agitators, immigrants, misifts and u nderdogs, do you know what, thats the australia im proud of !
#024 July â€˜08 >> arts & entertainment news >> priceless
monthly >> last thursday of the month newcastle >> hunter >> coast
Computer Geeks Predict the Future
ctions . Bluezone Dragonforce . Strung Out . Fi rs . Dropsaw ou am Gl ty Ci ll He . rd He e Th ight Anthem The Sunpilots . The Gasl
The Dandy Warhols vs. Brian Jonestown
KATO DAN DE CAIRES
CHASO + MENNA
T T T TS. . OFTHE ND’S E P AND S T O LO S EN E H C H GH IL IN OU , T RS HO RI ETA RC ON ET S EP E S PE ND S ALLOR D MJ OF T CK W I 0 E E F RS L NO 10 RA RV ITE ( AR S F I LI D R S CL RESEEBS U RE LU OF O OR ENTUR W 5P SP EY R K M O $1 TI GE SIT S: TE OO ET HEA CEB MANOAR VI Y. F CK TI OOR N FA SIBLSTAF N TD FO O ESPOOTEL OU IN OL RSK H RE COHLY. A MO VE ASL APP ER ION E S IT W ND O *C
E ON IS O, LC Y CA IS Y. STR AN ODA INI S Y M S T D M IS K E ON ER XE H LI TH UC MI SEDTHE . AN D S A VE N PRO HA LE OR EA F E Y H R R OR E -B US ON 8, ED OO TO EY HO TH 200 IX G ED N I DN G AN O EM . TH NS SY I N S E T D R E Z GO AT RAI G, I T T H ID N E IS IN XC N GU P A LL IS 20 O E T $ I SL ’S A BE H N OST IX M ER WR OT – T IF .AU OR P LY ER COM G) OK M T S BB IC E E T T V N . HO TH LAS CLULAS TH IGH HI CO EL
N LIIREGSI N S CA Y, YO E AD OKAN D, D*STE HO , DENNA O M T KA & EO AS CH
D*STEADY DJ BOOGIE
ALBUM LAUNCH Queens Wharf Brewery Newcastle • 13 July with Horrorshow
NEW ALBUM INSTORES NOW
tzu.com.au • myspace.com/wearetzu
38 Mars Volta letter from ed Dear Reader, This issue marks two years in the history of Reverb Magazine - 24 issues! It’s been a labour of love, and remains to be. But hey, you should keep doing something if you love it, yeah? That philosophy might not apply to heroin, but it definitely applies to making a magazine. Choice. We’ve delivered our best issue of Reverb yet, which contains chats with The Grates, The Dandy Warhols, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dragonforce and Strung Out. I suppose I should get all poignant and thank all the peeps that help us keep Reverb going every month. We totally couldn’t do it without you. From the contributors, to Lee Green who designs most of our covers, to the photographers and the venues who have shown their support from the very beginning a massive shout out to all you guys.
Thanks to the immediate Reverb crew - Kevin for being super-chilled and a pleasure to work for, to Kieran for turning up the speakers when Richard Cheese comes on and generally keeping a lively atmosphere in the office by searching the internet for insane gold, and Amanda for catching all the f**k-ups I make in my articles - there’s never many, right Manda? Lastly, a big thank you to everyone that picks up Reverb each month. We wouldn’t exist without you guys. It’s just like that old Chinese proverb - “If a magazine is printed in the woods and no one is there to read it, does it even exist?” The answer is yes, because the people that print it might still read it for their own amusement, but it’s much cooler when thousands of other people are reading it too. See you next month. Big Birthday Kisses,
urban & art
08 14 15 16 18 20 22 24 28 29 30 31 40 42
32 33 34 36 37 38 40 41 42 43 44
Local News Dandy Warhols Brian Jonestown Massacre TZU The Herd / Sunpilots The Grates CD Reviews Gig Guide Bluezone Coastlink news Dragonforce Strung Out / The Gaslight Anthem Vinyl Reviews Hell City Glamours
Short and Sweet The Shootout Fashion: Betty Mim Motoring The Loudness Wars / Newcastle Blues Society Live Reviews Come Together Review DVD Reviews Michelle Ryan Gamers Corner Socials
This month you can win one of ten copies of I’m Not There on DVD - the amazingly prosaic biopic of Bob Dylan, plus ten copies of the soundtrack. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what your fave Bob Dylan song is. Too easy... ?
Nick Milligan xx
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Hugh Milligan Stan Sykes Ashleigh Gray Peter Douglas
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Graphic Designers Kieran Ferguson Lee Green Nick Milligan Kevin Bull Angela Cronin
Any comments can be sent to email@example.com or give us a call on 4929 4739.
Sales Kevin Bull Tommy Lueng
shouts go out to reverb production playlist : the butterfly effect, karnivool, richard cheese, weird “al” yankovic, me first and the gimme gimmes, string quartet tribute....
THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL BRINGS FRANK BLACK
One of Australia’s best festivals, The Great Escape, just got a whole lot greater! The threeday camping extravaganza will this year feature music from Supergrass, C.W. Stoneking, We Are Scientists, Whitley, Black Francis (Frank Black of the Pixies), Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band, Yeasayer, British India, Joan As Policewoman, Ladytron, Seabellies, Firekites, The Panics, The Mess Hall, Paul Kelly, Blue King Brown, The New Pornographers, The Galvatrons, Jackson Jackson, Pikelet, Yves Klein Blue, Laura Jean, John Steel Singers, Cassette Kids, Wons Phreely, The Scientists Of Modern Music, Spod, The E.L.F., Plug In City, theredsunband, Little Red and The Holidays - plus heaps more to be announced! This stellar event will again take place at Sydney’s Newington Armoury on Saturday October 4 and Sunday October 5. Tickets on sale July 9 from Ticketek and Moshtix. Head to www.thegreatescape.net. au for more info. See you there!
The Polyphonic Spree
SPLENDOUR’S SECOND SPREE On June 11, Splendour In The Grass announced their second line-up announcement for 2008’s festival. Those of you who braved the online shit-fight and scored tickets, will be able to look forward to sets by The Polyphonic Spree, New Young Pony Club, Tokyo Police Club, Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens), Yves Klein Blue, bluejuice, The Drones, The Galvatrons, Bliss n Eso, Clare Bowditch, British India, Hadouken!, Paul Dempsey, Katalyst, Delta Spirit, Slot Machine, The Black Stars, Little Red, Even and Lyrics Born - if you’re not heading to Byron this year, spend a weekend in Sydney and get to some side shows! They have also announced a plethora of DJs. For more info go to www. splendourinthegrass.com
With the imminent release of their debut album, Melbourne outfit Little Red are pleased to announce their first headlining national tour. August and September sees the harmonically gifted quintet take their feel good sounds from coast to coast touting tunes from their debut long player, Listen To Little Red, which is out June 28. Since they first appeared on the live circuit a year or so ago, Little Red have played at nearly every music festival in the country, and with just about every band you’d care to mention. However, most of us have been waiting patiently for the day when we could listen to Little Red in the comfort of our own conversation pits. Catch them at The Cambridge Hotel on Thursday August 21.
DEF LEPPARD & CHEAP TRICK
They’ve sold more than 65 million albums and played to more than 50 million - it can be no other than Def Leppard! These British rock heavyweights will include Australia in the world tour for their new album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge, in what will be their first visit since 1992. To celebrate the band’s long overdue return to Australia, the ever-popular Cheap Trick will be along for the ride. Melbourne band The Galvatrons are the lucky ones to have scored the support spot. The Def Leppard touring line-up features their amazing, one-armed drummer Rick Allen! Get along to Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Friday November 9. Tickets on sale now through Ticketek.
DJ Hook n Sling
SUNDAE FUNDAZE WITH HOOK N SLING Disturbed
DISTURBED TO DESTRUCT NEWCASTLE ENT CENTRE Newcastle’s hard rock fans need to brace themselves as one of the world’s premier exponents of the genre, Disturbed, are heading to Newcastle’s Entertainment Centre on September 7, with support from P.O.D, Alterbridge and Behind Crimson Eyes. The group’s fourth album, Indestructible, went straight to No. 1 on the US Billboard chart in June 2008, selling over 250,000 copies in its first week. This is the band’s third consecutive No.1 album, making them one of only six other rock bands in U.S chart history to earn three straight No. 1 debuts with studio albums. They sprang to world attention with their monster single ‘Down With The Sickness’. Tickets are on sale July 10 through Ticketek!
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
WATCH LITTLE RED
Yes, you read correctly kids. Those wonderful people at Newcastle’s Clarendon Hotel are delivering you a Sundae Fundaze event, to warm you up this winter. This chilled party will be the perfect opportunity to break a sweat and go crazy for one of Australia’s premier DJs, Hook n Sling. The Sydney mix master (aka Anthony Maniscalco) is recognised as one of the most exciting genre-blending house producers to come on the scene in recent years. 2008 has already seen Anthony mix the gold selling Ministry Of Sound compilation Clubber’s Guide to 2008, and release his first EP, The Plastic Wrap. With tour dates as far afield as Canada, US, China, Ibiza and the UK already locked in, the Hook continues to be one of the most in demand artists around. Get to the Clarendon on July 20, for the Sundae Fundaze Winter Special.
THE PLAN IN ACTION
The Getaway Plan are getting ready to embark on their largest headline journey yet. The Where the City Meets The Sea Tour will run from June to August, taking in seventeen cities and regional centers around the country. The boys will be joined by New Zealand group Goodnight Nurse and Closure In Moscow. Head to The Cambridge Hotel on July 16. Tickets are available from the venue or through Moshtix.
THE GIN CLUB GETS BIGGER
The Gin Club is getting bigger and bigger! Besides playing a shindig in Maitland called Pigsty on July 19, the Brisbane group has also been announced for Splendour In The Grass, the tour supports for the ever-amazing Band Of Horses and have just returned from a big show in Los Angeles. Things are certainly on the up and up! For more info about the group and their new album, Junk, head to www. myspace.com/theginclub.
IA D IN H IS IT R B ly u J 4 i r F Sat 5 Seany B
ht + Fiction + The Zillers + Lig
Fri 11 True Lies ing W n o s k ic N + S T O Sat 12 THE SUNPIL + DIRTY
k o o r C e h T 8 1 Fri Sat 19
S T E J G N I M EA THE SCR o t a C g in h c t e k S + ERCIES + SMALL M
y t e i c o S t e r c e S Fri 25
Ken Tubman Drive, MAITLAND Next Door to Reading Cinemas For information on all events please call HVB on
Hunter Valley Brewery supports the responsible service of alcohol
COASTFEST FULL LINEUP
King Tide By Kevin Bull It was a night full of African rhythms and shaking rumps, and the Coastfest Fundraiser Afro-Jam went off with a bang. 350 people filled the Wyong Memorial Hall a few weeks back for a joyous night, Senegalese style, with music provided by Pape Mbaye and Chosani Afrique. What I saw happening on the night was a mass of people enjoying themselves, plus some real support for the upcoming Coastfest. The full line-up has just been released. Take a deep breath, here we go. Epicure, Jeff Lang, King Tide, Endorphin, Chris Wilson Band, Afro Moses with Moses O’Jah, OKA, Grant Walmsley’s Agents of Peace, The Judes (Canada), Kevin Borich, Brewster
Brothers Trio, Chase The Sun, Paul Greene, Lolo Lavina, Tjupurru, The Bluezone, Rosie Burgess, Sarah Humphreys, Okapi Guitars, The Wishing Well, The Go Set, Micheal Peter, Benjalu, Mei Lai Swan, Of The Red Sea, The (Temperamental) Pocket, Julia & The Deep Sea Sirens, Sam Buckingham, Jamo Jamo West African Drum & Dance, Dwayne Cameron & The Stellar Groove, The Drop, Rocwater, Tim McMillan, Rose Turtle Etler, Jaywalker, Mark Cashen & The LIL Hussys, Wayward, Bob Corbett, Sal Kimber & the Good Ole Boys, Jeffery Scholar, Chris Koelma Quintet, Dr Goodvibe, The Rum Corps, The Rhythm Hunters, Chontia & The New Colours, Peter Healy & The Hurricanes, Oceas Meld, Abrie, Vannessa Ali Chamas, The Lounge Act, Dactyl Spondee, Pegs Adams, Fiona Magee, Tariq Taruk & The Dance of Life and Bouddi Choir. Coastfest will be held at Point Wolstoncroft near Gwandalan September 5-7. Get all your ticketing details at www. coastfest.org.au
MUZZY PEP REFORM To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their very first gig, Muzzy Pep are reuniting for two special shows - The Cambridge Hotel on August 8 and The Belmore Hotel in Maitland on August 9. It’s been four years since the group performed together, since pursuing individual projects like Faker, The Great Dividing Range and Errol JM. You can catch The Great Dividing Range on Friday July 4 at The Belmore Hotel and July 12 at The Cambridge. Recently the band has been played on Triple J, ABC Radio, Triple R, FBi and even on TV’s Bondi Rescue, RAGE and Video Hits. For more info, head to www.myspace.com/ thegreatdividingrange
GYROSCOPE AND SHIHAD
BREED OBSESSION IN NEWCASTLE Having already conducted two extremely successful tours in support of their number one album Breed Obsession, Gyroscope will take to the road throughout August and September to deliver a 36 date national tour. Shihad, as special guests for the Australia tour, compliment one of the great bills to be seen in Australia this year. Shihad return in splendid fashion with their new album ‘Beautiful Machine’. Add Sugar Army,
THE LIVING END HEADLINE COASTER FESTIVAL
one of the most exhilarating new young bands to come out of WA for sometime, to the mix and they’ll certainly complete what will be one serious rockin’ ride on the Australia tour! Head to Newcastle Panthers on Saturday August 23 (tickets available from Ticketek or Moshtix) or Doyalson RSL Club on Saturday August 30 (Gyroscope only, tickets available from Ticketek).
Foreshadowed Australia’s greatest live act, the Living End end are giving you two perfect opportunities to see them do FORESHADOWED their thang. You can catch the group at Newcastle Panthers on September 24 or at the awesome Coaster Festival at Gosford Showground on HEADLINE Saturday September 20, alongside artists such as Kisschasy, Cog, Blue Kingbrown, The Matches (USA), The Potbelleez, bluejuice, The Lazys and Both of Newcastle’s premier Something With Numbers. For more information rock acts, Foreshadowed The Living End on Coaster head to www.coasterfestival.com.au and Grandvue will headline the first in a series of Reverb Showcase gigs call The Sand Pit. Grandvue have been ripping it up since the release of the self-titled EP and Foreshadowed are soon to To celebrate the upcoming first Australian tour of Canada’s The Judes, the guys are running a film competirelease their highly anticipated tion entitled Revolution On Film. The comp is open to all NSW High School students, and you need to film EP release. Joining them on a new video for one of the band’s newly released songs. It all starts July 1 and runs until August 15, and the night will be hot new the prizes are pretty cool. Firstly there is $1000 cold hard cash to the winner, plus you get The Judes to band Fear Of Monsters, in play at your high school. All finalists get a double pass to Coastfest where the winner will be announced. The intimate mode. Head to The official competition website is www.myspace.com/revolutiononfilm and you can get all the entry details Beach Hotel on July 12. there. Look out for The Judes on tour early September. Entry is free.
& GRANDVUE REVERB SHOW
THE JUDES’ FILM REVOLUTION COMP
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
Tad Poe Dee
A BIT OF THIS
The bits are a local band of misfits have played mainly gigs for a cause, on friday see them in their own glory. Featuring Alana Mondy, Matt Hanna, Nick, Mary, Aymon and dapper. This will be their first gig back from recording in Bellingen. Supported on the night by Mojo Juju solo, Steve Smyth (syd... hokum blues) Tad Poe Dee and guests. Catch them 4th July, at the Lass O’Gowrie from 9pm.
ELEFANT TRAKS, NEW WORLD ARTISTS and
IT CKETSLE A S N O W! NO
FRIDAY AUGUST 22 PANTHERS NEWCASTLE SATURDAY AUGUST 23 WOODPORT INN ERINA Tickets: www.newworldartists.net, Moshtix (1300 438 849/www.moshtix.com.au), Panthers Reception
Tickets: www.newworldartists.net, Oztix (1300 762 545 / www.oztix.com.au / Oztix outlets)
SUMMERLAND: THE ARIA TOP 10 ALBUM
FEATURING ‘THE KING IS DEAD’ OUT NOW ON ELEFANT TRAKS THROUGH
“POLITICALLY ACTIVE WHERE MOST AUSTRALIAN BANDS ARE DIFFIDENT,THEY... MIX REVOLUTIONARY SLOGANS WITH AUSTRALIAN HISTORY TO CREATE A DEFT CROSS SECTION OF CONTEMPORARY LIFE. PLAYED SOFT OR BLASTED OUT, SUMMERLAND IMPRESSES.” CRAIG MATHIESON, SUN HERALD “THE HERD PRODUCE A MELODIC WAR-CRY OF CELEBRATION.” DRUM MEDIA
more info see www.elefanttraks.com // www.inertia-music.com // www.newworldartists.net // www.myspace.com/runningwiththeherd
Workshops, Drumming, Dancing, Fire Dance,Indigenous Space, Healing Village, Eco-Talks, Art Installations, Tavern, Markets and KidsFest. plusâ€Ś Canoeing, Sailing, fantastic secluded bush or waterside camping and limited lodge accommodation.
