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Learn Graphic Design Fast 3 months full-time or 1 year part-time World class education needn’t take forever. It should be well planned, continually adapted to the times and presented by passionate professionals. That’s what happens at Shillington College and we have the record to prove it. Our students are taught by outstanding designers and are getting top design jobs. Starting with no prior experience they graduate with a professional portfolio and an in depth knowledge of the design programs.
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rock music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
five things WITH
LOUISE FROM FLYING SCRIBBLE (VIC)
Growing Up My family 1. wasn’t very musical - apart from the fact that both my grandmother and father can sing really well. Nobody played instruments in my family, but there was this mysterious acoustic guitar in the house for all of my childhood. After spending many years singing, at 15 I started learning that guitar. The first song I wrote was a punk song about the kids at school who think they’re cool because they smoke behind the dunnies.
Inspirations Local – Great Earthquake, Barrage, 2. Pikelet, Denim Owl, Butcher Blades, Made
The Music You Make We make spacey spook-pop. It’s not 4. rooted in styles or genres but it is intensely
For Chickens By Robots, Architecture In Helsinki. All great local independent thinkers and makers. Alive – Pram, Cibo Matto, Ladyhawke, Takako Minekawa, Beck, MIA, Wild Drums And Peacebirds, Bjork, Portishead, Capsule. Dead – Roy Orbison, Edith Piaf, Nina Simone, Etta James, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
melodic, with fantastic drumming – and it moves in mysterious ways. Sometimes it’s pure pop, sometimes with electronics, sometimes it’s droney, sometimes it’s groovy, sometimes it’s dark and gothic. Always we are having a lot of fun! Our new album We’re A Chameleon really summarises the diversity of musical terrain we’ve explored over the last four years.
Your Band Zoe Scoglio has been creating her 3. spooky, colourful visuals for our show. At our Melbourne launch, without rehearsing with her, the video she had arranged for each song happened to finish at the exact time we finished too. This is a like-mindedness that is beyond words. We also collaborated with Cornel Wilzcek (aka Qua) on mixing the album, which was great fun - so much was possible with him because he’s so skilled. Anto Macaroni (Puta Madre Brothers) also produces a bit for us; he recorded one of our new songs on 8 track tape with cheap mics, and it sounds fantastic. His aesthetic is really immediate and raw, and we’re really excited by that. He is my boyfriend, so that also helps.
Music, Right Here, Right Now There is always going to be trends 5. in music and they saturate the scene, which can be pretty frustrating. That said there are a lot of talented independent musicians making good music who are really supportive - and we all share our knowledge, which is so wonderful.
Who: Flying Scribble What: We’re A Chameleon is out now Where: The Red Rattler When: Thursday October 14
PUBLISHERS: Adam Zammit & Rob Furst EDITOR IN CHIEF: Adam Zammit 9552 6333 email@example.com EDITOR: Steph Harmon firstname.lastname@example.org 9552 6333 ARTS EDITOR & ASSOCIATE: Dee Jefferson dee@ thebrag.com 9552 6333 STAFF WRITER: Jonno Seidler NEWS CO-ORDINATORS: Nathan Jolly, Cool Thomas, Chris Honnery
Not an entry in Prince William’s diary, but a reminder that Small Affairs are launching their new EP on Friday October 15 at MUM (at World Bar), alongside Made In Japan, The Bennisons, Convaire, Radio Star, Monks of Mellonwah and Claire (not Bowditch - this is a band). Ten dollars entry, don’t trip up the stairs with a teapot – unless you are Lewis Carroll.
ART DIRECTOR: Sarah Bryant GRAPHIC DESIGN: Dara Gill SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Tim Levy SNAP PHOTOGRAPHERS: Ashley Mar, Rosette Rouhana, Daniel Munns, Patrick Stevenson, Renee Rushbrook, Maja Baska, Jay Collier, Susan Bui, Andrew Green COVER PHOTOGRAPHY/DESIGN: Jefferton James
Before Bob Evans was Bob Evans, he was Kevin Mitchell, frontman of Jebediah, who hadn’t ever HEARD of acoustic guitars or Pasha Bulkers. This plucky four-piece recorded an album called Slightly Odway, which went on to become the standard dictionary definition for All Killer, No Filler. And now they’re back with a new album Kosciuszko, the winner of the 2011 AMP award [according to our future correspondent, Klord]. Good thing you didn’t scratch out the white out on your backpack, yeah?
SALES/MARKETING MANAGER: Blake Rayner 0404 304 929 / (02) 9552 6672 email@example.com ADVERTISING: Les White - 0405 581 125 / (02) 9552 6618 firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING: Sara Golchin - (02) 9552 6747 email@example.com GIG & CLUB GUIDE CO-ORDINATOR: Christian Moraga - firstname.lastname@example.org (rock) email@example.com (dance) INTERNS: Liz Brown, Rach Seneviratne REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Joshua Blackman, Mikey Carr, Bridie Connell, Bridie Connellan, Benjamin Cooper, Oliver Downes, Tony Edwards, Christie Eliezer, Murray Engleheart, Lucy Fokkema, Mike Gee, Thomas Gilmore, Alice Hart, Kate Hennessy, Chris Honnery, Nathan Jolly, Andy McLean, Amelia Schmidt, Romi Scodellaro, Xanthe Seacret, RK, Luke Telford, Caitlin Welsh, Beth Wilson, Alex Young Please send mail NOT ACCOUNTS direct to this address 153 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 ph - (02) 9552 6333 fax - (02) 9552 6866 EDITORIAL POLICY: The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Publisher, Editor or Staff of The Brag. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Stephen Forde : firstname.lastname@example.org ph - (03) 9428 3600 fax - (03) 9428 3611 Furst Media, 3 Newton Street Richmond Victoria 3121 DEADLINES: Editorial Wednesday 12pm (no extensions) Art Work, Ad Bookings Thursday 12pm (no extensions) Ad Cancellations Tuesday 4pm Published by Cartrage P/L ACN 104026388 All content copyrighted to Cartrage 2003 DISTRIBUTION: Wanna get The Brag? email email@example.com or ph 03 9428 3600. PRINTED BY SPOTPRESS: www.spotpress.com.au 24 – 26 Lilian Fowler Place, Marrickville NSW 2204 Win a giveaway? Mail us a stamped and addressed envelope, and we’ll send your prize on over...
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Along with the eldest daughter from Packed To The Rafters, 2SER is one of the best things to come out of Sydney ever. Such awesomeness doesn’t just materialise; the station survives on listener subscriptions, which is why they’re running their annual subscriber drive from October 11-23. If you subscribe between those dates, you not only get the usual discounts and good karma, but you could win a bunch of prizes, including flights to Malaysia.
PUNK’S NOT GAELIC
SLEIGH BELLS RINGING
When Spinal Tap were billed as the world’s loudest band, it was meant to be an insult. But I’m being nothing less than complimentary when I announce the world’s loudest real band (MBV aren’t a band; they are a religion) Sleigh Bells are playing the Forum on January 8. Supporting them is the excellent Seekae, and Baio of Vampire Weekend with a DJ set. Be sure to bring your earplugs…. Because Baio will probably play Sting records. Tickets on sale Tuesday October 12 at noon.
FUTURE OF THE LEFT
Future Of The Left are hitting the East Coast in January. More importantly for us, they’ll be playing The Annandale Hotel on January 5. Tickets for this show are going to be available from the Handsome Tours website (just whip a dot com on the end and you should get there) from October 15. Get on that.
Spectrum have started a new night. Obviously I don’t mean they have invented a new day of the week - they are just taking old worn out, mid-week, soul-less Wednesday, and injecting it with vigour and life. Or more accurately, injecting it with Aleks & The Ramps, Shady Lane and Fishing this Wednesday September 13, and dubbing it the latest installment of ‘Happy Wednesdays’. Which makes us think of Madchester. Happy indeed.
Get out a dirty safety pin and pierce your face (don’t.), coz UK punk-rock oi-faces GBH are coming to the Gaelic Club. October 14 is the date, and seeing these guys have been at it for more than 30 years, we imagine they know how to put on a huge punk show.
When I was seven, I had a special ‘Joey’ cushion which I held over my ears whenever Concrete Blonde’s hit tune “Joey” came on the radio or television (approx. every 42 minutes). I recently discovered an exercise book from this era in which I rated TV shows, and I gave Acropolis Now 97%, so maybe my artistic sensibilities weren’t as finely-tuned as now... Concrete Blonde are playing their entire Bloodletting album October 21 at the Enmore, and I won’t be bringing my cushion. Get there.
MINIMAL ACT. MAXIMUM IMPACT.
Whoa. Mistletone have just announced that UK hip-hop lad Harmonic 313 AND Domeyko/ Gonzalez will be supporting The Field, when he plays The Gaelic Theatre on December 11. Lotsa art-pop at the Gaelic that night. Fact.
THE NATIONAL NATIONAL TOUR
Even though they sold out the Royal Albert Hall in four minutes, The National haven’t cocained themselves into an arrogant haze, and are instead touring Australia again. On January 8, their Facebook Places will tell you they just checked into the Enmore. Tickets on sale now.
GIG OF THE WEEK
NO FILLS D’N’B
No Frills celebrates our 5th Anniversary this October with a FIVE DOLLAR party! Having brought Sydney the ﬁnest selection of underground and forward thinking drum n bass throughout the years, from our humble beginnings in 2005, we have continued to deliver some of the ﬁnest International, National and local artists, for your drum n bass pleasure. From Raiden, Robyn Chaos, Dom and Roland, Paul Blackout, Mark N, Tech Itch, Limewax, Centaspike, Speakerwrath, Noisia, Psidream, Motion, Shards, Gridlock, Break, Fierce, Evol Intent, Bulletproof. That’s a lot of consistent parties, quality music and good times so for our 5th anniversary we decided to go back to our roots and throw a $5 party showcasing some of the ﬁne local DJs that have played with us regularly through the year, before taking a long overdue break and returning next year with even more. So come down and celebrate with us as we turn 5 this Friday 15 October @ Phoenix Bar on the Hijack Sound System of course… Fri Oct 15 - Phoenix - 10PM - $5
WED 13 OCT
EVERY FRIDAY MEMBERS ONLY EVERY SATURDAY MEMBERS ONLY
ALEKS & THE RAMPS SHADY LANE + FISHING 8PM-$10
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ATLANTA TAKES STATE
I ESCAPE WINGS OF ICARUS 8PM-$12/$15
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THE RETREAT ANTHONY OUSBACK ISAAC GRAHAM AFTER 11:30
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rock music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on, down and around town. With Nathan Jolly and Cool Thomas
he said she said WITH
JARROD FROM EAGLE AND THE WORM are awesome musicians and songwriters. I never have to look far for inspiration - it usually comes from day to day stuff, and getting excited about what other peeps are doing. Eagle And The Worm is made up of eight people. Most of us have shitty day jobs, a couple of us have no shitty day job, and a couple of us have kinda good day jobs. We’re all mates. We all play in other bands. We all like the same kind of music, and get each other into new bands. We do small runs of 7 inches, service our tracks to radio, sell the vinyl at shows, and stock it in a few small shops. We haven’t pressed on CD yet. I’m really down on CDs at the moment - they work better as a drink coasters. I write most of the music for EATW in my bedroom. We record at a little studio in Melbs with Steven Schram at the helm, and then I take it home and try to make it sound dazzling, before handing it back to Steve to tune it up. The music scene in Melbourne is going pretty well. There are a lot of small pubs and clubs to play at. I don’t know how Sydney works, this is our first headline tour to Sydz - so we’ll find out soon enough!
here was nothing exciting about my mum and dad’s music collection. It was my older brother Travis that really got me interested in music - GnR, Tom Petty, Hendrix etc… I started out playing bass in crap high school metal bands when I was about 15, covering Metallica and Silverchair.
FLATWOUND @ SANDO
Usually reading the words ‘disco funk’ makes me put my hand through my computer monitor and tear out the cables in blind rage, however Flatwound are actually brillian - they don’t just play that same NME-endorsed dance beat over a KORG preset. They’re upstairs at the Sando on October 16, which, if you haven’t been there yet, is probably the best venue next to a takeaway shop in Sydney.
BIG DAY OUT AGAIN
If you want a re-run, or didn’t manage tickets for the sold out Round 1, there is now a second Sydney Big Day Out on Thursday January 27, 2011 - boasting the same gargantuan bill. Tool, Rammstein, Iggy and the Stooges, M.I.A, John Butler Trio, Grinderman, Wolfmother, LCD Soundsystem, Bloody Beetroots… The list just goes on. Tix on sale Monday October 11.
Then I met a friend who convinced me to go to jazz school - which was rad. Got me into all kinds of stuff, and playing with heaps of different people.
Who: Eagle And The Worm
My biggest inspirations are my friends. I’ve got some friends in great bands, people who
When: Saturday October 16
Paul Simon had 50 ways to leave a lover, but according to track two on Felicity Groom’s delightful tour EP, you only really need 39. We’ll be making comparative notes when dear Felicity supports Tame Impala October 13 at The Beach Road Hotel in Bondi and the following night at the Enmore.
With: Step Panther and The Holy Soul Where: Spectrum
Melbourne’s Small Affairs are back in the Cross to give us all a lesson in classic rock ‘n’ roll, the way nature (and the devil) intended. Take a cup of savvy lyrics, a tablespoon of angular guitar riffs, a pinch of punk brashness and a few doses of The Strokes, The Clash and The Stones, and you have Small Affairs. They’re playing at MUM at The World Bar on October 15, where – if you’re lucky – you’ll get to hear their hearty cover ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. It should be a cracker of a night, when they team up with the Made In Japan, Convaire and The Bennisons. To score you and your BFF free entry and a magical cocktail teapot, tell us about a ‘small affair’ that you’ve had.
JIM JONES REVUE
Brag’s Murray Engleheart has been raving about The Jim Jones Revue since forever, and with their new release Burning Your House Down out this week, he now has reason to start spruiking their greatness again. And great they are. This group of 40-somethings could easily be poking their pension money into the mouth of a pokies machine at the RSL, but instead they decided to kick serious ass with a brand of rock ‘n’ roll that we haven’t been graced with since the rock gods of yesteryear. We have three copies of the album to give away; to win, check out Mr. Engleheart’s column Remedy on page 43 and tell us what festival The Jim Jones Revue are playing at in early 2011.
The John Steel Singers
Emma Davis has finally announced a release date for the debut self-titled album we’ve been waiting for since we first heard ‘All Of This’. She’s got a new single now - ‘Machines’ - and if you haven’t heard it yet, you’re about to. The London-born singer-songwriter wrote most of her album in the smallest bedroom in Newtown (fact!), before recording it with Brian Campeau. She’ll be showing it off at the Red Rattler on October 29. See you there!
THE JOHN STEEL SINGERS TOUR
If you haven’t heard the name or music of The John Steel Singers tossed about over the past year or so, we regret to inform you you’ve been doing it wrong. The Brisbane lads are touring the nation in the last few months of the year in honour of their debut full-length release, Tangalooma. We get three chances to see ‘em, too - Tuesday November 30 at the Brass Monkey, Wednesday December 1 at the Beach Road Hotel and Saturday December 4 at the Oxford Art Factory, with Deep Sea Arcade and Fishing in tow.
CHILDREN COLLIDE AGAIN
Children Collide mixed In Utero, Nevermind and Bleach to arrive at a dizzying blend of awesome. The singer flings himself around the stage, and they’re young enough to not need bottled water onstage. Basically, they rule. And now they’re headlining a regional(ish) tour, which will see them at Manly Fishos on November 26 with Violent Soho. For more dates, get ye to a Googler.
We all know The Jezabels are great, and that Sam makes brilliant coffee. You’ve probably been wanting some live-show good-times high-dezabels Jezabels for a while now, and here is your chance. The group is touring their iTunes-chart-topping EP, Dark Storm, in November with Canadian mates Two Hours Traffic. They’ll be laying waste to the Gaelic Theatre on Friday November 19. Tix on sale through OzTix on Friday October 5.
STRAIGHT ARROWS, NICE RICE
It’s great when two good things come together. In this case I am not talking about gin & tonic, beer & chips or coffee & cigarettes… I’m talking about a smashing band and an
incredible label. Straight Arrows are set to release their debut album through Rice Is Nice (SPOD, Seekae, Richard In Your Mind). The record is called It’s Happening, and is set for a November 9 release.
Echoing that classic moment when Frente! played the Summer Bay Surf Club, Optus Sound Scribe are offering three towns in regional Australia the chance to host a free Birds Of Tokyo gig. To win, all you have to do is vote for your local Optus Sound Scribe before October 31 - that budding journalist in your town that keeps trying to uncover the latest scoop. The William Miller, if you will. Fictional towns/people need not apply. That means you, Pearl Bay.
“Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse”. – GROUCHO MARX 12 :: BRAG :: 383 : 11:10:10
BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 13
dance music news
welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Chris Honnery
he said she said WITH
y father gave me a mixtape when I was an infant - my first memory of him, and my first encounter with music. It was a recording of him playing the guitar and singing songs he dedicated to my mum, my sister and myself - he recorded it for us when we were forced to migrate to Australia without him. My sister was bought a piano and it was second nature to her, singing covers of songs that she connected with - from Anita Baker to Mariah Carey to Whitney Houston. Music from these artists were constantly in my ear, whether I liked it or not. I then started connecting with the 90’s hip hop and RnB era - at an early age, I’d also follow the top 50 video charts, sitting with my sister and recording film clips. The most prominent artist I was inspired by would have to be Michael
Jackson. He articulated the definition of what an artist should be, and would always showcase the TOTAL package. This led to discovering producers that he worked with, such as Teddy Riley, who at the time was the innovator of the 90s new genre, New Jack Swing. This inspired me to start digging for more sounds and rhythmic lyrical expression - which led to my infatuation with rap culture. I could only dream about being a DJ. I knew I couldn’t afford the hobby, although this never stopped me from collecting music and creating mixtapes with audio-editing software. DJing has always been a passion, but I never thought I’d have the honour to play sets for crowds. My first gig was a Bboy battle, where I went back to back with another DJ who was also
just starting out, Kid Koma. We connected, and began to receive bookings for house parties where we met DJ Naf, a former Black Label DJ who was a specialist in reggae, dancehall and old school. The three of us have since become an unstoppable force. I’m an 80s Baby! Old school soul, funk, rock, electro, hip hop and reggae will always be somewhere in the mix. I like to tell stories in my mixtapes, and try as best as I can to create a call and response when going from track to track.
