CONTENTS Proud Supporters of SA Music!
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From The Editor Better Red than Ded - Sound Of The Underground Kings Of Leon: Come Around South Africa Kings Of Leon: Come Around South Africa Staind: Chapter V1 machineri: Arrive With Nothing. Leave The Same. Imagining Sound: Storm Thorgeson And The Art Of Musical Visualization Dan Patlansky: Speaking In Blues jezebel's VPL: with Gerald Clark - Midnight In The Garden Of Blues & People Stalking Shadowclub Stalking Shadowclub Try Fidelity? Three Band/Artists To Watch Out For Try Fidelity? Three Band/Artists To Watch Out For Bombino: The Singing Survivor Chris Letcher Inside The Machine: Music News Inside The Machine: Music News Legends of Modern Music: Jeff Buckley Classic Albums: Zappa. Joe's Garage New Albums New Albums Game Reviews Venue Guide & Live Events Cover photo: Dean Chalkley Venue Guide & Live Events
Published & Distributed by: Coalition : Tel: (021) 913 8423 | Fax: 086 544 1361 firstname.lastname@example.org | www.museonline.co.za Magazine Publishers: David McKinley, Thomas Whitebread Managing Editor: David McKinley - email@example.com Music Editor: Dave Mac - firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Director: Thomas Whitebread - email@example.com Contributors: Dave Mac, Thomas Whitebread, Terri Love, Mary Honeychild, Mickdotcom, Paul Blom, Alan Ratcliffe, Alistair Andrews, Kurt Slabbert, Damien Albetto, jezebel, James Rose-Mathew, Jonathan Pike, Greg Bester, Chantall Nortjé, Deborah Rossouw, Sergio Pereira, Nicolai Roos, Steven Jacobson, Craig Wilson, Johann Smith, Eliza Day, David Chislett and Matthew De Nobrega
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MUSE Magazine 2011
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EDITION 17 OCT/NOV ‘11
er... r newswleottrd : Join ouem e ail th
Simply nline.co.za s@museo ‘join’ to new
ere’s a little fact about music appreciation. The music that you listen to when life is free and life is a jol is likely to be the music that you will remain attached to most of your adult, music listening life. So if your were a teenager or college student, say in the nineties, then it’s the 90’s bands that’ll be the mainstay of your music listening ear thereafter. What this means is that when you turn, for example 40, and have that big 40th birthday bash, all married like with kids, mortgage bond, 9 to 5 job, peak hour traffic every day, braais with the in-laws on weekends, kids sport on Saturday mornings... you know life in the ‘burbs with the white picket fence and all – shoot me now! - So as I was saying when you have that 40th bash you’ll end up rocking out to all those 90’s tunes you grew up on. It’s unavoidable and here’s why; firstly there is the whole nostalgia thing which is kinda obvious. It’s your 40th – heck, if ever there was a good time to get nostalgic and listen to all those tunes you rocked out to when life was free then this would be it, but secondly and this is my real point; you’ll also play all your old 90’s songs because when you grew up, (finished college, got that ‘sensible’ job, settled down and started to become an adult) that’s when you stopped taking a real interest in music and started to die a little inside every day. Be warned it’s very subtle though. This does not happen overnight. Slowly your appetite for new music wanes, the regular Friday night live gig at your local venue becomes monthly, then six monthly and then soon you’ll be saying ‘shit bud I can’t remember when I watched a live band play hey!’ Those wild all weekend benders at music festivals have been replaced by Mr. Responsible. So, here is my point. If you are 20-something right now and you are reading this and thinking ‘pl-eeease dude I’ll never stop loving new music and the ‘burbs? Are you kiddin’ me?’ I am sorry to say the statistics are against you. Just ask your dad. And if you are already 40-something, or perhaps 30-something and reading this you should have an inkling as to what I am alluding to although I must congratulate you – at least you are reading my magazine and clearly still have an interest in music, fleeting or not. So here’s the deal. Let’s make a pact right here, right now. Never give up on music. Ever. No matter where else you end up in life, no matter how responsible you need to become, without music your soul will die a little every day. Don’t just save it for the nostalgic ‘those were the days’ events like birthdays and holidays. That’s called living in the past. Live for now, live for today and embrace the awesome new sounds of the 21st century ‘cos while the music industry as we knew it may be dying, music itself is being reborn all the time. Within these pages right here, in this edition, we speak of many great and interesting artists both here and abroad so let this be the moment when you embrace music for today and for the future! Till death do us part. Music I love you. Dave Mac
Ramble on... EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Feature Writers and Columnists Mickdotcom – Features Writer Strange he may be at times but that’s why we love him so. Mick has an extraordinary talent with words and an even more extraordinary taste in music. He brings a much needed eccentric edge to MUSE. jezebel Wordsmith and worldwide wanderer, jezebel now makes her home between the lines, writing for print and pixel. She enjoys dissecting the arts and their contribution to (sub)culture(s) as well as encouraging critical inquiry into everyday existence. www.wwwordup.blogspot.com / www.facebook.com/jezebellll
jezebel © Jonx Pillemer
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James Rose-Mathew Forever roving around UK and Europe, the restless James has an eye for a good story and an ear for good music. Whether he attends a massive electronic outdoor festival, or the heaviest of heavy metal shows, you can be sure James manages to somehow balance his mind between having the party of his life and actually getting the story. Hugely passionate and equally adept we always look forward to his next venture abroad as he give us the lows and highs of some of world’s best indie artists around today. Kurt Slabbert – Play Better Guitar Kurt completed his studies at the Guitar Institute in London in 2003, and moved back to SA to take up a teaching post at COPA. He also runs his own production company called Bluenoise productions that writes for radio and television. He currently plays for Sama nominated band, Jam, on Tuesdays and does various live sessions and studio work. Kurt endorses line 6 gear. Check out www.bluenoise.co.za and www.realguitar.co.za Alistair Andrews - Play Better Bass Alistair is a professional bass player, music technologist and producer. He specialises in 6 and 12 string bass (preferably fretless). He has performed with international greats such as Phil Driscol, Efrain Toro, Alvin Dyers, Winston Mankunku, Merton Barrow, Errol Dyers, Robbie Jansen, Harold Jephta and many more. He also lectures music technology with one of Africa's top Jazz and African music programs at The University of Cape Town. Alistair endorses WARWICK Basses and strings, MEC pickups, SWR amplification and DIGITECH effects. He also runs the high-tech & digital section at Paul Bothner Music. Http://www.alistair.co.za Jonathan Pike - Your Private Universe Jonathan currently works as an Audio engineer and instructor at Cape Audio College. He has also in the past managed a theatre and worked as a Lighting and Sound engineer at the University of Kwazulu Natal Pietermaritzburg. Alan Ratcliffe - Software Reviews & Tutorials Alan is the author of the Electric Guitar Handbook and is busy writing a book entitled Hotrod Your Electric Guitar. Find out more about him at www.ratcliffe.co.za or discuss all things guitar with him at www.guitarforum.co.za
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COLUMNIST By Eliza Day
Better Red than Ded
Sounds of the Underground Invasion of The Mole Men!! Crossing over Live to Eliza Day...
hose of you who have joyfully ejected yourselves from reality as we perceive it in yukky flesh and blood and embraced sexy cyberspace will get where this is all going. The sleepy sighs of the music ‘scene’, echoing through the concrete jungles of our world, are lacking in sparkle and devoid of magic. This is because sonic evolution is no longer being conjured up in production the way it once was in our physical environment. Music in all its transient mystery has eluded the real world and moved on into the immersive possibilities of the internet. That’s where it’s at ya’ll. Swag. In the last couple of years, one of the great visionary, snake-hipped prophets of our time, David Bowie, has had his two -tone, misty- eyed burbling proven, “The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within ten years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. I see absolutely no point in pretending that it’s not going to happen. I’m fully confident that copyright, for instance, will no longer exist in ten years, and authorship and intellectual property is in for such a bashing. Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. So it’s like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You’d better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that’s really the only unique situation that’s going to be left. It’s terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn’t matter if you think it’s exciting or not; it’s what’s going to happen… ” (June 9, 2002). The current music movement is a Technicolor dreamboat of themes,
memes, mash-ups, sampling and style. Slowing down Screw style and speeding up to super-psychotic acmes of innovation that all takes place on social networks like Facebook, Rateyourmusic and Soundcloud, and secret groups in revolt against mainstream media. Writing about witch haus, Seapunk, Lolicore and home-spun hip-hop almost goes against the point of this kind of production. In fact some of the most ardent witch house occultists deliberately remove all recognisable information from the
The most impressive part of this primordial pie in the sky is that the amount of production that is coming out of these online artists is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Due to the close-knit nature of the networks, music is produced all day, every day and then enjoyed by others the same day at parties or even remixing it and putting it on a mixtape for further sharing online. The chat on the groups is like high school on speed after hitting fast forward on your VCR. Slang and style changes faster than you can send a
internet in order to keep the ‘scene’ pure and avoid being put into a box, or just having to deal with people who don’t know what the ef is up. Witch haus as an underground music movement is pretty difficult to describe or pin down. It’s not directly related to slowed down beats or horror like it is sometimes referred to by those who are only exposed to the more ‘commercial’ witch haus derivation bands like Salem. How it pretty much works is that a bunch of like-minded internet geeks all over the world spend most of their days online and smoking a lot of pot while their imaginations and DJ skills run wild on scintillating aesthetics and breaking music boundaries.
trend and what was hot on YouTube last week is considered ‘classic listening’ today. You pretty much have to constantly contribute if you want to keep up. Meme’s the word in the incredible secret society. Music’s also never looked so damn good; these fashionably correct creators really know how to put the swag in drag. Finally a direct refusal to go down the shallow nasal passage of synthetic pop, ‘Cyber Wave’ is what is going to carry music, at least until the next digital development. Now for South Africa to join the unreal world and get some serious broadband.
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COVER FEATURE By Sergio Pereira
The Kings of Leon presented by Nokia, 5FM and SABC3
outh African music fans don’t like tour cancellations or postponements. Postpone once, and we might forgive you. Postpone twice, and you might as well just load your music onto The Pirate Bay, because we won’t be buying your albums anymore (just ask Limp Bizkit). We won’t even talk about cancellations, because that is just unforgivable and you’ll be shunned worse than a ginger stepchild.
The dramallama In January of this year, drummer Nathan Followill confirmed on his Twitter account that Kings of Leon were postponing their South African tour, originally scheduled for March, in order to allow him time to recover from surgery for a torn right labrum and bicep. Fans weren’t happy, but all was dandy when new tour dates were announced for October. However, in August, the interwebs went nuts, after news broke that they were postponing their US tour, due to a bit of a public meltdown by frontman Caleb Followill. The rumour mill went into overdrive and local fans began to panic that KOL might be postponing their South African dates for the second time. In fact the rumours were so rife that organiser Big Concerts were forced to come out and declare: “Please note that the Kings of Leon South African dates are not affected by the US tour postponement! The SA
tour is still scheduled for the end of October!” Big Concerts’ reassurance must’ve eased fans’ unbearable nerves – but now, as the tour draws nearer, the blood pressure inevitably rises again, as anxiety has been converted into excitement, while South Africa eagerly anticipates what many have referred to as one of the last few, true rock ‘n’ roll bands of today.
Origins Formed in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee in 1999, the band, named after their grandfather Leon from Talihina, Oklahoma, consists of brothers Caleb Followill (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums, backing vocals), Jared Followill (bass, backing vocals) and their cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals). Fairly rapidly, KOL built up an impressive fan following in their formative years, and by the time their EP, Holy Roller Novocaine, and debut album, Youth and Young Manhood, rolled out in 2003, the band were already getting the thumbs up from tastemakers and renowned publications, which favourably compared them to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Strokes.
