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out of the closet and into the streets www.bmamag.com
The Cat Empire Go cinematic #353 AUG04
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Splendour + deadline = ouch my head.
# 3 5 3 A U G 0 4 Fax: 02 6257 4361 Mail: PO Box 713 Civic Square, ACT 2608 Publisher Scott Layne General Manager & Advertising Manager Allan Sko T: 6257 4360 E: email@example.com Editor Julia Winterflood T: 02 6257 4456 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Accounts Manager Ashish Doshi T: 6247 4816 E: email@example.com Super Sub-Editor Allan Sko Graphic Design Cole Bennetts Exhibitionist Editor Naomi Milthorpe E: firstname.lastname@example.org Film Editor Mark Russell Principle Photographers Andrew Mayo Nick Brightman NEXT ISSUE 354 OUT AUG 18 EDITORIAL DEADLINE AUG 9 ADVERTISING DEADLINE AUG 12 Published by Radar Media Pty Ltd ABN 76 097 301 730 bma is independently owned and published. Opinions expressed in bma are not necessarily those of the editor, publisher or staff.
Music and culture in Canberra had a vivacious win on Monday July 26. David Caffery, the founder of uniVibes, won this year’s InnovationACT award with a business proposal for what promises to be “Canberra’s premier live music venue”. Five very experienced business leaders decided that the plan for the proposed Dionysus venue was the finest in the prestigious competition, which showcases innovative and original business ideas. David Caffery and Adrian Threadgould have been working on establishing this venue/gallery/ cafe/bar for the past two years, bringing together a myriad of ideas and connections to create a “platform of potential for artists to define, and a destination for contemporary culture.” And, says David, “it’s happening.” But that’s all he’s saying for now, so stay tuned.
dragon on the big screen The Dragon Dreaming Crew have just made the first of four line-up announcements. Although it’s only a quarter of what’s to come, it’s way more than we have room to print here, so head to www. dragondreaming.net for all the details. Another feature of this year’s festival announced this week is the WTF Psychedelic Cinema, which will be screening late on the first night of the fest, Friday October 1. Originally developed by Victoria’s
Somatica Festival, WTF Cinema is making its interstate debut. It promises to be funny, absurd, confronting, mind-bending and at times downright offensive; something not to be missed.
youth rock The next rockin’ event at Woden Youthie is on Friday August 6. Rock Nation will feature The Naddiks, Dramatic Effect, Black Squire, No Assumption and more. The night kicks off at 5.30pm and there’s a $5 cover, so head on down for some outrageous all ages fun.
beatlemania Doug Parkinson, Jon Stevens and John Waters will take to the stage this August for a very special series of concerts celebrating the music and genius of the greatest songwriting team of all time, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Let It Be: The Beatles songs of Lennon & McCartney will feature two hours of much loved songs including Yesterday, Blackbird, Let It Be, Dear Prudence, Eleanor Rigby, Come Together and Hey Jude performed in state-of-the-art concert settings. Let It Be will be wowing the crowd at the Royal Theatre on Friday August 20. Tickets through Ticketek. www. theletitbetour.com .
friends split 7” Ah, gleeful days! Local bands Karoshi and Ah! Pandita are finally releasing some songs officially. And in the act of true friendship they’re splitting a 7” and planning a party to
celebrate. As an official launch, the night will kick off at 8pm at Transit Bar on Thursday August 8 and there’ll be sets from the two bands as well as some help from Strangeways DJs. $10 on the door, doors at 8.
happy days for ha ha bar Okay, so due to loser ACT government laws and the cold, Sunday sessions are pretty much a dying thing. Except at Ha Ha Bar in ye olde Belconnen. To celebrate winning the 2010 Out In Canberra’s Favourite Nightlife Venue Award, and to thank all the lovely voters, they’re throwing a bit of an afternoon affair. Featuring Hancock Basement, Gemma and John, D’Opus and Roshambo and Ced Nada, plus loads of alcohol, it’s set to be a great afternoon. Call in sick, stock up on Berocca and be there from 3pm.
viagro’s porn rock connection For many, a hard rock band is defined as a group of passionate musicians screaming and sweating their craft to an equally frenzied crowd. viAgro, who hail from Newcastle and describe themselves as an “angry porn rock trio” (!?), are armed with a sound that has been described as The Kinks meet Black Sabbath. viAgro tear through their sets with a uniquely aggressive and fun style, and they’ll be sharing the stage with Activate Jetpack, Variodivers and ZZG. They’ll be hitting ANU Bar on Thursday August 19. Doors from 8pm, entry is $5.
FROM THE BOSSMAN I am the whitest person I know. By that I do not mean I like to bust out ill-advised raps, achieving the deft hip-hop trick of rhyming ‘time’ with ‘time’ whilst grabbing an alarming amount of crotch real estate in public places. No, I am referring to my skin colour. Many have tried to best me. Many have failed. “That’s not white,” they sneer. “I’m as pale as you are.” One lift of my t-shirt later and it’s “Holy CRAP it gets whiter!?!” usually followed by a magnificently witty quip such as “You should call Dulux, I don’t think they’ve discovered that shade yet” (actually I lie, I made that one up. The comments are usually more along the dizzying intellectual heights of puffing out their chin with their tongue and grunting “Urgh! White fuck!” I really should stop hanging out with my Mum so much). At the beach, or municipal swimming hole, I am very much out of place. The rank outsider. “That guy”. Among the sea of tanned and seared flesh crackling away like a morning piece of bacon in the pan, I stand out like a blind kid’s copy of Where’s Wally? (note to self: invent Braille version of Where’s Wally?). In some areas, I am banned from removing my t-shirt for fear of snow blindness, the sun rays jack-knifing violently from my porcelain frame into the soft vulnerable eyes of unsuspecting beach-goers (“Ahhhhh! El Blanco Diablo!” they shout in Spain). In fact, I’m SO white… aaaaaahh you get the idea.
YOU PISSED ME OFF! Has someone yanked yer chain recently? Well send an email to email@example.com and have your sweet vengeance. And for the love of God, keep it brief! [All entries contain original spellings] I think parts of our judicial system, bureaucracy, the AFP and legislature are outmoded and archaic. What I witnessed happen in Woden Plaza today (to a kid, I might add) was totally appalling. When there’s more police attendance for alleged petty theft by a minor (from a shitty, 3rd-world exploiting retail chain) than there is for the assault, battery and unlawful detention of said minor, we’ve lost sight of the big picture. I know it’s part of the job requirement for security workers to be both WANKERS and DICKHEADS, but putting a school aged girl into a wrist lock and dragging her crying and yelping a good 600 metres from Hoyts to the store is entering the realm of absurdity. For a country that claims to be “liberal”, we sure do favour the rights of corporations over the rights of individuals. WHO REALLY GIVES A FUCK about your two dollar sweatshop wares??? I, for one, definitely DO NOT - and I know I’m not alone. The icing on the cake was being ordered to leave the store when I explained to the staff and security that what they were doing was illegal. I just wish I could have told the girl (who they then detained in a closet, and refused to let me speak to) that her rights were being violated. Bitch, manager of said third world exploiting chain, YOU PISSED ME OFF!!!!
Tanning is an impossible notion. Whereas the normal human cycle of sun-searing goes ‘pale… pink/red… brown… lighter brown… pale”, mine is more along the lines of “pale… ARGH! My FUCKING skin! It’s like a cat’s pissed ACID on it! Sweet merciful Jesus, what’s happening?!?... peeling… pale”. Not quite as much fun, I can assure you. There’s a point in the highly enviable “peeling” stage that if you put me in one of those containment bubbles, I’d resemble a human snowglobe. I had an ill-advised attempt at a tan once, when I was 18, and was about to go to Gran Canaria as part of England’s version of Schoolies. Keen to show off my newly sculpted bod, I thought a seven hour session in the sun, with my skin type, would beat down the path to the bronzed Adonis look I had envisioned. A little burn, and I’d be sweet. No pain, no gain. Whooooooooooooa mama. For a week I couldn’t walk properly. Lying down was agony. Showers were a near impossibility; instead I bathed in after-sun lotion. Huge blisters erupted, camped for a few days, and promptly burst on my shoulders and legs. In another bout of youthful genius, I tried to rub after-sun lotion on the exposed skin. My subsequent screams could be heard three towns over. So next time you see that super pale guy at the beach, don’t mock them. They’ve had it tough enough already. Simply go over and lovingly pat them on the shoulder. But not too hard. It stings, man. ALLAN SKO firstname.lastname@example.org
The 20th century finally waved goodbye and, as we stood shoulder to shoulder contemplating the new millennium with hope in our hearts and the froth of 1999’s last pint on our lips, our thoughts turned to Katy Nowaitee. We hadn’t heard anything from our brave little filly for a while, but our connections – Peter Baker and Paulie Inman – calmly assured us plans were in hand and the old girl would be helping us line our pockets again in the spring. Sure enough, it was announced that she was off to Doncaster to contest the Worthington Spring Cup on the second day of the 2000 flat season. We formed an orderly queue at Ladbrokes on the morning of the race and settled down for the wait. Or should that be the waitee? Never mind. Of course she won, in her now traditional style of running up with the pace before exploding away from the pack in the final furlong, leading home 20-odd runners to win at 7/1. The horse was already becoming noticed nationally, her small stature and massive heart winning over punters all around England (though obviously her ability to win at big prices helped). Trainer Peter Harris announced that Katy would take on the best of the nation’s handicappers in The Lincoln, also at Doncaster later in the month. We steamed in to the ante-post betting market, still euphoric after the Spring Mile and keen to avail ourselves of the 20/1 being offered on Katy by the bookies. I extracted a 50 pound note from the pile of cash in a shoe box in my bedroom – the box marked Katy Winnings – and joined in the fun. But then disaster struck. Katy Nowaitee was balloted out of The Lincoln – the race was over-subscribed and something had to give – meaning those of us who’d taken advantage of the bigger ante-post odds in an effort to maximise profits were now left scratching our heads and counting our losses. But racing is a sport founded on disappointment, and there were sure to be other chances for our plucky little girl. We just had to wait. March fizzled out, April came and went, and so too did May. Word filtered through that Katy wasn’t feeling too good. She’d had another throat infection, and it had taken a bit longer for her to recover than expected. She’d probably miss most of the rest of the season, but there was hope. Just like the bad old days before she ran a race, connections were left hoping that the frail little racehorse would come good. She was entered at an early stage for the Tote Cambridgeshire, the first leg of British racing’s autumn double and one of the four original classics of English Racing – a far bigger proposition than anything she’d faced before. The bookies certainly thought so, and when betting markets opened on the race in July she was quoted as being 50/1. There was no chance of her being balloted out of the Cambridgeshire, so at the end of July I started investing a fiver a week on Katy at the bookies down the road from where I worked. Six weeks later, in mid September, Ladbrokes shortened her to 33/1 – there was a bit of interest in the old girl, so I upped my investment to a tenner a week. As race day approached, the buzz began again in Marlow. Has she got a chance? Have you backed her? Will you back her? Cautious punters kept their counsel, mug punters proclaimed their love for Katy from the highest rooftops... Could she do it? scott adams email@example.com
WHO: Low Freqz WHAT: Globe trotting electro WHEN: Saturday August 14 WHERE: Hippo Bar
Low Freqz is one of those ideas that make you really love this town. Taking the simple idea of ‘if we like, surely other people do too’ comes a night filled with some of the best bass and beats from around the world. Sassed up with sub-bass oriented genres, including dubstep, grime, future garage, D&B, hip-hop, IDM, glitch and anything else they can get their hands on, the night will include electro composer/engineer Nick De Friez on the decks and also launch German underground legend Shed’s second LP, The Traveller. Regulars Ced Nada, D’Opus, Jemist and Faux Real will be kicking things off from 8pm.
WHO: Java Quartet WHAT: Jazz ‘n’ Bass WHEN: Friday August 13 WHERE: Innovation Centre, UC
Yeah you read it right. Jazz ‘n’ Bass it is my friends. After 15 years together, Sydney’s Java Quartet has come back with their most exciting production yet. What started as a postgraduate music project for leader Michael Galeazzi ended up delving into all the wonders of digital beats, textures, chopping up their back catalogue of music, throwing in some Indian raga and a bit of good old drum ‘n’ bass, and coming up with their sixth album, Rejavanation. To tide you over ‘til the sure-to-be amazing gig, head to www.javaquartet.com.au and get yourself a free download of their first single from the album.
WHO: Capital Dub Step WHAT: Reggae Dancehall session WHEN: Saturday August 14 WHERE: Monkey Bar
In a town where everyone is hunting for a new home, Capital Dub Style’s top ranking reggae session has managed to crack the market and make a return to the polished wood. Teaming up with Goodfoot Productions, this month’s Pull Up dance-a-thon promises the finest reggae and dancehall tunes, with an eclectic splash of reggaeton, afrobeat, and some alterlatino sounds. JR Rebel will be lending vocals during the night to help you shimmy your way into the title of local dancehall legend. The night kicks off at 9pm and your finest moves and attire are welcome.
WHO: Shane Howard WHAT: Founder of seminal Australian rockers, Goannas WHEN: Friday August 13 WHERE: John Lingard Hall, Canberra Grammar School
It took a stint in the desert of Tuscon, Arizona to get the ball rolling, but Shane Howard is back with his latest album offering, Goanna Dreaming. There’s a bit of something for everyone with a mixed bag of folk, world and rock music, all spun together with the masterful storytelling of Howard’s words. As part of the Goanna Dreaming nationwide tour, Howard is slamming on the breaks in our capital for one night only. Show starts at 8pm with food and refreshments available. Head to www.shanehoward.com.au for more info and bookings.
WHO: you and your generosity WHAT: Local music + charity WHEN: Saturday August 14 WHERE: Mcgregor Hall
The Canberra Musicians Club are throwing a benefit gig for exCanberra musician Vorn Doolette, to help out with some recently sustained car accident injuries. The gig features locals One Foot In The Gravy, Rafe Morris, The Cashews, The Wedded Bliss, The Ellis Collective and Mr Fibby and will be kicking off from 6pm on Saturday August 14 at McGregor Hall. You couldn’t part with $10 for a better cause if you tried. (Matty Ellis has informed me that Vorn is going to be fine, “but has a long road of recuperation and rehabilitation ahead of him and unfortunately broke musicians purchase goon before accident cover.” Good on you, CMC - Ed.)
WHO: First Base Music WHAT: The cream of the independent music crop WHEN: Saturday August 21 WHERE: The Pot Belly
It’s hard to know where to turn in this world as a musician, especially when The Man is constantly trying to get you down and cheat you out of your money. Thankfully, First Base Music is a resource for independent musicians and songwriters, and is even run by people from within the industry. They’ll promote your music online to the industry, help you organise gigs and, best of all, involve you in the community. They’ll also be hosting a bunch of gigs to support their artists, kicking off with David Christopher, Julianne Cowley, Pete Akhurst and Jane Williams. So get along and get involved.
