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W E D N E S D AY 19 J A N U A R Y 2 0 11 ~ I S S U E 115 7 ~ F R E E







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ISSUE 1157




Thursday 20th January

Shaun Nicholas Mcmahons Western Union 7.30pm

Saturday 22nd January



INPRESS 14 16 16 18 22 23 24 26 28 29 30 32 34 36 36


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 As a band, Tool just fumble around A selection of entries from our Big Day Art competition You won’t catch Foals napping on this Australian tour Beach House were nerdy teens Wire are as contrary as ever Cat Power couldn’t be happier Iggy & The Stooges still wanna be your dog On The Record rates new releases from Wire, Gang Of Four and The Dears The Black Keys are exhausted Royal Crown Revue are celebrating Christmas in January Chris Bailey and Judy Collins have more in common than you’d think

FRONT ROW 38 38 39 40 40

This Week In Art plans your week ahead A decade after its original run, Edward Grey talks about Prodigal’s returns to Midsumma Film Carew looks at Bluebeard, Black Swan and The Fighter Comedian Rod Quantock prepares to possibly return to jail for Court In The Act The Menstruum gets reflective on Unnerved: The New Zealand Project


BACK TO INPRESS 46 48 48 48 48 51 51 51 60 60 60 61 61 64 64 66 72 74

Plan B has overcome a lot of haters to get to the top This Town Needs Guns are big My Disco fans Guilty Simpson can’t identify with contemporary hip hop Health are still figuring themselves out Iceland is a big musical playground, says Ólöf Arnalds Our LIVE gives you the best of the week’s live music! Gig Of The Week goes Wire walking LIVE:Reviews loves The National 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,


41 42

Cultural Cringe takes a look at the opening of Midsumma “You have my sword,” says Trailer Trash Irish funnyman Ardal O’Hanlon is so much more than his Father Ted character, he professes Immodesty Blaize explores the world of burlesque for her trip to Australia

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, Andrew Glover, 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. ©

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TOP ARIA AUSTRALIAN ARTIST ALBUMS OF 2010 I Don’t Believe In My Love Calculator ANA NICOLE Pepper Snake THE CACTUS CHANNEL Cape Dory TENNIS Remixed AXXONN Dye It Blonde SMITH WESTERNS Degeneration Street THE DEARS Native Speaker BRAIDS Kiss Each Other Clean IRON & WINE Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes SOCIAL DISTORTION Radio Transmission PAUL KIDNEY EXPERIENCE


GIVEAWAYS Email from 5pm Wednesday The Decemberists

FRONTLASH Mike & Molly - getting heavy

POWDERFINGER Good on the band for ignoring pressure to re-form to play a flood benefit (don’t worry, they’re releasing an unreleased song or somethin’), but where were the calls for pioneering Brissie punks The Saints to reconvene? That would have really had us digging deep.

RICKY GERVAIS Get him out to the Logies!

MIKE & MOLLY Memo Channel 9: promoting something as “from the creators of Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory” is not really selling it to us. Good to see some fat fuckers on the telly, but.

BACKLASH Phil Hughes - crap on the pull

BLIGH TIMES Yes, Queensland premier Anna Bligh has done a top job, but people making those ridiculous ‘Bligh for PM’ calls need to remember she was a laughing stock on the way to a huge election defeat two weeks ago…

VALES It’s been a shit week in music, with Broadcast’s Trish Keenan, Cold Chisel’s Steve Prestwich and Sherbert’s Harvey James passing away. Big talents, all.

NO BALLS A woman claims she drank and flirted with Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes late one night during the Boxing Day test, before leaving the pair to keep boozing. Having seen Hughes’ crap attempts at pulling this summer, we’re not surprised he couldn’t seal the deal.


Speaking of covers, Inpress’s front page this week features a design by Mathew Kerber, the winner of our Big Day Art competition. Check out page 23 for a selection of other entries... If there is any justice in rock, Menomena would be topping charts and headlining stadiums the world over. Arriving in Australia for the first time in their fouralbum career as part of the 2011 Laneway Festival, the band will air tracks from their exceptional new album Mines. With rolling piano lines, dirty guitar sounds and inventive percussion with sometimes stressed, sometimes delicate and sometimes soaring vocals, the achievement of the album is made even more impressive by the fact that it was composed largely through email correspondence. Although tickets to the Laneway Festival sold out in record time, the Portland heroes are set to play a Melbourne sideshow at the East Brunswick Club on Wednesday 9 February. We have a double pass to the show to give away, which comes with a CD prize pack featuring Mines and albums from five other Laneway artists.

OH DEAR... In our excitement of having Andrew WK on the cover last week, we neglected to mention the awesome cover and feature shots were taken by Leila Morrissey, on location in New York. Apologies Leila...

WORD UP TO PRIZE WINNERS: Prizes must be collected from Inpress offices during business hours (9am-5.30pm, Mon-Fri). ID is required when collecting prizes. Prizes must be collected within four weeks of the giveaway being published. Please note, Inpress giveaway policy is that winners are permitted one prize per four-week period only.







About to hit our shores with the touring Soundwave festival, Leeds post-punk quartet Gang Of Four, who re-formed for a world tour in 2004 with all four original members, have a brand new album ready for purchase at the merch desks. Scheduled for a release on 25 January, Content will be the first album of new material the outfit have released in 15 years. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Gang Of Four’s original guitarist Andy Gill explained, “It took a while to get back into it and figure out what we were trying to say. Also, my day job is record producer. We’d get two or three songs demoed up, and then I’d go spend two or three months working with [Irish rockers] Therapy?. By the time I came back to the project, I’d scratch my head, thinking, ‘Where am I going with this?’” In 2006, Gang Of Four’s founders Dave Allen (bass) and Hugo Burnham (drums) were replaced by bassist Thomas McNeice and drummer Mark Heaney. So, that means Gill and original vocalist Jon King plus McNeice and Heaney are the players on Content and also the line-up you will see gracing Soundwave stages plus a handful of Sidewaves in late February/early March. Head to and you will receive a download of You’ll Never Pay For The Farm (from the new album) for free just by signing up to the Gang Of Four mailing list.


News has it that our very own Howling Bells have entered the studio to work on album number three with a member of The Killers, bassist Mark Stoermer, as producer. The Sydney four-piece – comprising siblings Juanita and Joel Stein, Brendan Picchio and Glenn Moule – have holed up in The Killers’ Battle Born recording studios in Las Vegas to create the follow up to their 2009 Radio Wars set and we should hear the results later this year.


John Doe, the multitalented American bassist/ singer/songwriter/actor/poet, has yet another album on the way. Doe is probably most widely known as having formed LA punk band X, who recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the group’s debut album Los Angeles with a West Coast tour of the US, and also plays with The Knitters, who offer a punk slant on rockabilly. The last release from Doe was Country Club in 2009, which he recorded with The Sadies (a country band from Canada), but Doe also boasts a 21-year solo career and will be adding another title to that catalogue. “The reason it’s taken about three years to put together a solo record is because I’ve been pretty happy,” he told LA Times blog Pop & Hiss of this forthcoming set. “And in the past I’ve written songs from a very unhappy place.” In terms of how this has affected his songwriting process, Doe said, “It’s taken a while to readjust to find out what it means to write a love song where the person is actually being loved and is happy about it.” Doe recruited some collaborators, such as vocalists Patty Griffin and Cindy Wasserman, to contribute on the album, which will be titled Keeper.


Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks is releasing her seventh solo album, which is also her first studio album in ten years, in 2011. Titled In Your Dreams, the record is scheduled to drop on 3 May and will contain a reworked, previously unreleased demo from the late ‘70s. You can head to rollingstone. com to stream and then compare and contrast both versions of the track, Secret Love: the original demo, which is pared back and focuses on the lilting vocal melody, and the updated song, which has been beefed up and is much more heavily produced and up-tempo.


Previously known for sporting elaborate onstage ensembles that would be just as appropriate for the runway, Patrick Wolf has told NME that he’ll be changing his look to coincide with the release of his forthcoming fifth studio album, believed to be titled The Conqueror. “It’s become the convention now: a persona, an ego, theatre, big shoulder pads and attitude,” he said. “I’m not really interested if that’s become the mainstream.” In terms of what we can expect from Patrick Wolf’s future output, the singer/ songwriter/multi-instrumentalist said this will be very different from his 2009 album, The Bachelor. “I wanted to get away from the industrial element of the last album,” he told the mag. “I wanted to get away from any noises or frequencies that were provocative in terms of noise. It was important to me to make a very clean album.” On Tuesday 18 January, Wolf tweeted that his new single The City will be previewed on Steve Lamacq’s new music show, 11pm on BBC Radio 2, this Saturday night so keep your ears peeled for this first taste once it hits the blogosphere.




Cold Chisel drummer Steve Prestwich has died from a brain tumour, aged 56. Originally born in Liverpool, he moved to Adelaide in 1971 when his family migrated and was a founding member of the band Orange, which would eventually become Cold Chisel. He’s credited with writing the tracks When The War Is Over, Best Kept Secret and Forever Now. Following Chisel’s break-up in 1983, Prestwich spent a stint with the Little River Band. Releasing two solo albums – Since You’ve Been Gone (2000) and Every Highway (2009) in between Cold Chisel re-formations, he was part of the Cold Chisel that had re-formed and performed last year, their new album is expected for this year. The band released a statement on their website saying that the members were “shattered” with the news. During the last decade he had been and on and off regular of the Sydney scene, holding down a Thursday night residency at Rozelle’s Bridge Hotel in 2004. Speaking to Street Press Australia’s Michael Smith last April ahead of his launch tour for Every Highway he said, “I’d kind of reached the stage where I knew a lot of these songs that had percolated to the surface suggested that they should all be together. There was a kind of a theme running through everything, and I never imagined that that would be the case. So I had the songs but I knew didn’t necessarily just want to go into a studio with a band and record a bunch of songs. I knew I had to try something a little bit different because in a way the songs were saying, ‘We need something a little bit different,’ but what that was I had absolutely no idea at all.”

VALE HARVEY JAMES Sherbet guitarist Harvey James died Saturday 15 January after a battle with lung cancer. The news was confirmed by Harvey’s daughter Alexandra James on a dedicated Facebook support group. “We would to thank everybody for all the wonderful support over the past six months. The love has been overwhelming. Rest in peace my gorgeous, funny, amazing father. We will miss you everyday forever,” read the post. After becoming known on the Australian scene in the early ‘70s in a range of bands, Harvey joined Sherbet in 1975 after guitarist Clive Shakespeare left. Already a huge band in Australia, their next album Howzat went on to become the band’s most successful record, spending two weeks atop the album chart, the single and title track forever ingrained into Australian pop history. The band changed their name in the following years (Highway and The Sherbs) but never hit the same peaks of Howzat. James left the band in 1982, two years before they disbanded and became a sought-after session guitarist. He was due to play the Gimmie The Guitar concert with Sherbet mid-February and the Facebook page has been inundated with fan tributes since the announcement.

VALE TRISH KEENAN Warp Records posted an announcement on their website over the weekend to report that Broadcast member Trish Keenan had died on Friday, age 42, after contracting pneumonia. According to reports from the BBC and Variety, Keenan is believed to have gotten sick with the H1Ni virus during a recent tour of Singapore and Australia.

GOLDEN JAY Amongst a range of Jay Reatard material set to be posthumously released is a 14-song live album recorded at the Golden Plains festival in 2008. A documentary film, greatest hits package and rare 7”s will also be released, the records and Golden Plains album only available to members of the Shattered Club subscription series that Reatard started. Memberships are still available through his website. Thursday 13 January marked the first anniversary of the garage rocker’s death.

OPPORTUNITY Indie club night Purple Sneakers are looking for a national events manager, full-time based in either Sydney or Melbourne. A background and experience in marketing or event promotion is essential while a passion for music and clubs is encouraged. Forward a CV with a cover letter to before Friday 28 January.

MISUNDERSTOOD METAL Texas metal outfit Drowning Pool are “devastated” that the killer in the recent Arizona shooting used their song Bodies in a YouTube video he posted shortly before the attack. “We were devastated to learn of the tragic events that occurred in Arizona and that our music has been misinterpreted, again… For someone to put out a video misinterpreting a song about a mosh pit as fuel for a violent act shows just how sick they really are,” a post on the band’s website read.

PUSH YOUR WRITING Applications for the next Push Songs free all ages songwriter’s program are now open. The first of four in the series will run Tuesday 8 February to Thursday 24 March and 12 successful applicants will workshop songs with Charles Jenkins, Ash Naylor, Lisa Miller, Mick Thomas and Rebecca Barnard in that time. Head to au to apply before the closing date of Tuesday 1 February.

OPPORTUNITY Community radio station PBSFM are looking for a new Music And Interviews Coordinator, a role which includes managing music releases of a broad selection of genres, interview placement, running a music library and managing volunteers. Interpersonal skills are essential. Contact Mara Williams at for more info before Thursday 27 January.

GURRUMUL RETURNS After a serious and mysterious illness stopped him from touring America and amounted in him shying away from the music industry, details for Gurrumul Yunupingu’s second album have been announced. Titled Rrakala, it has been confirmed for a release 8 April – later in the year internationally. The name Rrakala comes from a sub-group of the Gumatj clan and the songwriting is expected to be reflective of Yunupingu’s strong ties to Aboriginal heritage. His debut album proved something of a revelation, certified double platinum it won ARIA Awards and has sold half a million copies worldwide. He will be performing at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest under his own moniker and with the Saltwater band.



Melbourne-based Staple group have announced the launch of their new entertainment group UNFD (Unified), which will combine the existing Staple MGMT and Boomtown Records arms of Staple. Joining the Staple MGMT bands at UNFD will be the Boundary Sounds roster, meaning that The Getaway Plan, Miami Horror, The Amity Affliction, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Illy, Deez Nuts, Parades and more will be together (Boundary Sounds’ other operations will remain separate). Founder Jaddan Comerford told The Front Line that the launch will not signal in a great change in his processes. “I’m just doing what I always did from when I started: lateral thinking, natural progressions, doing what makes sense, being honest, that sort of stuff. I’m still inspired by people like Epitaph and companies like that, but this is just a natural progression and it’s much easier for us to make these progressions as a smaller entity… and adapt to the marketplace a lot easier.” The Staple Group name will remain as a corporate brand while Boomtown Records will remain only as catalogue numbers for releases. Recent additions to the personnel include Stu Harvey (from Shock) and Martin Novosel (who brings his acts from Boundary).

Sydney calypso-indie outfit The Holidays have been awarded the Red Bull Award for best debut release as part of this year’s Australian Music Prize (AMP). With their record Post Paradise they join the likes of Gotye, Bluejuice, Jack Ladder and Oh Mercy, who’ve won the award previously under its similar guises. The Holidays will now receive $15,000 worth of flights and accommodation to go to Los Angeles and spend a week in the Red Bull studio. The nine artists to be shortlisted for the main AMP prize will be announced Wednesday 2 February at the Opera House, with the winner to be announced Thursday 3 March. The eventual winner will receive $30,000, courtesy of the PPCA.

FESTIVAL ATTACKS Police in Victoria are searching for two men accused of sexually assaulting a first-aid officer at the Summadayze festival on New Year’s Day. The Age reports that one man lured the officer asking for aid to a ‘sick’ friend before attacking her.

AMERICA NO SICK O’ PUPPIES SEVEN MORE WAVES Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah revealed on his Twitter account last Friday that there were seven more sideshows to be announced for the upcoming tour. “There are still 7 sidewaves to be announced. I’d hoped to have everything out by now, but lot of folks still on holiday overseas,” the post said. It’s unclear if these include the events announced on Friday.

Two Sydney artists little known at home sit side by side in the US Hot 100 this week. At the end of its cycle, on the way down, at 66 is Yolanda Be Cool & D-Cup’s We No Speak Americano while slowly on the up at 65 is Sick Puppies’ Maybe. Sick Puppies are also atop the US Heatseekers Chart with Maybe as well appearing in the Radio Songs, Adult Pop Songs, Rock Songs and Pop Songs charts. The much better known Kylie Minogue sits at 21 in US Dance/Club Play chart with Better Than Today.

BIG BAD MAJORS A lawsuit against the four major music labels – Sony, Warner, Universal and EMI – that accused them of price fixing has been allowed to go ahead by the US Supreme Court. The plaintiffs – not named – will argue that the four convened in the early 2000s to keep download prices high and not allow people to burn purchased songs onto discs at a time pre-iTunes and therefore when competition was beginning to develop. The case dates back to 2001 when Warner and EMI supported the MusicNet service whilst Sony and Universal developed Pressplay for themselves in the wake of Napster. CNet quotes the plaintiffs as “[The labels] sold music directly to consumers over the Internet through these joint ventures. Both the joint ventures and the Recording Industry Association of America provided a forum and means through which defendants could communicate about pricing, terms, and use restrictions.”

NO LOVE FOR TWITTER Shortly after being slapped with a defamation case by fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, Courtney Love’s Twitter account has disappeared. Reports as to whether the account was suspended or Love took it down of her own accord, but followers say her last post outlined her intention to shut down all social media. According to Gawker – The Front Line doesn’t follow Love on Twitter – she has called Simorangkir a “drug-addled prostitute,” a “52 year old desperate cokes ass [sic]” and a “nasty, lying, hosebag thief,” among other things.

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




With last week’s layoffs and a sale just around the corner, SCOTT FITZSIMONS looks at the state of embattled social networking giant MYSPACE. Confirming the rumours reported in The Front Line last week, News Corporation-owned MySpace fired nearly half its staff last week – 47% to be exact. Five-hundred employees of the company’s 1,000-plus staff were let go. International offices – including the Sydneybased Australian one – were part of the cuts. It’s a drastic change from when the website was two years old and at the peak of its power, when it was bought by News Corp for a monumental US$580 million in a move that was meant to give the media giant a foothold into the social media world. But almost as soon as the sale was made, the website’s decline began. Last year’s figures made difficult reading for MySpace’s executives. In the quarter that was recorded at the end of September, the arm of News Corp that housed MySpace had reported a loss of US$156 million and advertising revenue was down US$70 million from the year before. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey was open about the company’s stand in November when he said, “We’ve been clear that MySpace is a problem… The current losses are not acceptable or sustainable. Our current management did not create these losses but they know we have to address them… it is something we look to address in quarters, not years.” This latest move is that address. A spokesperson for the website told Reuters last week that they “are looking at a number of strategic options for the business, including a sale, merger or spinout”. Late last year the site underwent a makeover to try to simplify the experience and incorporate itself – like every other website – into Facebook’s internet. But while it looks cleaner, loading times haven’t been rectified and it seemed rushed and poorly thought-out. It definitely didn’t work in bringing people back. Much will be said and written about how Facebook’s rise is responsible for the demise, but it’s as much MySpace’s fault for letting them steal their base of users. Even though they tried, initially Facebook were

never able to capture the music-focus that MySpace did so well and attempts to introduce band pages and stream tracks were met with little to no enthusiasm, partially because MySpace did it so well. But Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook was able to control how people used Facebook and in time they transferred over to the streamlined and cleaner approach from the creative clutter that MySpace allowed. Originally an exploited bit of coding, it began standard fare for each and every MySpace page to be customised with HTML and then beyond. It wasn’t long before every page took far longer than it should to load and you were usually greeted with pop-ups, moving backgrounds and music of variable quality that would start playing on its own accord every time you opened a page, band-based or otherwise. In not being able to control their millions of users, as those users left MySpace – and ended up on Facebook – it was only the band profiles that were keeping traffic fl owing. As soon as the rest of the internet found a way to host those services elsewhere (brilliantly quick and simple music streaming website Soundcloud, etc), MySpace was always going to be in trouble. It shouldn’t be forgotten that MySpace had ingrained itself into the music industry and did good things for it. It killed off the need for a band to have their own website – there was no reason to pay for web space and a domain name when MySpace provided everything you needed and fans could want, particularly the ability to stream music, which at the time was a diffi cult thing to do on your own. Forums and discussion boards were replaced by comments and messages, allowing fans to get closer to the artists than the fan-driven online community that came with forums. It gave grassroots bands a presence – it became the norm to have a slick MySpace page before you had a set’s worth of songs – and helped those scenes develop as bands networked with one another as much as they did with fans.

Many emerging – especially younger – promoters used MySpace as a platform to get into the industry. You didn’t have to pay for fl yers to be printed and could target and distribute them far more effectively than you could by handing them out at shopping centres or high school lunchtimes. Bands even roped in people to ‘run’ their MySpaces for them by adding friends (usually targeted from lists of similar bands) and promote upcoming shows/releases. The community’s still evident on Facebook and other sites, but it started at MySpace and will never be as strong as it was during the excitement of those initial years. (Being in touch or being able to help out your favourite band was a novelty then. It’s almost an expectation now if you so desire.) So what next? MySpace is not dead just yet and it’s likely that a sale (Google and online game developer Zynga are rumoured to be in the market) and a re-thinking can ensure the website remains in existence

as the entertainment hub the recent redesign is pushing it as. But its relevance to Australian audiences looks to be almost certainly over. When The Front Line contacted MySpace employees for comment following the layoffs, we were immediately directed to the US office and then over the next couple of days bounced around (at last count we’d been in contact with three public relations personnel) as they scrambled for responses to questions that don’t appear to have positive answers yet. It was explained that MySpace International will cease to exist in its current format and the local marketing and advertising branch will be outsourced to a local company. But regarding the editorial aspect, now that the website’s Australian editorial staff has gone, there are big questions on how and whether local content will be featured at all. Will their support of local events continue and will there be any dialogue with anyone beyond the major labels, if them, at all?





California punk legends Social Distortion are back. With their first album in seven years, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes, set to be released Friday and an upcoming appearance at Soundwave (we’re not letting them bail last-minute this time) this record proves that there’s plenty of fight left in these guys yet. Catch the record streaming in full on now before it comes out. Gear up for big nights ahead.








ENTRY $8, 8.30PM



Hailing from the Czech Republic, Needful Things are heading down under for the first time to blast Aussie audiences with their special brand of no-frills, blistering grindcore. Formed in 1995 and following a string of split 7” EPs, split tapes and compilation inclusions, Needful Things have risen above numerous line-up changes to record a handful of full-length albums and tour Europe with the likes of Agathocles, Squash Bowels, Entrails Massacre, Sewn Shut and Elysium. They’re performing this Saturday at the Arthouse Hotel with support from Captain Cleanoff, The Kill, Teargas and Doubled Over, and play an all-ages show this Sunday at Cat Food Press from 2pm onwards.


Due to unavoidable reasons ranging from the Brisbane flood crisis to the illness of his DJ, the upcoming Australian tour by Grammy-nominated rapper, actor and poet, Mos Def, has had to have all performance dates rescheduled. The good news, however, is that the highly anticipated The Ecstatic Tour will still go ahead. Unfortunately, due to artist scheduling clashes with the rescheduled dates, the previously announced international support slots by Pharoahe Monch and Talib Kweli will not be going ahead, however the Australian support slots will remain the same. The finalised rescheduled performances will now be on Sunday 16 January at The Palace Theatre and Friday 28 January at the Espy. Tickets are still available for the show at the Espy and can be purchased from


With the annual summer tour for Cat Power set to commence this week, the support act for her Melbourne performance at the Forum Theatre this Friday has finally been announced. Joining her on stage will be former Bad Seed Conway Savage. A limited number of tickets for the show are still available for $57.70+BF from Ticketek so get in quick before they sell out.



ENTRY $10, 8.30PM

Los Angeles band Foster The People have been pretty quiet for the last six months due to the recording of their new EP. But that’s just about done and they’re going to make their first trip to Australia very soon. If the success of their single Pumped Up Kicks – and them coming in at number 23 on NME’s 50 Best New Bands Of 2010 – is anything to go by, these guys are one to watch out for. Catch them at the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 16 February. Tickets are available from or the Corner Hotel box office.



12LB ENTRY $5, 9PM









Stone Sour are a multifaceted hard rock force of nature.Resounding with more power and passion than ever before, singer Corey Taylor proves on most recent album Audio Secrecy there’s much more to him than the snarling, masked role he plays in Slipknot. Out here to play the Soundwave festival in March, the band have just announced their own headline show, hitting Festival Hall on Wednesday 2 March. Also on the monstrous bill are Sevendust, whose reunited original line-up has dropped one of the best albums of their career in Cold Day Memory, and metallic post-hardcore crew 36 Crazyfists. Tickets go on sale Friday from Ticketmaster.







Gareth Liddiard’s debut solo album Strange Tourist was released last October. The album and the shows that followed left audiences enthralled. In March, the Drones frontman heads out on a national tour, taking his solo show to Hobart and Canberra for the first time, and revisiting the cities he played on his last sold-out run. Lilliard will be supported by former bandmate Dan Kelly (Liddiard played bass in Kelly’s Alpha Males). The pair play the East Brunswick Club on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 April and the National Hotel in Geelong on Saturday 9 April.

Melbourne’s drunken pirate convict debacle Clinkerfield host their seventh annual residency at Fitzroy’s favourite little watering hole, the Old Bar, every Sunday in January. It’s a summer institution for Johnston St: three different guest bands each week, a barbecue out back, DJs until close, and the low price of $5 to get in from 7pm until late. Just be careful, you might end up staying very late. Seems it’s pretty hard to leave the Old Bar; you might even rock up one night and, like Clinkerfield, not really leave for seven years. This Sunday, Clinkerfield will be supported by Lone Tyger, The Heel Toe Express and The Sinking Tins. Join in the good ol’ fun.

Start saving your voice now, because Against Me! are bringing their anthemic sing-alongs back to Australia to make up for the cancellation of their October 2010 tour. The band will be touring to promote their fifth studio album, White Crosses, which was released in June last year. The band are joined by new drummer Jay Weinberg and will feature support on tour from Epitaph’s favourite doomsayers Off With Their Heads. Against Me! will play the Hi-Fi on Friday 13 May and tickets are available now from Polyester Records and thehifi.








$2 ENTRY, $4 PINTS & $8 EATS!
















Ron Peno


UNDER NEW MGMT Psychedelic pop duo MGMT will play the Palace on Tuesday 8 March, supported by WA rockers Pond. The band, comprising Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, dropped their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, in 2008. It spawned a string of instant anthems, including Kids, Electric Feel and Time To Pretend. Released in early 2010 to critical acclaim, their follow-up album Congratulations features tracks such as Flash Delirium, It’s Working and the epic highlight Siberian Breaks. Tickets go on sale Monday from Ticketmaster.

A quality line-up of local artists will belt out tunes in QV Square next month as the Square is transformed into a summertime oasis for the free weekend Summer Concert Series. The Verses, featuring Ella and Jesse Hooper, kick off the season with a free concert Friday 4 February. The music continues throughout February as artists perform every Friday evening and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The Square will be decked out with soft green grass and beanbags perfect for lounging on balmy evenings or lazing on sunny afternoons, while QV’s many bars and eateries – including Max Brenner, Della Nonna, Grill’d, 3 Degrees, Duck Duck Goose and Old Town Kopitiam Mamak – will serve quality food and drinks. Music runs on Fridays from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm. The full program is Friday 4 February – The Verses; Saturday 5 – Jess McAvoy; Sunday 6 – Nick Barker; Friday 11 – The Blackeyed Susans; Saturday 12 – Ryan Meeking; Sunday 13 – The Fauves; Friday 18 – Charles Jenkins; Saturday 19 – Custom Kings; Sunday 20 – Bobby Flynn; Friday 25 – Nicholas Roy; Saturday 26 – Red Ink; Sunday 27 – The Hello Morning. QV is located on the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale streets, Melbourne. For further information, visit


Port Fairy Folk Festival is heading for a bumper 35th year with a stupendous festival line-up of global and local roots music. More than 120 acts will gather by the ocean at historic Port Fairy from Friday 11 until Monday 14 March, serving up a feast of folk roots, blues, jazz, bluegrass, Celtic roots, jazz, crossroads country and rock’n’roll. The top names this year include new additions: Joe Pug, Sally Seltmann, Justin Townes Earle plus Crooked Still, The Waifs, Kasey Chambers, The Dingoes, Mary Black, Lisa Miller, Dan Kelly’s Dream Band, Luka Bloom, Rosie Flores, Darren Hanlon, Tim O’Brien & Two Oceans Trio and Bob Evans in your only chance to see him in ‘Bob’ mode for many moons. As always, the festival is all about discovery and diversity. Four-day passes are still available with free entry for children under 12. The festival sells out every year, so be quick! Find more info at


With the new year underway, there’s no better time for a daytime festival-esque party to celebrate and this Sunday the Royal Melbourne Hotel will be hosting Grouse Party’s Double Rainbow. In what will be an afternoon of bands, rolling into the usual queer party wildness, there will be performances by some of Melbourne’s finest femalecentric acts. Performing in the afternoon sun of the Royal Melbourne’s atrium will be Romy and Jessica Says, followed by the babesome five that are Beaches who will headline as the sun sets. There will also be DJs playing into the evening. The event will go from 3pm ‘til late.

LONG ARM OF THE LAW Even as they moved into more pop punk and dare we say ‘commercial-friendly’ territory, even the purists exhibiting the inevitable backlash have been sucked into an Unwritten Law sing-along or two. The San Diego punk outfit have now been doing this for more than two decades and given that their sixth studio record, Swan, is just around the corner they’re taking the opportunity to come and visit us again. It’s due in March but the exact date’s not confirmed yet. What is confirmed is their tour dates – they play Billboard on Sunday 27 March with yet-to-be-announced guests. A free download of Starships, the album’s first single, is included in the ticket purchase.


CAVE PEOPLE Some of Melbourne’s finest musicians will come together at the Forum on Monday 31 January to celebrate 30 years of Skull Cave on RRR, and to lend support to industry stalwart and renowned tastemaker, Stephen Walker. Having worked as RRR program manager for 14 years, Walker has suffered the effects of multiple sclerosis for the past 20 years. Recognised locally as a true musicologist, he has been responsible for launching many radio and musical careers. Now it’s time to give back a little; this special benefit concert will help raise funds for an expensive treatment available in Europe, which will help him regain some independence and walk again. The night’s stellar line-up features The Dirty Three, The Skull Cave All Stars (David Bridie, Peter Lawler, Gary Young and Phil Wales), Gareth & Dan (The Drones), Dave Graney and the Lurid Yellow Mist, Ron S Peno, Sand Pebbles and Max Crawdaddy, as well as special guest performances. All proceeds from the show will go towards Stephen Walker’s medical treatment. Those unable to attend can contribute to the cause via donations direct to Stephen Walker – BSB: 063 002, account: 10009630; or cheque or money order made out to Stephen Walker posted to Stephen Walker C/O Triple R PO Box 2145, Brunswick East 3057 (before Monday 31 January). Tickets on sale now from Ticketmaster.


The Soundwave festival has unveiled another bumper Sidewaves triple bill, this one hitting the Hi-Fi on Thursday 3 March. Bands performing are Florida’s Mayday Parade (who formed when Kid Named Chicago and Defining Moment merged), Breathe Carolina (who’ve ridden a GarageBand/ MySpace wave to success) and Every (Michigan pop punks on the way up). Tickets go on sale Friday from and Moshtix.



After a hugely successful run in of concerts in 2010, PBS Radio will be working in conjunction with the City Of Yarra again this year to present the Rock-A-ByeBaby Music Sessions. These concerts offer a gig-going experience for carers and children where the music hasn’t been dumbed down or sugared up, providing a chance for families to share the experience of live music in a safe and clean environment. Kicking off this year’s bi-monthly season will be the Madre Monte, with their special blend of Latin and Columbian rhythms. The first Rock-A-Bye-Baby Music Sessions event for the year will be held at Fitzroy Town Hall on Thursday 2 February from 11am-noon. Entry is $5 for adults, but it’s free for children. Noise is welcomed, crawling is encourages and dancing is expected, so get on down to Napier Street with the littlies and get involved.


New York a capella group Naturally 7 are not short on admirers. And as such they’ve seen themselves play at Madison Square Garden, the Montreux Jazz Festival and as special guests of Michael Buble on his world tour. They’re Australia-bound now and have their latest album VocalPlay, there’s more of a story to them than just one album. Formed in the late ‘90s, they spent their formative years singing around the neighbourhood and have emerged with soul, Motown, beatboxing and plenty more influences. They support Michael Buble at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday 22, Wednesday 23 and Friday 25 February and return for their own show at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Saturday 30 April.


Dutch club wunderkid Ferry Corsten is all grown up now and an internationally recognised brand at that. With trance, house and electro up his sleeve he’s won more accolades, delivered more memorable tracks and remixed more world class artists that can really be listed here. For the first time since headlining Creamfields Australia, Corsten will be returning to play the Palace on Friday 11 February. His latest releases are the Once Upon A Night mix CD – volume two’s in the works – and the Backstage DVD.

BUSINESS TIME Turning to the weird and wonderful records one can find on eBay (and by hunting through racks old fashioned style) Mark Ronson & The Business Intl offered up Record Collection last year. As you’d expect from one of the most in-demand producers in the modern world, it was slick in its changes and intelligent in its selections – sounding more like a band effort that anything he’d done before. Headlining the Future Music Festival, Ronson and his new band have just announced sideshows. They’ll be playing at the Palace on Wednesday 9 March with support from Zowie. Tickets are $75+BF and go on sale Monday 24 January from Ticketmaster.





WELCOME TO THE TERRORDOME A brutal triple bill of American punk and hardcore powerhouses will be hitting Melbourne this March. Hardcore LA punk band Terror are an energy, a force, a refuge and voice for all the lose and unheard. H2O have served as a gateway into hardcore (in the form of a punk band) for a generation of kids with their catchy sound. Polar Bears Club are undoubtedly legends in the making, with their personalised twist of ‘90s punk and hardcore sounds infused with a refreshing 2000s style. The three bands will be rocking the stage in the Espy’s Gershwin Room on Thursday 3 March. Tickets go on sale this Thursday at 9am from Ticketek, Oztix and

Last year’s The X-Factor winner, Altiyan Childs, has announced a third Melbourne show to meet demand. He now plays evening shows at the Palms at Crown on Friday 4 and Sunday 5 March, with the new show a 4pm performance on Saturday 5 at the same venue. Special guests are The X-Factor finalists Luke & Joel. Childs’ debut album, Altiyan Childs, features re-recorded versions of some of his biggest performances from the show, including Livin’ On A Prayer, Never Tear Us Apart, Hey Soul Sister and Lady In Red, as well as his winning single, Somewhere In The World. Tickets for the shows are on sale from Ticketek.


A small batch of extra tickets to the sold-out 2011 Laneway Festival, released last Friday, were snapped up within an hour, with the site struggling to cope with demand. The event, held on Saturday 5 February at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, features a dazzling line-up that includes !!!, Foals, Warpaint, Holy Fuck, Beach House, Jenny & Johnny, Deerhunter and loads more. The festival has also recently added Triple J Unearthed competition Buchanan winners to the Melbourne bill, and unveiled the line-up of the Red Bull Stage. Acts playing the stage in Melbourne are Architecture In Helsinki DJs, Brain Children, DJ People, Opulent People, Hidden Suns, Mat Cant, Spiral Stairs (DJ set) and Declan Kelly.

HOW ARE YOU HANLON THE FOLK? Following sold-out album launches across Australia and an extensive US tour for his critically acclaimed 2010 release I Will Love You At All, indie folk troubadour Darren Hanlon is touring Australia once again for the release of his new digital EP Butterfly Bones, which will be available via iTunes from Friday 18 February. Lead track and live favourite Butterfly Bones is the third single taken from I Will Love You At All, and is an example of what Hanlon does best – weaving narratives with creative instrumentation to form charming, catchy folk songs. Hanlon’s everyman voice and lovely lyrics are complemented by simple guitar, trumpets and violin. Catch Darren Hanlon at the Thornbury Theatre on Thursday 10 March and the Port Fairy Folk Festival on Friday 11 March.


ONE AND ONLY We get excited and sing the praises of a lot of acts in these pages, but no one performing today really compares to the brilliance, longevity and influence of Bob Dylan. On par with The Beatles and Elvis for his influence over songwriting and popular culture, the soon-to-be 70-year-old hit another of his strides in the last decade – records like Modern Times and Together Through Life have been as brilliant and well received (at least by critics) as anything in his career. Headlining the monstrous Bluesfest at Byron Bay, he plays Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 20 April.









and guests

No brainers and guilty pleasures


FREE ENTRY - From 11.30pm

FREE ENTRY - From 9pm

with 1928 (STROBE)

FREE ENTRY! - From 6.30pm


w/ AndyBlack & Haggis

w/ Andee Frost FREE ENTRY - From 12 Midnight

This weeks theme: FRENCH FREE ENTRY - In the Carriage




Slow Clap presents,






Tickets $8 +BF / $10 on the door

Tickets $10 on the door with CD


TUE 1, 8, 15 & 22 FEBRUARY




Tickets $12 +BF / 12 on door





WED 26 JANUARY Penny Drop and 3RRR presents,





$10 on door / $8 gueslist

Tickets $38 +BF / $42 on the door

Tickets $12 +BF / $15 on the door

Tickets $10 on the door













Tickets $10 + BF / $15 or $12 conc on door

Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door

Tickets $13.50 +BF / $18.50 on the door

Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door



w/ Dr Phil Smith




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

The Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) has been accepted by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) as an ‘apprentice’ affiliate of the WFTDA, the governing body for women’s amateur flat track roller derby. As an affiliate of the WFTDA, the VRDL (the first Australian WFTDA affiliate) joins the ranks of more than 100 all-female, skater-owned-and-operated leagues that have united to lead the growing sport of women’s flat track roller derby. WFTDA apprentice leagues are matched with veteran member leagues who guide them in the processes and requirements necessary to become a full member of the Association. Additionally, the mentor offers advice and information related to the management and development of the apprentice league. The VRDL’s 2011 home season commences with a double header on 26 March, with further bouts scheduled for 7 May and 4 June. All of these will be played at the Grand Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds, following on from the success of the VRDL’s 2010 Grand Final at this new venue. Confirmed 2011 inter-league bouts for the VRDL include 19 March against the Canberra Roller Derby League and 30 April against Queensland’s Sun State Roller Girls, with other dates and bouts to be announced soon.




Fresh from the release of new compilation We Mix You Dance Vol 2, Purple Sneakers DJs will head out on a huge national tour this February to celebrate the launch of the album. Featuring tracks from recent Australian visitors The National, Sleigh Bells, Local Natives, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Two Door Cinema Club, Warpaint and Deerhunter, We Mix You Dance Vol 2 also pays tribute to PSDJ’s love of local artists, starring the likes of Cloud Control and The Holidays, as well as Tame Impala, Yolanda B Cool and more. With weekly nights in Sydney and Melbourne and monthly nights in Canberra, Purple Sneakers DJs have completed extensive national and international touring alongside international favourites such as La Roux, Bloc Party and Grizzly Bear. Catch the infamous party-starters when they play Miss Libertine on Friday 4 February, the Karova Lounge in Ballarat on Saturday 5 February and the Espy on Sunday 13 February. Before then, you can chck out their crazy antics at the Espy this Sunday – doors are at 9pm and entry is free.

Jen Cloher



QUEENSLAND FLOOD BENEFITS It was impossible not to be moved by the images coming from Queensland last week as flood waters swept away all before them. The cost of human life has been tragic; the cost of rebuilding something we can lend a hand to. With an unimaginable amount of damage done, every little bit helps and the music scene has once again shown itself as compassionate and helpful at these times. A number of benefit shows in Melbourne have been organised to help those affected by the floods. One, to be held at the Corner Hotel this Thursday, has already sold out – not surprising, when you consider the talent donating their time: Clare Bowditch, Bertie Blackman, Missy Higgins, Tim Rogers, Dan Sultan and Megan Washington. For those of you lucky enough to have tickets, doors open at 7.30pm with the first act on at 8pm. Dance Aid will see the elite of the Australian dance music industry come together to put on one incredible show tonight (Wednesday) in the Prince Bandroom, with all proceeds being donated to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Artists such as Grant Smillie, Ruby Rose, Nervo Twins, The Stafford Brothers, Kaz James, Hook N Sling, The Potbellez, TV Rock, Zoe Badwi and many more have generously donated their time to this event. Tickets are available from Moshtix.

HIGH ON FIRE WORKS Underground thrash/sludge messiahs High On Fire have set a new standard in doom metal. Equal parts molten metal and earthquake panic, High On Fire’s outrageously loud and absolutely punishing live show is descending upon Melbourne on Wednesday 2 March in the Espy’s Gershwin Room. Also playing will be punk/hardcore juggernaut Trash Talk and sludge-metal band Kylesa. With stage displays firmly rooted in chaos, an arsenal of releases to back it up, and fervent touring, Trash Talk have continually astonished loyal fans and newcomers alike. Kylesa’s intelligent and complicated songwriting structures, onslaught of psychedelic undercurrents, and jarring, triple-team vocal interaction sets them apart from their peers. Tickets for this Sidewave are available from Thursday from Ticketek and


The Black Keys have cancelled their upcoming Australian tour, which was set to include performances at the Big Day Out festival and shows at the Palace and Billboard. A statement from the band’s management read: “The Black Keys are sorry to announce the cancellation of the New Zealand and Australian tour including all appearances at the Big Day Out touring festival as well as a portion of the European tour in March. An arduous year of touring and promotion has drained the band and necessitated time off. Dan and Patrick wish to thank all of you who have shown such incredible support since the release of Brothers and have helped make the album a success.” Paul Dempsey has been added to the Big Day Out line-up in their place.


