material, the working title of which was Axis of Power, which we recorded at our own studios but unfortunately we made a bit of a mess of it and the songs were weak by our normal standard. We scrapped it and went back to the drawing board. We then sat down and asked ourselves a few questions. So we went back to a producer whom we have worked with many times and recaptured the old vibe of recording and the fun process. We also wrote another 22 songs on top of the 16 we already had and started the hard road to recording Razorhead, stuff like Nothing Lasts Forever, Bloodlines, Godz, and Divide Us remained from Axis… the rest were totally new songs.” It’s great that you’re still ‘at it’. What do you think went wrong the first time ‘round? “It was frustrating at the time that we didn’t do so well in England but we built a great reputation all over Europe and the Far East. I still have some cuttings from the press reviews of the first album in UK and you know the reviews were not that bad - 4/5 stars mostly. I think the death of metal at the time was the onset of grunge and the crossover rock n rap stuff which was happening then – maybe we were in the wrong place at the wrong time?” That’s as maybe, but with the resurgence in interest in ‘traditional’ heavy metal happening at the moment, the time and the place could be now for Marshall Law. I’m off to my room to do some dervishing now. See you next time.
This goes out to the fucker who kicked me and my friends out of a trivia competition at a certain civic club this week. You are a cuntbucket. Seriously, you make me want to vomit. After going to the trouble of booking a table, paying a $5.50 membership fee, signing my friends in, not to mention having to ensure that exactly the 8 people you booked us for showed up because God forbid we have 9 and one of you fat fuckstains actually have to waddle to the other side of the room to pull up another chair... After all of that, you wouldn’t let us play! Well fuck you.It was 6:38 ... ‘Yeah well trivia starts at 6:30’. Big fucking deal. We had to drag our arses from uni, you smug,
patronising cunt. You hadn’t even asked the first question. That’s right - I could see everyone’s answer sheets. They were still fucking empty! Besides which, what kind of a wanklicker starts anything at 6:30??? You have serious problems. Was it because we were under the age of 60 and therefore vaguely threatening to you? Or was it, as I suspect, because you have a penis so infinitissimally small that it is in fact inverted, and asking 80s popculture questions to a bunch of elderly saddos is the only thing that gets you off? FUCK YOU. May your lawn be infested with 2140401781 types of venomous ant.
FROM THE BOSSMAN Music is a wonderful thing, so much so it’s the reason many of us drag our reluctant carcases out of bed of a morning. Whether to switch on the increasingly tawdry antics of commercial radio, or to blearily slot in a CD of thrashing Finnish death metal, music evokes joy both personal and shared, and is a language unto itself. This is hardly a startling new revelation, of course, so please resist hurling that beer glass. Y’see, I was warmly reminded of this fact at the Sydney leg of the V Festival last weekend. I have never seen such a mass spontaneous outbreak of cockney tomfoolery (and I grew up near London) than when the first three iconic notes of Baggy Trousers by Madness sounded out across the grassy terrace. Like Pavlov’s dogs – conditioned by years of music videos and cultural association – we all grabbed for our invisible suspenders and flailed our legs to the side in a frankly alarming fashion. There would have been many a sore groin in the morn, I tell you what. And there, my friend, is the awesome language of music for you. It can make you cry, it can make you laugh. You can cherish a song as if it was written for you and you alone, or clumsily re-enact it with a gaggle of drunken chums down the pub. Or you can grab your nipples and flail your legs like a madman with 9,000 other people. Marvellous stuff. ALLAN “LEGS AKIMBO” SKO
SCOTT ADAMS - firstname.lastname@example.org
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Fax: 02 6257 4361 Mail: PO Box 713 Civic Square, ACT 2608 Publisher Scott Layne General Manager & Advertising Manager Allan Sko: T: (02) 6257 4360 E: email@example.com Editor Julia Winterflood T: (02) 6257 4456 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts Manager Fahim Shahnoor : T: (02) 6247 4816 E: email@example.com
Advertising Executive Danika Nayna Super Sub Editor Peter Krbavac Graphic Design Jessica Condi Film Editor Mark Russell Principal Photographers (The Flashbulb Posse) Andrew Mayo/Nick Brightman/John Hatfield Issue 323 Out April 16 Editorial Deadline April 3 Advertising Deadline April 9
In the early sixties the Stomp was what all the Aussie kids were doing. The antithesis of the smartly-suited American rock and rollers, our nation of young dags in cut-off jeans and baggy WHO t-shirts were a pretty grubby looking lot, but they thought they were cool, and this was STOMPIN' FOR BUSHFIRE APPEAL. reflected in the way they danced, which was, to put it plainly, how you danced if you couldn’t dance like the Yanks. And so the Stomp was born, and everyone could do it. This is the ethos WHAT of the cooperative fundraising project organised by a group of volunteers from the local CIRQUE DE STOMP dance community and the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin which takes its title from our first national dance, and this month The Stomp is bringing out the big top to raise funds for WHERE ALBERT HALL, the Victorian Bushfire appeal. With a crazy and colourful circus theme it promises a night of YARRALUMLA jumping live music, pro dance performances and a free class. So if you’re keen to support the WHEN bushfire appeal while having a rockin’ time, release your inner clown for the Cirque de Stomp. SAT APR 4 For more info hit www.thestomp.org . Ed Berry started mixing when he was barely a babe in arms; at the tender age of nine he was making continuous music tapes with no pauses between tracks. He then bought a couple of WHO SEVEN/EDDY WOO turntables (must’ve had a mean pocket money deal) and began his first attempts at mixing. WHAT For his 12th birthday he received the most awesome birthday present an aspiring DJ could get: DNB & DUBSTEP a set of 1210 mixers. It was then that Ed Berry started getting serious, and at 13 he played his WHERE first set at an all-day rave. An encounter with Shimon and Andy C shortly after this influenced MONKEY BAR Ed to pick the path of production, and in 1995, at the ripe old age of 16, he released a three WHEN track EP. Now under the twin pseudonyms of Eddy Woo and Seven, he’s one of London’s most THU APR 7 sought-after DNB and dubstep producers/DJs, and he’s hitting Monkey Bar to demonstrate why starting out when you’re a wee tacker really works. WHO 25 TOP JAZZ BANDS WHAT JAZZ UNCOVERED WHERE ITALOAUSTRALIAN CLUB, FORREST WHEN SUN APR 5
Jazz Uncovered is Canberra’s showcase of modern jazz, with 25 bands playing across four stages. ‘Uncovered’ has many meanings for Canberra’s modern jazz community: uncovered as in creating new music while knowing and respecting traditions, though not just endlessly replaying the standards, and uncovered as in a community of friends to discover passions and share ideas. They’ve even stretched the word to represent the good work they can do together by releasing water in parched lands by sponsoring the charity Wellwishers which digs wells in Ethiopia. Their target is to achieve a profit of $7K from the first Jazz Uncovered, which would pay for one well to be dug in an Ethiopian village. With the Andy Campbell Trio, Austin Benjamin Trio, All The Things You Could be by now if Sigmund Freud’s Wife was Your Mother (arguably the greatest band name in modern jazz history) among the line-up, and Wanderlust as the feature international act, Jazz Uncovered is sure to release the Howard Moon in all of us. From 10am to 11pm, tickets $30/$20 concession http://jazzstalker.com .
WHO TYCOTIC WHAT CONVERSATION DOMINATION LP WHERE IN STORES NOW WHEN RIGHT NOW!
The creator of Aylum Fifty Seven record label, Central Coast MC/producer Tycotic has just released his eagerly anticipated third full-length Conversation Domination, a highly topical collection of songs taking influence from all musical genres. Tycotic's overwhelming love of the local hip-hop scene is heard in this album that showcases the MC’s ability to shred a beat with solid syllables as well as breaking it down in double time. The whole Asylum Fifty Seven family feature on the album, with Xrsize, Rorks Drift, Smokey Desperado, Prem, Fowl Mouth, Shan One, Dirt-E-Kent, Wimes and K-Deezo coming together for a massive crew track Captured Rap rhymin’ on a slamming beat packed full of experimental production, ending the LP on a high. The man’s an artists, dare I say a maverick, who won’t be neatly packaged into a hip-hop sub-genre. To cop an earful, head to www.myspace.com/tycotic or www.asylumfiftyseven.com
The idea behind the British theatrical sensation that is STOMP is finding music in noises which we usually try to block out and ignore. With unstoppable energy and toe-tapping, thighWHO slapping, break-free-from-your-furniture-fetters-and-dance exuberance, STOMP takes the BOOM CRASHIN' clutter and junk of everyday life and transforms it into a pulsating, witty, utterly irresistible BRITS theatrical event. The entire show is highly choreographed, interweaving dance into all of its WHAT STOMP aspects. In STOMP there is a symbiotic relationship between dance and music; the music is WHERE created within the dance, but the dance itself is dependent on the music for its rhythm and CANBERRA character. STOMP shows a true marriage of movement and music, where both create and THEATRE enhance each other. STOMP also invites the audience to participate in the show, not only WHEN TUES APR 7 TO 12 demonstrating that anyone has the ability to STOMP, but also encouraging us to take what we have learned about sound and rhythm and apply it to our everyday lives. WHO SNAP! WHAT D&B MADNESS WHERE HOLY GRAIL, CIVIC WHEN FRI APR 3
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Leaving Crackle and Pop in the dust, Snap! returns once again to sate your appetite for all things drum ‘n’ bass. This instalment of the regular D&B showdown is headlined by Bass Element’s Ambassador, winging in all the way from Adelaide to lay down a set of hard, dark, tech-heavy snarl which should go a long way toward unclogging that “thing” you’ve been struggling with for the past few weeks. Ambassador will be joined by the finest dabblers in local D&B chicanery, including Centaspike, Karton, Buick, Fourthstate, Poser, DJ C, Twisted System, Escha, Ric, Chils, Kilojulz, Harlequin MC and Crooked Sound System, ensuring that every tone of the broad spectrum of the genre will be covered. It’s all going down this Friday at the Holy Grail in Civic so be sure to kick off your weekend in tough style.
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David Butler Gareth Liddiard is not an easy man to pin down. On stage, he’s the manic, raving prophet frontman of seminal Australian rock act THE DRONES. Off stage, he’s thoughtful, funny, articulate - even normal. It turns out Liddiard is just as hard to track down as he is to pin down, but when we do finally make contact, he’s on the other side of the world. “We’ve just driven through the mountains of Virginia from Tennessee on the way to New York,” Liddiard says. “We’ve been all over the states a lot of times but never to the Appalachian mountains, and I have to say what we saw of it was a surprise. That’s saying a lot. I’m talking about real hillbilly territory. We just had lunch surrounded by hundreds of machine guns hanging on the walls; hand grenades and knives and stuff. In the gift shop you could buy painted ceramic - please pardon the extreme language here, I’m just telling you what was on sale - nigger servants: as in ornaments of slaves. Jaw-dropping shit.” Though the hillbilly Americana has Liddiard in shock, there’s nothing new about the Melbourne four-piece being stuck in the tour bus, far from home, on yet another colossal tour. If the critical and popular success of last year’s album Havilah was a well-earned reward for The Drones, the band’s recent touring schedule reads more like a prison sentence. Starting with the summer festival circuit which included shows for All Tomorrow’s Parties, Big Day Out, and the Falls Festival, the band has kept the momentum going with this current American tour, which will be followed by another Australian tour, before heading overseas once again for a quick lap of Europe. It’s a workload that would break a lesser band. “Yeah, its hard work,” Liddiard agrees. “Your first real tour leaves you with a kind of culture shock. Not because you’re going to new places. It’s just extreme in every way but you learn to cope. You learn not to expect any sort of privacy, autonomy or decent sleep. You have to learn how to exist in each others pockets which means you have to grow up and stay grown up, even if you’re going insane with exhaustion.” Havilah, the album that has spawned such endless touring, is a manyheaded beast of a record that ranges across a vast sonic spectrum, telling tales of divorce (The Drifting Housewife), landing on the moon (Penumbra), cargo cults (I Am the Supercargo) and the mythic, surrealist rant against waste and corruption that is The Minotaur. Current single Your Acting’s Like the End of the World caps off the record with a breezy, country swing that sweetens its more serious lyrical bent. “It’s about getting real. There’s that lyric, ‘I feel like a mime losing his job,’ and then it’s being nostalgic as a reaction to that, but not having a great deal to be nostalgic about, yet still being nostalgic all the same just to get through. It’s a jolly little tune,” Liddiard laughs.
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Such a diverse array of song topics sets The Drones apart as one of the most creatively adventurous bands in Australia, with Liddiard as one of our most original songwriters. Liddiard passes this kind of cheap talk off, though. “You write about yourself until it bores you, and then you write about other people - real or not - until you get bored of that, and around you go.” As for how he approaches the writing process, Liddiard says “it differs in a small way each time, but usually I write them up to a point where I can sit and play them on an acoustic guitar without them sounding too shit. Then we get together for a while without Mike (drummer Mike Noga) and jam and drink and hang out and let them evolve. Dan (guitarist Dan Luscombe) and Fi (bassist Fiona Kitchin) identify the bits that we can do without, and we try different approaches and lots of weird stuff. That happens pretty naturally. Then Mike joins us and it’s more of the same, we all just try to make it sound cool, and then we’re off and racing.” Recorded over a two week period at Liddiard and his partner Kitchin’s Mt. Buffalo residence, Havilah was created in the rugged isolation of thick, alpine forest. This secluded location came under threat in the recent Victorian bushfires, and Liddiard nearly lost the lot. “The place we have is an eight acre property in a valley north of Mt. Buffalo and south of Beechworth, so we were in the Beechworth fire. The property is rectangular and the fire reached the fence line on three sides but somehow the house was okay. The CFA and the DSE and DPI saved the place twice. It was an education for us city folk. It was really scary, but the people in the valleys north of us got it a lot worse. It’s like someone dropped an atomic bomb on them. The destruction is truly something to behold and the stories the CFA guys were telling us were really disturbing. They were pretty shaken up, and farmers rarely get shaken up. No one could wrap their heads around how fast the fires were and how strangely they behaved.” So after another critically acclaimed album, a seemingly endless global tour, and a lucky escape from a catastrophic bushfire, what’s next for The Drones? “We’ll just go on tour again,” Liddiard says. “Then we’ll probably do it once more, and then go make another record.” The Drones play at the ANU Bar on Thursday April 30 with Witch Hats. Tickets from Ticketek (6219 6666 or ticketek.com.au) and www.theatlasagency.com .
bma magazine 13
Howdy y’all. The next couple of weeks are promising some massive shows for us underage Canberrans so make sure you get out to them and have some fun. April will see some of Australia, and the globe’s, biggest folk acts chilling out, and in May Sneaky Sound System have a massive 15+ show, so pop out and catch Miss Connie, MC Double D, and Black Angus themselves turning out some harsh beats.
