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BLUESFEST TOURING PRESENTS RAUL MALO The former lead singer of The Mavericks (‘Dance the Night Away’). As a singer/ songwriter and guitarist Raul Malo effortlessly connects the worlds of Latin music, country, blues, jazz and rock and roll. Riding high on his new album Sinners and Saints, Raul Malo has a voice to die for and is an entertainer not to be missed.
Sydney: The Basement - Sun 17th April
Tickets: www.thebasement.com.au (02) 9251 2797
Sydney: Lizotte’s, Dee Why - Mon 18th April Tickets: www.lizottes.com.au
MICHELLE SHOCKED A self-styled “Sophisticated Hillbilly”, Michelle Shocked is a world wandering singer/songwriter and guitarist. With 12 albums and 24 years of performance to her credit, Michelle is a storyteller of the highest order. This April, let her engaging tales of the contrasts, toils and successes of life transport you to another time.
Sydney: The Basement - Mon 18th April Tickets: www.thebasement.com.au Dinner/Show Packages: (02) 9251 2797
Sydney: Lizotte’s, Dee Why - Tue 19th April Tickets: www.lizottes.com.au
Sydney: The State Theatre - Sat 23rd April (WITH BUFFY SAINT MARIE) Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au 136 100
THE DOUBLE BONE-ER TOUR TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
A brass player since childhood, Trombone Shorty is the leading light of the modern New Orleans music scene. This April, with his band Orleans Avenue, Trombone Shorty performs across Australia alongside cult Los Angeles ska-punk band Fishbone. Music like this is a physical experience, one to be well savoured.
Sydney: The Metro - Tue 19th April Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.metrotheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS
SOUL QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
LUCIANO AND THE JAH MESSENJAH BAND AND WARRIOR KING AND BONNIE CASEY
One of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, Irma Thomas is a living treasure from the golden age of New Orleans soul music. As compelling, engaging and powerful as ever, in April, this Grammy Award winning vocalist will make her long awaited Australian debut. A once-in-a-lifetime musical experience.
Sydney: The Factory - Thurs 21st April Tickets: www.factorytheatre.com.au or Enmore box office (02) 9550 3666
DEREK TRUCKS AND SUSAN TEDESCHI BAND WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND
For lovers of conscious Jamaican music, this line-up is an essential combination of internationally renowned artists. Running a full gamut of Jamaican styles, these lionized acts will take attendees on a journey through ska, rocksteady, reggae and dancehall ragga of the highest order. This April, the very best is coming down under.
Sydney: Enmore Theatre - Sat 23rd April Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.enmoretheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC
A modern day guitar god, Derek Trucks reminds us how expressive guitar can be. With his wife, skilled singer Susan Tedeschi in the mix, expect a performance equal parts chemistry and virtuosity. Playing in April, they will be supported by acclaimed funk/ soul guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band.
“Ain’t no funk like P-Funk!”. One of the original “brothers from another planet”, George Clinton is the undisputed grandfather of P-Funk and the Purveyor of some of the funkiest music of all time. With his Parliament Funkadelic band in tow, this April, George returns to land the funk mothership and show us how to get down. 26 P-Funk All Stars in a three hour mara-funk-athon!
Sydney: Enmore Theatre - Thurs 21st April Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.enmoretheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
LEON RUSSELL WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
Iconic arranger, producer and genius songwriter, Leon Russell is responsible for many classic songs: ‘A Song For You’ (The Carpenters, Ray Charles), ‘This Masquerade’ (George Benson), ‘Hummingbird’ (BB King) and the classic ‘Delta Lady’ (Joe Cocker) – made particularly famous in Leon’s ‘Mad Dogs & Englishman’ Tour and movie. His latest CD Union, a collaboration with Elton John, has seen a resurgence to fame for this rock legend. See for yourself in April, when he performs here with special guest support from Californian blues/rock cult legends, Little Feat.
Sydney: The Metro - Sun 24th April Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.metrotheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
TIM ROBBINS AND THE ROGUES GALLERY BAND
Sydney: The State Theatre - Fri 22nd April Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au 136 100
Best known for his acting role in The Shawshank Redemption, lesser known is Tim Robbins’ lifelong relationship with music and song-writing. On tour with his six-piece band The Rogues Gallery, he tackles a heady blend of folk, country and rockabilly. In April, come witness the other side of “Andy Dufresne”.
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
MICHELLE SHOCKED AND KEV CARMODY The foremost Native American performer of our time. Heavily covered by many of music’s greats, Canadian folk singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie has spent a lifetime questioning norms, along the way giving voice to the dispossessed indigenous people of the Americas. In concert, Buffy Sainte-Marie will be joined on stage by Michelle Shocked and Kev Carmody. This kind of lightning rarely strikes twice.
Sydney: The Basement - Thu 28th April Tickets: www.thebasement.com.au Dinner/Show Packages: (02) 9251 2797
Sydney: The State Theatre - Sat 23rd April Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au 136 100
WARREN HAYNES WITH SPECIAL GUEST
JOE LOUIS WALKER
The “Founding Fathers of Funk” The Funky Meters is the modern day incarnation of The Meters, a benchmark in African-American music. From the late 1960s to today, this trio have moved hips across the planet and have always been the go-to session band in N’Awlins playing with Patti LaBelle, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Robert Palmer and many more. The Funky Meters bring un-cut funk to us, for one sweaty night only!
A celebrated hero of American music, this April, singer/songwriter Warren Haynes, guitarist to The Dead (the Greatful Dead) the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule will bring his all-star rock band to us. Anticipated to be performing material from forthcoming soul rock album, in concert, Warren will be supported by blues guitar legend Joe Louis Walker and band.
Sydney: The Metro - Wed 20th April
Sydney: The Factory - Sat 23rd April
Sydney: The Metro - Fri 29th April
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.metrotheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
Tickets: www.factorytheatre.com.au or Enmore box office (02) 9550 3666
Transcendent at their peak, Trinity Roots live is a spellbinding experience. Titans of the New Zealand music scene of the early 2000s, following a series of phenomenally received summer reunion shows, in April, Trinity Roots will bring their hypnotic blend of roots, psychedelica and soul to our shores for some highly-anticipated shows.
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au 132 849 or www.metrotheatre.com.au (02) 9550 3666
ALSO APPEARING AT BLUESFEST WWW.BLUESFEST.COM.AU (02 ) 6685 8310 BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11 :: 5
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
MICHAEL FROM [ME]
grew up with no electricity living in a mountain, so we had no amplified music. When we got electricity, I just started listening to Michael Jackson and Tool. My dad was a hippy, so he used to play a lot of hand drums with his friends; sometimes I’d have to get out of bed and tell him to shut up because I had school the next day. I started at a Steiner school (school for freaks) when I was 12 and was forced to play cello because I had “girl hands.” I wanted to play double bass, so I naturally cried a lot and gave up cello - I started playing music again when I turned 17, and finally got a double bass. My biggest inspiration is most definitely Paul McCartney and Satan - although clearly they are the same person. No but seriously Paul McCartney is a fucking legend and the Beatles still reign supreme… We’re also really into soundtrack music from the likes of Danny Elfman, John Williams and Philip Glass. I love my band, they’re like my parents. When I turn up to rehearsal wasted they ground me, and if I get out of line they backhand me. We all used to work at Luna Park, we were all ride operators. Now we just rehearse all day. I work nights at a crisis centre for men, it’s a pretty sweet job - they have a really killer piano, so I play piano with all the homeless dudes.
We are into extremes - the over-theatricality of musicals, the drama of Tchaikovsky, the sadness of requiems and film scores, and the radness of the English greats like Pink Floyd and The Beatles. We recorded at Sing Sing in Melbourne with Matt Voigt (Big Scary, Oh Mercy) and did some extra tracking here and there around Melbourne - but we are a live band. We like to make it a very over-the-top experience; for our larger shows, we usually play with a ten-piece brass orchestra, a string section, a choir and a ten-piece drum troupe. The underground music scene in Melbourne is banging. A world full of the reckless abandonment of all moral values, great music, great parties and a whole bunch of talented-as-fuck musicians and performers that are probably too off-the-rails to make it in the popular music scene - but who cares, they are there. If someone is reading this and would like to show us a good time in Sydney, you know where to find us… With: Made In Japan Where: Raval, The Macquarie Hotel When: Wednesday March 8
MIDDLE EAST DEBUT LP!
PUBLISHERS: Adam Zammit & Rob Furst EDITOR IN CHIEF: Adam Zammit 9552 6333 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR: Steph Harmon email@example.com 9552 6333 ARTS EDITOR & ASSOCIATE: Dee Jefferson firstname.lastname@example.org 9552 6333 STAFF WRITERS: Jonno Seidler, Caitlin Welsh NEWS CO-ORDINATORS: Nathan Jolly, Cool Thomas, Chris Honnery ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Dara Gill, Matt Roden SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: 10th Avenue, Niki Brodie, Ashley Mar, Daniel Munns, Rosette Rouhana, Patrick Stevenson, Tom Tramonte COVER DESIGN: Sarah Bryant SALES/MARKETING MANAGER: Blake Rayner 0404 304 929 / (02) 9552 6672 email@example.com ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 9552 6618 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Jessie Pink - (02) 9552 6747 email@example.com GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Conrad Richters - firstname.lastname@example.org (rock) email@example.com (dance) INTERNS: Liz Brown, Rach Seneviratne REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Simon Binns, Joshua Blackman, Mikey Carr, Benjamin Cooper, Oliver Downes, Max Easton, Tony Edwards, Christie Eliezer, Murray Engleheart, Lucy Fokkema, Mike Gee, Andrew Geeves, Thomas Gilmore, Chris Honnery, Nathan Jolly, Alex Lindsay Jones, Amelia Schmidt, Romi Scodellaro, RK, Luke Telford
The Middle East are actually from far North Queensland. I know, mind blown. But despite the geographical anomaly, nothing can quite prepare you for the cold, hard, grammatical bombshell that is the title of their debut album, I Want That You Are Always Happy. We’ve been waiting for a full-length from these guys for pretty much forever, and it’s finally due out April 8. In order to show off how good it is, they’re offering the album opener, the historically inaccurate ‘Black Death 1349’, as a free download from the Golden Plains website but it goes away on March 12. Fingers crossed for a national tour announcement soon..
BEAM 4 BOOTLEG
Bootleg has been running in Melbourne since 2005, showcasing some of the best new Aussie bands and offering them a friendly old stepping stone to success. Last year Jim Beam came on board, to help them take it national - and it’s heading to Sydney for the first time on Saturday March 19, with the melodic yet menacing tones of indie-rockers Cabins, the folk-pop stylings of Belles Will Ring, the classic sound of the delightful Lanie Lane, the 80s new wave tidal wave they call Magnetic Heads and the grunge onslaught of Brisbane’s The Cairos. Tix through Moshtix now. Do it.
Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this address 153 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 ph - (02) 9552 6333 fax - (02) 9552 6866
Foo Fighters have an affinity with Australia. Nirvana broke worldwide while they were in our country, and Dave Grohl got arrested for drink driving here… while on a scooter. Gulp. And now they’re playing a world first, exclusive show on March 24 at a secret location on Sydney Harbour at sunset, previewing tracks from their forthcoming album, Wasting Light. The only way the likes of you and me can be there is to win tickets through Channel [V] and Triple M. So keep your wireless or remote on hand to win, eh?
EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher, Editor or Staff of The Brag. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Stephen Forde : firstname.lastname@example.org ph - (03) 9428 3600 fax - (03) 9428 3611 Furst Media, 3 Newton Street Richmond Victoria 3121 DEADLINES: Editorial Wednesday 12pm (no extensions) Art Work, Ad Bookings Thursday 12pm (no extensions) Ad Cancellations Tuesday 4pm Published by Cartrage P/L ACN 104026388 All content copyrighted to Cartrage 2003 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get The Brag? email email@example.com or ph 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: www.spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 Win a giveaway? Mail us a stamped and addressed envelope, and we’ll send your prize on over...
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YOU WINSOME, YOU NEWSOM
Joanna Newsom, that beautiful, enchanting harp-playing goddess, will be in town this week, playing Wednesday March 9 at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place - because that’s where beautiful, harp-playing goddesses play. What, you expected her to play the Sando in a tracksuit? Wildbirds and Peacedrums are supporting, and they sound exactly as their name suggests.
The Gate has returned with a new venue, a new show, and a new blend of artists. And there’s coffee! Come April 2, Melbourne’s Wintercoats will be performing some delightful ambient pop, with the help of a violin and a loop pedal, at Pablo’s in Epping. Support will be coming from Sydney’s Cleptoclectis and Loopsnake.
MGMT VIP FTW
MGMT are coming to Enmore Theatre on Thursday March 10, right? Well Propaganda at The World Bar are hosting the official MGMT after party, which you get access to by showing a ticket or a stamp from the gig. There is also a secret, secret, roped off VIP, invite-only party, which will feature an MGMT DJ set that we can only assume will have the lads beat-matching, scratching and generally tearing shit up on
the decks. Don’t let the soothing ten-minute prog-rock of ‘Siberian Breaks’ fool you; these guys cut it up. If you wanna go, head to www. facebook.com/PropagandaSydney and hit the ‘like’ button. Two of you will be randomly selected to win double passes, and the blind envy of your friends.
LAST NIGHT WITH MNDR
My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me. Tell me, where did you party last night? Come Saturday morning, the answer will be “The Gaelic, Kurt. Stop bothering me.” The Purple Sneakers crew have outdone themselves again, with Mark Ronson’s mate, MNDR - hailed as the next Santigold - headlining. Megastick Fanfare will also be bringing their mixed bag of tropical indie rock, with some dope dudes behind the decks including Matt Van Schie. 8pm til late, Friday March 11 at The Gaelic; $10 on the door.
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rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
five things WITH
FREESTUFF@THEBRAG.COM Ray Mann
BERES FROM KAROSHI come onboard recently. PJ Wolf is a friend from way back, and Michael and Ellie are both really talented up and coming songwriters. Dave is the only one of us fortunate enough to be a full-time musician at the moment – the rest of us are battling it out. The Music You Make I guess you could term Karoshi as ‘post4. rock electronica’, with a bit of IDM thrown in. Jordy Lane helped out on production on our debut album which is out April 1, and we mixed in Brent Griffin’s (SPOD) studio, which gave us a bit more flexibility and time to get things right. For the launch we have drums, guitars, synths, marimba and a bunch of vocalists, so it’s going to be a pretty special show - people should definitely come check it out.
Growing Up I’m one of five children who are all artists or 1. musicians now, and I think my parents are a little confused as to where it comes from. I played trumpet when I was young, until I realised that guitar was probably a lot cooler. At one stage we had three of us practicing at night – a trumpet, a trombone, and a flute. Must have made my parents a little crazy sometimes.
for the first time when I was living in Bathurst in 2001 - the local music store had it on the listening post. That store exposed me to some really interesting music at a time when I didn’t really know how to source it myself. I also love a lot of the artists coming out of Berlin on BPitch Control, which is Ellen Allien’s label. Apparat and Modeselektor are really amazing and inspiring producers for me.
Inspirations I guess the bands that have most 2. influenced the Karoshi sound would be my
You There’s me on keys and laptop/samples, 3. my brother Dave on drums, and I also have
favourite trio of Icelandic artists: Bjork, Sigur Ros and Múm. I remember hearing Sigur Ros
Blake from Telafonica playing guitar. I’ve also been really fortunate with the vocalists who’ve
The guys from Sonny and the Sunsets must have heard the word that Sydney is the new California, because they’re heading from their homeland to the glorious endless summer that is old Sydney town. They play Thursday March 10 at GoodGod Small Club, with support from Sydney’s Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, plus Unity Floors and DJs Count Doyle. If the setlist I wrote and posted to them is any indication, Sonny and the Sunsets will be playing tunes from their forthcoming album Hit After Hit (April 12). They will also be playing ‘Hey Jealousy’ (please).
Sydney’s finest beatsy electronic outfit Seekae are hitting the road to flog a few copies of their latest album +Dome. It’s out March 25 but we’ve already heard it and it’s mindblowing, okay? For reals. Their live show kicks some serious goal too - it’s set for Manning Bar on Saturday April 16. Tickets are on sale now!
CHURCH AND OPERA
If you’d planned to go to The Church’s 30th birthday celebrations - the awesomely titled “A Psychedelic Symphony”, which takes place on April 10 at the Sydney Opera House - then you’d better rush, rush, rush because it’s almost sold out. Tickets online at sydneyoperahouse.com
Music, Right Here, Right Now I think the Sydney music scene really is 5. quite amazing! I mean, I started out playing gigs with bands like Seekae, Ghoul and Megastick Fanfare, and now everyone is releasing records and going forward. It’s a great time to be doing something a little different, too. People seem to be more open to it now. What: Sleepwalker is out April 1, through 4-4-2 Music/Other Tongues Where: Tone, Surry Hills When: Saturday March 12
RAY MANN THREE
To our disappointment, Ray Mann (of Ray Mann Three) was not actually named after the armless legless video game protagonist; his real name is Raymond Wassef. His two friends and him combine their powers to make Ray Mann Three, but sadly Ray Mann is spreading his wings and spreading the Ray Mann Three experience beyond Australia. He’s performing a ‘Farewell Australia’ show at Melt this Friday March 11, where RM3’s soul, jazz and hip hop flavours will be making you want to chain him to Australian soil so he doesn’t ever leave. To win one of three double passes to the evening, tell us the name of their album.
Stone Temple Pilots
Pulled Apart By Horses are a hardcore band with a hardcore name. Celebrate the fact that humanity has evolved past torturously killing people by tying them to animals as they run in opposite directions, by catching the legendary Leeds four piece at the Annandale on March 10. They are quite good looking for a hardcore band (which is officially the third ugliest-looking genre, behind metal and ska).
Cancel that three-day end-of-July Gilmore Girls marathon (surely it isn’t just me who has
STP! ANOTHER SHOW!
Those of you who didn’t die of an overdose in the ‘90s would have rushed out to get tickets to Stone Temple Pilots’ first Australian tour when it was announced earlier this year. Some of you would have missed out though; it sold out quicker than you can say “Sour Girl”. The thought of all those sad fans listening to Purple at home was too much for these elegant bachelors to bear, so they organised a special encore show for the Metro Theatre on March 21. Tickets go on sale March 9.
these?), because Splendour In The Grass has been announced for July 29-31 at Woodfordia, Queensland, last year’s site. Despite nature (or god, if you wish - each to their own) devastating a huge section of Queensland, organisers assure us that the site will be well and truly repaired by the time Splendour rolls around. Let’s see if they can top 2010’s announcement…
AMP BLISS Hungry Kids Of Hungary
HUNGRY KIDS TOUR!
