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rock music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Nathan Jolly

he said she said WITH

HUGH FROM BARBARION [VIC] y parents were pretty non-musical. My dad tried to play harp, but I suspect M that was just to try and impress the chicks he used to do Scottish dancing with. Mum, on the other hand, was such a terrible singer that she used to make my sister cry when she sang lullabies. I really like David Lee Roth. He puts on a show, doesn’t take himself too seriously (I hope), and still looks and sounds like a mega rock star 30 years down the track. Otherwise, I’m mainly inspired by beer and meat. Our band is called Barbarion. We generally enjoy playing with ourselves, but sometimes we are forced to play with other bands. We all met at high school and, being resistant to change, we have made no new friends since then. Our producer is a skinny bloke in Melbourne called Roman. We are full of different musical opinions. He who shouts the loudest at rehearsal usually gets his way. We play metal. Frank, our singer, likes to call it Viking Metal, but we really don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves. People can expect an amazingly amazing time at our live shows. Beefy dual vocals, costumes, macho-camp theatrics and plenty of bare, wobbly flesh.

I get a bit sick of the number of whingeing bands out there. I don’t want to go to a show to hear how depressed and introspective some guy thinks he is. I want to party and shout “Whooo!” and “AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!” a lot. Not enough bands play mega-party shows these days. We’ve only played Black Cherry and Big Day Out in Sydney, so I don’t know a lot about venues there. Everyone at those gigs was fantastic though – Sydney crowds are so enthusiastic! We played with a great band called The Drey Rollan Band once. Their guitar player could really shred.  What: Bands – Area-7, Barbarion, The Ramshackle Army, The Drey Rollan Band, Sunset Riot, The Dead Love, Jungle Rump Rock’n’Roll Karaoke; Burlesque – Tasia, Kira Hu-La-La, Frankie Faux; DJs – Rockabilly Rhino, Sinead Ni Mhorda, Creatura Noctis, The Black Cherry DJs, and a Twist & Shout ‘60s Dance Party room Where: Black Cherry NYE @ The Factory Theatre When: Monday December 31, from 9pm–4am xxx


When a band opens their breakthrough – at least in major commercial terms – record with a seven-minute track and the opening line “I am an American aquarium drinker”, well, you tend to sit up and take notice. Ever since that moment in 2002 (and long before it, if you wanna track back like a musical topographer), Wilco have released a string of unassailable records that run from altAmericana, to downtrodden folk, to Velvetsesque noise-drone, to sweet, saccharine pop. It’s no wonder they’ve announced two Sydney Opera House shows set for April 2 and 3; tickets were still on sale at time of print, but we have it on good authority that you might wanna hurry…

PUBLISHERS: Adam Zammit & Rob Furst EDITOR IN CHIEF: Adam Zammit 9552 6333 EDITOR: Steph Harmon 02 9552 6333 ARTS & ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Dee Jefferson 02 9690 2731 STAFF WRITERS: Alasdair Duncan, Benjamin Cooper, Krissi Weiss, Caitlin Welsh NEWS: Nathan Jolly, Chris Honnery ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Alan Parry SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: Mary-Jane Caswell, Bree Corvell, Livia Giacomini, Ashley Mar, George Popov, Pedro Xavier COVER PHOTO: Lindsey Byrnes ADVERTISING: Ross Eldridge - 0422 659 425 / (02) 9690 0806 ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 8394 9027 GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Conrad Richters - (rock) (dance, hip hop & parties) ONLINE & SOCIAL MEDIA: Tanydd Jaquet INTERNS: Natalie Amat, Katie Davern, Tanydd Jaquet, Mina Kitsos REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Benjamin Cooper, Alasdair Duncan, Christie Eliezer, Murray Engleheart, Andrew Geeves, Chris Honnery, Nathan Jolly, Anna Kennedy, Chris Martin, Sheridan Morley, Jenny Noyes, Hugh Robertson, Rebecca Saffir, Romi Scodellaro, Jonno Seidler, Rach Seneviratne, Roland K Smith, Laurence Rosier Staines, Luke Telford, Rick Warner, Alex Sol Watts, Krissi Weiss, Caitlin Welsh Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this address 8a Marlborough Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 ph - (02) 9552 6333 fax - (02) 9319 2227 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher, editors or staff of The BRAG. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Stephen Forde : ph - (03) 9428 3600 fax - (03) 9428 3611 Furst Media, 3 Newton Street Richmond Victoria 3121 DEADLINES: Editorial: Wednesday 12pm (no extensions) Artwork/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 distribution@furstmedia. or phone 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: 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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After releasing an EP earlier this year as if they were an indie band supporting Even at The Lansdowne in the mid-‘90s and not a hugely successful rock outfit, Birds Of Tokyo have stopped mucking about and announced that their fourth full-length record, March Fires, will, appropriately, be released March 1. The Sydney launch is happening on March 16 at The Enmore Theatre, and best of all it’s an all-ages show with support from Regular John (whose ‘Slume’ was easily one of the best songs of 2012). Tickets are on sale now.

Remember the good old days when kids would rip down tour posters and souvenir them? Well, those good old days are the right-now-days it would seem, considering the rate at which posters for Iggy and The Stooges’ April 2 show at Hordern Pavilion seem to be disappearing. The promoter considered a drone bombing of the city, but instead decided to offer 10 signed and 40 unsigned deluxe posters to ticket buyers for this show. Email with your name and city (once you’ve bought a ticket), and you may get Iggy’s scribble on your wall... (Oh – and you can catch The Stooges at Bluesfest, too!)


Before The Offspring’s Smash became the biggest selling independent album ever, and their subsequent records made them the most hum-able band of all time [official word from Guinness pending], their 1992 debut album Ignition ignited (well!) anger and energy in more than a few Australian teens, and forever rescued those unfortunate enough to be named Dexter from a high school full of bullying. So it’s no wonder that this is the record The Offspring have chosen to play in full come March 8 at the The Enmore Theatre. It’s their Soundwave Festival sideshow, and tickets go on sale Thursday December 20 – and will sell out before you can count to tres.



Chopdog Promotions have had a fairly massive couple of years. They’re celebrating this success and Xmas (and a few of their own birthdays probably, because why not?) with a Friday December 21 show at The Annandale Hotel. Pre-sale tickets are only $7 (, and for that you get Melbourne’s The Bennies and The Kujo Kings, ska-trekkers Phat Meggz (who have come all the way from Tasmania), Ebolagoldfish, Chris Duke and the Royals (who are opening with a set of Xmas carols!), and folk/punk from Isaac Graham. Also there will be a raffle with ham, meat-trays and the like – ‘cos it’s Xmas!


Write down “The World Bar” and “FBi Social” next to Friday December 21 on your new Leunig calendar (which came with the papers a few weeks ago, tangible media lovers) – and then remember not to be baffled at your seemingly doubled-up plans, because it’s just another cross-venue Go Here, Go There mini-festival. This one stars Palms, Cabins, Willow Beats, Moonbase Commander, Nakagin, The Faults, Light Giant, Epithets, Skullsquadron, True North and Beaten Bodies – and it’s $15 entry that you pay only once to get into both venues and party all night.

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rock music news

free stuff

welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Nathan Jolly


he said she said WITH

HANNAH FROM ALTA [VIC] ALTA is a singer/producer duo, consisting of Julius Dowson and myself. Julius started out as a vocalist and bassist in a metal band; after a hand injury, he started DJing and producing. I was a singer and played harmonica in a blues band. We met up in Europe and were lying on a beach in Marseille listening to Tricky’s ‘Hell Is Round The Corner’ – we both love that trip hop style, and decided that when we came back home we would start a duo. Our first week back we wrote ‘Bees’ and started ALTA.


’m from a music-loving family. Our home was constantly playing all the greats, like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck, so from very early on in my life I was being exposed to blues, jazz, rock’n’roll and RnB. My most prominent memory of music was when I was ten years old and couldn’t sleep. My dad was up watching a documentary on Chicago blues; I heard the sound coming from the lounge room


and remember actually shaking. It felt like I had a shock wave through my body – and I’ve been listening to blues music ever since. Blues was my first love, and there will always be an element of that in the music we make. Hip hop and beats are a big influence at the moment too – I’ve been flooding myself with music from artists like J Dilla, Madlib, Action Bronson, Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu and Tricky, and it’s making its way into our sound.

the mood for dad-rock, anyway. Plus tacos are two for $10. Do that!

Remember when you started wearing those spiky arm bracelets and dressing in Slayer tees and proclaiming yourself to be metal? Slayer are probably laughing at your attempts, because after three decades of owning the entire genre, even they know that being truly metal means never referring to yourself as metal. Maybe. Catch their brutal, punishing metal sound on February 25 at Big Top Luna Park. Tickets on sale December 19 – and even though they are playing Soundwave and you are all definitely going to that, this here Sidewave is kind of undeniable.

Hey guys, as part of Sydney Festival a grunge band from Bali named Navicula are playing Manning Bar on January 10, and they are seriously good: they won the Rode Rocks International Band Competition, sing about environmental issues, are way tight with Greenpeace, and have been playing since 1996 – which equals 16 years of playing together, assuming time is linear. Tickets are $35 and available from OzTix.



When we read that Rufus was playing a free show at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel this Wednesday December 19, we thought, “At last, Rufus Humphrey from Gossip Girl has come out of retirement and is choosing an out-ofthe-way (at least for Brooklyn) place to make a low-key return to the scene.” But some Google machine research suggests that it’s actually indie-dance band Rufus and songbird Jessica Cerro playing a free gig, which makes a lot more sense, and is preferable – wasn’t much in

Our debut EP, Stay Awhile, is a collection of some of the songs we produced over the last 12 months. We teamed up with Melbourne producer Flash Forest and some of our favourite Australian artists to tour Australia. We are in the process of trying different things, exploring our sound while still maintaining that down-tempo/trip hop style. We want to take our audience on a trip with our live show, so we perform one continuous set. We use a lot of live looping, and always improvisation. If I have lots of lyrics and a melody in my head, we’ll just keep rolling with it until it’s time to change it up.


January seems so far away that it’s almost impossible to see through the festive fog of December, BUT it’s never too early to start planning as far as pre-booking tickets to sure-fire sell-outs is concerned. We’ve heard tell of a decent deal where you get two launches for the price of one: it’s the Bored Nothing/Johnny Telafone double damage album launch at FBi Social on Thursday January 10, supported by Black Zeros. To score a double pass, just tell us the name of Bored Nothing’s latest single.


Making us all wish we lived in perpetually sunny LA, the lovably cool duo Best Coast return to Australia this summer, bringing us even more surf’n’sun’n’cats-drenched tunes from their recent album, The Only Place. Also playing at Falls and Southbound, Best Coast will share some Californian love with Sydney fans at a sideshow at The Metro Theatre on January 3, alongside cheeky indie-rockers Dune Rats (Bob from Best Coast rocks a Dune Rats tee most of the time these days) and the ripe, poppy fourpiece, Pear Shape. Send us the lyrics to your own Best Coast chorus for a chance to win a double pass!

What: Stay Awhile EP is available for free at With: Nakagin, Flash Forest, Spoonty Where: FBI Social @ Kings Cross Hotel When: Friday December 28



Ben Howard has done what all great folktinged troubadours do eventually, and gone electric. Judas! His debut album Every Kingdom sold Platinum and went down well with those Jack Johnson types, but the broody Burgh Island EP suggests that someone broke his breezy little heart – and we listeners are the clear winners in this otherwise sad scenario. We can check out the new sound at Bluesfest, or at his April 3 show at The Metro Theatre; tickets go on sale Monday December 17.

Emma Louise


Clubfeet are one of those bands where if you call them ‘dance’, people write in and go “they are sooo not dance, it’s like indie with dance-beats, but organic dance beats not drum machines. Also, can I get free tickets, please?” (By the way, those letters are best thought in your head, not written.) But it’s kinda true – they are all those genres you mention in your serial-killer-scrawled letters. Their first single ‘Heartbreak’ showcases this style-hopping sound, and we can only imagine their debut album (out next month) will expand upon it nicely. S’pose we’ll see on February 16 at Oxford Art Factory when they launch the damn thing, with support from Collarbones and Chela.


Lost Angels are one of those serpentine, Sunset Strip-stalking, scotch-swilling superbands who liked life how it was in the decadent ‘80s and won’t change for anyone. The band features John Corabi (sang on a Mötley Crüe record), guitarist Eric Dover (Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper), drummer Troy Patrick Farrell (played with various Gunners members) and Cinderella drummer Eric Brittingham. They’ll be playing at The Hi-Fi this Friday December 21, and what’s the bet all their wives look like the chicks from the ‘November Rain’ clip… still.


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Bang! That’s the sound of you clapping with glee at the amazing pre-Xmas gig this Thursday December 20 at The Annandale, starring three of the best vaguely-psych acts to hail from Sydney since the glory days of Glide (ask that guy over near the bar with a 78 Saab tee about Glide – you’ll like them). The Laurels (whoozy, shoegazing loveliness), Melodie Nelson (Julee Cruise meets Mazzy Star meets your parents, maybe, if things go


The Smith Street Band’s second record, Sunshine And Technology, was definitely one of our most-spun records of the year – it’s visceral, heart-on-sleeve, desperate, dead-clever, hooky, and has sooo many lyrics to learn. The album will no doubt end up in loads of year-end lists, which is perfect timing considering they’ve just announced their Young Drunk national tour, which hits The Annandale Hotel on February 15. Their last tour sold out across the board, so get in quickly!


Hey, wanna go to The Presets show on February 11 at The Enmore Theatre? Awesome – the only thing is it sold out because we were too busy planning and didn’t pull the trigger, and as Veronica Mars once said, “He who hesitates is lost.” Not to worry, we obviously weren’t alone in missing out – The Presets have added a second show, February 12 at The Enmore Theatre.

Xxx photo by Xxxx

The always-impressive Emma Louise recently spent three months writing in New York before touring Australia with Missy Higgins and Gurrumul (one can only imagine the backstage rock star antics), and now the Brisvegas singer-songwriter is embarking on a series of intimate shows to preview material from her forthcoming debut record, due March 22. Her Sydney show happens on January 23 at the Vanguard – and if you think “oh, I like this song”, well, it’ll be on the album. Patience is a virtue; support is by Sleepy Tea; tickets are on sale now.

well) and Day Ravies (jangly ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ pop). Free entry if you come early; $10 if you are tardy.





20 JANUARY 2013 - SCG


AT CRICKET..COM..AU BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 13

The Music Network

Music Industry News with Christie Eliezer


* British rapper Example will marry MTV Australia’s Erin McNaught in May in Australia. The small ceremony of about 50 people will be followed two months later with a massive bash in the UK. Example has applied for Aussie citizenship. * The Spice Girls’ musical Viva Forever has received the nastiest of reviews. The London Telegraph’s critic lamented, “I’ll tell you what I wanted, what I really, really wanted – I wanted this terrible show to stop.” The Daily Mail called it “a disappointment. Spicy? No, it’s a prize Christmas turkey.” * Calvin Harris is taking his longest break in ages over Christmas: five whole days. He’s hired a Range Rover and is driving up to Scotland.


Britney Spears, 31, was the highest paid woman in music last year, says US business magazine Forbes. With a Platinum-selling album, Femme Fatale, a world tour and an Elizabeth Arden fragrance deal among other endorsements, Spears raked in US$58 million. At #2 was Taylor Swift ($57m), whose Speak Now sold 4 million, while her tour made $1 million a night. Controversial party girl Rihanna ($53m) came in at #3, adding endorsement deals with Vita Coco and Nivea to the ‘Diamonds’ world hit. The list had one big surprise: Sade got up there. The rest of the list, from #4: Lady Gaga ($52m), Katy Perry ($45m), Beyoncé ($40m), Adele ($35m), Sade ($33m), Madonna ($30m) and Shakira ($20m).


For all bookings and enquiries for the Annandale, the contact names are Mark Smithers (mark@musicboozestuff. and Paddy Cornwall (paddy@ They’re part of a new company called Music Booze & Stuff, which is set to launch officially next year, and will cover venue bookings, production services, gear hire and catering.

* Madness pulled out of Bluesfest … Gin Blossoms cancelled their inaugural visit set for February, citing “unforeseen logistical issues” … Amanda Palmer delayed her visit, because she needs to look after an extremely ill friend. * Fiercely anti-royal Morrissey blames the British royal family for the 2Day FM prank's consequences: first for the Duchess Of Cambridge exaggerating her illness, and secondly for the royals putting “maximum pressure” on the hospital staff, so much so that they were frightened when the “Queen” and “Prince Charles” rang. * Top Indigenous talent, including Jessica Mauboy, Christine Anu, Casey Donovan and Troy Cassar-Daley, played a concert to celebrate the launch of SBS’s new Indigenous television channel, NITV.


Studio 301’s booking manager Adam Wilkinson is leaving this week after two years, to focus full-time on his own artist management firm, and managing Australian tween pop sensation 5 Seconds of Summer. He can be contacted at adamwilkinson87@ Meanwhile, best point of contact at Studio 301 is

HUXLEY OVERSEES PANDORA OZ Fairfax Metro’s former digital chief Jane Huxley has been named managing director of the newly-launched Australian and New Zealand operations of internet radio company Pandora. The local Pandora will, for the time being, be run through Auckland-based ISP Voyager, but they’re looking at bringing on Aussie ISPs. The local Pandora will offer Oz and NZ tracks, as well as globals.


The Allans Music + Billy Hyde stores in Sydney will continue operating in their current locations. New owner, Australian Musical Imports, struck a deal with local estate agents. The flagship Sydney CBD site in Pitt Street has been leased for five years, and the Alexandria and Parramatta stores for three.

* After seven years and a two-year hiatus, Sydney’s Bridezilla announced their “inevitable departure and divorce”, with a final show at the Oxford Art Factory set for January 16. * Organisers of the Cockatoo Island Film Festival tweeted that its future looks “bleak” following a review by the Harbour Trust. * After a three-year break, country music festival Country In The Snowys returns to Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains on March 22–24. * Adele faces a £1,000 fine for not registering her bub within the 42-day deadline. * Nine Network’s wish list for the judging panel of its newly-acquired Australia’s Got Talent includes Victoria Beckham, Lily Allen and Sharon Osbourne, says The Daily Telegraph.


Public Enemy, Heart and Donna Summer will be inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in April. So will Canadian prog-trio Rush, whose fans have been lobbying about it for ten years. Also on the list: Quincy Jones, Randy Newman, blues guitarist Albert King and label executive Lou Adler.


In the first share trading day after the postprank call suicide of the London nurse and the intensified backlash, 2Day FM owner Southern Cross Austereo's shares slunk enough for it to wipe $66 million off its capitalisation. The next day, a further $46 million went. But after SCA, its head and its two pranksters blubbered apologies, and SCA axed the Hot 30 show and promised to give ad proceeds to the nurse’s family, the shares climbed back up. With the media authority rumbling into action, it’s not known if any heads will roll at SCA. Things are subdued: SCA not only cancelled its own Christmas Party, but none of its executives attended the joint radio networks bash. In June, SCA posted a net profit of $95.02 million (48%), from a 40% rise in revenue to $687.3 million. It paid its 13 senior management and board members almost $7 million in the last financial year, with head Rhys Holleran collecting $1.3 million.


After almost a year of testing the quality of the data, ARIA finally launched its ARIA Streaming Tracks Chart last week. Topping it was Seattle-based duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with 'Thrift Shop'. Currently, the chart is getting sales info from Spotify, JB Hi-Fi NOW and Samsung Music Hub. "Future streaming providers will be incorporated in the coming months," ARIA says.

This Week


Kid Ink (USA)


Sat 22 Dec





Crime And The City Solution (USA)


Just Announced Coming Soon

65daysofstatic (UK)

Maximo Park (UK)

Wed 2 Jan

Thu 3 Jan

Thu 21 Feb

Blood Red Shoes (UK)



Fri 4 Jan

Marduk (SWE)

Crystal Castles(CAN) Dub FX

Sat 12 Jan

The Boys Of Summer Tour 2013 Sun 13 Jan


From The Jam (UK)

Gin Blossoms (USA)

Sat 2 Feb

Sun 3 Feb

Sat 9 Feb

Sat 26 Jan


Thu 17 Jan

An Evening with The Hoff (USA)



Fri 15 Feb

Bring Me The Horizon (UK)

Tim Rogers & The Bamboos

Tue 26 Feb

Thu 7 Mar

Fri 8 Mar

Fri 15 Mar

Dinosaur Jr + Redd Kross (USA) Sat 16 Mar


Mutemath (USA)

Otep (USA)

Sun 24 Mar

Thu 25 Apr


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The MusicACT Annual Music Awards (MAMAs) were held in Canberra, with the Winterman & Goldstein/Ivy League Records crew (Pete Lusty, Andy Kelly, James Roden, Andy Cassell) inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Pro Musica were acknowledged for their contribution to the ACT music industry. Super Best Friends took out Best Artist of 2012 and Best Live Performer. Other winners included The Ashton Shuffle (Electronic/Dance), The Wedded Bliss (Song Of The Year, for ‘Broken Bird’), Tonk (Rock/ Alt), Kayo Marbilus (Urban), Fun Machine (Pop), Dorothy Jane Gosper (Jazz/Blues), Xavier Dunn (Folk), No Hausfrau (Country), Duncan Lowe (Engineer, Producer), The Phoenix (Live Venue) and Natalie Magee (Youth Artist).



Ensiferum (FIN)

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (USA) Sat 9 Mar

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (USA)

Sound Summit is looking for a creative, organised person with great knowledge of the indie scene and grassroots acts to work with MusicNSW, and the current festival co-directors Nic Warnock and Daniel Gottlieb, on the 2013 and 2014 indie festivals. Responsibilities include researching, curating and programming events, managing logistics and administration, liaising with others, and developing sponsorship and funding. Deadline is January 18; contact

Flume, Dappled Cities, Hermitude, Jonathan Boulet, Kris Moyes, Collarbones, Deep Sea Arcade, Regular John, Straight Arrows and Preatures are among those up for music categories of FBi Radio’s Sydney, Music Arts & Culture Awards. These cover the year’s Best Record, Best Song, Best

Live Music Act, Best On Screen and Next Big Thing. Vying for Best Major Festival, presented by BRAG, are Vivid LIVE, The 18th Biennale of Sydney, Graphic, Sydney Film Festival and Harvest. You can vote now at


The innovative Kobalt Music Publishing Australia will take over the catalogue administration and creative services for Dew Process Publishing. It will work closely with Dew Process to develop writers and maximise sync opportunities for films, TV, ads, games and other media. Dew Process Publishing signed two new acts: Brisbane’s Art Of Sleeping and Sydney’s The Falls.


In February, official Soundwave photographer Kane Hibberd (aka Kanye Lens) will put out the 450-page Kanye Lens Vs Soundwave Volume 1. It features 600 photos from four years of the festival. See


In a somewhat self-fulfilling prophecy, the folks at triple j have announced the acts to look out for in 2013: Unearthed High winner Asta (Tas), Fergus Miller’s Bored Nothing project (VIC), uber-hyped electro-soulster Chet Faker (VIC), electro-new wave City Calm Down (VIC), slacker-pop Courtney Barnett (VIC), uber-uber-hyped beatmaker Flume (NSW), indie-folk dreamboat Hayden Calnin (VIC), Brisbane supergroup Hey Geronimo (QLD), beatmaker duo Jackie Onassis (NSW), frantic live act King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (VIC), big noised Kingswood (VIC), indie-pop Millions (QLD), Skype-attached rappers Mr Hill & Rahjconkas (QLD/NSW), metalcorists Northlane (NSW), rootsie Sticky Fingers (NSW), surf-popsters Stillwater Giants (WA), producer Ta-ku (WA), Indigenous glamazon Thelma Plum (QLD), folkies The Trouble With Templeton (QLD), and young house act Tyler Touché (QLD).