How good can Kings of Leon get? “How good can the Kings of Leon get? They’ve already gone further than anybody could have guessed.” This quote was taken from Rolling Stone
magazine in 2007, just after the release of their third studio album, Because Of The Times, which ultimately ensured the band some international recognition, but had not quite catapulted them into global superstardom just yet. It was only after the release of their fourth album in 2008, Only by the Night, which spawned the smash-hit singles, Sex on Fire and Use Somebody, that the Fo l l o w i l l c l a n s u d d e n l y b e c a m e household names and darlings of mainstream radio. Nathan Followill explains, “The funny thing is that Only By The Night was the first album we approached with the attitude of not trying to make a popular record. We just made the record we wanted to make and it ended up being our best-selling album.” Despite this new-found popularity, the band did second-guess their sudden explosion. In an interview with Spin Magazine in December 2009, frontman Caleb Followill admitted, “We definitely got bigger than we wanted to be. You feel like you've done something wrong. That woman in mom jeans who'd never let me date her daughter? She likes my music.” Nonetheless, even if they were doing the rockstar thing of resenting commercial success, the band still toured the globe for two years behind Only By The Night, picked up accolades and awards - including a prestigious Grammy nomination - and became goliaths of the music industry.
Around South Africa
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“One of the last few, true rock 'n' roll bands of today…”
South African Tour Dates: found its way into Rolling Stone’s Best Come around success With success comes inevitable criticism, Albums of 2010 list at #18, and earned and this came from the band’s initial fan the band another Grammy nomination. base who felt that their early albums were significantly better than the South Africa awaits commercial heavyweight of Only By The Not content to be downloading off the Night. KOL must’ve been trolling the illegal torrent sites or copying from their forums, because, on their 2010 effort, friends (naughty, naughty), local Come Around Sundown, they went back audiences have also been contributing to their roots. “I don’t think any of us positively to the band’s enormous were thinking we had to make a record success, as Only By The Night has gone that would stand next to Only By The Platinum and Come Around Sundown Night. We definitely didn't want to go in has achieved Gold status in SA. there and make a record out of fear that it Unquestionably, these achievements wouldn't be as big,” Nathan says, before prove without a shadow of a doubt that explaining how the new album is also a South Africa wants Kings of Leon here – portal for newer fans to rediscover the and this is something that has also been band’s back catalogue. “It'll be neat for confirmed by 5fm Program Manager, people who know us only from our hits, Vukile Zondi, who is quoted as saying, because they’ll get to hear where we’ve “Kings of Leon has been the most come from musically. I think a couple of requested band to see live by South these songs will turn on newer fans to Africans for several years now.” Now, with the tour closer than ever, our older music, because it’s hard to imagine the band that wrote Sex on Fire fans finally believe that it will really take is the same band that wrote Trani [from place. The ‘will-they-come-or-won’tYouth and Young Manhood]. They’re they-come’ debate is still raging on the songs from totally different worlds. I blogs and forums, but all we can do is think Come Around Sundown has wait. Wait until the moment that the something for everyone on it, and I hope lights go down and the first few notes it leads people to discover us in a totally from Caleb Followill’s guitar officially announce their arrival onstage. new way.” When that moment happens, the Come Around Sundown ended up being another hit for the band, as it naysayers will be eating their words and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, the rest of us will be rocking out!
The Kings of Leon presented by Nokia, 5FM and SABC3 26 October: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town 29 October: Soccer City, FNB Stadium, Johannesburg Tickets still available at Computicket With support from Die Heuwels Fantasties, Shadowclub and The Black Hotels
COMPETITION FREE Tickets 6 double tickets (seated tickets valued @ R 340 each) for the Cape Town Show And 6 double tickets (seated tickets valued @ R 340 each) for the Joburg show. To Enter: Visit the Muse Magazine website today www.museonline.co.za Or scan the tag below to enter on your Smartphone.
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muse | ten
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW By Sergio Pereira
“There's no question that the majority of our success has come from some of the softer songs that we've done…”
ixteen years after their inception, melodic hard rockers Staind are still going strong. Surviving nu-metal, metalcore and even the current posthardcore era, the Massachusetts outfit are always a constant on the charts and playlists of rock fans around the globe. In fact, it seems like all that Aaron Lewis (vocals/guitar), Mike Mushok (guitar) and Johnny April (bass) touch, inevitably turns to gold. Unlike many modern counterparts, the band have had a regular line-up for most of their entire career – until the recent exit of Jon Wysocki (drums), who left after the recording of their new a l b u m . U n d e n i a b l y, t h i s departure must make things feel a little different in the Staind camp, and the remaining members will have some thinking to do about finding an adequate replacement for Jon. “Of course…it is definitely different. It wasn’t an easy choice or path,” says guitarist, Mike Mushok. “As of right now, we have our drum tech, Sal Giancarelli, who is also a great drummer, playing drums for us. We have plans to try and do some auditions, possibly towards the end of the year, because we don’t have a lot of time right now.”
Get Heavy! One of the reasons why the trio might not have much time on their hands is because they’ve just dropped a brand-new selftitled release, their seventh studio album. Refusing to release another collection of soft songs, Staind have promised that their new album will feature harder and heavier material – but why the sudden change? “We felt it was time. Especially with our last record [2008’s The Illusion of Progress], [where] we experimented and wanted to try something different, and we did that and we were happy with how it turned out,” Mike says, before adding how
STAIND CHAPTER VII record, there’s still some heavy songs on there – it’s always been a part of what we do – but there’s no question that the majority of our success has come from some of the softer songs that we’ve done.”
Deadlines and Legacy
the band discussed the direction of their next album after TIOP and how they were going to go back to their roots. “I focused on writing heavier songs and making a heavier record. We’re really happy with the end results and how it came out. It’s definitely a return to where we came from, but with a more modern sound.” It’s actually quite surprising that Staind have gotten heavier now in their old age (snicker), because most bands seem to get softer as their career progresses. Perhaps the band decided that they don’t want to be remembered just for their ballads? “I definitely consider us a rock band,” Mike laughs, insisting that he hopes that no one considers Staind as just a ballad band. “Even if you go back to our last
Interestingly, for the first time in the band’s history, their record label gave them a deadline for their new album. So, did this deadline make the band feel pressured or did it force them to just deliver a raw record without overthinking too much? “That’s a good question,” Mike pauses. “I don’t know if we’ve ever overthought anything. There’s always pressure when you go to make a record. You always want to do something different and come up with a group of great songs – in that, it creates its own kind of pressure, especially if you’ve had any kind of success. I do think that the pressure was definitely more on this record for that reason. More so for Aaron, as the songs were pretty much done – he writes the lyrics around the music once it’s done. While we were doing it, he was doing his solo thing, so it made for a difficult process, but I really think he stepped up and did a great job. Funny thing with Aaron is that he kind of needs that pressure to get things done.” In closing, I ask Mike the hypothetical question: if Staind were to end tomorrow, would this to be the album he would want to be remembered for? “Sure. I’m definitely proud of this record. You have to feel like the last record you’ve put out is the best thing you’ve done. If you don’t feel that way, then the record is probably not done. I do think from all that pressure and turmoil of making this record, something great came from it.” For more information on Staind, go to www.staind.com.
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By Johann M Smith
After three years of grunge-blues noise, constant praise and persistent insults, machineri have made their first full length album featuring art work by the legendary Storm Thorgeson. Over beers, coffee and cigarettes we discussed business, drugs and the state of the nation.
ock and roll has been proclaimed dead. Aren’t you merely dreamers seeking validation from a departed music genre, well revered and sorely missed– and that ultimately we’re all just playing make believe? Sannie Fox: I don’t think rock is dead. I don’t think it ever will be. Every artist seeks validation. This is not a dream, this is reality. Once over breakfast, Mojo Magazine’s Sylvie Simmons gave a similar question to The Black Keys, who simply shook their heads. Daniel Huxham: People will always latch on to rock. There are bands that are to the point and those who latch on. I think if your heart is in it, it rings true. The bands that inspire you... greatly influenced the society of their time. Do you think you can? Sannie: Some of my lyrical ideas have been borrowed from politics. Like Father Gun and Soul People, on the new album. There’s stuff that makes me angry. But whatever you sing about comes from a sincere place. Roger Young [Mahala] has stated ‘machineri demand a kind of woozy head bobbing attention, in a scene that may not be able to provide it.’ What do you think?
machineri: Arrive with nothing. Leave the same.
Daniel: A lot of bands make it big here, but you can only go so far before you’ve reached the ceiling. It’s really young here. I think if we go overseas I would like to come back frequently. Sannie: I grew up in London, but SA is my home. I love this country. The only difficulty is my career. The infrastructure is very limited and everyone is getting competitive. It’s petty. And I need to see other successful musicians. We’re cut off from a very important thing: sharing ideas. You think you will be as easily forgotten as Tweak, or are you going to do what members of Fuzigish have done; help pioneer alternative music in South Africa? Daniel: I hope we inspire people. Sannie: We’ve only been around for three years. You should just go for a certain amount of time. If you work hard, your music will live one. But there’s an element of magic you need, to be in the right place at the right time, and hope the magic swings. Swing it! Swing it! Sannie, you have been described as a grunge Barbie, drug addict and prima donna. Where is the truth in that, if it’s anywhere at all? Sannie: I don’t have much of a response. I’m here to do my job. And unless you know me personally, don’t say anything. Fans that listen to my music are there for the music. Those who talk shit are entitled do so. I only care if it’s stuff about music. I can’t wipe the rumours, but I will say one
thing: don’t do drugs. It’s bad for your soul. Well...not to be petty or anything but your live vocals are a bit inaudible. Daniel: She phrases her lyrics in a very interesting way. Like Brandon Boyd from Incubus. She sings over a bar in such a way that it won’t just start and end in a bar. And if you’re not used to that, it sounds strange. Sannie: And sound engineers predominately put vocals at the same level of the drums and guitar. If you can’t hear what I say, the lyrics are in the album. What has the last three years taught you? Daniel: The industry is much better than it was ten years ago. You can actually make a career. Just give it more time. Sannie: We work hard, when we rehearse we’re fucking hard and that’s it. After machineri left the interview, I felt like their lyrics. I arrived with nothing and left the same. They already say what they need to in their music. If things were different, they could refuse, like their idol band, Led Zeppelin, to be interviewed at all – because they would know that people would listen without explanation. Follow them on Facebook here – www.facebook.com/machineri
Imagining Sound Storm Thorgeson and the art of musical visualization
oday's world is a cacophony of binary data. The world we navigate on an hourly basis is an assault of arbitrary images and generic information. Even music humankind's most spiritual claim to artistry - is being clipped and transmogrified into byte-sized bits swept along the cyber slipstream like so much brightly fading detritus. Album covers (that already nearextinct artform) seem for the most part mere gaudily generic after-thoughts: One interchangeable with the next. Bleep-bleep. Click.
Once upon a time, long, long ago... It was the mid-Sixties. Rock music, infused with reckless, new-born e l e c t r i c i t y, w a s b o o m i n g i n t o unchartered territories of sound and meaning. The customary album cover consisting of artist name and album title, accompanied by still photo of said artist was no longer sufficiently representative of the sonic energy contained in said album. Instead of the standard 'sit-down with your instrument of choice and we'll take a photo' approach, visual artists were commissioned to creatively represent the sonic swirls: to snap-shot the art rather than the artist. Though millions remain unaware of him, the work of Storm Thorgeson is inextricable from the music of Sixties/ Seventies legends like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. His album covers for Led Zep's Houses of the Holy and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon are consummately entwined with their sonic scapes. Decades later Thorgerson's work for the likes of Muse, Audioslave and The Mars Volta are similarly intimate and arresting - leaping free from the global genericism of contemporary album covers. Over the course of four decades his numerous visual contributions to Popular music have crowned him the undisputed king of album cover design. Most recently this visual giant of 20th century music designed the cover for Cape Town-based band machineri's debut album. We were granted an interview with the man.
