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MADE IN SYDNEY APRIL 19, 2017

FREE Now picked up at over 1,600 places across Sydney and surrounds. thebrag.com

MUSIC, FILM, COMEDY + MORE

INSIDE

COMEDY SPECIAL FEATURING

This Week

RECORD S T ORE DAY 2017 We talk to Robert Forster and meet Sydney's best stores.

THE HODGETWINS

AUNTY DONNA

JOE GODDA R D

The Hot Chip man returns with a new solo outing.

SARAH CALLAGHAN T HE 50 BE S T COF F EE S IN S Y DNE Y: PA R T T HR EE Our hunt for the best cup of joe continues.

PAUL FOOT PE T ER HOOK

The legendary bassist looks back on Joy Division and New Order.

LARRY DEAN

DEANNE SMITH

A L L D AY

A track by track journey through his new album.

Plus

SY DNE Y'S BE S T SH A K SHUK A S DA PPLED CI T IE S GI V E AWAY L UK E Y E O WA R D G A ME ON A ND MUCH MOR E

IVAN ARISTEGUIETA

STEPHEN K AMOS


LIVE NATION

PRESENTS

ÌÌÌÌÌ “ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S FUNNIEST STAND-UPS.” THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

joel creasey

AS SEEN ON

poser

NEW SHOW ADDED DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

SUNDAY 21 MAY 6:30 PM ENMORE THEATRE

FRI 12 MAY ENMORE THEATRE 7:30PM

SATURDAY 27 MAY 9:30 PM ENMORE THEATRE

‘POLITICAL COMEDY AT ITS BEST’

FINAL SHOW DUE TO POPULAR DEMAND

SAT 27 MAY ENMORE THEATRE 7:30PM

UR Z IL A C A R L SON

‘A MASTER SATIRIST’

TIME OUT (UK)

SUNDAY TIMES (UK)

ANDYZALTZMAN

SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL SOLD OUT. ONE FINAL SHOW!

PLAN Z

SATURDAY 1 JULY ENMORE THEATRE

COMEDY STORE MON 24 – THU 27 APRIL 8:15PM

‘THE OUTRIGHT KING OF LIVE COMEDY’

++++

CANADIAN COMEDY AWARD WINNER!

“She’s a machine.” – NOW TORONTO

THU 27TH - SUN 30TH APRIL THATCHERS CIDER HOUSE, FACTORY THEATRE 8:15pm (7:15pm SUN)

THE TIMES, UK

GREY MATTERS “Funny, erudite and ef fortlessly delivered.” – The Scotsman, UK

Comedy Store

Thu 27th - Sun 30th April 7pm (6pm Sunday)

FRI 28 APRIL, 7:30PM

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CKS O C Z Z U B E H DT N I M R E V E N star of

"immensELy likEable performer"

"a true " comic talent

"A talented focused wordsmith"

Manchester Evening News

Fest

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NO FILTER TOUR 25 & 26 APRIL

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“THE BEST YET… EFFICIENT, IRRESISTIBLE COMEDY”

 THE GUARDIAN

“HE HAS THE NATURAL SWAGGER OF A COMEDIAN WHO KNOWS HOW TO DOMINATE A ROOM”

 THE TIMES

24, 25 & 26 APRIL

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in this issue

free stuff

what you’ll find inside…

head to: thebrag.com/freeshit

6

The Frontline

8-9

Sydney Comedy Festival: Paul Foot, Ivan Aristeguieta, Larry Dean, Stephen K Amos

10-11 Sydney Comedy Festival: Sarah Callaghan, The Hodgetwins, DeAnne Smith, Aunty Donna 12

30

15

Peter Hook looks back on Joy Division and New Order, and how their legacy stands up today

“I think the 16-year-old bongheads will really like this one, and that’s an important market for me.” (14) 15

Record Store Day ambassador Robert Forster talks songwriting

16-20 Record Store Day Special: Store Profiles 22-23 Out & About, arts reviews, Game On 24

The 50 Best Coffees In Sydney: Part Three

13

Joe Goddard

14

Allday walks us track by track through his new record, with hilarious results

25

The Top Three Shakshukas In Sydney

26

Album reviews, First Drafts

“If Ian hadn’t died, God rest his soul, he would have been singing on ‘Blue Monday’, which I would give anything to hear.” (12)

27

Off The Record

28-30 Luke Yeoward, live reviews, Name The Classic Song 31

Gig guide

DAPPLED CITIES Sydney indie heroes Dappled Cities have announced Red Riders as their main support for their return show during Vivid Sydney 2017. The show will see Dappled Cities combining soundscapes with incredible lighting, showcasing new music from their album ||||| (Five) as well as some older tracks. Indie rebels Red Riders formed in 2003 and went their separate ways in 2011, with several successful releases under their belts. Reunite with Dappled Cities and Red Riders at City Recital Hall on Sunday June 4. And for the chance to win one of two double passes, enter at thebrag. com/freeshit.

the frontline with Chris Martin and Brandon John ISSUE 709: Wednesday April 19, 2017 PRINT & DIGITAL EDITOR: Chris Martin chris.martin@seventhstreet.media SUB-EDITOR: David Molloy STAFF WRITERS: Joseph Earp, Nathan Jolly, Adam Norris NEWS: Nathan Jolly, Tyler Jenke, Brandon John

Pierce Brothers

Polish Club

ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant PHOTOGRAPHER: Ashley Mar ADVERTISING: Tony Pecotic - 0425 237 974 tony.pecotic@seventhstreet.media PUBLISHER: Seventh Street Media CEO, SEVENTH STREET MEDIA: Luke Girgis - luke.girgis@seventhstreet.media MANAGING EDITOR: Poppy Reid poppy.reid@seventhstreet.media THE GODFATHER: BnJ GIG GUIDE: gigguide@thebrag.com AWESOME INTERNS: Harriet Flitcroft, Abbey Lenton REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Nat Amat, Arca Bayburt, Lars Brandle, Chelsea Deeley, Matthew Galea, Emily Gibb, Jennifer Hoddinett, Emily Meller, David Molloy, Annie Murney, Adam Norris, George Nott, Daniel Prior, Natalie Rogers, Erin Rooney, Anna Rose, Spencer Scott, Natalie Salvo, Leonardo Silvestrini, Jade Smith, Aaron Streatfeild, Augustus Welby, Jessica Westcott, Stephanie Yip, David James Young Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this NEW address Level 2, 9-13 Bibby St, Chiswick NSW 2046 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, editors or staff of the BRAG. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Carrie Huang - accounts@seventhstreet.vc (02) 9713 9269 Level 2, 9-13 Bibby St, Chiswick NSW 2046 DEADLINES: Editorial: Friday 12pm (no extensions) Ad bookings: Friday 5pm (no extensions) Fishished art: No later than 2pm Monday Ad cancellations: Friday 4pm Deadlines are strictly adhered to. Published by Seventh Street Media Pty Ltd All content copyrighted to Seventh Street Media 2017 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get the BRAG? Email george.sleiman@ seventhstreet.media PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 follow us:

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PIERCE BROTHERS ON THE ROAD Melbourne folk siblings Pierce Brothers have new songs to share in the form of an EP, The Records Were Ours, out Friday May 19. It’s the first in a trilogy of EPs some two years in the making, following the Brothers’ signing to Warner to capitalise on their successful independent career. To celebrate the new release, Pierce Brothers are hitting five venues around the country this May, including The Metro Lair on Thursday May 18.

COME PARTY WITH POLISH CLUB Hard rockin’ two-piece Polish Club are edging closer to their national tour dates next month. The band’s 13 dates around the nation will begin right here in Sydney, with an Oxford Art Factory gig on Friday May 5. Novak and JohnHenry have made a splash in 2017 with singles like ‘Come Party’ and their debut album Alright Already, released in March. But the best place to see these guys is on the road. Catch you up the front.

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM IN SYDNEY

WHAT NEXT FOR THE MARLY?

We’re sure everyone’s fingers were getting pretty sore from crossing by this point, but it’s official: LCD Soundsystem are the latest act from Splendour In The Grass to announce they’ll be playing a Sydney sideshow. It will be the band’s first Aussie headline show since reforming in 2016, and will give us a glimpse of LCD’s upcoming album, with four of its tracks having already been rolled out overseas. They’ve been sufficiently warmed up by appearances at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Primavera, and by all accounts are at the peak of their powers. See LCD Soundsystem at the Hordern Pavilion on Monday July 24.

Newtown’s Marlborough Hotel has been sold by its current owners as they shed properties, but a famous foodie has now taken the reins. Celebrity chef Matt Moran and his business partner Bruce Solomon have snapped up the Newtown institution in a deal which is rumoured to have netted $20 million for the sellers Geoff Dixon and John Singleton. The Solotel group, run by Moran and Solomon, have acquired a number of businesses recently and now are rivalling the Merivale group with properties such as the Paddington Inn, Opera Bar, The Sheaf in Double Bay and Chiswick in Woollahra. Solotel properties in the Inner West include The Bank and Public House Petersham. The most recent purchase was of the Clovelly Hotel, which will undergo transformations to become a more food-centric pub.

ROYAL BLOOD SPLENDOUR SIDESHOW 2017 is the year of the two-piece. And Royal Blood are coming back to prove it. The Brighton bass-and-drum duo have found themselves near the top of the Splendour In The Grass bill, and for good reason: their 2014 self-titled debut album raced up the charts in Australia and overseas, landing the number one spot in their native Britain. Now, Royal Blood have a new record to share in How Did We Get So Dark?, which lands on Friday June 16. Shortly afterwards they’ll play the Metro Theatre on Thursday July 20.

PALLBEARER BRING THE DOOM Arkansas four-piece Pallbearer are snaking their way to Australia this July ahead of their first trip to New Zealand. Vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell and co. will show off their mammoth and diverse sound, drawing on elements of doom, alt-rock, prog and more. It’s all in celebration of their third album, Heartless. Don your blackest outfit and head to Manning Bar on Tuesday July 4.

The Bedroom Philosopher

THE BEDROOM PHILOSOPHER’S CAT SHOW The Bedroom Philosopher is purring back into Sydney with a feline-themed comedy festival show. The Bedroom Philosopher: Cat Show will see the triple j comedic favourite performing his back cat-alogue of songs that mention cats, all the while dressed as a cat himself. What more can be said? Prowl over to Giant Dwarf on Saturday April 29 to take it all in.

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 show” “A note perfect hour” “A great HERALD SU N M ETRO

THE CONCOURSE FRI 28APRIL THE ENMORE THEATRE SAT 29 & SUN 30 APRIL BOOK AT SYDNEYCOMEDYFEST.COM.AU

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The Bedroom Philosopher

CAT SHOW “A daggy, sexy and acerbic hurricane of whimsy.” Sydney Morning Herald

Playing songs about cats while dressed as a cat.

Giant Dwarf Saturday April 29 8:15pm Tickets via www.bedroomphilosopher.com

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FEATURE

THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO

IVAN ARISTEGUIETA

13TH ANNUAL SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 17

’TIS A PITY SHE’S A PIGLET By Meg Crawford

Paul Foot is everything you’d hope him to be. In town to spruik his new show ’Tis A Pity She’s A Piglet (an examination of a concept he’s coined “literal surrealism”), he’s all wide-eyed and mulleted, mod strides and razor sharp ties, treading the line of eccentric geek goes cool AF. He’s smart, impeccably courteous, funny, awkward and weird, all of which culminates in him pretending to be a deer and getting up in our grill in order to demonstrate how his fear of fawns developed. An Oxford mathematics graduate, the UK comedian’s humour is clever and wordy without being snotty, while remaining psychedelically absurd. It’s not uncommon for Foot to spend half a show introducing what’s yet to unfold, and occupying the rest with surreal musings that sometimes escalate into rants – even if it’s at the cost of disturbing the audience. Take his character Penny, for example: Foot morphs into a deeply unbalanced hairdresser from Streatham who lures the audience in with an invitation to ask her personal questions. “Penny has to go too far, that’s the whole point,” Foot says. “It seems to have some sort of impact on people, but it is quite disturbing. All the time it’s treading that line, and I suppose that’s what makes it work – that line of, ‘Has Paul actually gone mad?’ That’s why at the end I say, ‘Entertainment there from Penny,’ and people are relieved. ‘Oh, Paul really is alright, he hasn’t had a nervous breakdown.’” In a way, Penny is representative of Foot’s approach to life. Balance is not really his forte; he takes it to the limit or does nothing at all. “A friend of mine who’s a creative person says you can burn yourself out. I say, ‘Great, bring it on.’ I think it’d be fun. When one is really busy, you feel intensely alive. But one tends to feel intensely alive at both ends of the spectrum. “You can also feel it when things are very un-busy. I once stayed at this cottage, which was like having a retreat. I came out and spoke to the man who owned the main house and I said, ‘Oh, have the bins gone out yet?’ and he said, ‘I think they’ve gone out, so there’s no point taking a bin out.’ Anyway, I said, ‘Oh well, it’s worth a look, just in case they haven’t taken them out.’ So then I had to walk for ten minutes to the end of the driveway, because it was on massive grounds, and discovered that the bins hadn’t been taken out. Then I walked ten minutes back and said, ‘Actually the bins haven’t been taken out,’ and he said, ‘Well you might as well take them out.’ So I had to walk back. It was 40 minutes of doing almost nothing in a very inefficient manner and I felt totally alive then too.”