PHILOSOPHER MOVES BEYOND THE
Interviewing a fellow writer is a nerve-wracking experience – they have an insider’s knowledge of the process and an awareness of how things work that makes slip-ups all the more awkward. The fact that THE BEDROOM PHILOSOPHER (aka Justin Heazelwood) also wrote for this very publication, not to mention writes for Frankie, jmag and a whole host of others, compounds the nerves further. I couldn’t help but ask Justin if he was gleefully aware of my angst. “Do you mean do I have such an amazing knowledge of the human condition that I can virtually read your mind? Yes, I’ve done a deal with Satan and have plugged my fingers into the human ether of the Australian collective consciousness! All I can hear is everyone talking about Facebook and it depresses me, so I pull my fingers out again.” It doesn’t take long for me to realise that being funny isn’t an active decision on Justin’s part – it’s just who he is. The jokes keep coming, and it’s easy to see how his musical If the whole crowd comedy persona of The Bedroom Philosopher turns their back to you stays alive. For Justin, in Melbourne, that’s a though, it’s important to sign of respect, like a keep things interesting. tribal thing. You can’t make direct eye contact, “I’m really glad that I have more than one outlet,” they’re like bears he reveals. “Being Gen Y, I just want to do four things at once, and wear four different hats – ‘I’m a musician, and a comedian, and a performer, and a writer!’” Musical comedy, then, was a logical step for this jack-of-all-trades. “I’ve been pretty confused. I was perennially confused or split in two, being a Gen Y only child. I like to think I’m a bit too musical for the comedy crowd, and a bit too wacky for the music crowd. At the moment, after some awkward transition years, I’ve gotten good at cheating the system and having the best of both worlds.” The music he produces certainly does blend the two art forms well, providing tuneful songs that inspire a chuckle. Since his 2005 hit, I’m So Post Modern, which included lyrics such as “I’m so Post Modern I recite Shakespeare at the KFC drive thru, through a megaphone, in sign language”, Justin has since released two more albums, most recently Songs From The 86 Tram. The album documents the stories of passengers traveling on the tram, with subjects ranging from Man on a Tram to Middle Aged Mum. The first single off the album is the hugely ironic Northcote (So Hungover), which details a phone call from an indie hipster to his band members, all said in a twisted, Australian-American accent. The song pokes fun at the Melbourne hipster scene, and Justin is unremorseful. “In comedy, all you’ve got really are bogans and old people to make fun of. I like to pick some harder targets, like the Melbourne hipster scene that likes to float above society in an untouchable
bubble.” Melbourne audiences are renowned for their single-minded indifference, which Justin finds quite amusing. “If the whole crowd turns their back to you in Melbourne, that’s a sign of respect, like a tribal thing,” he says. “You can’t make direct eye contact, they’re like bears. They’re more scared of you than you are of them.” In comparison, Justin’s views of Canberra are very positive. “Canberra has a very special place in my heart, because during uni I cut my teeth on everything. I spent my time in the theatre society, mucking around with acting and making friends, and starting ridiculous novelty bands like The Harmonica Lewinskis.” There are downsides to the nation’s capital, however. “I miss Toast!” Justin wails. “I think Toast was a good venue. I guess Canberra’s still having its music venue crisis of sorts.” Regardless, the man will be here later this month with The Boat People. Granted, ANU Bar is not the greatest venue, but I can only assume that Bunbury, which has become a sudden tour-spot favourite this year, isn’t much better. “Bunbury! They have nothing to do, so you know you can get a crowd. Coming from Burnie in Tassie, I know that sort of town, I know what’s happening there. Go into a café and ask for a vegie burger and you’ll get punched in the face.” Aside from a fear of regional hospitality, Justin is pretty excited for the tour, and the new album. “This album feels like a good platform for me. I wanted it to be this triple threat of music and comedy and acting, all in one hit. Pretty much, me in a nutshell is sort of a frustrated musician trapped in an indie clown performer.” It must be hard to maintain so much creativity for an entire album. Songs from the 86 Tram is packed with intricate personas and hilarious stories that would require more energy than the average song to perform. For Justin, though, the thrill of doing something original makes the effort worth it. “I think imagination is the single quality that is lacking in a lot of creative art, and I just think ‘I want to write a song that’s a spoken word song, with a Sudanese character with, like, world music chords playing behind it’ and I’m interested in doing that because no one else has done it.” With only a few minutes left of the interview, I finally ask the question that’d been nagging me for a while – what’s the most post modern thing that The Bedroom Philosopher has ever done? “I released Northcote as a single, and then did a parody of it for Metlink Melbourne, which is the company that looks after public transport here, called Hurstbridge, So Sober. So it was like me, playing a character, parodying me, playing a character, parodying scenester culture.” That. Is pretty post-modern indeed.
Justin performs as The Bedroom Philosopher at the ANU Bar on Wednesday August 18 with band The Awkwardstra, plus support from the fabulous The Boat People. Tix are $18.10 + bf and are available from Ticketek. Songs from the 86 Tram is out now.
ALL AGES On Sunday August 8 you have a chance to catch hardcore Melbourne band Samsara, accompanied by Newcastle’s Dropsaw at the Axis Youth Centre in Queanbeyan. They’re hitting the road together in support of each other’s brand-spanking new albums, Samsara’s Instinct Over Influence and Dropsaw’s Hard Justice. And thus the tour is referred to as the Instinct Over Influence/Hard Justice tour. Quite simple really. You can purchase your tickets from Moshtix and doors open at 8pm. Then on Saturday August 21 you have a chance to witness what is quickly becoming one of the most beloved hardcore acts in the country live at the Tuggeranong Youth Centre. That’s right, House vs. Hurricane are here once again! Running riot with them on the East Coast Blazin’
tour will be renowned and, above all, well travelled Sydney band Heroes for Hire. You can grab your tickets for only $15 (+bf) from Moshtix or Landspeed Records. The action starts at 2pm, folks. As I am aware, many of you are already well and truly itching to see Attack Attack! even though the gig is still months away. The five Ohio boys will be headlining the 16th annual Take Action tour to raise money and awareness benefiting Reach Out, a web-based charity targeted at 14-25 year olds in Australia. Assisting Attack Attack! and the Reach Out organisation in making the world a better place will be Californian post-hardcore spectacular Pierce the Veil and Melbourne’s Dream On Dreamer. Tickets cost just $33 (+bf) from any Moshtix outlet and 10% of every ticket sold goes directly to Reach Out. So, I hope to see you all at the Tuggeranong Youth Centre on Tuesday September 14! Also, just a reminder to snatch up your tickets for some big dates. The first being at the Royal Theatre on Saturday September 25, which many of you would be aware is the date of Parkway Drive, the biggest post-hardcore/metalcore band to ever spawn from this continent. For just $40.70 (+bf) from Ticketek you can also see supporting acts The Devil Wears Prada, The Ghost Inside as well as 50 Lions live at the Royal Theatre (also known as the National Convention Centre). This is going to be an unforgettable night for anyone who loves the energy of a sweaty, crowded, and destructive pit. Another is a name that anybody in western culture will recognise. Powderfinger, after having been one of the most famous Australian bands for the last 21 years, have now finally called it quits. Fortunately, they are embarking on just one final round of the country from which they originally bloomed, and are calling it Sunsets: The Farewell tour. You can see the legends in the flesh at the University of Canberra on Tuesday October 12. But that’s not all, supporting them will be Paul Dempsey and a Melbourne band we are all familiar with, Jet. At time of writing, the show may be sold out, but check to see if presale tickets at $93.70 from Ticketek or Landspeed Records are still available.
NAOMI FROST firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday July 26 I received an ANU Media Alert entitled Innovators Showcase Brilliant Business. “The InnovationACT gala dinner is the culmination of three months work for the finalists who have produced business proposals for a range of innovative ideas,” it read. “Journalists are welcome to attend”. Gala dinner you say? Two of the winners sent Locality into a spin. Website Gr8venue. com has “the vision to create a more inclusive world by reducing the physical and social barriers associated with disability.” Managing Director Huy Nguyen and wheelchair struggled to cut a path to accept the award, making the raison d’être for the website glaringly obvious. Huy immediately acknowledged this was a prime example of the physical barriers faced by disabled people in venues the world over. Said Huy when we spoke the next day, “Gr8venue.com is a socially generated website where, with a questionnaire, users have the ability to evaluate a particular venue’s accessibility. It will be launched on Thursday December 30, and the public will be able to request which venues be evaluated.” The site not only assesses accessibility for disabled people, but also for people using prams or walking devices, and people with hearing or vision impairment. And our shining stars of accessibility? “The Street Theatre; they have accessible bathrooms and the staff are very helpful and active. And the not so shining? “Llewellyn Hall is really stressful. For such a lovely building it really lacks service, so if anything we’d like to apply a bit of pressure, because people graduate there. I graduated there and it was a nightmare. After five years at uni, all the stresses involved were just not cool.” Major accessibility barriers at one’s own graduation, let alone to a yeasty gargle or bite to eat, is sadly the reality for millions of Australians. Gr8venue.com is aiming to make Canberra the most disability friendly city in the country by its Centenary, and our nation the most disability friendly by 2015.
InnovationACT’s first prize of $20,000 went to David Caffery for Dionysus, which will be, according to Caffery, “the iconic hub of cultural activity in Canberra. Open from morning past midnight, Dionysus will be a live music venue, cafe, bar and gallery designed to showcase local and international musicians and artists in a stimulating social atmosphere. Dionysus aims to revitalise Canberra’s culture by providing a space analogous to the old Parisian Salons, the birthplace of the French Revolution; a space where political, corporate, artistic and academic minds engage in common conversation, stimulated by a harmonious flow of music, art, food, coffee and wine. “Every day, Canberrans will drink coffee beside new art, eat lunch beside live jazz, partake in public forums, share a few drinks and – just occasionally – dance into tomorrow.” Dionysus is looking to open at the end of the year, and any inquiries can be sent to david@dionysus. net.au. Locality believes this venue is not only going to provide the facilities our musos and music lovers deserve, but will raise the standard of Canberra’s music scene in general. Exciting times ahead, so stay tuned. JULIA WINTERFLOOD email@example.com
DANCE THE DROP Ladies and gentlemen this is tonight’s main event! Introducing, in the red corner, from Commonwealth Place Canberra, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, the shake and bake by the lake, the three stage malaise, the bureau of fluro, the 2010 Foreshore Summer Music Festival! Remember when you were walking out of the gates in 2009 and you turned to your friend and said “Mate, that…whoa! Hang on, that’s a tree! Man I’m hammered” then you turned the other way and said “Mate, that was the best day of my life. I already can’t wait until next year.” Well guess what? You don’t have to wait much longer. The boys at Kicks Entertainment have dropped the first round announcements like a tonne of bricks. The only question I have is, who the hell is the headliner? With an unbelievable array of equally deserving talent including the world’s #1 DJ Tiesto, The Temper Trap, Calvin Harris, Benny Benassi, Major Lazer, Afrojack, Luciano, Caspa, Art vs Science, Cut Copy and Miami Horror, the festival just keeps getting mind bogglingly bigger and better, like Jason Statham’s lateral obliques. Words can’t explain how monumentally excited I am about this… So much so that I don’t even want to talk about anything else. If it’s OK with you I’m just going to sit here and you can talk amongst yourselves for the next 300 words or so. Well actually in all fairness, there are a few months to fill between now and Saturday November 27 so I might just run through a few of your current clubbing options while I have you all here with me. A Night of Prog makes a long awaited return to Mercury Bar on Saturday August 7. The night is a unique event in our city, loaded with the best in underground classics for your eardrums. The line up for this instalment includes Amplidyne, Jonesy, Gabriel Gilmour, String~Theory (AKA Beat It), Ryz, Sølsta, Miracle Blue and a special Vinyl Only classic progressive record battle between Peekz and yours truly, Tim Galvin. I have had a lot of people ask me recently “What happened to the hard scene in Canberra?”. Well it’s probably wherever you left it last, down the back of the couch or next to your keys in the refrigerator. Until it resurfaces, the team at Effigy are presenting a huge Sunday session at Transit Bar on August 8 featuring none other than the prince of perpetual motion himself, John 00 Fleming. Get your tickets at Moshtix or at the door from 2pm on the day. Holy shit, it’s Lee Coombs! Sorry, I just couldn’t think of any other way to introduce the second last paragraph. The breakbeat and tech house master is flying into our city for one night only at The Maram (for those of you who don’t know it’s on Gartside Street in Wanniassa) on Friday August 20. If you love the Plump DJs and The Freestylers, do not miss this! TIM GALVIN firstname.lastname@example.org
FLUENT IN FUNK staky In Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction Samuel L Jackson plays no-nonsense hit man Jules Winnfield. In one memorable scene Winnfield asks burglar Yolanda, “We’re not going to do anything stupid are we?” Yolanda mistakenly angers the killer to which he says, “Yolanda, I thought you said you were gonna be cool!” Tarantino’s film has made its stamp on pop culture history, and has given birth to the famous pseudonym for Australia’s so-hot-rightnow dance duo. “We needed a name,” laughs Johnson Peterson, one half of YOLANDA BE COOL. “We came across a reference to what we consider to be one of the coolest scenes in one of the coolest movies by one of the best directors... and it wasn’t taken!” Peterson, with fellow production partner Sylvester Martinez, started making waves last year with the success of catchy dance hall tune Afro Nuts. D-Cup, also signed to Yolanda’s label Sweat It Out, remixed the track and was to work with the pair again on their biggest tune to date, We No Speak Americano. “We thought it would just be a fun party track we could play in our sets,” says Peterson of the song’s run away success.
We No Speak Americano has peaked We came across a at number four on the ARIA chart, has reference to what been thrashed on the Js, and with its we consider to be one of the coolest commercial viability has, at time of scenes in one of writing, just hit #1 in the UK charts. The the coolest movies track samples Neapolitan single Tu Vuò Fà by one of the best l’Americano and is famously sung by Jude directors... and it wasn’t taken! Law and Matt Damon in The Talented Mr Ripley. Yolanda be Cool remain humble about their meteoric rise. “More people come to our gigs, which is good, and I guess we get more gigs,” says Peterson. Johnston Peterson only started his production career a mere five years ago after growing up on a diet of old school hip-hop. The infectious party tech of Yolanda Be Cool is quickly rising as a popular genre for the summer party season; merging the serious nature of techno with a note of revelry. “We’re comfortable with midget house, batty house, quirk house, non serious techno,” says Peterson of their signature sound. “Teki Latek, one of the pioneers of our sound, said ‘We like hard stuff when it’s creative and groovy, and minimalist stuff when it’s not boring or serious.’ We kinda agree.” Although past memories of the duo’s trip to Canberra remain surreptitiously hazy, the pair is undoubtedly looking forward to their Foreshore nod, especially after their flawless Warehouse set earlier this year. “We are doing Splendor in the Grass and some club shows then heading back to Europe for August and September,” says a busy Peterson. “Then the Parklife tour and then we have a very exciting tour of Latin and South America planned for October… Not to mention Foreshore!” Yolanda Be Cool will be commanding the fields of Commonwealth Place with the likes of The Temper Trap, Tiesto and Calvin Harris at this year’s Foreshore Festival on Saturday November 27. Tix are $127.85 + bf from Ticketek.
