O F N I E R O FOR M ww.sae.edu
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Wednesday May 4 On Sale This Thursday
New album out now
136 100 or ticketmaster.com.au
Presented by Michael Coppel, Logitech, Channel [V] & [V] HITS I katyperry.com I coppel.com.au BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 5
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4 – 8 NOVEMBER 2010, PARRAMATTA A vibrant celebration of contemporary South Asian arts. Enjoy a rich program of ticketed and free concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions and community celebrations at locations across Parramatta.
Tickets on sale now at parramasala.com
TWO FANTASTIC EVENTS AT PARRAMATTA’S FAMOUS ROXY HOTEL! Book now at Moshtix 1300 438 849 or www.moshtix.com.au
NITIN SAWHNEY SOUND SYSTEM (UK)
Legendary British DJ-composer Nitin Sawhney and his regular band members and guest singers present a blistering club set, blending Asian break-beat, Indian classical, Brazilian samba and hip hop.
A night of side-splitting stand-up with world’s funniest Indian comedians – Papa CJ (India), Anil Desai (UK) and Australia’s own Umit Bali.
Saturday 6 November, 8.00pm The Roxy
Sunday 7 November, 9.30pm The Roxy
TWO WAYS TO EXPERIENCE TWO FANTASTIC OUTDOOR CONCERTS! OPTION 1: FREE ADMISSION LAWN AREA Bring your own picnic blanket. No ticket required. OPTION 2: RESERVED SECTION TICKET Purchase a ticket for the VIP ‘beach-chair’ section closest to the stage. Tickets are limited so book early at
Moshtix on 1300 438 849 or www.moshtix.com.au
KAILASH KHER & KAILASA (INDIA)
A THROW OF DICE with Nitin Sawhney (UK)
In an Australian premiere and festival exclusive, Kailash Kher, one of the most recognisable voices in India today performs live in concert with Kailasa.
A classic 1929 Indian slient ﬁlm directed by Franz Osten, with a new score composed and performed live by Nitin Sawhney with orchestra and special guest singers.
Friday 5 November, 7.30pm The Crescent, Parramatta Park
Saturday 6 November, 7.30pm The Crescent, Parramatta Park
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& W I T H
S U P P O R T
F R O M
ARE PROUD TO PRESENT
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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
he said she said WITH
DAZ FROM THE GOOD SHIP
song ever written, but I just love the three-minute pop song format. It’s funny that now I write really poppy songs in an acoustic/folky context - I probably didn’t have a choice. You never hear about sex in songs unless it’s in some veiled, convoluted language. It was never a conscious writing decision, but I had quite a stockpile of porno songs. When my co-captain John Meyer played me ‘Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips Use Your Penis,’ I knew that it was time to get these songs out there. I apologise in advance. The Good Ship started out as just a side project for John and myself – but before we knew it we had eight members, and it was so much fun we had to dump our main bands. We originally thought that it would be whoever could turn up could play, but everyone has been super keen because playing together is just so much fun. It is a bit like herding cats...
’m the oldest of six kids. We grew up in Macquarie Fields in Sydney, which is pretty much bogan central. My dad couldn’t work so we never had much money - all we pretty much did was listen to the radio. Tea For The Tillerman
by Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits were about the only two records we had. I didn’t know that there were tracks that weren’t on the radio until I left home and could buy my own records. I think I know every crappy
A friend of ours calls us smut pirates, but we think of ourselves as POCAFOCO – Porno/ cabaret/folk/country. We definitely love Nick Cave, Tom Waits and The Pogues, but I think it’s bands like You Am I, Weddings Parties Anything and The Decemberists that we all love, whose
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With: Jo Meares & The Honeyriders, The Stillsons Where: The Excelsior Hotel When: Friday November 5
The best Christmas gift is probably music, and the Annandale is being especially generous this year. Outside of the Christmas party they’re throwing on November 25 (with Old Man River and more), Urthboy will be playing his final show of the year there on December 8, spit-shining all your Xmas decorations (gross, he won’t really, that was just cheap wordplay around his album title). In support is Sticky Fingers, Daily Meds and Massama, and it’s all free - thanks to our good friend Jagermeister.
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What: ‘These Are A Few Of My Favourite Flings’ single launch
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The Good Ship were always going to be behind the eight ball to start with, because we don’t wear skinny jeans or have $300 haircuts, and we write songs about fucking. I have definitely noticed a cool little folk scene emerging in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne - there are a tonne of great bands with an average age of 12, with archaic instruments like toy pianos, tubas and ukuleles. I’m not sure where all these kids are getting their ideas. I blame Beirut.
We all love freebies. We all love good music. We all love good producers working with good bands to make good music that we can get for free. Sierra Fin are launching their new track ‘Lost Man’s Lie’ on December 4 at the Raval. It’s the first single from their debut album Cautionary Tale of the Beautiful Blackout, produced by Paul McKercher (Augie March, Sarah Blasko, You Am I) - and tickets are on sale through moshtix from November 3.
Kira Puru and the Bruise
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influences make us not sound like a Waterboys cover band. I’ve always loved acoustic music, especially traditional folk songs and sappy Irish ballads, so sea shanties were never going to be a stretch - and all those old sea songs were pretty ribald as well. Add to that the fact that I struggled learning the guitar, so anything with two chords and lots of words suited me fine.
NEWTOWN FESTIVAL – THIS WEEKEND!
You know that park where you go to play hackeysack and pretend to read Kierkegaard? Camperdown Memorial Rest Park? Well this Saturday November 14, the Newtown Festival is happening there - and aside from the dog shows, writers’ tents, markets and gozleme, it’s got maybe the greatest line-up in Newtown Festival history. The Paper Scissors, Richard In Your Mind, megastick fanfare, Laneous & The Family Yah, Wim, Guineafowl, Skipping Girl Vinegar, The Snowdroppers, Kira Puru and the Bruise and loads more will be entertaining you, for free, in a park. With dogs.
Menomena, the word which upon pronunciation reduces most literate, well-spoken people into a smattering, stuttering mess, have announced that after four amazing albums (Mines is up there on BRAG’s top-five-of-the-year list…), they’re finally heading to Australia. Aside from Laneway Festival, they’ll be playing on February 7 at The Factory Theatre. Tickets are on sale Friday November 5.
Sydney’s No Art have been in hiding, writing and recording an EP with which they’re finally ready to blow the world apart. On November 5 they’ll be supporting Peabody at the Annandale. Head down and catch a copy of their limited edition cassette, with their single ‘Kids In Place’, before they embark on their east coast single launch tour.
SUMMER VIBES FESTIVAL 2011
Newcastle always seems so divided. Half of the city is all about The Screaming Jets, The Johns Brothers and the Newcastle Knights, but the other half is all, “Hey you guys, check out Marcus Westbury! Fringe arts! Warehouse spaces! Lets turn this discarded coffee cup into a hilarious zine about bicycle warfare!” It’s the awesomely creative half that’s going to be out in full force for Summer Vibes Festival – presented by indie/avant/underground concert promoters Spring Break!!. They’ve just announced their first line-up for the inaugural event on January 16 at Newcastle’s Croatian Club - Thee Oh Sees, Straight Arrows, Kitchen’s Floor, Kirin J Callinan and Bare Grillz and loads more, with early bird tickets at only $15. Buy now at Oztix.com.
Now that I’ve stopped dressing in warpaint and freaking our the squares in Lindfield, my only ‘warpaint’ release comes in the form of the delightful Los Angeles four-piece; the whoozy, hazy, ace-core, sparkling, shoe-gaze, glo-merchant ladies of Warpaint. And now they’re coming to Oxford Art Factory on February 8 – a stopover of their Laneway tour. Tickets on sale right about now.
NEW ALBUM FROM THE BASICS! IT’S FREE!
Melbourne’s The Basics like to keep things basic. Their latest record is titled The Basics, and in order to avoid the relationship-destroying, life-sapping, economy crushing reality of fiscal matters, they’re giving the entire thing away at freebasicsalbum.com. Easy. They’re launching it on November 6 at Oxford Art Factory, which coincidentally is exactly where you’ll be on November 6 when you go out to see The Basics. It’s great when stuff works out!
GIG OF THE WEEK
WED 3 NOV
WED 3 NOV WTF! WITH DJ'S
“HITING HOME & MIDNIGHT AT SIX” TOUR
BZURK + SNOWFLAKE MARKM + ABSYNTH 8PM-FREE
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8PM - $10
THUR 4 NOV
THUR 4 NOV HOT DAMN
HOT DAMN SARAH SPANDEX
HEARTATTACK MARK C NAT NOIZE
BURIED IN VERONA + THE BRIDE FOR ALL ETERNITY
FRI 5 NOV SHADOWRUN
FRI 5 NOV INSTITUTE POLAIRE
LIVE BANDS LIVE ART LIVE DJS
DEAD LETTER CHORUS – DUO
SAT 6 NOV
DJ'S DYLAB + LONEWOLF SENOR TOTO + KIMBA
VASSIL DOGBREV LEAH THOMAS
8PM - $10
THE GO ROLL YOUR BONES DARK BELLS DJs
THE MALADIES THE EXILES
BORDER THIEVES AFTER 11:30
NICKLES + DIALZ
IN PHOENIX 8PM - $12
PUERTO RICO DOUBLE DENIM + BASTIAN
SUN 7 NOV VALENCIA (USA)
LEE JOWONO + EMILY FRAZER
LIVE ART WOLFKID & WET LUNGS
9PM - $10
THUR 4 NOV
OLD SCHOOL PUNK/HARDCORE STRAIGHT UP, NO BULLSHIT
FRI 5 NOV
BU BURLESQUE 5th B’DAY! 5
DJ OJ SIMPSON
DE-GOLDFOOT JUNIOR HIGH
DJ TANNER + CLARENCE KNIGHT DOOGIE HOWSER MDJ
THE GO ROLL YOUR BONES DARK BELLS DJs
NICKLES + DIALZ
PUERTO RICO + DOUBLE DENIM+ BASTIAN ART EXHIBITION
LEE JOWONO + EMILY FRAZER
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Wednesday 29th December Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney Tickets available through www.moshtix.com ‘Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You.’ Out Now through Domino Records
www.myspace.com/lightspeedchampion www.facebook.com/stopstartmusic BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 13
rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
five things WITH TRENT FROM
LAN PARTY (VIC) incarnation feels most true to the intention of Lan Party, and consists of myself Trent Menassa (guitar and voice), siblings Rachel (violin) and Josh Snow (drums), and Dima Shafro (bass). We all met outside of the band at a secret meeting held in a Masonic Lodge. (Don’t ask.) The Music You Make We make colourful music with a raw 4. spark. It’s abrasive, but well orchestrated. We’ve just finished recording our second album Personal Low, and have decided to venture up to Sydney from Melbourne to let you lovely folks hear it first. Our live show is unpredictable, and pretty heavy on sweat and awkward banter. It’s a magical experience. Music, Right Here, Right Now A lot of fickle people with no sense of 5. commitment or brains seem to decide they
Growing Up I watched too many Warner Brothers 1. cartoons growing up, and I think that format affected my musical output. Structurally; how much dynamic activity can you cram into the one set time-frame, and get away with it?
So here are a couple of inspirations from a mix of categories: vodka, the high energy of The Ultimate Warrior’s entrance from circa 1989 WWF matches, David Lynch, green tea, questionable human behaviour and a lack of sleep.
Inspirations I think listing musical inspirations is a lazy way of explaining that your band is derivative.
Your Band Lan Party have existed for a little while now in various forms. The current
want to organise musicians and shows. I find it hilarious that anything ever reaches a state of completion. To the people that do it properly; congratulations. I’d also like to congratulate all of the uninspired music in Melbourne that makes acts like Tim McMillan Band, Ennis Tola and Umlaut stand out as something special. Not that they wouldn’t be special otherwise… What: Personal Low is out now Where: De Ja Vu Warehouse / The Excelsior Hotel When: November 6 / November 7
LES SAVY FAV TOUR
When scanning the amazing Laneway lineup, our eyes were drawn to the nonsensical string of words Les Savy Fav, and another nonsensical string came to mind in the form of sideshowsideshowsideshowssideshowsplzplzp lz’. Well, now they have announced a February 10 show at Manning Bar, and I am happy. Tickets on sale now.
Dammit, Melbourne keeps churning out some damn good pop bands. Alba Varden are a trio who revel in their lunacy and toy with your sanity through their clusterfuck of rapturous songs. Their Down The Rabbit Hole EP launch saw them leading more than 300 fans down an ad hoc rabbit hole into a secret warehouse party, which Alba Varden subsequently rocked the socks off. Siphoning creative juice from the likes of Bon Iver, Nick Cave and Queen, this band will mess with your head - despite it being called the ‘Calm Your Mind’ tour. To win one of three special prize packs containing a copy of their EP as well as a double pass to their show at MUM @ World Bar on November 5, tell us what ‘Alba Varden’ was in Lethal Weapon 2...
Peabody have been touring their asses off for the past 15 years and have managed to squeeze out three albums in the meantime. Their fourth album, Loose Manifesto, is upon us and it comes with a difference – this was the first album that Peabody produced themselves, and what’s more it was recorded on the same 8-track tape that Nirvana used to record Bleach… maybe. The guys will be launching the album at The Annandale on November 5, jumping between the intellectual and the primal in a rousing live indie rock show. We have two prize bundles, with a double pass and a copy of Loose Manifesto in each. To win, tell us the name of Peabody’s debut album.
lineup of droney, post-everything, wall-of-sound music. Holy Balm, Bum Creek, Superstar and Naked On The Vague. That’s pretty well all that needs to be written about this gig. Off the chain.
We Say Bamboulee
NIGHT MARKETS @ THE ROCKS
Shopping can be a drag - unless of course you’re at a bustling outdoor night market, browsing through more than 60 speciality stalls, sampling gourmet food and listening to free laneway gigs. Of course to make this happen you need to be in either a delicious, warm and romantic French film - or at The Rocks every Friday from November 5 through til the end of February. What else? Oh yeah, the music. Through November, we’ll be hearing from names like Fergus Brown, Caitlin Harnett, Parades and Guineafowl – with Lolo Lovina and idea idea playing this week. Hop on down and touch all the cheese samples. They love it when you do that.
BIG NEWS @ MUM WE SAY EP LAUNCH
We Say Bamboulee are launching their Bush Tricks EP on Thursday November 4 at GOODGOD Small Club, in what looks to be the funnest night ever. With megastick fanfare and Bon Chat Bon Rat on support duties, and Richard In Your Mind on the decks, it’s only $10 for entry, and $20 if you want the EP too. (If you miss out, pre-order it from Bamboulee’s blog.) In other news, November 4 is Brag news-writer Cool Thomas’ birthday – so you may as well bring a gift for him. He’ll be up the front, wearing a cap/flannel shirt combo and talking about chiptunes.
THE MULLUM MUSIC FESTIVAL
Gemma Ray has just been added to the The Mullum Music Festival, which is being held on the North Coast from November 25-28 - where she’ll be joining Kaki King, Pieta Brown, Washington, Tinpan Orange, Jordie Lane and a bunch more. Her covers album is called It’s A Shame About Gemma Ray, which we love because we can slide seamlessly into talking about how awesome Evan Dando is…
CLOUD CONTROL: THE FESTIVAL
Because two sold out national tours Just Weren’t Enough, Cloud Control are doing another run of dates (summer festivals, mainly), before they abandon us for the UK next year. Part of the last hoorah involves something especially fun – a day-long event at The Factory
Theatre that they’re curating themselves. ‘Was I There In Your Future’ is a mini-festival with bands, DJs, art and videos over multiple stages, inside and outside – with the band announcing an act each week. Presented by BRAG, you can expect to hear more – but tickets go on sale November 11. (And good luck at the ARIA’s, you guys!)
On Friday December 3, Kings Cross will undertake a change and may never be the same. MUM presents GO HERE GO THERE, and you pretty much have to deal with it. 20 bands and 20 DJs across 3 venues - The World Bar, Melt Bar and Iguana Bar - and one wrist band will do the job all night. Bleeding Knees Club, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Dirty Secrets, Chicks Who Love Guns, The Checks (NZ), The Honey Month, Felicity Groom and Warhorse are just some of the acts playing - the rest of the lineup can be found on the MUM website, which you can find on the world wide web net internet dot com slash net.html @
Sean Coffin is such a master of his craft that they call him The Sexophone*. Lucky for you, you can stroke your beard every Saturday night from 7pm in Ruby’s Sound Lounge, at the Freeway Hotel from October to December. Deeeelicious. (*probably not true.)
HOLY BALM @ GOODGOD
Just to add to all the great shows already going down on November 5, Goodgod Small Club have presented what seems to be a perfect
Bleeding Knees Club
“I was a lonely, teenage broncin’ buck With a pink carnation and a pickup truck” - DON MCLEAN 14 :: BRAG :: 386 : 01:11:10
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dance music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Chris Honnery
five things WITH
Growing Up I have two brothers and they are both 1. very musical - which is striking, as we came
The Music You Make I guess it’s folk music. I’ve been told it’s 4. neo-folk, but I’m not really sure what that
from unmusical parents who came from unmusical families. My dad’s tone-deaf but my ma’s probably musical somewhere in there, unrealised because she didn’t grow up with any encouragement or opportunity. We always had Skyhooks, the Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack and Elvis Costello records in heavy rotation on long car trips. I guess we were encouraged very young to play music.
means. I’ve been recording albums at home for a few years now, but they’re all mind numbingly lo-fi and 98% complete, so this EP I’m releasing - Killin’ One Bird With Two Stones - is officially my first I guess. Overall, the record’s an odd statement and I’m not sure how I feel about it - but I’m reminded to not over think these things.
Inspirations The life-changers for me were Nick Cave, Dylan and Bowie. Bowie was the most pivotal in my growth; he was what sparked a dirty love affair with great music. In Bowie’s legacy, a young man can discover the luminaries like Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, Lou Reed, Lennon, Dylan… it’ll even take you to the Jesus and Mary Chain if you look hard enough. Of course all these guys open hundreds more of their own doors - it’s all like a wonderful game of mouse trap.
Your Crew At the heart of it all I’m a solo artist. 3. I’ve established myself that way, and I guess that’s how at this point I should be regarded. Recently, however, I’ve gotten a really great band together; T-Bone from Dead Letter Chorus, Javed Sterritt from Huntings and my annoyingly gifted brother Liam. I’ll be playing a bit solo and a bit with the band at the record launch this week.
Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Public Enemy, Dilated Peoples and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Vadim formed his own Jazz Fudge label in 1994, way back when the Canberra Raiders last took out the comp, and signed to UK institution Ninja Tune the following year. We’ll stop there, as it’s hard to write over the forlorn bellow of Tony E, who claims that we’re ‘cutting his grass’ by covering his ‘dope beatz’ – turn to Soul Sedation deeper in the mag for your helping of the said dopeness, or flick to page 28 to read a whole feature on Vadim.
NO SIDESHOWS FOR GVF
Jam Music have released an official statement declaring that there will be no sideshows for any of the acts performing at next year’s Good Vibrations: “Those wishing to party with a lineup that includes Faithless, Phoenix, Nas & Damian Marley, Sasha, Ludacris, Cee Lo Green, Kelis, Erykah Badu, Miike Snow, Friendly Fires, Fake Blood, Rusko, Sidney Samson, Janelle Monáe, Mike Posner, Yolanda Be Cool, Koolism, Tim & Jean, Kill The Noise and Fenech-Soler will need to make a hasty visit to gvf.com.au” Francois K
The first round of internationals have been announced for the Space New Year’s Day bash, which will take place around the Showring, Coachbay and The Forum at Moore Park. FrenchArmenian house-cum-techno auteur Francois K, former Underworld member Darren Emerson and prog stalwart Dave Seaman lead the way ahead of the likes of Sebastian Leger and Nick Curly, while inside The Forum it will be all about the DnB, with Andy C and Hospital Records’ High Contrast throwing down along with young gun Netsky. Rumour has it there’s plenty more to come in the second announcement of acts; watch this space…
Touted as the ‘John Coltrane of hiphop’, Russian born UK-based DJ Vadim will play Tone on Wentworth Avenue in Surry Hills this Saturday November 6. Releasing his most recent album U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun in ’09, Vadim has churned out an abundance of releases over the past 14 years including four solo albums, two group albums, one remix album, countless mix tapes, EPs and remixes, and collaborated with
CRYSTAL CASTLES FT. ROBERT SMITH
Dust off the leather jacket and smear on the eyeliner as goth is back baby. OK, we might be going off a little early but it could be, as the next single by electro-fight-pop-glitch-whatever duo Crystal Castles will feature none other than the original goth himself, Mr. Robert Smith of The Cure. According to the press release, the two bands met in February 2009 when Crystal Castles supported The Cure at London’s O2 Arena. Over a year and a half later, they’ve teamed up on a reworked version of ‘Not In Love’ from Crystal Castles’ latest album, Crystal Castles II, which is due out on December 6.