The National Folk Festival will see people from all over the country, and indeed the world, coming together to share a common love of music. Folk music has been a constant throughout history and has etched its way into Australia’s culture. For five days this autumn, thousands will bear witness to some of the world’s finest folk musicians, chow down on some culinary delights from all over the globe, learn to dance in one of the many workshops and shop up a storm at the 60 plus stalls. Exhibition Park will become a riot of colour and sound between Thursday April 9 and Monday April 13. Have Heart (pictured below) launched onto the worldwide hardcore scene in 2006 with the release of their debut full-length The Things We Carry. The world of hardcore was caught by surprise and calling the album “breakthrough” would be an understatement. Last year’s Songs To Scream At The Sun is the sound of an open call or a challenge to what people expect from a hardcore band. Lyrically and vocally, frontman Pat Flynn puts forward nothing short of ten intense and chilling songs - opening up personally in a way he only hinted at for The Things We Carry. Have Heart are returning to our shores for their first headline Australian tour and are hitting the Tuggeranong Youth Centre on Wednesday May 27. Joining them will be ‘berra faves Carpathian, so get yer tickets early, people! Jump onto moshtix.com.au for all that ballyhoo! Locals Vera and I-Exist will bring up the rear.
And last, but definitely not least, the ultimate dance pop threesome Sneaky Sound System have announced a massive show just for anyone 15 or older Saturday May 2. The poptastic group will be hitting the stage at the University of Canberra Refectory. Tickets are on sale now and you can get your greasy mitts on them from Ticketek, Landspeed Records, Parliament Clothing and www.inthemix.com.au . Miss Connie, MC double D, and Black Angus have supported such well known acts as Jamiroquai and Robbie Williams and The Scissor Sisters, as well as having collaborated with Kanye West. Sneaky Sound System began at a dodgy ‘Cowboys and Indians’ fancy dress party in 2000 and since those humble beginnings have reached meteoric success. One of Australia’s hippest and most popular bands of any genre at the moment, Sneaky Sound System put on an impressive spread, so make sure you don’t miss it. So that’s all from me this edition. There’s something on to suit everybody’s taste these next few weeks, so get out and support some local acts and even catch some of the big national acts coming to town. I’ll see ya’ll in a fortnight. Ciao. LIZ ROWLEY bma magazine 14
LOCALITY Easter weekend is bearing down on us like the fangs and paws of a giant chocolate bunny, and that means the National Folk Festival will be bringing us the opportunity to drop out of civilised society for four straight days. This year the bill is crammed solid with Canberra acts, including The Fuelers, Jonno Zilber, The Wedded Bliss and Mr Fibby. For those reading this and thinking ‘Damn! Missed the chance to play at Folkie again!’ the Blackboard Stage will be running as per usual, giving any local musos who rock up the chance to sign up and play a set. April 9 to 13 at Exhibition Park. Come along and buy us a Kransky!
pocket? Desperate for a good cause to throw some hard-earned at? Then motor down to ItaloAustralian Club on Sunday April 5 and soak up twelve hours of the Jazz Uncovered festival, all proceeds of which will be going to Wellwishers Australia, a charity that digs wells for poor villages in Ethiopia. The Club can be found in the dignified surrounds of Forrest and is just the sort of warm and welcoming venue to put some zing into your Sabbath. 10am to 10pm, $30 entry, 25 great acts. To round out this punishing
schedule of incredible music and pleasant vibes, head to The Phoenix on the night of Monday April 6 for the a hyper-charged edition of Bootlegs, featuring Bridie Hill, Jo Telfer, Kim Churchill and The Marc Robertson Band. Be sure to throw some Easter eggs in the tip jar. Reuben Ingall, known to many as the guitarist for post-hardcore noiseniks McClane as well as an all-around musical magpie, has finally released YouTube Will Eat Itself, a 12 track album created
entirely from re-contextualised YouTube audio. This giant sonic collage runs the gamut from metal to ambient, and employs everything from the screams of young children to the chants of Tibetan monks, to musical effect. You can download the whole shebang at www.reubeningall. com or contact the man himself for a hard copy. You can send all your local gig and band info to firstname.lastname@example.org NICK DELATOVIC AND KITTY JAMES
If shouting me Germanic treats isn’t your bag, there are about a jillion other great gigs on this fortnight. Thursday April 2 sees one of Locality’s favourite bands, The Fighting League, playing as part of the weekly Gangbusters bill at Bar 32, along with Sydney’s formidable Straight Arrows and King Royales. Anyone who has yet to see the League’s epic hard-pop squall in action owes it to themselves to get down there. Those of a more genteel sensibility may wish to head over to the other side of Civic that same night and check out Domus Adultus at Hippo, presented by the Canberra Musicians Club. If you do so, you’ll be treated to the mellow stylings of Duncan Sergeant, Simone Penkethman, Big Score and Lachlan Coventry. Both gigs kick off around 8pm and wrap up around midnight. Belconnen drinking institution The Pot Belly will be playing host to two of Canberra’s hottest up-and-coming bands, and they’re doing it on consecutive nights. Friday April 3 features The Lazy Jaynes and Saturday April 4 features Waterford. My suggestion? Wear your pyjamas along and camp out for the full two days. It’ll be just like Folkie but within walking distance of the mall! Proceeds of your affluent ACT lifestyle burning a hole in your bma magazine 15
DANCE: THE DROP Dance music is a wonderful thing. It fuels your attempt at alcoholic aerobics, it’s a tuneful taser in the backside of bureaucrat banality and true heartstarter for weekend warriors and alcopop alchemists alike. The time has come to once again bow our heads down to the electronic gods of noise with another round of local party action as April fills up quicker than my bank account on BMA payday.... Crooked Sound System presents the third instalment of the successful drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and dirty beats night Shockwave at Monkey Bar on Thursday April 9. This time around the lads have secured the services of massive international rudeboy Seven (UK) who will be ripping the lid off with the help of local talent Crooked Sound System, Bohl and Scissors and Poser, with the event hosted by Harlequin MC. For those who aren’t layed out with chocolate poisoning or rabid rabbit allergies, Easter Sunday April 12 heralds the Canberra debut of Nordic progressive princes Djuma Soundsystem from the venerable Get Physical record label. These guys are mental and I highly recommend you take advantage of the Monday sleep-in and check them out. The gig is at Lot 33 and the supports include the Pang! debuts from Biggie and Jahla Gato with regulars Hubert, Cheese, Gabriel Gilmour, Scottie Fischer and King James rounding off an epic night for fans of deep sexy electronica. Do you like it hard? Do you like it rough? Well then call me on… Wait, I’m still talking about music here people! The Canberra Indoor Rock Climbing Centre hosts another edition of Lighter Massive’s Hard to the Core on Saturday April 25 with a line-up that would leave any respectable hard dance fan salivating, including interstate visitors Matrix, Fenix, Tempa, Spinout and Selby with locals Nomad, Nasty, Loose Cannon, Enerv8, Peekz, Haks, Cotts and more to be announced. So don your best and brightest and reach for the lasers - then try to get home before your mum wakes up for her morning coffee because it’s just too hard to explain walking in the front door at 9am wearing a yellow council vest and sucking a fluro orange dummy, now isn’t it kids? Tickets are available from Landspeed records for $30 plus BF. Finally, I had the chance to catch up with Ryan Phillips from Lexington Music for an exclusive update on the preparations for the Warehouse Winter Music Festival 2009. “Preparations for the festival are going great!” the man exclaimed. “They have been underway since the final track of last year’s event. It has been exciting to be able to plan for bigger crowds, knowing how much people really enjoyed last year’s show and how much they are pumped for this year. Friction and Lexington Music have been working closely with the AIS Arena on an expanded set-up and much time has also been spent assembling a line-up that is truly as deep in talent as it is diverse” This year's event also promises to be bigger and better than last year, which is hard to believe considering the scale of the 2008 event. “We have massively increased the budget this year on both audio visual elements, as well as on the line-up itself. Last year’s event was themed around technology with patrons really enjoying the unique ghetto blaster show on the arena stage. This year we have chosen a new theme, ‘Space into the Future',’ and are encouraging those coming along to dress with that in mind. The show itself will blow people away… Canberra has never seen a festival like this before!” The first round announcement of artists has been announced and first release tickets are on sale from www.lexingtonmusic.com.au . That’s all for another issue. Until next time, just remember to do what all the cool club kids in Europe are doing and “Tanzen Sie wie ein Roboter”. TIM GALVIN email@example.com
bma magazine 16
d l r o w t s e Warren's W “Frankly really dy, I think the who …it was ing out, and th le minimal thin music h a bit too seriouat is no bad thin g is as alway s got so s. The best type g. me melo o dy in it.” f Jess Conway
NICK WARREN, what can I say? World renowned, in the DJ game for 21 years, in the ranks of Sasha and John Digweed… Getting the idea? He is kind of a big deal. Better yet, he is coming to a Lot near you. As a repeat Global Underground artist and half of UK prog house duo Way Out West, Nick Warren has held our attention. Nick’s tracks stand out with carefully crafted and layered sounds that flow from the speakers. I don’t use the word carefully lightly, either, as each track takes about three months to craft - that is dedication, persistence and perfectionism at its peak. In fact, his search for the perfect track is what lead him to become a producer. “It gets to the stage when you can’t find enough music of exactly what you want. So you think ‘well, maybe I should start to make what I want'."
Nick is hitting Australian shores solo armed with fresh tracks from upcoming Way Out West album, We Love Machines. With the album comes a new angle, but one that won’t offend long time fans. “It still sounds like Way Out West, but it is a new sound for us, more electronic. It is almost like Pet Shop Boys doing a real underground dance album.” Nick follows his gut and allows his sounds to evolve from within, ignoring what other DJs are doing. “I think it is really dangerous to be lead by people. For instance, I never listen to anybody else’s compilation albums... I think if I do then I’ll think ‘Maybe I should be playing those records'."
After hearing the array of musical layers reverberating through my speakers, I was curious to know where all these sounds came from. “I’ve collected weird music for 30 years now,” Nick Reveals. “I’ve got 50 to maybe 60 thousand albums, which are just these weird albums. There is lots of electronic stuff from the ‘50s, the ‘60s and ‘70s.” No wonder there are no Britney samples thrown in then. Nick keeps it old school: you can have your fancy keyboards and screens, but just give him the decks. “I love interacting with the equipment, mixing myself and being in the same zone as the crowd, whereas if I was just staring at a laptop I lose a lot of that.” Nick’s musical intrigues started early and vividly, and those initial ventures can be heard today. “I was a fan of Bob Dylan, but I was always a fan of instrumental music more,” he says. “I would sit in my parents' house with a pair of headphones on and I would see things. There would be stories in my head linked to the music. I think that is the same now with music I play... It is a landscape style of music.” After seeing more musical trends than ‘90s boy bands, I had to know what Nick saw for the future. “Frankly, I think the whole minimal thing is really dying out, and that is no bad thing,” he says. “There is not much music in it and it was a bit too serious. The best type of music has always got some melody in it. At the moment the techno and progressive is getting very close to each other and it is very melodic - big bass lines, but not cheesy, not trancy and very uplifting.” After smashing Florida, California and New Zealand, Nick will hit the ‘berra on Monday April 16 at Lot 33. Three reasons to see him: he will bring sounds you have never heard before; he reckons this album is the best he has ever worked on; and with 21 years of experience under his belt, it should be a pretty damn good show... Oh, and one other thing - he has a really cute accent. Nick Warren hits Lot 33 on Thursday April 16.