Picturing the music. How did it all begin - What triggered the interstice of your visual work and music/bands? "Circumstance involving a friend who declined to do Saucerful [Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets 1966]; so I offered my services. The band said: 'What do you know about album covers?' 'Not a lot...', said I. 'Okay', said they." [Following Saucerful.., Pink Floyd called on Thorgerson for around a dozen of their legendary covers, including Wish You Were Here, Atom Heart Mother, The Division Bell and Pulse..] Both David Gilmour and Roger Waters attended art school, and the band seems to have always been visually literate. [Thorgerson interrupts, "They have?"] To what extent, if at all, did members of Pink Floyd interact with your ideas and ultimate designs for their albums? "All four interacted via refinement and criticism but did not design - except for Animals, which was dreamt up by Waters, and Momentary Lapse of Reason, which came about in part from an idea of Gilmour's.” What is the relationship between your cover art and a given album's musical content? "As close as we can make it. We [Thorgerson's design group xxx] always listen to the music, often many, many t i m e s . We u n r a v e l t h e u n d e rcurrents/preoccupations which inform the music, and use them to inform the cover.” How did your designing of local outfit machineri's debut album come about, and what was your vision behind it? "I met the band in Cape Town through a friend. I went to a gig, we got on, and I offered to design their cover if they'd like me to [Mick: Cough-cough-splatter tries to catch breath.] My design reflects the mixed gender of the band in the rocks and in the body painting." Any albums you would've loved to do the cover art for but didn’t'? "About 100... They're all in a book cleverly entitled 100 Best Album Covers (Dorland Kindersley)." Check out www.stormthorgerson.com for more of the humble legend's visual audacity.
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW By Mickdotcom
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By James Rose-Mathew Photo by: Derius Erasmus @ 3De Studios
DAN PATLANSKY: Speaking in Blues
ust imagine if one could be as fluent on an instrument as one speaks a language. That's where I want to be.” So says one of the country's finest guitar players, Dan Patlansky. If you've ever heard the man coax a melody from his Fender you'll know full well that this statement makes him a pretty modest fella. He makes six strings gabber in tongues. The Western musical scale has only twelve little notes to it and yet this man pulls a gob-smackingly dynamic range of noise from that finite palette. It's widely regarded that one needs to put in at least 10,000 hours on a particular craft to become a master of it. Patlansky is only 29 and by his account “was about 14 years old when the passion for playing really took over.” I'm lousy at maths but it would appear logical to me that he's been literally glued to his instrument for half of his life. Images of the guy nestled in slumber while his fingers run some exotic scale over and over on autopilot
deep into the night simply don't seem far-fetched. Funnily, he adds, “It's amazing how quickly my playing gets stale.” I was present in the throng lucky enough to catch his fiery performance at Oppikoppi this year. Trying to fathom what 'stale' might mean for him, based on the energy thrown down that fret board that day, is somewhat laughable. Because Dan Patlansky knows guitar. Like a boss. His modesty again checks my run-away enthusiasm, claiming that even for him “it's sometimes very hard to keep it fresh. For example, most of the guitar solos are improved on the night. So needless to say some nights are great and some are crap! So, just like any other discipline I still try spend as much time playing as I can.” For those of you who've been somehow left out of the loop, Patlansky is a Blues man. For the last ten years he has been showcasing his incredibly raw and provocative take on the genre to captivated audiences around South Africa, playing pretty much everywhere and anywhere that can stand the heat that peels from his overworked fingers.
He's done stints overseas, New Orleans most notably, where he has made a marked impact. So much so that this young musician has noted a shift in the demographics of his audience over time – “When I started out years back my fans were of the 40+ crowd. I've still got a big fan base of that age group, which is awesome, but in recent years younger people have been added to that fan base in a big way! That is really exciting for me. It means that this genre will never die. At my shows today we have a complete spread regarding age groups.” The fact that his influence is so penetrating could be put down to the fact that, as he says, “I always put 100% into every performance regardless of the size of the crowd. And I'm never satisfied with where I'm at musically.” Patlansky is the embodiment of an artist, fully invested in his craft and in his creations, a technical virtuoso but still deeply connected to the feelings conveyed and never one to rest on his laurels. He is in the final stages of producing his fourth album, one which has high expectations considering all previous outings have been critically acclaimed. He says of the new record, “I'm really excited about the new album. I think it has rawness to it and a lot of heartfelt energy. I think it’s far dirtier than my previous albums, with the strongest songs so far in my opinion. It's a blues album, but with an old school Rock n' Roll twist.” Watch Patlansky shred the blues @ museonline.co.za or scan this tag to view on your Smartphone.
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muse | sixteen
COLUMNIST By jezebel Photo : © Sarah Scott
Gerald thinks he’s closed, but the man is open for business. Thanks to Midnight Sessions SA, he has a DVD out before an album. Music biz, huh? It makes all the rules.
k love rougoed,” Gerald blurted out somewhere in our conversation, something that stood out against the gritty, selftaught stuff his fluid blues is built of. We’re sitting in a trendy Vredehoek café not eating dinner and I’m wondering who on earth would want to go to a gig at midnight. Raw and real - that’s the premise of a participatory project he’s involved with called Midnight Sessions SA. It’s a new effort to put visuals to music, and to put you in the easy chair of an intimate, underground, after-dark jam via DVD. Midnight Sessions is about the lifestyle that builds the show – good music, good whiskey, cheap wine, good friends, good times, and really late bedtimes. While it seems odd that juicy Gerald Clark (or anybody who sings for their supper) would release a DVD before a fresh album (isn’t the DVD the second base of music marketing?), when the idea is eighty percent inspiration and the rest is up to a businessman you trust, it’s not so far-fetched to invite everyone into your world without knowing them. In a chat to Gingerlocks, we agreed that the music industry needs more street cred, and that means multi-media, man. jezebel: So how do you get away with it? Gerald: With playing so much – with what? No, with being a ginger. I’m not sure I – You ARE a ginger right? You mean how do I get away with being a ginger and playing 29 shows a month? It’s not about being an individual any more. In business, you mean. And in music? Depends. You understand the music industry, probably better than I do, coz you pick the brains of producers and musos. My music career has been - since Delta Blue – under the
radar; I kept it there subconsciously. When I stepped into music it was never about making money, it was purely because I like doing it; there was an opportunity to do it. Do you think lots of guys pick up a guitar, and think, “I heard Jimi Hendrix this afternoon; I want to be a musician!”? For sure! For me, I just really wanted to play blues. I spent four, five years without thinking ahead. When I write a song, I can never get away with anything. That’s why I don’t write thousands of songs. But the songs I do choose, I do believe in, and I will deliver it, and people will hear it. Music is music; it comes from the heart. If you don’t write an honest song, you need a very good producer. But I’ve seen some pretty young producers at work in studio and the result was excellent; I think that was because the music had integrity.
jezebel’s VPL with Gerald Clark Midnight In The Garden of Blues and People
Like The Pretty Blue Guns, yeah. Do you think learning the business side of a music career is a little like learning to play to a click track? In studio? When the pressure’s on? It depends what you wanna do with the music. If you want a successful album, you should learn the industry’s rules.
Are there any other rules worth learning? There’s a lot of rules I need to learn. Cooking, for me. I almost messed up a perfect egg and sausage meal this morning.
Ahem. Change of subject (sic) what does Jezebel’s VPL mean to you? Very Poisonous Lingering. Ssss, Gerry, rou; no comment. http://www.facebook.com/Midnight SessionsSA p.s. I love gingers. I wish I was a ginger. Tori is a ginger.
You know about cholesterol, right? OK! I will not eat egg and sausage tomorrow morning. I will think of you when I juice my apple.
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Johannesburg three-piece, Shadowclub, have had a tumultuous time since forming four years ago. They’ve been through three bassists, broken up and reformed and recorded demos only to ditch them, yet despite all of this have created a loyal following in the process. At last, they have an album, Guns and Money, and they’re going to do everything they can to ensure as many people as possible hear it.
meet Shadowclub outside a Johannesburg coffee shop on a warm September evening and the camaraderie between the three is almost palpable. Having known them for a number of years and having tracked the bands various vicissitudes, I start with the big question their fans have been asking shortly after they appeared on the live scene: Why the hell has it taken so long to record and release an album? Vocalist and guitarist Jacques Moolman laughs and says, “We had teething problems”. Drummer Isaac Klawansky adds, “We tried a couple times”. Moolman reckons the band tried a few years ago to record at SABC but that it “didn’t come together.” He says the band tried again last year, but the result was “too smooth and popified”. Louis Roux, a childhood friend of Klawansky’s and the most recent person to fill the role of bassist nods agreeably, “The last time we recorded conventionally, you know, with a click track and that sort of thing. The producers focused on commercial
viability. This time we did it how we wanted to do it, and that meant doing the whole thing live.” “We essentially moved into the studio, and Matt [Fink] made that possible. It was the ideal environment,” says Moolman. Matthew Fink, of The Black Hotels fame and a man who’s developing a reputation as a great producer, produced Guns and Money and allowed the band to essentially live in studio for the two-week recording process. Aside from overlaying vocals, and some additional harmonies and guitar parts the band recorded every track together, as if doing a live performance. They tell me they thought this was the best way to capture the essence of S h a d o w c l u b’ s s o u n d b e c a u s e , ultimately, as Klawansky insists, “Shadowclub is a live band first and foremost”. For a long time the trio was disjointed, performing erratically and prone to periodic breaking- and makingup. Moolman says that’s behind them now, “We’re starting to work really well together and being more diplomatic. We’re focused now; we know what the
brand is, and we’re all on the same page. Klawansky says the problem was that before now the band “never had all the pieces together… or the right bassist.” “Most people have jobs they go to from 9am to 5pm. And often ‘a hard time’ means a tough project or a nasty client, but you still get paid,” says Moolman. “A hard time for us was almost losing everything we had and almost killing each other. Getting to this point, with a great product, is something we’re really proud of.” Now signed to Karl Anderson’s Just Music label, whom they almost signed with a few years ago, Moolman says the band “weren’t ready for Karl the first time around.” Klawanksy came to know Anderson better through his involvement with the band Flash Republic, another of the label’s artists. “I knew we’d made a mistake the first time. But we kept in contact,” says Klawansky. Despite a fall out with Anderson, once the band felt suitably settled again, after Roux joined, they approached him for a deal.