Music, Right Here, Right Now We’re all living in an interesting time. 5. I think the most valuable thing an aspiring musician can do at the moment is cut the pessimism. Sure music isn’t worth anything financially, yes any numbskull can hide behind an auto-tune rig, and yes we’re all aware that DJs are getting a lot more sex (and money) than musicians - but historically, we’re at the crux of major technological changes that are really exciting. Just think a little ahead, ride that speedy landslide, capitalise on these changes and see where that takes you.. You needn’t look further than what the Arctic Monkeys did with MySpace, Radiohead’s free album gag or the Smashing Pumpkins current Teargarden By Kaleidyscope project. Who: Killin’ One Bird With Two Stones EP is out now Where: The Sandringham Hotel, Newtown When: Saturday November 6
‘I Wanna Love You’, though his collaboration with Eminem, ‘Smack That’, only made it to number 2… blame Slim. Ciara meanwhile is still basking in the success of last year’s platinum single ‘Love Sex Magic’ (feat. Justin Timberlake) and is preparing to drop her new album, Basic Instinct, in January. Summerbeatz kicks off at 6pm on Saturday November 20 at Acer Arena, with tickets online now.
Streetlife is the new Friday night bash at The Rouge in King’s Cross, a party that aims to subvert the hackneyed club template by incorporating live elements and mixing it up with “indiepop robot-rock ass shaking beats.” Streetlife launches this Friday with a headline set from Knife Machine, the Lost Valentinos side project comprised of core Valentinos Jono Ma and Senor Santamaria. The lineup for the launch party also includes a live V-drum set from DJ Puma, indie exponent Kill The Landlord, Memphis March and Deckhead, with the muzak supplemented by an art showcase from Sydney-based graffiti artist 2-rise.
TEEN SPIRIT @ PHOENIX
It’s all about guilty pleasure this Friday, as Phoenix Bar plays host to Teen Spirit - a nostalgic night of dancing, kissing and drinking. (Probably not in that order.) The formula is fairly simple: pack a club full of kids who used to listen to 100% HITS compilations, feed them cheap drinks, play them those songs and then watch the fun sparks fly. From 9pm till sunrise.
Akon and urban popstress Ciara will join fellow international drawcards Flo Rida, Jay Sean, the Grammy-nominated Soulja Boy, Travie McCoy, DJ Nino Brown and Australia’s own Stan Walker at the Summerbeatz festival later this month. Akon chalked up dual number 1 hits with his singles ‘Don’t Matter’ and Grammy nominee
Bella Kalolo has already had an extensive career in the music and theatre universe, including being one of them singers on Dancing With The Stars, the head honcho hyena Shenzi in The Lion King musical, and starring in a TV show in New Zealand called Jandals Away. Street cred, much? She now brings her powerful voice to the soul music sphere, and has already made waves back at home in New Zillund as a finalist in the Pacific Music Awards. A night of funk and soul for your funky soul is on the bill at The Basement on November 13, where Bella will be joined by Nadeena Nixon and Randa & The Soul Kingdom. To win one of two double passes to the evening, tell us what your opinion of jandals is.
BOUNDARY BONDS WITH...
N, AN NEEDIRSO ECTOR FREELANCE & DOP
What do you do? I make music videos. Right now I’m really interested in experimental film and real-time visual effects. I’ve spent most of this year directing documentaries and music videos in London. Favorite video clip you’ve made so far? I did a clip for Children Collide’s ‘Jellylegs’ around May. I was interested in investigating the anatomy of a song, so I filmed the inside of singer Johnny Mackay’s throat and cut it with some of the concepts covered in the song. We ended up with a really striking series of images, but it took longer than anticipated to complete. We had to get the video out fast, so we cut two versions: a pretty grungy TV version, and a director’s cut. I’ve never been a massive fan of the TV version but I really like the director’s cut. It’s on YouTube. Go watch it. Advice for folks trying to start in the industry? Don’t worry about making mistakes; you’ll make heaps of them. Just take what you can from it and keep going. Oh, and find yourself a really comfy pair of shoes… You’ll be on your feet for hours. What have you got on the horizon? I’m currently shooting an interactive doco about Australia’s music industry, and am scheduled to shoot three short films over the summer. One of them is a fashion film for Australian jewelry and T-shirt label Henson which will be hectic, even by my standards…
“Swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in Vincent’s eyes of China blue” - DON MCLEAN 16 :: BRAG :: 386 : 01:11:10
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dance music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Chris Honnery onthefly.com.au WITH
ALISON WONDERLAND (SOSUEME)
he said she said WITH
in and said ‘Hey, that sounds like this’, and put on ‘Chase’ by Giorgio Moroder. Game over. Inspiration can come from a lot of places. I’ve been into Quincy Jones’ productions for ages. Super smooth. Thriller is also one of the greatest records of all time, but everyone knows that. I’m also really inspired by artists like In Flagranti and Washed Out, and the whole French House scene of the late 90s. All these guys have a huge love for the records they own – and have decided to make music out of them. There’s something really cool about that.
grew up in a pretty musical household. My Dad used to play in a bunch of Melbourne pub-bands, so the guitar was never far away. The big ‘childhood musical moment’ for me happened when a friend and I were trying to figure out the tune to ‘Popcorn’, when I was 11 or 12. My Mum came
I actually got into music by accident. I was at uni studying film, and we were shooting this big club scene with smoke and lights and everything. When it came time to put everything together we realised there was no money left to licence any music – let alone something decent. So I had to write something. I’d been screwing around with synths and drum samples for a little while but it was always a hobby, and never really any good. The track that came out of it was ‘Ambobop’, a friend of a friend passed it on to his buddy Tim from Cut Copy, and here we are. My sound has definitely changed since I first started doing things. Back then it was
a more distorted, tougher, housey style. I think it’s gotten more disco-ey and (hopefully) more interesting. It’s still dance music - just more fruity. There’s always a good dose of new Cutters Records material to rinse out. Like new tunes by ex-Riot In Belgian Nile Delta, and Das Moth. I tend to play a lot of strange edits these days, too. There might even be some new Knightlife in there. The music scene is a really interesting place to be at the moment. All of the ‘old ways’ of doing things seem to be void, or at least broken. The biggest obstacle a musician has these days is getting their stuff heard because it’s so easy to get stuff out there now with Soundcloud and MySpace and whatever new thing that’s just come out as I was writing this. There’s just so much to sift through these days. More good, more bad. We have it sorted down here in Melbourne though. Put out an EP every few years, sip coffee, repeat.
DJ Vadim has been described as ‘the John Coltrane of hip hop’ – a title that most people we know would wear quite proudly. The Russian-born UK-based DJ has been producing for nigh on 15 years, he’s played at Glastonbury, Roskilde and Fuji Rock, and he’s collaborated with the bees knees of roots and hip hop, including Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Public Enemy, Dilated Peoples and Fat Freddy’s Drop. This guy is a performance workhorse, playing around 170 shows a year – and luckily one of these shows is in Sydney – November 6 at Tone. If you want the one double pass we have, tell us the name of our Soul Sedation columnist (he’s Vadim’s biggest fan).
Who: Knightlife With: The Temper Trap, Metronomy, Yacht Club DJs Where: Harbourlife @ Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquarie’s Point When: Saturday November 20
Smith, Nathan Haines and The Pink Floyd Experience. Kalolo will be supported by the aboriginal songwriter Nadeena Dixon, a former member of Aboriginal Hip-Hop crew South West Syndicate, while Perth based funk band, Randa & the Soul Kingdom will also take to the stage - along with DJs Ayesha, That Ruse and JC, of Funkdafied.
GRAFFITI AT THE WALL
Graffiti At The Wall is a new all ages hip hop and street art festival that will occur on Saturday November 27 at The Wall, located at 343 Parramatta Rd, Leichhardt. The event aims to combine Australian hip hop with some of the Sydney’s most respected street artists. Hip hop acts Phatchance and Coptic Soldier, the Daily Meds and Electric Elements crews, lyrical smart-ass Billy B, Johnny Utah and Sub Conscious Records’ Dseeva and DJ Skae will
all be throwing down - secure entry by booking presale tickets for $20 online.
After hosting parties with international guests Renaissance Man and Rory Phillips, the Generic Collective return with a headline spot from French house prodigy French Fries this Friday at Club 77 on William Street. At the tender age of just 18, French Fries has garnered props from the likes of Sinden, Brodinski, Crookers and A-Trak, on the back of his hit tune ‘Senta’, and has also dropped his debut EP, Arma, which was released through his crew’s Young Gunz imprint and showcased a sound that fuses “funky african riddims (sic), quirky samples and ravey bass lines”. Support comes from The Generic DJs and the irrepressible Cassette, with entry $10 before 11pm.
First and second release tickets for NYE at Cargo Bar have been snapped up by fervent hedonists – but final release tickets still remain available at www.cargonye.com. To recap, the fiesta will sate anyone with a penchant for electro, with Frenchman Breakbot headlining in a Sydney-exclusive show with support from Miami Horror, whose debut album Illumination has spawned no less than five rather successful singles in recent times. Bag Raiders will also be repping on the back of their long awaited debut-LP, while Van She Tech, Sosueme DJs, Cassian and the delectable Alison Wonderland are all in the mix too.
FMF: BOOK NOW, PAY LATER With tickets for next year’s gargantuan Future Music Festival purportedly selling extremely fast, Future Music have ensured that proletariat punters who aren’t killing the weekdays cruising the CBD in their snazzy automobile pumping out Swedish House Mafia can still obtain tickets. This is due to a “book now, pay later” initiative, which involves paying an initial deposit and then having the balance conveniently charged to your credit card on a fortnightly “why-don’t-they-pay-me-more” cycle. The option will be available from Monday November 8 through www.ticketmaster.com. au, via the payment plan icon located on all Future Music Festival purchase pages. The reason you’ll want to consider it? The lineup comprises The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield, Dizzee Rascal, MGMT and Mark Ronson and The Business Intl along with underground guru Sven Vath, Loco Dice and Richie Hawtin, playing live under his Plastikman guise… Certainly worth the dent in the credit card.
PICNIC WITH RICK WADE
Detroit DJ/Producer Rick Wade will play a three-hour set in an inner city warehouse bash on Sunday November 14, in the first Picnic of the summer. Wade has been producing since the early 90s, setting up the iconic house stable Harmonie Park with Dan Bell, before subsequently conceiving his Booty/Bass label Bass Force as a release for his alter ego ‘Big Daddy Rick’. ‘Big Daddy’ will be flanked by Simon Caldwell, James Bucknell and Daniel Lupica, with $25 presale tickets on sale through Resident Advisor.
Described as “one of New Zealand’s most exciting artists” and a finalist for the best Female Vocalist at the 2010 Pacific Music Awards, Bella Kalolo performs live at The Basement on Saturday November 13 in her first appearance on our shores. Over the course of her decade-long career, Kalolo has worked alongside the likes of Fat Freddy’s Drop, Hollie
ADULT DISCO Á LA FEMMES
In response to the amount of nights dominated by the men, Adult Disco is handing the decks over to the ladies this Saturday at The Civic for a more feminine take on the disco oeuvre. The night will include slots from Bad Ezzy, DJ Cassette, Magda, Perfect Snatch and delectable debutant Tiona Faylor, a Civic regular who reckons DJing seems like a piece of cake – we shall see. For those of you unaware of the lasses, Bad Ezzy is part of the renowned DJ troupe Hoops, Cassette has just returned from the US where she played at Steve Aoki’s touring festival throughout the West Coast and Magda is Murphdog’s offsider at the infamous Jack monthly parties at The Supper Club. Entry is $10 on the door from 10pm, with discount entry for guys who embrace their feminine side – use your imaginations, peoples!
“Weathered faces lined in pain are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand” - DON MCLEAN 18 :: BRAG :: 386 : 01:11:10
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Industry Music News with Christie Eliezer
IMPALA, CLOUD CONTROL, LIDDIARD HEAD FOR AMP GLORY
Cloud Control’s Bliss Release, Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, Miami Horror’s Illumination, Gareth Liddiard’s solo debut Strange Tourist, Children Collide’s Theory Of Everything and Pikelet’s Stem are among those submitted for the sixth Australian Music Prize. Entries closed last Friday. They’re up for the $30 000 cash prize, courtesy of PPCA. The first four titles mentioned are also debut full length releases, and so will also be in the running for the Red Bull Award; a prize of $15 000 in flights and accommodation to travel to Los Angeles and spend a week in the Red Bull studio in Santa Monica. The judging panel is made up of 31 music journalists, artists and retailers. The AMP rewards excellence based on the merits of the album alone – not sales, radio play or media coverage.
MMAD ANNOUNCES “ACCESS” CONFERENCE
Bluejuice, Axle Whitehead, Gina Jefferys, Dash & Will and Snob Scrilla are among the acts speaking at Musicians Making A
Life lines Expecting: musician/actress Toni Collette and drummer husband Dave Galafassi are expecting their second child next year. Born: twin sons for Celine Dion and husband-manager Rene Angelil. Ill: One time Sherbet guitarist James Harvey is battling lung cancer. Ill: Chrissie Amphlett of Divinyls fame revealed that she is battling breast cancer, in addition to her fight against multiple sclerosis. Divorcing: Billy Ray Cyrus and Leticia Cyrus, after 17 years. One of their five children is teen sensation Miley Cyrus. Sued: Rapper T.I. by a concert promoter, for not showing up to a “welcome back from jail” party - for which he was paid $50 000. He said he was ill. In Court: the husband of Maryland woman Tracey Leigh Gardner who disappeared in March 2005 on her way to a Motley Crue concert was found guilty of her murder, and faces 30 years jail. Crue offered a $10,000 reward for info about her whereabouts. Died: London-based reggae legend Gregory Isaacs, 60, after a year-long battle with lung cancer. Died: Dot Dawson, wife and music partner of the late Smoky Dawson, died in a Sydney nursing home after a long illness, aged 104.
Difference (MMAD)’s inaugural ‘Access All Areas’ conference. So are industry execs Michael Taylor (Island Records), Tim Kelly and Mia McLeod (Universal Music), Jaime Chaux (Radar Radio), Ben Fletcher (Video Hits), Nick Findlay (triple j), Jeremy Sharp (Harbour Agency), Neil Ackland (Sound Alliance), Mark Bulgin (MySpace) as well stage performance workshops by Australia’s Got Talent winners Justice Crew, and So You Think You Can Dance choreographers. Held February 25 - 26 at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, Access All Areas is aimed at aspiring young musicians who need tips and advice on breaking the industry. All proceeds go to MMAD’s work in transforming the lives of young people through music, dance and mentoring - especially those who may be homeless, traumatised or underachieving. There will be seminars, vocal, dance & production workshops, photo shoots, open mic, stage performances and a music marketplace, with all the latest gear. See www.mmad.org.au/AAA
DANIMALS BECOMES DJANIMALS This column tipped the name change some time back. Now Sydney act Danimals has confirmed it has become Djanimals, because there’s already a US yoghurt company with that name. The name became a problem after Danimals (aka Jonti Danilewitz) signed a US deal with Stones Throw Records.
HALL OF FAME REMAINS EMOTIONAL NIGHT
The Hall Of Fame moved from the music capital of Melbourne to Sydney after a deal was struck with Events NSW, but it remained an emotional night. Promoter Michael Chugg, for instance, admitted he moved from Tasmania to the mainland as a 19-year old because he was a Loved Ones groupie, “they grabbed me by the balls”. INXS, who covered their ‘The Loved One’ on Kick, weren’t around on the night, so Diesel performed the song. The first act of the night were The Models, who were inducted by Wendy Matthews. The band (sans James Freud who was out of action because of a “bike accident” according to Sean Kelly) played ‘I Hear Motion’ and ‘Evolution’. Country singer John Williamson was inducted by fellow greenie and fellow “boy from the bush” Senator Bob Brown. Sara Storer did ‘Malee Boy’ and Williamson did ‘True Blue’, after ‘Raining On The Rock’, with guitarist Col Watson. Tina Arena flew all the way from Paris to perform ‘Here Comes The Star’, which her mentor Johnny Young wrote for Ross D. Wylie (and later covered by UK band Herman’s Hermits). Short Stack also performed Young’s mid-60s hit ‘Cara-Lyn’. But the highlight of the night were The Church, who brought the place down with the iconic ‘Under The Milky Way’ (the band had such mixed feelings about its success that for a time they refused to perform it onstage) and ‘Tantalized’, after Megan Washington performed ‘The Unguarded Moment’. The Church’s Steve Kilbey did a very funny 15-minute patter which started with asking inductor George Negus, “Next time I’m in Waverly Court can I call on you for a character witness?” - referring to his recent appearance there on assault charge. He also talked about signing management to Chugg, and Richard Wilkins’ hair. Guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper quipped that Kilbey’s speech completely destroyed the band’s 30 years of carefully cultivating an image of “being aloof”.
THINGS WE HEAR * The Temper Trap reckon that playing the Falls Festival last year before 15 000 people, who knew all the words to their songs and had to be hosed down to cool them, was “a Bon Jovi video”. * Ben Hallett, drummer with Gold Coast pop punkies Skyway, got to meet Paramore’s Hayley Williams at their Brisbane gig. She needed a spare drumkit for a special segment on their show, and Paramore’s BENI SIGNS TO MODULAR Modular has added crunk-glam-K-Pop dance-meister Beni to its stable. The act has collaborated with Riot In Belgium and Bang Gang Deejays, and done remixes for Tiga, Digitalism, Fischerspooner, La Roux and more. The debut album will be out early next year.
REMOTE CONTROL RECORDS TURNS 10 This summer marks Remote Control’s 10th year, which it will celebrate with no less than twenty of its acts touring Australia, like The National, Deerhunter, MIA and Holy Fuck. Not bad for a company that started out in a spare room with one phone and one computer…
›› TMN TOP 40 The top 40 most ‘heard’ songs on Australian radio. TW LW TI HP P1 P2 P3 ARTIST
ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD)
3 13 2 14 29 52 MIKE POSNER
COOLER THAN ME
1 15 28 60 BRUNO MARS
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
4 16 40 69 PINK
RAISE YOUR GLASS
2 15 46 69 KINGS OF LEON
5 14 28 53 CEE-LO GREEN
7 11 26 46 NELLY
JUST A DREAM
9 13 6 12 38 69 THE SCRIPT
FOR THE FIRST TIME
2 3 4
1 13 30 62 RIHANNA
9 12 11 9 12 26 53 ZOE BADWI
10 11 17 8 16 36 55 BIRDS OF TOKYO
11 20 2 11 11 26 48 KATY PERRY
12 13 12 10 14 29 55 GOOD CHARLOTTE
LIKE IT’S HER BIRTHDAY
13 7 14 1 14 26 57 TAIO CRUZ
14 15 6 14 13 44 68 TRAIN
SAVE ME, SAN FRANCISCO
15 10 14 1 14 33 58 KATY PERRY
16 18 15 2 14 27 57 USHER FT. PITBULL
DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE
17 25 18 17 14 32 47 THE TEMPER TRAP
18 80 2 18 11 17 37 KE$HA
WE R WHO WE R
19 14 14 11 11 28 52 B.O.B FT. RIVERS CUOMO
20 17 16 7 14 26 58 THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
CLOSER TO THE EDGE
21 16 13 11 13 24 52 22
18 11 30 53
23 23 11 21 12 24 44
TAKE IT OFF
FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
24 29 21 1
14 30 56
IF I HAD YOU
25 22 22 5
14 41 61
IF IT’S LOVE
26 24 17 15 12 39 53
27 21 14 4
DANCE IN THE DARK
28 33 20 18 13 38 64
JOHN BUTLER TRIO
29 45 3
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS FT. NICOLE SCHERZINGER HEARTBEAT
14 27 54
30 31 18 7
LOVE THE FALL
31 37 13 21 10 28 61
32 36 5
32 10 36 66
33 26 18 12 12 36 59
34 27 22 1
35 44 5
14 40 69
35 11 28 55
36 30 10 30 13 26 39
37 35 19 5
12 25 46
FLO RIDA FT. DAVID GUETTA
CLUB CAN’T HANDLE ME
38 39 26 2
16 40 64
SCOUTING FOR GIRLS
THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG
39 32 10 23 12 36 68
40 53 9
TOKYO (VAMPIRES & WOLVES) ATUK/WMA
Stickers, posters, flyers, banners & design at very competetive prices. See our webpage for more info 20 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
opening act The Jury asked him to drive up from the Gold Coast carting his kit. * The Canadian broadcast watchdog has slammed Toronto shock jock Dean Blundell for making crude comments to Justin Bieber, who protested his year-long antiBieber twitterings. Blundell’s response was to tell one girl to “Save your energy for puberty or to fend off your dad tonight while you’re sleepin.” He also called a 12-year boy fan a future ‘chugger’ - slang for a male prostitute.