THE DANDYS IN JONESTOWN... After being documented in the ‘rockumentary’ Dig!, much speculation has been made about the relationship between The Dandy Warhols and one of their major influences, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. By total coincidence, Nick Milligan spoke to Dandy’s keyboardist Zia McCabe about her band’s new album, and soon after chatted with Anton Newcombe about the Massacre’s new record, My Bloody Underground.
We are out on our own – we’re out of the nest,” says Zia McCabe, with clear enthusiasm. The Dandy Warhols have finished their contract with Capitol Records and are now a completely independent band once again. “It’s great. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that there’s so much less red tape. From an initial idea to seeing it happen - whether it’s a design for a poster or artwork for a single – all of it happens so much faster.”
McCabe, with a giggle. “I just did what I had to do to get by. My biggest jump in skill was working with Massive Attack and then making Welcome To The Monkey House, where we were trying to not make a guitar-driven record. The band said to me, ‘Zia, you play keyboards, so start coming up with shit right now.’ So I really got to experiment and let ideas develop, which I had never really tried before. That’s when everything changed for me.”
The band’s latest record …Earth To The Dandy Warhols… is a joyous return to their warm beginnings of layered guitar and fuzzy vocals. It’s a tribute to the earlier essence of singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor’s songwriting, yet sounds completely futuristic. “Psychedelic sounds go really well with sci-fi imagery,” says McCabe, simply. Released on the group’s own label, Beat The World Records, it seems that independence has given the band a new spark.
KEEPING THE PEACE
The Dandy’s statuesque front man, Taylor-Taylor, is still the group’s principal songwriter, but McCabe stresses that their process is still very collaborative. Despite having been writing for the band for 14 years, Taylor-Taylor has clearly retained the fundamental aspects of his writing that make The Dandy Warhol’s music so immediately identifiable. “[Courtney] still appreciates simplicity and doesn’t try to stray past using a few chords. He’s always been into using little tricks, where it’s not just playing the same chords over and over, but maybe an odd number of chords before you make a change. Just subtle trickery – no outgoing stunts. I think maybe he’s gotten better at finding a place where he is creative. Because I think that’s what takes the most practice – knowing when you’re creative juices are happening,” explains McCabe.
So does this mean that a band should be always honest with each other? “No, no,” replies McCabe, quickly. “That’s how I thought it should work. With your partner, or the person that you’re intimate with, that’s the best policy. But with the band, when it’s four people, making people try to understand the way you’re feeling and forcing them to behave differently when they’re around you, is impossible. You just have to let things go and get on with making rock and roll,” says McCabe.
ENTERING THE MONKEY HOUSE
McCabe joined the group as a musical novice, having next to no experience. But she is a founding member and now an intrinsic aspect of the group’s career. When The Dandy Warhols recorded their third album, Welcome To The Monkey House, a foray into more synth-orientated pop, McCabe was tested for the first time. “I didn’t improve quickly and I didn’t put a lot of time into getting better,” continues
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
The Dandy Warhols have lasted the test of time, growing out of the creatively fertile and musically volatile Portland scene in 1994. McCabe attributes the bands continuity to an early decision to not let personal feelings get in the way of their common goal. “We decided not to let petty issues get in the way of making good music. You get better and better at dealing with different humans and you don’t get as bent out of shape,” explains McCabe.
A DANDY MOTHER
In 2005, McCabe become a mother for the first time, giving birth to her daughter, Matilda Louise. Has it been difficult juggling motherhood commitments with being a member of an active touring band? “So far so good,” replies McCabe. “[Matilda] really enjoys travelling and she doesn’t have any separation anxieties, so it really works out. It’s better for me because I see more daylight hours – I’m not sleeping off the hangover from the night before. I’ve been to Paris so many times before without Matilda, but when I took her there, I saw the Louvre for the first time and the Arc de Triomphe. I take her walking and we enjoy the different cities, rather than being caught up in a ‘rock and roll-tour bus-hotel vortex’.”
Is Matilda a Dandy Warhols fan? “She likes The Dandy Warhols,” confirms McCabe. “She also likes The Shins and she got me into Feist. She also likes Queen, David Bowie and The Presidents Of The United State Of America. She has good taste.”
Before wrapping up the interview, I ask the keyboardist if she has any advice for my upcoming interview with Anton Newcombe, the manic genius and creator behind cult-group the Brian Jonestown Massacre, whose origins are entwined with The Dandy Warhols. The beginnings of both bands were documented for the making of the controversial ‘rockumentary’ Dig!, which depicts the singer and multi-instrumentalist, as a very gifted, but self-destructive human being, whose unpredictable nature could often deteriorate into violence (as it did on two infamous occasions). Many people believe the film misconstrued the true nature of Newcombe, as 1,500 hours of footage had been distilled into 105 minutes of running time. McCabe’s advice is simple. “Go with the flow. Don’t try and direct the conversation too much - just enjoy the conversation and record it. Don’t try and corner [Anton], because he won’t like it. Send him my love, because I probably won’t get to speak to him before you do,” says McCabe with sincerity, which takes me aback. Dig! implies that there is bad blood between The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It’s humbling to obtain this seed of truth.
THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE
nton Newcombe publicly represents the pure and true ideals that musicians seek to uphold. He has shunned the behemoths of the music industry – major record labels, mostly – and has never aspired to achieve anything other than creation itself. In doing so, he has ensured that the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s exposure be a word-of-mouth phenomenon. As the singer explains from his home in Germany, music is his artistic release and he approaches it as a painter would set upon their canvas. In Anton Newcombe’s world, commercial and financial motives simply do not exist.
When he answers the phone, Newcombe is immediately polite and charming. He is keen to discuss the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s latest release, My Bloody Underground. It is an expansive work that contains songs that continue the group’s fuzzy, guitar-driven sound (that has become a trademark and largely influenced The Dandy Warhols), as well as a haunting piano instrumental that Newcombe wrote as a nine year-old boy. For a man who has seemingly avoided opportunities for widespread publicity, there is no doubting the avid following that the Brian Jonestown Massacre have in pockets around the world. They’ve sold out both of their Sydney shows, which is uncommon for any overseas act. It’s fair to say that Anton Newcombe is one of the most prolific artists of his generation. In the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 17 years of existence, they’ve put out an astonishing 25 releases, including albums, singles and EPs. In other words, it’s near impossible to cover their vast back catalogue in a traditional set length. “We’ve released more music than The Beatles, so even if I played one track from every release we’ve made, that would be over a night’s entertainment. That would be a 25 song set right there. So we’re in a weird situation where we don’t have time to cover everything,” explains Newcombe. So does the prolific nature of Newcombe’s songwriting leave little room for perfectionism? “I think you can tell by how crappily everything is executed that that’s not really the situation at all,” chuckles Newcombe. “I approach music like an artist and a lot of it is a conceptual thing. I can play over 80 instruments, but I’m certainly not a virtuoso on any of them. I can play psychedelic guitars, but I’m not Jimmy Page or Yngwie Malmsteen. I’ve never written ‘Strawberry Fields [Forever]’. But my music has its place, and I definitely think I can do things that other people cannot do, because they don’t have the imagination and they’re not built for it. That’s what is important to me. I write music for myself. Personally, I don’t care what the listener thinks of it,” admits the singer. The music of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is built largely upon Newcombe’s
continued desire to expand his colour palette by teaching himself how to play new instruments. “Something will sound good to you and it leads you down a path. It’s just how using different surfboards will dictate the way you surf,” explains the songwriter. “The instrument dictated the style of music within my influences.”
MAKING AN UNDERGROUND
While touring in Europe, Newcombe suddenly felt the urge to record his latest group of ideas, but received an underwhelming response from his fellow band members, who were tired of travelling and wanted to see their loved ones. They weren’t enthusiastic about diving into the studio. Of course, Newcombe simply spent three days recording without them and created My Bloody Underground. “I wanted to write about the fact that people are caught up in their daily grind and not paying attention to how stuff really looks and how we’re conducting ourselves. I’m 40 and healthy – in my life time there were laws passed in congress to protect the forests, to protect endangered species, prevent air pollution and to protect coast lines from drilling. In the last few years, I’ve watched every law that was passed, which doesn’t provide taxes, overturned. I live in Germany now and think, ‘What a tremendous waste of time! That’s 40 years of legislation that meant nothing.’ They spent all those hours passing laws to protect our children – I have a son who is six – and it means nothing. From that perspective, me and my friends took a bunch of drugs – I’m not advocating drug use - but we went berserk, got really stoned, and just went for it,” explains Newcombe. Newcombe then adds, “I’ve got nothing to hide. I’m not saying that I’m going to
“I definitely think I can do things that other people cannot do, because they don’t have the imagination and they’re not built for it.”
come down to Australia to use illicit drugs. I’m really respectful of foreign countries and their laws. I’m very civic minded and I want to be a welcome guest. I’m just telling you a fact – we got really stoned and went for it.” My Bloody Underground wouldn’t be a product of Anton Newcombe’s mind if it was void of some form of provocation. Indeed, the opening track has the colourful title of ‘Bring Me The Head Of Paul McCartney On Heather Mills’ Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs On The White House)’. Another track, ‘Ljosmyndir’, which sounds like a lofty, Sigur Ros B-side, contains spoken echoes in Icelandic, which are in fact a series of profanity. “We sing every single curse word in the world,” says Newcombe. “If you think heavy metal is scary, then you should find out what we’re saying in that song.” So what would Newcombe have thought of My Bloody Underground had someone played it to him when he was starting out as a songwriter? “Well, I was first influenced by watching garage-punk bands - Californian style. Not like The Offspring or anything you’d hear on Triple J, but real stuff that’s inspired by the 70s. So there’s always been an element of that and I’ve always liked Indian music, so [My Bloody Underground] is very much what we’ve always been doing.”
The Dig! documentary has coloured so many people’s view of Newcombe as an individual, so what are the biggest misconceptions that the public may have of him? “I don’t think people really understand how articulate and thoughtful I am,” replies Newcombe, quickly. “I have that Billy The Kid spirit. There’s a lot of people like me, who don’t bullshit. Where I grew up in California, all the old-timers
Right: Anton Newcombe using flower power. Below: Newcombe on stage.
have that same, exact spirit. Each new generation has been conditioned to play it safe. People wait to get their job at an architectural firm, before they’ll risk starting a band. The only time we’ve had jobs is when we were saving up to buy [musical] gear and get out of college. That’s why [The Brian Jonestown Massacre] is different – I’m not waiting for validation from Triple J’s morning show to tell the kids that we’re the hot new thing to listen to. I got inspired by kids who were starting bands in their garages and I realized that I could do the same,” says Newcombe. Let’s hope that Newcombe’s honesty and bravery as a musician, continues to inspire the next generation. My Bloody Undergound is out now through A Records.
fine food with a musical mood
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Wednesday, 2 July 2008
REVERB presents Live & Local - $12.50 Thursday, 3 July 2008 Rock Trivia - $10 Friday 4, Saturday 5 July 2008 Richard Clapton w/ Dexter Moore - $99.50 Sunday, 6 July 2008 Coast Shelter Fundraiser - $75 Wednesday, 9 July 2008 REVERB presents Live & Local - $12.50 Thursday 10, Friday 11, Saturday 12 July 2008 James Reyne - $110 Sunday, 13 July 2008 Variety Bash Lunch - $45 Wednesday, 16 July 2008 REVERB presents Live & Local - $12.50 Thursday, 17 July 2008 Winter Curry Night - $28.50 Friday, 18 July 2008 Becky Cole - $90 Saturday, 19 July 2008 Rick Price - $75 Sunday, 20 July 2008 Angie Hart + Dave McCormack - $15 Wednesday, 23 July 2008
REVERB presents Live & Local Coastfest Showcase - $20
Friday, 25 July 2008
Matt Corby + Nikki Kummerow - $60
Saturday, 26 July 2008 Jenny Morris - $85 Sunday, 27 July 2008 Jaywalker - $12.50 Wednesday, 30 July 2008
REVERB presents Live & Local - $12.50
Thursday, 31 July 2008 Tex Perkins - $99.50 Friday, 1 August 2008 Choirboys - $67
Phone: 02 4368 2017
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www.lizottes.com.au THE Entertainment and Lifestyle Publication for Newcastle, The Hunter & Central Coast
July May 2008 Issue 22 24
After a two-year break, TZU have again joined forces to drop album number three. A funk-soul-hip-hop hybrid, Computer Love celebrates not only the future, but 80s sci-fi culture too. Nick Milligan spoke to Joel Ma aka Joelistics. Did you have any clear ideas about what Computer Love would sound like before making it? Not before we made it. We had a two year break between this album and the last album. I lived overseas in Berlin. Pip (Norman aka Count Bouce) produced Urthboy’s record. Corey (McGregor aka Yerock) worked with The Hero Protagonists and Shahab (Tariq aka Paso Bionic) played with Curse Ov Dialect. In that time we’d written 13 tracks and only four of those were carried into our second session, which started in December 2007. Lots of the record was written in the last four months. We were feeling that songs like ‘Number One’, ‘Right Of Way’ and ‘Get Up’ which were furuturistic, is where we wanted to go. We didn’t have a master plan for the album, but when we realised the soul of the songs, then that was the guiding light. Is it true that you used the influence of 80s music too? More the aspects of 80s culture. It’s not a retro record, it’s a very future-thinking record. We’re all kids of the 80s, so we were talking about Back To The Future, Monkey Magic and the TARDIS. As well as sci-fi movies like Krull and They Live - if you look at that era you can see what their perception of the future was. In the 80s, they got sci-fi so right. I love their visions of the future, more than our current vision of the future, which is more apocalyptic. Back then it was all about hoverboards. TZU got a whole bunch of ideas from that decade. We’d become obsessed with synths and op-shop synthesizers. We looked at our home studio one day and went, “F**k, this looks like the TARDIS or the Millenium Falcoln.” It looks wonky and broken, but totally futuristic. TZU are considered a hip-hop band, but there’s a lot more than just hip-hop in your music. How does the band view its music? I think it’s eccentric hip-hop. To me it still comes from a hip-hop aesthetic, but we’re all musicians, and we love
soul, pop and psychedelic music. We’re open to sounds. But we just use beats and rhymes as foundations. We consciously try to not fit in - we just want to make music that’s honest. What were you guys like when you were first starting out? We just wanted to be a hip-hop crew. Our first album is us trying to be as hip-hop as possible. We wanted to be respected, and have flows and skills. The second album was about throwing that all away, writing songs and focusing on melody. We wanted to be able to play with the sonic pallatte of rock music and 60s music. [Computer Love] is the connector of those two thought patterns. We’re just more confident now. We pulled it off. When I listen to our new album I think, “We didn’t compromise on our need to push ourselves, but we also didn’t flail out somewhere we’d never been before, just for the sake of being there. It’s futuristic, but it feels like us. What do you think you would have thought of this album if someone played it to you when TZU were starting out? Man, I reckon I would love this album. There’s a few tracks, where I would have gone, “Wow, this is cool. I didn’t think we’d get to that.” As lyricists, me and Pip are still based on a strong friendship and that’s still the foundation of the music - we’re not your average hip-hop dudes, and we’ve never claimed to be. These days we’re at ease with being renegades outside of the mainstream and hip-hop culture. It’s interesting listening to new music, and I love the fact that there’s lots of bands and hip-hop groups that are stepping outside the classic mould. Even international acts like Gnarls Barkley and Gorillaz. The Beastie Boys were able to head towards old-funk and punk, as well as hip-hop stuff. They’re still one of my all-time favourite bands. How would you describe a TZU show to someone who hasn’t seen you live before?
“We’re at ease with being renegades outside of the mainstream and hip-hop culture.”
P M A C R E T U COMP
We pay a lot of attention to the sounds. We don’t just jump up and put on an instrumental and rap over the top. We’ve intergrated live bass, keys and drums with a few samplers, synthesisers, turntables and mics, with some live dubbing. We want good sonic sounds - we choose venues because we know the sound system is good and not because they can fit more people. TZU’s name comes from a Chinese Taoist philosopher, Lao Tzu. Why did you choose him as your namesake? I was really interested in Taoism when we started TZU. I still am. I like it because it’s not a religion, it’s a philosophy. I like the observation of nature as a teacher. Taoism and hip-hop share the idea of ‘flow’ - things moving naturally and flowing. When an MC is on point, that’s what you’re doing. If you’re writing beats and in your creative zone, then you’re flowing. You intended for the band’s name to be pronounced ‘tzu’, but everyone started spelling it ’T-Z-U’? Yeah, I think people found that more digestible than trying to pronounce a Chinese sage’s name. Why did you call your album Computer Love? It’s not any suggestion towards internet porn. I think it’s just the fact that we... love our computers! We love our Logic and Pro Tools and beat-making machines. Apart from anything, we’re 80s kids. We grew up playing Sega Master Systems, Commodore 64s and Nintendo 64s. It was serious love, back then. This generation has really broken computers - everyone has one. It’s like one step away from telapathy. But that’s not really why we named the album that - I’m just pointing that out. Don’t miss TZU at Newcastle’s Queen’s Wharf Brewery on July 13 with Horrorshow supporting. Computer Love is out now through Liberation.