Who: DJ Libre With: Evidence (Dilated Peoples) & Total Eclipse (The Xecutioners), Daily Meds Where: Tone, Surry Hills When: Friday October 15
SMIRNOFF NIGHTLIFE EXCHANGE PROJECT
EVIDENCE @ TONE
Rhymesayers Records heavyweight and Dilated Peoples front man MC Evidence will play an exclusive Sydney show at Tone this Friday October 15, as part of his maiden tour of Australia. Evidence unleashed his debut solo record The Weatherman (a nickname a fan gave him early in his career) in 2007, after a long struggle with his then-label Capitol Records. The album featured production from Evidence himself, Jake One, the Alchemist and Babu among others - and was followed a few months later by Red Tape Instrumentals, an album of beats. Evidence shifted labels to the esteemed hip hop imprint Rhymesayers Entertainment mid last year, and is gearing up to release his sophomore EP, Cats & Dogs, on that stable before the year is out.
WHAM FT MIKE MONDAY
On the back of his latest release, the Pattern+Grid World EP, LA hip-hop experimentalist – nay pioneer – Steven Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, is heading our way to play a show at The Forum on Friday January 7. It’s been an extremely busy year for Flying Lotus, who kicked things off with his LP Cosmogramma on Warp records, which featured a guest spot from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and received the rarest of all beasts, a 5/5 review in this very publication. But as exciting as this news is, it ain’t the half of it – in fact, it’s only a quarter of it, as Scotland’s Hudson Mohawke, DâM-Funk and the ‘motherfu*king Gaslamp Killer’ are also on the bill - a salacious quartet that’s sure to draw lovers of quality beats out of the woodwork. Tickets go on sale from Wednesday October 13.
Catcall (a.k.a Catherine Kelleher) has been making waves since signing to Ivy League Records, culminating in her ‘Swimming Pool’ Party 12” vinyl launch. The 12” is a limited edition release that exhibits Catcall’s exploration into deeper realms of sound and space, with nostalgic reverb and warm, elastic synths percolating into the mix. The 12” also includes a remix of ‘Swimming Pool’ – a 10-minute ethereal disco slow-jam by sensuality sensei Julian Mendelsohn (who’s remixed the likes of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Pet Shop Boys, and INXS). We have ten copies of this smooth slab to post away. If you want one, send us a link of your favourite YouTube video featuring a cat in it.
There are too many local artists to mention - and that would have to be the main obstacle to the industry. It’s a double edged sword! All these artists and crews are so busy trying to out-do each other. Instead of uniting and supporting each other they tend to diss and tear each other down, from dropping a diss track to not supporting their live shows. Our industry is too young and unexposed to be at this level of disrespect towards each other. On the other side of the coin, this competitive edge does seem to bring out the best in the music…
Vodka brand Smirnoff has announced details of its next party project, The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. It involves 14 countries such as Venezuela, Brazil, Canada and Germany sharing the best elements of their after-dark culture, which will be collected and shared inside different crates. People are invited to make suggestions for what represents the best of our local nightlife via Facebook.com/SmirnoffAustralia. Ksubi co-founder Dan Single has been chosen to curate Australia’s crate, the contents of which will be revealed on October 21 at a send-off party in Sydney. Each country will then packup the best of its nightlife into a crate for one of the other countries to experience on November 27. The question remains, which country will Australia get?
FLYING LOTUS ET AL
This week, beloved Saturday night institution Wham! - held every Saturday at World Bar in Kings Cross - plays host to the esteemed UK tech producer Mike Monday. Ol’ Mikey boy has released on the Get Physical, Buzzin’ Fly and Tsuba imprints, remixed Marc Romboy and been remixed by Justin Martin. He purportedly played a fine set at Melt last Sunday - so if you missed him, this coming Saturday represents a chance at redemption. Mike Monday will be throwing down in Wham’s dedicated tech room ‘The Office’, located at the very top of world bar – it may be three flights of stairs, but it will be worth the trek. Melbourne’s Mic Newman is also on the bill. Wham! are giving away a double pass to this event and the forthcoming Circo Loco bash at Greenwood, through whamblog.net
BOUNDARY BONDS WITH...
HOLLY MCCAULEY, CREATIVE ASSISTANT, frankie MAGAZINE
What is a creative assistant? I help our creative director Lara with the layout of the mag, work on marketing, help out at events like the Finders Keepers markets, take photos and generally try to get things done. I also manage the blog and online fun stuff. Also, I occasionally get my craft on and my hands dirty. How did you score the job at frankie? The planets were aligned, I guess. It was a combination of good timing, a lucky email, a portfolio and an 800km move north to start at the frankie offices. I’d just finished uni and was eager to get a job in the creative industry. Working at a mag like frankie was on my list of dream jobs. How important is producing online content for a print magazine? Online content is super important. The mag is the king, but with two months between each issue, getting a frankie fix online keeps our readers sustained. It’s a great tool for uncovering up-and-coming designers, artists and musicians, as well as events and gallery openings. What advice would you give to those wanting to work in media? I think the best advice is to work hard (obviously), and don’t be scared to get your stuff out there, whether it be writing, art, design or even ideas. You won’t achieve anything in isolation, so get off your bum, get inspired and be prepared to work hard. Oh, and respect your mentors - they’ll help you to no end.
“Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book, and does.” – GROUCHO MARX 14 :: BRAG :: 383 : 11:10:10
Peace Music, Niche Productions & Max proudly present soul legends
12 PIECE STAGE SHOW
AND HIS 6 PIECE BAND
FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2011 ENMORE THEATRE Tickets On Sale Thursday 14th October: enmoretheatre.com.au koolandthegang.comƎƎēƎƎƎfacebook.com/pages/Kool-the-GangƎƎēƎƎƎpeacemusic.com.auƎƎēƎƎƎnicheproductions.com.au BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 15
dance music news welcome to the frontline: what’s goin’ on around town... with Chris Honnery onthefly.com.au WITH
ALISON WONDERLAND (SOSUEME)
five things WITH
Growing Up When I was a kid I remember watching 1. Sesame Street, and there was this amazing song called ‘Pinball Number Count’ by The Pointer Sisters - when it came on I would lose my shit! Like my mum had to hold me down. I think that’s where I discovered funk, and my groove. My parents told me that when I was a baby I was a real pain in the ass keeping them up at night, so my father would take me for drives listening to music at 3am till I’d fall asleep. Maybe that has something to do with my obsession with playing music at stoopid hours of the morning! Inspirations There’s soo many, too many to mention. 2. I’m into anything and everything: death metal, classic metal, pop, hip hop, funk, blues, goth, rock... You’d need to give me a whole page to answer this! You I’ve been doing this for more than half 3. my life - making records, and playing records.
The music I play is music to get down to - if you’re diggin what I play, I expect you to get down so low your balls are dragging. I have a new release out on Southern Fried for a project I do called Act Yo Age. It’s called The Love From Below EP. I also have a new Pablo Calamari EP I’m putting together called Pablo’s Package, which we be out on Sweat it Out. Music, Right Here, Right Now Right now the music scene has some 5. serious A.D.D - there’s so much crap going on, so many style comebacks. It’s cool, but the music is moving too fast for people to actually get a chance to take it in and get it. I think people need to chill, enjoy what’s around them and stop waiting for the next big thing. If people took their time and really thought about what they were going to create, there wouldn’t be so much regurgitation, and people wouldn’t get bored so quickly. I’m no better though... I guess I rush stuff just as much. Who: Pablo Calamari
I’m 32 years old - I started playing records at raves, clubs and community Radio at the age of 14 and I’m still doing it. I cant imagine doing anything else, I think I’ve forgotten how to do everything else. This is all I can remember.
What: Wham! presents Office
The Music You Make Music you can dance to, mainly electronic 4. stuff, but I am working on a rock project
Where: Wham Presents ‘Office’ @ The World Bar
With: Mike Monday (UK), Mic Newman (Melb), Mitch Crosher, Foundation, James Taylor, Wax Motif, Chux, Yohi, Andy Webb, Bad Ezzy, The Jackal, Moneyshot, Saez + Shamozzle.
There are two Aussie twin sisters who are absolutely killing it – and no, they’re not The Veronicas. NERVO are UK-based sisters Liv and Mim Nervo; songwriters, producers, and DJs who have co-written and produced tracks for Ke$ha, David Guetta, Miley Cyrus, the Pussycat Dolls, Deadmau5, Kylie Minogue…we could go on. They’ve won Grammys, they’re beautiful, and they’re incredibly talented – their parents must be a wee bit proud. The girls are coming back home for the Summafieldayze festivals, and are playing alongside Bag Raiders at a secret warehouse party in Sydney on October 21. To win a double pass to this exclusive invite-only shindig (money can’t buy this shit, guys!), tell us which Kelly Rowland track Nervo co-wrote.
When: Saturday October 16
kinda like Shuggie Otis meets Andre 3000.
HOOPS VS RO SHAM BO Pharoahe Monch
It’s gals Vs boys this Saturday at GoodGod Small Club, with Hoops representatives Nina Las Vegas and Bad Ezzy taking on Ro Sham Bo’s Toni Toni Lee and Jimmy Sing in a DJ battle royale. With bragging rights at stake, and a revamped venue at their disposal, both collectives are sure to pull out all the stops to impress, with dirty tactics not out of the question. But the real winner will be you, the paying patron, who for only $5 before midnight will be privy to an array of party jams and surrounded by beautiful people.
PICNIC WITH RICK WADE
Detroit DJ/Producer Rick Wade will play a three-hour set at an inner city warehouse bash on Sunday November 14, in the first Picnic of the summer. Wade has been producing since the early 90s, setting up the iconic house stable Harmonie Park with the Australia-bound Dan Bell, before subsequently conceiving his Booty/ Bass label Bass Force as a release for his alter ego ‘Big Daddy Rick’. The Big Daddy will be flanked by Simon Caldwell, James Bucknell and Daniel Lupica, with $25 presale tickets on sale through Resident Advisor.
SHAGGY IN AUSTRALIA!
New Zealand vodka brand 42 Below are throwing a birthday party for Jamaican rapper Shaggy this Thursday at GoodGod Small Club; appropriately, Shaggy is turning, you guessed it, 42. But if you want to party with Shaggy on his birthday, you’ll have to work for it. He’ll be dropping hints about where he’ll be on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare from the moment he touches down in Sydney this Tuesday October 12. Simply stalk him via social media and then walk up to Shaggy and his entourage, say the magic words “Happy 42 Below”, and if you’re one of the first 15 people to do so you’ll score a pair of invites to his party. And, if you don’t track down Mr Boombastic, you’ll be left saying “it wasn’t me” rather than hearing Shaggy sing it live. [Apologies, that was lifted straight from the press release, but gems like that deserved to be recycled… right?]
In the tradition of their legendary parties from those halcyon days of 2001-05, a time when tha shit was still decent and the DJs spun wax, Hutch (Art Bitch!) and Hutchings (Paperbark Camp) present a naughty night on Hotel Sweeney’s rooftop this Saturday, which will go on till the sun rises. The occasion is held in honour of the symbolic Big Berghie, a depraved character who is all about hedonism gone drastically wrong... Rumour has it that Brag’s own Tony E may indeed be dropping some beats on the night, in a stacked DJ lineup that includes the likes of Brut(ish)33. Strange outfits are recommended, with entry acquired through donations on the door to cover expenses (which have no doubt blown out due to Tony E’s exorbitant DJ fee...)
SHORE THING NYE
PHAROAHE MONCH IN AUSTRALIA
Hip hop veteran Pharoahe Monch will preview his new album W.A.R. (We Are Renegades) alongside Jean Grae, who is herself gearing up to release her new album Cake Or Death, in a national tour of Australia next month. W.A.R includes the lead-off single ´Shine´ and has been described as a “throwback to 1993 1994 hip-hop”. It features production by Black Milk, Mr Porter, Lee Stone and M-Phazes. Monch has humbly described the LP as “my best album … It’s a call to writers, artists, poets, even 9-5 people who think off the beating path. It’s a call and a warning to them… the powers that be don’t want thinking individuals with opinions and ideas to be the big percentage of our population.” Pharoahe Monch will headline The Metro on Friday November 26.
Tickets are now on sale for Fuzzy’s annual New Year’s Eve bash Shore Thing at Bondi Pavilion, which is this year headlined by Mr ‘fu*k me I’m famous’ himself, David Guetta. Guetta has attained levels of exposure to rival his compatriot Bob Sinclar thanks to a string of ubiquitous singles over the past year, including ‘Sexy Bitch’ featuring Akon and collaborations with Kelly Rowland and The Black Eye Peas. Guetta will be flanked by Armand Van Helden, who is notorious for his party jam ‘You Don’t Know Me’ and remixes of Dizzee Rascal and Daft Punk, while newly crowned ITM #1 DJs The Aston Shuffle from the ACT will be playing live to round out the triumvirate.
Texan Alan Palomo, known for his work as Neon Indian, will be bringing his ethereal fusion of electronic and pop influences back to Australia over the New Year period, playing in Sydney as part of the Field Day lineup. Neon Indian’s breakthrough album from ’09, Psychic Chasms - which was lauded by tastemakers such as Rolling Stone, The Brag and Pitchfork - is being re-released with the inclusion of extra tracks, namely latest single ‘Sleep Paralysist’, and remixes from Yacht and Dntel among others. The revamped Psychic Chasms will be available through Popfrenzy from October 15, so if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Having recently become the first Australian artist to be signed to Stone’s Throw Records, the famed stable of Madlib, Dam-Funk and J Dilla et al, Danimals are set to embark on an East Coast tour of Australia over the coming months, showcasing tracks from the forthcoming debut album that’s due for release in early 2011. Danimals is the brainchild of Sydney artist Jonti ‘Rhodes’ Danilewitz that has since expanded into a different and more elaborate beast altogether. Supporting Danimals on tour will be Sydney experimental pop duo, triple j Unearthed winners and past Brag coverstars kyu, and two fifths of Danimals live band - James Domeyko and Jaie Gonzalez - who’ll be indulging in some cosmic experimentalism. Danimals play the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi on Wednesday November 17, before backing up for a spot at Oxford Art Factory the following night.
“Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.” – GROUCHO MARX 16 :: BRAG :: 383 : 11:10:10
with the new Nokia messaging range.
ÂŠ 2010 Nokia. Terms and conditions apply.
Discover how you can swap a boring bill for something great at nokiabillexchange.com
BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 17
Industry Music News with Christie Eliezer
DAN ROSEN IS CEO OF ARIA, PPCA
Dan Rosen is the new Chief Executive Officer of ARIA and PPCA, effective October 18. He replaces Stephen Peach, who will stay on as a consultant through to December 31. For the last six years Rosen has been in New York as Head of the Americas for KIT digital, a technology company that provides digital media solutions for media and entertainment companies, telcos and government organisations. He served as an advisor to former Federal Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts Senator Richard Alston and was responsible for information economy policy, with a focus on broadband and innovation. Rosen was also a member of Second Dan, who won the triple j Unearthed competition in 2003.
BYRON COUNCIL ‘TWO FESTIVAL’ RULE: BLUESFEST STAYS…
The Byron Shire Council will maintain its draft events policy of having only two major music festivals a year – each with a crowd cap of 16,500. But it has given the green light for Bluesfest to stay at its Tyagarah site until 2021. The festival has had a Development Application before the council since June 2008, and festival boss Peter Noble was getting antsy, as he was unable to put in permanent structures on the land. Bluesfest’s daily crowd numbers will be capped at 17,500 for the next two years, and then up to 20,000 after. “It’s a bittersweet pill,” Noble tells this column. “Bluesfest is fine. But what of other festivals? The music industry now has to decide if it wants to make an issue of this.”
Life lines Born: son Sonny Patrick to Noel Gallagher and girlfriend Sara MacDonald. Born: son Levi, to artist manager Ralph Carr and his wife Emma. He looks after Kate Ceberano and Vanessa Amorosi among others. Split: Tamarama member Nicolas Potts and model Jessica Hart, after six years. Two years ago they bought a $1 million pad in Manhattan. Married: Aaron Harvie and Natalie Jane Miller of Revolution Artist Services (Chicks Who Love Guns, The Follow, Jenny Morris), on the NSW north coast. Injured: Hilltop Hoods’ MC Pressure got a torn ligament in his left shoulder after playing US football for the South Australian Gridiron Association. Hospitalised: Mat McHugh of The Beautiful Girls suffered a burst appendix during a run of US shows. Ill: Sydney troubadour Ernest Ellis off the road for two months after medics warned his hearing may have permanent damage if subjected to loud noise. In Court: former N-Dubz drummer Aaron Fagan was given six months probation for sexually assaulting two women in Glasgow. In Court: Alexsei Vladmir Nikola, 34, of Brisbane, for wearing a Cradles of Filth T-shirt which said ‘Jesus Is A Cunt’ and an image of a semi-nude nun masturbating. He faces Brisbane Magistrates Court on October 14 on public nuisance charges, which carries a maximum fine of $1000 or six months’ jail. In Court: an LA judge ruled that Britney Spears’ personal and financial affairs are to remain under the legal control of her father Jamie.
…AND A RALLY FOR SPLENDOUR
A group of Byron Bay businesses and residents held a rally to demand the return of Splendour In The Grass to the area. They say their businesses suffered when the festival moved to Woodfordia because council had not approved its permanent site in Yelgun. An application is pending. Meantime moves are afoot by Queensland tourism execs to keep it there - the Byron business and tourism folks say that council’s insistence on keeping the place a non-party region is sending the wrong message. In the meantime, there is also a push to keep Splendour in Queensland permanently. Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland says that the festival brought in $18 million to the region — not the $13 million that local businesses estimated it would. “It also boosted tourism numbers significantly,” he said. Over three days, Splendour attracted 32,000 —of which 16,500 were from interstate. Sutherland has spoken to Splendour organisers about staying put. They have said they want to return to Byron.
SUPPORT FOR FBI…
More than 30 Sydney artists and designers auctioned their artwork last Friday, to donate their proceeds to FBi Radio as a thank you for the station’s past support. The Still Life art auction was held at the Art Gallery of NSW with donated items from the likes of Simon Yates, We Buy Your Kids, Wade Marynowsky and Greg Hodge. At last year’s auction, some of the items went for up to $20,000. See fbiradio.com.
2SER’s annual subscriber drive runs from October 11 to 23. Subscriptions start at $33 for concession and $66 for standard. Those who subscribe go in the draw for a major prize of a return trip for two to Malaysia. See 2ser.com.
GAGA, BIEBER, TO HIT YOUTUBE MILESTONES Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are approaching a milestone of one billion views on YouTube, reports Billboard. David Birch of TubeMogul says that Gaga averaged almost 1.8 million views per day during September. At this rate, she should hit 1 billion around October 20. Bieber’s videos got 3.7 million views per day during September, and he’s expected to hit 1 billion around November 1.
STOMP BECOMES ELAN MEDIA
Paul Uniacke and Eddie Nedelko, owners of the Franchise Entertainment Group which bought Stomp Pty Ltd in August, have changed their company name. Élan Media Partners is now the new name for the entertainment and licensed brand distribution company, which owns and operates online retail sites cdwow.com, chaos.com and play4me.com.au. Its new GM is Craig White, former Director of Sales at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Élan is strongly positioned to seize opportunities in marketing, selling and distributing licensed brand and entertainment including films, TV on DVD, music and games,” he says. Élan Media Partners is in the process of acquiring the rights to operate EzyDVD’s online business, ezydvd.com.au, from Franchise Entertainment Group by November 1.