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hirtless in the Thursday sun, with a beer in one hand and a phone in the other, Xavier Bacash must be a picture of contentment. Alongside fellow Melburnian Lionel Towers, he’s spent the past year on what those in the cliché industry would call a “whirlwind of success”: blasting out with a moreish brand of undefinable electronic pop, recording and producing a debut album, signing to Sony, scoring a spot as Lily Allen’s backing band, pricking the ears of NME, and winning props from Mark Ronson. But on the cusp of releasing their debut album Gilgamesh, Bacash is quick to declare that the Gypsy & The Cat trip has been anything but “whirlwind”. “People say we just came out of the studio and signed an international record deal,” he says, resignedly. “It’s not true, it’s not true at all. It just didn’t happen like that. I think if people really saw and knew what we’ve gone through in the last twelve months, they wouldn’t say it.” Having written, recorded and produced their LP, it took the duo around eight months to find a committed label, and six months living in the UK to find a band. “We had this album, a great album, but no live presence or live show; we’d never played before. It’s only really in the last couple of months that we’re feeling the effects of that. People are paying attention.” Attention is an understatement. Bacash and Towers, who played their first gig only in July of this year, managed to sell out shows after a groundswell of excitement over infectious tunes like ‘Jona Vark’, ‘Time To Wander’ and ‘The Pipers Song’. The Gypsy & The Cat story begins when the two met, only three years ago. Both Frenchdisco enthusiasts, they started out doing poor impressions of their heroes on the Melbourne club circuit - until they realised the problem with
trying to be Daft Punk: they kinda sucked at it. So around August 2008, Bacash was thrown to the forefront and handed a microphone. As Gypsy & The Cat, the duo changed their tune, opting for a fresh breath of swirling, alternative pop that could be compared to an electronic Jeff Buckley, the fabulously daggy beats of Fleetwood Mac, or what would happen if Toto were capable of 2011 summer anthem grandeur. As it happens, Towers and Bacash aren’t too happy with the way the Gypsy & The Cat sound has been represented so far. “I think the journalist’s job is to simplify everything that they hear and craft it in an understandable way,” he says. “When it comes to sound, a lot of the time writers just make things up and generalise - but referring to other bands that artists sound nothing like, I think that’s so out of line.” Bacash is referring to the plethora of Empire of the Sun references the two receive. That the bands share a manager and a he-and-he line-up hardly warrants a full-scale comparison to Luke Steele’s eclectic falsetto pop. “Cool, there’s two of us; so what?” says Bacash. Their influences, he tells me, are far more varied than just one contemporary Australian branch of synth. “Our album is like a Greatest Hits record of our favourite bands; the only thing actually consistent throughout all of the songs is my voice, and the sentiment of the songs. Yeah; to the guy who said, ‘These guys sound like Empire of the Sun’? What a douchebag.” In the aftermath of the gruelling recording stint last year, Bacash promptly whisked himself off to the Indian subcontinent to chill out – a bit of a break from a rough time at home. “The last song, ‘Time to Wander,’ we wrote because I was about to go away on this freaky journey; I didn’t even know if I was going to come home,” he says. “I was in such a weird depressed state -
my girlfriend dumped me, and half the album is about that.” Turns out he chose the wrong part of the world to cheer up in... “Where I went was ridiculous. I went to Kashmir - it’s a warzone.” Despite being raised by an Irish mother and a Lebanese father, Bacash found it a confronting lesson in cultural disjunction… He passed himself off as a journalist to gain access. “I kinda winged it, but when I got [to Kashmir] they wanted all this information about where you’re going to be, how long you’re there, contact details and all of that - you had to check in [to the Australian consulate] via email, saying you’re ok,” he explains, before commenting on how sad it was to be in such a troubled region. “The people there are the nicest people I’ve ever met in my whole life.” Pulling himself away from the dusty streets after six weeks, and landing back in the throng of record preparations, Bacash copped a bit of a culture shock. But like many save-theworld travellers, he was forced to re-adjust. Quickly. “We went straight back to [organising the release of] the album in America - and I remember standing in Times Square almost having a breakdown because of this galactic circus. Everyone tries to glorify when they go somewhere like India; preaching about the Western world, and how the way we live is fucked. I grew out of that – but you do have to maintain some perspective.” With a hectic summer lined up, Bacash says the two are hardly the party boys that their club background suggests. He assures me that Gypsy & The Cat just want to respect their audience, and keep it all grassroots. And keep it actual roots, too. “I just bought this stuff called Valerian, it’s like a natural sleeping tablet, a natural root, just to have it after the shows to chill out,” Bacash says, assuring me
all legalities are in tow. “We’re not crazy guys. We go home. No hookers, no assholes. People think musicianship’s gone out the window in recording, but with the increased quality of production and lights and such [on stage], I feel like I’m letting people down if I don’t prepare myself mentally before each show.” A moment of peace is hardly feasible for a band so sought after in the aftermath of their album release. Fresh from the Parklife circuit, the pair are back in their UK base at the moment, all set to hit up the coveted NME Weekender and London Freeze Festival, before heading back home for the Big Day Out tour. As an act steeped in a studio tradition, Gypsy & The Cat are still learning the tricks of the on-stage trade, striving to translate their hyped-up tracks live as best they can – Bacash describes their performance at Splendour In The Grass only three months ago as “early days”. He admits that supporting The Strokes earlier this year made them both empathetic towards notoriously hostile frontman Julian Casablancas. “Touring, it sucked,” he says. “People think you’re being rude but you’re just literally dead. You’re trying to be honest in what you’re saying, how you’re performing, talking about that performance and where it came from. But after the show you just want to have a drink and go to bed. People want to earbash you, which is fine and you gotta respect that, but sometimes it’s just like, ‘Oh god. BED.’” What: Gilgamesh is out November 12, through Sony With: Tool, Rammstein, M.I.A, LCD Soundsystem, Die Antwoord, Crystal Castles and more Where: Big Day Out @ Sydney Showground When: Wednesday January 26, 2011
“Helter Skelter in a summer swelter The birds flew off with a fallout shelter”- DON MCLEAN 22 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
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The Charlatans The Unluckiest Band In Pop By Andrew Weaver
ust as things seemed to finally be on a high for The Charlatans, tragedy struck. Again. In midSeptember, while touring their most recent and acclaimed album Who We Touch, founding member and drummer Jon Brookes collapsed on stage. And the news, sadly, isn’t good. “It’s not so great,” frontman Tim Burgess admits with a heavy sigh, before telling me that Brookes has been diagnosed with brain cancer. “He’s going to have six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy – he’s really positive, but it’s quite serious. It’s terrible, but, well… I don’t really know what to say. It’s really serious.”
The band, who once famously described themselves as ‘the unluckiest band in pop,’ are familiar with hard times. During their first US tour in 1991, they became embroiled in a legal wrangle with a band from the 1960s who shared the same name – forcing them to add ‘UK’ to their title for all American releases. Bassist Martin Blunt fought a long battle with severe depression, and in 1992 keyboardist Rob Collins was jailed for eight months for unintentionally taking part in an armed robbery. Four years later, Collins was tragically killed in a car crash during the recording of the band’s comeback
album, Tellin’ Stories. It was the group’s most commercially successful release, spawning three top 10 singles in the UK. Maybe all of this is just what happens when you’ve been in the same band for more than twenty years; The Charlatans have produced eleven albums since 1989. Then, in 1999, the band’s accountant was jailed for swindling them out of £300 000 – the entire proceeds from their first four releases. (He told them he was offsetting the money against future taxes.) Two years later, Collins’ replacement Tony Rogers was diagnosed with testicular cancer; in a happily abnormal stroke of good luck, Rogers recovered after treatment, and continues to play with the band to this day. The Charlatans are looking forward to a similar recovery for Jon. “After the operation, Jon was saying that he really wants to come to Australia – that’s the goal,” Burgess tells me. “Whether or not that’s going to happen we don’t know, but at Jon’s request we asked Pete Salisbury from the Verve [to step up to the stool] - so he’s playing with us at the moment.” Meantime the Charlatans are doing what they’ve always done when adversity has struck: soldiering on. Their tour to the United States was postponed, but a UK leg and their visit to Australia is still all set. Although the touring company has confirmed that Salisbury will be filling in, at last report Jon was out of hospital; he joined the band on stage for an encore two weekends ago, at the Academy in Birmingham.
“If you put five people together in a room twenty years ago, and then monitored the lives of each member of the band, some shit is going to happen. It’s kind of just life.” “Jon already has started chemotherapy, on the 18th of October, but [before that] he was running around and keeping focused. It’s obviously going to wipe him out for a while, but he’s going to control it. Obviously they won’t be able to cure it, but he’ll be living with cancer. He’s pretty philosophical about it.” As he talks about their career, Burgess also sounds philosophical. It’s said in every story about The Charlatans that they’re a band who has lasted for forever and a day - an extraordinary achievement, considering the bad luck. “I think we’ve had an extraordinary amount of great luck as well,” Burgess counters. “If you put five people together in a room twenty years ago, and then monitored the lives of each member of the band, some shit is going to happen. It’s kind of just life.” The band’s latest album finds them returning to playing great rock ‘n roll in its purest and simplest form, seemingly perfect for incorporating into a live setting. “It’s a lot of fun,” he agrees, “and we’re up there having a great time.” Who We Touch is full of rock ‘n roll spirit, with the band going for a sound not a million miles away from that which fellow survivors Primal Scream have been playing. “I wanted it to be not-American,” he says of the album. The band recorded Who We Touch with Flood, AKA acclaimed producer Mark Ellis (Depeche Mode, U2, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sigur Ros, The Smashing Pumpkins…) “It was brilliant,” he tells me, of the recording process. “We had three days pre-production and I told [Ellis] what I wanted the record to sound like. He thought the demos were ‘quite esoteric’ – his words, not mine. We worked on the arrangements quite a lot in those three days, but when we recorded it we pretty much recorded 18 songs in 15 days – it was quite quick. “Obviously there’s a melancholic mood in the band,” he continues. “But at the same time, we know that even though Jon isn’t sitting behind the kit, he put a lot of work into this album. I think the drumming on the record is brilliant, and I think he’d want people to hear it - which is why we’re out and about.” Who: The Charlatans What: Who We Touch is out now through Shock With: Deep Sea Arcade Where: The Metro Theatre When: Thursday November 11 24 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
Djanimals A Very Big Year By Caitlin Welsh
ost of Australia was muttering bitter, jealous things at the radio last year when it was announced that Sydney’s Djanimals (nee Danimals) had won that competition. The Lab project, run by Tooheys, would fly one lucky band to New York to work with a revoltingly super-famous roster of music types, including Mark Ronson and Santi “Santogold” White. The week that the band spent writing with them produced ‘Fox’, a pogo-ing electropop number that was mixed by TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek, and then used in a beer ad. For a shy bedroom-pop producer from Sydney, it must have all been a magical dream come true, right? “It was such an amazing thing – I think at the end of it, it was too amazing. It got really silly,” is the cautious admission from Jonti Danilewitz, founder, frontman and maestro. “I must have written 15% of [‘Fox’]. There were so many people working on it, who wrote melodies that we wouldn’t have thought of...” Jonti has taken a break from hours of recording “textural stuff” in his home studio to call me, and he sounds a little spaced. Spending your days building delicately weird beats and twirls out of Dave Brubeck motifs and broken amps probably contributes to that - but it’s also been a busy few weeks for him. For one thing, he’s just become the first Australian act to be signed to iconic US label Stones Throw (home to Madlib and the late J Dilla); for another, the namechange. On advice from their American lawyers, they’ve rechristened themselves Djanimals (with a hard J like the djembe drum, says Jonti) to avoid any legal conflict with American yoghurt company Dannon and their kids’ drink of the same name. A quick stint on Urban Dictionary informs me that it’s actually “the most baller yogurt drink this side of the Mississippi. Never fuck with a nigga that drinks Danimals, it’s common sense.” So all in all, probably a good change... “I thought it was a pretty cool yoghurt to be associated with, in comparison to other yoghurts,” deadpans Jonti. “But I didn’t want to, you know, get sued... And I actually prefer it in a lot of ways – it’s a bit more abstract, it doesn’t sound so much like a brand. So yeah, I’m kind of digging it.”
– all these heavyweights and all these real record stores... And their houses are just full of – rooms of vinyl! And very angry wives. “It’s still really weird – it’s like a dream-come-true type thing,” he hurries to add, wary of sounding complacent about his good fortune. “But going there kind of demystified the whole experience: how cool they are with everything, how they’ve got their heads screwed on and how they’re just, like, normal dudes.” For now though, he needs to get back to his studio, for what I tell him sounds like just fucking around with noises, really... “Yeah, absolutely!” he says eagerly. “Like these weird springs from the guitar amps, we’ve just been bashing them and making these weird rhythmic loops, from these springs - ” He stops himself, and laughs. “It’s actually very childish, now that I think about it…” Who: Djanimals What: ‘Nightshift In Blue’ 7” is out November 12, through Siberia Where: Beach Road Hotel / Oxford Art Factory When: November 17 / November 18
Jonti and his bandmates have taken a while to settle back in after the Ronson episode. While it was educational, and became a bonding experience for the band, Jonti says he felt like they veered off-course a little. “I really was just put on the spot massively to just take the lead, and just go for it - and I’ve always had mad confidence issues, so it definitely helped with that. But in terms of the conceptual, musical level, there were so many people involved and so many factors… It was essentially a Danimals product that we made at the end, but after a while I just had to forget about it and go back to what I was doing before. [‘Fox’] definitely felt like a different product than what we were doing.
“I thought it was a pretty cool yoghurt to be associated with, in comparison to other yoghurts. But I didn’t want to, you know, get sued...” “After that finished, I didn’t really do Danimals for quite a few months,” Jonti continues. “I went to New York with the other band I was playing in, Sherlock’s Daughter, and I was just focusing on that. And I did feel like I’d jumped a few steps, and it’s not such a good thing with, like, the ego and stuff,” he adds with a laugh. “Had to get back to earth and just cool down for a bit, and just work at a more honest level.” Now that they’re back in the swing of it, Jonti and the live band are starting to incorporate some of the live sounds into the studio - and vice versa. “We’re still doing heaps of stuff together, still the same setup - home studio and that - but it’s a little bit more collaborative, we’ve got a lot more of the guys coming in,” he says. He adds that James, the Domeyko half of Domeyko/Gonzalez, is playing a large part. “It comes from a more – it’s in the same vein as what we were doing before the whole Tooheys thing.” Getting back to his home studio and his original intentions has clearly done Jonti some good as has the Stones Throw signing. His original musical ambitions were more concerned with being a producer and beat-maker than a pop musician - he tells me he used to try and make “pop versions” of Madlib’s seminal Beat Konducta tapes. So, though a little overwhelmed, he felt more at home with the LA-based label than he had in the roomful of pop luminaries in New York. “We didn’t really talk - we just went record shopping. And I was so nervous the whole time BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 25
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony The Thuggish Ruggish Bone By Hugh Robertson
iscounting the huge commercial and critical success of 1995’s E. 1999 Eternal, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony have spent most of the last twenty years at the top of hip-hop’s B List. Sure there were those gloriously mid-90s chart-toppers (including a Grammy win for Eazy-E tribute ‘Tha Crossroads’), and the collaborations with names Notorious B.I.G, Mariah Carey, will.i.am and Akon - but for the most part, the BTNH case is an instructive one for anybody who wonders what it’s like to live as a working commercial musician without getting paid absurd amounts of money. Despite seemingly insurmountable feuds, and one of the group spending ten years in prison, the members of BTNH remained together - working hard, playing shows (close to 200 a year) and releasing albums, both as a group and solo. Krayzie Bone (known to his mother as Anthony Henderson) is speaking to me from backstage, half an hour before Bone Thugs-n-Harmony play a show in Florida. Along with Layzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-N-Bone and Bizzy Bone, he’s out on the road promoting their most recent album Uni5: The World’s Enemy – but he tells me they’d be on tour regardless of new material. “When we’re between records, we just get out on the road.” For
TH N O V 0 SAT 2 - 10P M M 3P
Bone Thugs, it’s as much about having fun as it is about trying to make some money, in a time when you can’t rely on album sales anymore. “The best part of being an artist is being on the road,” he enthuses. “You escape a lot of bullshit. And aside from missing your family? Shit - it’s dope out here.” BTNH will be heading to Australia this month, for a two-week tour that criss-crosses the country a bunch of times – partly by design, and partly because their Sydney and Melbourne shows sold out, requiring extra shows in both cities to be tacked on to the end of their tour. It’s an odd schedule, taking in Newcastle, Canberra, Darwin and Cairns, but not Adelaide or Brisbane (sorry kids). Not that Henderson seems too concerned about the venues... “We’ve had great times in Australia,” he says. “I love that place. We can’t wait to do it again. We can’t wait, man. That’s all we talking about. That’s the whole situation. That’s been on our mind ever since we first heard about it. We’re like children waiting for Christmas morning.”
“And you better tell ‘em; like Muhammad Ali used to say, people better get ready. We coming like some Thrilla in Manilatype shit.” We’ll be the ones getting the present though; a live show that Henderson promises will be “a beautiful situation,” with appearances from some of the talent on ThugLine Records - the label begun by Henderson and fellow Bone Thug Charles Scruggs (‘Wish Bone’). MCs Keef G and Caine will be making the trip over, but that’s not all. “You gonna see Wish at his finest, and songs you’ve never seen from him before. And you’re gonna hear some Krayzie Bone songs you’ve never heard before... Some the fans can sing along with, some they can groove with for the first time. But they the kind of songs that they don’t have to take time to learn, so they gonna fall right in and just start jamming, and appreciating this shit...People are gonna come out and get their money’s worth and then some, know what I’m saying?” There’s clearly a lot of love for Australia and Australians among the group, who’re definitely planning to enjoy themselves out here. There seems to be a plan to “mingle with the folks” after each show, or as Henderson puts it; “we’re gonna be kicking it with the fans, drinking with them and smoking with them after the shows, so it’s all good. Gonna be nothing but a family adventure.” This seems like as good an opportunity as any to delve into the relationship between BTNH and good ol’ Mary Jane. With the exception of Cypress Hill, the BTNH back-catalogue has more pot references than probably anyone else; they’re all over the place like... well, like weeds. So it seems logical to ask Henderson about the proposed Californian constitutional amendment to legalise marijuana. Unsurprisingly, it’s a hugely controversial measure - but one that advocates think would undermine the influence of violent Mexican drug cartels, alleviate the enormous strain on state prisons filled with prisoners convicted on relatively minor drug offences, and offer a much-needed revenue stream for the bankrupt state. If California were a separate nation it would be one of the ten largest economies in the world; California going bankrupt is not a good thing for anybody...
SKOOL OF THOUGHT (UK) SAMRAI : BOUNCE CREW DJS TICKETS $35 + BF MOSHTIX.COM.AU DOORS RE-OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 10PM FOR KID KENOBI & MC SHURESHOCK TEN TOUR + CR2 PARTY!
