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Every Friday in 2013 is Friday the 13th if you use the American date system. #408DECEMBER5 Fax: (02) 6257 4361 Mail: PO Box 713 Civic Square, ACT 2608 Publisher Scott Layne Allan Sko General Manager Allan Sko

T: (02) 6257 4360 E: advertising@bmamag.com

Advertising Manager Elisa Sko T: (02) 6257 4360 E: sales@bmamag.com

Editor Ashley Thomson

T: (02) 6257 4456 E: editorial@bmamag.com

Accounts Manager Yu Xie

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Sub-Editor Greta Kite-Gilmour Graphic Design Marley Film Editor Melissa Wellham NEXT ISSUE 408 OUT JANUARY 16 EDITORIAL DEADLINE JANUARY 7 ADVERTISING DEADLINE JANUARY 10 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.

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Canberra-based writer Ellen Harvey wants to hear your stories and she wants to hear lots of them. Ellen is the founder of drabbl.es, a social micro-storytelling website that has just launched that allows its users to post and share 100-word stories. Harvey was looking for a way to capture short stories in the 100-word niche between blogging and Twitter. ‘Everyone’s a storyteller. By posting on Facebook or Twitter or many of the other online networks, people are telling stories.’ The drabbl.es platform currently allows users to post drabbles (100-word stories), add pictures and genres to drabbles, participate in and post storytelling challenges, read through and search for drabbles, and set-up a profile page. To sample the goods or pitch in, visit the site at drabbl.es.

Bluesfest 2013: A ‘How To’ Guide To Festival Line-ups Too often festivals are lucky to break even in punters’ minds. The amount of money spent keeps you constantly conscious of the returns festivals provide. Bluesfest’s initial line-up – sporting Paul Simon, Robert Plant, Santana, Ben Harper, Iggy & the Stooges, Steve Miller Band, Status Quo, Madness, Wilco, Rufus Wainwright, Joan Armatrading, Dropkick Murphys – was impressive, but add to that the local goods: The Cat Empire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Xavier Rudd, Violent Femmes, Hunters & Collectors, Beasts of Bourbon and so and so forth. If there is such a thing as safety in numbers, Bluesfest has found it. It’s not perfect but there’s such a powerfully consistent range of artists that no line-up in recent memory competes.

Some Things You Don’t Want To Know About Xmas Turkey It’s predictable that farmed turkeys would be kept in shitty conditions. Reading on will involve some gruesome details and may cause some discomfort on Christmas day. You may not be the kind of person who uses shocking information to attempt to precipitate change, or at least not change in this area, so why read it at all? But look, if you’re curious, here’s what Animal Liberation ACT found: Raised in crowded sheds, turkeys have no more space than an A3-sized sheet of paper each. Turkeys, including ‘free-range’ turkeys, have been genetically bred to grow excessively large in a very short time and as a result they suffer painful health problems such as crippled legs and feet and swollen joint. Due to their size, natural breeding is impossible so male turkeys are masturbated by workers to collect semen which is then injected into the females. Turkeys develop burns on their legs and breasts from the ammonia built up from their own waste inside the sheds. Turkeys often develop wounds which become smothered in their own waste, causing infections. If that bothers you, see what you can do at aussieturkeys.com.au.

You Are Here’s Mall Stories Calls For Artists ‘It’s Christmas 2011 and I’m in Garema Place, watching an elderly transvestite teach two moody teenagers to waltz in the rain.’ You Are Here festival is calling for short non-fiction prose and poetry (500 words

max) and music and songs (3 mins max) for consideration in the 2013 season of Mall Stories: innovative audio tours of Canberra’s CBD. Mall Stories was originally commissioned for the 2012 You Are Here festival. Participants could download two audio tours to their phone or MP3 player and experience a unique journey through foodcourts, hidden elevators and balconies. This year they want to also take some trips outside: let them hear your tales, poetry, anecdotes, myths and stories about cafés, skate parks, record stores, carparks, elevators, toilets and beyond! Email youareherecanberra@ gmail.com by COB Monday December 24. Selected pieces will form a tour that will be launched at You Are Here, ThuSun March 14-24, 2013.

ANU Study: World’s Rivers Running On Empty Four of the world’s great rivers, including the Murray Darling, are all suffering from drastically reduced flows as a direct result of water extraction, according to new ANU research. The study examined the threats from water extractions and climate change on four of the world’s iconic river systems; the US Colorado River, the South African Orange River, the Chinese Yellow River and the Murray. The researchers found that urgent changes in governance of water are needed to ensure health and viability. ‘While climate change will aggravate changes in flows in river systems, current high levels of water extractions remain the principal contributor to reduced flows and degradation of these rivers,’ said Dr Pittock. ‘Changes in governance... are urgently required if the health of these rivers is to be maintained,’ added Dr Connell. They added that much more could be done to ensure a healthy future for the Murray system. Noun. Also refers to the ejaculate of an impotent human male.

Blog For Brevity

Soundwave and Harvest certainly deserve mentions, but to offer this much over three days is unparalleled. I don’t care if you’re keen or not; good work deserves to be made plain. More at bluesfest.com.au.


FROM THE BOSSMAN So here we are once again. Our wrist-splintering final edition of BMA Magazine for 2012 and with it the last Bossman; the column that occasionally purports to tell you what’s happening in the magazine but more likely ends up as a self-absorbed rumination on life interspersed with a spirited nob gag or two. I confess that despite my love for this fortnightly bastard my fingers are flying over the keyboard as fast as all flippery as I’m keen to get back to my little one-week old daughter Mimi Isabella Eileen (who is, in fact, crying as I type this although the term ‘banshee wail’ would perhaps be a shade more accurate. The sound is like nothing else, akin to a feral cat being strangled by a jumper in a washing machine, or maybe even a... Well, I could go on but this brackets aside is getting a bit long and we’ve barely got out of the opening paragraph. ‘You’ve explained to them about baby brain, right?’ No, brain, I haven’t, and stop talking to ourself during the column, people are reading. ‘Are you sure about that?’ Oh shut up, close the damn bracket and get on with it already. Do it. DO IT NOW!) Here’s my conundrum. I could spend these final words touting typical crap end-of-year wrap-up rhetoric about page count (96, a new BMA record), all the exciting year in review features across the mediums, and precisely how harrowing our hangovers have been putting such a beast to bed. Or, considering a large part of this deadline was spent sweating in a hospital ward with the backdrop of a wailing infant and a wife recovering from major surgery I could adhere to the old ‘write what you know’ adage. More personal but perhaps too self-indulgent.

YOU PISSED ME OFF! Care to immortalise your hatred in print? Send an email to editorial@bmamag.com and see your malicious bile circulated to thousands. [All entries contain original spellings.] If you are a telecommunication/internet company customer representative reading this right now, please acknowledge that my ill feelings are not directed towards the whole of your kind, as I know there are a select few of you out there who are, in fact, sentient beings. I can’t even imagine the frustration you must feel towards the cess pool of slimy, terminally unresponsive telephone ‘assistants’ with whom you are forced to be associated. It’s this, unfortunate majority of employees who give the entire profession a bad name and provoke numerous loyal, paying customers visualise their colourful demise while waiting on hold for over two hours for a rudimentary question to be answered. To the particular bunch of clowns I had to waste my entire morning to-ing and fro-ing with last week, I sincerely hope my letter of complaint finds its way safely into the hands of your respective department managers and they are open to my suggestion that your positions be replaced with three deaf, dumb two-fingered five-year olds, in order to simultaneously provide better customer service to the public and equality within the workplace. People like you make me contemplate undergoing a sex change operation, purely to genuinely proffer my dick for you to suck. If I wanted to be sent in circles I’d go on a fucking merry-go-round, you useless oxy-morons.

The third option is to go all meta on everyone’s asses. Instead of choosing one, write about writing about the two options in elaborate detail allowing a punt each way, and then write about that until you spiral and collapse into a fiery implosion of metawankery. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. O, I just did. And so concludes the strangest end-of-year column BMA Mag has seen in recent history. I would know; I’ve been here for nine years. I’d blame it on baby brain but I’ve forgotten what that is and there seems to be some kind of banshee that has stolen its way into the family bedroom so I must away to protect my wife. Before I go, a parting thought for the festive season. Earlier this year I wrote about The Busy Off, an incident where two people’s work routines hit fever pitch and professionalism, logic, and common sense is cast ineluctably into the wind as a game of oneupmanship takes place. Like so: ‘I have five meetings today/Yeah? Well I have six! I have a budget to prepare by 12pm/Well I have two budgets to prepare by 11pm! My wife died and I’m planning her funeral whilst preparing a 100page document that needs to be submitted by this afternoon/ Well my whole family died in a freak windmill accident so I’m organising three funerals, plus a 200-page document plus I’m bleeding profusely! I’m just so much busier!!!’ You could argue that having a baby (a second one at that) is one of life’s great trump cards in The Busyoff. But I’m the first to recognise that everyone has their own plate of shit to eat in life, and so cutting each other some slack goes a long way. So, to quote a piece of classic film literature, be excellent to each other as the year closes, and be sure to look after yourselves my dear dear readers. I hope your 2012 was as close to a crackerjack as can be hoped and I look forward to seeing you all in the big Centenary year when we’re back on January 16. Much love - ALLAN SKO - allan@bmamag.com

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WHO: Sean McMahon’s Western Union WHAT: Live Indie-Folk WHEN: Thu Dec 6 WHERE: The Phoenix Bar

In celebration of their recently released album, Live at the Last Hotel, Melbourne indie-folk trio Sean McMahon’s Western Union are heading to Canberra to play a very special show at the city’s most homely and inviting Irish den. Live At The Last Hotel has received glowing reviews and was described as ‘a journey through heartfelt alt-country soul that beautifully conveys the story of a singersongwriter’s love affair with the American songbook and a ‘30’s Kay guitar.’ If that don’t tickle your fancy then stay home and eat a plate of shit. Don’t miss out on an engaging performance. 9pm. Free.

WHO: GROMITS & ABOVE WHAT: Downhill Skateboarding Race WHEN: Sat Dec 8 WHERE: TBA (North Canberra)

Attention all 18-and-under skateboarders: looking for a way to show your skills and bag prizes? Enter the ACT Grom Bomb, a downhill skateboarding race for beginners to rippers. Five 90-degree corners, one necessary pre-drift, 600 metres, ridiculous speeds, awesome prizes. Got what it takes? If you’re under 18, unless one of your parents comes along to sign you up, you’ll need to download a waiver for them to sign and for you to bring along. No waiver, no race. Get it here (and keep an eye out for the location too): skateboardracing. org.au/events/canberra-grom-bomb. 18-year-olds can race but results won’t count towards points. $10.

WHO: Canberrans at Christmas WHAT: Christmas Carnival in the City WHEN: Mon Dec 10Fri Dec 21 WHERE: Civic, Canberra City

What do a lifesaver, a camel and a carnival worker have in common? Answer: they will all play a part in Christmas Carnival in the City. Civic Square, City Walk and Garema Place will be transformed into an adventure playground as Canberra CBD Limited bring Christmas cheer to the city. Bungee trampolines, camel rides, bumper boats and rock climbing are just some of the activities that will be scattered around the city for people to enjoy. Lifeguards from Royal Life Saving ACT will also be on hand to provide information to the public on the importance of safe play around water in the warmer months ahead. Doesn’t that sound validating? 12-8pm daily. Free.

WHO: Joe Robinson WHAT: International Tour WHEN: Thu Dec 13 WHERE: The Street Theatre

Hailing from the tiny town of Temagog on the mid-north coast of NSW, guitar genius Joe Robinson has been wowing crowds with his playing ability since he was 13, drawing praise and admiration from his industry heroes for his prodigious skill. Now based in Nashville, the 21-year-old has earned a list of credentials that would make most musicians three times his senior envious. The gifted young virtuoso has redefined himself as a budding pop visionary, deftly walking a tightrope between the instrumental music that’s put him in the spotlight and a unique fusion of vocally based rock, blues, jazz and R&B that’s his own. 8pm. $21/$25 + bf thru thestreet.org.au.

WHO: The Ocean Party WHAT: National Tour WHEN: Sat Dec 15 WHERE: The Phoenix Bar

The Ocean Party is a five-piece guitar pop band now based in Melbourne, originally from Wagga Wagga, NSW. The sound is laconic and innately Australian, having been referred to as ‘backyard afternoon BBQ-core’. The themes of the lyrics delve into country suburban life, null-appreciation, boredom, heartbreak and all in-between. Finding an appreciative climate in Melbourne, the band has had a productive past few years. The Ocean Party demonstrate the perfect pop music balance with their threeminute songs, as lush as they are brief and to the point. With supports Mornings, Old Ace and Birds Love Fighting. 9:30pm.

WHO: Parkway Drive WHAT: ATLAS Tour WHEN: Sun Dec 16 WHERE: UC Refectory

Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive will embark on their most ambitious Australian tour yet this December to coincide with the release of their fourth album, Atlas. After their previous chart-topping album, 2010’s Deep Blue, took out the ARIA award for Best Hard Rock and Metal release, Atlas has led to a more elaborate live show than ever before. Promises frontman Winston McCall, ‘It’s definitely going to be entertaining. There won’t be any dead spots.’ Seems like they’ve covered all bases, with a boastworthy all-Aussie lineup (I Killed The Prom Queen, Northlane and Survival) on board to support a shattering show. 7:30pm. $45.90 + bf thru Ticketek.


Subsquad have wrangled together a trio and a pair of handsome beatmakers for their Christmas celebration at The Clubhouse. Phil and Mo Jones and DJ Smart make up Specimen A, a trio with origins in the D&B world who drifted naturally into the world of breaks, remixes and dubstep. And Doctor Werewolf – this must be at least their third visit to the ‘house this year. They must be doing something right. As always with The Clubhouse, the supports are numerous and talented: Logic, Transforma, MRNP and Nay Nay will be there to keep the decks warm from 10pm. What’s Christmas without a few hours of glazedeyed lip-munching?

WHO: Specimen A & Doctor Werewolf WHAT: Subsquad Christmas Party WHEN: Sat Dec 22 WHERE: The Clubhouse

It’s that time of year when Knightsbridge Boathouse opens its pier to all to celebrate the joys of Christmas Eve with Yacht Rock. This tradition harks back to the days when Hall & Oates (a pre-Top Gun Kenny Loggins) and Michael McDonald (via the Doobie Brothers) ushered in a wave of ever-so-smooth classic rock to bless the FM dial. Embrace your short shorts and shoulder pads, your pre-requisite luscious locks, non-ironic boat shoes and facial hair. If you need a reference point, hit YouTube and educate yourself by searching for ‘Yacht Rock’. Suitable music will be played by a fine selection of DJs and a free BBQ is on too. 7pm. Free.

WHO: Yacht Rockers WHAT: Christmas Eve Party WHEN: Mon Dec 24 WHERE: Knightsbridge Penthouse

Why did the lion get lost? Because the junglist massive. Big laughs, great drum ‘n’ bass. That’s what you can expect at the old school D&B ‘n’ jungle extravaganza when one of the godfathers of the genre, Aphrodite, steps up to the plates to remind the whippersnappers how it’s done. Alongside Gavin King (as he is known to his bank manager) will be a raft of the finest locals to stumble their way behind the decks – Buick, Jaycee, Benjammin, Kinetic, Para and Ofekted will all be there to warm up what’s set to be a hot-ass night. Excited? You bet yer shit you are. 10pm. Presale thru theticketfairy.com.

WHO: Aphrodite (UK) WHAT: Old school D&B WHEN: Sat Jan 5 WHERE: The Clubhouse

It’s unnecessary to describe the Big Day Out festival so, instead, here are some top tips: 1. Drink plenty of alcohol; 2. Bare plenty of skin; 3. Avoid water when you can; 4. Wear a white shirt if you’re a chick; 5. Duckface at all costs. Oh, and here’s a peak at the line-up: Red Hot Chili Peppers; The Killers; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Vampire Weekend; Band of Horses; The Bloody Beetroots; Kaskade; Animal Collective; B.o.B; Sleigh Bells; Foals; Alabama Shakes; Crystal Castles; Pretty Lights; OFF!; Grinspoon and a shit tonne more. Tickets $165/$265 + bf through Ticketmaster. See bigdayout.com.

WHO: Lots of people WHAT: Big Day Out 2013 WHEN: Fri Jan 18Mon Jan 28 WHERE: Australian Cities

It’s been 18 months since Dave Gleeson (The Screaming Jets) joined The Angels, leading to some of the busiest and most successful months in the band’s long career. With Gleeson up front and the band charged with a new energy and drive, The Angels have poured themselves back into their work. The result? Their new EP, Take It To The Streets; the recording of The Angels: Live At QPAC album; national tours filled with sold-out shows; and headlining the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival. The tour brings together the band’s past hits with the best songs from the new album. Tickets $40 on (02) 6121 2131.

WHO: The Angels WHAT: Album Tour WHEN: Fri Mar 8 WHERE: The Auditorium @ Vikings Erindale

This fabulous first-time two-day event will be held Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday upon the iconic Deniliquin Ute Muster famed site. Headline names include Santana, Steve Miller Band, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak, Tony Joe White and more, spread across two stages. The festival will provide families and friends the perfect opportunity to escape for the long weekend and immerse themselves in great live music within a picturesque landscape. Camping facilities will be available from Good Friday 12pm till Easter Monday 12pm. Prices vary. Visit denibluesfestival.com for ticketing and event details.

WHO: Blues & Roots Musicians WHAT: Deni Blues & Roots Festival WHEN: Sat-Sun Mar 30-31 WHERE: Conargo Road, Deniliquin

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JULIA WINTERFLOOD Killing Heidi’s debut single, Weir, was the first CD I bought with my own money. It was $6.95 and I was ten. It felt pretty tops telling that to frontwoman ELLA HOOPER, 14 years later. ‘Yes! I love that!’ she exclaimed, excited as a ten-year-old thrashing around her bedroom to her very first CD. ‘Actually, a few people have said that. It was just one of those singles; it was really accessible.’ Ella’s debut solo single, Low High, was released early last month. A sparse, haunting meditation on resisting the blues driven by clanging percussion, husky brass and baritone chanting, it’s worlds away from the frenzied chorus and lilting verse pop-rock of Killing Heidi. Naturally, that was all part of the plan.

half-empty whisky bottle with a stick and banging on an empty drums case and clapping two bits of wood together. When it was happening I was like, “Oo this is really refreshing for me! I’m just going to sing something really simple over the top of it,” and that’s the way it sprang to life. It’s one of those great stories that within about 20 minutes we knew what this song wanted to be and out it came! The rhythm did all the work for me.’

[Going solo] meant ten times more responsibility and ten times more pressure than I’ve ever had. But I really think the pressure made a diamond

Low High’s clip is extraordinarily cinematic and seriously spooky. Filmed in a remote pine forest in Strathbogie in northeast Victoria, it was produced in black and white by Wilk, the renowned lensman behind Jack Ladder’s smouldering Hurtsville artwork and Seeker Lover Keeper’s striking self-titled cover. When Ella’s raspy, Alison Mosshart-esque vocals enter the track, she’s leaning against a pine and shot side-on. The virtuosic lighting creates a silhouette of her moving mouth on her hair. The effect is arresting. Explained Ella, ‘The black and white was part of the whole concept about making it clear that I’m on a new vibe. I thought black and white would be a really great way to show that visually. You know how colourful things used to be: “Man, I couldn’t smoosh more colour in there if I tried.” So I think black and white was a great way to announce that this is a new era, this is coming from a different place and a totally different stage of my life. I love black and white.’ Along with the clanking percussion, the baritone chanting forms the backbone of the track and was provided by Ella’s old friends, The Graveyard Train – the ‘country horror band from Melbourne,’ she called them. ‘I’ve known them for a long time – since before they formed their band – and I thought, “Now’s the time to call in a favour for this spooky, chanty man-action I need.”’ Low High’s genesis is one of those stories where a song develops from a simple sound; in this case the knock of a stick against glass. A half-empty whisky bottle to be precise. Said Ella spiritedly, ‘I was so excited when we started coming up with this rhythm. The whole song was built around the rhythm, which I don’t usually do. I usually write chords, then melody, then lyrics and then I hone it from there, but this one was built skeleton-first. The percussive line is the sound of whacking a

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Low High is the first single from Ella’s solo debut, In Tongues, slated for release in March next year. She conceded she would’ve liked to have had it out by now, but because it’s her first solo album, she was allowing herself to take her time with it. And rightly so. After nearly two decades playing in bands, she admitted the step into solo mode proved ‘really exciting and daunting, because I was like, “Oh shit, the buck stops with me. I don’t get to hide behind a group decision!” But I did enlist the right collaborators and the right producer [Jan Skubizewski (Owl Eyes, Illy)] because whenever I hit those points where I just didn’t know what to do he could step in and make the decision with me. But generally it was just ten times more responsibility than I’ve ever had and ten times more pressure. But I kind of really think the pressure made a diamond.’ Ella’s departure from playing in bands was made all the more unnerving by the fact that all the music she’d made until then, she’d made with her big brother Jesse. ‘I’m so used to working with Jess that it was a bit like, “Oh shit, where did my left arm just go?” It was a really big change. But that’s part of what the whole album is about. It’s about massive changes and about Saturn returning, which is this awesome thing that happens at the end of your 20s where everything gets questioned and challenged and it turns your whole bloody life upside down! Not working with Jesse was a necessary part of that. You just want to put yourself through the ringer and go “Who am I? What am I doing here!” It’s challenging but it’s awesome at the same time!’ This year Ella Hooper presented the ARIA for Best Rock Album to The Temper Trap. She’s still the only frontwoman to have won that category, for Killing Heidi’s Reflector in 2000, which also won Album of the Year. ‘What about Adalita?’ she yelled angrily. ‘It’s fucked! I don’t want to be the only one! I want to be one among many!’ If Low High is anything to go by, Ella might just end up being the only woman to have won Best Rock Album not once, but twice. Low High is an independent release and is out now. It’s from the album In Tongues due early 2013. Head to vimeo.com/42955293 for the single’s video clip.


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ALL AGES I’ve got blisters on my fingers! And a wonderful feeling that I’ll be dropping Beatles puns and lyrics Helter Skelter throughout this column, all while hoping that no one will ever band the pun coz it’s mightier than the sword, and my greatest joy in life. As always, this theme was brought to you by this wonderful lame joke: Q: What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus in the garden (in the shade)? A: ‘I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand.’ So very appropriate for this Rubber Soul band, band, band… Anyways folks, get ready coz Here Comes the fun! And I say, it’s alright. But actually, it’s more than alright; the students performing in the ACTcent 2012 Concert are amazing! Come along to watch 18 of the most talented Year 12 music students from across the ACT play. The concert kicks off at 7pm on Saturday December 8 and will run roughly til’ 9pm. The event is hosted by the ANU School of Music in Llewellyn Hall. Entry is by gold coin donation. Warning: Some of the upcoming artworks may be so amazing that you may get kaleidoscope eyes from looking. Come along to the fourth annual College Express Exhibition at the Belconnen Arts Centre, which exhibits the most outstanding artworks by Year 11 & 12 art students from the Belconnen region. These talented young artists explore life through drawing, painting, photography, textiles and design technology. Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, the show will be on the night of Friday December 14 at 6pm. No trampolines though, sorry. Meet the artists at 3pm on Saturday December 15. The exhibition closes in January 2013. Parkway singing in the dead of night! All your life, you were only waiting for the moment to see Parkway Drive (that’s how the song goes, right?). If you’re still not following, Beatles fans, think of Molly, who’s the singer of a band, as Winston; her happy life in the market place with Desmond Jones as an extreme gig of hardcore awesomeness; and the kids running in the yard as supports I Killed the Prom Queen, Northlane and Survival. Good thing you don’t need to go Across the Universe to see them at the UC Refectory. Catch them on Sunday December 16. Tickets cost $45.90 + bf and can be bought online at Ticketek. The Boys of Summer tour is back on Wednesday January 16 and with it brings Deez Nuts, Comeback Kid, For the Fallen Dreams and Hand Of Mercy. My guess is that due to their popularity, you’ll be Within Queue, Without View for a while and if there’s a mosh pit a chorus of ‘all my shoving, I will send to you’ would break out. The gig kicks off at 6pm at the Woden Youth Centre. Tickets are $36 + bf and are available from Moshtix. I don’t know how to say goodbye, I say live show – Reece Mastin’s live show that is. If you’re keen to see him live, he plays at the AIS on Wednesday January 23. Tickets are $72 + bf and can be bought online from Ticketek. Remember, All You Need Is Love! Cheers, ANDIE EGAN allagescolumn@gmail.com

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As long as the crowd is having fun and there’s a good atmosphere – that’s what makes a great party

people this year. I think we had about six or seven thousand last year.’ Bass in the Place is an alcohol free event, but there’s always the option of continuing the party in the clubs later on. ‘We’re focusing on creating a great atmosphere and providing a well-run event in conjunction with the rest of the festivities in the city.’

BACK TO BASSICS Peter O’rourke Deciding what to do for New Year’s Eve can often be a challenge. Usually it’s a case of too many options to choose from, with house parties, festivals or coast trips. Do you party with your old high school mates in town or join your family on the lake watching the fireworks? Another option is the annual BASS IN THE PLACE dance party held in the city by Kicks Entertainment. I spoke to Kicks director Ryan Phillips about the all ages dance party after what he said was a ‘very hot’ Foreshore music festival. ‘It was a long day for all the staff, but it went well with some great acts throughout the day.’

With Kicks as a longstanding player in the Canberra music scene, I took the opportunity to ask Ryan how he sees the scene in general. ‘I actually think it’s very healthy. There are lots of great promoters in this town doing some very cool events across a variety of genres, along with some fantastic local artists and DJs. Unfortunately, not all events can be commercially successful – that’s mostly due to the size of the city. But as long as the crowd is having fun and there’s a good atmosphere – that’s what makes a great party.’ The Bass in the Place dance party will be held in Garema Place, Civic, on Monday December 31 from 9pm. It is a free, all ages event.

With Foreshore over, Ryan’s looking to the start of 2013, starting with Bass in the Place. ‘We’re really trying to build the event and start bringing in the bigger names. In the past we’ve just had locals, but we’re hoping to grow with the support of the ACT government, reaching across the age demographics and creating a successful event.’ One of those names is the crowd-pleaser, Timmy Trumpet, who ranked at number five in this year’s Inthemix DJ poll. ‘I’m excited about Timmy Trumpet,’ says Ryan. ‘His career is really blossoming and he has played some of the bigger festivals both here and abroad.’ Ex-Canberran Chris Fraser will also be returning from Sydney and has the honour of curating the midnight showcase. ‘He’s very experienced,’ says Ryan. ‘He will be able to hype it up and show some of the year’s bigger tunes for the countdown while the fireworks, confetti and all that rains down.’ Would he like to get The Aston Shuffle back home for a future event? ‘Yeah, definitely – it would be great to get the guys back.’ Ryan says Kicks is really going to push this event and will launch a social media campaign shortly. ‘We’re hoping for about 10,000

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LOCALITY

In case you can’t tell, you’re holding in your hands (assuming you’re not reading this online) the longest issue of BMA Magazine ever published. May this issue – which will carry us into the New Year – be a metaphorical precursor to Canberra’s centenary year. And by that, I mean may all pumpkins be shaped like labia and women bear invertebrates with exoskeletons. Continuing in the inaugural vein, the first event on the Canberran summer calendar (bearing in mind that this calendar has been boiled down to what will fit in my allotted word count) is the first MusicACT Annual Music Awards at Albert Hall on Friday December 7, with tickets available through musicact. com.au. A bunch of people have been nominated – not many of whom I think deserve to be; such is the nature of democracy – and some of them will win. Warm congratulations and oral sex all round. It may not be a first, but Waterford’s Fifth Birthday will be held at The Phoenix Bar on Saturday December 8 from 9:30pm with Owen M Carroll and Shoeb Ahmad. Waterford are one of Canberra’s best bands, and even though two of their key members write for this magazine I wouldn’t hesitate to strip them from my column were they untalented. I despise nepotism and insincerity. That said, I do not consider them my friends. This has become irrelevant. Canberra/Sydney shoegazer duo The Longest Day are returning to play a show at Transit Bar on Sunday December 9 with Cold House and Spartak. It starts at 4pm and is free. If you do not go – and convince 15 people to go with you – you are going to die of cholera. The Longest Day are a spectacular pair of musicians; to miss seeing them at no cost (with Spartak, a truly fantastic, utterly original local band) would be callow idiocy. Don’t be a callow idiot. On Thursday December 13, Los Chavos are at the helm of Transit Bar’s last issue of The Resident Program for the year. I don’t know yet who they’re planning to bring along but it’s free, it’s local, it’s bound to be interesting and it starts at 8pm. The following Saturday December 15 sees the Canberra Roller Derby League occupying the AIS Arena, this time for The Silence of the Jams. If you haven’t been to a Roller Derby match yet, they’re highly recommendable. The outfits are kind of retarded (as in, negative-stereotypes-of-people-with-disabilities clothing; politically incorrect and self-aware – do they equal out?) but the game is a good one and sitting on the arena floor is the best way to do it. The doors open at 4:30pm, game one starts at 5:30pm and the last is at 6:30pm. Get presale tickets for $14+ through Ticketek. The second edition of The Next Movement will be held at La De Da (above Ha Ha Bar) on Thursday December 20 from 8pm. The night is dedicated to fostering a new generation of Canberra MCs and turntablists, and it’s with no small awareness of the state of hip hop in the ACT that I say there is some fantastic talent kicking around these suburbs. This year has seen Nix and Stateovmind drop excellent debut releases and, in the world of hip hop, competition breeds excellence. Get along to say you saw it when. And that’s everything local I care about. May all your Christmases be white. ASHLEY THOMSON - editorial@bmamag.com

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You have to learn by going through some obstacles and I feel that’s what’s happened

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ JULIA WINTERFLOOD It’s common knowledge within Canberra’s music community that the NATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL has had a particularly prickly year. Talk of mass budget cuts and a contracted site has been bandied about, followed by inevitable furrowed brows. It’s true Folkies is facing significantly increased operating costs and consequently the 2013 site has been rearranged to curb spending, but why do most of us assume a tightened budget and redesigned site will result in a festival that’s not up to scratch?

Since the birth of The Majestic in 2010 there’s been little osmosis between it and the rest of the fest, due in part to its isolated location. Wandering across the oval and towards the big top always felt somewhat like entering ‘the kids’ zone’. But The Majestic is much more than a ‘youth’ venue for less traditional genres; it’s the place where the audience can become the performer and where the atmosphere is at its utmost uninhibited. Said Flynn, ‘We’re really aware that The Majestic represents a succession in a sense. It’s that slightly more vaudeville gypsy style of music and [offers] a whole range of contemporary approaches to music, so it’s really important for us that we keep that going and cultivate the sense of this being a festival where everything you see and hear you can learn to do, and you can participate.’ Although the committee’s had to make some tricky decisions, it’s clear Folkies has come through with a newfound spring in its step and a bit of a sexy swagger too.

