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Giles Fitzgerald. Director of Delicious Innovation through the application of Binomial Mathematics. Wagon Wheels Product Innovation Team. Janitor (part-time)
Deliciousness is a part of my DNA. And so are skivvies. “Webster’s Dictionary deﬁnes delicious as highly pleasing or agreeable to the senses, especially of taste or smell, originating from the French ‘delicieus’ from the latin ‘deliciosus’ with its colloquial shortening to ‘delish’ ﬁrst recorded in 1920 and the title of a highly successful Gershwin romantic comedy ﬁlm from 1931 was also ‘Delicious’ starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, directed by David Butler, and featuring music by George and Ira Gershwin, including the introductory song ‘New York Rhapsody’. It was a classic, which nobody in my kindergarten could ever understand to its fullest extent. Webster’s Dictionary does not
yet deﬁne ‘Wagon Wheels’. But if they did I’m sure they would say it was delicious. Because Wagon Wheels are delicious. I once wrote a letter to the editor of the dictionary in regards to this very important matter, and his reply was thus; ‘Thank you for your enquiry Mr. Fitzgerald. But at this time we are not taking submissions from crackpots. Kind regards, Dick Webster, Webster’s Dictionary.’ However, we are taking submissions. If you believe you can reinvent the Wagon Wheel to make it even more delicious, go to www.wagonwheels.com.au and show us how you’d reinvent the Wagon Wheel to enter the draw to win $8008.
>RANDOM. BUT RIGHT
Competition starts 1/8/10. Ends 11.59pm AEST 10/9/10. Open to Australian residents 18+. Limit 10 entries per person per day. Each design must be substantially unique. All valid entries go into a draw which will take place at 10/20-28 Rickety Street, Mascot NSW 2020 at 3pm AEST on 24/09/10. Winners of prizes valued over $250 published in The Australian 8/10/10. Promoter: Arnott’s Biscuits Limited, ABN 44 008 435 729, 24 George Street, North Strathﬁeld, NSW 2137. NSW LTPS/10/6502, VIC 10/2395, ACT TP10/3027, SA T10/1648. Terms and Conditions at http://www.wagonwheels.com.au/termsConditions.html.
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C A T C H T H E M L I V E T O U R I N G THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 16 - THE FITZROY HOTEL, WINDSOR FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 17 - THE METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18 - WOLLONGONG UNI, WOLLONGONG 6 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
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rock music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
five things WITH
MAGNETIC HEADS Lynn, Brian Ferry, Bowie, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Ian McCulloch/Echo & The Bunnymen, Morrissey/The Smiths. Then there’s New York... well, David Byrne. And Australia, we’re from here and we like it. The Go Betweens for example: hero band. The Church, The Triffids, Nick Cave, [early] INXS, etc etc etc. We like modern stuff too - too hard to list that though. Let’s just stick with Damon Albarn for now. Your Band Is almost a family band, ruined only by 3. outer-gene-pool degenerates Evan and Chris.
Growing Up Inspirations Was hard not to do. Thankfully the average Blade Runner (and the psychology of 1. 2. age of our band is getting younger. All praise androids in general). Film is good too, and youth and the Internet (fountain of everlasting immaturity). As to its impact on our band? Thanks to decent musician parents, we turned out orright. We’re only just managing to fight off the urge to burn our guitars and be iPod DJs.
then there are all those bands that we’ve listened to. It’s probably easier to talk about general periods and locations than bands when it comes to our sound. Late ‘70s early ‘80s Britain is a good starting point: Jeff
Unfortunately they’re too good to kick out. Jonathon (Des) and William Miller often play exclusive games of 500 against Lucy and David Kaldor, just to rub it in. The Kaldors win... Always. Being a six-piece keeps it interesting (and noisy), but we’ll be trying our hardest to keep it simple and interesting at the Hollywood. We’ll also be trying our hardest to fit into the small corner “stage” in the front bar without falling down the stairs. The Music You Make Features 24 guitar strings, as often as 4. possible. We’ve got a penchant for 12-string guitars these days... We’ve also got an EP to come out all-proper-like real soon (we
promise), which features these instruments and more. In the mean time, you can go to our website and listen to our single ‘Blind’ or watch the rad film clip made by our amazing friend Michaela Sanders. Also, if you come to the Hollywood on Wednesdays this September, you’ll be able to get a superlimited release version of the EP. They’ll be semi-analogue (CD), semi-digital (download). All part of our android-modernity merch theme… Music, Right Here, Right Now The Maple Trail, Deep Sea Arcade, Roxy 5. Music (They’re coming out here! It counts!), Crayon Fields, (getting drunk with) Dappled Cities... their music is cool too. If you listen really hard you’ll hear Jonathon playing strings on ‘The Price’. Belles Will Ring God damnit. PVT (who doesn’t like them?). We could list all of our friend’s bands too, but we’re aware there’s a word limit. So, “YO!” friends! Who: Magnetic Heads Where: Hollywood Hotel When: First four Wednesdays of September @ 8pm
TRASH MOVES TO THE CROSS
PUBLISHERS: Adam Zammit & Rob Furst EDITOR IN CHIEF: Adam Zammit 9552 6333 email@example.com EDITOR: Steph Harmon firstname.lastname@example.org 9552 6333 ARTS EDITORS & ASSOCIATES: Dee Jefferson & Caitlin Welsh email@example.com 9552 6333 STAFF WRITER: Jake Stone firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS CO-ORDINATORS: Chris Murray, Chris Honnery ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Dara Gill SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: Ashley Mar, Rosette Rouhana, Daniel Munns, Patrick Stevenson, Susan Bui, Robert Lee, Maja Baska COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: Violet Parr SALES/MARKETING MANAGER: Blake Rayner 0404 304 929 / (02) 9552 6672 email@example.com ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 9552 6618 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Sara Golchin - (02) 9552 6747 email@example.com GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Christian Moraga - firstname.lastname@example.org (rock) email@example.com (dance) INTERN: Rach Seneviratne REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Joshua Blackman, Mikey Carr, Bridie Connell, Bridie Connellan, Oliver Downes, Tony Edwards, Christie Eliezer, Murray Engleheart, Chris Familton, Lucy Fokkema, Mike Gee, Thomas Gilmore, Alice Hart, Kate Hennessy, Chris Honnery, Nathan Jolly, Andy McLean, Amelia Schmidt, Romi Scodellaro, Xanthe Seacret, Jonno Seidler, RK, Luke Telford, Beth Wilson, Alex Young
“Holy shit, the fun I can have with that headline,” I thought. But the immense possibilities for humour have made it impossible to decide on just one witty introduction so instead here we are, rambling and just telling you straight up that Trash is upgrading to a new venue at Plantation (The Empire Hotel) in the underbelly of the Cross. It relaunches on Saturday September 11 with cheap drinks, a full nightclub area and loads of lounges to pass out on... “I wasn’t even asleep, just looking down, honest!”
FREE SEA SLUGS
If a guy in a ratty sweater, Bob Marley t-shirt and dreads hands you a flyer which is more pulp than paper with this headline on it, the best way to deal with it is by throwing it somewhere that isn’t a bin, and dumping a load of those plastic drink-pulls that birds choke on into the wild… Only The Sea Slugs aren’t giving away pamphlets for non-existent causes, but they are giving away everything else on their Free///Spree tour. Free EPs, free entry to a three-week Wednesday night residency at Spectrum (September 5, 22 and 29), free magazines and free merch. Go along and check it out. For free. You Am I Sia
YOU AM I NEW ALBUM, NEW TOUR
Despite the geographical inconsistencies in the song ‘Purple Sneakers’, Tim Rogers has risen to become the best Australian songwriter of all time. Keen to rub his superiority in your face, You Am I are set to release their eighth album and embark on a national tour. October 16 is when they pass through Sydney (or slowly make their way to the venue a few hours before the show from down the road), and youami.com.au have special ticket/ album packages available from Monday September 6 - which is now, or yesterday or even a few days ago. Hurry!
Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this address 153 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 ph - (02) 9552 6333 fax - (02) 9552 6866 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher, Editor or Staff of The Brag. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Stephen Forde : firstname.lastname@example.org ph - (03) 9428 3600 fax - (03) 9428 3611 Furst Media, 3 Newton Street Richmond Victoria 3121 DEADLINES: Editorial Wednesday 12pm (no extensions) Art Work, Ad Bookings Thursday 12pm (no extensions) Ad Cancellations Tuesday 4pm Published by Cartrage P/L ACN 104026388 All content copyrighted to Cartrage 2003 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get The Brag? email email@example.com or ph 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: www.spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 Win a giveaway? Mail us an stamped and addressed envelope, and we’ll send it on over
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TOBY MARTIN RESIDENCY
JAGER PUTS ON AIRS
After a number of rowdy white coats from the Australian Institute of Radiography crashed last year’s ceremony, Jagermeister have wisely changed the name of the Jagermeister AIR Awards to the Jagermeister Independent Music Awards. This year, leading the nominations are Dan Sultan, Sia and Cloud Control. British India, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Bridezilla are up for various awards too. Meanwhile Scott Dooley will be MCing the evening in the noble tradition of Young MC, MC Hammer and MC Rakim before him. Totally happening October 1 at Festival Hall, Melbourne.
There’s a homely bar in Darlinghurst named the Low Bar (homely in the bar sense, not to be mistaken with homely in the dumpy, plain, ill-fitting floral dress sense), with wooden floorboards, strange new beers, and a piano in the corner (use a coaster – actually, just don’t touch it.) Youth Group frontman Toby Martin will be playing here every Sunday for free, throughout September. Be there at 8pm. And seriously, don’t touch the piano.
BIRDS OF TOKYO WILL SELL OUT
There are going to be no extra Birds Of Tokyo shows on this tour and two of the shows have already sold out. You hear me? Buy your tickets! The show is at the Hordern and it will feature special guests Silversun Pickups (which should be worthy of your time alone). So, after purchasing our tickets from Ticketek, we’ll meet on Thursday September 30 at the Fox and Lion for a few pre-show beverages. We’ll then wander up to the Subway and smash a footlong toasted meatball with mozzarella and all salad (better value than
being picky), before we head back down to the Hordern and get out tickets scanned and enjoy the shit out of the show.
ANOTHER U2 SHOW!
U2 have just announced another show at ANZ Stadium, the night after their sold-out show on Monday December 13. Dashing the support-slot hopes of garage-chillwave-nufunk seven-pieces all over Sydney, it was confirmed Jay-Z will be opening for them again on the Tuesday night. PWN3D!!!1!
Lior has spent the past year playing around in ‘intimate mode’, which usually means one man strumming an acoustic, being accompanied by archaic string instruments like double basses and violins at venues as un-rock and roll as the Sydney Opera House. Well, he is fed up with such high ideals, and keen to “kick out the jams” with a full live band, a national tour and an album due out on October 1 through Inertia. November 6 sees him play The Metro in the least intimate affair since you made out behind the portaloos at Big Day Out… It’ll be more memorable, too!
GIG OF THE WEEK
In a piece of MASSIVE news, we are blown away to have Mike Herrera of MxPx performing a solo show at HOT DAMN this Thursday! Yep, legendary punk outﬁt MxPx’s front man will be in town, and will be dropping by to perform a special acoustic showcase after the bands in Spectrum. This is a huge honour for us, and it’s going to be one of those special moments that you can brag about to your mates for years to come, never mind the mad props and cred you’ll earn by being able to say “I was there” :P MIKE HERRERA on stage at Midnight
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rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
five things WITH
SEBASTIAN FROM YOUNG R EVELRY (WA) natural thing to do when we had time on our hands. We recorded our EP with Woody Annison (Red Riders, Children Collide, Cabins). It was good fun - Woody really got what we were trying to achieve and we all had a mutual appreciation for the sort of sound we were aiming for - raw and honest. We wanted the record to sound like us playing in a room, and I think we achieved that. There isn’t anything on the record we can’t achieve live.
suppose I got into my parents record collection when I was a kid. I used to jump around with a toy guitar until about the age of six, when my folks bought me one for my birthday. I think they probably regret buying that for me now, because it has pretty much rendered the rest of my life worthless as far as earning any reasonable income or having a good quality of life is concerned…
My inspiration changes daily. I have a pretty eclectic taste in music, and we trade records a lot. I suppose Mclusky, The Flaming Lips, The Black Angels, Loop, Slayer, Tobacco, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Sonic Youth are bands we all get into collectively. We started Young Revelry last year. We had all been friends for a while, and it was a pretty
I think the music scene is in good shape right now. There seems to be a movement of good raw bands making a resurgence - I don’t think it’s a revival or anything, but I’ve seen some good bands from the east oast lately. Sydney’s Cabins are cool, and from Melbourne I like Dozers, The Beat Disease and Teen Archer. I bought Talons’ record last year, and found out they broke up - which sucks a bit. In Perth, where we’re from, there’s a band called the Love Junkies who are pretty cool - and Mercy, Mercy and The Success Of Satan are fun to watch, too.
Where: You And I EP is out now Where: Mum @ World Bar With: Frowning Clouds, Demon Parade and more When: Friday September 10
YOU’RE IN THE IVY LEAGUES
If you have critically low levels of cuteness in your life, get along to First Aid Kit, those cute Swedish cutesters, who will be playing a cute blend of folk - sounding a hell of a lot like Martha Wainwright without the weird daddy complex. Catch Martha’s dad on the TV show Undeclared, and catch First Aid Kit Thursday September 9 at Oxford Art Factory, with Daisy M Tulley from Bridezilla in support.
Not many acts can say their back catalogue includes fourteen studio albums and still be performing; but troubadour Jeff Lang can (kudos to you, Jeff!). The lap-steel guitar player and god of Australian blues & roots is back performing just for you in Sydney and Katoomba on September 9 and 10 respectively. He’ll be performing old stuff and new tunes from his latest record Chimeradour. After a bit of a Google, we learnt that a chimera is a beast made from many different animals – HOW AWESOME IS THAT? You could win one of three double passes to see Jeff at the Basement on September 9 if you email us to tell us briefly which two animals you would combine and why.
Who: Young Revelry
FIRST AID KIT
Circle ‘February 6, 2011’ in your ridiculously forward-thinking calendar, and write ‘OMG LANEWAY FESTY!!!!1” next to it, because they’ve just announced the date and the venue – Rozelle’s Sydney College of the Arts again. The lineup will be announced Tuesday October 12, so start getting yourself excited, eh?
Just like when Rory Gilmore got accepted into Harvard but chose Yale, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the Ivy League Spring Break Party 2010. And unlike when Rory Gilmore and her friend Paris went to Spring Break, you won’t decide that this event doesn’t suit you - because playing live are Cabins, Catcall, Alpine, Wons Phreely and Cloud Control. All at the GoodGod Small Club (on Liverpool St) September 17, for only twenty dollars. And you get a free sampler upon entry. Like when Lane made Rory a mix CD…
THREE INDIE BANDS SIGN TO MAJOR LABEL
Yes the name is misleading, but that’s why it is brilliant. Major Label aren’t a major label, but they are still an important one. Working with General Pants to uncover three different artists each term, releasing a single from each, this time around they have found Place, People, Money For Rope and The Belligerents. Jump on generalpants.com.au/ majorlabel to check out the acts, and pretend loudly that you liked them first.
THE FALL, THIS SUMMER
The fact that Pavement took most of their early cues from Mark E Smith’s The Fall is pretty much enough for the latter band to hang up their hats. Luckily for the hordes of Fall fans everywhere, Mark E Smith shows no signs of stopping, or softening or even slowing down; they recently released their 165th album, and they’re announcing that they will be playing The Metro on December 7. Get in quick, because this will sell out.
CALLING ALL PEOPLE WHO LIKE ALBUM LAUNCHES
Danimals is a ‘he’ not a ‘them’, even though he is sometimes joined by others to become both a ‘them’ and one single entity [See: Voltron, MMPR]. In five piece mode this time, Daminals will play Oxford Art Factory on Thursday September 16. Twelve dollars presale, more at the door with supports by Megastick Fanfare, Mission Control, Bon Chat, Bon Rat and Kirin J Callinan. SWEET!
You like album launches – and you like Calling All Cars. They’re embarking on an album launch tour very soon for their album, Hold, Hold Fire, and aptly calling it the Hold, Hold, Fire album launch tour. A tick in every box. If you need more convincing you should know that they’ve shared the stage with AC/ DC, Grinspoon and The Butterfly Effect. Now that you’re onside, the Sydney show is at the Annandale on Friday September 10 with Numbers Radio and Young Revelry as supports. You can get tickets from the Annandale’s website – or you could befriend the band members on Facebook and try to scab a coupla tix. You creep.
ERNEST ELLIS VS PARADES
When they aren’t making wacky phone calls or giving away icy cold cans of Coke, Sydney’s FBi radio present some pretty amazing shows. So, like some kind of predictive genius, when I heard that Ernest Ellis and Parades were teaming up for a double headlining tour in October, I just assumed FBi would be presenting. October 23 sees them play the Gaelic Club, tickets available from Moshtix, dinner in the fridge with heating instructions.