26 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
I put this all to Krayzie, and he puts it in perspective. “I mean, to me, it’s already legal”, he laughs. “I smoke anyways... About to light up some now, you know what I mean?” We’ve just gotten the hurry-up from their manager, as the time to take the stage is nigh - and there’s a few things Krayzie needs to do before they go on... “We sit around and just laugh,” says Henderson, of their pre-show ritual. “Drink a little Hennessey, smoke a little something. Just kick it, know what I’m saying? Then we put our cups down, pray, and go out and do the show.” Any last words for Brag readers? “Australia better get ready”, he declares. “And you better tell ‘em; like Muhammad Ali used to say, people better get ready. We coming like some Thrilla in Manila-type shit, y’know?” So there you have it, people. Better get ready. Who: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony What: Uni-5: The World’s Enemy is out now Where: The Gaelic Club When: Thursday November 11, Sunday November 21
Lyrics Born Out Of Bounds By Mikey Carr
yrics Born has long been one of the more progressive artists working in hip hop. Born in Tokyo as Tsutomu “Tom” Shimura, and rising to fame in the early 90s as one half of Latyrx (with partner Lateef The Truth Speaker), he has always skirted the edges of mainstream hip hop. Drawing inspiration from a wide variety of genres, including funk, soul, rock and dance music, he came up as part of the massively influential Bay Area scene, with contemporaries like DJ Shadow, and Gift Of Gab and Chief Xcel, of Blackalicious. One of the most wellrecognised non-mainstream hip hop artists around today, his innovative take on music has left an indelible mark on the face of the genre. Famous in Australia for touring here so often you’d think he has citizenship, he’s just released his fourth solo studio album, As U Were. On the back of which he’s touring again. The album sees him further exploring genreboundaries and displays a wide variety of influences, with a vocal style that bounces from straight dance-pop to funk-riddled hip hop without warning. Lead single ‘Lies X 3’ is one of the most bizarre choices of direction evident on the album, sounding more like Sam Sparro’s ‘Black & Gold’ than Lyrics Born - ironic seeing as Sparro pops up later on the thoroughly more Lyrics Born-flavoured ‘Coulda Woulda Shoulda’. Featuring other guest spots from Gift Of Gab, Lateef The Truth Speaker, Joyo Velarde and more, the album is a bit of a mixed bag; some songs fail to achieve the brilliant synthesis of genres that work so well elsewhere on the album, and end up coming off just a bit too cheesy. “It’s definitely varied,” he tells me in a deep, pensive voice. “It’s got a huge mix of styles across the board, and that’s very intentional. It’s really hard to find one song that defines that album; I think the album defines the album. Often times with my album there is a tremendous amount of variety, just ‘cos I’m interested in so much - so you really have to listen to the album in its entirety to get a feel for it.”
and [infuse] the factors I love about modern music with my love of old music, and somehow negotiate that path. I don’t believe in genres, I don’t believe in genre lines. I’ve always said I want to exist in every genre, and I’m lucky, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do that. “When I first started and I was doing Latyrx songs and early Lyrics Born stuff, way back 15 years ago, the hip hop community was like, ‘umm, this isn’t really hip hop…’ I think I’ve always sort of been on the fringes of hip hop. Everything I do is hip hop-inspired, but I’ve always tried to take it further than what people’s conventional definitions of hip hop were. It’s interesting though, because all those things I was criticised for early on eventually became assets.” Considering how many bands are out there churning out the same product to keep their audience happy, it’s refreshing to see someone taking risks to make new music. Who: Lyrics Born What: As U Were is out now through Shock
Although his last album, Everywhere At Once, saw the MC reach new levels of success and fame, the choice to move on to a new style was not a hard one. Where other artists might worry about losing fans and momentum, for Shimura it was more important to maintain a progressive stance, and remain relevant in this everchanging music landscape. He felt his previous style had grown somewhat stale. “I didn’t want to make the same album over and over again, and me personally - I felt I was due for a change,” he explains. “When I made the album, I didn’t care anymore about my past successes, or what people or the industry or the record label may expect from me. I just really wanted to make a record that I wanted to hear.” Part of the process involved going back to all the older records he loved – 80s synth soul, Cameo and The Gap Band, artists like Grace Jones, and even David Bowie. He was also paying attention to current stuff, like Franz Ferdinand, MGMT and Kanye West. “I really started to get into what I truly love, sort of synth-based, kind of retro but modern stuff.
When I first started, 15 years ago, the hip hop community was like, ‘umm, this isn’t really hip hop…’ It’s interesting though, because all those things I was criticised for early on eventually became assets.” “I’m very fortunate that I’ve had successful songs and successful albums and just generally a great career,” Shimura continues, “but at the same time, with that comes this pressure to meet everybody’s expectations, as well as my own. That becomes a challenge for career artists, who aren’t afraid to evolve.” Part of what’s informed his decision to keep pushing things forward is Shimura’s love of new music, and obsession with keeping up to date. Genre lines are so consistently blurred these days that the creation of a new meta-genre seems almost inevitable; Shimura is passionate about blending the old and the new, looking with pity at those too close-minded to embrace what the future holds. “We’ve reached a point in time where a lot of older stuff intersects with contemporary things that we’re listening to,” he says. “I’m always looking at ways I can step my game up BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 27
Descendents Juvenile Retention By Alexi Sebastian
his year could have turned out much worse for Bill Stevenson. The longstanding nucleus of American punk-pop progenitors Descendents escaped death on two fronts in 2010, surviving both a pulmonary embolism (blockage of a lung artery), and more recently an operation to remove a grapefruit-size tumour which was occupying “a lot of real estate” in his brain. Both medical ailments by all right should have killed him, but then again the drummer-producer is a 30-year survivor of the music industry... Stevenson dodged both bullets, and is now fully recovered and displaying no side effects. “I’m feeling great, I feel 20-years-old again!” he laughs down the phone. “That surgeon handed me my youth back on a silver platter, and now my brain’s on mardi gras! It’s like a miracle.” If the talkative veteran has rediscovered any semblance of his adolescent mojo, it suits him and his fans just fine. Since forming Descendents in his mid teens in 1978 on California’s Hermosa Beach, Stevenson and co have built a DIY cult career on sophomoric nerd-punk ditties like ‘Milo Goes To College’ and ‘I’m Not A Loser’, regularly drawing on themes of alienation and rejection. Adhering to the group’s self-deprecating motto “Thou
Shalt Not Commit Adulthood”, the 47-yearold confesses to often feeling like a juvenile trapped in a 200-pound manly frame. “It’s funny, Tim from Rise Against and I were talking about this the other day,” he says. “I can’t remember what the band was but I heard these lyrics on the radio, ‘I was a teenage anarchist’ or something, and I’m thinking, ‘wait a minute, I still am a teenage anarchist.’ Ha! That part of me hasn’t shifted into a ‘was’; that part of me is still an ‘is’.” After taking a hiatus in the late 80s/early 90s, Descendents showed the nu-punk crowd how it was done on 1996’s comeback set Everything Sucks, and again in 2004 with Cool To Be You. Stevenson’s recent health scares jolted the band into action yet again last August, prompting another reunion, and a tour to our shores. “There was a combustion that happened when we all got on the phone, after I got feeling better,” he says. “We were talking about all the happy days, and then just after I got back from the hospital we got this offer to play the No Sleep Til festival in Australia. So I called Milo [Aukerman, singer] and said, ‘I know you’re busy with your science work, but do you want to go down and play
in Australia?’ And we talked to [bassist] Karl and [guitarist] Stephen and they were in,” he continues. “We said, ‘let’s do this!’” As for new material, Stevenson says it’s a possibility for 2011. “We don’t have an actual new record with new songs in the can, but I could maybe see us heading in that direction,” he suggests. “When I got out of my surgery, there seemed to be a lot of good spirit in the air. I think the first step for us is to do these shows in Australia and figure out what’s next.”
ack in the dark ages before Facebook and Twitter, when we all communicated via email, I used to look forward to the electronic missives from Peabody singer and funny man Bruno Brayovic almost more than any other junk in my inbox. But then I got a new email address, dropped off the Peabody mailing list and promptly forgot all about it. “How sad,” Bruno says, “But you’re probably not the only one to forget all about us.”
J Vadim has been described as the John Coltrane of hip hop. Revered for his enigmatic and powerful productions, the Russian-born UK-based DJ has been creating cutting-edge beats that have pioneered contemporary hip hop for the past 20 years. He’s also been dubbed as ‘one of the only artists still making genuine hip hop’; and when I put that one to him, he reflects on it in a contemplative way. “I don’t know if I’m the leading artist; there are a lot of other people out there doing creative stuff,” he says humbly. “I’ve always thought that music is music - it doesn’t matter what genre or style it is, in the end it only comes down to whether or not it’s good... I don’t look at myself as making hip hop, or making this or making that. I remember back in the day I was really pre-occupied with thinking about that; now days, I don’t really give a shit.
Talk about sad – and it hasn’t even been that long between albums for the Sydney band. In fact, Bruno admits that this has been “the shortest turnaround” for them. Their last full-length album Prospero was released in September 2008 – and their latest, Loose Manifesto, came out earlier this month. Legend has it that Loose Manifesto was recorded on the same eight-track tape machine that Nirvana used to record their debut album, Bleach - and was also, for a time, owned by Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie. But was it really the same machine, I wonder - or just the same model? “It 100% used to belong to Jim Moginie,” Bruno replies. Apparently when Jim gave it to Loose Manifesto engineer Tim Kevin, he told him it was the same machine on which Nirvana recorded Bleach - and while Bruno did ask Tim the same question I just asked, he took the question back before it could be answered... Plausible deniability, you see.
“If some hip hop purists think I don’t do hip hop properly I really couldn’t care, because I know I’ve got my structure and style. I saw Slick Rick, Kurtis Blow, Beastie Boys and LL Cool J all back in the 80’s,” he continues. “My music draws from all of these artists, but now I’m able to incorporate other aspects too. I put soul, reggae, drum and bass and electronic music all into the pot, and see what comes out.”
It started out pretty simple, “using a sampler, some drum machines and basic jazzy loops”, but Vadim’s music back then was a trip-hop-infused product of its time. “[These days], my music is much more complex, much more textured and layered. I’m much happier now as a producer than I’ve ever been. For me, the best music I’ve ever done is coming out now. “If I had a choice between people coming to the shows, compared to people listening to my music, I’d choose the music,” he continues. “When I die, that’s all I’ve got left - that’s my calling card for the world. How many people do you know who went
With: Megadeth, NOFX, Dropkick Murphys, Parkway Drive, Gwar, Frenzal Rhomb and more What: No Sleep Til Festival Where: Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park When: Saturday December 18
The Anti-Concept Concept By Melanie Sheridan
Ever-Evolving By Tyson Wray
A pivotal artist within the hip hop scene, Vadim’s music has constantly evolved and progressed as he continues to refine his sound. “It’s rare for people to really be into the same style of music forever; an artist can’t continue giving his audience the same sort of music forever while still exciting them. Michael Jackson released Thriller and then Bad - what happened when he released Dangerous? Some people moved on. What happened to all those people who loved drum and bass back in 1995? Now they love something else. Well actually, they’re probably at home with children not listening to much music at all,” he laughs.
So far, the only concrete plan they have for next year is to play some more shows in North America. “I think if an abundance of songs, or song ideas - if they lead us in the direction of a new album, then that’ll be fun.”
and saw Bob Marley, Miles Davis or James Brown? Not many. But everyone knows their music, because it lived on.” Vadim is renowned for his astonishing tour ethic regardless - playing an average of 170 shows in 63 countries per year. Bringing his energetic and powerful show back to Australia this week, he shares his expectations for the upcoming tour: “I’m coming out to play new music; future music and future beats, with a lot of hip hop, dubstep, reggae. All the ingredients to make a killer party, that’s for sure,” he enthuses. “When you’re making independent music, you’re really in the hands of the gods when you perform. I’m hoping for everyone who comes to be open-minded and to want to hear new music - you don’t want to just hear the garbage you hear on Top 40 radio stations, do you?” he laughs. “I’m certain it’s going to be great. I’ve been to Australia before and the crowds are always fantastic. This time won’t be any different.”
Loose Manifesto was (without a doubt) recorded in a shack on an old coal-loading dock on Balls Head, overlooking the Harbour Bridge. “It’s really beautiful,” Bruno says. “It’s pretty industrial: there are all these old coal tunnels underneath where we recorded. There’s also a whole bunch of possums and cicadas... If it wasn’t for the fact that the album’s fairly loud, we would’ve had a lot of cicada and possum action on the vocals.” It took the guys four days in the shack to get the album down. I comment that it seems like a pretty fast turnaround – but Bruno tells me that the
longest Peabody have taken is six. “There’s less instrumentation on this one; it’s our most meatand-potatoes album,” he explains, adding that self-producing for the first time may have contributed to the recording speed. “We were paranoid about getting into the studio and not knowing what we were doing. And also that’s all we could afford, really.” Official press guff notes that Loose Manifesto ‘espouses the punk rock aesthetics and themes of the ‘anti-art’ movement Dada.’ Bruno tells me that bassist/lyricist Ben Chamie is the person to talk to about this, but explains that Dada was “effectively one of the first forms of punk. Whatever was the trend, they would try to buck that. They would try to find the beauty in things generally considered to be ugly. So to that end, the album is kind of like an anti-concept album - in that there is no concept, no structure. Admittedly, it’s been perceived as a bit ‘loose’ by many a reviewer, which – well, we’re the ones telling you that it’s loose, you’re not telling us; that’s why it’s called Loose Manifesto.” Bruno admits that, for this release, Peabody have had some of the harshest reviews they’ve ever received. There have also been a lot of ‘Unlistenable. Eight out of ten’ type reviews, too... “I’m not sure any of the reviewers yet have cottoned on to the fact that it’s just bravado on our part, that we’re deliberately saying, ‘here it is, it’s meant to be confusing and all over the shop.’ So in a way we feel vindicated… [One reviewer] said ‘I get the feeling it’s just their way of undermining critics, but it couldn’t possibly be that.’ But - that’s exactly what it is,” he laughs. The message, then? Have a listen and make up your own mind. It might be an unlistenable acoustic bombardment. It might be an eight out of ten. It might be both. What: Loose Manifesto is out now on Peabrain Records / MGM Where: The Annandale Hotel When: Friday November 5
With: Thief and Noel Boogie Where: Tone, Surry Hills When: Saturday November 6
“I feel like I’m dippin’ and a divin’. My sky shoes are spiked with lead heels” - DON MCLEAN 28 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
The 100 Best Australian Albums It’s A Long Way To The Top By Simon Topper
ey, fellow music nerds. Been a while since you’ve had a decent argument with your friends? Fear not! Three of Australia’s most credible music journalists, John O’Donnell, Toby Creswell and Craig Mathieson, have come to your rescue. At 256 pages, The 100 Best Australian Albums is a definitive reference book, and the ultimate argument starter. Glossy, full colour, hard-back and complete with a 5CD box set of songs to help illustrate the point… And Nick Skitz doesn’t feature at all. Compiling a book like this to cover the tastes of the country as a whole is an exercise fraught with controversy. But start devouring this list and it’s apparent that O’Donnell, Creswell and Mathieson, who between them have over 75 years of local music journalism racked up, exercised good sense, good taste and good judgment. Taking in material from 1958 to 2009, it leans towards guitar rock as the sound of choice, but includes Australia’s best proponents of country, hip hop, electronica, indigenous, soul, pop, jazz and whatever The Avalanches are making for a genuinely compelling list. “One of the things we discovered is that once you put a group of people together to discuss it, Australian music history and its lineage is pretty large,” Mathieson tells me, on the eve of the book’s launch. “There are a lot of diversions, a lot of offshoots and paths you can walk down. But there is a definite spine that exists, right back to the early ‘70s. It goes through pub rock and through INXS and that sort of thing, but there’s also a lot of other stuff as well - and the more you look, the more you find.”
While the US or the UK might have a much larger back-catalogue in popular music to draw from, Mathieson points out that for a book like this, we’re probably better suited than most countries. “Australia does have a very special relationship with popular music from this country. We’re a comparatively tiny country, so I always imagine music resonates here more; it gets into our blood and it gets into our shared memories, and it stays there,” he says. “If you’re in Britain, music is divided along class and provincial lines a lot more. In America, there are so many different musical cultures that people never even realise exist. In this country, popular music – it’s that very simple definition of it: it’s popular, it can get across to everyone in the country. It can [still] find its way to every neighbourhood - and I think that’s something to be cherished.” What: The 100 Best Australian Albums is out now through Hardie Grant Books; the 5CD Boxset of songs is out now through Sony Music Who: Craig Mathieson, John O’Donnell, Toby Creswell
Some names on the list are predictable enough: AC/DC, Paul Kelly, The Saints, The Drones, Nick Cave, Johnny O’Keefe, Midnight Oil, The Easybeats, Kylie Minogue, You Am I... But even Mathieson himself admits he wasn’t previously aware of all of the records that made the cut. “I heard things I’d never heard, Toby heard things he’d never heard. John had heard everything; he has incredibly Catholic tastes,” Mathieson says, before admitting that they didn’t reach consensus on everything. “I totally won’t ever be able to see what John can about The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band album,” he says, referring to Smoke Dreams - a slightly drugtinged jazz/swing/ragtime album from 1973. “Partly because of the name, which I think is one of the most ludicrous band names I’ve ever heard. But if you spoke to Toby and John, they’d probably say that they gave me Beaches in the end to shut me up. “It’s funny,” he continues, “I think one of the things this book does is look at how records age. Time does very strange things to music; some don’t age well, while others age extremely well - they have wonderful middle ages. Things change over the years. I’m sure there are records now that we think will be classics that won’t be, and if we have this conversation in 20 years we’ll probably be surprised at what the records are that we do come back to.” Mathieson confirms that this is the first time such a book has been published on home soil, and he hopes that it becomes a definitive reference for Australian music. At least for a while. “(Lists like this) are the lifeblood of magazines, and we’re all magazine guys, that’s all our backgrounds... So there’s been plenty of these in magazine publishing, but there’s been no book. There aren’t that many books about music in this country full stop. “There was that feeling that our names are on this forever. It might take another 20 years before someone decides that those old idiots need knocking off, and a new book needs doing - which is quite a valid part of music journalism, that idea of knocking down your elders. So we were definitely trying to hit it out of the park.”
“One of the things this book does is look at how records age. Time does very strange things to music; some don’t age well, while others age extremely well. I’m sure there are records now that we think will be classics that won’t... We’ll probably be surprised.” BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 29
The Audreys It Takes Two By Mitch Alexander
A New Day Dawning Heidi Leigh Axton
here’s an elephant in the room that I dare not mention. Or rather, since Taasha is talking to me from Melbourne, perhaps there are two elephants – one in each room. Or maybe there is just the one elephant split between two rooms, altering the space-timeawkwardness continuum and causing nervous fluctuations and reverberations that would inevitably trigger a chain reaction and collapse an entire discomfited universe...
ior must be feeling pretty satisfied right now. Among the few independent Australian musicians to have gained recognition without having to sign to a major label, Lior is recording and playing the songs he enjoys playing, for audiences who enjoy hearing them. Already at album number three, it’s a unique position to be in – and one that the Melbourne-based musician promises to never take for granted. “I know I’m in a very privileged and blessed situation, where I’ve managed to build a career and a strong relationship between myself and my audience over the last few years. I feel really fortunate,” he tells me. “There’s lots of talented artists who work really hard, and perhaps haven’t had the same opportunities.”
It all started earlier this year, with The Audreys’ Taasha and longtime playing partner Tristan Goodall performing a small string of shows in duo format, as a nod to their early days - a live set that didn’t leave much space for their other three bandmembers. “That was so much fun, that tour!” recalls Taasha, with an audible smile that could light up the dreariest Melbourne morning. “I think it gave us a certain amount of freedom that we didn’t have before, which was really nice”. When I got the chance to see them, the giggles, conversation and wine seemed to flow and intersperse with their acoustic balladry and seductive rootsy tunes smoother than it had on previous tours. There was a sense that the audience was seeing these two in a more natural environment – bouncing off each other’s remarks without having to worry about the three other people who’d been sharing their stage. If the writing was on the wall at that performance, it was etched into the concrete with heavy machinery and day glo paints when The Audreys’ third album, Sometimes The Stars, began to make its way around – or more particularly, the album cover. The band’s trademark old-world glamour is this time depicted by Taasha and Tristan occupying an ancient theatre – but it is only the two of them, no other bandmembers, not even extras. Taasha speaks of the roster change in a way that suggests it was as natural as getting a haircut. “Yeah, for now The Audreys is back to Tristan and I, because that’s how it started,” she responds casually. “We’ve always been at the heart of the band, writing all the songs, so it seems natural now.” Sometimes The Stars is a majestic release. There’s the expected classic folksy charm that has earned the duo such acclaim, but amidst weeping violins and moody lyrics of broken hearts and sunken treasure, there are additional shades that simultaneously suggest Golden Age cinematic grandeur, and deeply personal modern introversion. “It was really enjoyable, the most fun I’ve had recording,” Taasha recalls. “We started tracking basic stuff, then we looked at it and thought, ‘who can we invite to play on this track? What does it need?’ We really had so much fun – instead of having a band where everybody had to be on every track, it was great
Lior’s 2005 debut album Autumn Flow went Platinum, earned three ARIA nominations, and saw him a contender for triple j’s J Award. He followed it up in 2008 with Corner Of An Endless Road, which debuted at #2 on the Aussie album charts. Tumbling Into The Dawn, his third LP, was produced again by Francois Tetaz (Gotye, Architecture in Helsinki), and introduces a broader and more vibrant sound to the Lior back-catalogue - a sound being re-created live by a full band on his current national album tour. just getting people along at a particular time... When the band kind of went their own way, we kinda went, ‘oh no! What are we going to do?’,” she continues, “but then we saw it as an opportunity, to pull it back.”