Lifelines Married: David Bowie’s film director son David Jones and photographer Rodene Ronquillo, hours after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Recovering: Yothu Yindi’s Mandawuy Yunupingu, 56, has been released from Royal Darwin Hospital after collapsing at his East Arnhem Land home. Recovered: Chet Faker is back in the studio after a leg operation. In Court: Stan Walker lost his driver’s licence for 12 months and was fined $540 after pleading guilty in Waverley Court for driving while on a suspended learners licence. He was driving his 16-year-old nephew to the airport when cops clocked him doing 59 kmh in a 50 kmh area. “Do you have a job?” asked Magistrate Clare Farnan. “Yes – I sing, I travel all around,” he mumbled. Arrested: A former New Mexico convict Mark Staake, recruited by jailed murderer Dana Martin (serving two life sentences) to undertake four grisly killings. One of these was to kill and castrate Justin Bieber. Suing: Cheryl Cole wants the US$2.25 million she would have earned as a judge from the US version of The X Factor last year, before she got sacked. In Court: Two of three bouncers at The Ivy night club, Jason Mendelow and Emmanouil Ntaras, jailed for 12 months and 27 months respectively after pleading guilty in Downing Centre District Court for their role in beating up 19-year-old patron Nicholas Barsoum last August. Died: Indian sitar genius Ravi Shankar, 92, in San Diego, from heart problems. The estranged father of Norah Jones practiced for 15 years before performing live, and saw his international popularity and influence escalate after Beatle George Harrison adopted him as his tutor. He was embraced by the hippies and played festivals, but resented the drug culture.

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BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 15


Get Serious By Alasdair Duncan


hings between me and Jack Antonoff don’t get off to the greatest start. Our interview has been postponed several times, most recently because of a sound check that ran over, and when I finally get him on the phone he seems more than a little worn out. It’s not that much of a surprise – his band, fun., are in high demand right now, thanks for the most part to the runaway success of their single ‘We Are Young’. A wide-eyed, swooning ballad with a big belter of a chorus, it’s been absolutely unavoidable this past year. You’ve heard it blasting from the car next to you at the traffic lights, you’ve heard it in movie trailers, and if you’re the kind of insomniac who stays up to catch late-night talk shows, you’ve heard it there as well. It features on the soundtrack to the first season of Girls (Antonoff is one half of an indie power couple with the show’s creator and star, Lena Dunham), and it even received its own sugary-sweet rendition from the cast of Glee, the young performers emoting on every note and then some. Earlier this month, the band were nominated for a swag of Grammy Awards, with ‘We Are Young’ pegged for two – one in the Record Of The Year category, and another for Song Of The Year.

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two things?” Antonoff seems unsure how to take this one. “Well, one is about the writers and one is about the producers, I guess,” he says after a long pause, my light opening landing with a bit of a thud. I do some quick mental re-calibrations, going from stand-up comic mode to serious music journalist mode, and hit him with a follow-up question about his band’s nomination in the Best New Artist category – an odd label, given they’ve been around for a number of years already and are up to their second album. “I guess,” he says. “I mean, even though the name of the category is ‘Best New Artist’, I don’t think you can take it too literally. I think when they say that, they really mean ‘Best Breakout Artist’. So yeah, it’s cool, it’s an amazing honour. Given the storming success that fun. have experienced this past year, I ask Antonoff about the most unexpected place that he and his band have found themselves in. “Well, I’d have to say that the day we heard we were nominated for the Grammy was the strangest one,” he says. “Hearing Taylor Swift read our name out – that was some very out-there shit.” The band recently performed on Saturday Night Live, hosted by the amazing Louis CK; a gig like that can feel like a pretty serious rite-of-passage moment. “Yeah,” Antonoff says, “that was really incredible. It was

one of those things that really only come along because of the world that we live in now. Doing SNL was just absolutely a dream come true – it’s one of those things that, no matter how tired you’re feeling or how overworked you are, you can’t help but just go on there and have an amazing time. It’s just such a crazy honour, and a really great experience.”

different meanings in it, and find different ways to connect with it.”

Some Nights, the album that accompanied ‘We Are Young’, is an energetic and highly theatrical record, its arrangements bursting at the seams, its songs featuring soaring, highly emotive choruses – but where the arrangements are epic and uplifting, the lyrics are more introspective. “I think that’s just a consequence of how we learned to write,” Antonoff explains. “I like the idea of being on the radio with a big pop song and having a really dark lyric or a really dark element to it,” he says. “You don’t have to follow the rules. You don’t have to write a big happy lyric just because you have a big happy melody on the chorus, and you don’t have to go balls-out in the lyrics just because you’re writing a big rock song. You can do whatever you want.

The record’s ornate sound is even more of a surprise given that it was produced by Jeff Bhasker, who is better known for working with Kanye West and Alicia Keys than with rock bands. According to Antonoff, though, the contrast between their two approaches made for an ideal collaboration. “Jeff comes from a certain world, we come from a very different world, and that was the key to the relationship,” he says. “We were excited about what he was doing, and he was excited about what we were doing, and it created quite a unique environment in the studio. I mean, when it came to choosing a producer, we could have chosen someone who came from a similar musical background to ours, but that wouldn’t have been very interesting – it would have been a case of, ‘Okay, we all know exactly what we’re doing here, that’s it, let’s get down to business’. Working with Jeff made it much more of an adventure. He comes from that hip hop background so he brought a whole different set of experiences to the studio, which ultimately made things a lot more interesting.”

“The bottom line is that people are complicated, and music is complicated… When you write a complicated song, people can find

After the storming success of ‘We Are Young’, the band released the album’s title track as the second single. Though it took a

while to get there, ‘Some Nights’ became another big hit around the world, its success all the more surprising given that the band never considered it to be a single at all. “That’s such a weird one,” Antonoff says. “I mean, it’s my favourite song on the album, and I certainly like it a lot, but to me, it’s just such a bizarre piece of music that I never really saw it working as a single.” After all, the song barely has a chorus, and has more in common with weird ‘70s prog rock than it does with anything on the charts right now. “I just never saw it catching on to the extent that it has. I mean, I’m really glad that it’s been so successful as a single, and in a way it’s very heartening, because that track is just so damn weird. It really breaks the mould of what a pop song is supposed to be and what a pop song can sound like.” With six Grammy nominations and a bunch of touring in the near future, including a trip to Australia for the upcoming Future Music Festival, I ask Antonoff about his and his band mates’ ambitions for the future. He thinks about this for a while. “Our only ambition is to have big ideas and keep putting them into music,” he says. “That’s why we all got into this, and that’s what gets us really excited about what we do.” With: The Prodigy, The Stone Roses, Boys Noize, Bloc Party, Azealia Banks and more Where: Future Music Festival @ Royal Randwick Racecourse When: Saturday March 9 More: Also playing at The Enmore Theatre on Thursday March 7

San Cisco photo by xxx

This is where the trouble starts. After being introduced to Antonoff, I try to get a little rapport going with some light Grammys banter. “So, ‘We Are Young’ is up for Record Of The Year and also Song Of The Year?” I ask. “That’s crazy – I mean, were you even aware that there was a difference between those

“You don’t have to follow the rules. You don’t have to write a big happy lyric just because you have a big happy melody on the chorus. You can do whatever you want.”



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Beck Hansen’s Song Reader Sydney Takes On Beck By Benjamin Cooper Harmon. The publisher and their Australian distributor, Faber & Faber, were happy to hand over the sheet music five weeks before release, to give the artists time with the music in the lead-up to the event – and the next part came together with almost perfect timing. “For the last little while, Cam Undy at [Venue] 505 has been asking me to organise nights there,” Campeau explains. “After one particular night in October, where I decided to cover and completely rearrange Beck’s Sea Change, Steph mentioned the whole idea to me. We discussed it for a while, and lo and behold I was appointed musical director!”

Brian Campeau and Beck Hansen, backstage at The State Theatre

It’s hardly surprising, then, that Beck’s 12th album, Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, is going to be released only as sheet music, through the similarly genre-bending publishing house McSweeney’s. You heard it right – no pre-recorded vocals or sonic freak-outs, just 20 songs in their sheet music form, calling musicians across the world to interpret it as they see fit. It’s a bold move, and an unexpected one: in the past, Beck’s traded

heavily on experimentation and reinvention, yet this time the intent of the gesture seems entirely different. He’s surrendering control and a large degree of ownership in a very real way; once the fans break the seal on the hardcover book, lay the loose (and beautifully designed) pages across music stands and begin to play, it becomes part of an exchange that’s much greater than any established pop music format. Of course it helps if the musicians involved are really, really good. This week’s live listening party, planned as a fundraising venture for Redfern’s new non-profit writing centre for kids, Sydney Story Factory, involves a gob-smacking array of talent – a one-off performance of the album including artists like Josh Pyke, Jonathan Boulet, Caitlin Park, Dappled Cities, Richard In Your Mind and Melodie Nelson, all of whom will be kept in check by the musical direction of local legend Brian Campeau. It’s a huge concept, and one that required the organisational hustle of freelance journalist Caitlin Welsh and this publication’s editor Steph

“There’s a bit of pressure,” he continues, “mostly based on a lack of time… I love pretty much every minute of it, but it’s incredibly timeconsuming. I was speaking to Steph the other day and we both noticed how much more work it’s taking to pull this off than we first thought!” Importantly, he says, it’s all paying off – the album is a great one, and it’s sounding amazing. With spoken word performances from Sarah Blasko and Brendan Cowell, the confluence of some of Sydney finest creatives could have no more fitting cause than The Sydney Story Factory. The organisation was opened earlier this year on Redfern Street behind the eccentric and wonderful shopfront of The Martian Embassy, designed to lure kids into what is, effectively, a volunteer-run classroom; their mission is to help children develop literacy and creative skills across an

Thanks to the Eggers connection between the sheet music and the writing centre, the decision to use the show to raise funds for Sydney Story Factory was a natural one. “Our volunteers try to lead young people towards making something,” explains Sydney Story Factory co-founder Cath Keenan. “They can make a book of short stories, or an animated film, or perhaps an intergalactic traveller’s guide to Saturn. Matt [Roden, deputy storyteller] does a lot of the design work, to help the kids release something they can be proud of, that we then sell in our shop. It’s a place where kids can mix and learn, and there’s no stigma: creativity is welcome, regardless of your background.” “Everything about the upcoming night is so in tune with encouraging creativity, and with finding different ways of expressing ideas,” Keenan says. “People are constantly calling us up and asking about the night and how they can get involved in the centre. The people involved just jumped on and ran with it, making it wild and all their own.” Weird, keenly embraced and constantly evolving – just another Beck album, really. What: Beck Hansen’s Song Reader is out now through McSweeney’s/Faber & Faber Who: Bands – Josh Pyke, Dappled Cities, Jonathan Boulet, Caitlin Park, Melodie Nelson, Richard In Your Mind, Elana Stone, Thomas Rawle (Papa vs Pretty), Aidan Roberts (Belles Will Ring), The Green Mohair Suits; DJs – Conrad Greenleaf, Adam Lewis; spoken word – Sarah Blasko and Brendan Cowell Where: Beck Hansen’s Song Reader @ The Standard When: Wednesday December 19 More: All funds raised go to Sydney Story Factory;

Brian Campeau and Beck Hansen photo by Ken Leanfore


eck has been releasing albums and alternatively courting and dismissing public appeal for long enough to come up with his own rules. This is, after all, the same eternally youthful artist who has frustrated the hip and the keen for decades with an ever more quixotic oeuvre. He loves doing whack shit, and we love that he trades in weird with such aplomb – and that he’s a born and bred Scientologist still blows the minds of those of us who get rankled by dubious religions. (The fact that officials from said organisation were apparently in the room supervising the recording of his most divisive record, 2002’s Sea Change, only adds to the general confusion...)

Campeau’s role has been one of meticulous planning and constant collaboration. “Given that there are 20 songs in Song Reader, my job was to allocate nine to three full bands [Jonathan Boulet, Richard In Your Mind and Dappled Cities], and then arrange the rest of the songs for my dream team of musicians,” he says. The other vocalists will be getting up in ones and twos, backed by the evening’s session band The Green Mohair Suits, featuring Richie Cuthbert (ex-Cuthbert & The Night Walkers), Jason Mannell and Campeau himself. “I recorded demo versions of all 20 songs, sent the chosen nine to the aforementioned bands, and spent the rest of the time arranging the remaining 11.

array of forms. While aimed at disadvantaged young people, Sydney Story Factory is open for anyone, and takes inspiration from the work of McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers’ 826 National centres; the project began in his hometown of San Francisco but has since spread across the United States, with affiliated satellites popping up around the world.

The Men Turn It Around By Benjamin Cooper


rooklyn’s The Men are used to having their name confused with similarly-titled groups. The noisy young punk quartet works under a moniker which, aside from describing half the planet’s adult population, also happens to be shared with a rather forgettable Californian pop rock band from the early ‘90s. Adding to the confusion is The Human League’s 1979 chart-flopping single ‘I Don’t Depend On You’, released under the pseudonym The Men. Needless to say, finding the New Yorkers’ tunes online can be a bit of a bitch.

the album with an apparently nonchalant air. “Open Your Heart is, like, three records old for us,” he explains. “We still love the record, but we’ve been that busy since then with other recordings and touring that it seems like a million years ago.” Indeed the band have already recorded a new album, and are heading back into the studio again ahead of their trip Down Under.

The band seem to relish such confusion and anonymity, actively encouraging an image that couldn’t be more different from the aforementioned acts: they’re DIY, and they’re proud of their outsider status. The Men’s predilection for hardcore and punk music stimulated their formation in late 2007, with the DIY influences of their youth dominating the group’s attitude and aesthetic over the ensuing years. They released a bunch of home-made cassette recordings before selfreleasing their debut LP, Immaculada, in 2010. This was followed barely six months later by their sophomore – and first ‘real’ label album – Leave Home, released on New York tastemakers Sacred Bones Records (Zola Jesus, Moon Duo).

Perro founded The Men with fellow vocalist and guitarist Nick Chiericozzi, who shares Perro’s commitment to industrious recording and touring schedules. When we speak, the band are on what they define as a ‘holiday’ – partly due to a desire to stay fresh, but exacerbated by a visit from Hurricane Sandy. “It’s a bit of a weird time for us at the moment,” Perro says. “It’s probably the first time we’ve ever had a break, and that’s because we set ourselves the goal of taking some time off and some time out. For the last couple of months I’ve had to keep reminding myself to relax, because it’s just not workable if you keep pushing yourself as hard as possible. I mean, we’ve been to Europe four times in the past year – and don’t get me wrong, because I love playing over there – but it’s a lot on the body. We’ve decided to reevaluate our methods for the next year, because otherwise we’ll end up immortalised and dead,” he laughs.

Their third LP came in January this year: the epic noise-and-melody clusterfuck Open Your Heart. It’s a bruising, no-nonsense affair that has raised their international profile considerably through universally-positive reviews from the bastions of hipster culture: despite being several years late to the party, Pitchfork wasted no time in claiming the band as their own. It’s surprising, then, to hear singer and guitarist Mark Perro refer to

Sandy hit New York a week before the band were due to play the first shows since their break. It forced them to re-prioritise and plan for the days ahead, with one eye on physical survival, and the other trained firmly on keeping their Canadian tour dreams alive. “I should stress we were all totally fine in the part of Brooklyn I live in. If anything, we had a pretty great time trying to make the most of the restrictions,” Perro laughs. “We might not have

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“Our biggest issue was that there was a gas shortage in New York at the time, and we had shows booked up in Canada. I knew we had half a tank of gas in the van, which was just enough to get us out of the city a few days after the storm. Then the van broke down outside of Buffalo [upstate New York], but we made it north of the border in the end. Still alive – a little dumber, but still alive.” Australian audiences should count themselves lucky to be experiencing The Men at their freshest – and despite the period of relative rest throughout the months preceding their first antipodean jaunt, the four-piece remain as hungry and intense as when they played their first shows. “I think you’ve gotta keep wanting it and appreciating it,” Perro says. “I think about certain people – a group like The Band, for example. Just think about how much they toured

and put into it, for themselves and for their fans... it’s something else, it really is. That kind of example helps us to stay positive, and it helps that we’ve also been given the opportunity to travel and meet new people all the time. “It’s also really important to know when to step back from the band,” he continues. “Sometimes you just need to take a walk around the block and scream down an alley, and then go and have a few drinks with some people. But the main thing is that we never lose sight of how lucky we are. We get that.” What: Open Your Heart is out now With: Royal Headache Where: Goodgod Small Club When: Wednesday January 30 More: Also playing Laneway Festival alongside Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, Chet Faker and more, held on Saturday February 2 at Sydney College of the Arts, Rozelle

Xxx photo by Xxx

“It’s really important to know when to take a step back. Sometimes you just need to take a walk around the block and scream down an alley, and then go and have a few drinks...”

had much power or water, but that meant we could hang out inside with our friends and drink a bunch of whiskey, and laugh a bunch, too!

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Django Django Sophomore Syndrome By Krissi Weiss

“It can feel like driving around in a car with a broken radiator: it keeps heating up but you’ve got no time to go to the mechanics, so you keep driving it... If I had my way, we’d be recording new music now.” ‘round to places, people are telling us that we’re so much better live than last time.”

that they may not get, but you can’t please all those people. This album’s done now – we’re not gonna make another version of it.”


ave Maclean, producer and drummer for Django Django – the blisteringly diverse London psychedelic art rock/electronic/ pop band – is only just waking up when we speak. These days, the questions of where he is and what he’s doing aren’t easy ones to answer.

Meeting at college in the late ‘90s, the quartet slowly began putting together their debut selftitled album in 2009. A double A-side appeared around that time and the odd single surfaced in 2010 and 2011, but nothing could’ve prepared them for what would happen when the album finally found its way into the world. There was no pressure, no label interest, no economic motivation, and out of that atmosphere of total artistic control came one of 2012’s most successful indie releases. British tastemakers The Guardian gave the album 5/5, NME gave it 8/10 and, as the album filtered into markets around the world (it was released in the US

only in September), most music critics followed suit, heaping on it an almost exhausting level of praise. And what would a massively successful UK debut be without a Mercury Prize nomination? The band ticked that box for the 2012 awards, but were pipped at the post by AltJ. Despite the elation success has brought the band, sitting upon this dubious pedestal begs the question: Where to from here for Django Django? “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t with a second album once you’ve had a successful debut,” Maclean admits, with a tone of resignation. “If you do the same thing again, you’re accused of repeating yourself, and if you do something different, you’re accused of alienating your fans – it’s a minefield. The only pressure that we pay attention to is making sure we like the album. There’ll be people waiting in the wings to shoot the next one down no doubt, and there’ll be people expecting things

The solution to the criticism seems simple enough on the surface, but Maclean knows there’s competing interests to consider. “If I had it my way, we’d be recording now,” he says. “But then I guess that’s denying people getting all they can out of this album. You’ve just gotta keep weighing up moving on versus getting the most out of something. I’m a producer and I’m happiest sitting in the studio making music; I like being on stage, but it’s the same every night to me. We’re stuck with 13 songs, so we can’t flip things around depending on the crowd – bands with a large back catalogue can do that, almost like a DJ set where you can follow where the night’s going. Once we get there, I think that’s when it’ll all get fully exciting.”

The necessary tensions that come with such a heady trajectory are slowly creeping into the band relationships, too. The four-piece have known each other a long time – Maclean and synth player Tommy Grace even lived together for a while in Edinburgh – but even the best of friends can start to go stir crazy in the close confines and sleep deprivation that come handin-hand with global touring. “We probably fall out about ten times a day, and then five seconds later we’re having a laugh again,” Maclean says. “We just say exactly what we think; there’s never any passive aggression. Things really haven’t changed that much between us, but at the same time – I reckon ask me again in April after another four or five months of touring and it all might be different…The whole experience is not too dissimilar to any other job: it’s been great and it’s been awful, and then it’s great again.”

For now, though, they’re happy to play it safe. “A lot of the crowds are still suspicious for the first ten minutes, and sometimes the set’s just about winning them over. Touring with bands like Hot Chip, you see how many hits they’ve got when they get on stage and bang out hit after hit. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we’re a new band, and we don’t really have any hits,” Maclean sighs. But lovers of tracks like ‘Default’ and ‘Hail Bop’ would no doubt argue with that…

Django Django have been touring virtually nonstop since their debut was released in January, and while the album was received with open arms and devoted ears, their live show has, at times, been criticised for something that Maclean is acutely aware of. “The set has boundaries and limits due to the small amount of songs we have,” he admits. “We do have a couple more songs than just those on the album, but we don’t play them out because people don’t know them. A lot of our gigs have been quite short sets as well, so we’re trying to cram in as much of the album that people recognise as we can. It can feel like driving around in a car with a broken radiator: it keeps heating up but you’ve got no time to go to the mechanics, so you keep driving it. At least the reassuring thing is that when we go back

With: Palms, Twinsy Where: The Metro Theatre (all ages) When: Friday January 11 More: Also playing Falls Festival with Beach House, Hot Chip, The Flaming Lips and more, held December 29-January 1 in Marion Bay, Tasmania (all-ages), and December 28-January 1 in Lorne, Victoria (18+, sold out)

Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield Rockin Strolls By Patrick Emery


he last time I spoke to Evan Dando, the interview ended prematurely with barely 12 minutes elapsed. Dando, at that stage slumped at an ill-defined point on the spectrum between addiction, sobriety and relapse, offered cursory answers to every question I asked. When I’d inquired about Juliana Hatfield’s influence on the composition and recording of It’s A Shame About Ray, he was barely perfunctory in response. “I dunno,” he offered. Minutes later he ended the interview, citing another competing commitment. Given that experience, I wasn’t entirely surprised when my initial attempts to speak to Dando again, this time about his forthcoming tour with Hatfield, proved unsuccessful. The first two tries met with enigmatic failure (on the second occasion, calls to each of the three alternative phone numbers provided went unanswered), until finally, both a joint interview with Dando and Hatfield was scheduled. And – surprise – it all went perfectly to plan.

