Page 1

V I C T O R I A’ S 2 N D H I G H E S T C I R C U L AT I N G S T R E E T P R E S S BY 110 C O P I E S






W E D N E S D AY D E C E M B E R 2 0 10 ~ I S S U E 115 4 ~ F R E E









6pm Free in the Front Bar 8.30pm $7 Entry (Band Room)





Open...MON - THU...from 4pm ‘til late FRI...from 2pm ‘til late SAT - SUN...from 12pm ‘til late

Live Music Bookings





7pm $10/8 Entry (Band Room)

Summer Special Two for one meals on Mondays (excludes steak, fish and specials)

bookings: 9482 1333





229 Chapel St, Prahran. 9521 5985. PRESALE TICKETS:

Tuesday.......................... 5 - 11pm Friday.................... Midday - 11pm Wednesday................... . 5 - 11pm Saturday......................... 5 - 11pm Thursday......................... 5 - 11pm 20% STUDENT DISCOUNT


SUNDAY 26/12
















All presale tickets available through MOSHTIX: Phone: 1300 GET TIX (438 849) on-line: or all Moshtix outlets, including Polyester (City & Fitzroy)































ISSUE 1154


THE MORNING BENDERS INPRESS 14 18 18 20 22 24 26 26 28 29 30 32 32 33 33


Who’s playing what with Charts; the week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash The Front Line brings you the hottest industry news In The Studio keeps you turned on to your fave band’s movements Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements They don’t come much more hyped than Sleigh Bells NERD think their new album is time-capsule-worthy Built To Spill finally like their third album The National reckon Barack Obama’s a decent chap Future Of The Left dress sexy after completing an album Jamaica are grateful Phoenix showed the world the French can also play guitars On The Record rates seasonal releases from Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey and The Superions Public Enemy believe surrender is not an option Joan Jett always knew I Love Rock’N’Roll was a hit Daisy from Kitty, Daisy & Lewis has been sleeping on the job Lightspeed Champion worries about letting people down musically

FRONT ROW 36 36 38 38 39 39


National Institute of Dramatic Arts’ Mark Gaal discusses the premiere acting school’s summer season Director Anni Davey talks The Blue Show, Circus Oz’s first show of 2011

BACK TO INPRESS 41 41 42 42 43 43 43 43 45 45 45 52 52 52

Chris Price talks about his musical journey through the United States We review Metallica biography Enter Night Entourage star Adrian Grenier discusses the cult of celebrity for his film Teenage Paparazzo Film Carew gives an intensive look at the films coming out over the festive period Jon Casimir talks Front Row through taking The Gruen Transfer from screen to page The Menstruum gets an early Christmas present in the form of Andrew Zuckerman’s Music

53 53 56 57 58 63 66

The Morning Benders are looking forward to hanging out in Australia Original Primus drummer Jay Lane is back in the fold The Bamboos are celebrating ten years together Marina & The Diamonds named their album after a cock Digitalism have short attention spans English-speaking audiences can’t understand Casiokids Jason Collett is much more than a former member of BSS Darkest Hour are on a mission to find the truth LIVE gives you the best of the week’s live music! Gig Of The Week gets festive with Mick Thomas LIVE:Reviews is overwhelmed by Muse Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket Kendal Coombs leads the under-18s boardroom in the Department Of Youth Pop culture happenings in The Breakdown Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend Gear and studio reviews in BTL Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds



Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse Contributing Editor Adam Curley Staff Writers Bryget Chrisfield, Michael Smith

ADVERTISING National Sales & Marketing Director Leigh Treweek Victorian Sales Manager Katie Owen Senior Account Executive Nick Lynagh Bands &Local Advertising Dean Noble Arts, Dance & Fashion Advertising Connie Filidis Sales Assistant Kobi Simpson

DESIGN & LAYOUT Group Art Director Stuart Teague Inpress Cover Design / Art Direction Matt Greenwood Layout Matt Davis, Matt Greenwood, Stuart Teague

ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Reception Holly Engelhardt Accounts Receivable Anita D’Angelo Accounts Payable Qing Shu

CONTRIBUTORS Senior Contributors Clem Bastow, Jeff Jenkins Overseas Contributors Tom Hawking (US), James McGalliard (UK), Sasha Perera (UK). Writers Nick Argyriou, The Boomeister, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Alice Body, Tim Burke, Luke Carter, Dan Condon, Anthony Carew, EJ Cartledge, Chris Chinchilla, Jake Cleland, Rebecca Cook, Kendal Coombs, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Carolyn Dempsey, Liza Dezfouli, Lizzie Dynon, John Eagle, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Bob Baker Fish, Robert Gascoigne, Cameron Grace, Stu Harvey, Andrew Haug, Andy Hazel, Andrew Hickey, Joey Lightbulb, Michael Magnusson, Baz McAlister, Keith McDougall, Sam McDougall, Tony McMahon, Count Monbulge, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen,



Roger Nelson, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker, Adam Psarras, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Leonie Richman, Symon JJ Rock, Antonios Sarhanis, Ingrid Sjolund, Dylan Stewart, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Danielle Trabsky, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen, Jeremy Williams.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Senior Contributor Kane Hibberd Jesse Booher, Chrissie Francis, Kate Griffin, Andrew Gyopar, Lou Lou Nutt, Gina Maher, James Morgan, Heidi Takla, Nathan Uren.

INTERNS Andrea Biagini, Stacey Elms-King

EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. By submitting letters to us for publication, you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons. ©

DEADLINES Editorial Friday 5pm Advertising Bookings Friday 5pm Advertising Artwork Monday 5pm General Inquiries (no attachments) Accounts/Administration Gig Guide Distribution Office Hours 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday

PUBLISHER Street Press Australia Pty Ltd 2-4 Bond Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067 PO Box 1079, Richmond North VIC 3121 Phone: (03) 9421 4499 Fax: (03) 9421 1011

PRINTED BY Rural Press Victoria










INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS Does it get more punk than The Descendents? Pic by Kane Hibberd

Has a recent touring American lost his head and not returned home yet? We hear he may be in the habit of disappearing for days, crashing gigs and making previous bouts of misadventure look tame in comparison.

DFA-approved Aussie band Cut Copy have a new album titled Zonoscope ready to drop and you would have already heard the lead single Take Me Over – a joint with a bass riff that harks back to Fleetwood Mac’s Everwhere with trademark dreamy “ooh-ooh-ooh” vocals and synth wizardry. A ten-and-a-half-minute Thee Loving Hand (AKA Tim Goldsworthy) remix of this track is ready for your ears via free download at and its whirring breakdown will definitely make you wanna lose the plot in a smoke-filled corner of your nearest dancefloor. While you’re listening, you can also pre-order your copy of their third album, which is scheduled for Australian release on 4 February. Goldsworthy produced Cut Copy’s stellar In Ghost Colours but it’s the band’s frontman Dan Whitford who gets the production credit for this upcoming 11-track set, which was mixed by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter). By the sounds of it so far, the boys have gone troppo with unconventional percussion. One of Australia’s finest exports, Cut Copy are appearing at the sold-out St Jerome’s Laneway Festivals in February, so start learning those lyrics to the new track now.

MySpace continues to roll out new features to run with its recent re-launch, with the latest being a partnership with ReverbNation in order to integrate their FanReach product into MySpace. FanReach is essentially a mailing list program that allows directed emails and will help in trying to blur the divides between MySpace and the rest of the internet. The social networking site turned music platform, whose new interface is as sluggish as the previous, are also aiming to offer fans a greater statistics read on statistics across MySpace but also Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced its next inductees, with Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper Band, Dr John, Darlene Love and Tom Waits getting the nod. Leon Russel was honoured with a musical excellence award.

Despite all our predictions that Mark E Smith would jump into a high-powered vehicle to hoon back to Melbourne from Meredith Music Festival to guest (on Glitter Freeze) during Gorillaz’ Escape To Plastic Beach show at Rod Laver Arena, we must now admit it was wishful thinking. Performing to mixed reviews (perhaps due to a baffling, pre-munted 4.35pm timeslot at Meredith), The Fall were touring on the back of their 28th album, Your Future Our Clutter, which was released earlier this year. Smith previously announced that The Fall are set to release another album in 2011. Strangely enough, The Fall frontman admitted to that he was offered a spot on popular UK reality TV program I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! back in 2004 but turned it down. “I was asked [to appear in the show] years ago when Johnny Lydon was on it,” he told the website. “I was doing this daft pilot show… and halfway through filming the bloke from the jungle comes in and says, ‘Johnny Lydon’s just left the jungle, do you want to replace him?’ but I said no.” Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder was recently in our country filming I’m A Celebrity… and we similarly (and selfishly) crossed our fingers that he would be kicked out of camp in time to fly down and perform Dare live in lieu of his ginormous head on the massive screen during the Gorillaz show. In an interview on Geoff Lloyd’s Absolute Radio show, the 48-year-old singer described his experience in the jungle as a cinch. “It didn’t faze me one bit, not at all, you know,” he said. “I didn’t find it particularly a hard place or anything, I’ve lived in worse places and worse conditions. Obviously not in that jungle, in a concrete jungle.” Although the camera crew is always close at hand, Ryder boasted, “I could have easily done six months in the jungle.” Ryder wound up runner-up in the competition, which was taken out Stacey Solomon (who came third on the sixth series of The X Factor UK), and the pair bonded enough to consider recording a duet together. “We’re thinking Fairytale Of New York,” Ryder told BBC Breakfast of the duo’s intention to compete for Britain’s coveted Christmas number one spot. “We probably shouldn’t because the original is so good. But you can’t help meddling.” Fairytale Of New York was originally released in 1987 by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl and went to number one in Ireland and number two in the UK. The Ryder/Solomon version never materialised and this year’s Christmas number one went to the winner of the seventh series of The X-Factor – Matt Cardle from Essex with When We Collide (a version of Biffy Clyro’s Many Of Horror). Just missing out and coming in at number two was What’s My Name by Rihanna Feat Drake.

FUSE ADDITIONS Adelaide’s Fuse Festival industry conference has announced that Michael Chugg will join the event next year as a keynote speaker. He joins a line-up that also includes Vince Bannon and John Watson. Also announced are the Songwriting And Competition and Management master classes, the former to be held with David Bridie and the latter with a range of high profile managers. The master classes are on Wednesday 16 February, while the conference takes place Thursday 17 and Friday 18.


THE JUSTICE CREW The Access All Eras Conference – Sydney’s Seymour Centre Friday 25 and Saturday 26 February – have announced that Bliss N Eso have joined the Music & Social Justice Conference. Tickets are available now with a special price of $195 available until Friday.


There was a case of the punk attitude vs modern day regulations at the recent No Sleep Til festival’s Melbourne date, when much loved punk outfit The Descendents were wrapping up their set around the 10pm curfew. With an Australian audience and side of stage bands eager to hear more from the legendary outfit, NOFX’s frontman and Fat Wreck Chords head honcho Fat Mike offered to pay $5,000 towards the $20,000 penalty which was then matched by Frenzal Rhomb’s Lindsay McDougall. The Front Line believes that members of Dropkick Murphys, Alkaline Trio and The Descendents themselves ended up being part of the kitty – whether it be by voluntary choice or being side of stage whilst Fat Mike was on his ‘fundraising drive’. It’s unclear if any money ever changed hands. The scene was reminiscent of the whole tour, which saw most of the punk-orientated bands assemble at The Descendents’ set side of stage given this was their first Australian performance and first shows anywhere in a considerable time. When the band’s frontman Milo Aukerman lost his voice at the final Brisbane date, the show turned into karaoke with members of other bands (NOFX, Frenzal Rhomb, Dropkick Murphy’s, Alkaline Trio) jumping on stage to help out whilst Aukerman worked the crowd.

BEER GOGGLES As a partner of the Australian Music Prize, Coopers have launched a series of web episodes on CoopersTV that will follow the process of the competition from submission to final event. The first episode is up now at

MOVES AND SHAKES Amanda Harcourt will leave her post as Music Coordinator of the Bendigo Hotel at the end of the year to focus on her publicity business, Scarlet Fever. Guy Palermo will take over the duties.

COUNTRY KIDS The top 20 finalists for the Toyota Star Maker country music talent competition have been announced, the 32nd edition of the event to be awarded once again at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Finalists are Aaron Jury (New Zealand), Amanda Halloran (QLD), Angela Easson (SA), Cameron Cusack (NSW), Chris Matthews (WA), Damian Howard (Thornbury) David Agius (NSW), Elizabeth Papalia (QLD), Emma Kelly (Blackburn South), Fiona Fields (NSW), Holly Denton (WA), Jess Holland (NSW), Kaylee Bell, (New Zealand), Lachlan Bryan (South Melbourne), Louise Egan (NSW), Luke Dickens (NSW), Mitchell Steele (QLD), Natalie Brandt (NSW), PJ Gordon(NSW) and Rosemaree Dinaro (NSW). Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan have both been finalists previously.



Speaking to The Front Line, Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore has stressed that she has no plan to implement a lockout as a method of reducing alcoholfuelled violence, as has been tried or suggested in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. “It has never been put forward by us and it is simply not on the radar,” she said. The concept of a midnight lockout of venues is a common reaction to violence, but reports from trial periods in Melbourne and Newcastle have had negative receptions.

Born Don Glen Vliet January 15, 1941, Captain Beefheart died last week at the age of 69. The announcement was made last Friday at New York’s Michael Werner Gallery, where he exhibited much of his work after he gave up music to become a full-time painter after 1982’s Ice Cream For Cow. Vliet was a teenage friend of guitarist Frank Zappa (the two met after Vliet’s parents declined an offer of a European scholarship after he was described as a child prodigy by artists over there) and their career mirrored each other’s somewhat. After playing together in the ‘60s, the collaboration helped develop his four-and-onehalf-octave vocal range. His 1969 album Trout Mask Replica is considered both his masterpiece and one of wider music as well. The surreal and experimental 28-song album was supposedly written during the one day, while his band – Magic Band – rehearsed the material note for note for a year before touring it. Failing to chart and largely unnoticed by the public, Rolling Stone writer Langdon Winner called it, “the most astounding and important work of art ever to appear on a phonograph record,” in a 1970 edition. In a blog for the Wall Street Journal, composer, friend and colleague Gary Lucas wrote, “I will continue to spread the word, if only to remind people that once a true giant walked the earth.”

Mum Smokes

Hilltop Hoods pic by Kane Hibberd

NO METAMORPHOSIS NEW PROJECTS Distribution label Fuse have announced that they’ll be fulfilling those duties for Melbourne indie label Sensory Projects from the start of 2011. The label has already released records from Pivot, Rat Vs Possum and Mum Smokes, while they expect to have releases from Pets With Pets and Love Connection among others next year.


Voting for Triple J’s Hottest 100 kicked off this week and a representative from last year’s winning band, Ben Lovett from Mumford & Sons, called the station to kick off proceedings. The English folk poppers took out the primo posi in the Hottest 100 of 2009 with their hit single Little Lion Man and, making reference to this song, Lovett joked that the band will avoid swear words (“I really fucked it up this time”) in the choruses of their forthcoming material. “We’re writing our second album,” he told the station. “Been working on some stuff today. We’re all kind of doing it individually and then we’re going to get together in February and see where our heads are at. We thought we should take a couple of months out.” Mumford & Sons will release their debut Sigh No More set in the US early next year.



HOOD CALL Applications for the 2011 Hilltop Hoods Initiative, held in conjunction with APRA, have opened. Valued at $10,000 the grant is open to hip hop artists and groups who have not released an album professionally. Last year’s winner was Melbourne’s 1/6. Head to for full eligibility details and entry form, before registrations close Tuesday 22 February. The winner will be announced Thursday 31 March.

After selling out arenas around the country last week, Jon Bon Jovi has also been announced as Billboard’s top touring act for 2010 thanks to his The Circle tour. Starting in February, it has been seen by 1.5 million fans around the world and grossed $146 million. “We’ve had five albums in this decade, we’ve toured every one, and people came back every time,” he told Billboard. “It says something for the band and the production and the performance that people feel they’re getting their money’s worth, especially in this economic downturn… Numbers don’t lie.” In a big week, he has been tipped to join the White House Council on Community Solutions after American President Barack Obama announced intention to do so. His own foundation, Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, helps with affordable housing. He did miss out on a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction this week, however.

Cabaret venue The Butterfly Club has been sold into “safe hands,” it is claimed as the venue announced a change in ownership. Enter Closer Pty Ltd, led by Simone Pulga, have assumed ownership with Pulga saying in a statement, “I immediately recognised the important position The Butterfly Club holds in the industry, but also how much it is loved by audiences and performers… Therefore I plan no changes, except to build on the excellent work and reputation of the venue.”

TICKET TRADES After a Government inquiry decided that no action was needed in regards to ticket scalping in Australia, another tickets service has been launched. offers the ability to offload unwanted tickets to other punters looking to pick one up. As well as traditional funds it also offers creative solutions by offering tickets for a “challenge,” where tickets can be bought for a lift to the venue or buying dinner on the night. Claiming to actively discourage scalpers, the Brisbane-based enterprise (founded by events and marketing manager Rhonda Locke) is one of many trying to draw the online transfer of tickets away from established online auction sites.

Got news? Announcements? Gossip? Unsubstantiated but hilarious rumours? Send them all to




Chris Scaddan

Commercial radio are singing the praises of their medium at the end of the year. As radio evolves into the digital age, community stations are not that far behind, writes SCOTT FITZSIMONS. Commercial radio advertising pitches have received a boost for the new year with new figures from Commercial Radio Australia via the Nielsen Company showing that the cumulative audience per week was up 250,000 from 2009 at 9.19 million, continuing the steady growth of the medium over the last four years. Next year will be a challenge with the further introduction of digital radio across the format’s various levels, but given the strength of the year they’re claiming to be ready for whatever digital’s introduction means. “Revenue has rebounded quite well for radio,” Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia told Inpress. “We weren’t really affected by the GFC [global financial crisis], and were the least affected out of all media.” Warner says the way younger generations are taking to radio, an ‘old-world’ medium, is encouraging. “The reach into the younger age demographics is really good and that’s something we’ve got to consolidate next year.” It’s been a good year for radio across the board, including national youth broadcaster Triple J, whose average weekly reach is 1.4 million, a 12% increase on their previous year. Their website’s also operating strongly, with 700,000 visitors making six million page views per month. “If anything we’re going to continue that push into mobile platforms,” Chris Scaddan, Triple J’s manager says. “We’ve got an iPhone app, which will be launching early in the new year, which beyond offering radio streams will have lots of interactivity with the audience.” Also looking to upgrade already strong presences on social networking websites, Scaddan says it’s become part of their regular content-creation. “Maybe we think differently to other radio stations, commercial or community, but everything we do at Triple J is cross platform; we don’t do anything on radio without thinking about how it works online… We’ve done a lot of work, especially on our Hack program, the last couple of years to create true cross-media

reporting, through video packages and photo galleries, we’ve actually come along way in that regard.” On a community level, Brisbane’s 4ZZZ is in a far better position than it was five years ago, a position consolidated by the year past. Like commercial radio, they didn’t find the global financial downturn to be too problematic and it certainly didn’t threaten the station’s running. “In terms of our subscriptions and that side of it, it’s been really good,” says Giordana Caputo from the station’s management team. “This year we’ve actually seen a bit of an increase. Sponsorships are also up a bit from the year before.” And even though 4ZZZ saw a decline in donations this year subscriptions of bands and passionate subscriptions – members with a higher pay rate – have increased. Data surrounding digital radio is sparse at the moment – it’s unclear just how many listeners are buying digital units and how its introduction will affect the content on radio. It’s being driven by the top end of town and Warner, for one, hopes that it will increase the interactivity of the platform. Soft launches are expected to roll out early next year with solid plans laid following those tests – much like we’ve seen with the launch of digital television programs this year. In the case of 4ZZZ digital and online is already making changes around the station having “presented people with more opportunities to get involved in the station,” as Caputo says. “They can be writers for our blog or website and get involved in the digitalisation of our library. There’s a lot more work that needs to be done, so we need more volunteers, but people have really responded to that.” Sydney’s community station FBi will also follow the trend of developing their online presence and eventually move digital, themselves coming off a really strong year compared to recent times. The station was hit harder by the financial downturn than other

stations because of its larger percentage of corporate and industry sponsorship – so hard that it threatened the station’s operations and spawned the Save FBi campaign. “Fortunately, the way the community rallied around the cause we were able to get through that,” says Evan Kaldor, FBi’s general manager. “Things are still tough, but we’re in a better position to withstand it.” “Digital radio’s probably going to be the big thing that we’re going to focus on [next year], and explore and experiment with the programming on the digital channel,” says Caputo, “because we really want to not just simulcast our signal as it is, we want to create a new channel where we can actually have some programming happening… The move is towards 4ZZZ becoming a media organisation rather than just a radio station. We’ve already really upped our online presence

and crating a really cultural capacity here so we can do a lot more with the recourses that we have.” The same can be said for Triple J who, while embracing digital radio, will focus their main attention on strengths they already have. “The main thing we’re focused on continuing is in the areas of mobile, through apps and through our website and in the area of social media… Pushing content through those areas.” “People feel connected to the medium,” says Warner, “like they do to social media… And there’s a very high listenership across Australia. We’ve got to keep getting out the message to media buyers and advertisers.” That goal will be helped, presumably, when Commercial Radio Australia release further research early next year on radio engagement, that they claim proves radio holds listeners’ attention, even through advertisements.






Early bird tickets for next year’s Raggamuffin festival are on sale until Christmas Eve. Tickets to the event, staged at Melbourne Showgrounds on Saturday 29 January, are currently on sale from Ticketmaster for $119 and will go up to $129 on Christmas Day. Artists playing the festival include Mary J Blige, Jimmy Cliff, Maxi Priest, Sean Paul, The Original Wailers, Ky-Mani Marley, The Black Seeds and The Red Eyes.






The legendary doyen of big room house, Roger Sanchez, is on his way to thrown some epic club sets. Already locked in to headline the mammoth Hot Barbecue festival in the sunny seaside surrounds of the stunning Point Nepean in Portsea, Victoria, on Saturday 22 January, the ‘S Man’ (as he’s known and loved by diehard fans the world over) will give local house lovers a long overdue dose of his massive sounds and silky skills when he takes control of the booth at Rush in Geelong on Thursday 20 January and Trak on Friday 21 January. Rising through the ranks of the New York house scene in the early 1990s alongside the likes of Danny Tenaglia and David Morales, Sanchez’s trademark thumping tunes and exquisite party-time track selection have seen him play the planet’s hottest clubs, biggest festival stages and most iconic residencies. Sonny & The Sunsets












ENTRY $5, 8.30PM






ENTRY $5, 9PM $10 JUGS!



THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT With one hell of a 2010 under their belts, Brisbane’s Hungry Kids Of Hungary will extend the reach achieved on their recent sold-out Escapades tour and kick off their 2011 calendar with a string of summer festival dates as well hitting regional centres with specially selected supports in tow. They’re calling it the Everywhere Else tour. HKOH’s busy schedule since their inception in early 2009 has certainly started to pay off – single Coming Around laced alternative and commercial radio and TV nationwide while the album as a whole cemented the band as one of the country’s finest up-and-comers showcasing the band’s inherent skill for infectious hooks while ushering in the promised maturity of the sound. Upon its release it was awarded Triple J feature album in October, entered the ARIA album chart at number 23 (and number four on the iTunes chart) and is already garnering international attention. The band play the Westernport Hotel in San Remo on Friday 11 February, the Loft in Warrnambool on Saturday 12 February and the St Kilda Festival on Sunday 13 February.

Sonny & The Sunsets have just been added to next year’s Golden Plains line-up. That just about completes the musical entertainment element of the festival, with the keynote speaker still to be announced in the new year. The almost-complete line-up features Os Mutantes, Belle & Sebastian, The Hold Steady, Joanna Newsom, Best Coast, Hawkwind, Architecture In Helsinki, Wavves, The Clean, Jamie Lidell, Airbourne, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Middle East, Mount Kimbie, Boy & Bear, Robert Forster, The Besnard Lakes, Cosmic Psychos, Justin Townes Earle, J-Wow featuring Mc Kalaf, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Imelda May, Bamboo Musik DJs, Brain Children, Graveyard Train, World’s End Press and Magic Kids. Tickets are on sale now from select stores and The last few years the festival has sold out in January. Golden Plains is a premium festival experience held in the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre from Saturday 12 to Monday 14 March. The festival is purposefully a few thousand people smaller than her big sister Meredith, and is BYO, has no commercial sponsors or signage, a one stage policy, free camping and (usually) glorious, stable autumn weather.


The cream of Australian country music will share the stage on Saturday 22 January with Kasey Chambers, Graeme Connors and McAlister Kemp all confirmed to perform at the 39th Country Music Awards Of Australia in Tamworth. The genre’s biggest night will see the three join The McClymonts, Lee Kernaghan and Catherine Britt, all already announced, to perform at the event, which presents 13 Golden Guitar trophies to the industry’s best. Additional performers and presenters for the event will be confirmed and announced over the following weeks. For a full list of finalists, go to country. The 2011 Tamworth Country Music Festival will take place from Friday 14 to Sunday 23 January. Tickets to the awards are now on sale through Tourism Tamworth and can be purchased online at and over the phone on 02 6767 5300.

Mistletone’s long-lost seasonal parties make a comeback with Sunny Tones at the Tote on Saturday 5 March. Bid farewell to summer with a sun-spangled line-up featuring two of San Francisco’s finest: much-loved kaleidoscopic pop troubadour Kelley Stoltz, and the glam-garage, future-doo-wop sounds of Sonny & The Sunsets on their first Australian tour. Sonny & The Sunsets are bringing the good times and rollicking tunes from their recent RRR Album Of The Week, Tomorrow Is Alright, while Kelley Stoltz will be sharing songs and stories from his latest collection of pocket symphonies To Dreamers. They’ll be joined by a bevy of fun-loving locals including psych-rock guitar heroines Beaches, golden fuzz-rock duo Super Wild Horses, and a bunch more to be announced. Tickets are $25+BF and on sale now from the Tote front bar, Polyester, Missing Link and the Corner Hotel box office.


After a storming show at the East Brunswick Club on Sunday, local six-piece Graveyard Train will take their ghost stories, murder ballads and tales of redemption to the Happy Mondays Rooftop series next week. Armed with chains, washboards, steel guitars, banjos and harmonicas, they will be supporting blues/folk champion Charlie Parr on Monday 27 December on the Curtin House Rooftop. Other upcoming shows in the series include Neon Indian and Kyü on Monday 3 January, Sally Seltmann and Lawrence Arabia on Monday 10 January, The Middle East and Mountain Man on Monday 17 January (there’s only a handful of tickets left for this one), Mysterytone and ZSA Zsa on Monday 24 January and Robert Forster and The Twerps on Monday 31 January.

PEOPLE POWER One of the best feel-good bands of the summer, Foster The People are one of the hottest indie pop bands to emerge from Hollywood in 2010. With more than one million YouTube hits and an EP album due for release next month, Foster The People are bringing their music to Australia to show the people why their Viper Room shows are always sold out and why Mark Ronson is one of their biggest fans. Foster The People will play the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 16 February, with tickets on sale now through the Corner box office and




















Joe Bonamassa has brought searing electric blues rock back to its glory days, helping to redefine the genre in the process. His efforts has won him top honours on countless ‘guitarist of the year’ polls, number one status on the Billboard Blues chart, sold-out shows around the world and membership of new supergroup Black Country Communion. Bonamassa plays the Palais on Thursday 26 May.


The I Wanna Give It Tour will see two of Australia’s hottest metal acts, Resist The Thought and Buried In Verona, teaming up for a six-week trek around the country. Sydney’s Resist The Thought are most definitely a force to be reckoned with, fusing various styles of metal, death metal and hardcore elements. Fellow Sydneysiders Buried In Verona are one of our most promising hardcore acts – after releasing their second album, Saturday Night Sever, they have supported acts such as The Devil Wears Prada, Oh Sleeper, Soilwork and Evergreen. The bands play all ages shows at the National Hotel in Geelong on Saturday 15 January and at the Music Man Megastore in Bendigo on Sunday 16 January.


When Australia’s Greg Quill, founder and songwriter with influential 1970s Australia folk rockers Country Radio (Gypsy Queen, Wintersong, Fleetwood Plain), first shared a stage with award-winning Toronto-based poet and composer Jon Brooks at Toronto’s Hugh’s Room in 2008, it was immediately apparent to both performers that they shared a unique and profound commitment to songcraft. Quill’s songs are personal and often brittle narratives of love, loss, spiritual longing, separation and forgiveness, rooted in Australia’s folk ballad traditions, while Brooks’ songs are both topical – drawn from real events that forge larger allegories, voiced by authentic personalities – and timeless, culled from years wandering in war-ravaged, post-Soviet Europe and through the hard streets and troubled conscience of Canada’s new reality. Aztec Music will re-release Quill’s solo recordings and Country Radio’s back catalogue in 2011; before that Quill and Brooks team up to play the Newstead Folk Festival (Friday 21 to Monday 24 January), Spenserslive on Saturday 12 February and Burke & Wills Winery in Mia Mia on Sunday 13 February.


One of the most revered names in house music, Kaskade (AKA Ryan Raddon) has become the go-to producer for house classics and transforming pop hits (courtesy of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Timbaland) into dancefloor anthems. The San Fran native’s sixth studio album, fittingly titled Dynasty, is currently sitting in the top five downloaded albums on iTunes in North America (number one dance music album overall for four weeks straight). The man behind seminal hits Everything, Move For Me (feat Deadmau5) and It’s You, It’s Me plays at Riva in St Kilda on Wednesday 26 January.

AMANDA DOES OZ Renowned for pushing the boundaries and dubbed the Queen Of Punk Cabaret, Amanda Palmer is bringing her latest record, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, to Melbourne in February when she will perform at the Forum Theatre. Her album features a collection of both live and studio tracks which are infused with an antipodean theme, from berating her lover for his love of Vegemite to a song which celebrates a woman’s nether regions, Map Of Tasmania. Palmer is provocative, irreverent, controversial and, above all else, highly entertaining. She will be bringing her special brand of humour to the stage when she plays on Saturday 26 February at the Forum Theatre. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.


Born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Freq Nasty cemented his name globally when he relocated to London in the early ‘90s, signing with seminal UK label Botchit & Scarper in 1997, then later with Skint Records in 2003. Having released albums through both labels and a slew of cutting-edge 12” records, he went on to mix the Y4K and Breakspoll Presents compilations, as well as collaborating and remixing the likes of Fatboy Slim, Kelis, KRS One, Roots Manuva, Rodney P and reggae legend Junior Delgado. Wanting to make positive use of his profile, in 2007 he co-founded the site to help musicians and artists support causes they feel passionately about. Under the slogan Bringing Together Music & Love For Positive Change, the message is clearly catching on, with the likes of Damien Marley, Michael Franti and Bassnectar contributing to the cause. As part of Nasty’s upcoming Australian tour, will be offering exclusive VIP ticket packages that will benefit the music charity Musicians Making A Difference, with 100% of proceeds supporting an upcoming MMAD 351 Camp for at-risk youth. Since his last trip downunder, Nasty has kept the momentum up in the studio, releasing the crossover hit Creator, a collaboration with MIA producer Switch and NYC hipster Santigold, as well as his Fabriclive 42 mix CD. Nasty plays Trust Us at Brown Alley on Friday 31 December.


SOUL SURVIVOR Irma Thomas remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music who remains as compelling and powerful as ever. Thomas is responsible for recording some of the finest ever soul in the history of New Orelans music, including Time Is On My Side, later recorded by the Rolling Stones, Ruler Of My Heart and Breakaway. By the age of 19 Thomas had been married twice and had three children. She endured recording contracts where her recordings were ‘buried’ and mostly went unreleased and, despite constant touring she was unable to garner the crossover success of her contemporaries. Thomas’ luck changed when she met her present husband and manager, Emile Jackson, and returned to Louisiana to settle and open their own club – The Lion’s Den. Finally she was recognised with a Grammy nomination in 1991. Thomas was dealt another terrible blow when Hurricane Katrina destroyed her house, her nightclub and all her possessions. For a while it was thought she was lost in the floods as well, but luckily it turned out she was playing a show in Austin, Texas – and was safe and sound. Not only has Irma Thomas rebuilt her house, she has rebuilt her career and is enjoying a huge upswing in popularity. Now, heading to Australia on her first ever tour to play Bluesfest, Thomas has announced a Melbourne sideshow – catch her at the Corner Hotel on Wednesday 20 April.

After a successful single launch at the Evelyn, Black Devil Yard Boss are taking the stomp to Ruby’s Lounge in Belgrave on Friday 4 February. BDYB will be joined by some yet-to-be-announced rocking guests for one hell of a good time. Tickets on sale through


While he had his biggest hits in the ‘60s and ‘70s, US singer BJ Thomas has sold more than 70 million records across four decades and won a handful of Grammys. His signature hits include Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, Hooked On A Feeling, Eyes Of A New York Woman, Rock And Roll Lullaby and I Just Can’t Help Believing. Thomas plays the Palms at Crown on Saturday 12 March. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek.


A Gospel Celebration is sure to be one of the fastestselling of next year’s Bluesfest sideshows – the show will feature Blind Boys Of Alabama, with soul legend Aaron Neville along for the ride. A Blind Boys Of Alabama performance is an uplifting meld of gospel, blues and rock’n’roll. The Blind Boys were formed in the Alabama Institute For The Negro Blind more than 70 years ago and they haven’t stopped since, picking up five Grammys (including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award) along the way. They have shared the stage and collaborated with the finest musicians and songwriters including Lou Reed, Ben Harper, Tom Petty, John Fogerty, Peter Gabriel, Taj Mahal, Toots Hibbert, Randy Travis, Bonnie Raitt, Solomon Burke (RIP), Susan Tedeschi, Charlie Musselwhite, Asleep At The Wheel, KD Lang and Prince. If the Blind Boys joined by Neville wasn’t enough, R&B/gospel queen Mavis Staples (herself a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner and of the 100 greatest singers of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine) has been enlisted to open proceedings. It all happens at the Palais on Wednesday 20 April.

FIELD OF DREAMS If you haven’t heard of Stonefield yet, now is the time to pay attention. These four sisters from the Victorian hills have been creating quite a following with their soulful, ‘70’s rock’n’roll sound. After taking out the title for Triple J’s Unearthed High competition, they wowed the crowd at Perth’s One Movement festival and have since been receiving high levels of airplay for Through The Clover and Foreign Lover, from their debut EP album, Through The Clover. The girls are now ready to rock the stage at the Tote in the new wear, with a residency that will see them performing each Thursday in February. Joining them on the stage will be Immigrant Union, a new Melbourne-based project from The Dandy Warhols’ drummer, Brent DeBoer. This will be the last chance that Aussie fans will have to see the girls before they head overseas to play at Glastonbury and Great Escape, two of the most renowned festivals in the UK. Stonefield will also be performing at the Pyramid Rock Festival and at the St Kilda Festival on Sunday 13 Feburary.


Melbourne’s very own Illy has been making waves on the music scene since the release of his remarkable sophomore album, The Chase, which was selected as Triple J’s feature album in the first week of its release. Fresh from touring nationally on the Groovin The Moo Festival circuit and a string of sell-out performances across the country, Illy is now set to kick off the new year with a bang, performing a one-off show in the Espy front bar on New Year’s Day. Entry is free.


At 35, Altiyan Childs was working as a forklift driver and had all but given up hope of becoming a musician – but that was before he became the winner of the 2010 series of The X-Factor. His debut album is out now and features the songs performed throughout his time on the show, as well as his hit single Somewhere In The World. Now Childs is proving the extent of his popularity, with tickets to his show on Saturday 5 March at the Palms At Crown selling so fast that organisers have added a second Melbourne show. Childs will now also perform a second show at the same venue on Friday 4 March, with special guest performances from his fellow X-Factor finalists Luke & Joel. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek.




Snoop Dogg


Since releasing his debut EP, Lost In The Moment, in October, Daniel Lee Kendall has been receiving positive and encouraging responses from both fans and media alike. Featured as a Triple J Unearthed competition winner and Next Crop Artist, Lost In The Moment is still being played regularly on Triple J and other community radio stations. Now he’s preparing to embark on the One For The Road Tour with two truly seasoned performers, Old Man River and Passenger. The three young talented performers will be bringing their stripped-back solo shows to the stage just as summer comes to a close, performing at the East Brunswick Club on Friday 25 February. If you’re a lover of music that combines songs with storytelling then this event is not to be missed. Tickets are available now through the Corner box office and the East Brunswick Club.


SUPA SNOOP In its inaugural year, the Supafest urban festival drew more than 65,000 punters around the country. The headliners for the 2011 event have just been unveiled, with hip hop legend Snoop Dogg topping the bill. In a musical career spanning more than two decades, the rapper has sold tens of millions of albums worldwide, forged an acting career and featured in his own reality show. Also performing will be Nelly, a singer who has notched up 18 top 20 singles in Australia, including three number ones. Billboard magazine named the Grammy-winning artist their third biggest artist of the 2000s. Others named in the first artist announcement were Taio Cruz and Bow Wow, with four more international acts still to come. Supafest hits Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday 17 April, with doors opening at midday. General admission Tickets are $125 and Jive Bling Ring passes are $169 from Ticketek.

Legendary Sydney-based experimental jazz trio The Necks will be returning to Melbourne in January to play three special, fully-seated shows at the Corner Hotel. These three musicians are among the most respected and in demand in Australia, with music that explores every field from pop to avant-garde. They are renowned for their live performances, which feature pieces up to an hour in length which slowly unravel as each musician joins in playing, creating an intoxicating sound, underpinned by a deep insistent groove. The Necks will play the Corner Hotel on Monday 10, Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 January. Keep in mind that seating is not allocated and tickets generally sell fast, so get in quick to avoid disappointment. Tickets are on sale now for $26+BF from or from the Corner box office.

RETURN TO FOREVER LINE-UP CHANGE Return To Forever are renowned as one of the greatest and definitive jazz fusion groups of all time. They’ve been around for more than 40 years, regularly re-forming as a group to return to the stage and this time around they are combining elements of their rich history with their exciting vision of the jazz future. Return To Forever have always had a few changes to group members and when they embark for their Hymn Of The Seventh Heaven tour, they will have on-board the fiery-fingered Australian guitarist, Frank Gamble, to replace Bill Connors who is unable to perform due to illness. The reunited line-up of jazz legends will perform for almost three hours in Melbourne at the Regent Theatre on Friday 11 February. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.

KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ After sharing the stage countless times, and performing on each other’s Grammy-nominated albums in 2009, formidable husband-and-wife duo Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi joined forces this year for some special dates with an amazing group of friends. Individual virtuosos in their own right, together they blaze a soaring mix of material from their own albums plus new and borrowed songs – all re-worked into a tour de force of rock and blues. With funk/soul pedal steel master guitarist Robert Randolph and his Family Band in support, Trucks and Tedeschi play the Palace on Friday 22 April. Tickets go on sale Monday.


ST 27 ART /1 S 2








and guests

No brainers and guilty pleasures


FREE ENTRY! - From 6.30pm

FREE ENTRY - From 11.30pm

FREE ENTRY - From 9pm


w/ Dr Phil Smith




Tickets $10 + BF / $15 with CD on door

All presale tickets available through MOSHTIX: Phone: 1300 GET TIX (438 849) on-line:, or at all Moshtix outlets, (Fitzroy & City ) including Polyester

with 1928 (STROBE)



5pm til 3am on weeknights and 5am on the weekend

A Day On The Dam is an exciting new event being presented by the people behind the Apollo Bay Music Festival and will feature a stellar line-up of some of the festival’s finest acts over an afternoon in the idyllic setting of the Otway Estate & Brewery in Barongarook, around two hours outside Melbourne. Adjoining the Otway State Forest, the estate is built around a vineyard of 16 acres with magnificent views and all, of course, overlooking the dam. Entertainment will kick off at noon, featuring performances by Shane Howard, Spyndrift, Los Locos, David Hosking, Zeptepi and The Tiger & Me. For those travelling to the event by train, there will be a courtesy shuttle to provide transfers to and from Colac station. Tickets for the event are available now from Moshtix.

Canadian one-man band Mark Sultan, best known as BBQ, is returning to Australian shores in February armed with his unmistakable hybrid of soul/punk/ doo-wop/garage/rock. Having toured Australia in June as half of The King Khan & BBQ Show, Sultan will return to Australia as a solo performer and one-man band for the first time. Playing tracks from his latest album, $, as well as favourites from his back catalogue, Sultan wields an electric guitar, a bass and snare drum attached to his feet while singing simultaneously. Sultan plays the Tote on Saturday 12 February with MOTO, The UV Race and Rodney & The Rumours; the Nash in Geelong on Thursday 17 February with Frowning Clouds and Town Hall; and Yah Yah’s on Saturday 19 February with guests to be announced. From North and South America to Israel and Japan via Africa and back, Sultan has toured the world with bands like Black Lips, King Khan & The Shrines and Vivian Girls, just to name a few. Now it’s Australia’s turn.



Thai dinner & supper




w/ AndyBlack & Haggis

w/ Andee Frost

FREE ENTRY - From 12 Midnight SE SAT FRI 31 DECEMBER FALLI ST NG ! The House deFrost present


(Blackcock / Sarcastic Disco)

with DJ Garth & Andee Frost NYE Spectacular Tickets $65 + BF / More on the door

SE SUN 16 JANUARY FALLI ST NG Handsome Tours, Inpress, 3RRR present !

This weeks theme: CHRISTMAS FREE ENTRY - In the Carriage



Tickets $10 + BF / 12 on door




Penny Drop and 3RRR presents,




Tickets $10 on the door

Tickets $38 +BF

Tickets $42 +BF / More on the door

Tickets $12 +BF / 12 on door





The House deFrost present

Penny Drop and 3RRR presents,






Tickets $38 +BF

Tickets 12 +BF / More on the door

Tickets $42 +BF / More on the door






WED 19 JANUARY Slow Clap presents,





Rites Of Passage is a brand new festival that celebrates creativity as a means to connect through the art of tattoo, music, visual and performance art, dance and environmental awareness. More than 250 tattoo artists from around the globe will feature at the event, held at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton garden from Friday 28 until Sunday 30 January. A huge line-up of musicians has also been assembled, including Dallas Frasca, Bomba, Tijuana Cartel, Snowdroppers, Spencer P Jones, Mihirangi, Abbie Cardwell, Rapskallion, Bertie Page Clinic, Jordie Lane, El Moth, Jess Mcavoy, Steve Smyth, Ben Smith with more to be announced.


This January, two of Brisbane’s finest indie performers, Dan Parsons and Steve Grady, will be joining forces to embark on the 50 First Dates tour, a tour with a twist. Instead of touring the big cities and playing at the most popular venues, this road trip is aimed at visiting the lesser known halls and public bars of 50 of Australia’s lesser known and far flung towns. The pair both have their own debut albums and, although they have worked together frequently over the years, have never released an album together. So Parsons and Grady have decided to release a limited run of a collaborative CD which will be available only at the shows. Dan Parsons and Steve Grady are booked for seven Victorian shows in March so far, with more likely to be announced in early January. The pair will perform a free show on Thursday 3 March in Sale at Jack Ryan’s Irish Pub, followed by paid shows on Friday 4 March at Kay St in Traralgon, Friday 11 March at the Barwon Club in Geelong and Saturday 12 at Baby Black Cafe in Bacchus Marsh, followed by another free show on Sunday 13 March at the Great Ocean Hotel in Apollo Bay. Tickets for the paid shows are available from for $8 pre-sale or $10 on the door.


MEN TO BE Music fans should be familiar with Pure Pop Records in Barkly Street, St Kilda, and their famous beer garden gigs, which have hosted local artists such as Conway Savage, Charles Jenkins, Tim Rogers, The Gin Club, Halfway, Steve Kilbey and Kate MillerHeidke, amongst others. Their intimate stage has also hosted international artists including Barry Adamson, Academy Award winners The Swell Season, Charlie Parr and Dean & Britta (Luna/ Galaxie 500) over the past five years. The courtyard is only licensed for 50 bodies at a time and gigs have to end early, due to the council’s curfew – so, with that in mind, store owners Dave Stevens and Elaine May have decided to expand for one night only and hold a gig featuring their favourite musicians at the Prince Bandroom. They invited the entire Pure Pop mailing list to help them name the show and the winning entry was Pop Goes The Curfew. Headlining the show are The Men, a mod outfit from Lund, Sweden and the first artists ever to record on the Pure Pop label in 2003. Also on the bill are Gun Street Girls and Pony Face with special performances by Tim Rogers, Charles Jenkins, Jeff May, Ryan Coffey, Hugh of The Skybombers and Heath and Alex of Dirt River Radio. Musicallyoriented comedy duo Anyone For Tennis will host the night. Tickets for the night are on sale now from Pure Pop, and au for $20+BF.

Brisbane rock trio Numbers Radio and Melbournebased Cola Wars (ex-Bodyjar) have joined forces and are hitting the road together this January and February for their Escape The Daily Grind tour. After releasing their debut album Invader this year, Cola Wars have been busy touring with USA metal gods CKY as well as Behind Crimson Eyes, plus smashing out their own headline shows across Australia. On the back of some compelling reviews and stellar live performances, Cola Wars have picked up a string of glowing reviews. Numbers Radio, meanwhile, have been relishing the success of new single Final Day on Triple J. It has been a busy end to 2010, having just unpacked the tour van after completing their own national headline tour, launching new EP Final Day, plus a six-week stint touring with Calling All Cars across Australia. The bands play Bended Elbow in Geelong on Thursday 3 February, the Pelly Bar in Frankston on Friday 4 February and Bang at the Royal Melbourne Hotel on Saturday 5 February.


This Australia Day – otherwise known as Survival Day – Australian Indigenous culture and music will be celebrated at the annual Share The Spirit Festival. Presented by Songlines Aboriginal Music Corporation and the City Of Melbourne, Share The Spirit will showcase some of Victoria’s finest Indigenous talent as well as interstate guests all of whom will entertain in the true spirit of reconciliation. The day offers non-stop music from artists such as Dave Arden, Lady Lash, Zennith, OKA, Maza Sisters, Wurundjeri Dancers, Songlines Youth Choir, Songlines Hip Hop Dance Group, Brolga Boys, Jake & The Cowboys with MC Sherilee Hood. Share the Spirit will also host community market stalls where Indigenous artists and designers from all over Victoria will be selling locally made crafts and gifts. There will also be a dedicated kids area filled with Indigenous crafts, face painting, circus activities and the popular hip hop dance workshops. It all takes place in Treasury Gardens on Wednesday 26 January from 1pm.