Cloud Control and Parkway Drive were both thrilled to be nominated for the ARIAs. But Cloud Control might be touring Ireland with Temper Trap, as a prelude to relocating to the UK for six months when Bliss Release is released there. Meantime, Parkway Drive will be on tour in Europe on the day of the ARIAs.
SHAGGY IN SYDNEY
Jamaican American reggae singer Shaggy celebrates his 42nd birthday in Sydney this week. It’s part of a campaign for 42 Below Vodka by PR agency One Green Bean, which is using location-based social network Foursquare. El Shag will check in on Foursquare, and drop clues on Twitter and Facebook as to where he’ll be. The first 15 fans who find him in a new spot and wish him “Happy 42 Below” win tickets to his birthday bash at Good God Small Club.
OXFORD ART FACTORY DECISION
The Oxford Art Factory’s request to ease up on regulations that restrict its daytime
THINGS WE HEAR * To celebrate Cold Chisel’s headliner set at the Delinquin Muster to 25,000 petrol heads, Jimmy Barnes arrived in a newly-acquired black Ford F150 towing a ‘60s-style caravan. * Scottish songwriter Frankie Duffy told Scottish newspaper Courier that a new Grinderman song ‘Palaces of Montezuma’ sounded very much like ‘Grey Man’, which he performed in his old band Rising Signs… * How big an INXS fan is former Tea Party leader Jeff Martin? On a recent car ride, he played ‘Beautiful Girl’ no less than 28 times. Maybe they should include him on their forthcoming celeb-singer album. * Jessica Mauboy was sporting a new tattoo on her right ankle, a butterfly surrounded by stars. * The folks behind LaLeche! dance party are to make a big announcement. It’ll be held on a public holiday in January, and they promise that “you will get wet”.
* U2 are dropping hints that they might headline Glastonbury festival next year. It shifted 137,500 in four hours — three times faster than this year. * In his new book Oasis: The Truth, The Noel Truth, Is Nothing Like the Truth former Oasis drummer Tony McCarroll reveals that he and Liam Gallagher worked for a car valeting company in Manchester — and they’d vandalise cars owned by Manchester United players. * Two hours after their headline set at Parklife Sydney, Groove Armada hit Lady Lux and DJ’d for 13 hours. They finally ended at lunchtime on Monday — and only because they had to hop on a flight to play Parklife Adelaide. * Wolfmother, who scored the title soundtrack to Robert Downey Jr’s Due Date, have also landed on the soundrack to Ron Howard’s The Dilemma. * Lil Wayne will finish his jail sentence in solitary confinement, for disobeying rules when a charger and headphones for a digital music player were found in his cell.
activities will be considered on Monday October 11 by Sydney Council’s Planning, Development and Transport Committee. Currently it can only operate from 11am – 6pm as an art gallery or arthouse cinema. The venue wants to be able to open earlier for film shoots or under age concerts.
Album and Partos is in the same category for Accidents Happen. The Chaser’s Andrew Hanson and Chris Taylor are up for Best Original Song Composed for the Screen for ‘The War is Over’. Neil Sutherland has been nominated for the Most Performed Screen Composer in both Australia and overseas.
SCREEN MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATIONS
GETTING PLUGGED IN JAPAN
Nominated for Feature Film Score of the Year in next month’s Screen Music Awards are Antony Partos and Sam Petty for Melbourne underworld crime drama Animal Kingdom, Christopher Gordon for Mao’s Last Dancer, Cezary Skubiszewski for Beneath Hill 60 and Michael Yezerski for The Waiting City. Gordon’s score is up for the Best Soundtrack
Oz-based international digital distributor Valleyarm is looking for bands to be featured on its TIMM Sampler to be distributed at the seventh Tokyo International Music Market (Oct 25 to 28). It will go to execs from record labels, distribution agencies, touring companies, management firms, retailers and media outlets. Email email@example.com.
›› TMN TOP 40
The top 40 most ‘heard’ songs on Australian radio. TW LW TI HP P1 P2 P3 ARTIST
1 14 28 58 BRUNO MARS
3 11 1 14 32 59 KATY PERRY
1 11 1 14 26 53 TAIO CRUZ
2 15 39 69 KINGS OF LEON
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
COOLER THAN ME
7 10 5 14 28 51 MIKE POSNER
5 14 28 52 CEE-LO GREEN
7 11 28 62 RIHANNA
ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD)
9 10 6 13 36 61 THE SCRIPT
FOR THE FIRST TIME
6 12 2 14 28 58 USHER FT. PITBULL
DJ GOT US FALLIN’ IN LOVE
10 12 9 10 13 29 55 GOOD CHARLOTTE
LIKE IT’S HER BIRTHDAY
11 11 11 11 11 28 52 B.O.B FT. RIVERS CUOMO
12 17 8 12 12 26 51 ZOE BADWI
13 15 14 8 17 33 54 BIRDS OF TOKYO
14 32 4 14 11 24 44 NELLY
JUST A DREAM
15 14 10 11 13 24 52 KE$HA
TAKE IT OFF
16 10 13 7 13 26 58 THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS
CLOSER TO THE EDGE
17 13 11 4 14 27 54 LADY GAGA
DANCE IN THE DARK
18 16 16 5 13 25 47 FLO RIDA FT. DAVID GUETTA
CLUB CAN’T HANDLE ME
4 18 11 28 52 ADAM LAMBERT
FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
8 10 15 36 88 TAYLOR SWIFT
21 19 19 5
15 44 67
IF IT’S LOVE
14 43 76
23 20 14 1
11 25 51
EMINEM FT. RIHANNA
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE
24 23 15 7
13 32 61
25 44 3
26 43 8
26 12 23 41
LOVE THE FALL
SAVE ME, SAN FRANCISCO
27 34 10 21 12 26 61
28 30 17 18 12 37 64
JOHN BUTLER TRIO
29 27 13 16 10 33 57
30 28 14 15 12 39 53
31 24 18 1
IF I HAD YOU
32 25 3
25 11 26 49
JESSICA MAUBOY FT. SNOOP DOGG
GET ‘EM GIRLS
33 31 7
31 13 24 39
34 29 15 12 13 37 58
35 35 20 12 16 30 56
BABY, I’M GETTING BETTER
36 26 20 1
13 28 52
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS FT. PITBULL
I LIKE IT
37 39 23 2
18 40 64
SCOUTING FOR GIRLS
THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG
23 11 36 68
38 33 7
14 30 56
39 47 10 39 11 27 50
YOUNG AT HEART
40 36 22 1
KATY PERRY FT. SNOOP DOGG
15 29 53
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of imagination all compact” – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM 18 :: BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10
BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 19
Best In Show
his is a portrait of a band who may or may not be on the cusp of international stardom. This is the hard thing these days: it’s impossible to tell what will be huge. You can pick what ought to be huge from a mile off – whether your criteria is talent, catchiness, trendiness, success in focus groups, sheer hotness of band members – but after that? Nobody can predict these things any more. Vampire Weekend took everyone by surprise (was anyone ready for a Paul Simon revival?), and now we have a local band who’ve made it big nationwide after years of honing their sound, a solid EP, endless touring, and an album so natural and yet so sophisticated, so on-trend and yet so individual, that adjectives fail after a little while and you resort to telling people, “it’s just, like, really, really, fucking good, yeah?” With AIR Awards, ARIA nominations and a potential J Award in sight, if they can’t take on the world, the rest of us are in trouble. Alister Wright, siblings Heidi & Ulrich Lenffer, and Jeremy Kelshaw are sitting with me at Brag HQ after a dog- and fun-filled photoshoot. They’ve had a big 2010 to say the least. If you want a succinct summation of their achievements this year, check out the promo sticker on debut album Bliss Release, rampant with gushing praise - I tease Heidi into referring to it as “star city”. If one were to peruse the reviews, the most common criticism to be found is that the LP doesn’t sn’t show all that they’re capable able of. If that’s the worst st my colleagues can level at a debut album m this good, the band’s d’s sheer potential boggles gles the mind. d.
Words By Caitlin Welsh Photos By Jefferton James
There might be a small element of personal bias here, if I’m to be entirely honest; I plugged the band on a music blog in 2006, during the Sydney Uni Band Comp which they went on to win. Already slicker and sweeter than such a young band had any right to be, they ruled every round - with the Fleetwood Mac melodies and psych guitars that went on to distinguish their self-titled EP and debut LP. There is nothing your average rock hack loves more than to be right - except to be right about a band they love. A close third? Dishing beatdowns to the smug sellouts who used to be cool before they made it big - but I can see I’ll have no joy on that front today. As we sit around to talk, I realise that maybe the most wonderful thing about these guys is how lacking they are in both agenda and ego. Right now they’re stoked at the prospect of their big move to the UK, where they’ve been signed to Infectious Records. They’re endearingly vague about their plans. “What we know is this,” says Heidi, nestling into a beanbag that’s bigger than the couch I’m sharing with Jeremy. “They’re releasing our album in roughly March. They’re releasing the single - maybe two singles - before that? And then they want us there to tour as much (or as little) as people can take. So as much as the UK is interested, we will tour for that much… The UK will be the base, and then we’ll hopefully do Europe things from there, and a bunch of summer festivals. I think we’re hoping to go to the US, do SXSW - and I think that’s all that’s been talked about, really.”
“They’ve told us that we’ll be really busy. This will be the first time we’ll be only musicians. No part-time jobs - we’re only allowed to be musicians. It’s a pretty exciting prospect.”
“That’s basically all we know,” adds Alister. “And they’ve told us that we’ll be really busy. Doing all sorts of stuff… and hopefully writing. Writing all sorts of stuff.” He tells me this is the first time the band will be together, doing nothing. Heidi exclaims: “Yeah! This will be the first time we’ll be only musicians. No part-time jobs - we’re only allowed to be musicians. It’s a pretty exciting prospect.” Exciting is probably a relative term for a band who just this fortnight have notched up two AIR Awards and two ARIA nominations; the day we sit down for our chat, they’ve just scored one of those coveted J Award nominations for album of the year, joining acts like Sia, Washington, Children Collide and Bliss & Eso in the higher echelons of Australian pop. I can’t help but point out they seem to be something of an underdog in such a high-profile list, and Alister agrees that the Cloudies are kind of “the dark horse”. “We’re probably the only band that recorded at home, out of those people,” says Ulrich. “Probably the only band that spent less than ten grand,” his sister Heidi adds. It’s not like you’re recording in NYC with Greg Kurstin… “No, we’re recording at Liam’s mum’s house with Liam,” Al says, referring to producer Liam Judson, of Belles Will Ring. “...and his mum.” Cloud Control do sometimes feel like something of a throwback – whether it’s the psych-folk overtones of Bliss Release, the analogue warmth of the initial recordings or their slightly bemused approach to modern fandom. “Facebook and Twitter is so instantaneous, and you can instantly talk to anybody who wants to talk to you,” says Jeremy. “Being able to respond instantly to people who say random things about you on Facebook, I dunno - it’s a pretty special time.” It’s certainly a different era from the heyday of vinyl and subscription fanclubs... “You had to send a letter in and spray it with perfume, just so they’d take notice of it,” Alister laughs. There’s always the basics, though – going to shows, saying hi, buying the record, buying the shirt... It’s a suggestion that spurs a couple of sly grins: “Ulrich was wearing a
Cloud Control t-shirt the other day, under his shirt,” says Jeremy. “And, basically, like my shirt is now, he had a shirt over the top. And it was buttoned up decently, you couldn’t see all that much underneath, and a girl was selling Greenpeace membership, or whatever. And she was like, ‘Hey, is that a Cloud Control t-shirt?’ And he’s like, ‘Ummmmmm....yep. That’s a bit weird. How do you know that?’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, I love that band’. ‘Oh, I’m IN that band...’” Despite the news this morning that Megan Washington has sold out five shows at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne, the Cloudies are determined to be upbeat about their measly three shows at the same venue this month. “Power to her,” nods Alister, before Heidi adds, “The step up in Melbourne’s been really exciting - we were so excited just to sell out the East Brunswick Club last time we played there.” A few days later, their Metro show also exhausted its ticket allocation and the three Corner shows were sold out. Given that we spent much of our time together ranting over the top of one another about vinyl, teabagging, trampoline basketball and various other topics too random or bawdy to include in these pages, at the end of hour I confess that I’m not sure how much of the recording I’ll be able to use. “Make it say, ‘Cloud Control are so cool, they just sat there in silence with their sunglasses, and didn’t say anything,’” says Alister helpfully. Ulrich left after ten minutes, and Heidi suggests sensationalism: “Oh, say that he stormed out!,” she exclaims. “He said ‘This is amateur hour!’, and left.” “And he punched you in the face!” Jeremy adds. So that’s exactly what happened, everyone. Turns out Cloud Control aren’t delightful, young, talent-full and ego-free. They’re rock and roll assholes. They’ll be just fine. Who: Cloud Control What: Bliss Release is out now through Ivy League With: Seekae, Deep Sea Arcade Where: The Metro Theatre When: Friday October 15
“ In Hollywood, brides keep the bouquets and throw away the groom.” – GROUCHO MARX 20 :: BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY.
The Smirnoff word and associated logos are trademarks. ÂŠ The Smirnoff Co. 2010. BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 21
The Holidays Working Vacation Michael Carr
aving nabbed their first group of fans with their catchy indie-pop-rock, showcased on their first two EPs and the resultant national tours, the time came, last year, for Sydney four-piece The Holidays to knuckle down and write their debut LP. Most of us would have expected them to head straight into the studio and churn out an album that expanded on the sound the radio knew and loved; instead, the band disappeared. “We kind of had to disappear for a bit,” lead singer and guitarist Simon Jones tells me evenly across the phone. “We’d gotten to this level where we were being played on the radio, and people were starting to know who we were but we didn’t want to be associated forevermore with the kind of thing that we were doing. So we took some time - a lot of time, really - to write and come up with stuff. It wasn’t an overnight thing. “When we started out,” Jones continues, “the band was really just an excuse to divert our attentions from uni degrees, and stuff that we didn’t really enjoy. We had a sort of Strokesinspired indie rock style, because that was what was popular at the time. We never put too much thought into what we were doing, until it got to this point when suddenly we were playing gigs and were dealing with record labels and all that stuff. Then we had to make a debut album, and we thought ‘shit, we should really take this seriously and think about what we want to do, rather than just rushing into it.’” With the label forking out the dough for recording equipment, the band set up a series
“It’s hard to go from being a band that people were talking about, to then disappear... You have to grab people’s attention again.”
of home studios, pulling the body of their sound apart and experimenting with its varied organs. Incorporating new elements like Latin percussion, samplers and programmed drums, the new album began to take the shape of a far broader sound than the standard two guitars, bass and drums of their EPs. “We pretty much abandoned our old indie rock sound from the get go,” Simon tells me, with the calm inflections of an artist confident in his work. “We started thinking about what we actually like, and what we want to make. It became this process of breaking down all these barriers, like ‘we can’t use keyboards,’ or ‘we can’t use programmed drums,’ and by the end we were just using whatever suited the mood we were aiming for on any particular track. Now we’ve got quite an eclectic mix of stuff – [with] a few key instruments and techniques that we use across the record, to make it sound cohesive. “There are a couple of songs where we used a lot of Latin percussion,” he continues, “and we’ve since taken on board a percussionist who handles all that live, but there’s also a fairly large electronic element to it. We’ve been really getting into using samplers and programming drum beats and sequencing synths, which has been a nice way to get different textures and a different feel, along with the acoustic percussion.” While you might think this means the band have put on their doof boots and turned out club stompers, this isn’t the case at all; the end result is far more controlled and contained. Taking cues from bands like The Happy Mondays, the band avoided the four-on-the-floor club beat, going for slower tempos and groove-based rhythms. “The temptation was definitely there to hit these type of doof grooves,” he says with a laugh, “but we managed to keep on the more chill side. We aimed for a more soulful vibe, rather than club.” Having come a long way from their earlier material, debut album Post Paradise ends up showcasing a sunny, island-sounding brand of pop - and despite their experimentation, they’ve still managed to deliver something with a wide appeal. It’s great to see a local pop group challenging their self-conceptions, and taking
the risk of a year out of the spotlight, to refine and hone their sound. In a world as fickle as the music industry, it’s the kind of move that could spell disaster. “People are always talking about the new buzz band - and it’s hard to go from being a band that people were talking about, to then disappear and have people say, ‘oh they’re still around?’” Simon confides. “You have to grab people’s attention again. The impetus is on you, you know? People aren’t necessarily going to come listening.” Regardless of the somewhat daunting task at hand, Jones and his bandmates are up to the challenge. Having found a sound they’re proud of, the hard work doesn’t seem so hard. “It’s great for us, because we’ve got this album we
can use to get people’s attention… We’re just really happy to do it from the ground up again, in a different way. “If you’re not enjoying what you’re making you’re really not going to enjoy it twelve months down the track. You get tired of your own songs pretty quick, so you gotta make sure you really like them in the first place - and now, we really do.” Who: The Holidays What: Post-Paradise is out now on Liberation Where: The Gaelic Theatre When: Saturday October 16
Clare Bowditch Give It Up By Romi Scodellaro
“It’s a series of questions I’m asking myself. It’s really me standing in the middle of these times as the average human being, going,‘What the fuck is going on?’”
gave up technology at night,” Clare Bowditch confesses. “And the band: one gave up sugar, one gave up toast – she’s just completely addicted to toast! – one gave up alcohol, another gave up Facebook… It was an interesting little experiment.” Clare’s telling me about the challenge that she and her newly-expanded band, The New Slang, set for themselves and documented for their YouTube channel in the lead up to the release of their latest album, Modern Day Addiction. They were to give up, for a week, their own addictions. The irony of tweeting and YouTubing about the experiment is not lost on Clare. “Social media is absolutely prime [fodder] for people who want to have an everyday addiction; as is coffee, as is television, as is food, as is sugar, as is alcohol, as is gambling, as is sex, as is anything. It’s
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really one part of these things, and I think it’s just really up to individuals to question that, to notice that about themselves. I survived it with a number of busts,” she admits. “I certainly wasn’t perfect.” Modern Day Addiction is a sonically accomplished album, with a boppier sound than previous releases (due in part to having been composed on a Casio keyboard) - but it’s the album’s lyrics that really stay with you. As well as addiction, the album spotlights a bunch of themes - death, society, the human condition, war, body image, consumerism, instant gratification... “There isn’t a single song on the album that isn’t one of my little heart-children,” Clare says. “It’s a series of questions I’m asking myself. It’s really me standing in the middle of these times, this world, as the average human being, going, ‘What the fuck is going on?’”