Blue murder, BlunT & BomBshell presenT
sTrangers in The ouTBack ausTralian Tour 2008
Thu 17Th July Bar on The hill uni of newcasTle TickeTs on sale now from The venue 02 49683717, rock shop 02 4929 1856 www.moshTix.com.au and www.BigTix.com.au
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST - VERSE FROM THE ABSTRACT “No real chorus, just fresh laidback hip hop vibes from 1991 - when hip hop started actively collaborating with jazz legends (Ron Carter is on double bass here) rather than simply sampling them. I dunno what happened to Q-Tip in years to follow - but he lost that mellow deep delivery in favour of the nasal squeak he’s now more well known for. It’s impossible to downplay the influence ATCQ have had on my hip hop experience - and this record has had thousands of hours of repeat plays for me over the years - with that in mind I’d probably say this is my favourite album of all time.”
BILL CALLAHAN - ROCK BOTTOM RISER “I had a ‘moment’ with a good friend of mine when we were touring with Bill Callahan on his Woke On A Whaleheart tour (not with The Herd - my other band, Firekites). When he launched into ‘Rock Bottom Riser’, we grabbed each other by the hand and both shed a tear, as though we had witnessed something that was simultaneously precious and tragic in one hit (like witnessing the death of a swan). There are numerous things about Bill as an artist that engage me to no end. He is one of my favourite contemporary singer/songwriters. When you witness his work live it is overwhelming. He has this unique sexy/strange/awkward/intense/dark/sensitive air about him that just captivates me.”
MARCIA GRIFFITHS - NATURALLY “Sometimes referred to as the empress of reggae music, Marcia was in Bob Marley’s I-Threes so she’s seen it all. This album has so many classics that I couldn’t choose one song - so indulge me a little here. Roots reggae is probably my most listened to genre and Marcia is the opitome of it - with universal tales of love and life.”
OZI BATLA PUBLIC ENEMY - BLACK STEEL IN THE HOUR OF CHAOS “‘I got a letter from the government the other day...’ Chuck D at his most ascerbic and The Bomb Squad blowing up speakers. I might not agree that Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back is PE’s best album, but this is for sure one of their best songs. Still reverberates with anger and is still more revolutionary than most that has come since.
THE HERD MIX TAPE : SIDE A
Considering that The Herd are one of Australia’s premier acts, Reverb felt it was only too appropriate to ask part of their crew - Urthboy, Jane Tyrrell and Ozi Batla - to put together a dream mix tape. This is Side A - tune in next month to check out what they picked for Side B.
URTHBOY CEE-LO - GETTIN’ GROWN “This is from his album Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections which I love more than any of his other stuff, Gnarls Barkley included. The thing I dig about him is his ability to strike a match through the darkest and most introspective subject matter, and come up with some lighthearted angle that reminds you not to sink in the quagmire of self-reflection. ‘Gettin’ Grown’ is like hip hop soul, but with a little bit of muppets about it. Cee-lo freaks me out with his talent - and he deserves all the kudos that have come his way since Gnarls Barkley blew up.”
JANE TYRRELL LOUIS ARMSTRONG & ELLA FITZGERALD - IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO “This collab is truly an indulgence for folk who love a really dynamic jazz vocal. Ella’s phrasing in particular is so exciting here, she could augment one sentence across a four-minute track and have me glued to the speaker. I’m a sucker for a male/female vocal collab, and this is a classic example of a match made in heaven. The chemistry between Ella and Louis is so tangible, you can hear them smiling as they to and fro their verses. The energy ceases to drop between their exchanges and that for me is a sign of a perfect collab.”
MIDNIGHT OIL - HERCULES “Species Deceases was the best thing the Oils ever did, I reckon. Shame it was only four songs. What it lacks in length, it makes up for in quality. This song and Laurie Anderson’s ‘O Superman’ kept me in a permanent state of fear of impending nuclear war for most of the 80s. Best band I’ve ever seen live.” FELA KUTI - SORROW, TEARS & BLOOD “The incomparable, one-man revolution, whose music, although it had such a huge impact, was merely a stitch in the outrageous and at times tragic story of his life. It’s the kind of tune we’d love to write as The Herd: incandescent in it’s rage, crystalline in it’s message and instantly assshaking in it’s sound.”
TRICKY featuring MARTINA TOPELY-BIRD - BLACK STEEL “Martina is one of my favourite contemporary singers. This is off one of my all time favourite albums, Maxinquaye. Having just read Batla’s choices, I think It’s quite cool that we have chosen different renditions of Public Enermy’s classic. I find this version alluring because of it’s clever juxtapositon. It’s a female singing about a typically male experience - a fragile vocal mouthing a heavy lyric with strength and conviction. This track immediately fires me up. This is Tricky production and vocal at its best. For me, the collab between Martina and Tricky on this album is male/female collab perfection in this genre.”
Catch The Herd at Newcastle Panthers on August 22 and The Woodport Inn, Erina, on August 23. Their new album, Summerland, is out now through Elefant Traks/Inertia.
With their highly-anticipated debut album, Living Receiver, now available, The Sunpilots are ready to fly into the nation’s consciousness once and for all. Blending the influences of 90s grunge-rock with Sri Lankan instruments, the Sydney-based band cooks up a sound that’s almost both melodic and powerful. Noah Cross chatted to vocalist Raj Siva-Rajah. Did you have a strong idea of what you wanted the album to sound like before you started making it?
and we could get ourselves a fair deal, then we’d definitely be open to it.
Not really. I mean, it’s something that developed as we’ve gone along. It’s been a pretty long process – it’s been almost a year and a half that we’ve been working on this on and off. We sort of stopped half way through and went back to the drawing board with a couple [of songs], because they developed to the point where we thought, “Well, what we’ve already got is not doing them justice, so let’s just do them again.”
Are you the principle songwriter?
The songs transfer to acoustic fairly easily, is that because they were written on acoustic guitars?
I was reading that the inspiration in your music initially was grunge in the 90s, and Sri Lankan music as well. Is that true?
Yes, definitely. A couple of the newer songs that we’ve been writing are a bit heavier, a bit darker, a little bit more of a Foo Fighters/Muse element. We’re finding now that a few new songs can’t actually translate acoustically. It means that we’re growing and doing different things.
It’s a weird fusion. My mum is actually a classical Carnatic singer. Carnatic is an ancient style of music from South India and Sri Lanka. She was trained classically in that over there [in Sri Lanka]. I was born over here, but my Mum put me into lessons in Carnatic singing. It was basically the first musical style I ever had exposure too. At the same time I was growing up, and I was listening to Nirvana and all the rest of it. It gave me an interesting perspective. Now, being later in life you try to go back to your roots. I’m trying to roll more classical, Eastern stuff into the Western stuff. There’s a couple of tracks on the album, one called ‘Medicated Shell’, where my Mum actually recorded a Carnatic intro. This song is really quite heavy, like Muse. We also got a sitar playing over these thundering, distorted guitar tracks. It’s a good indication of where we’d like to go a bit more in the future.
Are you aiming towards attaching yourself to a label or are you going to try and stay independent? We would like to try and stay independent, though It’s really tough, not just financially, but also in terms of time. Booking your own shows and organising everything, even down to the artwork takes time. We’ve got our own label, Honeytrap Records, which is what we operate through and we’d like to keep doing that. But if we’re cruising along
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
I have been. But, we’re doing a lot more co-writing now. A lot of it will be with the guitarists. So, myself and Bob will get together and have a bit of a jam. Then, we’ll take that rough demo to the rest of the band and flesh it out. Or, I’ll write on my own and take it to the band and as a band we’ll finish it off.
...FOR TH E HEART OF THE SU N When you were forming the band did you know how you would meld those sounds together? No idea. I didn’t really think about that because I guess when I first started forming The Sunpilots in High School, there was no interest at all in doing anything Eastern. It was just, “Let’s get the guitar out and rock out.” Mostly to get chicks, as you do in High School. That sort of stuff (Eastern Music) became more interesting to me as I got into my 20s. I just started going back and listening to it again and trying to see if I could fuse the two together. But, it’s still rock. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin bands used to fuse all sorts of stuff all the time. We’re just trying to do that as well. The Sunpilots are at the Hunter Valley Brewery on July 12, Diggers @ The Entrance on July 11, The Grand Hotel, Wyong, on July 31, or The Cambridge Hotel on August 1.
E R I F N O S T R A E H G N U YO The Grates’ debut album, Gravity Won’t Get You High, took the world by storm. Now this unique and energetic Brisbane trio are going to make you fall in love with them all over again with their sophomore album Teeth Lost, Hearts Won. Nick Milligan caught up with singer Patience Hodgson and drummer Alana Skyring in their Sydney hotel. For two girls that have been up since 6am, running around Sydney dropping their brand new single into radio stations and doing multiple photo shoots, Alana Skyring and Patience Hodgson are looking radiant. But anyone who has met these two gals before – or even seen them perform in their now internationally recognized band, The Grates – will know that energy is something that comes naturally. Today’s secret is a steady diet of caffeine and sugar. 63 storeys in the air, the Sydney apartment where the band is staying looks across the vast bustle of the state’s capital. As the name of The Grates’ 2006 debut album testifies, Gravity Won’t Get You High, but it seems that growing success and an amazingly expansive second album can.
The Grates took Australia by storm with the release of the radio single ‘Message’, a demo-quality recording that was lifted from an early EP, The Ouch. The Touch. When the band released their debut album, Grates-fever spread across the continent, making the young, Queensland trio a favourite on both the touring and festival circuits. In 2008, The Grates are returning with a highly anticipated second album, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won, which is a mature progression in their manic, rock-pop sound. The eccentricities of Hodgson’s vocals are still present, which dance as vibrantly as her stage antics. Shifting from smouldering rock singer to coquettish falsetto, her voice jumps and hides among distorted guitar, thumping drums and snaking keyboard melodies.
The two girls of The Grates (the trio is completed by guitarist John Patterson, who is doing a phone interview somewhere in the apartment), candid as ever, explain that they enjoy the interview process, because it often gives them an insight into each other’s views on their music.
What’s also apparent is Hodgson’s fresh emphasis on lyrics. “I think I was just better at writing lyrics from the start,” says Hodgson. “[On the first album] I didn’t care if the lyrics didn’t mean anything to me—“
“I suppose you have to talk out things a couple of times before you have a united view on something,” admits Skyring, the group’s drummer. “It helps us understand each other.”
“Yeah,” laughs Hodgson, “I knew that the lyrics were important, but I didn’t place that much importance on them. Not tonnes of people do. Let’s face it, there’s lot of really bad lyrics gettin’ round in popular songs, which could easily have been tweaked to make them really good songs. But I decided to pay more attention to the lyrics on our second album and my favourites are the ones that I didn’t have to think about, which is most of them. But with ‘Let It
“Yeah, that’s true,” chimes in Hodgson, “we talk about things by ourselves, but there’s nothing like sitting down in an interview to really find out how other members of the band are feeling about the music.”
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
“Or even made sense…” adds Skyring.
Die’, ‘When You’re Scared Of Dogs’ and ‘Earthquake’, I really had to sit down and figure out what I wanted to say.” So, does this new mindset mean The Grates’ second album might be perceived as more mature? “I totally think so,” says Hodgson, quickly, “People have already said it to us jokingly, but what are you gonna do? Our last album got called ‘quirky’, this album is probably going to be called ‘mature’. As long as people like it, I don’t really care. But we’re more than two years older than when we wrote our last album, so you can’t fight growing.” Skyring adds, “The circumstances we were in when we wrote our first album, are completely different from the circumstances that we wrote [our second] album in, which affects you in both bad and good ways. But the pressure, which could be a bad thing, pushes you to do better.” The name of the album reflects the effort that The Grates put into the sophomore record. Specifically, ‘Teeth Lost, Hearts Won’ was a song that didn’t make it on to the final track listing, but it lives on in the album’s title and sums up the inband debating that occurred during the production process.
Top: The Grates in 2008. Above: The cover of their much-anticipated second album, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won.
“Our last album got called ‘quirky’, this album is probably going to be called ‘mature’.”
Creative conflict aside, you sense The Grates are proud of their latest effort, visibly glowing as we look out across Sydney. Teeth Lost, Hearts Won is released August 3, through Dew-Process/Universal.
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Coopers rock trivia Sunday from 7.30 Guitar hero Every Monday from 9
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THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS
The Age Of The Understatement Domino/EMI 4.5/5 This side project of Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane of British indierock trio The Rascals, is a stunningly cinematic journey through Spaghetti Western psychedelia. For those that sit on the fence about Turner’s talent, then Shadow Puppets are confirmation of his genius. Rather than continue to explore the juvenile (yet always engaging) punk ethos of the Arctic Monkeys, this project echoes a dark, shimmery period of 70s music and a mature side to Turner’s songwriting. The vocal harmonies on single ‘Standing Next To Me’ are breathtaking. This is a very exciting release. Nick Milligan
CLOUD CONTROL Cloud Control Independent 4/5
And with a cascading swirl of keys, we enter Cloud Control’s debut EP. It is an album of restrained rock/pop that finds strength within the subtle harmonies and melodies. There is an earthiness, similar to a GoBetweens / Triffids honesty, which has a lot to do with the timbre of Alister Wright’s voice and the sympathetic production. On the whole there is an up tempo playfulness except for, in my opinion, the release’s two finest moments. ‘Fine Teacher’s simple guitar, piano, melody and harmony work a treat, while ‘Into The Line’ pulls the tempo right back, you close your eyes, and drift on the lushness of those voices. Fine, fine stuff. Kevin Bull
AL GREEN Lay It Down EMI 4/5
No one has a voice like Rev. Al Green. So distinctive. Lay It Down is Al’s third release for Blue Note Records and is a far more solid affair when compared to 2005’s Everything Is OK. Working with The Roots’ ?uestlove, John Legend and The Dap-Kings Horns, Green’s glory days of the 70’s have been faithfully re-created. This, for me is the only concern I have. With such a team working behind Green, the safest path has been taken rather than stretching into new territories. That’s not to say Lay It Down is not a satisfying release - far from it. It is still one of the best soul releases of the year. Kevin Bull
MY MORNING JACKET Evil Urges EMI 4/5 If you’re already in love with My Morning Jacket, then this new offering from Jim James and his motely crew will be a comforting, golden shower of trademark harmonic beauty and raw dynamics. But nothing can prepare even the most hardcore of fan for track three – ‘Highly Suspicious’. Did Jim James fall asleep one night listening to a Prince record? Using what is surely tongue-incheek falsetto, James squeaks and maniacally chuckles away over fat, 80s guitar stabs and squealing licks. Imagine the Bee Gees stealing the music of Tone Loc’s ‘Wild Thing’. Even the opener and title track utilizes more of James’ obvious penchant for falsetto, where as ‘I’m Amazed’ is unmistakably Jacket. Overall this album is another joyous showcase for the group’s own brand of sunshine. Evil never sounded so angelic. Nick Milligan
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
First up, if you’re an Opeth fan you will love Watershed. It pushes all the right buttons with mighty riffage, progressive structures, and a style its own. If there is one concern, it’s that it sounds just as you would expect. For a band that continued to tread new ground, Watershed does not offer up anything truly inspirational. For me, it is the second half that delivers the true gems. ‘Porcelain Heart’ is a cracker, solid riffs, light and shade dynamics - it is Opeth extending themselves. ‘Hessian Peel’ is over 11 minutes of progressive metal at its finest. Watershed deserves repeated listens and will be considered one of the best metal releases this year. Kevin Bull
THE OFFSPRING Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace SonyBMG 3.5/5 As the first two tracks of The Offspring’s latest offering blast over your stereo, you breathe a sigh of relief - the Californian legends have returned to their roots? Fast, ball-busting punk-rock? Unfortunately, the album does slide back into The Offspring’s new found love of pop-rock and power ballads (‘Fix You’ - not the Coldplay song). Sometimes it works, and at least they’ve avoided the kitschness of tunes like ‘Original Prankster’. But the boys are jumping on Green Day’s bandwagon (the final track ‘Rise and Fall’ is an ‘American Idiot’ rip-off). ‘Stuff Is Messed Up’ is a guilty pleasure and there’s lots of hooks on offer, but this isn’t what The Offspring do best. Noah Cross
Weezer (The Red Album) Universal 2.5/5 Album number six and the third to be selftitled, the so-called Red Album looks like Weezer, it kind of sounds like Weezer, but it is definitely not the best of Weezer. It is just so hit and miss. Opener ‘Troublemaker’ and ‘Everybody Get Dangerous’ are great rock songs, ‘Pork and Beans’ feels like the madeto-order single and should grab everyone’s attention, and ‘The Greatest Man That Ever Lived’ is a freak of a song. Six minutes, 10 movements, and surprisingly appealing. These tracks are the first half of The Red Album, the second half just runs downhill at a fast pace. Kevin Bull
LITTLE RED Listen To Little Red Shock 3/5
Super-fun-happy, hey-girl-let’s-dance music! Layered pop vocal hooks, lashings of ‘ohh’s’ and ‘ahh’s’, and the cheeky ‘shoop-be-dowops’ complement the upbeat backing of this record. The lyrics are about - well, girls. Usually in red dresses. You could be cynical about this unabashed 60s revivalism, but these guys are not trying to reinvent the wheel. Comparisons with the Wolfmother phenomena spring to mind, both in their derivative nature, but also in their masterful execution and infectiousness. If this sounds like your thing, get yourself a date in a red dress, get along to their next show, and wear your dancing shoes. Shoo-be-do-wop! Mark Forester
SPIRITUALIZED Songs in A&E Universal 3.5/5 Song’s in A & E is Jason Spaceman’s (aka Jason Pierce) sixth studio record under the Spiritualised band title. The album is a pastiche of gospel, soul, blues and slow rock. The arrangement includes angelic female vocals, swelling evocative string sections, thoughtful guitar pieces, church organ, and delicately performed drums. ‘Borrowed Your Gun’ is an achingly sweet piece of music. In fact, there are several truly moving moments on this record, although the single ‘Soul On Fire’ isn’t one of them. At 18 tracks, the record is a little long, and it might have had a more sustained emotional impact if it had been distilled somewhat. But Song’s in A & E is still an experience worth having. Mark Forester
COLDPLAY Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends Capitol/EMI 4.5/5
Viva La Vida marks a new era for a band that has proven all they need to. Chris Martin oozes pop hits from his pores and anthems seemingly drip from his piano-playing fingers. So what does a band do in such a situation? ‘Violet Hill’ is a case in point – it’s dark, introspective, unusual – and a rock song. If this were Coldplay’s debut single, it wouldn’t drift beyond Triple J. There’s a darkness throughout most of this fourth album. ‘Cemeteries Of London’ contains echoed jangle and ghostly choirs, while ‘Lost!’ floats over church organ (both songs weave hand clapping into the mix). For a group with an accomplished back catalogue, Viva La Vida might just prove to be their crowning glory. Nick Milligan
THE FRATELLIS Here We Stand Universal 3.5/5
Here We Stand is such a fun ride, it is hard not to like it - big choruses, perfect for the drunken sing-along with the mates. The 2006 debut Costello Music held much promise for these brit-poppers, so it is great to see number two delivers. The Fratelli brothers take the legacy of glam and the best of brit-rock, to bring something memorable and catchy as all hell. ‘Mistress Mabel’ is a standout along with ‘A Heady Tale’. What gives The Fratellis the edge over the pretenders is intelligence and songcraft, while having a rollicking good time. Kevin Bull
PLANTLIFE Time Traveller Shock 4/5
The genre-blurring Plantlife return with album number two, the aptly-named Time Traveller, and it’s a joyous ride through 60’s soul, 70’s funk, 80’s hip-hop, 90’s R&B and beyond. No specific influence dominates, creating a refreshing and modern mix. In 2004, the debut The Return of Jack Splash turned Jack into a highly sought-after producer working with Missy Elliot, Alicia Keys and Cee-Lo to name a few. Now Jack is back. I hear Sly Stone (‘Freee!’), Funkadelic (‘Outta Control’), Prince (‘Sumthin About Her’), Marvin Gaye (‘Fool For U’), but in the end it is all Plantlife. Kevin Bull
All Or Nothing Infectious/ Warner 3/5 There’s nothing like relentlessly earsplitting punk rock to make you feel older than you are. Thankfully, All Or Nothing is softened by songs such as ‘Move To Newlyn’ and ‘Strawberry Blonde’, but otherwise the album is a catalogue of vaguely articulated angst accompanied by coarse and strident instrumentation. There are definite glimpses of clever songwriting here, but they’re obscured by other, more overbearing tracks. Hugh Milligan
THE DODOS Visiter
Wichita/Shock 4/5 There’s hardly a review of the Dodo’s around that doesn’t make a lame joke about extinction. Hopefully this kitsch press angle will soon die out, pass away, generally cease to be, and shuffle off the mortal coil to join John Cleese in parrot sketch heaven. This two person act from San Francisco play psychedelic, rocky, bluesy kinda folk. Strong melodies and harmonies coupled with big roomy percussion accompany an upbeat song writing style. The lyrics are refreshing and honest. The recurring psychedelic element adds a great sonic depth to the record. Mark Forester
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cd reviews ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Sub Pop/Stomp 5/5 Described as ‘baroque harmonic pop’, Seattle five-piece Fleet Foxes, have just released this debut full length album, hot on the heels of their Sun Giant EP.