SHOUT OUT NOT SO LOUDS The charm of a Melbourne summer has lured Shout Out Louds’ Adam Olenius, Carl Von Arbin and Eric Edman to play a not-so-secret but oh-sointimate show at the Grace Darling on Wednesday 5 January. With the full band’s appearance at the East Brunswick Club on Monday 3 January all but sold out, these three Swedish pop perfectionists will deliver a special alternative set for the wistfully devoted and newly seduced. Touring Australia in support of their new release Work, a strictly limited amount of tickets to the Shout Out Louds are on sale via Moshtix at 9am Tuesday 21 December. Doors open at 8pm.


Though Wagons have been relatively quiet on the local front of late, much has been going on behind the scenes and offshore. Wagons have been touring as far and wide as the US, UK and Vietnam as well as spending a lot of time in the studio finishing album number five, set for release on Spunk/EMI in April/May 2011. With this in mind, the band have announced a very special show on Friday 4 March at the Corner Hotel, celebrating the release of the first single from the new album, as well as honouring the first ever release of Wagons’ 2009 Goodtown album on vinyl, which is limited to just 300 copies. It will be the first full Wagons band show of 2011. Following the gig, the band will be straight off to North America to play SXSW and Canadian Music Week.


This summer Promoe & Cosmic, founding members of the infamous Looptroop Rockers (formally known as Looptroop), embark on an Australian tour. Hailing from Sweden, Looptroop have enjoyed more than 15 years as the most prominent hip hop group in Europe. In 2001 Promoe released his first solo album, Government Music, and has since released four successful LPs on his own and three others with Looptroop Rockers. Beginning his rap career at the age of 15, Promoe is a highly skilled MC. His underground hip hop, flavoured with Jamaican and dancehall influences, is often political and always personal. In Australia he received acclaim for his single These Walls Don’t Lie, inspired by the death of Aussie graffiti artist Bingo in 2004. Cosmic will join Promoe as his DJ, as well as bringing his own skills to the mic. For the pair, music is about communicating what’s going on in the world. They now bring their powerfully crafted show to connect with audiences all over Australia. They play the Espy front bar on Friday 7 January – entry is free.


When it comes to Detroit hip hop, you don’t get much better than the incredible Guilty Simpson and Phat Kat and they’re both headed our way early next year to lay down some knowledge for us all. Guilty Simpson is known as one of the more creative MCs in the game and his unique style has won him a lot of fans and earned him a lot of very cool collaborations, including working alongside Eminem, D12, J-Dilla, Slum Village and Black Milk. He’s about to drop his third record on the Stones Throw label and we’ll no doubt hear plenty of tracks from it when he’s out here early in the new year. His buddy Phat Kat kicked off in the mid-’90s with his 1st Down group, but his 2007 effort Carte Blanche really established him as his own man. He’s got his Katakombz record ready to drop but is going to give us all a taste in the live arena before it goes out to the wider public. Both of these iconic hip hop heroes are dropping by the Hi-Fi on Friday 21 January with support from M-Phazes, Aux-One and Aoi. Pre-sales are $45+BF from Moshtix and the venue.



Push Over is Victoria’s longest running all-ages music festival and on Sunday 13 March it will be returning to Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent with thrilling beats firing across four stages from artists such as Anchors, Break Even, Children Collide, Deez Nuts, Dream On Dreamer, House Vs Hurricane, Howl, I Exist, Illy, Last Dinosours, Metals, Oh Mercy, 1/6 featuring MzRizk, Owl Eyes, Stonefield, The Red Shore, The Storm Picturesque, The Tongue, Trainwreck and more. The event will also showcase some of the finest young Victorian talent in the FreeZA Push Start Battle Of The Bands Grand Final, with nine bands from across the state set to battle it out on stage to be crowned the 2010-11 series winner. The Push It Hip Hop MC & Breakin’ Battles competition will also be held on the day, with spots still available for those wanting to register, so head to for more information. Push Over is a fully supervised drug/ alcohol/smoke-free event. Tickets are on sale now for $30+BF from Ticketek, Oztix and Moshtix.

Legendary Bronx MC/producer Lord Finesse was best known as the founder of the DITC crew, but has since gone on to work with such names as Handsome Boy Modelling School, Notorious BIG, QBert and Jazzy Jay to name just a few. As impressive as all of this is, there’s no doubt that Lord Finesse is best known for one solitary line; it was he who uttered “Right about now, the funk soul brother/Check it out now, the funk soul brother” on Fatboy Slim’s huge track The Rockafeller Skank. But he’s coming to Australia next week to prove to us that he is still one of the best – he plays First Floor on New Year’s Eve.



Few bands have been as heavily hyped in 2010 as SLEIGH BELLS, the NY-based noise-pop duo who’ve ridden a wave of blogosphere buzz all the way into the US Top 40. Singer ALEXIS KRAUSS details their rapid ascent to ANTHONY CAREW.


ype has been good for our band,” admits Alexis Krauss, singer for New York-based noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells. And, well, yes, yes it has. The duo – Krauss and Derek Miller; she on vocals, he on everything else – have been riding a wave of buzz bordering on hysteria. Since ‘breaking out’ at 2009’s CMJ Music Conference, Sleigh Bells have gone from completely anonymous to something rather resembling leftfield pop stars, not to mention collaborating with a bonafide pop star in MIA, on her maligned /\/\/\Y/\ LP. All thanks to hype. “It was what put us on the map,” says Krauss, 25, talking on the phone from somewhere in the middle of the Eastern California desert, where the band are filming the video for their cruisy, summery-hip hop-type jam Rill Rill Rill.. “The internet did wonders for us. We were able to just release our demos and build a following before we had a record label, or management, or had even finished making a proper record.” “It was surreal just how quick it was,” Krauss continues. “But, Derek and I both had experience in the music business and we both knew the importance of keeping hype in perspective. Because, as quickly as the hype may rise, it may fall. And if your music is that ephemeral and is that subject to trend and hype then you have to wonder if it’s music really worth creating. Music should be able to last, to pass certain tests of time, and certainly it should be able to survive a hype cycle. We were pretty confident in the record that we were making, that it could make it through all that bullshit.” Miller’s and Krauss’s musical histories were stylistically dissimilar, but both had experienced toiling for a semi-disinterested major label, being perceived as failures thereby, and that feeling of powerlessness and defeat that comes with attempting to rage against the machine. Miller spent seven years and three albums playing in Florida hardcore combo Poison The Well, whose (failed) attempt to cross over from a grassroots punk band via signing to Atlantic created plentiful band tension, leading to Miller quitting in 2004. Krauss, who grew up on the Jersey shore the daughter of a musician and an actress, yearned to be on Broadway from the moment she came out of the womb, and at ten started working “professionally” in commercials and catalogues. “You have to deal with a lot of rejection, and you have to deal with a lot of criticism, and you’re certainly put in social situations that are way more challenging than those for quote-unquote ‘normal’ kids,” she says. By her teenage years, Krauss was playing in a contrived combo called Rubyblue; essentially a multi-cultural (The blonde! The brunette! The black one! The Asian!), all-girl Hanson for tweens. Krauss’s adolescent experiences in the pop music sausage factory were so disheartening she quit music.

Krauss was a 23-year-old elementary school teacher (“I had every intention of staying in the classroom and developing a career in education,” Krauss says) when, in Sleigh Bells’ meet-cute moment, she was out to dinner with her mother at a Brazilian restaurant, Miss Favela, in Brooklyn’s hipster mecca Williamsburg. Mama Krauss got talking to the waiter about their shared Floridian backgrounds, and, before you knew it, she was volunteering her daughter to sing on the new tracks he was making. Miller was working on really loud, overdriven, supersaturated jams; which attempted to marry the booming bottom-end of R&B club stompers with super-lo-fi production, making for pop music blistered by withering distortion. Throwing Krauss’s voice into the mix made the marriage perfect: the band, at essence, equal parts punk and polish, discordance and melody. There have been roughly a billion tepid guy-producer/ girl-singer projects over the past couple of decades – think the dire trip hop era, then shudder – but the freshly minted Sleigh Bells were anything but generic, owing a debt to MIA, Crystal Castles and early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but very much their own thing.

People are always scrambling for the right title. The question always seems to be: where do they fit?”

“Derek and I had every intention of making music that was different to the music currently being made,” Krauss offers. “We felt like it was important to use our talents in ways that were creative and innovative and interesting, and really worth people’s time. It was important to us to have a new, interesting sound.” The first song they ever recorded together was Infinity Guitars, which effectively set the blueprint for the Sleigh Bells sound. Whilst Miller bashes his Akai Beatstation until its ear-bleeding beats crumble into fuzz, Krauss wails, caterwauls and sweetly coos. The glorious noisiness played even better on another early cut, Crown On The Ground, both of which appeared on the demo CDR that was disseminated into infinity on the internet in the absence of a real release; and, then, eventually, on the band’s debut album, 2010’s Treats. “We were immediately drawn to the play, the push and pull, between the pop and the noise, the soft and the harsh, the quiet and the loud; this use of dynamics that we were exploring,” Krauss offers. “The conflict between the harshness and the poppiness was the idea we found most interesting. I was very comfortable with singing pop music, but heavier, harsher music was more of a challenge to me. The more we started working together, it became about playing with those different elements.” But, Krauss admits, the things that essentially constitute the Sleigh Bells sound – “the distortion and the volume, the poppy vocals mixed with these harsh, overdriven, blown-out beats” – came about as a kind of blessed accident. “The fact that everything’s so blown out, and

the distortion on the volume, those things came about as a result of inadequate equipment and forcing levels up into the red and trying to mask the shitty quality of the beat stations that we were using,” she explains. “There were a lot of accidents, but, ultimately, the accidents were the things we were most interested in holding onto.” Enlivened by their songs, Krauss committed to the project – “for me to quit this career and re-dedicate myself to music was a huge gamble,” Krauss says, “but, it just felt right to come back to music; once a singer, always a singer” – and Sleigh Bells were all-in. Then CMJ happened, and this project, merely a few months old, had the kind of crazy pop-cultural omnipresence that can’t ever been contrived. “Obviously everything happened very quickly for us,” Krauss says, “so we’ve felt really embraced by a large amount of people in a short amount of time.” That embrace – that hype – led to, at first, tours with Major Lazer and Yeasayer, and, then, the duo being booked for a host of big-stage summer festival shows. Treats debuted in the US Top 40 on its May debut (released, in part, by MIA’s record-label NEET). And, all the while, they were heavily hyped as one of 2010’s hot new bands, their merits – and their singular sound – duly debated via the ever-squabbling discourse of the digital realm.


Hype, once a tenuous, nebulous concept one could define only with that old Potter Stewart “I know it when I see it” maxim, has now become, in a digital era alive with the catalysing power of social media, weirdly tangible. The Hype Machine’s chart effectively condenses current trends and, well, Rupert Murdoch didn’t buy MySpace as grand data-mining mechanism for nothing. Still, even if hype isn’t entirely concrete, it’s become more and more defiantly present: forever there, and very much unavoidable. Except that, now, hype isn’t as much the product of major label marketing teams but thousands of bloggers who, having grown up in an advertising-saturated era, naturally write in the same kind of hyper-capitalist cant as major label marketing teams. Blog buzz was once a euphemism for bands who were considered cool in some quarters but were essentially unpopular; the new-millennial equivalent of ‘critically acclaimed’. Now, it’s a sure path from obscurity to success and, in 2010, these were the bands that rode a wave of hype to bonafide crossover success. Best Coast

Surfer Blood

“I think people are always scrambling for the right title, the right description, the right genre,” says Krauss. “The question always seems to be: where do they fit? When, ideally, as an artist, you’d like to not fit in anywhere, to be pigeonholed so easily. I think the majority of the people who listen to us will understand that we’re a band, and we’ve just made our first record, and that we have a long time to explore different sounds and different ideas. “I know that, inevitably, there will be people who hate on the next record because it doesn’t sound exactly like Treats, or adhere to this formula they have for us in their minds. But, I think, moreso than most bands, we’ve been able to elude that box, even though I just mentioned it! We feel a little less limited by perception and genre, per se. We still haven’t been able to think of a way to succinctly describe our music, so good luck to anyone else.” After their first tour/s to Australia and Japan, Sleigh Bells will set to work on their second LP. Krauss is clearly already thinking about it, and already hoping to redefine what her band is. The plan, again, is to embrace the accidental. “When you rely on formula, on what you’re used to, you don’t have that same excitement, that same freshness invading your music,” she says. “Going into the second record, we expect that there will be accidents, but they’ll just be different ones. And that’s exactly what we’re hoping for. We want to challenge ourselves to think outside or our own box, to make music that we don’t think sounds like a Sleigh Bells song, but ultimately ends up being one.” And the hype? Sleigh Bells have been working to combat that since well before Treats even came out. Touring, making a follow-up LP, evolving; these are all ways of denying that perception they were some flash-in-the-pan; forever that band from, like, December 2009. “Since then,” states Krauss, “our task has been to push past that, to become something that people perceive not just as a buzz band, but as a band that’s actually relevant, and is here to stay, and progress, and do what other good bands do.”

WHO: Sleigh Bells WHAT: Treats (Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Friday 7 January, Prince Bandroom


Our cover stars were unheard-of until October 2009’s CMJ, yet, the explosive hype that greeted their performances – and the six-song CDR demo MediaFired into infinity – had them working with MIA mere months later. Even though they didn’t issue anything official until their debut LP Treats – which was kept under wraps and unleaked right to its release date – file-sharing and hype-mongering had Sleigh Bells primed to hit the ground running.


In 2009, Bethany Cosentino’s Best Coast project was often referred to as the work of a “former member of Pocahaunted”, something that seems comic now. After ditching drone for fuzzy, lo-fi, summery pop, Cosentino’s run of brilliantly-melodic singles – Sun Was High (So Was I), That’s The Way Boys Are, When I’m With You – led to a debut LP, Crazy For You, that crashed the Billboard charts and was a Vampire Weekend-esque divisive-debate-starter for hipsters everywhere. Cosentino’s star also rose on the back of a popular Twitter feed, which speaks volumes re: humanity circa 2010.


The noisy-’90s indie rock revival had long been looming with depressing inevitability, and fresh-faced Florida boys Surfer Blood finally cracked it for genuine crossover. Taking their cues from Dinosaur Jr, Superchunk, Weezer et al, the crew cranked out quiet-to-loud rock songs built on superfuzzed guitar hooks. The predictable Pitchfork 8.2 led to blanket indie acclaim, but, by the end of 2010, the SB bros were signed to Warner Bros and cemented as outdoor-festival staples for years to come.


The very idea of The Drums would’ve been laughable but a few years ago: a twee-pop boy band. Friends of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and proud public proponents of the genius of twee’s hyper-meek heroes The Field Mice, The Drums, nevertheless, were a carefully-sculpted studio concoction whose heavy-on-the-playback live shows essentially resembled a form of karaoke. Killer pop songs, though.


The career trajectory of Hurts unfolded perfectly: at first they were a mysterious band made up of two gents with sharp haircuts; nothing known about them other than what they looked like. This image was indivisible from the music itself: Hurts earnestly, apingly recreating Spandau Ballet-esque ’80s synth-pop for the ’10s. Their debut LP, the top-ten-throughout-the-EU Happiness, turned out to be the artistic equivalent of a haircut: stylised, worn as a kind of guise, supposedly important, yet essentially meaningless. Anthony Carew


DEEP THOUGHT NERD’s new album is time-capsule-worthy, a philosophical PHARRELL WILLIAMS and SHAY HALEY tell TOM HAWKING.


harrell Williams stretches back in his chair and smiles at Inpress. “Not to be philosophical,” he says quietly, “but everything starts from nothing.” We’ve just asked him how exactly an artist who has sold untold millions of records goes about “scrapping everything and starting with nothing,” which is apparently the concept behind NERD’s new album. The album, appropriately enough, is entitled Nothing. Inpress informs Williams that we are very much in favour of philosophising and invites him to do so to his heart’s content. “Well,” he says, “Okay, think about it – the planet, before the Big Bang, what was there? Nothing. And then there were these species, these organisms turning from single cells into actual species and then God, AKA the universe, saw fit for there to be man. And when he brought us here, obviously, we needed a woman. So obviously, what are we without women? Whether you like

them or you don’t, what are we without women? Nothing.” NERD, it should be said at this point, love women. Yes indeedy. Actually, later in this interview, as the conclusion to an interesting tangent regarding a website called Kidult – a news and views website that Williams founded to provide teenagers with a news source focused on their demographic – he sums up his views on how politics and current affairs play a part in his band’s lyrics as follows: “This album touches on those issues. It was like, ‘Well guys, this is what we see is going on [now].’ And we chose to discuss these [via] women. That’s like, our thing. That’s a big part of our fanbase. Everything from the iPad to the oil spills… We don’t talk about those things, but we are giving people a snapshot, an audio snapshot, so they can say, ‘I remember when that was going on.’” The idea of capturing the zeitgeist, but doing so without any overt politicisation or proselytisation, seems to be an important one for Nothing. From what we’d heard of the album – the secrecy surrounding this release was impressive even by the paranoid standards of the major label, and as such, Inpress still hadn’t actually heard the whole thing – Nothing is a relatively party-friendly and slap-happy kinda record. Quietly spoken vocalist Shay Haley, to whom Williams refers lyrics-related questions, says that it’s something of a band motto that “issues” are never addressed in a direct lyrical manner. “No,” he says. There’s a long pause. “I mean, you know, NERD has always, like Pharrell said, somehow talked about issues up to date. When we did Lap Dance, I mean, it was a metaphor. When you first listened, you thought it was a strip club record. But when people started listening, people know that there is an underlying meaning behind the record. That’s when listeners started to look at it beyond face value. It’s the same as this record. We have songs like Life As A Fish, which we recorded months ago, way before the oil leak. But ironically it’s like a song that has something to do with what’s going on.” This concept is echoed by Williams: “You know, you can listen to the first NERD album and say where you were [when you heard it], because it marks a moment – if you listened to it, if you were a fan. But this album we feel is time capsule-worthy. You listen to it and you get a perspective on what was going on versus having to ask an individual, ‘Where were you when this came out?’ This album documents [its context].” It’s an interesting idea, that of trying to capture the ambience of an era rather than trying to recreate it with direct lyrical references to contemporary events. But then, Pharrell’s a thinker. And he’s a charmer; a courteous, eloquent and charming interviewee, and one who’s very good at controlling – very discreetly – the direction of the discussion. For instance, apropos of our discussion about politics, we ask him how effective he thinks music can be in effecting social change. This is what he has to say on the matter: “Oh, music can always bring about change. Music has been here since the beginning of time. Your body naturally has rhythms. There’s something called a pulse – you count it. There’s your heartbeat. Rhythm is in everything, because numbers are in everything. You have two eyeballs, two nostrils, two ears… Life as we know it is dictated and measured in numerology. So music in itself is the recognition of rhythms – whether intended, or if you just go outside and listen to the sound pollution of the taxis and the pigeons and the people walking by. It’s all music. So since the beginning of time, it’s always been with us. Sometimes it’s just been for reflection, or to teach ritual; other times it’s like rain dances, praying for things.” He speaks with an easy, measured rhythm. It’s almost like he’s giving a speech. He would, Inpress thinks to itself, make a hell of a good politician. This, we should clarify, is a compliment, not a snide comment; Williams is clearly sharp as a tack, and comes across as a genuinely pleasant person. And he’s no one’s fool. Not for a minute. Meanwhile, he’s continuing: “I don’t think that’s changed today – people make songs about reflection; people make songs about what they want in the future, like John Lennon’s Imagine, right down to songs that just describe a moment, like when a girl is in the club and she’s having a good time, you know, she wants to be hot, she wants to be fun. We have songs like that as well. So yes, music can effectuate culture in many different ways.” It has to be said though, it’s difficult to reconcile all this deep thinking with what we’ve heard of Nothing so far. At the conclusion to first single Hot-N-Fun, for instance, Williams suggests that, “People don’t want to think/They just want to feel.” Does he really believe that’s the case? “Yes sir,” he says, leaning forward and looking intently at Inpress. “Don’t you? Aren’t you tired of thinking about all the BS that’s happening right now?” Not really, to be honest, we say. It’s important to think about these things. “Well,” he says quickly, “as a journalist, I’m sure you feel the need and the compulsion to explain and help people take it to the next level. But at a certain point, man, it just gets exhausting, right? I mean, could you watch the news day in and day out?” He waits for a moment. “I mean, you could, you’re addicted to it, when you get the chance, but… I don’t know. You tell me. Don’t you just want to break and sit back and feel for a second?” Inpress concedes that this may be the case. Sometimes. “Right.” Williams smiles and chuckles. “Right.” The brightest man in hip hop has made his point.

WHO: NERD WHAT: Nothing (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island; Saturday 1 January, Summadayze, Sidney Myer Music Bowl



PAST IMPERFECT DOUG MARTSCH, the bearded, basketball-lovin’ leader of indie rockers BUILT TO SPILL, has finally embraced the band’s revered 1997 album Perfect From Now On, a record he disowned upon its release, he tells ANTHONY CAREW. [McMahon], it seemed like a lot of work for just one show. So, we decided to do a whole tour of it.” Martsch describes the experience as “fun”, but, contrary to the nature of these playing-the-album shows, which pray on the sentimentality of the crowd, he claims it wasn’t “a nostalgic thing” for Built To Spill. “For me, it’s just playing a group of songs,” Martsch says. “The experience of people in the crowd is inconsequential to me. Unless they’re showering me with boos, or flipping me off, I guess. I have no idea what anyone feels when they hear one of our songs.” For years, when Martsch heard the songs on Perfect From Now On, they made him cringe (though Martsch is pretty critical when we discuss their latest LP, 2009’s There Is No Enemy, so maybe that’s just his way). Famously, the band refused to perform them live, at all, after the record’s release. Which must’ve gone down great with the suits at Warner Bros, of course.


ost bands tend to be defined by one of the first two albums; either the blistering debut or the breakout second set. When indie rock mainstays Built To Spill issued their second record, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, in 1994, it had all the hallmarks of being the album that stuck: lightyears better than the band’s unconvincing debut (the sarcastically-titled Ultimate Alternative Wavers), the set was full of instantly memorable pop songs – In The Morning, Big Dipper, Car, Twin Falls – that were utterly beloved by fans. When 1997’s Perfect From Now On came out, it seemed unlikely to upset the narrative: it was on a major label, it featured songs routinely sprawling past six minutes, and BTS songsmith Doug Martsch went as far as disowning it. Yet, a funny thing happened along the path of history. A handful of incredibly positive reviews, a gathering buzz of (pre-internet!) word-of-mouth, and a reputation as a ‘grower’ of a record turned Perfect From Now On from possible-misstep into longplaying masterpiece. Martsch admits that the ongoing success of Perfect From Now On has been a surprise. But not as much as

Built To Spill’s career – still signed to the same major after 15 years, now a staple of outdoor rock festivals the world over – has been one long surprise. “I was always surprised that anyone liked anything I was doing,” says the band’s bearded, basketball-loving, fretboard-flaying, 41-year-old frontman. “I never imagined that I would get a record deal, or live off music, or do it this long, or have the career I’ve had. I always assumed I would do it for myself, and handfuls of people would get it. Which is kind of the case, it’s just a lot of handfuls. The success we’ve had among strangers has always surprised me.”

“We didn’t play those songs for years, and I couldn’t listen to that record for a long time,” Martsch recounts. “It just sounded horrible to me. I’d had so much frustration with trying to play things certain ways, trying to get tones, the quality of my voice; I really didn’t like the record when we finished it. Because it had been a lot of work, and it kind of drove me crazy.” Martsch was “so disappointed with the outcome” of Perfect From Now On that it nearly depressed him. Things that sound endearing now – chiefly that it doesn’t sound at all like some circa-1997 album, and certainly not a big major label alt.rock album (there’s no walls of distorted guitars, no super-tight crunchy snare sound, etc) – were the things that disappointed Martsch. And, in some ways, disappoint him still.

That surprise was taken to a new level when, 11 years after Perfect From Now On came out, Built To Spill found themselves performing the album in its entirety. Meaning that, finally, after a decade of dential, Martsch was forced to bend to the powers of revisionist history, and reconsider his position on his one ‘classic’ album.

“To me, that’s part of the reason,” sighs Martsch. “We definitely didn’t want it to sound like some alternative rock record from the ’90s, and it’s great that it doesn’t, but I wanted to make something that sounded way more like a Beatles record. And, in the end, it didn’t sound anything like that.”

“Barry [Hogan] from All Tomorrow’s Parties asked us to do that a few years ago, and I was very flattered, and I liked the idea,” explains Martsch. “But, rehearsing all those songs, and getting the cello player, John

The critical acclaim and strong fan response to the record started to thaw Martsch’s iciness towards There’s Nothing Wrong With Love, and, over the years, touring behind follow-up records Keep It Like A Secret (1999) and Ancient

NATIONAL TREASURES Even American president Barack Obama got in line to meet hot indie property THE NATIONAL. Guitarist BRYCE DESSNER tells DANIELLE O’DONOHUE about soundtracking election campaigns and studio tension. strongly about, I never ever thought that would ever happen. Never. To have an intelligent president? I mean, c’mon. It was a big day for us.” Now, having met Barack Obama and come home from their biggest European tour yet, the band are spending Christmas with friends and family before heading to Australia. On tour, they take a small brass section on the road to help fill in some of the colour that has been painstakingly layered onto High Violet’s bare bones in the studio. The album is an exquisite piece of listening. At once both epic and intimate, the album takes time to really wash over you. Songs that seem barely there in the beginning, like opener Terrible Love or England, swell and expand until it feels like they going to burst like a balloon that’s been over-inflated.


very year there’s a couple of albums that stand out, that generate such a buzz that even months before the end of the year you know, regardless of what’s to come, they’ll sit at the higher end of the best-of-the-year polls. The National’s High Violet is one of those albums. Though it was a bit too early to call it album of the year when it was released in May, the buzz that surrounded the band then hasn’t abated. “I’m not sure if we’re getting mainstream,” says Bryce Dessner, guitarist for the Ohio-raised, New York-based five-piece (and twin brother of Aaron Dessner, The National’s other guitarist). “In America, we’re probably one of the bigger indie bands around. I’m not sure to what degree we’ve made the leap from being considered a big underground band to being considered a small popular band, but when our record came out we certainly had a lot more people paying attention to it. “There’s like a seismic shift going on with music. I think now with the internet and things like satellite radio in America, they’re definitely helping diversify people’s tastes, so I think people are just more open-minded.” The National are anything but an overnight success. The acclaim they enjoy now has been developed over the last ten years. Fourth album Boxer, released in 2007, was the breakthrough. The album before, 2005’s Alligator,


was critically acclaimed and is a favourite with fans, but with Boxer, songs like Slow Show and Start A War would soundtrack moments on Gossip Girl, Brothers And Sisters and Chuck. Teen drama One Tree Hill even named an episode after Boxer song Racing Like A Pro. And when Barack Obama’s election campaign released a video featuring footage of average Americans from East Coast to West Coast and called it Signs Of Hope And Change, The National’s Fake Empire was the soundtrack. “At the time we were doing a lot of fundraising for him as well. That election was historic and it was really important to us,” Dessner explains. Through their fundraising, the band made connections within the Obama camp and in September this year, after the band performed at a Democratic Party rally, Bryce and Aaron Dessner, singer Matt Berninger and brothers, drummer Bryan Devendorf and bassist Scott Devendorf, got to meet the president himself. “Not only is he just the warmest, most kind of open and sincere person but it’s like he walks on water or something,” Dessner says. “You really do feel like you’re in the presence of a great, great person. “We were all like completely blown away by meeting him. He’s something pretty special. To have an American president that you feel that

“We do layer a lot but we do take away a lot in the end,” Dessner says. “We like to say we throw everything we have at a song. Orchestration often has to do with two things – either it’s a supportive thing, gluing the song together, or it’s like a more subversive kind of role but it’s always really fun to work on. Sometimes just having strings or winds or some kind of orchestral, acoustic instruments playing against other, more electric sounds help Matt’s voice sit into a song better. “Then we like our rock songs to have a bit of a subversive quality about them; where there’s something a little off or there’s a harmony or there’s a rhythm or there’s something that’s not quite normal. Or it’s toward the end of a song you can kind of open a new door on the song and sometimes orchestrating can help that.” Because Berninger doesn’t play an instrument, he takes care of melody and lyrics while it’s often left to one or both of the Dessner twins to write the music. It’s a system that has worked for five albums and will continue to work, though Dessner confesses if Australian fans are itching to hear Karen from the Alligator album, the song’s absence from the live set is his fault. “There’s songs that people really, really want to hear that either are just not fun for us to play live or we just sonically can’t get,” he admits. “And that’s always a little sad. We’ve become more aware of that as we make records. So we try to only put stuff on the records that

Melodies Of The Future (2001), they even began playing the songs live for the first time. His old enmity vanished completely when Built To Spill went into unexpected hiatus in 2005. The band were in Portland, finishing up the sixth Built To Spill album, You In Reverse, when Martsch was playing in a pick-up basketball game (playing with Stephen Malkmus and members of The Shins, no less). After getting poked in his right eye, he suffered from “floaters” for weeks, and, then, “months and months later, [his] vision disappeared one night.” Martsch had a ruptured retinal membrane, which had filled with fluid, making the entire retina detached. Performing “touch and go” surgery on it, doctors suspected he wouldn’t regain sight in his eye. He did (even if his vision is “really poor”), and, eventually, after the 2006 release of You In Reverse, Built to Spill went out on the road, touring longer and harder than they ever had. The five-year interim between LPs had actually caused their fanbase to grow; something perhaps attributable to Perfect From Now On’s growing status as a perennial, Pitchfork-approved indie classic. With Martsch’s disdain for the disc now gone, songs from the once-avoided LP were now played often; though, they were were bent into new shapes, rewritten both subtly and radically to accompany the five-piece, threeguitar Built To Spill line-up. When time came to play the record in its entirety, live, Martsch and crew realised they barely knew how the old songs on the album sounded. “When we decided to play the whole thing in its entirety, we thought if we were going to bother, then it should be more like the record,” Martsch says. “But, when I first tried to listen to it again, I couldn’t even get through it. Again, I didn’t like it at all. But, I had to keep listening to it in order to learn it, and it kind of grew on me. I started to like it.” The fact that the album was, in Martsch’s mind, a failure, soon “became the charm of it”. He explains: “It didn’t sound like a Beatles record, it was like the punk version of it. Like, we were trying to make something epic, but we were too indie rock to be able to pull it off. I like that about it, now: it’s reaching for something grandiose, but it can’t escape the bedroom. It’s attempting to be this big, universal thing, but it’s just too personal, too human.”

WHO: Built To Spill WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island; Saturday 1 January, Corner Hotel

we can recreate live, but it’s definitely happened in the past where we’ve had things that we cannot work out. “There’s a famous incident – there’s a song called Karen that was on Alligator. It’s a slow- to mid-tempo rock song, so it’s not like it’s a pretty ballad, but it’s not a rocker and the music is not our favourite music. I wrote the music actually so I’ll blame myself. But the song itself people really love and it has great lyrics, but it’s very tricky to make it sound good live. That’s kind of a specific example of something that over the years we’ve struggled with. It used to get requested all the time, but now people are requesting other things.” There aren’t a lot of twins in music, even less in bands containing another set of brothers. It’s an unusual dynamic. And the band have never made a secret of the fact that the atmosphere in the studio can get tense. Though Dessner says that’s less to do with familial factional lines and more do to with regular inter-band creative clashes. “It definitely gets difficult, especially in the mixing stage,” he tells. “But kind of the whole way through I would say for me there’s three huge personalities in the band – the drummer [Bryan], my brother [Aaron] and Matt, so a lot of the battling occurs between those three. And then Scott the bass player and myself, we’re more the kind of peace-makers. We’re like enablers in some way; we’re helping the process along.” “The song Anyone’s Ghost, Matt made me rewrite that song six times, even more. You go crazy doing it but it’s all in the service of making a good record. I think my brother in particular believes that there needs to be some really ferocious fights for the record to be good. He’ll do it predictably toward the end. There’ll be some big falling out and it’s almost like he’s staging it because he thinks it has to happen. To this point it hasn’t been band-threatening.” After ten years and five albums, it’s surely fair to say that these five musicians are aware of their collective strengths and weaknesses. No longer just the poster children for indie’s crossover success, The National are also a part of the soundtrack of America’s desire for change. WHO: The National WHAT: High Violet (Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Sunday 9 and Monday 10 January, Palais

CHANGE IS GONNA COME Now a cemented leader of THE DYNAMITES, soul legend CHARLES WALKER has seen trends and celebrities come and go. JEREMY WILLIAMS sits down for a lesson in longevity. “There have been several changes, from when I put my first record out in ‘59. Since then the industry has changed, the ‘60s was just a good, a great era. Then in the ‘70s it was more disco. I don’t know what was in the ‘80s, I didn’t do too much music in the ‘80s. I needed a break and the music wasn’t satisfying, well the type of music that was going around, so I took a break and set up an art gallery.” Charles Walker may be one of the music industry’s best kept secrets. Having set out on a career in soul at the very end of the ‘50s, Walker went on to open for everyone from James Brown to Etta James and Jackie Wilson. Yet, while the others continued to perform through the succession of style changes the music scene faced, Walker decided to step out of the limelight and focus his attentions on a different passion. However, his break was much more of “what you might call a sabbatical. The music was changing quickly – into the ‘80s it was day to day. But I was still writing songs. I had my own studio and I was recording demos and stuff. But I was pretty much out of the business. I had my hand in it; I would do a lot of performances at my gallery when we would have an art opening. I still did a lot of cocktail clubs to be on stage every so often.”

over there are very interested in music, which is quite different to over here. You’ve got so much going on over here with these kinds of bands so Americans are a little bit too used to us. I think that when you go to Europe and Australia, people are a lot more into their music. It is not just a case of ‘Let’s go see this band and this other band’ – they study up the bands and know a lot more of the music.” Walker is without any doubt enjoying his second stab at musical success, but is it any better the second time around for the Otis Redding-inspired soul star? “When you are young, you just don’t know. Today, I think more about what I already know.” WHO: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 6 and Friday 7 January, Order Of Melbourne

Contented with his new position, Walker did not miss the limelight and found he had more than enough opportunities to unleash his creative energy. But that was all to change as the ‘90s rolled past. He reveals, “I was called over to do a show in England and I found out that all my old records were selling like hotcakes. The ones that people could buy would be bought for a lot of money. I thought the records were dead and gone. So that made me think about it. I just got back into it right away.” Looking at the industry through fresh eyes, Walker realised that not only was there still a place for him in the music scene but he wanted to be back on stage more regularly. Relishing the attention, Walker is more than aware that things are not what they once were but as long as he is enjoying the ride then that is all that matters. Admitting that when it comes to playing keep up with the young talent of today, he doesn’t “really get into it, but there are a lot of good performers, singers and musicians. I think it is just good that the music keeps on going. I am not trying to get into the scene or listen to the new music. You can’t stick with my era, it is pretty much old for the marketplace. There are still people who want to hear it, but you are not going to get again hundreds of people wanting to play my music. Once you realise that, you understand there is still a scene but it has its limitations.”

You have to show the people that your heart and soul is in what you are doing.”

Having never lost his confidence, Walker is happy without the need for widespread acceptance. With his experiences as a youngster having fulfilled his ambitions, it is clear that Walker is back in the game purely for the fun of it. There is little doubt for anyone who has ever seen Walker on stage, albeit only on a YouTube clip, that the man knows how to engage and excite an audience. Walker willingly admits, “I know how to work an audience, but the thing is, when you hit the stage you have to show the people that your heart and soul is in what you are doing.” With years of experience on stages of all shapes and sizes, he is aware that without his own enjoyment the audiences will equally dwindle. “It has got to show in your facial expressions and tenacity to go out there and perform. You have to work hard. I think when people see you perform that is what they see besides the singing. It is the showmanship and the sincerity of what you are doing.” Post-musical return, Walker penned new material and even released a couple of solo albums, but all that was about to change again when Doyle Davis (owner of Outta Sight Records) was taking a look through the Country Music Hall of Fame’s ‘Night Train to Nashville’ study of soul. Walker was an obvious candidate for inclusion given his Tennessee background and was also selected to perform at the exhibit. Davis knew that The Dynamites’ founder Bill Elder (AKA Leo Black) was looking for a frontman and wasted no time in making his recommendation. Walker remembers, “It was kind of a strange situation. I was putting out a load of solo albums. I was working out in Nashville and the Country Music Hall Of Fame were putting on an exhibition about soul music. So I was doing a lot of those shows, that’s where I met up with The Dynamites and we were just going to put on a bunch of shows, but the people enjoyed it so we just kept going.” Initially hesitant to commit, the group settled on the billing ‘The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker’. Though he now perceives the band to be “a complete unit”, he makes no presumptions about taking centre stage in the billing stakes. “I wanted it to be named like that – ‘Dynamites featuring’ – as I didn’t know whether I was going to stick with it or not, so I didn’t want my name at the top as Charles Walker and The Dynamites. So that is fine with me.” In direct response to public demand, rather than walk away from what set out to be a bit of fun, Walker decided to see it through. “Our first show was completely packed and people were really into it. All the signs just said to just keep going with it. So we went off and wrote some more songs and came out with the album. Then the album did well for us.” So what of their upcoming Australian shows? Having performed on these shores several times previously, Walker is excited about what he sees as performing to an educated crowd. “I think that the crowds


THE SHAPE OF WEIRD TO COME New members, self doubt, sexy dressing… All this and more from your favourite rock’n’roll dissident, ANDY ‘FALCO’ FALKOUS, one-quarter of Wales-based venom merchants FUTURE OF THE LEFT. LUKE MONKS catches the frontman with a beer in his hand.


’ve had a full day,” chuckles Andy Falkous. “I was at the gym for two hours and now I’ve got this Heineken to deal with.” He rambles on, disparaging football teams, best left unmentioned in the case that the man damages his fanbase. Moving on, as if to smooth things out, the frontman switches tack, eagerly explaining the situation in the FOTL camp at the moment. “We’ve been rehearsing like motherfuckers, to use the technical term,” he says, dryly, adding that as far as material goes, the act are almost two-thirds of the way to having enough for a new record. “The moment of realisation that a song has happened is still the best feeling that I’ve experienced, being in a rock band. That’s when all atoms just coalesce around some fucking tune and everybody just hooks in; it gets like you don’t even have to direct anybody to shift to a different part, it’s just so seamless and

natural. I hesitate to use that well-worn phrase, ‘the song writes itself’, because the song has never written itself and it’s not a sentient entity.” With the success of 2009’s Travels With Myself And Another, Falkous says that he had to be careful not to begin writing again too soon. “You have rich periods, when everything goes right,” he explains. “That usually ends up resulting in a record. I’ve always found that immediately after a record, there is a period of bitter self-doubt, recrimination and sexy dressing. You effectively need to shed a skin and move on.” As far as this ‘fallow’ period after a record goes, Falkous says that you simply have to “fuck your way through it” and be ready to go again when the time is right. “No matter what kind of art you are engaged in, if you try too hard, it simply won’t work. One of the good things about having done this for years is that you learn to recognise those moments for what they are.” Falkous describes the growth of his musical output as an “evolution, not a revolution,” something vastly apparent in the similarities and differences between FOTL’s last record, their debut and even Falkous’s earlier work with Mclusky (the drummer of which, Jack Egglestone, still plays with Falkous in FOTL to this day). “Part of it is throwing different people into the mix, the change that brings to the chemistry,” says the frontman of this growth and now, with the departure of co-founding bassist Kelson Mathias, the band has not one replacement member, but two. Falkous is quick to debunk the myth that changing bands or band members is like ending a romantic relationship, however. “It’s definitely awkward, but I think that one big difference…” he begins, a sly knowing in his voice. “I don’t mean to sound facetious here, but biologically, being a man, you don’t have to worry that the other person is literally fucking somebody else. That makes a big difference on a human level. It’s disappointing when someone doesn’t want to do it any more, for whatever reason. I’ve learned enough in terms of being in bands, that when someone is set on a particular path, you just let them do it, whether they’ll be regretting it or celebrating it later on.” So no hard feelings then, Falco? “It’s a waste of time hanging on to things. Kelson is a fantastic performer, but he isn’t always the most helpful songwriter and I am honestly of the belief that if he’d stayed in this band that we may not have finished this third record.”

I hesitate to use that well-worn phrase, ‘the song writes itself’, because the song has never written itself…”

Replacing Mathias on bass duties is Julia Ruzicka (formerly of hardcore act, Million Dead) and second guitarist, Jimmy Watkins. Aside from a stabilised touring line-up and bigger ‘wall of sound’, Falkous says that it’s the intangibles that this duo bring to the group that are so special. “This is going to sound like something from the Ricki Lake Show, but they bring trust, first and foremost,” laughs the frontman. “They trust my ideas and that I know, in terms of the kind of music that we’re writing, I know what I’m doing. My role isn’t always writing – it can be just listening to people play and picking things out and combining things. A lot of musicians you play with, you’ll try get them to play a riff back and say, ‘Miss out the second note,’ and they’ll tell you to go and fuck yourself. Really good musicians aren’t precious about what they play; if it suits the song, they’ll play one note. If it needs no notes, I’ll step off the fucking stage if that’s what it needs.” Carrying on down that path, the frontman says that while it is important to keep your ego out of the actual writing of the music, it is imperative for a band to dust off their downtrodden sense of selfrighteousness before they take it to the stage. They are performers, after all. The only other situation that an ego boost is called for, explains Falkous, is during lyric writing. “It’s a treacherous balance, but it’s about conveying personality and making points. You can’t be ham-fisted about it, but you need to be able to present the band, who they are and part of their world view without lecturing.” As far as letting people know about the band’s worldview on gig etiquette and being a decent human being in general, the frontman found himself in quite a confronting situation last time the act were in Sydney, with one of the most obnoxious gig goers in recent memory almost ruining the show for the band and fans alike. The singer says he hopes the offender has learnt his lesson after matching wits with a man whose wit could see him as a stand-up comic. “I was pissed off and bored with that guy. If he is there this time – and I suspect that he will be – he had better either be very careful or standing outside. The show is about the band and the 400 or so people in the venue, not just that guy. Next time I’ll just meet him outside, give him his $40 back and tell him to get home safe… and if I ever see him again, something else will happen.”

WHO: Future Of The Left WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island; Sunday 2 January, Corner Hotel


PARTY ON THE YACHT JAMAICA‘s ANTOINE HILAIRE thanks Phoenix for showing the world French bands can play guitars, too. DOUG WALLEN meets the new wave of European club pop. The “no synths” thing, meanwhile, isn’t much of a surprise to anyone who’s actually heard Jamaica. The duo are all about blurting guitars, big choruses and buttery singing, a retro-tinged confection that’s part alt.rock and part ’80s pop. Despite the absence of obvious dance signifiers, songs like Secrets and The Outsider are quite light on their feet. And the single I Think I Like U 2 isn’t a valentine for a certain Irish quartet, but a widely accessible come-on that’s been pitched for summer rotation on our shores. “It wasn’t really a challenge,” agrees Hilaire of the synth-less policy. “Because we don’t use them at all when we make music. People wouldn’t have noticed it if we hadn’t said that, I’m pretty sure. Everybody seemed to be wanting to have a dance act at the time, and having synths seemed to be the only thing to do. We love synths, and Flo has a bunch of them actually, but we don’t play them on stage. So we decided to not use any for the record, and to say it in the bio. It is maybe some kind of aesthetical statement, to say we were 100% guitar-driven and stand out, I guess.”


espite being a band named Jamaica touring an album called No Problem, the Parisian duo haven’t the least of tropical inflections. And unlike French two-pieces Air, Justice, and Daft Punk, Antoine Hilaire and Flo Lyonnet don’t pursue electronic music. In fact, although they worked with half of Justice on No Problem, there was a firm “no synths” rule in place while recording. Instead, songs like Jericho and By The Numbers latch onto radio-ready hooks and breezy soft-pop schmaltz, positioning Jamaica as a lilting French guitar band for the Phoenix-altered landscape. Tell Hilaire that his country’s music scene is suddenly booming, though, and he’ll offer a quick corrective. “It’s more of a coincidence that people are thinking there’s more of a scene now than before,” he counters. “But the sure thing is that, besides the usual Daft Punk and whatever, Phoenix is doing great and really helping bands with guitars to be considered believable by foreigners. Which is great. Thanks, Phoenix, for that.” For context, he adds, “We were only known for electro bands or bands like Air [before]. It’s changing, and I’m

pretty sure it’s going to widen. People want more just duos who play electro.” That said, Jamaica started as a solo project that was electronic in one aspect: its live set-up consisted of Hilaire playing guitar and singing over pre-recorded bass and drums via an iPod. Legend has it the iPod got nicked after the second gig – when the act was still called Poney Poney – but Hilaire doesn’t mention that in his telling of the origin story. “I did the first gig with my iPod,” he confirms, “and it turned out to be a pretty boring set. It was maybe 2004 and by then I think people weren’t really willing to see someone stop at the beginning of each song [to set up the new song]. I already had rehearsed with a drummer and I asked Flo to join us on bass. And that was it. That was the beginning of it.” These days the band is officially a two-piece, although they employ a live drummer and some extra equipment to fill things out. “We use machines to thicken the sound and play the things we can’t play,” Hilaire says. He adds with deadpan acuteness, “There’s a big white box, which is probably the best musician on stage.”

And yet Jamaica worked with high-profile French producers Peter Franco and Xavier de Rosnay, the latter half of the Grammy-winning Justice. So what exactly did they bring to the table? “They brought the whole deal, actually,” he replies. “They really pushed us when they were not happy with the playing and the songwriting and the singing. They pushed us to become better musicians. It’s like doing a puzzle: you are working on your own puzzle for a really long time, but you are missing some bits and need some external opinions to make sure you finish.” It’s hard to imagine No Problem as a work in progress, considering just how tight and airy the finished product is. Phoenix comparisons don’t really fit, as Jamaica is onto something even more mainstream and less indie-rooted. In fact, the term “yacht rock” has been thrown around in light of the record, and while that proves accurate, there’s no irony here. When Hilaire is told that the album track Gentlemen has a real Hall & Oates vibe, he responds with a sincere word of thanks. “Definitely some kind of Private Eyes thing,” he reckons. “Yeah, they are an influence. We didn’t think of them that much in the studio, but they are definitely part of our DNA. It’s probably one of the first embarrassing rock

bands that I liked, actually.” Laughing, he continues, “A bit like ABBA. But it’s not only a guilty pleasure. The songs on our record are not that guilty, I hope.” While in Australia, Jamaica is scheduled to squeeze in four different music festivals: Falls, Field Day, Summafieldayze and Southbound. A bit ambitious, isn’t it? “Four, five,” demurs Hilaire. “I don’t know. I don’t remember. We’ve played festivals quite a lot in Europe, in our summer, so we know how to play festivals. It depends always on the time you are playing. The only aspect I worry about is the heat.” Although a once-scheduled Corner gig on the night has been cancelled, the band will spend New Year’s Eve in Australia. “It’s our drummer’s birthday,” Hilaire shares, “so we’re going to have a party for that. And Xavier and Gaspar from Justice, along with some other friends, are playing in Australia in January, but they took their plane tickets earlier to spend New Year’s Eve with us. I think it’s going to be pretty fun.” Whether or not Jamaica winds up collaborating with the members of Justice in the future, the duo’s path to commercial success seems assured. But it has to be asked: how did the band arrive at that name from the original moniker Poney Poney? “It’s not complicated,” answers Hilaire. “We wanted a name that referred to a place and ended in ‘a’. America was already taken, and Australia seemed a bit too far from our preoccupations. Russia as well. We love Jamaican music and it rung a bell to people about music we like. There was also some kind of sunshine-y aspect, because Jamaican might be ghetto music, but it’s also really hopeful. We felt it was a good starting point.” There’s no arguing the above points, but there’s also no arguing that the name might confuse any punters looking for beach-set anthems along the lines of Best Coast or Wavves, not to mention world-music references a la Vampire Weekend. Have any of these potential issues entered Hilaire’s mind since adopting the name? Not at all, it turns out. “I don’t really care,” he decides. “If people are confused, that’s funny.” Laughing, he makes a good point: “I think Jamaica would be a really bad name for a tropical band.”