If you think that’s rather a lot to bite off for a pop record, then you probably don’t know Clare. The album has the beautifully satirical tone and light touch necessary to soften the array of heavy topics, and Clare admits to not knowing the answers: she’s part of the culture she’s commenting on. She’s just asking the questions. “It’s been a generation of focus on incredibly vacuous popular music,” she says frankly. “It hasn’t had anything to do with the potential of pop. It’s such an amazing medium to talk about meaning, and life, and insecurity. To be able to do those things in popular music hasn’t been particularly popular for a few years.” So Clare’s going a step further than Justin Timberlake, and bringing meaning back. It’s an approach that seems to have resonated with listeners: Modern Day Addiction is her fourth album, but her first to hit the top ten. “We’ve been lucky to have a career just making the music that we like,” she says. “But sometimes the music that you like making and the times coincide, and I think that’s what’s happened with this album.” It certainly seems like something, somewhere, has aligned pretty perfectly for Clare right now. She’s speaking to me from home; buoyant, confident and full of laughter, on the cusp of a national album tour with eight-piece The New Slang. All musicians with different projects, the tour has been a logistical nightmare to coordinate, but they’ve been rehearsing for months and are ready, in Clare’s terms, to blow people’s minds. After that, she’s set to support Leonard Cohen on his upcoming Australian tour, having been hand-picked by the man himself. “They’ll be like master-classes,” she says. “I’ll be sitting on the side taking it all in.”
And all the while, she’s been fielding calls and offers prompted by that MySpace Today interview she held with Julia Gillard, in the lead up to the recent federal election. “I didn’t know I was going to interview her at the start of the week,” she tells me. “And then I did!” Called upon to represent issues identified by youth voters as important to them, Clare had an hour with the Prime Minister. “I pretty much like talking with people,” she says of the experience. “I like finding out what it is that inspires them to live extreme lives, and I think that being a politician is a truly extreme existence.” And while the fourteen minutes included some lighthearted moments (hold the press! The PM prefers Lady Gaga to Beyonce!), Clare politely, kindly and firmly grilled Julia about a number of touchier issues, getting the PM to agree that a taskforce on mental illness, led by the PM herself and in her first six months of office, would be a good idea. No small feat! “I hope that she does it, it would be amazing if she did.” In the wake of the interview, Clare has been approached by a variety of media, creative writing, and theatre projects for next year. I comment that I didn’t know she acted. “Oh, I’m a pretty shit actress,” she laughs. “I’m just going to focus on doing things that I love that just happen to allow me to continue being creative. I think it’ll be a fun year!” Finally the lovely lady has Australia eating out of her palm - we really might be moving forward after all. Who: Clare Bowditch What: Modern Day Addiction is out now Where: The Metro Theatre When: Saturday October 23
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Chiddy Bang Living The Swelly Life By David Seidler
oah Beresin and Chidera Anamage are just getting over the harbour view on the 36th level of Sydney’s Shangri La hotel when I tell them that my mum doesn’t rate their music. According to her, the Philadelphia duo has shot to success by riding unfairly on the coattails of indie artists. Even more damning, I tell the pair, is that she thinks Chiddy Bang’s most successful single to date – the MGMTsampling ‘Opposite Of Adults’ – isn’t art. Way to sour an interview, mum. “To that I would say, ‘What’s your mum’s favourite music?’” asks Noah, aka Xaphoon Jones - the producer and occasional drummer for live shows. “Elvis,” I answer, sheepishly. “Elvis?! If Elvis Presley takes a Muddy Waters song and flips it around, and maybe changes one note here and one note there, and shakes his hips and sells a million records, more power to him! He’s done something new; he’s made it digestible for white people. What we’ve done, I think, is made a blend,” he continues. “Made MGMT a bit more digestible for the rap kids,
and maybe made rap more digestible for the indie kids,” he says. Point taken. In a medium typically reserved for budding rockstars and their chillwave counterparts, something about Chiddy Bang’s unprecedented crossover appeal made the blogs sit up and listen. And as usual, the rest of the world wasn’t too far behind. The pair have made a living out of sampling indie superstars, everyone from Kate Nash to Passion Pit, Yelle to Sufjan Stevens – chopping them up, laying new, heavier beats over them and finally, getting Chidera (aka Chiddy) to rap over the top. But, as Noah lets slip, that winning methodology almost didn’t happen. “On ‘Opposite of Adults’, I originally wanted to be Girl Talk. It was meant to be a mash-up, like ‘Buh-buhbuh-buh-B-I-G P-O P-P-A,” he freestyles, “no info for the D-E-A’ “I didn’t even know who MGMT was!” Chidera
continues. “We weren’t sitting there calculating.” The track, which ultimately catapulted Chiddy Bang to stardom, was “cheeky, almost like cheating our way into the music industry”, Noah admits - and I remind them of my mum’s criticism. They both grin; “We’re totally okay with that, because we won’t ever have to get a real job, or go to school again!” At 19 and (just) 20 respectively, Noah and Chidera have witnessed an exponential rise through the ranks of the music industry. They’re endearingly deferential to one another, and continually finish each other’s sentences. “A lot of people don’t know, but a year ago we were playing basement shows, just begging to get slots - playing at like 7pm, for shows that go on til midnight,” Chidera tells me, with a startling humility that characterises both his and Noah’s words. And now, in Australia for a prime-time billing at the national dance extravaganza that is Parklife, the boys are fairly overwhelmed. Reflecting on the Brisbane and Perth shows, they’re finding it difficult to comprehend that their success has spread its tentacles as far as Australia. Questions abound: “Why are these people here?” Noah riffs. “Why are there 5000 of them? Why do they all know the words to our songs? And why are they jumping up and down? It’s just crazy.” The Preview, a mini album released at the beginning of this month, is the college dropouts’ attempt to make some sense of their fame. As self-branded “upstarts” in the industry, their insight into the world of A&R, label politics and genre branding is astounding. “One of our biggest problems”, Noah ponders, “– and we’re not sure if it is a problem or, like, a really dope thing – is that when you’re doing so much so fast, you never have time to really think, ‘What is this music, and what do we call it?’” What comes out of much of The Preview, lyrically at least, is an autobiographical account of Chiddy Bang’s progression to date. As both producer and emcee affirm, their song-writing process is one closely allied to a stream of consciousness – especially in the tour van, according to Noah. “The van process is like, we talk for a minute, I’ll make the beat in a day or two, email it to him, he’ll lay the vocals, I’ll get it back, mix it on the plane and then email it to blogs.” As for the studio process? They look at each other wearily... “What we still have to [learn
“Why are these people here? Why are there 5000 of them? Why do they all know the words to our songs? Why are they jumping up and down? It’s just crazy.” to] do as artists is take our spontaneous energy, and bring it to the studio. Once we can do that, we’ll be in a good position”. That musical zenith for Chiddy Bang will come with the follow-up to The Preview – the duo’s debut long-player, tentatively titled The Swelly Life. Apparently, The Preview was offered just to tide over itchy fans (and itchier execs) until what Noah, employing a Kanye West analogy, claims will be “our own little Graduation from ‘Opposite Of Adults’”. Does that mean the end of prodigious sampling? “We’re at a point where we have to balance keeping the kids happy with making original stuff”, Chidera maintains. Noah, slouching back in his chair and adopting a glum tone, agrees; “We don’t want people to be like ‘Chiddy Bang stopped sampling and now they suck!’” For the moment at least, the two seem to be revelling in their achievements, while staying mindful of the fickleness of their industry. It all comes down to the album, now. “The Swelly Life is like the big battle scene in Lord of The Rings”, Noah says. “If we lose the battle, then the next album could well be the Chiddy Bang 808s [& Heartbreak] album”. And if they win? “Who knows. We might just get drunk, lie on a beach somewhere and write Sean Kingston records.” I hope they’re joking. My mum certainly wouldn’t approve. Who: Chiddy Bang What: The Preview EP is out now through EMI
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Paris Wells ...And The Year Of Poetry By Romi Scodellaro
to the booming, fun-filled romp ‘Let’s Get It Started’. While the album reaches fever pitch repeatedly, a short, lo-fi a capella song in the middle (sounding like it was recorded in one take in someone’s garage) shows that Paris doesn’t take herself too seriously. “I was drunk on that recording,” she confesses. “We were pissing ourselves laughing, and that was me wanting to make light of a boy who wouldn’t call me back. Ever since I was little I would write poems about boys who weren’t paying me attention, and I really think this is just an extension of that.”
came to my producer with a whiteboard and told him the album title, why I’d chosen it, and all the points of emotional contact I wanted to make,” says Melbourne’s Paris Wells, of her soon to be released second album Various Small Fires. “One: modern contemporary couples forgetting to have sex. Two:…” Sound like a formulaic approach to writing an album? When talking to her, Paris’ background in marketing is as obvious as the reasons she needed to get away from that world. “If I was at my desk job, I was thinking of a song,” she says - and judging by Various Small Fires, she picked the right direction. A burst of creative energy, it mixes her soulful, sensual voice with wicked melodies and often cheeky lyrics. There’s a veritable handful of possible singles, all showcasing a diverse and lively talent - and while the emotions and issues Paris wanted to cover in the album were planned from the outset, she dug deep to make them ring true. “Honesty is so important to me,” she says. “I’d written a full book of poetry and I put a lot of it on the website, a lot of it on the cover. While a lot of [the poems] weren’t valid for a song, I thought I’d give everyone the whole year. People deserve all of you.” That year of poetry is the same year that Paris spent writing the album. “We were given
the liberty of time,” she says. “It was this nice little slow burn.” A lot of the album was written in different countries - as Paris had time to travel. This included a trip to the States with True Live’s Ryan Ritchie, Paris’ producer and co-writer. “We’re like the Eurythmics,” she explains. “A bit of a team.” They went from New York to New Orleans, and took two weeks to drive back up. Both already armed with a deep knowledge of music from America’s South,
Paris says they didn’t learn much of anything new on the trip - “but we did get a perspective on why everything sounds the way it does.” Mixed influences are immediately obvious on the album, which slips between styles, if not seamlessly, then certainly effortlessly. It’s indie soul, with jazz, blues, disco, and hiphop – and it’s all hinted at from the beginning, when the slow, luxurious title track gives way
Paris has a love of poetry, of words, of the way words are spoken and the sounds that they make. There are sections of poetry in her album, spoken in a deep, gravelly voice - lines that stuck with me from the first listen. My heart and brain concur, I love but one more than you: the one I thought you were. “That’s Marvin’s poetry. We met him in a jazz club in New York,” she explains. “He was this old lovely Jewish guy in a wheelchair. I thought his perception on love was really accurate and gorgeous. I just had to have him on the album.” Keep your ears open for this one. You’ll be hearing more from her. Who: Paris Wells What: Various Small Fires is out now through Illusive
DJ Sneak Back To The Grassroots By Tyson Wray
that people think it was peaking in the 90s. Back then there were so many producers that actually cared about the quality of the music - just to be able to put it out on vinyl meant something. Whenever you hear artists or magazines say that house music is dead, they’re wrong; it just went underground, back where it came from. There are so many producers and people out there that love this music,” he continues excitedly. “People will always come back to house music because of its originality - and it’s making a real resurgence.” Sosa tells me the last two years have been particularly good for the rebirth of house. “Obviously some other sounds have died down, and the new generation of DJs are realising that house music is amazing to play. This past year has been a transition; it’s all coming back to fun, funky house with good vibes and good parties”.
ithout doubt one of the most innovative and pioneering names within the Chicago house movement, Carlos Sosa aka DJ Sneak holds a remarkable amount of passion for the pure house sound he not only grew up with, but helped to create. “The name Sneak and the sound of Sneak was born in Chicago,” Sosa tells me. We discuss the origin of his music, and how the house genre itself has developed over the last three decades: “I migrated to Chicago in 1983, which was a very important year for house music - and what we now refer to as ‘classic house’. House music was the bastard child of disco music. I come from a time where the legions of house were experimenting with different sounds,” he continues. “There was no real industry based around it - everyone was just experimenting with it, finding what they loved.” He tells me that since then, everything started evolving into a business. “Record labels, festivals and nightclubs; music has flipped over many, many times. For me, I’m 40 and I’m still doing it the same way I did back when I was 16… Music has always been evolving, and now people are trying to get back to the grassroots, [which] has driven a lot of people back to the classic sound I grew up with”. A true romantic of house music, Sosa shares his concern over the trends and perceptions of the contemporary genre. “I hate to hear
Sosa’s clear passion for his art leaks through to his DJ sets. Revered worldwide, he explains them as unscripted journeys through house music, which encompass his vast heritage within the genre’s development as well as his own DJ finesse. “I don’t have a plan when I DJ, [but] I know what I have with me. My approach is to read the crowd, make them feel good and let them feel like they’re getting something out of seeing me play. I want them to see and hear something totally different to what they’re used to. I know what I’m doing up there - I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I’m very knowledgeable [about] the music I play, and when it should be played. I consider myself a master at it,” he laughs. “I’ve got my PHD in Music.” Heading to Australia after several selfprofessed awesome tours, Sosa shares his anticipation and excitement about his longawaited return: “I expect a lot of open arms; every time I go down there I get major love. I’ve always been able to deliver something that people can appreciate; people who see me are going to be able to leave and say, ‘Sneak has been around for 20 years and he’s still doing it - and now he’s doing it better than ever’,” he says. “People who see me know what they’re going to get - that raw Sneak sound that they love. I can’t wait to come down.” Who: DJ Sneak With: Tiësto, Calvin Harris, Carl Cox, Robyn, Major Lazer, Ricardo Villalobos, Wiley and more What: Stereosonic 2010 Where: Sydney Showgrounds When: Saturday November 27
Nervo Got Some Nerve By Tyson Wray
f the name Nervo doesn’t ring a bell, you’d be surprised to find out you probably hear their songs almost every single day. The twin sisters, Olivia and Miriam Nervo, are responsible for some of the catchiest, hard-hitting and flawless pop songs of the decade. “We started off eight years ago writing in the pop world” reminisces Olivia, “We’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of success with artists like Ke$ha, Kylie Minogue - and many others I don’t want to name, as I’m a little embarrassed!” she laughs. She tells me that the pair were also singing from a young age. “We just loved singing. We used to know a producer in Melbourne who would pay us to come in while we were at Uni, to sing for his tracks. One day a section of his song was missing and we did a jam over it, and came up with a bridge - and before we knew it, he asked if we wanted to write music for him. Of course we jumped at the chance!” she exclaims. After writing a few songs that got noticed in the UK, they were signed to Sony within six months. “That followed with a few years of a lot of hard work and not a lot of reward. But we stuck at it - we really wanted to pursue a career in music.” As the girls continued the arduous task of attempting to break into the pop scene, another twist of fate threw them into the electronic and dance scene. “We ended up making a lot of friends with DJs when we’d go out,” she laughs. “We started to work with them. We wrote a few songs and released a few, and decided to start DJing. We loved it! Not long after that we worked with Kelly Rowland - she wanted us to write for her upcoming album. She was out partying in Canne with David Guetta, and he gave us some tracks to work on,” she continues excitedly. “We were in her hotel room, and that’s when we wrote ‘When Love Takes Over’ - one thing lead to another, and David called us up because he loved what we had already written, and asked us to work more on his album. He really wanted
us to step it up with our DJing too, so he asked us to support him in Ibiza. So we just spent the entire season supporting him at ‘Fuck Me I’m Famous’ in Ibiza, and it’s just been amazing. Through all of this we met other artists like Armin Van Burren, Deadmau5 and Roger Sanchez and that’s how we’ve come to work with them.” From humble beginnings within the pop world, the Nervo twins have found themselves as cornerstones of the electronic and dance scene, working with huge names while writing some of the most electrifying and dance-floor-shattering tracks around. “We had a lot of success with Kelly Rowland and David Guetta, which was really our big leg-up into the electronic world. Now we’re always working consistently on our club records – we do a lot of collaborations.” Olivia tells me it’s their love for and growing talent of DJing that has seen the sisters play all around the world. “It’s high energy and exciting house tracks - we’re vocal girls, so you’re going to hear a lot of club tracks with high energy and powerful vocals. We’ll always read the crowd and give them what they want.” The girls are returning to Australia this summer to showcase to their home country fans just what they can dish out, and as Olivia shares her excitement, it’s hard to not reciprocate it. “I know they like it dirty. The crowd knows their music, and they’re not afraid to go deep. I love being able to say I’m Australian when I go to festivals down under. We’ll definitely be playing some hard records along with some high energy, up-in-the-air tracks that we love,” she laughs cheekily. “We can’t wait to see you guys!” Who: Nervo What: Ford Fiesta VIP launch, with Bag Raiders Where: Chuck and Bob Gallery, Waterloo When: Thursday October 21 When: Smash Your Stereo 2010 (mixed by Nervo, Yolanda B Cool, Denzal Park) is out now
“You spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen” – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM 26 :: BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10
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The Gaslight Anthem Out For Themselves By Jaymz Clements
here are few bands working in today’s industry who touch the honest heart of music, capturing the sheer humanity that makes it such an intoxicating, resonant art form; even fewer of them hail from New Jersey.
That’s what endears The Gaslight Anthem to so many - their sense of honesty and refusal to pander to the commercial. With their 2007 debut Sink Or Swim and 2008’s The ‘59 Sound – which saw them solidify a rapidly growing fanbase – the foursome won the world over to their blistering blue-collar rock and DIY punk ethos. They were a band of the people, for the people. Their new album, aptly titled American Slang, is loaded with their trademark pugilistic rock. Guitarist Alex Rosamilia – currently in Salt Lake City, Utah, as his band settle into another of their seemingly constant tours – is fiercely proud of what his band have achieved to date. “We’re really happy with the way people have embraced the album; we just tried to put out an album that once more reflected who we are, and what we do. That’s what I’m most proud of – that people react to that, and appreciate it.”
