TWO97 March 20.08
Also inside - The Rational Academ y, Custom Kings, The Vasco Era and mo re...
The Mess Hall
DJ SHADOW/ CUT CHEMIST FULL PAGE COLOUR
THE CHASER/ CHOPPER FULL PAGE (MADE UP OF TWO HALF PAGES) COLOUR SUNDAY APRIL 20 THE PLAYHOUSE, CANBERRA THEATRE
TICKETS FROM CANBERRA TICKETING
FREE STUFF Very occasionally, when I’m surveying the grounds of my expansive property in Canberra’s north, puffing on a ludicrously oversized cigar, I get this slight pang of guilt, and for a moment I feel as though I should somehow give something back to a world I’ve taken so, so much from. Generally the moment will pass, and I’ll return to abusing my valet. Then my boss will remind that I’m contractually obliged to give something back, as part of this accursed ‘Free Stuff’ section. Bah! So, answer one of the questions, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and for God’s sake keep it brief! V. Exciting Look, no need for any of my high-larious prattling to spruik the wares here. The line-up sells itself. The Smashing Pumpkins. Duran Duran. Queens of the Stone Age. The Jesus and Mary Chain. AIR. The Presets. Modest Mouse. Róisín Murphy. Cut Copy. CSS. Hot Hot Heat. The Rakes. Glass Candy. Plug in City.
The Tough Alliance. A bunch more, too. Yes, the V Festival is back, and once again the selectas have outdone themselves. So how could you make this any more appealing? How about a pre-fest BBQ hosted by Coopers? Yes, the Coopers Exclusive V Festival BBQ will see you and a chum through the gates for free, plus a Guernsey to the shindig where you can have a sausage and a beer before you head out to brave the festival madness. The all important date is Saturday March 29, and the location: Sydney’s Centennial Park. To win this grand prize, just answer this simple question – can I kick it? Slight Return Though their name may suggest otherwise, Weddings, Parties, Anything haven’t been all that desperate for gigs in a long while. In fact, until a 2005 charity event brought them out of retirement, they hadn’t played together since the late ‘90s. Then an offer to play the 2006 Queenscliff Festival
seemed too good to refuse, cameras were rolling and we’re here today with the DVD A Long Time Between Drinks. Now, with the Riveresque/Donkey Serenade line-up of the band in place, The Weddos, one of Australia’s most adored live acts, are hopping back in the saddle for a ten year reunion tour. Naturally, they won’t be wasting their time in this stinktown (they’ll be at the Gaelic Club in Sydney on April 4 and 5 though), but three quick-typing locals will be able to get a taste of what we’re missing, as we have a few copies of A Long Time Between Drinks for the taking. To grab one, tell us your favourite wedding or party story. Yoowho! If you’re in the market for a bit of good ol’ fashioned scissor-kicking, windmilling, Rickenbackershattering maximum RnB, then
we’ve got just the tonic! From the brains behind the excellent Dylan doco No Direction Home, Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who charts the rise of those four floppy-fringed British mods in all as they conquered the known universe, putting the fear of God into the world’s hotel owners along the way. The film boasts exclusive never-before-seen interviews with Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and others, alongside rare and recently discovered concert footage and much more. The DVD also features companion film Amazing Journey: Six Quick Ones, which takes the viewer inside the mysteries that drive a rock band to the pinnacle of musical achievement and explores the unique musical brilliance of each band member. To grab a copy, describe your most Moon-esque moment of rockstar lunacy.
STRUTH BE TOLD It was late Sunday night and I needed a drink. I’d just completed the joyless task of shopping for Nelly Furtado for my cousin’s birthday. I’d been scuttle-booting past the deranged neon and shadows for 15 minutes, but everything looked shut. An icy breeze cruised in, attacking my jacket and upsetting a flutter of papers. One of them stuck – a fluoro yellow flyer. It was a grainy picture of a 1950s family sitting down to dinner. Above in huge bold type was written 'TENSION – Indie Night Sundays.' I brushed it off and it somersaulted down an alley behind me. Past the bins and graffiti was the faint outline of a doorway. I strolled over. I could hear the thump of a drum beat inside. On the ground I noticed a metal chisel glinting dimly in the lamp light. I picked it up and jammed it in the door. With a hard yank it prized open. A nicotine and sweat fuelled sauna wafted out. The relentless rhythm now met jangling guitar, looming bass and a static male vocal: “London calling upon the zombies of death.” I walked up the derelict stairwell, stained with dead stickers and homemade band posters. As I neared the top the song finished, trailed by gloomy silence. The familiar riff of The Pixies’ Here Comes Your Man rang out as I entered the musty space. The dance floor was empty and above it a black mirror ball hung still. At the far end was a long, dimly lit bar with empty fridges. I took a couple of nervous steps forward. At first I didn’t see them. It wasn’t until they moved their heads in unison to face me that I noticed their fringes swishing like wiper blades. Lined up along the walls on either side of me were a fleet of identically dressed young men and women. They all had tight black jeans, studded belts, band t-shirts and earphones snaking down into shoulder satchels. My heart
shuddered with self-consciousness. I got out my phone and pretended to text – my eyes darting in the peripheries. The line-up seemed to be getting closer, but their legs weren’t moving. “Here comes your ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma.” The song was skipping. My head was pounding. The black fleet were advancing on me. I squinted up at the tallest of them. His eyes were all white and his hair had globs of gel and blood through it. His skin was acidic and peeling. He opened his black rimmed mouth. “Bands!” The rest of them followed in monotone. “Bands!” They were biting their nails so fiercely their fingers were bloody. “Coldplay?” I stuttered. “No!” they screamed. “Indie bands!” I racked my brain – trying to think of the most obscure one I could. “Vampire Weekend!” I yelled. The throng were frothing at the mouth with excitement. They stunk of rotting leather. “More bands!” they screamed. Now they were all around me, poking me and whipping me with their earphones. I struggled. “The Billets? Cuttlefish? Wendy’s Pudding?” They could tell I was making them up. They were angry and started in on me. Their pointy boots stabbed like blunt knives and their stubble tore at my skin. Gagging for breath, I wrestled open my backpack and clutched my fingers around the Nelly Furtado CD. I wrenched up a t-shirt and plunged the disc into the pale, papery skin. No blood came. There was rock star screaming and writhing, as the group lifted off me as one. Gasping, I rolled on my side and watched as they clunked open a heavy wooden trapdoor and one by one slithered into the underground. JUSTIN HEAZLEWOOD www.bedroomphilosopher.com
NEWS Far From Common Four years in the making, Horsell Common’s debut LP The Rescue has had all and sundry rushing in to lavish praise on it. Hell, it even garnered the prestigious BMA Choice award for album of the week, so you know it’s gonna be a bit of alright. A solid slab of impassioned, post-hardcore inflected rock, the album is tailored to packed, sweaty, beer-drenched speakeasies, so it’s lucky that the lads are swinging by on Thursday March 20 for a little drop in at The Greenroom in Phillip. Joining them will be good chums Trail Kennedy, Adelaide’s Mere Theory and local Lamexcuse, hand-picked by the Horsell lads via their online competition to hunt down local supports in each city. Tickets are $10 + bf from Moshtix, or $15 on the door if available. Unfortunately for all you plucky youngsters, it’s an over-18s show, but knowing the Common’s insatiable thirst for touring, they’ll know doubt be back in town soon enough.
like Cousin Irma, frozen solid outside McDougall’s barn. We didn’t have yer fancy ‘UC Refectories,’ or your ‘special, limited edition, Like It Or Not singles jammed with exclusive new tracks and remixes,’ given away to everyone who turned up, and we certainly didn’t have your ‘very special international guests’! But don’t mind me, I’m just bitter I never got those X-Ray Spex for Christmas. Just grab the Learjet down to the UC on Friday May 9 for you one and only chance to catch the Architects frenetically entertaining and endearingly idiosyncratic antics in 2008. Trash Talkin’ After a wonderfully debauched showing by all present at the Jamison Inn last year, cowboy punks Sydney City Trash are returning once again with their mates Run For Cover as part of the Dollar for the Bottle Tour. It’s a fundraising tour of sorts, with all proceeds going towards paying for the alcohol that will be consumed whilst on said tour. Ingenious. So mosey on down to The Basement on Saturday March 29 and witness one of Australia’s finest live acts doing what they do best. Local supports include similarly larger-fuelled rockers The VeeBees, The O’Hooligans and Eye Gouge
Rule Britannia Chaps keen for a spot of bratty garage rock can’t do much better than popping out to a British India concert. The fresh-faced Melbourne youths are famed for their frenetic live show, and the four have had ample opportunity to hone their set further over their exhaustive gigging schedule over the past year, which culminated in a national slot on the Big Day Out campaign trail. Before they duck back into the studio for album number two, again with former Easybeats guitarist and AC/DC producer Harry Vanda producing, the lads will wring out their final drop of energy with a brief national jaunt, stopping by The Greenroom in Phillip on Friday April 18. Hover around the Moshtix site, ‘cause tickets will go on sale soon. Ding, Dong, The Witch’s Back Rummaging through the bones of ‘60s pop, late ‘70s post-punk, ‘80s and ‘90s noise rock, Melbourne fourpiece Witch Hats (right) are the ideal antidote to a world that celebrates the vacuous pursuits of the celebrity classes, cheap corporate rhetoric and the disposable lifestyle. Released on March 1 via In-Fidelity Recordings, Cellulite Soul is Witch Hats debut album and is the highly anticipated follow up to their acclaimed 2006 EP Wound Of A Little Horse. The album features their unique sonic: a frenzied skree of sex noises, papercuts to the tongue and electrified, ozone melting howls. Raw, primitive and compelling, Cellulite Soul is the sound of the vulgar reality that seethes beneath the thin veneer of humanity. Quickly gathering local and national notoriety for their fuzz ‘n’ swamp drenched live attack, Witch Hats will unleash songs from Cellulite Soul at their Canberra CD Launch on Thursday April 10 at Bar 32’s Gangbusters night.
Still Flyin’ In news hot off the mojo wire, Melbourne indie-rock nice guys Potential Falcon (above) are heading to Canberra for a show on Thursday March 27 at the Transit Bar. They’ll be road-testing fresh tracks from their forthcoming album, so pop along and let ‘em know if they’re any cop, ‘kay. They’ll also be joined by the wandering beard himself, Tom Woodward (‘a recent ex-Canberran,’ apparently) and Lloyd Alison-Young. As always, the show won’t cost you a bean, and will kick off around the 8.30pm mark. One Flew Over My Cuckoo Nest Another moment for Birds Love Fighting to be witty and informative! Great! We have a nice collection of shows approaching for your listening and visual pleasure. Sunday March 23 sees a special Easter show at The Front with Mousetrapreplica as well as great local support acts. On Thursday March 27, Gangbusters at Bar 32 rips Civic a ‘new one’ with The Consequence, The Woods, Hardluck and Slowburn. Loud! April then gives screaming birth to Witch Hats on Thursday 10, so that’ll be kicking off a heck busy month, stay tuned. That’s it from us, but do keep your eye on www.myspace.com/birdslovefighting as we’re always coming up with new shows. We love it when a show comes together.
Dancing to Architecture Harumph, harrumph. I remember back in my day, you’d walk five miles in the snow to see Architecture in Helsinki play to three men and a dog for thruppence, and you’d have enough change for a slice of moon pie and a twizler at the Deli. And if you lost a couple of digits to frostbite, you’d fall to your knees in thanks and count yourself lucky you hadn’t ended up
Gimme My Kash Canberra based hip-hop duo Kash Boys (above) are set to drop their much anticipated LP The Birth on March 11. Comprising MCs KAG and Shaka (ie. KA-SH), the pair have been slaving away on the record since 2005. Bolstered with blazin’ beats from production mavericks Israel and the Nu Firm, the album is poised for big things. Sydney RNB luminary has his money on the lads, quipping “The Kash Boys music is nothing like Australia has ever heard, let alone owned.” With the album available in Landspeed now, the lads will be hitting Garema Place on April 4 and 11 from 6pm with Kulture Break. Grab a listen to some of the record at www. myspace.com/kashboys and support local hip-hop.
AND ANOTHER THING...
YOU PISSED ME OFF
Has someone been a right turd burgular? Bit of a twat? An A grade bellend, perchance? Well, send an email to email@example.com and have your sweet, sweet vengeance in an otherwise cruel and uncaring world. And for the love of God, try to contain yourselves and keep it brief! ALL ENTRIES CONTAIN GENUINE SPELLINGS.
Look, I don’t know how it happened. It had been a busy day, but nothing out of the ordinary. Wake up in a flea-bitten B&B, pile into the bus and spend the morning bickering with each other. Arrive at the venue about two, set up the merch stand, have a bit of a kick around in the car park with the support band, back inside the venue for a spot of nosebag supplied by the promoter, all the while desperately trying to stay off the booze (hey, this was 1996, and I considered myself a professional in those days – no drinking till after the show). I wandered out from the venue to say hello to my friends in the Earache Records office but they were already striking camp and heading to the pub, so I wandered back to the venue. It was a hot day so, breaking my own rules, I soothed my fevered brow with a nice pint of Lowenbrau when I got back inside. Nottingham’s Rock City is one of the classic heavy metal meccas of England: spread across three levels it can, and often does, stage three shows simultaneously and, whilst the band I was touring with, American goth metallers Pist.On, were situated on level two in the medium-sized room, downstairs was hosting an '80s metal night (WAHHAAAAYYY!!) whilst the big room saw a show by former Hanoi Rocks frontman and all-time major dude Michael Monroe. I’d shared a pint with Monroe at the University of London Union only a couple of months before but had no expectation of him remembering who I was, so imagine my surprise when, on spying me walking past his dressing room, he shouted at me to come in and have a beer… Obviously, it never stops at just one, so when I finally took to the stairs to man the merchandise stall at about half eight I was severely relaxed. Rather helpfully, Monroe had stuffed a bottle of premium strength lager into every pocket of my combat trousers to “keep me going”, with the agreement that we’d meet up again after our respective duties were discharged. The rest of the night passed, I believe, uneventfully. The band, despite being at the height of their popularity at the time, only sold about 20 shirts so I was back on deck and ready for action relatively early, but events started to become blurry at this point. Suffice to say I was having such a good time I missed the bus back to our overnight accommodation, a Travelodge situated some 30 miles up the M1. Somehow I managed to convince a somewhat dubious cab driver to take me to said inn, but sadly it was one of those cut price joints with no concierge or 24 hour check in and, as I had no key, I was required to effect what is known in the trade as a ‘toilet door entry’. I had no idea what rooms we had been billeted in, and so, finding myself in the relatively comfortable confines of the disabled toilet, I flicked the lock and settled down to sleep, sitting upright on the pan. The next thing I know, I’m woken by an outlandish siren – I’d nodded off with my head on a big padded alarm button – and the cries from a member of the Nottinghamshire Fire Brigade who was busy putting an axe through the toilet door in order to save me, my drunken protestations from inside doing little to convince him that I wasn’t severely palsied and in need of rescue.