They say they now enjoy a great relationship with the label owner and reckon they have him to thank for getting their material on digital platforms like the iTunes store, and for encouraging them to press the 500 white vinyls of the album they’re selling at gigs. While Anderson handles distribution and most of the band’s publicity and marketing, Klawansky has become de facto booking agent and manager. “We had bad experiences with managers and booking agents. The industry here is small enough to do it yourself,” he says. Despite an increasing presence on television, radio and online, the band still finds venues that haven’t heard of them and sometimes end up playing support stages. Moolman smiles and states positively, “it’s a good thing that. It keeps us grounded and motivated.” “From the outside looking in people think that because you have a video and a deal you must be doing well, but we’re still working hard,” says Roux.“Even when you get what you wish for there’s no time to take it in, you have to keep at it.” Moolman says in many ways the band feels they’re “at the beginning again”, but that now they’re“treating it more like a business, and we know we have to go through all of the hard work required to make it a success.” Regarding the recent success the band has had in the mainstream media, Jacques says there’s no denying “the audience changes once someone like 5FM picks up your track.” “It also makes getting gigs easier,” says Klawansky.“ Venue owners suddenly think you’re popular and give you a slot when before they wouldn’t even bat an eyelid.” They laugh as Moolman points out that one of the downsides of their newfound popularity is that “suddenly even random acquaintances seem to have become our best friends”. “[Popularity]isn’t going to influence our writing style though,” interjects Roux. “Perhaps we’re popular because the timing is right. Indie culture has been redefining what’s popular. We’re not on radio because we write pop tracks, but because the collective ear is changing. The Black Keys, won five Grammys, that wouldn’t have happened five years ago.” Moolman attributes the bands new sense of cohesion to being “pretty supportive of each other. We talk about
what’s going on with ourselves. Being in a band is an incredibly deep relationship to have with other people. It’s like a marriage, and sometimes egos and emotions run rampant.” Although the band has only recently started promoting the album aggressively, Moolman says they’re “always writing new stuff”and that the “writing experience is becoming very integrative. Louis is very involved. We’ve got a ton of material waiting for us to get it down.” “This album marked a particular time, and it’s a great footprint of that time,” says Roux.“I’m ready to record another album again. I think we all are.” They all agree, “This was the best recording experience ever. We want to do it again, and soon,” adds Moolman. Roux says Shadowclub’s current idea of success is “playing loads and earning enough to get by, but we also want to be able to have families and ‘normal’ lives. It’s not just about stardom or the rock ‘n roll lifestyle”. The band plans to promote the album and tour overseas, and are keen to see if a European label picks up on the release. “How we define success changes with time, and will keep doing so,” says Roux. “Right now we want to go overseas, and our first stop is Europe next year during the South African winter. We have aspirations of getting released elsewhere too, and to do that we need to do what we’re doing here, there. But we still want to be able to come back here and play The Bohemian,” he smiles. Not heard Shadowclub before?
muse | twenty two
By Eliza Day Witchboy photo by Jenna Bass
Matthew Fink photo by Hayley Poultney
Coals of Juniper photo
by Nikki Rich
Try Fidelity? Biting off all I can chew and choosing a few with what is making my ears prick up in the SA music scene.
hese artists provide such damn good information, I feel like not devoting a whole article to each one is akin to licking the dots off a ladybug; you realise you kinda want to eat the whole thing. Anyway, here are my current
three favourite music makers to look out for. Matthew Fink, one part of The Black Hotels and one of the originators of cool if you know anything of Durban back when it was like L.A. on Astros and The Station night club was thumping. Witchboy is probably the most
innovative creature South Africa has seen this side of a sequin and peanut butter samie. Welcome Space Cadet! Last but not least are The Coals Of Juniper who give us their 5 cents on what's up right now whilst winding up reminding me of that nursery rhyme, Winkin, Blinkin and Nod...
Witchboy I’m kind of in to the whole aesthetic of a thing and trying to picture what a sound would look like if it was a room or place or person etc. What does Witchboy's sound look like in this context? Since Hollymode is probably coming out first I'll describe its room... The Room was as big as the world. In a corner were three tables with three chairs each. The blackness around them carried with it all the momentum of drawn stage curtains. Marylin glanced at her Mickey Mouse watch. Three hundred years had passed since Marylin had tabled this Room world. It only took a minute to lay a floor. She shrugged the shoulders of her shinebright vinyl. “Room to breathe,” she thought out loud, tapping her wingtips above the scuffed linoleum. But the sound went nowhere. It simply hovered about like an ominous vulture. She eyed the sentence as it resounded menacingly over the chipped formica tables. She had to restrain an urge to slap herself for speaking - fearful as she was of echoes. ‘This joint really needs some music,’ she thought. And even she didn’t know why the shoulder pads on her suit were so big. Her vinyl hair gleamed, but you couldn’t tell from where the light source originated. A chrome announcer’s microphone on a vintage stand solved the sound problem. She cleared her throat and speaker systems relayed out into space. (Erm...that was amazing.)
So you're releasing Hollymode this year. What IS that? Well, Hollymode is a theme album. It's a retro concept which lent itself to the more expansive prog rock albums and one which hasn't been in vogue lately because albums had been getting all 'smallified' to suit commercial viability. Of course all that's changed with the internet and sites like bandcamp.com allow one to go back to retro in a futuristic way. So with Hollymode I am going for the whole cartoonification of Hollywood in all its sleazy, gory glory. I grew up (like all of you probably) watching cheap movies set in LA and felt that the reality in films like Repo Man and Terminator were in many ways more real than the actual reality of Hollywood. I felt that all this could be married into a sort of Billy Wilder on crack concept album. The result is a diverse array of songs sniping at movie universes, false prophets selling shamballa to housewives, HP Lovecraft rap, sex droid cyber-hop, futurist vestron video confessions, plastic candy doll gutted on neon beaches at sunset, zero-g parties in space stations, Laura Palmer etc. I also wanted to try break the mould with the music a bit and in fact only three tracks involve sequencing. The rest is basically live electronics - even the drums are tapped out! So the
music is live and free of BPM constrictions. I thought this musical approach would suit the organic kaleidoscopic intensity of my biblical visions of an all encompassing mode which all of us are familiar with. A mode which remains mystical and magical even though it is the cheapest form of lumo bubblegum that ever got stuck under your leopard print spike heel. What was the first album you ever bought/borrowed/stole? I bought NWA's Straight Outta Compton in London when it was still banned in SA. Then I made blackmarket tapes and flooded the freak circuit at school. 4 favey faves right now? These are my top 4 right now songs - : Crave - Young Iggy Azalea - Pussy Nattymari - Strob3lit3 Eternity Zone - Popshop
Matthew Fink of The Black Hotels Could you tell me a little bit about the early days of The Station? I was barely 19. The Station had been open for 2 weeks when I got chatting to club founder and legendary Durban DJ, Richard Every. He asked if I would spin some records for a few minutes while he went to the bar. He returned 2 hours later and I had myself a residency for the rest of the clubs existence. The patrons were an eclectic mix of Durban's underground youth having way too much of a good time. Best moments: Any time that Live Jimi Presley were in town for a performance. Epic fail moment: Accidently setting the DJ box alight and damaging all the equipment with a fire extinguisher.
muse | twenty three
What was the first album you ever bought/borrowed/stole? It was a gift from a family friend: Adam & The Ants Prince Charming 7" (B/W Christian Dior) The Black Hotels have recently brought out your well received new album, Honey Badger. Tell us a bit about where you were going with this one. With Honey Badger we made a conscious decision to create a new sound within the band. For my part I ditched the vintage Fender Rhodes & Hammond organ tones for harder driving synthesizers. To a degree the album takes influence from music we were listening to at the time of writing and recording. While Honey Badger sounds nothing like The National, Arcade Fire, XX, LCD Soundsystem or Interpol, I'm sure that the then current albums by those artists were a subconscious creative catalyst.
Coals Of Juniper I’m kind of in to the whole aesthetic of a thing and trying to picture what a sound would look like if it was a room or place or person etc. What does the Coals Of Juniper sound look like in this context? Jono: Ha-ha! This is going to get strange! We mostly look like two Indians and a White guy. Kidding, kind of. I think our sound doesn’t hold its form for too long, it’s continually transforming or morphing into its next shape. We like to think it transports you. Joel: Like think of a 60’s muscle car being driven in the scorching desert by you, now rain is tapping at your window, then you’re in a thunderous storm, now suddenly a calm landscape. Jude: And every colour swirls in strange unison as a fat lady becomes weightless and jumps in slow-mo on the moon eating an ice-cream. Jono: Then its coffee machines and washing machines, bashed down doors and fists in the air. And maybe imagine singing too, because we don’t. And then maybe you wake up and come back to reality.
What was the first album you ever bought/borrowed/stole? Jono: Tree’s Overflow, on cassette tape. Yes, before they became Tree63. Joel: House Anthems Vol. 2. It was long ago! Jude: Keith J. He was a local Indian rapper I think…
4 favey faves right now? (Discussion and arguing ensues) Jono: Okay, here it is. R. Kelly, Kesha, Beyonce, 50 Cent. Joel: He’s just joking. Seriously Jude: Here’s the real list: Radiohead, Soundgarden, Hiromi Uehara, and Isochronous.
muse | twenty four
By Mary Honeychild Photo by Chris Decato
The Singing Survivor
ombino is a soul gripping vocalist and guitar playing musician. His spirit, passion and love for his roots carry him through his career like the magic carpet ride over the desert in the fairytale that has now become his life. His story started in 1980 in Tidene, Niger a Tuareg encampment just outside of Agadez in Africa. During the 1990’s due to the community backbone breaking rebellion in Tuareg, Bombino and his family were forced to flee to neighbouring Algeria for safety. Throughout his years in exile he continued to nurture deep within himself the stories of Agadez and held a mission in the depths of his soul to tell his country’s stories. In 1997 he returned home and pursued a career in doing exactly that; all the while continuing to face adversity and struggle. The phases of rebellion only but went through waves of calmness, then eruption.
The Politics “I have experienced in my life many problems because of politics and my community too. I learned a lot playing with political musical groups. So it is related to my life. I’m not interested personally in politics. I just speak from my own experience and the effect it has on my community. Politics is a big part of this so it is integrated in my life. The messages in my music are very important to me,” says Bombino. He is without a doubt a man who has experienced loss and pain in ways that have become almost classical in the story of a war torn third world Africa. He has in the same way risen above what was prescribed to him as destiny and changed
“I have experienced in my life many problems because of politics and my community too.” the face of his own circumstance, through music. The turn of 2010 saw the end of the fighting in Tuareg; celebrated through a grand concert by Bombino and his percussionist Serge.
The pressure to sing in English… He sings in his traditional languages and neither feels the need or pressures himself to start singing in English – insisting that no vital part of the story gets lost on whomever it’s intended for. “You see we are playing this music to discover our culture and our language. What we do is translate the meaning of the songs during our concerts, this way others can also understand and it embraces everybody,” he affirms.
What you may not know about the desert “The desert has something special; there is a saying in Tuareg: ‘If the water washes the body the desert washes the spirit’. This magical place gives peace, freedom and silence to its people. When you come to the desert it cleans all your problems you may keep in your spirit. And, even the taste of meat cooked in the desert with the same vegetables and cereals as in the town is very different; it is so good to eat it. You will feel free, really, when in the desert. It gives comfort because you will have a big space only for you with billions of stars,” he explains.
they loved so much, and how one day they would all be back.
The Rolling Stones Project Bombino laughs, “When I played with the Rolling Stones I did not know who they were, I just understood that they are great when I saw their cars! I think I realised then who they were. We recorded the song Hey Negritude and it was a great experience.” Bombino is certainly an ambassador for subtle boldness in storytelling for his p e o p l e a n d r e m a i n s h u m b l y, a representation of the true peace that dominates Agadez. He manages his lifestyle and career with a forward thinking and forgiving outlook on what it means to be alive. Agadez is a homeland of nomadic people who herd camels, goats and sheep. However, as simplified as their existence may be - they still always remember why and ‘how-to’ fight fiercely in the name of the continued existence of their culture and heritage. This is definitely something we can look upon as a telling anecdote for our own lives. Watch a short video of an intimate concert Bombino held in Agadez @ museonline.co.za or scan this tag to watch on your smartphone.