It’s definitely been a good run for Lior so far – so is there any advice he’d give those artists still trying to make it work? “Everyone’s got a different story, so relating my experience to everyone would be completely irrelevant. I would actually just say, make sure you enjoy it. If you’re not enjoying it, try to find a way you are enjoying it,” he offers. “[Making music] can get you down. It can turn into something that’s heavy and a burden and a chore, and if it does it defeats the purpose of why you started it in the first place. Music is all about escape and enjoyment and expression, which is the complete opposite of all those other things.” Growing up in Israel, Lior admits to being a mischievous child, whose sense of humour sometimes got him into trouble. “I used to get sent out of class a lot at school... I always thought that when the first album came out, and my name started being thrown around, my teachers would be thinking, ‘THAT boy!’” he laughs. “I was cheeky, but I had a good childhood. I was a pretty happy kid. I got into trouble, but for things I did in a fun-loving way. I always liked people too much to want to be mean or rebellious.” Coming from the Middle East, it’s easy to wonder whether the strife of his homeland has made it into Lior’s music. “My parents left because they were disillusioned with where the country was heading,” he tells me, “but I had a really good childhood in Israel.” Still, he tells me he experienced a lot of sadness in the years that followed. “Particularly [as a] young adult, learning about what was happening [there] and why it was happening: the continual sabotage of the peace process, due to the extreme minorities on both sides.”
In addition to the changing nature and make-up of the ARIA winning band, Taasha and Tristan made some changes to the group’s schedule. The basic amendment is that they finally had a holiday, after years of the tour-album-tour-albumtour-tour-tour routine - ensuring the survival of The Audreys by getting the hell away from each other. “We both took some time off and did things that weren’t related to music – that’s kind of why the band trickled away, because we were just sitting around and they said, ‘screw you guys! We’ll do something else!’” she laughs.
When I ask if his musical talent was inherited from his parents, Lior quickly regains the spirit of the cheeky boyhood stirrer he describes; “No, not at all actually. I was the complete black sheep from a very non-musical family,” he says. “The only theory I can come up with is that I was given some musical talent at the expense of the other members of my family,” he laughs. At least he’s making the most of it.
Once a duo and then a five-piece, The Audreys are now back to the original two. The lineup has ebbed and flowed, but the number of quality songs has always remained high - and judging from Sometimes The Stars, 2010 is not a year in which that will change.
What: Tumbling Into The Dawn is out now through Inertia
What: Sometimes The Stars is out now through ABC Music/Universal
With: Farryl Purkiss (South Africa), Gossling
Where: The Basement / The Brass Monkey, Cronulla
Where: The Metro Theatre When: Saturday November 6
When: November 5 & 6 / November 7
Blonde Redhead The Shock Of The New By Chad Parkhill
“We never think about what people are expecting,” says Blonde Redhead’s drummer, Simone Pace. “We didn’t think about what’s trendy right now, or what’s the next sound. We just thought about who could be the right person to work with us - not in the sense of helping us, but collaborating with us. There’s a lot of territory we don’t know, because we’ve always made records in a certain way, and we’ve always worked on our own. So this time we thought, ‘Maybe it’s the right time to let someone else guide things, and see what they will bring out in us’.” Simone tells me it was difficult giving up the level of control over their output that they’d had for so long. “Not that we’re giving up on what we wanted to do,” he clarifies. “We wanted to reinvent ourselves, to connect to the world in a different way.” In order to reinvent themselves, Blonde Redhead called in the services of rising production talents
Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid, best known for their work on Fever Ray’s self-titled début album. “We liked Fever Ray a lot,” Pace says, “but also Ed from 4AD came upstate while we were rehearsing the album, and they were in town, so he said we should meet these guys. It’s not the kind of situation where we’d thought about this for months; we just started working with them a little bit. Then Kazu [Makino] went to Stockholm to do the vocals and it just felt right, so we kept going.” Pace’s own contribution to the album is interesting, since many of the drum sounds on Penny Sparkle sound synthesised. I ask if he recorded the sounds, or if he created patterns for a drum machine. “Well, it’s a really complicated process,” he says. “We recorded with Drew Brown in New York – drums, keyboards, guitars, vocals – and then we sent everything out to Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid and they chopped it up, kept some of it, changed some of it. A lot of it’s there as we recorded it, but a lot of it is not synthesised, but processed – chopped up, edited - and that goes for everything on the record. It’s hard for me to say which part is what right now.” This unorthodox creative process has resulted in a record that’s equally the creation of Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid as it is of Blonde Redhead. I ask Pace how
they’ll take this album on the road. “Playing it is really interesting, since we’re learning the songs as we go,” he says. “It’s been a process, getting everything together for the live show. I mean, every album is difficult once you start playing it live. This one, in a way it’s a different experience, but it’s also enriching because we have so many different new sounds. It just takes a little while to hone the record back,” he says. “By the time we get to Australia, it should be okay.”
What: Penny Sparkle is out now through 4AD/ Remote Control Where: Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House When: Friday January 29 More: Also playing at Laneway Festival 2011 on Sunday Febuary 6 @ The SCA, Rozelle, with !!!, Antlers, Holy Fuck, Beach House, Jenny & Jonny, Les Savy Fav, Menomena, Deerhunter and so, so many more…
“You sell your soul and you sow your seeds and you wound yourself and your loved one bleeds” - DON MCLEAN 30 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
Blonde Redhead photo by Pier Nicola D'Amico
he only constant in Blonde Redhead’s 17-year career has been change. The New York band started out as ardent admirers of Sonic Youth and the NYC no-wave scene, before taking a detour into rococo ornamentation on their fifth album, Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000). Each album since has marked a stylistic shift - but none more dramatic than their latest, Penny Sparkle.
Bag Raiders Itâ€™s In The Bag By Bridie Connellan
oments before hanging up, Jack Glass unconsciously lets out a long sigh. For one half of Sydney dance duo Bag Raiders, audible signs of tiredness are not surprising - the day is glorious, but heâ€™s off once more to a Vitamin D-deficient studio. Perhaps more significantly, he also just gave birth. â€œI was kind of relieved when it finally came out, so it could actually be heard in the world - not just in me and Chris [Stracey]â€™s heads.â€? Heâ€™s talking about Bag Raidersâ€™ long-awaited full-length debut, which was finally released last month. While hugely rewarding, the transition from decks to jewel case was a fairly intimidating prospect for the pair of school-friends. â€œThe most daunting thing was sitting down and thinking, â€˜Shit, what have we got to do? Twelve tracks or something?â€? he says. â€œBefore, we would just throw another EP out there; just bang out a couple of tracks in a month. We definitely felt like we were at the bottom of some kind of mountain.â€? Like many a mushrooming artist, the duo opted to keep their debut album self-titled. â€œâ€ŚPartly because we couldnâ€™t come up with a name,â€? Glass laughs. â€œAlso, once we started getting the artwork back, we didnâ€™t really want to stuff up the way our name sat in [Doug Lee]â€™s circular art. I guess it was more striking.â€? Right, fair enough - but I suggest it might be more media-savvy to come up with a one-liner along the lines of â€˜Itâ€™s an expression of selfâ€Śâ€™ â€œExactly, thatâ€™s what I should have said!â€? he laughs again. â€œWeâ€™re just baring our souls so intenselyâ€Śâ€? The album is certainly a stylistic detour from the Raidersâ€™ familiar brand - the bumping, grinding mixes; the dirty, throbbing bass. Glass tells me that working on the album enabled the pair to develop their musical sensibilities in a multitude of ways. In short, he says, theyâ€™re improving. â€œI think weâ€™re definitely better producers, so [in turn] I definitely hope weâ€™re better songwriters,â€? he says. â€œSongwriting was something we never thought about doing, and itâ€™s become more and more clear that thatâ€™s the path we want to follow. That was kind of a fun aspect of doing an album, to really think more in a pop mindset than that of club.â€?
something that we wouldnâ€™t get bored of, because we have to do this show a hundred times,â€? he says. â€œEvery night will be different, so I think it will remain exciting and challenging for us. The idea for us is to keep it more spontaneous. We need to make it harder for ourselves, which hopefully will translate into a whole lot of energy.â€? Glass tells me that the album actually got a little antique at times - meaning thereâ€™s a host of new experiments theyâ€™ve been taking to the stage, too. â€œWe both love and collect old analogue keyboards, so weâ€™re taking a few of them on the road with us,â€? he says. â€œThatâ€™s kind of scary, because stuff that old could just kind of shit itself at any point... Iâ€™m just waiting for one of our keyboards to literally explode and just start smoking on stage,â€? he laughs. â€œBig finale: set all our keyboards on fire.â€? What: Bag Raiders is out now, through Modular When: December 4 Where: The Forum More: triple j AusMusic Month party with Horrorshow, The Holidays on November 5 @ The Metro
MODULAR TOURING, FASTERLOUDER.COM.AU & 3D WORLD PRESENT
GIRL CRAZY GO TOUR 2010
In a film-meets-paint-meets-animation fusion, the video to debut single â€˜Way Back Homeâ€™ was crafted by Sydney director Kris Moyes (Romance Was Born, Presets, Beck, Sia); a dusty, chaotic, and aesthetically stimulating viral clip. â€œThat was a very dirty experience,â€? Glass laughs. â€œI had a shower for about six hours and still felt like a fucking Smurf for about a week.â€? The unbroken clip features the pair wandering around a warehouse full of liquids, textures and mindwarping animation, as their mind-bogglingly choreographed meanderings see fairylights in microwaves, curtains of magnetic tape and burning paper flit about a visceral rainbow of filmic goodness. â€œKris was making us swallow paint and spit it at each other. It was a long, long day, but it was amazing. When he told us this idea, this idea that seemed like it was insane and crazy and that we wouldnâ€™t be able to do it, we just trusted himâ€Ś and it was awesome.â€?
â€œIt was a very dirty experience. I had a shower for about six hours and still felt like a fucking Smurf for about a week... Kris was making us swallow paint and spit it at each other.â€? The artplay of the clip proved far more difficult to rehearse than any live DJ set; the whole thing was ridiculously, meticulously staged. â€œIt was so hard to try and remember all the tasks, and to make matters worse, we were shooting on good quality film stock - for which they only had enough film for two takes,â€? he says. â€œIt was this weird high pressure situation where we couldnâ€™t really forget tasks. I had to break a mirror with a rock, throw it across the room and not miss.â€? â€˜Way Back Homeâ€™, featuring Martin Soloman (WIM), is certainly a frontrunner for the pairâ€™s debut collection, fusing a new Mowgli-esque mix of tribal, jungle rhythms with that cut-loose percussive bass that came to define the Raiders when they first hit the Sydney decks in 2006. The only problem is sending that loop live. The national tour theyâ€™re in the middle of (which will see them at the Forum early next month) has been the first time Bag Raiders have showcased their sound as a full live band. â€œThe idea behind [the live show] is that we wanted to make
THU NOV 4: EUREKA - GEELONG WITH STRANGE TALK & THEIVES OF AON FRI NOV 5: PRINCE - MELBOURNE WITH STRANGE TALK, THEIVES OF AON & ROMY THU NOV 11: MONA VALE - SYDNEY WITH PURPLE SNEAKERS DJS & CASSIAN FRI NOV 12: GAELIC THEATRE - SYDNEYWITH PURPLE SNEAKERS DJS & CASSIAN FRI NOV 19: ADELAIDE UNI WITH THE TOUCH & BEIRUT BATHHOUSE SAT NOV 20: BAKERY - PERTH WITH SHAZAM & VOLTAIRE TWINS FRI DEC 3: ALHAMBRA - BRISBANE WITH YOUNG MEN DEAD & FANS DJS SAT DEC 4: COOLY HOTEL - GOLD COAST WITH YOUNG MEN DEAD & FANS DJS TICKETS ON SALE NOW
NEW EP â€˜YOUNGER & IMMATUREâ€™ OUT OCT 29TH
BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 31
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arts, theatre and film news... what's goin' on around town and more...
brushstrokes WITH TULSI
me to put paint to paper.
n September 19 the inaugural Changing Lanes Festival packed music, art, fashion, food and performance into Newtown’s Eliza Street, along with 2000 punters, for an afternoon of awesome. During the event, a series of panels was painted by local artists; on November 4, punters will have a chance to check out the Changing Lanes mural at aMBUSH Gallery, and bid on the panels in a silent auction, with all proceeds going to FBi Radio. Additional works from artists Max Berry, SMC, EARS, Gem Lark, Vars, HOUL, Syke, Chad Drake, Skel, Tulsi, Bennett and Sprinkles will also be exhibited and available for purchase. We took 5 with Newtown native Tulsi, who is up-and-coming… Tell us about this pic! I made use of my vital super power (insomnia) to bring this, plus another painting into being overnight for the Changing Lanes Festival exhibition at aMBUSH. They’re part of a series I’m working on called ‘Pretty Whores: the darling, and the dirty’ - essentially a series of pompous girls (painted on wooden drawers) that people have denied the existence of, which I find in the streets of Newtown. Were you one of those people who doodled incessantly during class? Better believe it! - I failed an ancient history open book test in year 12 because instead of writing notes, I would be scribbling away in my book like an ADHD Mr. Squiggle, possibly on several tabs of acid.
What materials and motifs are particularly interesting you at the moment? A continuous motif of pretty whores, patterns and the primitive fauna of the sky; my universe of kaleidoscope illusions. How does your day job and your art intersect (if at all!)? I work to live, I don’t live to work... although my art is slowly becoming my job and I couldn’t ask for a better one! What was your role in Changing Lanes? I painted the colourful poster art that got plastered around this so-called concrete city. What’s your background/training as an artist? Mostly self-taught, alongside an intense course of design and entertainment which opened my mind up to a variety of methods which I had not yet discovered. I found that I love studying but prefer to learn at my own pace, in my own space - hence why I only lasted one of the three years! What do you think are the key formative experiences throughout your life so far that have shaped you as an artist? I’ve always been the quiet onlooker because I’m quite dreadful at verbalising my thoughts. I dig scrutinising over body language and hearing what other people have to say; their highbrow stories, data, experiences and everything else are what shape and inspire
MICF CALL FOR ENTRIES
Sarah Breen Lovett’s BOWhouse installation
Melbourne International Comedy Festival is calling for entries, so maybe you want to get serious about that skit show you’ve been toying with while you pretended to work… Anyone can be part of the festival; all you need is an idea, a script, a producer, and the Festival will provide info packs and workshops to help you tackle things like venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences… Um, we never said it was going to be easy. What price glory? Entries are open until November 26, and the festival runs from March 30 – April 24, 2011. All the deets are lurking over at comedyfestival.com.au
FIRSTDRAFT FUNDRAISER PEATS RIDGE ARTS
Yes yes, the music line-up is amazing. Whatevs. This is the Arts Section people, and we’re delighted to sample Peats Ridge Festival’s arts line-up, for your degustation: Trash Temple (the name really says everything) returns, hosted by Clown Club and Peats regulars Pork; Ali Sebastian Wolf and her Deep Sea Astronauts are hosting the most extravagant diorama-making workshop you can image, titled Festival Self Portrait; Tiger Translate (like, the beer) are presenting a cuddle of street artists (new collective noun, take note) pretending to battle (we all know they’re bros, right?); Chalk Horse founder and artist de jour Jasper Knight, and his partner in crime Isabelle Toland, are celebrating bamboo and Redback spiders in a series of large sculptures; there’s music with bubbles, vultures, a TimBurton-inspired playground called Wonderland, twisted cabaret, theatre, and an open mic (for when the inspiration hits, as it will); there’s projection installations, courtesy of Sarah Breen Lovett, and projection constellations thanks to Regenr8 and Punk Monk Propaganda. And Glenworth Valley is a seriously idyllic piece of space in which to shake off the working year, surrounded by good food, sunshine, and top-quality peeps (Angus & Julia, Washington, Cloud Control, PVT, Decoder Ring, The Jezabels…) All of which goes to say: this is your warm, fuzzy, sustainable New Years celebration, all tied up with a bow. December 29 – January 1, tickets at peatsridgefestival.com.au
32 :: BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10
It turns out, the best things in life don’t come free; they kinda need rent, lighting, functioning amenities… And so it goes: Firstdraft Gallery are holding their annual fundraiser next weekend, and there’s three key ways you can support: firstly, if you’re creative, you can submit an original artwork/photograph on paper, to be exhibited (and ideally sold) on November 13, as part of a festive soirée; secondly, those talentless amongst us can buy one of these concoctions; thirdly, if you’re reading this, then you can share you newfound 'knowledge' with a friend (or ten). This is not ‘Nam, however; there are rules – so head to firstdraftgallery.com for the details. Deadline for submissions is November 11.
The Fantastic Planet Film Festival is on this week at Dendy Newtown, with its concoction of sci-fi and fantasy films. We’re heading along to Lunopolis (Monday November 1, 7pm) which is by all accounts a compelling piece of ‘speculative filmmaking’ that follows two guys who accidentally uncover a vast conspiracy by a nefarious, super-powerful and super-secret body called The Church of Lunology! We’re also eyeing off Radio Free Albemuth (Thursday November 4, 9pm), a labour of love from journalist-turned-director John Alan Simon, based on Philip K. Dick’s novel about an America governed by fascism. Fantastic Planet closes grindhouse style, with the Australian Premiere of Robert Rodriguez’ Machete (Friday November 5, 7pm). More at fantasticplanetfilmfestival.com
I CAN DRAW U A PICTURE
After giving so much joy to so many hands and hearts at Underbelly Arts Festival (not to mention that beautiful magazine they produced!) the fellas behind I Can Draw You A Picture are bringing it back for a second edition, at CarriageWorks. The theme this
And what works are you showing at the exhibition next week? I’m showing three pieces: watercolour, acrylic, paper, wood. Wait and see! What else are you up to in 2010, projectwise? A whole heap of summer live-art-busking in Newtown with my pals, their devil sticks and instruments! Best way to meet crazy folk that are just as interested in me as I am them. What: Changing Lanes exhibition When: November 4, 6-9pm Where: aMBUSH Gallery, Waterloo More: ambushgallery.com
In pure grindhouse style, Robert Rodriguez returns with Machete, starring Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn) as an ex-Federaleturned-assassin who goes on a revenge rampage after his nefarious bosses double-cross him. Like his Tarantino collab, Grindhouse, this is a midnight movie mix of violence, sex and exploitation that suggests the Texan director probably spent many too many teenage hours in seedy cinemas… Machete is rated R, but don’t let that deter you (unless of course you’re under 18) because apart from being bad-ass fun, it stars Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, and Steven Seagal… Thanks to Sony Pictures, we have 10 double passes to see Machete at a special preview on Monday November 8 at Event Cinemas (George St) and 10 special Machete character tee-shirts. To get one of each, email us with your postal address, and the name of one other actor on the bill. www.machetemovie.com.au
time is post-apocalyptic, and you ALL are invited to head along to their workshop/lab/ hive to make dioramas, drawings, typings, and various other things of beauty and terror. If they delight the ICDYAP editorial committee (Alice ‘Ampersand’ Gage, Mikie ‘Jingle Jangle’ Inglis, Esther ‘amazing designer’ Chung, Simone ‘multi-skilled’ Mandl), they may be part of the final, deliciouslydesigned publication. Put November 11 in your diary – and there are two sessions you can be part of 12.30-2.30pm, or 4-10pm. icandrawyouapicture.blogspot.com
Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata has always incited passion, intrigue, and sexual jealousy (Beethoven fell out with its first performer, over a mutual love interest.) Then Tolstoy put it at the centre of his psychological drama - too passionate, it inflames adultery and leads to murder; and Czech composer Leos Janácek flipped Beethoven the proverbial bird, by creating his own 20th Century version. ANYWAY. Richard Tognetti, lead violinist and artistic director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, is collabing with awardwinning young British playwright Laura Wade, Sydney thesp Robin McLeavy (Streetcar's Stella, and our Loved Ones cover girl last week!), UK thesp Samuel West (Notting Hill) and director Sarah Giles (The Pigeons): the result is a confection of theatre, music, sex and fury. November 11-24, aco.com.au
MUSIC VS EVIL X FBI
FBi Radio are hosting their first ever movie marathon, and it’s all about the power of music (duh). With only two films, we’re not sure we’d call it a marathon… Maybe a tribute to Allan Moyle? All it’s missing is Pump Up The Volume… Nevertheless: head along to catch Empire Records (how many times is too many?) and Times Square (one of those 'so bad it’s good' affairs). It goes down November 11 from 7pm at Dear Pluto’s warehouse in Wiltshire St, Slurry Hills, and it’s FREE for FBi supporters (we told you to subscribe!). An intermission bake sale will tempt dollars out of your pocket and sugar into your stomach, and cushions and legwarmers are BYO. Places are limited, so email email@example.com with the subject ‘movie marathon’ to RSVP now. ...NOW!