“You get a love triangle, you know, a Fleetwood Mac situation. Although there was four of them, so more of a love square” - RHYS DARBY 10 :: BRAG :: 378 : 06:08:10
All the passion, all the power, all the hits (and more) in a powerful new full-band performance!
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
THE WIDOWBIRDS BY DEMAND,
A 2ND & FINAL SHOW New album ‘Wake up the nation’ out now
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dance music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... With Chris Honnery onthefly.com.au
five things WITH
Calling All Cars
JINGLE JANGLE and selecting good songs. What’s a good party? Last time we had 400 people come through the doors, and I can guarantee you all of them danced the entire time they were there… The Music You Make The music policy at Jingle Jangle is 4. anything from the 1920’s to 1960’s. At the start of the night we’ll play jazz, psyche, doo-wop, exotica, world music stuff… Later on, when it’s time to dance, we play upbeat rhythm and blues, soul, garage, even gospel. We try and book bands and performers that suit the vibe. Music, Right Here, Right Now There are a lot of amazing labels working 5. hard to legitimately re-issue the older stuff we love: Finders Keepers, Mississippi Records, Soundway, Honest Jons... In terms of the current scene and state of music, I find it’s a love/hate situation. I love: Dereb the Ambassador, Hole in the Sky records, Jack Ladder, Kirin J Callinan, Toni Toni Lee.
Growing Up My dad listened to the Travelling Wilberries and Jon Denver; I listened to some trip-hop after discovering Massive Attack. That was about it. I think that because I was never really into music as a kid, I’m now into pretty much anything that piques my interest.
traditional / ethnic / folk music forms. This is the stuff I find most inspiring and more real than anything being made today. Prewar American blues and gospel is a good example, or perhaps Indonesian gamelan, Bulgarian choral music, calypso, African minstrel stuff…
Your Band We aren’t promoters or proper DJ’s really, we just love putting on a good party
Inspirations I find that the further you dig into the music of the past, the more you’re drawn to
Who: Jingle Jangle DJs With: Tame Impala, Bridezilla, Ernest Ellis, Cabins, Spit Syndicate, Richard In Your Mind (solo), Itch-E and Scratch-E, Hoops, Thundamentals, Jinja Safari, Bag Raiders (DJs), Red Riders (DJs) and heaps more What: Changing Lanes Festival Where: Eliza Street, The Courthouse & Zanzibar in Newtown When: Sunday September 19
CALLING ALL CARS (WITH NUMBERS RADIO & YOUNG REVELRY) In terms of Aussie rock ’n roll you don’t get much bigger than AC/DC. But Melbourne kids Calling All Cars are sure on their way, after opening the legendary rockers’ ‘Black Ice’ shows earlier this year. Didn’t make it? Never fear! CAC are off on their national Hold, Hold, Fire tour, supported by Numbers Radio and Young Revelry. Punters are sure to enjoy some good ol’ headbangin’ and sweaty good-timery to shake off the working week. Keen to lose your shit at The Annandale, Friday September 10? We’ve got five double passes on offer. Tell us what your favourite Calling All Cars tune is...
FAT FREDDY’S DROP
German supremo Superpitcher will release his long-awaited sophomore album Kilimanjaro this month, a whopping six years after his debut LP Here Comes Love first dropped. Uninitiated listeners shouldn’t be deceived by the gap between albums into thinking Superpitcher has been inactive on the production front; rather, he’s been spending a lot of time in the studio with Kompakt labelmate Michael Mayer working on Supermayer productions, that have included remixes of everyone from Gotye and Rufus Wainwright to Foals and Alter Ego. Kilimanjaro purportedly maintains Superpitcher’s “roots in dance music while managing to have a complete disregard for genre and adding the involvement of acoustic instrumentation and vocals – a tough integration that works over and over again.” In non-wankerspeak, the album merges the Kompkakt proclivity for offbeat pop with house and tech influences. And in rather large news, Superpitcher is heading our way, and will play an outrageous Halloweenthemed boat party on Saturday October 30. More on this when it’s announced officially, but you can safely start planning your costume as this is officially ‘locked in’.
Kiwi collective Fat Freddy’s Drop return to Sydney to play the Enmore Theatre on Thursday November 25, in support of their new offering Live At Roundhouse. The live album was recorded at the legendary London venue one chilly December night back ’08 – those in attendance affirm there was a special, indefinable energy in the air that night... Gruff reporter Jon Lusk of The Guardian gave Fat Freddy’s live performance a glowing endorsement recently, producing a stirring passage that ought to inspire you along to both the Enmore and into yoru favourite local independent record store, to grab your copy of Live At Roundhouse. Take it away, Luskie! “As any long-term fan knows, ‘live and direct’ is the very best way to feel the mercurial magic of Fat Freddy’s Drop. Onstage performance is the life-blood of their music, which evolves in a spontaneous, eclectic and collective experience.” Such dynamic prose, but one would expect nothing less from The Guardian.
James Lavelle has just released a new UNKLE single ‘The Answer’ - the title track from a 6-track, digital-only LP available through iTunes. The EP acts as an extension of ‘Daydreaming… with James Lavelle’; an exhibition at the UK’s Haunch of Venison gallery, inspired by Lavelle’s desire to marry music and visual art. (Get your hand off it, James!) ‘The Answer’ originally appeared on UNKLE’s excellent recent album Where Did The Night Fall, and is a collaboration with improvisational Baltimore-based band Big In Japan, who have been touring as the backing band for UNKLE since ’07. But rather than merely rehashing previously released tracks, the EP also features collaborations with Lupe Fiasco and DFA’s Tim Goldsworthy (who also delivered a mighty fine remix of Massive Attack’s ‘Prayer For Rain’ a few months back).
MUSICA AT THE FORUM
After its first installment back in April featuring Apparat, boutique brand Musica returns to The Forum on Saturday October 9, with a headlining international triumvirate of Audiofly, Satoshi Tomiie and Marc Marzenit. Audiofly is the duo of Luca Saporito and Anthony Middleton, who’ve released cuts on such labels like Get Physical over the years - while Marzenit is something of a production prodigy who was slotted to play Musica in April, but had to delay his visit. Tomiie, meanwhile, is arguably Japan’s best-known club export, having remixed and worked with the likes of U2, David Bowie,
BOUNDARY BONDS WITH...
SARLOS, ELIZA CUTIVE OFFICER, EXE
TERJE’S ADULT DISCO
Ebullient Norwegian discophile Todd Terje is back in town to headline Adult Disco at The Civic Underground on Saturday September 18. ‘The Terje’ has been at the forefront of the disco revival over the past few years, reworking the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson and KC & The Sunshine Band under his ‘Tangoterje’ moniker, delivering floor-filling remixes for kindred cosmic souls like Lindstrøm and, perhaps most memorably, for our man Shit Robot (‘Work It Out’). He’s also proved himself to be an adept producer in his own right, releasing a couple of singles on Prins Thomas´ Full Pupp label, ‘Mjondalen Diskoklubb’ and ‘Eurodans’. The Terje recently released the humbly-titled Remaster of the Universe compilation, a two-disc collection of his remixes on the Permanent Vacation label, which functions as the perfect introduction for any Terje neophytes...
Simply Red and, uh, Mariah Carey… Despite the Carey faux pas, Tomiie’s tech credentials are bona fide - his Saw Recordings label has released over 70 singles from artists including Guy Gerber, Jim Rivers and Nathan Fake, and he has helmed several compilations for Renaissance. Support on the night will come from stalwarts Robbie Lowe and Alex Taylor, with first release tickets on sale now.
“I’m so angry I feel like swearing!” - RHYS DARBY 12 :: BRAG :: 378 : 06:08:10
What does MusicNSW do? MusicNSW exists to support the creative and economic expansion of the contemporary music industry in NSW. We do this through advocacy, resource assistance, activating growth of industry infrastructure, delivering specific initiatives and providing advice and referrals to both artists and industry. How did you score your role? I came to this position from a role in programming at FBi - before that I’d worked doing publicity, music journalism, making radio, tour- and artist-management and, like most people in the industry, I played bass in a couple of bands... How do you feel Australia views live music, as opposed to other countries like the US or UK? I think Australians are hugely passionate about live music. The only shortcomings we experience are from the distance between our cities, and the population of what is a massive country. What’s the most important piece of advice you can pass on the folks wanting to work in the music industry? You can achieve pretty much anything in this industry with heaps of passion, hard work and coffee.
MISSY ELLIOTT GROOVE ARMADA SOULWAX CHIDDY BANG MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS YOLANDA BE COOL VS DCUP DAN BLACK BAG RAIDERS
THE DANDY WARHOLS KELE (BLOC PARTY) CUT COPY DARWIN DEEZ THE WOMBATS WOLF GANG WASHINGTON GYPSY & THE CAT DELOREAN
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MIX MASTER MIKE JACK BEATS BUSY P SINDEN BRODINSKI DJ MEHDI UFFIE AC SLATER THE GLITCH MOB AJAX
HOLY GHOST! MEMORY TAPES CLASSIXX NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB JESSE ROSE GRUM THE SWISS FLIGHT FACILITIES ANNA LUNOE & MANY MORE BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 13
dance music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... With Chris Honnery onthefly.com.au
he said she said WITH Kavi-R
KAVI-R FROM GRAND CENTRAL
usically, one of my strongest childhood memories was listening to ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel’ on the radio. I remember sitting on the windowsill in Bondi, blasting my ghetto blaster thinking I wanted to be a DJ circa ‘82. Herbie Hancock’s ‘Rockit’ also had this effect on me; listening to GrandMixer DS.T’s futuristic cuts had me itching for a scratch! By age ten I was sneaking out to Def Jams at Circular Quay and Martin Place, to catch the big boys in action. I tried break dancing, MC-ing, graffiti and beatboxing. I sucked at all four - behind the 1s & 2s was where I felt most comfortable.
good friends of mine. I feel to some extent that we’re all keeping the Funk and Boom Bap alive, in one way or another. I’m also into Common, Mos Def, Bahamadia, Kero One, Dilated Peoples, DJ Revolution and more – and on a local tip, I’ve always dug the sounds of Koolism, Space Invadas/Katalyst, DJ Bonez, Elefant Traks, Astronomy Class and Chasm... to name a few.
Sly & The Family Stone, Parliament and James Brown records always hit the spot. I remember when I bought my first 12”. It was Lonnie Liston Smith’s Expansions - US pressing, purchased for $3 from Paddington Markets. I didn’t know who Lonnie Liston Smith was or what the song was, I was rummaging through the dusty crates of a record stall in the markets when I found it. I rushed back home to play the 12” and it was the funkiest record I had ever heard with positive lyrics, great music and a message that spoke to the world.
I recently saw Space Invadas and A Tribe Called Quest and they rocked it - I enjoyed both shows. Albums I’m digging at the moment are Matty Fresh’s The Ginza Crime Library, Rakaa’s Crown Of Thorns, Erykah Badu’s Return Of The Ankh and The Roots’ How I Got Over. For the best party hip hop in Sydney, I go to Grand Central on Thursday nights. If I’m after a quality one off show, I’ll check out a Niche or Slingshot event. If I’m after weekly boogie sets, I’ll check out Alex Dimitriades, Frenzie or RBA at the old Tonic.
DJs and crews like Naiki, Bonez, Danielsan, DJ Revolution, KOA and The Beat Junkies were always an inspiration to me – and they are all
Northampton techno luminary Surgeon will play The Forum on Saturday October 23. Influenced by experimental musicians like Brian Eno and Isao Tomita along with the rawer, more industrial flavours of outfits like Coil and Suicide, Surgeon announced himself on the production front with The Surgeon EP, which was quickly supported by the likes of Jeff Mills. Surgeon’s down-under jaunt coincides with the release of his new mix Fabric 53, which traces the relationship between contemporary bass genres and early rave culture, via tunes from Orphx, DJ Overdose and Russ Gabriel among others. Surgeon is adamant the release is ‘proper’ techno even though “the beats are just in slightly different places in the bar. They all have different feels and textures.” Surgeon continues, completely hijacking my news item: “I don’t differentiate, I just like all this music, so I want to mix it together.” Fabric 53 will be released on September 24 through newlylaunched Melbourne imprint Balance Music.
KOMPAKT SESSION 3
Renowned local label and festival/party brand Subsonic Music kick off what promises to be a gargantuan summer season for them with Kompakt Session 3 at The Civic Underground on Friday September 24. The bash boasts dual international headliners from Kompakt Records, Tobias Becker and Kaito, who will both be backing up at the annual Earthdance open-air fiesta the following day. Becker will be making his Aussie debut after having to postpone his tour earlier this year, while Kaito is a producer
In my live show I incorporate all features of the turntables, mixer and other gadgets at hand. I like to rock doubles (two of the same song, back and forth), cut/scratch a little, remix live and play with the mixer effects. I like to get into it and create an energy that the crowd can feed off.
Who: Kavi-R What: Grand Central Where: Kit & Kaboodle When: Thursday September 9
A guy like Max Cavalera is never gonna release an album that doesn’t have the word “heavy” somewhere in the description. Soulfly has been his most consistent project since Sepultura dispanded back in ’96; he describes their latest (and seventh) album Omen as “heavier and darker” and “more aggressive and explosive” than anything they’ve ever done. They’re heading to Australia to show it off, and have gone ahead and switched venues on us – initially set to take place at the UNSW Roundhouse, the band will now be landing with light, feathered grace on tearing the crap out of the Metro on September 10, supported by City of Fire and Incite. To win one of two double passes to the show, send us a photo of a pretty little kitty.
CHANGING LANES FESTIVAL
One of Sydney’s best suburbs is about to get a little bit betterer (and not just ‘cause we’re heading that way.) Think live art, food stalls, street performers, live music - all in the same afternoon. Win! The Changing Lanes festival will be taking over Eliza Street, The Courthouse and Zanzibar in Newtown on September 19. You can sample tunes from Tame Impala, Ernest Ellis, Spit Syndicate, Jinja Safari and DJ sets from Bag Raiders and Red Riders - just to name a few of many. To win a double pass, just email us your favourite thing about Newtown.
This Saturday, Mad Racket will showcase the first ever Super Melody show in Sydney in a special live performance at Marrickville Bowling Club. Super Melody is the creation of Melbourne’s James Cecil, one-time member of globe- and genre-trotting pop group Architecture In Helsinki. After several years of recording in suburban studios in the garden city, the debut Super Melody album Destination Unknown is soon to be released, and this is your chance to preview the sonic buffet on offer from Cecil et al. Super Melody will rattle the copper ceiling with a four-piece lineup that features Cornel Wilczek on lead guitar, a rhythm section of Sashi Dharann and Tom ‘Gus’ Gould, with Mr Cecil crooning away up front. Support comes from the Racketeers Jimmi James, Zootie, Ken Cloud and Simon Caldwell, with Murphdog selling presale tickets through his adult concept store Spank Records, on Bourke St.
of Japanese and American heritage who’s released three acclaimed LPs on Kompakt, and holds a residency at the famed ‘Save The Robots’ party in NY. Local support comprises two of the more respected DJs in the Sydney scene: the ‘straight man’, Matt Aubusson and Thug Records’ Carlos Zarate, who you may remember from his days repping at Sweet Chilli...
Seemingly taking inspiration from Jimmy Cameron, trance brand Godskitchen returns to Australia in 3D form [cut to press release]: “By putting on 3D glasses revellers will be thrust into a supersonic world of wonder, one where the music literally comes alive and allows them to reach out, feel it and touch it”. Oh man, this really is too good… I’ll continue: “This year sees Godskitchen throw the doors wide open to a whole new dimension, literally. Featuring an angelic lineup of trance luminaries, including Andy Moor, John O’Callaghan, Marcel Woods, Wippenberg and many more; Australian dance fans can expect to once again have all their prayers answered”. I’ll leave it there. Godskitchen Sydney falls on Sunday October 3, with full details online.
Armin Van Buuren
One of the genuinely nice guys of the dance world, Dutch trance megastar Armin Van Buuren will be playing an exclusive Melbourne show on New Year’s Eve at the 40,000 person-capacity Etihad Stadium, the home turf of the brilliant – and, in my opinion, most unfairly vilified – Melbourne Storm. Armin deserves commendation for managing to complete a law degree while living the life of a DJ superstar; smart fellow indeed. Given Armin’s popularity and the fact this is a one-off event, it follows that many of you might be tempted to make the pilgrimage down south and ring in the New Year in Melbourne with 39,999 other revelers... Tickets are available through the Future Music website.
SOUL POWER @ TONE
Soul Power! arrives on the Sydney scene this Friday as a bi-monthly fiesta dedicated to putting “the Soul back into the Sydney Club scene”. (Unless I’m mistaken, this was the very mandate Soul Sedation’s Tony E started out with when he first entered the fray as a young whippersnapper back in ’77...) Soul Power! will be held on the second Friday of every month, and traverse a sonic palette of soul, funk and rare groove at Tone - 16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills. This week’s lineup includes FBi’s own Stephen Ferris as well as JC, Graham Mandroules, The Groove Merchant and DJ Senyo, and there’s also the promise of surprise special guests along with a few giveaways. Entry is $10 on the door from 8pm, with more info at www.funkdafied.com.au.