The 21st National Folk Festival runs Thu Mar 28 – Mon Apri1 1 at Exhibition Park. Ticket prices vary; further info and sales at folkfestival.org.au.

Explained Managing Director Sebastian Flynn, ‘Whether on the personal or on the organisational scale, I’m a believer in the thought that one has to go through things to get to better things; you have to learn by going through some obstacles and I feel that’s what’s happened. Out of [the budget cuts] we’ve produced a site which is going to be fresh for people.’ There’s no denying Folkies die-hards are comfortable with the site they know and love, but there’s also no denying change can often be for the better. Many of the performance venues are being relocated from the Federal Highway side of Exhibition Park to the Flemington Road area. This means Watson will no longer be within earshot, which in previous years necessitated a curfew. Said Flynn, ‘We understand that people pay just once a year for five days and four nights where they can really unwind and swing and [the relocation] means that people can carry on and do this into the early hours and not be curtailed. We’ve been able to reposition the popular Scrumpy Bar into a larger place with an extended cider garden and we’ve also been able to bring The Majestic off the oval and right into the heart of the festival so we can have increased osmosis between the wilder programs for younger people and the more traditional programs.’

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JUSTIN HOOK It’s been nearly 60 years since KAMAHL (Kandiah Kamalesvaran) and his family arrived in Adelaide from Malaysia. Some might suggest that Adelaide in 2012 is half a century behind the times, so try and imagine what it was like in the early ‘50s for a young man of Sri Lankan heritage. Needless to say, it was difficult. ‘You find yourself in a hole when you come to a new environment. So you hide.’

That’s right, there’s a copy of Kamahl’s version of the Gettysburg Address on Barack Obama’s iPod. Well, maybe. ‘Of all the recordings I have done, something like this has never happened in my life before. It’s an unbelievable thing that my recording is at The White House.’

With the kind of instant communication we have, After all those years, that relatively r lon see peo short speech (sources indicate it instant of elie kinmdore the thple Wi The . bef r was over in about two minutes) still eve nmu tha have, we rvi nicatieon comritual resonates. Indeed, at the time, it ng sta is sid spi Like many new arrivals, Kamahl almost passed without notice and people seem lonelier first adopted our national it was only after the address was ever before. The n tha religion to fit in. ‘What got me out of that hole to a small degree reprinted in newspapers throughout the country that it started ng al side is starvi ritu spito was sport, but mainly it was music. It gave me a chance meet people. I was chronically shy and insecure and I had an inferiority complex. Somehow I found the courage to sing for the very first time at somebody’s home in Adelaide. It was desperation for recognition and the need for acceptance. Fortunately, the reaction was positive enough to give me enough encouragement to do it again and again and again. And I’m still doing it.’ Since wobbly beginnings and a little assistance from a young Rupert Murdoch – who encouraged him to make the move to the bright lights of Sydney, booked some of his earliest gigs and provided accommodation – Kamahl has gone on to become one of the most recognisable and respected performers in the country. Defying the trends and gloom in the music industry, his most recent album (Heart and Soul) is a triple. It’s a collection that covers some well-known classics (Everybody’s Talkin’, Rainbow Connection, Imagine) and a few new tracks. But the centrepiece is Kamahl’s most recent pet project – a recitation of the Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln’s acclaimed speech has come to be recognised as one of the defining moments in US history. A clarion call for the values of freedom and democracy, the address marked the case for unity amongst divided citizens and a country ravaged by civil war. Since Lincoln made the speech nearly 150 years ago, it has become a force unto itself and, unsurprisingly, Kamahl admits it has become his Moby Dick. ‘Kind of, yes. It has consumed me and I’m still myopic about it.’ Despite the grandiose subject matter, the genesis of Kamahl’s version was slightly more modest. ‘I was recording the Gettysburg Address for the album at the ABC and the afternoon host [Richard Glover] asked if I would come up and recite it on air. The reaction was terrific. So I sent a copy to the US Ambassador and when he heard it he asked me to recite it at the ANU in September for the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. He was impressed enough to send a recording to his Commander in Chief.’

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to gather iconic momentum. ‘I think it’s almost magical. It’s the right words at the right time in the right order. It’s timeless. I think about it every day. I told you I was obsessed with it.’ It’s somewhat fitting that Kamahl is so bound up in the Gettysburg Address. Apart from the fact that there’s a big budget, Spielberg-directed Oscar-bait film on the horizon (‘It’s just a coincidence!’), Kamahl has tried for many years to promote the virtues of compassion and understanding.

Looking back, Kamahl has a very simple measurement for what– or what not– to do: ‘I just do what I feel like doing. The Gettysburg Address moved me and I thought somebody would surely share the same feeling I had.’ Lincoln’s message of universal acceptance of ‘the other’ and adversity through difficult times has broader ramifications for Kamahl. As someone who made a difficult journey decades ago, Kamahl expresses concern that some of our recent arrivals might not be playing fair, adopting a more nuanced position than many might have predicted. ‘Too much emphasis is placed on the illegal immigrants and not enough on those people who are doing things by the book and waiting, sometimes for generations in camps. Yet these other people who can afford a few extra dollars get all the attention. Sometimes the media gets the wrong end of the stick. I don’t have an answer or an ideal solution. But governments have a huge problem.’ Whatever the case, immigration policy woes or not, Kamahl has a very simple message. One that has been the core of his career. One of inclusion and spirituality. ‘We are still struggling. As a human species we have improved dramatically in many ways but the irony of it is that with the kind of instant communication we have, people seem lonelier than ever before. The spiritual side is starving.’ Heart and Soul is out now through ABC Music.


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WHERE THIS HUMAN EATS sinead o’connell When one moves back home in their late twenties, the implication is that something’s gone a little awry for said individual. For WILLY MASON, however, home meant being connected again, being able to write more and the chance to ‘re-root’ with his childhood community.

It was more like a heartbeat than a clock ticking

‘I started touring when I was 17 and then again in 2009. It was then that I made the decision to go back home and get off the road. There was too much time passing and I wanted to have the experience again of settling down.’ In this time he learned a lot. ‘I was a radio DJ for a while, I learned how to fish… but most of all I was learning how to work with people… every aspect of it, communicating and showing people that you care.’ A lot of inspiration and creative thought for his new album, Carry On, is based around this shift in his lifestyle. Two main reasons offer insight into why. ‘Firstly, going home gave me a lot more material. I was sick of writing about being on the road. Also because I had a sense of obligation with my second album and when I went home I wasn’t sure that I wanted to re-sign.’ On the topic of Carry On, it offers a new sound that Mason admits was a little intimidating initially. The infusion of dub and drum-boxes would make a musician’s brows furrow, especially if acoustics were their original niche. However, Mason’s sentimental response to the conundrum puts all qualms at bay. ‘Working with this new mechanical system changed everything. I was concerned at first that it would take the life out of the music, but then I realised that it was more like a heartbeat than a clock ticking.’ The process of recording took place in London in just ten days. ‘Once we had the band set [with] Sam, my brother, on acoustic drums, the four of us would play alongside the mechanical component quite easily.’ Alongside the evolving beat, there is a lyrical narrative that sadly mourns a lack of attention. ‘I feel like I’m the only one that can see the narrative in the album and see it as a kind of trilogy for previous albums,’ he laughs. You can tell what kind of a guy and musician Mason is when he comes away from Dungog after playing Gentleman of the Road Festival; completely in love and drunk on the people and places he saw along the way. ‘I couldn’t believe how happy the town was. It brought so many people together, getting outside there day-to-day lives… It made me love what I do and see what music can really do for people.’ Carry On is out Monday December 3 on Fiction Records.

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I’m thankful for the songs. I can’t change the past but I can be grateful to its contribution to my future

THREE’S COMPANY CHRIS NAVIN AUSTIN LUCAS is part of a breed of highly successful folk-punk artists that are gaining recognition and support globally as the variation on the usually electric genre grows in popularity. In case you haven’t noticed the rise and rise of folk-punk, just look at Frank Turner selling out Wembley and playing at the Olympic opening ceremony, and on the home front The Smith Street Band gaining the support of Australian music godfather Richard Kingsmill. Raised in the backwoods of Indiana, Austin’s father worked with Alison Krauss and it’s said that he learned to harmonise before he learned to read, which after a listen seems most likely true. The sound presented is a more bluegrass and country-inspired variation on the acoustic punk sound, with songs that are soulful and engaging and lyrics that delve into the nature of man and the fallacies at the core of our being. ‘2012 has been intensely musically creative for me,’ said Austin. ‘Unfortunately, it’s been a result of extreme life upheaval, which I

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guess is pretty common when it comes to the creation of art. Sometimes I worry about my creative output being potentially too connected to my levels of struggle and emotional turmoil. Regardless, I’m thankful for the songs. I can’t change the past but I can be grateful to its contribution to my future.’

In January 2013 Austin will be touring with PJ Bond and Jamie Hay, a line-up that seems to fit beautifully. ‘PJ and I have been friends for over a decade but only in the last year began touring together. It was actually on a tour of Canada when we hatched this scheme to finally try and realize our mutual dream of touring Australia and to accomplish it together. Jamie I haven’t yet met, but when the folks who were booking the tour suggested him I went and internet-stalked him. It only took about 30 minutes to decide that I was a fan and definitely wanted him on the tour.’ In December, Austin will head into the studio to once again share more of his earnest, engaging song writing with the world. ‘I’ve written a few fictional or even historical songs but by and large I’ve lived every rhyme that I’ve ever jotted down. I suppose it could be said that life inspires me. I know that might sound extremely cheesy or cliché but it’s very much a simple truth. I never really had a knack for telling stories that I hadn’t personally lived. Which isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with trying to tell other peoples’ stories. In fact, I very much wish that it was something that I had a knack for.’ Austin Lucas, Jamie Hay and PJ Bond will bring The Young Troubadour tour to The Front Gallery and Café in Lyneham on Thursday January 3.


BLOCK PARTY mel cerato I started off the interview how I usually do; asking about what kind of music the artist creates. ‘How would music describe CELL BLOCK 69 is what you need to ask me, Corey Axelrod, from groundbreaking hot rock pop master group, Cell Block 69!’ says, well, Corey Axelrod from band Cell Block 69.

He just wrestles a PacMan on stage and waxes lyrical about his fucking tiger. It’s bullshit! THERE IS NO FUCKING TIGER!

Corey is far from your humble, modest musician, as are other band members Duanne LeCoreyMichaels, Corey Van Coverdale, Corey Spelling, Corey in te Domine Corey Exultate Corey, The Corey formerly known as Korey, Corey Rock-Sixxx, Corea Chick and Corey Chameleon. Forming to become a critically acclaimed (yet completely unknown) band of the ‘80s, Cell Block 69 had trouble with famous bands stealing their work and passing it off as their own. So they went into hibernation then came back in 2006, then went back into hibernation again, only to come back with a final tour. Then another final tour. And another. They are up to their 12th final tour and will be treating the nation’s capital with one last rocking show at ANU bar. ‘No one rocks like Canberrians in the audience sense. We obviously rock, and to a lesser extent synth-pop, far more than Canberrians, but as an audience... you know what I mean,’ he explains. ‘What constantly surprises us about the crowd in Cranberry is the diversity.’ He says that while crowds can’t buy any CDs or vinyls – because the band hasn’t actually recorded any – they can buy all sorts of other stuff to remember the most rockingest night of their lives. ‘Pack your wallets, Canberra, that’s all I’m sayin’,’ he warns. ‘Cell Block 69 are obviously the most amazing, awesome, radtastical, awesome again, tight rock and, to a lesser extent, synth-pop super group forever,’ Corey says unassumingly. ‘But let me tell you, the other band members are dicks. Every year I swear to myself, “I will not work with those dweebs one more year,” but then I go back to my island, sleep with the ladies there and my mind always gets back to Cell Block 69. So I get someone to pick up the phone and dial Rock Sixxx, and the rest, as they say, is history... again.’ According to Corey, the creative process is, well, a little uneven workwise. ‘Let me make one thing crystal clear: Duanne Le-Corey Michaels does fuck all,’ Corey rants. ‘I do all the fucking work and he just puts on a headband and points at a few people, wrestles a Pac-Man on stage and waxes fucking lyrical about his fucking leopard or fucking tiger, Burindi, and suddenly he’s the bigger fucking rock/synth-pop star. It’s fucking bullshit! THERE IS NO FUCKING TIGER!’ Okay, so there is a lesson for a budding musician; share the workload with your band mates so they don’t slag you out in a magazine. And another vital piece of advice from Mr. Axelrod? ‘Don’t swear.’ Cell Block 69 will play at ANU Bar on Saturday December 22, 8pm. Tickets $18 + bf through Ticketek.

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Time to break out the glockenspiel and string section. It’s my Born to Run era!

A SPRINGSTEEN IN HIS STEP PETER KRBAVAC If, with a temporary overseas relocation, tours at home and abroad and work beginning on two new albums, 2012 was a packed year for MIKE NOGA, then 2013 is looking busier still. The aforementioned albums will have to be released and toured, of course, and there’s the prospect of a less temporary relocation for the Melbourne musician.

When we speak, Mike reveals that The Drones have just polished off their new album, which will be the first order of business for the New Year. ‘It’s being mixed as we speak,’ he reports enthusiastically. ‘We’re all really excited about it. It should be out a little bit after ATP next year.’ This, coupled with a recent tour alongside Tex Perkins’ Dark Horses, has delayed work on Noga’s new solo set. ‘I’ve got my dear mate Paul Dempsey in the producer’s seat for my new one and [now] it’s all systems go,’ he says. The album promises to be a ‘more “grand” affair’ than the pared-back sound of last year’s The Balladeer Hunter. ‘It’s not necessarily a reaction to The Balladeer Hunter’s strippedback approach, more the natural feeling of wanting to do something different,’ Noga says. ‘Time to break out the glockenspiel and string section. It’s my Born to Run era!’

Many of these new tunes were written during a six-month stint in London earlier in 2012. Though he has a base of contacts from his years touring through the country with The Drones, Noga does note that breaking into the UK gigging circuit meant basically starting from scratch. ‘It was incredibly refreshing, to be honest,’ he says. ‘I love Australia, but there’s nothing like playing to new audiences to make you feel inspired again. People seemed to really dig it. I met some great folk at labels and it looks like I’m heading back early next year for a more permanent relocation. I’m 34 now, which is old in this biz. Time to go give it a crack, I say!’ All the more reason, then, to take advantage of Noga’s upcoming Australian tour with long-time mate Ben Salter of The Gin Club, as it may be his last for a while. As befits the freewheeling nature of the tour – ‘Just an excuse to hang out, really’ – the pair will share the stage for most of the night, assisting on each other’s songs and perfecting their comedy patter. ‘A musical love in? Certainly. But slightly more Derek and Clive than Simon and Garfunkel, if you catch my drift,’ he says. For his part, Noga promises to ‘chuck a tantrum if [Salter] doesn’t let me sing something on Gas Guzzler. I’m a terrible guitarist though, so you’ll find me, for the most part, ‘helping’ – ruining – his songs. You know his terrific solo album The Cat? Wait ‘til you hear me solo all over that sucker.’ Mike Noga and Ben Salter bring their A Night on the Tiles tour to The Front Gallery and Café on Sunday December 9. Doors at 7.30pm and entry is $15.

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DANCE THE DROP

No longer do local electronic music stars have to share the dais with our skittish New South Welsh neighbours. Canberra has finally flexed its capital city muscle and committed to its very own music awards. The Music ACT Annual Music Awards (MAMAs) is also set to include a category for Best Electronic Dance Music Producer and I’d like to congratulate the first bunch of EDM nominees: The Aston Shuffle, SAFIA and System Segue; may the best studio whore win!

The first day of December heralds the start of a magical mass migration of cloud-shaped giants from the bellies of inner-city gymnasiums to the open fields of outdoor music festivals all over the countryside. These great shiny monoliths are easily identified: a trademark spurious orange hue bursts forth through tiny shorts, slip-on shoes and enormous Gucci sunglasses. This ritual uniform is enlivened by the release of strong pheromones, a mixture of cocoa butter and piercing European cologne, and an aggressive display where fists are repeatedly thrust into the air to advertise to any female targets that they are ready to mate. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Australian summer music festival season.

Sydney-based devious duo The Only have taken time out from their hectic Ministry of Sound Annual 2013 national tour to drop their current five hottest records for me this week.

The Foreshore Summer Music Festival has wrapped up for another year. Now that you’ve had time to scrub away the amalgam of dried vodka and sunscreen from betwixt your toes and force litres of hydrating fluid into your gullet, it’s time to look back. Example filled the main stage early, Calvin Harris surprised us with a few classics and Tiesto finished his set with a 25-minute version of Maximal Crazy. Tommy Trash, The Stafford Brothers, Flume, Zedd and Dash Berlin were the picks on the Hi Top Stage. Well done, Kicks!

Felix Cartel – Tonight (Hot Mouth Remix) – Hot Mouth sounds like a nickname that a huge Mexican guy would give you in prison.

The TJS crew will be cocking their massive weapon and firing a large calibre line-up directly into The Clubhouse on Saturday December 8. This D&B explosion is headlined by bass dynamo Audio (UK) alongside Paul Blackout (Hardline, SYD), Centaspike (Barcode), Killosis (QLD), Fatal Union, Buick and Para. Get there early and you may even score yourself an exclusive mix CD from Killosis!

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The Only – Looking Back – This has been a huge anthem for us on tour; I think a girl had the lyrics tattooed on her butt... The Bloody Beetroots & Greta Svabo Bech – Chronicles of a Fallen Love – The masked Italians always make the best crowd-surfing anthems. Press play and dive. Rudimental – Not Giving In – When you wake up in last night’s clothes in your hotel room surrounded by empty bottles of tequila, it’s good to be reminded to get up and get on with it. NEVER GIVE IN!

Clockwork – BBBS – This bass line grinds like a horny teenager at a frat party. This will be the number one acronym hit of 2012; you heard it here first. TIM GALVIN tim.galvin@live.com.au


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Sound System’s Friends as well Ministry of Sound’s Mashed back in 2009, Beni has been playing gigs up and down the country.

LIFE IN A BUBBLE PETer O’ROURKE Signed with the ultra-cool Modular Records (home of Tame Impala, Sneaky Sound System, Cut Copy), Sydney house DJ and producer BENI was one to watch in 2012. His music is fresh and funky, signified in It’s a Bubble (featuring Sean Delear and Turbotito) which got plenty of triple j airtime last year. Having recently remixed Sneaky

Dance music is just huge there at the moment so lots of people are open to different sounds

Over the past week he’s been on the nationally touring dance festival Stereosonic, spinning house and techno to an excited crowd. ‘It’s been going really well,’ says Beni when I asked him about the tour. ‘Although I’ve just recovered from two days of food poisoning – it’s the worst! The triple j House Party tour [earlier last month] was excellent as well, it sold out and the kids loved it.’ So it’s definitely all about the house music? ‘Yeah, I’d say Chicago house is a very strong influence, and the sound of the old 808 and 909 drum machines which I use a lot in my productions.’ The Pyramid Rock Festival at Phillip Island in Victoria will be the final performance in what has been a huge year for Beni, which took him all over the world to the USA, Europe, and Japan, as well as string of Australian club shows and festivals including Groovin the Moo. ‘I actually had dancers for Groovin the Moo, which adds another element,’ said Beni. ‘DJs can be pretty boring to watch sometimes, but I wasn’t ready to do the live show thing just yet – hopefully I will be in the future. ‘Being overseas in France and the USA was fantastic,’ he said. ‘I was in LA for a bit and dance music is just huge there at the moment so lots of people are open to different sounds.’ Besides his music, Beni is an art fan, his Tumblr blog covered in surrealist images. ‘I love art. When I’m a bored at home I can just sit on Tumblr for hours and find stuff to share.’ While he doesn’t design his own album covers, Beni says he works closely with the artist to come up with something. So what can we expect from Beni in 2013? ‘After Pyramid Rock Festival I’ll do some serious studio time and work on a bunch of new tracks. I hope to get the album out early next year, and get some remixes on board as well.’ And any Canberra shows? ‘Not at the moment, but if a promoter wants to give me a call I’d definitely be up for it!’ Catch Beni playing Pyramid Rock Festival, Sat Dec 29 – Tue Jan 1 at Phillip Island, Victoria.

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METALISE And so another year draws to a close here in camp BMA with Top 5s and 10s and gigs and stuff being thrown around, as is the tradition at this time of year. Last year I had two Aussie albums in my Top 10 with Adelaide’s Hydromedusa and Looking Glass’s III as my number one. 12 months later and Looking Glass have lost and gained a new drummer and have just completed a run of shows with another amazing Canberra band, Hoodlum Shouts. Both of those bands should be on your live show radar in 2013. I was also pleased to have three Aussie releases in my list this year and it could easily have been five, with half-locals (half the band is in Melbourne) The Levitation Hex and Law of The Tongue both putting forth excellent efforts in their respective fields of heavy this year. Had I another three landmark records of the year to make up a Top 10, Pallbearer’s Sorrow & Extinction, Old Man Gloom’s No and Witchcraft’s Legend all would have made the cut. Honourable mentions to All Hail The Yeti’s eponymous debut; Pilgrim’s Misery Wizard; Torche’s Harmonicraft; Orange Goblin’s A Eulogy For The Damned; and Pervertor’s Lord Mantis. If you need some stocking fillers you can’t go wrong with that list. Blood Duster’s KVlt would be a good non-album to have for future eBay collectors too.

anniversary tour of the Czech Republic’s most repulsive import, the Obscene Extreme festival that now has a date, a headliner and not one, but two venues in Melbourne next year. Sat-Sun Apr 13-14 are the evenings and The Tote Hotel and The Bendigo Hotel – about 100 metres apart from one another on Gertrude St in Collingwood – will play host, with both venues hosting shows over the two nights and ticketholders able to walk between the two. Headlining is the astounding Rotten Sound from Finland along with all the Melbourne grindcore syndicate’s top bands like Blood Duster, The Kill and Fuck I’m Dead. I haven’t even touched on the slew of shows that will no doubt evolve from the Soundwave extravaganza, talked about how keen I am for the new Kvelertak record or Cathedral’s Last Spire – guess that can wait til next year. Have a great 666mas, check the cacophemisms. blogspot.com.au throughout the summer to keep up on new music and activities and we’ll talk brutal in the New Year, assuming the Mayans were wrong. JOSH NIXON doomtildeath@hotmail.com

Summer shows don’t stop rolling and we get two amazing international shows, one before the year end and one just into the New Year, with visits from two bands at polar opposites of the metal spectrum. Earthless I gushed about at length in the last issue and they’re not to be missed on Tuesday December 11 at ANU Bar. Then we get the gore grind tour of the year on only the fifth day of the first month, with Cock & Ball Torture visiting along with The Day Everything Became Nothing and locals Tortured and Festering Drippage. The Basement will be the den of iniquity for this abhorrent tour that will only serve to compound what your parents think about gore grind, should they find any of the aforementioned bands’ CD covers in your room before the gig. While on grind, some details have now solidified around the 15th

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MERCIFUL SUMMER

HEIGHTS OF HOPE

baz ruddick

carrie gibson

Five-piece Sydney-based hardcore band HAND OF MERCY are no strangers to high profile support slots. Having supported metalcore royalty Parkway Drive and The Amity Affliction in the past, the boys are riding the post-album release wave while embarking on a tour of epic proportions this summer. With dates Australia wide, Hand of Mercy are hitting the road with ghetto-hardcore boys Deez Nutz, Canadian Comeback Kid and Michigan mad cunts For the Fallen Dreams on the Boys of Summer tour. I spoke to guitarist Josh about their upcoming tour, recording in the States, and why hardcore is so strongly rooted in mateship.

HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS have been labeled under several categories; screamo, post-hardcore, hard rock, pop-punk, emo. Guitarist/vocalist JT Woodruff sets the record straight about their sound, their recent projects and their upcoming Australian tour.

The show in Canberra is going to be cool in a smaller venue. We always look forward to home shows

While Hand of Mercy have remained a popular force in the hardcore scene for the past four years, they are reaching all new highs. Having previously used ‘small DIY labels’ to release and distribute their music, this time the boys headed to America to record their album before signing up to hardcore label UNFD. ‘It was something as a band we never thought we would get a chance to do... We split up and did some touristy stuff then we got together and recorded the album in Cape Cod, which is like an hour out of Boston. It is one of the summer towns and we were there in winter. We had like a four-storey beachfront townhouse that we got to stay in really cheap. We got to record a CD with a guy called Shane Frisby who has recorded some of our favourite bands like Ghost Inside and Bury Your Dead. It was phenomenal.’ While fans are gearing up for a balls-to-the-wall hardcore show, no one is keener than the guys themselves. ‘I’m really keen! I’m pretty sure Comeback Kid were one of the first hardcore bands I ever saw when I was like 16. I went to the all ages show at The Annandale. So yeah, it will be great to play with them because I am a big fanboy. We toured with For the Fallen Dreams last time they came to Australia and met up with them in America when we were over there recording, so we are pretty good mates with them. I’ve heard some pretty cool stories about Deez Nutz when it comes to hanging out and partying. So we can’t wait!’ Joining the tour from Friday January 11 in Brisbane, Hand of Mercy will be playing back-to-back dates (bar the odd night) for the nine shows following. ‘The show in Canberra is going to be cool in a smaller venue. We always look forward to home shows though. All your mates come and you can hang out with them. And I guess home show crowds are always generally the best. But we are looking forward to the whole thing really. Everywhere we go, people seem to get into it!’ The Boys of Summer tour will roll into Canberra for an all ages gig at the Woden Youth Centre on Wednesday January 16, 6pm. Tickets are $36 + bf through Moshtix.

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Q: How would you label your music? A: Labels are for critics and message boards. We play loud, melodic music. How has the band’s style evolved since the release of The Silence of Black & White? We have always been aggressive and melodic at the same time. Each member has different musical tastes and goals, so we are constantly trying to incorporate that into our sound. We will always be happy when our music is at its hardest edge. With the oversaturated scene of emo, screamo and hardcore these days, how does the band keep the music innovative? We have a loyal fanbase that has t. wan we n whe am We scre continued to We sing when we want. We roll with us. We scream when don’t do dubstep. Certain we want. We things will never change sing when we want. We don’t do dubstep. Certain things will never change with Hawthorne Heights, no matter where popular music ends up. As long as we are able to find a different angle within ourselves, we will be here. What are some of the biggest challenges with which the band has been faced during its ten-year span? Over our career as a band, we have seen technology surpass what music can keep up with. You can make music too easy these days as well as download it. You don’t have to wait for anything, which makes it less special. That is a pretty hard thing to overcome. Your latest album is called Hope. Can you explain the theory behind the album? The idea is to take the listener to a better, more positive place than we did with Hate. Let all the negativity subside and look at the flipside of the coin. We tried to bring in a little bit more of a powerful sound to create a better mood. Hope was released on the band’s own record label, Cardboard Empire. What differences have you noticed while working through your own label? The biggest difference is that we can release music whenever we want. We set the schedules, which is liberating. When the songs are ready, we record them ourselves and then send them on their way… We wanted to be free spirits for a while. Contracts stifle creativity. You’ve recently announced the release of a trilogy of EPs through Cardboard Empire as well as a fast-approaching Australian tour. What are you most looking forward to about coming to Australia? We want to see the Australian countryside this time around. It will be nice to drive through the outback with our eyes open. We are looking forward to getting back in touch with our fans. Catch Hawthorne Heights at The Basement on Wednesday December 12, 8pm, with supporting act Sienna Skies. Tickets are $26 + bf from Moshtix.


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THE YEAR IN REVIEW Arts & Culture in the ACT GLEN MARTIN Some might suggest that 2012 was a warm up for 2013, the big birthday year. That’s a reductive suggestion. Every year, Canberra’s creative class slog it out, making things and hoping an audience might stumble across them. It was a year of rich pickings. The second You Are Here festival snapped the city out of its summer slumber in March, with another effortless rumble through Civic. The program trimmed a little of the fat from the inaugural 2011 version and gave us a fistful of highlights: Adelina Larsson & Reuben Ingall’s Resonance performances; the Landlord’s outstanding theology lesson, Going to Hell in this Handy Basket; the lunchtime concert series; the beach party; the insanity of four local bands taking each other on in the least competent basketball competition since the Cannons were active. It was another triumph. You Are Here has been scheduled up to 2013, the first two festivals essentially seen as a warm-up for the centenary. We hope that it remains a fixture for the years beyond and tip our hats to Yolande Norris, David Finnigan and Adam Hadley for showing arts administrators the nation over how it is done. In the visual and performing arts, Canberra never suffers. Some of your correspondent’s favourite shows of the year happened at Craft ACT (Embracing Innovation and Emerging Contemporaries were winners), CCAS (Dorkbot Cbr, the always excellent Blaze) and M16, while the Word of Mouth show at CMAG placed a bunch of Canberra expats in the wider context, showing that names such as Richard Blackwell and Helen Shelley are kicking high-quality goals. Meanwhile, events such as Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit!, Traverse Poetry and Now Hear This continue to delight. Musically, Canberra continues to over-represent. Sadly, some competing states can now claim Canberry acts as their own, with Cat Cat, Kasha (now renamed Golden Blonde), Shopgirl and ¾ of the Hoodlum Shouts joining the diaspora. In the case of the Shouts, it wasn’t before issuing a shockingly good LP; Young Man Old Man stands up to anything released in 2012, here or elsewhere. Do yourselves a favour if you haven’t already. Stellar releases were issued by The Fighting League, Super Best Friends, Fun Machine and Old Ace, while MusicACT will end the year with the first MAMAs. 2XX’s Local n Live show did a brilliant job of spinning local tracks and the solidifying of The Polish Club’s presence as a local venue alongside The Phoenix, Transit, The Front, Smiths and Pot Belly is very welcome. Much to be excited about and 2013 looks solid, with LPs from Pocket Fox, Fun Machine and Waterford in the offing. The city looks significantly different from the one to which we woke up and blearily walked out into full of hangover hate and booze stench on January 1. Braddon has gone from the little

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Melbourne that could to the little suburb enjoying its moment in the sun before the vast apartment structures either side of Lonsdale Street threaten to obscure that sun and ruin this moment of grace for all time. I’m 100%, more even, 120% for urban infill and more people living in apartments in the city. As both Martin Amis and BikeSnobNYC might say, it creates good spondee (I’ve no idea what it means either, but how much fun is that term? Go on, party with it). But what Braddon has stumbled upon is something rare – actual, accidental character. The auto shops and Centrelink nuzzling against some pretty fine caffeine merchants and the lovely market atmosphere of the Traders building create a genuine urban experience, something notable in our planned and coiffed city. Will further development enhance or ruin? Bringing another 1000 souls into the suburb will create a buzz and that’s a great thing. But we hope that the development will be handled with a view to what is good about the place – the mix. For now, we’ve enjoyed Braddon 2012. Long may it remain varied, slightly ugly and full of treasures. NewActon also needs mentioning. The first Art, Not Apart (by the way, who in hell came up with that stinking moniker? Pretentious twaddle that is linguistically awkward – double-lose) festival, housed within the You Are Here program, was successful enough, but maybe not such a natural fit for YAH. NewActon can’t help but feel like a planned city within a planned city, because it is. Planned right up the wazoo, planned within an inch of its life. If it wasn’t planned so well it’d be insufferable, but thanks to the second instalment of Art, Not Apart and the simple inclusion of a magnificent café (Mocan and Green Grout), the place has come alive in reputation and reality. That preciousness that previously underscored the area has been broken by Mocan, the pavement now coated in coffee fiends of all ages and stripes, and the second festival felt brilliant. There was civic pride in the air. We hope for more in 2013 as that magnificent behemoth Nishi opens. 2013 is all about the Centenary, however, and we have high hopes. The program document has let us down (see this issue’s Uninhibited), but the events themselves look stellar. With You Are Here covering the fringe and the big stage covered by the main shebang, Canberra will be awash in arts. There will be something for everybody to see and there will be spaces for anybody creative to try their luck. The city is poised to stage a live, real-time rebrand in front of the nation’s eyes and this batch of clever people who continue to make brilliant things are the best people for the job. At the end of 2013, the whole nation should be singing the praises of Canberra’s talents.