According to legend, Dando and Hatfield met at a gig in Boston, when Hatfield and her then band, The Black Babies, went to see Dando in The Lemonheads. “We had the first Lemonheads single, and we’d listened to it, and it was really great,” begins Hatfield. Dando remembers encountering The Black Babies, albeit with the odd skewed image: “The drummer had a really nice rack,” he says, to Hatfield’s amusement. “She did, she had a really nice rack,” she laughs, before Dando clarifies: “Yeah, it was a great rack of toms…” Double entendre or not, Dando was sufficiently impressed by the band that he procured their cassette and subsequently went to go and see Hatfield on stage. “My mom saw them play before I did,” Dando says. “My mom?”

quizzes Hatfield. “Yeah – I think our moms knew each other already,” he replies. While Hatfield has previously cited X’s Exene Cervenka and Olivia Newton-John as formative influences on her musical style, Dando has other ideas. “I like Peter Allen as well,” he says, indulging his well-known affection for all things Australian. “But as for Exene Cervenka – I don’t really hear that, at least not in the vocals. I can hear more The Replacements in her singing than X, I suppose.” Hatfield and Dando went on to become good friends and strong musical collaborators. In the early ‘90s, Hatfield leant her skills as a bass player to The Lemonheads’ now classic It’s A Shame About Ray. “I was just playing bass, and I think Evan had a pretty clear idea of the bass lines he wanted,” she says, downplaying her input. Dando may have been the artistic director, but he recognises her significant contribution to the album. “You made some pretty good bass lines. ‘Turnpike Down’ – that’s all you,” he says. “I really felt that I was just helping out with something that was Evan’s vision,” Hatfield adds. “I’m so glad you played on that record,” he replies. Both Dando and Hatfield have experienced the highs and lows of fame. In Dando’s case, the peak came with The Lemonheads’ popular and commercial success in the wake of It’s A Shame About Ray and C’mon Feel The Lemonheads; in the aftermath, Dando plunged into years of drug and alcohol addiction, culminating with a number of stints at rehabilitation facilities. With Hatfield, fame came with the release of Become What You Are by The Juliana Hatfield Three; as the dream of

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“We didn’t really help each other [through those lows], but when the press started picking up on us together, it was a way of deflecting the attention away from me,” Hatfield says. “We were easy targets, too,” Dando remembers. He recalls one particular event in the early ‘90s, when he stepped in to help his friend. “You remember on the David Letterman Show, you were a bit freaked out? That was one time when I consciously tried to help out,” Dando says. “Yeah, I was booked on Letterman at the last minute, just myself with the house band, and I got really nervous, so I called Evan to come and play with me,” Hatfield recalls. “That was very nice of you. Thanks, Evan.” Hatfield believes that the attention bestowed upon her 20 years ago was magnified due to her gender. “A lot of the commentary I got was gender-based, or gender-flavoured. That really annoyed me, because I didn’t think of myself as

a female artist, but just as an artist,” she says. “You can’t win with that one,” Dando observes, “because the more they notice it, the more it becomes about that.” “I didn’t want to talk about it,” Hatfield says. “I just wanted to get on with making music.” This month sees Dando and Hatfield returning to Australia for a series of shows in which the pair will play a mixture of classic Dando and Hatfield compositions, punctuated with the odd cover. “It’ll be two guitars, two singers – that’s all I know at the moment. Evan, what do you think?” Hatfield enquires. “What songs?” he replies. “I don’t know yet. We’ll both sing, electric guitars, maybe some guests as well.” “There’s certain songs I’ll want to do,” Hatfield says, “and certain songs he’ll want to do.” And that’s all they’ll say for now. With: Bambino Koresh Where: The Metro Theatre When: Thursday December 20

Xxx photo by Xxx

“A lot of the commentary I got was genderbased. That really annoyed me, because I don’t think of myself as a female artist, but just as an artist. I just wanted to get on with making music.”

alt-rock stardom began to fade, she retreated from the public gaze, uninterested in pursuing a career in the popular spotlight.



BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 21

Willis Earl Beal Fish Out Of Water By Patrick Emery


Beal had moved from Chicago to Albuquerque in the United States border state of New Mexico after seeing the state featured in a film, Off The Map. “I wanted to enjoy that enchanted desolation I saw in the movie,” he explains. He began to write songs there, gradually developed his craft and, in between his shifts as a security guard, recorded the odd CD-R, which he left in various places around town. Never a social butterfly, and aware of his ‘otherness’, Beal saw his music as an opportunity to explore his sense of self. “I think I was always headed to this type of life and career because I always felt I couldn’t relate to people.” So when

he drew up an advertisement – “My name is Willis Earl Beal,” it read. “I want some friends and stuff” – and plastered it around Albuquerque, he didn’t feel much would come of it. Beal’s flyers eventually drew the attention of Davy Rothbart, editor of FOUND magazine, a publication dedicated to showcasing the music of unknown artists; a flyer appeared on the cover of FOUND in January 2010, complete with Beal’s phone number and a three-page interview. Beal was amazed by the reaction. “I was very surprised,” he says. “I hadn’t realised that that magazine was so well-known. And I was amazed that people wanted to call me. I have no affinity with the internet – when I look at myself on the internet now, I sometimes feel sick.” In the relative flicker of an eye, Beal went from completely unknown to cult-favoured artist, while still preserving his position on the margins of society. And, he admits, his music had a long way to go. “At the time, my music was only skeletal,” he says. “My reality as a musician was a fantasy musician – it was only serious to me. At the time I was just a security officer, but these days I’m able to focus full-time on my music.” With a fledgling career now in train, complemented by regular forays into visual arts and poetry, Beal has the ideal vehicles to explore his place in the world. “The common theme of my

art is that I write about existential things,” he says. “I ponder what it’s like to be alive, and I ponder my personal feelings [as] someone who’s an outsider. It’s the same kind of struggle as Albert Camus – the outsider looking in.” On his website, Beal writes, “I am nothing. Nothing is everything.” – and in fact, you get the distinct impression that the more exposure he receives, the greater the level of philosophical investigation. “Everything I do is just a composite of everything else,” he explains. “I don’t really have anything to offer.” But Beal isn’t being deliberately self-deprecating. “It’s kind of arrogant to be like that now, but you can’t really say anything original – the only

original thought is no thought,” he muses. “I don’t want to sound too bleak, but I’m trying to find the positive in that.” Beal has come a long way in the last few years; in five years’ time, who knows where he’ll be. “I believe words are powerful,” he says. “I think by then I’ll be a respected and reclusive artistic and music person.” With: Courtney Barnett Where: Goodgod Small Club When: Thursday January 3 More: Also playing Falls Festival, held over New Year’s Eve in Lorne, Victoria (sold-out, 18+) and Marion Bay, Tasmania (all ages)

Cloud Nothings Idle Hands By Greg Clennar


hen 17-year-old Cleveland-dweller Dylan Baldi began writing songs out of his parents’ basement in 2009, he couldn’t have foreseen his path to indie stardom – these days he’s playing enough shows to actually become bored of his own material. But after using several different monikers to upload early, scruffy GarageBand recordings to MySpace, ‘Cloud Nothings’ was the alias that caught the attention of DIY record labels and New York promoters. Baldi started out playing shows predominantly outside of Cleveland – I’m curious as to whether there was much, if any, local support for Cloud Nothings at the start. “No, not really,” he concedes. “We didn’t really start out as a local band. Surprisingly, our first ever show was in New York [opening for Real Estate and Woods] – we got a good offer, so we just took it… It was weird because a lot of Cleveland-based bands tend to stay within Cleveland,” he continues. “I suppose one of the best things about Cleveland is that there’s not a whole lot to do, so I had a lot of time to play music and learn how to write decent songs.” Once epitomised by a jovial, power-pop prototype, the band’s appropriately-titled third release Attack On Memory takes the quartet into darker and bleaker terrain, songs bursting at the seams with Baldi’s penned-up frustration at terminal boredom and regression. “The music sounds so different because I was really bored playing the same songs all the time,” explains the 20-year-old. With tedium and underachievement at the forefront of his mind, feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt resonate heavily in his lyrics. “I felt the need to make things a lot different; the band had been going for about two years, and it wasn’t really at the level I’d hoped for.” Adding to his anxieties, he was forced to quit uni to keep the band alive. “I wasn’t totally sure whether I’d made the right choice to drop out of school, you know, whether it was worth it or not. I’d pretty much thrown away any sort of academic future by pursuing the band.”

Apprehensions aside, he and the band ended up achieving what they wanted on Attack On Memory. “I just wanted to make a record that was more indicative of how we sounded as a band,” he says. “I really tried to write songs that play to everyone’s strengths, rather than what only works for me. Our next record will probably sound even more cohesive.” Since the release of the blog-adored album at the beginning of this year, Baldi and his troops have been thrashing out their (now) heavy, dark jams across stages all over the world. Discussing the extensive Cloud Nothings’ tour, Baldi’s somewhat weary yet ultimately enthusiastic tone speaks for itself. “I’ve been home now for only two days, so it’s nice to be back. I’ve probably had a total of about three weeks at home since February.” He sounds fatigued, but cheerfully reassures me: “I can’t complain. It’s been loads of fun and I love playing shows.” Despite his humble origins – writing songs on his lonesome at home in Ohio – it never really took him any time to adapt to the demands of live performance. “[Playing shows] was fun right away, really. I knew I wanted to be doing something other than going to college, so it just seemed like the perfect [alternative].” Baldi sounds excited to be finally making the trip across the pond, revealing to me the goal that’ll keep him occupied while in Australia. “I hope Angus Young is floating around somewhere,” he sheepishly admits. “I won’t leave until I’ve seen him.” With: Violent Soho Where: The Annandale Hotel When: Wednesday February 6 More: Also playing at Laneway Festival alongside Chet Faker, Japandroids, Divine Fits, Bat For Lashes, Perfume Genius and more, held on Saturday February 2 at Sydney College of the Arts


Back To The Future By Dijana Kumurdian


hough he now shares the stage with legendary ex-Black Flag singer Keith Morris, OFF! guitarist Dimitri Coats (also the frontman of hard rockers Burning Brides) had never really been into hardcore. But an impromptu jam with Morris, he tells me, snowballed into something of a punkrock super group. “We were trying to make a Circle Jerks record, but it never happened,” says Coats. “Then Keith put an electric guitar in my hands and said, ‘Fuck the Circle Jerks. What would you write?’ I started playing the guitar in front of him and he goes, ‘No, no, no, no, no. Only down strokes. You can never up stroke. Always down.’ So I said, ‘Alright, give me a second’, and all this stuff started coming out of me – I’d never played that way before – and I sort of felt like I was walking the tightrope or strapping into some crazy ride at an amusement park. And the more we did that, the more it started to remind [Keith] of his early roots in Black Flag, and he started to get more excited about what we were doing.” Fortunately, audiences agreed: hearing the short, abrasive tracks from their quicklyproduced early EPs (which would collectively become their debut full length, First Four EPs) excited everyone from young crowds to stadium bands to punk veterans. “We all went from having uncertainty with our careers – Stephen [McDonald] and Mario [Rubalcaba] had nine-to-five jobs, Keith and I were fucking broke trying to figure out something to do – but OFF! has just led to this wealth of future for everybody, and I think it’s inspired everyone involved to take life as a musician more seriously. It’s really been a wonderful thing.” In many ways, it’s Coats’ naïvety about the history of hardcore that kept the band’s approach fresh – despite Morris having fronted one of the most legendary hardcore bands of all time. “I’ve always been really shocked and pleasantly surprised when all these legends like Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins are like, ‘It’s almost better that you

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don’t come from punk rock’. There was a very naïve approach on my part, which added something to it. I was discovering it for the first time, like right in the moment in front of these people, and it was coming from the right place. I think that’s why it was more honest, because I’m probably closer to who those guys were at that time. They didn’t know what they were doing – they didn’t know they were inventing a genre of music.” Recording their follow-up self-titled album, released early this year, was equally intended to capture that kind of punk slapdash spontaneity. “We were very conscious of doing the most bad-ass thing we could do in the moment, the way it used to be,” says Coats. “I found out that [in the early days of Black Flag], Keith had a friend who had a shift at a voiceover studio – it wasn’t even a real studio – and somebody would cancel so he’d be like, ‘Okay, I’ll sneak you guys in after midnight and you get three hours to record your record’. So those are the sorts of situations we’d put ourselves in, and that’s what I think people are hearing. They’re hearing a combination of me learning how to play punk rock guitar, and me pulling this classic character out of Keith, and us just not giving ourselves much time to develop too much – like spending a week on fucking drum sounds. A lot of what’s become punk rock these days is a bunch of bullshit: it just doesn’t have a vibe to it or the certain spirit that it used to. Somehow we went back to the future. We’re reminding a lot of people of something that used to exist that doesn’t anymore – and yet we’re allowed to be considered this relevant new band, which is really an exciting place to be.” Where: The Annandale Hotel When: Thursday January 17 More: Also playing Big Day Out, alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alabama Shakes, Against Me!, Band Of Horses and more, held on January 18 at Sydney Showground

Willis Earl Beal photo by Jamie-James Medina

n an increasingly self-indulgent world, Willis Earl Beal is an enigma. Beal grew up in Chicago as a notionally American child, and in his early 20s joined the United States marines, before being given a medical discharge. Unsure of what to do next, he floated around, dabbling in various odd jobs and other ephemeral pursuits, until he bought an acoustic guitar and a karaoke machine and taught himself to play. One thing led to another and Beal is now travelling the world, playing his idiosyncratic lo-fi indie folk/RnB to a global audience. “I’m not like a prodigy,” Beal says. “I just feel like I have to be heard. I had no resources previously, so in some ways I feel pretty illegitimate – I’m like a fish out of water.”










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+DEVOLA LA +ISBJORN LA +IS IS +HOBOPHONICS FA C E B O O K . C O M / B E A C H R O A D H O T E L BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 23

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met up and painted some walls and shutters together. Since then we were thinking up ways of working together again – then they suggested I come out to Sydney for a solo show. How do you think your family life affects your art? I think my wife has a big part to play in the direction my work goes in. She knows my work as well as I do, so if she’s not feeling the direction something is going she’s quite vocal about it – and I’m pained to say that 90% of the time she’s right. Other than that, I have grown up surrounded by my dad’s work, which is pretty abstract. He’s taught me a lot about colour and form over the years. Where does that little hook-nose feature come from, that recurs in your characters? The nose has changed a lot over the years and has now become a sort of a logo for me. The original started off as a sausage stuck to the face but the shape has been simplified down a lot now. I like the challenge of getting the line done in one go, getting it perfect is quite tricky so there is a huge satisfaction in getting it right.


ambridge street artist and print-maker Mr Penfold is debuting in Sydney this week, with a show of new works on paper and canvas called Bric ‘a’ Brac. It’s also the last show of the year at Toxteth Hotel gallery The Tate, so get along – one night only – and show some Christmas love.

Is bric-a-brac the theme of this show? The title relates to the direction my work is going in at the moment. A lot of the pieces in the show use different elements of my characters put together in a new way, to create an abstract piece that refers to previous work and is still recognisable.

How did this show come about? Beastman and Numskull from The Hours had visited London whilst on their honeymoons, and we

What kind of mediums and materials are you working with? With the paintings on paper, it gave me the opportunity to experiment with

other mediums such as watercolour. This meant that I could play around with the relationship between hard- and soft-edged shapes – something I haven’t done much of previously. Alongside those I also have five paintings on canvas; over the past few years the majority of my paintings have been made on wooden panels so it was nice to return back to canvas for this show. Also available on the night will be a six-colour screen-print titled ‘Index’. Where do you draw your inspiration from? All sorts really. It spans from cartoons and skateboarding to modern contemporary art – things like Ede the wolf and Porky Pig, and artists like Claus Oldenburg, John McLean and Barry McGee. What’s your process like when you work? Whilst making the work for this show I got into a strange habit of always having films playing in the background. They’re mainly superhero films, things my mrs won’t watch with me. How long are you Sydney, and where are you painting? I’m out here for just under two weeks; I’ve got a bunch of street pieces lined up. Keep an eye on twitter @misterpenfold for locations.

David Cronenberg (Videodrome; Eastern Promises) is in fine, vintage form in this adaptation of Don DeLillo’s post-modern dystopian thriller, set (almost) entirely in a car: there’s the technophilia, the esoteric dialogue, the body-horror (albeit toned down to musings about fucking, eating, and asymmetrical prostates), and even some mucus-y, intestinal production design… Prettyboy Robert Pattinson gets even moodier than Twilight and nastier than Bel Ami, as Eric Packer, the 20-something billionaire Wall Street prince on the run from (or to?) an assassin, and Samantha Morton and Juliette Binoche get weirder than usual in support roles. It’s funny, it’s disturbing, it’s psycho-sexual – it’s Cronenberg! Cosmopolis releases on DVD and Blu-ray on December 19; thanks to Icon, we have FIVE copies up for grabs. To get your hands on one, tell us your postal address, your format preference (Blu-ray or DVD) and one other actor in the film.

What: Bric ‘a’ Brac by Mr Penfold (UK) When: Wednesday December 19 from 6pm Where: The Tate Gallery @ The Toxteth Hotel / 345 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe More: / @misterpenfold




Randwick Racecourse are getting in on Sydney’s drive-in fetish: the Racecourse Drive In Cinema will call the 'course home from May to the end of July next year, programming a mix of latestreleases and nostalgic classics over 40 public sessions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. All that’s missing is…the actual program. We wait with baited breath, revved engines, and a stomach fully prepped for bucketloads of popcorn. Apparently pre-purchasing tickets online begins in April, but you can register now at


From the folks that didn’t bring you Star Wars, 50 Shades Of Grey or Game Of Thrones (but will definitely riff off them in the sketches) comes “possibly the greatest low-budget Christmas show ever made.” Produced by Benita de Wit (of The Pursuit: Three Short Plays), The Twelve Plays Of Christmas features contributions from writers, actors and comedians from across the Sydney scene and promises “a festive spread with

something for everyone.” The performances run from December 19 until December 23 at TAP Gallery. Tickets from or on the door.


We have saved the best for last: a pop-up store of edible, sustainable, local and ethical goodies, which you can find until December 24 at 118 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. All you need to know is the following people are presenting their wares: Black Star Pastry, Bondi Beach Shortbread, Chris On King Vintage (edible vintage panties?), Marrickville slow-food café Cornersmith, Farmer Jo, Field to Feast organic/local delivery, Freda’s, Freshpops, Fuego de la Tierra, Holmbrae (aka Hugh Wennerbom, providore), Hurricane Duke (terrariums! Botanicals! Do Not Eat!), Katie Swift’s Cordial, Little Marionette coffee roasters, Maya Sunny Honey, Pasta Emilia, Pat & Stick’s icecream sandwiches, Simply Raw, Sweetness, Sugardaddy’s, The Little General olive oil, The Shrubbery (doesn’t sound edible), and Urban Beehive Honey. LISTS! As they say, treat yo’self.


Community arts collective Deep Corridors spent six months hunting down and documenting graffiti across Western Sydney – and the result is eye/sore, a three part doco featuring interviews and rolling footage of found works. The project explores the history and value of graffiti as art and its subculture in the suburbs. A truly communal production, everything featured in the film – from the artists to the music – was sourced locally by the crew. The three chapters Perceptions, The Community and The Future are screening concurrently at Parramatta’s Information & Cultural Exchange on Tuesday December 18, from 6.30pm. Check out the trailer and production photos at


The City Of Sydney’s initiative Streetware: Sky’s The Limit is back for its fourth round, and this time it’s taking over Foley Street in Darlinghurst. The program reworks aesthetically neglected areas around the city – last outing saw Taylor Square transformed with graphic bright pink and blue stripes by Reko Rennie, and 2011 featured laneway murals by Numskull, Beastman and Jumbo + Zap. Street artists, collectives and creative teams who can “think big and deliver beyond the realm of the extraordinary” are invited to submit proposals for Streetware 4. Submissions close 11am Friday December 18; for more info, hit


Yet another reason to be at Beach Road Hotel over the hols: their newish food joint TruckStop (from ex-Tetsuyas chef Stuart McGill and the Eat Art Truck folks) is launching a sizzling Southern-inspired menu for summer. The classic pulled pork buns are sticking around, but with fresh new Japanese-American combos like prawn po’boy, plus classics like grilled cornbread and fried chicken with watermelon. 24 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12

There are also Creole-style cook-outs on the first Sunday of every month, with a seafood feast available for table bookings. The Bondi hotspot is plating up for dinner from 6pm Wednesday to Saturday, with a mid arvo start on Sundays. For rolling details on the delish, see


Carriageworks have dropped their 2013 program and it’s good news for us, because all the shows next year will be offered at a flat rate of $35 a pop – totally affordable. The 2013 roster includes new works by local choreographer Martin Del Amo and Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio, new works by Sydney companies version 1.0 and Erth Visual & Physical Inc, and a Sydney remount of Doku Rai – the critically acclaimed mixedmedia show by Melbourne troublemakers Black Lung Theatre, Timorese rockers Galaxy, and the Dili-based theatre company Liurai Fo’er. There’s also an intriguing colab between Dublin’s Pan Pan Theatre and Beijing’s Square Moon Culture called Fight The Landlord, and a new colab involving William Yang and Annette Shun Wah (!). For the full lineup, see

Still from Kris Moyes' 'Way To War'


Consider this your friendly reminder to vote for your favourite Sydney artsy parts – in the form of a list of this year’s SMAC nominees (get your red pen ready and circle your choices). The Remix The City finalists are Thomas Demand’s Kaldor Public Art Project #25, Sydney Food Trucks, Halls For Hire, World Movies Secret Cinema, and Sydney Fringe/ Underbelly show Mystery Bus. Best Major Festival is a toss-up between Vivid LIVE, The 18th Biennale of Sydney, Graphic, Sydney Film Festival and (last year’s winner) Harvest. Best on Stage finalists are Zoe Coombs Marr (Gone Off), Mohammed Ahmed (I’m Your Man), Bojana Novakovic (The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself), Tim Spencer (Show Me Yours I’ll Show You Mine), Matt Prest (Whelping Box) and Ian Meadows (Between Two Waves); Best On Screen video-clip finalists are Kris Moyes for ‘Way To War’ (Kirin J Callinan), Fishing w Spod for ‘Choy Lin’ (Fishing), Tales in Space for ‘Star Wars’ (Tales in Space), Yvette Paxinos for ‘The World is Ours’ (Catcall), and Melvin J. Montalban for ‘I Met You’ (Anna Lunoe & Flume). Best Collective is a who’s-who of productivity, featuring The Rizzeria, 107 Projects, Lion Mountain Studio, Campfire Collective and Groundwork. And finally: Best Arts Event finalists are Time Machine @ Serial Space, MCA’s ArtBar series, Brown Council’s Mass Action, I Wish You Hadn’t Asked @ Art & About, and 30 Days & 30 Nights @FraserStudios. Vote properly – before it's 'too late' – at

SIGHTSEERS Nature-loving Born Killers By Ian Barr


en Wheatley’s Sightseers is a dark comedy, with an emphasis on ‘dark’. Not the cheeky, Death At A Funeral sort, but the kind that makes your stomach churn with the brute reality of murder before deflating the heavy atmosphere with, for example, an impeccably timed joke at the expense of Daily Mail readers. “I wanted it to be shocking”, Wheatley says of the film’s violence, perpetrated by a seemingly normal couple, against everyone from litterers to hippies to policemen, as the two travel through the British countryside on a caravan holiday. Of the film’s vacillation between the comic and the morbid, Wheatley says, “It’s to bring you in and out of the comedy – so that you would feel it was serious, that it wasn’t all just a knockabout joke, and that murdering people’s bad”. Though he laughs to himself at the sheer obviousness of this last statement, the moral purpose of the film’s brutality comes across forcefully; showing the gory details keeps us at an appropriate distance from our anti-heroes’ actions, even as we’re made to share their revulsion at their victims.

Across his three low-budget features, Wheatley’s voice as a director is evident, in their unusual editing rhythms, contrapuntal soundtrack choices, and most prominently, the running theme of the banality of evil. However, he shows slight discomfort at the idea of being an auteur. “Once you get into those kinds of patterns, it’s slightly dangerous, and [so] you’ve always got your eye out – you try not to do things again and again… those kinds of motifs and things are a bit of a weakness more than anything.” This could explain why Sightseers is the first of Wheatley’s features that he hasn’t written himself. The screenplay, written by actorcomedians Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, was forwarded to him by director Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz), who ultimately co-produced Sightseers. Oram and Lowe, who play the film’s deadly couple, debuted the characters on stage, followed by a short ‘TV taster’ – and their input perhaps accounts for the utter authenticity and believability of the main characters and their interactions, however absurd and shocking their actions become.