‘Tiger Mountain Peasant Song’ stops you dead in your tracks.
So why are they Reverb’s album of the month? To use an understatement, they have crafted the most breath-taking album of 2008. This is a large call, but by your sixth or seventh listen, you realise that Fleet Foxes is one of the most stunning albums you’ve ever heard. The Fleet Foxes sound is full and deep, but has been recorded with huge amounts of echo and space. Musically, there are shades of light and dark, with some upbeat songs lifting you up, before a darker tune like
Robin Pecknold’s glowing, chime-like voice cuts straight to your soul. Single ‘White Winter Hymnal’ is the most arresting song written since ‘New Slang’ by The Shins. In fact, you get the distinct impression that Fleet Foxes have The Shins in their collection, along with the odd album by Band Of Horses and Iron and Wine. If they’re not disciples of Jim James and My Morning Jacket, then you have good reason to freak out. They’re not nearly as electric as MMJ, but those stirring church-like vocal arrangements often swirl like those on Jim James penned tracks like ‘Golden’.
In fact, the opening track ‘Sun It Rises’, does let loose with some Southern electric guitar jangle. The production was helmed by Fleet Foxes’ family friend Phil Ek (Mudhoney, The Shins, Built To Spill, Band Of Horses, Modest Mouse), and sounds as though it were recorded in a gothic cathedral in the middle of the American wilderness. For a group of city lads, it’s an amazing feat. You can feel them longing for a creek between their toes and dark foliage above their heads. Fleet Foxes will restore a faith in music, for those that have lost their own. Ultimately, they make you want to cry with joy. By Nick Milligan
New Manic Art Song BMG 3/5 As a debut CD, New Manic Art is not disappointing but it would be if it was their second or third release. It is a strong opening statement with broad ambitions that is let down by a lack of consistency and direction. Following the lead cracker ‘Sunday Warning’ and memorable current single ‘Neighbours’, the tracks miss more than they hit. The major disappointment for me is the lack of anything that resembles their blistering live shows. Just a bit too much pop than gritty rock. I feel that we have already heard the best with their singles and will need to now wait for their next release. Kevin Bull
A Loud Call Spunk 4/5
The third album by Holly Throsby has a vulnerability that makes you want to reach out and give Holly a big hug. Engineer and producer Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Andrew Bird) has created a subtleness that draws you in to the songs themselves, causing you to turn your ear to get a closer listen. It is simple and unobtrusive, giving strength and support to the songs yet never being dominant. With an honesty and confidence in Holly’s voice, the listener feels comfortable and relaxed like when an old friend visits. Uncluttered, intimate and quite beautiful, A Loud Call grabs your attention by simply holding your hand. Kevin Bull
FOXBORO HOT TUBS
Stop Drop and Roll!!! Warner 4/5
Melodia Ivy League 4/5 Six years ago The Vines gave mainstream rock a much needed right hook, but their blows since that time have varied in impact. Their fourth studio album, Melodia, is more than just a safe return to form. The riffs are heavier, the sound is dirtier and the songs are reckless and wild. It’s what The Vines do - they tangle Beatles-esque melodies in pounding distortion. Their Brit-pop influences are still there (see ‘Orange Amber’), which will relieve fans who cherish that streak in Craig Nicholls’ writing, but the rock kids won’t have to look any further than ‘Brain Dead’. Welcome back, Vines. Nick Milligan
If Foxboro Hot Tubs sound like Green Day trying their hand at 60s garage-rock - then that’s because it is. Putting their old-school punk charm on the rockabilly genre, this is by no means a stylistic departure that requires a moniker - but that just adds to the fun. Sounding like the Stray Cats - and by extension, a very young Living End - the greaser facade starts to drop away on ‘Ruby Room’, ‘Sally’ and ‘Broadway’, but songs like the the gentle sway of ‘Red Tide’ will raise your eyebrows. Stop Drop and Roll!!! will appeal to Green Day fans, and will expecially please those that thought ‘American Idiot’ was a little too palatable. Noah Cross
THE Entertainment and Lifestyle Publication for Newcastle, The Hunter & Central Coast
JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN
To Survive Mushroom 4.5/5 ‘Honor Wishes’, with its cool jazz riffs, sets the tone for a gorgeously soulful and complex album. Laid back bass rhythms, trickling piano chords and Joan’s raw lyricism all contribute to a warm and irresistable aesthetic that quickly crawls under your skin. The sound is never cluttered by instrumentation - the harmony is simply expressed and complimented by occasional string and brass lines. It’s sometimes fragile, sometimes bold, and always compelling. To Survive is gutsy music gently executed, and a powerfully emotional album. Hugh Milligan
CSS Donkey Sub Pop/Stomp 3.5/5 This second offering from indie Internet wonders CSS is populated by an ecclectic collection of rock and techno beats. The songs are catchy, and a few, like the single ‘Rat Is Dead (Rage)’, really stand out as great rock, but others are so strikingly similar that the sound eventually loses its appeal. There’s strong elements of mainstream pop songs like ‘Reggae All Night’ and ‘Move’ have a definite retro vibe, and Lovefoxxx’s breathy deadtone vocals lend themselves well to electro-pop. The result is fun and listenable, but ultimately forgettable. Hugh Milligan
BLOOD RED SHOES
TZU Computer Love Liberation 4.5/5 This is a superb Australian release, that will transcend the expectations of TZU’s vast hip-hop audience. What makes Computer Love, their third album, such a success is its genre-bending frivolity - TZU stay eclectic but don’t spread themselves too thin. Fine songwriting and mild splashings of humour are introduced with opener ‘We Got The Feeling’. The title track has an American RnB flavour and ‘Right Of Way’ is TZU dabbling in their electronic influences, with bursts of salsa brass and beats. ‘Number One’ stands out as one of two album highlights, with its soul hook and stomping bass, while ‘Burning Up’ steals the show. It’s refreshing to hear Australian hip-hop continue to steer away from cringe-worthy twang and pursue true innovation. Nick Milligan
Box Of Secrets V2/Shock 3.5/5 English duo Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter’s debut is a rip-roaring affair. It has a real rawness about its structure, nasty guitars and an energy that is contagious. ‘You Bring Me Down’ is frantic and as catchy as hell. If fact, much of this album travels at 100 mph and it can wear you out. It’s only a small grip as after numerous listens, I still get a kick out of it. Garage rock, indie rock, call it what you wish, but Blood Red Shoes are a band to watch, and Box of Secrets should be listened to. Kevin Bull
THE JOHN STEEL SINGERS
Beagle and the Dove MGM 4/5 This is such a playful release. It feels only yesterday that The John Steel Singers were taking out JJJ Unearthed, and now we have eight tracks that exude confidence in who they are and what they are doing. It is pure pop, refreshing in their use of harmonies, brass and quirky vocals. ‘Strawberry Wine’ has deservedly received airplay but is definitely not the strongest track, so if you have a passing interest in it, the EP will not disappoint. It is pleasing to hear such a mature release coming from a young band. This is for the fans of clever pop. Kevin Bull
Hymns In The Key Of 666 Creative Vibes 4.5/5 This Swedish covers band have released one of the most gorgeous and unexpected debut albums of the year. Hellsongs sing acoustic, indiefolk covers of classic heavy metal songs. Everyone from Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer and even AC/DC get the reworked treatment. Does it work? Hell, yes. Hellsongs are not being ironic or taking the piss. Instead, they expose the often beautiful lyrics of heavy metal music. With haunting female vocals, the songs manage to avoid being overly gothic. This an album that you will play to death. Nick Milligan
July 2008 Issue 24
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email@example.com Iguanas, Gosford Chontia Wickham Park Hotel Zoe and the Money-Shot Band
Tuesday 1 July Civic Theatre The Chaser’s War of Terror Northern Star Hotel Zoe and Keys
Monday 7 July
Wednesday 2 July
Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni Grandmaster Monk + Charlie BBQ and The Gumboots + A Disappointing Fireworks Display + Fuji Collective
Civic Theatre The Chaser’s War On Terror Lizottes, Kincumber Howard Shearman + Luke Koteras + Racz and Waters + Summerlands Kings
Tuesday 8 July Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni The Andi and George Band + The Paper Scissors + The Bits + Mojo Juju (solo) with guests Northern Star Hotel Mick and Josh
Thursday 3 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Genedefect + Buried In Verona + Blind The Iris + Miramar + Nina May Lizottes, Kincumber Rock Trivia Northern Star Hotel Ange Woodport Inn, Erina Boom Crash Opera + Ethereal
Wednesday 9 July Bar on the Hil, Newcastle Uni A Fantasy Ball w/ The Toilet Roll Dolls and Paul Spencer Lizottes, Kincumber Bec Willis + Gayle O’Neil + Mark Cashin Northern Star Hotel Ben and Killer
Thursday 10 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong The Agenda + The Veld + Calerway + Falling Of One Lizottes, Kincumber James Reyne Northern Star Hotel Matt Southern and Phil Edgeley
Great Dividing Range
Friday 4 July Belmore Hotel, Maitland The Great Dividing Range + The Tunstalls + The Decades Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Hereafter + Phalanx Diggers @ the Entrance Chonita and the New Colours + Lounge Acts Erina Leagues Club Rhythm Method Gosford Youth Centre Angelas Dish + Ethereal Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland British India + The Zillers + Fiction + Light Noise Lizottes, Kincumber Richard Clapton Lucky Country Hotel Red Letter Project + Shuns The Light + Kettles Northern Star Hotel Chikarma Wickham Park Hotel Driver 8 + Ezra
The Agenda (The Lockup Garage)
Friday 11 July Cambridge Hotel Hell City Glamours + Decades + L.U.S.T. Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Shadowmill + The Numinus Diggers @ the Entrance Mark Cashin and the Lil Hussy’s + Sunpilots + Niksta Erina Leagues Club End of August Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland True Lies Lizottes, Kincumber James Reyne Northern Star Hotel Hugh Gordon Sirens, Terrigal 40 Footsteps Wickham Park Hotel Matt Southern + Phil Edgeley
Saturday 5 July Beach Hotel Overload Cambridge Hotel Mammal + Sydonia + Level 8 Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Skura Davistown RSL Storm + AC/DC Tribute Show Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland Seany B Kurri Skate Park Nockrock 08 Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Zombies On Broadway Lizottes, Kincumber Richard Clapton Lucky Country Hotel Benjalu + King Jack Northern Star Hotel Floyd Vincent The Loft Pergamum + A Storm, Picturesque + Curse At 27 Wickham Park Hotel The Hellbillies Woodport Inn, Erina British India
Sunday 6 July Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni Grace Turner + Geordie Malone + Sunflower Syco + ALPS Beachcomber Hotel Reg Sinclair Belmore Hotel, Maitland Zeppelin at the Taj + The Ride Ons + Greg Gillet Civic Theatre Lenny Henry
Saturday 12 July
Beach Hotel Grandvue + Foreshadowed + Ryan Stewart Cambridge Hotel The Great Dividing Range Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong The Storm Picturesque + Corsairs + Burma Elude + Nonpariel East Maitland Bowling Club Memorial Drive + Illusions of Despair Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland Sunpilots + Nickson Wing + Dirty Laundry Lizottes, Kincumber James Reyne Lucky Country Hotel Even + The Spazzys + Tracey Redhead Northern Star Hotel Folkstar Old Pub, Woy Woy Dan Granero The Loft Coma Lies + As Silence Breaks + Never See Tomorrow + A Silent Fiction + Armed With Courage + A Shotgun Silence
firstname.lastname@example.org Wickham Park Hotel Merewether Fats and the Kings Biscuit Band
Sunday 13 July Bateau Bay Hotel Marty Simpson Beachcomber Hotel Brendan Murphy Queens Wharf Brewery Tzu Wickham Park Hotel Bluezone
Monday 14 July Enmore Theatre Joe Satriani + Peter Northcote
Tuesday 15 July Newcastle Entertainment Centre So you Think You Can Dance Northern Star Hotel Mick and Josh
Tuesday 22 July Belmore Hotel, Maitland The Blues Preachers Northern Star Hotel Mick and Josh
Wednesday 23 July Lizottes, Kincumber Coastfest Showcase w/ Rocwater + Jaywalker + Vanessa Alia + Temperamental Pocket Newcastle Uni Rocwater
Thursday 24 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong The Black & White + Ladies & Gentlemen Lucky Country Hotel Rocwater Northern Star Hotel Ben and Killer
Wednesday 16 July Cambridge Hotel The Getaway Plan + Goodnight Nurse + Closure In Moscow Lizottes, Kincumber Kim Harlow + Daniel March + Mick Feint + Mark Moldre Lucky Country Hotel Mourning Tide + House VS Hurricane Northern Star Hotel Raoul Graf
Thursday 17 July Bar on the Hill, Newcastle Uni No Use For A Name + Strung Out + Local Resident Failure Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Polaroid Frame + One Jonathan + Cocapenny Northern Star Hotel Bob Corbett
The Storm, Picturesque (Dynamite Photography)
Friday 25 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Pergamum + The Storm, Picturesque + Sullen Demise Croation Club Funky Farmer CD launch + Jeff Orr + The Clap Acoustic + Larry Hughs and Steve Lombardi + Improper Fractions Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland Secret Society Lizottes, Kincumber Matt Corby + Nikki Kummerow Northern Star Hotel Kellie Cain Wickham Park Hotel Sailmaker Woodport Inn, Erina Ajax
Saturday 26 July
Mourning Tide (Hit The Lights)
Friday 18 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Mourning Tide + A Silent Fiction + House VS Hurricane + The Dark Gift Erina Leagues Club Jaywalker Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland The Crook Liberty City Centre, Gosford Modern Joy + Fatis Valour + New empire + Jonnday Lizottes, Kincumber Becky Cole Newcastle Panthers Jimmy Barnes Northern Star Hotel The Morgan Evans Band The Loft Hard Luck + Battletruk + Slowburn + Wolves + Every Word Wickham Park Hotel The Blues Bombers
Saturday 19 July Beach Hotel Moonlight Drive Beachcomber Hotel That 80’s Show Belmore Hotel, Maitland Sketching Cato + Polaroid Frame + One Jonathan + Excuse Fingers Cambridge Hotel Audio Damage + Hellraiser + Suae + Matt Russell vs Rossco + Krip vs Simon Buse Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong The Protectors + The Gallant + Foxx On Fire Hunter Valley Brewery, Maitland Screaming Jets + Small Mercies + Sketching Cato Lizottes, Kincumber Rick Price Maitland Town Hall Pigsty in July w/ The Gin Club + Botanics Northern Star Hotel Chikarma Sydney Entertainment Centre Timberland Wickham Park Hotel The McNasty’s
Sunday 20 July Bateau Bay Hotel Paul Greene Beachcomber Hotel Thing Belmore Hotel, Maitland Wagons + Dead Letter Chorus + Ned Collette Band Burwood Bowling Club Benjalu Lizottes, Kincumber Angie Hart + Dave McCormack Wickham Park Hotel Room To Move
Beach Hotel Goodnight Kids + Geek Love Cambridge Hotel Here Come The Birds + The Sacred Stereos Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Sailmaker + The Inheritors + Stolen Memories + Eclectic Dreams + Happy Phlegm Doyalson RSL Thirsty Merc Lizottes, Kincumber Jenny Morris + Snez Maitland City Bowling Club Memorial Drive + Romance Explosion + Cigars for the Man + Foreshadowed + Asinien Northern Star Hotel Driver 8 The Loft The Black and White + A December Truth Wickham Park Hotel The Ezra Lee Band Woodport Inn, Erina Trial Kennedy + Ethereal
Sunday 27 July Bateau Bay Hotel The Village Beachcomber Hotel Dr Dave Belmore Hotel, Maitland The Blues Preachers + The Tunstalls Cambridge Hotel Drapht + Beats Working Lizottes, Kincumber Jaywalker Mingara Chontia Premier Hotel Dan Granero Wickham Park Hotel High Horse
Monday 28 July Newcastle Uni Krishna Jones
Tuesday 29 July Lucky Country Hotel The Gaslight Anthem + A Death In The Family + Like Alaska Metro Theatre The Polyphonic Spree Newcastle Uni Merewether Fats duo Northern Star Hotel Ngariki
Wednesday 30 July Cambridge Hotel Pergamum + A Storm, Picturesque Metro Theatre Tricky
Thursday 31 July Chilli Lounge, Grand Hotel Wyong Falling of One + Sunpilots + Worst Case Scenario + Fear of Monstors Lizottes, Kincumber Tex Perkins Metro Theatre The Music + Dukes Of Windsor Northern Star Hotel Zoe and Jason Wyong Leagues Club The Angels
Howard Sherman + Luke Koteras + Racz and Waters + Summerland Kings
Gayle O’Neil + Mark Cashin + Bec Willis
July 16 Kim Harlow
+ Daniel March + Mick Feint + Mark Moldre
July 23 Coastfest Showcase w/
Rocwater + Jaywalker + Vanessa Alia + The Temperamental Pockets
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ENTER THE BLUE ZONE In the space of a few short years, Bluezone have emerged onto the blues-rock scene and given it a major shake. Awards at the Australian Blues Festival in Goulburn have been won, and a second album is about to be released. Kevin Bull chats with lead vocalist and guitarist, Adam Eckersley, as the band prepares for the album’s launch at The Basement. Your second album, Thanks For Coming To The Show, is about to be released. What has changed for you guys from the debut, The Sweetest and Most Perfect Things? I guess the main change is that we actually wrote songs specifically for this album. The last album was pretty much just a heap of jams, most of which I wrote lyrics for the night before laying tracks. This album has more direction. That and we are all more broke and worn out, and we have more kids and all that stuff than we did when we recorded the first album (laughs). I think you can hear that in this album. It sounds like the recording was a drawn out process. Do you feel that it worked for you, rather than knocking it out in a couple of weeks? It was a drawn out thing. We didn’t plan it that way, it just sort of turned out to be that way so I guess it did work because we’re all really happy with the results. What were some of the more interesting locations you recorded tracks? Tracks were recorded all over the place. Some at Tamworth at my old’s place where we pretty much took over their joint for a while, some at Ammiel’s flat (Warner, organ, keyboards and vocals) in Maitland, and some at Mik’s (McCartin, percussion and vocals) at Dora Creek. We took over his place too. The neighbours loved us, I’m sure. Mik did the recording. Was it all done very
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diplomatic? He didn’t want to push the drums forward to much? Mik (Rocket Town Productions) did a great job with the recording. He was fair, didn’t drown us out with drums, he did get a great drum sound though, but he spent the time to ensure all instruments sounded their best.