Dear Canberra, YOU PISSED ME OFF for not pre-purchasing your Datarock tickets! It is your fault that once again Canberra misses out on another international act! How difficult is it to turn on your computer and buy your tickets on the Ticketek site, or better still get off your flabby cheeks and head down to your local agent and buy a bunch for you and your mates! Canberra, get your bloody act together! To all the whining, whingeing, complaining f**kwits who consistently air their petty f**king grievances via the “YOU PISSED ME OFF” column for the last f**king ten years (not to mention the bad spelling). YOU ALL HAVE PISSED ME OFF!!!!! Stop bitching and moaning you bunch of nancy boys and girls. Get off your collective asses and do something about it, or toughen the f**k up. This f**king EMO culture has a lot to answer for. I can hear the violins playing for the tattooed, pierced and depressed. I can hear the sobbing of a thousand,nay, a million children as their mummies and daddies wallets empty so they can look like every other f**king “individual” on the planet. Get a life
fruitcocks and have some fun you morbid little f**ks!!!! Cast of your “Panic at the Disco” shirts, throw your “Fall Out Boy” CD’s away (oh sorry, you don’t have CD’s do you, just downloads). Doesn’t matter, just throw your IPODs into the nearest ravine,canyon or lake (Burley Griffin will do). While your at it tell all your mates who like “hardcore” to get rid of the vapid, (it’s in the dictionary retard),homogenic and banal shite that they like to do the same. Seriously kiddies it’s about time you all lightened the f**k up and enjoyed youselves. Sure, the planets cooking and it will probably implode in a couple of hundred years, but do you really want your legacy to be “reality TV “, MySpace, mobile phones and MP3’s. Shit, I grew up in the 80’s under threat of nuclear war, and at least we gave the world, ummm Culture Club. Well, Boy George was a half decent boxer as a kid, so he’d kick your asses anyway. I guess that all I’m saying here is enjoy your youth while you got it. It doesn’t last and it won’t come back and if someone f**ks with you, deal with it or f**k with them right back, don’t write a letter for Christ’s sake. Shit happens, it’s called LIFE people. Luv the Ancient One.
FROM THE BOSSMAN “Organic instruments”. It’s a description often used when reviewing sample-heavy dance music, to tell the reader that actual instruments – differing to those derided from a synthesiser – have been incorporated into a song. Hell, even I’ve caught myself using the term in reviews (for Boards of Canada’s excellent Campfire Headphase no less). But really, what the fuck does “organic instruments” actually mean? “The tune really takes a turn for the better when an organic ukulele, lovingly fashioned from jungle vines, chimes in for the chorus”? Or maybe “the organic free range bongos really kick along the song at a bouncy pace”? Good lord.
So from now, I promise when an instrument is used in a field where you don’t normally hear them I, and the fine people of BMA, shall refer to them in their proper term: fucking instruments. Although perhaps without the ‘fucking’. We’re trying to get this magazine distributed in churches.
ALLAN “AU NATURAL” SKO
Moral: please, kids, don’t get on the sauce before going to work. My sleep in a hotel khazi cost me A LOT of money. Believe.
bma :: Issue297 www.bmamag.com "bma: still anticipating the cassingle revival" Published by Radar Media Pty Ltd | ACN 097 301 730
bma is independently owned and published Opinions expressed in bma are not necessarily those of the editor, publisher or staff.
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: advertisingbmamag.com Editor Peter Krbavac: T: (02) 6257 4456 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts Manager Fahim Shahnoor : T: (02) 6247 4816 E: email@example.com
Graphic Design Kirsty McCabe Film Editor Mark Russell Super Sub Editor & Editorial Assistant Julia Winterflood Principal Photographers (The Flashbulb Posse) Andrew Mayo/Lisa Tolcher/Nick Brightman Issue 298 Out Apr 3 Editorial Deadline Mar 21 Advertising Deadline Mar 27
bma magazine 9
TIDBITS WHO FOURPLAY WHAT GENRE-DEFYING STRING QUARTET WHERE STREET THEATRE WHEN MAR 27 & 28
You there, ever wanted to sit in on a recording session? Well now’s your chance, as genre-defying string quartet Fourplay are making a rare trip to Canberra, and will cut a live album at the Street Theatre while they’re in town. While the four are famous for their re-interpretations of modern classics (Metallica, Beastie Boys, Robert Johnson, The Strokes, Radiohead, Cocteau Twins, Rage Against The Machine – the list goes on), they’re also formidable composers themselves, throwing rock, pop, post-rock, neo-classical, jazz, klezmer, swing, folk-tronica, hip-hop and more into the mix and liberally seasoning the brew with effects pedals and even the odd vocal or two. With three studio albums and a double remix album - featuring contributions from 25 Australian electronic artists - to their name, the opportunity to catch these talented folk at work, crafting their forthcoming LP Fourthcoming, is an opportunity not to be missed. They play three shows, on March 27 at 8pm, and March 28 at 7.30 and 9.30pm. Bookings at the Street on 6247 1223.
It’s not often that Canberra is graced with a genuine 21st Century diva, which makes the imminent arrival of dance floor queen Tina Cousins all the more thrilling. While forging her name as the emotive voice powering Sash!’s ’98 worldwide smash Mysterious Times, Tina WHO has proved herself a formidable talent in her own right, finding success in the UK, Europe TINA COUSINS and Australia, where she’s particularly popular. She established herself with the Killing Time WHAT DANCEFLOOR DIVA LP, released on Jive (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Steps, Backstreet Boys), as well as another Sash! collaboration, Just Around The Hill and followed up with sophomore release WHERE Mastermind – which features the single Wonderful Life, currently soundtracking that Hotys CUBE ad in cinemas across Oz. Last in Australia on Australian Idol Anthony Callea’s national WHEN tour, Tina is back for an exclusive show on Friday March 21 at Cube. Tina has the ability to FRI MAR 21 impress even the most jaded clubber with her show and, unlike many of her pop princess peers, actually sings live. With new single Everlong and a career overview disc looming in 2008, the Tina juggernaut continues unabated. Tickets $18 on the door, 9pm. WHO TEMPLESTOWE & AEONS OF HORUS WHAT METAL AT MACCHIATO WHERE CAFE MACCHIATO WHEN SAT MAR 29
Crushing riffage with your Frappuccino, sir? Apocalyptic rhythms to go with that Bruschetta, ma’am? Who’d have thought that the hallowed cloisters of East Row would once again reverberate to the glorious tones of metal. Well believe it, because Axis Works’ inaugural Metal at Macchiato will see local exponents of the genre Templestowe - who combine melodic and haunting guitar interplay derived melodic death metal behemoths At the Gates with the brutality of thrash metal and the powerful groove of Pantera - and progressive death-metallers Aeon Of Horus kicking out the jams in the heartland of the latte set. And like the best things in life, the evening’s free. Of course, the irony of live music at Café Macchiato - whose former owners were responsible for the noise complaints that shut down the Gypsy Bar – is not lost on anyone, but times change... So head to the corner of East Row and London Circuit on Saturday March 29, grab a quick refresher from The Bourbon Bar (open from 10pm ‘til well after the gig) and trash like mad. PETER KRBAVAC
WHO In September and October 2008, the Street Theatre will present a curated season of CANBERRA'S independent performance works relating to all parts of the creative development process ARTISTES – from earliest inklings to definitive work. The Street Theatre is encouraging all artists and WHAT ensembles to act now and grab this creative development opportunity. Proposals can be MADE IN CANBERRA: made for the presentation of existing performance work or for the development of ideas FORGING ACTS OF into performance. Proposals can be for Street 1 or Street 2 and cover a time period from IMAGINATION one day/night to two weeks. Projects can be single or multi artform, but must be primarily live performance based. For expression of interest guidelines go to www.thestreet.org. WHERE au/artists/opportunities . The street encourages; imaginative use of Street 1 or Street 2; STREET THEATRE innovative approaches to the development and presentation of live performance work; WHEN expressions and explorations of the character of Canberra; artists who mix up artforms APPLICATIONS and genres; diversity of arts practice and cultures. And don’t hang about, you filth, ‘cause CLOSE MARCH 28 proposals are due on March 28.
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WHO RUBIX CUBA WHAT NEWCASTLE SKA KINGS WHERE THE PHOENIX WHEN WED APR 2
After spending 2007 in the studio with ARIA Award-winners Dave Henderson and Rob Taylor, Newcastle ska septet Rubix Cuba are set to release their debut album With Life in August (coinciding with the band’s tour of Japan). Formed in 2001, Rubix Cuba have forged a reputation as a hard-working party act, playing alongside the likes of Reel Big Fish, Mad Caddies, The Specials, The Beat, The Bronx and Royal Crown Revue. As a band, these Cubans boast more stylistic twists and turns than a capitalist ‘80s fad and create more delightful contradictions than a communist dictator. Bringing pop for ska fans and ska for pop fans, as well as a giant Rubik's Cube mascot named Cubie, Rubix Cuba is hitting the road with emo/lamecore act Heartbreak Club. That’s right, it’s variety night without the meat raffle, spanning ska, latin and swing, rock, punk and, ahem, emo.
WHO WENDY RULE WHAT MELBOURNE DIVA OF THE SHADOWS WHERE THE FRONT, LYNEHAM WHEN THU APR 3
Melbourne diva of the shadows Wendy Rule makes a rare visit to Canberra for a special solo show at the city’s cosiest little venue, The Front Café and Gallery. Dark, rich and emotive, her music reflects her love of mythology and hints at the likes of Nick Cave, Bjork, Kate Bush, Dead Can Dance and Jocelyn Pook. She has released five full-length studio albums, as well as a recent Meditation album. Whether performing solo, or with a full band, her live performances are truly unique, blending ritual and music to create an unforgettable experience for her audience. With two international tours and a string of interstate shows already booked for 2008, this will be your only chance this year to experience one of Australia’s most enigmatic and prolific artists. Immerse yourself in her unique musical magic. From 8pm, $15 entry. For more info head to www.wendyrule.com or www.myspace.com/wendyrule .
bma magazine 11
“There is a fine line actually… I guess we generally find the ‘line’ by tripping over it”
Arsenic Chaser Tim Galvin If, in some bizarre world, the Australian Government could be considered Superman, dwelling in their magnificent, not-so-secret ice palace on Capital Hill, then the cult ABC series The Chaser’s War on Everything would most definitely be Lex Luthor. They exist only to foil the other, and with all the restraint and subtlety of a Britney Spears stand-off, they have kept Australian media and politics honest with this simple message: “we know where you sleep.”
THE CHASER team of Chris Taylor, Julian Morrow, Craig Reucassel, Andrew Hansen, and Chas Licciardello began their illustrious careers with a fortnightly newspaper simply called The Chaser, which led to working with Andrew Denton producing several TV shows including CNNNN, and appearing in various stage productions. It wasn’t until 2005 that the War on Everything began and, short of leaving a burning bag of poo on Kevin Rudd’s doorstep, there really hasn’t been a stunt that they haven’t been willing to pull. The most memorable would have to be their world-famous APEC prank, where Morrow and Licciardello, along with nine other production crew members, were arrested after they drove in a fake motorcade down Macquarie Street and successfully breached the APEC restricted zone. The inept security force only realised that the motorcade was a hoax when Licciardello, dressed as Osama bin Laden, stepped out of the car and complained in-character about not being invited, as Craig Reucassel explains to me through my Juno-inspired hamburger telephone. “I guess it was the most exciting thing to happen there because APEC was so boring… well everything is different in hindsight really; we were literally trying to turn around at the first checkpoint and everything just went ballistic! It's OK though, I actually spoke to one of the snipers after the fact and he assured me that he hadn’t cocked his weapon.” This begs the question, ‘how far is too far?’ Craig explains, citing the stunt based on an incident where former Prime Minister John Howard was hugged on his morning walk by a teenager holding a screwdriver. “Well, there is a fine line actually, but I’ll say one thing - the Feds are on to you a lot quicker when you have a running chainsaw! After the first time (where Craig tried to hug him holding a toy axe) we had to run and chase him down to do it all over again and I’m standing there saying to the crew, 'Should I start the chainsaw? Should I start the Chainsaw?' and we ended up doing it. The thing was actually running; it was not a sound effect. I guess we generally find the ‘line’ by tripping over it.” Their tactless bravado has led to more than one run-in with the boys in blue, as they pride themselves on pushing the limits of combative journalism. “Well, we have gotten ourselves into some curly situations over the years; I haven’t been arrested myself but I have gotten Chas arrested a few times. I have been detained by QLD police and briefly by NSW police as well, but I haven’t ever been actually charged with anything - although we still have 11 people on trial for the APEC stunt!” Treading perilously close to being cell mates with a large hairy man named Bubba isn’t the only danger faced by the Chaser team, proven in their much lauded Bra Boys segment.
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"The Bra Boys one didn’t go too well," Craig remembers, "because they ended up chasing the crew. No one has ever been physically harmed, although someone actually threatened to beat the shit out of Chris once and he didn’t go back out and do anything on the street for two years," he laughs. "That’s why he was always in the studio." Being the playground bully for media conglomerates that they are, on November 14 2007, the team infiltrated the Seven Network’s news headquarters at Martin Place in search of Today Tonight presenter Anna Coren, where they were confronted by the staff of the building for trespassing and had their footage seized. "We don’t personally dislike her, it’s more what she does for a job," Craig explains. "The funny thing was, when the guys were bailed up in the office she was actually quite lovely to us. It was just some people from the office that had a massive problem with us being there.” This begs another question: whether, somewhere, there exists a vault of unseen Chaser clips that have been packed away in wooden boxes, never to see the light of day due to ‘legal issues’ with their content. “There isn’t actually much we haven’t been able to use for legal reasons, but there have been a few that haven’t been aired for taste reasons. One that comes to mind is a take-off of sexy music video clips that we did, which was based on that Destination Calabria song, and that pretty much turned into a gay porn film!” The team's comedic strength relies on some kind of anonymity and, with a country wide viewing audience the best part of one million, they must be struggling to pull off some of their public nuisances without being recognised… one would think. "I think last year it was a lot better, but the funny thing is that people tend to recognise you when you are just walking down to the shops to get milk; it’s when you are actually interviewing them in these ridiculous costumes and afterwards you ask them if you can use the footage for the Chaser show and they go 'oh, yeah!'" The next frontal assault in the war takes the guys back to their roots, with a stage show touring the country in the coming months. The first port of call is, quite fittingly, the nation’s hub of bureaucracy, our very own Canberra, where I question whether they plan to have the second hottest woman alive, the Honourable Julia Gillard, in a wet t-shirt competition. “No, actually, we haven’t invited Julia directly, maybe that is something we can look into… The funny thing is, we actually started The Chaser from a stage show so I guess we are going back to that in a way. The show itself is a bit of everything really; songs, dance, presentations, a bit of media content and little bits of rubbish. It’s not so much that the front rows should worry about getting picked on. Every row of the audience isn’t safe at a Chaser stage show!” The military don’t start wars. Politicians start wars. ~ William Westmoreland No one is safe on Friday March 28 and Saturday 29 when The Chaser's Age of Terror Variety Hour rolls into town. They’ll be waging war on the Canberra Theatre at 7pm on the 28th and 7 and 9.30pm on the 29th. Tickets from Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatre.com.au .