Of the film’s tonal shifts from humdrum naturalism to Grand Guignol gore set-pieces, Wheatley says, “You find that kind of stuff in [Monty] Python and in Terry Gilliam’s work, and in Paul Verhoeven’s stuff as well. I like that gear-changing, so that you question what you’re looking at, and you don’t just accept it as it is… it’s not safe, it makes the hairs on the back of your head go up and you have to think about what you’re consuming, instead of just sitting there being passive about it; that’s more interesting to me.” Though Sightseers has a loose, spontaneous quality to its overall tone and surface texture, the impetus behind Wheatley’s inspired soundtrack choices – from the bookending versions of ‘Tainted Love’ and the ‘70s Krautrock of Neu – reveal the film’s careful conception. “I always approach the films I’ve done with a strategy for the music, otherwise you get that thing where you end up with a shot of a car, and then you do some music research and get songs with cars in the lyrics,” says Wheatley. “I’d watched a documentary about [German progressive rock] a few years before [I made Sightseers]. I’d always assumed – or I’d kinda been told – that the UK had invented new wave and punk and all these things, and then as you start to look into music history you find out that it was the Germans that invented quite a lot of it, and it’s trendy producers in the UK using those albums as the template to make the music that came

after. I really liked that idea; that the history, the cultural history, had a secret history that lay underneath it, and if you dig a little bit, you find it. I thought that’s what the characters are like, you think they’re one thing and you find they’re another thing.” A neat correlation, but one that Wheatley acknowledges is only important insofar as the audience feels it before registering the connection on an intellectual level. “It doesn’t matter if the audience aren’t understanding that… as long as it’s been thought about, they’ll feel that there’s structures within the film, and I think that’s important, even if they’re invisible. You look at The Shining, and you can see that within that movie – there’s a lot in that film you don’t understand but it doesn’t matter, because someone thought about it.” Sightseers played to great acclaim at this year’s Cannes film festival, where it won the prize bestowed upon The Artist last year – the Palm Dog, awarded to the best performance given by a canine. Wheatley warns, however, that the cute canine is part and parcel of Sightseers’ deceptive tendencies: “He’s one of the most cynical and evil characters in the film.” What: Sightseers Opens: Wednesday December 26 Where: Exclusively at Dendy Newtown


Our last issue of the year comes out on Christmas Eve; artwork and news deadline is Wednesday December 19, 5pm. We’re back in the office from Monday January 7, with our first issue for 2013 out on January 14; artwork and news deadline Thursday January 11, 5pm.

Thanks for another good year – happy holidays!

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Both Wheatley’s debut feature Down Terrace and last year’s singular Brit-crime/occult-horror mash-up Kill List ruthlessly shift gears and play with audience expectations and genre conventions; accordingly, his attachment to Sightseers in the pre-production stage came from the desire for a change of pace. “Kill List was in pre-production at that point, and I knew

that it’d be really heavy and dark, so I wanted to line something up next which was going to be lighter and funnier”. Of course, these things are relative. “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” the director admits. “To me, [Sightseers] is funnier, and lighter – to people who haven’t seen [Kill List or Down Terrace], it’s dark as pitch.”

Alice Lowe and Steve Oram unleash the banility of evil in Sightseers

Arts Snap

Film & Theatre Reviews

At the heart of the arts Where you went last week...

Hits and misses on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.

■ Comedy

STEPHEN MERCHANT, LUKE HEGGIE December 8 / Theatre Royal


04:12:12 :: Icebergs:: 1 Notts Avenue, Bondi 91303120

Opening act Luke Heggie is not like this at all, his set comprised of anecdotes which double as clankingly obvious, reductive observations: the lackadaisical nature of Gen Y; women being obsessed with other people’s babies; old posh ladies with fine china they never use. His delivery swung from everyman to smug overlord, but the whole thing came off as mean and ill considered.


heaven or las vegas

06:12:12 :: Galerie Pompom :: 2/39 Abercrombie St Chippendale 0430 318 438

Nathan Jolly ■ Film


my eyes through your mountains


Released December 6

06:12:12 :: MOP :: 1/39 Abercrombie St Chippendale 9699 3955

Arts Exposed What's in our diary...

ANISH KAPOOR + TABOO Opening Wednesday December 19 Museum Of Contemporary Art

ART! By Ricardo Idagi 26 :: BRAG :: 493:: 17:12:12

Two behemoth shows open at MCA this week, running through summer: Indian-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor’s first solo Australian show – a major retrospective in which they’ve shipped, flown and craned in artworks that weigh up to 24 tons; and TABOO, a group show of boundary-pushing art curated by acclaimed Indigenous artist Brook Andrew (he of the zigzag vans at Sydney Festival 2012, and the neon zigzagged arrow over the MCA entrance). His handpicked lineup of troublemakers includes Australians Bindi Cole, Ricardo Idagi, Eric Bridgeman and Judy Watson, plus Jimmie Durham (USA & Germany), Leah Gordon (UK), Alicia Henry (USA), Anton Kannemeyer (South Africa) and Agustinus Kuswidanato (Indonesia). Get some kulcha in ya.

The “power of music/dance/sport” plot has been rehashed a thousand times, but that’s because it’s a winner. It bears a heartwarming message about the beauty of letting yourself love something new, and usually caps it with thrilling displays of skill. Few would argue that Bring It On or Dirty Dancing are quality cinema, but a charming cast, skilled choreography and smart writing go a long way. The Pitch Perfect Plot Madlibs goes thusly: Our protagonist is [Beca (Anna Kendrick)], a cynical misfit and aspiring [DJ/ producer] whose [father] forces her to [go to college and join at least one club] so she can [move to LA and work at a record label]. She reluctantly ends up joining the [Barden Bellas], an underdog [all-female a cappella group] made up of a ragtag bunch of misfits. They must find a way to work together and come up with something new and fresh so they can beat their rivals, the arrogant and successful [all-male group the Treble Makers] and win the [national championships]. So far so boilerplate, but the details make the difference. While the singing is mostly fun rather than exhilarating (the implausibly excellent closing number aside), it’s a snappy mix of the usual inspirational pablum, good-natured undergraduate humour (a little nudity and a lot of vomit) and subtle feminist notes – in the first scene, the sardonic announcers at the competitions (Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins, who are a joy) note that all-female

Caitlin Welsh ■ Theatre

SONGS FOR THE FALLEN December 5-15 / The Old Fitzroy Theatre Marie Duplessis, arguably the most celebrated and (in)famous Parisian courtesan of the 1800s, lived the kind of fast, debauched life of excess that would put most of today’s starlets and wannabes to shame. Immortalised many times over in song, art and literature (most notably in La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas), Marie is now enjoying her time in the spotlight once more in a bracingly spirited incarnation in Songs For the Fallen, written by and starring Sheridan Harbridge. In an impressive use of the small space, designer Michael Hankin has transformed the Old Fitz into a gaudy boudoir complete with a large circular bed, heavy drapes and enough glitter and fake flowers to kit out a Kylie concert. Sprawled out on the bed, the debt-stricken, tuberculosis-riddled Marie (Harbridge) wakes up on her 23rd birthday, announces that she has 18 days of life left (“very sad”) and pours herself a glass of champagne. What follows is a frenetic 75 minutes of biographical barrage interspersed with vaudeville song-and-dance routines that celebrate the short, hedonistic rags-to-riches (and back to rags again) life of a really rather remarkable woman. Harbridge is brilliantly beguiling as the trash-talking, sex-kittenish Marie, her voice powering through the songs with music performed live by composer Basil Hogios. Ben Gerrard and Garth Holcombe are in strong support, filling out the roles of Marie’s nanny, her various lovers, husbands and doctor. Gerrard in particular is excellent, at one moment oozing around the stage with strong, sensual physicality, and in the next, still and poignant as the apparition of a young Marie, wondering where all the pretty things have gone. Though ostensibly setting out to be the 23rd birthday party Marie never had, Songs For the Fallen neatly treads a bittersweet tightrope, ever aware that beneath the flash and the glamour is a desperate girl squeezing the most out of her short life in what was very much a man’s world. Taking a cue from the life of its protagonist, Songs For the Fallen is wonderfully rip-roaring, outrageous and fun, but it is the tinge of tragedy that really makes it sing. Jonathan Hindmarsh ■ Theatre

MARIAGE BLANC Until December 16 / Wharf 2 Every Sarah Giles production is vividly memorable; why? It’s partly her taste for strong, unusual (and often absurdist) flavours in terms of scripts and partly her strong audiovisual sensibilities (previously seen in The Ugly One and The Pigeons for Griffin, and K.I.J.E. at the Old Fitz). Her latest project

See for more arts reviews

TABOO: © Ricardo Idagi ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’ 2012 image courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson Gallery Photo by Simon Anderson Photography

Merchant, on the other hand, has lived and breathed his material. Many of the tales told during this show will be familiar to fans of his various radio shows/podcasts with Ricky Gervais and Karl Pilkington – but that doesn’t lessen the impact, which is a testament to Merchant’s formidable skills as a storyteller. As he outlines various dating and seduction failures from his past and present, intercut with some telling tales of well-intentioned birthday presents from wellmeaning parents (and some very graphic role-playing with a microphone stand to showcase the physical issues involved when making love to women – average height 5’5”– when you are 6’7”) you get a complete sense of who Merchant is, and leave feeling strangely comforted by the fact that he has, somehow, turned things in his favour.

It’s a film that’s very aware of its place in the world; one sly speech makes the clear point that This Is Not Glee, and there’s even a fun wink at Bring It On’s cheer-prefix meme. It won’t be for everyone, but put it this way: if you, secretly or openly, know all the words to ‘Party In The USA’, this might be your new guilty pleasure.


flickerfest media launch

Stephen Merchant could only have been a comedian. Standing 6’7”, rake thin and pale, with astigmatism that forces him to wear coke-bottle glasses, his entire life has been spent unwittingly inspiring and experiencing fodder for a thousand stand-up routines. He poured parts of this experience into The Office – the power of which hasn’t been diluted by a decade passed and a badyet-strangely-feted US remake – but, as he makes abundantly clear during his debut stand-up tour Hello Ladies, critical success and public recognition has not made his quest to find a life partner any easier than it was when he was a gawky teenager towering over his peers. This premise alone sets him up as a lovable, sympathetic character – moreso when he shows a newspaper clipping of his Golden Globes triumph, with his head unceremoniously clipped out of the shot – and therefore, even when he tells otherwise heinous tales of his dating experiences, you’re firmly on his side.

groups tend to suffer in competition due to their inability to produce bass notes (ie. their lack of men). The Bellas have coasted on the same tired vanilla pop and looking cute in skirt suits for years, and it’s no accident that their uptight leader is forced to abandon her ideal image and accept fat girls, weirdos, butch lesbians, sluts and hipsters – less “traditional” women – and it makes them a better group and better people. Kendrick makes Beca’s transition from a human eye-roll to an a cappella nerd very believable, and the young cast are uniformly delightful – even Rebel Wilson’s forthright Fat Becky has a unquestioned, unflappable confidence that outweighs her obnoxious Australianness.

Film & Theatre Reviews Hits and misses on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.

is Melissa Bubnic’s adaptation of Polish playwright Tadeusz Rózewicz’s slice of absurdism, Mariage Blanc – written in the ‘70s and set in the 1800s. 'Mariage Blanc' means a marriage unconsummated. It’s a fate chosen by Bianca (played by Paige Gardiner), the slightly-elder of two sisters on the boundary between childhood and womanhood, in sexually repressed 19th-century middleclass Poland. Where her sister Pauline (a flouncing, pouty, charismatic Katie McDonald) is ripe and lascivious, Bianca is just the opposite – prudish to the point of being frigid, and thoroughly freaked out both by her own changing body and the recently discovered ‘members’ of the opposite sex (cue lurid penis fantasies in which her father, grandfather and fiancé sport oversized, thrusting dildos, and even mushrooms take on threatening form). Nevertheless, it’s Bianca and not Pauline who is due to be married to neighbouring dandy Mr Benjamin (Gig Clarke). The play affords plenty of opportunities for audio-visual flair, and the design team create a menacing, loopy, manic Alicein-Wonderland world to evoke Bianca’s increasing panic, nightmare-fantasies and

disassociation from her body. The stage is a black box, lined across the back with a series of six doors that open and shut to reveal mirrored surfaces in which the young girls watch themselves, and areas of their subconscious, and through which characters chase each other. Red washes of light are nightmarish and symbolic, as are the grasping hands that stick like deer-antlers out of father’s hunting cap, which he wears while he hunts busty milk maids. There’s plenty of humour – most notably in scenes of sibling rivalry and of domestic banality (between a bird-like, tightly-strung Lucia Mastrantone, as Mother, and Sean O’Shea’s Father) – and there’s even more surrealism (including fantasies in which the family transmogrify into squawking, bleating, moo-ing farm animals); but ultimately, Mariage Blanc is far more disturbing and poignant than comedic. The dialogue and performances are sometimes clunky (the stand-outs are Mastrantone and Sasha Horler, who is typically superb, but underused here in the role of the Aunt), but the incredible audio-visual design more than compensates. Dee Jefferson

Mariage Blanc photo by Brett Boardman

Katie McDonald, Lucia Mastrantone, Sean O'Shea and Paige Gardiner in Mariage Blanc

Street Level WITH



ete’s been around Sydney’s traps for around a decade, dipping his toes in our cultural waters with warehouse performance parties and projects like the Medium, Rare gallery in Redfern and the bent performance troupe Pork Collective. He’s also a veteran of Peats Ridge Festival. This year, Pork are curating the Night Odditorium: a festival within the festival, dedicated to performance, colour, and strange experiences. What’s the brief history of the Pork Collective? Pork arose from the underground party scene in Sydney 2005, when a few deviant friends decided it was time we raised some trouble at arts and music festivals. We love creating and performing in immersive otherworlds, taking audience on strange and beguiling journeys. You could say we are outside genre – the more experimental the better. We prefer the creative friction of challenging and unconventional performance sites, like the explosives chamber at the Silverwater Gunnery or the untamed industrial wasteland of Cockatoo Island. What’s the trick to curating arts at Peats? The allure of festivals is the blowing away of the constrained social protocol that we pander to in art galleries. You step through the festival gates and the world is immediately different – people are more free, more curious, more willing to try new things. That is gold for artists! We want to challenge, excite and entertain people. We are really bad at repeating ourselves – we always set ourselves a new artistic challenge and this year the Night Odditorium is on a much larger scale than we have done before. What exactly is The Night Odditorium? It’s a curatorial project continuing the Pork tradition of devising an artistic framework that leaves space for individual creative responses and collaboration. A twisted neocarny festival in itself, The Night Odditorium puts elements of the sideshow genre through a bent filter to create immersive theatrical worlds where both the audience and the performers are given permission to act and think differently. The radical, immersive performances of La Pocha Nostra and Punchdrunk combined with the spectacular

costumes and performance of Leigh Bowery and the Glitter Militia are constant references which infect our imagination. Who are some of your favourites from the lineup? Betty Grumble has recently exploded onto the local performance art scene, with her monstrous take on the burlesque beauty. Bron Turnbull is one of Pork’s founders, a performer with a taste for macabre comedy who never fails to titillate and delight. Alex Davies is a master of the virtual illusion through his interactive newmedia installations; he is fashioning a special installation for audience to play in. Victoria Hunt is a seasoned Bodyweather performer, who brings her unusual and confronting presence to Pork shows (she has buried herself underground and submerged herself in an oil pit in previous performances). Theresa Caruana is a regular Pork performer, who seduces us with her incredible latex costume creations and former-champion gymnastic feats. Care to share a fond Peats memory? It was particularly satisfying, as the Swami Bogan Guru, to ‘heal’ the true gurus from the festival Healing Haven. Healing came in many forms – my favourite was a shot of the Swami’s Love Elixir, straight from a dirty old oilcan into the supplicant’s mouth! What: The Night Odditorium When: December 29 - January 1 Where: Peats Ridge Sustainable Arts & Music Festival @ Glenworth Valley More:

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The Blind Date Project

et in a debauched, decadent 1930s watering hole, and telling the stories of those who spend their time there, Cantina blurs the boundaries between circus and theatre, between dreams and reality. The show was conceived specifically to be performed in the lush, glamorous environment of a Spiegeltent (in which it has been touring to rapt audiences for the past two years), and highlights the acrobatic skills of its seven castmembers in various feats of strength, including high-wire tricks, somersaults and bodily contortions – many of them centring around an old-fashioned pianola. In one, for example, performer and co-director Chelsea McGuffin walks across a series of champagne bottles lined up along the top of the instrument.


McGuffin has toured the world with Cantina, from the UK to Colombia, and part of the thrill, for her, is seeing how audiences in different parts of the world react to the show. “Performing in Bogota was incredible, because it’s just so unlike anywhere else in the world,” she says. “The people there are really excited to see the show, but as well as that, they really want to meet you afterwards, they want to know who you are and where you’ve come from. They want to know about Australia and our part


of the world, and our lives there. It’s about more than the show. In London, it’s more competitive – people see a lot more shows, a lot of people come to judge and compare, so it’s a really different experience.” Within its basic story framework of nighthawks hanging out in a seedy ‘30s bar, the show itself is constantly changing and evolving, ensuring that the performers stay excited and engaged. “Because it’s not a fixed narrative, it’s really driven by the audience and what

they’re engaged in, and then where the performer takes it on the night. My tricks might be the same from night to night, but audience members who’ve seen the show multiple times tell me that they can feel completely different, depending on the night.” – Alasdair Duncan When: January 8-27 Where: The Famous Spiegeltent in the Festival Garden (Hyde Park North) More:

out his phone and says, ‘Look whose number I’ve got’.” “When it comes to terrifying children we’re really, really good at it,” says director Scott Wright. His visual theatre group, Erth, has been creating fantastical, Pans Labyrinth-style kids’ works for over two decades (think giant dinosaur puppets roaming around the vast halls of Carriageworks, for example). Now they're turning their attention to terrifying adults.

Murder takes cues from Murder Ballads, without recreating it. “Nick Cave’s music drives some of the scenes, sometimes it’s background noise, other times we’ve re-recorded versions of the songs with an 18-year-old girl,” Wright explains. “Hearing her sing the songs you’re used to hearing a man sing changes it completely, and it becomes cathartic.”

“I’ve been obsessed by this project for five years,” says Wright. “At the beginning of last year I was talking with David Sefton, the director of the Adelaide Festival, and I said to him, ‘I really want to do a show called Murder based on Nick Cave’s music.’ David then pulls

When: January 6-19 Where: The Reginald @ Seymour Centre More:

Frank Woodley & Simon Yates


etter known for his comedic partnership with Colin Lane (resulting in popular TV series Lano and Woodley), Frank Woodley is taking a new partner in crime this summer, for Sydney Festival – or rather, he’s taking an old partner and making a new show: a tragicomic odd-couple tale of two brothers, Viktor and Vissili, who are trapped in a brutal prison and determined to escape. 28 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:11

Inside is the fruit of Woodley’s long-term friendship with circus performer Simon Yates, who he’s known for “about twenty years”, he reckons. “Really, the genesis for this was something that we had [devised for] a [possible] short film about ten years ago, and then didn’t follow up at all,” says Woodley. It was only a couple of years ago that they revived the idea, and began turning it into a theatre show.

“It’s this totally absurd dystopian hellhole situation where [the prison] are doing these macabre experiments and it’s all very black,” says Woodley, “but there’s also a romantic clowning vibe in there – so hopefully [it’s] going to be really funny and quite beautiful and sad in parts. Even though they’re in a hopeless situation, they haven’t lost hope, they have a lot of vitality in their relationship and their love for each other.” Woodley has proven himself a master of pathos in tradition of the great silent comics of the 20th century. Whether as the downtrodden Frank in Lano and Woodley or the ever-hopeful Candide in Michael Kantor’s Optimism (Sydney Festival 2010), the performer’s ability to have his audience cackling one minute and “aww”ing the next is unparalleled. “I’ve always been addicted to making people laugh,” he says, simply. “I don’t know if that’s a positive or a negative; I don’t know how much

Bojana came up with the show a couple of years ago, while having a beer with Black Lung Theatre’s Thomas Henning (co-writer of Thyestes). She was looking for something simple to ease her back into theatre after a long stint doing screen work, ahead of her musical dramedy at Melbourne’s Malthouse theatre, The Story Of Mary MacLane By Herself. With over and hour of lines to learn for that, she was looking for something without a script that could be done at night, and involved singing. Over a couple of hours (and beers) the concept was born – and went on to be developed with Henning and Black Lung’s Mark Winter, who directed the debut season in Melbourne. Memorable moments so far include the time that Winter told Bojana to remove her underwear and put them in her date Peta Sergeant’s bag (“I just did it,” the actress says in disbelief. “And then I started crying, because I was so embarrassed.”) and the time she poked Jeremy Sims’ sweaty armpit (“He looked at me, and I realised I’d done it in front of a room of 100 people…I didn’t mean to make him embarrassed, but it was really funny!”). “The unexpectedness of it is the best thing about it,” says Bojana, “and that happens every night.” – Dee Jefferson When: January 8-20 from Tuesday – Sunday at 8pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm & 10:30pm, and Thursday January 17 also at 10:30pm Where: The Karaoke Klub @ Seymour Centre More:

ego’s involved. But it is something that has really defined my identity, and as I’ve matured and experienced those other sides of life where there is heartbreak, what I found is that once you start playing in the deeper emotions and where the stakes for people are really high, then the comedy becomes much richer – often a lot funnier – more interesting, more fulfilling.” This richness has become a key pursuit for Inside. “Hopefull, people will leave having their emotions all jangled and stimulated, and even though there’s sadness in it, and some terror in it as well, they actually leave feeling much better than they did when they came in. That’s been the intention in all of the work I’ve ever done.” — Rebecca Saffir When: January 4-27 Where: The Famous Spiegeltent in the Festival Garden (Hyde Park North) More:

Murder photo by Susannah Wembley

The material is definitely dark – in one scene a mother strangles her child, and the show's subject-matter spans torture, rape and hardcore violence. But there’s also a thread of dark comedy, says Wright: “It’s irreverent, it’s hilarious. For all the work that [Erth] do in family entertainment, we’re still pretty edgy about it. We want to make work for our peers; we’re making the show that we would like to see. … I hope when the audience leaves Murder, they feel a little more in the thick of it that just watching CSI Miami or Special Victims Unit.” – Lauren Carroll Harris

Erth’s new show, Murder, lays its anchor between the reality of our media-saturated, violence-obsessed society, and the murky imagination of musician extraordinaire and generally shady guy, Nick Cave. Wright, choreographer Kate Champion and playwright Raimondo Cortese have drawn on two-dozen true-crime stories as well as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ 1996 album Murder Ballads, to craft an ambitious hybrid theatre piece that fuses puppetry, performance, animation and storytelling.

Taking her position in a theatre-cumKaraoke-bar, Bojana plays the role of single gal Anna – and waits for her blind date to arrive, with no script, and no idea who will turn up or what they’ll say (past dates have included Twilight hunk Xavier Samuels, Patrick Brammall, and even her boyfriend, actor Chris Ryan – the disastrous/hilarious account of which can be found online). During the date, each receives instructions from director Tanya Goldberg (co-Artistic Director of Melbourne's Ride On Theatre with Bojana) that shape how the drama unfolds.

Cantina photo by Conan Whitehouse

“The creaky wooden floor of the Spiegeltent combined with the weight of the pianola can make it a bit wobbly,” McGuffin says with a nervous laugh. “I walk across the necks of the bottles, and to do that requires a quiet, calm headspace.” The tension of this trick, however, is part of the thrill for the seasoned performer: “I can feel everybody watching me, wondering if the trick’s going to work and if I’ll make it across. That’s one of the things that makes circus performance so exciting.”

dates across 15 days, with one woman. For Sydney Festival, film and stage thesp Bojana Novakovic (Burning Man; The Story Of Mary MacLane By Herself) will be improvising her way through a series of blind dates that range from hilarious to just hilariously awkward (and maybe plain awkward) – for your viewing pleasure. It’s called The Blind Date Project, and it’s a remount of a concept she’s shown in Melbourne, Brisbane and now Los Angeles.