“...we are all more broke and worn out, and we have more kids and all that stuff...I think you can hear that in this album...” Multiple awards at the 2007 Australian Blues Music Festival came your way. Did you have acceptance speeches prepared? (laughs) No, we just dribbled on a bit. None of us would make really good public speakers, I think. For the uninitiated, what makes the Australian Blues Music Festival in Goulburn special? It’s just a cracker of a festival. It always finds the best new bands and gives them a run, while also having the
legends there too. It’s always a top mix. You were this year’s official ambassador. What did this mean to you, and what did the role entail? Basically I had to promote the festival throughout the year, which was easy because the festival is great. I always talk about it anyway. It was also great to make people aware of Bluezone. The new album is being launched at The Basement July 8. Do us locals have to wait until Coastfest in September to see you? Not at all. We’re all from Newcastle and there are a lot of people from here who want to come to the launch, so we have organised a bus from Newy to take everyone down there and back home after the show. The bus will be making stops along the Coast to pick anyone up that is keen to jump on. The launch will be a great night, we have a great support act also from Newcastle in Kim Mackenzie and Mal Eastick will be M.C. and special guest. Other than that we play a heap in Newy and we’ll be sure to get down the Coast too, maybe not before Coastfest but we’ll get down there. Bluezone can be caught live at The Basement July 8 for the CD launch, Sunday July 13 at the Wickham Park Hotel, and Coastfest Friday September 5. Anyone interested in catching the bus to the launch can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Further info at www. myspace.com/etbz.
coast guide with Kevin Bull
KENNEDY ON TRIAL AT THE WOODY The Woodport Inn at Erina is turning itself into one of the hottest places on the Coast to catch live music. We have already seen Dukes of Windsor, Resin Dogs, Daysend and Symbiosis grace the stage, and now things are starting to get really hot. For starters, Boom Crash Opera are there July 3, and two days later it’s British India July 5. Then you have a couple of real biggies - Trial Kennedy July 26 and The Herd August 23, both of which Reverb are proud to present. And for all you dance heads Ajax is back July 25, then Nick Skitz August 22. The word is that this is just the start. I have been told to keep a lid on a couple of big guns coming up in a few months. It is great to see a venue getting behind live music.
Nick and Liesl’s new EP, Wyong River, is finally finished. It appears that their impending European tour forced them to get things moving and get the job done. It will be available through iTunes this month and released in stores mid-August, with distribution through Foghorn Records/ MGM Distribution. As we speak (or write), the guys are gigging through Europe and the UK, lucky buggers. Once back, they hit The Basement on August 19 for the EP launch, Northern Star Hotel August 21 and Kincumber Hotel September 7. Can’t wait for a listen. It’s great to report that the forthcoming Chris Byrne CD has been fully funded. Recently the call was put out to all the believers to pre-purchase the CD, and it has been a resounding success. Many albums were purchased, straight up donations made, and one special person stepped up and decided to fund the rest of the album. Good times. Chris has just spent a couple of weeks in the studio finishing it all off, with a video and merch being planned. Also, big congrats to both Chris and Laini for the wonderful news that they are expecting another little one. You can’t get a better year than this one. www.myspace. com/chrisbyrnemusic
Modern Joy’s debut has a name, Make Believe, the recording has been completed, and the release is not too far off. From what I am hearing, some of the country’s finest engineers and studios were used. Talks are currently underway for distribution so once this has been sorted out, we will be able to get our hands on it. In the mean time, there are some gigs for you to catch. July 18 at the Liberty City Centre Gosford, and August 18 at the Chilli Lounge Wyong.
It was rather sad news to hear that Jody was leaving Rather Be Dead. But all is not lost as they have added Beef to the menu. That’s right, the new guitarist goes by the name Beef. Why you might ask? Cause beef flows through his veins. He is a man above all us mere males. As the guys tells us, if Beef falls over & scraps his knee, instead of blood pouring out of his wound, you get dinner. Rather Be Dead have also got themselves a mighty fine guitarist. www.myspace.com/ratherbedeadband
COASTER LINEUP ANNOUNCED Cog
September seems to be the season of festivals on the Coast. First is Coastfest on the first weekend of the month, then September 20 we get Coaster at the Gosford Showground. It’s sounding like a pretty big deal with The Living End, Kisschasy, Cog, Something With Numbers,Blue King Brown, The Potbelleez, The Matches (USA) and Bluejuice already announced. Tix go on sale July 2, early-bird are $59, generals will be $69. Keep an eye on the website for more details. www.coasterfestival.com.au Keep your eyes open for a new band on the local scene, Six and Sevens. Well, they aren’t exactly new, The Friday Kill have undergone a name change and all systems are go. A CD is being recorded with ARIA nominated producer Greg Stace as we speak, so look out for this as well. They’ve just had their first gig at The Loft so all is good within the Six and Sevens camp. www.myspace.com/sixandsevens Lots of things to report within the Mark Moldre household. Firstly, this fine man has put forward an offer that is hard to refuse, The Sonic Lounge Room Tour. It is
a simple concept, you invite 25-35 people over to your house, ask for a $10 donation, and Mark will turn up and play the music for you in your lounge room. How cool it that? So when the new album is ready, Mark plans to take the Sonic Lounge Room Tour around Australia. If you are interested, hit him up on Myspace. The first lounge room gig has been done and it was a resounding success. As for the debut solo release, it is so close to release it’s not funny. Many of the new tracks can be heard on Myspace so head over for a sneak peak. There is also a DVD being prepared by his old Hitchcock’s Regret partner, Shane Pex. This will include band rehearsals, interviews, and some studio footage. www.myspace.com/markmoldresolo Rocwater are smack bang in the middle of their east coast tour in support of their debut self-titled CD. If you check out their Myspace site, they are basically doing a show a night until the end of the month. Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Laurieton, you name it. If there’s a room to play, Rocwater will be there. They have not forgotten about us locals though. July 23 they will be doing a lunch time gig at Newcastle Uni, and then at Lizottes that same night. The July 24 it’s the Lucky Country’s turn, and then July 25 they are at the Entrance Leagues Club for Chapter 3 of The Village.
Coastfest is approaching and to get you all in the mood, Lizottes and Reverb will be holding a showcase Wednesday July 23. For only $20, we get four artists preparing themselves for the big festival, Rocwater, Jaywalker, Vanessa Alia and The (Temperamental) Pockets. It makes you want September to roll round quick smart.
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July 2008 Issue 24
Beatdown - there’s a samba section and a tango section. I even played a theremin, which we used on almost every song. It gives the songs a different character. We also recorded the new album in 5.1 Surround Sound, so people can really enjoy it. Dragonforce are very energetic on stage - do you have to stay in good physical condition when you’re on tour?
USING LETHAL FORCE
What did you want your new album, Ultra Beatdown, to sound like? We wanted to concentrate on making catchier, more melodic songs. I think Inhuman Rampage (their previous record) really captured us in a chaotic period of time, when we were touring and recording the album at the same time. The songs are catchy, but it’s also very intense and brutal. There’s no gaps, and every song hits really hard. We wanted to improve on the songwriting and we’re 110% happy
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
You guys are capable of playing your instruments very, very fast - would it be humanly possible for you to go any faster? I don’t think so. We never try to outdo ourselves and play faster. Some sections of the music are fast, some are not. We’re not like, “Oh my god, we have to play fast!” On Ultra Beatdown there are some songs that are mid-tempo. We always pick a tempo that suits the melody. The melody is the driving force behind every song that we write. There’s so much variety on Ultra
I think its definitely brought us some new fans, because we reached an audience that might not be into power metal. It can be difficult to get people that aren’t into our genre to check us out. It’s a great way to spread the world. Have you played your song on Guitar Hero III? Yes, definitely. When it came out, I finished in one day on the easiest level. I’ve finished all the songs, but our song I was really crap at. I play a lot of wrong notes on ‘Through The FIre and Flames’, but I managed to pass it. Even Herman struggles with it - he would only try it on the easiest setting. It’s a fun game to play. Ultra Beatdown is available soon through Roadrunner. Photo by Gary Woolstenholme/www.inventory-photo.co.uk
As the world’s most fast and furious power metal band, England’s Dragonforce really are a force to be reckoned with - especially as they are about to release their fourth album, Ultra Beatdown. Noah Cross spoke to the group’s keyboardist Vadim Pruzhanov.
with the new record. I personally think it’s the best thing we’ve done so far. We’re fired up to get out there and play it for the fans. There’s a lot of depth - we spent 11 months writing and recording the album, because we do both at the same time. The songs remain fresh, but even up to the point of mastering, we were still making changes to make it as good as possible.
It definitely helps, but none of us do (laughs). When we go on tour, we always tell each other that we’re going to exercise, but no one does f**k all, man. We just log into myspace and see how many friends we have. When we start on tour and we’re jumping around, it’s murder. It kills us. After the first gig, your body is aching after an hour. You have a few drinks before you go on and you think you’re invincible. But your body gets used to it.
Dragonforce are included in the Guitar Hero III video game - what sort of exposure has it given you guys?
When did you join up with those guys? About a year before the first Dragonforce album Valley Of The Damned came out. I went to see a show that Rob Halford (from Judas Priest) was headlining. At that time, Demoniac had changed their name to Dragonheart and they were on the bill. Then I kept seeing Herman at local clubs and bars and I would talk to him. Then their keyboardist pulled out and they needed a replacement. I had played a lot of piano, but at that time I was into playing guitar. But I was happy to help them out with a couple of shows. I was only 18, so it was a dream. We had a rehearsal and things worked out, so they asked me to stay permanently. Then they changed their name to Dragonforce. We were nobodies - I never expected things to get big. Metal God: guitarist Herman Li
couldn’t reach the capitals on previous tours because of them living in say, Townsville? “We’ve played shows before in Australia outside of the capitals, but with this tour, yeah, we wanted to take it everywhere. We told people we’re going to Australia for a month and they were like, ‘What? There are enough places there for that?’ Hell yeah, dude, we’re psyched!” says Aiken.
M O T A D N A UP By Mitch Beldon
You’ve got to be good when your band can be recognized from a symbol - Prince, Sepultura, …Slipknot? To see the ‘Atom’ symbol tattooed on a punk/hardcore kid’s body, a giant print on the back of their cars rear window, or stickers smothering what was once their Gibson, tells you know this person has been influenced for life by Californian punk band, Strung Out. And that’s how it is with Strung Out. They’ve got a thick enough sound to interest a metal head, enough D-beats and melodic leads and vocals to wrap up a rock or punk fan, and have their albums spin without confrontation at any mixed group party. I asked Strung Out’s bass player, Chris Aiken, how life’s been playing in such a popular and successful band since he joined in 2002. “It’s just a privilege to be in a big band. It’s like being a professional athlete. We’ve toured countries around the world so many times - I know my way around places like Montreal and Sydney! I can get myself around Sydney and know where what I want is! We’re lucky enough to say we’ve toured to Australia what… like 9 times over the years, and it’s a great thing to be able to do that,” gushes Aiken.
Formed in 1992, they were instantly taken to by audiences who appreciated their hybrid of punk rock and metal, helping make them one of the first bands to sign to US punk-indie giants, Fat Wreck Chords. The group has seen a lot of bands come and go throughout their career. I ask Aiken what he feels has helped keep Strung Out on top. “We’re very lucky to still be here, seeing as so many bands have come and gone that were around when we started up. We’re just like, ‘F**k! We must be doing something right.’ I think it’s ‘cause we put out different records each time. A lot of people appreciate that. Some bands release a lot of records and they all sound very similar. We’ve always tried to write better music and progress it, whilst not changing totally, but always changing,” explains Aiken. “Last June we released Black Hawks Over Los Angeles and it was a heavier album to what our fans were used to, but still held the same aspects they love about Strung Out.”