Back from a big tour across frosty France, True Live are warming up for a massive show at the Northcote Social Club this Friday. Last year was huge one for the group, who embarked on two international tours and saw major success in their other artistic adventures (Raah Project, Paris Wells). This year is set to be even better with the release of their second album, Found Lost, in Europe and five-year celebrations since the Australian release of their debut album The Shape Of It. This is your first and last chance to go nuts to True Live before they jet off for another European tour in March.


Circle Pit return to Melbourne to launch their new single, Sewercide, on Tuesday 25 January (Australia Day eve) at Yah Yah’s. After their debut longplayer Bruise Constellation made many 2010 end-of-year lists and having completed a commanding tour of the USA, the Sydney act have become one of the most and entertaining and talked about bands in Australia.Joining them on the night will be Super Wild Horses, Divorced (featuring members of Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, Zond, Beaches and The Spazzys) and new upstarts Deep Heat.

Some of the city’s finest songwriters (of a more rootsy persuasion) will come together for a benefit gig at the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 26 January. MCed by Brian Nakervis, the show, which falls on the Australia Day holiday, will feature performances from Liz Stringer, Jen Cloher, Jordie Lane, Mia Dyson, Van Walker, Chris Altmann, Kieran Ryan (Kid Sam) and The Promises. Delta bluesman knew too well the devastation that floods could bring, the Great Mississippi Flood Of 1927 inspiring countless blues tunes. When The Levee Breaks – the name taken from a Memphis Minnie track – is a show organised by a bunch of bluesmen and women keen to do their bit. Taking place at the East Brunswick Club on Wednesday 2 February, the gig will feature sets from Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison, Dan Dinnen & Heather Stewart, Lloyd Spiegel, Paulie Bignell and Dreamboogie.


THAT’S A BIT MORBID, ANGEL One of the greatest names in death metal, Morbid Angel, will make a chaotic return to Australia this May. Performing classics from all their legendary releases plus the inclusion of new extreme creations, Morbid Angel will shred their way through a night of maximum intensity and exhibit why they have been at the top of their genre for more than two decades. With the band currently putting the finishing touches on their next release, the touring will follow with drums duties to be fulfilled by Tim Yeung while Pete Sandoval recovers from surgery. Witness their powerful performance on Friday 27 May at the Hi-Fi. Tickets are available now from melbourne, Polyester Records and Greville Records.


Apollo Bay Music Festival director Caroline Moore and patron Jon von Goes unveiled the final program for the 2011 event at Otway Estate Winery And Brewery on the weekend. On the international front, Grammy winners Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band and Charles Neville with Youssoupha Sidibe & The Mystic Rhythms Band lead the charge with US legend Rosie Flores and Canadian Juno Award winners The Good Lovelies and Beyond The Pale in hot pursuit with Martha Tilston from the UK making a welcome return to Australia. The Australian line-up is second to none – just announced are Washington, Zeptepi, The Wildes, The Ugly Uncles, Tango Mundo, Stonefield, The Pirates Of Beer (featuring Sarah Carroll and Chris Wilson), Jaimi Faulkner, James Butt, Graveyard Train, The Fire Alive, The Dili Allstars, Dog Trumpet, Cynicosis and Angie Hart. The event takes place in the seaside town of Apollo Bay from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 April. For more info check out

PBS 106.7FM presents a night of beats and bowls at the Fitzroy Bowls Club on Friday 4 February. From 6pm, get barefoot and hear sets from three of PBS’s finest selectors, featuring Tony Black (The Beat Delivery), Bass Bin Laden (Bass Culture) and Zack (Rampage) spinning everything from hip hop, funk, electro, beats and basslines. For those of the competitive persuasion, bowling costs the regular $15 per person, with some of the proceeds going to PBS. For those who are worried that their skills are limited, come down anyway, put in a gold coin donation, hang out by the barbecue, join in the festivities and check out PBS’s exceptional Friday presenters spinning tunes behind the decks.





LIGHTS, CAMERA, AXXONN! AXXONN (AKA Brisbanite Tom Hall) will be gathering up his keyboard and subsonic fuzz later this month to jaunt around the country one more time prior to heading overseas indefinitely ahead of label commitments for his Let’s Get It Straight album, set for global release on Monday 14 February. The tour is presented by New Weird Australia, marking their inaugural nationwide excursion after a string of successful Sydney events and nearly two years of compilation and artist releases through the label. Axxonn will perform at Yah Yahs on Sunday 27 February with special guest support from Mystic Eyes, No Zu and Peon. Axxonn Remixed, featuring remixes from the likes of Jonathan Boulet, Little Scout, Toy Balloon, Scott Arford and more, is available Friday from



TOOL’s dense, miasmic art-metal has been confounding audiences for more than two decades. Ahead of the band’s latest run of Australian dates, MATT O’NEILL attempts to breach the band’s inner sanctum with guitarist ADAM JONES and bassist JUSTIN CHANCELLOR.


ystique has played a considerable role in the development of Tool’s career. For the better part of their 20-year life-cycle, the Los Angeles four-piece have revelled in some form of ambiguity – be that ambiguity of intention, identity, process, aesthetic or even simple ambiguity of genre. Having sold somewhere in the region of 15 million albums worldwide, Tool are unarguably one of the most popular acts in contemporary rock music – but, as yet, no one has really figured them out. “Oh, I do think we get misunderstood, but, personally, I’m not really worried about it,” guitarist Adam Jones reflects. “I don’t know about the rest of the band, but I’ve never cared about that. We’ve never had our lyrics printed with our albums and we’ve really fought to stick with our own ideas. If people get it, great, if people don’t, that’s fine too. There is a tonne of music from when I was a kid that I never had any idea about when I was growing up. I formed my own conclusions.” “It almost feels like the people that like our music give us the patience and respect to really take the time to do something special,” bassist Justin Chancellor elaborates. “When we make an album, there’s a pressure to do something that we’re all proud of, but I don’t think we’ve ever thought about what other people will think of it. The way it’s always worked has always been, if we’re proud of what we’ve done, it seems to translate on some level.” In the beginning, the band were little more than a conventional hard rock group. Formed in 1990, Tool’s early work was very much representative of the developing alternative metal lexicon of the period – densely rhythmic

slabs of viscous metal tempered by deep introspection, scathing intellect and thinly veiled anxiety. Debut album Undertow, following its 1993 release, resembled nothing more complicated than a more obtuse and troubled revision of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger. “There was no specific plan. The very loose set of objectives was to have fun, write music together and play live,” Jones laughs. “It was just a bunch of friends. You know, your buddies – ‘Hey, let’s jam; hey, let’s watch TV; hey, let’s hang by the pool’ – it was that kind of thing. I still enjoy the ride and try not to take it for granted. I’m very much surprised it’s made it to 20 years. I just hope it keeps going.” From those inauspicious beginnings, however, Tool would grow increasingly more complex and enigmatic with each passing release. Second album Aenima (1996) would see the band simultaneously develop in two seemingly contradictory directions – fusing black humour, cynicism and an interrogation of social authorities with labyrinthine, jazz-tinged prog-rock structures, Afro-Indian polyrhythm and superficially sincere spiritual contemplation. “The idea has always basically been that the things we’ve done before have largely spoken for themselves and what we do next should also speak for itself,” Chancellor explains. “We never want our latest album to ride on the coattails of the last one, so to speak. We only have one record left on our deal at the moment and it’s certainly tempting to just churn something out, but the only reason we keep going is to keep furthering our strange little chemistry experiment.”

This dichotomy is largely why it’s so difficult to fully grasp the implications of both Tool’s work and their identity as a band. Each aspect of their work seems to either extend from the mundane and secular realms of urban living into the transcendental and abstract territories of high art or vice versa. Lateralus (1999), for example, was a considered meditation on themes of spirituality and existence, but 2005 follow-up 10,000 Days returned to the socio-political inquisitions of Aenima. “There are four different guys in this band and they all have their own direction and influences and, you know, it’s work. We all get together and we have to work. It’s not like some natural thing that just happens,” Jones points out. “The thing that’s really nice about it is when all those different personalities, perspectives, pros, cons and so on click – when they all come together. I mean, that’s ultimately what’s most important, the end result.” As an individual, Jones is almost emblematic of the group’s curious division. A classically trained violinist with a background in cinematic special effects, Jones nevertheless embraces the comparatively primitive electric guitar while overseeing Tool’s elaborate, multilayered visual aesthetics (including experimental multimedia, light shows and animation) – opting for the everyday in place of the virtuosic in instrumentation and vice versa in regards to visual presentation. “When we first started out, all four members – including our original bass player Paul D’Amour [whom Chancellor replaced in 1995] – were doing some kind of creative work,” the guitarist explains. “We all had the big influences, like Pink Floyd, of bands who went over the

top with their own ideas and artistic vision. I know, if I asked, most of the members in this band would be able to tell you what their influences looked like – what their artwork was like and what were their visuals.” The best example of the band’s uniquely mysterious dichotomy, however, comes in the form of their writing processes. A topic of much discussion among fans and detractors alike, the gestation of Tool’s dense and impenetrable albums frequently spans multiple years of writing and development and is often viewed as an almost mystical process by those outside the band – but, in truth, such time is often just a result of the band struggling to overcome their own limitations as musicians. “It just doesn’t really work like that with us,” Chancellor says matter-of-factly. “Maynard [James Keenan] is an amazing vocalist and Danny [Carey] is an amazing drummer but, together as a band, we’re pretty much fumbling around – we’re not like these professional dudes that actually know how to put together something remarkable. We’re more about the chemistry that happens between us – we really have to be true to that and it gets harder each time.”

WHO: Tool WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 30 January, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse; Wednesday 2 February, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

BIG DAY ART As always, we had a huge response to our Big Day Art competition (you know the one – we ask you to draw/paint/whatever an act from this year’s BDO line-up), with Mathew Kerber’s striking image of Tool, Transplantation, taking out top honours and making its way on to our cover this week. Mathew also wins tickets to the Melbourne Big Day Out and CDs from a bunch of artists performing. Below are a selection of other entries we received. Head to our Facebook page to vote in the People’s Choice award, and start sharpening those Derwents for next year!

Tool oombs Benjamin C

Washington Eleanor Jackson

oord Die Antw s nA Trevor Va

MIA Rebecca We tzler

Iggy Pop ito Karon Sa

Tool Arwen Wh iting

Anna Lunoe Jenika Rivera


LIVING THE LIFE From Spanish saharas to Sydney beaches, FOALS drummer JACK BEVAN reveals that he’s up for a sea change whilst talking to SEVANA OHANDJANIAN.


hen Inpress manages to get Foals drummer Jack Bevan on the phone, he’s happy, well rested and just a touch confused. Asked where he is currently situated his response is, “I’m not really sure – we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere in the middle of France.” The reason behind this geographical confusion is that he is in fact mid-European tour, having conquered the UK, America and Australia in 2010. The Oxford five-piece are not big on taking breaks when the tide is in their favour. “I’m sure that there has been a week off at some point, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve had a proper break,” says Bevan. “It’s good. We like being busy and we like not being busy, so we’d rather be completely busy or be off rather than have just a couple of days here and a couple of days there. It’s been pretty hectic, but the response has been great so we’ve been enjoying it.” The response he speaks of is the praise being heaped

upon their second release, Total Life Forever – a record that blew all out of the water with its sparse sonic landscapes, a far cry from their staccato pop debut Antidotes. They arrived on our shores for the first time for the most recent Splendour In The Grass and the band couldn’t have been more surprised by the adulation they received. “It was amazing. We came first to Adelaide and we’d literally not been to bed. We flew straight over and played the show the same day, so our body clocks were shit but we were just blown away by the crowd,” says Bevan. “It was one of the best shows I can remember all year to be honest. It was just great. We had no idea what to expect because we’d never been out there before. “The only downside at all was that we were there for such a short time, the jetlag was too bad for us to do anything in the daytime. The audiences were wonderful. It was awesome.” It seems the change from British to Australian time did quite a number on the lads, with more time spent in bed than on the streets. “It was a real shame because we’d been so excited to go to, well, basically everywhere. We’d aim to go out around 12 o’clock every day, but we’d just always fall asleep. I literally didn’t see any of Sydney because I was asleep the whole time,” says Bevan. Lucky for them they’ll be returning to play the Laneway Festival circuit along with a couple of sideshows on the East Coast, and it’s more than just another gig to Bevan. “It’s always good to be able to play to thousands of people and also the Laneway line-up is probably the best line-up I’ve seen all year, in terms of the kind of music that I like,” says Bevan. “It’s just an incredible festival so I’m really glad that we’re doing that as opposed to something bigger or more corporate.” A festival set does mean compromising though, with fewer long cuts from Total Life Forever to give way for more songs in a short space of time. “I think when we’ve only got 45 minutes or an hour – usual festival length – you try to cram in all the songs that the crowd seem to like the most,” says Bevan. “When we do our own shows we can play for an hour and a half; we can fit more of the atmospheric, more down-tempo tracks.

…we don’t want to be seen as a band for the children.”

“Some of the tracks we really love playing are like 2 Trees and What Remains, but in a festival set you have to hold everyone’s attention because there’s a lot more casual listeners that will just leave if they’re getting bored or whatever. We generally play all the singles from both records and then a couple of the more cerebral tracks.” The shining example of a cerebral track is the undeniably beautiful Spanish Sahara. The centrepiece of their second record, the song is a six-minute opus of spacious percussion and lead singer Yannis Philippakis’ falsetto. Though it’s a sombre yet climaxing, aggressive affair on record, Bevan has found the audience interaction to be unique to the location. “That song gets a different reaction wherever we go,” says Bevan. “At some festivals we played this summer, people were literally sitting down at the beginning, which was really nice; it was kind of a respectable thing. And then when the song kicked in they all jumped up.” Foals have seen their fair share of festivals this year, playing to seas of faceless people in numerous countries. However, their largest crowd was last year in a support slot for Britpop legends Blur and Bevan is willing to admit a touch of the nerves when it came to stepping onto the Hyde Park stage. “That was, even now, the most people we’ve ever played to. That was 65,000, so to see that many people in front of you watching is terrifying but awesome at the same time,” says Bevan. “But the thing with stage fright and nerves is it’s always the build up to the show, but as soon as you crack into the first song everything goes away and it’s great and especially if you’re getting a good reaction, you just start loving it. And when you’re playing to that many people, it just elevates that sense of enjoyment when it’s going well.” The numbers may have grown from the house parties they used to play in their early days, but Bevan has also noticed a change in the sorts of faces appearing in the crowd at their concerts. “I think we definitely have a more varied fanbase, which is good. I think with Antidotes it was a predominantly young crowd – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but now it feels like we’re getting older people, which is great because we don’t want to be seen as a band for the children. Not being funny or anything, but it’s great to know different age groups and different kinds of people can be into it.” Considering Total Life Forever’s mid-2010 release, one has to wonder whether Foals will be bringing the same show down for round two or if they’ll whip out some new songs. Fans will be pleased to know the latter is more than likely. The band plan to do some writing and recording in Australia ahead of their local shows. “Hopefully by the time that we play we would have recorded quite a lot,” Bevan says. “We’re looking for somewhere to live in Bondi Beach, so give us a shout if you know of anywhere!” WHO: Foals WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Thursday 10 February, Palace



ASTRAL BODIES ALEX SCALLY of Baltimore darlings BEACH HOUSE tells GISELLE NGUYEN how the duo’s teen-dwelling breakthrough album differs from the reality of their own “nerdy, church-tutored” adolescence.


hile Katy Perry spent 2010 chasing her Teenage Dream in a pastel-coloured haze involving megababes and an endless highway, Beach House’s dreams were a little different. They, too, unleashed a Teen Dream on the music world, but rather than a fanciful picture of puppy love, theirs explored the way in which the thrills of adolescence can permeate adulthood – a perpetual continuation of that original fantasy. “Rather than going into your memory and your past kind of vibe it’s more like a call to the future, to get reinvigorated with those feelings you used to have – not necessarily some kind of dumb high school relationship that was really dramatic, but more just like the kind of unbridled excitement and passion and enthusiasm and wildness that you feel at that time in your life,” says Scally from his hometown Baltimore. “It’s more an abstract thing that works as a feeling, and in a certain way it felt really classic.” It’s been a whirlwind few years for the dream-pop pair. Their track Apple Orchard was included on a Pitchfork mixtape before they’d even released their eponymous debut album in 2006 and now, with their third record (and first on a major label), they have well and truly cemented themselves as champions of the indie scene. In 2010 they supported big names like Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear, also performing on Conan just before Christmas. Having first visited Melbourne in 2008 with a spot on the Mistletone Summer Tones bill, their upcoming shows will see them playing the larger-scale Laneway tour. However, despite their climb to widespread success and the pressures you’d think would come with that, Scally and Victoria Legrand, the other half of Beach House, haven’t changed a thing about how they write. “Our writing process is that we start very simply, everything starts with a very small idea and we always work together. The pieces slowly accumulate, and sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it happens over a long time, but we’ve done it the same way since we started working together. The key to our music is the way we write together – the process has always been the same but what we write is changing because we keep touring and evolving and ideas keep changing, but the way we relate to one another and the way we artistically mesh is the same.” The pair has often stressed to the media that they’re not a romantic couple, and hearing Scally talk about Legrand, it’s easy to see why that clarification might be needed. “Victoria writes all of the lyrics… She’s the lyricist and it’s better that way because she’s a great lyricist, I don’t think I’m ever going to want to try really. If you ever see a solo album by me come out, don’t get it! “I think that’s part of the reason why we’re so lucky to have each other, because I think whatever her aesthetic is and whatever my aesthetic is, they never bump into each other; they mesh perfectly.” The lo-fi beauty of Teen Dream recalls misty-eyed reveries of faraway lands captured in Polaroids, showing carefree girls swinging from high-up trees


while the boys who love them stare from below. It’s whimsical, ethereal, the stuff that daydreams are made of – and, surprisingly, a totally different world from the band’s own teenage years. “I think we both were both similar – nerdy, church-tutored a little bit, we both played music, both tried to follow the rules… We weren’t very exciting, I can say that,” Scally laughs. The difference in the making of this record – and the real motivational force behind it – was that for once, the pair had time off touring and was able to focus exclusively on writing. Being at home meant that everyday things – watching films, reading books, getting really immersed in other people’s art – came to be a bigger part of Scally’s life and subtly infilitrated his own art. “I think the feeling of inspiration, the feeling of watching something and really having it hit you, transfers through you. I can’t even remember what I was into when we were writing the album at all, but I just remember that I felt very alive and very excited.” Ever the perfectionists, the band chose to re-record an early single, Used To Be, for Teen Dream. “When we first released that song it was kind of like we’d just released a demo and we wanted to give a full version of it that was fully fleshed out, and when we came to do it, it no longer made sense with where we were artistically, like it didn’t feel right doing it the way we had done it. We wanted to bring the same colour and life and passion that all the rest of the songs had to it, so that it was part of the album – so that’s why we made it flowery and golden and not like icy the way the original one was, really icy and dry. We tried to make it really explosive and rhythmic.” Having released a new song, I Do Not Care For The Winter Sun, for free online over the holiday period, Beach House is already working on the next record. Though Scally is uncertain as to exactly what direction they’re headed, he’s sure at least that the only ingredient that’s essential is confidence. “We’ve always tried really hard to not care too much what people think and we’ve been really, really lucky that people have liked what we’ve done, and we’re going to try and do the same thing again, we’re just going to try to work hard. We think that if we believe and are passionate about it, then hopefully other people will be as well, so we’re going to try and do that again and not think too much about it, and hopefully we’ll be lucky again.” If you’re heading along to Laneway next month, scan the crowds for Scally’s face – though he’s looking forward to being on stage, he’s equally stoked about watching the other acts on the bill. “There’s some bands I’m really excited to see. I’m a really massive fan of Ariel Pink and his band is playing, they’re really good. And isn’t Deerhunter playing, too? I really like them. Blonde Redhead, too, who I’ve been a fan of forever. I think they’re completely amazing.”

WHO: Beach House WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 26 January, Hi-Fi; Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre


OPPOSITES ATTRACT British post-pink legends WIRE have built a career on being contrary. With a new album out now, ROBERT GREY and COLIN NEWMAN chew the fat with NIC TOUPEE.


nglish post-punk progenitors Wire have never been known for their orthodox approach. Formed in the extraordinary nexus of ideas and art that was London, 1976, Wire gained a well-deserved reputation for fusing punk, experimentation and a killer melodic hook, in a manner that sounded both of the zeitgeist and contrarily unique. Wire at their creative core embrace exploration and spontaneity, rejecting both pop rule books and historical context. Wire at their creative core embrace exploration and spontaneity, rejecting both pop rule books and historical context. With the current return to favour of the stripped-back economy of a post-punk sound, Wire have experienced a renaissance both in their popularity and creative productivity and 2011 sees the band embarking on a tour to showcase their impressively cogent new album Red Barked Tree. As if to reassure the press that they remain as unconventional as they began, Wire’s vocalist/

guitarist Colin Newman and drummer Robert ‘Gotobed’ Grey both requested a separate conversation about the new album and tour – presenting the disparate viewpoints of lyricist and producer, drawing open the usual PR curtain of a unified front. A conversational and convivial Newman – the technology fetishist and album’s producer – confirms what many believe: that there is a sound which is essentially ‘Wire’ and that their latest unorthodoxy is, in fact, orthodoxy. “It’s hard for Wire to make a record that doesn’t sound like Wire,” he laughs, “But it’s not done in a gestural way. We don’t think, ‘Do this, this and this and it will sound like Wire’. Actually the way this album was made was the first we’ve ever done like this. Most songs were written for acoustic guitar before we recorded them as a band. I know that doesn’t seem radical for a traditional rock band, but because Wire had always used non-traditional methods, years ago this approach wouldn’t have felt right. But I think the album proves it was the right strategy for now.” Grey believes the new album was sparked essentially by restlessness: the need for a new live set. “An album is a timebased statement that you’d like to release new songs as a group, a collection. Wire have never been a singles band,” he declares. “Making the album was probably a reaction to playing live stuff for a couple of years and thinking it would be nice to have new songs. I always think new songs are the lifeblood of Wire. It’s nice to play an established song, but I like the challenge of creating something new and think, ‘How good can you make it?’” For Newman, trying new methodologies reflected a need to refresh their perspective after guitarist Bruce Gilbert’s departure. “After Bruce left in 2004, as a band we were quite fragile,” he confesses. “It was quite hard to work out how to reconsider ourselves. So for this album everything started from taking a new and different approach. It all relates to how Wire are live – over the last ten years we learned to be a great live band. In the ‘70s and ‘80s we were sometimes really variable; we never placed an importance on being a live band because in the ‘70s you had to produce a great album – that was the main thing a band had to do. Live shows were about promoting your record. These days the whole dynamic has changed and your live show is now the central thing a band needs to create.” Grey’s perspective is that in recording Red Barked Tree Wire have returned to first principles. “I’ve always preferred human-based music to computer-based music. We’ve relied heavily on computers for making records for a long time, but with this album Wire has come full circle,” he offers. “In the early days of playing the Roxy we played everything live and we made [1977 debut album] Pink Flag by going into the studio and recording our set live. Using computerbased post-production was not really a direction I would have chosen myself. I think physical playing works better for me and the qualities of the people in the performance come through in a special way.” He happily agrees with Newman that placing emphasis on live performance has heavily influenced the album’s sound and studio methodology. “I was completely in favour of Wire concentrating more on live performance. It creates something special you wouldn’t find any other way. We have done more live playing in the last two years than ever before and it has definitely improved our performance and given us new confidence in our playing, which we have been able to use for these recordings, which is all a good thing.” Newman’s pre-written melodies and their increased bravura made the sessions themselves quick work; high on brevity and low on labour. The concise sessions reflected his own songwriting ethic. “I turned up with 11 acoustic songs and we worked them up over four days, with a bit of post-production after that to polish the sound. When I write something I write really fast. I write most songs in five minutes. It’s definitely not something I spend my time doing, generally. For me songwriting is a very specialised thing. My personal approach is that I don’t have any preconceived ideas when I write. It just comes out how it comes out. It’s a deliberate method. I am not a big fan of narrative,” he admits surprisingly, as Wire’s lyrics are often heavily dissected and mythologised by fans. Newman expounds, warning listeners attempting to find dominant themes and political criticism that it’s not to be found. “There aren’t obvious themes in this album. There are moments, connecting points, but the songs diverge in many ways and come from multiple viewpoints. I’m bored with sloganeering and saying totally obvious stuff – enough already. This album reflects more how life is: full of questions. We’re presented with so much information and material – who knows what it all means. We just have to deal with it all, the processing of information and deal with it in different creative ways. But, I think as a piece of work these songs do belong together and sonically they’re more homogeneous, as a live act is.” In a sense, Wire are indeed coming full circle, creating a live show for the songs they wrote based on the essence of their live performances. Famous for their contrarian stance in the ‘80s with regard to performing older material, fans will be relieved to hear that they’ve retracted that reactionary stance. “Nostalgic is completely irrelevant now,” Newman declares. “It was relevant in the ‘80s, because the majority of our fans were from the ‘70s, but now we’re beyond that problem. Our audiences for most part are much younger people and not attached to any particular era of our material, so it’s not relevant to have that policy any more about playing older material. It’s meaningless, we play Wire music.” Grey is in accord but his preference for new material remains: “We want to include things from past in our set, but we want to explore new tracks as well, keeping the whole process interesting.” WHO: Wire WHAT: Red Barked Tree (Popfrenzy) WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Corner Hotel


FELINE ALRIGHT Having broken the album/tour/album/tour cycle, and taking her time to write the ninth CAT POWER record, CHAN MARSHALL is in a very happy place, she tells ANTHONY CAREW.


ince the summer of 1997/1998, when a young and comparatively unknown Chan Marshall first landed in Australia – ostensibly to make her fourth album, 1998’s Moon Pix, in Melbourne, with members of Dirty Three – a Cat Power tour has been a perennial part of the warmer months. The same has held true in recent days, even though Marshall has effectively shut down her once-perpetual wanderlust. After a visit last summer, she’s returning after a 2010 that found her playing only “a few shows, here and there”. “It’s not at all like the old days,” says Marshall, warm southern accent undiminished, even as she’s more than two decades removed from her upbringing in North Carolina and Georgia. On the eve of her 39th birthday, Marshall barely resembles the 25-year-old who coattailed then-boyfriend Bill ‘Smog’ Callahan’s first Australian tour, and ended up rolling tape with Jim White and Mick Turner on an album that proved to be her breakout. Nor does she resemble the tragic figure who came years later; haunted by ghosts, paralysed by stage fright, drowning in alcohol.

starts to stick, whatever gets to you, those will be the songs that will make it to the record.” So what does she think she’ll choose? A strippeddown return-to-self? Or a liberating, for-the-loveof-it rock record with her friends? “I don’t know,” Marshall sighs. “The more confused I get about which songs I truly, truly respect, and which songs I want to truly, truly hear again, then really I’m getting closer and closer to getting more frustrated and just make a choice. The choice is, basically, between something gentle and slow, emotional, monochromatic, versus something more meshed, more complex, more articulated. I almost don’t want to say those words. I don’t want to define it.”

WHO: Cat Power WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Forum

Now, Marshall is successful: her last LP, the covers set Jukebox, cracked the US Top 20. She’s content: living in Los Angeles, in a steady relationship, tending to a pair of French bulldogs. And she’s been afforded the opportunity to step off the album/tour/ album/tour cycle, and discover a life outside of the grind. “It’s like learning a different part of myself,” Marshall smiles. “Which has come from not being in transit, which is something I’ve never known. Whether you’re in transit or not, life has its lessons, and its memories. This past year I’ve felt like I’ve done a lot of learning. Learning this… not new type of me, but this new part of what I want as a human being. As a woman. “I guess I’m just enjoying my own life. Learning what my life is, when I’m not releasing a record, not touring all the time. Even music is different. I’ve been enjoying writing some songs for a few months, taking my time, going back to things. Not feeling under pressure to get things out, get things done.” That change-of-life has fed into the way Marshall has gone about recording her forthcoming record. Other Cat Power LPs have taken her a long time to record before: 2003’s You Are Free was stopped and started, engineers changed and recordings abandoned; 2006’s The Greatest was “a jumbling mess of going into different studios over a number of years” due to Marshall’s mounting psychological woes and issues with alcoholism. But, this time, it’s been by choice. And it’s started with the authoring of the songs themselves. “I didn’t want to bash out 20 songs in a week,” Marshall offers. “I’ve never taken time to write before. Writing, before, was something that happened in the hotel room, backstage, in the studio, at a friend’s house. Recording was just a means to get to the next country: keep travelling, keep seeing the world, keep learning. The place where I felt the most wanted, or whatever, was in my own anonymity in that travelling. I felt like I could really see the world by going in it, disappearing in it. Now, that’s not what I want.” So, Marshall’s spent the last three years, off and on, working on songs. With an open-ended date to have them done whenever. The ninth Cat Power album has no due date, and its writer plans on taking her time in making it. “I feel like some I’m some author in the 1930s, and a publisher has paid me to go off to Marseilles for a couple of years to write a book,” laughs Marshall. “I’ve never done that before. That freedom has definitely helped me set up and plan the identity I want to have, and the fulfilment that I want to create in my own personal life. And I guess that’s coming through in the songs, but I don’t know. “I’m lucky to be able to have this opportunity. It’s liberating. There’s nowhere else in life that I’ve ever had the freedom to take a second. To take a year and a half! I’ve never had the feeling of no pressure. I haven’t yet understood how getting used to that dynamic in my psyche has really helped me be more open to creating on my personal life. Knowing that I didn’t have pressure to turn in a record next week. Not feeling like I had to push out a record to push out more shows to push out more interviews, having that liberty. It just feels different to be me, inside my head.” A year ago, on her last Australian trip, Marshall was talking up the record sessions as being a kind of return to the self. In a style that reminded her of Moon Pix – one of her most spartan, self-directed albums – Marshall was planning on playing nearly everything thereon herself. Her ’09/’10 tour, here, was to be a send-off for the Dirty Delta Blues Band (a backing trio featured members from Dirty Three, the Delta 72 and the Blues Explosion, hence the name), the crew who’d backed her for the past four years. She was going to finish the record by herself, then start performing again, by herself. Well, that was the plan back then. “I was doing everything myself,” Marshall offers. “I really thought that was going to be what the record was. But, then, I started getting my same band that I’ve been with, my friends that I’ve been touring these last few years with, and brought them in several times. These new songs with them on sound pretty darn different to my recorded attempts at doing everything myself. But I still don’t know what that means. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m trying to do the best I can. Hopefully it’ll be good enough this time next year.” Now, this tour will again feature Marshall’s backing band and will serve, she hopes, as a literal road-test for a whole new set of songs, some – or all – of which may be on this elusive next record. “Hopefully playing all the new songs live will help sculpt the songs more, as a body of work,” Marshall says. “There’s those intense moments where you can’t say ‘cut!’, you can’t stop; you have to just play in a live setting, so you’re forced to get from A to B. Doing that in a public way, before the record comes out, I feel like whatever


OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS More than 35 years after the original dissolution of IGGY & THE STOOGES, guitarist JAMES WILLIAMSON was tapped on the shoulder to leave his lucrative day job and get the band back together. He tells STEVE BELL how his initial trepidation quickly turned to exaltation.


brief overview, if you will. In 1971, four years and two albums into their turbulent career, notorious Michigan-bred rockers The Stooges underwent a tumultuous transformation that eventually saw them rebranded as Iggy & The Stooges. Original bassist Dave Alexander had been fired the year before after one riotous indiscretion too many (the thought of anyone being kicked out of The Stooges for hedonism at the time beggars belief), so – after a string of temporary line-up changes – original guitarist Ron Asheton (unhappily) moved to bass and recently-added second guitarist James Williamson took over main guitar duties, with the band being rounded out by drummer Scott Asheton (Ron’s younger brother) and, of course, frontman Jim Osterberg, better known to all and sundry as Iggy Pop.

1973 and was titled Raw Power. Mixed by David Bowie and marred by controversy from the outset, the record was a commercial flop at the time – despite containing such incendiary numbers as Gimme Danger, Search And Destroy and the title track – and the band eventually hit the wall, disbanding for good in 1974.

This new incarnation of the seminal outfit released one album – co-written by Pop and the theninexperienced Williamson – which dropped in

The Stooges could be no longer, but in a move that mirrored history Pop once more looked to its offshoot Iggy & The Stooges as the vehicle to continue expressing his nihilistic vision. Williamson, who post-Stooges worked sporadically on a couple of other projects with Iggy Pop, including the pair’s 1974 Kill City album, had left the music industry completely, forging an incredible career in the field of electronics, which eventually found him holding down the role of Vice President Of Technology Standards at Sony. When the inevitable call came through, however, it wasn’t long before he found himself dusting off his electric guitar and preparing to take a step back into his own, long-forgotten past.

History, however, was kind to The Stooges. Ignored or even reviled during their original tenure, over the years their powerful and innovative music gradually began to receive the recognition that it so richly deserved. The band’s burgeoning legacy eventually warranted – nay, demanded – a reunion and in 2003 the original line-up (minus the long-deceased Alexander, replaced on bass by Minutemen legend Mike Watt) re-formed and began touring the globe, introducing people to the music of their first two albums (1969’s self-titled debut and 1970’s Fun House). Then more tragedy struck in January 2009, when Ron Asheton passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

“I’m having a ball, you know,” the laid-back Williamson tells of his rejuvenated rock’n’roll career. “We’re playing good and we’re having fun, everything’s good. We’re not young guys any more and we had a lot of water under that bridge, but I think we’re over all that now and it’s just kinda fun to be hanging out and playing with your old buddies from when you’re in your 20s.” Williamson admits that, despite enjoying having the band back together, it initially wasn’t a clear-cut decision to revisit his past, the reconnection with former bandmates merely friends mourning the passing of a long-term friend and ally. “No, it wasn’t easy, actually. It was series of things that enabled it to actually happen at all,” he recalls. “At first we weren’t even talking about [getting back together], we were just talking about the funeral arrangements and all that kind of stuff. And then a couple of phone calls after that Jim started talking about whether I’d be interested in playing – at the time I was still working for Sony, so despite being flattered by the offer I wasn’t available. Then in a kind of strange alignment of the planets, I guess, with Sony not being immune to the economy, they started handing out early retirement packages – they were voluntary but it was a sweet package, so I just said, ‘Okay, I’ll take it.’ Then I called Jim back up and said, ‘You know what, I’m available’, so there you go.” And of course there was the small issue of Williamson not having played guitar for a couple of decades. Fortunately, it came back easily, almost – but not quite – like riding a bike. “It’s a little tougher than that,” he laughs. “Luckily I had the luxury of having several months to get back in shape, and I had some help – I had a local band here where I live that offered to rehearse with me, because it’s different rehearsing with a band than by yourself. So we got all of that going and then The Stooges started rehearsing, so we kind of had a target – our first job was San Paulo, Brazil in September of 2009, so we had to kind of whip everything into shape for that. You know, by the time we did it we were rolling. “In my career back in the day I never played for more than maybe 2,000 or 2,500 people. I actually did a live show – a warm up show – in September 2009 with this other band and there were probably only 300 people there, because it was a really small place. Then my next show jumped to 40,000! It was kind of like whiplash, but it was fine – when you’re playing in The Stooges you don’t have time to think about the crowd, there’s too much going on. You’ve got to pay attention to what you’re doing.” Equally strange for Williamson must be the gradual canonisation of Raw Power, which stiffed at the time but has since been gifted legendary status. “Well, it was very difficult for me because I didn’t have any context,” he mulls. “That was my first album ever, so I hadn’t been in a studio before except to record a couple of demos and stuff. I always believed in all of our songwriting and we believed in ourselves – that was an important part of being able to sustain all of that ridicule for all those years – but I couldn’t have known the impact of what we were doing would still resonate all this time later. But like I say, we always believed in what we were doing, so it’s fortunate for us that people agree with us all these years later.” Now, Iggy & The Stooges are looking to establish themselves as something more than just a nostalgia act, although anyone who has seen their powerful shows over the last 12 months will attest that there is nothing at all lacking from their current persona. “I’ve been writing a lot of riffs – I’m about to head back into the studio to mix some more of them,” Williamson reveals. “Our basic agreement between the three of us – myself, Jim and Scott – is that we want to record some stuff, but unless all three of us agree that it’s up to par with the things that we’ve done in the past then we’re not going to release them. So we’re just going to try and see if we can’t come up with a song or two. Albums are sort of meaningless in this day and age, so we want to start out just with a single – a song or two – and release that and take it from there. We’ll see what happens. We’re trying hard and if we can come up with something we like then we’ll definitely put it out.”

WHO: Iggy & The Stooges WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 30 January, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse








WIRE RED BARKED TREE Popfrenzy Records


MIKO CHANDELIER Someone Good Records

Sometimes, in the midst of the upbeat relentlessness that summer inevitably inspires in the music market, all you really want is a rainy day and some downbeat atmospherics. Well, thanks to both El Nina and Laura for providing both in spades; Mark The Day is glorious miserablism in excelsis, rumbling with an otherworldly portent and a chain-gang vocal line surrounded by ghostly layered feedback and an eventual guitar freakout buried beneath an explosion of strings. It’s enough to darken the sun at midday.

English art school punks Wire made three important albums during the punk era: 1977’s seminal Pink Flag, which out-Ramoned The Ramones, but was infinitely cleverer; 1978’s ‘link’ album, Chairs Missing; and the masterpiece-level 154 from 1979. Wire’s music always asked fascinating questions about pop/rock aesthetics – listening to it even today, it positively drips relevance and engagement. And the band’s new album, Red Barked Tree, released 30 years after 154, continues this tradition, placing Wire once again at the forefront of what is timelessly interesting about music.

UK producer Sam Shackleton first came to prominence as some weirdo offside to the dubstep movement, a kind of wilder, more complicated older brother, offering up odd experimental techniques within his clanging beats and unexpected time signatures. It was music for the dancefloor but the mix of electronic beats, fake hand percussion and sub-bass sounds is continually inventive, surprising and inspiring. He effortlessly builds tension in this more techno-orientated mix, subtly building up the darkness and density, often purposely holding it for longer than necessary, morbidly making the release mean more than a cheap thrill. It’s subtle but it feels like life or death.

Lawrence English’s subsidiary imprint Someone Good serves as an outlet for English’s interest in the realm of experimental pop and thus far has proven itself a label to rival his critically heralded primary institution Room 40.

BRITNEY SPEARS HOLD IT AGAINST ME Sony The “dubstep” breakdown in the middle of Hold It Against Me is so comical I can’t help but think of The Room dubstep remix (“Cheep cheep cheep cheep! ”). That’s not a great jumping off point for Britney’s latest effort, but there’s something about this parade of cheesy pick-up lines (which were relegated to the scrap-heap of sexual congress in about 1968) that is ultimately endearing. Britney could sing the phonebook – which she more or less did throughout Blackout – and it’d still win me over.

JACK CARTY HOPE Inertia You can be fairly certain that a song called Hope whose single artwork features delicate bird illustrations is not going to offer thrash metal catharsis, and so it is (isn’t?) with Jack Carty’s latest – a sweet folk lament buffeted by brushed drums and the slightest hint of cello and violin. As always, it’s immensely frustrating that Australian radio ignores artists like Carty in favour of his subpar international equivalents. Get with the program, guys.

For those with ears they can manage to attune to Wire’s unique frequency, this is an album that will take you places little else in your collection can. Opener Please Take is slightly reminiscent of 154’s Map Ref. 41 N 93 W with its cutting mix of dreamy harmonies and barbed wire lyrics. Track three, Adapt, is perhaps as anthemic as Wire have ever been, and like a lot of their work, it’s a challenging shift. Single Two Minutes harks back to the old school, sneering but intelligent punk of Pink Flag and Moreover reminds us of the mysteriously intoxicating and often downright strange Chairs Missing. In fact, while Red Barked Tree is in no sense a faux greatest hits, it does serve as something of a good introduction for new fans. REM, Blur, My Bloody Valentine, Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand have all cited Wire as influences, REM even covering Strange on Document. One of the best things about the many good things on Red Barked Tree is that it will no doubt influence a whole new generation of bands, motivating them to explore the back catalogue and making the musical world a decidedly better place. Bravo Wire. After all these years, you’ve somehow managed to do it again. Tony McMahon

This mix is sensational and is apparently based upon his live sets at the club – just recreated in the studio. Compositionally he treats the mix like one track, delighting in withholding elements, before the patient reveal of another building block, and the result is that you’re constantly scratching your head in awe about what he’s just dropped and where he’ll travel next. There’s even a few minutes of just drones. The kicker is, of course, that like Ricardo Villalobos before him, he’s mixing all his own material. Thirteen of the 22 pieces are previously unreleased, and though the remainder of the tunes have appeared on labels like Perlon or his own Skull Disco, all the tracks are exclusively rearranged versions for this mix. Vocal samples abound, seemingly from self-help, meditation, or hypnosis tapes, such as on the opener Come Up, which repeats “you’re beginning to come up,” over and over, like finally through his mix we’re finally waking up to a new dystopian reality. It’s hypnotic, progressive forward-thinking electronics, complex and bizarre, that’s moved beyond loops, yet still feels quite minimal and maintains a dancefloor groove. Words don’t do this music justice. Shackleton is doing amazing things.