LOCALITY Do you think the Easter Bunny feels any remorse in the fact that he is partly responsible for diabetes? I mean, seriously, he wanders around, delivering sugary death parcels to children everywhere when we’re in the midst of an obesity crisis. I wonder if Easter would still have the same effect if he delivered delicious broccoli eggs? I wonder how I go about thinking up better things to talk about in my column?
For some more local crooning, head along to the Transit Bar on Thursday nights for The Underground Sessions including, on March 20, Tim Maloney, Arythmia, Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens and San Veneno, and on March 27, Sally Holiday, Aria Stone, The Cyclone Rangers and more. Free entry as always.
so it seems all bases are covered. Entry is something like $11 for adults over the two days of surf and music, so if you’re in the hood, drop in! (Dad joke)
Don’t forget to head down to The Basement on March 29 for Sydney City Trash, with Eye Gouge, Run For Cover, The O’Hooligans and The VeeBees. This shall kick off from 9pm.
Other gig bitlets: Our boys from Cool Weapon will be CBR reprazentin’ at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach in Victoria on March 22. They’ll be sharing the stage with acts from Wolf and Cub to an AC/DC tribute band,
The Gangbusters line-up for March 27 veers into the louder and faster end of the spectrum, with locals Hardluck and Slowburn joined by The Woods and The Consequence, both from Western Australia. Get yourself to Bar 32, $5 entrée, kicking off from 8pm. Be there or be square.
CAZ DENNES firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave the chocolate bunnies at home and head to Exhibition Park for Easter. The National Folk Festival is hitting Canberra again from March 20 to 24. There’re plenty of singing, dancing and eating-related activities going on this year, with the likes of Bob Fox (England), Women in Docs, The Duhks (Canada), The Eddi Reader Band, (Scotland) playing alongside some of Canberra's best, including Adam Hole, Marji Curran Trio, The Ellis Collective, Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens and a ton more. There are several options available for tickets; more info is available at www.folkfestival.asn.au . I am also informed that there will be Poffertjes, which I believe are mini pancakes, so you’ve got no excuse.
Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens The Bootleg Sessions are on at the Phoenix on Monday nights for free. Check out Greg Carlin, Margaret Helen King, Ted Conrick, Guilliame, Michael Peter on March 24, and catch Brannan, Bliss, Waterford and Tom Maroney and March 31. I feel it is also worth noting that the lovable rogues from Dahahoo are playing their last ever gig on this evening, so it’ll no doubt be a killer. <Wipe away those tears, ‘cause they’ll be back with a new singer and new tunes soon – Ed.> bma magazine 13
Greetings from the mothership space cadets. How are you beautiful people? Grooving on down as much as possible I hope. Defying gravity through the medium of interpretive dance? Creating stick figure cartoons about how hard it is to satisfy David Bowie (ah Bowie, what will you shape shift into next?) or just chilling out on your couch made entirely of potato skins. Mmm… mouldy. Whatever it is that you have been doing, I hope you have been enjoying yourself while going about it. Other ways to enjoy yourself may include: April 5 will hold none other than the Gungahlin Youth Week Expo over at Gungahlin Skate Park, homeslices. The day starts at 10am and features the likes of Zero Degrees and Falling, who will continue to entertain all ages crowds across the coast in April. (www.myspace.com/ zerodegreesandfalling). The price? FREE. That’s the best kind. Ahh Belco youthie, how I love thee. I remember her well, around ’03 we all used to go, it was always packed. I could fill this entire column with good times had, and reminisce with a smile. But… shit, how boring would that be to read. Anyway, Belconnen Youth Centre will boast the likes of Yoko Oh No, Corporate Takedown, The Furthest and Vera Cruise. So don’t cop out kids, make it like the old days, fill that shit up, bring some ruckus ’cause after all… you’re in Belco. This one goes down April 11.
Spoil yourself, and see Spoil on April 11 Also on April 11, for all you south side kids that can’t get over to Belco, there will be a huge one over at Woden Youthie. Spoil will destroy amps in some kind of rock rampage, when they play along with the oh-so-tough Escape Syndrome, Albury’s own Master Tang and Afraid You’ll Fall. Rumour has it that more bands are set to take the stage on that fine night, so take your pick of youth centres and you can’t go wrong. (Unless you go to a youthie I didn’t mention. Then horrible things may happen, and I can’t be held responsible for it - it’s your fault.) The 18th of April is the night that Lanyon Youth Centre will host the likes of Escape Syndrome and Afraid You’ll Fall. Sydney’s own Not Write Now are set to take the stage on the night as well. The night is set to be pretty massive so if you can get there, get there. Then bring all your friends, fill cars and throw a party. The night starts at 6pm so eat up early and thrash all night. And so, brothers and sisters, that’s it for another edition. Hope you all enjoy yourselves, and are getting through whatever shit is thrown your way. Just remember, Bowie loves you. But he will probably get bored of you. But that’s just Bowie I guess. Till next time amigos. JOSH MOLONY email@example.com 14 bma magazine
Not Write Now
Train in Vain "I’ve made it a thing of the past, my headbangin’ days are over" Peter Krbavac I count myself lucky to be talking to Sydney’s CROOKED FIDDLE BAND, not only because they’re lovely folk, but because they almost came to a sticky end on the morning of our chat. “We nearly got run over by a train today,” says double bassist Mark Stevens excitedly. “There was a traffic jam and I pulled up over the train tracks and then the gate started coming down, it nearly took out the van. It was a narrow escape.” Hopefully there’ll be no more mishaps before they swing into town for the National Folk Festival this Easter weekend because, with their singular and furiously-paced blend of traditional gypsy tunes and metal, I can say with full confidence that they’re like no other act you’ll see over the weekend. The band originally formed two years ago after violinist Jess Randall received an arts grant to record different interpretations of traditional tunes. Gordon Wallace (guitar, bouzouki, mandolin), Mark Stevens (double bass, charango) and Joe Gould (percussion, drums) were drafted in and their unique sounded started to take shape. “We started out only doing the folk kind of thing, and then when we established that we were all into metal as well. We thought ‘Okay, let’s try and incorporate that’ and it’s really become a big focus of our music now. “The real die-hard metal enthusiasts in the band are definitely Gordon and Joe,” Mark says, “and they still listen to a lot of metal. I’ve kind of made it a thing of the past, my headbangin’ days are over. Although Dimebag Darrell, I still think about him…” “We’re really looking forward to the National,” Mark enthuses, when talk turns to our beloved Folk Fest. “It’ll be our chance to really show everybody in Canberra, and a lot of the other locals from around there, Braidwood and so on, show off our stuff.” But the band’s connection with the National Folk Festival stretches far beyond their appearances as the Crooked Fiddles. “But both Jess and I have been going to the National since we were kids,” he remembers. “Jess’ been to eight and I’ve been to seven or eight over the last nine years. It’s really been a big part of our adolescence.” “What I really like about the National” he goes on, “are the workshops. Seeing Rob Long and Dave Hellens from the Lawnmowers doing workshops on flat-picking guitar, or Nikolai from Mosaic doing workshops on the most obscure instruments, I really get a kick out of that – I really take those memories home and wanna get into strange music and learn bizarre instruments.” Mark also informs me that the group will be organising a treasure hunt over the weekend of the festival, telling interested folk to “keep an eye out for the posters. We’re gonna start it outside the session bar at midday on Friday, and it’ll be happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival has very kindly donated an awesome prize and we’ll be giving away CDs and all sorts throughout.” While distant plans include a new EP and the possibility of heading overseas, for now the Crook Fid’s plans are to tour like it’s going out of fashion. “Touring’s always full of lots of cool adventures and we just really love hanging out with each other. We get a lot of work done and dream about taking over the world.” The Crooked Fiddle Band play at various points during the National Folk Festival, Exhibition Park, between March 20 and 24. For full details and ticketing info, head to www.folkfestival.asn.au .
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DANCE: THE DROP “Work in well to loosen all soilings.” This is Step 2 for the instructions I read for a soap dispenser in the Future Music Festival toilets. I think we can all learn something from that. Those insatiable Pang tykes have a fabulously busy month coming up, starting tonight (March 20) at Lot 33 with an Easter Thursday jaunt from inthemix #3-ers the Stafford Brothers. The good times continue on April 4 at Lot 33 when the finalists of Pang’s DJ Comp battle it out for supremacy. The winner will find themselves playing many a Pang gig and from there, presumably, the world. The big one yet to be 100% finalised is Tommy Lee and DJ Aero playing a set of big ass analog bass, breakbeat and dirty electro house at the ANU on April 11. Yes, Tommy Lee; that tattoosoaked Pamela Anderson pashing, Mötley Crüe skin smashing booze mule. That’s gotta be worth checking out, right? It’s so mad, both Pang and Landspeed are pitching in for that ‘un. Aston Shuffle, Hubert, Milkbar Nick and Dave Norgate will be in support. More Pang-ness, with Phil Kirin playing a Lot 33 set on Friday April 18 and then, just under a week later on Anzac Day eve – Thursday April 24 – the Funktrust DJs are pedalled out, along with music whores D’Opus, DJ Rush,
Aston Shuffle and Dave Norgate. Again, Lot 33 is your party abode. Friction continue to decorate Academy Friday nights with a healthy line-up. As you well know, Muscles makes an appearance on Friday March 28 with support from the Old Canberra Hands (Jeff Drake, Mikah Freeman and Chris Fraser). $25 pre-sale, or more on le door. Friday April 4 presents itself as a Hussle night with DJ Goodwill ($10). A week later on April 11 it’s the Ministry of Sound Electro House Sessions 2 with Sesame Street letter ‘t’ advocate Tommy Trash ($15). And then, on Friday May 9, he of Doom’s Night fame, Azzido Da Bass will be trumpeting low bass frequencies across Academy’s new interior ($10 before midnight, $15 after). Plenty there for those with a penchant for stuffing their class A apparel in their skimpy fluro jocks. If you prefer your haze purple, and your sass hot, then why not pop into the Baila Social Club at the Casino Canberra from 7pm, where your resident Penatrada expert Mario “Brujo” Gordon whips up a sensual blend of salsa, Reggaeton and bachata sounds. From 7pm. Giddyup. If you’re more of a spectacle jockey (and I’m not talking about putting a saddle on a pair of glasses) then the Shadow/Chemist and PNAU shows should satiate your lust. Originally to be set at the ANU, the Chemist/Shadow duo wanted more space for visuals, so the switch to the UC was made. It’s the kind of show with a tech rider to seriously fill the britches of even the most steelpinned promoter. The show will play out over eight turntables, four mixers and an array of audio and video equipment, and gadgets. Ticket sales are rolling along very nicely for the show, so don’t be a slack bum and miss out. Grab yer $45 + bf stub from Landspeed Records or by hitting up Moshtix. HANDY FACT: Did you know that Cut Chemist has a brief five second cameo in recent hit flick Juno? He plays a teacher in the biology class.
Double trouble with DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist.
PNAU were one of the highlights of the recent Big Day Out tour, their excellent self-titled third album sounding particularly booming in the live arena (Embrace goes from being a dreamy, softly euphoric ditty on record to a crashing heart-thumper live) and, to top it off, you’ll get those cute cartoon characters both on the visual screens provided, and as full sized costumed humans. So a couple-o nuggets to look forward to there. Keep keen, Canberra. You owe it to your mother. ALLAN “LOOSENED ALL SOILINGS” SKO
The Bitches are back! Elton-approved duo PNAU return.
d, aroun I’d g n i k e jo "I was that maybe like g n n o i e y sa rt som her suppo Blasko on es: Sarah our. 'Muscl next t tic'" Acous
Megan McKeough Muscles has a lot going for him right now. A catchy debut album of armwaving, head-bopping, perfect dance-pop nuggets; a tour that has four shows already sold out; and plenty of excitable fans willing to dance on a muddy foreshore (with or without shirts). My chat with MUSCLES started a bit awkwardly, to be honest. Perhaps rampantly babbling on about his ‘awesome’ album, wonderful Melbourne and my own love of ice cream wasn’t the best way to endear myself right away. However, once I got past the fact that he sounded slightly disinterested, I realised he’s actually quite chatty. Muscles gave me an insight into his future, his past and how this was sort of his plan all along. So, how does someone go from making beats on an outdated program in year seven to releasing a best-selling album, Guns Babes Lemonade? Well, Muscles was prepared to put in the time, for a start. “I read an article in a DJ magazine that had all of these DJs talking about when dance music became popular in the ‘90s. They said they’d been doing it for ten, 15 years before they started becoming successful. Back then, I thought if I started learning how to make songs while I was younger, then when I was in my early 20s hopefully a lot of people would start listening to them. And it just kind of weirdly happened like that.” Since touring life can serve up surprises, I asked about the craziest experience Muscles has faced. “When I played Foreshore festival in Canberra, that was pretty crazy – it was pouring rain, my flight was cancelled from Sydney and I was in the airport for nine hours beforehand. I literally just got to the festival and jumped straight on stage. It was raining, and seeing all the people throwing mud at each other was just really funny.” So, what’s the best thing to happen so far? “I went overseas four times last year, that was insane. I did four tours – it kind of all happened as soon as I signed with Modular. That was crazy. Especially playing festivals in Australia, that’s been probably one of the best things. I mean, every festival I’ve played the crowd’s gotten bigger and bigger… I don’t really know how it’s happening. It must be word of mouth – more people are just talking about the music, that’s pretty awesome I think. I haven’t really tried to force myself upon people – I’ve kind of always gone with the idea that if people don’t know about you, then they’re not ready to know about you yet. It just kind of happened really naturally – it’s been really cool.” As part of the tour, Muscles is also doing an acoustic show in Melbourne, just vocals and a grand piano. Intrigued, I asked him a little bit about what he had in mind. “A lot of my songs start on piano, and I’ve been playing my current set up for about a year and a half now. So I thought that it’d be cool to try something different. I’m really scared because I haven’t practiced enough yet, and I’ve got no idea how it’s going to sound.” Songs in store include a few from Guns Babes Lemonade, some earlier, more experimental demos and maybe two new songs. “It should be good… I mean, hopefully. If it’s successful I might do an Australian tour on the piano. I was joking around, saying that maybe I’d support someone like Sarah Blasko on her next tour. ‘Muscles: Acoustic’ – that could be pretty crazy.” So what’s in store for his follow-up album? “I don’t want to talk about it until it’s finished, but it’s very much going to move away from the first album, which was kind of a pop album using electronic elements. I think the next album will be more of an electronic album, using pop elements. Maybe less singing, more cool beats. I’m just focusing on writing as many cool beats as possible at the moment. It won’t be out until mid next year, I’m guessing, so we’ve still got a way to go.”