Hungry Kids Of Hungary have been touring like demons, to the point where the only venue they haven’t sold out is that little shed behind your friend Anna’s house - and that’s only due to OH&S concerns (no powerpoints, loose wires, some old mower). They’re hitting the road again for a big one: their Final Escapades tour, proudly presented by BRAG. They’ll be stopping in at the Metro on May 21 with The Chemist and Daniel Lee Kendall by their side, before heading overseas for a tour of the USA and Canada, where they’ll probably become an even more massive band. There goes that shed gig you guys had planned...
As I write this I’m nursing the huge novelty cheque that I stole from Sydney/Blue Mountains band Cloud Control, who won the 6th Australian Music Prize (The Amp) last Thursday night for their excellent psych-pop record Bliss Release. The group won $30,000 but are in the UK, so were unfortunately unable to partake in the evening’s festivities (which involved live sets from Oh Mercy, Pikelet and The Holidays, and a whole heap of free beer that the financially-retarded industry never fails to take advantage of). Their official response (or, rather, their Facebook status update) was “how many red skins does 30k get you?” – and at time of print there were 56 likes, and no clear
answer. Meanwhile, it’s hard to ignore the direct correlation between the band being BRAG cover stars and this win... Just saying.
CAITLIN ROSE & SISTER JANE
Nashville’s Caitlin Rose is a great singersongwriter, a 23-year-old with a country twang. She’s performing her first Sydney headline show at the Raval on April 27, and supporting is the freewheelin’ psychedelic goodness that is Sister Jane. We’ll be the ones in the comfy sofa to the left of the stage.
Our two favourite living Johns (we’ll let the spelling discretion slide) are hitting the road together. The John Steel Singers and Jonathan Boulet are doing a cheeky lap of the map and quite simply, every single one of you should get thee to these shows. Sydney gets a turn at The Metro Theatre on Saturday March 19. Tickets are $20 on the door, or a little less if you book at bigtix.com.au now.
“Is it coz you wanna captain, but only ever co-pilot? Is it coz you wanna Han Solo, but you only ever Chewbacca?” – THE RAY MANN THREE 8 :: BRAG :: 402 : 07:03:11
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dance music news
The Coffee Boy Chronicles: A New Beginning. Dance Music News... With Chris Honnery
five things WITH
DJ MATHMATICS FOR PLATFORM HIP HOP FESTIVAL collecting records around 1986 - and still continue, to this day. I live and breathe the culture and actively engage in all its elements; I DJ, B-boy, bomb, produce, beatbox and on occasion MC, too. I’m inspired by my peers in the Oz hip hop scene; it’s a shame not many can make a full time living out of their art. I listen to a wide variety of music, and am not only inspired by hip hop and its back bone (funk/ soul & reggae), but by many different genres. There’s dope music everywhere, whether it’s Bulgarian folk step, Native American wind chants, spermwhale core or Iggy Pop. You gotta find the goodness outta the wackiness.
I was the one in our house always blasting music - I guess the others just had to get used to it. My dad had a huge collection of cassettes that I became fascinated with at an early age; his taste mainly leaned towards the heavy rock of Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, Def Leppard etc… I got into hip hop culture when it first hit Australia in around 1984, and started
I represent four crews: The Robotek Warlords (a multifaceted crew of B-boys, DJs, MVs, beatboxers & bombers, 17 years strong), LookUP crew (a Sydney-based group of recording artists including Scott Burns, Bingethinkers, That’s Them, DJ Ology etc), Universal Zulu Nation (the international collective of hip hop participants who uphold the original foundations of the culture worldwide, spearheaded by the original hip hop Godfather Afrika Bambaataa) and The Party Crashers, a motley crue of vibrant party animals who are bringing the essence of sex, clubs and rock n roll back into the scene. If that wasn’t enough, I hold down
a full time J-O-B to make them ends meet. I’ve got a new mixtape coming out soon that will feature guests like Thundamentals, Hua from Koolism, Nikkita, Ching Rock from the Arsonists, Blades, KillaQueenz & many more. My biggest inspiration right now would have to be That’s Them; their album The G Up topped my list in 2010. Combining hip hop, dubstep and grime never sounded so good; Nebs is one of the world’s best producers. My sets are based around the original style of hip hop DJing: mixing, scratching, juggling as many different sounds as possible in one coherent mix. You must dance - no wallflowers please! Expect me to jump down from behind the decks too, and throw down some B-Boy moves. My philosophy is that if you don’t like it, don’t listen! Why waste time bitching and moaning when there’s parties to be had? With: International breakers B*Boy Blond, B*Boy Storm, MC’s RAPPAPORT, MC Izzy. What: Flexing Skillz vs Sketch The Rhyme Where: Platform Hip Hop Festival @ Carriageworks, Eveleigh When: Friday March 18 More: Platform Hip Hop is being held from March 12 – April 2; for more info, visit www.platformhiphop.com.au
Buraka Som Sistema members J-Wow and Kalaf will be filling GoodGod Small Club with their scrumptious tropical Portuguese beats, and a whole lot of hotties. Buraka Som Sistema tore up Becks Festival Bar and Laneway on their last visit, so this MC/DJ duo are pretty ready to breathe some life into our drab old Friday on March 11, headlining esteemed party night WAMP WAMP at GoodGod Small Club. Supported by the usual WAMP WAMPers - Kato, Levins, Wedding Ring Fingers and the Generic DJs - this night will be more fun than eating Easy Mac and watching Gilmore Girls at home (which is totally what you were going to do, yeah?) We have one double pass to give away – just tell us your favourite Buraka Som Sistema song!
The moustachioed Steve Aoki is the captain of a villainous electro pirate ship that sails through Sydney this Saturday March 12 at the Metro Theatre, as the official Future Music Festival kick-on. Notorious LA party-snapper Cobra Snake will be there to chronicle what is sure to be the most raucous night you’ve had since your year 10 formal, as Berlin’s Tai, the Vamp DJs, and Stevie himself fill your ears with delicious abrasive, original electro goodies. Even if you’re not going to FMF this will be the place to be, and on the upside you’ll have twice the energy of all those festival-worn geese. We have a double pass AND a signed poster to give away - just name an artist signed to Aoki’s Dim Mak record label.
MF DOOM SECOND SHOW
Masked New York rapper Doom aka MF Doom (real name Daniel Dumile) will play a *just announced* second show at Oxford Art Factory on Thursday March 31, in addition to his performance at The Metro the previous week. As Zev Love X, Doom formed the group KMD in 1988 with his younger brother DJ Subroc and Onyx the Birthstone Kid, achieving considerable success before Subroc was tragically struck and killed by a car in 1993. Doom retreated from the scene for a number of years, but upon his return he unleashed a series of successful solo albums as Doom, Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah, and a string of much-vaunted collaborations with Danger Mouse as Danger Doom and Madlib as Madvillain, not to mention Sniperlite alongside J Dilla and Ghostface Killah. Tickets to both Doom shows were still available at time of writing…
Mark ‘Harmonic 313’ Pritchard and Steve Spacek will release their debut album as Africa HiTech in May, having acquainted themselves with Sydneysiders on the back of regular spots at Void and other nights dedicated to quality dubstep/electonica. Pritchard and Spacek originally bonded when they were both living here in Australia, apparently over their shared passion for techno, soul and digital dancehall (and possibly the beach, cricket and beer). The result of this ‘consensus ad idem’ is their forthcoming album 93 Million Miles, the culmination of a journey that began with last year’s ‘Blen’ single. Apparently the LP reinforces the duo’s sonic ethos, which is geared towards combining international dance music’s more interesting forms with a devotion to the African roots of much of today’s popular music (hence their name, yeah?).
SVEN VATH + RICHIE HAWTIN
The headline says it all: two of the underground club scene’s most endearing figureheads, Cocoon’s Sven Vath and Minus’ Richie Hawtin, throw down in a delectable double bill this Friday night at The Metro, ahead of their performances at the sold out Future Music Festival. The two have managed to stay relevant to the dance milieu for many years now, and richly deserve their standing in clubbing folklore. There are plenty of tales of debauchery linked to the duo, from epic afterhours sets at kick-ons to those infamous videos of them making out while they were really, really, high that are floating around on YouTube. But regardless of whether you’re up for a bit of chin-stroking or want to get wild on the dancefloor, this gig is essential. A few locals will be spinning in the sideroom for anyone wanting a bit of a breather, including Emerson Todd, Diatribe and Matt Aubusson straight off the plane from Japan - but really this gig is all about the big two, Sven and Richie. Tickets are available online.
FUTURE MUSIC SOLD OUT
One week out from this weekend’s Future Music Festival, tickets have officially sold-out. Anyone who’s ‘sat on their hands’ – the old ‘stranger’ routine which Coffee Boy is so find of – can take solace in the panoply of sideshows and Future afterparties on offer; The Chemical Brothers on Thursday night, Sven and Richie at The Metro on Friday, Steve Aoki et al at The Metro on Saturday for an official afterparty, and Loco Dice playing down the road at Chinese Laundry on the same night.
TRON: LEGACY R3CONFIGUR3D
On April 5, Walt Disney Records will release Tron: Legacy R3CONFIGUR3D, a collection of remixes of tracks from Daft Punk’s original score. Unfortunately, a perusal of the tracklist prompts me to add a disclaimer: approach this release with caution. The remixers that have been drafted in are hardly the most illustrious, with the label seemingly focused on appealing to a mainstream US market - hence the presence of Sander Kleinenberg, the wretched Crystal Method and club dinosaur
Paul Oakenfold. But the likes of M83, Boys Noize and Moby also appear on the album, ensuring this remix collection ain’t a complete write-off. The album can be ordered from the Tron soundtrack website, with several deluxe box set options available that include previously unavailable tracks and other bonus material. And still on Daft Punk, it seems the ‘big’ global brands are starting to recognise the commercial appeal of the French duo; Coca Cola have released an ad featuring two aluminum Coke bottles that have been designed to evoke the duo’s trademarked helmets. Previews can be viewed on YouTube.
Future Classic continue their long-running dalliance with soulful German house exponents Trickski at Adult Disco this Saturday March 12, at The Civic Underground. Trickski were originally mentored by jazz musician Rainer Truby before melding their jazz sensibility with more deep house-oriented elements after they were signed to Jazzanova’s Sonar Kollectiv imprint. They’ve since attracted critical and popular acclaim, having been selected by tastemaker Gilles Peterson to play his Worldwide Festival in Singapore, and they’ve dropped a number of delectable cuts on the Future Classic imprint. They also recently unveiled a facetious slow mo house edit of Phil Collins entitled, ahem, ‘Pill Collins’. I caught up with Daniel Becker from the group this week and asked what we can expect from this Saturday’s show. “Great music, fun, deepness, surprises, raw energy, catchiness, cheekiness, pretty girls,” came the reply. If that doesn’t get you through the doors, then I’m not sure what will!
“I’d rather have you on my body than on my mind” – THE RAY MANN THREE 10 :: BRAG :: 402 : 07:03:11
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dance music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... With Chris Honnery
five things WITH
PABLO CALAMARI FROM ACT YO AGE Growing Up You A major memory that’s now a bit Our band is called Act Yo Age and we 1. 3. blurry was when I was around the play no instruments. We do often practice age of four or five, and would watch my dad smoke his pipe while playing his guitar. I’m not entirely 100% sure, but I did find a pipe exactly the same at my parents’ house in the snow, at the top of the pantry. It looked exactly like a hash pipe and the cone piece still smelt like some amazing Lebanese blonde hash… makes your eyes red just thinking about it, huh? As for my childhood affecting my music, I was intrigued by my father playing the guitar - so I followed suit.
Inspirations Firstly, Sean Van Doornum, because he’s an amazing musician and has just written an awesome album called Eush, and he is my best friend. Next in line I can speak on behalf of Tim and myself: Yngwie Malmsteen, because of his amazing guitar playing and amazing doucheness. I remember the first time I heard Yngwie’s album and saw the album cover. I knew that one day I would be famous and be able to wear very tight leather pants and take the horse riding stance while playing my guitar behind my head.
The hype around Perth hip hop lad Drapht continues to mount, with his latest single ‘Rapunzel’ going pure platinum ahead of the release of his new album, The Life of Riley, and the auxiliary national tour. The Life of Riley will be the first release on Drapht’s own label The Ayems, and the theme of creative autonomy is a fitting motif to link to the LP. “The concepts and subject matter around The Life of Riley are based on living the life you want to live, not abiding by society’s pressures, and no longer working for the man,” Drapht asserted via press release. “So I thought it would be a fitting time to start my own label, ‘The Ayems’”. The album is slotted for an April Fool’s Day release, with a Sydney show to be announced shortly.
can make it. Hence why we are good at it. We record generally in my bedroom and twiddle knobs for long periods of time. From our live shows people can expect high fives, the odd free drink, a few reach-arounds and the good old man pash.
Music, Right Here, Right Now There are so many amazing bands and dance/electronic music producers and writers making amazing compositions at the moment. Every day we are both inundated with loads of great promos - there is so much music out there, we don’t know where to start. The quality of music coming out of this country pushes you as an artist to really work hard and write good quality music that can be enjoyed by all. With: James Taylor + MC Sureshock, Telefunken, Bad Ezzy and more Where: Wham! @ The World Bar When: Saturday March 12
Fat Joe J-Wow
Supafest 2011 continues to grow. LA born rapper and actor Game and Fat Joe, on his first trip Down Under, have been added to a lineup bristling with ‘big names’. Timbaland, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Ciara, New Boyz, Benny D, Snoop Dogg, Nelly, Taio Cruz and Bow Wow are also on the bourgeoning bill for 9-hours of serious hip-hop and RnB beats, along with local artists Israel, Miracle and DJ Nino Brown. Supafest is slotted for Saturday April 9 at ANZ Stadium, with tickets available now.
The veritable juggernaut that is Wamp Wamp returns to GoodGod Small Club this Friday with performances from MC/ DJ duo J-Wow and Kalaf, members of the Fabric-backed Portuguese kuduro club bass fusion act Buraka Som Sistema, who made a mark on their last visit to Sydney with rip-roaring sets at their Becks Bar and Laneway Festival shows. The Lisbon group released their debut album, Black Diamond, in that acid-washed summer of 2008, an LP that boasted collaborations with MIA, Kano and Dieze Tigrona. J-Wow is also a renowned producer in his own right, as demonstrated by a string of releases and remixes for labels like Diplo’s Mad Decent, Kitsune and his own Enchufada imprint. Supporting the headline duo will be the usual Wamp Wamp suspects Kato, Levins, Generic DJs and Wedding Ring Fingers, with tickets available for $15.
The Music You Make The music we make is electronic. It 4. requires no talent - anyone with a computer
Blackstrobe music, later this year, on which he will release a slew of his own stuff as well as a brand new solo album titled Someone Gave Me Religion. The first track off the album will be ‘Personal Dictator,’ which will be released as a single in April with reworks by Mixhell, Motor and The Hacker. You can also expect a Best Of Black Strobe before the year is out.
playing the scissors, but that’s generally only on Sunday mornings around 6:30am, after being escorted out of World Bar.
New Zealand’s first lady of hip-hop, Ladi 6, will perform at The Gaelic Club on Saturday April 16 courtesy of Niche Productions. Getting her start with seminal all-girl crew Sheelahroc, Ladi 6 dropped her debut solo album Time Is Not Much in 2008, a release that was produced by Fat Freddy’s Drop’s DJ Mu and later released by UK label BBE. She’s recently unveiled her follow-up offering, The Liberation Of…, an effort that has gained rave hometown reviews in the New Zealand media and is set for release in Australia in May. Ladi 6 will be supported in Sydney by compatriots Electric Wire Hustle, a trio who combine heavy ‘headnod’ beats with soul vocals and pulsating basslines courtesy of an array of bass, drums, keys and sequencers and samplers; heterogeneous sonic frequencies, dude.
Socially conscious New Yorkers Dead Prez are back in Australia for a headline tour. Swinging somewhere between Public Enemy and Black Panther, and comprised of stic.man and M-1, the group has attracted copious amounts of attention - and not just because of their raps (they’ve been known to light dollar bills on stage). With lyrics like “even when Obama wins / Uncle Sam ain’t my friend” and an openly anti-imperialist, socialist political agenda, you can be sure that Dead Prez will have something to say, and won’t be afraid to say it. To see it for yourself, make sure you’re at Oxford Art Factory on Tuesday March 15. We have one double pass to give away – but only if you tell us who the band are named after.
HALFWAY CROOKS TURNS 2
Halfway Crooks celebrates its second birthday this Saturday at 34B, located just two doors up from its former venue Phoenix Bar. The brand is the brainchild of the local triumvirate Captain Franco, Levins and Toni Toni Lee, and prides itself on being an exuberant regular celebration of rap music. Each of the founding fathers will be throwing down at the birthday party, and celebrating the announcement that, as of this Saturday, Halfway Crooks will be a monthly affair. Entry is $10 from 10pm.
ROBOPOP HAT PARTY
Playing pop hits from the 80s, 90s and 00s, Robopop rolls on this Saturday at The Supper Club, located upstairs at 134 Oxford St. Sydney’s Joyride will follow on from his set at Future with an encore performance, with Mailer Daemon, Kill The Landlord, Toki Doki, Erectro, Johnny Segment v Monkey Genius, Slowpoke and Rodriguez all set to play some music at one point or another. The press release also stipulates, “Silly hats are a must for entry… special prizes on the night for the best/most creative/most awesome hat.” You can procure half-price entry before 11pm by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the foremost production/remix acts of the mid-noughties, Black Strobe, will return from hibernation this year. Best known for the single ‘Italian Fireflies’, Black Strobe was made up of Arnaud Rebotini and Ivan Smagghe before Smagghe left the group in ’07. “Black Strobe’s changeover to a live sound was difficult for him because he’s a great DJ, but he’s not a musician and he didn’t feel comfortable being on stage,” Rebotini commented at the time. “Black Strobe was always about finding an equilibrium, and while he brought the dance floor sensibility, maybe my influence was too strong.” With Black Strobe now a vehicle for Rebotini, the group’s subsequent foray into more abrasive electrorock territory with the LP Burn Your Own Church divided listeners, and was described by RA as Rebotini fulfilling his “I-have-aNorwegian-black-metal-fixation full-on live rock band fantasy”. Still, whispers abound that once one gets over the absence of Smagghe, it’s not such a bad release. Anyhow, Arnaud has announced the launch of his own imprint,
Peanut Butter Wolf
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY
The Red Bull Music Academy has announced a series of shows around Australia in March, headlined by Peanut Butter Wolf, James Pants and Space Invadas. The Sydney leg is scheduled for The Basement on Saturday March 26, with the gig accompanied by info sessions where the performers will impart insight into everything the Academy is about. Budding producers, instrumentalists, vocalists and DJs are all encouraged to apply for the Academy; application forms can be downloaded from www.redbullmusicacademy.com and should be sent to Academy HQ together with a music demo. Applications are open until April 4.