The Blind Date Project photo by Jake Walker


ith his background studying and programming classical music and his history of lineups for Amsterdam’s Holland Festival, it’s not surprising that Lieven Bertels has carved a strong classical-infused trench through his first Sydney Festival program – from Ligeti Morphed, Satie Vexations and exciting young Berlinbased chamber orchestra Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, to hybrid forms like Legs On The Wall and Stefan Gregory’s Symphony, and the fashion-meets-Baroqueoratorio mash-up of Semele Walk. Below, we unpack some of the highlights from this year’s theatre lineup – where you’ll also find musos running amok. Sydney Festival runs from January 5-27; for the full program, see


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’ve always been obsessive and fearless in my love for theatre and canon stories, but doing this was bloody scary!” laughs Camille O’Sullivan. One of the international cabaret circuit’s foremost proponents of Belgian singersongwriter Jacques Brel and German composer Kurt Weill, O’Sullivan is talking to me about the latest feather in her cap: the central role in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s narrative-poem-turned-songcycle, The Rape of Lucrece.


important that if you want to create work that is not in the conventional way, you have to do everything at the same time [in the rehearsal room]; you cannot say the music is the most important thing or the text is the most important thing. When you develop everything at the same time, you get a texture that is more polyphonic.”

Eraritjaritjaka (an indigenous word meaning “longing”) weaves the words of Swiss poet and Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti into a dream-like meditation on human life, death, the animal kingdom and more, featuring performer Andre Wilms, video work by Bruno Deville, and a live musical score encompassing Bach, Shostakovich, Ravel and Goebbels himself (who was a composer for many years) performed by Amsterdam's Mondriaan String Quartet.

Though it’s perhaps tricky to wrangle a tidy written description of Goebbels’ repertoire, he says, with typical philosophical dexterity, “I don’t think that my work is difficult to understand because it doesn’t necessarily insist on understanding. I think that theatre should not only be an instrument to tell stories but should also be a space for the imagination of the audience, a space for mystery.” — Rebecca Saffir

“All the elements have great importance, which is not ordered in a hierarchical way,” says Goebbels, who directs. “I think it is

The show was originally inspired by Canetti’s notebooks: “[I] was immediately struck by the simplicity and humour of his writing,” says Goebbels. “For about five years I opened them and closed them, found something and laughed, found something else [that] made me think, and I had the idea to make a theatre piece which could share this pleasure with the audience.”

“How often to you get to create music to Shakespeare? It’s just so incredible,” O’Sullivan enthuses. “We’ve just finished our season at Edinburgh, and everything about it has been so special. The audience have all reacted so strongly, and I think a lot of people have been very surprised with what they’re seeing.” The musician and actress was last in town six months ago to perform an evening of modern cabaret that re-imagined the work of popular songwriters such as David Bowie and Tom Waits; prior to that she joined actor Tim Robbins’ Rogue's Gallery for the 2010 Sydney Festival, sharing a bill with Marianne

Faithfull, Sarah Blasko and Peaches, among other luminaries. Working with the RSC, however, proved to be a steep but thrilling learning curve. “I had been under pressure before with my own shows, but nothing like this show,” she says. “There’s a marathon amount of words, and it takes you a while as an Irish person to find the right rhythm within the poetry. At the same time, the company’s actors were incredible at helping me find my root within the narrative, and making the language my own. Even so, once the lights are off, just before I go on, I always freak out!” – Benjamin Cooper When: January 22-25 Where: York Theatre @ Seymour Centre More:

When: January 9-13 Where: Theatre Royal @ MLC Centre More:

iven our cultural and geographic ties with China, it seems remarkable that Sydney Festival will mark the Australian debut of Beijing’s Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre – purveyors of one of the country’s oldest popular art-forms. Kunqu (pronounced kun-shoo) is a more refined, literary form of Chinese opera (as opposed to, for example, Peking opera, which is more panto-based); it takes popular, centuries-old tales and translates them for the stage using a combination of song, poetry, movement and music. It’s generally considered the ‘mother’ of contemporary Chinese performance.


n terms of music, Opera doesn’t get much better than Verdi (see Rigoletto, Aida and La Traviata, for starters); and in terms of sheer spectacle, it doesn’t get much better than La Fura dels Baus – the Spanish theatre company behind such epic creations as Le Grand Macabre (2010 Adelaide Festival): a reimagining of Ligeti’s opera which augmented the musical and performance elements with video projections and a giant, modular, moveable sculpture of a prostrate woman around and within which the action took place.


“Kunqu is stylised, it’s very elaborate,” says Sally Sussman, the local producer for the shows. “There are incredibly beautiful and gorgeous costumes, and it has this otherworldly feel – this highly theatrical feel – which it shares with other forms. But it’s the music and the singing that really distinguishes kunqu from other forms [of Chinese opera].” For their Sydney debut, the company are bringing two rom-com classics from the kunqu repertoire: The Peony Pavilion and The Jade Hairpin. “It’s a program that might appeal to a local audience, but also a program that really represents the pinnacle of the company,” says Sussman. “We wanted to show the form in its most virtuosic and highest standard – not something that was just catering for Western audiences.” A student of Chinese opera and theatre at Beijing’s Central Academy of Drama during the ‘80s, Sussman is friends with the company from previous collaborations, and was invited to facilitate their Sydney Festival shows. “It was really important that they came with their best artists,” she emphasises. “Often touring companies bring their B-team, but we were like, ‘Oh no, we want Wei Chunrong in the lead [roles] and the best young performers you have – and that’s what we’ve got!” Wei is one of the company’s star attractions, an award-winning singer who is highly regarded 30 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:11

among China’s opera connoisseurs: “[In kunqu] people come to see the performer rather than the play – they would hear that Wei Chunrong was singing and go and see her regardless of what she’s performing,” Sussman explains. For punters trying to choose between the two operas, Sussman offers the following: “Peony Pavilion is probably the most famous piece – it’s part of the kunqu repertoire, and it’s a famous story about young lovers and meeting in the underworld – so that’s the kind of classic, heavyweight one. But Jade Hairpin also is really beautiful – a simpler story perhaps, with a less epic sort of feel." – Dee Jefferson When: January 24-26 Where: Drama Theatre @ Sydney Opera House More:

At Sydney Festival, La Fura dels Baus will be premiering their reimagining of Verdi’s assassination drama A Masked Ball, transporting the politically-charged but brutally censored original libretto (written in 1858) to a post-9/11 and post-GFC world in the future, where socio-political conflict has lead to a fascist state and a popular uprising, and the political class have retreated into a concrete bunker, to protect themselves from the masses. Visually, the production will be taking cues from the dystopian imagery of Michael Radford’s film adaptation of 1984, and the current Occupy and Indignados movements (including – possibly – live graffiti on stage). “We trying to bring [back] the original political content that the piece had,” says Assistant Director Valentina Carrasco. “Verdi was a very political composer and very involved in the politics of Italy. When he composed it, he used the figure of a King – which was too close to the King of

Napoli [at the time] so they censored him… he had to change the figure into a Count, and set [the story] in Boston.” Carrasco has been with La Fura for 13 years, but the company emerged during the artistically-liberated post-Franco era, in the late '70s. Borrowing heavily from the tradition of street theatre in the Mediterranean part of Spain, La Fura initially made works without text – works of imagery, movement, sound and sensation. Later they started working with video – one of the first companies in Europe to use it centrally in theatre works. By the ‘90s they’d evolved to text-based work, including MTM, ØBS and XXX (based on text by the Marquis de Sade’s) – all of which have toured to Australia over the last 16 years. La Fura also made their first incursions into the world of Opera during the '90s. “We’re trying to approach it from a different point of view," says Carrasco, "because our background is so different from those traditionally staging opera. We’re trying to include and involve the audience as much as possible; trying to show different aesthetics on stage; trying to speak to another audience – not just opera fans.” – Dee Jefferson When: 7.30pm on January 16, 19, 24, 30 / February 5, 8, 12; 2pm on January 27. Where: Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House More:

Eraritjaritjaka photo by Mario Del Curto

f I could tell you about the show, I wouldn’t have to make it!” I should have expected such an elegant response from Heiner Goebbels: one of the foremost theatre artists of the 21st century, and whose experiential, multi-disciplinary works typically defy description: is it a play? A composition? An installation? Goebbels himself seems nonplussed by the question of definition. “I think we are surrounded by a world where everything wants to be explained and commented [on]. We have too many words. And we are not ready for the things that can’t be explained with words. That’s why we need art with a less literal quality. We need an artistic experience which is something where words don’t reach.”


Based on one of Shakespeare’s darkest works, The Rape of Lucrece details the rape of a Roman noblewoman by a prince, and her subsequent suicide – the fallout of which eventually led to the founding of the Roman Republic. O’Sullivan adapted it for stage with creative partner and housemate Feargal Murray, a pianist and composer whose impressive CV includes working with the late Amy Winehouse and new wave icon Nick Lowe. To create the piece, the two travelled to the bard’s hometown of Stratford-uponAvon, soaking up the place and its history while they were building the show and composing its music.





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More Than The Cure Since 1989 with Murray Engleheart


Depending on where you lived, The Radiators were kinda hip in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, causing near riots at packed-out gigs – a feat for which they received virtually no attention or recognition. Roadies used to have to stack the equipment cases in front of the stage to try and keep the faithful at bay, but in a matter of minutes they washed up into the lights anyway. Yep, The Rads have long been the quiet achievers on the Oz rock stage; they weren’t in the same heavyweight league as The Aztecs, Rose Tattoo or The Angels, but they worked bloody hard and survived for near 40 years. So we’re sad to hear that the band’s resident hero (and namesake of ‘Fess’ Song’), guitarist Fess Parker, is leaving the band. His last gig is on New Year’s Eve at Lizotte’s in Newcastle. All the very best, mate. Respect.


Mudhoney, the band that has been lapped by time and fashion several times and counting, return in April with a new slab called Vanishing Point. We wonder aloud who buys stuff like that now...


Remedy’s watch on the Stones’ 50th anniversary gigs continues this week, with something of a groan. We’ll let you pick why. Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and The Black Keys hit the stage with the band in New Jersey on December 15. Why these big acts feel the need to be all, you know, like, modern – rather than standing up and saying, 'Now watch this kiddies. This is how it’s done!’ – is beyond us. Like some 15-year-old is suddenly going to think these old blokes are cool 'cos La Gaga got up with them...


Two albums by garage rock demi-god Ty Segall get the reissue treatment in January, courtesy of the In The Red label. One is a 2008 effort by his band The Traditional Fools, titled The Traditional Fools, which is spiked with homages to Thee Headcoats and Redd Kross via versions of ‘Davey Crockett’ and ‘Kill Someone You Hate’. The other is his 2009 LP/cassette-only release with Mikal Cronin, Reverse Shark Attack.


Blue Öyster Cult haven’t quite been the same since the original classic Secret

Treaties lineup fractured. The mystery was gone. So there was some serious excitement in New York City recently when the original lineup – Eric Bloom, Donald ‘Buck Dharma’ Roeser, Allen Lanier, Joe Bouchard and Albert Bouchard – hit the stage as one, for the first time in 25 years. The show was part of the celebrations to mark the huge 17-disc boxed set of all their recorded output for the Columbia label. Whether it is to be a one-off, or if the band’s current, (to us) faceless lineup will continue, is unknown at this stage.


Ravi Shankar, the man who took the sitar to the world, has died at the age of 92. While the sitar has been used more often than not over the years to signify a mood of steamy mystery, in Shankar’s grasp it could be as driving and intense as anything by Hendrix or Coltrane. His performances at both Woodstock and The Concert For Bangladesh were nothing short of jawdropping.


Another sad loss is former Massappeal guitarist Ashley Chatto, who lost his battle with cancer recently. He was one half of the band’s one-two guitar wallop, alongside Brett Curotta, on records like The Mechanic in the early ‘90s.


And Ed Cassidy, the original bald drummer of Spirit, has also passed away, at the somewhat staggering age of 89. Hardly a bad innings from a man who made his way free through the highs and even-highers of the ‘60s, in a career that saw him play with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder in Rising Sons, before teaming with his stepson, the Hendrixinspired Randy California, in Spirit in 1967. You never heard Spirit? For shame! We would have been quite happy for them to do the Jimi thing, but they had a wider and deeper psych trajectory than that – as their masterpiece, Twelve Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus, proved beyond any reasonable doubt.


Hot Snakes sure showed how rock should be done at The Annandale last week, not only melting the PA but using rotating drummers in the process. Never fitting in any pigeonhole easily, with vertebratetwisting time signature changes and rhythms, The Snakes also retain a menace that is the very essence of great rock'n'roll. No one does it better.

Ty Segall

ON THE TURNTABLE On the Remedy turntable is a killer new comp called A Different Kind of Blues: Music From Another Dimension – which, rather than just the usual suspects like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, features a very broad reading of acts from the genre, including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Captain Beefheart and Richard Berry and The Pharaohs, along with catches from a much wider net, including Gary Glitter, The J Geils Band, T Rex, Funkadelic and Gov't Mule. Basically, if its intent is some sort of evil and it has a dark voodoo groove of some description, it qualifies for inclusion here – and there’s lashings of it, too. This is what the Alligator Label would call Genuine House-rockin’ Music.



Public Image Ltd, such as they are these days lineup-wise, will be back in the country in April; on April 10, they’ll be at The Enmore Theatre

32 :: BRAG :: 494 :: 17:11:12

The mighty Slayer are doing a Soundwave sideshow on February 25 at the Big Top at Luna Park.

Send stuff to by 6pm Wednesdays. Pics to

37.5pt Univers 57 Condensed

BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 33

live reviews what we've been to see...

OMAR SOULEYMAN, RICHARD IN YOUR MIND Oxford Art Factory Thursday December 6

Omar Souleyman’s joyful Syrian wedding music? Now there’s a great reason to get out of the house – and when Richard In Your Mind is opening the night, it makes it that much easier. Richard Cartwright is always a pleasure to watch, and I’m shocked at the sparse crowd in attendance to see this Sydney treasure. He’s in duo mode tonight with Conrad Richters, and the beats are large and languid. Ever eclectic, as he wraps up an ode to house music, Richard picks up a sitar. The instrument appears bigger than he is, but he deftly uses it to take us on a psychedelic trip a la Portishead via Mumbai. Omar Souleyman enters the stage and looks exactly how he does for every gig, in his chequered keffiyeh headpiece, dark sunglasses, moustache and flowing robe. He has brought with him quite a reputation, with 900 bootleg cassettes available in Syria, and Glastonbury and ATP festival appearances. He’s also recently worked

with Björk, but I wonder if he has the power to get this quiet Thursday night crowd moving. It takes one song. His hyped up techno take on traditional dabke music creates a need to dance, and since no one plays this style of music no one knows how to dance to it. This doesn’t stop anyone from trying: by the time he lets out his first signature “Hheeeeeeeey!”, hands are in the air, and goofy takes on Syrian dancing are in full effect. Singing in Arabic, Omar’s voice resonates with sincerity and passion – and while there’s no smiling, no showmanship and no change of his expression, he holds the crowd in his hand with striking charisma; he just needs to give us another “Hheeeeeeeey!”, tuck the mic under his arm and clap with the beat to make his audience ecstatic. That said, it helps that he shares the stage with Rizan Sa’id, the Eddy Van Halen of Syrian synths. Rizan plays his drumpads while simultaneously evoking the sounds of the Middle East with blurred fingers on his keyboard. As Omar concludes his set I’m left with a sense of joy, and a complete understanding of why he’s Syria’s #1 wedding singer. Tyler Broyles

HOT SNAKES, SIXFTHICK The Annandale Hotel Thursday December 6

“They’re supposed to put on pretty crazy live show,” said Hot Snakes frontman Rick Froberg moments before the support act, SixFtHick – and moments after we had recovered from the initial awkwardness of my “hey-remember-that-time-Iinterviewed-you” opening line. He didn’t remember, but my desire to slink away into the (remarkably less dank than it used to be) Annandale was quelled when he said, "but they’re older now..." – suggesting that Brisbane’s inimitable swamp rock legends may no longer be as energetic as they were, back when it was more acceptable for them to bandy about shirtless, expertly spitting into the air between ballsy refrains. (A suspicion I found particularly interesting since Froberg and his band mates aren’t exactly reeling in 16-year-old fans like their lip ring- and fringe-brandishing successors, either.) But like SixFtHick, Hot Snakes’ live show was totally punk rock, while somehow managing to avoid coming off like a bunch of old guys dredging up some long-gone ethos. There’s a sense that they just think these songs fucking rule, and that they haven’t had the chance to perform them in way too long. Mario Rubalcaba played during the first part of the set, drumming on songs from 2002’s Suicide Invoice, like the album’s title track and the misanthropic chugger ‘I Hate The Kids’. Jason Kourkounis, who drummed on Automatic Midnight, switched with Rubalcaba for a few tracks, including ‘If Credit’s What Matters I’ll Take Credit’, ‘No Hands’ and ‘Past Lives’ – and they came off exactly as gravelly and bratty as everyone wanted them to be.


SIMPLE MINDS, DEVO, THE CHURCH The Entertainment Centre Friday December 7

Some months back, The Church’s singer, flaneur and mischief-maker Steve Kilbey announced that he was breaking up the band. Thankfully Uncle Steve changed his mind a few days later, which meant everyone could just get on with the business of being passionately resolved and technically sound tonight, as they blasted through their rich back catalogue. Classic cuts like ‘Almost With You’ and ‘Under The Milky Way’ inspired the first of many of the evening’s singalongs.

Recovering after the stage lost power, and rejoined by Rubalcaba, Hot Snakes built back up to a climax of fast-paced hits – ‘Retrofit’, ‘Kreative Kontrol’, ‘Reflex’ and ‘Hi-Lites’ from 2004’s Audit In Progress – which were met by a legitimately enthralled and sweaty audience. Reis’ dexterity on his customised Tym ‘Scimitar’ electric betrays the fact that he’s an indie veteran, and if you close your eyes, Froberg’s still 22 years old. At the risk of being a fangirl – whatever, I admit it – Froberg and Reis are just as compatible as they were in Pitchfork. Dijana Kumurdian CASWELL PHOTOGRAPHER : MARY JANE

34 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12

Someone forgot to tell Devo that they weren’t the headliners. There were multiple costume changes, tightly choreographed dance moves and buckets of attitude: all from a bunch of sexagenarians. It’s hardly surprising – this is, after all, the band that both Kurt Cobain and Mikey Young (Eddy Current) have referred to as the most challenging and important band to emerge from the underground. They whipped (oh, I didn’t!) through tracks like ‘Girl U Want’, ‘Through

Being Cool’ and ‘Whip It’ with ferocious energy and zeal. The enduring image of the gig, certainly for those fans in the first few rows, will surely be frontman Mark Mothersbaugh's alter ego Booji Boy pulling multiple packets of Twisties from the crotch of his orange jumpsuit to pour across the crowd during closer ‘Freedom Of Choice’. Barely 20 seconds into Simple Minds’ set and frontman Jim Kerr was on his knees, bent back double on the ground, howling the words of ‘Waterfront’ into the microphone. The years of living in Sicily (and presumably a lot of aerial yoga) have kept the Scotsman in good nick, and he bounded about the stage with abandon. There seemed to be an unnecessary amount of mic-heldto-the-audience-for-them-to-sing-back throughout the set, which works well only for big numbers like ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ – but with such a lack of vocal power, not even the enthusiasm of those die-hard fans can lift Kerr and co. to the lofty heights of the preceding act and fellow journeymen. By Benjamin Cooper

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live reviews

up all night out all week . . .

what we've been to see...

Enmore Theatre Thursday December 6 This unashamedly retro evening kicks off with Machinations, cult favourites of the local synth-pop scene back in the ’80s – but it’s the growling vocal deliveries of The Stranglers’ Jean-Jacques Burnel that really open up the Enmore’s sound system tonight. The punk rockers’ set is very British and very old-school: the only thing more angular than Burnel’s dance steps are the keyboard melodies around which The Stranglers’ output is built. With only two members of the band’s classic lineup on stage, it’s a wonder they bother any more. But for all the new wave revivalism that informs modern music, not much of it sounds like this – and if that’s the sole reason The Stranglers are still doing their thing, it’s a passable one. When Blondie step out, all eyes turn – where else? – to Deborah Harry. She’s wearing a bleached blonde mohawk, fluoro red braids and a jacket sparkling in gold. It’s just as well Harry brought the style, too, because the other five band members look like they’ve come to town with empty hands, and hired out the last remaining ‘punk rocker’ outfits from the party store. They sound exactly like the

bona fide professionals they are, though – on ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, the guitars command the room absolutely, so much so that Harry’s voice fades deep into the mix. For ‘Call Me’ she declines the tricky parts; her high lines are replaced, sacrilegiously, with a keytar solo. Elsewhere, though, her softer nuances are as effective as ever (a fact that goes unnoticed by the gentleman next to me, who spends much of the set asleep in his chair. $125 well spent.) Despite Harry’s seductive whispers, there’s no room for subtlety among the rest of the band. A drumstick is sent spinning through the air at least once per song, and there’s a flurry of big notes at every finish. It’s far better than a lazy dawdle through the motions; only Blondie co-founder Chris Stein operates within himself behind a rhythm guitar, while in front of him Tommy Kessler delivers all sorts of ear-bending trickery and knee-sliding solo action. The superb ‘Rapture’ is a moment for Harry alone. The performance proves that the delicate balance between the unflappable frontwoman and the energetic musicians around her is what really straps this band to their foundations. She saves them from sliding into caricature; they save her from losing momentum. A delightful synergy. Chris Martin

primal scream



05:12:12 :: The Enmore Theatre :: 118-132 Enmore Rd Newtown 9550 3666

end of the world party party profile

It’s called: MUM presents Go Here Go There – End Of The World Party! It sounds like: The next big things in Australian music. Who’s playing? Palms, Cabins, Willow Beats, Moonbase Commander, Nakagin, The Faults, Light Giant, Epithets, Skullsquadron, True North, Beaten Bodies, Felix Lloyd, Robopop DJs, Reginald Harris IV, Smithers, DJ Swim Team and Cries Wolf DJs. Sell it to us: It’s an end of the world party across two venues, with the best new bands and DJs, and a few special extras... The bit we’ll remember in the AM: You’ll still be here with a smile on yo' face and a lover to embrace. Crowd specs: Everyone who’s down for the good times. Wallet damage: $15 gets you into both venues Where: The World Bar & FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel When: Friday December 21. from 8pm RKE PHOTOGRAPHER : KATRINA CLA

HOMEBAKE FESTIVAL The Domain Saturday December 8 Despite being billed as ‘The Global Edition’, most of this sweltering Saturday featured the healthy dose of a varied Australian acts that we’ve come to love the festival for, and punters made their way in droves to the now hallowed ground of the picturesque Domain. Early on, indie-pop four-piece San Cisco showed surprising muscle, but the day really got started with Parachute Youth. In less than a year, the Adelaide/ Sydney production duo rapidly shot to the #1 most played and requested spot on triple j, while simultaneously ascending international charts. Their debut single ‘Can’t Get Better Than This’ got the biggest crowd reaction, as the pit became a tangled blur of limbs and blissed-out faces. Sam Sparro, back from his overseas tour, weaved magic for his vamped-up audience with infectious funky soul tracks like ‘Black & Gold’ and ‘Happiness’, which hit #1 on the Belgian pop charts earlier this year. Away from all the music, The Sydney Comedy Festival was offering a well-curated mix of established and emerging comedians, including the sweetly sardonic Genevieve Fricker and the animatedly furious Matt Okine. They were

churning through ten-minute sets, but it was great to have a space to chill out for a laugh between bands, as the rest of the festival took full advantage of the day’s recycling scheme: returning empty cans for cash. Then came the inevitable clash: Tame Impala, Hermitude and Seekae. I chose to sashay between the Main Stage and Big Top, and it paid off. Known for their tight production and slick beats, Hermitude slayed the crowd, as the sweaty huddle moved in sync to hits like ‘HyperParadise’ and ‘El Gusto’ – definitely a highlight of the day. Meanwhile at the Main Stage, Perth’s Tame Impala created gorgeous, involving soundscapes with none of the self-involved noodling that often typifies a psych-rock revival outfit, reaching a zenith with the swooning ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’. The night ended with legendary Blondie a n d enigmatic lead Debbie Harry – who, despite being in her 67th year, can still kick it with the best of them. Shimmying in a metallic jumpsuit and skull belt buckle, with her hair done up into a near-metrehigh quiff, she and her band played a set littered with classics like ‘Atomic’, ‘One Way Or Another’ and ‘Call Me’, finishing on ‘Heart Of Glass’. Carla Pavez PHOTOGRAPHER : TIM LEVY