Any final advice for up-and-coming musicians? “I guess… work really hard. It’s a really challenging job. You just have to be very creative, always coming up with ideas. Just keep going at it, and know where you want to fit in. Be prepared to work really hard. That’s about it.” In hindsight, I think I agree with the three words that Muscles chose to describe himself (musically or otherwise). Electric, epic and eccentric – and if you’re wondering, his favourite food is ice cream. Muscles plays live at Academy on Friday March 28, with supports Jeff Drake, Mikah Freeman and Chris Fraser. Pre-sale tickets $25 from Landspeed, Stocks and inthemix.com.au, or for more on the door if available.
METALISE The cavalcade of carnage that is the Mayhem live experience returns to Australia in 2008 for a run of six shows. They’ll be nationally supported by Sydney black metallers Nazxul, who seem to pop out of the woodwork with a new line-up for international tours whenever they come around. This time the band won’t be bringing the severed pigs heads to town; you’ll have to head up the Hume to Sydney on May 22 for an all ages show at The Metro Theatre which will also feature Sydney doomsters Lycanthia. They’re also in Melbourne on Tuesday May 20. I have no idea how this No Mayhem for Canberra will work, purely on the size of the room alone, but Café Macchiato in Civic is having a metal night on Saturday March 29, with free entry to boot. Templestowe and Aeon of Horus are set to bring the cornerstone of Civic crumbling down with doors at 11pm and the Bourbon Bar open for business from 10pm 'til well after the shows. Interesting!
this time around
Speaking of Aeon of Horus, the band is also playing with local blackened lads Mytile Vey Lorth, Chapel and Sobrusion at the revamped Greenroom in Phillip on April 26. It’ll be a 10 buck charge on the door that night. Good to see some local gigs springing up around the traps in some different venues. Insect Warfare, Agents of Abhorrence and 4Dead destroyed the ANU last month. Awesome show promoters, more of the same please!
Aeon of Horus
Alchemist are playing the European festival circuit this year, including a slot on the much vaunted Graspop Festival (www. graspop.be) this year in Dessel, Belgium, sharing the bill with the likes of Iron Maiden, Kiss and Judas Priest among a slew of others. Not a bad gig! Possibly not as exciting, but a hell of a lot cheaper to get to, will be the lads’ performance this weekend at the Metalstock fest in Sydney, which is happening over Saturday and Sunday night at The Manning Bar in Sydney. Get along to Sydney this weekend for a huge weekend of Aussie metal and Canada’s Kataklysm. In the modern internet quagmire of blogs, one site is standing out as a shining beacon of amusing metal bloggery. This may appeal to a slightly 25+ demographic, but there’s some gold humour throughout this site that you should all bookmark and visit regularly. I give you Metal Inquisition (http://metalinquisition.blogspot.com) – you’re welcome. Pod People’s follow up to the Doom Saloon album is slated for a July release through Melbourne label Goatsound. Captain Cleanoff and The Day Everything Became Nothing (TDEBN) also will have new albums out this year on the Goatsound label as well as reissues of the Blood Duster back catalogue. TDEBN and Blood Duster releases come in time for their US tour in May and slot on the Maryland Death Fest. TDEBN will also be touring Europe and the states for three months with Tasmaniac’s Psycroptic. JOSH NP: I’m Sick – Accept Death - Accept Death
“Bourbon and Vodka: classy light and shade that just ends up being dark” Shailla Van Raad The four piece band consisting of Ben Hall, Clint Bodge, Kurt Goedhart and Glenn Esmond are considered by many to be true to their name. Formed in 1999 and before the phrase “When a butterfly flaps its wings off the coast of Australia…” could even start to be overly-masticated, they had risen to critical acclaim. Originally from Brisbane, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT loves to tour and describes being musicians is tiered into two parts: creating and performing. Recently, the group has taken a break from touring and locked themselves up in an existential vortex, as all accomplished tortured artists do, to write and compose their upcoming album. Glenn describes writing as a “kind of a break” from travelling and performing. He sees it as just “part of the cycle” of the job description “musicianship.” To most of the band members, the music does not just reticulate in themes but it’s “all about the sonics.” Glenn equates music to an artist’s palette and each unique sound bearing its own colour, shape, size and hue “and right now we are experimenting with big broad sonic brushstrokes…” As artists, they “look for inspiration when in the process of composing.” So, what inspires them, I ask; well, I then start to understand that it’s vicious self-referential cycle. To the Butterfly Effect, the process of writing and composing is inspiring it itself; they are inspired when something “sounds interesting to (their) ears.” Glenn is passive on the topic of lyrics; instead I can hear him writhing excitedly on the other end when the topic flicks to the music of their upcoming album, the integral principal of the thing. Some would say Glenn is a purist, but he is certainly is more interested in experimenting with sounds and writing them down instead of dealing with a plebeian constrained verbosity. “We write down what sounds are interesting to our ears,” he says. “Clint writes most of the lyrics and they are a reflection on his thoughts, but the music is about less thinking and more so feeling and listening.” The Butterfly Effect now has a major fan base in Australia and Europe, so a label affixed to their music is an inevitable thing. “Hard, atmospheric and resonant rock,” or “insert inspired analogy here” could all be adjectivised terminology applicable, but I asked instead how they would describe the image of their music: challenging question. Ahh, the old verbal visual dichotomy both a curse and gift. Tentatively after some nudging, because they had never been asked such obscurity, they came up with “Bourbon and Vodka: classy light and shade that just ends up being dark.” End quote. Wonderful analogy. I need not say any more. The Butterfly Effect have not been geographically inept, on the contrary, they certainly have had much practical experience touring Australia and Europe. So I was almost about to start to internally haemorrhage before I got the chance to ask the most entertaining but trite question an interviewer can pose a band member: what was the craziest thing that happened on tour? Glenn was slightly reluctant to tell much of the truth and nothing but the truth, lest he and his band was eventually helped by some divine intervention down the track, but from what I gathered there was some allusion to a “naked table tennis match” whilst touring somewhere in an ocean-lapped netheregion of NSW. An inevitable “six week party” also occurred whilst touring around Germany. Jagermiester was in excess and the Germans were not far off. No other statements were made. The Butterfly Effect is playing at the ANU Bar on Saturday March 22. They are touring before they start to officially record their new album which is expected to come out at the end of September.
“We kind of came out of nowhere so we just stayed in ‘nowhere’. We have never tried to change based on what’s new or what’s current, we have just stayed true to our original sound and that’s what works for us” Tim Galvin When you look around these days, there isn't a whole lot of 'flowers in your hair, barefoot, free love' rock 'n' roll music in the world. Small, onthe-corner independent record stores, created through a love of sharing a passion for music, have been replaced with large, paint-by-numbers retail corporations staffed by teenage schoolkids who think that The Rolling Stones are things that their mothers told them gather no moss. Our radios and TVs are contrived money-making machines. It is a sonic future born from a musical Skynet which not even Sarah Connor or the governor of California himself could prevent. Until now. I wouldn’t say that THE BLACK CROWES are euphonious saviours in any right, but they are part of a small band of purists that have never sold out to commercialism and have stayed true to the very roots of a genre that has been severely diluted in the past three decades, with successful spin-offs such as grunge and indie. Steve Gorman is one of the original three members of the band that have survived all 20 years of their entire rock 'n' roll epic, and he shares their tumultuous history with me from his home in Nashville, Tennessee. "(I'm) much calmer these days, but after 21 years I guess if I wasn’t there would be some cause for alarm," he laughs. "In the early days we had way too much energy and didn’t know how to focus it, which led to a lot of tension in the band… The most important thing when you are getting older is not to be opposed to learning in some ways." They have been touted as ‘the most rock and roll band in America’ which is a title that obviously does not sit well with Steve. “To tell you the truth, that’s the last thing I worry about; people like you whose job it is to come up with things like that… we just strive to be the best band we can be and focus on making our sound and keeping the same vibe.” You can tell that there is a distinct reverence to their art which has remained ingrained in their passion for creating Black Crowes records. Since gaining instant notoriety with their first studio album in 1990, Shake Your Money Maker, which birthed such classics as their cover of Otis Redding’s Hard to Handle and their own smash She Talks to Angels, the Crowes have always been under pressure to stay on top of their game. “We have succeeded in ignoring that since we started out; when we made our first album there was zero pressure, we had no concept of how the industry would be and of course we were surprised with the success. We kind of came out of nowhere so we just stayed in ‘nowhere’ you know. We have never tried to change based on what’s new or what’s current, we have never been interested in any of the new equipment like synthesisers or drum machines, we have just stayed true to our original sound and that’s what works for us.” In 1992 their most famous album The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion hit the shelves and really thrust them into the international spotlight. The singles Remedy and Thorn In My Pride made them household names across the world and allowed them to share the stage with such musical gods as AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page.
“When you are actually up on stage doing it, you don’t think about it at all, but before the show and afterwards, sure. Though when it’s happening you are just doing your thing. He (Jimmy Page) actually did a whole tour with us, like full two-and-a-half-hour shows and afterwards I thought ‘holy shit, I just played a gig with Jimmy Page!' And there aren’t much cooler things in the world you can say than that (laughs)’.” Flash forward to 2008, and after a series of successful CD and DVD releases, the Crowes are back with a brand new studio album entitled Warpaint. The new album is their first release since the turn of the millennium and has been a victory for the band after some hard times with band members coming and going and a change of record label. “It was exhilarating, cohesive; I think those are the words I would choose. We weren’t in a hurry to do the album so we remained within our comfort level. I hate to say it but it was almost easy; we came together really well. The whole premise of ‘coming back’ with this album was important so we wanted to make sure we were ready. [The new members Paul Stacey and Luther Dickinson were] wonderful; if you have heard the album you wouldn’t have the need to ask that question. They contributed in all the right ways and from the end of the very first day we knew that.” This exciting release marks the start of a worldwide tour for which they announced that, for the first time in their career, they will perform an album in its entirety. On a special run of one-night-only shows, they will perform Warpaint from start to finish, along with, you would assume, some classics for the fans. “We wanted it to be something special for the fans; we thought it would be cool to do something like that because it is a one time thing. The first show is scheduled before the album comes out, so the people that see that will not have heard any of the songs before we do them on stage which will be great.” The Crowes return to Australia in March, excited about not having been to the land of beaches, kangaroo culling and Vegemite for many years. Steve remembers our audiences very fondly. “Great crowds! I remember the whole thing actually, it was just after our first trip to Japan, which was a very strange experience; it was a very dramatic and tense period for us as it was just after the release of our second album. It was back when I still had a camera; I took a tonne of pictures in Australia. Back then we were never sure if we would ever be back anywhere, so I always had my camera with me. The biggest shame is that we decided not to come back for 16 years!” The true spirit of free-spirited rock and roll never died. It has been hibernating through many eras of hip-hop, grunge and generic pop. Everyone who has ever owned an LP knows that musical trends are cyclical and rock and roll is back: hand-delivered by The Black Crowes. The Black Crowes will bring Canberrans their latest LP Warpaint in all its live majesty at the Royal Theatre on Wednesday April 2. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com.au). Warpaint is out now through Stomp Records.
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I spent the last day of 2007 in the sweltering Tasmanian sun, surrounded by hundreds of bogans, and my boys, screaming the words to all of the songs in THE MESS HALL’s set. The ease and comfort with which they transformed The Falls Festivals’ main stage into their own is perhaps the perfect metaphor to describe how the Mess Hall turned last year into their year. “I’d have to say that this album has been more successful then the last one!” Cec Condon, drummer extraordinaire, exclaims when comparing 2005’s Notes From the Ceiling to the Devil’s Elbow LP, released last September. The album secured the duo (completed by vocalist/guitarist Jed Kurzel) the prestigious, peer-judged AMP Award and also nabbed a triple j Album of the Week slot, while the Herald Sun awarded the Keep Walking video Clip of the Year. Cec speaks proudly of not just the album, but of the maturation of the band since their previous release. “We have definitely matured since our last release. I think Jed’s songwriting has gone from strength to strength, particularly in a lyrical sense, and our playing is reflecting this. We see our albums as a snapshot of where we were at musically at that particular point in time. “There were also some personal circumstances in Jed’s life at the time that definitely helped shape a good portion of the album,” Cec continues. “I think of it as a very observational album, and it comes across in the lyrics.” 2007 was also the year Australia’s favourite two-piece expanded their lineup to include a third member on the live stage, the third party in question being no less then Gerling’s very own Burke Reid. “Burke produced, engineered and mixed Devil’s Elbow,” Cec says of his contribution for the album. “He’s a great friend of ours, so the transition was an obvious and natural one to us. The three piece idea live was to try and emulate the album’s songs as closely as possible on stage. We tried this and didn’t feel it necessary to have everything exactly the same in the live show, so now we’re back to being a two-piece - much cheaper!” he jokes. The recent streamlining of the band’s live line-up couldn’t have come at a better time, both musically and fiscally, seeing as the lads will shortly be embarking on a no doubt coveted support slot for next month’s Foo Fighters tour. Surely playing with a band of that calibre, in venues of a size up until this point foreign for the Mess Hall, must be intimidating? But spoken as a true drummer, Cec is “more excited than anything. I learnt to play the drums along to the Nevermind album, so it’ll be pretty special meeting Dave Grohl. Nirvana are one of our favourite bands as well.” After the headlining tour and the support shows, The Mess Hall intend on returning overseas, funded by their AMP Award-winning money. One of Cec’s outstanding live highlights occurred on their first US tour, opening for Wolfmother in Florida, and as he describes “one of our best shows and also one of the best reactions we’ve received as well.” So, can the Canberra crowd expect to be as lucky when they play The Greenroom? “Depends if any of you crazy bastards come out to see the show!” Cec laughs. The Mess Hall play The Greenroom in Phillip on Friday April 4, with The Scare, as part of the Pulse Tour. Tickets $15 from Moshtix outlets and www.moshtix.com.au . Devil's Elbow is out now on Ivy League.