Rosamilia, singer/guitarist Brian Fallon, bassist Alex Levine and drummer Ben Horowitz formed The Gaslight Anthem in 2005 after playing in various bands around NJ, and have spent the past four years touring relentlessly - so Rosamilia isn’t daunted by the looming tour – far from it, in fact; three albums in, The Gaslight Anthem are old hands at living on the road. “It definitely gets easier, especially when you’ve been as lucky as we have,” he says, acknowledging the loyalty the band inspire around the world. “I don’t want to say you get used to it,” he qualifies with a chuckle, “but it definitely gets easier. It’s something you try to accept and be appreciative of. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing; it’s awesome.” Even so, it seems it’s going to be more difficult for the band this time around, as people will be far more expectant than ever before. “Yeah, this is probably the first time, though, that we’ve had to be like, ‘All right, the people are waiting for something; we’ve got to put something out’,” he agrees, adding forcefully, “But if you’re only concerned about other people’s opinions, then yeah, that could definitely get to you… but since we wanted to put out the best thing that we think we could do – and I think we did that – then who gives a shit what anybody else thinks?” It’s not often you have a spectrum of fans – from kids to punters in their 40s – who all identify with a band’s songs so closely. Rosamilia is adamant that this comes down to simply believing in your music, and not kowtowing to others. “Part of I think has to do with the fact that we write stuff – and I should say more specifically, Brian’s lyrics – that are based on the ‘truth’,” he muses. “What he talks about, I think a lot of people can say they’ve gone through the same thing.” He suggests they’ve also managed to avoid being pigeonholed. “Yes, we started as a punk rock band – but we’ve always been accepting of everyone, and we just want to play music; we
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
“For this album Brian and I got heavily into ‘60s British blues-rock, like John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac and Derek & The Dominos: y’know, white guys playing the blues. But the other thing is that we wanted people to dance to the whole record.” don’t see it as ‘just’ a punk band, or a rock band or a pop band… stuff on the new record, I don’t even know what it is; there’s definitely a little reggae influence on there, but that’s because we’re fans of music, and we write music. When your palette’s wider, I guess you can draw in more people.
FACTORYTHEATRE.COM.AU PH: 9550 3666
“I know for this album,” he continues, “both Brian and I got heavily – perhaps too heavily – into ‘60s British blues-rock, like John Mayall and Fleetwood Mac and Derek & The Dominos: y’know, white guys playing the blues. But the other thing is that we wanted it to be really rhythmic; we wanted people to dance to the whole record. We wanted that to happen for the whole record, and I think we pulled that off as well. We never really set out to have it like ‘this’ – it sounds like it does because that’s the point we were at as a band.” As for that honesty, it’s clear that while The Gaslight Anthem forge their own path, the rest of the world won’t stop pandering to the lowest common denominator. That’s just fine with Rosamilia – the band will just keep making music.
“In the last twenty or thirty years, music has become a business and it’s not so much about people wanting to play music because they want to, it’s more because they want to be famous or they want to make money, or they want lots of groupies or whatever the fuck,” he sighs. “To sound pretentious and slightly hippy, it’s meant to be pure and about your emotions. You’re meant to write for yourself, not everybody else.” Who: The Gaslight Anthem Where: American Slang out now through Shock.
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Hungry Kids Of Hungary Watch Them Jump! By Bridie Connellan
s that what he’s actually meant to be? An actual living object?” “He was a plant who magically grew legs and now he lives in a hole...” “He was an ant?” “He was a plant, one of those bushes. In the outback.” “Huh. I never knew that about Grug.” The serious issues are at the forefront of conversation with vocalist Dean McGrath and bassist Ben Dalton. Forming two quarters of the Brisbane four-piece Hungry Kids Of Hungary (the other half of Ryan Strathie and Kane Mazlin aren’t present this morning), the duo are knackered as all hell, sipping lackadaisically upon fresh juice after an early flight from home. And they’re talking a lot of sense... “Watch Grug jump! He sure does have many adventures. He’s lived a full life.” The band may have a bit in common with the much-loved Grug - at least in terms of the adventures. Their debut album Escapades lands in October - a buoyantly fresh breed of alt-pop, fusing the spring of Vampire Weekend, the grit of Cold War Kids and the brash rhythms of a Shins jaunt. Hungry Kids are at the forefront of a large number of joyful groups emerging from Brisbane at the moments, with lives as full as that of any much-loved animated semi-circle with a face.
which Dalton quickly adds the other unsuccessful option: ‘Chicken Dust’. So do their Hungarian comrades approve of the shout-out? “From what I’ve heard, it’s a split demographic over there,” says Dalton. “Especially on YouTube and Myspace. We get funny little email conversations saying ‘Hey, I’M Hungarian! You’re just grand.’ And then another guy saying, ‘Hey, no I’M Hungarian, that’s just offensive.’ Now from what I know of Hungary, it’s not exactly a third world country. We’re not called the Starving Un-Fed Children Of Hungary; we’re just implying that you can be well-fed and still hungry!” Technicalities aside, the duo agree on one thing: naming your group is always gonna be a lose-lose type of deal. “I think every band name is essentially pretty shit,” says Dalton. “Except for ‘Ween’. Ween is probably the best band name I’ve ever heard. Everything else sucks. ‘The Beatles’ is a shit name.” Who: Hungry Kids Of Hungary What: Escapades is out now on EMI Where: Beach Rd Hotel / The Factory Theatre When: November 1 / November 12
After signing with EMI offshoot Stop Start earlier this year, the gang nabbed credit from the Q Song Awards, when infectious single ‘Wristwatch’ took out Best Alternative and Song Of The Year. But while McGrath claims the win was “surprising”, Dalton has a more cynical view: “They only gave it to us because it was the shortest song,” he says, smirking through his deadpan. “Any song that breached the two minute mark? Forget about it - they ain’t listening to that.” The hit - a speedy nugget of beat euphoria - was plucked from the HKOH “song-pot” (as described by the two), and added a much-needed boost to their debut LP. “The song was way too short, but we ended up speeding it up anyway,” says McGrath. “Strathie is a repressed metal drummer; he needs to let loose once in a while.”
“We’re not called the Starving Un-Fed Children of Hungary; we’re just implying that you can be wellfed and still hungry!” Excited about the national album tour they’re about to embark on, another gigging dream was realised in April with a trip to the USA. The band was invited to join Aussie acts Philadelphia Grand Jury and Art Vs Science onstage at the notorious Viper Room, on the Los Angeles strip. According to Dalton and McGrath, the trip helped cement the band’s confidence. “It was like starting from square one again, playing overseas - because you’re playing to a whole bunch of people who don’t know who you are,” McGrath says. “We’ve done so much in Australia in such a condensed period of time, we tend to question, ‘Are these people we’ve converted? Are we actually playing well, or are they going to enjoy it regardless?’ Overseas you have to earn it in front of people who don’t care who you are, and aren’t going to give you a positive response unless you’re actually good. I finally had the mentality that if these guys are into it, we must be doing something OK.” With one adventure concluded and the Kids back on Australian soil, more technical adventures came with the daunting task - what the hell to name the debut? McGrath awards Dalton the kudos. “It was your suggestion wasn’t it?” he quips, and Dalton nods stoically. “Yeah… I just used the thesaurus. Something to do with ‘adventure’.” McGrath is a little more analytic: “[The word] really did resonate with us. I mean, the record essentially covers old ground with the previous release and radio singles, and then there’s songs like ‘Wristwatch’ that are so new, that we’ve barely played. I guess Escapades covers the extent of what we’ve done in the last two years.” When I ask about the band name itself, McGrath laughs. “Well it’s not as interesting a story as it should be. When we first got together we spent about eight or nine months just rehearsing and writing songs, and we held off on booking shows for a long time because we didn’t want to be… crap. We didn’t really even consider a band name until it was too late, when we had the first show booked. A friend of Kane suggested ‘Hungry Kids of Hungary,’ and it was less ridiculous than any of our suggestions.” The intrigue is unremitting… “‘Neckhole’ was one, but we thought that sounded too much like a hardcore act,” says McGrath, to BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10 :: 29
Right Time, Right Boofheads By Mike Gee
Known for their ghoulish artwork, Hellmenn’s covers and fliers featured freaked-out skulls and madness drawn by lead singer Ben Brown. Today, Brown has his own commercial art business, and shares a studio with three other professionals in an old converted factory in Manly. Hellmenn have returned for just two shows next week - but Brown tells me they have no plans for a new record. “No, definitely not,” he says. “The best fun is going to rehearsals, having a few beers and hanging out with the blokes - it’s a great excuse to get out of the house. I’ve got two kids now!” Turns out Hellmenn have been asked to reform a bunch of times over the years: “We were notoriously lazy back in the old days … and we haven’t really changed,” he says. “You Am I asked us to do a gig with them at the end of last year, and we thought that would fun - but we couldn’t get our shit together.” It wasn’t until they were asked to do the Monster Sessions at Manning Bar in March – with a whole back line supplied, and only a few rehearsals necessary – that they had another crack at it. “That was fun - so we thought, one or two [more] shows, and then leave it for another 16 years...”
Here’s Johnny By Mike Gee
Hellmenn arrived at the right time. Manager Joe Segreto, a schoolmate of Brown’s, was just getting himself going; Chris Dunn of Waterfront Records was at the band’s first show, and they were signed immediately. “Right time, right boofheads,” quips Brown. One of those boofheads was Bill Gibson, of the celebrated Eastern Dark. “He came along when we were recording one day, putting down backing vocals. How we actually got to that I don’t know … harmonies!” he laughs. “[Gibson] ended up joining the band and became a built-in John Fordham, musical director. But we had a few guys pass through the band - I guess ten or eleven all together.” He tells me that everybody who’s played with Hellmenn will be coming on stage for the gigs. “We do it chronologically; ‘Your turn, your turn, your turn…’” Taking several turns will be former lead guitarist David ‘Spliff’ Hopkins, who now fronts Perth’s Black Buzzard. Hopkins is a qualified naturopath and inspired the band’s, err, legendary interest in herbal medicine; the album Mourning Of The Earth underscored Hellmenn’s concern about the environment. What kind of punks were these? Northern Beaches punks, that’s what - Brown still has his priorities firmly set: “The studio is a block or two back from the beach, so it’s perfect for popping out for a quick surf,” he says. For the lead singer though, the future is mostly about his artwork. He has couple of art shows coming up at the end of the year, including Comic Stripped at Horus & Deloris in Pyrmont, and his own show at The National Grid in Brookvale. “The best thing about it is that all of your mates of earlier times end up buying something with skulls on it, to put on their kid’s wall.” And if that’s not enough, there’s those two final blasts from the men themselves…
Who: Hellmenn Where: Annandale Hotel / Manly Fisho’s (Octoberpus Festival) When: October 15 / October 16
iesel can talk. It makes doing an interview easy; and it isn’t unexpected. The 43-year-old singer and guitarist has always been affable. Even in his early Perth days, in outfits like The Kind, Innocent Bystanders and Close Action, Johnny Diesel had the looks and the talent that stamped success all over him. I saw the secondever Johnny Diesel & The Injectors gig at a small show in Perth in 1986; a natural guitar player well ahead of his contemporaries, he thumped out a mix of r’n’b, soul and some good ol’ southern rock. Even then, Diesel was a revelation. Six months later, you couldn’t get near a show if you didn’t arrive a couple of hours early. In 1987, the band and the man relocated to Sydney – when I talk to him, he’s in his studio in the harbour suburb of Edgecliff, in the midst of a very prolific period. Diesel has just finished a covers record and recorded an album of his own stuff, and is now hitting the road for his ‘Seven Axes To Grind (Seven Guitars, Seven Stories)’ tour, that’ll take him through to mid-December. The covers album should appear in early 2011 - and he tells me it was recorded in a flurry. Eight days, 18 tracks. “Just like in the old days,” he says. “We had horns, backing vocals, everything, all going down at once.” He describes the song list as a real grab bag. “I don’t want to do the obvious guitar stuff. I mean, I had to do Hendrix for sure; he went to the galaxies and beyond… He made quantum leaps so modern and cutting edge that we’re still trying to work out how he did it,” he says, before admitting he did have his doubts about covering the legend. “[It’s] a bit like, ‘Do I want to tackle this song?’ You know the knives will be about if you mess it up. So I did them my way, and hopefully in a way he would like.”
Diesel picked ‘Spanish Castle Magic’, the immortal ‘The Wind Cries Mary’ and the crunching ‘Stone Free’. Brave man. “‘Wind Cries Mary’ is one of his most poetic moments,” Diesel says. “I remember as a kid falling asleep to the Jimi Hendrix Greatest Hits album. I imagine him on a dreary London day - I’ve gotten incredibly euphoric or depressed in that city; it’s either captivating when the sun is out or so depressing when it’s dreary for days on end, and I imagine he wrote it when he was feeling that melancholy.” It’s that kind of sense and imagining that’s the key to Diesel - music really speaks to him. For the next ten minutes, he talks expressively about some of the other artists whose songs he’s covered on the album. Al Green, the three Kings (Freddy, Albert and BB), The Sonics… It’s a real mix of pure blues, 60s US garage punk, and fuzzy soul – a long way from those early days in the Innocent Bystanders. “Back then, I was just a kid. I borrowed [a guitar] in that band.” It was only after the first Johnny Diesel record that he could afford to buy his own instrument - and these days, he owns a whole family of them. He’ll be showcasing his guitar collection to audiences during this upcoming tour, shining a light on the role each has played in his career. “It’s been a long journey,” he ruminates. “It makes me appreciate things. But you still have those moments when you go, ‘okay, I’ve seen this movie before’. But you know you’re not going to freak out now.” Sp what keeps it exciting for him? “The gigs that are magic. The ones that sound so good that you go, ‘I want to record this’ – or, ‘I want to live here’.” Who: Diesel’s ‘7 Axes To Grind’ national tour Where: The Vanguard When: October 15 / October 16
The Holy Sea Ghosts Of History By Dan Watt
n Ghosts Of The Horizon, the third album by Melbourne’s The Holy Sea, there’s a song called ‘The Ten Rules’ which was inspired by Tom Wills - a colonial cricketer credited with creating Australian rules football. Topical. “Tom Wills would be very interested with this year’s Grand Final draw,” the band’s singer, guitarist and primary songwriter Henry F Skerrit tells me, when I bring up the match just passed. Apparently Wills co-umpired the very first Aussie rules game, between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar - and it ended in a draw. As for Skerrit, he’s a West Australian boy, and goes for the Fremantle Dockers. “So last Saturday [September 24] there was a part of me that was really trying to take pleasure in the fact that both St. Kilda or Collingwood didn’t win,” he laughs. “You know, when Wills sat down on May 17 in 1859 with three other men [William Hammersley, James Thompson and Thomas Smith] and wrote out the ten rules of Australian rules football, he could never have imagined that there would now be so many rules,” Skerrit laughs. “And that’s the same thing in life. We enter so many things - like the many interpersonal relationships we have - that seem relatively straight forward, but once you
get into them, you realise how many rules that there can be.” To this end, Skerrit and co-vocalist Emma Frichot reel off a few more than ten rules in the song: There’s one rule for ocean / And one rule for land / There’s one rule for captive / And one rule for free.
still people who don’t feel any remorse for the blatant mistreatment of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders - and I think Hurley [the policeman fingered for the crime] was one of those,” concludes a pragmatic and well-spoken Skerrit.
It’s not the only song on Ghosts Of The Horizon which takes a broad look at Australian history. ‘King Of Palm Island’ is a rollicking tune that corrals all seven musicians around the keyboard’s vicissitudes, steered by key-player Dan Hoey. The idea for the song and its lyrics came to Skerrit after reading Chloe Hooper’s book The Tall Man, an excellent piece of extended investigative journalism which looked at the story of Palm Island-native Cameron Doomadgee, who swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. There was overwhelming evidence that a policeman may have been responsible. I ask Skerrit if the lyrical mood and subject matter affected the way in which his band mates responded musically. “Yeah, I think so,” he concedes. “We knew exactly what we wanted to do with that song – [it] has this levity… it’s meant to have a slightly tropical feel to it.
Although they lyrically deal with some heavy topics, overall The Holy Sea remain a band who offer a joyous musical celebration of seven very creative minds - even if those mind occasionally clash. When naming this latest album, for instance, the team had to come up with an intricate voting system to get a result. Skerrit assures me that the choosing of the set list for their shows is a lot easier, limited by the logistics of coordinating seven instrumentalists. “We all talk about the set list, but playing live has practicalities that can’t be ignored with the amount of instruments we use,” he says. “But all of the favourites [songs] will be there!”
“I think that Dan’s very lilting piano line is very much a response to the idea that there are
Who: The Holy Sea What: Ghosts Of The Horizon is out now through An Ocean Awaits/Fuse Where: The Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt When: Saturday October 16
“Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong, Come not near our fairy queen”. – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM 30 :: BRAG :: 383 :: 11:10:10
Hellmenn photo by Tony Mott
orthern Beaches punks? Black Flag with a metal scowl - and a green conscience? Via Manly? It sounds ungodly. It sounds improbable. It was Hellmenn. After forming in 1986 out of the remains of long-forgotten noisemakers like the Vegetable Butchers, they spent the next eight years evolving into something quite extraordinary. By 1992 they was referencing Hendrix, bleeding LA grunge - and on their final EP, 1993’s Absolute Filth, they ended up describing their aural mix as ‘thermo-nuclearsonic-burn-out’.
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arts, theatre and film news... what's goin' on around town and more...
WITH JESSE WILLESEE project from overseas. Jesse’s latest project is Evenings in Esthetica… Last time we talked, you were heading over to LA; what happened? The whole experience was so uninspiring that I decided to burn through my money, travel and come home. Ironically the first night I was in LA I met an artist in a bar and told her about my seven-room show, Seven Hundred Photos. Six months later she’d run off the idea and was mounting the same show at an old gentlemen’s club in Hollywood – and she was kind enough to invite me to take part in her very LA version of my own vision. I did a hotel room installation the night before I got on the plane home.
ver the last 18 months, performerpoet-photographer (and all-round impresario) Jesse Willesee and his troupe of merry collaborators have put the art in party: it started with Paintings in Hotel Rooms, a performance installation that took over the rooms above the Darlo Bar - followed by an expanded event including bands, called The Thirsty Artists. He held an exhibition of his photographs of his sister Kit, to celebrate her departure for L.A., and then went there himself – pulling the strings for his massive Seven Hundred Photos
2SER SUPPORTER DRIVE
Hello radio, my old friend… Our pals at 2SER are kicking off their Annual Supporter Drive this week, running from October 11 – 23. This year’s drive is focused on Sydney’s relationship with radio, and how 2SER has been instrumental (over the 30 years of its life) in shaping the Sydney we know and love today. Sydney would be pretty barren without FBi and 2SER, so you should consider digging deep
What’s your verdict: LA or Sydney? I’ll be staying in Sydney for now. God knows where I’ll be in a year’s time. LA can be a strange, sad place. The house I was renting a room in was full of crazy people. There was the gay Scientologist who had a hit on the Spanish charts in the 80s and lived in the Scientology centre with John Travolta, an ex-Mexican-gangster who spent most of his life in jail and kept a pet dove, the ex-boxerturned-alcoholic crack addict – he robbed me wielding a pair of rose clippers late one night. And of course the basement was full of illegal immigrants. The people who are successful seem miserable, the people who are failing seem miserable. Hollywood is a party but it’s not an environment that I feel breeds a healthy art scene. What is Evenings In Esthetica all about? It’s a world of cardboard, cellophane, and
Every Wednesday night of October you can meet the artists and curators behind Art & About 2010 and discuss their projects, at free artist talks. This week’s edition is a must see: Wednesday October 13, you can catch Sydney Statues: Project! artists including Michelle McCosker and Liane Rossler (Dinosaur Designs) as they discuss using art and fashion to re-imagine Sydney’s history through this fascinating public art project. 6.30-7.30pm at the Burdekin Hotel, on Oxford Street. Art & About runs until 24 October 2010. For a full program or to download the Art & About iPhone app visit artandabout.com.au
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Where/why did you begin collaborating with FTW, Kalindy Millions and Enid Sligh - and what are they each bringing to this show? All three of them were a big part of my Seven Hundred Photos and Thirsty Artist installations. Enid and I have been friends for years. I lived with her when I first got to the city. I ate so little I got scurvy and she eventually kicked me out. We have a long history of building cardboard boats on cellophane oceans together. She’s been a part of the installations from the start. Kalindy and Marissa will be holding a live photo shoot featuring their fashion lines at the show. Enid and I will be building cubby houses. What’s up next for you, project-wise? A new version of Seven Hundred Photos in November and an extravagant show planned for February – it’ll be the largest-scale installation I’ve done.