Solid Gold is a new, unmixed compilation of tracks from early Italians Do It Better (IDIB) 12”s put together by Johnny Jewel – who, as a member of Chromatics and Glass Candy, has done more than anyone to forge the label’s distinct sonic identity. Though seemingly designed for people without turntables,
Solid Gold is also worth checking out for aficionados with a ‘home setup’, as many of the tracks included are now out of print. The album features cuts such as Invisible Conga People’s ‘Cable Dazed’, Solange’s ‘Robots Are Dub American’, Rubies’ ‘I Feel Electric (feat. Feist)’ and Dan Lissvik’s remix of Tiedye’s ‘Fisherman’s Bend’. Solid Gold has been available since June via IDIB mail-order, but this week a few copies have found their way into record stores around the world... I wonder if Murphdog has any?
“I had a budgie but it died... I like pie!” - RHYS DARBY 14 :: BRAG :: 378 : 06:08:10
2ND & FINAL SHOW ANZ STADIUM SOLD OUT MONDAY DECEMBER 13
TUESDAY DECEMBER 14 ON SALE 1PM THIS FRIDAY! ticketek.com.au/U2360 or 132 849
For complete tour information, visit www.U2.com For local information & tour updates sign up at www.livenation.com.au I www.coppel.com.au For official Travel & Hospitality packages visit www.U2360packages.com.au Produced by Live Nation Global Touring in association with Michael Coppel and Live Nation Australia All concert tickets include Major Event rail and bus services to and from ANZ Stadium
U2 360 Live at The Rose Bowl in stores now BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 15
Industrial Strength themusicnetwork.com
Industry Music News with Christie Eliezer
JAGERMEISTER INDIE AWARD NOMS
September 24 - and it’s held in Terrigal near Sydney from November 14-17.
Sia, Dan Sultan and Cloud Control lead the nominations for the fifth annual Jagermeister Independent Music Awards, with three noms apiece. The trio will tussle for Best Independent Artist alongside British India, Dan Kelly and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Death glares all around. The three are also in the Best Independent Album category with Dan Kelly, Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Rowland S. Howard. Breakthrough Independent Artist are Bridezilla, Cloud Control, Otouto, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Richard In Your Mind and The Jezabels. In the Best Independent Single/EP are Bliss N Eso, Little Red, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Sia, The Jezabels and The Temper Trap. Other categories cover releases in the blues & roots, hard rock/punk, country, hip hop/urban, dance/electronica and jazz styles. Of the record labels, Shock’s acts had 12 nominations, MGM 9, Inertia 6 and Liberation and Jazzhead have five apiece. The awards are held in Melbourne in Friday October 1.
ARTIST MANAGERS TAKING “CONTROL” A program funded by the Australian government to help music managers sharpen their business skills is looking for applicants. The Control program is presented by the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN), supported by the Association of Artist Managers. The sessions will look at different business models used in contemporary music, and analyse their strengths and weaknesses. See www.amin.org.au - applications close
Life lines Divorcing: Those who attended an MTV launch in Melbourne in April saw Slash’s wife Perla dancing across the stage when he played. So it was a surprise to hear that the couple separated in July after nine years, and are now divorcing. Ill: TNT singer Tony Mill had a heart attack on the way to a show in Oslo. In Court: Former G-Unit member Young Buck has filed for bankruptcy after it was revealed he owes $300,000 in back taxes. It will allow him to reorganize his debts and pay off the taxes in his time. He will also sue 50 Cent, G-Unit Inc., and his former manager Sha Money XL, claiming he’s worth around $5 million to the label. In Court: Former Metal Church bassist Steve Unger has been charged with using two businesses to sell marijuana. In Court: Assault charges against British boy band Blue singer Lee Ryan were dropped after his former fiancee Samantha Miller withdrew the charges.
THINGS WE HEAR
* Offered a last minute US tour for November, Sia used twitter and YouTube links to find New York musicians for her new band. Ten minutes after her first callout, she twittered to say she’d found her first player. * triple j’s Tom and Alex officially deny they are being courted by Austereo to replace Hamish and Andy. * On their two year world tour, Arcade Fire have been snacking on chocolates rather than hitting the booze. As a result, drummer Jeremy Gara says he’s put on 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms) in weight. * The lead singer of New York-based metal band Divine Infamy has confessed she’d committed a string of robberies in the city while dressed as a cat.
ARIA SUED OVER AWARDS ARIA is being sued in the Supreme Court by Melbourne’s Three Degrees Marketing for $1.1 million, reports The Age. In filed court papers, Three Degrees claimed it had not been paid fees and commission for marketing and sponsorship services for the ARIA Awards, the ARIA Hall of Fame, the ARIA No. 1 Awards and the ARIA charts. It says it had a deal with ARIA to be paid $80,000 a year. ARIA’s Stephen Peach told The Age it would fight the case. Last year’s ARIA awards were down in sponsorship bucks and drew only $708,000, down from $1.1 million the year before.
BLUESFEST A “CHICK” THING! Some new statistics released by Bluesfest organizers show that the average age of Bluesfest ticket buyers is just 26 years of age, and Bluesfest now sells more tickets to women than men! Co-founder Peter Noble has just returned from an overseas visit to check out new acts. The first round of acts for the 22nd event —over the April 21-25 Easter weekend — will be announced within seven weeks.
* Brian McFadden warns fans to stay clear of an imposter who is impersonating him on Facebook. He twittered, “I do not have personal Facebook.” * An Australian survey on alcohol misuse by Essential Research found that up to 85% of people in NSW want to see a 3am lockout. The rate was four out of five nationally. * Kate Ceberano will be the Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival for 2012 and 2013. * Sunrise entertainment reporter Fifi Box is on the warpath looking for whoever slipped a dildo in her carry-on luggage, reports the Daily Telegraph. As she went through security at Melbourne Airport, she had to pull it out and show it to officials, to her embarrassment.
›› TMN TOP 40 The top 40 most ‘heard’ songs on Australian radio. TW LW TI HP P1 P2 P3 ARTIST
SUGE & KANYE MEDIATION FAILS A mediation session meant to resolve a lawsuit filed by rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight against hip-hop star Kanye West was not successful. The case will most likely go to trial. Knight is seeking over US$1 million damages from West after he was shot in the leg at a 2005 Miami Beach party hosted by West. The shooter has never been found. Knight blames West for lax security.
1 14 30 58 KATY PERRY
2 13 26 52 USHER FT. PITBULL
DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE
3 13 25 53 TAIO CRUZ
1 11 25 52 EMINEM FT. RIHANNA
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE
2 13 1 14 30 57 ADAM LAMBERT
IF I HAD YOU
6 11 5 13 25 46 FLO RIDA FT. DAVID GUETTA
CLUB CAN’T HANDLE ME
7 14 27 54 LADY GAGA
DANCE IN THE DARK
8 12 23 45 THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
CLOSER TO THE EDGE
9 14 5 17 44 68 TRAIN
IF IT’S LOVE
MANLY JAZZ LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS
10 13 3 10 16 33 85 TAYLOR SWIFT
11 11 14 1 17 43 82 UNCLE KRACKER
Manly Council is looking for volunteer stage assistants for the Manly Jazz Festival, from October 2 – 4. 800 musicians will boogie, groove, bebop and swing their way through the streets, piazzas, beach fronts and restaurants in the area. You need to be over 18, and your duties will be to help the musos before, during and after their sets, and move some heavy gear. You can get more information from the community volunteer coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
12 14 4 12 12 28 52 GOOD CHARLOTTE
LIKE IT’S HER BIRTHDAY
13 17 5 13 11 29 60 THE SCRIPT
FOR THE FIRST TIME
14 10 15 1 13 28 53 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS FT. PITBULL
I LIKE IT
15 20 9 15 10 39 51 NICKELBACK
16 16 9 16 16 27 52 BIRDS OF TOKYO
TINA’S BLIP SHOWCASE Electrofringe, which is dedicated to electronic, experimental and emerging arts and culture, returns for its 13th year – as part of This Is Not Art 2010. It will be held in various Newcastle spaces from September 30 til October 4. One of its features is the Blip showcase, a showcase of artists co-presented by 8bitpeoples from New York City, and organisers of the Blip Festival. It will see Nullsleep (US), Bit Shifter (US) and Henry Homesweet (UK) make their first visit to Oz, and includes local names. There’s also a workshop on how to make electronic music. See http://electrofringe.net
RETAILERS OFFERED ROYALTYFREE MUSIC Retailers fuming about paying higher APRA/ PPCA fees for using recorded music have been offered a new service called The Groove Gallery. Launched last week by messaging company Messages On Hold, it offers ambient music created in its Perth studios by musicians and producers. See thegroovegallery.com.
THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG LOVE THE FALL
TAKE IT OFF
5 19 12 24 51 KE$HA
21 19 8
20 18 10 12 13 38 59 MAROON 5 16 10 30 48
22 13 25 62
JOHN BUTLER TRIO
23 23 12 18 12 38 65 24 45 2
25 22 15 12 15 31 57
24 12 34 66
BABY, I’M GETTING BETTER
26 24 17 1
KATY PERRY FT. SNOOP DOGG
27 28 5
27 11 21 40
15 29 53
28 54 6
28 11 25 48
B.O.B FT. RIVERS CUOMO
29 27 30 7
17 42 54
30 25 26 6
17 46 59
BRIAN MCFADDEN FT. DELTA GOODREM
HEY, SOUL SISTER
TRAVIE MCCOY FT. BRUNO MARS
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
31 NEW 1
32 32 29 1 33 29 7
17 49 61
21 12 26 58
34 21 16 6
11 28 42
35 NEW 1
35 13 21 39
36 35 6
30 11 27 51
37 37 26 2
16 42 58
WHATAYA WANT FROM ME
38 31 27 6
16 42 68
JOHN BUTLER TRIO
CLOSE TO YOU
39 39 17 11 10 29 46
40 37 19 4
DAVID GUETTA & CHRIS WILLIS FT. FERGIE & LMFAO GETTIN’ OVER YOU
12 27 46
AY W A
17 15 18 2 18 43 71 SCOUTING FOR GIRLS 18 12 10 7 13 30 61 MICHAEL PAYNTER
Only At the Movies September 16, 2010
asy A is quickly shaping up to look like this year’s Mean Girls – witty, subversive and featuring teenagers who actually talk like teenagers. Taking cues from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel The Scarlet Letter, Easy A follows the exploits of Olive Penderghast, who pretends to sleep with her friend Brandon to put a stop to the (accurate) gay rumours swirling around him. The rumour mill quickly shifts focus to Olive herself – but rather than shrinking from the spotlight, she takes it on in a unique (and badass) fashion.
16 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:08:10
The Brag is giving away a massive FIFTY double passes to a special Sydney screening of Easy A on September 15. To be in the running, be among the first to email freestuff@ thebrag.com by 6pm September 9, and tell us what your favourite teen flick is and why.
When: Wednesday September 15; 5.45pm arrival for 6.00pm start Where: Event Cinemas, 505 George St, Sydney © 2010 Screen Gems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Direct from Africa, Winston Ruddle‘s
CIRCUS OF THE SENSES S
“Think Cirque Du Soleil with a fulsome African flavour” Australian Stage Online
Fun for the whole family - Tickets selling fast!
Oct 26-Nov 3 State Theatre, Sydney 1300 139 588 ticketmaster.com.au
BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 17
A Casual History By Dan Watt
he French one, ‘J’ai Claqué La Porte’ because it is such a departure from anything that we have done before.” Patrick Gemayel, a.k.a. P-Thugg from Canadian synthpop two-piece Chromeo, is telling me his favourite song off the duo’s latest and third album - titled Business Casual, it’s out later this month. While other songs – like the two singles you’ve already heard, ‘Night By Night’ and ‘Don’t Turn The Lights On’ - are of the same sexed-up funk-party vibe that Chromeo’s fans know them for, ‘J’ai Claqué La Porte’ [translation: I have slammed the door] is a quaint nouveau chanson, delivered entirely in French. Surprising? Not really. The language is native to both P-Thugg and his band-mate Dave Macklovitch, or Dave 1 as he’s better known. “Both of our families are Lebanese,” he says. Lebanon was occupied by the French from 1918, until Germany invaded France in WW2. “Everybody speaks French in [our] Lebanese community, so that’s why [our families] chose to move to Canada, to Quebec more specifically, because it was French speaking,” he explains. “So you see, it’s really our first language.” Care for another history lesson? France ruled a huge area on the east coast of the North American continent for over two hundred years. When France’s rule there ended in 1763, so did emigration from the European continent - so the language spoken in French-Canada was frozen in time. And as a result, it relates only tenuously to the French that’s spoken in France... “Yeah, the French get a kick out of hearing us Canadians speak ‘their’ language,” P-Thugg explains, “because
it sounds to them like somebody is speaking out of the Bible.” The title of his favourite song, though, is a new-school phrase. “The term is very French,” he says, laughing. He talks about how the meanings of certain words are very different between the two French dialects – sometimes humorously so. “Some words we use in Canada are very old school. There’s the word gosse that is very funny, because in Parisian French it means ‘kids’ but in Quebec French it either means ‘testicles’ - or the verb (‘gosse’) means ‘to annoy’. So, French Parisians say ‘I just had some kids’ and to us it sounds like ‘I just had some testicles’.” The French language is close to the heart of the other member of Chromeo, too. When I interviewed the band in 2008, I spoke to Dave 1 about a doctorate he was completing in classic French literature: ‘Theorising the Pleasure of Reading in Eighteenth Century France’. I asked him back then whether his intimate knowledge of literature from The Enlightenment might have given him a grasp on where contemporary music was heading, and he replied that no one can ever predict where we’re going creatively. His favourite French writer, Marcel Proust, was a struggling novelist, only influential after his death; and in the same way, he says, Gang Of Four – regarded now as the major influence of the Brit-pop revival of early this decade (think Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand) – were only really seen as an ‘indie’ band in their heyday. Food for thought.
From French history and back to reality: Even though ‘J’ai Claqué La Porte’ is Gemayel’s favourite track off the new album, the band haven’t been playing it live. P-Thugg tells me that the audiences on their current Business Casual tour will only be hearing four songs from the new album - and in doing so, he alludes to a general frustration felt often by touring artists. “We’ve actually been playing four songs from Business Casual in this past month, and the crowd already knows two of them – because ‘Night By Night’ and ‘Don’t Turn The Lights On’ came out as singles.” Gemayel’s relaxed and slightly mumbled voice ceases here. After years of playing from 2004’s She’s In Control and 2007’s Fancy Footwork, it’s easy to understand the frustration with having a bunch of fresh material, but no demand to play them. “If you play too many songs that people don’t know, they’ll just sit there watching,” he sighs. “It’s not that they don’t enjoy them,” he continues. “But they’re mostly ‘curious’; they’re not ready to sing along.” And with dancefloorowning tracks like ‘Needy Girl’ and ‘Fancy Footwork’ in their back catalogue, the last thing a band like Chromeo wants is a room full of chin-strokers. “You don’t want too much of that, otherwise the show would be pretty boring!” And Chromeo do want people to enjoy their music. Despite the clearly intelligent minds behind the music, they don’t really want it to be taken too seriously. This fun-time aesthetic was heralded on the cover of 2007’s Fancy
Footwork, which featured the pair standing behind synthesisers which, instead of stands, were perched on female mannequin legs. For Business Casual, the artwork is even more directly sleazy - a woman in a mini-skirt leans over a photocopier as it pumps out images of P-Thugg and Dave 1. Apparently it was the oxymoronic title Business Casual which dictated the cover art. “The name came from when Dave 1 was calling a restaurant to make a reservation, and the answering machine said ‘the dress code is business casual,” P-Thugg explains. After hearing this jarring criterion, a bell went off in their heads. “That sounded really 80s and funny to us, and at first we thought maybe it would be too jokey and funny for an album cover - but we kind of grew into it.” The extended tour that’s taking Business Casual to the rest of the world will see Chromeo in Australia over the New Year’s period, for this year’s Field Day. The band were here around the same time for Fancy Footwork, in 2007/2008 - and P-Thugg agrees wholeheartedly with the oft-drawn comparison between Australia and Canada. He heaps welcome praise upon Australia’s eastern side, too. “In Melbourne and Sydney we both saw a lot of comparisons to Canadians - I thought Australians and Canadians were the same people,” he says, before adding, “like at home, but with different weather.” What: Business Casual is out September 17, through Modular With: Justice, Klaxons, Sleigh Bells, The Rapture, Duck Sauce, Public Enemy, Peaches and more... When: Field Day, January 1 2011 Where: The Domain, Sydney
“You never saw Wham with girlfriends - that’s how they kept the women wanting them” - RHYS DARBY 18 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
Nick Cave | Warren Ellis | Martyn Casey | Jim Sclavunos
The “psychedelic & psychotic” new album - Uncut 9/10 - Spin Magazine | 4/5 - Hot Press | 9/10 - Loud & Quiet | Q | Big Cheese MOJO
CD | DELUXE CD | VINYL 10 SEPTEMBER 2010
available at www.grinderman.com
BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 19
Custom Kings Custom Made By Liam Pieper
ustom Kings have been keeping busy. The much-loved Melbourne outfit, who won many a fan with their 2007 debut At Sea, have kept those eager to hear a followup in a state of continued suspense. As the years ticked by, the members started exploring extracurricular avenues; Nick Vorrath and his songwriting partner Jarrad Brown recorded the down-tempo folk under the moniker Joe Neptune, and Brown struck out on his own side project the phenomenal Eagle And The Worm. Rumours started circling amongst the faceless weirdos of the internet about tension with their label, and people started to wonder if we would ever see another Custom Kings record. Then bam! The guys formed like Voltron, and have now brought us Great Escape, a record that more than justifies the wait. It is instantly recognizable as a Custom Kings album, the catchy hooks and guitar riffs bounced along by the strident drumming, with hints of late ‘60s and ‘70s pop and Vorrath’s harmony-tinged, unmistakable vocals. “We always planned on releasing earlier than this… but it just took a little while to get all the pieces together,” laughs Vorrath. The time was worth it – their sophomore
album Great Escape has been extremely well received. “People really seem to like it, which is great!” This time around, Brown shares vocal duties with Vorrath, and the pair teamed up on songwriting too. “We both write, and sometimes the other guys will help out in the later stages of a song,” explains Vorrath. “I write on my own, Jarrad writes on his own, and we work on some songs together. On this record it’s a pretty even split… Jarrad is such a great singer that it would be kind of foolish not to utilise him on the record; especially with his own songs. “We both learnt so much about how we write together and work individually through [Joe] Neptune and Eagle And The Worm,” Vorrath adds. “I think it’s really healthy to be able to explore different ideas and sounds. It’s definitely had an effect on the way I write and play.” On their second album, the songwriting of Custom Kings is more assured, and delivered more competently. It’s smart pop music; lyrically complex without being dense or weighed down by its own cleverness. Sunny harmonies ride carelessly over intricate folk riffs and winding keys that disguise smart and sophisticated – and occasionally dark – songwriting. Here is a record that takes the sunny, dreamy sound of Custom Kings and calms it down, bringing it closer to their famously chilled-out and intimate live demeanour. “The last album was very home-made,” Vorrath admits. “We had to change a lot of the songs to play them live. With this record, we really wanted to have songs that we could take straight to the stage. To me, this album represents what the Custom Kings sound like when we play live.”
