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ISSUE 1159

No.109

WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2011

BRUNSWICK

Thursday 3, 10, 17 & 24

Sweet Jean Original roots duo of Sime Nugent & Alice Keath 7.30pm

Sat 5, 12, 19 & 26 February ARVO SESSIONS

Chris Wilson Harmonica and blues legend plays a highly entertaining month of Saturdays 5pm

MENOMENA

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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 Puta Madre Brothers describe their music as “very idiot” Menomena are a man down Matt & Kim are living a permanent vacation Yeasayer are still discovering ace things to do with synths On The Record takes a track-bytrack look at Cut Copy’s latest Two Door Cinema Club ask for stick mags in their rider Holy Fuck don’t mean to offend White Lies’ newie is splitting critics and fans One Day As A Lion started playing on days there was no surf

FRONT ROW 34 34

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This Week In Arts plans your week Cast and crew of the new US/Australian co-production Sanctum speak about being trapped under water Mark Palazolo, AKA Zombo, takes his record sleeves to the gallery Cultural Cringe looks at those locked up for their art Neil Pigot puts on the Abe Lincoln beard in Song Of The Bleeding Throat The Menstruum hangs out with a Tasmanianhipster (yes, that’s a word)

BACK TO INPRESS 40 40 41 41 41 42 45 45 45 54 54 54 55 55 56 56 58 63 66

Stornoway’s non-musical career plans are on hold Performance is everything to Joe Cocker The Unthanks don’t mind a spot of clog dancing Jenny & Johnny drank some of Pavement’s beers Claude Hay flew to the States for a single radio interview Plan your day with Laneway Festival maps and times Our LIVE gives you the best of the week’s live music! Gig Of The Week grooves with Aloe Blacc LIVE:Reviews hangs out in the Beach House 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

CREDITS

EDITORIAL

Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue music@inpress.com.au Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse frontrow@inpress.com.au Contributing Editor Adam Curley Staff Writers Bryget Chrisfield, Michael Smith

ADVERTISING sales@inpress.com.au National Sales & Marketing Director Leigh Treweek Victorian Sales Manager Katie Owen Senior Account Executive Nick Lynagh Bands &Local Advertising Dean Noble Sales Assistant Kobi Simpson

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

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Film Carew weighs in on Tamara Drewe, Bear Nation and Smash His Camera TV Set previews the year ahead in television UK/German company Gob Squad take theatre to a whole new level

Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Leonie Richman, Symon JJ Rock, Antonios Sarhanis, Ingrid Sjolund, Dylan Stewart, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Danielle Trabsky, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen, Jeremy Williams.

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

INTERNS Andrea Biagini, Stacey Elms-King

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

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ON THE STEREO

FRONTLASH Jacki Weaver - talented

Mine Is Yours COLD WAR KIDS Why Oh Why? (My Caroline) LUKE LEGS Spark ALAIN JOHANNES Native Speaker BRAIDS Queens Of The Stone Age QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Mini Mansions MINI MANSIONS Awake TICKET Live At Last THE DINGOES Magnetic Island GENTLE BEN & HIS SENSITIVE SIDE Dereb The Ambassador DEREB THE AMBASSADOR

3RRR SOUNDSCAPE Zonoscope CUT COPY Alone THE MORNING AFTER GIRLS Violet Cries ESBEN AND THE WITCH Rolling Blackouts THE GO! TEAM Ventriloquizzing FUJIYA & MIYAGI Michel Poiccard THE DEATH SET So Frenchy So Chic 2011 VARIOUS ARTISTS The King Is Dead THE DECEMBERISTS Vessels BRYAN ESTEPA Forbidden Delicious PAGEANTS

BILLBOARD’S TOP DIGITAL ALBUMS The King Is Dead THE DECEMBERISTS Science & Faith THE SCRIPT Teenage Dream KATY PERRY Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes SOCIAL DISTORTION Sigh No More MUMFORD & SONS Some Kind Of Trouble JAMES BLUNT Country Strong: More Music From The Motion Picture VARIOUS ARTISTS Doo-Wops & Hooligans BRUNO MARS My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy KANYE WEST The Black Keys BROTHERS

SYN TOP 10 Time & Place LAST DINOSAURS Board the Apartment Up (Summer Mix) SEABELLIES Pretty Wasting THE DELTA RIGGS Figment Of Your Imagination THE ART Swimming Pool (Julian Mendelsohn Edit) CATCALL Beautiful Trash (ft Megan Washington) LANU Feel A Change SISTER JANE Jenny PARIS WELLS Thunder On The Mountain WANDA JACKSON I Follow Rivers LYKKE LI

GIVEAWAYS

Les Savy Fav

The NME reckons that the three young men who go by the name Foster The People are “the feel-good band of summer”, and they’ve got more than a million YouTube hits to back that up. If you’ve jumped around the living room to the sound of Pumped Up Kicks, can you really think of a reason why you wouldn’t be at the Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 16 or Thursday 17 February to check them out? Tell you what – let’s make it easy for you. We have five double passes to the Wednesday show to give away. The UK’s Guardian described them as simply “the most marvellous thing we’ve seen in ages” and, as it happens, not only are Oxford’s latest export Stornoway coming down our way as part of the Laneway Festival, but they’re also putting on a Melbourne sideshow at the Corner Hotel on Thursday

JACKI WEAVER’S OSCAR NOM You go, girl!

YOU’RE SO HIP Even though it was in Sydney, so cool that legendary Queensland act The Screaming Tribesmen reunited for an impromptu gig a couple of weeks back. Head along to 194bar.com for a review and some great footage of this muchmissed band in action…

GUY SEBASTIAN We take it back – apparently he can get arrested in America.

BACKLASH Martin Lawrence – not so much

CHARLIE LOUVIN One of country music’s greats (half of The Louvin Brothers) passed away last week. You’ll know him from the album Satan Is Real, which always appears on the ‘Funniest Album Covers Ever’ emails. Truth be told, it’s a classic record.

ON THE NOSE You can bank on a large police presence outside the Laneway and Good Vibes festivals after the Herald Sun’s hysterical post-BDO drugs-in-VIParea beat-up.

MOMMA MIA A third Big Momma’s House flick? They didn’t even have enough jokes for one. Martin Lawrence, you don’t have to keep trying to convince us – we’re happy to acknowledge you’re the unfunniest bloke in Hollywood.

