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BLONDE REDHEAD MELBOURNE SYDNEY BRISBANE
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WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY 2011
GANG OF FOUR
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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 Warpaint have the chops to back up the hype Reports of a Deerhunter hiatus were greatly exaggerated Blonde Redhead are still together after almost 20 years. So what? CocoRosie shun the internet Primal Scream are not ruling out a polka album Bear In Heaven have much in common with The Antlers On The Record rates new releases from Iron And Wine, Adele and Social Distortion Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is quite immature Gang Of Four had more songs banned by the BBC than The Sex Pistols Ratatat’s early gigs in London haunt the duo Reggae star Jimmy Cliff is looking to get back into acting
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This Week In Arts lists the mustsee events of the week Aleksa Kurbalija talks about one of the most controversial plays of all time, Spring Awakening Artist Garrie Maguire discusses his installation exploring our view of men The Menstruum takes in Lorraine Heller-Nicholas’s Loves Me Not
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Hed PE deny they are women haters Icecream Hands are back for one night only Stephen Walker once gave Spinal Tap a RRR T-shirt The Verlaines can’t remember the last time they were in Australia Plan your day with Big Day Out maps and times Our LIVE gives you the best of the week’s live music! Gig Of The Week celebrates the Ghost LIVE:Reviews digs Grinderman 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
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Cultural Cringe wraps up the week’s arts news and gossip Film Carew looks at Catfish and True Grit Kirsten Perry gets nervous ahead of her gallery exhibition Billie Wilson-Coffey was there in the beginning, and will be there on Saturday night to help Red Bennies celebrate its first birthday Filmmaker Ariel Schulman discusses his documentary Catfish
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ON THE STEREO I Don’t Believe In My Love Calculator ANA NICOLE Pepper Snake THE CACTUS CHANNEL Native Speaker BRAIDS Face Tat ZACH HILL Hotel Shampoo GRUFF RHYS Be Kind SISTER JANE Dye It Blonde SMITH WESTERNS 1,000 Years THE CORIN TUCKER BAND Fatalists HUGO RACE What’s In Your Mind? NICK MURPHY
3RRR SOUNDSCAPE No Time For Dreaming CHARLES BRADLEY Kiss Each Other Clean IRON AND WINE Jonny JONNY Native Speaker BRAIDS Beautiful Imperfection ASA Magnetic Island GENTLE BEN & HIS SENSITIVE SIDE Dynamite Steps THE TWILIGHT SINGERS Grown Unknown LIA ICES Cape Dory TENNIS Cloud Nothings CLOUD NOTHINGS
3PBS TIPSHEET LAST.FM TOP WEEKLY TRACKS CHART Only Girl (In The World) RIHANNA Firework KATY PERRY Hold It Against Me BRITNEY SPEARS Derezzed DAFT PUNK Dog Days Are Over FLORENCE & THE MACHINE All Of The Lights KANYE WEST Teenage Dream KATY PERRY Just The Way You Are BRUNO MARS Crystalised THE XX Ready To Start THE ARCADE FIRE
SYN TOP 10 UK INDIE ALBUMS CHART 19 ADELE The King Is Dead THE DECEMBERISTS Anna Calvi ANNA CALVI XX THE XX The Visitation MAGNUM Valhalla Dancehall BRITISH SEA POWER Contra VAMPIRE WEEKEND Live From Amsterdam ALTER BRIDGE Won’t Go Quietly EXAMPLE Hedonism BELLOWHEAD
GIVEAWAYS M Ward
GOLDEN GAFFE We didn’t think it was possible, but the weekend’s Country Music Awards were just as embarrassing as last year’s ARIAs, with the Album Of The Year award given to the wrong person, and the fuck-up going uncorrected until the next afternoon.
ALL’S FAIR IN FACEBOOK Metal bands are going hammer and tong to score the Motörhead support in an online Facebook competition. Bands flaming bands, fans flaming fans – this is serious shit.
GRINDERMAN After their blinding shows last week, all we can say is do not miss Cave and co at the Big Day Out.
BACKLASH Green Hornet - it stinks
ROVE BACK ON THE BOX Nooooooooooo!
THE GREEN HORNET Even worse than The Brown Hornet.
THE AGE ONLINE The website of the city’s broadsheet gets more dumbed down by the day. Monday’s front page was dominated by the Josh Thomas/Ruby Rose Twitter non-event, while the headline “Singer Shot At While Filming” led to a story about Zoe Badwi’s latest video shoot being interrupted by a neighbour wielding a slingshot.
Email email@example.com from 5pm Wednesday The kids from I Oh You throw some of the best parties in town, and have lined up their biggest yet for Saturday 5 February. After a series of chaotic parties around the city with acts such as Philadelphia Grand Jury, Gypsy & The Cat, Foals DJs and Last Dinosaurs, the four friends have announced a whopping line-up to play the still-to-be-revealed venue. With headline DJ sets from Edwin Congreave (Foals), Yeasayer and Muscles, live performances from DZ, Gold Fields and Ships Piano, and additional DJ sets from Melbourne favourites Streetparty, Indian Summer DJs, Naysayer & Gilsun and Butcher Blades, it’s sure to be a hell of a night. Tickets are on sale now from oztix.com. au, but we have five double passes to give away. It’s been a long time between visits for M Ward, but the acclaimed US singer/songwriter (also a member of She & Him and Monsters Of Folk) is on his way back to Australia to play the Palais on Friday 18 February. Ward will perform solo, playing a repertoire from across his catalogue, with support from Holly Throsby. To celebrate, we’re giving you the chance to win one of two packs, each containing a copy of his most recent album, Hold Time, and a double pass to the show.
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.
IN THE STUDIO WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD
VINES BEAR FRUIT
Currently touring with the Big Day Out, The Vines will undoubtedly preview some new material from their forthcoming album and follow-up to Melodia. The first taste from the quartet’s fifth album comes by way of a single titled Gimme Love and is available for streaming at soundcloud.com. In the song, unpredictable frontman Craig Nicholls repeats, “Gimme love, gimme love, gimme love/I really need it!” and the usual guitar-heavy focus is accompanied by a sound that could be your head exploding from the inside out. Chris Colonna from The Bumblebeez sat in the producer’s chair for the upcoming set, which is titled Future Primitive and scheduled for an April release. Speaking to Nicholls after Melodia hit record store shelves, the self-described “completely psychotic artist” already had the beginnings of seven songs demoed, which he described as encapsulating “up-tempo, super-psycho rock’n’roll”. Nicholls also expressed an interest in “pushing it with some psychedelic arrangements” and incorporating “a bit of electronica”. The Vines played a debilitating set at Splendour In The Grass last year during which they previewed a handful of new tracks that would definitely fall in with Nicholls’ “up-tempo, superpsycho rock’n’roll” description. They’ve always been a band capable of holding their own on stages the world over, providing that erratic performance quality that is so often missing from live acts these days. Here’s hoping Future Primitive will propel them back where they belong.
Faris Badwan of The Horrors has formed a new outfit called Cat’s Eyes with Rachel Zeffira, a classically trained musician. The pair launched the project in December at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City, Rome with a live show (head to nme.com to view footage of said gig) and a track titled Not A Friend is available for free download at catseyesmusic.com. Heavy on the organ and choral BVs, the music of Cat’s Eyes is a perfect fit for a church setting and Badwan told NME, “We were actually in the Basilica, with all the cardinals in the middle of a mass.” He seemed pleased with how it all went, adding, “The cardinals were totally into it.” Cat’s Eyes have been booked to play some cathedral venues throughout the UK in March and Badwan believes this side project is “something [he] can do at the same time as The Horrors yet be totally different with”. Stay tuned for the first release by Cat’s Eyes, titled Broken Glass EP, scheduled for 28 February. The EP features an unreleased, reworked song by The Horrors called Sunshine Girls. A selftitled debut will follow on 11 April.
Peter, Bjorn And John – the Swedish act responsible for the whistling song of all whistling songs, Young Folks – have a new single available for free download from peterbjornandjohn.com. Titled Breaker Breaker, the song clocks in at 1.38 minutes and is a slammin’ guitar-driven opus that incorporates tongue-in-cheek lyrics about breaking various body parts “before you break my heart”. A far cry from the outfit’s previous pop leanings, it’s a teaser for Peter, Bjorn And John’s new Gimme Some set, their sixth, which is slated for release on 25 March. After struggling to come up with an album title for six months, the band took to Twitter for help. Some of the suggestions that didn’t make the cut included Stupid Sock and Clever Pig – with fans like that, who needs haters? “We originally planned to make a punk rock album,” drummer John Eriksson told Spin, “but listening to it now it’s definitely a pop rock album. But it sounds more punk rock when we play the songs live!” The accompanying video for Breaker Breaker serves as evidence of this. This latest offering is also the first one for which Peter (Morén), Björn (Yttling) And John (Eriksson) employed a producer. Per Sunding (The Cardigans) fit the bill and reportedly encouraged the Swedes to get on the sauce. “We were more drunk this time,” Eriksson confessed. “We have to blame the producer for that. He made us drink more. A lot of the final cuts were the drunken versions.” In fact, PB&J penned a song called Tomorrow Has To Wait about being sloshed during recording sessions.
ALL HALEN LEE ROTH!
You can now start to get officially excited about a new Van Halen album with original frontman David Lee Roth at the mic. Rumours began circulating late last year that the band were locked in to work with producer John Shanks on their first album as the original unit since 1984 dropped in the year after which it was named. Shanks took to Twitter on 20 January, announcing, “Here we go kids… VH.” Rock’n’roll dreams can come true so start praying for a world tour!
INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS The Holidays find Paradise by the Red Bull prize
CAVE-MAN BEHIND THE WHEEL Nick Cave is looking likely to escape prosecution for crashing his Jaguar into a speed camera last December after being offered a place on a driver training improvement course. Cave, 53, was driving in East Sussex with his twin ten-year-old sons when he crashed on 7 December. All three walked away from the incident without injury. A spokesperson for Sussex Police said, “The driver was voluntarily interviewed by police and a decision was made to offer him a place on a driver improvement scheme as an alternative to prosecution.”
TOP SPOT’S BITTERSWEET The new Cake record Showroom Of Compassion debuting at the top of the Billboard chart has been overshadowed by the news that the record is the lowest selling number one album of all time. Shifting just 44,000 units in the United States, it’s the lowest amount since SoundScan began to track sales in 1991. Holding second spot on the charts, Chase The Elephant’s Thank You Happy Birthday sold 39,000 units.
CHART STEADY P!nk’s best-of Greatest Hits… So Far has racked up its tenth consecutive week at the top of the ARIA charts this week, while there was no change over at the singles’ top spot either – Wynter Gordon’s Dirty Talk holding strong there. New releases are few and rare between at this time of yeah and the highest album debut was the soundtrack to Burlesque, which achieved fifth spot (it also contains a writing contribution from our own Sia). Sydney rappers Bliss N Eso saw their album Running On Air go platinum last week.
KINGS DOWN TO SIZE Most likely on the response to their latest and safest album Come Around Sundown, Kings Of Leon have downsized their venues in Brisbane and Adelaide. Originally announced for QSAC Stadium, they band will now perform at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Tuesday 8 March and the Adelaide Oval date has been moved to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on the originally announced Sunday 13 date. Because of the moves, Sydney’s Acer Arena show has been moved back a day to Friday 11.
MCPHERSON RELAUNCHED With 26 years of experience, Sally McPherson has relaunched her music and entertainment and law practise in Byron Bay. Previously the General Manager of Bluesfest and Michael Chugg Entertainment, Manager of Business and Affairs for a Canadian record label, artist manager and music lawyer, McPherson can be contacted via mcphersonsolicitors.com.au or at sally@ mcphersonsolicitors.com.au.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS Events and Entertainment Coordinator for Sydney’s Luna Park Shelley Hankins is leaving her post after almost three years.
LIGHTING UP Part of Adelaide’s Fuse Festival, the Fuse West & Fuse East showcase has announced the acts that will be playing Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 February. Victoria’s Matt Walters and Blackchords are performing, as are New South Wales’ Sam Buckingham, The Paper Scissors and The Widowbirds, South Australia’s The Battery Kids, Queensland’s Bambini and Colourfide (based in NT) and Perth’s Tracksuit.
STILL ON HOLIDAYS “We kind of assumed that we wouldn’t be in the running, so it was a very nice surprise,” says Simon Jones of The Holidays on being chosen as the winner of this year’s Red Bull Award. As reported here last week, the Sydney band were announced as winners of the award as part of this year’s annual Australian Music Prize (AMP). Having gone through various shake-ups over the years, the Red Bull Award is now given to the local release deemed ‘the best debut album of the year’ by AMP. Jones added that the award for their Post Paradise set was “right out of the blue.” He told The Front Line that he expected either Tame Impala or Cloud Control to be named ‘best debut’. He believes that 2010 was a strong year for Australian music in general and rather than making it harder for the band to break in, it had a positive effect. “It helped a bit in a way. Probably due to the fact that live music’s going pretty well, especially in Melbourne, people are getting out to shows, festivals are going well with good Aussie bands, I think it contributes to the general awareness of Australian music.” 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, something they hope to tie in with their South By Southwest appearance. The album Post Paradise was released after a significant break for the band from the spotlight and they’re enjoying being back on stage. “We don’t know what to do with ourselves at the moment, we’ve got so many songs at the moment we’re having to leave ones out, which is a new thing for us,” he laughs. Jones is self-depreciating in regards to the band’s chances for the overall prize, saying, “We’d be happy just to be on the shortlist, that’s an honour in our eyes.” 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.
MOS DEF FINALLY FINDS AUS After looking very sketchy when rapper Mos Def didn’t appear at his planned Melbourne date that was meant to kick off his tour, promoters managed to get him onto a plane late last week. A press release was circulated on Friday stating that he was on a plane and the majority of his touring party had already arrived in Australia. “Everyone at Peace music has been working tirelessly to ensure that this tour has been delivered to time,” the press release read. “While the tour’s arrived later than we intended, we like to think that some things are worth waiting for and we hope that Mos Def’s legion of Australian fans agree.” The Melbourne show has been rescheduled for Sunday 30 January at Billboard The Venue.
RELIEF EFFORTS There’s a range of initiatives and events happening to raise money for the Queensland Flood Appeal. Sony have released the Flood Relief compilation, a three-disc release with tracks from P!nk, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi as well as Australian acts Powderfinger, Washington and Keith Urban. EMI are auctioning off “money can’t buy” memorabilia on eBay, including a signed Coldplay frame, signed Robbie Williams photograph and the actual chair from the cover art of Hoodoo Gurus’ compilation album Electric Chair. The Hip Hop Flood Relief event held at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel was a sell out and raised $20,000 for the appeal, including a $2,000 contribution from the venue itself.
EVERYBODY LIKES ROCK MUSIC Nielsen SoundScan has added a new Digital Song Genre Report to its services, which breaks American music sales down into genres. The new report indicated that “rock” was the most popular genre in 2010, with a 27% market share, followed by pop at 25.4% and hip hop with 21.9%. Another new addition is the percentage of catalogue sales, which showed that rock has back catalogue sales of 72.4%, far more than the single-driven rap genre, which had 33.9%.
PUSHING IN With a line-up of Break Even, Children Collide, House Vs Hurricane, Howl and more, the Push Over Festival are running a competition via the Triple J Unearthed website for a local band to join the bill. The all age festival will pay a performance fee of $250 along with a slot on the festival. To enter, bands have to upload their tracks to the Unearthed website by 20 February.
LAST YEAR’S MOST PLAYED The Phonographic Performance Company Of Australia [PPCA] have released the Most Played Artist reports for 2011. Australian artists fared better than they did in ARIA’s equivalent report with Guy Sebastian’s Like It Like That the most played recording for 2010 while five of the top 12 most played artists were local. Commenting on the reports, CEO Dan Rosen said, “PPCA was pleased to complete its 2009/10 distribution just prior to Christmas, distributing a record amount of $20 million to its stakeholder artists and labels. We will continue in 2011 to make sure artists are fairly rewarded for their work.”
JAMES TRIBUTE GOES AHEAD Sherbet’s planned Gimmie That Guitar benefit concert for Harvey James will go ahead as planned despite the guitarist’s death, the band have announced, the event now becoming a tribute to James. Now called A Celebration For Harvey James, son Gabriel James will perform on his behalf while other son Joshua James will also play. The sold-out event will happen at Sydney’s Factory Theatre Thursday 17 February will performances from Richard Clapton, Renee Geter, Ian Moss and more.
DIGITAL LINES A new digital strategy company founded by Mike Tate (ex-Inertia) and Adrian Bortignon (ex-Shock), Kongo Digital, has been launched. A service aimed at filmmakers, musicians, artists and writers it claims to develop online strategies for the global market utilising social media networks.
GOLDEN GUITARS DO A ‘TOP MODEL’ In a gaffe not unlike the hilarious blunder of Australia’s Next Top Model, the Tamworth Country Music Festival’s Golden Guitar for Album Of The Year was awarded to the wrong person while broadcast live across national radio. Lee Kernaghan’s name was called to accept the award even though intended winner Graeme Connors’s name was inscribed on the trophy and music from his album Still Walking was played. The event was continued and it wasn’t until both had left Tamworth that Country Music Association of Australia admitted the mistake, general manager Cheryl Hayes commenting, “We clearly don’t believe that this is good enough for country music; we don’t believe it’s good enough for the artist. We are incredibly sorry.” It was revealed that the wrong envelope was handed to hosts Ray Hadley and Becky Cole while both artists involved remained upbeat after the news. Connors said, “Part of the beauty of our humanity is that we occasionally make mistakes. And in the current situation, with so many dire events surrounding us, it is a very small hiccup.”
FESTIVAL PULL-OUTS British indie soundscapers Doves have cancelled their planned Australian tour, which was to be centred on an appearance at the Playground Weekender festival. Citing “circumstances beyond their control”, the statement from the band read, “This is a decision we have not taken lightly and our sincere apologies go out to anyone who has bought tickets for the shows and for any inconvenience caused.” A spokesperson for Playground told The Front Line, “Playground has a long-standing, good relationship with the band and their booking agency and we are respecting the fact that the band have requested their personal reason to remain confidential.” Elsewhere, Janelle Monáe has placed a higher importance on performing at the Grammys than her booked Good Vibrations tour. A post on the festival’s website read, “We can confirm that Janelle Monáe has just been added to the line up to perform at the Grammy awards on February 13th. This last minute announcement from the Recording Academy unfortunately means that Janelle Monáe will no longer be able to appear at the 2011 Good Vibrations Festival as planned.” Got news? Announcements? Gossip? Unsubstantiated but hilarious rumours? Send them all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of Australia’s brightest experimental hopes, AXXONN, teams up with New Weird Australia for his last tour before chasing the American dream. It’s a testament to local Australian scenes and a case study for what can be done to help them along. By SCOTT FITZSIMONS. With all the hope of anticipation of a big year for Australian music, the question has to be asked: where is it going to come from? And not those semi-established acts who are set to drop debut albums straight onto seemingly guaranteed Triple J radio play, but the artists that are unheard of outside their small local scene at present who will hopefully become one of those semi-established acts this time next year. Underground scenes are often delicate, insular and hard to read, so it’s hard to really investigate them from an outsider’s perspective. Non-profit initiative New Weird Australia [NWA] has been working these scenes since 2009, releasing free digital compilations of experimental and electronic music chosen by its founder Stuart Buchanan. “In some ways it’s hard to define and in some ways I loathe to define it,” he says of his selections, “but I guess it’s whatever’s being made has a sound that is pretty uniquely new. How you choose to define that is open to interpretation but I’m not really interested in hearing what I’ve already heard before. Artists who may do an excellent imitation of some other sound or some other band is not really of great interest.” The compilations have been a success – as has Buchanan’s weekly radio show on Sydney community frequency FBi, a station he helped start up – and upon entering the new year the NWA scope has expanded. Having held showcase events previously, the upcoming tour for Brisbane native Tom Hall’s project Axxonn is the first to be presented by the organisation, NWA providing publicity and promotion as well as financial backing. Axxonn seems a perfect choice for the inaugural run, given his visibility and international respect currently. After releasing his debut album, Let’s Get It Straight, under the moniker last year – Hall is also prolific under his own name – this will be his last tour of Australia before an indefinite relocation to Los Angeles (it also marks the release of his remix album Axxonn – Remixed). It comes after prolific international touring – almost seven months
proverbial jars of underground talent (usually sourced from the internet – Buchanan says that the well of information’s most effective when one can utilise “filers” appropriately) but it’s had to learn to take a tactful approach when promoting these acts. “There was certainly a sense for a long time that the underground wanted to remain underground and there are good reasons for that,” says Buchanan. “But I think the more that I worked with using a lot of online tools I realised there was a way to help expose the underground more readily without losing the essence of what it was. “There’s a real nuance, you can’t just take a band and they’re starting out and they’re fresh and ostensibly underground and throw a massive spotlight on them and hope that that’s going to work in their favour because for many bands it won’t work in their favour and many bands don’t want that kind of spotlight.” To that extent and being nationally aware, New Weird Australia isn’t exactly an underground organisation itself. “I’m quite happy for the organisation to be broadly seen so I don’t necessarily want to hide in the underground as such, but I’m well aware that when I turn up to shows for some of these bands there’s a handful of people that are going along, so I wouldn’t call it anything else really. It’s certainly not popular,” he laughs, “and it’s certainly not commercial.”
of 2009 was spent overseas Hall estimates – and the album’s received a distribution deal for the UK, Europe and America for this year. As a result of his jet-setting, comparisons between the Australian and international scenes are invariably made. “It’s very different everywhere,” says Hall, “Europe is what they call the gold fields where you’ll get a guarantee at every event and it doesn’t matter how many people turn up you still get your fee and you get looked after very well there. And America is much the same I found except the pay is non-existent, pretty much,” he laughs. “You play for the love of it. “Something I definitely realised – especially when my art and my artistic practice came to fruit in Brisbane – is that Brisbane, especially, has a very unique scene in that it’s in this middle ground between Melbourne and Sydney. It’s not quite big enough for people to split off into separate
genres and it’s not small enough that there’s not a regular amount of stuff happening. There’s not a lot of room for ego, either; you’ll soon find yourself without shows if you’re being a dickhead.” The local community is something that’s always championed by stakeholders and Buchanan mirrors the sentiment. “Certainly what I’ve heard from what happens in, not just Queensland but also in Canberra, Newcastle, Tasmania, Perth, that there are very strong localised scenes. But until you live there and live through it it’s difficult to say how real it is.” “Community and support are really important,” says Hall. “If you want to do it on your own I guess you can but it’s a lonely area being a musician and not being part of any community.” New Weird Australia often has its hand inside these
What it is though is an increasingly significant avenue for acts like Axxonn to grow naturally from regional bases. And kicking off the year with their first tour the growth of NWA – along with the acts it advocates – seems inevitable. “We’ve already got our next three compilations in the works,” says Buchanan, “and last year we also started an artist label where we’re releasing material from artists instead of compilations and we’ve got the next three or four of those lined up as well. So there’s a lot of material in the next six months, and then who knows after that? I’d like to, at some point, do a festival, but probably not quite yet.” WHO: Axxonn WHAT: Axxonn – Remixed (SONOPTIK) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 27 February, Yah Yah’s
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
GOOD TIMES WITH NORMAN JAY
For the first time in the history of NSW’s premier boutique music festival, Playground Weekender will present Norman Jay’s Good Times party at Billboard for a huge reunion bash! It’s all happening in a four-hour Norman Jay set on Friday 4 March in recognition of the thousands of punters who travel from Melbourne (the fastest growing market for the festival) to Playground Weekender each year. The set encapsulates the spirit of Playground Weekender, with the man himself playing at four out of five festivals. Awarded the MBE for his services to music in 2002, Norman Jay fills his sets with classic ‘70s and ‘80s funk, soul and groove. Don’t miss one of the finest and most respected DJs in the world, Norman Jay MBE; the good times will bring the funk and bring down the house. Tickets available now from billboardthevenue.com.au.
SCAM THE LOST CAUSE
Less than five months since two of the Gold Coast’s most notorious punk bands, The Lost Cause and The Scam, hit the highways of Australia’s east coast for their Southern Invasion tour, they are preparing to launch a full-scale assault on punters throughout a few Australian states again. The Lost Cause (self-proclaimed “pirate punks”) and The Scam (fast-paced street punks) have established reputations for wild live shows, furious crowd antics and a punishing mix of hardcore street punk that had both bands relentlessly playing shows throughout 2010. Witness their insane shows (where they’ll be supported by Melbourne punks The Half Pints) on Thursday 10 February at Pony, Saturday 12 February at the National Hotel (Geelong) and Sunday 13 February at the Arthouse.
AMAZING GRACE Grace Jones, in collaboration with Eiko Isihoka, will bring her dynamic Hurricane tour to the Palais on Thursday 14 April. The Jamaican-born heroine of contralto voice and imperious stage presence has long been the topic of conversation based on more than just her music. Moving to Syracuse, New York as a teenager, the leggy beauty studied theatre before embarking on a career as a model in the 1970s during the wildly hedonistic Studio 54 era when she also became a muse to Andy Warhol, who photographed her extensively. Before long, Jones moved at breakneck speed into music when she secured a record deal in 1977 with Island Records. From there she went on to release a series of disco-based albums amassing a substantial following with her sexually charged live show, leading to her title at the time of ‘Queen of the gay discos’.
THE FAME OF BROWN
NUMAN’S PLEASURE To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of his revolutionary album The Pleasure Principle, Gary Numan will make a welcome return to Australia this May to play the album as it was made: authentically and in its entirety. The release of The Pleasure Principle in 1979 was a defining moment in music history. Not only did it mark the birth of electro pop, but it also cemented Gary Numan as an innovator and pioneer in modern pop music. Furthermore, it abandoned tradition. Here was a rock album ahead of its time: guitars were largely replaced with Numan’s signature sound of synthesisers fed through guitar effects pedals, and traditional song structures were left behind all together. Supporting Numan will be iconic pioneers of Australia’s electronic music scene, Severed Heads, who are coming out of a self-imposed retirement especially for the tour. Don’t miss this incredible show at the Forum on Saturday 14 May. Tickets go on sale Thursday 3 February from Ticketmaster.
Australia is to be the first stop on Chris Brown’s worldwide FAME tour this April/May. You can expect Brown to bring his smooth moves with him on the tour, with comparisons having been made to Michael Jackson, Usher and even Stevie Wonder during his career. The hugely successful R&B artist will be supported by Jessica Mauboy, Justice Crew and DJ Havana Brown. Mauboy has now reached gold status with her second album, Get Em Girls. Having danced their way into the hearts of the Australian public during the 2010 season of Australia’s Got Talent, Justice Crew will be bringing a jaw-dropping show featuring world-class dance styles and incredible athleticism. DJ Havana Brown has been making waves all over the world. This will be the second time that she has supported Chris Brown. Catch this exciting all-ages show at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday 23 April. Tickets are on sale from Friday 4 February through Ticketek.
IN THE HOUSE VS HURRICANE
It’s been a hell of a ride since House Vs Hurricane unleashed their debut album Perspectives last March. Successful headline tours, an appearance on the Come Together festival and national stints with both Enter Shikari and as a part of the inaugural No Sleep Til Festival – as well as venturing to the UK and Europe for the first time – have seen House Vs Hurricane’s already prominent place in the Australian music scene grow from a healthy buzz into a deafening roar. Supporting them are British lads Your Demise, whose 2010 release The Kids We Used To Be... showed that the young five-piece were capable of penning one hell of a hook amongst their furious hardcore racket. Rounding out this already impressive bill will be Adelaide favourites Nazarite Vow. Don’t miss this awesome triple header when it hits the Corner Hotel on Saturday 19 March (18+) and Sunday 20 March (under-18). Tickets go on sale this Thursday from the Corner Hotel box office and Missing Link Records.
TEAM EFFORTS Following on from 2008’s ARIA Award-nominated A Loud Call, Holly Throsby is gearing up to release and tour her new record Team. Released on 18 February, the album was recorded in a 19th-century NSW church. We heard a few of the new tracks when she toured last October, but we’re expecting a whole lot more on the recently announced 21-date national tour, the most extensive for Throsby and her band The Hello Tigers since 2008. The tour takes Throsby and co to the Corner Hotel on Friday 25 March.
$2 CARLTON POTS EVERY MONDAY SATURDAY JANUARY 29TH
MIKE NOGA BAND
FRIDAY 18TH FEBRUARY
TORO Y MOI
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25TH
LUKE LEGS & THE MIDNIGHT SPECIALS ALBUM LAUNCH
WED 26TH JANUARY
THURS 27TH JANUARY
AUSTRALIA DAY HANGOVER PARTY!
TEHACHAPI JANUARY RESIDENCY – FINAL SHOW! + NORTH EAST PARTY HOUSE + PLANET LOVE SOUND
W/ MIDNIGHT CALLER + AKTION UNIT + SHIT WIZARD + GLAVOBONES + FUCK YOU ASTROLOGY
THURSDAY DJS: DJ DAN BLOCK
FRI 28TH JANUARY
BITCH PREFECT + GEOFF O’CONNOR BAND + DIVORCE FRIDAY DJS: TWO BRIGHT LAKES DJS SUN 30TH JANUARY
SUMMER SERIES PRESENTS: POOR PEOPLE 7” LAUNCH + EXTREME WHEEZE + POP SINGLES
SAT 29TH JANUARY
MIKE NOGA BAND – EUROPEAN TOUR FAREWELL SHOW LITTLE JOHN + CHRIS ALTMAN SATURDAY DJS: RAINBOW CONNECTION
MON 31ST JANUARY
RADIO STAR MONDAY RESIDENCY
W/ THE BOO HOO HOOS $2 ENTRY, $4 PINTS & $8 EATS!
TUE 1ST FEBRUARY
DOORS @ 7PM CATE@GETNOTORIOUS.COM
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
THE THING ON YOUR MIND Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, The Thing have been turning heads with their high-energy, jazzinfused sound, featuring an evocative combination of saxophones, double bass and drums. Now, for the first time ever, the three Scandinavian boys are heading to Melbourne to perform at the Northcote Social Club on Sunday 30 January. Also appearing on the night will be Alan Courtis, the legendary Argentinian guitarist from the avant outfit Reynols, who is reknowned for his highly experimental style of music creation and unique instrument selection. Opening the night for these two great international acts will be the ecstatic free-rock guitar and drum duo, Oren Ambarchi & Joe Talia. Tickets are available now from the Northcote Social Club.
RICHIE’S SECOND CHANCE
Get your dancing shoes ready, because the one and only Lionel Richie will have everyone up on their feet for one more night at Rod Laver Arena with an additional show on Wednesday 30 March. Throughout his extensive solo career, Richie’s exceptional catalogue of blockbuster hits – including but certainly not limited to Dancing On The Ceiling, All Night Long (All Night) and Endless Love – has earned the multi-Grammy winner numerous accolades and adoring fans. Richie also plays Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday 29 March. The singer will be supported by Guy Sebastian.
SATELLITES FAST AS A RABBIT
Hello Satellites will play the last show of their monthlong national single launch tour at the Northcote Social Club this Friday. The musical project of Melbourne musician Eva Popov – whose beautiful vocals are perfectly matched with the distinctive drumming of Mark Gretton (Touch Typist), bassist Pete Emptage and multiinstrumentalist Cat Kohn – Hello Satellites have created a subtle and exciting sound that features ecstatic flashes of pop reverie, full of handclaps, layered vocals and string sections. Following the success of first single Building A Wall, their new single Heartbeat Fast As A Rabbit is summery, poppy and sure to make you smile. Andy Bull
THEY CALLED HIM ELVIS Last in Australia in 2009 as a solo performer, Elvis Costello is returning to Australia for Bluesfest and bringing his band The Imposters out this time and has announced two headline shows so we can get the full effect. One of them takes place at the Palais on Thursday 21 April, with tickets on sale now.
RATS ON THE YACHT
Yacht Club DJs are exploding back into Melbourne’s party scene (and your mind) this Saturday at Rats and it will definitely be messy. After playing to a crowd of thousands at Falls Festival, the boys are coming back to their roots and rocking parties around Australia. The Colonial Hotel is going to be decked out with UV lighting, so rock up with fluoro paint smeared on bodies, glowsticks and glow-in-the-dark-stickers. There’ll also be a nautical dress code for the night – sailors, sailorettes, mermaids, mermen, the whole lot – with $50 worth of drinks going to the best outfits. To sweeten the deal, also performing live on the night are Fuzz Phantoms, 8 Bit Love, The Statics, Creatures Of Karma and DJs Smoking Toddlers, Indian Summer, Armagideon Time and more. Doors open at 9pm and entry is $15 at the door.
YOUNG WITH ANIMALS
UK artist Gabby Young will be bringing her enchanting live show to our shores for the first time next month. If you love an artist with more twists and tricks in the bag than the average performer, Young and her band Other Animals will leave you awestruck. Her new album We’re All In This Together offers a slew of beautiful, often haunting songs that are a genre-bending explosion of gypsy folk, pop, rock, jazz, cabaret and a whole lot of soul. Almost uncategorisable, Young’s unique perspective, surreal imagination and life experiences (including her courageous survival of throat cancer) result in a unique collection of songs with a diverse range of sounds. Catch Young perform tracks from her stunning debut album on Thursday 24 February at the Toff In Town and see what UK audiences are raving about. Tickets are $20 from Moshtix or $25 at the door.
THE OWL AND THE BULL Sydney singer/songwriter Andy Bull and Melbourne indie pop songstress Owl Eyes will join forces for a string of dates next month. In 2009, Andy Bull released his impressive debut album We’re Too Young, a sprawling, imaginative collection of songs that earned him critical acclaim. Less than a year later, he returned with The Phantom Pains EP, which was recorded in a single room with no separation between instruments, discarding many of the formalities of the studio in favour of a raw sound that speaks to the vulnerability implicit in his lyrics. Last year saw Owl Eyes launch her debut EP Faces. She will be co-headlining the tour following her performances at Hot Barbeque and a cameo at Pyramid Rock Festival, as well as opening for Swedish indie-rock favourites The Shout Out Louds over summer. Catch both of these lovely up-andcomers on Friday 4 March at Pure Pop Records and Saturday 5 March at the Toff In Town.
Last year was a big one for The McClymonts. In January they released their second album, Wrapped Up Good, which achieved gold sales in ten weeks and entered the ARIA charts at number two. Their first three singles also went to number one on the country charts, they won an ARIA for Best Country Album of 2010 and were named Group Of The Year on the weekend at the Golden Guitar Awards. With their exquisite threepart harmonies, soaring vocals and stunning onstage presence, it’s not surprising that The McClymonts are often praised as the hottest new act in Australian country music. They’re playing on Friday 15 April at Costa Hall (Geelong), Saturday 16 April at the Palms at Crown, and Sunday 17 April at West Gippsland Arts Centre (Warragul).
BACK TO THE FUTURE
There’s only six weeks to go until 2011’s Future Music Festival reaches Melbourne for the annual one-day extravaganza at Fleminghton Racecourse. Already featuring a world-class line-up of some of the best national and international bands and DJs, the good news just keeps on coming, with the announcement that another five big names have been added to the bill: Professor Green, Zowie, Binary Finary, Tydi, Tal, Stafford Brothers and Shazam. As the Labour Day long weekend draws closer excitement has been mounting and tickets have been selling fast for the event, held on Sunday 13 March.
FROM THE SWAMP You can’t deny the man his status – Tony Joe White has well and truly earned his standing as one of swamp-rock’s finest. Born one of seven and raised on a cotton farm in Louisiana, he’s fostered a music career of nigh on half a century ever since discovering Lightnin’ Hopkins. With 19 studio albums, a movie soundtrack, live recording, and pretty much all you could ask for under his belt it’s with great pleasure that we’ll welcome White back into the country, a destination we’re assured he loves. Touring extensively nationally to coincide with his Bluesfest appearance, you can catch him at the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh on Thursday 21 April, Boogie Festival on Friday 22 April, the Thornbury Theatre on Thursday 12 May and the Meeniyan Town Hall on Friday 13 May.
Lost & Found at Revolver Upstairs are hosting the firstever display of CarbieWarbie’s rock’n’roll photography. Carbie, one of Australia’s hardest working rock photographers, has been invited to select his favourite and most popular photographs and offer them for display and sale. Accompanying Carbie’s work will be a selection of his favourite Australian acts. Joining headliners Skinwalkers will be Bitter Sweet Kicks, Jason Evans’ new project Threesome, Vice Grip Pussies and Kim Volkman. Rock journo TJ Honeysuckle will be playing a collection of rare Aussie punk recordings on vinyl from 10pm until midnight, followed by Magic Dirt’s Adalita spinning until morning. Catch this rockhibition today (Wednesday); the exhibition is free from 5-10pm, and bands start at 7.30pm with an entry fee of $8 at the door.
FREE BLUEJUICE AT THE CORNER
Carlton Dry has come to the party again, announcing the second round of Thank God It’s Monday industry night events. The event takes place on Monday 7 February and features Bluejuice at the Corner Hotel, with doors from 8pm until 1am. If you work in a bar, club, hotel, venue or restaurant, visit facebook.com/TGIM to get you and a mate on the free guestlist, plus be the first to know about forthcoming Thank God It’s Monday events.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
LOUD AND PROUD
BLIND LUCK Who remembers Semi-Charmed Life? If you do, that chorus is probably already stuck in your head again. The band who released that song unto the world in 1997 are coming to Australia very soon – Third Eye Blind are on the Soundwave line-up and have headline club show ambitions as well. The Rocket Summer will be joining them for the club show, whose latest album Of Men And Angels is a chronicle of the struggles and challenges of life. They play the East Brunswick Club on Wednesday 2 March.
MAY THE FORSTER BE WITH YOU
The final instalment of the Happy Mondays series takes place on Monday 31 January and will feature a performance by The Go-Betweens’ legendary Robert Forster, delivering a sparkling cross section of his entire catalogue. Old, recent, borrowed and new. Supporting Robert will be the warm-hearted pop music of loveable Melbourne scallywags The Twerps. Tickets from Moshtix and Polyester.
After the success of last year’s free, all-ages Sounds Loud Festival, which saw more than 9,000 people flood to Queens Park in Moonee Ponds, organisers have announced the initial line-up for this year’s event, which will return to the same location on Sunday 9 April. Promising to be even bigger and better than last year, this year’s Sounds Loud will be pumping music across two stages with performances from Muscles, John Steel Singers, Dialectrix, Ruby Rose, The Melodics, Numbers Radio, The Killgirls, Young Heretics, Gold Fields, We Are Fans, Stonefield, 23 Angels Of Attack and MindPilot – with additional line-up announcements to be made in the coming weeks. Sounds Loud Festival is a non-profit event run by the Moonee Valley City Council and is a great opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy top quality live music in a safe, supervised and alcohol-free environment.
THE TREWS ARE OUT THERE
The ‘T’ in The Trews could stand for “tireless”, the Canadian four-piece returning to Australia for the second time since their September 2010 album release. This month-long visit sees the band play the National Hotel in Geelong on Thursday 17 March and Cherry Bar on Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 March. The Trews’ Friends And Total Strangers album is available now through MGM, with follow-up longplayer Hope & Ruin set for release in Australia on 15 April. All tickets pre-purchased come with a free four-track live EP.
After legal troubles meant he couldn’t release or perform for a number of years, the party rocker that is Andrew WK is finally back on track and in addition to performing at the Big Day Out is also playing the Hi-Fi this Saturday.
IN TIMES OF DOOM In good news for anyone who saw them supporting black metal titans Wolves In The Throne Room last time they were in Australia and those kicking themselves because they didn’t, French doom mongers Monarch have announced that they’ll be arriving in the land down under for their own headline dates. And in typical form, Heathen Skulls have lined up a very sweet bill. Unearthly Trance and Eagle Twin (both from America) will be introducing themselves as the supporting acts, much like Monarch did on previous visits. Now a five-piece prospect, Monarch will be at the Hi-Fi on Friday 25 January.
Ahead of their Australian tour this March, legendary space-rock originators Hawkwind have announced that Melbourne’s very own theremin-bending, electro-psych instrumentalists, The Night Terrors, will be joining them on tour as their support act. Tickets for their appearance at Billboard’s on Saturday 12 March are selling fast and can be purchased from Moshtix, Ticketek and the venue. Hawkwind will also be performing on Sunday 13 March at the annual Golden Plains Festival in Meredith. Tickets are available through goldenplains.com.au.
If you feel like doing something a little bit different this Australia Day then Mambo At The Bowl might be right up your alley. The free event at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl kicks off at 3.30pm today (Wednesday), offering punters a world-class Latin American concert experience. Headlining the show is the son of the king of mambo, Tito Puente Jr, accompanied by the exciting Latin rhythms of Orquesta Del Barrio with special international guest Ileana Posas and DJ Saul Zavarce. In addition to the afternoon’s enticing Latin line-up there will be a number of salsa dance performances from both local and international artists.
BRITISH INDIA ALL OVER AUSTRALIA After seeing out a hectic 2010 with a series of shows in the UK to launch their first EP over there, British India returned to Australia and headed straight back into the studio to begin recording new songs for 2011. Barely two weeks into the new year and the band have announced their upcoming three-month national tour to launch their brand new radio single, March Into The Ocean. The upcoming tour will see British India playing all major capital cities along with a staggering 18 regional towns. If that wasn’t enough, after that they’re heading off to New Zealand, USA, Europe and Japan. Give them a proper farewell and see them on Thursday 24 March at the Saloon Bar (Traralgon), Friday 25 March at the Bended Elbow (Geelong), Saturday 26 March at the Corner Hotel and Saturday 9 April at the Setts (Mildura).