THE HAPPY TREE
Head along to Monster Children Gallery (20 Burton St, Darlinghurst) on Thursday November 4 at 6pm for The Happy Tree, presented by skate-wear brand Element, as part of their Element Advocate Program. The happy tree has 20 leaves, from Australia, Europe and America. Aussie talent is repped by Courtney Brims, Brett Chan, Sarah
Brogues by Karl Maier
Two donuts are better than one, as they say. In other news, the ladies of Even Books (purveyors of boozesoaked book parties) have assembled a mouth-watering line-up of writers and artists, who will pair off and create sweet art magic, riffing off each other’s cues – all around the theme of twins/ doppelgangers. This sounds simpler than what they actually have in mind (which is an epic, 18-day, spiralling feedback-loop of cross-pollinated creativity) but you get the general idea. Right? All culminating in a twinthemed party, natch. Artists include Rinzen’s Karl Maier, photographer Cybele Malinowski, Beefknuckles’ Bryn Desmond-Jones and Sui Zhen. Writers include Lee Tran Lam and Caleb Lewis. Opening night is November 10 at First Draft Gallery. There’s more, but we don’t have space! PRINT! P.S. evenbooks.tumblr.com
Larnach, Beastman, Kareena Zerefos, Andy Murphy, Christian Halford; Euro stars are repped by Pepa Prieto, Emil Kozak, Marcel Veldman; and the American all-stars are Jeremy Fish, Lisa Solberg, Todd Francis, Amber B, Brian Gaberman, Miya Ando, Chad Eaton, Brooke Reidt, Mike Kershnar, Carolyn Drakes. There's no real theme as far as we can tell, just talent - and joy. Happy Tree!
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Sam Shepard’s darkly humorous tale of opposites, attracts. By Dee Jefferson
At the helm is Academy Award-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, who notoriously did a five month run of the show in 2000, during which he and co-star John C. Reilly alternated between the roles. Ten years later, Hoffman brings it to STC (where he directed Andrew Upton’s Riflemind in 2007), with Brendan Cowell and Wayne Blair in the lead roles. Being directed by an actor of Hoffman’s talent, who has played both roles for an extended period, seems like a wild prospect – and I say as much when I sit down to interview Blair, on a sunny but blustery day at STC’s harbourside home. It’s clearly a massive understatement. “You can probably see I’m a bit manic now,” says the actor, running his hands through unruly hair. “I’m just getting ready to go at 10am, because we’re doing the last two scenes this morning – so I’m getting myself worked up for it. Look, I’m in a master class every day – with not only one of the best actors in the world, but one of the best directors as well; he’s just a good storyteller, he knows what makes people tick. Not only that, but he knows the play so well – that is brilliant.” Set in Los Angeles, True West is a duel between brothers Austin and Lee – the former a wannabe screenwriter, the latter a petty thief and booze-soaked hustler. When Lee drops in on Austin, and tries to co-opt his younger brother's life, the two slowly undergo an inversion of identity; Lee becomes convinced he can write a better screenplay than Austin, and Austin slips into resentful, alcoholic obsolescence. “It’s about struggling with who you really are, and who you’d like to be,” says Blair. Unfamiliar with Shepard before this role, he had imbibed some of his iconic essence through cultural osmosis. “When Sam first got to Hollywood, he was this really good lookin’ guy and he had these really brown, awful teeth. People said get your teeth fixed, and you’ll be a star – like Gary Cooper or whatever; but he didn’t, coz he was just this normal dude. He didn’t go to acting school, he wasn’t in ballet classes at the age of nine; he lived a ‘normal life’ – if you can call it that. And he got to New York and he ‘made it’. So he’s been always struggling with that [issue of identity], maybe. And we all struggle with it – me living in Sydney, when I could be up in Rockhampton with a regular job.”
Blair played the central character in Guirgis’ play, a Southern Baptist with murder on his mind but the fire of the lord in his belly - a performance that he thinks may have tagged him for the role of Lee, rather than Austin. He also executed an almost-flawless Southern accent, which could also have weighed-in on Hoffman’s casting decision; this production of True West is authentic to its origins. During our interview, in fact, Blair slips into the Californian drawl of his character more than once. “This guy’s lived in the desert for three to six months, but it’s sort of like he’s trying to search for something better. And for him to [live in the desert] means something in his life; it makes him something,” the actor says, thumping the table for emphasis. “It makes him a credible person because he’s done this – he’s talked to cactus, he’s looked out at the desert, he’s drunk, he had a pitbull and was in dog-fighting. But he’s doing that because he’s got nothing else. And that’s why he’s a thief, he’s a roustabout, he’s borderline sociopathic… He’s a jack of all trades and master of none – he’ll do whatever to survive.” Blair's been on both sides of the Lee/ Austin divide, in more ways than one. The Queensland native did a business degree out of high school, majoring in marketing. His grades were average – except in his Comic Drama elective, in which he got High Distinctions and topped the class. Nevertheless, he went straight from university to a position as an Indigenous Trainee at the Australian Tourism Commission. “And I played two games of football for the [Canterbury] Bulldogs, and then went back to Rocky with my tail between my legs. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” After failing to make the cut at NIDA, he was advised to try for QUT. “I didn’t even know what it was, but I thought, ‘fuck it, I’ll do it.’ It was one of those spur of the moment things - I was probably a bit like Lee, that ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude. But then you find there’s a little bit of Austin in you, and you’ve gotta just settle down and do the hard work, to get there.” Could Blair swap roles, like Hoffman did? “Yeah. I probably could. I haven’t thought about it until now. It scares me. Anyway – you know, one step at a time!” What: True West by Sam Shepard; Dir. Philip Seymour Hoffman When: November 2 - December 18 Where: Sydney Theatre Tickets: from $30 sydneytheatre.com.au
Illustration by Matt Roden
Although Hoffman decisively pegged him as the 'Lee' of his piece, Blair says that it always felt like the natural role for him to play regardless. He modestly describes
the casting as ‘a fluke’, but upon further probing reveals that Hoffman was a fan of his B Sharp (Belvoir St) production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the A Train, which was playing while Riflemind was in rehearsals. “I think Jesus Hopped was the first show that Hoffman directed for LAByrinth Theater Company, and it was his baby, he knew the play so well – he’s best mates with the writer. So he saw [my production] and liked it, and maybe there was more of a connection [with me].”
True West photo by Derek Henderson
ne of the key throughlines for Sydney Theatre Company’s 2010 Main Stage season has been ‘America’; from Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Thornton Wilder’s Our Town to more recent classics, like August: Osage County – and True West, by American playwright/actor Sam Shepard. Although it was neither his most critically acclaimed nor awarded (Buried Child, written a year earlier, won a Pulitzer in 1979), True West is a powerful play, with its dark humour and simple, single-location narrative structured around the inversed fortunes of two brothers, who are both opposite and in opposition to each other.
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“ROMANCE, COMEDY, ACTION AND DRAMA, ALL IMMERSED IN GLORIOUS MUSIC”
11 – 29 NOVEMBER Gracious, audacious and innovative, Edge of night presents two Australian masterpieces alongside a bold new ballet 11 – 29 NOVEMBER Opera Theatre Sydney Opera House with Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra
Tickets from $29 Transaction fee of $5.00 – $8.50 applies
BOOK NOW The Australian Ballet Box Office australianballet.com.au 1300 369 741
Amber Scott in Molto Vivace Photography—Jez Smith
Sydney Opera House Box Office sydneyoperahouse.com 02 9250 7777 MORE INFO australianballet.com.au behindballet.com
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Anton Corbijn B
orn in the Netherlands, award-winning photographer, graphic artist and musicvideo director Anton Corbijn was already famous as an artist before making his feature debut, Control – a dramatic meditation on the music of Joy Division and its troubled singersongwriter Ian Curtis, made with the same passion that originally drew Corbijn to live in London 29 years ago, to be nearer his musical heroes. Following the success of Control, Corbijn (pronounced ‘cor-bine’) returns with The American, starring George Clooney.
Where The Wild Things Are [THEATRE] NIDA celebrates the unpredictable. By Jacqueline Breen
lessed are the wild – for they shall inherit a bangin’ night of independent theatre, courtesy of NIDA’s new program, MINCED. No-one knows this better than 2009 graduate director Paige Rattray, who is kicking off the season next week with Blessed are the Wild – a theatrical wildcard that invites audience members to call the shots. Punters choose between numerous variables of lighting, live music, text and movement to program an entirely unique show each night. “The show is for anyone who wants something different, who might be a bit bored with seeing the same old thing. It's more of an experience than a play,” says Rattray, speaking to me from the bustle of the rehearsal room. “All of the ‘don’ts’ of theatre are in this play. We even have a dog now.”
A dog, an improvising live band and twenty diverse performers – the mixed-bag speaks to Rattray’s fascination with chance and spontaneity. Blessed are the Wild was inspired by iconic choreographer Merce Cunningham, who experimented extensively with chance in his work. Rattray caught one show where Cunningham choreographed several movement pieces, randomly selected the order they would flow in, then rolled a dice to decide between Sigur Ros or Radiohead for the soundtrack. “I admire wild people. I admire people who follow their impulses,” says Rattray. “I think the most exciting thing about chance is that it produces things you could never imagine or choreograph, because by accident something brilliant will happen.” So where is the artistic merit in a show that asks the audience to call the shots, crossing
its fingers as it hopes for accidental brilliance? Rattray flips and reverses this point, explaining that she carefully and deliberately made the decision to make no decisions. “It’s me taking control of not being in control,” she says. She speaks of the artistic compromises she has made in the past, and the feeling that numerous factors snag artistic control out of her hands. “A lot of work these days is influenced by budget or career goals. A lot of the time that sways what we do and we never follow a true artistic path.” Surrendering to this artistic whirlpool is a risk Rattray has long wanted to take, and in the MINCED program she has found the ideal platform. “There is no way you could take risks like this in a mainstage company, it’s too much of a gamble!” Rattray laughs. NIDA’s independent venture is embryonic, and Rattray’s piece (in a double-bill with Nikola Amanovic’s Tick Tack Boom) is a signal to Sydney’s independent community to step up and start experimenting. The freedom to potentially fail is a chance Rattray is excited to take, but it looks unlikely to happen. Her current position as Affiliate Director at Griffin Theatre Company has morphed into Resident Director for next year, where she’ll work with Australian writers on brand new plays. Keep your eye on these Sydney stages, because this is where the wild things are. Let the wild rumpus begin!
Based on Martin Booth's novel A Very Private Gentleman, The American is the story of a hitman (Clooney) who goes to ground in an isolated medieval village in Italy after a job in Sweden goes wrong. During this time he occupies himself as an armourer-for-hire, creating a bespoke rifle for ambiguous fellow assassin Mathilde (played by Thekla Reuten from In Bruges and Lost) – and despite advice to keep a low profile, begins to date a local girl. Where are you based at the moment – in London or the Netherlands? I’m spending a lot of time in London still, but I live in The Hague; I had to sell my place in London to make Control, but moving to The Hague is OK. My printer for my photographs is in Old Street, which is not far away from the squat in Dalston where I lived when I first came to London in 1979 – I remember photographing David Bowie and then coming back to a house with no hot water. How did you come to be the director of The American? I got the third script adapted from the book in 2008. I read it and got in touch with the producer who then sent me the original novel, which was written in 1990, and I thought the
What: Blessed are the Wild [MINCED/NIDA] When: November 5-13 Where: NIDA’s Parade Theatre, Kensington More: nida.edu.au/minced
book was fabulous – so by the time Focus got interested in it I was already involved. I like the fact that it’s about a loner, like Control, and I liked also that the book was very internal, this guy justifying every aspect of his life. I liked the idea that he realised he had been wrong all his life. The question of whether you can change your life – these themes I like. How did Clooney become involved in the project? As soon as the script was finished I sent it to him – he read it and I met him just a few days later. I just thought of the actors of his age and thought: in this film you have to look at someone not doing anything for five minutes stretches. It has to be someone you want to watch. Besides, I like George’s dark side, which is a side you hardly ever see. He’s very interesting to me, not just when he’s Cary Grant but especially when he gets angry, like in Michael Clayton or Syriana. He’s famous for his practical jokes – did he play one on you? He did. I did photographs on set and my camera hangs on my chair. And at some point my assistant Monica went back to London to get those films developed, so I got the contacts back and looked at them the next day, and I thought – what are these shots? And it was somebody’s bottom! And he’d had his assistant take pictures of his bottom. I recognised the t-shirt! For once, music is not in the foreground for you. It’s true – but Herbert Grönemeyer (Das Boot), who is one of my best friends, and who played the doctor in Control, did the score here. I hope he will act in my next film. And over the final credits I have a Dutch song from my youth – every movie I make has a Dutch song in it.
What: The American, Dir. Anton Corbijn When: Opens November 11
Hola Mexico! [FILM] Viva la film revolution! By Greg King
ver the last ten years, directors like Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón have put Mexican film on the mainstream map, while arthouse directors like Carlos Reygadas and Fernando Eimbcke have boosted its profile on the festival circuit. It’s little surprise then that the Hola Mexico Film Festival has grown exponentially in size and scope since it was started in 2006. What began as an eleven-film, five-day jaunt at the Chauvel, now screens in more than fifteen cities in three countries, including New Zealand and the US. “The Mexican film industry is doing very well,” says Festival Director and founder, Samuel Douek. “We’re now producing around 80 films a year. In 2000 we used to do seven films. There’s a lot of variety coming out too - comedies, dramas, documentaries. And not only that, our films continue to win big awards.” This year’s festival features 20-odd feature films, including five amazing documentaries. Opening night will provide a neat synthesis of Mexico’s history and filmmaking talent, with a screening of Revolución, in which ten of the most prominent directors from Mexico - including Gael Garcia Bernal and Carlos Reygadas – were invited to make a short film each, where they gave their view on the Mexican revolution and its fall-out. Another highlight of this year’s festival is Aussie expat Michael Rowe’s feature debut, Leap Year,
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Sins Of My Father follows the son of murdered drug lord Pablo Escobar. Juan Pablo Escobar moved to Argentina and changed his name to try and escape his notorious legacy. This intriguing documentary explores what has happened since, and explores how he tries to cope with the reality that he is the son of one of the biggest drug dealers that Mexico has ever seen.
Still from Revolución which screened at MIFF in July, and won the prestigious Camera D’Or at Cannes. Douek describes it as a confronting (albeit fascinating) film that may not be everyone's cup of tea, focusing as it does on a woman who responds to her loneliness by engaging in sado-masochistic sex with a random assortment of men. On the genre front, punters can check out We Are What We Are, about a family of cannibals who are forced to fend for themselves when the father disappears. “There’s been a lot of films happening with vampires, zombies in the last few years, but this film will really break the language,” Douek enthuses. “It’s been very well
received. It’s one of my favourite films.” On the documentary front, Presumed Guilty is a fascinating film about a young man who was snatched off the streets of Mexico City by the police and brutally interrogated for a crime he didn't commit. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and this film documents his fight for justice. Douek describes the film as something of a rollercoaster. “I’ve seen action films, I’ve seen 24, I’ve seen Speed, I’ve seen a lot of things, but this one takes them all. It’s crazy to see how fucked up the Mexican judicial system is, to put it bluntly. It’s an incredible story, and I just couldn’t believe my eyes.”
The centrepiece of this year’s festival, however, is the focus on Academy Awardnominee Carlos Carrera, who Douek describes as one of the best directors currently working in Mexico. Hola will screen Carrera’s breakout film, The Crime Of Father Amaro, starring Gael Garcia Bernal as a young, idealistic priest sent to a small town. It will also screen his debut feature, Benjamin’s Woman, and his latest, the powerful ghost story From Childhood. Carrera will attend Q&A sessions following each of these screenings. “Carlos speaks very good English,” Douek reassures me. “He has a great sense of humour, and he has rich experience of film making in Mexico.” What: Hola Mexico Film Festival When: November 4 - 14 Where: Dendy Newtown & Opera Quays More: Full program at holamexicoff.com
Paige Rattray photo (far left) by Isabella Moore
[FILM] The Dutchman takes on The American By Alice Hart
CRACKING THEATRE SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGES START FROM $72* WWW.GRIFFINTHEATRE.COM.AU
*TRANSACTION FEES APPLY
Performance Space’s biennial festival of new ideas with four days of back-to-back shows by over twenty artists and groups working across live art, experimental theatre, dance and installation.
The 5th edition of the festival brings you the pinnacle of Mexican ﬁlm:
10 FEATURE FILMS including Abel, Revolucion, We Are What We Are, To the Sea, Northless 5 DOCUMENTARIES including Sins Of My Father and Presumed Guilty 3 TRIBUTE TO CARLOS CARRERA with Q & A’s 2 5TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENINGS our 2006 and 2007 opening screenings.
Performance Space Carriageworks Bookings 1300 723 038 performancespace.com.au Please drink responsibly
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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.
BRANCH NEBULA: SWEAT
THE ANIMALS &CHILDREN TOOK TO THE STREETS
PICS :: TL
real wild child
PICS :: TL
21:10:10 :: Lo-Fi Collective :: L3, 383 Bourke St Darlinghurst 93113100
20:10:10 :: Tony Mott @ Mart Gallery :: 156 Commonwealth St Surry Hills
Walking into CarriageWorks’ cavernous Track 12, I expected to find, well, seats. Instead there was a young woman dressed as a waitress, smiling forcefully. When we had all filed in, she asked us to go out again and re-enter rather more briskly – "You were a bit slow.” Not so much dismantling as nuking the fourth wall, this strange encounter set the tenor for an equally strange evening. Darkly humorous, deeply uncomfortable and often just plain weird, Sweat explores the bleak reality of young people trapped in tedious, low paid service-industry jobs, using the diverse skill-set of its cast - including parkour, breaking, contemporary dance and football. The audience stood for the duration, while the performers wheeled in lights and huge speakers, forcing paths through us. Like a backstage crew, they created a fortress of equipment around noise artist Hirofumi Uchino, who provided a thunderous live score. Elsewhere the cast performed a series of sketches and dance solos, zigzagging through the audience and herding us across the space. Highlights included the creation of complex patterns on the floor with plates, cutlery and glasses, evoking the drudgery behind catering; and the explosive finale, a bizarre dinner party scenario featuring a naked man writhing in a puddle of spaghetti and tinned pineapple. The innovative use of sound, space and light were the threads that stitched together a performance that lacked coherence and didn’t really transcend the pastiche of performance styles. If Sweat is unforgettable, it’s mostly because the cast pull out all the stops. Hard. While a trash-couture fashion show, party poppers and confetti sprays were enjoyably weird at first, the performance eventually descended into an orgy of quizzical brow-raising that seemed like shock for the sake of shock.