Email giveaways@inpress.com.au from 5pm Wednesday 10 February, supported by Otouto and The Bon Scotts. We’ve got five double passes to the show to give away. Since their emergence from the Rhode Island School Of Design in 1996, Les Savy Fav have been building a passionate following among musicians, fans and critics the old fashioned way: by earning it. Fifteen years of musical experience has led them to arrive at a diamond-edged sound that is as upfront and direct as the quintet’s legendary live shows. Out here for the Laneway Festival, the band also play Billboard on Tuesday 8 February – we have one double pass to give away. Last year belonged to Stonefield. The four sisters from the Victorian hills killed it at Perth’s One Movement Festival, took out Triple J’s Unearthed High competition and were all over the airwaves with tracks Through The Clover and Foreign Lover. Before they head to the UK to perform at Glastonbury festival, the band play a Thursday February residency at the Tote. We have two double passes to their show on Thursday 10 February to give away. With a new mix CD in stores now (We Mix You Dance Vol 2), Purple Sneakers DJs throw the hottest indie night in town. Purple Sneakers takes place at Miss Libertine every Friday, the night – split across two rooms – caters for all types of indie aficionados. This week’s line-up features Bright Yellow, Ghostwood, MIT and more. We have two double passes to give away.

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.

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THE

FRONTLINE

IN THE STUDIO WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD

CHASING ANGLES

As expectation mounts for The Strokes’ forthcoming Angles release, scheduled to drop on 22 March, the band have also locked in a handful of dates for 2011 including appearances at Benicassim Festival in Spain and Summer Sonic in Japan. It may be a case of proceeding with caution since the band’s guitarist Nick Valensi recently admitted to MySpace Music, “When we hang out and when we work on stuff, it’s great but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t elements of hostility there. Undertones of hostility and resentment.” Out here last year for Splendour In The Grass and a handful of sideshows, The Strokes reunited and holed up in New York’s Avatar Studios to record their future output back in February 2010 and initially enlisted Joe Chiccarelli (Bjork, U2, Beck) as producer. The group later decided to take over this role themselves and Chiccarelli gets the production credit on just one of the final ten Angles tracks, which is titled Life Is Simple. At one point during the recording process, frontman Julian Casablancas told ABC News that the band were laying down their parts without his presence in the studio to prevent him from interfering. On why the New York quintet took almost two years to complete the follow-up to 2006’s First Impressions Of Earth, Valensi told Rolling Stone, “This is the first one where we are truly working democratically. It’s taken a long time because this is a new model for us.” During The Strokes’ hiatus, Valensi was the only band member who did not release solo material and he’s acutely aware of the damage that can be done when bands leave too large a gap between releases. “I feel like no matter what the record is, or how hard we worked on it, or how much we like it, it’s not going to live up to people’s expectations only because of those five years between the last one and this one,” he told MySpace Music. Feted as a return to the band’s Is This It form, it remains to be seen whether Angles is strong enough to blow the guitarist’s theory out of the water.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

It’s been more than two years since Britney Spears released her Circus set and MTV News revealed the singer’s new album will hit stores a week ahead of The Strokes, on 15 March. The blogosphere went ballistic after Ryan Seacrest aired Brit’s new single Hold It Against Me – some positive, some not so much – and the single debuted at number one with a bullet on the Billboard Hot 100. A rollcall of producers have been working on Spears’ seventh longplayer including Stargate, Fraser T Smith, Max Martin and Bloodshy & Avant – AKA Christian Karlsson (Bloodshy) and Pontus Winnberg (Avant), or two thirds of Miike Snow, who produced and co-wrote (together with Cathy Dennis and Henrik Jonback) the exceptional Toxic, which took out the Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 2005. Okay, this makes us a little more excited, as does the news that Spears hit the dance studio hard in preparation for some grueling choreography she attempted to nail before the Hold It Against Me video shoot. “She really dominates when she does my choreography, and that’s what I wanted to get back,” choreographer Brian Friedman, who hasn’t worked with Spears in five years, said. Friedman has previously choreographed the following Spears videos: I’m A Slave 4 U, Toxic, Me Against The Music and Boys. Spears tweeted after the first day of filming, “I think this will be one of the best videos I have ever done.” Hopefully this means Brit will be dancing without the aid of props to cling on to (as witnessed during her Circus world tour) because Oops!… I Did It Again-era Spears was a spectacular dancer.

DATA STORAGE

Norwegian pranksters Data Rock announced on their website that they will release “the most extravagant single in history”, also in March. Bearing the title Catcher In The Rye, the single, which is the title track from the trio’s upcoming EP, will be available for purchase on a USB stick inside a limited edition vinyl toy designed by Hybrid Design’s Brian Flynn together with toy makers at SUPER7. The USB stick contains the new EP, concert footage, bonus tracks, photos, music videos plus a new album (yes, you read right) entitled Music For Synchronization. You can listen to the upbeat Catcher In The Rye at somekindofawesome.com, but what we really wanna know is whether one of the trademark burgundy tracksuits worn onstage by Data Rock will also be included in the package.

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INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS Ooops, Yves Klein Blue forgot to mention that they

FULL OF PROMISE The finalists for this year’s APRIA Professional Development Awards have been announced, the eight winners to be announced 14 March. The bi-annual awards provide the eight winners (across six categories) with a prize package of $25,000 each and a record 2,500 submissions were taken for the 2011 instalment. The long list (almost 250) of finalists is available on APRA-Amcos’ website, with a short bio on each of the musicians.

BUFFETT’S STAGE DIVE Sixty-four year old performer Jimmy Buffett fell off the front of the Hordern Pavilion’s stage following an encore at the sold-out Sydney venue on Australia Day. Falling face first while waving to fans after his last song, Buffett was knocked unconscious for eight minutes and was bleeding from a deep head wound. Rushed to hospital, the singer/songwriter (best known for the track Margaritaville) was given neck and head scans but showed no signs of amnesia or cognitive impairment. Surgeon Gordian Fulde was in the audience and treated Buffett at the scene. Talking on ABC local radio Sydney he said, “I thought he’d broken his neck. I heard the clunk of his head on a metal ledge, he has a deep gash on his scalp, which is all right now. But at first I thought, ‘This guy is going to be a spinal injury.’” It’s a six-foot drop from the stage to the concrete floor. After an overnight stay in a Sydney hospital, Buffett cancelled his planned New Zealand show and posted a video message to thank fans for their support. On Channel 9’s Today show Richard Wilkins described the incident as “terrific” before correcting himself to say “horrific”.