WHO: Jamaica WHAT: No Problem (Co-Op/Shock) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 30 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Friday 31, Corner Hotel









I recently read a blogger describe this song as romanticising the decision between hypothermia and date rape since 1945, which made me snort with seasonally rueful lulz. However! If there’s one thing Ms Minogue has always done well, it’s chintzy camp: her voice is just thin/weak enough to pull this daft torch song off, and the arrangements are 110% old Hollywood cheese. Plus, you know I love Christmas songs, and proceeds are going to Vision Australia. Go on, don’t be a dickhead, buy a copy – or I’ll send you a lump of coal.

From the nostalgic peephole-type titillating cover art to the discordant opening, interspersed with howling vocals and random tambourine jangles, let me tell you I dig this album. The debut for Melbourne three-piece The Bonniwells is released on one of our favourite boutique labels, Z-Man Records (Witch Hats and Mother & Father) and while Unprofitable Servant offers much, in the same breath it could offer so much more. I’ll get this out of the way early – the album clocks in at a smidge under 21 minutes with a cover version of the Richard Berry-penned Louie Louie (quasi-imaginatively renamed Louie Lou-ahh), savaging a further five and a half minutes of valuable time. I’ve said I really like what these lads are doing but the listener is left wanting and wondering of their true potential upon debut.

After shooting to international prominence in the summer of 2004 with their feel good novelty track Chicken Back, audiences could be forgiven for asking, “Whatever happened to The Bees?” With the glare of international stardom evaporating as quickly as it arrived, the English group have quietly gone about their business creating retro-inspired pop masterpieces for the last decade. Now after a three-year self-imposed hiatus, and with the support of a brand new label in the UK, The Bees have re-emerged with their fourth album, Every Step’s A Yes.

LEE KERNAGHAN DIRT ABC Remember when Lee Kernaghan did that ad for Maccas back in the ‘90s? That was the first thought that entered my mind when listening to Dirt (“Dirt – I dig it! ”), followed by (equally as inexplicably) the video for Garth Brooks’ Standing Outside The Fire. Anyway, this song – a perplexing mix of Genesis’ I Can’t Dance and Georgia Satellites – is destined to soundtrack a million countryloving married couples’ sexy bedroom routines: “Dirt! Got it all over me/I’m covered in a good time if you know what I mean [...] Can’t help but love the way it feels when we do it in the DIRT”.

ADELE ROLLING IN THE DEEP XL/Remote Control I must admit I never got on board the Adele bandwagon, so I am perhaps less jazzed about her return to the charts than some, but Rolling In The Deep has a pleasing melodrama to it (helped by a video full of smashing plates and other heavy metaphors) that lifts Adele’s work above most of the pop miserablism currently offered by similar chanteuses.

What is abundantly clear is the influence and love of the fuzzed-out psychedelic rock and garage pop punk of the 1960s (the moniker surely a nod to Sean Bonniwell, singer with influential outfit The Music Machine) and spliced neatly and subtly with some current teen angst. I Don’t Need You Know More (sic) opens the verbal whoopass with “Cause I don’t need you no more /I crossed the river, away from you”, displaying the ‘fuck you’-filled breakdown of a relationship with little or no emotional regret. The dirty, voodoo-based Bad Seeds isn’t an ode to old man Cave but more a call to arms for The Bonniwells and their place in the local music scene: “We’re no good is what they say but we just see the world in a different way”. Soda Pressing and We’re Pretty Sick are other tidy tracks and if you’re into The Sonics, Flamin’ Groovies, The Stooges or others such as 13th Floor Elevators, The Cramps and The Fuzztones, then check The Bonniwells out, dig? The Boomeister

While The Bees’ ‘60s-inspired feelgood factor is still very much intact, there is a palpable sense on Every Step’s A Yes that the band have pushed their collective influences and found a new balance and maturity in their writing and delivery. Gone are the bouncy, beat-heavy singles, replaced with an acoustic English folk shuffle, perfectly executed on opening track and clarion call I Really Need Love. Elsewhere on the album, the band adopt a dub groove on Winter Rose, employ charming recorders and strings on the jaunty Change Can Happen, while on Tired Of Loving, they sound like a proto-skiffle group. The spectre of The Incredible String Band looms large across Every Step’s A Yes, with faint echoes of the San Franciscan Bay Area also seeping into the mélange of influences. But instead of collapsing under the weight of their record collections, The Bees masterfully weave their new folky approach seamlessly into their sonic arsenal, perfectly complementing their unshakeable grasp of memorable hooks and clever arrangements. As with all their previous albums, The Bees have produced another eclectic, engaging and entertaining album, reconfirming with Every Step’s A Yes that they should not be forgotten when pundits draw up their list of the best English bands producing music today. Symon JJ Rock

I AM KLOOT PROOF EMI What is it about the British record industry that leads so many artists to sound utterly identical? If you played me a randomised playlist of Badly Drawn Boy, Damien Rice, David Gray, I Am Kloot and a dozen others of their ilk, I’d have an extremely hard time telling them all apart. People whine about how R&B or tween pop “all sounds the same”, but it’s this sort of rubbish masquerading as meaningful folk granola that is the true scourge. Fight the real enemy, as Sinead once said.

LA SPINA SING WITH ME THIS CHRISTMAS DAY Universal God this orchestral pop/popera thing drives me ‘round the bend. It was bad enough back in the days of Bond and Il Divo, but now it seems wherever you look there are a bunch of good looking types raiding the nanna market with anodyne and vaguely “classical” arrangements. This – an original seasonal track recorded with the MSO – is destined to be revived by a future Australia’s Got Talent contestant, who will no doubt be 11 years old with a gammy leg.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS CINNAMON Atlantic Hey, check it out, these guys still exist! And not only that, but it appears that Weiland and co now sound like... Britpop? More specifically, they sound like Starclub (you remember them, they had Hard To Get on the soundtrack of The Crush). When did this happen? It’s not particularly bad – in fact, in spite of its sounding distinctly out of its time, Cinnamon is good – it’s just a little confusing.

CHERYL COLE MESSY LITTLE RAINDROPS Polydor Forget Kate Middleton, to find the UK’s current People’s Princess there is no need to look any further than the judging panel of celebrated television talent show The X Factor, where media darling Cheryl Cole takes centre stage. Cole is a former TV talent show winner who has experienced a love-hate relationship with the press since winning her place in chart dominators Girls Aloud back in 2002. While she faced early criticism after being found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after a nightclub fracas, her ill-fated marriage to footballer Ashley Cole showed the public a softer side to the gorgeous Geordie. Having launched her debut album 3 Words just a year ago, Cole’s transition from chav wannabe to undisputed superstar was sealed with a cover shoot for Vogue and her debut going triple platinum. But despite having been embraced by the public, Cole’s private life fell to pieces in 2010 with a very public divorce and a bad bout of malaria taking their toll. Yet, as we head towards 2011, it is clear that Cole is not about to let her private life do anything but inspire her continued rise. Messy Little Raindrops is a seemingly personal affair, despite the fact Cole only contributed to the writing of one track. The extremely produced outing is a move away from the sheen of Cole’s debut, but boasts the similar radio-friendly formula. While the occasionally lyrically challenged standout track Happy Tears is the album’s determined effort at moving on, it will no doubt be overlooked for the hooks of Better To Lie and Yeah Yeah in the singles stakes. But if you listen to only one of the album’s efforts, make sure it is the irrepressible Vanessa Carlton-sampling Waiting. Cole may be more of a media star than musical talent, but with Waiting she strikes genuine pop gold. Jeremy Williams

NICKI MINAJ PINK FRIDAY Cash Money Records With her legs stretching as far as the eye can see, welcome Nicki Minaj. She’s done the yards as guest for Rihanna, Kanye West (on his massive Monster) and Lil’ Wayne in the past year alone, and Pink Friday is her first LP, and a last-minute album of the year top five contender. With her rhymes as tight as the corset she wears on the album’s front cover, and arrangements that border beautifully between pop-by-numbers and straight-up gangsta rap, Minaj stands above her contemporaries, and spits seven shades of venom in all directions. For the uninitiated, Minaj was born in Trinidad And Tobago, before moving to New York City at age five, and although it took many years for this bud to flower, one listen to Pink Friday and you’ll discover that it’s been worth the wait. Seemingly influenced by Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne instead of other female artists, Minaj doesn’t hold back with the words she fires, but while this album will split audiences, those with an open mind are sure to appreciate Pink Friday for what it is – a hook-laden, fistpumping and ass-shaking record. And it’s time for the collaborators to pay back. Drops by Kanye West (Blazin), Will.I.Am (Check It Out) and unheralded artist of the year Drake (Moment 4 Life) purely strengthen the quality of the record, but it is rap’s 2010 renaissance man, Eminem, who steals the show on possibly the song of the year, Roman’s Revenge. Minaj and Shady trade cuss-filled lines like hungry wolves over a carcass, the minimal beats pushing the emotions higher until it seems one (most likely Eminem) will burst through the aural ceiling the pair lift from the very first line. Minaj is a superstar. Whether she will burst and fade like Lil’ Kim or remain underground, lifting her head to shout at the world like Jean Grae, remains to be seen. But if Pink Friday is any indication, chances are she’s going to blaze her own path. Dylan Stewart


Tom Ze is Tropicalia’s resident weirdo. Now aged 74, the Brazilian’s music has consistently been strange and provocative. Alongside the likes of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, he was part of a movement that challenged mainstream approaches and put them at odds with the government. Ze’s musical antics kept him on the fringe up until 1984, when he had all but given up on music and was set to return home to work in a petrol station. That was until David Byrne called and Ze began his association with Byrne’s Luaka Bop label, a move that has revitalised his career and seen him working with the likes of Tortoise and Byrne, who offers vocals on a track on this album. This is his study of bossa nova, his own unique take on the genre, and you can safely say it’s one of the most adventurous and creative albums you will ever hear from a 74-year-old. It’s languid, smooth, and possesses that sensual cool that you commonly equate with bossa, however, it’s also very mischievous and occasionally silly. He pays earnest homage to the pioneers, commenting on the “swaying swing of Joao”, and guitarist Baden Powell on Sincope Jaobim (Jaobim Syncopation), though he’s also not afraid to have a bit of fun. “Have you heard this so called bossa nova/The new musical fad/What idiotic whining huh?/I bet five bucks it doesn’t take off in Brazil,” he offers retrospectively on O Ceu Desabou (The Sky Fell). It’s clever and incredibly seductive, proving that you can shoehorn Ze’s unique musical demeanour into the sensual smooth of bossa. A unique example of this is the way he manages so inventively to slide the words “ob-la-di ob-la-da” into Roquenrol Bim-Bom (Rock’N’Roll Bim Bom), making it clear that this album is overflowing with hidden jokes, homages and bizarre references for your Brazilian speakers and bossa fanatics. Bob Baker Fish

SLASH FEAT MYLES KENNEDY BACK FROM CALI Sony To borrow a turn of phrase from Jerry Maguire, what is this music? Really, Slash: you were responsible for some of the most bracing and exciting hair rock of the ‘80s and ‘90s, why are you now peddling this brand of superannuated Triple M rock? If you didn’t know this was Slash (and fucked if I know and/or care who Myles Kennedy is) you could be forgiven for thinking it was Puddle Of Muddddd (et al). Also I am personally offended that Ralph Steadman has done the artwork for this.


TUMBLEWEED THE WATERFRONT YEARS 1991 – 1993 Aztec Music The early 1990s is a key part of Australian rock’n’roll history and enough time has passed that it seems appropriate to look back and appreciate what was around, where it sat and what influence it had on the music of the future. Tumbleweed are still adored, both critically and by those who devoted themselves to that rock’n’roll with the stink of the garage seemingly embedded within its heavy stoner grooves and psychedelic flourishes. This monstrous two-disc collection shines a light on the band’s earliest material. There’s an exuberance and a charming naivety on Captain’s Log, the first Tumbleweed single, with its B-side Space Friends possibly a better indication of the direction the band would head in the next couple of years. The original version of Healer has a great energy while Stoned sees the band approach their pop sensibilities with more confidence – it’s a corker. Carousel is tender and sweet without losing the all-important volume, Come And Get It is vicious in its powerful, jammy execution, while Chocolate Watch Band’s Sweet Young Thing turns the garage psych notch to stun. The first disc is packed to its brim, but the great thing is it doesn’t need to be listened to as a whole – its disjointedness works to its favour given the nature in which the tracks were initially released. On the flip side, the second disc – the complete and fully remastered 1992 debut LP – benefits from being played go to whoa. The Daddy Long Legs single that caps off the disc is a fantastic bonus that slots in well. The record sounds as relevant now as ever and the remaster gives it a kick in the guts to bring the recorded quality up to scratch by modern standards. All in all a fitting tribute to a band that oughtn’t be forgotten. Barry Kobarma



Even from face value, there’s a lot more effort that’s gone into Annie Lennox’s A Christmas Cornucopia (Island/ Universal) then your regular festive offerings and the album’s true to that form. It’s a bold move from the legend Lennox – this is a very easy way to tarnish a reputation – but for the most part these reinterpretations are intelligent and most importantly relevant. Angels From The Realms Of Glory, for instance, stays away from the choral traditions and works to Lennox’s strengths and mature songwriting. There’s definitely some moments that would probably have been better left unattempted but some of the more obscure titles – See Amid The Winter’s Snow, As Joseph Was A Walking – and even staple The First Noel are highlights of the season.

Perhaps the single most irritating and subversive show on television at the moment, 2010 has been defined by Glee and its ability to shoot a track to the top of the charts. The Music: The Christmas Album (Columbia/Sony) is pretty indistinguishable from the other multitude of releases apart from the songs themselves and contains all the factors that they’re loved/loathed for – strikingly clever arrangements, pitch-perfect Barbie vocals and the sense that the world’s a fun, friendly place even amongst the broken hearts. Expect it to define this retail period as the show has the year.

Marketed as a new album with its new cover, Kate Ceberano’s 2010 Merry Christmas (Mercury/Universal) is identical to last year’s apart from three bonus tracks, being duets with David Campbell, Mark Vincent and Jimmy Little. Vincent’s Emmanuel/Oh Holy Night actually becomes one of the best tracks, his voice and its contrast to Ceberano giving a human element and life rarely achieved elsewhere on the disc, especially in parts where they actually layer vocals. Apart from that it’s obviously the same story as last year, a stretched and rarely inspired effort that has more Christmas jingles than fresh ideas.

Mariah Carey, one of the world’s biggest pop stars – her bank account says so – takes another stab at the Christmas album after the success of her 1994 effort. Merry Christmas II You (Island/Universal) even includes a re-recorded and “extra festive” version of previous single All I Want For Christmas Is You alongside a mix of originals and known carols. With a typically polished presentation with traditional gospel/hymnal references it’s stock standard and uneventful (apart from the horrendous experiment of the record, Here Comes Santa Claus – Carey’s vocals sound pained more than anything else) and given that, you probably have already decided whether a Mariah Carey Christmas album is for you.

Your mind is already made up about Susan Boyle and chances are that if you’re under 30 and don’t own Andre Rieu DVDs then you probably haven’t given her the time of day. There’s nothing in The Gift (Sony)– a mix of Christmas tracks and non-festive covers – that should make you give it to her, but for what it’s worth it’s another solid series of recordings from “the world’s biggest selling artist”. Her voice is gentle and familiar while the brewing and accentuating arrangements, presumably the best money can buy, work with her every note of the way. Auld Lang Syne and Hallelujah are delivered better than most but it is hard to forgive her touching Don’t Dream It’s Over though, no matter how competent.

Fred Schneider of B-52s notoriety has earned the right to do near anything he pleases, and with Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall making up the rest of The Superions they take their kitsch, novelty and camp pop to festive tunes. Destination Christmas! (Fanatic) does require a bit of work and patience to find the humorous essence; the pseudonarrations throughout tracks disrupt the flow and the musicianship is little better than a modern-day Sparks. Really, your Christmas gatherings should generate enough interest to not need this sort of desperate kick-start, but that’s not to say that it makes a decent ‘relevant-just-fortoday’ novelty present.

Sony wheels out a selection of reality TV graduates, old favourites and Australian-only chart stars for single-disc compilation All I Want For Christmas. Headed off by the usually underwhelming Jessica Mauboy doing her best Mariah Carey impression, the album struggles to make any sort of impact beyond that. Stan Walker murders Little Drummer Boy while Katie Noonan and John Farnham struggle to rise above mediocrity. That said the latter’s version of One Little Christmas Tree joins Delta Goodrem’s Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and Mark Vincent’s Grown Up Christmas List as better moments. None of the depth of EMI’s Now Xmas though.

A sampler from American label Joma, A Very Joma Christmas is the leftfield addition last year (like Bifrost Arts’ brilliant and always-relevant Salvation Is Created last year) as a compilation of unknown but genre-spanning artists. Creaky Boards – the band who claimed Coldplay stole their melody on Viva La Vida – are pleasant on Keep Me Warm And Safe This Winter and Casey Shea (The Undisputed Heavyweights) is uplifting in his interpretation of A Very Merry Christmas. The latter’s representative of the record as a whole, intelligent and removed from the original but without that killer touch that would make it something special and the acts more than unknowns.


WAR AT 33 1/3 After almost 25 years together, PUBLIC ENEMY continue to tower over the hip hop world. With the group hitting our shores to celebrate the seminal Fear Of A Black Planet LP, MARK HEBBLEWHITE chats with CHUCK D for a lesson in longevity.


t’s been 20 years since we recorded Fear Of A Black Planet and we’re still so proud of what that record did and what it stood for,” begins Public Enemy MC Chuck D, born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour. “And now we’re getting set to revolutionise things again by celebrating that record live with you guys down in Australia.”

Although they still remain the carriers of a potent political message, Public Enemy have become, well, musically ‘venerable’. A 14-year-old hip hop fan who didn’t grow up on Public Enemy (or even the following generation) would probably cite the likes of Nelly and TI as hip hop elite. Chuck D can point them in the right direction though. “No matter what generation you are, you’ve gotta pay respect to your history. I know there is a whole generation of kids out there for who Public Enemy is something from the history books. But once they find out about Public Enemy they’ll see the role we’ve played in the evolution of hip hop and also that we’re still relevant to what’s going on today.

While Ridenhour admits that Fear Of A Black Planet holds a special place in his heart he won’t commit to giving it ‘favourite album’ status (“picking a favourite record is like picking a favourite child”). But unfortunately he is forced to concede that 911 is still a joke. So how does he keep his head up if the corrupt system he has spent his whole life fighting refuses to die? “Look, it’s just something you have to do,” he sighs. “There are things in this life that you get tired of – whether it be parenting or making your bed in the morning – but you still do it because you have to. The fight is worth having and you have to keep raising your voice. Surrender is not an option.”

Jesse Jackson and other so-called ‘black leaders’ irrelevant in the minds of young African Americans. The hardcore punk scene of the early ‘80s liked to claim they were the only organised left in Reagan’s America. Did Public Enemy believe they fulfilled the same role? “In a way I guess you could say that we were the opposition in the America of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior,” agrees Ridenhour. “But I would be more

specific than just using the ‘left-right paradigm’. Us and other hip hop groups were the only ones telling the world what it was like to be a black man in an oppressive political, social and economic environment. So yeah, we were a progressive force in that sense, but our focus wasn’t some contrived political thing. We felt we had to stand up for our people and our communities. Our message developed from what

JETT SET JOAN JETT has been a rock’n’roll icon since the mid-‘70s, first with cult band The Runaways and then as frontwoman for JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS. She explains to STEVE BELL that her longevity in the game basically stems from the fact that she really does love rock’n’roll. “It was totally surreal. I don’t even know what to think about it,” Jett laughs of the experience. “In a way it’s almost like I’m not looking at myself. I had to make sure that it was authentic and real. Once I met Kristen I was relaxed – she was great. She’s so amazing and everybody who knows me from back then and all of my family thought that she really nailed it. She did an amazing job and so did all the cast. It was really a matter of getting the details right in regards all of the things that we would do or not do. Kristen used to always say, ‘Would you do this?’ And I’d be, like, ‘Maybe I’d do it more like this!’ I stayed out of the way, but I was around with a monitor and earphones, but not in eyesight – I didn’t want to be too close to the director or in Kristen’s eyeline. I wanted to stay out of the way and not be a distraction. But she knew that I could see her and hear her. She was totally fine with that. She wanted me to be there in case she was doing something wrong or if she needed to chat about something. It was great.”


ome 35 years into her trailblazing career, things are still going strong for pioneering US rocker Joan Jett. A Hollywood biopic of her life in ‘70s all-girl teenage outfit The Runaways – simply titled The Runaways – premiered earlier this year, while her band that she formed back at the onset of the 1980s, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, have completed tours with Green Day and Aerosmith and are now winging down to Australia for her first shows in this continent since she shared a stage with Divinyls back in 1995.


So are things now better with an African American in the White House? “I believe that Obama is a good man trapped in a bad government,” says Ridenhour. “And I should explain what I mean by ‘bad government’. That is – parts of the current administration are returning to that ‘cowboy’ mentality of greed that has so often infected governments in this country.” That said, Chuck D says Obama and his administration is definitely worth defending. “We have to recognise that he is a part of a system that he inherited and he has to play by the rules of the game. So we understand he’s not going to win all the battles he fights, or be able to completely change the system,” he says.

For those thinking we’re simply getting the Fear Of A Black Planet LP live in its entirety, think again. “No, it’s not as simple as that – and I should clear things up. It’s going to be a Fear Of A Black Planet themed show, which of course means the main focus will be on that record. The practice of playing an entire album right through – like we did with our shows celebrating It Takes A Nation Of Millions… was something that we pioneered. But now we’re moving away from that – everyone’s doing it these days, so we’re going to take a broader approach that lets us focus on the album but also gives us the freedom to give you guys a show that covers the band’s entire career.”

Chuck D’s straightforward militancy hasn’t dimmed with age and has become the habit of a lifetime. But if things are difficult now for progressive voices like Chuck D and Public Enemy, it’s nothing to what the group faced when they formed in the darkest days of Ronald Reagan’s America. With a right wing government that decimated social services in the inner cities of America, poor communities, especially those of colour, suffered an inordinate amount. It was against this backdrop that Public Enemy dropped Yo! Bum Rush The Show, in the process harnessing a pro-black militancy that made

we saw around us, the injustice, the inequality: we wanted to be a voice for those who had no voice.”

But despite the resilience of her ongoing musical career, it’s the blockbuster film that has dragged the songwriter and guitarist back into the spotlight in recent times. Despite Jett having lived most of her adult life as a celebrity, it still must be somewhat strange having a movie made about a slice of your adolescence. Jett was played by Twilight star Kristen Stewart in the film and used her role as executive producer to try and bring an element of authenticity to both the portrayal and the project.

The entertainment factor of the film aside, it proved a great vehicle to bring some totally warranted attention back to The Runaways themselves, who have been somewhat underrated in the past both for their pioneering role in proving that females can rock with the best of them, plus their music itself – tracks such as Cherry Bomb and Queens Of Noise having a lasting appeal that is now being appreciated by a wider and more eclectic audience. “Definitely,” Jett agrees. “I’m most thrilled about those aspects of it – getting the music back out there, making more people aware of the band. I think, at least here in the States, I’ve seen a real reaction: I’ve seen a lot of young girls at our shows really excited, girls who had seen The Runaways and who love the band now and who hadn’t realised how hard it was.” One relatively obscure aspect of Jett’s path post-The Runaways – she started a solo career in 1980 following the dissolution of her previous outfit, before forming The Blackhearts in 1981 – is that it’s been staunchly independent from the outset (she began Blackheart Records with her partner Kenny Laguna), an incredible feat given the ubiquity of her 1982 smash I Love Rock ’N Roll. “It was so hard,” she recalls sombrely. “The whole tide was so against us – everybody was against

“Young people have a real advantage that we didn’t have,” he adds. “Technology is the great leveller and kids today can find out about different groups at the push of a button. They can go to YouTube, download older albums or check out a band’s website with no effort at all. Public Enemy has recognised this for a long time and we’ve used the technology to our own benefit. Since 1999 we’ve championed downloading, we’ve championed a strong web presence and we’ve used the net to keep Public Enemy free of being beholden to any record company. It’s smart business for us, but it’s also a political statement about our art and what we feel our role is as a group. We’ve set things up so we’re free to do what we want and say what we want – not many musicians have that freedom and we relish it.” WHO: Public Enemy WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 29 December, Corner Hotel; Thursday 30 December, Falls Festival, Lorne

us. I mean, we had help here and there obviously, but it was a real struggle. We wanted to be on a major label but we got rejected by everybody and we had no choice but to print it up ourselves if we wanted to put the music out. So we kind of took the idea from the imports that were coming in and we slapped an import sticker on the records and sold them out of the trunk of our car. Fans loved them and it really created a groundswell. In the beginning we sold right out – and then they kept selling well and it helped us to take it to the next step. We’re totally independent, we don’t trace back to a big company or anything.” And then came the I Love Rock ’N Roll juggernaut – a cover of an obscure track by UK rock’n’roll footnote The Arrows, Jett’s version of the songs was a worldwide smash and catapulted her into the mainstream. Strangely, the first version she cut of the track had been earlier (in 1979) with Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols. “I was a big Pistols fan and was a kind of acquaintance or friend with those guys while they were around,” Jett recalls. “After they broke up in San Francisco, Paul and Steve came to LA and were hanging out for a while. Maybe they played with us at a gig while The Runaways were still together, but after The Runaways broke up I wanted to put down a couple of songs just so I had something to play to people. We recorded I Love Rock ’N Roll and You Don’t Own Me and another song called Don’t Abuse Me, which was a Runaways song. “I always thought [I Love Rock ’N Roll] was a hit. I brought the song back from England to the States for The Runaways to do. I’d heard it on a TV show and went into the record store and bought it – it was a B-side to their single. I just thought it was a hit – it sounded like a hit to me, but the other girls didn’t want to do it. I’m assuming it was because we’d done a song called Rock & Roll on our first album, the Lou Reed song, so they didn’t want to do another song with ‘rock’n’roll’ in the title. Maybe they thought it was a little light or something, I don’t know, but I figured, ‘Fuck, I’ll just hold onto this and do it some other time’. So after the band broke up it was front and centre of the songs that I wanted to try. It was great to see people sort of explode when we started playing it – it was fun. It’s what you do this for, you know?”

WHO: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts WHEN & WHERE: Friday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne

THREE LITTLE BOPS Although the effortless vintage style she currently rocks suggests otherwise, one third of sibling group KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS, DAISY DURHAM, was once a Spice Girls fan. She tells BRYGET CHRISFIELD she sent in multiple competition entries hoping to win a pair of platform trainers. now, because we’ve always loved playing music together.” When asked what the first instrument was that she picked up, Durham shares, “We’ve always had a piano. I used to play that all the time.” Was the first piece she mastered Chopsticks? “Oh, um, I can’t remember what it was actually. My dad showed me this rock’n’roll kind of riff, so I just used to play that all the time. We had some bongos. I used to play them. And Lewis and Kitty were kind of, they started to like ukulele and banjo and guitar, which – I’m useless at stringed instruments. On the piano, I don’t really do the twinkly bits. I’m more of a rhythm person. I just do the chords.”


AISY, COME ON!” Ingrid Weiss – mother of siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis and also the group’s touring double bassist – screams out. Before too long, her eldest daughter picks up the phone with a tentative, “Hello?” The whole family still lives under the same roof in Kentish Town, North London and 22-year-old Daisy Durham has just woken up. “My mum came in and she was like, ‘You’ve got an interview,’ because I had one before this and I was still asleep and I was like, ‘What? You’re joking!’ So I literally just jumped out of bed and came straight to the phone.” Durham says of the bedroom situation in their family home, “I shared with my brother and sister for a while.” Did she put up any posters on the bedroom walls? “Uh, yeah,” Durham hesitates, “I had Spice Girls.” This isn’t particularly consistent with the trio’s devotion to all things vintage but Durham laughingly admits that “Geri, the ginger Spice” was her personal favourite. She was even lucky enough to catch the girl band in concert and admits, “It was pretty good… I remember when, um, ‘cause my dad had a photocopier at work, so I took this Spice Girls book that I had and photocopied every page and tried to make a floor out of it by sticking it on the floor like tiles,” she giggles. “And then the dog came and weed on it!”

In terms of the family’s recent agenda, Durham explains, “We haven’t been doing much touring because we’re doing an album. We’re almost done, actually; it’s taken a while. The equipment’s been breaking down. We started recording on another machine and the part broke. So we spent a couple of months – to try and get it fixed, like, sending it to all different people, and no one could do it. So we had to start all over again on a different machine.” The trio record at home on 1950s reel-to-reel tape machines and middle child Lewis even cuts his own vinyl. Kitty, Daisy & Lewis’s dad, Graeme Durham, is also their touring guitarist and works as an engineer at the Exchange mastering studio. Do mum and dad ever cramp the kids’ style when they’re on tour? “Um, they wouldn’t really cramp our style,” she offers. “There’s ups and downs. Sometimes they’re not in as much of a party mood as we are.” Sounds as if they usually like to give it a nudge. “Yeah, yeah, they’re up for it. We hang out with them here anyway, so it’s not that different.” Kitty, Daisy & Lewis are all multi-instrumentalists and Daisy Durham insists they’re not competitive at all. “That’s the reason why we are still playing together

When it comes to deciding who sings what, Durham considers, “I guess it just happens naturally. Or sometimes we’ll just try it out.” Does it depend who composed it? “Yeah, now it does. Now we’ve written all of our stuff, and whoever wrote it sings it. But in the past it was a lot of covers and stuff, so we just used to see who was best for it, or whoever came up and thought we should do the song and had already been singing it. We don’t really have two people singing one song, apart from Going Up The Country. All of us have different styles of singing. Kitty’s got the more natural, nice kind of voice; I’ve got more of a deep, rowdy voice and then Lewis has got – I dunno what’s he’s got,” she laughs. The Durham siblings played their first gig when “Kitty was eight, Lewis was ten and I was 12” at the Golden Lion in Camden. “They had a night on there called Come Down And Meet The Folks, which was every Sunday,” she details. “You were allowed to take kids there, so my parents used to take us up there every Sunday. And there was a lot of folk music and occasionally you’d get a really good rock’n’roll or blues band, or hillbilly. Me, Kitty and Lewis used to grab the chairs and put them right in front of the stage and just sit there and listen to the music. And we got to know the people there who were running it and he found out that we played music at home, and then he was like, ‘Oh, you and Lewis, why don’t you come up and play some banjo with me on a song or something?’ So Lewis went up and, uh, Kitty saw there was a drum kit there and just joined in. And he offered to do it again so I joined in on accordion and, yeah, it just happened like that, really. Then more and more people asked us to come and play.”

SHYNESS IS NICE Whilst Hynes has always played on his introvert qualities, his lack of confidence is somewhat astounding. He admits, “I have another Lightspeed album, but I am just not sure if I want to release it. I mean, I really, really like it, but the Blood Orange album comes out next year and I don’t know if I want to put anything out after that for a while.” His alarming self-effaced approach prompts probing into his changed outlook. As with any performer, there is always a negotiation with outside response. Though many state that any feedback – positive or negative – has little effect on their creative output, as Hynes opens up he reveals of his latest efforts, “It is strange, I kind of like was going to send it to a few friends, but I just feel a little weird about putting it out. I have kind of just gradually grown more shy. It is weird. I have started worrying more.” Clearly in a state of creative paralysis, Hynes has started to lose faith in his own output. Having made his name as part of the MySpace generation, he eventually sighs, “I put a demo of one of the songs on MySpace. It is weird because I didn’t tell anyone. People have definitely listened to it but no one has said anything. We will see what happens.”


those of Ferry Gouw, Gary Card and The Horror’s Faris Badwan. So it is only a slight understatement when Hynes declares he is “not the best at self-description”. Side projects aside, the surprisingly shy Hynes is currently focusing on his impending Australian appearances as he admits, “It is gonna be kind of intimate because I don’t have a plan to do any more Lightspeed shows after this.” The fact Hynes is doing any appearances at all is in itself a rare treat, given that the painfully timid man steers clear of live performance. “I’ve only done two tours this past couple of years and they were only like a week and a half long. I don’t really tour because I find it all rather strange. I get worried about letting people down musically.” Realising that he may somewhat be underselling his act, Hynes suddenly brightens up to add, “Having said that, Australia will be fun.”

David Cameron, the current Prime Minister of the UK, attended a Kitty, Daisy & Lewis gig, and Durham remembers, “It was quite funny, and we made an announcement over the mics, we were like, ‘Bloody smoking ban whoever thought of that?’” she cracks up laughing and then adds, “He came up to us after and he said he liked our music.” The Durham family are about to board a long-haul flight to visit our shores for the second time and Daisy opines, “The plane is a nightmare because you’ve got all those instruments. You have to check them all in and try and wangle the guitars on the plane. Some of them are, like, you can’t take it as hand luggage. Sometimes they’ll charge you extra for stuff. Last time we came to Australia – ‘cause, you know, they’ve got rules at Customs and stuff about what you’re allowed to bring in and what you’re not. But we had a djembe with us, one of those African drums. And when we were on the plane, they showed a video of what you couldn’t bring in, and one of those drums was actually one of the examples! And we were like, ‘Uh-oh!’ So I was trying to sort it out and stuff, and they ended up keeping it in the airport for us and we were allowed to take it when we went to New Zealand.” The retro style Kitty, Daisy & Lewis choose to wear perfectly complements their tunes. As a young Spice Girl fan, did Daisy own a pair of the massive platform trainers in an attempt to mimic her idols? “No, I really wanted to get them!” she admits “There was this competition for Impulse where you could win a pair, so I just grabbed – basically there were these postcards in the cinema, and I just grabbed a whole bunch of them and I sent in every one trying to get this pair of shoes. I never got [them]. I just never really thought you could get them in the usual shops.” WHO: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 28 December, Falls Festival; Thursday 6 January, Billboard

people but at the same time I want to keep then.”

DEVONTÉ HYNES’s impending visit might be the last we ever see of LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION, he tells JEREMY WILLIAMS in a discussion about performance anxiety and moving forward.

either do nothing or sometimes I write music,” Devonté Hynes is a modest man. His betterknown alter ego Lightspeed Champion is only a hint at the array of talents Hynes has at his fingertips. Not only did NME place Lightspeed Champion at number 45 on their ‘Cool List’ in 2007, but he has written for everyone from Florence & The Machine to the Chemical Brothers. If that weren’t enough, the Texas-born, Essex-raised, New York-based artist has also turned his hand to short stories with Bad Era Of Me: A Collection Of Short Stories having hit many a bookstore at the start of 2010. Worry not, though, for the man who based his alter ego upon a cartoon character he created in his math exercise book has not abandoned the doodles. The year 2007 also saw the release of I’m Asleep – Comics, Photographs And Illustrations, which saw Hynes showcase not just his artistic skills but also

The trio have come a long way since then and were hand selected to support Coldplay during their US tour last year. “It was pretty nerve-racking at the beginning,” Durham admits. “At first, ‘cause we’re the first band on, there’s not that many people in the audience because they’re all still arriving or getting drinks or whatever. Sometimes it’d be quite empty, but towards the end it’d really fill up… The biggest one we did had [a capacity of] 42,000, and that was just amazing to know that you’re playing in front of all those people!”

Having used the internet to his benefit, Hynes is a prime example of how easy it is to open up to those one doesn’t know, with his lively blog entries having attracted attention to his artistic output. Yet his presence in blogspace having wavered for a few months, Hynes mutters “I haven’t updated in a while, which was raised to me earlier. I haven’t written anything in a while because I don’t feel like I have anything to say any more.” Returning to the earlier self-deprecation, a sincere Hynes seems to suddenly see through the haze as he accidentally lets slips, “The days when I was extensively blogging, at that particular period of me I was trying to get through something in my life. So it was a particular point and I have got past it now.” With his darker days brought to the fore, Hynes returns to his frank discussion of his songwriting. Having opened the gates, he is ready to let everything pour out. “I don’t know, I think it might be that I have grown more selfish in my songwriting. On top of that, I just don’t trust my opinion. A song will become way more for me. I am quite happy to show other

It appears that the former cool kid has suffered from being left behind. Whilst 2008’s Falling Off The Lavender Bridge garnered generally positive reviews, his postdebut release break of nearly two years meant a somewhat diminished return in the credibility stakes for 2010’s Life Is Sweet! Nice To Meet You!. Known for his quirky image and honest outpourings, the critical response to his sophomore album appears to be the root of his self-doubting. “An interesting thing is the last album happened and I guess at the same time I started managing myself, which meant that the reviews were being sent to me, which were things that I never used to read. I feel like it did some damage.” Having previously been sheltered from any negative feedback, Hynes took every fresh hit hard. “For the most part, a lot of the reviews were like personal attacks, and I got a little weird about it. I thought, ‘I am just trying to make music; I can still make music and not put myself out there.’ So, I guess I started walking down that road instead.” Having already acknowledged that his touring days are finished post-Australia, the question must be asked what of his new project Blood Orange. Having used YouTube to exemplary effect, Blood Orange is fast becoming one of the most talked about acts of 2011. But why the new name? The answer is easy enough. “I just don’t want to be one of those people who suddenly approaches a different style of music. I don’t want people to be like, ‘Lightspeed has changed.’ Or the reverse side of that: just buying it because they like Lightspeed. Or even not like it as they don’t like Lightspeed. All those connotations. It is just the music, it is just me changing my vision.” With a clear focus ahead, it finally becomes clear that although Hynes has found it hard to come to terms with the critical aspect of the music industry, he has far from given up on his journey of musical exploration. He has merely changed his outlook. Whereas before he was willing to thrust his presence forward, he is now wishing to take a more low-key approach. Viewing Blood Orange as “just the next album I have done,” he contentedly concedes, “ I don’t want to take people for a ride. They are welcome to come if they want to.”

WHO: Lightspeed Champion WHAT: Friday 31 December, Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island; Sunday 2 January, East Brunswick Club



YRS24B Australia’s favourite e student recorder Durable ABS resin construction. ction.. Easy to play and keep clean. n. d bag. Includes fingering chart and

The perfect beginning for anyone learning music 61 touch sensitive keys giving piano playability and added expression. Learning music is fun and easy with Yamaha Education Suite lessons and 102 preset songs.



Have fun with Yamaha’s rainbow coloured recorders

Recording with yourr computer has neverr been so easy!!

VICTORIA A&B Musical Instruments

175 Malop Street



03 5222 2019

Cranbourne Music

130 High Street



03 5996 6955

Cranbourne Music

204 LaTrobe Street



03 9654 5115

Dale Cleves Music

238 Timor Street



03 5562 9188


529 - 535 High Street



03 9482 5550

Eastgate Music

313 - 315 Whitehorse Road



03 9888 6899

Five Star Music

102 Maroondah Highway



03 9870 4143

Future Music

22 Sixth Avenue



03 9808 8988

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Blackburn

145 Whitehorse Road



03 9877 0689

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Fitzroy

410 Brunswick Street



03 9416 4499

The ideal portable solution

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Prahran

196 Chapel Street



03 9521 2599

Dynamic sound and natural piano touch packed in a slim, exceptionally affordable instrument that’s perfect for home, school or the rehearsal room. Includes music rest, sustain pedal and power supply.

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Windsor

112 Chapel Street



03 9510 5200

J’s Music City

33 View Street



03 5442 3293


Keyboard Corner & kc’s rock shop

137 Boronia Road



03 9761 0003

Loud or silent - it’s your choice


161 - 163 St Georges Road



03 9486 8555

Music Junction Camberwell

204 Camberwell Road



03 9882 7331

Music Workshop

39 Fyans Street



03 5221 5844

Newtone Electronics

216 - 226 Barkly Street



03 9689 9511

Newtone Electronics

291 - 297 Springvale Rd



03 9558 5888

Pats Music

940-944 Centre Road



03 9563 8711

Prestige Pianos & Organs

102 Bell Street



03 9480 6777

Sky Music Supplies

2181 Princes Highway



03 9546 0188

Troy House of Music

184 Barkly Street



03 9689 4622

World Of Music

809 Nepean Highway



03 9557 8600

Wrights Music

366 - 368 St. Georges Road



03 9489 0809

Made of ABS resin which is strong, durable and easy to keep clean. Available in translucent green, pink or blue.

YDP-S31 Slimline, compact, high-quality piano - a perfect addition to your home!

Featuring one mic/instrumentt input and bundled with Cubasee AI recording software thee AUDIOGRAM 3 makes it easy to o record your music on the go. PC C and Mac compatible.

Authentic sound, weighted keys and an absolute joy to play. Only 30cm cabinet depth with keyboard cover and 3 pedals. Built-in recording features and metronome make this instrument ideal for piano lessons and practicing. Optional piano stool available.

POCKETRAK C24 Pocket full of sound



The ideal way to start

Incredible value and great style for the whole family to enjoy

61 keys and 100 different accompaniment styles. Remarkable sound and amazing value.

88 weighted keys that feel just like a real piano. 305 built-in song set ups and the ability to download more from Yamaha’s Music Finder Plus website. Includes stand, sustain pedal and power supply.


The POCKETRAK C24 is a light and portable recorder that is capable of recording both 24bit/96kHz high quality audio and compressed MP3 audio. Audio files are stored directly to the 2GB internal memory or optional microSD card and files can be transferred via USB directly to your computer. Bundled with Cubase AI recording software.

GIGMAKER DRUM KIT G P Play Pl on the brands th h pro’s demand the Q Quality Qu Yamaha shells, ball-clamp tom h o holders with double braced hardware.

PST3 PACK A complete starter package Brass copper based alloy 14” hi hats, 16” crash and 20” ride.

Excellent value for the begin beginner nner or itional, hobbyist. With 100’s of trad traditional, um sounds, s electronic and exotic drum m kit you can build your own drum and play along to your MP3 gs or to the 22 preset songs rt to recreate a live concert in your headphones.








Built especially for younger players

Exceptional value solid top classical guitar

Become the future of rock

Modern features at an affordable price

Barratts Music

104 George Street



03 6331 9355

This full-size classical guitar gives lots of bold balanced tone. The nato neck, back and sides provide the force behind this instrument’s tone, bringing out the deep sound of nylon strings.

Excellent quality entry level acoustic solid top guitar with deluxe features

Awesome acoustic electric guitar

A great sounding 3/4 size guitar. Available in natural gloss finish. Limited stock.

Impress your party guests and start playing guitar now

This solid spruce top, thin neck and low action guitar, adds value to the classic FG series with the inclusion of an in-built tuner and pre amp. Available in natural gloss. FGX720SCABL black finish - $649 and FGX720SCABS brown sunburst finish - $649.

This excellent quality guitar is the perfect choice for future rock stars! Available in three great colours: black, dark blue metallic and red metallic.

This model features a pick-up system that provides a variety of tones from jazz to blues to rock. Available in black, mist green, red metallic, yellow natural satin or silver. Limited stock.

McCann’s Music

141 - 143 Elizabeth Street



03 6234 4544

Modern Musician

106 Murry Street



03 6234 5537

Everything you need to get started, featuring a great quality guitar and all the accessories: gig bag, strap, strings, string winder, capo, pitch pipe and picks. Available in natural gloss finish.

VT+ SERIES Seize the power and sound famous fast! Introducing the new Valvetronix+ Series amps, all featuring a 12 AX7 tube for true valve tone, 99 readyto-play presets, 25 in demand effects, plus an all-new Power Level control to increase or decrease volume. Available in 20, 40, 80 and 120 watts. VT20+ $249 and VT40+ $349.

Features the same design concepts as Yamaha’s premium high-end guitars. Available in natural gloss or matte finish. FG700MS - $349.



Little yet loud

Mini headphone amp stack

Powerful 10 watt amp that is perfect for home practice, backstage warm-up and recording.

Equipped with a 3” Vox speaker and 0.7 Watts of power, the amPlug Cabinet is compatible with all amPlug models, so you can use a variety of amPlugs with a single amPlug Cabinet. Limited stock. AmPlug not included.

AMPLUG Plug in, rock out Vox’s pint-sized headphone guitar amp available in different styles. All models feature Gain, Tone and Volume controls along with an AUX-IN jack so you can jam along with a CD/MP3 player. Limited stock.

Promotion commences 1st November 2010 to 31st December 2010 at participating dealers. Not all products listed in this catalogue are available at all Yamaha dealers. # These products are listed at normal RRP and are not part of this special distributor’s promotional offer. † The “value” specified for the bonus offers is Yamaha Music Australia’s recommended retail price of these products. *Price drop of 40% applies to selected product only. Visit for full terms and conditions.




YRS24B Australia’s favourite e student recorder Durable ABS resin construction. ction.. Easy to play and keep clean. n. d bag. Includes fingering chart and

The perfect beginning for anyone learning music 61 touch sensitive keys giving piano playability and added expression. Learning music is fun and easy with Yamaha Education Suite lessons and 102 preset songs.



Have fun with Yamaha’s rainbow coloured recorders

Recording with yourr computer has neverr been so easy!!

VICTORIA A&B Musical Instruments

175 Malop Street



03 5222 2019

Cranbourne Music

130 High Street



03 5996 6955

Cranbourne Music

204 LaTrobe Street



03 9654 5115

Dale Cleves Music

238 Timor Street



03 5562 9188


529 - 535 High Street



03 9482 5550

Eastgate Music

313 - 315 Whitehorse Road



03 9888 6899

Five Star Music

102 Maroondah Highway



03 9870 4143

Future Music

22 Sixth Avenue



03 9808 8988

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Blackburn

145 Whitehorse Road



03 9877 0689

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Fitzroy

410 Brunswick Street



03 9416 4499

The ideal portable solution

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Prahran

196 Chapel Street



03 9521 2599

Dynamic sound and natural piano touch packed in a slim, exceptionally affordable instrument that’s perfect for home, school or the rehearsal room. Includes music rest, sustain pedal and power supply.