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IMMORTALISED IN CLAY grace carroll What do memory, evolution, glass and China have in common? They are all influences on multi-disciplinary artist Ashley Bauman’s forthcoming exhibition, FINGERPRINTS IN ORDER AND CHAOS. The final exhibition at the Australian National Capital Artists (ANCA) Watson gallery for 2012 will showcase more than 40 of Bauman’s latest sculptural ceramics, ranging from jewellery to large pots and vases. The emerging Canberra artist incorporates a wide variety of artistic and conceptual ideas into his contemporary ceramic practice. The exhibition will give audiences a glimpse into Bauman’s eclectic aesthetic and the ideas which shape it. Fingerprints in Order and Chaos has come about following Bauman’s awarding of the ANCA Emerging Artists Support Scheme (EASS), awarded upon graduating from the ANU School of Art in 2011. This award facilitated Bauman’s travels to China earlier this year, which were the formative influence on the exhibition. The artist spent six weeks exploring the vast and contradictory land. While in China, Bauman studied ceramics and exhibited in the Young Artist Biennale for ceramic artists. With its rich history of ceramics and porcelain, China is an important place for ceramicists like Bauman. While he admits to having been ‘drawn to the exoticness’ of the place, he adds ‘nothing could have prepared me for the experience.’ Both the material and conceptual legacy of Bauman’s travels through China underscore Fingerprints. A number of pieces include gathered materials he found overseas. The combination of found objects – including glass, fragments of porcelain and other objects – with skilfully crafted ceramic pieces reflects Bauman’s artistic philosophy of a ‘merging of ancient techniques with modern ideas of ceramics.’ While the core of the works on show were created in accordance with the meticulous technical demands of the ceramic medium, it is in the decoration that Bauman’s distinctive aesthetic is unleashed. This contrast between traditional and organic working practices goes some way to explaining the title of the show. When asked about the meaning of Fingerprints, Bauman spoke of the ideas behind the exhibition. The title refers to the tactility of the works themselves as three-dimensional curiosities that invite the human touch. The tension between order and chaos is suggested by the combination of meticulous working practices with organic and experimental elements. For Bauman, this tension is seen as much in the physical appearance of his art as in his inquisitive and ‘scattered’ mind that creates them. Fingerprints showcases how Bauman’s artistic sensibilities have developed during 2012. Traces of his interest in evolution and spirituality, which were explored in previous works, are apparent. But this exhibition has broadened to focus on memory, nostalgia and connection. His interest in ‘what people leave behind when they die’ is a major influence on this body of work.

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‘They will outlive me,’ Bauman commented of his artworks. For that reason, the artist consciously imbues traces of his identity in each and every work he creates. He is, to use his words, ‘trying to grow a piece of myself’ through his artistic practice. The notion of growth is apparent in several works, including Life Capsule, an earthenware piece with a colourful glaze that is topped with what look like crystals or similar precious materials. After talking to Bauman about his artworks, it is clear to me that he sees them as living things with lives of their own. This interest in the lifespan of his art has emerged from Bauman’s tendency to ‘see ceramics as crystal-based.’ Crystal, a substance that grows and changes in a manner not dissimilar to other materials within the natural world – including living beings – makes an intriguing point of comparison with Bauman’s body of work. While some of the embellishments on his ceramic pieces may seem haphazard, Bauman only includes things he values in his art. The decoration is, thus, part of the unpredictable lifespan of the piece. As with all art, the significance and ultimate meaning of his works are known only to the artist and differ for every person that comes into contact with them. Fingerprints also highlights Bauman’s interest in European ceramic traditions. He cites the French Art Nouveau ceramicist Clement Massier as particular influence. ‘I love all of those effects,’ Bauman observed of the lustre glazing technique. Massier was one of the acclaimed ceramicists who made this technique famous towards the end of the 19th century. Bauman pointed out that these effects, which give an iridescent ‘lustful’ appearance, ‘can only be achieved in ceramics.’ Earth Capsule, one of the items in the exhibition, reflects this interest lustre glazing. Combining this with the intrigue of found objects and decorative embellishments, this stunning piece is exemplary of the influences that come together in this show. The ANU School of Art has been an invaluable support for Bauman. He credits the staff – especially the Ceramics Workshop – for motivating and facilitating the development of Fingerprints. As the 2012 Ceramics Workshop Artist in Residence, Bauman had access to the extensive facilities at the school. He credits the teachers for contributing to his ongoing development as an artist and considers himself lucky to be part of Canberra’s thriving artistic community. Fingerprints promises to be an intriguing exhibition of sculptural ceramics. Combining history with contemporary practice and bringing this to life with his personal aesthetic vision, it is clear that Bauman is an artist set for a bright future. Fingerprints in Order and Chaos shows at the ANCA Gallery, Dickson, from Wed Dec 5-Sun Dec 16, 12-5pm. The official opening is on Wednesday December 5 at 6pm.


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offer of potential stardom. Managing Director and co-founder of the CANBERRA ACADEMY OF DRAMATIC ART, Elizabeth Scott, provided some insights into the role the academy plays in the Canberra arts scene and the opportunities it provides.

YOUR PATH TO STARDOM? RORY McCARTNEY Everyone’s heard of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, but few know of the jewel on our doorstep which beckons with the

Founded in 2009, CADA’s offerings range from school holiday programs for kiddies to short courses for adults, corporate bonding activities and formal qualifications. The Advanced Diploma of Performance takes two-and-a-half years. ‘This training is aimed squarely at those seeking a career on the stage, TV or screen, as industry expects an entry level actor to have two to three years’ formal training.’ Apart from career oriented courses, CADA contributes significantly to the local scene, with its own student shows every semester and other projects. Recent and upcoming shows include Twisted, Vaclav Havel Playreadings and The Polyphonic Bard. ‘CADA studio productions are developing new material in a playwriting program with The Street Theatre, which is interested in developing independent artists and new works.’ There are a couple of hundred kiddies involved in CADA classes. Who knows what future impact they may have on the arts in the capital? Canberra is blessed with wonderful amateur companies which every year put on a rich pageant of productions. This local interest has driven a new direction in the academy, which will, from 2013, offer a Diploma of Musical Theatre with a strong emphasis on song and dance. ‘While the interest has arisen from local musical productions, the training is different from amateur theatre as it is geared more to the needs of industry professionals.’ CADA aims to provide trained artists for the local entertainment industry. Normally, actors have to travel outside Canberra to where the work is, but the landscape is changing. ‘Increased government investment in the local screen industry has seen a higher demand for local actors and the ACT Centenary is an exciting time, with more acting opportunities opening up.’ There are auditions to determine suitability for courses and there’s a definite need for some ability to sing and dance if you want to pursue musical theatre. However, you can be taught to act, though Elizabeth adds, ‘It helps to have some charisma and a natural dramatic instinct, which CADA will nurture.’ The academy has a staff of experienced actors and directors and the right connections to help students find work. ‘We are often approached by casting directors seeking the right person for a part. You don’t need to go to NIDA; some of our people have trained there and our passionate staff can help fulfil your dreams.’ CADA is taking enrolments for 2013 courses now, with auditions to be held in early December. Budding artists can register for an audition via cada.net.au.

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CHIPS OFF THE OLD BLOCK

SEWING A CENTURY

CHLOE MANDRYK

ALLAN SKO

MERRYN SOMMERVILLE received the inaugural Canberra Museum and Gallery Showcase Exhibition award after graduating from the ANU School of Art last year. As an artist whose work is habitually described as unsettling, I took the chance to speak to her about her intentions in creating her otherwise captivating images that pair conflicting connotations we subscribe to childhood: opalescence and grime; innocence and insight. Nothing scary about that, right?

‘To quote wonderful [local writer] Nigel Featherstone: “The publication of THE INVISIBLE THREAD is a watershed moment in ACT-region literature: it’s the moment when people realise the contribution this small part of the world has made.” That’s my hope for this book… that it stimulates, challenges, surprises and delights.’

Merryn believes, ‘Art can be very effective in communicating with people in a very primal and emotional way. It is a combination of culturally specific cues that tell us to react in a certain way and, for an artist that understands this, it can provoke a lot of thought and a lot of feeling.’ In many ways, children have been painted and observed for years with projected meaning; their perceived innocence or precocious air. Children in art history have been seen as symbols for greater society, for intangible ideas and, most commonly, tied to religion in the form of the Christ child. Ultimately, children are not autonomous in art. Merryn’s images play off this idea. Merryn’s pastel treatment on black paper plays very affectively with light, reminiscent of the benign but intriguing face awash with soft light in Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring (1665). This infamous painting was made using a jumble of browns, greys and mute colours – a style termed ‘dead colouring’. In Merryn’s works, she has left segments of the pastel incomplete on the black paper, so the fleshy kids appear to have literally a chip off their shoulder – an empty belly or a black eye. These parts don’t seem ‘missing’ or ‘unfinished’ but as though they have rotted away or were born deficient. Yet, the children are dressed in their ‘Sunday best’. This parallel suggests a relationship between our expectations of children and how we read an image. Merryn seems fascinated with the push and pull between the adult world, childrens’ world and the imagined space in between. She recounts, ‘Morton Bartlet was an orphan who spent his life alone. He made himself a family of dolls. He’d make clothes for them, draw them, and photograph them in domestic situations. Then, one day, he put them away and never looked at them again. They weren’t discovered until after his death. I hope that when people look at my work they recognise ideas or feelings within themselves that they are unable to put into words.’ Merryn Somerville is exhibiting her works from now until Sunday January 6 within the ramp showcase space at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra City. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-4pm. Entry is free.

So says writer Irma Gold, editor of this incredible anthology recently released by BMA’s Gorman House Arts Centre neighbours, Halstead Press. The lofty tome collects 75 revered writers from across 100 years with one thing in common – Canberra. Comprising essays, novel extracts, poems and short stories from the likes of Alan Gould, Marion Halligan, Kate Grenville, Miles Franklin, Manning Clark, Craig Cormick and Omar Musa, each piece ends with a short author bio including Canberra connection. As the stats tell, it’s a big project. ‘[It ] began as a conversation… with the then director of the ACT Writers Centre, Anne-Maree Britton on how it was high time an anthology of Canberra writers existed,’ Gold says. ‘Then just days later I saw information about the Centenary. The timing was perfect. It’s taken three years. Between [the Advisory Committee] we read over 150 writers, hundreds of books and more essays and stories.’ Further worthy work was to come in the form of the eventual masterful ordering of the material; all deftly linked to serve the collection’s core ethos. ‘Chronological was one option,’ Gold says, ‘but this would have prevented the works speaking with each other across the decades. In making connections between the works I have offered the reader a thread to follow. The title comes from a line in an AD Hope poem, Death of a Bird. It’s about the thread that binds us all as individuals who have been shaped by this city.’ There is further resonance due to the recent deaths of three of the featured authors – Anne Edgeworth, Rosemary Dobson and Hank Nelson. ‘On the day I was to contact Hank to say he had been selected, he passed away. That was a real shock,’ Gold says. ‘Losing these incredible writers emphasised how important this project is.’ Indeed, remembering and recognising the literati of Canberra is this collection’s shining achievement. ‘It’s the reason I wanted to do the anthology,’ Gold says. ‘Melbourne might be the official UNESCO City of Literature but the number of acclaimed writers that have lived here is impressive. I do hope The Invisible Thread makes it evident to all Australians the significant contribution this region has made.’ This proud second generation Canberran certainly feels his chest swell that bit further for having read it. The Invisible Thread is out now through Halstead Press and from Paperchain and Electric Shadows Bookshop. Irma Gold gave many wonderful answers that couldn’t fit here, so jump onto bmamag.com for a full transcript.

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behind FLIX IN THE STIX, and that’s exactly why they’re in the business of bringing a massive night of music, short films, spoken word and comedy to outdoor venues in regional areas across Australia. Flix may have begun as a vehicle to screen short films in towns off the regular touring circuit – hence the name – but now, in its fifth year, it has evolved into something much, much more.

BLOCKBUSTERS IN THE BUSH JULIA WINTERFLOOD I grew up in a small town, so I know what it’s like only being able to see one or two nationally touring acts a year. As does the crew

Explained main man Simon Rollin, ‘It’s a mix of the kind of entertainment you’d usually find most nights in metropolitan areas, but hardly ever in regional areas. The Flix team grew up in regional areas so we know it’s not something we get out in the country all that much. And that’s our biggest motivator – to be able to bring quality entertainment to regional areas. Although it comes with a risk, it’s great when we see audiences walking away stoked with the experience.’ Although Canberra is probably the ‘least regional’ leg on Flix’s 2013 tour schedge, we can still relate to its ethos and, with a sizeable swag of spectacular outdoor events on our calendar, the fact it’s flying the flag for a canopy of stars is another element we can appreciate. Said Rollin, ‘We are very conditioned to hightech entertainment and with these events you usually lose your connection to the environment. Our events are first and foremost outdoor events and, fair enough, at an outdoor event it’s not your absolute surround sound crispness, but the experience of being outdoors under the stars is easily second to none.’ Flix has invited Nash Edgerton to curate the 2013 short film program. He was the winner of this year’s Flix crowd favourite film, has taken out the top gong at Tropfest and has directed eight award-winning short films. Lately, he’s been flat-out working on Luhrmann’s Gatsby and directing a vid for Bob Dylan. ‘Having Nash on board for 2013 has brought it to the next level,’ Rollin enthused. Nash no doubt knows a thing or two about the short film format, which is another thing Rollin’s keyed up about. ‘Tropfest has blazed the trail. It’s given people a real appetite for short films. There’s that excitement of seeing something you don’t know anything about. There’s that joy of being able to critique every film with your friends and family. You know you’re going to enjoy some, you know you’re going to question a few, but that’s a big part of the experience.’ Throw in The Whitlams to close the show and you’ve got one gorgeous night out. Pack some cheese, a cold chook and invite your Nan and Pop. They’d make a cracking Margaret and David. Flix in the Stix stops by the National Botanic Gardens on Saturday February 2. Tickets range from $19.90-$36.90 + bf per person through Ticketek, on sale from Friday December 7. Gates open at 6.30pm.

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SALTED COD AND A DANISH, PLEASE JUSTIN HOOK On a barren and dark landscape, detectives mull over evidence of a murder. You know by the billowing fog, terse glances and atmospheric camera angles that there is more to this than meets the eye. Partners crack wise after which orders from HQ are ignored. Someone is bound to be suspended for insubordination. This is pure crime drama 101 stuff; a boilerplate plot replicated the world over. But when it comes out of Scandinavia, especially Denmark, for some reason we sit up and take notice. Why? How has a small nation more famous for progressive tax structures, teak sideboards and Lego become the byword for modern crime fiction? There’s the novelty factor, but there must be something more. First up, there’s location. Every cop show from Dragnet to the Law & Order franchise has taught us every graffiti-littered street is a potential crime scene and every witness a wiseass, sass-mouthed teenager. But in Scandinavia, it’s all skewed. A warm, subtle yellow hue hangs across the landscape. It’s stunningly gorgeous. In some shows it’s eternally winter; The Killing and The Bridge are propelled by blissful early sunset shots of Copenhagen’s decidedly low-rise skyline as much as they are by catching the killer. The streets are clean and the population friendly enough. It is thoroughly alien, adding an element of bizarre otherworldliness immediately invoking mistrust. Then there’s pacing. Research indicates there’s never been a single traffic jam in Denmark. Little wonder then why most Scandinavians are in no hurry to get anywhere and why their TV shows spread a single crime out over 20 hour-long episodes. It’s provocative, challenging, subversive and also a tiny bit nuts. But it works. Yet for all the ‘innovation’ these shows exhibit, they only deconstruct the

45-minute procedural crime drama. The well-oiled scaffoldings of crime drama remain resolutely intact. In the runaway hit The Killing (so popular a US remake was made, before promptly failing), hints were dropped, red herrings placed, dead ends followed all the while alluding to something bigger. Only the style was off-kilter to our desensitised TV eyes, not the process or outcome. In the end, The Killing mirrored crime statistics very closely – in that most crimes are perpetrated by someone close to the victim. In the same vein, some uncomfortable parallels can be drawn from last events in Norway and both The Protectors and The Eagle. Art and real life have a symbiotic relationship and it’s no different in Denmark. Another theory suggests we have no context for these actors. They are blank slates, therefore, immediately more believable as fictional characters. There’s some truth to this, but ultimately it’s about what these actors do on the screen, not the roles and recognition they bring. In short, this wave of European crime drama is held together by subtlety, a rare commodity in network or cable drama. Breaking Bad isn’t subtle. It’s an oversized hammer. Like it or not, complexity rules our lives and we can either revel in the nuance or flee to the comfort of simplicity. These shows make a stand. They embrace detail but use – and occasionally abuse – obvious and well-accepted methods of storytelling. Calling them groundbreaking is a telling comment of our own jaded relationship to long form televisual drama. The Bridge – Series 1; The Killing – Series 1 and 2; The Eagle – The Complete Collection; Spiral – Series 1, 2 and 3; The Protectors – Series 1 and 2 are all out now through Madman.

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RED-LIGHT IN THE SPOTLIGHT Ben Hermann Everyone who has visited Paris will recognise the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – bright, bold, sensational posters advertising the Moulin Rouge and various other infamous Parisian cabaret halls and nightclubs of the late 19th century. Slathered across the walls of almost every souvenir shop – particularly in and around Montmartre – they portray a Paris in the midst of the Belle Epoque; a playful, carefree and exciting Paris, no longer troubled by the political turmoil of the previous decades and unaware of the brutal century about to dawn. Yet, these instantly recognisable posters do not truly reflect the world that Toulouse-Lautrec inhabited, as visitors to the National Gallery of Australia’s summer exhibition, TOULOUSE LAUTREC: PARIS & THE MOULIN ROUGE, will experience. ‘His posters are really different. Even the colours are different, they’re all primary colours – red, white, blue. They’re designed to smack you in the face and to convince you to go along to the Moulin Rouge or some other nightclub,’ says Simeran Maxwell, Assistant Curator at the NGA, who was heavily involved in bringing many of the exhibition’s pieces to Australia. ‘His paintings, on the other hand, when you look at them, there’s a bit of pain in almost all of them. It’s quite touching that he could see through the bright lights of Paris and see that people weren’t doing so well.’ The exhibition will feature over 120 pieces, including an extensive range of Toulouse-Lautrec works already owned by the NGA, a large number of paper works bought specifically for the exhibition and loans from 35 international collections. Although a great proportion of the exhibition focuses on Toulouse-Lautrec’s cabaret-inspired works, the collection is as close as you can come to a ‘retrospective’ of an artist who died at the age of 36. ‘We did break it down into thematic groups and some of the themes are very small – they’re just pockets in his life,’ Maxwell says. ‘The biggest theme in the show is definitely the cabaret, because he sort of got involved in that part of the Parisian highlight. He focused all his attention there. But we wanted to show the other aspects of his work; for example, he was an amazing portrait artist. He painted many character studies of his friends and cronies that he used to hang out with. He also had some famous, favourite models. We have a whole section devoted to Carmen Gaudin, who he loved. It’s nice to see how he kind of got a bit stuck on people.’ Toulouse-Lautrec was raised in rural southern France, the son of aristocratic parents who encouraged his painting once they realised his talent. He suffered a severe congenital bone disease – greatly suspected to be a result of his parents being first cousins – which,

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coupled with breaking his right and left thigh bones at the ages of 13 and 14 respectively, left him stunted and ill-proportioned, with the torso of an adult and the legs of a child. Expressionism was taking off in Paris during his early years, yet his obsession with figures meant he was drawn to the faces and physique of his friends and fellow rural dwellers – explored in the exhibition’s first room, which focuses on his student days. Later on, it would be the characters of the cabarets and nightclubs he frequented with which he would become infatuated. ‘He was looking at Degas’ work; he was looking at the Impressionists without actually being an Impressionist. He painted gardens early on, but there are always included figures,’ Maxwell says. It was this infatuation with figures and characters that would draw Toulouse-Lautrec to paint the myriad of prostitutes and dancers he encountered on his ventures through the Paris nightlife. The fourth room of the exhibition, Houses of Tolerance, is dedicated to ToulouseLautrec’s studies of prostitutes in the brothels he would visit. He also painted many famous dancers of the period (mostly redheads, many of whom he would often become obsessed with) such as La Goulue, depicting not their glamour or infamy, but the loneliness and boredom they experienced in stark contrast to their public perception. It was only later that he started producing his now-famous posters for the establishments at which his subjects performed. ‘Artists like Artiste Bruant and Jane Avril, they would ask Toulouse-Lautrec to make these posters for them and then advertise them wherever they were dancing,’ Maxwell explains. ‘They were designed so the titles of different places could be overlaid on the poster and used multiplied times.’ The exhibition will mark the beginning of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations and, although superficially an exhibition of a 19th century French artist may not strike as the most relevant choice, it accentuates the international stature of Canberra’s cultural institutions. ‘We wanted to do a show that showcased some of the work we owned, which we’ve done,’ says Maxwell. ‘The show reflects so much of our own collection, but also the gallery’s associations and where we stand as a Canberra gallery in an international arena. But you’ll see, when our other two exhibitions for next year are announced, that we’ve gone for all blockbusters. We’ve really pulled out all the stops.’ Toulouse-Lautrec: Paris & The Moulin Rouge will run at the National Gallery of Australia from Fri Dec14-Tue Apr 2. Tickets for the exhibition will be timed and are sold in half-hour sessions from 10am each day. Tickets are available from Ticketek or at the NGA information desk.


Kitten of the Year 2012 Canberra Irish Club Sat-Sun Nov 24-25

As lovely as it is to have a forum for cheering on attractive ladies taking off their clothes and twirling their nipple tassels, perhaps the loveliest and certainly the most inspiring thing about Kitten of the Year is the sheer tits-out unembarrassed delight each and every one of the performers takes in herself. There are few model-perfect bodies on this stage, but there is fierce confidence, positivity and pride to spare. One can only stand back and admire the guts it takes to come out on stage in nothing more than knickers and fluffy pink nipple stick-ons and demand respect and applause. The high-kicking antics of the brilliantly cheerful Sassy Rose and the Latin-inspired shimmying of Gerri Canns were met with shrieks of delight, cat-calls and wild cheering from the packed and rowdy room. Chocolate E. Clair’s bit with a giant frisky spider trod the line between hilarious and sexy – a cheeky wink to the audience – while Lady Lionheart’s fast-paced routine was just flat-out impressive.

participation; a couple of cheeky stripteases; a corset parade; and a wonderful little Dita Von Teese-inspired act from an aggressively hirsute gentleman who spent most of the night wandering about in a corset and go-go boots. It was all topped off with what can only be described as a mass lapdance, as the Kittens pulled their blushing partners and friends up on stage to shake their money-makers at their sweethearts. Gleeful, heartening, enlivening performances, all.

PHOTO BY JORIAN GARDNER

IN REVIEW

Emma grist

Competition for the sash this year was incredibly stiff. The scope of the acts was diverse; from shy firsttimer Kitty White’s coy duet with a mannequin, to Melina Fahrenheit’s gleefully brazen fan-dance, to Sapphire’s green-haired pearlpetting mermaid. The vintageinspired show had each performer paying tribute to a historical burlesque act, requiring meticulous research into choreography, music, staging and costumes – special mention to Mandy Bandersnatch’s two-foot-high horned headdress, which stayed impressively in place considering her vigorous thrusting and shaking, and Crème de la Crop’s stunningly seductive Dance of the Seven Veils. After a whirlwind of nipple pasties, feather boas, costume changes, ear-splitting cheers and cat-calls, and an impromptu audience swing-dance party between set changes led by the live band, the coveted title of Kitten of the Year went to Miss Sugar Starr for her mesmerising and atmospheric tribute to Annie Jones Elliott’s ‘The Bearded Lady’, the surprise ending of which I’ve just spoiled for the readers – sorry. The audience choice award, however, went to the opposite end of the spectrum – Miss Harley Quinn’s cheeky cowboy-themed magic act based on Dusty Summers’ Vegas classic. Several performances from non-competitors rounded out the evening: a balloon-popping routine heavy on audience

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I’m Ready Now Nigel Featherstone [Novella/Blemish Publishing; 2012]

If nothing else, David Mitchell’s ambitious novel proves his ability as a writer of prose.

‘A powerful yet gentle narrative that grabs you and holds you till the end.’ So appear the words of revered local writer Marion Halligan across the cover of Goulburn/Canberra writer Nigel Featherstone’s latest novella, I’m Ready Now, and I’m not here to argue with such a lofty scribe. If anything, I would humbly venture altering the sequence of the words thusly: ‘A gentle yet powerful narrative that holds you and grabs you till the end.’

There’s the diary of a naïve young notary touring the colonised Pacific in the 1800s; a series of letters from a troubled composer in the ‘20s; a ‘70s political thriller novel set at a nuclear power plant; a slapstick comedy-of-errors as a retired vanity publisher tries to escape from the nursing home in which he has been incarcerated; and then to the future, the tale of a cloned slave turned freedom fighter in a terrifyingly capitalist Korea. The centre of the novel is the tale of Zachry, a member of one of the few remaining pockets of humanity following some terrible worldwide calamity and how even that last vestige of civilisation descends into chaos and infighting. The first five stories break off halfway through their narratives – in some cases, halfway through a sentence – building up to Zachry’s story, after which the rest are completed in unexpected and often unsatisfying ways. Each story after the first mentions reading or watching or hearing about the story before it. There’s a suggestion of a reincarnation plotline that’s never really taken any further than subtext; the ambiguity works for the subject matter. Even so, the thematic elements may take a few re-reads to sink in and the links between the stories are more about concept than plot. In the hands of a less accomplished writer, this all could have gone terribly, terribly awry and turned gimmicky. Even though Mitchell clearly knows what he’s doing, Cloud Atlas does occasionally slip over into Authorial Soapbox mode, but, for the most part, the plot does the telling and the message is applied with a light hand. It’s a thoughtful, meta-textual, densely ambitious work. It’s also enjoyably readable – once you get past all the wankery – genuinely funny, moving and stylistically unique. Each of the individual sections is a novel unto itself, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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Cloud Atlas David Mitchell [Sceptre; 2004]

Cloud Atlas consists of six separate stories, each unique and diverse in terms of voice, style and content, loosely linked via a reincarnation thread and a few thematic phrases; the author dwells at length on civilisation and barbarism, capitalism and the concept of ownership, and what it means to be human. Each individual section of the book is wonderful, totally complete within itself.

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I have always likened a good novella to a wave; only short in duration, the energy gradually swells and builds until, finally, its expectation crashes in a foamy tumult. This is the nature of Featherstone’s work. It is initially unassuming. Gentle. Introducing you to characters and scenarios you may very well be familiar with that are gradually scratched away to reveal powerful human undercurrents. In this case the narrative revolves around the reunion of mother (Lynne Gleeson) and son (Gordon) upon the death of the former’s husband and the latter’s step-father. The timid Lynne needs to reconnect with her somewhat estranged son to tell him of her big plans. Gordon meanwhile is 11 months into his Year of Living Dangerously, a drugs ‘n’ booze ‘n’ boys-filled odyssey that purports to be a journey of self-discovery that may turn out to be just that for all the wrong reasons. The novella is about this conflict; this attempt at reconciliation which simply can’t be articulated because old paths and old wounds have been set. It is masterful in its execution. This is not high impact, flashy narrative. It doesn’t need to be. So delicately does Featherstone introduce the nuances of his characters and the incidents in their lives that – despite their simplicity – you are drawn in, eager to learn how these flawed and real characters fare. It doesn’t end in a walloping climax or the decisive nature of a bullet but with a simple yet life-changing decision. Just like life. This is a perfect companion piece to Featherstone’s previous novella, Fall On Me, and both prove the man has a commanding grip on the short form. Both illustrate his greatest writing asset: empathy for his characters. If there’s any criticism to be had it is perhaps that, at times, we’re told a little too explicitly what is on a character’s mind rather than allowing the reader to decide. This is a ‘perhaps’ because others will find the same sections an enthralling insight into a character’s mindset. But this is a minor quibble that shouldn’t put off a reader from this gentle and eventually powerful narrative. I have now read both of Featherstone’s novellas in one sitting and – considering the borderline ADD nature of yours truly – this is lofty praise indeed. allan sko


IN REVIEW Bare Witness The Street Theatre Tue-Sat November 6–10

Each of us is faced with moral dilemmas in life; to tell the truth or not is a common one. We weigh the pros and cons, in regard not only to the effects on ourselves but the effects on the receiver of the truth or the lie. Bare Witness addresses some of these moral dilemmas in the context of reporting on war. What would seem obvious – the right of people to know what’s happening, the right of people who are suffering to be heard, what’s being perpetrated and why – is, in fact, complicated. Taking as its starting point the beginning of the career of a young Australian photojournalist, the play moves onwards over 20 years. The story is obvious in many ways – youthful enthusiasm, naiveté and capacity to be shocked are slowly replaced until she mirrors the very behaviour she’d found shocking and unacceptable in her early years. Meanwhile, life and her family in Australia pass her by, their sorrows usurped by those of the strangers on whom she is reporting.

each actor (and the cellist) gave themselves over to inhabiting the cast of characters, all playing multiple people. Each performer showed great conviction and intent and a refreshing lack of self-consciousness and reticence. Foreign accents were used throughout and were very well-executed. Clever sound effects and the music were powerful, especially the use of harmonics on the cello, which provoked an unsettling and slightly prickly feeling. At times, scenes were enhanced by the cellist’s eerie and evocative vocalisations. The lighting was very effective, and there was imaginative use of portable lights by the performers to suggest the hidden, the secretive, the exposed and the terrified. At times, snippets of film footage were projected onto the back of the stage. Almost all was of wolves running or snarling. Presumably, this was a metaphor for the media, so often likened to ‘a pack of wolves’. This seemed clichéd and could have been more meaningfully replaced by images from the war zones in which the characters were stationed. All in all, this was an excellent and thought-provoking production. MICHELE E. HAWKINS

Bare Witness is a physical production. There is a lot of contact between performers, which creates a sense of abnormally intense connection between people. The basis of that connection is the creation of some barriers and the destruction of others, and a tough camaraderie that springs from the insularity that such a profession creates. Six people bring this play to life, including the cellist who wrote and performed the music and who is, at times, integral to the scenes. Some characters appear again and again, reunited in different theatres of war as the years roll by; other characters only appear once. The performances were all excellent;

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Private Lives is everything one would expect from a Noël Coward play: quick, abundantly dry-witted and delightfully flippant. The theatre meets the sitcom in 90 minutes of sheer awkwardness. After all, what could be more uncomfortable – for everyone involved – than checking into your honeymoon suite and finding your ex-wife right next door? Oh, and she’s on her honeymoon too. Brilliant. In circumstances like these, there’s nothing to do but laugh.