WHERE: The Comedy Store WHEN: Wednesday May 3 – Friday May 5

PAUL FOOT

JUITHY

By Nick Mason

Each year, the comedy festival circuit has its share of feel-good stories. And in 2017, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better story than the rise of Venezuelan-born comic Ivan Aristeguieta. It started with a golden opportunity to perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala last year. He seized the moment, slayed the rather enormous room, and his popularity promptly exploded. Aristeguieta went on to enjoy a sold-out season in Melbourne, even adding two shows towards the end of his run. “It was a good pat on the back,” he says. “You can go, ‘I’m doing the right thing, I’m on the right track.’ Finally I’ve made some money in the festival season. There’s a lot of investment for many years just to be a better comedian, and to get people to know you; to build up your audience and to get better so you get opportunities like playing the Gala.” Savouring every second of his charmed run, Aristeguieta cottoned onto another perk of his new-found success. “The joy of, ‘Oh my God, I’m not worrying about flyering any more.’ That was just beautiful.” Ultimately, Aristeguieta was crowned Best Newcomer at the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival about a month later. But in case you’re worried it may have gone to his head, Aristeguieta is as grounded as ever. “I don’t use it to rest on,” he says. “I actually use it as a challenge, because when you have that sort of award and a sell-out season, people expect

LARRY DEAN By Joseph Earp

Larry Dean is a lovely bloke. Not that you’d really be able to tell him that, mind you. The comic has a heightened awareness when it comes to people complimenting him, in no small part because he’s used to such platitudes being used to soften the blow of a particularly unpleasant punch. “Usually when I get a bad review, I’ll know it’s a bad review because they mention how nice I am in the first couple of sentences,” Dean laughs. “They’ll go, ‘Larry Dean is a really amiable man,’ and I just go, ‘Oh God, here we go…’ Even when I used to be absolutely rubbish at comedy, I’d always get told, ‘You’re a really nice guy!’”

8 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

Aristeguieta prides himself on honing his craft, and he’s now got experience in venues around Australia thanks to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. “I’m so grateful. I’ve been to all the states, all the main cities, all the major towns in each state,” he says. “When you take things to small towns, they’re not that used to having stuff every day of the year – they’re grateful and thank you for coming and there’s a lot of love after the show.” Travelling across the country has been an educational experience in more ways than one for Aristeguieta, a comic already renowned for his expertise in dissecting the peculiarities of Australian culture. His new show, Juithy, will see Aristeguieta bite into a meaty subject. “When you think you’re in a bad place and you complain about it and get to a better place, you see people who’ll complain about the better place,” he says. “When I came to Australia – a place that is ten times safer and more liveable than my country – I see Aussies complaining, because you always complain wherever you are and you want it to improve. So there’s a lot of jokes about complaining and accepting good things and bad things.”

WHERE: Factory Theatre WHEN: Thursday May 4 – Sunday May 8

FARCISSIST

“A friend of mine who’s a creative person says you can burn yourself out. I say, ‘Great, bring it on.’ I think it’d be fun.”

for you to be better the next year. I use it as motivation to give a better show. I don’t want the people who recommended my show to be disappointed that their friends didn’t like it the year after. It’s motivation to be better.”

Of course, you wouldn’t imagine Dean is getting very many bad reviews these days. The Glaswegian comic – or “vagina dodger”, as his Facebook page introduces him – is a certified talent, and has sold out shows across the globe. He has even earned himself a gong or two for his

gags, picking up the Amused Moose Comedy Award last year. Nonetheless, the stand-up stage is a brutal place – a remorseless no man’s land that cares neither way for such plaudits. Dean might be at the stage of his career where almost every one of his shows gets a glowing review, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t drop a bomb here or there – though noticing when a show has gone bad is a problem in itself. “Sometimes I’ll come off stage thinking I’ve done badly because I’m not in a great mood, but people will be like, ‘Oh, that was great!’ Only I’m never sure if they’re lying or not. And other times I’ll come off stage and think I was amazing, and I’m in a great mood because I’ve been making myself laugh. And that’s when people are like, ‘The audience didn’t really think you were so amazing, Larry.’” Part of the problem is the varied nature of the audiences Dean performs to. Though every show is peppered with a throng of comedy diehards – the kind of lovers of laughter who will see pretty much anyone take to the mic; punters largely unperturbed about whether they’re seeing famous stand-ups or not –

you always get your bad eggs. “I kind of can’t understand why people would turn up to a comedy show not wanting to laugh,” Dean says, sounding genuinely puzzled. “Even if I’m not in a good mood and I go to a comedy show, I’m obviously there going, ‘Y’know, this might cheer me up,’ and I give the comedian the benefit of the doubt for the first 15 to 20 minutes of the show. I never get these people who are like, from the beginning of the show, ‘Go on, do your best, make me laugh – I’m really hard to make laugh.’ I don’t get it – you spend your own money trying to prove the comedian wrong.” In any case, even with such dangers lurking in the audience, and even when Dean has had a tough show, he always gets some kind of love in return. This is why he does what he does: it’s not the awards that keep him going, it’s the genuine gratitude of his audience. “When I have the quietest days when I’m onstage, when it feels like nobody is really laughing, that’s when I’m much more likely to get a tweet from someone saying, ‘I really enjoyed that.’” he chuckles. “I think people quite like thinking they’re one of the few ones who liked it.”

WHERE: Factory Theatre WHEN: Wednesday May 3 – Sunday May 7

THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017

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FEATURE

“When you have that sort of award and a sell-out season, people expect for you to be better the next year.”

WORLD FAMOUS By Augustus Welby

THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO

British stand-up Stephen K Amos is a Sydney Comedy Festival regular and former guest on shows such as Spicks And Specks and Thank God You’re Here. These days, the London-based comedian feels right at home in front of Australian crowds. But despite being a regular visitor with a stable fan base, he never arrives overconfident. “Every audience is different,” says Amos. “The show here is not particularly Australia-heavy. It’s a story about things that I’ve experienced in the past, so whether they connect with an audience is another thing. But if I see something while I’m here that’s very newsworthy then yes, I’ll bring it on.” Amos is known to comment on various serious subjects – from perverse social media habits to racism and sexual identity – while keeping the overall experience feel-good and inclusive. “I genuinely believe that we’ve all got a story to tell,” he says. “In my personal life I’m a very positive person, I try and find the good in people. I also know that when people come to a comedy show, they’re coming for comedy first and foremost. So [I try to include], within that experience, some very important topics that mean something to me or maybe have a different take on things. “One of the big stories I was reading about that happened in Australia last year was the sale of Golliwogs at a shop in Toowoomba. And so now that’s been a big part of this current show because for me that’s quite an important issue. And it may enlighten or it might infuriate people, but that’s the risk I’m going to take.” Amos is coolly aware of the comedian’s primary obligation – to provide humorous, rollicking entertainment. However, by speaking out on topics of social and political significance, he hopes his show World Famous will potentially influence viewers’ opinions.

STEPHEN K AMOS

“At the end of the day, this is the one job in the world where we really value freedom of speech. I can say anything I like at my shows and I have nobody there to censor me. People can challenge me, but no one’s there to edit me. “If I’ve got a room full of 1,000 people in front of me, I can’t assume that they’ll all have the same sensibilities or the same political views that I have. So if I can present a comedy show and pepper within that some of my own views – if I can make somebody think, at least – then job done.” It’s been a dramatic couple of years in global politics. There’ll be no shortage of comedians referencing the rise of Donald Trump and the chaotic Brexit ordeal at this year’s festival. Such events are unlikely to feature in Amos’ routine, though.

“Usually when I get a bad review, I’ll know it’s a bad review because they mention how nice I am in the first couple of sentences.”

“Unless my take on it is completely original and completely left-field, I might not even go there. I think people might be a bit sick to death of [Trump and Brexit] and I don’t particularly want to go to a comedy festival and every comic I see is touching on the same subjects.”

“It may enlighten or it might infuriate people, but that ’s the risk I’m going to take.” WHERE: The Concourse / Enmore Theatre WHEN: Friday April 28 / Saturday April 29 – Sunday April 30

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THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017

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THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO 13TH ANNUAL SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 17

DEANNE SMITH

“I wanted to reflect the time that we’re in, where it’s increasingly difficult to just get up and tell jo kes that don’t have any target – that are just purely there to be funny or silly.”

AUNTY DONNA BIG BOYS

By David James Young

When Broden Kelly, Mark Bonanno and Zach Ruane step onto the stage, only two things are safe: nothing and no-one. The Melbourne troupe known as Aunty Donna have quickly elevated themselves to one of the country’s most in-demand comedy acts, both through their sell-out festival shows and their cult favourite YouTube videos. 2017 sees the trio touring the world in support of their brand new show, Big Boys, in which they’re both strengthening their foundations and experimenting with new formats. “We’ve done six festival shows now, and I feel

POST-JOKE ERA By David James Young

Canadian comedian (say that three times fast) DeAnne Smith has amassed a fairly impressive following in her time as a standup. It’s brought her to festivals across the world, runs of sold-out shows and praise from critics and fellow comics alike. Still, as the saying goes, you can’t please everyone – as Smith quite humorously learned recently following an appearance at the 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala. “Somebody wrote on the Comedy Festival’s Facebook page,” she says. “It was something along the lines of, ‘Since when is giving a lesbian 15 minutes to rail against straight men considered comedy?’ It definitely wasn’t supposed to be funny, but it was absolutely hysterical. This guy had his little feelings hurt! It was funny, because there was so much [more] support for me than him. I think the page took the post down because it was just hundreds of comments berating this guy. It was also funny to me because the TV edit of my spot cut a very pertinent line: ‘I’m not speaking to all straight men – just those that are feeling particularly defensive right now.’” Smith has no interest in letting the haters – well, hater, at least – get her down. She’s back in Australia to perform her latest hour of stand-up entitled Post-Joke Era. The title itself is intended to reflect the difficulty that many comedians are facing in what can only be described as troubling times. What’s more interesting, however, is the element of escapism that still informs Smith’s material for her 2017 run. “We have to title the shows in November, way before we even fully write or perform them,” she explains.

like we’ve gotten to a pretty good place,” explains Kelly – the tall, bald one with the deep voice, for reference. “We have a pretty clear idea of how to make comedy work in an hour-long live show. Around the time we started writing Big Boys, however, we got commissioned to write a pilot for a TV series called Chaperones. We’re used to writing in short-form – two- or three-minute ideas – but we’d never done a full script for a 24-minute sitcom episode. We learned all these new things about character and scripting, and how to structure a story. It was really heavy in our head, so it led us to ask how you could go about structuring an hour-long comedy show the same way you would a TV

episode or even a movie. That was the fun part of it.” Big Boys – and, by extension, Chaperones – comes in what’s already been a massive year for Aunty Donna. Recently, they got to fulfil a lifelong dream of starring in a music video, when they were asked by Sydney hip hop duo Horrorshow to appear in a clip for their single ‘Eat The Cake’. For Kelly, who’s been a Horrorshow fan for nearly ten years, it was an absolute no-brainer.

“Of course, that was around the time of the US election, so the name that immediately came to mind for me was Post-Joke Era. I wanted to reflect the time that we’re in, where it’s increasingly difficult to just get up and tell jokes that don’t have any target – that are just purely there to be funny or silly. There’s definitely an edge to what I’m doing, and there are definitely some targets I wanted to hit. Surprisingly, though, the show has ended up being really lighthearted. I’m really enjoying it this year – I think there’s stuff in there that will be enjoyable for most kinds of people. It’s also peppered with moments of complete absurdity and silliness, which I have a lot of fun performing. There’s a mini-roast, a double act and even some poetry in there.” This is, of course, far from Smith’s first rodeo with Australian audiences. Having performed at the Adelaide Fringe, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Brisbane Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival, Smith has become a natural fit with local audiences. She’s also performed as a part of the MICF Roadshow, in which several comedians undertake a tour off the beaten track through remote and regional parts of the country. “I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for about ten years, and for the first six I came out to Australia every year,” says Smith. “I feel like a lot of my comedic sensibilities have been developed from all the time I’ve spent here. Through all of my festival seasons and my touring, I’ve watched and performed with some of the best comics I’ve ever seen. When people ask me about my favourite comedians, I immediately go to names like Hannah Gadsby and Rhys Nicholson – I just think they’re absolutely fantastic. I truly think there is something special about the Australian comedy scene. There is so much talent out here.”

THE HODGETWINS NO FILTER By Anna Rose

Identical twins Keith and Kevin Hodge are a comedic duo like no other – and like each other. They’re so incredibly alike in voice, appearance and laughter that it’s impossible to tell over the phone which of them is speaking and when. Each statement from one brother is matched with raucous laughter from the other, and vice versa – it all adds to their charm. The YouTube celebrities are shaking up the art of stand-up comedy with an unadulterated humour and enthusiasm. In

their videos, the Virginian twins constantly make each other laugh with their comically seductive voices as they answer some of the hundreds of emails they receive daily from fans, asking for uncensored advice on everything from sex to family matters and beyond. As kids, The Hodgetwins didn’t necessarily have their sights set on comedy – in fact, they were quite reserved. “We was very quiet, kind of kept to ourself,” says Keith (or Kevin). “We were very shy in school,” adds the other.

WHERE: Factory Theatre WHEN: Thursday April 27 – Sunday April 30 10 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017

thebrag.com


FEATURE

“We’ve done six festival shows now, and I feel like we’ve gotten to a pretty good place.”

sketches in the same place,” says Kelly. “It allows you to contextualise certain ideas that you have, and it’s also a great place to write from.