CAT’S GOT THE CREAM
TREAT YO MAMA WITH RESPECT
THE CAT EMPIRE will return to the nation’s capital this August in support of their fourth studio album, Cinema. As the title suggests, Cinema is a lively, theatrical album, influenced by musical styles as diverse as reggae, salsa and hip-hop. “We called it Cinema because it’s the sort of album that you could put your headphones on and close your eyes to and be in The Cat Empire’s cinema,” lead singer Felix Riebl says. “Through the song writing, the production and the way we play it, it has its own world about it from the beginning to the end. It takes you somewhere else.”
Danielle Caruana doesn’t mind baring her soul to strangers. The personality behind MAMA KIN, Caruana describes her new album Beat and Holler as a collection of stories, “all personal perspectives and observations of the human condition. “It’s incredible how many people can relate to these stories that I think are only about me,” Caruana says. “It’s that classic thing where we all think we’re so isolated in the way that we operate and in the way that we observe things and the way we react to things. I suppose because I’m sharing something that’s deep and personal and generally hidden, people relate to that. They’re realising they’re not alone in feeling messed up.”
After forming in Melbourne nearly ten years ago, The Cat Empire has gained an international reputation for its entertaining live shows and instantly recognisable Latin-inspired sound. But despite several global tours and headlining spots at some With a band like of the world’s biggest music festivals, real a ’s us… there Felix confesses the boys still aren’t quite work to necessity comfortable playing in front of Aussie with someone who’s able to make a audiences. decision which isn’t a se romi comp “I feel like we’re a really established band here now and we’ve been around for a long time, so we probably have a lot more to live up to,” he tells me. “I’m always far more nervous playing to an Australian audience than I am to an overseas audience because of that history. We’ve done a lot of really great shows here, and I suppose I feel like we’re always trying to improve on the last one.” With such a formidable live reputation, the band found it difficult to capture the spirit of a performance in a studio environment. “The studio and the stage are very different beasts,” Felix says. “The big challenge with this album, and I think we achieved it quite well, was to get energy from the studio. We were really open to being creative in the studio, often doing the opposite to what we do live in order to create that intensity on the album.” But with six people in the band, how do you make any decisions? “With a band like us, which has got so many different personalities and so much diversity and creativity, there’s a real necessity to work with someone who’s able to make a decision which isn’t a compromise,” Felix says. For The Cat Empire, that middle man was producer Steve Schram, who has worked with Silverchair and Little Birdy. “Steve had a real vision for the album, which was exactly what we needed,” Felix adds. “The band has kind of taken on a life of its own,” he continues. “We write songs that feel natural and that we can play live, and the rest of what happens is a combination of the chemistry, the musicians on stage, and the audience. Any other meaning beyond that I don’t really think about too much; I think it is what it is and we try and hold on and make the most of it.” The Cat Empire will crack out a long awaited Canberra set at the ANU on Sunday August 22. Tickets are $49 + bf from Ticketek. Cinema is out now through EMI.
I try and stick with the analogy of having a stove top with six burners on it and just kind of constantly moving different pots around and giving them energy
Mama Kin’s songs explore all aspects of her life; Take It Slow and Love’s Not So Great survey the perils of love and trust, It’s For Me is a joyful, rollicking declaration of passion and self-fulfilment, and the title track portrays a woman urging a loved one to reach his or her potential. Listeners seem to be delighted by Mama Kin’s earthy, rhythmic and deeply personal music, with the album debuting at number 15 in the Australian Independent Record charts. Caruana has a lot of material to draw upon, juggling married life and two children with the demands of her musical career. “It is challenging and it’s constantly a juggle,” she says of her hectic schedule. “I try and stick with the analogy of having a stove top with six burners on it and just kind of constantly moving different pots around and giving them energy.” Growing up in a musical environment (one of her brothers is the keyboardist in her band, another is reggae musician Nicky Bomba, and her husband is John Butler no less), Caruana was originally trained as a classical pianist. To create Beat and Holler she used a collection of unusual instruments, including a vintage Wurlitzer organ, a Nigerian udu drum and a ukulele. Canberrans will have a chance to see all these instruments in action when Mama Kin joins The Cat Empire on tour this August. Caruana says she is “thrilled” to be supporting the Melbourne six-piece, speaking excitedly about her impending tour and praising Australian audiences. “Playing live is like you’ve got this Bunsen burner and a beaker and you’re just adding chemical elements and creating a compound,” she says. “You’re creating an energy that hasn’t existed before, because you never play to the same room of people twice, you never play in the same circumstances twice, so every time it’s like being in the middle of a social experiment. It’s not just about the people on stage, it’s not just about the people in the audience – it’s about what happens in the space between those two elements. It’s incredible. I love it, and it frightens me.” Mama Kin plays alongside The Cat Empire at the ANU on Sunday August 22. Tickets are $49 + bf from Ticketek. The wonderful Beat and Holler is out now through MGM.
Image: Bridget Mac
E X H I B I T I O N I S T
TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF AND THEN MAKE A CHANGE Jemima Fort When wandering through the NATIONAL YOUTH SELF PORTRAIT PRIZE 2010 finalist exhibition, currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery, you could be forgiven for forgetting where you are. These are not the insecure works-in-development of young students, but a collection of professional, stylistically mature, striking and very self-aware self portraits. Portraiture allows an artist to visually represent identity. Any artwork can contain likeness, but a portrait is actually about the person it represents. In the conservative tradition, portraits have sought to recreate sitters exactly, that they might be recognised by their families and their peers. Works might incorporate motifs to reflect characteristics that the artist wishes to highlight: a framed image of the family man’s children; the carelessly strewn maps of the adventurer. This adds depth to how the viewer understands the subject and so, to their experience of the portrait. That said, even if a work is figuratively abstracted, the very knowledge that it represents a person gives viewers a means to understand it (or begin to). In this way, portraiture is inherently ‘approachable’. From our earliest moments on earth we learn to interpret and understand the people around us. One doesn’t need to be a historian or an aesthete to care about what makes people who they are. The National Youth Self Portrait Prize is the third annual competition for artists aged between 18 and 25. Sponsorship
from the Tallis Foundation and the Association of the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) provides talented young artists the opportunity to compete for $10,000. The Prize for 2010 went to NSW artist Bridget Mac, for her portrait masculine/ feminine. This work is currently on display at the NPG, alongside those of the other 14 finalists: Robbie Karmel, Joel Arthur and ‘Reges Lobud’ (ACT); Erwin Strobel, Daniel Kim, Todd Fuller, Ashleigh Garwood, Alyssa Chow and Emilio Cresciani (NSW); Jessie Victoria Bonson (NT); Tom Cramond (WA); James Barnett and Sarah Catherine Firth (VIC); and Kim Buck (SA). Mac’s winning self-portrait, masculine/feminine, is a digitally-edited photographic image of two faces. Each face is a symmetrical image, created by mirroring one side of the artist’s face (thus, one head is made up of the left side of her face, the other of her right). The philosophers of Ancient Greece saw facial symmetry as a requisite of perfect beauty. There is a story that tells of an artist who sought to capture the image of a perfect woman. For decades, he sketched the face of every beautiful girl he saw, imagined and dreamed; but they fell short of his ideal. When he found the answer it was really only half an answer: he drew one half of a woman’s face. Like Pythagoras, he decided that symmetry was so crucial to perfect beauty that, physically, it could not be simulated in art. Of course, everything is digital nowadays. Mac’s work is not an attempt to envision perfection. On the contrary, it is raw and honest – this is what makes it beautiful. However, it does explore the manner in which we interpret the face and how we use visual stimulus, like symmetry, to ascribe beauty, sexuality and personality. While it is easy to suggest that one face is more masculine, is it possible to describe why? Or even which is which? The title leads viewers to make an assumption about the image, but rationalising that decision is not easy. The work is a complicated integration of public and private: it explores Mac’s personal presence and identity, while also sharing ideas about representation, interpretation, sexuality and technology. For many artists, a self-portrait is as much an expression of their art as it is a representation of self. How we act and what we say does not always fit with how we define ourselves and this merging of personal identity and public expression can be tense, dynamic and exciting. Despite this, the popularity of large, relatively unadventurous exhibitions of portraiture seem to encourage the expectation that it is conservative as a genre. Continued on page 22
T Goghbot: Reges Lobud
TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF AND THEN MAKE A CHANGE CONTINUED The NPG has made great efforts to overcome this stereotype by displaying portraits in an array of style and, particularly, of media. This contemporary, forward-looking spirit is embodied in the 2010 National Youth Self Portrait Prize. Some portraits are intimate windows into the person they feature, something that can be confronting for both their subject and viewers. Alyssa Chow, a design student from NSW, entered a photograph that explores her experience with depression. She had been “scared of owning herself” and found the act of creating a selfportrait was cathartic. For her, the competition was “an opportunity to take a risk and put it out there” – to publically acknowledge this aspect of her life. The exhibition is an energetic, experimental and engaging collection of work by young, contemporary artists. It is a playful combination of works that, while predominantly photography and new media, speak of a variety of influence and ideas. Some artists use their portraits to explore ideas that are incredibly personal; others deal with concerns that are more universal; some, it seems, have even tried to distance themselves from their likeness. In this way, the exhibition explores the question of what constitutes a self-portrait. The works question conformity and explore a myriad of ideas and approaches to form and media. Perhaps, in seeking to define themselves visually, these artists also redefine the nature of portraiture.
Portrait of the sandwich artist as a young man: Joel Arthur
Karmel: Robbie Karmel
The 3rd Annual National Youth Self Portrait Prize 2010 continues at the National Portrait Gallery until September 12. Entry is free.
quirk that is of particular interest to Goh. “I wanted to examine the heightened state of self-awareness that people experience when blushing. It’s such a baffling human trait, and it interested me because it is such a physical action, yet can only be induced emotionally. It’s an equaliser between all people, and a really humbling thing to realise that we aren’t in control.” As choreographer, Goh joins performers Laura Boynes, Dean Cross, Chrissy Norford, Eleanor Wood, Patricia Wood and composer and sound artist James Brown under the Autumnal banner. “A dance collective differs from a dance company in that the collective is creatively driven by the sum of its parts, rather than one artistic director,” Goh explains. “We are an interesting mix of artists”.
TURN ME CRIMSON yolande norris Many of us would assume that dance is about grace, strength and exercising control over the body, but choreographer Angela Goh is busying herself with the more problematic aspects of our physicality. “As a dancer I am interested in those qualities,” she says, “but I’m also interested in humanity, and while it is not always beautiful, it never fails to be interesting.” Goh is currently part of Autumnal, a new performance collective whose members all originate from Canberra. Many of them first established a connection while performing with youth dance theatre QL2, and they are now returning to Canberra to mount their debut performance EXCITING A BLUSH. The inspiration for this work is drawn from the all too familiar and thoroughly frustrating experience of blushing. The unmistakable and uncontrollable rush of blood to the face, neck and chest is a human
Goh cites QL2’s Soft Landing program for emerging dance practicioners as a catalyst behind the formation of the collective, whose members can now be found spread across the country making their mark on the world stage. A winning combination of skills, talent and experience, Autumnal has already been invited to show the work in Sydney later this month. As Exciting A Blush is diving headfirst into “moments of awkwardness, modesty, social blunders and sexual awakenings,” it is easy to see that it could potentially be a difficult performance to watch. Goh agrees: “The audience may feel uncomfortable in parts. One of the many theories of blushing is that it’s a signal to others that says, I’m uncomfortable, please look away, and it is actually quite hard to continue looking at someone that is incredibly uncomfortable!” Once again it is this more fragile side of the human condition that appeals to Goh’s aesthetic. “I think that there is something really beautiful about seeing something vulnerable, so audiences can expect to experience that as well.” Autumnal’s Exciting A Blush is showing at the QL2 Theatre, Gorman House, from Thursday 12 to Saturday August 14.