If you’re not an Australian woman of a certain age then you’ll find a Denise Scott show an educational experience. A very educational experience.

Denise Scott: Regrets Canberra Theatre Centre Saturday November 17

Private Lives The Playhouse Wed-Sat Nov 21-24

Coward’s script certainly provides ample opportunity for that, with quips, puns and diffidently delivered lines coming fast and thick from the very minute the house lights abruptly drop. Private Lives follows lead man Elyot (played by Toby Schmitz: clearly, from the way he gets all the best lines, the Coward-analogue of the piece) as he abandons his highly-strung bride, Sybil, for his equally difficult ex, Amanda, who in turn is ditching the straight-laced Victor, in order to give Elyot the second chance he most certainly does not deserve. The blonde, clingy Sybil is a rather one-dimensional creation, but she’s played to over-the-top perfection by Eloise Mignon. The same can be said for Toby Truslove’s laughably proper Victor. Elyot’s insistence that flippancy is the only way to deal with the absurdities of life – even when it makes him behave callously – makes Victor all the more appealing; perhaps by virtue of saying very little, Truslove gets the only truly sympathetic character of the whole rotten lot. While almost every character is deliberately unlikeable, it seemed especially implausible that anyone would seek a reconciliation with Amanda based on Zahra Newman’s thoroughly off-putting portrayal of her. Unlike the others, she left little space in between harsh, smug lines to create any sympathy for the character. Her inconsistent accent was also distracting; she veered from British to Aussie to twangy New Yorker throughout the night and often within the space of a sentence. The strength of Private Lives rests in Coward’s writing, his script offering a scathing examination of Elyot and Amanda’s so-called love. They are a volatile pair, parting and reuniting at the turn of every phrase. Favouring content over packaging, the set designers and costumers took a modern, minimalist approach, but it was disappointing to see the cast contribute very little of themselves and rely instead on Coward’s punchlines to see them through. The production took an innovative twist when, during one of their many self-imposed silences (designed to stop themselves bickering), Amanda and Elyot launched into a side-splitting bout of air-bassing and air-drumming to In The Air Tonight. Oh Lord – I never thought I’d find myself enjoying Phil Collins. Although fun to watch and easy to laugh at, the circular nature of the script – and the irredeemable, spineless characters of Elyot and Amanda – tend to leave one feeling a tad empty. Even while wiping the grin off one’s face. LAUREN STRICKLAND

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Amongst other things, you’ll learn of the real effects of garments with such names as the ‘minimiser bra’ and ‘miracle pants’; you’ll learn that white is the worst possible colour choice for a schoolgirl’s uniform; you’ll learn that pads were a darn sight larger in the ‘60s than they are now and that ‘burners’ were placed in toilet blocks to dispose of them; you’ll learn that the muscles engaged when a 54-year-old throws up in a Queensland ditch are linked both to the muscles that control the bladder and the part of the body that initiates menstruation; and, most importantly, you’ll learn that life would have been much better if you shagged Robbie Buckle after the Eltham High Bushbeat dance in 1972. If you are an Australian woman of a certain age then a Denise Scott show is full of those beautiful moments of recognition excellent comedians scatter throughout their performances. A man can tell this by the way female members of the crowd at the Canberra Theatre performance of Regrets jointly finished several of ‘Scotty’s’ jokes for her before erupting with laughter. The largest portion of that crowd was definitely made up of those who would most relate to Scott’s work. But there were also a good deal of blokes married to those who would most relate to Scott’s work, as well as a contingent of younger folk. And it was just as funny for all of us. This is because Scott’s greatest ability is to uncover the universal in her personal experiences – an ability demonstrated in her excellent memoir, All That Happened at Number 26. Although written about an unusual family made up of performer parents, a performer son and a creative daughter, the story reads as if it could have been the tale of any suburban family in any Australian city. The only regrettable thing about Regrets is that if you are a fan of Scott’s work, you would have heard a chunk of the material before. The section of the show about folk saying they suffer from ADD or having coeliac disease being ‘just plain old fucked up people’ was featured in a recent Melbourne International Comedy Festival special. As was a routine about an unfortunate encounter with an audience member who still lived with her parents. It’s funny that we see our favourite bands to hear the songs we know while see our favourite comedians to hear the jokes we haven’t. But it’s a small knock on an otherwise great performance. Good show. PETE HUET


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around the city since. Now, I’d love to send you off into the holidays and the New Year with tidings of joy, another 500 words extolling the excellence of the creative people in our town. But not this time.

UNINHIBITED Next year, Canberra turns 100. Excited? Feeling festive? As you munch and skol your way through Xmas, ponder this: in public relation terms, our town is looking down the barrel of the most important year in its history. Perception is the thing and, right now, Canberra is not what anyone would regard as Australia’s sexiest city. 2013 is the chance to change the nation’s mind. So Canberra has to grab the national public’s attention and hold it. Every move is critical. In PR, if you don’t get ‘em fast, you lose ‘em. The Centenary program was launched in October with some song and dance from festival director Robyn Archer. And the hard copy program has spread

Let me be clear – the program, the document that will be picked up and read by interested parties, is a disaster. Why? No context. No contents page. No navigation tools. Instead, a massive glut of information where the reader is lost in a world of events. The first sign of context appears on page 103. Of a 108-page document. There is so much going on and organisers should be congratulated for the events. But not the program. They should be pilloried for allowing so many fundamental communication errors to receive final approval. The problem is that this is the major document which orients the punter who is wondering what the centenary is all about, wondering what they might want to see, wondering if Canberra is that dull sleepy city people keep cracking jokes about. They receive a document which is akin to a needy child’s overreaching grab for attention. ‘Look at all this stuff!’ it cries. ‘Stuff, stuff everywhere! I’m so excited I can barely make sense of all the stuff! Please come! Please come to little old Canberra and see sports and pictures and songs and dancing people and stuff and OH MY GOD I couldn’t even begin to detail the sheer force and weight of STUFF that is HAPPENING please come to Canberra please? Please?’ Look at the program for the Sydney Festival. For the Adelaide Festival. For our own You Are Here festival. They divvy up the events, the genre. They provide chronology. These are documents confident of what they have to tell you, the reader. This program is Volume One. Volume Two arrives in March, and I hope the team do some basic research before launching the next one. And I hope against hope that the Centenary hits it out of the park. The specific Centenary events themselves do, I stress, look amazing. And if anyone can make sense of that damn book and attend, they’ll have an amazing time. 2013 is a big one in the history of Canberra. But we’ve got to get it right. All of it. GLEN MARTIN glenpetermartin@gmail.com

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ARTISTPROFILE: Andy Mullens

What do you do? I take photographs, mostly, but I also dabble in embroidery, screen-printing and drawing with my eyes closed.

What are your plans for the future? Make things, see things, make more things. Study, have shows, sleep. Work, play, eat croissants.

When, how and why did you get into it? When I was young I watched my sister take photographs and draw and it made me want to do the same. Now I do it as a cathartic experience or to start a conversation about things I think should be talked about.

What makes you laugh? Videos of cats being silly on YouTube and British comedy.

Who or what influences you as an artist? A range of things impact the way I make work and what I make it about; people’s behaviours and habits, culture, movies, novels, other artists and everyday conversation. I think being aware, observing; they are the catalysts. Of what are you proudest so far? Managing to feature in four shows right before I left to go overseas, including curating my first show. Phew.

What pisses you off? Instagram and watermarks on images. What about the local scene would you change? The attendance levels. There is a lot of great stuff happening here in Canberra and more people should be out and about to see it. Upcoming exhibitions? I’ll be in the Christmas Show happening at Canberra Contemporary Art Space in Manuka on the Friday December 7. It’ll be wild. Contact Info: andymullens.com, andrea.mullens@live.com.au

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Imagine my horror, if you will. One minute I’m playfully kicking a young chimney sweep up and down London’s Victorian streets – his credibly tearful protests of ‘Please stop, sir’ only stoking my fires – the next, I wake to the humidity of 21st century South East Asia, powered bicycles and wide-ranging sexual transgressions barely visible through my steamed monocle. Mysterious indeed, yet proof positive that a serious yet carefree absinthe addiction can play havoc with apparent steam-powered time travel. It appears that by some heady mix of absinthe-dependence and a shocking sense of direction, I have arrived in a place and time not my own. The contrasts of the ages have been well-documented. The ramshackle campfire of the caveman is antiquated in comparison to the roaring furnace of industry; the Neanderthal’s beastly rags dull when weighed against the glory of my own sumptuous velour smoking jacket. But it is I who is now the caveman, condemned to wander these times with little grasp of new inventions such as ‘radio’, ‘television’ or ‘the internet’ (something also referred to as the ‘wonderfully woven web’). I fear this communication is but a prelude to many disturbing encounters ahead, as I struggle valiantly against a torrent of cultural innovations, struck with the notion they are superior to those of my own custom, but sceptical of a society which can consider The Voice as high-class entertainment. The Voice is a chief example. Picture my utter confusion: presumably esteemed members of society pressing buttons to facilitate the constant rotation of their chairs, in order to avoid the tuneless din being puked forth by what I can only assume are mentally ill circus performers. While I concede that cultural change is inevitable, I fail to appreciate the community benefit of misguided buskers being forced to maintain their already-shaky mental equilibrium while watching continually revolving part-time actors shout, ‘Why won’t it stop?!’ It’s downright cruel, even by my standards. And I kick children. My reluctant talent for social impropriety (I was once forcibly ejected from a children’s charity function for eating the entire buffet) combined with the reality that I find myself culturally tardy by some 150 years, does not bode well. But I shall struggle on, documenting my misgivings in these pages. A man cannot allow his destiny to be determined by circumstances. To do so would be to submit to adversity, to consent to weakness. No, I intend to rally against anxiety (unless it proves particularly unnerving) and strike true at the threat of inaction (unless I’m especially tired). From my initial interactions with your peculiar take on civilisation, my overall impression is of an urgent need for discipline – a recalibration of social hierarchy and moral standards. To my mind, there are few practices more adept at instilling virtue than a vicious and unrelenting thrashing. Not the kind of timid hand-slap which shamefully passes as corporal punishment today, but the skinsplitting, character-building, barely legal beating that every child should be exposed to thrice weekly. As I found, to my humiliation, it is unwise to attempt this mutually advantageous act on a child not your own, but your protest betrays a lack of foresight. As I said to the arresting officer, ‘Thanks to your untimely intervention, Constable, in a few short years that threeyear-old girl may now refuse to work 18-hour days down a mine.’ We all have a lot to learn.

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GIDEON FOXINGTON-SMYTHE - This column is the first in a series entitled ‘Egads! Outmoded attempts to stem moral ill-discipline by a man out of time’, which will continue in the New Year.


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bit PARTS ECO ELVES NIGHT MARKET WHAT: Sustainable Night Market WHEN: Fri Dec 7 WHERE: Canberra Environment Centre, Acton If you’re looking for an ethical and eco-friendly alternative for gift-giving this Christmas, you won’t want to miss Canberra’s first sustainable night market. Can you say ‘mung beans’? How about ‘hessian’? ‘Hemp’? The Eco Elves Night Market will have a range of local, sustainable and fair trade crafts, jewelry, bicycles, food and wine, as well as music and a free recycled gift-wrapping workshop. With increasing public awareness about the ecological impact of mass-produced, disposable gifts that are so abundant at Christmas time, this market is the perfect way for environmentally-conscious individuals to minimise their own eco-footprints. Preachy much? Oh my yes! That’s not the only thing market-goers will reduce, either; forget the stress and mayhem of those busy, crowded shopping centres and enjoy the stalls, music, wine and food in the cool of the evening under the stars. 5pm9:30pm. Free. See ecoaction.com.au for more info.

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BUILDING A FROG POND AT HOME WHAT: Sustainable Gardening Workshop WHEN: Thu Dec 6 WHERE: Crago Place, Macgregor (details upon registration) Having problems with slugs, snails and other pests in your garden? Want to boost the biodiversity of your garden and create a habitat for local wildlife? Learn how to build a beautiful backyard that provides refuge for some of our most fascinating wildlife – frogs! This workshop will cover all that you need to know to start turning your patch into a perfect frog haven. Think of that sweet, relaxing noise. The workshop will be run by the ACT and Region Frogwatch Program. 6pm-7pm. $15 general admission, $10 Carbon Challenge participants. Limited places available, bookings essential: sustainability@ecoaction.com.au or (02) 6248 0885.

ON COURSE WHAT: Short Contemporary Dance Performances WHEN: Sat-Sun Dec 15-16 WHERE: QL2 Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre (A Block) The end of the year may be drawing near, but things are as hot as ever at QL2 Dance. In what will be their last performance for the year, On Course features 14 rapid-fire short dance works (less than ten minutes) across a huge gamut of ideas and inspirations. Think of it as a slightly less well-lit episode of So You Think You Can Dance. On Course will see choreographers from WAAPA, VCA, Deakin Uni, QUT, NZSD and AC Arts flexing their imaginations and their muscles, and an array of talented dancers perfectly embodying their concepts and creations with vigour and passion. 6pm. Tickets $15 full, $10 concession from QL2.org.au.

THE MUST SEE COMEDY SHOW WHAT: Stand-up Comedy Tour WHEN: Thu Jan 10 WHERE: Casino Canberra A stand-up comedy show featuring one of the UK’s most acclaimed and experienced comedians and three of Australia best up-andcoming comedic talents is coming to Canberra. The Must See Comedy Show features a huge line-up of performers, including the UK’s Jeff Green (known by many for his appearances on television shows such as Good News Week and Spicks and Specks), as well as Daniel Connell (2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival), Smart Casual (Raw Comedy finalist and totally awesome deadpan duo) and Tom Siegert (Stand Up Australia) as host. Doors 7:30pm, 8pm start. $25 door, $22 pre-booked from comedyact.com.au or on (02) 6257 7074. GARDEN SOIRÉE WHAT: Contemporary Dance and Light Opera Fundraiser WHEN: Sat Dec 1 WHERE: Terroux rural property, Hall Local opera trio Three’s a Crowd join visiting Taiwanese contemporary dance group Dancecology in performances at a garden soirée amidst the beautiful garden backdrop of the Terroux property. Compered by Genevieve Jacobs (666 ABC Radio Presenter), the soirée is a fundraising event for the Zonta Club of Canberra in its work to provide service and advocacy to improve the health and status of women, and for Retina Australia ACT, a nationwide organisation providing support and information for those affected by retinitis pigmentosa. Drinks and canapés will be served. $70. Bookings: barbara@wickconsulting.com.au; 0419 477 059; wickconsulting.com.au.

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PORTOBELLO ROAD WHAT: Vintage Markets WHEN: Sun Jan 13 WHERE: Old Bus Depot Markets, Kingston Portobello Road is back next year with a spectacular array of vintage-themed stalls for shoppers, collectors and spectators. Old shit galore! But wait, it’s not just old – it’s expensive too! Items include decorative art, fine silver, restored furniture and jewellery. Stallholders Philip and Julie Chapman from Charlie Foxtrot, Bowral, will bring some of the best of their mid-century vintage items to the market, from cufflinks and letterpress wood printing blocks, to Bakelite telephones. So if you have an empty set of shelves and photos of your family would only make it look uglier, head along! 10am-4pm. Free. See obdm.com.au for more info.


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the word

on albums

album of the issue how to dress well total Loss [Weird World] Colorado native Tom Krell, better known as How to Dress Well, has well and truly surmounted the challenge of the Difficult Second Album. After the overwhelming critical response to his debut, 2010’s Love Remains, it would’ve been easy for Krell to go the way of The Strokes (and many others) and deliver something comparatively lacklustre. But he hasn’t. And that’s really fucking good news. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to suggest that Total Loss is a fairly melancholy album. You get that from the name. It’s about losing people and missing people and being really down about stuff in general. But it’s never black in its misery. You feel like Krell is always seeking some silver lining in his pains and it comes out most strongly in the album’s dynamics – his feather-light falsettos hover and soar over dark clouds of sub-bass and heavy, rain-soaked pads.

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But, as Krell says, speaking through the sampled voice of a young boy on Say My Name Or Say Whatever, ‘The only bad part about flying is having to come back down to the fuckin’ world.’ It’s followed by the noise of a body splashing into water, as reverbed keys and Krell’s ghostly voice return, dragging you down and under. The album reaches its late peak with penultimate track Set It Right. Opening with a Clams Casino-esque noise bath, with a far-off moan soaked in gauzy, lo-fi noise, it envelops you utterly. It’s like that old wool jumper your Nan knitted you: prickly and daggy yet so warm, so fuzzy and love-stitched. When the noise recedes and Krell’s voice rings out with a list of names – people he misses – it’s almost too sad. When he brings things to a close with Ocean Floor for Everything, a sea-punk anthem come two years too late, you’ll be in tatters. Beautiful stuff. MORGAN RICHARDS

The Feldons goody hallett [independent]

Andrew Bird hands of glory [mom & pop music]

A touch of whimsical, ‘60s-era rock graces your ears on Canberra band The Feldons’ third album, Goody Hallett, with a collection of playful, easylistening tunes which wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a groovy record shop in swinging London. The band experiments with bluesy guitar solos, vocal harmonies, piano riffs and even horn stabs to create a wellcrafted, solid album with some definite single-worthy tracks.

Still, despite the almost too obvious British inspirations of the past (do we really need to mention the milkman?), I enjoyed it. There’s an infectious sense fun on this record. If you’re after something uplifting and boppy, check this one out.

Andrew Bird’s albums tend to be reliably excellent in the following fashion: looping layers of violin fiddling, wistful whistling and folk-inspired indie rock melodies, with slantways lyrics made of jargon, metaphor and wordplay. Hands of Glory retains most of these elements – but it’s more of a return to his musical roots with a more traditional sound. It’s just him and his band gathered around one microphone, and the production walks the line between slick and raw. Four of the eight tracks are covers of old-timey country songs and more modern tunes. Bird reimagines them and makes them his own, like the melancholic Spirograph, vastly different to Alpha Consumer’s version. Similarly, Orpheo is a subdued reframing of a track from Bird’s recent album, Break it Yourself. A few elements nudge this release beyond extended companion EP territory. Something Biblical is a building, yearning standout original, where Bird sings of ‘Dreamin’ of that fifty-year flood/ Of oceans of plasma and rivers of blood’. The aural bookends to the album, Three White Horses and Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses, are also strong. The latter, rising out of insect song, is a 9-minute instrumental, an expanding, swirling, haunted thing that begs an album repeat. Hands of Glory mightn’t be Bird’s broadest or most satisfying release, but it’s a damn good listen for fans, unacquainted Americana lovers or curious parties looking for some stirring songs of death and redemption.

Peter O’Rourke

duncan felton

The Feldons certainly have their influences (Oasis, The Yardbirds, Donovon), which isn’t a bad thing – but they often sound like they are trying a bit too hard to be The Beatles, wishing they lived in pastelcoloured ‘60s London, with plenty of references to England in the folksy See the Sun and the early Bowie-sounding London Town. This is also evident in the mixing of the LP, which uses era-appropriate stereo and bluesy guitar effects, such as in Shadow and Hole in the Sky. Lyrically it’s pretty cryptic but stylish, with ditties about life, love and the sun, although Story of My Life is a bit cringeworthy. Mark Hunstone’s and James Montgomery’s harmonic vocals work well together, especially on See the Sun and Someone, as do their complementary songwriting styles.


Brian Eno lux [warp]

the Mountain Goats transcendental youth [merge/remote control]

Placebo b3 ep [vertigo/Universal]

Gypsy & the Cat the late blue [alsatian music]

Much of Brian Eno’s reputation as a musical ‘genius’ comes from the idea that he invented a genre. He didn’t, of course, rather mutating and adapting a collection of influences to create the groundbreaking albums that kick-started the ‘ambient’ tag, but his reputation as the godfather of the genre remains.

The new Mountain Goats record is a pretty dark album. Well, the words are dark, but the tunes are jangly. It’s a formula that shouldn’t come as any surprise to fans of the band; John Darnielle has always had a gift for neatly tucking unbearably poignant sad truths into straightforward fourchord songs.

In 2010, Melbourne DJs Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers grabbed our attention as Gypsy & the Cat. Their critically acclaimed first release, Gilgamesh, was full of catchy tunes and sing-along tracks like Jona Vark and Time to Wander. Two years on, they’ve delivered their second album, The Late Blue.

Lux is his third album for the iconic Sheffield label Warp, his first solo outing since 2005, and it references an extraordinary run of ambient records from the late ‘70s. Eno’s goal in these releases is to alter the mood.

That’s the part of Mountain Goats that people either love or hate. It’s what Darnielle does best and does most. Old fans love it, and when I say ‘fans’, I’m generously including the stodgy complainers who moan on internet forums that Darnielle isn’t still writing exactly the same songs as he was writing 15 years ago. But for the rest of us, a bit of variety is good and Transcendental Youth doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Night Light brings in meandering, faintly psychedelic guitar tones over tense, insistent drumbeats, as Darnielle sings, ‘Live like an outlaw/ Clutching gold coins in his claw.’ White Cedar is gentle and delicate enough to make you weep, yet with more strength than previous ‘soft’ albums (I’m talking to you, Get Lonely). The title track, coming in lucky last, is another pleasant surprise – even if it does sound like the band borrowed Sufjan Steven’s horn section. To me, the most apt recommendation for Transcendental Youth comes from Darnielle himself: ‘It’s a record about insanity and Satan. Doesn’t that just make you want to go out and buy a copy?’

A good 15 years back, I wouldn’t exactly have picked Placebo as being one of the groups to survive out of the mid-‘90s Brit pop pack. But survive they have, with a lot of their continued success being down to their ability to incorporate elements of goth, metal and glam without really becoming subsumed in a particular scene. Three years on from their Battle For The Sun album, this five-track EP, B3, acts as a warm-up for their next longplayer, expected in March.

Given that Lux is another in the style of Music for Films and Music for Airports – a nonmelodic mood piece without the discernible hooks a music critic can hang their coat on – let me instead tell you how Lux feels: lovely. It’s an hour-plus-long sonic waft, which, while being difficult on which to focus all of one’s attention, drifts in and out of the listener’s consciousness with utterly moveable and fascinating results. Unlike the creepy retro futuristic drama of Films, Lux is pastoral and comfortable and might be less essential as a result. Certainly, the protosynthesisers that pop up on those early records colour the sound – as a result of time and the cultural accident of what we now hear – as retro or kitsch and the instrumentation on Lux feels safer, less tied to current technology, more classic. But it is a lovely trip nonetheless. glen martin

morgan richards

From the very outset, it’s pretty obvious that not much has changed sound-wise in the Placebo camp during the intervening years. Title track B3 kicks things off with classic stadium-friendly Placebo as vast crunching drums power against gothy Numanesque synths and wiry riffage, Brian Molko pulling from the same songbook of angst and sexual obsession that’s served him so well in the past. I Know You Want To Stop offers up a fuzzboxfuelled cover of obscure ‘90s garage rockers Minxus that’s easily the dirtiest sounding rock-out here, before The Extra takes things down into the sorts of burbling downbeat electronics, strings and sparse programmed rhythms you’d most likely associate with Depeche Mode. If you’re a diehard Placebo fan, B3 is likely to tide you over in the interim as you eagerly anticipate their next album proper. But there’s extremely little in the way of surprises to be found here. chris downton

The album was produced, written and recorded entirely by the duo and mixed by the renowned Dave Fridman (MGMT, Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) and released on their own label, Alsatian Music. First single Sorry is poppy and catchy. Dripping with a ‘60s instagram feel, it’s fun and it’s easy. The opening guitar riff of Bloom sounds like you’ve stumbled upon a The Cure B-side – a true ‘80s Brit pop sound pulled off perfectly. Album opener Only In December has ‘summer hit’ all over it. The album jumps around in styles – from Brit pop to ‘60s psychedelia to a synthy ‘80s sound reminiscent of Gilgamesh. It’s in danger of jumping around too much, but the tracks mesh together enough and create an album full of dreamy melodies and pop ballads. The Late Blue is a fun album – perfect for summer road trips and sun-filled Sunday afternoons at the lake. If you loved Gilgamesh it might take a few listens to love The Late Blue, but you’ll get there. karen radford

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Crossexamination

flying lotus until the quiet comes [warp/inertiA] Producer Steve Ellison has ended up in a very enviable and rare position, where the levels of critical acclaim have jumped exponentially with each record, along with the size of his fanbase. While 2010’s Cosmogramma easily represented his most spectacular and lauded album yet, there was the occasional sense that Ellison had taken its furious rhythmic interplay and sonic detail about as far as he could in that particular direction. It’s for perhaps this reason that Until the Quiet Comes sees FlyLo changing the game slightly, aiming for a calmer, arguably more elegant collection that features more sense of space. The impressive vocal collaborations, such as Erykah Badu’s appearance on See Thru to U and Thom Yorke’s contributions to Electric Candyman, fold into the surrounding tapestry, rather than sticking out as highlights. While there’s an emphasis throughout on the lustrous post-jazz atmospheres upon which FlyLo made his name, some of the most interesting moments happen when he goes ‘off-track’, with Tiny Tortures’ sudden detour into icily synthetic textures and wobbling sub-bass swells. On the whole, you’re left with a surprisingly digestible album that offers up some of FlyLo’s most impressive, subtle work.

Appreciating music by experimental beatmaker Flying Lotus can sometimes seem like a hipster-based fashion. In this case, the hipsters are on to something. At 18 tracks, Until the Quiet Comes still only totals around 46 minutes – some of the tracks more like cosmic interludes in studio trickery than complete pieces – but as a whole it just works. While the LP has an overall positive, uplifting vibe, demonstrated in the vocal-washed Getting There, DMT Song and Me Yesterday//Corded, there is an underlying paranoid, nervous edge – especially on Heaven and Electric Candyman – which could be the result of collaboration with Thom Yorke. Ellison – the great nephew of late jazz pianist Alice Coltrane, wife of John Coltrane – pays tribute to his jazz roots in Only if You Wanna, See Thru to U and the title track with a twisted Ninja Tunes-eque vibe. The tunes would be enhanced by panning out for longer, but not a moment is wasted; each skewed beat feels intentional and placed with purpose.It might be cliché to describe Until the Quiet Comes as a journey, but Flying Lotus takes you on exactly that – and a mind-expanding one at that. Experimental electro psychedelia at its best.

CHRIS DOWNTON

PETER O’ROURKE

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Sarah Blasko i awake [dew process/universal]

Time and Weight time and weight [independent]

Sarah Blasko is an incredible singer and a fine songwriter – almost beyond criticism in recent times – but you can overdo ‘whimsical’, as I Awake confirms. Recorded in Sweden, featuring the 52-piece Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra and self-produced to ensure ultra independence, Blasko’s new record has upped the ante from the three which went before it. She’s pushed her creative boundaries and the triple j Award nomination is proof that the Sydney scene, at least, is impressed. The opening/ title track was co-written with drummer Fredrik Rundqvist and bassist David Symes and is a deceptively poppy beginning to the album. Lyrics like ‘Embrace the doubt and face the fear/ It’s all about the endless search/ To be a hunter-gatherer’ set a scene of regeneration and starting anew.

This self-titled release from Canberra band Time and Weight might alternate between elements of metal, surf, punk, country and western, but it remains thoroughly rock ‘n’ roll throughout.

From then on the 12 tracks maintain a pithy intensity. In Fool she sings, ‘Desperate to be loved I fell for all you said/ I believed you for so long that I forgot I was strong’. In the flowing God Fearing: ‘Tired of always being the fool… I’m not beaten down, I won’t behave/ Just listen this once or you will rue this day.’ Part of the Blasko charm is her fragility, demonstrated often as the orchestra comes and goes, threatening to swallow her up. But cuteness and breathlessness isn’t genius and rhyming ‘sea’ with ‘see’ is dangerously close to rhyme fraud a la Chris Martin. Still, she makes a beautiful soundscape – and that’s no bad thing. karen radford

Distil kicks things off with a rising, pounding riff and a ‘Go!’ It’s one of the better tracks and, like most of the album, it doesn’t wait around. It leads right into And It’s a Mystery to Me, a good vocals showcase. Here they’re all snarls and growls, though other times they’re muffled drones or sleazy whispers. At their best, they remind me of Nick Cave’s sinister baritone, with a rougher edge. Later, The Ballerina is in Flames Again is musically interesting, with stop-start variations and crunchy guitars, but it’s a little hard to get past the silly title and some lyrics – these remain occasional niggles throughout the album. The penultimate Key Rye Seed is perhaps the most distinctive track. It tones things down a little, with its regretful, twangy tale of woe, but fades out without releasing its pent-up energy. Valley of the Clubs is a strong finisher, a creepy, angular fusion of Dead Kennedys and Metallica. Rock ‘n’ roll indeed. This album shows versatility from track to track and they do occasionally break loose, but generally it needed more variation within each song, rather than riff repetition. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye peeled and an ear primed for more Time and Weight recordings, or for a gig about town. duncan felton


Collarbones die young [two bright lakes/ remote control]

Jens Lekman i know what love isn’t [secretly canadian/ inertia]

David Byrne and St Vincent love this giant [4ad/remote control]

Marcus Whale and Travis Cook made ripples throughout the local hip hop and electronic scenes with last year’s debut album, Iconography. A scant 12 months on, this considerably anticipated follow-up, Die Young (actually recorded during Iconography’s promotional chores), sees them heightening the sense of jittery uncertainty that’s underpinned their tracks. Apparently inspired by memories of teenage crushes, the ten tracks here frequently come across as damaged and tentative as they do romantic and opulent. While the backbone of this album sits firmly around the sorts of spidery glitch-hop and fractured R&B-scapes for which Collarbones have established a reputation, a diverse range of electronic styles manage to infiltrate the mix. Opening track Hypothermia sees Sydney artist Guerre contributing phased soul vocals to a spacious backdrop of clattering break-beats and twinkling soft-focus synths. Losing sees traces of witch-house seeping to the forefront as eerie Boards Of Canada-esque detuned chords shimmer against drum machine triplets, the sparse backing drawing out even more melancholia from Whale’s indieR&B vocals. Compared to the sheeny pump of Collarbones’ US R&B/hip hop influences, it’s the sense of underlying desperation that really makes an impression, brought out equally in the broken-hearted lyrics and ghostlike production. Impressive.