“I was 19 when I heard their music for the first time,” he says. “I sent them a message on MySpace and told them how much ‘No Rides Left’ spoke to me. They ended up writing back to say thanks, and they had me for life after that. They came to see us when we performed at Giant Dwarf, and we went out for a few beers together when they were in Melbourne. Nick [Bryant-Smith, AKA Solo] told me there was a song on their new record that was a bit fun and upbeat, so he wanted us to make a video for

“We shot the whole of Ripper in our costume designer’s backyard in the suburbs of Melbourne. It was supposed to be sunny all week, but the first day of shooting was just pissing down rain. There’s a lot of grading on a few of the sketches to make them look bright and warm, even though it was fucking freezing.”

it. I’m so chuffed with how well the whole thing turned out. The guys who directed it did such a good job – I was really rapt.” On top of all that, Aunty Donna recently finished their latest web series. Entitled Ripper Aussie Summer, it’s a series of absurd and remarkably entertaining sketches set entirely within a backyard on a lazy afternoon.

Kelly also notes the series made a minor celebrity out of Bonanno’s father, Charlie. “He’s come to a few shows now, and he gets recognised every time like a celebrity,” he says, before adding with a laugh: “It’s bullshit!”

“We really liked the idea that we got from [previous series] 1999 of setting a series of

WHERE: Enmore Theatre WHEN: Saturday May 20 – Sunday May 21

“Yeah, we kinda weird in school. We’d get kinda crazy at home on ourselves but if we out in public, you know, we never did any pranks or anything – but you know what, we did do some pranks in high school! We used to lob a football into the bathroom.” “That’s not a prank, that’s being an ass,” they laugh. “Because we always had each other, you know, I didn’t have to go out and make friends, because I had my brother. Plus at school, it was horrible – bunch o’ crazy ass niggas at that school!” Predictably enough, neither of The Hodgetwins fi nd embarrassment in talking about blow jobs and the women they’ve slept with in front of their brother. “Why wouldn’t I wanna hear about that?” one of them giggles. “Me and my brother are different – we been inseparable since we was born and we have a much different relationship than is typical.” “Yeah, I couldn’t talk to my sister like that, that would be weird,” retorts the other. “Now, we have an older brother, we can talk to him like that!” They laugh again. The mind boggles when you think of all those followers who genuinely do believe The Hodgetwins are the best qualifi ed experts to address their issues. “Yep, there’s a lot of weird people on this planet!” Keith or Kevin exclaims. But that doesn’t stop them – the twins in fact get a kick out of all the crazy things people ask them. “We’ve done so many videos about e’rything, whether it was fi tness, diet advice, current events – people have actually gotten really close to us over the years.”

“If 500 people come to my show don’t know who I am, they in for a rude fuckin’ awakening!” Among the huge volume of enquiries The Hodgetwins receive, they’ve never yet had an email they have felt was too out there to air. “Yeah, we talk about e’rything, I don’t turn nuttin’ down,” says one. His twin laughs knowingly. “The more out there the better, ya know? Nobody wanna hear us do emails about, ‘Which college should I go to? Harvard or Yale?’ It can’t be boring – it’s gotta be something out there, man.” Australia will soon get a taste of that titillating humour when The Hodgetwins arrive for the Sydney Comedy Festival – though you have to wonder how this raw and sometimes X-rated humour will translate from Virginia to Australia. “I hope very well! We did several shows here and we ran into people from Australia.” “I think it’s gonna it’s gonna go over well. I mean, if 500 people come to my show don’t know who I am, they in for a rude fuckin’ awakening!” Roaring with laughter, The Hodgetwins explain how they will leave their mark on Sydney. “I’ma be bustin’ all kinds of nuts,” comes the reply. “We ain’t gonna be holdin’ back – I think y’all Australia’s gonna like this!”

WHERE: Factory Theatre WHEN: Tuesday April 25 – Wednesday April 26

thebrag.com

24

By Adam Norris

It was late, and the moon was full. Somewhere a wolf howled (probably), and a door creaked open in an empty house. Such were the conditions that led to gremlins intercepting my phone call with Sarah Callaghan and preventing us from speaking ear-to-ear; or at least, that’s how I like to imagine events unfolding. Sure, the fact that the in-demand, awardwinning UK comedian might have simply been busy – after all, she does have an international tour under way – well, it’s possible, but nowhere near as exciting. Hence why eventually getting the downlow on this emerging performer was all the more anticipated.

SARAH CALLAGHAN

“I was a weird kid,” Callaghan cheerfully admits. “Hated washing, never brushed my hair and walked around topless till I was about nine. I looked like a fat white Mowgli from The Jungle Book. “Getting older is shit because people expect more of you. Can’t walk around topless ’cause apparently it’s illegal. But its good ’cause I can do whatever I want in other ways. Like, if I want ice cream, I go get ice cream. Caramel Chew Chew is the bang bang.” Wise words from someone who has been charming the comedy circuit since her arrival in 2010. That year, she found herself a finalist in the UK Funny Women Awards, and began hoarding a shelf of ‘one to watch’ accolades (including the Malcolm Hardee Award nomination for Act Most Likely To Earn A Million Quid). In 2015, Callaghan brought her debut show, Elephant, to the Edinburgh stage, and ever since her star has continued to rise just as her material has continued to evolve. “I’m just me; there is no thought into what I do. I never studied comedy before I started, so it was just easy for me to be me and not copy other acts like a lot of new comedians do. [That means] definitely it will always change. You write something and you think it’s shit. Then you think it’s good. Then a few days later it’s shit again and you’re smashing your head into the wall. Comedy is heaps of fun. Love the process. It’s all about the journey,” she says sarcastically. Callaghan’s latest venture, 24 – billed as the query, “Change your life in 24 hours? A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single cliché” – heralds her latest Sydney Comedy Festival offering, and while she is a (young) old hand at the festival landscape these days, she is just as keenly aware of the industry’s pitfalls. “It’s pretty cutthroat. The industry in the UK is very corrupt. People only care about money, it’s pretty fucked. It’s easy to stand out, though. Just don’t do material about Tinder, Brexit, Trump, the quiet carriage on a train, airports and chavs. I’m just self-indulgent and like the sound of my own voice. Making people laugh is fun and if they can feel some positive uplifting emotions from my show, even better.” Callaghan is also a comic quite comfortable with the reality of wearing a mask – a persona that she embraces whenever she takes the stage rather than a literal mask, but this does get me thinking. It’s been a while since I’ve watched The Phantom Of The Opera, but I wonder which she’d prefer; a life hiding a disfigured face, or the loss of, say, her left hand. “That’s a tough one. My face is important to me but I’m left-handed, so learning to be right-handed would be long. I could get a hook, though; that would be sick. I’d be the first hooked comedian! It could be my new thing!”

WHERE: The Factory Floor WHEN: Thursday May 11 – Saturday May 13

“It’s easy to stand out … Just don’t do material about Tinder, Brexit, Trump, the quiet carriage on a train, airports and chavs.”

THE BRAG’S GUIDE TO SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL 2017

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 11


FEATURE

“New Order was always like a wonky table where you had to put a beer mat under one leg to get it right.” be focusing on Joy Division’s Substance albums of singles and B-sides, with Hook’s performances underlining his ongoing passion for this music and ensuring its legacy. It promises to be an epic evening that plots the once uncharted course from punk rock via the Hacienda to the dancefloors of Ibiza. “I have an idea about how these songs should sound,” Hook begins. “New Order was always like a wonky table where you had to put a beer mat under one leg to get it right, and no matter what you did it was never totally balanced right from the start. And with The Light we don’t have that, ’cause the musicians that we have are shit hot. So we’re different. I think, if anything, we’re more faithful.” In order for him to better accede to his new-found vocal demands, Hook is accompanied on bass at the shows by his son Jack Bates. It must surely be an interesting dynamic, and it prompts the question – is Bates a better bass player than his old man? “Well, he thinks he is!” laughs Hook. “I think that he has a better ear than me ’cause I’m tone deaf. When I come to play other people’s music, I can’t do it, I just don’t hear any differentiation between the notes. When I was approached for the Rolling Stones job, Mick Jagger could have put a gun to my head and said, ‘Play ‘Satisfaction’’, and I would have just gone, ‘Mick? Shoot me.’ I couldn’t do it – it’s just a weird anomaly in me as a musician. It’s really weird. Now, [Jack’s] not like that, he can pick it up quite easily, so he’s got one up on me there – but he’s not got my writing history I suppose.”

Peter Hook Known Pleasures By Andi Lennon

P

other object imaginable that can physically hold a print. Reframed and reinterpreted in countless tributes, parodies and mash-ups, like the Ramones logo it has transcended even itself to become an emblem.

It’s been filed under cultural shorthand, an image encountered on posters, T-shirts, beer mats and any

But emblems and icons are dusty things. They become codified, compartmentalised and divorced from their

original vitality. The songs of Joy Division and New Order have a still beating heart and they demand to be played live. That heart sits firmly in the barrel-chested Mancunian frame of Peter Hook, and ‘Hooky’ will shortly be returning to Australia to do just that. Play the songs. His third visit to Australia with his band The Light will

“I think he’d be enjoying the music ’cause we play it to the best of our ability and with as much passion and enthusiasm as we can muster – but I think he’d be

“If Ian hadn’t died, God rest his soul, he would have been singing on ‘Blue Monday’, which I would give anything to hear.” 12 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

In the shadow of another legacy, the shows will see Hook returning to Joy Division material after the 35th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death in 2015, for which The Light strapped in to wade through the entire catalogue – surely a herculean task, and a deeply emotional undertaking. “Yeah!” he laughs. “The weird bit about it is that you have to pace yourself like a marathon, so you couldn’t just burn through the set and go mental, you really did have to hold back. 48 songs! But it was great and I’m sort of madly looking forward to the 40th anniversary so we can do it all again. It was good to do it for Ian’s charity; to do it in the church that Ian used to go to when he was a kid was even better. It was very emotional actually, even going down to his grave that morning just to say hello. It was quite odd.” The day the BRAG speaks with Hook is in fact the 34th birthday of New Order’s defining ‘Blue Monday’ single, and the change and evolution from the demise of Joy Division to that track – a mere two years later – is staggering. “Well, the interesting thing about the change was that the technology available in 1982 was light years ahead of what was available in 1980. The DMX, Prophet sequencers and Prophet-5 synths that we were using were fantastic machines. You had two great operators in Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner who really took them to the extreme, and ‘Blue Monday’ was the culmination of the talent of those two and the wonderful innovation in the machines. So it was ready. The thing is, if Ian hadn’t died, God rest his soul, he would have been singing on ‘Blue Monday’, which I would give anything to hear. “It is weird, though, to think that 34 years have passed. Jesus Christ! Where did those years go?”

Who: Peter Hook and The Light Where: Metro Theatre When: Saturday October 7

thebrag.com

Peter Hook photo by William Ellis

eter Saville’s cover artwork for Joy Division’s landmark debut Unknown Pleasures depicts the stacked plot of radio waves emanating from the first known pulsar star. It could scarcely be more iconic.

In his recent book, also entitled Substance, Hook reveals that the New Order compilation came about because Factory Records founder Tony Wilson had gotten himself a flash new Jaguar and wanted a CD he could play in the car. One wonders what Wilson would have thought of The Light.

heartbroken by the state of affairs between the members of New Order,” Hook says. “I think that that probably would have finished him off if the cancer hadn’t, but my God, mate – wouldn’t I give my right arm for him to be there.”


Joe Goddard Chip Off The Old Block By Augustus Welby

FEATURE

“I have a very, very quiet, gentle voice that is sometimes not all that in tune. I’m not really a lead singer.”

I

t’s an antiquated attitude, but there remain some avid music listeners who believe electronic music is incapable of having an affecting emotional quality. In defiance of them is Hot Chip multiinstrumentalist and producer Joe Goddard, whose new solo album Electric Lines sees him merging his passion for electronic music with his lifelong love of soul.

Joe Goddard photo by Marc Sethi

Hot Chip and contemporaries such as Four Tet are long-time proponents of soulful electronic music. But that doesn’t make Goddard immune to the critics of unemotional dance music, and there are even times when he can sympathise. “I think your run-of-the-mill tech house record is lacking in soul,” Goddard says. “You could level that claim at quite a lot of dance music that comes through. It feels very quantised and computerised and lacking. You can characterise soul as humanity and human emotion in the music, and that can be lacking in a lot of computer music. So I can understand that opinion.” Electric Lines is awash with electronic sounds conjured up in Goddard’s East London studio. Although Goddard recognises the lack of tangible emotion in an assortment of undistinguished electronic music, he’s an old hand at injecting it into his own productions, a skill gained by paying close attention to his influences. thebrag.com

“If you listen to early ’80s disco, that’s essentially electronic, but it has people singing and people playing on top – that music is capable of lots of emotion and soul,” he says. “So I think it’s definitely possible to imbue electronic music with soul. I definitely am working to keep some soulfulness intact in the music in lots of ways.” A core contributor to Electric Lines’ human feel is the vocals that feature on the majority of tracks. Goddard sings a few songs himself alongside UK singer Jess Mills (‘Ordinary Madness’ and ‘Music Is the Answer’), American musician Daniel Wilson (‘Home’) and Hot Chip vocalist Alexis Taylor (‘Electric Lines’). From the outset, Goddard was eager to work with other artists. “A few friends of mine have said to me recently that I should have sung more,” he says. “They were surprised that I’m not on it that much, but for me, I don’t really think of myself as a singer as such. I don’t feel like that’s my forte. I have a very, very quiet, gentle voice that is sometimes not all that in tune. I’m not really a lead singer. So I sing on tracks when I get a good idea and when I feel like there’s something I want to say, but I’m quite happy to collaborate with a singer. “I didn’t want to enlist tonnes of big-name artists on this record,” he adds. “I didn’t want it to feel like a list of collaborators – to try and sell the record by hiring in famous people.”