BRAG :: 493:: 17:12:12 :: 35

snap sn ap

kutcha edwards


up all night out all week . . .

regina spektor


07:12:12 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587

08:11:12 :: The Enmore Theatre :: 118-132 Enmore Rd Newtown 9550 3666

chopdog promotions xmas party party profile

It’s called: Chopdog Promotions Christmas Party It sounds like: Ska/punk/rock – and a damn good idea! Who’s playing? Isaac Graham Band, Ebolagoldfish, The Bennies (VIC), Kujo Kings (VIC), Phat Meegz (TAS), Chris Duke & The Royals, plus acoustic acts. Sell it to us: We’ve gathered bands from far and wide to bring face-melting Christmas cheer to our beloved Annandale Hotel! Isaac Graham heads a long list of talent on the night, bringing his punk-inspired folk, plus: The Bennies, Kujo Kings and Phat Meegz up from Melbourne and Tazzy on their SKAFARI tour; Ebolagoldfish on the final legs of their ‘Idol Thoughts’ single tour; and Chris Duke & The Royals, finally returning to the Annandale after an almostcapacity album launch last year! All in all, it will be an epic Xmas event to go out on, if the world does end... The bit we’ll remember in the AM: The great tunes, the great times – and the $5 Carlton Draught schooners. Crowd specs: 18+ party people. Wallet damage: $7 pre-sale; more at the door. Where: The Annandale Hotel



When: Friday December 21, 7pm



07:12:12 :: World Bar :: 24 Bayswater Rd Kings Cross 9357 7700

the pretty things


06:12:12 :: The Hi-Fi :: 122 Lang Road Moore Park

08:12:12 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587 36 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12


BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 37

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pick of the week WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 19

Black Diamond Hearts The World Bar, Kings Cross free 10.30pm Jeff Martin (CAN) Brass Monkey, Cronulla $41.85 7pm Jeff Stanley Dee Why RSL Club free 6.30pm Joe Echo Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney free 8.30pm JP Trio Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm Mark Travers The Orient Hotel, The Rocks free 9pm Rob Henry The Observer Hotel, The Rocks free 8.30pm Shameless Seamus & The Tullamore Dews, Dog Trumpet The Basement, Circular Quay $25 (+ bf)–$79.80 (dinner & show) 7.30pm

Jonothan Boulet, Dappled Cities, Caitlin Park, Richard In Your Mind, Melodie Nelson, Aidan Roberts (Belles Will Ring), Thomas Rawle (Papa vs Pretty), Brian Campeau, Elena Stone, The Green Mohair Suits, Sarah Blasko, Brendan Cowell, DJ Adam Lewis, DJ Conrad Greenleaf The Standard, Darlinghurst $25 (+ bf) 8pm Gang Of Brothers, Glenn Cunningham Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7pm Glass Towers FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel free 1pm Immortal Band Competition Valve Bar And Venue, Tempe 7pm Is it Her Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $25 8pm Jeff Martin (CAN) Brass Monkey, Cronulla $41.85 7pm Josh McIvor Mean Fiddler, Rouse Hill free 6pm JP Duo O’Malley’s Hotel, Darlinghurst free 9.30pm Keg Party: Black Anchor, Mary Gunn, The Runes, Black Island, Bhang Lassi Annandale Hotel free 7.30pm Mandi Jarry Summer Hill Hotel free 7.30pm Musos Jam Night Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt free 8pm One Wild Night Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 11pm Rufus, Jessica Cerro, Frames, F.R.I.E.N.D/S DJs Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach free 8pm Sam & Jamie Show Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill free 8pm Sarah Paton The Observer Hotel, The Rocks free 9.30pm Ted Danson With Wolves, Hence Therefore, Telefon Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst $5 8pm Watsup The Orient Hotel, The Rocks free 9pm




Carl Fidler Carl Fidler The Observer Hotel, The Rocks free 8.30pm


Ian Blakeney Dee Why RSL Club free 6.30pm Susan Gai Trio 505 Club, Surry Hills $10 8.30pm


Russell Neal, Leaf Nightingale, Lorias, Anita Lenzo Trio, Chris Brookes, Massimo Presti Kellys On King, Newtown free 7pm Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana Voices City Recital Hall, Sydney $54 7pm all-ages Dappled Cities

The Standard, Darlinghurst

Beck Hansen’s Song Reader Josh Pyke, Jonathan Boulet, Dappled Cities, Caitlin Park, Richard In Your Mind, Melodie Nelson, Aidan Roberts (Belles Will Ring), Thomas Rawle (Papa vs Pretty), Brian Campeau, Elana Stone, The Green Mohair Suits; spoken word from Sarah Blasko and Brendan Cowell; DJ sets from Adam Lewis and Conrad Greenleaf $25 (+ bf) – $30 (door) 7pm all funds raised go to Sydney Story Factory 38 :: BRAG :: 493 : 17:12:12


Jazzgroove Christmas Party: The Swinging Blades, The Dilworths, John Maddox and the Hair Hair Hairs 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 8.30pm


Angelene Harris, Eva-Maria Hess, Yetti, Collin Gosper, Monica Lasuardi, Vanesa Trujillo, Russell Neal Taverners Hill Hotel, Leichhardt free 7pm Carolyn Woodorth, Leaf Nightingale Off Broadway, Ultimo free 7.30pm Darren Bennett, Black Diamond George IV Inn, Picton free 7pm

Kylie Stephens Dee Why RSL Club free 6.30pm Natalie Slade (NZ), The Solid Ones, Duan & Only The Basement, Circular Quay $15 (+ bf) 7.30pm The Pillars 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 8.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK The Folk Informal – A Country Christmas: The Late Night Sound, Johnny Took, Edward Deer, James Thomson, Alex Guthrie FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel $10 7pm Russell Neal Cat And Fiddle Hotel, Balmain free 7pm TAOS, Velvet Road, John Chesher, Gavin Fitzgerald, Ross Bruzzese, Stephanie Poleson Coach & Horses Hotel, Randwick free 7pm


Bang!: The Laurels, Melody Nelson, Day Ravies Annandale Hotel free (early bird)-$10 8pm Captain Obvious & The Unpredictables, 2/3 Of A Glass Darkly, Janise & The Cripps, Subtle Vagrants The Imperial Hotel, Erskinville free 7pm Caravana Sun, Swimming Weather, Matt Arnott Brass Monkey, Cronulla $19.90 7pm Chaos Night Rider: Deathcage, Shackles, Unknown to God, Rituals of the Oak, Cop Gestapo, Oily Boys Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $12 8pm ClulowForester, Xanthopan, MEN64, Ostinato FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel $10 8pm Crying Tree Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly free 7.30pm Darren Percival, The Colonel Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $25 7pm Elevate Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm Evan Dando (USA), Juliana Hatfield (USA), Bambino Koresh Metro Theatre, Sydney $49 (+ bf) 8pm Glenn Cunningham Blue Beat, Double Bay $20 (+ bf) 8pm Jordan C Thomas, The Hightones, DJ Brian Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7pm MA Gallery Christmas Vacation Party: Mother & Son, Spirit Valley, Dunhill Blues, The Pieter Van Den Hoogen Band Gallery Bar, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm Mick Thomas and The


Abbe May, Shy Panther Goodgod Small Club, Sydney $20 (+ bf) 8pm Andrew Russell Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly free 7.30pm Andy Mammers Duo Maloney’s Hotel, Sydney free 9pm Beck Hansen’s Song Reader: Josh Pyke,

Jonathan Boulet

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The Laurels


Roving Commission, Ash Naylor The Vanguard, Newtown $23.80 7pm Mr Scot Finnie Woollahra Hotel free 7pm Neighbourhood Watch: Achoo! Bless You, Edward Deer, Maples, Piers Twomey The Standard, Darlinghurst $10 8pm Owen Campbell The Workers, Balmain free 8pm Souled Out The Orient Hotel, The Rocks free 9pm The Trobes, Forest Green Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta $15 8pm all-ages Vice Presents – The

Christmas Party: These New South Whales, Buzz Kull, Ricky Maymi DJ Set (USA), Goodgod Small Club, Sydney free (rsvp) 8pm The Wildbloods, Bradley Cork & The Folklore Mantra, Maurice Jones, Richie St. James Valve Bar And Venue, Tempe 7pm Will And The People Old Manly Boatshed free 8pm


Joyeau Noel: Baby Et Lulu The Basement, Circular Quay $30 (+ bf)–$84.80 (dinner & show) 7.30pm

Lionel Robinson Dee Why RSL Club free 6.30pm Peter Head The Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks free 8pm Urban Gypsies 505 Club, Surry Hills $15 (conc)–$20 8.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK Daniel Hopkins Olympic Hotel. Paddington free 7.30pm Joanne Hill, Simon Marrable Corrimal Hotel free 7.30pm Russell Neal, Leaf Nightingale Forest Lodge Hotel, Glebe free 7.30pm

Andrew Bourke Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly free 7.30pm Blaze of Glory Engadine Tavern 9.30pm Bump City Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $25 7.30pm Caravana Sun, Jae Haydon, Andy Kelly The Standard, Darlinghurst $12 (+ bf) 8pm Check Your Head – Blaxploitation IV: Professor Groove & The Booty Affair, Confection Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7pm Chopdog Christmas: Issac Graham Band, Chris Duke & The Royals, The Bennies, Ebolagoldfish, Phat Meegz, Kujo Kings, Jae Haydon Annandale Hotel $7 7pm Claude Hay, Chase The Sun, Cass Eager, Lachy Doley, The Widowbirds The Vanguard, Newtown $30 8pm Go Here Go There: Palms, Cabins, Willow Beats, Moonbase Commander, Nakagin, The Faults, Light Giant, Epithets, Skullsquadron, True North, Beaten Bodies, Felix Lloyd, Robopop DJs, Swim Team DJs, Cries Wolf DJs, Danny Cruel FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel / The World Bar, Kings Cross $15 8pm Hue Williams Kareela Golf & Social Club free 6.30pm

The Intercontinental Playboys, The Bad Vibrations The Green Room Loune, Enmore free 8pm Jon English, Peter Cupples Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $44–$102 (dinner & show) 8pm King Tide Brass Monkey, Cronulla $28.60 7pm Lime Cordiale, Castlecomer, Pat Tierney, Kristy Lee Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills free 6pm Mario Bros Engadine RSL & Citizens Club free 8pm Mark Broughton Engadine RSL & Citizens Club free 12.30pm Marshall Okell The Vanguard, Newtown $30 6pm Morrissey (UK), Kristeen Young (USA) Enmore Theatre $108.90 7pm Mr Breeze Richmond Inn free 8pm Noughties Customs House Bar, Circular Quay free 7pm Polaroids Of Xmasroids 2012: Tucker Bs, Matt Banham, Unity Floors Petersham Bowling Club $10 7.30pm Rhythm Section Christmas Party: Chase The Sun, Claude Hay, Marshall Okell, Cass Eager & the Velvet Rope, Pete Cornelius, The Widowbirds, Lloyd Spiegel The Vanguard, Newtown $29.80 7pm Roots A-Punk-Olypse!!: Topnovil, Handball Deathmatch, 51Percent, No Further questions

Spectrum, Darlinghurst $10 8pm The R & S Project Blue Beat, Double Bay $20 (+ bf) 8pm Rumours – A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac The Basement, Circular Quay $28 (+ bf)–$82.80 (dinner & show) 7pm Swingshift Cold Chisel Show Unity Hall Hotel, Balmain free 9.30pm Tamerlan, Sanguinary Misanthropia, Emaciated By Christ, Trouldhaugen Valve Bar And Venue, Tempe 7pm Vanity Scruffy Murphy’s, Haymarket free 10pm


James Muller Trio 505 Club, Surry Hills $20 (conc)–$25 8.30pm John’s Hot Club Well Co. Café / Wine Bar, Glebe free 8pm


Back To The ‘80s Unity Hall Hotel, Balmain free 9.30pm Bump City Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $25 7.30pm The Choirboys Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $39–$97 (dinner & show) 8pm Darren Hanlon’s Christmas Show


18 Dec

(9.00PM - 12.00AM)


19 Dec

(9:00PM - 1:00AM)

(9.00PM - 1.00AM)

(4.30PM - 7.30PM)

(9.00PM - 1.00AM)


20 Dec fri

21 Dec

(5.00PM - 8.00PM)

(9.30PM - 1.30AM)



22 Dec





23 Dec


(8.30PM - 12.00AM) (9.00PM - 1.30AM)

every saturday


24 Dec



25 Dec

BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 39

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Will And The People

St Stephen’s Church, Newtown 8pm Desperate Houseblokes Oatley Hotel free 8.30pm Dynamic Duo Brighton RSL Club, BrightonLe-Sands free 8pm Furnace & The Fundamentals, Devola, Isbjorn, Hobophonics Beach Road Hotel, Bondi free 8pm The Headliners Richmond Inn free 9.30pm Hue Williams Crowne Plaza Hotel, Coogee free 5pm Ian Moss, Black Diamond Hearts, DJ Shag Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 7.30pm

Irrelevant, LO!, Harbourer, Boneless Annandale Hotel $15 (+ bf) 8pm Jack Derwin Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly free 7.30pm Jody, Will And The Indians, Fields Of Mars The Lair, Metro Theatre, Sydney $10 4.45pm all-ages King Tide Brass Monkey, Cronulla $28.60 7pm Kittens: Winter People, Cogel, Iluka, Kittens DJs Spectrum, Darlinghurst $10 9pm Lost Angels (USA) Metro Theatre, Sydney $60 8pm

Lovers Jump Creek, Aerials, Sex In Columbia, Little May Gallery Bar, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst free 8pm Morrissey (UK) Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House 8pm Musica De Fuego IV: The Union Boys, Billy Goat And The Mongrels, TopNovil, Steppin’ Razor, Rocksteady Dub Militia, Shame Mongrel & Friends, Nick Waters The Red Rattler Theatre, Marrickville $15 5.45pm Professor Groove And The Booty Affair Xmas Party Blue Beat, Double Bay

$20 (+ bf) 8pm Scorcherfest: Funkhouse, Oliver Sean, Grass Taylor, Crossing Red Lines, Robbie Rowlands, Riot Runners, Livy & The Hula Dolls, Cletus Kasady Valbe Bar And Venue, Tempe $25 (presale)–$30 12pm SFX: Hold Your Own, Vices, Elegist St James Hotel, Sydney 9pm Starlight Fundraiser: Blackbreaks, Gods Of Rapture, My Reply, Toy Envy The Roxbury Hotel, Glebe $15 7.30pm Swingshift Cold Chisel Show Hurstville RSL Memorial Club free 9pm Transition Engadine RSL & Citizens Club free 8pm Whiskey Smile, Solkyri, Barbatus, The Archaic Revival, Swamp Heart The Square, Haymarket $12 7.30pm The Wiggles Sydney Entertainment Centre, Darling Harbour $38.50 10am, 1.30pm allages Will And The People (UK), Sea Legs, Avaberee, Kristy Lee Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills free 6pm


Chaika, Laura & Susie Cafe Church, Glebe $10 6.30pm all-ages Grant Arthur’s Big Swingin’ Christmas Extravaganza: The Pretty Big Band, Grant Arthur And The Baubels, The Cope Street Parade, Geoff

Bull And The Finer Cuts, Bellyache Ben, The Daley Brothers The Vanguard, Newtown $23.80 7pm Peter Head The Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks free 5pm Yuki Kumagai, John Mackie Well Co. Café / Wine Bar, Leichhardt free 7.30pm


The Pod Brothers The Belvedere Hotel, Sydney free 9pm Sean and Miss Bow Cookies Lounge And Bar, North Strathfield free 8pm


Ace Brighton RSL Club, BrightonLe-Sands free 7pm Bah Humbug: The Upskirts, The Walking Who, The Fighting League, Particles, Thieves Annandale Hotel free 7pm Blues Sunday: Mark Hopper Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly free 7.30pm Deadwood 76, S.P.G., The Turps, The Bonn Villans Botany View Hotel, Newtown free 5.30pm Lolo Lovina and The Margaret St Project Camelot Lounge, Marrickville $15-$20 6.30pm Mark Broughton Engadine RSL & Citizens Club free 12.30pm

Oliver Thorpe Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 3.30pm Professor Groove And The Booty Affair, Jade Bootay Brass Monkey, Cronulla $19.90 7pm Suite Az, DJ Kitsch78 Rock Lily, The Star, Pyrmont free 9.30pm The Trouble With Templeton Lizotte’s Restaurant, Dee Why $24 8pm Upside Down Miss Jane, Monica & The Explosions (SWE), The Dead Shits, Bella Voltaire Valve Bar And Venue, Tempe free 2pm The Wiggles Sydney Entertainment Centre, Darling Harbour $38.50 10am, 1.30pm all-ages


Peter Head Trio & Friends The Harbour View Hotel, The Rocks free 8pm


Bryen Willems & The Boogie Boys Marrickville Bowling Club free 4.30pm

ACOUSTIC & FOLK Bop Louis Duo Oatley Hotel free 2pm Elevation U2 Acoustic Orient Hotel, The Rocks free 4.30pm Jasmine Beth Cookies Lounge And Bar, North Strathfield free 6pm Russell Neal, Anita Lenzo Trio, the Pug, Leaf Nightingale Salisbury Hotel, Stanmore free 2pm

gig picks up all night out all week...

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 19 The Folk Informal – A Country Christmas: The Late Night Sound, Johnny Took, Edward Deer, James Thomson, Alex Guthrie FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel $10 7pm

THURSDAY DECEMBER 20 Bang!: The Laurels, Melodie Nelson, Day

Ravies Annandale Hotel free (early bird)-$10 7pm Evan Dando (USA), Juliana Hatfield (USA), Bambino Koresh Metro Theatre, Sydney $49 (+ bf) 8pm MA. Gallery's Christmas Vacation Party: Mother & Son, Spirit Valley, The Dunhill Blues, The Pieter Van Den Hoogen Band Gallery Bar, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst $15 8pm Neighbourhood Watch: Achoo! Bless You, Edward Deer, Maples, Piers Twomey The Standard, Darlinghurst $10 8pm

Vice Presents – The Christmas Party: These New South Whales, Buzz Kull, Ricky Maymi DJ Set (USA), Goodgod Small Club, Sydney free (rsvp) 8pm


FRIDAY DECEMBER 21 Chopdog Christmas: Issac Graham Band, Chris Duke & The Royals, The Bennies, Ebolagoldfish, Phat Meegz, Kujo Kings, Jae Haydon Annandale Hotel $7 7pm Go Here Go There: Palms, Cabins, Willow Beats, Moonbase Commander, Nakagin, The Faults, Light Giant, Epithets, Skullsquadron, True North, Beaten Bodies, Felix Lloyd, Robopop DJs, Swim Team DJs, Cries Wolf DJs, Danny Cruel FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel / The World Bar, Kings Cross $15 8pm Morrissey (UK), Kristeen Young (USA) Enmore Theatre sold out 7pm Polaroids Of Xmasroids 2012: Tucker Bs, Matt Banham, Unity Floors Petersham Bowling Club $10 7.30pm Rhythm Section Christmas Party: Chase The Sun, Claude Hay, Marshall Okell, Cass Eager & the Velvet Rope, Pete Cornelius, The Widowbirds, Lloyd Spiegel The Vanguard, Newtown $29.80 7pm

SATURDAY DECEMBER 22 Darren Hanlon’s Christmas Show St Stephen’s Church, Newtown sold out 8pm


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Kittens: Winter People, Cogel, Iluka, Kittens DJs Spectrum, Darlinghurst $10 9pm

Will And The People (UK), Sea Legs, Avaberee, Kristy Lee Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills free 6pm

SUNDAY DECEMBER 23 Bah Humbug: The Upskirts, The Walking Who, The Fighting League, Particles, Thieves Annandale Hotel free 7pm



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42 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12

BRAG’s guide to dance, hip hop and club culture

brag beats inside


+ big village

+ dusky

kerri chandler master of the house

also: e uid + club gnaps + club s kly + wee column

We has internets! Extra bits and moving bits without the papercuts BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 43

dance music news

free stuff

club, dance and hip hop in brief... with Chris Honnery


on the record WITH

Shantan Wantan Ichiban

KARIM (BOOM BOOM/POINTFACTION) listen to it now and smile. We all have to start somewhere! The Last Thing I Recorded: I spent a bit of time in Barcelona with 4. Vakula, and we started laying stuff down. I

xxx photo by xxx

guess this is where I kinda got a big reality check, especially when dealing with someone like Vakula who makes some very raw, emotive music. I still have a long way to go to make something that I would be happy to put down on a piece of vinyl, and be proud to play and have in my collection. . The Record That Changed My Life: I guess at the very core, it would be hard 5 to go passed Cassius – 1999. This record was my introduction to house music. Between Cassius, Phunky Data and Daft Punk, I was slowly building my roots in the house scene. ‘My Feelings For You’, ‘La Mouche’, ‘Hey Babe’, ‘1999’ – so many great tracks that I still hold close to my heart when it comes to heating a dancefloor and producing. The First Record I Bought: Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise. The year 1. was 1995 and I believe this was bought from Sanity. The money was from dad, and I was barely 12 years old. Classic tracks like ‘1,2,3,4’ and ‘Kinda High Kinda Drunk’ were the soundtrack to my adolescence. The Last Record I Bought: I just came back from spending summer 2. in Barcelona, and I had the opportunity to buy

a lot of records. I buy a lot of non-dancefloor stuff, especially on vinyl. One of my favourite purchases from this last jaunt was Gideon Van Gelder – Perpetual. Beautiful jazz music… The First Thing I Recorded: The first track I made was about a year 3. ago. After learning a bit about Ableton and talking with a fair few people, I decided to lock myself in and try to get the stuff in my head onto the computer. It was simple and basic – I


Niche & Live Nation have announced the debut tour by Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller. A multi-talented musician who can play numerous instruments, Miller first caught the eyes and ears of Rostrum Records, inking a deal in July 2010. Shortly thereafter, Miller dropped his debut on that label, a release which prompted to label Miller as “The Steel City’s next superstar.” Blue Slide Park holds the honour of being the first independent album to go to #1 in the USA since 1995 – a mark he’ll hope to surpass with his forthcoming second album, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, which is due out next year. Mac Miller will play in Sydney for the first time at The Enmore Theatre on Wednesday February 20.

With: Terrence Parker (USA), James Fazzolari, Boom Boom DJs Where: Tatlers @ 169 Darlinghurst Road When: Tuesday December 25 More: Also playing Boom Boom Says What Up NYE, with Marcellus Pittman (USA), Paradise Lost Crew and Boom Boom DJs, on New Year’s Eve at 169 Darlinghurst Road, from 9pm

a vocal disco house number which came out on Crosstown Rebels a few years back. Also representing will be selectors Phil Smart, Carlos Zarate, Gabby, Mesan, Glitch, Matt Weir and Kerry Wallace.


Two party crews who are proud to pay homage to their love of food, Cakes and Soup Kitchen, are coming together for a New Year’s Eve event at The World Bar entitled ‘The Last Supper’. Dinner guests include: Natnoiz vs. Fiktion, Jack Bailey, Gee_Q, Critter, 3phaze, Deli, Taylor Wolf, Jimmy Crumpet and Soup Kitchen DJs vs Cakes DJs. For those in search of social lubrication, the cocktail jugs will be flowing all afternoon and through the night. Entry is $15 if you get your name on a guest list, and $25 for ‘random worshippers’ – that’s considerable incentive to convert, no?