THA REALNESS This month the prolific MF Doom finally returns with arguably one of the most anticipated new indie hip-hop albums in years, Born Like This, armed with a few year’s worth of new rhymes and a production line-up including the late great J.Dilla, Madlib, Jake One and the vaudeville villain himself. For all of those who’ve been wearing out their copies of Operation Doomsday, Madvillain and Danger Doom, this one is for you! One of my all time favourites, Brother Ali, has just dropped a gem of an EP/ DVD in The Truth Is Here. Featuring nine new tunes helmed by long time partner in crime Ant MF DOOM (Atmosphere), Ali proves why he is one of the best out at the moment, laying down a barrage of intelligent and relevant narratives. Slug turns up on The Believers and the DVD is crammed full of dope moments including a live show and videos. Get this! Adelaide’s Delta has returned with a new single The Lines featuring Mojo The Cinematic and members of the legendary Dap Kings. The Lines is an atypical tale of the perils of infidelity and is a taste of Delta’s forthcoming sophomore LP The Secondary Story, due out April 25th on Nuffsaid/Shogun. Check it out at www.myspace.com/deltarock . More on the LP when it drops. Melbourne’s much respected (and acclaimed) duo Mata & Must are celebrating the release of their debut LP Paradox Of Minds through Pang Productions in April, and expectations are high. The lead single Un Deux Trois is a stunning example of what we can expect from the album - a record which has been entirely (and lovingly) crafted from vinyl! Also out on Pang in April is the debut EP effort from Blunted Monk entitled Operation Dreamscape. Produced by Urban Monk, the EP exhibits Blunted as one of the more intelligent, evocative and knowledgeable emcees in the country at the moment. Check out www. pangproductions.com.au for more on both releases. For all of those who like their beats a little left of centre, I suggest checking out the new releases from Hudson Mohawke and Mr. Oizo. Hudson Mohawke has just released his debut EP Polyfolk Dance on Warp and it’s a bugged-out trip into downbeat heaven, awash with chopped soul and stuttering rhythms. If you love Flying Lotus definitely seek it out. France’s arrogant genius Mr. Oizo has returned with his latest opus Lambs Anger. It is dirty, funky and full of nose-in-the-air pompous beat snobbery - I love it! SOS Productions are bringing Oz hip-hop’s famed veteran Reason to town on Thursday April 9 for an intimate show in ANU’s beer garden! Having released some true classics over his career, Reason recently released his latest gem Tides Are Turning on Obese late 2008 to great acclaim, proving that he is still one of the best. And with Fraksha and DJ Flagrant in tow, you know it will be a sure-shot night! Doors open at 8pm so get in early. To hear music from all the above and more, tune to The Antidote on 2XX 98.3FM from 9.30pm every Tuesday night! ROSHAMBO firstname.lastname@example.org
bma magazine 18
Shakin' All Over Shakedown is Bar 32's weekly Saturday club night, providing insatiable punters - for whom Friday night was just a warm-up - with a stickycarpted dancefloor, a ready supply of refreshments and a top notch soundtrack. And, pray tell, what more could one want? Musically speaking, the DJs dish out indie, alt, dance, electro and anything else that takes their fancy 'til the early morn. We caught up with three of Shakedown's resident spinners and hit them with seven of our best. 1) You’re about to go on a blind date with our readership - tell us three things about yourself. 2) How did you get into DJing? 3) What’s your tune of the moment? 4) Hit us with your guaranteed, sure-fire floorfiller? 5) The sun’s coming up and you’re buggered. What do you drop to give the last stragglers staggering around the dancefloor the hint that it’s time to call it a night? 6) What’s been your most memorable Shakedown experience? 7) Give us your musical prediction for ’09. TOM 1) I’m cheap, I’m a sleazebag, and if I make you coffee in the morning you better drink it… 2) One Saturday however many months ago it was. I was dead bored and couldn’t keep away from glowing buttons of the CDJs. 3) Probably Futurecop! Class of 1984 or Drums Of Death DODFUCKSUPANESCORTTUNE, for their amazing old sound and my ability to dance for hours to just these two songs on repeat. 4) ZZZ Lion (Bag Raiders Remix): with sweet piano and hard-hitting bass you can’t go wrong! 5) Whitest Boy Alive, just because everyone would fall asleep. 6) Any night when someone pisses in the bins or tells me to stop playing “bad ‘80s trance.” 7) Art vs Science will be overplayed and Danilo will fall in love while listening to some badly remixed version of Flippers or Hollywood.
5) I guess I like to end with something fun like Sweaty Wet by Game Boy/Game Girl, but it really depends. We generally call it a night when the bar staff look like they are going to die. 6) Maybe when we got to host New Year’s Eve. It was a pretty fun night to work. 7) I don’t think I should predict, I would just jinx the band and they’d break up. SIMON 1) Am I going on a date with all of you? Hectic. I can’t pay for 7 people. 1. Quote Flying High and I’m yours forever. 2. Quote Top Gun and I’m yours forever. 3. Quote Metropolis and I’m yours forever. 2) I can’t actually remember, but I’m sure there were hookers, and surely blow was involved. Sounds like a Saturday. $5 entry and it’s like a buffet. Think Sizzler, but for adults. Anyone for cheese bread? 3) Changes all the time. I’m ‘that guy’ at parties who changes the song halfway through, skips to the ‘good bit’ and turns it ‘up’ whilst telling ‘you’ to ‘stay’ ‘quiet.’ Makes for an awesome DJ set. Like Girl Talk, without the headband and talent. 4) Poison by Alice Cooper. It’s good to know that deep down, hipsters, bogans, sXe kids, jocks, and skanks all have an inner old man in leather and makeup. Did I mention fishnets? That’s the best part. 5) Too Drunk To Fuck by Dead Kennedys. 6) See question 2. 7)Miley Cyrus pens an album about being shunned by Radiohead which is even more depressing than a Radiohead album circa mid-to-late-‘90s. The Achy Breaky Bends.
EMA 1) I have no money so you had best be paying... 1. My favourite food is soy duck yellow noodle soup. 2. I am more than willing to see Notorious again if you haven’t seen it yet. 3. A diva is a female version of a hustler. 2) I drank too much one night and ranted to a friend who worked at the bar that I wish I could play my own music when I was out. A month or two later I received a phone call from said friend offering me a spot with Bar 32’s new night, Shakedown. I have been there every Saturday night since. 3) It is a toss up between Girltalk Bounce That, Nadia Oh Got Your Number or Crookers Big Money Comin’. 4) The 1995 smash hit Gangster’s Paradise by Coolio will always draw enthusiasts. Some people pretend they don’t know all the words like they are ‘above’ Coolio, but they do know it and they aren’t above him... Nobody is. bma magazine 19
Stick around and don’t be no clown so you can see what I’m putting down; it’s the BMA ska and punk news. Madness (pictured below), those nutty boys that sprang from Britain’s early ‘80s 2-Tone ska revival, snuck into the country for some dates with Virgin’s V Festival. They had sideshows fixed but by the time you read this, the only one you could possibly make is in Tasmania (bugger, eh?). Nah matter
- go to their official Madspace page to hear tracks from their decidedly downbeat new album, The Liberty of Norton Folgate. Check out Forever Young and On The Town at www. myspace.com/ madnessofficial . Tuggeranong’s the place for great all ages gigs. The latest is a five-piece str8edge hardcore band from Boston, USA. Formed in 2002, Have Heart will be tearing up the Tuggeranong Youth Cafe with Carpathian on Wednesday May 27 (all ages). Tickets available from Moshtix outlets and www.moshtix.com.au . However, get your hardcore fix before that when New Zealand’s Sixlip and Adelaide’s Bloodsport hit the Tuggers Youth Cafe for a show on Sunday April 19 (all ages). The skafunkpunkthrashmosh monster that is Fishbone has been added to the acts at the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival in Byron Bay this Easter weekend (April 9 to 13). Visit www.bluesfest.com.au for the full line-up, which includes The Special Beat (with The Selector’s Pauline Black). Tickets are selling fast. If you saw Propagandhi in February, but passed out because of the unbearably thick and sweaty atmosphere of the community centre, you can see their Sydney show at The Metro on March 15, online. Thanks to Moshcam, you can watch their entire show at www.moshcam.com . Their local rag, The Arizona Star, is suing American band Awful Truth. The Tucson-based punk band earned controversy due to their choice of photo (a recently slain police officer) for their album cover. The paper claims Awful Truth committed copyright infringement when it used the photo for its album Kill a Cop for God. Ah, only in America. Who says ska is dead? The whole world’s skanking. Check out this band from South Korea; Kingston Rudieska are a tradska band that rivals Japan’s Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra in talent and sound. Visit their myspace (www.myspace.com/rudiesystem) for samples of their new EP and hear a great live rendition of Byron Lee & the Dragonnaires’ classic, Jamaican Ska. And finally, The Specials reunion feud continues. Frontman Terry Hall and keyboardist/songwriter Jerry Dammers have been bickering since the reunion was announced last year. Dammers accused Hall of excluding him from plans, prompting the singer to claim Dammers chose to opt out of the tour. Now Dammers has written an open letter to the Guardian newspaper claiming he wasn’t invited to meetings or rehearsals. Dammers writes: “Terry’s manager circulated emails from which I was excluded. Rehearsals were held without me, and I only managed to attend two - one of which was attended by only four people.” But Dammers leaves the door open for a full reunion, adding “Despite all this I never give up hope of some sort of reconciliation.” Oi oi that’s yer lot! SIMON HOBBS Next deadline is April 17. Send news, views, gig promos and abuse to email@example.com bma magazine 20
“It’s kind of lame if you haven’t put something out on vinyl. It costs a lot more money, but you’ve just gotta suck it up - it’s worth it!”
Peter Krbavac Back at home after a weekend on the road, the sense of excitement exuded by Jay Gleeson, vocalist and bassist for Sydney post-hardcore band BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP, is palpable. “We did Adelaide on Friday night and Melbourne on Saturday night with Grand Fatal - they were some of the best shows we’ve played!” he beams. With the four-piece’s debut LP nearing completion, this short run of shows has allowed the band to road test their new material - and, as Jay’s cheerful demeanour would suggest, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The first taste of new material came with last year’s Upstream 7”, which saw the band realising the dream of committing their songs to wax. “It’s kind of lame if you haven’t put something out on vinyl,” says Jay. “There’s something special about it. Obviously it costs a lot more money, but you’ve just gotta suck it up - it’s worth it!” Musically, the record caught the band in transition, marking the studio debut of new drummer Damien - formerly of Unpaid Debt. “Since then we have written songs that are a fair bit heavier, but we’ve also written stuff at the other end of the spectrum - a lot more mellow, a lot more Minus the Bear, pulled-back,” Jay reveals. “The common thread of our music is that interlocking guitar work that the boys do, and my voice probably stays fairly constant, but as far as mood and tempo goes I think we’ve managed to come up with a bit of variety.” Though Jay says the band was naturally gravitating towards a more dynamic sound, informed by key influences which include Hot Water Music, Conation, The Nation Blue and Small Brown Bike, Damien’s recruitment certainly played a major role in their sonic shift. “Having a new member come into a band at any stage is going to bring something fresh,” he notes. “Damo’s been good, not only in the drumming sense, but he’s a great musician in his own right - he’s got a fantastic voice and ideas about song writing.” After making their Canberra debut two years ago, supporting Japanese post-hardcore titans Envy, Between the Devil… will return as part of Havoc, alongside old pals Grand Fatal. “Grand Fatal have been playing a massive set!” Jay enthuses. “They’ve got a real second wind. People really need to check them out because the new record they’re writing is really world class. That sounds like something I’d obviously say, but in all seriousness it’s just fantastic.” Havoc will mark the final show on a mini tour of sorts with Grand Fatal, after which Between the Devil and The Deep will continue working towards their debut LP. At their current working pace, the band are anticipating the LP should see release by October. “We set out to take our time, but to be honest, once we got a bit of momentum going the songs started coming pretty quick, which was unexpected but not unwelcome.” Beyond the album release, plans include an extended spell slogging it out on the road, and possibly even an eye to push the overseas market. “I dunno about pushing the market…” Jay considers.“In my heart of hearts, I’d love to take it to the States. Just the experience of it - I don’t think anyone’s got any grand ideas of making coin out of it. Most of it we’d do knowing we were gonna have pretty hefty losses, but not really care. “As a band we just wanna remain relevant and keep writing songs we’re happy with. I’d love to be one of those bands that puts a record out every three or four years - takes their time about it - ‘til we’re too old to stand up.” Between the Devil and the Deep play at Havoc on Saturday April 4 at The Basement, alongside Grand Fatal, The Optionals, Lamexcuse, The Royals, Paul Demos, Reason Strikes, Pirate Satellite, Hoodlum Shouts and Ebolagoldfish. Tickets are $20 from Landspeed, The Basement and on the door from 3pm, and include a free BBQ, drink promotions and lucky door prizes. Hit myspace.com/havocfestival for more info.
bma magazine 21
The Insider “It seems like Sly & The Family Stone were sort of the San Francisco African American version of the Easybeats.”
Justin Hook Scratch the surface of any Grammy Award-winning country musician and you’ll likely find an enthusiastic Easybeats fan. Take RODNEY CROWELL for example. Getting ready for his first Australian tour, the Houston born songwriter can hear Vanda-Wright influences in places I had never previously thought possible. “I would say that Steely Dan would have taken a look at the Easybeats and said ‘Now how can we do something like that?’ Very cool music. Musically it was formally complex and you know, Friday On My Mind is one of the greatest rock songs ever assembled as far as I’m concerned.” Many would happily agree the Easybeats were not only equal to their international peers and somewhat ahead of their time, but Crowell develops this thesis even further. “It seems like Sly & The Family Stone were sort of the San Francisco African American version of the Easybeats.” Thoughtful, left-of-field and honest as ever. But we are digressing in our discussion on venerable Australian icons, for Rodney Crowell is considered one of the finest country musicians and songwriters of the last 30-plus years. In the mid-to-late ‘70s, he was a key player, and later songwriter, in Emmylou Harris’“Hot Band.” Soon after he started his own outfit, The Cherry Bombs (adding the suitable prefix ‘Notorious’ in later years), who are responsible for one of the greatest song titles in modern civilisation: It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long. In the late ‘80s Crowell was heralded as one of the shining lights of the emerging neo-traditionalist country genre, eschewing the banalities of Top 40 country “yee-hah” music. He won a Grammy in 1989 for Best Country Song with After All This Time, but by that stage had already firmly established his position as an influential figure in the country/roots singer-songwriter scene. He was on a big label and had experienced big success, but it wasn’t fazing him that much at all. As he explains, “I just get on with what I do. The big labels have more money to spend. Doesn’t mean they spend it wisely. But you know with the state of the record business they’re getting less and less every day. Pretty soon there’s gonna be five successful superstars and the rest of us are gonna be making records for small labels.” All the while Crowell has been a tireless and generous songwriter, penning hits for Harris, Bob Seger and one-time wife Roseanne Cash, daughter of Johnny. “At one time my outlook was entirely commercial. Back in the late ‘80s it was a pretty commercial sensibility. It was true to what I was doing, but that flavour went away and other flavours took its place and that’s the natural course of human history.” This period of transition and introduction of other ‘flavours’, as Crowell calls them, neatly parallels the growth of alt-country (Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Gillian Welch et al) and last year’s outstanding Joe Henry-produced, Grammy-nominated Sex & Gasoline (Yep Roc/Shock) ably proves Crowell continues to blur the boundary between folk, country, rock, roots and everything in between with consummate ease. bma magazine 22
The move away from mainstream, neo-traditionalism sits perfectly well with the Nashville based musician. “It’s not a bad thing. It’s a matter of choice. If you had to change what you did to get played on radio or run with the big dogs... What’s that? You wouldn’t even be having this conversation with me. You’d just say ‘He doesn’t believe in what he’s doing'. I’m better off with a small label. I don’t need anybody telling me what to do.” It seems that Crowell has also relaxed into the raconteur in recent years. “I took a little time off looking for new ways to be relevant. What I came up with after working ‘til I dropped was to be a storyteller - and there you have it,” he suggests. “Plus, I’m a pretty good performer now. I quite like that, and I enjoy myself in that role and I think I’m pretty good. More relaxed, better guitar player, better storyteller, better singer - just more to draw from. And I’m sexier now than I was when I was 25!” Of course that depends on where ones taste run. The poodle hair of 1988 still has plenty going for it, but Crowell is rightfully dismissive of trends: “Most people buy music according to what kind of clothes they wear.” Crowell acknowledges his fortune at being able to pursue a passion that also pays the bills and he approaches every day with the same sense of austere honesty. “I think all you get is knowing you did a good day’s work, at the end of the day. After that I don’t think you can ask anything more. I read somewhere that ‘A man who knows his job, need to ask for no other blessing’. And to me that’s just it. I’ve somehow put food on the table and kept a roof over my head for all my adult life and it’s certainly not because my intention was to make money. I get up every day and write a song. Every now and then I release a record.” Don’t go looking for answers to life’s big questions in his songs, however. “No. God forbid no. I have no idea and therefore I’ll continue to write songs. If I knew I’d really be in trouble. And besides, I feel like the question is far more important than the answer.” And if his muse dried up, what then? “Maybe I can answer a phone somewhere. Or I could be a gardener. That seems like a pretty noble pursuit.” A regular visitor to Montana’s harsh wilderness - “It focuses your attention quite well and it’s wild and a beautiful place to be - God’s country” - Crowell is hopeful of seeing some big sky country, Australianstyle, on his forthcoming tour. He’s picked two commendable source materials to bone up on Australian history, Robert Hughes’ The Fatal Shore and Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang, but he eventually exposes his Vanda-Young obsession again. “You know, I’m curious to see what’s up with AC/DC. That’s good old slamming, fill up the speakers with energy. To me there’s still a place for that stuff.” Damn right, Rodney. Rodney Crowell plays the National Folk Festival, Exhibition Park on Sunday April 12 and Monday April 13. The National Folk Festival runs between April 9 and 13, and features literally hundreds of musicians from the world over. A range of season, day and evening passes are available. For full line-up and ticketing details, head to www.folkfestival.asn.au .