TRIP TO MARS Internationally charting emerging urban superstar Bruno Mars is expected to please guilty to a possession charge of cocaine in Las Vegas last November. In exchange Mars will be sentenced to a year of probation, pay a US$2,000 fine, perform 200 hours of community service and attend drug counselling, as Clark County District Attorney David Roger told the Las Vegas Review Journal. It is unclear whether this conviction will affect his Australian touring plans, and neither hi label EMI or touring company Frontier has responded to request for comment.

STEVENS GROUNDED Noiseworks and one-time INXS singer Jon Stevens was removed from a Jetstar flight by federal police while Brisbane-bound to perform at a flood relief concert last week. Just before take-off, Stevens moved to an empty row of seats for more room but was told to move back. Questioning the decision but abiding to the request, the steward deemed that Stevens’s unco-operativeness broke the airline’s safety rules and he was taxied back to the terminal by federal police. In a statement issued by management Stevens said, “In all my years of extensive travelling around the world and within Australia, I have never been treated like this. I did not raise my voice at any stage, did not use offensive language and I would certainly suggest that I was not behaving in a dangerous or offensive manner.” A Jetstar spokeswoman said that his behaviour was aggressive.

FREE FOR DONORS Another flood appeal initiative has been launched, B Sides For Brisbane. A free compilation album of local artists to those who have donated to the cause, people can go to bsides4brisbane.com and enter their donation receipt number to receive the album.

BIG DAY OUT’S FATIGUE Last week’s blisteringly hot days of the Big Day Out event took its toll on punters with temperatures well into the 30s and a 27-year-old hospitalised after a drug overdose at the first Sydney day. News Limited are reporting that the heat and drug abuse aren’t the only things wearing punters down, as co-promoter Ken West has hinted that the festival may be due for another year break in the future. He said that the festival market has become saturated in recent year despite the likes of Homebake, V Festival, All Tomorrows Parties and others taking a year’s – sometimes permanent – break. He said the festival craze couldn’t sustain itself and taking a year off in every four wouldn’t be out of the equation.

O’CONNOR OPENS UP In an interview with the Irish Mail, singer Sinéad O’Connor admitted the struggles she’s having with raising her three young children. Concerns were raised for their welfare after the diagnosed manic-depressive Tweeted that she wanted to die. “I would never act on those feelings,” she told the paper. “I felt suicidal because it’s my fault that [six-year-old son] Shane’s father isn’t in his life.”

INSTRUMENTS DOWN Country music legend Charlie Louvin lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on the night of Tuesday 25 January in Nashvile. Best known for his half in the Louvin Brothers (alongside brother Ira, who died in a car crash in 1965) they had number one hits in the American ‘50s like I Don’t Believe You’ve Met My Baby and had Elvis Presley as their opening act in 1955. In modern times they’re best know for their darker tracks, including the album Satan Is Real. Gladys Horton has died at the age of 66. She was 17 years-old when she led the Marvelettes through their Motown hit Please My Postman in 1961, Motowns’s first #1 on the Billboard 100. Replaced as the lead in 1965 she left the group in 1967 and lived in California since the early 1970s. She died in a Los Angeles nursing home, where she had been based since suffering a stroke last year.

YVES NO MORE

After a long absence from the scene and public eye, Yves Klein Blue have confirmed that the band has broken up. A post on their long-inactive Facebook read, “Yves Klein Blue broke up because of creative differences some time in the second half of 2010, after 5 years together. We grew up and apart. We now live in different cities and pursue our respective vocations to our utmost capacity.” The originally Brisbane-based indie rock quartet released one album after a couple of EPs during their time.

LIVE BANDS FOR DOOMED RACE?

RADIO GOLIATH

While the future of the event remains in the balance, The Living End and Birds of Tokyo have been announced to play at the Melbourne Grand Prix. The Formula One governing body have been looking to tap into new markets for the sport and the international season now visits destinations such as Dubai, China, Malaysia and South Korea, which usually have purpose-built locations. The event also faces opposition locally, Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle recently called for the discontinuation of the event. While it’s still here Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 March, Birds Of Tokyo will play the Sidetracked festival on Saturday night while The Living End will close weekend on Sunday.

After news that Austereo (owner of Today and Triple M networks) was up for sale last week, regional broadcaster Southern Cross Radio have announced themselves as the buyer in a deal worth nearly $700 million. In an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday morning, Southern Cross announced that they will be offering just over $2 per share to acquire Village Roadshow’s 53% stake. The purchase will create a mega broadcasting company and a condition of the deal is that the ACCC does not intervene.

DOWNSIZED TO NO-SIZE After recently downsizing venues around the country for their March tour, Kings Of Leon have postponed the whole thing. Drummer Nathan Followill posted on Twitter, “Sorry to all the fans in Australia and South Africa. My bum wing needs more time to heal but we’ll be back later this year.” Bassist Jared Followill also took to Twitter saying, “Well, I now have March off. Any ideas for fun? I could always fly down to Australia and party anyway. I need some sun.” A statement from Frontier touring said, “The Kings Of Leon tour has been postponed from March 2011 to November 2011 to allow drummer Nathan Followill to recover from surgery for a torn right labrum and bicep.” Ticket holders are advised to hold onto their tickets until new dates are announced.

GRATES GO DUO The Grates’ drummer Alana Skyring has left the band and will be staying in America to study baking in Manhattan. The band, who will continue as a duo with session musicians, are currently working on their new album, which is due out in June. “To continue growing as people we decided to go our separate ways,” the band’s Patience Hodgson said in a statement.

NAS’ HARDEST BATTLE Forget rap feuds, it seems the taxman is Nasir Jones or Nas’ worst enemy at the moment. Further money woes for Jones have arisen on the eve of his Australian tour, the New York rapper owes more than US$6 million in taxes to the federal American government. According to Tax Law Home, IRS officials filed a $514,298 tax lien on 10 January, which was their latest move to recoup the outstanding money. Previously they’d filed a $3 million in February 2010 and a $2.5 million one in October 2009. Nas’ costly court battle over child and spouse support with ex-wife Kelis ($5,000 a month for child, $20,000 for spousal) was well publicized and court documents show that Jones owes $3,860 in fees on his Queens condo and The Detroit News reports that he hasn’t paid his monthly rent in almost a full year. Nas is touring Australia Festival with Damien Marley in support of their collaborative record Distant Relatives – rumoured to be an attempt to curve some of the debt. They’re touring with the Good Vibrations festival.