Forget spending New Year’s Eve on the sweaty, crowded Harbour surrounded by thousands of your nearest and dearest, and instead ring in 2013 in style at the Goodgod Player Haters Ball. The Left Eyes ft. Milan Ring will be delighting with their covers of RnB legends from Destiny’s Child and TLC to The Neptunes; DJs Shantan Wantan Ichiban and Mike Who? will be spinning smooth tunes into next year; and Smart Casual and Kill City Creeps’ Daniel Darling will be offering garage rock, blues and beyond. For less babies and backpackers and more bubbly and bow ties, tell us your favourite Destiny’s Child song – we have two double passes to dole out.


Detroit’s Terrence Parker, who’s been producing since the early ‘80s, will perform for Boom Boom on Christmas Day night (Tuesday December 25, for the heathens amongst us). Parker’s sonic CV includes cuts ‘Love’s Got Me High’ and ‘The Question’, and remixes of Kelly Rowland, Beyonce, Shakira and Kanye West – the kind of party jams that should go down a treat for punters basking in Christmas jingle. For those who enjoy tangential asides (we know our readers), Parker is also recognised for using an actual telephone handset as headphones, which is most probably the genesis of his nickname, ‘Telephone Man’. Also spinning will be James Fazzolari of the Bare Essential crew and Boom Boom DJs Karim and Daniel Lupica. Early bird tickets are $10, with final release at $25. The party will take place at an “Underground CBD Oasis” (announced closer to the date), and doors open at 9pm.

Claude Von Stroke

Mac Miller


44 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12


Sunday party institution S.A.S.H will ring in 2013 in thundering fashion with a 12-hour 6pm–6am bash over the inside and outside of The Abercrombie. The stacked lineup is crowned by a headline slot from Spanish duo Pig&Dan, who are also playing Space Ibiza. Pig&Dan is the pairing of Dan Duncan and Igor Tchkotoua, who have a sonic CV that includes album releases on Sven Vath’s Cocoon label, remixes of the likes of Underworld, and most recently the release of their third LP, Then & Now, on the Yoshitoshi imprint. Mr Russ Yallop will also be peddling tunes. Yallop broke through with ‘I Can’t Wait’,


Chinese Laundry has unveiled its January lineup. On Saturday January 5, Bass Mafia, Brookes Brothers, Ed Rush and Bare Noize will all throw down, ahead of Bag Raiders and Peking Duk the following Saturday. A week later, Frenchman Feadz (known for his dalliance with Uffie), Pleasurekraft and Kito will make up a headline triple bill, before the one we’re really looking forward to: the Dirty Bird garden party featuring the record label founder Barclay Crenshaw – aka Claude Von Stroke – and Justin Martin, who dropped his debut album, Ghettos And Gardens, earlier this year. The 13-track record included a remake of Goldie’s ‘Kemistry’, as well as Justin’s collaborations with Ardalan, PillowTalk and Leroy Peppers – aka Justin’s brother and fellow Dirtybird artist Christian Martin, who recently played at the Subsonic Music Festival. Xxxx

Damian Lazarus will be bringing his Rebel Rave party brand Down Under in the new year courtesy of Finely Tuned. The bash will also feature Shaun Reeves, Francesca Lombardo and Subb-an, live at Sydney College Of The Arts on Saturday February 16. Having resurrected his Crosstown Rebels label in recent years, Lazarus – a formal journalist-turned-DJ/ producer – is renowned for his ability to draw on his broad sonic palette and reinvent himself as a DJ as trends come and go. Lazarus’ vast knowledge of music and adventurous approach are integral to his appeal as a DJ, and he’s remained at the forefront of the club scene by ushering in the next generation of DJ crown princes –

Seth Troxler, Art Department el al – through Crosstown Rebels. A lengthy lineup of locals will also be representing at Rebel Rave Sydney; tickets are available now.

BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 45

dance music news

free stuff

club, dance and hip hop in brief... with Chris Honnery


he said she said WITH


Growing Up My parents are not the musical type, 1. but my grandfather played guitar in a

special guest vocalists join us to jam out party vibes and house tunes. We’ve toured nationally with Duran Duran, Aqua and many more.

1940s jazz band during the war, and always wanted one of his sons to play. I guess this is why I took up the guitar about 20 years ago, which led me to get into electronic music and DJing – which led to the beginning of Radio INK.

The Music You Make Think ghetto-house-glittery-disco4. dance beats, with top-shelve tequila on the side. We’ve played all over the globe, even in Afghanistan for our troops. We like to think of ourselves as “late night party specialists”, bringin’ the party with original edits and remixes in our performances. We’ll be headlining at Cruise Bar this New Year’s Eve with our special MC diva Rachel Campbell – yep, this girl is amazeballs.

Inspirations Like all members of Radio INK, 2. I’m pretty diverse when it comes to inspirations. Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails is probably at the top of the list because of what he’s achieved and continues to achieve – also Bryan Transeau (BT) is an amazing sound designer and composer that I look up to. There are various other artists and political/social figures that we take inspiration from, as well as our families and close friends.

Music, Right Here, Right Now We love the music scene right now, 5. especially in Australia where there’s so many great, talented artists. Sydney is a great place to live, explore and develop your passion, but I personally find the European market far more supportive of newer, crazier styles of music, due to the musical landscape and the population.

Your Group Radio INK has been around for 3. about three years in different formats. As a band, we’re a four-piece that plays our original songs, and we’ve toured nationally with Neon Trees, Potbelleez, Marvin Priest. Radio INK DJs is Ronny Clark and myself; it’s a back-to-back DJ show where we sometimes have

Who: Radio INK DJs feat. Rachel Campbell With: Yogi & Husky (live), Matt Roberts, Sista P, DJ Strike and loads more Where: NYE 2012 Destination @ Cruise Bar When: Monday December 31, from 6pm


Luke Slater

The French duo of Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé, collectively known for doing the d-a-n-c-e as Justice, will revisit their sophomore 2011 album Audio, Video, Disco with the release of their Helix EP, which is out next month through Ed Banger records. The EP will feature an extended rework of the title track, in addition to remixes from Domenico Torti and Gesaffelstein. While Justice’s second LP failed to garner the response of their debut †, the critical backlash was always a likely scenario given the fickle proclivities of the music media. Though Pitchfork dismissed Audio, Video, Disco as “cheese-rock signifiers dressed up as dance music”, the forthcoming remix package could spur you on to seek out the album and come up with your own derisive epithet.


If you fancy spending New Year’s Eve with “the hottest Bear DJs in Sydney”, then you should head straight to the Harbour City Bears Chunky party at Oxford Art Factory. Brett Austin, who is one half of successful Sydney DJ/Production duo The Oxford Hustlers, will be throwing down alongside George Roussos, Scottie Lupton and Frankie Shin, with Matt Effect also representing, fresh from his recent adventures in the US of A. Presale tickets are available online for $30.


The iconic Sheffield-via-Manchester duo of Sean Booth and Rob Brown, collectively known as Autechre, will release their 11th full-length album, Exai, in March of next


UK techno veteran Luke Slater will make his first appearance in Australia in eons at Peats Ridge Festival, held over the New Year period at a site in Glenworth Valley, just over one hour north of Sydney. Slater’s back catalogue comprises releases under his seminal 7th Plain pseudonym – encapsulated in the classic Four Corners album from the mid-‘90s – his X-Tront releases, the widescreen techno of his Morganistic project, and his more recent dubby outings as L.B. Dub Corp. However Slater is arguably best known for his work as Planetary Assault Systems, releasing his most recent album under the moniker, The Messenger, on Ostgut Ton at the end of last year. Far from mellowing with age, Slater still regularly throws down at some of the world’s foremost techno dungeons, such as Berghain and Fabric, and was responsible for one of the better instalments in the venerated Fabric compilation canon about five years ago. Anyone not heading to Peats Ridge can catch Slater headlining a Disconnected and Strange Fruit techno degustation at The Abercrombie on New Year’s Day, as part of a 15-hour party that will also feature local DJs such as Defined By Rhythm, Marcotix and Ben Dunlop, and runs from midday– 3am across two rooms of the venue.

Daily Meds


With the festive season well and truly upon us, pretty much the only songs playing anywhere are spectacularly awful versions of carols (here’s looking at you, former Grease stars…) – but Sydney hip hop collective Big Village has the antidote. Featuring sets from the likes of Daily Meds, True Vibenation, Loose Change plus loads more from their roster, the Xmas Block Party is shaping up to be a very jolly celebration to cap off a mega year for the label. The mistletoe and big beats take over Goodgod Small Club on Saturday December 22, and we’ve got two tickets to the show. For your chance to win them, tell us the name of the album Daily Meds released this year. year, on their long-time home Warp Records. For any neophytes, Autechre are commonly spoken about in close proximity to Aphex Twin, as they share a proclivity for creating experimental and ambient electronica that lazy journalists would label ‘IDM’ (cringe). Autechre’s debut LP, Lego Feet, was released way back in 1991, and received a reissue earlier this year.


Manchester producer Holy Other will play a Laneway Festival sideshow at Goodgod Small Club on Wednesday February 6. While the artist is slightly hung up about revealing his actual identity – he always performs in near darkness with his head covered by a hood – his antisocial tendencies have not prevented him from touring with the likes of Beach House, Amon Tobin and Thom Yorke, and enjoying a breakout year in 2012. Continuing the momentum he started with his With U EP, Holy Other’s full-length debut album, Held, conflates the alien kinetics of UK garage with dashes of vocal house and the poltergeist of RnB – it’s a ‘haunting release’, okay? – to create a collection of “songs past yearning”. Holy Other will be supported by ALBA and Astral DJs.



First release tickets have sold out for the New Year’s Eve Harbour Party at Luna Park. The lineup will offer a sonic buffet of local and international pop, RnB, house and electro sounds, courtesy of the likes of pop starlet Ricki-Lee, Marvin Priest, party boys The Aston Shuffle, Luciana, Ivan Gough, DCUP, Sydney electro-dance act Radio INK and Tom Piper, who’s polled in the top ten of the national In The Mix DJ Poll for consecutive years. Alley Oop, Garçon Garçon DJs, Brother G, Tass and Isabella Melody will also be peddling tunes – and it goes down at one of the better vantage points for the fireworks. Second-release tickets are available through Xxx

46 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12

Kerri Chandler The Mad Scientist By Simon Hampson


he revival of deep house has meant a whole new generation are getting to connect with legendary producer Kerri Chandler’s productions, labels and DJ sets. Ahead of his first trip to Australia, he relates his hectic schedule from Europe: “This week I did three parties over one weekend – Watergate in Germany, Circo Loco in Italy and Sub Club’s 25th anniversary party in Glasgow. All very amazing parties. Very hard traveling to get to them all, but very worth it!” he says. “The next generation in is very exciting. It feels like there is a new wave, just like when we started back in the ‘90s.”

Getting swept away by deep house has a calming sense to it; the driving, aggressive force of other house styles or techno is absent, yet there’s still this relentless push forward. Early on in the revival, around 2008, Terre Thaemlitz released some deep house under his DJ Sprinkles alias. On ‘Midtown 120 Intro’, his voiceover aggressively questions the calm exterior of the genre: “The contexts from which the deep house sound emerged are forgotten: sexual and gender crises, transgendered sex work, black market hormones, drug and alcohol addiction, loneliness, racism, HIV, ACT-UP, Tompkins Square Park, police brutality, queer-bashing, underpayment, unemployment and censorship — all at 120 beats per minute.” Chandler’s childhood home, New Jersey, was a hot bed of that chaos, shaping his move towards the genre he’s now known for.

label has been wonderful. It’s nice to see the energy just as we had it when I started back in 1990… I started MadTech to help the next generation have an outlet to express what they feel.” It’s a similar vision to Chandler’s other label, Madhouse. “Madhouse is very soulful and deep; that’s my personal voice in a way, but as a record label. MadTech is more of my vision for the next generation, and builds a foundation for people that I feel are very talented and just need that extra push to get there. “James [Threlfall] heads up the label, and has a great ear for talent. I love the new crew of DJs and producers as family. We all just did a party together at Boiler Room [Thefft, Voyeur, Citizen and Krystal Klear], and I was extremely happy to have so many talented people giving it their best. I felt like a proud dad,” he says. “I see them all as the next generation – they’ll be taking over dance music one day.” With: Carl Craig, Garry Todd, Mathew Jonson, Pig & Dan, Franck Roger, Lee M Kelsall, Remo Where: Space Ibiza @ The Greenwood When: Tuesday January 1

“I grew up with, needed, lived deep house music as a culture. It’s a very transparent music; you can tell just how someone feels in the track, and you can tell why they made it – for the love or for popularity. The music speaks for itself.” “I think that different people start for different reasons,” he reflects. “I did it because it was always something I wanted to share, express; [something I] grew up with, needed, lived as a culture. I won’t knock anyone for the music they make and for their reasons. Deep house music is a very transparent music; you can tell just how someone feels in the track, and you can tell why they made it – for the love or for the popularity. The music speaks for itself.” Chandler comes from a family of jazz musicians, a genre that has heavily influenced deep house. His father, a respected DJ, gave Chandler a strong education in the origins of soul, disco and the New York underground sound. At only 13 years old, Chandler began playing records at the Rally Record Club in East Orange, having accompanied his father to gigs for years. Production came soon after, and he was signed to Atlantic in 1991. Chandler, who also comes from a gospel background, prays before making each record, trying to inject his free spirit into the groove. He’s known as a technical innovator and someone who is constantly trying out new technologies, hacking machines and creating modifications to hardware. “I feel there are no limits ever,” he says. “When it comes to the tools you use, I live by ‘fuck it, why not’. I personally like to have a studio around me when I play; it’s like remixing live. Since 1988 I’ve always brought extra gear with me, along with using the traditional methods of a DJ.” That technical interest hides a more serious passion. “One day I will go back to college and get my doctorate in physics. I’m extremely interested in science,” he says. “In fact, that’s what I would have been doing if my music career didn’t take over my life – in a good way. It started from my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family; he was a scientist, I used to go to his lab and I was fascinated. It looked like a movie, and he got me a little lab coat and goggles, and I’ve been a mad scientist ever since. I build gear, lasers, holograms, programs... In a way my hobby became my job, and my job became my hobby.” In the face of new technology, Chandler’s philosophy is simple: “I think it is what any DJ makes of it; it really comes down to the music. What a DJ is playing and [whether] it sounds good is more important. I think you should play on whatever [gear] expresses what you’re trying to get across with the music.” Chandler is also serious about helping the next generation of musicians via his MadTech label. “So far so good,” he says. “The reaction to the BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 47



It Starts With A Groove By Benjamin Cooper

Light It Up By Krissi Weiss


usky are bringing strong musicianship back into the electronic realm. Although the London-based duo manage to embody the edginess of the UK underground, stirring piano motifs and complex classical arrangements sit comfortably next to Detroit techno and dancefloor bangers. Alfie GrangerHowell and Nick Harriman work together harmoniously, even sharing interview duties ahead of their appearance at Chinese Laundry. “We go back quite a long way,” Harriman says. “We met in sixth-form about ten years ago. We had both already started DJing, and we started getting into production soon after. After a few years, and after both studying music at university, we began releasing tracks.” Despite getting into the scene so long ago, the Dusky project in name and shape took some time to arrive – but when it did, so did the larger and larger venues. With the role of the producer so intrinsically linked to the studio, eventual success leads the artist onto a stage for the first time – but for Dusky, the new role was always going to be an easy one to embrace. “We both started DJing at parties from around 15 years old, so feel very at home in the DJ booth or on stage,” Granger-Howell explains. Despite studying together, Harriman and Granger-Howell come from different musical backgrounds, with varied influences that are reflected in the diverse nature of their material. “I’m classically trained and studied composition at music college, so I’ve got various influences from that side of things,” Granger-Howell says. “My parents listened to a lot of very eclectic music, so that’s another big influence. Dance music was always something I listened to from a very young age [though]. I think one of the first albums I bought was a dance compilation, when I was nine years old, so it’s always been a crucial part of my musical life.” Harriman’s musical

history is quite a contrast: “Growing up I was always into quite varied styles of music, from punk and hip hop to garage and techno,” he says. “My mum listens to a lot of jazz and soul, so that was a big part of my musical education. I wouldn’t say my inspirations have changed that much over time.” While the original writing is done separately, the true magic of Dusky happens when the pair is together. “It’s usually one of us that starts an idea while working on our own,” Harriman explains. “We then pass it to the other, and it can sometimes go in quite a different direction at that point… We try to encourage each other to explore new territories within house and techno – and we try to mirror that on stage by playing relatively eclectic sets.” Although Dusky have made a well-respected name for themselves in the competitive London scene, both Granger-Howell and Harriman admit they never consciously planned for that. They have ambition, but also recognise the weaknesses of the dance music scene, and an artist’s limited sustainability within it. For Harriman, the lifestyle is not one he plans to keep up forever – but they’re having a great time for now. “Playing music we love and music that we’ve made to people, and seeing their reaction, is the most fun part of our job in many ways,” Granger-Howell says. “So we just try to be ourselves on stage and enjoy it.” The duo aren’t planning to slow down their festival and club touring schedule any time soon, and left the chat with a teasing comment suggesting pivotal remixes waiting in the wings: “Nothing that we can talk about just yet, though!” With: Lee M Kelsall, Daniel Farley & more Where: Chinese Laundry When: Saturday December 22


ocal party heroes S.A.S.H. have been tricking out secret venues with huge parties for some time, so it came as no surprise when they announced that German house legends Afrilounge would be calling the shots at their next warehouse gig. Markus Liefke – aka Liefko – is one third of the group, and will be flying solo, representing his fellow beats fiends Eduard Hartter and Richard Rotfuß on this summer’s tour. Liefko is making the most of his time in Australia, even working on new remixes and cuts while flying interstate. “We prefer working in the studio, because we have all our gear there and it’s easier to realise our ideas. But sometimes – like when I was on a flight to Melbourne – I just have to work on a remix or on a track,” he says. “Because of the time pressure and the deadlines, you do what needs to be done in the moment.”

Afrilounge’s sets are meticulously crafted and clean in shape and structure, yet they always emphasise the centrality and power of the groove. “Sometimes my music is more focused on house, and more on techno,” Liefko says. “In general it should be deeply based on a strong groove. Every producer

Liefko has seen rapid change in the scene over the course of the group’s decade-long career. “When we started, producing was a question of money. You had to buy expensive equipment, like analogue mixers, synthesisers and drum machines. Now you can produce quality music on a good laptop with a pair of good headphones. So there are better and cheaper technical conditions, which just increases the competition,” he says. Working within less traditional spaces is one way that Afrilounge are able to distinguish themselves in such a flooded market; Liefko’s upcoming performance at a secret, disused warehouse seems a natural part of his group’s commitment to constructing a completely unique sensory experience. “I love off locations!” he enthuses. “I especially love abandoned warehouses, because they have their own romance. It’s like playing at an underground party in Germany in the ‘90s!” But the opportunity to escape his home country’s winter for the southern sun hasn’t come without personal cost... “My girlfriend is really jealous at the moment, I guess!” he says. “In Germany at the moment it’s grey, about –8 degrees and snowing... so it’s great that you guys are having summer!” Who: Liefko (Afrilounge), Luke McD, James Taylor, Raulll Where: S.A.S.H Secret Disused Nightclub 003 @ a secret warehouse... When: Friday December 21

Big Village Xmas Party Rappy Holidays By Marissa Demetriou


with hosting: no one wants anyone to host or be on the mic, and I almost feel like most of the time I agree with them,” he laughs. “[But] I enjoy being on the mic for a while and building a vibe with the crowd, even though I’m not a massive party head going nuts. I like being the kind of guy who is the conduit to the music, between the crowd and the DJ,” he explains.

hen I speak to Joel Rapaport, co-label manager of Sydney-based hip hop collective Big Village, he’s taking a break from shooting a video for local drum’n’bass/electronica outfit Svelt, which features his vocals – and livestock. “We did a whole day of shooting yesterday and the memory card fucked up, so we lost a whole day’s worth of footage. The footage involved chickens, live chickens, and we have to do the whole thing again on Sunday... Just part of this business,” he sighs.

In the New Year, Rapaport will be focusing on a second album with his group Loose Change, due for a mid-2013 release – but there’s much more to come than that. Production duo Suburban Dark join the already thriving roster of acts, the first to be officially signed to the label outside the founding members since its inception, and there’ll be an EP offering from P. Smurf of Daily Meds. Rapaport puts the ever-growing Big Village fanbase down to the all-in attitude of the group. “Apart from the music, we’re kind of showcasing a collective support of each other, which is what people want to support. These guys are all-in for each other, and they’re doing it by themselves.”

Although the Big Village label is still relatively fresh on the Sydney scene, things have only continued to grow for its roster, which includes acts like Daily Meds, Tuka and True Vibenation. “For me personally, this year has been absolutely bonkers: the Big Village tour, The Sketch The Rhyme pilot we did in November, managing the release of Big Things Volume 2 [a compilation showcasing the Big Village family] – it’s just been so crazy, so I’m really looking forward to a night off,” Rapaport laughs. With such an eye-watering schedule, it’s no wonder he’s excited about kicking back at the upcoming Big Village XMas Block Party. “The Christmas party is a big-up to our fans – that’s really what the whole label is about, you know? The fact we all come together. We’re just going to let our hair down and have a bit of a party,” he says – and it’s clear he’s got plenty to celebrate. “It has been a really big year. We’ve taken another step in growing the

48 :: BRAG :: 492 :: 10:12:12

label nationally with the [Big Things] tour, and I think we feel like we did it successfully; pretty much all the shows were decent, which is pretty rare these days!” He says the Melbourne show was a personal highlight. “It was the first time I’ve been able to perform in another city to a full crowd of people that weren’t just there for another act or support, they were there for us. That was a real powerful feeling,”

The July release of his mixtape, Patterns, saw Rapaport taking a more electronic approach to his music, with plenty of grime and bass setting the tone for his spit-fire rhymes. He explains that last year’s trip to the UK, and to Outlook Festival in Croatia (aka every basshead’s Mecca), fuelled him with a wealth of inspiration for MC-ing and hosting electronic music nights. “In Australia, it’s a catch-22

Who: Daily Meds, True Vibenation, Loose Change (Ellesquire + Rapaport), Mute & Kit Complete, Suburban Dark, Tenth Dan & Grub, and DJs Klue, Roleo & Migz Where: Big Village Records Xmas Block Party @ Goodgod Small Club When: Saturday December 22

xxx photo by xxx

Liefko insists that he doesn’t have a preference between working as a trio or as an individual – he says both provide completely different experiences for the artist and the audience. “When all three of us work on a track, we have different ideas, and sometimes you have to find a compromise,” he explains. “But doing that isn’t a bad thing – a good compromise, and the resulting track, are much better than only having an idea for a single element. I like the creative process of working as a group and by myself. When I’m working on my own tracks I have the freedom to do my own thing. I can realise my own ideas and transfer my emotions into music.”

has his own process to start a track: in my case, it’s the groove! The groove should be hypnotic, and in the best case it should be without any hooks or harmonies – you should be able to listen to it for a couple of minutes without getting bored, without feeling that there is something missing.”

Deep Impressions Underground Dance And Electronica with Chris Honnery

Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt

he brothers Wolfgang and Reinhard Voigt (the former being a co-founder of canonical Cologne imprint Kompakt Records) will release their first full-length album together, Die Zauberhafte Welt Der Anderen, in February next year. For all the curious readers, the title translates to ‘The Magical World Of Others,’ an apparent reference to two of the finest European films to be released in the past 15 years: The Lives Of Others and Amelie. Voigt and Voigt have teamed up on classic Speicher releases in years past, namely the timeless ‘Vision 04’, along with the two EPs on new label Erdingertrax from earlier this year, but the forthcoming release forgoes the more functional techno sounds in favour of an experimental psychedelic narrative. Unlike the disappointing Pachanga Boys concept album, I am happy to report that I’ve heard the promo and Die Zauberhafte Welt Der Anderen is anything but a self-indulgent failure, and successfully merges the more cerebral aspects of “techno science” with a party sensibility. While on Kompakt, I also recommend the forthcoming batch of Michael Mayer Mantasy remixes – The Mole rework of ‘Baumhaus’ in particular is a gem, with the original the perfect source material for the quirky Canadian to refashion.