Miko is Tokyo-based artist Rie Mitsutake, who on her second LP has sought to create an exploratory pop album that seeks to create a world of her own, which coalesces the experimental realm of field recordings with traditional pop melody. While Mitsutake has created a record that is as complex as it is haunting and mesmerising, its most rewarding feature is that it sits as an entirely unique statement that separates her from Japanese and global contemporaries. The wistful pop of Sea House is textured in organic layers that are enveloped in shimmering field recordings. The quasi music concrete of New Town harnesses the full spectrum of the pop composition Miko is capable of and serves to highlight her proclivity for transforming archaic yet rudimentary pop structures into elongated pieces of music. On her second album, Miko has truly crafted a collection that surpasses the bounds and structures of experimental pop, and in doing so it paints some of her western contemporaries as rather rigid and boorish. Like her Japanese contemporaries My Pal Foot Foot and Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Miko has crafted a fragile world of pop that is entirely of her own imagining and invokes in the listener a sense of innocence and possibility. Chandelier is a truly remarkable piece that only hints at the future work and experimentation that Miko is capable of. Denise Grase

Bob Baker Fish

ANNE KIRKPATRICK A BOTTLE OF WINE AND PATSY CLINE EMI Let’s just take a moment to appreciate the fact that Anne Kirkpatrick’s latest album is called... Annethology! Just let that sit with you for a moment. Right, so A Bottle Of Wine is a pitch perfect tribute to the country great, from the slow sway of the arrangements and the vague hints of Cline’s greatest hits in the pedal steel solos, and Kirkpatrick’s lovely voice. Oh, how I wish I still had the Country Music Channel.




When Helena Beat began playing, for a good moment I thought I’d accidentally clicked on the MGMT track immediately proceeding Foster The People’s, such are the similarities between these LA kids and those Brooklyn kids, sonically speaking. Consequently, Helena Beat is okaaaay, if you don’t mind a distinct sense of déjà vu in your blissed-out dance pop. There’s a momentarily diverting ‘tribal’ breakdown that shakes things up a bit, but for the most part, this is pretty Come In And See The Good Good Good Guys.

Anyone looking at this album as a way to recapture some of Dalton’s halcyon days, be that as bassist for The Lemonheads, in his own acts The Plunderers, Godstar or Sneeze, or even obliquely through his longtime collaborator Tom Morgan‘s outfit Smudge – forget it! My much better half often reminds me that time can be cruel and this can honestly relate to many differing aspects of life. The theory can subtly be applied to this scenario and I say that with the greatest of respect as I like the release, but it is no doubt a different beast to what it may have been 20 years ago. What hasn’t changed much is very tidy musicianship, innate and forthright lyrics that undoubtedly produce a final product lovingly made with a large dose of genuine care.

RED JEZEBEL BODYLINE Sunday Ride Records It’s that time of the year as far as cricket-themed – even loosely – songs are concerned; I’ve spotted a few telltale white pullovers on various CDs in the Singled Out sack, and Red Jezebel are the first up to the, er, crease – that’s the beginning and end of my cricket knowledge; appreciate – with Bodyline. There’s a sensibility of another era (though not the actual Bodyline era) about Bodyline, perhaps mid-’90s, its low-key rumble pouring into a churning chorus that’s enough to excite even this cricket philistine.

JAMIE FOXX FALL FOR YOUR TYPE Sony Look, I know Jamie Foxxxxx is one of those actorturned-singers who was actually a singer-turned-actor to begin with, but his long stretch in Hollywood means that whenever I see he’s released something new, it’s hard to stifle a groan. Fall For Your Type is a dour slowjam – somewhere between Boyz II Men and In The Air Tonight (or, perhaps more contemporarily, Kanye’s Say You Will) – that, with the exception of a vaguely interesting synth arrangement behind the rapped middle eight, is about as exciting as most of Foxx’s recent cinematic choices have been.


Saying Dalton’s songwriting on Play All Night is an open book would be an understatement and stating the bleeding obvious; in fact, it might even be too open (by the way, can you be charged for slander based on a song?). Key track Okay Sydney, You Beat Me best sums up the mood of the album – growing older and getting over shitty times, the big city and arseholes you’ve had to deal with. With lines like “And Fabinyi stole one hundred grand off me/Welcome Nic, to the music industry” and “Plunderers and Sneeze, they mean the most to me/But then Stevie died, and Tom and I disappeared”, he just couldn’t be any more direct. Like previous Dalton material, the eclectic nature of the tracks somehow seem to meld and be ‘just right’; from the irreverence of smoking pot with the late Harry Nilsson to the purging of past glories in The Last Fan – even the natty cover version of Skyhooks’ All My Friends Are Getting Married seems to fit the bill. This simple album continues to grow with each listen but the outpouring of emotion leaves me wondering if Dalton needs some good lovin’, a therapist or a lawyer – or maybe all three.


GANG OF FOUR CONTENT Sub Pop/Inertia The reformation gig/tour is one thing, often being carried along on a wave of nostalgia. The resurrection album a far more problematic beast, often rehashing past glories, or simply demonstrating the loss of inspiration that caused the band to give it away in the first place. But from their post-punk beginnings, Gang Of Four have been nothing if not sincere in their offerings. The politics – whether international, personal or sexual – came at you jagged, yet funky. The smart words yelled: darkly humoured slogans, propaganda and messages. And though they softened, even getting dancey UK ‘hits’ like I Love A Man In Uniform – just in time for the Falklands War – they burnt out. But namechecked and referenced by everyone from REM and U2, to more recent obvious descendents like Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party, the band’s reputation has remained intact. Thankfully, a decade on from their past, Content doesn’t detract from it either. The key elements – Andy Gill’s abrasive shrapnel blasts of guitar and singer Jon King’s drowning man desperation – are present, the world view may be even darker and more cynical through benefit of experience. Titles like You’ll Never Pay For The Farm and She Said You Made A Thing Of Me are teeth-clenched I-told-you-so’s, spitting and ranting against wrongs – real or perceived. They are dangerous even when they hold back – maybe more so. It Was Never Gonna Turn Out Too Good is a knowing lament, but somehow detached. But the grimly ironic flailing of I Party All The Time perhaps best shows this band can still be worthy. And angry. Be glad they are. Ross Clelland

The Boomeister

Check out the list of past and present members of The Dears and it’s easy to get the impression that they are a group of like-minded musicians that come and go as schedules permit, much in the same way that fellow Canadian band Broken Social Scene exists. The turmoil of Murray Lightburn’s most uncertain moments as frontman and founder of The Dears (alongside wife and keyboardist Natalia Yanchak) left a smear of dreamy uncertainty on 2008’s Missiles, making grimy Degeneration Street opener Omega Dog a surefooted sign that the current six-strong line-up is a solid collaborative force. Re-recruiting three previous members plus a fresh drummer, Lightfoot is almost cocky with his use of falsetto and look-at-me-I’m-Slash ‘90s guitar indulgence on the lead single as he works amongst the familiarity of the band’s orchestral pop stylings with new vigour. Blood further highlights the clarity of the album, the slick fuzz-rock enhancing rather than displacing choppy harpsichord keys and sweet female vocals as Lightburn chooses the oddest emphasis points for his voice to beautiful effect. Throughout Degeneration Street the frontman serves up vocals dry and neat, sweet and screaming, with drama and with authority – sometimes within the one song, though always with the utmost consideration for their surroundings. As the moody title track closes the album and spreads lazily across reference points of simple percussion, Lightburn wails “Get me through the night, get me through the winter”. Hell, you’ll get through winter The Dears – and you’ll probably keep on cruising right through to the best-of album lists of 2011, provided it’s a year that remembers early moments of brilliance from career musicians over strategically timed throwaway albums. Tyler McLoughlan






SKILLET AWAKE Atlantic/Warner

Apparently, Link ‘Meanie’ McLennan, vocalist and guitarist with Melbourne psychedelic popsters The Bakelite Age, has been spending too much time communicating solely with his cat. Everyone can relate here, of course, but in this case, the isolation has been a surprisingly good thing. The result of all those pssst sounds and puss pusses and fur removal routines is Flytrap, The Bakers’ fifth album and easily their best to date.

A current resident of Paris, Souad Massi is an Algerian musician who fled her homeland in 1999 after the political rock band she was a part of started getting death threats. As an Algerian ex-pat Massi has spent the last 11 years, concentrating on a solo career that has taken her music all over the world, music that explores a multicultural melting pot of folk, rock and jazz and features Massi singing in Algerian, French and English.

You might not be able to namecheck a single song from Grammy-nominated Christian band Skillet, though the touring company they’ve kept since their 1996 formation provides an instant understanding of their place in America’s rock scene: Three Days Grace, Flyleaf, Seether and Breaking Benjamin are key genre-mates that give away much of what to expect.

It’s possible that Flytrap is a concept album of sorts – think maybe Zappa’s 200 Motels, filtered through a decidedly Melburnian aesthetic – but it’s tough to say for sure, as McLennan is so iconoclastic and, well, downright weird, it must be said, that the sense of story gets wonderfully lost in the fuzzy guitars, delightfully muddy vocals and a general zeitgeist of garageness that is impossible not to love and just be generally swept away by. Singles I Can Make Fire and Music To Die For are infectious and engaging, but, like Wire on too many mindaltering drugs, the suspicion here right from the start is that they will amply reward more listening. World’s Most Deadly Creatures is something like what The Scientists would have sounded like in a slightly different universe had they been given the credit they deserved, and the title track could be The Dirtbombs on steroids but, as Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett put it so eloquently to Joy Division drummer Stephen Morris, “faster but slower”.

With a new album out that has a title that translates as ‘liberty’, Massi is still dishing up albums of weight and substance, but unfortunately for English listeners without the benefit of understanding a majority of these lyrics, the connection can be hard to find on some of the album’s less musically potent tracks.

This writer has a rather embarrassing confession to make. In the 1980s, when smoking and lobotomy-level drunkenness in venues hadn’t yet been outlawed, I once set fire to jazz crooner and multi-instrumentalist Vince Jones at Fitzroy’s Tankerville Arms. Consummate performer that he was and is though, he subtly extinguished his flaming trouser leg and continued on undaunted. As such, I do feel like I owe him one, but his new CD, Modern Folk, is pretty much a delight from start to finish nonetheless.

It’s hoped the above contradictions don’t serve to frighten anyone away from buying this terrific record – its ambiguity is, somewhat paradoxically, its greatest asset, and this writer, for one, will be eagerly awaiting everything else this band does in the future, as well as paying much more rapt attention than he has in the past to their considerable back catalogue.

Naturally, for an artist of Massi’s experience though, there are songs that have an impact regardless of language barriers, songs such as the breathless beauty of Nacera as it tells the story of a battered woman, or the graceful French pop of Un Sourire, another highlight and a stark contrast to the dark Stop Pissing Me Off. Fuelled by the angry rattle of an upright bass, this song proves just how versatile Massi is. At without a doubt, Massi’s is an important voice, not just in world music, but in international folk across the board. The singer exudes a quiet confidence whether she’s tackling matters of the heart or subjects on a lot larger scale. An appearance by Massi fan Paul Weller on Let Me Be In Peace is just another reinforcement of the influence this artist has. Danielle O’Donohue

Tony McMahon

Recorded live and undoctored in any way, the album opens with Our Town showcasing Jones’ towering vocals and the subtlety of his bandmates’ playing, and what a combination this makes for anyone with taste in music veering towards the architecturally interesting, the harmonically warm and the atmospherically sublime. Jones’ music has always made me wish to imbibe expensive cocktails wearing an Italian suit, and even listening to Modern Folk in my grubby flat, tracky dackclad, this feeling is still paramount. Track two, Old Mother Earth Knows, is slightly cringeworthy environmental garble – “Natural foods are the best/If you’re able, read the label” – proving once and for all that jazz is primarily a visceral music, unable to absorb political posturing anywhere near as well as rock. But Jones is quickly back on track with song three anyway, Can’t Afford To Live, and then we have, amongst others, a delightful version of Burt Bacharach’s What The World Needs Now Is Love. Jones’ own compositions are worthy of note also, most pointedly Coloured Strands and We Let Them Do It. There are not many artists out there who can so skillfully combine their own and others’ music, but Jones is definitely one of them, and Modern Folk is a mostly outstanding example of this singular talent. Tony McMahon

Debuting at a mind-boggling number two on the Billboard charts upon its mid-2009 US release, Skillet’s seventh album Awake has only recently been given a local release in preparation for Australian tour dates this week – and boy are their loyal followers, AKA Panheads, stoked about that. Still listening? Facts aside, Awake makes for a compact and neatly melodic hard rock listen that certainly has a fanbase (largely the same middle America audience that contribute to the chart success of the likes of Creed and Limp Bizkit), though it is shockingly apparent in the record’s opening seconds that there is nothing new to discover here. At the outset, Hero is so similar to Linkin Park’s Papercut (also an album opener of 2000’s Hybrid Theory) it almost makes you forget that the song is entirely about Jesus Christ – let’s hope JC digs rehashed nu-metal. Frontman John Cooper’s husky shout-growl delivery continues through crossover single Monster, though why it appears in exact length as a bonus track minus only a three-second distorted, staccato monster growl is a head scratcher. Drummer Jen Ledger’s vocal heights break up the Cooper monotony nicely, particularly during symphonic rock offering Awake And Alive, though it is another puzzling moment considering it follows Nickleback ballad-wannabe Don’t Wake Me. Are Skillet awake, asleep or oblivious? Who the fuck knows. Tyler McLoughlan

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BROS BEFORE HOLIDAYS “It’s not like we’re some fucking Guns N’ Roses and take 13 years on eight different continents,” THE BLACK KEYS vocalist/guitarist DAN AUERBACH tells BEN PREECE of the band’s relentless output. blue – we had never met him – and asked us if we were interested. He was like, ‘I want you guys to be the band and write the songs for Ike.’ So that’s how we started working, long distance on that project. And then Ike passed away before we really got to do anything but we developed a relationship with him and we really got along so when it came time to make a new record , he kind of let us know that if we ever wanted to use him as a producer he’d be open to it so we booked the studio time and that’s how we made Attack & Release together. “So this time around, with Brothers, we only used him on one song,” he continues. “We wanted to do a record on our own and we pretty much did that and then we had two months before we needed to turn the record in – we had all finished – and we just decided to get in the studio with Brian. We had a weekend when we were all going to be in New York City, we figured why not and just booked it and went in to the studio and Tighten Up was what came out of it.”


hen Inpress makes the call to Dan Auerbach, frontman, guitarist and songwriter for blues rock heroes The Black Keys, the man is enjoying one of the more glamorous aspects of his work. It’s right before Christmas and he’s hanging backstage with producer Danger Mouse, amongst others, for a rather special Christmas show. “Today we’re playing with Broken Bells, Phoenix, My Chemical Romance, Smashing Pumpkins,” he remarks rather casually. “It’s actually a tiny arena show. Over here we do these end-of-year radio station shows, a holiday show.” Of course, Auerbach and Danger Mouse are old friends, forming a firm bond in 2008 when the producer lent a hand The Black Keys’ Attack & Release. Danger


Mouse only handled one song on the duo’s latest record Brothers, a record that is arguably The Black Keys’ most anticipated following the success of its predecessor as well as their collaborative Blakroc project. The band was now being watched closely, the game had changed and there was an expectation that they would release something that would raise the bar. “I’m a little disappointed by it honestly,” Auerbach states dryly. “Nah, I’m just playing – I don’t know – yeah, we’re happy with it, it’s all gravy and is responsible for all this nice stuff that’s been happening lately. It was great to work with Danger Mouse once again. He is now a great friend. He was friends with Ike Turner and he wanted to do an Ike Turner record [so] he called us up out of the

Songs come naturally to the prolific Auerbach and his lyrics are something brimming with mystery and connotations that could be fiction or real life. From Sinister Kid and Ten Cent Pistol to Everlasting Light and Next Girl, his lyrics don’t necessarily speak for themselves. “I had some fun on this one, making up some stories and kind of getting in that mode a little bit. But it’s all mixed in with real life experiences so I made it a little easier to talk about personal things and when I knew the audience would know whether it was just a story or not. But I had fun, I talked about murder and sex and guns and love and all of that good stuff. It all comes from experiences – anything can inspire a story or a song to come out. It’s all creative fun really, there are no rules and that’s why it’s fun! “But you know, it’s all the luck of the draw really,” he continues. “All these records we make are snapshots of a moment in time for us because we make the records so quickly and we don’t do any pre-production or anything like that. So this record is a picture of us, of the week and a half that we spent making the album. When I listen to it, I remember all the things we were doing, where we were, experiences we had, you know? It’s not like we’re some fucking Guns N’ Roses and take, like, 13 years on eight different continents you know? We like to hit it and quit it.”

Upon the conclusion of obligatory promo duties for Attack & Release, it seemed The Black Keys, Auerbach specifically, might actually have some down time. Not so. He dropped a solo album called Keep It Hid and indulged in the Blakroc project with the likes of Q-Tip, Mos Def, RZA and Ludacris amongst other fine hip-hop artists. In all of this, The Black Keys didn’t seem to skip a beat, still contributing a track to the soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and, of course, releasing Brothers. “Yeah,” Auerbach contemplates. “I’ve been working a lot the last couple years, that’s for sure. It’s been non-stop. The solo album was a great exercise, really cool. I got to tour with a full band – I really love those guys – and we got to go all over the world with that, all over Europe, all over Australia, all over America. It was great fun!” And the procedure repeats once a new record has dropped and the release of Brothers has seen Auerbach and Carney busier than ever, in greater demand and indulging in more promo opportunities than usual. “Yeah, we’ve been touring a tonne since the release of the record,” Auerbach explains. “We’ve been all over Europe, America, Canada – it’s been non-stop, honestly. It’s all been shows and all kinds of stuff. No matter how much you do it though, it’s still a pain in the ass, really. There is so much travelling and bullshit besides the hour you get to play your music. It can definitely be fatiguing but, you know, we love playing music so it’s all right. What was fun about it, though, was the guys who played on my solo tour are in a band called Hacienda and they are on tour right now on the West Coast. We pulled over at like a rest stop in the bus just two days ago and we ran into them at this rest stop. We were both getting lunch at the same place in America and we hadn’t spoken to each other at all, we were just there – totally random.” Next stop for The Black Keys was to be Australia for the Big Day Out tour, which the duo have surprisingly never played before, however an announcement of their tour cancellation came earlier this week. The reason the band have stated to press? “An arduous year of touring and promotion has drained the band and necessitated time off.” It seems The Black Keys have decided they’re due for a rest after all. With their two Melbourne shows sold out, there’s no doubt they’ll have plenty of local fans heralding their eventual return to our shores. WHO: The Black Keys WHAT: Brothers (Shock)


COMING OUT SWINGING LA hep cats ROYAL CROWN REVUE are back for their 11th Australian tour in 12 years. Singer EDDIE NICHOLS tells SAMUEL J FELL just how far they’ve come in that time.

been together for a long time usually do, they like to do a holiday record, and so it just seemed time to do it. And I’m very glad we did. I did want to put all our effort into making a new studio album, but this was a really enjoyable experience. The writing came very easy for the originals and I had just a good time doin’ it.” It’s quite interesting because, despite the fact Nichols mentions this is something a lot of artists do, making a Christmas album carries with it that stigma of kitsch – of thin ice, so to speak. “Yeah, they can get really silly,” Nichols agrees with a smile. “I mean, how could you not be kitschy or silly with a song like White Christmas… I have a lot of faith in what I can do as far as making something different, but for a moment there, for the first time in the studio, I was ready to give up. “That melody, the way it’s been sung a million times, has been ingrained in my head so much since I was a child that I just could not twist it,” he goes on. “Finally, I was able to put a bit of a twist on it, but that was the most standard one. I asked Mark [Cally, guitar], ‘What’s something that people don’t do?’ and he said, ‘[Good] King Wenceslas; let’s make a be-bop version of that,’ and so we did and it all came out very cool.”


oyal Crown Revue will swing your brains out, baby, and you’d better believe they know how to do it right. For 21 years now they’ve been combining the best bits of jazz and swing, of funk and big band, into one monstrous unit dripping with the groove of a thousand cats before them and oozing with the cool they’ve created for themselves. They’re out there, man, they’re doing their own thing to the tune of what came before and they’ve built a rock-solid niche for themselves, surveying their swingin’ kingdom with an eye on the prize and a bop-doo-wap in their step. Get it you cats and kittens, and don’t you dare let it go. It’s only been 12 months since the Revue last made an appearance here in Australia, and when they head back later this month, it’ll be the group’s 11th tour down under in the past 12 years. “We’re pretty excited,” smiles ebullient frontman Eddie Nichols. “We have [built up a big fanbase in Australia], and I’m very grateful for it. “In fact, I recently ran into Kevin Lyman – he’s the guy who started the Warped Tour – I ran into him

while I was seeing X in Los Angeles. He’s the guy who got us our start over in Australia, when they did the Warped Tour,” Nichols goes on. “I remember we were sleeping in tents outside the festival. Unbelievable… I had these nice suits with ants crawlin’ all over them and I’m combing my hair in the reflection of a puddle of water, tryin’ to look good before the show.”

“We just came off a big European tour. We went to Greece for the first time – that was great, and I was really surprised, they have a big healthy scene down there. Then we went back to Spain, which is kinda our European equivalent of Australia… and we got back to England finally. That was good, we got to play The 100 Club, which for historical reasons was really cool.”

“Well, I haven’t exactly prepared,” Nichols laughs on what to expect this time around. “But I think what’ll happen is we’ll try and bash out a few new songs for everybody which is about as far as I can go right at this moment.” The Royal Crowns could basically not give it a thought until minutes before they jump on stage methinks, and still belt out a set you’ll be talking about for eons to come – that’s just how they roll.

It seems touring is still the name of the game for the Crowns. “Oh, god, yeah,” Nichols laughs again. “Man, it can seem like forever and then it can seem like a minute, it’s so strange. But we just keep gettin’ better all the time; this is one band that just gets better all the time and we’re gonna keep the quality goin’ up, until it’s all over.”

In the meantime, there’s been much afoot. The last time the group was here, they were in the midst of celebrating their 20th anniversary, a party that continued on for much of last year. “Well, lets see,” Nichols muses on what’s been happening since they were here last.

It’s fair to say it ain’t over yet, and the proof is in the (Christmas) pudding. Just before the festive period, the Royal Crowns released Don’t Be A Grinch This Year, which is, as you may have guessed, a Christmas album. “There were a few business reasons, but mostly it was just time to do it,” Nichols explains on why a Christmas album. “It’s something that artists who have

MAD FOR IT A tour pairing US folk legend Judy Collins with CHRIS BAILEY may seem ill-conceived, but both artists are simply “mad for a song”, the former Saints frontman tells SAMUEL J FELL. thing. Now, though, he’s in unmarked territory, a new place, and indeed a place most people would not think ideal for Chris Bailey, frontman for one of the very first punk rock bands ever. Strange things are indeed afoot. “You fucking bastard, you absolute fucking bastard,” Bailey yells down the phone from Amsterdam, where he’s based nowadays. The reason for this torrent of abuse is because recently I was partly responsible for sending Bailey to London to interview folk legend Judy Collins for another magazine – it seems being on the other side of the interview mic isn’t really in his nature. We make up, though, and get back on track, for it is indeed Judy Collins we’re talking about. Why? This is the uncharted territory Bailey now finds himself in – touring Australia with US folk royalty, yet another twist and turn in the musical life that Bailey has thus far led.


here are some who say punk rock was invented in Brisbane. During those oppressive northern summers, wooden verandahs sagging in the heat, ceiling fans pushing hot air around, the lethargy is contagious with nothing to do but drink and wallow. Oppressive heat and oppressive government, a near literal melting pot and an ideal scenario for the growth of something unwanted by most, pined for by a few. It is indeed entirely possible that punk rock was born in Brisbane. When you think of both Brisbane and punk rock then, the band that springs to most minds is The Saints, who with their seminal debut recording (I’m) Stranded, threw open the flood gates here in Australia and punk rock lived, breathed in those sweaty climes, far removed from the Sex Pistols in the UK and the Ramones in the US, compared to them but different in their own way. Saints guitarist Ed Kuepper has been quoted as saying,


“One thing I remember having had a really depressing effect on me was the first Ramones album. When I heard it, I mean it was a great record to an extent, but I hated it because I knew we’d been doing this sort of stuff for years. There was even a chord progression on that album that we used… and I thought, ‘Fuck, we’re going to be labelled as influenced by The Ramones,’ when nothing could have been further from the truth.” Indeed, these boys – Kuepper, drummer Ivor Hay and frontman Chris Bailey – began doing what they did with no help from the outside, with no idea of what other bands were doing in other countries. It’s part of what’s made them great, and part of what has kept both Kuepper and Bailey in particular, alive and respected in music today. Kuepper has gone on to front many fine bands, and has put himself out there as a solid solo performer to boot. Bailey as well has done the same, fronting the Chris Bailey Combo and General Dog, as well as doing his own solo

“Well, we’re not the best of buddies, we don’t go bowling together, but I’ve known of [Collins’] Wildflower [label] for the past few years and I think it’s very interesting, because the Wildflower label is essentially a folk songwriter label. But [Collins] ridiculously put out one of the noisiest records I’ve made in living memory – she just thought that the songs were interesting, and I just find that very reassuring,” Bailey tells on how he first met Collins. He then begins to wax lyrical about the state of rock’n’roll and the benefits of strong regional music scenes before Inpress is able to ask how this tour came about. “A lot of the journalists I’ve been talking to have mentioned to me what an incongruous bill this is, and when the idea was first mooted to me, that was almost my initial reaction as well,” he explains. “But then I went back and sorted through Judy’s canon of recorded work, a lot of which is stunning, and I thought, ‘Yeah, even though we come from very different public areas’… the area of commonality that we both share is that we’re both mad for a song. I mean, I’ve often said I doubt I’d be a rock singer if I wasn’t a songwriter. “So sometimes, even the most incongruous of things, when you dig a bit deeper, there’s a lot more commonality in music,” he goes on. “I’ve made records with Bolivian folk musicians, I’ve made records with people who don’t even speak the same language and one fabulous thing about music in any of its genres is there’s that

Don’t Be A Grinch This Year also marks the first time Nichols’s co-vocalist, Jennifer Keith, appears on a Crowns recording. Keith joined the band in 2009 – she was with them when they played here last year, and so this is the first time fans can get an earful of her full, lush vocalising on record. “It’s a real pleasure,” Nichols enthuses. “It’s been fun too, to watch her grow, to help out, and she helps me a lot, too, because she’s a real stickler for technique whereas I worry more about the character.” It seems, with the two working off each other, that their onstage dynamic translates extremely well to record. “Thank you, I think it’s starting to,” he muses. “I’m enjoying things a lot more than I previously did when I was younger. I was a little too serious, a little too full of it, so I’m having fun with it.” He ain’t the only one; people the world over are having fun with the rhythm and the groove, the sugar-sweet beat these cats are laying down as a matter of course. We’ve been having a love affair with this dynamic entity for a long time now and there is certainly no end it sight. You can take that to the bank.

WHO: Royal Crown Revue WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 January, Corner Hotel

commonality in notes, chords, melodies, it’s just different experiences that colour that, but there’s more in common than there is to separate.” Perhaps then, the pairing of Collins and Bailey isn’t that odd after all if you get past their public faces and get down to the songs themselves. Now, it must be pointed out here that Collins and Bailey aren’t performing together per se. During this Australian tour, Bailey will perform first and Collins will headline. Having said that, Inpress ventures that surely they’ll do a couple of numbers together – it seems like the right thing to do, particularly given they’re both “mad for a song”. “I can’t confirm, but the vicious rumour has been mentioned behind the scenes,” Bailey says cagily. “One of the great rules of show business is kick them in the head and leave them wondering, so who knows.” Before we go on here, perhaps a word on Collins herself. Judy Collins, who began performing in 1959, is considered folk royalty. Over a career spanning 52 years and 14-odd records, this is a woman who has indelibly imprinted her name on the rock-face that is American folk music. Further, Collins is known for her interpretations of others’ songs, notably those by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. It’s in this vein then, that Inpress asks Bailey if, given Collins’ penchant for reworking other artist’s songs, she’s likely to belt out a version of (I’m) Stranded. It’s not that unlikely. Is it? “Um, is the pope an Abyssinian?” comes the reply after what seems like an inordinately long pause, a pause in which perhaps Bailey wonders whether or not he should hang up the phone. “From all of the songs from my canon, that would probably not be the one I’d suggest. Funnily enough, though, when I was doing Bone Box [2005, an acoustic record from Bailey and General Dog of his solo work as well as Saints songs] we did a version of that which we didn’t put on the record. I think I put it in G open tuning and it went for about 15 minutes and I realised as a folk song it doesn’t work quite so well.” Perhaps he’s right; he has been around long enough and done enough to be able to tell. This pairing then, could well be a match made in heaven, proving that it’s not always about appearances. Sometime you’ve just got to be mad for a song, and it’ll all fall into place. WHO: Chris Bailey WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, West Gippsland Arts Centre; Friday, Corner Hotel; Tuesday 25 January, Theatre Royal (Castlemaine)



WEDNESDAY 19 Prodigal – back after 11 years, Prodigal tells the story of a young man dealing with his family after coming out. Stars a bunch of talent from shows such as Mamma Mia!, Avenue Q, and STC’s Spring Awakening. Part of Midsumma. Opening night. Fortyfivedownstairs until 28 January. Skyline/The Last Exorcism – doublebill of science fiction CGI-fest Skyline and the Eli Roth-backed horror film The Last Exorcism. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm.

THURSDAY 20 From Fairy Tale To Film: ACMI Curator’s Talk – ACMI curator Emma McRae in conversation detailing the behind-the-scene of the centre’s current Dreams Come True Disney exhibition. The Cube, ACMI, 2pm. The Messenger/Animal Kingdom – double-bill of The Messenger, a drama starring Woody Harrelson as a man who delivers new of fallen soldiers to their families, and Animal Kingdom, the Australian crime saga that’s captivated audiences around the world. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm.

FRIDAY 21 Diamond & Gallagher: Getting Down And Brassy – Dolly Diamond and Luke Gallagher with a 14-piece big band in a cabaret soirée featuring jazz, comedy, and modern classics. Part of Midsumma. Opening night. Fortyfivedownstairs until 29 January. Monsters/Exit Through The Gift Shop – double-bill of the low budget British sci-fi film Monsters and the Bansky-directed street art mockumentary Exit Through The Gift Shop. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. The Passenger – Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1975 masterpiece starring Jack Nicholson as a war correspondent in Chad, shooting a

documentary, who, frustrated, takes on the identity of a dead man. ACMI Cinemas, 9.30pm.


Amadeus: Director’s Cut - Miloš Forman’s intended cut of the muchacclaimed, and eight Academy Awardwinning, portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Astor Theatre, 7:30pm. The Book Of Spells: A Love Story – two tales of magic realism; one, about the witch from Hansel & Gretel, and the other about a young mother taught to fly, join stories of GLBTIQ folks who’ve struggled to find a way to live together. Part of Midsumma. Fortyfivedownstairs, 6.30pm.


Bluebeard – a more subtle, but no less sensual, film from French director Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, Romance, Anatomy Of Hell) based on the Perrault fairy tale of the same name about an old ogre who likes to kill his wives – until a young enchantress enters his life. Part of the Charles Perrault: The Godfather Of European Fairy Tales programme. ACMI Cinemas, 3pm. Cary Grant double – back-toback Cary Grant films with Frank Capra’s Arsenic And Old Lace and The Philadelphia Story, also starring Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart. Astor Theatre, 7pm. Pandora And The Flying Dutchman – romantic MGM melodrama lost for many years and finally brought back to life after a restoration. Stars Ava Gardner as a woman who ignites passion in men. Features cinematography by Jack Cardiff (The Red Shoes). ACMI Cinemas, 11am.

MONDAY 24 Studio Ghibli Festival – double-bill of two of Ghibli’s most popular films, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm.

THEATRE REVIEW THE BLUE SHOW Circus Oz Melba Spiegeltent Sarah Ward – Mistress of Ceremonies, vocalist and songwriter – introduces us to this bizarre world of blue moods, blue antics, bluesy Tijuana Brass, bogan pride and catchy cover songs. Circus Oz guest director Anni Davey has created magic – a circus where less is more. Anyone familiar with the intimate world of a Spiegeltent will know well that what happens inside is often mystical, always enchanting. It’s something to do with the character of these 100-year-old tents; strange carousels made of wood and mirrors. It’s a quality which defies words and lends the contortionist being threaded through a tennis racquet while solving the riddle of a Rubik’s Cube to appear numinous - as if they are solving the riddle of the Sphinx itself.

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It’s a quality that makes audience members feel the proximity of death, to feel like they too are defying death during any number of vignettes, any number of close calls - from the strong woman who bends over backwards while balancing her husband in an extraordinary bogan pride balancing act that is both comical and astounding, or the breathtaking four-way juggling routine that brought tears to this reviewer’s eyes. An outpouring provoked not by the thought I was going to die if a baton went awol and hit me in the temple, no; I was moved by the ensemble: four jugglers transforming an armful of batons into a whirling dervish of immense beauty. The running gag, an apple and a coathanger... Davey turns the everyday into the mythic. Until 6 February


THE PRODIGAL PLAY RETURNS FIRST PERFORMED AT MIDSUMMA A DECADE AGO, PRODIGAL, A COMING OF AGE MUSICAL ABOUT A BOY COMING OUT TO HIS FAMILY, MAKES A RETURN IN 2011. PAUL ANDREW SPEAKS TO LEAD EDWARD GREY. Recent Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts graduate Edward Grey has no regrets about becoming a “triple threat”. His teachers were right; it’s a surefire way to get interesting work on stage. This Midsumma festival, Grey is a drama graduate to watch out for, as he takes to the stage as the lead in the musical Prodigal, the remarkable story of a student from the country who turns “fearless”. Since Prodigal debuted at the 2000 Midsumma festival, where it struck a high note with local audiences, it has been hitting those high notes ever since. Including various Green Room Awards, an Off Broadway production at the York Theatre in New York in 2002, and numerous productions

since, both in Australia and overseas. Grey is in fine company, WAAPA graduates seem to have a knack for musical theatre, and past alumni include a who’s who of stage luminaries. Actors like Lisa McCune, Marcus Graham, Guy Pearce, Hugh Jackman and Prodigal writers and directors Mathew Frank and Dean Bryant. “The interesting fact about performing arts training at WAAPA is the wide range of focus it has, and I mean that as a positive. In my course we were trained to become ‘triple threats’; that is a performer who sings, dances and acts. I think that is a skill in itself. Drama school, he explains, “from

FAMOUS SPIEGELTENT RETURNS! The Famous Spiegeltent returns in February, bringing with it another world of spectacle, wonder, and a good old fashioned knees up. Taking over the Arts Centre Saturday 12 February to Sunday 24 April, highlight include iOTA’s rock’n’roll vaudeville cabaret Smoke & Mirrors, the dark circus piece that is Brisbane Festival favourite Cantina, NYC siblings the Wau Wau Sisters retelling The Last Supper with fearless abandon, stage legend Paul Capsis in Make Me A King, Tripod, Die Roten Punkte, Tim Rogers And The Temperance Union Show, Mikelangelo And The Black Sea Gentlemen, Flap!, and Void Love starring Kamahl and the Bollywood Orchestra. Everything from chanson to cabaret, circus to comedy. See for more information.

a pre-drama school perspective seemed like such a hyped-up experience. However, I must say now, in hindsight, that much of the hype was true. You spend three years being pushed in directions that are often surprising and confronting, but always fun. I learned something I didn’t know about myself: I am capable of anything if I put my mind to it and do the work. The only thing that would get in my way was my own fear. Once that’s out of the way and stops being the thing you base all your decisions on, it’s a lot easier.” Performing in Sondheim’s Company as the second year WAAPA production helped Grey come to terms with his fears. “I played the role of Paul; amazing – a man who has a neurotic fiancée who ends their wedding on their wedding day. Company is classic Sondheim: extremely clever, funny, a great pleasure to perform. I learnt so much from that role, being adaptable.” Last year during his final intensive year of study – while refining his triple-threat skills and dealing with even deeper fears again – Grey was cast as the character Georg, a schoolboy deeply in lust with his piano teacher in the musical hit, Spring Awakening. “I learnt even more from playing this role, it’s a confronting story. I loved romping around the stage at Sydney Theatre Company each night with my piano teacher. That was great.” Penned by German Dramatist Frank Wedekind, written in 1891, and

adapted into a musical in 2006 with TINDERSTICKS lyrics by US dramatists Steven Slater and Duncan Sheik, Grey explains why Spring Awakening also became something of a personal awakening.” It’s a haunting story about growing up, a rather horrific coming of age of a bunch of German teenagers. I played Georg, who is haunted by his extremely sexual piano teacher and is part of the cohort of classmates who experience awful events. Things that tend to happen when you don’t talk about sex. “The reason I believe this musical strikes such a chord with audiences today is due to the fact that many of the issues in the musical – masturbation, sex, death, homosexuality, abortion – are still largely taboo subjects within many families now. This musical sheds light on these issues and hopefully provokes thought and discussion, things that help us to understand and be open about these issues rather than be closed about them. I think this is really important, being closed about these things means they just become a destructive force.” Prodigal, a coming-of-age musical just like its 19th century musical counterpart, also has the subject of taboo at its heart. As Grey sees it, both plays are not simply about addressing what society considers taboo, it’s about tackling society for choosing not to see things as they really are. “I’m playing Luke Flannery, an 18-year-old from Eden in NSW. He heads off to University in Sydney against his parents’ wishes and discovers he is gay. When he tells them this, he is rejected. He explores his new ‘identity’ and it turns sour. Luke comes from a very loving family who are just a little stuck in their ways. Over the course of the show, they come to realise that being a family also means accepting each person in the family – for who they truly are – as a unique individual.” Grey remains philosophical when it comes to his Prodigal role. He considers that Luke’s journey is not just a parody of the Bible parable, it’s a journey into manhood, into the ocean of fear. “I don’t really approach Luke as a ‘gay’ character to be honest. That’s not his defining feature. Being gay is just part of a much greater part of who he is.” This “greater part” Grey alludes to includes his character’s relationships and his sense of relatedness – to friends, to family, to his memories of childhood, to his sense of place, his imagination and to his sense of the future. This greater part is also cleverly contained in the musical score. “I really love the song When I Was A Kid [that] my character sings. It’s a really eloquent and touching song about Australian childhood, one that’s not embarrassed by or anxious about our culture. It’s rare to find Aussie songs without cultural cringe. I love recreating my character’s childhood memories. This one is beautiful to sing, it always enchants me.” WHAT: Prodigal WHERE & WHEN: fortyfivedownstairs until 28 January




WITH ANTHONY CAREW One of the worst ascribed narratives, of recent seasons, was the supposed film/production mirroring between The Wrestler, a film about a washed-up professional-wrestling performer, paying penance for his past sins and seeking to find a new, more truthful existence. The film was helmed by Darren Aronofsky, a one-time boy-wonder who had, critically speaking, fallen on hard times with the much maligned The Fountain; a picture whose status as cinematic pariah was less a reflection of its failed artistry than its failed commerce; witless movie-reviewerhumans always happy to go in on a film safely stigmatised as a ‘flop’ by dint of its unprofitability. Having earnt the ire of the biz with a daffy film of ridiculous excess, Aronofsky won back critical kudos with a dirty indie movie of little pretension; a film of finding redemption finding its filmmaker redemption. Or, y’know, so it went. This narrative should be picking up steam with Black Swan’s indoctrination into the realm of instant-modern-classic status, but, in truth, Aronofsky’s latest picture shows The Wrestler to be the least meaningful, most misleading entry in his filmography. From Pi through Requiem For A Dream and The Fountain, Aronofsky has shown himself to be a director operating at the extremes of operatic excess; his best qualities not, as The Wrestler sham supposed, directing dresseddown actors in low-key scenes, but the way he edits furious images into a bombastic barrage, building momentum to sustained, peaking crescendo. Previously, such had come off as somewhere between ostentatious and embarrassing; Pi silly, The Fountain sillier, and Requiem For A Dream just horrendously awful. But, here, Aronofsky hits on every over-the-top note, taking some so-so material into places that seem weirdly like greatness. The script (written by a posse of writers whose scant bodies-of-work include Saturday Night Live and veritable sitcom movies (Tommy Lee Jones in Man Of The House, anyone?) is full of familiar clichés, low-concept manipulations, and penny-ante parlour-tricks: a production of Swan Lake in which the travails of the troupe mirrors the ballet’s narrative; a sleazy director seduces a virginal ingénue; a pushy stage mother presides over a daughter fashioned in her own image; a woman-on-the-verge descends into a self-induced madness; All About Eve homage runs wild. If the material was delivered straight, it’d ring cheesy; if it was underplayed, it’d seem false. But Aronofsky delivers things at

blaring, amplified, overdriven pitch; buys in to every funhouse film-flam; takes the All About Eve homage and runs it by way of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, The Tenant, and Deadline. In a film filled with ‘it was just a dream’ reveals, Aronofsky stages one long, sustained nightmare; a tale of delusions complete and utter; turns every reversal into a reversal into a reversal, until Black Swan is pirouetting in delighted delirium. The director creates a sense of unbroken momentum, pushing forward into fantasia; sustaining a singular, saturated sensibility whilst (aided by hysterical, scenerychewing turns from Vincent Cassel and Barbara Hershey) making it big, trashy, hysterical fun. Aronofsky had been attached to direct The Fighter before he ended up making The Wrestler, and it’s a sports-movie of a more traditional bent: a boxing movie, based on a true story, which culminates with a Rockyesque moment of underdog-winningthe-big-fight heroism. The project was handballed from Aronofsky to David O Russell, and Russell, ever the comedian, seems more interested in finding laughs in the white-trash Boston milieu than taking the project

anywhere particularly artful. The pic’s lucky to be blessed with the presence of Christian Bale, methoding out as a toothless, balding crack addict; eyes apoppin’, on the edge, bristling with life. When he’s on the screen, you can’t look away; when he’s not, you can pretty much catch up on some snoozin’. Bluebeard finds Catherine Breillat retelling the eternal French folkstory, but, in stark contrast to her psycho-sexual, provocateurist nature, it’s a determinedly non-perverted take on a tale ripe with perversion. Fresh off her salty period-piece The Last Mistress, Breillat is happily at home with the 17th century setting, and applies a few wrinkles to the age-old tale that will, because of her reputation, undoubtedly be called ‘feminist’. Sadly, Breillat also saddles proceedings with an annoying kidsreading-the-story framing narrative; which means that, every time the story is starting to take off, or the mythological world is coming truly to life, you’re yanked back out of it, stuck staring at two little girls who can’t act sitting in an attic over a book. It has roughly the same effect as annoying commercial breaks, but the damage is self-inflicted.