WLAS EE T K
EVERY SATURDAY LATE
5 STARS BITCH!
TRIVIA AT THE TOFF with NATH VALVO
No brainers and guilty pleasures
THE HOUSE DE FROST
FREE ENTRY! - From 6.30pm
FREE ENTRY - From 11.30pm
FREE ENTRY - From 9pm
WED 26 JANUARY
SE FALLI ST NG !
with 1928 (STROBE)
ÓLÖF ARNALDS (ICELAND)
w/ Dr Phil Smith
EVERY SUNDAY FROM 4PM
THE SUNDAY SET
w/ AndyBlack & Haggis
w/ Andee Frost FREE ENTRY - From 12 Midnight
This weeks theme: GOODBYE FREE ENTRY - In the Carriage
SAT 29 JANUARY
TUE 1, 8, 15 & 22 FEBRUARY
THURS 3 FEBRUARY
CANOS & THE BUEGS
MAGIC MOUNTAIN BAND POCO LA PAX
with GRAND SALVO & TINY RUINS (NZ)
Joint EP LAUNCH with LANGUAGE OF THE BIRDS
FEBRUARY RESIDENCY with JORDIE LANE(1/2), THE HELLO MORNING (SOLO) & ROLLER ONE (8/2), MAGNOLIA (15/2) and SPENDER (SOLO) & LUKE HOWARD ENSEMBLE (22/2)
with MIMI VELEVSKA & DJs
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
SAT 5 FEBRUARY
SUN 6 FEBRUARY
MON 14 FEBRUARY
WED 16 FEBRUARY
THE STRING CONTINGENT
The return of...
SISTER FOR SISTERS
with LUCY WISE
6.30pm Total Beginners Class. 7.30pm Intermediate Class. 8.30pm Advanced Class. 9.30pm Social Dancing, Food & Cocktails
with VIDA SUNSHINE, NAI, CANDICE MONIQUE, IDA, SISTA ITATIONS and many many more..
Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door
Tickets $13.50 +BF / $18.50 on the door
Tickets $13.50 +BF / $18.50 on the door
Tickets $10 on the door
THURS 17 FEBRUARY
WED 23 FEBRUARY
THURS 24 FEBRUARY
SAT 26 FEBRUARY
TORO Y MOI (USA)
GABBY YOUNG (UK)
SAN FRAN DISCO
with LOVE CONNECTION HAMMOCKS AND HONEY
DEBUT EP ‘MOUTHFUL OF WATER’ LAUNCH with SPECIAL GUESTS
with SPECIAL GUEST YEO
SINGLE LAUNCH with SPECIAL GUESTS
Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door
Tickets $10 +BF / $15 on the door with EP
Tickets $20 +BF
Tickets $10 on the door
with ROSS JAMES IRWIN
Doves have cancelled their upcoming Australian tour due to “circumstances beyond [their] control”. Further in their statement they said, “This is a decision we have not taken lightly and our sincere apologies go out to anyone who has bought tickets for the shows and for any inconvenience caused”. Refunds for their Forum show are available from the point of purchase.
EVERY THURSDAY LATE
Penny Drop and 3RRR presents,
All presale tickets available through MOSHTIX: Phone: 1300 GET TIX (438 849) on-line: www.moshtix.com.au, or at all Moshtix outlets, (Fitzroy & City ) including Polyester
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
MCCUE LANDS BACK HOME
T EN S E PR
Australian-born, Nashville-based Anne McCue returns in February for select dates to promote Broken Promise Land, her new album and first on Laughing Outlaw Records. She plays the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh on Friday 11 February.
LEENA JOINS MCMAHON
Leena has been named as the support on the upcoming tour of Andrew McMahon, former frontman of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Leena’s debut set of songs on the Mean Old Clock EP introduces a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with a sunny exterior, and, upon closer listen, a darker core. Leena has travelled the globe, recorded from Bronte to Burbank and worked a charmingly odd array of jobs along the way. She’s currently selling bespoke suits in Melbourne by day and writing her somewhat worldweary songs at night. With hints of the sophistication of Neil Finn, the moxie of Jenny Lewis, and the wistfulness of Cat Power, Leena’s songs show that she’s a hopeful observer and a thoughtful old soul. The pair play the Prince Bandroom on Sunday 13 February.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Sydney band The Holidays have announced they’ll be taking their dreamy, palm tree jams on the road again with a national headline tour in April. The band’s self-produced debut album Post Paradise has proven to be a critic’s favourite and ended last year picking up The Age EG award for Best Album. Post Paradise has already delivered radio favourites Broken Bones, Golden Sky and Moonlight Hours. Last week The Holidays were crowned winners of the prestigious Australian Music Prize Red Bull Award for the Best Debut Album Of 2010. Special guests on the forthcoming national tour will be Ballarat’s Gold Fields, who have also been scoring widespread radio support for their debut single Treehouse. The bands play a free, all-ages show at Federation Square on Thursday 7 April and the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 9 April. Tickets go on sale Monday 31 January.
Local interweb sensation Bangs, the bloke who wants to Take U To Da Movies, has been named as support at South African rap dynamos Die Antwoord. With DJ MAFIA also along for the ride, they play the Prince Bandroom on Wednesday 2 February.
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA Y BOBBY Mexico’s spectacular acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela return for the fourth time to play to their increasingly large Australian fan base in April. One of the great word-of-mouth success stories of recent times, Rodrigo y Gabriela have taken the mainstream media and music lovers the world over by storm as they showcase their blistering original songs and famous cover versions in their live set on Spanish guitars.Their most recent studio album, 11:11, released last year, sees them developing their core sound into something more sophisticated, intricate and varied. Live in concert, Rodrigo y Gabriela are nothing short of thrilling. Supporting them will be new folk rock artist on the rise, Bobby Long, who has mastered an uncommon fingerpicking guitar style through non-stop performing in seven countries. Catch what’s sure to be a night of aural delights on Tuesday 19 April at the Palais Theatre.
With their latest track Houdini doing magic tricks across airwaves, Los Angeles three-piece Foster The People add another Melbourne date to their inaugural Australian tour next month. The group will follow their Northcote Social Club show on Wednesday 16 February with a second show at the venue the following night. The band’s debut single, Pumped Up Kicks, sparked a following the world over and scored more than a million YouTube hits. They’ve since followed up with two equally impressive singles, with Houdini jumping onto Triple J high rotation and Helena Beat spreading like wildfire across social networks. Foster The People will be supported by Strange Talk.
Metal fans rejoice! Out of the bands that hadn’t yet announced a sideshow for this year’s Soundwave, Saxon were one that fans were particularly hoping for. We could talk for hours about their role in the movement known as the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal but the most important thing to note is that they’ll be playing the Espy’s Gershwin Room on Monday 28 February. But they won’t be alone. The Sword (a band who you could tie into that aforementioned conversation as being one of the finest representations of the NWOBHM influence) will be supporting them, their latest album Warp Riders can be rightfully described as a ‘triumph’. Metal will reign supreme in March.
He announced his entry into live music via the Woodford and Peats Ridge festivals and now the Butterfingers frontman-turned-solo-force-of-nature, Evil Eddie, is ready to back up those impressions he made. He released his first single – simply titled Queensland – late last year and it’s since been a much-watched video on the interwebs and a much-requested song on Triple J. With a band that featured members of Butterfingers (naturally), Laneous & The Family Yah and Spitfireliar, Eddie and friends will be bringing havoc to east coast venues in the next two months. Melbourne gets a taste via the East Brunswick Club on Friday 4 March.
The kids from I Oh You have just announced that they are stepping out of their share house once more to throw a huge party on Saturday 5 February. After a series of chaotic parties around the city with acts such as Philadelphia Grand Jury, Gypsy & The Cat, Foals DJs and Last Dinosaurs – the four friends have announced their biggest party yet! The knees-up will feature headline DJ sets from Edwin Congreave (Foals), Yeasayer and Muscles, live performances from DZ, Gold Fields and Ships Piano, and additional DJ sets from Melbourne favourites Streetparty, Indian Summer DJs, Naysayer & Gilsun and Butcher Blades. Tickets are $25+BF from Oztix.
The Waifs’ Temptation tour will take the band all over the country, seeing them play in many of their favourite haunts. Now all living in the US, and with their show at the Forum on Thursday 17 March sold out, the band have announced a second show at the venue on Wednesday 16 March.
SUPPORT FOR YEASAYER
Sydney’s Ghoul have been announced as the support for Yeasayer’s show at Billboard on Thursday 10 February. While we’re on Yeasayer, since the release of their album Odd Blood, there have been some killer remixes from the record including singles ONE, Ambling Alp and Madder Red, and the band have committed the best to a bonus disc, with the deluxe reissue due for release Friday.
The Shenanigans Irish Music Festival has been announced, with The Wolfe Tones, Mundy and local supports Celtic Fire set to tour the nation and bring a little bit of that Irish jig into your life. The Wolfe Tones declared that their 2010 tour of Australia would be their last, but the folk favourites enjoyed it so much that they’re returning for St Patrick’s Day ’11. With more record sales and number ones in Ireland than U2, it’s 40 years of experience that fellow Irishman Mundy will be supporting, himself not short of experience. It hits the Forum on Saturday 19 March.
NO PLAIN JANE
Jane Badler will release her new album Tears Again on 18 March via Inertia Distribution. Tears Again is the second collaborative album from Jane Badler with Sir. Lyrically and musically the album reflects Badler’s long and varied career in Hollywood B-films and television soaps throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. The record pays homage to the smoothness and the melodrama of the era. Produced and arranged by internationally-acclaimed composer Paul Grabowsky, Tears Again is a bleary panorama of Miami beaches, key parties and rehab centres. Best known for her portrayal of Diana, the sexually charged villain of cult classic television program V, Badler appeared on American television weekly from 1976 until 1989. Along with V sge starred in the classic soaps One Life To Live and Fantasy Island. In the lead-up to the release of Tears Again, Badler will play a special performance at the Famous Spiegeltent on Thursday 10 March. Part of the Spiegeltent’s Diva’s Choice program, she will perform with guests Paul Capsis and Gary Pinto.
OLD WAVE STILL GOT IT
BOY FROM MARS Chart-topper Bruno Mars has just announced his first ever Australian tour. The pop wunderkind, responsible for some of 2010’s biggest tracks, including Grenade, Just The Way You Are, Travie McCoy’s Billionaire and BoB’s Nothin’ On You, has become one of the most talked-about artists in the world of music. In recognition of both his brilliant solo career as well as his songwriting efforts, he has gathered seven nominations for the upcoming Grammy Awards as well as a 2011 BRIT Award nomination for Best International Male. Join the party on Saturday 16 April at Festival Hall (all ages). Tickets go on sale this Tuesday from Ticketmaster.
Part of the newly branded UNFD roster (the part that’s diversifying away from their punk roots), Melbourne rapper Illy is taking his second album and the one we all heard about, The Chase, onto the road. The tour is going to cover three months and entertain metro and regional areas all around the country. Tagging along for the ride is good friend and one of Australian hip hop’s most regarded producers, M-Phazes. Expect a new single from Illy soon and grab yourself a ticket to the Push Over festival on Sunday 13 March, the Corner Hotel on Friday 18 March and the Karova Lounge in Ballarat on Saturday 19 March.
BIG DAY OUT SIDESHOWS
So the Big Day Out is completely sold out and your only chance to catch some touring band action is at the sideshows (well the ones with tickets left). You can still get amongst The Jim Jones Revue at the Corner, Plan B at the Prince, CSS at the Corner, Lupe Fiasco at the Palace, Booka Shade at the Prince, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros at the Corner and Die Antwoord at the Prince, but Tool, Primal Scream, MIA and Die Antwoord and The Deftones are all sold out. Full list of info is at bigdayout.com.
LA quartet WARPAINT make music intimately connected to the human condition, writes ANTHONY CAREW.
HOOKED ON A FEELING W
arpaint’s Emily Kokal and Jenny Lee Lindberg met at a casting in Los Angeles. The band, Angeles band in fact, fact began as a quartet all with experience in acting work: Kokal and Theresa Wayman, childhood friends from Oregon and both guitarists and vocalists, hooking up with Lindberg and her sister, noted actress and circa-2001 it-girl Shannyn Sossamon, on bass and drums, respectively. That back-story must sure sound suspicious to some: a quartet of attractive girls get together in the ‘entertainment capital of the world’. But the success that Warpaint have found – finally, emphatically, now, with the late-’10 release of their debut LP, The Fool – has been the exact opposite of the clichés of girls-in-bands.
For they are not ingénues, pretty puppets/poppets plonked on stage whilst important men pull the strings backstage. They are not a product of a producer or a manager. They found their name not through trading on celebrity, or vanity, or by being splashed across glossy-mag spreads as some bankrolled hypeband being shovelled down the collective gullet. Instead, Warpaint did it the old-fashioned way. And they are, indeed, an old-fashioned guitar rock band. Formed in 2004, they played shows; lots and lots of shows. They became a really good band; a live act first and foremost. Though, after Sossaman’s departure due to the demands of her actorly day-job, they’ve cycled through drummers, only settling with Stella Mozgawa – a 24-year-old Australian, graduated from the live band for soap starlet Lenka, no less – in 2009, the band have grown with a sense of togetherness. Playing together for hours on end in rehearsals, and on stage, Kokal, Wayman and Lindberg developed, via such repetition, the kind of connective chemistry that takes people-playing-guitars to transcendental places.
Warpaint had existed for four years before they released their first EP, Exquisite Corpse, in 2008; a record mixed by Kokal’s then-boyfriend, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ wayward guitar savant John Fruscinate. At first they self-released it, and, then, in 2009, Manimal Vinyl pressed it up properly. The EP delivered ambling guitar rock at a slowcore pace, with slight country-ish twang and light touches of psychedelia. Its key cut was called Billie Holiday, no less, and the sprawling psych-folk jam found the band spontaneously, mid-song, riffing on Mary Wells’ old R&B hit My Guy, its buoyant declaration of love delivered with a kind of eerie calm, making for unexpectedly-effecting piece of appropriation; there something almost sinister in the way the chant this cheery ode to devotion as a solemn incantation of the inevitable. Buzz from the EP led, eventually, to Warpaint signing to Rough Trade, and setting out work on their debut LP; a record which proved far more dynamic, atmospheric and confident than its predecessor. By the time The Fool was released, and Warpaint had officially ‘arrived’, they’d been together six and a half years. This meant that, in the live realm, they were the opposite of so many of 2010’s breakout/blog-buzz type bands: home projects that had to scramble to invent a live show, and made awkward debuts in performances anticipated and well-documented, not just-for-themselves and essentially anonymous. Warpaint are, indeed, a live proposition foremost: playing swaying, eyes-closed, songs known back-to-front; lost in the liberation and the emotion of their tunes. If there is one thing about these not-ingénues that the world may see as particularly ‘feminine’, it’s that their music isn’t intellectual, or influence-collecting, or even particularly self-conscious; but entirely emotional. “I know I just keep saying, ‘feel, feel, feel’,” admits Wayman, mid-conversation. The 30-year-old is speaking of Warpaint’s music, and keeps turning to the same
word: in the space of a 17-minute conversation, she says ‘feeling’ 14 times. “But, we’re really feeling-based. We’re not conceptual. We’re not trying to nerd out on an idea. We’re not excited by some sort of technical approach that we’re trying to take. As of now, it’s really feeling-based.” When asked to articulate what ‘feelings’, specifically, Wayman initially defers. “I’m reticent to say anything, because, whatever someone’s feeling from it is exactly what they’re supposed to be feeling; whatever it means for other people is precious,” she begins. “But, if there is something that’s there, throughout, the best feeling to talk about with these songs is the feeling of nostalgia. It’s not sadness, it’s not happiness, it’s not anger. It’s just a general feeling of being a human being, that sense of your life passing.”
We’re not trying to nerd out on an idea.”
It’s that sense of nostalgia – which is, in many ways, intimately connected to the human condition – that unites the tunes on The Fool. “What makes these songs on the album the ones we actually ended up putting on there was that, when they were in their inception, we all felt that same feeling,” Wayman says, using that word again. “When I was playing the piano part for Lissie’s Heart Murmur the very first time, I felt that pull, that nostalgia, that feeling in sound. Even the very first time I was playing it, I felt this deep emotion connected to my past. That’s why that song stuck.
Then the piano part with Jen’s bassline makes me feel so full. And then Emily’s melody comes into it, and it all fits together, and it has this great… feeling.” Warpaint may be all about the ‘feeling’, and not a band ‘nerding out’ on ideas, but that doesn’t mean that Wayman herself isn’t a music nerd. She talks enthusiastically about piles of electronic music – Warp titans like Aphex Twin and Clark; the Hippos In Tanks label and their stable of Gatekeepers, Games, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Sun Araw – and speaks reverently about Talking Heads. She draws connections between playing Christmas carols for her family, as a child, and having them all sing along, and the way she feels being in a band now. She talks about Björk as a defining adolescent influence, and about Dylan LeBlanc’s influence on her day, having played Pauper’s Field that morning. “Any music that I love, that’s what I love about it: it’s a rich experience to listen to something and have it affect you,” she surmises. Warpaint is Wayman’s first band. She’d dabbled in guitar as a teen, but didn’t get serious about creating sound ‘til she was 21, and she bought a guitar and a drum kit. Wayman was 24 when Warpaint formed. Yet the line from then to now wasn’t a straight one. In 2005, there was a rupture: the band broke up. “Shannyn stopped,” Wayman recounts. “She’d had a kid and figured it was too hard to have a child whilst still exploring her acting career. So, she stopped, and then Jen and Emily wanted to stop, too. I was pregnant at the time, but I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t stop.” Instead, Wayman threw herself into a new endeavour: “Vincent Gallo hired me to be in his band,” she says. It sounds like a punchline, but Wayman insists that her time on stage with everyone’s favourite proudly-Republican sperm-salesman wasn’t at all creepy. “It was really cool. I was really, really bummed when Warpaint had to split up for a while, and was really grateful to be able to
keep playing. I ended up playing with Vincent up until I was eight months pregnant. I was flying long after I just should’ve been at home. I think part of that was that I was still heartbroken that Warpaint had stopped.” Wayman had her son, Sirius, in 2005, and, soon after, the band reconvened. “It just made sense. It wasn’t really like we had to reconcile anything. My son was now four months old, and I was ready to come back. And they were ready to stop the adventures that they had that didn’t allow them to keep playing in bands. Everyone agreed that it was time,” Wayman recounts. “[Gallo] and I were going to continue playing, but then Warpaint got back together, and I had to go with that. Because Warpaint is my heart and soul.” Rather than being an impediment to rock’n’roll, Wayman found motherhood focused her in unexpected ways; the insane time-demands of tending to a small human bringing out an organisational, efficient, hard-working side of her that had been otherwise dormant. “As a human being it mostly made me value my free time so much more,” she explains. “There’s a lot of time in a day that gets wasted. And, if you have a kid, you just can’t live with yourself if you’re wasting time every day; you have to organise your time really well if you want to give all this energy to your child that you love so much, and then also be able to give that energy back to yourself and your own pursuits. “I almost get more done having more restrictions than the people around me that don’t have any restrictions. I also feel like I’m more inspired, and my life is more rich in a certain sense. Because you see the value of human life, and just how fast time moves along. All of a sudden your son is five years old, and you see just how much has happened in five years. It’s a good perspective.” A lot can, indeed, happen in five years. A life can go from foetal to school-aged in a dizzying rush of physical development, cognitive advances and explosions of personality. And a band can go from a small project, a labour-of-love for four friends, playing endlessly in a garage, to one touring the world, racking up acclaim along the way. The Fool, the play-at-home version of that bandascending narrative, and Warpaint’s effective statementunto-the-world introduction, carries – in its cascading guitars, its slow-building atmospheres, and its eerie voices – an accumulation of emotion from that half decade, and all the nostalgia, all the feeling, that’s come with. “What we wanted to do with this album, and songs, was just get them out there and say, basically, that this is the music that we want to make,” Wayman says. “This is what we’re feeling right now, this is what we’re inspired to put together; we just wanted to share our feelings on life through music. That was our intention. “Because, that’s exactly what all of us value the most about the music that we listen to: that richer experience of life that you get when you listen to a song that really hits you, and makes you feel things, whatever the emotion. You’re experiencing things on a deeper level, which is why music is so nostalgic, and why people are obsessed with music. It saves lives, sometimes, because people get stuck in situations where their daily lives are stuck in routines, and they’re not happy, or unfulfilled. Music can take people out of that, or be an oasis within that. That’s what we’re attempting with this record: making something that makes us feel that way, and makes others feel that way, too.” WHO: Warpaint WHAT: The Fool (Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 February, Northcote Social Club
CALIFORNIA LOVE Cover stars Warpaint are just one of a seemingly endless number of acts helping put Los Angeles back on the musical map. ANTHONY CAREW tips the five most likely to break out from the City Of Angels in 2011. After being at the centre of the music biz in the ’80s, Los Angeles developed a reputation as kind of a joke; a place where the spectre of hair metal still lingered, and the presence of the ‘entertainment industry’ filled the city with plenty of people with big dreams, few with any artistic integrity. The city’s unending sprawl was cited as the natural enemy of vital, local music communities, and, when Brooklyn’s freshly-gentrified Williamsburg neighbourhood became the centre of hipster cool circa 2001, LA’s fate as the wrong city to be in – the veritable Sydney of North America – was sealed. Only, then, somehow, things began to change. I’m gonna say it was everyone’s favourite self-loathing-Jew/ showman-extraordinaire/lo-fi-genius/godfather-of-chillwave Ariel Pink who – when he spontaneously arose in a swarm of Animal Collective-endorsed, freshly-excavated tapes circa 2004 – kick-started Los Angeles’ rise from place of neglect. Cultivating a community of similarly-styled lo-fi oddballs (Nite Jewel, Geneva Jacuzzi, Julia Shammas Holter), Pink was a catalyst for genuine underground culture. When white-noise old-school-alterna-rock bros No Age broke in 2008, they took things a step further, shining a light on a punk rock community – Health, Abe Vigoda, Mika Miko – that revolved around a tiny venue named The Smell. The notion of an all-ages/vegan-friendly/staunchly-punk space flourishing in the City Of Angels – and, in a blog cred sense, putting it squarely on the map – was a telling sign of an LA rebirth. Last year, seemingly every second US-indie breakout band – Active Child, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (who went from cult loon to crossover success story with Before Today), Avi Buffalo, Baths, Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls, Glasser, Kisses, Local Natives, and our cover starlets Warpaint – seemed to hail from Los Angeles, cementing its status as cultural-capital reborn. With 2011 freshly dawned and the hype train in need of fresh meat, here’s five Los Angelino bands bound to be bigger by the year’s end than they were at its beginning.
Freshly transplanted to Los Angeles from Oakland, way-awesome one-woman-band Colleen Green cranks out ultra-lo-fi pop songs owing a debt to ‘60s girl groups and ‘90s bubblegum pop punk. With two ultra-limited cassette EPs of killer jams and undeniable cuteness on her side, Green seems bound to be swept up in a blog frenzy sometime sooner than soon.
Voytas makes sashaying, lightly-funky, falsetto-warbled indie pop that plays like the laid-back, West Coast, slightly-more-twee Twin Shadow: all retro synth sounds, cheesy drum machines, gated reverb, wah guitar, polished pop hooks, and a love of, like, Phil Collins delivered devoid of irony. Voytas turns sounds of ‘seduction’ back on themselves; his smooth-operator sounds building a shrine to the emptiness of modern existence.
One-man-band Ben Schneider mixes some of the most persistent blogospheric influences of the past decade – reverbed-out My Morning Jacket harmonies, glinting African-pop guitars, Caribbean steel pan drums – and, somehow, makes it work. His self-released, Bandcamphawked Mighty EP has a big, beautiful sound, and seemingly-limitless crossover potential.
Once known as Pearl Harbor, this sister act – 23-year-old Piper Kaplan, 15-year-old sibling Skylar – sounds like cult ’60s teen-sister-act Wendy & Bonnie crossed with bootlegged Russian ’80s pop, all delivered with the wonky, warped, degraded-tape sound synonymous with Ariel Pink. Fittingly, Pink himself turns up on their debut LP, Headbangers In Ecstasy, and Haunted Graffiti band-member Kenny Gilmore handles production.
After two freakin’-awesome EPs, 2008’s The Basta and 2009’s Kabukimono, and tours with Gang Gang Dance, Wavves, and Omar Souleyman, husband/wife pair Rainbow Arabia – whose polyethnic, globe-trotting sound was born when the duo bought a Lebanese casio set to Middle Eastern microtones – are finally set to deliver their debut LP, Boys And Diamonds. Coming out, somewhat strangely, on pseudo-legendary minimal-techno imprint Kompakt, the more dancefloor-friendly set will surely break the duo to a far larger audience.
HUNTING FOR MORE For nine long years, Atlanta, Georgia’s favourite ambient/shoegaze indie rock sons DEERHUNTER dwelled in the outer rims of the mainstream consciousness. Then came Halcyon Digest. Now: a newfound popularity that stretches even to Singapore and Taiwan. Drummer/keyboardist MOSES ARTULETA fills in MITCH KNOX.
or a man who was party to one of last year’s most widely praised indie albums – Halcyon Digest, the audibly delicious fourth fulllength from Atlantan atmosphere kings Deerhunter – Moses Artuleta seems almost a little surprised that people in places as far from his home as Singapore and Taiwan would be interested in his band. And yet, that’s exactly where the group are stopping on their way through to our shores for the annual, upcoming Laneway festivities. Still, he remains oddly modest about it. “I feel like they want us to come there for a reason, so that must mean someone’s excited to see us; we’re definitely really happy to make it out there,” he says. ‘Oddly’ modest is perhaps apt in light of recent events in Artuleta’s and his bandmates’ world. Since forming back in 2001, Deerhunter have steadily netted themselves an ever widening scope of fans. They
weren’t exactly in the spotlight, or its poorly-lit fringes either really, for the grand majority of that time, but with the release of last year’s record, and the collective critical orgasm that followed, the quartet suddenly found themselves thrust straight into the headlights with little time to think about what that actually meant for them as a band. This was, after all, just meant to be an album, not some kind of magnum opus. “We weren’t trying to do anything but just try to, like, make an album, and we certainly didn’t think of it in those kinds of terms or anything,” Artuleta humbly explains. “But we’re happy – it’s definitely very nice that everyone likes it so much. “I don’t know; it hasn’t really, like, registered much. That’s not to be ungrateful or anything; it’s nothing like that. I guess maybe it hasn’t really registered, or it’s a matter of time or something. But I don’t know, we’ve just been sort of trucking along since the album came out and playing shows and whatnot. We’re taking a brief break right now before coming out your way to do more.” Naturally, this raises the question of why the album did so well. Did Deerhunter change? Did the people who were listening to it? For something to build up gradually for the better part of a decade and then explode (in a relatively modest fashion) in a sense overnight is not an easy phenomenon to explain, as Artuleta demonstrates. “It’s always a little bit of both; I’m sure these things take time for people to come around on it just as much as we’re, like, hopefully… I mean, we’re getting older and more mature, so hopefully also developing things more and getting better at what it is we’re doing… whatever that means,” he offers. “We’re more experienced, y’know, and maybe it’s a combination of those two things coming together around the same time, and that’s awesome. That’s really a great thing to be happening right now.” A possible explanation would be an alleged hiatus the band took between recording 2008’s Microcastles and their most recent. The words ‘would’ and ‘alleged’ are key here, though, as, despite accounts to the contrary, they never even really took a ‘hiatus’, in the true sense of the word. “I mean, that wasn’t anything, really, but a deserved break after, like, a really long period of touring. I don’t even understand how that’s considered a hiatus,” he says. “It was, like, six months, at most; five or six months. There are bands that take off two or three years and that’s not even called a hiatus, so I don’t know – we just took some time off between writing and making an album and then touring constantly behind it before doing that again.” Regardless of what you want to call it, the break must have done some good. Vocalist Bradford Cox and guitarist Lockett Pundt served as primary songwriters for the album, though the other members were still inherently involved in pre-studio deliberations before heading in to record. Coming out the other side, Artuleta and his bandmates found, as they had previously, that once something is committed to record, there are varying degrees to which it can take on further life, no matter how hard you pursue it. “There’s always songs like that on albums. There are ones that are just really hard to ever adjust or match how it sounds on the album, and then there are other ones where we almost, like, ideally – for the individual song, in the best case scenario, we can keep playing it and actually make the song better as time goes on, even past the studio version,” he explains. “But then there are some songs that almost, like, die at the studio. Not die, but they kind of peak there. Try as you might, you keep going back to it and trying to figure out how to play it again or play it live and stuff, and you can’t ever get it there, where it was in the studio version. Earthquake would probably be one of those songs, that we just can’t figure out any more after having recorded it. But there are other songs – I think Don’t Cry is a better song from the album live, and I think He Would Have Laughed is better; so it just depends on the song you’re talking about, if it’s better – or rather, if it’s improved or not from the album.” “We definitely don’t play Earthquake, and we were going to try and work on Coronado again, but Coronado hasn’t worked out so far. Those are the two big ones I can think of off this album. There’s always just those few on any album, like two – two to three at most – that just are the evasive songs, or elusive songs, rather.” The ones that haven’t proved so elusive, however, will undoubtedly be on show at the band’s upcoming local appearances, though from the sound of things they’re every bit as excited to be coming back as we all should be to be having them; Artuleta does speak positively of his past experience here, even though it was winter. “The audiences and the crowds are really great, and all the shows were just organised really well,” he recalls. “It was probably the people more than anything. It was winter, so it’s kind of hard to say anything about being outside of the city because I think we were kind of cooped up while we were there, so the thing that stuck would definitely be the shows. “I definitely think it’s the – I don’t know, playing shows is my favourite part of being in the band, so it’s definitely going to be loud, and hopefully… I don’t know… pretty much everything that we play is something on the album but, at this point, better because we’ve just gotten to spend even more time on it and work on it more. And I just feel like it’s the way to hear how a song can progress to somewhere different constantly, and I think that’s really exciting for us, and hopefully it’s exciting for the audience.” WHO: Deerhunter WHERE & WHEN: Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Wednesday 9 February, Billboard
AFTER THE SHOW
moments, when it’s all over, and you can just relax.”
BLONDE REDHEAD’s KAZU MAKINO gets so nervous playing live she wishes she could skip the performance and get straight to the post-gig party. She’s also taking the blame for the poor reviews of her band’s most recent album, she tells ANTHONY CAREW. “It doesn’t always work out that someone steps to the fore for a whole album,” continues Makino, “but this time, however, it really felt like it was my album. So, I feel really closely attached to this one.” Describing the album as “more minimal” than its predecessors, Makino attributes that to her own working way. Or, as she puts it, her – incomplete, distracted – way of translating the sounds she hears in her head into fruition. “What you’re trying to do,” explains Makino, of her approach to making music, “is make into reality what you’re hearing in your head. In my case, I tend to, often, do too little. Like, in my head it sounds complete, but in reality I’m not actually playing enough notes. I think that’s why it’s good to play with Amedeo. I say too little, Amedeo tends to say too much.”
he critical reaction to Blonde Redhead’s eighth album, Penny Sparkle, has been mixed, at best. Web behemoth Pitchfork, whose opinions hold untold sway – openly echoed by their minions in the blogosphere, of course, but also somehow able to colour popular perception single-handedly – scored the album all of 4.0 out of 10. Thus, the album is already generally regarded as a disappointment; perhaps the most disappointing entry in the New York trio’s 18-year career. You can see where the thought comes from. Once a band built on the guitar interplay of husband/wife tag-team Amedeo Pace and Kazu Makino – from the gnarly no-wave shards of 1998’s In An Expression Of The Inexpressible to the dewy, shoegazy waves of 2004’s Misery Is A Butterfly – the latest Blonde Redhead LP is all ‘chillout’ synth wooshes and trip hoppish languor, the normally-shrieking Mikano barely murmuring over blunted beats blipping at ultra-slow BPM. For a band routinely compared to Sonic Youth over the past two decades, it’s an unexpected album: one lacking in energy, intensity and vigour.
Makino is taking such criticisms to heart. The band’s Kyoto-born frontwoman isn’t usually one to get hung up on reviews but, this time, it’s personal. “I feel like if people don’t like this record, I’m the one who can be blamed for it,” Makino says, in her halted, hushed speaking voice. “This album, I think we did it more the way I tend to do.” The decision to load the album with wafty keytone wasn’t made in advance and didn’t even seem like a looming stylistic shift when the band began work on Penny Sparkle. It was just what the three of them – Makino, Pace and Pace’s twin brother Simone; the pair Milanborn and Montréal-based – came upon as they went. “We’re never sure what we’re doing before we start,” Makino says, of the making-of-albums in general. “We don’t know how long it’s going to take, what it’s going to sound like. We don’t have any concepts in our minds, sometimes we don’t even have any specific feelings about it. You just work until you have a strong feeling, and then you grab onto it, and you try to stick with it.”
In an interview, Makino does have a tendency towards saying too little. At one point, she gives the dreaded one-word answer. The band all speak in voices barely about a whisper, and aren’t the most forthcoming talkers in general. It’s no surprise, then, when in the middle of a hesitant, awkward, stilted conversation, Makino confesses to suffering from crippling stage-fright. “I’ve always been shy, but that never used to feel like a problem for me,” says Makino. “It’s something that’s getting worse. It’s getting harder for me to play in front of people, for some reason. But, then, at the same time, although you’re so frightened, you can still play, somehow.” Touring, then, sometimes feels like a burden for Makino; an exhausting parade of nights that, at best, find debilitating bouts of fear. “Often I feel, when we’re about to play a show, like I wish we could just fast-forward to the point where it’s after the show, and you’re relaxing, chatting away with your crew, having a drink,” admits Makino, with candour that is anything but persuasive selling for their forthcoming Australian shows. “I often find myself wishing we could jump straight to that moment, but you can’t, and then you have to go through this experience; you have to take the trip. I guess it’s going through that that makes you love the
IGNORANCE IS BLISS They avoid the internet, barely use phones and shun magazines – sisters Sierra and BIANCA CASADY, AKA COCOROSIE, pay little heed to what’s said and written about them, writes ANTHONY CAREW. When it comes to perceptions of their music, Casady is more interested in talking about her obliviousness than her awareness. “We don’t do Facebook or anything like that, we don’t even really have telephones, we would never read magazines,” she says. “My sister never would go on a computer. So, we don’t really read things about ourselves first-hand, we just catch wind of things.” Throughout conversation, Casady refers often to her “imaginary world”, and speaks of being concerned with the influence of the outside world. Sierra, according to her sibling, is even more spacey; and, as rockinterviewer I can vouch: I once had a conversation with her about seeing UFOs (she blithely said she had) and astral travel. Bianca provides an apt self-description when she calls herself “a homebody without a home”.
n 2010, muckraking hipster news-hub Stereogum undertook Op-Ed: An Artists’ Dialogue On CocoRosie’s Grey Oceans. The just-released fourth LP for CocoRosie was their least acclaimed; quite a feat for a pair of longtime pariahs long snidely skewered by Pitchfork and their many minions. Though there was thematic fat to chew, the resulting op-ed was embarrassing, and essentially had the opposite effect of its good intentions. Rather than an essay isolating instances of the sexism that routinely colours critiques of the band, the ’Gum thought a better ‘dialogue’ was having musicians – Antony, JD Samson, Yoko Ono, Nico Muhly, Xiu Xiu, St Vincent – waxing poetic in the shades of adolescent purple any worthy critic would determinedly avoid (wrote Doveman: “I feel like I’m being invited into a secret garden filled with the most precious and exotic flora and fauna from a distant, beautiful future”).
The article should’ve, really, been called These Famous People Like CocoRosie, So You Should Too!; and it made the band a charity chase, in need of their stronger/bigger peers to defend them. Most oddly, it presupposed that a band that delights in being provoking, confronting and downright irritating would give a shit about their ‘critical reception’. If ever there
were artists who seemed likely to neither read nor care about their reviews, it would be CocoRosie. When I ask Bianca Casady, the younger of the band’s two siblings (she’s 28; sister Sierra is 31), there’s a long sigh. She’s, coincidentally enough, just been sounding out a lament for the technological trappings of the modern world (“if someone asked me if I could press a button and wipe out the internet, I’d do it in a second”). And it’s clear that this Stereogum thing isn’t her most welcomed conversational topic. “I have undecided feelings about it,” Casady eventually answers. “My sister didn’t see it, and wouldn’t have enjoyed reading any of that stuff. But I did, just because I knew my friend Antony had put a lot of energy into something. So, I read it, and… I don’t know. I don’t know what to say, to be honest. I do feel like we’re feminised in a weird way that isn’t exactly complimentary, and I wonder sometimes if we were just two brothers, making this weird stuff, that it’d be perceived differently. I mean, even I get the sense, sometimes, that our music is ‘too feminine’, but I can’t really explain that feeling, or understand where exactly that’s coming from. So, I related, a little bit to that topic in the discussion. But, otherwise, I’m not really sure. I don’t really like to think about it.”
“I’m just into my imaginary world, and once I get a desk set up somewhere, I’m totally happy, and I don’t want to go anywhere or see anyone,” she says. “I kind of just make myself at home anywhere, and really fast. I just need a desk, and to be able to shut the door. I just find different places where I’m able to get away with that for a few weeks. That’s what I’m doing here, in a barn in the south of France. I’ve shut the door on the rest of the world.” There, Casady is working on an art show (The Hoodlum, which features, in typical Casady gender-queering, burqas on men and male lingerie) that will exhibit in Paris and Tokyo. Thereafter, the sisters will return to Australia, throwing themselves back into a touring life they secretly love. “Neither of us tend to study our itinerary,” Casady says, “so it’s pretty fun to wake up in a different country every day, step out of the bus, and try to figure it out. We’re just along for the ride.” Growing up, the pair lived an itinerate life, tripping from state to state, going between their mother and their father, not shackled to conventional schooling. Thus, it’s no surprise neither has a permanent address; essentially drifting from tour to tour. Casady fondly recalls the band’s first European tour; when the sisters and their French beatboxer, Tez (a French jazz pianist, Gael Rakotondrabe, is the other member of their live band) were “cuddled together on the back seat, like a bundle of kittens”.
Makino’s answer to her fears is a simple, almost childlike one: keeping her eyes closed. Sometimes for entire Blonde Redhead sets. When she looks out, it’s an occasional peek. And, sometimes that can be its own concern. Like when Makino plays back in her homeland. “It’s a little bit embarrassing to play in Japan,” she says. “I get so used to opening my eyes and seeing people that are different from me, but in Japan, I open my eyes and they’re all looking at me in the same way, this very specific way. It’s hard to describe, exactly, but it’s very specific. It’s a hard situation for me because I get quite nervous on stage, so often I have to try and put all of the people out of my mind and pretend that they’re not there.” Given Makino’s terror at performing, it seems strange that she – nor either of the Pace twins – has ever undertaken a side project or made a solo record; never done something that could just be a studio project, left unperformed. “Oh, yeah, you’re right!” Makino says, as if it’s never occurred to her. “It’s just been really a handful to make the band’s records. Each record takes up so much of our time. Touring takes up so much of our time. We’re not lazy! Sometimes we think about making solo records, but we never get around to doing it. We invest all our time into the band.” And, nearing two decades of existence, Blonde Redhead have kept on way beyond the lifespan of most rock bands. Bring it up in a rock interview, though, and Makino amusingly launches into a kind of self-conscious critique of the promotional conversation; informed by an awareness of the narrative of her band. “I’m surprised that people make such a big deal out of it!” she yelps. “I feel like, ‘What’s the big deal?’ I’m not sure what they’re implying when they ask us that: were we supposed to lose it more quickly? Were we supposed to break up already? I do realise not many bands stay together this long, but it doesn’t feel odd to me. I think it’s only odd for a writer who looks at our band and realises that there’s no other obvious story to write about.”
WHO: Blonde Redhead WHAT: Penny Sparkle (4AD/Remote Control) WHERN & WHERE: Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Monday 7 February, Billboard
“Some of my fondest memories are of that time, just sleeping in the car; that feeling of constantly waking up, being half-asleep, just being constantly drowsy,” Casady recounts, before connecting it to her childhood. “Our dad lived in a van and most of the time when we were with him as kids we did a lot of driving and a lot of sleeping in the car. It’s something very comforting for us to be on the road with someone else in control.” Touring constantly behind their four critically-divisive, happily-kooky records – 2004’s La Maison De Mon Rêve, 2005’s Noah’s Ark, 2007’s The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn, and Grey Oceans – CocoRosie have attracted a devoted following. Their penchant for drag and ridiculous wardrobes have attracted a likeminded following: their US audience, Casady says, is “really outsider: there’s a lot of costumes, and I get the feeling we have a lot of gay teenage fans”. Such devotion has led to the sisters being on the receiving end of “a lot of strange gifts”; a burden that, for someone living life out of a suitcase, weighs double. “I’m not really welcoming people loading me up with their weird stuff,” Casady laughs. Recently, a show in Texas found them being presented with “banal, valueless objects out of somebody’s messy bedroom”, but most of the time people give them toys. “We get a lot of kids’ stuff,” Casady offers. “I guess because we use some toys in our music, but, outside of the sounds they create, we don’t sit around and play with them.” This touches on something that could’ve been explored at length in that Stereogum op-ed: the fact that two women boldly challenging notions of gender and sexuality are routinely, even by their supporters, misconceived as little girls playing dress-ups. “I’ve noticed the phenomenon of how ideas, how the outer world’s point of view of you, can essentially fabricate a mythology,” Casady says. “It seems a little perverse that people are fetishising that idea: a set of grown-up sisters playing with toys. It’s funny that people want to make little girls out of us, given the imagery we put out there, and the way that we dress, and the way we see ourselves. It’s pretty contradictory, really.”