ARTISTPROFILE: Alison McGregor
What do you do? I am an actor, writer and occasional director. When did you get into it? I did a little at school, but didn’t really do it properly ‘til I was 22. Who or what influences you as an artist? The world of fairytale and myth (especially when it’s bent around backwards), delicious black comedy, ridiculous action or horror films, physical theatre (especially Butoh) and the wonderful, talented people I get to work and collaborate with. What’s your biggest achievement so far? Working and performing with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre last year as one of their Company Interns, getting $14, 550 to make a show for National Science Week, my production of The Trees as part of CYT’s Artist’s Unite program, winning Best Actress at Canberra’s Short and Sweet last year... I keep having great adventures that make me really proud. What are your plans for the future? Keep making work, try and get paid, make my own company with equally passionate collaborators and generate excellent professional work here in Canberra, keep travelling the world and training my craft. What makes you laugh? My friends. The Misfits. Stupid Youtube memes. Monty Python. Whiskey. My imagination. Jason Stackhouse in True Blood. The Muppets from when Jim Henson was still alive. The Boys. Monkey Island. The show I’m working on – Intellectual Self Defence. What pisses you off? People who don’t listen and are closed to new ideas. The news – I have a tendency to yell at the television. Pedestrians who don’t walk on the left and freak out when I ring my bicycle bell. Having to get up in the morning. People who complain about their lot in life and then refuse to try and solve the problem. What’s your opinion of the local scene? Canberra is a fertile breeding ground for passionate, talented artists. There are lots of opportunities when you’re starting out. Unfortunately, it is far more difficult to sustain yourself as a professional practitioner, and I see more and more people leaving Canberra for Sydney or Melbourne. We need more professional opportunities here so we can keep the wonderful talent we generate. What are your upcoming performances/exhibitions? I am about to go to Japan to do a one-week Butoh intensive with Dairakudakan. From August 16 to 21 I am producing and performing in the ‘70s kung fu epic Intellectual Self Defence as part of National Science Week. I’ll also be in Short and Sweet later in the year. Contact info: phone 0422 932 918 or email email@example.com
UNINHIBITED Ah, winter. While normal people spend the frosty months wrapped in the loving embrace of a sweaty doona, basking in the cheerful glow of radiators and watching Masterchef, winter is the season (literarily speaking) of our discontent, in which the matter of quotidian existence revolves largely around the ominously familiar question: “How is the play going?” In a moment of temporary insanity caused, no doubt, by the February heat, earlier this year Uninhibited blithely took on the job of director of a play which, in its linguistic complexity and theatrical intractability resembles nothing so much as a giant, million-tiled Rubik’s Cube to a colour blind, one-handed midget: Love’s Labour’s Lost. (It’s a Shakespeare, in case you didn’t know.) The melodrama colouring our attitude is, perhaps, simply arising from the ‘hump day’ of the pro-am cycle: four weeks out. Four weeks out, and you think that the pain will never end. There are too many tasks to accomplish in not enough time, with painfully small resources. No one around you is doing anything apart from making sure your life is hell. Disasters mount, tensions rise. You shriek hysterically at your cast about “pulling together” while simultaneously tearing perfectly reasonable ideas apart. You hate everything, most especially yourself, and your only solace is the knowledge that a half-empty bottle of cab sav waits at home for you to make dolefully all-empty. You can’t think of anything except stencilling techniques, Shakespearean breathing, and the price of calico. You pray for fine weather so you can papier-mache fluttering cupidons. You snoop invasively in other people’s diaries and are burningly consumed with the provenance of archetypes. You lie awake all night indulging in stylised fantasies of extreme violence. You spend ages fiddling around on PhotoShop and arguing about dildos (even now, Uninhibited typed that three times wondering how to pluralise ‘dildo’ correctly). You feel like it’s been months since you’ve seen your friends (it has). All of which, if it sounds melodramatic, is proof that you have never been a director. If it sounds horrific, it’s a testament of its reality. Theatre is hell. You know in your head that eventually, magically, it will all pull together. The winter will pass – to everything, after all, there is a season – and the glorious summer sun will rise again (punctuated, properly speaking, by the buds and blooms and sexual metaphors of spring). The show will go on, even if you have to kill everyone in the world for it to happen. One day (usually the day after your first public performance) the whole thing suddenly shudders together and there you have it: a play. You don’t know how it happened. You don’t know what you can do to replicate it, since it has apparently nothing to do with your own individual exertions. The wonder of the theatre is that there aren’t more card-carrying religious zealots within its ranks, since it clearly works mostly on the power of miracles. So why do we do it? Why put one’s self through that pain, through a dark night of the soul that happens, for some, six times annually? At the moment, the answer is: Uninhibited does not know. But then, we’re only just passing over our hump day. Love’s Labour’s Lost opens at the ANU Arts Centre on August 25.
NAOMI MILTHORPE firstname.lastname@example.org
bit PARTS WHO: Free Rain and Tennessee Williams WHAT: A Streetcar Named Desire WHEN: August 12 - 21 WHERE: ANU Arts Centre It’s spawned a thousand booners trying to be witty when ordering beer. Yes, it’s Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer-winning paean to New Orleans, public transportation, and domestic abuse, A Streetcar Named Desire, and it’s getting the N.C. treatment this month at the hands of our good friends Free Rain Theatre. Directed by Fiona Atkin and featuring Jordan Best as Blanche, Steph Roberts as Stella, and Chris Zuber as Stanley, it’s sure to light a fire in the pants of theatre types the town over. For bookings phone Canberra Ticketing on 6275 2700. Just don’t yell Stella.
WHO: Sarit Cohen WHAT: New Works – China WHEN: Wednesday August 11 – Sunday August 29 WHERE: Belconnen Arts Centre To paraphrase: Following a recent residency in Jingdezhen China, Australian-based and Israeli-born artist Sarit Cohen explores the identity, role and relevance of Jewish culture and the possibility of free flowing debate, storytelling and cultural exchange in her exhibition of new works. Cohen uses the malleable properties of porcelain, and the techniques of hand building, pouring, rolling, carving and casting to achieve her results. A small story or a poem from a folk legend, memories of growing up in Israel as a teenage girl, may be inscribed into the skin of an object. Best of all? It’s totally free. WHO: Lovers and fighters. From New Zealand! WHAT: Romeo & Juliet WHEN: Tuesday 10 – Saturday August 14 @ 7.30pm WHERE: Canberra Theatre I won’t patronise you with retellings of the plot of Romeo & Juliet. That would be crass. I won’t even bore you with my personal interpretation of R&J as Shakespeare’s critique of intemperate emotion (an interpretation, mind you, that caused the most recent wine-related blackout as I argued well into the night with a friend of mine). HOWEVER I will suggest that the ballet offers things most people don’t usually get from the play (dance, being one; Prokofiev’s awesome score being the other) and that this one, from the Royal New Zealand Ballet has been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Production in 2005. Bite your thumb at that, homies. Tix on 6275 2700. WHO: Musical nutbags WHAT: A Sound of Music Sing-A-Long WHEN: Saturday August 21 @ 7.30pm WHERE: Canberra Theatre Crazy people unite in the singing along to musical numbers! Or, as the press release would have it: “join in an unforgettable interactive experience and tribute to the film that continues to have millions of hearts swelling. […] frock up for the ultimate musical affirmation; a celebration of nature, spirituality, love, family, patriotism, and goodness, combined with perfectly pitched songs, and the screen presence of feisty feminist, Julie Andrews. Round up your favourite friends, take your vows, and tear down the curtains as you the audience take over as the star of the show. Almost anything can happen!” Doh. A deer. 6275 2700 for tickets.
WHO: The Twilight Girls WHAT: The Dead Sea WHEN: Until August 14 WHERE: CCAS Gorman House To quote from the website: “The Twilight Girls, Helen Hyatt-Johnston and Jane Polkinghorne, have been collaborating since 1990, working in various media including photography, sculpture/installation and video. Working alongside their individual art practices The Twilight Girls take on a humorous and sometimes dark interpretation of their own bodies and the world in which they exist. A fixation on the ridiculousness of the female experience has been a touchstone across many works that reveal pervasive elements of humour, revolt and disgust.” And it’s FREE, FREE AS A BIRD!
WHO: Canberra Philharmonic WHAT: The Boy From Oz WHEN: August 13 – September 4 WHERE: Erindale Theatre “The Boy From Oz tells the dazzling, funny and heart-breaking story of the great entertainer Peter Allen, from his humble beginnings growing up in the Australian outback through a meteoric rise to fame as an international star who would go on to sell out week-long engagements at Radio City Music Hall. Singing in country pubs from age 11, Peter Allen survived family tragedy to become a local TV star at age 16. Discovered by Judy Garland, he married her daughter Liza Minnelli and went on to become a beloved performer and an Oscar-winning songwriter.” This is the first time it’s been performed in Canberra, and with a cast of Canberra’s most talented singers and dancers, is sure to be a hit with Philophiles everywhere. For bookings and more information check out www.philo.org.au/ticketing .
album there’s a moment of, ‘Oh that was a lovely time,’ but after a while I just hear all the mistakes, and you’ve just got to let go.”
I’ve got a really good backpack. Every time I go home to my parents my Dad washes it for me
COUCH SURFER EXTRAORDINAIRE JULIA WINTERFLOOD “Of my material possessions I’ve lost track / I didn’t need ‘em / Everything I need fits in my backpack / I call it freedom,” sang DARREN HANLON in Couch Surfing on 2008’s sing-a-long radio hit rich Fingertips and Mountaintops. It came as no surprise, then, that when we were discussing the recent retirement of pinball wizard Del Reiss and the closure of his establishment Bumper Action Amusements, Darren said somewhat wistfully, “I was thinking if I had a house to put them in I’d buy some of his machines, but I don’t live anywhere.” ‘Everything you need fits in your backpack?’ I sang. “Haha, yeah,” he chuckled. “I’ve got a really good backpack. It’s survived many flights and many buses and many trains. Every time I go home to my parents my Dad washes it for me.”
Thankfully he’s still enjoying the “wonderful honeymoon period” with his new album. Despite bristling with his trademark charming melodies, wit and wordplay, Darren’s latest has slightly more sombre overtones, which he feels can be attributed to the change in his approach to songwriting. “On the album before, I was spending more time in cafes and pubs with my notebook trying to work stuff out. But with this album my style has changed a little bit. I wanted to be more honest…” he hesitated… “I don’t know if honest is the right word, but I wanted it to come from a different place. So I’d sit with my guitar and stare at the wall for hours. It’s more painful this process.” With lines like, “I know that you’re gone so I’m moving on / Still I know that you’re worth mourning for,” from the stirring Scenes From A Separation, the joyful highs of I Will Love You At All are tempered with gentle longing. It is a beautiful record; yet another to add to the discography of one of Australia’s greatest songwriters. Darren Hanlon is returning to Tilley’s Devine Café on Saturday August 14, with American songstress Shelley Short in support. Presale tix are sold out.
The romanticism of the road – sights seen, places discovered, friends made along the way – resonates throughout all of Darren’s records. Yet it is his remarkable aptitude for acute observation and contemplation of the little things in life coupled with his extraordinary raconteuring skills that makes his music so beguiling. His fourth album, I Will Love You At All, was released on July 16. When I spoke with Darren a week later he was seeking shelter from the Melbourne rain. Finding him in his hired camper van he said he didn’t really know how the record was fairing as he’d been avoiding reviews, both good and bad. “I’m just concentrating on getting the tour together at the moment. It’s hard to read reviews as it’s almost like you’re eavesdropping on someone talking about you.” Ever humble, he spoke at length about his severe reluctance to listen to his previous albums. “It’s like holding a mirror up to yourself at different parts of your life. If I hear a bit of an old
LITTLE TED AIMS BIG
BANKS GAINING INTEREST
“Ask us what our proudest achievement is,” bursts out Joel, bassist for local three-piece TEDDY TROUBLE. I concede, and he goes on to tell me about The Wall. But this is no bloated prog-rock opus: it’s a far more practical low-running wall the band built to protect their flood-prone practice space.
As far as musicians with do-it-yourself ethics go, Dan Banks is a near-archetypal example. As well as being the founding member for the Canberra-formed now Melbourne-based DAN BANKS BAND, he is also their publicist, manager, website developer, tour organiser, and distribution representative. And on top of that, he’s also just helped produce, engineer, and master the group’s debut album, the first single for which they’ll be launching at Transit Bar this August. The album is a blend of folk, blues, reggae, and French jazz, showcasing the group’s immersive blend of styles that saw them win the Canberra and District Music Award for best Folk Act in 2007.
“We went to Magnet Mart and an old man helped us there,” guitarist Crispy, a man once described as Canberra’s Roger McGuinn, explains. “He didn’t seem to have a lot of confidence in us... he said ‘If it doesn’t work out boys, you could always just use the bricks and cement for something else.’ If anyone from Magnet Mart is reading this, I’d like to let them know that their help was appreciated and the wall was built.
We’ve never played a bad show - that’s actually a fact
“And it is a sturdy wall,” Joel adds. “It’s actually not really a wall,” drummer Michael interjects. “It’s like...” “A levee,” Crispy chimes in. “A dam,” Joel adds. “A reverse-moat?” I suggest. “An inverse-moat,” a hanger-on corrects. “We approach wallbuilding in a similar way to songwriting,” Crispy offers, before the group descends into laughter. Formed in the summer of 2009, the story of Teddy Trouble is an age-old tale: mates jamming in the garage who, through no design or planning, manage to stumble onto something. You can draw your own comparisons – The Clean; The Fall, perhaps – but these only tell part of the story. In fact, press them on the subject of influences and they can’t seem to come up with any shared musical reference points. “We don’t really have any particular direction, but we’re influenced by things like Canberra locations, migrations and everyday biological manifestations.” They’ve attracted the surf-rock tag, though beyond their lone “surf song” the band don’t seemed wholly convinced. “We never claimed it,” Joel protests. “Other people claimed it for us.” “The whole surf thing’s a good wave to ride at the moment,” Michael adds, smirking. The band has stamped their impression on the local scene with a succession of infrequent, though rapturously-received gigs. “We approach every show like it’s our first and last,” Joel states. “And we’ve never played a bad show – that’s actually a fact.” Beyond their shows, Teddy Trouble enthusiasts have had to subsist on a scant few minutes of live footage and a pair of unearthed demos. But with Crispy about to embark on a six-month overseas odyssey, the band has been spurred into action. They’re putting the finishing touches to a six-track EP, which they’ll launch at a farewell show before their hiatus. “But Teddy Trouble has every intention of recording a full length album within the next decade,” Michael says. “We have a large back catalogue of unfinished material. A six month hiatus isn’t going to provide too much of a speed hump.” Teddy Trouble launches their EP The Great Indoors with special guest Jonny Telafone at The Phoenix on Sunday August 15 from 6pm. Entry is free.
“The album turned out exactly as I’d hope, which is not your standard result,” Banks says, when asked how the album compared to his initial vision of it. “I had a really clear [John Butler] idea of what I thought it was gonna be asked me ‘do like, and I definitely became a bit of a control freak at times. I spoke to some you need help informed people about whether to song-writing?’ get a producer in, and decided I didn’t and I said ‘no’ need one.” One of the “informed people” of which Banks speaks is John Butler. Several years ago, Banks took part in John Butler’s The Seed program, after being chosen as one of the 20 participants out of an application pool of 16,000. The initiative is aimed at helping out selfmanaged artists who need a leg up. “I asked him about getting in touch with a producer to produce our first album. He asked me ‘do you need help song-writing?’, and I said ‘no’; he asked me if I needed ‘help arranging’, and I said ‘no’; so he said ‘well, you can be the producer then’.” As well as traversing a melange of styles, the group works with an array of different musicians – an element which gives them their distinctive flavour. Their single launch at Transit Bar alone will include a horn section, mandolin, banjo, melodica, two drummers, and several special guests. Strangely however, the song-writing process isn’t as difficult as one may anticipate, as Banks explains. “I don’t want to sound wanky, but it’s a very organic process,” Banks says (sounding wanky… ha! – AL). “The different influences come from each musician rather than from the song itself. I’ll have a chat with the musicians before we jam a song to tell them the story behind it and the vibe I’m envisioning, and we just go for it. They’re all extremely talented and very intuitive.” Song-writing aside, the group is primarily focussed for the moment on their single release, but with a view to the long term future. “We’d really like to get into the regional and remote areas, and get on more festivals,” Banks says. “But we really just want to get on the national stage and make a good contribution to the Australian music scene. I’ve never been in this to conquer the world.” Dan Banks Band will be launching their single She Got Me at Transit Bar on Saturday August 14. You can grab a copy of the single on iTunes… RIGHT NOW!