“The fact that we didn’t have the luxury of a home studio [...] meant we had to have our shit together before we went in there - because we only had two weeks to do a whole record!” After At Sea and a handful of earlier EPs, Great Escape was the Custom Kings’ first album recorded and produced in a professional studio. Once they had their material ready to record, they disappeared into the legendary Sing Sing studios with longtime collaborator and producer Steven Schram, who has worked with Little Birdy and Little Red. “It was definitely daunting,” Vorrath concedes. “The fact that we didn’t have the luxury of a home studio to refine our ideas meant we had to have our shit together before we went in there - because we only had two weeks to do a whole record,” he laughs. “We’d already recorded three EPs before we did At Sea, so it didn’t really feel like our first record. Approaching the new record did feel different, though; the lead up was more intense, and more people were involved and the songs were a lot newer… Our first didn’t feel like our first; this one does feel like our second.” Fans have an opportunity to see the increasingly reclusive band live in September, when they embark on a mini-tour including a date at Notes Live in Newtown this weekend. “No tour has ever been as memorable as our first,” Vorrath recalls. “It was supporting The Cat Empire, and it was a lot of fun. We played a lot of interesting places we would never have played otherwise, and the ‘Empire were very accommodating. We thanked them on the album cover for our first record; they really helped us out in the beginning.” Custom Kings have definitely come a long way from what essentially started as a folky duo, traversing pop and rock. They have a way of skipping across genres, grabbing the elements that are going to work best and running with them. As a band, they’re not afraid of getting a little weird when they have to (they were named Custom Kings, and their first recordings were nautically themed, because Vorrath was “into merchant shipping”), and their music benefits from it. They’re a band with a lot of chutzpah, and I dare you not to like this record. Who: Custom Kings With: Eagle And The Worm What: Great Escape is out now through Liberation Where: Notes Live (Newtown) / The Brass Monkey (Cronulla) When: September 11 / September 12 20 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
Old Man River Global Roaming By Andy McLean
had Rein is having a hectic day. The Old Man River frontman has spent several hours sitting in traffic criss-crossing the city for radio interviews, and now he’s running late to meet me. That’s a hassle, for sure, but it’s nothing compared to the pressure of releasing his new record on a major label for the first time (Trust hit stores this month), with big money gambled on video clips, overseas recording studios, advertising and so forth. Make no mistake: the heat is on. Yet when Rein arrives at Brag HQ he looks as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. He finds a couch, reclines back and then explains why he’s so unfazed. Firstly, he’s used to being on the move constantly. Although Rein was born in Sydney, his family soon moved to the Netherlands and then Israel, where he grew up. Secondly, he’s handled far greater strain than anything he faces today. At the age of 18, Rein was conscripted for three years of mandatory Israeli military service. “It was pretty hard for me,” he recalls, “I was a musician beforehand, a free spirit. The army is the most extreme thing that can happen to someone like that. You have to cut your hair, wear a uniform, be on time and take orders from arseholes. I didn’t have enough time to play or practice music. The first year was very traumatic for me. I was depressed.”
Which means, by my calculations, that Trust was created across four different continents. With that sort of approach, it’s no wonder then that Rein’s music has sold in all corners of the world, even in non-English speaking countries. “My music was mainly introduced overseas by one song ‘La’ [from debut album Good Morning]. The simplicity of the song helped people relate to it,” he explains, “and then they got into the other songs from there. You can tell that even if they don’t get the meaning of the words, they get the spirit. Whether we play in Italy or Japan, we always get the same crowd reaction.” Rein is living proof that music has no borders. As he gets up to leave, I ask him where his hectic schedule is taking him next. I’m expecting to hear, “Rushing to another interview across town” but instead he beams. “India! I’m going back to India next week.” Globetrotting again, huh? I should have known. Who: Old Man River What: Trust is out September 10, through EMI Where: The Basement When: Thursday September 30
Two more years gave Rein time to reflect and find ways to cope: “At some point you realise it’s all a charade; people wearing uniforms like masks because they have to play this game. I found a sense of sanity inside my mind. Even though I wasn’t allowed to leave the base at times, I was free inside my head.” And suddenly a day stuck in city tunnel traffic doesn’t seem so bad… After the army, Rein escaped to New York: “It was an amazing time,” he says. “My writing ability improved enormously, I had a band, I was doing well - but then I started getting these dreams about India, this fairytale land. It was like a real subconscious drive.” These visions turned out to be prescient; Rein has been going back and forth to India ever since. The country made a huge impact on Rein’s music - most notably on Trust, which was partly recorded in Mumbai. “I’m very inspired by an Indian musician called Jagjit Singh. He has the same quality control as The Beatles – everything he does is good. So we hooked up with his producer, Daman Sood, and he put together this amazing ensemble of Indian musicians. I deliberately omitted the sitar and tambura on this album because everyone already knows about those. Instead we’ve got more exotic things like
“Daniel Johnston was off his fucking nut. Nothing was normal about the tour with him. But it was a great experience for us - we were always on our toes!” the sarangi and santoor [string instruments]. It was an incredible experience.” The international flavour of Trust is not limited to India. Rein returned to Israel to record piano and keyboard tracks in a former atomic bomb shelterturned-recording studio: “It belongs to this crazy classical player. He’s got a Steinway piano in this room that was meant to be used if doomsday comes. It was pretty weird,” he laughs. Rein seems to attract oddball musicians, actually. Old Man River recently toured as backing band for Daniel Johnston: “Oh, he was a psycho! Off his fucking nut. Nothing was normal about the tour with him. We never knew what song he was going to play next or in what key – sometimes the set was 10 minutes, sometimes it was an hour. But he writes beautiful songs and it was a great experience for us – we were always on our toes!” Another of Rein’s friends is Aussie eccentric Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson, Empire of the Sun). Steele and Rein go way back - both were part of 2004 supergroup Nations By The River and Steele remixed an Old Man River track on the recent You’re On My Mind EP. “When I first met Luke I didn’t know anything about him. I just saw him as a brother, an amazing songwriter. I didn’t encounter that ‘mad man’ thing at all. Sure, he can be unpredictable but that’s because he’s one of these rare characters who just constantly channels creativity.” The new album is full of other notable collaborations, with co-writing from Gelbison’s Edo Kahn (“We’re childhood friends,” explains Rein), and production from You Am I producer Wayne Connolly (“The most chilled out dude in the whole universe”). Strings were arranged by Ori Avni in Israel before mixing duties were completed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air) in the USA. BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 21
Bullet For My Valentine Fever Pitch By Rod Whitfield
he latest and third album from Welsh heavy rock/metal band Bullet For My Valentine, Fever is one of those records that ‘trad’ metal fans often love to hate; clean vocals, soaring harmonies, ballads a-plenty and with those slashes of metalcore stylings that get hardcore headbangers all flustered and hot under the collar. But then Bullet For My Valentine are a new breed of metal band – and they’ve been taken right to the top of the heavy music heap.
The band return to tour Australia this month, pulling into Sydney for a show at the Hordern Pavilion - and they’re promising a bombastic and huge, energetic live show for the many fans down under. “I can’t wait to come to Australia!”, guitarist Michael Paget (Padge) exclaims, as we talk about the new album and their upcoming trip to Australia from their current tour of the US of A. “We’re hoping that, from what we’ve been hearing about the response that the album is getting over there, the crowds are gonna be great. We love touring Australia.” In fact, Padge tells me that Australia is his favourite place to tour in the world. “It kind of reminds me of home in a lot of ways. I’m Welsh and I love
drinking Beer. Australians can identify with that, I’m sure!” he laughs. “We’ll be having plenty of beers and it’s going to be another awesome tour!” Fever did do extremely well here, reaching number five on the ARIA charts; an amazing feat for a heavy band, especially one that’s not homegrown. But it’s easy to see why; with melodic, fist-pumping arena rock anthems like ‘Your Betrayal’, ‘Begging For Mercy’ and the mighty title track, plus weepy ballads like ‘A Place Where You Belong’ and ‘Bittersweet Memories’, it’s a heavy rock album for the ages, with boundless appeal. Padge and the band couldn’t be prouder of the finished product, and how it’s fared around the world. “We’re all extremely happy about the album - over the moon!” he gushes. “It’s actually done a lot better than we expected it to do all over the world, so we’re really very happy with the outcome. It got to number three in the charts in America and that was amazing, and it did really well in your country. That’s why we’re coming back,” he continues. “It’s the best album we’ve ever done - so spirits are very high at the moment.” The band had no idea what was coming, either. “When we first started writing the album we didn’t have any expectations, but these songs started evolving into what they are. When the actual final album was finished I was like, ‘Wow!’ It really blew me away. It blew all of us away. “Of course we hoped that it would do really well,” he adds. “We knew that it would do well with our current fans, and we thought we might pick up a few new fans with it - but it’s done more than that. It’s outdone the previous album by miles and miles, and we’re just stoked with it.”
“It’s the best album we’ve ever done - so spirits are very high at the moment. It’s outdone the previous album by miles and miles, and we’re just stoked.” The band’s burgeoning success has allowed them to expand the already huge productions of their live shows, and they’ll be bringing a much bigger show to Australia this time around. “We like to put on as big a show as we can for the fans, and so the bigger we get, the bigger the show’s gonna get,” he chuckles. “It’s pretty much the exact same show as we’ve been taking around the US and Europe, and it’s been getting an amazing reaction from people. We don’t want to skimp on the show for our Aussie fans either! We think the Australian fans will be very impressed.” The tour also brings with it a massive and diverse bill of heavy rock, metal and punk, with brutal UK thrashers Bring Me The Horizon and Canadian hardcore punk band Cancer Bats joining them on the road. “This is a first for this line-up, and it’s a really different mix,” Padge says. “Both bands are pretty intense, so we’ve got a bit of a run for our money! Overall I think it’s a great bill and people are gonna be stoked with it. Beyond the Aussie jaunt, Bullet For My Valentine return to North America for another massive list of dates, and then back to Europe for headline shows and festival appearances - including a headline spot at London’s famed Wembley Arena. “We love touring, mate,” Padge states with conviction. “It’s what we do... We’re going right up ‘til half way through December, having a short break over Christmas, and then we’ll be back on the road for most of next year. We wanna go to some territories that we’ve never been to before.”
Wednesday 29th September Oxford Arts Factory (Sydney) Moshtix: 1300 GET TIX (438 849); www.moshtix.com.au
Thursday 30th September Grand Hotel (Wollongong) Moshtix: 1300 GET TIX (438 849); www.moshtix.com.au
Friday 1st October CBD Newcastle (Newcastle) Venue: (02) 4929 2274 Oztix:1300 762 545; www.oztix.com.au or www.bigtix.com.au Rockshop; (02) 4929 1856 Northern Star Bottle Shop (02) 49611 087
Sunday 3rd October Parklife Sydney Tickets: www.parklife.com
First single ‘Time to Wander’ out now. Debut album ‘Gilgamesh’ coming soon. www.gypsyandthecat.com
22 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
And between all of that, the band are looking forward to somehow squeezing in some writing for their next album, too. “We’ve all got a lot of new ideas, and we’d like to have another album out by the end of next year, or early the year after. We just want to keep pushing this band out there as much as we possibly can.” As we wrap up our chat, Padge is all gratitude. “I just want to say to our Australian fans, thank you so much for supporting the album and everything we do,” he says. “We’ve got a great bill coming your way, and we’re gonna do our best to put on a great show for you guys. Join us for a few beers after the show!” Who: Bullet For My Valentine With: Bring Me The Horizon and Cancer Bats Where: The Hordern Pavilion When: Friday September 10
Boy & Bear The Occasional Hoedown By Caitlin Welsh
oy & Bear’s Dave Hosking is a man with a plan. Using the word “definitely” sixty million times during our twenty-minute interview, the recurring impression is of a young musician who’s struck the ideal balance between certainty and flexibility; success and humility. Clearly confident enough in himself and his bandmates, he’s always thinking of the next step, and the step after that, and after that while never taking forward motion for granted. It’d be easy enough for Hosking to have grown a pretty massive head by now, too. In just over a year of playing together, the Sydney band has been kicking all the right goals. From triple j’s Richard Kingsmill hailing single ‘Mexican Mavis’ as “brilliant” in September 2009, to releasing their debut EP With Emperor Antarctica earlier this year, to touring with folk wunderkind Laura Marling, to joining banjo-playing Poms called Mumford & Sons onstage at this little festival called Splendour In The Grass… So, I wonder, what did 20,000 people look like from up there? “It was actually kind of nice,” Hosking says, his phone manner as easy and sweet as his vocals. “I’m usually up the front, so it really felt good just to be on stage and be one of the backing vocalists and all that… It was definitely kind of surreal, just looking up and seeing that many thousands of people. It was really nice though, to share that with them.” I tell Dave that at every one of the three Mumford sets I’ve seen this year, frontman Marcus has mentioned Boy & Bear as one of his new favourite Australian acts and I quietly give myself a point when he sounds a bit gobsmacked.
are starting to think about what a Boy & Bear headline show looks like, as well as sounds like: “…and if you get those things right,” Dave enthuses, “it becomes about ‘What’s it feel like?’ – the whole concept, as opposed to just the way it sounds. I love the idea of doing a set which has a really clear sense of continuity about it.” After that, of course, comes recording for the full-length release. While he doesn’t want to give too much away, the band are pushing the boundaries of their listening habits, and breaking away slightly from the Americana harmonic-country sound of the EP. “I mean, there’ll still be the occasional hoedown, I think, but I’m really conscious of – I mean, this is an opportunity for us to really trademark our sound. You only get one debut record; I’d much rather take too many risks than not take enough.” Who: Boy & Bear What: With Emperor Antarctica EP is out now Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Friday October 29 [sold out], Sunday October 31 [not sold out... yet.]
“Are you serious?” Yup. “That just blows me away,” he says incredulously. “The sheer number of people Marcus is dealing with on a daily basis, the things he has to remember - for him to do that at all these shows… It just blows me away. That’s just the kind of guy he is; he’s just a very generous, lovely guy.” Spending time with high-profile acts like Marling and Mumford on tour has meant even more invaluable experience, in what has already been an educational year for Boy & Bear. They blew up in the same way both British acts have here, selling out a headline gig the Annandale in June - and one at Oxford Art Factory just last week. “We’ve definitely been a little shell-shocked, but we’re settling into this routine… It seems like we just need to get our feet on the ground about where we’re at, and how we’re going to go about this,” he admits. “It’s sort of jumped another level. And I’m careful not to sound like I’m complaining about it - it’s great to be playing bigger venues. It’s great to be playing next to these sorts of artists and to be put under that pressure. I think we’re more confident; that we’re rising to the challenge every time.”