WHO: CocoRosie WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Prince Bandroom
ANIMAL MAGIC Chatting to PETER SILBERMAN from THE ANTLERS and ADAM WILLS from BEAR IN HEAVEN, ANDY HAZEL uncovers more than just a shared fondness for fauna. that led to similar trials and triumphs. The interview, being one of the first they’ve done together, sees them agreeing with each other on a lot of points which highlights the treadmill many acclaimed bands find themselves on. A treadmill that runs something like this: years of hard work until an album finally breaks through, acclaim, touring, constant interviews, late night TV slots, more touring, festival circuit, European tour, downtime spent recording, and a visit to Australia as an off-season holiday with gigs.
inding a common theme between the bands seems to have come from the label more than the bands,” says Bear In Heaven guitarist Adam Wills breezily about his band’s upcoming tour with fellow Americans The Antlers. ‘We’ve never played a show together before but we’re really excited about this tour; we wouldn’t have said yes if we didn’t like The Antlers. I think there is quite a bit in common between us, I think we’re both quite dramatic, sonically, dynamically interesting bands, for sure,” he says before pausing for thought. “Bear In Heaven are very particular about who we play shows with because a good show is all about bands complementing each other and it’s always good finding a band who really suits your show. Though it can be fun playing with mixed bands, for me it’s always nice to play with bands that play off each other really well. I’ve seen The Antlers a couple of times…” “I’ve seen Bear In Heaven once,” pipes up Antlers frontman Peter Silberman in a way that becomes
emblematic of the respective band members’ dynamics – Silberman quiet and thoughtful, Wills eager and chatty. Seeming to be the eternal opening band for a more renowned headliner, Silberman counters the suggestion that he undervalues the band. “With bands like Editors and The National, they’re far beyond us in terms of sales and the size of gig we could play. We were invited on those shows to open for them, and that happened because I guess those bands liked us. We chose to do those shows instead of our own because people can get to a record any number of ways and playing with those bands seemed like a good way of doing that. Like our bands do when we’re touring, we try to find a band to work well with you, in our case a band that works with [Antlers album] Hospice.” Both bands are known chiefly for one release, both releases were heralded across the blogosphere as being sterling examples of new music in 2009 and the limelight pushed both into a succession of North American tours
For The Antlers, the process of taking what was an intensely personal album from a bedroom, to a band, to a stage and now to Australia has been a long, challenging and immensely rewarding process – much like listening to Hospice. ‘It happened naturally I guess.” explains Silberman gently. “It took a while to get to the point it needed to be when we were making the record. The record started as a recording project, not as a live thing at all. We were a band at that stage, but I’d done most of the record myself and I wasn’t thinking of instrumentation. When we began touring we moved our rehearsal space into [keyboardist] Darby [Cicci]’s apartment which gave us time to flesh things out which was different from renting rehearsal space, and we realised that the thing we needed most was time to figure things out. That’s working now, that mentality from the beginning turned out to be what we needed.” Wills concurs. “For us, it was hard at first because there’s a million ways we could have gone about it. We found there was a big learning curve especially since we recorded the album [Beast Rest Forth Mouth] as a four-piece so when we thought about how we were going to play it live, we knew our strengths lied with texture. We didn’t want to strip things back too much so there was a lot of scrambling especially on the part of [keyboardist] John [Philpot] because he’s the most technically proficient in the band. We replaced our keyboard and bassist so our band is kind of like a computer camp now,” he says laughing. “Everyone is connected via MIDI. I’m playing keys with my feet and John is playing bass with two samplers. It was a month of pure hell trying to work out how to do this.” Given the proclivity for touring shared by both bands, it’s surprising perhaps that both groups have done so much recording recently, with follow-up albums due in the next
DON’T LOOK BACK Even when revisiting their classic Screamadelica album, which they’re playing in full for local audiences next week, PRIMAL SCREAM refuse to bow to convention. “We’re one of the last pioneers of fucking tightrope walking,” GARY ‘MANI’ MOUNFIELD tells MATT O’NEILL. Future saw the group eschew the blues rock of 2006’s Riot City Blues in favour of chilly Euro disco pop. “The beauty of being in Primal Scream is you never have any idea what the fuck’s going to happen next, you know?” Mounfield enthuses. “You come together in the studio and there’s never any kind of a mandate. It’s really organic. We just let things flow and it’ll go in whatever direction it’ll go. Who knows what the next Primal Scream album will sound like? I don’t know. I’ll tell you right now, we certainly don’t.
hip hop, pop, new wave, blues, techno and house.
here are very few bands like Primal Scream left in the world. There are many bands purporting to share characteristics with the Scottish pioneers (eclecticism, unpredictability), but very few of those bands will ever explore those characteristics to anywhere near the degree Primal Scream have over the past 28 years. They are perhaps the only major touring act in western popular music still capable of surprising their audiences after over two decades of writing and performing.
If the band’s career were to be given a fulcrum, it would have to coincide with 1991’s Screamadelica. The unarguable foundation of Primal Scream’s entire contemporary reputation, Screamadelica was a zeitgeistdefining record that saw the group transform their shimmering indie rock aesthetic into an iconoclastic blast of post-rave dance music brilliance, forging a new sound from distended aspects of house, dub, rock, pop, soul, gospel and psychedelia.
“Since I’ve joined Primal Scream, I’ve been getting up [frontman] Bobby Gillespie and the others to play some old songs because they just don’t like to look back,” bassist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield explains, having joined the group in 1996 following the dissolution of his former act, The Stone Roses. “I mean, that’s what keeps the Scream so fresh. I’ll always be saying to them, though: ‘You’ve got this amazing back catalogue of songs, why don’t you bloody use it?’”
“Yeah, I was always a massive fan of that album. Even when I was in with the other lot, I was always conscious of the Scream. We’d fucking bang into each other slobbering drunk and off our nuts in various clubs throughout Glasgow, London and Brighton,” Mounfield reflects. “I’m actually hoping we incorporate some of the dancey stuff of Screamadelica into some of the new stuff. We haven’t really done anything dancey in a while.”
Formed in 1982 by one-time Jesus And Mary Chain drummer Gillespie, Primal Scream’s earliest efforts, as demonstrated on the band’s 1985 debut single All Fall Down, were little more than the by-the-numbers jangle-pop of mid-‘80s indie rock. Since then, the band’s albums have traversed territories as diverse as garage rock, dub and reggae, industrial, noise rock, free jazz,
Each subsequent album, meanwhile, has seen the band explore a similar level of reinvention. Give Out But Don’t Give Up (1994) saw the band follow Screamadelica’s tribal house celebration with conventional garage rock fury, the paranoid electro dub explored with 1997’s Vanishing Point was merely replaced with scathing techno punk on 2000’s XTRMNTR while 2008’s Beautiful
“The thing is, now, it’s a really diplomatic band. Anyone’s free to do anything. There are no predetermined roles. Just because I’m the bass player doesn’t mean I just have to play the bass. If I came in and laid out a harmonica or I came in and decided I wanted to play the drums, then I would because that’s just the way it works these days. There’s a lot of freedom for individual members to do whatever they want in this band.” In truth, Primal Scream simply do not appear to care – not like most acts. The standard obligations to continuity, focus and aesthetics that define the development of most rock groups seem to be completely nebulous concepts within the band’s work. The sole motivating ideology you could attribute to the band would be something utterly mindless – ‘do it’, for example – and, if their records weren’t so impeccably constructed, you’d readily describe their work as a complete mess. Such apathy isn’t even limited to the band’s musical output. While decidedly less chaotic in recent years, frontman Bobby Gillespie has otherwise consistently ensured Primal Scream’s profile has been synonymous with controversy throughout the band’s career by way of countless acts of public rebellion, from drug and alcohol problems to accusations of anti-Semitism to penning politically outspoken tracks like XTRMNTR’s Swastika Eyes. “I love that. I really get a kick off people getting pissed off with us, as much as I do from people loving us. It’s a punk rock attitude about getting right in people’s faces,” Mounfield enthuses. “We could pump out the same old fucking shit like so many bands do from album to album. You don’t challenge yourself, you don’t challenge
six months, something Silberman is particularly keen to expand on. “We’re just about done with our record. We’ve been working on it since September and should be done in a month. Live, we’re still mostly focusing on Hospice because it’s our first time in Australia and we’re still working out how to play a lot of these new songs. The new album is not like Hospice and that’s something we didn’t think at first,” he says with a sigh. “It’s definitely been a long, uphill battle making this record. It took a lot of time to come up with ideas and throw them out. Stupidly I thought I might follow Hospice up with something similar, but once I decided not to try that the process became very different and the songs, too. Definitely, the album is better for not trying to be anything and just letting the songs happen as they wanted to.” Though it seems like a brave effort to even attempt to replicate the diarising of Hospice, Silberman gives nothing more away about The Antlers’ forthcoming release. Wills is more open about Bear In Heaven’s recent activities in the studio. “We’ve recorded a cover we’re putting out,” he says. “We’ve been writing and we’re 50% done with two new songs we may have ready when we hit Australia, though mainly we’ve just been working out how to play songs more than write them. We’re so busy with touring that recording has been pushed back to next month. We have another album in the can which never made it outside the States, and we’ve been sprucing that up for live shows which comes across well.” Hmmm… Antlers = reindeer: any chance of a Christmas song at some point? “Uh, no, I don’t think so,” Silberman responds chuckling ruefully. “We’re two-thirds Jewish and not religious at all.” Given a shared penchant for launching into searing sky-scraping soundscapes that could use another person to render, can audiences expect any crosspollination on stage? “We are going to get up in each others sets,” laughs Wills. “We’ve been backed into a corner on this one, so we have to,” he continues happily with Silberman murmuring his assent. “We don’t know what it’s going to involve yet. One night we’ll play alphabetical, the next night reverse alphabetical but beyond that we haven’t decided on anything.”
WHO: The Antlers/Bear In Heaven WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 5 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Wednesday 9 February, Corner Hotel
your audience, you don’t politicise people – you play it safe and you make loads of money. If I wanted to live like that, I’d have been a fucking merchant banker. “Our mandate is to try to put ourselves in an area where we’re not so familiar with the territory we’re in and then try and make of that what we will,” the bassist continues. “We’re one of the last pioneers of fucking tightrope walking. There have been a couple of albums that haven’t done so well but that’s just the way we operate. We don’t care. We just want to try new things all the time. I don’t know what genres we’ve got left to plunder. Maybe we’ll do a polka album. I don’t say that with my tongue in my cheek, either,” the bassist laughs. “It could definitely happen. Accordion classics.” To this end, the band’s decision to re-release Screamadelica and perform it in its entirety across the globe (Australia included) is simultaneously wildly unpredictable and completely familiar. It was only logical that a band so devoted to exploring new experiences would eventually discover that nostalgia is, in and of itself, a new experience worthy of being explored. Even if, in typical Primal Scream fashion, the band have refused to play it completely straight. “We had real problems with the fucking nostalgia thing. Should we do it? Is it cheesy? We were always very conscious of that aspect of it – especially [guitarist] Andrew Innes and Bobby Gillespie, because those guys just hate to look back,” Mounfield explains. “But I don’t think we have, really. I don’t think it’s nostalgia. I think we’ve given it a fresh lick of paint. I think we’ve modernised it and done something new with it. “You know, up until recently, they’d never played half the album live. It was originally such a studio production, on account of [producer/collaborator] Andrew Weatherall, but we’ve completely reworked it and it’s now completely live. We’ve stripped everything back to masters and rebuilt the entire thing with modern sounds. We’re still keeping loyal to the original but we’ve left no stone unturned. It was a really mathematical process and it’s taken us months to really get right.” WHO: Primal Scream WHAT: Screamadelica 20th Anniversary Edition (out 11 March through Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse; Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 February, Forum
SINGLED OUT BY CLEM BASTOW
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OPERATOR PLEASE CATAPULT EMI
IRON AND WINE KISS EACH OTHER CLEAN Remote Control
JONNY JONNY Popfrenzy
Hey, it’s Straya day (unless you’ve picked this up after Wednesday)! Which has absolutely nothing to do with this Single Of The Week pick other than as a forum to ask exactly why it is that I still feel Operator Please are unfairly ignored across this wide brown land (by people other than the yoof, that is). Why? Because Catapult, like every other single from their excellent recent album, feels doomed to wallow in relative obscurity. Lift your game, Straya – stop suckling at the teat of subpar imports when you have an excellent band like this right under your nose.
Samuel Beam, AKA Iron And Wine, will consolidate his growing mainstream profile with Kiss Each Other Clean, his most ambitious, fully realised and wonderfully eccentric album. The South Carolinian, who last ventured out with 2007’s now-transitional The Shepherd’s Dog, has somehow evaded being branded ‘nu-folk’, impressive beard aside. That’s partly because he’s no newcomer, Kiss… his fourth LP since 2002. The former film professor was making indie folk before it was officially ‘in’ again. Like Devendra Banhart, he’s increasingly confounding expectations of what a modern folk artist should be. On Kiss…, Beam, reuniting with longtime producer Brian Deck, burrows into ‘70s radio rock (Half Moon), funk (Me And Lazarus) and world beat (Monkeys Uptown is Afro-pop with psy-jazz overtones). The instrumentation is imaginative (entailing everything from saxophone to marimba to synthesiser) and sumptuously layered. Beam is also more self-assured as a vocalist. The harmonies here are worthy of a vintage soul platter.
In a review of the debut self-titled album by new band Jonny, valuable word count could be lost lamenting on the previous careers of the creative duo behind the moniker. The brainchild of Norman Blake, he of Teenage Fanclub fame, and Euros Childs from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Jonny’s first longplayer deserves to be judged on its own merits. Yet fans of the protagonists’ earlier work need not fear, as the duo have produced an early front-runner for album of the year with their infectiously upbeat pop record.
SEABELLIES BOARD THE APARTMENT UP Sony If ‘Dawson’s Creek soundtrack’ was the catch-all for a certain sonic hallmark in the late-’90s, and ‘iPod ad’ covered the bulk of the first decade of this century, then what’s this new sound that is tailor-made for mobile phone commercials as much as it is middle-class kids playing at being indie troubadours on their summer holidays while semi-satirically drinking Pimms and wearing bowler hats with floral dresses? I dunno, but that’s what I think of when I hear songs that sound like Board The Apartment Up, including the song itself. Answers on a postcard.
BOOM! BAP! POW! NO PLEASIN’ Independent Look, you might not be able to judge a book by its cover, but I’ll sure as hell judge a band by its name: Boom! Bap! Pow!? (No interrobang intended; that’s their ! and my ?) It’s a shame they’re saddled with such a dud of a name, because there’s something about No Pleasin’ that reminds me – fondly – of those late-’90s pop songs that mined the Motown back catalogue (in a decidedly blue-eyed way), from its Shotgun snare rolls to its non-threatening brass arrangements and sweet vocals. Just don’t say the name.
It’s perhaps no coincidence that this is Beam’s first album following his departure from Sub Pop. But, if Kiss… is to Iron And Wine what Swordfishtrombones was to Tom Waits, then at least it’s accessible. The opener Walking Far From Home is grungy preacher man blues underpinned by garagey organ: imagine a more listenable fragment of Neil Young’s distorted Le Noise with Daniel Lanois. Big Burned Hand has a deeply funky swagger – and retro sax that manages to sound neither kitsch nor ironic. Glad Man Singing verges on space-rock. Yet, while eccentric, Kiss… isn’t iconoclastic. Beam still takes country ambles with songs like Tree By The River. The tuneful Godless Brother In Love is coffee shop balladry – the comedown from Beam’s signature Flightless Bird, American Mouth. The album’s disparate influences converge on the intricate epic Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me. Kiss… might be the edgier relative of Band Of Horses’ nu-Americana opus Infinite Arms.
Jonny is an eclectic collection of brilliant, succinct indie pop gems, woven together with sharp production and inspired performances. From the opening ‘70s-inspired rocker Witch Is Witch, the duo channel the spirit of Big Star and The Flamin’ Groovies via a distinctive British filter. Candyfloss, the upbeat first single, utilises gorgeous harmonies and a Shocking Blue ‘60s pop progression while Waiting Round For You is a honky 12-bar number, reminiscent of the ‘60s British beat invasion. Goldmine continues the retro flavour with its psychedelic lyrics which would fit perfectly on an Austin Powers soundtrack, while You Was Me is a mid-tempo acoustic cut, sounding a lot like a Scottish version of The Band, highlighted by the harmonious backing vocals in the “Chip chip chipping away” refrain. Elsewhere on the album Circling The Sun is the most Teenage Fanclub-sounding number, with Norman Blake’s distinctive vocals to the fore. Meanwhile, Childs responds with his best Ronnie Lane impersonation on the piano barroom ballad, and album highlight, English Lady. Yet the axis of the album hinges later in Cave Dance, which starts as a light-hearted Beach Boys homage then at the two-and-a-half minute mark, takes an unexpected shift to morph into an 11-minute epic synth centrepiece, reminiscent of Pete Townshend’s best work in the early ‘70s. Simply brilliant.
AMANDA PALMER AMANDA PALMER GOES DOWN UNDER Liberator Music It is somewhat humbling to have a talented woman such as Amanda Palmer to create an album dedicated to our fair country (and our Kiwi mates). It becomes, however, pretty damn obvious after one listen to Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under that the love affair existing between Palmer and our antipodean lands is one that is deep and meaningful to her. A collection of recorded and live songs, the album covers both Palmer’s cabaret humour and her immense talent. For the uninitiated, Amanda Palmer came of age as one half of cabaret punk act the Dresden Dolls ten years ago. Although the band have since broken up (and re-formed – last year the Dresden Dolls played a series of shows throughout the USA), Palmer has gone from strength to strength. From listening to …Down Under it’s clear that her audiences truly adore her. Whether it’s the fact she has refused to compromise her art (a fact that saw her “freed” by Roadrunner Records in 2010) or that she just relates really well to her fans, Palmer enjoys playing, and her crowds enjoy being played to. Most of the live tracks on …Down Under were recorded at the Sydney Opera House to an enthusiastic audience. Tori Amos-tender songs like Australia, On An Unknown Beach and the first half of Vegemite (The Black Death) are all haunting in their simple piano-and-vocal simplicity. Then there’s the hilarious New Zealand (think menstrual cycles and local boys), the double entendre-encrusted single Map Of Tasmania and the second half of Vegemite (she’s not a fan, if you’re wondering). …Down Under’s only fault is that its structure is all over the place due to the placement of live and recorded tracks. But taken as a collection of singles, it’s both beautiful and funny – the way things should be. Dylan Stewart
Symon JJ Rock
TRAIN MARRY ME Sony It was one of the most alarming days of my life when I realised that I knew all the words to Drops Of Jupiter. And now that I’m back from that soul vacation I am met with the task of enduring Marry Me, one of those songs so shrewdly manufactured for the wedding circuit it may as well be a gift with purchase stuck to the front cover of Cosmo Bride (or perhaps given away with the best soy latte that you’ve ever had). My day, my way!!!
EMPRA LIKE A RUNAWAY Independent It’s true that music has no borders, maaan, and a selfconsciously Austrayan accent is as irritating as the next irritating thing, but there’s a point at which an affected American accent becomes close to parodic – step up, Empra! Aside from the accent, Like A Runaway would have been fresh around the glory days of Motor Ace/Foo Fighters, but now feels like a Triple M track out of its time. Unless someone wants to write a cool new show about hipsters living in Melbourne sharehouses, in which case, here’s the theme song.
CAGE THE ELEPHANT SHAKE ME DOWN Sony I rather liked these guys when I thought – circa Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked – that they were a bunch of British scruffs. It turned/turns out, however, that they’re more of the frat-rock model in the post-Sex On Fire model, and Shake Me Down is like the bastard child of Kings Of Leon and Everclear’s later output, which is about as disappointing as you might imagine it to be. Perfect for bro-dudes who pretend to be hipsters, however. Keep an ear out for it on Chapel Street.
THE LAST FIVE MINUTES INTO THE SUMMER Independent If there’s a single question that has plagued my decade or so of music criticism, it’s most likely this: is it okay to just be okay? To wit, Into The Summer is an okay, slightly psychedelic tune. It’s a little bit Earthmen, a little bit Crowded House, but it’s not a lot… anything, really. But it’s okay. Is that enough? Should I ask Whitney ‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay’ Houston? Would you like some more question marks??
SOCIAL DISTORTION HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES Epitaph Social Distortion, fronted and, some would argue, embodied by punk legend Mike Ness, are not the most prolific band around, so it’s no real surprise that it’s taken almost six-and-a-half years for Mike and the boys to get something new out to their fans. Admittedly, it’s not out of laziness and there has been another line-up change, with Josh Freese (Vandals, amongst other bands) taking on drumming duties for the recording sessions, although Dave Hidalgo Jr (The Drips, Suicidal Tendencies) is the new permanent drummer. It’s also the first album with bassist Brent Harding (Deke Dickerson, Ness’s solo work). The album itself is pure Social D. Ness’s trademark vocals are like an old friend: you might not have heard from them for a while, but when you do, you can pick up from where you left off as if you heard from them only yesterday. An instrumental, Road Zombie, starts the proceedings. It is a killer way to open this album and one that proves Mike Ness still has it. The album loses significant momentum after that kick-ass introduction with the far slower paced California (Hustle And Flow). It takes another two tracks for the album to pick up the pace and it’s not a moment too late. Machine Gun Blues is a welcomed change and shows off Social D at their best. Having said that, their cover of the Hank Williams (Senior) tune Alone And Forsaken is, without a doubt, the standout highlight with its lonesome lyrics but absolutely perfect musical backing – it’s an instant Social D classic. They may not have written it, but they’ve made it their own, much like they did with The Rolling Stones’ Under My Thumb. The slightly unsettling backing vocals are back for Can’t Take It With You.
AXXONN AXXONN REMIXED Sonoptik Axxonn, (Brisbane’s Tom Hall) gets the remix treatment on the inaugural release from Sonoptik. Having supported the likes of crossover experimentalists Health and released his debut album Let’s Get It Straight, Hall is about to relocate to the USA, potentially making this material his final locally produced work for a while. On Let’s Get It Straight, Hall proved he was capable of song construction which didn’t seem to be mired in any rigid process other than what took his fancy– a good place for an artist to be. This free will has been encouraged on Axxonn Remixed. He personally contributes a remix of Fever Ray’s If I Had A Heart, building on the dark mysticism of the original into what could be an extended coda. His rooted-in-metal dorkery is evident here, dirty guitars bullying the chanted vocals. The remix directive usually falls into either a subtle (often arbitrary) adjustment, or the whole ‘mow down, back up over it til it’s flat and bloody, then spatula the remains onto an operating table and reconstruct it’. There’s a bit of both going on here. My main gripe is we get the track Let’s Get It Straight remixed five times out of ten tracks. Of those the best comes from Tape/Off, who strike with a delirious jam coming loose like drunken soldiers burning down the wrong village. Jonathan Boulet has a ping at Perfect For Acid renaming it Perfect For Placid, which drives a rising and falling effect off sustained high notes, flickering beats and drones. One hundred percent of income raised from the sale of Axxonn Remixed will be donated to the Australian Spinal Research Foundation. Yukkoff
Welcome back, Social D. Dominique Wall
JJ SYMON & THE MONOCHROMES MAYDAY EOI Productions Another truly independent troubadour gracing Melbourne’s venues and continuing to create a growing following is JJ Symon and his band The Monochromes. Proficient and prolific, he has banged out at breakneck speed New River in 2008 followed by Black White & Grey (2009), with his latest offering entitled Mayday. Not content with providing vocals, playing guitar, harmonica, keyboards and some additional percussion, Symon has written, mixed and produced all 11 tracks on show. With an absolute multitude of regular gigs those familiar with the live scene may well have had the opportunity to see this outfit firsthand. Those punters would have experienced a singer/ songwriter with a bluesy base bordered by a hardened edge of rock, whereas the recorded material seems to be more folk infused with several 1960s-based influences noticeable to the ear. The strength of this release is simple yet clever songwriting. Lyrical treats abound, from the psychedelic opener Monkey C Monkey Do, with its “Monkey see and monkey do, there’s nothing left to discuss with you/So take your place right now and pledge allegiance to the justice man,” to “Open hands and your empty promises, shallow threats that fading into the sun of a gun/There’s nowhere else for you to run, cause you know where it leads to,” from What Goes Comes Around. There are some nice musical touches adorning the lyrics, like the harmonica blasts in Snifferdog Blues, Broken State Of Mind and gem No Great Tragedy, which has the added flourish of the mandolin. Other key tracks that warrant further investigation include (The Old) Speakeasy, Nuthin’ Surprises Me Anymore and personal fave Flipside Melody. The Boomeister
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
LOOMER CEILING Bon Voyage
MR MAPS WIRE EMPIRE Lofly
ADELE 21 XL/Remote Control
THE TOM FUN ORCHESTRA YOU WILL LAND WITH A THUD Company
Named after a song from My Bloody Valentine’s classic Loveless, Brisbane quartet Loomer wield that familiar influence alongside older Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo to stand poised as an eventual heir to Love Of Diagrams. That’s a compliment. This is deeply shoegaze-y in every way, chasing noisy swirls while keeping the female vocals at a smeared distance. The band achieve a lush and fullblooded sound on this debut, mingling maelstroms and melody in a way that’s predictable but largely satisfying.
The ‘math-rock’ label is often thrown around in reference to Brisbane-based band Mr Maps, but their latest release, Wire Empire, shows sure signs of branching out from the fettered nature of such pigeonholes. While certainly embracing the atypical rhythmic structures characteristic of most math-rock, Mr Maps’ instrumental release places equal focus on uplifting, optimistic melodies, mixing electronic rhythm with both post-classical and post-rock elements.
Adele has a lot to live up to after her successful 2008 debut 19. Thankfully, her second studio album 21 manages to deliver most of the quintessential aspects of her music that made me fall in love with her the first time around. While the subject matter of Adele’s songs remains the same – the exploration and portrayal of the ups and downs of love and relationships – her sound is notably more mature, less quirky, but still as compelling as ever.
The title track is dense and knotty, its vocals – and by extension lyrics – just another wave in a roiling sea. If Loomer are somewhat one-note, their rhythm section provides the drive and direction to keep us engaged. And there are unexpected touches here and there: the nearly seven-minute French reaches for the epic, complete with saxophone amid its Loveless-style effects, while the notably shorter Saving Daylight is more rocking than the rest. Audition is appealingly mellow, at least at first, and the dark closer Bolt is drenched in delay, striking upon something more sinister than mere noise before launching into catharsis. It’s the best song here, not least because it expands the boundaries of what the band are comfortable doing.
Standout tracks on the album are definitely the slow crescendos of Cover Your Heads and the previously released single Nice Fights. These tracks in particular showcase Mr Maps’ undeniable talent for slow-growing suspense in their composition, with both their conclusions culminating in hopeful climaxes. The optimistic tone of the album is not naïve, however. Rather, Wire Empire appears to be a calculated exercise in exhilaration, guiding the listener into fleeting spikes of darkness only to strengthen the uplifting moments that follow.
So this is shoegaze, for better or worse. It’s derivative, but no more so than you’d expect from a band named after an MBV creation. One of the first releases on a newish boutique label from Brisbane, Ceiling ticks nearly all the right boxes. Hearing the band break some truly new ground would be nice, but there’s time for that on album number two. Doug Wallen
The aptly named Nostalgia Is Crippling, with its stringheavy arrangement, provides a mellow acoustic interlude midway through the album, as does the piano-based lullaby Secrets You Could Sift shortly after. Listeners with an aversion to ‘intellectual’ music may find Mr Maps’ style a little too exhausting or perhaps (math rock puns aside) too calculated, with every track clearly laboured over and juiced to perfection. That is to say, the emotional qualities in the music at times seem somewhat systematic. That said, the album is by no means overworked – perhaps just a little alienating at times in its punctiliousness. Either way, one thing is clear: these musicians know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it well.
As well as sounding more grown-up, Adele has branched out with her music styles, with a couple of songs displaying hints of country influences (I’ll Be Waiting; Don’t You Remember), dirty blues (Rumour Has It), gospel (Take It All) and a few heartfelt ballads (One And Only; Turning Tables; and the powerful Someone Like You). The record opens with standout track Rolling In The Deep, a bluesy, gospel-tinged track featuring a choir, which, when coupled with Adele’s punchy delivery, makes you sit up and just listen to her preaching. Likewise with another highlight, Set Fire To The Rain: its slick production, atmospheric string arrangement and driving drum beat and bassline propel the listener headfirst into Adele’s smooth yet simultaneously and pleasantly scratchy vocals. Her lounge-jazz, bossa nova-inspired cover of The Cure’s Lovesong is worthy of a mention; it’s sensual, evocative, original and features a classical guitar solo. There’s a difference in the way Adele presents herself in this album. She is less angsty and naïve, and more controlled; a visible (or rather, audible) transition from girl to woman, perhaps. What she was and remains, however, is one of the most stunning voices not only in her genres, but indeed the entire modern music industry.
The Tom Fun Orchestra are a bunch of eight Canadians and You Will Land With A Thud is their debut record. Released in Canada in 2008, this one has only just received distribution here in Australia, and after only a cursory listen, you know this is, finally, a good thing. Part Eastern European gypsy, part Latin American swing, part Tom Waits, the sound this lot get is a cut above; modest and unassuming and yet totally free of inhibitions and borders, a true amalgamation of whatever happened to be floating through their heads at the time. Vocalist Ian MacDougall commands attention first up, right from the word go, with a voice more than reminiscent of Mr Waits, part sung, part spoken, he’s the magnet that draws you in before you get caught up in the fiddle storm, the trumpet tempest, the flugelhorn whirlwind. I’m not usually one for this sort of music, Gogol Bordello being the exception, but the TFO are really reaching out and grabbing me, pushing a glass of cheap red wine into my hand (it’s bottomless…) and making me dance. It’s catchy, I’ll give ‘em that. In amongst the guidelines they’ve set for themselves then (or perhaps, there are no guidelines…) the TFO writhe and twist, keeping their energy flowing, even through the slower numbers, in what is a fine debut recording from an act on the cusp of big things. They’re due to record their next album this year – I advise you stay tuned. Samuel J Fell
YOUNGER THAN THAT NOW Five years after his acclaimed Illinois album, SUFJAN STEVENS finally dropped the “immature” follow-up, The Age Of Adz, in 2010. “I feel like there’s a kind of weird teenage hormonal aesthetic to a lot of this material,” the singer tells ANTHONY CAREW.
deliberately does away with the pretence of concepts. “I wanted to avoid the pretensions of scholarship that my previous records were built on,” he continues. “I wanted to purposely be more emotive, be more self-centred. Maybe I’m going through a second childhood, or a second adolescence. I feel like there’s a kind of weird teenage hormonal aesthetic to a lot of this material, that’s almost like I’m having a mid-life crisis... There’s something immature about the record. It’s very self-centred. There’s a weird interior monologue, free associations; this more private, journal-entry, psycho-babble kind of stuff.”
ufjan Stevens was indie’s boy wonder: impossibly handsome, prodigiously talented, ridiculously prolific, casually intellectual, blessed with a sense of humour and burning with ambition. Stevens chewed through ideas, mounted monstrous concepts, and dared to dream on epic scale: he undertook a project to make an album for every one of America’s 50 states, and, after 2003’s breakout Michigan and 2005’s wildly-acclaimed Illinois, the world wanted to believe he could do it. That he could do anything. Only, then, after Illinois, the boy-wonder who could do anything suddenly couldn’t. He kept feverishly hard at work: compiling outtakes (2006’s The Avalanche), making a Christmas record (2006’s Christmas box-set), authoring a multi-media piece on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (2007’s The BQE; released as CD/DVD in 2009), presiding over orchestral reworkings of his own electronic album (2009’s Run Rabbit Run, a redux of his 2001 LP Enjoy Your Rabbit), and producing and playing on piles of other people’s records (The National, The Welcome Wagon, Ben & Vesper, Rosie Thomas, etc). To the point that it became clear that Stevens was doing everything but making a new album-proper. “I was just being deliberate about not releasing the next album of songs,” says Stevens, 35, with a sense of hindsight; last year’s epic, immense The Age Of Adz – to
these ears his best record – silencing the doubts of others and the doubts of himself. “It was important for me to turn away from my own work, and my own voice, and my own manic self. I’d put out so many records, been so prolific for so many years. I just wanted to stop.” Stevens sounds calm now, but at the time things weren’t so easy. In 2009, when doing interviews for The BQE, Stevens spoke mid-malaise, confessing that, somewhere, he’d lost the joy. He was “sick of [his] conceptual ideas”, and questioning the very nature of his work. He admitted to Paste: “I no longer really have faith in the album anymore. I no longer have faith in the song.” Stevens’ crisis-of-craft ended up being the catalyst for a revolutionary record. He ditched the thematic formalism, the months of research, the modern-composition pastiches, and the kooky song-titles that were standard on his ‘state’ records. The result was, by far, his most personal work: The Age Of Adz finding Stevens singing “I” and its variations 278 (give or take) times. “This new record is literally about the self; about myself,” Stevens explains. “I do think that all art if artificial, and all music is fiction by its very nature; by the quality of transposing or transcribing for voice, by creating these aural environments that set out to be artificially transcendent and sublime. But, this record
Doing away with the “pleasantness of the scholastic”, Stevens rebelled against his prior toil –“researching, writing, workshopping, refining, developing” as “student of craft” – in search of his lost artistic instinct. No more was he “using history and geography and creating settings”, but authoring sentiments intimate and instinctive. “A lot of the songs are built on beats and rhythm and movement; so, at essence, that is more about instinct,” Stevens offers. “The songs themselves are about sensation, feeling, touch, the body; there’s a kind of obsession with romance. I feel like it’s a regression into more kind of primal experience. There’s a lot to learn in that. I’ve always divided those kind of things: there’s the mental self, the scholarly self; and then there’s instinct, the inner beast waiting to pray on the passions of the world. Now, I see those two sides as being really equally important, and dependent; symbiotic, working together.” Suffering through his ‘bad’ period, Stevens had been writing and recording songs, making aborted attempts at undertaking works. But with no conceptual path to follow, no deadline to hew to, and a reticence at throwing himself into something, he would never commit. Eventually, Stevens had a vast reserve of material that he saw as “just one long, rambling, discursive record with all these different parts that didn’t relate to each other”. When he decided to divide it in two – the more acoustic into the hour-long All Delighted People “EP”, the electronic into the 75-minute Age Of Adz – it made sense to him. In the constructed ‘narrative’ of his career, All
ONE FOUR ALL They had more songs banned by the BBC than The Sex Pistols, and Brit post-punkers GANG OF FOUR are as outspoken as ever. “What I’ve been thrilled by over the last few years is that our music still seems to make sense to our audiences,” lead shouter JON KING tells ROSS CLELLAND. say as they should – and gave us an outlet.” There were odd achievements, which the singer can now smile about. “We had one more song than The Sex Pistols banned by the BBC,” he announces proudly. Among the reasons for the blackballings: refusing to remove a mention of condoms in At Home He’s A Tourist costing them a spot on Top Of The Pops and I Love A Man In Uniform being denied airplay for its apparent potential to undermine the Falklands War effort. To be fair, Split Enz’s Six Months In A Leaky Boat was off the radio in England on the same reasoning. “But there’s a gold record on my wall. I can actually see it from where I’m sitting,” he laughs down the line. “Even if we never actually made money from any of our first four albums. Really – we’re still paying it off from the days when record labels gave you money to tour, to advertise the fact you had a record to sell. We knew the game. We called that first album Entertainment! – with the deliberate exclamation mark – to show we were aware of just what we were.”
eeds doesn’t really strike as a revolutionary city, even a musical one – that’s more often left to Manchester or Liverpool at the other end of the M62 motorway across northern England. However, from the late ‘70s through the ‘80s the local university’s reputation brought a creative and political edge. “Did I expect to be in a band for 30 years? I wasn’t even looking to be in one then,” admits Jon King, a man whose words still tumble out in a torrent of forceful thought. They weren’t short of imagination, or front. King and fellow student Andy Gill somehow parlaying their research grants – the latter’s actually to study and photograph gothic architecture in northern France – into tickets to New York, where they fell into the city’s burgeoning ‘punk’ scene, seeing the likes of The Ramones and Blondie at the now near-mythical CBGBs club. “Yeah, it was legendary – in about a 12-block radius immediately around it,” King
recalls. “Did we think we were part of history? Not really. We were watching what we thought were exciting bands, in a sweaty dive of a place. That was good enough.” Suitably inspired, they went back to the UK and built their own band. Gang Of Four made music unlike anything heard before. Funk bass and drums were scribbled on by Gill’s feedback-drenched guitar, while King yelled/sang/declaimed on everything from political worldviews, to emotional insecurities, through the failure of capitalism, to sexual paradigms and stereotypes. They struck a nerve – well, several. Their avowed left-wing sloganeering perversely found a home with then-colossus EMI. As King now states: “The best music – the music that endures – has something unique and new in it. We had that. EMI saw a chance to make money – as they would, some would
Fast-forward to now and that self-awareness remains, albeit updated. Through the usual aggravations and delights in the life of a band: break-ups, a mid-‘90s reformation of the original line-up that didn’t quite gel, to a swathe of combos successful this century paying obvious and admitted debt to Gang Of Four’s music and/ or ideals. Among the most obvious are Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party and latter generation Leeds boys, Kaiser Chiefs. An awkward silence, longer than the standard international phone call delay, suggests King isn’t totally enamoured by some of those comparisons. “They may have taken some element of our music and made something of their own. That’s what happens; it’s the distinctions you have to find. What I’ve been thrilled by over the last few years is that our music still seems to make sense to our audiences, whatever age they are. They tell us that our music means something, that it makes them want to go start a band. That amazes me.” The much-anticipated and well-received album of Gang Of Four’s latest resurrection is descriptively entitled for its times: Content. “For that’s pretty much what we’ve
Delighted People now served as a bridge between the banjo-plucking Sufjan of old, and the electro-shock, confessional, neo-adolescent Sufjan of new. “As a craftsperson, one of the biggest tools we have is shaping, and labelling, and cataloguing, and rendering things to fit in amongst our body of work,” Stevens says. “By doing that, it does create a sequence, this development, where the EP feels like it’s a previous chapter, and The Age Of Adz feels like the new thing, the new aesthetic.” This ‘new aesthetic’ – which Stevens calls “noisy and aggressive” with “a real hostility” – involves the use of AutoTune on the LP’s set-closing, 25-minute suite Impossible Soul; used as a point of “harmonic perfection” in the midst of an album that’s, otherwise, an “exercise in cacophony”. Though it was all of 2009 that found Death Cab with the anti-AutoTune Grammy ribbons and Jay-Z proclaiming the Death of the pitchcorrection software, Stevens thinks that storm’s blown over. “I don’t think AutoTune has negative connotations anymore,” he shrugs, “it seems so widely used and abused and misused, that it would be silly for anyone not to use it at this point, if they wanted to, because of some perceived notion about what it represents.” There’s an open sense of Stevens discussing his relationship to pop music through both EP and LP: the title-track on All Delighted People is loaded with Simon & Garfunkel references. “It’s out of owing respect to my predecessors; a real deliberate, constant acknowledgement of all the forms and formulas that I’m borrowing from,” he explains. “All my music is informed; all the folk music is informed by Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, all the pop music is informed by Madonna or Prince or Michael Jackson. Even if it’s not conscious, even if it’s not deliberate, they’re such massive icons of humanity, their songs have sort of worked their way down through the fabric of society.” So, has Sufjan – an artist known, in the indie world, in the iconic singular – ever felt like such a figure of influence/reverence himself? Even if just in a small way? “No. I’m, at best, a D-level celebrity, and can’t ever foresee that changing,” he laughs. “I think I have very loyal, devoted fans, and they’re very, very patient with me. But I don’t think they revere me quite like that.” WHO: Sufjan Stevens WHAT: The Age Of Adz (Spunk/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Monday, State Theatre, the Arts Centre
all been reduced to,” King contends. “Whether that’s me as a musician, or you as a journalist, or a photographer, a visual artist – any artist is now just that, filling space on a hard drive. Or you pronounce it as ‘content’, as in relaxedly, ignorantly happy with a situation. Which sounds pretty close to ‘contempt’, as well.” So, has creativity been devalued? “Yes, of course it has. But we just seem to have accepted it. Yes, the big record companies were money-making corporations, but the ‘net and the information exchange of now – I thought that was supposed to change things?” he rightly grumbles. “All we have is new middlemen. It’s Google, Apple, YouTube as the gatekeepers now. iTunes are probably the worst record company we’ve ever had – of that 99 cents you pay for a song, they get 49 cents. Or look at the ‘stars’ of now. Lily Allen, Lady Gaga – and I do love some of what they do and what they represent – could get literally ten million YouTube hits and really make just a couple of hundred pounds from it.” Now, there’s a discussion point for you. That’s not to say Gang Of Four are above not making use of the new ways. Many traditionalists were taken aback to hear their Entertainment! classic Natural’s Not In It soundtracking the latest X-Box ad campaign. Does he see any ethical dilemma? “To be honest, I’m not sure how the whole advertising thing works. But as a gamer, I at least have some idea of the product. And no, I haven’t been given a new console yet,” he chuckles. “But back to earlier, it might get us a bit closer to clearing that black hole of debt to EMI. I’m happy to just take that.” They’ve always seemed to know that there’s lessons in history, or you’re doomed to repeat the mistakes. One of the new album’s songs drawing a not-toolong bow between the mindless persecution of 17th century witch trials and the more recent horrors of Guantanamo Bay. “You could hear the same voices, from both sides, at both times,” King explains. “So we made it a duet of oppressor and oppressed between Andy and me. It’s a dialogue, which you hope won’t happen again. But seems bound to.”
WHO: Gang Of Four WHAT: Content (Groenland/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 2 March, Corner Hotel; Friday 4 March, Soundwave, Melbourne Showgrounds
CLIFF NOTES The art of showmanship has died – but Taylor Swift and R Kelly can pen a decent tune, Jamaican reggae legend JIMMY CLIFF tells JEREMY WILLIAMS. Through youthful cheek, Cliff climbed the first rung on a ladder that would lead to a career spanning half a century. Of his continued success, Cliff concedes, “There is nothing else I enjoy doing, there is nothing else I would rather be doing. I just keep doing it.” However, as with any career spanning such an impressive period, Cliff is aware that his career has crashed as often as he has seen it soar. Having clearly enjoyed the ride, the singer reveals, “I just kind of ride the waves, the ups and downs in life. I have learnt to do that. I have learnt to become a surfer. The up moments they feel great, and the down moments, well you know, I just pick up and start again.” Given Cliff’s infectious optimism, it is needless to dwell on his career lows but rather join in a celebration of accolades that include the Order Of Merit (Jamaica’s highest honour for achievement in the arts and sciences) and his 2010 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. While receiving the Order Of Merit in 2003 was the icing on the cake, being selected for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is undoubtedly the cherry on top. Still bursting with pride, Cliff modestly explains, “The music I play is born and bred in Jamaica. I helped to create that music and to be inducted in an American institution, that is to be celebrated as a non-American. It really was something.” Almost unable to believe that his childhood dream has been more than fulfilled, Cliff is still humbled when thinking about those who helped him get to where he is now. “When I was making my acceptance speech, I remembered my grandmother, who was always very positive that I would make it in life. She was always encouraging to me.”
think that everyone comes into this planet with a purpose – we really need to find out and realise what our purpose is,” says reggae/ ska legend Jimmy Cliff. “My purpose for being here is to do what I am doing.” After his first two singles failed to set Jamaica alight, Cliff struck gold when, aged just 14, his single Hurricane Hattie hit the charts on his home turf. Cliff had in fact been moved to Kingston by his father to enrol at Kingston Technical School, but he had his own dream. Instead of study, Cliff spent his time knocking on the doors of the city’s renowned producers,
but found that doors remained firmly shut. That was until he spotted Leslie Kong. Cliff picks up the story: “It was one of my down moments, I just thought I would grab at the last straw that I could see. That was it. His establishment was called Beverley’s Records and I was working on an idea. I had an idea called Beverley’s. I had just finished the song – right away I did it in 15-20 minutes – and I went and walked into the shop. I said, ‘I am a singer and I have this song.’ He said, ‘What’s it called?’ I said Beverley’s. So it made them listen.”