About the beautiful song Assalam Felawan This melodic piece written during his exile in Burkina Faso in 2008, speaks about the unity of his community and the hardships encountered during the war. He sings of the insecurity of the people and the heart wrenching need to run away from the land
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muse | twenty five
By Craig Wilson
Chris Letcher London-based composer, academic, and multiinstrumentalist Chris Letcher is no stranger to SA music fans. From his days with Urban Creep to his work with Matthew van der Want, Letcher has a reputation for innovative compositions and genre-bending albums. His latest, Spectroscope, is out this month and we spoke to him from London about it, justifying glockenspiels, and why he’s not an ‘adult contemporary’ artist.
pectroscope sounds far more energetic and rockinfused than Letcher’s debut, Frieze. I ask him if this was simply the way the songs developed, a deliberate decision, the result of recent influences, or something else e n t i r e l y ? “ T h e r o c kinfluenced side comes from working with the band and regular rehearsals – knowing you have to bring something new to play in the practice studio so the old tunes don’t get stale.” Talking about the title, Letcher says it’s a metaphor for the album as a sort of spectrum where each song seems as though it has a different, unique, band behind it. “There are also a lot of light and sun metaphors on the album,” he says.“I’m not actually sure it's the right title, but titles are hard to get right.” The album was produced by Finn Eiles, the producer behind albums from the likes of Razorlight and the legendary My Bloody Valentine. I asked Letcher how he came to work with Eiles. “Finn was one of the recording engineers suggested to us by the studio we were working in. We initially just did the drum, bass and guitar tracks with him but I liked the way he worked and he seemed to suit the music so we asked him to mix the record as well –
that was a mammoth job: there were hundreds of unruly tracks to tame. He did well. I hope he didn't find it too traumatic a process.” Spectroscope traverses a vast amount of ground in terms of genre, arrangements, and time signatures. As a composer I wonder if Letcher is more easily bored than other musicians. “I suppose I want to explore new ideas rather than just recycle and make something that's distinctive and can stand up to a few listens.” “It’s not about being tricky for the sake of it, though,” he adds. “The first song on the record [The Sun! The Sun!] for example, is in 7/4 but the point is for it to be a rocking groove despite that. It's a funny asymmetrical beat but it rocks hard, in a fun way, it’s like an offkilter We Will Rock You. Arrangementwise, I consciously tried to extend the palette but in a way that didn't feel gratuitous. If you're going to put a glockenspiel on that melody you need a pretty damn good reason,” he laughs. It seems to me that Letcher makes pop and rock music for adults, that is, music with a degree of sophistication often absent from contemporary music. Letcher pretends to gasp, “Oh no, boring adult contemporary – it's come to this!” He laughs before adding, “I would like to make music that you feel but can also think about; and it has to be fun too. I think there is a lot of
music around that does that”. Being London-based, Chris is spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing live acts. I ask him who most inspires him at the moment? “I saw Sufjan Stevens’ most recent tour which was amazing: insane and really thrilling. I also heard Kevin Volans' new piano concerto at a prom the other day, and that was ridiculously exciting with its thundering, huge bass drum rolls and dazzling piano/strings/ xylophone writing. The whole thing really was just perfect.” Despite the fear that it might be like asking a parent to choose a favourite child, I ask Letcher what his favourite track on Spectroscope is and why? “My favourite part is the last third of The Loneliest Air. The way all the rhythms build up and cross. I also like the weirder structured-ones at the moment – the fragment structure of You Only Had To Point with all the crossing lines, and the way the melody returns at the end of One Died – It always feels like a massive release after the key-less pounding.” With more than 20 years of experience making music, I suggest he offers a single sentence of advice to aspirant musicians. “Just try, and keep going, make music carefully and thoughtfully but let in the random and explosive, and look for a voice that's just yours,” he offers. He reflects on this, and before we sign off adds, “It sounds like I'm trying to convince myself!”
muse | twenty six
MUSIC NEWS We Set Sail
Inside We Set Sail are almost done with Something Bout The Moon a new seven track album. “It’s been long awaited, we have had some bad luck on our side, Trinity was in a hit and run car accident” says bassist Thee Patrick. “She is fully recovered now. That’s given us and the CoffeeStainedVinyl Studio crew more time to work on the finer details”. Produced by the band, Teejay Terblanche, and mastered by Troy Glessner from Spectre in Seattle USA, the album is set to be released this summer. “We are planning on adding a few extra sounds to the album, which may include some extra instruments” concluded Patrick. “I’m not going to say too much; let’s keep that a surprise.” https://www.facebook.com/wesetsailcapetown
The recent Loerie’s EMI Battle Of The Bands, gave away a recording contract to the value of 40 000 – an elephantine amount unseen by musicians not in advertising (compare it to the Frown video budget below). Still, Johannesburg The Privates International Band who took the crown, are worth the cash. Apart from The Loerie’s, there’s an ongoing interest in music from the advertising industry. Like Heuwels-and-Locnville-sounding sextet 140. Their first single Say it Better echoes the words of ad guru Luke Sullivan: “First say it great, then say it straight”. And their name itself implies the Twitter protocol but the band insists “it’s not just a cheap way of getting into the minds of the social network obsessed youth market.” MK has awarded R 60,000 to The Frown to make a video for their track The National out before the end of the year. A-making-of, shot by Joburg party monster/photographer Justin McGee, will be posted online. The band also promise “remixes by SA’s finest underground DJ’s and musicians.” In addition, The Frown are doing a one night only Opera – set to be out in late November, in association with Hell Records and The Alexander Theatre. They’re keeping mum about details, but said: “it will be a collaborative multi-media dark arts monster.” http://www.facebook.com/#!/thefrownmusic
Reburn plan to release a double single. “We’re still busy recording but its gonna blow minds bruv” says front man Scottie. “It’s a fresh new rock sound, a lot more mature and not as frantic, it still sounds like us but more defined.” Also, bassist Jono Templer had a kid and has been replaced by Mancunian, Liam McDevitt. “He’s solid and brings a new energy to our live show.” Scottie concluded, “we also want to tour the country nonstop next year” The first single will likely be We Are Here. http://www.facebook.com/#!/ReburnCT
The Plastics are working on a new album. There are rumoured to be leftover tracks from the Gordon Raphael produced Shark. Also, guitarist, Arjuna Kohlstock posted online: “I’m thinking of changing my name. Which is better, Ramazuki, Flamegrill or Jethro?” We reckon Arjuna Ranatunga – that’ll make for some fun during rehearsal cricket games. www.theplasticsband.com
The Great Apes
The Great Apes have completed an eight track album or in their words: “agt fokken lank hondjags tracks!”. Recorded in 5 days at Bloo Room Studio in Ladismith. Producer Jo Ellis employed the most primitive methods in an effort to capture the Apes’ chest thump live sound. The whole concept and design is still being finalised but “it’s coming and it’s going to be huge”. When asked about a possible tour the band answered “Ja ,to the ends of the earth buddy.” The Apes are also planning the most “befokste” Halloween party featuring machineri, Basson Loubscher, Dead Lucky, their new favourite band, and the chairman of the board Sailor Jerry. If you want to know if the Great Apes will be appearing at HorrorFest, see the next page. www.thegreatapes.co.za
muse | twenty seven
MUSIC NEWS with Johann M Smith
Terminatryx’s Remyx v 1.0 global remix album is being released in November (see review on Pg.35). Paul Blom has stated “we'll do a live launch, being streamed globally on-line from Sound & Motion Studios, Cape Town.” Find dates and updated info at www.terminatryx.com/remix. The bonus track Maciste Descends accompanies a scene in HorrorFest where a lead character is tricked by demons and sent to hell. Of the 2011 HorrorFest Paul mused “we wanted to diversify as widely as possible to include all media.” The annual fest incorporates music by creating original soundtracks to silent horror movies. Performed live to the screen by Makabra Ensemble – the Terminatryx-driven collaborative project. This year will debut a new soundtrack to a 1920 version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. “All of these movies with their new soundtracks will be released on DVD in the future.” Paul concluded: “We're looking into doing a HorrorFest after party, and will let you know if we're able to slot The Great Apes in or not.” HorrorFest happens 30 October 9pm at The Labia Theatre, Cape Town. For more info www.horrorfest.info or www.terminatryx.com/makabra The Cape Music Industry’s latest research shows writing and recording film music in our own country, instead of exporting it, could be an opportunity for musicians and audio engineers in Cape Town to grow their space in the industry, greatly. The company is working on several ways to involve more local music in film. Most recently, they brought over Trevor Jones , award winning composer of Last of the Mohicans, GI Jane and Notting Hill fame. www.capemic.coza MP Philip Dexter and Roscoe Palm are starting an NGO called The Indibano Foundation – aiming to give underprivileged musicians greater access and understanding to industry. They have some serious struggle credentials. Dexter’s band in the 80’s were accused of fraternizing with communists, during his 7 year exile he entered politics. And Palm’s band Retreats, wrote a protest song, Vote In Vain, before the 1999 elections. “There are plans to purchase land and build a studio. Our goal is to make it self-sustaining” said Palm. “At the launch we had several politicians to see what we were up to.”Arno Carstens and Beezy Bailey were also in attendance. “We’re at an embryonic phase. We’ve signed two promising hip-hop artists, and an amazing acoustic rock artists whose both Muslim and proudly gay” added Palm enthusiastically. “We have the specs. Our focus is on training artists with contracts, online, marketing and playing live – that’s how they make most of their money and how you get to know them personally. We don’t want to make products, we want to amplify their abilities, so they can stand on their own two feet.” Palm shows a real admiration for Motown, and Sub Pop as models, citing their sense of community. Rumour has it low-end estimates are R 350 000 – cabling alone is guessed at R 10 000. Palm concluded: “Musicians are more powerful politicians than they realise”. Gauteng post-rockers The Makeovers are currently drawing animals on lapel buttons and t-shirts for the launch of their second album. There is quite a bit of talk in several savvy circles about them and rumour has them to be on Vice Magazine’s hit list.
Looking for new bands? Selections from musicians Mapumba, DRC Afro pop guitarist: “Simphiwe Dana: A soulful singer with a somewhat melancholic edge. It’s like taking a Bob Marley and the Wailers’ early recordings and smearing it on some South African deeply traditional sounds – so catchy you just want to hear it again. Listen to: Mayine, Ndimi Nawe and, my personal favourite, Ndiredi.”
Kevin Rule, metal guru (rumoured to have bought the Devil’s soul): “Devil Sold His Soul: Crushing, dark, atmospheric, poignant, and utterly enthralling. A combination of devastating force and haunting melody that’s hypnotic and moving. In six years, the band have inspired a devoted following in the UK underground, touring relentlessly and exercising an extreme level of quality control over their musical output, every release maintaining their signature sound while marking a profound leap forward from anything before. http://www.devilsoldhissoul.com/
muse | thirty
LEGENDS OF MODERN MUSIC
JEFF BUCKLEY by Mickdotcom
"He was the best singer that had appeared, probably, I'm not being too liberal about this if I say, in two decades". Jimmy Page
and the stirring Beyond
eff Buckley is part of the Spirit World of music. Along with a small, esoteric group of misfits and oracles that include Robert Johnson, Nick Drake, Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix, he seemed to have been born with one foot already rooted in the Beyond. Already navigating worlds shimmering beyond physics. Buckley possessed a chameleonic voice able to harness such singular and potent energies as Nina Simone, Edith Piaf and Nusrat Fateh Ali Kan, so disarmingly that audiences could not but be swept up in invocation. This wasn't mimicking - this was channeling. An otherworldly charge seemed present, lifting and harmonising his voice - kindling Fire from the hinterscapes of memory and experience. Many will tell you this 'otherworldly charge' was in fact located in his vocal chords.
Dream Brother Born on 17 November 1966, Buckley was raised Scotty Moorhead, only meeting his biological father, acclaimed folk artist Tim Buckley, once, at the age of eight. By his own account his childhood was one of "rootless trailer trash", but steeped in music. His mother was a classically trained cellist, and step-father Ron introduced him to the key 70's Rock and folk groups. He later recalled that everyone in his family sang, and that he'd stumbled onto his first guitar in his Gran's closet. A voracious, near promiscuous thirst for music led him to adore such wideranging, seemingly irreconcilable groups as kitsch rockers Kiss; hardcore Punk outfit Bad Brains; Bob Dylan; Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; and Nina Simone. Earning his chops through playing guitar in a variety of Punk, Rock and Funk bands, Buckley found his calling through solo performances, where he was free to pounce between genres and sentiments. His public singing debut and first major break came through a guest performance at a tribute concert for Tim
Buckley, who had passed away at the age of 28, leaving behind an uneven but esteemed collection of Folk, Rock and more avant-garde musics. By the time of Buckley's residency at Manhattan's Sin-e', word was not so much getting round as spreading like wildfire. The likes of Robert Plant, Chrissie Hynde and Soundgarden's Chris Cornell attended his shows, and began championing the phenomenon U2's The Edge described as "A pure drop in an ocean of noise". Says Cornell: "People talked about his concerts the way they used to talk about Hendrix. They'd sit there, wide-eyed, telling you stories about him. He definitely had an aura."