“It’s definitely escalated quicker than we thought. And you have to be careful, because these things that rise very quickly have a tendency to just disappear. So the flipside to that is just busting our arses.” Did he think they’d be playing a major national headline tour so soon? Hosking half-groans, half-laughs. “Oh, no – not like this! Maybe a cheeky gig at the Hopetoun, although that’s a bit difficult these days…” In a more sombre tone, he quickly adds: “No, it’s definitely escalated quicker than we thought. And you have to be careful, you know, because these things that rise very quickly have a tendency to just disappear. So the flipside to that is just busting our arses, working really hard to make sure this headline tour is a step up from anything we’ve ever done before.” The band have been on the road for almost eight months straight, and Hosking does sound a little worse for wear. On the Marling tour, everyone came down with your standard Miserable Cold (“We were all sick as dogs. I think one issue with being in a band is one person gets sick, all five of you get sick!”). But as you read this, they’re hunkering down for a solid month of writing to be fresh for their huge upcoming ‘Blood to Gold’ tour. Hosking says the tour, bookended by Gosford’s Coaster Festival and Stonefest in the ACT, and taking in locations from Perth to Launceston in between, will feature a good deal of new material - and a bit of mood lighting, too. “Some of the really folky shows [at Splendour 2010] just had really, really nice lighting, and it adds a lot.” The band
EVERY PAYER SCORES A COLLECTOR TIN WITH FREE CONDOMS THANKS TO FOUR SEASONS!
BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 23
Undiluted By Mikey Carr
here are unsung heroes in Australian music; men and women who have played their way into the heart and soul of Australia, into the bitumen, red dust, sand, water and rocks of this country. Trends have come and gone, fads have flown by and these musicians have kept playing loud and proud, subtle and soft, original Australian music. Jeff Lang is one of those heroes. As good a guitarist as Australia has produced, he’s at home playing blues, quasi-‘60s psychedelia, country and rock. And live he’s as good as anybody, and more intimate than most. On the road in China at the time of this interview, my first question was about Djan Djan – Lang’s one-off world music record with Mali’s Mamadou Diabate on kora and AustralianIndian Bobby Singh on tabla. It’s a full and hypnotic record that came to being after the trio played together for the first time, at a festival in Melbourne earlier this year. The next morning they walked into the studio to record the album. “Two days of recording,” Jeff tells me. “Well, two half days – so I guess that technically it was just one day.” Turns out the complex album was deceptively easy to make. “We were improvising around a theme for each piece, so it was less about specific preparation and more about just listening to, and responding to, what Mamadou and Bobby were playing. Mostly we had to fit around what Mamadou was doing, as the Kora
has a more fixed range of notes than the guitar - for instance, you can’t play chromatically or modulate keys on Kora - so Bobby and I were just looking for ways that our musical voices would complement what he was doing.” Jeff Lang’s most recent album is 2009’s Chimeradour – a blast of a release with a huge, fabulous sound. That old, psychedelic and ragged Jeff is still blowin’ free, and lifting off. “Having a great band sure helps,” he says. “I’m into the songwriter side of things, but when it comes time to playing some songs, I feel really open to exploration. I was keen to try and capture some of that live energy with Danny (Mckenna, drums) and Grant (Cummerford, bass) on this album.” The lineup wasn’t new for Jeff – he’d been playing with the pair for the year leading up to the record. “The way we were firing off each other was presenting new possibilities for that older batch of songs each night, with a combustible energy that I found really inspiring. It was that same dynamic, freewheeling approach that I was hoping to tap into.” His favourite moment, he says, comes in ‘The Janitor’. “The whole instrumental section [in that track] represents some really deep connections between the band and I. And it was an honour having Don Walker come and play on it.” Don Walker – the writer and keyboardist behind most of Cold Chisel’s biggest hits – is certainly a legend when he sits down and starts tickling those ivories… “He’d be my pick for Australia’s greatest songwriter,” Lang agrees. “Certainly my favourite. So it was such an honour that he was gracious enough to adorn my record with his heavy hand. He has a very singular approach on piano, and I could really hear it fitting with ‘The Janitor’ in particular, right from the word go.” It’s clear that Lang still feels passionate about what he does, even after almost twenty years. “I think your perspective on how much any of this really means or matters changes, sure. I still care deeply about the next song though, whether it’s the one I’m going to write or the one I’m going to perform - so that’s a healthy thing I reckon. “I feel luckier than ever to still have this wacky job, making up songs and singing them to people,” Lang concludes. “When it all clicks it’s just magical - and I still chase that spark.” Who: Jeff Lang What: Chimeradour is out now When: September 9 / September 10 Where: The Clarendon (Katoomba) / The Basement (Sydney)
enetta Fields’ resume reads like the 20th Century Music Hall of Fame. Having worked with Ike and Tine Turner, Pink Floyd, Boz Scaggs and The Rolling Stones, Venetta is of the old order of session singers that are too often forgotten - but she’s been called to lend her her voice to the JD Birthday Set next Wednesday, celebrating the 160th birthday of Mr. Jack Daniels. The night, which features You Am I, Washington, Nic Cester (Jet), Jae Laffer (The Panics) and Tex Perkins, is paying homage to The Rolling Stones’ classic album Exile On Main Street on which Venetta sang back-ups almost half a century ago. “I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen,” she admits, when I ask her what’s in store for the show. “I just said ‘yes’. They just asked me if I was going to sing a song, what song would it be - and I said ‘Honky Tonk Women.’ Other than that, I know nothing. I don’t even know when it is.” This sort of po-faced detachment and confidence can only come from years of experience building her confidence. In fact, disconnecting from her trade as much as possible is something Venetta is good at - she prefers not to even listen to music unless she’s working. “To tell you the truth darling I’m not a music listener - there’s no turntables at my house, I don’t play records. When I was on the road, it was television that kept me company.” It’s somewhat surprising to learn this of a woman who’s been involved with music in one way or another ever since she started singing with her church gospel choir at the age of two. But Venetta explains that to keep her work fresh she needs to be somewhat removed from other people’s music. “When I was doing three of four sessions a day, I had to listen to classical music in between. It was like a sorbet to clean my palette out, clean my ears out, ‘cos I had to go to the next session, and I wanted to start fresh.” Venetta moved to Australia in the early 80s - the music scene in the states was changing in a way she wanted to resist. “Part of the reason why I moved to Australia is that it was such a backward country musically, I could see that I could fit in,” Venetta explains. “I could offer the country so much, and it could offer me so much.” Working with some of the all time legends of modern pop, she’s neither impressed by nor interested in contemporary music - she believing that we look back to the old time greats of yore as a reaction to the ubiquity and subsequent disposability of newer music. “People want to learn about the past now, because today’s singers have no soul,” she says. “[Music now] is so diluted.” Whereas a lot of singers today are disconnected from their backing bands, singers and dancers,
Venetta speaks of her time as an Ikette as a great learning experience, and of Ike as a true teacher and master of his craft. “Ike was a harsh taskmaster, but I learned so much from him,” she tells me. “It was the most rewarding part of my career. If I had not had that part of my career, I might not have gotten to where I am. Still an active musician, these days Venetta is also working on a book. “I don’t want to get back on stage and try to reinvent myself, I’m in my 60s now,” she says. A treasure from an era now gone, with a hell of a lot to teach. Who: Venetta Fields What: The JD Birthday Set With: You Am I, Washington, Nic Cester (Jet), Jae Laffer (The Panics) and Tex Perkins and more Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Wednesday September 15
Better Than Ever By Tony Edwards
n fine hip hop style, Hau was in New York when my call was connected – even though he lives in Sydney. He’s spending a few weeks overseas, taking a break from studio and media responsibilities, and catching a bit of inspiration on the side at Rock The Bells 2010 - with A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg, Clipse and Lauryn Hill. “It’s nice to have a break, so I feel refreshed when I go back,” Hau says. “Even though I love hip hop music, you can get hip hopped out, you know what I mean? I’m cleansing my palette right now.” The microphone-wielding half of Koolism has just released his long-awaited fifth album, The ‘Umu. Hau worked hard on the album, but tells me honestly that his partner-in-crime Danielsan spent more hours on it, perfecting all the beats. “He’s spent a lot of time on the album, much more than I’ve had to. I’m not complaining,” Hau laughs. Danielsan, as a producer, has always steered away from the hip hop clichés - and as a result, Koolism have always managed to sound very much like themselves. As one of Australia’s premier emcees, Hau has always carried much less of the superstar attitude than your typical rapper. Koolism are big news, but Hau takes a healthy postmodern attitude to fame. Honoured with an ARIA in 2004 for their third album Part 3 – Random
Thoughts, their latest album took a lot longer to come to fruition, with a gap of three and a half years since the last release, New Old Ground. But the wait was worth it - The ‘Umu showcases some of their finest work to date. Five albums in now, Hau’s still not sure if the process ever gets any easier or faster. “It does, in some ways,” he says. “You can learn from your mistakes… you don’t re-cover that ground. But then you just make new mistakes.”
also appear as guests on the the track ‘Get Free’. “Uli is my cousin, he’s like a little brother, really,” Hau tells me. “He’s a very talented boy; sings, dances, and acts [at NIDA]. Solomon is an old friend, he’s been around for a while, but he hasn’t put a lot of music out. But yeah, especially in Melbourne he’s highly regarded as a great singer. He’s a very close friend. That’s how we work, you know?” he continues. “Amongst family and friends.”
Who: Koolism What: The ‘Umu is out now on Invada Records, through Remote Control
Between this album and the last, Hau took the reins of triple j’s hip hop show from Maya Jupiter. He tells me that the urge to write rhymes strikes him at various times. “I’m thinking all the time, you know, of rhymes and flows,” he says. “When I’m on the bus, when I’m on the train. I try and remember it by just going over and over it in my head. I always keep a pen and pad next to the bed. A lot of ideas come in the morning when I’ve just woken up, when you’re sort of half asleep, half awake.” The album’s title refers to a traditional Polynesian earth oven. Cooking around an ‘umu is a communal process which Hau likens to the process of getting a bunch of musicians together to make a record. Canberra Raiders star Axe Aklins features on The ‘Umu – he’s a long time friend of Hau’s and a recording artist in his own right. And Uli and Solomon Theta
“They came, they saw, they Conchord” - RHYS DARBY 24 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
Jeff Lang by Luke Kellett
A Long Time Legend By Mike Gee
Groove Armada Keeping x By x It Current By Bridie Connellan
ith a swaggering Brit drawl and a disposition he claims is a “little ratty around the edges”, Andy Cato sounds downright knackered. With Poland on the previous Friday, Barcelona on Saturday, and a nice little kip at Ibiza’s Space Terrace on Sunday, no-one could ever accuse Groove Armada of being undercommitted. “It’s festival season over here, it’s non-stop,” he mutters. “You could say it was a fairly active weekend.” Cato’s uber-Cockney understatements come fast and hectic. As one half of London’s veteran big beat dynamos, the thirtysomething-year-old is showing fatigue but no signs of slowing down, with fresh new album Black Light proving the Armada has yet to sink. “We just tend to start and not stop until we’ve done what we wanted,” he says. “This is an album that’s been coming for about twelve years.” It’s been three years since their last LP, but after thirteen years in the business it’s understandable that Cato and Tom Findlay would take a bit of time to rediscover their creative drive. “We got to the point where we weren’t excited by a lot of things that had gone before; our sound had had its time,” says Cato. “But now we’re totally reenergised by our potential.” In saying this Cato expresses a nicely logical pop sensibility – it’s reasonable to want to keep things current. “I think there’s always been a sort of Groove Armada thread through the years, but it’s not as though we’ve only ever had one particular style,” he says. “We’ve always had songs that go from a ballad with Richie Havens to ‘Superstylin’; I mean it’s a pretty broad church. When people start talking about how different the new album is, it’s probably because it’s properly song-based. The fact that it’s one consistent sound is probably the greatest change of all.”
“We got to the point where we weren’t excited by a lot of things that had gone before; our sound had had its time. But now we’re totally reenergised by our potential. This new album was a new start for us. A new sound.” The changing GA aesthetic, Cato says, is more indicative of personal experimentation than pandering to label pressure for a sound du jour. “It’s not about keeping yourself relevant for someone else’s benefit,” he says. “Now more than ever, you need to be in a situation where you’re about to walk on stage and you think, this is the best music I’ve ever written. This is the most exciting music I’ve ever written. When you’re doing the kind of schedules that we do, you need to have that kind of confidence, otherwise what’s the point, really?” With Black Light still drying on shelves, the duo made the decision to release a festival special LP - the aptly named White Light; a
recording of live versions of new tracks, and older GA classics. “When we play live we always completely rewrite versions of the tracks,” he says. “Over the years we’ve had some amazing versions of songs onstage, and as soon as the tour finishes they’re just gone, sort of lost forever.” The majority of live tracks come from the pair’s new record, lending weight to Cato’s statement that the GA live show is the ‘best it’s ever been’. “This new album was a new start for us, a new sound,” he says. “There’s something about these live versions of Black Light songs that have just been sounding… electric.” For Cato, the process of putting together White Light was a fastidious experiment in fusing performance with production. The duo laid their combination of collaborative electronica with live musicians on record – and the bold sound of Black Light finds itself toting some of the most interesting and admittedly unexpected names to flick the switch. With the record sporting a lot of production credits from Australia’s Nick Littlemore (Pnau, Empire of the Sun), the real surprise was the exclusive appearance of Bryan Ferry and his signature Roxy Music sound on the downtempo progression of ‘Shameless’. The partnership was apparently born from a six-degrees sort of connection. “The venture actually came from a fantastically named photographer named Robert Ashley Spark,” Cato recalls. “He’s always surrounded by Brazilian beauties, and one day he was on a beach in Sydney, as usual surrounded by a fine collection of women. I went to say hello to him and we got talking, so he fixed up a dinner for us and Bryan when we got back to London. Four dinners and a bit of persuasion later, Bryan was up for it.” For the Black Light leg of their worldwide assault, the lads have been joined on record and onstage by dynamic vocal tutor Becky Jones (SaintSaviour), a London leading lady of lycra. “Rebecca is incredible; she goes onstage and she’s like a female David Bowie,” Cato laughs. “She is pulling off these costumes and bounding onstage in things that you couldn’t even imagine… She’s got that proper X Factor- when you walk onstage and everything changes. She becomes this sort of character you’ve got to see to believe.” But no spandex for the two Armada fellows? “Well, I’m six foot eight, I think a catsuit would be a really bad idea,” Cato demurs. “Although I did get caught once DJing at a drag and bondage party when the car broke down, and we had to explain ourselves while we waited for the police...” The Groove Armada juggernaut of grinding, working dancetranceromance is cherished unwaveringly by Australian audiences, and they’ll be bringing it all back to Sydney for this year’s Parklife festival. “We have this great relationship with people over your way - we always go the extra yard to make sure that when we come over, things are absolutely firing. It’s a brilliant cycle. There’s definitely something special in the air.” We’re looking forward to it, Mr Cato - now it’s time to get some sleep, innit. Who: Groove Armada With: Missy Elliot, Soulwax, The Dandy Warhols, Kele, Mix Master Mike, Sinden and more What: Parklife 2010 @ Kippax Lake, Moore Park When: Sunday October 3 BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 25
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brushstrokes WITH MARCEL
DORNEY OF ELBOW ROOM PRODUCTIONS Melbourne-based production company Elbow Room’s first Sydney presentation – to bring us one of the most anticipated shows on this year’s Fringe program. Tell us a bit about Elbow Room… Elbow Room formed after Neal Harvey (Elbow Room’s producer) and I [director] collaborated on our Matilda Award-winning play New Royal in 2006. Since then we have relocated to Melbourne and become a fixture on the national Fringe circuit. In 2008 Elbow Room produced Venus In Furs for the Theatreworks Company initiative program, were awarded the Best Performance [Adelaide Touring] Award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival for There and began a MAPSA mentorship. In 2009 they performed There as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival as well as the Brisbane Festival. In Adelaide they were nominated for the BankSA Support Act Award. a tiny chorus was awarded the People’s Choice Award for Best Performance at the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival and nominated for the Best Performance Award and Best Performer Award at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
he highly physical, fun & witty show a tiny chorus is coming to the Sydney Fringe Festival after a hugely successful run at the Melbourne Fringe Festival last year. a tiny chorus was devised by the two stars, Emily Tomlin and Eryn Jean Norvill [pictured – both veterans of Bell Shakespeare’s touring Actors at Work ensemble] and explores themes of triumph and failure, as well as the central idea of joy. Now the show has ridden the buzz north – in
Who or what inspires you as artists? The artists that influence us the most aren’t the artists that we want to do like, or even the (rare) ones we want to be like: they’re the ones we want to change like. Change is fundamental to an artist, but at the same time, it’s really hard to recognise, and even harder to follow through on: and too often, when people talk ‘developing your profile as an artist’, they mean ‘finding the gimmick you’re gonna flog to death’. While we were making [a tiny chorus], Emily was covering the walls with
pictures by Michael Leunig and quotes from Jim Henson. It wasn’t because we wanted to make what they make: it was because we wanted to get as far as possible away from what we’ve done before, and we were inspired by how these very complicated guys could find a simplicity and directness in what they did. What was the thinking behind the show’s theme of “joy”? When we were making the show, it was a challenge to be simple and direct on the subject of things like joy, which we find easy to mock, or to be cynical or defensive about. Trying to find simple, direct ways to express joy at the presence of another person, or the happiness that comes from making another person happy, can challenge your presentation of your own self-awareness, which is something that smart people are often inordinately proud of. Making work that gets people to smirk, though, is easy in comparison to provoking a real smile. This is where we think Emily and Eryn have been, and continue to be, courageous. What are you up to for the rest of the year? Elbow Room are currently engaged in the creative development of their new work, Now More Than Ever, due to premiere late in 2011. What: Elbow Room presents a tiny chorus When: September 10-25 Where: Bay 20, Carriageworks More: thesydneyfringe.com.au/shows/tinychorus
BEING HUMAN Meet Bristol flatmates George, Mitchell and Annie. They have jobs, romantic troubles, and sharehouse dramas like most twenty-somethings; George wishes he had Mitchell’s skill with the ladies, Mitchell’s going through some substance-dependency issues and Annie is just plain lonely. These problems are only compounded by the fact that George is a werewolf, Mitchell a vampire and Annie a ghost. Not just another passenger on the crowded supernatural bandwagon, this BAFTA-nominated, BBC series has been hailed as, ahem, “frighteningly good”. The Brag has 5 DVD packs up for grabs, each including the first two seasons of Being Human. Email freestuff@thebrag. com and tell us who would win a fight between a vampire and a werewolf, and why.