Working with Taylor seems like an obvious move for Goddard; they’re long-time bandmates and attuned to each other’s creative sensibilities. But there’d also have been the risk of creating something barely discernible from their main band’s catalogue. “In terms of the way we worked on that song, there’s really no difference to a lot of Hot Chip tracks,” Goddard says. “I made the music and then sent it to Alexis and he amazingly wrote all the words and recorded them in one night and sent it back to me. It was a brilliant moment to get it back and I really, really loved it from the start, and it came together really easily. And that’s how a lot of Hot Chip music comes together, so yeah, we could’ve kept it for the next Hot Chip record. I guess it was just a matter of at that time I was putting together this album and so it formed a piece of that.” Generally speaking, Goddard’s a liberal leader when working with vocalists on his productions. He welcomes creative suggestions and adjustments that will introduce the guest’s identity into the tracks. “The vocals are mostly the work of the singer. For ‘Music Is the Answer’, Jess Mills wrote the verses and then we collaborated on the bridge and the chorus. On ‘Home’, Daniel Wilson came to my studio and we talked through the meaning of the song and wrote the words together a bit, but there was a lot

“I didn’t want it to feel like a list of collaborators – to try and sell the record by hiring in famous people.” of creativity from him. In Hot Chip, I don’t often tell Alexis what to do in any way. It’s really up to him what he sings and the words. He’s a brilliant lyricist, so I don’t get involved that much when he’s writing the words. “If I’m collaborating with someone, I like to not tell them what to do too much. I want to see what naturally comes from them and allow that to happen, but I’ll give guidance and instruction if the singer wants and needs that. You just have to try and get the best out of the person you’re working with in whatever way you can.” What: Electric Lines out Friday April 21 through Greco-Roman/Domino

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 13


Track By Track:

Allday – Speeding

O

ne of the shining lights on the Aussie hip hop scene in 2017, Allday, is back with a new album. Speeding is out this Friday April 21 on Onetwo, the label led by Allday’s fellow rapper Illy. Ahead of the release of Speeding, we asked Allday to break down the album one track at a time.

1.

‘First Light’

“I think the 16-year-old bongheads will really like this one, and that’s an important market for me.”

This is the opening track so it doesn’t really count – even if it’s bad, people are going to keep listening until the second track. The stupidest part is when I say “I’m the second shooter like Klay Thompson” – this was clearly recorded before Kevin Durant went to the Warriors.

2.

‘In Motion’ (feat. Japanese Wallpaper) See, here we are at track two and we’ve forgotten all about track one because the production is so lush and I’m in Hyper-ExaggeratedRomantic-AlldayMode™.

FEATURE

3.

‘10 Drinks’ I was listening to Tom Waits – on ‘Ol’ ’55’ he sings, “Riding with Lady Luck, freeway cars and trucks”. I like that lyric so I thought it would be interesting for me to be on an overpass “watching the cars and trucks whiz by”. Is that stealing? Maybe – I think it’s an ode, but you be the judge.

4.

‘No Saint’ I think the 16-year-old bongheads will really like this one, and that’s an important market for me.

5.

‘Ghost’ ‘Ghost’ is dope. Maybe that’s because I recorded it last and I’m not quite sick of it yet. This is my attempt at a country song, talking about sitting around and being sad. I was watching a documentary on some country singer and I heard someone say, “All of a sudden you’re cruising along at 75 beats per minute.” I was like, “Hey, that beat I have is 75 beats per minute, maybe I should write a country song on it.”

“Basically this track by track has become an essay of me criticising my album now. I would still give it four stars FYI.”

‘Raceway’ It took me forever to get the chorus perfect on this – the high harmony is actually

7.

‘Codeine 17’ (feat. Gracelands) The lyrics for the chorus were originally “18 wanna die” not “18 won’t die”, but when Gracelands sung it the syllables just didn’t fit. “18 won’t die” vaguely makes sense too, so whatever. I recall the shaker/hi-hat thing in the second half of the verses was the subject of much debate. We must have made ten different versions of this beat. Shout out to Cam Bluff and Mitch Graunke for dealing with that. Cam isn’t even returning my texts right now so it would be fair to say he’s sick of my bullshit.

8.

‘North Melbourne’ The best part of this song is in the pitched down part at the end, I sing, “We go together like chips and seagulls in the sand with rubbish and needles”. Not sure why I pitched it down because now nobody will understand it and I won’t get the praise that I so deeply crave. At least I’ve mentioned it here.

9.

‘Sides’ (feat. Nyne) ‘Sides’ was something I wrote quickly intending to put it out as a throwaway. Then I guess I didn’t have that many good songs because people convinced me to put it out as a single. My favourite thing on this track is there are some good rhymes in it.

Like the stuff about sculpting stone like “Donatello, of the clouds, visionary” – Madonna Of The Clouds is the name of one of Donatello’s sculptures; it’s actually the one we used on the cover art of ‘Raceway’. *insert cheeky emoji here*

10.

‘Spill My Blood’ ‘Spill My Blood’ is about sneaking into your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend’s house and cutting your wrists in his kitchen. It’s not something I’ve done, and I don’t usually like making songs about things that didn’t happen. But this felt very natural to make – it didn’t feel like I was inventing anything. So maybe it’s within my capabilities.

11.

‘Baby Spiders’ (feat. Mallrat) I like this song. It’s just fucking good. It’s produced by Feki who I think is going to be hugely famous soon. I didn’t have a good chorus, I had three or so shitty ones that I sent to Mallrat and she just wrote her own and sent it back. So we have Feki and Mallrat to thank for this one.

12.

‘Ultramarine’ (feat. Mallrat) ‘Ultramarine’ is about a blue night sky, then the first song on the album is called ‘First Light’. So if you put the album on repeat it’s almost like the night ending and a new day beginning. Would you look at that, and think, ‘He’s thought of everything’? I also believe outro songs don’t count. So I just went on a stream of consciousness trip through life with no drums because drums are for real songs, and an outro isn’t a real song. Then we put drums at the very end just because. And the snare is DOPE. Probably my favourite snare on the album.

What: Speeding out Friday April 21 through Onetwo With: Japanese Wallpaper, Nicole Millar Where: Big Top Sydney, Luna Park When: Saturday July 8 And: Also appearing at Splendour In The Grass 2017, North Byron Parklands, Friday July 21 – Sunday July 23 xxx

14 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

6.

slightly different on all the choruses; I can’t even hear the differences any more but I know it took us a whole day in the studio, so I had to tell someone. All this information about mixing and recording is probably super boring to read. Basically this track by track has become an essay of me criticising my album now. I would still give it four stars FYI.

thebrag.com


AG R B E H T TO E D I U G

D R O C RE RE O T S 7 ROBERT FORSTER : DAY 201

Ahead of Record Stor e Da 22, RSD ambassador y 2017 on Saturday April and icon Robert Forster te Australian songwriting lls motivation behind his Joseph Earp about the own records.

A Recording Icon

R

obert Forster is not a man to rush things. The musician, novelis t, critic and now Record Store Day 2017 ambassador has sometimes left years bet ween the release of solo albums, and the discography of The Go -Betweens – the band he led for decades along with friend Grant McLennan – is a curated collection of classics rather than some slapdash, lastminute assemblage. So given his careful approach to making art it shouldn’t necessaril , y be surprising to discover Forster worked on Gra how long his fascinating non-fictio nt And I, n account of The Go -Betweens’ rise. Still, hearing him formation and actually say the words does take one aback. “It took seven years,” Forster says in a sof t voice. “I wasn’t going full speed writing it for the full seven years – the spent mostly projecting first two years were find the approach. Tha things and trying to t was sor t of the run-up ,

thebrag.com

get ting the framework in place. But then I jus got into it suddenly.” t

Of course, Forster doe s write his songs faster than his novels – but even those are formu lated relatively slowly, over time. Songs To Play, his excellent 2016 album , was dropped a whole seven years after The Evangelist, the record that preceded it.

“I’m not a prolific songw lucky if I write two son riter,” he admits. “I’ll be gs trying all the time. You a year, although I’m ’re almost exhilarated when it happens. You ’re months I’ve made som like, ‘After all these eth walk around completely ing that’s good.’ I just doesn’t wear off quickl high for two weeks. It y song. It stays with you when you write a good . An you know? It’s a beautif d it’s your secret, ul thing – that’s par tly what’s kept me at it for all these years.” Even when he’s writing , per formative aspect of Forster always has the his music in mind. As any punters lucky eno ugh to catch him live can attest, he is a consum mate onstage presen ce – a musician who bea ms artistic generosity , moving around with all the grace of someone doing something quite difficult as though it is the easiest thing in the world. “I’m also in the positio n songs will be recorded, where I know these be released, and I kno I know that they will w that I will play them in front of people,” he say writing good songs wh s. “There are people o they’re going to be rec don’t even know if orded. But that just add s

to the excitement, kno win broken through and wri g that finally you’ve tten something and that moves you one son album and then playin g closer to making the g it live.” Aside from the live set ting, Forster has a distinctly modern way of staying in touch wit h his audience. He is an active Facebook user, utilising his official pag e to talk to fans, receiv feedback and even ans e wer the occasional query. This level of art ist to crowd contact is essential, he argues, a wa never loses sight of tho y of ensuring that he se he plays for.

“I’m not someone in my constantly on the road 20s or 30s who is or out a record every yea constantly put ting r. constant contact, that So I don’t have that con my audience. I’m doing stant awareness of the book, for example other things – like for – things that keep me home, which is good at for can forget the connec my time of life. But you tions that you’re makin g– it can all fall away qui te quickly.” He takes a moment to consider. “I find it fantastic and ver y affi rm you what the music has ing when people tell done for their lives and how it’s affected them. I always find it ver y important to talk to people. For me, it’s nourishment.”

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 15


 

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BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 17


THE BRAG GUIDE TO

RECORD STORE DAY 2017

Egg Records 3 Wilson St, New town eggrecords.bigcartel. com

11/181 Church St, Parramatta beatdisc.com.au

The team: Baz, the head egg; Stephen, our fountain of knowledge; Nic, the all-round legend; and Conrad, the new kid on the block.

The team: Myself, Peter Curnovic (owner), Tom Houlahan (drums in Burlap/Ted Danson With Wolves) and Mark, our prog rock specialist.

The history: My brother-in-law Ric and I started Egg back in 2000. We have gone through many changes but we’re still here after 17 years. I can’t

Beatdisc

The history: Beatdisc opened in August 1995. Last year we celebrated 21 years of business from the same location in the Queensland Arcade, Church Street, Parramatta. We’ve seen many record shops close over the years but we’ve stood the test of time so far. A friend of ours made a shor t film for our 20-year anniversary and it’s available to watch online. What’s playing in store right now? X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents (1978). How are you celebrating Record Store Day on April 22? With an incredible amount of vinyl and a sweet party with all our friends! We’ll have an excellent range of RSD exclusive releases,

18 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

thousands of preowned 45s and LP albums hitting the racks deep from the Beatdisc archive, giveaways and our first limited edition Beatdisc coffee mug! What’s the best discover y you’ve ever made while digging through record crates? Almost ever y day we make the best discover y; if it’s not a rare Aussie prog record from the ’70s, it’s on a new release sheet and we’re always super excited to get it out in the racks for sale. What is it you dig about the Sydney music scene? At Beatdisc we’re seeing more and more people reconnecting to music with physical media – especially vinyl records. Also, we often host all

remember the first record we sold but we still have the first dollar we took.

Finding a copy of Extradition, which is a rare Australian folk psych LP.

What’s playing in store right now? Egoism – It’s Wearing Off.

What’s the one record you argue over most? The Velvet Underground & Nico.

How are you celebrating Record Store Day on April 22? We will have lots of goodies for sale but not all official RSD stuff, and we will have lots of great stock at great prices. What’s the best discover y you’ve ever made while digging through record crates?

What is it you dig about the Sydney music scene? There are lots of great bands around, but we need more venues. What’s selling like hotcakes at the moment? John Farnham’s Whispering Jack LP… only joking.

ages in-store shows and have built a great community of good humans who support independent, local and touring bands. In our community there is huge support for smaller independent artists and there are a lot of passionate and dedicated musicians, promoters, indie label owners, record stores, venue owners and fans out there. It’s something we’re very proud to be a part of. What’s selling like hotcakes at the moment? Beatdisc tote bags; Oslow – Oslow; King Gizzard – Flying Microtonal Banana; The xx – I See You; Run The Jewels 3; Camp Cope; The Stooges.

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RPM – Records Posters Memorabilia

The Record Store 255B Crown St, Darlinghurst facebook.com/recordstoresydney The team: Our crew is too large to list. At last count there were 15 sets of keys. But the usual in-store suspects are pH, Ben Fester, Kato, Adi Toohey and Setwun. The history: The Record Store grew from the foundations of BPM Records. pH managed that in its final years, and so this place is really the last vestige of the 14 DJ shops that peppered Darlo. While we still focus on dance 12-inches and hip hop, we have a very nicely curated range of indie, rock, pop, reggae, jazz, blues and all the good things. We do a heap of second hand, with a rarities section and loads of bargain crates. What’s playing in store right now? Harvey Sutherland. We have a huge range of Aussie electronica on vinyl – it feels like a bit of a golden era at the moment. How are you celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday April 22? Wax-wise, obviously we have a tonne of vinyl coming. Literally: we think we have ordered about 1,000kg of the bloody stuff. About 30 per cent will be RSD exclusives (we have filtered out the inane crap) and the other 70 per cent will just be amazing bloody records from all around the world.