Jens Lekman put out a call on his blog a few years ago asking for badminton players to get in touch. He’d just moved to Melbourne and was looking for competitors.

David Byrne practically invented art rock – or, at the very least, nursed it through infancy in Talking Heads – and in the decades since has directed his energies towards world music, Brian Eno collaborations and musicals about corrupt Filipino show collectors. Annie Clark played with arch non-conformists Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens before releasing three highly regarded ornate pop albums as St Vincent. They appear simpatico. As expected, Byrne’s trademark jerky rhythms find an ideal match in Clark, who is not beyond staccato bursts of brass and noise. Vocally, they can both switch between soulful warmth and halting yelps. But there are differences as well. Clark overloads with fussy detail whereas Byrne is more relaxed, unafraid of simplicity. Byrne makes the complex sound simple – for Clark, vice versa. It’s the collision between these two that makes Loves This Giant a success and a frustration. On the success side of the ledger, Dinner for Two is spectacular. This is what modern pop songs should sound like – pulsating and ecstatic. But there are parts that simply don’t gel. Too often quirky instrumentation conceals deficient structure and melody (Lazarus) and with about 50 extra players this is a chaotic and overbearing listening experience. It’s damn near tiring. On the cover, Byrne and Clark appear as a pair of serious and angular, distorted mannequins. That seems about right to me.

chris downton

This kinda sums him up. Quirky, sweet, the perfect songwriter for the mid-naughties postMcSweeney’s cute-with-anedge meta pop star. Swedish, droll, prone to using strings that flirted with irony but still kinda worked, Lekman built a band of admirers the world round. Annoyingly, some of the sunlight has faded from the music. The man remains fascinating and likeable (view both the song and back-story to the title track), but I Know What, whilst being a good record, is let down by some awkward phrasing, some kitsch that sails too close to cheese (a balance he’d previously pulled off) and the increasing familiarity of the phrasing; the coda, the repeated chorus, these song styles that seemed so fun and fresh on his classic Night Falls on Kortedela sounding familiar and tired. It’s a heartbreak record too and Lekman sounds crestfallen. Which is fine, but the joyfulness of previous sets is missing, hence, this record is just that little bit less listenable as a result. I don’t begrudge him his broken heart. I just hope it mends in time for the next record. glen martin

justin hook

Bat For Lashes the haunted man [parlophone] I’ve yet to see a review of Natasha Khan’s latest that doesn’t reference the cover. In a way, this is sadly predictable, but it’s fair enough. Khan, nekkid, defiantly meeting our gaze with a burden (i.e. a chap) upon her back, is a big statement. And so it follows that this record will be read in the context of that statement. The cover begs your attention. Does the music? It does, but not quite as satisfactorily as one might hope. After the breakthrough of Khan’s previous LP, Two Suns, The Haunted Man should be the work that kicks her to the next level. It comes close. The songs are good, sometimes great. Laura, the first single, is a profoundly affecting tune. All Your Gold is terrific. The closing Deep Sea Diver is extraordinary. The problem is twofold – firstly, there are a couple of tunes that shouldn’t have passed the cut. Secondly, the record feels overcooked. There’s a lot of sonic mist, a toocareful production ethic that buffs the intensity of the performances. There’s a hint of an edge throughout, but it’s too polished. It needs some ragged edges. Khan would’ve been wise to let the songs be as exposed as she is on that cover. glen martin

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BMA MAGAZINE’S TOP FIVE ALBUMS OF 2012 ALLAN SKO: PUBLISHER/BOSSMAN

ASHLEY THOMSON: EDITOR

5. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music [Williams Street]

5. Foreign Fields – Anywhere But Where I Am [Independent]

You know, I nearly put De La Soul’s latest concept album here. I nearly did. It’s a goofy-ass ride; a funny skit-filled tale about two kids eventually making it, punctuated by genuine fingersnappin’ tracks. Polar opposite, Kendrick Lamar’s personal journey good kid, m.A.A.d city – which is the rap album of the year – should be here, but everyone knows that already. I’ve been an El-P man for years, and whilst his own album C4C was great, not brilliant, R.A.P. with Killer Mike is not brilliant, it’s fucking BOSS. Raging rebel rap with fuck-all-y’all production. Nuff said.

This album beat The xx’s Coexist, Killer Mike’s R.A.P. Music and Grizzly Bear’s Shields in a dead heat. Foreign Fields need the publicity, and in any given year the top five albums are only a hair’s breadth apart; even number five is excellent. If you don’t like quiet, sparse stuff with breathy harmonies, echoing pianos, drifting synths and a pervading sense of isolation and sadness, skip this. Their blurb reads: ‘Recorded in an abandoned office building in the dead of Wisconsin winter.’ If that sounds like something you’d sink into, do.

4. TNGHT – TNGHT [Warp] O, how I effing wish I had heard Hudson Mohawke’s Satin Panthers EP in time for 2011’s Best-of list, for it would have been No. 1 with a bass bullet. Instead, I shall content myself with ‘hawke’s side project with Lunice, TNGHT. One listen to the swagger and energy of EP highlight Higher Ground will have you bumping cherries in the club and backwashing yer slidestick in no time, or whatever the kids do these days. Long live the Warp label. 3. Steve Bug – Noir [Poker Flat] Well now. This one has been a bit of a creeper. When Housemaster Bug’s Noir first perforated the air at BMA HQ it wasn’t long before Editor Ash and I were swapping approving facial gestures matched with the occasional ‘Not bad!’. But Top Five material? Naahh. But the weeks and months rolled on and I found myself strangely drawn back. So here’s our sleeper; good on first listen, great on fourth, compulsive on 15th. Listen to Serve Your Mistress. See if you agree. 2. Tame Impala – Lonerism [Modular] Shit, I’m sorry people. I was striving to include something here you wouldn’t have heard of before to help broaden your mind. ‘I’ve never even heard of handbag pasodoble as a genre,’ I hoped you’d utter. ‘I must check it out!’ But I love the already much-loved Lonerism, and I can’t get enough of track-for-the-ages Music to Walk Home By. Here, I’ll sing some to you now… ‘But that’s only when I think of you… DUH-DUH-DUNG, DUH-DUH-DUNG…’ 1. Oliver Huntemann – Paranoia [Polydor] “The highs and lows of paranoia became a musical mantra – a focal point for the sound to follow – and provided a wide and interesting range to make music out of.” So Oliver Huntemann told me in March this year after I rushed to interview him upon hearing his techno/house opus Paranoia, and it’s true. Ethereal opener Only The Paranoid Survive taps minimalist bass music territory, and rolling album highlight They Are (Not) After You channels late-‘90s Chemical Brothers, all exuding an exciting edginess. But the true highlight is Delerium, a punchy pulsing track that eventually strips back all instruments to make way for a gurgling swirling synth-groan that descends and descends into madness. A measured, masterful record.

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4. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp [Jagjaguwar] Released in January, Tramp tempted me to call ‘album of the year’ within a month. Van Etten is a dark, melodic songwriter with a knack for getting under your skin. Her versatile arrangements and delivery set her apart, especially with the coming to fruition of her gripping, off-kilter harmonies. Singing along is listening to your voice disappear into eight others (all hers) doing uncomfortable, unexpectedly pleasant things. Underneath it all – and most importantly – she is a mesmeric songwriter, powerfully honest lyricist, has raw guts to spare, and Tramp is her finest work. 3. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE [Def Jam] Ocean’s rise to fame has been atypical and telling. He was recognised from the start as an unusually talented odd man out in Odd Future, taken under the wing of Jay-Z and Beyoncé (among others) when they happened to play his first mixtape in their limousine, and was able with his debut to do what he pleased. His tremendously warped lyricism and modern R&B sensibilities have led to a concept album of the highest order, sporting some of the year’s finest songs. This is brilliant, modern R&B (not made by odd white men). 2. Tame Impala – Lonerism [Modular] Tame Impala’s first album, Innerspeaker, wasn’t perfect. It’s the truth. Kevin Parker’s first ‘70s-psychedelia trip had missteps, albeit with shining moments of brilliance interspersed. By comparison, Lonerism is perfect. Synths have made a notable appearance but this album deals with the same sounds as the last. What’s changed is simply Parker’s talent as a songwriter and cohesiveness as an artist. All these songs – every one – are excellent, and they fit together like a wonderful, trippy third-eye painting. Who knows what he’ll do next; this seems like an apex. 1. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city [TDE/ Aftermath/Interscope] Not since Mos Def’s The Ectstatic has a hip hop album reigned over all music in a given year. I’d recommend good kid, m.A.A.d city to anybody. An album this good – a work of unselfconscious honesty, stunning poetic lyricism and phenomenal production – is good beyond taste. On good kid, Lamar reveals what came before he was the rising star of Compton. There is always the question of the unreliable narrator but Lamar gives no reason to distrust him. There’s no glory here. He flirts with alcoholism, sexual desire, gang violence and robbery, neglects his family and watches his friend die in a botched driveby shooting – every song is a powerfully euphoric point-of-view insight. good kid is a short, tremendous work of autobiography.


BEN HERMANN: CONTRIBUTOR

CHRIS DOWNTON: CONTRIBUTOR

5. Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game [Polydor/Decca]

5. The Longest Day – Beyond Your Skies  [FERAL MEDIA]

Although easily dismissed as an attempt to play it safe after a number of years of ambivalently received releases, Out of the Game shows that Wainwright’s talent isn’t confined to the indulgent, camp, orchestral pop of his early recordings. It’s difficult to determine the degree to which Mark Ronson’s production duties influenced the gluttony of ‘70s guitar licks, Motown-like female backing vocals and formalised song structures, but in any case it’s great fun to hear Rufus Light let his hair down and enjoy a little indulgent flippancy.

I’ve known these guys for a while now and, thus, have had both the pleasure and perspective of watching their sound develop. This latest album is a quantum step forward and sees both the production quality and scope of their haunting post-rock landscapes approaching the epic levels at which they’d previously hinted. I know for a fact that The Longest Day love the likes of MBV and Ride, but I’m not sure those modest guys realise just how far up this album sits on the scale compared to those lofty reference points.

4. Grizzly Bear – Shields [Warp]

4. Squarepusher – Ufabulum  [warp/inertia]

After 2009’s universally lauded Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear fans were no doubt pensive as to what they could expect from Shields. Yet with seemingly effortless, graceful aplomb, the Brooklyn four-piece have delivered an album so rich, so layered, so ethereal and, at the same time, so strangely catchy. Chris Taylor’s magnificent production allows the beautifully constructed elements of each song to demand attention, meaning that while easily accessible on its first listen, Shields will reward listeners over time as only a dense, esoteric work would usually be able.

I own pretty much the whole Squarepusher back catalogue, but personally I’ve always found him a bit hit and miss, in the way Miles Davis is. With Ufabulum, he’s gone back to sounding spectacularly vast again. Listening to this late at night is like being beamed directly down onto the game grid from Tron and, god – Tom should’ve been asked to score the remake. Speaking of which, it’d be nice if we got Mr Jenkinson’s curiously Daft Punk-esque helmet and LED wall live show in Australia sometime soon.

3. Passion Pit – Gossamer [Columbia] There’s nothing quite like the torrents of conflicting emotions experienced when listening to Passion Pit. The group’s synth-laden, sickly sweet electro-pop triggers the flood of endorphins that is expected to accompany such dizzyingly infectious songwriting; simultaneously, Michael Angelakos’s lyrics – dealing with depression, alcoholism, loneliness, mental illness and drugs – bring you to tears with compassion. The sincerity of Angelakos’s lyrics are often willfully ignored by fans and critics, but there is no doubt that Gossamer is a heartbreaking reflection of a troubled soul and the unsuccessful attempts to pretend that everything is alright. 2. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan [Domino] There was no doubt a sea of would-be Dirty Projectors fans that had been waiting many years for Swing Lo Magellan. That is, waiting for the same unpredictable, playful, gratuitous pomp for which Dave Longstreth has become renowned, but without all the wank. This album certainly won’t draw fans that Longstreth would resent, but the off-beat rhythms, unbalanced melodies and confounding lyrics have been refined just enough to create an album that, just as you’re about to abandon it in exacerbated frustration, winks back at you to let you know that it’s only joking. 1. Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra – Theatre is Evil [8 Ft. Records] Epic, melodramatic, sprawling, bombastic and all the while so confidently cool – there are too many adjectives ascribable to Amanda ‘Fucking’ Palmer’s Kickstarterfunded opus, yet none that truly do it justice. From the seven-minute opener Smile (Pictures or it Didn’t Happen), to the balls-out radio favourite Do it with a Rockstar, to the tender, heart-wrenching ballads of the album’s second half, Palmer has created a mosaic of resplendent anthems that, while traversing a variety of styles and influences, complement each other beautifully. The domineering layers of synth alongside Palmer’s angsty new wave/goth vocals give the album a late-‘70s/early-‘80s shtick. However, it is the textured, inventive and at times cacophonic orchestral arrangements that make this album the goat amongst so many, many sheep.

3. New Order – Live At The London Troxy  [EMI] Some people go to church, I go to New Order concerts. At least, I did this year and this live album was easily some of the best tour merch I scored during 2012 (you can track down a copy in stores fairly easily, though). Many will rue the absence of Peter Hook but, in truth, this year’s reunion shows saw the band sounding stronger and tighter than ever. It’s a bit painful when Bernard whoops all the way through Love Will Tear Us Apart but, that misstep aside, this is simply immaculate. 2. Public Image Limited – This Is PIL  [PIL/cargo] I last bought a new PIL album in ‘91. John Lydon mentions email in a song here – people had barely heard of it when the last album came out. There are definitely nostalgic reasons involved here, but this passionate record is a thousand miles from the other cynical reunions currently going. It’s definitely the best thing Lydon’s turned out in two decades and sees him in perhaps more relevant form than ever. Proper music for proper people, indeed. Far from disappointing, This Is PIL easily stands alongside PIL’s best records. 1. Grimes – Visions  [4ad/remote control] I loved Grimes’ preceding Halifaxa album, but I felt that both her ambition and abilities really jumped on Visions. Not to sound like a middle-aged dude, but I’m actually stunned at her grasp of ‘80s New Wave, moody EBM/ electro and dark wave influences – it’s more deft than many older producers who actually lived through that period. It feels like things are at a tipping point at the moment where her fanbase has skyrocketed and her video budgets have jumped. But then again, Claire says that ‘things have to get less cute and more scary from now on.’ Now, that gives me hope.

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BMA MAGAZINE’S TOP FIVE ALBUMS OF 2012 DAVID SMITH: CONTRIBUTOR

GLEN MARTIN: CONTRIBUTOR

5. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream [RCA]

5. Woods – Bend Beyond [Woodsist]

Kaleidoscope Dream is an immediate, heady exhibition of Miguel’s substantial songwriting talent. Throughout, he seamlessly channels rock, soul, funk, indie and electronic sensibilities alongside his own soaring vocals, his lyrics bringing a rare sense of innocence and honesty to the highly sexualised world of R&B. This innocence, however, contrasts with Miguel’s own ambition: He states his aim is to ‘change urban radio’ and challenge the current expectations of R&B as a genre. Kaleidoscope’s appeal indeed resists classification, existing in its own right as a potent, fluid and euphorically addictive collection of pop tracks.

The only thing preventing Woods sliding further up this list is the fact that I can’t tell if this record is better than their previous two. This is not a huge worry, however, as all three records are utterly delightful. Their latest isn’t quite as woolly or wilful as the breakout Songs of Shame, but it’s a winner nonetheless. Naive autumnal freak folk, perfect for the porch, the road trip, the early mornings and late afternoons, Bend Beyond is a charmer. It’s a record that could steal your girlfriend, but you’d forgive it.

4. Wild Nothing – Nocturne [Captured Tracks]

I can’t tell how much the idea, the presentation of Laurence Arabia affects my enjoyment of the tunes. This is the case with any LP, but more pronounced when the artist presents something so unified and interesting. Arabia (aka James Milne) is the bookish sly cad, Auckland’s answer to Jens Lekman. The hooks are obvious and the style familiar, but it’s done with such panache. This record feels like a keeper, something to play down the days. Nothing revolutionary, but a pleasure to hear.

Nocturne sees Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum emerging from his bedroom to expand upon the shimmering lo-fi of his quietly celebrated 2010 debut, Gemini. Each track is expertly crafted and the varied sounds it presents are sublimely layered, yet Tatum wields a practiced restraint – careful to do just exactly enough and no more. While the album draws upon a dizzying array of hazy ‘80s synth and guitar pop tones, it owes no debt to the past, winding and fluttering exquisitely within its own space. Nocturne is a pure, sweet, dream-pop opiate. 3. Tame Impala – Lonerism [Modular Recordings] Lonerism finds Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker building significantly on the remarkably kaleidoscopic, sun-drenched psychedelic rock presented on his debut album, Innerspeaker. Parker has somehow amplified the resolution on an already ultra-vibrant musical landscape, creating a full, supremely confident sonic presence that consistently threatens to transcend the dimensional boundaries within which conventional music ought to exist. Add Parker’s detached, introspective lyrics and the result feels like a disorienting, bizarrely wonderful excursion within his own head. If you’ve ever wondered what synaesthesia is like, this may be the closest you’ll ever get to finding out. 2. Plan B – Ill Manors [Atlantic] Ben Drew is Plan B, and Ill Manors is the soundtrack to the formidably talented singer, rapper, songwriter and producer’s film of the same name. On Ill Manors, Drew spits sharp, acerbic, unrelenting narrative, juxtaposed with his own sublimely soulful vocal melodies to paint a stark, grimy, confronting portrait of the plight of disadvantaged youth on the streets of ‘broken’ Britain. The stories told on Ill Manors are profoundly depressing and affecting, while the music is rich, varied and blissfully absorbing from start to finish. Altogether, Ill Manors is exquisite. 1. Beach House – Bloom [Sub Pop] Beach House, firmly against the notion of changing for the sake of change, is an entity apart in the age of the fickle, capricious listener. The band has maintained their meandering trajectory of luxurious dream-pop, shifting upward by degrees from album to album and arriving now at the sprawling, beautiful and stunningly consistent Bloom. From the first softly echoed drumbeats to the moment the reverb-soaked chime of its guitars dies away, Bloom compels you to sink blissfully into its embrace. Such is its power that for one full, ecstatic hour, as you are caressed through singer Victoria Legrand’s glorious, intimate, hazily indistinct narratives, everything is suddenly just fine.

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4. Lawrence Arabia – The Sparrow [Bella Union]

3. Grizzly Bear – Shields [Warp] It’s deeply boring to offer space to an act who will not go unrepresented in year-end lists and part of me wants to add something obscure in the number three slot just ‘cos. But that’d be some falseness and this Grizzly Bear record requires celebrating. Shields is everything the band has done before, but better. Yet Again remains the best pop song of 2012 and after a couple months of regular listening the LP is still revealing new angles. There’s not many better bands on the planet. 2. The Walkmen – Heaven [Fat Possum] Some records are all about time and place. The latest record by The Walkmen doesn’t scream ‘best of the year’, but it’s the album I’ve listened to a lot, have called upon in the widest variety of moods, and still spin without sensing any hint of boredom. It’s a record comfortable in its own skin, made by a veteran act not trying to be cool, or current, or youthful. If your hair is going grey, this is a record that charts the greying process and says, ‘Guess what? Getting older is actually okay.’ 1. Hoodlum Shouts – Young Man Old Man [HellosQuare/Poison City] Make no mistake – this entry has nowt to do with any kind of hometown pride. Indeed, I’m likely to be more critical of a local release than to breathlessly exhort for the sake of it. Thing is, I haven’t heard a better LP all year. It’s really quite simple. YMOM grabbed me by the proverbial in March and hasn’t released my proverbial since. It’s a shockingly assured set. There’s no fat. Everything is essential and what you hear is a band – four parts that gel effortlessly. It’s the sound of modern Australia in all its confusion and possibility and deserves to be held up as a modern classic.


JOSH NIXON: COLUMNIST - METALLISE

JUSTIN HOOK: CONTRIBUTOR

5. Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 [Season Of Mist]

5. Small Faces – Small Faces [Immediate]

Saint Vitus reformed for Roadburn in 2010 with Wino and the buzz after a few shows that followed up that date had the storied doom metal pioneers heading into the studio. Original drummer Armando Acosta passed away at the end of that year and it took the band another 12 months to regroup and create their eighth studio album. It was worth the wait! Named in reference to a downer for which Wino used to have a penchant back in the day.

For what it matters (not much) Small Faces were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. Conveniently enough, their first four albums were re-issued around the same time with outtakes and bonuses. Small Faces were scruffy, hard-edged, soulful and tough at a time when the opposite held sway. Nearly half a century old, Tin Soldier is unfeasibly restless and spine-wrinkling. Small Faces pretty much built the template of the flat-out melodic rock band and their 1967 self-titled album is the best place to start.

4. Pig Destroyer – Book Burner [Relapse] I had a big grind year this year, with three grind bands making my Top Five. Pig Destroyer’s fifth album not only delivered a sterling 19 tracks of new tunes, but if you grab the deluxe edition you got seven classic hardcore covers to boot. JR Hayes is pretty much the doyen of intelligent, visceral lyrical content in a genre too often going for empty shock value. The production was a bit rawer this time round and I like that! 3. Fuck I’m Dead – Another Gory Mess [Independent] The FID boys are total mint. Replacing the drum machine with a machine in the form of drummer Darren, the return of OG bassist Tom and adding guitarist Xavier were all master strokes for founders Jay and Dave. In contrast to JR Hayes’ intelligent lyrical content, songs like Arse To Mouth stick to the viscera. Make no mistake though; this is no joke. It’s like a fully evolved prime Carcass and a composite of everything since that. A glorious mess. 2. High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis [Roadrunner] Matt Pike had a hell of a year. Getting sober after a mild stroke on tour in Spain, the master shredder of sludge took on an international tour after recovery in support of this cracking album, which featured, I reckon, my heavy song of the year. King of Days delivers all you need to know on how to write an epic track of doom metal; the melodic bass-driven lines, the face-melting solo, the drums of war – perfection. 1. The Kill – Make Em Suffer [Blastasfuk Grindcore] I have been waiting for this album for well over a year. I first heard a rough mix recording at Goatsound Studios in Melbourne early last year and the album finally surfaced on guitarist and Kill main man Robbie’s label a couple of months back. See the label name? That ain’t no joke. This is single foot-kick, drum-blast-as-FUCK insanity of the highest order. This is not going to open up a pit for the kids – this is poseurslaying utterly world-class vital grindcore. Song titles like Shower of Bricks are not adjectives, they’re warnings. They even chucked a Slayer cover all blasted up as a cherry on top of this gem of Australian metal.

4. Sugar – Copper Blue/Beaster/File Under Easy Listening [Rykodisc] Bob Mould’s immediate post-Husker Du career was bleak as fuck, uncomfortably confessional and only occasionally incendiary. So in 1992, when he formed another trio, it felt like a load had been lifted and light had returned. As the name implied, Sugar were all about immediate validation. Massive chiming walls of guitar, a hook every 30 seconds, and energy. If Copper Blue was pure sun-sweet energy, Beaster was the angry aftertaste, a bee sting, and F.U.E.L. the one that everyone forgot about. This trifecta represents Mould’s song writing prowess at its peak. 3. Grateful Dead – Spring 1990 [Rhino] My affection for the Grateful Dead wins me no friends but, like the band, you just keep on going ignoring common sense, taste and reason. After years of improvisation, envelope-pushing and drug and alcohol abuse, the band were patchy and often bored stage performers, but a short run of shows in early 1990 stand out. Briefly, the magic returned. Jerry Garcia was once again sublime and inventive; old songs (Terrapin Station, The Other One) are given new life and sparkle. For the first time in a long time, they wanted to be there. 2. Paul Simon – Graceland: 25th Anniversary [Warner Bros.] Paul Simon’s African adventure is an important, incredibly popular but not particularly trendy record. It was the first world music album to really go multiplatinum, opening up the mainstream charts to polyrhythms, odd time signatures and exotic harmonies. Simon didn’t discover or invent this stuff, but he sure made it sound good. And he collaborated openly and gave due to the African musicians he worked with, all of which is captured on the accompanying doco (Under African Skies) in this set. Controversial upon release – accusations of cultural theft abounded – it remains stridently un-hip. 1. Blur – 21 [EMI] History is written by the winners and with 21 Blur stake their claim as the best British band of the last 20 years. That whole Blur vs. Oasis was a media distraction, with the oafish Gallagher clan looking like early victors; more press, more drugs, more record sales, more fights. But as these albums – and their exhaustive B-sides and extras – show, Blur had better songs, more talent, more fun and more daring. Of them all, Parklife stands out – everything meshed perfectly, becoming the talisman of young (over)confidence. It also contains This Is A Low, arguably their best song – melancholy, yet hopeful for an uncertain future. Blur left no stone unturned, outshining every single one of their peers in the process. Including Radiohead.

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BMA MAGAZINE’S TOP FIVE ALBUMS OF 2012 MORGAN RICHARDS: CONTRIBUTOR

PETER KRBAVAC: Contributor

5. Petar Dundov – Ideas from the Pond [Music Man Records]

5. Boomgates – Double Natural [Bedroom Suck]

This album is pretty much 80 minutes of Lindstrøm gone Balearic. Clustered around 2010 single Distant Shores, the other six tracks see Croatian producer Dundov weaving an intricate tapestry of blissed-out cosmic techno. That’s right, I said cosmic techno. It’s definitely more spacey than pondy, at any rate. Despite the ample breadth of experimentation on the album – Around One, for example, sounds like a remastered soundtrack to some epic 1960s sci-fi flick – Dundov somehow manages to fit into the same sonic theme. A thoroughly enjoyable listen from a highly underrated producer.

Fans who followed Boomgates over the three singles leading up to the release of Double Natural may have been slightly thrown by the band’s debut LP. The scratchy guitars and propulsive drive of those early tunes has given way to an altogether more relaxed, breezy – and completely summer-appropriate – sound. The change is evident on the rerecording of album highlight Layman’s Terms: where guitars once buzzed agitatedly, they now jangle and chime.

4. Christian Loeffler – A Forest [Ki Records]

Quite unfairly, Electric Cables isn’t a release that’s going to grab too many headlines: ‘Teenage Fanclub bassist makes solo album; sounds like Teenage Fanclub.’ Perhaps Gerard Love’s been at it for so long, at such a high standard, that the world simply takes him for granted. With Lightships, a wistful, autumnal atmosphere pervades, while the (slight) heft of the Fanclub’s twin guitars is replaced by flutes, keys and glockenspiels. Silver & Gold and Sunlight to the Dawn in particular are shining examples of Love’s gold-standard songwriting.

Minimal is dead. Everyone seems a little embarrassed at just how cool it was to dance to sparse, cold beats and blips interspersed with the occasional sample of a German woman having an orgasm. What is not dead, though, is the warmer cousin of minimal, forest techno – and this album from relative tyro Loeffler is living proof. It’s like the sounds of the woods transmuted into beautiful, delicate techno. It’s more music for the ears than the dancefloor, but if you’re a fan of Pantha or Trentemøller, you’ll eat this up. 3. Alt-J – An Awesome Wave [Infectious Music] I don’t really listen to indie music anymore. It just seems a little... blergh. So when I started noticing these four kids from Leeds getting hyperbolic praise such as ‘the next Radiohead’, I just thought: as if. Then I heard Dissolve Me and went a little nuts at how good it was. They’ve still got all the indie band clichés, and they’re still a little melodramatic for my taste at times. But they’re just, um... really good. I’m struggling for words here. I just really like this album! 2. Beach House – Bloom [Sub Pop] After the sun-soaked perfection of Teen Dream, I didn’t think Beach House could make another album that came close. But Bloom stands on its own two feet as a dream-pop masterpiece, from almost the first listen. It might not have quite the flow of Teen Dream, which seemed to unfold like a warm, nostalgic bedtime story; or maybe it’s that the narrative in Bloom is a little more meandering and complex. At the end of the day, it’s just a really good pop album. And it has a secret track. So cool! 1. Holy Other – Held [Tri-Angle] Just.... whoa. Listen to this album once, twice, every night, and you’ll see what I mean. After playing last year’s five-track EP With U pretty much to death, I was excited to see what the reclusive Manchester-based producer could do with a full-length album. It doesn’t sound any different from With U. It’s just that there’s more of it, which to me is just fine. Down-pitched vocals: check. Mid-track tempo changes: check. Text-speak track titles: check. Liberal amounts of reverb: check. It is witch-house, after all. But it’s also really lovingly made music; you can hear the heart that has been poured into it. From the stressed, insistent rimshots on U Now to the opiate-addled floating joy of Tense Past and Past Tension, Held is a smoky gem of an album.

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4. Lightships – Electric Cables [Geographic/Domino]

3. Summer Flake – S/T [Independent] The solo project of Adelaide musician Steph Crase – a veteran of bands such as Batrider, Hit the Jackpot, No Through Road and a dozen others – displays her seemingly innate ability to punch out unreasonably catchy pop songs. Steeped in the guitar rock of the early ‘90s, tracks like Run Run Run and Walk the Plank see Crase firing off the kind of blazing leads that’d shake up famously lethargic Dinosaur Jr guitarist J Mascis. This is available as a free download online, so no excuses. 2. Hoodlum Shouts – Young Man Old Man [HellosQuare/Poison City Records] Canberra punters knew Hoodlum Shouts had a promising bunch of new songs in their arsenal, so it’s a pleasure to see the locals more-than-fulfil that promise with their debut LP. They tackle their country and its chequered past in a way few contemporaries do, while musically the album is driven by the superb guitar-work of Mike Caruana, coloured and warped by tremolo arms and wrangled feedback. Nowhere is the band’s grasp of both tightly-coiled restraint and roaring power more apparent than on the record’s centrepiece, the twin title tracks Old Man and Young Man. 1. Joe McKee – Burning Boy [Dot Dash/Remote Control] Burning Boy nearly passed me by on its release. Far from immediate, it’s a set of songs that really demand something of the listener and, as such, aren’t necessarily built to compete with a chatty crowd during an opening slot on a Saturday night. A sparse affair centred around Joe McKee’s guitar and voice, for the most part the drama here isn’t in the instruments, but in the melodies. Some songs move along at a sporadic pace, McKee wringing out booming chords and allowing them to linger and echo until they fade out. Others are bolstered by a string section, the swooning arrangement on Darling Hills sounding almost as if it was pulled directly from an old 78. An album of eerie, understated charm.