For their latest film True Grit, the Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country For Old Men) have committed to celluloid the second cinema adaptation of the Charles Portis novel of the same name, following the 1969 version starring John Wayne. The 2010 True Grit (releasing in Australia on 20 January) features Jeff Bridges (as last seen in a Coen Brothers film as The Dude in The Big Lebowski) as the US Marshall Rooster Cogburn, hired by a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) to track down her father’s killer (Josh Brolin). Whilst any film that stars Oscarwinner Bridges alongside Brolin and Matt Damon should be worthy of a look regardless, critics have been raving over Steinfeld in this breakout performance - and judging by the trailer alone it’s easy to see why. Released in cinemas 26 January, thanks to Paramount Pictures we’ve five in-season double passes to the

film to giveaway. For your chance to win one email giveaways@inpress. with ‘TRUE GRIT’ in the subject line. Chris Morris is one of the finest comedians and satirists of his generation. The brains (and face) behind such brilliant TV series as The Day Today and Brass Eye, he is also co-creator of Nathan Barley and a regular guest in The IT Crowd. Making his feature film directorial debut (and remaining firmly behind camera) with Four Lions, his acerbic wit and social commentary genius is out in full force as he takes on the most controversial topic of the era: terrorism. An hilarious farce that’s surprisingly human. Shock! Horror! Thanks to Hopscotch Entertainment we’ve five copies of Four Lions on DVD to giveaway. For your chance to win a copy, email with ‘FOUR LIONS’ in the subject line.



It’s not often you go to a show and end up being sentenced to death. Fortunately for those who do take the risk and go to see Rod Quantock’s revival of his 2007 hit Court In The Act, the sentence is most unlikely to be carried out. However, you will almost certainly do jail time. Architect, activist and award-winning stand-up Quantock has made a long career out of intelligent and often provocative comedy. Court In The Act is surely one of his more risky ventures because it takes the

‘audience participation’ idea so beloved of comedians to new levels. Indeed, Quantock hands the keys over to the punters, with audience members playing all the key roles in a completely improvised courtroom drama. “I deliberately make it so that I have no control over it in terms of who plays the various roles,” Quantock explains. “I pick one person to be the clerk of court and then I get that person to pick the judge. The judge then chooses the prosecutor,

the accused picks their defence team and then at random we call people to be witnesses. I’m just the ringmaster.” Whilst it might seem like he’s tempting chaos, Quantock argues that the necessary ‘structure’ is supplied by the legal system itself. “Most people have some idea of how it works from mostly American attorney shows; y’know, the glamour, the sex, the drugs.” The enduring popularity of courtroom drama certainly helps Quantock orient the audience into their various roles, even if it’s not exactly true to life. “The truth of it is if you go and sit in a courtroom it’s as boring as boring could be. Indeed, the more serious the case the more boring it becomes… But television can’t deal with boredom because that’s the enemy of advertising.” By staging the show within the walls of the Old Melbourne Gaol on Russell Street, Quantock also gets the chance to take audiences a little deeper into the frequently dark heart of the legal system. Apart from satisfying his desire to break out of the traditional theatre setting, Court In The Act allows him the chance to imprison people. “When you come into the city watch house and I put you in a cell for 15 minutes with the graffiti and the stainless steel toilet without a lid and no privacy, you start to get a sense of what it’s like,” he begins. “I think the way we treat people in the justice system is appalling. Over 70 per cent of people in jail have got some sort of mental illness which goes untreated outside and moderately or minimally treated in jail.”

THE MENSTRUUM 12: VISIONS OF BLUE BY ROBERT LUKINS I would read my dear Lovecraft in the bath. For months, that was how it was. The still-fluid cake would be fed into the oven and I would take H.P. and two beers to room at the end of the house, shake off my trousers and let the sudsy water rise up to my elbows. My dear Howard; his stories would leave impressions, like the greatest things. Now I could only recall flashes of detail: the town of Dunwich, haunted Antarctic monoliths, monsters. It’s much later, well into January now. Unnerved is an exhibition at the NGV, The New Zealand Project; it will be there until February wraps up, and it is a thing I visited last year when the Lovecraft bathtimes were a more recent memory and I didn’t have this wretched sore throat. The show has become an impression, a feeling All that aside, the fact remains that we love a good trial and, as Quantock explains, audiences are always keen to be part of the proceedings. “At the end of evening you always get people going ‘why didn’t you pick me?’. In fact, I had a friend of mine, one of the top barristers in the state who came along in his very expensive suit and nobody picked him. The defendant had the chance to pick anyone he wanted and here’s a guy who looked for all the world like a millionaire barrister and he chooses somebody in a T-shirt and thongs.” And what happened? “He lost the case and was hung.” WHAT: Court In The Act WHERE & WHEN: The Old Magistrates Court & The Old City Watch House until 11 February

ADAM HILLS DEBUTS TALK SHOW Australian comedian Adam Hills is a household name thanks to TV shows such as Spicks And Specks and his insane stand-up touring schedule and high DVD sales. Now Hills is taking the next step and hosting his own, weekly one-hour talk show, Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight, filmed in the studios of the same name, which has housed everything from Countdown to The Late Show, and Hills’ own Spicks And Specks. Expect “great chats, great music, great comedy, and a dash of the unexpected.” The show screens 8.30pm Wednesdays on ABC1, from 9 February, is repeated 7.30pm Saturdays on ABC2, and available on iView.


like riding a horror train with images leaping out from the phony fog. New Zealand may as well be Narnia to me – I’m a fool for knowing nothing useful about the place. Reading The Bone People is not enough. There is a special darkness to the works and it is unsettling – a tension to these contemporary snapshots, of something terrible and painful in the past. Like Australia, this is a place with an open wound and it is difficult not to see the struggle for balance, for healing, everywhere. A glossed photograph of a bubblegum, hypercolour lip being tugged down by a length of sharp wire. Grey painted skulls appear in the background of other corners and they are laughing in a threatening way. The modern New Zealand landscapes are messed up with rubbish – the pretty face with acne. Lisa Reihana shows us Dandy, a Maori man stripped and then bagged in the suit of a first-contact European. The feeling left is one of having your drinks mixed. It is a good night turned suddenly bad by a fight

spilling out of a pub doorway into your path. It is a reminder that things might not have been all that good to begin with. A sparked memory: a bunch of years ago: writing a gig review for Time Off in Brisbane; having to send a warning text to my editor the next day, to expect an impression piece, that someone might have become far too drunk, that someone might not remember a single song played but can recall in detail just how the humidity tasted and exactly what it felt like walking home from the train station. You’re not Hunter Thompson, was the reply, try to remember. Summers later, some beer spilled into the bathwater. My body under the foam – uninterestingly pale and spreading at the waist from too many sweets. At The Mountains Of Madness wet at the corners. Thinking of Iris Murdoch misplacing her mind’s sharp edge. Walking naked to the kitchen and finding muffins risen to size of a cat’s full belly. There is an impression of hope missing from Unnerved, knowingly missing; one we have to create ourselves.


NIGHTWATCHMAN DIRECTOR HEADS GOTAFE ACTING Theatre director and If Theatre artistic director Matt Scholten (The Nightwatchman, 2007) has been appointed Head of Acting at GOTAFE Regional Academy Of Dramatic Arts, in Shepperton. He will oversee their performing arts courses, including Advanced Diploma, Arts (Acting); Advanced Diploma, Live Production, Theatre & Events; Advanced Diploma, Dance (Teaching & Management). For more information visit



FIRST LOOK: ANDREW GARFIELD AS SPIDER-MAN First official photo of The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man in the upcoming reboot of the superhero franchise, which will this time be helmed by Marc Webb, director of (500) Days Of Summer, and not Sami Raimi. The as yet untitled film, set for release in 2012, also stars Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, and Denis Leary.

Sumner Theatre, MTC This is funny, clever and hugely entertaining. You’re in the hands of professional satirists lampooning (and harpooning in one sketch, The Scientific Whalers) public figures to great effect. With references to politics and popular culture, mostly that seen on TV, most of the leading personalities of the day, past and present, are given the once over. On

the whole it’s a baby boomer show with appearances by the likes of Piers Ackerman, Germaine Greer, Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes, and even David Williamson in a timely spoof of Don’s Party, along with references to The Mikado and Casablanca, but please, don’t anyone be put off by that as Not Quite Out Of The Woods is witty, fast moving and enormously, vastly entertaining. Amanda Bishop has found her calling by playing Julia Gillard, here as Little Red Riding Hood. (What’s in her basket? A raft of fully costed initiatives.) A take off of Under Milk Wood gives us a glimpse of

the reaction of the locals of Barry, Gillard’s childhood town in Wales, to her becoming ‘queen of Australia’. She was the only nerd in the village, apparently. Tony Abbott makes his appearance painted blue and with the defining red budgie smugglers, as ‘The Abbotar.’ You can’t beat intelligent, imaginative piss-taking and here is a group of writers and performers who really deliver. The Wharf Revue is a Sydney institution and at last they bring their show to Melbourne. Do see it. Until 29 January




WITH REBECCA COOK It was described as “Christmas for the Melbourne queer community” and as the sun stayed out for the afternoon, it seemed that every man, woman, corporate sponsor, and their dog was out enjoying the Midsumma festival opening on Sunday afternoon at Birrarung Marr. There was one notable exception, the Premier Ted Baillieu, who was meant to be on hand to give the official stamp of approval, but had to dash to flood-affected areas of Victoria instead. Had Ted made it he would have also made history by being the first ever Victorian Premier to officially open Melbourne’s queer arts and cultural fest. But while Big Ted couldn’t be there, there were plenty of other folks ready to embrace the Midsumma vibe such as Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Ruby Rose, and Minister for Prahran Clem NewtonBrown were out in force. Olympic goldmedallist Matthew Mitchell proved to be a hit with the crowds as did the boys from Manhunt dating site, who took to the crowd with supersoakers. The organisers must have been thanking their lucky stars that they didn’t open on Friday when the banks of the Yarra burst. Instead they got the sort of day where people don’t mind being sprayed with water by hot assassins. This year’s carnival day certainly had plenty of gifts and crackers including performances from Circus Oz, the cast from Xanadu, Em Rusciano


(The 7PM Project), Hayley Teal (The X-Factor), Dolly Diamond and Luke Gallagher, and Scottish girl band The Oily Girls (they would have been, had they gotten any closer to the Yarra). Dulcie’s Dog Show was back again in 2011. Hosted by Dulcie De Jour this high camp dog show is a Midsumma institution. This year Ruby Rose and Lord Mayoress, Emma Page Campbell (Doyle’s missus) were special guest judges presiding over categories such as “cutest bitch” and “best owner and dog combo”. Hmm, Cringe should have entered – she and her dog have very similar hair styles at the moment. Must make hair appointment. While there were baubles and tinselly glitz galore there were also some pretty big corporate Santas with stalls at this year’s carnival including IBM, Telstra, and Yarra Trams. Telstra made it pretty clear that Mitchell was diving into the Midsumma masses under their auspices. And it wasn’t just the ‘for profits’ who were keen for bragging rights, a number of local identities such as Tracy Bartram, Alan Brough, Noni Hazelhurst, Annie Phelan. and Colleen Hewett were paraded out on behalf of a number of charities. It seems queer is where the money is. To find out what’s on when, head to A whole other type of fanboy/girl activity was happening down the road from Midsumma Carnival and it was causing just as much (if not more, just quieter) excitement. The CBD was jammed with enthusiasts queuing down the block from



WITH GUY DAVIS I would have sucked in the Dark Ages. Not that I would have had much time to suck in that era, given that I undoubtedly would have ended up with my head on a spike sooner rather than later after inadvertently insulting some wandering savage who took umbrage at my latest Trailer Trash column. No, times back then were “nasty, brutish, and short” to quote my man Thomas Hobbes (coincidentally, those same three words have been used more than once to describe my lovemaking), and only the strong survived… which pretty much rules me out. Nevertheless, I retain a great affection for tales of sword and sorcery, which means that the last few months have been a treasure trove for a chump like yours truly, who likes to imagine that he’d get all beefcake after a few rounds on the Wheel of Pain and then go have all manner of sword-slinging the Town Hall for the public day of Brickvention 2011 – the convention for Lego fans. Real devotees attended the closed part of the convention on the Saturday that included competitions, games, and activities using Lego, while the open day on Sunday allowed punters to view their creations. To be in the know for next year visit

adventures. Oh, who I am kidding? I’d probably end up contemplating shit on the Tree of Woe. Unless you’ve watched John Milius’ Conan The Barbarian far too many times, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. So why not go watch it before the upcoming remake – due for release later this year – sullies the memory of the fine original (although any movie that features both Stephen Lang and Ron Perlman definitely has something going for it). Then, once you’re feeling suitably bloodthirsty, give the following flicks a whirl. (They’re all out on DVD right now!) Centurion: I remain flabbergasted – flabbergasted, I tell you! – that this medieval men-on-the-run movie

from Neil Marshall, the extremely capable genre craftsman behind The Descent and Doomsday, snuck in and out of local cinemas like some lowly thief when it should have bestrode the multiplexes like a motherfuckin’ colossus. Okay, it’s not big-budget stuff but it’s bloody and brawny as hell, with charismatic Michael Fassbender leading the remnants of a Roman legion as they try to elude the ‘savages’ they sorely underestimated. Beheadings and brutality galore, and an ace supporting performance by The Wire’s Dominic West as a general who likes to get drunk and mouth off at authority figures. Just like McNulty, really. Black Death: This one drifts

more into horror territory than action-adventure, which makes it an interesting entry in the whole sword-and-sorcery/sandal subgenre. As the title indicates, the plague is wreaking havoc, and religious zealots are looking for anything or anyone who might be able to stem the tide of disease. A gang of crusaders led by gruff ass-kicker Sean Bean recruit a young monk to lead them to a village untouched by the plague, but when they get there things get right nasty. Not a world-beater, this one, but it’s got some terrifically tense sequences and features the gifted Carice van Houten from Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book. (Please note: she’s no relation to Milhouse van Houten of the Springfield van Houtens.)


STILL A FATHER FIGURE IRISH COMEDIAN ARDAL O’HANLON WAS DOING STAND-UP IN DUBLIN BEFORE THERE WERE ANY COMEDY CLUBS, AND SHOT TO FAME AS FATHER DOUGAL IN CLASSIC SITCOM FATHER TED – BUT BEING REMEMBERED FOR THE ROLE IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD, HE TELLS BAZ MCALISTER. Even after 15 years, it’s still weird to see Ardal O’Hanlon’s baby-face without a dog collar immediately beneath it. Just as John Cleese will always be Basil Fawlty and Andrew Sachs Manuel, O’Hanlon’s role as wide-eyed innocent priest Father Dougal Maguire in unforgettable sitcom Father Ted has shaped his public perception. Slightly sniffling down the phone from Ireland in the middle of a


punishing Celtic winter, O’Hanlon says the role that launched his career was of course a massive boon, but wasn’t without hardships. “It is a double-edged sword,” O’Hanlon admits of the role. “I’m hugely grateful for Father Ted and all it entails, but sometimes when you’re trying to reassert yourself as a stand-up comedian afterwards it can be a little bit tricky. People like the character and want you to

be the character, and you know, I’m not the character. I have a lot of fondness for him and he’s still in there somewhere, but as a stand-up it’s very different. You have to think on your feet and be true to your own voice, you know?” O’Hanlon admits that the secret of Dougal’s success was more down to the writers, really – Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, Irishmen who had infiltrated British television and

had dome rather well for themselves, writing for the big comedy names of the late ’80s like Alexei Sayle, Mel Smith, and Griff Rhys-Jones. When they wrote their own sitcom about three priests living together on a crazy little island off the coast of Ireland, populated by unforgettable, insane characters, they took a punt and hired some of the stars of the burgeoning Irish stand-up scene instead of ‘real actors’. “It was really lucky that we Irish stand-ups were in the right place in the right time when they wrote Father Ted. People didn’t tend to cast stand-up comedians in TV shows. We were unknowns, untested, nonactors. For that I’m very grateful. In the show, they gave people like Tommy Tiernan a go, and Jason Byrne, and Ed Byrne, and a lot of the lesser-known Irish comedians too. Dermot Morgan, who played Ted, he wasn’t an actor either – he was an impressionist, really.” A few years before Ted, O’Hanlon had left university with “absolutely no prospects – a degree in communications” and the notion of setting up a Dublin comedy club along the lines of The Comedy Store in London. “Myself and a few friends set up the first club in Dublin,” he says. “It was very underground, very cultish. We had a following of about 40 people and it was a great way to learn. I started comedy during the last big recession – at the tail end of the ’80s. There was no work, and emigration was at record levels. There was nothing to do so a lot of people drifted into bands and stuff. You’d walk around Dublin and there’d

be poetry readings above every pub. A few little comedy clubs started up then and that was the beginning of the comedy scene in Ireland. People respond to recessions in different ways and people were forced to get a bit more creative. The whole scene grew steadily. Nowadays in Dublin there are 20, 30 places to play.” Speaking of recessions, O’Hanlon is keenly aware that Ireland’s in a pretty tough spot right now. The Celtic Tiger is done roaring and the boom of the last ten years has slumped into misery. “Here, it’s been one disaster after another,” O’Hanlon says. “Between the weather, the abuse scandals in the church, the economy in tatters, no faith in any institution – the church, banking, politics – it’s staggering, really. People here are punch-drunk. They don’t know how to respond. But we love it.” Love it? Isn’t it the worst thing to happen to Ireland since the potatoes ran out a couple of hundred years ago? “Yeah, we love adversity – we thrive on it, in a way,” he muses. “Our history is one of coping with adversity and this is just us getting back to the default position. This is the real us. The last ten years was a blip. It didn’t really suit us, our temperaments. We Irish, we’re not used to having work or money – we didn’t know what to do with the money, we couldn’t get rid of it fast enough. We do have great qualities but adding and subtracting isn’t one of them, and we look very foolish in suits.” O’Hanlon’s been dipping his toes into strange waters in the past few years – he cropped up as a cat-man

on Doctor Who, he’s appearing in Yasmina Reza’s play God Of Carnage in Dublin, he shot a sitcom about an Irish MP that was pretty well-received in Ireland, he’s toying with writing a second novel – but stand-up is his first love. He’s preparing to make his way for a few months to again tour a country that’s experiencing its own share of adversity at the moment – but he says the prospect of visiting Australia again fills him with joy. “The show I’ll be bringing to Australia is loosely themed. I started doing this show when things started going really badly wrong with the Irish economy and it’s all about coping with adversity. I do jokes about having to cut back in the number of jokes in my show and having to outsource joke-writing to India.” And, he says, the ability to crack jokes in a crisis provides a great outlet for people to blow off a little steam and have a laugh at the precariousness of their situation. “I don’t think comedians are vital members of the community but comedy is very fashionable and popular, and some comedians are extremely well-known, and they do become rallying points for people in a crisis, in some strange way. Comedy is very accessible and immediate, you can talk about the day’s events in a fun way and provide some light relief. That said, the problems are vast and daunting. I don’t think comedy is the answer – but it is holding up.” WHO: Ardal O’Hanlon WHERE & WHEN: Capitol Theatre Monday 18 April to Sunday 24 (no show Tuesday) as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival



to music,” she offers. “By the 19th century burlesquing had developed into satire: sending up literature, art and current affairs. It was popular with the middle classes; later, the working classes who preferred music halls, cheap drinks, shorter variety acts.” As burlesque became more popular, showgirls attained the status of royalty. Blaize explains: “British Eliza Vestris was the first theatrical burlesque madame in 1814. British Lydia Thomson was responsible for transporting burlesque across to the USA in 1868, staying on Broadway for six years. In terms of later American striptease, there were so many burlesque queens, Gypsy Rose Lee and Lili St Cyr for example, who

were among the most high-profile, the most revered.” Etymology gets a little more “complex” as these queens began to show extra shoulder. “During the late 19th century, striptease, or ‘peeling’ as it is known, altered the word ‘burlesque’ into the meaning that we know so well today,” Blaize says. “After Lydia Thomson toured burlesque across the USA in the 1860s it attracted a different kind of audience. By the 1930s the more ‘gentleman’orientated American crowds saw striptease as a popular part of the show thanks to impresarios like the Minsky brothers. “The bawdy comedians on tour would need to cover the scene changes between their comic skits, and since they travelled with a ‘talking woman’ she would strip whilst the scene change took place.

As the years went on the stripteasers or peelers became huge stars.” We chat about what constitutes the average day for a “burlesque sophisticate”. “Caviar, small dogs in handbags, rhinestones, feathers, jets, hotels, chandeliers, heels, stockings, breathlessness in tight corsetry, velvet curtains, show boys, spotlights, riding a giant rocking horse, applause, champagne, camaraderie, write a romantic novel before bed, a nudge and a wink, beauty sleep and a soothing eye mask,” she answers. And an extraordinary day? “A very unusual day would involve a pair of thongs and a bluey.” WHAT: Burlesque Royale WHERE & WHEN: The Palms at Crown Friday 28 January


Burlesque, as you may know, is a term subject to controversy when it comes to the subject of etymology. In the 16th century the word appeared in the French lexicon meaning derisive imitation or grotesque parody. Earlier again, its potential


Italian or Spanish origin, burlesco or burla, means jest or joke. In Latin, an ancient term, burra, means trifle or nonsense. Self-professed “burlesque sophisticate” Immodesty Blaize is one of the world’s most famous

showgirls. She is also a dab hand when it comes to unpacking etymology. “Burlesque can be traced back further again, to the Ancient Greek classical musical comedies; irony, satire, punning and jokes played

The Arts Centre The first bar had gin but no tonic. The second bar had tonic but didn’t serve spirits. The third bar, the empty one, had tonic, had the gin, but didn’t own a knife to cut their single lemon. I asked the barman if he could try using a spoon – he said they only had plastic spoons. Having settled for wine that smelled a lot like feet, we settled into seats F3 and F4 and I’m excited. David

Williamson’s ’70s plays occupy a more than decent chunk of my heart – they are flawed and brilliant evocations of Australian cultural early adulthood. Tonight, this sequel to the adored Don’s Party, must be good, fun at the very least. It must be. The stink, unexpected as it is unwanted, begins to rise from word one. Garry McDonald’s voice is failing, perhaps in protest to the lazy sludge it has been called on to utter. A shocking procession of pointless, rehashed nostalgia. This is unbelievable in its clichés, actually embarrassing.

Lights up, Barry Humphries is squeezing out of his seat and Steve Vizard has become a red goblin. Looking around I realise the reviewers have been bundled together; the man and woman to the side and back of me are scribbling in notepads. I motion to my partner. She looks at them, knowing what I think reviewers scribbling in notepads. What a wank, I mouth. She half rolls her eyes, having heard it all before. Until 12 February



THE GRAND PLAN Now known internationally as that British geezer with a hit soul record and Paul McCartney in his pocket, PLAN B alter ego BEN DREW tells SASHA PERERA he’s overcome a lot of haters to get to the top.


he massive international success of the album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks in 2010 surprised even rapper/singer Plan B – AKA 27-year-old Londoner Ben Drew – who says that, despite his hard work and talent, it was the element of timing that played the key role in assisting his success this time around. Plan’s B’s first album, Who Needs Action When You Got Words, in 1996 was a modest hip hop underground achievement, but his inspired re-casting into a soul singer for the current album was one of the surprise success stories of the last year.

In recent months, Plan B has been balancing his promotion of the current album, with international tours, work on his next album The Ballad Of Bellmarsh – a companion-piece hip hop album that he started at the same time as The Defamation Of Strickland Banks, and a new feature film called Ill Manors, which he produced, directed and starred in (having previously acted alongside Michael Caine in the film Harry Brown. Add to his schedule an Australian tour, a stadium tour of the UK, releasing the album in the US followed by a US tour within the next couple months, it’s no wonder that Plan B is sounding slightly fatigued these days.

“I think people came on board this time around because the music was undeniable, and it wasn’t explicit like the first record. In that way they couldn’t misinterpret the record, or misunderstand it. My first album was very raw and very dark and very explicit so I guess it has an excuse that it wasn’t as openly embraced as this album. I think that soul music is a style of black music that’s deemed okay and safe to listen to, where hip hop isn’t – hip hop is supposedly dangerous and some people think it provokes violence and bad-minded kids. If you listen to the body of my work, especially my first album, you can tell I am the same person who made this soul record.” Taking it’s place high on the list of the critics ‘best of’ lists for 2010, Plan’s B’s successful revamping of a classic soul sound even triggered Cee Lo Green into tracking down his producer Paul Epworth to work on his own highly regarded soul album. “It was probably one of his people that heard my shit and suggested he get in touch with the producer,” Plan B responds modestly. “I like to be cynical about those things; don’t believe the hype otherwise it goes straight to your head. I wanna stay as normal as I can even though my life isn’t normal any more. I’ve heard Paul McCartney has said nice stuff about me, I know Elton John has, and so has Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Kanye West… but I just think you gotta keep your feet on the ground, man. It’s really nice that those people are saying nice things about me, but I can’t let it go to my head. I’ve been doing this for ten years now and I’ve had to listen to people chat shit about me and tell me I wasn’t going anywhere, and now that this record is a success, I can’t let a few good comments go to my head. I didn’t just come out of my mum’s pussy, I’ve been around, and I’ve always been making good music.”


and Sydney in 2006), Plan B’s success has skyrocketed, with his album reaching #1 in the UK and selling over 600,000 copies, and now he’s looking forward to securing the spotlight with his own performances on the Big Day Out line-up. “When I came out last year I was just a featured performer, but this time around it’s gonna be the full Plan B experience. We’ve got backing singers, two guitarists, drums, keys, and me – I’ll sing when I need to sing, and rap when I need to rap. It’s pretty authentic live music. We also have a beatboxer that we bring with us and that kinda allows us to mix the old nostalgic stuff with the new dubstep stuff – we do this live medley at the end which is kinda crazy. Other than that it’s a straightforward soul band. I think people are gonna enjoy the full show and get to see all the different sides of Plan B.”

“I’m blatantly tired, but I can’t move on until the hip hop record and the film is complete – that’s what I said I was going to do, and if I say I’m gonna do something, then I’m gonna do it. What pisses me off right now is not having enough time to finish it. I directed the film “Ill Manors” last September and I gotta finish that off. I was in the edit room today working on that because I only just got back off tour a few days back. So I have to finish that, then I have to release it, which will probably be around the time I release The Ballad Of Bellmarsh as well. I mean, I guess I’m in a fuckin’ great position if that’s the kind of headache I’ve got. I’ve only got myself to blame – I’m the fuckin’ music star that wanted to be a film director so that’s how it goes down. It’s all good.” The idea to re-cast from rapper to soul singer for this concept album wasn’t one everyone could foresee. Even Plan B’s friends were sceptical that he could break tradition and come through it unscathed. “I remember driving to a club gig I was doing for Chase & Status once with [friends] Will and Saul, playing the album to them, which was half hip hop and half soul, and I remember them saying to me, ‘Why are you making

your life difficult?.’ They thought it wasn’t going to work, and I understand that because not everyone understands the vision that you have for a project. I mean, obviously they can’t see it because it’s unfathomable, so you just have to ignore them and move forward.” Since his last trip to Australia as featured performer with Chase & Status in early 2010 (he also toured Melbourne

WHO: Plan B WHAT: The Defamation Of Strickland Banks two-disc special edition (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 30 January, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse; Tuesday 1 February, Prince Bandroom.



SLOW AND STEADY Unfazed by fame, Iceland’s ÓLÖF ARNALDS cheerfully admits there’s little strategy to her career, writes JEREMY WILLIAMS.

LA-based quartet HEALTH have been undergoing some changes in their body (of work) lately. MITCH KNOX speaks with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist JAKE DUZSIK.

playing and borrowing each other’s gear to work. It is all good. It is a big playground, I guess,” she concedes.

kind of band we are, and it’s an evolutionary process. It’s not like saying, ‘Okay, so we wanna be like a jangly, post-punk guitar garage rock band.’ So you’ve pretty much got your MO and then you write songs and then the degree is which songs are better than others, but it’s usually like the same sort of thing; whereas we didn’t do that as a band, so it’s this continual process. “So the next record will have more electronic elements to it and a few more things that are maybe a little more gratifying melodically, but we still want it to be really intense and aggressive, physical music. We don’t want to make the same record twice; we’re trying to do something new every time.” With this Australian tour representing the end of this particular album/promotion cycle for the band, Duzsik says the majority of this year will be dedicated to crafting their new album – that complex, wonderfully simply goal.


e doesn’t really buy into the whole new year’s resolutions thing, but Jake Duzsik of LA noise rock wunderkinds Health is pretty crystal clear about what he wants to get done this year. “I think just to write a good record. We didn’t have any expressly stated [resolutions],” he laughs. “I’m not super into new year’s resolutions, let alone collective resolutions with a bunch of people. I think we just need to write a new record.” It’s such a simple goal and yet, as Health head toward the fifth year in their career, an ever more complex and amorphous one. Gone are the days when Duzsik could envision what shape an album would take well in advance – as his experience grew, so too did his and his bandmates’ scope, allowing them to dabble in new and interesting sounds and ideas and consequently evolve as a band.

“We’ve definitely been toying with integrating more electronic elements into the band, and more melodic structure,” he explains. “Y’know, our first full-length record is a pretty dense, somewhat cryptic noise/ avant-garde record. There’s not a lot of structural repetition, there’s not a lot of tonality all the time; and I think after we did the remix record [2010’s Health: Disco2]… it’s been a process of us figuring out what

“I feel like we know what we’re going for and I feel like, yeah, we’ve kinda hit that point in our band’s timeline where we have all the tools,” Duzsik says cheerily of the work ahead. “It’s been a development thing, from the very beginning of, like, me having to figure out how the hell to even sing over any of the music we’re making. That was an initial thing. How do we record, and… we were a live band, so it’s just been all these things we’re finding out, and then integrating electronic things and synthesisers along with additional percussion and all that sort of stuff – so I think we have all the tools, but it’s hard to say. Not to sound cheesy or anything but that’s sort of the discovery of writing a new record, is you find all these happy accidents and weird shit that you didn’t know you were going to do, or you end up writing a song that’s different than a song you’ve written before. So I think I know what kind of band we are, but I don’t know what kind of record we’re going to make. I think I’d like to know, but I don’t really know yet. It might come out differently than we thought.”

WHO: Health WHERE & WHEN: Friday, East Brunswick Club



was just miserable when I was doing something else and I couldn’t have that. I think I have always made music and I have always been involved with music because I can’t help it.” Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds may currently be taking the global music scene by storm, but it wasn’t always the case. The singer/songwriter actually spent a long time fighting against the urge to pursue the career she had set her mind on at the age of 12. An epiphany came when she was 26, however. “I decided to not have any other type of day job, so it has been four years now since I have been doing only music,” she says. So what prompted the change? Arnalds willingly confesses to thinking about ending her music career. “I have thought about stopping it, I have wanted to stop. I quit music school, I moved to Berlin and I was going to study linguistics, but then I have always been pulled back into it somehow.” It seems then somewhat surprising to hear that, against all odds, Arnalds decided to follow her heart. In the end, passion won out over reason. Realising that her other pursuits were leaving her with a hollow sensation, she needed to return to the only thing that left her fulfilled. By 2002, Arnalds had returned to Iceland where she enrolled at Iceland Academy Of The Arts to study composition and new media. A year later she joined the touring band of celebrated Icelandic experimental group Múm. Soon enough the gifted musician found herself in high demand, leading to further collaborations with the likes of Stórsveit Nix Noltes and Slowblow. Of these developments Arnalds is seemingly nonchalant. “The community of working musicians in Iceland is really small; people are really helpful to each other,

Stuart Smith, lead singer of Oxford-based “indie, mathy, jazzy, rocky” quartet This Town Needs Guns, may not feel 100% well and be craving his bed, but he can’t conceal his joy at having been asked to bring his band to Australia to be a part of the phenomenal Soundwave line-up. Having travelled around Australia, he admits, “They asked and we couldn’t say no.” Rather than sit around waiting for the opportunity to arise, as soon as Smith got scent that Soundwave might be interested, he decided to take positive action. “We found out about the festival through people contacting us on Facebook and things like that. They were alerting us to the fact things were happening on their forum, people were talking about us and proposing us as a potential band to play. There was a note saying that the guy who organises Soundwave was interested. So I spoke to our booking agent and said you have to find out if he is, as playing in Australia is something I have wanted to do for years. I just thought I would be a fool to not even just look into it. A few weeks later it turned out we’d been offered a slot at Soundwave and we were all exceptionally pleased.” With a line-up that boasts everyone from Slayer to 30 Seconds To Mars and New Found Glory, who is Smith most excited to get to tour with? “I haven’t seen


Conceding that she isn’t a “very strategic recording artist”, Arnalds seems unfazed by public response. Admitting she’s just out there playing and writing some new music to record her third album, it is clear that for Arnalds the focus is on the creativity and not the associated fame. It is little surprise, therefore, that Innundir Skinni is a delicate introspective recording. “Most of the lyrics are about my relationships with people that are close to me; friends and family. The title track Innundir Skinni is about being pregnant, so that was definitely an influence.” With her young child having so closely influenced her musical output, Arnalds admits “touring is maybe not the most family friendly occupation that you can have. But there is no other way of doing it. Everything is possible if you are ready to make it work.” WHO: Ólöf Arnalds WHAT: Innundir Skinni (Spunk/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 26 January, Toff In Town

BYRON ‘GUILTY’ SIMPSON was, at one point, a peer of MCs like Obie Trice and Eminem. MATT O’NEILL speaks to the Detroit MC about finally breaking through. of the most successful independent labels in hip hop: Stones Throw and Duckdown. People know me.”

Fucked Up yet, I haven’t seen Iron Maiden and I’d really like to see both of those bands. Oh, and I haven’t seen One Day As A Lion, who I really want to see as I really love Zach De La Rocha. He is awesome.”


Við Og Við proved to be a sleeper hit. With the record initially only available in Iceland, a giggly Arnalds is overjoyed at how the record’s popularity grew. “There were, for example, some people in New York that kept ordering it in and selling it. So it just really slowly and quietly got heard by people and they got interested.” More through coincidence than good timing, Við Og Við got its global release in early 2010 just as Arnalds was putting the finishing touches to her second album Innundir Skinni.


THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS frontman STUART SMITH fought for the Oxford band’s spot on the Soundwave bill to perform their debut album for the last time, JEREMY WILLIAMS discovers.

ave you heard of My Disco? They are from Melbourne and I am a massive fan. When I was out there five years ago I went to a My Disco gig and it was awesome. Melbourne does have a nice bohemian vibe in certain areas. It is quite cool and I like it a lot.”

The favours would be returned when Arnalds decided to work on her own material. Her 2007 debut album Við Og Við was produced by Sigur Rós’ Kjartan Sveinsson, whilst Múm’s Skúli Sverrison and Erìkur Orri Òlafsson made instrumental contributions. With her old Múm comrades onboard to launch her solo effort, Arnalds explains, “I got so occupied with my own music that I didn’t have time to tour with Múm any more. It was organic; it wasn’t like, ‘I’m done with this, I am going to go solo now.’ It was nothing like that, it was more the music came to me and I had to record it and do something with it.”

Given that the Oxford band have never toured Australia, does Smith find it at all strange to have fans of his music campaigning for their appearance? “I suppose I find it strange that we have such a wide appeal, or a global appeal. As in, I don’t think we have a huge fanbase in any one place in the world, even the UK. But the places we do go, there are always people there who are really dedicated fans or certainly as dedicated as you can be. They sing along and people come to shows.” Unlike many of the big name acts that dominate the global music scene, Smith and his pals have taken a far less direct route to acclaim. Having no desire to become household names, he concedes, “We have kind of just bubbled away doing on our own thing. “It is a terribly cliché thing to say, especially as a lot of bands say it and don’t actually mean it, if we like it then that is the music we are into. If no one wants to listen to it any more then that’s the way it is, we will just keep playing in a studio as we enjoy doing it.” With no pressure to follow up their debut album, Animals, Smith is pleased to announce that finally a follow-up is on the cards. “I think, Soundwave is going to be our last hurrah with Animals. We are just going to try and finish the album off and get it done. Hopefully it will be finished by the summer and we’d like to have it out by October. We will just have to see how it goes. We are not under any massive pressure to get it finished. As always with this band it is about our appreciation of the music we make, so if we don’t like it then we won’t just do it for the sake of it. It is down to when we feel happy and when we want to release it, then it will happen. But it won’t be a Chinese Democracy sort of thing, there will be an end this year hopefully.”

WHO: This Town Needs Guns WHEN & WHERE: Friday 4 March, Soundwave Festival, Showgrounds

It’s only been in the past year, however, that Simpson has truly begun to secure a critical and commercial respect befitting of his legacy – second album OJ Simpson breaking the cult MC through to a significantly larger audience. A full-length collaboration with legendary producer Madlib released last year to considerable acclaim, OJ saw Simpson deliver what was unarguably his definitive work as a solo artist.


ntil recently, Guilty Simpson was strictly a cult name among hip hop aficionados. While a veteran of the same fertile Detroit scene, which has given the world Eminem, Obie Trice, J Dilla and countless other genre luminaries, it wasn’t until the release of debut album Ode To The Ghetto that Simpson’s name began to secure recognition beyond a small and dedicated following. Released on Stones Throw in 2008, Simpson’s debut elevated the MC from journeyman to potential star. Prior to this turning point, Simpson’s work was defined by a series of respectable (albeit frequently unacknowledged) collaborations. Where Eminem became one of the most notorious figures of modern hip hop, Simpson’s career subsisted for years on his collaborations with acts like J Dilla and Madlib. Granted, such work was never going to allow Simpson complete anonymity but, in contrast with his peers, the MC was a relative also-ran. “My age has made me work that much more,” Simpson explains. “I can really appreciate how far I’ve come. And know enough not to ruin it. Naturally with experience comes wisdom. I’m thinking more of how to secure my way out now. I had no expectations when I started doing this. I don’t predict stuff. I try not to put unfair pressure on my projects by predicting how they’ll be received. I live in the moment. “They’re playing their parts and I’m playing mine,” the MC reflects matter-of-factly. “I’ve worked with J Dilla – one of the greatest producers in the history of hip hop. In fact, I’m the last artist he worked with before he passed. My legacy is in cement just like theirs… I still tour the world doing shows – and I’m signed to two

“I think 2010 was good. I dropped a well-received album with Madlib and made strong contacts and connections that will show in the near future,” the MC reflects. “I’d say it was a breakthrough year for me. I’m being more recognised amongst my peers and I’ve also noticed my fanbase is really growing as well. I’m also able to travel more and see dope places. I’ve never been to Australia. I’m anxious to get out there and vibe with the people.” There’s nothing particularly novel about Simpson’s rags-to-riches breakthrough, of course, but it is nevertheless an especially affirming narrative – in that the MC transcended his cult status without the remotest compromise of his values or as aesthetics. Currently poised to tour Australia for the first time and release another landmark album in the form of supergroup Random Axe’s (Sean Price, Simpson and Black Milk) debut longplayer, Byron ‘Guilty’ Simpson’s thuggish honesty and raw brilliance as an MC is nevertheless as vital and confronting now as it was ten years ago. “I can’t identify with contemporary hip hop. I can listen, but not identify. I’m not contemporary,” the MC states bluntly. “There’s never been a time MCs like me didn’t survive in hip hop. I’m the foundation, skateboards aren’t. Remember crunk music? Snap maybe? Now it’s leaving hipster and going straight pop. Rugged hardcore will weather all these storms because hip hop will always remain the voice of the ghetto. Nothing is pop about the ghetto.” WHO: Guilty Simpson WHAT: OJ Simpson (Stones Throw) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Hi-Fi





Iconic rock’n’roll band Social Distortion are back, better then ever, with their first studio album in six years, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes. Catch them live, touring Australia for the first time as part of the Soundwave Festival in Feb/March 2011.