Until November 6 at Sydney Opera House Projection in theatre is a dangerous proposition; more often than not, it feels like it’s being used because the director felt like it was a cool idea, rather than for any compelling creative purpose. Hence, I’m always a little wary when I hear about a new company that’s using projection in “new and exciting ways.” However, British company 1927 is actually famous for seamless integration of this medium. In this latest creation, three performers interact with the images projected onto three onstage panels, bringing to life the noir-ish world of the Bayou, a dark city underworld that those fortunate enough not to live there like to forget; a place where the children have gone feral and overrun the streets. We follow the story of several residents: the caretaker, who longs to escape; the new tenant and her daughter, who have come to try and show the children love; and a shopkeeper’s daughter who wants to bring about revolution. As the story builds, their lives entwine and we descend further into the Bayou’s cockroach-ridden halls. Lillian Henley’s haunting piano score (which betrays the group’s background in cabaret) will stay with you long past the final bow, while Esme Appleton’s costumes and Paul Barritt’s animations perfectly complement each other in creating the dank but lively world of the Bayou. However, the lynchpin of the show is Suzanne Andrade’s writing because more than anything else, it is simply a great story, well told. Henry Florence ■ Film
THE SOCIAL NETWORK Released October 28
Lucy Fokkema ■ Theatre
THE CHRONIC ILLS OF ROBERT ZIMMERMAN
PICS :: TL
Until November 6, Seymour Theatre
22:10:10 :: China Heights :: Lvl 3, 16-28 Foster St Surry Hills
Arts Exposed What's on our calendar...
NEWTOWN FESTIVAL 2010 Sunday November 14, 10am-6pm Camperdown Memorial Rest Park Gold coin donation on entry NO GLASS & NO BYO! This annual fundraiser for the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre is a joyous explosion of art, food, music and beer (and babies, and dogs) – and the site of many fondly-remembered shenanigans. This year the music line-up includes Richard in Your Mind + megastick fanfare + The Paper Scissors + Brian Campeau + Guineafowl + Laneous & the Family Yah. There’s also the dog show + the Writers Tent + eco workshops and info sessions on things like keeping chickens ins the city and no-dig gardening… www.newtowncentre.org/festival
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Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman, has spent fifty years speaking in riddles and references and obfuscating details, not to mention becoming an American deity, so essentially everthing we know of him is mythology. Lucinda Gleeson’s production, which had a sold-out run at the Old Fitzroy earlier this year, sees this not as an impediment but as a scaffold. The show is billed as “a theatrical talking blues and glissendorf.” Glissendorf was a game Dylan and a school friend invented, a Beckettian nonsense dialogue of banalities and interrogations intended to confuse observers. Benito di Fonzo’s script takes its cues from this idea, from beat poetry and stand-up, and from Dylan’s famously cryptic lyrical imagery of paradox and surreality. No Dylan songs appear in the show (he is notoriously reluctant to licence them) but Matt Ralph not only nails a pleasant approximation of Bob’s singing voice on the traditionals used, but also of his idiosyncratic meter and nasal tones as he spins tales of bus stations and Baudelaire beneath leaky faucets. He is, however, too animated to quite nail the wry, enigmatic character suggested in the script. Andrew Henry is something of a revelation, embodying a slovenly John Lennon and a hipster-Yiddish Abe Lincoln with a sly charm. The supporting characters are really all caricatures (eg. Yoko Ono, who communicates only in blood-curdling shrieks), suggesting that even its central figure is still just a mythological construct.
With its themes of friendship, betrayal and ambition, The Social Network is one of the best and most intriguing films of the year. The combination of wordsmith Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) and director David Fincher (Fight Club) has produced something exciting and narratively creative. Using two co-running lawsuits against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) the film tells the origin story through disputing voices and 'truths'. We open with 19-year-old Harvard student Zuckerberg out on a very uncomfortable date with his girlfriend (Rooney Mara). Showing off Sorkin’s signature rapid-paced, witty dialogue, this scene perfectly highlights the irony of the world’s largest social networking tool being created by someone who is socially inept. The narrative cuts between boardroom legal negotiations: on the one hand, original investor Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) is suing Zuckerberg for squeezing him out of the company after its move to Silicon Valley; on the other, the Winklevoss Twins (played by Armie Hammer) and Divya Narendra (Max Minghella) are suing Zuckerberg for stealing their idea for Facebook. Using this legal setting to weave in and out of events and perspectives, Fincher’s directing is as intelligent as Sorkin’s words. The young, up-and-coming cast is impressive. Eisenberg brings both arrogance and vulnerability to the role of the computer genius who wants to get noticed. Garfield’s performance, equally good, is a jovial counterweight to Eisenberg’s deadpan. Proving his chops as an actor, Justin Timberlake is the film’s only true villain, playing Napster co-founder Sean Parker, who seduces Zuckerberg with his rockstar charisma.
The set – red & white striped speaker stacks and a blue corner lit by a small constellation of bare bulbs – is a little heavy-handed but still very effective. The pace sometimes flags and the accents often slip, but it’s an inventive and very funny piece of theatre with a surprising lack of pretension.
Certainly part of the film’s appeal is simple curiosity, about one of our generation’s most defining entrepreneurs; but with superb storytelling this film also seems to be saying something more about our lives right now and the rise of the tech-savvy.
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
DVD Reviews What's been on our TV screens this week Two horror classics... Because we can.
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)
Umbrella Entertainment It’s easy to be blasé these days – with the anaesthetising effects of torture-porn like Saw and Hostel almost inevitable – but the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre is as disturbing as most modern horror, and with a relatively minor level of actual gore or graphic violence. The plot (a strain of the now-familiar ‘degenerate cannibal’ subgenre) concerns five friends en route to an old family home, who are waylaid by a family of mentally-munted meatpackers. Watching TTCSM – and listening to director Tobe Hooper’s commentary on this new release – you begin to suspect that a lack of financial and technological resources forced a kind of careful filmmaking that the new breed of directors isn’t interested in. Hooper’s insights into his editing, shot compositions and sound design reveal that he wielded his craft like a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting straight to the psychological nerve of the viewer. TTCSM was a calculated attempt by a young director to bypass the arthouse scene and get straight to Hollywood, on the back of the horror genre – which was outrunning the other indie sectors, thanks to drive-ins and the cathartic effects of screaming. By that criterion it was a mixed success, buying Hooper a 35-year career in which Poltergeist is arguably the highpoint; on the other hand, he created a popular hit. Part of its effect, like Last House On The Left, was its unprecedented attack on the American family, by bringing murder and depravity into the ‘safety’ of the everyday home (a trend that started with Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968). But Hooper’s film has lasted because it’s well designed, highly effective horror – not that you’d necessarily want to see it again. Dee Jefferson
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) Umbrella Entertainment
It’s no secret that Wes Craven’s seminal thriller is a variation on Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (1960), in which a band of killers take refuge in the house of the girl they just murdered, and the parents take bloody revenge. Both films appeal on primal level, tapping into deep-seated parental anxieties; however Craven’s film had added cultural relevance, at the forefront of a push that took place in the 1970s, in which US filmmakers turned their piercing gaze against the American Dream. In the horror genre, this manifested in threats that came from within, and attacked the family nucleus (as opposed to the outer-space paranoia that characterised the 50s). In the wake of serial killer Ed Gein, and the Manson Family murders, the American family became, by turns, both vulnerable and menacing. If you watch TLHOTL with this in mind, it’s far more than a shock tactic, or a hollow exercise in style – although it's certainly shocking (this was banned in Australia, and you can see why), and there's style aplenty: the hand-held, innocent whimsy of the opening scenes, in which teenaged Mari and Phyllis play grown-ups by the lake, with a bottle of ‘hard liquor’, preparing for their night out; the chilling juxtaposition of jaunty pop-rock tunes against extreme malevolence. Like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, this film achieves its effect with a minimum of actual gore or graphic violence; the horror lives in the premise – a 17-year-old virgin and her barely-more-experienced friend whose innocence is not lost as much as raped, carved up, and despatched with a bullet. This disc, packed full of extras, is selling for $10 at the moment. You’ll never want to see it again, perhaps, but you should definitely see it once.
Street Level With NUMSKULL
familiar presence on our streets for the last decade, this Sydney-based artist takes his name from a 90s comic strip about a young boy with five tiny creatures who control his senses. As Numskull says, the moniker is “quite relevant now as my work explores the effects of love, hate, mystery and advertising on our senses.” His work mashes up cartoonish characters and pop-cultural icons into bold, colourful concoctions. His latest collection is intriguingly titled The Weird Machine… What’s your artistic background/training? I have no formal training as an artist. Everything I do has come from trial and error in various forms of painting. How did the art start? When I got into street art around early 2000s my aim was to make a nice image, put my name to it and get it onto as many walls as possible. Things have changed since then, but the general purpose was to get fame really. Like tagging, but with an image attached. What are the key formative experiences that have shaped your work? The most important would have to be graffiti. My brother got me into it and through that I met a raggedy bunch of creative and very talented vandals. Meeting people who are like-minded painters is the best experience you can get. Friendly competition and support is key to expanding every stage of what i’ve created. Your pieces often subvert well-known icons (like your ‘rockstar’ Queen); what is your inspiration? I’m not completely sure, but for the most part it’s a matter of being unsatisfied with painting a single image. I’d much rather take an image and add bits and bobs as strangely as possible. The Queeny Rockstar print was made to show her Highness in a different light. She’s all over our money, but doesn’t really do much here, so I thought I’d mess with her a bit. What's this photo (pictured) about? Title of the work is "The Alaska Man" (so deep right?) The inspiration behind this piece was to be as confusing as possible.
Outside wall, or inside gallery – thoughts? I enjoy both, but I often get bored painting on canvas. It’s pretty limiting sometimes. If I paint a canvas and put it in a gallery only a certain amount of people will see it. Paint the same image 10 foot high on a wall and the effect on people is 10 times greater.
Tell us about The Weird Machine! I just finished the last painting this week. The overall themes I have been working on are dreams, strange experiences and abnormal personalities. The show will consist of paintings, installations and a set of 3 limited edition prints. What else are you up to in 2010? I have a couple of collaboration projects I can’t really talk about. Then towards the end of the year myself and Beastman have got some outdoor painting projects we will be working on. What: Numskull – The Weird Machine When: Opens November 4, 6pm Where: LO-FI Collective / Lvl 3/383 Bourke St, Taylor Sq. More: wearelofi.com.au / funskull.com BRAG :: 836 :: 01:11:10 :: 39
Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK THE JOHN STEEL SINGERS Tangalooma Dew Process
This is superior pop music, delivered with a soft and shaggy generosity.
Tangalooma is a resort on Moreton Island. Technically part of the greater Brisbane metropolitan area, it’s a satellite that provides as convenient a vantage point as any for taking a good, hard look back at the city over the water - while simultaneously allowing one to stare wistfully out into the blue expanse of the Pacific. Such is the air that hangs over The John Steel Singers' long awaited debut LP, which combines a deeply interrogative look at the traumatising effects of modern mechanised civilisation with an effortless buoyancy, and a wild joy. Touring their asses off up and down the east coast for the last couple of years has allowed the fellas
ACTIVE CHILD Curtis Lane EP Spunk Records Pat Grossi occupies that same sanctuary of airy invention as Wild Nothing and Bon Iver – one man, in a room, making music that sounds like the sky isn’t big enough to contain it. I could namecheck anyone from Fleet Foxes to TV On The Radio to M83 here (hey look, I just did), but LA’s Active Child fits best into that ballooning pantheon of bedroom musicians who have tweaked and smooshed a couple of genres just enough to create something that sounds new and intriguing. Where the climbs and hymnal pace of ‘She Was A Vision’ betray Grossi’s choirboy past, the splintered, thrumming beats and cinematic synths of closer ‘Wilderness’ echo the uneasy warmth of many a trip-hop epic. It shimmers with multi-tracked falsetto harmonies and intricate electronics, with Grossi’s rippling-water runs (yes, he’s also a harpist) adding yet another layer. Curtis Lane breathes emotion, occupying a space between teenmovie saccharine and a clipped, peculiarly Gallic sort of restraint. There’s an insistent little ‘Blue Monday’ pulse running beneath the aching refrains and chopped-up falsetto of ‘When Your Love Is Safe’ – Robyn could sing the shit out of this, and so could Kelly Rowland. Grossi is at his best in the high range, and his (occasionally forced-sounding) ‘normal’ singing voice exists mostly in the shadow of Ian Curtis’s distinctly flat pronouncements – creating dark spaces on a record that could otherwise float away on its own luminous energy. As a whole, it doesn’t quite gel; the elegiac constructions jar slightly against the dancier tracks, but this feels more like a simple track-order issue than a lack of focus or cohesion. It might sound a little bit like a lot of things, but it also sounds a lot like the next big thing. Caitlin Welsh
to develop and more finely calibrate the songs collected here. The production chops of one Robert Forster hasn’t hurt either, buffing up some of the older gems (i.e. ‘Rainbow Kraut’), while providing them with an appropriate setting within the capricious flow of the album. Opening with a call to get down and dirty (“I propose we take our clothes off!”) on ‘Your Favourite Perversion’, the songs here unfold with a pervading sense of musical adventurousness, studded with moments of illuminated cheer. The elegant mutations that punctuate the foot-stomping forward momentum of ‘Evolution’ for example, or the stripped back drumfuelled suspense that closes the smilingly savage ‘You’ve Got Nothing To Be Proud Of’. While comparisons to Rubber Soul-era Beatles or Split Enz aren’t inappropriate, even at their most
JOHN LEGEND & THE ROOTS
Wake Up! Columbia/Sony
Make Your Own Mayflower Popfrenzy
I’ve always admired John Legend, and been prepared to excuse him his egomaniacal rapper’s approach to soul music - probably on the grounds of his undeniable credibility as a vocalist. Wake Up! is the album he conceived alongside The Roots, both camps inspired to record by the political rush that progressive souls felt when they realised Obama stood a chance. The release is a collection of covers of protest songs first recorded in the 60s and 70s, drawing heavily on soul, funk, gospel and reggae. The Legend/Roots combo lay down their take on household names like Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers, as well as lesser-known artists like Eugene McDaniels (who reigned from ‘61-‘72 and collaborated on the #1 hit ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’, with Roberta Flack) and Jamaican resident Lincoln ‘Sax’ Thompson. Alongside contributions from long-time Roots compadres Common, Black Thought and Malik Yusuf, emerging diva Melanie Fiona brings a very slick duet to the album’s title track, a version of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ ‘Wake Up Everybody’. The selection is a good mix of hits and rarities, and probably three of the versions are really worthy - but to be honest, there are more that just don’t get there. While there’s nothing to be technically faulted on the record, I’m inclined to say that there’s just not enough gospel in it. The vocals are lacking that heart-wrenching, tearjerking rawness of decades past; it all sounds too polished for an album of such purportedly “world changing” content. Maybe Legend is just too clean-cut for the job, or too much a part of the system that these classic songs ran their commentary on.
After six years and endless lineup changes, many-headed Perth/ Melbourne outfit Institut Polaire have finally squeezed out a debut LP. Shinier production values aside, the style is easily recognisable from earlier singles like ‘City Walls And Empires’. Frontman Erik Hecht’s voice still sounds undeniably like a younger, sweeter James Mercer, but Shins-comparisons would be pretty unavoidable anyway: ‘The Bright And Bore’ and ‘Leaving Her Shook’ could actually be O Inverted World-era B-sides. It’s not a bad thing at all – what the Shins always got right was that homespun, bittersweet sound, creating literate and luminous pop without it being cloying. Institut Polaire strike that same balance between whimsy and sophistication through most of the record, with the relentless prettiness countered by melancholy frontier-town violins, doomy little jams, and a squinty worldweariness in the lyrics. At their best they echo the Techni-sepia landscapes of Augie March, and they’d do well to inject a bit more of that bush-gothic atmosphere into proceedings. There’s a tendency to slip into monotonous jangle-pop, and to leave a song to trail off anti-climactically when a final, grandiose chorus would have taken it up a glorious notch. It’s the odd little interludes that are the most intriguing. There’s ‘America’, a wordless, saxophone-driven AM-radio groove; opening fanfare ‘The Battle Of Jericho’ reveals their theatrical bent; and ‘Global Fodder’ is a gorgeously sunny morsel, which gives way to the overegged ‘Old-Fashioned Affliction’ far too soon.
I’m underwhelmed; this had the potential to be much more.
A fine debut, thoughtful and wellcrafted; but I would have liked them to push themselves a bit more.
After I saw them play in a tiny back room earlier this year, Cameras shot to very near the top of my list of must-see local bands. They work wonderfully well as a unit, while maintaining their own distinct personalities as musicians – you don’t often see the interplay between two singer-songwriters in the one band work like that.
damp pianos and her dark, ethereal voice, while co-pilot Fraser Harvey’s tracks use sharp angles and intricate guitar noise. Ben Mason holds it together on drums that sound like they’ve been recorded in an aircraft hangar, steady and open in the claustrophobic spaces of his bandmates’ invention. Opener ‘Polarise’ is nothing less than stunning – the heaving piano rhythm recalls Absolution-era Muse (in the best possible way), and the whole song takes its time building to a quietly thunderous conclusion. The rest of the tracks suggest that the subtle build-up to the climax is their basic blueprint, but they do it so well every time, and from such different places, that it’s hard to really mind.
On their debut EP, Eleanor Dunlop sculpts dramatic melodies out of
Fraser’s voice suffers a little in comparison to Eleanor’s flawlessly controlled tones – his
Cameras EP Digital Release
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Stridulum II Pod
We Can’t Fly EMI
This is by no means unforgivable. It’s quite addictive music, despite its stern pit-gazing, and po-faced, minor-chord synth stabs. ‘Trust Me’ makes you want to weigh your lids with mascara and click your fingers from one end of the high school party to the other. The dense 80s plod of the title-track’s drum machine is overcome by bursts of startling incandescence, as the grim atmospherics and keys coalesce impressively with Zola’s croons. But then there's tracks like ‘Run Me Out’, which conjures images of the singer at the top of a seaside cliff, clad in flowing white and thrusting Phantom of the Opera-like gestures into an oncoming storm, shrouded in aged VHS haze. Yep. It can be more than a little bit much. If you indulge it for a moment or two, Stridulum II is an unexpectedly rewarding listen. It’s aiming for pretty big things, and although it doesn’t always grasp what it reaches for, it does portray a musician who seems to be pursuing an aesthetic so doggedly that she doesn't mind how silly she might sound along the way. If you like earnest, epic synth-pop, then you really should check this out. If not, try it for the occasional karaoke-mime giggle. Luke Telford
vocal performance is prone to sounding a little generically ‘indie’, in the emotionlessemoting manner of Interpol et al. But they're shortcomings easily conquered by the inventive guitars. It's all about the details - a lot of rock bands don’t actually bother with the small things when they’ve got this much going on out the front. But the shrill guitars skimming over the grunt of ‘Kreuzberg’ and ‘Mission’ sound like the work of a much more seasoned player, not just in terms of technical skill but also because they indicate how the band are able to take in the bigger picture when constructing a song. Like a darker, sludgier Jezabels, Sydney’s Cameras promise huge things with their debut release. Caitlin Welsh
There’s a keening quality to Zola Jesus’ voice that is difficult to describe. From one moment to the next it transposes itself from a sultry, resigned murmur to a Cher-esque holler that’s quite striking when streaked across such resolutely gothic pop. Her voice is strong, but tremulously contrived; her sound is aiming for the towering fragility that startled so many of us when we first heard ‘Idioteque’, but it falls a bit short, into fey Kate Bushisms. It sometimes sounds as though she’s taking herself too seriously.
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK CAMERAS
derisive (as with the destructive malcontents of ‘Overpass’) The John Steel Singers maintain a humour and lightness that establishes them as an entity utterly their own.
I’ve loved Aeroplane for aeons; the Belgian disco duo almost singlehandedly relinquished dance music of its dark and industrial shackles with blissful, inspiring disco and synths that make you grin. So I was surprised with their debut, which holds everything but the sunny Italo-disco they’re known for. We Can’t Fly is a patchwork quilt of style-clashing ideas. As the album unfolds, the songs leap around the musical spectrum, amalgamating future synths with bygone styles. ‘Mountains Of Moscow’, ‘London Bridge’ and ‘The Point of No Return’ all showcase stadium-sized 70s rock guitar solos - and ‘Good Riddance’ is a malapropos John-Wayne-bar-scene ditty. It’s weird. Occasionally, this marriage of old and new sounds works seamlessly. ‘We Can’t Fly’ is a hypnotic dance paragon, where Ben Folds-esque rock piano, gospel, and Caribbean calypso all swim through your headphones, underpinned by Aeroplane’s intoxicating synthesisers. ‘Without Lies’ is also a highlight – a futuristic cover of a 70s Belgian song; minimalistic bass and steamy guitar worm their way around guest Sky Ferreira’s velvet pipes, as she effortlessly walks the tightrope between innocent and sexy. ‘Caramellas’ is a return to the soaring Balearic arrangements that Aeroplane are loved for. The antithesis to convoluted dance pop, it’s a gorgeous, layered instrumental that oscillates in cascades of warm sonic luxury; you remember why they’re called Aeroplane - you feel like you’re flying. The artistic differences behind Aeroplane’s recent split are manifested in We Can’t Fly; it’s a kind of tri-blend of The Human League, glam space rock and the Sonic The Hedgehog soundtrack. But yeah, it’s pretty cool. Rach Seneviratne
OFFICE MIXTAPE Did the Melbourne Cup leave you feeling a little horse? Here are some tracks to help you reign in your week... BAND OF HORSES - Cease To Begin FOALS - Antidotes NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB - The Optimist
GINUWINE - Ginuwine...The Bachelor SUPER WILD HORSES - Fifteen
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live reviews OR
What we've been to see...