INDIE/ELECTRO HEAT Angus & Julia Stone reminded us of their domination last year when their track Big Jet Plane took out the top spot in this year’s Triple J Hottest 100 poll. With 155,22 voters this year (an 18% increase on the previous year) the poll favoured indie and electro artists over heavier rock and alternative options. Half of this year’s 100 were Australian acts.

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ALEXA TO UK, TRAK UNDER FIRE Michael Gundinski’s daughter Kate Alexa has been signed to UK company Safe Management, while the Gudinksi-owned Trak Live Lounge Bar witnessed a bashing turned hit and run in the early hours of Friday morning. Chris Herbert from Safe appears to be leading Alexa’s management, having worked previously with The Spice Girls and Five. A press release states that Herbert had never heard of Alexa and had never met or dealt with Gudinksi before the deal. “I don’t tend to manage overseas artists as it’s a very risky venture,” Herbert said in the release. “But Kate is an exception… I feel confident that both the Infatuation single and the album will do very well in the UK/European market.” The single has debuted on the UK club charts at 28 and her management are “expecting the single to climb… in the next few weeks”. The release does not state if Alexa has signed to a label and Mushroom Group did not reply to request for comment. Elsewhere in Gudinski’s world, an 18-year-old was punched in the back of the head outside the Trak nightclub, which he owns and is located in Victoria’s Toorak, at about 2.40am Friday morning. The victim was knocked unconscious when he hit the ground and, according to a witness talking to Channel 10, a car “ran over his feet”. The witness claimed the attack was a case of mistaken identity. A 20-year-old man was later charged with the offense.

TOOLS FOR WRITERS Push Songs will be launched for 2011 Wednesday 8 February at APRA’s Richmond offices. All are invited to attend and there’s a free songwriting partnership from Skipping Girl Vinegar’s Mark Lang.

SON OF FLOYD CHARGED Charlie Gilmour – adopted son of Pink Floyd’s guitarist Dave Gilmour – has been charged over his actions at a student fees protest that took place 9 December. He’s been charged with violent disorder and theft of a mannequin leg. The high-profile protests were in opposition to planned fee rises and after being seen swinging from a Union flag attached to the Cenotaph commemorating Britain’s war dead he apologised the following day saying, “I would like to express my deepest apologies for the terrible insult to the thousands of people who died bravely for our country that my actions represented.” The Cambridge University student was arrested a few days after the incident. The Guardian reports that he is one of seven people charged last night and he will appear at the City of Westminster magistrates court 10 February. Got news? Announcements? Gossip? Unsubstantiated but hilarious rumours? Send them all to frontline@streetpress.com.au.


THE

LIGHTING THAT FUSE

FRONTLINE

Adelaide’s FUSE FESTIVAL is the perfect place to give your band a boost, event director ALISTAIR CRANNEY and Melbourne group BLACKCHORDS tell TONY MCMAHON. think, ‘There’s someone who should be doing bigger things’ and bang, there’s another band doing a tour they wouldn’t have been doing otherwise.”

With a brief to showcase export-ready bands, a plethora of extraordinary networking opportunities and a line-up to absolutely die for, Adelaide’s Fuse Festival appears to be that rarest of all things: an event both important for the music industry and an absolute hoot for bands and punters alike. Held in more than 20 of the City Of Churches’ best venues, and running in conjunction with the world-famous Adelaide Fringe, Fuse 2011 promises to be one of the most spectacular in the event’s six-year history. More than 80 bands are participating this year, including Victorian singer/songwriter Matt Walters, and local heroes Blackchords. With a list of overseas and Australian music industry luminaries involved in panels, addresses and workshops, there is no reason to think that the above acts, as well as many others, will not come away from Fuse ready to quite literally take on the world. Event director Alistair Cranney says it’s all to do with the age-old Mohammed/mountain dichotomy.

Nick Milwright, from up-and-coming local band Blackchords, is taking his group to Fuse for a second time this year, and has nothing but praise for the event. “We got to play there last year, and we’ve done a couple of festivals like this one, so, yeah, it’s really cool. Last year, we went and watched the bands, we did a showcase and we ended up with a really good relationship with Sound Australia, who are just an awesome organisation, and they really helped us out over in the UK when we were touring there.” So, do Blackchords feel like they’re ready to take that next step? Milwright is adamant that they are. “Yeah. All these conference type events, you’re really putting yourself out there. It’s very industry focused and there are a lot of other bands around, too. It’s not going to be helpful to get up in front of record companies or producers while you’re still finding your feet. I guess the whole nature of a showcase is to let people know what you’ve got, so you definitely want to be ready. There were a lot of bands there that we saw who we thought were absolutely shit-hot. So, yeah, we definitely feel like we’re ready to take that next step. We’ve done a lot of touring lately which has really improved us as a band, so yeah.”

“It’s pretty clear Adelaide is never going to be the music capital simply because it doesn’t have the population. It’s got a good little live scene, but it’s not Melbourne. But I think in a musical sense, the scene can really benefit by having all these people come here. And another benefit of having an event like this where most of the participants are not from Adelaide is that they’re not pissing off back to their office, so they’re hanging around and talking to people. They’re here for the whole three days.” On Fuse Festival’s wider philosophical aims, Cranney reveals some solid ideological positions that should ensure a bright future for music in general. “Essentially it’s about developing artists. As far as possible, we try to generate opportunities: putting panels together that might help bands gain an insight into the industry. I have a set of criteria that comes from the Australia Council. It’s what they call ‘export readiness’. To put it simply, it’s bands that are ready for an opportunity to take their careers to the next level, whether it’s nationally or internationally. Fifty percent of the showcase

bands have to be South Australian, we always try and have an indigenous act on the bill, and we try and have some women involved in the bands so it’s not all blokes.” As far as concrete examples of the way Fuse can help bands, Cranney points out some historical examples. “Pete Murray met his first agent the first time he played here. The Audreys met their first manager here. I look

at all the bands that are coming over this year and think that there’s just enormous potential. In terms of what I’d be hoping for, we’ve got Evan Davis who’s involved with Splendour; so I’d really like to see one of the acts involved this year make it on to the Splendour bill. That may or may not happen. All we can do is put them in the same space together. I’ve also got some of the larger managers coming. My hope would be that they see someone and

One of Blackchords’ recent gigs was supporting Powderfinger at the Myer Music Bowl. Milwright was blown away by how much gear the band had but if Fuse has anything to do with it, he should probably get used to it. “That was such a huge production, it just blew our heads off. To be backstage and see the amount of equipment and the amount of logistics and the amount of people working for just one show by one band, it was pretty incredible.” The Fuse Festival runs from Wednesday 16 until Friday 18 February across various Adelaide venues.