“The sky may bleed, the stars may scream - it’s just another night with you” – THE RAY MANN THREE 12 :: BRAG :: 402 : 07:03:11
FINAL WEEKS 08 09 10 11 12 13
Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Blue Valentine MA15+ The Social Network M The Fighter MA15+ Hereafter M The Next Three Days M The Green Hornet 3D M
Tickets at moonlight.com.au or at the gate. Gates open at 7pm, screenings at approx. 8pm
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The Music Network
Industry Music News with Christie Eliezer
CLOUD CONTROL GETS AMPED
NONPOINT WIN A SOUNDIE
Cloud Control won the 6th Australian Music Prize (The Amp) and its PPCdonated $30,000 cash prize last Thursday. Their Bliss Release was chosen by a panel of media, retail and musos as the standout release of 2010 over Dan Kelly, Sally Seltmann, Gareth Liddiard, Pikelet, Eddy Current Supression Ring, Tame Impala, Richard In Your Mind and Red Bull Award winners The Holidays. The band is currently living in London to set up the UK/Euro release of the album in May on Infectious, and this month they head to America to play South by Southwest. The prize was picked up in Sydney at the Annandale’s ceremony by Ivy League label manager Martin Doyle and Joel Connolly of Umbrella Music Management. Doyle told this column that the money would “certainly be most helpful” for the Cloudies’ touring, their stay in London and the demoing of their next record.
Backstage at Soundwave Festival Sydney, Florida metal band Nonpoint were presented with the inaugural Soundie Award. Soundwave and the MTV Classic Australia channel teamed to acknowledge the effort of acts on the festival, who worked on their own videos to promote it. Thousands of fans voted over three weeks from a shortlist of nine.
Life lines Expecting: Kiss frontman Paul Stanley and wife Erin, a daughter in August, their third. Sued: Prince, by New York law firm Patterson Belknap Webb and Tyler, who claim he owes them $700,000. They represented him in cases in Ireland, California and New York, as well as during his 2006 divorce from Manuela Testolini. Sued: Busta Rhymes, by a 37-year-old fan, Melvin Smith, who says the rapper and his bodyguard assaulted him for asking for an autograph in a New York sandwich shop. “He got a knuckle sandwich instead,” his lawyer alleged. Died: US blues guitarist Eddie Kirkland, 88, who led bands for Otis Redding and John Lee Hooker, in a car accident in Florida. Died: Eddie Serrato, original drummer for US band ? and the Mysterians (‘96 Tears’), 65, of a heart attack at a hospital while recuperating from surgery. Died: UK producer Pat Moran, 63, from Pick’s Disease, a form of dementia. He worked with Queen, Robert Plant, Iggy Pop, Big Country and Hawkwind. Died: early Bob Dylan muse Suze Rotolo, 67, from lung cancer. They dated as teenagers in 1961, he wrote ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright’, ‘Tomorrow Is a Long Time’ and ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’ for her, among others, and she featured on the cover of his The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album. They split in 1963, after he became famous and started an affair with Joan Baez.
CONSTANTINE AT SONY Shae Constantine has begun at Sony Music as director of marketing for Australian artists. He was at Warner Music as director of domestic music for five years after starting out at MGM, and was most recently an associate producer at ARIA, after leaving Warner last September.
MATTHEW ROGERS JOINS STAPLE GROUP Matthew Rogers has joined Staple Group as General Manager. He will work across all of the Staple Group companies including UNFD, Destroy All Lines, Archery Club, One Meaning Communicated Differently, Purple Sneakers and Attractive. He was most recently working with legal and business affairs for the Mushroom Group. Matthew can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
RHIANNA SUED While Rihanna’s ‘S&M’ track goes great guns in Australia where it’s become her seventh chart topper, US fashion photographer David LaChapelle is suing her over the song’s video. LaChapelle claims that the entire imagery of the video - especially scenes where she’s posing with a sweet on her tongue against a black background - were nicked from him. Presumably some of Rih’s onstage antics at her recent shows, like when she sat aside a pink plastic tank which shot smoke into the crowd, were also from LaChapelle.
MEANWHILE, IN BRITNEY’S CORNER... Britney Spears’ US #1 ‘Hold It Against Me’ is causing a ruckus. 70s blandos The Bellamy Brothers reckon it was nicked from their 1979 hit ‘If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me?’, and they’re muttering about legal action. But Brit’s co-writer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald sued first, for defamation. He says it’s a Bellamy publicity stunt “to increase their record sales... to combat their dwindling relevance,” and he wants a court to say the song was not a nick.
ONE, DISTRIQT, LAUNCH ZAPPP Sydney creative agency One Meaning Communicated Differently and development firm Distriqt have launched a new company, ZAPPP. It will build apps for acts such as Angus and Julia Stone, Josh Pyke, The Getaway Plan, Grinspoon, Illy, Gold Fields and Icehouse. Co-founder Jai Al-Attas says the idea is “not to just create a mobile version of a band’s website, but allows the artist to have a direct and meaningful relationship with the user by offering them exclusive incentives and rewards through the functionality of our apps”. ZAPPP says 43% of Australians use a smart phone, and global app downloads are expected to go from 10 billion in 2010 to over 70 billion in 2014.
THINGS WE HEAR * Split: Brisbane’s Rocketsmiths after four years, and Sydney electro-rockers MM9 after nine years. * Pink couldn’t help herself after Christina Aguilera got busted for being pissed off her face. She twittered, “Out of myself, Britney, and Christina - didn’t everyone think I was gonna be the troublemaker? LOOK MA!!! No CUFFS!!!” * The annual Songwriters Conference won’t be held in June due to lack of sponsorship funds, but they plan to return next year, says founder Lisa Butler. * When Madonna and boytoy Brahim Zaibat stayed at Berlin’s Soho Hotel, she insisted on a £15,000 makeover — new furniture, new bed, new lighting and 50 bottles of special water, blessed by her spiritual Kabbalah advisers. * After seeing the global media coverage
NEW FUNDING FOR INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS The Australia Council has funding grants to develop independent producers in a number of mediums including music, through touring, professional development and helping with business needs. If you have at least three artists or projects within your producing portfolio and are independent of a funded venue, festival or already subsidised project, you can apply for up to $60,000. See www.australiacouncil.gov.au the deadline is April 18.
BLUESFEST NUMBERS UP Bluesfest head honcho Peter Noble says this year’s event is heading to be its biggest yet. Four nights have sold out, a fifth is about to, and the newly added sixth day “is well on the way to a full house”. Noble adds that in Singapore, their Timbre Rock’n’Roots festival - which stars Dylan, Franti and Legend among others and is held a week before the Byron bash - has sold past last year’s, too.
THOSE LONG FLOYD SOLOS… Noiseworks’ Steve Balbi has been part of CCEntertainment’s Pink Floyd celebration ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ at The Basement since 2003. Last year, he came on stage armed for the loooong intro to ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ with a cup of tea, sipping until his vocals were needed! Maybe he’ll channel Syd at this weekend’s ‘The Great Gig’ at The Basement...
BILYANA FEST’S SKERMER OFF TO HAITI Bilyana’s Festival of Folk, Rhythm & Life returns for its 15th year to Mt. PiIot National Park outside Eldorado (near Albury) on April 9. One of the highlights will be Dan Sultan and Sally Dastey teaming up with their mentor Archie Roach - but before that, festival manager Hamish Skermer will do a quick dash overseas. His innovative compost toilets - which use no water and are easily transported - have made him highly regarded by numerous festivals in
and panting fans over Oprah’s visit, the NSW Premier wants to enlist a high-profile promoter as a Concert and Special Events Commissioner. He/she will be able get the biggest music acts in the world to NSW and make it the region’s World Tour Concert Capital, a major events source told The Daily Telegraph. * Wollongong venues Glasshouse Tavern and The Harp and Port Kembla’s Commercial Hotel are for sale, three months after receivers took over the companies behind them, which reportedly had debts of $22.1 million. * Queen’s classic ‘We Will Rock You’ is still the most-played song at sporting events, says a new survey from royaltydistribution service BMI. * Newcastle troubadour Nick Saxon (and also drummer with Benjalu) is expanding his hosting roles with the National Geographic channel.
the UK, Europe and South America. But this month, Skermer is returning to Haiti, where he went last January after the massive earthquake. Hollywood actress Patricia Arquette invited him to join an international team to create sanitation services for displaced communites in shanty tent camps in Port Au Prince.
INDENT OPEN DAY MusicNSW’s Indent project has an open day at the Bondi Beach Pavilion on Friday March 11 from 10.30am. Those aged 12 – 25 get an insight on the music biz, sponsorship, grant writing, radio and promoting from Lindsay McDougall (triple j), Caroline Gates (FBi Radio), Peter Keogh (Australia Council), Ruby Marshall (Changing Lanes) and Adam Zammit (Peer Group Media). RSVP your name, age and location to email@example.com by Monday March 7.
TATT BUYS A STORE Rose Tattoo guitarist Dai Pritchard and country singer-songwriter Lianna Rose have bought the instruments and accessories store in Cooranbong in regional NSW, and renamed it ‘I Play Music’. They are offering singing and songwriting workshops as well.
SPLENDOUR STAYS IN QLD Splendour in the Grass will remain in Queensland’s Woodfordia site for a second year, as we tipped. The approval process for its permanent home at the 660-acre North Byron Parklands continues at snail pace. Woodfordia copped flooding to the tune of $1 million in January, but Splendour’s co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco emphasise that everything will be fixed up in time for Splendour 2011, held Friday July 29 to Sunday July 31.
DIG COMP ABC Dig Music is running a comp where the winner goes to Bluesfest for five nights and interviews Megan Washington for the radio station. See abcdigmusic.net.au
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t doesn’t really interest me to get on stage and recite the songs, you know? I think that’s kind of boring,” Michael Gira, driving force behind Swans explains. “Swans have never really done that - every night it changes, songs morph constantly.” Formed in New York in the early ‘80s, around the same time that other seminal no wave artists like Glenn Branca and Suicide were plying their trade, both Gira and Swans are regarded as the very images of artistic integrity and creative confrontation. Swans’ early releases have been described by critic Ned Raggett as “aggressive beyond words”; during the shows of this era the band had an infamous habit of playing at volumes that were said to induce vomiting amongst the audience. Their reputation for fearsome sonic brutality is not easily ignored, but while the band’s intensity is undeniable, to view them with such a limited understanding of their sound is both inaccurate and unfair. The one precept that underlies their entire career is, in fact, one of evolution and progress. Across their eleven studio albums, numerous live albums, Gira’s work on his solo albums and his post-Swans project Angels Of Light, he and the band have displayed a remarkable versatility, touching on everything from experimental noise to pop-inflected blues and folk; going through as many styles as they have members. The rationale behind such stylistically schizophrenic behaviour lies in the simple fact that Gira, as singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, works not from his head but from his gut, following the projects that excite him, rather than those that might show promise in a commercial or critical sense. “That’s what an artist is supposed to do, right?” he remarks, as if any other approach would be nothing short of absurd. “I’m not an advertising agency, I’m not making music to please people or to get them to buy something. I’m making music because I need to, I have to, to feel whole. That’s why I do it.” The band’s career is full of evidence to support the claim. For instance, after the
successful release of their fifth studio album, Children of God (1987), Gira grew fed up with fans expecting him to deliver more Swans material in the furious noise-riddled vein they were known for, and decided to take the band in a new direction. Softening their style, and including more acoustic elements like harmonica, piano and acoustic guitar, the band surprised their followers, risking alienating their fans by pursuing their own artistic goals. “Life is short and you have to do what’s right, what challenges your creative potential and makes use of your abilities,” Gira tells me flatly. “Otherwise you’re just wasting your time on Earth.” Moving into the ‘90s, the band’s sound shifted yet again, this time finding a balance between their earlier heavy style and the pop-influenced later work. It culminated in some of the most well-regarded moments of their career. Their final studio album together before disbanding was Soundtracks For The Blind (1996), a massive double disc epic showcasing the diversity of the band. It proved to be one Swans’ defining works, and appeared as though it would be their last. After the subsequent world tour, which climaxed with the release of legendary live album Swans Are Dead (1998), Gira disbanded Swans to pursue his work with Angels Of Light. It would be thirteen years until Gira reformed the band, releasing the epic My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky in September last year. Gira’s revival of Swans
was driven, as with almost all of his creative decisions, by a search for inspiration, for excitement; feeling stifled by the limitations of Angels Of Light, Swans offered Gira an opportunity to explore territories left unvisited for over a decade. “[Where I was with Angels Of Light] is sort of the same place I ended up in with Swans when I discontinued the band the first time,” he explains. “With Angels Of Light it just wasn’t doing it for me creatively, I had reached a point where I felt spent. I had been thinking about wanting to make louder all-consuming intense music again, so I thought, let’s take these songs and strangle them into shape, and turn them into Swans songs.” The new album, a sort of straddling point between Angels Of Light and the future of Swans, sees Gira revelling in the opportunity to push the boundaries of the band’s overwhelming wall of sound aesthetic. Reinvigorated, Gira has thrown himself back into live performance, bringing Swans infamous intensity to the stage with vitriolic enthusiasm. “This is the most excited I’ve been about making music in a long time,” he says. “The live shows are particularly wrenching and intense but also very cleansing and positive; they’re an experience for us and the audience and they pretty much wring the washcloth dry. They wring the blood out of a stone, and by the time we’re done it’s really elating, like we’ve been in an Indian sweatlodge or something. I use this analogy, and excuse me for repeating myself but it seems apt, of tantric sex,” he continues. “It’s sort of
like that - this long slow building of energy, with release not necessarily being the point. It’s like reaching a higher place as you both find and lose yourself in the act. “That sounds a little arty – it’s rock music, you know?” he laughs, self-deprecating. “I’m not some shaman or something, but some of these recent shows have been some of the most satisfying of my life.” With My Father Will Guide Me…, it would seem Gira and Swans have come full circle, the many musical wanderings of the past having converged on a path into the band’s future. Once again inspired and thrilled by the work he’s doing, Gira speaks with excitement and optimism of what’s yet to come. “I’m working with long instrumental passages some of it’s very atonal and dissonant and very expressionist, not rock music by any stretch of the imagination,” he says. “It will kind of bleed into something that resembles a song for a bit and then bleed back into pure texture. It’s just working with the medium of sound.” For an artist to have endured for so long, in so many different projects that so regularly challenge the tastes of his fans, there must rest somewhere in the music a current of passion and honesty that draws people in. It’s often said that when looking to art in any of its forms - musical, visual, poetic, conceptual - we look for ourselves in the work. In Swans though, as with many great artists, we see not only ourselves but qualities we wish we held. Courage, inscrutability, beauty, humanity and truth are all evident in the music – they bleed from the songs, because in creating the music Gira has poured himself into the work without censure. For this, their music should always be celebrated. What: My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky is out now through Young God Records With: The Necks Where: The Metro Theatre When: Saturday March 12
“Seems like everybody else has got the key - or they’re just hiding it better than me” – THE RAY MANN THREE 16 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
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The Clean It’s Getting Better All The Time By Mikey Carr the Clean have never held any bitterness. “Well you know what they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” David says cheerfully. “There might have been a brief moment there when we were just like, ‘Well bugger you’ - but I’ve just had such a wonderful life,” he laughs. “I’ve had times when I didn’t have money, I’ve had times when I doubted what I was doing musically or as an artist, I’ve had times when I’ve just felt like I was rolling around after my own tail and I’ve had times when I’ve just stopped everything for a year or so. But generally I’ve just had such a wonderful life, a wonderful musical life. I can’t complain at all.”
he Clean could be one of the most influential bands you’ve never heard. Formed in 1978 in Dunedin, New Zealand, a town that’s now known as a hotbed of musical creativity that birthed acts like The Dead C and The Bats (not to mention the seminal Flying Nun label), The Clean’s punk and 60s garage-inspired music has been cited as an influence by bands as disparate as Yo La Tengo, Pavement and Nirvana. “Well it’s just astonishing, just beyond our wildest dreams,” founding member David Kilgour tells me on the eve of their Australian tour. “If you told me in the early days that we were going to keep doing this - that we were going to tour the world and that other musicians were going to pick up guitars because of us, and all that sort of stuff - I would never have believed you. Even when we were having our success in the early days, I never dreamed I’d leave the country and go and tour overseas. That was just beyond any idea or dream at all.” With a core lineup that consists of David and his brother Hamish, with The Bats frontman and guitarist Robert Scott having taken over bass duties early on, The Clean have built a strong cult following over the last 33 years. In fact, Flying Nun bands have recently experienced somewhat of a renaissance in popular culture. The Clean themselves have found a burgeoning number of young people
attending their shows, with their music taking on a new relevance in the face of the current indie rock and DIY scenes. “When we toured Europe last year the audiences were pretty split down the middle, half old people and half young kids, which we found really surprising,” David says, in his soft Kiwi accent. “It just
keeps growing every year; there’s always a few more people at the shows - especially overseas - just carrying on the interest, which is just amazing for us.” Although they’ve never enjoyed the same level of success as the bands that they inspired,
It’s this attitude, this love of the music, that has made the legacy of The Clean so enduring. There’s a sort of unpolished honesty to their songs that can’t be faked, built through years of playing out of passion, and nothing else. While there have been massive gaps of inactivity where members have pursued other projects, they’ve all kept up an almost constant dedication to their craft. “It’s great to follow something that you love, and actually make a living out of it,” David says. “For me, it just doesn’t get any better than that.” With: Smudge, Sonny & The Sunsets Where: The Factory Theatre When: Wednesday March 9
Donavon Frankenreiter The Big Break By Kelly Theobald up a guitar and try to sing about something fun and positive, and remember how lucky we are to just be alive and [how lucky I am to be] playing music and surfing and travelling, and having this lifestyle that I have,” he explains. “There are hard times in everybody’s lives, and I think music is a special thing that can help people get through.”