Gallin’s Musician’s Pro Shop Windsor

112 Chapel Street



03 9510 5200

J’s Music City

33 View Street



03 5442 3293


Keyboard Corner & kc’s rock shop

137 Boronia Road



03 9761 0003

Loud or silent - it’s your choice


161 - 163 St Georges Road



03 9486 8555

Music Junction Camberwell

204 Camberwell Road



03 9882 7331

Music Workshop

39 Fyans Street



03 5221 5844

Newtone Electronics

216 - 226 Barkly Street



03 9689 9511

Newtone Electronics

291 - 297 Springvale Rd



03 9558 5888

Pats Music

940-944 Centre Road



03 9563 8711

Prestige Pianos & Organs

102 Bell Street



03 9480 6777

Sky Music Supplies

2181 Princes Highway



03 9546 0188

Troy House of Music

184 Barkly Street



03 9689 4622

World Of Music

809 Nepean Highway



03 9557 8600

Wrights Music

366 - 368 St. Georges Road



03 9489 0809

Made of ABS resin which is strong, durable and easy to keep clean. Available in translucent green, pink or blue.

YDP-S31 Slimline, compact, high-quality piano - a perfect addition to your home!

Featuring one mic/instrumentt input and bundled with Cubasee AI recording software thee AUDIOGRAM 3 makes it easy to o record your music on the go. PC C and Mac compatible.

Authentic sound, weighted keys and an absolute joy to play. Only 30cm cabinet depth with keyboard cover and 3 pedals. Built-in recording features and metronome make this instrument ideal for piano lessons and practicing. Optional piano stool available.

POCKETRAK C24 Pocket full of sound



The ideal way to start

Incredible value and great style for the whole family to enjoy

61 keys and 100 different accompaniment styles. Remarkable sound and amazing value.

88 weighted keys that feel just like a real piano. 305 built-in song set ups and the ability to download more from Yamaha’s Music Finder Plus website. Includes stand, sustain pedal and power supply.


The POCKETRAK C24 is a light and portable recorder that is capable of recording both 24bit/96kHz high quality audio and compressed MP3 audio. Audio files are stored directly to the 2GB internal memory or optional microSD card and files can be transferred via USB directly to your computer. Bundled with Cubase AI recording software.

GIGMAKER DRUM KIT G P Play Pl on the brands th h pro’s demand the Q Quality Qu Yamaha shells, ball-clamp tom h o holders with double braced hardware.

PST3 PACK A complete starter package Brass copper based alloy 14” hi hats, 16” crash and 20” ride.

Excellent value for the begin beginner nner or itional, hobbyist. With 100’s of trad traditional, um sounds, s electronic and exotic drum m kit you can build your own drum and play along to your MP3 gs or to the 22 preset songs rt to recreate a live concert in your headphones.








Built especially for younger players

Exceptional value solid top classical guitar

Become the future of rock

Modern features at an affordable price

Barratts Music

104 George Street



03 6331 9355

This full-size classical guitar gives lots of bold balanced tone. The nato neck, back and sides provide the force behind this instrument’s tone, bringing out the deep sound of nylon strings.

Excellent quality entry level acoustic solid top guitar with deluxe features

Awesome acoustic electric guitar

A great sounding 3/4 size guitar. Available in natural gloss finish. Limited stock.

Impress your party guests and start playing guitar now

This solid spruce top, thin neck and low action guitar, adds value to the classic FG series with the inclusion of an in-built tuner and pre amp. Available in natural gloss. FGX720SCABL black finish - $649 and FGX720SCABS brown sunburst finish - $649.

This excellent quality guitar is the perfect choice for future rock stars! Available in three great colours: black, dark blue metallic and red metallic.

This model features a pick-up system that provides a variety of tones from jazz to blues to rock. Available in black, mist green, red metallic, yellow natural satin or silver. Limited stock.

McCann’s Music

141 - 143 Elizabeth Street



03 6234 4544

Modern Musician

106 Murry Street



03 6234 5537

Everything you need to get started, featuring a great quality guitar and all the accessories: gig bag, strap, strings, string winder, capo, pitch pipe and picks. Available in natural gloss finish.

VT+ SERIES Seize the power and sound famous fast! Introducing the new Valvetronix+ Series amps, all featuring a 12 AX7 tube for true valve tone, 99 readyto-play presets, 25 in demand effects, plus an all-new Power Level control to increase or decrease volume. Available in 20, 40, 80 and 120 watts. VT20+ $249 and VT40+ $349.

Features the same design concepts as Yamaha’s premium high-end guitars. Available in natural gloss or matte finish. FG700MS - $349.



Little yet loud

Mini headphone amp stack

Powerful 10 watt amp that is perfect for home practice, backstage warm-up and recording.

Equipped with a 3” Vox speaker and 0.7 Watts of power, the amPlug Cabinet is compatible with all amPlug models, so you can use a variety of amPlugs with a single amPlug Cabinet. Limited stock. AmPlug not included.

AMPLUG Plug in, rock out Vox’s pint-sized headphone guitar amp available in different styles. All models feature Gain, Tone and Volume controls along with an AUX-IN jack so you can jam along with a CD/MP3 player. Limited stock.

Promotion commences 1st November 2010 to 31st December 2010 at participating dealers. Not all products listed in this catalogue are available at all Yamaha dealers. # These products are listed at normal RRP and are not part of this special distributor’s promotional offer. † The “value” specified for the bonus offers is Yamaha Music Australia’s recommended retail price of these products. *Price drop of 40% applies to selected product only. Visit for full terms and conditions.




EXECUTIVE DECISION BRITISH MUSIC AND MEDIA EXECUTIVE AND NEWFOUND AUTHOR CHRIS PRICE TELLS STEVE BELL HOW A RANDOM PUB DISCUSSION LED TO AN AMAZING TRANS-AMERICAN MUSICAL ROAD TRIP, DOCUMENTED IN THE NEW BOOK LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG: MISADVENTURES IN ROCK’N’ROLL AMERICA. Many friendships have been started over the years due to bonding over music, but few of these relationships end up on an international quest for musical and personal inspiration. British music executives Chris Price and Joe Harland were both in the grip of a long-standing love of the artform, and hit the American highways and byways to establish just why it had played such an important part in their respective lives. “Joe and I used to work together at the BBC,” Price begins from the beer garden of a well-known Brisbane watering hole. “We worked together at a radio station called Radio One – which I suppose is a little bit like Triple J over here – and one of our jobs was to basically have meetings with record labels and then decide whether or not their records could go on the playlists. We spent an awful lot of our time in conversation with pluggers and promotion people or in conversation with each other inside the station in playlist meetings and so forth, just talking about music. It’s a funny thing when you work in music like that, because it changes the way that you think about music – your own personal passion for it starts to become divorced from your professional opinion. And I suddenly realised that I had forgotten what I liked, basically. “So we hit on the idea of going on a musical journey, hoping to reignite our passion for music. It came about over the course of a pub conversation, as often these things do. We were talking about Joshua Tree – Joe had made a documentary about the U2 album [1987’s The Joshua Tree] but for me Joshua Tree was the place where Gram Parsons


died and his body was burned, so we realised that we were kind of coming at this place from very different directions. The more we talked about it the more we realised that there other places just like Joshua Tree, these kind of mythical places that were associated with the American rock’n’roll legend, dotted all across America, so we thought, ‘Let’s go and seek them out!’ Some of them were real, some of them existed, some of them didn’t exist – Hotel California, for example, turned out not to be in the phone book. Heartbreak Hotel, likewise. So we literally got a map of America out and we had all of these songs marked out across the map, and we thought, ‘We’ll just go in search of these places and these people that inspired our favourite songs, and try to live the music instead of just talking about it all day.’” So much mythology has sprung from the American music scene over the years that the friends had no shortage of inspiration. “One place that immediately sprung to mind was Wichita County Line to try and ‘taste the loneliness’ of the Wichita Lineman,” Price continues, referring of course to the Jimmy Webb classic Wichita Lineman. “And another of my favourite songs is Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young from Déjà Vu, so we went to Laurel Canyon to find the house, and find out if was a ‘very, very, very fine house’. Also Joe and I had been working together for probably six years by this point, so we were good mates and sort of into a lot of the same things, but we were kind of ‘work mates’ first and ‘mate mates’ second, if you like, so it was quite an interesting experiment in exploring a friendship and how

it evolves. And over the course of a month of a road it proved to be quite a bumpy ride! “For one thing we have very different music tastes. There were a few acts like Glen Campbell – we were both very excited about seeking him out. We were both very excited about going to Memphis to see where Jeff Buckley died. But on the Gram Parsons issue we were very disparate in our views – basically Joe hates country music and I love it. So it also kind of turned into an experiment about, ‘Can you lock a man in a car or a motel room for a month and force him to like something that he hates?’ I won’t spoil it by telling you if I succeeded. Almost without knowing it we found a nice little conceit for a co-authored book about our differing views on the places we

were going and the music that we were seeking out.” Live Fast, Die Young may have sprung from relatively ad hoc beginnings, but authorship seems to have struck a chord with Price, for he’s in Australia to embark on a similar musical and cultural quest. “I’m here researching a second book – I can’t really say too much about it yet because my publisher doesn’t know too much about it yet,” he laughs. “But it’s a new musical journey of sorts – much more extensive than the first one, and I’m aiming much higher. I’m starting in Brisbane, because as a tourist you get a three month visa: for the start of the journey I wanted to be at Winton, which is the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda, and for the end of the journey I want to be at the grave of Bon Scott on 19 February, which is the anniversary of his death.” WHAT: Live Fast, Die Young: Misadventures In Rock’N’Roll America by Chris Price and Joe Harland (Summersdale). See for more information






1. Robert De Niro: from Raging Bull (1980) to the Focker franchise (2004-2010) 2. Jack Nicholson: from The Shining (1980) to The Bucket List (2007) 3. Sophia Loren: from Two Women (1960) to Grumpier Old Men (1995) 4. Marlene Dietrich: from The Blue Angel (1930) to Golden Earrings (1947) 5. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton: from Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf (1966) to Divorce His – Divorce Hers (Telemovie,1973) 6. Steve McQueen: from Bullitt (1968) to An Enemy Of The People (1978) 7. Meryl Streep: from Sophie’s Choice (1982) to Mamma Mia! (2008)

Once publicly challenged to a fight by Axl Rose, veteran UK journalist Mick Wall is an old hand at rock biographies. There’s few more qualified to pen a tome about metal’s most successful act, Metallica – whom he has maintained an occasionally bizarre association with for the past 25 years. Wall introduces each chapter with a personal memory of his encounters with Metallica. This presents numerous insights – particularly the progression of his complex relationship with drummer Lars Ulrich. Exhaustively compiled and meticulously researched, the author goes to great lengths to place the band’s formation in the proper context and features numerous interviews – including eminent rock reporters, former managers, and musical peers. Metallica made a

seemingly unlikely ascent to the top of the music industry ladder, transcending genres to become the “U2 of heavy metal” and surviving PR nightmares (Napster), a key member’s death, and inner power struggles. Wall is equally at ease celebrating 1986’s Master Of Puppets as he is dubbing 2008’s Death Magnetic “tokenistic” (and more controversially, mauling 1988’s …And Justice For All). He’s also not afraid to call them out on what he deems calculated career decisions, such as aesthetic concessions to the ’90s grunge and alt-rock revolutions. Wall’s insistence on dispelling distorted half-truths regurgitated so many times by band members even they’ve started to believe it hasn’t always endeared him to his subjects. However, questioning Metallica’s ancient party line that they soldiered on in the wake of bassist Cliff Burton’s death “because that’s what Cliff would have wanted” is fascinating. The sheer amount of detail ensures this won’t be for casual fans, but even the most dedicated fanboys will discover details they didn’t know beforehand.



LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS Based on a memoir by Jamie Reidy titled Hard Sell: The Evolution Of A Viagra Salesman, for some of you it will be enough to know that throughout Love And Other Drugs you get to see Anne Hathaway’s boobs, a lot. There’s also a lot of shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s not the most romantic of comedies but with some serious themes at play it’s a suitable approach. Gyllenhaal plays Reidy, a Pfizer drug rep and playa who always gets the girl, usually short-term. Hathaway is Maggie Murdock, a 26-year-old Parkinson’s patient, gun shy of relationships but also open to a short-term hook-ups. After they meet during one of Jamie’s sales calls it doesn’t take long for this stunning duo to show us why hot people tend to get naked with other hot people, all the while

promising each other that their liaisons are purely sexual. Inevitably each is charmed by the other and they must decide if staying together is worthwhile since the road ahead seems paved with heartbreak. It’s hard to create conflict within love stories these days, normally adults in a free society do what they like. The conflict created for Jamie grounds the film in a dilemma the audience can ponder while the sub-plots of Jamie’s fractured relationship with his father, the culture of drug pushing pharmaceutical corporations, and Maggie’s relationship with her disease are all handled with a light but sensitive touch. Fluttering between sexy and serious when the film tries to hit sentimental notes it doesn’t quite work but Love And Other Drugs has more to offer than tear-jerker moments. WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now






LIFE THROUGH A LENS ANTHONY CAREW SPEAKS WITH ENTOURAGE STAR ADRIAN GRENIER ABOUT CELEBRITY AND HIS DOCUMENTARYTEENAGE PAPARAZZO. There’s a great moment in Teenage Paparazzo, the second documentary motion-picture made by celebrity beefcake Adrian Grenier, when he shows up with his camera crew to film the adolescent snapper that’s its subject. Only to find another camera crew is also following the titular tyke, and, thus, there’s two camera crews sitting there, shooting each other, waiting for something to happen. Grenier’s doc doesn’t sound like much more than a lark – famous human explores the phenomenon of the paparazzi via the absurdity of a professional 14-year-old photographer – but, in this moment, it almost perfectly captures the state of the western world circa 2010: everybody is recording everything at all times, yet never actually living in the actual instant itself; the undocumented moment now akin to a tree falling in the woods. If you didn’t photograph it and put it up on some social media site, did it really happen? “It’s true,” says Grenier. The 34-yearold star of Entourage is in town for the Melbourne International Film Festival, where his every move is, of course, met by a thousand flashbulbs and a host of digital video cameras. “Nobody’s living any more, everyone’s just filming.” As if to evince the point further, there’s another sweetly symbolic moment in Grenier’s film, where a pair of girls who just saw Paris Hilton go past lament the fact that they didn’t get a picture of her. “Nobody will believe that it happened!” they screech. Grenier offers an answer: they can take a picture of the display screen of his camera, which has just snapped pictures of Hilton. “If you think about it, it’s so bizarre,” Grenier smirks. “If you see something happen with your own eyes, it’s nothing, but if you take a picture of a picture, that’s enough. If you think about it, what is this, really? It’s just reflections after reflections, caving in on one another. That’s something I tried to contend with: navigating that hall-of-mirrors, trying to make sense of it, yet, at the same time, creating my own reflections.” Grenier’s defining role, as the lead of long-running television serial Entourage, leaps right into the heart of such; the actor “becoming a celebrity through playing a celebrity in a show about celebrity”. Thus, he felt, the “next step was to attempt to deconstruct celebrity”. As Grenier digs into his principle subject – 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk, and the paparazzi as phenomenon – the film transforms


into a study on human beings in the media-saturated digital era. It addresses trenchant topics like the rise of parasocial relationships (eg. viewers thinking they’re ‘friends’ with reality TV contestants), the globalvillage aspect to mass-disseminated celebrity scandals (which take the place of old-fashioned village gossip), and the 21st century culture of constant performance (where a lifetime of media exposure and the sense of being constantly documented has birthed a generation of self-conscious, performative humans). Grenier interviews a host of celebrity pals – Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, his entourage from Entourage – but also speaks to Jake Halpern, author of Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths behind America’s Favorite Addiction, and finds a ‘voice of reason’ in Thomas de Zengotita, whose anthropological tome Mediated: How The Media Shapes Your World And The Way You Live In It served as key influence on Grenier. “All these thoughts I had, these suspicions I harboured,” explains Grenier, “became more solidified, conceptually, after I read Mediated, which totally transformed the way I look at the world, and the way we consume media. It’s like my eyes had been opened to the matrix, at the secret human desires behind this culture of celebrity.” Describing himself, with no apparent irony, as “a very philosophical person,” Grenier speaks of having wanted to take “an anthropological look at our culture” with Teenage Paparazzo; hoping to tell the story of what he describes – when we’re discussing celebrity basketballer LeBron James’ decision to defect from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in a one-hour live television special – as “the reality TV generation”. Therein, Teenage Paparazzo toes the line between its high-philosophies and its own essentially-televisual aesthetic. “There’s a fine line between all the different elements in the film; there’s a fine line between being a documentary filmmaker and being a paparazzo!” Grenier laughs. So, while de Zengotita lambasts a generation of humans who’re little more than “method actors”, Grenier tags after his obnoxious adolescent subject (authoring a sentimental older-brother story arc along the way), fakes a flirtation with a colluding Hilton just to witness the tabloid feeding-frenzy, and seeks to “humanise the paparazzi, these

people who’re often thought of as faceless monsters”. Thus, his grand, farcical stunt involves becoming a paparazzo himself. This, of course, leads to another moment of (more contrived) 21st century/ celebrity absurdity – Grenier and paparazzi photographing each other photographing each other – but, after some initial hostility, he’s accepted into the pack, and joins them in the thrill of the hunt. “Getting to know these people was important,” Grenier says, “because then you cannot make an absolute judgment, and there are ironies and subtleties their human face behoves you to embrace.” Teenage Paparazzo ends with another hall-of-mirrors moment, in which Visschedyk and his mother, two years removed from principle filming, sit down to watch a rough-cut of the nearly-completed picture. “I wanted to end it on a note of family,” Grenier says. “To show that this is a film about this boy and his parents, and why they let him do what he does, but that it’s also about tabloid as the ultimate parental force in our society; this thing that teaches us what to care about, how to be judgemental and who to judge, and how to be disrespectful to other human beings.” WHAT: Teenage Paparazzo on DVD (Madman)

In the opening scene of Blue Valentine a dog has gone missing. And, if you’ve read The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, you know where this is going. Derek Cianfrance’s second feature isn’t about communist occupation or conceptions of kitsch or debates of Nietzschean philosophy, but the dog is, indeed, symbolic of a marriage, of its love, of a spirit of goodness existing between two people in an imperfect, tense, volatile union. And if the dog is lost, if the dog is dead, well, you know where the marriage stands. Cianfrance’s portrait of a union is a big-picture view of two humans, and all that’s come between them. Seemingly inspired by Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Cianfrance creates a mosaic of meaningful moments in a whole romantic history, but with a grim, unwavering, often-unromantic sense of method-acted vérité. In navigating between the past and the present, the film attempts to convey the feeling of the relationship itself: its early spontaneity an escape from reality, into a realm of romanticism, a world of only two; its current malaise a prison imposed by mundaneity, debilitating outside forces, and festering, corrosive resentment, the very idea of romance (as symbolised by a ‘fantasy’-themed sex motel) absurd and grotesque, something untenable. Acted out by two bona fide film stars (Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling), Blue Valentine – in all its brutal fucking and hellacious arguments – seems bound for overpraise; the persistent platitudes for the pair’s performances sure to be “raw” and “honest”. Though each actor has done amazing work in (better) films of a similar unwashed ilk (say, Wendy & Lucy and Half Nelson, respectively), here they’re not nearly as good; not receding into their roles but playing them with theatrical, white-trash-relishing flourish. Somewhere is a work of persuasive artistry: its ultra-droll, underplayed, soundtrack-reticent mise-en-scène a thing of pure cinematic beauty. After the embarrassing Marie-Antoinette, here Sofia Coppola ditches the new-wave-soundtracked pop-music videos and self-conscious kitsch for a charming, intent stillness; forever

7 UP


REALLY USEFUL SONGS FROM MOSTLY FORGOTTEN FILMS BY CAM GRACE 1. My Love Has Two Faces by Shirley Bassey in Deadfall (1968) 2. Everybody’s Out Of Town by BJ Thomas in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973)

3. Down On Me by Janis Joplin in Petulia (1968) 4. Incense And Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock in Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970) 5. Once I Loved by Astrid Gilberto in Juno (2007) 6. Take This Waltz by Leonard Cohen in Love, etc. (1996) 7. Nothing To Lose by Claudine Longet in The Party (1968)


sitting and watching, and, more importantly, listening. Shooting, largely, in the scorched, smogdappled sunshine of California, the film’s aesthetic is less visual than aural; defined by the dripping engine oil, the air-conditioner hum, the persistent street noise, and the exhaled breaths that we’re invited to quietly listen to. For someone mocked as a dilettante, the very poster-child of nepotism, upon viewing Somewhere it’s undeniable that Coppola is, in fact, a genuine cineaste, a gifted stylist whose work, here, shows a tendency towards auteurism. It’s, in many ways, a sister picture to Lost In Translation; just writ in a pleasingly minimal style steeped in Antonioni and Fellini. Here, a suspended-adolescent movie-star and his semi-estranged 11-year-old daughter take a trip through a series of hotel-rooms, inhabiting an isolated sphere in which a father/daughter relationship can unexpectedly flourish. Taken together, the two pictures form an overlapping, impressionist portrait of a childhood-of-privilege; formative years spent in luxury suites, isolated from the casual ‘reality’ of the outside world in a surreal vacuum in which societal distinction leads to social dislocation. Beyond that, Somewhere is a film about the banal; the banality of sex, of drugs, of parties, of desire, of celebrity, of fame. Here, completely pointless ‘hanging out’ is the true spirit of human existence; and the things that society sells you on yearning after – the lures of a better life, the signposts of success – are, at heart, utterly meaningless. After two very good films (Welcome To The Dollhouse, Happiness) and two very bad (Storytelling, Palindromes), Todd Solondz is back in form with Life During Wartime. A pseudosequel to Happiness radically recast, Palindromes-style, it gleefully revels in the grotesque absurdities of suburbia. Life During Wartime might be Solondz’s most charminglyrepellent picture: all American Zionism, paedophile hysteria, colossal self-delusion, and scenes of mocking provocation. Whilst it tends towards the deadpan, Solondz occasionally lets his gallows humour go goofball: like giving us the absurd delights of Pee-wee Herman as a Great Gazooesque ghost (“Andy!”) stalking his exfrom beyond the grave. It’s not quite as funny as Happiness, nor as good, but, after a dire past decade, it’s good to see Solondz relevant again. From a film named after a Talking Heads song, to a film about Talking Heads honcho David Byrne: Ride, Rise, Roar chronicles his most recent bout of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today touring. Gratefully, it’s as interested in preparation as performance; the picture half in-concert, half rehearsal. And seeing the modern-dance steps being born is, in its own way, interesting. But the concert footage sucks, as almost all concert footage does; too many wide shots, from too safe a distance, with too television an approach. And then there’s the music. Byrne’s achieved beloved-elder status amongst current

indie hipsters, but much of the music here is heinously bad; sessionmuso white-man’s funk of the most embarrassing variety. The music in When You’re Strange: A Film About The Doors is far more likely to be criticised, but it’s the least suspicious element of Tom DiCillo’s made-for-TV career-chronicle of the drug enthusiasts. Beyond the questionable filmmaking – all repurposed stock footage, unending montages, and a breathless, dramatically-intoned voice-over from Johnny Depp – there’s the lingering, depressing persistent of five-decades-strong Baby Boomer nostalgia. Rolling the newsreel footage of student riots, assassinated Kennedys, Manson, MLK, DiCillo courts ’60s-cliches fatigue. In such context, placed against the film, The Doors’ music manages to, weirdly, escape its own classic-rock clichés, seeming not trenchant and topical, just charmingly brainless. It also hedges on buying into the deification of Morrison. For all his rockist charisma, psychic energy, and quoteunquote genius, Morrison comes across as somewhere between annoying and tedious; the band, Depp smirks, grow “bored” with the Lizard King’s ongoing drug abuse. And, over this 80 minutes, viewers undoubtedly will, too. I’m all for laughing at bad films – Philadelphia is fucking hilarious! – but you know what’s categorically not funny? Deliberately bad films. Like Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, a faux-blockbuster all B-movie kitsch, disaster-movie tropes, and Michael Bay machinations. And, yes, there’s lots of “funny” bad acting, bad writing, bad direction, bad music, etc; with the artistic heft and cultural resonance of shitty sketch-comedy. Morning Glory’s writer – Aline Brosh McKenna, rom-com-cliché wielder behind 27 Dresses, the to-screen translation of The Devil Wears Prada, etc – pulls off a great cake-and-eat-in-to trick in her central characterisations. On one hand, you have Rachel McAdams, the standard Heigl-esque go-getting-young-girlwho’s-crazily-clumsy-and-hopelessin-love. On the other, you have Harrison Ford, a crotchety old-school journalist equal parts cultural snobbery and genuine misanthropy. They come together in the hideous, heinous world of morning television; and the two sparring partners - her youthful exuberance, his scathing hatred – allow McKenna to both warmly embrace this realm, and to viciously skewer it; effectively letting her film play to two different audiences. The film itself isn’t really so good – inescapable rom-com clichés, lame celebrity cameos – but, hey, it could be worse. There’s a dead Jew in the closet! The writing in Sarah’s Key - which comes from some doubtlesslyshitty historical-fiction thing penned by Tatiana de Rosnay – is embarrassingly bad; noxious concoction in which every plot development is transparent, every device some hokey attempt to

AD LIT personalise past tragedy in a guileless, guilt-mongering fashion. The themes that it explores - the spectre of racist tragedy in French history looming as a form of corrosive guilt in 21st century bourgeoisie – have made for awesome films like Michael Haneke’s Caché and Nicolas Klotz’s La Question Humaine, but this is just dreadful; a Sunday-afternoon matinee of multi-timeframed, interwoven story trussed out by tasteful, mournful piano score. Gilles Paquet-Brenner, its director, once presided over savage, salty, hypersexual satires Pretty Things and UV; making the arthouse blandeur here some doubly repugnant. The King’s Speech will be everywhere in the depressing awards-show season, with Colin Firth all but guaranteed statues for both impersonating a famous human and pretending to have a stammer. Though it has the trappings of Importance - Oscar-nominated actors, Royal Family history, flouncy costumery, soft focus - the film is essentially a sports-movie; no coincidence given that director Tom Hooper comes fresh off soccer-flick The Damned United. There’s much genre familiarity in this tale of an unorthodox coach training up a rank outsider to become a champion. You’re supposed to be impressed that this rank outsider is King George VI, but it’s hard to be when there’s a runamok spate of he’s-getting-better! montages. But, hey, even Rocky had a montage!, and that shit was nominated for ten Oscars…


THE GRUEN TRANSFER IS CONSISTANTLY THE MOST WATCHED TELEVISION SHOW ON THE ABC. NOW IT’S EXPANDING INTO PRINT, WITH THE PUBLICATION OF THE GRUEN TRANSFER BOOK. LIZ GIUFFRE TALKS TO ITS AUTHOR JON CASIMIR. “We have what we call FMMs in the office, otherwise known as ‘fuck me moments’, and literally that can be described as that moment when you turn to someone else in the room as say, ‘Fuck me, did they really do that?!’ An FMM might be an amazing ad, it might an amazing approach, or a thought or a marketing term; something really revealing about advertising, and we do look at all our episodes and say, ‘Do we have enough FMMs in any given show that we’re happy with? Are we giving the audience enough that they might not have thought about?’ And we did the book in the same way.” Jon Casimir is describing the process of working in the offices of The Gruen Transfer. A part of Andrew Denton’s production company Zapruder’s Other Films, the process of making a show about advertising on the publically funded ABC is not as serious as it could have been. Not to say that advertising isn’t a serious business, but rather that there is, a public service broadcasting dictates, more to be gained by informing, educating and entertaining. Casimir is currently on the campaign trail to spruik The Gruen Transfer

book as something of a mixture between a coffee table book, toilet read, and textbook. Casimir repeats this description happily, saying “I don’t know what it is,” but that the idea was simply to “concentrate on what we think it really interesting.” Building on this, he adds, “TV is finite while books are less finite, so we could just cram stuff into the book. The book starts on the premise that you can see 3,000 pieces of advertising in a day, so the book is the day from eyes open to eyes shut, exploring the types of ads you encounter during the day.” A former journalist and continued curious bugger/shitsturrer, Casimir is reluctant to be called an ‘expert’ (“I’ve got five years now of being an interested onlooker, not an expert”), but in putting the book together he made a point of keeping the show’s spirit of keeping dogma at bay while providing insightful information. “I don’t think we’re cynical,” he says, “I think we come from the person-on-the-couch’s angle. We’re skeptical, and we do ask barred questions, and we do mock and question what we see [in ads], and


the reason for that is that we want to know how advertising works and how it works on us.” The Gruen Transfer book is incredibly detailed and does cover interviews with regular Gruen panelists and topics, but also branches out to venture towards those a little more removed from the ad world. Most notably this includes some hard research, interviews with academics (don’t be scared, they’ve been de-jargoned), and words from the good people at Ad Busters. “We’ve broken out and put a sealed section in the middle,” Casimir explains. “But the rest of the book is not judgmental. There are few points where my judgmental side kicks in, [for example] I’m not a huge fan of brands who try and create good will when it’s just for profit… but I came into this probably more black and white about advertising than I am now; now I think advertising is much more grey than I used to.” WHAT: The Gruen Transfer Book (Harper Collins)

“I think about the artists I love and my feeling is, don’t you ever die.” A Sunday morning, slow and grey from the night before, is not a place you would expect to find revelation. I’ve got a coffee and house keys in a hand as my cul-de-sac and the green front door of my new place pull into focus with something unexpected; a heavy manila postbag against the doorframe drawing the attention of the mosquitoes. It’s Andrew Zuckerman’s Music (Hachette, $70 RRP). Unwrapped and split open across my doona, its lustre and sharp whites are mesmerising, and the dimensions and gloss of the tome give it the unfair appearance of a coffee-table book. Its spine cracks as its pages breathe air for the first time, and dehydration is speeding the caffeine of my burned flat-white. Actually no more than a composite of photographic portraits and interviews, its wonder comes from its focus and luxury of space. Succeeding in an A to Z of history’s foremost still-breathing music makers, Zuckerman has extracted sense from unlikely sources. The pinball machine of Billy Corgan’s mind makes good light on something. “And the funny thing is, it used to be, the ego would at least be satisfied by constructs: numbers, phone calls to the radio station, how many people book this book. Now, for all we know, there’s 50 people in Bahrain listening

or looking and we don’t even know. So it’s going to become more of an energetic read… more of like, a trusting of our sense of things.” “I’ve made a lot of noise.” Iggy Pop looks ever more like a wizened old tree wrapped in a chamois leather. “I have a lot of yucks when I think about things. A lot of it, if you step back for a bit objectively, it’s a yuck and a half. It really is. Oh, brother.” Of course, the pictures are stunning. Wrinkles, beauty, and injection scars are blown large, in striking lucidity. On my belly, on my bed, I’m turning through the images and words and remembering the act of buying an album. Rosanne: Johnny Cash’s daughter: “It kills me that there’s no more last song on side one ... one through five, five through ten.” The photographs occupy Music’s foreground but its words are its treasure. It is a wonderful thing, genuine insight – imagined, thoughtful and fallen-arse-backwards into. As they will always be, the final thoughts are Ozzy’s. “A friend of mine, years ago, can’t remember his name now, his father works on a building site, and he fell off the scaffolding, 20 floors up. As he’s falling, his arm got caught in a bucket or something, and he saved himself. A few weeks later, he’s driving down the freeway, fell asleep at the wheel and died. You would think, you fall off a building, that would kill you. But that’s what happens sometimes… you stick another “o” in God and you’ve got “good”. I like to be good. But sometimes it’s good to be bad.”


A CLASS ACT SUMMER OFFERS THE CHANCE TO SPEND DAY UPON DAY AT THE BEACH, OR YOU COULD UNLEASH YOUR INNER MICHAEL FASSBENDER DURING ONE OF NIDA’S JANUARY SHORT COURSES. LIZ GIUFFRE TALKS TO NIDA’S MARK GAAL ABOUT WHAT’S ON OFFER. The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is once again offering a range of short courses over the summer, covering the likes of acting, writing, and design. It’s a good chance for those of you who missed the boat the first time round to get in and get some world class industry experience. “A lot of people know NIDA as a big educational institution, a tertiary institution, and for quite some time now we’ve been wanting to offer, I suppose, alternatives to that,” explains Mark Gaal, head of NIDA’s Open Program. “We’ve got this fantastic access to teachers and staff and venues and all that kind of stuff, and so we’ve opened up the teaching to embrace short courses and part time courses, and it’s been a great time, and summer comes alive with a huge range of things. “We put these courses together… I suppose that you could say it’s on demand, because we put these together in response to where people tell us their interest is,” Gaal continues. “And a lot of that’s acting, a lot of people want to do a really good acting workshop, whether it’s

for stage or screen or TV, but also we look at all the different areas that go into making theatre, film, and TV.” For Gaal, the process of putting together a summer schedule is a continual process, with the summer season barely able to wipe the sand off its sandals before the preparations start for the following year. Part of the reason so much attention is placed on these courses is because they serve to expand

NIDA’s access and profile locally, but also nationally (the Summer Shorts series tours the country) and internationally (with students often coming from around the world to do a course and soak up an Australian summer). Although the short courses are separate entities to the stuff that our Mel and our Cate undertook as undergraduates, there’s plenty of deliberate crossover. “All the units that are taught in the higher education, we really want the short courses to reflect what’s taught at tertiary level,” Gaal says. As such, the open short courses are a mixture of completely open bags where anyone is welcome (with age limits for children the only restrictions), to those that cater to people with existing skills and experience. “Summer is a time that excites the teachers because you get this mix of people,” says Gaal, confirming that it’s not just the class and the course that’s the appeal, but also the potential collaborators such programmes offer the chance to meet. In addition to using the existing NIDA facilities (mechanical and organic, as it were), with the summer series NIDA also goes on tour, offering courses beyond its Kensington base. “There’s some great places for on-location filmmaking, for example, which is great because you don’t always want to be stuck inside but out doing it.” WHAT: NIDA Summer On Tour WHERE & WHEN: Chapel Off Chapel and Wesley College Monday 17 to Sunday 23 January. See au for details


holding the space and the safety of the performer. In circus it’s almost as though if you breathe out at the wrong time…” There is a thematic coherency to the show, says Dave, despite the diversity of acts. “These performers have been working together for a long time.There are contiguous themes.”

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS! LIZA DEZFOULI STEAMS UP A LITTLE WITH ANNI DAVEY, GUEST DIRECTOR OF CIRCUS OZ’S THE BLUE SHOW. “You can’t ignore the inherent sexiness of circus,” says Anni Davey, guest director of Circus Oz’s The Blue Show, coming up in 2011’s Midsumma festival. This new show, she says, will not shy away from the erotic. It’s an adults only performance, for a start. “These performers are fit; without clothes they look fabulous!” Davey is quick to point out that what can be considered erotic isn’t necessarily confined to the obvious. “Clothed or unclothed, a fit body, is familiar in the mainstream,” she says. “It’s what we look at; we are very familiar with the semi-nude fit body. But put a ‘real’ body in front of an audience, and by that I mean a body that has been sitting in front of a drum kit or a computer – if you’re like that and you take your clothes off, it registers as much more ‘nude’. We’re exploring a bit of that as well.” The rather divine Sarah Ward’s name comes up here but let’s not give anything away. Delicious eroticism aside, what fuels The Blue Show according to Davey is “authenticity and magicalness”.

Circus Oz is ecstatic about their recent acquisition of the Melba Spiegeltent; the performers are very keen to get in there for the first time on Monday. A Speigeltent has its own magic. “It makes you fall in love with it,” says Davey.

The outrageously talented and charismatic Circus Oz performers were invited to go wild and come up with anything they liked as long as it was magical or authentic. Authenticity, says Davey, is an inherent quality in circus. “It’s not like theatre where you’re asked to suspend disbelief. In circus you’re asked to believe more! You can see what the performers are doing. You know that if something goes wrong they’ll get hurt. They really are catching those plates, they really are juggling those knives… and you’re up close. The complexities of movement become apparent. The audience is complicit in the success of the performer. An audience can make or break an act. Or at least determine whether that act is a cracker. There is a sense of audience

The last Circus Oz show had a lot of fun with the steam punk aesthetic in costuming and staging but The Blue Show is moving away from that, says Davey. The venue creates its own mood to begin with. “You can’t disguise the aesthetic inherent in the Speigeltent,” says Davey. “It’s got that Weimar, cabaret look with the mirrors and wooden panels. I’ve got a particular idea with the look,” she explains. “It’s about making all the cross-references contradictory; a ’30s feel with a ’70s look, mixing and matching all the references. Partly that’s driven by the band; we’ve got a three piece band based on a baritone sax, a vibraphone and a flute. An interesting mix of instruments. There’s sort of a Brazilian South American bossa nova type feel. A bit Monsieur Hulot’s Play Time.” WHAT: The Blue Show WHERE & WHEN: The Circus Oz Melba Spiegeltent, Docklands Thursday 13 January to Sunday 6 February




AND WIN BIG! READERS’ CHOICE AWAR Vote for your favourite artwork D in the Readers’ Choice vot Check out the entries exhibit e. at vote via Twitter. More details and soon!


~ FREE R Y 2 0 10 ~ I S S U E 110 6 WE DN ESDAY 20 JANUA





TO ENTER: Competition opens Tuesday 2 November. Create your impression of an artist on the current Big Day Out schedule and upload your entry at (go to the Big Day Art section). WIN: Inpress cover art. Artist profile. Double pass to the BDO Festival. A cd prize pack – the latest releases from BDO artists. Design software for each state winner. Free entry to a CATC Workshop for each state winner. ENTRIES CLOSE FRIDAY 7 JANUARY



RISE AND SHINE California’s THE MORNING BENDERS knew they had something special after completing second album Big Echo, frontman CHRISTOPHER CHU tells DANIELLE TRABSKY. of Chu’s brother Jon as well as Julian Harmon and Tim Or, did not really feel pressure to break onto the San Francisco music scene. In fact, Chu confesses that the music scene felt “a little dry” until recently. Much like Chu’s laissez-faire attitude, the Benders went about doing their thing and “everything just sort of happened”.


ince the release of Big Echo earlier this year, Californian-bred The Morning Benders have quickly captivated a global audience. Spending most of the year touring extensively throughout Europe and North America, they are set to finish their whirlwind adventure on our territory for The Falls, Southbound and Sunset Sounds festivals, as well as sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne. Feeling both excited and overwhelmed by the opportunities that have been presented to the band, charming frontman Christopher Chu feels lucky to be soaking up the experience. “It’s incredible to go to a country you have never been to before and have all these people know your songs and they sing along,” he says. “We’ve seen more in the last five months than in our entire lives.” The story behind this cute indie pop outfit traces back to 2005, when Chu was studying at the prestigious UC Berkeley. After taking music theory classes during

the day, Chu would retreat to his dorm to strum tunes and write some lyrics, recording his results through a microphone that was plugged into his dusty old laptop. After receiving some positive feedback, he took things a step further and decided to pursue his dreams to start up a band. It was at this point when he fortuitously met Van Pierszalowski (who has now moved on to be part of Port O’Brien) and from then on, the Benders started to play shows locally in San Francisco and Oakland. Embracing social networking sites as a vehicle for promotion they soon enough made a name for themselves in California. The independent +1 label signed the band and the Benders began recording EPs such as Loose Change (2006) and Boarded Doors (2007). In 2008 they finally released their debut album, Talking Through Tin Cans, which garnered rave reviews and scored them touring slots with high profile collectives such as The Kooks and Death Cab For Cutie. The band, who now consist

They are now signed with Rough Trade Records who released their most recent gem, Big Echo. This impressive second album mixed by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, is drenched with summery vibes and infused with baroque pop and has been greeted more widely than ever anticipated. “You never really know how your music is going to be received, but when we finished the album we felt we had something special,” Chu humbly explains. “We are really proud of it – we still are – so it’s kind of nice to have that result.” On the topic of collaborating with Taylor, Chu comments, “it was great to work with him. It was exactly what we were looking for and he knew what the band was going after.” Having been an avid fan of Grizzly Bear, the young vocalist contacted Taylor in 2006 when [Grizzly Bear’s second studio album] Yellow House first came out to express how much he enjoyed the record and the rest is history. When The Benders played shows in New York, Taylor would come to watch them and slowly but surely the band engaged in talks about recording something together at some point in the future. When Chu sent early demos of Big Echo songs, Taylor was supportive and the album was born from there. It’s apparent though, that Taylor is not the only musical genius apart of the Benders’ circle of friends. In the film clip to Excuses, Chu wanted to create a ‘wall-of-sound’ music effect, a concept coined by Phil Spector. In doing so the band invited people they knew to join them in the recording studio. “We were surprised with just how many people showed up”, Chu explains quite modestly, “nearly most of the people we called turned up so it was a pretty fun experience.” The recruits included Girls’ leading vocalist Christopher Owen and indie legend John Vanderslice (The Mountain Goats). The orchestral feel of the final recorded version is hard to achieve during live performances although Chu assures that “in a lot of ways, [the wall-of-sound effect] is pretty subtle and nuanced and not the focal point of the recording, so when playing live nothing is really lost. It was a concept I was interested

PRIME CUTS With original drummer Jay Lane back in the fold, off-kilter rockers PRIMUS are recording new material and sounding as fresh as ever, mainman LES CLAYPOOL tells BRENDAN CRABB. return to the studio with Primus. “It just didn’t seem like something any of us were really interested in doing. We would get together once in a while and do a handful of shows, play some nostalgic music and that seemed to be the extent of any interest we had in it.” It was a shift in personnel which helped reignite Primus’s desire to record again – the return of drummer Jay Lane, who departed prior to the release of their debut, 1989’s live effort Suck On This. “I had just finished doing a cycle with my band for [Claypool’s solo record] Of Fungi And Foe and it was time to figure out what we were going to do next: make a film, an Oysterhead record or work on another project. So of course talk always comes back around to Primus and to be honest it was something I really wasn’t interested in doing, because Primus for me had just become a nostalgic thing. I like moving forward, I don’t like stepping backwards. It just became very apparent after talking to Ler [guitarist Larry LaLonde] that we needed to make a change. So Tim [Alexander, drums] agreed and left the band. Jay came in, auditioned and blew us all away. I’ve been working with Jay for many years on various projects, so it was a very exciting and easy thing for me to step into. He brings a new excitement to the band that hasn’t been there in many years. We’re in the studio right now. We’re in South America, we’re heading to Australia, we’re reinvigorated on the Primus tip,” he says, emphasising the last part of the sentence with that distinctive Claypool inflection.


rimus’s eclectic fusion of styles from funk to country to hard rock, their off-beat, train-ofthought lyrics, distinctively quirky humour and Les Claypool’s unique ‘lead bass’ style ensured the American band always existed to the left of any popular music trends. Primus are currently at work on their first studio album since 1999’s Antipop. As for where a new Primus record could exist within the current musical landscape, Claypool seems nonplussed. “I have absolutely no idea how we fit into the music business of 2011,” he ponders from Argentina. “I think the music business itself is struggling to figure out what the fuck

it’s trying to do with itself and how it’s going to continue to make revenue. So that’s not really something I’m thinking about; I have people who get paid to think of such things as how to market whatever we’re going to be doing. We’re just trying to make a record that we personally enjoy and enjoy playing on a nightly basis.” Claypool has kept busy during the past decade, including filmmaking, attempting to launch an animated series, solo albums and ‘supergroup’ Oysterhead. Primus tours have sporadically occurred throughout, but Claypool says he previously had little inclination to

On the new material then – what can fans expect? “We’re about a third of the way through it. It’s kind of harkening back to a lot of the earlier Primus stuff, more [1990’s] Frizzle Fry-era type stuff, just because a lot of those tunes were written when Jay was in the band. But also it’s been many years since that record, so there’s all kinds of different sounds going on. There’s a lot of new ideas coming to the table. It sounds fantastic,” he laughs. Claypool is friendly and eager in conversation, but doesn’t seem too interested in idle chitchat. When talk moves to the band’s history though, he sounds inspired. “Music can sometimes be very much like your high school haircut; you look at it at one point and you go, ‘What the fuck was I thinking?’ Then as you step away from it for another period of time, you look back and go, ‘Hey, that’s actually kinda cool’. The albums that are always dear to me are

in and wanted to play around with for the record.” The tour downunder will conclude their monster year of jetsetting around the world and Chu seems pumped to be ending things here in Australia, having never travelled to our shores before. “I hope we have extra time to see some of the other bands playing at the festivals, but we really hope to explore a bit of Australia before we head back home.” For Chu, playing at festivals is a completely different experience to individual shows. “It’s like comparing apples and oranges,” he says. “When you play at a festival it has a different vibe. Everyone is outside and generally in a good mood”. One thing to expect from this quartet during their festival slots or at their sideshows is a cover or two. “We try to play really diverse sets. We prefer to mix it up going from slower songs to pop songs and to covers”, Chu explains. Most would agree that playing covers of all-time classics is daring territory which can end ugly. But the Benders definitely have a habit of busting some insanely mesmerising renditions in a style that is in synch with the sound of the band. While they released The Bedroom Covers in 2008, including tracks such as Lovefool by the Cardigans, they hardly perform songs from the album but can be found rocking New Order’s Ceremony or doing more mellow tracks such as Roy Orbison’s Crying. “We find some covers work better live than on the record,” Chu says. When asked whether he has reached a point of touringfatigue Chu muses, “it could be routine playing a gig every night in a different city but with different people there is different energy making it a completely new experience.” Chu makes it clear, however, that he and the band are looking forward to having a break after finishing up in Australia. “We hope to return to the studio to record another album,” he tells me. But first on the agenda is figuring out where to live. “We had intended to move to New York and pretty much packed everything up then hit the road though never actually did the move.” Although somewhat ambivalent about home at this point, the direction that the band are headed is clear, with these hipsters certain to be around making music for a while.