“When I made the movie The Harder They Come, it showed me as an actor to the world. Acting was really my first love. To be able to do that and be a success at it, it was another high moment in my life. So there have been quite a few high moments in my life.” Having been celebrated as both a singer and songwriter over the years, Cliff is keen to be able to return to his childhood passion. With his 1972 film debut The Harder They Come ranking high on his list of achievements, Cliff bursts with excitement as he exclaims that he wants “the Oscar! I want the Oscar! Yes! That is what I want.” Having only appeared in a handful of projects, Cliff finds it easy to explain why he is now chasing a
STAGES OF GRIEF Inspired by a love of hip hop and baroque music, RATATAT began as a studio outfit with zero ambition to play live, with their early UK tours “really rough”, MIKE STROUD tells ANTHONY CAREW. “When we were starting, that’s when hip hop was really exciting,” Stroud says, of its genesis. “We were into a lot of hip hop production, and, like, classical music, baroque music; Bach, Mahler, stuff like that. As a guitarist, I’ve always been obsessed with guitar. I’ve always loved Queen, still do. It may sound bizarre to hear it, but it was just all that mixed together.” It was a uniquely-styled recording lark of, initially, little-to-no ambition. “Playing live was a complete afterthought,” Stroud says. “It was just a recording, um, I guess, ‘band’, or whatever. We were just having fun recording songs, we never even considered that we might be where we are; that we’d even ever play shows for people. We had never played a single show when we got signed; we only had four songs, recorded.”
atatat have issued four albums, toured with Daft Punk, Vampire Weekend and Franz Ferdinand, remixed Björk and The Knife, and established themselves as a festival-friendly live act effortlessly blurring the line between electronic music and rock’n’roll. But, from their beginnings as studio experiment, to their Jay-Z/Missy/Wu-Tang-dabbling ‘remix’ mixtapes, to their bona fide production work with Kid Cudi, the duo – keyboardist/etc Evan Mast and guitarist Mike Stroud – have had people telling them to stop with making their own records, already. In the eyes of the bean-counters, their instrumental music would surely be better used in service of hungry rappers/pop starlets/record biz constructs. “People have always told us that we shouldn’t be a band,” shrugs Stroud, with a lazy laugh. “That we should just be producers, and work with singers. And I just really don’t care about that. Anybody who talks to you like you’re not maximising your earning potential, that’s the last person whose opinions on music you should bother yourself with at all.” Ratatat’s roots trace back to Skidmore College in New York, when Mast – a tweelectro producer already recording as E*Vax – and Stroud – then the frontman of a Supergrass/Who-styled mod-rock band so bad he refuses to disclose the name – became friends.
Their paths would be wildly divergent in the intervening years, with Mast bunkering down with his brother, Eric ‘E*Rock’ Mast, in a realm of 8-bit nerdity, and Stroud an axe-for-hire who played in the live bands of Dashboard Confessional and Ben Kweller. In 2003, they bunkered down in Stroud’s Brooklyn apartment and started a recording project. Well, something like that. “Project is the last word that I’d use,” Stroud smirks. “It was really, really casual. We weren’t even trying to be a band at all. We were just making songs for fun. And then XL got interested and signed us. And, basically, that was the point when we decided, ‘Oh, I guess we’re a band, and maybe we should make an album’.” XL signed them on the back of the still-awesomesounding Seventeen Years, a 7” Mast put out on his fraternal imprint Audio Dregs. The jam introduced the signature Ratatat sound, which they’ve essentially carried with them. In short, it’s Stroud’s guitar run through a bank of effects – predominantly the RAT pedal, hence the name – until its high, whiny, sinuous sound is rendered unnatural, and Mast’s synthesiser sounds and drum programming working with a rough, hand-made sound more ‘organic’ than plastic. The point is to obliterate old lines between what’s played and programmed; the whole one shifting, moving, electrically-fed organism.
Four songs soon unfolded into an album, an early tour with Interpol (circa Turn Out The Bright Lights) introduced them to eager audiences, and suddenly this “I guess, ‘band’” was resembling the real thing. “It was kind of scary at first,” recounts Stroud, of those early days. “It took a while to refine the show and make it interesting. At first it was a little rough around the edges. We managed to get a bunch of tours opening for bands that had pretty young and open-minded fans, so we were on our way. But it was scary, though. The music was so personal. Like, when you’ve never played a show before, nobody really knows the songs except you. They’re your thing, your own personal thing. So it’s scary to show them to other people. You don’t want to be rejected.” So, were Ratatat ever actually rejected? “Yeah, definitely!” Stroud boasts. “Tons of times. The first couple of tours of England were really rough. I’m convinced that most people in England want straight-up rock’n’roll bands, like The Stones or The Who or Oasis or something. So, I don’t think, seeing us, that they were ever going to be particularly excited. That was the biggest rejection I felt: any early shows in England. Which is funny, because that’s where our record label’s based.” After their first two records, 2004’s Ratatat and 2006’s Classics, essentially rocked the straight-up Ratatat sound, the band started to branch out a bit, with 2008’s LP3 finding flamenco guitars, Romany rhythms and plentiful acoustic instrumentage, and last year’s LP4,
different dream. “I have always loved performing. The thing with performing on stage is it is a little bit different from acting. When I am performing I am me, my spirit comes out. In acting, I become another person. This is the great fun of acting. I get the chance to become other people. It is a bit different.” “There is a movie that will go into production next year. It is set in Jamaica and the character is a Jamaican character who wasn’t so positive, but he is a very strong character. I just thought if that strength could be turned into a positive, then it could do a lot for humanity. That is the movie we are looking to put into production next year.” With a potential acting project in the pipeline, Cliff shows no interest in slowing down on the music front. Having released his 29th album, Existence, earlier in 2010, he states, “I have never lost the love for it. In, fact I love it more.” Having worked with everyone from The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen to Kool & The Gang and Johnny Nash, what does Cliff make of the current crop of musical talent? “I don’t see a lot of people who are great showmen. If they are out there I haven’t seen them.” While the showmanship of today seems to be, in his opinion, somewhat lacking, he willingly admits “every now and then I hear a good song, so I am more inspired now by good songwriters. I think R Kelly is one of the good songwriters that I appreciate now. Taylor Swift is a good songwriter who I appreciate. They vary in different areas. I even like a lot of things that Jay-Z does. It varies in all different areas of the music, but the writers are who inspire me now.” Having won over the world with his frenetic live performance, would Cliff be able to offer advice to young upstarts looking to enter the world of showbiz? Without any hesitation, Cliff offers, “A good showman, well I think it is charisma and a whole lot of practice. There is the love for being on stage, the love for communicating with the audience, the love to see the audience excited, all of these combinations makes one a good showman. If the audience is not excited, the challenge to get them excited and achieving that gives great satisfaction. It is just a combination of all those things.”
WHO: Jimmy Cliff WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Raggamuffin, Sidney Myser Music Bowl
spun from the same studio sessions as its predecessor, finding harpsichords and various ethnographic trinkets. “You just can’t keep making the same song,” Stroud says, of the shift. “There’s no point. You just can’t keep repeating yourself. Once you start doing that, you may as well quit. With the last two records, if we made a song that sounded like something off our second record, we’d throw it out. If we realised that it sounded like something we’d already done, we’d just move on; we’d never fight over that, we just keep moving. We’re just trying to make new songs that’re fun.” Of course, even with their studio wrinkles, LP3 and LP4 were both unmistakable, and still retained that classic Ratatat sound. Even as they tried to change things up, Mast and Stroud still ended up sounding like themselves. Which is both a good and bad thing, and leads to this question: is having a singular, instantly-recognisable sound a blessing or a curse? “It’s definitely not a curse,” Stroud responds. “It’s only constrictive if we’re worried about losing fans. We don’t think that way. We just think about making good music, making songs that we’re excited about. It’s sort of luck that we have this sound that’s instantly definable, that just sounds like us. That’s just the way we’ve always made music. We’ve never really felt like we were really trying to do anything, everything’s just happened the way it has.” Thus, this band with ambition have become a success. Maybe the suits looking out for the bottom line wouldn’t agree, but Ratatat are a recognisable, bankable brand, nearing a decade of existence. They’re a tour drawcard (as evinced by their fourth Australian trip, where they’ll play the Big Day Out), and last year made a point to tour throughout mainland Asia and do shows in South America, as way of arriving on new shores. “If you’re in a new place, and it’s exciting, you can sometimes forget how fucking exhausting touring is, and have fun,” Stroud says. “Of course, the tours where you have the most fun are often your least successful. Our most successful tours, financially, are always here in the US. But, unless you’re on the East Coast, or the West Coast, it’s so shitty; so fucking boring. That’s how touring is: you love it and hate it, always.” WHO: Ratatat WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse; Monday, Hi-Fi
THIS WEEK IN
The Book Of Spells: A Love Story – two older women begin a love affair later in life, but the past never really leaves them in peace. A combination of magic realism and raw love story. Part of Midsumma. Williamstown Mechanics Institute tonight, then Northcote Town Hall until 30 January. CreativiT.V – musician Mikki Ross debuts his new cabaret show featuring comic strip jingles, classical piano sonatas, and TV theme songs. Part of Midsumma. Opening night, 9pm. The Butterfly Club until 30 January. Fag/Hag – a revealing look into the world of fag hags. Opening night, 9pm. Part of Midsumma. Gasworks Arts Park until 5 February. For The Love Of Fritz – tale of a man who can be whatever and whoever he wants, taking in English manors, Portuguese hotels, and maxing out credits cards. Part of Midsumma. Opening night, 6.30pm. Gasworks Arts Park. The LOL Big Gay Comedy Night – night of gay comedy (a different line-up each week). Part of Midsumma. Glasshouse Hotel, 8pm. Spring Awakening – coming-ofage musical (a multiple Tony Award winner) based on a German play from the late 1800s about the changes we go through on the path to adulthood, with a little masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide thrown in for good measure. Opening night, 7pm. National Theatre until 5 February. Suzy v Samantha: Fur Will Fly – comedy about two best friends in the acting profession test their friendship when they both go for the same role. Part of Midsumma. Opening night, 7.30pm. Gasworks Arts Park.
Best Of The Fest – teasers of cabaret, comedy, burlesque, and more from some of Midsumma’s acts. Line-up changes nightly. Part of Midsumma. The Butterfly Club until 29 January. Diamond & Gallagher: Getting Down And Brassy – big band cabaret comedy show starring Dolly Diamond and Luke Gallagher. Part of Midsumma. Fortyfivedownstairs until 30 January. Politically Erect – debut solo show by Guz, featuring street artworks spawned from skateboarding culture dabbling in vulgarity, pornography, and pop culture. Closing day. For Walls at Miss Libertine. 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. Closing night. Fortyfivedownstairs.
SATURDAY 29 Candy Royalle: Love Spectacular – “the most intense one-woman show you will see this Midsumma”, a journey into the euphoric highs and dark depths of queer love. Part of Midsumma. The Butterfly Club, 7pm. The Wharf Revue – annual Sydney event, taking the piss out of the year through the world of theatre, now in Melbourne. Must-see. Closing night. Sumner Theatre, MTC.
SUNDAY 30 Liza (On An E) – Hairspray’s Trevor Ashley becomes Liza Minnelli in a show that the real-life Liza tried to stop. Hilarious anecdotes from her life interspersed with song. Part of Midsumma. The Hi-Fi Room, 8pm.
THEATRE REVIEW ROD QUANTOCK: COURT IN THE ACT Old Magistrates Court / Old City Watch House Before we go anywhere, I must declare a conflict of interest. I was in this show. However, in my defence, the premise of veteran stand-up Rod Quantock’s revived legal comedy Court In The Act is that the audience play all the key roles. But wait, there’s more. In addition to being an improvised episode of Boston Legal it’s a chance for Melburnians to do a little jail time in the Edwardian surrounds of the Old City Watch House on Russell Street, with Quantock playing National Trust tour guide and court ringmaster. Court In The Act is anything but straight stand-up, with punters herded into cells to invent the
‘crime’ to be tried in the adjoining Magistrates Court. Once the various roles have been assigned it’s off the get wigged up and do your best Law & Order routine. Clearly this could all go boringly wrong and be nothing more than a quaintly unusual night out. The difference is Rod Quantock’s completely relaxed and light-hearted manipulation of the crowd. His role is to keep it moving, overcome punter anxiety and deal with wannabe stage hogs; all of which he seemed to do with effortless ease and well-placed barbs of satire. Giving us the option of swearing the oath on the outraged scrawlings of celebrity hangman Andrew Bolt underscores Quantock’s comic approach to the justice system. Court In The Act is not so much a show as a night out (or inside), and as such the success of the evening is entirely in your hands. Until 11 February PAUL RANSOM
A NEW AWAKENING
PAUL ANDREW TALKS TO ALEKSA KURBALIJA, LEAD MALE IN THE YOUNG AUSTRALIAN BROADWAY CHORUS’ PRODUCTION OF THE CLASSIC – AND CONTROVERSIAL – MUSICAL, SPRING AWAKENING. Glee may well be a top-rating television import, however it barely compares to local product; an average day of singing, dancing, and acting for members of the Young Australian Broadway Chorus rehearsing for their Melbourne debut of Spring Awakening. Actor Aleksa Kurbalija joined the YABC “eons ago” and admits to being an ardent aficionado of the TV show that never fails when it comes to forgettable one-liners, such as cheerleader Brittany Pierce on the Britney/Brittany dialectic: “It’s Brittany… bitch.” “Yes, I must admit, I am quite a big Glee fan,” says Kurbalija with a laugh. “I’m a huge sucker for the corny storylines and even cornier characters. I’m also a huge fan of show tunes and people remixing classic pop songs, so once you put corny characters and storylines
together with that type of music, I’m automatically going to be a huge fan.” Kurbalija plays Melchior, one of the lead characters in the 2006 musical based on the 1891 play by German playwright Frank Wederkind. Melchior is a personable, intellectual, and radical student who spends his time genuflecting on the narrowmindedness of a school and a society, the type of student who is scant when it comes to the cast of Glee; Tina “I Kissed A Girl” CohenChang being the nearest Glee match to Melchior. “Initially I thought that being in YABC was nothing like Glee,” Kurbalija says. “But we have quite a lot in common: we perform show tunes with singing, dancing, and acting, we all absolutely love what we do, and absolutely everybody in the group is fighting to get a solo for
shows like this one. It’s a Glee club after all. “Funny stuff happens to us, too. When our male and female adult actors are unavailable or not scheduled for rehearsals on a certain day, our director fills in for them and reads their parts. The opening scene is between Wendla and her mother, and when our director puts on his delicate motherly voice it makes the entire cast chuckle and cackle throughout the scene. It’s a very big test to see if we can stay focused. We can… most of the time. “Today I had to rehearse the scene where I take my pants and underwear off to reveal my bare bottom. Considering the cast had never witnessed this scene before it was very daunting having to do it for the first time. It definitely caused a lot of anxiety for me. After the initial confrontation, a
few of giggles later everybody just accepted it.” Kurbalija is very clear when it comes to the true grit behind this musical. “What I’ve come to understand about the society in which this musical is set is the fact that the entire society was very restricted. Children didn’t have the knowledge needed to be able to describe their emotions and feelings; they were completely oblivious to the meaning of – and the differences between – sex and love. That society relied on religion to guide them along the right path of living. Although our society these days isn’t nearly as restricted nor dependant on religion to function, we still deal with the awkward fact that children don’t have the knowledge needed to easily describe their emotions and feelings, this is why Spring Awakening is such a successful musical.” WHAT: Spring Awakening WHERE & WHEN: National Theatre (YABC) Thursday 27 January to Saturday 5 February
FRENCH THEATRE AUDITIONS COMING UP Australia’s longest running permanent French theatre company, Melbourne French Theatre, Inc., are presenting a double bill of works by one of the most famous Gallic playwrights, Molière (recently the subject of a film starring Romain Duris in the titular role). The company will be performing the comedies Le Médecin Volant (The Flying Doctor) and La Jalousie du Barbouillé (The Jealous Husband) at Collingwood College Theatre in May, but are currently holding auditions for the (unpaid) roles. French speakers are welcome to attend an audition Saturday 12 February (2pm) and Tuesday 15 (7pm) at La Maison de Maitre, Canning St, Carlton. For more information about the company and its productions, or to apply for an audition, visit mftinc.org.
WHAT IS MAN GARRIE MAGUIRE EXPLORES THE IDEA OF MAN, AND WHAT WE WANT THE MEN AROUND US TO BE, IN A NEW INSTALLATION AT FEDERATION SQUARE. PAUL ANDREW SPOKE TO THE ARTIST.
American photographer Annie Leibovitz sums up the sentiment best: “I didn’t want to let women down. One of the stereotypes I see breaking is the idea of ageing, and older women not being beautiful.” Stereotypes have been used by
portrait artists since photography first began; for dramatic effect, to portray class, status, fashion sense or any number of “singular” traits or qualities. Portrait artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibovitz, William Yang, and Midsumma featured artist Garrie Maguire produce works that break down stereotypes, open them up to the realm of possibility or meddle with them for the sake of irony or poetry. Maguire’s latest body of work is a series of large-scale portraits depicting male beauty; the photographer sharing Leibovitz’s attitude towards stereotypes, except it is men that the Melbournebased artist doesn’t want to let down; Chinese-Australian men in particular. Maguire considers male beauty an inner quality rather than a surface quality best represented by “stillness”, a quality that is present regardless of age, race, colour, desire, or any other sociological category you care to name. “Stereotypes are used differently depending on the area of study,” he says. “In cinema a stereotype is a small stock character that is instantly recognisable, complete with assumptions about morals, socio-
economic [status], and motivations. The types I have explored in this exhibition are based on film stereotypes. My work has always been about not denying stereotypes but adding to them, expanding them.”
He speaks of major influences throughout his career as an artist, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Arnold Newman, however the Portrait Photographer he admires more than any other is Robert Mapplethorpe, the godfather of contemporary homoerotic art. “I’ve spent the last five years doing a Master of Arts, which, in part, was about examining the work I did in the ‘90s and 2000s; putting it into an historic and theoretical context,” Maguire says. “I realised that Mapplethorpe is the one photographer who has has influenced my mindset right from the beginning.” Maguire travelled to New York in 1991 in search of works by Mapplethorpe only two years after the New York-based artist died from HIV-/AIDS-related illnesses. He was fascinated by Mapplethorpe’s still life photographs; exotic orchids and exquisite flowers shaped like phalluses. “I was really attracted to the beauty of his prints – they seemed precious, sacred even,” he says. “I was also attracted to the subject matter. Mapplethorpe presented images that were unlike most of what I had seen before; the men in his photos were not always handsome – they were distinctive. Mapplethorpe didn’t photograph personalities, he was more sculptural in his approach –
BY ROBERT LUKINS
13: SAILOR’S DELIGHT I’ve got 21 minutes. That’s what’s left on the meter as I pull into the tight central parking spot in North Melbourne in a car that’s new to me, and a whale, so it’s left at a mess of an angle. Claude gave us the car at a weirdly low price – we bought it without seeing it. Walking, walking, in Raglan Street, it’s a Saturday midday and I see the hot pink bottom step of No No gallery as a disarming joke and an
particularly in his later work. It was his photograph of Ken Moody, a well-known Mapplethorpe model, composed like a passport photograph with his eyes closed, that made me stop and reconsider everything I was doing with photography. “Mapplethorpe’s most important contribution was not the blurring of the line between art and porn, but that he made images of Black Americans that entered the public consciousness, that were different. The men in his photographs were still, sexy, yet contemplative, thoughtful, teasing; it cut across the narratives of Black Americans of the time.” WHAT: Garrie Maguire installation WHERE & WHEN: Federation Square Atrium until 17 February
LORRAINE HELLERNICHOLAS - LOVES ME NOT FEBRUARY 28TH, 2010
invitation, and inside it’s Lorraine Heller-Nicholas’s Loves Me Not and I assume that’s her on the chair reading a book. I thought Roger might be sitting in. I once stood on the side of a road with Roger deciding if some abandoned chairs were too shit for him to carry home: they were, he did. This is his gallery and I know him, and it’s not nepotism, it’s laziness. No No is a good room: it’s warm polished wood, split level, that pink, and a wonderful scar of decaying brickwork is left open on a wall. There is a fridge behind the reception desk and it’s full of beer: No No is a good room. Lorraine, who might be the one on the chair not watching me, has decorated the place with staccato portraits of her blood red love. It’s the one image, the one giant idea, in blurred permutations and it’s a very short story worth telling. Against one wall a long series of these repeated visions have been cut into a film
and projected. It rolls and rolls, just red on white making the shapes of love – so it’s a picture of embracing and pulling, kissing and biting and thumping. It’s something that still looks wet and it’s two outlines getting mixed up – this thing is an impression. Love is an okay movie. Love was invented in 1978. It’s John Cheever and it’s The Beatles. Love is Elvis misspelled. This exhibition is finishing on Saturday, and it doesn’t matter. You might have already gone in, you might not get to, you might not want to. Or maybe, you might be in or near love, in which case you’ve already seen it. I’m sure there is just one story, just one, and we’re telling it to each other over and over, I believe that. There’s just one story – so we’re lucky it’s a good one. There’s an op-shop across the road so I hurry over the hot bitumen and pick up three baking dishes, cutlery, and a Roald Dahl (I’m a very latecomer to this party). Then quickly, back at the car, the nearby parking inspector watches me check for a ticket. She looks exactly like Greg Norman, it’s uncanny, and she gives me a playful tut-tut as I drive away unfined. There is an accident on Alexandra Parade, Day Tripper is amazingly on the radio, they’re shaking tins for the floods at the traffic lights, oh, I’m one lucky bastard and I have love.
C U LT U R A L
WITH REBECCA COOK Eight Victorian artists have been given the chance of a lifetime by winning a JUMP mentorship. They are amongst the lucky 49 who been accepted into Australia’s largest artist mentoring program for young and emerging artists aged 18-30, who are in the first five years of their professional practice. JUMP artists are supported to undertake a one-on-one mentorship with a leading professional of their choice, focused on a funded creative project. The programme is funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body, as part of its Opportunities For Young And Emerging Artists initiative, and run nationally by Youth Arts Queensland. Here in Victoria, Youth Arts Queensland collaborates with Melbourne Fringe, who will oversee the 10-month programme for artists from across the state and their chosen mentors. It’s the first time Fringe has been involved. CEO of Melbourne Fringe, Esther Anatolitis says, “In Victoria, JUMP is supporting young and emerging shadow puppetry, illustration, theatre, photography, music, comedy, and installation. I can’t wait to share the outcomes of these mentorships with you.” The successful eight (from a record number of Victorian applications) include Jenny Ellis, a puppet maker who’s performed with Polyglot and The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, who plans
to use her mentorship to develop a new solo shadow puppet show aimed at family audiences under the guidance of shadow puppet expert, Richard Bradshaw. Emerging video installation artist Bonnie Lane has already had her large-scale works exhibited in Berlin and Canada as well as her hometown; imagine where she’ll go under the guidance of Tina Gonsalves. Visual artist Joceline Lee (who’s nickname is surely ‘Bones’) renders bones of all shapes and description in ink on paper. Lee will be mentored by Rhian Hinkley, a filmmaker and new media artist. For those who caught the FUN RUN at last year’s Next Wave Fest, the creator and producer Tristan Meecham is also one of this year’s JUMP mentees. Meecham, who likes a large spectacle, will benefit from the wisdom of Bec Reid who is currently Producer, Arts and Community at Footscray Community Arts Centre. Cringe wonders how mentor and visual artist Darren Sylvester plans to greet his new mentee Drew Pettifer seeing as Pettifer’s arts practice explores many themes including the ‘politics of the gaze’. Orginally from Darwin but now based in Melbourne, Kungarakan woman Mia Stanford is looking forward to expanding her comedy horizons after taking out the Fringe Fest’s Outstanding Indigenous Achievement Award in 2010. Stanford will be helped along the way by Melbourne comedy scene stalwart John Burgos. Musician Peter Reid and media artist Zoe Scoglio rounded out the lucky eight.
WITH ANTHONY CAREW In 2003, MTV made, in their words, the first ever “reality movie”: The Real Cancun. It was a hilarious piece of marketing, but there was truth in their idiocy: they were applying the reality-TV model to a feature-length cinematic product; an awful idea that had been previously avoided. The film itself was a riot: a bunch of sub-moronic, utterly reprehensible, Bret Easton Ellis-esque American-college-kidsof-obnoxious-privilege get drunk, naked, and humiliate themselves in front of cameras all for the schadenfreude of the audience. Interviewing one of the ‘stars’ of the film thereafter, he told me of his experiences, which involved the “documentary”’s team of writers(!) running up to him with suggestions for things he might try out in front of camera. It was filmmaking at its most utterly crass, and therefore an
In brief, the Emerging Writers’ Festival is looking for writers with something to say as performers, panellist, and hosts for this year’s gabfest. The fest doesn’t want to dictate the definition of ‘emerging’, they’re happy to hear from anyone who presumably actually writes something and has a passion for it. If that sounds like you then email Lisa Dempster (director@ emergingwritersfestival.org.au) with a simple explanation of: what you write; and why you write it.
interesting sociological phenomenon. I bring this all up because Catfish – a tale of a suspiciously-attractive photographer and his filmmaker bros striking up an online friendship/ flirtation with a family who clearly are not what they seem (dum-dumDAAAAAA!) – is a ‘documentary’ with all the veracity of reality-television, and all the vérité of one long dramatic recreation. The film is filled with false notes – there’s television-productionesque set-ups that speak of takes and re-takes; there’s a classic thriller ‘plant’; etc – and, in the end, it feels a lot like television these days: real lives and events taken, heavily edited, reworked, and condensed into a saleable product. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course; Michael Haneke, that marvellous Austrian asshole, did once call filmmaking ‘24 lies per second at the service of truth’; and, here, most of the fiction serves only to tighten the central non-fiction. Yet, the filmmakers’ steadfast refusal to waver from the party-line that their picture is 100% ‘real’ makes it seem less interesting.
As cunning meta-movie, Catfish is a curious, halfway-clever hall-ofmirrors: a picture about people misrepresenting themselves that misrepresents itself; a don’t-believewhat-you-see cautionary tale that is itself a don’t-believe-what-you-see cautionary tale; a ruse upon ruse, musing upon the tenuous concept of ‘truth’ in a digital era in which the world’s a stage for constant performance. As a swear-on-thebible true story, it’s, contrastingly, a not-particular-persuasive portrait of three dim bulbs failing to see the farce unfolding in front of their face. Whether it’s the former or the latter, Catfish is not nearly as interesting as its most obvious peers in this new grey zone; lacking the blithe, brilliant, give-a-fuck pranksterism of Exit Through The Gift Shop, and, even, the bizarre performance-art perversion of the insufferable I’m Still Here. Is there anyone else operating, in modern cinema, that’s comparable to the Coen brothers? Fifteen works into a filmography that features not a single bad film (though that’s not the same as calling The Big Lebowski and The Ladykillers good, I should note), and the brothers have, seemingly, no peer: dab hands at dexterous, complex characterisation; tender craftsman, fastidiously tending to every shot, every beat, every haircut; and, most of all, lovers of language. Their adaptation of Charles Portis’s novel True Grit – previously filmed in 1969 as a John Wayne vehicle that won its star his only
Oscar – is, in theory, a Western; a relatively ‘straight’ representation of genre from filmmakers known for poking, provoking, and pulling apart the restrictions of familiar forms. But, moreso, it plays as that truest of to-screen adaptations: one revelling in the words put on the page. Telling a tale set in 1873, the brothers delight in every quirk and cadence of archaic vernacular, every taught-and-true phrase punched out by Portis in his brusque, economical text. With words at the centre of everything, it’s no surprise that True Grit offers its actors – chiefly: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld – ample opportunities for memorable performances. Steinfeld ably fills the big shoes of the picture’s heroine: a no-nonsense, rural, Protestant child who sets out to exact revenge on her father’s killer with both practicality and righteousness. Portis’s text is rich with biblical references (from its villain’s mark-of-Cain to its climactic pit-of-snakes), but the Coen’s mise-en-scène is more interested in the dirty brutality of 19th century frontierdom than furthering these allusions. True Grit has been misconstrued as one of the brothers’ least-violent, most audience-friendly works (perhaps entirely by dint of its PG rating), when – in spite of its comedy – it’s anything but. The environment here is unforgiving, and death is not some mystical, transcendent force, but a grim, ugly, banal, ever-present part of hard, unromantic, painful lives.
NERVOUS WRECKAGE OF COURSE, SAID THE WOLF, JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A CHARACTER, DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE CHARACTER; ROBERT LUKINS TALKS TALKING TOFU WITH KIRSTEN PERRY ON THE EVE OF N-N-NERVOUS, AN EXHIBITION OF SCULPTED CIPHERS. it will not be the last mention made of lessons learned. N-N-NERVOUS is an exhibition of characters, of anthropomorphic assemblages – materials cast, crafted, poured, found and shoved into arrangements that say as much about the viewer as the artist. We want to have ourselves reflected; to explain the unfamiliar by the familiar. A baker pushes three Smarties into a round biscuit and suddenly it’s two eyes and a nose, it’s a monkey’s face and we take strange delight in it being devoured.
“I made him about 15 times before he worked. Really, he should not exist because of technical restraints. Maybe he has a lesson to teach me.” Kirsten Perry is commenting on Look into my eyes, a central figure in the cast of her latest show. It is telling that she refers to the work as he and
Perry makes neighbours of I’m OK, you’re OK hands, two crosses, and a line smile on a palm forming a familiar gesture, and tracksuit pants cast in ceramic – a happily thriving plant growing out from its waistband. They join smoking seagulls and miniature brains. These are gags, and they work. “I would say humour is at the heart of my work,” Perry says. “It is a device that helps me process difficult situations. I think most people are interested in
amusing things. It would be great if kids came along. I enjoy hearing their response to art. Sometimes it is more enlightening than that of adults.” The exhibition’s armour of wit is underscored by a darkness, a complexity concealed not far below the surface. Perry asserts that the two are natural partners, that pain is the flipside of humour; that joyless experiences bring with them opportunities to learn. There is an optimism to her responses, but one senses it is a hopefulness born out of necessity rather than some blind pollyannaism. On the subject of the usefulness of any art, she continues her demonstration of faith in it as teacher and companion. “For me making art is like therapy or meditation. I have bought a few pieces from local artists that I loved. I look at them as I go to sleep and think that the artist was subconsciously connected with some unique energy within. That is more or less why others are attracted to it. That kind of thing goes beyond monetary value. It can have a profound effect.” Kirsten’s creative background is one of mashing disciplines. Presently teaching illustration and animation, she works from a history of industrial design, multimedia, and gold and silversmithing. Time spent in a differing visual culture has clearly left its mark. “Eleven years ago I lived in Japan where character design is more widely used and accepted. I saw the Japanese sense of humour expressed in its character design. Imagine being friends with someone like Tofu Man and grabbing an onigiri
Michael Winterbottom became quite the notorious director last year after the world premiere screening of his latest film The Killer Inside Me at Sundance ended in shock from the audience. An absolutely brutal film based on Jim Thompson’s pulp novel of the same name, Casey Affleck plays small-town sheriff Lou Ford, a well-liked pillar of society who harvests deadly secrets. Co-starring Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, this is an unflinching look into a dark mind. Thanks to Icon Home Entertainment we’ve five copies of the film on DVD with him. Super cool. We all need more friends who look odd and have no qualms about it.” WHAT: N-N-NERVOUS WHERE & WHEN: No No Gallery, North Melbourne Thursday 3 February to Saturday 12
to give away; for your chance to win one email email@example.com. au with ‘THE KILLER INSIDE ME’ in the subject line. Before Gemma Arterton – the subject of an interview in these very pages this week – was Tamara Drewe, she was Alice Creed, a young woman kidnapped and held for ransom by two ex-cons hoping for a quick mint. When Creed turns out to be more than the duo were expecting the
tables turn in a thriller with plenty of mindgames. Thanks to Icon Home Entertainment we’ve five copies of The Disappearance Of Alice Creed on DVD to give away; for your chance to win one email giveaways@inpress. com.au with ‘ALICE CREED’ in the subject line. Spring Awakening is a play written by Frank Wedekind in the very late 1800s, and premiered in 1906. Its subject matter – masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse, and suicide – as you could imagine, has been controversial and, as such, the play has been banned many, many times. A musical version, however – which debuted on Broadway in 2006 – was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, taking home eight. A coming-of-age drama that’s edgy even by today’s standards, a production by Young Australian Broadway Chorus opens in Melbourne this week. We’ve three double passes to the Saturday 29 January matinee session (3pm) to give away. For your chance to win one email giveaways@ inpress.com.au with ‘SPRING AWAKENING’ in the subject line.
PASTE-MODERNISM AUCTION FOR QLD FLOODS Last October under the curation of Ben Frost and Bridge Stehli a group of street artists came together for Paste-Modernism 2, pasting their works as murals within Lo-Fi Gallery in Sydney, which were then pulled down at the end of the live show/exhibition hybrid. Having spent the summer in the StupidKrap Studios, sections of the original panels and canvases – featuring artworks by Pure Evil, Anthony Lister, Ben Frost, Numskull, Beastman, Max Berry, HA-HA, and more – are going up for auction to raise money for the Queensland flood victims. The auction, being held on Stupid Krap’s eBay store, runs until 1 February. Head to stupidkrap.com for more information.
GO BENNIE, IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS, RED BENNIES HAS BECOME ONE OF THE BRIGHT SPOTS ON MELBOURNE’S ALTERNATIVE PERFORMING ARTS MAP. AERIAL ARTIST BILLIE WILSON-COFFEY SPEAKS TO ALEKSIA BARRON ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS UNIQUE VENUE. It’s been a year since Chapel Street venue Red Bennies first opened its doors. Over the past 12 months, many a patron has entered this unique venue to be entertained by a variety of music, arts, cabaret, and circus acts. Aerial artist Billie Wilson-Coffey was one of the performers at Red Bennies opening party, and has appeared on the stage (or the ceiling, as the case may be) regularly throughout the last year. “I’ve become a regular performer, which has been awesome,” she says happily. “It’s a great opportunity.” It’s been quite a year for a venue still in its infancy. Red Bennies opened to plug a gap in Melbourne’s performance scene – namely, the need for a niche venue that could accommodate the
FREAK AND FLESH FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY Every now and then you’re sent a press release describing an event in words that simply cannot be topped, and the latest one is for The Freak And The Showgirl: “An orgy of flesh, flippers, and fun, bumping, grinding, and freaky frolics all culminating in a beer-drinking competition with the audience.” Direct from Amsterdam Fringe and playing in Melbourne for one night only, The Freak – Brit Mat Fraser – and The Showgirl – American Julie Atlas Muz – will run through magic, freakshow, striptease, burlesque, subversive songs, and comedy…and a special performance of Sealo the Sealboy. Certainly one of the most eclectic nights on the calendar this year. The Freak And The Showgirl takes over the East Brunswick Club Wednesday 23 February. Tickets through the venue.
RED BENNIES CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY This Saturday 29 January Red Bennies will celebrate its first birthday. The venue has quickly established itself as one of the best venues in Melbourne – something the Fringe whole-heartedly endorsed, awarding them their Best Venue award. To help celebrate in typical fashion, an eclectic bill of music and arts will on the tables Sunday night, featuring a circus, vaudeville, and burlesque spectacular with Farhard, Ikko, Billie Wilson-Coffet, Zoe Robbins, Skopalova, Eden Read, Tank & Kelly Ann Doll, Constantina and the Bushettes, and MC Knave Knixx, with DJs spinning jazz, hip hop, soul, funk, and cabaret show tunes. Doors open 8pm. Head to redbennies.com for more information.
requirements of a wide range of performances, including a complex musical setups and the unusual needs of circus performers. Considering that Wilson-Coffey’s work is done from a large hoop, suspended from the ceiling, which twirls and swings, it’s no surprise that she struggled to find a venue that could accommodate her act. “There wasn’t a place where we could perform regularly,” she says, referring to the struggles faced by herself and other acrobatic artists. With the opening of Red Bennies, though, Wilson-Coffey has finally experienced the joy of regular performances. She now almost has the opposite problems – that of trying to refine and tweak her act to prevent the regulars becoming bored. “I try
and do a new act every time, whether it’s costume or music. A new costume can create a totally different vibe and a new persona on stage.” Wilson-Coffey moved from northern New South Wales to attend the National Institute of Circus Arts in Prahran, graduating in 2009. She can’t speak highly enough of the experience: “The circus school is fantastic – three years of intense training, and you come out with a world-class act at the end of it.” Since then, she’s been happy to call Melbourne home, although the opportunity to tour her act is one that she doesn’t like to pass up. A highlight was taking her aerial performance to Russia, where she experienced the reactions of a very different kind of audience. While Russians are known for their appreciation of the demanding physical arts, Wilson-Coffey explains, “It was completely different. In Russia, they seem to like traditional acts with glitter and stuff. I think Australia enjoy acts in a bit more of a contemporary way.” It goes a long way to explaining the appeal of Red Bennies cabaret-style acts to a performer of Wilson-Coffey’s nature. After all, Red Bennies relishes its role as the host to unusual, envelope-pushing performers. So completely have they endorsed the “fringe” of the arts, they won the Fringe festival’s prestigious Best Venue award in 2010 – only their first year as a venue. Wilson-Coffey urges people to throw themselves into the spirit of the luxe, slightly left-of-centre vibe that the venue gives off. “Dress up. Wear some red lipstick,” she advises. After all, a first birthday only happens once. “It’s a great atmosphere – everyone’s dressed up behind the bar, there’s funky music. It’s a great place to go out.” WHAT: Red Bennies’ first birthday WHERE & WHEN: Red Bennies Saturday 29 January
PIERCE: BEFORE AIDS, SEX WAS LIKE SHAKING HANDS. ABED: HENCE AIDS. Pierce (Chevy Chase) and Abed (Danny Pudi) discuss sex in Community.
THEATRE REVIEW CARNEGIE 18 The Arts Centre Carnegie 18, presented by Full Tilt, is a programme comprising four works of musical theatre in development. The second show on Saturday night was sold out, which goes to show how much wonderful support there is in our fair city for theatre of all kinds. Programme one comprised of Every Angel Is Terrible and Rawk. Peter Burgess’s Rawk is a modern ‘boys’ own’ dealing with the young male experience of social dislocation and at the other extreme, rock stardom; the team presented 40 minutes of a coherent, albeit very much edited version of the existing full-length piece with a hard rock/ heavy metal score from the band. We saw 40 minutes of Every Angel, a less polished but moving work by a team headed by Sarah Ward and Maude Davey, which deals with a
shocking subject (child abuse) in a thoughtful, accessible way without ever trivialising the issue. As with programme one the two shows on Saturday night could not have been more different from each other – Contact is an opera about netball (!); the juxtaposition of colloquial language with operatic libretto is hilarious and the team of accomplished sopranos delightful. Curtains, by David Chisholm, left the audience highly impressed but frankly overawed. Stunningly performed by Wes Snelling’s Tina del Twist, Sarah Ward’s Yana Alana, and Mikelangelo (and Meow Meow via video) it wittily deconstructs all expectations but those punters very familiar with forms of musical theatre past and present will get the most from it. Promising and excellent works, all. Season finished LIZA DEZFOULI
GONE FISHIN’ KNOWN AS ‘THE OTHER FACEBOOK MOVIE’, CATFISH HAS GAINED NOTORIETY AS THE LATEST DOCUMENTARY BAFFLING AUDIENCES OVER ITS LEGITIMACY. ANTHONY CAREW TALKS TO DIRECTOR ARIEL SCHULMAN AHEAD OF ITS OPENING IN AUSTRALIA.
Ariel Schulman is being sued. So goes life for the 29-year-old filmmaker. In the year since his debut feature premiered at Sundance 2010, Schulman has found himself under attack. From its very first public screening, this documentary has been dogged by questions of its veracity. Which is where the lawsuit comes in. A record label whose music is used in the film is suing the makers of Catfish. If the
film is fiction, Schulman’s claims of ‘fair use’ don’t stand up, and the label/artist in question must be paid restitution. “They’re suing us on the premise that the movie’s not real,” Schulman explains, “therefore we don’t have the rights to use a clip of a certain song on YouTube. Which has otherwise been declared as ‘fair use’, because the movie’s a documentary.
It’s a waste of their time, and a pain in my ass.” Schulman has a right to feel confident. All the circumstantial evidence in the world – a string of suspicious coincidences and telling gaps in the back-story that’ve been unearthed by internet snoops; the story’s shocking similarities to the documentary My Kid Could Paint That; television-style cut-ins that would require takes and re-takes; piles of ‘spontaneous’ footage that
appears to be anything but – don’t have much chance of holding up in a court-of-law, where notions of ‘truth’ fall by the wayside of legalese. But, is he not worried about the skeletons that could come out with a court case? The world’s already learnt that his brother, and the film’s ‘star’, Nev Schulman, was arrested for assault in high school. What more could come out? “I know there’s nothing to uncover,” states Schulman. “I get the feeling they think they’re going to uncover some sort of secret that reveals that the movie is not true.” So, just to confirm, Catfish is true? Schulman sighs. “I wish that people would just accept my answer that it’s true. The first time I said it, the 500th time I said it. But I know that every single person is going to have their own interpretation of what they’re watching.” Catfish has been blessed by this true-or-false debate, which has sparked interest in the film. Following his brother’s burgeoning on-line ‘relationship’ with a family of people he’s never met, it’s a look at the internet as a tool of misrepresentation. The fact that its own themes – don’t trust what you see/read – plant the seeds of suspicion is, Schulman says, completely unintentional and “ironic”. Schulman sees this, and the rise of the “questionably true documentary” (Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop and Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here, obviously), as reasons for the distrust in Catfish. “No one wants to feel duped by something that turns out to be fake,” he says. “But, really, that’s not the message of the film. Whether
or not you believe it’s true, you can still follow the same story with the same characters and the same emotional arc.” The ‘story’ kicks in when he and his brother realise these people they’ve ‘met’ are claiming to be things that they’re not. So, they decide to spontaneously drop in on the family, and catch them out. It becomes not a documentary, but a mystery; and Schulman is happy to cop that that’s how they made it. After initially thinking of styling the piece in the way of “cameraman in the movie” documentaries – the Maysles Brothers, Michael Moore, Ross McElwee – Schulman, his brother, and their collaborateur, Henry Joost, started studying Polanski pictures (which, conspiracy theorists will note, plays perfectly into a postcard-centred story development that seems an obvious plant). “Movies,” Schulman says, “that release bits and bits of information with every scene, throw out red herrings, and build this culminating arc.” Perhaps taking their cues from such, the major US studio that bought and distributed Catfish marketed it as, erm, a ‘reality thriller’, replete with a trailer that, amusingly enough, misrepresents it as staged, Blair Witch-esque horror-movie. “The American market sees the word ‘documentary’ as box-office poison,” Schulman explains. “So they created this new genre. I’m fine with that; I’m proud to be the first member in that genre. The only concern is the word ‘reality’, which connects you to ‘reality TV’, which is obviously completely constructed.”