very surfer knows that no two waves are the same; the weather, the tide and the wind all drastically impact the ride. It requires a ‘go with the flow’ philosophy that prosurfer Donavon Frankenreiter uses as much in the ocean as he does when he’s making music. He never knows when he’s going to write a song; he tells me it “just kind of happens”. And living a life that most of us can only dream of, getting paid to travel the world surfing while establishing a successful music career, it’s a philosophy that obviously works for him. The thirty-eight-year-old father of two released his first solo album in 2004, through good mate Jack Johnson’s record label. Since then, Frankenreiter has put out four records, but it’s his latest, Glow, that he sees as the pinnacle of his career so far. Like most of Frankenreiter’s music, the album was inspired by his surfing lifestyle; he picked up his first surfboard as a ten-year-old, and is quick to point out that he’s a surfer who plays music - not the other way around. “My whole life I live around the lifestyle of surfing, so that definitely shows up in my music,” he says. Maybe it’s the general chilled-out vibe, or maybe it’s the awesomeness of Frankenreiter’s seemingly charmed life seeping into the music, but Glow is definitely uplifting, hopeful and positive. Many tracks, he says, he writes as an antidote to feeling blue. “When I’m sad, I pick
A current challenge for Frankenreiter, and indeed the entire music industry, is the decline of record sales. “Every couple of years I put out a product that I want to sell, that I want people to buy and enjoy,” he says. But with increasing numbers of illegal downloads and no clear antidote, musicians are facing huge hurdles. “I love making music and making albums, but at a certain point you have to understand that financially, it has to make sense.” Luckily, the talented Frankenreiter has his surfing career to pay the bills. “It would be very, very hard I think if I didn’t have any surfing career, and I was just now starting out in music,” he affirms. The security allows him the luxury of staying true in his music; Frankenreiter admits that he lays it all out on the table in his songs. “It’s just me, it’s my life, it’s everything that I do,” he shrugs, but there’s a flipside to that, too. “If I ever get a review and it’s like ‘that album sucks’ or ‘your music is lame’, it’s like, wow, that’s hard to take. I’m just singing a song about my kids or my family or travel or life… all music is beautiful.” One track on Glow,‘The Ones In Your Dreams’, is inspired by Frankenreiter’s haunted family home in Southern California. But, he says, these were friendly ghosts. “There were three different beings in that house, and they would really do a lot of things to let us know that they were there,” he says. “It was just something I grew up with - I thought it was just second nature!” When it came time to move out as an eighteen-year-old, Frankenreiter missed the voices, but they were always there when he returned. “Wherever I walked, the entire house would make noise like there was somebody walking above me, on the roof… The house would always kind of speak and say things,” he explains. “I always wanted to write a song about that talking house...” Perhaps a little kooky, sure, but that’s the charm of Frankenreiter, and the music that he makes. What: Glow is out now on Liberator Where: The Metro Theatre When: Friday March 18
Sonny & The Sunsets Songs, Plays and Stories By Lachlan Kanoniuk
ith the music world often falling to a perpetual bombardment of ephemeral trends, it’s refreshing when an act like Sonny & The Sunsets generates a fair share of organic buzz without aligning themselves to any bankable movement. Tomorrow Is Alright, the San Franciscan outfit’s debut record, possesses a deceptive simplicity, recalling a long-gone era while simultaneously remaining distinctly timeless. Recorded more than a few years ago, it’s taken a while for the endearingly unpretentious album to garner acclaim from critics and win fans – but the plus side is that we get a follow-up almost straight away. “It’s called Hit After Hit,” Sonny Smith reveals. “It’s coming out April 12 over here. I’ll have some copies to bring over to Australia, so it might be coming out sooner over there.” The recording process for Sonny & The Sunsets is as loose and carefree as the finished result sounds, freeform sessions taking place with spontaneity in a large array of different environments. “For the latest one that’s gonna come out, we did a lot of weird stuff. We recorded in this art space in Portland, then more on this road trip with some people. We recorded some things in a basement studio, some things in a friend’s living room, then in my house, then in this really expensive studio in Los Angeles for a few songs,” he explains. “All kinds of weird, different scenarios... I don’t think I’ve ever made a whole record all the way through just in a studio.” As well as fronting the feelgood band, Sonny’s CV contains a couple of other titles, like ‘playwright’ and ‘author’. In 2003, for instance, he wrote an album full of one-act plays, delivered as songs. So do these different mediums of writing complement each other? “Well, I’d say it’s much different. I mean, the plays that I’ve written - I’ve only written a few - they’re all fairly music-orientated. I wouldn’t call them musicals though,” he explains. “They all start out differently, but sometimes when
I’m halfway through writing a play I realise it’s supposed to be a song, or I’m writing songs and turn them into a play. It always blurs the lines at some point.” And Sonny’s band recordings often employ a back and forth banter, much like the exchange in the golden oldie ‘Love Is Strange’. “Yeah, it’s my favourite shit,” Sonny states frankly. “I love songs that have dialogue in them.” On their first visit to antipodean shores, the group have been selected to support legendary kiwi-pop outfit The Clean on their long overdue tour. “I’m only familiar with The Clean after starting to deal with them - I went and found all their music, which is awesome, so I’m really excited,” he explains. “I’m not really like some of my friends who are like these encyclopaedic audiophiles - I’m kinda more random with listening to music. People give me CDs, or I just happen across something. I’ve never had a huge record collection or devoured music in this encyclopaedic way or anything. I’m always in the van with these types and asking, ‘What the hell is that?’” His haphazard approach to music appreciation has beneficial side-effects – like a creative output that contains a perfect mix of nostalgia and indirect inspiration. “I guess that there are some positive qualities that come from it, like not trying too hard to be religiously like something else, or just copy something,” he ponders. “That can be the trapping if you’re absolutely obsessed with a certain kind of music – [you can] just end up making music which is too derivative.” What: Hit After Hit is out on April 8, through Spunk With: Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Unity Floor & Count Doyle Where: GoodGod Small Club When: Thursday March 10 More: with The Clean on March 9 at Factory Theatre
“O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!” - ROMEO AND JULIET 18 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
Wavves King Of The Beach By Nathan Jolly
athan Williams is awfully prolific for an artist who has the term ‘slacker’ attached to his every movement. Under the moniker Wavves, he’s cranked out three albums of vaguely surfy, vaguely skatey pop in under three years, in addition to a bunch of impressively regular standalone singles. His first two albums were recorded into the inbuilt microphone on a Macbook Pro, and sound just as you would expect - but the fuzz and lo-fidelty couldn’t hide Williams’ inherent songwriting skill, and it wasn’t long before the blog world took notice. The albums conveniently hooked into the lo-fi renaissance of the past few years, with lyrics that fed into the nostalgia of the times, while focusing on a rose-coloured present than past. Wavves’ third album, however, was a (comparatively) hi fidelity blast of SoCal pop punk, closer to Green Day’s Dookie than the noise acts to which Williams was previously compared. The album was spliced with surf-waltzes, experiments in production and other excursions in sound that ensured the critics wouldn’t dismiss him as a onenote lo-fi artist. King Of The Beach was brash, bratty and clever, and it propelled Williams and his band into international tours – but when we speak, Williams is in Wyoming, with bad reception caused by his tour bus “going between a bunch of snowy mountains.”
Wavves and Best Coast are intrinsically linked, thanks to Williams’ very public relationship with Cosentino. Where Cosentino has spent the last week enduring a horror run of Australian journalists asking trite fan-pop questions, Williams is at ease discussing his cat and his love affair with marijuana, which has seen his merch desk recently swell with patrons. “Yeah, i’m selling [branded] rolling papers and grinders,” he says. “They sell like hotcakes. Pretty incredible. Sometimes I think kids just buy them to collect them and have them, because it doesn’t seem like they smoke weed at all. I think they just kinda like them.”
Inspired by true
Talk turns to his upbringing as a “musical kid,” in the disparate musical landscape that was California in the late ‘90s. As with a lot of the mish-mashing indie artists these days, this jarring amalgamation seems to have shaped his fusion of SoCal pop punk, cassette culture, cartoons, skateboarding and ‘60s girl-group pop. “My parents listen to a lot of great old music, and they were in a band together. I liked all types of
Unfortuantely, Australian fans hoping to purchase these psychotropic products at the upcoming Wavves shows might be caught up in bureaucracy. “We’d like to airmail the grinders and the papers out to Australia, but it’s all up in the air at the moment. It’s the most efficient way to do it and I think it’d be cool. I can’t think of a better way to go about it.” (Williams trepidation is understandable - Last November in Germany, at a routine traffic stop, Williams was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. He spent some time in a cell and was fined 200 Euros.)
In fact the subject of weed pops up a lot through the interview, and the latest video for title track ‘King Of The Beach’ features a golden joint, a glittery, bejewelled bong, a shot of his Wavves grinder and numerous other references to the drug (plus an adorable cameo from Cosentino’s cat, Snacks, who Letterman recently namechecked in one of the odder collisions of the blogosphere and late-night television). While Cosentino seems to be trying to distance herself from the stoner/slacker tag (albeit after spending the best part of two years cultivating the image…), Williams seems to relish the reference point. The cover to King Of The Beach features a stoned cat holding a joint, a weed leaf and a clear statement of intent; his latest foray, a Wavves-branded baseball cap complete with obligatory weed-leaf on the side, is even less subtle.
What: King of the Beach is out now on Fat Possum, through Shock Where: Manning Bar, Sydney Uni When: Wednesday March 9
“People come up to me with T-shirts they’ve made or pictures of my cat. It’s pretty incredible.”
Williams played in various high school bands before launching his solo project - a process that seems to have happened less through design than boredom. “You just make music, that’s what you do. You write songs and record them. It’s fairly natural.” This is also the vague reasoning he gives for King Of The Beach’s stylistic gear change. “It’s not really deliberate, it’s just moving on, trying something new,” he explains. “It’s not that I didn’t like what I was doing. You get tired of doing the same thing, you wanna expand. It’s just natural.” Not surprisingly, Williams has another sonic shift in mind for album four. “We can probably talk about that in a few months,” he says hesitantly, “but I’m trying to keep it under wraps. I think you’re really going be surprised by what’s coming next.”
Supernatural themes, violence and infrequent coarse language
“It’s been long, it’s been cold - it’s kinda warming up, which is good.” Nathan Williams clearly doesn’t enjoy touring. He attempts to halfheartedly explain how having friends on the tour with him makes it all worthwhile (his threepiece backing band and his girlfriend, Bethany Cosentino from California’s Best Coast, are accompanying this trip), but it’s clearly a front. And it’s not long before he unleashes. “As much as I wanna give it up a lot of the time - it’s tough, you get tired, and you’re cranky and you’re hungry - you show up to the venue, and it’s like everything’s suddenly changed. People come up to me with t-shirts they’ve made or pictures of my cat. It’s pretty incredible.”
music, from grunge to hip hop to punk to stuff in my parents collection. I picked up guitar at 13, and just started.”
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Pronounced Like ‘Diary’ With An ‘N’ By Jonno Seidler
The Good Fight By Birdie
n the mid-‘90s, it was political societies like the Black Panther Party that served as fuel for Dead Prez’s fire. But over fifteen years later, stic.man claims that while family, health and education come first for him and M-1 these days, music has still not taken a backseat for the pair. “We have grown in different ways, but we remain a family unit,” stic.man says. “M-1 is my comrade for life. We hit the road year round doing our tours still. We support each other’s individual moves. We live in different cities now and we are both fathers with many other responsibilities, but the love is there. We were homies before this music, so that’s the strength that keeps us grounded with each other. We give each other space to be our own selves, and we come together on what we have in common.” Despite their many responsibilities outside of music, as individuals, on the eve of Dead Prez’ Australia tour, stic.man claims the chemistry never really gets compromised. It’s classic Dead Prez, in fact – totally amped, powerful and (most importantly) fun. “Our message has always been simple,” he begins. “Liberation, baby! The freedom to be all that we are. The strength to live a warrior’s life of dedication, development, sacrifice and purpose. The Black Panther Party represented for us such a spirit of heroism to our community. They stood up against the injustices that our people faced toe-totoe with the system. They spoke intelligently but they were still ‘hood,’ and their workingclass character resonated with poor people internationally. They were a great force of change and they were able to capture the imagination of their generation, similar to how hip hop has the imagination of today. We saw ourselves in their eyes and in their acts of
courage and love. And we saw that we must continue the fight in our own way today, so that their legacy is not lost or forgotten,” he says. “And we recognise the battle is still not won for the ideals, rights and justice that they fought for.”
and more) is just one of many gigs she’s got lined up for the year, following on from her impressive set at Peats Ridge Festival. “I’ve been quite lucky to have people in my band who I actually knew before I started it,” she says. “Everybody’s very passionate about the music I’m creating, which makes it easier to get along – most of the time.”
stic.man has been fighting a very different battle in more recent years, too – that of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spreading the message of self-development, through both his music and his writing. “Besides songwriting, emceeing and producing, handsdown, health and fitness is my passion! My wife is a vegan holistic health counsellor and dietician, and so I live in a healthy home environment. I recently founded the RBGFitclub, and I’ve been really inspired to build the network as a platform to encourage health and fitness through hip hop culture. I’ve been doing martial arts and physical training, and veganism has been my spiritual centre for some years now. I no longer smoke or drink, so I feel like I’m in a great place of inner peace, growth and development.”
Ngairre, who taught herself ukulele and guitar when she started out without the cash to pay for a backing band, says “it’s definitely easier when they [band members] are heading in the same direction, and you don’t have to force them to like what they’re playing.” It certainly helps that she’s always gunning for the support of her musical contemporaries, like fellow soul mistresses Jade Macrae and Fantine. “When I first started, what I really wanted to achieve was status within my peers – so I love it when my friends and other people in the industry like my music. It means that maybe I am making something that’s worth giving credit to.”
Besides touring with Dead Prez, stic.man has announced the release of his upcoming second solo album, The Workout, as well as a self-development book with his wife, titled Revolutionary Love. “[It’s] about what a happy and healthy relationship means for us,” he adds. “Of course, I’m looking forward to my new album, too – 14 new tracks, no cursing, just hardcore motivation music for health and fitness.” And according to him, the best of Dead Prez is still yet to come. “As an artist, as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a C.E.O. – forward is the way, not backwards. I’m inspired now, more than ever before. We’re also collaborating with M.I.A; she gave us a beat that we dug, and we’ve been building a concept to it. We’re taking our time. We want it to be natural and really good, so we’re not rushing it. We really dig her spirit and expression a lot, and it’s an honour to collab with her.” Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Tuesday March 15
gairre is in the process of getting in the mood for the Garden Music Festival at Government House by conducting interviews on her boyfriend’s veranda. “Yeah, I think it’s just an afternoon of hanging out in the outdoors,” she surmises, as birds chirp down the line behind her. The Sydney-based singer-songwriter is already off to a cracking start in 2011: her latest track, ‘Glorious’, is getting airplay love all over the place, and she’s even got some stuff in the works that she can’t talk about – legal code for Big News. Despite that, Ngairre’s still self-managed – although she admits it’s an endlessly tiring process. “It sometimes gets to the point where you’re tired of wearing two hats, negotiating with important people, that kind of stuff.” Especially when you’re in charge of a sixpiece band… You don’t have to have seen Ngairre live to hear how unique and talented she is – there’s a lot of public talk going on about her, most notably from triple j’s music director, Richard Kingsmill, whose job necessitates that he dislike most bands. She tore up the recent One Movement conference in Perth, and Garden Music (featuring Jonathan Boulet, Jinja Safari, Deep Sea Arcade, Lanie Lane
As it turns out, ukulele is Ngairre’s chordbased instrument of choice, despite being, you know, tiny. “The frets are really little - I prefer it, because you can get around them easier,” she says, before admitting that she has been told that she has ‘monkey hands.’ They’re not as bad, though, as her monkey feet, which she maintains are “utterly ridiculous, but quite handy. Like, if I cut off my hands, I could definitely use my feet to pick things up with.” Clearly getting herself ready for the wildlife element of the garden performance, then. “I’ll just be there in the corner, climbing a tree or something!” she laughs. Ngairre’s jazz-infused brand of indie-soul comes from a diverse range of places and influences. Raised in Papua New Guinea before moving to Lismore at the age of sixteen, Ngairre’s formal training in the frenetic world of the music industry has been rapid, including a brief stint on Australian Idol. When told she sounds like crossover champ Corinne Bailey Rae, she deadpans, “Nah, I hate her–” before breaking into the giggles. Now all she’s got to do is use those lively birds in her next recording, and she’s on her way to the big time. With: Jonathan Boulet, Jinja Safari, Deep Sea Arcade, Lanie Lane, First Flight Crew & Morganics What: Garden Music Festival @ Government House, Macquarie Street When: Sunday March 13 from midday–7pm More: , $25$35 from tickets.hht.net.au
Omar Souleyman Nu Dabke By Andrew Tuttle
mar Souleyman is an enigma wrapped in a keffiyeh wrapped in a sampler. One of Syria’s most recognised singers, both at home and abroad, Souleyman has performed a fascinating, energetic, and emotionally resonant variation on “Dabke”, his region’s pre-eminent genre, since 1994. Where Souleyman makes a point of difference is with his embrace of samplers, keyboards and other sources of sound in conjunction with traditional Dabke instrumentation, forming a hypnotic, raw and frenetic trans-global soundclash that has scored a 7.8 on Pitchfork. Souleyman’s music has been gradually introduced to Western audiences over the last five years through three compilations, released on the Sublime Frequencies label. These compilations - Highway to Hassake (2007), Dabke 2020 (2009), and Jazeera Nights (2010) – offer a fascinating primer for Souleyman’s music, and for many, an introduction into broader interpretations of Middle Eastern-based music. A mindboggling task considering the sheer volume of live and studio cassettes released in Souleyman’s native Syria, the compilations were compiled by Souleyman and Sublime Frequencies founder Mark Gergis (also of the infamous Sun City Girls). “Sublime Frequencies chose among the most popular of my songs in Syria,” Souleyman says. “We shall see how and if there will be more [in the
future].” In a fascinating creative diversion, Souleyman’s next forthcoming release will be a collaboration with Icelandic pop-superstar Bjork. With Bjork a longtime admirer of Souleyman – she’s raved about his “Syrian techno” genre – their collaboration will be a synthesis of similarly unique approaches to music, and an extra opportunity for Souleyman to musically connect with Western audiences. Souleyman’s take on Dabke is of particular interest, as it reflects a distinctly modern approach to music making and performing, offering a synthesis of different forms of musical and cultural paradigms to construct a brand new aural experience. Resolutely the antithesis of mono-cultural musicality, Souleyman also serves as an important reminder of the convergence of shared tribal identities. With Syria such a diverse country, and the Middle East even more so, Souleyman’s music reflects the infinite possibilities of music and geography. “Where I come from, North-Eastern Syria, we are on the crossroads of Turkey, Iraq and Syria – so there are elements of all three traditions here and in my music.” A vital component in the Omar Souleyman package is his frequent collaborator on recordings and in live performances, multiinstrumentalist Rizan Sa’id. If video clips and online performance videos are any indication, Sa’id is a musical wizard. It’s a hypothesis
that Souleyman doesn’t hesitate to agree with. “The electronics that Rizan makes are common in Syria and the region, but he is a great master, so they come out very exciting.” With a substantial proportion of Souleyman’s performances in Syria being at weddings and other family-based events, and his Western performances almost exclusively held in clubs and at large music festivals, one could possibly expect a dichotomy between his performance styles. Souleyman suggests otherwise, stating that there’s a common vitality and energy linking his performances worldwide. “My performance is always with same energy,” he says, “except that in a wedding, I address the members of the wedding party and make special wishes to their family – and there might be requests for special songs.” Reports from Souleyman’s concerts in the Middle East, and from recent European tours (including the mindblowing ‘Leh Jani’ clip) have been nothing short of rapturous, with accounts aplenty of a performer that gives his all to please. “I enjoy making people very happy and giving them a good time and good party.” What: Jazeera Nights: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria is out now Where: The Annandale Hotel When: Saturday March 12
“Is there no pity sitting in the clouds that sees into the bottom of my grief?” - ROMEO AND JULIET 20 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
Weird Al Yankovic White And Nerdy By Dave Harmon
couple of weeks ago, dining with friends at a local pub bistro, I realised that the weekly karaoke competition was about to begin. Drunk-person-stage-singing being something I catch as often as humanly possible, I was able to enjoy some of my favourite karaoke cliché moments: the guy in a suit who busts out Sinatra; the girl who knows every move of the ‘Single Ladies’ dance; and, of course, the chubby, friendly-looking guy who belts out, from memory, a set of alternate parody lyrics to a rock staple, penned by the man whom the poets named ‘Weird Al’ Matthew Yankovic. Weird Al holds the distinct and somewhat dubious honour of being the only artist, alive or dead, who can reliably write new lyrics to an existing song, get someone else to memorise and perform it at an open mic karaoke night, and have anyone present think that what they are witnessing is in any way acceptable. It’s a power that comes from a career spanning some 30 years and 12 studio albums, and has seen him make the transition from loveable, accordion-wielding popculture snark to actual pop-culture product. The bizarre nature of this transformation is not lost on Al, least of all after the release of his new and extended Essentials compilation release: Essentials 3.0. “It feels a little odd,” he tells me. “I’m in the rack next to Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, which feels a little odd and ironic.”