What: Evenings in Esthetica When: October 13, from 7pm Where: Name This Bar / 197 Oxford St More: $5 entry (includes free goody bag!)
Indonesian-born painter/sculptor/installation/ performance artist Dadang Christanto needs 100 volunteers to get nude and muddy for his performance work Survivor, which will take place on the MCA’s front lawn on October 30, as part of their current season: In the Balance: Art for a Changing World. Survivor, which first took place in Jakarta in 2007, was created by Christanto in reaction to the catastrophic mud slide in Sidoarjo, which killed hundreds of locals and left others drowning in toxic mud. It was thought to be caused by a botched drilling operation by one of Indonesia’s largest mining companies, and Christanto’s work was part of a call to compensate the victims. A recent report by Russian geologists has let that company off the hook – adding an extra layer of significance to the upcoming performance. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please contact email@example.com
PLANET 34B: BURLESQUE
Next up at 34B Burlesque is a bevy of interstellar beauties, for She Came From Another World. Hosted (as usual) by suave space-man Francois Bublé, and accompanied by Tatooine turntablist Jack Shit, the seven starlets for the evening are: Kira Hula-la –a bladerunning superwoman who defies gravity with her hypnotic hoops from Saturn; Kitty van Horne – a pleasure-bot of the most delectable variety; Holly J’aDoll – a gorgeous 50 ft Woman!; Mimi Munroe – a masked marvel known throughout the cosmos for her sumptuous form and shape; Jade Twist – a bendy cosmos dweller whose contortions are truly other-worldly; Lucille Spielfuchs – a gorgeous breed of cosmonaut who is making her 34B debut; and Lauren La
BOB DYLAN (A LIE)
The Chronic Ills of Robert Zimmerman AKA Bob Dylan (A Lie) – at least you know what you’re getting, right? This show (which has been knocking around the traps for about 18 months, to great acclaim) is about the life of the legendary musician. But this is no ordinary tribute show: it’s a freewheeling ride that takes you into the realm of Dylan’s inner yarn, disrespectful of the boundaries between fact and fiction. The show isn’t just for Dylan fans; it’s also for those who love Ginsberg, Lennon, Pound, Eliot, Baez, Cash, Bragg and Lincoln. It’s back from a hit season at the Adelaide Fringe, and ready for a Sydney remount, at Seymour Centre, from October 20 – November 6. We have two double passes up for grabs; to get your hands on one, tell us Bob's birth name.
The Sydney University Dramatic Society, or SUDS (the oldest continuously-operative theatre company in Australia, incidentally) aims to offer furious beatdowns to those negative stereotypes of black-skivvied, pretentious student theatre. The 2010 Major Production - Hippolytos Raised - is an incredibly ambitious beast, melding Ancient Greek tragedy with modern theatre: the first half is a full and unadulterated traditional staging of Euripides’ Hippolytos, and the second act (Raised?) a new play devised by the cast during rehearsals as they tore the original text apart. Playful and brutal by turns, it’s in its last week at the Seymour Centre after a tour to Brisbane’s FAST Theatre Festival. At Seymour from October 13 – 16. sydney.edu.au/seymour
YOU + MCA = ART
With a series of monthly mini-finals behind them – and a string of hot young winners – the Play Now Act Now festival is almost at the finish line, with its Grand Final screening event set for October 19. PNAN was created by Metro Screen and NSW Health to open up creative discourse around the issues of drug and alcohol abuse among young people – from micro fiction and graphic design to short films and photography… All the finalists are 25-years or under, and the total prize pool includes $15,000. You can check out the talent at the Showcase Event and Awards night, on October 19 at The Vanguard Theatre, Newtown. If you wanna get one of their coveted spots, RSVP to info@pnan. com.au More info at playnowactnow.com.au
We have 3 double passes up for grabs, to see Brilliant Journeys on Sunday October 17 at 5pm in The Studio. To get your hands on one, visit sydneyoperahouse.com/ screenlive and tell us how many previous Screen Live events have happened?
(or shallow) into those artsy pockets of yours (we know, it’s slim pickings) and subscribing to 2SER – plus you can win shit! Waaah! The first step is tuning in to your little friend 107.3FM and heading to 2ser.com
PLAY NOW ACT NOW
ART & ABOUT TALKS
candy-coloured drinks; cubby houses you can climb into, cardboard forts to play in and a fashion show in the middle of it all. The concept of “esthetica” is transforming ordinary spaces into a shambolic wonderland, almost like partying on a shut down film set.
SCULPTURE BY THE SEA
GO FONT UR SELF* 6
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Go Font Ur Self, it’s that the line-up speaks for itself (not to mention, you know, the name). Nevertheless, we’ll sally forth: the sixth chapter of this typographic arts series is about to drop, and the lineup is huge: tattooist extraordinaire Mike Giant (USA), Amsterdam underground’s Parra (NLD), L.A. surrealist Travis Millard (USA), illustrator Rick Berkelmans (aka Hedof), Lifelounge co-founder Luke Lucas (MELB), surfer/artist Ozzie Wright (AUS), graf mavericks Sofles (BRIS) and Bones (SYD), Icelandicborn illustrator Siggi Eggertsson (GER), ‘lifestyle’ label Well Dressed Vandals (AUS), multi-skilled founder of Nine Lives Gallery Lachie Goldsworthy (BRIS), and Britishborn American-fed brand guru John Siddle. Don’t hold your breath, it’s not happening til November 10. Watch this space: gofonturself.com.au Above: artwork by Parra
Rouge – 34B’s robot-songstress-comediennebombshell MC for the evening. Take off is set for Saturday October 23 at 34B, and pre-bookings are highly recommended – through tenderloins.com.au
in its 14th year, this Bondi institution – a free, public exhibition of accessible and often witty art – once again promises punters an epic wander between over 100 wondrous works. Among the exhibitors this year are Slovakian expats Tomas Misura and Leonard Sabol – artisan blacksmiths whose inventive and instinctive work with different metals will contrast with the scenery to (no doubt) stunning effect. Sculpture by the Sea runs from October 28 - November 14 between Bondi Beach and Tamarama. sculpturebythesea.com
DEAR PLUTO GET REGULAR Hot on the heels of their move from the lovely Hibernian House to the even lovelier new space in Surry Hills, the Dear Pluto gang were stoked to announce last week that they’ll now be open every weekend. That’s just like the Hibernian sales, only in a bigger space and every weekend. Affordable, friendly vintage sales every weekend. What’s not to love? To celebrate, they’re hosting a movie night this Monday October 11 (that’s either tomorrow, tonight, or you’ve missed it!), showing Eighties classic Revenge of the Nerds in that delightful new space. Check out their Facebook page for the address and more details.
PANIC AT THE PLAYHOUSE
Panic - the latest export from the maverick UK theatre company Improbable, who brought The Hanging Man to Sydney in 2006 - is a hundred minutes of irreverent riffing on love, sex and middle age. Pan, the Greek god of mischief and originator of panic, lives alone in Brixton; kept company only by his army of self-help books, a couple of nymphs and some dirty shadow puppets, he must find his way out of loneliness and into the world. Penises and paper bags, panic and (maybe) peace – it’s all at the Sydney Opera House Playhouse until October 16, with tickets still available online at sydneyoperahouse.com
Art & About photo by Isabella Moore
Jesse Willesee & Enid Sligh
We’re a bit fond of Sydney Opera House’s Screen Live program; they pair classic films – like Metropolis and the Wizard of Oz – with all-new live scores created by local indie musicians. Their next instalment, Brilliant Journeys, is curated by Brisbane collective Otherfilm, and hosted by Mumeson smoothtalker Jay Katz. Otherfilm is dedicated to avant-garde and experimental films, which they worship through screenings, performances, exhibitions, workshops, articles, research and even ‘discussions’! Films by Paul Winkler, George Gittoes and Andrew Pike (et al.) will screen, and musicians include Holy Balm and experimental Melbourne music producer Robin Fox.
Scarily talented 14-year-old Aussie actor Kodi SmitMcPhee stars in Let Me In, the US remake of cult Swedish vampire flick Let The Right One In.
hen an English-language age remake of the cult Swedish we edish film Let the Right One e In was announced in 2008, it wass with a collective groan among fans. However director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) elld) has managed to be remarkably faithful th hful to director Tomas Alfredson’s original orriginal and the book on which it was based, based, creating an American version of of one of the most interesting horror stories sttories in recent years, in which the main ma ain characters are prepubescent. Fourteen-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee, Mc cPhee, who broke onto screens in Romulus mulus My Father, and starred opposite te Viggo Mortensen in The Road, d, managed to beat off hundreds of other young hopefuls to win the e lead role in Let Me In. Set in a small all drab town in New Mexico, Smit-McPhee Phee plays Owen, a young boy who has a lot on his plate: he’s terrorised ed d by a gang of bullies at school, and and his parents’ recent divorce hass left his mother unable to cope. When he en a girl named Abby (Chloe Moretz retz re from Kick-Ass) moves in next door, door, Owen initially thinks she’s weird: rd: she “smells funny” and doesn’t’tt wear shoes, despite the arcticc temperatures - and there’s something mething else he can’t quite put his finger ge er Thanks to Icon, we have 10 in-season double-passes to Let Me In up for grabs; to get your hands on one, tell us the name of the author who wrote the book on which this film – and Let The Right One In – are based (hint: see our review of Let Me In on page 36).
Little Monsters By Gaynor Flynn
Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz in Let Me In. on. Before long, however, the two B tw wo lonely children gravitate towards rd ds one another, anoth and become friends. Even Even when a string of gruesome murders urders point to Abby and her mysterious ous older companion, Owen is torn n between betwe horror and love for his iss nextdoor neighbour - who might just usst be the only good thing in his otherwise o erwise bleak existence. Gaynor Gayn Flynn caught up with SmitSmitMcPhee McPh at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. Intern Did you y watch Let The Right One One In before befor you shot this? I saw it after [the shoot] because se Matt (the director) didn’t want anyone d ne e to see it. it But I saw it after I went back back home, home and I liked it. It’s very intense. tense. Do you yo like vampire flicks in general? gene When we read the script, Twilight ghtt was just coming out and it started getting c getting its own ow genre - and now there’ss a lot of vampire stuff. I like it. Vampires mpires used to be like Dracula, and now ow they’re they’r young teenage kids.
Photo: Jeff Busby
A W AY
What about horror films? The one o I like the most is Friday ay the 13th. I think I’ve seen pretty much uch all of them. the I mean, I like horror movies, mo ovies,
but ass long as they’re not too scary. sc cary. The Fourth Kind was definitely too F too scary. scary That gave me nightmares. ess. What’s What your character, Owen, n,, like? He’s really into himself. He doesn’t oe esn’t have any friends and he’s bullied llied at school. He doesn’t tell his mum sch mum because she has her own problems, beca oblems, so he feels really alone. Then n he meets meet Abby, and they become e best friends, friend and he falls in love with her. People Peop have been impressed ed d with the range of emotion you can ra an tap into given your age. The Road g oa ad is one example, as well as Romulus e mulus My Father. Where does that come Fa from? from My dad. Everything he’s learnt d ntt [as an actor], he kind of feeds it into ac nto me; and a there’s so much workk that goes into [preparing for the shoot]. hoot]. Like, people think I just go on n set and do d it - but if they saw what at I did, it’s it like school. I’ve got to o write about abou my character every day; y; I’ve got to read the script, like, nine ne times; times I’ve got to find out where erre he lives, what bus he catchess to liv school, schoo and stuff like that. You’ve u’ve got to know every little thing about about [the character], like you do about c bout bo yourself, so when you [act], itt feels yours feels natural. natur
Who chooses your projects? s? ? Me and a my dad and my agent. ntt. We read the scripts they send in, and and the ones we like, we audition for. o for. How are you handling everything ything that is i happening to you right ght now? now? It’s a lot to take in, right? ght? Yeah it is, for my age. I’m 14. I’m just taking it all in. There’s a lot ta ot of work in L.A. right now, and I’m m just doing auditions and stuff; but every every year we w go back home for a while, while, like four fo months. And I go back ck to see my m friends and I really enjoy njjoy it, because becau I get to just be a kid again, and go g outside and ride my bike biike wherever I want. where Can’t you do that in L.A.? You can; we have a nice parkk out c the front - but I can’t just say I want fr to go to my friend’s house, and nd d ride down the street, because my friends friends are in Australia. So I like that kind kind of freedom back home, and then freed n come back to L.A. for work. Do your yo friends give you a hard hard time about what you do? No, they th just seem normal about bo out it. Well We - sometimes they bag me me about it. They’re like ‘oh you’re e going to America all the time’. And I said Am said ‘Aussie uss pride’ once to my friend, nd d, and
he said sa a ‘you can’t say that, you’re always alway in America.’ (Laughs) But most of my friends are used to it. Besides Besid your dad, who has taught taugh you the most as an actor? Viggo [Mortensen from The Road], because becau the relationship was very much the same as the boy and the dad in the film. He doesn’t sit you down and teach you stuff. It’s just watching what he does, he just watch concentrates; and when you watch conce people peopl you learn stuff. What’s What been your best film experience so far? expe The Road. That was something I R had to push myself for, and just deal with it i when it was too cold to do stuff. It was a big journey and it took a long time and everyone became a big family. I loved it. fa What’s What next for you? I’m reading some scripts [and] I’m re doing an animation film - so I’m starting startin to do different stuff. It’s fun. I like animation - you can go to work a in your you pajamas! Wha Let Me In What: When: Released October 14 Whe
I’m gonna live forever Baby remember my name am me
rom the mega-producer behind Wicked comes a new multi-million dollar high-energy production of Fame The Musical, directed and choreographed by Helpmann Award-winner and So You Think You Can Dance star Kelley Abbey. Fame started as a movie about a diverse group of students at New York City’s celebrated High School of the Performing Arts. Released in 1980, it won an Academy Award and swept the world. The TV show ran for six seasons, and won numerous Emmy Awards; Fame The Musical ran for a decade on London’s West End and has been seen by over ten million people worldwide.
Fame The Musical opens October 14 at the Capitol Theatre. We have five double passes to the opening night up for grabs! To get your hands on one, tell us the name of one person who stars in the show!
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GLOW [DANCE] Chunky Move’s biotech fiction puts the ghost in the machine By Lucy Fokkema
curious audience peers down from all sides of the theatre at a glowing white floor/screen, as a strange, inhuman creature creates its digital habitat, where light scatters, nudges and pulses. Slowly, the performer seems to evolve from a huddled form into a human shape, creating an astonishing world of hovering shapes and haunting colours.
FAME: the musical [DANCE/THEATRE] Hot talent and dance moves keep this classic alive. By Bridie Connellan
ong live dance clichés. Rehearsing madly in Sydney’s Australia Hall, the cast of the fresh Australian production of Fame The Musical perpetuate their own stereotype, as they warm up admidst old bookcases, chalkboards, tights, group-hugs and hoodies; bags strewn across the wooden floor, ensemble cast swaggering through exit doors stretching and clutching lunch packs, whilst a panel of tables sporting papers, laptops and scribbles bears witness to note-taking and last-minute rewrites. This is showbiz, kid. The cult phenomenon that is Fame The Musical began in 1980 with the Academy-Award winning film Fame, about a multiethnic bunch of dance students struggling to make the big time in the big apple, through the magic of song and dance. Since then it’s gone through a TV series and numerous stage incarnations, trailing visions of sweatbands and Irene Cara in its wake; however director and choreographer Kelley Abbey is quick to point out that the original film was anything but fluro. “There’s this distorted memory of Fame as hot-pink leg warmers and slashed lime-green sweaters, but even that colour palette is from the late 80s,” she explains. “We’ve taken the musical back to the roots of the film version, featuring muted colours, runs and holes in their stockings, and really stressing the New York underworld.” With racism, homophobia, drug use and body image lurking behind the stage smiles and Broadway hands, Abbey agrees the serious undertones of the musical are often overshadowed by expectations of a giant danceoff. “People are usually quite surprised and moved by [the musical’s serious nature],” she says. “The first act is quite overwhelmingly – show-stopping – while the second act has got these really intense storyline resolutions, with a real dramatic weight.” Abbey is no stranger to the dramas of Iris and Tyrone, and refers to this musical as something of a boomerang in her life. The Queenslandborn dance guru won the Mo Award for Female Dance/Choreographer Performer of the Year
GLOW is a luminous and illuminating ‘choreographic essay’ by acclaimed Australian choreographer Gideon Obarzanek and German new-media artist Frieder Weiss. Using a video tracking system, a glowing digital landscape is generated in real time in response to the solo dancer’s movement, as her body mutates in and out of human form.
in 2000 for her work on the Kevin Jacobsen production of Fame, before coordinating versions of the musical in South East Asia and Johannesburg. “I came at this production from the perspective of someone who had done it before, and I wanted to do it even brighter, for an audience who are now much more loungeroomeducated in dance,” she says.
Berlin-based computer engineer/interactive software designer/light artist/musician (phew!) Frieder Weiss has been described as an “algorithm conductor”, and in Glow he effectively creates an electronic shadow for the dancer. The work relies heavily on his algorithms and the technology he has developed to allow the dancer’s movement to direct lighting and video projections.
Abbey has been at the centre of Australia’s recent love affair with dance, through her stint on the talent-questing television series So You Think You Can Dance? in 2009, and her award-winning choreography for shows such as The Boy From Oz and Grease. Her two leads are also SYTYCD alumni – 2009 winner Talia Fowler, and male finalist Tim Omaji (aka Timomatic), in the roles of ballet belle Iris Kelly and hip hop pro Tyrone Jackson.
“When [Frieder and I] started working together I realized that the light created from the dancer’s movement is really an extension of the choreography, an amplification or extension of the dancer’s movement,” explains Obarzanek. “We call it a solo, but you could call it a duet between the dancer and the projections.”