“That stupid thing Silverchair and Powderfinger tried to promote, the Across The Great Divide tour, I mean they didn’t even do a gig close to the Red Centre! Miranda O'Brien With their trademark dapper suits and good old time rock and roll, THE BASICS previous albums such as 2007’s Stand Out/Fit In really should be listened to while wearing a nice blazer or frilly frock. Forming in 2004, Kris Schroeder, Wally de Backer and Tim Heath certainly know how to jimmy up a decent song with latest single With This Ship no exception. With maritime metaphors and a wicked animated filmclip Kris (vocals and bass) claims it doesn’t signify a new direction for the band, however it certainly does have a darker tone. “We hadn’t done any animation before and it meant that we didn’t have to be involved in the making of it as much. I don’t really know why we chose an animation; it was an organic thing that just happened,” says Kris when asked about the new single. With a new album on the cards there’s no firm date of when it will be released, rather the band is more interested in getting things right than committing to any particular timeframe. “The new album isn’t finished yet we’ve mixed ten of the songs at Abbey Road Studios in London. We’re going back into the studio next month to record a few more. There’s roughly 30 songs that are in contention,” says Kris. Band member Wally de Backer who also sports the hugely successful Gotye alias is nearly always cross referenced when there is any mention of The Basics. As The Basics have had nowhere near as much commercial success as Wally’s side project, you’ve gotta wonder whether the band has concerns about being perceived as Gotye’s backing band. “I think that’s just a help for Triple J listeners, I don’t think anyone actually cares. Gotye was made by Triple J; it’s kind of just a shorthand to attract people to The Basics. I don’t really care about it. Australia is pretty small fry compared to what we want to do overseas and Gotye’s pretty unknown over there,” explains Kris. Veterans of remote Aussie touring, The Basics place a strong importance on bringing their music to communities which may not otherwise have access to quality live music. “We’ve embraced outback touring since we started because people out in the sticks need the music and appreciate it in a different way than city people do,” says Kris. “I really had a heart for Indigenous communities as well as remote and rural high school students, as they don’t get much access to live music especially live original music. They usually just get cover bands.” Due to the bands approach to touring The Basics aren’t content with the Aussie touring circuit consisting of the usual capital cities. “That stupid thing Silverchair and Powderfinger tried to promote, the Across the Great Divide tour, I mean they didn’t even do a gig close to the Red Centre! There’s more to Australia then Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide,” explains Kris. When Kris discusses how much he enjoyed touring in Indigenous communities he mentions that “it’d be a good and interesting thing for everyone to do but no ones gonna do it.” Which is a little off the mark given Xavier Rudd and Blue King Brown’s commitment to frequently bringing their music to Indigenous communities. The Basics’ upcoming tour includes playing at Transit Bar where audiences will be treated to “stuff from the new album and acoustic versions of some songs.” While pretty tight lipped about the upcoming shows but alluding to them being more than your usual run of the mill gig, Kris did mention that “we’ll be translating songs in various ways.” The Basics will be translating at Transit Bar on Saturday April 23. Doors at 8pm and as per ushe it's free.
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Eons Ahead "People are reacting to the dumbing down of music... People out there are reclaiming public power"
Shailla van Raad Josh Garden was embarking on some gardening, very appropriately, during a lovely sunny South Coast day, when I neatly interrupted him for an interview. Articulate in a quiet and reassured way, Josh explained just how the electro-indie inspired hybrid band, GRAFTON PRIMARY, rose from the ashes of dance genre assassination. Ben (synth /vocals /keytar) and Josh Garden (synth/vocals) got along from the beginning, despite living separately for a while. “Although the band is based in Sydney, I lead a double life because I live in Bulli, down the South Coast. I really loved Melbourne but I moved close to Sydney because Ben lived there. Ben and I did studio stuff for a couple of years and experimented with music. We slowly started moving the music we had created from that into the live sphere. Eventually in 2006 we played a live show, which was pretty low key.” Having released their EP Relativity in 2007 and their worldwide acclaimed album Eon in 2008, Grafton Primary rock on with heavily made, pinkhairspray ’80s inspired beats. Their music transverses quickly from synthinjected melodies to a ’90s solid bottom end and the band’s soundscape reaches to all those who will listen. “The sound that we produce is a hybrid of all the places that we have lived in and the things that we have experienced. We try to send out underlying messages through our music. “I don’t think we consciously blur boundaries with our music. It’s just the musical nature of our generation. We live in a generation who view widely and listen widely. It makes sense that we blur boundaries and create fusion and hybridist styles of music.” Grafton Primary have fashioned some inspirational mashing of a now previously ‘idiot labelled’ genre. It was a genre run awry with dance outfits, inane fluoro-antics, frivolous lifestyles and ridiculous slogans. The band has remade it into something new, succulently intelligent and almost didactic. “I’ve always been into literature and philosophy. I think that there is a rising tide of intellectual culture being referenced in music at the moment. People are reacting to the dumbing down of music in the industry. People out there are reclaiming public power and this is a really positive thing. There always has been the distinguishing between high art and low art. These boundaries have been blurred because of popular culture. We now have a huge population of the industry swimming around in popular culture, reclaiming space and respecting intelligence.” Remaking a genre by creating a freshly organic resurgence with a synth baseline isn’t a task without consequences, because it affects all listeners. “Our music has evolved to be something grander, more complex and deeper because we’ve toured and played live. When you write for yourself something subconscious compels you. When you’re aware of the audience that you are writing for, you’re conscious that all these people you meet have become part of your world, and the music you make reflects that.” But for now, it’s back to gardening for Josh and reaping the benefits of Grafton Primary’s success.“We have no plans to release an album until early to mid next year. Eon still has a lot of life left in it and that’s why we’re concentrating on touring at the moment. Whatever we make next will be different from Eon, in the sense that it will grab something else in people.” Grafton Primary play at Transit Bar on April 16. Doors open at 8pm and it’s free as a freesia! bma magazine 24
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Smokin' 'em Out The TV gods (read programming executives) have answered Blackbox’s prayers. Well some of them anyway. Of the three programs this column suggested were worth lobbying for, lo and behold, two of them have appeared in advanced programming information this week. And once again it is Auntie ABC and SBS who are bringing these quality shows to our screens.
Peep Show (ABC2, Thu Apr 16, 10pm) will have you squirming in your seats as conservative office worker Mark and his layabout housemate Jeremy think and then do socially inept things you have never thought of. The difference between this and The Office or Mr Dean is that you are in their head before they do it, which is an altogether different viewing experience. Earlier the same evening, Mad Men (SBS, Thu Apr 16, 8.30pm) hits our screens. Set in a New York ad agency in 1960, the series which bagged a raft of the good Emmys (including Most Outstanding Drama), revolves around Don Draper, the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business. It’s worth it for the costuming and sets alone but is much more. So bookmark April 16 in your diary, the date Thursdays went from shows in their twilight years to must-watch TV.
“With Tommy’s wife coming on tour with us it’s been quite domestic compared to what we are used to”
Tim Galvin In Hollywood terms, the late-naughties will be popularised as the rebirth of the stoner flick. With big budget red eye radicals like Knocked Up and Pineapple Express regularly transporting free-spirited youngsters and their Dorrito-stained digits off the couch and into theatres, it was only a matter of time before fate brought them back. The Prophecy tells of two ‘chosen ones’ who grew from a tomato patch not borne of a human, but from mother earth herself. It is said that they would return every 25 years to fulfil their destiny to bring peace, love and inebriation to all. These times of economic hardship and oppression have stirred their dusty hammocks and in 2009 they return… they are CHEECH AND CHONG. After a long welcome-back comedy tour in the US and Canada, they are bringing their smouldering show to our fair shores in April and today I speak with Cheech Marin about life, lighting up and running for president.
Also coming up on ABC2 are two very different musical gems. A Journey Through American Music (ABC2, Sun Apr 12, 7.30pm) starts with the ep Blues Beginnings. Morgan Freeman, a blues enthusiast (he owns his own blues club in Mississippi) takes viewers on a trip through the Mississippi Delta to discover the music that grew out of the region that helped create rock.
“(The shows have) been amazing,” he says. “It’s like people have been waiting for the second coming! The best thing is that most of the people at our shows are in their 30s and 40s, which means that they weren’t even alive when we made those movies, [yet] they have this encyclopaedic knowledge of our humour even though they grew up without us being there.”
In a much more 21st Century approach to music, Awesome: I…Shot That! (ABC2, Wed Apr 15, 9.20pm) is the result of The Beastie Boys citizen journalism project. They handed out 50 cameras to audience members at a sold-out New York show in 2004.
With more dates than Charles Francis Harper, the tour has played out to rave reviews in the states, although these days the iconic performers are no longer ‘from’ the ‘60s but ‘in’ their 60s.
Also taking on new media is the excellent BBC spy drama Spooks (ABC1, Mon Apr 6, 9.35pm). This season is mirrored on the web, with Spooks Interactive, an online mission-based game featuring the characters and storylines from the sixth season. Hopefully Auntie’s gamble of moving it from the safety of the Friday crime spot to the frenzy of overloaded Monday nights will pay off. SCTEN has gone the other way, removing Dexter (SCTEN, Sun, 10.10pm) from the crowded Monday schedule and returning it to its traditional home on Sundays following Rove. ABC2 is starting to be a channel you need to have on the box – aside from some of the cult new programming, the folks at Auntie are choosing to fill the programming slots with some great repeats. This week they start repeating Teachers (ABC2, Tue Apr 7, 8.30pm) and they are starting at the beginning of the series. If they’d do the same with Daria in prime time they would have Chez Blackbox loyalty forever. Easter (and a long long weekend for some) is almost upon us. So far the only acknowledgement of the occasion on the box comes from the ABC (1&2), who will air a behind the scenes look at last year’s Stations of the Cross for World Youth Day in Compass: Stations of the Cross… The Making Of (ABC1, Fri Apr 10, 7.30pm and ABC2, Apr 10, 6pm). There are a couple of interesting not quite travel shows about to hit the box. Medicine Men Go Wild: World of Pain (ABC1, Wed Apr 8, 8.30pm) takes a journey through Asia to see if it is possible to conquer pain using only the mind. Around the World in 80 Gardens (ABC1, Tue Apr 14, 7.30pm) begins not with somewhere boring like Chelsea but with Mexico and Cuba. TRACY HEFFERNAN firstname.lastname@example.org
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“It’s like we never left man,” Cheech says. “It’s been gruelling to be doing so many shows, but with Tommy’s wife coming on tour with us it’s been quite domestic compared to what we are used to.” In a scenario that could have been straight from one of their classic movies, in 2003 Tommy Chong was arrested for his role in the distribution of drug-related paraphernalia through his water pipe company Chong’s Glass and was sentenced to nine months in a federal prison. The incident was viewed by many as an example of the Bush administration’s hard stance on US drug culture by making an example of the well-known entertainer, although with a new president in the oval office, Cheech believes that better days are upon us. “Absolutely - we have been under this oppressive government for so long. Obama just announced that he wouldn’t be charging people for possession of marijuana in states where it has been decriminalised - I mean it's common sense really. [Running for office] would be the last thing on my mind,” he laughs. “I guess the first thing I would do is legalise marijuana!” The Cheech and Chong Light Up Australia tour is a culmination of over 40 years of hazy history and you can guarantee there won’t be a white eye in the house. “There are lots of great skits, lots of music and dancing,” says Cheech. “Tommy and Shelby dance together, it’s kind of like a salsa I guess, then all of a sudden the show turns into Bollywood!” Finally, I close by asking the million dollar question: are the pot prophets as active with the gentle green genie today as they were in their 20s? “Nobody is that active!” he laughs. “Well we still do, but only occasionally - on stage most of the weed smoking is done by our roadies!” Cheech and Chong smoke out the Royal Theatre on Monday April 20. Tickets from Ticketek on 132 849 or ticketek.com.au .