to the whole genre of musical comedy. “There’s been a sort of mini-resurgence of funny music in the last decade,” Yankovic notes – “there’s a good handful of acts doing very well.” With musical comedy acts getting their own TV shows, movies and world tours complete with screaming fans, I’m inclined to agree. Is there a correlation between the rise of the musical comedian – the quintessential nerd rockstar – with the rise of the hipster geek, and that ironic geek style? “I think so,” he replies. “I mean it is sort of the revenge of the nerd, this last decade or so. People are starting to realise that nerds do in fact rule the world - and I think that it’s OK, once again, to like comedy music.” For a boy who was good at math and took accordion lessons from the age of six, he tells me ‘White and Nerdy’ was the easiest song he ever wrote: “I’d already done a lifetime’s worth of research.” What: The Essential “Weird Al”Yankovic 3.0 is out now through Sony; When I Grow Up is out now through Harper Collins Where: The Enmore Theatre When: March 18 & 19
Thanks in no small part to Weird Al, music comedy has become almost indistinguishable from popular music; these days musical comedy acts like The Lonely Island and the recentlyseparated Conchords are achieving a kind of rock-star status that’s every bit as legitimate as the acts they’re riffing off. But for Yankovic, the trail blazed must have been a surreal one, punctuated with especially strange moments like at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, where Nirvana turn up to win a gong for Smells Like Teen Spirit on the same stage where Al was hoping to win for his own music video, ‘Smells Like Nirvana’. “Nirvana was supposed to open the show [with a certain song] and they didn’t want to do it. MTV’s threat was, ‘Well if you don’t want to open the show, we’ll get Weird Al to do you and open the show.’ I was on hold to open and Nirvana was like, ‘Oh… OK. We’ll do it.’ I was the bargaining chip!
“I mean it is sort of the revenge of the nerd, this last decade or so. People are starting to realise that nerds do in fact rule the world.” “I’ve always been like this guy on the outside of the circle poking fun at the elite on the inside,” he continues. “[But] after being around the industry for so long I’ve sort of, through osmosis, gotten into the same circle - so I now go to the same award shows, the same parties and functions as some of these people and, you know, I’m treated with as much respect sometimes as the people I’m making fun of. And that is odd.” Weird Al is about to hit Australia for this third tour since first visiting in 2003, this time peddling not just a CD but his New York Times best-selling children’s book – When I Grow Up. It’s a cute story for kids, with the prerequisite dose of Weird Al’s offbeat lyricism, and a rather sincere message, from the new father: don’t feel you need to plan out your future too early. “I remember when I was twelve years old, I told [our guidance counseller] that I wanted to be a writer for Mad Magazine. He basically told me, ‘You know… You’re a good student and you’re good at math. Why don’t you be an architect?’” The fact that Al actually enrolled, completed and passed a long and complicated architecture degree with no desire to use it seems telling of his work ethic. The fact that the MTV funnyman is a qualified draftsman seems important, too. Would he feel comfortable designing a house if the situation called for it? “…Not at this point,” he says, after a beat. “I can still print pretty neatly, though.” A children’s book may be an unexpected development in his career, but reinvention has been a constant element in Al’s life. The act of parodying American popular music for 30 years has, out of necessity, transformed Al’s discography into a sort of patchwork history of the evolution of American pop. The decline of punk, the rise of grunge, the fall of grunge, the rise of hip hop, emo and indie are all represented and accounted for – certainly, Al must have been one of the only professional outfits to cover Coolio and Avril Lavigne in the span of a single career. And as he’s donned new style after style, something has happened BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11 :: 21
Belle & Sebastian In It For Life By Alasdair Duncan
“I’ve had a lot of phone calls from our tour manager at 4am saying, ‘Where the hell are you?’ ...If he sees anyone in the band heading out to a bar after a show, I’m sure he just puts his head in his hands and weeps.” longest break that Belle & Sebastian have ever taken between records; in fact, many fans were concerned that the group may have drifted apart permanently. I ask Colburn why the band took such a long hiatus, and if there was any one inciting event that made them decide to get back together and record again. “Well, at the end of 2006, we were coming off the biggest tour we’d ever done, and we were all feeling pretty tired and in need of a break,” he explains. “We thought we’d do that and would come back after a couple of months and see what was what, but that break just kept on extending itself.
friend of mine, a big Belle & Sebastian fan, likes to tell a story about one night after a show, when she plucked up the courage to approach them and introduce herself. Many bands can be aloof and unfriendly in person, but not so the Scottish indie rockers, who ended up staying out late with her for a boozy night of pints and pool. Is that kind of fan interaction typical for the band, I wonder? “Yeah, it has happened quite a bit in the past,” drummer Richard Colburn tells me. “It obviously depends on the show and where you are and your schedule, but it’s not uncommon - especially if after the show you want to go do something else, rather than go back to your hotel. It’s always good to have an experience with people you don’t know when you’re away from home.”
According to Colburn, Belle & Sebastian’s gregariousness has gotten them into trouble in the past. “I’ve had a lot of phone calls from our tour manager at 4am saying ‘we’re on the bus and we have to get to the next show, where the hell are you?’ and I’ve just said ‘I’m not too sure... I’m in a bath’. If the tour manager sees anyone in the band heading out to a bar after a show, I’m sure he just puts his head in his hands and weeps.” Colburn assures me, though, that the band’s behaviour has improved over time. “We’re pretty conscientious now in terms of being in the right place at the right time, because we’ve seen the consequences when that doesn’t happen,” he says. “It can be quite major, and can really make a mess of everyone’s day.” The four year gap between 2006’s The Life Pursuit and last year’s Write About Love is the
“Stuart [Murdoch] had a couple of projects he wanted to do, and he took the opportunity to do them - and as time wore on we all just started doing other stuff,” he continues. “I think after a while we just realised we really had to get back [together], because if we didn’t it would have been too much time apart, and we would have gotten too wrapped up in the other things. I’m glad that point came.” Any fears that Belle & Sebastian may have disbanded can be put to rest; Colburn, in fact, sees the band as a life-long enterprise. “Belle & Sebastian is just the kind of thing that draws you back in no matter what you’re doing,” he says. “It’s a funny thing, it’s almost like there’s no other option. I’ve just got a feeling that we’ll be playing together forever.”
first time in the studio where our control was relinquished, and someone else took the reigns,” he tells me. “Up until then, we were used to calling all the shots in the studio, recording-wise and arrangement-wise. That was the first time that somebody questioned it all, saying, ‘well, why don’t you try this instead?’ That experience has definitely informed the two albums we’ve made since,” he says. “It was a transition, and it showed us that we could actually give up some control in the studio. We’ve gotten used to the idea of working with producers now.” Before letting Colburn go, I feel compelled to ask about his curious absence during Belle & Sebastian’s performance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Drummer Questlove, from Fallon’s house band The Roots, filled in for him, leading some to speculate that there had been some sort of falling-out within the group. The reason, it turns out, is actually quite mundane. “That whole thing had to do with visas,” Colburn laughs. “I play with another band called Tired Pony and, in a nutshell, I had a two year visa organised to play shows with them in America, but they didn’t tell us until the last minute that, with that visa, I couldn’t legally go on television and play with another band! That meant no Jimmy Fallon for me,” he explains. “I was a bit put out that I was stuck in the audience for that show.”
The arrangements on Write About Love are lush and luxurious, an attribute that’s been present in Belle & Sebastian’s music since 2003’s Dear Catastrophe Waitress, a collaboration with pop producer Trevor Horn. Colburn and the band credit Horn for opening their eyes to new ways of making music. “Working with him was the
What: Write About Love is out now Where: The Metro Theatre When: Wednesday March 9 More: The show at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday March 10 is sold out
“When I started out, I didn’t imagine I’d be playing live so much. Once I started getting booked for all the festivals it was pretty overwhelming,” he says, “but it’s different now. I’m working on the second album now, and coming up with concepts on how to expand my live show, and how to create a new experience. ‘Cause I’ve been doing pretty much the same thing - the same kind of live show - for the past three or four years. Once these second round of songs are finished, I’m going to figure out how to interpret them in a more interesting way than I’ve done in the past.”
“I had to just chill for a bit. I don’t want to be one of those bands that are constantly shoving themselves into people’s faces.”
Muscles The Party Flexer By Jordan Smith
hris Copolus, the muscle behind Muscles, is in a good place right now. Wollongong, to be precise, squeezing in a pre-set interview that’s frequently punctuated by the whoops and squawks of O-Week freshers in fancy dress passing by. “Yeah I love the uni gigs,” he tells me. “It doesn’t make me feel old, it reminds me of when I was just starting - all the parties, and the dudes trying to get you to join the communist club or whatever…” Copolus is extremely laid back about this gig - he sees DJing more as a bonus, with his true career lying in production and live performance. “DJing is kind of like being on holiday,” he muses. “You get flown to nightclubs and stuff, then you just jump up there for an hour to play other people’s music and a bit of your own. Easy.” Innocently reversing all the hard work of his booking agent, Copolus good-naturedly admits that he’s not a very good DJ. “I mean, I’m not very good at mixing. I want
to play really fast songs and really slow songs all at once - so I’ll just kind of stop the song, play the next one. Really clunky. Yeah, I guess I’m an amateur DJ.” I laugh, and almost reproachfully he adds, “but a party DJ all the same!” If DJing is a holiday and live shows are the real work, then Muscles has one of the best jobs in the world. About to embark on ‘The First Degree’ uni tour, DJing in support of a live set from Bag Raiders, his portfolio already includes headline national tours, festival dates among the world’s best, and a formidable list of international support slots including Hot Chip, Soulwax, The Chemical Brothers and… someone… who was it? Oh yeah – DAFT PUNK. Copolus has a rockstar way of psyching up for the high profile gigs: “I usually drink a lot of tea during the day, and eat a bit of honey…. I also stay away from coffee.” Crazy.
Throughout our interview, Copolus displays the same kind of frankness that he revealed at the end of 2008, during the very public imbroglio with his label Modular. The gist of it was that Copolus understood himself to be dropped from a Nevereverland festival by Modular (who later denied this), subsequently lashed out via Twitter (the most addictive and destructive drug of anyone with a public profile), and declared his relationship with Modular over and his creativity free at last. Just as things were looking really messy, Copolus absconded from the music scene, resurfacing later only to cryptically confirm that any issues with the label had been resolved, and that Muscles and Modular were BFFs once more. But when I ask why exactly he disappeared like that, Copolus’ answer steers well clear of the controversy. “Everything was going amazingly, each opportunity kept leading to more opportunities, and I kind of felt I had to just chill for a bit,” he says. “I don’t want to be one of those bands that are constantly shoving themselves into people’s faces. Someone like Washington or something, [who] appears to be everywhere. No offence, I love her album and everything but it’s like… she’s everywhere, all the time. She’s playing every festival, I’m always seeing her name and it’s like OK, you’ve had your time in the spotlight, you better step back a bit – give other people some time.”
Still, it’s easier said than done for most artists enjoying success for the first time, who aren’t sure how long the limelight could last... “Yeah,” he concedes, “I guess if you’re riding a wave of success you’ve got to keep riding it - but eventually, less is more.” Following from this, we turn back to Copolus’ early days – and how he caught the ‘wave’ in the first place. “When I first started I was doing open mic nights. I would set myself a goal every week: I’m going to contact this DJ, see if they reply back, email again and so on. My theory from the start was always that if you set yourself a small goal like this every week, then slowly, slowly, people have to start hearing your music.” At the time, Copolus was writing prolifically – often churning out several songs a day. “I guess timing was very important as well. I felt that when my music came out there wasn’t really anything else on the radio that sounded like it.” He’s got a point; there’s at least one sound that Muscles will always be able to claim as his own unique creation. Inhale, all together now - “Woooooh… Aaaahhh... Woooooh... Aaaahhh!” What: ‘The First Degree Tour’ with Bag Raiders Where: University of NSW / Australian National University, Canberra When: March 16 / March 18
“Seems like everybody else has got the key - or they’re just hiding it better than me” – THE RAY MANN THREE 22 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo Friday March 11 - Sunday March 13 / Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park / tattooexpo.com.au
The Sydney Tattoo and Body Art Expo is back for its third year, and it's set to be epic. Whether you're thinking about getting your first tatt, need to know how to get rid of that full-back Southern Cross masterpiece or just wanna perve on some art, bodies and bikes, this expo is for you. Over 300 artists, a pin-up pageant, bike displays, seminars, tattoo contests and a huge number of body art aficionados... We caught up with two of the biggest names heading down under: artist Ruthless from LA Ink, and the pin-up queen herself, Sabina Kelley.
Ruthless Jaws On The Floor By Alasdair Duncan you more money in the long run,” she says. “Also,” she adds, “tip your artist! He or she works very hard and has spent years and years not making much money to get to the point they are - and they're doing something to make you look good.”
A-based tattoo artist Ruth ‘Ruthless’ Pineda may be slight of stature, but she's one tough cookie. Every nickname has a story to go along with it, and Ruth ‘Ruthless’ Pineda’s is a corker. She was working one of her earliest jobs at a tattoo parlour when, as she tells it, “a prostitute came into our shop after getting ink, claiming we took her money – although she hadn’t even paid us yet! She started yelling profanities at my co-workers and, being the only girl there, I knew I had to take charge.”
Ruthless will head to Australia for the first time in March to show off her style and do some ink at the Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo. “I'm really looking forward to seeing Australia in general,” she says. “It’s been one of my bucket list things to come here, and the fact that it's happening way sooner than I ever imagined makes this very surreal! I’ve joked that I want to wrestle a great white shark and eat vegemite sandwiches with kangaroos and find that dingo that stole the baby,” she laughs, “but in all seriousness, I am just honoured to see your country and meet the locals.” Who: Ruthless appears at the Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo When: March 11-13 Where: Sydney Showground More: tattooexpo.com.au / ruthlesstattoo.com
Sabina Kelley Pretty In Ink By Bridie Connellan
yelash flutters and sulky pouts mean nothing to airport officials; Sabina Kelley was almost rejected from Canada. No drugs, no visa problems, no dodgy passports; just swimwear. “[Customs] almost sent me home because I had a bikini in my suitcase. I guess it is very suspicious to have a bikini in your suitcase when it’s snowing outside. Long story...” The pin-up duchess of Vegas treks downunder this month with her twopiece firmly in hand, as the face of the Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo. After “drinkin’ whisky with Voodoo Larry and Jimmy Shine” in the Canadian snow, this lady of legs and lingerie is back on Australian shores and, somewhat surprisingly, she's mostly keen for “shopping, the beach, and Pie Face.” Yes, Pie Face. As an infamous lady of ink and sassy pouts, Kelley’s resume is an illustrious one, hopping from showgirling to burlesque dance to magazine covers to billboards, as the new new postergirl princess. “I've been dancing since I was two years old,” she explains. “I was in a ballet company in high school and went to college for a dance major in San Diego. I then moved to Las Vegas and was a showgirl in Jubilee at Bally’s Hotel. I miss dancing - it's a big part of my life,” she says. “I have some big plans…” Amidst buzzing demand for her appointmentonly Vegas tattoo oasis Staytrue Tattoo and laser tattoo removal shop Bombshell, both co-owned and managed by her husband Kent, this tatted covergirl also plays yummy mummy to three kids - and somehow manages to keep her cool. “My oldest daughter Savannah wants to be a tattoo artist,” she laughs. “She always takes sharpies and draws on her brother and sister with them. I even caught her drawing this whole Sponge Bob scene on her brothers back.” With a studio that solely specialises in custom designs, Kelley is an avid supporter of unique creativity - she’s no tribal band/Chinese character generic canvas. “Everything I get tattooed on me is an original design, drawn up specifically just for me,” she says. “I would never just pick something off the wall. All of my tattoos mean something to me.” For an artform still reasonably quite painful (not to mention
permanent), Kelley is adamant that tattoos are akin to portable art, and she champions her body as a travelling exhibition. “Getting tattooed is a way to express yourself,” she says. “Some people buy paintings to hang on the wall, I like to get my art tattooed on me.” Sporting full sleeves packed with traditional and Japanese designs, the Nevadan local’s delicate appearance and illustrated skin is successfully lifting tattoo fashion into a more feminine and lusty realm; pretty in ink. “I’ve been getting my tattoos over the last ten years,” she says, the intricate letters H-A-U-SW-I-F-E scrawled across her dainty knuckles. “I’ve taken it slow, so I don’t regret anything that I get. I decide what I want, then draw it up with the tattoo artist. After that I tape the drawn up piece on me where I'm gonna get it, and run around with it on, to see if I love it. If I do, I get it tattooed.” With a twinkle in her bedroom eyes, this 5’10 34D dynamo’s brazen style has charmed, tantalised and induced salivation from tattoo parlours to motorcycle conventions, with a fusion of platinum blonde adorability and tenacious grit that gives Dita Von Teese a run for her money. From Betty Grable’s cheeky WWII bathing suit to the blunt black bangs of Bettie Paige, Kelley agrees pin-up gals today have enjoyed quite the evolution - yet still maintain the same naked ambition. “I think we all have the same ideas in mind,” she says. “The look of being a classic beauty, being wholesome yet sexy… and being all about the tease.” Who: Sabina Kelley appears at the Sydney Tattoo & Body Art Expo When: March 11-13 Where: Sydney Showground More: tattooexpo.com.au / www.switchbladestilettos.com
Take charge she did - and then some. “She threatened me,” Ruthless says, “so I ran to the back, clocked out from work, jumped over the counter and beat her up pretty bad in front of her pimp. I told her to never come back or else I'd knock her teeth out and put her face to the curb. When I went back inside, everyone had their jaws on the floor and started calling me Ruthless instead of Ruth.” The prostitute? Funnily enough, she never came back... Ruthless, who was featured on Season 4 of the popular reality show LA Ink, has worked in tattoo shops across the United States, but got her start with an artist called Tattoo Joe, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “I got my first tattoo at the age of 19, from Joe,” she tells me. “He taught me how to tattoo and basically put me on the path to where I am now, for which I am very grateful.” Though her style draws on her Filipino roots as well as classic American iconography, Ruthless says that she doesn't have any specific influences, but instead lets true beauty and life inspire her. “I'm influenced by the subtle things in life that seems small to most people but are big to me,” she says. She's done some ambitious work for clients, but says each new tattoo presents its own challenges. “Tattoos are permanent, so you want the client to absolutely love them,” she says. “Portraits are the biggest, because it means so much to me to get it right for them.” I ask Ruthless if she has any advice for people contemplating getting their first ink. “Think it through,” she says. "A lot of people are impulsive and just get pieces of art without thinking it all the way through, and they end up hating what they got years later. Think of your body as a body of work that you’re collecting. You want to collect only the best art.” She also advises people to save their money to get ink from a serious artist. “If you go to a cheap artist, you will get cheap work and it will cost
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arts, theatre and film news... what's goin' on around town and more...