A Swan to Sing The grapevine electricity led to his debut studio album - the near unanimously acclaimed Grace  - David Bowie naming it one of his ten desert-island albums. Buckley assembled a touring band and hit the road for two years - a tour that had Led Zep's Jimmy Page gush, "he was the best singer that had appeared, probably, I'm not being too liberal about this if I say, in two decades". Following the tour the band began laying down recordings for 2nd album Mystery White Boy. The album would never be released. On 29 May 1997, his band was en route to Tennessee for rerecordings. By the time their flight had landed, Jeff Buckley was gone - drowned during an impromptu night swim in the Mississippi river; caught in the wake of a passing boat. He was thirty.
The Busker Transformative To experience a song by Buckley is to be seduced. Whether live or studio-cut, an original song or an interpretation, a Buckley performance inevitably moves one - draws or wrenches one into an often intense, always touching journey. Buckley's live appearances at Manhattan club Sin-e' have become the stuff of legend. Armed with a lone electric guitar, Buckley would casually announce a
song, perhaps preambling with an anecdote, without raising his voice above the general chit-chat sound tracking the venue. Then he would strum into wonderment. Anyone who has experienced his renditions of Simone's Strange Fruit or Cohen's Hallelujah will experience shivers as they read these words. Nearly two decades later, in a quantumly different world, he still inspires awe. John Legend: "I think I can sing with just about anybody; but he's one of the few singers who truly intimidate me."
muse | thirty two
CLASSIC ALBUMS by Mickdotcom
'll never forget the first time I heard the music of that Comic Rock guy Frank Zappa. At the time I was shoulder-deep in garage band bliss ('Wiener Type Person' thank you very much, in case you hadn't heard of us), and eagerly plowing through the Rock Canon of years yonder. For some reason I'd always skipped the opportunity to listen to Zappa's stuff. Look, the guy had an enviable moustache -thingie going and it was kinda cool that they'd named a flammable liqueur after him (Okay I'd assumed it was named after him, and I was a kid okay - Zappa Sambuca was The Shit; more importantly, chicks loved seeing it drop down your gullet all saccharine fire), but he did look a bit like Weird Al Yankovic, which kinda sucked. Then my bestbuddy-in-the-world-at-the-time played us some songs after rehearsal. Two-and-ahalf songs at the back-end of a cassette otherwise consisting of Mudhoney and early Soundgarden. The first song [Peaches en Regalia Hot Rats] should have been uncool - kinda Circus-music-played-on-tinny-Classicalinstrumentsy - but something about the curious twists in the composition perked my young ears. The second track was more of a song a-proper. A funny tune about some Eskimo kid taking revenge on a seal hunter [Don't Eat The Yellow Snow Apostrophe]. The song made us giggle (and frown - "Is Rock music Allowed to be funny?") And then - out of the blue - a blind barrage of solo guitar, about three seconds long. Our jaws dropped. We rewound. Our jaws dropped again. I was never quite the same. A year later I owned around a dozen Zappa albums, and my Grunge and Rock collection was mysteriously being replaced by experimental Jazz and WARP Electronica.
Lyrics Exist For Those Who Need Them Nowadays - aside from the handful of annual Zappa fests - most of his music is performed by internationally acclaimed Classical ensembles. A 4-metre high bust of the man overlooks a park somewhere in post-Communist Lithuania. Following Zappa's death in 1993, American vice president Al Gore (of An Inconvenient Truth fame) sent a letter of commiseration to his wife Gail. Quite the hullabaloo for a man most remember as a 70's Rock musician who wrote funny and crude novelty songs. Sculpting around 70 albums over the course of a 28-year career, Zappa's music is inexhaustibly diverse, and unmatched for sheer originality. Informed by a wacky
Zappa. Joe's Garage
palette ranging from 50's Doo-Wop and Rhythm & Blues to the avant-garde experiments of composers like Stravinsky and Varese', Zappa concocted a heterogeneous signature that is instantly recognisable despite the wild diversity of his compositions.
Don't You Boys Know Any Nice Songs? Joe's Garage, his 1979 concept-album, is a musical tour-de-force. It explores a dystopian future where music and other perversions like free thought and sensuality have been banned because, well, they disrupt the efficiency of the carefully groomed workforce (otherwise known as society). The album's narrative follows a by now familiar Orwellian arc: Naive hero Joe shrugs off Society's prescriptions and, instead of joining the grotesquely bland assembly-line on offer, starts a band and tries to get a girlfriend. Oops. Zappa being Zappa, the superficially formulaic storyline careens and swells to explore and poke fun at such phenomena as Scientology; the intrinsic contradiction of music journalism; the abject nature of Wet T-shirt contests; the melodramatic highs and lows of starting a band; pornographic robots; and the evils of
selling your soul. Instrumentally Joe's Garage teems with wonder - From the impossible timesignatures of Keep it Greasy to the offkilter Rock splendour of Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?; from mutant Funk and Venusian Jazz to the melancholic, grandiose eloquence of guitar solos on He Used To Cut The Grass; On the Bus and Watermelon In Easter Hay (the latter one of the most affecting pieces ever executed on six strings). A great introduction into the quantum sonics of one of the 20th century's greatest composers; and one of humankind's most fierce and eloquent defenders of free speech and individualism.
muse | thirty four
DM – Dave Mac | MD – Mickdotcom | DA – Damien Albetto | JM - James Rose-Mathew | NR – Nic Roos | PB – Paul Blom 1 = Weak | 2 = Okay | 3 = Pretty Cool | 4 = Rocking | 5 = Demi-God!
1. THE DIRTY SKIRTS – LOST IN THE FALL
When lead vocalist, Jeremy de Tolly, was interviewed by Muse Magazine he intimated that fans would be in for a surprise when Lost In the Fall dropped. He wasn’t lying. As a first test I played this, their 3rd album, to several knowledgeable SA music fans to a) see their reaction but b) – and of more interest to me – to see if they recognised who the artist is. Nobody could guess upfront - it took a few listens to various tracks for the bewildered sort of half guess-not-too-sure suggestion of “is this the new Skirts album?” So what does it sound like? Heavier! From the opening chords of Rebellion the statement of intent is one of a heavier, more complex sound. Let’s face it; the Skirts were our very own Indie poster boys for a while. Unfortunately all the influences they seemed to draw on when they burst onto the scene were already going out of vogue, so what to do? Go back to the drawing board and recreate your sound? A bold step for any band but one that sees them come out of it with something far meatier, far more layered and meaningful – a sound they can now call their own although distinctive influences (Radiohead specifically) do shine through from time to time. Witness We’re All Gonna Die, a kind of Guns and Roses’ish type vocal delivery or You Are The Machine a detuned ode to how our minds are controlled. But it’s not all on the heavy side; there’s still a hint of familiarity on tracks like Evil Comes - a clear contender for a radio single with its upbeat happy chords and strong radio-friendly hook – but even here de Tolly manages to add a really interesting twist to his delivery on the chorus. Lost In The Fall is better than anything the band has done before, in my opinion, and I think other SA music critics may agree. Now let’s hope the fans like their new sound!
3. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - I'M WITH YOU In the time since their last album, Stadium Arcadium, the Chili Peppers’ maverick guitarist and song-smith, John Frusciante waved goodbye and was replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, while bassist, Flea, studied music theory. I’m With You is a mixed bag of competent but tired funk grooves occasionally interrupted by interesting stylistic departures. Frusciante’s absence is felt in some patchy song structures and a lack of substantial hooks. Opening track, Monarchy of Roses is a building ominous tom-beat, fuzz guitar dirge, periodically interrupted by a ridiculous disco-funk chorus, ruining the building sense of excitement. Klinghoffer does a mean Frusciante guitar impression when needed but also brings a more textured approach as heard on stand out track Police Station. Keidis, as usual, lets the team down, as on Factory of Faith, yet another disco workout, where he literally sounds like Baby Cakes, the Brad Neely created webcartoon man-child. A highlight is Brendon’s Death Song, one of the only songs where everyone, including Keidis, seems focused and coherent, as it builds to anthemic proportions. I’m with You is another overly loud, over-compressed comeback album (remember Californication). It is not an instant classic but it does surprise on occasion and shows hints of what this legendary band was.
Every so often a murmur starts and then turns into a low rumble, eventually becoming a collective buzz of excitement when a band begins to make its mark in the music showplace called live gigs. This buzz usually begins with tastemakers and music journos looking out for something new and original, or at the very least an artist or band that smacks of originality, creativity and sincerity. machineri is one such band that has had this buzz a-going ever since their first gigs. Their stripped down bluesy rumble fronted by the sexy (and reportedly very moody) Sannie Fox, and accompanied by the disheveled appearance of Andre Geldenhuys captured the imaginations of many a rock ‘n roll chin-stroker in Cape Town. Attendance at their shows has grown as has their reputation culminating in this, their self-titled debut album. machineri – the album – consists of 11 tracks and I should imagine will hold little surprise to ardent followers of their gigs. Two things struck me about the album though; Sannie’s vocal timing tends to meander across music bars quite effortlessly, which can take some getting used to on the first few listens, and her vocal range is also quite limited which is a little unfortunate since this stripped down blues-rock (I’m thinking Jake White or Robert Plant who do it so well) really needs very strong and diverse singing to carry the songs. Nitpicking aside I really, really like machineri and have found myself intrigued by the album which simply gets better with each listen.
4. LENNY KRAVITZ - BLACK & WHITE On Black & White America, Kravitz explores race issues to the happy bubblegum disco-funk sounds of his childhood. While Kravitz (who wears his influences liberally on his sleeve) has always sounded very retro, he has never before immersed himself in the sounds of one era so singularly and to the point of caricature as here. Horn and gang vocal stabs pepper the unashamedly cartoonish 70’s funk of the title track, in which Kravitz recounts the interracial marriage of his parents and the racial hostility they endured from others. Liquid Jesus sounds like early Michael Jackson with lyrics as creepy as latter day Jackson (‘Liquid Jesus wash me over/Wash me down’). Whether this musical stereotyping is there to offset the weighty topics is unclear, but, even as Kravitz remains transcendently hopeful throughout, the effect is sadly comical. On the ridiculously titled Boongie Drop we are subjected to an equally ridiculous rap by Jay Z as DJ Military brings us firmly back into the 21st century. There are no obvious standout tracks and I get the sense that he is in a happy space in his life and with this album is more concerned with painting a picture with the sounds of his early childhood than setting the mainstream music world on fire with retro-inspired hits. Definitely one for serious fans only.
5. ARCADE FIRE - THE SUBURBS My first encounter with Arcade Fire this is. I relegated them to the sonic cataract of so many cleverly/arb-named Alternative/Modern Rock outfits circa, well, the latter 90’s up till now. I'm glad to admit I've been superficial in my rejection of bands who seemed all hype, glossy cover and nil content. Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, their third, turns out to be a solemn sprawl of beauty. And a sprawl it is - a 16 track epic, the album is a throwback to an earlier age; in more senses than one. A cohesive, if meandering, whole rather than a collection of songs which just happen to be released together, The Suburbs is a stirring evocation of a very specific reality. What it so uncannily captures is the urban biome of 80's/90's suburbia; specifically as experienced by young, not-quite adults hungry to escape the polite hell of picket fences and lost, well-intending parents. The melancholic stir of possibility hinted at by empty Sunday breezes; the buzz of heading out to a live gig with your mates; the hungry promise of the open road. Already rewarding on first listen, The Suburbs promises as-yet-unheard beauty awaiting revisitation.