THEATRE COLUMN An unseasonable good mood has settled over Theatre Column. Suns shine, birds twitter, stage doors open welcomingly onto a glimpse of casting couches. What’s on? What indeed… The Alchemist
Incident at Fugue Bay Canberra Dramatics’ first show of the season opened a coupla weeks ago and will close this weekend – so this is your last chance! The Incident at Fugue Bay directed by Trevar Alan Chilver is a story about love and (memory) loss and plays at 7.30pm at Tuggers Arts Centre til April 4. Tickets $20/$15 through the TCA B.O. on 6293 1443.
The gentle reader must, by now, be familiar with TC’s penchant for seventeenth century drama and – dare we say it – bored with the revelation that the Bell Shakespeare/Queensland Theatre Company co-production of Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist is sending naughty little shivers up the spine. If you don’t know the play, it satirizes… well, just about everything. And that’s the way we like it.
The Three Musketeers
Bell Shakespeare and the QTC present Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist, directed by John Bell. The Playhouse, April 24 to May 9. Bookings through Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700 or at www. canberratheatrecentre.com.au . Check out the Bell website at www. bellshakespeare.com.au for more info on the show and on Bell’s fine array of programs.
ANU Drama Honours: A short calendar of events
Auditions There’s no sweeter sound to an actor’s ear than that one tiny vocable, ‘audition’. But add to that the cream’n’cherry of ‘paid’ and it’s likely that any performer will be rushing off to perfect their monologue/dance steps/powerful rendition of If I Were a Rich Man before you can say ‘professional’. Anyway, the Street is auditioning for its next show, David Harrower’s 2006-Olivier-Best-Play-winning “blackbird”. Auditions are being held on Sunday March 29. To grab a slot, email the Street at email@example.com with your CV and a pitcher.
Ickle Pickle. Self-explanatory title. Aramis, Porthos, Athos, and… that other one. It’s panto. It’s swashbuckling. It’s for kids. I can only hope that massive hats and boot-to-the-thigh will be the order of the day. Ickle Pickle presents The Three Musketeers directed by Jordan Best. The Street Theatre, April 15 to 25. All tickets $22 – phone the Street B.O. on 6247 1223 for more info and to book. There’s something like four million ANU Drama Honours shows on between now and July. Check em out: Louis Nowra’s Summer of the Aliens from April 2 to 4 * Federico Garcia Lorca’s The Love of Don Perlimplin for Belissa in the Garden from April 23 to 25 * Ordinary Day by Dario Fo and Franca Rame from May 7 to 9. All shows at the ANU Drama Lab. Probably at 8pm. Tickets definitely at the door. Now I’m off to bask in the warm glow of shining suns and tweeting birds. Anon! NAOMI MILTHORPE firstname.lastname@example.org
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WITH DAVE RUBY HOWE Ciara Love Sex Magic ft. Justin Timberlake (Sony BMG) This is a smash. That’s all there is to it. Despite coming off very much as a FutureSex/LoveSounds hangover, it’s still terrific. The fluttering synths, nodding bass groove and pulsing beats propel this from radio to cars to clubs to everywhere you can think of. It’s how you do pop music. Flo Rida Right Round ft. Ke$ha (Warner) I’ve got to give it up to F. Rida. There’s a line that separates us. Boy from man. I admire him for this. I do. Because I wish I had the pantload to take an iconic ‘80s pop record and simultaneously shit and vomit all over it. Damn that Flo Rida. What’s his secret? Kram Silk Suits (Universal) It’s the songs that Jet rejects that makes Kram's best worst. No Through Road Party To Survive (Low Transit Industries) It’s hard to recover after the one-two combo of Flo Rida and Kram, but No Through Road come striding through with something to ward off the aforementioned misery. Atop a gameboy beat and cruising guitar chops, they bring bounce, they bring liveliness, and they bring a low-roofed sense of fun to the front. And that’s where it shall remain for the next three minutes. The Lonely Island I’m On A Boat ft. T-Pain (Universal) Equal parts parody and homage, The Lonely Island’s latest is picture perfect reproduction of status-hiphop, from the T-Pain guest verse right down to the song’s eponymous boat. Ping-ponging snares ricochet all over the beat, with a choice selection of grand-standing synths that make some seriously white guys sound like they belong on a Weezy mixtape. Oh yeah and it’s hilarious too. Whilst not as obviously funny as the group’s ode to premature ejaculation, the rhymes still bring the lols. And I don’t think I’ll get over T-Pain’s auto-tuned “motherfucker” lines either. Wes Carr Feels Like Woah (Sony BMG) The only way this could be any worse would be if Wes Carr started dancing with Courtney Cox halfway through the video. We know Wes. We like the Boss too. But you don’t see us making half-baked knock-offs now, do you?
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The Blackwater Fever Sweet Misery (Plus One Records) In the spirit of The Fumes and The Mess Hall, The Blackwater Fever churn out sound with just guitar, drums and gruff vocals. Sweet Misery is packaged to mimic a vinyl record, with the track list split into side A and side B. Each ‘side’ crackles before and after the track bursts through the speakers, tying in nicely with the dense guitar feedback. The album slips and slides through swamp rock territory, dabbling with slower paced tracks backed with crunching guitar and even sinks into hypnotic riffs reminiscent of The Birthday Party. Although some of the tracks don’t make much impact, stands-outs such as Better Off Dead definitely make up for it. A promising debut for the Brisbane duo. CHIARA GRASSIA Freya Hanly
Quiver (Independent) Freya Hanly’s uplifting album exhibits an unusual mix of jazz, folk, soulful ballads and country rhythms in this, her second release. Her charming, expressive voice is easy on the ear, and swoops and climbs like a bird in the title track Quiver. Song topics cover the whole range of emotions, from the bubbling joy of Air Balloon, to the despair of Don’t Follow Me and the humour of Bar Fly (about fending off amorous drunks at gigs).The musical arrangements are beautifully crafted, although her squeaky guitar playing distracts slightly on a couple of tracks. The feel of this collection is laid back on the lounge or lost in the clouds and drifting away. Beautifully packaged, it even comes complete with little lyrics cards so you can sing along at the traffic lights. RORY MCCARTNEY
Reel Big Fish Fame, Fortune and Fornication (Stomp) I once remember seeing an interview where Reel Big Fish said “We’re basically a cover band.” Indeed, a lot of songs sound better with a ska beat. Well, these Southern Californian usurpers of ska have a new album of cover versions. Nothing’s sacred here and RBF take the skank to MOR commercial radio standards (Van Morrison, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, The Eagles), cockrock metal (Poison, Slade/Quiet Riot) and ska revival bands (Edna’s Goldfish). They also render a Desmond Dekker track, Keep A Cool Head, and The Maytals’ Monkey Man, although that’s just a straight rip of the version on The Specials’ phenomenal debut. Try before you buy. SIMON HOBBS Roger Sanchez Renaissance 3D (Renaissance Recordings) For fans of upfront club music, Roger Sanchez has delivered one of the biggest releases of 2009 with his Renaissance 3D triple CD pack. Disc one is a feet-friendly journey through current club sounds, moving from the deep swing of Aussie producer D.O.N.S. with his massive remix of Robert Livesu & DJ Eako featuring Geneiva Hallen’s Hold Your Head Up High to the huge tribal drums of Nari & Milani Pres. DEK 33 A.T.C. mixing seamlessly into the electro vibes of Hatiras and Richard Grey, who close out this awesomely impressive mix. Disc two is a bonus of Roger’s own classic studio work and disc three is a collection of ‘back to my place’ chill out tunes, collectively rounding off my favourite dance compilation of the year so far. TIM GALVIN
Tijuana Cartel They Come (Independent) Tijuana Cartel deliver world music for the modern listener with this 12-track gem. You’ll find everything from Spanish guitar with scratching and dub featuring didge to Arabian-infused ska followed by silky smooth reggae with your classic politically-charged vocals. As the album progresses the beats get more interesting and move into faster genres with the collection of world instruments growing and changing tune by tune. Bongos keep the beat on their house tracks while Latin rhythms are slipped in to complete this very easy to listen to release. The upbeat, totally inoffensive, even tropical nature of the sounds on this album will keep you warm on a winter afternoon, make excellent company by a sunny poolside or compliment your summer barbeque perfectly. DANIKA NAYNA Vivian Girls Vivian Girls (Inertia) This album by the New York all-girl three-piece punk band seems to have been recorded inside a tin dustbin. The instruments sound tinny, the lyrics are indistinct and the same annoying drum beat intrudes into most tracks. It’s most impressive aspect was the promotional blurb - the audacious claims should win an award for fiction! Imagine The Spazzys but with only one tenth of the talent. The only glimpse of promise was Where Do You Run To, with its sweet ‘60s style harmonies. An appalling production - I will make myself listen to it every day during Lent for penance! RORY McCARTNEY
Nashville Pussy From Hell to Texas (SPV/Riot) Somewhat improbably for a band that appeared at face value to be something of a novelty act when they ‘erupted’ onto the rock scene in 1998, this Atlanta, Georgia outfit just keeps getting better and better. From Hell To Texas is their fifth studio LP, and it builds brilliantly on the foundations started with their last effort, the excellent Get Some from 2005. Of course, there’s nothing new on offer, and whilst the humour has been toned down (the excellent Lazy Jesus is the only ostensibly ‘funny’ track here), NP in 2009 is the same as NP in 1998 – just better. There’s a distinct classicism on display here, with the band quoting everyone from The Stones to Motorhead without ever sounding hackneyed, which really makes this album a pleasure to listen to. The classily scabrous Drink Driving Man in particular is worthy of mention, coming as it does from the line of ZZ Top and Ted Nugent, whilst the title track and the speed-fuelled filth of Ain’t Your Business both show some fine songwriting smarts. As my old mucker Mickey Stronge used to say, “bang on!” SCOTT ADAMS
The Bedroom Philosopher Brown and Orange (Nan and Pop Records) Many years ago I was a contestant on the TV show Gladiators. There was another kid there, a Gladiator, filling in for Vulcan who was away that week with a chest cold. He was 14 and I was 12. His name was Justin Heazlewood. My chubby boyhood body never stood a chance against his weedy yet limber frame and pubescent gladiator glass-shielded deathstares. He was the victor and I the red-faced loser. Afterwards, I ran up to him nostrils flaring. I held my head high and told him I would shoot him down in a blaze of glory, told him how I would lay me down on a bed of roses and make him sleep on a bed of nails. He looked at me, excused himself from Delta’s amorous gaze, and told me how he was in the process of harnessing the power of Geek-chic, Nan and Pop chic, weirdo-writer chic and kitsch-chic. He told me to try my hardest – nothing could hurt him. Nonetheless, I said I would make him pay. Many years passed and my chance came in the form of being the reviewer for his new album, Brown and Orange. Unfortunately, The Bedroom Philosopher (his alter ego) has trumped me once more. I can not find fault (apart from the non-involvement of myself and Ringo Starr). It is (like the man himself ) entirely enjoyable, entirely likeable, and entirely odd. Only The Bedroom Philosopher would try and make brown and orange chic, only he would write the lyrics “I want a Missy Higgins film clip (for Christmas)/I want a long term relationship with an Irish optometrist”, and only Heazlewood would tell us all that “La, La, La, can only take you so far” (there are a lot more great lines, probably better than the ones here – just go and get the album to find your own favourites). Henceforth he proves that he is a master at word-smithing and clearly can’t get enough of being different. The surprise, highlight and almost religious experiences on the album are the tracks (Brown and (Orange), where The Bedroom Philosopher has sampled a recorded letter and joke, respectively, over simple music, and by doing so, the one and only, the wonder kid, The Bedroom Philosopher, has made Brown and Orange chic. Yeah, yeah, well done and all that, just remember I still have a bed of nails with your name all over it… TIMOTHY BOCQUET
bma magazine 29
With Mark Russell; he's no-no-no, no-Tori-Amos
“B.I.G. P.O.P.P.A., no in-fo, for tha, D.E.A.” Those words struck a real chord with me. I think it was their relevance to my year nine, outer suburbs existence (dem local shops be hectic, yo). I was always more of a Tupac man myself but I still believed the streets would someday find peace again. Someday the musical Gaza strip separating East and West Coast rap would be dissolved in a crazy collaborative remix of Give Peace a Chance. Maybe new biopic Notorious could have had that effect back in the day. Who knows? I think we all just started listening to rock or something.
Notorious is a pretty lousy excuse for a bio-pic – albeit a sufficiently enjoyable one. A flimsy and shallow portrait of the Notorious B.I.G (east coast rapper who, as they say, lived fast and died young), Notorious falls short of being particularly memorable or remarkable. This film is basically one long blur of hip-hop, rap, breasts and bling. Covering Biggie’s life from young boy to rap legend, Notorious raises the typical questions involving Biggie’s friendship/rivalry with Tupac and his eventual shooting. As Biggie evolves from nobody to rap heavyweight (pun intended), he also encounters some colourful (and familiar) characters along the way – most of whom he sleeps with (see: Faith Evans, Lil Kim).
A multinational bank deals in murder, intrigue and political manoeuvring. Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) needs to use all his Interpol nous and training to catch the bad guys and punish them for killing his friend/co-worker. This is what the plot tells you you’re in for. But really, watching The International is like spending two hours at an ATM, con continuously checking your empty bank balance – you’re not surprised when it reveals ‘insufficient funds’ but it de depresses you a little more each time. The script rushes along with all the fluidity of mud. Story beat after story beat fizzles to the ground and is further stomped out by director Tom
Easy Virtue was an unexpected delight. A deliciously scandalous romp that’s fun and watchable. This loose Noel Coward adaptation is worth a look for anyone who enjoys a good ol’ twenties setting, sexual innuendo, jazz covers or Colin Firth.
bma magazine 30
John Whittaker (Ben Barnes) arrives back home to drizzly England with his new bride, the sassy and (gasp!) American Larita (Jessica Biel). John’s family have a little bit of trouble accepting Larita – his two odd and slightly pathetic sisters, his sardonic father (Colin Firth) and particularly his controlling mother (Kristin Scott Thomas). Needless to say, the headstrong and independent Larita struggles to fit in, and scandals, scheming and sauciness ensue.