brushstrokes WITH CLAUDIA
best-selling (impossible, not published yet) 100 Facts About Sharks. In the meantime, however, she’s debuting her latest solo show, What Is Soil Erosion? to the Imperial Panda Festival… Where did your surreal sensibilities come from? The angels. I’m not really sure, I never set out to make surreal shows, I just try to make funny shows. My dad is an artist, so maybe I have surreal sensibilities coursing through my veins. What is your training/background as a performer? This may be hard to believe, but I have had NO TRAINING. I met Nick Coyle and Charlie Garber at university, where we were all doing arts degrees. We started making theatre/ comedy shows together as Pig Island around 2004. We did shows until 2008, and then in 2009 I did my first solo comedy show, Monster of the Deep 3D. When I was in year 11, I played “miscellaneous Puerto Rican girl” in my high school’s production of West Side Story. It was humiliating.
ou might remember Claudia from such shows as Monster of the Deep 3D (her debut solo show, which won the 2010 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Best Newcomer Award and the Brisbane Comedy Festival Award); or from any number of Pig Island shows, including Simply Fancy and The Glass Boat. She also writes books! Having topped the New York Times best-sellers list (un-true) with 100 Facts About Pandas, co-written with comedian David O’Doherty (no relation), she is currently at work on the
What is What is Soil Erosion? It’s a live staged demonstration of the first series of the television show I’ve developed, which is also called What is Soil Erosion? It’s really good. A lot of people are going to ask: Why do I need to know about Soil Erosion? What would you say to those people? If you need to ask that question, you definitely need to know about soil erosion. When did you become interested in soil? Never, it’s actually a really boring topic. I just thought it would be a good topic for a television
that Underbelly has secured a spacious new home, at Cockatoo Island. Previously held at CarriageWorks, followed by a more challenging sojourn in the laneways of Chippendale in 2010, this new stomping ground should allow Underbelly to host largerscale projects – or just, like, a billion small ones… Applications by groups or individuals hoping to take part in the festival are due April 4, and the Festival is scheduled for June/July. underbellyarts.com.au
FIVE EASY PIECES
The Chauvel are running a limited season of '70s classic Five Easy Pieces, starting this Thursday March 10. If Easy Rider got all of America talking about this talented young actor Jack Nicholson, then Five Easy Pieces cemented that reputation – and earned him an Oscar nomination. Capturing the spirit of the times, the story revolves around a young oil-rig worker who travels cross-country to his family home – at which point we realise that he’s not blue-collar at all, but an escapee from the moneyed middle classes (not to mention a piano prodigy). See it on the big screen for those widescreen vistas of middle America (freshly restored for the film’s 40th Anniversary last year), courtesy of cinematographer László Kovács. chauvelcinema.net.au
GET A REAL JOB
If you’re feeling a little uninspired at work, or can feel a career-change coming on, mark this in your diary: Saturday March 26 – attend Shillington College Open Day. For over 20 years, Shillington has been rescuing people like you, turning them into design guns, and sending them off into jobs at agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Frost – so they have the whole thing figured out at this point. Their Certificate IV in Design can be achieved either in an intensive, over-achiever manner (3 months full time), or at the sedate, part-time pace (1 year, two evenings a week). If you already fancy yourself a graphic design, and just need to skill-up, they also offer Masterclasses. Details of the open day at shillingtoncollege.com.au
Underbelly Arts: Public Lab + Festival are now accepting applications for their 2011 festival. Before we get to the gory details, we’re positively wrapt to discover 24 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
show because it’s universal and has infinite mileage. For $15, what can audience members expect from What Is Soil Erosion? Me talking, lasers, millenially powered magic, a pagan folktale, information about soil erosion, more lasers. How (and who) is your kitten? She’s so great. I love her. My kitten is a baby cat. She doesn’t have a name yet, but she is grey and small. Sometimes I wake up and she is biting my face. Share a random fact about sharks? Studies show that at school reunions, shark hunter is the second most impressive profession to have. The most impressive profession is freelance shark hunter. What else are you up to in 2011? I’ll take this show to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, then later in the year I might do it at the Edinburgh Fringe and in London. I’ll write another show and maybe do a radio show with Pig Island. I’ve also promised myself that this year I’m going to get really serious about my babysitting career. If things go as planned, I’ll use the babysitting money to get eyebrows and lipliner tattooed on my face. What: What Is Soil Erosion? – as part of the Imperial Panda Festival 2011 When: Thursday March 17-19, 8pm Where: GoodGod Danceteria, 55 Liverpool St, Chinatown More: theimperialpanda.com
FUNK IT UP ABOUT NOTHIN’ As part of the massive four-week Platform Hip Hop Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s Funk It Up About Nothin’ is a ‘hip-hoptation’ of the classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare and hip hop were a starcross’d match made in heaven, and this delightful contemporary piece of theatre has all the attitude and rap battles of a street in the Bronx while still respecting the timeless work of the Bard. Funk It Up About Nothin’ runs from March 17-26 at CarriageWorks and was created and directed by talented brothers GQ and JQ. To win one of four double passes to the Friday March 18 performance of this feisty, urban take on a perennial love story, tell us what Shakespeare play needs to be hiphopified next. platformhiphop.com.au
The Lost Thing
Our favourite part of This Is Not Art, Crack Theatre Festival is gearing up for this year’s instalment with a call-out for artists and theatremakers. If you have a show – or even just an idea for a show – or workshop, panel, forum, etc, then you need to get into the Crack action. The Festival Directors for 2011 are Jane Grimley (The Hideous Demise of Detective Slate; Faster Lady Godiva Faster!) choreographer Gareth Hart, and two-time Co-Director of Crack, Ben Packer. Applications are due by March 31, and Crack will run during TINA, from September 29 – October 3. Download the forms at cracktheatrefestival.com
Established in the 80s, and currently housed in Sweden, the Absolut Art Collection comprises more than 800 pieces by artists as diverse as Damien Hirst, Dave Shrigley and Spike Jonze – all inspired by the Absolut bottle. From March 18 – 28, cuts from the Absolut Art Collection will be bunking at the Ray Hughes Gallery on Devonshire St. Surry Hills, giving Sydney punters the chance to sip vodka cocktails while ogling works by Andy Warhol (who did Absolut’s first art-print ad), Louise Bourgeois and Francesco Clemente. It’s FREE, and runs from 6-11pm every night except Mondays, and features live music and ‘installations by local artists’.
THEATRE BY THE BEACH
Very Exciting News: the Tamarama Rock Surfers theatre company (who program the Old Fitzroy Theatre in Woolloomooloo) have won the tender process for redeveloping the arts programs within Bondi Pavilion. This means they’ll be curating an extra season of theatre this year, for the Pavilion’s 230-seat theatre. The full program announcement is set for Monday March 7, but two sneak-peek highlights already have us smiling: a new play by actor/writer/director Toby Schmitz’, entitled I Want to Sleep with Tom Stoppard, and helmed by TRS Director Leland Kean;
SEE ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS AT FLICKERFEST
If you need an excuse to watch films in a classic cinema during a weekend away in the mountains, then this is it: Flickerfest’s national tour hits the Blue Mountains from March 18-20, with three sessions of the best Australian, International and Comedy Shorts screening at the Mount Vic Cinema. At the top of the menu is Shaun Tan’s Academy Award-winning animated short, The Lost Thing. If you missed seeing this in Sydney, this is your last chance to see it on the big screen. We also recommend French screwball comedy ¿Donde Esta Kim Basinger? (Flickerfest Best Short Film Award) and When The Wind Changes (Flickerfest/IF Audience Award winning comedy). Pray for cold weather, pack your uggies, and get going. flickerfest.com.au
and the premiere of Fool’s Island, written by and starring funny fella Darren Gilshenan (opening March 28). Log in Tuesday morning for the rest: www.rocksurfers.org
MAGICAL MISTERY TOUR
It wouldn’t be a hip hop festival without some graf – so Platform Hip Hop Festival have enlisted the help of local street art hero Mistery to run inner-west street art tours over the next three Saturdays, kicking off March 12. With each session running 90-minutes, and a strict limit of only ten people per tour, you’re guaranteed answers to all those pesky questions you might have up your sleeve. Book your $10 tickets now, and meet Mistery at Newtown Station this Saturday at 10am, 12.30pm or 3pm, and he’ll lead you on a magical tour through the laneways of Redfern and Newtown, showing you all the sweet spots, the best works by local and international artists, and the stories behind them… The street art tours sold out last year, so get in quick: platformhiphop.com.au
THIS WEEK’S PANDA
Imperial Panda kicked off at GoodGod on Friday March 4 – which means this week is full slather indie arts. Play catch-up and see Some Film Museums I Have Known this Tuesday March 8, at the Old Fitz; on Wednesday, head to GoodGod after work for their Imperial Panda Happy Hour, which includes $15 cocktail jugs from 5—6.30pm, including Orange Margarita, White Sangria and Vanilla Cuba Libre; on Thursday, go to the opening night of A Stock Exchange – an art experiment involving art-barter – at Freda’s in Chippendale; Friday is opening night for Zoe Coombs Marr’s sell-out Next Wave show, And That Was The Summer That Changed My Life (Redfern Town Hall); Saturday see Masterclass with comic soulmates Charlie Garber and Gareth Davies; and Sunday March 15, head to the Fluoro Brown screening, at a yet-to-be-revealed location, with your headphones and a radio. All the deets of shows, times, tickets, etc at theimperialpanda.com
Alliance Française French Film Festival
March 8 – 27 Palace Chauvel, Verona, Norton St, and Hayden Cremorne Orpheum With almost 50 films over four cinemas and almost three weeks, it’s as hard as ever working out what to target at this year's Alliance Française’s French Film Festival. So we thought we’d give you a headstart: below are five films that tickle our fancy – from documentary to drama, 16th Century romance, and 21st Century burlesque! Of course it’s only a start – if you love Marion Cotillard (who doesn’t!) you should see Little White Lies, by actor-director Guillaume Canet (who previously directed the very stylist thriller Tell No One); if you are crazy about François Ozon (Swimming Pool) then you can’t go past Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu; for your gangster fix, you can't go past Cannes contender Outside The Law; and of course there is the compacted version of Oliver Assayas’ award-winning biopic Carlos, about the professional assassin and playboy that came to be known as ‘The Jackal’. For all the rest, head to frenchfilmfestival.org
Yves Saint Laurent photo © Patrice Habans
L’AMOUR FOU / CRAZY LOVE
The first two scenes of this documentary hook you: the first stt is footage from Yves Saint Laurent’s ent’s statement to the media in 2002, 2,
which in whi i he resigned from his eponymous fashion house; the epony e second is footage of his lover a and secon nd business partner Pierre Berge’s busine e’’s speech at Laurent’s funeral, in 2 2008. speec 008. The first neatly encapsulates Saint Sa aint Laurent’s incredible career – from Laure om 15-year-old assistant to Christian 15-ye an Dior, tto Director of that iconic fashion ashion house, at the tender age of 21,, and house through his drug abuse, and ongoing throug ngoing depression. The second is simply depre ply soul a man saying goodbye to his so oul mate. Berge describes the moment ment met the young Yves. “Who ccould he me ould know that, 50 years later, I would uld standing here, saying goodbye.” be sta bye.” These two scenes encapsulate e the reasons to see this film: to find two re more about the history of Yv Yves out m ves Saint Laurent, and his era – and nd d take a peek into an amazing to tak g unusual partnership. Just one an un ne caveat: for the fuller, less glossed cavea se ed story behind this icon, independent nd dent research will be required! [DEE resea E JEFFERSON] JEFF F
mad, a bit sleazy, chaotic and colourful, and brimming with colou energy. energ The divas are played by real-life real-li burlesque stars – the best-known of the bunch perhaps best-k being Julie Atlas Muz, former Miss Exotic World. Besides Muz you have the voluptuous sauceh pot D Dirty Martini, pianist Kitten on the th Keys, blonde bombshell and pin-up queen Mimi Le p Meaux, Meau and the more demure and classic Evie Lovelle. c
ON TOUR / TOURNÉE Anyone wanting an insight iinto Any nto the ‘New Burlesque’ should d see On Tour, by charismatic actor to or and sometime-director Mathieu th hieu Amalric. This dramedy follows Am ows week in the life of a troupe aw pe e of
American burlesque divas, o on Amer r n tour iin France with their shady ady ex-Parisian manager, Joachim ex-Pa him (Amalric). On Tour, which wo won (Ama on Best Director gong at Ca Cannes the B annes you’d 2010, is pretty much what yo ou’d expect from Amalric, based expec d purely on his body of work: a bit
These ladies look like they’re playing playin themselves, in what might almost be a documentary on the itinerant life of a travelling entertainer. There is, however, a entert romantic roman through-line, as sexual and romantic tension bubbles ro between betwe Mimi and Joachim – both wounded wound but optimistic. This is a visually visual engrossing film, with some beautifully poignant scenes – not beaut to mention seeing Mimi work me her fan fa dance, a climactic scene that should convert anyone still sh resisting resisti the New Burlesque. [DJ]
TWO IN THE WAVE / DEUX DE LA VAGUE Goda and Truffaut – are Godard there any other names in movies ovvies and that iinspire such reverence an nd passion? As the defining members passi mbers of La Nouvelle Vague – the surge of form-changing films s that emerged from France in earlyy emer and 1960s – their assuredness an nd inventiveness changed cinema inven ma and created a generation of cinephiles. create philes.
OF GODS AND MEN EN Having not actually seen this s one yet, it’s an automatic must-see see purely by dint of its pedigree: e: made by critically acclaimed filmmaker aker Xavier Beauvois (who won the Cannes Jury Prize in 1995 for or his second feature), featuring ga heavyweight cast that includes des
Lambert Wilson, Michael Lamb Lonsdale and Olivier Rabourdin Lons – and winner of the Grand Prix Cannes 2010. Based on a real at Ca story from the French-Algerian war, seven monks were taken in which wh hostage by guerrilla soldiers, this hosta with a warning: bring film comes c tissues. We reckon it’s going to be tissue worth it. [DJ]
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER
A W AY
Bertrand Tavernier is a bona a fide cinema legend – not onlyy for his films, which span almost four our decades, but for his pioneering ng work in film criticism, distribution and nd publicity. In collaboration with noted cinephile Pierre Rissient, Tavernier ernier is responsible for shaping Parisian an film culture of the 50s, and giving rise to the new wave. While The Princess cess of Monpensier may not match h his best-known fare (such as Life and Nothing But and Coup De Torchon) rchon) it is top quality escapism, made de by
someone who lives and breathes some thes the cinematic storytelling mode. cinem Tavernier is an acknowledged Taver d master of period drama, and has a maste track record of exploring history’s ry’s nastier corners. Princess is set nastie et in 16th 16t Century France, during ga period of savage religious warfare rfare between the Catholics and the betwe e Protestant Huguenots. At the centre Protes of this story is the radiantly beautiful eautiful ‘savagely innocent’ Princess and ‘s ess of Montpensier (Mélanie Thierry), Montp y), and
Two in the Wave, Emmanuel In Tw uel Laurent superbly mashes archival Laure rcchival footage, movie clips and newsreels footag wsreels (Bernard Herrmann’s jaunty (Bern newsreel music from Citizen K Kane news ane portrait even appears) and crafts a po ortrait Godard and Francois of Jean-Luc Jea ncois Trauffaut’s friendship, creative Trauff ve e personal, through to its final and p dissolution shortly after the re release disso elease
of the e latter’s Day for Night in n 1973. At that tha time, Godard – the more mo ore political and iconoclastic of th the politic he two wrote his contemporary a ccritical – wro ritical letter attacking his lack of political ollitical nuance. This prompted a 20-page nuanc -p page reply from the infuriated Truffaut. fa aut. They would never meet again. in n. The film doesn’t delve into what what happened next, the movement’s happ ent’s or Hollywood’s eventual influence ue entual response in the late film-brat lm-b e '60s and a early '70s, instead restraining itself to a study of restra of now-mythical visionaries the n s and ttheir work, especially the he e pivotal 400 Blows and À bout pivota ou ut de soufflé (Breathless). One off the souffl many ideological differencess that would strain their relationship ip p
came from frequent collaborator, actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, who starred starre as Truffaut’s alter ego, Antoine Antoi Doinel, in Blows. With his signifi cant influence, Laurent si could have titled his film 'Three In The Th Wave', to no lesser effect. [JOSHUA BLACKMAN] [JOS
four lovers. Freshly married to her fo young prince, she an unremarkable un pines for her childhood sweetheart animalistic Gaspard Ulliel), (the a admires veteran warrior-turned admir pacifist s and tutor Chabbanes (Lambert Wilson – also in Of Gods (Lam Men) and is disconcerted by the and M attentions of the King’s Brother, the attent Duke of Anjou. heady stuff, but Tavernier’s touch It’s he is very ver light, leaving the audience to draw dra parallels between the exigencies of love, war and religious exige faith. [DJ]
SYDNEY TATTOO & BODY ART EXPO W
ith more body artists than you can shake a stick at, a skate deck art gallery, tattoo seminars, body jewellery stalls and a pin-up girl pageant, the Sydney Tattoo and Body Art Expo promises to celebrate everything your mother once told you to stay away from (did we mention the Harley Davidson showcase?) Taking place at Sydney Showground over March 11-13, this year’s massive line-up will feature over 300 artists, including: LA Ink femme fatale and reality TV star Ruth “Ruthless” Pineda (read our interview with her on p.23!), who will be showcasing her internationally acclaimed skills on a few very fortunate punters; pin-up queen supreme Sabina Kelley (also see p23!), who will be judging this year’s Pin-Up Pageant; and international model, tattoo advocate (and totally babin’) Dider Cohen. Not to mention tattoo seminars with big league artists like Mick Squires, Byron Drechster and Mike De Vries…
We have five double passes to this extravagaza up for grabs – each of which includes entry to the VaVoom Fest, a rockabilly and kustom kulture expo that’s ALSO taking place at Sydney Showground from March 11-13. To get your hot lil hands on one, send us a pic of the tattoo you’d like to get next! BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11 :: 25
Bryan Brown, Nadine Garner and Colin Friels
Vinyl Arcade [IMPERIAL PANDA FESTIVAL] Buckle up! By Prudence Clark
magine being able to navigate a tiny, remote-controlled racing car as it careens its way around a racing track made entirely of disused vinyl records. The fact the car also has styli attached to the bottom of it paves the way for an immersive sound and visual experience. This sound-installation-cum-motor-rally is called Vinyl Arcade, and its creator is Lucas Abela – AKA DJ Smallcock, AKA Justice Yeldam. A pioneering member of Sydney’s avant garde music scene for over 15 years, Abela started off as an experimental turntablist, but is best known for his groundbreaking sonic experimentations with sheets of glass.