Deep Impressions favourite Stefan Goldmann recently took time out from making avant garde techno to deliver a lecture on artistic innovation and the economic and social effects that artists have, to students at Berlin University of the Arts. “They probably expected me to talk about nightlife and drugs,” Goldmann quipped via email, when I asked him about his stint lecturing. “But I figured it would make no sense to do this, since all those 20-year-old art students probably do nothing else but get wasted in Neukölln all week.” Goldmann’s extra curricular pursuits made me think of Rick Bull, aka Deepchild, Sydney’s own techno ‘thinker’, who recently released his first album in five years, Neukölln Burning – one of the better electronic albums that came from an Aussie this year. Neukölln Burning is the first album Bull has released since moving from Sydney to Berlin, where he has made himself a regular guest at both Berghain and Tresor while continuing to refine his sound. Bull explained that his relocation has made him “re-frame what ‘home’ means in a way which asks fundamental questions, and relies deeply on the kindness of strangers”. As we move toward the twilight of the year and reflect on what some of our local artists have accomplished in 2012, Neukölln Burning should be at the forefront of readers’ minds. Another year-end stocking filler that would delight any genuine technophile is Fabric 67, mixed by the one and only Thomas Franzmann, who goes about his business under the moniker Zip. “I was alone in my studio and it felt just like it did when I was doing a mixtape ages ago,” Franzmann said of the process of making his first commercial mix. “Only this one comes with slightly more pressure!” While the release may put Zip on the mainstream radar,

the man has been deserving of broader success and exposure for many years – he just hasn’t chased it. As co-owner of Perlon, along with Markus Nikolai, Zip presides over a roster that includes the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, STL and Sammy Dee, Franzmann’s production partner in Pantytec. He has been happy to play the Svengali role and curate his renowned Get Perlonized parties, while occasionally releasing the odd production. Zip’s entry into the Fabric mix spans 17 tracks and features cuts from DJ QU, Melchior Productions, Terrence Dixon, Kenny Larkin and Ukranian producer Vakula, who recently delivered a cracking reworking of Trus’me’s ‘Need A Job’ and is touring Australia next year, following on from his memorable performance at Mad Racket on his previous appearance Down Under. Zip

LOOKING DEEPER SATURDAY DECEMBER 22 Nu and D-Sens Subsonic Pirate Boat Party

TUESDAY JANUARY 1 Luke Slater The Abercrombie

SATURDAY JANUARY 5 Theo Parrish The Metro Theatre

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 23 Dixon and Guy Gerber AGWA Yacht Club

Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 49

club guide send your listings to :

club pick of the week Afrilounge


Secret Location, Sydney

S.A.S.H Secret Disused Nightclub 003 Afrilounge (GER), Luke MCD, James Taylor, Raulll, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir $30 (+ bf) 9pm MONDAY DECEMBER 17 Scruffy Murphys, Haymarket Mother Of A Monday DJ Smokin Joe free 8pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Latin Jazz DJs free 7pm

TUESDAY DECEMBER 18 Establishment, Sydney Rumba Motel Salsa DJ Willie Sabor free 8pm Scruffy Murphys, Haymarket Frat House DJs free 8pm Trademark Hotel, Kings Cross Coyote Tuesday Field Day Pre Party Resident DJs $10 9pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Jam Black Diamond Hearts, Astrix Little, Mike & Andy, Jonno, Cotolette, Ali free 8pm 50 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 19 Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Rufus, Jessica Cerro, Frames, Frames, F.R.I.E.N.D/S DJs free 8pm Epping Hotel DTF Resident DJs free 8pm Ivy, Sydney Salsa At Ivy DJ Dwight ‘Chocolate’ Escobar free 7pm The Lansdowne Hotel, Broadway Frat House Mean Dartin, Camo, Ra Bazaar free 5pm The Lewisham Hotel Garbage 90s Nights Resident DJs free 7pm The Marquee, The Star, Pyrmont Assembly Wednesdays Fear Of Dawn $10 10pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross Cream Resident DJs free 8pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Whip It Wednesdays Vertigo DJs free 9pm

The World Bar, Kings Cross The Wall Puddles, Pixi, Bocue & Sammy, Garage Pressure, Pablo Calamari, Juddson, Clockwerk, Pat Ward, Marr Ferriera $5-$10 9pm

THURSDAY DECEMBER 20 The Abercrombie, Broadway Hologram Hologram DJs free 9pm Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Shantan Wantan Ichiban free 6pm Ching-a-Lings, Darlinghurst Hip Hop Sounds From The Underground Shantan Ichiban, Stolen Records Associates free 6pm Enmore Theatre Kendrick Lamar (USA) sold out 7pm Flinders Hotel, Darlinghurst Bananas Resident DJs free 8pm Goodgod Front Bar, Sydney Hi-Beams Resident DJs free 8pm

Greenwood Hotel, North Sydney Greenwood Thursdays Resident DJs free 8pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Resident DJs free 9pm Q Bar, Darlinghurst Hot Damn Hot Damn DJs $15-$20 8pm Trademark Hotel, Kings Cross Swag Resident DJs $10 9pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour DJ Matt Roberts free 5pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Bel Air Miami Robust, Brizz free 9.30pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Propaganda DJ Pooch, Gillex, Spice Cube DJs, Propagada DJs free (student)-$5 9pm

FRIDAY DECEMBER 21 The Abercrombie, Broadway Totally Barry Bad Barry DJs free 9pm AND, Bondi Junction Disktrict Xmas Party Tricky, Nick Law, Mia Lucci, Illya, Garry Todd, Stu Balfour, Simon P, Robin Knight free 9pm Beach Road Hotel, Bondi DJ Georgia, Playmate free 8pm Candys Apartment, Kings Cross TOVA, Disco Cartel, Kyro & Bomber, Nightriot, Liquid Noise, Chickflick, Slip & Slyde, Crux $10 8pm Chinese Laundry, Sydney Pyramid (UK), Specimen A (UK), Doctor Werewolf, Klaus Hill & Empress Yoy, DJ Alleviate, Marco Rocco, DS $15-$25 10pm Goodgod Front Bar, Sydney Yo Grito! Yo Grito! DJs free 9pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney S2S Xmas Party Lovefingers, Slow-Blow, Softwar, Chux & Graz $10-$15 10pm Ivy Pool Club, Sydney Moonshine Cassian, Alley Oop, Ukhan, Magic Happens 9pm Jacksons On George, Sydney DJ Ivan Drago, DJ Rain Julz free 9pm Oatley Hotel We Love Oatley Hotel Fridays DJ Tone free 8pm Omega Lounge, City Tattersalls Club, Sydney Unwind Fridays DJ Greg Summerfield free 5.30pm The Marquee, The Star, Pyrmont Nervo $20 10pm Q Bar, Darlinghurst Teen Spirit Y2K – The Nineties Get Naughty Teen Spirit DJs $10 9pm Secret Location, Sydney S.A.S.H Secret Disused Nightclub 003 Afrilounge (GER), Luke MCD, James Taylor, Raulll, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir $20 early bird)-$35 9pm Soho, Kings Cross SOHO Fridays Xmas Extravaganza Nukewood, Steve Frank, Sami, Daniel Wheeler, Barfly, Pablo Calamari, Fingers 8pm Space Nightclub, Sydney Zaia Resident DJs 9.45pm The Spice Cellar, Sydney Norm De Plume (UK), Morgan, Pink Lloyd, Dreamcatcher $10 10pm Tatler, Darlinghurst Hidden Agenda Mic Newman, Nic Scali, Adam Sandlah, Aboutjack, Venda $15 10pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour

Bring On The Weekend! DJ Matt Roberts, Candidate free 5pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross Think Fridays Disco Busy, Rymz $10 9pm The World Bar & FBi Social, Kings Cross Go Here Go There Palms, The Faults, Beaten Bodies, Willow Beats, Moonbase Commander, Nakagin, True North, Felix Lloyd & Friends, Swim Team DJs, Danny Cruel, Joyride, Seabas, Cries Wolf DJs, 10th Avenue, Reg Harris IV $15 8pm



Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Furnace & The Fundamentals, Devola, Isbjorn, Hobophonics free 8pm Candys Apartment, Kings Cross Ritual Stalker, Rats Off, SMS, Digital T vs Double Dunk Disco, Matt Bixx, Dostruction, Ellie Piper & Zuri Akok, Badmouth $20 9pm Cargo Bar, King St Wharf Kick On Resident DJs free 6pm Chinese Laundry, Sydney Dusky (UK), Lee M Kelsall (UK), Daniel Farley, U-Khan & Whitecat, Devola, Bounce Crew DJs, King Lee, Valentine, Cheap Lettus $20$25 9pm Club 77, Darlinghurst Starfuckers Starfuckers DJs 10pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour Strange Clouds Disco Punx, Dan Baartz, Digit & Jumes, Brenden Fing, Mars Monero, Reno $10 2pm Cohibar, Darling Harbour Yellow Sox DJ Anders Hitchcock free 10pm Establishment, Sydney Sienna Saturdays Def Rok, Troy T, Lilo, Regz, Joey Kaz 8pm FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel Kobra Kai, Shamik (CAN), Spikey Tee, Kakhand, Foreigndub $15 8pm FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel Hands Up! Staggman, Clockwerk free 11.30pm Freda’s, Chippendale Chicha Delica Salacious Melon free 8pm Goldfish, Kings Cross Laura Jones (UK) $20 6pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Big Village Xmas Block Party Daily Meds, True Vibenation, Loose Change, Mute & Kit Complete, Tenth Dan & Grub, Suburban Dark, Klue, Roleo, Migz $18 (+ bf) 9pm Home Nightclub, Darling Harbour Homemade Ian Carey (USA) $20-$25 9pm Ivy, Sydney Pacha Kaz James, Mo’Funk, Ben Morris, Tigerlily, Matt Nugent, Nic Scali, Kristy Lee, Cassette, Starjumps. Marc Jarvin, Shaun Broughton, Murray Lake, Trent Rackus, Pat Ward 6.30pm Jacksons On George, Sydney DJ Simon Laing, DJ Michael Stewart free 9pm Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Kitty Kitty Bang Bang Resident DJs 9pm The Marquee, The Star, Pyrmont Mind Electric $30 9pm Nevada Lounge, Darlinghurst DJ Hayden free 6pm The Old Fitzroy Hotel, Woolloomooloo The Finer Things Soiree

007 Lindsay Tuc, Gardland, TGMN, True North $5 7pm Phoenix Bar, Darlinghurst Up Dayclub Resident DJs $15 5am The Rooftop, Coogee Bay Rooftop Saturday #003 – The Day After Jewel Kid (Malta), Robbie Lowe, YokoO, Ben Ashton, Cassette, Space Junk, About Jack, Aaron Robins, Simon Brayford, Scuba Stew $30 3pm Sapphire Lounge, Kings Cross The Suite Resident DJs 8pm Secret Inner West Warehouse, Sydney Steppin’ Out Tom Tutton, Spaceboy, Gunjo, Satva, Madame B, Rik, Stevie Dub, Lovechild $10 9pm Space Nightclub, Sydney Masif Saturdays Resident DJs 10pm The Spice Cellar, Sydney YokoO, Spacejunk, Kali, Murat Kilic, Gabby $20 10pm The Spice Cellar, Sydney Soft n Slow Dreamcatcher, Pink Lloyd $10 3am The Standard, Surry Hills Bad Publicity Scrim, Mike Champion, Traidmarc, LL Block (USA), Flim Pee (USA), Nutkaze (USA), DJ Flexz (USA) $30-$50 7.30pm St James Hotel, Sydney SFX Tarantula DJs, Bzurk, Absynth, Markm, Fluxx, KillPOP 9pm Trademark Hotel, Kings Cross Trademark Saturdays Resident DJs 9pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour Skybar Saturdays Resident DJs $20 9pm Whaat Club, Kings Cross After Dark Camo, Madros, Goodbois, Matty Whels, Harper $10 9pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Cakes Go Freek, Tigerlily, E-Cats, NatNoiz, Dan Farley, Deckhead, Brown Bear, Light Year, Made In Paris, Fingers, Taylor Wolf, Snillum, DMDT, Hannah Gibbs $15$20 8pm

SUNDAY DECEMBER 23 Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway S.A.S.H Sundays Murat Kilic, Robbie Lowe, Shamus, Telefunken, Aaron Brien, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir $10 2pm Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Richie Ryan, Omar Varts free 3pm The Beresford Hotel, Surry Hills Beresford Sundays Resident DJs free 3pm Ivy Pool Club, Sydney Marco Polo Plastic Plates $15 1pm Newtown Hotel Girls Xmas Bash Rocco D’Amore, DJ Sveta, Girlthing DJs $1 3pm Oatley Hotel Sunday Sets DJ Tone free 7pm Q Bar, Darlinghurst Daydreams Daydreams DJs 4.30am The Spice Cellar, Sydney Spice After Hours Murat Kilic, Gabby $20 4am Tatler, Darlinghurst Dust Ben Korbel, Langdon Cook, Alley Oop, James Taylor free 9pm The Watershed Hotel, Darling Harbour DJ Brynstar free 2pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Soup Kitchen Hey Sam & Butters, Jedi Jay, Anthony Matthews, VWLS, Cotolette, Soup Kitchen DJs, Beat Yo’ Meat DJs free 3pm

club picks

live reviews What we've been to see...

up all night out all week...

Kendrick Lamar

SAM SPARRO, GARÇON GARÇON The Standard Friday December 7

Kendrick Lamar photo by Gino DePinto

Bill and Ted couldn’t have done as fine a job. For his sophomore album, Sam Sparro claims he was inspired by the sound of New York discotheque Paradise Garage. Kudos to Sparro then, who, in a set relying heavily on his Return To Paradise LP and a peppering of electro-soul interludes, managed to summon the spirit of the early ‘80s and transport a packed Standard crowd to the dancefloor of that legendary King Street club.


The Marquee, The Star, Pyrmont Nervo $20 (+ bf) 10pm

Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Rufus, Jessica Cerro, Frames, F.R.I.E.N.D/S DJs and more free 8pm

The Spice Cellar, Sydney Norm De Plume (UK), Morgan, Andy Webb, Pink Lloyd, Dreamcatcher $10 10pm

The Marquee, The Star, Pyrmont Assembly Wednesdays Fear Of Dawn $10 10pm

Tatlers, Darlinghurst Hidden Agenda Mic Newman, Nic Scali, Adam Sandlah, Aboutjack $15 10pm

The World Bar, Kings Cross The Wall Puddles, Pixi, Bocue & Sammy, Garage Pressure, Pablo Calamari, Juddson, Clockwerk, Pat Ward, Matt Ferriera $5-$10 9pm


THURSDAY DECEMBER 20 Ching-a-Lings, Darlinghurst Hip Hop Sounds From The Underground Shantan Ichiban, Stolen Records Associates free 6pm Enmore Theatre Kendrick Lamar (USA) sold out 7pm The World Bar, Kings Cross Propaganda DJ Pooch, Gillex, Spice Cube DJs, Propagada DJs free (student)-$5 9pm

Chinese Laundry, Sydney Dusky (UK), Lee M Kelsall (UK), Daniel Farley, U-Khan & Whitecat, Devola, Bounce Crew DJs, King Lee, Valentine, Cheap Lettus $20-$25 9pm FBi Social @ Kings Cross Hotel Kobra Kai, Shamik (CAN), Spikey Tee, Kakhand, Foreigndub $15 8pm Goldfish, Kings Cross Laura Jones (UK) $20 9pm Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Big Village Xmas Block Party Daily Meds, True Vibenation, Loose Change, Mute & Kit Complete, Tenth Dan & Grub, Suburban Dark and more $16 (+ bf) 7pm


The Spice Cellar, Sydney YokoO, Spacejunk, Kali, Murat Kilic, Gabby $20 10pm

Chinese Laundry, Sydney Pyramid (UK), Specimen A (UK), Doctor Werewolf, Klaus Hill & Empress Yoy, DJ Alleviate, Marco Rocco, DS $15-$25 10pm


Goodgod Small Club, Sydney S2S Xmas Party Lovefingers (USA), Slow-Blow, Softwar, Chux & Graz $10-$15 10pm

Local duo Garçon Garçon, joined on stage by a drummer, set the tone for the evening with a short warm-up set of peppy electro-pop, but they struggled to make much of an impact on an audience that barely half-filled the room. The only onlookers who ventured within ten metres of the stage were photographers – but it was a different case when Sam Sparro made his entrance. As his band launched into a funky rendition of ‘We Could Fly’, many of the still-assembling audience flocked to the front and instantly took the chance to get their groove on, twostepping shoulder-toshoulder. Sparro exuberantly embodied 1982, with numerous nods to the year of his birth. Removing a denim jacket to reveal a white T-shirt with rolled-up sleeves, he picked up a keytar (his “wedge”) for a medley of ‘Let The Love In’, ‘Clingwrap’ and ‘Sally’. Space-age sound effects and synth cowbells supplemented his gospel wailings before some corny robot dancing amid a sax and bass breakdown, a mass handclap, and a mash-up of D-Train’s classic ‘You’re The One For Me’. With the assistance of backing vocalist Vula Malinga on hype-woman duties (her cockney twang urging the “nasty motherfuckers” to “wake up”), energy levels went up a notch further on the opening Italo-house piano chords of ‘Happiness’. By the time this had morphed into covers


Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway S.A.S.H Sundays Murat Kilic, Robbie Lowe, Shamus, Telefunken, Aaron Brien, Kerry Wallace, Matt Weir, Will Allen, Chris Woods $10 2pm Nervo

The Metro Theatre Saturday December 8 “He’s, like, a God to me!” gushed someone in line to The Metro, her friends nodding vigorously. The divinity in question: Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, the wide-eyed producer whose sound has played a critical role in shifting a generation’s mode of emotional expression from guitar riffs towards electronic grooves. Hebden first drew attention with his sophomore record Pause in 2001, exploring African polyrhythms and experimental jazz within a dense framework of beats. His early efforts, often dubiously tagged “folktronica”, indicated his interest in the club as a space for communal catharsis. He would push this tendency skywards over the next decade, culminating in a series of haunting 2009 collaborations with the legendary Burial, as well as an airy, yearning suite of midtempo house tunes: 2010’s There Is Love In You LP. Jonti’s opening set bore Hebden’s maximalist fingerprints – the recent Stones Throw signee noodled on a ukelele while warbling over throbbing bass and sparkling hiccups of noise, combining just about every “bedroom producer” trope into 30 minutes of giddy sentiment. As he stepped out from his booth for a final few bars of acoustic uke, his modest smile shone like a beacon from the not-so-distant past of twee indie rock. A few minutes later, Hebden’s tall frame slid wordlessly onto the stage. Looming over an arsenal of mixers, his deep-set eyes and bushy hair gave an unshakable

of Patrice Rushen’s ‘Haven’t You Heard’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, The Standard was surely the smiliest place in Sydney. We were made to wait for Sparro’s crowning glory ‘Black And Gold’, and the stretched-out version was gratefully received. Sparro responded in kind, leaping around and holding his mic out to invite a communal sing-song. After that peak, an encore of ‘21st Century Life’ was anticlimactic, but there was still time for one final disco/house classic: an outro of Crystal Waters’ ‘Gypsy Woman’ provided the perfect platform for the after-party. David Wild

More snaps on page 52

impression of Cosmo Kramer. The venue shook as Hebden unleashed a low-slung, pummeling 4/4 tune, little more than woodblocks, snare and bass. He rinsed the vibe for the next hour, eschewing spacier material in favor of deep album cuts interspersed with ferocious gear from UK heavy-hitters like Blawan. The young crowd sloshed blithely among itself. “I feel like I’m just watching a really sick house set,” someone observed, accurately. Half-past midnight, Hebden introduced the vocal snippets and piercing strings of ‘128 Harps’, marking a transition into a series of lofty cuts from There Is Love In You and his 2012 singles compilation Pink. Many reacted with reverential familiarity, massing towards Hebden with arms raised. He slinked off stage 15 minutes later, before resounding cries of “Four Tet” summoned him back for the inevitable encore, which featured the night’s single most thrilling moment. As the stuttering ‘Sing’ faded into a single looped kick, the crowd began to clap in unison, only to roar with recognition as Hebden finally delivered the keening vocal loop and clattering groove of ‘Love Cry’. Ezra Marcus

BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 51

snap up all night out all week . . .

party profile

pearson sound It’s called: Astral People & Niche Productions presents Pearson Sound It sounds like: Your post-Boxing Day celeb ration, and your pre-NYE warm-up. Who’s playing? Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Pariah, xxxy, Slow Magic, Dro Carey, Cliques and Ben Fester. Three songs you’ll hear on the night: ‘Blank ed’ – Pearson Sound; ‘Orpheus’ – Pariah; ‘Rooty Hill’ – Cliques. And one you definitely won’t: ‘Master of Time’ – Frames ft. J-Dub. Sell it to us: An electronic mini-festival with this calibre of forward-thinking house, techno and bass artists has never been seen in Sydney before. With A-grade production and no filler on the lineup, this is a show you don’t want to miss. The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Our ears ringing and chest still vibrating. Crowd specs: Ravers. Wallet damage: $45 from .au and Ticketek Where: The Metro Theatre

four tet


When: Friday December 28, from 9pm



08:12:12 :: Metro Theatre :: 624 George St Sydney 9550 3666

garden party


07:12:12 :: Chinese Laundry :: 111 Sussex St Sydney 8295 9999

s.a.s.h sundays


08:12:12 :: The Ivy :: 330 George St Sydney 9254 8100

09:12:12 :: The Abercrombie Hotel :: 100 Broadway Ultimo 9211 3486 52 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12


BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12 :: 53


parachute youth


up all night out all week . . .

todd terje


07:12:12 :: Oxford Art Factory :: 38-46 Oxford St, Darlinghurst 9332 3711

08:12:12 :: Civic Underground :: 388 Pitt St Sydney 8080 7000

It’s called: The ***king OAF Social Club It sounds like: Indie pop jams over a disco beat. Who’s playing? Light Year, Frames, Wordlife, Chux, and one super-special international DJ that we can’t announce until January 1 (wink wink nudge nudge). Three songs you’ll hear on the night: Remix es and club anthem mash-ups of acts like Metronomy, Justice and Tame Impala. And one you definitely won’t: ‘Gangnam Style’. Please, is that fad over yet? Sell it to us: Forget the inherent pressure to have a good time on NYE – save your party credits for January 4! This will be THE party to start the year on (***king oath/ oaf!)

The bit we’ll remember in the AM: Finding all that money that’s still in your wallet ‘cos it was such a cheap night out. Crowd specs: People who want to dance, dance, dance. Wallet damage: $20 (+ bf), and drink specia ls all night. Where: Oxford Art Factory When: Friday January 4, from 9pm

world's end press


06:12:12 :: The World Bar :: 24 Bayswater Rd Kings Cross 9357 7700

party profile



the ****king oaf social club



06:12:12 :: Goodgod Small Club :: 53-55 Liverpool St Chinatown 8084 0587

07:12:12 :: FBi Social :: Kings Cross Hotel 248 William St 9331 9900 54 :: BRAG :: 493 :: 17:12:12


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The Brag #493  

fun., Django Django, Sydney Festival 2013, Sightseers, Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield, The Men, Kerri Chandler,...

The Brag #493  

fun., Django Django, Sydney Festival 2013, Sightseers, Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield, The Men, Kerri Chandler,...

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