“I know motherf**kers who KNOW motherf**kers.” Notorious
Though Notorious does explore the West Coast versus East Coast divide of that era, director George Tillman Jr. never really follows the themes and issues through to their full potential, and is also quite obviously taking some artistic liberties in terms of the truth. My main problem with this film is that you barely have an emotional investment in Biggie – especially when you’re watching him roll around manhandling his wife, selling crack and sleeping with everyone he meets. I spent the whole of Notorious merely waiting for the next recognisable rap or character. Tillman Jr. does try to pull some heartstrings towards the end – the funeral procession scene being a particularly obvious effort – but by then it’s too late.
While Notorious does look at the interesting relationship between Biggie and Tupac, it in no way explores either of their characters in depth, or Biggie’s life story in general. Relying on some heavy-handed ‘now he’s become a man’ symbolism and tying Biggie’s ‘unfinished business’ up a little too conveniently also takes the edge off what could have been a great bio-pic. Notorious is all shine and no substance. Sadly, it falls short of being in any way affecting or inspiring, although I didn’t exactly have a bad time watching it. Best viewed when a) a Biggie fan, b) drunk, c) with a large pack of rowdy friends or d) all of the above.
Twyker. The bank’s board of directors are given more power and more psychotic tendencies and yet manage to be progressively less impressive. And then suddenly we’re in a shootout in The Guggenheim – it’s an eighties action movie now apparently. Five minutes of bullets spraying round and nothing is accomplished except Clive being a little more pissed off and a little more curious. This is par for the course really as his forehead does most of the acting – furrowing in angry confusion at the appearance of each new clue. Somewhere in the mix is Naomi Watts as a New York District Attorney. She’s there to brood and look like a powerful, educated woman but then
disappear at the first sign of trouble. Paint-by-numbers film is nothing new. We’ve seen it in action, romantic comedy and (to a lesser extent) porn for years. But it doesn’t work as well in ‘international political thrillers’. The International is flat, lifeless and insipid cinema that is only unpredictable when you can’t believe they chose that particular cliché to go with. When you factor in that Twyker is the man behind the superb, and oh-so-exciting, Run Lola Run, it all gets too hard to bear.
While Easy Virtue does take a few liberties in terms of Coward’s story, it’s a well-constructed film that also has some depth underneath its stylish exterior. Even though the film explores a few darker and more thoughtprovoking themes, especially towards the end, it never shifts too drastically in tone and is definitely helped along by some exceptional acting. Scott Thomas is brilliant as John’s mother – you despise, pity and just want to understand the poor woman. She makes a complex character really come alive – Mrs Whittaker never becomes just a used-up stereotype, even as she stomps around screaming for her dog. Barnes contributes about as much to the film as a pretty piece of garden furniture, but that’s sort of the point – this film really belongs to the two female leads. Firth is obviously
magnificent as John’s father: mixing just the right amount of brooding, tortured Englishman with sarcastic, indifferent cad. The real surprise for me was Biel, who balances out worldly Larita’s feistiness and light-hearted sass with glimpses of a more troubled soul. Biel also has a nice chemistry with the rest of the cast (notably Firth), really sparkling in a lot of her scenes. My main problem was her age – she supposedly has many years of experience and emotional baggage on fresh-faced John, years that you just don’t see on her wide-eyed face. Overall, a fun and enjoyable film - not too heavy, not too light, just… well, you know the rest. MEGAN McKEOUGH
GIG REVIEWS Midnight Oil @ The Royal Theatre, Friday March 13 “It’s Friday night, I’ve got a beer - now’s a good time to play US Forces!” Peter Garrett grins, looking over one shoulder at his bandmates. Having cast off the shirt and tie for the weekend, it’s somewhat paradoxical that the man looks truly relaxed when he’s onstage, delivering his vocals with the kind of ferocity, the kind of venom, that belies his mild-mannered ministerial persona. The flurry of excitement surrounding Midnight Oil’s back-to-back Canberra shows, a warm up for their headlining performance at the historic Sound Relief concert, was proof - if proof was needed - of their enduring popularity. As you’d expect, it was an unashamedly dedicated audience that filled The Royal Theatre. While many trendier-than-thou types would scoff at the prospect of wearing a band’s shirt to the same band’s gig, tonight the stands were awash with Midnight Oil shirts; some faded, tattered and stretched out of shape, others brand new, slipped on over dress shirts. While primarily dominated by those you might term ‘middle-aged’, there were enough younger types in the crowd to suggest that those tattered copies of 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 which invariably crop up in the crates at used record stores are going to good homes. With such an expansive canon, set list selection was always going to be difficult, but the band nailed it with a broad selection stretching from 2002’s swansong Capricornia back to 1980’s Bird Noises EP - though the front row tried their hardest to extract the likes of Bus to Bondi and Powderworks from the band. Interestingly, ‘newer’ cuts often proved set highlights: the snarling riffage of Redneck Wonderland - the title track of 1998’s LP of the same name, recorded as the shadow of Pauline Hanson and One Nation loomed over the political landscape - sounded as urgent and vital as ever, while the jangley pop whimsy of Surf’s Up from 1996’s unfairly maligned Breathe provided an interesting curio for the devoted fan. But of course, the lion’s share of the set was from 10 to 1, Diesel and Dust and Blue Sky Mining, provided more of a ‘greatest hits’-style set, compared to Thursday’s somewhat esoteric selection. As the band mentioned in interviews before the shows, they hadn’t played together in five years and were keen to compile varied sets, as much for their own enjoyment as their fans. Garrett was in fine form, hitting the high notes in Blue Sky Mining with ease, wailing away on the ol’ mouth harp, stalking around the stage and lurching about in his trademark style. The twin guitar interplay of Martin Rotsey - who, ever the stoic workman, slung his Jaguar with minimum fuss - and eternal studio-body Jim ‘The Genie’ Moginie was as intrinsic as ever, while hard-hitting Rob Hirst - a man for whom the now-clichéd term ‘powerhouse drummer’ was invented - propelled things along - the addition of a corrugated iron tank to his kit providing extra atmospherics in one of his solos. Bassist and vocalist Bones Hillman, who’d jetted in from the States a few day’s prior, underpinned proceeding with his melodic basslines and, like Garrett, was in fine form vocally. While many bands’ will soften with age, Midnight Oil fly in the face of such carry on, playing decades old songs faster and harder than they ever appeared on record. With only a couple of days to rehearse - and if rumours are to be believed, a mere afternoon for Garrett, who’d been overseas on official duties - the band sounded as if they’d never left off – perhaps not surprising, given their 30-year history, and the fact that members have regularly been collaborating under their various other musical projects since Midnight Oil disbanded. The crowd reaction was nothing short of ecstatic, a previously unseen sense of vitality filling the cavernous Royal Theatre with people dancing in the aisles all the way back to the very last row of seating. Without falling into hyperbole, you got the feeling you were witnessing something very special indeed. PETER KRBAVAC AND ANDREW MAYO
Midnight Oil photos by Andrew Mayo bma magazine 31
Celebrate In The Park photos by Nick Brightman bma magazine 32
Celebrate in the Park @ Commonwealth Park, Monday March 9 I was prepared to be disappointed with Jessica Mauboy, particularly when the compere stated that this was her first time in public with a live band (oh no, not one of those popstars). However, I was pleasantly surprised. From her confident performance you’d think she appeared with live backing every day of the week. She looked the goods too, in chic black with loads of gold jewellery. Jessica’s powerful, flexible voice punched out both cavern deep and stratospheric notes and was capable of switching between them fast enough to make your ears pop. The dance and funk tunes were immensely popular with the teenyboppers down the front, as well as the mums with small kids (and bigger kids too) amongst the crowd. In addition to her own material, Jessica served up a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time. Kate MillerHeidke continued the black and gold theme, though with a definitely more avant-garde outfit. She kicked off with Little Adam from her debut album before leaping into I Like You Better When You’re Not Around from the new collection Curiouser. The set included many offerings from the new album, which is faster and more operatic than Little Eve and still deliciously bizarre. Compared to my last viewing of her in the confines of The Green Room, the big stage permitted a wilder, more flamboyant presentation. Kate conducted the tempo of the band with her arms, hands and fingers and hammed it up in a dance routine with vocalist/ acoustic guitarist Nicole during the closing number Can’t Shake It. In a wild rendering of operatic pop, Kate’s incredible voice blew Jessica’s not inconsiderable vocal range into the weeds. I wondered how the largely mainstream crowd took all this in. They would have recognised the cover of John Farnham’s You’re the Voice but would have been awestruck by the incredible musical arrangement. Magic! RORY McCARTNEY Sound Relief @ The SCG, Saturday March 14 In the wake of the devastating Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods, the Aussie music industry rallied and pulled out all stops to help ease the pain for those in need. The effort came in the form of two enormous benefit concerts, aptly named Sound Relief, held simultaneously at the SCG and MCG on March 14, with proceeds going to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal and Queensland Disaster Relief Fund. The Melbourne line-up was brilliant, with bands like Midnight Oil, Split Enz and Hunters & Collectors reforming for the show and joining international king-hitters Kings of Leon and a veritable who’s-who of our current talent pool. Sydney-siders weren’t short-changed, either. Coldplay headlined a cracking bill alongside The Presets, Jet, Little Birdy, You Am I, Eskimo Joe, Wolfmother and a bundle of others. With a sold-out show to play later that evening, Coldplay reversed the normal headlining protocol and opened proceedings early in the day, much to the pleasure of the SCG throng. The Brit fourpiece treated fans to a 40-minute set of feel-good faves, including Yellow, Clocks and Fix You. The latter track saw ever-smiling frontman, Chris Martin, leap off the stage and run half-way around the SCG through ecstatic fans and bewildered security guards. It was one of the highlights of the show, rivalled only by the unexpected appearance of John Farnham who joined the band onstage to perform You’re the Voice. Wolfmother mk II, now a four-piece, were greeted with a deafening roar and delivered rousing renditions of Colossal, Joker and the Thief, White Unicorn and a new track, Pilgrims. The amps had barely cooled before the band hot-footed it to the airport and jumped a plane to Melbourne to play the MCG show later that evening. The Hoodoo Gurus, Little Birdy and Architecture in Helsinki all delivered crowd-pleasing performances, as did You Am I, Josh Pyke and Eskimo Joe. The relatively brief playing times saw most bands opt for short, greatest-hits sets, which were interspersed with live feeds from the Melbourne concert. As you’d expect, there was no shortage of singalongs. “Here’s yer new national anthem,” smiled You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, before launching into Berlin Chair. Eskimo Joe threw in From the Sea and Black Fingernails, Red Wine, while The Hoodoo Gurus reminded everyone of the depth of their back catalogue by plucking out gems like 1,000 Miles Away, The Right Time and, of course, What’s My Scene? Like Wolfmother, Jet generously agreed to play the Sydney and Melbourne shows. And they didn’t disappoint. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. Then there were the Presets - only Coldplay received a more enthusiastic response. And let’s not forget Icehouse, Taylor Swift, Marcia Hines, Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John. It was a concert for all tastes and ages, which was entirely appropriate given the cause. Hats off to everyone who made it possible. ANDREW MAYO
Sound Relief photos by Andrew Mayo bma magazine 33
BMA BAND PROFILE
PIRATE SATELLITE Where did your band name come from? Inspired by Joe Strummer paying tribute to the pirate radio stations broadcasting censored and ‘undesirable’ music and news in Britain in the ‘70s (we had the name before we heard about this movie coming out). Group members: Nard Young - guitar/vocals Simon Murphy - drums/banjo Alex Young - bass Describe your sound: Early Against Me! with Missy Higgins singing. Who are your influences, musical or otherwise? Bob Dylan, Against Me!, Alistair Hewlett, Redgum, Frank Turner, Mischief Brew, The Pogues, The Clash, Van Morrison, Chuck Ragan, Rancid, Choking Victim, leftover crack, etc etc… What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had whilst performing? Anwering this question. What’s your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far? Getting Animal Dude (Murph) to join the band – he is a former child star you know. What are your plans for the future? Resurrecting Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer and partying with them, and if that doesn’t work, partying by ourselves. What makes you laugh? Simo (that two-faced little runt). What pisses you off? Missing Midnight Oil. What’s your opinion of the local scene? Strong to very strong… What are your upcoming gigs? Saturday April 4 – Havoc 3 Festival at The Basement. Starts at 3pm. BBQ. Saturday April 18 – Punk In The Park. Commonwealth Park Amphitheatre. Starts at 1pm. BE THERE! Saturday April 25 – The Pot Belly with The Toxicmen, All In Brawl and Outcome Unknown. Contact info: Alex: 0414 815 481/ Nard: 0403 981 860, email@example.com or www.myspace.com/piratesatellitemusic