A Czar Is Born
The Wizard of Oz (dir. Larry Semon)
SCREEN LIVE: THE WIZARD OF OZ SYDNEY FRINGE FESTIVAL
The time is almost upon us: the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival lands in the Inner West on September 10. The Brag won’t be offering any kind of useful advice – such as an algorithm or random chance-based selection process – for sorting out which of the sixty thousand (-ish) amazing-looking Fringe shows you should go to. There are only so many hours in the day, kids. It's just a fraction of the tempting artistic morsels that have landed on the Arts desk, but these are some shows we’re particularly keen on in the lead-up: deeply silly literary-hoax musical comedy A Czar Is Born; multievent, all-lady showcase Girlicious, based at Newtown’s PACT Theatre; Sam Simmons’ genre-bending stand-up show FAIL; and art-noise enfants terribles Hoof & Antler’s “super-dooper hallucinogenic, childwielding hysteria!” based around T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece The Waste Land returns, after a notorious performance at Tiny Stadiums earlier this year. We shall show you overstimulation in a handful of events next week as well. www.thesydneyfringe.com.au
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Bet you a pair of ruby slippers that you didn’t know there was a film made of Frank L Baum’s classic novel The Wizard of Oz… in 1925. Fourteen years before the Judy Garland Technicolor explosion we all know and love, the now little-known silent-comedy maestro Larry Semon directed a young Oliver Hardy (of “Laurel and” fame) in this oft-forgotten adaptation that influenced the more famous version. Australia’s “queen of boogie-woogie piano”, Jan Preston, with two more musicians, will perform a new score to the film live at the Sydney Opera House as part of the hugely popular Screen Live program. Jamie “Jay Katz” Leonarder will introduce the screening, to be held on Sunday September 19. www.sydneyoperahouse.com
THIS IS NOT ART
We’ll be giving you an absolute deluge of detail about the This Is Not Art festival – the best thing about Newcastle since Tap Dogs – in coming weeks, but for now we’ll have a little rave about the just-announced program. Under the TiNA umbrella comes a host of smaller initiatives and events, including Crack Theatre Festival, Critical Animals, walkARTbout, Electrofringe, the National Young Writers’ Festival and Sound Summit. Events include live music from acts such as Kyu, Songs, Grouper (USA) and No Anchor; a build-yourown-fuzz-pedal workshop; a Human Theremin; the American Gothic Ball and oh-mygoodness-so-much-more. Stay tuned… thisisnotart.org
All right, item four… Everyone’s favourite supremely awkward Kiwi, Murray from Flight of the Conchords, is actually a less-awkward Kiwi called Rhys Darby, and he does stand-up. Many of you may be aware of this, given he sold out a lot of shows last year. He’s back in October with a brand new show, simply called It’s Rhys Darby Night. His Sydney show is at the Enmore Theatre on October 27, and tickets are on sale Monday September 13.
BONDI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
The Bondi Short Film Festival is now accepting entries for the 2010 competition. Now in its tenth year, the completely independent festival will be held on the November 27 at the Bondi Pavilion, with prizes of a fabulous nature on offer including flights to the USA, pre-paid Visa cards and editing packages. The only rules are, there are no rules – and that films should be shorter than 15 minutes and no more than 18 months old. Cut to: www.bondishortfilmfestival.com for entry forms and more details. On a related note, Flickerfest have just extended the cut-off date for local entries to September 17 – so get a wriggle on, miniFellinis.
21-year-old fashion enthusiasts are pretty easy to come by. But the ones the can make a business out of it? I mean, that’s just unfair. With a closet full of thrift and an entrepreneurial bent, Sydney’s Claudia Maturana launched Esoteric Wardrobe – an online mecca for one-off vintage and boutique pieces. Have a browse - esotericwardrobe.com.au
FOOL FOR LOVE
Sam Shepard’s dusty, claustrophobic, deeply American play about addiction, love and lust is being staged Downstairs at Belvoir at the end of this month. Directed by former human rights campaigner, NIDA Director’s Program grad and Belvoir newcomer Imara Savage, the play gives us one of the fiercely masculine Shepard’s strongest female characters in the tempestuous May. Belvoir have been on an amazing roll in recent times, and Fool For Love promises to continue Sydney’s current obsession with idiosyncratic but excellent American theatre – no complaints from over this way, though. Fool For Love open on September 30. www.belvoir.com.au
SMOKE & MIRRORS
Just briefly, some exciting news. Hot on the heels of an all-conquering, four-and-five-star-showered season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, iOTA’s stunning and eclectic cabaret Smoke & Mirrors will be returning to The Famous Spiegeltent for the 2011 Sydney Festival in a four-week run. At this year’s festival, tickets to the show were rumoured to be worth two kidneys and a testicle on the black arts market – this writer was among the unlucky ones who missed out – so be at the ready for date and ticket announcements soon.
Rising star Emma Stone on getting an A in Comedy
n the vein of 90s hits like Clueless and 10 Things I Ha Hate ate About You, high-school comedy medy Easy A offers both a modern rn n interpretation of a classic story y and an intelligent teen film. With th h a distinctly 21st-century twist on on promiscuity, the film is loosely based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s e’s 1850 classic The Scarlet Letter. r. In Hawthorne's novel, the central ral character, Hester Prynne, lives s in 17th-century puritanical Boston. n. When Hester commits adultery y and has another man’s baby, she is s ostracised by her community, who who force her to wear a scarlet letter er A. In Easy A, Olive Penderghast st (Emma Stone, in her first leading in ng role) attends a high school with ha strong teen abstinence group, w who ho are outraged when she pretends ds to lose her virginity. As the school’s ho ool’s rumour mill goes into overdrive e Olive embraces the increased ssocial ocial recognition, branding herself with a red letter A.
A W AY
So what attracted Stone to the he e project? “I work in a business s rumours and thatt is tha is so so fuel ffuelled uelled led by ru rumou mours rs a nd people the rumour mill, and what peo ople
really think about you without ever re eally getting to know you,” she says. gettin s. “So interesting to explore someone it’s int me eone goes the other way; most who g stt people spend their time denying peopl ying what isn’t true, but Olive takes s it to other extreme and decides the ot ess to become this caricature of what becom at the rumours have said about her a and rumou nd fuels it herself.” who Olive is a clean-cut teenager wh ho tends to fly under the social radar dar at school – until she pretends to sl sleep schoo leep her gay friend Brandon (Dan with h an Byrd), who is being bullied. The e ruse brings Olive newfound popularity itty and chance for financial gain. Stone a chan ne explains that “[T]here’s really the explai e sense of wanting to help someone one needs it and [she] is just trying that ne ryying high school as well. S So to survive surv o I think it’s a mix of wanting to see ee notoriety feels like- she’s n not what n ot a martyr.” Stone also saw a little o off her marty personality in the character. own p err. “I loved playing Olive because she’s he e’s not too far off from my own sarcastic tic c self, her verbal diarrhoea.” with h opportunity Easy A gave gave Stone Stone the op oppor porttu tunity tunity to work worrk with some impressive
names, name including Patricia Clarkson rkkson (Good Night and Good Luck) and and Stanley Stanle Tucci (The Devil Wears rss Prada), Prada who play her parents. “I “I had no idea ide that Patty was so kooky; k y; she was w always dancing and nuts, nuts, and completely justified why Olive c Olive was the th way she was. I was so o grateful gratef to her for that. And Stanley anley is just unbelievable; shooting with with them was the best three days ever. I’m kind kin of a walking sponge when when it comes com to working with actors rss I admire.” admir Stone, Stone who made her film debut bu ut as Jonah Jon Hill’s love interest in n the 2007 smash hit Superbad, has as sa flair for fo comic roles. “I watched da lot of comedies when I was a kkid id and didn’t really connect the dots, d do ots, but then th they put me in a school ool play when I was little and I thought, w ought, ‘Wow, this is really fun’, and then he en I really got some kind of bug after after seeing The Jerk and Planes, Tr Trains rains and Automobiles. I was like, ‘II want A to go into comedy.’” In Eas Easy A Olive’s new social statuss at school schoo sc hooll doesn’t doesn does n t come come e without withou ut its critics. Amanda Bynes Byn nes
By Beth Wilson
(She’ss the Man, Hairspray) plays ayys Marianne, Olive’s abstinenceMaria preaching nemesis. Appalled by preac by Olive’s behaviour, Marianne plots lo ots to have hav her thrown out of school ool by spreading more malicious rumours. sprea mours. Although Althou it’s a comedy, Easy A also looks at the serious issue lo e of bullying - especially its topical bul cal online aspects. Stone feels there ere is an important message for the he film’s audience. “There are so many questions in this day and age about quest bullying bullyin and about cyber-bullying ying and kids that are literally taking k ng g their own lives because of rumours o mours started starte about them and crap on on the Internet Intern that horrible kids are saying. saying. So if people can take anything p g from this it is that the people who t who are bullying you are the insecure bu ure ones. And what you are doing g is not wrong. They are just asses, w s, and if you can deal with them, you’ll u’’ll emerge emerg a stronger person.” Along with Superbad, Stone is also also known for her role as savvy Wichita chita in popular popula horror-comedy Zombieland, ela land, alongside Jesse Eisenberg and alongs d Woody Woody Harrelson. Harrel Har relson son.. Easy Easy A is set set to propel propel Stone into the leading-lady leading-la ady
stratosphere - is she ready for the stratoss increased attention this will bring? “I increa have a very liveable life compared to a lot lo of people my age who do what we w do, like Kristen Stewart or someone," she says. "I think it’s som terrifying. Talking to people about terrifyi the work wo you’ve done, that’s great, it’s part pa of the job, but to think of someone someo being outside your house, that freaks me out. So I guess I’m not fr prepared at all!” prepa Stone has plenty of projects lined up, including a change of pace. “I inc get to go to Mississippi to shoot this movie called The Help, which m is based bas on this incredible book. It takes place during the civil rights movement in the 60s, is set in the movem Deep South and is very different from what I’ve done before. It’s my w first ever ev non-comedy.” But fans of Stone’s Stone comic talents needn’t fear: “I recently recen finished Crazy, Stupid, Love with Steve Carell, Julianne Moore S and Ryan Gosling. I’m in a really R good place right now.” What Easy A What: When: Wh Whe n: Opens September 16
REEL ANIME 2010 COMPETITION T
his year’s Reel Anime festival brings an incredible line-up of four high-profile features to the Dendy in Newtown from September 2-15. The highly anticipated second instalment in the blockbuster Rebuild of Evangelion series, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance, is set to wow audiences with its monster-robot action set pieces. Racing epic Redline mixes slick action with retro anime style, in a world-exclusive preview; while horror-fantasy-thriller King of Thorn reworks Sleeping Beauty in stunningly dark style. And from the people responsible for the hit of the 2008 festival, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, comes Summer Wars: maths, grannies and parallel worlds combine to produce what’s sure to be an instant classic. To help you gear up for these epic releases Madman Entertainment and The Brag are giving away three awesome anime DVD packs, each including a copy of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. To be in the running email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us the full title of the first film in the Rebuild of Evangelion series.© 2010 SGI BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 27
Sydney Underground Film Festival [FILM] Thinking outside the multiplex. By Barlow Redfearn being shown at our festival, as these are still filmmakers who are still going to piss people off.”
American: The Bill Hicks Story
n this age of conservative and homogenised cinema, there are increasingly few films screened which break the conventions of Hollywood’s ‘cinema of quality’. Built on an ethos of celebrating different and challenging cinematic forms, the Sydney Underground Film Festival is one of the few film festivals in Australia that truly celebrates cinematic diversity. Running from the 9th to the 11th of September, the festival is screening over 100 films (including
8 features) at the festival’s spiritual home; the Factory Theatre. The festival’s program is once again appropriately diverse, covering the gamut of film genres. And the festival’s curators, Stefan Popescu and Katherine Berger – both of whom are filmmakers themselves – have a few special treats in store for this year’s audiences. “We have a lot more ‘big name’ directors this year,” says Stefan. “Usually we don’t go for names but these films were really deserving of
west secure such a high-profile opening night centrepiece?
By definition an underground or avantgarde film should be provocative. However, provocative filmmaking is not wholly restricted to experimental forms. For the 2010 program, Stefan has secured a handful of narrative features by well-known directors. These include South of the Border, by Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (Wall Street, Platoon), and Trash Humpers, by controversial undergroundfilm auteur Harmony Korine; both films are traditional in structure, yet still bound to shock and unsettle Sydney audiences.
“The way it happened [with South of the Border] was that I saw footage of the film on the news – a really strange place for this to start – and then I got home and Googled it and saw no one in Australia was showing it,” says Stefan. “The footage I saw was from the US premiere and there was a big controversy over it because the film attacks big American media, so of course the media reacted to it. So I took it and ran with it and I knew because of Murdoch and the fact our media is just as dominated as [in the US], I knew no one was going pick it up here. I knew straight away this is a shoe-in.”
“If a film is just good and entertaining, it doesn’t cut it,” Stefan says. “And if you’re talking about features you’re generally talking about narrative and it’s really hard to do something different with narrative. I’ve read reviews of Trash Humpers [where] you realise the reviewer walked out at about the 30 minute mark, and I think it’s structured to get rid of the conservative people at a particular point and only the rest who hang around get to see what the film is really about.”
Stefan also says that he and Berger have grown in their roles since the festival began, and more doors are opening for them as relationships develop. “A lot of the ways we secured the big names for this year’s festival was directly [through] the filmmakers, and I like having a direct relationship with the directors. Also, the conservatism we spoke about earlier has allowed us to grow and gain access to stuff like South of the Border.”