As well as a mystery, Catfish works as a topical, trenchant tale: about the internet as a tool for authoring a fantasy existence disconnected from daily life, sounding a warning about the perils lurking behind the banality of Facebook. “That was never our intent,” Schulman deflects. “We didn’t write the movie; the story found us. So we didn’t have ‘intended messages’, right? A lot of people ask us about the topicality of it, the issues of identity in an era of socialnetworking, and what we wanted to convey. But, there was no outlined goal, because it was sort of an accident, it just fell into our laps.” Come on, what about when you’re editing what you’ve shot? No matter how ‘real’ something is, you’re still telling a story, you’re still conveying messages by what you chose to put in and leave out, right? “Yeah, that’s true,” Schulman admits. “But the rule-of-thumb was shaping the story as it felt to us as we experienced it. But the mode of that experience just happened to be involving all these modern technologies, and touched on all these current issues. That’s fantastic; I love the conversation that it’s inspired, it’s been very thoughtprovoking. I’m happy to be the inciter of a great conversation. Even the ‘true or false’ conversation – one that I’ve been having again and again – is… well, it’s something to chew on. I didn’t see it coming, but it’s here. And I’m happy to answer those questions.” WHAT: Catfish WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 26 January
NU IS OLD
Now more hardcore than nu-metal, HED PE mightn’t be tied to the ‘90s, but they’re still dogged by accusations of misogyny, writes BRENDAN CRABB.
Today’s live version of seminal Kiwis THE VERLAINES features ex-pupils of frontman and university lecturer GRAEME DOWNES, writes DOUG WALLEN. time the band were in limbo. He’d moved to Auckland, while other members were in London and New Zealand’s South Island. Later he moved back down to Dunedin, where the band had formed, but had his hands full setting up a rock degree he would then teach at the University Of Otago, where he now holds a PhD and is a senior lecturer. With the release of 2003’s retrospective You’re Just Too Obscure For Me on Flying Nun, The Verlaines seemed finished.
ia albums such as 2000’s Broke and Blackout three years later, Hed PE and their fusion of hard rock, punk and hip hop were on the verge of major commercial success when the bloated nu-metal scene they were associated with collapsed upon itself. The band have remained a viable entity though, consistently releasing albums and touring worldwide. Singer Jared Gomes attributes this to a variety of factors, including expanding their songwriting template. “Back in the ‘90s it was more like, do a hip hop verse and a heavy chorus,” he explains. “For us it’s not that way any more. Since the ‘90s and early ‘00s I’ve got more into hardcore punk and that’s influenced me a lot. The hip hop influences tend to be a little more subtle than kind of the Linkin Park thing where you rap on the verse and yell the chorus. It’s more blended together and more straightforward heaviness with the guitars and the fast punk beats. Hopefully when people do something they get better at it, so I’m a much better vocalist than I was when I started. My flows and rhythms are smoother. But the tone of my vocals is more hardcore than the ‘90s.” What other reasons does the vocalist have for the band still being a going concern? “Well, from my perspective we’ve been putting out albums since the ‘90s. Around 2002 the band kinda broke up and I got a lot of input from fans on the internet [saying], ‘Don’t break up’. So I kind of got the band back together with a couple of replacements and the sound changed to more of a straightforward hardcore/punk/heavy metal sound, whereas in the ‘90s it had more of an experimental sound. So I think that the change and the fact that my lyrical content changed to embrace what we call ‘the truth movement’ is why we were able to still have a life. Because we kind of switched things up and took on a new message.”
While not enjoying as high a profile as they did a decade ago, the band still find themselves in the media’s firing line, due to claims of lyrically based misogyny. This criticism hasn’t relented following the release of latest album Truth Rising either, despite the singer’s claim their message is rooted in self-empowerment. “It’s really, at this point, kind of ridiculous. They’ve been saying that for years, but all it is, is because once in a while I’ll do some [of] what I call ‘sexcore’ songs, just hardcore songs about sex. I always like to say at this point that one of the top five fantasies of women is called ‘safe rape’, where their partner just takes them and has their way with them. So I never get any complaints really from women actually, it’s always guys who are writing articles saying that,” he laughs. “Nothing really bothers me any more because I’m not trying to offend anyone. I guess I’ve also heard it all, doing it as long as I’ve been doing it.” As part of the tour in support of most recent album Truth Rising, Hed PE will also make their return to Australia and Gomes has high expectations. “The last time I was pleasantly surprised at how many fans we had,” he enthuses. “The last time we were there we had some really sweet shows, with a lot of people, good pits and it was just great. We got a lot of love there. [Fans] can just expect a brutal show that’s long; we have eight albums now and we’ll play songs from every album. We’ve got a lot of music and my band is really tight now. It’ll be like a party; it’s a good time and it’s intense.”
WHO: Hed PE WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Corner Hotel
riple R stalwart, musicologist and all round national treasure Stephen Walker, AKA the Ghost, is celebrating 30 years of broadcasting with a live concert featuring an incredible line-up including Dirty Three, The Skull Cave All-Stars, Gareth Liddiard and Dan Luscombe from The Drones and Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist. Not all fans of his program, The Skull Cave, would necessarily realise that for the last two decades, Walker has been living with multiple sclerosis, and getting into the RRR studio is becoming more and more difficult for him. But this concert will help raise funds for an experimental treatment, available in Europe, that should ensure Walker’s essential contribution to Melbourne’s radio landscape continues well into the future. So, how did the benefit concert come about? Walker says it’s mostly down to people he doesn’t even know. “The comfort of strangers,” he says. “And the kindness of strangers. It’s been quite overwhelming really, quite emotional, too, because I haven’t been all that public about my illness. There’s probably a lot of people who listen to my show who don’t even know I’ve got MS. There’s no cure for it, they don’t even know what causes it. But this stem cell thing seems to be the best option. It’s a very well-respected international clinic in Germany.” And talking of Walker’s illness, he tells a heart-wrenching story of how it’s affected him going about his work, but tellingly, he also has the insight to look on the brighter, more psychoanalytical, ‘50s sci-fi side of things.
“You know, I’ve had good years and hard years. Those times when I’m not on the air, it’s not because I don’t want to be there, it’s because I can’t be there because my condition has a mind of its own and decides to flair up. There were a couple of years there where I was having seizures. In actual fact, while the music was playing I was down on the floor of the studio stretching my limbs and trying to get them working again so I could sit back in the chair and keep playing. But in a lot of ways it’s had absolutely no relevance to what I do at RRR. The name of the show, The Skull Cave, is kind of a Jungian reference, and in a lot of ways I think of myself as just this brain wired up to the turntables and the microphones.” When Inpress asks Walker what it means to him to have been at RRR now for three decades, he fills us in on the Zen of radio broadcasting according to the Ghost. “It’s a joy. When I do my radio show, I get into a certain state of mind: I’m absolutely, 100% present. I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s a wonderful mix of relaxation and being very on. And I love listening to the show; I’m one of the audience. When I come back from playing a bracket, my emotions are hopefully reflective of the emotions of those who are listening at home.” Does Walker have a highlight of his time at RRR? He’s interviewed The Ramones and Iggy Pop, amongst others. Somewhat surprisingly, he nominates a certain American acid guru and tells a wonderful story about a T-shirt. “I was lucky enough to interview Timothy Leary for an hour. It was quite a compliment because he enjoyed it so much he came back again the next week for another hour. I spent half an hour in a room with Iggy Pop and got him to acknowledge my existence on the planet, which was fantastic. The guys from Spinal Tap. They were doing the rock’n’roll thing of wanting a T-shirt. Triple R didn’t have a lot of money so I gave them one but told them they had to wear it. Three months later, I got a copy of The Fan, which was a San Francisco rock magazine. On the cover was Spinal Tap and guess what they had on?” WHAT: Stephen Walker benefit WHEN & WHERE: Monday, Forum
“It’s bigger, more complex,” offers Downes by comparison to 2007’s Pot Boiler and 2009’s Corporate Moronic. “It’s similar to Corporate Moronic in many respects, but multiplied to an nth degree. It’s going to be a very big record. It’s like 17-minute songs. There’s some short, poppy ones as well. I can’t wait to see what the world makes of it. They’ll either be astonished or confused.” Whatever the reaction, it’s amazing to be getting new music from The Verlaines. While those last two albums were modestly released through a small Kiwi label, the band made their name with a string of adored Flying Nun albums in the ’80s. Those proved a sizable influence on American indie rock, yielding covers by Barbara Manning and Superchunk. Like The Chills, The Verlaines signed to Slash Records in the ’90s and relocated to America. And while their albums that decade weren’t as well received, the band did land on No Alternative – with both an original and a cover by Manning – alongside Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Pavement. Downes also released the great solo album Hammers And Anvils on US label Matador in 2001, by which
Today’s live version of The Verlaines actually features some of his former students. And after touring Australia a lot in the ’80s, Downes is keen to finally come back. But fans hoping for all old material will be disappointed, especially with three newer albums on offer. “That gets harder and harder,” he admits, “because it’s going back about ten albums now. But hopefully there will be something for everyone. You have to pick tracks that will fit with the band now, and older tracks that I still feel, as a human being, I can put some enthusiasm into singing.” As for what makes The Verlaines stand out from Flying Nun peers – who share a love of spiky jangle and wilful experimentation – it’s always been Downes’ witty songwriting, which casually references literature, poets, painters, and even other songwriters. To Downes, none of that’s unusual. The band was named for French poet Paul Verlaine, after all. “I think people enjoy something with a little more to it than lovey-dovey la di da,” he argues. “For me, rock music can be a really powerful emotional thing, and even intellectual in certain respects.”
WHO: The Verlaines WHEN & WHERE: Friday, East Brunswick Club
WE ALL SCREAM
A huge gig on Monday will celebrate 30 years of RRR’S The Skull Cave, and raise money to help its host, STEPHEN WALKER, battle MS, writes TONY MCMAHON. Stephen Walker
raeme Downes isn’t sure when The Verlaines last played Australia. It was either in 1993, when the Kiwi band recorded a song in Sydney for the seminal ’90s compilation No Alternative, or years earlier. Either way, their return is long overdue. It’s also swell timing, coming amidst Aussie visits from other classic Flying Nun Records acts: The Bats, The Chills and soon The Clean. But don’t mistake this for some nostalgic reunion: The Verlaines are hard at work on their third new album since a considerable hiatus.
“I was too immersed in getting that baby up and running,” recalls Downes of the degree. “I wasn’t writing a lot, that’s for sure.” But eventually came leftover members of a line-up that had changed drastically over the years. “Since then,” he says, “we just keep doing records and calling them Verlaines records, even though it’s pretty loose in terms of band identity. I mean, there’s three different bass players on the record we’re finishing at the moment. That’s just because people have family and work commitments. When we play live, it’s different [again].”
Melbourne power-pop ensemble Icecream Hands melted away roughly three years ago, but, for one night only, they’re making a comeback. MATT O’NEILL quizzes frontman CHARLES JENKINS. matter-of-factly. “And, at the very last minute, [Jenkins’ backing band The Zhivagos’ guitarist] Davey Lane couldn’t make it. I was happy to walk away from the gig but my booker didn’t want me to – so I had to think of something that could go on that date really quick.”
harles Jenkins has never displayed anything resembling a pronounced interest in ceremony. Or nostalgia for that matter. His two most celebrated outfits – Adelaide power-pop outfit The Mad Turks From Istanbul and similarly-intentioned Melbourne ensemble Icecream Hands – both disintegrated without so much as a farewell concert. Throughout his entire 25-year career, the songwriter has consistently emphasised his disinterest in rock star posturing and past glories. “It’s not within my style to go back. I never thought I would,” Jenkins confirms. “Having seen so many other acts go back, I’d only become more and more convinced that it’s something I would never do as a musician. I mean, there might be another Icecream Hands record. To be quite honest, I’m too fucking lazy to break up the band – that requires a press release or some bullshit like that. I have no further plans to record with Icecream Hands again, though.” To this end, the news that Icecream Hands have temporarily reformed to play one concert comprising their entire 1999 album Sweeter Than The Radio at the Northcote Social Club this weekend comes as something of a surprise. There isn’t even a conventional industry excuse for the event – Icecream Hands have only actually been out of commission for three years and 2011 commemorates the album’s decidedly inauspicious 12th anniversary. “The whole thing came from the fact that I had a gig booked at the Northcote Social Club for the launch of my latest solo album Walk This Ocean,” Jenkins explains
“I thought of a few things and then immediately dismissed them as being too cumbersome before realising I could just make three phone calls. I rang the guys and, god bless them, they said yes,” the songwriter laughs. “I suppose I should invent some farcical story about our coming back because our fans demanded it and, if we didn’t, they were going to do something unspeakable to themselves but, really, I was caught in these headlights. I’m really glad it’s happening, though.” What’s most surprising, however, is not that such a reunion is occurring but rather that Charlie Jenkins seems so enthused by it. While the songwriter is quick to emphasise that this concert is by no means indicative of a newfound love of nostalgia (“I didn’t think this would ever happen but that will never happen,” he says of the possibility of a Mad Turks From Istanbul reunion), he nevertheless seems genuinely excited by the event – and the possibility of its repetition. “I’ve always been into the idea of playing entire records. We made five, so I’d love to do a couple more at some point,” Jenkins explains. “Sweeter Than The Radio was the only record we ever had that was distributed by a major record label and, more importantly, promoted by a major record label – so, therefore, it sold the most. I don’t think it’s better than the records either side of it but, because it sold the most, it was the best record to use to test the waters for this concept.” “You know, I thought I would never do this. Like I said, I was caught in the headlights – but I’m really glad I dodged left instead of right,” the songwriter laughs. “I’ve always enjoyed the company of all the guys in Icecream Hands and, as musicians? Fuck they’re good! I’m actually really looking forward to the show.” WHO: Icecream Hands WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Northcote Social Club
ISSUE 1158 - WEDNESDAY 26 JANUARY, 2011
ANDREW WK: January 29 Hi-Fi
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 Andrew WK Saturday, Hi-Fi
BLONDE REDHEAD: February 7 Billboard BEAR IN HEAVEN, THE ANTLERS: February 9 Corner TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB: February 9 Prince Bandroom STORNOWAY: February 10 Corner FOALS: February 10 Palace WARPAINT: February 10 Northcote Social Club YEASAYER: February 10 Billboard CARIBOU, FOUR TET: February 16 Hi-Fi I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club
GIG OF THE WEEK STEPHEN WALKER BENEFIT MONDAY, FORUM Next Monday Stephen Walker celebrates a 30-year association with RRR. The man known as the Ghost has played a huge role in shaping the direction of the radio station, through his hugely influential Skull Cave program (every Friday from 4pm until 7pm) and 14-year stint as program manager. Not so well known is the fact Walker has spent the past 20 years living with multiple sclerosis. No longer fully mobile, Walker, who lives outside Melbourne, has difficulty getting around, with his weekly trek into RRR’s East Brunswick Studios often causing him a great deal of pain. To help fund expensive medical treatment available in Europe, Walker’s friends have assembled a top line-up of bands long championed by the broadcaster to play the Forum this Monday. Acts performing include Dirty Three, Gareth Liddiard and Dan Luscombe from The Drones, The Skull Cave All-Stars, Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, Ron S Peno and Sand Pebbles, with Max Crawdaddy and other RRR DJs spinning tunes throughout the evening.
Grinderman pic by Lou Lou Nutt
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
Pianist/organist/backing vocalist with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Conway Savage warms up the stage with a little help from keyboardist/piano accordionist Amanda Fox and guitarist Robert Tickner. The trio opens with Beautiful Smile and their set is reverently received, the crowd becoming more generous with their applause at the closing of each song. Savage cuts an imposing figure and sings lyrics such as, “I’m half the arsehole I used to be,” with gravity. The man who supplied BVs and handclaps on Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! introduces a new track with, “Hope you dig it.” His take on Que Sera Sera brings a resigned twist to the popular song, made famous by Doris Day, and his deft touch on the keys extracts emotion from each note. A perfect preface to the sonic quagmire we’re about to be violently plunged into via Grinderman.
NATIONAL THE LITTLE STEVIES: January 28 Piping Hot Chicken Shop; 29 St Andrews Hotel ADAM BRAND: January 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
Mister ‘been backstage once’ suddenly shoves his way up onto the small step that supports the photographer’s barrier with a surly, “Survival of the fittest.” This throws the front section into complete disarray with early arrivals deserving of prime real estate struggling to find sightlines. A total tool who causes others to behave similarly, ol’ mate later receives much lyrical admonishment (eg. “Hey! Don’t do that on the carpet!”) from Cave due to his humongous frame, enthusiastic finger pointing and knowledge of Grinderman lyrics.
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 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
MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi
GRINDERMAN, CONWAY SAVAGE THE PALACE
t’s getting harder and harder to secure a prime posi at gigs these days. A decision to get within spitting distance of Sir Cave means a one-beer limit and a smattering of aficionados have the same idea. There’s no music playing at the start of the night, which makes for easy eavesdropping and a Cave-aged dude brags to younger fans about having “been backstage once”. “Spoke to Warren [Ellis],” he continues, “but Nick was just [makes a gesture that suggests Cave blanked him].”
A stagehand test-drives the rostra that have been erected in the middle of the photographer’s pit, even kicking out at those who are pressed up against the barrier as if issuing a warning of what’s to come. Warren Ellis, Martyn Casey and Jim Sclavunos saunter out onto the stage looking like a casting call for outlaws from Deadwood. Then out comes their sheriff, Nick Cave, and it’s straight into the opening track from Grinderman 2, Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man. Cave embodies his creations and hysteria infiltrates the mosh. There’s something so sinister about the worlds he creates – “And we sucked her and we sucked her and we shaved her dry” – and Cave’s preaching to the converted tonight. continued next page...
The Waifs Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 March, Forum
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 WAVVES: March 14 Corner HORACE ANDY: March 15 Prince Bandroom JOANNA NEWSOM: March 15 Melbourne Recital Centre AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM: March 16 Hi-Fi KINGS OF LEON: March 17, 18 Rod Laver Arena JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE: March 18 Forum THE DOOBIE BROTHERS: March 18 Palais CHRIS ISAAK: March 19 Mornington Racecourse USHER: March 19, 20, 31. April 1 Rod Laver Arena WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: March 23 Palais EDDIE VEDDER: March 24, 25 Palais FINNTROLL: March 25 Billboard MOTORHEAD: March 26 Festival Hall PAUL COLLINS: March 26 Tote UNWRITTEN LAW: March 27 Billboard BB KING: April 1 Hisense Arena URIAH HEEP: April 2 Palais LUKA BLOOM: April 5 National Theatre THE SCRIPT: April 6 Festival Hall CYNDI LAUPER: April 8, 9 Palais
Where could this band possibly go from here? Worm Tamer. Cave propels himself around the stage and almost into the audience when he bounds onto the rostra, scanning the crowd for takers to shout his words back up at him. Ellis is a dead ringer for that evil Maurin Quina absinthe demon that featured on the poster that has decorated many a uni dorm wall. He crouches over his pedal station and conjures sounds straight from your worst nightmares. The menacing bass of Heathen Child winds around and clings to you like long, wet hair as Cave leads an enthusiastic chorus of “You are wrong!”s. The setlist is arranged to almost form a narrative and No Pussy Blues follows Kitchenette. Cave asks Ellis to remind him of Kitchenette’s key and smiles when Ellis sings the song’s first line. This is a change from the frontman’s usual threatening/perplexed expressions. His “I’m just trying to relax”/“Tippy-toe, tippy-toe” rant prompts giggles from the crowd. He’s SO in character. Cave’s svelte frame paces across the performance space in predatory fashion. Those held in his gaze for more than a single syllable tend to wither. And none laugh (okay, I started and then stopped abruptly when those around me glowered) when Cave slips and almost wipes out into the music stand in front of his microphone. He clears his throat and spits on the stage at regular intervals throughout the show so may have skidded on his own phlegm. During the first song of the encore, Palaces Of Montezuma, a member of the mosh spews and then collapses. Those in her immediate vicinity gesticulate wildly for help but Cave’s platforms mean there’s no room for security guards in the pit. Toward the end of the song, the afflicted is raised to her feet and helped out of the crush. “Is everything all right down there?” Cave enquires at song’s close. One-third of this evening’s songs are delivered as the encore, which throws the balance off slightly. But that’s the only (minor) criticism of a rollicking set that closes with the song from which this band acquired their namesake. Bryget Chrisfield Clare Bowditch by Heidi Takla
NATIONAL 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 THE LITTLE STEVIES: February 5 Bertha Brown; 6 Brighton Food & Wine Festival; 18-20 Port Fairy Folk Festival I HEART HIROSHIMA: February 5 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)
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 APOLLO BAY MUSIC FESTIVAL: April 8-10 Apollo Bay SUPAFEST: April 17 Melbourne Showgrounds
QUEENSLAND FLOOD RELIEF BENEFIT CORNER HOTEL Any line-up that has Claire Bowditch, turning in a typically confidence-filled, laugh-laden and stellar show, as an opening act, is quite a bill. The story of the show is recounted several times: organiser Bertie Blackman texted friend Megan Washington and, as Blackman herself says, “It was the shortest pregnancy every, 14 hours from conception to birth. It’s the smallest baby with the largest heart – shit that’s good! I just made that up.” The expertly chosen Julia Zemiro emcees the event in her typically quick-witted and self-depreciatory style and does an excellent job of taming a very chatty room. As with Bowditch’s sweet turn, Tim Rogers has a lot of Washington fans talking though his rough and wonderful five-song set. Rogers peels through The Luxury Of Hysteria, Heavy Heart and Berlin Chair with his coruscating voice emphasising his incapacity to not give something everything he has, a sentiment echoed by the crowd (if not the air conditioning) this evening, who dig deep. Auctions include a punked-up, Australian ‘God Save The Queensland’ flag (designed by Blackman) that sells for $1,300 and a guitar signed by all the artists, which goes for $2,000, both contributing to the very handsome figure of $30,000 that is made before the night ends. Bertie Blackman, selling the show as an acoustic gig, confounds expectations by killing the lights, donning a black cape and delivering an incredible a cappella Valentine before belting out a set of songs that have more in common with the electro-stomp of La Roux than anyone seems to expect. Against monochrome projections, Blackman delivers a killer version of Heart concluding a set that could have gone on far longer. When Zemiro introduces Megan Washington, it becomes clear how this show sold out with no publicity. Breezing onto the stage, and also heavy on the eyeliner like Blackman, she whisks us through a captivating set of highlights from I Believe You Liar,
peaking with the closing, rumour-fuelling duet with Tim Rogers That Thing You Do; one very classy girl. With an injured finger forcing him from guitar to piano, Dan Sultan is clearly a man good with his hands and seems to ooze charisma. His clear ringing voice silences the room, especially during Old Fitzroy and School Days Over (a Ewan MacColl cover) while his swarthy sensuality prompts some to shout for the removal of his shirt. If only someone had thought to ask him to auction it. Accurately describing the venue as a “sweatbox”, Missy Higgins is happier, and more charming than we’ve ever seen her. Versions of Secret and Peachy suggest she’s spent the last few years in Nashville and a rowdy, unrehearsed all-star version of Carole King’s You’ve Got A Friend brings this very special night of music and fundraising to a close. Andy Hazel
GYPSY & THE CAT, KIMBRA HI-FI Tonight’s sold-out gig offers punters the opportunity to shrug off the working week and catch up on three relatively new and exciting acts that hail from Melbourne. Missing out on Buchanan, who will make an appearance at this year’s Laneway Festival, we arrive as Kimbra’s backing band is tuning up. The quartet, featuring two keyboard players, borrow a little of Hot Chip’s geek chic but pull some pretty camp moves when they play. Appearing on stage after a brief fanfare in a ‘50s-styled white chiffon dress, Kimbra exudes a retro kind of glamour. The 20-somethingyear-old from New Zealand, now residing in Melbourne, belts out a set of infectious pop tunes that have absorbed the influence of jazz and electronica with slight flourishes of funk and soul. Creating loops of her voice on the fly allows Kimbra to conjure cascading layers of vocals and this technique is put to good effect on a credible cover of Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring. After treating us to tunes like Good Intent and Cameo Lover Kimbra pulls out a cover of Prince’s I Wanna Be Your Lover before closing her set with the current single Settle Down. Introduced to us by a guest spot on Miami Horror’s tune I Look To You, Kimbra is sure to have an instant hit on her hands this year when she releases her debut album, tentatively titled Vows. Since leaving Melbourne for London, Gypsy & The Cat seem to have met with enormous success in a very short period of time. Now signed to Sony RCA UK and getting major props from NME the duo comprised of Xavier Bacash and Lionel Towers is riding a wave of hype at the moment. Tonight’s show comes ahead of some major summer festival action for the lads who are looking remarkably fresh faced despite having driven up to Sydney for a show the night before and then back to Melbourne to provide this evening’s entertainment. Billed as an electro pop outfit, their Da Funk Daft Punk breakdown and the cover of We Are Your Friends in the middle of their set pays lip service to such notions but Gypsy & The Cat can’t hide the fact that much of their inspiration comes from soft rock influences. Accompanied by two session musicians, the mix is electro acoustic and at times they wash over like bands from the ‘80s such as Toto and Foreigner. Tending towards the fluffy end of the light and breezy spectrum seems to produce their best tunes with Jona Vark and Time To Wander sounding like feel good summer anthems. The crowd loves every minute of it and wish their short set could have been longer. Guido Farnell
GOTYE NATIONAL THEATRE A spectacular cerise sunset stops St Kilda pedestrians in their tracks. Chirping birds provide the soundtrack as they celebrate the sudden alleviation of recent relentless rainfall. Settling into a theatre environment for what is being billed as Gotye’s comeback show adds prestige to proceedings. Ushers wander around instructing those using mobile phones to switch them off well before the advertised starting time. Wally De Backer is greeted by maniacal applause as he casually ambles onstage alongside two fellow multiinstrumentalists. We’re relieved that album number three by this unique artist is on the way and there seems to be a shared belief De Backer’s been otherwise occupied with The Basics for way too long. Cue Eyes Wide Open with its accompanying Brendan Cookanimated video clip illuminated on the cyclorama. The harrowing visuals perfectly complement De Backer’s earnest delivery. His casual get-up of brown t-shirt with psychedelic print and jeans is at odds with this theatre setting and would be more suitable for rehearsal. Exotic percussion instruments and a sophisticated keyboard/sampling station spread the width of the stage and Lucas Taranto, who played bass on Gotye’s debut Boardface set, demonstrates exceptional fluidity. All three players lock into a groove and complex rhythms are tackled with ease, particularly during the finger-snapping intro for a new song. Funky, driving beats beautifully offset the desolate vocals of Coming Back and we’re so glad Gotye
firstname.lastname@example.org has. De Backer shares his soul through his singing, which is capable of simultaneously demonstrating vulnerability and power. He’s an arresting drummer and must have extraordinary diaphragm control to allow him to separate the percussive nature of his playing from the smooth quality of his singing. The multi-talent shares a conversation he had with Dave the merch seller before the show. Dave reminded Gotye that they’d met before at the now defunct Gaslight Music when the artist took some copies of his Boardface album in to be sold on consignment. The Bourke Street record store was happy to oblige and therefore instrumental in unearthing Gotye’s gifts. There’s something so endearing about this performer. Minor miscalculations that would otherwise go unnoticed are given away by the expressions that he pulls. A new track, Smoke And Mirrors, has immediate appeal. Cook’s creations reappear on the screen for the heartbreakingly forlorn Hearts A Mess and although De Backer struggles to hold the ultimate “ConEEEEEct” note, we’re reminded why this song spoke to so many upon its release – the definitive serenade. Another new song, Bronte, is dedicated to two of his friends in the audience who lost a loved one and is further evidence of how deeply De Backer feels. Left alone on the stage, he perches on a piano stool to deliver a Leonard Cohen song – Seems So Long Ago, Nancy. Gloriously melancholy. De Backer admits he doesn’t know how well this song flows into the next, Thanks For Your Time, and invites feedback after the show. The ad-libbed section, during which De Backer places a phone call through to Vodafone and battles to be understood by the automated service, is a showstopper. It transports us to the polar opposite emotional place from the preceding track. Throughout the night, there are sections that could have been programmed, but all three musicians show a preference for providing live sounds. The Only Thing I Know sees De Backer behind the drum kit repeating a robotic phrase into a pimpedout mic in between vocal parts while performing a syncopated drum pattern. “We’re not doing planned encores, ‘cause planned encores are gay,” De Backer explains before a stretched-out version of Learnalilgivinanlovin with a special guest on sax duties closes proceedings. A standing ovation is just the welcome back Gotye deserves and De Backer belongs on Later With Jools Holland. An enchanted punter kisses her date on the way out of the auditorium, gushing, “That was the best date night ever!” Bryget Chrisfield
POP GOES THE CURFEW FEAT THE MEN, GUN STREET GIRLS, PONY FACE PRINCE BANDROOM While Missy Higgins is trying to save the Kimberly on the Toorak side of town, in St Kilda, Dave Stevenson and his Pure Pop Records faithful are saving independent music. Tonight showcases the artists who continue to rock the rear courtyard of the Barkly Street store, albeit at the Prince Bandroom. Aptly titled Pop Goes The Curfew, it ensures no 8pm sound restriction. It also provides Sweden’s The Men with their first Australian show.
The line-up is littered with Pure Pop regulars. Hugh Gurney (Skybombers), Heath Brady and Alex Raunjak (Dirt River Radio), Jeff May, Charles Jenkins and Tim Rogers all salute the iconic store with well-received ballads. Georgia Fields lends a female voice with Snakes And Ladders, while Anyone For Tennis and Ryan Coffey do the gags. Pony Face stand out with a sound resembling early ‘90s rock. They concoct favourable blends of searching guitars that waver steadily and peak to morph with earthly, innocent vocals, solid bass and snappy drums. With their 2010 album Stars Are Bright to borrow from, the three-piece use a range of electronic effects to convey a controlled, psychedelic sound that grooves, cruises, rocks and haunts. Standouts include One Or Another, Stars Are Bright, Hammer and Sheelong. Dave Larkin just wants to play rock’n’roll! His Gun Street Girls shake the room with Little Richard’s Long Tall Sally, an emphatic plea to ‘get down’. Their extensive set aims to kick your arse, with each song delivered with forceful, thumping blues-induced rock. Sweat descends and phlegm ascends as Butterworth and Barter superbly back the vocal and guitar lead of Larkin. Let’s Go Missing, Cold Change and Disappointing Friend best demonstrate the band’s versatility. The Men are dapper, polite and excited. Their brand of mod rock penetrates the room like sunbeams through an attic. The dancefloor jives, they kick out the jams and the room inhales a breath of fresh air. Sven Köhler has more mic-stand acrobatics than Whispering Jack and his stellar showmanship ensures an entertaining set. Cannonball Girl, Pack Up Your Memories and Where The Good Times Go have the crowd in a frenzy. They are tasty cuts – tight, groovy and clean. It’s a winning recipe in Köhler’s view, “Take a pinch of cool, dash of heat and sweet sweet love.” Long live Pure Pop Records, 20-dollar showcase gigs and independent music. John Donaldson
MOUNTAIN MAN TOFF IN TOWN It’s a balmy summer eve as hoards of people are trudging up and down the stairs between Swanston Street and the various drinking establishments located within Curtin House. Our destination tonight is the Toff, for what will turn out to be an unforgettable evening of pristine vocal harmonies and endearing personalities, intimately experienced by one of the politest Melbourne audiences on record. It’s an extremely mixed crowd with every demographic represented, from scenester indie kids through to middle-aged fogies and everything in between. But it’s clear that everyone is here for one reason: the three glorious voices that make up Mountain Man. Molly Sarle, Alex Sauser-Monning and Amelia Meath stroll on stage in a manner far more casual than the vocal and musical connection that they will display tonight. Sauser-Monning appears to have just rolled out of bed (with dishevelled hair, an oversized t-shirt, shorts and bare feet), while the other two,
Mountain Man pic by Lou Lou Nutt
OWEN PALLETT THORNBURY THEATRE This surely is the gold class of live music venues. Not only can you buy wine by the bottle, orders from the bar menu are also brought to your table throughout the evening. Such a glamorous venue is ideal for soaking up the virtuosic talent, Owen Pallett.
although appropriately dressed for a gig, similarly appear to have avoided contact with any form of fashion stylist. That is to say, all three are somewhat daggy in appearance. Whether it’s a deliberate move to dissociate themselves with their over-styled fashionista contemporaries or an attempt to direct audiences to focus on more important matters, their visual presence is very quickly superseded by their raw musical talent and endearing personalities. Performing largely unaccompanied, save for the occasional unobtrusive guitar, the girls seem to be united by some incredible synaptic connection, and it’s almost as though they’re sharing the same brain. Their harmonies are so pristine and compact that it makes me think of the unity of barbershop quartet arrangements, but obviously without the bass vocal and, in this case, performed by three barely-out-of-their-teens girls singing folk ditties about birds and boys. The next hour is pure pleasure, as their seemingly effortless harmonies are executed in a way that would make fans of First Aid Kit and Fleet Foxes squeal with delight. In between songs, we are treated to some adorable banter. Sarle tells us they were pre-warned about Melbourne crowds being like those in New York insofar as they’re “interested but not invested”, but assures us that we don’t appear to be that disengaged and are a lovely audience to play for. They tell us stories about their Sydney Festival appearances where they asked audiences to howl like wolves instead of clap after each song. They complain about the humidity and thank us for enduring our sweatsodden clothes to sit through their set so politely. After about 40 minutes of their evocative and wistful tunes, the girls ditch the microphones in favour of a truly unplugged sound – a venture that would only work in a venue as small and intimate as the Toff. It’s here that we get to experience their voices in their purest form, and the audience is suitably silent. Finishing off the night with an encore that requires complete audience participation, we are split into three groups and each is allocated a band member to follow. They teach us a simple song, which will ultimately be performed as a round.
Before Pallett hits the stage, members of the audience wander up to have a gander at the setlist, which has already been fi xed to the downstage floor. Pallett finalises the stage set-up himself during this solo tour and does so unassumingly. When he finally takes the stage resembling a character from Oliver Twist, with his youthful appearance and flat cap, Pallett plays all of the instrumental parts live and then records, loops and overlays these until they become a wondrous alternative to a mini orchestra. Commencing with some material from his past moniker, Final Fantasy – The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead, The Arctic Circle and He Poos Clouds – Pallett jokes, “I’ve just gotta get a bit of this old shit out the way and then we can get down to business.” Scandal At The Parkade from Pallett’s latest EP, A Swedish Love Story, positively shimmers and Pallett alternates plucking strings with using his violin bow as well as singing. The crowd looks on in awe and then explodes, providing applause that results in reddened palms. Pallett warns us that he’s lost his calluses over the Christmas break, having only used his digits to play computer games. “Things may get a little bloody,” he cautions. As a one-man operation, Pallett seems extremely comfortable up there with all of the responsibility resting on his shoulders. After listening back to a recorded phrase, he opts to start over, ‘fessing up, “I can do better than that”. The violin has such a sorrowful sound and Pallett plays it intrinsically, at times as if the instrument has taken charge. “Okay, I’ve just got a few more hits,” Pallett teases, informing us that he has “a night of hits” planned for tonight whereas tomorrow night’s show at the Toff will be “a night of misses”. Only Pallett could pull off using the word ‘sequential’ repetitively within his lyrics (Keep The Dog Quiet). The Great Elsewhere builds from a phrase on the organ, expands with an echoing violin pluck (that could be the sound of one of your heartstrings snapping) and incorporates percussion tapped out by Pallett on his pimped-up fiddle. The sum of these parts are then eliminated one by one until we are left with the initial organ melody. Sublime. Pallett’s cover of his fellow countryman Caribou’s Odessa is masterful and gets toes tapping – you’d swear Pallett composed it. Lewis Takes Off His Shirt has a soaring, optimistic tone that seems at odds with its resolute chorus – “I’m never gonna give it to you.”
As we file down the stairs and exit into the comparatively cool air, several people are still humming the parts to the closing song and chattering amongst themselves about how you don’t see bands like that every day.
A two-song encore culminates in Many Lives > 49MP – a song Pallett says was “inspired by an insurance commercial”. He seems surprised and delighted when a second encore is demanded of him. “I haven’t played this song in a while, but I hope it goes okay,” he downplays of closing track, Independence Is No Solution. All assembled are acutely aware that they’ve experienced something special tonight, elevated further by these surroundings.
Lou Lou Nutt
NEW YORK CONVERSATION TALES FROM THE BIG APPLE with Tom Hawking On Christmas Day the sky is dull and heavy with the promise of snow, but it isn’t until the day after that the first flakes arrive. You probably read about it in the paper – the great blizzard of December 2010, which paralysed NYC for a couple of days and led to a political shitfight about how long it took to clear away the snow. If you’ve got places to go and things to do, snow probably is a colossal pain in the arse, but for unashamedly romantic and generally non-nine-to-five-inclined types like NY Conversation, it’s a thing of wonder. The first thing you notice after it’s snowed is the silence. There’s something primal about it, a stillness that renders all the echoes of the city’s clamour muffled and distant. Peace as an aftermath. There’s nothing peaceful about a blizzard, though. On Boxing Day, as the wind picks up and the snowflakes comes down denser and harder, sensible New Yorkers close the blinds and heat up the Christmas leftovers. But possessed with some romantic urge, NY Conversation forges out into the driving snow and makes for the subway, hopping the F train and counting down the stations to Coney Island. By the time we arrive, we’re the only people in the carriage, which isn’t really surprising – after all, who in their right mind goes to the beach in a blizzard? But the experience is totally worth nearly freezing to death. Coney Island’s fading grandeur is evocative enough anyway, all cracked paint and faintly menacing carnies, and in the snow it’s like something out of The Road. The beach and the leaden sky merge on the horizon, the Atlantic dark and forbidding. It’s starkly, bleakly beautiful. We take heaps of photos then retreat to Nathan’s, shaking the snow from our fur coats, revelling in that rejuvenated tingly feeling you get after a morning swim or a cold shower. The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve pass slowly and quietly, peacefully snowed in, days for hot cocoa and mulled wine. I barely venture out at all, except to meet a guy from whom I’ve bought two tickets for Patti Smith’s show at the Bowery Ballroom on New Year’s Eve. Buying tickets off Craigslist – I really should know better. And sure enough, when we turn up at the venue on NYE, they turn out to be fake. One-hundredand-twenty bucks down the shitter. But serendipity prevails: they’re selling the guestlist, a practice that’s generally the bane of street press reviewers everywhere but for once works in our favour.
Sorted for E&Ps THE HAVKNOTZ
THIS PUBLIC LIFE
THE BANQUET Independent
“Get outta my face with that junkie bullshit!” So kicks off this “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” EP by Sydney’s The Havknotz. Just add sirens, scratching and heavy guitar riffs and there’s something a bit Limp Bizkit’s Rollin’ about this scene. MC Losty (“vocalz”) and Wazza (bass and “beatz”) deliver ominous cuts and Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil/The Breaks) sure hits the spot supplying live drums for On A Storm. It’s a lot more aggro – “It’s the number of the beast/Dial 666 to blow up the Big Brother house” – than the beach, BBQs and bee-arches subject matter often explored in Aussie hip hop and there are strong melodies in the instrumentation, reminiscent of Karnivool. The Havknotz leave you with little choice but to pay heed – “The haters need to suck my dick.” If you love your metal and hip hop and wish they would make offspring, check The Havknotz out at the Corner this Thursday, when they support Hed PE.
There’s some country twang and swagger to Gypsy, the opening cut on this EP, which showcases some beseeching, harmonising vox. These songs feel deeply personal. The distorted guitar frenzy that opens Bombs is striking, enter rollicking drums and a pretty piano melody and things are looking promising. But then the opening lyrical phrase rhymes “today” with “day”, which is a little unimaginative. Nothing wrong with the music, though. War Machine exposes This Public Life’s softer side with a drop in tempo but for this reviewer it’s Smile that gets the double thumbs up – “’Cause I know this shit’s been going down/Let’s turn it ‘round.” A demon guitar solo during Born Again sounds as if someone’s been restrained for too long! Frontman Jimmy Pollock plays a solo show on Australia Day (tonight) at the Bendigo Hotel and This Public Life are performing a live set this Sunday at 4pm on 88.3 Southern FM (The Sounds Of The Bayside).
CATCHING A KILLER Independent
Herein lie “five true stories of love and pain” belted out with Bitterness by Chelsea Wilson. And what a band! Jake Mason (organ), Lance Fergusson (guitar), Ivan Khatchoyan (drums), Ben Christensen (bass) and Rohan Wallis (trumpet) pool their collective experience to bring this set of fresh soul songs to life and inject them with integrity and authenticity. Wilson’s delivery is totally convincing and if she’s endured a lot of heartbreak and poured her experiences into these songs, the listener sure benefits. Her voice channels Duffy during Who I Am, a standout track elevated by trumpet stabs. The only gripe is the opening track’s fade-out, which seems inconclusive. Closer Devil Woman brings it home with lyrics to maim your competition: “She’s a crazy devil witch/No, I ain’t lying she’s like a roughed-up and nasty itch.” This EP will make you dance like the Huxtables during the opening credits of The Cosby Show. Wilson wrote and arranged all of these cuts and can be experienced live this Thursday at Bertha Brown or Friday 4 February at the Empress. Inpress recommends.