6. TUNEYARDS - WHOKILL
muse | thirty five
NICE! Always nice (especially in today's fractured Information-overload hub) to encounter a new artist or group fully arrived - fluffing their tail feathers like they OWN it, coz, like, they Do. The lazy grin of roots Reggae and Dub-step informs 'WHO KILL's heart, but its numerous limbs unfurl hungrily into diverse sonics. Delicate pinches of retro-Soul croon and Billie Holiday mew (miao? Whatever - those tender, sparkly feminine vocalisations) are sprinkled like magic ingredients into the busy-body, polydextrous festival of their sound (a nod to their apt name). The unlikely harmony of snipped, tickled and brokenly related elements recalls the stubborn and gifted musicality of Gang Gang Dance, while their scruffily buoyant momentum evokes the sun-drenched naughtiness of The Avalanches. Damned if the band wasn't raised on a steady diet of the most audacious and brilliant of mixtapes. Whatever their intake, Tuneyards wield a gifted metabolism. Their exhalations - at least as evidenced on WHOKILL - betray a mastery at once giddy and snug. This is N-I-C-E reconfigured to spell Deliciousness.
8. THE RESCU I read somewhere that The Rescu are a stadium rock band; that this is indeed the sound they are going for. It’s a somewhat bold attempt considering the opportunity to play a ‘stadium rock’ gig will be few and far between in South Africa. I’ve also heard (or read, I can’t remember) that they model their sound on U2. Anyway preconceptions aside, I’m not really hearing either. Yes the production on this, their debut album, is large and yes if I really, really tried I could probably hear some U2 guitar riffs circa 1980-something in here somewhere but really? U2? Stadium rock? It’s a bad M.O. for a band that should prefer to simply stand on their own two feet as a straight up rock band. ‘Cos that is what The Rescu are. A modern day rock band. Now if I’m to be critical, and let’s face it that’s what I am paid to do, then this self-titled album is a tale of two halves. The album starts of very promisingly with an upbeat rocker, Miracle, nice and fast and good hooks. In fact track two, Work Things Out, followed by I Did It For You and Refugee as well as ballad Sharpeville all have merit and kept me interested. But by track 6, Beautiful Life, one gets the feeling you’ve heard their repertoire. Not to say the rest of the songs are weaker; just that the same compositional tricks are being reused, if that makes sense? So, not a bad debut – and I suppose there is a post-modern U2’ish type rock sound going on – The Rescu should gain good radio airplay with their catchy modern adult rock sound.
10. ROB ZOMBIE - HELLBILLY DELUXE II Hellbilly Deluxe II is the sequel to Zombie’s 1998 multi-platinum solo debut and sees a stylistic return to that album’s shock-rock industrial stomp. Featuring his all-star touring line-up, John 5 (Ex-Marilyn Manson) on guitar, Piggy D on bass and Joey Jordison (Slipknot, Murderdolls) on drums, the album shows a return to form for Zombie as it unfolds with a dark B-movie sense of fun. John 5’s presence is felt strongly throughout, who injects Zombie’s classic guitar grind with some frenetic flare as on Devil's Hole Girls and the Big Revolution and Werewolf Women of the SS, named after the faux trailer Zombie directed for Grindhouse, which including a tongue in cheek surfrock solo by John 5. Listen to Virgin Witch. It contains a catchy riff unintentionally lifted wholesale from stonermetal band The Sword’s Freya. Zombie nobly apologised to The Sword for his oversight. A bonus DVD features videos for Mars Needs Women and a live version of Alice Cooper’s School’s Out (featuring Cooper himself) as well as Transylvanian Transmissions, their 2010 tour ‘documentary’, directed by Zombie himself, that’s really just random home-movie tour footage with horror soundtrack. While there are no obvious hits among these 11 tracks it is by far his most consistent album to date.
7. THE HORRORS - SKYING
With the release of their previous album Pr i m a r y C o l o u r s , p r o d u c e d b y Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, The Horrors surprised and astounded critics who had cast them as faux-Goth posers. The album, clever and memorable, was steeped in an 80’s alternative aesthetic that spanned Shoegaze, Krautrock and Goth-pop. Skying is a slow building sonic haze that the band produced themselves and continues their love affair with 80’s Goth-rockers The Chameleons and 70’s kraut-rockers Neu! Opening track Changing The Rain is a wash of hazy synths and a skipping Madchester beat over which singer, Faris Badwan, croons dreamily and halfintelligibly. The dream continues with first single Still Life, another measured synth ballad that evolves slowly with expanding beauty into something quite anthemic. I cannot help but be reminded of Simple Minds. The album’s slow build pushes towards its centrepiece, Moving Further Away, a hypnotic krautrock brew that has Badwan chanting ‘Everybody moving further away/See you where the light ends’. It climbs ever higher to a Sonic Youth-like noise fest that ends suddenly and leaves one exhausted and smiling. While their influences are varied but obvious, The Horrors manage to combine them in a way that makes Skying an intoxicating sonic blur yet seemingly filled with purpose.
9. TERMINATRYX – REMYX V1.0 This record has been three years in the making - a complete suite of remixes of the band's acclaimed eponymous debut an ambitious project for any South African band, especially so in such a niche scene as the one that Terminatryx occupies. They've done an impressive job of pulling in a choice stable of acclaimed artists and intriguing guests, both international and local, to pick apart, destroy and resurrect their catalogue. The album bolts out of the gates with a quartet of head-crushing 4-to-the-floor numbers, each of them seemingly trying to pulverize the preceding track and leaving little room to breathe. iRONic then switches pace neatly with an effortless interpretation of Sleepwalkers that calls to mind Rob Zombie. From here on out the record charts a host of interesting territories, for the most part successful sonic adventures - an acoustic rendition, psytrance spinoff, electro and a rather mystical chill-out number by Mr Sakitumi. The only truly sour moment is NuL's somewhat insipid version of Up To You, completely ruined by a daft synth warble that ponders throughout. There are three bonus tunes of which only the cover of Animotion's Obsession I felt added value to the record. All in all a solid release - I recommend a listen to anyone not scared of surfing the intriguing fringe of South African music.
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muse | thirty six
For more gaming reviews, check out www.flamedrop.com
GAME REVIEWS by Paul Blom
With all gaming systems venturing into getting people off the couch, freeing up the controls and placing the player inside its world, Move is PlayStation's addition to this new technology. Hitting the streets about a year ago, with most new technology it takes a while to integrate and for developers to come up with truly exciting titles and not just your basic, obvious cartoon-like releases. Flowing from their revolutionary EyeToy camera developed during the PS2 era, the new PlayStation Eye combined with the Move motion control is key - the camera detecting the position of the control's light orb in 3D space and thus linking you to the game. This issue we’ll be including some games utilizing the Move controls.
RESISTANCE 3 [4/5] The third chapter of this popular first person sci-fi action shooter series is Move compatible. Set four years after Resistance 2, the new lead Joseph Capelli (who was dishonorably discharged) is hiding out with his wife and kid in Oklahoma, with one of the few surviving human resistance cells. The invading Chimera aliens have overrun the planet, but Dr. Malikov (the accidental creator of the hybrids) has a possible solution and Capelli has to travel to New York to help execute it (with a whole lot of intense fighting to be had). At your disposal you have a range of weapons, like the Bulls-eye (with tracking capability), your Magnum (with explosive detonation), and energy-draining grenades. When it comes to shooting (as with driving games), the realism of the PS controls are never accurate enough, so with the incorporation of the Move control you have far more shooting capabilities as you take aim for real (instead of trying to move your target cursor with a joystick) – even better if you get yourself a Move Battle Rifle to slot your Move control into. On top of this, Resistance 3 can be played in regular mode or in 3D (if you have the correct screen). The reach goes further with on-line 16-player battles and 2-player co-op missions.
UFC PERSONAL TRAINER - The Ultimate Fitness System [3/5] Everyone has a bit of bloodlust inside them. Some more than others. With too many rules in boxing and not enough reality in pro wrestling, those who want to experience real life gladiators (without the killing) settle for the Mixed Martial Arts of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. With these fighters in top shape, this title takes a step towards making it possible for gamers to discard pretending to beat up opponents in the gaming world, and dive into sculpting their own bodies, featuring around 70 approved exercises from the UFC and NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). Your BMI is calculated and this will determine calories burnt. Three real-life UFC trainers will take you through your paces, including Greg Jackson, Mark Dellagrotte and Javier Mendez, each with their specific regimes to follow. The kick and punch combos, floorwork and core exercises are dependent on the Move control which tracks your motion. (A holster is supplied to strap the control to your ankle for floor work). Categories you can target include strength building, weight cutting and endurance building and tackle a 60- or 90-day program to follow. This is more of a lifestyle accessory than a game.
SAW II - Flesh & Blood [3/5] For those who don’t yet have Move controls, all games reviewed here (except UFC) can be played without it, but this one still depends solely on the joy-pad. With Halloween season, what better way to get into the swing of things than with this 2nd video game chapter of the popular horror movie franchise. For third person survival horror junkies and fans of the movies, this grisly, dark and creepy game will certainly satisfy. Set between the first and second movies, you're in the unfortunate shoes of Michael (son of cop David Tapp from the first movie), trying to get to the bottom of his father's death. This dumps him in the Jigsaw Killer's sights. Clues and specific control combinations are hidden and hinted at throughout the game, as it kicks off where you wake up in a room, addressed by the TV puppet, needing to get out of a crushing head trap – the key sewn into your eye socket and a scalpel on the table... From here you're part of Jigsaw's meticulous game as you traverse your way through the decayed, dank and miserable building with its innovative and deadly traps. Naturally, this game has an 18 for violence, gore and language. Fans of the movie series will be glad to know that a DVD box set of the entire series is being released, and will feature at the HorrorFest lateOctober - www.horrorfest.info
And after all the more intense gaming titles, some more tranquil, relaxed and non-threatening all-ages fun will do. The craft-style cardboard, fabric and sticker world of Sackboy's LittleBigPlanet is a colourful, texture filled platform universe of imagination, loaded with all the elements you'd expect from the genre and fun puzzle solving entertainment, all with a fantastic visual style. Here DaVinci and The Alliance saves Sackboy from the Negativitron, and with his Pod you control his travels to new levels. The producers make full use of the controls including the Sixaxis motion control, and in addition your character's physical abilities, emotional and personality expressions can also be displayed. And it goes a step further with the incorporation of the PlayStation Move controls for more immersion. What makes this so much more expansive is its ever-growing community of shared user-created content (which is pushing 4 million playable levels in the LBP2 community section). Check out www.LBP.me via your PlayStation Network. Downloadable content from the first game can also be used with this sequel. The makers plan to continue making new content available.