RE THE CAT CAT EMPIImage: Matt Dunstall katy hall There seem to be an increasing number of bands to emerge from nowhere of late, replete with devout following and their name on everyone’s lips. In the case of CAT CAT, the rise has been slow, steady and a bit unexpected. Bassist Warwick Smith admits: “It’s reaching a point now where we are finding our music popping up on music blogs and on the radio without much effort; we haven’t even really promoted ourselves outside of Canberra, so something is going alright.” Forming in 2008 Cat Cat already boast quite a reputation and live history despite somewhat of a revolving door policy. “I’m not entirely sure where it all started, but I came to the band over a beer as there was a spot for a drone bass player,” says Smith. “The line up has changed a few times before I joined, and it has since changed again. On our last EP the core members were Kieran, Goo, Conor and me. Now our core members are myself and Conor and we often get a guest or two to play with us live.”
I would say our music is meditative and sparkling lo-fi kraut pop. To be precise
And when it comes time to pinpoint what makes Cat Cat’s music so different to other local artists, and to explain their underground success, it seems style is the key. “I would say our music is meditative and sparkling lo-fi kraut pop,” says Smith. “To be precise. As Cat Cat we play shorter, brighter and sharper songs, and Conor has really good pop sense and great lyrics.” Busying himself with running local label Birds Love Fighting and working on his solo project JW Sparrow and the Miner Birds, Smith is hardly taking time to smell the roses. Next up for the band is a gig with US artist Zack Kouns and Newcastle’s Alps. Smith says, “I think it’s very admirable to stop in a small town and play to potentially a handful of people. Kouns isn’t the biggest name in the world but he’s come all the way here to sell us his story. I’d hope for the same if I went out into the world.” And while there’s currently only one EP to their name, last year’s Dig Mountains, Smith informs me there’s another making our way soon, entitled Waking Space, set for release in August/September, and with what I can only imagine a lot more gigs to boot. So, much to look forward to for all you lovers of sparkling lo-fi kraut pop, then. Cat Cat will be playing with Zack Kouns and Alps on Saturday August 31 at Smiths Alternative Bookshop, and as part of Electric Lake II on Saturday October 16.
THE REALNESS The worldwide bass music scene is thriving in a major way at the moment, and it’s set to continue thanks to a handful of new longawaited full length albums from some of the scene’s most revered artists as well as some incredible new singles from the likes of Peverelist, Sepalcure, Al Tourettes, Komonazmuk, J. Bevin, Ill Blu and many many more (I suggest you jump onto Boomkat to see what’s up release wise because there’s a lot of must-haves dropping at the moment). While the term “dubstep” is increasingly becoming more obsolete as a genre describer due to the multicoloured and multi-faceted sounds currently being created, Scuba’s Hotflush label continues to master the full-length album format with its second future classic this year. Hot on the heels of his own incredible Triangulation LP, comes the heavily anticipated full length album from versatile London duo Mount Kimbie. A further extension of their unique sound (and complete disregard for ‘genres’) Crooks & Lovers is out now and is, quite frankly, incredible. Full of short, almost pop-song length vignettes, the album’s brevity invites repeated listens. Full of space, ambience, beauty, incredible sample manipulation and creative percussive depth,Crooks & Lovers is future music and a must-have for your collection. Hot on the heels of his just released projects with Katalyst (Space Invadas) and Mark Pritchard (Africa Hi-Tech) musical genius Steve Spacek brings us his new solo LP under the Black Pocket moniker on
his brother dBridge’s label Exit Recordings. Firmly in the instrumental downbeat category, Spacek’s love for J.Dilla is apparent (hell, they collaborated together numerous times). We all know he’s got an amazing voice, but this LP serves to reinforce that dude can also produce! The album is chock full of broken-beat heaven. Get on it! For those who like their music a little more glossy, I recommend Hospital Record’s latest signing Netsky, and his new self-titled LP. This is big epic D&B which works perfectly both on the home stereo and up in the club! A 20 year old prodigy of sorts, Netsky comes across as a mini High Contrast but just a little more “ravey” if that makes sense. Awkward descriptions aside, his album is thoroughly enjoyable and a dynamic listen (and his real name is Boris! What’s not to love!? – AL). Shed’s 2008 release Shedding The Past was a wholly engaging and completely satisfying record – both a homage to classic techno and a tip of the hat to deep dubby bass music. Now he’s back with his new LP The Traveller on the acclaimed Ostut Ton label. According to the press release, the album takes influence from the sounds of early ‘90s UK club music (breakbeats, abstracted patterns) but whilst looking back, Shed also has his sights firmly planted on the horizon with the album harnessing myriad styles and BPMs. Equal parts minimal beauty and metallic force, this is cliché free dub-infused techno music for contemporary times. We’ll be launching the new LP from Shed at the second instalment of Low Freqz at Hippo Bar on Saturday August 14. NZ born Melbourne resident and audio engineer/electronic music production extraordinaire Nick De Friez will be headlining with a glitch set of epic proportions. $5 on the door; come and celebrate the beauty of bass music with us. ROSHAMBO email@example.com
the album, definitely, as only certain MCs can come to certain shows, depending on availability. It’s also a shame that I couldn’t get more artists on the tour to most of the shows.”
GOING THROUGH A PHAZE shailla van raad Good gracious! Make way for M-PHAZES, a Gold Coast born Melbourne based bombshell of a music producer. Born Mark Landon, M-Phazes’ sonic passion started with the touch of a button and the simple bang of a kick-drum. “My interest in music stems from really wanting to play the drums,” Landon reveals. “When I was younger, my dad had a little home studio and I loved pressing buttons. The rest is history, really. I used to rap but I’ve put that on the backburner for now because I’ve always wanted to make something for other people. It’s a lot more pleasing creating music with other people, and more challenging, and that’s why I love music production.”
I used to rap but I’ve put that on the backburner for now because I’ve always wanted to make something for other people
Hiccups aside from touring an album spanning such musical spectrum and artistic ability, M-Phazes admits he’s learnt a lot along the way, including falling in love… with New York. “I think I’d be more efficient at making an album now. Being in New York for two months and learning new producer techniques really contributed to this album. I’m now working on a couple of releases in the US. It’s a lot of stuff, so I’ll be travelling there a lot.” The man will be here on election night. Be sure to cast your hip-hop vote for the gig party. M-Phazes plays at Transit Bar on Saturday August 21. Good Gracious is out now through Obese Records.
M-Phazes has a three-pronged musical ability: he works within a range of musical styles, can craft the perfect beat, and is able to carve out soulful grooves. He’s also the type that works best when bringing together an assortment of artists and enticing the best of their ability. His new record Good Gracious exemplifies this. “Every track features a different MC. Most of the lyrics on the album, I didn’t have any input into them at all. Each MC wrote their lyrics.” From the ironically slanted and airplay friendly Where’s Elvis featuring Drapht to the ominous The Freak Show featuring lyrical genius Mantra, there’s something for everyone. M-Phazes recalls how Where’s Elvis came about. “Drapht is a pretty strange guy,” he laughs. “I asked him ‘Are you sure you want to write a track about an Elvis conspiracy theory?’ when he proposed it, but he was pretty set on it. You can’t really tell how the fuck that guy’s mind works. The Spit Syndicate track Long Winding Road is also a pretty cool track; its back and forth instrumental is interesting.” Getting ready for the tour in August, M-Phazes anticipates that there might be some bumps along the way. “It’s difficult to tour
METALISE The Soundwave rumours are in full swing for the 2011 run of the largest touring festival of heavy music in Australia, with more than a few sources predicting Big Four band Slayer and the return of Iron Maiden. If these turn out to be true (personally I don’t hold a lot of stock in them) metal fans are getting a second dedicated metal stage next year. The announcement of The Sword joining the tour is also welcome news. There’s a tonne of big international shows coming up in the next few weeks to keep the summer festivals feeling too far out of reach. Let’s review <draws extremely large breath> Testament are at the Manning Bar on Saturday August 7. Napalm Death are back again, this time with Dying Fetus and Extortion on Saturday September 4 at The Factory theatre down the bottom of Enmore Road in Marrickville, Sydney. LA glamsters L.A. Guns are at The Forum theatre in Sydney on Friday September 3. Japanese sludge lords Coffins are at the Gaelic Club on Sunday September 19. Then we have Mayhem playing The Factory theatre in Marrickville on Friday September 24. Overkill play The Metro on Saturday September 25. Then Exodus play the Manning Bar on the Saturday October 2. Soilwork also play the Manning on Friday October 22. All in all I expect to see a lot of longhairs either doing overtime or washing windows at the traffic lights in order to somehow pay for the accommodation, travel and merch expenses leading up to Christmas. Nuts. On a local tip, Friday August 6 is the Dio Live Evil Tribute Show at The Basement which should be a big night to sink a few in RJD’s honour. Ignite the Ibex are looking for a new vocalist following Terry Crane leaving for a “life opportunity” in greener pastures. If you’re interested in fronting the tech death act, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with recordings, Youtube links or any other evidence of your abilities. The third Doomsday Festival is on again this year. To celebrate, the organisers have been scouring the globe for an international to headline, and fingers crossed it will be the formidable San Francisco three-piece Acid King. The dates for the two shows closest to us are on Saturday October 2 at the Bald Faced Stag from 3pm and in Melbourne at the Northcote Social Club from 7pm. Pod People, Clagg, Looking Glass and Summonus form the nucleus of the local contingent for most of the shows.
THEIR WAY, OR THE HARD WAY justin hook The HARD-ONS were one of those first wave of punk and post-punk bands that saw more early success and critical respect overseas than in their homeland. Died Pretty, Nick Cave and The Saints all experienced similar. As a result, many think European audiences understood these bands better. It’s a notion that Hard Ons bassist Ray Ahn doesn’t buy for a second. “Nah, no one gets the Hard-Ons more than Australians. When we go to places like Spain I can guarantee you we get a bigger crowd than Sydney but that’s not to say we’re more popular. Madrid’s a massive city. If you can’t pull a decent crowd in Madrid you won’t pull decent crowds anywhere.”
We were gonna be shunned, and piss off a lot of people. But we weren’t gonna suck anyone’s cock to open doors for us
Forming in the western suburbs of Sydney in the early ‘80s the band have assiduously stuck to their guns for over two decades. “We knew exactly what was going to happen,” Ahn says. “We were gonna be shunned, and piss off a lot of people. But we weren’t gonna suck anyone’s cock to open doors for us.”
In response the band started kicking down doors with a tireless work ethic. “In October we’re going to Europe; our 15th tour there,” Ahn reveals. “In February we’re going to Japan; that’ll be the fourth tour. Been to America five times. I don’t know any other band at our level that can do that. We’re really fucking lucky man.” Lucky maybe, but really hard working, creating an ethos that crowds adore. “We’re also fucking underdogs – people in Australia love underdogs,” adds Ahn, warming to the subject. “We’re a uniquely Australian band – you can tell by the way we sing, our attitude… We don’t have any airs or graces. We’re not a bunch of pretty boys. Typical working class Australians and a lot of people relate to that.” Indeed. Ahn is conducting this interview on a lunch break from his day job at Utopia Records in Sydney, whilst singer/guitarist Blackie drives cabs and drummer Pete K splits his time between Regurgitator and Front End Loader, amongst others. Oddly, this time-sharing arrangement may have extended the longevity of Hard-Ons.
Halfway through 2010 already I thought I’d briefly reflect on a bunch of killer releases that have been keeping my ears warm this winter in case you’re looking for some new music or have slept on some of this year’s work. Abscess have been deactivated in favour of Autopsy’s reactivation, but Dawn of Inhumanity was awesome. High on Fire’s Snakes For The Divine is utterly essential. Cathedral’s The Guessing Game, Lair of the Minotaur’s Evil Power, Ufomammut’s Eve, Ramesses’ Take The Curse and Hooded Menace’s Never Cross The Dead are all worthy of your attention!
“I know a lot of bands burn out after a few years but we just don’t have that problem cos we don’t see each other that much socially for a start, and we don’t play with the Hard-Ons all the time.” But when they do, you’re going to see “three average looking middle aged guys doing the best to rock their asses off”.
Josh – NP: Ufomammut – Eve Part III – Eve
The classic paradox – rent vs. rock.
JOSH NIXON email@example.com
For now the band, who Ahn modestly suggests “got lucky in a small period of our career,” aren’t slowing down. “If we didn’t have jobs we could probably do three times as much, but you just can’t because you have to figure out how to pay the rent.” Hard Ons play at The Maram on Friday August 13, supported by Fangs of a TV Evangelist and Boonhorse. Tix are $14 + bf from Moshtix. The wonderfully titled new album Alfalfa Males Once Summer is Done Conform or Die is out now.
DWEEZIL TALKS FRANKLY justin hook Frank Zappa was a true musical polymath who tackled almost every conceivable genre from doo-wop to disco to symphonic orchestration to incendiary hard rock to jazz fusion before succumbing to cancer in 1993. Since 2006, DWEEZIL ZAPPA has been taking his father’s extensive catalogue on the road. More than a sedentary ancestral tribute act, Zappa Plays Zappa is part legacy restoration and part education, as Dweezil explains. “There really wasn’t anything promoting Frank’s music to a new generation. I don’t view Frank’s music as being a nostalgia experience. I view it as being very modern, and in many cases ahead of its time.” Contrary to popular opinion, Frank was also totally alcohol and drug free. “A lot of people have this perception that Frank A lot of people was always super high. He have this just wasn’t. When I was about perception that Frank [Zappa] was eight years old seeing people always super high. acting strange at his shows it was a little bit scary and I’d ask He just wasn’t him ‘What’s wrong with those people?’ and he’d say ‘Well, those people are on drugs or have been drinking a lot of alcohol and they think it gives them an excuse to be an asshole.’ So for me, knowing Frank didn’t approve of that, it made perfect sense for me not to do it.” Frank was also a fierce satirist, with an admittedly challenging sense of humour that was often mistaken for wayward juvenilia. It’s another imbalance Dweezil is seeking to redress. “A lot of people thought of him as a novelty act like Weird Al Yankovic. They weren’t familiar with some of his more sophisticated compositions or his classical work.” Indeed, in the final years of his life Frank had given up rock altogether to focus strictly on orchestral composition. Not that the public’s confusion mattered to him much. “Ultimately he didn’t care. He wrote music because that’s what he liked to hear.” For the moment, Zappa Plays Zappa deals with Frank’s more popular rock focused material. The project meant that Dweezil cautiously considered the issue of ex-band mates. “There are plenty of people that have been in Frank’s band that have been fired for bad behaviour – drugs or insubordination for example. In general I didn’t want to have any of that kind of drama.” As a result, Dweezil was adamant the focus would be on the music and not the personalities. “Some alumni just try to draw attention to themselves by changing the music. It’s not serving the music – they’re just trying to cash in on Frank. In the end, the music suffers. Generally, the people that take sides on this sort of thing, you’d be hard pressed to call them fans anyway.” Whilst dealing exclusively with Frank’s catalogue (a cover of Peaches En Regalia won a Grammy in 2009 for the project) Dweezil is contemplating the next step – original compositions. “Well that’s what the fans are asking for as well. We’ll see. Maybe when I get some time.”