The opening title track teams up some killer elements: dementor sounds from a mystery instrument; funky speed-riffs; catchy chorus melody; and devastating drum break. Red Ink have your attention immediately. Frontman John Jakubenko does the whole spokenword into full-throttle vocal chops brilliantly. The piercing, female squeal that kicks off Werewolf? Not so much. Even the way Jakubenko delivers the word “Werewolf” during the breakdown, almost like a wolf whistle that’s echoed by a similar guitar sound, is cheesy. Still, one misstep and then Red Ink provide you with its Antidote. Danny Bonnici’s remix of Audrey closes this five-track EP and proves this quartet don’t shun the dancefloor. If you haven’t seen them already and fancy a road trip, the Frankston lads have been booked for the RAW For Africa Festival at Mornington Racecourse this Saturday.
Opener Afraid Yet? has a fun structure: the arrangement is unexpectedly pared back to the opening guitar riff several times throughout and there’s a deadset pogo breakdown in the last 40 seconds, for hugging your mates and forgetting yourself. It seems as if each song within this set began its life as a single guitar riff, which was then added to and beefed out with extra instrumentation. The inclusion of synth brings an edge to the tracks and the drummer really lets loose and loves it at the tail end of Distractions – he has an impressively even style within the flourishes. Even though the Britpop-tinged, insouciant vocals tend to disappear in the overall mix, the lyrics are worth straining to hear – “Will you take me to the town where the cool kids play?/Such a happy little place with nothin’ gettin’ in the way” (Cool Kids). I reckon.
The last time I saw Patti Smith was at the Big Day Out in 1997. I was 18. The experience was transformative. I can still see it now – crammed into the front of the stage next to a large girl in a red t-shirt with “DYKE” emblazoned on it, watching in rapt amazement as Patti came out and read Piss Factory, hawked up a massive gob of phlegm, spat it triumphantly across the stage and kicked straight into Rock’N’Roll Nigger. Seeing her in 2010 is a more celebratory, sedate affair – a reminder of how far we’ve all come in 13 long years, and how much we’ve changed. And how much we haven’t. For all that her hair is greyer, Smith’s music is as visceral as ever, her severe mien giving her the stern air of some wild lost poet, the type they don’t breed any more. Until she starts giggling and talking about how much she loves Law & Order, that is. After a mid-set lull, she tears shit up with a transcendent medley of Land and Gloria as 2010 becomes 2011. At one point she reads an excerpt from her memoir Just Kids, but it’s another passage from the book that sticks in NY Conversation’s head, a passage that describes playing an early show as a band at Max’s Kansas City: “The people were raucous, divided, the electricity in the air tangible. It was the first hour of the new year and as I looked out into the crowd, I remembered again what my mother always said. I turned to Lenny. ‘So as today, the rest of the year’.” As 2011 begins, your correspondent kinda has no money and quite possibly nowhere to live. But the world is white outside, and Patti Smith’s savage beauty and the snowbound boardwalk at Coney Island, they all somehow speak of other things to come. When we dream it, we dream it for free, like she said in the song. And that’s enough for now.
EP Reviews with Bryget Chrisfield
After a great year of their own headline shows and supporting the likes of The Reverend Horton Heat, The Fireballs, The Splatterheads and Los Chicos, Midnight Woolf return to the good old Retreat Hotel this Saturday for a night of booty shakin’, head-poppin’ fun. They’ll be debuting some brand spanking new tunes from their upcoming as-yet-unnamed release. Joined by the bone-crunchin’ Murder Rats, the night promises to be filled with squeals and howls for more! Doors are at 9.30pm and entry is free.
PET HATE EP Independent Man Of Your Dreams sounds like a stalker anthem with its relentless barrage of guitar/cymbals and repeated lyrical refusal to accept rejection – “I know you LIKE it!” – simultaneously violent and gross, but also engrossing. Oh is mighty and powerful with just the right emphasis on words before the arrangement freaks out at the conclusion of each sentence. Damn Terran are intriguing, but approach with caution because this three-headed beast isn’t here to play it safe or friend up. Pet Hate showcases seven songs in just over 22 minutes and certainly warrants your attention. Already branded a must-see live act, this band gets plenty of onstage practise, so check your local gig guide and join the throng of supporters who dug them from the start. Just the right amount of ‘dangerous’.
UNIQUE TO THE APPLECORE
SILENT ROSE FROM SLEEP
Melbourne’s most unique music festival takes place next month in a normally quiet backyard in suburban Thornbury. Applecore Backyard Festival has been going for more than five years and on Saturday 26 February, 11 acts will once again bring the music community alive. Headlining are Brisbane ‘90s legends Screamfeeder, who are reforming especially for the show. The rest of the bill includes fellow Queenslanders Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side, The Ancients, Lowtide, Matt Bailey, Laura Jean, New Zealand pop wonderband The Blueness, Kim Salmon, New Estate, The Olivettes and the best new party band in town. Frankie Alibi & The Fugitives. It’s a BYO event and gates open at 11am. All this for only about $15! Tickets are available from applecorefestival.com.
After spending the last half of 2010 in hibernation looking for a new drummer, Melbourne’s own Silent Rose are back and ready to strike! Sporting their own blend of metal, hard rock and post-hardcore, Silent Rose are on a mission to showcase their explosive live show to music fans right round the nation. It all starts this Friday at the Prague. With killer supports My Own Morbidity, Psytonal and Heathen Ritual, this is one show not to miss! Doors open 8pm and entry is $15.
FEED ME SCREAMS
This February sees Brisbane legends Screamfeeder returning to Melbourne. They’re making the trip down to the headline the Applecore Backyard Festival and to play at the Tote on Friday 25 February for a one-off special sideshow. One of the most loved and important bands of the ‘90s, Screamfeeder gained international acclaim for a series of brilliant albums including their classic, Kitten Licks. Consistently putting on breathtaking live shows and always sounding fresh, this promises to be a huge night at a wonderfully intimate venue. Supports come from local pop/noise maestros Actor Slash Model and New Zealand pop wonderkids The Blueness, as well as The Enclosures. Tickets are available from applecorefestival.com.
MANIAXE AT THE ALTAR Preston’s favourite metal band, Maniaxe, host a night of devastatingly brutal thrash/black metal this Thursday at the Prague. Joining them on the bill are Altars Of Sin (11.30pm), Agave Maize (10.30pm) and Harlott (8.30pm). Maniaxe hit the stage at 9.30pm, so get down early and support local metal! Doors are at 8pm and entry is $10.
WATTS ON SUNDAY Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue are presenting a Sunday afternoon of entertainment at the Prague this Sunday with Queensland’s burlesque/rock supergroup Bertie Page Clinic, folk pop duo Elk & Whale, and local surf rockers Chook Race. Doors are at 5pm and entry is $8.
KILLER POP This Saturday legendary Melbourne power pop band Little Murders launch their first album in ten years, Dig For Plenty, at the Grace Darling. Joined by two other legendary Melbourne bands The Exotics and The Breadmakers, this promises to be a night of rock’n’roll that you’d be crazy to miss. Tickets are $10 at the door.
POOR PEOPLE ARE PHREEX
Detroit rapper BLACK MILK learned in 2009 that tough times can lead to quality music, he tells DOUG WALLEN.
Tronic. As for Album Of The Year, its title isn’t a boast but a time-capsule premise: it covers an entire year in Cross’s life. “I’d had a pretty turbulent year in 2009,” he recalls. “A lot of success, but a lot of struggle as well. When the title popped into my head, it just fit. I know what people mean now when they say that struggle in life helps an artist create their best work. I felt like I had a lot more to say on this album.”
here’s a conspicuous name amid the marquee acts lined up for this year’s Big Day Out: Detroit rapper/producer Black Milk. If a minor presence by BDO standards, Black Milk has every chance of leaving Australia stunned in his wake. He is, after all, fronting a proper live band and touring last year’s Album Of The Year, one in a line of strong showings from the 27-year-old powerhouse. Hip hop heads will already know him – he’s produced KRS-One, GZA, Guity Simpson and Pharoahe Monch, in addition to his own albums – but the man born Curtis Cross has an opportunity to win fans outside the genre with a strong enough set. He’s certainly up to the challenge. “Our show is a lot more musical than most hip hop shows you’ll see,” Cross enthuses. “The energy is crazy.” For his debut Aussie tour which includes an Espy sideshow, he’s backed by drummer Daru Jones, keyboardist/ singer Ab, and DJ Bill Sharp. Jones’ clattering drums on six tracks is a highlight of Album Of The Year, especially compared to the canned beats farmed by most hip hop records. But as both producer and MC, it’s Black Milk that obviously stands at centre stage. With five albums and innumerable other credits to his name already, he’s the whole package. “I don’t look at it as a challenge,” says Cross of pulling double duty. “It’s pretty much my identity as a recording artist. I approach making songs and albums not just from the standpoint of a rapper or songwriter, but of a producer or composer or musician. The challenge is in trying to do something you’ve never done before.” Following his early work with the late J Dilla’s group Slum Village, Black Milk has steadily gained attention with 2007’s Popular Demand and 2008’s
The sheer potency of his flow aside, his production on the album is top-notch as well. Whereas he once embraced soul samples, these days Cross says, “I’ve been more inspired by old rock records, Moog records, psychedelic records, Afrobeat records.” Those unusual sounds distinguish his bouncing, gritty creations, which also take a lot of inspiration from his home base of Detroit. After praising the city’s hand in nurturing everything from Motown to Eminem, he adds, “That said, it’s kinda grey, kinda grimy. That brings the dirty element to the music.”
Poor People launch their 7” single Phreex at the Workers Club this Sunday as part of the Workers Club Sunday Summer Series, with supports from locals Pop Singles and Extreme Wheeze. Doors are at 7pm. Across four Wednesday nights in January Scout! Scout! have set themselves the task of exploring and refining their folk/pop/experimental sound in preparation for the recording of their first EP in March. Come check out their otherworldly sounds alongside the likes of Kate Crowley and Matt Glass, tonight at the Edinburgh Castle.
RED MEDICINE Alt.country, Celtic-inspired folkies Ruby Cartel will be playing the Edinburgh Castle front bar this Thursday as part of their January residency, There will be the usual smattering of covers, along with new original material and old favourites, all played in the unique Ruby style, which blends fiddle, accordion, banjo and mandolin with guitar, bass and drums. Entry is free from 8pm.
Black Milk has collaborated with his fair share of Detroit talent, including Eminem cohort Royce Da 5’9”, but he calls working with Dilla “probably the highlight of my career”. Upcoming projects on his busy slate include the Sean Price and Guilty Simpson team-up Random Axe and work with rapper Danny Brown and singer Melanie Rutherford, both of whom guest on Album Of The Year. Of his favourite work thus far, he reflects, “I have such great respect for these guys as artists, so the fact that they have that same kind of respect for me is definitely humbling.” While it’s tempting to label Black Milk an underground artist, Album Of The Year hit number 28 on the hip hop/R&B charts in the States. And so he’s pushing ever towards commercial viability even while getting namechecked by Pitchfork and taste-making blogs. As you might guess, the whole experience has pleased him immensely. “It’s been great,” he beams. “I still feel like it’s only the beginning. I’m still growing as an artist and a musician, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.” WHO: Black Milk WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Espy; Sunday, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse
SHINTO LOVERS NEXT
BANG! A CONFESSION
This Thursday Shinto Katana headline Next at Brown Alley, supported by Lovers Grave and A Fate Worse Than Death. Keeping up with the Summer Sessions promise, there will be a free BBQ (meat and vegan options) as well as free fairy bread and $10 jugs of beer in the beer garden from 9-11pm. They’re also hosting the HED (pe) after-party where members of the band will be performing a very special guest DJ set in the metal room. On top of that, they’re giving away tons of belts and accessories from their friends at Armourdillo. Doors at 9pm, $15 entry.
Playing live on the main stage at Bang this Saturday are Melbourne’s own mosh legends Confession with support from club favourites At War With Gods. Bang is also hosting the In League album launch and will be giving away copies of the new album thanks to the band! The guys from Confession will also be performing a very special party DJ set in the cells after they play, so be sure to stick around for that. Doors are at 9pm and entry is $15.
PIN CUSHIONS The Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention & Arts Festival kicks off in Melbourne this weekend with a bevy of local and international tattoo artists. With live performances by Dallas Frasca, Tijuana Cartel, Snowdroppers, Spencer P Jones, Rapskallion and Abbie Cardwell to name a few, this unique festival celebrates creativity as a means to connect, including visual and performance artists, dancers and speakers all set amongst a backdrop of homegrown live music. The festival will be held in the Royal Exhibition Building, this Friday to Sunday. Tickets are available from ritesofpassagefestival.com.
EARTHWORKS Queensland’s Dean Carroll Earthworker is currently on the ride of his life with his 2011 debut release Seeds Of Light. Earthworker has compiled more than ten years of writing experience along with the production delights of Sydney’s Stevie Knight (Electric Sun Studios) to produce what he will now look back on as his first step towards a promising career. You can bear witness to his diversity in songwriting ability and edgy (sometimes pirate… yes, pirate) stage presence this Friday at the Edinburgh Castle dining room. Entry is $10 on the door from 8.30pm.
LIKE MIKE In between drumming for The Drones and Glenn Richards, Mike Noga has finished recording the follow-up to his acclaimed 2006 debut solo album, Folk Songs. The new album, entitled The Balladeer Hunter, will be released in March and as if that wasn’t enough, a copy of the record landed in Ben Bridwell of Band Of Horses’ hands and Noga has now been personally asked by the band to support them on their European tour in February. Playing some of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious venues, Noga will take his Gentlemen Of Fortune cohorts Pat Bourke and Gus Agars (who both feature on the new album) on the road with him to give the Europeans the first taste of his new material. A full album launch tour of Australia is scheduled for his return in late March. More details to follow. Meanwhile you can bid Noga au revoir at his farewell/warm up show where he’ll be previewing songs from his new record at the Workers Club this Saturday with guests Little John and Chris Altman.
Malcolm Hill presents a one-man show like no other. Equal parts explosive blues and pretty things, he will be joined by Andrew McCubbin (of Hope Addicts fame) for a pair of solo sets to light up your Saturday afternoon. Join them in the Edinburgh Castle backyard from 4pm this Saturday.
IS IT A BIRD? SteelBirds will, no doubt, be further building the anticipation for their soon-to-be released live DVD, SteelBirds: Live At Collarts, with what will be yet another scintillating night of live entertainment at the Edinburgh Castle. With more than able support from Kellie Fernando Bird and larger-than-life The Madness Method, SteelBirds will be in fine voice for more high harmony, soul-drenched rock and alt. country. Doors at 8.30pm, $6 entry. See you there!
DAYDREAM NATION Having spent several years honing her craft in her 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. Catch her this Sunday on the backyard stage at the Edinburgh Castle. Entry is free.
A COLD DAY IN HELL Cold Harbour are proud to be supporting their great mates Burn In Hell at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick this Friday. In their first foray north of the river this year, Cold Harbour will be rocking the joint with their exciting blend of stoner rock, psychedelia, blues and sonic landscapes before handing over the stage to Burn In Hell, one of Melbourne’s most unique bands. Cold Harbour hit the stage at 9.30pm and entry is free.
SONIC BOOM BOOM! BAP! POW!’s recorded output only tells half the story – seeing this band live is what it’s all about, writes TONY MCMAHON.
No Pleasin’ contains several bonus tracks, one of which, Fast Woman, is a terrifically stark, almost bluegrass number that instils in the listener something like amazement at this band’s dexterity. According to Bull, we should probably get used to it.
There’s one more chance to join the pogo as convict folk punks The Currency conclude their January residency at the Retreat Hotel. This Thursday, 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. Entry is free. The Currency album is now available through iTunes.
“There is a little bit of the new album that is in a similar vein to Fast Woman. Fast Woman was one microphone in a room, and only a couple of little overdubs later. Essentially, it was a real bluegrass thing to do: slap, dash, get in there and do the song. It kind of harks back to the ‘50s and the way they used to record.”
HARD YARDS After a successful single launch at the Evelyn, Black Devil Yard Boss are super pumped to be taking the stomp to Ruby’s Lounge in Belgrave on Friday 4 February. BDYB will be joined by rocking guests Redcoats, Sadhana and Rainbow Massacre for one helluva good time. Tickets on sale through blackdevilyardboss.com
illed as Western Australia’s weapon of choice when it comes to getting the party started, doo-wop soul outfit Boom! Bap! Pow! are bringing their infectious live show and a brand new EP to the eastern states. No Pleasin’ is an impossible-not-to-like, dynamite record full of everything that makes this particular genre of music both listenable and moving. And, given it’s only a taste of what’s to come from a soon-tobe-released longplayer, their second after 2009’s adorable You Got It So Bad, the future is looking bright indeed for both band and fans alike. Inpress starts by asking muscular-larynxed frontwoman Novac Bull what it is about soul and its territory of heartbreak that sounds so bloody good?
LITTLE GEM The brainchild of singer/songwriter and harmonica player from Redfish Bluegrass’ John Dickson, Little John will kick off the Basement Discs 2011 instore line-up on Friday 4 February at 12.45pm. Combining angelic harmonies reminiscent of the American folk tradition with a gritty rock’n’roll delivery and electrifying live show, this is an event not to be missed! Little John will also be playing two residencies throughout February, Sunday nights at the Old Bar and Monday nights at the Espy.
INVASION NATION Celebrate Australia Day the way you should; with good friends, a cold beer, a snag from the barbie and some quality music. Melbourne talents Ikarii will headline Invasion Day at the Arthhouse, with support from My Echo, The City In Motion, Brighter At Night and Vendetta Fields. Doors open at 5pm. Tickets $10 at the door. Profits from ticket sales will go to the Queensland flood victims.
CLINK CLINK Melbourne’s drunken-pirate-convict-spaz-debacle Clinkerfield host the final show of their seventh annual residency at Fitzroy’s favourite little watering hole, the Old Bar, this Sunday. It’s a summer institution for Johnston Street – three different guest bands each week, BBQ out back, DJs ‘til close, and the low, low price of $5 to get in from 7pm ‘til late. Just be careful, it 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!
IT’S A GAS The Shock Of The New returns for 2011 from Kreuzberg to Collingwood. Same shit, more DJs, new year, new venue. Come down to the Gasometer on Saturday 29 January and check out DJs Kapitolina, Kiti, Viva Lamour, Askew & Toupee playing dark synth/indie modernism; cold wave, kosmische, neue Deutsche welle, synthgaze, EBM, goth and new wave goodness. Night runs from 9pm to 3am, entry is $10 Facebook list/$15 randoms.
PLATED UP Playing songs from his most recent release, 2010’s EP The Vulgar Tongue, as well as tracks from his forthcoming new album, due out in June, local exponent of folk/gothic/country/Americana Michael Plater will be playing at the Prague on Sunday 6 February. He will be joined on the night by country punk stalwarts The Happy Lonesome, bluegrass/alt.country troupe The Rusty Pickers and the folk/blues of Ben William. The show will kick off at 6pm, and entry is $7
Milk Teddy play the Tote this Thursday.
HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Thomas, guitar/vocals: “We are cousins and there is also a brother in the blood mix. Blood is thicker than water and we’re thick as thieves (and not in the head). “ HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Actually, our recordings to date (one 7-inch and one cassette) have been the result of said ‘tooling’. We’re working on something less ‘tooly’ now though. We hate the expression ‘tool’ by the way and ‘verbing’ it up is worse. CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “We heard that we got rejected from Camp A Low Hum ‘cause you can’t sell the New Zealand thing to Kiwis, so maybe that’s it.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Probably Full Ugly (but we would headline).” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “The compilation album featuring 42 versions of Walking In The Air, by Howard Blake (1982). Favourite version at the moment is Tarja Turunen’s, and of course the Nightwish version, which is, incidentally, her old band.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “Jonathan [drums] often wears old shirts (on the snare drum). I don’t know if it’s lucky but he’s a strap-on lad.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Hop your heat.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “Red Silks. It’s opposite Business College and also has Tiger beer on tap and cute Singaporean cabana boys.”
“I think it’s the anguish and the frustration,” she says. “I think you reach your soul from that in a big, big way. Look at soul legends like Aretha Franklin; even Billie Holiday sings about lost love and those sorts of things. It sounds real and genuine, which in turn ends up sounding quite good.” Talking of legends, soul has such a long and distinguished history. It must be difficult starting this kind of band in the early 21st century with the weight of everything that has come before. Bull says that the secret is reverence for one’s forebears. “I guess you need to pay homage to the people you draw on and look up to. You have to be gentle with it and respectful of it. One of my favourites is Sam Cooke. He just blows my mind as a singer/ songwriter and I draw heavily from him. And I think you have to acknowledge these kinds of things and tread lightly and realise you’re not the first one to be doing it.”
Astoundingly, Boom! Bap! Pow! have shared stages with soul legends The Temptations, The Four Tops and The Miracles. The question asks itself of whether or not Bull has any good dirt to share, but it seems she’s only willing to talk about an overawed fan moment. “No dirt, they were all so well behaved. I tried to get a photo with Martha Reeves while she was eating and she turned me down. I was just so excited. I was like a little kid. Here’s me thinking she’ll take a photo with me no problems. Right. There she was stuffing her face. What a stupid thing to ask.” Despite the extraordinarily good times to be had listening to No Pleasin’, it’s obvious that Boom! Bap! Pow! on record is only ever going to be half the story. Seeing these guys live is always going to be where it’s at. Bull agrees, and acknowledges that she felt some trepidation before recording, although she needn’t have, at least in this writer’s opinion. “We’re definitely more of a live band, it just captures us better. Performing live is such a buzz, there’s so much energy. We just love to do it. I was so apprehensive about recording. I thought we were never going to be able to capture what we do. But it’s all part and parcel of the same thing, really. Come along and check us out: if we don’t make you dance we’ll definitely make you laugh.” WHO: Boom! Bap! Pow! WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Corner Hotel; Thursday, Bertha Brown
ON THE HUNT
Having been more than six months since he graced an Australian stage after departing for Swedish shores, songman Timothy Carroll is finally back for a brief visit and handful of intimate and much anticipated headline shows. Teaming up with the Melbourne-viaBerlin producer Oscar Dawson (Dukes of Windsor/ Planet Love Sound), Carroll’s sound has intensified with the addition of driving percussion and layered soundscapes to his distinctive vocal delivery. Carroll will play the Grace Darling on Friday 11 February – entry is $10. He will also play a free show at Pure Pop Records on Saturday 12 February at 6pm.
Following a memorable 2010 that saw the recording and release of their debut EP, Dear Stalker kick off 2011 with two consecutive gigs. Friday 4 February they’ll be making noise at the Espy Basement with Dirty Canary and Rouge Foncé & The Kernal (also featuring Stalker drummer, Alan Murphy). Saturday 5 February sees Dear Stalker do it all again at the Public Bar, this time with The Mercury Theatre and Seri Vida. There’ll be new tunes, the usual shenanigans and a whole lot of energy.
BURNING DOWN THE DANCE HALL DAYS The Bendigo Hotel presents Dance Hall Party, a massive night full of dance and entertainment with live performances from Max Jahufer (X Factor), Seri Vida and the dancehall crew Burn City Queenz. DJs Miss Beats and Sofi re will ensure the room is pumping with their mix of R&B, hip hop, dance and commercial beats. This Saturday – $10 entry, doors at 8pm with $5 wet pussy and tequila shots all night.
THE WEBBS WE WEAVE In the few months following the release of his second EP Hyperspace Clearance, 21-year-old alternative rock force Dan Webb has headlined a national tour, played main support for Conway Savage and taken residency at the Evelyn Hotel – with special appearances from The Cat Empire horn section, The Empire Horns. He’s been invited back for a second summer residency at the Evelyn, playing Tuesday nights throughout February. These shows will coincide with two St Kilda Festival sets on Thursday 10 and Sunday 13 February. More info at danwebbmusic.com.
After the success of their first EP, the new Manic Pistoleros album Silver Bullet is not far away. This Saturday at the Arthouse the guys will showcase some of the new tunes from this much-anticipated release. Joining them will be Adelaide’s finest rockabilly act The Saucermen as well as local punks The Tearaways and newcomers Last Call. Head on down to the Arty for what is sure to be a wild night! This Saturday from 8pm.
After playing the main stage at Falls a couple of weeks ago, mammoth 17-piece The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra get set to do it all again today (Wednesday). They are appearing at the Know Your Product Festival at 3pm, as part of a five-day music festival down at Waterfront City in the Docklands. Keep your ears peeled for some new material to be released shortly. Check thepublicopinion.net for details.
SOUNDS LIKE LOVE Combining electronic elements with more organic ‘dark folk’ influences, Planet Love Sound continue to captivate audiences with their enveloping and intricate blend of programmed beats, synthesised basslines, acoustic guitars and layered vocals. Comprising two former members of indie-rock band Dukes Of Windsor, PLS are proud to join forces with Brisbanebased soloist Timothy Carroll at the Grace Darling on Friday 11 February to showcase their latest in alternative pop folk bliss.
IN THE RAW The International Anti-Poaching Foundation’s second annual RAW For Africa Festival at the Mornington Racecourse this Saturday is devoting 100% of bar profits to assist our native animals affected by the floods. As if that’s not reason enough to get your backside down, tickets are only $50, with music from high noon ‘til late. This year’s line-up incudes Dallas Frasca, Red Ink, The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, The Dirty Boogie Band and The Resignators. Good music for a good cause, what’s not to love? For more information and tickets, go to iapf.org
NORTHERN LIGHTS Aurora Jane plays a weekend of Victorian farewell shows with her five-piece band before heading to India in February to launch her latest album Deep End. Be sure to catch her delightful stage presence and incredible music before she leaves. This Sunday at the Bendigo Hotel. Joined on stage by the charming folk/ roots/gypsy sounds of Rosie Burgess and folk/ country duo Tuohy & Flynn, this is one performance not to miss. Entry is $10, doors open at 3pm.
GET TWISTED Former Mr Bungle member Bar McKinnon’s new project Umlaut are looking forward to 2011, working on new material and planning to release a follow-up to their 2009 debut album sometime this year. To kick the year off, Umlaut will play a killer show at the Evelyn Hotel on Friday 4 February, supporting pseudo-cult jerks Mandek Penha, and the piano grind project from Anthony Pateras and Max Kohane, Pivixki.
TAKEAWAYS Young garage rockers Junk & Jill will return to the Arthouse this Thursday night to kick off another year in their own crazy way! The boys have been rocking Melbourne’s live music scene in 2010 with their unique style of crazy live shows, bluesy riffs, trippy soundscapes and all-up killer garage sounds, so why would this year be any different? Also appearing on the night are the funky lads from BJ Winters, the indie tunes of The Final Cut and get down early for Smoke Cheetah smashing up the stage to start the night!
FLOOD OF SUPPORT In an effort to raise much-needed funds for the victims of the Queensland floods, some of Melbourne’s best blues musicians have banded together and will be performing a fundraising show at the East Brunswick Club on Wednesday 2 February. Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel are among the artists who have volunteered their services for this special night, with many more on the bill. The evening is titled When The Levee Breaks, in reference to the song written and first recorded by Memphis Minnie in 1929. The song, along with many other blues tracks, was written in reaction to the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Floods of 1927.
Bertie Page Clinic play the Rites Of Passage festival at the Royal Exhibition Building this Saturday and the Prague this Sunday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Bertie Page, vocals: “Our first bass player Greg Jard saw my burlesque version of Bat Out Of Hell at [Brisbane venue] The Zoo and thought that I should have a live band to replace my shitty karaoke track. The band’s first line-up wasn’t able to tour due to family commitments so I had to find a line-up of childless musos, bless their sterile hearts.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We just released our debut album, Rock & Roll In A G-String. It was recorded in the bedroom of the album’s co-writer, Phill Wilson. The room had great acoustics due to the presence of a valuable collection of limited edition Simpsons figurines. Phill and I love the Simpsons; fans should be on the lookout for hidden Simpsons references – there’s one in every song!”
THREEPEAT Latin hip hop outfit LABJACD are hitting it hard this week; one show down, two to go. After appearing at the Know Your Product Festival at the Docklands on Monday they play the Belgian Beer Cafe today (Wednesday, 5pm) and the Night Cat on Friday night.
Taking some time out from the studio where he’s recording album number two, Edward Guglielmino is hitting the road again briefly for a whirlwind trip to Melbourne. Currently recording with producer Jamie Trevaskis (Timothy Carroll, Texas Tea, The Gin Club), Guglielmino recently dropped a free live album to unsuspecting punters featuring songs mainly from his previous well-acclaimed effort Late At Night, but also including three new tracks. Catch him at the Workers Club on Sunday 13 February.
TASTE TEST MARK GABLE – THE CHOIRBOYS some unknown reason sold promotional pictures of the Fab Four. I collected dozens of them.
CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Meat Loaf nailing Debbie Harry.”
The record I put on when I’m really miserable is... Never Mind The Bollocks. The Sex Pistols were the epitome of everything wild and reckless that I wanted to be. I can put on their music and go absolutely crazy, both physically and mentally, and imagine that I’m Sid Vicious. That always makes me happy
IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “It would have to be Meatloaf. I am slightly obsessed by his meaty goodness. I like my men a little on the hefty side. I have fantasies about using him as a beanbag.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Bat Out Of Hell, but it could never burn ‘cause it’s out of hell.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “I don’t have any lucky clothing but our motto is ‘rock’n’roll in a G-string’, so if I didn’t wear one it just wouldn’t be honest.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “This year I performed at the Stanthorpe Apple And Grape (grapple and rape) Festival where they served those oranges with the toothpicks in them with the cheese and pickled onions. They now form the basis of all my cuisine.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The shocking truth is that I don’t drink (it’s true) – when I visit any town in the world I head to the nearest milk bar. Moo juice is the most rockin’ drink that there is.”
The record I put on when I bring someone home is... Never Mind The Bollocks. If I really like them to give them the loud and clear – “we’re so pretty, oh so pretty”. If I really hate them, to give it to them even louder and clearer. The best record I stole from my folks’ collection was... Not from my folks, but my sister’s – Return To Sender, Elvis Presley. In truth I never stole the record, I just borrowed it, with many of its contemporaries and what was then the cutting edge of record players, this vinyl-covered box with one speaker, red knobs and a beige playing arm. The fi rst record I bought with my own money was... Please Please Me by The Beatles. In 1963 The Beatles had captured the world, including the Northern Beaches of Sydney and my high school, Manly Boys High. I can remember going across the road from school to a service station that for
The most surprising record in my collection is... The Other Side by Eva Cassidy. Love it. People might get the impression that because I am in a pub rock band that I like to listen to that kind of music all the time, but it’s just not true. Eva Cassidy’s music is more poignant because of her tragic life and not just because of her beautiful voice. The last thing I bought/downloaded was... Billy Fields, You Weren’t In Love With Me. One of the great forgotten songs from Australia. The Choirboys play the Palms at Crown this Saturday.
OF YOUTH All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS email@example.com
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is almost upon us for another year, which means that the registrations for the Class Clowns young comedian of the year competition will be opening soon, so now is the time to prepare your act. Class Clowns is a national competition and mentoring program for high schoolers aged 14 to 17. At the gig performers are required to perform a five-minute stand-up piece, comedy, group sketch, musical parody or something in between. Throughout the competition participants will have the opportunity to rehearse with a professional, practising comedian before presenting their acts. The performance is judged by highly esteemed judges with the winners advancing to state finals before the national grand final held in Melbourne in September. The winner of the overall competition wins a nice $1,000 cash prize for their school, and $1,000 to buy themselves something nice as well. So get practising now because registrations open in February and the local heats start soon after that. In light of the unfortunate news that hardcore act Red Shore have had to pull out of the Push Over festival this year (and are taking a break from gigging in general, so it has nothing to do with not liking us) there are some new additions to the line-up. Local hardcore rockers Hopeless will fill the gap on the hardcore stage while indie rockers Young Revelry are joining the line-up from Perth, Gold Fields from Ballarat (who recently picked up the Triple J Unearthed spot at Falls Festival) and emerging artists 2econds will be adding something extra to an already overflowing Push Over 2011 line-up. And speaking of Unearthed, if you are in a band and would like to play at Push Over then all you have to do is upload your songs onto triplejunearthed. com.au to go in the running to score yourself a spot on the bill. If you already have your songs on there then you are automatically eligible. Push Songs is back for another year so if you are a budding songwriter, this is your chance to hone your skills with the assistance of some of Australia’s most talented professional songwriters. The first of the four Push Songs series workshops for 2011 will run from 8 February until 24 March. In this workshop each of the 12 successful applicants will workshop and develop song ideas and sketches with Charles Jenkins, as well as two special guest songwriters including, Ash Naylor, Lisa Miller, Mick Thomas and Rebecca Barnard. Once again the Push Songs program will involve four terms, with each songwriter getting the opportunity to take part in three, one-on-one, one-and-ahalf hour songwriting workshops and one masterclass with a professional songwriter. Applications are open now and close on Tuesday 1 February. Head to thepush.asn. au to download your application today.
TODAY (WEDNESDAY) A Triple J Hottest 100 Australia Day pool party is happening at the Bendigo Aquatic Centre from 2pm. Entry is free.
THURSDAY The Vasco Era play a free, all-ages gig on the main stage at Federation Square from 6pm.
FRIDAY The Rites Of Passage Tattoo Convention And Arts Festival begins at the Royal Exhibition Building and runs until Sunday. It features live performances from Dallas Frasca, Tijuana Cartel, Snowdroppers, Spencer P Jones, Abby Dobson and many more. Information on playing times and tickets can be found at ritesofpassagefestival.com. The YMCA Wodonga Leisure Centre is hosting a drive-in movie night from 7.30pm. Entry is just $5 with the film for the final drive-in movie of the program being Knight And Day starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.
SATURDAY Raggamuffin, the annual all-ages reggae festival, this year featuring Mary J Blige, Sean Paul, Ky-Mani Marley, The Black Seeds and so much more, is on at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. All tickets have been reduced to $99 through Ticketmaster. In Brisbane, the event has become the Reggae For Recovery Flood Relief Benefit Concert and will donate all proceeds to the Premier’s Relief Fund.
To cap things off, and also while we’re on the topic of Soundwave, we have a quick Q&A with Scott Vogel of Terror about what he’s looking forward to when the band head back to Australia as a part of Soundwave 2011. Don’t forget that Terror are also a part of the Sidewave that is happening at the Espy on Thursday 3 March. They join H20 and Polar Bear Club on this line-up.
Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL Welcome to another week of Wake The Dead, everyone. Let’s crack into it, as there’s a lot to get through this week. No small talk here… First up, Soundwave have posted the official timetables for all of the shows in every state (for all you Melbourne kids that are venturing interstate). For me, there doesn’t appear to be any major clashes and I hope it’s the same for all of you out there. As long as I get to see Slayer, Trash Talk, Fucked Up and Kylesa, I’ll be happy. Resist announced this week new dates for the Against Me! tour that was supposed to happen in October last year. I’m glad that the rumours about a split were wrong on this one and the band have stuck together. This is one of my favourite bands ever. I mean, even though it has nothing on the likes of Reinventing Axl Rose, 2010’s White Crosses is still an enjoyable album. They are also a fantastic live band, with enough energy onstage to seriously entertain. They will be joined by their new drummer, Jay Weinberg, and will be supported by Off With Their Heads. Both bands hit up Melbourne on Friday 13 May at the the Hi-Fi, with tickets on sale now. After months and months of speculation and Twitter posts, British hardcore act Your Demise will finally hit our shores. Their most recent album, last year’s The Kids We Used To Be, was one of my favourites so it will be awesome to see songs from this (and their debut, Ignorance Never Dies) played in the flesh. The guys are coming out as the main support for House Vs Hurricane who are embarking on a very ambitious headline trek. For fans of HVH, this will be the last chance you will get to see the guys before they lock themselves away in the studio to work on the follow-up to 2010’s Perspectives. Also along for the ride are Victoria’s Nazarite Vow. So if you’re keen, mark Saturday 19 March (for you 18+ kids) or Sunday 20 March (for you
is taken from the album What Separates Me From You, which is available now through Victory/Riot!
What are you most looking forward to about heading to Australia for Soundwave? all-agers) in your diaries as this bill will be hitting the Corner Hotel. Tickets to this go on sale this Friday. In an interesting industry development, it was announced last week that the Staple Group were merging Boomtown Records and Staple MGMT into one brand to be known as UNFD (pronounced “unified”). Branded as a full-service music company, UNFD will cover artist management, label services (including distribution and marketing), touring, merchandise, publishing and business management. The company also launches with The Getaway Plan, The Amity Affliction, Deez Nuts, House Vs Hurricane, Heroes For Hire and Break Even on the roster. Stay tuned to this column for more information and news about releases and tours in the coming months. It looks like Dallas Green headed into the Catherine North Studios in Ontario this week to commence recording on his third City & Colour album. There is no word on the album title or release date as yet, but I’m sure it will all be released in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, log onto cityandcolourinstudio.com to keep tabs on the recording process. It looks like there will be pretty much daily updates of all sorts, including photos, videos and general news from the studio. This one is a little bit late, because I was retarded and forgot about it. If you haven’t seen the video for A Day To Remember’s track All I Want, you need to get on YouTube now and check it out. There are so many cameos in this video it’s ridiculous, including Crime In Stereo, Bring Me The Horizon, Winston from Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying, Comeback Kid, Architects, Your Demise, This Is Hell and so many more. It is seriously one of the coolest videos I’ve seen in a while. The track
“Social Distortion is the first band that really got a hold of me and pulled me into this underworld. Seeing them on Night Flight in Another State Of Mind is a big reason why I’m here. So it will be cool to see them for a few days and remember my younger days. Slayer (of course) and hanging with H20, Chad, Warren, Biggie and all the great friends we’ll see over in the promised land.” Who are you most eager to check out on the bill? “H20 are one of my all-time, favourite live bands. They just have a great energy and I can’t wait to see them.” What is something that no one knows about your band? “That I’m the normal guy in the band. Everyone thinks I’m out there, but if they got to see the whole picture they would understand that I’m normal compared to what the rest of Terror has to offer.” Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you have to stick to before you go onstage? “If so, well drinking, but I’d like to see that change. I quick stretch with Joell Ortiz on the iPod and sometimes we are in the middle of a full-blown party when it’s time to play.” What was your favourite album of 2010 and your most anticipated for 2011? “I really can’t wait for the Dead End Path LP and the new Hot Water Music. As for the best of 2010, I’m really proud of the new Terror record but I’ll give it up to Joell Ortiz’s Free Agent.”
Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG firstname.lastname@example.org As reported last year, Behemoth mainman Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia. The last several months he has battled treatment and has now left the hematology division in Gdansk four weeks after he underwent a bone marrow transplant procedure. Nergal has since released the following statement on his condition: “After almost half a year of treatment in various hospitals, several cycles of chemotherapy, irradiation and a bone marrow transplant, I have been finally released home in a pretty fuckin’ good condition. I’m feeling okay, taken the intensity of treatment under consideration. That was not an easy period of my life, but, as I envisioned, I left the hospital victorious. I never considered any other options, but anyway, there were rough moments, too…” He added, “Although the whole treatment went really good, as well as the bone marrow transplant and the post-transplant period, the next several months is the time when I must really take care of myself. Of course, I will have plenty of time to recover, think about the strategy and my return to the stage – which approaches imminently. First of all, however, I must rebuild my physical condition… Apart from that, I hunger for playing – I haven’t been playing the guitar for a half of year now! Really much to catch up, but also a huge motivation and a desire to work again at the same time.” Swedish metallers Arch Enemy have set Khaos Legions as the title of their new album, due in May. Commented drummer Daniel Erlandsson: “We had a very inspiring and creative time writing this album. I think this is definitely evident when listening to the new songs. There’s tons of variation in the material, ranging all the way from very melodic to extremely heavy. As you can expect there’s no shortage of killer riffs and intricate guitar work; the Amott brothers have come up with some very cool yet demanding ideas! This album has some of the fastest songs I’ve ever recorded, along with a bunch of heavy pounding mid-tempo songs. As always, it’s difficult to describe music in words, but rest assured – this album will be one heavy fucker!” Death metal psychopaths Aborted have issued the following update: “Everything has been going
great so far with the pre-production of the upcoming album. We have about 13 skeletons of songs thus far. Needless to say, this will probably be the most ruthless record the band has written, period. We are going to tempos we have never been to before – some riffs are more tech than what we ever did, and everything still sounds catchy and crushing.”
some time, but will finally emerge with their first studio album in nine years. The band will release In Metal We Trust on 15 April through Black Leather Records. According to a press release, the CD contains “11 brand new classic heavy metal songs with original singer Justin Fleming back on vocals!”
Suicide Silence are preparing to enter the studio with heavyweight producer Steve Evetts (The Dillinger Escape Plan).