ROSHAMBO: COLUMNIST -THE REALNESS

RORY McCARTNEY: CONTRIBUTOR

5. nas – life is good [def jam]

5. The Jed Rowe Band – The Ember and the Afterglow [Fuse Music Group]

Narrowly beating out the elegant gangsterism of Freddie Gibbs’ Baby Faced Killa mixtape, Nas silenced the critics with his most consistent album in years. Inspired by a turbulent divorce, Life Is Good is a deeply personal album from a veteran artist at the peak of his career. With its perfectly apt (and wonderfully ironic) title, the album lays out the perfect canvas for Nas to free himself and exorcise his demons. United by nostalgic throwback production from No I.D., Buckwild, Salaam Remi and Heavy D, this is Nas at his best. 4. Schoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions [TDE/Independent] Black Hippy and TDE ran 2012 (see also my number one record and Ab-Soul’s Control System). Schoolboy Q’s second independent album was a triumph of innovative, fresh and original hip hop, elevated by immaculate beats from the in-house TDE crew and stellar input from super producers Mike Will, Lex Luger, DJ Dahi and The Alchemist. Schoolboy lets fly with heart-on-thesleeve honesty, both condemning and celebrating the ups and downs of his lifestyle. Equal parts insight and insanity, Habits & Contradictions is exciting, engaging and addictive. Put it on and let fly. 3. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE [Def Jam/Odd Future] Having already penned songs for some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights, Frank O announces his arrival as one of his generation’s premier song writers with channel ORANGE, a vibrant, dizzying and intoxicating record. Personal and courageous, its hooks sink deep and its sentiments ring true, regardless of who you are, where you live, or who you love. The sparse arrangements and pace of the album play to Ocean’s strengths and its lyrical poetry is both sophisticated and relatable. It’s no wonder everyone was talking about channel ORANGE this year. 2. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music [Williams Street] Killer Mike has always been underrated and underappreciated. In 2012, R.A.P. Music changed all that as he linked with El-P for a balls-out Bomb Squad-inspired assault on the senses and call to arms against government and society. This is razor-sharp rebel music, delivered with scathing conviction and the biggest, most passionate of hearts. Mike’s unparalleled flow over El-Producto’s monster drums really has to be heard to be believed. Fire it up and rage against the machine. Chuck D would be proud. For more of the raw, check out El-P’s excellent C4C solo album.

Picture this: a harmonica as soulful as the whistle of a distant train, wood-smoked vocals and fiery guitars. So begins Castlemaine, the opener to Jed Rowe’s second release. Bloodlines is a highlight with its Jeff Lang-inspired barbed riffs and turbulent wah-wah guitar. This Love Divine carries a bewitching melody that came to Jed in his sleep and Rowe’s lap slide guitar-playing rules in I Wonder Why You Hide. This release combines musicianship to die for with beautifully crafted songs. It’s roots music magic! 4. Dappled Cities – Lake Air [HUB/Inertia] Well known for flamboyant, rainbow-hued music, soaring vocals and complex melodic arrangements, Dappled Cities positively burst the eardrums as they reach new altitudes with this indie tour de force. Complex, flowing keyboards weave their way through all tracks, their aura matched only by the soaring vocals of Tim Derricourt. Opener Run With the Wind is one of the best pop songs you’ll hear all year, with its unconventional structure, startling, shouted vocals and repeated cascading keys. This is an album that shimmers with light and energy. 3. Deep Sea Arcade – Outlands [Ivy League] Outlands, the debut release from the Sydney five-piece, injects some sun into what has been a cool Aussie summer, with surf music for the 21st century. They don’t sing much about catching the breakers, but the vibe is unmistakably beachwear casual and suntan lotion smooth. Chirpy choruses, bright keys and happy riffs spell beach party in large letters. Girls, the album highlight and the first single from the CD, is unstoppable, with towering harmonies in the chorus, psychedelic guitars and a melody that cements itself in your mind. 2. Dallas Frasca – Sound Painter [Spank Betty/MGM] Spit in my eye if Dallas Frasca does not possess one of the best female rock voices in the country, and the live to-tape recording format has achieved spectacular results. Delivered with Dallas’s throaty roar, there is so much melody intertwined with frenzy, all cast out at V8 speed to a blasting base drum, with a little blues and funk mixed in. Tough and triumphant, the spirit of the album is declared in the lyrics of Anything Left to Wonder: ‘You will have to punch me harder.’

1. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city [TDE/ Aftermath/Interscope]

1. Bertie Blackman – Pope Innocent X [Universal/Mercury Records]

Both a cohesive and courageous personal statement and an argument for the continuing existence of the full-length album, Kendrick’s major label debut will undoubtedly be heralded a classic in years to come. With a complex but accessible narrative that comes full cycle, Kendrick’s autobiographical story (like those of many Compton natives) has no end but needs to be told – and retold. The album’s sound is indebted to traditional West Coast soundscapes, but also pushes beyond their stereotypes and carves new sonic territory. good kid is a triumphant major label debut, untainted by A&R sticky fingers, true to Kendrick’s vision and infinitely quotable. This is his music, his story. I doubt it will even be his best album. Don’t kill his vibe – hear this!

Bertie Blackman has followed up her 2009 masterpiece, Secrets and Lies, with a startling reinvention of herself. Caution was cast aside in this daring work that embraces the experimental. The strong, sensual theme of the debut has morphed into a broader emotional panorama of darkness, adventure and sheer imagination. Tracks vary from the music box fantasy of Tremors to Growl Howl with its tribal drums and jungle screeches, so full of hard angles and sharp edges. It’s a real cabinet of curiosities, bringing its own springloaded melodies in a rainbow of sound. While the songstresses are decades apart in their musical eras, the inventiveness and arrangements of their songs brings to mind Kate Bush’s brilliant album, Aerial.

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the word

on films

WITH MELISSA WELLHAM

I wish I had the opportunity to force my opinions of the Boxing Day blockbusters onto you all… So I’ll take this opportunity to predict what I am likely to say: ‘The Hobbit is a grand, visually stunning film, but can Peter Jackson please learn to make a movie under three hours? Les Mis is an epic musical filled with powerful performances, but did we really need to be subjected to Russell Crowe’s singing voice? And Quartet will please your grandparents.’ Over and out.

quote of the issue

‘Dignity? To hell with dignity!’ – M (Dame Judi Dench), Skyfall

Breaking Dawn: Part 2

Robot and Frank

Skyfall

Finally, after years of laughter and tears and torture, The Twilight Saga draws to close with Breaking Dawn: Part 2. The promo for the film insists that, ‘The astonishing conclusion to the series… illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.’ Aha ha! Ha ha!

This film is a strange oddity - full of big names (Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler, Peter Sarsgaard) and big concepts, yet strangely underwhelming at its conclusion.

After the disappointment of Quantum of Solace, Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) brings Bond surging back onto the big screen with Skyfall. This is smarter than many Bond films (especially the ones starring Pierce Brosnan), as sexy as ever (and, again, still sexier than the Brosnan films) and the most human interpretation of Bond to date.

Okay, okay. Tears of laughter aside, this is definitely the most entertaining film in the franchise since the first instalment. It features an actual action sequence and this is also the only film in the series where Bella does more than simper and gaze adoringly at Edward. In this film, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now a vampire and married to Edward (Robert Pattinson). Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has ‘imprinted’ on their hilariously CGI’d baby (the film glosses over the connotations of pedophilia). But trouble is afoot and an evil vampire clan – the Volturi – are coming to steal the immortal child away. But saying this is the best film in the franchise is like saying that projectile vomiting is better than explosive diarrhea – both are pretty awful. The film is incapable of rising above its frankly anti-feminist and unashamedly pro-Mormon origins and this time doesn’t even have the pseudo-hipster soundtrack to distract the audience from realising that nothing ever happens. But, you know, the most insipid vampires ever created are back on the big screen. You’d be crazy to miss this clusterfuck. MELISSA WELLHAM

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Set in a future where robots are ubiquitous, Frank (Langella) is a ‘retired’ cat burglar, now suffering memory loss but refusing to accept the fact. His son (James Marsden) buys him a robot to help out around the house and take care of him – but Frank soon realises he can get his robot to help out with robberies and ‘take care’ of some annoying future-hipsters. There are laughs here, and parts of the story are quite moving, but the intersection of Frank’s stubborn nature and memory loss with the lols of having a not-quite-human companion around the house didn’t sit right with me. My main problem was probably the idea of a robot, who wasn’t a person but seemed all too human. Without going into the AI debate, I will say there are some interesting ideas here (sentient robots, responsible robot use, human memory vs. computer memory, companionship, etc.), although the twist at the end seemed a bit cheap. What did really resonate was the film’s portrayal of the future of books and libraries, and Langella is magnetic in his performance. There is certainly enough here to entertain and the film has probably been a bit overlooked –it does have a lot to offer. Megan McKeough

In Skyfall, Bond’s (Daniel Craig) loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested when MI6 comes under attack – and it’s because somebody from M’s past is back to haunt her. For a James Bond film, it’s surprisingly meta. This is a film about the old versus the new ways of doing things; traditional espionage versus the world of cyber-crime and hacking that constitutes modern terrorism. Skyfall demonstrates a self-awareness about Bond conventions: when Q (Ben Whishaw) gives Bond a gun and nothing more as he sets off on a mission, the quartermaster notes, ‘What did you expect, an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that sort of thing anymore.’ In this film we are also given glimpses into Bond’s past, which explain how he became the womanising, emotionally unattached, troubled character that we see in the Craig reboot. It may not be the best Bond film of all time, as some critics are claiming, but it is certainly the most poignant. Oh, and don’t worry – there are some actions sequences and stuff. And a martini. MELISSA WELLHAM


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top ten films

WITH MELISSA WELLHAM

So. The Dark Knight Rises isn’t on this list. Nor is Skyfall, Argo or Prometheus. And there’s a veritable smorgasbord of films that won’t be released until after my deadline (like this little film called The Hobbit). But as far as I’m concerned, 2012 was the year of the independent release. The year of the struggling-to-pull-funding-together-and-starring-mostly-unknowns film. Or the kind-of-difficult-butbeautiful film. It’s in films like these that you are afforded an opportunity to see just how phenomenal some actors are (cough, Michael Fassbender in Shame, cough). Or you realise the kind of filmmaking that can be accomplished when the tethers to reality – both in terms of what Hollywood thinks people ‘want’ to see and the film itself – are cut, as in Beasts of the Southern Wild. (Honourable mentions: Your Sister’s Sister, Weekend, Room 237 and Young Adult. And The Hunger Games. Not even kidding.)

10. The intouchables

5. Looper

The Intouchables may be one of the most popular foreign films in Australia since Amélie. Based on a true story, The Intouchables charts the friendship between millionaire Phillipe (Francois Cluzet), who is paralysed, and the ex-criminal Driss (Omar Sy), who he hires to be his carer. The performances from Cluzet and Sy are phenomenal and their chemistry wholly believable. It was sweet and didn’t make me want to fake retch for comedic effect. No mean feat.

Looper is smart and slick sci-fi, thought-provoking as well as thrilling. In a future world where time travel has been invented, the life of a young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) spins wildly out of control when he is ordered by the mob to kill his future self (Bruce Willis). It’s got good old-fashioned action combined with a smart script and is a lot darker and more mind-bending than most films in the genre. Willis is Willis as always and Gordon-Levitt as Willis is astonishing.

9. Safety Not Guaranteed

4. The Artist

Safety Not Guaranteed begins with a mysterious advertisement in a newspaper. ‘WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me.’ Starring Jake Johnson, Aubrey Plaza, Karan Soni and Mark Duplass, this is a film about love and regret. It’s sweet and clever, with a genuine pathos. Although it sounds too twee to appeal to either hipsters or mainstream audience, there is something here for both. There is always a place for real heart on the big screen.

Released back in February, The Artist has already received numerous accolades (um, it won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture), but I couldn’t resist giving it the greatest honour: a place on this critic’s Top Ten list. For those who missed it, The Artist is a charming and crowd-pleasing tribute to silent cinema. It’s pure artistry with visual style to spare and the cinematography shows how much can be done with two tones. Unspeakably clever and joyous.

8. The Cabin in the Woods

3. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Directed by Drew Goddard and from a writing team that features Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is a horror film about horror films. A group of kids are sent to a mysterious cabin, through a series of clichéd circumstances, and, once there, the film descends into madness. It’s more meta than an episode of 30 Rock directed by Tarantino. It’s funny, strange, and scary – frequently simultaneously – and always surprising. There is no higher praise.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a surreal, magic realist dream and nightmare in equal measure. Set in the bayou community of ‘The Bathtub,’ a six-year-old girl called Hushpuppy (the stunning Quvenzhane Wallis) must face her father’s fading health as melting ice caps flood her ramshackle community. The film is a fantastical, powerful journey that has compassion for its flawed characters. It shows why imagination is more valuable than money.

7. Shame

2. Moonrise Kingdom

Although he also starred in Prometheus and A Dangerous Method, the most compelling of Michael Fassbender’s films in 2012 was definitely Shame. A film about sex addiction, it followed Brandon (Fassbender), a man living in isolation in New York, whose carefully controlled existence begins to unravel when his sister (Carey Mulligan) visits. For a film in which you see Fassbender’s penis, Shame is more harrowing and haunting than tantalising or titillating. This is a film designed to make audiences uncomfortable.

Wes is back! Moonrise Kingdom told the simple story of two 12-year-olds in love. Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) make a secret pact to run away together, but they are thwarted at every turn. A warm, whimsical and poignant film, with the usual all-indie-star Anderson cast, Moonrise Kingdom is Wes at his most idiosyncratic. It is a film that could charm children and adults in equal measure, because there is sorrow intermingled with the sweetness, regret with the love. Completely charming and enchanting.

6. Carnage

1. The Avengers

Based on the stage play by Yasmina Reza, Carnage is a compelling, amusing film that shows how childish adults can be, starring Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet and John C. Reilly – all of whom turn in fantastic performances and look like they’re having a lot of fun while they’re at it. It is simultaneously wickedly dark and funny and, although director Roman Polanski can’t claim credit for the script, that is what makes it one of the year’s best. Carnage is a short, sharp and biting feast. It’s absolutely vicious.

The Avengers may just be the greatest superhero movie of all time. And that’s not even a hyperbole. Written and directed by geek-saviour Joss Whedon, the film raises the movie-making bar for Marvel and does more than meet expectations – it surpasses them. Bringing together Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk (in the first time he has ever been tolerable on the silver screen), Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye, the film was very funny, genuinely affecting and featured impeccably choreographed fight sequences. As multifaceted a film as the superhero team it features.

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TV: The Year in Review with Allan Sko and Justin Hook The year in TV: It’s more of the same, more or less. Last year was all about a paradigm shift with actors, directors, writers and audience all turning to TV over movies. The attraction of the serial multi-hour long form drew in the best – the writers were better; the acting superior; the stories more engaging and intricate. As a package, scripted television was at its artistic and creative peak; the rise of the show-runner auteur, and all that. And it wasn’t doing too bad commercially either. 12 months later and not much has changed. Never before has there been such a wealth of worthy series with the phrase ‘golden age of TV’ being endlessly bandied about in the media and on comments boards. And why not? Yes, some beloved shows took a turn for the worse this year but others spun disappointing starts on their head and others showed off their finest work to date. We are in the middle of one the best holding patterns in history. That’s not intrinsically boring, but as the list below proves even quality can be a rut. Still, no need to fret about the mechanics of it – just soak it up. It won’t last forever. JUSTIN HOOK & ALLAN SKO The HBO behemoth continued to power along, turning in some mixed results for its flagship shows. After a near perfect first season, Game of Thrones Season Two was my most anticipated release for 2012 but it fell far short of greatness. It still delivered largely enthralling TV with a sweeping scope/world speckled with engaging character narratives but the execution and delivery of script lacked the former season’s sharpness. Still, hope springs eternal. As an avid sponge of the original George R. R. Martin books I can happily report there’s some juicy content coming as we move onto the third book and thus the third season, so hopefully happy days for us to come. Perhaps not so for the characters. By comparison, HBO’s other darling Boardwalk Empire went from strength to strength with the third season (which at time of writing is an episode away from concluding) delivering beautifully thematic episodes, complex interweaving plotlines, a wealth of shocking moments replete with significant character deaths, some of the sharpest back-and-forth dialogue in an already snappy series plus genuine edge-of-seat viewing as Nucky Thompson – played with increasing verve and mania by the always excellent Steve Buscemi – is plunged further into chaos. It took me some time to truly warm to this show, but now I await each episode like a boozehound awaits the next bowling ball stuffed with liquor. And whilst the chemistry between some of the main storylines was a tad lacking, bonus points are awarded for Best TV Character 2012 in Stephen Graham’s masterful turn as Al Capone. Boardwalk Empire was close to being the most enjoyable series of the year, but that accolade has to go to a show as far removed from Nucky Thompson et al. (or should that be et Al… Ha! As in Capone? Ahhhhhhh, forget-uh-bout-it) as can be; comedy instead of drama, animation instead of live action, and firing as many witticism as there are bullets in Boardwalk. The show is Bob’s Burgers (Fox). Sporting an alarmingly simple premise – a family of five struggles to keep a burger joint afloat in a shoddy neighbourhood – the show sparkles with wit and genuine warmth rare to find in TV these days. Yes, the characters razz on each other – constantly, and in

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hilarious fashion – but they are also supportive, evoking a friendliness even the most paranoid stoner can relax to. The vocal work of H. Jon Benjamin truly sells this show; you’d never think you could shake the image of Archer from your head, but after one episode you can’t think of Benjamin as anyone other than Bob. Oh, and the recurring fart machine gag is great too. Oh, oh, and the bunny-eared-sporting young super-genius Louise. In fact, is it too late to change my mind for Best TV Character? I’d back Louise in a fight against Capone any day. From the spectacularly good/hilarious to the spectacularly bad/ unfunny. Showtime finally finally put a bullet in Weeds, and only four or five seasons too late. Many argue the show should have ended after they left hometown Agrestic. That ‘many’ includes me. What started as a little dazzler with snappy dialogue interspersed with engaging plotlines slowly spiralled, series by series, into increasingly ludicrous scenarios that drained once-beloved characters of all their charm and life, turning them into hollow shells of caricatures. Nancy Botwin – who always trod the fine line of likability; excitingly so, once – soon became one of the most annoying characters on TV. And don’t fucking get me started on Doug. Kevin Nealon, my man… What happened? Was the dump truck of money to continue the show really that large? I only kept watching Weeds because my wife enjoyed it but even the final series had her throwing the crack pipe at the TV. Some points can be awarded to creator Jenji Kohan for the final episode where we jump forward ten years in time; a brave move which at least allowed this horse with the broken leg to limp over the finishing line. But that horse was more glued than I was to this show. Other Original-Programming-Television-Giant AMC had a commercially huge and critically mixed year. Season Three of The Walking Dead (AMC) finally started to live up to its comic book promise delivering complex and smart protagonists (who were twodimensional and dumb in the previous season), a compelling prison setting (over a dull farm setting), high stakes and high risks (good people die, not just nameless fodder) and some proper zombie gore. And then, at the halfway mark, sluggish meandering episodes reminiscent of the largely appalling second season shuffled in like a thriller of zombies. May the show deliver a shotgun blast to the brain for the home straight.


And everyone’s favourite Breaking Bad (AMC) is halfway through its final season, which is a good thing. Beloved by audience and critics the world over but much maligned by my page-sharing critical counterpart Justin Hook, the brilliant Bad finally showed cracks with some dubious plotlines (magnets?) and a creeping sense of ‘we’ve been here before’ (not sure how much more of that ‘Cranston scowl’ I can endure). But it’s still enjoyable television, dammit, and creator Vince Gilligan and his ‘crack’ writing crew have set up the single most anticipated finale since The Sopranos (HBO). Their place in history depends its execution… Pun intended. - ALLAN SKO Homeland (Fox) won big come award season, with good reason. Mixing drama, espionage, conspiracy, action, political thriller, terrorism screed and social commentary, it’s held together by three extraordinary performances from Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and Damian Lewis. Unafraid to push plot narratives rapidly, Homeland delivered on its many promises. Too bad audiences are turning off. Speaking of promises, Justified (Universal/Sony) confirmed itself as a top rung show in its extraordinary second season. Despite its brilliance, the first season had wobbles and it seems lessons were learned. The follow-up is episode-for-episode equal with the best in 2012, even if buzz and mass adoration aren’t in the show’s corner. Downton Abbey (Universal/Sony) came back for another season of uptight banter and life through the prism of the landed gentry – this time coping with The Great War. The shine may have worn off but at its heart, Downton Abbey was always just a fancy soap opera. I admit to being swept up in the clamour and whilst it’s not all it was made out to be, Maggie Smith’s tart quips are yet to lose their sting. This year also saw the second season of the well-manicured, stately Renaissance-era drama The Borgias (Paramount) released. Built around a family of scheming Italians in the Papacy circa 1400s, the Jeremy Irons-helmed show had occasional flashes of B-grade drama and production values yet somehow pulled through. It’s not top of the must-watch list but it shouldn’t be ignored by the same measure. Meanwhile, Girls (HBO) set off a storm of accusations, analysis and op-eds, mostly about the show’s exclusivity of casting (few minorities cast in a city where ‘ethnic melting pot’ is a badge of honour) and show creator Lena Dunham’s privileged background. Still, you write what you know. And if that sounds like damning with faint praise, it is. Likewise, The Newsroom (HBO) set tongues wagging for all sorts of reasons. Firstly, it was the return of Aaron Sorkin. Secondly, it was a drama set in a newsroom dealing with real life events… that were two years old! Then there was the treacle that was passed off as plot development and some of the most cringe-worthy dialogue in years. The opening scene was hailed as bravura TV – a ‘mad-as-hell’ rampage about the decline of thoughtful society. It was no such thing. It was

feeble, overwrought and devoid of truth. Unlike the Stephen Colbert/John Stewart/Bill Maher troika that made current events manageable in this dreary (US) election year. With people like this – why do we even need The Newsroom? The gambling drama Luck (HBO) and politico comedy Veep (HBO) get their own guernseys early in 2013. Parks and Recreation (Universal/Sony) remained the most enjoyable comedy of the year. It’s funny. It’s ‘nice’. Same as every year. Nothing more to add. New Girl’s (Fox) charms are beginning to wear a little thin, just as it reached critical mass. No worries – there’s a better alternative on the screens in the form of Happy Endings (ABC). But even better than that is The League (Fox) and even bettererer than that is Childrens Hospital (Comedy Channel) which at ten minutes per episode delivers more laughs than your average sitcom. On the doco front, the second instalment of Go Back To Where You Came From (SBS/Madman) had it all. It seems the smallest broadcaster of them all was the only one willing or capable of hosting a reasoned – if occasionally ill-informed – discussion about Australia’s immigration policy. The year ends with the usual suspects bleating about costs, offshore detention and illegal arrivals all while the victims of displacement suffer. It seems we’re going to need this show for a few more years yet. Once Upon a Time In Cabramatta (SBS/Madman) covered similar ground albeit with a different focus and was just as good, maybe better, although it could have been tightened up some. Ken Burns’ Prohibition (PBS) was exactly as you’d expect – six hours on the history of banning alcohol in the US in the early 1900s that is obsessed with detail. Fascinating, and more than a little overwhelming, think of it as the factual counterpart to Boardwalk Empire. On the horizon is his two-parter about the Dust Bowl. I predict camera tracking over sepia photographs and sombre narration. JUSTIN HOOK LOOKING AHEAD Going into 2013 some favourites are pulling up stumps. Fringe (Fox), 30 Rock (NBC) and The Office (NBC) join the recently departed Weeds and Chuck (NBC) in rerun hell. Of the former, The Office’s death was a mercy killing a long time coming and even its ardent supporters (myself included) switched off long ago. Whilst Fringe and 30 Rock have shown signs of age and weariness, they go out on their own terms and if recent episodes are anything to go by, on top. Like Chuck did, fun to the very end and DVD Box Set-ready for anyone looking to occupy a rainy weekend. – JUSTIN HOOK Last year I said I’m looking forward to six things: Arrested Development x 3 and Game of Thrones x 3. Like the opening spiel suggests, that hasn’t changed. But add to that the conclusion of Breaking Bad. I predict Walt doesn’t die. – ALLAN SKO

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Werribee Park is the single most beautiful venue for a one-day festival I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The grounds are comprised of curving, stately lawns cut through by wide, elegant paths and overhung at all points by large, low-hanging trees. The two centrepieces are the grand Victorian Werribee Mansion, which served as the backdrop for the mainstage, and the man-made lake at the centre of the festival, complete with unperturbed ducks and around which all stages had been placed at such a distance that they were neither too close to cause competition nor too far to be cumbersomely distant. With a few early-afternoon beers, we began the festival in the shade on The Great Lawn before the mainstage, watching Los Campesinos! and The Dandy Warhols strum the day in, having arrived just too late to catch Winter People. In much the same way that Los Capitanes opened Stonefest a few years back (with a killer 11am set to just about nobody), Los Campesinos! gave it their all. Not so the Dandys. Courtney Taylor-Taylor always did have a languid manner, but add to that a lack of energy, a sheen of sweat and a setlist which was equal parts dated and depressingly new (because their new stuff’s shit), and you end up bantering easily through the set – which most people in our area did with great pleasure. I’ve never been a huge Silversun Pickups fan, but part of going to festivals with friends is compromise, and this wasn’t an unhappy one. In fact, that was true throughout the day; not a single indecent compromise was necessary. Silversun Pickups have skirted fame for years. Their classic rock formula has yielded gold only a few times and they’d been doomed to a mid-afternoon set in full sun on The Windmill Stage. The crowd was hefty but staid, with few moving beyond a shuffle. In the crowd’s defence, though the set was solid, it never seemed to break beyond a threshold. Not like the Hare Krishna $10 lunch. Shit was bomb. Back at The Great Lawn, the final songs of Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane were… interesting. There he was, hair slicked back, howling and rapping away in Italian, fronting a 12-piece string section, choir and full band, and the only word that seems to fit, for better or worse, is ‘spectacle’. We turned tail to catch Cake. Now the members of Cake are old. They know it and embrace it. John McCrea’s punchy, sardonic sermonising has lost none of its charisma. With the invigorating Sheep Go To Heaven out of the way, we doubled back once again to reunite under the mainstage for Beirut. When the first thing a lead singer says to a crowd is, ‘I’m really jetlagged,’ and the second thing a lead singer says to a crowd (a full song later) is, ‘I’m not getting over this jetlag any time soon,’ you find yourself wishing they’d chosen not to speak. So next time, Zach Condon, when you’re about to get sick and call off an entire Australian tour, shut the fuck up and play your last show like you mean it. That said, he kinda did. There is no perfect Beirut setlist but the band went through a majority of their best crowdpleasers with style, with Condon doing his trademark ‘I’m about to sneeze’ hand-waving to whip up his own energy levels.