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Observing t he Customs
“His name is Howling Winds, he’s from Apollo Bay as well” Luke McGrath Ted O’Neil is a man that shoots from the hip. The bassist for Victorian bluesniks THE VASCO ERA, he has little time for hyperbole or ‘talking spin’. He calls a spade a spade – much like his attitude to his day job. “We just get set up, play and then pack up. Either go home to bed or go and get pissed, one or the other.” he chuckles. Recently, the band has been appearing on several festival line-ups – easy enough to do when new festivals are seemingly announced daily. Attempting to explain the phenomenon, Ted states matter of factly, “I just think there’s just a lot of people wanting to see live music. I don’t know whether people have got richer or got more expendable income or what, but people seem to be coming more. A resurgence in live music, I s’pose.” The Vasco Era are perfectly poised to make the most of this cultural shift - their live show is known to lay waste to all pretenders and considering how intense they already come across on debut LP Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside, that is certainly saying something. While the band’s sound is indebted to the blues and garage rock, there is a muscularity to the arrangements and a willingness to experiment that prevents it from becoming a throwback. At a couple of recent gigs, they’ve even been joined on stage by a flute player. “His name is Howling Winds, he’s from Apollo Bay as well,” says Ted. “When we were first starting out he helped us a lot, we recorded in his studio down in the bay and we just wanted to get him up and have a bit of fun with it. A few of our friends were there and knew what was happening and were thinking ‘oh yeah, it’s going to be really tacky’ but it just worked out really well, it was good fun.” Of course, a band being joined by a flute player is the first step on the slippery slope to playing with a full orchestra a la Augie March or Hilltop Hoods. “Yeah, that would be interesting. Probably get into trouble for breaking a cello or something,” Ted sneers before pondering it another moment. “Yeah, it would be quite interesting. I think we’d probably be too loud for an orchestra, I think they’d all get too scared of us or something,” he laughs. While the orchestra may be a while off, the band is excited about new material. “Yeah, we’ve got about eight or nine songs we’re demo-ing in April and we’ll hopefully have an album out by late this year or early next year. I’m really excited about it.” Playing so many gigs, it is also important to find ways to stave off ennui setting it. “About five months or so ago we were getting sick of the set,” Ted admits. “But now we’ve got about four new songs that we’ve been road-testing. Playing them gives the other songs a bit more freshness ‘cause you’re not playing the exact same set all the time”. While the band may weary of playing the same songs every night, Ted reckons a good live show is simply “something that can keep the attention of the crowd.” The Vasco Era needn’t ever worry on that front. The Vasco Era sadly have no immediate plans for shows in Canberra (Ted did hint that something was in the works) but in the meantime you can catch them alongside Urthboy, Mia Dyson, The Fumes, Custom Kings and many more at The Gum Ball festival in Wolombi Valley (NSW), held between April 11 and 13. Tickets available through Moshtix, for more info head to www.thegumball.com.au .
“We don’t stay in the same spot for too long. Mix and match” Chiara Grassia “Writing songs is why I got into in the first place,” says Nick Vorrath, key songwriter and frontman for Melbourne’s CUSTOM KINGS. Ah, the Custom Kings. By now you’ve probably heard at least one of their tracks kicking around on the radio, with songs such as Number One and Up Late, off their debut album At Sea, having been staples on stations such as triple j of late. The bands’ blend of genres gives their songs variety and so people seem to have trouble summing up their sound into a neat category. “Eclectic songs,” Nick says simply when asked to describe their sound. “We don’t stay in the same spot for too long. Mix and match.” “We all kinda knew each other,” Nick informs, as the topic of conversations leans towards the band’s formation, “it’s almost my solo band.” The band actually came together when Nick contacted his record company and handed them a copy of his demo. But does he regret not going in a solo direction? Not at all. “It’s always good with the right bunch of people. We’ve been together for almost four years.” The opportunity to bounce ideas of each other is always available, “steal the credit for that,” he adds cheekily. Live, the band prefers to play more of their “upbeat” songs. “They’re more fun. We like the crowd to be up and dancing. Mix it up, play lots of different stuff. Number One has turned into a bit of a crowd favourite, it’s gotten a bit more rockier.” On stage, the band comprise two guitars, keyboard, bass, sampler and drums, which results in the instruments been swapped around “back and forth.” Covers are few, though the band have been talking about covering a more modern song, compared to the older blues songs they have reinterpreted in the past. But for now the band are concentrating more on process of learning “how to play our own songs first.” While he enjoys touring and playing live, Nick does find recording “a little more satisfying, more creative.” Adding to their list of festivals, the Custom Kings are part of the line-up for the relatively new Gum Ball festival in Wollombi Valley, NSW. “I don’t really know what to expect,” Nick says, “but I’m looking forward to it. We met the guys last year in Newcastle.” The band has played their fair share of festivals, with Nick admitting it “feels like we’ve played stacks. We never pass up a festival; it’s always a good thing to do.” With a “mini tour in April” scheduled, The Custom Kings’ second album will be finished “hopefully by the end of the year. We have a few songs on the go,” Nick states, but notes that there will be a difference between the new album and their debut, with the new one being “not as diverse. More focused, a more cohesive package. It’s hard to write a whole album in one genre; every song sounds like the last.” The Custom Kings share the stage with The Vasco Era, Urthboy, Mia Dyson and numerous others at The Gum Ball festival in Wolombi Valley (NSW), held between April 11 and 13. Tickets available through Moshtix outlets, for more info head to www.thegumball.com.au .
Fight Academy Songs “There’s a great quote, ‘being in a band is a great way to spend your 20s.’ A lot of people get past that and don’t want to do it anymore" Peter Krbavac It’s always a pleasure to chat to someone as genuinely excited about music as Ben Thompson, one of the lynchpins of Brisbane’s THE RATIONAL ACADEMY. As he reels off a seemingly unending list of side-projects and, later in our chat, confesses his love of Sonic Youth “to a point where it’s probably embarrassing sometimes,” it’s clear he’s an unabashed music nerd – the best kind of person. The Academy have released their debut LP, A Heart Against Your Own, which covers a good deal of musical ground across its seven tracks: from pastoral soundscapes, the domain of bubbling synths, humming electronics and gently insistent beats to shoegaze epics, where jagged guitar lines collide with squalls of screeching feedback – the ‘90s guitar rock hangover that still seems to loom large over many bands in Brisbane. “It showcases how eclectic the band is in a way,” Ben says, “because I think there are 13 people on the record.” But from the very beginning, The Rational Academy have always been a diverse and challenging proposition. “We purposely recorded our first seven inch as this weird, cut-up, folk/noise thing,” Ben explains, “so everyone had been coming to shows thinking we were this SleaterKinney rip off and then we put out a record and it sounded like Gastra Del Sol. No one knew what to make of it.” Throughout their four-year history, the Academy have always had a fluid line-up, revolving around the hub of Meredith McHugh and Ben. “It’s got to the point that the idea of the line-up constantly changing and revolving around Meredith and me is what the band is now,” Ben reflects. “Everyone’s getting older,” he reasons. “There’s a great quote, ‘being in a band is a great way to spend your 20s.’ A lot of people get past that and don’t want to do it anymore. We’ve also always worked with people who have been in our favourite bands… with people that we didn’t want to drag away from their other band, because their other band might have been one of our favourite bands in the whole world. At first it was always depressing when you’d lose someone, but now it’s almost challenging and fun because everything changes so much.” To mark A Heart’s release, Ben is treating us to a rare solo acoustic outing ahead of a full band tour later in the year. “It’s fun, we’ve been trying to figure out how to play solo versions of these songs just using one tuning.” He's also quite keen to tackle some of Meredith’s songs in acoustic. “I wouldn’t mind doing a version of The Author. I’d have to see what she thought about it, she might just say ‘no, you’re not doing that.’ I hope she lets me, ‘cause I think that’d be fun.” Regardless, Ben’s looking to the solo shows with a great deal of excitement. “I think it’ll be really different, and The Front is really nice,” he enthuses. “Last time we played there, we’d just done a bunch of shows in Melbourne and we’d been sleeping on a warehouse floor and it was really nice turning up and doing this really laid-back, quiet show. Now whenever we do shows anywhere, we always book a show on the last day in a tiny little space. The best way to come down from big nights out is to play a little tiny show like that.” Ben Thompson launches A Heart Against Your Own on Sunday March 30 at The Front with Spartak, launching their Ostpolitik set, and special guests Milenasong/Lappalie (Sydney/Berlin - Monika Enterprise). From 8pm, a thrifty $5 on the door.
BLACKBOX Chez Blackbox is a retro kind of place because a) retro used to be cool and b) it saves the earth but mostly because c) there are better things to spend your hard-earned on than the latest plastic box. Faced with the looming spectre of telly viewing being ripped away by the digital age, it was time to update the box, faithfully purchased in 1990, a time when only the BBC had a second channel. The choice was simple (see b and c) – a set-top box. And it’s so much more. The picture is clearer, there are no worries about chewed tapes (just pure luck the VCR’s not beta) and it has timeshifting (or TiVo for those who watch lots of US shows). Being able to pause a show to answer the phone or make sure the dog isn’t on fire is unimaginably liberating - just don’t let the door-to-door salespeople know.
If Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (WIN, Wed, 8.30pm) has you worried about the future, check out Human Version 2.0 (SBS, Sun Apr 6, 8.30pm) which looks at intelligent computers. Music to watch includes: John Lennon: Live in New York City (ABC2, Sun Mar 30, 1.55pm), Deep Purple: Live at Montreaux (ABC2, Sun Mar 30, 4.10pm), Classic Albums: Bob Marley: Catch a Fire (ABC2, Fri Apr 4, 10.30pm) and to coincide with Wilco’s tour the doco Jeff Tweedy/Sunken Treasure Live (SBS, Fri Mar 21, 11.35pm).
Other shows to look out for include a repeat of I Love Carbuncles (ABC2, Sun Mar 30, 9.30pm) a look at concrete architecture, Captain Picard’s appearance on Extras (ABC2, Fri Apr 4, 10pm).
Readers who have invested heavily in an elaborate home theatre set-up that will only fit in the garage will scoff at the childlike bewilderment. For those who have stuck with free-to-air telly and their hand-me-down set, get thee to an electronics retailer. And for retro movie buffs, ABC2 is the place to be with gems like Money Movers (ABC2, Sat Apr 5, 8.30pm) a 1978 Bruce Beresford crime flick. Easter ain’t what it used to be. Once upon a time you could be assured of a rush of old religious classics like The Ten Commandments making it to our screens for the festive season. This year all the networks can manage is The Vicar of Dibley Easter Special (Prime, Sun Mar 23, 7.30pm). Even Auntie has just two hours with The Gospel of Judas (ABC1, Sun Mar 23, 10am) and Hymns of Glory (ABC1, Sun Mar 23, 11.30am). SBS looks at the history with The Christ Files (SBS, Fri Mar 21, 12pm). SCTEN’s contribution is The Godfather (SCTEN, Sat Mar 22, 10.30pm) – good movie but not quite the same. Prime serves up an Easter Saturday sci-fi comedy fest with Galaxy Quest (Prime, Sat Mar 22, 8.10pm) and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Prime, Sat Mar 22, 10.15pm). Auntie’s new flagship dramedy East of Everything (ABC1, Sun Mar 30, 8.30pm) finally sees some air time. Penned by SeaChange creator Deb Cox, the series follows a similar theme except the central character is a prodigal son returning home rather than an outsider coming for the first time. Ideal (ABC2, Thu Mar 27, 9.30pm) is comedy of a different kind. The life of drug Moz (played by Johnny Vegas) Here's Johnny... dealer provides plenty of eccentric characters for this BBC 3 production. It’s made it to three seasons so far, it’s written by a comic, it’s British and has the Blackbox stamp of approval. What more do you want?
See it all, again
Life on Mars (ABC, Thu, 8.30pm) winds up on April 3 and is not be missed if you’ve been following the series. No word yet on the sequel Ashes to Ashes. Also winding up is Stupid Stupid Man (ABC, Wed Apr 9, 9pm).