WHO: The Morning Benders WHAT: Big Echo (Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Thursday 5 January, Corner Hotel

albums like Frizzle Fry and [1991’s] Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, those early things that represent a time in my life that was exciting; the world is your oyster and you’re up and coming, with all these new experiences. I think for a lot of people, music, film, fashion and whatever represents a certain period in their life. There’s a certain element of endearment to re-experiencing those things. Frizzle Fry represents a part of my youth that was very enjoyable.” For many devotees it’s Primus’s various live recordings – such as the aforementioned Suck On This – which contain the most beloved versions of songs such as Tommy The Cat and John The Fisherman, later re-recorded on various studio releases. “Suck On This was basically our attempt at putting out an album when we had absolutely no money or resources to go into the studio,” the bassist explains. “The band was very popular around the Bay Area and then my guys quit on me. Todd Huth, the original guitarist, and Jay quit. Jay because he had a record deal with another band and Todd because he started having babies and just couldn’t handle the road. So I got Larry and Tim in the band and I thought to myself, ‘Well, this band’s either going to continue to be successful or we’re going to go right down the toilet, so we’d better record something to put out’. Back then everybody put out demo tapes, so we decided to make a live album and I borrowed some money from my father. My father was an auto mechanic, he really had no money, but we figured the numbers and we knew how we did on t-shirts and we figured we could make enough money from selling a thousand records to at least pay him back. So we recorded it one weekend at the Berkeley Square [in California] on this little TASCAM eight-track and it sounded pretty good. We made an album out of it, drove it around to the record stores, made enough to pay my dad back and still make another thousand records.” After the teaser of a Claypool solo show in 2009, Australian fans will experience Primus’s live performances at the Soundwave Festival. “There’s a good chance there will be something new popping up. I write the setlist an hour before the show, so we’ll see. It just depends on the vibe of the day, the audience and whatever everybody’s feeling like playing. Whether they’re Primus shows or Claypool shows, they’re different every night.”

WHO: Primus WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 3 March, Palais; Friday 4 March, Soundwave, Melbourne Showgrounds


TEN OF THE BEST Local deep funk trailblazers THE BAMBOOS celebrate ten years together in January. Founder LANCE FERGUSON talks JEREMY WILLIAMS through the highs and the lows. time,” he then “added a horn section to it. When Kylie [Auldist] joined on vocals for the first time at Meredith for the 4am set it was the beginning of a great friendship and a different phase for the music. I had tried various local vocalists at our live gigs before this but nothing really gelled. We added a third baritone saxophone to complete the current eight-piece line-up.” On paper the journey sounds as easy as pie, but in reality there were bound to be the ups and downs. While conceding that they have “still not found the right manager,” The Bamboos have managed to travel the world in the name of their music. Ferguson sits on the fence when it comes to a preference for recording or performing, admitting that “both sides have their own good and bad aspects. I can’t really imagine one without the other. I do think of both things very differently though. There are things I am doing in the studio that we wouldn’t ever be able to do live without a huge budget. If we could tour Europe with a string section, four backing vocalists and a sitar player I would definitely be up for it though!”


he Bamboos has nothing much to do with my original idea anymore. The music has changed, the band members have changed, the music I listen to has changed, the songs I write have changed, the kinds of shows we play have changed.” Having spent the past decade building The Bamboos from four friends playing the odd gig at Fitzroy’s The Night Cat into arguably Australia’s most successful modern funk and soul band has proved a fruitful yet twisting ride for founding member Lance Ferguson, who openly admits, ““my initial ambition was simply to put together a four-piece instrumental band to play like The Meters mixed with Grant Green.” New Zealand-born guitarist Ferguson started The Bamboos with a line-up completed by Ben Grayson (Hammond organ), Scott Lambie (drums) and the late Stuart Speed (bass). Whilst Grayson and Lambie moved onto pastures new, for Ferguson

the loss of Speed was without any doubt the low-point of The Bamboos’ first decade. While the line-up has altered over the years, Ferguson has remained the central driving force. With his ambitions for the group constantly growing, he knows there are some things that should never be changed, the parts of the formula that make The Bamboos who they are. “Some of the nuances have stayed,” he says. “They’ve been constant. Some stylistic instrumental cliches of The Bamboos are still in there that were there in the very beginning – you need to hang onto these things because this is what gives a band a sound.” The forward-thinking Ferguson spends little time dwelling on the past, but with a major landmark – the band’s tenth anniversary –to celebrate, he is more than happy to reminisce. For Fergsuon, “the four-piece was the beginning.” Having more than succeeded in achieving his initial aim of “hard instrumentals for a

Being on the road has always been a central element for The Bamboos, whose live reputation more than precedes them. So what better way to celebrate turning ten than with a set of live shows. But before we get around to talking about their impending dates, which will feature guests as diverse as Kano and Electric Empire, how has Ferguson found the often testy waters of the touring circuit? While he feels that band politics ranks in the top five low points of their time together, he admits there has been “nothing major” go wrong once on stage, “just typical band stuff: people starting the wrong songs and things like that. People getting too drunk at festivals. In the early days there was some pretty wild stuff happening vocally before Kylie came on board. Once I planted my boot in a guy’s arse who kept jumping on stage and grabbing the mic. It’s just the usual band stuff.” Having more than proven their on-stage prowess over the years, The Bamboos have shown a more than equal aptitude in the studio. With four albums to their name, Ferguson and his cronies have come a long way from their self-funded debut 7” Eel Oil/Blackfoot. Taking this into account, Ferguson assures fans old and new that they will endeavour to cover as much of their extensive back catalogue as possible in one night. “We need to go

A COMPLETE SHINER MARINA DIAMANDIS of MARINA & THE DIAMONDS has a healthy tongue-in-cheek element to her music. After all, she did, as she tells LIZ GIUFFRE, name her album after a cock. While there is perhaps even a touch of (the teaches of) Peaches here, at the end of the day Diamandis is keen to emphasise that what she makes is pop music. Not to say that this doesn’t have its own dignity (far from it, actually), but she’s aware that she’s a starlet, not a prophet. “With my music – and even with blogs and stuff that I’ve written in the past – it’s just really weird, but if you’re in the public eye and you say something it’s all of a sudden, ‘Oh. My. God. They. Said. This!’” she draws out for emphasis. “Whereas if you look at someone in everyday life, they say shit like that all the time, so it’s just opinions. And I suppose you kind of control the responses you receive in a way and for me, I was brought up to be extremely critical of mainstream culture and product consumption and brainwashing and all that kind of thing. I came from a very non-conformist background, so for me, that’s what I’m doing, or on that particular album, I was pulling apart why we are attracted to mainstream culture and to pop culture and if that’s a bad thing or not… And also, even now, thinking back to [Family Jewels], I said it was a lot about gender roles and stuff but I didn’t really think about it in a way that I wanted to.”


f you’ve only had a passing glance at Marina Diamandis it would be easy to think of her as part of a cycle of electro femme-pop, a clear descendant of Annie Lennox and Kate Bush, with a touch of Florence (sans Machine) for good measure. And sonically she fits the bill – catchy, girlie but a little gruff and with a clear keyboard fetish. Her film clips are cartoonish, part Lady Gaga and part Barbie & The Rockers, while her lyrics are at once subversive and pop poetry. Single Hollywood’s chorus – “I’m obsessed


with the mess that is America” – is a case in point, as is her early autobiographical tune Oh No! (“I know exactly what I want and who I want to be/I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine”). But don’t mistake all that that mishmashing for complete earnestness. “My whole album, I mean for fuck’s sake, it’s called Family Jewels. I’m naming it after a cock. I mean, you really don’t get the tongue-in-check humour in my work?” she howls down the phone with a tone that would be best suited to the punchline of a Kevin Bloody Wilson joke.

It’s strange to have someone who’s so relatively fresh to the industry (Diamandis has only had one longplayer in her five years in the spotlight), be so straight up about it and so highly self-critical. While she impressed the majors, as so few can these days, with a self-made EP Mermaid Vs Sailor (2007), she is first to criticise her own ascendance and acknowledge how quickly things change. In particular, her role as a female artist spouting ‘female issues’ (whatever that means) has been picked up by the press to date, but is also something she actually has toned down rather than continued to rage on. “[Gender stuff] is something I do in more in a balanced way now. I think back and I just cringe [at some of my early songs]. I just think, ‘Oh, it’s so kind of… it’s almost misogynistic.’ I was so black and white, I was very naïve in my thinking about feminism when I was 22 because I was angry about things about women and how we were treated. Now I’m a lot more balanced and it’s not a critique any more, but just an observation of progression.” If you think it’s a bit rich to be lamenting ‘the good old days’ as a 25-year-old then you might be right, but the thing about Diamandis is that she’s well aware of what

back and play some of those old songs that we never play anymore. Things from our first album and singles. The music has evolved a lot so it will be interesting to see how the old stuff sounds next to the newer material. I think we’re going to have to take a band vote on a few things.” Though Ferguson finds it hard to differentiate between recording and performing on a level of preference, aside from signing to Tru Thoughts back in 2005, his career highlights centre around the live arena. While headlining at last summer’s St Kilda Festival comes close to the pinnacle, Ferguson lists performing alongside heroes Alice Russell & The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Eddie Bo and Syl Johnson as truly unforgettable moments. Even the internationally acclaimed act have stages left untouched after a decade, but there is one that means more to Ferguson than most. “New Zealand. We played with Alice and Quantic as the QSO but have never played our own show there. I’m NZ-born and it seems bizarre to me that The Bamboos have played in Slovakia but not in Wellington.” With a clear goal no doubt not too far from realisation, does Ferguson think he knows the secret to The Bamboos’ success? “We have a supportive indie label behind us in the UK that do a great job of getting our music out there without a major label promo budget. We make albums, tour and do it all over again. In some ways indie bands in niche areas can have even more longevity than major label acts because there’s not that pressure. As long as the music is moving and changing and interesting then there’s no reason for me to stop making Bamboos records. “I am writing a new album as we speak. It’s very different. I am liking the stuff that’s coming out so far. Every album needs to be different from the last – but in an honest way.” Not one to rest on his laurels, Ferguson is already looking past the birthday party. In stating that every album needs to be different, can he possibly leave us with a little insight in how to create a consistent sound that is somehow a departure from earlier work. “To me the music should be progressive. The Bamboos came out of the so-called deep funk scene of the late-’90s and absorbed invaluable lessons from making that music but we had to move on because it was all getting so retro and time-capsule. I couldn’t live with myself if we just kept making our first record over and over again.” WHO: The Bamboos WHEN & WHERE: Friday 14 January, Prince Bandroom

she’s doing rather than spouting PR. Her mixture of the earnest and ridiculous is deliberate and a line she walks knowingly. From stage costumes that put Lady Gaga to shame (in terms of taste, at least) to apparent sermonson-the-mount, she moves with an acknowledgment of the artifice. “I’ve analysed art and art history and fame, and studied it for so long, that I think it’s ridiculous if you actually become a character,” she laughs. Diamandis’s other distinguishing feature is her relationship with her fans, who are, in name at least, part of her band. The Diamonds are not the band, but a reference to us, the audience. “Every single night, like a robot, I say the same thing: Marina & The Diamonds isn’t like some marketing plan or gimmick, it’s something I created five years ago when I was a total loner in a bad room in Camden in London. I had no money, I wasn’t in uni, I had literally nothing and for me it was a very pure thing in a way. It’s not like something I was doing for gain or for fame or anything, I just never wanted people to feel excluded and I think with music there are always scenes and images that you have to fit into and I never really did,” she explains. “And it’s interesting now because the shows that I play, I play to totally random bunches of people, you know. Market-wise you haven’t got a clue who’s attracted to my music: young people, old people, middle-aged people, whatever – lesbian, gay, straight, whoever.” Has Diamandis ever had a need to be fearful of the access she invites? “I also think [crazy fan behaviours] can happen regardless of having a ‘Marina & The Diamonds’ or a Marina Diamandis. I think if there are fans that are crazy about you then they’re just already there. But I think it’s kind of passé to complain about things like that with fame because you know by now, after 30 years of celebrity mania, you know what you’re getting yourself into if you want to be an artist. People kind of say, ‘If you’re interacting with the fans loads and things like that, that you’re going to lose the mystique.’ But I’m like, ‘That’s total bullshit.’ You can talk to people and give nothing away, ever, so I think it’s really silly to say things like that.” Completely deadpan, however, she adds, “And I don’t know, I haven’t had any trouble so far, but we’ll see how it goes in Australia.” WHO: Marina & The Diamonds WHAT The Family Jewels (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 28 December, Hi-Fi; Wednesday 29 December, Falls Festival, Lorne



German dance punks DIGITALISM have very short attention spans, JENS MOELLE tells DOUG WALLEN.

Local fans can still get CASIOKIDS’ music, even if they can’t understand the words, KETIL KINDEN ENDRESEN tells ANTHONY CAREW.

For a duo that made its name with remixes – including a ticklish 2005 tweaking of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army – Digitalism has been all too quiet on that front of late. That’s because Moelle and Tüfekç have declined all such offers since remixing a song by Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan a few years ago. The reason? “First we want to concentrate on delivering our own stuff,” confirms Moelle. “Because it’s been a long time.”


he last time most of us checked in with Digitalism, it was for the German duo’s 2007 debut album Idealism. The culmination of several years of singles for the taste-making French label Kitsuné, that LP became ubiquitous in certain circles, with choice cuts lent out for use in high-profile TV shows, ads and videogames. One of those was Pogo, an infectious post-Bloc Party anthem that set throbbing electronics and romantic lyrics against the urgent vocals and itchy hi-hats of dance punk. Every bit a breakthrough, it ranked at number 69 on 2008’s Hottest 100. “For us it was just one part of the album,” admits Jens Moelle, who with Ismail Tüfekç is Digitalism. “It was the last song we finished, right before we had to fly to mastering in London. We were in the studio until six in the morning, and our flight was at eight. We didn’t expect anything, but then we started hearing it on radio. It was quite overwhelming, because we only wrote and produced music because we were excited about what we were doing. We didn’t think about any consequences.” Recounting the story behind Pogo, Moelle makes sure to point out that Kim Moyes from The Presets provided valuable insight during the song’s draft phase, even providing a lyric that made the final cut. Digitalism met The Presets while touring with them during a debut Australian tour, and soon after contributed a remix of Down Down Down. Moelle cites other Aussies befriended on that tour – the Bang Gang DJs, for example – and says he looks forward to seeing them on the band’s current four-date tour before heading off to Japan.

He’s right. It’s been three-and-a-half years since Idealism’s release, with some EPs and singles to show for it but no full-length follow-up as yet. “It’s getting there now,” he reveals. “We stopped playing live shows last year and really reduced touring, so we could go back to the studio and focus on new material. We’ve got lots of exciting new stuff that we’re just trying to put together and shape into an album now. That’s what we’ve been really working on the past few months.” Towing a recent instrumental EP called Blitz that Moelle describes as “a little snack,” the duo are touring here in DJ mode. But that doesn’t mean fans won’t hear all the songs they’re craving, as well as advance tasters of that in-progress next album. “We always play some of our own music,” says Moelle, “and some of our new music. We like trying things out. We tend to play a couple of songs that people would expect from us, and also lots of friends’ material. It’s always pretty mixed.” As for next year’s follow-up to Idealism, it’s worth remembering that Digitalism have to not just produce and program songs but deliver lyrics and vocals as well. And unlike on the Blitz EP, Moelle promises a lot of singing. “Music always comes really quickly with us, and then we start writing on it,” Moelle explains. “That always takes quite a long time, because we get bored with the instrumental [bits] and have to change them and start the whole song over again.” “That’s kind of our problem,” he concludes. “Our attention span is pretty short.”

WHO: Digitalism WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 8 January, Prince Bandroom

to play at parties”. Not perform at parties, mind you, just play, on the stereo. “At the start,” Endrsen recalls, “people were really pretty irritated by us shamelessly promoting our music in this way, but, after a while, they started to like it, funnily enough.”


n 2009, Norwegian indie synth-pop outfit Casiokids earnt a pile of frequent flier miles, playing 72 shows in 18 countries. Their globetrotting ways challenged a long-held convention: that playing pop music in an obscure native tongue – in this case, Norwegian – is a kind of career-kneecapping. “To have travelled as much as we have has been astonishing,” says Casiokids frontman Ketil Kinden Endresen. “In many territories, I can say with some certainty – and I’m sure this applies in Australia, as well – that we’re the first pop band to release an album in the Norwegian language ever. In the US that’s certainly the case. It’s been very astonishing to see, and a lot of fun.” Usually, when talking to Scandinavian pop bands about the language they choose to sing in, it’s wondering why they’ve picked English. Aside from The Tough Alliance, who cited a desire to avoid any notions of Swedish parochialism, I’ve never heard an interesting answer as to why most choose to sing in English (it’s the universal language, all the great albums are in English, etc). Here, though, the question gets flipped: why did Casiokids choose to sing in Norwegian? “At the time, I don’t think we could’ve ever dreamed that we’d ever play anywhere outside of Scandinavia,” Endresen confesses. Though currently based in Bergen, and having only one LP – 2009’s Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar – to their name, the roots of the band stretch back to 2005, and a town called Stavanger (“it would be considered a small town in anywhere else but Norway,” Endresen offers.) Bored and blessed with an impish sense of humour, Endresen and pal Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg decided to make “fun, energetic” electro jams “specifically


that would be good for the band. So far they have been great to deal with so we’re all very optimistic about the future and what Darkest Hour can achieve.” With a new label in their corner, Darkest Hour have been hard at work on a brand new LP (the band’s seventh) that is due in February 2011 and will have the moniker The Human Romance. According to Henry it represents a brand new era for the band. “There’s a definite musical evolution that people will hear when they give the album a spin. The songwriting has definitely improved and the album is far more melodic than anything that was on [previous album] The Eternal Return. I also think that the producer we have on board, Peter Wichers from Soilwork, will really make a difference. The album isn’t completely finished yet – we’re still tidying it up – but Peter is doing an amazing job giving it a huge sound and it’s going to blow people away.”

“And with them all being multi-instrumentalists in the band, there was a lot of going back and forth between instruments. I would start playing an idea and then amongst this small group of people, some people would just say, ‘Oh, I’m going to play drums on this’ and ‘I’ll play bass on it’ and someone would walk over to the piano. It was just completely random. And the more I do this – write songs, record them – the more I’m fascinated with how absolutely random the process really is when you get down to it. It’s a good way to get more interesting results.”

With his latest Polaris-nominated (the Canadian equivalent of our Australian Music Prize or UK’s Mercury Music Prize) album Rat A Tat Tat, Collett handed production duties over to his backing band, Zeus, who he calls his “brothers”. “They’ve been producing for some bands here in Canada and doing a damn good job of it… We work really well collaboratively and it’s proved to be really, really fruitful in the studio. I’d never done that with a record before and I’d been writing while I was in the studio, so we could be working on one track and I’d write a whole other song while we were working on the track and we would stop production and just try to capture the very fresh idea. “We adopted a far more impulsive, spontaneous way of working. I purposely wouldn’t let them hear the songs before we would start recording, just to take advantage of how quick they are on their feet and of

WHO: Casiokids WHERE & WHEN: Wednesday 29 December, Revolver; Friday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne

Genre-bending metallers DARKEST HOUR are on a mission to find out the truth. MARK HEBBLEWHITE tracks down frontman JOHN HENRY to help him answer some very important questions.

course capture their initial instincts to hearing the song, which often are the best ones. They’re sort of happy accidents that you’re ultimately chasing as opposed to going in with an agenda and some kind of preconceived notion of what the song should be…


The band’s lyrics contain, according to their author, “a lot of humour and wordplay” in them; and, delivered as live performance, Casiokids hope this contributes to a greater “aura of fun” they wish to project. Which leads to the question: how does one convey such humour to people who have absolutely no idea what you’re singing about? “It was obviously a challenge, and interesting to see when Moshi Moshi, our English label, started to release our music outside of Norway in 2008,” offers Endresen. “But, we’ve found – through music-videos, our web page, interviews, and articles – it easy to communicate the ideas that we have as a band. Obviously, a non-Scandinavian audience is going to have absolutely no chance of understanding what we’re singing about, but people can still understand your music, and who you are.”


Canadian singer/songwriter JASON COLLETT, about to make his maiden voyage to Australia, is more than just the band he was in, writes GISELLE NGUYEN.

hough he’s made solo records for the last decade, Collett rose to wider recognition as a member of Broken Social Scene in the mid-2000s. Despite recently reuniting with them for a hometown show, though, Collett’s days with the supergroup are over. “Like many of the folks who make up the band, lots of us were doing our own thing before the band happened and many of us, like myself, have just used that opportunity of Broken Social Scene to continue to do our own thing… I’m a songwriter essentially. I’m not really a backup musician, so I need to do my own thing.”

The set-up was just as comic: the pair’s recording set-up involving Vogsborg’s ex-girlfriend’s Casio keyboard, a borrowed computer in his dad’s office, and a demo version of Cubase that “didn’t really work properly”. At the beginning, they were just jamming on synth sounds; and the issue of singing – be it in English or in Norwegian – didn’t come up. “When we started out in Stavanger, our music didn’t have any singing; the only words it had were samples from audiobooks,” Endresen explains. “When we started out singing, we just thought that the most important thing was to add the personal touch. And, so, we decided to sing in our native tongue. It felt like the right thing to do. I’ve always thought the right thing to do, as an artist, was to make something that was personal. And Norwegian was the right language to use. Even if people don’t understand the actual words, they’ll still get that same personal touch, because it’s us singing the language we speak.”

As well as Rat A Tat Tat and its companion EP To Wit To Woo, this year Collett also released Pony Tricks, on which he acoustically reimagined songs from across his career. “It just was an exercise in seeing how a song can be pretty much turned inside out. In one of them I even changed all the verses to minor chords, which throws a whole different shadow over it… Over the years people have asked if I have anything stripped down because I do tend to do a lot of solo shows and I’ve never had anything to give fans. So this was largely an exclusive for the tour.” The Undressed tour saw Collett baring his soul on stage, armed with only an acoustic guitar. Though the upcoming Australian shows are a full band affair, there are merits to both formats. “There’s an intimacy that you can achieve when you play a solo show that comes out of the vulnerability of being alone on stage with nothing but stripped down versions of the songs, but I think that vulnerability is simply an opportunity for people to get more inside the songs and for me to get a little more inside the audience. It’s a completely different discipline really and I appreciate both worlds and feel lucky to be able to go back and forth.”

WHO: Jason Collett WHAT: Rat A Tat Tat (Arts & Crafts/Universal) WHEN & WHERE:Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 January, Northcote Social Club


o is it really true that you guys call AC/ DC ‘Acca Dacca’?” asks John Henry, who proceeds to burst out laughing upon being told by Inpress that this is indeed the case for the hard rock icons. “You guys crack me up. That’s why we always look forward to coming down to Australia – great people and a guaranteed good time. Oh, and of course we get the chance to drink as much VB as we possibly can. So make sure there’s a stockpile on hand for when we come. Oh, and before I forget, we’ve heard that you guys have great pies down there, so we’re going to get into those as well. Should go really well with the beer.” There’s no doubting it: John Henry is a man with a plan. On the non-beer-and-pie-related front, 2010 has been a very busy time for Darkest Hour. In April the band left their longtime home Victory Records for the E1 label. With many of their fellow Victory alumni less than complimentary about the label, does the band have a similar tale of woe? “Well, I’ll put it like this: I can’t say that we as a band have any good stories to tell about our time there. I’ll leave it at that because there’s no point dwelling on the past; it’s done. But overall we’re in a good place as a band right now. When our contract was up we found the label we wanted and

Like many bands that have roots in both the hardcore and the metal community, Darkest Hour is often tagged with the career-defining label of ‘metalcore’. While most bands are happy to laugh off labels, Henry is quick to state that the term metalcore has nothing to do with what Darkest Hour are all about. “I would say that Darkest Hour is definitely not a metalcore band,” he argues. “People just have no idea what that term means. When metalcore started it was bands like Integrity, Ringworm and Deadguy who epitomised the sound. And don’t get me wrong, I love those bands, but we sound nothing like them. Our influences as a band really come more from the European metal and thrash bands, who bring with them a real sense of melody and you can see that come through in the records that Darkest Hour do. So yeah, we consider ourselves a straight-up metal band, not a band that follows some mindless trend that is defined by a word that I think has lost all meaning because it has been constantly misused and misunderstood. Instead of listening to people who throw around ridiculous labels, people should come and check our show. Then they’ll see what this band is all about.” WHO: Darkest Hour WHEN & WHERE: Friday 7 January, Hi-Fi






Hot Hot Heat Monday 3 January Corner Hotel


HEADS OF STATE: December 23 Palace MARINA & THE DIAMONDS: December 28 Hi-Fi Bar


BRITISH INDIA: December 24 Espy FIREBALLS: December 25 Espy ADAM BRAND: December 28 Colac RSL




ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: December 29 Espy NEON INDIAN, CASIOKIDS: December 29 Revolver EARTHLESS: December 31 Espy; January 9 Arthouse JAMAICA: December 31 Corner Hotel ARMIN VAN BUUREN: December 31 Etihad Stadium FUTURE OF THE LEFT: January 2 Corner Hotel HOT HOT HEAT: January 3 Corner Hotel JUNIP: January 4 Corner Hotel THE DYNAMITES FEATURING CHARLES WALKER: January 6, 7 Order Of Melbourne SLEIGH BELLS: January 7 Prince Bandroom DARKEST HOUR, CARNIFEX: January 7, Hi-Fi INTERPOL: January 7 Palace JASON COLLETT: January 8, 9 Northcote Social Club THE NATIONAL: January 9, 10 Palais THEE OH SEES: January 9, National Hotel (Geelong); 12, 13 Tote JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: January 13 Hi-Fi; 14 Espy EMMURE: January 14 Castle (Dandenong) PLUTONIC LAB & G LOVE: January 14 Northcote Social Club MOS DEF: January 14 Palace Theatre MOUNTAIN MEN: January 15 Toff in Town OWEN PALLETT, JESSICA SAYS: January 15 Thornbury Theatre; 16 Toff In Town GRINDERMAN: January 17, 18 Palace HOLLY MIRANDA: January 17 East Brunswick Club WIRE: January 19 Corner Hotel JUDY COLLINS: January 20 West Gippsland Arts Centre; 21 Corner Hotel; 25 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) HEALTH: January 21 East Brunswick Club CAT POWER: January 21 Forum; 22 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) BROOKE FRASER: January 22 Athenaeum Theatre BEACH HOUSE: January 25 Hi-Fi KENNY ROGERS: January 25 Regent Theatre OLAF ARNALDS: January 26 Toff In Town (HED)pe January 27 Corner Hotel COCOROSIE: January 27 Prince Bandroom COLM MAC CON IONMAIRE: January 28 Melbourne Recital Hall CRYSTAL CASTLES: January 28 Palace THE NAKED & FAMOUS: January 28 Corner Hotel


hile Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing clock up ten years of Christmas shows in 2010, Thomas actually began the tradition of a seasonal run of shows with previous outfit Weddings, Parties, Anything a decade or so before that. This year will see an expanded Sure Thing line-up take to the NSC stage, with The Killjoys’ Anna Burley and Thomas’s former WPA bandmate Mark ‘Squeezebox Wally’ Wallace joining the festivities. Expect selections from Thomas’s post-Weddoes career, some wellloved numbers from his former band and a few choice covers. The band also play on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (in Warrnambool and Greendale, respectively), but are likely to be lying low for a while after that as Thomas and co work on a new record. Support comes from Van Walker and The Idle Hoes.

Muse pic by Kane Hibberd

BUILT TO SPILL: January 1 Corner Hotel JUNIP: January 4 Corner Hotel THE NATIONAL: January 9, 10 Palais THEE OH SEES: January 9 National Hotel (Geelong); 12, 13 Tote BEACH HOUSE: January 10 Hi-Fi JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: January 13 Hi-Fi; 14 Espy PLUTONIC LAB & G LOVE: January 14 Northcote Social Club WIRE: January 19 Corner Hotel ANDREW WK: January 29 Hi-Fi BLONDE REDHEAD: February 7 Billboard BEAR IN HEAVEN, THE ANTLERS: February 9 Corner TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB: February 9 Prince Bandroom STORNOWAY: February 10 Corner FOALS: February 10 Palace WARPAINT: February 10 Northcote Social Club YEASAYER: February 10 Billboard CARIBOU, FOUR TET: February 16 Hi-Fi I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi SWERVEDRIVER: February 19 Corner Hotel DOVES: February 19 Forum TUNNG: February 22 East Brunswick Club THE HOLD STEADY: March 11 Hi-Fi THE CLEAN: March 11 Corner Hotel WAVVES: March 14 Corner Hotel DISTURBED, TRIVIUM, AS I LAY DYING: April 24 Rod Laver Arena KYUSS LIVES: May 8 Billboard

Morgan Nicholls doesn’t get his own follow spot! Supermassive Black Hole is so note perfect that you’d swear they were miming. What are Matt Bellamy’s pants made of? A fabric composed of finely ground disco balls? There are shredding guitar solos aplenty and Dominic Howard’s stickmanship is unparalleled. Christopher Wolstenholme is no slouch on the bass, either, and gets ample opportunity to demonstrate his skills. His chest seems to puff out that little bit more when the arrangement strips back to just bass during Time Is Running Out. One of this evening’s highlights, this track enters the spectrum after an enthusiastic sing-along to The Animals’ classic, House Of The Rising Sun, which is initiated by the band.



mmm… the stage set during Biffy Clyro resembles a rock eisteddfod (not their fault). Curtains with buildings printed on the fabric engulf the three pylons that make up the hub of Muse’s set and they’re draped rather than pulled tightly. The three main members of this Scottish band perform topless and none complain, but their added touring guitarist, Mike Vennart, sports a skinny jeans, long-sleeved shirt and tie combo. Maybe he missed the topless memo. The crowd livens up for Biffy Clyro’s song about nature – Mountains – and the Scottish lads do well to receive any applause from the one-eyed Muse massive. It appears this crowd has watched the opening of Muse’s latest concert, which is based on George Orwell’s novel 1984, since they cheer at the first sign of movement. Projections of an incalculable amount of people walking upstairs inside the curtain building – or Ministry Of Truth, Peace… take your pick – and then jumping off and spiralling to their ‘death’ ensues. As Uprising poignantly cranks in at an overwhelming volume, the trio are illuminated atop their designated pedestals and it’s all hail their technical virtuosity plus bravery. Vertigo? They laugh in its face. As a multitude of ‘Big Brother is watching you’ blinking eyes distract, hydraulic platforms transport Muse to stage level in the first of several abracadabra moments tonight. These stagehands must be magicians. Hold up, touring keyboard player

Bellamy’s plumage tonight makes him look birdlike and he effortlessly demonstrates rock posturing on his perch. As he plays the grand piano, elevated, each key lights up under his touch and is reflected via a mirror under the piano’s lid. Extreme, mid-song volume changes (intentional, of course) test our eardrums. Howard spots the “No Moshing Or Crowd Surfing” sign and thinks aloud, “There may be no moshing at a tennis match, but surely for a rock’n’roll concert!” The punters master the clap breaks throughout Starlight (“Hold you in my arms/I just wanted to… ”) and Bellamy’s exaggerated microphone technique sees him swaying away from the mic only to whip his head back around at the last minute to belt out a perfect falsetto note. Who wouldn’t want to have a crack at Bellamy’s guitar with the mega-powerful spotlight shining from it? He excitedly circles this around the crowd, pausing to encourage those illuminated to reach skyward. Staying true to the Big Brother theme, eyeball balls are volleyed out into the crowd. Knights Of Cydonia is so powerful you’d swear Muse were summoning the apocalypse – “No one’s GOING TO take me ALIVE.” Bonus points for being grammatically correct since we always thought it was ‘gonna’. Smoke jets fire out around the periphery of the stage in various sequences to mark set’s end before classical music is piped through the sound system to calm us down as we exit the stadium. Although liking Muse may not be the coolest thing to write on your RSVP profile, you can’t deny the quality of these players or the breathtaking advances in staging on display throughout their show. Bryget Chrisfield


Fireballs Saturday Espy

THE VERLAINES: January 28 East Brunswick Club ANDREW WK: January 29 Hi-Fi RATATAT: January 31 Hi-Fi MATT & KIM: February 2 Corner Hotel THE BLACK KEYS: February 2 Palace THE GREENHORNES: February 2 Palace; 3 Northcote Social Club PRIMAL SCREAM: February 2, 3 Forum HOLY FUCK: February 3 Hi-Fi ALOE BLACC & THE GRAND SCHEME: February 4 Prince BELINDA CARLISLE: February 4 Chelsea Heights Hotel; 5 Shoppingtown Hotel THE UNTHANKS: February 4, Bella Union, Trades Hall CONOR O’BRIEN: February 6 Northcote Social Club BLONDE REDHEAD: February 7 Billboard TRAIN: February 7 Forum JOE COCKER: February 8, 9 Palais LES SAVY FAV: February 8 Billboard LOCAL NATIVES: February 8 Corner Hotel MENOMENA: February 9 East Brunswick Club BEAR IN HEAVEN, THE ANTLERS: February 9 Corner ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI: February 10 Northcote Social Club STORNOWAY: February 10 Corner Hotel !!!: February 10 Prince Bandroom WARPAINT: February 10 Northcote Social Club RETURN TO FOREVER: February 11 Regent Theatre I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi TORO Y MOI: February 18 Workers Club KATE NASH: February 18 Billboard DOVES: February 19 Forum THE LIKE: February 19 Northcote Social Club THE GETAWAY PLAN: February 19 Hi-Fi THE BOOKS: February 20 Thornbury Theatre BLACK MOUNTAIN: February 21 Corner Hotel TUNNG: February 22 East Brunswick Club MICHAEL BUBLÉ: February 22, 23, 25 Rod Laver Arena IRON MAIDEN: February 23 Hisense Arena NEW FOUND GLORY, LESS THAN JAKE: February 28 Billboard PENNYWISE, MILLENCOLIN: March 1, Palace BRING ME THE HORIZON: March 2 Hi-Fi SUM 41, THE BLACKOUT, THERE FOR TOMORROW, VEARA: March 2 Billboard ROB ZOMBIE, MURDERDOLLS, MONSTER MAGNET, DOMMIN: March 3 Festival Hall PRIMUS, MELVINS: March 3 Palais DEVILDRIVER, ILL NINO, ALL THAT REMAINS, NONPOINT: March 3 Billboard ROXY MUSIC, MONDO ROCK: March 3 Rod Laver Arena WE THE KINGS, NEVER SHOUT NEVER, THE MAINE: March 3 Billboard WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS: March 6 Spiegeltent BEST COAST: March 6 East Brunswick Club RIHANNA, CALVIN HARRIS, FAR EAST MOVEMENT: March 7, 8 Rod Laver Arena THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS, ART VS SCIENCE: March 9 Rod Laver Arena KE$HA: March 9 Festival Hall PULLED APART BY HORSES: March 11 Tote THE HOLD STEADY: March 11 Hi-Fi IMELDA MAY: March 11 Prince Bandroom OS MUTANTES, BEST COAST: March 11 Forum THE CLEAN: March 11 Corner Hotel BELLE & SEBASTIAN: March 12 Forum HAWKWIND: March 12 Billboard


THE BESNARD LAKES: March 12 Corner Hotel GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS: March 13 Frankston Arts Centre; 26 Palms at Crown WAVVES: March 14 Corner Hotel HORACE ANDY: March 15 Prince Bandroom JOANNA NEWSOM: March 15 Melbourne Recital Centre AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM: March 16 Hi-Fi KINGS OF LEON: March 17, 18 Rod Laver Arena JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE: March 18 Forum THE DOOBIE BROTHERS: March 18 Palais CHRIS ISAAK: March 19 Mornington Racecourse USHER: March 19, 20, 31. April 1 Rod Laver Arena WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: March 23 Palais EDDIE VEDDER: March 24, 25 Palais FINNTROLL: March 25 Billboard BB KING: April 1 Hisense Arena URIAH HEEP: April 2 Palais LUKA BLOOM: April 5 National Theatre THE SCRIPT: April 6 Festival Hall CYNDI LAUPER: April 8, 9 Palais CHERRY POPPIN’ DADDIES: April 9 Corner Hotel JIMMY EAT WORLD: April 11 Palace BARRY MANILOW: April 11 Rod Laver Arena GOOD CHARLOTTE, BOYS LIKE GIRLS, SHORT STACK: April 13 Rod Laver Arena ZZ TOP: April 18 Festival Hall MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD: April 19 Palace DISTURBED, TRIVIUM, AS I LAY DYING: April 24 Rod Laver Arena INDIGO GIRLS: April 29 Palais JUSTIN BIEBER: May 2 Rod Laver Arena MAROON 5, COBRA STARSHIP, SARA BAREILLES: May 5 Rod Laver Arena KYUSS LIVES: May 8 Palace BEN FOLDS: May 20 Palais JAMES BLUNT: May 21 Plenary Hall JOE BONAMASSA: May 26 Palais


ADAM BRAND: December 28 Colac RSL; January 25 York On Lilydale (Mount Evelyn); 26 Regent Cinemas (Ballarat); 27 Hallam Hotel; 28 Gateway Hotel (Geelong); 29 Kinross Woolshed (Thurgoona) BRITISH INDIA: December 24 Espy FIREBALLS: December 25 Espy JIMMY BARNES, NOISEWORKS, THIRSTY MERC: January 2 Warrnambool Racecourse; 9 Mildura Soundshell; 15 Bonnie Doon Hotel; 16 Morning Star Estate; 22 Eureka Stadium (Ballarat); 23 Latrobe City Sports And Entertainment Complex (Morwell) GOTYE: January 14 National Theatre THE BAMBOOS: January 14 Prince Bandroom BLUEJUICE, PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY, PURPLE SNEAKERS DJs: January 18 Inferno Nightclub (Traralgon); 19 Torquay Hotel; 20 Flying Horseman (Warrnambool) ; 21 Eureka Hotel (Geelong); 22 Westernport Hotel (San Remo) CHOIRBOYS: January 29 Palms At Crown SIA: February 1 Palais THE GETAWAY PLAN, TONIGHT ALIVE, SECRETS IN SCALE: February 19 Hi-Fi


FALLS FESTIVAL: December 28-January 1 Lorne PYRAMID ROCK FESTIVAL: December 29-January 1 Phillip Island SUMMADAYZE: January 1 Sidney Myer Music Bowl THE HOT BARBEQUE: January 22 Point Nepean Portsea BIG DAY OUT: January 30 Flemington Racecourse SOUNDWAVE: March 4 Melbourne Showgrounds GOLDEN PLAINS: March 12-14 Meredith FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: March 13 Flemington Racecourse APOLLO BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL: April 8-10 Apollo Bay SUPAFEST: April 17 Melbourne Showgrounds

Reverand Horton pic by Jesse Booher

but I don’t wanna not get stoned” and imbue them with such poignancy. Halfway through Down About It, shit gets weird. “I broke a string. I don’t have a spare,” he mumbles; the first words he’s spoken all night. Then he disappears. The gig stops and the crowd are silent. For about five minutes. People start to chatter a little in the dark and eventually Dando returns triumphant, having borrowed Spencer P Jones’ electric guitar. He plays Being Around, and the joyous sweetness of it overrides any weirdness that came before it. The crowd perks up to almost-but-not-quite sing along to It’s A Shame About Ray, and after he delivers a gorgeous version of Confetti, Dando leaves the stage for approximately two seconds. During the encore of The Great Big No and The Lightning Seeds’ Another Girl Another Planet with Spencer P, Dando looks deliriously happy, and it’s beautiful to watch. Kate Kingsmill


Sharon Jones pic by Lou Lou Nutt

THE ESPY It’s hard to believe that Texan psychobilly legends The Reverend Horton Heat have been around for 25 years, but they have and are back in Melbourne and ready to celebrate in that special way that they do best. The set starts with the instrumental Bullet, and it’s good to see (or should that be ‘hear’?) that when they say they’re out to celebrate their long-standing career, they actually mean it, going all the way back to Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, their first album. Jim “The Reverend” Heath’s guitar work is as fine as ever and if the guys know they’re not playing to a full house, you would never guess. They run through a couple more tracks before heading into Big Little Baby, as well as Loaded Gun, 400 Bucks, and The Devil Is Chasing Me, during which Jimbo Wallace gives us a nice solo of sorts. After removing his fabulous greyand-light blue jacket, The Reverend states “Oprah’s in Sydney,” pausing, before adding, “It’s a good reason to be in Melbourne!” The crowd agree and the band launch into the instrumental classic Pride Of San Jacinto, which runs seamlessly into Baddest Of The Bad, a track that sounds as good tonight as it does on the album. It’s Martini Time follows with some nice triple slapping from Jimbo throughout. The Rev takes some time out to vent about some misconceptions of his home state, Texas, especially the misconception that the saguaro cactus grows there. He gets Jimbo to show us his saguaro dance as they get into Ain’t No Saguaro In Texas, off the latest album, Laughin’ & Cryin’ With, as well as Drinkin’ & Smokin’ Cigarettes and Please Don’t Take The Baby To The Liquor Store. After a few more songs, the set finishes with a fantastic rendition of Psychobilly Freakout. The beautiful, lullaby-esque In Your Wildest Dreams leads the encore, before Bales Of Cocaine. A highly extended version of the classic, Big Red Rocket Of Love, is next and after some extended introductions and solos from each band member, they seem to forget about it as they work in a very fine version of Folsom Prison Blues before finally heading back into Big Red Rocket. The Rev thanks the girls for being pretty and the guys for being ugly, and with that, it’s all over. Here’s to another 25 years of The Reverend Horton Heat! Dominique Wall

EVAN DANDO NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Evan Dando comes onstage with his acoustic guitar looking exactly like he did in the mid-’90 – shaggy hair, stripey t-shirt and all. He is so peaceful to look at it’s like a meditation for the eyes just standing in the room with him. The Social has a strangely womb-like, almost light-free atmosphere tonight, and the most polite crowd in the history of the world. The whole gig is a lovely reminder of what a great songwriter this man is, and what a great band The Lemonheads are. Dando says barely a word the entire night – he just plays amazing song after amazing song with hardly a breath in between. And through the music he seems so raw, so exposed, like he’s missing a layer of skin and we can see right through him. He plays a version of Frying Pan that seems to go on forever, a heartwrenching My Idea and a breathtaking My Drug Buddy. He clearly enjoys playing Bit Part, where we get a sparky moment (“reprimaaaaandiiiiing!”) but with Into Your Arms he appears to be just going through the motions. When it comes to Alison’s Starting To Happen, he hits a couple of bum notes and starts to slur his words a bit, making Tenderfoot’s lyrics resonate all the more. Things seem to get dark and raw here. When he plays the double whammy of Juliana Hatfield’s My Darling and Style (from Come On Feel The Lemonheads) he seems so exposed it almost hurts to look at him up there onstage alone. Not many people can get away with singing lines that on the surface are so simple and dumb-sounding as “Don’t wanna get stoned

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS THE PALACE This three-tiered venue looks mighty impressive when it’s rammed and Sharon Jones & The DapKings have absolutely filled the place. A gander at the merch desk results in a wallet that’s $25 lighter but for four Daptone Records 7”s (including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings do What Have You Done For Me Lately), it’s impossible to resist. Jones is music royalty. A giant chandelier is a fitting stage decoration and a smattering of bud lighting attempts to recreate the star-studded vibe of an outdoor setting. Before Jones hits the stage, her ridiculously tight band warm up the stage with two instrumental tracks simply dripping with soul. All band members are decked out in formal attire and know their place on Jones’s stage. The Dap-Kings bandleader Binky Griptite gees up the crowd with an outrageous big-up that only Jones could measure up to. Out she shimmies in a tri-colour fringed shift dress and doesn’t she work those metres of fringing! We befriend a neighbour in the crowd, after being greased off for blocking her view, and she accurately sees “a lot of Tina Turner” in Jones. The set list tonight draws heavily from the group’s latest and fourth album, I Learned The Hard Way. Return audience members eagerly anticipate Jones’s invitations to the stage almost as much as they do this authentic, funkin’ soul experience with blasts of brass and sassy attitude. Give It Back brings with it our first opportunity to watch Jones circling and outdancing her chosen victim. Although he looks comical at times, ol’ mate won’t be intimidated and puts a protective arm around the saucy Jones. Synchronised onstage moves by this band are neither forced nor competitive, which gives the impression that every member feels the groove from the inside out. It’s a hoot clocking the expressions of punters; they cover a wide range of emotions, from rapture to amusement to incredulity. Next Jones retrieves a guy from midfield with a Slash-style top hat on. Her bold, sassy, gyrating moves fail to dishearten him but it’s a chick who wins tonight’s onstage dance-off – you go, girlfriend! Jones often hollers, “Wait a minute!” to silence both crowd and band and prepare to receive her gospel. The response is always instant. There are lots of stationery bodies in attendance tonight, perhaps intimidated by Jones’s bootalicious, down and dirty dancing prowess. If the sultry 100 Days, 100 Nights doesn’t detonate your funk button, you should have stayed at home. Jones may be a star, but she’s no diva. She happily meets and greets her fans in the photographer’s pit after the show, even posing for happy snaps. Someone give this sexpot a key to our city, already! Bryget Chrisfield



El Guincho pic by Lou Lou Nutt


Though it’s uncommon to see a band like The Field in a setting like the East Brunswick Club, it shouldn’t be. Audience response tonight shows there is nothing like Swedish minimalist techno played live to rustle up some enthusiastic shuffling from the crossedarm brigade that mass to Meredith sideshows.

Dead Letter Circus are somewhat typical of Australian hard rock bands: highly proficient, enthusiastic, lively, vibrant and possessing a batch of good solid songs. However, young Australian bands don’t often get the chance to play large stages and it doesn’t look like the band quite know what do with all the space, tending to all gather in a ‘gang’ together down one end of the stage. This coupled with being the obligatory support band that crowds are not really interested in and tolerate more than appreciate means that despite the band’s best efforts they fall on somewhat deaf ears. Linkin Park are an intriguing animal – 14 years and four albums doesn’t exactly earn them the title of most prolific band in the world and yet their music covers a very eclectic cross section. Their musical palette covers everything from full-on old school nu metal bursting with overly emotional shouty vocals, to electro rock layered with tiny keyboards pumping out very large sounds, to even a few smatterings of stadium rock that verges into U2 territory at times (well the band have just recorded with Jay-Z, who has just toured with… well, you know). The band are also very strange to watch, Joe Hahn (turntables), Rob Bourdon (drums) and Chester Bennington (vocals) the more lively band members and (to be honest) with the most to do on stage, they are the most engaging and entertaining to watch. Mike Shinoda (guitar and some vocals) splits his time between being in the foreground and the background, but Dave ‘Phoenix’ Farrell (bass) and Brad Delson (guitar) often look rather bored and uninterested, just sort of wandering around the stage somewhat aimlessly. The band also possess no unifying look or style, which, whilst it is odd to see in a band of this size and level of stagecraft, brings a sort of individual charm and character to all the members. Watching the crowd singing along to almost every word of every song, the vast majority burdened to the hilt with the stacks of merchandise for sale in the arena’s entrance halls and pushing to be included in the obligatory crowd footage. Browsing the band’s website, there are thousands of user comments, most of which the band members read and reply to. Linkin Park, despite playing to tens of thousands of people at every show, despite being an extremely mainstream act, seem to have somehow managed to create and maintain a fairly unique sense of individuality amongst the band members and an extremely dedicated fanbase that laps it all up by the bucketload. Chris Chinchilla Linkin Park pic by Kane Hibberd

The Church pic by Chrissie Francis


Kicking things off with what at first seems to be the tired cliché of live electronica – a casually dressed dude bending over a MacBook Pro – Kharkin soon dispenses with these preconceptions and starts beating an Alesis Control Pad over some silvery chords, lets some space slip between his dense blocks of urbanic atmospherics and rules. Having been lurking on the fringes and occasionally bursting to the centre of whatever musical communities will have him (ie. most of them), Qua (AKA Cornel Wilczek) has been steadily amassing a fanbase since he crept into consciousnesses five years ago. Tonight we get warm pulses, geeky glasses, choir-like synth pads, a devilish ‘tach and a dusting of amp-driven distortion over everything. Soon progressing through aerosol bursts of hi-hats, Derrick May-like hard beats, before strapping on a guitar, it seems as if he’s trying to cram 100 ideas into each minute of the set, any second I’m expecting him to turn to us with a grin and say (à la Rob or Deane from The Curiosity Show), “Keep up kids!” Granted, five minutes of this would be enough to set James Murphy on course for another two albums, but here Wilczek moves as if he has no pressures at all. AiH’s James Cecil joins for some synth drumming mid-gig and it all goes down splendidly.