19


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

ROYAL BLUES AND FUNKY BANDS

WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY

RESIDENCY

ELLA THOMPSON SAM LAWRENCE BAND ELIZA HULL DJ EDD FISHER

ENTRY $12 FULL PRICE, $10 CONCESSION, 8.30PM

THURSDAY 3 FEBRUARY

CHASE THE SUN JARRAH THOMPSON CLAUDE HAY

ENTRY $12 DOOR, $10 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 9PM

The new generation of guitar-slinging royalty and American roots and blues songwriting, husband and wife duo Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, will play several Bluesfest theatre sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne. And in a double-bill guitar heaven extravaganza, their sideshows will be ably supported by the amazing funk soul pedal-steel master guitarist Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Individual virtuosos in their own right, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi together blaze a soaring mix of material from their own albums plus new and borrowed songs – all re-worked into a ‘tour de force’ of rock ‘n’ blues. Robert Randolph & The Family Band have earned a reputation for putting on an exhilarating live show, complete with Robert instructing the crowd to perform dance moves and the entire band trading instruments allowing each member to show off their musical proficiencies. Catch what’s sure to be a fun night on Friday 22 April at the Palace Theatre. Tickets are avilable from Ticketek.

MCMAHON MOVES VENUE AND CROWD

With unforeseen road closures around the Prince Of Wales due to the St Kilda Festival, Andrew McMahon’s Melbourne performance has been moved to the Hi-Fi on Sunday 13 February. All tickets remain valid. Best known as the piano-pounding frontman of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, McMahon’s smooth voice and touching lyrics have amassed loyal and adoring fans the world over. Power pop and piano rock never sounded so sincere. With help from Bobby Anderson he will be performing songs acoustically from his solo career along with definitive hits from Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin. Tickets are available through thehifi.com.au and Moshtix outlets.

FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY

Adding colour to Melbourne’s musical landscape, Alpine formed in 2009 and have gone from strength to strength ever since. They’ve held the mantle of Triple J’s Unearthed Feature Artist, been likened to acts such as Phoenix and Lykke Li and now the six-piece phenomenon are set to light up venues across the country as they embark on their first ever headline tour. Alpine appeared on the music scene with a set of demos that quickly caught the attention of music lovers country-wide, fusing synthesisers with honeyed harmonies, hypnotic rhythms and bright beats. To officially launch their EP, Zurich, which was released last year, Alpine will be hitting the road for their headline tour before embarking on a national tour with Sparkadia and Operator Please. To celebrate their upcoming tour Alpine are giving away a free remix of their track, Heartlove, available from their Soundcloud page. Alpine will perform in Melbourne on Friday 25 February at the Corner Hotel with guests Boy In A Box and Buchanan. Presale tickets are available now from cornerhotel.com or can be purchased on the door for $15.

MANDEK PENHA

UMLAUT PIVIXKI

ENTRY $8, 9PM

SATURDAY 5 FEBRUARY

2ND ANNUAL JUDDY ROLLAR MEMORIAL SHOW

BLACK MOUNTAIN OF NIGHT TERRORS

TRUST US

THE BLUE SWIMMERS INKSTAIN PRO & THE SQUID SQUAD TRAVVY WONDERS FAMILY BAND ENTRY $15 DOOR, $10 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 8.30PM

SUNDAY 6 JANUARY RESIDENCY

HUNTING FOXES THE GIVE PLANET LOVE SOUND ENTRY $8, 8PM

MONDAY 7 FEBRUARY RESIDENCY

PROJECT PUZZLES MIMI VELEVSKA ENTRY 9PM $2 POTS!

TUESDAY 8 FEBRUARY

RESIDENCY

ALPINE CLIMATE

RACE WINNER Legendary Melbourne-born multi-instrumentalist, record producer and Bad Seeds founding member Hugo Race is set to release his new solo album this Friday. Fatalists is Race’s first release as a solo singer/songwriter and has already been hailed as a masterpiece by international music critics. Although born in Australia, Race has spent most of the last 25 years living abroad and collaborating on various albums and record labels. To celebrate the Australian release of his raw, moody and lyrically driven album, Race will be performing with special guests Dot Matrix and Celery at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 24 February. Tickets are available now from the Corner Hotel box office and northcotesocialclub.com.

After sharing the stage multiple times together in Europe last year, Canadian psych-rock five-piece Black Mountain have invited mind-melting Melbourne trio The Night Terrors to join them for all dates of their February Australian tour. Accompanying them at the Corner Hotel on Monday 21 February will be local folk singer/songwriter Matt Bailey. Black Mountain are back with a new album in tow, Wilderness Heart. Packed with succinct rock songs that pulse and pound with startling precision, it’s arguably the band’s tightest, most concentrated venture, but there’s still plenty of raw energy at work. The combination of Black Mountain’s strong songwriting chops, exquisitely layered male/ female harmonies, ‘70s psychedelia and stoner grooves with the unrefined excitement they produce in the live environment is spellbinding.

MILES AWAY DEFEATING FIRES

COPYWRITE PLANET ASIA

Since releasing their third album Endless Roads in August last year, hardcore/punk band Miles Away have been laying low. With members now residing on the other side of the world, touring has taken a back seat for the usual road warriors. But this March, they’re heading back to the stage and will be joined by Massachusetts-based Defeater and Brisbane’s Fires Of Waco. Both support acts have albums coming out this March. Catch them on Thursday 31 March at East Brunswick Club and on Friday 1 April at the Seaford Community Centre in Frankston (all ages).