The is also giving you the chance to win a signed Epiphone 56 Goldtop from the band. Simply go to the and ‘like’ the page for your chance to win. HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES by SOCIAL DISTORTION is on sale Friday 21 January. You can also see the band live at Soundwave 2011 or at one of their many sideshows. Go to for more details.




Brooke Fraser Saturday, Athenaeum Theatre

WIRE: January 19 Corner Hotel BEACH HOUSE: January 25 Hi-Fi 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


WIRE: January 19 Corner JUDY COLLINS: January 20 West Gippsland Arts Centre; 21 Corner; 25 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) ROGER SANCHEZ: January 20 Rush (Geelong); 21 Trak. HEALTH: January 21 East Brunswick Club GUILTY SIMPSON, PHAT KAT, M-PHAZES: January 21 Hi-Fi MOS DEF: January 21 Espy CAT POWER: January 21 Forum; 22 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) JON BROOKS, GREG QUILL: January 21-24 Newstead Folk Festival; February 12 Spenserslive; 13 Burke & Wills Winery (Mia Mia) BROOKE FRASER: January 22 Athenaeum Theatre BEACH HOUSE: January 24 Curtin Rooftop; 25 Hi-Fi KENNY ROGERS: January 25 Regent Theatre


BLUEJUICE, PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY, PURPLE SNEAKERS DJs: January 19 Torquay Hotel; 20 Flying Horseman (Warrnambool) ; 21 Eureka Hotel (Geelong); 22 Westernport Hotel (San Remo) THE LITTLE STEVIES: January 20 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS: January 20 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 21 Prince Badroom; 22 Pier Live; 23 Barwopn Heads Hotel

YEASAYER: February 10 Billboard CARIBOU, FOUR TET: February 16 Hi-Fi


TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY), CORNER HOTEL In the early ‘90s, when Elastica were looking for a band to steal from, they chose Wire. Led by Justine Frischmann, a former member of Suede and beau of Damon Albarn, Elastica released their self-titled debut in 1995, a record that became the fastest selling debut in British history. Its success was largely propelled by infectious single Connection, a song that blatantly lifted the guitar riff from Wire’s Three Girl Rhumba, released in 1977. Another Elastica single, Line Up, also bore a strong resemblance to Wire song I Am The Fly. The groups reached a settlement out of court. Elastica are just one of a countless number of acts who have been influenced by the post-punk pioneers, founded in London in 1976. Their first three albums – Pink Flag, Chairs Missing and 154 – are rightly regarded as classics and, in good news for fans attending tonight’s gig, the band are much more open these days to playing older material.

The National pic by Jess Booher

MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi SWERVEDRIVER: February 17 Espy; 19 Corner Hotel DOVES: February 19 Forum TUNNG: February 22 East Brunswick Club AXXONN: February 27 Yah Yah’s 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

At the second of their sold-out Palais shows, The National’s sibling guitarists, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, switch to acoustics and beardy singer Matt Berninger stands downstage centre without a microphone. Unplugged, the Brooklyn-via-Ohio group finish the two-hour show with a soft but earnest, and at once beautiful and heartbreaking, waltz through their latest album’s closing song, Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks, leading the standing audience in a hushed sing-along that amounts to a ghostly, room-filling hum. Like Oh Happy Day, the song is about faith – though, knowing the band’s irreverence for power-fed authority figures, probably not about a capital-G god – and the lingering minutes come about as close as any performance to the fantasy formed by those ‘golden age’ Rolling Stone articles: the fantasy of experiencing pure, shared rock’n’roll as it ‘used to be’. The blissful lighter-in-the-air finale, or, potentially, just a tearful, fading scene involving the cast of Almost Famous. Either way, here, now, it’s close to perfect.



ROYAL CROWN REVUE January 26 Corner KASKADE: January 26 Riva OLAF ARNALDS: January 26 Toff In Town (HED)PE January 27 Corner COCOROSIE: January 27 Prince Bandroom COLM MAC CON IONMAIRE: January 28 Melbourne Recital Hall CRYSTAL CASTLES: January 28 Palace THE NAKED & FAMOUS: January 28, February 3 Corner THE VERLAINES: January 28 East Brunswick Club BLACK MILK: January 28 Espy ANDREW WK: January 29 Hi-Fi CSS: January 29 Corner RATATAT: January 31 Hi-Fi THE JIM JONES REVUE: January 31 Corner DEFTONES: January 31 Palace EDWARD SHARPE & THE MAGNETIC ZEROES: February 1 Forum PLAN B: February 1 Prince MIA, DIE ANTWOORD: February 1 Palace THE BLACK KEYS: February 1 Billboard; February 2 Palace MATT & KIM: February 2 Corner DIE ANTWOORD: February 2 Prince THE GREENHORNES: February 2 Palace; 3 Northcote Social Club PRIMAL SCREAM: February 2, 3 Forum HOLY FUCK: February 3 Hi-Fi LUPE FIASCO: February 3 Palace ALOE BLACC & THE GRAND SCHEME: February 4 Prince

I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club

LIVE: REVIEWS THE NATIONAL PALAIS THEATRE So the story goes, documented in a review in Rolling Stone on 18 October 1969, the Big Sur Folk Festival of that year’s September wound up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young playing a rendition of Oh Happy Day to a crowd gathered on a slope inside the coastline of the central Californian region. Though many of those in attendance – at Rolling Stone’s estimate, “10,000 to 15,000 people” who’d paid $4 entry to each of the festival’s two days – were already on the highway home, those who were left moved in around the swimming pool the band were playing in front of and joined in singing the hopeful, celebratory gospel song. It was a goodbye to, musically, a big summer in the state and, by the sound of things, the community ‘vibe’ (well, and everyone “drawing on joints passed from hand to hand”) was high.

Earlier, the group – Australian native Padma Newsome missing from his regular keyboard post but with a trombone and trumpet duo adding a stateliness to the overall sound – begin their High Violet-heavy set with the unobtrusive Runaway followed by the distorted jangle of Anyone’s Ghost. A setlist from the tour, posted online, reveals that 2007 single Mistaken For Strangers is passed over tonight (and it is missed), seeing the band launch instead straight into last year’s ever-present mood-changer, Bloodbuzz Ohio. Berninger heads down to the seated midsection, climbing over the rows of chairs as the venue rises to its feet and sings every line back to him. That’s about as showy as The National get, save for a needlessly ominous background projection of rolling clouds and alien-like underwater vegetation. Otherwise, after the radio hit provides an energy boost, it’s the subtle layering of emotions, of frustration and anger and faith in the collective good, that makes them so affecting. Berninger is continued next page...


Beautiful Girls Thursday, Ferntree Gully Hotel; Friday, Prince Badroom; Saturday, Pier Live; Sunday, Barwon Heads Hotel

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 LES SAVY FAV: February 8 Billboard LOCAL NATIVES: February 8 Corner JOE COCKER: February 8, 9 Palais DEERHUNTER: February 9 Billboard MENOMENA: February 9 East Brunswick Club BEAR IN HEAVEN, THE ANTLERS: February 9 Corner YEASAYER: February 9 Billboard WARPAINT: February 9, 10 Northcote Social Club ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI: February 10 Hi-Fi STORNOWAY: February 10 Corner !!!: February 10 Prince Bandroom JENNY & JOHNNY: February 10 East Brunswick Club FOALS: February 10 Palace DE LA SOUL: February 11 Billboard BOB LOG III: February 11 East Brunswick Club RETURN TO FOREVER: February 11 Regent Theatre BBQ: February 12 Tote; 17 Nash (Geelong); 19 Yah Yah’s TIM FINN: February 12 Corner LLOYD COLE SMALL ENSEMBLE: February 12, 13 Thornbury Theatre CARIBOU, FOUR TET: February 16 Hi-Fi (7.30pm early show; midnight late show) FOSTER THE PEOPLE: February 16 Northcote Social Club LAMB: February 17 Prince I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club KOOL & THE GANG, ROY AYERS: February 17 Palace MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi TORO Y MOI: February 18 Workers Club KATE NASH: February 18 Billboard SURF CITY: February 18 Northcote Social Club SHIHAD: February 18 Corner DOVES: February 19 Forum THE LIKE: February 19 Northcote Social Club SWERVEDRIVER: February 17 Espy; 19 Corner THE GETAWAY PLAN: February 19 Hi-Fi (3pm all ages show; 8pm +18 show) THE BOOKS: February 20, 21 Thornbury Theatre BLACK MOUNTAIN: February 21 Corner TUNNG: February 22 East Brunswick Club MICHAEL BUBLÉ: February 22, 23, 25 Rod Laver Arena IRON MAIDEN: February 23 Hisense Arena AMANDA PALMER: February 26 Forum Theatre NEW FOUND GLORY, LESS THAN JAKE: February 28 Billboard ANBERLIN: March 1 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 GANG OF FOUR: March 2 Corner SOCIAL DISTORTION: March 2 Palace HIGH ON FIRE, TRASH TALK, KYLESA: March 2 Espy QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: March 3 Palace Theatre 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 THE BRONX, FUCKED UP: March 3 Corner MAYDAY PARADE, BREATHE CAROLINA, EVERY AVENUE: March 3 Hi-Fi TERROR, H2O, POLAR BEAR CLUB: March 3 Espy SILVERSTEIN, BLESS THE FALL, SEE STARS: March 3 Prince Bandroom SONNY & THE SUNSETS: March 5 Tote 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 BELLE & SEBASTIAN: March 12 Forum BJ THOMAS: March 12 Palms At Crown HAWKWIND: March 12 Billboard THE BESNARD LAKES: March 12 Corner HAWKWIND: March 12 Billboard GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS: March 13 Frankston Arts Centre; 26 Palms at Crown


THE LITTLE STEVIES: January 28 Piping Hot Chicken Shop; 29 St Andrews Hotel; February 5 Bertha Brown; 6 Brighton Food & Wine Festival; 18-20 Port Fairy Folk Festival ADAM BRAND: January 25 York On Lilydale (Mount Evelyn); 26 Regent Cinemas (Ballarat); 27 Hallam Hotel; 28 Gateway Hotel (Geelong); 29 Kinross Woolshed (Thurgoona) COLOURED STONE: January 26 East Brunswick Club CHOIRBOYS: January 29 Palms At Crown ICECREAM HANDS: January 29 Northcote Social Club SIA: February 1 Palais STONEFIELD: February 3, 10, 17, 24 Tote COLA WARS, NUMBERS RADIO: February 3 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 4 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 5 Royal Melbourne Hotel BLACK DEVIL YARD BOSS: February 4 Brown Alley I HEART HIROSHIMA: February 26 Northcote Social Club HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: February 11 Westernport Hotel (San Remo); 12 Loft (Warrnambool);13 St Kilda Festival POND: February 16 East Brunswick Club THE GETAWAY PLAN, TONIGHT ALIVE, SECRETS IN SCALE: February 19 Hi-Fi HUGO RACE: February 24 Northcote Social Club OLD MAN RIVER, PASSENGER, DANIEL LEE KENDALL: February 25 East Brunswick Club SCREAMFEEDER: February 25 Tote LOVE OF DIAGRAMS: February 25 Northcote Social Club GOLD FIELDS, BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: February 26 East Brunswick Club DAN PARSONS, STEVE GRADY: March 3 Jack Ryan’s Irish Pub (Sale); 4 Kay St (Traralgon); 11 Barwon Club (Geelong); 12 Baby Black Cafe (Bacchus Marsh); 13 Great Ocean Hotel (Apollo Bay) ALTIYAN CHILDS: March 4,5 Palms At Crown


RAINBOW SERPENT: January 21-24 Beaufort THE HOT BARBEQUE: January 22 Point Nepean Portsea SHARE THE SPIRIT: January 26 Treasury Gardens RITES OF PASSAGE: January 28- 30 Royal Exhibition Building RAGGAMUFFIN FESTIVAL: January 29 Melbourne Showgrounds BIG DAY OUT: January 30 Flemington Racecourse LANEWAY: February 5 Footscray Community Arts Centre SOUNDWAVE: March 4 Melbourne Showgrounds GOLDEN PLAINS: March 12-14 Meredith PUSH OVER: March 13 Abbotsford Convent FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: March 13 Flemington Racecourse

an unassuming lead presence; in skinny black jeans and a waistcoat, his mannerisms are as nonchalantly fidgety as those of someone passing time at a bus stop. He pats a loose rhythm on his thighs and taps his knuckles together between songs, at first giving the impression he’s going through the motions until, around the time of the nervous wreck of a song that is Afraid Of Everyone – with its repeated refrain, “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out” – it becomes apparent that the actions are a product of his sincerity as a performer. He can act the ‘rock star’, or perhaps just get the expected outlandish behaviour over and done with early in the piece, but he’s far more believable as an everyman, telling his truths in his weighty, slightly southern and sometimes awkwardly angst-ridden croon.

the band’s current drummer, is no shirker though. His breaks are manic scattershots of Keith Moon mayhem, and in combination with the tasty James Jamerson stylings of bass player Yuri Pavlinov, The Bamboos rhythm section remains a treat.

“Okay, lighten the mood,” he breaths through his mic at one point. “This one’s about capitalism… in a good way, though, you know. In a kind of a funny way.” It’s difficult to tell whether Berninger really does think the slow-motion drumming and apocalyptic harmonies and lyrics of Conversation 16 constitute a relief from all the heaviness, but it’s more likely telling of his sense of humour, often overlooked in favour of painting him a persistently morbid soul.

Antonios Sarhanis

The main set finishes with the song Barack Obama made widely famous in his election campaign of 2008, the disenchanted lullaby Fake Empire, and a prompt encore includes Mr November from the band’s debut album, Alligator, the song that came to be Obama’s unofficial victory anthem. It’s a reminder of The National’s relevance as a rock band in the current musical and political climate. But, then, as if to tear all that creeping rhetoric down, comes Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks and its assertion that, above all, The National are about finding the humanity in the confusion of world events; about seeking out a personal meaning. Tonight, we didn’t have to stretch at all to make the connection. Adam Curley

THE BAMBOOS PRINCE BANDROOM The Bamboos are Melbourne’s own funk institution, and it’s a testament to the band that in a music scene more attuned to the rumble of powerchords, the humble, scratchy slinkiness of a funky guitar’s ninthchord rhythms can still garner an audience. Tonight The Bamboos are celebrating ten years of funky good times by packing out the Prince Bandroom. As tradition demands, the show begins instrumentally. Resplendent in dapper suits, The Bamboos evoke the laid-back party groove of a New Orleans nightspot and sound as if The Meters had dropped by Melbourne town. The ‘instrumental’ Bamboos are a subdued lot who prefer to lock into the groove meditatively, without commotion. Although Lance Ferguson is the band’s leader on guitar, he seems almost awkward being the foremost member of the band. So when Kylie Auldist, the band’s singer, enters the stage, eyes naturally shift to her effervescent exuberance. It’s not, however, Auldist’s finest night. She’s a little too exuberant and at times she garbles words and misses notes. When she alludes to some tensions within the band after having mocked The Bamboos’ early days without her, Auldist rivals Parliament’s Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk in her ability to sap away the sweetness of the groove. A second instrumental section brings out the band’s original drummer, Scott Lambie. He emerges on stage and installs his own snare drum as part of the kit. It’s an audacious statement, supremely self-confident, the kind of thing only seasoned professionals, who consider their instruments extensions of their own selves, do. And when Lambie begins with an elaborate drum pattern on snare and cymbals that barely seems possible, we each bear witness to the funk in its purest form. The song is a vehicle for those drums – those exquisitely funky drums – and when the break comes, Lambie deftly, tastefully and expertly varies the original pattern before the crowd gives the funky drummer some. Danny Farrugia,

The Bamboos are, however, caught in a curious catch-22. When playing instrumentally, their funk is a delight, but the lack of any stage presence harms how the performance is received. Yet when it’s time for the bubbly Auldist to sing and there is a focal point, the funk gets scaled back for the vocals, which unfortunately don’t make up for the loss of groove. An historic night, an entertaining night, but ultimately not the night of nights.

KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS, HENRY WAGONS BILLBOARD Word has spread about this school-night friendly early gig (doors 6.30pm) and the venue is well populated in time for Henry Wagons. Having caught and enjoyed Wagons at many festivals, the solo incarnation falls a bit flat tonight and the dude could use some new jokes. First-timers titter, but we’ve heard it all before and Willie Nelson, a cover, encourages some interaction from the crowd. Billboard is air conditioned for your dancing comfort and there are many prime vantage points up for grabs. From where we stand, it’s possible to see through the glass into the upstairs bandroom where a Buddy Holly-style bespectacled Lewis Durham casually drags on a cigarette, looking like a matinee idol, while mum Ingrid Weiss sips a classy-looking beverage (probably Pimms). It’s like a portal into another era. Once the sibling band takes the stage, this feeling continues. Kitty and Daisy Durham perform a capella, cheek to cheek and sharing a mic before they’re joined by their brother and parents. Kitty Daisy & Lewis’s version of Johnny Horton’s 1958 song, Mean Son Of A Gun, immediately shows off the family’s musical prowess, especially Daisy’s drumming, which she throws all of her force behind with a determined look on her face. Lewis has such a smooth, effortless guitar playing style but, then again, everything about him is smooth and he rocks a baggy, beige suit. Mum and dad stick to double bass and rhythm guitar respectively whereas the three siblings regularly change stations, picking up the various instruments with ease. Dad, Graeme, is having the time of his life and the interplay he has with Lewis while they both wield guitars is adorable. Kitty drums with class in her vintage frock and heels and when you look around the crowd, it’s all smiles on dials. Honolulu Rock-a Roll-a with Kitty on ukulele, Daisy on bongos and Lewis on lapsteel gets our toes tapping and Daisy’s xylophone work in (Baby) Hold Me Tight echoes Kitty’s vocal melody unerringly. Trumpeter Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton, a special guest from Jamaica, is introduced and clearly relishes the opportunity to tour with this multi-talented act. Lewis gives a birthday shout-out to the band’s “balancing engineer” who deserves applause for the mix he executes. A new track is previewed and shows K, D & L are moving in a more reggae-inspired direction. Going Up The Country exudes raucous exuberance and you feel like you know a little bit about each sibling based on how they conduct themselves onstage. Kitty’s harmonica playing is unparalleled and she performs an extended solo during Say You’ll Be Mine, featuring Lewis on vocals, which would see a lesser musician leaving the stage hyperventilating on a stretcher. Succumbing to encore pressure, Lewis explains that since Kitty, Daisy & Lewis don’t have any more songs left they’ll have to work something out. Far from “muso brats” (good one, NME), Kitty, Daisy & Lewis remind us that music is food for the soul. These kids have definitely got genes worth bottling. Bryget Chrisfield

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis pic by Lou Lou Nutt The Rapture pic by Shaun Quinsee

THE RAPTURE CORNER HOTEL What a fantastic choice DJ Andee Frost is to warm up an already very warm room for The Rapture! Although the volume isn’t nearly loud enough to sweep the punters away in a dancing frenzy, the mood is right and once the curtains draw back for tonight’s headliners, we already have our groove on. There has never been a more fitting band name than that of these New York party starters. And they get it started right. Song titles like Don Gon Do It, Whoo! Alright and Yeah… Uh Huh pretty much sum it up and just when you think you can take a break and allow your sweat to dry, in comes the next debilitating bassline. Since bass player Matt Safer left this band in mid-2009, The Rapture have remained a trio with multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Andruzzi (keys/sax/ percussion/vocals) also taking on bass for recording sessions. But they’ve also employed a touring bassist. Frontman Luke Jenner gazes around the venue, amused, before sharing that this sweaty room reminds him of the band’s early gigs across America. Apparently, back in the day, the lads would wind up crashing on a member of the crowd’s floor, which included browsing through their host’s record and book collections in their absence. A posse in the front stalls pose for endless happy snaps, expressing their excitement with the double thumbs up and the band as their backdrop, recording their pole position for posterity. Jenner points this behaviour out to his bandmates via a bewildered expression followed by a vigorous head jerk in their direction. The singer’s voice is in enviable condition and there isn’t a beseeching note/noise he can’t execute exactly as heard on record. Not only does Andruzzi drip sax appeal (even when blowing into said brass instrument), he also roams the stage with a portable cowbell and totally owns it. Sail Away is introduced as a new track from The Rapture’s forthcoming album, scheduled to drop in a couple of months. It lacks instant appeal but couldn’t possibly match the reaction to old favourites such as House Of Jealous Lovers. Jenner wanders over to sing a verse from the side bar and then crowd-surfs all the way over to the other side of the venue. A random, attention-seeking chick immediately invades the vacant space he leaves onstage. Jenner explains his band have powered through 100% of their energy, leaving only 10% for the second show that has been added due to popular demand, and The Rapture leave the stage. But they ain’t fooling no one, ‘cause they haven’t yet played No Sex For Ben. Jenner’s shredding guitar solo channels Eddie Van Halen and two more cuts from the band’s upcoming longplayer follow. Although under-rehearsed, the first of these will be the best thing they’ve ever done with percussion akin to Adam & The Ants! As many punters as can fit on the stage storm it for the final song and cameras snap away for Twitpic action – live in the moment, you sad sacks! There’s a total uni dorm vibe to proceedings as clutch bags are brandished in the air much like tinsel was in the Countdown era. Bring on the new album! Bryget Chrisfield

FUTURE OF THE LEFT, BLACKLEVEL EMBASSY CORNER HOTEL It has been a year and a half since Blacklevel Embassy last played a show, but the time off doesn’t show. They step in front of a still-half-empty room amid squalls of feedback and blistering noise and launch into a furious set of chaos-rock. Thundering basslines are kept in line by the metronomic pulse of the bassist’s head. The drummer pounds ferociously, dragging along the bittersweet howls, screams and yells with each snare hit. It’s been a long time since this reviewer has seen them play and I can’t recall them being quite as noisy. Reminiscent at times of The Mark Of Cain – at others, of chaos rock stalwarts The Nation Blue – Blacklevel Embassy are a fitting opener. It is quickly obvious that Future Of The Left’s love affair with Australia (Mclusky toured here a number

of times – one member even making Australia home; and FOTL now sport a Melburnian bass player) is reciprocated. The crowd is abuzz with anticipation and with good reason. If you never saw FOTL precursors Mclusky play live, you missed out. And if you still haven’t seen FOTL play, you might as well just give up. FOTL are almost everything you could want in a rock band – funny, sarcastic, bitter, angry, agitated, loud, obnoxious and really fucking good. Sporting a new four-piece line-up comprising two original members, Andy Falkous and Jack Egglestone, and newcomers Jimmy Watkins and Julia Ruzicka, the moment they launch into Arming Eritrea (off the album, Curses) it’s clear that this show is going to be remembered. Falco has a scream on him unheard of since Kurt Cobain – his throat nodules tearing a little more upon each syllable. The crowd are all too happy to help him out though, even in those moments when he forgets the words, joining the cacophony at the top of their lungs. New bassist Ruzicka, a Melbourne local, throws herself around the stage like she was born to be there and Egglestone and Watkins throw apt retorts in response to Falkous’ vitriol.

as he did an ABC TV studio in 1997, but there is just as much ferocity and intensity in the music and delivery. This gig acts as a rough case for this bizarre beast of an album to be considered not just a classic of the ‘90s, but also all time. Ladies and gentlemen I give you JSBX at the Hi-Fi. Exhibit Fucking A.

Their frenetic set consists predominantly of songs from the first two Future Of The Left albums, but it’s the opening chords of Mclusky’s To Hell With Good Intentions that earn the loudest crowd response. It is quickly obvious that Mclusky fans have stuck with the new incarnation. Their set closes with a vicious rendition of Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues and the promise that there will be no encore – rather a breather for the band and then two or three songs depending on the crowd response. “If you talk through the quiet one, we’ll stop playing and go back to the noisy ones,” threatens Falkous. The non-encore heralds the fantastic Fuck This Band from McLusky Do Dallas, the crowd singing along to Falkous’s ode to self-deprecation. In a final, fitting closure, the band screams over a barrage of guitar the repeated line, “I trusted you.” We did trust them for an hour and a half and they well and truly earned our trust. Next time there’s an opportunity to see Future Of The Left – take it!


Luke Carter Jon Spencer pic by Jesse Booher


Andy Hazel Mystery Jets pic by Shaun Quinsee

THE HI-FI The Holidays are in full swing by the time we secure a prime viewing posi on the stairs that encircle this venue’s moshpit and geez they sound good! Casting eyes stageward however, there’s a bit of an exhausted vibe emanating from the Sydney four-piece, which is fattened up to a five- piece tonight with the addition of an extra percussionist. Hopefully the recent recipients of the public-voted EG Award for Best Album (Post Paradise) haven’t developed headliner syndrome. The sparkling sounds of Golden Sky are not replicated by the energy the band members put into their performance tonight. The Galvatrons blare from the venue’s sound system as gee-up music for Mystery Jets and before too long Blaine Harrison, who has spina bifida, crutches on and positions himself on a stool while the rest of the band take their places. Not many know about Harrison’s disability, which demonstrates the band’s dedication to attracting fans purely through their music. Opener Alice Springs – “I’d stand in the line of fire for you/I’d bend over backwards for you” – sets a romantic tone immediately and, although the mezzanine level of Hi-Fi remains closed tonight, the punters who are present make up for it with unbridled enthusiasm. Waiting On A Miracle follows and is truly inspirational to jig to. Kai Fish (bass/guitar/keyboards/BVs) and drummer Kapil Trivedi play their instruments with effortless style. William Rees takes on lead vocals for Young Love (“If I only knew your name I’d go from door to door”) and the crowd goes mental. Harrison adequately provides the parts in this duet that are normally sung by Laura Marling but maybe a fan comp could have unearthed some fresh local female talent to grace the stage – a different winner per show. Things get so unruly during The Girl Is Gone that a female neighbour in the crowd cops a flying pair of broken sunnies to the face! Harrison and Rees have such similar vocal tones that it’s difficult to make out who sings what on record but it’s Rees who wields the mic for After Dark (actually The Count & Sinden Feat Mystery Jets) – a wickedly irresistible tune about serial nocturnal hook-ups with your preferred fuck buddy. Rees jumps into the crowd during this one to check out the talent. Two Doors Down gets the reaction of the night and it seems cruel that Harrison is forced to remain seated while he belts out this preposterously danceable track.

Bam bam. “Ladies and gentlemen, right now I’ve got to tell you about the fabulous, most groovy…” and we’re in; Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 1994 album Orange riff by riff. The Hi-Fi is sold out, and each of us knows exactly what we’re getting and we LOVE it. It’s dirty, it’s blues, it’s rock, it never stays in one place for more than ten seconds, there’s a deep low-down sexy voice like Elvis’s that you can hardly make out because the guitars are loud and no one ever gets off the blues scale, there’s only one cymbal and three drums and that’s all we need. The rockabilly girls love it. The indie boys love it. The thirtysomethings punch the air, the teenagers sweat in the mosh and JSBX move like a lion picking off gazelles; Bellbottoms, Ditch, Dang, Sweat. “Play the blues, punk,” all played tighter than Spencer’s shiny black jeans, and they’re DAMN tight. No pause for applause, the next song kicks in and within seconds Spencer’s dangling his guitar against the floor while blasting another chunky riff that could power several White Stripes albums (in fact it probably did). You dig it? You do, but he’s already left it behind to remind you who you’re listening to, again: “The Blues Explosion, ya’ god-DAMN”. He doesn’t have to ask us twice to holler back to him; “My father was Sister Ray”, he knows we know.


The band burn through Orange and into the red – into the white-hot, speed-driven rock – a full 90 minutes of sure-shot, raw powered, amps-to-11-sleaze. They leave, we scream, they come back. Now we get Mo’ Width, then some Extra Width before the band proceed to Fuck Shit Up: more exploding blues delivered faithfully to the faithful. Guitar tones and songs bleed together like they’ve got to get out by midnight, but time is doing weird things tonight. The stage is barely lit; we could easily have slipped through a channel in time to 1995 and the bizarre-but-killer choice of cover (Black Flag’s My War) adds to that feeling. Spencer might not be literally tearing a venue apart

A group that has yet to play a first show or even release an album, G-Love & Plutonic find themselves in front of a sold-out audience. But when opening act Jess Hallan takes the stage, the venue is barely a quarter full. Missing a bass player and sporting Plutonic on the drums, Hallan quickly wins over the small crowd milling around the stage. Reminiscent of Tracey Chapman with a touch of the High Fidelity character Marie de Salle, she launches into a stunning 30-minute set of soulful blues and reggae – the reggae made even more impressive by the absence of a rhythm section. Her strong alto rises powerfully above her acoustic

Mystery Jets are the masters of penning nostalgic love songs that describe old school infatuations and an encore is required. The whistling classic, Flash A Hungry Smile, is followed by the closest Mystery Jets get to a ballad, Flakes, and arms are waved in unison. After thanking the gentleman who organised their tour, the band leaves the stage. Mystery Jets always put in maximum energy and it speaks volumes when you fossick through your CD collection to locate a band’s material post-gig and retrieve happy tracks for the car the following day. Bryget Chrisfield


guitar and the crowd is lifted, tossed and thrown by her soulful melodies. Plutonic’s beats fit effortlessly into each song, driving them along but never taking over. Bonjah are a stylish quintet led by husky, smokey vocals and featuring the usual bass, guitar, drums and a solid percussionist. With the crowd building and responding well to their sultry sounds, Bonjah launch into a set of soul that threatens to break into noise, seductive melodies that occasionally give way to blasts of angular guitar. They are clearly accomplished musicians, but the vocals are often too layered with delay to truly showcase the singer’s capability. G-Love & Plutonic know how to party and their songs reflect that well. Girls, smoking, drinking and... er... well, partying are all constant themes. But the audience clearly is appreciative as more and more people press in from outside. Expectant of a hip hop show, I’m surprised to see a full band line-up: G-Love upfront holding a guitar, Plutonic back on the drums, Chris Toro on bass and Dirty (though ‘clean-cut’ when not on stage) Dustin on keys. Casting all my expectations aside, the band launch into a set of grooving blues. Plutonic’s drum sound is enormous in the small venue and he’s not afraid to show his dexterity, blasting a stunning drum solo halfway through the set. G-Love’s rhymes never seek to get too deep, but what he lacks as a rapper and lyricist he makes up for with charisma, an insatiable desire to have a good time and a tidy hand on the guitar. By the end of the night, we’re all eating out of the palm of his hand, hanging on every word uttered in his slow Philly drawl. The night closes with a stomping blues number and rampant cheers from the audience, but I can’t help but wonder when G-Love’s going to tire of the frat-life, party anthems. Luke Carter Thee Oh Sees pic by Jesse Booher

THEE OH SEES THE TOTE I would like to be able to walk away tonight without saying the words ‘hot’, ‘sweaty’ or ‘death’ but that hope flew out the window once my genitalia and eyeballs melted into one giant mass on the floor. Warragul’s The UV Race take their positions within the sauna. Lead singer Marcus Rechsteiner looks like an Italian mechanic with his thin European moustache and tight overalls bulging at the stomach seams. Adopting Brendan Huntley’s yell-talk vocals and odd movements, you could be fooled for thinking this fast, raw, dirty punk band is Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Fooled only by sound though, as the visuals of Rechsteiner’s sparkly moustache, jutting moves and personality are completely individual. Stripping off his overalls, he runs through the crowd so fans can get a close feel of the sweaty skin and red underwear combination. As the beat keep coming at insane speeds, he runs on the spot breathlessly, looking somewhat like a cross between the Karma Police video and Teletubbies. Rechsteiner is pretty damn awkward but that’s what makes him so appealing. Thee Oh Sees waste no time sucking every remaining energy cell that the heat hasn’t already depleted, with complete chaos. Lead singer John Dwyer holds his guitar up high on his chest, cradling it like newly acquired breasts. His arms tense up when he plays, making any guns-conscious man swoon, as he shoves the microphone further down his throat with his ‘woo’ and ‘aaaah’ choruses. As the crowd at the back marvel over the energy of the sea of bodies moving up the front, Brigid Dawson shows no signs of slowing as she shakes her mass of curly hair about to Tidal Wave. I Was Denied proves an early hit as the crowd cheer and a man gets escorted to safety from heat exhaustion, but not entirely of his own will as he hears the screechings of Dwyer and tries to run back to death territory for more. It’s such a perfect combination of simplicity in lyrics and roughness in music that makes these guys so addictive. Even in the extreme heat, people can’t help but shake because Dwyer’s insanity is so contagious. As he rolls through encore favourite Block Of Ice, he doesn’t slow even momentarily as he drinks his beer sans help from his hands, which are still strumming through the song on his guitar. The Tote is carrying 100% stage personality tonight and it’s chaos in the heat. Leonie Richman



Made up of three one-man bands, The Puta Madre Brothers have allegedly eaten through 12 tubs of hair pomade in the last eight months, been threatened by the RSPCA for misconduct with chicken feathers, accidentally set off fireworks inside a Tasmanian circus tent, and recently received their first death threat. Whether you believe them or not is irrelevant; it’s all in the name of entertainment! They released their debut album Queso Y Cojones last year and now they’re back. Watch them as they strap on their razor-edged guitars and get ready to explode like a toilet bowl the morning after too much beer and nachos on Friday 4 February at the Corner Hotel. Tickets are available from the Corner box office.

LITTLE MURDERS ARE OKAY On Saturday 29 January legendary Melbourne power pop band Little Murders launch their brand new album, Dig For Plenty, at the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood. Joined by two other legendary Melbourne bands, The Exotics and The Breadmakers, this promises to be a night of rock’n’roll it would be foolish to miss. All three bands are masters of their game.


The last surviving members of an ancient order, owners of a secret that could bring down civilisation as we know it: this is Alan James & The Speckled Band, who are pleased to announce their debut show in the front bar of the Retreat in Brunswick this Saturday. A torrid mix of Celtic folk, pop, Dylan-esque rock, a dash of Tom Waits-ish grumbling, old country, shouting, fighting, whisky and bar snacks, they have been described as “the first band I will see this year that I haven’t seen before” by someone who knows their shit. It’s free, you can sing along, and there might be toffee involved, so get on down and prepare to have your cakes shaken. Gig starts at 7.30pm.


Every Monday night at 8pm, Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band take to the stage at the Old Bar and start playing their barn-stormin’, square-dancin’, fiddle-playin’, toe-tappin’, kneeslappin’, foot-stompin’, tobacco-chewin’, jawdroppin’ ol’-timey tunes that’ll make you wanna pick some cotton and drink some white Jesus moonshine. They start at 8pm and play two sets.

A RED PERRING To celebrate publican Jon Perring’s 50th birthday, the Tote will host a night of guitar-soaked fuzz and psychedelic, sonic madness on Saturday 5 February. Returning to the stage after 18 months and headlining the show will be Laura, as a warm-up for their upcoming 7” release Mark The Day in March. They will be playing a mixture of retrospective and new material, delivering a set of intense post-rock purity. Supporting them will be Slocombe’s Pussy, Melbourne’s blackest post-psychedelic voodoo warriors; Queensland’s The Dirt Band, with their blend of country and psychedelic rock with a Keith Richards rhythmic edge; and openers Ice Claw. Doors open at 8.30pm.

Sorted for E&Ps

EP Reviews with Bryget Chrisfield




TIGER EP Wireless Records/MGM


EP2 Independent

Nightmaster utilise found sounds such as bird noises in opener Cool Breeze and definitely have a flair for unconventional rhythms. This would challenge not only the concentration of the players, but also the dancing feet of firsttime listeners. Circle Takes The Square goes a little bit Calypso whereas Parents Of A Good Son features screeching riffs to thrash about to interspersed with repetitive pared back sections – it seems to chart the course of an argument. Matt Fox’s guitar conjures images of a pipeline and these guys sure have a knack for naming their tunes since The Triumphant Cowboy sounds exactly like its namesake. If you like to explore music that dares to be different, head to Curtin Bandroom this Saturday and catch Nightmaster when they launch the Tiger EP with support from Mr Maps.

This is bewitching stuff. There’s a spontaneity to it that makes you feel as if you’re in the room as the melodies unfold. Ash Hendriks (guitar/ vocals/keys/percussion) and James Gates (guitar/ vocals/percussion) hail from Perth but their tunes conjure images of waves crashing against cliffs as viewed through a beachfront home with floor-to-ceiling windows in the wintertime. Alternating male/female vocals add pleasing variety and it would be interesting to see this material performed live to see how many additional musicians are required. More music to let wash over you than pull shapes to, Wolves At The Door should be let into your home and exercised regularly.

It’s difficult to find out much info online about Free To Run but judging from the pic inside the CD sleeve, they are a three-piece. This band makes a helluva racket and seem determined to punish their instruments into compliance. The drummer must go through a lot of sticks during rehearsal and his cymbal-heavy delivery tears you a new one. Shredding guitar solos could only improved if they were played using teeth and choruses are catchy enough to sing along with after just one listen. Vocals could have been turned up slightly in the mix during the verses of Suicide Annie but if you like your rock hard, get excited by this local act.





AUTUMN GRAY LOVE HANDLES Independent This septet play gentle, emotive tunes with glorious piano. The title track opens with a gentle throbbing beat akin to a heartbeat that is met with cymbal flurries before piano and vocals elevate this foundation – a standout track. It’s difficult to hear lyrical content during Address Book Blues and Moving Target contains some rather obvious phrases – “Say the first thing on your mind, say anything you fancy/Throw caution to the wind.” An example of the band’s live props comes via Reason, which is introduced as “a song about a girl” and dedicated to Kelly Lane afterwards (aw!). See how this band crams all their instruments onto the Toff In Town stage this Saturday night.

This quartet from Brisvegas has definitely got it going on. There’s a murky undertone, insistent riffs and impassioned vocals all reined in by crashing beats. As soon as you hit play, you’ll realise immediately that Summer Catalogue deserves repeat listens. Today’s Song explores terrain littered with pop hooks and has oodles of radio-play potential. None of the excellent playing is smothered in the mix thanks to Scott Horscroft’s employment in the producer’s chair. You’ll be smitten by the ease with which this set of melodies slip into a groove. These dudes are also not too macho to shy away from shimmering vocal harmonies. The Cairos support Neon Love’s last shows, which make two reasons to hit Ding Dong on Friday 28 January or Ballarat’s Karova Lounge the following night. Actually, go twice.



Catch convict folk punks The Currency for free this Thursday as the band continue their January residency at the Retreat in Brunswick. Combining punk rock’n’roll with Celtic folk, these lads and lasses take up where bands like Weddings Parties Anything and Midnight Oil left off by reviving the colonial folk ballad tradition. It’s a rollicking, seven-piece orchestra that combines folk instruments with a fire-cracker punk rhythm section boasting ex-Living End drummer Travis Demsey. Expect a stomp and a sing-along as the band play the tracks off their self-titled album, as well as try out new material and covers during two raucous sets.

Love Handles is Melbourne-based indie band Autumn Gray’s follow-up to their hauntingly beautiful album The Diary Of A Falling Man, released early in 2010. The four-track EP includes the album version of Love Handles, two tracks left over from the album recording process and a live version of the track Reason, recorded in front of an audience in the courtyard of St Kilda’s Pure Pop Records. The mini folk rock army of seven make music that is dense and richly layered, with warm vocal harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and a distinctly Melbourne sound – think early Augie March, Art Of Fighting and The Decemberists. They launch the EP at the Toff In Town this Saturday with Luke Legs and The Midnight Specials. Entry is $10 from 8pm.


Sydney’s Guineafowl cavort across the East Coast throughout February and March to celebrate the release of their debut EP, Hello Anxiety. Nominated for two awards in FBi’s annual Sydney Music, Arts And Culture (SMAC) Awards for Next Big Thing and Best Sydney Song, the city has certainly embraced the Guineafowl so it’s high time we got a good look at them too. They hit the Northcote Social Club on Friday 4 March with Goodnight Owl and Kins. Tickets are $10+BF from the venue or $12 on the door.