ZEBRA! [THEATRE] Two Men & a Lady By Simon Binns
“The first play that I wrote, that was any good, was put on by a company called Soup Kitchen Theatre,” Mueller explains. “They were doing halfhour shows in Melbourne during lunch hours, and for five bucks you’d get a show and bowl of soup.” In these early days, it was the shared process of theatre that drew him in. “I’d been working in music, writing songs in a lot of bands and had done a bit of acting... and I found the collaborative nature of theatre very similar to being in a good band.” Anyone who saw the STC/Griffin co-production of his award-winning play Concussion, in 2009, can attest that his love of music lives on in his writing. Mueller’s latest offering, ZEBRA!, explores the clash of cultures that arose as part of the fallout from the GFC. “I was in this bar,” the playwright recalls, “and I met these two guys, and one of them in particular, his life had changed overnight – he’d gone from being a millionaire to having nothing; and that wasn’t an uncommon story.” Whereas Australians were largely insulated from the effects of the GFC, residents of New York were acutely affected by the stock market crash. “There were stories of people faking their own deaths to
The Q Brothers: GQ (top) and JQ (bottom)
get out of debts, and people trying to exchange iPods for cab fares,” Mueller says in amazement. Beginning with an inherently awkward situation – a father meeting his future son-in-law for the first time – ZEBRA! is a relationship 'dramedy' about three desperate people thrown together in one place – a bar in New York – in the wake of financial catastrophe. Eschewing Mueller’s usual penchant for metatheatrics and fast-cutting scenes, ZEBRA! is set in real time, taking place over one-and-a-half hours. “In other forms of entertainment like television, we expect reality – but it’s so manufactured… to put on a play in real time is completely unreal.”
Vinyl Arcade’s major debut at last year’s New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) Conference was met with overwhelming enthusiasm by a range of participants - from gen-Y teens to motor
Although the Imperial Panda instalment will be slightly smaller in scale, Abela has no doubt Vinyl Arcade will blow players away. “Actually being able to use the arcade machine steering wheel and pedals to change the speed of the car, as well as the sounds you can create, is a one of a kind experience. I guess it’s like a playing a video game with a real-world set. Unfortunately, it’s also completely addictive and I’ve been known to spend hours trying to improve my track time,” he says. Next up Abela will take the Arcade on the road, having secured a spot at Austria’s Donau Festival, a mecca for avant garde music and performance. “Thanks to the recent Australia Council grant I received, I am finally able to take Vinyl Arcade to Europe, which, given the immense size of this particular Austrian venue, is an awesome opportunity.” In the meantime, he is already plotting his next project – 'Ice Capades' – in which iceskaters will 'play' massive sheets of ice... What: Vinyl Arcade at Imperial Panda 2011 When: March 16-20, from 12-5pm daily. Where: The Orchard, 4 Lackey St, St Peters More: dualplover.com/vinylarcade.html theimperialpanda.com AND If you have any disused vinyl you would like to donate to the Vinyl Arcade project, contact Lucas Abela through the website.
There were also thematic reasons for writing the play this way. “I wanted it to be this moment in this place in this time (winter, 2009), as opposed to six months later when the world had totally changed. It’s about people’s immediate concerns.”
ZEBRA! photo by Brett Boardman Vinyl Arcade photo by Alex Davies
n the past few years, Ross Mueller has cemented his reputation as one of the most exciting contemporary Australian playwrights. With a slew of award nominations and a couple of New York productions under his belt, it’s no surprise that he’s making his Sydney Theatre Company main stage debut this year - which is not to say that he's not chuffed! A Geelong native who rarely gets produced in Melbourne (a fact that still confuses him) the prospect of coming to Sydney and walking into the STC corridor with a giant poster for his show remains an exciting prospect for Mueller. “It’s a happy adventure,” he smiles. And quite a leap from his debut, 15 years ago.
In some ways Vinyl Arcade, which Abela has been toying with since the mid-‘90s, is taking him back to his first love – vinyl. Fusing this fetish with his obsession for competitive sports, the sound artist has created what he calls an 'interactive race-car driving and sound experience'. “Not only do you get to control the movements of the remotecontrolled car, from an '80s-like arcade booth hooked up to a camera attached to the vehicle, however, you also get to experiment with the resulting sounds,” Abela explains. “This is done by using the styli attached to the bottom of the car, as well as the use of custom audio effects which were built into the dashboard by Hirofumi Uchino, from Last Gasp Laboratories.”
heads and even grannies – all chasing their own ‘personal best’ race time on the track.
Mueller’s writing is being supported by a stellar creative team, with veteran actors Colin Friels and Bryan Brown facing off as the American father and potential son-in-law from Australia, respectively, under the seasoned direction of Lee Lewis (Honour – STC 2010; Silent Disco – Griffin 2011). Working with theatre-makers of this calibre has been a joy for Mueller, both personally and professionally. “I feel like I’m working with friends rather than employers… And when you’re surrounded by people you respect, you bring your 'A' game – and that’s what you’re there for.” What: ZEBRA! By Ross Mueller; Dir. Lee Lewis When: Previews now; Opens March 10, runs til April 30 Where: Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf 1. More: sydneytheatre.com.au
Funk It Up About Nothin’ [PLATFORM HIP HOP FESTIVAL] Bards And Beats By Alasdair Duncan
rothers Jeffery and Gregory Qaiyum, both accomplished MCs and beatmakers in their own right, began messing around in the world of Shakespeare in the late ‘90s, and their performances have since taken them around the world. Now they're bringing their irreverent take on the bard’s popular rom-com, Much Ado About Nothing, to CarriageWorks as part of the 4th annual Platform Hip Hop Festival. “It all began when G was studying theatre at NYU and came up with the idea of adapting a classic theatre work to rap,” Jeffery tells me, “setting it to our favourite hip-hop beats. We soon realised that the musicality and rhythm of Shakespeare’s language was quite similar to hip hop, and for all his big words, Shakespeare’s plays are filled with dirty jokes and clever word play. The guy was a brilliant MC!” The brothers’ first production was The Bombitty Of Errors – a riff on the bard’s Comedy Of Errors – and they followed this up with Funk It Up About Nothin'. “We both were really struck by the Kenneth Branagh film of Much Ado
26 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
About Nothing,” Jeffery says, “and the witty banter between Benedick and Beatrice really lends itself to the stylings of battle rap.” The show had successful runs in America before moving on to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won the award for Best Musical Production. An Australian tour of was clearly the next logical step. Recontextualising Shakespeare’s works is hardly anything new – just think back to Baz Luhrmann’s hyper-stylised Romeo & Juliet, Ian McKellen’s First World War spin on Richard III, or any number of ‘gritty’ urban retellings of Hamlet and Macbeth. “Our goal is to put Shakespeare in the hands of everyone,” says Jeffrey. “We want to maintain the essence of the timeless story, without people having to tune their ears to the old language. If the hip hop heads leave with a deeper appreciation of Shakespeare, and the Bardophiles find some love for rap, and everybody laughs, then our mission is complete.” As for how true Funk It Up About Nothin’ is to Shakespeare’s original work, Jeffery is somewhat cagey. “Without giving too much away, we’ll tell you that the general gist is pretty true to Shakespeare’s story, but we’ve tweaked some names and locations. The female
characters are much stronger in our version, so it’s more satisfying to a modern audience. We’ve shortened the whole thing down to 70 minutes of pure entertainment.” As far as the substance of the changes goes, Jeffrey insists that, were Shakespeare around today, he’d approve. “If he were around, we think he’d be kicking it with Eminem,” he says, “but as he’s dead instead he’s hanging with Biggie Smalls and Tupac.” As Jeffrey tells it, audiences all over have thus far been immensely taken with the work. “The reception has been great everywhere,” he says. “We’ve had theatre academics that are suddenly into hip hop and we’ve had rappers go ‘Wow, Shakespeare tells some awesome stories’. We were told Australian audiences might be quieter in their appreciation than American audiences, but so far Aussie audiences have been awesome - they get every joke, and they’re having a great time.” What: Funk It Up About Nothin’ as part of Platform Hip Hop Festival (March 12 - April 2) When: Wednesday March 17 - Saturday 26 Where: CarriageWorks, Eveleigh More: platformhiphop.com.au
THE CITY OF SYDNEY IS ABOUT CREATING A VIBRANT AND SAFE NIGHT OUT IN THE CITY. A GOOD NIGHT OUT FOR YOU, YOUR FRIENDS AND THE CITY.
tary that A fast-paced documen id caught emotionally cand a stressful backstage moments on ptured the ‘comeback’ tour, and ca s best-loved story behind some of hi material en route.
We need your views to help inform our Late Night Economy Policy. For more information visit: cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/latenighttrading
NOMINA MY OUTSTAND T ING NO ED Now available from
and other leading DVD retailers
BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11 :: 27
Film & Theatre Reviews
At the heart of the arts Where you went last week.
PICS :: TL
The Adjustment Bureau
23:02:11 :: Gallery 9 :: 9 Darley St, Darlinghurst 9380 9909
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
SOME FILM MUSEUMS I HAVE KNOWN
Released March 3
Runs til March 12 / Old Fitz Theatre
The stories of Phillip K. Dick are ripe for cinematic interpretation. The results have ranged from the sublime (Blade Runner, Minority Report) to the not-somuch (Next, Paycheck). The Adjustment Bureau falls somewhere in-between. It’s a pleasant romantic thriller with enough philosophical underpinnings to make it interesting, and showcases the effervescent chemistry between its leads, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
A surreal comedy that starts with a monologue and ends with a train ride, Some Film Museums is the story of a neurotic cinephile (Natalie Randall) who has hidden herself away in a run down film museum in the fictional regional town of Barumpool. She spends her days working on plans to convince the NSW Transit authority to build a train line direct to her museum, and conversing with holographic versions of the pioneering Lumière Brothers (Nick Coyle) who live in one of her film exhibits.
decade of the rabbit
PICS :: TL
Like the more restrained Stark-Potts relationship in the Ironman movies, leave it to a pseudo-action picture to reignite the 1930s screwball comedy charm that has all but evaporated from the modern romantic comedy. They meet by chance in a men’s bathroom. He, David Norris, is a politician on the brink of capturing a seat in the U.S. Senate while she, Elise Sellas, is a contemporary ballet dancer about to hit big. There’s an obvious spark between them. They fall for each other immediately in the way that only happens in the movies, but they’re so sweet together you’ll hardly mind. It’s looking good for the new couple, but fate seems to be conspiring to keep them apart.
25:02:11 :: White Rabbit Gallery :: 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale 8399 2867
Arts Exposed What's on our calendar...
DOES: I LOVE LETTERS Opens Thursday March 10, 6pm LO-FI Collective / Lvl 3, 383 Bourke St, Taylor Square (above Kinselas)
“Fate” in this case is the organisation of the title, a consortium of shady men (including a bemused John Slattery and The Hurt Locker’s Anthony Mackie) who hover about in Mad Men hats and teleport around New York by popping in and out of doors. They’re tasked by the powers that be to make sure “things go according to plan.” They’ve got it in for Norris – his relationship with Elise doesn’t fit their grand scheme, and they set about making sure their relationship never blossoms they way it obviously should. More than its themes of fate, free-will and making the “right” choice, the lasting impression of The Adjustment Bureau is of the warmth between Damon and Blunt. Their characters so obviously belong together that it’s easy to overlook the more conventional underpinnings of George Nolfi’s script, which, like most adaptations of Dick’s work, takes the concepts and jettisons almost everything else.
The majority of the stage is cluttered with a diorama of the film museum grounds with train tracks running through it, while the centre is dominated by a large screen. A camera on a model train rides the tracks at various points, with the video projected onto the main screen, live. Above the stage, in the Old Fitz’s loft area, is a DIY 'hologram machine', which is used to project footage of the two brothers. I’m not sure if it was just the angle I was sitting at (low), but the holographic effect didn’t entirely work... However, this wasn’t a major problem. Randall is fantastic, finding the perfect imaginative world for this crazy, obsessed woman. There are times when you absolutely see the mania in her eyes. She also does a truly terrible Morgan Freeman impersonation, that left the audience gasping with laughter. Meanwhile Coyle, of Pig Island fame, plays the holographic twins with the hilarity you'd expect. There are moments where the text is a bit laboured, but what makes the play work is the love and attention to detail that has gone into its creation. Every film reference is so obviously an homage, and the technical world of the stage effortlessly supports the imaginative world of story. Henry Florence
There’s so much to love here, from the attractive romance, to the Twilight-Zone emphasis on theme over continuity, to the ease in which writer-director George Nolfi (Oceans Twelve, The Bourne Ultimatum) handles the out-there material.
Dutch expat turned Sydney graf hero DOES is bringing his Ironlak armoury of cans and colour to LO-FI next week, for a show celebrating his primary love: letters. Practising his craft since 1997, DOES has diversified over the years into prints, paintings, illustrations and even commercial design work – but graf is his primary love, and the passion behind European graf crew LoveLetters, which DOES co-founded. 13 years in the field and a sponsorship by Australian paint brand Ironlak suggest this show will be visually spectacular. www.digitaldoes.com wearelofi.com.au/collective 28 :: BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11
The satisfying but safe ending may undercut many more intriguing philosophical possibilities, and it sometimes stretches suspension of disbelief with its more outlandish concepts, but Blunt and Damon’s allure makes you run with it. This is a smart, enjoyable thriller. Joshua Blackman
Nick Coyle & Nat Randall
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
Some Film Museums I Have Known - photo by Lucy Parakhina
What's hot on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.
DVD Reviews Get to know your Hitchcock...
THE LODGER (1927)
THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
Madman Entertainment Released January 12
Madman look like they’re releasing the entire Hitchock catalogue: Very Exciting News - because even though they’re not all as good as North By Northwest, as iconic as Psycho, as visually sumptuous as Vertigo, or as Grace-Kelly-licious as Rear Window and To Catch a Thief, his early films are an incredible chance to unlock the method that made Hitchcock such a popular and influential filmmaker. And they still beat most of what gets released these days. You should start with silent-era thriller The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. His third feature, The Lodger was initially considered a disaster by the studio, who shelved it – releasing it later, to considerable commercial success. Based a popular novel by prolific British novelist Marie Belloc Lowndes, the film’s titillating subject matter is a series of Jack-the-Ripper-style murders targeting young women with ‘golden curls’. The action is divided between the foggy streets of London, and the cosy, working-class residency the Bunting family. When Mrs Bunting takes in a handsome young lodger (a camp Ivor Novello), she begins to suspect that he may actually be the killer – too late, as romantic feelings blossom between the newcomer and young Daisy Bunting (who, of course, has golden curls). I’m not going to pretend that The Lodger is as entertaining as The Social Network, but it serves up some of Hitchcock's formative influences (German Expressionism), thematic interests (sex, psychology), and stylistic trademarks (sight gags, narrative and visual ambiguity) – besides showcasing his par-baked techniques for creating suspense. This double-disc edition is worth any cinephile’s dough, including two academic essays on the film, and an extras disc that includes his 1927 thriller Downhill, also starring Novello. Dee Jefferson
Madman Entertainment Released February 16
Also from Hitchcock’s ‘British period’, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) was the thriller that tipped the director into the big league, and got him noticed in America. While not generally considered his best British film (that honour is usually given to The 39 Steps, released the following year), it’s still preferred by most critics over his own 1956 colour-remake, which starred James Stewart and Doris Day. The story opens in scenic Switzerland (one of Hitchcock’s first in what was to become a trademark use of postcard-picturesque locations), where the Lawrence family are holidaying, with lashings of healthy outdoor leisure – until a family friend (who turns out to be an Allied spy) is shot by enemy agents. In his dying breath, he warns Mr Lawrence (Leslie Banks) of an assassination plot he has uncovered. Before Lawrence can warn the police, however, he and his wife discover that their young daughter Betty has been kidnapped, to keep them quiet… The Man Who Knew Too Much is usually remembered for its visually striking and climactic action set-pieces – one of which (very funny) takes place in a foreboding stone chapel, administered by a sinister cult; the other of which is the “assassination at the Albert Hall’ sequence. The standout performance – unintentionally, one assumes – comes from an effectively creepy Peter Lorre, who Hitchcock had greatly admired in Fritz Lang’s M. This single-disc release includes an academic essay that, among other things, unpacks the stylistic elements at work in this film, Hitchcock’s overbearing interest in visual storytelling (as opposed to dialogue and ‘performances’), and his affinity for Edgar Allen Poe... Dee Jefferson
Street Level With Campfire Collective
ampfire Collective are Michael Brown and Kristal Maher, and we discovered them through their Storytelling nights at Performance Space’s ClubHouse last year. The premise behind Storytelling is simple, and as old as time: that a good yarn, well spun, is about as good as it gets. The next instalment will take place as part of Imperial Panda… What is Campfire Collective? We’re a small arts producer. Like a small bar: we’re not big or flash, there may be milk-crates involved, but you’ll have a good time. How and when did Campfire start? It started as a collective of people with shared interests, working toward the shared goal of being independent and producing artists and work we love. It’d existed in spirit for years but got real when we chucked in day jobs to hit Berlin and Edinburgh Festival. What were some of the inspirations? We love The Moth now but we didn’t know of it in 2005 when our friend Nick Mattick suggested we all make a live storytelling show. Nick’s inspiration was his friends’ stories. We agreed to put story first in a way other than theatre, by stripping out everything superfluous.