Californian underground MC Planet Asia teams up with fellow hip hop purveyor Copywrite (AKA Peter William Nelson, formerly of The Weathermen) for an Australian tour showcasing their fine talent and lyrical expertise. Both well respected artists in their field, they have collaborated with the likes of Linkin Park, Sean Price, Talib Kweli, Tupac, Ghostface Killah and between them have been nominated for a Grammy and won Source magazine awards. Witness the charisma and wordplay of these two talented artists as they hype you up and get your heart pumping on Tuesday 1 March at the Corner.

DAN WEBB TOBIAS CUMMINGS ENTRY $7 DOOR, 9PM $10 JUGS!

COMING UP:

DAN WEBB (TUES IN FEB) ELLA THOMPSON (WED IN FEB) HUNTING FOXES (SUN IN FEB) BETTER THAN THE WIZARDS (SINGLE LAUNCH) (10 FEB) THE VIOLET FLAMES (FAREWELL SHOW) (11 FEB) BAND TOGETHER – FLOOD RELIEF (12 FEB – MATINEE) MY SECRET CIRCUS (12 FEB) MARSHALL & THE FRO (18 FEB) THE PAPER KITES (19 FEB) INNERSPACE (24 FEB) JASON WEBLEY (25 FEB) HUSKY (SINGLE LAUNCH) (26 FEB) MELODICS (4 MAR) RAPSKALLION (5 MAR)

$2 CARLTON POTS EVERY MONDAY FRIDAY 18TH FEBRUARY

TORO Y MOI

FRIDAY 25TH FEBRUARY

LUKE LEGS & THE MIDNIGHT SPECIALS SATURDAY 12TH MARCH

OZIBATLA

WED 2ND FEBRUARY

THE PUPS

THURS 3RD FEBRUARY

CAITLIN PARK (SYD) EP LAUNCH + LEHMAN B SMITH + YAMA BOY + TORI + THE SINKING TINS THURSDAY DJS: DJ DAN BLOCK MON 7TH FEBRUARY

FRI 4TH FEBRUARY

A TRIBUTE TO ACID CASUALTY W/ BUM CREEK + BREAKER MORANT + HISSEY MIYAKE + CONCRETE LIFE FRIDAY DJS: ICE CREAM DJS

KRISTINA MILTIADOU MONDAY RESIDENCY W/ FRANCOLIN

$2 ENTRY, $4 PINTS & $8 EATS THURS 10TH FEBRUARY SAT 12TH FEBRUARY

WED 9TH FEBRUARY

[ME] SHOWCASE SHOW

+ WOOHOO REVIEW + THE WHOLE MOLKO

YOUNG MAVERICK VIDEO LAUNCH PARADING ALBUM LAUNCH + TOMAKI JETS + UNDERWATER JESUS

+ BUM CREEK + ALEX JARVIS BAND + ACTUAL HOLES NICCI@GETNOTORIOUS.COM

20

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FRI 18TH FEBRUARY

TORO Y MOI

+ MAGIC SILVER WHITE + THE TOWNHOUSES CATE@GETNOTORIOUS.COM


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT Ball Park Music

PR

ES

EN

TS

SOUL QUEEN DOWN UNDER

Bluesfest have announced that one of Louisiana’s finest, Irma Thomas – soul queen of New Orleans – will play theatre sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne as part of her upcoming tour. Celebrating more than 50 years as an artist, Thomas remains one of America’s most distinctive and classic singers, a treasure from the golden age of soul music who is today as compelling and powerful as ever. In 2006 she won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for After The Rain, and she has performed with Stevie Wonder, collaborated with Bluesfest favourites Galactic and, in 2009, was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall Of Fame. Thomas plays the Corner Hotel on Wednesday 20 April.

RETURN TO FOREVER RETURN

TRIPLE RAINBOW, WHAT DOES IT MEAN 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. Quickly garnering recognition as Brisbane’s best new live band, Ball Park Music bring their rollicking, irresistible pop rock to the table. Armed with a canon of classic pop gems and irresistible party starters, Melbourne’s Eagle & The Worm took 2010 by the horns and made it their own, building up a solid fanbase on the way. With sun-drenched harmonies and shimmering melodies, Sydney’s We Say Bamboulee smash the genres into one appealing bubbling pot of original charm with a serve of smooth grooves on the side. Catch this triple-header at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 19 March. Tickets are available from northcotesocialclub.com, the Corner box office and at the door.

Return To Forever, one of the greatest jazz fusion groups of all time, kick off their world tour in Australia next month, performing near-three-hour shows around the country. Melbourne fans will be treated to two performances; the first being held at the Regent Theatre on Friday 11 February, with a second and final show at the Forum just announced for Saturday 12 February. Almost 40 years after Return To Forever first appeared on the scene, the much-honoured ensemble are making one of their continuing returns to action. Driven once again by the powerful engine of Chick Corea’s keyboards, Stanley Clarke’s bass and Lenny White’s drums, Return To Forever take to the road in the company of the superb French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and the Australian guitarist Frank Gambale. Tickets for this final Melbourne show are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

LISTEN TO NUMBERS RADIO

The year is off to a flying start for Brisbane’s Numbers Radio, with their first tour of 2011 having recently commenced. Before playing at the Sounds Loud festival on Saturday 9 April, Numbers Radio will please Melbourne audiences over three nights: Thursday 3 February at Geelong’s Bended Elbow, Friday 4 February at Frankston’s Peli Bar and Saturday 5 February at Bang at the Royal Melbourne Hotel. Supported by Melbourne hard rockers Cola Wars (ex-Bodyjar), Numbers Radio are one to watch in 2011.

USHERING IN MORE SHOWS

The public demand for tickets to see Usher live in Melbourne has been overwhelming, and as a result, a fifth Rod Laver Arena show on Saturday 2 April has been added. Trey Songz will join Usher on the original first eight tour dates while The Potbelleez have just been confirmed for all Australian shows. The quartet are due to release their hotly anticipated second album Destination Now later this year, but fans hungry for a taste can indulge in the latest singles Hello and Shake It, which have taken radio by storm. This might be your final chance to witness Usher’s colossal tour of Australia this March, so nab your ticket this Monday from Ticketek.

PUG’S RETURN Chicago-born songsmith Joe Pug performed for the first time in Australia last November and after wowing audiences in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne he has been invited back to play at Victoria’s Port Fairy Folk and Mossvale Music festivals. Performing with his trusty guitar, harmonica and sweet, soulful vocal chords Pug will also play a headline show in Melbourne as he celebrates last year’s release of his acclaimed album, Messenger. He’s performed numerous international gigs since his 2009 debut release. Look out for Pug when he performs at the Port Fairy Folk Festival on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March, Mossvale Music Festival on Saturday 19 March and the Toff In Town on Sunday 20 March. Tickets for all performances are on sale now and further details can be found at joepugmusic.com.