JUNGAL TATTS The Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival has announced that local all-girl group Jungal have won a spot on stage at this year’s festival! See them perform on the opening day: Friday 28 January from 4.10pm at the blues stage. Jungal are three powerful young women who create their own brand of Australian-flavoured indie roots music. Their energetic live performance and catchy, positive songwriting comes to life through three harmonious voices creating the unique and powerful ‘Jungal sound’, setting these girls apart from other female acts of their kind. Jungal will share the stage with a bevy of talented acts including Dallas Frasca, Bomba, Tijuana Cartel, Snowdroppers, Spencer P Jones and many more. Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival will be held in the Royal Exhibition Building from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 January. Tickets are available from


FOR WHOM LEBELLE TOILS LeBelle create a vivid tapestry of haunting mystical ambience, beautiful piano melodies, powerful and catchy hooks, breakdowns with balls topped off with warm, three-piece vocal harmonies. Mixing the atmospheric feel of Massive Attack, lead vocal quirk of Shirley Manson with powerful rock riffs and progressions, they capture a spark of musical genius and a mesmerising listening experience. LeBelle are in fine form after recently winning the Emergenza international band competition. They play the Prague in Thornbury this Saturday with support from Carvel, Sun Sleepers and Jumpin Jack Williams. Entry is $10 from 8pm.


Raul Sanchez, wily guitarist for such bands as Magic Dirt, Midnight Woolf and now River Of Snakes, will be playing a special solo show this Saturday at the Sporting Club Hotel in Brunswick. His no-acoustic/all-electric set will include familiar covers and originals you can cry and dance to. The show begins at 9.15pm and entry is free.

A pleasantly upbeat vibe oozes from this release, which features stunning harmonies and alternating vocalists. In fact, all members of Chinook are credited with supplying vox. There’s a warmth to these songs that suggests a closeness between these four friends as well as the joy they gain through making music together. Yellow Belly is a highlight and showcases this band’s raucous side with just the right amount of fuzz, frenzied percussion and the pleasing addition of lapsteel courtesy of Andrew Higgs. Moira Reed’s voice has an endearing sweetness during Good Weird Joker, a song that comes across as intensely personal. Chinook launch this EP with a special matinee show at Northcote Social Club this Sunday.

MCDONALD’S NUGGET Local indie pop veteran and former member of P76, Oscarlima and Jericho, Danny McDonald returns to the Standard Hotel in Fitzroy for a special two-set acoustic show tonight (Wednesday). After issuing around 30 CD and vinyl releases over the past 15 or so years, McDonald has just released a new free download single called In Melbourne Tonight, arguably his finest songwriting to date. Get down to the Standard from 8.30pm to catch some very fine acoustic pop music from one of Melbourne’s most enduring singer/songwriters to emerge from the early ‘90s indie scene. In the meantime, get your free download of McDonald’s latest single from


Deep Street Soul, a low down and dirty deep funk quartet from Melbourne, are laying down three sets at the Night Cat Fitzroy on Tuesday 25 January. It’s Australia Day eve so make the most of having a free recovery day and dig on some local soul funk featuring the mighty May Johnson. Kicks off at 10pm.

BOOGIE KNIGHTS Sure kangaroos are cool, the Opera House is big and the weather is usually nice this time of year, but undoubtedly the greatest thing about our country is that we only have to wait 25 days from the beginning of the year until the next public holiday rolls around. To mark this celebratory occasion, promising young Aussie bands Bright Knights and Signet Mae are preparing to team up for a massive Australia Day eve show at the Grace Darling Hotel, with support from Felix Weatherbourne. Taking full advantage of the holiday, they will be delivering their brand of indie rock while sporting their best Aussie accents. The show will also mark the beginning of Bright Knights’ national tour as they set off on a lap of the great country to launch their new single, This Love.


GREATEST HIT Desert Island Songs With Clem Bastow

DIRE STRAITS MONEY FOR NOTHING If I had to make a chronology of songs that I can remember hearing first in my lifetime, Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing would come in fairly early on the timeline. I can’t remember what the context was – maybe TV? Maybe the Grade One ‘disco’? – but it would have been about 1986 or 1987 (so one or two years after its release) and I was immediately intoxicated by this weird, sparse, futuristic-sounding song.

OFF-THE-CUFF STUFF THE VANDAS unite for a rare appearance before a pedal steel-wielding CHRIS ALTMANN ships off to Canada, writes NICK ARGYRIOU. in a long time we’ll be live as a full band.” Explaining that The Vandas have rehearsed only once in the lead up to their Tote bash, Altmann trusts that all will come good and believes the rarity of this Vandas show will work as a positive in terms of keeping the band fresh and on edge. He thinks impulsiveness and ingenuity will coalesce to fuel the sporadic showcase. “I was recently listening to Mikey’s Gruntbucket record [Receiving] and the old Vandas Slow Burn with my Que Paso and loving all the musical styles kinda mashing together, and now we go into this [Tote show] with a diverse approach,” he tells.

It is also one of the few songs that, no matter how many times I play it (and I’ve played it many times), still has the same effect on me. That eerie intro and build towards, at 1:36-minutes, that riff that every single guitar teacher in the country would whip out for at least the next 15 years. That bit where the organs/synths slice through everything else like robotic knives after the chorus (around the three-minute mark) is one of those musical moments that sends me straight back to the first time I ever heard it and thought, “What is this?” Not in the Jerry Maguire “What is this music?” sense, but rather in the way that happens when you’re younger and you haven’t heard ‘all’ there is to hear; sounds you have, quite literally, never heard. As we get older, there are fewer and fewer things we can say that about. Perhaps none. It’s the ultimate DJ set opener, the perfect party anthem, a brilliant late-night soundtrack to nothing in particular, a great driving song, the best song with Sting on otherwise anonymous backing vocalists... it fits in many categories. Fitting on the ‘censored’ category is not one I thought I’d end up writing about, however. It’s not hard to imagine why, however – there’s a moment in the song that inspires in me a different kind of emotion, but one as reliable as the excitement of the arrangements and sound: every time Mark Knopfler says “faggot”, I flinch. But when I saw that the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council had bowed to pressure to edit out the word, I bristled. Typically speaking, I’m usually the first on my soapbox when it comes to hatespeech in the media or in daily life, but I’m more cautious when it comes to art (with certain exceptions, obviously). Is this cultural revisionism? Yes, “faggot” is – and always will be – offensive, but here’s the thing: Money For Nothing is, effectively, an oral history – it’s an account (more or less word for word) of what Mark Knopfler overheard two working class men discussing while he was shopping for appliances in New York.


he Vandas play the Tote on Australia Day Eve. It’s the first time the four-piece country rockers have actually surfaced as a live unit since the now defunct Blueprint Festival held back in September 2009. Having ridden high in the saddle (keepin’ with the rootsy western hero vibe) after the Melbourne collective’s debut record Slow Burn was released in 2008, the fellas launched the album the same year and played various gigs throughout 2009. Nothing came by way of shows in 2010, with all members stretching their legs in various musical guises. Drummer Angus Agars took up the seat at the back with Brisbane behemoth The Gin Club, guitarist Mikey Madden delivered us from evil with his genus of psychedelic jam in the outfit Gruntbucket, while Chris Altmann kept up his sideman ventures and released his own debut solo ‘50s rock and Texan boogie cut, Que Paso, to much acclamation. But now they’re back for what sounds like a genuine one-off for quite some time with Altmann looking to base himself out of Canada for about a year; Agars off on Mike Noga’s Band Of Horses support in the US, then back with The Gin Club; bassist Julien ‘Chook’ Chick busy being a papa; and Madden working on getting his Gruntbucket on. “We’ve all just been so busy with other things and I guess you just bang away at it for such a long time that you become a bit disillusioned and want to try new things, but we’ve been talking for ages now about doing another gig,” explains Altmann. “We’ve had sort of new material sitting there for a while but haven’t had the chance to play it live… I mean Mikey and I have been doing some duo gigs together, but this is the first time

At another point, our whitegoods-shifting friends comment, “And he’s up there… what’s that? Hawaiian noises? Bangin’ on the bongos like a chimpanzee.” It doesn’t take a PhD in cultural studies and casual racism to understand who and of what skin colour he’s discussing. Elsewhere? “Maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb”? You get blisters on your fingers from playing the guitar on the MTV; you get blisters on your thumb and little finger from wanking. Songs like Money For Nothing are cultural time-capsules not just because they maintain the ability to transport us, via music and sound, to the time and place we first heard them, but because lyrically – like so many great folk anthems – they capture that time and place, and that time and place isn’t always a pleasant place to revisit. If we censor and edit all our cultural timecapsules, from Huck Finn to Money For Nothing, years from now we’ll never be able to trace how far we’ve come.


This Tuesday 25 January (Australia Day eve), go to Pony. Seriously. Plast Her Ov Paris, featuring members of the most awesome Bracode and Remake Remodel, are making their live debut. They’re like a three-piece Divinyls walking in on The Motels playing Slits covers… or perhaps the last flock of seagulls on earth squawking overhead as Siouxsie Sioux and Ian Curtis sit on an island of refuse, suffocating dolphins with plastic bags to pass the time. Joining them will be bangin’ stonewashed babes Heavy Mental and dirty rockers Damn Terran. Entry is $10 from 9pm. Stick around to catch noise kids Dozers playing the 2am slot.


Another top Weekender is coming your way this Saturday at Ding Dong! Check out live the dark synth pop of Squares And Zeroes (9.45pm) followed by the up-tempo rock of Weekender favourites Small Affairs (10.30pm). Then Steve and Gregory will play your favourites including Phoenix, Kasabian, These New Puritans, The Libertines, The Smiths, Friendly Fires, TV On The Radio, Ladyhawke, Black Kids, Bloc Party, CSS, Postal Service, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Pulp, MIA, The Kinks, The Teenagers, The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, Stone Roses, The Cure, Blondie, The Ramones and more. Doors open at 9pm – head to for all the deets.

With The Vandas being booked in to play the Tote by their former flattie [booker Amanda Palmer sharing house with members Madden, Agars and Altmann in days gone by], our man explains this adds even more to the whole reunion angle. “We shared houses for years… so on top of The Vandas coming back together this will be an even bigger get-together than what we thought.” Add Hoss and The Bowers to the bill and we’re in business. “Hoss are one of my favourite Melbourne bands too so it will be great, and I think they were first booked before we were even asked anyway,” Altmann informs. With a sturdy stack of Slow Burn tracks on offer, Altmann is also keen to throw the odd new song into the fire along with “a whole bunch of old shit” for good measure. To that prophecy we say, shit yeah! WHO: The Vandas WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 25 January, Tote

MARK FLASHES HIS ART The art of Mark Palazzolo (AKA Zombo) has never been publicly displayed, despite gracing some of the more memorable record sleeves of the 1990s. That’s all set to change on Thursday 3 February at the Prague in Thornbury, where he’ll be presenting 16 of his fine art pieces, spanning 22 years from 1989 to the present. Gallery opening is at 6pm, later with live punk/metal/rock accompaniment from Chicoflash, Atlantic, ThrillKillers and SPG.

Also – while it may be my own cultural revisionism – I always saw it as a two-part piece of dialogue, where one man chastises the other, ie. Man 1: “That little faggot with the earring and the makeup, hey buddy, that’s his own hair.” Man 2: “That ‘little faggot’ got his own jet airplane; that ‘little faggot’, he’s a millionaire.” If it were real life – or at least the sitcom within my mind – the second man would whack his companion over the head at the end of the exchange. Guys like that – working class, unenlightened bro dudes – spoke like that in the ‘80s. Hell, some of them still speak like that. Censoring the f-word is a slippery slope, when you consider that – getting back to that ‘oral history’ thing – the whole song is offensive.

Loving the fact that there’s a ‘bit of buzz’ about the singular Australia Day eve gig, Altmann feels as though the zeal around the humid Melbourne streets of late is growing exponentially as the happening draws closer. Punters are primed. “It’s like when you’re playing around and slogging it on the Melbourne music scene and don’t get much attention, then you do something like this and it’s a real pleasant surprise to get interest… it’s like, ‘Yeah, people did actually really like what we used to sing and play’ so it’s great,” he informs.


Autumn Gray launch new single Love Handles at the Toff In Town this Saturday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? John Paterson, guitar/vocals: “Jim and Matt have been the core; they’ve been playing together for decades. Or one decade, anyway. Damien joined and brought Jeff, Jimmy joined and brought John. Then Greg joined Jim’s house (and band afterwards), Jimmy left and James said hello. We’ve had more Js than (most) radio stations!” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We finished recording an album last year. It’s called The Diary Of A Falling Man, and it was recorded mostly in Jim’s old bedroom. So both I guess!” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Dynamically wistful indie rock.”

KEITH SLIPS A ROOFIE Fresh from an East Coast tour, Australia’s biggest and baddest rave-rap clan Keith! Party return to Melbourne to launch their second album, Roof Raisers, at the Workers Club on Australia Day eve. Armed with excessive amounts of balloons and streamers, this massive collective of doofers and choofers infuriate sound guys and put pressure on PAs when delivering hi-energy dance party soundtracks. Joining them are JUNK!, a cheeky blend of sequins and electro-cheese, Fabio Umberto, the Italodisco sex god from space, captivating contortionist Amy Macpherson, and blissful summer party eclecticism from Rat Vs Possum DJs and Talkshow Boy. PS. Food fight!

ALT.NIGEL After 18 months of teaching badminton and travelling to faraway lands, alternative country singer/songwriter, Nigel Wearne returns to Melbourne. Joining him will be the enchanting Maree Daffy on double bass and backing vocals. Expect a travelogue of new songs from the streets of Hanoi to the shiny confusion of Vancouver and the cacophony of creativity from Montreal. Check him out at the Retreat Brunswick on Wednesdays 2 and 16 February. Entry to both gigs is free.

IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Sufjan Stevens, partly because I would love to see him play again and partly because he’s pretty amazing.”

SNEAKER FREAKERS There’s one very good reason why Purple Sneakers has been Sydney’s longest running and most popular indie party club for five very successful years; the reason for the awesome house party atmosphere and packed-out crowds each and every week. And that’s the Purple Sneakers DJs. Born from the womb of this iconic indie monster, the Purple Sneakers DJs strove to mix guitar-based indie hits into dancefloordestroying tracks and prove that just because you play indie you don’t have to suck as a DJ. Get your freak on when they play the Espy on Sunday 23 January from 9pm. Entry is free.

IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Assuming I was still in the house when it was being smote, my 100 metre sprinting record! But probably something predictable like OK Computer by Radiohead,” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “My glasses; although they’re not necessarily lucky, just necessary.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? Unless Jerry Seinfeld was coming over, it would be very important that I didn’t cook breakfast. I think lasagne and a simple salad, followed by Monaco Bars. Those things are incredible.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “My backyard in North Carlton.”


Dublin-born songwriter Enda Kenny has lived in Melbourne since 1987. Drawing on the traditions of the seanachie and yarn spinner, his songs describe stories of life, humour, nature and injustice. Enda’s gift as a performer is his ability to bring alive the individual experience in a way his audience intuitively relates to. Acclaimed as one of Australia’s best songwriters, Enda has produced six albums, had his work covered by myriad artists from both home and abroad and left many a smile on the face of a rapturous audience. Catch Enda this Sunday at 6.30pm at the Drunken Poet. The day kicks off with Stetson Family at 4pm.



Pageants are a four-piece sandal-gaze band from Melbourne’s northern suburbs who’ll be launching their debut EP, Forbidden Delicious, at the Grace Darling Hotel on Friday 28 January. The EP was recorded by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring). Support for the show comes courtesy of the excellent Witch Hats and Towels.

TRAVIS STEVER – COHEED & CAMBRIA The fi rst record I bought with my own money was… Iron Maiden’s Somewhere In Time. The record I put on when I’m really miserable is… I tend to become more creative with my own music when I am feeling misery or any other emotion at extreme levels. As for listening to someone else I don’t tend to listen to music when I’m miserable. I just stew in it.


EASY, BROOZER Get a double shot of toughness this Saturday night as Broozer play two shows! The clouds of riffage will firstly engulf the Tote as the boys open for King Parrot, Swidgen and Odiusembowel. Then they board the family terrydactyl to drop some shits of tough at IDGAFF with Dead and Sons Of The Ionian Sea. Don’t miss this shit!

After a well-earned break from fronting The Rostovs, singer/ songwriter Tex Moon will hit the Empress Hotel stage for the first time for an intimate solo gig tonight (Wednesday). With delicate melodies and a soothing voice, Moon will dust off some old Rostovs songs in acoustic mode, as well as some new material. With supports from Cloud Canyons and Magdalena Magdalena, entry is just $5 from 8pm.


After a busy last year rebuilding/reinventing themselves as a band with a new sound and supporting the likes of Lydia (USA) and In Tongues, Love At This Volume are back for their first show of 2011 playing at Pony this Thursday. With supports from minimalist dream pop artist The Townhouses, hard-hitting rock outfit Louis Artec and new indie rock kids The Aura Cura, doors open at 9pm and $10 will get you in.

The Moxie manoeuvres between alluring shades of indie rock and atmospheric pop song. Characterised by ambient guitar work, intricate rhythm and intriguing melody, the group delivers a thoughtful combination of alternative goodness. Their influences include Björk, The National, Interpol, Beach House and Slow Dive – but you can decide what you think of ‘em when they play Bar Open this Thursday, joined by accomplished solo artists Lucy Wise and Alex Servenis. Doors open at 9pm and entry is free.


The record I put on when I bring someone home is… Bring someone home? First off, I’m married. Before that I was no Casanova but either way I never had any sex records. I don’t need a soundtrack for fuckin’.

LINES FOR JAMES BROWN The Skylines play music that James Brown would be proud of. They’re bringing the funk to the Evelyn Hotel next Wednesday 26 January (Australia Day) to celebrate the release of the new album, Electricity On Fire. The video for Skylines Groove will be screened for the very first time, and a limited edition 7” vinyl version of the single will be available on the night. Lyndal Barry & The Apollos and Rush Of Colour support and tickets are on sale from Moshtix.

The best record I stole from my folks’ collection was… Black Sabbath’s [self-titled] first album. Funnily enough it was my mom’s and if you met her you would never think she would have that record. But she did and she even saw them live around the time that record was released. As a kid I would always be freaked out by the witchy chick on the cover and one day I decided to stop staring at the cover and pop it on the turntable. I was hooked.

The most surprising record in my collection is… Bob and Doug McKenzie, The Great White North. Actually if you knew me it would be no surprise, but if anyone puts my iPod on shuffle they are up for some surprises. The last thing I bought/downloaded was… Cee Lo Green’s The Lady Killer. Cohhed & Cambria play Soundwave at the Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday 4 March.



Fresh from supporting Thee Oh Sees in Sydney, Interzone return to Melbourne to suffocate you with radness as they drop into Yah Yah’s for a night of dense and dark music this Friday. Don’t call ‘em a supergroup because, well, that term is pretty fucking lame, but they are no doubt a talented bunch. Joining them on the night will be the sonic boheme of Pissy Paw and Chrome Dome’s Andrea stepping out with ASPS, plus “special guests”. Doors at 9pm.

TASTE TEST MANDY MEADOWS – THE MADNESS METHOD Norman catalogue someone has dropped on the ground if I am really desperate.


Sin City return to their favourite Brunswick haunt the Retreat for a huge night of free blistering rock action this Friday. Fired up from their announcement as Australian tour support for legendary Canadian punks DOA in March, don’t miss Melbourne’s own kings and queen of punk’n’roll tearing it up with psychobilly upstarts The Workinghorse Irons, who have also just secured a spot at the Brazilian rockabilly festival Psycho Carnival. Now that is a mighty tag team! Battle stations from 9pm.

The best fi lm of all-time is clearly… Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The suspense, the thrill, the action, the romance! Dick Van Dyke is also my first choice as celebrity husband. He is wholesome, manly, has good morals, good looks. I got the DVD from mum for my 23rd birthday. Which is much better quality than my old videotape copy.


Geelong’s Cast Iron Pinata have been hailed as rising stars, kicking out their funk-fused rock to increasing crowds. The young band have been going from strength to strength after the release of their debut EP, Rock/Funk/Awesome, in early 2010, which received airplay on Triple M and K-Rock. Having shared the stage with the likes of The Screaming Jets, Electric Mary and Colin Hay, the band take their energetic and entertaining live show to Revolver tonight (Wednesday) with support from John Smith Quintet and guests playing their new EP, What A Coincidence You Are Insane. Entry is $6 from 8pm.


Tailor Made For A Small Room are an eight-piece eclectic pop band currently based in Melbourne. Formed in 2007 as an electronica duo of Ayumu (4 Bonjour’s Parties) and Miwa (4 Bonjour’s Parties/Lost In Found), they keep expanding and now they play with six other members including horns and strings. Taking advantage of the current line-up, they play various tunes from minimal toytronica to mini-orchestral chamber pop. They play the Builders Arms this Friday night with Clue To Kalo – AKA mastermind Mark Mitchell – who blends a lo-fi acoustic-folk aesthetic to computer-based production in which the technology is the means rather than the end, as well as Francis Plagne. Entry is $7 from 8.30pm.

What I’m listening to right now is… Kimbra, she’s the woman. Settle Down is close to songwriting perfection. And she’s one of my homegirls from Kiwiland! What I’m watching right now is… The final cut of our video clip. My favourite part is where I am in a towel surrounded by buff male models pandering to my every demand. Although our drummer would argue the best part is where he is bouncing around in a bed with a bunch of female models having a pillow fight. Ah, the sacrifices for our art. What I’m reading right now is… Are you kidding? Musos don’t read… I could say something intelligent here, however, mostly it’s just the MX on the tram ride home or a Harvey

The Nation Blue

Every year, the meaning and connotations of Australia Day become more and more removed from what it actually means to live in this country and why we are able to have a specific day to celebrate many things. This Australia Day – Wednesday 26 January – there will be an all-day show at the Tote in Collingwood to raise funds for The Refugee Council Of Australia, which will go towards helping with legal advice for refugees, providing settlement support for refugees and also raising general awareness. On the massive bill are The Nation Blue, Coerce, Arrows, Brainwaves, The Hawaiian Islands, The Gun Runners, Anchors, Jerk Store, Headaches, High Heels, Jamie Hay, Darren Gibson, Arturo Bandini and Luca Brasi. Doors open at midday and entry is $15.



The Vandas step out of their self-imposed hibernation this Australia Day eve to play a show at the Tote. Following the release of their Slow Burn album of 2009, the band more or less fell off the map for the last year or so while the four members explored other projects. Tuesday 25 January will see the celebration of this glorious reunion and all things Oz, with two of the country’s best bands, living legends Hoss and men-about-town The Bowers, in support. Entry is $12 from 8pm.

The Madness Method play the Espy this Thursday.

Iowa’s music is a union of contradictions: lo-fi but widescreen, balancing tight-as-a-drum songwriting with expansive solos, hanging sheets of noise on surprisingly hummable hooks. What comes naturally is a sound that draws on the distortiondrenched dynamics of forebears like Sonic Youth and Swervedriver but remains very much Iowa’s own. After successfully releasing their debut 7”, Stay Solo/AM, earlier this year and the followup, Lose Yourself/Reasons, they host a free-entry, two-week residency at Yah Yah’s starting early this Sunday. Supporting will be Telecom and their ‘90s-guitar-heavy indie pop rock, fresh from supporting Built To Spill and releasing their awaited/ delayed debut album. Ace garage rockers Mass Cult and Liam Stewart will be rounding out the bill. Doors open at the user-friendly time of 5.30pm.



The Wolfgramm Sisters are back! Armed with a bunch of new songs and a handful of old favourites they team up with the legendary Dan Warner for a night of country/soul at the Grace Darling Hotel this Thursday. Warner is one of Australia’s most loved and respected musicians and has even had the front bar of the Corner Hotel named after him. The Wolfgramm Sisters prove themselves to be a must-see live act time and time again; just ask Sharon Jones or Tom Jones, both of which they have appeared with. So if you haven’t caught them recently on RocKwiz, A Day On The Green or 3RRR’s BBQ day then head on down for some sweet harmonies. Sweet as.



Sydney’s Circle Pit return to Melbourne to launch their new single, Sewercide, this Tuesday 25 January (Australia Day eve) at Yah Yah’s. After their debut longplayer, Bruise Constellation, made many 2010 ‘best of’ lists and the band took on a commanding tour of the USA, they’ve become one of the most entertaining and talked about bands in Australia. Sewercide and its B-side, Roll With The Punches, are more in the heavy glam/proto-punk tradition of their first 7” and it’s a taste of what’s to come from their forthcoming LP, Wassup. Joining them on the night will be Super Wild Horses, Divorced (featuring members of Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Zond, Beaches and The Spazzys) and new upstarts Deep Heat.



New night Mondo Atomica at Ding Dong this Friday heralds an explosion of cult sounds from the Atomic age! It’s music for voodoo priests, pin-up gals, garage greasers, zoot-suited pachukos, alligatorshoed pimps and Friday night dancers. Join PBSFM spinners Mohair Slim, Richie1250, Pierre Baroni and Ken Eavel in an orgy of maraca-shaking exotica, lascivious tittyshakers, barbecue-pit blues, raucous R&B, southern-fried soul, boogaloo, sizzlin’ surf, rockabilly riots, ska ’n’ rocksteady, swamp pop and ‘60s beat. Like some demented head-on crash of film soundtracks by Quentin Tarantino, Russ Meyer and John Waters. Entry is $10.

The one song I wish I’d written is… I wrote a song called Bedroom Musician. It’s so true and I feel it sums up all my hopes and fears. The chorus goes: “Am I only ever going to be a bedroom musician?/Will the pillows and sheets on my bed jump in rapturous applause?/Three by two metres, playing softly to the curtains/A standing ovation don’t come so easy when there’s no-one there, even in the back row.” I really want to share my music and voice with the world, and it’s such a shame so many amazing musicians out there only ever play sitting on the edge of their bed with no-one to watch. This could be for many reasons, maybe because they don’t believe in themselves, or because they have just never been in the right place at the right time. So I think I have already written it. But Rock With You by Michael Jackson is just the sexiest song alive and I would even go so far as to walk down the aisle to that song.


Melbourne’s drunken pirate convict debacle Clinkerfield host their seventh annual residency at Fitzroy’s favourite little watering hole, the Old Bar, every Sunday in January. It’s a summer institution for Johnston Street – three different guest bands each week, BBQ out back, DJs until close, and the low low price of $5 to get in from 7pm. Just be careful, you might end up staying very late. Seems it’s pretty hard to leave the Old Bar – you might even rock up one night and, like Clinkerfield, not really leave for seven years!


Light Lions is made up of two hills boys; Noah Symons (AKA Great Earthquake) playing drums and Tim Brown (Timothy & Wilderness) on electric guitar and organ. The sound is largely influenced by minimalism, the punk style of Fugazi and free jazz while reflecting aspects of Symons and Brown’s playing history. Gigging steadily since October, Light Lions are currently in the middle of a January residency at the Builders Arms. Catch them there this Thursday with striking live duo A Dead Forest Index and the hotly tipped White Woods.

The Twelve Legged Beast are a six-headed, 12-armed hip hop army brought to life as a live vehicle to reinterpret and perform the sample-based music of Emcees Rhythmic Gibberish, Depressed Pest and their collaborative efforts under the RGDP moniker. Veteran Melbourne musicians from genres as diverse as rock, ska, jazz and metal play as human loop machines laying out the sparse yet full grooves for RG and DP to spit their fire atop of. Guaranteed to get the heads nodding, feet tapping and the body moving, they hit the Evelyn Hotel this Sunday with Chev Rise and Saltwater. Tickets are on sale from Moshtix and doors open at 9pm.

SWIGGIN’ WITH SWIGDEN Four of Melbourne’s new heavyweight bands have decided to team up at the Tote this Saturday night. Swidgen are a nasty three-headed animal that kicks, snarls and grunts in its own unique way. Swidgen are always a pleasure to watch, but be warned, take a spare pair of jocks for your ears. Support comes from newly formed metal outfit King Parrot, featuring past and present members of bands like Blood Duster, Cockfight Shootout, Stiff Meat and The Wolves. Opening the night will be Broozer and Odiusembowel. Entry is $10 from 8pm.


Melbourne’s theremin-led synth rockers The Night Terrors have been invited to support Black Mountain on their national tour in February. This tops off an amazing 18 months that has seen the Terrors jam onstage at the Sydney Opera House with Lou Reed, tour Europe twice (including legs with Melt-Banana, Serena Maneesh, Black Mountain and Nick Oliveri) and explain how a theremin works to people with ponytails in 17 countries! With the follow up to their acclaimed album Back To Zero in the works, the band is in terrifying form. Come down and get psychedelic when they support Black Mountain in Melbourne on Monday 21 February at the Corner Hotel.

Tropical Vampirates play a pirate party at the Prague in Thornbury this Thursday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jack Heartless, vocals: “The Captain and I were introduced by a denim gothic carny in Vancouver BC in 2005 while the Captain was on a working visa visiting from Australia. When his visa ran out, I set sail for the sunny shores of Queensland. This is where we recruited the rest of our crew.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? Captain Bloodspots, vocals/keys: “We have a split EP with another Dead Records band called 13 Stitches that came out in 2009. We are also on several local and international compilations and have just released our debut album, Live For The Night, which you can pick up at most independent record stores in and around Melbourne.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? JH: “Rock and fucking roll!” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? JH: “The 69 Eyes, because they look like they party hard… and they rock.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? CB: “I just faced this situation with the Brisbane floods and I left it all at home.” JH: “Robert Johnson, The Complete Recordings.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? CB: “My captain’s hat… or me skirt. Yarr.” JH: “Does alcohol count as clothing? My Elvis sunnies, I guess.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? CB: “A burrito.” JH: “Sushi.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? JH: “I have never been to Melbourne, but I assume the gutter.” CB: “Somewhere in St Kilda.”












OF YOUTH All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS

The Push have announced the successful applicants for the 2011 FreeZA Central mentoring program, a yearly program set up by FreeZA and their managing partners the Push and Mushroom Marketing to assist around 50 music-minded Victorians between the ages of 18 and 25 by pairing them with a music industry mentor. The applicants were selected and placed into one of five categories after attending either the FReeZA Central workshop series or the Face The Music conference. The five streams are event management, music business, performance, technical and publicity and marketing. The mentees, as the applicants are now known, will nominate their dream music industry mentors over the next few weeks and programs manager Sarah De Borre will do her best to match them. When the match is made the mentors will negotiate a work placement, consultation or work experience opportunity for their young proteges. Each mentee will also attend workshops and masterclasses with their mentor to further assist them on their journey to securing their place in the industry. During the program they will work on music releases and a tour as well as working with The Push and work on festivals like Push Over and the Apollo Bay Music Festival. The program has grown over the past few years with partnerships with ABC Radio National and Triple J and Blunt, Rhythms and Frankie magazines. Past year mentors have included Clare Bowditch, Deborah Conway, DW Norton (Superheist), Angie Hart (Frente), Jen Cloher and staff from organisations such as Soundwave, The Falls, Big Day Out, Destroy All Lines, Roadrunner and Triple J. Mentors will be announced over the coming weeks so stay tuned. Due to unforeseen circumstances The Red Shore have withdrawn from the Push Over 2011 line-up. But do not fret, a replacement band will be announced soon. Hardcore fans need not worry as the line-up still includes House Vs Hurricane, Anchors, Storm Picturesque, Dream On Dreamer, Deez Nuts, I Exist, Trainwreck and more. It is still a rockin’ lineup for anyone, of any taste in music, and pretty much the cheapest festival around. If you worked out your timetable for the day cleverly it would work out to be about $2 a band. How could you go wrong? Plus, the line-up also includes Break Even, Children Collide, Howl, Illy, Last Dinosaurs, Oh Mercy, 1/6 feat MzRizk, Owl Eyes, Stonefield and The Tongue, the final of the 2010/11 FReeZA Push Start Battle Of The Bands competition and, if you can believe it, there are more acts to be announced. That’s why it’s one of the most popular day festivals in Melbourne. This year the event is happening on Sunday 13 March from midday to 8pm at the Abbotsford Convent. Tickets are $30+BF through Ticketek, Moshtix and Oztix.


There’s local bands, a barbecue and drinks at the Olympic Pool in Wangaratta from 3.30. Entry is $5.


The Rainbow Serpent festival runs until Monday 24 January in Beaufort outside of Ballarat. Tickets are still available for $225+BF through Greentix and Ticketek. ‘Tis the season to swim in pools. The Ouyen Splashdown at the Ouyen Swimming Pool takes place from 1pm.


No Way Out, featuring Bastion, Dethroned AD, Outlive and Nailed, is on at the Inverloch Community Hub from 4pm. Entry is $10. Youth Fusion, featuring Check Your Smile, DJ Micky & Friends, Sudanese Booty Shakers, Masketta Fall, Amanda & Omar, Tamara & Sara, Thirworld and Julia Wadell, is on at the Lakeside Live Festival in Caroline Springs from 4pm. Entry is free.


Skillet play the Hi-Fi from 2pm. Tickets through Moshtix and the Hi-Fi box office.

WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY The Bendigo Aquatic Centre is hosting a Triple J Hottest 100 Australia Day Pool Party with DJ Peter Oakenfull. Things kick off at 2pm, entry is free.



Get Up Kids


While we’re talking about efforts for the Queensland floods, Resist Records announced last week that they will be running eBay auctions with all the proceeds going to the Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal to assist those affected by the floods. Up for grabs will be rare and limited vinyl releases including coloured vinyl and test presses from the likes of Mindsnare, Within Blood, A Death In The Family, BLKOUT, The Dead Walk, Extortion, Carpathian and a coloured copy of Resist’s very fi rst release, Found My Direction’s Before Their Time 7”. There is no point posting the link here, but I’m sure if you search for Resist Records in eBay you would be able to fi nd the stash.

Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL There are a few great album releases this week including a new one from The Get Up Kids. Called There Are Rules, this is the seminal Kansas five-piece’s first album since 2005, and the first on their own Quality Hill Records label. I haven’t heard it yet, but The Get Up Kids can do no wrong and I’m sure this will be no exception. It’s 12 new songs that were written spontaneously and then fleshed out with producer Ed Rose in the studio. Also out this week is Social Distortion’s new one (that I talked about last week) and a new one from The Aquabats! titled Hi-Five Soup. If you didn’t catch Tim Barry on the Revival tour (with Chuck Ragan, Ben Nichols and Frank Turner) last year, you missed out on probably one of the most amazing and honest live performances I’ve ever seen in my life. But never fear – Barry is coming back to Australia this April for a run of shows. I urge you, if you’re a fan of singer/songwriters telling amazing stories with their acoustic blend of folk and country, then these shows are going to be for you. He will be joined by Chris Wollard and Addison Burns for a show at the Arthouse on Friday 8 April. Tickets are on sale now so get in quick. It feels like it’s been ages since Unwritten Law were last in Australia. I know I last saw them at the very first Soundwave. But never fear, these Southern Californian skate punkers will be back in March, in support of their newest (and as yet unreleased) album Swans. This is studio album number six for the guys, and the March release date is yet to be confirmed, however, for every ticket you buy to the shows you can catch a sneak peek of the album as you receive a free download of the track Starships, the first single to be taken from it. So mark Sunday 27 March in your diaries, as that is the date that Unwritten Law will be hitting up Billboard The Venue. Tickets are on sale now. The Soundwave Sidewaves just keep on coming,



are donating their show payment to the Flood Relief Effort in Queensland, so if for no other reason head along to support a worthy cause.

To cap things off we have a quick Q&A with Jimmy Stadt of Polar Bear Club about what’s getting him excited when it comes to Soundwave 2011. with quite a few announced this week. Well, three, but you know what I mean. The one that I’m most looking forward to has three of my favourite bands on the one line-up – High On Fire, Trash Talk and Kylesa. Trash Talk’s Eyes & Nines was one of my favourite albums of 2010 so it will be rad to see the songs on it played live. You can check out this line-up at the Prince Bandroom on Wednesday 3 March. The same night you also have the line-up that everyone has been talking about online for weeks! I’m talking about Terror, H20 and Polar Bear Club. This one is at the Gershwin Room, so put on your mosh hats and head along. The fi nal Sidewave is a bill of Canadians Silverstein with Blessthefall and I See Stars. Again, it’s at the Prince Bandroom but on Thursday 4 March. This should be a fun show. All three of these shows go on sale this Thursday so make sure you get your hands on tickets because they will sell out quick! In local news, I got sent an email last week about a show that is happening in Melbourne on Friday 28 January. The line-up includes Hopeless, Warbrain, Risk & Reason, Distant Wreck and The Legacy. They’re getting together at Noise Bar in Brunswick. It’s 18+ (sorry you all-age kids) and $10 on the door. I’ve also been told that Hopeless

What are you most looking forward to about heading to Australia for Soundwave? “Exchanging our winter for your summer. Reference for pictures of my car buried in snow.” Who are you most eager to check out on the bill? “Queens Of The Stone Age.” What is something that no one knows about your band? “We play to a backing track. None of our stuff is plugged in or on, ever.” Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you have to stick to before you go onstage? If so, what? “The only thing I do to prep myself for the stage is check my fly… god’s honest truth.” What was your favourite album of 2010 and your most anticipated for 2011? “Fave of 2010 was either Flatliners’ Cavalcade or Superchunk’s new album [Majesty Shredding]. Most anticipated for 2011, probably Balance & Composure’s new one.”

Morbid Angel

Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG The kings are back! Well, no new album just yet, but seeing them again in the flesh is just as good! I’m happy to report that the best death metal band ever, Morbid Angel, are returning to Melbourne on Friday 27 May to play the Hi-Fi. New album soon to follow. Golf, anyone? That seems to be the sport of choice for soon-to-be retiring metal legend KK Downing from Judas Priest. The Astbury Hall 18-hole championship golf course in Shropshire, England is the brainchild of Downing. Commented the guitarist: “Designing this golf course has been an extremely fulfilling experience and one which I am extremely proud of. The golf course was designed to give pleasure to golfers of varying abilities and test those who wish to be challenged from our championship tees just measuring over 6,500 yards. Astbury Hall has been born from my experiences on golf courses from around the world. I am fortunate enough to have played some of the finest the world has to offer and I feel privileged to have been able to create a property that encompasses all my cherished experiences. I have been lucky to work in two industries that have allowed me to be so creative, especially golf course architecture, which has enabled the visions in my head to be transformed beautifully into a reality.” Leaves’ Eyes have set Meredead as the title of their new album, due on 22 April. Producer/covocalist Alexander Krull is currently overseeing the CD’s final mix at Mastersound Studio. The album’s artwork was created by Stefan Heilemann. Commented singer Liv Kristine: “As we began composing the first song ideas for our fourth full-length album, all of us were very eager to take another step in strengthening both the individual sound and concept of Leaves’ Eyes, like we have done album by album. Along with the songwriting process, I made up my mind about the songs’ themes, and drowned myself in different sources of literature. Some songs clearly needed lyrics rooted in northern history and culture, as well as having mystical themes. You will find traditional themes from Viking literature and Norwegian song tradition, moreover, tales from the Irish isles, some from

already existing sources, some made up myself.” Atlanta, Georgia-based metallers Becoming The Archetype will release their fourth album, Celestial Completion, on 29 March via Solid State Records. In a recent interview with AOL’s Noisecreep, Becoming The Archetype guitarist Seth Hecox promised that the new CD would feature a bunch of surprises. “We’ve incorporated more things than a person can imagine on this record,” he said. “Of course the album is still heavy, but other than that, the sound is stretched as much as possible.” He added, “We have Dennis Culp of Five Iron Frenzy playing trombone on a ska section of track nine. We [also] have an epic Danny Elfman intro complete with operatic soprano vocals and four-part harmony. We have a track of just sitar and tambura and tablas – metal world, meet the East!”

(Deep Purple) and multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse (Transatlantic) in a brand new project. The as-yet-unnamed band recently entered the studio to begin work on a new album, due later in the year.