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GIG GUIDE NATIONAL EVENTS..... Every Tue | Acoustic Sessions | CPT @ Zula Sound Bar | Every Tuesday is Acoustic Sessions where CTâ€™s new songwriters express themselves and perform next to some of SA's greatest established and experienced performers | 20h00 | Free| 021 424 2442, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.zulabar.co.za Every Thurs | Sunset Fireflies Jam Session | CPT @ Trinity Super Club | Every Thursday Trinity hosts a Cape Town Songwriters open mic jam session | 20h00 | R30 | (021) 421 1367, email@example.com or www.trinitycapetown.co.za Every Fri | Live Acoustic Rock | CPT @ Obviouzly Armchair | Live Acoustic Rock | (021) 460 0458, www.obviouzlyarmchair.com Every Sun | Sundays Unplugged | CPT @ Aandklas - Stellenbosch | Check out all the new and established acoustic artists that will blow your mind! | 7pm | (021) 883 3545 Sat 1-2 Oct | Goodtimes in the Vines @ Bloemendal | CPT | Bloemendal Wine Estate | Come and enjoy f comedy, country & rock of various artists | 11h00 Daily | Weekend Pass @ R160, Sat @ R100 & Sun @ R80 | www.webtickets.co.za or Sat 1 Oct | Last Train to Nashville | CPT @ Harley Davidson Club - Cape Town | Last Train to Nashville offers an all-out rockabilly / country / blues event series for the summer season 2011 to 2012 | 21h00 | R60 www.webtickets.co.za Sat 1 Oct | Maritzburg Day | PMB @ Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens | Parlotones, PLUSH, Jeremy Loops and many more | Gates open @ 11h30 | R50R160 | www.webtickets.co.za Sat 1 Oct | Ulterior Live in SA! | CPT @ The Assembly | Ulterior (UK), The Wild Eyes, The Frown & ShortStraw | 21h00 | R100 |www.theassembly.co.za Sun 2 Oct | Andy Lund & The Mission Men | CPT @ The Silver Tree Restaurant | Andy Lund & The Mission Men | 19h00 | R100 | www.kirstenboschrestaurant.com Mon 3-4 Oct | Prime Circle | DBN @ Barnyard Theatre Gateway | Prime Circle | 20h00 | R160 | 031566 3045, www.barnyardtheatre.co.za
Tues 4 Oct | Afskopfantasties | NW @ Senwespark - Cricket Stadium | Die Heuwels Fantasties; Alleen Na Desember; Fokofpolisiekar; Ekhouvanjou,okay; The Rebel Train Surfers; Oros in n lang glas, Die Tuindwergies; Winterstasie; Jack Parow; Karen Zoid | 12h00 | R80 | www.computicket.com
Wed 12 Oct | Boo! | JHB @ Barnyard Cresta | Boo! Featuring Chris Chameleon | 20h00 | R135 | 011280 4370, www.barnyardtheatres.co.za Thurs 13 Oct | Elvis Blue | JHB @ Barnyard Cresta | Elvis Blue | 20h00 | R120 | 011-280 4370, www.barnyardtheatres.co.za
Wed 5 Oct | Coldplay | CPT @ Cape Town Stadium | Coldplay | 20h00 | R265R665 | www.computicket.com
Thurs 13 Oct | New Holland | CPT @ Bohemia-Stellenbosch | New Holland | Free| 021-882 8375
Wed 5 Oct | MK Sessies | NW @ Senwespark Cricket Stadium | Ashtray Electric; Bittereinder; The December Streets; Holiday Murray & Foto Na Dans | 12h00 | R80 | www.computicket.com
Sat 15 Oct | Rocking The Daisies Afterparty | CPT @ The Assembly | Ashtray Electric, New Holland, The Plastics, Peachy Keen & more | 20h00 | Free for RTD ticketholders, R30 for public | Fri 7 Oct | Prime Circle | JHB @ The Lyric www.theassembly.co.za | Gold Reef City Casino | Prime Circle | 20h30 | R95-R125 | www.computicket.com Thurs 20 Oct | Rock Nights | PTA @ SA State Theatre | Easy Tiger, Newtown, One Fri 7 Oct | The Parlotones | North West Day Remains | 20h00 | R60-R80 | @ Senwespark - Cricket Stadium | The www.computicket.com Parlotones; Wrestlerish; The Blind Watchmen; The Black Hotels & The Ice Sat 22 Oct | Prime Circle | JHB @ Project | 12h00 | R120 | www.computicket.com Barnyard Cresta | Prime Circle | 20h00 | R145 | www.barnyardtheatres.co.za Fri 7-9 Oct | Rocking the Daisies 2011 | @ Cloof Wine Estate - Darling | Band of Skulls, Civil Twilight, Prime Circle, Just Jinjer, aKING, The Arrows, Hot Water, Mr Cat & the Jackal, The Rescu, Foto na Dans, Lark, Jack Parow and many more | Food Village, Traders Market, Wine Tasting, Brutal Fruit Daisy Den, Art Field and much more | Gates open @ 15h00 | R450 @ Webtickets or R550 @ The Gate | 021 461 9822, www.rockingthedaisies.com Sat 8 Oct | Aardskuddend | North West @ Senwespark - Cricket Stadium | Springbok Nude Girls; The Newspapers; Knave; Planet Joy; Crash Car Burn; Shadowclub; Zebra & Giraffe; Van Coke Kartel & Frankie Fire | 12h00 | R100 | www.computicket.com Sat 8 Oct | Coldplay Live! | JHB @ FNB Stadium | Coldplay | 19h00 | R265-R665 | www.computicket.com Sat 8 Oct | T Party | DBN @ Unit 11 | The Mean Streets (Jhb), Lowprofile, Fruits & Veggies, Black Math, The Trees and a special captain forgottensuperhero guest | R40 | 082 774 6528, www.unit11.co.za Wed 12 Oct | Bed on Bricks | CPT @ & Union | Bed on Bricks | Time & t.b.c. | 082 775 9612 or www.andunion.com
Sat 22 Oct | Spring Music Festival | JHB @ Krugersdorp High School | Aking, Graham Watkins Project, Dino Bravo, Estate Lonehill and Dans Dans Lisa | 12h00 | R110 | www.computicket.com Wed 26 Oct | Kings of Leon Live! | CPT @ Cape Town Stadium | Kings of Leon | 20h00 | R215-R750 | www.computicket.com | Fri 28 Oct | Spring Fest | KZN @ Golden Horse Casino | Lloyd Cele & Elvis Blue | This outdoor music event is a fusion of music, couture fashion and urban energy | 18h00 | R100 | www.computicket.com Sat 29 Oct | Kings of Leon Live! | JHB @ FNB Stadium | Kings of Leon | 19h00 | R125-R590 | www.computicket.com | www.bigconcerts.co.za Sun 30 Oct | Heather Mac | CPT @ The Silver Tree Restaurant | Heather Mac | 19h00 | R100 | www.kirstenboschrestaurant.com Fri 4 Nov | Jesse Clegg - The Great Escape | JHB @ The Lyric At Gold Reef City Casino | Jesse Clegg | 21h00 | R135R161 | www.computicket.com Sat 5 Nov | Johnny Clegg & Juluka | JHB @ Emperors Palace | Johnny Clegg & Juluka | 20h30 | R161-R263 | www.computicket.com
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TO GET LISTED FOR FREE EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org Fri 11 Nov | Farryl Purkiss & Dan Patlansky | CPT @ Durbanville Hills Wines - (M13) | Farryl Purkiss & Dan Patlansky | 19h00 | R110 | www.webtickets.co.za
Sat 12-14 Nov | Tori Amos | JHB @ Emperors Palace | Tori Amos | Sat 12 Nov @ 20h30 & Sun 13 Nov @ 15h00 | R390R765 | www.computicket.com Thurs 17 Nov | Rock Nights | PTA @ SA State Theatre | Son of a Thousand with Spritz Boulevard and Nevame | 20h00 | R60-R80 | www.computicket.com Thurs 17 Nov | Tori Amos | CPT @ Grand Arena - Grand West Casino | Tori Amos | 20h00 | R495-R695 | www.computicket.com Fri 25-27 Nov | Synergy Live Music Festival | CPT @ Boschendal Wine Estate - Franschhoek | Soak up the sun, relax, pitch a tent and rock out to a incredible collection of more than 80 celebrated local and international bands, live acts and comedians performing on 4 separate stages | Gates open @ 14h00 Fri 25 Nov & 08h00 Sat 26 Nov | Early Bird Full Weekend Pass: R360 (outlet) / R385 (online); Sat & Sun Pass: R395 | www.webtickets.co.za Fri 25 Nov | The Kiffness | Plettenberg Bay @ VIP Superclub | The Kiffness | R90R120 | www.thekiffness.com Sat 26 Nov | East Rand Rocks'11! | JHB @ Springs Old Boys’ Club | Flash Republic, Evolver 1, Offshore, Easy Tiger and lots more | 14h00 | R180 | www.webtickets.co.za
Bohemia Stellenbosch: (021) 882 8375, email@example.com or www.bohemia.co.za Jagermeister BOKtober @ Bohemia - Freefor the following gigs: Thurs 6 Oct | No One's Arc & Lottery tickets Thurs 13 Oct | New Holland Thurs 20 Oct | Zinkplaat Thurs 27 Oct | Ashtray Electric & Shadow Club
Sat 26 Nov | The Kiffness | Plettenberg Bay @ Surf Cafe | The Kiffness | 22h00 | www.thekiffness.com Sun 27 Nov | aKing | CPT @ Kleinevalleij Wellington | aKing | 17h00 | R110 | www.computicket.com
Mercury Live Lounge: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mercuryl.co.za
Sun 27 Nov | Kirstenbosch Summer Series | CPT @ Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens | Jack Parow, Van Coke Cartel, Die Heuwels Fantasties, JR | 15h30 | TBC | www.webtickets.co.za
Every Mon | Student night, drink specials & Sixgun Sessions Fri 14 Oct | Mercury Birthday Party | Taxi Violence & Junkyard Parade Thurs 20 Oct | BluesTown Sessions Fri 21 Oct | 7TH SON
Gig Guide by
Thurs 27 Oct | BluesTown Sessions Fri 28 Oct | Bicycle Thief, Holiday Murray, La Vi Sat 29 Oct | Horror Hallowen | Bason Loubsher, Machineri, The Great Apes & Dead Lucky Villa Pascal: 021 975 2566, email@example.com or www.villapascal.co.za
Sat 1 Oct | Saudiq Khan: Flamenco Rhythms | R90 Café Barcelona: (012) 345 3602, Fri 7-9 Oct | Daniele Pascal: A Night In firstname.lastname@example.org or Paris | R100 www.cafebarcelona.co.za Fri 14-15 Oct | John Ellis: Come Out Fighting | R70 Wed 5 Oct | John Ellis Fri 21 Oct | Lus | R90 Thurs 6 Oct | Foto Na Dans + Green Apple Fri 4 Nov | Shey: Afro Latino | R60 Fri 7 Oct | Willie Nelson Tribute Sat 5 Nov | Belly Dancing Fundraiser for Sat 8 Oct | Ekstra Dik Cart Horse Association | Early Bird until 24 Tues 11 Oct | Buckfever Underground Oct: R100 / Normal: R120 Wed 19 Oct | Between The Lines Fri 11 Nov | Latté Funk | 19h00 | R70 Fri 14 Oct | Black Cat Bone Wed 16 Nov | Vernon Barnard: Summer Fri 21 Oct | Lise Chris Rock | Early Bird until 2 Nov: R70 / Normal: Sat 22 Oct | BOO R80 Wed 26 Oct | Nell Fri 18 Nov | Vernon Barnard: Summer Rock Thurs 27 Oct | Lucy Lane |Early Bird until 2 Nov: R70 / Normal: R80 Fri 28 Oct | Jan Blohm Sat 19 Nov | Vernon Barnard: Summer Sat 29 Oct | Almost Halfway Rock | Early Bird until 2 Nov: R70 / Normal: Wed 2 Nov | Kevin Baker R80 Fri 4 Nov | Klopjag Wed 23 Nov | Vernon Barnard: Summer Thurs 10 Nov | Francois van Coke Rock | Early Bird until 2 Nov: R70 / Normal: Fri 18 Nov | Blues Broers R80 Sat 19 Nov | Java Sat 26 Nov | The Tomboys: Classic Rock | Fri 25 Nov | Valiant Swart Bday Bash + R90 guests Black Cat Bone Wed 30 Nov | Vernon Barnard: Summer Rock | Early Bird until 2 Nov: R70 / Normal: Die Boer Restaurant Theatre: (021) 979 R80 1911, 083 406 0111 or www.dieboer.com Wed 5 Oct | Rocking Horse | R80 Fri 6 Oct | Jennifer Zamudio | R80 Sat 7 Oct | Albert Frost & Rob Nagel | R80 Sun 8 Oct | Sarah Theron- Storm In A Dcup | R80 Thurs 13 Oct | Homez Gomez | R60 Fri 14 Oct | Koos Kombuis | R100 Sat 15 Oct | Boulevard Blues Band & Friends | R90 Sun 16 Oct | Gerrie Pretorius | R70 Tues 18 Oct | Diamondback Blues Band | Cd Launch | R70
Sat 26 Nov | Table Mountain Blues Summit | CPT @ Bloemendal Estate | Boulevard Blues, Blues Broers and Albert Frost, Natasha Meister, Dave Ferguson, Richard Pryor's Pebbleman Project, Them Tornadoes, Raoul and Black Friday, Gerald Clark Trio, Black Cat Bone & Spaceman | 13h00 | R180 | www.computicket.com
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