The Australian premiere of Oliver Stone’s South of the Border - a documentary examining the US media’s demonisation of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - cements the SUFF as an important part of Australia’s film festival landscape. But how did an emerging avantgarde film festival based in Sydney’s inner
What: Sydney Underground Film Festival When: Thursday September 9 – Saturday September 10 Where: Factory Theatre, Marrickville More: www.suff.com.au
Comrade Couture dir Marco Wilms
Our Town [THEATRE] A new view on an old standard. By Holly Orkin
QueerDoc Our Town
hornton Wilder’s Our Town is the most-produced play ever in the United States, and has been turned into two films, three television specials and one opera. It was once prevented from being performed in occupied Berlin in 1946, on grounds of being “too depressing”; but traditionally, the American view of Our Town is of an affectionate depiction of an American town in the early 20th century, and a nostalgic meditation on life and love. Robin Goldsworthy and Maeve Dermody, cast members of the upcoming Sydney Theatre Company production, agree that it can be at once melancholy and uplifting. Being part of an Australian company means they are given the chance to explore that balance: “I think it’s often done in America as a look back to a slice of life, a time with things they can really get a bit sentimental about,” says Goldsworthy. “But because it’s not about anything to do with our past, we have a really lovely perspective and we can look at what’s actually going on in the play instead of it being a representation of 'Oh, look at that!’ and 'Remember how lovely that was?’” Both Dermody and Goldsworthy say there is a lot of sadness and darkness in Our Town, something that is often lost when produced in the States. American playwright Edward Albee once scoffed that “most productions of Our Town are so terrible—they pretend it’s a Christmas card.” Under the direction of Iain Sinclair, the cast of Our Town seek to tell more frankly the story of George & Emily and the people of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. “In the first week [of rehearsals] we really did look at the darkness within it, what is the fracturing element of the play and the people. We really fleshed that out and now we’ve allowed that to calm down and just permeate through. We’re not hammering it home, but it’s there,” Dermody
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says, adding that “a lot of it is about letting the audience find their own way through it.” Over three acts there is both joy and tragedy in what is ultimately a widely accessible exploration of human existence. It is often read as a philosophical argument for enjoying the moment and living in the here and now. “It’s a very truthful, honest piece and I don’t think that you really need to step too far,” says Dermody. “It’s really not removed from Australian audiences.” Though it has its sadder side, it also has elements of humour and light that travel alongside the darker themes, “When you perform it, it feels so open and big, everything is so punched with energy!” Dermody adds. That energy is something that has been a blessing to a cast tackling such a seminal text. They have had a valuable head start too, says Goldsworthy; five of the performers have worked together before under Sinclair’s direction on another American work, Killer Joe by Tracy Letts (whose August: Osage County, with its similar themes of small-town and family tribulations, is currently proving a critical and audience favourite for the STC). This is a rare opportunity to see one of the greats of American theatre performed by an intelligent and talented cast. A chance to explore the trials and tribulations of Grover’s Corners from our unique perspective – such an endeavour ought to please fans of classic texts, those fascinated by American identity, and Sydney’s hard-to-please community of theatregoers. No mean feat, for such a simple story. What: Our Town When: Previews from September 14, Season from September 18 Where: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House
[FILM] Because truth is queerer than fiction. By Alex Parker
ere you ever misled by Eat Carpet, listed in the late night section of the TV guide? I never stopped wanting that rough assembly of short films to morph and match its titular implications. Not that I wanted it to be porn – honestly, I actually imagined a documentary series of cutting-edge Sapphic confessions… but maybe that’s just me. Luckily, gone are the days of sneaky late-night SBS viewing and crossed fingers in hopes of catching a glimpse of queer culture on TV. Lex Lindsay and his team at Queerscreen project it all on the big screen annually during their Queerdoc festival. This year they’re letting it all hang out at Dendy Newtown and shaking it about from September 9-19, as part of the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival. The 2010 program has enough non-fiction triumphs, tribulations and real-life skin to satisfy the slightly bent bone in each of us. The nostalgic recollection of brave artistic and sexual expression in the face of an oppressive regime features strongly in this year’s selection, most notably in both Dzi Croquettes and Comrade Couture. Hailing from Brazil, Dzi Croquettes commemorates a treasured troupe of shiny, innovative cabaret stars of the same name. While personal freedoms were increasingly restricted in Brazil during the 70s and 80s, Dzi Croquettes confused censors with their satire and transfixed audiences with their music, movement and taut male bodies wrapped in the the most beautiful of women’s clothes. They lived high, hard and fast, inspiring life-long fans in the likes of Liza Minnelli and reminding their loved ones that ‘Gays turn to glitter when they die’. Comrade Couture is far less tragic in tone, yet just as sentimental, following dorky dad Marco Wilms as he tries to relive his glory days as a GDP model during the 80s in East Berlin. While Marco seems like a lost square, the fashionistas he used to hang out with are still the real deal and happily join Marco’s quest to cause a stir in today’s scene, living a re-use enthusiast’s dream
as they re-create their original couture, fashioned out of shower curtains and hospital bags. From one regime to another, Prima Donna maps gay pop troubadour Rufus Wainwright’s seemingly ridiculous quest to compose a traditional opera, for traditional opera audiences. The film offers rare insight into the dealings of the Wainwright family as each famous member (including late mother Kate & aunt Anna McGarrigle, sister Martha and father Loudon) offers honest commentary on family life and Rufus’s niche as the talented, high-maintenance upstart. Not to be missed by anyone who knows all the lyrics to ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’. Some fun reminders that radicalism is not dead string us along with Le Tigre: On Tour and French provocateur Emilie Jouvet’s Too Much Pussy!: Feminist Sluts. Both docos cover live performance and politics, but one throws in a bit of nudity and real sex for good measure. Finally, closing night sees Nienke Eijsink’s Fan hitting the screen. Remember that terrible show The Flying Doctors? Nienke does. In fact Nienke’s childhood obsession with Liz Burch and her character in the series, Dr Chris, burned madly into adulthood and propelled the Dutch filmmaker to head Down Under with a passionate dream: to meet and cast Ms Burch in a film. We’ve all been there, right? With such a broad spectrum of witty, tragic, sexy, shocking and beautiful films, QueerDoc 2010 presents the world with a wonderfully multifaceted look at queer culture – the best part is, it’s all true. What: QueerDoc 2010 When: September 9-19 Where: Dendy Newtown More: www.queerscreen.com.au
Explore the creative genius behind Edward Scissorhands, Batman and Beetlejuice.
IN ONLY NE! R U O MELB
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BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 29
Film & Theatre Reviews
At the heart of the arts Where you went last week.
What's hot on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.
THE OTHER GUYS Released September 9
bams & ted
PICS :: TL
Earlier this year, Kevin Smith had a crack at reviving the 80s buddy-cop genre with the unfunny Cop Out - an amateurish effort that wasted the talents of its stars, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Adam McKay’s The Other Guys is what Cop Out should have been.
26:08:10 :: Gaffa Gallery :: 281 Clarence Street, Sydney 92834373
It’s the fourth collaboration between McKay and Will Ferrell (after Anchorman, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Step Brothers) and the two are now old hands at their comic collaborations. Ferrell plays Allen Gamble, a reserved, fiercely pragmatic police accountant who leaves the fieldwork to the force’s star cops, Detectives Danson and Highsmith. The latter two are played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson, hilariously spoofing their tough-guy personas. Their swift, hysterical exit from the picture forces Gamble and his more volatile partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), to take their place.
PICS :: RR
Were they any less than utterly incompetent, it wouldn’t have taken them long to apprehend a billionaire weasel investor (played by an underused Steve Coogan), who’s in neck-deep with a corrupt bank CEO (Anne Heche) and her supposedly Australian head of security (Ray Stevenson, whose accent stems more from South Africa and Blighty than the land of Oz). But the considerable plot – which bogs down the third act with necessary resolution – is far from the movie’s most salient aspect. Like the other McKay-Ferrell films, it works best when the actors are allowed to riff on material, such as the hilarious sequence where Gamble rebuts Hoitz’s threat that “if I were a lion, and you were a tuna, I would swim out into the ocean and EAT you!” with an excessively logical retort.
25:08:10 :: World Bar :: 24 Bayswater Rd Kings Cross 93577700
Arts Exposed What's on our calendar...
THE CAMERA CLUB @ Beach Road Hotel The Camera Club is an achingly hip and fabulously fair-minded new exhibition concept space at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi. With a new photographic group exhibition curated every three months around an evocative theme, and all works available to buy commissionfree, it’s a simple idea executed in a casual setting. The curator selects a photographer, who then selects another photographer to join them, and so it goes until ten artists are contributing to a varied collection of works. The first exhibition just opened last week – working with the theme of “We all have TEENAGE FANTASIES”, and featuring artists works from Dane Peterson (USA/Australia), Emily Abay (Australia) Justin Jay (USA), Steve Baccon (Australia),Toby Burrows (Australia), Myles Barrell (UK), Sylve Colless (Australia), Christian Blanchard (Australia), A Dead Coffin Club (Australia), & curated by Justin Barnwell (Australia). More camera-related fun and features are to come, but for now, the promise of wild, hazy nostalgic evocations of adolescent dreams – plus a bar, and homemade pizza to be nibbled – ought to be temptation enough. TEENAGE FANTASIES is on now and entry is free. www.thecameraclub.com.au 30 :: BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10
The Other Guys is genuinely funny, sometimes even unexpectedly: Michael Keaton as the duo’s TLC-quoting boss, and Eva Mendes as Gamble’s absurdly attractive wife. You’ll want to stay for the end credits, too, which features a bizarrely sincere denunciation of corrupt Wall Street bankers and Ponzi schemes. Fascinating – but what on earth is it doing attached to a Will Ferrell comedy? Wouldn’t it be better appended to the forthcoming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps? Joshua Blackman ■ Film
PLEASE GIVE Released September 9 Nicole Holofcener is like the Noah Baumbach (Greenberg) of white middle class women. Her bittersweet comedies are full of characters that are obsessive, narcissistic, neurotic; but because they’re doing their best to grapple with life’s quandaries, we embrace them – whether it’s the painfully image-conscious actress in Lovely and Amazing, or the self-involved screenwriter in Friends with Money. Holofcener has mastered the exposition of those everyday, private moments of vulnerability that we recognise in ourselves, and cherish in others (if only in commiseration). Holofcener’s fourth feature stars her consistent muse Catherine Keener as Kate, a successful vintage furniture dealer living in Greenwich Village. She has a comfortable marriage and a beautiful apartment, but is plagued by guilt - from the nebulous middle class kind, to the
realisation that her business is premised on the exploitation of grieving relatives, and the nagging sensation that her attitude towards her 15-year-old daughter Abby’s expensive tastes is somewhat hypocritical. While her husband & business partner Alex (Oliver Platt) is cheerfully pragmatic, Kate exorcises her guilt through acts of inept charity – whether she’s offering expensive leftovers to a man in the street, keeping the local drag queen in Chanel lipstick, or hosting a 90th-birthday dinner for her acidtongued next-door neighbour Andra (whose apartment she & Alex have bought, and plan to renovate – once she dies). Like Kate and Alex, Andra’s granddaughters, Rebecca (Rebecca Hall) and Mary (Amanda Peet), are studies in contrast; the former gives of her time and energy selflessly, at the expense of her own needs; the latter is unapologetically (and refreshingly) conscience-free. Over the course of the film, however, all these characters are on a trajectory toward balance. At a time when it’s increasingly difficult to ignore the impact of our lifestyles and consumer choices – and the poverty on which these are premised – Holofcener seems to suggest that charity begins at home, and that we might do well to tend to our intimate relationships first. Please Give seems like the director’s most upbeat film yet, but perhaps it’s just that she’s refined some of the rawness of her basic ingredients. Dee Jefferson ■ Film
THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE Released September 9 Nicolas Cage has made a career out of various flavours of wackiness, it seems often just for the sake of it. Sometimes it works (Bad Lieutenant, Kick-Ass) and sometimes it doesn’t (The Wicker Man, Next). In The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the latest product from mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, he’s a frizzy-haired sorcerer with the ability to make even the most routine exposition zing with his loopy linereadings. It’s a good thing his Balthazar Blake gets his share of screen time, since without him this film would feel more like the cynical, manufactured blockbuster it is under its glossy, CGI sheen. As explained in the trite prologue (not unlike that of Bruckheimer’s recent Prince of Persia), Balthazar was a protégé of Merlin – yes, that Merlin – and is on the hunt for the “Prime Merlinian”, the sorcerer who will be able to defeat the evil Morgana and her accomplice Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina). He turns out to be the scrawny Dave (Hollywood’s current go-to geek Jay Baruchel), an ineffectual physics major in present-day Manhattan. Horvath has escaped his Matryoshka doll-like prison and is at large plotting world domination, so naturally, it’s up to Balthazar and his new apprentice to stop him. The film is directed by Jon Turteltaub, a competent gun-for-hire who’s also responsible for both National Treasures. To its detriment, Apprentice isn’t as self-aware as those trashy entertainments, but it’s still a competently-made fantasy with much technical merit and some entertaining performances from actors well-versed in this kind of material. Turteltaub took on the project at the behest of Cage, who wanted to make a modern family movie inspired by the famous bewitched-brooms sequence from Fantasia (1940). The mops also come alive in this version, but set to a watereddown version of Paul Dukas’ famous music, it feels second-hand. There’s a romantic subplot featuring Dave’s life-long crush, Becky (an appealing Teresa Palmer), which, for its type, is surprisingly effective. I did find it odd that wizards capable of animating the gargoyles atop the Chrysler Building find it necessary to indulge in bog-standard car chases. But that’s Bruckheimer for you. Joshua Blackman
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
Camera Club pic by Dane Peterson
DVD Reviews What's been on our TV screens this week The Good, the Bad and the Totally Unicorn
Icon Home Entertainment Released September 8 I confess a weakness for stuck-on-a-spaceship movies. Danny Boyle’s Sunshine is the best recent example, but even the mediocre cult favourite Event Horizon has its claustrophobic, blood-soaked pleasures. That film was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who has made a career from schlocky genre movies like Resident Evil. His influence is also evident his latest production, Pandorum, a derivative piece of survival sci-fi directed by Christian Alvart. Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) and Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) awaken from cryo-sleep on the long-haul vessel Elysium. Both amnesiacs, and seemingly the only waking survivors on the 16,000-passenger ship, they set about exploring the Alien-esque corridors. Bower takes the lead with only a torch and some glow sticks, while Payton oversees from above. They discover that much of the crew has mutated into spiky, ravenous cannibals, and that the ship’s reactor will soon fail if they don’t find and reset it. Bower soon encounters a few sketchy human survivors, which allows Alvart the opportunity to construct some bloody action sequences, though they’re edited in a clichéd, staccato rhythm. Despite its low-rent theatrics, there are interesting ideas bubbling in Travis Milloy and Alvart’s screenplay - especially regarding the “Pandorum” madness that can afflict long-term space travellers, and some of their more creative third-act plot revelations. The set design is also impressive when there’s enough of a blue glow to make it visible, but the film is otherwise dark and dingy, and none of the actors have a shred of credibility – even Quaid just coasts with his angry-grunt routine. Disc features include some promotional, rather insincere docos, a commentary track and almost half an hour of deleted scenes. Joshua Blackman
Roadshow Home Entertainment Released August 5
There’s some argument over whether “the crazies” are actually zombies. I say if it looks like a zombie and acts like a zombie, then it probably is. Technically, the unpredictable, salivating creatures who roam the small Midwest town of Ogden Marsh, are not the undead. Infected with a virus that’s contaminated the town’s water supply, they can still operate machinery, burn down houses and come at you with a buzzsaw. But for all intents and purposes, Breck Eisner’s film, an entertaining remake of George A. Romeo’s 1973 original, fits snugly within the genre’s established tropes. The Crazies is elevated to B-movie excellence by a trio of compelling performances and tight, crafty filmmaking from Eisner, who fully exploits both the claustrophobia of the town and the eerie expanse of the Iowan landscape. Apart from dealing with the locals, who have turned into bleeding, murderous monsters, our heroes – who include the town sheriff (Deadwood’s Timothy Olyphant), his pregnant wife (Aussie Radha Mitchell) and deputy (Joe Anderson) – must confront an over-zealous military swarming the town in ruthless containment mode. This follows a similar line to the original, or 1995’s enjoyable disease-thriller, Outbreak. A dash of political subtext perhaps reveals its origins with zombie-auteur Romero (who executive produced), but The Crazies is above all a well-made, intense slice of suspensehorror – so it’s a complete mystery as to why it’s been released straight to DVD in this country. The disc features impressive visual quality and a gaggle of features including a commentary by Eisner, behind-the-scenes features, trailers, visual effects walkthroughs, photo galleries and the first two episodes of The Crazies motion comic. For genre fans, this is a no-brainer.
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Street Level Getting the band back together - Michael Pigott, director of tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ
tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ hat is your background in the theatre? I’m a director mostly, although I’ve just recently made a return to acting. I’ve had no formal training but knew that I wanted to be involved in making theatre since I was pretty young. I’m interested in all aspects of live performance including dance & music - I find myself constantly fascinated by the relationship between performer and audience member in the live environment.
dysfunkshonals photo by Patrick Boland
How did you get involved with this play? I was approached by [producer] Sam Hawker from Arts Radar. I knew that the Darlinghurst Theatre was interested and I have a really great history [with them]. This will be the seventh show I’ve directed there. It was the funniest script I had read in a long time, really tight writing, fantastic characters and just the right amount of bite to make you go ‘Wait a minute, you can’t say that!’ Plus the fact that it’s about a punk band and they play live on stage - that’s awesome. What about the (slightly unconventional) casting process? We needed people who could play music as well as act, because they’re required to play some tunes as a band. I knew as soon as I read the script that I wanted Greame Rhodes to play the lead part of Billy. I’ve worked with Greame before and he is
an amazing actor and happens to be a musician as well. He had to leave rehearsal early the other day to go record a bassline for a punk band from New Zealand – nuff said. Michael Long, who plays Marc, comes with years of music industry knowledge. He managed Jimmy Barnes at one point and he’s our go-to man for questions of authenticity and about recording contracts. What does the play say about music and punk culture now and in the past? There has always been a link between the [music & counter-culture] but the punk movement was such a strong point in music history and such a short but influential period. The play looks at how counterculture movements exist for a reason in a specific time & place and what happens when these movements get subsumed into popular culture. I love how popular forms borrow from the past to create something new; the links between music and culture and how they inform and affect one another are really amazing. The play is a whole lot of fun. It’s punk, it’s loud, it’s a little bit crazy. But above all, it’s just very, very funny. What: tHe dYsFUnCKshOnalZ Where: September 8 – October 3 When: Darlinghurst Theatre More: www.darlinghursttheatre.com BRAG :: 378 :: 06:09:10 :: 31
Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK EELS
for the first time since 'Fresh Feeling', E has crafted a truly joyous love song in the form of ‘Spectacular Girl’.
Tomorrow Morning E Works/Vagrant/Shock Within the context of the concept trilogy of albums Eels have released over the past 18 months, Tomorrow Morning is a fitting foil to the grungy rock of 2009’s Hombre Lobo and January’s sombre End Times. It represents a bright, optimistic sunrise following a harrowing night.
After a tumultuous 14 years, E’s high spirits were somewhat overdue. He’s no longer missing that girl.