Captain Cleanoff, Needful Things (Czech), The Kill, Teargas, Doubled Over – Saturday, Arthouse Daemon Foetal Harvest, Embodied, Destruktor, Mhorgl – Tuesday, Arthouse

TOURS, TOURS, TOURS Tool – Wednesday 2 February, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Instrumental extreme metal triumvirate Blotted Science, featuring guitarist Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower) and bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse), are preparing to enter the studio to begin recording a new EP, The Animation Of Entomology, for a tentative late-2011 release. Commented Jarzombek: “This concept started to take shape in June of ‘08 when Blotted Science got together for the first time to rehearse and threw ideas around for a second CD. We wanted to score some kind of creepy horror film, and so something was definitely abuzz… The idea of writing music that syncs up perfectly with clips of disgusting insects and other creepy creatures was set in motion. After working with close to a dozen movie clips, it became apparent that, to do a full-length CD, it would take far too long to complete. Will all of this be too much for fans to take in? We shall see… literally…”

Iron Maiden – Wednesday 23 February, Hisense Arena

Well, we knew it wouldn’t take long before he was off and rocking again – drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) has teamed up with guitarist Steve Morse

Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – racket. Email

Bring Me The Horizon – Wednesday 2 March, Hi-Fi Rob Zombie, Murderdolls, Monster Magnet, Dommin – Thursday 3 March, Festival Hall Finntroll – Friday 25 March, Billboard Devildriver, Ill Nino, All That Remains – Friday 25 March, Billboard Disturbed, Trivium, As I Lay Dying – Sunday 24 April, Rod Laver Arena Suicidal Tendencies – Sunday 15 May, Billboard Morbid Angel – Friday 27 May, Hi-Fi



BREAKDOWN Pop culture therapy with ADAM CURLEY There’s a moment in the movie Grease – familiar to anyone who’s ever been bored in front of the telly on a Saturday night or nurtured a love of John Travolta in tight pants – in which Danny & The Juniors’ Rock’n’Roll Is Here To Stay is used as a signifier of unfettered, youthful self-belief in the ‘50s. The song plays during a ‘comical’ dance competition. In 1978, when the film was released, it was perhaps intended to, cartoonishly, convey a mixture of foolish naivety and beautiful optimism, as is the ‘tongue in cheek with heart’ angle of Grease. Like the slapstick high-school experience the characters were having, the audience was meant to know, by ’78, that rock’n’roll as it was in the ‘50s was by no means there to stay, but imagining a time when people thought it true was a simple-life escape. Many since have declared rock’n’roll ‘dead’. The latest is UK radio DJ Paul Gambaccini, currently heard on BBC Radio 2, who last week called the end of rock’n’roll as a “prevailing style” in pop culture in an article posted on the Guardian website. “It is the end of the rock era. It’s over, in the same way the jazz era is over,” Gambaccini said, responding to the drop in ‘rock songs’ appearing in the UK singles chart from 13% in 2009 to 3% in 2010. (We won’t get into what MusicWeek, which compiled the figures, calls a ‘rock song’, but both Train and Florence & The Machine made the cut.) Other sources sprang to rock’n’roll’s defence, including Paul Stokes, associate editor of the NME, who, unsurprisingly, argued that we are just “waiting for the next big band to come along and change the scene”. As a story, it’s easy to get swept up in. In Australia, rock music has been conspicuously in the minority on radio playlists over the last five years, and not just on commercial stations. The latest and ongoing ‘indie’ styles are far more attached to pop, dance and soul forms than to rock music as popular culture has known it in recent decades – and have been for long enough that the question of rock music’s relevance in the near future can be somewhat legitimately raised. As a whole, rock music has had a hold of ‘counterculture’ musics for a long time, and music technology is continually on the change, so what’s to say we aren’t really at the beginning of an era immensely different to that of the 50 years preceding the turn of the millennium? But there are other ways to look at it, too. Pop, dance and soul genres have all also been declared dead at different times by heard voices, and their


Blues ‘n’ roots with DAN CONDON I must start this week’s column with a word about the tragedy that has ripped apart the great state of Queensland. The wall of water that tore through Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley last week was nothing short of terrifying and the intense floods in Brisbane and Ipswich completely devastating. If you have any ability to do so whatsoever, I implore you to donate to the Premier’s Flood Relief Fund. As a born and bred Queenslander with family in the areas affected I urge you to help in any way you can. Head to to help out. Thank you. A bunch of local blues acts have quickly put together a great benefit show to raise much-needed funds for those affected by the floods up north. When the Levee Breaks – Benefit For Queensland Flood Victims will feature performances from big local names such as Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison, Dan Dinnen & Heather Stewart, Lloyd Spiegel, Paulie Bignell and Dreamboogie, and will happen at the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 2 February. Tickets will cost $20+BF if purchased from the venue beforehand, or $25 on the night if there are any left. That’s not the only blues-related fundraiser going on at the moment. As we mentioned towards the end of last year, local act Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones were the winners of the 2010 Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society Blues Performer Of The Year contest, which means they have scored a spot at Memphis’s International Blues Challenge later this year. But travelling costs a lot of money, so a number of the city’s finest acts are getting together to raise a bit of cash to help the band pay for the trip. On Sunday night you can catch Jeff Lang & Alison

current evolutions in pop culture speak not of the ‘cyclical nature’ of music but of the way any culture – or the ‘artist movement’ within – picks and chooses the most relevant parts to reflect and advance the ideas of. For instance, when talk of a ‘1990s revival’ began some years ago, it was assumed it would be the ‘heavy rock’ that once permeated homes via TV music shows that would be the dominant influence, yet it has turned out, for whatever reason, that the decade’s R&B forms are proving more interesting to play with. That might be because, at the time, R&B was largely shrugged off as the domain of faux-sentimental soap-suckers, lending its sounds to an exploration into places they’d never been – primarily into the earnest. ‘Grunge’, on the other hand, had already been mined as a soundtrack to the intelligent, the meat-headed, the lustful and artistically ‘serious’ and thus has lacked appeal as a form to further. Another thing to consider is that some of the greatest forces of rock music have been overlooked by pop-culture commentators over the last decade. Genres pegged as ‘emo’ or ‘hardcore’, throwing rock bands into the same trajectory as – not to repeat myself – ‘grunge’ or ‘alt’ bands from the ‘90s, from ‘underground’ players to MTV regulars, have impacted arguably more of their generation’s teenagers than any rock genres before them, thanks to global communications. Criticism of those bands or genres, as not holding the same ‘values’ the culture’s commentators did in their youth, can probably be put down to nothing more than a generational gap. As pointed out by journalist Steve Hayden in his 2010 article Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation? on, Nirvana’s Nevermind is now as old as Woodstock was when that album was released. Continued next week.

Ferrier-Lang, Chris Wilson & Sarah Carroll, Chubby Rae & The Elevators, Jules Boult & Chris Mac, Sweet Delores, Jimi Hocking and, of course, Sweet Felicia & The Honeytones playing the Grand Central Hotel in Richmond from 6pm. Entry is just $15. For close to 30 years Rebirth Brass Band have been one of the most prominent, highly regarded and downright exciting brass bands on the planet. Their blending of traditional New Orleans styles with genres like funk, jazz, soul and hip hop is so incredibly vital and exciting and has given the wider world a taste of the great music that New Orleans has to offer. The band were founded in the early 1980s in the Tremé neighbourhood of the Big Easy and have since gone on to become one of the biggest musical exports from the area; the fact that they were the first band featured in the HBO series Tremé goes some way to explaining how important this band are. They have released a staggering 14 records full of music that ranges from the carefree and danceable to the historic and very serious and now they are coming to Australia for the very first time, dropping by the Dallas Brookes Centre on Monday 14 March. Tickets are available through Ticketek now from $85 to $130. The Waifs are well and truly back in action. It’s awfully good news for those of us who have discovered this wonderful, quintessentially Australian folk band at any stage over the past 18 years they have been around. The entire band have wound up living in the USA in recent times through varying circumstances, but their ensuing homecoming will be celebrated with a tour that will take them to many of their beloved haunts that they have discovered through the tireless approach to touring they’ve adopted since initially coming together. The band will be back in Australia to support their sixth studio album, Temptation, which is due for release in March and is their first in more than three years. Catch them performing live at the Forum Theatre on Thursday 17 March. Support comes from Mama Kin.


SUBSEQUENTLY PISSED Afternoon/early evening show, starting at 5pm. This Saturday at IDGAFF, a bunch of awesome bands are gonna stink up the place. Ricochet Pete are over from Adelaide and always bring their A game. Harvest Smoke is Stu from SOLM’s new band so you know that will be great, unless you’re an idiot. And The Subsequents are back from a little hiatus, now with one of Melbourne’s finest drummers, making them a garage-punk power-trio (without the associated wank) to lose your shit to. The good news is: if you already had plans for this night, you now have an excuse to start drinking earlier and practise yelling abuse at under-paid, hard-working musicians.

SQUAD ON THIS Simply listening to Melbourne-based outfit DollSquad won’t give you a complete picture of the unique offerings of the six-piece, all-girl rock band. The group are often clad in leather catsuits with beehive hairdos and attitudes to match. It’s been four years between drinks for DollSquad. In that time the band has acquired four new members and a rawer rock sound on their second album, Lethal In Leather. They take to the stage again at Red Bennies this Friday with The ReChords, as well as the Go Girl Gadjet Go Go dancers and DJs Electic Mudcat, Vince Peach and Knave Knixx. Tickets are $20+BF from


Playing live on the Bang main stage this Saturday will be Sydney’s own Mary Jane Kelly with support from The Broderick and Venomartyr! The crew are also hosting the Mosh Lords webstore launch! Be in the main room after the bands to score giveaways thanks to Free Your Mind Clothing and Mosh Lords! It’s also the album launch for Times Of Grace’s new album, Hymn Of A Broken Man – score copies in the metal room upstairs thanks to Roadrunner Records. As always there will also be killer DJs playing your favourite punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, rock, indie, electro, dubstep, retro and party tracks until the early morning. Entry is $15 from 9pm. For all the info and club pics head to or



Fresh from Woodford Folk Festival performances, quirky songstress Susy Blue and her band are performing their unique brand of cabaret folk every Saturday in January at the Builders Arms. With many diverse musical influences, her colourful songs hop from playful folk to lounge jazz, gypsy swing, lazy bluegrass, soul, reggae, ‘60s-style pop and sea shanties. Always joined by an impressive entourage of instrumentalists, double bass, banjo, flute and violin complement her quirky songs. They play in the front bar from 4-6pm this Saturday, which means entry is free!



Local Melbourne act The Nightbreed are a fourpiece horror punk bank that will shock and thrill you when they take over the Prague in Thornbury this Friday night. They’ll be joined by Decimatus, an up-and-coming groove metal band with neck-crushing riffs and a powerhouse live show that’s making waves around the city, as well as Mason, a thrash band who are going to rip the stage to shreds. It’s the Mason drummer’s birthday on the night as well, so get down and help them celebrate. Entry is $8 from 8pm.

CALL ME A SPINNER Fallopian Tunes offers a night of billowy electrics and foggy psychedelic tunes tonight (Wednesday) at the Evelyn Hotel. Call Me Professor, Trjaeu and Infi nite Decimals will draw the slackos off their porches and have everyone seeing kaleidoscopes. In support of Fallopian Tunes’ newest release, Berlin-Mixtape, a one-off version and private fuckarounds will be sold (on cassette) at the gig, and for a taste of the tastiest cheese to come, download Berlin-Mixtape for free from

DIRTY AUSSIES Following rave reviews of their latest album and the success of their packed Gershwin Room launch in November, Melbourne’s premier southern bluesinspired rock outfit Dirty York will be gracing the Northcote Social Club stage for a special Australia Day eve show this coming Tuesday. Performing a collection of songs off Say Goodbye To Diamonds and last year’s debut, Waiting On St George, this show promises to be a real treat for all rock’n’roll enthusiasts and purists alike. This is a band that doesn’t piss about! Joining them will be Tracy McNeil and Jaime Robbie Reyne, and tickets are $12+BF from the venue or $15 at the door from 8.30pm if still available.


Marlon Winterbourne – AKA Marlon Cook, AKA MD Cooke – was co-founder of ‘90s cult band Gaslight Radio. His debut solo album is like Tom Waits meeting Sylvia Plath as they double date with Graham Kennedy and Sharon Tate. Symon Kohut’s Ukranian Choir will be joining Winterbourne onstage when he launches the record this Thursday at the Toff In Town, and if you’re keen to see a bloody substantial songwriter debuting songs that will go down in the Oz music annals, you’ll probably be there too. Support comes from The Hope Addicts, Catherine Traicos and Andrew Keese and tickets are $12+BF on sale from Moshtix.


RELAX WITH NO ZU After an incredible debut year as a live project in 2010, NO ZU return to the Workers Club for their first show of the year and to launch their second EP, New Age EP. As we speak, the salt lamps are warming up and scented candles are being lit. Constellations and the planets alignment indicate that a new love interest will emerge (Adelaide’s Rites Wild, Absolute Boys or NO ZU possibly) and you will be overcome by a fortunate financial period (only $8 to get in) – this show is sure to satisfy your mind, your body and your spirit. The night will see the largest NO ZU line-up yet, with a six-piece band featuring more percussion, vocals and synths!

The story of Chinook started in the summer of 2007 when four friends loaded their equipment into an East Brunswick townhouse and began writing songs. Since this inception the band have continued to please their loyal supporters playing shows in and around Melbourne. In 2010 the band finished their second EP, We Could Be Friends For A While. This new seven-track offering, which was recorded, mixed and mastered by David Briggs (Little River Band) at his North Melbourne studio, strengthens Chinook’s ability to create songs with a broad variety of pop rock sensibilities. They launch it at the Northcote Social Club this Sunday arvo with Damon Smith & The Quality Lightweights. Entry is $10 from 2pm.


Tim McMillan Band are performing their last headline show at the Evelyn this Friday before relocating to Europe in March for at least six months. Join them as they bash through their summer collection of smash hits. Support comes from an all-female-fronted cauldron of prog including Cloud City, A Lonely Crowd and Karen Heath from Ennis Tola (solo). Tickets are on sale now from Moshtix and doors open at 8.30pm.


The Red Lights have been serving up a healthy dose of modest indie rock across town during 2010, much to the delight of Melbourne music lovers. The three-piece deliver catchy tunes, classy threads and an array of improvised Buddy Holly impersonations. Get down and see their first show for 2011 as they launch their first batch of demos, with support from Strathmore and Geelong favourites Luca Della Night Owls at Revolver Upstairs this Thursday. Entry is $7 from 8.30pm.

POW! ‘ERE With the lazy crack of a Motown snare, Perth doo-wop soul five-piece Boom! Bap! Pow! have signalled their debut East Coast tour accompanying US swing merchants Royal Crown Revue is about to begin! Boom! Bap! Pow! will introduce their timeless tales of woe to East Coast audiences when they support Royal Crown Revue on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 January at the Corner Hotel.



Gold Coast rockers The Moons Of Jupiter take their audiences back to a time when slogging it out in pubs and delivering solid live sets was the only way to make it in the business. In today’s climate of stage posers and studio AutoTuning, their back-tobasics approach is refreshing. The Moons’ music is best described as a blend of retro, rock and grunge; alive with great riffs, thundering drums and tearaway solos all topped off with wonderfully expressive vocals. They’ll be joined by locals The Close, Seedy Jeezus and Lane Chaser. Doors open at 8pm.

The Banded Sounds is the new moniker for the outfit formerly known as Chasing Gravity. With a new name comes new drive to create something unique and infamous: a combination of melodic rock, energetic guitar threads and catchy vocal drives that forms a gateway to expressive rock’n’roll. Catch them launching their first single, Dreamt I Was Flying, at Revolver Upstairs this Saturday with special guests The Happy Endings and The Elliotts. Tickets are $12+BF on sale from Moshtix.

D.A. CALF – THE BOOK OF SHIPS What I’m reading right now is… Cities Of The Plain by Cormac McCarthy. This is the third part of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. The second part, The Crossing, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Brutal, tender, unforgiving and profound despite its simplicity.

NEXT FOR CARPATHIAN The Next crew have announced that they’ll have Melbourne’s own Carpathian headlining the main stage this Thursday night as their last show before they head off overseas! Carpathian will be supported by First Base and Cavalcade plus acoustics in the beer garden! Keeping up with the Summer Sessions promise, there’ll be a free BBQ (meat and vegan options) as well as free fairy bread (score!) and cheap jugs (ahoy!) in the beer garden from 9-11pm! This week is also an Airstyle Imports party! Thanks to the guys at AI, Next has tonnes of rad gear to give away on the main stage after the bands finish up! Resident DJs play the best punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, rock, indie, electro, dubstep, retro and party tracks across multiple rooms all night! For more info and weekly club pics check or facebook. com/NextNightclub. Entry is $15 from 9pm.

The best fi lm of all-time is clearly… Citizen Kane. That sounds really hackneyed but what beats it? Nothing.

What I’m listening to right now is… We’ve been trading tracks in the tour van this week so it’s been Monty Python, Dr Dog, The Budos Band, and lots of The National. What I’m watching right now is… Pretty much nothing, actually. The odd viral YouTube sensation/abhorrence notwithstanding.

The one song I wish I’d written is… Light Through The Veins – Jon Hopkins. Apart from the fact that a hugely rich band wants to use part of the track to intro one of their songs, and they want you to co-produce their record with Brian Eno, this is an epic track which never ceases to stop me in my tracks. The Book Of Ships launch their Dark Continent, Cold Century album at the Empress on Friday.

BARE ESSENTIALS Catching ABBIE CARDWELL as she prepares for a rare northern sojourn with her band ABBIE CARDWELL & HER LEADING MEN, TYLER MCLOUGHLAN learns how only having a few bucks to record an album can yield the richest recordings.


weekend,” Cardwell says proudly of recording The Bare Bones Sessions. “We set up on the Friday night, and we recorded on the Saturday and Sunday and that was it. One weekend!”

July Days threw a camera against the wall in 2010 to watch the colours fall out, leaving behind a UK tour, the St Kilda Festival Audience Award and a new record, launched in October. So as not to sit around doing nothing but aging, July Days are jumping right into 2011 with some new tunes and a tour to match. Shows in Adelaide, Tassie and New South Wales throughout the summer will be highlighted with some wonderful shows through hometown Melbourne. Beginning with the Toff In Town this Sunday, July Days will be joined by special friends Better Than The Wizards and RVC. Entry is $10 with a free CD from 7.30pm.

ALL THE RAGE: CARRY Having spent several years honing her craft in hometown Brisbane, Carry Nation has built a reputation for her haunting live shows and ability to transfi x her audience. She has also had the pleasure of performing with Darren Hanlon, Laura Jean, Washington and McKisko. A recent (and extremely welcome) transplant to our city, Carry Nation has introduced herself properly with a residency at the Edinburgh Castle, every Sunday in January on the backyard stage. She plays this Sunday with Adrian Slattery (Major Major) from 4-6pm. It’s free.


The Havknotz are Sydneysiders breaking new ground with live mash-ups. With MC Losty on vocals, Waza on the bass and the beats and guests as diverse as Ill Bill (LA Coka Nostra), DJ Kilmer and Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil) on drums, as individuals they’ve done their time supporting everyone from Koolism to The Prodigy. They unleash their Music–Life–Pain EP this week and support HED PE at the Corner Hotel on Thursday 27 January. Tickets from the venue.


Holy rock-a-moly, this is gonna be good. JJ Symon & The Monochromes play a brand of bluesy rock that’ll tug at your nostalgia strings and stamp your feet for you. The Empress Hotel staff are lucky bastards having this mob play for them every Saturday arvo in January and for just $4 entry you can be a lucky bastard too. With an array of special guests featuring through the month, round three sees them joined by Brother Buffalo and Olivia & Heather. Doors open at 3.30pm.


Crazy fuckers Bateman take to the stage this Friday at Pony for their first Melbourne show of 2011. Their last Pony show saw mic stands destroyed, drum kits used as safety nets and plenty of crowd interaction. Make sure you’re there this time to see the carnage! (Plus you will be rocked out of your proverbial socks with their riff-rock punk metal.) Support from Emerson, Declaration and Ocean Grove, and entry is $10 from 9pm.

An intrinsic understanding of each other’s personality and style was also the reason they were able to embrace the rudimentary elements of live recordings.


ou may recall Abbie Cardwell as the bluesy, rootsy South Australian belle of Triple J’s Unearthed program in 2002. Cardwell & Her Leading Men are promoting new album The Bare Bones Sessions. Due to financial necessity, Cardwell imposed strict recording constraints on the trio, a move which has gifted the group a ready-honed live set for upcoming shows. “Initially it was a case of working within my financial constraints. It was: ‘I want an album. I’ve only got a few dollars, so how do we do this?’ I thought about doing it live then I thought about how amazing it would be to have a strict rule that there was absolutely no overdubbing. We just ran with that. It was real old school,” she giggles. “It just made it become something else and the whole recording process was really enjoyable and scary all at once. “And I think now even having had that experience, even if we got money for the next one, we would still plan to record it live. It may not be that rule that we can’t overdub but we would essentially still choose to record the basics of everything all together live.” The three, comprised of guitarist/brother Jeb and stalwart drummer Ashley Davies, are a tight unit who’ve been playing together for close to a decade; considering the nature of the recording and the long three moths spent rehearsing, familiarity was a necessity. “We did it in one


Melbourne singer/songwriter Nick Batterham recently took a sideways step from his guitar duties in Cordrazine to unveil his debut solo record, Second Lovers. The album (out now through Head Records/ MGM) is a stunning collection of wistful and melodic folk rock songs. Recorded in Batterham’s home studio, an array of instruments feature throughout the record, such as horns, strings, electric slide guitar, saxophone, euphonium, guitar and drums, all of which compliment the songwriter’s emotive vocals. Catch him this Friday at the Wesley Anne and this Saturday at the Drunken Poet.

“Because there’s a lot of space in the songs, there’s one or two takes where we’d be back in the control room sitting there kind of going, ‘Oh, were we a bit late here? Was that alright? Was that note too long?’ And every now and then we ended up deciding that a take we were about to throw away was actually the best. So that was kind of a beautiful surprise to find that,” Cardwell delights. “Some songs we preferred when we thought we had the odd weird moment – for some reason it was just better.


Australian-born, Nashville-based Anne McCue returns in February for a couple of shows to promote Broken Promise Land, her new album and first on Laughing Outlaw Records. McCue has attracted high praise in the States for the record and her performances, with the Cincinnati City Beat describing her dynamic as “stratospheric guitar work, whiskysoaked voice and songs crackling with classic intensity and modern energy”. She stops into the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh on Friday 11 February – grab tickets from

CHOC TOPS Brisbane-based eight-piece band Chocolate Strings play an assortment of funked up, souled-out melodies mixed with Latin and a touch of reggae. Featuring the lush Polynesian vocal blends of Ofa Fanaika, Nia Falekakala and Nikkie McWalters, the group are jumping on stage at Bar Open this Friday night. They’ll be supporting Blak Roots, whose original show combines reggae with Congolese rumba, Afrobeat, a touch of Latin and Caribbean salsa and zouk. Blak Roots were hand-picked to support the legendary Alpha Blondy and Congolese star Awilo Longomba. Entry is free from 10pm.

“You hear that in old records of artists, like Elvis in Sun Studios… Recordings where people have gone in and done stuff live and they’re amazing, they’re extra special because of the nuances you hear or the odd string that’s out of tune.” Sending off the recordings for Nick Didia (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Powderfinger) to mix put the icing on the album cake for Cardwell. “He just manages to make the best of everything. He did my album before so I just trust him implicitly and send everything to him,” she gushes. “We had a rough mix at the time in the studio, but it was like magic getting it back from the States!” WHO: Abbie Cardwell & Her Leading Men WHAT: The Bare Bones Sessions (Vitamin) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 28 January, Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival, Royal Exhibition Building


Malcolm Hill presents a one-man show like no other. A “one-man Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on stage” is one description. But he equally turns his hand to his “pretty songs” too. Seen in the stageplay about Ned Kelly, The Jerilderie Letter, his music has also been the subject of a great doco film The Last Of The Wild Bohemians, which followed him around on tour with Nick Cave. Hill plays the Edinburgh Castle Hotel this Saturday as part of his residency with Andrew McCubbin & Hope Addicts, who have been in the studio recording the follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2007 release, Blue. Be in the backyard from 4-6pm for the free gig.

BLOW UP DOLLS Priory Dolls are taking their narcotic chaos pop to the Tote this Friday to headline a fillerless line-up. Getting seedy with them is the best band in the world (well, it’s subjective), Greasers, featuring members of Little Red and Eagle & The Worm, as well as the relentless, soaring, fucked-up rock of Sydney’s Go Roll Your Bones. And warming you up before you’re pissed enough to not care about going deaf is blissful poppers with endless charm Francolin and Brainsworth (Sean from Fearless Vampire Killers with friends). Tantrums DJs spin between sets. Head to for a free download of their single Me & My Accelerated Friends.


Lonesome, one of Melbourne’s finest country rock acts, will be appropriately launching their debut album, Saturday Night Special, at Yah Yah’s this Saturday night. Also launching their debut album that night will be Ryan Sterling & The Sister City. Special guests are the superb Joni Lightning. Featuring members of The Morning After Girls, Paul Kelly & The Dots and The Sacred Cowboys, Lonesome combine elements of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons. They play original music with some old western swagger. Doors open at 9pm.


the sewage treatment plant located nearby.” Premier booking agent Pat Delves says, “I’ve always loved the band name Hot Hot Heat. It immediately catches your attention and piques interest enough to want to at least have a curious listen.” Venue booker Neil Wedd – who’s booked just about every Australian band – loves People With Chairs Up Their Noses (“it’s silly”), This Is Serious Mum (“silly”) and British India (“sense of intrigue”). Sarah-Jane Wentzki, who performs as Princess One Point Five, says, “As a rule, I don’t play favourites, but I do think that my top two band names would be Broken Social Scene and Made For Chickens By Robots. The former because with a name like that, I was pleasantly surprised they weren’t overrated. Also, it’s very evocative of a time and place. Made For Chickens is one of the cleverest names I’ve heard. Why? I don’t know! And, more importantly, I don’t care! I just like it, it rolls off the tongue so easily, and robots are cool. It makes me laugh out loud, and that’s good enough, methinks. Great music, too.” As Neil Rogers adds, “Sometimes the band’s music influences your thoughts on their name. For example, Died Pretty, Kings Of The Sun, Painters & Dockers, Huxton Creepers, The Stems, Sunnyboys… great bands and music, hence you think the name is also good.”

The Bon Scotts


HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS

OWL BE THERE FOR YOU Sarah from Carlton was recently moved to write a letter to Inpress: “What’s going on with the abundance of bands currently getting around with ‘owl’ in their name?” she asked. “Just this week I’ve read or heard about Owl City, Owl & Moth, Owl Eyes and Breathe Owl Breathe. How does this kind of thing happen? Enough with the owls!” As Shakespeare asked, what’s in a name? Sometimes, band names are confusing: there’s


Dead Letter Chorus and Dead Letter Circus. There’s The Beautiful Few, The Beautiful Girls, The Chosen Few and The Devoted Few. And everyone would think that Amy Meredith was a female solo artist.

SHIT NAMES CAN BE GOOD Howzat! loves big, simple band names – they look great on a poster and they’re easy to spell. Most people can spell AC/DC. Jet might be the perfect name. We also love INXS (even though a lot of people thought it was “Inks”). Asked for his favourite band name, Neil Rogers, the host of RRR’s The Australian Mood, nominates Turd. “They were a band of young guys based in Werribee in the early to mid ’90s,” Neil explains. “It showed a good sense of humour, given

They got death threats in Melbourne and were heckled in Newcastle. Who would have thought a band name could cause so much trouble? But, then, The Bon Scotts did name themselves after an Aussie icon. And their sound is more twisted folk than raucous rock. “It started as a joke,” lead singer Damien Sutton tells Howzat! “Every band coming out at the time was calling themselves ‘The something-or-others’ and dressing up like rock stars in tight branded jeans and ripped designer shirts. Also, no one rocked like Bon Scott – when you see his crooked smile and his eyes light up you know what music is meant to be; we try and maintain that fun and energy.” Does it annoy the band that they have to explain they’re not an AC/DC covers band? “It doesn’t annoy us, and I think it would be a little presumptuous if it did – we did name our band after one of music’s greatest icons. Thankfully, we’re getting to the stage where we have to explain it less and less, but we have had a few people come to

our shows expecting an AC/DC tribute band.”


“There are so many band names that are terrible yet don’t seem to impact their career,” Pat Delves says, “Live, Bush, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls... We should give an honorable mention to LA metal group Poopfist. But the worst band name surely has to go to Train. I mean, was Car taken? How about Truck? Bike?” Neil Rogers hates the band name The Missing Beaumont Children. “Not funny at all. Three young Adelaide children who disappeared in 1966 and have never been found. Not funny to trade on someone else’s misery.” Sarah-Jane suggests Vaginal Carnage. “Not because I think it’s the worst band name, but just because I want to say it. It is what it is and, more importantly, it’s a great way of getting yourself excused from conversations you don’t want to participate in. Just blurt it out at random intervals and get yourself ejected from almost anywhere. So I guess this, in itself, actually makes it kind of good. Hmmm, perhaps not. Honestly, I think the worst band names aren’t necessarily the most offensive, but the ones that just don’t try. Anything starting with ‘The’ is usually a sure sign of little to zero imagination and just plain laziness.” But the beauty of a band name can be in the eye and ear of the beholder. “As far as I can figure it, sometimes good is bad, and bad is oh so right,” Sarah-Jane says, “and what makes a good or bad band name is altogether as elusive and undefinable a concept as the music itself. Now, as for that band Princess One Point Five… I mean, who was the idiot who thought that one up? And what does it even mean?”


Westgarth Talking D. ROGERS Accidentally THE LITTLE STEVIES Shape I’m In THE RESIGNATORS Lies SKYBOMBERS Okay Sydney, You Beat Me NIC DALTON


WED 19

Adrian Stoyles Retreat Hotel Arctic, Mike Kay, Able, MC Mannix, Ella Thompson, Digital Assassin, Ghost Soul, Aoi Bar Open Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bluejuice, Philadelphia Grand Jury, Purple Sneakers DJ’s Flying Horse Bar & Brewery Bohjass, Young/ Maguire Band, Slipper 303 Call Me Professor, Trjaeu, Wild Dog Creek Evelyn Hotel Cast Iron Pinata, John Smith Quartet, Guests, Jaymz Clements, Spidey, Shaky Memorial Revolver Dance Aid, Grant Smillie, Ruby Rose, Nervo, Stafford Brothers, Kaz James, Zoe Badwi, Hook N Sling, TV Rock Prince Bandroom Danny McDonald The Standard Hotel Far Concern, Francis Plagne, Sheahan Drive Builders Arms Hotel Fubex, Defron, Bastian Kill Joy, Matt Stanios, The Posers Ruby’s Lounge Harmony, BJ Morriszonkle, The Jackals The Old Bar Homewrecker Wesley Anne Huckelberry & Me The Arthouse Ken Walker, Wes Bucello Casey’s Nightclub Kristen & Suzanne, Coby Grant The Drunken Poet Lady Noir, Agent 86, Kiti, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq Le Belle, Dancing Heals, Asher Lessels, On Like Kong Esplanade Lounge Obliveus, Manchild, Moonshine, Tahl, Matt Radovich, Lindsay Marchment Bimbo Deluxe Open Mic Bendigo Hotel Open Mic Brunswick Hotel Open Mic Elwood Lounge Open Mic Soft Belly Bar Open Mic, Vickey Jacobs The Butterfly Club Open Mic Night Bender Bar Peter Tollich, Stand & Deliver Co., Crown Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Roger Sanchez Rush Bar Scout! Scout!, Courtney Barnett Edinburgh Castle Hotel


Tehachapi, Krakatoa, The Ovals Workers Club Tex Moon, Magdalena Magdalena, Cloud Canyon Empress Hotel The Hermitude of Angus The Toff In Town The Level Spirits, The Blue Peter Cherry Bar The Little Stevies Karova Lounge The Superguns, Dead City Ruins, 180 Proof, House of Honeys The Tote Trivia The Vic Tully Summoner The Gem Wire, My Disco, New War Corner Hotel

THU 20

Alex & Tobes Dan O’Connell, Carlton Anna’s Go Go Academy The Vic Bent Cabaret, Mad Dame, Lil Miss Ruby Q, Lady Bird, Baby Cakes Bendigo Hotel Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bits of Shit, Daddy Long Legs, Buftie Boys, Bad Aches Yah Yah’s Bluejuice, Philedelphia Grand Jury, Purple Sneakers DJ’s Eureka Hotel, Geelong Boy Rides Monster, The Rhetorics, Jesus Brunswick Hotel Brendan Skinner, David Kerrigan Wesley Anne Carpathian, First Base, Calvacade Next Casey Dean Urban Central Cazbar DJ’s Sphinx Entertainment Centre Clunk Orchestra, Sarah Maclaine Dizzy’s Jazz Club Dan Mangan, Nicholas Roy, Spookyland Northcote Social Club DJ Cash Money Esplanade Lounge Finlo White Co., Crown Gabriel Lynch, Kane Sole The Drunken Poet Graft Vs Host, Panel VanHalen, Fuckin Choke The Tote Jake O’Leary, China, Jimmy Cox, James Rosales, Joel Alpha Valve Jeff & Pete Elephant and Wheelbarrow Jesse I, Major Krazy First Floor Josh Durno, Tim Woods, Joel Stibbard Great Britain Hotel Judy Collins, Chris Bailey West Gippsland Arts Centre

Katie Noonan Bennetts Lane La Dispute (USA), To The North, Marathon, Gatherer The Arthouse Ladies Night, Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Lamort, Ignite the Ibex, Alice Through the Windshield Glass, Elysian Barwon Club Light Lion, A Dead Forest Index, White Woods Builders Arms Hotel Marlon Winterbourne, The Hope Addicts, Catherine Tracios, Andrew Keese, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH The Toff In Town Monkey Marc, Paso Bionic Empress Hotel Mr Magoo, Sneddon Commercial Hotel Noizy Neighbours Room 680 Poleto Pra, Teen Ax, Dead Boomers, Mitchell Brennan The Old Bar Rosstown DJ’s Rosstown Hotel Ruby Cartel Edinburgh Castle Hotel Scotty E Wheelers Hill Hotel Sean McMahon’s Western Union Union Hotel Brunswick Sherrif, Gretchen Lewis, Fare Evader, Sweet Lincoln Evelyn Hotel Son Tres Mi Corazon Soul Safari Cherry Bar Station DJ’s Station Hotel The Close, Seedy Jeezus, The Moons of Jupiter, Lane Chaser, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Pony The Currency Retreat Hotel The Madness Method, Tabasco Junkies, The Sweaters Esplanade Basement The Moxie, Lucy Wise, Alex Servenis Bar Open The Red Lights, Strathmore, Luca Della Night Owls, Hans DC, WHO Revolver The Tropical Vampirates, Dirty Canary, Rogue Fonce, 2 Quirks The Prague Thee Oh Sees, Beaches, Twerps Workers Club Tuan Beser, Johan Elg Loop Tyson Hodges Trio, Jungle Newmarket Hotel, Bendigo U-One, Dave Pham, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Van Myer, Holliava, Nathan Burley John Curtin Hotel

Washington, Bertie Blackman, Missy Higgins, Tim Rogers, Dan Sultan, Clare Bowditch, Julia Zemiro Corner Hotel Whiskey Mama The Gem WHO, Agent 86, Lewis cancut Lucky Coq Wolfgramm Sisters, Jordie Lane Grace Darling Hotel Yokey, Hollie Joyce, Chris Hay 303

FRI 21

Adam 12, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Bateman, Emerson, Declaration, Ocean Grove, Bunny Monroe, Grandmaster Vicious Pony Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bombastic Plastic, The Five Venoms, Shoot the Narc Esplanade Basement Book of Ships, Tobias Cummings, Ballads, Boatfriends Empress Hotel Brat Farrar, Chigwell Sharp, Wrong Turn, Bones Blackwood, DJ Eucalyptus The Old Bar Cape Cod Affair, Mz Wood, The Red Jane Show The Johnston Cat Power, Dirty Delta Blues, Conway Savage Forum Theatre Charli Delaney, DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat Co., Crown Chocolate Strings, Blak Roots Bar Open Cobblestone Jazz, Mathew Jonson Revolver Dan Mangan, Nicholas Roy, Spookyland National Hotel Dark Bells, Lowtide Workers Club Decimatus, Mason, Nightbreed The Prague Ding Dong DJ’s, Mohair Slim, Richie 1250, Pierre Baroni, Axes Of Keneaval Ding Dong Lounge DJ Cash Money, Pez, Rusty (Electric Mary) Esplanade Front Bar Doll Squad, The ReChords, Go Girl Gadget Go Go, Electric Mudcat, Vince Peach, Knave Knixx Red Bennies Fastrack, Ten Thousand, Scene, The Deep Ruby’s Lounge Fingerbone Bill The Gem

Flood Fundraiser, Monique Brumby, Rosie Burgess, Bitchslap, The Fujiyama Mamas, Holy Pistola, DJ Vixen Bendigo Hotel Francolin Builders Arms, early show Goodnight Owl, Great Earthquake, Hayden Calnin Grace Darling Hotel Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat The Hi-Fi Health, Absolute Boys, Bum Creek East Brunswick Club Ilk, Jess Moussi, Alora Edinburgh Castle Hotel Interzone, Pissy Paw, Asps, Miss Goldie Yah Yah’s Jay Howie, The Royal Narcotic Reveller’s Bar Jelly Tub Rollers, Nick Batterham Wesley Anne Judy Collins, Chris Bailey Corner Hotel Kill The Matador, Hightime, Human Pollution Public Bar La Dispute (USA), To The North, Accolades, On Sierra, Franco Cozzo, Hatchet Plan Irene’s Luke McD Ladida Matt & Earl James Squire Brewhouse Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq Max Vagas Bertha Brown Mr Maps, Nightmaster, Radiant City John Curtin Hotel Mr Nice & Ego Loophole Perseverance, Woodbridge, Internal Harvest Cherry Bar Phil Ross, Dean T, Chris Mac, DJ Atomik, Johnny M Fusion, Crown Platinum DJ’s Valve Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Priory Dolls, Greasers, Go Roll Your Bones, Francolin, Brainsworth, Tantrum DJ’s The Tote Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Red Rockets Of Borneo, The Twoks, Thrilling True Stories 303 Sforzando, Sherrif, Public Liability, Tantalum, Hessian Brunswick Hotel Simon Slieker, Mo Ichi, Freya, Mish’chief, Katie Drover, Shane Copal Bimbo Deluxe Sin City, Working Horse Irons, DJ Powell Retreat Hotel

Sircuit DJ’s, Gavin Campbell Sircuit Stanton Warriors, Skool Of Thought, Nick Thayer, Phil K, Rollin Connection, Tahl Brown Alley Station DJ’s Station Hotel Steve Punch, Jon Montes, Syme Tollens Abode Tailor Made For A Small Room, Clue To Kalo, Francis Plagne Builders Arms Hotel The 64 Falcon Bar 362 The Abandonment, Robotosaurus, Dick Wolf, Internal Rot The Arthouse The Awesomes Elephant and Wheelbarrow The Beautiful Girls, The Chemist Prince Bandroom The Big Hoo Haa Portland Hotel The Go Set Esplanade Gershwin Room The Smitten, Diner Bender Bar Tim Mcmillan Band, Cloud City, A Lonely Crowd, Karen Heath Evelyn Hotel Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet Trash DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub Trevor Jones Duo The Butterfly Club True Live Northcote Social Club Vice Grip Pussies Lyrebird Lounge

SAT 22

23 Angles of Attack, It Begins With…, Humper & the Humpettes 303 AC/Dshe Esplanade Basement Adam Askew, Henry Thorn, Peter Baker, Sam McEwin, Adam Trace, Myles Mac, Tom Evans Bimbo Deluxe Adam Cole, Trappis Afterland Band, Marlon Winterbourne Movement, Genevieve & Jezabel, Andria Empress Hotel Alex Legg St Andrews Hotel Anna Lumb, Mike Gurrieri, Knave Knixx Red Bennies Ash Naylor The Gem Attack of the Mannequins, First Time Hookers, Scene Cherry Bar Audio Porn 161 Autumn Gray, Luke Legs, The Midnight Specials, The House deFROST, Andee Frost The Toff In Azucar Mi Corazon Beaker, Syme Tollens Abode

Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bluejuice, Philedelphia Grand Jury, Purple Sneakers DJ’s Westernport Hotel Captain Cleanoff, Needful Things, The Kill, Teargas, Doubled Over The Arthouse Cat Power, Dirty Delta Blues, Tobias Cummings Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) Cazbar DJ’s Sphinx Entertainment Centre C-Bas Station Hotel Chill James Squire Brewhouse City Calm Down, The Hello Morning, The Thod, Levons Crown, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Clip Clop Club, The 64 Falcon Pint On Punt Collard, Greens & Gravy Union Hotel Brunswick Dan Mangan, Nicholas Roy, Spookyland Baby Black Café Dan O’Connell Fiddlers Dan O’Connell, Carlton Ding Dong DJ’s Ding Dong Lounge Dirge, Moth, Xenos, Face on Fire Barwon Club DJ Traffic Jam, Alan James & the Speckled Band, Grace Barbe, Jess McGuire Retreat Hotel Electric Mary, 2200, Destroy She Said Corner Hotel Goyim, Sarah Guifre, Tinker & The Poles Wesley Anne Gun Ballads, Damien Samuel, Jungle Monkey, Kill Andrew Ruby’s Lounge Hannah Gadsby, Dave Callan, Steve Poltz, Kate Walker Northcote Social Club Hopes Abandoned, Daybreak, Seaweed East Brunswick Club James Reyne & Band, Nick Barker Melbourne Zoo Jimmy Barnes, Thirsty Merc, Noiseworks Eureka Stadium, Geelong JJ Symon & The Monochromes, Brother Buffalo, Oliver & Heather Empress Hotel, Arvo Show Kimberley Aviso, Filosopher, College Fall Builders Arms Hotel LeBelle, Carvel, Sun Sleepers, Jumpin’ Jack William The Prague Lonesome, Ryan Sterling, Joni Lightning, Pottsy Rebelle Yah Yah’s Lord Bishop Rocks, Cloudmouth, The Routines, Samuel Page Bendigo Hotel