“A huge part of the infectious element of dance is that people hear the music, want to react to it, want to show how much they love it, but don’t know how,” says Omaji. “When they see dancers they see a means to express that instinct. Dancers are the privileged ones that get to interpret those ideas and express themselves. We have a relationship with the music that other people don’t necessarily know how to articulate.” With only two weeks before the show hits Capitol Theatre, rehearsal time is money, and with a swift removal of our table and chairs, the trio are whisked back into a gruelling day of learning how to fly. A towering ensemble of cast-members saunter back into their cosy hub, warbling the words “I’ll never stop siiiiiiinging...” With pipes like those, let’s hope not. Time to light up the sky like a flame. What: Fame the Musical When: Opens Thursday October 14 Where: Capitol Theatre, Haymarket More: famethemusical.com.au
Obarzanek describes GLOW as a state of “biotech fiction” where the human body is shifted sideways into new sensual or grotesque shapes. “This being, this dancer, is constantly developing, evolving. They’re almost human, but not quite – they’re a simpler version, and are trying to define themselves as what they are in this movement and in this place… eventually they stand like a human being and shake off the [video] image,” says Obarzanek. “Glow can be seen as a period of time of evolving into a normal person.” Obarzanek is the artistic director and founder of Melbourne-based contemporary dance company Chunky Move. Since founding the company in 1995, he has earned a reputation for diverse, distinct and genre-defying pieces. Producing everything from stage works to site-specific, new-media and installation pieces, the company aims to “redefine what is or what can be contemporary dance, within an ever-evolving Australian culture.” Chunky Move are known internationally for their innovative choreography, and
represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in June this year. Since its premiere in 2006, GLOW has toured Canada, The Netherlands, Shanghai and everywhere in between (including the Biennale), leaving a glittering trail of rave reviews and awards in its wake. Another of Chunky Move’s new media choreographic adventures, the astounding Mortal Engine, revisited Sydney in May this year after a world-wrapping tour. Obarzanek sees GLOW as the pre-cursor to Mortal Engine - it’s only half an hour long, and uses a solo dancer rather than a full company. “I have mixed feelings [about the relationship between the two works]. In some ways I think of GLOW as the more successful piece creatively. It came together in a really perfect way. But it’s also very simple – the graphics are very geometric or round and correspond very literally to the dancer’s movements,” muses Obarzanek. GLOW is being performed at the Seymour Centre as part of SEAM 2010 - the annual symposium of Critical Path, a Sydney-based choreographic research laboratory that encourages ‘risk-taking, play and experiment’. Post-show on October 13, Obarzanek will be speaking about the symbiotic relationship of art and science in GLOW. What: GLOW by Chunky Move Where: York Theatre, Seymour Centre When: October 13 - 16 More: tickets $20-25 from sydney.edu.au/ seymour
The Animals and Children Took to the Streets [THEATRE] British theatre troupe 1927 deliver another wickedly twisted tale. By Simon Binns
hen U.K. theatre company 1927 brought their debut hit Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea to the Opera House two years ago, they were the new kids redefining the block. With their seamless integration of animation and performance, the show stunned audiences at the Edinburgh festival and a seemingly endless tour followed, trailing breathless reviews. It is always a surprise for an artistic group to arrive fully formed, but no-one was more surprised than the performers themselves. “We thought it was more of a cabaret thing,” says performer Suzanne Andrade, explaining that it all began with a series of weird stories she told on the radio. “Paul, the animator, heard them and got in touch and started making animations to accompany the stories.” The pair then started performing in various places around London, and piqued the interest of Esme Appleton, another performer. The final piece in the puzzle was pianist Lillian Henley, a friend of Andrade’s brother, whose compositions added the live feeling the performers were looking for. Once the team was assembled, the show came together quickly - and the madness began. The speed of that process stands in stark contrast to the development of their latest work, The Animals and Children Took to the Streets,
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which has seen the company spend months in the rehearsal room. “It’s been a completely different experience,” says Andrade, who attributes much of the development of their debut to its beginnings in cabaret. “We really thrive on the instant reactions of the audience, it’s like you’re making it with them.” The shift into a more traditional theatre process was an initial stumbling block for the company, who were intimidated by the expectations placed on them. “As opposed to just ‘let’s just put all our stuff together and start working on something’, you know [this show] is going to be opening in Sydney before you’ve even started working on it,” comments Andrade. After a lot of frustration, the group went back to basics, asking themselves, “What do we actually want to make? What do we think will be entertaining, look brilliant and be really funny?” The result is a mix of Betty Boop and film noir that continues 1927’s blurring of genre and form. The Animals and Children Took to the Streets is set in the imaginary world of the Bayou – “a big, stinking boarding house on a street full of brothels and black markets which have all been built on a big stinky ‘ol bog.” Although this work is more narrativebased than their first, Andrade reassures me “it’s no Tom Stoppard piece of theatre - it’s still very image-based, and it’s quite ridiculous. It
gets quite Inspector Gadget and comic book halfway through.” Rather than attempting to recreate their former success, the group have decided to meet second-album-syndrome head-on. “We’ve been really ambitious and really pushed ourselves,” says Andrade proudly. “We’re working with more screens, more instruments and more characters – and after being locked up for so
long, we’re really looking forward to actually getting it in front of an audience!” What: 1927 present The Animals and Children Took to the Streets When: October 20 - 31 Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House More: sydneyoperahouse.com
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A THEATRICAL TALKING BLUES AND GLISSENDORF
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Film & Theatre Reviews
At the heart of the arts Where you went last week.
What's hot on the silver screen and the bareboards around town.
LET ME IN Released October 14
PICS :: TL
Let Me In is the American remake of the 2008 Swedish arthouse hit Let The Right One In, adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel. This horror/comingof-age story focuses on the friendship between bullied 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and his eternally 12-yearold vampire neighbour Abby (Chloe Moretz). Coming so soon after the acclaimed foreign language original, is this an unnecessary remake?
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While the original is a superior film, Matt Reeves' (Cloverfield) remake is not without its charms. Wisely, the American director has stuck close to the source material, with the snowy landscapes of a small New Mexico town standing in for the wintry Swedish countryside. Like its predecessor, Let Me In defies genre, avoiding the gothic romance and mythology of most vampire stories. Although there are scenes of violence, they are just as frequent in Owen’s world of school bullies as Abby’s world of blood thirst.
PICS :: TL
Let Me In’s ability to stand as a film in its own right is boosted by excellent performances from the two young actors, who navigate the film’s dangerous world of prepubescence. Australian Smit-McPhee (The Road) perfectly transmits Owen’s sense of isolation, and Kick-Ass star Moretz further proves her impressive acting chops. The film is buoyed by a fantastic supporting cast including Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) as Abby’s 'father'/ familiar and supreme character-actor Elias Koteas (The Killer Inside Me) as the police inspector.
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There is a certain heavy-handed sentimentality to Reeves' film, which affects the film both positively and negatively. The closeness of Owen and Abby’s relationship is textured by the film’s sweeter moments, but the soundtrack is completely overthe-top and distracting. Surprisingly, the film’s special effects are poor, and Abby’s vampiric transformations jar with the surrounding action. However Australian DoP Greig Fraser (Bright Star) has done another incredible job, with beautiful and exciting visuals - particularly some exceptionally-shot car sequences.
What's on our calendar... Reeves can’t claim any originality with this film, but that shouldn’t take away from what has been accomplished. Respecting the nuances of the book and the first version, he has delivered a good film that will bring a wider audience to this superbly dark tale.
TUNNELISM LO-FI Collective / Lvl 3, 383 Bourke St (Taylor Sq) Opens October 14 from 6pm Is it summer yet? This exhibition of works by Sydney-based Swedish expats Easlinn and Okar are making us yearn for the surf… A fusion of the artists’ passion for surfing, photography and design, Tunnelism features the kaleidoscopic works of Easlinn (shown left) and the photo composites of Okar, which explore the strata from underwater to surf to sky. Seriously dreamy. Check them out at easlinn.com and flowerhell.com/okar – and for one night only, at LO-FI Collective. wearelofi.com.au
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Beth Wilson ■ Theatre
FOOL FOR LOVE Until October 24 / Belvoir St, Downstairs Fool For Love was first performed at the Magic Theater in San Francisco in 1983, directed by its writer, Sam Shepard. Involved in theatre since he was 19, but better known to the mainstream as a film actor, Shepard is a prolific part of modern American theatre; Fool For Love is his fortysomethingth play, and debuted five years after his Pulitzer prize-winner, Buried Child. It’s not general considered the cream of his canon, but it is one of his most interesting female parts, in a body of work populated by lost boys and damaged men. The fools in question are May and Eddie, estranged lovers who find themselves
reunited as the play opens, in a seedy motel room in the Mojave Desert. Eddie has driven 2480 miles to see May, but she’s not sure whether she’s happy to see him. She clings to and claws at him, by turns suspicious, angry, and needy. Slowly, their backstory unfolds: high school sweethearts irresistibly drawn to each other, despite their best efforts to engage in other, more stable, affairs. Eddie is being trailed by his rich, jealous lover, and May is waiting for her new fella to arrive. Meanwhile, to the right of the stage, on a raised platform, looms a spectre of the past – an old man (Terry Serio) whose story closely mirrors theirs, and who holds the key to their irrevocable bond. When May’s ‘date’ Martin (Alan Flower) arrives, he finds himself drawn into their sticky web of stories, and competing histories. With Philip Seymour Hoffman’s production of True West opening at Sydney Theatre Company next month, it’s a good time to get acquainted with Shepard’s schtick, which is toxic relationships and family dysfunction laced with booze, violence, and music. Director Imara Savage is faithful to the spirit of Shepard’s thorough set and stage directions, and the dogged rhythms of the text. She gets solid performances from leads Emma Jackson (who seems remarkably un-self-conscious) and Justin Stewart Cotta (who swaggers like the rocker he is), and the consistentlyexcellent older hands Serio and Flower. The result is absorbing and even menacing, if not mind-blowing. Dee Jefferson ■ Theatre
SEVEN KILOMETRES NORTH-EAST Until October 16 / Old Fitzroy Theatre Jumping on a plane and exploring the world sits pretty high on most peoples’ wish lists; brushing up on one’s photography skills, dabbling with the local language, keeping a journal, late nights, and no responsibilities all seem part of the journey. But what responsibility do we have to the residents of the places we visit? seven kilometres north-east is a onewoman show devised and performed by Kym Vercoe, of performance collective version1.0 (This Kind of Ruckus). Armed with nothing but a Bradt Guide (a cooler version of Lonely Planet) Vercoe indulges her fascination for history and culture in Eastern Europe - until she stumbles upon Visegrad, in the Republic of Srpska (an enclave of Bosnia and Herzegovina). Looking like something out of a postcard, the village features a unique 16th Century bridge made famous in Nobel Prizewinning author Ivo Andri’s novel The Bridge over the Drina. Enchanted by the town and its people, Vercoe relishes slivovitz-fuelled conversations with local characters, learning how to smoke cigarettes and enjoy the rich coffee. However, upon returning to Australia she discovers, to her horror, that the town and spa resort where was she was staying were sites of untold violence (a fact carefully omitted in her guidebook). She returns to Visegrad to try and come to some sort of understanding of the atrocities - but all she encounters is a collective, national amnesia. Vercoe has turned her travel diary into a three-dimensional compendium of her encounters, bringing to life some of the characters and experiences she encountered. Traditional singing by Sladjana, Eneida and Mirsada provides the performance with a hauntingly real sense of being in Visegrad, and footage of Vercoe’s travels, projected onto white garments pinned to a clothes line, creates an atmosphere that is both idyllic and foreboding. Giving face to the anonymous victims of genocide, seven kilometres north-east is an engaging and at times sorrowful glimpse into a part of the world less travelled. Nick Hose
See www.thebrag.com for more arts reviews
DVD Reviews What's been on our TV screens this week The Good, the Bad and the Horribly Ugly.
With Stefan Fähler
THE WHITE RIBBON
Paramount Home Entertainment Released September 2 Set within the same socioeconomic ballpark as Harry Brown’s housing estates, Fish Tank looks like a picnic by comparison. Whereas Daniel Barber shows us the hellish underbelly of London’s infamous ‘Elephant and Castle’, rife with pitiless violence, underage prostitution and the pointy end of the drug trade, Andrea Arnold (Red Road) is more interested in the casual neglect that afflicts a large swathe of the UK’s youth (specifically women); and Fish Tank is a far richer film in terms of character and construction. 15-year-old high-school drop-out Mia (newcomer Katie Jarvis, in an incredibly natural performance) lives in a tiny flat in a housing estate, with her booze-soaked mother Joanne (Kierston Wareing) and younger sister Tyler. Mia pops cans of lager like most kids her age pop cola – but in her spare time she sneaks off to an abandoned neighbouring highrise and practises her dance moves, dreaming of a better life somewhere else. When Joanne brings home Connor (Michael Fassbender - Hunger), a laid-back lover twice Mia’s age, awakening sexuality and desire for a father figure push Mia into his arms; the emotional fall-out for mother and daughter pushes the teen to make a tough decision, at a turning point in her life. As with her Oscar-winning short Wasp and her Cannes-winning debut feature Red Road (both visions of women surviving the physical and emotional minefields of life in a low-income and high-crime urban jungle), Arnold excels as a storyteller within this territory. Mercifully, her mood is optimistic; Mia is a survivor, with 150% spunk. Her life might be bleak, but things are definitely looking up.
Paramount Home Entertainment Released September 2 Winning awards for director Michael Haneke and cinematographer Christian Berger - including the Golden Palm at Cannes The White Ribbon has been one of the most internationally acclaimed films of the past year; and it is not hard to see why. This exquisitely shot exploration of ideology is unnerving and uncomfortable viewing, but is also completely intriguing and utterly intelligent storytelling. Set in a small northern German village in the years preceding the outbreak of WWI, the story of a series of strange incidences, escalating in violence and malice is narrated by the village schoolteacher (Christian Freidel, voiced in narration by Ernest Jacobi). Growing tension between the farmers and the village’s primary landowner, the Baron (Ulrich Tukur), and the oppressive authoritarian practices of the village’s parents, particularly the Pastor (Burghart Klaussner), offer clues as the to the perpetrators of the crimes and their motivations. But The White Ribbon is not a film with resolutions, and Haneke’s story is filled with undercurrents of the horrors that are to follow in Germany, with WWI and WWII. With an excellent cast of children, who range from the very sweet to downright creepy, the film’s repressive atmosphere requires understated performances. Maria-Victoria Dragus and Leonard Proxauf are superb as the Pastor’s two eldest children, bringing a powerful sense of intense stillness and internal rage. Along with the disturbing elements of the film, there is also a very gentle and lovely romance between the schoolteacher and the nanny at the Baron’s estate, Eva (Leonie Benesch), which makes a welcome contrast to the film’s sombre tones.
Dee Jefferson Beth Wilson
e’re a bit crazy about gig posters, so when this came across our desk last week we kind of lost our shit. Amazing. Self-trained Berlin-based artist/graphic designer Stefan Fähler does gig posters for indie bands – mostly German and American (so far, but he says he wants to work with Sydney bands, and is a fan of kyü). He’s also the guitarist for experimental outfit Château Laut. Stefan is in Sydney this month as part of a residency with Marrickville’s ESP Gallery, which will see him working with local photographer/musician Kurt Sorensen (of Founder). The residency will culminate with the exhibition VΛLD. What is your background as an artist? I started doing posters in 2007 when my band had its first gig. Since then I’ve stayed in touch with Berlin promoters, and kept making posters. What are some of your influences, and preferred materials? I am influenced by artists like Savage Pencil, Gunsho, Zeloot or Dennis Tyfus. I tend to use the cheapest material I can get, like watercolours or markers, because I think the quality of a design does not depend on the material you use. What’s your attraction to designing gig posters and album art? Since music is the biggest source I take my energy from, I am very flattered when people ask me to do a record cover. So far nobody ever complained about my work, since I work mostly for independent bands and no big labels. Tell us about this Damo Suzuki poster: My band and Damo played an improvised gig in Berlin together. It was the Walpurgis night (the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Blocksberg and await the arrival of spring) and I wanted to create a sort of spooky image. It is a collaboration with photographer Rainer Elstermann, who made this photo series called Old Masters, based on recreating classic art staples, replacing the original models with children. Can you tell us about the ESP residency? I was invited by ESP gallery to have this
residency, and I wanted to collaborate with a local photographer to work on a series. Kurt Sorensen is a friend of the director’s and a musician as well. He has very good energy and we want to perform live at the opening as well, having a little noisy jam to celebrate our collaboration. Can you describe the VΛLD show? Besides my collaboration with Kurt, I will include posters for Action Beat and Liturgy and posters (that I’m currently working on) for bands like Telekinesis and Baths. And a work for this dadaistic band-collective from Germany called HGich.T, which is the strangest work I did so far, but it fits the band! What: VΛLD – works by Stefan Fähler When: October 21 – 31. Where: ESP Gallery / 228 Illawarra Rd Marrickville More: stefanfaehler.blogspot.com
Strong themes, Manchester Scallys, Booze, Drugs, Shagging & Scamming
The long awaited return of the UK
’s most dysfunctional family.
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What's been crossing our ears this week...
ALBUM OF THE WEEK MY DISCO
gives Rohan Rebeiro a chance to flex his good taste behind the kit.
Little Joy Shock
Done with charcoal and thick paper, they've taken familiar shapes to canvas with acrylics and thick oils. And colour. Thank fuck.
YOU AM I
S/T Other Tongues
Melbourne's My Disco are as uncompromising now as they've ever been, but they’ve come a long way since their inception in 2003. It’s rewarding to trace their evolution through it’s various eras, too. Watching the transition from their EPs of 2003-2005 to first album Cancer is like observing sentient life assemble itself in a petri dish. 2008’s Paradise saw this bristly organism crawl out of the muck, and learn to walk with alarming precision. Now, Little Joy betrays a creature capable of reflection and rationality. "To get closer / or even aware of where to begin" intones Liam Andrews on the first track, over staccato guitar and skipping, kraut-rock percussion. ‘Young’ follows, a prismatic cascade of changes settling into a meditative chug that
When a concept album opens with the harsh yet inquisitive sound of a can opening, you can be forgiven for expecting something breezy, bubbly and thirstquenching. But for any parched beast, the latest and fourth release from Norwegian electronic outfit Röyksopp will satisfy as much as it stings. The mature evolution of 2009’s beatladen, thudding counterpart Junior, Senior brings a sombre and spiraling mind-adventure into the psyche of a retrospective dreamer, whilst maintaining that beloved Röyksoppian intellect – and of course their beatdriven love of pop.