113 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville rpmrecords.com.au

Bob Dylan, and he continues to be one of our biggest sellers.

The team: Lizzie French is a relative newcomer to record store ownership but says it was likely inevitable, being as she spent most of her high school years in Canada, skipping school to hang out at the Bancroft Record and Game in the ’80s. Her partner Steve is in charge of the inventory and has excellent taste and musical knowledge from many years as a musician and band manager, as well as just his sheer love of music. He regularly amazes customers with his in-depth knowledge and ability to know exactly where to find everything in the shop. RPM sources new stock constantly from far and wide and Steve has just returned from the UK with a huge stack of records, making sure regular customers have rare new finds each visit. We pride ourselves in having great quality vinyl in a variety of classic artists in many genres.

What’s playing in store right now? David Bowie has been everpresent in the shop since last year and continues to be a big seller, and is often on the turntable.

The history: RPM Records started from a dream of one day opening a record shop to having an awesome opportunity presented to us in June 2015, to partner with a former major music promoter to represent his collection, made up of items as far back as the 1980s, many rare one-offs and signed collectables. We are the ultimate destination for music lovers. We have a large amount of vinyl, CDs, cassettes and DVDs, plus music posters, books, magazines, T-shirts, and an impressive collection of framed vintage music and sports memorabilia for sale. Something for every taste and budget. What was the first record you sold?

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How are you celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday April 22? We are offering a ten per cent discount store-wide, and when you spend more than $100 we are giving you a free drink next door at The Gasoline Pony! We have tonnes of fresh stock just in from the UK and we will have a DJ in store as well as special celebrity guest visitors TBA. We would love to show you our shop. What’s the best discovery you’ve ever made while digging through record crates? Last week I found a classic compilation called The Best Of The Inner West from 1982. It’s rockabilly, featuring The Bopcats, The Layabouts and Ratbags Of Rhythm. Every day you can discover some new music, which is the best part of this business. What is it you dig about the Sydney music scene? The scene where we are is really happening, right next door to a fantastic bar that has live music six nights. We stay open later than our normal 11am-7pm until 10pm on the weekends. We are five minutes’ walking distance from seven live music venues and musicians are often in the shop, and there’s such an explosion of new vinyl buyers due to the popularity over the last few years. The biggest surprise to me is how young 14-to-18s are buying the old classics like Zeppelin and Floyd.

Fun-wise, we’ve teamed up with our neighbours, Cafe Lounge, and Young Henrys to put on some great local talent. We open at 9am that day for three hours of disturbance-free digging, then from midday in store we’ll have DJs spinning wax, and from midday at the Lounge we have bands

and DJs – some crazy good local talent. At the time of printing this we cannot reveal our lineup, but check the FB page for details: facebook. com/recordstoresydney. What’s the best discovery you’ve ever made while digging through record crates? We could tell you, but we would have to kill you. What’s the one record you argue over most? Barney and pH argue over any Star Wars record that rears its head. As in, who is going to get it!

What is it you dig about the Sydney music scene? That it still exists in spite of the giant ‘fuck you’ this wack job banker political class have perpetrated on the city with their holier-than-thou prohibition and curfews. What’s selling like hotcakes at the moment? Aussie 12-inches – it’s stoooopid how many great new releases there are.

Sounds Espresso 268 Victoria Rd, Marrickville soundsespresso.com.au The team: The owner of Sounds Espresso is Anthony Skapetis. The history: In 2014 I opened up a combined cafe/record store for the love of both music and coffee. I wanted music that was different from the normal CDs and iTunes, so I got into vinyl. The official opening of Sounds Espresso was Record Store Day 2014. The way music sounds on record is so much smoother. I also became a DJ who plays with records too, at functions. There is nothing better then actually seeing the records play. Sounds Espresso is a record store that offers you a place to go and hang out, and play some music on records while enjoying a cup of coffee. Anyone who feels game enough is welcome to step up to the turntables in the cafe and have a go at mixing

something themselves. We have a lot of old and new records for sale, plus records and CDs. What was the first record you sold? My first record sold was a Demis Roussos greatest hits album, to a man who was looking for his collection. What’s playing in store right now? If I am not playing records by Cold Chisel or AC/DC, we have a range of music that gets played in the shop depending who is in store playing the records, ranging from R&B to rock, soul, jazz et cetera. How are you celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday April 22? We’re

keeping it a surprise but it involves records and DJs and coffee. What’s the best discovery you’ve ever made while digging through record crates? AC/DC – Dirty Deeds on vinyl, the original pressing. What’s the one record you argue over most? In between Public Enemy and RunD.M.C. because they’re both classic hip hop. What is it you dig about the Sydney music scene? We have to Keep Sydney Open and alive and bring back good times with live DJ music where people can hang out and have a good time. Sydney has been a little restricted lately and some classic old-school music can chill that out.

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 19


THE BRAG GUIDE TO

RECORD STORE DAY 2017

Resist Records 294 King St, Newtown resistrecords.com The team: It consists of Graham Nixon, Courtney Rumble and Marcus Tamp.

Revolve Records 3/65 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville revolverecords.com.au

22? How are you celebrating Record Store Day on Saturday April e digging happily. We’ll be celebrating RSD with a heap of fresh stock to keep everyon record crates? What’s the best discovery you’ve ever made while digging through through diverse looking tly constan we’re – ng happeni always are Crate digging discoveries records from many cultures, which keeps us interested.

The histor y: Resist is a punk and hardcore specialist store and has been operating since 1996, and in that time has been in three different locations in Newtown. Unfor tunately I can’t remember back to what would have been the first record sold.

What’s selling like hotcakes at the moment? people: Bowie, Prince, Sadly the records that are selling well at the moment are by dead experimental ’80s. The list Leonard Cohen, et cetera. Also reggae, ska, garage, psych and could go on!

What’s playing in store right now? Mindsnare – Unholy Rush.

The team: Gonz in Revolve Records is run by Jon Ordon and you’ll find Pete and

store.

The history: Jon had a store in Hornsby Revolve has been in Erskineville for over 12 years. Prior to that, he sold there was The called Discovery Records for many, many years. The first record Allman Brothers to a guy called Horse!

How are you celebrat ing Record Store Day on Saturday April 22? We will have many of the exclusive titles relevan RSD t other than that it’s bus to our store; iness as usual. What’s the best discov while digging through ery you’ve ever made Face To Face – Face record crates? To Face on Dr Strang e (later reissued on Fat ). What’s the one record you arg ue ove r most? Music buyers have ecl ectic tastes, so no nee d to argue over what opinion I have of a rec ord. What is it you dig ab out the Sydney music The unfortunate side sce ne? of the Sydney music sce some great venues. He ne over the past 12 mo re’s hoping new ones many great Sydney ban open up from those tha nths is the closure of ds needing places to t have closed, as there’s play.

assortment of Revolve Records has an amazing tent $2 bins. second hand vinyl with very po

NEW ARRIVALS INSTORE DAILY with something for everyone

FROM ROCK TO CLUB. ns, Always buying record collectio call Jon on 0402141968. OPEN:

MON-TUES 12PM-6PM WED-FRI 10AM-7PM SAT-SUN 10AM-6PM

ADDRESS:

SHOP 3/65 ERSKINEVILLE RD, ERSKINEVILLE PH: 9519 9978 / 1800626610

Like us on Facebook Shop online: REVOLVERECORDS.COM.AU 20 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

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BOOKINGS SYDNEYCOMEDYFEST.COM.AU & 9020 6966 thebrag.com

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 21


out & about Queer(ish) matters with Arca Bayburt

arts reviews ■ Film

CHIPS In cinemas now

Wilson Cruz in Ally McBeal

Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset in Orange Is The New Black

Tracing The Transgendered Through Television

D

ove, a company famous for its campaigns emphasising the “realness” of people, has just launched another one called #RealMoms. The internet is ablaze with mostly positive commentary around one of the campaign’s ads. It features a transgender mother. Netflix series Orange Is The New Black has reached critical mass in its popularity and has had a huge influence on the rise of transgender characters and lives on screen due to its nuanced handling of trans character Sophia Burset (played by Laverne Cox). Now, let’s step back for a second. Way back. It’s 1997 and an episode of Ally McBeal called ‘Boy To The World’ has just aired. The premise of the show is stock-standard TV dramedy. It was never known for tackling the ‘big issues’, but certainly skirted them from time to time – in the case of ‘Boy To The World’, while pointing and nervously laughing. Ally (a lawyer) has to defend her client, Stephanie (played by Wilson Cruz), against solicitation charges. Stephanie is a fashion designer who turned to prostitution because of financial pressures.

To Ally’s great surprise, Stephanie is revealed to be transgendered. I watched this episode with my housemate a week ago. We both had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, we felt the show was progressive for even including a transgender character in a semi-sympathetic light. On the other, the entire episode was a cringefest of insensitive, ignorant and just unfunny dialogue that would have absolutely zero chance of flying today. For those counting at home, we’ve already reached one transgender screen trope: prostitution. Ally’s defence of her client is – Lord help us – an insanity plea based on “transvestite fetishism”. Let’s add ‘mental instability’ to the trope list. Stephanie decides not to use the insanity defence (hallelujah). Watching the parade of psychological experts descending upon her in court inspired an impressive exercise in self-control for me. I had to force myself to keep looking at the screen while the rest of my body tried to pretzel itself in response to the intensity of my cringing. Ally tries her darnedest to get them to diagnose Stephanie with gender dysphoria. The best they

“CHANGE IS A SERIES OF MINUTE TRANSFORMATIONS THAT CAN FEEL LIKE THEY’RE QUIETLY HAPPENING OUTSIDE OF OUR CONSCIOUS OBSERVATION, UNTIL SUDDENLY WE LOOK UP, AND EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.” this week… On Friday April 21, head on down to Giant Dwarf in Redfern for the April edition of Queerstories. Hosted by Maxine Kauter, the storytellers include musician Jessie Lloyd, Alice Williamson, social worker and activist Paul Van Reyk, David Cunningham, Bastian Fox Phelan and Twitter sensation Rebecca Shaw. Like they say, there’s more to being queer than coming out and marriage, so come on down to hear stories from a diverse

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group of awesome queer people. The event is Auslan interpreted. On Saturday April 22, The Shift Club is throwing an ’80s dance party. Your hostess for the evening is Ms Connie Cartier, joined by performers Stephen Carrington and Ms Marcia Monterey. Be sure to wear your retro best, as DJ Tim Rogers will be making some ’80s magic happen on the dancefloor. And for the diary, on Saturday May 6, Girlthing will be kicking off its

can do is diagnose her with ‘confused’. There’s a scene where she’s apparently identified by her Adam’s apple. She’s also referred to as “it” and “he/she”. Stephanie seems to be the only one not confused about her identity. Everybody else is flailing because she’s interrupted their binary flow. It’s implied that her unwavering belief about her identity is a signifier itself of mental illness. I mean, how can you be OK with being transgendered? You must be crazy. The rest of the episode trundles along with no surprises. Stephanie returns to prostitution and is murdered. A cop explains to Ally that some “John went crazy when he found out the Jane was a guy”. In its final breath, the episode tries to restore some dignity to Stephanie by having Ally apply makeup to her corpse’s face so she can be buried as her true self. Grim, but hey, they tried? I know this episode was aired 20 years ago, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it. It’s strange how change is a series of minute transformations that can feel like they’re quietly happening outside of our conscious observation, until suddenly we look up, and everything is different. The same can’t be said for people who are caught inside of it all. For a trans person, the 20 years between Ally McBeal’s ham-fisted representation of themselves and the #RealMoms campaign have felt like 20 years because they’ve been fighting tooth and nail for every second of them.

The ’70s and ’80s hit police TV show Chips has been remade, because apparently, no matter how unwarranted, everything from that era must be rebooted in the 21st century. Dax Shepard – who felt the need to direct, write and act – and Michael Peña star as two highway patrolmen. Working undercover for the FBI, sex addict Ponch (Peña) pairs with the emotionally unstable Jon (Shepard) to tear up California in motorbikes with flagrant disregard for any civilian casualties. Their mission is to follow a corrupt policeman’s dirty trail of dead bodies, without maintaining any real compliance with police procedure. Basically, the whole thing feels like watching one of your stoned mates play GTA for two hours. There’s no real story, the characters outside of the main pair are two-dimensional, and even with its high-production-value action sequences, it often feels like a B-movie. Perhaps most alarming, though, is Shepard’s insistence on not

giving a flying fuck about the plot. If you care to notice – many people won’t – you’ll find plot holes galore, as almost every character makes one nonsensical decision after another. It seems like there are a few key scenes missing that Shepard just couldn’t be bothered writing in – as if plot was just an annoying chore he had to endure to get to his next low-brow analingus moment. I am half ashamed to confess I actually did chuckle at a couple of moments. The bickering back and forth between Shepherd and Peña keeps you from checking your watch too often. But there are heaps of unnecessary cameos, and Kristen Bell stands out in a bad way – this is not really the type of film I would have thought someone with her intellectual and political background would want to be seen in.

story. With so many more interesting films coming out – why bother with Chips?