CROSSING SPIRITS

30 ROCK 30 Seconds To Mars will perform at a special gig in a secret Melbourne location on Wednesday 2 March for Take 40 Live In The City. Take 40 Live delivers live music experiences on unique outdoor stages, showcasing the world’s finest performers – from Wolfmother to Ke$ha, Powderfinger and most recently, Jamiroquai. Money-can’t-buy tickets for Take 40 Live In The City are up for grabs at take40.com until 21 February. Led by Jared Leto, 30 Seconds To Mars have three studio albums under their belt – their most recent release, 2009’s This Is War, boasts the singles Kings & Queens, the Australian top 15 hit Closer To The Edge and the new single Hurricane, which features Kanye West.

After playing a successful run of shows during their January residency at Cherry Bar, The Level Spirits are now ready and rearing to go for their official album launch show at the Tote on Friday 11 February. The album, Double Crosser, is ten tracks of pure rootsy, rock’n’roll bliss that takes the sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s and splits it into equal parts light and dark. The Level Spirits blend soulful and sassy vocals, twangy Gretsch guitar and thumping double bass and drums to create a hell of a soul garage sound. They will be supported by The Exotics and Wolfy & The Bat Cubs. Tickets are $15.

BLUNT VERSES

Balladeer James Blunt welcomes special guests The Verses, fronted by the exceptional Ella and Jesse Hooper, to his May tour. Following a very successful career in the early 2000s as founders of multi-platinum and ARIA-winning pop rock sensation Killing Heidi, brother and sister duo Ella and Jesse returned to the music scene in 2009 as The Verses with a brand new sound. Their debut album Seasons is a collection of warm roots rock and alt.country. Catch Blunt, alongside The Verses, on Saturday 21 May at Plenary Hall.

HARRIS IN THE HOUSE

The Wombats

Calvin Harris is gracing our shores as support DJ for Rihanna during her Australian tour. But lucky for us, he has also announced sideshows! As well as delighting fans with his solo work, the talented lad has collaborated with plenty of big names such as Kylie Minogue, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Tiesto and Dizzie Rascal. After performing at last year’s Big Day Out, he returns with his fresh electro pop. Calvin Harris performs with one of Australia’s most prolific DJs, Andy Murphy, on Saturday 26 February at Superdisco at the Prince. Tickets are available from Moshtix and princebandroom.com.au. Doors open at 9.30pm.

KLOOT’S A HOOT

While we’ve all been listening longingly to I Am Kloot’s Mercury Award-nominated album, Sky At Night, the band from Manchester have been busy selling out UK shows in hours and gearing up for their first ever Australian tour next month. The group have just announced that supporting them along their road to atmospheric beauty will be talented local act The Chemist. I Am Kloot play the East Brunswick Club on Thursday 17 February and tickets for the show are available now from eastbrunswickclub.com.au.

LION ROAR

MOO TUNES After a huge event last year, Groovin’ The Moo returns to the Bendigo Showground on Saturday 30 April. Bands set to appear at the festival include The Wombats, The Drums, House Of Pain, Darwin Deez, Datarock, The Go! Team, Unkle live, Architecture In Helsinki, Art Vs Science, Birds Of Tokyo, Bliss N Eso, Cut Copy, Drapht, Gotye, Gyroscope, The Holidays, Horrorshow, The Jezabels, Nina Las Vegas, Washington and more. Tickets are $99.90+BF, and go on sale Tuesday 15 February from gtm.net.au and Moshtix.

One Day As A Lion is the explosive collaboration of Rage Against The Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha and the former drummer from The Mars Volta, Jon Theodore. Since their formation in 2008, the duo have created a name for themselves by blending elements of rock, rap and punk – a defiant affirmation of the possibilities that exist in the space between kick and snare. One Day As A Lion will be touring Australia as one of the top three headlining acts on the Soundwave festival and will also be performing a one-off club show at the Prince Bandroom on Tuesday 1 March. One hundred percent of the show’s proceeds will be donated to benefit the victims of the Queensland flood crisis. Tickets for this special sideshow go on sale this Friday 4 February at 9am from Ticketek and princebandroom.com.au.

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21


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

SUPER HERO

Canadian prog metallers Protest The Hero have been added to the huge bill of High On Fire, Kylesa and Trash Talk taking over the Espy on Wednesday 2 March. With the Soundwave festival sold out, this will be your last chance to catch the bands in Melbourne.

FAREWELL TO THE OZI BATLA

Hip hop troubadour, Ozi Batla, most famously known from Sydney outfit The Herd, is gearing up to say farewell to his latest solo project with a series of intimate shows in March. The prolific recording and touring artist released his LP, Wild Colonial, in 2010, landing him nominations for an AIR Award, SMAC (FBi Radio) Award and a listing in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Hip Hop Of 2010. On stage is where everything makes sense for Ozi Batla – years of prowling the groggy carpet between the turntables and the foldback have left him unshakably solid on the microphone and this will be the final chance for Melbourne fans to see him in solo mode in 2011. Ozi will be playing at the Workers Club on Saturday 12 March and tickets are available now from Moshtix.

KINGS OF LEON CANCEL

ARMED AND DANGEROUS Direct from Oxford in the United Kingdom come This Town Needs Guns, and next month they’re bringing their unique sound to Australia for the first time. The band released their debut full-length album, Animals, in 2008, leaving fans and critics breathless. They are set to perform at the Toff In Town on Wednesday 2 March and tickets for their one-off show go on sale this Thursday from Moshtix.

ENCORE LANE AT SPIEGELTENT

Kings Of Leon have postponed their March Australian tour until November 2011 to allow drummer Nathan Followill to recover from surgery for a torn right labrum and bicep. A statement from touring company Frontier read: “Doctors have advised that at least three months will be required for Nathan to recover post surgery to ensure the injury doesn’t reoccur.The injury has, at this stage, led to the postponement of Australian and South African tour dates for Kings Of Leon. Nathan said of the postponement, ‘Sorry to all the fans in Australia and South Africa. My bum wing needs more time to heal but we’ll be back later this year. Sorry again.’ A new itinerary is currently being secured for November in Australia and will be advised to fans this week. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets until further notice.”