The 2 CD set Return Of The Son Of… is out now through Shock.
on games Grokion / Backbreaker (iPhone) Developer: Dodo Domination / Ideaworks 3D Style: Action-Platformer / Sports Challenge Rating: Worth Getting / Lite will do Reviewer: Jemist / Torben A common occurrence in this harsh gaming landscape is that of dying genres. I personally always lamented the death of the scrolling adventure platformer; think Metroid before 3D and Megaman before the 1000 spinoffs. Grokion is a wonderful attempt at trying to recapture some of that lost vibe. You’re LDU-1, resurrected as a last line of defence from invading robots. At first glance, it definitely looks fantastic, 3D without being too overbearing, 2D without being lazy, and some smooth animation for sure. What unfortunately quickly takes over is a somewhat unbalanced damage model. Being killed by an exploding robot which you’ve just killed is definitely annoying, and happens all too frequently. Plus you can add to this a less than stellar control system - why aren’t floating control sticks standard yet? If you’re dedicated enough, you get past those niggling issues, and are subject to a promising prospect for a continuing episodic iPhone series. The team behind the game seem dedicated enough about addressing those issues in inevitable updates, but we’ll see. This really does have me pining for an Oddworld series port to iPhone. *** Let me tell you a story; back in 2001 spirits were high after a couple of Oxford researchers turned their pet project into a full fledged company. Know as NaturalMotion, they specialised in dynamically generating animations. It marked a new era, where games could finally offer truly unique playing experiences. The tech demos were awesome, the potential limitless. So what happened? Some say the technology was too awesome. Developers became too caught up with the tech, obsessed even. Essentials like gameplay and control, became neglected. Several major titles feel victim; first there was Force Unleashed and then GTA 4. Now the latest is Backbreaker. Indeed, whilst technologically impressive, Backbreaker suffers from a host of problems. The controls are unresponsive, particularly those on the left. The gameplay is shallow and repetitive. The in-game advertising is overbearing. Even the camera is placed so badly, you can barely see the very people you’re tyring to avoid. So with time, hopefully there will finally come a developer capable of wielding the awesome power of NaturalMotion. Some may even say that Rockstar have already achieved this with Red Dead. What ever your thoughts are, Backbreaker still disappoints.
Here at Chez Blackbox we love the hoopla and theatre of a federal election campaign; the brief period every few years when everybody wants to speak to the politically astute woman’s crumpet, ABC numbers man Antony Green. But this year, despite our first woman PM, a budgie smuggler wearing opposition leader, and a much happier looking anti-logging warrior, it’s been pretty boring television. Until Wil Anderson and The Chaser got involved. Auntie’s regular Wednesday night line-up is on hold for the election but don’t fret, Spicks and Specks (ABC1, Wed, 8.30pm) remains (with a Eurotrash special August 19). It’s followed by a new incarnation of The Gruen Transfer – Gruen Nation (ABC1, Wed, 9pm) which reviews political advertising past and present with the regulars plus a mix of political campaign specialists, political commentators and expollies. John Hewson was very frank on the first show. It’s followed by Yes We Canberra! (ABC1, Wed, 9.45pm), The Chaser’s latest election incarnation which serves as a warm up act for Tony Jones (wearing his Lateline hat). The first episode even garnered them an election scoop – the Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons candidate revealed that he’ll be running as an independent. The re-imagined Angry Angus ad is worth the visit to iview alone. Speaking of comics, Jennifer Byrne Presents: Graphic Novels (ABC1, Tue Aug 10, 10.05pm) is the latest in the genre series. Guests include Nicki Greenberg, Bruce Mustard and Eddie Campbell. Australia may not have won the World Cup but the attention has meant The World Game (SBS2, Mon, 9.30pm) has graduated to panel show format reviewing the weekend games from the A League and across the world. Yet the same question remains – just what nationality is Les Murray (with apologies to TISM)? The end of Le Tour de France has heralded new seasons of several SBS faves – Mad Men (SBS1, Sun Aug 15, 9.30pm) Man vs Wild (SBS1, Mon Aug 16, 8.30pm) and Heston’s Feasts (SBS1, Thu Aug 19, 8.30pm). Also back is Rush (SCTEN, Thu, 8.30pm), Burn Notice (SCTEN, Thu, 9.30pm) and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation (SCTEN, Sun, 7.30pm). Lovers of mysteries would be well advised to check out The Prisoner (ABC1, Sat, 9.20pm). It’s one of a series of interesting BBC dramas over the next few weeks including Criminal Justice (ABC1, Sun Aug 15, 8.30pm) about a woman accused of attempting to murder her husband. Docos to check out include Anatomy of a Massacre (ABC1, Thu Aug 12, 9.30pm) about East Timor, Rituals: Around the World in 80 Faiths (SBS1, Fri Aug 20, 7.30pm) which looks at, amongst other things, sacrifices by Voodoo priests and an Australian Indigenous dance, Paparazzi: Next Generation (ABC2, Wed Aug 18, 8.30pm) about the new breed of paps – watch closely for your chance to pursue a career with TMZ, Five Weddings, Five Funerals (ABC2, Wed Aug 18, 9.30pm) about The Black Widow, Betty Neumar. If you haven’t yet caught The Making of Modern Australia (ABC1, Thu, 8.30pm) make sure you do – it’s a great mix of archival footage and Australian Story style interviews hung together by the dulcet tones of William McInnes. The Goodies (ABC1, Mon, 8.05pm) has some classics coming up – Blackbox fave The Winter Olympics (Aug 16) gives hope to slothful couch campers everywhere that a good massage can make up for years of no exercise. TRACY HEFFERNAN firstname.lastname@example.org
THAT HOODOO VOODOO justin hook The HOODOO GURUS are part of our musical and cultural DNA. They’re everywhere, but strangely seem to exist outside fads, genres or (what’s my) scenes. With a collective range of influences that run the gamut from Fleshtones and Nuggets-era garage rock through to surf, Little Richard and ‘50s rockabilly legend Gene Vincent, the young Hoodoo Gurus formed in the chaotic and creative early ‘80s Sydney, as lead singer/guitarist Dave Faulkner explains: “We were looking around and seeing the remnants of the Radio Birdman/Detroit scene on the one hand, and on the other there was electronic post-punk art rock. We didn’t see anything in between and realised there’s a whole lot of music that’s not being played.” The band found their confidence pretty quickly. “We were a bit arrogant,” Faulkner admits. “Within Brad was into a few months of rehearsing, without Guns N’ Roses even talking about it, it was obvious something was happening. We were and was doing just serious from day one. But our a lot of Eddie Van Halen finger success came incrementally.”
tapping – that was not what I signed up for!
After a pair of incredibly well received albums (Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars) in the mid-‘80s yielded a string of instant paisley-tinged pop classics (Tojo, Death Defying, Bittersweet, Like Wow – Wipeout!) the band were ready for their early career wobbles. Ironically, it happened with one of their biggest albums, 1987’s Blow Your Cool. As Faulkner explains: “We got a little bit ahead of ourselves around that album. We had troubles with our record label – they were independent but they were stealing from us and we weren’t getting our overseas royalties; they didn’t approve of our choice of producer… We weren’t masters of our own destiny.” Faulkner readily admits they were swept up in all the excess of the ‘80s. “Yeah the times we were in, and also getting caught up in the myths of who we were, got us away from the core of what were about. Brad was into Guns N’ Roses and was doing a lot of Eddie Van Halen finger tapping – that was not what I signed up for!” Faulkner isn’t entirely dismissive however. “It was a necessary step. But we had one of our biggest hits (What’s My Scene?) so it was a very important album for our career.”
Fast-forward ten years and the band split to focus on other projects. A few years later the pangs of reunion became too strong to ignore. After well received shows at Homebake and Big Day Out, the next step was obvious. “Those shows were a wake up call. This was a really amazing band just doing nothing. And if people say I’m a sell-out for reforming the group then let them say it. If you don’t like it – just don’t come to our gigs. Just ignore us.” I think it’s safe to say it’s almost impossible to ignore the Hoodoo Gurus. Hoodoo Gurus play at the ANU Bar on Friday August 6. Tix are $40.90 + bf from Ticketek.
HARD-ONS Alfalfa Males Once Summer is Done Conform or Die [Cool Bananas]
album of the issue darren hanlon i will love you at all [flippin yeah]
My future depends on Darren Hanlon, for the one I grow old with must love him as much as me, ‘cause if he don’t get Darren, he won’t get me. My love affair with our nation’s most wonderful wordsmith began many moons ago with 2000’s honey sweet Falling Aeroplanes. Two years later he took out humble number 45 in the H100 with Punk’s Not Dead, an adorable ode to sharehousing which slotted him snugly in our minds as an effortlessly charming and exceptionally clever songwriter. A handful of delightful EPs and three albums I’ll cherish forever later, Darren has produced, in his own words, his most honest work yet. While I Will... possesses all the trademarks we’ve grown to know and love; gorgeous melodies, wistful guitar, jolly uke and banjo, lilting keys, rousing choruses and countless displays of masterful wordplay (“And if I had a dollar for every time I shoulda been paid / Then I woulda been paid”), a gentle nostalgia not found on previous albums permeates. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the final bar of haunting closer What Can We Say?; “What will we miss the most? The feel of sun, the taste of beer” is coupled with non-lingering piano chords. The abrupt end has a ‘to be continued’ feel to it, I suggested to Darren. “It’s the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end,” said he. JULIA WINTERFLOOD
The very title of this album reveals much of what has made the Hard-Ons the enduring punk legends of 28 years that they are – the obscurity; the commercial infeasibility; the humour; and of course the middle finger raised directly at mainstream culture. Fans will no doubt ‘umm’ and ‘aaahh’ about the pros and cons of this record compared to the group’s previous work, but overall it is simply a HardOns record as anyone might imagine one. Notably however, the album does not adhere to one particular style, as their two previous works have sought to do. Whereas those albums were each dedicated (broadly) to one of the group’s notoriously divergent styles – from bubblegum power pop to black, thrash metal – Alfalfa Males nestles them (and everything in between) side by side. This constant fluctuation in style itself is enough to keep you listening. The ensuing maelstrom – spanning 19 tracks in 40 minutes – is certainly no different to anything the group has created before, and this is what makes it so enjoyable. This is a group that is playing the music they like, because they like playing it, and for fans they know like it. Nothing sounds forced, and because the group only ever writes, rehearses or records when they have the creative desire to, they still play music with the same freshness, energy, and vision they had in 1982. BEN HERMANN
Hellyeah Stampede [Riot Entertainment]
I EXIST I: A Turn for the Worse [Common Bond Records]
In which former Pantera sticksman Vinnie Paul – often mistaken for BMA’s own Scott Adams as he goes about his daily business – continues the search for something... anything... to replace the glory he found in his former band...
When reviewing local product, there’s always a slight temptation to pull a “Margaret ‘n’ David” and gild the lily. Not that there’s currently any shortage of good music being made here, of course, but there is always the lurking possibility of being tyre-ironed in a darkened alley on the back of a less-than-glowing appraisal. One faces no such conundrum, however, when presented with I Exist’s debut. Because it is good. And I mean properly, world-class, good. It could have come from whatever global hotspot takes your fancy as readily as it came from Canberra’s south.
The trouble with this quest of course is that it’s in search of an unattainable goal. In Pantera, Paul backed the mercurial pairing of Phil Anselmo and his late, lamented brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot, an armour-plated Jagger and Richards for the metal generation, a pair of song writers so combustible they could, no matter how refreshed, come up with classics like Cowboys from Hell and Walk in the blink of a semi-comatosed eye. Make no mistake, these men were genii, alchemists, a once in a lifetime phenomenon... In 2010 Vinnie has replaced these two with dullards of the calibre of Mudvayne’s Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett. The result, Hellyeah’s second album, Stampede, is predictably underwhelming. In a live situation its simplistic groove and brainless choruses may well have some form of primal appeal, but in the privacy of one’s own loungeroom the whole thing comes off as clichéd and, sadly, rather desperate. Titles such as Cowboy Way, Pole Rider and Hell of a Time should point to the quality of down home southern goodness on offer; and, whilst Paul puts in his usual faultless display behind the kit, it isn’t enough to lift the record out of the mire. Tedious. Nambucco “Cemetary Gates” Deliria
A Turn for the Worse sees the hardcore group further indulge their ever-present metal influence: from Sabbath’s mighty Volume 4 to the unholy rumble of Dorset doomsters Electric Wizard and California’s Sleep. This move is perfectly complemented by the introduction of Josh Nixon, Pod People guitarist and your Metalise correspondent, who adds his inimitable axework to proceedings. His smoky riffs permeate the record, particularly on the psych-flavoured guitar workout Hymn of the Hemplar. While most tracks are blasted out and dispensed with in under two minutes, with the full length of a compact disc at their disposal I Exist have stretched their proverbial wings with album closer A-Bomb Blues. An epic in every sense of the word, it pits an apocalyptic tale of blasting into space, away from an expiring planet, against an unbridled nineminute riff-fest complete with Hammond organ. Massive. PETER KRBAVAC
with Dave Ruby Howe
itch-e and scratch-e hooray for everything!!! [hustle] This CD is the best thing to happen to my collection all year. You may remember this lovechild of Paul Mac and Andy Rantzen called Itch-E and Scratch-E from festival line-ups and extreme games compilations of the mid to late ‘90s. They had moderate success back then, namely for their recognisable club anthem Sweetness and Light. Now, after ten years, they’re back. And thank the gods. Their traditional techno sounds flecked with a musical sense of humour are more than welcome in these days of dance music where it is often pushed too hard or taken too seriously. This latest release, Hooray for Everything!!! is, at times, a step back to the good ol’ days of smiley faces and laser reaching. Just like their live show, the album glitters with high energy throughout, jumping back and forth between the technically delightful, deep and dark, and just plain happy. It kicks off with a fast-paced remix of Scribe’s Fresh. Suddenly electronic voices are conversing with you and you’re taken to a 1997 rave cave before brilliantly layered house prompts you back into your kitchen, where you dance inappropriately and your housemates find you trying to reenact your drunken club moves while cooking the Sunday roast. Let that be a warning to you. The album is flaunted with Paul and Andy’s sense of fun – clearly apparent in track names like Found it on the Dancefloor and some controversial but hilarious vocals. It’s true what they say; experience counts for everything. DANIKA NAYNA
m.i.a /\/\/\Y/\ [remote control]
STEVE MASON BOYS OUTSIDE [DOMINO]
Aggressive, confrontational and provocative are three words that appropriately sum up M.I.A’s highly anticipated third album Maya. Following a series of contentious incidents, most notably her retaliation to an unflattering article written by a New York Times journalist, it is not surprising that M.I.A’s latest effort is shrouded in controversy. The track Born Free along with its accompanying video (which was quickly pulled down from YouTube as being too offensive) comments on the absurdity of genocide. The clip features a horde of swat teams invading Los Angeles apartment blocks, which then round up redheads, drive them to the desert and brutally murder them. The intro track The Message is a spoof on the children’s song Dry Bones, and suggests the human body is no longer our own property, that we are all dictated by technology, which is dictated by the government. Despite the political statements and provocative visual content, which feel somewhat simplistic and trivial, there are some worthy sonic moments. The fragmented and abrupt production style is eclectic, expansive and at times completely anti-pop. The album references many styles and genres but most of all it embraces noise – so confidently in fact that we do not even question the logic behind it. Although Maya is not as strong as previous albums Arular or Kala it is an interesting and daring work, and it is disappointing that so much of the conversation about this album revolves largely around matters separate to the music.