Chips will probably fall flat even with its target audience – 21 Jump Street has a much better grasp on flow and connection of comedy with

Pros - Someone with a selfie stick gets run over. - There are only a couple of homophobic gags. Kudos to

■ Film

RAW In cinemas now Raw, the debut film by French director Julia Ducournau, arrives braised in the kind of controversy horror movie publicists dream about. Within the space of a few months, this darkly comedic coming-of-age surrealist feminist cannibal art piece (no, seriously) has become something of a legend, and stories of its fraught premiere – audiences members fainted, ambulances had to be called – have transformed what would otherwise be considered a niche oddity into a kind of mettle-testing rite of passage. That said, the surprise of the film is not its extremity – though it did certainly cause its fair share of agonised squirming at the screening this critic attended, not to mention some indelicately suppressed gasps – but its sheer brilliance. Simply put, Raw is the finest horror debut since The Evil Dead, and quite possibly the most ingenious film to be released in this country for the last decade. An exploration of the sexual awakening and empowerment of a young vet student named Justine (Garance Marillier), Raw’s power lies in its blending of nuanced character study and full-on body horror. The minor gross-out set pieces of the film’s first half – scenes featuring everything from a ketamine-drugged horse to more cow anuses than one would perhaps expect – expertly rhyme with the unrelenting brutality of its blood-drenched latter section, and such is Ducournau’s

screenwriting skill that the aggressive jumps in tone feel satisfyingly abrupt rather than jarring. Indeed, although Marillier’s performance is masterful – her transition from virginal waif to vampy deviant is somehow both subtle and gloriously melodramatic – Ducournau is the star of the show here. By precisely establishing her world and her characters, the writer/director allows Raw’s themes to trickle out like so much bad blood, and though it touches on everything from familial secrets, to the divide between the body and the mind, and the toxicity of masculine culture, the film never does so in a way that feels excessive or academic. It all leads up to a taboo-shattering conclusion, a punchline with a stench so bad it will make the unprepared gag. But even in its brutal finale, the film shows off its renegade sense of humour, and Ducournau’s empathy for her lead stops Raw from becoming a mere exercise in cruelty or bad taste. There is nothing else to do now but recommend this film in the strongest possible terms. See Raw. Just make sure you have a bite to eat after, not before.

Joseph Earp

national Jelly Wrestling tour at the Metro Theatre on George Street. Bigger, better and wetter than ever, billing itself as the classiest event of the year, the wrestling matches will of course be in the midst of a gigantic party hosted by Marzi Panne, and featuring queer DJ faves NatNoiz, Cunningpants, Double A and Catlyfe. Expressions of interest in becoming a contestant are still welcome and tickets are available now. The tour will be travelling to Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin.

thebrag.com


arts in focus

game on Gaming news and reviews with Adam Guetti

With the Easter break now over, the gaming calendar swings back into gear with plenty to keep your controller warm. First up on Friday May 5 is Prey (PS4, XBO, PC). The space shooter finally sees the light of day thanks to Dishonored’s Arkane Studios after years of delays.

2017

If you prefer your action a little more superhuman, however, why not hold out until Wednesday May 17? That’s the day that Injustice 2 will fight its way onto XBO, PS4 and PC. Drawing on its predecessor’s success, the sequel continues the series’ dark tale with fresh new match-ups between Supergirl, Aquaman and Gorilla Grodd. Meanwhile, 3DS owners haven’t been forgotten, thanks to the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia. Dropping on Saturday May 20, the game is a modern recreation of Fire Emblem Gaiden which was previously only available in Japan. Updated visuals and gameplay should help everything play just like new. Skip ahead to Friday May 26 and the Nintendo Switch will also receive some much-needed love. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers aims to provide fans with updated single and multiplayer modes, as well as Evil Ryu and Violent Ken to pry you away from those mammoth Zelda sessions.

Dax for resisting the urge. Cons - 104 minutes long. - Exploitation of women for purely sexual characteristics – aren’t we past this? - A ‘joke’ is made over Reeva Steenkamp’s murder.

- Dax Shepherd looks way too much like Zach Braff and I’m concerned it’ll ruin Scrubs for me. - ‘California Love’ plays over the end credits. Don’t do that. You didn’t earn it. Rylan Dawson

Wrapping things up on Tuesday May 30 is Star Trek: Bridge Crew – a game that hopes to bolster another relatively quiet platform, the PSVR. Strapping on the headset allows you to help command the USS Aegisand, whose crew is on the hunt for a suitable new home world for the decimated Vulcan populace.

Sharing Is Caring

NEWS

MAY

New Releases

Remedy Entertainment, the team behind Max Payne, Alan Wake and the more recent Quantum Break, has claimed that its next game will be released on “a wider range of platforms”. It is assumed that the game, which is currently codenamed P7, will be run on the Remedy’s Northlight technology, which the developer claims it is bringing to PlayStation 4 consoles. This is interesting news as both Alan Wake and Quantum Break were exclusive to Microsoft consoles – the latter reportedly selling beyond expectations. That means that P7 would be the first Remedy game to launch on a PlayStation console since Max Payne 2 in 2003.

Objection! In legal news, it seems as though the ongoing feud between Valve and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) may soon come to a conclusion. The drama originally stemmed from Valve’s Steam Store – more specifically regarding its refund policies. Thankfully, an announcement has been made that both Valve’s attempt to appeal its $3 million fine and the ACCC’s crossappeal to further fight claims of misleading information will be heard together and are listed for hearing before a full court in New South Wales between July 31 and August 22. Here’s hoping the battle is able to come to a satisfactory close.

Review: Yooka-Laylee (PS4, XBO, PC)

reviewroundup

F

rom its inception, YookaLaylee wanted to be decidedly old-school – its DNA heavily modelled after N64 classic, BanjoKazooie. It makes sense, as many of those behind Yooka helped create the inspiration in question. But while the adventure will cause your heart to flutter at the nostalgic joy of it all, it’s also the very reason the experience occasionally falters.

■ Theatre

TALK

Playing at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House until Saturday May 20 In the current climate of large-scale media organisations announcing mass redundancies and citizen journalism taking over, the news itself continues to make headline news. As media ships sink around the world, politics is brought down with it. Sydney Theatre Company’s Talk makes an earnest attempt to discuss the entanglement and codependency of media and politics. John Behan (John Waters) is king of morning AM talkback. After he outs the defendant in a high-profile child molestation case for a prior conviction, the police arrive with a warrant for perverting the course of justice. Rather than complying, Behan locks down for a day-long broadcast, much to the chagrin of police and delight of the station managers. As the internet explodes with by-the-minute debate, retiring ABC journalist Taffy Campbell (Peter Kowitz) attempts in vain to get graduate recruit Danielle (Paige Gardiner) to dig a little deeper than 140 characters and pursue some leads. Meanwhile, acting editor of the Telegraph Julie Scott (Hannah Waterman) is working out how to fuel the fire while navigating a realm of conflicts of interest, both political and financial. The play’s characters seem to be mouthpieces for writer/director Jonathan Biggins’ frustrations on the fall of journalism, but ultimately land as cliches rather than arriving fully formed. While Talk is sharp, insightful and funny in parts, with a cast of ten playing 15 characters there is little time for any one person or theme to develop across the 100 minutes onstage.

The justification for your adventure is unsurprisingly simple. An evil foe has stolen a magical book, so chameleon Yooka and small bat Laylee must team up in order to get it back. What follows is a barrage of past platform game sensibilities. You’ll visit wildly varying worlds collecting Quills (to upgrade abilities) and Pagies (to open up levels), fight bosses, engage in quizzes and even ride the odd mine cart or two. There’s a seemingly limitless amount of gameplay on offer, but the reliance on the past can come at the expense of the larger game. The camera is a tad wonky, some elements need more polish and a lack of direction can also irk. Some will justify it with rose-tinted glasses, but even still, there’s no doubt that Yooka-Laylee is a heart-warming reminder of long ago, and quite enjoyable to boot.

Review: Mass Effect Andromeda (PS4, XBO, PC)

L

et’s get the obvious out of the way early: yes, Mass Effect Andromeda’s facial animations are often janky, awkward, and in some cases, downright laughable. It’s nothing you likely haven’t already heard, but move past that one lambasted element and you have the makings of some rather enjoyable science fiction fare.

As a Pathfinder, you must find humanity a new hospitable area to live amongst galactic complications, which allows for a refreshing break away from Commander Sheppard’s controversial tale. Less ideal is the rather one-note villain and the fact that BioWare seems to have bitten off more than it can chew this time around. Andromeda presents one of the series’ largest intergalactic worlds yet, but mars it all with a slew of technical difficulties. Combat, on the other hand, remains a highpoint and is actually some of the franchise’s best thus far. Mass Effect Andromeda might lack the thought or the scope of the original trilogy, but considering this is only the introduction of a presumably epic journey, you should cut it a little slack. The characters at the heart of the tale are still interesting, and there are a lot of foundations at play here that can be refined into something great.

Waters is simultaneously likeable and despicable as Behan, yet there seems to be little for him to work with beyond oscillating between arrogance and petulance. Kowitz’s Campbell essentially holds the play together as its moral centre, yet he spends the show spurting diatribe rather than affecting plot; the choice of a Scottish heritage for the character is also a little confounding. Gardiner’s Danielle, while a solid performance, is written as a capital ‘M’ millennial who has confusingly managed to land a coveted job at the ABC despite her indifference to the fourth estate. Rather than contribute to debate, she seems to be there to ape new media ideals for the amusement of a likely boomer audience. Mark Thompson’s design is striking and practical, with excellent attention to detail, staging the play across two levels and three workplaces. However, as none of the characters venture from their corner, there’s little drawing them together outside of ruminating on the developments in Behan’s studio. Ironically, the stalemate could have been played offstage, allowing more time for the other characters to develop their positions on the outcome as it unfolded.

Julian Ramundi thebrag.com

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 23


FOOD + DRINK

FEATURE

The Lion and Buffalo

THE 50 BEST COFFEESPartINThree: SYDNEY Eastern Suburbs WOOLLAHRA

Spicer Shop 2/128 Queen St The coffee here is on point and they are big fans of the macchiato. There’s homemade bread and nut milk on the menu.

WAVERLEY

Little Me 191 Bronte Rd Two words: Messina affogato. Need I say more? Yes? OK, then: they make an amazing pour-over.

The Trail

W

elcome back to the BRAG’s ongoing list of the best place to find a cup of joe in your locale, so that you can be that person who throws a fine-tuned judging eye at passers-by drinking 7-Eleven coffee, no matter where in Sydney you are. Last week we ventured over the bridge, and, continuing our spiral outwards, today we’ll cover the Eastern Suburbs – the land of Range Rovers, money and foliage. Follow the full list of the best coffees in Sydney at thebrag.com. POINT PIPER

Sugarloaf Espresso 2/95 O’Sullivan Rd Look, the service here might take a while, but that’s only because this place is constantly full of appreciative caffeine addicts. The blend is rich and fruity, with hints of cinnamon, and the milk is always beautifully textured. A pleasant stop on your walk to Point Piper.

VAUCLUSE

The Trail 34 New South Head Rd To have an unpretentious cafe in the Eastern Suburbs is nothing short of a miracle, but The Trail serves up a stellar shot with gorgeous baked goods, and no frills or fancy-frees. Little Marionette coffee is always a winner in my books.

DOUBLE BAY

BONDI

Little Jean 1/1 Kiaora Rd

bRu Coffee Bondi 101 Brighton Blvd

A single origin blend makes this place feel like a home away from home. It’s a full-bodied, rich and creamy cup that is consistently excellent, even when the cafe is rushed.

This small, slightly cluttered hideaway has won my heart for best joe in Bondi – and that’s a competitive title. Seeing the stacked Allpress takeaway cups is always a good sign for me that the coffee is going to be great, but this place blew expectations out of the water. I ordered a flat white and drank it in about ten seconds. No acidity, no aftertaste – just amazing, nutty, hearty coffee. And the folks here are excellent.

TAMARAMA

M Deli Cafe 32 Fletcher St There’s not a whole heap of choice in the coffees in Tamarama, but this place really is decent. You’re better off going up to Bondi if you have the time, but the ladies here are lovely and the coffee is strong.

CLOVELLY

TopHat Coffee Merchants 315 Clovelly Rd I’m a huge fan of speciality, single origin sourced coffee, and the folks here at TopHat are keen to tell you all about theirs. Obviously this place serves up the best pull around, but something about their Colombian bean is extra special, and changes every time you drink it. The first flat white I had here tasted of hazelnut, but now I’m detecting dark berry and honey flavours. So if intrigue is your thing, head for TopHat. Then head to the beach.

COOGEE

The Diver Cafe 250 Arden St Another great delivery of Little Marionette: the baristas here are exceptionally attentive to personal taste, promising a complimentary coffee if it’s not to your liking. Dark and strong, but very tasty.