Aaron Peacey Aaron 0410 381 306 Adam Hole Adam 0421 023 226 Afternoon Shift Adam 0402 055 314 After Close Scotty 0412 742 682, firstname.lastname@example.org Alcove Mark 0410 112 522 Alice 0423 100 792 Allies ACT (Oxfam Group) email@example.com/ myspace.com/alliesact Amphibian Sound PA Clare 0410 308 288 Amplif5'd Classic rock covers band Joy 0407 200 428, joybarac-heath@ hotmail.com.au Annie & the Armadillos Annette 6161 1078/0422 076 313 The Ashburys Dan Craddock 0419 626 903 Aria Stone singer/songwriter(guitar), sax & flute Aria 0411 803 343 Australian Kingswood Factory Sharon 0412 334 467 Australian Songwriters Association (Keiran Roberts) 6231 0433 Arythmia: Ben 0423 408 767/ firstname.lastname@example.org Backbeat Drivers Steve 0422 733 974, www.backbeatdrivers.com Bastards Jamie 0424 857 282/ www.bastards.altpro.net Big Boss Groove Andrew 0404 455 834, www.bigbossgroove.com.au Birds Love Fighting Gangbusters/DIY shows - email@example.com Black Label Photography Kingsley 0438 351 007 Blister Bug Stu 0408 617 791 Bridge Between, The Rachel 0412 598 138, thebridgebetween.com.au Bruce Stage mgr/consultant 6254 9857 Casual Projects Julian 0401 016 885 Catchpenny Nathan 0402 845 132 Caution Horses Nigel 0417 211 580 CD and Website Design Brendan 0404 042 574 Chris Harland Blues Band 0418 490 640 firstname.lastname@example.org Clear Vision Films rehearsals/film clips/ stunts - 0438 647 281 wcoulton.clearvisionfilms.com Cold Heart Projects Andrew 6294 5450 Cole Bennetts Photography 0415 087 email@example.com Colourful Racing Identities Josh 0410 135 605 Cool Weapon Luke 0410 983 450/ Josh 0412 863 019 Cris Clucas Cris 6262 5652 Crooked Dave 0421 508 467 Cumulonimbus Matt 0412 508 425 Dance With Amps Marcus 0421 691 332 Danny V Danny 6238 1673/0413 502 428 DayTrippers, The Reidar 0414 808 677, firstname.lastname@example.org (dp) New Media Artists Mal 0414 295 297 Dogact email@example.com, Paulie 0408 287 672 D’Opus & Roshambo firstname.lastname@example.org DJs Madrid and Gordon 0417 433 971 DJ/MC Bootcamp Donte 9267 3655 DJ Latino Rogelio 0401 274 208 DJ Moises (RnB/Latin) 0402 497 835 or moises_lopez@hotmail DNA Vic 0408 477 020 Drumassault Kate 0414 236 323 Easy Mode Daz 0404 156 482, email@example.com Entity Chris 0412 027 894 Epic Flagon firstname.lastname@example.org EYE email@example.com Fighting Mongooses, The Adam 0402 055 314 Final Warning Brendan 0422 809 552 Fire on the Hill Aaron 0410 381 306/ Dan 0410 480 321 FirePigs, The Danny 6238 1673/0413 502 428 4dead Peter 0401 006 551 Freeloaders, The Steve 0412 653 597 Friend or Enemy 6238 0083, www.myspace.com/friendorenemy Funk Shui Dave 0407 974 476 Gareth Hailey DJ & Electronica 0414 215 885 GiLF Kelly 0410 588 747, firstname.lastname@example.org Guff Damian 6230 2767 HalfPast Chris 0412 115 594 Hancock Basement Tom 6257 5375, email@example.com Happy Hour Wendy 0406 375 096
Haunted Attics firstname.lastname@example.org Hitherto Paul 0408 425 636 Infra Retina Kyle 0437 137 775/Michael 0430 353 893/www.infra-retina.com In The Flesh Scott 0410 475 703 Inside the Exterior Nathan 0401 072 650 Itchy Triggers Andrew 0401 588 884 Jacqui Seczawa 0428 428 722 JDY Clothing 0405 648 288/ www.jdyclothing.com Jenn Pacor singer/songwriter avail. for originals & covers, 0405 618 630 Jennifer Versatile singer looking for band; 0422 158 362 Jim Boots 0417 211 580 Karismakatz DJ Gosper 0411 065 189/dj@ karismakatz.com Kayo Marbilus myspace.com/kayomarbilus Kurt's Metalworx (PA) 0417 025 792 Lenders, The Tim 6247 2076 Little Smoke Sam 0411 112 075 Los Chavos Jules 0413 223 573 email@example.com Manilla Green Herms 0404 848 462, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mario Brujo Gordon world/latin/reggae/ percussionist and DJ. 0405 820 895 Martin Bailey Audio Engineer 0423 566 093 Malumba Dan 6253 5150 Meatbee Ben 0417 492 560 Mercury Switch Lab Studios email@example.com Missing Zero Hadrian Brand 0424 721 firstname.lastname@example.org Moots email@example.com Huck 0419 630 721 Murder Meal Combo Anthony 0419 630 721 MuShu Jack 0414 292 567, firstname.lastname@example.org Myriad Kath 6253 8318 MyOnus email@example.com/ www.myspace.com/myonus Neptune's Necklace Mark 6253 1048 No Retreat Simon 0411 155 680 Ocean Moses Nigel 0417 211 580 OneWayFare Chris 0418 496 448 Painted Hearts, The Peter 6248 6027 Para 0402 277 007 Petra Elliott Petra 0410 290 660 Phathom Chris 0422 888 700 The Pigs The Colonel 0422 412 752 Polka Pigs Ian 6231 5974 Premier Audio Simon 0412 331 876, firstname.lastname@example.org Queanbeyan Music & Electronics 6299 1020 Redletter Ben 0421 414 472 Redsun Rehearsal Studio Ralph 0404 178 996/6162 1527 Rhythm Party, The Ross 0416 010 680 Roger Bone Band Andy 0413 483 758 Rob Mac Project, The Melinda 0400 405 537 Rug, The Jol 0417 273 041 Samsara Samahdi 0431 083 776 Sansutra J-Ma 0403 476 350 Sara Vancea Sara 6247 9899 Sindablok Duncan 0424 642 156 Simone Penkethman (Simone & The Soothsayers, Singing Teacher) 6230 4828 Soundcity Rehearsal Studio Andrew 0401 588 884 Solid Gold Peter 0421 131 887/ email@example.com Stalker and Liife Darren 0413 229 049 Super Best Friends Matt 0438 228 748 Surrender Jordan 0439 907 853 Switch 3 Mick 0410 698 479 System Addict Jamie 0418 398 556 Taboo Bamboo Greg 0439 990 455 That ‘80s Band Ty 0417 265 013 The Morning After (covers band) Anthony 0402 500 843/ myspace.com/themorningaftercovers Tim James Lucia 6282 3740, LUCIAMURDOCH@hotmail.com Top Shelf Colin 0408 631 514 Transmission Nowhere Emilie 0421 953 519/myspace.com/transmissionnowhere Udo 0412 086 158 Undersided, The Baz 0408 468 041 Using Three Words Dan 0416 123 020, firstname.lastname@example.org Voodoo Doll Mark 0428 650 549 William Blakely Will 0414 910 014 Woden Youth Centre Jeremy 6282 3037 Zeitgeist www.zeitgeist.xwave Zero Degrees and Falling Louis 0423 918 793 Zwish 0411 022 907
GIG GUIDE April 2 - 4 THURSDAY APRIL 2
THURSDAY APRIL 2
ARTS _____________ Andrew Mayo Exhibition: Guys, Girls, Guitars BMA's own Mayo shows us why he's one of the best rock photographers in the region, if nay Australia. There, I said it. Runs until Apr 14 THE FRONT, WATTLE ST, LYNEHAM The Incident at Fugue Bay Can a fledgling romance survive the return of a dead fiancé? Buy your $20/$15 conc ticket, and you can find out. Play written and directed by Trevar Alan Chilver. Runs until Apr 4 TUGGERANONG ARTS CENTRE Bert Flugelman An exhibition comprising a major survey of the stainless steel-wielding master. Runs until Apr 5 ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY, ACTON Gabrielle Powell: New Works in Crucible Showcase Runs until May 2 CRAFT ACT GALLERY, CIVIC SQ Tiffany Parbs: cosemetic Run until May 2 CRAFT ACT GALLERY, CIVIC SQ Jay Kockel: Touch Me Gertrude Stein Exploring object-making with an emphasis on tactility and interaction. Until May 2 CRAFT ACT GALLERY, CIVIC SQ Anna Madeleine: Plastic Surgery Runs until Apr 5 CCAS, MANUKA An Act of Surrender Celebrating two ACT anniversaries; 20 years of selfgovernment, and the centenary of the survey for the city of Canberra by Charles Robert Scrivener. Until Jun 14 CANBERRA MUSEUM AND GALLERY, LONDON CCT, CIVIC Charles Darwin Exhibition Includes his travels and research work and shows how they helped shape his publication: The Origin of the Species. Runs until Apr 12. Free entry NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA, LAWSON CRESCENT, ACTON PENINSULA A is for Animals Exhibition The A to Z of animals in warfare AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, TRELOAR CRES, CAMPBELL
Shell-Shocked: Australia After Armistice Follow journeys of repatriation and resettlement after WWI. The exhibition combines government records with personal stories. Runs until Apr 27. Free NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, KING EDWARD TERRACE Alexandra Gillespie: Collars/ Dionisia Salas Hammer: A * C Odyssey/Mat De Moiser: Damaged Goods An exhibition triple bill. Til May 22 CCAS, GORMAN HOUSE Marilyn Hutchinson: Comment A survey of the Belco-based artist's visual art and creative writing. Until April 9 BELCONNEN COMMUNITY CENTRE, SWANSON COURT
LIVE _____________ Straight Arrows All the way from Sydney, playing a youthful mix of fuzz, feedback, mess and spirit apparantly. $5 BAR 32, N'THBOURNE AVE, CIVIC The McClymonts THE VIKINGS CLUB, ERINDALE Ben Ransom From 9pm to midnight KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Tuggeranong Youth Centre Open Day A massive day for the kids, with giant twister, comps for Rockstar, Mario Kart and Pool, plus BBQ breakfast and live music TUGGERANONG YOUTH CENTRE, CNR HOWELL AND PITTMAN ST Mingle Presented by Univibes TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Carry On Karaoke PJ O'REILLY'S, CIVIC Karaoke With Grant PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG Karaoke From 9-11pm. Cash prizes and 2-4-1 basic spirits and tap beer CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC
THURSDAY APRIL 2
friday APRIL 3
Stimulation Party Mmm, saucey... ANU BAR, ACTON Jemist The 'mist is back, with his ample pouch of groove KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE Trash Thursdays $2 drinks until 2am and discounted cocktails. With DJs Adam and Esscue. 2 for 1 entry with Uni sticker ACADEMY, CIVIC
Girl Thing/Fuse Mag Launch A night of electro and house music just for girls with Tori Mac from 9 'til 1am, followed by the Fuse Magazine Launch with DJ Matt Chavasse. Free entry 'til 11pm CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC Ug Beats With special guest Anthony Pappa. Free entry TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Snap! The regular D&B night returns, with Ambassador (Adelaide), Centaspike, Karton, Buick, Fourthstate, Poser, DJ C, Twisted System, Escha, Ric, Chils, Kilojulz, Harlequin MC and Crooked Sound System HOLY GRAIL, CIVIC Shunji He know where it's at. Free BBQ from 6pm KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE
friday APRIL 3
LIVE ____________ Killrazer MEEEETTAAALLLLL! With Tortured, Chud and Unholy Vendetta ANU BAR, ACTON After Work Jazz From 5 to 8pm KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC The Bandits From 10pm to 2am KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC Ruckus Wollongong punk, with locals The Toxicmen, All In Brawl and Eye Gouge. $10 entry THE BASEMENT, BELCONNEN The Dan Granero Band From 7pm CHISHOLM TAVERN Rev Canberra’s weekly alternative club night with two levels of DJs playing rock/indie/dance/punk/pop BAR 32, SYDNEY BUILDING, CIVIC
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Dylan Moran So funny is the Black Books frontman, that this show is sold out. There's another one on Apr 29, so call 132 849 to see if you're in luck ROYAL THEATRE, CIVIC
ARTS _____________ 70 Pieces of Our World Presenting 70 pieces selected from the creative work of the Canberra Art Workshop's 230 members. Runs until Apr 12 M16 ARTSPACE, FYSHWICK
SATURDAY APRIL 4
ARTS _____________ African Drumming & Dance Workshop With Mohamed Bangoura from Guinea, West Africa HALL @ CANBERRA BAPTIST CHURCH, KINGSTON ARC: Other Film Brisbane's Other Film collective takes the Archive over for a series of projections and performances on the walls and screens of the NFSA ARC CINEMA, McCOY CCT, ACTON
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Parlour First Birthday: Taste the Harvest Parlour's seasonal degustation continues, coinciding with the Australian/Spanish end of grape harvest season, and their first blessed year of existence. Call 6162 3656 for bookings PARLOUR, NEW ACTON, CIVIC Free Massage in The Pub De-stress with Therapy Masters free neck and shoulder massages KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
GIG GUIDE April 4 - 15 saturday april 4
saturday april 4
sunday april 5
DAY PLAY _____________
Gorman House Markets GORMAN HOUSE Burley Griffin Antique Centre KINGSTON FORESHORE
Fake Blood (UK) With RyFy and Sean Kelly in support. Tix $15 from Landspeed, Parliament and inthemix.com.au ACADEMY, BUNDA ST, CIVIC Shakedown! Indie/alt/dance action. Free before 10pm BAR 32, SYDNEY BUILDING, CIVIC Chrome Your monthly night of darkness, with resident DJs Salem, Stealth. Elf, metaVirus and guest DJ BadPauly (Syd). From 9pm, $6 entry HOLY GRAIL, CIVIC D'Opus He of the moist decks, throwin' down old-school hip-hop, funk 'n' soul KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE Candy Cube With DJs Peter Dorree and Matt Chavasse. From 10pm til 5am CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC
Jazz Uncovered Showcasing the best in modern jazz, with 25 bands over four stages. Raising money for Wellwishers, providing wells for poor villages in Ethiopia. From 10am to 10.30pm, $30/$20 concession from www.jazzuncovered.net, or on the door FOLKUS ROOM, ITALOAUSTRALIAN CLUB, FORREST Jan Preston With DJ Gosper in tow. From 12:30-3:30pm LERIDA ESTATE WINERY
LIVE _____________ Havoc Homegrown punk fest featuring Grand Fatal, Lamexcuse, The Optionals, Between the Devil and the Deep and loads more. From 3pm, $20 THE BASEMENT, BELCONNEN Lucinda Williams Country music's first lady. Tickets from 6275 2700 CANBERRA THEATRE, CIVIC Luka Bloom The Irish troubadour playing the first of three shows, on Apr 4, 5 and 6. Check 132 849 for ticket availability TILLEY'S, LYNEHAM Waterford Local alt-country rockers, oft compared to The Replacements. With The Jump Set and Loud so Clear. From 8pm, $5 entry THE POT BELLY, BELCONNEN The Trivs and The Sunpilots Local faves and interstate regulars join forces for a night of indie lovin' TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Metal Show What it says on the box... ANU BAR, ACTON Fred Smith Band THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC Oscar From 10.30pm to 2.30am KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC Jacob Cordover & Alex Tsiboulski Two international competition winning classical guitarists $25/conc $20 WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE, FORREST Jan Preston The queen of the boogie woogie piano returns, with blues harpman Doc Span in tow. From 12:30-3:30pm LERIDA ESTATE WINERY Ruthie Foster THE FOLKUS ROOM, MAWSON
sunday april 5
DAY PLAY _____________ Tuggeranong Homestead Markets TUGGERANONG HOMESTEAD Irish Jam Session From 5pm KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