EL GUINCHO, RAT VS POSSUM EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB It seems that an (apparently) amazing set at Meredith has done little to quell Melbourne punters’ obsession with El Guincho (alias of Spanish recording artist/producer Pablo Díaz-Reixa). The hipster army is out en masse on this Wednesday night, the footpath outside the East Brunswick Club a sea of fi xies and wicker bike baskets. Once past the veritable sea of quiffs and bangs, unnecessary comb-overs and non-prescription glasses we spy Rat Vs Possum, playing the first track of an energetic and polished set. Something’s missing, though. The band look good, they sound great, they’re engaging and fun, but the audience don’t seem to be… feeling it. Heads are nodding, but not bopping. There are more people watching the bar than the stage. It could be the post-Meredith slump, or maybe it’s too early on a Wednesday to really be into it. Or maybe it’s just that not enough pints have been drunk yet. I won’t let it deter me from future Rat Vs Possum gigs, though – with their synth-pop, layered harmonies and chirpy keys, they’re a mighty fine soundtrack to summer debauchery.

Curtains part to a sensually undulating stream of sine wave and pink noise and before us lie the four-piece techno reinterpreting machine of The Field. Beneath projections of outer Swedish suburbia shot from a train window, Axel Willner and co deliver clipped beats, controlled compressed cycling chords, delicate chorus-laden guitar chops and some of the most wildly enthusiastic drumming ever to remain within the strict boundaries of techno rhythms. While visiting several high points of 2008’s From Here We Go To Sublime album, The Field push much that is unfamiliar to the audience, which suits us fine. Though it’s the irredeemably exhilaratory highs of Over The Ice, Everyday and The Little Heart Beats So Fast that get people moving, there isn’t a moment where the band are anything less than phenomenally tight and the vibe is less than euphoric. A stellar performance that leaves everyone wondering why there isn’t a merch desk.

THE CHURCH THORNBURY THEATRE After a month-long swing through the US earlier this year, The Church returned to local shores for an ARIA Hall Of Fame induction and the continuation of the band’s 30th anniversary tour. A special acoustic showcase was promised; three decades’ worth of material would be performed – one track per album – in reverse chronological order. Tonight, then, sees The Church caravan roll into Melbourne. The gorgeous setting of the sold-out and candlelit Thornbury Theatre complements the mood and occasion beautifully, much to the delight of both band and audience. Fresh from his spectacular ARIA speech, singer/bassist Steve Kilbey is in terrific form, spilling forth confessions and anecdotes from down the years, punctuated with much banter and wicked comic timing. This is a relaxed and contented camp.

We manage to pull ourselves together (read: drink another three pints) for the main event. When the almost shockingly nondescript (yet thoroughly endearing) El Guincho takes the stage and the first atmospheric, tropical, golden-sunshiny (yes, golden-sunshiny) beats spill out, we’re immediately enraptured. With his single drumstick in hand, DíazReixa is transformed from kinda dweeby into sultry Spanish seducer, and all our hearts are set a-flutter. The standout track is, of course, Bombay (first track and lead single from Pop Negro, El Guincho’s latest album) – the house is damn near brought down. The best downright fun I’ve had at a gig in a real long time.

Starting with the gorgeous Pangaea, the music is simply remarkable. Via twin acoustic guitars, drums and bass, and alternating between piano, mandolin and harmonica, The Church proceed to illustrate their body of work in the most beguiling fashion. Breakout moments are duly aired, such as a jazzy version of Reptile, a stark Unguarded Moment and a note-perfect rendition of Almost With You. Yet, as it is with most Church performances, it is the tucked away fragments from past and present glories that truly enchant. Hence, a rich and warm Fly from 1982’s The Blurred Crusade and the harmonyladen epic My Little Problem from 1994’s Sometime Anywhere. Peter Koppes steps forth to sing Appalatia and fellow guitarist Marty Willson-Piper delivers the long forgotten yet warmly received 10,000 Miles. All the while, Kilbey’s resonant tones and bass throb underpins the material; rarely can this veteran fourpiece have played better. With a soaring encore of Grind from 1990’s Gold Afternoon Fix, the band leaves the stage to rapturous applause and a crowd noticeably thrilled to have witnessed such a stunning show.

Ingrid Sjölund

EJ Cartledge

Andy Hazel The Field by Heidi Takla


THE FALL BILLBOARD The grumpy uncle of post-punk shuffles aimlessly on stage, seemingly unsure of which mic to slur into. Settling on the mic centrestage (seems logical), The Fall’s founder and only constant member across the decades, Mark E Smith begins shouting/mumbling something about “change”. The Fall have a 30-year back catalogue to draw from (including three interestreviving albums from the past four years), and it’s been two long decades since their last visit, but the original master of Madchester has selected Change, a song no one here knows or, even now, understands. Yep, this is Smith being the Smith we (don’t) know and love. And this is how the night unfolds. As has been Smith’s MO over the years, he has surrounded himself with a tight troupe of players. A patient lot (that includes his current wife Elana Poulou on keyboards), who humour him, stay in time with him and clean up after him. You see, as Smith staggers through this set, he tends to wander away from the mic and snoop around the stage ‘doing stuff’. He wanders to the back of the stage and shuffles through some papers – are they song lists, song lyrics, visa documents? Who knows, but he reels back and forth between the mic and table a few times – always shuffling those papers. Sometimes he decides to take the long way back. These sojourns always include little stop-offs. Smith will twiddle a knob on someone’s amp, hit out at a cymbal (this is not your usual singer-joins-in-on-percussion participation, rather it’s just him swiping at a cymbal). Then he wanders towards his wife, steals her mic, throws it down, wanders back centrestage and later back to his wife to punch the keys she is concentrating on. Then something takes his interest over the other side and he wanders across, vacant-mindedly wrapping a mic cord around various objects, knocking over a stand and then heading offstage. It’s possible that his wanderings offstage are to signal when we the audience should call for an encore. But it’s hard to know. However, every time Smith dawdles away from one of the little wreckages he has made, a band member will step in to clean up. No wonder this line-up has remained together since 2007, something of a miracle for Smith – who The Guardian calculated had clocked up 43 ex-members until this team (he’s even up to wife-as-band-member number two). Through all this the band smack out sharp, stark hooks and rhythms on the verge of a funky breakdown. As the set progresses, even the lyrics seem to become clearer. Smith is hitting his stride… well, he’s at least meandering toward it. So for those waiting for classic Fall hits, Smith’s firing on as many cylinders as he still has in working order by the time he gets to them near set’s end. Getting there we are treated to over half of this year’s Your Future Our Clutter set with occasional stumbles into other Fall albums of the decade past (Theme From Sparta FC from The New Real Fall, I’ve Been Duped from Imperial Wax Solvent, What About Us? from Fall Heads Roll). Unexpected highlights appear in the form of The Sonics’ Strychnine and the night’s second new track Greenway (possibly a working title, named after current guitarist Peter Greenway), which seems to be an improvised stream of consciousness from Smith (although online tattle has it that it’s a rant against These New Puritans). For a moment it feels like we are briefly allowed into the madhouse that Smith dwells in permanently. Following a few offstage excursions (these ones involving the whole band – definitely telegraphing the audience to do their part for the night and hoot for more), The Fall pull out Muzorewi’s Daughter and Psykick Dancehall from the folder marked ‘1979’ and even treat us to one of their ‘80s ‘hits’ in the form of Mr Pharmacist. And it’s quite possible that somewhere in there he interpolates a piece of The Man Whose Head Expanded. It’s everything you could ever want a night out with Mark E Smith to be. A little scary, sometimes confusing, and even frustrating, but never dull. Andrew Mast

DIRECT INFLUENCE, DUBMARINE, EVA MCGOWAN NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB The Northcote Social Club is revelling in a warm evening, and with the silly season upon us, there’s never been a better time to head into the bandroom for some good times and a catch up with old friends. So let’s get straight into it, shall we? Eva McGowan apparently hails from Western Australia, although I swear she used to reside in our very own Melbourne town. Her strong voice combined with some impressive guitar work and a tight backing band ensures that her set is certainly not lost on the smallish, but growing crowd. But now it’s time for something completely different. Dubmarine kick things off with a bang – their horns, rhythm and vocals ebbing and flowing throughout the room, interweaving with one another in the sometimestrance-like way dub/dancehall music has done for generations. Vocalists Cat Walker and D-Kazman keep the party bouncing off the walls up front,


while drummer Wayne Katz and percussionist Paul Donehue make sure that not only do things click, they snap back and forth with precision, power and a possession that only they themselves can control. Playing songs from their new album Depth Of Sound, their entire set is a booty shaker, from start to finish. Direct Influence have been hitting the stage now for some time, and their set tonight is music played for people who like good music. Crossing over from dirty, guitar-driven rock to unadulterated R&B, the duo’s tunes tonight see feet tapping and hips swaying from wall to wall. Backed by a band clearly capable of carrying the quality of tunes on show, Direct Influence ensures that this party is nowhere near shutting down any time soon. Once the band finish on stage, there is no slowing down the party and trying to escape before closing time proves somewhat of a challenge (even on a school night). It’s like Santa has come early and even though the NSC doesn’t have a chimney, he’s left a pretty damn good present under the tree. Dylan Stewart Jonathan Boulet pic by Lou Lou Nutt

JONATHAN BOULET EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB It’s never taken me more than three songs to figure out if I like a band. I’m pretty decisive and figure that if a band hasn’t shown me anything in the first 15 minutes of their set to ignite my interest, it’s probably not going to happen. It could be a reflection of the fact that Melbourne audiences are spoiled for choice when it comes to live gigs and, consequently, have developed high standards. More likely it’s that Melbourne audiences have been so blessed to have such good live music to get immersed in that they are discerning and perceptive. And this is why tonight’s mediocre turnout for Jonathan Boulet should be an indication before a note has even been played that there were better things on offer on this Friday night. If I were to write a list of ten ways not to impress a Melbourne audience, Jonathan Boulet would be able to tick off almost half of them with tonight’s show. Boulet criticises the audience for being too placid and not jumping around enough, he bemoans the lack of hecklers, and spends more time on crew and support band thank-yous than is reasonably acceptable, and all of this within the first 15 minutes of the set. The extent of between-song noodling and tuning is inexcusable for an artist who’s had as much attention and fuss as this young upstart Sydneysider. And the biggest offence committed tonight is the repeated insult of comparing level of craziness (or rather, lack thereof) from the Melbourne crowd to the one in attendance at their recent Adelaide gig. Ways not to impress the punters aside, even half an hour into the set, I’m still not in a position to be able to say if I like the music with any sort of firm conviction. The vocal melodies are relatively uninteresting, in contrast to the rest of the music. They range from bland (think Sparkadia) to urgent and jagged (think The Futureheads), but are backed by this feisty and varied assembly of primal and chaotic rhythms. It’s a stunning dichotomy that somehow just doesn’t quite fit the way it should. However, possibly the most perplexing thing about the musical arrangement is the lack of imagination and dynamism in terms of the use of four shouty vocalists. There is so much potential and possibility to make things interesting but it all just leaves me bored. Dear Jonathan Boulet, for lessons on how to bring more dimension to your flat vocal arrangements, please visit the back catalogues of bands like Gomez. Best, Lou Lou.


Megadeth pic by Kane Hibberd

SHOWGROUNDS Cars are a convenient mode of travel, but there’s nothing like the united feeling inspired by sitting in a train carriage and knowing every single person sitting around you has the same agenda for the day. Like soldiers of exquisite taste, we march on the Showgrounds in anticipation of some of punk and metal’s greatest bands from the last 20 years. Picking a seat near a mother and daughter, dressed in almost identical punk regalia, it’s all about shameless eavesdropping all the way there. Our first choice is one of relatively low stakes. Having heard neither 3 Inches Of Blood nor Katatonia, we sample a bit of each, but settle on Katatonia because the raspy, screaming vocals of the former sound like a great way to ruin a day with so much sunshine. Katatonia’s audience are like that scene from The Simpsons with the teens at a concert swaying morosely back and forth. They’re a fine band, but when the lead singer says, “We’re having fun!” at the crowd, who’s he trying to convince? Frenzal Rhomb take the Black Stage. As Jay Whalley swings his matted locks around to their first song, we wonder if he would lose his power if his hair were cut off. They intro every song with a breakdown of its premise, though in the case of Russell Crowe’s Band (“is a fucking pile of shit”), it’s self-explanatory. Lindsay ‘The Doctor’ McDougall is dressed up like Angus Young, with a red sleeveless shirt and schoolboy tie. During Atreyu, we entertain ourselves watching two fans a metre away. The couple – or tentative couple judging by how hard the guy is trying – teeter on the precipice between action and inaction, like a dog pacing back and forth while it tries to jump onto a bed. They mosh with each other in an adorably half-hearted way, looking more like a poor imitation of Uma Thurman and John Travolta at Jack Rabbit Slims, and their inhibitions seem to prevent them from having as much fun as they want. Me First & The Gimme Gimmes don matching Hawaiian shirts on the Red Stage, except for lead vocalist Spike Slawson, who wears a white suit over his. He looks like a rock’n’roll Andy Warhol, all tall and pencil thin, but he moves around the stage like a pupil of Iggy Pop, which is not at all bad. After the totally straight-faced screamfest of Atreyu, Me First are a light-hearted respite, like watching The Sound Of Music after Saw III. Halfway through the set the band takes a break while Slawson does a solo cover of Xanadu on ukelele – the highlight of the festival so far. A Day To Remember’s set is utterly unexceptional and they earn lifelong distaste by shouting, “Wake the fuck up, Melbourne!” into the mic. The only interesting thing about it is an audience member who would look like a totally normal adult if it weren’t for the vest with patches from a dozen metal bands sewn into it and a Metallica hat. ‘Metallica dad’ throws the horns up a few times, but mostly he’s content to silently watch. Maybe he’s thinking about how he’d love to get in the mosh but doctor’s orders prevent him form doing so? Before the festival, the only thing I know about Alkaline Trio is that they were in an episode of The Hills where Audrina Patridge is having friend drama (when isn’t she?). Their up-tempo rock sound is less hard than most of their festival companions, which make them a pleasant respite before GWAR. GWAR open the show by marvelling at the rainbow 3 Inches Of Blood pic by Kane Hibberd

GWAR pic by Kane Hibberd

It’s not until the final song of the set that Boulet actually gives me any sort of moment to get excited about. The summery reverb heavy guitars of A Community Service Announcement and finally some variation in the backing vocals gets my toes tapping along with the beat, but it’s not enough to make me dance around like a loon, which is unfortunately the sort of reaction Boulet is hoping for tonight. It’s such a clear standout single that I kinda wish he had just played that song over and over for the entire set. At least then I wouldn’t have been able to say anything bad about the rest of the set. Lou Lou Nutt

behind the stands and then decapitating someone and spraying the blood over the front rows – a striking thematic dichotomy. Plenty of artists have put spectacle before the songs, but GWAR is a whole other beast. Their gigantic costumes make them terrifying but awe-inspiring to watch, and even though they couldn’t bring their whole set, their show is monstrous. We make it to Dropkick Murphys on time, though we could’ve waited a lot longer. It seems like an hour passes while they soundcheck, but this transient annoyance is quickly forgotten as the band jog onto the stage, and the roaring of the punks is deafening. The mosh is intense, bodies churning up bodies like a great battlefield to the bellowing of working class anthems. Kids roll over the top of each other, kicking people in the face, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. One girl attempts to crowd surf, and as she bounces up into the crowd it’s obvious that she’s going to go straight down again. People collapse underneath her, but luckily they all get up again. Excitement rises when the band brings out the pink-haired fiddler from Melbourne six-piece The Ramshackle Army, to assist them with Captain Kelly’s Kitchen. While at first she seems entirely focused, maybe even slightly intimidated by the great lumbering alpha male punk legends on stage with her, she quickly loosens up and starts bouncing around while cutting her violin to shreds. You know you’re a true fan of a band when you recognise their roadies and my friends are quickly schooled on Lemo and Jay as they stroll around stage setting up for NOFX. For this reviewer, NOFX are prioritised because their live shows are hysterically funny as well as punk as fuck. A great spot is secured in the crowd to allow for banging up against people during the songs and also chilling and enjoying the banter in between. This makes for the best show of the festival. Fat Mike spends a lot of time making fun of the other bands, but drops the biting sarcasm at one point for a moment of real sincerity when he says, “How fuckin’ cool is it that The Descendents are playing next?” He teases us with the opening bars of The Decline and then stops. A collective “FUCK YOU!” erupts from the peanut gallery in front of him. We watch Megadeth open from the stands, but after Fat Mike’s continuous berating of Dave Mustaine, they seem less than impressive. There’s little betweensong interaction, disappointing considering they sound the same live as in the studio. Punks flee with the realisation that The Descendents are about to start and we join the exodus. They start almost immediately after taking the stage, taking just a few seconds to mention they’d never been to Australia before launching into their first song. The term “Olds” carries a connotation of irrelevance, but in punk it’s the opposite. This is a world in which the old guard are loved and respected as much, if not more, today. It’s evident by watching The Descendents that every band playing at No Sleep Til owes a massive debt to this band. At the end of their set, the masses move on. The army leaves victorious, having joined with brothers and sisters they never knew they had in order to conquer the Showgrounds once more. Jake Cleland


It’s been a big year for psychedelic-jazz piano duo Footy, and they’re rounding it off with a free show on Wednesday 29 December at Bar Open. Expect nuanced pop, layered, scything psychedelia and generally waves of molten aural bliss. They’re joined by friends The Pups and The Sinking Tins. Doors open at 8pm and entry is free.


SO FRESH THE BONNIWELLS didn’t know what the fuck they were doing when recording their debut album, MARK DEAN tells SAMUEL J FELL.

Melbourne’s Ennïs Tóla have taken a break from the live circuit for the past few months (with album writing, weddings, etc), but they’re kicking back into it with two massive shows in January next year. Check out the Middle Eastern, post-progressive rock sound that is Ennïs Tóla at their shows on Thursday 6 January at the Evelyn Hotel with Salt Lake City, and Saturday 29 January at the East Brunswick Club with Xenograft, Lan Party and Shoes for Strings. Tickets are on sale now through Moshtix.

of Z-Man Records who have released the album] went away – she was really keen to put it out – so we waited for her and just kept gigging and doing our own thing, then it finally came together in the last four months or so.”


There will be a free all-ages party at Fed Square on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the new year! The fun starts at 8pm with Melbourne five-piece Tumbarumba whose sizzling fusion of samba, reggae, funk and Brazilian beats have seen them share a stage with the likes of Paul Kelly, Clare Bowditch, Gotye and Blue King Brown. Tumbarumba will set the scene for a night of funky beats, guaranteed to get you on your feet. The party continues from 8.30pm when Funk Junk take over the stage with a high-energy drumming set featuring 500 drums and percussion instruments distributed to the crowd for a live jam session, before the fireworks over Yarra Park at 9.15pm. As the clock winds down, The Hit Parade will rock the stage with everybody’s favourite party tracks.


Melbourne’s brooding, lubricious punk-rock four-piece Dirty F will begin hammering away in 2011 with their first show of the year at the Prague on Thursday 6 January. Drown all your healthy and positive new year’s resolutions in cheap alcohol and choke them with cigarettes as you bear witness to the relentless show these rotten gentlemen have to offer. Joining them will be The Debutant Kid, Bullets In Berlin and The Thousands. Doors open at 8pm, and entry is $7.


The Bendigo Hotel welcomes soul and R&B starlet Jess Harlen for a Boxing Day special event capable of curing any Christmas Day hangover! Harlen will be joined by two extraordinary vocalists, Pina Tuteri and Michelle Van Der Ross, and some sweet beats will be provided by DJ Fetson. Doors open at 3pm with a barbecue in the beer garden. Entry is $10.

SOME SOUL FOR YOUR NYE Fresh off the back of recording their second album, Deep Street Soul are pleased to announce a special New Year’s Eve show to hail in 2011, laying down two sets of the roughest and dirtiest southernstyled funk this side of Memphis. With special guest Mighty May Johnson on vocals duties, this is going to be a get-down affair of the funkiest kind. It kicks off at Bar Open at 10pm and goes until late, and it doesn’t cost a thing to get in.


couple of weeks ago, a record landed on my desk that can best be described as a raw, dripping slab of ‘60s garage/psych rock, a cacophony of fuzzing, jangling guitars and pounding drums, straight out of the summer of love but rubbed face down in the dirt of the punk movement and warped for today’s vicious times. The album in question was Unprofitable Servant, with the band responsible The Bonniwells – three scruffy refugees from a musical time gone by who have found themselves here and now, which is rather a dishevelled pleasure. “I’d moved over from New Zealand about three years ago and ended up living in St Kilda by myself, not knowing anyone,” explains frontman Mark Dean on the formation of this group. “I was just recording heaps of songs and ended up with a huge body of work, and then I met John [Waddell, bass] through a friend and I started playing him this music and he really liked it. And then he met Zac [Olsen, drums] somehow and we just kinda got together and started playing and it just seemed to be really refreshing. There’s a real positive energy there.” So positive in fact, that mere weeks after the band came together as The Bonniwells, which was around October last year, the trio went into the studio and laid down the tracks for what would become Unprofitable Servant, a raw, dripping slab of ‘60s psych rock. However, as so often happens in this industry of ours, it took a good 12 months for the record to see the light of day. “It just took a lot of time,” Dean concurs. “We recorded it then got it mastered, then Lou [Ridsdale, head

Following a trip to Berlin that saw him visit the iconic White Trash rock club that has so often been compared with his own establishment, Cherry Bar owner James Young has recruited hot German rock DJ Helen Jagger to provide the racous soundtrack to Cherry’s New Year’s Eve action. At White Trash, Jagger entertains the likes of Bloc Party and Peaches Geldof (as well as about 1,000 other people), playing tunes from The Stones, The Doors, The Velvet Underground, The Strokes, BRMC and other real, down and dirty rockers. Cherry is also keeping its door price nice and cheap this NYE, with a cover of just $15 so you’ve got heaps of cash to make the night memorable. There’s no pre-sales, though, so get there early and settle in for a big one. Jagger hits the decks at 8pm.

“That’s why it sounds different now, it’s more of a group effort now. We all write the songs, whereas before it was just me. It’s a lot more organic now,” he adds. The other interesting aspect of Unprofitable Servant is how quickly it came to be. “We just wanted to get that moment in time down,” Dean tells. “We were fresh and didn’t know what the fuck we were doing.” For three guys who profess to not knowing what they were doing, this is a fine example of what they’re capable of, even though, as Dean says, they’ve moved on a lot from that point in time.

The Builders Arms is presenting what will be an interesting show on Friday 7 January, featuring a collection of folk and avant-acoustic pop music. Acclaimed Melbourne poet Luke Beesley started writing rusty, bookish folk rock under the guise of New Archer, and is developing a reputation as one of Melbourne’s most unique lyricists. Yuko Kono comes out of Tokyo’s vibrant and creative experimental pop scene that frequently blurs the line between music, performance and visual art. Ian Wadley plays instrumental impromptu compositions for guitar and piano, hovering between emotive melody and quiet noise, and uses his loop pedal with abandon. Tom Hall is a Melbourne-based improviser working with free-form fingerstyle acoustic guitar and banjo. Doors open at 8pm and entry is $6. The dreamy and dangerous sounds of The Cape Cod Affair will erupt for a raunchy gig tonight (Wednesday) at the Builders Arms in Fitzroy. December has seen the band playing every hump day at the Builders, with a pretty darn special list of guests each week, including glorious melodic duo Shag Marry Kill, the shimmering guitar/organ drones of Constant Light and the dulcet tones of Michael Stevenson. Tonight they’re joined by May & Lords Of Northcote. Entry is $5 from 8pm.


Far Concern produces collagic pop music from his bedroom, singing short simple melodies with lyrics about fantasy and nonsense. After having performed around Melbourne throughout 2010, Far Concern will be welcoming 2011 with a forthcoming CD-R release on Black Petal (Japan), a digital single on EardrumsPop (Norway) and his first ever residency. Join Far Concern and a host of friends for weekly pop excursions every Wednesday in January at the Builders Arms. The first, on Wednesday 5, features Tailor Made For A Small Room and Extreme Wheeze. Entry is $6 from 8pm.

ABRAHAM LINKIN’ Ben Abraham’s personal quest to make “music that means something” continues with his end of year show at the Toff In Town tonight (Wednesday). Abraham’s voice is a soulful mix of his Indonesian father and Australian mother, and his folk pop sound is influenced by artists just as diverse – from Chicago to Nickel Creek, Radiohead to Donny Hathaway. With his band by his side, his ukulele in hand and his heart on his sleeve, Abraham is an exciting young talent not to be missed. His last gig sold out so be sure to get in early! Support comes from Lucy Hall and entry is $15 from 8pm. Then, this Thursday Abraham joins gifted songwriter John Flanagan for a show at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel – entry is $5 from 8pm.

“The record is a lot heavier than we are now, but I think that was what we were intending at he time,” he muses. “Really heavy, lots of bleeding in the mics, a White Light/White Heat sorta vibe, that’s what we were going for [then], an early-Stones-meets-Mudhoney sorta thing.” They certainly pull it off in their own inimitable style, a style which is evolving with every show the band play. There are already plans to head into the studio in January to record the follow-up, so it’s growing, a winner to be sure. WHO: The Bonniwells WHAT: Unprofitable Servant (Z-Man Records) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Grace Darling Jantina Gardner play the Evelyn on Wednesday 5 January.




The record is an interesting one, particularly from the point of view of how it came together. The band laid it down very soon after forming, so Inpress is interested to know where the record comes from – are these songs written especially for The Bonniwells (in an extremely short amount of time), or are they leftovers from projects gone by (which are many, as these three cats come from bands like The Frowning Clouds, Bleach and Last Gypsys)? “There are a couple of songs that we wrote and learnt around that time, but the majority of them were written before The Bonniwells got together,” Dean explains.

HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jantina Gardner (pronounced young-tina), vocals/ rhythm guitar: “I met the drummer Vel on a flight home from Sydney. Bass player Jesse was a flatmate of my sister’s, I worked with lead guitarist Damien at my old job. It all happened over the span of a year.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Bit of both... But if you’re talking about recording music we’ve recorded the EP in a studio.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Vocals, guitar, bass, drums.”

GET INTA WEBB Dan Webb caps off a massive year in style by returning to the Evelyn Hotel one last time as part of his month-long residency on Tuesday 28 December. The classically trained musician’s style isn’t dictated by the traditional six-string, instead he opts for the keys. Webb and band will be joined on stage by Kieran Conrau and Ari Farrar from The Cat Empire horn section – The Empire Horns – and supported by much-talked-about young Melbourne rockers The Smoke. Doors at 9pm.


The fantastic Shoot The Sun return from musical obscurity (a garage in Strathmore) to perform their ‘synth vs guitar locked in an epic fight to the death with drums and bass cheering on’ sound this Thursday at Pony. With a special night of ménage à trois action (they’re minus a member – oooh, sounds risqué) this is sure to be a memorable show. They’re joined by the lovable folks from Cherrywood, fresh from celebrating their tenth birthday a month or so ago and always keen for a party with a fistful of killer tunes. Last but not least, the rich kids from Poor People open the night. Doors at 8.30pm.

IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Hmmm... we have a few. We’d like to support our own band because we’d be pretty swell to hang out with.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Why decide when I would grab my hard drive with all its delicious goodness inside?” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “No, we have mascots that pop up every now again, thanks to Jesse who is a big comic book fan...” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Anyone that I invite round for dinner is awesome and I think I’m pretty good at cooking kangaroo. Go the Roos! But if they’re vegetarian I offer them wine instead.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “Anywhere on High Street so I can stumble home... especially NSC!”



Cold Harbour play their last show for the year this Thursday at the Vineyard in St Kilda, supporting their very good mates Burn In Hell. Both bands had a big year, releasing their respective debut albums, both of which received great reviews, and are determined to see the year out with a rocking night! Join Cold Harbour for a set of their blend of psychedelia, blues and stoner rock followed by the wonderful and unique Burn In Hell. Entry is free.

GOOD VALUE Local folk rockers THE CURRENCY are fighting the good fight, singer JUSTIN MOORE tells PAUL RANSOM.


DISCO TO BENDIGO It’s time to say good riddance to the year that’s been and wipe the slate clean in a moment of musical abandon. This year, the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood will host a New Year’s Eve party of epic proportions, with DJ CC:Disco! (Kiss FM), Press Gang (PBS FM) and Mohair Slim (PBS FM) from 9pm to 3am. Having supported the likes of Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa), Gerling, Anna Lunoe, Hoops, MAFIA, Moonchild and many more, CC:Disco! mixes nu and old disco with the occasion ‘80s tracks. Bringing in the new year with style is Press Gang, making you sweat with genre crunches and sinking her teeth into a tasty mash-up or two. And finally, the unmistakable sounds of Mohair Slim will take you on a dancefloor journey back in time with an insatiable mix of soul, R&B and ska 45s. Get your tickets pronto! Pre-sale tickets $15, $20 on the door. Head to


Sin City tear up the stage one last time for 2010 when they fire up at the new Alternative Rock Club at the Railway Hotel in Brunswick on New Year’s Eve, Saturday 31 December. It’s been a fiery year for Melbourne’s favourite riot rockers, seeing them rip up Sounds Loud and Rock The Bay festivals, release the radio favourite Don’t Eat Your Heart Out and hit the road with The Vibrators (UK), Guttermouth (USA), Casino Rumblers and The New Christs. Alternative Rock Club is Melbourne’s newest late-night haunt, located at 291 Albert Street, Brunswick. Entry is $10, with eight DJs blasting out alternative anthems from every era plus a secret special guest band. Doors open 8pm to 7am and rock’n’roll satisfaction is guaranteed!


Wine Whiskey Women is the Drunken Poet’s weekly celebration of female songwriters. In a yuletide treat, tonight (Wednesday) sees two of the Poet’s favourites back to back in a folk/country festive-fuelled tidal wave of good times! From 8pm, Jody Galvin takes to the stage in stripped-back duo mode, bringing the alt. country attitude guaranteed to win the hearts of drinkers and music lovers in any bar. Following on at 9pm are the dust bowl-mid west via inner-city Melbourne sounds of Gen Finnane & Flora Smith. Santa digs it.


Get drunk and celebrate Christmas at the Bendigo Hotel this Thursday! The Bendigo crew will be giving out Christmas cookies to munch on and four acts will be taking the stage, fittingly including Jesus, Superjuice, Alana Wilkinson and Mineo. Superjuice are giving out their new album that’s just been recorded. Cookies, album, people, fun, and cookies. Pretty sweet. Entry is $5 from 8pm.


It’s just about that time when Santa will be squeezing out gifts of joy for all the world’s children. So why not squeeze yourself into Revolver Upstairs this Thursday as five bands prove there’s more joy in rock than in Santa’s sack! Melbourne Fresh presents “Fresh & Festive” featuring Sheriff, The Close, Death Valley Mustangs, Alex Anonymous and Heaven The Axe. From psychedelic to blues to pop to progressive to heavy rock, you’ll be kicking up your feet, bopping around and moshing along to an onslaught of independent, unsigned bands all night long! Doors open at 8pm and entry is $12.


In true in-between-Xmas-and-New-Year’s spirit, Pony is cranking up the PA with a huge night on Thursday 30 December for the Hollow Everdaze EP launch! With so little to do in this wasteland of a week where you’re sick of your family, happily off work and working up a mean thirst whilst doing sweet fuck all, a show like this is nothing short of a blessing. Hollow Everdaze will be ably supported by Sambrose Automobile, Buffalo Country and Puny Earthlings. Doors at 8pm.


‘Tis the season to get drunk and and listen to some damn fine bands at the Old Bar for the most blurry night of the year, Christmas Eve, this Friday. Santa will be set up in his photo booth for anyone brave enough to sit on his knee and get their photo taken. The shame of being caught drunk on film on a strange drunken man in a costume is not enough though. You also get a shit toy too. And to top it off the Oldie has put together a hell of a line-up: Heel Toe Express, Mikelangelo & Friends, Jimmy Stewart’s Wonderful Life, BJ Morriszonkle and Water Music. Entry is $10 from 7pm. Merrry fucking Christmas.


Spender is not a comment on post consumerism but Tommy Spender’s hotly anticipated five-piece band format project. Spender, formerly of Triple J darlings Offcutts and Custom Kings, spent the last few humid years slaving over a hot laptop creating a universe of diverse and colour-rich elements, collaborating with producer Franc Tetaz and buddies Kimbra, Sophie Brous, Eagle & The Worm, Lior, Custom Kings and Dani Siciliano (Herbert) to write an album of instantly distinctive and original-sounding songs. Catch Spender the band playing for the first time at the Evelyn Hotel this Friday night with support from the blindingly rad Kristina Miltiadou.


angles to the simply personal and/or hedonistic. “It’s not the ‘60s or the ‘70s anymore but here we are going into 2011 and you can still walk down Brunswick Street at certain times of the day and see people that are struggling.”

Back with their annual Xmas Bash at the Evelyn Hotel, ATM15 are bringing the Christmas cheers to Fitzroy this Thursday. It’s the only show of the year where you can catch this 16-piece band playing a bunch of unique arrangements of well-known hits. They’ve got Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, John Mayer covered plus some versions of Christmas carols, and a couple of their own smash hits. It’s the last ATM15 show for a couple of months so get involved in one hell of a celebration. The night will also feature the Belinda Allchin Beetet.

For Justin Moore and The Currency the reality outside the band is hard to ignore. “I work in Collingwood and I walk down Smith Street and I see people who are just down on their luck and that hasn’t changed in a long time. We write about that sorta stuff.”


n this post-GFC world, currency is making headlines. Café chatter about exchange rates and dollar parity has reached fever pitch; but fear not, music fans – there will be no more talk of international finance in this article. In fact, you could well argue that Melbourne six-piece folk/punk larrikins The Currency are about as far removed the dry mainstream of economic debate as it’s possible to get. With their often rollicking, politically electric blend of mandolin-driven folk and muscular punk rhythms, The Currency are rootsy, raw and disobedient. Now four years into their journey together they are ready to build on the strength of their eponymous debut with a new EP early in 2011 and a no doubt rambunctious Yuletide shindig this week. Despite the easily drawn comparisons with Weddings, Parties, Anything and The Pogues, lead singer Justin Moore insists that The Currency’s Celtic swagger is simply a natural extension of the band members’ natural proclivities. “I guess it’s just something that we have in our blood,” he explains. “It’s not really a choice as such because when we’re playing if the floor is bouncing, well, so are we. It electrifies us.” Although their sound is suffused with Gaelic bravura, Moore says, “It’s definitely a very Australian, rootsy, working class thing; and y’know the whole punk thing just ties in nicely.”

ARCHER’S PEACH Acclaimed Melbourne poet Luke Beesley put down his pencil and picked up a reconditioned 1965 parlour guitar and started writing rusty, bookish folk rock. Under the guise of New Archer he is developing a reputation as one of Melbourne’s most unique lyricists. In 2010 Ian Wadley (Minimum Chips, Bird Blobs, St Helens) came on board with some wonderfully sensitive, fidgety drumming. Comparisons have been made with Will Oldham, Neil Young, Robert Forster and Leonard Cohen and influences include Cormac McCarthy, Julie Doiron, old horses and a number of other poets, songwriters and novelists. With an album scheduled for recording in the new year, New Archer play the Builders Arms on Friday 7 January with Tom Hall, Yuko Kono and Ian Wadley. Entry is $6 from 8.30pm.


Just when you thought it was safe to go out on a Wednesday, the relentless mid-week action continues… The final instalment of Lost & Found at Revolver Upstairs for 2010 happens on Wednesday 29 December and starts with resident DJ Spidey until 10pm. Then special guest DJ Matt Doll (AKA Matt Thomas of The Blow Waves/ The Mavis’s) takes over to add a bit of glam to the night. Closing a successful year for Lost & Found will be resident DJ Decameron. Entry is free!


What the hell is Never Cheer Before You Know Who’s Winning? It’s trivia Tuesdays at Revolver Upstairs – a game within a game, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Join your hosts Mikey Cahill (Rock City, Joey Lightbulb) and Kerrie Lovless (K-Lo) and tackle Topic Thunder, Melburn Round, Music: Response, Naked Movies, Songlines and Sound Snippets. Win CDs, DVDs, movie passes, meal tickets and the booby prize! Register at au to book (eight people per team) and get bonus questions! Entry is free for a 7.30pm start.

The Currency may not have a line in economic discourse but they are undeniably political. “Our country, [as] much that we love it without being nationalists, has quite a lot wrong with it, or that’s still to be repaired, and that’s the sorta stuff that we want people to know about and change.” In the post-ideology world of contemporary music, such a strong vein of thought seems to sit at right

All that aside, they are definitely not didactic. The Currency exude the simple, uncluttered joys of music making. “It’s as down-to-earth as you can get,” Moore declares. “It’s non-pretentious. There’s no hiding in this kind of music… Even if you’re just sitting ‘round a camp fire singing a funny or a romantic song, it’s so earthy and raw that you can’t pretend to be something that you’re not.” Indeed, Moore and co do not shy from the more celebratory pursuits. “Going and getting off your face is kinda what people do,” he notes urbanely. “Y’know, there are times for celebrating life. Sometimes things might not be as grand as they seem but y’know what, it’s good to sit down with your mates and have a fucking drink.” For all their historical analogies and issuelaced lyrics, The Currency are sharp enough to know that whilst six musos might struggle to save the world, there is nearly always something wonderful and transformative about being in a band together and doing it for love. As Justin Moore recalls, “We played the Pakistan flood benefit at the Tote a couple of weeks back and I walked away from that night thinking that was good, not just because the songs sounded good but because, well, this is gonna sound really wanky, but there was love in the room. Everyone just lifted because it was an important thing to do.” If you want it in nutshell, perhaps this is it. “There is no us and them, it’s just us,” Moore states. “We’re just having a good night, having a crack and listening to some good songs.”

WHO: The Currency WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, the Arthouse


Dusted Orange and The Scarlets join forces for a special show at the Toff In Town this Thursday. This will be Dusted Orange’s first show in a string of shows to support the launch of their new EP. This will also be a chance to purchase the EP, which isn’t officially released until next year. The Scarlets have had a busy year which ended with them winning Triple M’s competition to support Bon Jovi at Rod Laver Arena and Etihad Stadium. Get down and see what all the fuss is about! Entry is $10 from 8pm.


Welcome back to rock’n’roll! Vice Grip Pussies have re-ignited the music scene with an energy and sound that reminds the audience of the thrill they felt when they first discovered rock music. It’s rock’n’roll with a sense of humour and fun! Drum-driven arrangements lead their rock pop sideshow alley swing with a rhythm that makes you want to move. These 19- and 20-year-olds from the Gold Coast and Byron Bay were last seen at the Tote supporting The Johnnies back in July, and have taken over the venue each Wednesday in December. See the last show of their residency tonight with Burn In Hell, The Mercy Kills, Patron Saints and House Of Honeys. Entry is $8 from 7pm.


Get the perfect combination of Christmas humbugs and ear-drugs this Thursday as the Old Bar presents a rock’n’roll show that will tarnish the entire area and render it a Santa “no-go” zone. Sorry kids. Join Smack Ballads for Christmas speed-balls and Stavros Brothers as they introduce us to the customs of the old country. Drawing Arcs are a much needed scoob break with your cousin and then The Losers play the part of the pissed uncle who starts breaking shit and screaming stuff until everyone grabs their kids and pisses off home. Doors at 8.30pm and entry is $5.

BASTARDS BOXING The Bastard Children get in the ring at the Standard Hotel in Fitzroy on Boxing Day, this Sunday. They’ll throw down a couple of rounds of dusted up and dirty folk and blues with a few left hooks of twisted gypsy for good measure. No strangers to the odd low blow, they’ll bring their multifarious line-up of multi-instrumentalists for a bare knuckle donny brook that is the perfect cure for your post-Christmas ailments. The Bastards will be boxing your ears from 7pm and they’ll do it all for free from 7pm.


Every Sunday in January at the Builders Arms, Palomino strip it right back to the visceral heart of music that provides a salve for our wounds and a beacon for our joy. It’s in the melody, the back beat, the sweat on the strings and the tear in the voice. Head on down from 4pm for an evening of swinging songs, cold beer and relaxed respite from that angry summer sun.













All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS

Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL


Push Over, Victoria’s longest-running all-ages live music festival, is returning to Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent on Sunday 13 March for another killer day out in 2011. The line-up includes a top selection of upcoming Aussie talent, the freshest young Victorian acts, some of the country’s fastest and most furious hardcore and metal bands, and a full arena of bouncing hip hop music and breakdancing. Brace yourselves, this line-up is one of the best yet: playing on the day are Anchors, Break Even, Children Collide, Deez Nuts, Dream On Dreamer, House Vs Hurricane, Howl, I Exist, Illy, Last Dinosaurs, Metals, Oh Mercy, 1/6 featuring MzRizk, Owl Eyes, Stonefi eld, The Red Shore, The Storm Picturesque, The Tongue and more to be announced. On top of all of these amazing acts the FReeZA Push Start Battle Of The Band regional winners will be converging on the Convent to battle it out one last time to be crowned the 2010/11 series winner. Over in the hip hop arena you still have the chance to get involved. Push It are still taking applications for the MC and breakin’ battles to be held throughout the day, so if this sounds like you register by emailing au – check out the Push It link at thepush. for all the registration details. If you are over 12 then you can buy a ticket and come by yourself; if you fall under this age bracket then now is the time to convince an adult that this festival is awesome and they should accompany you. Tickets are on sale now for $30+BF through Ticketek, Moshtix and OzTix. Push Over takes place smack bang in the middle of the Labour Day long weekend, from midday until 8pm. If you are passionate about the festival and want to spread the word then this is your chance. The Push are currently looking for enthusiastic music lovers from right across Victoria to join the Push Over street team. Your job will be to help promote the festival in your area – distributing posters and flyers as well as promoting this information on forums online and on social networks. The best team will be rewarded for their efforts with free tickets to Push Over, free CDs, meet and greets with the Push Over bands and other merchandise. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. If you are interested then email push@thepush. ASAP to register your interest. The artist listing at is a database created by artists around Australia. To make it easy for everyone the artist listing is ordered alphabetically and updated monthly. To register your own band’s details into the artist listing head to the website. Benefits of entering your information include the general public – including young event organisers, FReeZA committees and the FReeZA network – being able to access the details you provide, which will include your gigs being featured right here so everyone reading this will know you’re playing and may just show up. Now it is Christmas this week so don’t get too expectant before reading this list, you should be with your families.


Carpathian and Her Nightmare play the Seaford Community Hall from 6pm. Tickets will be available to purchase on the door. I did warn you, so I suppose all that is left to say now is have a safe and happy Christmas and new year. If you’re going away to any festivals over the break, be sure to rug up, set up your tent properly, pegging in the strings on the side of the fly and everything. It may be summer but it seems that the crazy weather we’ve been having is going to hold up for a bit longer with some parts of the state being covered in snow just in time for Christmas. So remember, stay warm, be nice to your friends and family and most importantly, don’t forget that the Doctor Who yearly Christmas episode is being fast-tracked this year and will air on the ABC at 7.30pm this Sunday. Happy holidays from Department Of Youth.


The Amity Affliction


So last week was the annual Triple J Short.Fast. Loud top 50 albums of 2010 and I was actually pretty happy with the result. Three of the top five were Australian, with a lot of Australian bands making the list. It’s really good to see that people are out there supporting Australian music, as it is what keeps the scene alive! So here’s how the top five looked: at #5 Enemy Of The World – Four Year Strong; #4 Endless Roads – Miles Away; #3 What Separates Me From You – A Day To Remember; #2 Deep Blue – Parkway Drive; and the #1 title goes out to The Amity Affl iction for Youngbloods. Congratulations to all the Aussie bands that made the list! Push Over 2011 got announced last week as well, and will be held at the Abbotsford Convent on Sunday 13 March. There is some amazing Australian talent on next year’s line-up, including Anchors, Break Even, House Vs Hurricane, I Exist, The Red Shore and Trainwreck. Tickets are only $30, so it won’t break the bank, and are on sale now. You can get more information, a full line-up and complete ticketing information at This is always a fun day and 2011 will be no exception! In release news, Poison City Records announced that they are the label who’ll be releasing the forthcoming debut full-length by Brisbane’s Fires Of Waco. To be titled Old Ghosts Never Sleep, this release is the culmination of a year spent forging their own identity through a work ethic that has seen them become one of the most active bands in the Brisbane punk scene. Hopefully the release of this record will see them tour the country more extensively and see them in Melbourne a bit more. If you don’t know much about them, here’s a quick bit of info: they formed from the ashes of The Gifthorse, Values Here and Just Say Go, and in June this year released their EP In The Wake Of… The debut



album will be released on 28 March, so keep an eye out for pre-orders and tracks over the summer. A few weeks ago it was announced that Against Me! were departing from their label, Warner Records, after releasing their last two albums with the major, even despite criticisms of “selling out” by punk fans worldwide. In a recent interview, frontman Tom Gabel explained why the partnership ended and noted some criticisms he had over the way the label handled some things. For example a situation where an unfinished version of I Was A Teenage Anarchist (that was missing backing vocals and had different lyrics) was sent out by accident to Canadian radio stations, instead of the finished version. The band have also released a new 7”, containing an acoustic version of High Pressure Low and a previously unreleased track called Strip Mall Parking Lots. In case you missed the memo, Soundwave timetables have been posted online. Though they are still subject to change, organiser AJ Maddah called for feedback from fans to try and fi x any big clashes now. If you follow his Twitter feed, he has been griping for weeks about silly demands from certain bands in relation to times, and has noted that as the timetables stand, there is a clash between Slayer and Slash (though I imagine that wouldn’t be a clash for most reading this column) and he is trying to fi x it. A quick Google search will help you source the timetables, as they don’t seem to be posted on the Soundwave website at present.