SOUTH COOGEE

The Lion and Buffalo 199-203 Malabar Rd TopHat Coffee Merchants

24 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

I had a chat with one of the baristas here as he made my flat white, and laughed so hard I ended up choking. Apart from that wonderful experience, I can’t recommend the coffee here highly enough. The locals are fiercely loyal and it’s easy to see why. Smooth and easy to drink.

thebrag.com


FEATURE

FOOD + DRINK

The Top Three

Shakshukas In Sydney BY JESSICA WESTCOTT

L

ook. Whether we like it or not, the weather is getting colder. The days of whisking out of the surf and ordering a juice and an açai bowl at 5:30am are quickly disappearing. The winter of hot chocolates and porridge is coming. There is one breakfast food that seems to be especially comforting, like a hug from your nanna. I’m talking shakshuka. Despite its confusing name (people often think you’re just sneezing at them), this Israeli dish is not too far off taking the top spot in my favourite winter dishes list, brunch or otherwise. Forget measly pieces of avocado on bread for brekkie: this is a meal to put hair on your chest. Delicious tomato, basil leaves and spices create a wonderful base for eggs and sauce, running all over a piece of sourdough bread loaded up with smoky butter. I know; I can hear you salivating. But what makes shakshuka such a special brunch dish, and why is everyone who orders it so smug? Is it because this slightly foreign breakfast food gives off the feeling that we have finally found the holy grail of breakfast foods, perhaps even hurdling the eggs benedict? Is it because it sometimes includes kale? Maybe we’ll never know. But for restaurateurs, the resurrection of this breakfast dish and its introduction into mainstream culture has been a lifesaver, as it’s a great way to use up leftover ingredients from lunch the day before. Two poached eggs baked lightly in a tomato sauce in the oven – and served with a side of haloumi and avocado – is a surefire way to create a cheap, filling and delicious winter warmer that everyone will enjoy.

Shuk Bondi

HERE ARE THREE OF THE BEST SHAKSHUKAS WE’VE FOUND IN SYDNEY SO FAR.

Little Giant Roasters

Little Giant Roasters in Willoughby serves a shakshuka as big your face, presented in a cast iron dish, sprinkled with parsley. Simple, clean, elegant – although the combination of flavours is anything but. Basil, chilli and rosemary blend together with chopped chorizo, and there are giant pieces of wholegrain toast to mop it all up with. The tomato is rich and creamy, and not at all overpowering. At $18 you won’t be left feeling anything less than full and warm.

The true masters of the shakshuka are those people who’ve eaten them for breakfast since before they could spell ‘egg’. The fellas down at Shuk Bondi have this gorgeous dish down to a fine art. On offer is the traditional shakshuka with capsicum, tomato, onion, spices, eggs, olives and sourdough; as well as a green version with fennel, zucchini, kale, caramelised onion and feta. While you’re there, make sure to try the hummus with slow cooked lamb – it’s pretty obvious here that Israeli food Israeli-good.

Along with their CBD and Rosebery locations, Grandma’s At McEvoy, Alexandria is one of the go-to institutions in Sydney for a great bowl of baked eggs. A good shakshuka is all about the herbs, and this place uses them to pack a punch. It’s strong on basil and chilli to enhance the tomato flavours, but stay away from the classic if you’re not a fan of heat. Grandma cooks up a number of mouthwatering versions of the dish, and apart from the classic shakshuka, the beef bolognese shakshuka and the wood fired eggplant and tomato shakshuka are guaranteed brunch knockouts. All the bread is homemade and melts in your mouth, and there’s great coffee to boot. Grandma’s At McEvoy

Little Giant Roasters

thebrag.com

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 25


Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...

ALBUM OF THE WEEK LITTLE DRAGON Season High Because/Warner

Perhaps the most significant ingredient in Little Dragon’s fifth studio album comes by way of UK producer, James Ford. The Gothenburg four-piece has teamed up with Ford – better known as one half of Simian Mobile Disco – for the follow-up to 2014’s critically acclaimed Nabuma Rubberband. Back then, vocalist Yukimi Nagano was candid about the fact she entered the creative process with no plan whatsoever, resulting in arguably their most left-field, morose output to date. On Season High, it seems Ford has his shoulder of influence firmly to the wheel.

Little Dragon’s natural dichotomy between downtempo and dancefloor is clearly still alive and well, though Ford’s sway on recent single ‘Sweet’, the seductive club roller ‘Strobe Light’ and the bass hook menace of ‘Push’ invoke all the electro strut and swag of SMD’s brightest debut offerings. ‘High’, the album’s first single, is as velvety an R&B groove as you’re likely to find, while ‘Butterflies’ bookends the first half beautifully with a time-stopping spiral of beatless, multi-synth atmospherics. Underpinning everything is an ’80s soul club aesthetic, from the kitsch drum machines, frisky bass and vocoders of opener ‘Celebrate’ (feat. Agge) to the rave’n’roll of ‘The Pop Life’.

xxx

Season High largely departs from its predecessor’s melancholy and injects a rejuvenating shot of acrylic 4/4. Lee Coleman

“Little Dragon’s natural dichotomy between downtempo and dancefloor is clearly still alive and well.”

INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK BLEEDING KNEES CLUB Chew The Gum Inertia

Despite the absence of co-founder and creative stimulus Jordan Malane, Alex Wall has ploughed ahead to record the first Bleeding Knees Club release since 2013. But this is no part-time effort. In recruiting new members (Michael Barker, Gio Alexander and Nick Leighton), Wall’s output is held together by the same set of devices – those garage pop tropes that have stood him in good stead throughout his career. Chew The Gum possesses a sense of surface-level familiarity, but on top of that, retains a distinct energy twice as developed. Sonically, the EP plays like a smorgasbord of exuberant Nuggets-style raucous and jugular tones that waver along the peak of the ’90s, owing as much to the classic Californian skate punk sound as they do to The Beach Boys.

The EP clocks in at just over ten minutes, and even though Bleeding Knees Club do short tracks well, each song really is as long as it needs to be, the brevity never strained or surprising. From the rambling vocals that swell across guitarscuzzed pools in ‘Cyber Doom’ to the buoyant layers of longing and reflection in ‘Sun House’, the overarching feeling is one of sparkling bliss. Kiera Thanos

“Wall’s output is held together by the same set of devices – those garage pop tropes that have stood him in good stead throughout his career.”

FIRST DRAFTS Unearthed demos and unfinished hits, as heard by Nathan Jolly THE STONE ROSES – ‘SHE BANGS THE DRUMS’ 3am as it does being strummed in a field. It’s an anthem.

T

he first Stone Roses album is routinely regarded as one of the finest ever made, straddling the line between psychotropic ’60s music and the beat-driven dance tunes engulfing Manchester at the time. Key to the band’s success in breaking through to the mainstream was the sunny love song ‘She Bangs The Drums’. On this almost perfect pop record, the guitar jangles and dances around a loose-but-tight drum groove that drives the verses towards a truly triumphant chorus. “Have you seen her, have you heard” – you know the one. It sounds like falling in love, like taking drugs, like sunshine and citrus. It sounds equally at home being blasted out of a sweaty nightclub at

26 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

Things could have been quite different. The demo version is way more subdued, with only a kick drum driving the rhythm, while a beautifully played guitar line weaves throughout. All the same elements are in play, but without those boisterous drums the entire thing seems limp. It’s still a remarkably pretty song: both the vocal melody and guitar parts ensure this, but even when the drums kick in during a post-chorus bridge they don’t have an effect anywhere near transcendence. It’s an interesting distinction, because aside from the drums, there is very little that has changed between the recording of this demo and the final version. It showcases the power of a good groove, as supplied by the band’s insanely talented drummer Reni. An even earlier acoustic demo, with only Ian Brown’s rather sweet vocals and a palm-muted guitar in the verses, contains a completely different chorus, with Brown singing, “She builds me up with all I need /

She gives me hope, she gives me speed.” This version is charming, sounding like a lost Simon & Garfunkel recording (although Simon can obviously pitch a bit better than Brown), but the song wouldn’t have made a dent in 1989 in either form. “Kiss me where the sun don’t shine / The past was yours but the future’s mine” sounds less like an intergenerational kiss-off when it is cooed over chirping guitars. ‘She Bangs The Drums’ was The Stone Roses’ first top 40 hit in the UK, charting in July of 1989. By November they had recorded and released the grammar-less ‘Fools Gold’, which relied almost entirely on a drum groove and a bass pattern. It was their first top ten hit, and remains the band’s most famous track. Subsequent recordings took this formula further, being built from the drums up, but with ‘She Bangs The Drums’ they cracked the perfect blend. Hear the original acoustic version and demo of ‘She Bangs The Drums’ at thebrag.com.

“It sounds equally at home being blasted out of a sweaty nightclub at 3am as it does being strummed in a field. It’s an anthem.” thebrag.com


brag beats

Off The Record Dance and Electronica with Alex Chetverikov

Death, Resurrection And Rebirth In Australian Electronic Music E

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aster is, ultimately, a time of celebration. To some, the symbol of death, resurrection and rebirth is paramount. This week, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m considering all three in a little news wrap-up of recent events. First, the announcement that Ultra Music Festival is to feature in Melbourne next year. This is the sort of news that you greet with a tangible mixture of burgeoning possibility and utter dread. The burgeoning possibility of an incredible array of artists (and decent sideshows, with any luck) gracing our shores. And the utter dread of this being infested with those Stereosonic acolytes (a problem that parent Ultra Music Festival in Miami unavoidably experiences). I recoil a little at the thought of oversaturation, and we can only hope Ultra doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t strictly pander to the popular. A bit of local representation would surely not go astray, either. The Sydney Opera House and its increasingly open approach to bookings has been one of the most refreshing developments amid, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it, a very sobering couple of years for music venues in Sydney. Underworld recently brought the sheer euphoria of rave to the Concert Hall, and Vivid promises Richie Hawtin in a more intimate approach to his craft and creative process. What does this mean for electronic music? A new audience and demographic, for starters! When it comes to clubs, Marrickvilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ricardoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Darlinghurstâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The

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Ikutaro Kakehashi Bunk3r feature as two bright spots in the evolving landscape of Sydney music nightlife. And yes, it is evolving. And it will recover and be as bright and wonderful and diverse as it ever was. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to consider our ageing population, of course, but in equal parts, Australia is still a young and modern culture with a rapid rate of population growth. With designs on three Sydney city hubs in the coming decade, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an incredible wealth of creative opportunity just waiting to be realised.

HORNSOFLEROY.COM

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Finally, most who know already know that Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi recently passed on. And what an incredible figure in modern music, let alone electronic music. In an ideal world, we might loft his legacy further in the public arena. Vale Ikutaro, and may your life work remain untarnished by a bloated marketplace of Roland remakes.

wed

19 Apr

THURSDAY FROM 6PM

thu

20 Apr

(9:00PM - 12:00AM)

(9:00PM - 12:00AM)

sun

21

(10:00PM - 1:45AM)

Apr

Richie Hawtin

Karaoke

Underworldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s live Everything, Everything performance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to say Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d actually forgotten just how versatile this group really was across genre, without ever steeping themselves too heavily in any one camp. Cobblestone Jazzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Northern Lights EP is another beauty Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve admired for a while now â&#x20AC;&#x201C; beautiful shimmering Rhodes keys drift across 11 minutes of evolving bassline. Mathew Jonson (as part of a trio) is of course all over this.

FRIDAY APRIL 21 SATURDAY APRIL SATURDAY APRIL FRIDAY MAY 19 Tempent #006 Youngsta 22 29

thebrag.com

Sounds Of Afrobeats Festival 2017 Greenwood Hotel Jeremy Olander Goodbar

Apr

(7:30PM - 10:30PMď&#x161;Ż

Metro Theatre

FRIDAY MAY 26 Front Left 1.0 First Birthday Red Rattler Theatre

(10:00PM)

mon

24 Apr

sat

22 Apr

(10:00PM - 1:15AM)

EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT

Party DJs

22 DJ Podgee Atrium sat

Apr in the

(8:30PM - 11:30PM)

ANZAC DAY

ď&#x161;Ž5:45PM ď&#x161;ş 8:45PMď&#x161;Ż

RECOMMENDED Record Store Day Out 2017 The Record Store, Darlinghurst

23

in the Atrium

THIS WEEKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PLAYLIST

- feat. French Prints, Rogue Gentleman Secret Inner West warehouse

in the Atrium

ď&#x161;Ž3:30PM ď&#x161;ş 6:30PMď&#x161;Ż

(5:00PM - 8:00PM)

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TRIVIA

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25

(12:00PM - 3:00PM)

Apr

(4:00PM - 7:00PM) (8:00PM - 11:00PM)

ď&#x161;Ž9:30PM ď&#x161;ş 1:30AMď&#x161;Ż

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 27


snaps

VIEW FULL GALLERIES AT

santana + the doobie brothers

10:04:17 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666

13:04:17 :: Qudos Bank Arena :: Sydney Olympic Park

PICS :: AM

trombone shorty & orleans avenue

PICS :: AM

thebrag.com/snaps

on the record WITH

LUKE YEOWARD The Last Thing I Recorded The First Record I Bought Recently I went to the USA to record 4. 1.  Michael Jackson – Dangerous. When that my debut solo album as a result of a album came out I think I was like five years old. I somehow acquired it on cassette. I fuckin’ thrashed it on the tape deck in our kitchen and would dance and sing my arse off in my socks on the lino floor. Very inspiring at such a young age. I thought he was a god. The Last Record I Bought 2.  Toots and The Maytals – Funky Kingston. I had never owned a copy of this on vinyl, then I saw it in a second hand store and grabbed it. Best Toots record, hands down. It’s got all of my favourites and that early ’70s Jamaican production of the time was fucking spot on. Everything I love about music and recording exists on this album. Heart and soul. The sound of trying hard. The sound of making do with what you’ve got. The sound of people playing together. Grit. Love. Pressure. Happiness. The whole lot. The First Thing I Recorded 3.  I started out as a street busker doing simple covers and songs I’d written when I was still primary school age in New Zealand. My mum gave me her old acoustic guitar and I just kinda learned a few chords and went from there. My first punk rock band started when I was 13 and we did our first recording on an eight-track that belonged to our school. The songs were awful and the sound was awful, but fuck it was fun. It was punk rock!