Returning this week are How I Met Your Mother (Prime, Thu Mar 20, 7.30pm) bumping Samantha Who? off our screens, a new series of The Thick of It (ABC, Wed Mar 26, 9.30pm) best described of a British comedy version of The West Wing (but probably closer to Yes, Minister) and Love Harvest (SBS, Apr 2, 8pm), which follows the lives of Australian organic farmers. And if you thought manufactured boy bands began with Take That or *N Sync, watch Making the Monkees (ABC, Thu Mar 27, 9.35pm). TRACY HEFFERNAN firstname.lastname@example.org
LiFe on Mars winds up
THEATRE COLUMN Huh. Back again. I’m trying to get excited, but I guess the theatre shemozzle of 2008 is taking its time to make an imprint on my consciousness. Is this what the French would term ennui? Heavens forfend. There’s so much on! Go West Sam Shepard’s True West is one of the classics of modern American theatre. I know this because I get ranted at about it fortnightly. Fiona Atkin, the new Artistic Director of ANU’s Moonlight Productions, is directing it as the first show in Moonlight’s 2008 season. And golly should it be a corker. Two brothers, a kitchen, and thirty toasters feature in this “darkly comic modern classic”. I’m just quoting from the facebook events page here. Moonlight presents True West by Sam Shepard, directed by Fiona Atkin. Featuring Jarrad West, Ben Williams, Martin Searles and Fiona Atkin. Thursday March 20 to Saturday March 29, 8pm. Tix $15/$12 at the door. ANU Drama students only pay $5! You can also get dinner + show packages at Teatro Vivaldi. Give ’em a bell on 625 72718. Moonlight is also on facebook so you can get all your info there. Now go the other way Also on at ANU in coming weeks is Papermoon’s An Absurd Double Bill, a – yes – double bill, of two hilarious plays by absurdist master Eugene Ionesco. The Lesson takes a look at language and power (but don’t worry, it’s funny), while The Bald Soprano sends up theatre, relationships, and meaning. Featuring a cast of Canberra’s finest actors and directed by Bec Clifford and Cathie Clelland, it’s an exciting opener to Papermoon’s season. Papermoon presents An Absurd Double Bill: The Lesson and The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco. Thursday April 3 to Saturday April 13 @ 8pm. Wednesday April 9 at 6.30pm. Matinees on Saturdays at 2pm. Tix $25/$20 at the door or get yourself a Teatro Vivaldi dinner/show package. The Epistle of St. Paul Actually, it’s Casey Bennetto’s hilarious cabaret Keating!, back in Canberra one last time. It’s in June which is a while away but tickets for this baby have been selling like pastry goods which are pretty darn warm, so maybe think about getting some now if you want to go. Probably one of the funniest shows I have seen in my life. Company B Belvoir presents Keating!, directed by Neil Armfield. The Playhouse, June 3 to 7. Tix from $30 - $55 depending on the time you go and how old you are. Check it out on the CTC website or give Canberra Ticketing a call on 6275 2700. Under Twenty Seven? Well then, don’t pay full price for your CTC tickets! The CTC’s U27 tickets are available on their subscription season shows for all patrons between the ages of 16 and 27. Just flash your ID to prove your age and get cut-price (and they sometimes are practically half-price) tickets for their season shows. Sweet. Ooooo And, finally, for the snobs out there (and aren’t I just one of them?) the Kiev Ballet is coming to the CTC and is doing Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. K-rad. Check it out on the website; they’re here in May for four days only. Peace out. I’m going for a gin. NAOMI MILTHORPE email@example.com bma magazine 25
DISCOLOGY SINGLED OUT
WITH DAVE RUBY HOWE Ashlee Simpson Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya) (Sony BMG) I’m a Timbo nut. Straight up. But even I don’t know what the hell this is. Cashlee probs just wanted people to think she was cool so she threw some money Tim’s way to make her a decent set of tunes. Bad luck. Tim milked that cash cow, dug up some old beats Missy rejected, sat back on his yacht, lit a cigar with a hundred dollar bill and got bj. Classic Timbo. Ladyhawke Back Of The Van (Modular) Perfect fit, this one. Teenager’s Pip goes solo with glittering-synths, rushing basslines and a vintage pop feeling. No surprise that Van She’s Michael Di Francesco is the producer. Or that the Van She Tech remix kills it. Or that Modular is releasing it. Or that it’s fantastic. Midnight Juggernauts Shadows (Siberia/Institubes) By now this is as old as hell. But that’s fine. It’s still as good as ever. In fact, after hearing the apocalyptic stomp of the band’s gorgeous Dystopia, the disco-infused lines of Shadows on its own makes for happy listening. And there’s even a fancy new remix on the back. Boom. The Presets This Boy’s In Love (Modular) Poised as the single to make or break The Presets’ forthcoming album, This Boy’s In Love is that special kind of single. It’s got the band’s trademark pounding electro beats, but with heavenly doses of unashamed pop aspirations. It’s got Daniel Johns singing the chorus, goly gosh. It’s for clubs, for radio, for you, for anyone. And yes, it’ll make the album. WOW Common Species (Independent) This is by no means complicated. But who needs complicated, anyway? Complicated sucks. Complicated is fucking Meredith Grey. It gets tiring. But when something like this comes along, not pretending to be anything other than a buzz of lo-fi synthesizer stabs, gritted teeth vox and Bernard Sumner guitar lashings, you take it for what it is. Simple, uncomplicated fun. Blue King Brown Stand Up (Roots Level Records/MGM) Stand Up is the title track and second single from BKB’s debut. This rootsical reggae release, urging us to stand up and take responsibility for making positive changes in the world, is backed with a great cover of KC White’s classic No No No (You Don’t Love Me), a Stand Up dub and the percussive Cooks. SIMON HOBBS
Clawfinger Life Will Kill You (Nuclear Blast) Half singing, half rapping atop some of the chunkiest riffs you’ve ever heard, Clawfinger have been doing their thing since before 1994, when the trumpet player of touring Seattle ska band Easy Big Fellah recommended them to me. They vanished for four years but came back with a vengeance and a new release in 2001 and since then have released an album every two years. Their latest, Life Will Kill You, has 11 disturbingly heavy tracks that sound not unlike rap/metal pioneers Stuck Mojo. Think Metallica, meets Rammstein and Lincoln Park. SIMON HOBBS Duffy Rockferry (Universal) Rockferry is the debut album for 23-year-old Welsh singer/songwriter Duffy. This is an album that’s a delicious confection of elegant, bluesy soul. Duffy arrives in a fanfare of expectation from the UK press and her label. Her second single from this album, Mercy, took its nouveau Northern soul straight to number one in the UK. It bounded through the melee of nu-rave, indie and Kate Nash et al. While there’s a glut of Winehouse wannabes on the scene right now, Duffy’s longevity is assured because Rockferry is the preserve of classic soul. It is an album of rueful tales of a myriad of insubordinations at the hands of dastardly men and Duffy’s voice is an understated sensation. It really is the voice and it’s worth hearing. CECILIA PATTISON-LEVI Guru Jazzmatazz Vol. 4 (Grand Records/Shock) The next installment of Guru’s groundbreaking crossover series, Jazzmatazz is out. Titled The Hip-Hop Jazz Messenger: Back to the Future, Guru teams up with the cream of jazz, hip-hop and R&B to present an LP that soothes the ears with smart rhymes, smooth beats and harmonious hooks. This volume features the talents of Damian ‘Jnr Gong’ Marley, revered saxophonist David Sanborn, Blackalicious, Common, Caron Wheeler and Dionne Farris et al. Since the first Jazzmatazz in 1993 the subsequent volumes have become a little over indulgent and dull. Try before you buy. SIMON HOBBS Horrorpops Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (Hellcat/Shock) This Danish (LAbased) psychobilly outfit have been consistent in their strong song writing capabilities. They’re fronted by Patricia Day (upright bass/vocals), who is a kind of gothic femme fatale of the rockabilly scene. Their third Hellcat LP, which finds the band reverting back to a three-piece with Nekroman (Nekromantix) on guitar and the flailing Niedermeier bashing skins, contains 12 tracks plus an Australian only bonus live cover of Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell. Reviewer’s pick: the ska-tinged
second track MissFit with its great take on Madness’ hit Our House (“My fist... in the middle of your face”). SIMON HOBBS Marina V Modern Fairytale (Independent) I have long adored Marina V’s beautiful vocals and skillful piano playing so I was excited to get this new release (I helped sponsor the creation of this album). Her music can be described as piano-based pop. The songs are melodic with lots of layers and emotions, in both the notes played and the vocals. Every once in a while I hear a little Tori note in her voice, but with that slight Russian accent I can’t say she sounds like anyone else. Moonlight Lullaby is achingly beautiful. It is a perfect lullaby. Wilhelmina is another very strong track. It makes great use of minor keys and will seep into your brain where it will linger for hours after listening. Hope is one that has that hit single quality. It’s very catchy and one that will get the listeners’ attention upon first listen. Marina V is a class act and I can’t wait until the general public is as aware of this as I am. CECILIA PATTISON-LEVI PNAU PNAU (etcetc) It’s been a long time between tabs, but the wait for Messrs Littlemore and Mayes’ self-titled third LP has been worth it. Every one of the 13 tracks on offer has its charms, from the four-four acid nightmare of lead single Wild Strawberries, the sick-horn sporting thump of “e o e-o e” sing-along Baby, the hands-in-the-air euphoria of Embrace, to the gorgeously antithetic introspective closers of Freedom and Die With Us. There’s an enthusiasm and energy permeating throughout this entire release, and combined with the group’s long-standing musicality (that is, knowing their way around a tune to make it both catchy and cutting), allows for frequent spins, with a new favourite birthed each time. PNAU currently find themselves at an important career point, with the chance to catapult into the stadium filling splendours of peers The Presets, Midnight Juggernauts and new kid on the block Muscles, and only time will tell if they can pull it off. But this album, combined with their frenetic live show, presents their best chance yet. ALLAN SKO
Seal System (Warner Brothers) Long time ago in a place called the early '90s, MOR warbler Seal was lending his sonorous vocal chords to late-era rave anthems. Well, one mainly - Killer with Adamski. Soon after he helped us recover from the disaster that was Terrence Trent D’Arby with a new fashioned pop, soul, dance fandango that slowly, tepidly morphed from the fun romp of Crazy, through its re-write Kiss From a Rose and finally to nothing remotely listenable or memorable. System represents Seal reclaiming his past, taking a step backwards to move a career-on-hold forwards and basically succeeding in the process. There’s nothing here that will trouble the fluoro brigade and it’s reasonable to wonder if nostalgic ravers will be that interested in Seal’s mediations of parenthood set to mild Balearic beats, assuming they have the capacity to remember that far back. Which they don’t. Unfortunately System will probably fall through the cracks and struggle to find an audience which is shameful in a world where reprehensible genre thieves like Kylie and Madonna reap critical praise and public adoration for having the docile ability to pick the current scene producer. Notably, he loses direction on the slower numbers that attempt to replicate commercial radio glory days and the less said about his musical love letter to wife and duet partner Heidi Klum on Wedding Day the better, but otherwise System works in an odd Euro-house way. JUSTIN HOOK Xiu Xiu Women As Lovers (Kill Rock Stars) The cover of Xiu Xiu’s Women As Lovers features a naked female body hog-tied with nylon rope. “Could it be you are the one,” sings Jamie Stewart on I Do What I Want When I Want, “who is waiting insanely for me to bind your limbs stoutly?” Listening to Xiu Xiu, the answer is yes. Their mix of dissonance and melody is simultaneously constricting and comforting. Surprise saxophones break the tension in the first half then disappear completely. A faithful cover of Under Pressure with Michael Gira from Swans is a particular highlight. Not for the faint of heart. PAUL KELLOWAY
Various Do the Pop Redux Part One (Shock Records) In the mid to late 1970s, Australian popular culture was dominated by disco, Molly Meldrum, flared denim and Olivia Newton John. These delightful artifacts existed amidst a turbulent political climate as a consequence of the abrupt demise of the Whitlam Government’s reformist agenda in 1975. From this colourful cultural stew emerged the first stirrings of the Australian punk scene from two bands, The Saints and Radio Birdman, who churned out raw, abrasive rock ’n’ roll as if their very lives depended on it. In fact, it would be fair to say that Australian alternative music was invented in 1976 with The Saints’ debut single I’m Stranded. In recognition of such things, Shock has revised and expanded an earlier exemplary punk rock compilation titled Do the Pop. This definitive first offering of a planned three volume set is filled with primal beats, galloping tempos and hard, angry guitars from such bands as The Lipstick Killers, X and The Victims for whom Birdman and The Saints were pioneers of a golden age in Australian music. DAN BIGNA
bma magazine 27
With Mark Russell; some guys never got past ‘Nam, he never got past the third grade.
Walking out of The Black Balloon, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Luke Ford. He plays Charlie, a quite severely autistic boy. I felt sorry for him because his stellar performance completely fades into the background. This could be because he’s next to dramatic powerhouse Toni Collette, but I reckon it’s because he, and his character, are too accurate. We only get a couple of those truly Hollywood moments where the disabled kid helps everyone learn a compelling truth about themselves. Instead Simon is most often just a burden, but one his family puts up with because they love him. As Kate Winslet put it in Extras, the best way to win an acting award is to play “a mental”. But I just don’t see it happening for Ford.
Run, Fatboy, Run You remember David Schwimmer don’t you? He’s the gifted thespian behind such complex creations as: Ross – the quirkily neurotic ‘Friend’; Melman – Madagascar’s quirkily neurotic giraffe; and who could forget Anne Heche’s quirkily neurotic husband in Six Days Seven Nights? Convinced that, for the moment, he’s contributed all he could to cinema’s acting elite, Dave decided to have a go on the other side of the camera with a directing stint for Run, Fatboy, Run. The sinking ship of his artistic integrity wouldn’t drop fast enough, however, without taking someone with actual talent like Simon Pegg down with him. Pegg stars as Dennis, an unfit loser
Paranoid Park Gus Van Sant needs to give Gabe Nevins one great big hug, because that doe-eyed kid carries Paranoid Park. He is beautiful, expressive, sad and innocent-looking - and all you want to do is hug him through all of his pain and confusion. Paranoid Park tells the story of Alex (Nevins) - a quiet, skateboarding teenager who is unintentionally involved in a fatal accident involving a security guard and some train tracks. The film follows Alex before, during and after the incident, and is a tense portrayal of a young boy struggling to deal with some damn big issues. Van Sant has a very unconventional style that a lot of people may not be able to overcome, and thus not appreciate the heart of this film. Parts of Paranoid Park feel like you’re
The Black Balloon Autism - surely that hasn’t been funny and poignant since Dustin Hoffman bought his underwear at K-mart? The Black Balloon begs to differ. But you won’t see sudden bursts of mathematical genius, and Tom Cruise won’t be sticking his head out from under an aluminium foil helmet to bring ‘the charisma’. This film is based in part on the experiences of writer/director Elissa Down, who grew up with an autistic brother. In the film, Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) is the long-suffering sibling while Charlie (Luke Ford) is the source of his consternation. Thomas’s life is the whirlwind of a 15-year-old, with the eye of the storm a family dominated by the care of a severely disabled child. What this gives us is a lot of very funny and powerfully bitter-sweet scenes. Charlie does everything a young man
“You cock!” Sweet Elderly Cake Shop Lady Run, Fatboy, Run
who lives with the constant regret of having left his nearly perfect, and thoroughly pregnant, fiancé Libby (Thandie Newton) at the alter five years ago. The apparently flawless new man in her life (Hank Azaria) runs marathons for charity, and so it logically follows that if Dennis runs a marathon he’ll win her back... Run, Fatboy, Run takes an admirable dash at playing to its strengths: namely the interaction between Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran - who plays Libby’s slovenly cousin. Unfortunately this is about all it’s got going for it and when Moran is absent, even Pegg loses his spark and likeability. There are few surprises or twists and not enough wit to make the pedestrian story enough by itself.