The Beta Band weren’t built to last. With founding members exiting early due to failing mental health, chronic internal squabbling and critical adoration that rarely translated into commercial comfort – they were the adorable, quixotic black sheep of British music circa 1998. Never far from a blindingly gorgeous melody, they also pulled off random kitchen sink, hip-hop infused noise with surly indifference. Radiohead loved them, naturally. This is Mason’s debut album under his own name after a couple of post-Beta subterfuge imbued side-projects. On knob twiddling duties is uber-producer Richard X (Sugababes, Annie and Pet Shop Boys) which on the surface seems an odd choice, but Mason has never been one to shy away from a little Casio-tone jiggery-pokery. Boys Outside is Mason’s first output since a bout of profound depression, in his own words he ‘went mental and had a breakdown’. Accordingly, there are calling cards from a fractured mind littered throughout – but on The Letter he assures us “In my mind I’m getting better”…although a little bit later “something bad has happened here”. Still, this is not a record steeped in sadness or crisis despite descents into lovelorn confusion. There are hints of his old band in the lilting All Come Down – typically subdued beginnings climaxing somewhere up the side of a foggy mountain. Throughout it all Mason’s biggest weapon shines – a luxuriant, ghostly textured voice more open and honest than ever before. Boys Outside already sounds like a lost classic.
Brandon Flowers Crossfire [UMA] What does Brandon Flowers sound like without the rest of his Killers entourage? Still pretty much the same, actually. Crossfire still has the buried electronics, plaintive lyrics and ripping riffs of a Killers song, but it’s all meshed in with an earnest down-home feel. So yeah, Sam’s Town was his doing.
Flo Rida ft. David Guetta Club Can’t Handle Me [Warner] I think if you told Flo Rida that jaunty polka-house or Chinese opera was going to be big next month he would be all over that stuff like stink on a turd. And so now that everyone is trying to make dance music, ol’ Flo decided to jump in on it too. And of course David Guetta is more than happy to shell out this (actually decent) beat that he made in an afternoon in between Skype sessions with Akon. Just like a frozen pizza, this is cheap and loaded with artificial cheese.
Maroon 5 Misery [UMA] Like if the Bee Gees had Twitter.
The Count & Sinden ft. Mystery Jets After Dark [Domino/EMI] This is wonderful. After spending so long making dense bangers, Herve and Sinden craft this really rich, groove-ridden and soulful track for Mystery Jets to do their thing on, which of course involves injecting a good dose of psychedelic pop into things. It’s genius.
WITH MARK RUSSELL
And finally it’s here, the new film from Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan. Inception, based on the graphic novel of the same name... Sorry, what’s that? Oh, my mistake, based on the best-selling book then? No? Short-story? Play? Theme park ride? Disney children’s series? Cereal box character? Wait, it’s... original!?! But then, why are people watching it? How do they know they’ll enjoy it unless they’ve already seen it in another mainstream incarnation? We’re through the looking glass here, people. Hold my hand, Mr Marketing, we’ll get through this.
quote of the issue “What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.” Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), Inception
As I unclenched my buttocks and rose from my seat, the concept of Inception slowly sunk into my consciousness. Not the plot, story and themes – these had been cunningly woven in over the last two and a half hours. Nope, I was enjoying the fact that this kind of filmmaking still exists. Christopher Nolan has created an excitingly original film to make you think.
Ben Stiller hangs up his fluffy bright comedy pants for a dabble in the dark arts of the “serious role” as neurotic, misanthropic Roger Greenberg… and turns in a mighty fine performance in this admirable attempt at a character piece.
From the seamless control of Inception to the epitome of awkwardness that is Killers.
Any mention of plot will doubtlessly detract. The first half an hour is intended to keep you on unsure footing. As such, Inception has us hooked from frame one right ‘til the end. It demands our attention to detail as Nolan allows the bare minimum amount of time to process information before he catapults us into the next stage. Comparisons with Stanley Kubrick are being thrown around the place, and not without justification. This is not a wholly flattering comment however: as well as his visual mastery, Nolan shares Kubrick’s value of mood and concept over character. Only DiCaprio’s character pushes the envelope into full realisation. That said, the performances are uniformly brilliant – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is dapper control; Ellen Paige – curious intellect; Ken Watanabe – honourable pragmatism; and Marion Coitillard – tentatively poised intensity. Afterwards you will doubtless experience a few Hitchcock refrigerator moments regarding the plot’s sequence, inspiring a stream of forums dedicated to inaccuracies. But don’t let them fool you – Inception is brilliant. MARK RUSSELL
On the back of a nervous breakdown, Greenberg returns to his native Los Angeles to housesit for his well-to-do brother’s family. Throw in awkward relationships new and old – new with his brother’s personal assistant Florence (Greta Gerwig) and old with ex band mate Ivan (Rhys Ifans) – and we’re given a two hour study into a man with many problems and no solution. Written and directed by The Squid and The Whale’s Noah Bambach this is an assuredly slow paced and character rich piece that could stand to lose 15 minutes to prevent the film dragging slightly. As with all character pieces, without a sharp script and strong central performances it can be a dire affair; fortunately a gleeful tick can be put in both boxes. Stiller, Gerwig and Ifans are uniformly excellent, bringing nuance and depth to their roles, and “hinting at an ocean of sadness just beneath the surface,” to quote High Fidelity. Both strained and restrained, no easy options are either offered or given, and Bambach’s confidence in his subject matter and actors allow the piece to play out at its own lingering pace. Fans of subculture pieces like Ghost World or American Splendor should lap this up. allan sko
Ashton Kutcher plays Spencer, a super cool awesome hot hitman, who’s starting to feel that his job is no longer the emotionally fulfilling philanthropy he signed up for. Luckily he runs into Jen (Katherine Heigl) an anallyretentive but emotionally fearful woman who has appeared in every uninventive romantic comedy ever. They hook up, get married and live a blissful life in the suburbs for five years till – oh dear – Spencer’s past comes crashing through their kitch home. This film has very little going for it. The tone is uneven, dancing between moments of graphic violence with unfunny quips and a desperate attempt at romance. There’s no chemistry between the leads and the pacing feels wholly unplanned. The action and story have no correlation and there are long sections where Spencer and Jen do little more than wander around, talking about how people are constantly trying to kill them. You know what would be more exciting than that? People constantly trying to kill them! Instead the script crams almost all of the attacks into the latter sections, making it feel less like escalation and more like Hail Mary. Catherine O’Hara and Tom Selleck are admirable enough as Jen’s parents but Catherine’s character’s drunkenness and Tom’s general air of disappointment feel more a reflection of genuine circumstance than acting skill. mark russell
the word on dvds
QI: The Best Bits [Fremantle Media]
Brothers is a psychologicaldrama cum-9/11 film, and is both a timely reminder about the existence of war, and the effects it has on its participants.
Mother is the latest film from Joon-ho Bong, who made a figurative splash in 2007 with The Host – a big budget action film that delivered actual entertainment, genuine thrills and memorable performances. Bong’s 2004 serial killer thriller pic Memories of a Murder was even better. Go find it.
Ah, QI. You know the drill – a panel are given an assortment of oddball questions, with points allotted for interesting responses, obvious answers penalised. Host Stephen Fry continually rattles off obscure facts, with the puggydog-esque QI staple Alan Davies (creating yearnings for Jonathan Creek re-runs) falling for all the right traps and encouraging a nice slab of immaturity to boot. An array of British and international comedic talent have hopped on board for this season, including Bill Bailey, Rich Hall, Phil Jupitus, Sue Perkins, Rob Brydon, David Mitchell, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand… Hell, even Graham Norton, Barry Humphries and David Tennant pop in.
The film introduces the viewer to Capt. Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) and wife Grace (Natalie Portman), on the eve of Sam’s departure to Afghanistan. When he goes missing soon after arriving in the war-torn country, he is presumed dead. Sam’s wayward brother Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), recently released from prison, struggles with the guilt of being left alive while his beloved brother is dead. He steps in for Sam, helping Grace with household tasks, all the while growing closer to her and the children – with consequences that will affect the entire family, when Sam is discovered alive. Inspired by the Susanne Bier Danish film Brødre, Brothers is a little melodramatic, at times detrimentally so. It works best as a kitchen-sink drama, and could have lost some of the more clichéd lines of dialogue and obvious earnestness. But the strength of this film lies in its leads: Maguire, Portman and Gyllenhaal all deliver remarkable performances. Portman is convincing as a grief-stricken wife; Gyllenhaal as a bad boy making good. Maguire is especially haunting as the disturbed and increasingly obsessive war vet. The special features on the DVD include an illuminating interview with director Jim Sheridan about the film’s themes, and a featurette about the process of adapting Brodre into Brothers. This isn’t a war film in the strictest sense of the word; rather it is a characterdriven family portrait. But these characters aren’t still life – they appear as real flesh and blood, flawed and fallible, painfully human – and the film is worth watching for this fact alone. melissa wellham
Restraint and attention to detail are two of his hallmarks. Minor characters are fully formed – not simply filling in space with the occasional quip or clunky dialogue to aid exposition. And his films aren’t replete with flashy, attention grabbing performances or glacial Occidental meditations of life and loss. This is a director with an acute sense of balance. Mother’s plot could be lifted from any gumshoe novel of the last 50 years. Dim-witted/ slightly tipsy Do-joon (Won Bin) makes an ill-advised pass at a girl whist staggering home. She is found murdered the next day, Do-joon is arrested and made to sign a confession, under sloppy police work. His protective mother Hye-ja (Kim Hye-ja) steps in to make the case but neither police nor lawyers care. The case is closed and Do-joon goes to prison. As the layers are revealed, notions of innocence and guilt are skewered, and the line between protection and criminal interference becomes evermore opaque. A pair of scenes toward the end of the film are staggering; quiet, simple and extraordinarily powerful pay-offs. No orchestral swells or doleful Oscar-bait sobbing. Taut storytelling and eerie cinematography brilliantly capture the grey nothingness of a senseless crime in an unnamed city; it could be anywhere – and that’s the point. Won Bin and Kim Hye-ja were lauded for their compelling performances – rightly so. Mother is one of the best of the year and Bong confirms his status as a world class director.
Yet, this selection doesn’t boast much to suffice fans or even newcomers of the show. The subtitle on the DVD reads: “A hotch potch of moments from the ‘G’ series”. And a hotch potch it certainly is. Clocking in at under an hour, The Best Bits offers only slivers of amusement from the brilliant British panel quiz. The whole enjoyment of watching the show is the on-going jokes, banter and the sly looks tossed around the room, which is only hinted at in this jumble of clips. The collection does have its standalone moments, though, such as gags on how to humanely kill bees, and the nature of irresistibly tasty tortoises. The initial theme of the episode, and even the questions themselves, are merely the kickoff for conversations and discussions that regularly spinoff from the tiniest digression. This is what makes the show work. The Best Bits does offer laughs, though the short length of the snippets neuters comedic momentum and may annoy. The DVD boasts no special features, and a few rather posed pictures of Fry, Davies and co. CHIARA GRASSIA
Atlantis Awaits / Hands Like Houses / Retraspec Holy Grail – Civic Saturday July 24
Readying myself for the launch of Atlantis Awaits’ new EP I found myself startled, almost frightened in fact, by the unusual commotion at entry to the Holy Grail. Friends were being dramatically parted in scenes reminiscent of a WWII film, time and time again one underage hand being violently torn from their 18 year old friend, lover, brother or sister. Like a cow heading to the slaughter, all people ‘of age’ were escorted upstairs while their frightened and confused young were held on the lower level to cower, alone. What was most absurd was that those upstairs could not come down. Before the first act of the night had even stepped up on stage, security had already had quite the busy night, what with a large amount of their 18+ audience trying to jump the fence of the smoking area to get onto the lower level of the venue, and underage individuals trying to sneak past and climb the stairs to social salvation. Once the management got a mouthful from both the crowd and performers, they realised the error of their ways, and from that point on the evening became far more enjoyable. Friends were tearfully reunited upon the decision that those above 18 could indeed venture about the venue as they please. Soon enough Retraspec stepped up on stage, and considering that they were the very first band to come on, the initial turn out was far more than could be expected. Having heard a very limited amount of their music prior to this night I was pleasantly surprised by their live sound. With the help of the sharp acoustics at this particular venue, they sounded excellent and opened the night with a spectacular set. After Retraspec came a short interval of mingling, smoking and more mingling, before the crowd began to flock inside for the next band, Hands Like Houses. So in I went to park in a nice spot not too far out of the crowd and not too far in, but within no less than a minute of them playing I found myself being thrown about in the middle of the pit. So out I briskly went. Once again I was not familiar with this band or their music, and to be honest, I think I was one of only a handful of people at the gig who didn’t know the words to every song. Too weak to join my peers in the slaughter, I happily sat and enjoyed the music, subconsciously giving the odd bob of the head before realising I looked like a complete arse. The length of each set was satisfying, each band performing for what would usually equate to two or three acts. But nothing compared to the moment when Atlantis Awaits stepped up on stage; the screams were piercing and from the excellent view that I scored for myself, I could see the audience go absolutely nuts with excitement.