Storytelling - photo by Bilal Reda
Where does your passion for storytelling come from? MB: It started with a curious need to know the histories of my parents and grandparents in story form. Now it’s obsessive, need-to-know, and not family specific. Who are some of your favourite guests? Definitely favourites are Hannah Gadsby and DeAnne Smith! Virginia Gay is always captivating and told a dirty story. Great stories that come to mind include Darren Hayden in a 12 seater plane when the pilot locked himself out of the cockpit; Michael Cullen, intrigued by museum skeletons, dug up his childhood cat; Michael Dwyer went to a funeral whilst on acid; Justin Lodge became homeless as research for a comedy festival show… What are you doing for Imperial Panda? Kate Worsley, our Mac Uni friend and Tropfest Best Actress (woo!) is finally willing to confess
Kate Worsley at Storytelling ClubHouse (Performance Space) 2010
stories of talking too much to strangers and where it has led her. Annaliese Constable is famed for her brutally honest and funny stories. If Greg Fleet’s back from Adelaide Fringe he’s promised to be there... Check the website. What other projects are on the radar? We’re presenting dirty and nerdy Canadian comedienne DeAnne Smith at Sydney Comedy Festival, whilst also running that festival’s first independent alternative comedy venue at Corridor Bar, King Street. Later, Inner West Side Stories, a series of community storytelling workshops thanks to City of Sydney. What is your own background in the arts? KM: We did Arts and Media degrees at Macquarie Uni then volunteered for lots of festivals and worked in front of house for venues like Enmore Theatre. Michael was booking Newtown RSL when I started in Ticketing at Sydney Festival. He went on to program The Comedy Store and at Sydney Comedy Festival. I’ve done five Sydney Festivals now, spending out-of-summer-time at Performance Space and Underbelly Arts, and I just wrapped my second Festival First Night as Program Assistant. What: Storytelling (at Imperial Panda Festival) When: Tuesday March 15, 8pm Where: Helen Rose Schausberger, Level 1/17 Waterloo St, Surry Hills More: campfirecollective.com.au BRAG :: 402 :: 07:03:11 :: 29
Album Reviews What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK OH MERCY
delicate coup of writing a very Australian album that will resound with Australians, sans cultural cringe. It’s not pretending to be anyone, or anything, but here.
Great Barrier Grief EMI Sun, surf, fly-screens, fish and chips, bad ‘80s architecture, mozzies, budgie smugglers and fruit sellers on the side of the highway... We’ve got them in our blood, our sitcoms and our soapies, but hardly ever in our popular music. Oh Mercy’s frontman and swaggeringly prolific songwriter Alexander Gow, however, is out to change all that. Oh Mercy aren’t trying to hook onto a popular sound or fit into a scene; they’re shooting higher than that. This sophomore record aims to one day join the canon of great Aussie songwriting.
From the stark Ken Done number on the cover through the very sound of the album itself, Great Barrier Grief is all about embracing the bizarre and often incongruous elements that make up this country. With gorgeous, well-crafted songs that will appeal equally to inner-city trendoids and rural outback farmers, Oh Mercy have managed to pull of the very
Adalita Srsen, one of Australia’s foremost women in rock, has shown a starkly personal and raw side to her songwriting in her debut solo record. The former Magic Dirt frontwoman wrote and recorded the album with late bass player Dean Turner, and it's a real beauty if you give it time to properly sink in. Often armed with nothing more than a guitar and her voice, Srsen is in no mood to hurry, letting her songs unravel through slowly-building layers of sound and repeated motifs, which build into climaxes and dissipate just as quickly. It’s a new look for Adalita, better known for her slithering, sexy rock vocals than balladeering. That's not to say that the material on Adalita is soft, but it’s certainly more raw and emotive than we’ve seen her before. Take the stunning ‘Hot Air’, which clashes distorted with clean guitars in a wonderfully well-paced heart-string-puller that somewhat recalls Bush’s ‘Glycerine’. Though this isn’t the start of Adalita’s solo career (she had two covers featured on the soundtrack for the kick-ass Aussie flick, Suburban Mayhem), it certainly feels like a change of direction. A caveat: those with short attention spans - which is this reviewer at least some of the time - will not be fans of the record. The big band entrances never arrive and the fist-pumping choruses which could so easily be achieved remain tantalisingly out of reach; there’s not a whole lot of instant gratfication going around. But Adalita’s had plenty of time in the limelight to have her kicks. Quietly confident and expertly performed, this will win her a whole new legion of fans. They just might not be the same ones as before.
In his latest release, Oberst has completely abandoned the hyperpersonal narratives, chilling phrases and political musings that made his “New Dylan” name; in their place he offers more sprawling dystopia, obtuse abstractions, and a façade of mysticism that never quite gets pulled off. We saw it coming in 2007’s Cassadaga and 2008’s brilliant Conor Oberst - but even those records had stories, characters, something to cling to. On The People’s Key, the closest we get to him is in ‘Ladder Song’, an intimate ballad written for a friend he lost to suicide last year. Musically, the only thing that unites the album is that it leaves behind the Americana Oberst has been embracing since Cassadega. Throughout the record we’re reminded of the desperation of Desaparecidos (‘Jejune Stars’), the rich thickness of his Conor Oberst records (‘Firewall’) and, mostly, the synthy, crunchy machinery and pretty pop of Digital Ash (‘A Machine Spiritual’, ‘Triple Spiral’). ‘Approximate Sunlight’ echoes 2000’s Fevers and Mirrors, and ‘Shell Games’ glimpses at the best parts of Cassadaga. A smorgasbord of his catalogue, but with only a few clear highlights. No one wants to hear a 31-yearold Oberst still as the sad singer, playing tragic; the problem isn’t that he’s moved on. It’s that there’s just not enough here that’s as convincing as he used to be.
The People’s Key Universal
In a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone, Conor Oberst - then 24 - remarked that “most people don’t have their entire development as a songwriter documented … It’s probably better that way.” Oberst laid down his first album on cassette before he started eighth grade in Nebraska - and for a reviewer who owns recordings of his voice before it had properly broken, it’s hard not to judge The People’s Key against the multitudes that came before it.
What Gow is particularly good at is capturing a mood in song. Whether that’s the hopeless, droughtstricken renunciation of religion in ‘Mercy Valley’ or the lazy Sunday night sweetness of ‘Hold Out Your Hand’, the very unfashionable essence of simply living and getting on with it practically bleeds through his songs. There’s nothing overcrowded here; the instruments all sit quietly in the pocket without trying to be showy, allowing plenty of room for Gow’s particularly likeable voice. The strength of writing here is phenomenal, and not just in killer opener ‘Stay Please Stay’, which itself has enough hooks in it for three other songs and chord progressions that move as smoothly as the waves on a coastal beach.
1000% Handsome MGM By this point in the game, Watussi are as much an institution in the Sydney live scene as they are an infectious injection of energy. 1000% Handsome is their new EP, onto which they’ve somehow managed to sneak a highprofile overseas rapper (Curren$y) and some killer remixes (care of All Good Funk Alliance). This may be an indication of their greater intentions, but Watussi are at their best when they’re jamming out with the South American flavour that has made them so popular thus far.
Nobody believed it would get this far. When Oasis announced their split, we all rolled our eyes and prepared for the latest round of Gallagher vs Gallagher, but we didn’t actually believe. In fact, we still don’t. Despite the various insults slung through press over the past few months, many people are still treating Beady Eye as the rebound girlfriend of sorts; charming and serviceable, but a convenient placeholder until things get back on track.
There’s at least eight of them permanently in the band, with horn-soaked goodness like ‘Pipi Loco’ making a very good case for why they should be receiving more attention than they are. They’re bold, funky and completely uncool in the typical understanding of the word, which is precisely what makes them so relentlessly entertaining.
Liam Gallagher and co. have an unenviable task; to follow up the might that was Oasis, without bandleader Noel Gallagher (AKA the geezer that writes the tunes, innit?). Noel has kept quiet, despite rumours of a solo album being completed (Liam described it as “chin-scratching music”, while Noel claims to have not even entered a studio). So all we have out of the turmoil so far is this - Liam's brash, unapologetic slice of Beatle-aping fun.
There’s little doubt that with these kind of musical moves and that amount of foreign spice, these guys would steal your girlfriend in five seconds. But the remixes cloud over where there should be more originals, and there just isn’t enough to satisfy anyone who’s seen one of their epic live sets lately. There’s also nothing as immediately catchy as their monster ‘Echale Fuego’ - but ‘Tu Te Vas’ certainly has the potential. This EP is a solid introduction for people who only listen to White Music, and a healthy reminder to people like me that we really do listen to too much of the same thing. Time to stretch those ears beyond Botany Bay. Enough teasing, now. Give us the whole cabana. Jonno Seidler
Different Gear, Still Speeding Liberator
Not that it’s simply a fab four retread. Despite a few by-the-numbers 12-bar yawns, the album is of an alarmingly high quality. There isn’t a ‘Wonderwall’ present (a criticism that can be levelled at most albums), however there are a number of great songs here; the mid60s pastoral jangle of ‘For Anyone’, the epic, lovely Oasis-esque ‘Kill For A Dream’ and the strikingly beautiful six-minute psychotropic trip of ‘Wigwam’ are three highlights on a very strong record. “I’m gonna stand the test of time, like The Beatles and Stones”, Liam bravely crows on 'Beatles and Stones', in one of his least-boastful comments of recent years. And almost 20 years after the Gallagher brothers swaggered fearlessly into the public consciousness – feeling supersonic, drinking gin and tonic – he’s in a pretty good position to make that claim.
When I went to the listening session for this album last week, I honestly couldn’t believe that Lupe Fiasco would put his name to some of this music. As it turns out, neither did he. A raft of admissions have come out since Lasers leaked and we now know that Fiasco - who’s had many run-ins with his label since his last record, The Cool - doesn’t actually like most of the album, anyway. Which makes longtime fans of the wordsmith feel better for not digging what is overall an exercise in shooting for the Top 40 and abandoning substance. There’s so much lazy writing and woefully-executed choruses here; at least half of the tracks could belong to Akon or Flo Rida and nobody would know the difference, which one presumes is exactly the point. It’s painful, especially when it lags and panders to populist bullshit, like on ‘I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now’ and ‘Beautiful Lasers’, both of which are so pathetic they could be an Enrique Iglesias rap feature. It's honestly like Lupe isn’t even there. When Atlantic isn’t pushing him to become the next Ludacris, some of the venomous and hyper-intelligent Fiasco still manages to peep through. That’s predominantly on ‘All Black Everything’, which is phenomenal both sonically and lyrically, and the Fort Minor-inspired ‘Words I Never Said’. But most fans have already heard those tracks, and while there’s some phenomenal, Neptunes-penned beats here - ‘Out Of My Head’ and ‘Coming Up’ will both race up the charts - it’s hollow and unsatisfying, especially considering that this is the same man who only five years ago gave us ‘Daydreaming’ and ‘American Terrorist’. Dear Atlantic Records, take your hits and give us back the old Lupe, stat.
Jonno Seidler Steph Harmon
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK METALS
Get Yourself A Gun Illusive
That Melbourne band with the most unGoogle-able name since Girls have released their debut EP, and it's a 20 minute sex jam four tracks and a remix. Made up of a slinky man and a sexy lady, Metals’ similarity with Sleigh Bells doesn’t just end there; in the same way that the Bells achieve such a dense wall of audio bliss, Metals produce
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a thick, confronting sound offset by lead singer Candice Butler’s sexy swagger. The brash attitude is kind of drummed into your head as you listen to and absorb the EP, with bloody, sex-fuelled album art and songs titled ‘1800 Booty’ and ‘Shake It’. I know that subtlety isn’t what Metals are trying to achieve here, but the quality and production of the songs are so good that this immaturity (for want of a better word) almost ends up being to the band’s detriment. First track ‘Get Yourself A Gun’ begins as a sinister guitar riff which Butler preaches emphatically over the top
of - her vocal flexibility is showcased as she goes from an Imogen Heapish husk to a hearty soul songstress akin to Adele. ‘Drop Your Guard’ is a rollicking, fuzzy track which is steeped in layers of synthetic guitars and vocal glitchiness; a kind of sexed-up-futurerobot-country-song thing. ‘1800 Booty’ revels in its simplicity; intimidating electro verses melt into funky, rubbery choruses, all driven by lashings of Uffie-esque white girl rap attitude. Even though it’s brash and a little silly, this whirlwind five-tracker grabs you by the ears and has its way with you before you can even say hello. Woo-pah! Rach Seneviratne
OFFICE MIXTAPE And here are the albums that have helped BRAG HQ get through the week...
DESAPARECIDOS - Read Music / Speak Spanish BELLE & SEBASTIAN - Write About Love SPARKADIA - The Great Impression
KID SAM - Kid Sam GHOSTFACE KILLAH - Apollo Kids
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evil eddie 26:02:11
26:02:11 :: Manning Bar :: Sydney Uni City Rd Chippendale 95636107
PICS :: RR
26:02:11 :: Tone Venue :: 116 Wentworth Ave Surry Hills
:: The Gaelic Theatre :: 64 Devonshire St Surry Hills 92111687
PICS :: RR
up all night out all week . . .
25:02:11 :: World Bar :: 24 Bayswater Rd Kings Cross 93577700
It’s called: MUM It sounds like: Rad indie tunes from new bands and party DJs. Who’s playing? Joseph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse, Virgo Rising, Fake Wars, Doc Holliday Takes The Shotgun, The Rubens, Bloody Lovely Audrey, and Strike The Blonde. Who’s spinning? 10th Avenue, Minou, Kitty Munroe, &Dimes, Myth & Tropics DJs, Jack Shit, Harrison, Nic Yorke, Swim Team DJs and Wet Lungs. Sell it to us: Coming out from the shadow of indie favourites The Middle East is the bluesy rock’n’roll sounds of Joseph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse, who'll be bringing their swagger to MUM for the very first time. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: The guys from Fake Wars getting naked and singing to each other on the dancefloor after their set. Crowd specs: Live music lovers and the people that party. Wallet damage: Free before 8pm, $10 till 10pm, $15 afterwards. Students and members get $4.50 VB/Vodka. Where: The World Bar / 24 Bayswater Road Kings Cross.
LEY MAR :: DANIEL MUNNS :: : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) :: ASH OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHERS ONTE :: PATRICK STEVENSON :: SUSAN BUI :: NIKI BODLE :: ROSETTE ROUHANNA :: TOM TRAM H AVENUE TENT MITCHELL JAY :: JAY COLLIER ::
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PICS :: NB
When: Friday March 11 - see you there!
23:02:11 :: Annandale Hotel :: 17 Paramatta Rd Annandale 95501078
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up all night out all week . . .
PICS :: NB
24:02:11 :: Sydney Entertainment Centre :: 35 Harbour St Darling Harbour 93204200
PICS :: TT
23:02:11 :: UTS :: Tower Building 1 Broadway 95142000
23:02:11 :: UNSW Roundhouse :: UNSW Randwick 93857630
It’s called: Ill Bill, DJ Eclipse and Sabac Red It sounds like: Hip hop
Who’s playing? Il Bill, Victor Lopez, Briggs, Fortay, Libre, The Havknots Sell it to us: With the flow, chaotic lyrical skills and original rhymes to back it up, Ill Bill will be aptly joined on stage by fellow Non Phixion rep DJ Eclipse, as well as political MC from New York, Sabac Red. This tour is set to shake crowds up and down, demanding the respect rightly owed to three masters of the hip hop trade. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Erin & Dan telling you how it is! Crowd specs: Mixed bag Wallet damage: $49 pre-sale / $55 door Where: The Gaelic Hotel / 64 Devonshire St Surry Hills When: Saturday March 10, 8pm
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Ill Bill, DJ Eclipse & Sabac Red
26:02:11 :: Enmore Theatre :: 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown 9550 3666 LEY MAR :: DANIEL MUNNS :: : TIM LEVY (HEAD HONCHO) :: ASH OUR LOVELY PHOTOGRAPHERS ONTE :: PATRICK STEVENSON :: SUSAN BUI :: NIKI BODLE :: ROSETTE ROUHANNA :: TOM TRAM H AVENUE TENT MITCHELL JAY :: JAY COLLIER ::
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live reviews What we've been to see...
MARTHA WAINWRIGHT Sydney Opera House Thursday February 24
In a sequined mini-dress, draped in the bright lights of the Sydney Opera House concert hall, Martha Wainwright languidly addresses her crowd. â€œI hope you realise that thereâ€™s going to be some Edith Piaf songs tonight...â€? The crowd breaks into applause, but Martha points her finger, singling out a woman in the front row â€œ... This girl wanted â€˜Bloody Motherfucking Assholeâ€™.â€? Grinning to herself, she casually strolls back beside the baby grand, and continues on. Wainwright, hovering around a mess of lyric sheets all night, fronted a sevenpiece ensemble consisting of piano, cello, double bass, violin and a brass section of trumpet and trombone. Launching into Piaf number about old French hookers and dilapidated bar pianos (â€˜Le Vieux Pianoâ€™ for the French speakers or Piaf connoisseurs), Wainwright performed with a passionate display that seemed to personify the sometimes-tortured life of Piaf. She implored instead of serenaded and, through the hazy smoke on stage, took time to explain each song in detail, with tales about torn love solved by suicide, and the urchin life of the Parisian streets. When the light pierced the smoke during her rendition of â€˜Adieu Mon Coeurâ€™, an astounded hush fell over the crowd, broken only by rapturous applause. As the backing band took a break and Wainwright reached for her acoustic guitar to perform some of her original work, it seemed like it was done with resignation. Perhaps she wouldâ€™ve been happier performing songs in French all night, but she treated the crowd to three or four of her tunes, starting with â€˜Bleeding All Over Youâ€™ and culminating in the fan-favourite â€˜Bloody Motherfucking Assholeâ€™, which drew the loudest cheers of the night. As the third section of the night started, Wainwright opened up to the crowd about losing her mother, Kate McGarrigle to cancer last year. In what couldâ€™ve been a sombre occasion, Wainwright instead seemed to celebrate the songs that her mother, one of Canadaâ€™s celebrated folk artists, had penned, taking the crowd though McGarrigleâ€™s most famous song, â€˜Talk To Me Of Mendocinoâ€™, as well as the last song she ever wrote, â€˜Proserpinaâ€™. To finish, in what has already become a bit of a tradition, Martha Wainwright performed the classic â€˜Stormy Weatherâ€™ to an elated crowd. The music tonight owed much to two women whom Martha Wainwright holds dear to her heart â€“ but the night itself belonged to only one. Rick Warner
CARIBOU, FOUR TET The Metro Theatre Thursday February 17
Itâ€™s peculiar to walk in to a mostly empty Metro to the endless cosmic hum of a sitar. This heavenly sound is emanating from the instrument perched atop the impressive belly of Sarangan Sriranganathan, who is seated to the far right corner of the stage. A peculiar choice for an opener, but as the drone closes, the few people scattered about the room erupt into genuinely appreciative applause.
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