As a songwriter whose personal life spills inexorably into his work, frontman Mark Everett – AKA ‘E’ - has faced his share of hardship. For now though, life’s good. Lyrically, Tomorrow Morning is the most positive and confident Eels album ever – in ‘I’m A Hummingbird’, he sings “It was all worth it to be here now.” The gospel keys and backing vocals of 'Looking Up' are infectiously uplifting and,
Surfing The Void Modular/Universal
It’s not saying much to note that while Bon Iver’s success a couple of years ago was undoubtedly deserved, the whole ‘retreat-heart-broken-to-a-log-cabinin-the-woods-and-pour-your-woundedsoul-into-sound’ thing certainly didn’t hurt. With their self-titled debut, Belgian folksters Isbells seem to have attempted to ride Mr Vernon’s wake with respectable, but hardly overpowering, results. Leading man Gaëtan Vandewoude apparently wrote and recorded the material here in a ‘decrepit stable’ in the country, although the buffed Mr Sheen finish to the sound perhaps belies the mythmaking. A pity too, as a more lo-fi recording would perhaps have lent the songs a bit more character than they otherwise seem capable of mustering. Not that these tracks are by any means bad; Vandewoude combines a crisply efficient picking style with simple but effective melodies, his sweetly soaring voice sitting somewhere between Bon Iver and Jonsi. Lyrically, he’s very much preoccupied with what sort of future the next generation are likely to inherit, with musings delivered in a simple and direct voice. “What do I tell my child / its future’s gone for life” he sings on opener ‘As Long As It Takes’ while squaring his jaw to the life of art – “I can’t change the world with melodies / but I’ll try” - on ‘Without A Doubt.’ Elsewhere things veer towards the saccharine: “a tender word and a sweet, sweet kiss / is what I need from you” he pines on ‘My Apologies.’ What irks me is that although the music compliments Vandewoude’s reflective tone, his insights aren’t terribly insightful - and what drama there is isn’t hugely dramatic. Together it makes Isbells is a peculiarly monotone listen... Sure is purty though. Oliver Downes
The last time I had a run-in with these lads, I made myself a few enemies. As such, I decided to approach the sophomore album from the Horsemen of 2012 as if I’d never heard Klaxons before, let alone scored their debut LP a whole 0 stars in this very publication... This approach actually seemed to be working quite well; opener ‘Echoes’ was a heady rush of propulsive rhythms and awesome syncopation. It also appeared that at least one member of the group had learned how to sing! The shame is that, by and large, the trio play their best cards first. Apart from the Muse-ish and uber-prog stomp of ‘Venusia’ around the halfway mark, nothing else is really as good as the first track. The induction of the "Godfather of Nu Metal" producer Ross Robinson adds some beef, but Klaxons’ guitars aren’t nearly as powerful as their samples and synths were on Myths Of The Near Future. They also don’t really write the kind of hysterical rave tunes that he would have been able to do something with anymore. Kids who like Klaxons will love Surfing, as all the hallmarks are there; lyrics about god-knows-what, triple-tracked octave vocal lines and the occasional lapse into (quite fun) delusion, like on ‘Flashover’. As an album, it’s more than a tad schizophrenic; stylistically, it’s a move forward; and technically, well, I’m not going there. The less-manic, prettier bits, including ‘Valley Of The Calm Trees’, show that Klaxons may be heading for a new take on Britpop. But they’ve still got a while before they get there - and to be honest, there’s nothing wrong with that.
While unmistakably Everett’s work, Tomorrow Morning contains the largest electronic component of any Eels record. Electric piano features heavily, as do drum machines and tape loops. The mammoth ‘This Is Where It Gets Good’ spends close to two-thirds of its six-minute runtime mashing pastiches of programmed percussion and a digitised string section. More conventional (… just) ‘Baby Loves Me’ sounds like E finally untangled the digital chaos of 2001’s 'What Is This Note?', and turned it into an off-kilter pop song. Unlike the last eight Eels releases, there are no contrasting down notes here; but as a follow-on to Hombre Lobo and End Times, they aren’t missed. Nils Hay
TEENAGERS IN TOKYO
Sacrifice Stomp If you’ve heard of Sydney’s Teenagers In Tokyo, you’ll remember the frantic disco sounds of their debut self-titled EP from back in 2008. This year the group finally release their debut album Sacrifice - and it's significantly more pop than expected. The influence of producer David Costin (Bat For Lashes, Gossip) is recognisable - dreamy synth, dirty bass lines and some brash singing from Samantha Lim are the key elements of the album. And while many of their idols, including Joy Division and Sioxue Sioxie & The Banshees, come to mind while listening to Sacrifice it is, at core, a pop album. Sadly, for the most part, it also remains very pedestrian. With a fierce frontwoman in Lim and strong ideas behind the tracks – like 'Talk To The Fire', 'End It Tonight' and title track 'Sacrifice' – the album suggests power, but offers something much closer to bland. The latter in particular rolls out agonisingly slow, and throughout the album Lim’s voice seems to project either too harsh, or too quiet. You would think with such a high profile producer that these issues wouldn’t exist; but at the end of the day, it’s the formulaic composition and song-writing that remind us that it’s nothing we haven’t already seen before. Despite all this, the five-piece are undoubtedly great musicians: tracks like 'Peter Pan' and 'Robocat' hint at their potential, with irresistible bass grooves and some much needed jamming. This isn't at all a bad album - it's just not a brilliant one. While her voice might not be quite rightly balanced, Lim still proves an outstanding singer, and despite their obviousness, chorus lines like “Talk To The Fire / Walk To The Fire” will undoubtedly get stuck in your head.
MAPS AND ATLASES
Seven years on from their last release, dance pioneers Underworld return, seemingly with nothing left to prove but with plenty of credibility at stake. Fusing techno and pop influences with front-man Karl Hyde’s whimsical lyrics, Underworld have always towered well above the legions of pretenders populating the dance scene, but they now face the problem of remaining relevant while continuing to evolve and not simply rehashing sounds they perfected long ago. The result is an album that’s varied, both sonically and in terms of the success of each individual track. Opener ‘Bird 1’, produced by Deep Dish’s Dubfire, is a clear LP highlight; it’s essentially a pop song, but one that’s been designed to work in the club environ, with a techy undercurrent lurking below the catchy veneer. ‘Bird 1’ could be compared to the brighter points in Deep Dish’s back catalogue, like ‘Sacramento’ - it’s an accessible club anthem that stands up to repeated listens (and indeed, fans of George Is On ought to enjoy Barking.) Following such a strong opening, some of the subsequent tracks like ‘Diamond Jigsaw’ don’t quite attain the same delicate balance between accessibility and integrity - but with trance posterboy Paul Van Dyk guesting on that particular track, I’m not sure what I expected. Similarly, my indifference to the High Contrast collaborations could be attributed to my apathy towards the DnB genre. While Barking is far from Underworld’s classic releases, it’s not a failure by any stretch, and offers a collection of exuberant cuts that will get plenty of action on your ipod.
They realised the shtick was getting old and they upgraded... So can I get money back on my glowsticks?
Not the most exciting debut, but it'll be getting a bunch of spins on triple j.
The UK veterans deserve credit for drawing on outside influences in order to reach a new generation of listeners. A valiant attempt, with flashes of inspiration.
Perch Patchwork Barsuk Maps and Atlases took their sweet time getting around to their debut LP. Sporadically releasing three and a half EPs since their inception back in 2004, the Chicagoan alt-popsters seem to have allowed themselves as much time as required to find the right setting for their talents, moving away from the Don Caballerostyle math-rock that they were initially attracted to towards a more inclusive, folk-inflected indie style. Their patience has borne some nourishing fruit. Framed and unified by the brief instrumental tracks ‘Will’, ‘Is’ and ‘Was’, Perch Patchwork is, as the name suggests, a carefully plotted journey through sections of light and shade. Take the exposed electrical wiring of ‘The Charm’ for instance, vocalist Dave Davison’s almost off-hand statement that "I don’t think there’s a sound I hate more / than the sound of your voice when you say you don’t love me anymore" - accompanied by what sounds like a full military tattoo. Or the flashing sun and sparkling water of upbeat pop track ‘Israeli Caves’, which mixes luscious female backup vocals with a cello solo and tubular bells, in a picture of open-eyed optimism. Even more straightforward indie meat-and-potatoes tracks like ‘Living Decorations’ are regularly punctuated with rhythmic flourishes or touches of instrumental colour – marimba, sax, flute and harp also get a look in – that manage to feel spontaneous while being placed with utter precision. And this is what impresses most about this album: the band forging such cohesive and imaginative material from so many diverse elements. Perch Patchwork is a sonically diverse, richly textured and unremittingly rewarding listen. Oliver Downes
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Wondering what the 'experts' listen to? Here's the music that drives The Brag... for this week, anyway.
Alternative Energy Elefant Traks
Xannon Shirley has been touring hard and working with the Elefant Traks crew for more than five years now. On his second solo LP his confidence as a live performer is obvious, as he pointedly shits all over certain aspects of Australia's white history. But fear not; it's also a heartfelt love-letter to Sydney. And it works! Opening stripped-back single 'The Show' is a paced yet driven affair, flashing some wicked cheek through the cowbell
32 :: BRAG :: 377 :: 30:08:10
anchor. It's a credit to Hermitude's El Gusto that he's able to create one of the album's most memorable tracks from the simplest instrumentation. The album flounders with middle track 'Wargames,' featuring unfortunate rhymes like, "Tongue's MIA / Yeah, with a girl that's looking like M.I.A." …And the in-joke interludes don’t help either, bashing us over the head until we're convinced of how everyday "Tonguey" is: "lazy like Thom Yorke's eye". An album highlight is 'Right Words', which
allows Urthboy's confident drawl to ooze delicious amongst the understated yet rich melodies of Ngaiire. The strings, beats and shout-outs spin and collide with apparent ease, but there is definite intent behind the lush aesthetic and production of this M-Phazes track. The title track closes the album with the layered sexjazz of sax and keys staggering home at the end of an epic evening lost amidst our city. Awesome. In spite of occasionally clumsy rhymes, the album glows with intelligent and compelling reflections on living reflexively as an invader in the country of your birth. It's informed work from a passionate artist. Benjamin Cooper
HEADMAN - 1923 MENOMENA - Mines JONNEINE ZAPATA - Cast The Demons Out
PAUL MCCARTNEY - McCartney BEST COAST - Crazy For You
Vinyl Record Review
By Jacob Stone
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
SCOTT AND CHARLENE'S WEDDING
ARCADE FIRE Ready To Start
Para Vista Social Club Untapped Resources
Canada's premier folk/rock arena act Arcade Fire have switched up their music to suit some of the big rooms they've been playing over the last three years of touring. The result is a stripped-back, matte-finish punk alt-rock band that sound more like The Clash than the strings-and-horns rich arrangements of their last two albums. They seem to be all about cramming as much dark lightning in the bottle as they can, and with little flourish. I'm pleased to say it works for them. Singer/songwriter/lumberjack Win Butler condemns modernity and his band's success with a declamatory spite, and sets himself back at the start: "Businessmen, they drink my blood / like the kids in art school said they would". A liberating, exhilerating sound coming from a dark and rotten place. Despite this being the most honest song here, Butler sounds jaded... Fingers crossed this isn't the curtains for his band.
NO COVER IMAGE AVAILABLE
The Bike Song (feat. Kyle Falconer & Spank Rock)
All Summer (feat. Rostam Batmangli and Beth Cosentino)
Where I'm Going
Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
Talking Like I'm Falling Downstairs
Forward-thinking Beach Boysesque pop from Cut Copy, who’ve matured into one of Australia's classiest production teams. This doo-wopinfluenced tune is phrased as a mesh of live instruments and electronics, re-birthing the band format and giving Cut Copy new life. Gone are their French house-isms and chilly electro-influenced disco, replaced by warm synth and drum machine-assisted surfy pop, with a live-sounding band. Frontman Dan Whitford is singing and arranging for vocals, with a deal more intricacy here than on previous singles. The change in style is risky, but totally logical given the current indie climate - and it really works for them.
This sounds exactly like Two Door Cinema club - but not as catchy. Which just means it sounds like Phoenix, with less class and more rhythm section. This UK three-piece are turning into a reliable pop-punk-disco act, and this pogo-ing single recalls the propulsive elements of earlier tunes 'Let's Dance To Joy Division' and 'Moving To New York'... (that other one.) It's pretty predictable, but I like the phrase "I wear a suitcase under each one of my eyes". The kick drum and bass sounds are formidable, and there are some nice synthesizer and drum machine additions to hand, but otherwise... meh. Genre: It works, but who cares?
This is an unassuming little number from Amy Winehouse's producer. Less in-your-face than previous solo effort 'Bang Bang Bang', it seems wellwritten until the end of the first verse - when it sort of falls apart. He's gone for a 70's feel, but there's just nothing there. It's producers’ music: the hooks are interesting enough, but it's like Ronson has shuffled all the pieces around before settling on a form which doesn't really work anyway. The guests seem to add to the transitory, thin sense of the song itself, which doesn't sound big enough; I get the sense that he's going for a 70's sort of paisley thing, but there's just no spirit to it.
Kid Cudi is the most risky and interesting thing to happen to hip hop recently, but that doesn't mean he gets it right all the time. Here he takes a swipe at indie rock's current reverb-drenched, surfinfluenced sound, making me think of artists like Andre 3000 remixing Surfer Blood. That's a good thing, and this song is pretty and catchy in enough of the right ways to cross over to fans of guitar-based indie-pop. Best Coast vocalist Bethany Cosentino writes a good hook, and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmangli keeps it light and shimmery. This isn't perfect, but there's something going on.
A bite-sized indie pop gem from one of Australia's best kept secrets, who’ve been quiet for a while. This tune lurches out of the gate like Roxy Music or Elvis Costello, simmering through glamsounding verse stabs until Alex Burnett's soprano croon presents a story of artistic and personal frustration. The lyrics are a contrast between posture and reality, and his classy vocal is a nice buffer and front. The chorus recalls the best of a group like Icehouse, and many of Burnett's UK influences - having stripped away the live elements of the group, it says a lot that the talented young singer got this together on his own.
One listen to a digital version of hardy pop-nugget single ‘Footscray Station’ and I was elbows-deep into the mythology of this sloppy creature of an album. Craig Dermody, AKA the dude who wrote and sings all the tunes, only printed 200 copies of this album, sliding each copy in an old vinyl sleeve and painting his own work over the top. Foolishly arriving late to the party I had to call stores up-and-down the east coast to no avail - I even managed to contact Dermody, who was in the US for an indefinite period and promised to get me a copy, stipulating that if his “intricate filing system” (his brain) malfunctioned, I was to call again. Ah vinyl - the blood, the hunt! My copy appears to herald yet another version of Oklahoma! - but there are witches circling sinisterly above the carriage. The creepiness factor is then upped considerably by the ghoul holding a freshly decapitated head in a tree house... I shudder to think how many Kamahl and Harry Secombe records have been viciously maimed in the name of Mr Dermody’s art. Recorded live in Dermody’s mate’s warehouse, this is an album that doesn’t hold back. The listener is entirely involved in drinking red with the ‘Wiseman at the Station’, yet these songs remain brutal, focused and undeniably Craig’s. We only get to visit briefly. Every single person who bought this record MUST play it to at least five friends. It would be a national disgrace if only 200 grunts got a go. Benjamin Cooper
BRAG :: 377 :: 30:08:10 :: 33
The Minor Chord
The All Ages rant bought to you by Indent.net.au. By Melody Forghani
YOU ME AT SIX
Having led such a vibrant and full life for someone so young, itâ€™s no wonder singer/songwriter Megan Washington is the storyteller that she is. Since the release of her first EP How to Tame Lions, Washington has clocked up serious radio time, toured the country a bunch and won the hearts of Australians and fans abroad. Her latest record I Believe You, Liar has built on that success, bringing forth a new set of tour dates and a super special all-ages show at the Oxford Art Factory on Sunday September 12. You know youâ€™re in for a fine night when you hear that sheâ€™s sold out four shows at Melbourneâ€™s legendary Corner Hotel - with a record-breaking fifth show announced last week. For your chance to win a double-pass to the show, send in a 2000 word essay on why you deserve the tickets... Alternatively you can answer this question: Where was Meg Washington born? (Clue: it wasnâ€™t in Washington.) Send in your answer to the email@example.com - first in best dressed.
As interactive as a column can get: can you guess who this is? She is a Brisbane born solo singer/songwriter (and no it isnâ€™t Megan Washington)â€Ś She plays lead roles in musicals and headlines sold-out shows across Australia... She's also supported acts like Kate MillerHeidke and Teddy Geiger, and has played at Woodford Folk Festival... We're talking about Emma Dean, and if you havenâ€™t caught on yet, she is pretty great. Sheâ€™ll be headlining a national tour ahead of the release of her forthcoming record Dr Dream and the Imaginary Pop Cabaret and is set to play an all-ages showdown at The Old Fitzroy Theatre in Woolloomooloo on September 15 with her backing band The Imaginary Friends. Tickets are cheap and are available on Moshtix - go get â€˜em!
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