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I snuck away towards the end of Beirut’s set to indulge in my first trip to The Big Red Tractor Stage, the stage picked to host the more intense, dark and electronic music. As much a part of festival-going as being led to acts by friends is learning to abandon friends to sate urges they don’t share, and mine for the day was Chromatics. It turned out their live set was rivalled by only one other at Harvest (to be discussed; place your bets). A dynamic trio of two electro multi-instrumentalists and a waifish lead singer/guitarist, Chromatics created an energising wall of tones interspersed with perfectly subdued riffs and clean vocals, all overlaying a tremendous sea of bass and beat. It led to the first genuine dancing of the day, impossible not to get caught up in. And then Beck. What to say about Beck? He’s a living legend, one of the messiahs of modern pop – and a complete wanker onstage. He frequently forgot his own lyrics – whether out of boredom or genuine forgetfulness was unclear – and took to wandering away from the microphone when the mood struck. Hearing songs like Where It’s At and Loser played live was a dream come true, but his half-arsing of Qué Onda Guero and Girl were disappointing in a way only someone with the stature of Beck can be. We left early to secure a good spot at Grizzly Bear. Who were orgasmic. Here’s a bunch of guys – every one with stunning voices and instrumental ingenuity to spare – who band together to make wonders happen. They were humble and powerful in the best ways possible. Benefiting from the beginnings of darkness, their lights show became more and more dazzling as their set went on. ‘Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em,’ advised Daniel Rossen before their final song, Sun in Your Eyes, and if I’d had them I would have. In the words of George W. Bush (as seen in Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay), ‘You just blew my fuckin’ mind.’ This was an experience I’d been assured would be delivered at least once during my day at Harvest, but the assurance had been attached to the band we saw next: Sigur Ros. The triumphant refrain of Hoppípolla greeted us. I hadn’t expected Sigur Ros to be a band who played ‘songs’ as such, but this was one I was glad to hear. Sadly the sight of the actual stage was an unsettling experience. The two standard screens at either side of the stage projected a poor man’s smorgasboard of ‘artistic’ camera angles (five minutes of an unused guitar pedal onstage) and grim spliced nonsense (a mash-up of The Blair Witch Project, maybe?), all of which lent itself to a somewhat jarred experience. The music, however, was excellent. It lulled somewhat towards the middle of the set, but this was perhaps understandable. In a 16-minute epic finale, Sigur Ros brought it home from near-silence to a thundering, heavenly close. With what energy we had left, we straggled past Santigold, where she explained in a teacher’s tone, ‘It’s Sahn-tigold, not San-tigold,’ and smashed out Creator. Then we split. In only its second year, Harvest Festival assembled an extraordinary line-up in an extraordinary location, and planned a festival with an attention to detail many festivals would do well to mimic. I can’t imagine what I would have done differently – that’s really saying something. ASHLEY THOMSON


Posters for Harvest Festival caught my eye from early August and for weeks reminded me I could see Ben Folds Five, Beck and The Dandy Warhols all in one place, all in one day. Being a ‘90s chick at heart, it was just too good a chance to miss. I found myself with a great group of friends entering Werribee Park. We expected to see queues stretching back, but instead the entry stations were so well set up we were ushered in with barely a pause. Well done, Harvest organisers! In fact, the longest queue I saw all day was the line for the vegan food stand. Yeah, rock ‘n’ roll, baby! We quickly worked out the layout and made our way to The Great Lawn for The Dandy Warhols, who started on the dot of the hour. This, as it turned out, was characteristic of the entire day, so again, well done, organisers! Unfortunately, I can’t give the same unconditional approval to The Dandy Warhols. I’ll try to be generous and say that Courtney Taylor-Taylor was a bit lacklustre, possibly the chav facelift he’d given himself (a ponytail pulled high to smooth out wrinkles) was giving him a headache. He was barely audible over the music. Zia McCabe, on the other hand, was great, moving fluidly and really seeming to enjoy herself. But I wasn’t going to let them cast a dampener. I’d mapped out my day’s schedule in detail. Friends hadn’t gone to quite that amount of planning, but everyone had a good idea of what to see. Ben Folds Five was the one act we all had in common. I’d seen Ben Folds live in 2003, when he toured in The Bens with Ben Lee and Ben Kweller, and it is still the best gig I’ve ever seen. Once again, he didn’t disappoint and was a puller for a crowd of all ages, the poignancy of Brick bringing us all together in a moment of heartfelt unity. The only problem was the two acts I most wanted to see, BFF and Beck, butted up against each other, so it meant some tricky manoeuvring to get to both. I’ve loved Beck for years and this was the first time I’ve seen him live. I sang my heart out with him, agreeing that two turntables and a microphone are indeed Where It’s At. Sigur Ros, following Beck, proved to be a bit divisive, the ethereal sounds from the Icelanders not being to the taste of all my friends. A few sat it out while I narrated the graphics show: ‘We’re in the Black Forest during a nuclear winter. There’s a blurry disembodied doll’s head in black and white – it’s very Midge Ure circa 1984.’ We went our separate ways after this. I wandered off and found myself back in La Boudoir, where’d I’d been treated earlier to a burlesque show of a woman in a banana-inspired ball gown being undressed by her companion, a man dressed as a tutu-wearing monkey. The tutu was also banana yellow. Bananas were a theme of the event, handed out for free by sponsors. Sure, a healthy snack, but not quite the rock ‘n’ roll image in my mind. UK band Crazy P was the last act to round out my night. I’d taken a lucky dip and the Festival gods smiled on me. In Crazy P I found a funk band that had me up and dancing, not caring I was on my own. I danced under the stars with total strangers, all brought together by the band’s charisma. Thanks, Harvest – I’ve reaped a new favourite! HEATHER WALLACE

Broken into four clever locations between the main stages, it was impossible to miss the Sydney Harvest Festival’s electrifying arts line-up. Our introduction to the festival’s alternative spaces came when we stumbled across The Secret Garden, where festival-goers could take a break from the seething masses to listen to local DJs spin tracks from a flower-covered pagoda or hear comedians, storytellers and playwrights perform from the aptly named Campfire Stage. We snuggled in to a human-sized bird’s nest just in time for Erotic Fan Fiction, where young authors told sizzling stories centering on celebrities and sex. Although most tales banked on the fact that ‘labia’ is a hilarious word, Zoe Norton Lodge’s postmodern masterpiece ensured the crowd would never think about pugs or Posh Spice in the same way again. Wandering to Bootleg Alley, we came across La Toosh; a carbon copy of a 19th Century Parisian tram, complete with coffee shop, crêperie and rooftop stage. La Toosh housed upbeat blues and roots bands guaranteed to keep the coffee crowd’s toes tapping. It didn’t hurt that the big, bearded, suspenderwearing musicians provided welcome eye candy for the rockabillies in the crowd. It has to be said: Woodcutters playing washboards are just plain sexy. Equal parts arts installation and performance space, the Snuff Box was tricky to find and, once found, impossible to resist. We entered the tent to find local punk band Glory Hole playing to a mismatched group of drag queens and teenage kids. (I just spent the last half hour trawling the net in an unsuccessful attempt to find their band page. There are a lot of bands called Glory Hole in this world. There’s also a whole lot of dick.) With their black nylon leotards, sailor uniforms and besparkled body paint, Glory Hole paved the way for the decadent acts to follow, including the electronic trio Toy Death and Betty Grumble, a former pageant star turned burlesque heroine. Like the Snuff Box, Le Boudoir married the carnivalesque and burlesque, with shows featuring performers specialising in everything from vaudeville to circus arts. Of particular note were Bourgeois and Maurice, a London based electro-pop duo. Like a male Sally Bowles, the outrageously attired Maurice charmed the crowd with neo-cabaret numbers that left viewers longing for gin, cigarettes and British accents. Also of note were Briefs, an all-male group of gender-bending circus artists with the best sets of pins seen on stage since Liza with a Z. In a moment of pure poetry, we abandoned the bodacious burlesque boys just as Ben Folds’ crowd screamed ‘dicks on a wall’. From male artistry to male artistry. It’s nice when life aligns. Final disclaimer: I went to Harvest with four broken ribs and a whole lot of morphine. I could have watched an old woman cussing out Bambi and thought it was beautiful. Thing is, amongst the Harvest arts-goers I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in my peace haze. Towards the day’s end, we wandered from the main stage into Le Boudoir in time to hear Juke Baritone deliver a rousing speech in favour of anarchic recreational drug use. From the depths of an Endone-induced fog, I realised every person in the joint had the same junkie grin smeared across their faces. Maybe everyone had spent the festival following Juke’s advice. However, I like to think that, at the end of the day, those funny little smiles proved the arts acts were more than sideshows; they united the freaks, the geeks and the chics and turned festival stragglers into communities. And that made the Harvest arts line-up a hidden pleasure more than worthy of our time. TEDI BILLS

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the word

on gigs

Emmy Lou Harris & Her Red Dirt Boys, Ben Abraham Canberra Theatre Monday November 12 A professional such as Emmy Lou Harris doesn’t spring unwelcome surprises. Hear a few of her songs and you know exactly what you’re in for. There was no singing out of tune; no reaching for a high note, or for a low one; no slightest screeching or gravel. This fine voice, used professionally for four decades, sounded just perfect. And that is so, even though she seemed to be suffering from a sore throat. You can put that down, I’m told reliably, to perfect technique. But there’s a comfort factor, too, in giving an audience a great time. Besides poorly produced music, what might discomfit sections of your audience? Bumbling around? Cigarette smoke? Harsh language? Unwonted self-promotion? There was none. Nothing on stage detracted from immersion in a healthy programme of fine music, ranging from Harris’s earliest to one due out in 2013. And the theatre was packed. The continuing popularity (as audience response alone demonstrated) of this chronological range, and the consistent feel of a programme of music spanning decades, indicates something. Here, too, there’s a secret in the sauce, giving both the older covers and the recent originals wide appeal and keeping them fresh. Partly, it’s the perennial character of the lyrics; as with much other country music, most of Harris’s lyrics concern universals central to us all. The very clean sound (with no half-deaf audio operator using it as a death-ray) and perfect precision of the Red Dirt Boys in keeping with Emmy Lou’s own guitar work helped. Too, the very fine interplay between all six musicians on a multitude of instruments and the instruments’ perfect tuning removed the slightest distraction from within the music itself. What shone through were the music and the genuine feeling of all the musicians for it. It’s funny, then, that something such as lighting can actually assist such immersion. And the lighting was not out of this world – which wouldn’t have suited the music – but beautiful; subtle, always changing, always from harmonious palettes that, once noticed, were awe-inspiring in range. The lighting wasn’t at all subdued in either intensity or hue, either; it simply suited the music to perfection. A tad more light on the faces would have made every moment a perfect photographic moment. I couldn’t fault a single musician on stage. The zest of Rickie Simpkins’ bluegrassy mandolin and violin was beautifully complemented by Will Kimbrough, enriching most songs with subtle licks on a mandolin built remarkably like an electric guitar and Bryan Owings’s drumming was superb; not taking over any song, accelerating only by intention. The entire sound was superb. Besides the gift of the music, I appreciated suffering no physical pain in order to hear it. ELH and her RDB demonstrated that it’s possible to have a great sound with superb driving drumming without once exceeding the pain threshold and inflicting lasting damage on even the nearest members of the audience. In fact, boosting the sound would only have masked the ensemble’s artistry.

PHOTOS BY ERICA HURRELL

The real surprise of the evening was Harris’s support act: relatively unknown Melbournian Ben Abraham, who picked up a guitar only five years ago. Abraham’s original songs, both lyrical and masterfully melodic, were sung straight from the heart; it’s rare to hear, even from seasoned professionals, a delivery so imbued with genuine emotion. His vocal talents, too, are a rarity. This up-and-coming artist is the real deal: every inch a musician and somebody to listen for. His first album, after much work, is due out in 2013 – don’t miss it. JOHN P. HARVEY

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the word

on gigs

Rick Astley Canberra Theatre Wednesday November 21 Nostalgia. Love it or hate it, there would appear to be a big market in 2012 for looking back in time (though not so big in this instance, as Mr Astley was able to perform in the larger of the Canberra Theatre’s two rooms this balmy Wednesday evening). So here we are again, we music lovers of a certain age, ready to have a go once more at partying like it’s 1987 in the presence of one of that era’s most successful faces. The first thing to note is that, amazingly, Astley doesn’t appear to have aged markedly since his heyday. The jacket that he’s wearing – which he claimed to have worn for the cover shoot of his 1988 album, Hold Me in Your Arms – might be a little on the tight side, but the boyish good looks remain and so, more importantly, does the voice. Throughout the 100-minute performance, Astley puts not one foot wrong vocally, producing a marvellously controlled performance, courtesy of a well-paced set and a backing band that helps out with splendid backing vocals throughout the evening. Refreshingly, and despite his obviously prodigious talent, Astley is aware of his place in music history and is disarmingly selfdeprecating throughout the performance – acknowledging that we are probably only here to ‘listen to songs that go UM-CHAH!’ as opposed to having even a semblance of interest in anything he’s done outside of the halcyon days of Stock, Aitken and Waterman – and whilst there’s a kernel of truth to this, the ‘new’ songs that he does play are met with warm interest and genuine applause. This is only fair, as his modern material – earnest arena rock with hints of Coldplay – is surprisingly palatable, showing a different side to the man’s voice as well as offering evidence of real songwriting talent. Astley is no mere vacuous pop idol, that’s for sure. But he’s a realist, and he does faithfully trot out the hits to the small but deliriously committed crowd. Pleasingly, the likes of She Wants to Dance With Me, Hold Me in Your Arms and the inevitable final encore Never Gonna Give You Up aren’t rendered as simple eighties rose tinters; it would be oh-so-easy to whack out the sequencers and sing to a karaoke backing tape filched from the original masters, but the man and his band have commendably reworked them so that they still retain the flavour that everyone knows and loves, whilst adding a freshness that was as enjoyable as it was surprising. Indeed, surprise was a major component of the performance; from the off, when a disembodied voice suggests that the band have appeared early on stage because somebody had spotted a beer, there’s an air of warm good humour that permeates the performance. Astley is no po-faced pop messiah a la Ronan Keating; he engages with the crowd (two of whom are gleefully invited up on stage to share in the limelight), coming out with a stream of amusing anecdotes and jokes that place him somewhere in the realms of traditional Northern British Club entertainer and the mighty Vic Reeves.

PHOTOS BY MARTIN OLLMAN

But perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening comes at the end of the main set when, after effortlessly beguiling the audience with a trio of soul classics from the likes of The Temptations and Al Green, Astley takes up position behind the drum kit and leads his band through a convincing version of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell before bidding the stunned but happy crowd a warm goodnight. As the man himself said: ‘Not bad for a Wednesday night in Canberra!’ SCOTT ADAMS

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the word

Eyehategod, Law of the Tongue, I Exist ANU Bar Friday November 23

on gigs

As I slouched past PJ O’Reilly’s on my way to the ANU Bar, I glanced in and noticed a band routinely positioned in one corner of the room attempting to summon the carefree vibe of a Friday evening drink in Canberra city. Some punters were paying attention, many weren’t. This kind of entertainment is at one end of the live music spectrum. What I witnessed at this gig was the complete opposite. Metal fans can be fanatical about the sounds that matter to them, and so it was that a small yet highly appreciative crowd turned up to soak in the shared experience of high energy band/audience interaction. Headliners Eyehategod have not released an album since Confederacy of Ruined Lives in 2001, yet the band was fuelled by a drive to reconnect and keep the momentum going with no stuffing about. I kept thinking the music channelled a dirty-realist hardcore vibe more so than the slower, somewhat more dramatic doom tag that is often applied to this band’s music, but what came out was maybe more of a well-honed blend. Opening group Law of the Tongue charged the atmosphere with a bottom end growl and churning riffs in the vein of early Sabbath. When the windows started rattling to the point of blowing outwards you knew things had kicked off in fine fashion. Law of the Tongue were followed by Canberra metal stalwarts I Exist, whose fine-tuned approach to heavy music was tight, versatile and focused. It seemed entirely possible that the link between this band and Eyehategod’s Southern American brethren Pantera and Down was strong. I detected traces of funk and hip hop amidst the noise, but maybe that’s just me. But the calling card for the faithful this evening was the dark, grit-encrusted riff-fest raining down from Eyehategod. There was an initial smirk from vocalist Mike Williams about the size of the crowd – I would describe it as unobtrusive yet enthusiastic, but probably not like the good old days when Canberra boasted one of the strongest metal scenes in the country – but once the band warmed up after the first couple of numbers, the grungy, born-ofthe-streets intensity did not let up. The substance abuse issues that had constrained the band in previous years appeared to be a thing of the past as the steamroller riffs kept coming, while vocalist Mike Williams spat out tales of desperation. Those of us at the geek end of the spectrum kept to the back of the room and focused our attention on the instrumental dynamics, but up front a mosh of sorts had started with a few eager punters causing momentary spaces to open up around them. But the mood of the crowd was generally respectful. In fact, probably a little too respectful, except for that one moment I never imagined I would see again. Some keen dude thought he’d try out a stage dive and, although it happened in a flash, I was pleased to see that the art had not died completely and if nothing else demonstrated an appreciation for a band whose elastic approach to brutally raw riffs was sustained by a high energy level. In interview, Williams has said that Eyehategod’s music is ‘honest and 100 per cent based in personal experience’ and the band’s nobullshit approach was much appreciated given that the opposite is often the case, particularly across the mainstream entertainment industry.

PHOTOS BY KATER MAY

Metal has by and large remained an underground art form, which is exactly as it should be. This gig imparted some of the benefits. DAN BIGNA

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the word

2manydjs Trinity Bar Thursday November 29

on gigs

It had been a few years since I last caught Belgian mash-up superstars 2manydjs at Big Day Out back in 2006. A DJ side-project of electro rockers Soulwax, 2manydjs present a heavy onslaught of electro, techno and house. Brothers David and Stephen Dewaele have toured all over the world and now it was Canberra’s turn for the legendary show. It was definitely a slightly older crowd when we walked through the doors at Trinity, with most people still sitting down and chatting over cocktails. Sydney’s U-Khan had just hit the decks, spinning a mixture of big room electro and techy house to a sparse dance floor. This soon changed with the dropping of Moderation by fellow Sydneysider Light Year, filling the dance floor. Overall though, I didn’t really dig his sounds. A good warm-up DJ should create a simmering tension on the dancefloor, allowing for the main act to hit it home. There were just a few too many anthemic breakdowns from U-Khan for my liking. There was huge sense of anticipation as the Dewaele boys stepped up to the decks. Sampling the Chemical Brothers classic Hey Boy, Hey Girl, 2manydjs began a one-and-a-half-hour set of sample-heavy mash-ups and pounding, hard-hitting electro-rave. The signature sawtooth wave sound screamed through the room (perhaps more suited to a warehouse than a small bar) driving the crowd into a frenzy. There were a few early rave-inspired moments with a remix of Human Resource’s Dominator getting a workout, followed by a trip back to the ‘80s with the crowd singing along to The Clash’s Rock the Casbah. 2manydjs are clearly a very talented mash-up duo – one minute you’re raving to an industrial version of a Daft Punk track before you find yourself singing along to AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Green Velvet’s current club hit Laser Beams was a defining moment, as was Dakar and Grinser’s version of I Wanna Be Your Dog. It’s a really interesting formula that 2manydjs use. Some of the sounds are so harsh and grating, like the grinding of stone against metal, while the drumbeats can drill right into your skull. However, it’s the way the brothers move between sound which fuels the dance floor, bouncing from one bass line to the next just before your ears get tired. It’s an intense experience, but your feet stay glued to the ground, moshing with the sweaty crowd around you. Thank goodness Trinity has a fairly decent air-conditioning system or we would surely have melted! As usual, the visuals at Trinity were excellent, with a theme of geometric shapes, bold colours and stuttering prisms tying in perfectly with the functional, heavy-hitting electro of 2manydjs. After a commanding performance by the Belgian duo, the Ladybones DJs took control of the decks with their brand of tough, techy electro. Having never encountered Ladybones before I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to say it was pretty damn awesome. Unfortunately, only about a fifth of the crowd stuck around, most exiting as soon as 2manydjs were done. I know it was a school night, but poor form, Canberra!

PHOTOS BY DALE WOWK

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Overall it was a fantastic night, with a great crowd and a stellar performance from the Belgian headliners. However, I do have one issue to raise – the fact that they were charging $50 on the door, despite advertising online that it would be $40; felt a bit sneaky to me. If you’ve already rocked up and committed to the night, you’ll begrudgingly pay an extra $10, but it did seem a bit steep. PETER O’ROURKE


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the word

BLACKBOX

on games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Developer: Firaxis Games Length: 20 hrs Verdict: Buy XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the long-awaited successor to the ‘90s XCOM series, delivering great turn-based strategy gaming with a slick graphical upgrade from the original series. XCOM: Enemy Unknown puts the player in control of an elite multinational military organisation called XCOM (short for Extraterrestrial Combat Unit), which is tasked with defending Earth against alien forces. The game has two phases of gameplay: a preparation phase, represented by your underground XCOM lair where you carefully pick items, facilities and general offensive capabilities to build using your meagre resources; and an action phase where you engage enemy forces as the commander of an elite team of commandos on a top-down battlefield. The action phase is what defines the game and undoubtedly is what many players of the original XCOM will remember and with whom it will resonate. Here, you are given an isometric, top-down view of a battlefield and must use your team members to explore the battlefield, engage enemy aliens and achieve a number of strategic objectives. Through experience gained on missions, each member of your team (which can be between four and six members) develops a specific talent along the lines of Heavy, Assault, Support and Sniper. This variety is mirrored in the aliens, which have multiple alien types; from the benign Sectoids in the early game, through to the tough Berserker, capable of running directly into your suppressing fire, and the frustrating Ethereal, with its mental capability to damage and even mind-control members of your squad. The battlefield environment also plays an important part of the gameplay; damaged vehicles will explode, injuring allies and enemies nearby, walls and cover will crumble under heavy fire, exposing anything taking cover behind it, and the multiple elevations will give the combat advantage to those who can take the high ground in a fire fight. This requires judicious use of the environmental cover provided on each map in order to exploit the special capabilities of each team member. Snipers are most effective from elevation, Heavy units are able to wade up the centre, dealing and taking damage whilst Assault units attempt to flank enemies in cover and Support units heal and provide smoke cover. The combat phase is what defines the game, but the preparation phase is just as important in allowing you to expand your capabilities. Building up your capabilities is quite enjoyable as you put work into creating additional workshops to produce weapons, armour, laboratories that are capable of interrogating enemy aliens and researching the variety of new technology that is captured in the field, and various special facilities, including the psi-centre allowing psionic powers for your team members. XCOM: Enemy Unknown manages to pay homage to its namesake whilst still being a thoroughly engaging game on its own terms. A slick mix of resource strategy and turn-based combat make this an easy game to recommend. Peter Davis

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The weather is heating up, the wading pool in the backyard is full, got the cricket on the box and a beer in-hand. What more do you need? Despite the advent of the silly (off-ratings) season, there’s actually plenty to keep the telly on. While you’re waiting for the next Game of Thrones instalment (around April), get your medieval fix from The Pillars of the Earth (ABC1, Sun Dec 9, 8:30pm) adapted from the Ken Follet novel set in the 12th century; The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (WIN, Fri Dec 7, 8:30pm) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (WIN, Fri Dec 14, 8:30pm). Also new to screens are Brian Austin Green’s newbie, Wedding Band (SCTEN, Wed Dec 5, 8:30pm), silly fun with hilarious covers of some long-forgotten tunes; mockumentary The Arecibo Message (SBS1, Mon Dec 17, 9:30pm); Cult (Prime, Wed Dec 5, 10:30pm), another paranormal offering with a mysterious cult in New Zealand; new Go Girls (SCTEN, Mon-Thu, 10:30pm); and crime dramas Breakout Kings (One, Tue Dec 19, 10:40pm) and Mafia’s Greatest Hits (One, Tue Dec 19, 9:30pm). There’s more to come with new seasons of Peep Show (ABC2, TBC) and Misfits (ABC2, TBC). Sadly, the wonderful Hit & Miss (ABC2, Mon Dec 10, 9:30pm) winds up this week and won’t be back for a second season. The impending arrival of that fat bearded guy in boots has also brought some gems – if you haven’t watched A Moody Christmas (ABC1,Wed Dec 5, 9pm) get thee to iView or your local DVD retailer now. Of course, there’s the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special (ABC1, Wed Dec 26, 7:30pm). If you’re looking for festive inspiration in the kitchen there’s plenty on offer, including Maggie Beer’s Christmas Feast (ABC1, Tue Dec 18, 8:30pm); Rick Stein’s Spanish Christmas (ABC1, Tue Dec 4, 8:30pm); Nigellissima Christmas Special (ABC1, Tue Dec 11, 8:30pm); River Cottage Christmas Special (ABC1, Sat Dec 22, 6pm); Jamie’s Christmas with Bells On (SCTEN, Thu Dec 20, 7:30pm); Jamie’s Best Ever Christmas (SCTEN, Sat Dec 22, 4pm); and Better Homes and Gardens Countdown to Christmas (Prime, Mon-Fri, 7pm). Docos include Sunday Arts Up Late: Marina Abramovic – the Artist is Present (ABC1, Sun Dec 9, 10:15pm); Freddy Mercury: The Great Pretender (ABC2, Sun Dec 9, 8:30pm); Martin Luther King: The Assassination Tapes (SBS1, Fri Dec 7, 8:35pm); The Crusades (SBS1, Dec 16, 7:35pm); Cities of the Underworld (7Mate, Wed Dec 5, 7:30pm); and The Truth About Exercise (SBS1, Tue Dec 11, 8:30pm). Don’t miss: Celebrating 25 Years of rage – 2007‐2011 (ABC1, Sat Dec 22, 11pm) and rage FIFTY (ABC1, Sat Dec 29, 11pm); Dr. No (Prime, Sat Dec 6, 6:30pm); From Russia with Love (Prime, Sat Dec 6, 8:45pm); Empire Records (Go, Wed Dec 19, 9:30pm); Airheads (Go, Sat Dec 22, 9:30pm); Ned Kelly (Go, Fri Dec 14, 9:10pm); and the last ep of Blackbox’s own guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl (Fox, Tue Dec 18, 8:30pm). Definitely do miss: Andre Rieu Home for Christmas Special (WIN, Sat Dec 22, 3pm) and Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas Baby (GEM, Sat Dec 15, 2:25pm). SANTA WATCH: Carols from St Peter’s Cathedral (ABC1, Mon Dec 24, 6pm); The Santa Clause (Prime, Fri Dec 7, 8:30pm); and The Simpsons (SCTEN, Sat Dec 22, 6pm). TRACY HEFFERNAN tracyherrernan@bigpond.com @ChezBlackbox


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ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Wed Dec 5 - Fri Dec 7 WEDNESDAY DEcember 5 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

Exhibition – Notations

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – I AM...

Giving artists an opportunity to challenge the way people see disability. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Trivia

Sean McMahon’s Western Union

Live Music

Transit Trivia

THE PHOENIX BAR

Digress Dual Friday

Flex your noggin. Table bookings essential! 2 for $20 pizzas. 7:30pm. Free. TRANSIT BAR

thursday DEcember 6

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

Sing For Your Supper

Singers, poets, musicians! Feeling hungry? Book your slot for a free meal! (02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm. THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

The Guilded Palace of Sin 7.30pm. Free.

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Wendy Matthews

6:30pm doors, 9pm main act. $40/$110 w. dinner through theabbey.com.au. THE ABBEY

THE STREET THEATRE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

CANBERRA REPERTORY SOCIETY

By Alan Ayckbourn. Directed by Corille Fraser. Under 30s door $20. Tix at canberrarep.org.au. 8pm.

Exhibition – Notations

Rent

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm.

Exhibition Opening – Polka Luka

Glory Box

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Australian design label creating handcrafted resin pieces. 6pm. Free (w/ wine and cheese!).

CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

Acclaimed cabaret by Finucane & Smith. See thestreet.org.au or call (02) 62471223 for tix/details. THE STREET THEATRE

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition Opening – Three Exhibitions

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 6pm. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Film Key of Life (U/C18+)

Japanese Film Festival. 7:30pm. See nfsa.gov.au for more info. ARC CINEMA

Local Feats: Hobby Farm (2010) Canberra feature film w/ director’s talk. 6pm + 9pm. Tix/info: http://newacton.com.au/localfeats KENDALL LANE THEATRE

friday DEcember 7

BILK GALLERY

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set

Moment of Truth

From 7pm-9pm, followed by resident DJ Craig with dancefloor classics/hits. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Sondrio 9pm.

HIPPO BAR

Eprom // Twerk

With 2fuddha, Buick, BRT, Fauxreal, Dred, Dwils. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

Rebecca Moore

With Ben Wells and the Middle Names. 8pm. $10.

Jemist KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Strangeways Graduation

Strangeways farewell 2012. W/ Eddie Shaggz and Radar. 8pm. $10, $7 if you’re well dressed. TRANSIT BAR

Live@BAC

Exhibition Opening – The Christmas Show

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Over Lake Ginninderra: live music, cruise the gallery, drink, catch up. With nibbles! 5:30-7pm. $5.

Art by the Here & There Collective. 6pm.

Something Different

Exhibition – Notations

MusicACT Annual Music Awards (MAMAs) 2012

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

Recognising excellence in the Canberra music industry. Nominations open Aug 14: www.musicact.com.au

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

ALBERT HALL

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Theatre

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Improbable Fiction

Exhibition – I AM...

CANBERRA REPERTORY SOCIETY

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Giving artists an opportunity to challenge the way people see disability. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II

ANU BAR AND REFECTORY

MINT GARDEN BAR

Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Rahzel & JS-1

With uniVibes. Beers, bands and DJs jamming in the afternoon sun. Free.

Live music in Mint’s garden bar. 6-10pm. Free.

9pm.

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

Live Music

Thursdays At The Bar

Music @ Mint

Exhibition – Alchemy

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

The human beatbox w/ Rocksteady’s DJ. With Nix, Stateovmind, Context, Buick. 8pm. Presale: Moshtix.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Mitch/Killing the Sound

Art

1st place wins cash prize! Plenty of bar vouchers to be won too. 8pm.

TRANSIT BAR

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9pm.

Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Karaoke Night!

Acclaimed cabaret by Finucane & Smith. See thestreet.org.au or call (02) 62471223 for tix/details.

Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. (And two happy hours!) Free.

Live & Funky House Fridays

Improbable Fiction

Improbable Fiction

Glory Box

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

5pm/10pm.

Karaoke

CANBERRA REPERTORY SOCIETY

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set

Theatre By Alan Ayckbourn. Directed by Corille Fraser. Under 30s door $20. Tix at canberrarep.org.au. 8pm.

Ashley Feraude

Theatre

Karaoke

Live Music

With The Only. 9pm.

Ministry of Sound Annual Tour

BILK GALLERY

Giving artists an opportunity to challenge the way people see disability. 10am-5pm. Free.

THE DURHAM

THE CLUBHOUSE

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Exhibition – I AM...

From 10pm.

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

10pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

ARC CINEMA

Karaoke

Funk/live 6-8pm (Happy Hr 5-7pm). Resident DJ + more play allsorts 9:30pm on. $8 J/bombs 10-11pm.

Open Decks

Charles and Dave

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

HIPPO BAR

Exhibition – Alchemy

Japanese Film Festival. 7pm. Free.

$100 bar tab giveaway every week to most entertaining performer. 9pm.

9pm.

9pm.

I Wish (PG)

Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays

Sondrio

Art

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Film

With Hannah Gillespie. 9pm.

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat).

Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

By Alan Ayckbourn. Directed by Corille Fraser. Under 30s door $20. Tix at canberrarep.org.au. 8pm.

Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

Glory Box

Acclaimed cabaret by Finucane & Smith. See thestreet.org.au or call (02) 62471223 for tix/details. THE STREET THEATRE


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ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Sat Dec 8 - Wed Dec 12 saturday DEcember 8 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm.

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

Exhibition – Notations

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – I AM...

Giving artists an opportunity to challenge the way people see disability. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Goji Berry Jam

A five-piece funk band to ease in your afternoon. 2pm.

HIPPO BAR

Hidden Desire

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

A BITE TO EAT CAFE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

9pm.

Audio (UK) + Paul Blackout (Hardline)

TJS Presents. With Centaspike (Barcode), Killosis (QLD), Fatal Union, Buick, Para. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

ARC CINEMA

Scabbard Samurai (U/C18+)

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

THE LIGHT HOUSE PUB

Nite Society

Theatre

TRANSIT BAR

Saucy Panto

8pm.

On The Town Old Skool Saturdays

Mix of Old Skool R‘n’B, 80s & 90s. Free entry. 10-11pm. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

By Alan Ayckbourn. Directed by Corille Fraser. Under 30s door $20. Tix at canberrarep.org.au. 8pm.

Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm.

Glory Box

Acclaimed cabaret by Finucane & Smith. See thestreet.org.au or call (02) 62471223 for tix/details. THE STREET THEATRE

sunday DEcember 9 Art

ARC CINEMA

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm.

Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free.

Live Music

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

Waterford’s Fifth Birthday

monday DEcember 10

The Bootleg Sessions

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

With Jared de Veer. 9pm.

ANU ARTS CENTRE

Improbable Fiction

ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Love Saturdays

Not for children or humourless gits. Four nights only. Tickets/info by calling (02) 6257 2718.

Live Music

Japanese Film Festival. 7:30pm. See nfsa.gov.au for more info.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Sangria Sundaze

Theatre

Tokyo Koen (U/C18+)

10:30pm.

TRANSIT BAR

9pm.

Japanese Film Festival. 4:30pm. See nfsa.gov.au for more info.

Awesome Source

...shoegazing with Cold House and Spartak. 4pm. Free entry.

Tunes from DJs Runamark & Mitch. 3pm onwards.

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II

ARC CINEMA

The Longest Day

Ced Nada

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Onibaba (U/C18+)

Japanese Film Festival. 2pm. See nfsa. gov.au for more info.

Acoustic soul with a jazz influence. Tapas from 5pm, happy hour from 6pm. Free.

On The Town

CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

Film

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Motown/disco/’80s & ‘90s from 9:30pm. Free entry (and get a free drink if you rock an afro).

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Exhibition – I AM...

Giving artists an opportunity to challenge the way people see disability. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Film

LnL 2xx present Fun Machine, Baby Freeze, The Sinbirds, Cromwell. 8pm. Free. THE PHOENIX BAR

Biscuits

Post-weekend sounds from Ryz, Peekz, Kimosabi, Steve On Weekends. Free pool. 9pm. Free. TRANSIT BAR

Something Different

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Trivia King O’s Trivia

Free entry and bar prizes. 6:30pm. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

tuesday DEcember 11 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

ARC CINEMA

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Music, Coffee

Bass, violin, looped vocals or something similar. 10am-11am. MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

Sunday Cider Sessions

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

No Lights No Lycra

Dance where no one’s watching. 7:30pm-9pm. $5. CORROBOREE PARK HALL

Karaoke Karaoke Love - Heat #4

Your last chance for a spot in Dec 18’s Grand Final $1000 prize. 9pm start. TRANSIT BAR

Live Music Samuel Cole 8pm.