So here’s another You Am I record. It follows from Dilettantes, itself a roadtripping comedown from the raucous party of 2006's Convicts. But You Am I is more varied and thoughtful than its predecessor. World-weary single ‘Shuck’ sounds like a postscript to Hourly Daily’s tales of suburban scrounge-and-yearn subsistence, and is the most idiosyncratically YAI track here.Elsewhere, Davey Lane teases us with a taste of snarling stadium guitar in the teetering, smouldering ‘Crime’, as Tim’s voice hovers plaintively over the fuzz. Megan “Yes, Her Again” Washington lends her honeyed tones to the drawn-out afternoon of ‘Lie And Face The Sun’; ‘Kicking The Balustrade’ saunters in on a louche strum, before betraying its true heart with a lysergic guitar spiral.
The decision to delay the release of what was originally intended as the second half to Junior was ideal, as such an adequate gap has allowed this inexplicably elegant musical treat to stand alone and ripen with age. From floating opener ‘The Alcoholic’ (a seriously slick version of Banjo Kazooie’s underwater level), the adventure lapses immediately into a wondrous fusion of subdued percussion and xylophonic keytones, as the sustained sound of birdlife under steady rain ensues; ‘…And The Forest Began To Sing’.
Those psychedelic elements are unexpectedly effective combined with Rogers’ classic pop-rock writing. But with titles like ‘Waiting To Be Found Out’, ‘We Hardly Knew You’ and ‘Let’s Not Get Famous’, there’s a reflective, summing-up feeling here that I don’t think was intended…
Despite low points in the oddly stale ‘The Drug’, followed by a disturbing fusion of horse sneezes, cackling howls and tortured muffled sobs in ‘A Long, Long Way’, the ups and downs of this labyrinth of sonic wonderment seem intentional and nicely selective - an emblematic and well-conceived exploration of turmoil and selfdestruction. This is spectacular Concept Album Magic; the kind of sit-and-listen grandeur that kids today had left for dead.
This is a worthy, if subdued, addition to their not inconsiderable body of work; sublime moments emerge when coaxed out with attention and love.
A little older, a little more senile, the Norwegian mastercrafters have left the singles to their grandchildren and aimed for something a little more intangibly whole.
There’s always been something painterly about My Disco; the real success of Little Joy is the way it leads you from start to finish, in the same way that a good work of art will arrest and draw the eye across itself. Luke Telford
Remember how You Am I had three albums in a row debut at #1 on the ARIA chart, back when people actually bought records in shops? That was awesome. They wrote some really great songs on really great albums, and actually, they still do. I think some people forget this because they’re so reliable; apart from some drunken festival shenanigans on Tim Rogers’ part, they’ve carried a career spanning two decades with a minimum of scandal and a maximum of talent, hard work and really fun shows. They’ve never had a big, triumphant comeback album, because they’ve never gone away.
As with Paradise, each track seems to take its cue from the dregs of the last. But instead of simply turning the dial through excruciating increments, here the band toy with colour to present a subtle harmonic narrative. The sparring pulse of ‘Turn’ picks up where ‘Young’ left off. The prickly bouquet that opens ‘Sun Bear’ feel like early morning rays before the pummelling alarm kicks in. On ‘Sun Ray’, this new tunefulness blossoms into an unexpected but welcome optimism, recalling the postrock of Explosions In The Sky.
There’s a pretty amusing interview with Ms Arnalds (singer, recent mother and ex-Múm member) in this month’s issue of UK street rag The Stool Pigeon, in which she immediately declares her personal life to be off limits - despite the fact that many of the songs on her second album, Innundir Skinni, deal with the deeply personal matter of her father dying. Not that you can tell what she’s singing about most of the time without recourse to the lyric sheet, as most songs here are rendered in her native Icelandic. Indeed, even those few songs which are sung in English are nigh on incomprehensible thanks to her sweetly lilting accent and Joanna Newsom-esque delivery. There are some lovely moments here regardless. ‘Svif Birki (Tree Love)’ for example, which mixes her creamy enunciation of the Icelandic tongue with an understated acoustic guitar, prismatic vocal harmonisations occasionally rippling through the simple texture. Cloister something like ‘The Sprout And The Bean’ off Mender’s Milk away within a smokefilled hut while an ash-strewn winter rages outside, and you’ll be close. Most songs here feature spare acoustic backings that provide a gently swimming complement to Arnalds gentle voice. It’s a delicate balance, the backing vocals provided by an under-utilised Björk on ‘Surrender' - not quite avoiding the obvious risk of overwhelming Arnalds with her turbo-charged lungs. An undoubtedly attractive listen, Arnalds ultimately comes off a touch precious - her seriousness is unleavened by any sense of play or release, providing little counter to the weight of her emotions. Oliver Downes
Sex Dreams And Denim Jeans Warners This babyfaced Parisian had the world at her tiny feet in the summer of ‘06, with sexdrenched lyrics and that nonchalant, indistinguishable accent. But after a tumultuous few years - which included a musical hiatus, break-up, marriage, pregnancy, and a divorce - this single-mum has risen from the ashes to release her debut album. The release is adventurous and schizophrenic; throwing together lo-fi tracks from 2005 like ‘Pop The Glock’ and ‘First Love’, with the jazzy ‘Neuneu’ and a cover of The Banshees’ ‘Hong Kong Gardens’. But at times this musical schizophrenia seems a little too deliberate and forced - the epileptic saxophone solo in ‘MC’s Can Kiss’ seems like it should be in a sinister vaudeville, and ‘Illusion Of Love’ sounds like a D-grade cover of Goldfrapp’s D-grade songs... As well as having the entire French house music fraternity onboard (Mr Oizo, SebastiAn, and ex-hubby Feadz all took turns to produce cuts on the album), Uffie also seduced Pharrell Williams and The Rapture’s Mattie Safer into guest appearances. But they unfortunately result in the album’s two weakest tracks; Pharrell’s midas touch, Safer’s talent and Uffie’s sex appeal are all compromised in half-hearted compositions that fall a little flat. Uffie flits in and out of varying vocal styles, from obnoxious rap in ‘MC’s Can Kiss’, to a delirious sleep-talk/ sing in ‘First Love’. The endearing thing about her though is that she knows she’s no Whitney, and she doesn’t give a fuck - she’s just having a good time.
Dark Storm EP Independent
This band is going places. Champions of the ‘we’ll release our own EPs as we see fit’ model, Sydney's The Jezabels seem to have morphed from That Slightly Edgy Indie Band into Seriously Amazing Songwriters And Performers while most of us were sleeping. From the first moment frontwoman Hayley Mary opens her mouth, it’s devastatingly hard to pay attention to anything
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else. So engrossing is that voice, so expertly arranged is the music behind her and so perfectly crafted is the mix that five songs seems painfully short. Swooping from falsetto to soprano and back again without warning, leading her charges into deep seas of emotion and orchestration, Hayley and The Jezabels have been rightly garnering praise from all the right places – because there’s nothing else in this country quite like them. You could use PJ Harvey as a reference point, but it would only get you so far; there’s so much going on here that it takes many listens to fully appreciate. This EP has honestly been one of the most engrossing things I’ve heard in a long, long time.
All of the band-to-watch hype that surrounded New Zealand's Naked & Famous was met head on mid-year with the release of triple j charmer ‘Young Blood’. The song debuted at number one on the New Zealand charts in May, making TNAF the first NZ act to do so in three years - and in September, 'Young Blood' went on to win the APRA Silver Scroll for songwriting... There was a lot riding on the debut LP that would follow. On Passive Me, Aggressive You, the five-piece are most successful on their faster, tighter and hook-driven tracks like ‘Young Blood’ and ‘All Of This’ – and the synth-electro beats dropped in the opening moments of the Summer-ready ‘Punching In A Dream’ are also impossible to ignore. TNAF mix up the album with some real gems in the softer tracks, too; ‘Eyes’ and ‘No Way’ are both standouts. A valiant attempt has been made by TNAF to bring depth to the album and, for the most part, it works remarkably well – but tracks like ‘A Wolf In Geek’s Clothing’, a Tool-like, metal-pop tune, fall a little short. Industrial rock is at odds with the electro-pop numbers that have leant the band comparisons to Passion Pit and pre-Congratulations MGMT - and it results in a disconcertingly disjointed album. While Alisha Xayalith’s impressive vocals stampede through tracks like ‘Punching In A Dream’ (where she’s accompanied by heavy and frequently catchy electro beats), she struggles to be heard in darker tunes like ‘Frayed’, which require a Crystal Castles- (read Alice Glass-) type insanity. It has a few down points but for the most part, The Naked & Famous have offered a strong debut of tight electro-pop that Australia will be trying to claim as our own before the year is through...
‘A Little Piece’ starts off like Foals and ends like the torch ballad you’ve always wanted to have playing when you died. Meanwhile the real stunner is saved for last with ‘She’s So Hard’ - a slow-burner that eschews the disturbing trend that something has to be fast and loud to keep the audience’s attention. If I was sold when ‘Disco Biscuit Love’ first dropped, you can now consider me up for auction. I can’t wait to see where The Jezabels go from here, but I’m almost certain it will leave their competition gasping for air as they try to keep up. Five kinds of fantastic. Treat yourself to good music, and buy this now. Jonno Seidler
Passive Me, Aggressive You Universal
For the glass-half-empty dudes out there it’d be easy to hate on Uffie... but she’s so damn cool. So stick that in your juice box and suck it, Ke$ha.
INDIE ALBUM OF THE WEEK THE JEZABELS
THE NAKED & FAMOUS
Innundir Skinni [Within Skin] Spunk Records
OFFICE MIXTAPE Wondering what the 'experts' listen to? Here's the music that drives The Brag... for this week, anyway. NEON INDIAN - Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed CRYSTAL CASTLES - Crystal Castles II MARK RONSON & THE BUSINESS INTL - Record Collection
ICE CUBE - I Am The West DAN KELLY - Dan Kelly's Dream
ho’ s w ho o f o ur g r ea
KEVIN BORICH NATHAN CAVALERI STEVE EDMONDS (Jimmy Barnes)
PHIL EMMANUEL CHRIS KAMZELAS (Richard Clapton)
om e test h
o t he ho ma g e t
DAVE LESLIE (Baby Animals)
PETER NORTHCOTE (Dragon, John Farnham)
(Shania Twain, Keith Urban)
DAR IO MICK BORTOLIN SKELTON (Bas (B Basss))
(Dru (D ruums ms))
titick cckketek ettek.c ekk.ccom om.a .aau |1332 84 849
or Ennm or moorre Boox Of Offfiiccee | 95 Offi 9550 50 366666 50
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live reviews What we've been to see...
DOUBLE DRAGON II Oxford Arts Factory Friday October 1
TUE 12 OCT
ROCK-STEIN TRIVIA THE STUDY presents
WED 13 OCT
THU 14 OCT
FRI 15 OCT
SAT 16 OCT
JULIA WHY + OLD MEG BRUISES
+ STEPHANIE SAYS
GBH (US) + THE RUMJACKS + RUST + MUDTADED NODDYS
LANEOUS & THE FAMILY YAH + SKETCH THE RHYME + JIMMY SWOUSE & THE ANGRY DARTS + IDEA IDEA
THE HOLIDAYS + PAPA vs PRETTY + BELL WEATHER DEPARTMENT COMING SOON
FRI 22 OCT
FRI 05 NOV
SUN 07 NOV
RUFIO + MEST
WWW.THEGAELIC.COM EVENT EVENT &&FUNCTION FUNCTIONBOOKINGS: BOOKINGS: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com BAND BANDBOOKINGS: BOOKINGS:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
If there’s one thing you should learn from these ‘all-in’ band-fests, it’s that you really have to pace yourself. With pretty much all of the acts on the bill running half an hour behind, and the headliners scheduled for somewhere after midnight, getting to Oxford Art Factory and starting to drink at ten will not bode well if you want to get the most of the music. There aren’t any huge revelations at the second instalment of Double Dragon; most of the bands here have been kicking around for years (in the case of Warhorse, many years), and most of the people in the crowd have either been in one of the bands, shared a house with someone in one of the bands, went to school with someone in one of the bands or slept with someone… you get the point. The fact that one of the earliest slots of the night, Dark Bells, play to a pretty packed room is good evidence; nobody usually comes near OAF ‘til at least 11 on a Friday night. Halfway between PJ Harvey and Raveonettes, Dark Bells play an engrossing set with ten minutelong songs. There’s some cool vocal experimentation from the spunky frontwoman that offsets the throbbing drone of the band behind her - they’re not that animated, but they do their job and are received well, despite the fact that the bass is turned up high enough to break glass. Barrelling onstage soon after, Warhorse proceed to party like it’s 1997 and playing hard and fast is the only way to get ahead. It’s certainly funny, particularly when Jasper Clifford-Smith reminds everyone of how impressively drunk he is. With song names like ‘Fuck You, Fucking Cunts’, these guys are the most fun of the night, if only because they look like they’re going to explode at any moment. Jak from The Preachers is on hand to tell me that everyone in this band is in at least one other band, which is kind of the theme for the whole night. Alternate performances from Arkestra and Whipped Cream Chargers, both of whom have members in Warhorse, prove that there’s really something for everyone if you have the right combination. Outside, Jaie Gonzales hurriedly finishes off a cigarette; “Sorry, I’d love to finish the conversation I’ve got to run and play in this band now.” Old Men Of Moss Mountain is the kind of rap group most highschool boys wanted to be in, but only few had the balls to see through. Tonight though, it’s a bit of a disaster - but it’s not entirely their fault. Sans band, they’re just not as engrossing, and the mixing is weak enough that you can’t even hear half of the party boy rhyme – which may have been the point. But after Warhorse, it’s just too much noise - and everyone’s hanging for something a bit prettier. And that's exactly what arrives in the double-whammy headliner of Bridezilla and WIM, both of whom finally bring some taste to an otherwise ramshackle evening. Deciding whether Holiday Carmen-Sparks or Martin Solomon is better looking becomes increasingly difficult, but the former have the advantage of having seriously improved their set over the years – they now kick as much ass as the hearts that they break. With pomp, circumstance, glitter and all the rest, WIM prove why they’re becoming a fixture on this kind of circuit; watching them is never dull, and unlike many of the other bands on offer, they don’t set out to hurt your ears, either. There are others, but nothing that remarkable. More fun is had listening to Moses and Jonti from Danimals drop filthy rap and tasty funk joints from the back of the gallery, watching black-clad teenagers trying to remember how to dance, and seeing Annabel Wurth forsake her law degree to become a literal pin-up girl in the exhibition box, straddling a motorbike that probably cost more than the takings from the door and the bar put together. Double Dragon doesn’t change the world of local music, but it certainly keeps it chugging along well into the early hours. Even when it didn’t mean to be, the night was certainly entertaining.
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BEN KWELLER, DELTA SPIRIT The Factory Theatre Sunday October 3
California’s Delta Spirit should, by everything that’s good and pure about rock’n’roll, be fucking huge. They’re charismatic performers, a fantastically tight musical unit, handsome, genuine, and they smash a live show like nobody’s business. Matt Vasquez has a brilliant rock voice – imagine if Dylan could sing like Rod Stewart, if the Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser didn’t sound so damn tired all the time – and Brandon Young’s astonishing, furious drums are mixed loud live to match the sound on their latest terrific LP, History From Below. But there’s twenty times the noise here as on the album, and it surrounds us as they rip through their different modes. They open tonight with a verse and chorus of the folk-gospel anthem ‘People Turn Around’, from their 2008 debut Ode to Sunshine, before crashing into what’s probably their best song, rocker ‘Bushwick Blues’. While I would have thought it a peak-moment sort of number, it sucked every person in the room in with its rambunctious, cathartic power, and just like that they had the whole Factory in the palm of their hand for the next half hour. I’ve never seen a cynical Sydney audience give so much instant love and attention to a support band. There was a teary, eerie silence during the gorgeously raw ballad ‘Vivian’ (especially amazing considering how much cause I have to bitch about chatty audiences here week after week), and the rapt crowd obeyed instantly when told to “Get low!”, as their epic final number morphed gleefully into Johnny O’Keefe’s ‘Shout’. We crouched down, we leapt high, and then proceeded to storm the merch stand - I think they sold out of three of their four different shirt designs. The buzz in the air was something special – it was easily one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. A fair few people were wondering aloud if Ben Kweller could follow that. Those people clearly hadn’t seen Ben Kweller play before. He wandered onstage grinning from ear to ear, at 29 not looking a day older than he does on the cover of 2000’s Sha Sha, and ripped into ‘I Gotta Move’. Without a specific album to tour, Kweller clearly felt free to play a Greatest Hits And More show – he drops in a couple of tracks from last year’s country-tinged Changing Horses, but they tend to drag on the momentum a little, and aside from one or two promising new tracks he seems to prefer shredding on classics like ‘Commerce, TX’. Drenched in epic drop-D noodling and slacker riffs, with the occasional retreat to the Folds-y keyboard numbers, the old stuff kills: ‘How It Should Be’, ‘Penny On The Train Track’ with its giant power chords punctuating the chorus, ‘Walk On Me’, the sweetly earnest ‘Falling’ and ‘Lizzy,’ and a filthy, exultant ‘Wasted & Ready’ to close. It’s an astonishing performance, rapturously received. The set might have overstayed its welcome for all but the diehards when it ticked past the two-hour mark (especially compared to Delta’s intense forty minutes), but I’ll wager that more diehard fans left that room than walked in – I for one would happily go to that same gig every night for a month.
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The Minor Chord
The All Ages rant bought to you by Indent.net.au. By Meg Williams
he Indent Ten Year Tour has finally gone full circle and landed back home in Sydney, a little battered, a little bruisedâ€Ś but with a string of boxes ticked. Fanatical all-ages shows will map the state of NSW, headlined by one of Australiaâ€™s best hip hop MCs, Urthboy, and supported by the greatest young bands â€“ including The Glass Towers (Byron Bay), Girl In The Red Light (Wagga), The Mod Cons (Forster), and Yung Nooky (Sydney). A touch of nostalgia is already sweeping over Indent HQ - weâ€™re looking forward to doing it all again in 2011.
In the wake of the Ten Year Tour, the Indent HQ team are putting the feelers out for two new young people (between 12 and 25) to join the Indent Advisory Group (IAG). The IAG is made up of a group of music, youth and arts industry professionals, and meets every three months to discuss the direction of all-ages entertainment in New South Wales, and how Indent can better pitch itself as a peak body. Applicants should have experience in local music and youth events, and a keen interest in youth culture. Membership of the IAG is pretty much like a presidential term â€“ two years â€“ but with slightly less expectations of fiscal knowledge and electoral campaigning. All thatâ€™s required is your presence at as many of the four IAG meetings each year to share your knowledge, opinions, and ideas, and to help guide the Indent project through its next phase of development. â€œSitting on the Indent Advisory Group has really broadened my understanding of the workings of the music industry and what goes into putting on an event,â€? says Melody Forghani, one of the exiting young IAG members and regular contributors to this here column. â€œI was honoured to represent the views of my generation and help shape the opportunities for all ages entertainment in New South Wales.â€? Applications will close Friday November 13 with official term and appointment in January 2011.
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