It’s all watchable and there are a couple of great lines from a commentator towards the finish line but this is a truly baffling follow-up to Hot Fuzz. It doesn’t speak highly of Pegg either that he helped with writing duties. The credits do read ‘story by Michael Ian Black, screenplay by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg’ however, so it’s possible he came a little late to proceedings. We can only hope. It all probably just needed a little more quirky neurosis.
watching someone else’s stoned dream, or that Forever Young video clip. There is a fantastic scene of a school hallway full of skaters (which seven years ago would have sent me into fits of desire), and also some wonderfully affecting scenes that don’t involve skateboarding. Nevins is utterly adorable and heartbreaking, with thoroughly emotive eyes and that slumped, defeated posture of teenagers everywhere. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast have about as much talent and presence as a wet mop. Those that aren’t artfully portrayed as fuzzy shadows seem to be rushing through their lines so they don’t forget them, or are so absolutely annoying they almost ruin the film.Luckily, Paranoid Park is firmly focused on Alex, and Nevins more than delivers. Don’t see Paranoid Park if you don’t
like footage of skateboarding, shaky hand-held camerawork, slow tense close ups or long tracking shots. Definitely don’t see it if you are confused by non-linear plotlines, don’t enjoy poignantly repeated scenes or appreciate Van Sant’s rule-breaking use of sound, music, framing and shot composition. Paranoid Park is unusual, believable and memorable. Add in a sweet Napoleon Dynamite homage, a young unknown actor and a little bit of wanky filmmaking, and you actually end up with a pretty good, thought-provoking film. Good work Van Sant – it’s about time.
with no capacity to look after himself would. Some brilliant moments bring tears, laughter, disgust and joy. But these are vignettes, prevented from making a strong whole by the weaker scenes linking them. The filler Thomas’s angst and epiphanies provides little entertainment and too much detachment. The pacing and structure of the The Black Balloon is also disconcerting. The story works in a constant state of dramatic peaks and troughs, rather than building to something truly conclusive. It also features a few character moments that are bizarre in the extreme. These feel as though they are intended to add an overall feeling of kookiness but are merely out of place. This all points to Down following a little too closely to her own experiences instead of looking objectively at what works filmically.
Surprisingly, the blossoming puppy love between Thomas and Jackie (Gemma Ward) doesn’t hold things back. This is due in no small part to Ward proving to be quite a talented actress. She is very impressive in a role that could have so easily called for a pretty, pouting face and understanding eyes. Excessive close ups of the two adolescents suggest this isn’t far from what was intended. As far as performances go though, no surprises to see Toni Collette striding ahead as the wonder-woman mother. She owns every scene she walks into with a subtlety that’s brilliant to watch. Much like the way Hoffman famously portrayed Rain Man’s mind, The Black Balloon is a whole bunch of disconnected brilliance.
bma magazine 29
Special Guest DAN MANGAN (CANADA)
bma magazine 31
Sidewaves 2008: Motion City Soundtrack/Cartel/Sugarcult/Mae @ UCU Refectory, Tuesday February 6 and Killswitch Engage/ Shadowsfall/Divine Heresy/From Autumn to Ashes @ UCU Refectory, Wednesday February 27. The Soundwave Festival’s sideshows, aptly named Sidewaves, arrived in Canberra on Tuesday February 26 and 27, days of the week not normally associated with big gigs featuring a line-up of international bands. The first night was all about pop punk, a style of music I am fairly indifferent towards. Headlining the night were Minneapolis five-piece Motion City Soundtrack. Despite my bias against the genre, they managed to put on a really fun show with a lot of energy, and what really made the night was their interaction with the crowd. While the cavernous venue wasn't at capacity, it was obvious that the few hundred or so attendees were diehard fans of this band. Between sets they made jokes and were able to talk with the band who were not the slightest bit arrogant, and carried no sense of rock star ego. In stark contrast to the previous night, Wednesday’s gig attracted a huge crowd, there for one thing: metal. A somewhat strange inclusion on the bill, From Autumn To Ashes, offered their melodic hardcore tinged sound to the metal bill, and those that weren't still stuck in the huge line outside seemed receptive and open-minded enough to enjoy a band that were not strictly metal. Divine Heresy took to the stage next and put on a powerful performance of straight-up metal, featuring the talents of former Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares. Shadowsfall brought out their thrash-metal take on metalcore, singer Brian F was a sight to be seen as he windmilled his knee length dreadlocks, while between songs they took time to ridicule the current emo trend and to lament the death of ‘woods porn’. urbandictionary.com – look it up. Then came the band everyone was there to see, Killswitch Engage. Opening with the title track of their latest album As Daylight Dies, they then proceeded to rip through a mixed set of newer songs and old favourites like Fixation on the Darkness and My Last Serenade. Guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz, looking like a member of a parody metal band dressed in denim cut-offs, vampire cape and a headband adorned with the word ‘douche’, delivered some of his usual insulting, vulgar speeches all in somewhat good humour. It became obvious he doesn’t take himself too seriously and likes to have fun on stage. Howard Jones took command of the stage and the crowd, leading them in singalongs, and then trusting them with his life as he took a downright scary stage dive off the tallest of speaker stacks. As the end of the show drew near the band left the stage briefly, only to come back on for the encore. I still wonder why bands do this. The fact they have finished for the night while knowing they will be coming back out for one last song seems like giant ego stroking to me. Anyway, on they came to finish the set and what better way to end a night of metal than with a cover of the old DIO favourite Holy Diver. This seems like the perfect song for this band to cover - with big choruses and guitar solos aplenty, Killswitch have made it their own. With screaming vocals and faster drumming, it provides a great crowd response and brings together old and new fans of metal. WORDS AND PHOTOS BY JOHN HATFIELD
bma magazine 33
BMA Band Profile
Where did your band name come from? A Radiohead lyric, from the song True Love Waits.
Group members: Jacob (vocals/guitar), George (guitar), Nigel (keys), Adrian (bass) and Nick (drums). Describe your sound: Audible... we’re inspired by David Bowie, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Supergrass. Who are your influences, musical or otherwise? Mr Whippy, angry library ladies, tuxedos and snap pants. What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had whilst performing? Jake crash-tackling Nick with a flying leap over the drum kit (too much no-doze). What’s your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far? Our debut six-track EP. It’s banging. We recorded down in Melbourne at Salt Studios, it was produced by Elmo Hevey and mastered by Jack the Bear. What are your plans for the future? Jake – to grow a beard. George – to sell marble columns in the Bronx. Nigel – to perform as Simba in the Lion King Musical. Adrian – to feel comfortable in golf pants. Nick – to have my own perfume line. What makes you laugh? Bands that try and cram too many instruments on the stage (we are guilty of this ourselves and have a bad habit of cluttering up venues with xylophones, melodicas and mandibles). What pisses you off? People who hold back sneezes. What’s your opinion of the local scene? It’s nearby... There are some awesome bands, but they don’t get the appreciation and attention they deserve. What are your upcoming gigs? We are having a launch party for our debut EP at Transit Bar on Thursday, April 3 – we would love it if you came along. Our EP will be on sale on the night for $10. We will be joined by the musical talents of Hancock Basement, From the South and Jonny Telafone. FREE ENTRY! Contact Info: Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check us out at www.myspace.com/hauntedattics or www.hauntedatticsmusic.com (check out the free download of our single We Eat Young Souls).
Write your band’s name as well as the name and phone number of the person to contact (limit of two contacts ie. phone and email) and send $5 (cheque or money order made to Bands, Music, Action) to bma: PO Box 713, Civic Square, ACT, 2608. For your $5 you’ll stay on the register until you request removal. Changes to listings also cost $5.
Aaron Peacey Aaron 0410 381 306 Afternoon Shift Adam 0402 055 314 After Close Scotty 0412 742 682, email@example.com Alcove Mark 0410 112 522 Alice 0423 100 792 Allies ACT (Oxfam Group) firstname.lastname@example.org/ myspace.com/alliesact Amphibian Sound PA Clare 0410 308 288 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 Backbeat Drivers Steve 0422 733 974, www.backbeatdrivers.com Bastard Sons of Liberty Jamie 0424 857 282 Big Boss Groove Andrew 0404 455 834, www.bigbossgroove.com.au Birds Love Fighting Gangbusters/DIY shows - email@example.com Blister Bug Stu 0408 617 791 Bolj James 0410 534 057 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 Chuffs, The Glenn 0413 697 546 Cold Heart Projects Andrew 6294 5450 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 Dahahoo Rafe 0416 322 763 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 0408287672. 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 Dubba Rukki Jim 0409 660 745 Easy Mode Daz 0404 156 482, firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace. com/easymodeband Entity Chris 0412 027 894 Epic Flagon email@example.com EYE firstname.lastname@example.org 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, email@example.com Guff Damian 6230 2767 HalfPast Chris 0412 115 594 Hancock Basement Tom 6257 5375, firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Hour Wendy 0406 375 096, Melinda 0400 405 537 Haunted Attics email@example.com
Hitherto Paul 0408 425 636 Adam Hole Adam 0421 023 226 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 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 Kurt's Metalworx (PA) 0417 025 792 Lenders, The Tim 6247 2076 Little Smoke Sam 0411 112 075 Los Capitanes Tim 0421 842 247 Manilla Green Herms 0404 848 462, firstname.lastname@example.org, Martin Bailey Audio Engineer 0423 566 093 Malumba Dan 6253 5150 MC Kayo Marbilus 0405 648 288 email@example.com, www.myspace. com/kayo_marbilus, Meatbee Ben 0417 492 560 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 Quagmire Jason 0409 802 543/ Ben 0401 442 099 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 Rug, The Jol 0417 273 041 Samsara Samahdi 0431 083 776 Sansutra J-Ma 0403 476 350 Sara Vancea Sara 6247 9899 Seditious Intent Toby 0419 971 547 Sindablok Duncan 0424 642 156 Simone Penkethman (Simone & The Soothsayers, Singing Teacher) 6230 4828 Soundcity Rehearsal Studio Andrew 0401 588 884 Stalker and Liife Darren 0413 229 049 strong like sam Luke 0423 762 812 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, 0413 609 832, LUCIAMURDOCH@hotmail.com Top Shelf Colin 0408 631 514 Tripitide Jason 0409 802 543/ Cam 0412 553 842 TRS email@example.com 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 March 20 - 21 THURSDAY MARCH 20
THURSDAY MARCH 20
THURSDAY MARCH 20
ARTS _____________ True West Two brothers, a kitchen, and 30 toasters feature in this darkly comic modern classic. 8pm. ’Til March 29 ANU ARTS CENTRE Lawrence of Arabia and the Light Horse The story of T.E. Lawrence and the Australian Light Horse AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL Point of View Selections from the Strathnairn Annual Exhibition of Members’ Work. ’Til March 21 BELCONNEN GALLERY Samuel Topou The Rat and the Octopus exhibition. ’Til March 29 CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, GORMAN HOUSE Kensuke Todo Sculptures exhibition. ’Til Mar 29 CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, GORMAN HOUSE Steven Holland Bible Flowers Spiders exhibition. ’Til March 29 CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, GORMAN HOUSE Tony Albert Where Is The Love exhibition. ’Til March 29 CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, GORMAN HOUSE Kitiya Palaskas Cake town exhibition. ’Til Mar 23 CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, MANUKA Erik Krebs-Schade Chaise Longue (porn star) exhibition opening. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE, MANUKA Canberra Dance Theatre 30th Anniversary Performance group meeting every Thursday to rehearse for performances on Nov 22 and 23. All CDT members welcome. Info: canberradancetheatre.org CANBERRA DANCE THEATRE Canberra Model Shipwrights Society 20th Anniversary Exhibition ’Til May 24 CANBERRA MUSEUM AND GALLERY Stephen Proctor’s Lines Through Light Exhibition examining his work from the '70s to 2001. ’til June 8 CANBERRA MUSEUM AND GALLERY
friday march 21
Trish Roan Cricible exhibition CRAFT ACT Tae Schmeisser Front Counter exhibition CRAFT ACT Shuji Yamazaki Foyer Showcase exhibition CRAFT ACT 1839 Exchanges Jewellery from across the Tasman exhibition CRAFT ACT The Interview An exhibition of layered garments with dark exteriors and detailed interiors CRAFT ACT Vivienne Binns Exhibition Celebrating the work of the Canberra artists. ’Til March 30 DRILL HALL GALLERY, ANU Mulungu (From the Sea) New works by Torres Strait Islander Alice Tipoti. ’Til April 13 IMPRESSIONS ON PAPER GALLERY Harmony ’08 17 artists forging new cultural links between Australia and China. ’Til March 30 M16 ARTSPACE, KINGSTON Max Dupain on Assignment Widely considered one of Australia’s greatest photographers, feat. 80 of his images. ’til May 25 NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF AUSTRALIA Turner to Monet: The Triumph of Landscape Landscape masterpieces in oil and watercolour from the finest artists of the time. ’Til June 9 NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA Australian Surrealism: the Agitpos/Wilson collection Exhibition shows the extraordinary breadth of Surrealism. ’Til May 8 NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA Bridging the Distance Exhibition exploring the challenges of a big country and how distance affects our lives. ’til June 15 NATIONAL LIBRARY OF AUSTRALIA Body Moves Contemporary art in response to the theme of movement. ’til March 22 NEW WORKS ART GALLERY
Out and About Exhibition by Colleen Michelle Connors. ’Til March 30 THE ARTISTS SHED, QUEANBEYAN 2008 Bald Archy Prize Comic and satiric portraits. ’Til April 6 WATSON ARTS CENTRE
DANCE _____________ Trash Thursdays ACADEMY Jemist KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE The Stafford Brothers The duo clocking #3 in inthemix’s 2007/08 Top 50 poll descend upon the ‘berra LOT 33
LIVE _____________ Aaron Peacey With the 27 Year Blues Revival CAFÉ MACHIATTO Aaron Peacey CAFÉ MACHIATTO National Folk Festival Five nights and four days of music, song, dance, street performances, poetry and yarns! ‘Til March 24. folkfestival.asn.au EPIC, FEDERAL HIGHWAY, WATSON Hippo ‘Unplugged’ $7 HIPPO Kremlin Live Performances by local musicians KREMLIN BAR Mitch From 9.30pm THE DURHAM Horsell Common With Trial Kennedy, Lamexcuse $15, 18+, 8pm THE GREENROOM Live from the Underground Julia & the Deep Sea Sires, Tim Maloney, Arythmia, San Veneno TRANSIT BAR