Just to cap off the week there have been a couple of line-up changes and break-ups, which is a bit of a sad way to lead up to the festive season. Finch have broken up after numerous attempts to complete a new record (the follow-up to 2005’s Say Hello To Sunshine). The band have posted two final tracks that are available to purchase through their Bandcamp site. Also, Paramore have lost founding members in the brothers Farro. Josh and Zac (guitarist and drummer, respectively) have left the band as of last week, having announced their decision to their bandmates a few months ago. At present, the remaining members have not announced how they intend to replace the pair. GIG OF THE WEEK(S) This week’s gig of the week is a no-brainer! Generation 2010 is happening on Boxing Day (that’s this Sunday) at Seaford Community Hall. Doors are at 4.30pm and it’s an all-ages event. It is headlined by the mighty Carpathian, and Her Nightmare are re-forming for the show. These two factors alone have a lot of people I know trekking from across the country to Melbourne for this show. Add to that Hopeless, Iron Mind, The Broderick, Phantoms and Warbrain, and this really will be one of the highlights on the hardcore calendar. I hear that this is intended to become an annual event, so it will be cool to see how well this does. Tickets are still available through OzTix up until the day of the show.

Alice Cooper

Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG Wow, this dream didn’t last long, did it! Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy has released the following statement: “Yes, the rumours are true... Sadly my time with Avenged Sevenfold has come to an end. The band has decided to carry on into 2011 without me. I had a great time with them throughout 2010, but it was their choice to end the relationship at the end of 2010 as was always the initial plan. As far as my future, I am excited by the endless musical possibilities that lie ahead of me... my love for music runs very deep and my taste is very broad and eclectic which will give me the chance to explore many different things and collaborate with many great friends and artists I admire and respect.” The band have also pulled out of next year’s Soundwave Festival 2011. The statement reads: “Avenged Sevenfold regretfully announce they will not be performing at the upcoming Soundwave in Australia. After much effort, the band decided that they could not offer fans the live experience they have come to expect and didn’t want to disappoint them. Avenged Sevenfold will return to Australia soon to headline their own tour.” Deservedly so, legendary rocker Alice Cooper has confirmed that he will finally be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at the 26th annual induction ceremony, which will be held on 14 March 2011 in Manhattan. Cooper, 62, said, “getting in the Hall Of Fame is about the ultimate thing you can do when you’re a garage band from Cortez High in Phoenix. It’s the most humbling thing in the world when you realise who else is in there. You look out at the audience, and every guy who influenced you is sitting there, and they are the people who voted on you.” Max Cavalera (Soulfly), interviewed on MTV2’s Headbangers Ball, discussed the ongoing speculation of the Sepultura reunion of the classic line-up. He said, “I’d like to do it; everybody knows that. When the classic four was together, it was really powerful. And I tried my best – I convinced Igor to go back. I said, ‘Would you come if I was involved?’ And I talked to Andreas and he seemed interested at first and then after that it got weird; lawyers started getting involved and

shit like that. So I don’t know. And I read somewhere that the one that doesn’t wanna do it is Paulo. Which is, like... I don’t know what his gig is; I don’t know what his problem is. I would just like to reunite the classic Sepultura line-up – just for my fans. Show them what this band was all about.” The current line-up of Sepultura released a video message recently in which they urged fans not to “listen to fucking rumours anymore”. The group added, “We are tired of listening to this fucking bullshit that Max is saying all over the world, that there’s gonna be a reunion and this and that. We’re here to say there’s no communication, there’s no talks about any type of reunion or any show with the Cavaleras. Igor is doing his job, Max is supposed to do his job, and we are doing our job. We are Sepultura for 26 years and we are celebrating this with a new album, a new deal and a new world tour and we hope this is the end of fucking rumours and fucking lies, okay?!” Progressive metallers Cynic have released the following statement: “We’re announcing a change in the band’s line-up. After much soul-searching and discussion, Cynic will say goodbye to bassist Robin Zielhorst and guitarist Tymon Kruidenier. This decision was reached mutually, with great respect for each other as people and the work that we’ve done over the past two, three years. The logistical challenges of maintaining a band that is half based in the Netherlands and the other half in the United States has become unworkable. The preproduction stages for Cynic’s next release have just begun and it seemed like an appropriate time to define the next chapter of the band.” Stated Cynic guitarist/vocalist

Paul Masvidal: “Tymon and Robin are great guys whose hard work made it possible for Cynic to get back out on the road and tour the world with Traced In Air. I’m really grateful for their contribution and presence, and look forward to seeing where their talents and music will take them next.” Canadian musician/producer Devin Townsend has tapped Jens Bogren (Opeth) to mix Deconstruction, the third record under The Devin Townsend Project moniker. Commented Townsend: “’Deconstruction is brutal in a lot of parts, but pretty glorious in others. It rides the fence of negativity but ultimately ends supremely positive. There are two drummers on this one, Ryan Van Poederooyen for the crushing stuff and Dirk Verbeuren [Soilwork] for the inhuman stuff. This is a record I have been working up to for some time and while doing it, I realise that not only am I in control of it (totally) but that this newfound control allows me to take it to places I would have never been able to a decade ago. I pretty much believe that this will be one of our finest hours and although there are some funny moments, it’s a pretty pointed record (if ya know what I mean).”


Finntroll – Friday 25 March, Billboard Suicidal Tendencies – Sunday 15 May, Billboard Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – racket. Email


BREAKDOWN Pop culture therapy with ADAM CURLEY For all their practical timeliness, it’s really a rosy occurrence that end-of-year music lists arrive at the end of the year. Despite making the decision of what to buy your brother-in-law for Christmas, one that need not be made with consideration or sobriety, the best-of countdowns also happen in the season – at least in Australia – when goodwill is at an unreasonable peak, time is at its least valuable and the willingness to be led by an opinion not forged in the oyster shell of the My Life daily grind is about as solid as it’s ever going to be. If nothing else, they come when forced parent time means burying your head in whichever page of words is closest, and history dictates that lists are the easiest things to concentrate on while also having to nod and sigh at suggestions of alternative career options and printouts of handily close apartments for sale. Even those for whom music magazines have not been a regular fiscal burden of teen years will have some memory of splurging holiday cash at a coastal newsagency while on a compulsory family getaway. Somehow, those glossy images of city-dirty musicians lazing on New York fire escapes and in back alleys make the long, sweaty hours pondering never-gonna-happen summer hook-ups and glancing hatefully (enviously and lustfully) at tanned, tangled bodies both bearable and unbearably unacceptable. In those hours, with those lists and a music shop within walking distance or i-device in hand, things are realised and discovered; ‘tastes’ and ‘dreams’ forged. For the most part, though, much of that list-looking is now done online, via whichever blogs have passed individual filters and been ‘favourited’ for regular check-backs. Or, if you’re like me and don’t mind reading stuff you don’t even particularly like in the vain hope of becoming vaguely ‘informed’, every blog you’ve ever stumbled upon or has been recommended to you. The Top 50 Albums Of 2010. The Top 100 Remixes Of July 2010. The Top Four Bands You Couldn’t Possibly Have Heard Of Because They Only Made One Demo CD And Sent It To Us But Really They’re The Best Bands In The World And We Can’t Believe You Don’t Know Who They Are You Arcade Fire-Loving Piece Of Shit. Indeed, at any other time, most of these lists would result in relocations to Amish farms, and even those probably have their own lists of the best German hymns of the 1600s. Thank Christ (or the writers of Pitchfork or whoever) for the open-mindedness that comes with summer boredom and midday booze. If the idea of trawling through longwinded opinions is off-putting (or just impossible, if


Blues ’n’ roots with DAN CONDON Grace Jones’ performance at the Sydney Festival back at the start of last year was one of the most talked about of the entire event. Her multi-faceted live shows are constantly raved about for their jawdroppingly incredible mix of auditory and visual delights. Her voice spans more than two-and-a-half octaves and word is her sense of style and fashion are reason enough to want to be right up the front when she performs. She has just been announced (in an odd single artist announcement) for next year’s Bluesfest, which happens at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm from Thursday 25 April through to Monday 30 April. Speaking of Bluesfest, there are a few sideshows that have been announced over the past couple of weeks that I’m going to come right out and say are completely unmissable. He’s not just the biggest blues artist on the line-up, he’s the biggest blues artist in the world and has been for a very long time. To say that BB King’s imminent return to Australian shores is longawaited is a major understatement – this bona fide blues legend has been at it since the 1940s. He’s released more than 75 albums, played more than 10, 000 shows and reports from overseas state that he most certainly still performs with the kind of passion one could possibly hope for. The 85-yearold guitar slinger will drop by Hisense Arena on Saturday 16 April for a very special sideshow; do not miss this rare opportunity to witness the King Of Blues in the flesh. Grab your tickets now from Ticketek – they start at $119 and go up to $159. Irma Thomas is the Soul Queen Of New Orleans and was one of the most exciting artists

the ale has really got the better of your vision), end-of-year blog lists can be treated even more basically as catalogues of samples. Most these days come with at least snippets of the tracks they’re promoting, although the future of this for US-based blogs is now in doubt thanks to the Immigration And Customs Enforcement arm of the Department Of Homeland Security deciding it’s going to (seemingly) randomly shut down sites it views as pirate operations. Last week, a number of US music blogs were seized despite many of those blogs acquiring tracks and videos from record companies and bands themselves as part of their marketing strategies – just another example of how governments aren’t grasping the new complexities of licensing and copyright as they relate to the future of creative industries and will just bow to powerful organisations acting in their own interests (in this case, seemingly the Recording Industry Association Of America). It is, however, important to remember that the sharing of best-of lists isn’t really about making it easier to decide how to use the vouchers you got for Christmas from the family members who don’t know anything about you. Nor are they ways to test or boast the obscurity level of your music knowledge. That’s for street press writers and John Cusack. Swapping opinions on music – and what’s happened in the past year and why – is also a good, if reasonably shallow, way to learn more about the people around you; what they think and why they think it. If we did it more often, we might know what to buy our brothers-in-law for Christmas without having to resort to popular opinion, and we might not have to spend our summer days with our heads buried in silly end-of-year lists.

on the second Bluesfest announcement a couple of weeks ago. She released her first single way back in 1960 and followed up with a string of incredible tunes throughout the decade and through the ‘70s (the cheesy production on her 1980s material can be a bit hard to swallow). She’s an undisputed legend of soul music and this visit is one that has been long-awaited by soul music fans, in fact she’s never ventured to these shores in her 50 years of performing. The Corner Hotel have secured her for one very special sideshow that promises to be out of this world; it happens on Wednesday 20 April and tickets are available from the venue’s box office for $70+BF right now! Aside from Bluesfest there have been a couple of other cool tours announced over the past couple of weeks. The electric blend of swing, funk and ska of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies has had audiences grinning for many a year and now they are finally on their way back to Australia. The band really made themselves known to a wider audience in 1998, with the release of their hit single Zoot Suit Riot from the album of the same name. The band, who formed way back in 1989, are renowned for highly energetic and infectious live shows and given it has been more than a decade since they were last here we are sure that when they make their return visit early next year they’ll want to prove that they are still as exciting on the live stage as ever. Luckily we get a chance to find out for ourselves when the band drop by the Corner Hotel on Saturday 9 April. This show is BYO fedora. A quick note that the line-up for the much anticipated Return To Forever tour has changed. Unfortunately the legendary Bill Connors has some medical issues which will prevent him from making the trip, but never fear, Frank Gambale’s here! Yep, the Aussie virtuoso who was a big part of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band through the ‘80s and ‘90s has stepped in and we’re sure he’ll do a fine job. The show happens at the Regent Theatre on Friday 11 February.




OTHER MUSIC FROM THE OTHER SIDE WITH BOB BAKER FISH Oh man, the music is terrible. It’s the kind of bland, countrified power ballad that makes you want to stab your mp3 device. But that’s not enough – you then feel the need to burn it and drive a truck over it just to make sure it’s definitely dead and you’ll never have to hear those horrible sounds again. But all the same there’s something familiar about it, something that taps into your painfully naïve past, a history that you’ve tried to block out while pursuing your newfound love of dubstep or Turkish psych-rock from the ‘70s. Suddenly it hits you. You know these words! They’re deadset ‘80s Aussie classics. It was the American accent that had you fooled. You see Dual Plover, a label with one of the sickest senses of humour in Australia (if you don’t believe me check out their catalogue – I recommend Suicidal Rap Orgy as a good place to start) have outdone themselves this time. They’ve tapped into the Nashville song/poem companies, cynical businesses that prey on the dreams of aspiring songwriters. The deal is that you send over your heartfelt words along with a wad of cash, and they’ll put your creativity to music. There’s something quietly devastating about the process – it’s like killing two souls with one stone. Firstly there’s the sap who pens the words thinking these insipid clichéd tunes could launch them into stardom, then there’s the musicians themselves whose dreams of conquering the industry on their own terms have been shattered long ago, leaving them with the cold, hard economic reality of a paying gig. While the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s were the heyday for these companies, the ever curious Dual Plover not only discovered that they still exist, but decided to send over some lyrics from some of Australia’s most iconic tunes that failed to chart in the US, pretending of course that they were their own lyrics. The tunes are Cold Chisel’s Cheap Wine, The Boys Light Up from Australian Crawl, Rose Tattoo’s We Can’t Be Beaten and Divinyls’ Boys In Town. What’s so incredible is how these companies are able to expertly, almost clinically remove any power, emotion or spirit of the originals, and replace it with this kind of clichéd countrified swagger that simultaneously sounds like nothing and everything else. You can imagine bedroom songwriters getting excited by their package in the mail, thinking they’ve finally arrived in the business, now they sound like the rest of the spittle on the country music charts. You can download the results for free if you’re curious from dualplover. com/ozrock.php. Since it cost them a bit to do this if you appreciate the irony and artistic despair at the heart of the project there’s also a tab where you can donate to Dual Plover. There’s a dark misshapen underbelly to Melbourne experimental music, where guitars, noise, field recordings and brooding atmospheres collide and there’s a feeling that anything can happen. It’s a place where new label Iceage Productions have positioned themselves, displaying a commitment to the progressive, loud, strange and difficult. Their most recent offering is The Shape of Sound Vol 1, a collection of weird and wonderful tunes from experimental Melbourne. Guitarist Zac Keiller offers a really gorgeous near-ambient piece, whilst Mystic Eyes work with density of tone, texture, repetition and a feeling of stasis on their piece La Cicatrice Interieure, and Constant Light buzz and whir over a huge sludge beat, the kind that can cause avalanches. There’s tunes from legendary post punk outfit Primitive Calculators, hypnotic improv duo Infi nite Decimals, a bit of bluster and squeal from the Paul Kidney Experience, and Wolf 359 whose LP Primitive Assembly has also been released by the label. Though if you’re after the really strange stuff you need to look backwards. The Artefacts Of Australian Experimental Music Vol 2 1974 – 1983 (Shamefile Music) is the step before, where tape machine and early synths provided the catalyst for all kinds of sonic manipulations. It’s a two-CD set of some truly bizarre sounds that trace the development of experimental movements and collectives in this country, some of whom are still active today. Primitive Calculators who appear on the previous compilation offer up their debut single from 1979 while there’s also tunes from Essendon Airport, Arthur Cantrill, Severed Heads, The Loop Orchestra alongside all manner of forward thinking musical iconoclasts.


KAPIL TRIVEDI – MYSTERY JETS soon – especially Zigaboo Modeliste, who was a massive influence on me and, more importantly, John Bonham. Plus the soundtrack is awesome, and we as a band might try and record our next album there – if I can convince the others!

AOI’S FACE LIFTED ‘Twas the night before the night before Xmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Because every man, woman and their dog... and indeed their mouse, were down at the Workers Club for The Lifted Brow’s Orphans’ Xmas spectacular! Ignore your family commitments this Thursday and join Aoi, Houlette, A Dead Forest Index and Twin Twin for a night of pre-yuletide revery. Accompanying these sterling acts will be Tantrums digital DJs plus projections of some of the gaudiest suburban Christmas light displays in town. Plus there will be a mixtape/CD secret Santa so take one along to place under the tree and grab one on the way out.


The stylistically broad roots/reggae/rock or ‘confused music’ of Earl Grey Policy is actually a wonderful amalgamation of everything that is great about live music – energy, dancing, clapping, cheering, brainstorming. In 2010, with two well received albums under their belt, the band have spent a busy year touring this wide brown land and beyond. Tonight they stop into the Edinburgh Castle Hotel to play a free front bar show from 8pm.


Alternative rock band The Bride Stripped Back are set to launch their long-awaited debut album, Chaos And The Calm, on Friday 14 January at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood. Don’t get confused – the band are originally from Bendigo, but this gig is in Collingwood. Their album took over a year of frontwoman and songwriter Natalie Edith working with the band and many other local musician friends to eventually complete. That time saw the band deconstruct their studio and set it up again in a new location, and stumble upon enough money to get a string section in to make their debut a truly impressive sonic experience. Support at the launch comes from The Elliotts and Twelve Inch Clocks from 9.30pm.


So you’ve been practising in your bedroom for months and you feel like you’re now ready to perform an acoustic set. Where do you start? An open mic night is a fantastic opportunity for amateurs to get experience performing in front of a (sometimes) captive audience and for more experienced performers to test out new material. The Bendigo Hotel presents a weekly Wednesday open mic night called Show Us Your Riffs focusing on up-and-coming local talent and singer/songwriters seeking exposure in the Melbourne music scene. Anyone is welcome to use the house guitar, but you can take your own if you want to. Otherwise take your plectrums, vocal chords or any other instrument you wish to play. To register go to the Facebook page, or the Bendigo registration page – Preregistration at the venue is available, but get in early!

What I’m listening to right now is... the album Crooks And Lovers by Mount Kimbie. They’re a DJ duo from South Laaaaaandaaaaaaan. When I listen to their album the words glitchy, atmospheric, alternative, experimental and dubstep spring to mind. The thing I love most about the album is that, experimental and out there as it is, technically there’s a softness to its production as if it was recorded straight onto tape. One of the albums of the year for me... big statement! What I’m watching right now is... a TV show on HBO called Treme and I’m hooked! It’s by Eric Overmyer and David Simon, the guys that wrote The Wire. It’s set in New Orleans three months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and it’s basically about how the city tries to rebuild itself. I’ve always been fascinated with New Orleans ever since I read [John Kennedy Toole’s] A Confederacy Of Dunces and met one of my heroes, drummer Stanton Moore, who actually guests in the show along with other famous New Orleans heroes like Kermit Ruffins and Dr John. I’m hoping to see some of The Meters in there


Ether launch their debut single, Living In A Daydream, at the Northcote Social Club tonight (Wednesday). Ether began as a collaboration between singer/songwriter Matt Kelly and producer Thomas Campbell (AKA Soup) in 2009; a handful of songs merging elements of rock with Soup’s distinct electronica. With performances by Miles Brown (The Night Terrors), Ben Davey (Kimbra), Michael Godde [ME], Soup (Miso/Editor/Cumbia Cosmonauts) and the prodigious Clint Sigmund on the drums, the launch will be a midweek splendour. Support comes from Tropical Dreams, Nai Palm and Phoebe Jacobs and entry is $10 from 7.30pm.

The best fi lm of all-time is clearly... The Goonies. Here I was trying to think of some intellectual arthouse flick, but there’s no running away from the truth. It pushes all the buttons – so many lines, so many magical moments. And a children’s film with a dead corpse called One-eyed Willy – how did they get away with that one?” The one song I wish I’d written is... by a band called Tribes. The song is We Were Children. This band are still unsigned but I think they have the potential to be the next big thing and deservedly so. Mystery Jets play the Pyramid Rock Festival in Phillip Island on Friday 31 December and the Hi-Fi on Wednesday 5 January.


The Priory Dolls crash landed in Melbourne on some kind of spacecraft flown by a hamster. Apparently. They have now released a six-track EP, and will be launching the first single from it at Ding Dong this Sunday night. You may have seen them play if you’ve left the house any Friday evening in the past couple of years. If you live in the Carlton/Fitzroy area, you have most likely met a Priory Doll, or even lived with one at some point. So really, going to this gig will be like hanging out with old mates. Would you really ditch your mates? A bunch of other cool bands like The Fearless Vampire Killers, Lowtide and some band called the Euphoriacs are playing as well.



Howlin’ Steam Train and their mates I, A Man, Clavians and Wil Wagner & The Smith Street Band insist you join them this Thursday at Yah Yah’s to get in the mood for a rockin’ festive season. Head down and get into the foot-stompin’, kneeslappin’, impossible-not-to-dig Howlin’ Steam Train, southsiders I, A Man with their textural, finely crafted pop songs that focus on sonic experimentation, the string and sticks duo from the burbs Clavians and Wil Wagner with his loud, angry acoustic guitar, joined by Smith Street Band. Doors at 9pm.

What I’m reading right now is... Coconut Unlimited. It was actually written by my cousin Nikesh Shuckla. It’s a brilliant book and just got nominated for the Costa Book Awards. They’re the second biggest awards you get here in the UK, so we’re all very happy for him! The story’s about three middle-class Asian kids who go to private school, far away from the ‘real Asians’ in their area. The Indian community think they’re a bunch of posh boys – brown on the outside, white on the inside, hence coconut. They’re also outcasts in their private school, so in a desperate attempt to get ‘real’ they start a rap group called Coconut Unlimited, but unfortunately for them they can’t rap. It’s basically a true story and it’s hilarious – Channel 4 are talking to him about possibly making it a TV show!

KRISTINA’S SOUL POPS Theres been a bit of a buzz around rising star Kristina Miltiadou. Her Kate Nash/Marina & The Diamonds vibe mixed with her addictive beats and wafting traditional Greek influences force audiences up and onto their feet in every set she plays. But until now its just been buzz. Just a low hum, whispers passed from punter to punter, a melody hummed three days later until now. Miltiadou, with her now complete band, is kicking things up a notch with a huge show at the Evelyn Hotel on Xmas Eve, this Friday, to show Melbourne exactly why her subtle blend of funk, pop, blues, soul, alternative and indie flavours are the soundtrack to summer. She’s joined by Spender, Hunting Foxes, Indigo Kids and Dukes Of Windsor DJs and tickets are $7+BF from Moshtix. On Saturday 8 January, Miltiadou plays the Grace Darling Hotel with Dancing Heals – entry is $10 from 9pm.

The ReChords have had an extremely busy year, and 2011 is shaping up to be even bigger, with an international tour to Europe and the UK planned. To kick off the year, they have a huge show planned for Sunday 2 January at the Tote! The ReChords Recovery Roundup will feature special guests The Goodtime Medicine Band plus young bucks out of Warrnambool, Tommy & The Lucky Strikes. Entry is just $12 at the door from 6pm, with the revving up at 6.30pm.


Celebrate the Xmas break with a stout and a stomp as The Currency get the fiddle and Celtic banjo out this Thursday at the Arthouse. Joining them for the folk punk shindig are Garage Joe, the new band of Joe from Ground Components, and Year Of The Rat featuring ex H-block members. Should be a ripper and the last chance to see The Currency at the Arthouse as the classic Melbourne punk venue is closing its doors next year. Tickets at the door.


Four of Melbourne’s freshest local bands will be hitting up the Evelyn Hotel on Boxing Day, this Sunday, to present a night of insane music. The night will feature Daydream Arcade, Animaux, K-NO-B and Wire Bird, showcasing a combination of rock, alt.indie, roots, funk and potentially even a bit of jazz (pronounced “yazz”). So if you got shit for Christmas, go get something spanking new and probably a whole lot better. Doors at 8.30pm.


This Xmas Eve Friday, get some fine festive fun under your belt before you trundle off to far too much family and food with Seagull presenting a headline show at the Builders Arms. Chris Bolton writes songs that communicate in a tactile and subconscious way. It’s a little known fact that Bolton is a brilliant classical guitar player, which makes his rambling drunken electric guitaring even more fascinating. His able-bodied band have been getting plenty of praise of late. The night will kick off with Kins and end with DJ Plum to get you dancing into Xmas Day. Entry is $7 from 8.30pm.


TWOKS ON FILM The Twoks have spent three lonely months as a duo featuring electric violinist and vocalist Xani Kolac and drummer Mark Leahy. But not for much longer! Bassist Stewart Taylor returns from Europe for a massive gig at the Grace Darling on Friday 14 January! All three Twoks will be together again playing old and new songs, spontaneous improvs and epic, dense, cinematic instrumentals to launch their new film clip. This is one listening party you definitely shouldn’t miss, as Xani and Mark leave for NYC one week later. Hotei supports and entry is $10 from 9pm.


The Two Bright Lakes label is welcoming home Otouto with a special Christmas party at the Northcote Social Club this Thursday. Fresh from an extensive US tour supporting the likes of Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Dan Deacon, No Kids, CocoRosie and Lighting Bolt, Otouto will be playing alongside Geoffery O’Connor (Crayon Fields) and Oscar & Martin, whose new single Recognise has been getting them some blog love around the place. After enjoying generous support and plaudits from radio and print alike for their debut album Pip and having charmed US audiences with their stunning live show, Otouto will be looking forward to a busy summer of shows before heading back into the studio to record their second longplayer. Tickets are $12 from the venue or $16 at the door (if still available) from 8pm.


Boxing Day: a day of shopping, cricket and funnily enough, not a lot of boxes. So since boxes play very little part, celebrate Roxing Day at the Tote instead! This year has seen The Whole Molko release their debut EP, Buyer’s Remorse, to many eager ears, getting radio airplay and making fans all across Melbourne with their in-your-face live shows. The band is topping off the whirlwind year with their final gig in Melbourne before heading to Lorne for their slot at Falls Festival. Joining them for Roxing Day will be the dirty, beerdrenched rock stylings of Russia, The Darts in all their overdriven bluesy glory, and the post-punk sounds of four-piece Samson. Entry is $8 from 6pm.


There are a couple of things that set Missing Supergirl apart when it comes to another pop rock three-piece. Two of the three members are fullblown jazz musicians. When translated into original pop songs, this creates something fun, accessible, beautifully composed and great to see live. Missing Supergirl deliver crisp riffs, articulate bass and a lead vocal that ranges from sweet honey to gravelly abuse. Two huge sets are awaiting you this Thursday at the Great Britain Hotel from 9pm. Better yet, it’s free!

Next summer sessions kick on with the last Next of 2010 on Thursday 30 December! Playing live in the band room will be Death Audio with support from InVolume and Crash & Burn. Playing acoustic in the beer garden will be Jerome Knappet. There’ll also be a free BBQ from 9pm and as always you can make the most of the cheap jugs (ahoy!) in the beer garden. Resident DJs will be playing the best punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, party, indie and retro across multiple rooms all night! For more info and weekly club pics check or Entry is $15 from 9pm.


CHARLIE LINES UP FOR NYE The Old Bar gang are proud as punch to have Charlie Parr grace their stage once again, but this time it’s for New Year’s Eve! That’s right, the Old Bar has put together one hell of a line-up for punters this NYE. US songwriter Charlie Parr, with his resonator, dobro, banjo country blues, bluegrass, fingerpicking, damn fine tunes, will be paired up with local blues favourites The Brothers Grim and the beer- and whiskey-flavoured country songs of Eaten By Dogs – this is a hell of a way to give the finger to 2010 and give a big ol’ drunken hug to 2011. Tickets are $25 and available only from the Old Bar.

No one knows exactly when swamp-rockers Store Bought Cool started – it’s been on again and off again for years, each time a slightly different beast. This time they have conceived a wicked child – well, a 7” actually – and you can be there to help christen her with a night of excitement and mayhem at the Workers Club on Saturday 15 January. Both tracks on the double A-side The Wild/No Mystery were recorded live and engineered by Neil Thomason (My Disco, Ned Colette Band, Kes Band) and mastered by Paul Fox (Dirty Three, Love Of Diagrams). Support comes from Kenny Cornflakes, Killing Liars and Alex & Tristan, and entry is $8 or $15 with a record.


Invisible Boy started life as an acoustic duo playing in Tasmanian front bars. Today, the band are a touring four-piece with two full-length albums, national radio airplay, a blossoming fanbase and a bucket load of live experience. They have been likened to Eels, Damien Rice, The Lucksmiths, Angus & Julia Stone and Things Of Stone And Wood. They call their sound indie folk pop, and you can hear it live on Sunday 2 at the Great Britain Hotel, Wednesday 5 at Revolver Upstairs (with Tash Parker and The Adventure Spirit), Tuesday 11 at Gertrude’s Brown Couch and Wednesday 12 January at Ruby’s Lounge.

These Hands Could Separate The Sky will perform for free this Boxing Day at the Old Bar with support from Fourteen Nights At Sea, North Atlantic (ex 2 Ltr Dolby) and Electric Dudewolf (wink wink). Doors will open at 7.30pm so get in early as surely this is the bargain of the year! There will also be a DJ playing through to 3am so as it’s a public holiday the next day there is really no excuse to miss this. Did we mention that it’s free?! The Cambodian Space Project is a Phnom Penh-based outfit put together by an expat Australian that includes Cambodian and French players and is fronted by the incredible voice of Srey Thy. It’s a culture clash of sorts; they play like the 5,6,7,8s but their sound is faithful to the spirit of the ‘60s and ‘70s music that itself was a fusion of traditional Khmer songs and the rock’n’roll imported by GIs. If you’ve heard any of the Cambodian Rocks compilations or just want an out-of-body experience, get down to Yah Yah’s on Friday 7 January for some out-there Asian psych. Joining them on the night will be Kingswood and entry is $10 from 9pm.


Like the sound of a collapsing Mayan tomb, Broozer are bringing the pain with a massive Xmas show at the Prague this Thursday. Featuring Order Of Chaos, King Parrot and Lethal Binge, the gig will celebrate the birth of tough. Ears will be punished and beers will be drunk. Doors at 8pm.


Northeast Party House play the Tote this Thursday and at Pyramid Rock Festival on Thursday 30 December. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Samuel Wolfgang Southwest, oboe: “We were brainstorming ways to get into festivals for free, and after one of us got arrested for fence jumping, we thought starting a band was a safer option.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We’ve done some demos in Sean’s [keys/MPC] home studio, and got our sound guy to master them in his bedroom studio. Nothing too professional yet.”

IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “The Flaming Lips, because I’d really like to have a go in that giant see-through ball.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Caribou – Swim. Wow, wow, wow! The pain of losing all your possessions would be totally erased once this album starts. Amazing!”

Almost half a lifetime ago, four high school mates from the small country town of Leongatha formed, out of a shared love of garage rock’n’roll music, the group is known today as The Revels. After nearly a decade of playing together the time has come for the lads to hang up their boots; but not without one final shindig to say, “Farewell to The Revels”. So be sure to shake off that postChristmas hangover this Boxing Day Sunday and make your way down to Pony to celebrate The Revels’ last ever show. Good pals, cult blues goon-baggers, The Thod, psych popsters The Swiftones (also playing their final show) and Dead Man are along for the ride. Doors at 9pm.


Prefer to go to a cool pub than hit the town on New Year’s Eve? Don’t wanna deal with annoying hipsters or trashed bogans? Then head to the Standard Hotel in Fitzroy for a more low-key but still rockin’ night of live music, pints and one of the greatest beer gardens on the northside. Taking the stage will be blues rockers Dirty York, playing two sets from 10pm. The Standard will be open late for the night and entry is free.

CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Polar Oriental bash dwelling.”


Having just returned from a whirlwind USA acoustic tour, The Wellingtons will give 2010 one last run for its money with a rare acoustic show at everyone’s favourite drinking hole the Retreat Hotel this Thursday. Come and see Kate, Zac and Anna rotate instruments and mix up arrangements to old songs, new songs and everything in between! They will be supported by Pony Face, and entry is free!



Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing are back and firing for the tenth year running with a big Christmas show this Friday (Xmas Eve) at the Northcote Social Club. The show will feature an extended line-up with Anna Burley on vocals and Mark ‘Squeezebox’ Wally on accordion, and Van Walker & The Idle Hoes will take on the support slot. This could also well be the last Sure Things show in quite a while as Thomas prepares to work on a new album in 2011. Tickets are $22 from the venue or $25 at the door (if still available) from 8pm.


On Thursday 30 December, kick your New Year’s celebrations off early with The Hawaiian Islands at Yah Yah’s. For some reason they are playing with this New Zealand hip hop guy Tourettes (he is not Scribe) – they must think they are really diverse or something. How totally punk rock of them. This War are playing too. They used to be an Against Me! cover band but now are more a Gaslight Anthem cover band even though the singer thinks he’s Joe Strummer. Graft Vs Host are opening the night. Their singer broke his leg this year. What an idiot. Entry is $6 from 9pm.



Join three good friends and fellow songwriters as they get together for a one-off Christmas spectacular at the Wesley Anne on Christmas Eve, this Friday. Nick Milwright of Blackchords fame steps away from the band for a special solo performance. After a recent European tour and a support slot on Powderfinger’s farewell tour, he has new songs to share and stories to tell. After a few months off, Dan Lethbridge is getting back on the gig circuit and previewing new songs from his second album to be released next year. Nick Batterham recently released his beautiful solo album, Second Lovers, to rave reviews and will be treating the audience to stripped-back versions of his masterful songs. They kick off at 8pm.


DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “There’s a rainbow kaftan that makes an appearance regularly, as well as a life-size lion head.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Cheeeesy yums (ham and cheese toasted delicacy in plain white bread).” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “We tend to stick to house parties mostly. Warehouses and forests make ideal drinking locations too.”

It’s summertime again and Goo is joining the party to celebrate that time of year when metalheads wear shorts. Goo knows what a real summer is about: sun, sweat, beer, not much clothing (or moving for that matter) and celebrating kick-arse alternative music. Held at the Palace on Friday 21 January, the Goo main room will feature the best in alternative, punk, metal, rock, electronic, indie, goth and everything in between. The VIP Room will feature bands followed by just the right mix of indie, electro, house, big beat and classic hip hop. Doors open 9pm. Keep updated at ItsGoo. Pre-sales available for $20+BF from Oztix.


This Thursday, Next hosts an official Atticus party! Be in the band room at midnight for your chance to score free new threads thanks to Atticus! Playing live in the band room are club faves Assemble The Empire with support from The Analyte and Cheerleader! Playing acoustics in the beer garden we have Reece Dillon & The Jellybabies with support form Price & Lynch! There’s a free BBQ from 9pm and cheap jugs (ahoy!) in the beer garden, as well as resident DJs playing the best punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, party, indie and retro across multiple rooms all night. For more info and weekly club pics check or facebook. com/NextNightclub. Entry is $15 from 9pm.


Melbourne’s Salt Lake City have been described as a unique blend of classically influenced performers who have an alternative approach to their dynamic melodramatic sound. On Thursday 6 January, the band will be launching their brand new EP at the Evelyn Hotel alongside a variety of Melbourne ‘s finest musicians, including their mates Ennis Tola as well as Citrus Jam, Nic Tate and, opening the night, Kate Ducardus. A beautiful night of an amazing array of sounds. Doors open at 7.30pm.


Because before you know it summer will start to wind up, and it will be back to the daily grind of school and work. The good news is that two of Australia’s hardest hitting rock bands will be there to help you through this tough time. Brisbane rock trio Numbers Radio and Melbourne based Cola Wars (ex-Bodyjar) have joined forces and are hitting the road together this January and February for their Escape The Daily Grind tour. They play the Bended Elbow, Geelong, on Thursday 3 February; the Peli Bar, Frankston, on Friday 4, and Bang at the Royal Melbourne on Saturday 5. Ticket details to be announced.



In 2010, his main band celebrated their sweet 16th anniversary and recorded a new album, and he was part of the RocKwiz tour. And on Valentine’s Day, his brother Justin organised a surprise 40th birthday at the Workers Club, with a guestlist including Paul Kelly, Ron Peno, Davey Lane, Peter Luscombe, Charles Jenkins, Rebecca Barnard, Dom Mariani, Andre Warhurst, Sherry Rich, James Power, Dave Faulkner, Paul Thomas and Bill McDonald. As the stunned guest of honour appeared, he said: “My flabber is gasted.” Ash Naylor is Howzat!’s Artist Of The Year.

Ash Naylor


HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS


Angry Anderson campaigned for the Liberals. Lionel Richie sang at the Grand Final. James Freud took his own life. The Nylex Clock stayed in the dark. Gabriella Cilmi made an ill-advised dance record. And the ARIA Awards were called “the worst ever”. Yep, plenty of bad things happened in 2010. Indeed, the year started with a disaster, with the Tote closing. But this cataclysmic event galvanised Melbourne music fans, showing why this city is the nation’s rock capital. More than 20,000 people hit the streets for the SLAM rally (Save Live Australia’s Music), with

the message, “We Tote & We Vote”. Music Victoria, with CEO Patrick Donovan, leapt into action, and the Tote re-opened in June. The wonderfully indifferent and idiosyncratic Stephen Cummings blogged about the series of events: “The demonstrations, the righteous anger… the hot topic on the social sites and newspapers was that a pub was closing down. The original discussion about licensing laws legislation was lost in hysteria and nostalgia. It all became about the Tote and the rally more like a promotion for RocKwiz than licensing legislation. Gigs should start earlier. The Tote was a pub. The Tote is re-opening. Pubs open and shut every week.” Of course, there’s still work to be done. Today’s music fan needs to be vigilant. The year finished with the Birmingham Hotel ceasing live music and the election of the Liberal Party. We live in interesting times.


He’s the human jukebox, capable of playing any song.

You’d have to be crazy or crazily passionate to start a record label in these troubled times. Ashley Sambrooks and Andrew Keese are possibly both. At their website, they declare: “Any new independent venture is limited by the lack of substantial financial backing… but what the label lacks in finances, it more than makes up for in the passion, intelligence and dedication of its owners and the quality of its roster. It is, after all, about the music.” And they gave us some great music in 2010, with new releases from Amaya Laucirica, Tobias Cummings, Andrew Keese & The Associates and Lindsay Phillips. Departed Sounds arrived in 2010 and it’s Howzat!’s Label Of The Year. And a big shout-out to the ever-reliable Popboomerang Records, and new Sydney-based label Other Tongues, who gave us great new albums from You Am I, 78 Saab and Chris Pickering.


“I pine for simpler times when we had the world at our feet and we were invincible,” wrote James Freud in his 2007 book, I Am The Voice Left From Rehab. The book ends with James stating, “We all have the ability to survive the unimaginable and then to prosper and go forward.” Sadly, James’ alcoholic demons returned in 2010, and in what should have been a great week – following Models’ induction into the ARIA Hall Of Fame – he took his own life. He was just 51. We also said goodbye to Ben Mullins of the Atlas Strings and The Benedicts, ’70s glam pop star William Shakespeare, legendary roadie Pat Pickett, inaugural ARIA Hall Of Famer Dame Joan Sutherland, and Ruby Hunter, who died of

a heart attack in February. A member of the stolen generation, Ruby once wrote: “I know I’m supposed to be traumatised by it all, but why should I be traumatised when I look at my life? People who think about these things too much traumatise themselves. I just look back and think, ‘Gee, what a long walk.’” Also departing in 2010: Powderfinger and Epicure. And The Badloves broke up – again. Vega disappeared, becoming Classic Rock. And easy listening station 3MP was replaced by the little-heard talk station MTR. Its last song was Sherbet’s Howzat, which was also its first song, in 1976.


AC/DC won their first Grammy and remained our highest-earning music act, according to BRW, with estimated earnings of $131 million… Men At Work were ordered to pay 5% of their Down Under royalties (dating back to 2002) to Larrikin, after a judge ruled they had ripped off Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree for the Down Under flute riff… The ACMA decided that digital radio would have no local quotas for at least the next three years… The Dingoes, The Paradise Motel and Cordrazine came back, and Nick Barker & The Reptiles played at the Community Cup, where the Megahertz won in a thriller… Shock was sold… Chrissy Amphlett revealed she was battling breast cancer… Archie Roach had a stroke… INXS released a new album, Original Sin, featuring versions of their classic hits with different singers. It entered the charts at 65, but manager Chris Murphy declared: “I’m confident within the next three to five years INXS will be back in stadiums”… And the big award winners: Angus & Julia Stone won five ARIAs, including Album Of The Year, Lisa Mitchell won the AMP, Cloud Control took the trophy for Best Album at the Independent Music Awards, and Tame Impala won Triple J’s J Award for album of the year. *Next week: The 2010 wrap continues with Howzat!’s albums of the year and a look at the year on the charts.


WED 22

Anna Morley Collective, The Twoks, Glas Frosch Empress Hotel Ben Abraham, Lucy Hall The Toff In Town Bopstretch Uptown Jazz Café Cape Cod Affair, May, Lords of Northcote Builders Arms Hotel Davey Lane The Gem Dizzy’s Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club DJ Dave from the Grave, Matthew Brown, DJ Bromance, DJ Crumbs, Pete Hyde, Stephen Richards, DJ Downpat, Mark Skelton, DJ Montenegro Stutter Driven to the Verge, The Siege on Vienna, Any Last Words, Newborn Freedom The Arthouse Earl Grey Policy Edinburgh Castle Hotel Ether, Tropical Dreams, Nai Palm, Phoebe Jacobs Northcote Social Club Goyim Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Inkstain Pro & the Squid Squad, Symbol, Dancing Heals, Cotton Sidewalk Esplanade Lounge Johnny Outback Big Band Rainbow Hotel KKS Project, Hailey Cramer, DJ Oscar Evelyn Hotel Lady Noir, Agent 86, Kiti, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase, Daniel Rickard, Emma Eileen, Pinwheel, Vermillion, Dire Fate, Vytal One, Spidey, Whitt Revolver Money For Rope, Council Cherry Bar Obliveus, Manchild, Moonshine, Tahl, Matt Radovich, Lindsay Marchment Bimbo Deluxe Open Mic Brunswick Hotel Open Mic Elwood Lounge Open Mic Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar Open Mic The Bender Bar Open Mic Night Bendigo Hotel Paul Kidney Experience, Aktion Unit, Mystic Eyes, Automating Bar Open Pixie Jones, The Hazelman Brothers, Rich Davies & The Devils Union Wesley Anne Red Eye Wednesdays Red Eye Nightclub Stand and Deliver, Petar Tolich Co., Crown Steph & Kathy Hinch Band Veludo


Swing Classes Reveller’s Bar The Butterfly Glee Club The Butterfly Club The Eagles Rod Laver Arena The Superguns, Seedy Jeezus, Silo The Old Bar Thrillkillers, SPG, Crackwhore Noise Bar Till James, Das Musik Mann The Standard Hotel Trivia Glenferrie Hotel Trivia Grumpys Green Trivia Royal Derby Hotel Vice Grip Pussies, The Mercy Kills, House of Honeys, Patron Saints, Burn In Hell The Tote

Victoriana Gaye Retreat Hotel Wednesday Warm Up Rubys Lounge Wine, Whiskey, Women, Jody Galvin Duo, Gen Finnane, Flora Smith The Drunken Poet

THU 23

Aoi, Houlette, A Dead Forest Index, Twin Twin Workers Club Assemble The Empire Colonial Hotel Assemble The Empire, The Analyte, Cheerleader, Reece Dillon & the Jellybabies, Price & Lynch Next

Wunderlust play Revolver on Tuesday 28 December. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? David Gallagher, guitar: “Chipps and I were psyching out at his for about a year when we decided to ask God for a drummer… One month later Skivvy Rock appeared (most insane Kraut drummer in town!) and we’ve been writing/recording ever since. Thanks God – killer work son.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Yeah, we’ve progressed from bedroom tooling to recording our debut LP at Head Gap, hot to tape, with the assistance of the sublimely skilled Casey ‘Sweet Cakes’ Rice.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Primeval sex music, diiiig.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Don’t know if he ever plays with a ‘band’ as such, but we’d fucking LOVE to rock a set with Gonjasufi. His debut record released through Warp is seriously goddam hot!” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE THREE RECORDS FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? “Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles, Presence – Led Zeppelin and Suicide – Suicide. DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “No, but I have an expression I always wear: ‘erotic goofball, 1963’.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Well, Vera Farmiga is pretty awesome and very, very, very pretty, so oysters, black jelly beans, red wine…basically every aphrodisiac in existence would be on the menu. Word.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The Malthouse on Sturt Street in Southbank. Conrad and the boys/girls are all-the-way hip.”