Love At This Volume, The Townhouses, Louis Artec, The Aura Cura, Lord Bishop Rocks, Woodbridge Pony Malcolm Hill, Andrew McCubbin Edinburgh Castle, early show Marcel Dettmann, Robert Hood, Jay Shepheard, Tornado Wallace, JUG, DJ HMC Loophole Mark Pellegrini, Jason Sirini, Andreas, Nick Van Wilder, Michael T, Mas, Danny Merx Trak Mary Jane Kelly, The Broderick, Venomartyr Bang Matty G, Dozza Co., Crown Metrik Elephant and Wheelbarrow Moonshine, Pacman, Ash Lee, Kodiak Kid, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Tahl Lucky Coq Naberus, Faeble, Hatchet Dawn, Fhate, Sleepa Esplanade Gershwin Room Nick Batterham The Drunken Poet No Zu, Absolute Boys, Rites Wild Workers Club None the Wiser, Strathmore, Crying Sirens Public Bar Perplex, Ooh Ee, Agent 86, Simon Sez, Paz, A-Style, Weapon X, Lewis cancut, Mr Fish First Floor Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Ralph De Silva, David Higgins & the Uncle Pumpkins, Chook Race, Citrus Jam, Bad at Knitting, Thomas McNulty Brunswick Hotel Raul Sanchez Sporting Club Hotel Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Rhymada, Glass Empire, Gravity Gun, Broken Scar Evelyn Hotel Scotty Erdos, Phil Ross, Nick James, On Time The Loft Skillet The Hi-Fi Snack Attack DJ’s, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Soltribe Blue Diamond Stolen Barwon Heads Hotel Susy Blue Builders Arms, early show Swidgen, King Parrot, Broozer, Odiusembowel The Tote Tate Strauss, Dean T, Johnny M, Nova Fusion, Crown The Beautiful Girls, The Chemist Pier Hotel

Wed. 19th (Wine, Whiskey, Women) 8pm: Kristen & Suzanne 9pm: Coby Grant

Thurs. 20th 8pm: Gabriel Lynch 9pm: Kane Sole

Fri. 21st 6pm: Traditional Irish Music Session with Dan Bourke & Friends

Sat. 22nd 9pm: Nick Batterham

Sun. 23rd 4pm: The Stetson Family 6.30pm: Enda Kenny

Tues. 25th 6.30pm: Chris Wilson

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

67 The Bona Fide Travellers, Killing Floor Blues Band, The Cobra 45a Chandelier Room The Branded Souls, The Happy Endings, The Elliots, Mowgli Revolver The Cambrian Explosion, The Yard Apes, The Saturday Knights Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Dot Coms, Damn Terran, Kids Of Zoo, Drum Heller, DJ Eucalyptus The Old Bar The Hoodangers Bar Open The Muddy Turds Commercial Hotel The Queens Head Great Britain Hotel The Woolworths Blues Singers Bender Bar Tom Evans, Nick Jones, Ryan Wells, Josh & Sash, Mee2, Nick Flemming Valve Trevor Jones Duo The Butterfly Club Wonderland DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub


SUN 23

Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, T-Rek Revolver Boom! Bap! Pow!, Feedback Dancer, Sprowell Empress Hotel Carry Nation, Adrian Slattery Edinburgh Castle, early show Chinook, Damon Smith & The Quality Lightweights Northcote Social Club Chris Hay Quartet, The Run Run, Yokey Empress Hotel, Arvo Show Clinkerfield, Lone Tiger, The Heel Toe Express, The Sinking Tins, DJ Broadbent The Old Bar Cold Harbour, The Devil Rock Four, Kingswood The Tote Dirt River Radio The Standard Hotel Duchesz, Ayna First Floor Eric Collier & the Cartel, William Blaxland, Savidas, Baby Lemonade, Jacked Brunswick Hotel Fingerbone Bill, Kim Salmon, Suzie Stapleton Retreat Hotel

Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Iowa, Telecom, Mass Cult, Liam Stewart Yah Yah’s Jeff & John Elephant and Wheelbarrow Jess Harlen, Pina Tuteri, Stef Torchia Bendigo Hotel Jimmy Barnes, Noiseworks, Thirsty Merc Latrobe City Sports & Entertainment Centre Joel Plymin & Them Blues Cats Great Britain Hotel Jules Hutcheson, Leigh Sloggett Chandelier Room July Days, Better Than The Wizards, RVC, Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town Kitty K & the Jager Bombs Cherry Bar LA Bastard, Ricochet Pete, The Yard Apes The Arthouse Lowkey, Fear of a Brown Planet, Lady Lash, Lesson Prince Bandroom Open Decks Bender Bar Ove-Naxx, YobKiss, Toxic Lipstick, The Harte Machine Bar Open

Palomino Builders Arms, early show Pat Mckernan PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub Paul Kidney Experience, Mani Neumeier Workers Club Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Ray Beadle Williamstown RSL Rich Webb and the Wallflowers, Opa 303 Schnitz n Tits Red Bennies Skillet, Liza (On a E) The Hi-Fi Steve Poltz Ruby’s Lounge Suzannah Espie & The Last Word Union Hotel Brunswick Tempting Fate, The Refunds, Aricochet, Queen St Riot, Hollow Everdaze, Irves, Purple Sneakers DJ’s Esplanade Gershwin Room The Beautiful Girls, The Chemist Barwon Heads Hotel The Blues Bros Tribute, The Australian Van Morrison Show Melbourne Zoo The Caning, The Charge, Dave Sirianni The Prague The Jed Rowe Band St Andrews Hotel

The Lloyd Weir Wesley Anne The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Stetson Family, Edna Kenny The Drunken Poet The Vintage Suits Blue Diamond Tim Butt Dan O’Connell, Carlton Tropical Gordon, Jordan White, Johnny Rock & The Limits Builders Arms Hotel Twelve Legged Beast, Chev Rise, Saltwater Evelyn Hotel

MON 24

5 Stars Bitch The Toff In Town Alistair Parsons Band 303 Burlesque Classes Red Bennies Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band The Old Bar Josh Owen Band Esplanade Lounge Monday Night Madness! Brunswick Hotel Radio Star, The Raffaellas Workers Club

TUE 25

2manydickheads, Glass Mirrors, Kraymer, Zayler, Eli B Inflation Beach House, The Orbweavers, Wintercoats The Hi-Fi Chris Altmann Labour In Vain Chris Ostrom, Tours, Aniket, Razz, TMC The Long Room Chris Wilson The Drunken Poet Cine - Cult, Switchblade Sisters 303 Circle Pit, Super Wild Horses, Divorced, Deep Heat Yah Yah’s Closure in Moscow, House Vs Hurricane, Gatherer, Perfect Fit, Hey L.A, Vultures, Of Whispers, Hybrid Nightmares, Headache Plastic Damn Terran, Heavy Mental, Plast Her Ov Paris, Dozers Pony David Schwartz, Anthony Hudson, Kevin Bartlett, Mark Robinson Wheelers Hill Hotel

Deep St Soul, Mighty May Johnson Night Cat Dirty York, Tracy Mcneil, Jaime Robbie Reyne Northcote Social Club Fence Ryders, The Feel Goods, Rainbow Massacre, Red Sky Divide Ruby’s Lounge Fierce Mild, Ashen Tide, Joe Ransom, The Crooked Projects, Old World Sparrow Brunswick Hotel Judy Collins, Chris Bailey Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) Karaoke Night Bender Bar Keith Party Workers Club Keith! Party The Workers Club Kora, Tijuana Cartel, Alphamama, Direct Influence, Marabou Project, DJ Manchild, Theif & Eliza Wolfgram Esplanade Gershwin & Front Bar Miley Montana Frankston Arts Centre Monique Brumby, Pony Face Empress Hotel Nfa, Runforyourlife, Karen Morales, Lotus, Candice Monique & the Optics, Kojo, Florelie, Ella Thompson, Julez The Toff In Town

Open Mic Dan O’Connell, Carlton Plague Doctor, The Velocettes, Danny Walsh, DJ Mascot The Old Bar Polo Club, OK Sure Evelyn Hotel Royal Crown Revue, Boom! Bap! Pow! Corner Hotel Sarah & The King Bees, Nyssa Bradsworth, Preston Perche, Tim Woods & The Dirty Shoes, Judy Judy Esplanade Basement Snowy Belfast, The Shivering Timbers, DJ Magregordeth Retreat Hotel Steve Poltz, 28 Days Ferntree Gully Hotel The Awesomes Elephant and Wheelbarrow The Barons Of Tang Bar Open The Black Sorrows, Tex & The Slideshow Barwon Heads Hotel The Vandas, Hoss, The Bowers The Tote Tracey Bunn Wesley Anne T-Rek, Boogs, Spacey Space, Trivia Revolver



fingerbone bill



Wed 19TH

Tully Summoner THURS 20TH whiskey mama FRI 21ST




Jimmy Stewart residency





140 Sydney Rd



9387 6637



bar • venue • food


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$10 JUGS



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Saturday Mary Jane Kelly, The Broderick, Venomartyr


Wednesday Arctic, Mike Kay, Able, MC Mannix, Ella Thompson, Digital Assassin, Ghost Soul, Aoi Thursday The Moxie, Lucy Wise, Alex Servenis Friday Chocolate Strings, Blak Roots Saturday The Hoodangers Sunday Ove-Naxx, YobKiss, Toxic Lipstick, The Harte Machine Tuesday The Barons Of Tang


Wednesday Open Mic Night Friday The Smitten, Diner Saturday The Woolworths Blues Singers Sunday Open Decks Tuesday Karaoke Night


Wednesday Open Mic Thursday Bent Cabaret, Mad Dame, Lil Miss Ruby Q, Lady Bird, Baby Cakes Friday Flood Fundraiser, Monique Brumby, Rosie Burgess, Bitchslap, The Fujiyama Mamas, Holy Pistola, DJ Vixen Saturday Lord Bishop Rocks, Cloudmouth, The Routines, Samuel Page Sunday Jess Harlen, Pina Tuteri, Stef Torchia


Saturday Soltribe Sunday The Vintage Suits


Wednesday Open Mic Thursday Boy Rides Monster, The Rhetorics, Jesus Friday Sforzando, Sherrif, Public Liability, Tantalum, Hessian Saturday Ralph De Silva, David Higgins & the Uncle Pumpkins, Chook Race, Citrus Jam, Bad at Knitting, Thomas McNulty


Sunday Eric Collier & the Cartel, William Blaxland, Savidas, Baby Lemonade, Jacked Monday Monday Night Madness! Tuesday Fierce Mild, Ashen Tide, Joe Ransom, The Crooked Projects, Old World Sparrow


Wednesday Far Concern, Francis Plagne, Sheahan Drive Thursday Light Lion, A Dead Forest Index, White Woods Friday Tailor Made For A Small Room, Clue To Kalo, Francis Plagne Saturday Kimberley Aviso, Filosopher, College Fall Sunday Tropical Gordon, Jordan White, Johnny Rock & The Limits


Wednesday The Level Spirits, The Blue Peter Thursday Soul Safari Friday Perseverance, Woodbridge, Internal Harvest Saturday Attack of the Mannequins, First Time Hookers, Scene Sunday Kitty K & the Jager Bombs


Wednesday Wire, My Disco, New War Thursday Washington, Bertie Blackman, Missy Higgins, Tim Rogers, Dan Sultan, Clare Bowditch, Julia Zemiro Friday Judy Collins, Chris Bailey Saturday Electric Mary, 2200, Destroy She Said Tuesday Royal Crown Revue, Boom! Bap! Pow!


Friday Health, Absolute Boys, Bum Creek Saturday Hopes Abandoned, Daybreak, Seaweed


Wednesday Scout! Scout!, Courtney Barnett Thursday Ruby Cartel

Friday Ilk, Jess Moussi, Alora Saturday The Cambrian Explosion, The Yard Apes, The Saturday Knights Sunday The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats


Wednesday Tex Moon, Magdalena Magdalena, Cloud Canyon Thursday Monkey Marc, Paso Bionic Friday Book of Ships, Tobias Cummings, Ballads, Boatfriends Saturday Adam Cole, Trappis Afterland Band, Marlon Winterbourne Movement, Genevieve & Jezabel, Andria Sunday Boom! Bap! Pow!, Feedback Dancer, Sprowell Tuesday Monique Brumby, Pony Face


Saturday JJ Symon & The Monochromes, Brother Buffalo, Oliver & Heather Sunday Chris Hay Quartet, The Run Run, Yokey


Thursday The Madness Method, Tabasco Junkies, The Sweaters Friday Bombastic Plastic, The Five Venoms, Shoot the Narc Saturday AC/Dshe Tuesday Sarah & The King Bees, Nyssa Bradsworth, Preston Perche, Tim Woods & The Dirty Shoes, Judy Judy


Friday DJ Cash Money, Pez, Rusty (Electric Mary)


Friday The Go Set Saturday Naberus, Faeble, Hatchet Dawn, Fhate, Sleepa Sunday Tempting Fate, The Refunds, Aricochet, Queen St Riot, Hollow Everdaze, Irves, Purple Sneakers DJ’s


Wednesday Le Belle, Dancing Heals, Asher Lessels, On Like Kong Thursday DJ Cash Money Saturday City Calm Down, The Hello Morning, The Thod, Levons Crown, Phil Para Sunday Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Josh Owen Band


Wednesday Call Me Professor, Trjaeu, Wild Dog Creek Thursday Sherrif, Gretchen Lewis, Fare Evader, Sweet Lincoln Friday Tim Mcmillan Band, Cloud City, A Lonely Crowd, Karen Heath Saturday Rhymada, Glass Empire, Gravity Gun, Broken Scar Sunday Twelve Legged Beast, Chev Rise, Saltwater Tuesday Polo Club, OK Sure


Thursday Wolfgramm Sisters, Jordie Lane Friday Goodnight Owl, Great Earthquake, Hayden Calnin


Friday La Dispute (USA), To The North, Accolades, On Sierra, Franco Cozzo, Hatchet Plan


Thursday Van Myer, Holliava, Nathan Burley Friday Mr Maps, Nightmaster, Radiant City


Tuesday Chris Altmann


Thursday Carpathian, First Base, Calvacade


Thursday Dan Mangan, Nicholas Roy, Spookyland Friday True Live Saturday Hannah Gadsby, Dave Callan, Steve Poltz, Kate Walker

Sunday Chinook, Damon Smith & The Quality Lightweights Tuesday Dirty York, Tracy Mcneil, Jaime Robbie Reyne

Tuesday T-Rek, Boogs, Spacey Space, Trivia



Thursday The Close, Seedy Jeezus, The Moons of Jupiter, Lane Chaser, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Friday Bateman, Emerson, Declaration, Ocean Grove, Bunny Monroe, Grandmaster Vicious Saturday Love At This Volume, The Townhouses, Louis Artec, The Aura Cura, Lord Bishop Rocks, Woodbridge Tuesday Damn Terran, Heavy Mental, Plast Her Ov Paris, Dozers


Wednesday Dance Aid, Grant Smillie, Ruby Rose, Nervo, Stafford Brothers, Kaz James, Zoe Badwi, Hook N Sling, TV Rock Friday The Beautiful Girls, The Chemist Sunday Lowkey, Fear of a Brown Planet, Lady Lash, Lesson


Wednesday Adrian Stoyles Thursday The Currency Friday Sin City, Working Horse Irons, DJ Powell Saturday DJ Traffic Jam, Alan James & the Speckled Band, Grace Barbe, Jess McGuire Sunday Fingerbone Bill, Kim Salmon, Suzie Stapleton Tuesday Snowy Belfast, The Shivering Timbers, DJ Magregordeth


Wednesday Cast Iron Pinata, John Smith Quartet, Guests, Jaymz Clements, Spidey, Shaky Memorial Thursday The Red Lights, Strathmore, Luca Della Night Owls, Hans DC, WHO Friday Cobblestone Jazz, Mathew Jonson Saturday The Branded Souls, The Happy Endings, The Elliots, Mowgli Sunday Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, T-Rek


Thursday Rosstown DJ’s

Wednesday Huckelberry & Me Thursday La Dispute (USA), To The North, Marathon, Gatherer Friday The Abandonment, Robotosaurus, Dick Wolf, Internal Rot Saturday Captain Cleanoff, Needful Things, The Kill, Teargas, Doubled Over Sunday LA Bastard, Ricochet Pete, The Yard Apes


Wednesday Kristen & Suzanne, Coby Grant Thursday Gabriel Lynch, Kane Sole Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Nick Batterham Sunday The Stetson Family, Edna Kenny Tuesday Chris Wilson


Wednesday Tully Summoner Thursday Whiskey Mama Friday Fingerbone Bill Saturday Ash Naylor


Friday Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat Saturday Skillet Sunday Skillet, Liza (On a E) Tuesday Beach House, The Orbweavers, Wintercoats


Wednesday Harmony, BJ Morriszonkle, The Jackals Thursday Poleto Pra, Teen Ax, Dead Boomers, Mitchell Brennan Friday Brat Farrar, Chigwell Sharp, Wrong Turn, Bones Blackwood, DJ Eucalyptus

Saturday The Dot Coms, Damn Terran, Kids Of Zoo, Drum Heller, DJ Eucalyptus Sunday Clinkerfield, Lone Tiger, The Heel Toe Express, The Sinking Tins, DJ Broadbent Monday Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band Tuesday Plague Doctor, The Velocettes, Danny Walsh, DJ Mascot


Wednesday Danny McDonald Sunday Dirt River Radio


Wednesday The Hermitude of Angus Thursday Marlon Winterbourne, The Hope Addicts, Catherine Tracios, Andrew Keese, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Autumn Gray, Luke Legs, The Midnight Specials, The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday July Days, Better Than The Wizards, RVC, Andyblack, Haggis Monday 5 Stars Bitch Tuesday Nfa, Runforyourlife, Karen Morales, Lotus, Candice Monique & the Optics, Kojo, Florelie, Ella Thompson, Julez


Wednesday The Superguns, Dead City Ruins, 180 Proof, House of Honeys Thursday Graft Vs Host, Panel VanHalen, Fuckin Choke Friday Priory Dolls, Greasers, Go Roll Your Bones, Francolin, Brainsworth, Tantrum DJ’s Saturday Swidgen, King Parrot, Broozer, Odiusembowel Sunday Cold Harbour, The Devil Rock Four, Kingswood Tuesday The Vandas, Hoss, The Bowers


Thursday Sean McMahon’s Western Union Saturday Collard, Greens & Gravy

Sunday Suzannah Espie & The Last Word


Wednesday Homewrecker Thursday Brendan Skinner, David Kerrigan Friday Jelly Tub Rollers, Nick Batterham Saturday Goyim, Sarah Guifre, Tinker & The Poles Sunday The Lloyd Weir Tuesday Tracey Bunn


Wednesday Tehachapi, Krakatoa, The Ovals Thursday Thee Oh Sees, Beaches, Twerps Friday Dark Bells, Lowtide Saturday No Zu, Absolute Boys, Rites Wild Sunday Paul Kidney Experience, Mani Neumeier Monday Radio Star, The Raffaellas Tuesday Keith Party


Thursday Bits of Shit, Daddy Long Legs, Buftie Boys, Bad Aches Friday Interzone, Pissy Paw, Asps, Miss Goldie Saturday Lonesome, Ryan Sterling, Joni Lightning, Pottsy Rebelle Sunday Iowa, Telecom, Mass Cult, Liam Stewart Tuesday Circle Pit, Super Wild Horses, Divorced, Deep Heat

Wednesdays Trivia 7.30 Thursdays Anna’s Go Go Academy 6.30 Free BBQ $10 Jugs

Coming Up.... Australia Day Hottest 100 Closest To The Pin Friday Jan 28 Orlando Sundays in February Hell Toe Express

Beer Garden Bar Open and Snack Menu Available

Contact Details 380 Victoria Street Brunswick Phone: 9388 0830 Email: victoria

Wed 19th Trivia 7.30pm

Thurs 20th

The Bucket Room local and interstate singer songwriter night 8.30pm

Fri 21st

Andrew Swann Foot stomping Blues 9.30pm

Sat 22nd

Mango Straights Full Fat Funk 9.30pm

Sun 23rd

The ‘’Help The Queenslanders Get Back On Their Feet Charity Gig’’ Music from 2pm, beer and cider specials provided by 2 Brothers Brewery, gold coin donation with Grumpys matching every dollar raised

Mon 24th

The Collective low down dirty blues and jazz

All events at Grumpys Green are Free entry 125 Smith Street, Fitzroy



Ableton and Serato are big names in audio technology, so it was no surprise the buzz that was caused by a rumoured collaboration. After years of rumours and whispers, The Bridge is here to revolutionise the DJing and live performance game. It seamlessly bridges the gap between DJing and beatmaking and is free to all users. Find out more at


hard to disagree. If you’re involved in any form of vocal work don’t be scared away by that though, as the SM27 offers a highly detailed and transparent experience. Shure have stated that they have used three individual ‘mesh-layers’ internally to further increase its strength, protect it from saliva and most importantly reduce wind and breath noises. With or without an additional pop-filter this microphone’s efforts are satisfying.


Local act Bright Knights have just released their single This Love. To coincide with the release, the band have revealed the video clip idea for the song and are calling on music fans to help bring their groundbreaking initiative vision to life. The concept behind Drawing This Love involves the breaking down of video footage into 2,700 individual pictures that will become the animated video clip. The band want people to colour in a picture and be part of their music video. Once you receive your drawing, then dig out your coloured pencils and get creative. Each individual picture will then be stitched back together to form the final video clip, resulting in a unique and innovative artwork. For more info check out

The SM series has a reputation of being incredibly durable, leaving the microphones lasting for years and this seems to follow in that pattern, which is a real confidence booster if you’re using a condenser, especially on the road. On top of all this you receive a shock-mount and a neat carry case for storing in your studio or for the safe transportation needed (there is an option to order an external shock-mount as well). A righteous addition to any beginner or experienced engineer based on the live scene or in a studio environment. Ryan Mortimer


Denon has announced an upgrade available to owners of its AVRA100, AVR-3311 and AVR-4311 receiver models and the D-N7 multimedia system (soon to be released), enabling full support of Apple’s new AirPlay streaming audio system. Owners of these products will be able to enjoy wireless streaming of high quality music directly from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or use the Apple Remote app to control their iTunes library and stream audio from their Mac or PC, liberating music lovers from cables and the usual constraints of conventional audio.


Audio specialist Sennheiser announced a significant addition to its line of noise-cancelling travel headphones, the new CXC 700 ear-canal headphone. The CXC 700 incorporates Sennheiser’s new NoiseGard/digital system, which features three digital presets designed to help users enjoy a quiet, pristine listening experience regardless of their external environment. Additionally, as with other Sennheiser travel headphones, the CXC 700 continues to operate as a traditional headphone when battery life is diminished.


With a renewed focus on customer usability, Brisbane-based music technology retailer Musiclab has introduced a redesigned website aimed at providing its customers with the best possible interface for checking out new products, interacting with technical support and online gear shopping. Navigation and the user interface have been vastly improved so it is much easier for users to find what they are looking for, whether they’re at home or on a smart-phone. With updated features such as a forum, blog and shopping cart, as well as being fully integrated with social media sites such as Twitter & Facebook, is well worth a visit. To promote their upgraded internet home, Musiclab are giving away a pair of KRK VXT4 studio monitor speakers (valued at $1,598 RRP) to one lucky customer – for more details and for the best deals, head to the new site now!


Melbourne four-piece Voltera recorded their debut album, The Birth Of The End Of The World, at the “Neve-powered” Hothouse Studios in St Kilda, producing it themselves and mixing it with Finn Keane and Craig Harnath, then taking it to engineer Jack The Bear at Deluxe Mastering, which features rooms designed by internationally acclaimed acoustic designer George Augspurger of Perception Inc. in Los Angeles. Rose Tattoo drummer Paul Demarco invited Hawkesbury, NSW-based band Ruby Amore into his home studio early last year and the resulting EP will be released early this year. Sydney gypsy punk quartet The Crooked Fiddle Band head off to Chicago in February to record their debut album with Steve Albini at Electric Audio Studios. Albini has, of course, worked with The Pixies, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers and P.J. Harvey among many more. Perth-based indie roots artist who just goes by the name Toby took herself to San Francisco to work on her fourth album with producer Carey Williams, who happens to manage Etta James and whom she met when she performed a festival in Milwaukee in 2009. Art Vs Science’s 25 February due album was recorded across 2010 in Sydney and Brisbane with Berkfinger, Magoo and Eric J Dubowsky and mixed in the UK by Adrian Bushby (Two Door Cinema Club, Foo Fighters, Muse).




What would come to your mind if you heard the news about a new SM series microphone from Shure? What about if somebody mentioned a high-end microphone series from Shure such as the Beta and the KSM series? What if somebody was to tell you that you could have yourself a microphone from one of those series but with the pricing inside the range of the SM series?

SCHECTER STILETTO CUSTOM 5 DIAMOND SERIES ELECTRIC BASS The name might be German, the company American though Japanese-owned, but this truly handsome and beautifully made five-string bass was made in South Korea! A full 35 inches of fingerboard, with a nice slim profile for ease of movement up and down the neck, you get 24 useable frets to play with, the harmonics sitting

just right where they should be and singing thanks to the Schecter Custom Bridge (apparently there’s an EMG Active 2-Band EQ in the bridge, but that’s not something I was aware of when I was playing the bass). The action’s low enough without causing any buzzing problems, making it perfect for slap bass if that’s your thing. The finish throughout is natural satin, with the neck made of multi-laminate maple and walnut, while the fingerboard is rosewood, which is of course pretty stock standard on any quality instrument these days. The body is mahogany with a figured maple top and there are two EMG-HZ pickups, bridge and body, the top control knob covering volume while the three below control the tone, mixing and matching the two pickups and providing a pretty effective graphic equaliser, all, including the bridge finished in a matte gold, very plush. Again, as I said about the Ibanez SRA505 five-string I reviewed a few months ago, and which I’ve now purchased for myself, the Schecter Stiletto Custom 5 is a joy to play, though the satin finish doesn’t seem as robust as the hard-varnish Precision. So just how well it would cope with heavy-duty roadwork must remain an open question, but considering the big names are releasing “pre-stressed” contemporary versions of their vintage lines, a few scuffs won in the name of rock’n’funk aren’t too great a price to pay for a very nice instrument indeed. Michael Smith Review instrument provided by Allans Music & Billy Hydes –

Enter the SM27, the large diaphragm, side address, cardioid condenser microphone that has been modelled off the KSM27 and its not-so-distant Beta cousin. Although relatively unknown, this is a well-made microphone and quite possibly the single most versatile condenser you will be able to get your hands on at this sort of price. Understandably, many prefer to use the SM27 specifically for musical instruments and amplifiers – with its 15db pad-switch used to avoid overloading the microphone’s internal preamp and a three-position low-frequency filter switch, it makes it

COPING MECHANISM Emerging from depressing times, ADAM DUTKIEWICZ delves into a few more sonic textures with TIMES OF GRACE’S album. By MICHAEL SMITH. Guitarist, bass player, drummer, producer, songwriter and singer Adam Dutkiewicz is best known for his work with Killswitch Engage. He has also produced records for As I Lay Dying, Underoath, All That Remains and our own Parkway Drive, among many others. But he has a new project that sees him reunited with original Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach, who currently sings for the metal band The Empire Shall Fall. It’s called Times Of Grace and there’s a debut album, The Hymn Of A Broken Man. “I wanted to make this record so much differently than anything I’ve approached in the past,” he explains, and that difference is evident in the greater use of vocals on the album, with the lead variously shared across between Dutkiewicz and Leach. Particularly, there’s the huge wall of voices on the track Fall From Grace. “I’m a big fan of leading tones, so once I begin creating a main melody, I’ll try to create as many harmonies with leading tones as possible, which kind of like, the less movement you can make in your harmonies the better.”

for me because of where it was born from and how it came to be. This record was just kind of a coping mechanism during a lot of depressing times.”

For those of you that need a refresher, a leading tone is a note that resolves or “leads” to a note one semitone higher or lower, generally the seventh in the diatonic scale. “So if one note can kind of hang into the next chord,” Dutkiewicz continues, “then you can leave that, or say if you can keep it within a half-step or a step away, I’ll build those harmonies to back up the harmony of the guitar parts.”

“I ended up using a Parker Fly [guitar] on this record with stock Seymour Duncans [pickups]. I’m actually kind of a little upset for doing that – I kind of wish I’d used active electronics just because I feel like you get a little bit more attack. I went for a different approach just because I wanted more of a natural guitar sound on this record, but in hindsight it has a little bit too much fluff in the bass; it’s not as controlled as it should be.

Considering how full the sound spectrum is on some of the tracks on the album, as it almost always is on really heavy records, metal or otherwise, there’s still a remarkable sense of space and separation.

“But everything else was pretty much the same as what I normally do, like using an EVH 5150 and then the [German-made amp] Framus Cobra as well. Then every guitar cabinet I use is a Mesa/Boogie. Bass gear, it’s always Ampeg, arched SVT head with an eight by ten cab of course and a Fender Jazz bass. That’s pretty much it for the guitars and bass.”

“A lot of that’s in equalisation or just taking out the actual part. You end up building a lot of parts around the same sonic range – they don’t tend to really work out as well, so you either move it up or down an octave, or if the parts are rhythmically in the way, you can simplify one or the other. It’s just trying things out, see which one gels a bit more. If it sounds like it’s too much, then it’s probably too much, but I guess there are times when too much is a good thing. It’s gauging what’s right for the song

In 2007, severe back problems forced Dutkiewicz to drop out of a Killswitch Engage tour of Europe, ending up with him undergoing emergency surgery in London, followed by a lengthy and often uncertain recovery that inevitably prompted him to face the possibility that his career as a performing artist may well be over. It was while he was confined to a hospital bed that the songs that would become The Hymn Of A Broken Man were born. As a guitarist, Dutkiewicz normally uses the EVH 5150 III, developed by Eddie Van Halen, with traditional Mesa/Boogie straight cabinets; a Splawn Nitro, an amp handbuilt in Dallas, with KT88 tubes, as well as a Maxon OD-808 tube-amp overdrive simulator pedal, Audio Technica 5000 Wireless System and a Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor.

at that moment; when building big-sounding songs you know there’s always a threshold you can push it to. “I’ve definitely always been a fan of all styles of music, so this is kind of my chance to really delve into a few more sonic textures. I like records that take you on a bit of a sonic journey. Production-wise the approach was exactly the same to be honest with you, just try to make the best thing possible, make something I was happy with. I guess the only difference… it sounds kind of selfish but I just kind of did this record

The album itself was recorded entirely on ProTools, though he “definitely like using some tube preamps, mic pre’s and all that good stuff, but it’s just easier to keep it all in the digital realm for files transfer and editing.” Times Of Grace’s The Hymn Of A Broken Man is out on Roadrunner.

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Hire Business in Ferntree gully requires someone for customer service on saturdays.Must be very friendly,very well presented and love parties.Full training provided with an interest in dj equipment and lighting an advantage. Send resume with photo to dance@ iFlogID: 10423

SELF-EMPLOYMENT Beat and Synth Programmers needed for hot chart music production. Think Katy Perry, Kesha, Rihanna. Submit online CV and demo reel. Lots of work and fantastic opportunities for the right people.Must be very experienced and strictly adhere to timelines. iFlogID: 10371

FOR SALE DRUMS Mapex Pro M 6pcs Drumkit (22-1012-13-16 and 13” Snare) As New Cond. 5 cymbal stands and tom clamp. Only 2yrs old.

iFlogID: 10358

SABIAN AAX Cymbals MINT CONDITION. Stage Series, Brilliant Finish. 14” Hihat, 16” and 18” Crashes, 20 Ride. “China and 14” Studio crash. Sabian black cymbal bag. $ 1,200 ONO. Bought Brand new in 2009 and hardly ever played. iFlogID: 10360

KEYBOARDS ALESIS MICRON SYNTH FOR SALE. In great condition, barely used. 8 octaves and over 600 sounds in a small bundle, or create patches. Comes with box, manuals and a US power plug. $450, free postage in Oz. $1000 rrp anthony320chmiel@ iFlogID: 10425

MUSIC SERVICES BAND MERCHANDISE BADGES! Special $50 for 100 x 1 inch Badges + $8 Express Post Australia Wide. Larger 2 1/4” Badges also available. To order visit or email iFlogID: 10625

Gig Launch is Australia’s first online booking agency. Gigs at home and abroad, including paid trips to Japan, Nashville and London. CD duplication, management, recording equipment and song contests. Join the phenomenon this month for free! www. iFlogID: 10717

Many opportunities available for artists. Trips to London, gigs on cruise boats, international gigs, compilation CD’s, song contests, all available for submission at au ! We cater for both promoters and artists. Go Aussie, Go Gig Launch! iFlogID: 10450

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: 10354

Paris by Night band are your number 1 choice when it comes to professional wedding and corporate entertainment in Melbourne. This band will leave your guests talking!

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MANAGEMENT MINSTREL MANAGEMENT We are currently taking submissions from artists looking to release in 2011. Check out our website or contact info@ for more information. iFlogID: 10573

OTHER Get you music into iTunes and 100s more digital stores globally plus keep 100% of the royalties! Visit www. now and GET YOUR MUSIC OUT THERE! iFlogID: 10545

Merish PLUS - professional MIDI File and MP3 Backing Tracks Player. MERISH PLUS is ‘performer friendly’ with load & play, rich in features and a powerful modern sounding internal sound engine. Go au and watch the demo video. iFlogID: 10397

MIDI Files and MP3 backing tracks. HIT TRAX. Over 32,000 fully produced backing tracks that ‘load & play’ in any General MIDI device. 24/7 Instant Download. Go: iFlogID: 10399 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!

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Synth sounding wonky? It needs a tune up! Get it back to it’s original specs and make good noise again. Moog, Korg MS, Roland SH, SCI, Yamaha CS.... Great rates, fast turnaround. or call Luke 0424 420 605. iFlogID: 10407


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PA / AUDIO / ENGINEERING P.A. and LIGHT HIRE. Quality Systems and Quality Crew. Start from $300 a nite to Touring Rigs. Delivered, Set-Up and Operated. jacksongigs@gmail. com 02 9456 3124

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PHOTOGRAPHY the White Room @ Kindred Studios is Melbourne’s newest photographic room. Featuring * 6m x 10m deep curved Psyche * deluxe change/garment room * free tea/coffee facilities or call (03) 9687 0233 iFlogID: 10565

TRISH WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY! Based in Western Sydney. With a creative focus promotional and live music photography. web: email: trishwatson@live. com for a quote/enquiries iFlogID: 10382

RECORDING STUDIOS Want that million dollar sound on a small budget? ‘City Of Nine Gates’ studio specialises in Contemporary and Urban music, but has done everything from Jazz to Reggae. Check out Contact for pricelist. iFlogID: 10445

REPAIRS 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

Become the guitarist you want to be! It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced guitar player, I can get you to where you want to be. First lesson FREE! Call Greg: 040 202 8830 iFlogID: 10285

GUITAR LESSONS! Luke has over 10 years experience recording with major record labels and touring Australia. Learn to play guitar, songwriting & performance. Guitars & recording equipment provided. Close to public transport. Beginners more than welcome. Call Luke on 0400077901 TODAY! iFlogID: 10571

SAX TUITION - Do you wanna learn how to play saxophone? Easy way to learn having fun for students of any age and level. $40/hour Lorenzo: 0410 041979 iFlogID: 10417

SINGING LESSONS Certified Speech 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. www. /slsvocalinstructor Contact Maz: iFlogID: 10474

VIDEO / PRODUCTION MUSIC VIDEOS offer a great way to gain exposure. Immersion Imagery has worked with a variety of atrists and strives to offer quality creative Music Videos at an affordable price. Visit or email iFlogID: 10419




WANT A DJ? Etch ‘n’ Sketch are availiable experienced club ready house dj’s call seth on 0401655063

Lead Guitarist wanted for Novakayn. We are looking for a creative,funky peacelovin’ dude or dudette to join us. We are expanding,and will be a 5 piece original band with a very commercial sound, rapidly on the rise.

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GUITARIST Experienced guitarist/backing vox wanting to join Duo/Band. Recently moved to Sydney from Brisbane where I have been working in an acoustic Duo playing in/around Brisbane. Pro gear, transport, committed and have promo material available. Please email or call 0407164026 iFlogID: 10679

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: 10508

MUSICIANS WANTED DRUMMER Drummer needed with Backing Vocal ability, availability, good equipment, we are a polished originals Pop/Punk/ Rock band based in Brisbane with gigs booked & recorded music out there, the band has been up & running for 8 months, if interested hit us up. iFlogID: 10437

Inner West Sydney Hard Rock band looking for drummer. Main influences include Van Halen, Motley Crue and Kiss etc... Must have similar influences, double kick ability and be willing to practice and gig when required. Call 0405182840 if interested. iFlogID: 10488

Looking for a drummer (27+) to help bring our old school noise punk, death metal grunge monster alive. All welcome. Fans of the Melvins, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Mastodon. Either call me, on 0404739617 or email in_seine@ iFlogID: 10561

Tortured Willow requires experienced drummer to complete line up.Gigs Waiting, E.P Recorded, Full Set ready, great opportunity to join a solid line-up. If Rock/Roots/Blues is your thing please contact Jordan 0411451976. iFlogID: 10619

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KEYBOARD Brisbane studio needs top programmer/keyboard player. Excellent knowledge soft synths and Logic Pro. 10 week paid contract may lead to more work. Creating tracks for charting artists. Only best need apply. Call Wernher 0438 800 464 iFlogID: 10484

Dam the Dawn are looking to embrace a keyboardist who would like to contribute to the bands sound. Preference is given to the person who can add feels,riffs and sequencers etc. were not after a classical pianist iFlogID: 10460

Melbourne-based progressive metal band CIRCADIAN PULSE needs a keyboardist. Head over to to get an idea of what we are about. iFlogID: 10392

OTHER Bass Player and Drummer Wanted for indie pop band College Fall. Serious players with own gear, transport and availability for touring. Influences: Jimmy Eat World, The Hold Steady, Biffy Clyro, Belly, Guided By Voices. Email – for more information. iFlogID: 10377

Looking for a solo acoustic guitarist/ singer for acoustic wedding gig in Byron Bay on 12/3/11. jacktiernz@

iFlogID: 10394


SINGER 90s Influenced Frontman Wanted Originals band with vintage sound of funk, grunge, heavy, experimental

looking for UNIQUE frontman with energetic stagecraft, lyrics, crooning, singing, rapping & aggressive capabilities. 11 songs written. Very serious. Ages 18-27. 0423378506. iFlogID: 10347

A Singer in the Jazz-blues-originals genre Wanted. Must have a portfolio of songs and be ready at a moments notice. Suitable for weddings, pub/ club band gigs, private parties etc. Contact Chris 0419 272 196 iFlogID: 10356

Back-Up Singer wanted for Novakayn. We are looking for a creative,funky peacelovin’ dudette to join us.MUST have great harmonies! We are expanding,and will be a 5 piece original band with a very commercial sound, rapidly on the rise. iFlogID: 10443

Dam the Dawn are seeking a vocalist of any age to complete original pop/rock outfit. Were bass,guitar and drums. We need someone to help write and polish the songs,record and perform.Must be able to sing at least. iFlogID: 10458

Looking for metal/rock/melodic, no growling shit but can scream, reliable singer located around Boronia/ringwood area must be able to write good lyrics none of that death crap, dont play thrash/death crap. 18-22 years old. if interested call on 0430305338 iFlogID: 10722

Prog rock pub band from western sydney looking for a male or female singer over 18! MUST be able to provide their own transport and good vocal control. Song writing skills are essential but not really a requirement. iFlogID: 10158


Sydney Hardcore band seeks screamer. Influences Ghost Inside, As I Lay Dying, ADTR, Miss May I, IKTPQ Our previous screamer bailed on us so we have Songs+Gigs+Recording ready to go, contact us on 0466603936.

iFlogID: 10142

SONG WRITER At OzSong International you CHOOSE the prize! Choose between recording a song in Nashville at the prestigious Funhouse Studios with world class Australian Producer Mark Moffat or record in Sydney at Studios 301 with renowned producer Michael Morgan. iFlogID: 10720

Songwriters required for OzSong International Songwriting Competition. Winner flies and stays completely paid to either Nashville or Sydney to record, choice is yours. Placed entries win home recording equipment. Enter now through Gig Launch , or visit iFlogID: 10555

SERVICES GRAPHIC DESIGN Are you or your business looking to make a splash online or wanting to add a lick of paint to an existing website? Typographic offers hot & functional websites from only $500. Call Luke Breadon: 0421785798 Email: Website: iFlogID: 10334

Professional Gig Posters check out my work for other bands at www.wix. com/nicolereece/website iFlogID: 10439

Specialising in unique designs at affordable prices. Services include logos, posters, cd covers, flyers, shirt design &more. Prices starting from $150. www.melissahowarddesign. com melissahowarddesign@gmail. com

iFlogID: 10594

OTHER I CAN HAZ MOVER? DUMBO MOVE will move your stuff in a flash - 7 days a week. Call 9859 MOVE or book online at

iFlogID: 10293

New Year’s resolutions? Make this year different. Take it Shake it Life Coaching. Free coaching on Mondays during Janaury and February. Check it out. iFlogID: 10551





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:

Inpress Issue #1157  
Inpress Issue #1157  

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...