LOCAL GIG GUIDE
Swedish Viking metallers Amon Amarth will release their eighth studio album, Surtur Rising, on 29 March via Metal Blade Records. Avenged Sevenfold have tapped Arin Ilejay, former drummer for Los Angeles-based Christian rock group Confide, to sit behind the kit. The band commented: “We recently asked several friends who knew Jimmy and his style, and also knew our music and each of our personalities to suggest drummers to tour with us starting this year. Our longtime studio drum tech Mike Fasano recommended Arin Ilejay. We’ve rehearsed with Arin and have been impressed with his technical skills, attitude and work ethic. We’re very excited to tour with Arin and hope all of you will give him the warm welcome to the family we have.” Dubai, United Arab Emirates-based death/thrash metallers Nervecell have set Psychogenocide as the title of their new album, due late March through Lifeforce Records. The band states, “We’re extremely proud of how it has turned out, as it perfectly matches the aggression and musical direction of the new album. The new songs are sounding aggressive, fast and dark! The fans can expect a heavy dosage of oldschool death metal, modern thrash metal, intertwined with our touch of Eastern melodies and brutality.” Local crew Pegasuz have been laying low for
Black Majesty, Cell – Friday 4 February, Central Club
TOURS, TOURS, TOURS Tool – Wednesday 2 February, Sidney Myer Music Bowl Iron Maiden – Wednesday 23 February, Hisense Arena 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 Alestorm – Saturday 14 may, Corner Hotel Suicidal Tendencies – Sunday 15 May, Billboard Morbid Angel – Friday 27 May, Hi-Fi Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – triplej.abc.net.au/ racket. Email email@example.com
BREAKDOWN Pop culture therapy with ADAM CURLEY Last week, The Breakdown considered the validity of BBC radio DJ Paul Gambaccini’s recent assertion in The Guardian that rock’n’roll is ‘dead’ as a “prevailing style” in pop culture. “It is the end of the rock era. It’s over, in the same way the jazz era is over,” Gambaccini was quoted in the piece, in response to the dwindling percentage of ‘rock’ songs appearing in the UK charts. We left off with a suggestion that the rise of ‘hardcore’ and ‘emo’ styles into popular channels has been largely overlooked by rock’n’roll commentators due to a good ol’, armpit-panted generation gap – that those bemoaning the lack of ‘alt’-ness in popular culture are refusing to acknowledge that the new ‘alt’ is not their ‘alt’. That idea, however, can be taken even further, because the same could be said of the way popular culture is currently being monitored and talked about at all. The article in The Guardian conceded, via the chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, that acts classified as ‘rock’ by MusicWeek, which compiled the figures, fared better in the albums chart because “rock fans are more likely to buy albums rather than singles”. It also made a case for Gambaccini’s comments, however, by looking at tour figures, citing the age of the rock acts who earned the most in 2010, led by Bon Jovi and AC/DC, and stating that ‘industry’ heads are nervous that these acts will soon retire with no one to take their place. Basic problems with the framework of all of this could be drawn, though, besides the obvious issue of anyone fearing the disappearance of Bon Jovi or the underlying ageism in questioning the security of the future based on older musicians being the most monetarily successful (no one does that in the corporate sector). The assessment of popular culture through purely economic terms – via the amount of money made through sales of singles or albums or tours – overlooks huge changes in the way humans communicate, trade and process culture over the last few decades alone. Should sales figures form the basis on any discussion of popular culture when there are so many nonmonetary avenues (legal and illegal) for releasing and trading music? And if the answer to that is no, then how should popular culture be discussed? If, by general observation alone, we can say that less rock music is currently being played on the dominant forms of media, such as commercial
Blues ‘n’ roots with DAN CONDON firstname.lastname@example.org Eric Bibb is a masterful guitarist, singer and songwriter who has been an active performer for almost 40 years and releasing great records for more than ten. The fresh-faced 59-year-old is no stranger to Australian audiences, making sure he’s come to visit us at least once every couple of years and he is heading back for Bluesfest as well as a couple of special sideshows on the back of his latest studio album, Booker’s Guitar, and brand new live record, Troubadour Live!. Joining him on this tour, as well as on the aforementioned live record, is Swedish guitarist Staffan Astner, whose playing acts as a great counterpoint to Bibb’s fluid fingerstyle and soulful voice. Bibb and Astner will drop by the Palais, Hepburn Springs on Friday 8 April and South Gippsland’s Meeniyan Hall on Saturday 9 April. Then there’s Bob Dylan. You don’t need to read me crap on about how important Dylan is in the scheme of things, it would be embarrassing for all of us. This artist has such pull that he’s basically single-handedly forced the Monday of Bluesfest to be completely sold out and festival organisers and the Byron Council have agreed to extend the festival another day in order to fit him in for a second performance. Dylan will also play some sideshows down here, hitting Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday 20 April. Tickets are available from Ticketek from Monday morning, but you can hit bobdylan.com for details on a pre-sale, which I’d certainly recommend, just in case. The masterful Elvis Costello is back in Australia as one of the headliners for the festival and will of course stop by Melbourne-town for those who can’t make it up to Tyagarah over Easter. While he was initially known as a contributor to the punk and new wave scenes of the late-’70s as
radio, how do we dig deeper into the cluttered communications of individuals to calculate the impact of rock music on a person or group’s cultural experience? And should ironic, bellowed 5am renditions of Warrant’s Cherry Pie count? In the absence of any possible hard answer to these questions (except perhaps the last), even a general view of the most overt cultural actions of individuals – such as going to gigs – and the way they are discussed and interpreted brings up problems. Related to the statement about high-earning tours, similar arguments have begun to sprout about the current age of rock headliners of major music festivals, such as the Big Day Out here and Glastonbury in the UK. This year, ‘rock’ acts established in the last ten years make up a tiny percentage of bands playing the Big Day Out, especially in comparison to newer pop, rap and dance acts. Even then, ‘vintage’ rock acts trump the lot. What breakdowns like this overlook, however, are the number of newer festivals specifically angled to the ‘rock market’, or that these festivals are merely catering to the demands of an audience that has aged with them and are possibly given wider coverage than other cultural events due to an aging mainstream media staff clinging to what jobs are left. Even if the BDO is taken as a sign of things to come, it’s seemingly only a sign that we’re heading into an era where rock’s most influential players aren’t its youngest. The truth is, however, that, perhaps now more than ever, we can no longer look to the biggest events to tell us about the state of the largest number of people because people’s interactions with music are becoming smaller and more frequent. That said, watch out for Warrant’s new album, due for release this year.
well as that of British pub rock, Costello has more recently incorporated all sorts of different musical styles into his tunes – particularly alt. country and roots rock – and is certainly a welcome addition to the Bluesfest bill. There’s no doubt he’ll be just as exciting to witness performing at the Palais on Thursday 21 April; grab your tickets now from Ticketmaster for $119. Now, I guess this one isn’t technically a Bluesfest sideshow as such, not yet anyway, but it kind of is… Luciano is one of the biggest stars of modern reggae currently playing today. Since the release of his first records back in the early 1990s he has proven to be a fresh and vital voice in the world of roots reggae; his socially conscious flows have earned him incredibly high praise the world over but particularly in his home country of Jamaica. He is considered to be a very good role model and is forever preaching the virtues of positivity and hoping to get Jah’s word out to his fans. When Luciano & The Jah Messenjah Band play the Palace Theatre on Sunday 24 April, they will do so in support of legendary reggae group and Bluesfest highlight act Toots & The Maytals, a group who I’ve probably spoken about enough in recent months. Warrior King rounds out the bill. Tickets are available from the venue and Ticketek right now for $91.50. Here’s hoping Luciano makes it onto the third Bluesfest announcement. I’ll talk about a few more Bluesfest sideshows next week. On the local front, country/gospel/folk rock quintet Little John are going from strength to strength and have been doing so since their inception back in 2009. Last year saw them release their debut album Put Your Hands On Me, which was recorded in a Preston backyard before being mixed and mastered by the inimitable Kramer (Low, Will Oldham, Jon Spencer, Daniel Johnston) and now, by the looks of things, they just want to perform live as much as they possibly can. They play the Workers Club this Saturday night (with Mike Noga), the Old Bar every Sunday in February, the Espy every Monday in February and the Retreat Hotel (with Ron Peno) on Friday 18 February.
WE HEAR A RUMOUR
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
That monthly night of epic tuneage and much frivolity, Rumours, is back at the Gasometer this Friday after a Christmas break. Head on down, bring your friends, and cut loose for a few hours, why dontcha? There will be a $5 cover charge this time, which will be handed over to the Flood Relief Appeal.
MOUTH TO MOUTH Teeth & Tongue combine elements of pop, garage and post-punk with metronomic precision and haunting vocals. With support from garage pop duo Super Wild Horses and Liam and Rohan of My Disco’s side project, Slow Hog, Teeth & Tongue are not to be missed at the Grace Darling on Sunday 6 February for the first week of their February residency. This will be their first headline show in several months as Jess Cornelius and band have been busy in the studio, recording their forthcoming album Tambourine with Simon Grounds (Kes Band, Laura Jean, Bird Blobs), set for release in April 2011.
WHOA THERE Buried Horses will launch their debut album Tempest at the Tote on Saturday 19 February. To help celebrate this collection of beautiful songs depicting both an intimate knowledge of the desolate Australian landscape and a dark vision of the wider world, Buried Horses will be joined by some of Melbourne’s greatest live acts. The Spoils (trio) will make one of their all-too-infrequent outings to deliver their internationally acclaimed country-noir ballads, Brian Henry Hooper and his five-piece band will add a touch of rock royalty to the occasion and Perth expats Jack On Fire will open the night and may well become your new favourite band. Doors are 8pm and entry is a meagre $10.
YOU SAY TOMATO This March, three of the nation’s hottest young bands, Ball Park Music, Eagle & The Worm and We Say Bamboulee, will traverse the East Coast, joining forces for the Triple Rainbow tour, a tri-headline tour that came into fruition following the Triple J Unearthed competition that snared each a slot at the Big Day Out in their own territories. Catch them all at Northcote Social Club on Saturday 19 March. Tickets are $10 pre-sale and $13 on the door.
ROCK FOR RELIEF An eclectic mix of artists from the Melbourne music scene (including Pez & 360, The Melodics, The Bedroom Philosopher, Red Ink, Dead Actors Club, Garage Joe, Loon Lake and Jaime Robbie Reyne & The Broken Hearts) are joining forces to raise as much coin as possible for Aussie families in times of need. How? By bringing you good times! So if you’ve been looking for a way to help out, look no further and come down to the Hi-Fi on Saturday 12 February and help raise the roof off the joint. Tickets are $15+BF. There’s an under-18 show at 1pm, over-18s from 8pm.
PACK YOUR FESKY In 2008 brothers Jesse and Sam Drummond started their own music festival. The difference with Feskyval is that all the money raised goes to Kids Under Cover, an organisation that provides housing and support to hundreds of at-risk young people throughout Melbourne and Australia. This year the line-up includes Dan Brodie, Jordie Lane, Ancient Free Gardeners, Monique Kerr and many more. Feskyval will be held at CERES, Brunswick East on Saturday 26 February. Tickets are on sale now at feskyval.com or through Polyester, starting at $35.
WHITE LINE FEVER Having picked up a Rolling Stone 2011 Artist To Watch Award, on top of previous APRA and AIR award nominations, ex-Kiwis Bonjah have plenty to crow about. With a new single The White Line out this Friday and a brand new album due out in May, the band are launching a three-month tour, which will see them traversing four states. Catch them at Northcote Social Club on Saturday 26 March.
A FINE PEAR Brisbane folk-popsters Pear & The Awkward Orchestra proudly unveil their single Oh Katrina off their upcoming debut album, Smocks!, at the Wesley Anne on Friday 18 February. The quirky five-piece are joined by friends The Tiger & Me for a night full of whimsy, outrageously handmade merchandise and some homemade cupcakes to tickle your fancy. Tickets are $12 with a free single.
EVA POPOV from HELLO SATELLITES reports back for Inpress as the group tour through flood-affected Queensland. still keen to keep things going. So we play. We play in the bottom floor of a closed café which is packed in with people. We play at the Currumbin RSL with five sound technicians running around looking after us. We play at a downtown nightclub. Every venue surprises us with its stark contrast to the one that came before it. We are blessed to be doing shows with Brisbane’s McKisko, who blow us away with their beauty and intensity.
e do a practise pack the day before leaving Melbourne just to be sure that all the musical instruments, human bodies (four big, one small) and children’s theatre props (six long red legs and elephant head in a box) all fit in the van. On the morning we leave Melbourne it’s raining. Our packing diagram is soggy so we struggle a bit, but everything gets on the road safely. First stop: Peats Ridge Festival. When we play I am so shocked to see a lady in the audience mouthing the words to a Hello Satellites song as we play I stare dumbfounded until she looks down. Mental note: it’s not okay to stare.
Jack Colwell & The Owls play the Butterfly Club on Tuesday 1 February. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jack Colwell, vocals/piano: “Jack Colwell & The Owls is actually a solo project, kind of like Florence & The Machine or Marina & The Diamonds, but I’m lucky to have a backing band (The Owls) who I went to high school with at the Conservatorium Of Music in Sydney. Spending far too much time on the classics, we wanted to prove we were still cool and could roll with the hipsters, so we went from being serious classical musicians to serious folk junkies.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “In 2008 I released (independently) an EP called White Noise, which was mainly folktronica and I just recently finished recording my debut album, Picture Window, which will be in stores in April. But apart from that I’m sure if you looked hard enough you’d find some pretty bad bedroom demos out there from my angsty teen years (are there any other kind?)” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Classical magic unicorn spirits.”
On New Year’s Day we pack up in the heat to the airport to fly across Australia. I watch as we cross the ocean and fly over the red desert speckled with salt lakes. Our drummer Mark Gretton grew up on a community just south of Denmark and amongst our other WA shows they’ve invited us for a house concert. The landscape makes me think of Tim Winton novels. The community is very beautiful, with mudbrick houses and fruit trees and children and pianos and a beach which is clear and cool and deep. We arrive in Brisbane on 11 January – just as the city braces itself for massive flooding. As we fly down we go through miles and miles of cloud and when we land we can see those clouds emptying themselves over the wet city. A lot of the roads are closed but we catch a cab to the house where we’re staying, which is thankfully high on a hill and dry. Over the next couple of days we get some extras staying with us as the low-lying houses fill up with water. The house that Cat Kohn (multi-instrumentalist in Hello Satellites) was going to stay in eventually got flooded to a metre above the floor. We prepare ourselves for cancelled gigs but it seems like everyone is
At this stage we’ve all been away from home and in each other’s constant company for some weeks. The baby in Cat’s belly has started kicking her from the inside and her morning sickness bucket (known as the spew bucket) has been left alone for a little. We joke about how hard it all is – travelling from beautiful place to beautiful place playing music and being looked after by beautiful people, eating good food. In every way it feels like the world is looking after us. But I can tell after three weeks that maybe a bit of homesickness is starting to creep in. We are lucky enough to be allowed to stay in a community called Bundagen near Coffs Harbour in between gigs. We play at the community hall while they run a café, and swim in the beach. The boys go for a moonlit swim in a dam. It’s hard to imagine why we stay in our suburban houses in Melbourne when there are so many pretty places to live. I write now from Newcastle, where we did a show last night to a rowdy, dancing crowd. It makes me want to write heaps of upbeat dance songs because playing to a room of dancers is the best feeling ever. We’ve got five shows left on the tour, and although I’ve loved nearly every minute of it, I reckon it’s given me some juice to go back into the backroom and start recording again. List of things I have noticed on this tour: Australia’s coastline is beautiful. Full stop. There are crosses and wreaths lining the road along most of Australia’s highways. If you play music everyday with people you hang out with all the time, it gets easier. You gotta be real good at packing a van to fit in six people, a theatre show, and a band’s gear. If you do things that are out of your comfort zones, people generally look after you. It’s been heaps of fun and I can’t wait for the rest of the shows coming up, especially getting to play with two drummers at the Northcote Social Club show. Hello Satellites play the Northcote Social Club this Friday.
IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “I’d have to pick a solo artist on this one and it would be Kate Bush. A) She’s only ever done one tour so it would be the highest honour; B) Oh England, my lionheart would explode! (Plus I happen to know the Wuthering Heights dance move for move, so if she ever needed a back-up dancer? Kate, call me!) IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes on vinyl. Some serious break-ups and make-ups went hand in hand with this record. If that was already melted I might just grab Ultimate Kylie. DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “I have an old fur stole that is a ferret that I named William Henderson that I’ve had for years. He makes for good company and has known me as long as I can remember since I found him in a friend’s attic some many years ago.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “A feast fit for kings (to be eaten by two people). There’d definitely be a stuffed turkey if I was game enough…” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “This is actually going to be the first time I’ve been to Melbourne – suggestions anyone?”
Pageants are a four-piece sandal-gaze band from Melbourne’s northern suburbs. They are proud to be releasing their debut EP, Forbidden Delicious, which was recorded by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring). Support for the show at the Grace Darling this Friday comes courtesy of the excellent Witch Hats and Towels.
BULL’S EYE In 2009, Andy Bull released his impressive debut album We’re Too Young; a sprawling, imaginative collection of songs that earned him critical acclaim and the reputation amongst his contemporaries as Australia’s ‘songwriter’s songwriter’. Last year saw Owl Eyes launch her debut EP Faces, playing to a packed-out room in her hometown of Melbourne and winning over new fans in Sydney. This year the two will join forces for a string of dates in Sydney and Melbourne. See them at Pure Pop Records Friday 4 and at the Toff In Town Saturday 5 March.
ICY POLES Mijo Biscan will be launching his new EP, Fourteen Hours In A 4am Freezer, with a great band including the rhythm section of Mijo’s former band Lamplight, backing singers Aluka, haunting Sawchestra, harp and other treats. Written in a frozen shoebox in the isolated far north of Iceland and recorded in a ballroom villa in Berlin last year, this EP has space and natural ambience with stripped-back, raw performances by one of Melbourne’s revered songwriters. Biscan plays the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 23 February. Tickets $12.
NINJAS, UNCLES, KINGS Twelve Foot Ninja have quickly developed a reputation for high-quality musicianship, energetic stage presence and a conceptual depth for those seeking more than just your average band. Whatever you’re after, Twelve Foot Ninja promise some hard-rocking and thoughtprovoking performances. Catch them at the Prague this Saturday, with support from Uncle Chunk, Moroccan Kings and Wet Young Dolphin. Doors are at 8pm and entry is $15.
SATURDAY 29 JANUARY
ROCK, SURF, POP THE VOLCANIKS STELLARCASTER MATTER AT HAND
BOWLED OVER PBS 106.7 FM 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’ finest selectors, featuring Tony Black (The Beat Delivery), Bass Bin Laden (Bass Culture) and Zack (Rampage) spinning everything from hip hop, funk, electro and beats. 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, head down anyway, put in a gold coin donation, hang out by the BBQ, join in the festivities and check out PBS’ exceptional Friday presenters spinning tunes behind the decks.
DING! RAT VS POSSUM Ending 2010 with their dream spot at Meredith Music Festival and opening 2011 with main support slots for Brooklyn’s hype-tastic, Pitchfork darlings Sleigh Bells, Melbourne’s own psych-rock-tribalKraut enthusiasts Rat Vs Possum play a headline show at Ding Dong Lounge this Saturday with very special guests Witch Hats, Butcher Blades and Caught Ship. This will be RVP’s last Melbourne club show before heading off on tour around Australia and New Zealand including slots at the national Laneway Festival, Camp A Low Hum and Playground Weekender. Tickets are $12 through Oztix or $15 on the door. Doors open at 8pm.
A JUDDY GOOD TIME After the tragic passing of drummer, Justin ‘Juddy Rollar’ Brooke, in February 2009, Melbourne musicians The Blue Swimmers, Trust Us, Inkstain Pro & The Squid Squad and The Travvy Wonders Family Band will pay tribute to their friend and brother in rock’n’roll by playing a massive show on Saturday 5 February at the Evelyn. All of the bands and crew are doing this show for free and profits from this epic night of rock’n’roll will be donated to Juddy’s son Zephyr’s trust fund, and to Beyondblue: a national depression initiative to help raise awareness for mental health issues in young men. So get on down and support this great cause. Pre-sales are $10 or $15 on the door.
SOUTH OF THE BORDER Dr Mexico hit the Builders Arms this Saturday, fresh from the release of their debut album Techno Ono. Here’s you chance to be bad, for the band will be playing songs from the album, coupled with some new madness that will invoke the evil spirit of the El Chupacabra. Get down for some dirty pop grooves, Latino bump and the inevitable tequila standoff. Joining Dr Mexico will be melodic guns The Run Run and rock hooters Powerful Owl. Come gringos and senoritas for a night of rock’n’roll debauchery with a twist of lemon.
Danish punk rock trio De Høje Hæle (The High Heels) blast into Yah Yah’s this Friday for a night of riotous fun times. Since 2007 the band have toured extensively through Europe, Scandinavia and the States with their take on psychically tense KBD dark-wave-meets-The Kids-style punk. Now it’s Australia’s turn. Joining them on the night will be Newcastle nutjobs Spew Ya Guts Up, the frantic punk melody of Brainwaves and the rabble rousers of Infi nite Void. If you like your punk rock super energetic, super melodic, super talented and super fun, then there’s only one place to be on Friday night.
CHANNELLING THE GREATS Hear that sound? Raw, loose and nasty funk recorded straight to analog tape. It’s just like the old days, but so new it’s sporting a badass teenage moustache. The Cactus Channel are a ten-piece funk orchestra straight out of Princes Hill High School. With an average age of 17, these kids are burning down original funk breaks and breaking down funk originals with their soulful horn-driven style and an uncanny musical sensibility rarely found in the digital era. The band launch their debut release at Northside Records, 236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy at 3pm this Saturday with PBS FM’s DJ Manchild.
SEE THE LIGHT Light Lions are made up of 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 Noah and Tim’s playing history. Gigging steadily since October 2010, Light Lions are working through a January ‘11 Thursday residency at the Builders Arms. The residency will feature bands such as White Woods, A Dead Forest Index, Wunderlust, Aktion Unit, Mad Nanna, Atomic Chemistry (Woollen Kits/ Constant Mongrel) and more. Music starts at 8pm.
HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Lost MC, vocals: “We were told for years before we met that we would be friends. In Year 11 of high school our schools merged into one school and we got along from the word go. Waza was already in a punk band and I founded a new band that was a mix of hip hop and rock and asked Waza to jump on. Since that band we have been in four other bands together before ending up with just the two of us as The Havknotz. DJ Kilmer came onboard as our DJ in 2010 and has been with us since then.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We just released our EP, Music_Life_Pain, that’s out on iTunes now! Recording it at Albert Music Studios in Neutral Bay, Sydney was really uplifting. Seeing the AC/DC platinum and gold plaques on the wall was a great boost of inspiration. We had the night shift in the studio a lot and when times got tough we would see Bon Scott roaming the hallways telling us to ‘keep goin’ boys’. Recording with Rob Hirst was also amazing – it’s still hard to believe we have a true Aussie legend on our record.”
4PM - FREE THE CHANDELIER ROOM 91 COCHRANES ROAD, MOORABBIN VIC 3189. TEL: 9532 2288 WWW.CHANDELIERROOM.COM.AU
CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Return of the real.”
IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Faith No More – Angel Dust.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “I have a T-shirt that I got given in Miami that I wear to the studio a lot. As far as gigs go I try to rock a new shirt every time. Anything black works for me and my fave brand is Tribal.
At just 24 years old Jenny Biddle has earned a reputation as a very gifted and talented singer/ songwriter, and is acclaimed as a truly great guitarist. Biddle’s repertoire also incorporates piano, adding a dimension that when summed up with her guitar skills and vocal sound, has drawn comparisons to the likes of Missy Higgins and Kaki King. A winner of the 2009 Just Guitars Best Artist Award held at the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Biddle drew the attention of many new fans. She plays the Drunken Poet this Sunday from 4pm.
The Havknotz play the Corner Hotel this Thursday.
SINGER /SONGWRITER SESSIONS FINESSE MAURICE RODRIGUEZ
IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Hmm, that’s a hard one for us to just pick one act… For me it would be Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill, Faith No More and Hed PE. For Waza it would be Pearl Jam, Hed PE, Korn and Public Enemy. All of these groups are our heroes and influences so it would be an honour to warm up for them.”
The McClymonts have announced their national tour dates today from a snow-covered Nashville where they are writing songs for their third album with a number of Nashville’s most successful writers. With their exquisite three-part harmonies, soaring vocals and stunning onstage presence, it’s not surprising that The McClymonts have become the hottest new act in Australian country music and are fast becoming the talk of the industry in the USA. The McClymonts play Geelong PAC Playhouse Theatre on Friday 15, the Palms at Crown on Saturday 16 and the West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul on Sunday 17 April.
BIDDLE ME THIS
SUNDAY 30 JANUARY
HIGH AND MIGHTY
Preparations are well and truly underway to stage the first Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival in the last weekend of November 2011. A big part of the festival itself will revolve around an all-day concert in Rosalind Park, which will be a free-entry, familyfriendly event. As a show of good faith to potential backers and to demonstrate that the local music scene and the Bendigo community are keen to get behind this festival and make it happen, there will be a multi-band show at the Golden Vine Hotel on Saturday 5 February. Artists include: Andrew Higgs Band, Old Buzzard Medicine Show and Twelve Inch Clocks. Tickets $15. More info at myspace.com/bendigobluesandroots.
8PM - $6
IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “We can’t cook, so we’d take them to a crazy Brazilian restaurant and eat like kings.”
HAPPY FAMILIES Claude Hay, Cass Eager & The Velvet Rope and Chase The Sun share their roots in blues, but sound-wise they sit on very different branches of the family tree. Hay does his stomping one-man-band vibe, Eager and her band bring the classy sounds of soul, while Chase The Sun well and truly take care of the rock. Each of these artists released new material in 2010 to critical acclaim, and all have been appearing at major festivals Australia-wide this past year, while also making inroads into the international market. All three artists are booked by Rhythm Section Management, and have releases on the Only Blues Music label. It’s also the first time this particular family have been let out in public as a whole unit; and they’re excited. They’ll be visiting a raft of hot spots over summer, so catch up with them as they roam the highways in the family caravan. Just don’t feed them. They play the Evelyn on Thursday 3, Baha Tacos in Rye on Friday 4 and Cherry Bar on Saturday 5 February.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The Corner Hotel.”
OH, BROTHERS After an explosive year rounded up with festival bloodshed and a tsunami of tortilla chips, Puta Madre Brothers plan to ride their triple-one-man-band donkeys into an even bigger year ahead. With 39 shows in 43 days all over the European continent kicking off mid-February, followed by a tour of the USA, they are planning the biggest one-off show they can possibly put out. The formidable mariachi rock’n’roll threesome play their only Melbourne club show for six months at the Corner Hotel on Friday 4 February complete with Trompetas Tontopollas, a 14-piece trumpet entourage backing band! With their mustachioed brilliance, Puta Madre Brothers are joined by special guests The Town Bikes, Ross De Chene Hurricanes, BJ Morriszonkle and The Suitcase Royale for this one-night-only show. They will set your arse on fire if not their own. Tickets from the Corner Box Office now.
Australia Day Special Guest THURS 27TH
Alan James & The Speckled band FRI 28TH
terry mcCarty special SAT 29TH tunes by
dave gray TUES 1ST
Jimmy Stewart residency email@example.com
289 WELLINGTON ST COLLINGWOOD 94195170
KITCHEN OPEN 6 NIGHTS 56
HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS
WEED WILL ROCK YOU Howzat! remembers chatting with an Epitaph Records executive, who came to Australia in 1995 to promote The Sacrilicious Sounds Of The Supersuckers album. He didn’t know much Australian music, but he did say: “I saw an Australian band the other day – Tumbleweed. They were one of the worst bands I’ve ever seen.” I guess they were an acquired taste. Tumbleweed were hits from the ’gong – Wollongong – and the bong. I still love their classic stoner rock single Sundial, which pops up on the new double disc, The Waterfront Years, 1991 – 1993 (Aztec Music). Tumbleweed were there when the music changed – indeed, they supported Nirvana on their Australian tour. Though the song quality didn’t always match the coolness of the image, the sense of humour and raw energy remains.
CHART WATCH Just four Aussie singles in the Top 40.
Who’s That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number five)
Running On Air BLISS N ESO (27)
Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (16)
Get Closer KEITH URBAN (28)
Friday To Sunday JUSTICE CREW (22)
Get ’Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (33)
Rapunzel DRAPHT (25)
Immersion PENDULUM (39)
Three local albums in the top ten. We Are Born SIA (40) Twenty Ten GUY SEBASTIAN (number five) Altiyan Childs ALTIYAN CHILDS (six)
HOWZAT! PLAYLIST Buyer’s Remorse D. ROGERS
Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (ten) Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (17)
Biggest Bitch FIONA LEE MAYNARD
Gilgamesh GYPSY & THE CAT (21)
You Could Be Reported ICECREAM HANDS
He Will Have His Way VARIOUS (23)
Everything You Need NICK BATTERHAM
I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (25)
BEAUTIFUL DISASTERS “If you want to dance then I’m not your kind.” It’s an appropriate line at the start of D. Rogers’ new album, Natural Disasters (on Popboomerang Records), because you won’t see Dave dominating the pop charts alongside Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Indeed, he even admits in that opening track, Not Correct, “There is no one listening to me.” He seems happy enough, though there’s some envy in the album’s opening line: “Drunk at the awards ceremony, staring at the glittering prize.” “If I said that was based on real life, you’d know I was lying,” Dave laughs. “It’s that feeling that everybody around you is doing so well and you can only sit by and watch. And drink.” The album lands as the nation is battered by natural disasters. But this is not a record about floods or fire. Dave is singing about everyday struggle in the suburbs, “living from pay to pay”, “going through the motions”, “where unpaid bills dress the refrigerator” and “there’s always dishes in the sink”. “It’s the everyday struggle of the modern person,” Dave explains. “I’m obsessed with that idea at the moment. But I hope it doesn’t come across as completely negative because what I think is inspiring is the way people fight it. I put out music to fight it.” There’s a glorious simplicity to D. Rogers’ work, though the new album – his fourth – has plenty going on. “I feel I’ve been moving away from the ‘singer/songwriter’ mould over the last couple of years,” Dave says. “Nothing against it as a genre, but I was bored by the limitations. I was determined to make Natural Disasters the most band-sounding album I’ve made. So, for me, this album is like hitting the singer/songwriter in me over the head with a blunt object, driving out to secluded bushland and burying the body in a shallow grave.” Speaking of bands, Dave changes his band name every time there’s a line-up change. He’s been D. Rogers and … The Well Wishers, The Magnificent Bastards, The Early Adopters and They Who Ride The Tiger. The band for the launch show (at the Northcote Social Club on Friday 4 February) is called The Blackline Masters. “I had to change the name again because we’ve added another member, Amy Bennett, who plays keyboard/viola. Emma Heeney and Dave Kleynjans, who have been around since the Magnificent Bastard days, continue to be the heart and soul of the band.” Asked to nominate his three favourite Australian songwriters, Dave lists, “James and Rob from The Boat People. Chandeliers is one of my favourite albums. They write songs the way songs should be written. Next I’ll put Bec and John from The Millers Tale. I’ve loved everything they put out and Union Square may be one of the greatest songs ever written. Third place is a tie between Emma Heeney, Ben Birchall, Tim Reid, Adrian Whitehead, John Palmer, Georgia Fields, Matt Downey and Tom Morgan. You said three, right?” D. Rogers sits easily among such talent. His sound might not be fashionable, but he certainly knows how to pen a piercing pop song. World-weary has rarely sounded this wonderful. It’s still January, but I’m sure that Natural Disasters will find a happy home in Howzat!’s 2011 best-of.
HANDS ACROSS NORTHCOTE The year’s first big reunion happens this Saturday at the Northcote Social Club. Icecream Hands haven’t played much since releasing their fifth album, The Good China, in 2007. “But we’ve never broken up,” says singer Charles Jenkins. “We’re just too lazy to do a farewell tour.” This gig was meant to be the launch of the new Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos album, Walk This Ocean, but then guitarist Davey Lane discovered he had a You Am I gig in WA, so Charles organised a Hands reunion instead. They’ll be playing their 1999 classic Sweeter Than The Radio, one of Howzat!’s ten favourite Aussie albums of all time.