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Arc Cinema Screenings Andy Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys (1968). 7.30pm NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE Carry-On Karaoke 9pm PJ O’REILLY’S
Ashley Feraude Every second Friday, spinning soulful house, disco, funk, soul and down tempo grooves. 9pm - close B-BAR Ashley Feraude Spinning a soundtrack of soulful tunes as you sip your after work drinks. From 6-9pm BINARA ONE (CROWN PLAZA HOTEL) Shunji KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE Regrowth Festival Tree planting music festival feat. 150 international, national and local live and dance acts across 6 stages alongside an outdoor cinema, roving theatre, environmental workshops, natural healing space, markets and more. regen.org.au.’Til March 23 MORTEN NATIONAL PARK
LIVE _____________ The Remnants AINSLIE BAR @ OLIM’S HOTEL Rev Indie/alternative/rock/pop/ punk madness every Friday, $5 entry BAR 32 Pete Olsen Low and lonesome lounge CAFÉ MACHIATTO Tina Cousins $18 CUBE Frank Madrid’s Adventures in Global Rhythm 21st Century version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin OLD PARLIAMENT 3rd Exit From 10pm THE DURHAM CITA Showcase Feat. Red Tram Blue, Little Smoke, If Angels Were Architects, Degrees of Freedom, Tim Maloney. $5, 18+, 8pm THE GREENROOM
GIG GUIDE March 22 - April 2 SATURDAY MARCH 22
SUNDAY MARCH 23
TUESDAY MARCH 25
THURSDAY MARCH 27
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
FliCKERFEST 2008 17th International Australian Short Film Festival feat. some of the best short films from all over the world. ’Til March 23 DENDY
Easter Sunday with Dorree 9pm - late CUBE Ashley Feraude KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE
Pot Belly Trivia POT BELLY BAR Fame Trivia THE DURHAM
Gangbusters Featuring The Consequence and The Woods from WA, and locals Hardluck and Slowburn. $5 entry BAR 32 Kremlin Live Performances by local musicians KREMLIN BAR Lunchbox Concert 1 Free lunchtime concert. 12.30pm-1.20pm REHEARSAL ROOM 3, ANU SCHOOL OF MUSIC Mitch From 9.30 THE DURHAM FourPlay String Quartet Recording live, ’til March 28. Seats are limited, book now 6247 1223 THE STREET THEATRE Potential Falcon With Tom Woodward and Lloyd Alison-Young TRANSIT BAR Live from the Underground Sally Holiday, Aria Stone, The Cyclone Rangers and more TRANSIT BAR Chance Meeting Free entry TRINITY BAR
DANCE _____________ Ashley Feraude BINARA ONE, CROWN PLAZA HOTEL Frank Madrid KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE Any Given Smooth R&B and ‘80s funk MECHE
DAY PLAY _____________ Gorman House Markets Mmmm… …stuff GORMAN HOUSE Burley Griffin Antique Centre Open every weekend, selling groove retro furniture and much, much more KINGSTON FORESHORE
LIVE _____________ The Butterfly Effect With Mammal, Amphetamine. $30.70 +bf ANU BAR Rockzone From 10pm THE DURHAM Official Butterfly Effect/Mammal after-party El’s birthday party from 8pm, after-party from 1am, with Pornstylus. 18+, free. THE GREENROOM Aaron Peacey With Pete Olsen and Some Hobos THE PHOENIX
DAY PLAY _____________ Old Bus Depot Markets Find that thing to make that other thing work KINGSTON Burley Griffin Antique Centre Open every weekend, selling groove retro furniture and much, much more KINGSTON FORESHORE Tuggeranong Homestead Markets Home of the hard to find TUGGERANONG HOMESTEAD
LIVE _____________ Mousetrapreplica With Justin Ashworth Two of the country’s most exciting up-and-coming ambient/experimental/rock musos join forces THE FRONT, LYNEHAM MONDAY MARCH 24
ARTS _____________ Electric/Bass Guitar Group Classes For youth and adults. Must have own instrument and amp. Info: mfe.org.au, 62307190. ’Til Dec 9 AINSLIE ARTS CENTRE Swing Dance for Beginners 6 week beginner courses run throughout the year. ’Til Dec 10. Info: 0412127168, jumptown.org VARIOUS VENUES
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________
Arc Cinema Screenings Jean Pierre Jeunet’s The City of Lost Children (1995), 4.30pm, and the Cohen brother’s Fargo (1996), 7.30pm NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE Carry-On Karaoke 9.30pm PJ O’REILLY’S
Jam Session 9pm-1am COOLABAR POOL HALL Bootleg Sessions Margaret Helen King, Greg Carlin, Ted Conrick, Guillame, Michael Peter and more THE PHOENIX
LIVE _____________ HellosQuare Presents... A night of sound art and free improv, with Shoeb Ahmed, Sawtell, Akihabara and a surprise special guest. 8pm, $5 entry THE FRONT, LYNEHAM WEDNESDAY MARCH 26
LIVE _____________ The Translators (Syd) $10 HIPPO Carry-On Karaoke 9pm-1am THE DURHAM The Remains THE PHOENIX
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Trivia Night ACT RUGBY UNION CLUB Fame Trivia 6pm PJ O’REILLY’S Comedy Night From 6.30pm THE SOUL BAR THURSDAY MARCH 27
ARTS _____________ Turbo Slam Poetry slam with overall noncompulsory theme of carnivale. Rappers vs. performance poets comp. Feat. MC Feline. Doors 7.30pm THE FRONT CAFÉ
DANCE _____________ Trash Thursdays ACADEMY Jemist KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Carry-On Karaoke 9pm PJ O’REILLY’S
FRIDAY MARCH 28
ARTS _____________ The Chaser’s Age of Terror Variety Hour A diverse range of short segments, with sketches, songs, presentations and audience interaction! Booking: 62752700. ’Til March 29 CANBERRA THEATRE
DANCE _____________ Muscles With Jeff Drake, Mikah Freeman and Chris Fraser ACADEMY Frank Madrid’s Adventures in Global Rhythm OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE Ashley Feraude Spinning a soundtrack of soulful tunes as you sip your after work drinks. From 6-9pm BINARA ONE (CROWN PLAZA HOTEL) D’Opus KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE
SATURDAY MARCH 29
SUNDAY MARCH 30
MONDAY MARCH 31
FourPlay String Quartet Recording live, booking on 6247 1223 THE STREET THEATRE The Jaxons AINSLIE BAR @ OLIM’S HOTEL Rev Indie/alternative/rock/pop/punk madness every Friday, $5 entry BAR 32 Pete Gare CAFÉ MACHIATTO Tripitide 8pm PJ O’REILLY’S Heuristic From 10pm THE DURHAM The Third Cycle With Ink, The Love Skulls Free, 18+, 8pm THE GREENROOM Marco Polo From 6.30pm THE SOUL BAR
Create and Promote Your Own E-Book Workshop run by Marcas Amann. Info: actwriters.org.au ACT WRITERS CENTRE Passions on the Lake Dance performances and workshops, artistic wares, sculpture installations MIRRAMU CREATIVE ARTS CENTRE Keyboard Master Classes Baroque, classical, romantic. $10. Info: 62327248, wesleycanberra. org.au/music WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE
The Rational Academy (Bris)
Latin American Film Festival The best of contemporary Latin cinema! Free entry. ’Til April 1. nma.gov.au NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIA
Make Your Own Books Canberra Craft Bookbinders’ Guild workshop. Canberrabookbinders.org.au, 62541273 WESTON CREEK COMMUNITY CENTRE
Bootleg Sessions Brannan, Bliss, Waterford, Tim Maloney, Dahahoo and more THE PHOENIX
3rdXit AINSLIE BAR @ OLIM’S HOTEL Metal at Macchiato Feat. Templestowe and Aeon of Horus. Free entry, 11pm CAFÉ MACHIATTO Renaissance 9pm – 12am OLD CANBERRA INN Sydney City Trash On their Dollar for the Bottle Tour, a venture to raise money to pay for the booze that will be drunk whilst on tour. Genius. With Eye Gouge, Run for Cover, The O’Hooligans and The Veebees. 9pm THE BASEMENT Live band From 10pm THE DURHAM Juke Barritone With Bloom field, Pleased to Jive You. Free, 18+, 8pm THE GREENROOM Fred Smith Band THE PHOENIX
Baila Social Club DJ Mario Brujo. Salsa, Reggaeton, bachata and more. From 7pm CASINO CANBERRA Baila Social Club DJ Mario Brujo. Salsa, Reggaeton, bachata and more. From 7pm CASINO CANBERRA Sunny Sundays With DJ Dorree 9pm - late CUBE
Jam Session 9pm-1am COOLABAR POOL HALL
FRIDAY MARCH 28
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ The Chaser's Age of Terror Variety Hour More info on page 12 THE PLAYHOUSE Festival of Lake George Celebration of the lake through contemplative walks, performances, sculptures, visits to pastoral properties, a multidisciplinary forum and more. ’Til April 6 LAKE GEORGE SATURDAY MARCH 29
DAY PLAY _____________ Gorman House Markets GORMAN HOUSE Burley Griffin Antique Centre KINGSTON FORESHORE
DANCE _____________ Ashley Feraude BINARA ONE, CROWN PLAZA HOTEL Downtown Brown KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE Any Given Smooth R&B and ‘80s funk MECHE
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ The Chaser's Age of Terror Variety Hour More info on page 12 THE PLAYHOUSE Arc Cinema Screenings Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira (1988). 7.30pm NATIONAL FILM & SOUND ARCHIVE Carry-On Karaoke 9.30pm PJ O’REILLY’S
Launching their new LP, with Spartak, also launching their new disc and Milenasong/Lappalie (Berlin/Syd). From 8pm, $5 THE FRONT, LYNEHAM
DAY PLAY _____________ Old Bus Depot Markets Find that thing to make that other thing work KINGSTON Burley Griffin Antique Centre Open every weekend, selling groove retro furniture and much, much more KINGSTON FORESHORE Tuggeranong Homestead Markets Home of the hard to find TUGGERANONG HOMESTEAD
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Auto Italia Italian cars, bikes and scooters on show. autoitaliacanberra.com OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE LAWNS
TUESDAY APRIL 2
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Fame Trivia Book early 62951769 THE DURHAM Pot Belly Trivia Every Tuesday POT BELLY BAR WEDNESDAY APRIL 2
ARTS _____________ I Wish I Was David Bowie Investigating the social constructions of masculinity. ’Til April 13 ANCA GALLERY
LIVE _____________ Rubix Cuba With Heartbreak Club THE PHOENIX The Black Crowes Tix at Ticketek, more on pg. 20 ROYAL THEATRE
SOMETHING DIFFERENT _____________ Fame Trivia 6pm PJ O’REILLY’S Carry-On Karaoke 9pm-1am THE DURHAM Trivia Night From 7.30pm ACT RUGBY UNION CLUB
Futurama: Bender’s Big Score
How moronically money grubbing and nearsighted did erstwhile Fox executives have to be to rip Matt Groening’s Futurama off the air? Comedic luminaries from Ricky Gervais to Chris Rock to Jerry Lewis have fallen to their knees in praise of Groening and co’s long and broad genius stroke with The Simpsons, but Futurama was – yes, I’m going to go there – even better; the team have sharpened their rapier wit on a 17 year writing grindstone, cutting afresh with the prospect of a new scenario and new characters. It’s a frustration shared by Groening, not only in interviews where he has claimed the axing of the sci-fi cartoon show “the darkest period in [his] life”, but in the intro to this, an hour and a half long feature length movie, where said executives are (not-so) indirectly accused of idiocy. And well they should be, because this isn’t, my dear fellow Futurama lovers, what the show used to be. Yes, it’s glorious to have it back – Bender’s blunt crassness, the Professor’s blunt crassness, Fry’s dumb crassness – but the film feels slightly contrived, much like The Simpsons full-lengther. The episodic version of this show displayed near-perfectly scripted nuggets of story arcs, character progression, and of course gags aplenty. The film, while undoubtedly not without its funny moments and certainly worth a watch, is not as sharp plot wise, and lacks the same effortlessness of the series. But the only people to blame here are Fox; the writing team were on the top of their game when the show was cancelled. There are, however, more feature lengths planned, so let’s hope the troop can regroup and recapture some of the magic that made the series so rewatchable.
Dexter tells the story of Dexter Morgan, a man who leads a most duplicitous life. By day, mild mannered blood-splatter analyst for the police in Miami… by night, a ‘super-vigilante’ of sorts, making the streets safe by offing the serial killers. If that sounds clichéd, it’s because the show is one big lump of clichés and fun. Rather than veering down the wrong alley and becoming too self-parodying (it comes close, but never gets there), Dexter works so well with its tight writing and sense of humour. With fantastic performances from Michael C. Hall (Six Feet Under) and a support cast predominantly from BMA fav OZ, as well as the divine Julie Benz (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), Dexter focuses in on the case of the Ice Truck Killer, and what Dexter and his friends and associates have to do to catch this rather insane, but fun, killer. The direction is taut and the writing (based on the novels by Jeff Lindsay) pushes all the right buttons for a mystery that could easily have been hack. But as good as Dexter is, the major issue I have with the show is the voiceover. The problem here is we know Dexter has serious issues and Hall is a good enough actor to portray that without a Blade Runner type voiceover – shat me there as well. It’s not necessary to know what the character is thinking all the time; it slows the pace down and is spoon-feeding in a show that otherwise makes the viewer do a lot of the work. Why, in that one facet, does the producer insist on treating us like idiots, when the remainder of what’s here is so good? That is truly the only quibble in an otherwise fine and fun ride where not only Hall and Julie Benz portray their roles excellently, but even a former Cosby kid is good. The only extra feature is a couple of episode commentaries, so where we want them to talk, they shut up, and when we don’t want to know everything, it’s all on display.
30th Century Man (Madman)
There are few legitimate enigmas in rock music – Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett are obvious contenders – and the necessary caveat in this field of mythmaking is the expectation that ‘genius’ rarely equates to ‘psychologically functional’. And really, that’s just fine if you look at the scrapbook. Brian Wilson has been an enigma for decades, living off the sun-kissed memories of at least three generations of fans and critics, but as a musician he is a spent force and as a cabaret act he is a reasonable enough way to spend 90 minutes. Scott Walker - who was born a year after Mr Pocket Symphony - has never stopped moving, creating or perplexing his audience and as this doco reveals with astounding access, he’s one of the most thoughtful individuals ever to pull on winkle pickers, stovepipes and fuck-the-world sunnies. Yes, there are significant gaps in his output - three albums in 21 years at one point - and he hasn’t performed live on stage in over 30 years, but seeing Walker telling an interviewer at the height if his Walker Brothers (The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore) fame he didn’t care at all for fame or money, just the creation of art, you begin to view him as the most rational man in contemporary music. He released four progressively non-selling and genre defying albums after the dissolution of the Brothers in the late '60s, but the failure of Scott 4 appeared to have a negative effect on the reclusive star – he released dross for 20 odd years. 30th Century Man charts his single minded rise through fame, fall from public consciousness and, more startlingly, the recording process for his 2006 release The Drift where slabs of meat will be punched for art. Extensive jawdropping archival footage makes this the best home movie ever made about experimental crooner baroque pop and the assorted vox pops from Bowie, Eno through to Goldfrapp and Johnny Marr attest to Walker’s exhaustive influence. One day we may catch up to Scott Walker, but by then he’ll be either another 10 steps ahead or dead. JUSTIN HOOK
Cheers! Here's to another top issue, featuring DJ SHADOW AND CUT CHEMIST, LIOR, BOBBY FLYNN, PNAU and much more out April 3
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