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Something Different Christmas Carnival in the City

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Trivia Trivia Tuesday

$100 cocktail party as first prize. 7:30pm. Free. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Tye’s Space Trivia 7:30pm. Free.

THE PHOENIX BAR

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Christmas Carnival in the City

Buffalo Tales

Live Music

Dance

THE ABBEY

Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Wes Carr’s new project. With Martha Marlow. 8pm. $12 + bf presale, $15 door.

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

PJ’s Trivia Tuesday

Only $10. Tickets thru theabbey.com.au or by calling (02) 6230 2905.

Tenchi: The Samurai Astronomer (U/C18+)

Japanese Film Festival. 4:30pm. See nfsa.gov.au for more info.

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Mondayitis Cabaret XXXmas

Get loose for one of Canberra’s best bands. Owen M Carroll (Voss) and Shoeb Ahmad. 9:30pm. THE PHOENIX BAR

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

Faux Real

MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat).

Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free.

Exhibition – Notations

Friends who happen to be members of two of Australia’s most acclaimed bands. 7:30pm. $15.

CANBERRA REPERTORY SOCIETY

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Mike Noga (Drones) + Ben Salter (Gin Club)

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat).

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

1st place cash prize with Bar and Kitchen vouchers to be won! 7pm.

Fame Trivia From 7:30pm. THE DURHAM

WEDNESDAY DEcember 12 Art Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat). CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

Exhibition – Notations

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

86


87


ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Wed Dec 12 - Thu Dec 13 WEDNESDAY DEcember 12 (CONt.) Art Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Christmas Carnival in the City

Exhibition – Notations

GAREMA PLACE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

Theatre

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Rent

Exhibition – Alchemy

CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

Karaoke Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays $100 bar tab giveaway every week to most entertaining performer. 9pm. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Karaoke

From 10pm.

THE DURHAM

Live Music Sing For Your Supper

Singers, poets, musicians! Feeling hungry? Book your slot for a free meal! (02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm. THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

Something Different Bad!Slam!No!Biscuit! Poetry night. 9pm. THE PHOENIX BAR

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm.

Trivia Transit Trivia

Flex your noggin. Table bookings essential! 2 for $20 pizzas. 7:30pm. Free. TRANSIT BAR

thursday DEcember 13 Art Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat). CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

A skilled ceramicist specialising in porcelain objects. 11am-5pm (12-4pm Sat).

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

With uniVibes. Beers, bands and DJs jamming in the afternoon sun. Free. ANU BAR AND REFECTORY

We Don’t Give A F**k 10pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

The Trouble with Templeton

Exhibition – Alchemy

Moondog J

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Their first Australian national headline tour as a five-piece band. 8pm. $15. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

The Perth bluesman gets his soul on. 8pm. HIPPO BAR

Joe Robinson

Excellent guitarist. With Minnie Marks. 8pm. See thestreet.org.au for more. THE STREET THEATRE

Hard Cover 9pm

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Karaoke

Something Different

Karaoke Night!

Christmas Carnival in the City

1st place wins cash prize! Plenty of bar vouchers to be won too. 8pm. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Live Music Faux Real 9pm.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

The Resident Program: Los Chavos

This year’s final instalment of The Resident Program. 8pm. Free entry. TRANSIT BAR

Elisha Bones

With Bruges and Positive Feedback Loop. 9pm. THE PHOENIX BAR

88

Thursdays At The Bar

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Theatre Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

Saucy Panto

Not for children or humourless gits. Four nights only. Tickets/info by calling (02) 6257 2718. ANU ARTS CENTRE


ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Fri Dec 14 - Sun Dec 16 friday DEcember 14 Art Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat). CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Chad Croker/Something Like This

Live Music

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

With Jono Fernandez. 9pm.

Art

Ocean Party

Exhibition - College Express 2012

5pm/10pm.

Love Saturdays

Ced Nada

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

With Mornings, Ghost Rider and Old Ace. 9:30pm.

9pm.

Spruce Moose

A dynamic 4-piece band fronted by singer/guitarist/all round good guy Mr Mark Thompson. WALSH’S HOTEL

Something Different Christmas Carnival in the City

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free.

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Theatre

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

GAREMA PLACE

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Saucy Panto

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

ANU ARTS CENTRE

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm. CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set

CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

saturday DEcember 15

Exhibition – Feeder/Mirage/LPL

Film Love Strikes! (U/C18+)

Japanese Film Festival. 6:15pm. See nfsa.gov.au for more info. ARC CINEMA

Live Music Bombs Away “Party Bass Tour” 9pm.

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

Cheese/Retro

Perfect for your Christmas party escapades. 9pm, Free entry. TRANSIT BAR

Live & Funky House Fridays

Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. (And two happy hours!) Free. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

New Technique

With Sondrio, Logic, Zerosis, Dred. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

Moment of Truth

From 7pm-9pm, followed by resident DJ Craig with dancefloor classics/hits. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Art by Raquel Ormella, Patsy Payne and Arryn Snowball. 11am-5pm (10am-4pm Sat). CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE (GORMAN HOUSE)

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free. ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition – Crucible Showcase: Neon

Featuring work by Emma Davies and ceramic jewellery by Ky Curran. 10am5pm (Sat 12-4pm).

Terravitta (USA)

Subsquad Presents. 10pm.

Goji Berry Jam

A five-piece funk band to ease in your afternoon. 2pm.

Cilla Jane

Recipient of the coveted John Butler Seed Fund grant. 7:30pm. $10. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Dance On Course

13 new short dance works by contemporary dancers. 6pm. Tix thru ql2.org.au. QL2 THEATRE

Live Music Sunday Cider Sessions

Killing the Sound

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Parkway Drive

10:30pm.

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

Motown/disco/’80s & ‘90s from 9:30pm. Free entry (and get a free drink if you rock an afro). DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

The Crunch 9pm.

HIPPO BAR

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Atlas tour. With I Killed The Prom Queen, Northlane and Survival. All ages! $45.90 thru Ticketek. UC REFECTORY

Canberra Blues Society’s Monthly Blues Jam

A great afternoon of blues hosted by Canberra’s leading blues bands. $5/$3 members. 1pm-4.30pm.

Darren Hanlon

STATESMAN HOTEL

THE STREET THEATRE

Gypsy jazz manouche quartet with a 1930s sound. Tapas from 5pm, happy hour from 6pm. Free.

On The Town

Molly Contogeorge

The Xmas Show. With a guest or two! 7:30pm. Tix $23+ thru thestreet.org. au/(02) 6247 1223.

Old Skool Saturdays

Mix of Old Skool R‘n’B, 80s & 90s. Free entry. 10-11pm.

Dollface

A BITE TO EAT CAFE

Best described as soulful, jazzy, rock driven pop. 8pm. Free. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Sangria Sundaze

THE LIGHT HOUSE PUB

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

AIS ARENA

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm.

Exhibition – Domestic Renewal: a table re:set Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

Exhibition – Alchemy

Dance

CALWELL BAR N BISTRO

MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

CANBERRA CONTEMPORARY ARTS SPACE (MANUKA)

Canberra Roller Derby: Silence of the Jams

BILK GALLERY

Pub rock band. 8:30pm to late. Free.

Bass, violin, looped vocals or something similar. 10am-11am.

Art by the Here & There Collective. 11am-5pm.

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

April Maze

Obsessions

Music, Coffee

Exhibition – The Christmas Show

On The Town

MINT GARDEN BAR

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

TRANSIT BAR

ANU DRILL HALL GALLERY

Something Different

Live music in Mint’s garden bar. 6-10pm. Free. Heart-melting vocals with a blend of cello, banjo and more. Guest TBA. 8pm. $15.

The best party DJs Australia has to offer: M-Phazes, Flagrant, DJ Soup, Buick. Free pre-9pm.

Exhibition – Likan’Mirri II

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

Music @ Mint

Indigenous Art from the AIATSIS Collection. 12-5pm. Free.

Strictly Party #1

MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

Exhibition – Alchemy

BILK GALLERY

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Rent

Art

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

9pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm.

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free.

Get Stellar

Not for children or humourless gits. Four nights only. Tickets/info by calling (02) 6257 2718.

Craft practitioners, designers and architects co-produce a table setting. 10am-5pm (Sat 12-4pm). CRAFT ACT CRAFT & DESIGN CENTRE

THE PHOENIX BAR

sunday DEcember 16

On Course

13 new short dance works by contemporary dancers. 6pm. Tix thru ql2.org.au. QL2 THEATRE

Vice City Rollers vs NBR Brawlers. Doors 4:30pm, Game 1: 5:30pm, Game 2: 6:30pm. $14+ thru Ticketek.

Canberra Christmas Markets

Christmas-themed markets with gifts, food and... cheer... 11am-5pm Sat, 9am-5pm Sun. EXHIBITION PARK IN CANBERRA (EPIC)

Christmas Carnival in the City

Tunes from DJs Runamark & Mitch. 3pm onwards.

Something Different A Very Queer Christmas 9pm. $10.

THE PHOENIX BAR

Canberra Christmas Markets

Christmas-themed markets with gifts, food and... cheer... 11am-5pm Sat, 9am-5pm Sun.

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

EXHIBITION PARK IN CANBERRA (EPIC)

Theatre

GAREMA PLACE

GAREMA PLACE

Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

Christmas Carnival in the City

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

Theatre Saucy Panto

Not for children or humourless gits. Four nights only. Tickets/info by calling (02) 6257 2718. ANU ARTS CENTRE

Mario Gordon 9pm.

HIPPO BAR

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ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Mon Dec 17 - Fri Dec 21 monday DEcember 17 Live Music

Art

Biscuits

Exhibition – Alchemy

TRANSIT BAR

BILK GALLERY

Post-weekend sounds from Ryz, Peekz, Kimosabi, Steve On Weekends. Free pool. 9pm. Free.

The Bootleg Sessions

With The Toot Toot Toots and The King Hits. 8pm. Free. THE PHOENIX BAR

Something Different Christmas Carnival in the City

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Trivia King O’s Trivia

Free entry and bar prizes. 6:30pm. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

tuesday DEcember 18 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Dance where no one’s watching. 7:30pm-9pm. $5. CORROBOREE PARK HALL

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Karaoke

7pm.

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Singers, poets, musicians! Feeling hungry? Book your slot for a free meal! (02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm. THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission

TRANSIT BAR

Catchy folk melodies and lyrical sincerity, truly unique music. 7pm. Entry by donation.

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

thursday DEcember 20

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Exhibition – Alchemy

Trivia Tuesday

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Film

PJ’s Trivia Tuesday

1st place cash prize with Bar and Kitchen vouchers to be won! 7pm. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Quiztopher Columbus

Arc Cinema Presents. With Liz and Boling. 7:30pm. THE PHOENIX BAR

Fame Trivia From 7:30pm. THE DURHAM

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Sarah McLeod & Kim Salmon

TRANSIT BAR

10pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE

Cat Dog Monkey

Funky-folk with a bit of brass, a spattering of keys, and a sprinkling of vocal vibrato 8pm. $5. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Something Different Christmas Carnival in the City

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Rent

Christmas Carnival in the City

Exhibition - College Express 2012

$100 cocktail party as first prize. 7:30pm. Free.

9pm.

Theatre

Christmas Carnival in the City

Trivia

ANU BAR AND REFECTORY

Something Different

Art

GAREMA PLACE

Thursdays At The Bar

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Something Different A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au.

HA HA BAR

Trapped

Sing For Your Supper

Karaoke Love Grand Final

ComedyACT Open Mic

Reinvigorating Canberra hip hop. With Semantix, Anton and more. Hosted by Flawlezz. 8pm. $5.

Live Music

Theatre

Live Music

The Next Movement Pt. 2

Supported by Three Quarters Hazel and Glenroi Heights. 8pm. Presale from Moshtix.

GAREMA PLACE

TRANSIT BAR

Live Music

THE DURHAM

From 10pm.

Karaoke $1000 Grand Prize, but you gotta be in the heats to be in the running. 9pm.

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Degg

$100 bar tab giveaway every week to most entertaining performer. 9pm.

Tim Bowen

No Lights No Lycra

1st place wins cash prize! Plenty of bar vouchers to be won too. 8pm.

Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Dance

Karaoke Night!

With uniVibes. Beers, bands and DJs jamming in the afternoon sun. Free.

BILK GALLERY

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Karaoke

Karaoke

The Weddings frontman brings his yearly Christmas Tour to Canberra. 8pm. Presale from Moshtix.

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free.

90

WEDNESDAY DEcember 19

BILK GALLERY

Local Feats: The Dinner Party (2010)

Canberra feature film w/ director’s talk. 6pm + 9pm. Tix/info: http://newacton.com.au/localfeats KENDALL LANE THEATRE

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

friday DEcember 21 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat). BILK GALLERY

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Live Music Charles and Dave 9pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Live & Funky House Fridays

Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. (And two happy hours!) Free. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Nite Society

...with some very speial guests. Find ‘Nite Society’ on Facebook. 8pm. TRANSIT BAR

Moment of Truth

From 7pm-9pm, followed by resident DJ Craig with dancefloor classics/hits. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

End of the World Party 10pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE


ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Fri Dec 21 - Mon Dec 24 Music @ Mint

Live music in Mint’s garden bar. 6-10pm. Free. MINT GARDEN BAR

Chicago Charles/Special K 5pm/10pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Jemist 9pm.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Cha Cha Char 9pm.

HIPPO BAR

Moondog J + The Bodies

A master of blues harmonica and a formidable guitarist, singer and songwriter.8pm. $10. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

SIC End Of The World Party With Ember. 9pm.

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

Something Different Christmas Carnival in the City

A 12-day free event in the city. Rock climbing, bumper boats and more. See inthecitycanberra.com.au. GAREMA PLACE

Theatre Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

saturday DEcember 22 Art Exhibition – Alchemy

Speciman A (UK) & Doctor Werwolf (Syd)

Subsquad Christmas party. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

Oscar

10:30pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

Motown/disco/’80s & ‘90s from 9:30pm. Free entry (and get a free drink if you rock an afro). DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

The Fred Smith Band’s Orphans Christmas 9:30pm.

THE PHOENIX BAR

Love Saturdays

With Ashley Feraude. 9pm. ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

Alex Carder 9pm.

HIPPO BAR

On The Town Old Skool Saturdays

Mix of Old Skool R‘n’B, 80s & 90s. Free entry. 10-11pm. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Theatre Rent

The classic! Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jarrad West. 8pm. CANBERRA THEATRE CENTRE

sunday december 23 Art

New work by Mark Vaarwerk, a modern day alchemist. 11am-5pm (11am-4pm Sat).

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Exhibition - College Express 2012

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

BILK GALLERY

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free. BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Art by graduating students. 10am-5pm. Free.

Live Music Sunday Cider Sessions

Film

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards.

Death in the Outback Double Bill (MA15+)

A Very Metal Sunday

The 25th Reich (2012) and Razorback (1984). 7:30pm. ARC CINEMA

Live Music Jordan Millar 8pm. $10.

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Music, Coffee

Bass, violin, looped vocals or something similar. 10am-11am. MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

Princi 9pm.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Strictly Party #2

With Katalyst, DJ Katch (Resin Dogs), Danielsan (Koolism), D’Opus and Jemist. Free pre-9pm. TRANSIT BAR

Cell Block 69

12th edition of their final show ever! With Leisure Suit Lenny. $18 + bf thru Ticketek. 8pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Scaramouche, Wretch, Tonk and more turn up the volume. 4pm. TRANSIT BAR

On The Town Sangria Sundaze

Tunes from DJs Runamark & Mitch. 3pm onwards. THE LIGHT HOUSE PUB

monday DEcember 24 Live Music Yacht Rock

The Boathouse reopens for a Xmas Eve Party. W/ Ashley Feraude, Princi, Ced Nada and more. 7pm. KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

A Very Fro & Mo Christmas With SCKC, Fro & Mo DJs, and Deepcuts DJs. 8pm. Free entry. TRANSIT BAR

ANU BAR AND REFECTORY

Goji Berry Jam

A five-piece funk band to ease in your afternoon. 2pm. MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

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ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Wed Dec 26 - Sat Jan 5 wednesday DEcember 26 Live Music WDGAF Boxing Day Special 10pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE

Boxing Day R&B Heat 9pm.

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

thursday DEcember 27 Karaoke Karaoke Night!

1st place wins cash prize! 8pm. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Live Music Open Decks

monday DEcember 31 Live Music Bass in the Place

With Timmy Trumpet, Chris Fraser, Runamark and more. 9pm til late. Free. GAREMA PLACE

New Year’s Eve @ The Polish Club

No Hausfrau, The Wanninashvilles, Nozl. 7pm-3am. $30/25/20. THE WHITE EAGLE POLISH CLUB

Oscar

10:30pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

NYE with Timmy Trumpet 9pm.

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

wednesday january 2

10pm.

THE CLUBHOUSE

Live Music

Dos Locos

Sing For Your Supper

5pm

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

friday DEcember 28 Live Music Heristic

10pm.

Book your slot for a free meal! (02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm. THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

Karaoke Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays 9pm.

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Karaoke

Live & Funky House Fridays

THE DURHAM

Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. Free.

From 10pm.

thursday january 3

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Music @ Mint

Live music in Mint’s garden bar. 6-10pm. Free. MINT GARDEN BAR

Saturday DEcember 29 Live Music Boom Ting

Capital Dubstyle Presents. 10pm. $5. THE CLUBHOUSE

Music, Coffee

Bass, violin, looped vocals or something similar. 10am-11am. MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

Goji Berry Jam

Karaoke Night!

8pm.

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Live Music Chad Croker 9pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

friday january 4 Live Music Special K/Surrogates

A five-piece funk band to ease in your afternoon. 2pm.

5pm/10pm.

Love Saturdays

Mr Bill & The Fruit Bat

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

THE CLUBHOUSE

MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

With Runamark. 9pm.

Eargasm Presents. 10pm.

Bare Noize (USA)

Live & Funky House Fridays

Subsquad Presents. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

Motown/disco/’80s & ‘90s from 9:30pm. Free entry (and get a free drink if you rock an afro). DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

sunday DEcember 30 On The Town Sunday Cider Sessions

Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. Free. DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Music @ Mint 6-10pm. Free.

MINT GARDEN BAR

saturday january 5 Live Music Killing the Sound

10:30pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards.

Aphrodite

Sangria Sundaze

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Tunes from DJs Runamark & Mitch. 3pm onwards. THE LIGHT HOUSE PUB

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Karaoke

TJS Presents. 10pm. THE CLUBHOUSE

9:30pm. Free.

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR


ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE Sun Jan 6 - Wed Jan 16 sunday january 6 Live Music Sunday Cider Sessions

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Monday January 7 Live Music Biscuits

Post-weekend sounds from Ryz, Peekz, Kimosabi, Steve On Weekends. Free pool. 9pm. Free.

Live Music Austin Lucas

King O’s Trivia

Free entry and bar prizes. 6:30pm. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

tuesday January 8 Art Exhibition - College Express 2012

10am-5pm. Free.

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Dance No Lights No Lycra 7:30pm-9pm. $5.

CORROBOREE PARK HALL

Karaoke

Monday January 14

The Young Troubadours tour w/ Jamie Hay, PJ Bond. 7:30pm. $15 presale from trybooking.com, $18 door.

Art

Live Music

Sing For Your Supper

Exhibition - College Express 2012

10am-5pm. Free.

Post-weekend sounds. Free pool. 9pm.

THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

Live Music

Trivia

The Imperial Carpetbaggers Tour

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Book your slot for a free meal! (02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm.

Transit Trivia

Flex your noggin. Table bookings essential! 7:30pm. Free. TRANSIT BAR

TRANSIT BAR

Trivia

saturday January 12

thursday January 10

Biscuits

TRANSIT BAR

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Trivia King O’s Trivia

Free entry and bar prizes. 6:30pm. KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

With The Two Few and The Reasons to Live. 8:30pm. $15.

tuesday January 15

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Music, Coffee

Bass, violin, looped vocals or something similar. 10am-11am. MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

CORROBOREE PARK HALL

10:30pm.

Exhibition - College Express 2012

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Karaoke

Goji Berry Jam

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

A five-piece funk band to ease in your afternoon. 2pm.

Karaoke

Nite Society

Karaoke Night!

TRANSIT BAR

10am-5pm. Free.

8pm.

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Live Music Faux Real 9pm.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

The NEO + Sydney Creswick

Flamboyant and theatrical show band. 8pm. $10. THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

No Lights No Lycra

7:30pm-9pm. $5.

Oscar

Art

Dance

Karaoke Love 9pm. Free.

MOCAN & GREEN GROUT

TRANSIT BAR

8pm.

Trivia

Jemist

Trivia Tuesday

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

9pm.

7:30pm. Free.

Cha Cha Char

Fame Trivia

9pm.

From 7:30pm.

HIPPO BAR

THE DURHAM

Blame It On The Boogie Saturdays

PJ’s Trivia Tuesday 7pm.

P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

Motown/disco/’80s & ‘90s from 9:30pm. Free entry (and get a free drink if you rock an afro).

wednesday January 16

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Karaoke Love

Charles and Dave

TRANSIT BAR

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Live Music

Buick and crew kick off January. 8pm.

Art

9pm.

Mario Gordon

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Karaoke

9pm. Free.

Melissa Main Duo + Ellen Kimball

Eclectic tunes, sing-able choruses and an impertinent, goodtime vibe. 7pm. Entry by donation.

9pm.

Funkin’ Gonutz TRANSIT BAR

9pm.

HIPPO BAR

friday January 11

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Exhibition - College Express 2012

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

$100 cocktail party as first prize. 7:30pm. Free.

Live Music

PJ’s Trivia Tuesday

JK Rollin

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

1st place cash prize with Bar and Kitchen vouchers to be won! 7pm. P J O’REILLY’S (TUGGERANONG)

wednesday January 9

5pm.

KING O’MALLEY’S IRISH PUB

Tin Sparrow

Princi

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

9pm.

KNIGHTSBRIDGE PENTHOUSE

Live & Funky House Fridays Acoustic/soul & jazz 6-8pm. Funk house from 9:30pm. Free.

Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

With The Stafford Brothers. 9pm.

9pm.

Academy’s 9th Birthday Party

Karaoke

ACADEMY NIGHTCLUB

THE DURHAM

6-10pm. Free.

From 10pm.

THE GEORGE HARCOURT INN

Glory Days

THE FRONT GALLERY AND CAFE

Carter Rollins

Melbourne rock duo. 8pm. $5.

Wil Wagner (Smith Street Band), Isaac Graham (Syd), Ben David (Adel), Lincoln LeFevre (Tas). 8pm. THE PHOENIX BAR

Trivia Transit Trivia 7:30pm. Free. TRANSIT BAR

Joel Harrison

Exhibition - College Express 2012

Karaoke

(02) 6230 2484. 6:30pm.

HIPPO BAR

Art

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Sing For Your Supper

Live traditional Irish music in the beer garden. 5pm onwards.

9pm.

Stunning harmonies, hooks and pop. 7:30pm. $10 + bf thru Moshtix.

10am-5pm. Free.

Live Music

Live Music

Fame Trivia Trivia Tuesday

THE DURHAM

BELCONNEN ARTS CENTRE

Sunday Cider Sessions

10am-5pm. Free.

From 10pm.

10am-5pm. Free.

Art

THE DURHAM

Carry-on Karaoke Wednesdays

DIGRESS COCKTAIL BAR

Trivia From 7:30pm.

Karaoke

sunday January 13

Music @ Mint

OUT

JAN16

kevin clash sextape directions to the land before time bargains on dmt all the tea ...nothing else!

MINT GARDEN BAR

93


FIRST CONTACT

SIDE A: BMA band profile

Miscreation Where did your band name come from? We thought we were a bit of a ‘mis-creation’ of metal genres, combing all the kinds of metal we loved listening to into one genre, so it seemed an appropriate name. Group members? Murray Coombe – guitar, Jaryd Webster – drums, Ryan Downs – vocals, Dylan Bailey – bass guitar. Describe your sound: Not for the faint-hearted: fast, loud and brutal. We describe ourselves as a ‘blackened melodic death metal’. Who are your influences, musical or otherwise? The Black Dahlia Murder, Lamb of God, DevilDriver, Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse, Machine Head and Behemoth. What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had whilst performing? On our first gig, I managed to blow up my mate’s stack amp – everyone said we were too heavy for it to handle! Of what are you proudest so far? I am proudest of one of our originals we wrote called State of Decomposition. It was the third song we wrote and it went for around eight minutes in total. The song tells the story of an extremely violent, zombie-like person who believes he is some sort of God. What are your plans for the future? Find a second guitarist, keep writing originals, get an EP released and start getting our name into the Australian death metal music industry. What makes you laugh? Trying to organise a time for us bunch of teenagers to practice! What pisses you off? That there isn’t a huge amount of support for death metal bands in Canberra; there are only a select few venues that you can play at and there isn’t the largest following. What about the local scene would you change? Some more venues that could support local death metal bands that were also all ages, instead over-18s only. What are your upcoming gigs? We haven’t got any more lined up just yet. We just played one on the weekend at The Basement. We would like to focus on finishing our recordings and finish our new originals before we hit the stage again. Contact info: facebook.com/MiscreationMetal; miscreationmetal@hotmail.com.

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Aaron Peacey 0410 381 306 Activate Jetpack activatejetpack@hotmail.com Adam Hole 0421 023 226 Afternoon Shift 0402 055 314 After Close Scotty 0412 742 682, afterclose@hotmail.com Alcove Mark 0410 112 522 Alice 0423 100 792 Allies ACT (Oxfam Group) alliesact@hotmail.com/ myspace.com/alliesact Amphibian Sound PA Clare 0410 308 288 Amplif5’d Classic rock covers band Joy 0407 200 428, joybarac-heath@hotmail.com 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/ arythmiamusic@gmail.com Backbeat Drivers Steve 0422 733 974, www.backbeatdrivers.com Big Boss Groove Andrew 0404 455 834, www.bigbossgroove.com.au Birds Love Fighting Gangbusters/DIY shows - bookings@birdslovefighting.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 Capital Dub Style - Reggae/Dub Events + DJs facebook.com/CapitalDubStyle Rafa 0406 647 296 Caution Horses Nigel 0417 211 580 Chris Harland Blues Band 0418 490 640 chrisharlandbluesband@yahoo.com.au Clear Vision Films rehearsals/film clips/stunts - 0438 647 281 wcoulton.clearvisionfilms.com Cole Bennetts Photography 0415 982 662 /colebennetts.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 hifidelitystyles@yahoo.com 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, easymodeband@gmail.com Entity Chris 0412 027 894 Epic Flagon band@epicflagon.com 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 Gareth Hailey DJ & Electronica 0414 215 885 GiLF Kelly 0410 588 747, gilf.mail@gmail.com Groovalicious Corporate/Weddings/ Private functions 0448 995 158 groovalicious@y7mail.com Guy The Sound Guy live & studio sound engineer, 0400 585 369, guy@guythesoundguy.com HalfPast Chris 0412 115 594 Hancock Basement Tom 6257 5375, hancockbasement@hotmail.com Happy Hour Wendy 0406 375 096 Haunted Attics band@hauntedatticsmusic.com Hitherto Paul 0408 425 636 In The Flesh Scott 0410 475 703

Inside the Exterior Nathan 0401 072 650 Itchy Triggers Andrew 0401 588 884 Jacqui Seczawa 0428 428 722 JDY Clothing 0405 648 288/ www.jdyclothing.com Jenn Pacor singer/songwriter avail. for originals & covers, 0405 618 630 Jim Boots 0417 211 580 Johnny Roadkill Paulie 0408 287 672, paulie_mcmillan@live.com.au Karismakatz DJ Gosper 0411 065 189/ dj@karismakatz.com Kayo Marbilus myspace.com/kayomarbilus Kurt’s Metalworx (PA) 0417 025 792 Little Smoke Sam 0411 112 075 Los Chavos Latin-Ska-Reggae facebook.com/loschavosmusic Rafa 0406 647 296 Andy 0401 572 150 Manilla Green Herms 0404 848 462, contactus@manillagreen.com, Mario Brujo Gordon world/latin/ reggae/percussionist and DJ. 0405 820 895 Martin Bailey Audio Engineer 0423 566 093 Words for You: writer/publicity/events Megan ph 6154 0927, Mercury Switch Lab Studios mercuryswitch@internode.on.net Missing Zero Hadrian Brand 0424 721 907 hadrian.brand@live.com.au Moots aspwinch@grapevine.com.au Huck 0419 630 721 MuShu Jack 0414 292 567, mushu_band@hotmail.com MyOnus myonusmusic@hotmail.com/ www.myspace.com/myonus No Retreat Simon 0411 155 680 Ocean Moses Nigel 0417 211 580 OneWayFare Chris 0418 496 448 Painted Hearts, The Peter 6248 6027 Phathom Chris 0422 888 700 The Pigs The Colonel 0422 412 752 Polka Pigs Ian 6231 5974 Premier Audio Simon 0412 331 876, premier_audio@hotmail.com Rafe Morris 0416 322 763 Redletter Ben 0421 414 472 Redsun Rehearsal Studio Ralph 0404 178 996/6162 1527 Rhythm Party, The Ross 0416 010 680 Rob Mac Project, The Melinda 0400 405 537 Rug, The Jol 0417 273 041 Samsara Samahdi 0431 083 776 Sansutra J-Ma 0403 476 350 Simone Penkethman (Simone & The Soothsayers, Singing Teacher) 6230 4828 Soundcity Rehearsal Studio Andrew 0401 588 884 Solid Gold Peter 0421 131 887/ solid.gold@live.com.au STonKA Jamie 0422 764 482/ stonka2615@gmail.com Super Best Friends Matt 0438 228 748 Surrender Jordan 0439 907 853 Switch 3 Mick 0410 698 479 System Addict Jamie 0418 398 556 The Morning After (covers band) Anthony 0402 500 843/ myspace.com/themorningaftercovers Tiger Bones & The Ferabul-Zers Danny feralbul@aapt.net.au Tim James Lucia 6282 3740, LUCIAMURDOCH@hotmail.com Top Shelf Colin 0408 631 514 Transmission Nowhere Emilie 0421 953 519/myspace.com/ transmissionnowhere Udo 0412 086 158 Undersided, The Baz 0408 468 041 Using Three Words Dan 0416 123 020, usingthreewords@hotmail.com Voodoo Doll Mark 0428 650 549 William Blakely Will 0414 910 014 Zero Degrees and Falling Louis 0423 918 793 Zwish 0411 022 907


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BMA Magazine 408 December 06 2012  

Canberra's Free Entertainment and Gig Guide

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