Australia Day Hangover Party, Midnight Caller, Aktion Unit, Shit Wizard, Glavobones, Fuck You Astrology Workers Club Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bohjass, Edel Plastik, Damien Ellis Trio 303 Coloured Stone East Brunswick Club Company Fuck, Jason Kahn, Stasis Duo, Oren Ambarchi, Joe Talia, Mani Neumeier Stutter Dan Hot, Copse, Dom Cooley & The Shit Hats, The Scholars Esplanade Basement Den Hanrahan The Standard Hotel El Moth Bar Open Far Concern, The Motifs, Isle Adore Builders Arms Hotel Gold Chisel, DJ Bongmist, Rewind 8oS Prince Bandroom Harmony, The Death Rattles, Jacky Winter The Old Bar Ikarii, My Echo, The City In Motion, Brighter at Night, Vendetta Fields The Arthouse Jessica Moussi, Malia Sloman Quartet Wesley Anne Kaskade Riva Kimbra, Big Scary, Northeast Party House, Howl, Demon Parade, Gold Fields, Bleeding Knees Club, Stonefield, Wilfred Jackal Esplanade Lounge LABJACD Belgian Beer Café Lady Noir, Agent 86, Kiti, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq Mia Dyson, Jen Cloher, Kieran Ryan, Chris Altmann, Liz Stringer, Van Walker, Jordie Lane Northcote Social Club Obliveus, Manchild, Moonshine, Tahl, Matt Radovich, Lindsay Marchment Bimbo Deluxe Olof Arnalds, Grand Salvo, Tiny Ruins The Toff In Town Open Mic Bendigo Hotel Open Mic Brunswick Hotel Open Mic Elwood Lounge Open Mic Soft Belly Bar Peter Tollich, Stand & Deliver Co., Crown Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Pikelet Know Your Product Festival Royal Crown Revue, Boom! Bap! Pow! Corner Hotel Scout! Scout!, Kate Crowley, Matt Glass Edinburgh Castle Hotel Secretive George, The Townhouses, ESC, Southpaw Empress Hotel
Skinwalkers, Bitter Sweet Kicks, Threesome, Vice Grip Pussies, Kim Volkman, TJ Honeysuckle, Adalita Revolver Special Guests The Gem The Level Spirits, Sammy & the Time Bombs Cherry Bar The Miserable Little Bastards, Rory Ellis Duo Retreat Hotel The Nation Blue, Coerce, Arrows, Brainwaves, The Hawaiian Islands, The Gun Runners, ANCHORS, Headache, High Heals The Tote The Skylines, Lyndall Barry & the Apollo, Rush of Colour Evelyn Hotel Tito Puente Jnr, Salcedo Orquesta Del Barrio, Ileana Posas, Saul Zavarce Sidney Myer Music Bowl Triple J Hottest 100 Party Grumpys Green Trivia The Vic Vickey Jacobs The Butterfly Club Wednesday Warm Up Rubys Lounge Wine, Whiskey, Women, Naomi Jones, Suzie Dickinson The Drunken Poet Yan Jun, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang Empress Hotel, Arvo Show Zennith, Oka, Dave Arden, Lady Lash, The Brolga Boys, the maza sisters Treasury Gardens
Adam Bartas, Dean Paps, Luke Will, Jody McLeod, Heath Renata, Kizzam Dakota, Ringwood Alan James & the Speckled Band The Gem Alex & Tobes Dan O’Connell, Carlton Alters of Sin, Agave Maize, Maniaxe, Harlott The Prague Animaux, Winton Hill, Wire Bird John Curtin Hotel Anna’s Go Go Academy The Vic Boom! Bap! Pow! Bertha Brown Brat Farrar, Chook Race, Bad Aches Yah Yah’s Brendan Skinner Wesley Anne Casey Dean Urban Central Cocorosie, Oscar & Martin, Tez Prince Bandroom Constantina & the Bushettes Red Bennies Den Hanrahan Union Hotel Brunswick Finlo White Co., Crown Haynestown Great Britain Hotel
Hed(pe), The HavKnots, Ben G Corner Hotel Jake O’Leary, China, Jimmy Cox, James Rosales, Joel Alpha Valve Jaspora, The Natural Culture, Madre Monte Evelyn Hotel Jeff & Pete Elephant and Wheelbarrow Jenny Biddle Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Jessie I, Major Krazy First Floor Junk & Jill, BJ Winters, The Final Cut, Smoke Cheetah The Arthouse Ladies Night, Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Let Me Down Jungleman, Gently, On Sierra, Have Hold, Hunter The Old Bar Light Lion, Atomic Chemistry, Mad Nanna Builders Arms Hotel Mickey Cosmo, Andreas, TMC Red Love Cocktail Bar Miles Jnr, Dwayne Thompson, Tom Evans White Charlie Milk Teddy, Isle Adore, Full Ugly The Tote Monkey Marc, Mike Kay, Simon Winkler, Declan Kelly Empress Hotel Noizy Neighbours Room 680 Rashaan Ahmad, Paper Plane Project, Mike Katz, Ennio Styles, Chris Gill Bar Open Reece Dillon & the Jellybabies, Caillan Dokic, Gemma Williams 303 Reverse Fox, Carly Fern, Two Cent Side Show Idgaff Bar and Venue Rights of Passage, Tattoo Expo Opening Party, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Pony Rock City Riff Raff Esplanade Lounge Ross Horkings, Jamie Vlahos, Matt Dean Billboard Rosstown DJ’s Rosstown Hotel Ruby Cartel Edinburgh Castle Hotel Scotty E Wheelers Hill Hotel September Falls, My Favourite Accident, Good Til Sunrise, DJ B-Mull Revolver Shinto Katana, Lover’s Grave, A Fate Worse Than Death Next Skylines Cherry Bar Son Tres Mi Corazon Station DJ’s Station Hotel Switch DJ’s Eve Bar Tehachapi, Planet Love, South & North East Party House Workers Club
The Bucket Room, Local Singer Songwriter Night Grumpys Green The Currency Retreat Hotel The Last Night on Jupiter Brunswick Hotel The Vasco Era Federation Square Tommy McNulty Duo, Lily and King The Drunken Poet Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH The Toff In Town U-One, Dave Pham, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Virtual Proximity, Tuan Beser, Johan Elg Loop WHO, Agent 86, Lewis cancut Lucky Coq
Adam 12, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Avenue Blue Diamond Billy Connelly The Arts Centre Bitch Prefect, Geoff O’Connor, Divorce Workers Club Black Milk Esplanade Gershwin Room Boogs, Phil K, Musca, Andrew Padula The Decca Broni Gertrude’s Brown Couch Brother Johnstone, The Woolworths Blues Singers, Jason Lowe Empress Hotel Burn In Hell, Cold Harbour, DJ Mantooth Retreat Hotel Citrus Jam, Goodbye Galaxy, Fence Ryders Idgaff Bar and Venue Clagg, Disentomb, Desecrator, Dire Fate The Tote Colm Mac Con Imaire Melbourne Recital Centre Constantina & the Bushettes Red Bennies CQ DJ’s CQ Bar Crystal Castles, My Disco, House of Beggers The Palace Theatre De Hoje Haele, Spew Your Guts Up, Brainwaves, Infi nite Void, Tasty Cakes Yah Yah’s Dean Carroll Earthworkers, Apple Jack, Gateless Gate Edinburgh Castle Hotel Defiance Ohio, Fear Like Us, Will Wagner & The Smith Street Band, Let Me Down Jungleman, Gently The Arthouse Diamond & Gallagher Fortyfive Downstairs Diamond Dancers, Baby D, Julz, Yatha, Nova, Nousky Lotus Bar & Lounge DJ Circle Jerks The Sporting Club
Eddie Mac, Chris Ng White Charlie Element Elephant and Wheelbarrow Francolin Builders Arms, early show Hayfever, The Pretty Littles, The Mohan Veena Cherry Bar Hello Satelites, Ainslie Wills, Parking Lot Experiments Northcote Social Club Jason Midro, Bexta, Master Kaos, Jewelz, Dj Kat, Steve Strangis Platform One Jelly Tub Rollers, Nacho Time, Celeste Kate Wesley Anne Jimmy Tait, Highwater Ballroom Band, Roller One, Skyscraper Stan The Old Bar Jon Montes, Beaker Abode LABJACD Night Cat Lone Tiger Grumpys Green Luke McD Ladida Matt & Earl James Squire Brewhouse Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq Max Vagas Bertha Brown Mos Def Esplanade Front Bar Mu-Gen, NXR Eurotrashbar Neon Love Ding Dong Lounge Orlando The Vic Other, Ancient Slate, Water Music, Working Horse Irons, Des Hefner, Desktop Pro Pony Pageants, Witch Hats, Towels Grace Darling Hotel Peril, Sef, Achos, Shaggz, Dinesh, NYD Marrakech Lounge Platinum DJ’s Valve Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Rainshadow, Automata, Nemesphyxia, Adamus Exul, Demonic Tempest Central Club Hotel Rebecca Mendoza Quartet Bennetts Lane Red Love DJ’s Red Love Cocktail Bar Retro DJ’s Club Retro Ryan Katzen, Shaggz, NYD Tryst Bar San Tran 28 Room 680 Silent Rose, My Own Morbidity, Psytonal, Heathen Ritual The Prague Simon Slieker, Mo Ichi, Freya, Mish’chief, Katie Drover, Shane Copal Bimbo Deluxe Sircuit DJ’s, Gavin Campbell Sircuit
Snowy Belfast, Love At This Volume, Kashmere Club Brunswick Hotel Station DJ’s Station Hotel Sting, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Sidney Myer Music Bowl Terry McCarthy Special The Gem The Awesomes Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda The Big Hoo Haa Portland Hotel The Black Sorrows, Adventure Spirit Caravan Music Club The Charlies Bar Open The Coincidents, Gruntbucket, The Bell Parade Builders Arms Hotel The Naked and Famous, Undercolours Corner Hotel The Oily Girls, The Shambelles, Cyndi Boste Bendigo Hotel The Romeo Knights Public Bar The Verlaines, Songs, Panel Of Judges East Brunswick Club Tornado Wallace, Lopan, Cosmo K, aDD, VJ Jem the Misfit Loop Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet Trash DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub Treasure Fingers, Djedjonic, Housemeister, Glass Mirrors, Nick Foley, Kris Baha, Marco Polo Prince Bandroom Trevor Jones Duo The Butterfly Club Vice Grip Pussies Lyrebird Lounge Wendy Rule 303 Zona Roia Copacabana
1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Mu-Gen, Megawuoti, Dceed Eurotrashbar Actor Slash Model, New Estate, Scale Models, Popsingles, DJ Salty Discharge The Old Bar Adam Askew, Henry Thorn, Peter Baker, Sam McEwin, Adam Trace, Myagi, Samari, Myles Mac, Tom Evans Bimbo Deluxe Adam Bartas, Spacey Space, Chris Papas, PTFFP, Mark John, Wei Shen White Charlie Andrew W.K (USA) The Hi-Fi Apple Jack 303 Audio Porn 161 Azucar Mi Corazon BABBA Melbourne Zoo Babewatch Love Machine Billy Connelly The Arts Centre
BJ Morriszonkle, Dead, Another Rotting Corpse Public Bar Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, Nick Coleman, Tom Evans, Damon Walsh, Dean Benson, Nick Jones, Ash Lee Platform One Boogs, Phil K, Musca, Andrew Padula The Decca Budd, Poppin Mommas, Golden Shower The Tote Canos + The Buegs, Language of the Birds, The House deFROST, Andee Frost The Toff In Town Catatonic, Lady J, SmuDJ, Syme Tollens Abode Chill James Squire Brewhouse Confession, At War With Gods Bang Confession Royal Melbourne Hotel Constantina & the Bushettes, Edd Fisher, Errol Flynn, Mike Gurrieri Red Bennies Cumbia Cosmonauts, Monkey Marc Bar Open Dan Hot, City In Motion, Hooker Powered Moon Rocket, Vimm, The Ivory Elephant, Catfish Voodoo, The Pups Brunswick Hotel Dan O’Connell Fiddlers Dan O’Connell, Carlton Dave Gray The Gem Diamond & Gallagher Fortyfive Downstairs Dirty Laundry, Mr Timothy, DJ Strauss, Dean T Fusion, Crown DJ Artie, Dean G, Luke De Angelo, USO Tryst Bar DJ Mary, The Original Snakeskin, Midnight Woolf, The Murder Rats, DJ Xander Retreat Hotel Dr Detroit Blue Diamond Dr Mexico, Run Run, Powerfull Owl Builders Arms Hotel Ennis Tola, Xenograft, Shoes for Strings East Brunswick Club Faeorin, Problem Child, Ben Evans, Punkz On Junk, Blinky, Loki, Henk.D Loop Fingerbone Bill Union Hotel Brunswick Fuzz Phantoms, 8 Bit Love, The Statics, Creatures of Karma, Yacht Club DJ’s Rats @ Brown Alley Gimme Skelter Station 59 Goyim Wesley Anne Icecream Hands, Andrew Cox, The Wellingtons Northcote Social Club Jack Talbot, John Baptise, Van-G, Genetix, Bran Kalus, T-Rek Wah Wah Lounge
Jail Bird Jokers, September Falls, Mount Field Plans, Gregory Friday & the Nights Esplanade Basement Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy Billboard Jesus, DJ Agey, Andy R, Adrian Marolda, Rob Sama, Dean Paps, Matty Grant Marrakech Lounge JJ Symon & The Monochromes, The Vegetable Projects, Kate Walker Empress Hotel, Arvo Show Joe Robinson Bennetts Lane Johnny Hawkin Grumpys Green Jungal, The Emma Wall Band Northcote Town Hall Ladies Night, C-Bas Station Hotel Little Murders, The Exotics, The Breadmakers Grace Darling Hotel Loveproof Great Britain Hotel Malcolm Hill, Andrew McCubbin Edinburgh Castle, early show Marching Orders, The Saucermen, The Tear Aways, Last Call The Arthouse Mark Pellegrini, Jason Sirini, Andreas, Nick Van Wilder, Michael T, Mas, Danny Merx Trak Mary J Blige, Jimmy Cliff, Maxi Priest, Sean Paul, The Original Wailers, The Black Seeds, The Red Eyes Raggamuffin Festival Matthew Charles Eve Bar Max Jahufer, Seri Vida, Burn City Queenz, Miss Beats, So Fire Bendigo Hotel Metrik Elephant and Wheelbarrow Mike Noga Farewell Show, Little John, Chris Altman Workers Club Moonshine, Pacman, Ash Lee, Kodiak Kid, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Tahl Lucky Coq Moose Jaw Rifle Club Labour In Vain Motel DJ’s The Motel Mr Black & Blues The Drunken Poet Nick Charles, The Little Stevies St Andrews Hotel Oh Deanna, The Death Rattles, Hotei Empress Hotel Open Mic Competition, CSS, Romy, Grouse Party DJs Corner Hotel Pean, Ralph, Luke Will Dakota, Ringwood Play-Doh Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Pretty Suicide, Decimatus, Desecrator Cherry Bar
74 JOHNSTON ST FITZROY 9417 4155 WWW.THEOLDBAR.COM.AU OPEN EVERY NIGHT
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WEDNESDAY 26TH JANUARY
12PM - 3AM
HARMONY THE DEATH RATTLES JACKY WINTER THURSDAY 27TH JANUARY
12PM - 3AM
ON SIERRA HAVE HOLD HUNTER FRIDAY 28TH JANUARY
12PM - 3AM
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8.30PM $10 1AM FREE
12PM - 3AM
7TH ANNUAL RESIDENCY THE ONCE OVERS RYAN STERLING & THE SISTER CITY THE STEINS CELEBRITY CHEF & BBQ 7PM $5 DJ 12AM FREE MONDAY 31ST JANUARY 5PM - 3AM
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TANE JOSH STIRLING
5PM - 3AM
firstname.lastname@example.org Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Red Eye DJ’s Red Eye Nightclub Red Love DJ’s Red Love Cocktail Bar Satanic Lovers, Dumb Shit, Baaddd, Dead Ants Rainbow, Voodootake, Kids Of Zoo, Slugger Fontaine Pony Scotty Erdos, Phil Ross, Nick James, On Time The Loft Sean McMahon’s Western Union Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Simon Digby, James Belias, Ganz, Nik M Alumbra Snack Attack DJ’s, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Susy Blue Builders Arms, early show The Cactus Channel Northside Records The Charlies, The Perfections, Mimi Velevska John Curtin Hotel The Cuban Brothers, DJ Mary Tyler Moore, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge The Hostiles The Post Office Club Hotel The Last Five Minutes, Delsinki Jane, Conway Savage Pure Pop Records
The Madness Method, SteelBirds, Kellie Fernando Bird Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Reefers, Shaky Memorial Yah Yah’s The Volcanics, Stellarcaster, Matter At Hand The Chandelier Room Tom Evans, Nick Jones, Ryan Wells, Josh & Sash, Mee2, Nick Flemming Valve Trevor Jones Duo The Butterfly Club Twelve Foot Ninja, Uncle Chunk, Moroccan Kings, Wet Young Dolphin The Prague Weekender, Ding Dong DJ’s Ding Dong Lounge Wonderland DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub
Afrodescia Alumbra Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town Askew, Peter Baker, Booshank, Paz, Ms Butt, Junji Lucky Coq Aurora Jane, Rosie Burgess, Tuohy & Flynn Bendigo Hotel
Beaches, Romy, Jessica Says Royal Melbourne Hotel Carry Nation, McKisko Edinburgh Castle, early show Chardy, Luke McD, Nick Young, Aaron Trotman, Tom Evans, Anyo Circus Nightclub Clare Bowditch, Roz Hammond, Noni Hazelhurst, Terri Psiakis, Sarah Carroll, Michaela McGuire, Alexander Gow Thornbury Theatre Dishpan Fingers Edinburgh Castle Hotel DJ Competition The Sporting Club Duchesz, Anya First Floor Elk & Whale, Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue, Chook Race, Bertie Page Clinic The Prague Film Night Red Bennies Finesse, Maurice Rodriguez The Chandelier Room Fisker, Star Caps on Will, Martian Kings, Hostile Universe, Flounder, Fortnight Jumbo, Drop Bunny Esplanade Gershwin Room Grand Wazoo Blue Diamond Grand Wazoo Blue Diamond Gruntbucket Marquis Of Lorne Hotel
Haynestown, Rusted Brunswick Hotel Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Hy-Test, Spencer P Jones, Kids Of Zoo, The Peep Tempel, The Loveless, War of the Gargantuans The Tote Internal Rot, Garbage Guts, Trench Sisters, Infamous Butcher Yah Yah’s Jenny Biddle, Steve Hoy Duo, Trivia The Drunken Poet Jesus, Sammy Hallowell, Sam Gudge, Sauce The Roxy Joel Plymin & Them Blues Cats Great Britain Hotel Kooky Karaoke w. Fred Negro & Bec Cherry Bar Liza (On a E) The Hi-Fi Madonna, Wilderbeast, Joe McGuigan Bar Open Monique DiMatina Grumpys Green Officer Parrot 303 Palomino Builders Arms, early show Pat Mckernan PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe
Poor People, Pop Singles, Extreme Wheeze Workers Club Rockbottom James & Quadrajet Retreat Hotel Ross Wilson, Ross Wilson & the Peacenicks Melbourne Zoo Spectrum St Andrews Hotel Steve Poltz, Jessica Paige Riverview Function Centre Suzannah Espie & The Last Word Union Hotel Brunswick The Boys, The Lloyd Weir Wesley Anne The Once Overs, Ryan Sterling & The Sister City, The Steins The Old Bar The ReChords The Gem The Thing, Anla Courtis, Oren Ambarchi, Joe Tahlia Duo Northcote Social Club Tim Butt Dan O’Connell, Carlton Tool, Rammstein, Iggy & the Stooges, M.I.A, John Butler Trio, Grinderman, Wolfmother, Paul Dempsey, Birds Of Tokyo Big Day Out Festival Tropical Gordon, Lights of Heathrow, Chiliad Builders Arms Hotel
Twelve Legged Beast, The Feel Goods Evelyn Hotel Under The Apple Tree Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Vika Bull, The Hornets Williamstown RSL Waz E James Band The Standard Hotel Zaite, Nyce Bryce, Wonzo, Kenjii, Stu Mac Provincial Hotel
5 Stars Bitch, Trivia The Toff In Town Adam & Fergus & Friends Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Bird & the Bomb, Tiger Funk Lucky Coq Booka Shade, Acid Jacks, A + O Prince Bandroom Closed Grumpys Green Daz Hammond Combo 303 Deftones The Palace Theatre Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band The Old Bar
Glasfrosch, Fifla Lizard, Colour ‘N’ Movement, The Duke of Goblincore, Crazy Elf Empress Hotel Josh Owen Band Esplanade Lounge Ms Kiti, Lady Noir Bimbo Deluxe Passionate Tongues Poetry Brunswick Hotel Radio Star, The Boo Hoo Hoos Workers Club Ratatat, Canyons, The Alps The Hi-Fi Sircuit DJ’s Sircuit Stephen Walker Benefit, The Skull Cave All Stars, The Dirty Three, Gareth & Dan, Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, Ron Peno, The Sand Pebbles, Max Crawdaddy, RRR DJ’s Forum Theatre Sufjan Stevens The Arts Centre The Jim Jones Revue, Kim Salmon Corner Hotel
Chelsea Plumley The Butterfly Club
Cisco Caesar, Hopwood, Matt Glass, The Beautiful Change Esplanade Basement Dan Webb, Kins Evelyn Hotel David Schwartz, Anthony Hudson, Kevin Bartlett, Mark Robinson Wheelers Hill Hotel Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s Forum Theatre Elk & Whale, Tane, Josh Stirling The Old Bar Ken Walker, Wes Bucello Casey’s Nightclub Klub M.U.K 303 M.I.A, Die Antwood The Palace Theatre Magic Mountain Band, Jordie Lane The Toff In Town Open Mic Dan O’Connell, Carlton Open Mic Empress Hotel Plan B, Paris Wells Prince Bandroom Rock Aerobics, DJ Adalita Retreat Hotel SIA Palais Theatre Stooges DJ Derek Cherry Bar The Brunswick Discovery, Road Ratz, Chook Race, Dive Bombers Brunswick Hotel
BANG Saturday Confession, At War With Gods
BAR OPEN Wednesday El Moth Thursday Rashaan Ahmad, Paper Plane Project, Mike Katz, Ennio Styles, Chris Gill Friday The Charlies Saturday Cumbia Cosmonauts, Monkey Marc Sunday Madonna, Wilderbeast, Joe McGuigan
BENDIGO HOTEL Wednesday Open Mic Friday The Oily Girls, The Shambelles, Cyndi Boste Saturday Max Jahufer, Seri Vida, Burn City Queenz, Miss Beats, So Fire Sunday Aurora Jane, Rosie Burgess, Tuohy & Flynn
BLUE DIAMOND Friday Avenue Saturday Dr Detroit Sunday Grand Wazoo Sunday Grand Wazoo
BRUNSWICK HOTEL Wednesday Open Mic Thursday The Last Night on Jupiter Friday Snowy Belfast, Love At This Volume, Kashmere Club Saturday Dan Hot, City In Motion, Hooker Powered Moon Rocket, Vimm, The Ivory Elephant, Catfish Voodoo, The Pups Sunday Haynestown, Rusted Monday Passionate Tongues Poetry Tuesday The Brunswick Discovery, Road Ratz, Chook Race, Dive Bombers
BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL Wednesday Far Concern, The Motifs, Isle Adore Thursday Light Lion, Atomic Chemistry, Mad Nanna Friday The Coincidents, Gruntbucket, The Bell Parade Saturday Dr Mexico, Run Run, Powerfull Owl Sunday Tropical Gordon, Lights of Heathrow, Chiliad
Wednesday The Level Spirits, Sammy & the Time Bombs Thursday Skylines Friday Hayfever, The Pretty Littles, The Mohan Veena Saturday Pretty Suicide, Decimatus, Desecrator Sunday Kooky Karaoke Kooky Karaoke w. Fred Negro & Bec Tuesday Stooges DJ Derek
CORNER HOTEL Wednesday Royal Crown Revue, Boom! Bap! Pow! Thursday Hed(pe), The HavKnots, Ben G Friday The Naked and Famous, Undercolours Saturday Open Mic Competition, CSS, Romy, Grouse Party DJs Monday The Jim Jones Revue, Kim Salmon
EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB Wednesday Coloured Stone Friday The Verlaines, Songs, Panel Of Judges Saturday Ennis Tola, Xenograft, Shoes for Strings
EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL Wednesday Scout! Scout!, Kate Crowley, Matt Glass Thursday Ruby Cartel Friday Dean Carroll Earthworkers, Apple Jack, Gateless Gate Saturday The Madness Method, SteelBirds, Kellie Fernando Bird Sunday Dishpan Fingers
EMPRESS HOTEL Wednesday Secretive George, The Townhouses, ESC, Southpaw Thursday Monkey Marc, Mike Kay, Simon Winkler, Declan Kelly Friday Brother Johnstone, The Woolworths Blues Singers, Jason Lowe Saturday Oh Deanna, The Death Rattles, Hotei Monday Glasfrosch, Fifla Lizard, Colour ‘N’ Movement, The Duke of Goblincore, Crazy Elf Tuesday Open Mic
CARAVAN MUSIC CLUB
EMPRESS HOTEL, ARVO SHOW
Friday The Black Sorrows, Adventure Spirit
Wednesday Yan Jun, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang
CHANNELLING THE GREATS Hear that sound? Raw, loose and nasty funk recorded straight to analog tape. It’s just like the old days, but so new it’s sporting a badass teenage moustache. The Cactus Channel are a ten-piece funk orchestra straight out of Princes Hill High School. With an average age of 17, these kids are burning down original funk breaks and breaking down funk originals with their soulful horn-driven style and an uncanny musical sensibility rarely found in the digital era. The band launch their debut release at Northside Records, 236 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy at 3pm this Saturday with PBS FM’s DJ Manchild. Saturday JJ Symon & The Monochromes, The Vegetable Projects, Kate Walker
ESPLANADE BASEMENT Wednesday Dan Hot, Copse, Dom Cooley & The Shit Hats, The Scholars Saturday Jail Bird Jokers, September Falls, Mount Field Plans, Gregory Friday & the Nights Tuesday Cisco Caesar, Hopwood, Matt Glass, The Beautiful Change
GRACE DARLING HOTEL Friday Pageants, Witch Hats, Towels Saturday Little Murders, The Exotics, The Breadmakers
IDGAFF BAR AND VENUE Thursday Reverse Fox, Carly Fern, Two Cent Side Show Friday Citrus Jam, Goodbye Galaxy, Fence Ryders
ESPLANADE FRONT BAR
JOHN CURTIN HOTEL
Friday Mos Def
Thursday Animaux, Winton Hill, Wire Bird Saturday The Charlies, The Perfections, Mimi Velevska
ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM Friday Black Milk Sunday Fisker, Star Caps on Will, Martian Kings, Hostile Universe, Flounder, Fortnight Jumbo, Drop Bunny
ESPLANADE LOUNGE Wednesday Kimbra, Big Scary, Northeast Party House, Howl, Demon Parade, Gold Fields, Bleeding Knees Club, Stonefield, Wilfred Jackal Thursday Rock City Riff Raff Saturday The Cuban Brothers, DJ Mary Tyler Moore, Phil Para Sunday Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Josh Owen Band
EVELYN HOTEL Wednesday The Skylines, Lyndall Barry & the Apollo, Rush of Colour Thursday Jaspora, The Natural Culture, Madre Monte Sunday Twelve Legged Beast, The Feel Goods Tuesday Dan Webb, Kins
LABOUR IN VAIN Saturday Moose Jaw Rifle Club
MARQUIS OF LORNE HOTEL Saturday Sean McMahon’s Western Union Sunday Gruntbucket Monday Adam & Fergus & Friends
NEXT Thursday Shinto Katana, Lover’s Grave, A Fate Worse Than Death
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Wednesday Mia Dyson, Jen Cloher, Kieran Ryan, Chris Altmann, Liz Stringer, Van Walker, Jordie Lane Friday Hello Satelites, Ainslie Wills, Parking Lot Experiments Saturday Icecream Hands, Andrew Cox, The Wellingtons Sunday The Thing, Anla Courtis, Oren Ambarchi, Joe Tahlia Duo
Thursday Rights of Passage, Tattoo Expo Opening Party, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Friday Other, Ancient Slate, Water Music, Working Horse Irons, Des Hefner, Desktop Pro Saturday Satanic Lovers, Dumb Shit, Baaddd, Dead Ants Rainbow, Voodootake, Kids Of Zoo, Slugger Fontaine
PRINCE BANDROOM Wednesday Gold Chisel, DJ Bongmist, Rewind 8oS Thursday Cocorosie, Oscar & Martin, Tez Friday Treasure Fingers, Djedjonic, Housemeister, Glass Mirrors, Nick Foley, Kris Baha, Marco Polo Monday Booka Shade, Acid Jacks, A + O Tuesday Plan B, Paris Wells
PUBLIC BAR Friday The Romeo Knights Saturday BJ Morriszonkle, Dead, Another Rotting Corpse
RETREAT HOTEL Wednesday The Miserable Little Bastards, Rory Ellis Duo Thursday The Currency Friday Burn In Hell, Cold Harbour, DJ Mantooth Saturday DJ Mary, The Original Snakeskin, Midnight Woolf, The Murder Rats, DJ Xander Sunday Rockbottom James & Quadrajet Tuesday Rock Aerobics, DJ Adalita
REVOLVER Wednesday Skinwalkers, Bitter Sweet Kicks, Threesome, Vice Grip Pussies, Kim Volkman, TJ Honeysuckle, Adalita Thursday September Falls, My Favourite Accident, Good Til Sunrise, DJ B-Mull
THE CHANDELIER ROOM Saturday The Volcanics, Stellarcaster, Matter At Hand Sunday Finesse, Maurice Rodriguez
THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Naomi Jones, Suzie Dickinson Thursday Tommy McNulty Duo, Lily and King Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Mr Black & Blues Sunday Jenny Biddle, Steve Hoy Duo, Trivia
THE GEM Wednesday Special Guests Thursday Alan James & the Speckled Band Friday Terry McCarthy Special Saturday Dave Gray Sunday The ReChords
THE HI-FI Saturday Andrew W.K (USA) Sunday Liza (On a E) Monday Ratatat, Canyons, The Alps
THE OLD BAR Wednesday Harmony, The Death Rattles, Jacky Winter Thursday Let Me Down Jungleman, Gently, On Sierra, Have Hold, Hunter Friday Jimmy Tait, Highwater Ballroom Band, Roller One, Skyscraper Stan Saturday Actor Slash Model, New Estate, Scale Models, Popsingles, DJ Salty Discharge
Sunday The Once Overs, Ryan Sterling & The Sister City, The Steins Monday Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band Tuesday Elk & Whale, Tane, Josh Stirling
THE PRAGUE Thursday Alters of Sin, Agave Maize, Maniaxe, Harlott Friday Silent Rose, My Own Morbidity, Psytonal, Heathen Ritual Saturday Twelve Foot Ninja, Uncle Chunk, Moroccan Kings, Wet Young Dolphin Sunday Elk & Whale, Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue, Chook Race, Bertie Page Clinic
THE STANDARD HOTEL Wednesday Den Hanrahan Sunday Waz E James Band
THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday Olof Arnalds, Grand Salvo, Tiny Ruins Thursday Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Canos + The Buegs, Language of the Birds, The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday Andyblack, Haggis Monday 5 Stars Bitch, Trivia Tuesday Magic Mountain Band, Jordie Lane
THE TOTE Wednesday The Nation Blue, Coerce, Arrows, Brainwaves, The Hawaiian Islands, The Gun Runners, ANCHORS, Headache, High Heals
THE ARTHOUSE Wednesday Ikarii, My Echo, The City In Motion, Brighter at Night, Vendetta Fields Thursday Junk & Jill, BJ Winters, The Final Cut, Smoke Cheetah Friday Defiance Ohio, Fear Like Us, Will Wagner & The Smith Street Band, Let Me Down Jungleman, Gently Saturday Marching Orders, The Saucermen, The Tear Aways, Last Call
Thursday Milk Teddy, Isle Adore, Full Ugly Friday Clagg, Disentomb, Desecrator, Dire Fate Saturday Budd, Poppin Mommas, Golden Shower Sunday Hy-Test, Spencer P Jones, Kids Of Zoo, The Peep Tempel, The Loveless, War of the Gargantuans
THE VIC Wednesday Trivia Thursday Anna’s Go Go Academy Friday Orlando
THORNBURY THEATRE Sunday Clare Bowditch, Roz Hammond, Noni Hazelhurst, Terri Psiakis, Sarah Carroll, Michaela McGuire, Alexander Gow
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK Thursday Den Hanrahan Saturday Fingerbone Bill Sunday Suzannah Espie & The Last Word
WESLEY ANNE Wednesday Jessica Moussi, Malia Sloman Quartet Thursday Brendan Skinner Friday Jelly Tub Rollers, Nacho Time, Celeste Kate Saturday Goyim Sunday The Boys, The Lloyd Weir
WORKERS CLUB Wednesday Australia Day Hangover Party, Midnight Caller, Aktion Unit, Shit Wizard, Glavobones, Fuck You Astrology Thursday Tehachapi, Planet Love, South & North East Party House Friday Bitch Prefect, Geoff O’Connor, Divorce Saturday Mike Noga Farewell Show, Little John, Chris Altman Sunday Poor People, Pop Singles, Extreme Wheeze Monday Radio Star, The Boo Hoo Hoos
BJ DEBUTS ZONKLE This Saturday at the Public Bar, BJ Morriszonkle throws a big old launch party to celebrate the release of his debut EP, with a guest saxophone quartet and rhythm section. The mini-big band will blurt their way through such genres as fantasy sci-fi punk, moron blues, honky-wonky pop ballads and poor man’s exotica, along with other great and crap musical things. Also playing are two-piece caveman band, Dead! and turbo punks Another Rotting Corpse. More fun than you can handle for the low entry fee of $6. BJ Morriszonkle is also opening for the Puta Madre Brothers on Friday 4 February at the Corner Hotel.
Thursday Brat Farrar, Chook Race, Bad Aches Friday De Hoje Haele, Spew Your Guts Up, Brainwaves, Infinite Void, Tasty Cakes Saturday The Reefers, Shaky Memorial Sunday*Internal Rot, Garbage Guts, Trench Sisters, Infamous Butcher
BEHIND THE LINES IN THE DARK
One of the world’s largest premier live Pink Floyd concert experiences – Beyond The Darkside (BTDS) – is touring and hoping to capture the essence and recreate all the excitement of Pink Floyd’s Live 1996 Pulse concert, a show that never actually came to this part of the world. Their A Finger On The Pulse tour will be the biggest production the BTDS team has ever presented in their 20-year history. The show will feature a ten-piece band accompanied by a massive production based on the 1996 Pulse look and design, consisting of a multiarched trussing system covered by a massive digital light show, some new and powerful full colour laser systems, inflatable 20 foot pigs, projection, ‘Hey Teacher’ lighting and other Pink Floyd props. The band’s sound is presented in 80,000 watts of digital 5.1 surround sound. The show hits Plenary Hall on Saturday 9 July.
HALL OF FAME
The TEC Foundation For Excellence In Audio established the TECnology Hall Of Fame in 2004 to honour and recognise audio products and innovations that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of audio technology. Inductees to the TECnology Hall Of Fame are chosen by a panel of more than 50 recognised audio experts, including authors, educators, engineers, facility owners and other professionals. The 2010 inductees were recently announced: George Campbell/AT&T (Electric Wave-Filter, the first audio equaliser/ band-pass filter); EC Wente and AL Thuras (Western Electric 555-w, the first high frequency compression driver); James B Lansing/Lansing Manufacturing Co (Lansing Iconic, first recording studio monitor); Alec Harley Reeves (Pulse Code Modulation Patent); Ampex Corporation (Model VRX-1000, first commercial video recorder); Sennheiser MD-421 Microphone; Dave Smith (Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, first polyphonic programmable synthesiser); Marty Garcia (Future Sonics Ear Monitors, first in-ear monitoring system); Gilad Keren and Meir Shaashua (Waves Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer, first audio plug-in) and Dr Harold Hildebrand (Antares AutoTune).
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
SOUND ADVICE – GEAR REVIEWS JACKSON RR-5
It has been a long time since this reviewer picked up an axe and thought this needs to be added to the personal collection. On first glance you will fall in love with this beautifully designed instrument. By merely looking at this bad boy you know that is has been designed to shred to your heart’s content. It certainly favours your heavier styles, whether it be your straight-up metal, thrash, progressive or grinding all the way to the core and one of the great additions to the Jackson RR-5 is, without a doubt, the pair of Seymour Duncan TB4 humbucker pickups. They allow harmonics to flow with ease. The slightest tap makes it squeal like the missus after you have rolled in the door at 3am, ensuring that through your shred run you will be able to hit pitch harmonics easily. Sitting down and playing with this device is probably not the best way to get maximum usage – the shape itself makes chucking on the strap and standing on your own two feet and playing much more comfortable. With 22 jumbo frets of action your hand slides like a dream. The action on the Jackson RR-5 is nothing short of phenomenal – speed picking on this baby will never get old. This is a stunning piece of equipment, for fans of metal this has been sent down from the heavens
for your endless amusement, the look and feel will not disappoint. A hefty retail price is attached to the Jackson RR-5, but if you mean business then this is something that you must have for your arsenal. Not only does it look bad-ass, but it plays like a demon. Raymond Barnfeld Supplied by Allans Music and Billy Hyde. For stockists see jacksonguitars.com.au
The world of distortion pedals is full of many interesting facts. If you have ever dared to enter this realm you would have heard the claims of every company stating that they have finally found the secret formula used to create the ultimate distortion pedal, entirely eliminating the need for a nice, big and much more expensive amplifier. As soon as you pull this pedal out of the box you will notice that it has been constructed in the well-known durable fashion of all the other Boss pedals. Although it’s missing all the pretty colours of the rainbow or a million knobs and switches it leads one to think the pedal means business. Less knobs usually means it’s easier to use and easier to use means customer satisfaction, whether you’re
Whilst on tour here over December, U2 made good use of Studio 301’s Neve studio, mixing, tracking and writing new material. In the lead up to Christmas, Kanye West, Oprah, X-Factor, WIM and Ernest Ellis all did recording sessions at 301 too. Meanwhile Jebediah, Ronan Keating, Powderfinger, Kids Of 88, Mark Lizotte, Stonefield, Boy & Bear, Seekae and Deep Sea Arcade were all mastering. For the sessions that became Blood Pressures, the upcoming new album from The Kills due 8 April, the band returned to Key Club Studios, Michigan where they reunited with engineers Bill Skibbe and Jessica Ruffins (who worked on previous album Midnight Boom). Produced by Jamie Hince, the album was mixed in London by Tom Elmhirst. Post-rock legends Mogwai’s seventh studio album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, was recorded with Paul Savage – the man behind their previous album Young Team – at Hamilton’s Chem 19 studios over the European summer of 2009. Holly Throsby’s upcoming new album Team was produced by Tony Dupé (On Night, Under The Town) in a 19th-century sandstone church. To record his upcoming new album The Balladeer Hunter, Mike Noga gathered a few close friends, set up shop in an old warehouse on the outskirts of Melbourne, rehearsed up these songs... and hit record. Two nights later he had the finished result, with each song captured in the first or second takes. The Get Up Kids went into their Black Lodge studio in Eudora, Kansas at various times in 2010 to complete the recordings that would become their February due album There Are Rules.
The Boss ST-2 is able to transform your clean tone into a wide array of vintage clean tones and distortions without any real hassle. Whether you want to simulate a VOX AC30 or a Marshall JCM 800 this pedal will provide you with a much cheaper alternative. If you’re trying to pull ‘the big metal sound’ this pedal would probably hold its weight in the bedroom, but for some reason when cranking the gain this pedal seems to make the tone a little bit thinner while giving you the unwanted gift of a little high-end hiss. There are so many varying factors as to how this pedal will affect your current set-up, such as your guitar, amplifier, overall playing style and most importantly your intention of use. Let’s separate the fact from the fiction – if you were hoping to use this pedal to mimic vintage tones you will be satisfied. If you’re turning to the ST-2 for modern distortion tones for your thick-sounding rhythm section, unfortunately the reality of the situation is that no, this isn’t exactly a substitute for a big, delicious tube amp but it may just be the missing element to give you that extra little push you need to bring the life out of your current rig. Ryan Mortimer Supplied by Roland
The UAD-2 Satellite puts the world’s finest analog emulation plug-ins within easy reach of Firewire 800 and 400-equipped computers, including select iMacs and MacBook Pros. In developing these UAD-2 plug-ins, the Digital Signal Processing engineers work with leading hardware manufacturers – using their exact schematics, golden units and experienced ears – to give mixes all the warmth and harmonics of classic analog recordings. Available in duo or quad processor format (with either two or four Analog Devices SHARC processors, respectively), the UAD-2 Satellite comes with a host of classic plug-ins, right out of the box.
the most experienced gear head or somebody starting out. However, having less knobs does make it a little bit harder to dial in your sound if you’re searching for something very specific, and this pedal is no exception.
OUR TIME TONIGHT The kids are doing all right. Serial pop punkers JENNA MCDOUGALL and WHAKAIO ‘WHAK’ TAAHI from TONIGHT ALIVE talk to SCOTT FITZSIMONS from Los Angeles, where they’re recording an album and quite literally living the dream. No matter how long your career lasts, not many bands get to do what Tonight Alive are doing right now. The Sydneybased, female-fronted five-piece pop punk outfit were one of the biggest names on Western Sydney’s all-ages scene and, using that as a launch pad, managed to score themselves a deal with Sony. They now find themselves, on the label’s coin, spending almost two months in Los Angeles recording their debut album with Mark Trombino – a legend of the genre who’s helped define the sounds of Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, Madina Lake, Silverstein and even Perth’s own Gyroscope. Their songs are popping up on MTV show soundtracks and the band have been added to New Jersey’s Bamboozle festival line-up. Inpress is speaking to frontgirl Jenna McDougall and guitarist Whakaio ‘Whak’ Taahi while they’re in Los Angeles, just before Christmas. McDougall’s soon to be flying back to New Zealand to see family while the boys will continue working through the holiday season. “They’re staying here, I think they’re going to have a manly week without me,” she laughs. “Do all the things they can’t do while I’m around, not that that’s much, but.” For a band so young – teenage years are still apparent – the experience is still feeling like an adventure, one that they’ve earned themselves and one on which they get to do what they love. “There hasn’t been any problems,” says McDougall. “We spend every day with each other from morning ‘til night. I think if anything this will make us better friends and closer. We’re just all excited to be here and we’re all so lucky and we can look back to when the band started and even before that in what we were doing and I don’t think any of us could’ve said, ‘In a year’s time or in five years’ time we’ll be in America recording an album with Mark Trombino’. So it’s a real thing and we really recognise that.” “Not a lot of bands, especially in our area get a chance to do this,” says Whak, “and for us we’ve been given this opportunity – not to say that we haven’t worked for it – but we’ve been given this opportunity and it’s like, ‘Holy shit, we’ve got to do something really good with this.’ We definitely felt the pressure when we were writing, but I think when we chose the album and we looked at that
high and pretty much from the day we met him we were on the same track, so it’s been really, really good. “He hasn’t changed the songs a lot, but what he has done is things that we needed to grow in, songwriting wise. But I definitely think for what we were trying to do and go that step further he’s helped us in that. So I think he’s been very, very, helpful.” Before boarding the plane for this big adventure, the band pretty much had all the songs sorted out. But as every producer will tell a band – especially a young one – it’s that things tend to change when the red light goes on. So the week or two spent in pre-production and acoustic playing to work on melodies may do the record (they won’t reveal their early ideas for a name) a world of good.
whiteboard with the name we thought, ‘This is going to be great’. We’re now more excited than pressured.” As one would expect, working with Trombino has been both informative and inspirational for the band – who hope to be finished and flying back to Australia by Thursday, but have the rare cushion of extra time should they need it – and probably something they needed. They’re often likened to Paramore and if truth be told it’s probably a fair comparison, not just for the female vocalist. Either way, the comparison’s likely to stick and so the band really need to find their own sound, their own gap in the minds of listeners who’ve already fallen in love with Fueled By Ramen bands. “For us,” starts Whak, “it was more this album we wanted to take about three steps forward from what [previous EP] All Shapes And Disguises Was. And I think for Mark he wanted to have something like that as well, something that jumps out like the other records that he’s done – like Jimmy Eat World and all that sort of stuff. So our visions for this album have been pretty
“We had a lot of songs but I don’t think any of us knew what the album was gonna be,” says Whak. “And that was defiantly nerve-wracking for me, just I’m going over there and I’ve no idea how this is going to turn out to be. But what is has turned out to be, everyone is just so happy about it. We had all the songs but we just needed that bit of fine-tuning.” Importantly, when Inpress spoke they were on schedule and working well. The guitarists were about to go in (and about to see if their own instruments would be up to scratch) and drummer Matt Best had just finished his duties with his kit assembled by renowned drum tech Mike Fasano – the only thing Best brought over was his foot pedal. There’s been a bit of stress – and then compromise – in choosing songs but apart from that all seems well in the Tonight Alive camp. “I think we’re just so excited and happy to be here that we don’t feel homesick at all – we just want to do more,” says Whak while McDougall enthuses, “Even me! I’m not homesick! It’s been a whole year of writing and working towards our first album. It’s been a long time coming but we’re all pretty confident that it’s going to be something we’re really proud of.” Tonight Alive’s yet-to-be-titled debut album is expected to be released early- to mid-2011.
Studio (in the relaxed bush between Ballarat and Geelong) and mobile multitrack recording. Servicing all western district areas Professional equipment, experienced engineer.
FREE RECORDING DAY SPECIAL
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OFFER AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME
Engineer credits include: 2 X ARIA AWARD WINING “Gurrumul”
(conditions apply) WORKSHOP NEW SONGS? LAY DOWN A DEMO? PRE-PRODUCTION FOR YOUR NEXT RELEASE? TRACKS FOR MYSPACE?
CALL or EMAIL: email@example.com M: 0421 836 876 WEBSITE: www.leftofelephantsound.com.au www.myspace.com/leftofelephantsound
TUITION - PERFORMANCE - SALES - REPAIR 330C SOUTH RD. HAMPTON EAST 3188 PH 9553 7262 WWW.LMCGUITAR.COM.AU
BAYSIDES PREMIER GUITAR SCHOOL
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Fender Pink Paisley Strat.genuine 1980s model.all original.plays great.beautiful tone and action.very rare.excellent condition.with case. $2500ono.Ph.0428744963. Cooroy
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. giglaunch.com.au
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@feelgoodevents. com.au 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
Maton 1973 accoustic steel string 3/4 guitar.model F11.dated 10/73.all australian timbers.original cond.$500. Ph.0428744963.Cooroy. iFlogID: 10788
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@ hotmail.com iFlogID: 10425
FOR SALE AMPS Peavey Bandiy 112 80 watt 12” guitar amp combo with reverb’saturation and more.2 channel footswitchable. USA made.great fat tone.VGC. $350. Cooroy. Ph.0428744963 iFlogID: 10782
Korg Mr-1000 1-bit professional mobile recorder.Includes Korg’s exclusive AudioGate software and carry bag. As new condition. Original packaging. RRP $2500. Will sell for $1200 O.N.O. Call Shaun on 0408 993 889 or e-mail billop93@hotmail. com. View online ad for more details. iFlogID: 10769
CD / DVD Attention Musicians, Record Collectors, Universities, Libraries - new Book available (print/cdROM/direct download)compiling 100 years of popular music. GO TO www.plattersaurus.com for free web-site and information on how to buy. Enquiries: (02)9807-3137 eMail: nadipa1@ yahoo.com.au iFlogID: 10750
Carver USA 1800 watt split mono rack mount P.A amp.with Bose controller/pre amp.8 speaker inputs.very loud.in case.VGC.cost over $2500.sell $850. Ph.0428744963. Cooroy. iFlogID: 10784
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 www.xbadges. com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many opportunities available for artists. Trips to London, gigs on cruise boats, international gigs, compilation CD’s, song contests, all available for submission at www.giglaunch.com. 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. email@example.com 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! iFlogID: 10413
MANAGEMENT MINSTREL MANAGEMENT We are currently taking submissions from artists looking to release in 2011. Check out our website www.minstrelmanagement.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. iFlogID: 10573
Get you music into iTunes and 100s more digital stores globally plus keep 100% of the royalties! Visit www. valleyarm.com now and GET YOUR MUSIC OUT THERE! iFlogID: 10545
Have your music handed out at SXSW and Canadian Music Week to the world’s top music industry professionals with Valleyarm! Contact info@ valleyarm.com for more information on how to be included in our American Music Industry Sampler. iFlogID: 10855
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 www.merish.com. 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: www.hittrax.com.au iFlogID: 10399
Mr Moon Alien? 100%Austr-alien, since Earthtime 92 mr Moon Alien has been creating the craziest sci-fi soundtrax & imagery ever! its Weirdits Crazy - its...Totally Space Out! prepare to blow your mind!! www. youtube.com/digitalfiction3000 iFlogID: 10833
PRESS RELEASE/PRESS KITS/ARTIST BIOS crafted by a professional music journalist. Promote your upcoming release/gig/launch the right way. Contact email@example.com for more information. iFlogID: 10881
OTHER ATTN METAL BANDS! We’re looking for acts to feature on our Valleyarm Absolute Metal compilation to be sold on iTunes internationally with royalties paid to each act. Contact marta@ valleyarm.com to submit your track for consideration. iFlogID: 10857
www.ozjam.com.au is free to join, and with over 4500 members its fast becoming the largest online music community in Australia! If your looking to join or form a band, find a band member, or get exposure check Ozjam out today! iFlogID: 10587
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 iFlogID: 10627
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 www.immersionimagery.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 10419
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 www.kindredstudios.com.au or call (03) 9687 0233 iFlogID: 10565
TRISH WATSON PHOTOGRAPHY! Based in Western Sydney. With a creative focus promotional and live music photography. web: http:// trishwatsonphoto.com email: email@example.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 www.cityofninegates.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.rockinrepairs.com iFlogID: 9344
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. email@example.com or call Luke 0424 420 605. iFlogID: 10407
TUITION Guitar Lessons with Jon St. Clair. 10 Years teaching experience and founder of rock school @ olympic studios. Learn any style and progress quickly. First Lesson Free. iFlogID: 10780
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
LIVE SOUND EQUIPMENT, STUDIO NEEDS, PA SPEAKERS, MIXING CONSOLES, MICROPHONES, SIGNAL PROCESSING, CABLES, MULTICORES, STANDS ROAD CASE SPECIALISTS – READY TO GO AND CUSTOM MADE
VIDEO / PRODUCTION
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.mazmazak.com /slsvocalinstructor - Contact Maz: firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 10474
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@ yahoo.com.au iFlogID: 10561
Opium Sky Classic Heavy Rock Band wanting M/F drummer, age open, with flair,groove and feel.Emphasis on original music, no COVERS. Songs are written by 3 core members, which have made a practice cd for incoming members.Zel 0448168215 iFlogID: 10827
DJ WANT A DJ? Etch ‘n’ Sketch are availiable experienced club ready house dj’s call seth on 0401655063 iFlogID: 10733
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 email@example.com 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 BASS PLAYER Invalides are looking for a bass player to play shows and record albums. Must be serious and reliable. myspace.com/invalidesmusic MIshka: 0404 247 555 iFlogID: 10777
Looking for a bassist (25+) 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@ yahoo.com.au iFlogID: 10754
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
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
GUITARIST 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.
SINGER 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. firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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 http://circadianpulse.com 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 – email@example.com for more information.
Professional female singer with cover band experience - for a High End Corporate/Functions Party Covers Band; Sydney based with great pay and conditions. Please send the CV/Bio and recent photo to firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 10873
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. email@example.com iFlogID: 10158
SINGER WANTED FOR ROCK/ALTERNATIVE/HARD ROCK BAND. MUST WANT TO WIRTE MUSIC AND PLAY GIGS ANYONE 16 18 MALE OR FEMALE. OUR INFLUENCES ARE CHILLI PEPPERS GUNS AND ROSES AND MUCH MORE. IF INTRESTED PLEASE EMAIL US BENNY-6666@ HOTMAIL.COM OTHERWISE STAY SWEET iFlogID: 10431
The Sydney based and established AUSTRALIAN PINK SHOW, require a lead vocalist. Gigs booked, and agent backed. Please email details to: info@ ozpinkshow.com.au
Looking for a solo acoustic guitarist/ singer for acoustic wedding gig in Byron Bay on 12/3/11. jacktiernz@ hotmail.com iFlogID: 10394
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
Lead Guitarist and Singer seeking an enthusiastic Drummer and Bass Player to join a Western Sydney rock covers band to play various gigs. Influences include Collective Soul, Pearl Jam, Matchbox 20 etc. Please contact Paul on 4774 0085 or 0402746733. iFlogID: 10865
E-STORE : WWW.GIGGEAR.COM.AU SALES@GIGGEAR.COM.AU CALL : 1300 289 997 FACTORY 18 / 21 BARRY STREET, BAYSWATER, 3153 SHOWROOM HOURS MON – FRI : 9.00AM-6.00PM; SAT 10.00AM-4.00PM
For a limited time. Free online and print classifieds Book now, visit iflog.com.au 66
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...
Published on Jan 24, 2011
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...