Strung Out are not travelling to Australia empty-handed. They’re bringing with them admired Cali-punk legends, No Use For A Name. Was this something the two bands had always planned on doing together? “Yeah, No Use For A Name are great guys. The opportunity just kind of arose. We haven’t toured with those guys in years - not since Warped Tour - so it was like, ‘They’re a great band, we’re a great band (laughs).’ We just hit them up saying, “Hey, you guys wanna come to Australia with us?’ and they were like, ‘F**k yeah!’ Worked out perfect - we’re both very excited,” says Aiken. Seven albums, nine Australian tours, and Strung Out are still loved for their punk anthems and their party antics. It’s no secret these guys like to enjoy life to the full. “...oh, we’re all still massive stoners... (laughs). I can’t wait to get to Australia for Coopers beer, man. I’ve tried so many times to get that here in the US or other countries but no, man! You can only get it there, so if people want to buy me one of them at the shows, that’s definitely cool. We like to hang out and we love to party,” says Aiken. What’s the future hold for Strung Out and its Australian fans? “If the fans keep coming out, we’ll keep coming out,” replies Aiken. “If they keep rocking out, we’ll keep rocking out. If they keep bringing me pie… keep bringing me pie!”. You can catch Strung Out with No Use For A Name at the Bar on the Hill at Newcastle University on Thursday July 17, supported by Local Resident Failure.
Strung Out fans have never had to wait long in Australia to see their beloved band. Thanks to there thirst for the road, you could see them nearly every six to eight months. Having toured as recently as November 2007 with Bad Religion, they are back again this July, to set out on a 22-date tour that will reach rural areas that not even wellknown Australian bands would venture to. Was there a lot of requests from Australian fans who
AN ANTHEM FOR AUSTRAIA
to musicians who have influenced you, such as Joe Strummer?
Vocalist Brian Fallon, of New Jersey blues/punk band The Gaslight Anthem, really wants to see a koala. He takes time out of a busy German tour to chat to Nathaniel Try about this desire. Fallon also mentions his plans to become a cab driver if the band falls apart.
Only ‘Joe’ is about Joe Strummer. The others are different places and names. Some could be a cab driver I met who took a wild turn or showed me a magic trick, or a meter maid who smoked too much, or a big top circus. I get ideas from everywhere. ‘Elvis’ is also Elvis Presley, but the song isn’t directly about him. It’s a maze of images I use in lyrics, I’m trying to figure out my life here, I imagine it’ll take me about 20 more minutes, or maybe a lifetime. But I do know that I have to go to sleep in the next hour, so I hope I figure it out soon, because I’m tired.
Tell us about the formation of The Gaslight Anthem. To my knowledge, there have been no member changes since the band kicked off in 2005.
Your 2007 full length album, Sink or Swim was warmly received in many reviews. Did the band start out as just a bit of fun, or were you guys really hoping for the hype surrounding the album?
Actually, it was 2006 officially. January was the first official ‘Gaslight Anthem’ tour in its completed sense. There was another guy we had, when we first started. But we didn’t really have anything started for real until 2006. And all the records and demos are all from January 2006 on to today. So it’s really always been the four of us.
We started the band to make a little noise of our own, it was a career move. We wanted to play songs instead of getting real jobs, we’re still not sure how it will turn out. I’ve got my ear to the ground though, I think if the band doesn’t do well I can be a cab driver - my vision’s 20/20.
Your lyrics are so heartfelt and sincere that it is hard not to feel they are coming from personal experiences. How does your song writing process take place? Are the words or music written first? Mostly the songs are written about 90% words and music at the same time. Once the basic structure is there we begin to experiment with different arrangements. Most of our songs have two or three versions before one is settled upon for the final song. And yes, the lyrics are all my own experiences. Three of your track titles from both Senor and the Queen (2008) and Sink or Swim (2007) contain male names, Joe, Elvis & Johnny. Are these songs tributes
key, and originally sung by a man named Steam Trolley Jones. He had one leg and smoked a pipe. I think he was from The Five Points, in New York City. From what you have heard about Australia, what are you expecting and most looking forward too about your upcoming tour? I heard Australia’s far away from New Jersey. I really want to see a koala bear, I heard they are mean though. In all seriousness, I heard Australia’s the best place on earth, so I’m really excited. Everyone I’ve ever met from there is amazing so, I know its gotta be good. I’m serious about the koalas though. I want to see one real badly. The Gaslight Anthem, play at The Lucky Country Hotel on Tuesday July 29. Melbourne band A Death In The Family will be supporting.
Elements of your music seem to come from varied genres such as punk, folk, blues and rock. When the band started writing songs, were your influences openly discussed amongst members? Yeah of course, when any band starts that’s the first conversation. That’s how you feel each other out. We don’t talk much when writing though so it’s more of an unspoken thing with us we just melt well together. What is the meaning behind the name ‘The Gaslight Anthem’? ‘The Gaslight Anthem’ was the name of an old railroad song in the 1930’s that was about how to win at a game of cards no matter what kind of hand you got. It’s in a minor
THE Entertainment and Lifestyle Publication for Newcastle, The Hunter & Central Coast
July 2008 Issue 24
PLAYING THE VICTIM Forming in 2006, Dropsaw have been furthering the destruction of Newcastle’s streets since the infamous earthquake. They’ve also released a sold out EP/demo and sold out pressings of their first full-length album Missing Limbs. Dropsaw have built a reputation as the most brutal and dominant hardcore/metal band in Newcastle, and arguably New South Wales. Now here comes album number two. festival. How did this happen?
By Mitch Beldon They’ve toured nationally several times, and in 2007 played Resist Records’ yearly festival HARDCORE, which sold out as always. Dropsaw has supported internationals like The Warriors (USA), Avail (USA), Most Precious Blood (USA) and Internal Affairs (USA). They’ve also shared the stage with Aussie Metal and Hardcore kings such as Mindsnare, Parkway Drive, Miles Away, Carpathian, and Samsara. This July Dropsaw will be releasing their second studio album Victims or Killers, out nationally through Trial and Error Records/Shock. The album is intensely brutal and evil to its core. One listen to this record and it will consume you and have you pushing your sister down the stairs - without concern of consequence. I threw some questions in the direction of Jrocks (Jarrod McIntosh - vocals) about the release and all things Dropsaw. Who’s in the band and how did Dropsaw come to be? Dropsaw started out around Feb ‘06. Jon (ex-The Dead Walk!) wanted to start a more metal sounding band. He got a few of us together and that’s how it all started. The original line-up was Jon, Benny K, Mick, Billings and I. Ant joined the band on drums since Billings got busy with other commitments. We then recorded Missing Limbs and were lucky enough to be signed on Trial And Error Records. Soon after this release, Jon moved to Perth and we stuck it out with one guitarist for a few months, toured the country, and played with some awesome bands along the way. Whilst this was all happening Mick left, Roffey joined on bass and Sam joined to play as our second guitarist. The line-up now being Benny K, Sam, Ant, Roffey and myself. You were featured on the 2007 Taste Of Chaos compilation in Australia, yet you didn’t play the
To be honest, I’m not sure. Nigel Melder (from Trial and Error) gave me a buzz and told me Taste Of Chaos had contacted him and asked if they could use a song on the compilation. We were fine with that, and didn’t even really think about why we didn’t play the fest. I’m not really sure if we would suit playing something so big. This month you have Queensland tour dates with the godfathers of Australian hardcore, Mindsnare. What started your friendship with them and your signing to bass player Nigel Melder’s label Trial and Error Records? A little after our demo came out, Ringworm was touring the country with The Dead Walk! and Mindsnare. Now there’s no way Dead Walk! weren’t gonna have me in that van. I would of hid in merch boxes if I had to (realistically, I wouldn’t fit). That tour was a dream come true for me. Hanging out with Nigel and the crew for two weeks, we all got to know each other pretty well. I hooked him up with a demo and told him we wanted to record a full-length album. Nigel Melder, top bloke. How do you feel it compares to the previous Missing Limbs? Missing Limbs to me is a more straight up album, and in a way, was fairly rushed. Victims Or Killers is heavier, angrier, and I think more metal. Plus, we had a bit more time to muck around with songs. Our sound now is where we all want to be, and we’re definitely going to keep writing songs along the lines of Victims Or Killers. Are there any guests on the new record? Recording at Complex Studios in Melbourne, I was lucky enough to get Brett from Shotpointblank and Samsara,
So Brenda, what is your role in Short & Sweet, and your background? My title is Festival Coordinator, a role I was offered after being awarded Best Director in Short & Sweet Central Coast in 2007. Steven Hopley, the previous Coordinator was off to England and unable to continue in the position. I have been involved in theatre since the age of 14 in England, Fiji and Australia as an actor, teacher and director. I have just finished directing Educating Rita, a project involving students from Brisbane Water Secondary College (TEPA) and local actors. What is Short and Sweet and its history? Now entering its seventh year, Short & Sweet is the biggest festival of ten minute theatre in the world, and the original idea of Mark Cleary, Artistic Director, and driving force behind this incredibly successful organisation. What is the Central Coast’s involvement?
ND IT’S SW IT’S SHORT A
2007 saw the Central Coast become the first regional version of the Short & Sweet Short Play Festival. Its success was assured, with the best 10 ten-minute local theatre productions receiving a resounding reception from the sellout crowd. As the 2008 festival is prepared, Reverb spoke to Brenda Logan, winner of Best Director 2007 and this year’s Festival Coordinator. 20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
The Central Coast was the first regional branch of Short & Sweet, I believe mainly due to Steven Hopley’s incredible talent which so impressed Mark Cleary. In Short & Sweet Sydney 2004, Steve won Best New Writer award and then went on to win Best Director the following year for his play Paradise which is currently touring with the professional Short & Sweet touring company, Shorter & Sweeter. From your experience, how were you challenged as a director? My challenge as a Director was to capture the audiences attention from the moment the lights came up, to make the the play visually and theatrically exciting using as little scenery, furniture and props as possible and all the time maintaining the truth and intention of the script. I wanted my playwright to enjoy seeing his script come to life. For those of us going to watch Short & Sweet Central Coast 2008, what are we going to
and Matt Maunder of Mindsnare in the studio to do a few lines on the record. It’s an awesome feeling to have someone from a band you’ve always listened to singing on your record. I’m sure Doomer, your mascot-like Merchandiser, would like a quick reference, yes? Doomer? Who is that guy? Ohhh, that’s right! He is that pain-in-the-arse that for some reason, we take on tour every time. Nah, he is a close friend to all of us and always has our shit organised when we’re touring. There is a few problems with him - he can’t keep up with drinking and his driving scares the fuck out of all of us (laughs). Keep it up Doomer - you’re doing well buddy! Dropsaw are playing on July 10 at Hot Damn! in Sydney with Relentless, July 25 at The Loft Newcastle *All Ages*, August 1 at Herman’s Bar, Sydney, with Mindsnare and August 2 at the Lucky Country Hotel, Newcastle, with Mindsnare. For more information go to www.myspace.com/dropsaw
experience, and how does it differ from you normal theatre night? The audience will get to see 10 x 10 minute plays in the one evening showcasing some of the Central Coast’s best writers, actors and directors. No time to get bored and if you don’t like the play you are watching then as they say “there will be another one along in 10 minutes.” The success of Short & Sweet goes from strength to strength. Singapore and Malaysia are involved, and it looks like New Zealand, the US and Europe will be involved soon. What is Short & Sweet bringing to theatre that is behind its success? The brilliant formula of short, tasty ’bites’ of theatre is a hit with audiences everywhere because it offers something for everyone, as well as a stage for fresh, new work and the chance for upcoming artists to strut their stuff. 2007 was the first year that the Central Coast was involved. What were some of the highlights? The highlight of 2007 for me was being part of something so exciting. Actually, working with the playwright to develop his play over the rehearsal period was one I will never forget and such fun. At the actual performances the foyer was just buzzing after every show. Have you had a peak at this year’s finalists and can you give us a preview? Yes, I have had a sneak preview at this year’s 10 finalists and I can promise you a great evening out. We have drama, comedy, tragedy and satire. There is one in which a middle-aged man reflects on the disposal of his wife’s body and another in which a brother asks for his kidney back. Short & Sweet Central Coast 2008 will be held at the Peninsula Theatre, Woy Woy from 23rd to 26th July. Tickets : Adults $22, Concessions/Students $18
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHOOT OUT! Newcastle’s favourite festival is turning 10 years old. What better way to celebrate than having a crack in 2008! For all the information you need on entering this crazy, 24 hour competition on July 11, head to www.theshootout.com.au. Festival director Kristi Street
BIRTHDAY WISHES The competition that has put Newcastle on the international film-making map, is turning ten years old! Here are some of the birthday messages that have been passed on from the previous judges. BEN STEEL “Happy 10th B’day, Shoot Out! It’s great you are in double figures and almost in your teens! Shootout would have to be the best short film festival in Oz, if not the world. It doesn’t reward the filmmakers with big budgets and endless resources. Shootout strips down the process and rewards films with great ideas and creative execution. Shootout fosters filmmaking in a way that no other festival does. Where else are filmmakers put under the intense creative and physical pressure that face most professional filmmakers?! Learning how to make creative choices, and deal with the pressure are lessons
that not even some of the best film schools teach. Thanks Shootout!” Best, Ben MARCUS GRAHAM “Happy birthday, Shoot Out. Love ya guts.” SALVATORE COCO “Happy 10th Birthday, Shoot Out. It was an honour to have been involved in such a fabulous festival. I still believe that The Shoot Out would have to be one of the most inspiring short film festivals in this country. The concept to make a short in 24hrs with no pre-script or editing and to shoot in sequence is one of the most challenging factors of The Shoot Out. Whoever enters and makes a film, regards of whether they make it or not, has achieved greatly. Three cheers!”
THE MUSIC LIBRARY
The Shoot Out Newcastle offers actors an opportunity to show the world how much they want to be a star. Actors 16 years and over can register to be a Shooting Star at The Shoot Out Newcastle 2008. Actors who register to be a Shooting Star must attempt to appear in as many films as possible made for The Shoot Out over the 24 hour period from 9pm Friday night 11th July to 9pm Saturday night 12th July. This is a unique opportunity to build experience, confidence and networks. The most ambitious Shooting Star is the one who manages to make a legitimate appearance in the most number of films. The prize for the most ambitious Shooting Star is a workshop and casting interview with key agents in the industry. The number of Shooting Stars eligible to compete will be limited to 30. Registrations for Shooting Stars close Thursday 10th July 2008. Good luck!
Submit your music NOW and be part of a growing catalogue of Australian music showcased to filmmakers around Australia. The Shoot Out Newcastle Music Library is a catalogue of music supplied by songwriters and musicians from around Australia to be used ‘copyright free’ in films made for The Shoot Out. It includes a variety of music from jazz, classical, pop, country, techno, dance, instrumental, world, folk, rock and punk, in fact the music needs to be as diverse as the films that are made! This is a fantastic opportunity to get your music heard by filmmakers from around Australia, Film Industry Professionals and have the chance to be part of film screenings with an audience of over 10,000 people around Australia. Simply send us a mp3 version of each track to email@example.com and a copy of the musicians agreement form from each of the copyright owners. You will also need to send the summary of music form itemising each track submitted. Include album and track titles, list of songwriters, duration of each track, style and description of track/s in your email. You MUST list other artists who owns copyright in the music submitted. Any such person must also consent to the use of the copyright material. The music released to The Shoot Out Newcastle Music Library will only be used by filmmakers for the purposes of The Shoot Out Newcastle 2008. Any music used in a film (inclusive of the top ten) is released to The Shoot Out Newcastle 2008 for an indefinite period of time from 12th July 2008. Tracks registered for the library will be able to be purchased at The Music Library over the weekend of 11-13 July so they can be dubbed onto their film. Tracks cost $5 for the first track and $2 for each additional track. This will allow filmmakers to use that track for the film created for the festival. Songwriters will receive $1.50 for each track purchased.
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
July 2008 Issue 24
Childâ€™s Play n. y James Ashto Photography b y Buttsworth. Styling by Krist
Left Page: Sarah wears Sarah Plooy lace tunic dress - POA. Belt - modelâ€™s own. Dinosaur Designs ring - $55. Dinosaur Designs Wishbone bangles - $55 each. Vintage playing card necklace - POA. Centre: Skin & Threads strawberry V-neck tee - $120. Vintage card necklace stylistâ€™s own. Floral cotton tassle scarf - $39. Right: Sarah Plooy green lurex pussybow blouse - $79. Diana Bower deer pendant - $65. All items available at Betty Mim, 167 Darby Street, Newcastle.
helll let looloosese liklikee all hel ”
Spyder’s Web By Peter Douglas Newcastle people can’t cope with a Lamborghini Gallardo - they see it, they hear it, they want to pull their pants down, they ring the cops. Is it because the Gallardo is one of the sexiest cars on the planet, one of the fastest, most expensive, most desirable - the ultimate chick/ bloke magnet? Yes, to all of the above. If you can’t pick-up with a Gallardo, you’re dead or have a face like the north end of a south-bound camel. Heck, even the cops went silly trying to check it out the other day with plenty of unwanted blue light attention for the mica orange Gallardo Spyder. OK, OK, we were being a tad wicked and exercising the right foot a little too often, especially in Darby and Beaumont streets, but it was a double points weekend and we didn’t want to end up in the clink with Ivan Milat wanting to play mummies and daddies. The thing is, this V10, $460,000 supercar sounds like an F1 racer at full noise and if you are a car perv, the sound is seriously addictive. It’s all heightened in the Spyder because you can get full aural appreciation when the roof is off. The Spyder is a soft top version of the tin-top Gallardo, about the same weight (1570kg) with the same underpinnings. Our drive car was fitted with extra goodies such as the six speed sequential e-gear transmission with paddle shift and other luxury stuff. It was a sight to behold and created a stir wherever it went. We rate the Spyder one of the best ego massagers going, certainly better than a private jet or mega yacht which get minimal attention. In the Lambo, your head swells almost to the point of not being able to fit through the kitchen door. And so it should, because this car ain’t all piss and wind, it really does go and handle and stop and feels sensational to drive.