DANCE _____________ Cube Sunday With DJ TJ. From 10pm 'til late, with free pool! CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Auto Italia 2009 Over 30 Ferraris will be on show. Head to autoitaliocanberra.com for more info ON THE LAWNS OF OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE $10 Schnitzel Sunday THE DURHAM CASTLE ARMS, GREEN SQUARE, KINGSTON
MONDAY april 6
LIVE _____________ Bootleg Sessions THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC
TUESday April 7
Musical Madness @ Filthy's With The Bridge Between and The Mighty Blusicians. Free entry FILTHY McFADDEN'S, KINGSTON
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Fame Trivia From 7:30-10:30pm THE DURHAM, KINGSTON Pot Belly Trivia POT BELLY BAR, BELCONNEN Carry-On Karaoke TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Trivia Night PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG Trivia Night HOLY GRAIL, KINGSTON Trivia Night THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC wednesday april 8
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
Hospitality Night You there! Come and supple from the brand new Tiger on tap TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Meat Raffle Every beer bought scores you a raffle ticket THE DURHAM CASTLE ARMS, GREEN SQUARE, KINGSTON Trivia in the Trams TRADIES CLUB, DICKSON
Desert Devils Recent paintings by Graham Eadie and Frank Thirion. To be opened by Ruth Waller, head of painting at the ANU School of Art from 6pm. Until April 19 ANCA GALLERY, DICKSON
TUESday April 7
ARTS _____________ Stomp Crash! Bang! Whomp! Mint! The world famous rhythmic clanging and dancing show descends on Canberra for a run of 8 shows starting tonight, and running until Apr 12. Tix from Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700 CANBERRA THEATRE, CIVIC
LIVE _____________ Chuse Jazz Tuesdays (TRINITY) BAR, DICKSON Voices of Youth Gala Concert With VoxSynergy; runners up in Channel 7's Battle of the Choirs. $40/conc $25 WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE, FORREST
LIVE _____________ Wednesday Lunchtime Live From 12:40-1:20pm. $2 WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE, FORREST Live Entertainment Complete with Happy Hour PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG The Wedded Bliss THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Fame Trivia PJ O'REILLY'S, CIVIC Carry-On Karaoke From 7:30pm. $1000 grand prize THE DURHAM, KINGSTON Karaoke Night HOLY GRAIL KINGSTON $5 Night TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC
WANTED: NEW MUSIC FOR RADIO Get your music heard on Australiaâ€™s first digital radio station dedicated to undiscovered artists
thursday april 9
saturday april 11
MONDAY APRIL 13
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
If I Were a Squirrel, and Other Stories By Amy Nguyen. Runs 'til Apr 19 CCAS, FURNEAUX, MANUKA ARC: Jailhouse Rock One of Elvis' best, from director Richard Thorpe. The King stars as a con who discovers the true heart of country music whilst doing time ARC CINEMA, McCOY CCT, ACTON
Karaoke From 9-11pm. Cash prizes and 2-4-1 basic spirits and tap beer CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC Karaoke With Grant PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG
Hospitality Night You there! Come and supple from the brand new Tiger on tap TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Trivia in the Trams From 7:15pm TRADIES CLUB, DICKSON
Pajama Party Dress up in yer PJs or as a bunny. With DJs Robbie Blaze and Rawson on the cut MOOSEHEADS, CIVIC
Rather Large Featuring local electronic juggernauts Karton. Free entry TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Shakedown! Indie/alt/dance with all your favourite spinners. Free entry before 10pm BAR 32, SYDNEY BUILDING, CIVIC Candy Cube With DJs Peter Dorree and Matt Chavasse. From 10pm til 5am CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC DJ Marty Faux & DJ Adam Miller From 9pm KREMLIN BAR, 65 NORTHBOURNE AVENUE, CIVIC Rowan Marshcrost KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE
thursday april 9
Shockwave feat: Seven AKA Eddy Woo (UK) A dubstep night with Crooked Sounds, Bohl [sic] & Scissors, Poser and Harlequin MC. 9pm til late. $10 MONKEY BAR, BUNDA ST, CIVIC Kid Kenobi & MC Shureshock On the Klub Kids Tour. With supports The Aston Shuffle, Hubert, Dave Norgate and Beat It LOT 33, KENNEDY ST, KINGSTON Reason Hip-hop to the max, baby ANU BAR, ACTON Trash Thursdays ACADEMY, CIVIC Ashley Feraude The nicest man in dance music. Handy on the ol' decks, too KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE llik llik llik Featuring Dan Block Disco TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC
LIVE _____________ National Folk Festival The massive four day folk bender is finally here. The music! The workshops! The food stalls! The culture! One of the most exciting events on the Canberra calendar, so make sure you're involved. Runs until Apr 13. Jump onto folkfestival.asn.au for further details EXHIBITION PARK, MITCHELL Bermuda and Hospital The Musical A night of tech metal action. $10 entry THE BASEMENT, BELCONNEN The Remnants From 9pm 'til midnight KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
FRIDAY april 10
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
LIVE _____________ Rev Hop into Rev for your weekly dose of DJs playing rock/ indie/dance/punk/pop BAR 32, SYDNEY BUILDING, CIVIC After Work Jazz From 5-8pm KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC Charles Chatain From 10pm to 2am KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
DANCE _____________ Easter Cheese (Lite) The retro night gets an Easter makeover, with DJ Bryan TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Purfect Friday ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB, CIVIC Nathan Frost Tha 'bridge's decks experience a touch of Frost. Free BBQ at 6pm KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE saturday april 11
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ '80s Music With DJ Craig PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG
LIVE _____________ The Fuelers With Pat Capocci Combo and Warren Earl THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC Oscar From 10.30pm to 2.30am KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC SUNDAy APRIL 12
DAY PLAY _____________ Tuggeranong Homestead Markets TUGGERANONG HOMESTEAD Vince Gelonese From 10pm KING O'MALLEY'S, CIVIC
ARC: The Goonies Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg's cult adventure classic, starring then-teens Josh Brolin, Sean Astin and Martha Plimpton. 4:30pm ARC CINEMA, McCOY CCT, ACTON ARC: Midnight Cowboy Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman star in this New York Hollywood classic. 7:30pm ARC CINEMA, McCOY CCT, ACTON
Cube Sunday With DJ TJ. From 10pm 'til late, with free pool! CUBE NIGHTCLUB, CIVICS
TUESDAY APRIL 14
LIVE _____________ Chuse Jazz Tuesdays (TRINITY) BAR, DICKSON Musical Madness @ Filthy's With Jo Telfer and seven-piece Kooky Fandango. Free entry FILTHY McFADDEN'S, KINGSTON
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Carry-On Karaoke TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC Fame Trivia THE DURHAM, KINGSTON Pot Belly Trivia POT BELLY BAR, BELCONNEN Trivia Night PJ O'REILLY'S, TUGGERANONG Trivia Night HOLY GRAIL, KINGSTON Trivia Night Free entry THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC WEDNESDAY APRIL 15
DANCE _____________ Emergenza Band Comp Battling it out! ANU BAR, ACTON
LIVE _____________ Escapegoat THE PHOENIX, EAST ROW, CIVIC Wednesday Lunchtime Live From 12:40-1:20pm. $2 WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE, FORREST
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Fame Trivia PJ O'REILLY'S, CIVIC Carry-On Karaoke THE DURHAM, KINGSTON Karaoke Night HOLY GRAIL KINGSTON $5 Night TRANSIT BAR, AKUNA ST, CIVIC
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Kylie Live X2008
(Paramount Home Entertainment)
So Live (Madman)
Based on the memoir of the same name by Toby Young, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People stars Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Spaced) as Sidney Young, an ambitious and calculating reporter who wants to make it to the top of the tacky journalistic tree. He moves from London to LA when contacted by Clayton Harding - played by the wonderful Jeff Bridges - to work for his Sharps magazine and that, friends, is where the fun really stops dead in its tracks. After a great first 20 minutes, the rest of the film slows down with laborious, unfunny second and third acts. We get that Sidney is a bit of a prick. We also know that there should be more to some of the characters than appears evident at the first glance. Unfortunately, for most there isn’t. While the world of entertainment journalism has always been seen as a bit vacuous, the lack of character depth in this one plumbs new levels. I had particular issues with Kirsten Dunst, who hasn’t added anything to a film since she was in Interview with a Vampire. In this film, as with Elizabethtown, she may as well not have been there. The romantic sub-plot she features in adds nothing to the overall film, which is shameful, as in the second act it becomes the driving force behind plot and character changes. The standout is the consistent and Dude-worthy performance from Jeff Bridges: every time he’s on screen - and believe me, it’s not enough - he trades barbs with Pegg, appearing to relish every word. Direction from Robert B Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm) is good, but certainly far from revelatory, and he truly shows his televisual roots. How to Lose Friends is not a bad film, it just never reaches the promise of the first 20 mins - and in watching film, nothing is worse than that. Loaded down with extra features, I wish this release had answered one question - ‘What went wrong?’
What a strangely delightful character this Tim Minchin fellah is. With his long straggly hair, piercing blue eyes, dishevelled concert suit and bare feet, he’s like some kind of lovable, piano-playing Edward Scissorhands, sans scissors. Don’t let the scruffy look deceive you, though - this is one talented ex-pat Aussie. I’ve always been impressed by good piano players and if they can sing and write their own material, even more so. Well, if they can sing, write their own material and make it funny, that’s brilliant! Tim Minchin is one such fellah. With a great sense of humour, an extraordinary talent for tinkling the ivories and fantastic songs, his humble, self-deprecating and sharp observational wit will charm your socks off. Filmed in May 2007 at the Sydney Opera House, this excellent two-hour solo performance features material from Dark Side, the show which launched him into the public eye at the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and So Rock. These were the shows which rocketed him onto the international stage. Funny? Well, I laughed so hard my foot fell off. His choice of subject matter is sublime, going beyond simply discussing how people react in everyday situations and instead tackling the weightier issues of Islam, death, sex, censorship, plastic bags, peace in the Middle East and mental illness. An English graduate from the University of Western Australia, his approach is articulate and intelligent, while he utilises his awkward personality to great effect. With grammatical indifference sweeping the world these days, Minchin’s grasp of the English language is a breath of fresh air and he ponders its use and abuse by his contemporaries in the entertainment game, and in society at large. What, he posits, constitutes a swear word? Does the use of an asterisk make a difference and is finger a verb – i.e. a ‘doing word’? Opening the show with the partly mimed So F**king Rock, the following two hours of this wonderful DVD include such classic songs as Inflatable You, Take My Wife, and Peace Anthem For Palestine. The undoubted favourite of this reviewer is, however, the deliciously sacrilegious 10 Foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins. DVD extras, as if you needed any, include a couple of performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala, a BBC video clip and his various performances on the ABC’s Spicks & Specks and Sideshow. Highly recommended.
If we were to believe the relentless publicity and marketing machine that follows Kylie Minogue wherever she strides with her increasingly larger thighs, we are truly fortunate to have existed in an era where a genre-bending, mischievous and diminutive ex-actor defied the odds and humble beginnings to become an electro pop icon. Truth, however, is a distant relation to the press release. She certainly overcame the inability to hold a tune if that counts for anything. Minogue’s music, stage presence and public persona is vapid, shallow and plastic. Her sexual suggestiveness is neither raunchy nor sly winking-sweet – it’s a vulgar display of hubristic non-delivery designed to appeal to soccer mums, gay ravers, tweenies and readers of TV Hits. Being everything to everyone means she has no defined, real presence. It’s attitude-by-numbers, designed and micromanaged by a production team. Kylie X2008, filmed at the O2 Arena in London last year, isn’t a concert per se - it’s a highly choreographed stage show complete with hammy overacting, extensive costume changes and thematic ‘sections’ (cheerleader, kabuki, Love Boat, dominatrix jockey) that are tired, worn out and clichéd. The sight of la Minogue goosestepping in jodhpurs on a set straight out of the Andre Rieu school of dreadfulness reminds me of my middle-aged, embarrassing auntie getting drunk on Xmas sherry, playing dress ups and treating the family to a ‘special show’. I cannot respect Minogue’s knack for reinvention, I don’t applaud her ability to build a career out of a sliver of talent and her health problems are utterly irrelevant to her music. She’s a businesswoman pure and simple, ready and willing to exploit any bland, generic trend that will sell concert tickets and compact discs. Sure, that also covers the vast majority of artists out there, but we don’t elevate them to demi-God status because they once looked alright in a pair of hot pants, do we? I am totally aware that getting stuck into Kylie isn’t new, clever or funny, but I love pop music and I categorically do not love this. There’s more enjoyment to be had eating a melted Crunchie at an empty bus stop in the middle of a heatwave.
Next issue: The Presets, Sneaky Sound System, The Dir ty Secrets, The Jayhawks and more. Out April 16. You love it!