PHOTOS: Patrick polis
When vocalist Alice opened her mouth and began to sing, I could feel goosebumps run up my arm. The performance was captivating in every way that live music can be, with beautiful lighting, excellent PA work, indescribable skill as musicians and stage presence capable of making the crowd turn barbaric. I perched upon the bar, at perfect level with the heads of those being hacked to pieces by other people’s body parts. Even from my relatively secure vantage point, I had the feet of crowd surfers flying directly at my face more times than I wish to count. But of course these kind of occurrences are what make a night truly memorable. NAOMI FROST
GIG GUIDE Aug 04 - Aug 10 wednesday AUGUST 04 Arts Perfect Places and Insatiable Appetites
Exhibition by Kalina Pilat, ‘til August 8. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE - MANUKA
Jakulpa laju kartyinpa Bringing a Message Presented by Chapman Gallery in association with Martumili Artists. ‘Til August 19. CHAPMAN GALLERY
Live Ricardo Gallen
The internationally acclaimed guitarist in Canberra for one night only. Tix through Ticketek. LLEWELLYN HALL
Chicago Charlie 9pm-midnight.
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
Sometimes whimsical, sometimes romantic and sometimes rockin’. 7.30pm, free. THE FRONT CAFE AND GALLERY
Yep, those geezers. They’re still going strong! ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
Dio: A Tribute
saturday AUGUST 07
CANBERRA IRISH CLUB
Ah! Pandita and Karoshi
Goth, industrial, dark electro. Featuring international guest End: The DJ (USA). $10, 9pm.
With Voss and Danger Beach, presented by Dream Damage. 7.30pm, free. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE
Something Different Trivia Night
friday AUGUST 06 dance Girl Thing
9pm ‘til 1am. DJs Robbie and Tori Mac. Boys allowed after 1am with DJ Matt.
CANBERRA SERVICES CLUB, MANUKA
Trivia @ Transit
With Faux Real, Dred, Buick, DJC, Skywalker and more. Tix through Moshtix.
Ug Beats 8th Birthday
And the legendary $5 night.
THURSDAY AUGUST 05 Arts Greenfaces: Heath Franklin’s Chopper
Tickets from Canberra Ticketing or greenfaces.com .
Simon Caldwell, Bec Paton, Alistair, Not You, Jemist, DFP and Miss Universe. 8pm, free entry. TRANSIT BAR
Canberra’s weekly alternative party. DJs spin indie, rock, electro, grunge, punk. Free before 10.30. BAR 32
CANBERRA IRISH CLUB
B-Tham, Bedroom Bangerz, Bobby Rush. $10, 10pm.
9pm ‘til 11pm followed by DJ Pete till 5am.
9pm ‘til 5am with DJs Matt and Pete.
10pm ‘til 5am with DJs Matt and Pete.
THE FRONT CAFE AND GALLERY
Come and have a fiddle from 5pm. KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
The Bootleg Sessions THE PHOENIX PUB
Free live music at Canberra’s warmest watering hole.
Leisa Keen Trio
Reign of Terror
Buddhist meditation classes every Monday, drop-in any week. Class fee $14. Call 9387 7717.
THE PHOENIX PUB
With Demonic Tempest and Dark Nemesis. THE BASEMENT
Hospitality Night Meditation Classes
WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE
tuesday AUGUST 10
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
sunday AUGUST 08 dance Effigy Presents: John ‘00’ Fleming
10pm ‘til late with DJ TJ.
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
Aaron McCoullough’s Elements Quintet
Rafe, Matt Dent, Shaun Kirk and Scaramouche.
Panama Jim 10pm-2am.
Irish Jam Session
With B-Tham, Team Wing, Burnie Mac, Mus Mus. $10, 10pm.
ANU School of Music 2010 Premier Series, Concert 3 (Flute and Guitar). Tickets through Ticketek. 3pm
4Sound Presents MDX (Mark Dynamix)
Virginia Taylor and Timothy Kain in Concert
HOLY GRAIL, CIVIC
Giveaways and free entry from 6.30pm.
Drummer/composer Aaron McCoullough joins forces with some of Melbourne’s finest jazz musicians. 7pm
live Cassidy’s Ceili
Captain, My Captain THE PHOENIX PUB
monday AUGUST 09
Split a 7”. Locally illustrious ladies will keep you humming all night long.
HA HA BAR, BELCONNEN
Alice Cottee, Angels are Architects and Readable Graffiti.
Free live music at Canberra’s warmest watering hole.
Toasting the AHA People’s Choice win, with D’O & Ro, Hancock Basement, Gemma & John + more. 3pm.
Performed by Live Evil.
THE PHOENIX PUB
Ha Ha Bar Party to the People
Roots, reggae, ska, dubstep, soul and hip-hop. 1pm kick off.
live Shaun Kirk
An energetic combination of slide guitar, harmonica, stomp box and tambourine. 8pm, $5. THE FRONT CAFE AND GALLERY
Something Different TNT: Karaoke Dynamite
Open up your pipes to win big. TRANSIT BAR
GIG GUIDE Aug 11 - Aug 16 wednesday AUGUST 11
Science of Poetry
live Los Chicos
A musical journey through the scientific history of the world. Tickets on sale now. $24 adults, $20 concession. Book now through Canberra Ticketing on 02 6275 2700.
ACT WRITERS CENTRE
Starring Adrian Flor, Helen McFarlane, Lexi Sekuless, Tim Sekuless.
csiro discovery centre
ANU ARTS CENTRE
With Far Canals. Free live music at Canberra’s warmest watering hole. THE PHOENIX PUB
CANBERRA SERVICES CLUB, MANUKA
Trivia @ Transit
And the legendary $5 night. TRANSIT BAR
thursday AUGUST 12 live A Streetcar Named Desire
With B-Tham, Hartattack, DJ Lylt. $10, 10pm.
9pm ‘til 5am. School uniform party. DJ Pete.
Canberra’s weekly alternative party. DJs spin indie, rock, electro, grunge, punk. Free before 10.30. BAR 32
10pm ‘til 5am with DJs Matt and Pete.
dubstep, grime, future garage, D&B, hip-hop, IDM, glitch and more. HIPPO LOUNGE
Directed by Fiona Atkin. Book now: 6275 2700. ‘Til August 21.
Raw City Rukus
Greenfaces: Pommy Johnson
Pull Up! Reggae Dancehall Session
With supports Jayo, Dial-One and Buick.
Tickets from Canberra Ticketing or greenfaces.com .
CANBERRA IRISH CLUB
Finest of reggae and dancehall tunes, with a splash of reggaeton and some alterlatino sounds. 9pm.
Joint Pus Flux
Dan Banks Band
An exhibition by Dionisia Salas Hammer, Liang Xia Luscombe and Fiona Little. ‘Til Aug 22. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE - MANUKA
9pm ‘til 5am with DJs Matt and Pete.
Frequently Asked Questions Duo
THE PHOENIX PUB
Killing the Sound
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
Sidney Creswick, Glen Harvey, and Mudpie Princess. THE PHOENIX PUB
Great Big Science Gig 8pm, free.
THE FRONT CAFE AND GALLERY
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
Playing their pop rock sound, with supports Readable Graffiti & Starfish Hill. Doors 8pm. ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
Natalie Magee Trio CASINO CANBERRA
With The Dirty Sirkus (Melb), Astrochem and Pleased To Jive You. THE BASEMENT
KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
Founder of seminal Australian rockers, Goannas. Bookings: www.shanehoward. com.au. 8pm.
Supporting CO-ID charity, with Voss, Tzar Bomber, and Absence of State. 8pm. ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
JOHN LINGARD HALL, CANBERRA GRAMMAR SCHOOL
After 15 years together, Sydney’s Java Quartet are back with their most exciting production yet. INNOVATION CENTRE, UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA
Extortion & I Exist
With SXWZD and 4Dead in support. $12 on the door. Doors 8pm. ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
friday AUGUST 13
Free live music at Canberra’s warmest watering hole.
Local lads done good.
Giveaways and free entry from 6.30pm.
B-Tham, Team Wing, August Open Decks winner. $10, 10pm.
9pm ‘til 11pm followed by DJ Pete till 5am. CUBE NIGHTCLUB
With Fangs of a TV Evangelist and Boonhorse. $14+bf. 8pm. THE MARAM, ERINDALE CENTRE
saturday AUGUST 14
sunday AUGUST 15 arts Marilyn
Starring Adrian Flor, Helen McFarlane, Lexi Sekuless, Tim Sekuless. ANU ARTS CENTRE
The Sounds of Science
A musical journey through the scientific history of the world. Tickets on sale now. $24 adults, $20 concession. Book now through Canberra Ticketing on 02 6275 2700. csiro discovery centre
Looks like an orchestra, acts like a band, feels like a movie. Bookings 6275 2700.
10pm ‘til late with DJ TJ.
The Sounds of Science
ANU ARTS CENTRE
Fire On The Hill
A musical journey through the scientific history of the world. Tickets on sale now. $24 adults, $20 concession. Book now through Canberra Ticketing on 02 6275 2700. csiro discovery centre
The Sounds of Science
Hear some of the best ACT region poets. Bookings: 6262 9191. $15, 7.30pm.
Starring Adrian Flor, Helen McFarlane, Lexi Sekuless, Tim Sekuless.
CANBERRA IRISH CLUB
GIG GUIDE Aug 15 - Aug 18 The Complete J.S. Bach Keyboard Works
Journey’s End and The Master’s Instrument, presented by Arnan Wiesel. Tickets available at the door LLEWELLYN HALL
Evan & The Brave
Discovery After Dark
CSIRO Discovery Centre presents an evening of science fun for grown ups to launch their new Water exhibition. This is a night of free fun beginning with ambient tunes and science themed cocktails. 6pm. More info 6246 4646.
5-piece folk and country infused ensemble, informed by the Americana and Australian folk heavyweight
csiro discovery centre
Irish Jam Session
THE FRONT CAFE AND GALLERY
Come and have a fiddle from 5pm. KING O’MALLEY’S, CIVIC
monday AUGUST 16
wedensday AUGUST 18
The Bedroom Philosopher
With The Awkwardstra in tow. O, and The Boat People. Shazam! ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
live The Bootleg Sessions
On his last ever tour. Yep, the young pup is quitting the music biz! $17+bf. 8pm.
Sean Smeaton, Meraki, The Blue Ruins and Simone Penkethman.
THE MARAM, ERINDALE CENTRE
THE PHOENIX PUB
CANBERRA SERVICES CLUB, MANUKA
Buddhist meditation classes every Monday, drop-in any week. Class fee $14. Call 9387 7717. WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE
tuesday AUGUST 17 something different TNT: Karaoke Dynamite
Open up your pipes to win big. TRANSIT BAR
OUT AUG 18
Trivia @ Transit
And the legendary $5 night. TRANSIT BAR
Canberra Sustainable Careers Expo
Feat. Green Fashion Parade, Q&A Panel, stalls and more. ANU BAR AND REFECTORY
ANGUS AND JULIA STONE SARAH BLASKO HORRORSHOW dead letter circus …and more
FIRST CONTACT SIDE A: BMA band profile
THE NADDIKS Where did your band name come from? An epiphany. Group members: Joel Steenbergen (singer/lead guitarist), Kurt Schiffer (bass guitarist), Shaun Buchanan (drummer). Describe your sound: Put some grunge, some rock and a pinch of psychedelic into a blender and shake but don’t stir and we basically sound like that... What are your influences, musical or otherwise? Syd Barrett, The Vines, Led Zepplin, Nirvana and The Rolling Stones. What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had whilst performing? A wonderful hippie lass trying to hold a conversation with the lead singer Joel whilst in the middle of playing a concert. What’s your biggest achievement/proudest moment so far? We got featured and played on the Big Show in America when we released our new EP Get Evolved. We also have three songs in triple j’s Unearthed top 100. What are your plans for the future? Albert Hall in England would be a nice venue to play at... What makes you laugh? Dance music – can’t tell one song from another, and we haven’t heard a single chorus since it all began. What pisses you off? The attitudes of a lot of nightspots in Canberra. They won’t let originals be played because they’re set on selling as much booze as possible, then drunk people want to sing to covers – we’ve actually been told this by one prominent spot in Civic. What’s your opinion of the local scene? As above, also it looks as though the only way musicians playing original music can make it in Canberra is by playing free of charge, or organising their own events and risking what little funds they have on the locals actually showing up. What are your upcoming gigs? Woden Youth Centre on Friday August 6. Contact info: www.thenaddiks.com, 0411 145 312.
Aaron Peacey Aaron 0410 381 306 Activate Jetpack activatejetpack@ hotmail.com Adam Hole Adam 0421 023 226 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 Amplif5’d Classic rock covers band Joy 0407 200 428, email@example.com Annie & the Armadillos Annie 6161 1078/0422 076 313 The Ashburys Dan Craddock 0419 626 903 Aria Stone, sax & flute, singer/ songwriter (guitar) Aria 0411 803 343 Australian Songwriters Association (Keiran Roberts) 6231 0433 Arythmia: Ben 0423 408 767/ firstname.lastname@example.org Backbeat Drivers Steve 0422 733 974, www.backbeatdrivers.com Big Boss Groove Andrew 0404 455 834, www.bigbossgroove.com.au Bill Quinn Overheard Productions www.myspace.com/overheard productions, Ph: 0413 000 086 Birds Love Fighting Gangbusters/DIY shows - email@example.com Black Label Photography Kingsley 0438 351 007 Blister Bug Stu 0408 617 791 Bridge Between, The Rachel 0412 598 138, thebridgebetween.com.au Bruce Stage mgr/consultant 6254 9857 Caution Horses Nigel 0417 211 580 Chris Harland Blues Band 0418 490 640 firstname.lastname@example.org Clear Vision Films rehearsals/film clips/stunts - 0438 647 281 wcoulton.clearvisionfilms.com Cole Bennetts Photography 0415 982 662 /email@example.com Cris Clucas Cris 6262 5652 Crooked Dave 0421 508 467 Danny V Danny 6238 1673/0413 502 428 Dawn Theory Nathan 0402 845 132 D’Opus & Roshambo firstname.lastname@example.org DJs Madrid and Gordon 0417 433 971 DJ Latino Rogelio 0401 274 208 DJ Moises (RnB/Latin) 0402 497 835 or moises_lopez@hotmail DNA Vic 0408 477 020 Drumassault Kate 0414 236 323 Easy Mode Daz 0404 156 482, email@example.com Entity Chris 0412 027 894 Epic Flagon firstname.lastname@example.org Fighting Mongooses, The Adam 0402 055 314 Final Warning Brendan 0422 809 552 Fire on the Hill Aaron 0410 381 306/ Lachlan 0400 038 388 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 Groovalicious Corporate/Weddings/ Private functions 0448 995 158 firstname.lastname@example.org Guy The Sound Guy live & studio sound engineer, 0400 585 369, guy@ guythesoundguy.com HalfPast Chris 0412 115 594 Hancock Basement Tom 6257 5375, email@example.com Happy Hour Wendy 0406 375 096
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