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
Capable of putting away a 0-100kmh sprint in the low four second bracket, the mid-engined Lambo really gets going higher up when that 382kW/ 510Nm, 5.0-litre, V10 lights the wick. Given access to a handy airfield, the Gallardo will top 300kmh.
The suspension is mostly aluminium with double wishbone front and rear. It rolls on gumball 19-inch Pirellis of large proportion and ultra low profile fitted to some of the best looking composite alloy wheels we have ever seen.
Under acceleration your eyeballs roll back when you plant it emitting a startling howl like a banshee, like a jet fighter, like all hell let loose. We wonder how it gets through ADR regulations but Lambo has cleverly fitted a three-mode exhaust that gives out a sweet baritone on light throttle settings moving to Metallica mode as the throttle goes down.
Any down side? The optional e-gear system takes a bit of getting used to and isn’t as rapid changing as some other systems but does the job.
Unfortunately the electrically folding soft top means a glass bonnet window to view the engine couldn’t be fitted - you can’t have everything. It has multiple drive modes selected by push button but we went for Sport all the time (cos we’re hoons) though an owner might like a softer ride with long term driving. Sport mode means full hard everything and snappy gear shifts. It is easy to imagine yourself dicing with Lewis Hamilton with the Lambo in Sport mode.
Handling is controlled, quick to respond, neutral at high speed, well damped and surprisingly supple. Power is delivered with a greater bias towards the rear axle and a partial limited slip rear diff.
Gallardo has a large turning circle which is at times annoying and likes a drink of high octane premium but there are 80 litres in the tank. The pedal box is so tight left foot braking is mandatory. Access is easy, egress can be a little difficult due to wide rocker panels under the doors. So, to all those Novocastrians out there who filmed us with their camera phones, we are still waiting to see it on YouTube.
Reverse is selected by a button on the leather clad dash. The interior is predominantly leather with a dash of metal fascia. It is a work of automotive art like the low slung aluminium and polycarbonate body festooned with large vents and air intakes. Built around an aluminium space frame, the Spyder borrows from Audi’s design book and even uses some Audi parts. That’s because Lambo is owned by Audi and it explains why Audi’s R8 is up ‘til now only available with a V8 and not this V10. There’s a clever suspension lifter for negotiating steep drives and a reverse parking sensor to help prevent touch parking. The Spyder’s handling and ride is aided by all-wheeldrive and sophisticated electronics that help keep everything in check regardless of speed _ within reason.
eye on the world
Why Does So Much Modern Music Sound So Crap? Is your favourite rock song getting too much for your ears to handle? Mark Forester investigates ‘The Loudness Wars’ - a trend in modern sound production that has had engineers comparing the size of their speakers. Have you ever listened to ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor’ by the Arctic Monkeys three times in a row at a reasonable volume? It’s tyring on the ears. It is also a prime offender in what the music industry have come to call, ‘The Loudness Wars’. Since the early 90s, engineers and producers have been trying to make their records louder and louder, so that they stand out on the radio or during the shuffle play list at parties. Artists began hearing other people’s records sounding louder and requested to their sound engineers that they do the same, not wanting to be left behind. By the time the year 2000 rolled around, getting your record cut “hot” was a driving commercial imperative, with music fidelity as its casualty. Engineers use (abuse) a technique called compression, which reduces the amount of variation in volume a song has, so that the loud bits get louder and the soft parts get a lot louder. Aggressiveness in use of compression snowballed (if you want an extreme example listen to television commercials) until we reached the impasse we
have today, where many records get pressed with little to no variation in volume. The problem with this is that the human ear revels in variety. Hearing the same note over and over gives your ear fatigue. Well, so does hearing the same volume constantly. The next time you’re listening to a uniformly loud rock band, like The Killers, on your ipod and you press “skip” halfway through, take a moment to consider if you are actually tired of the song, or tired of the constant volume barrage. That quiet part in ‘When You Were Young’ where Brandon Flowers sings “The Devil’s Water it Ain’t so Sweet…”, is actually a whisker off being the same volume as the chorus. As if that wasn’t enough, the mp3 is now in its golden age. Mp3’s cut out all “non essential” sound data to save space. All the extra high and extra low frequencies get axed in the name of portability and download ability. Cymbals sound like hitting a fork with a wet sock. But it doesn’t end there, because 99% of speakers and headphones we own tamper with the frequencies coming through them to try to make them sound more impressive. It’s a humbling sight to see a pair of computer speakers which can’t produce bass below 80Hz, but still have a button marked “Mega Extreme Bass Boost X”. Switch it on and listen to the mud.
037 scared of commercial failure and request that it be ironed out in production. Recording and Mastering Engineers wail about the Loudness Wars constantly, but constantly cut hotter and hotter records so they can get paid and keep up with the industry. It’s been a zero sum game, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Above left: The original sound patterns of U2’s ‘With Or Without You’. Above right: The remastered version of ‘With Or Without You’ (wider wavelengths indicated increase of volume). Below: The sound patterns of ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor’ by the Arctic Monkeys. The density of wavelengths indicates lack of volume dynamics.
And now for the good news. The Loudness Wars have nearly been fought to a standstill. Engineers are running out of ways to make their records hotter and still pretend to have a shred of musical respectability. Progressive music players now incorporate a feature called “replay gain” which is helping to cancel the effect of the Loudness Wars, while another organisation called “TurnMeUp!” is encouraging artists to flout the competitive “laws” of industry loudness and produce records with full dynamic range. Consumers deserve true dynamic range in their music. Artists create their music with true dynamic range, but get
only been involved in the blues for some two years now there are patrons whom have explained to me that they have been waiting for this to evolve for the last twenty years or more now. They explain there is less and less live music venues now as compared with twenty years ago, so the need is definitely there for this society if not for the players of blues but also their respective patrons and followers to evolve this portion of music. Young up and coming musicians that want the music and live venues to be part of their lives now have that chance. We have some of the best musicians right here in the Newcastle area and it is in Newcastle’s best interest to nurture these musicians through vehicles such as the Blues Society.
NEWCASTLE BLUES SOCIETY AT HOME AT THE WICKO For years now, the Wickham Park Hotel has been the Home of the Blues, and now it is official with its recently registration as the Newcaslte Blues Society head office. Reverb caught up with licensee Barry Morton to see what it means for Newcastle. I was surprised to hear that there was no Blues Society in Newcastle. What is the history of the Blues Society before it found a home at the Wickham Park Hotel? Well, to the best of my knowledge there was a history of blues in Newcastle for many years however it didn’t appear to have an established home so to speak. I have been told though it had a large following. Newcastle Blues Society is one of a number throughout Australia now and around the world. What made you decide to become involved? My purpose of becoming involved was because I had the blues playing at the Wicko and I could see a large following of dedicated blues patrons so I made it the
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
home of the blues. What is your role in the Blues Society, and who else is on the board?
My role in the Newcastle Blues Society is one of firstly registering the society as an incorporated body so all can have a vehicle in which they can become part of the movement of the blues. I was nominated to the role of President along with David Parker as Treasurer, and Robo as Secretary. David is an established blues player and has a band called Doc Parker Code Blue. He is an avid blues supporter and obviously wishes to see the growth of the blues here in Newcastle to emulate those of Bryon Bay and Narooma, as well as introducing the blues onto the next generation as all organisations naturally wish to achieve. Robo brings to the society his knowledge of many years of involvement with other Blues societies. His ambition is to see the growth of the blues here in Newcastle on par with those of other blues societies and to give the music industry here an established base for all patrons, members and musicians to continue with the need for live music. Why does Newcastle need a blues society and how do you see the blues society benefitting Newcastle?
What does it actually mean when you become a member? Public patrons, musos and followers of the blues can become members by obtaining the membership forms at the Wicko during opening hours and from Damo at Billy Hydes music shop in Hunter street Newcastle. Damo at Billy Hydes has a fantastic offer open to all musos that join the Blues Society so it is in their best interest to become a member for discounts. All members receive a free shirt with the Newcastle Blues Society Inc logo and discounts at the Wicko. It will also entail future discounts on major events held by the Blues Society and other corporate identities involved with the Newcastle Blues Society. Apart from more future benefits for the members as the Society grows, those who join can have their opinions and suggestions put forward at the Society’s meetings. We encourage all members to become actively involved in whatever capacity that they feel can benefit the society. The Newcastle’s Blues Society registered office is based at the Wickham Park Hotel at 61 Maitland Road Islington. The phone number is 49 653201. The society currently have members that are genuinely excited about the future of the Newcastle Blues Society and the benefits it can give all Newcastle music lovers.
Newcastle is in dire need of a Blues Society as there are many blues patrons out in our community that have needed this for many many years now. Although I have
July 2008 Issue 24
launching as Fictions, it’s clear that they mean business.
Friday June 6, 2008
Musically, they’re an undeniably tight unit. Drummer Deano Tyler and bassist JB, lay down some solid jams. Guitarist and backing vocalist Tom Arthur holds the fort with a big sound, allowing vocalist Cam James to engage with the audience. On this occasion, James leaped into the crowd, who were more than happy to welcome him. Soon after, the front man was climbing a speaker stack. When their producer, Gareth Hudson, joined the boys on keyboard, there was an instant layer of depth there, that made you want to hear a lot more.
There was much room to move in the CBD Hotel for the EP launch of Newcastle lads, Fictions. Sure, there was a friends and family component to the audience, but there was no denying the huge response that each song received. As one of Newcastle’s hardest working bands, Montana Fire gathered an impressive following and wrote decent pop-rock tunes. Now re-
Performing songs from their debut EP, Motel Kids WIth Hotel Dreams, Fictions’ set list was full of catchy riffs, with stomping beats that the crowd had no problem dancing to. Fictions don’t seem to be reinventing the wheel with their songwriting, but their musicianship shows tonnes of promise and they proved that they can handle a 200-strong crowd. With a fresh collection of Newcastle bands making a name for themselves outside of the Steel City, Fictions will have to waste no time in scoring gigs in Melbourne and Sydney. Despite the name change - there’s still Fire in this four-piece.
Review By Nick Milligan. Photography by Jim Graham
THE AGENDA, ETHEREAL, 3 DAYS AGO, 40 FOOTSTEPS, MIND PRIORITIES
Priorities were already on stage. All young guys but from what I was told, they have been together for a number of years. How have they slipped past my radar?
Ethereal do have a solid following here on the coast, and it is understandable. Great to watch, crazy bassist, and a drummer that nearly fell off his stool while going nuts.
In fact, all the bands I saw tonight have solid backgrounds with years of experience, and it showed. Comfortable on stage, they all pleased to give their time to this worthy cause.
It was such a warm fuzzy feeling to enter this venue and find it full of people here to support Amy. You see this was a charity night for Amy, and the local music community has raised its hand.
40 Footsteps have a vocalist that looks and feels the part, plus two great guitarists. Their sound leans away from the standard rock, which I find refreshing.
Even though the crowd had thinned by the time The Agenda hit the stage, it did not detract from their performance. Total energy on stage with a guitarist I could not take my eyes off.
Brisbane Water Secondary College Wednesday June 18, 2008
Ariving at just before 7pm, I find that I have already missed the first band, and Mind
3 Days Ago fought with some terrible monitor sound but persevered to deliver a solid set. Apparently it was their first gig in quite a while, and any rustiness do not show.
MOJO JUJU and the SNAKE OIL MERCHANTS ERGO B BAG
Lass O’Gowrie Hotel Wednesday June 18, 2008 Although tucked away in a corner on keyboards, the inimitable Mister Ergo B Bag demanded the crowd’s attention instantly. We couldn’t decide if it was the Elton glasses, the skintight silver outfits, also proudly worn by his backing vocalists, or lyrics dripping in satire. Or perhaps it was the angel sitting casually behind a harp stage left, an ironic addition of “innocence” behind a team of vocalists who portrayed today’s commercial pop
THE MARS VOLTA
Hordern Pavillion, Sydney Thursday June 19, 2008 In the words of my 43 year old partner, “These guys are geniuses”. This is from a woman who had not heard of The Mars Volta until a few weeks back. They can have that effect on you. This is my third Mars Volta live experience, and it lived up to all the expectations I had placed on it. Over two hours of exceptional musicianship, it is a credit to these eight guys that they can hold it all together with such ease.
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
Review and Photography by Kevin Bull
sexuality at it’s best (or is it worst?). Mister Bag’s contagious comedic musical messages are a contrast to what is obviously serious vocal talent, utilized best in this setting at it’s highest pitch. (Was the outfit squeezing some parts too tight?)
and Bobbie Gentry that hypnotised the audience with an incredible mix of sultry sensuality and almost shy smiles. Without outwardly changing demeanour she effortlessly hyped the crowd up to party mode with her vocals. This girl has presence! Having said that, it doesn’t take away from the fact that every person in this band plays a significant part. The overall effect an absolute feast of auditory and visual delights. If you’re looking for something with a difference, check them out!
The highlight was Mojo Juju. A voice hauntingly reminiscent of Billie Holiday
Taking a quick glance of the set list, there were only about 12 actual songs listed. 12 songs in 2 hours - do the sums. This is a night of extended workouts with songs lasting well over the 10 minute mark. ‘Goliath’ is epic, brutal in its force yet finding time to pull back to what could only be called jazz fusion. And when Cedric and Omar turn towards the drummer and grind away, it has the effect of tightening a
Review by R+V Photographers Photography by Tim Boehm and R+V
spring. We watch as they build the tension knowing that this power will be released towards us. It’s like sitting at the beach on the shore break. The ocean rushes in to surround you, knocking you back. It receeds allowing you to take a breath. You can see the swell building, lapping at your feet, gathering it’s might. And in it drives, you knew it was coming but it is still incredible. After two hours in the Mars Volta whirlpool, you are left with the thrill of an almighty ride, and sand in places it shouldn’t be. Review and Photography by Kevin Bull.
comfortable with before performing. Dark, but oddly uplifting, Fear Of Monsters’ music makes you want to see them a second time.
Cambridge Hotel Saturday June 21, 2008
The Butcher have been getting better with every show. The crowd went beserk and musically, The Butcher had never sounded so professional. In addition, their stage presence was magnetic, with their bassist and guitarist leaping down into the crowd (a privilege for those bands with a couple of radio mics). The set was a showcase for The Butcher’s stomping, anthems.
A promising crowd filtered into The Cambridge in anticipation for the very first show by Fear Of Monsters. Featuring three ex-members of Big City Exile, hype and anticipation amongst the local muso fraternity had been building. Fear Of Monsters’ music is immediately tight and impressive, which is what you would expect from a band that chose to write and rehearse a set of material they were 100%
Mojo Juju and The Snake Oil Merchants entranced the crowd akin to the way the old gypsy troupes did with their transient audiences. Mood changes from somber to ecstatic - cleverly manipulated through a mix of music, lyrics and theatrics.
Focal points are definitely Cedric and Omar, with that mad drummer a close third. You sometimes forget that there are 5 other guys up on stage with them even though it takes the might of all of them to produce what they do.
The Butcher Fear Of Monsters
I walked out of this gig with my faith reassured in the strength of the Central Coast music scene, and it’s support for one another. Well done to all involved.
Lastly was Sydney-based Le Kingste, with their genius frontman Paul Kingston. Vocally, the lazy will compare him to Thom
Yorke or Matt Bellamy - yeah, there’s some similarities, but those acts don’t sound like Le Kingste. Best described as a futuristic, 70s post-prog jam band, with odd splashings of baritone backing vocals, and ‘math-rock’ time signatures, Le Kingste deserve to be seen in an international sphere - they’re just so good. Perhaps one of the most amazing Cambridge shows of the year, Le Kingste are a band that you need to see live to comprehend. If they don’t become disgustingly famous, then there’s no hope for anyone. Review by Nick Milligan. Photography by Jim Graham and Kevin Bull
3 Days Ago
Fear of Monsters
Fear of Monsters
THE Entertainment and Lifestyle Publication for Newcastle, The Hunter & Central Coast
July 2008 Issue 24
In The Groove
Resident record afficianado Stan Sykes talks about the latest in the world of vinyl records.
7” SINGLES THE CHARLATANS – The Misbegotten (Cooking Vinyl)
THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’ With mid-year approaching, it seems like a good time to assess what’s been happening, and what may occur, in the world of vinyl over the next few months. Figure-wise, vinyl sales are up all over the world which is good news, and from the sources I encounter this will increase. Apart from the collectable 7” singles market, more new release albums are being produced on vinyl and also the vinyl back catalogue is an ever increasing market. There seems to be a real vibe about the record culture as a whole. The last four fairs in 2008 here in Newie and in Sydney have been attended in much greater numbers than the previous year, and as stated last month, the Essendon fair in Melbourne was heaving. Enquiries through myself and the Beaumont St Beat regards vinyl/cleaning records/”Where can I get my player repaired?” etc have also increased greatly. So why? Personally, I think younger people are starting to want “something real“ instead of faceless tunes on downloads. Also, people in general are perhaps becoming ‘anti-technology’ - things are moving too fast and I think the love of vinyl slows things down somewhat. Also, the generation who grew up with vinyl are embracing it again, so it’s all good.