FACT FICTI N TOUR
MULATU ASTATKE & THE BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE Russ Dewbury’s Jazz Rooms @ The Basement Friday October 15
It was his first time in Australia and Sydney showed some love, selling out two consecutive nights at The Basement. Mulatu Astatke and his oft repeated tagline – “the father of Ethio-jazz” - was in the building. Music fans with a focus on beats and percussion, like myself, probably knew of him through his association with modern electronic labels like !K7, who’ve re-issued some of Astatke’s back catalogue as well as released new material. Jazz-heads, on the other hand, would have been aware of him through his world jazz reputation. And, in fact, the output of the celebrated Ethiopian musician was also given a nudge in the popular stakes when he soundtracked Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers.
Tuesday 9 November Brass Monkey, Cronulla
Wednesday 10 November The Vanguard, Sydney
t Info + tickets a www.chrispickering.net or www.catherinebritt.com
The Basement stage was packed, with Astatke joined by Melbourne’s nine-strong Black Jesus Experience. The “Ethio jazz/ hip hop ensemble” are an impressive force when they’re in sonic motion. The members include singer/songwriters from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, with a rhythm and horn section from Australia, NZ & Ethiopia. They’ve played Russ Dewbury’s Jazz Rooms at The Basement previously - but this was first time I had personally laid eyes on them. The first hour of their set displayed the more cerebral side of jazz; a headphone-style start, and I’d forgive you if you felt a little bored. But the second hour really launched into the uptempo funk end of the jazz spectrum, and had the whole room jumping. Astatke himself moved from percussion to vibraphone and back again, small in stature but generous in skill and smiles. He seemed largely content to play the role of band member, a humble individual staying out of the limelight for the most part and letting the combined efforts of an incredible group of musicians speak for themselves. The Black Jesus’s keys player was incredibly entertaining, even though without the kaftan dresscode he looked more like a Waratahs player. The loose, improvisational nature of the jazz allowed the musicians to really push the limits of their own skill and timing, of which he took full advantage. The Black Jesus’s brass section were also a standout, sending out sublime minor harmonies that stopped me in my afro-boogying tracks, rising goosebumps on my skin in that most excellent way. The enthusiasm of Astake and the band was infectious; you couldn’t help but be buoyed by the obvious pleasure they took in each other’s musical company. I’ll be looking out for the next Sydney Black Jesus show.
LOW, THE LAURELS The Factory Theatre Friday October 22
An atmosphere of fatigue pervades The Factory Theatre tonight. Minnesota ‘slowcore’ band Low are headlining, and although support act The Laurels haven’t begun yet, fans are already smothering yawns. They coagulate in sleepy circles around seated areas, murmuring quietly. Quiet breeds quiet, so it gets quieter still. The Laurels triumphantly summon shoegaze icons Ride and My Bloody Valentine. It’s a thing of joy when a band is this good at being that derivative. They're a pure guitar band – no keys, no effects, no fucking around – and it’s refreshing to recall how blissful a well-mixed guitar onslaught can sound. Different guitar tones swirl and marble, at times warped, woozy and ebbing à la My Bloody Valentine, at other times droney à la Brian Jonestown Massacre. With the exception of their energetic drummer, the band appear pale, malnourished, too apathetic to even swipe their hair aside. 100% bona fide shoegaze bliss! The sluggish audience perk up when Low start in with ‘In Silence’ from Drums and Guns, followed soon after by ‘Monkey’ (both covered by Led Zep’s Robert Plant on his new record). Dressed tastefully in symphony blacks, the poise of the three-piece is striking – the perks of being older and less self-conscious perhaps? Low are renowned
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for snubbing noisy crowds by dampening the volume rather than increasing it, and tonight too is hushed. I head up the front to absorb decibels. Live and sans effects, it’s Alan Sparhawk’s guitar that blesses Low with its soul and substance. His wiry frame moves with his guitar like it’s part of his body in a (damn alluring) manner similar only to Shayne Carter of Straitjacket Fits/Dimmer fame. While Sparhawk channels the songs, his wife and drummer Mimi Parker simply performs them and remains aloof throughout: they are the perfect balance. The only banter comes in an unexpected gush towards the end. “’Breaker’!” yells one fan. “’Dinosaur Act’!” Sparhawk squints into the crowd then drawls playfully. “I don’t understand a word you said.” More fans yell favourites. The band seems lost. “Did we do this last time?” Sparhawk asks. “Unravel into indecision? Someone say something that’s going to change my life.” “Scientology!” yells someone and Sparhawk nods in appreciation. Does the fan know the couple are practicing Mormons? References to religion are apt. Here at Low’s feet we stand, in what’s almost a posture of prayer, a sea of reverent faces, slanted upwards to the band, straining to hear their wonderful intricacies. A great show.
KYÜ, OSCAR AND MARTIN Paddington Uniting Church Friday October 22
The luminous interior of the Paddington Uniting Church sets the scene for this evening perfectly. Corinthian pilasters reach, unadorned, to the high vaulted ceiling and frame Oscar & Martin (née Psuche)’s modest setup perfectly. Minus Martin, Oscar is quite nervous about singing and sequencing his accomplice’s parts - but he does a marvellous (if occasionally ramshackle) job. The music is assembled with colourful electric 12-string and live samples, reminiscent of the whimsical way Melbourne act (and label-mates) Otouto write: collages of disparate ideas woven into surprisingly effective twee-pop. It’s refreshing to hear a singer using their voice as an instrument, too; it’s at once a lyrical/melodic focal point and another texture, evoking ululating birdsong one minute, synthesised vocal simulation the next. The audience is littered with musicians tonight, so it’s no surprise when a 24-strong crowd of familiar faces (including members of Parades, Shady Lane, megastick fanfare, Cuthbert & The Night Walkers, Richard In Your Mind, Rainbow Chan and Jonathan Boulet) assemble at the pulpit, red streaks painted across their cheeks. kyü join them on the floor below, and conduct this chorus in the eerie cascades of ‘Foreword’. ‘Sistar’ follows, the familiar chest-slap percussion driving something infinitely more vast and present than samples and synths. As the choir’s harmonic chant wells into a sublime coalescence, we’re all part of it now; the church resonates, audience, choir, band, in a moment that transcends the performance. There are a few peaks like that throughout the show, though none quite as breath-taking as the first. The duo’s performative dialogue is second nature now; they’ve worked very hard over the past 12 months, gigging furiously, and recording an impressive debut somewhere amidst it all. Tonight they move from sampler to drumkit to grand piano without thinking, and trade offset harmonies as casually as sighs or laughter. Throughout the performance the crowd of vocalists behind them stand calmly, rising to the fore with perfectly rehearsed multipart harmonies and overwhelming chants. The expanded lineup allows kyü to meddle with their arrangements; there are moments during the show in which one of the duo will start with a vocal theme completely beyond the audience’s comprehension, that, with the context of the choir, blossoms into the realisation of a song. Admirably, the entire performance is woven together as a single piece of work instead of a collection of songs. Closing with a rousing ‘Pixiphony’ the band file out of the church to rapturous applause, and, fittingly, respond only with a theatrical encore. You should only indulge in so much potently magical music.
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BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 43
The Minor Chord
The All Ages rant bought to you by Indent.net.au. With Eva Balog
The Paper Scissors
ALL AGES GIG PICKS INDENT GRANTS
It’s that time of the year again; those applying for Indent Partnership Grants are scrambling to get their submissions in and postmarked by the deadline. So if you've been sitting on an idea for a music event and you’re looking for some money to help get your event up and running, get yourself a team and get your application together this week! If you’re just starting now, the eleventh hour is already upon you - it’s due at 5pm this Friday, November 5. If you have any troubles get in contact with Meg at Indent on 02 9281 1600, or check out the website for all the deets: indent.net.au/grants.
And while we're looking forward to the fun of next year, there are a couple of call outs for enthusiastic young representatives to join advisory councils, too. Indent (as we’ve previously discussed) is searching for two young people to join its rad group of music industry and youth workers to drive the betterment of all-ages entertainment across the state in 2011 and 2012. Again, check indent.net.au for all the info. The second call out is for the NSW Youth Advisory Council - to work with the Minister for Youth, Peter Primrose. Duties on this council will essentially involve repping the rest of the 12-24 age bracket direct to the state government. Ok, so hanging with the state government might sound boring, but for those of you who have ever grumbled about a lack of anything relating to youth in NSW then this is a chance to make a change. Again, the info is on the Indent website, so get amongst it.
One of the greatest songwriters of all time, front man of seminal surf rock band the Beach Boys (well, front man for most of the seminal years), Brian Wilson will be playing a solo show at the Enmore Theatre this Friday. The man has averaged a song a day for most of his life (mostly about love and the beach), so this one is not only for the enthusiasts, it’s a rare opportunity to see song-craft royalty, and with his only other show being in Adelaide it’s an opportunity not to be missed.
AUS MUSIC MONTH
Alternatively, if you’re anywhere in the CBD this Friday, you might like to take a casual stroll up to The Metro Theatre. That’s where the triple j AusMusic Month Party is happening. In past years they’ve hosted such names as Paul Kelly, AC/DC, You Am I and The Go Betweens. Now the annual month-long celebration of Australian music pushes focus on some of the best
FRI NOV 5
Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys) Enmore Theatre
SAT NOV 6
Noizevember Nowra School of Arts
FRI NOV 12
Hungry Kids of Hungary The Factory Theatre
SUN NOV 14
Newtown Festival Camperdown Memorial Park
SAT NOV 20
Open Arms Festival Coffs Harbour Showground
SAT NOV 20 That Festival Cabarita Pony Club
SAT JAN 8 The National Enmore Theatre
new Australian music, with Bag Raiders, Horrorshow, The Holidays and a few of your favorite triple j radio announcers on the mic and decks for some mid-set entertainment.
The always fantastic, ever-evolving Newtown Festival is back for another year of music, quirky stalls and that always-satisfying festival food that we all love so dearly. Let’s hear it for gozleme, everyone! On November 14, head down to Camperdown Memorial Park for a great day out. Entry is by gold coin donation and in return you get a nice little sticker and the chance to witness the likes of Richard In Your Mind, The Paper Scissors, megastick fanfare, The Snowdroppers, Skipping Girl Vinegar and a myriad of other acts spread across the seven stages.
Finally for news this week - and ushering in their new album, High Violet -The National have just announced a second show at the Enmore Theatre, on January 8. Sure it’s a little while away, but their first one sold out like that! Plus it’s all-ages. Thanks, The National (and thanks for the violet 12” that’s sure to make any vinyl collection that much more vibrant)... That just about wraps it up for this week, but do remember to tune in to FBi Radio 94.5fm each Wednesday at 5pm, to hear some more all-ages picks from the team at The Minor Chord.
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More than The Cure since 1989 with Murray Engleheart
There’s a book on the way about legendary Sydney rumble merchants feedtime, the power trio who at one point employed both a slide guitar and a slide bassist, and were powered by an overall single-mindedness and granite-hard strength of conviction right up there with John Coltrane...
SIX FEET DOWN UNDER
Metallica’s Six Feet Down Under Part II EP hits the ground on November 12, with ‘Blackened’ (which was recorded just last month, on October 16 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre), ‘Ride The Lightning’ (October 14, Vector Arena, Auckland), ‘The Four Horsemen’ (September 18, Sydney’s Acer Arena), ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’ (September 15, Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena), ‘Master Of Puppets’ (October 16, Brisbane Entertainment Centre), ‘… And Justice For All’ (October 18, Brisbane Entertainment Centre), ‘Fade To Black’ (September 18, Acer Arena, Sydney) and ‘Damage, Inc.’ (September 22, CBS Canterbury Arena, NZ).
Status Quo have just unleashed a collection of everything they ever did for the BBC in a package mysteriously titled Live At The BBC. It’s a ridiculously simple, utterly glorious boogie-excess taken to its utterly glorious limits – which is exactly what we like about it.
LADIES & GENTLEMEN
Ladies and Gentlemen… The Rolling Stones, the classic movie of the Stones’ 1972 Exile On Main Street tour of the US (and Texas specifically) got a run in theatres in the early 70s, and has been a much bootlegged item since. Now, it’s finally made its way onto DVD. And it’s seriously great stuff. The Maysles Brothers’ Gimme Shelter (1970) was unquestionably strong, but its shroud of primal darkness was the major gravitational factor. This later doco is simply all about presenting the clear evidence, far beyond any reasonable doubt, that in 1972 The Stones were “the greatest world and roll band in the world”. And they unquestionably were.
The Slits’ singer Ari Up, who was also John Lydon’s step-daughter (we knew there was a relationship there but we were never sure exactly what it was), has passed away at the age of 48. The Slits’ classic debut album, Cut, hit in 1979 while the band opened for The Clash on the White Riot tour when Up (aka Arianna Foster) was merely 14.
Still on John Lydon: the ‘perpetuallycranky-for-no-particular-reason one’ is doing another book. This time it’s a bloody expensive exercise (around $1000) cringingly called Mr Rotten’s Scrapbook, with a vinyl album that includes material from Public Image Ltd’s recent reunion tour (fair enough), plus Mr Lydon doing spoken word – which in his hands will probably end up being unintentionally closer to stand up comedy, or might be venomous genius (possibly fair enough) – and art drawn and signed by the great man’s own hand. (Hmmmm…) Around 100 copies in the 750-print run have already been spoken for, apparently. Yep, beats the pants off us too.
We’re not going to yell this, so we need you to come closer. OK. Here’s the thing. We don’t listen to Radio Birdman much anymore. Not because we think they suck, just because they have a special place in our hearts that’s now filled with that white gooshy stuff that makes our hearts no longer function like they once did. This is in part why we weren’t stopping total strangers in the street to tell them about the new Birdman on stage album, Live In Texas. But you know what? We should, because it’s a killer! All those great original songs are driven hard and strong, along with covers like The Kinks’ ‘At The End of the Day’ and The Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Hot Rails to Hell’.
Regular Remedy reader, Brother Robert Grieve reported last week while on undercover assignment in Albury that he witnessed with his own ears and eyes a local gent driving down the main drag in an open-topped jeep – not to be confused with an upmarket off-road thing that never gets to be off an actual road – with Black Sabbath’s ‘Symptom of the Universe’ blaring from it. Now that – as Kramer once roughly said – is the kinda world we want to live in. Once again.
11pm pm 9:30 ks until e r o bef $4 drin free
That long-deleted and now near-retirement, fund-price-fetching seven-slab boxed set of The Stooges’ 1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions is being reissued mid-November. And we’re kinda pissed, to be honest. We happily paid through our collective butts for the original package back in 1999 knowing it was limited to just 3000 copies worldwide, and now that most sacred of boxes is about to be diluted with a tsunami of wannabe boxes – which at least won’t be numbered editions like the originals. Elitist? Us? You bet baby! Preciousness is – as the old saying goes – nine tenths of the law. Still, we guess it's kinda cool to have that stuff available again. If only they'd done something like this set with the entire Raw Power sessions, eh?
FUN HOUSE SESSIONS
5 Star Prison Cell, Delorian Tide, Kahn of K, Bustacap
ST JAMES HOTEL 114 CASTLEREAGH ST, CITY
The famed (or maybe just plain infamous) Chelsea Hotel in New York is for sale. The one-time home to everyone from Bob Dylan, Dee Dee Ramone and Jimi Hendrix to Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin was also the scene of the 1978 murder of Sid Vicious’ gal, Nancy Spungen.
ON THE TURNTABLE On the Remedy turntable is Endless Boogie’s towering Full House Head album – which, despite the combo’s title, has much more to do with Velvet Undergroundtype hypnosis than a chemically-altered ZZ Top or Canned Heat. Particularly on the 23-minute closer, ‘A Life Worth Leaving’, which is much, much closer to ‘Sister Ray’ than ‘La Grange’. Capital stuff this. Speaking of endless boogie: also spinning is a tenalbum boxed set of early John Lee Hooker material that we picked up online for a jaw-dropping 11 pounds.
TOUR AND INDUSTRY NEWS Simon Chainsaw (of Vanilla Chainsaw fame), Decline Of The Reptiles and Lollipop Sugar are at the Excelsior on November 27. Solid Gold Hell’s first birthday celebrations happen on November 13 at the Sly Fox Hotel, Enmore. Down at the rock n’ roll club indeed... The Hitmen, Decline Of The Reptiles and The Cool Charmers are at the Jets Sports Club, Tempe on November 13.
Decline of the Reptiles
Send stuff for this column to email@example.com by 6pm Wednesdays. All pics to art@thebrag please. www.myspace.com/remedy4rock BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 45
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i dream in transit
tim & jean
22:10:10 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford st, Darlinghurst 93323711
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:: The Factory :: 105 Victoria Road Enmore 95503666
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up all night out all week . . .
20:10:10 :: Enmore Theatre :: 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown 9550 3666
21:10:10 :: Melt :: 12 Kellett St, Kings Cross 93806060
It sounds like: The youth of today, getting their party on and discovering that tea parties aren’t just for grandma and grandpa… Acts: Alba Varden, Radio National, The Cadres, The Money Smokers, World Champion, Bright Quitto Spring, Hopes, and more MUM DJs than you can poke a stick at! Three songs you’ll hear on the night: ‘Juicebox’, ‘Fire’, ‘Soul Digger’. And one you definitely won’t: Anything a little bit shit! Sell it to us: We hear these so-called ‘tea pots’ have been spiked. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: The semi-naked burlesque performer rocking out to one Melbourne-based rock band. Crowd specs: Over 18, be rad. Wallet damage: Free before 8pm, or $5 on the door if you mention Alba Varden. Where: World Bar / 24 Bayswater Rd, Kings Cross When: Friday November 5
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megastick fanfare 21:10:10
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It’s called: MUM feat. Alba Varden (Melb)
:: The Basement :: 29 Relby Place Circul;ar Quay 92512797
) :: ASH LEY MAR :: LIFE S : TIM LEV Y (HEA D HON CHO OUR LOV ELY PHOTOG RAP HER :: SUSAN BUI YLE RST INNE :: SON VEN WIT HOU T ANDY :: PATR ICK STE
BRAG :: 386 :: 01:11:10 :: 47
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up all night out all week . . .
20:10:10 :: Q-Bar :: 34-44 Oxford st, Darlinghurst 93601375
claire bowditch 23:10:10
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21:10:10 :: Spectrum :: 34 Oxford St Darlinghurst 93316245
:: The Metro Theatre :: 624 George St City 92642666
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It’s called: GhettoBlaster
23:10:10 :: St James Hotel :: 114 Castlereagh St City 92618277 48 :: BRAG :: 386:: 01:11:10
Bands/DJs playing: Live = The Go Roll Your Bones + Dark Bells. DJing = our favourite &Dimes DJs: Nickles, Dialz, Bastien, Double Denim and Puerto Rico along with a few other guests… Sell it to us: Besides blowing your mind with the chunes, local artists Wolfkid and Wet Lungs will be painting Q Bar's walls live; VIP will showcase an exhibition by Lee Jowono & Emily Fraser; Sydney artist Twitch will have his paste-ups on display... And GhettoBlaster’s infamous LA garage party theme will be kicking it again. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Climbing over couches covered in dancing people, wading your way through the discarded red beer cups to check out some incredible bands. Wallet damage: $10 entry / $5 Beers / $6.50 GhettoBlaster shots / $8 GhettoBlaster Buckets. Where: Q Bar & 34b / 34 Oxford St Darlinghurst. When: Saturday November 6, 9pm
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she came from another...
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up all night out all week . . .
23:10:10 :: 34b :: 34b Oxford St Darlinghurst 93601375
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFITTI
THE SOFT PACK (USA)
LES SAVY FAV
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