28 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

successful crowdfunding campaign. I wrote and recorded most of the album in under a month. I connected really well with my old friend J Bonner (ex-Aggrolites, currently Jandisc Records) and I ended up recording most of the album in his garage with old analogue gear straight to tape! Ghosts is all set for release on April 21 and it features co-writes and guest appearances from an array of legends including Chris Cheney (The Living End), J Bonner (The Black Emeralds), Dan Smith (ex-Dear & Departed), Marc Orrell (ex-Dropkick Murphys), Scott Abels (Hepcat), Suzi Charmichael, Mark Johnson, Agostino Soldati, Jason Castillo and Salina Cano. The Record That Changed My Life 5. Rancid – Life Won’t Wait. That album well and truly cemented me in rock’n’roll forever. I loved that it was diverse. It incorporated punk, soul, reggae, dancehall, rockabilly, ska, pop, and hardcore. Definitely the Sandinista of the ’90s for me. I spoke to Tim Armstrong lots about this album and some of the stories from when they were recording it in Jamaica. It made me love it even more. Punx forever! What: Ghosts out Friday April 21 through Half Way Records/Sony

thebrag.com


live reviews What we’ve been out to see...

LAURA MVULA, MARCUS WHALE

say she’s ecstatic to be in town for her first Sydney show, proudly conquering her fear of flying in the process. The feeling among the now almost full Metro Theatre is mutual.

Me Fall’, of which the repeated phrase “no looking back when hope is pushing forwards” seals the room’s warm sense of reflection and unity.

Marcus Whale certainly knows how to make serious music. The polarity of his searching, coiling vocals painted onto muscular lo-fi beats is one that colours a very spiritual, if a little grey, canvas. Difficult to hold onto at times, but no less intriguing, his showcase of debut album Inland Sea steadily absorbs the early evening punters.

The seven-piece band, complete with brother and sister pair James and Dionne Douglas (cello and guitar, respectively) take their positions before playing Mvula in under a blinding assault of bleached strobe lighting. Mvula revels in the limelight, and when the band’s intro draws to a close she’s marked firmly centre stage, white keytar slung over shoulder, ready for combat – albeit very flamboyant combat.

The audience soon trades its dancing shoes when the charismatic, admirably candid Mvula slips down a couple of gears with ‘Flying Without You’. She enlists the crowd to sing out on the extended coda, only to tease them to “finish whenever you like”. It’s a remarkably cathartic moment on both sides of the barrier and one that sums up the night’s ‘happy tears’ tone.

Metro Theatre Wednesday April 12

“There was a time when I thought Birmingham to Glasgow was far – this is far!” says headliner Laura Mvula. It’s fair to

The soulful, almost tribal call to arms of ‘Overcome’ backs onto the body-moving ‘Let

Humour is an intrinsic device in the show’s success, not least because Mvula is genuinely funny – highlights include lamenting

over her ironing board-like keytar, sibling band members not getting paid on time and her mum’s renewed sense of hope following Prince Harry getting a black girlfriend – but more importantly it releases the emotional pressure valve, bringing everyone, herself included, repeatedly back to a state of reset in the wake of her music’s emotional intensity. Stylistically, Mvula carves a classical soul-pop sound that defies absolute definition. Whether it’s the sunny beams of ‘Green Garden’ or the sullen ‘Sing To The Moon’, her viscerality fuels her strongest moments – and there are plenty, all adding up to a very reflective yet present experience. Lee Coleman

PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR

Sydney Opera House Tuesday April 11 There was a rave at the Sydney Opera House last Tuesday night. Never mind the recent spate of electronic acts to grace the SOH Concert Hall, Four Tet, Disclosure and Oneohtrix Point Never among them. I’d wager that none shattered these historical walls quite like Underworld, the inimitable UK duo. This was a spectacular, subversive overload of the sensorium, made all the more so by the notion of having a rager where concert pianists and opera divas alike might have stood only hours or days earlier.

If the warm drones of opener ‘Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You’ raised us to suspension “30,000 feet above the Earth”, the driving groove of ‘Juanita’ soon shook off the notion this was to be anything but a Tuesday dance party. Within moments of that warm drone filling the concert space, the crowd had risen as one, swept into the bubbling build of euphoria that Underworld have perfected over 30-odd years. There’s much to justify the ‘timeless’ descriptor they’re often afforded – the bouncy bassline and swelling synths of ‘Jumbo’, for example, which pre-date the Kompakt-inspired rise of moody tech house. Or the turn-of-the-centuryhouse-cum-trance of ‘Two Months Off’, blissfully crooned by the sprightly Karl

vintage trouble

Hyde, a captive crowd responding to his observational warehouse poetry with impulsive jerks. What’s most remarkable isn’t just that Underworld remain enduringly popular; a sold-out performance is testament enough to that. It’s in the versatile approach of their enduring marriage of new-wave romantic to the blare of the big room. Though there was little to separate much of it from previously recorded versions, the very essence of their music is straddled with the universal concept of emotion. ‘Born Slippy’, their “parting gift”, in all its heady bombast and hedonistic elation, exemplified this idea of familiar emotion; showered as we were in uniform light and dumb smiles to ear.

It’s as much in their eye and ear for spectacle. It’s in Hyde’s frisky swing of the hips and urban turn of phrase; he who provided the humanising touchstone with characteristic urban mantras that, Trainspotting and lager lager lagers aside, shaped a generation from Manchester to Glastonbury and Sydney. The Opera House show saw Underworld’s devoted dangling in a state of glorious suspension, softly pummelled by the sinister, frenzied boilover of ‘Moaner’ and anthemic melody of ‘King Of Snake’, punctuated by the impressively relentless crash of strobes and light work. Such was the euphoria of the communal smile that, even in their subtler moments, we revelled in dance. Alex Chetverikov

PICS :: AM

UNDERWORLD

12:04:17 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St Darlinghurst 9332 3711

thebrag.com

BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17 :: 29


live + snaps

VIEW FULL GALLERIES AT

thebrag.com/snaps PHOTOGRAPHER :: ASHLEY MAR

MARY J. BLIGE

Sydney Opera House Monday April 10 There was a moment in the middle of Mary J. Blige’s Sydney Opera House gig that said it all. The stage had gone dark and silent. The 46-year-old stood tall in the spotlight and with arms raised and biceps clenched, breathlessly said: “I’m still here.” Blige’s quarter-century career is still going strong. Only last month she released ‘Love Yourself’ featuring Kanye West, a single signalling her continued relevance in music. The track, from forthcoming album Strength Of A Woman, kicked off the show, swiftly followed by a song from a decade earlier, ‘Just Fine’. Then hit followed hit in a relentless ’90s medley – including ‘You Bring Me Joy’, ‘Love Is All We Need’, ‘Real Love’, ‘Love No Limit’ – Blige’s seven-piece backing band conjuring the vibe of the era for the swaying crowd. Blige can move. She is still the fashion icon in side-split bodysuit, thigh-high boots and blonde bob. She can hit every note, and how.

everyone that it is not cool to slap another person around. “I have expertise in these sort of things,” she said. It is no secret that Blige has seen some tough times and toxic relationships. She is currently going through a very messy and very public divorce. “I’m in the thick of it right now,” she told the crowd. “But I’ve seen the light”. The admission made the rest of the set all the more powerful. ‘Share My World’ was followed by the defiant ‘Take Me As I Am’ and ‘Good Woman Down’. Blige then introduced her band members from off stage, giving each bars to shine. And they did. A costume change later and Blige returned with the sun-drenched ‘My Life’ and Rose Royce cover ‘I’m Going Down’. Then new ones ‘U + Me (Love Lesson)’ and ‘Thick Of It’ before the climax. ‘Not Gon’ Cry’ and ‘No More Drama’ produced an outburst of emotion from the singer who staggered across the stage, seemingly overcome with painful memories that eventually left her flat on her back.

The songs then got raw – ‘Enough Cryin’, ‘I Can Love You’, ‘Don’t Mind’ – before Blige grabbed a chair and took a seat, centre stage.

But you can’t keep Blige down. Finishing with a joyous rendition of trademark ‘Family Affair’, let there be no doubt: Blige is still here. And stronger than ever.

She spoke to the fellas. Then she spoke to the queens. She told

George Nott

name that song What famous song from the ’90s is this illustration depicting?

Tell us at facebook.com/thebragsydney for your chance to win a musical prize. 30 :: BRAG :: 709 :: 19:04:17

ART BY KEIREN JOLLY thebrag.com


g g guide gig g send your listings to : gigguide@seventhstreet.media

pick of the week

For our full gig and club listings, head to thebrag.com/gig-guide.

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

WEDNESDAY APRIL 19

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry

Metro Theatre M

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

+ All Our Exes Live In Texas 7:30pm. $61.40. WEDNESDAY APRIL 19 Elspeth Tremblay + Paige Allbritton + Karl Kaiser-Schmidt The Gasoline Pony, Marrickville. 8pm. $5. Mélisande Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham. 7:30pm. $15. Michael Kiwanuka + Ainslie Wills Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $59.90.

THURSDAY APRIL 20 Booker T. Jones Presents The Stax Revue Metro Theatre, Sydney. 7:30pm. $73.30. Colin Lillie Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $9.50. Hashshashin + Kodiak Empire + Stare At The Clouds Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $12.

The iconic protest songwriter Billy Bragg is joined by Grammy Award winner Joe Henry to perform their songs from the road and rails.

Gareth Liddiard

Newtown Social Club, Newtown. Sunday April 23. 7pm. $28.24. The Drones frontman returns to the Sydney stage in what will be a sad but triumphant farewell to the departing Newtown Social Club.

Nic Cester The Basement, Circular Quay. 7:30pm. $44.

Liz Stringer + Timothy Nelson Camelot Lounge, Marrickville. 6pm. $22.90.

Oh Pep! Newtown Social

Lyle Byrdland + Glenn Lumanta + Enter The Jaguar Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 8pm. $12. Strand Of Oaks + Endless Boogie Newtown Social Club, Newtown. 7:30pm. $42.43.

FRIDAY APRIL 21 Middle Kids Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $15.

Gemma Ray

Gareth Liddiard

Iggy Pop’s 70th Birthday Bash – feat: Clive Of India + Dead Farmers + Shearin + Alex Wilson (Sleepmakeswaves) + Buddy Glass Union Hotel, Newtown. 7pm. Free.

Tony Joe White + Leah Flanagan The Basement, Circular Quay. 7pm. $50.

Middle Kids

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point. Wednesday April 19. 8:30pm. $69.

NYCK Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $12.

Club, Newtown. 8pm. $17.74. Prince – A Tribute – feat: Late Nite Tuff Guy Metro Theatre, Sydney. 8pm. $61.60. Romance In Paradise Festival – feat: Orion + Sex Tourists + Nina Tash Sultana

Gemma Ray + Gris De Lin Leadbelly, Newtown. Monday April 24. 6pm. $23.50.

Berlin-based British songwriter and film composer Gemma Ray brings her torch songs Down Under.

Buchanan + Black Deity + Twinrova and more Marrickville Bowling Club, Marrickville. 5pm. $35. The Tea Party & Sydney Youth Orchestras The Star, Pyrmont. 8pm. $100.80.

SATURDAY APRIL 22 AM//PM April – feat: Deez Nuts + Diamond Construct + Honest Crooks Burdekin Hotel, Darlinghurst. 9pm. $15. Ben David + Isaac Graham + Mick Foley + Millie Ivaschenko The Bearded Tit, Redfern. 4pm. Free. Choirboys: A Homage to AC/DC Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill. 8pm. $35. Hellions + Endless Heights + The Brave + Introvert Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst. 8pm. $23.10.

Housefox Fest 2017 – feat: Pyscroptic + Toe To Toe + 4 Barrel Hemi + Black Rheno + Conquerors + Down For Tomorrow + Marvell + Na Maza + Speakeasy + The Shadez + Yanomamo Narrabeen RSL, North Narrabeen. 2pm. $39.80. Peking Duk + Ivan Ooze + Mallrat Enmore Theatre, Newtown. 7:15pm. $52.10. Protest The Hero + Closure In Moscow + Genetics + Hemina + Scoredatura + Red Bee + Junk Head + Sevens Factory Theatre, Marrickville. 6pm. $49.50.

SUNDAY APRIL 23 Tash Sultana + Ocean Alley + Ruben Stone Metro Theatre, Sydney. 7:30pm. $45.10.

XXX

The Record Company + Andy Golledge Newtown Social

Club, Newtown. 7pm. $48.50.

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry


CAM KNIGHT +++++

CO HOST OF UNREAL ESTATE, CH 9. SEEN ON JUST FOR LAUGHS SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, ABC’S SOUL MATES, WHAM BAM THANKYOU MA’AM, HOW NOT TO BEHAVE AND BACKSEAT DRIVERS.

“WILL HAVE YOU IN STITCHES” - THE ADVERTISER

+++++

“KNIGHT STANDS ALONE AS THE MASTER OF ALL MASTERS” - LAST LAUGH

++++ / 1

2

“WILL LEAVE AN INDELIBLE IMPRESSION” - HERALD SUN

17TH – 21ST MAY, 9.30PM (8.30PM SUNDAY) ENMORE THEATRE TIX: WWW.CAMKNIGHT.COM.AU

Design by

@miss1emon

Brag#709  

SYDNEY’S FREE WEEKLY STREET PRESS Hitting the streets, with the best music, culture and events, every Wednesday. This issue: • Sydney Comedy...

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