Still going strong after 15+ years, The Charlatans show why thay have survived so long as they release another quality track. From their latest album release (10th studio) ‘The Misbegotten’ heads the britpop dancefloor with a nice dynamic bass line and simple, but catchy, guitar riffs. Will certainly appeal to the old time fans of the baggy genre and for new listeners - “What’s not to like?“
WEEZER – PORK & BEANS (Polydor) Umm, what to say? Definite Weezer with lots of ‘Weezerlike guitar riffs’. Catchy off-the-wall melodic guitar-pop, but this time around I’m not sure it’s enough? Thats it, I’m off to play ‘Buddy Holly’.
12” CLASSIC ALBUM PAUL WELLER – 22 DREAMS (Island)
In the UK, Paul Weller is the man - an icon from the punk era, the modfather and this LP, I’m happy to say, sounds like a writer who has nothing to prove to anyone and free to do what he bloody well likes - and it works. It bounces from one style to another, like you would when you sit in your room playing all your favourite 45’s in an afternoon of vinyl debauchery. Sure, you get the classic straight ahead rock tracks and trademark ballads, but It also contains a more imaginative Weller, with several electronic pieces scattered through its 21 tracks, along with distorted guitar and feedback (‘Echoes Around The Sun), the soul-like (‘Have You Made Up Your Mind’) and 60’s psych-folk (‘Light Nights’). So after a run of almost predictable releases, I’m happy to say “THE MAN IS BACK!“
RIDE - NOWHERE (Creation) Now some reading this may disagree, but to me this is the best album to come out of the ‘shoegazer’ scene from the UK in the early 90s. Sure you have My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, and Chapterhouse’s Whirlpool, but really do they come close? This album shows a great balance between power and beauty, hard and soft. A perfect pop album with great harmonies and pop sensibility, over or under a wall of hard drums and hypnotic, screaming guitars. Starting off with the shuffling and hypnotic (‘Theres That Word Again’), then the drums and bassline of ‘Seagull’, Nowhere suddenly bursts into life with crashing, effect-laden guitars, then heads straight into the tribal ‘Kalidescope’. A nice change of tempo leads into ‘A Different Place’, before the truly beautiful acoustic - and my favourite ever Ride track - ‘Polar Bear’. However, what follows is the album’s most agressive track, ‘Dreams Burn Down’, that just ends up exploding through your speakers. If you feel a need to get to shoegaze heaven - hear this album now!
Happy listening... -Stan Sykes
VHS or Beta
COME TOGETHER FESTIVAL 2008 Sydney Luna Park Big Top Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th June
The first day of 2008’s Come Together festival was an amazing showcase of both local and international acts. But unfortunately, the day was plagued by sound difficulties, with bands like British India and VHS Or Beta both suffering guitar cut-outs, and Faker losing a microphone. The Thrills brought a sense of Irish class and The Seabellies received a massive response from the adoring crowd. On the second day of the festival, Birds Of Tokyo and The Living End owned the bragging rights on crowd reception. Overall, this year’s Come Together festival was two fun days out, and Luna Park continues to be a prime spot for a big rock show. Good to see a return to indie music, rather than extreme hardcore. Photos by Jim Graham, Kevin Bull and Kieran Ferguson. Review by Noah Cross.
The Living End
Birds Of Tokyo
GENESIS WHEN IN ROME 2007
DAN IN REAL LIFE Dan Burns (Steve Carell) is a widower and father of three girls. As a parenting columnist, he provides sound advice for his readers, yet struggles to juggle the demands of his own family.
By Kevin Bull The Genesis stalwarts Phil Collins, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford have reunited for their first tour together in 15 years. To commemorate the occasion, it has been captured in all its over-the-top glory. Fitting for a band that has sold 150 million albums worldwide. When In Rome 2007 is a triple DVD affair containing over 4 ½ hours of material, the bulk of it being the final stadium concert at Rome’s Circo Massino on 14 July 2007 in front of 500,000 faithful followers. Visually, it doesn’t get any bigger. The stage is absolutely massive and features a 64 metre screen, the largest ever used at a live concert. I suppose this is to compensate for the fact that as a band, Genesis are not that energetic on stage. Wonderful musicians no doubt, but when you’re just standing there you need a light show of this magnitude to distract you from this fact. Sound quality and selection is top notch, and takes a nice sweep across all eras. Older material such as ‘In The Cage’, ‘Carpet Crawlers’, ‘Firth of Fifth’, ‘Ripples’ and
‘Los Endos’ are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Fans of this era will be pleased with how fresh they sound after 30 years. For the Top 40 lovers, the later era tracks are for me surprisingly enjoyable. Personally, I lost interest in Genesis during the late 80s. It just felt too commercial. 20 years later, they now sit comfortably with their early progressive material. There are also plenty of extras within this package. Disk Three is titled Come Rain or Shine, and is a fly-on-thewall doco filmed from the inception of the tour back in 2006 to the last date in Rome. The mandatory deleted scenes, photo gallery and tour booklet gallery are included, plus each track has its own extras, accessible at the beginning of each song.
When Burns takes his daughters to a family reunion at his parent’s home, he meets Marie (Juliette Binoche) at a local book store. Over coffee, the two enter a deep and meaningful conversation and Dan finds himself quite taken with the exotic European. In an unlucky twist of fate, Dan discovers that Marie is his brother Mitch’s (Dane Cook) new girlfriend. This is screenplay writer Peter Hedges second film in the director’s chair (writer of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and About A Boy). He has created a wonderfully paced, human comedy, made all the more successful by Carell’s measured performance as the hugely likeable Dan. The film and its performances are layered with truthful obersvations and the theme of ‘love’ is depicted in a refreshingly honest way. As Dan does his best to protect his daughters from just about everything - for example,
the attention of an adolsescent boy - he finds it increasingly difficult to follow the rules and advice that he places on his daughters. The musical score will be a discovery for most viewers of singer/songwriter Sondre Lerche, who oozes the quirks and poetics of an independent artist, and his music perfectly suits the tone of the film. As was director Hedges’ intention, Lerche’s minimalist acoustic songs also become a character in the film. Those that expect Dan In Real Life to be another showcase for Carell’s trademark oddball humour, will be disappointed. This marks his return to the poignancy of films like Little Miss Sunshine. The performances are all superb, from John Mahoney’s father, to Emily Blunt’s sexy cameo, and Dane Cook’s clever portrayal of Mitch (who is also a likeable guy). Binoche is gorgeous as Marie, and a believable and worthy love interest for Dan. A small, but memorable film. By Noah Cross.
When In Rome 2007 is a fine DVD release. Fans of the band will be delighted regardless of which era they prefer. It is also a great introduction for the uninitiated.
THE Entertainment and Lifestyle Publication for Newcastle, The Hunter & Central Coast
July 2008 Issue 24
I worked with a personal trainer for an hour and a half every morning and three times a week. I did Krav Maga which is an Israeli martial art. Did you try to do as many of the stunts as you could? Yeah, absolutely. There was one [stunt] where I wanted to jump across a real building and they just wouldn’t let me do it. NBC Safety stepped in and said, “There is no way you are doing that.” Apart from that, I wanted to do everything else. Do you feel that you have any personality traits in common with your character Jaime Sommers? When I did the audition, I got told I had that mix of vulnerability and strength, so I definitely feel I relate to her in that way, and I can be a little intense sometimes so I guess I can relate to her in that way also.
disappointing when we heard it wasn’t coming back. I think everyone felt slightly frustrated, because there were so many places to go with Jamie, everyone onboard worked so hard and was so passionate about it. There was a sense of disappointment, but you know what, it’s the industry and that’s the way it goes sometimes. Playing a lead role in an American program do you feel like it has opened doors for you to help reach the/your audience? Absolutely, 100%. Over in the US it got me on ‘the list’ and people are aware of me, whereas before Bionic no one knew who I was. Then over here in the UK, I’ve been offered some really interesting parts. I just finished shooting a ‘pyjama comedy’. It’s a bit Bridget Jones/Eternal Sunshine type of character. It’s called Mr. Eleven and I’m starring opposite Adam Garcia, one of your [Aussie] guys. He is great to work with, just brilliant, charming and, very, very funny. That has been good fun. What sort of roles do you particularly enjoy?
When the Writers Guild of America went on strike, it spelled the end for Bionic Woman - what was that experience like from the point-of-view of the actors? Well, we were one of the first shows to go down when it hit, because our scripts went through a lot of changes, so we didn’t have a backup of scripts. I know that the NBC were going to do a big double episode re-launch Although it was cut short due to the infamous writers’ strike in America, in January that involved Jamie and the CIA agent Jordan Bridges Bionic Woman served as the perfect opportunity for East Ender’s star character. Basically it was going to Michelle Ryan to meet a whole new audience. With an impending Bionic be a big, big re-launch in January DVD release, the gorgeous actress speaks to Nick Milligan about her filming but, the strike hit and everything experience and where it has taken her. was in limbo. I think by the time the strike had been resolved, it felt like How did a day on the set of Bionic Woman it would be too big a deal to ‘recompare to a day on the set of East Enders? launch a remake’.
BIONIC LADY RETURNS
Very different. With Bionic it was longer hours. I was doing stunts during the day, I had an American accent instead of a Cockney accent. It was me leading the show, so I was in every frame, and I was doing press during lunch breaks, so it is pretty full on. So, it was a physically draining role? Yeah, I loved doing the stunts - that is what I miss the most about Bionic. It was full-on from every level, and it challenged me on every level. What sort of training did they get you to do for the role?
GET SET FOR
So were you kept in the loop as much as possible or were you unaware of the future of the show? Well, it was four months of limbo when the strike was happening, and not knowing what was going to happen. it was a just a case of waiting and seeing. Was it a sense of disappointment when you found out the show would not continue? I was under no illusions when I accepted the job. I knew that the best case scenario would be that it ran for five years and was a huge hit, if not it would be six months of great experience and a brilliant opportunity. But it was
“Being in a band really is the best part of being in a band - we’re always striving to push ourselves. On every level, everyone’s constantly trying to get better. That’s a main part of what keeps us going...that, and that we f***ing love it!”
Having played with notable artists and bands such as Alice Cooper, Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Paul Stanley (KISS), Hell City Glamours have been steadily and successfully moving their way up through the music scene. This year marks their fifth year together as a band, and they show no signs of slowing down.
Sydney’s Hell City Glamours will be bringing their unique and heavier ‘Rolling Stonesmeets-Aerosmith’ style of music to Newcastle this July, as well as launching their debut eponymous album. Amidst the final mastering stages of their CD, charismatic and down to earth bass player, Jono, took a moment to chat to Ashleigh Gray about the band, their newest album, and their evolving popularity. 20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
“We’re passionate about what we do,” says Jono, “the band keeps getting better and we haven’t exactly stagnated or anything like that. We’re always improving. I guess that’s what kills a lot of bands; that they feel like they’re stuck in a point and they’re not growing. We’re just always moving up, you know. I think just having that is a pretty important thing to keep a band going strong. “ Band members Oscar (vocals/guitar), Mo (guitar), Jono (bass) and Robbie (drums) each draw their inspirations and influences
I loved playing Jamie and I really enjoyed playing Saz in Mr. Eleven. I then go on to play a witch in Merlin, which is a big BBC medieval drama. It is a real departure [for me] because she’s a real evil character and I normally play good girls with a twist. I guess I’d love to do more comedy. I love like Dumb and Dumber and Me Myself and Irene, that sort of thing, if I could do more comedies that would be good. When you got the role of Zoe in East Enders how did that change your life? I just became very famous overnight and I was really well known for being that character. It was like from being this geeky school girl to suddenly the TV minx of vixen, whatever they wanted to say, so at 16 it was kind of strange. Was it a case of being recognised in the street and that sort of thing? It was full on and not even with Bionic it has not been as intense as it was on East Enders. How did you handle that? Did it freak you out? It kinda made me feel really uncomfortable. I like to be a real private person and to have people think they know you but really they know the character you’re playing, I’ve always been very different to that. At the age of 16 to 17 and trying to find your own identity it was kind of weird. Bionic Woman is out now through Universal.
from varied styles of music. These styles differ from classic metal and punk-rock music, to Motown and soul, which combine together to bring the distinctive sound of an honest Aussie rock ‘n’ roll band, earning them increasing numbers of hungry, fuelled up, Hell City disciples. “We’re pretty popular [I guess],” says Jono, “We’re not usually popular, but for a band that’s never really had any airplay and never really had any mass of support from anyone, we do pretty damn well.” After joining the band only three years ago, these days Jono is the band’s primary source when it comes to organising gigs. Recalling his very first show as a part of Hell City Glamours, Jono explains how he managed to secure the ‘role’ with only three weeks worth of rehearsals. “I think I’d had a total of four rehearsals with the band,” says Jono, “and I’d been in the band for about three weeks. It was a pretty successful [first] gig. I mean, I’m sure I made some mistakes but considering the length of time I’d been working on the songs, it was pretty damn good. You know, I’ve seen photos of it and everyone looked like they’re having fun!” he laughs.
“On average,” begins Jono, “a few hundred people attend gigs every time they play. It still gets crazy on occasions. We get people up on stage and singing along and stuff... and taking the microphones off us!” laughs Jono. “We’re a lot tighter and a much more professional band than we used to be, but it definitely still generates into a drunken party at the end of the set a lot of the time. It’s all part of the fun!” Catch Hell City Glamours at The Cambridge on July 11 with support from Decades and L.U.S.T. For more details on how to get a copy of their album, go to www.myspace.com/ hellcityglamours or www.hellcityglamours.
Hell City Glamours will be playing a number of shows along the East Coast before bringing their album launch to Newcastle, where they will be unleashing their renowned chaotic stage show - an intense brew of energy, sweat, alcohol and a whole lot of dirty rock ‘n’ roll.
043 Gaming News By Hugh Milligan
Sonic Unleashed will incorporate both 3D and side-scrolling elements within the context of expansive and detailed environments, thanks to its “Hedgehog Engine” and a highly advanced camera system. Sonic must journey across the continents of the world in his quest to stop the infamous Dr Eggman – screenshots have already been released of several gorgeous locales, from Mediterranean cityscapes to African villages.
PHANTOM PHOTOGRAPHY Evidently trying to brush off the Wii’s reputation as a ‘casual only’ console, Nintendo have partnered with developer Tecmo to bring the next instalment of the acclaimed Fatal Frame series exclusively to their console. Titled Fatal Frame 4: The Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, the game will be produced in full collaboration between Nintendo and Tecmo. Previously a Playstation 2 series (and later ported to Xbox), Fatal Frame draws its narratives from Japanese horror mythology, as the player is drawn into dark and claustrophobic environments inhabited by vengeful spirits. Your only weapon is a mysterious camera, the Camera Obscura – taking pictures of the apparition will harm and eventually exorcise it, sealing its soul in the camera’s film. Exact details of the game have not been released yet, but expect Fatal Frame 4 to be a highly polished and highly terrifying experience. It’s a great sign that Nintendo is still thinking of their hardcore gamer base. The game is expected to be released in Japan towards the end of the year,
Fatal Frame 4
20 000 copies monthly to over 400 outlets
As with any Sonic title, speed is the name of the game, and Sonic Unleashed won’t disappoint. Early gameplay footage demonstrates that this is the most intense and dynamic chapter in the series to date, as both the 2D and 3D mechanics flow far more smoothly than the game’s convoluted predecessors. The benefits of a finely tuned (or at the very least functioning) camera are already evident.
Bigger, badder, bloodier: Gears of War 2
though no international release date has yet been given.
GUNS, GORE AND GEARS Epic Games has released tantalising footage and details of the long awaited sequal to 2006’s Xbox 360 hit Gears of War. The footage, taken from the game’s campaign, shows an intense firefight aboard and below a series of enormous moving derricks. It’s an opportunity for Epic to show off the game’s new lighting and AI engines, which apparently allow for hundreds of warring combatants to be on-screen at any time. Naturally, they have promised a storyline even more vast and spectacular than the last, with fierce battles and engaging character development. The clip showcased several new techniques, such as the ability to pick up your enemy’s corpse and use it as a meat shield, as well as some more ‘creative’ applications of the Lancer rifle’s chainsaw bayonet. These additions will feature in the game’s online multiplayer service, which
is also apparently been tightened and improved. Gears of War 2 is set for November release in the US, but as usual there’s no PAL release date as of yet.
It’s still early days, but even those gamers who thought themselves forever slighted by previous Sonic titles have reason to be optimistic about this one. The game is planned for release in the final quarter of this year, on Playstation 2 and 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Life on the hedge: Sonic Unleased
SOMETHING OLD, NEW AND BLUE Sonic the Hedgehog’s transition to threedimensional gaming has been troublesome to say the least, as many of the more recent titles in the series have been decidedly unspectacular in their execution. It’s an issue not lost on Sega’s Sonic Team – they’ve have made the wise decision to revisit the franchise’s roots, whilst capitalising on next generation technology.
July 2008 Issue 24
Fictions EP Launch @ The CBD The Beach Hotel
Le Kingste EP Launch @ The Cambridge
20 000 copies monthly to 400 outlets
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Reverb Magazine Issue 24 (July 2008) : Includes interviews with Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Tzu, The Grates, The Herd, Bluezon...
Published on Jul 28, 2008
Reverb Magazine Issue 24 (July 2008) : Includes interviews with Dandy Warhols, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Tzu, The Grates, The Herd, Bluezon...