ATM15, Belinda Allchin Beetet, A DJ Called Matt Evelyn Hotel Austin Busch & Band Rainbow Hotel Ben Abraham, John Flanagan Edinburgh Castle Hotel Brian Abrahams Dizzy’s Jazz Club Burn In Hell, Cold Harbour The Vineyard Casey Dean Urban Central Cloudmouth, Clowns, Latonas, Daydream Pioneers Esplanade Lounge Creatures of Karma, The Solomons, The Red Aces, Carly Milroy East Brunswick Club Dan Waters The Gem Dave Pham, U-One Bimbo Deluxe DJ Blue Diamond DJ Evo The Deck Dusted Orange, The Scarlets, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes The Toff In Town Ellashaye D’More, Babelicious Barmaids, Lil Roscoe Red Bennies Finlo White Co., Crown Holliava Rubys Lounge Islands, Super Juice, Mineo Bendigo Hotel Jah Rukus Veludo Jarrod Moran, Aaron Trotman, Piero, Mr Magoo Eve Bar Jesse I, Major Krazy First Floor Ladies Night, Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Lan Party, A Lonely Crowd, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Karen Heath Esplanade Basement Lover Tits for Queer Boys and Girls Reveller’s Bar Matty Grant, Matt Dean Billboard Merri Creek Pickers The Drunken Poet Microflora, The Lloyd Weir, Light Lion Builders Arms Hotel Miles Jnr, Dwayne Thompson, Tom Evans White Charlie Missing Supergirl Great Britain Hotel Money For Rope, Plastic Palace Alice, Sink Ships Empress Hotel Niko Niko, Ape Is Ape, Nicron Bar Open Noizy Neighbours Room 680 Northeast Party House, City Calm Down, Tehachapi, Indigo Kids The Tote Otouto, Geoffrey O’Connor, Oscar & Martin Northcote Social Club

ROCKETS GO HARD Red Rockets Of Borneo took off in late 2009. United by a compulsive urge to make uncompromising, gloves-off, face-slapping rock’n’roll, the five gathered in an old deserted bank in Melbourne and were set on fire. From the ashes, like a phoenix (but more like a monkey) arose the cheeky beast that we now know as Red Rockets Of Borneo. RROB were unstoppable. Only three months after their inception, they had a tidy, self-titled ten-track LP (due for official release in February 2011) and a stealthy string of gigs to their name. They alo wear tight red pants. Catch them at the Bendigo Hotel on Thursday 30 December with Dead City Ruins and Igoya. Entry is $8 from 8pm. Pony Face, The Wellingtons Retreat Hotel Pub Poker Glenferrie Hotel Rock Aerobics, Howlin’ Steam Train, I A Man, Clavians, Wil Wagner & The Smith St Band Yah Yah’s Scott Tinkler, Steve Magnusson Quartet Uptown Jazz Café Sherrif, The Close, Death Valley Mustangs, Alex Anonymous, Heaven the Axe, 3181 Thursdays, Hans DC, WHO Revolver Shoot the Sun, Cherrywood, Poor People, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Pony Son Tres Night Cat Speed Orange, Major Chord, Jo Dawson Brunswick Hotel The Bonniwells, The Galaxy Folk, Duck Duck Chop Grace Darling Hotel The Bucket Room, Local Singer Songwriter Night Grumpys Green The Currency, Garage Joe, Year of the Rat The Arthouse The Dead Salesman Karova Lounge The Detonators Nighthawk Blues The Funkadelic Side Cherry Bar The Lloyd Weir, Wendy Rule Wesley Anne The Losers, Stavros Brothers, Drawing Arcs, Smack Ballads The Old Bar The Waylon Joes Union Hotel Brunswick Tuan Beser, Johan Elg Loop Vedran, Dom Dolla, Beetlejuice, Press Play Dj’s, Retza Royal Derby Hotel

WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut Lucky Coq Zinnia Blue The Bender Bar

FRI 24

Bianca Fenn Veludo Black Swans Of Trespass, Dan Lethbridge, Nick Batterham, Nick Milwright Wesley Anne British India, Doll Squad, Demon Parade Esplanade Gershwin Room Brothers Grim Retreat Hotel Check Point Charlie, Sammy Dred Mac’s Hotel, Melton Closed Dizzy’s Jazz Club Closed Edinburgh Castle Hotel Closed Grace Darling Hotel Closed Pony Closed Rainbow Hotel Closed Revolver Cobweb Corner Hotel Craig Williams Glenferrie Hotel Dan Bourke, Marty Kelly The Drunken Poet DJ Blue Diamond DJ Brunswick Hotel DJ Evo The Deck DJ Graeme Royal Derby Hotel DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat Co., Crown DJ Seki GV Hotel, Shepparton

Doug Parkinson Sidney Myer Music Bowl Fangs, July Days, The Sophisticants, Viking Frontier, Lucy Cherry Bar Gold Fields Karova Lounge Good Morning Blues, sababa, Bending Rodriguez, Hi-Jinx, DJ Prequel Red Bennies Good Vs Evil, DJ Johno Precinct Johnny Not Sorry, Pinwheel, Calvacade, Sordid Ordeal The Arthouse Kingswood Esplanade Basement Kiti, Duckman, Lady Noir Loop Kristina Miltiadou, Spender, Hunting Foxes, Indigo Kids, Dukes Of Windsor Evelyn Hotel La Mode, Andy8000, Papwah, Dan Fantastik, Messy B Rubys Lounge Magic Monkey Waterside Hotel Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing, Van Walker, The Idle Hoes Northcote Social Club Muckle Pup, Jimmy James Fitzpatrick, Heidi Elva The Bender Bar Mystical Groove Shepparton RSL Mz Wood Reveller’s Bar Oh Mercy, The Hello Morning, The Thod, Rusty (Electric Mary) Esplanade Lounge Orphans X-mas Party Bendigo Hotel Peep Tempel, Fatal Flaws Public Bar Phil Ross, Danny Merx Fusion, Crown Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Russian Roulettes, Mass Cult, The Jacks, Mohair Slim Yah Yah’s Sabo The Gem Sarah Jean, Brendan Kelly, Jakks Azimuth, The Scarecrows, Another Castle, Anna Smyrk & The Appetites Noise Bar Seagull, Kins, DJ Plum Builders Arms Hotel Sircuit DJ’s Sircuit Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Firewitch, Ancient Man, Agonhymn The Tote TBC Uptown Jazz Café The Band Who Knew Too Much Bar Open The Bon Scotts Builders Arms, early show The Crooks Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar The Glorious Bastards The Post Office Club Hotel

The Heel Toe Express, Mikelangelo & Friends, Jimmy Stewarts Wonderful Life, BJ Morriszonkle, Water Music, Santa Photos, DJ Jemma The Old Bar The Vasco Era Barwon Club Turn It Loose Horse Bazaar

SAT 25

Admit One Bang Angela Pandelis Prince Bandroom Closed Bar Open Closed Bendigo Hotel Closed Brunswick Hotel Closed Builders Arms Hotel Closed Cherry Bar Closed Dizzy’s Jazz Club Closed Edinburgh Castle Hotel Closed Evelyn Hotel Closed Grace Darling Hotel Closed Horse Bazaar Closed Pony Closed Rainbow Hotel Closed Retreat Hotel Closed Revolver Closed The Arthouse Closed The Drunken Poet Closed The Gem Closed The Old Bar Closed The Tote Closed Union Hotel Brunswick Closed Uptown Jazz Café Closed Wesley Anne Closed Yah Yah’s Fireballs Esplanade Gershwin Room Jacket Off Veludo Jason Heerah, Mark Pellegrini, Jason Sirini, Andreas, Nick Van Wilder, Michael T, Danny Merx Trak Showroom Live Music Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar Matty G, Dozza Co., Crown Mr Palmer Precinct Scotty Erdos, Phil Ross, Nick James, On Time The Loft Tate Strauss, Dean T, Johnny M, Nova Fusion, Crown The Cuban Brothers, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Weekender Ding Dong Lounge

Wed. 22nd (Wine, Whiskey, Women)

8pm: Jody Galvin Duo 9pm: Gen Finnane & Flora Smith Thurs. 23rd

8pm: Merri Creek Pickers Fri. 24th

7pm: Christmas Eve Party with Dan Bourke & Marty Kelly

Closed for the holidays. Re-opening New Years Eve.

All Shows Always Free! The Drunken Poet, 65 Peel Street (Directly opposite Queen Vic Market). Phone: 03 9348 9797


CHERRYWOOD BOMB Boxing Day. We’re all hungover and most have escaped our families so it’s a dandy time to kick up your heels and let loose. The best way to do that this Sunday is to get down to Yah Yah’s to drink, swing and boogie to the country-billy sounds of Cherrywood. Playing for a couple of years now and picking up steam after some stoinking residencies and gigs with some badarse bands, Cherrywood will be releasing their debut 7” in January, which will no doubt appease those who have been waiting patiently. Yee-haw! Two sets from 7pm and it’s free from 6pm!

SUN 26

4tress, Ebony Stryder, Stuck In the Grass Brunswick Hotel


A Little Bit Professional, Madre Monte, Fifth Element Veludo Adventure Playground Barwon Heads Hotel Back in Black, Jaggers Banquet Esplanade Gershwin Room

Bio Weapon, Marlo, Scott Alert, Josh Lang, Ben Jackson, Rhys Gibson Billboard Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Luke McD, Heath Renata, John Doe, Mike Metro, Nick Jones Revolver Brendan Kelly, Sarah Jean, Green Skies, Creatures of Karma, Clive The Arthouse Carnival of Souls Red Bennies Carpathian, Her Nightmare Seaford Community Hall Cherrywood Yah Yah’s Chris Ostrom, Sef, Tours, Razz, TMC, Aniket Long Room City Escape, Built On Secrets, My Echo, Apart From This, Cam & Mikey, Oh Pacific, Tim Hampshire Plastic City Escape Royal Melbourne Hotel Closed Builders Arms Hotel Closed Dizzy’s Jazz Club Closed Edinburgh Castle Hotel Closed Grace Darling Hotel Closed Horse Bazaar

Closed Rainbow Hotel Closed The Drunken Poet Closed Union Hotel Brunswick Closed Wesley Anne Crazy P, Jim Baron, Chris Todd, Aaron Trotman, Mic Newman, John Course Eureka 89 Dining Daryl Braithwaite, Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Daydream Arcade, Animaux, K-No-B, Wire Bird Evelyn Hotel FLAP! Bar Open Geoff Achison, Chris Wilson Corner Hotel Jason Singh Precinct Jess Harlen, Pina Tuteri, Michelle Van Der Ross, DJ Fetson Bendigo Hotel Kitty K & the Jager Bombs Cherry Bar Lotek, RuC.L, Ella Thompson, Zulu Flow, Lia Avene, Julez, Runforyourlife, Nai Palm, Andyblack The Toff In Town

MC 360, Feenixpawl, China, Sean Rault, Kalus, Heath Renata, Chardy, Nick Young, Aaron Trotman Circus Nightclub Orulas Crew Night Cat Stylz, Mark Pellegrini, Andy J, Toyboy, Johnny L, Lupco Chasers Nightclub The Bastard Children The Standard Hotel The Detonators Davey’s Hotel The Patron Saints, Burn In Hell Lyrebird Lounge The Priory Dolls Ding Dong Lounge The ReChords, The Shivering Timbers, The Sidesaddle Gals Retreat Hotel The Revels, The Thod, The Swiftones, Dead Man, Franco Cozzo, Slugger Fontaine Pony The Whole Molko, Russia, The Darts, Sampson The Tote These Hands Could Separate The Sky, Fourteen Nights At Sea, North Atlantic, Electric Dudewolf, DJ Chuckles The Old Bar

MON 27

A DJ Called Matt Evelyn Hotel Charlie Parr, Graveyard Train, DJ Richie 1250 Rooftop Bar (Level 6 Curtin House, City) Closed Builders Arms Hotel Closed Dizzy’s Jazz Club Closed Edinburgh Castle Hotel Closed Grace Darling Hotel DJ Ash Glenferrie Hotel Goyim The Old Bar Hopeless, Phantoms, ANCHORS, Backlash, Feed Her To The Sharks, Jarrod (City Escape) Plastic Kiti, Lady Noir, Chairman Meow Bimbo Deluxe Mind Over Matter, Phatchance & Coptic Soldier, Tys, Matik, Counteffectz First Floor Monday Night Madness! Brunswick Hotel Open Mic Red Eye Nightclub Paul Williamson Hammond Combo Rainbow Hotel

Tambo Company Veludo The Basics, Owl Eyes, Stonefield Esplanade Gershwin Room The OMG’s Lucky Coq Trivia The Toff In Town Vasco Era, Boy in a Box, The Greasers, Money For Rope Esplanade Lounge

TUE 28

Candela Latin Dance Reveller’s Bar Chelsea Plumley The Butterfly Club Closed Builders Arms Hotel Closed Dizzy’s Jazz Club Closed Edinburgh Castle Hotel Closed Grace Darling Hotel Closed Rainbow Hotel Dan Webb, The Smoke Evelyn Hotel DJ Mac G Retreat Hotel Jimmy Stewart The Gem Kill Yrself, Friends Brunswick Hotel

Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Anna’s Go Go Academy, Miss Goldie, The Putbacks, The Megahorns, Russ Dewbury, Manchild, Mohair Slim Falls Festival, Lorne Live and Local Rubys Lounge Marina & the Diamonds, Strange Talk The Hi-Fi Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning Revolver Open Mic Veludo Plum Crazy Barwon Heads Hotel Room 680 DJ’s Room 680 Skyscraper Stan, Danny Walsh The Old Bar Strating Sisters, Jo Schornikow Wesley Anne Tea for Francis, Tim Woods & The Dirty Shoes, Matt Glass, Michael Gambino Esplanade Lounge Tiger Funk, The Baron, The Long Legged Harvest Man Bimbo Deluxe

Wed 22TH

Davey Lane (You Am I) THURS 23RD







140 Sydney Rd


9387 6637



















Saturday Admit One


Wednesday Paul Kidney Experience, Aktion Unit, Mystic Eyes, Automating Thursday Niko Niko, Ape Is Ape, Nicron Friday The Band Who Knew Too Much Saturday Closed Sunday FLAP!


Wednesday Open Mic Night Thursday Islands, Super Juice, Mineo Friday Orphans X-mas Party Saturday Closed Sunday Jess Harlen, Pina Tuteri, Michelle Van Der Ross, DJ Fetson


Thursday DJ Friday DJ


Wednesday Open Mic Thursday Speed Orange, Major Chord, Jo Dawson Friday DJ Saturday Closed Sunday 4tress, Ebony Stryder, Stuck In the Grass Monday Monday Night Madness! Tuesday Kill Yrself, Friends


Wednesday Cape Cod Affair, May, Lords of Northcote Thursday Microflora, The Lloyd Weir, Light Lion Friday Seagull, Kins, DJ Plum Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Monday Closed Tuesday Closed


Wednesday Money For Rope, Council Thursday The Funkadelic Side


SOFT AND PURPLE It’s been six months since Purple Sneakers started partying weekly in Melbourne and what better way to celebrate than throw a huge Purple Sneakers New Year’s Eve House Party?! Happening across two rooms at Miss Libertine, this will be an extraordinary version of the Friday night you’ve grown to love – with a low entry cost to boot! Californian rockers The Soft Pack will be headlining the night with their raw, stripped back sound, along with the enthralling vocals of Kimbra and indie kids Alpine. Also playing live will be Fearless Vampire Killers, The Frowning Clouds, and City Calm Down, while manning the decks will MAFIA, Purple Sneakers DJs, MIT, Jane Gazzo (Channel [V]) and Badhorse.Tickets are just $19+BF from oztix. so grab one right now! Doors at 8pm. Friday Fangs, July Days, The Sophisticants, Viking Frontier, Lucy Saturday Closed Sunday Kitty K & the Jager Bombs


Friday Cobweb Sunday Geoff Achison, Chris Wilson


Thursday Creatures of Karma, The Solomons, The Red Aces, Carly Milroy


Wednesday Earl Grey Policy Thursday Ben Abraham, John Flanagan Friday Closed Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Monday Closed Tuesday Closed


Wednesday Anna Morley Collective, The Twoks, Glas Frosch Thursday Money For Rope, Plastic Palace Alice, Sink Ships


Thursday Lan Party, A Lonely Crowd, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Karen Heath Friday Kingswood


Friday British India, Doll Squad, Demon Parade Saturday Fireballs Sunday Back in Black, Jaggers Banquet Monday The Basics, Owl Eyes, Stonefield


Wednesday Inkstain Pro & the Squid Squad, Symbol, Dancing Heals, Cotton Sidewalk Thursday Cloudmouth, Clowns, Latonas, Daydream Pioneers Friday Oh Mercy, The Hello Morning, The Thod, Rusty (Electric Mary) Saturday The Cuban Brothers, Phil Para Sunday Daryl Braithwaite, Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Vasco Era, Boy in a Box, The Greasers, Money For Rope

Tuesday Tea for Francis, Tim Woods & The Dirty Shoes, Matt Glass, Michael Gambino

Sunday The Revels, The Thod, The Swiftones, Dead Man, Franco Cozzo, Slugger Fontaine



Wednesday KKS Project, Hailey Cramer, DJ Oscar Thursday ATM15, Belinda Allchin Beetet, A DJ Called Matt Friday Kristina Miltiadou, Spender, Hunting Foxes, Indigo Kids, Dukes Of Windsor Saturday Closed Sunday Daydream Arcade, Animaux, K-No-B, Wire Bird Monday A DJ Called Matt Tuesday Dan Webb, The Smoke

Saturday Angela Pandelis


Wednesday Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase, Daniel Rickard, Emma Eileen, Pinwheel, Vermillion, Dire Fate, Vytal One, Spidey, Whitt Thursday Sherrif, The Close, Death Valley Mustangs, Alex Anonymous, Heaven the Axe, 3181 Thursdays, Hans DC, WHO Friday Closed Saturday Closed Sunday Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Luke McD, Heath Renata, John Doe, Mike Metro, Nick Jones Tuesday Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning

Thursday The Bonniwells, The Galaxy Folk, Duck Duck Chop Friday Closed Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Monday Closed Tuesday Closed


Wednesday Goyim


Thursday Assemble The Empire, The Analyte, Cheerleader, Reece Dillon & the Jellybabies, Price & Lynch


Wednesday Victoriana Gaye Thursday Pony Face, The Wellingtons Friday Brothers Grim Saturday Closed Sunday The ReChords, The Shivering Timbers, The Sidesaddle Gals Tuesday DJ Mac G



Wednesday Trivia Thursday Vedran, Dom Dolla, Beetlejuice, Press Play Dj’s, Retza Friday DJ Graeme


Wednesday Driven to the Verge, The Siege on Vienna, Any Last Words, Newborn Freedom Thursday The Currency, Garage Joe, Year of the Rat Friday Johnny Not Sorry, Pinwheel, Calvacade, Sordid Ordeal Saturday Closed Sunday Brendan Kelly, Sarah Jean, Green Skies, Creatures of Karma, Clive


Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Jody Galvin Duo, Gen Finnane, Flora Smith Thursday Merri Creek Pickers Friday Dan Bourke, Marty Kelly Saturday Closed Sunday Closed


Wednesday Davey Lane Thursday Dan Waters Friday Sabo Saturday Closed Tuesday Jimmy Stewart


Wednesday Ether, Tropical Dreams, Nai Palm, Phoebe Jacobs Thursday Otouto, Geoffrey O’Connor, Oscar & Martin Friday Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing, Van Walker, The Idle Hoes


Thursday Shoot the Sun, Cherrywood, Poor People, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Friday Closed Saturday Closed


Saturday Closed Sunday Closed



Tuesday Marina & the Diamonds, Strange Talk Wednesday The Superguns, Seedy Jeezus, Silo Thursday The Losers, Stavros Brothers, Drawing Arcs, Smack Ballads Friday The Heel Toe Express, Mikelangelo & Friends, Jimmy Stewarts Wonderful Life, BJ Morriszonkle, Water Music, Santa Photos, DJ Jemma Saturday Closed Sunday These Hands Could Separate The Sky, Fourteen Nights At Sea, North Atlantic, Electric Dudewolf, DJ Chuckles Monday Goyim Tuesday Skyscraper Stan, Danny Walsh


Wednesday Till James, Das Musik Mann Sunday The Bastard Children


Wednesday Ben Abraham, Lucy Hall Thursday Dusted Orange, The Scarlets, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Sunday Lotek, RuC.L, Ella Thompson, Zulu Flow, Lia Avene, Julez, Runforyourlife, Nai Palm, Andyblack Monday Trivia


GO DEEP ON NYE Fresh off the back of recording album number two, Deep Street Soul are pleased to announce a special New Year’s Eve show at Bar Open to hail in 2011, laying down two sets of the roughest and dirtiest southern styled funk this side of Memphis. With special guest Mighty May Johnson on vocals duties, this is gonna to be a get-down affair of the funkiest kind, at the only venue on Brunswick St that wont charge you a pretty penny to enter! Kicking off at 10pm and going late, go and feel the funk, on the carpet, on the walls, in your soul and right down to the bone! It’s free!

Wednesday Vice Grip Pussies, The Mercy Kills, House of Honeys, Patron Saints, Burn In Hell Thursday Northeast Party House, City Calm Down, Tehachapi, Indigo Kids Friday Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Firewitch, Ancient Man, Agonhymn Saturday Closed Sunday The Whole Molko, Russia, The Darts, Sampson


Thursday The Waylon Joes

Wednesday Bopstretch Thursday Scott Tinkler, Steve Magnusson Quartet Friday TBC Saturday Closed


Wednesday Pixie Jones, The Hazelman Brothers, Rich Davies & The Devils Union Thursday The Lloyd Weir, Wendy Rule Friday Black Swans Of Trespass, Dan Lethbridge, Nick Batterham, Nick Milwright Saturday Closed Sunday Closed Tuesday Strating Sisters, Jo Schornikow


Thursday Aoi, Houlette, A Dead Forest Index, Twin Twin


Thursday Rock Aerobics, Howlin’ Steam Train, I A Man, Clavians, Wil Wagner & The Smith St Band Friday Russian Roulettes, Mass Cult, The Jacks, Mohair Slim Saturday Closed Sunday Cherrywood


If you’d caught Chicago in concert on their recent Australian tour, you might have noticed the stack in back of guitarist Keith Howland sported a name you mightn’t be all that familiar with – Egnater Tourmaster. Developed in Detroit by Michiganborn guitarist and amp designer Bruce Egnater, the Tourmaster, through what he’s called the Power Grid, allows you to independently set the wattage on each of the four channels available to you on the all-tube amp – at full power: 25, 50 or 100 watts or at half power: 10, 25 or 50 watts – which gives you great power tube distortion at lower levels yet tons of clean headroom to push things up as needed. The four channels all feature three-band EQ, gain, volume, contour knobs and a switch for modern/classic voicing while master reverb, presence and density controls cover all channels. So you get tube-driven reverb, a channel-assignable tube-buffered effects loop, speaker simulated line out and simple master bias adjust with test points among other things. Howland, obviously an endorsee for the boutique manufacturer, uses a Tourmaster TM4100, a modular preamp and three TM412 quad boxes. Now if all this peaks your interest and you’d like to check a rig out, the good news is that CMC Music in Brookvale, NSW is now distributing Egnater Amplification locally, so you should be able to find a rig at your local musical equipment retailer.


Original guitar goddess Joan Jett is coming over to play the Falls Festivals, Southbound in WA, Sunset Sounds in Queensland and the Annandale in Sydney, so it’s got to be worth your while checking out the signature guitar Gibson made for her, the Joan Jett Double Cutaway Melody Maker. Jett is the first woman to be honoured with a signature model. Complete with a headstock angled at 17 degrees that’s carved from the same piece of mahogany as the neck itself, the neck is crafted to the same specifications as Jett’s original guitar, with a slim-taper profile similar to the classic Les Pauls and SGs of the mid- to late-1960s. The guitar’s body is also premium mahogany and comes in what’s described as a worn white finish, with a single Gibson Burstbucker 3 Zebra Humbucker, and ‘Kill’ toggle switch that effectively switches between the hot signal from the pickup and the ground signal. Check your local Gibson stockist to see if they can get one in for you to test drive.


THE PROFILER SOUND REHEARSAL STUDIOS Anthea Palmer – Manager Is the studio capable of holding a full band at once for recording? “Yes, we have 14 regular size (roomy fit for a five-piece) studios and two large studios.” We’re an impoverished indie band – do you offer any deals for acts in our situation? “Our off-peak session cost (six hours) is $30.” Do you have any in-house instruments at the studio acts can use, or is it totally BYO? “We have bass and guitar rigs, plus drum kits available for hire in the studios.” What’s the access to the studio like with regards to parking, flat load, etc? “Good parking and easy load in with loading bay and trolleys.” Working in the studio can be arduous and we’ll need a break – what are the amenities in the local area? “We have it all – a licensed bar, pies and sausage rolls, sandwiches and snacks.” What’s the studio set-up you have there equipment-wise? “Every studio provides a vocal PA and leads, mics and stands.”

Who do you have on staff and what’s their background in the industry? “All of our staff are either sound engineers or musicians.”

Which notable artists have worked at the studio? “We’ve been around for 18 years, so heaps. Skyhooks, Billy Thorpe, Vanessa Amorosi, John Farnham, Electric Mary, Killing Heidi…”

Can bands bring in their own engineer or do they have to solely use a house engineer? “Set and forget vocal PA… but you can bring in an engineer if you want.”


A quick addendum to my piece on Daniel Lanois of a couple of weeks ago – it turns out it was hearing the Black Dub album that prompted Neil Young to invite Lanois to produce his latest album, Le Noise. Veteran guitar slinger Duane Eddy, who first topped the charts back in 1958/9 with instrumental hits Rebel Rouser and Peter Gunn (he was produced by the late Lee Hazlewood, who helped him develop his trademark ‘twangy’ guitar sound) has been in Sheffield in the UK recording a new album with former Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley. Richard Lush, whose credits include all the big hits from Sherbet, was still in his wheelchair recovering from a life-threatening illness when he went into Studios 301 in Alexandria in June and July this year to record and mix the new album, Aurora, from the piano-led Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band, which Isaacs produced himself, the results mastered by Marty Irwin at Sonic OZault. William Bowden also mastered the latest album, Depth Of Sound, from 13-piece Brisbane collective Dubmarine, who stayed in their hometown to record at Drew-id Studios and The Tanuki Lounge, with producer Andrew Stephens.

Sound Rehearsal Studios 91 Cochranes Road Moorabbin 9532 2288


Well first up, you can’t go wrong really. After all, it’s a Fender, and though I’ve always been a Precision rather than a Jazz man, there’s really not a lot in it in terms of feel and playability. It’s in the broader tonal context available through having two separate pickups that makes the difference, and the two single coil pickups effectively giving you two pole pieces per string, there’s a lot more tonal control as well as the brightness finger and slap players need that has always been the big selling point with the Jazz.


The Cut Copy boys recorded and produced their forthcoming album, Zonoscope, due out in February, over six months in a warehouse in Melbourne, but when it came to mix it, they sent it off to Maze Studios in Atlanta for Ben H Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkly, Deerhunter) to do his thing. Essentially Allen’s personal studio, Maze is a ‘hybrid’ design, based around a Pro Tools HD2 system with plug-ins from Waves, URS, Sony and others, thus allowing for 16 channels of analogue summing and eight channels of hardware inserts at mixdown. Vocals are recorded through a Lawson U47 copy, straight into a Neve 3118 preamp/EQ, passed through a UA1176 compressor and sent into the studio’s computer through 24 channels of Apogee and Lynx A-to-D conversion. Sounds can be tweaked with plug-ins from Waves like the Classic bundle or pitch vocals with Melodyne or AutoTune. When you’re ready to mix, sum 16 analogue channels through their Neve 8816 analogue buss, which run vocals out to two Demeter tube spring reverbs then compresses your whole mix with the API 2500 compressor. Of course, mastering there is a whole other story, best left for a future column.

What are your contact details?


These compact pedals are diverse units that offer unique, easy-to-use functions for fuzz lovers. Based in the land of the so-called free (USA), ZVEX is a company that offer a variety of innovative and clever effects units to those who are willing to look into the deep and strange world of hand-made effects pedals. Often too difficult to tame, the Fuzz Factory is a pedal that you have to invest time into before taking out into the open-eared realms. For live use, if its functions are not understood or if the dials move during travel without knowing, it could squeal like a dog or even steal your amp volume when activated if not careful. Heed the warning and invest time into it. The Vexter Series is a notch down from the original model Fuzz Factory that ZVEX offers. It doesn’t differ in its construction, the difference in price is due to it not being hand-painted or decorated like the original Fuzz Factory. The four functions and their processes are: gate, comp, drive and stab.

feedback pitch. If you have the dial set too far to the left you get deep, warm muffled fuzz; if maxed to the right you can get some intense high-end synth-like sounds. This unit would work beautifully for noisemakers and suits guitars nicely. With this pedal ZVEX have captured elements of an Electro-Harmonix Micro Synth pedal (with the obvious exception of qualities like square wave, octave and swelling abilities) and verges on similarities in tone to the Voodoo Lab group’s Sparkle Drive distortion pedal. There is always an element of dissatisfaction when somebody speaks of the search for the ‘perfect fuzz pedal’ – bottom line is I personally have never found perfect fuzz and it seems strange to think anyone would claim that their personal liking could be that perfection. Nonetheless, this unpredictable fuzz unit along with a huge range of wild and wacky ZVEX units can be picked up from the kind folk at 555 Music Co at 555 Burwood Road, Hawthorn. Rob Roberts

Originally released in 1961 as an alternative to the Precision, each pickup has its own volume control, with a third smaller one controlling the tonal mix between the two, and on the model I got to review, the sweep on both the bridge and body pickups really kick in about three-quarters of the way to full, so there’s plenty of room for fine tuning your tone and balance between pickups, though for me, as a pick player, I get just as much treble from a new set of Rotosound Roundwound strings and just as much tonal control from how hard or soft I attack the strings. This little beauty is a gem of a bass nonetheless and well worth investigating if you’re looking at the big trusted names in bass. Great feel, punchy sound. In Fiesta Red, the big selling point of this particular model, however, is of course the fact that it’s been distressed as it were to replicate a real vintage 1961 model Fender Jazz bass, and, as I’ve said, you can’t fault the attention to detail, sticking as it does to the original specs, including a nitrocellulose-lacquer finish, complete with wear marks and so on. Essentially though, it’s purely cosmetic and for the player who really, really wants a ’61 Jazz but hasn’t anything like the readies to buy the real thing, aged by use and abuse as against factory stressing. Michael Smith Supplied by Allans Music + Billy Hydes, for stockists see

The gate dial on the Fuzz Factory is fierce. It can wipe out all hiss and buzz by squelching the noise after end of the sustain. It allows you to create tight fuzz sounds that don’t flood the life out of what you are playing, typical to the sound of say, Neil Young in his Buffalo Springfield days. The compress feature adds attack characteristics when turned to left, which gets softer to right, and will suddenly pinch the tone when all the way to the right. Adding the gate and the compress knobs together can make a tight crackle sound that holds complete silence either end of a note. Drive increases the warmth of distortion and smoothly adjusts feedback pitch and fuzz thickness. A tip to know is that the drive control will become pointless when compress is all the way right. Stability is best used all the way and can be used to control



™ 8dbegZ]Zch^kZE6hnhiZbhYZa^kZgZY!hZijeVcY  deZgViZYl^i]XgZl#

™ 8dbeVXi!ZVhnidjhZhdjcYhnhiZbhndjXVce^X`je  VcYVhhZbWaZndjghZa[#

™ 8dbedcZcihhjX]Vhb^Xgde]dcZh!heZV`ZghVcYZ[[ZXih  VgZVahdVkV^aVWaZhZeVgViZan#

$25 $50 $40 $40

E]dcZBVg`7Vggn%(.--.&...dg%)&...(.++ lll#WhhdjcY#Xdb#VjWhhdjcY5W^\edcY#Xdb

$35 $60 $50 $50 $15 $20


INTERACTIVE MUSIC INSTRUCTION GUITAR | KEYS | DRUMS | VOCALS The SoundLab is an epic event space & music tutorial studio offering unique interactive sessions.






BAYSIDES PREMIER GUITAR SCHOOL Studio (in the relaxed bush between Ballarat and Geelong) and mobile multitrack recording. Servicing all western district areas Professional equipment, experienced engineer.




Engineer credits include: 2 X ARIA AWARD WINING “Gurrumul”


CALL or EMAIL: M: 0421 836 876 WEBSITE:


EMPLOYMENT ADVERTISING / MEDIA Photography for Woman (18+) Try something different and contribute to an internationally respected,artistic project. All shapes, ages and sizes encouraged to apply! Earn $500+ cash - on your own terms and with full creative control. Amy - 9495 6555 iFlogID: 10174

ENTERTAINMENT Australia’s leading online employment and news website dedicated to backstage. The website is free to search and join with out any hassles of membership fees. iFlogID: 9953

LOCK & LOAD MELBOURNE: NOW HIRING! We service the entertainment & events industry. We need crew for the Xmas/ New Year period. Award rates paid weekly. Hurry! Don’t miss your chance to be part of this dynamic industry! Website applications: iFlogID: 10170

FOR SALE AMPS Fender Super Reverb. 1969 Vintage 4 x 12” combo. Minor cosmetic damage. Great amp. $2895 or near offer. Call Frank 0434 686 755 or 02 9740 8333. iFlogID: 9809

Line 6 Flextone 2 combo. 2 x 12” speakers. Good condition with full pedal board. sell $795 or near offer. Call Frank on 0434 686 755 or 02 9740 8333. iFlogID: 9805

Markbass Studio Pre500 amp. Top of the line unit, used on 3 sessions, still under Warranty. Retail $4395...Sell $2500 o.n.o. Call Frank 0434 686 755 or 02 9740 8333

iFlogID: 9803

Marshall 2x12 cab up for sale! 2x 65watt celestion speakers both brand new, 4 screw in wheels carry handles , great quality , $350 or best offer,so if your interested call us on 0435510600

iFlogID: 10071

FENDER SRATOCASTER. PINK PAISLEY. genuine early 80’s.with hardcase.all origional.plays great. beautiful tone and sustain.very rare. suit collector. exellent condition. $2500. Ph 0428744963 iFlogID: 9815


FIREBIRD I ultra rare.1990 Gibson custom shop limited edition. Please access online for farther details. iFlogID: 10067

Gibson Les Paul Classic for $1950. 1997 in great condition. all original except glover machine head attached. 60 slim taper and 496R/500T humbuckers attached. with OHSC farther details available online advertisement. iFlogID: 10075

Gibson SG Angus Young signature for $2500. 2000 the first year model Made in USA. Excellent original condition. PH 0403 466 736 iFlogID: 10254

MATON accoustic steel string 3/4 guitar.model F 11.dated 10/ 1591. all australian timbers.good origional condition.suit collector.$500. Ph 0428744963. Cooroy iFlogID: 9811

MOSRITE Mark II Johnny Ramone Signature. very rare official Ramones model with Johnny ramone signature and ramones logo on head stock. with ramones logo hard case, ramones strap. Good condition. Farther details available online advertisement. iFlogID: 10073

MIXERS Mackie Onyx 1620 analog mixer w/ SKB Mighty Gig Rig on wheels (Complete mobile PA / recording system can be racked in this rig). 8 preamps w/ direct recording out.

iFlogID: 10225

PEAVEY BANDIT 11 80 watt 12” combo guitar amp.USA made.2 channel footswitchable.reverb,saturation etc. great fat tones.VGC.$350 Ph. 0428744963.cooroy. iFlogID: 9913

Sell Control Surface Digidesign Control 24 (Focusrite) in excellent condition, $5000. Selling because moving overseas. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions and in order to discuss the price.

Warwick Streamer II 5 String Bass Guitar. As made famous by Dirk Lance of Incubus. As new condition.

iFlogID: 9774

Billiard Table 8’x4’, Blue, slate, Ash Timbers, Teak Gloss Finish. Also inc Pool Balls, snooker balls, Triangle, 4 Cues, 2 Chalk ,Rule Book, 1 Cross Rest and Handle, Brush. cue & ball stand, score board attached to 2 drawer table. iFlogID: 9672

Quested F11.. 2 way active near field monitors. Pro grade quality. Good Condition. $1395 or near offer. Call Frank 0434 686 755 or 02 9740 833.



- PRO QUALITY BACKING TRACKS! - MIDI or MP3 - Any song you want - Send me the song today, Get the MIDI file the next day! - $25 for MIDI / $35 for mp3 - EMAIL: vangelis2133@ PHONE: 0449672435

iFlogID: 9939

GUITARS 2004 Gibson ES-335 Dot reissue for $2700. Near Mint condition. Classic figured maple cherry red. 57 classic pickups and 60s slim taper neck. All original and no repair history. with OHSC RRP$5499 Ph:0403466736 iFlogID: 10250

AUCTION Saturday 11th December 2010 @ 10:30 AM In our Rooms, 41 Greens Road, Dandenong South Music: 12 x Electric Guitars(1991Fender/Yamaha/Morris/ Ibanez/SX),Guitar leads & stands ,Hammond Organ, Matador Bongos, Hohne Harmonicas, Gazoos, Guitar Cases, etc. McKEARNEY’S AUCTIONEERS & VALUERS iFlogID: 9799

Epiphone Wilshire, Made in Kalamazoo USA back in 1963.Great original condition except strap pin, machine head and screws. Super rare solid vintage epiphone. Farther details available online. Ph 0403466736


iFlogID: 9965

OTHER Heavy Metal Music Community. Upload And Promote Your Metal Music Online Free. Create your own band page. Heavy Metal, Black, Thrash, Death Metal, Hardcore, Gothic, Grindcore and many more. Australian owned. Join now! www. iFlogID: 10031 is free to join, and with over 4500 members its fast becoming the largest online music community in Australia! If your looking to join or form a band, find a band member, or get exposure check Ozjam out today! iFlogID: 9941

PA / AUDIO / ENGINEERING Tony Day P.A. & Lighting Hire. Comedy Shows/ Small Bands/ Functions. Delivered/ Set Up/ Operated. Reasonable and Negotiable rates with experienced owner/ operator service. Also, Walk-In mixes with mic kit. 0414092463 iFlogID: 9832


iFlogID: 9706

BOOKING AGENTS Gig Launch is Australia’s first online booking agency. Gig on a Japanese Boat for 6 months at AU$3000 per month, Submit your music to feature films, Play at any of the Scorcherfest festivals and Apollo Bay! Just head to iFlogID: 10004

DUPLICATION/ MASTERING Deluxe Mastering: Melbourne’s premier mastering specialists for CD, vinyl and online release. Servicefocused, relaxed atmosphere, decades of experience in all genres, custom analogue signal path. Noobligation quotes & mix evaluations. See website for credits. w: www. e: adam@ iFlogID: 9854

EP RELEASE EVERY SONG - RADIO READY! SPECIAL PRICE avail for singer/songwriters until end of January 2011... Have 5 songs produced, mixed & mastered for ONLY $499 per track!!! Email for more details as conditions apply. Visit for audio examples

Level Singing (SLS) Instructor. Learn the Technique of over 120 Grammy award winners. Extend your Range. No more Breaks/Flips. Develop Strength. All Styles. Eastern Suburbs. / mazvocalstudio - Contact Maz: iFlogID: 9795

VOX MUSIC ACADEMY FOR GUITAR • VOCAL • BASS • DRUM TUITION Get the very best out of your music career. BOOK NOW! Vacancies at Dandenong, Bayswater & Brunswick. Contact Us or PH (03) 8772 2605 iFlogID: 9907

VIDEO / PRODUCTION MUSIC VIDEOS offer a great way to gain exposure. Immersion Imagery has worked with over 20 artists and strives to offer quality creative Music Videos at an affordable price. Visit or email iFlogID: 10054

MUSICIANS AVAILABLE BASS PLAYER NOT AVAILABLE FOR FREE ADS. CL looking for keen and creative drummer to start playing live and wanting to make it big. Must want to make originals and be dedicated. Please get in contact if interested, Sam, 0431953894 iFlogID: 10252

DRUMMER Pro level drummer with good vocal ability available for gigs, sessions, tours etc. Good gear, good attitude, own transport. Can play many styles, specialising in Rock and Funk. Based on the Sunshine Coast. Call Paolo on 0404054743 iFlogID: 10012

GUITARIST Pro guitarist / singer available

iFlogID: 10022

Credits: Marcia Hines, Candice Alley & Fergie Frederikson (ex-Toto)... Nathan Eshman is available for online guitar sessions. Email him your guide tracks & you’ll receive tracks recorded in a pro studio without leaving home. Contact or visit ANY BUDGET! iFlogID: 9967

STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD! Whether it be drumskin decals, logo design, or a portable stage backdrop, allow Brainchild Project Management take your gig to the next level. You sound great, now look great - dont be just another Band/DJ at just another venue...let your fans know who you are, and advertise your name at the same time! iFlogID: 9852


Roland TD-12 V-Drum Kit. Includes Tama Iron Cobra double kick pedals, HiHat stand and drum throne. Also, Roland PM-3 Sub and Amp box with 2 rack-mounted satellite speakers. All in excellent working condition. $5000 ono. 0404 084 854 Win a Pearl Forum drum kit with cymbals. Drummers Paradise are celebrating their 21st birthday by giving away a Pearl Black Forum 5 piece kit with cymbals. Just go to to enter. Prize is Drawn Dec 21st a noon.

INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED PRODUCER! Credits include: Marcia Hines, Candice Alley, Ex-Toto frontman Fergie Frederikson. Have every song produced at radio standard... under every budget. Visit www., email info@ or call 0403 498 103 for package prices...from demos, to singles and full albums.



iFlogID: 10263

iFlogID: 9834

iFlogID: 9736

iFlogID: 9813


HIRE SERVICES For as low as $100, you get a professional PA system with a sound mixer with operator. Suitable for weddings, pub/club band gigs, private parties etc. Contact Chris 0419 272 196

iFlogID: 9850

iFlogID: 9915

P.A AMP. 1800 watt split mono “CARVER” USA made with BOSE controller.rack mount style in case. will run 2 by 4 “W” bins.very powerfull.VGC.cost over $2500 sell $750. Ph.0428744963 Cooroy.

iFlogID: 9963

Experienced Guitarist looking for good Sydney Cover Band. At 23 I have been playing for over 10 years, have 4 years professional touring experience, Pro Gear (Fender, Gibson, endorsed by Mesa/Boogie). Email anthony at No Time wasters please. iFlogID: 9720

Lead guitarist looking to form/ join a heavy metal band,on the central coast. Influences: Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Metallica,Iron maiden,Kalmah,Dethklok - Blake 0403138542 iFlogID: 9836

RECORDING STUDIOS Affordable, high quality audio production. Recording/Mixing/Mastering and more. Over a decade of experience, working with award winning artists. Visit for rates and details. iFlogID: 10128

Eternal Post Production

SESSION GUITARIST available to play on your next track remotely via the internet. Great quality tracks without the expenses of studio time and travel. Perfect for producers/songwriters Excellent equipment,tone and touch, 20 years experience. For examples further information- www. iFlogID: 9844

iFlogID: 9698

SINGER/SONGWRITERS have a home studio and require a producer to help polish your tracks? High-end recording studio with the convenience and universal application of the Internet. World class session musicians work with you every step of the way- more information iFlogID: 9842

Studio Recording and musician services. iFlogID: 9862

OTHER SAXOPHONIST AVAILABLE-----Experienced saxophonist based in Sydney is looking for bands and studio sessions. Jazz, funky, afro, reggae, latin, rock, folk. If interested contact Lorenzo at 0410041979 or lorenzo_ Cheers. iFlogID: 9909




ROCKIN REPAIRS - GUITAR TECH RESTRINGS-SETUPS-UPGRADESREPAIRS Do you live to play? Whether you’ve bought a new guitar or a favourite is feeling faded, we’ll rejuvenate it! We work hard to give you the feel/sound you want! 0405253417

Bass player , experienced for original trio

iFlogID: 9342

TUITION SAX TUITION--------------Easy way to learn saxophone for students of different ages (from kids to adults) and different levels (from beginners to advanced). $35/hour Lorenzo 0410041979 iFlogID: 9911

SINGING LESSONS Certified Speech

iFlogID: 10016

Bass player needed to complete 8 piece soul and reggae type band. Playing mostly covers but working on originals, plan on showcasng band mid Feb so no time wasters please! iFlogID: 10260



Brisbane alt rock band Greenthief are relocating to Melbourne early 2011. Seeking a new committed hard hitting drummer age 18-25. Email: to arrange audition/for more details. (Inf Mars Volta, Radiohead, Tool, RATM, Nin, Jeff Buckley)



iFlogID: 9949

vocalist. This vocalist must listen to: Napalm Death Carcass Morbid Angel Repulsion Celtic Frost Discharge Doom Crass If you’re interested contact us via myspace. www.myspace. com/causticattack iFlogID: 9870

Hi, I’m looking for a great male vocalist. To sing only one dance song. Thanks iFlogID: 9860

Drummer experience required

iFlogID: 10018

iFlogID: 9927

Indie/electronica/dance producer looking for singers/songwriters to collaborate. Looking for vocal style like Passion pit, MGMT, The Empire of the sun, DOM, Wolfgang. For more info mail to

DRUMMER WANTED for Melbournebased countrified indie pop-rock outfit. VicRocks-funded album done, launch booked, publicist locked in! Influences: Lemonheads, Wilco, Teenage Fanclub, You Am I, The Band. Check us out at www.myspace. com/thebellparade. Call Matt 0422 273 584.

We seek guitar players who are looking to earn money teaching guitar. Training and teaching materials are supplied. Teach from one of our schools or your own location. Limited positions available. Visit for details.

Require a strong professional female singer with cover band experience for high end Corporate and private Functions Party Covers Band and agency backed! Send CV/bio to info@ on receipt I will send applicable band website, setlists, songs etc

Drummer wanted for weekly jams with view for fun improv, song writing, strange rhythms, gigs, money. Reference points include: Phish, Gojira, Tom Waits, Fishbone, Primus.

Lead Guitarist wanted for rising original band Novakayn. Rock/Pop commercial sound. Serious musicians only,no druggo’s or boozeheads. We support World Peace & expect u will too.

Drummer needed for indie rock band. Influences: early KOL, Bloc Party, Radiohead. myspace/tierraoutlaws. Contact Andrew 0408255644

iFlogID: 10233

iFlogID: 9992

Female drummer wanted for Brisbane rock dance band. Inf: RATM, RHCP, P!nk, Suzi Quatro, Alanis Morrissette. Must be 18 - 35 y.o., photogenic and be ambitious. Ph 0437 428 859 or 3267 6789. iFlogID: 9934

Hey all With a Clenched Fist is looking for a drummer all welcome though someone with a Punk/Hardcore/Metal back ground prefered contact us via myspace or txt on 0450493385 iFlogID: 10085

We need a drummer. Our name is ‘Hero In Your Own Lunch Box’. We want to keep improving and play gigs! We sound like this currently: ( in a year we hope to sound a million times better with you! iFlogID: 9864


iFlogID: 10130

iFlogID: 7447

iFlogID: 10239

National touring band require professional guitarist. Age 18 -25. Must be proficient in all forms of Rock, Blues, Roots.Involves backing high profile artists. Show operates out of Queensland. For further details email or phone 0408 010 789 iFlogID: 9925

Rhythm/Lead guitarist required for 80’s Glam Hard Rock Cover/Concept show. Playing Motley,Gunners,Bon Jovi, etc. Good gear,own transport,learn new songs quickly & ability to sing back up vocals. We’re ready to gig NOW. Call Phil 0425 219 109 iFlogID: 10209

OTHER ad for musos

iFlogID: 10126

SINGER CAUSTIC ATTACK are a Sydney based Grindcore band in search of a

iFlogID: 9714

SERVICES GRAPHIC DESIGN Professional Band and Business Websites: Videos, audio clips/jukebox, Photogallery, Gig Dates, About Us, Contact Us and much more from $399 fully hosted. See www. or contact info@ today!

iFlogID: 9840

providing unique designs at affordable prices. Our services include logos, web design, banners, business cards posters and many more serv-

ices listed on our site. Prices start from as low as $140. Mel 0402 7796 254 Qualified and experienced designer. iFlogID: 10185

OTHER Do you have an Iphone? If yes, please download my free app, radio bondi, cheers iFlogID: 9653

Is your life a cluttered mess? Unsure of where you are headed? Unsure how to identify your strengths, your values? Visit and find out how a life coach can help you. Free DVD. Xmas gift vouchers iFlogID: 10124

Launch My Label by Chic Petite Events provides a platform for emerging artists/talented people wanting to launch their label. A quarterly event, we’r looking for emerging fashion designers/performers/models. Helping talented individuals gain deserved exposure in a competitive market,assisting with PR/marketing. iFlogID: 10243

SICK OF THE RIDER SPIDER ?? Contact rider spider detectives today! - WE KNOW HOW THEY THINK!!! iFlogID: 9943

WANTED OTHER to matt damon.. and the 7foot something guy from the yha.. does anyone know you?? i keep trying to ring the places where i think you’d be to no avail..i know its been years.. please call..

Inpress Issue #1154  

Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you