After playing two sell-out shows at The Famous Spiegeltent in 2008, Jordie Lane and band have been invited back to perform at the beautiful travelling tent, located at the Arts Centre in Melbourne, on Thursday 10 March. Lane and his band will be performing a number of new songs as well as a bunch of track favourites from their debut album, Sleeping Patterns. Tickets for this show are available from the Arts Centre Box Office and are on sale now.

IT’S BIGGER THAN HIP HOP

THE HORROR, THE HORROR Denmark’s demons of rockabilly punk, HorrorPops, have announced their first tour to Australia in more than five years. From virtual unknowns to stars of the Warped Tour and stadiums across Europe, HorrorPops have gone from strength to strength, earning a reputation for great songwriting and a jaw-dropping live experience. Encompassing everything from new wave, punk, ska, surf, rockabilly, metal and goth, the trio’s selfproduced, film-centric third album Kiss Kiss Kill Kill is a testament to their remarkable intuition and exploration of a wide array of styles. They’re bringing their rollicking set to the Corner on Monday 25 April. Tickets are on sale now from the Corner box office.

EVERY MONDAY

Releasing a new EP and then hitting the road to launch it, Diesel would like to announce 7 Axes. The EP features covers of the acts that have inspired and influenced Diesel (Hendrix, Young, Cropper etc), so in a postmodern dialogue sort of way he’s using their inspiration to cover their songs while giving them his own personal touch. Maybe don’t think about it too hard, just listen and enjoy. The idea came from live shows so it’s only fitting he doesn’t spend too long away from the stage and will be at the East Brunswick Club on Sunday 13 March.

DANCING SHOES Following on from the success of their ultimate genre-mashing mix, We Mix You Dance, Australia’s favourite indie party starters, Purple Sneaker DJs, have released an exciting new 46-track compilation – We Mix You Dance Vol 2. In celebration of their latest release the Purple Sneakers DJs are offering a free sneak-preview mini mix download from purplesneakerdjs.com to keep fans satisfied until they hit Victoria for three shows commencing this Friday at Miss Libertines. Purple Sneaker DJs will then head to Ballarat’s Karova Lounge to perform on Saturday 5 before returning to Melbourne for their gig at the Espy on Sunday 13 February during St Kilda Festival.

EVERY FRIDAY

EVERY SATURDAY LATE

THE HOUSE DE FROST

5 STARS BITCH!

LOVE STORY

POPROCKS

TRIVIA AT THE TOFF with NATH VALVO

and guests

No brainers and guilty pleasures

FREE ENTRY - From 11.30pm

FREE ENTRY - From 9pm

with 1928 (STROBE)

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: LONDON FREE ENTRY - In the Carriage

THURS 3 FEBRUARY

SAT 5 FEBRUARY

SUN 6 FEBRUARY

TUE 8, 15 & 22 FEBRUARY

POCO LA PAX

TINPAN ORANGE

THE STRING CONTINGENT

MAGIC MOUNTAIN BAND

with LUCY WISE

FEBRUARY RESIDENCY with, THE HELLO MORNING (SOLO) & ROLLER ONE (8/2), MAGNOLIA (15/2) and SPENDER (SOLO) & LUKE HOWARD ENSEMBLE (22/2)

Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door

Tickets $13.50 +BF / $18.50 on the door

Tickets $10 on the door

MON 14 FEBRUARY

WED 16 FEBRUARY

THURS 17 FEBRUARY

SAT 19 FEBRUARY

The return of...

SISTER FOR SISTERS

TORO Y MOI (USA)

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..

THE VAUDEVILLE SMASH

with LOVE CONNECTION HAMMOCKS AND HONEY

with THE STOICS

Tickets $13.50 +BF / $18.50 on the door

Tickets $10 on the door

Tickets $15 +BF / $20 on the door

Tickets $10 +BF / $12 on the door with EP

WED 23 FEBRUARY

THURS 24 FEBRUARY

SAT 26 FEBRUARY

SUN 27 FEBRUARY

STEPH HANNAH

GABBY YOUNG (UK)

SAN FRAN DISCO

DAVE MCCORMACK

DEBUT EP ‘MOUTHFUL OF WATER’ LAUNCH with SPECIAL GUESTS

with SPECIAL GUEST YEO

SINGLE LAUNCH with SPECIAL GUESTS

with SPECIAL GUESTS

Tickets $10 +BF / $15 on the door with EP

Tickets $20 +BF

Tickets $10 on the door

Tickets $TBA

with MIMI VELEVSKA & DJs

with ROSS JAMES IRWIN

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

SWING PATROL!

22

SEVEN DEADLY SONGS

EX UN TEN TI DE EVERY THURSDAY LATE L7 D /2

FREE ENTRY! - From 6.30pm

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

Or so Dead Prez would have you think. They’ve been around since the late ‘90s sharing their left-wing sensibilities with the urban music-loving world and worked with Kanye before he got super cool. They’ve also collaborateded with Jay-Z, which is a pretty neat thing to be able to show off too. Last year they released their fourth Turn Off The Radio mix tape, and this year they’ve got a new album forthcoming. Perhaps it is bigger than hip hop. Perhaps it’s not. Only one way to find out – get to the Espy on Friday 11 March.

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FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT The Living End

WARM JETS IN THE SAAB One of Australia’s most-loved bands, 78 Saab, are set to embark on a national tour throughout March and April in support of their new single Warm Jets – an engaging and hugely dynamic track with the brooding verse giving way to an anthemic chorus – which is to be released digitally on Friday 11 February. The influential four-piece released their latest album Good Fortune in October last year to significant acclaim. They’re playing on Saturday 5 March at the Northcote Social Club. Tickets are on sale this Friday from northcotesocialclub.com or the Corner box office.

DRUMS IN DANDENONG

There’s a new festival coming to the City Of Greater Dandenong – Drum Festival 2011. The two-day festival will run on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March and will feature free performances, workshops and evening events at the Dandenong Drum Theatre. In the months preceding the festival there will be school and community workshops held at various locations throughout the Greater City Of Dandenong to showcase local talent and a program of events that embrace the Dandenong Markets, Amphitheatre and Drum Theatre. This is a chance for the community to explore the beautifully revitalised Central Dandenong Precinct and unique musical instrument stalls while enjoying free performances. Tickets for evening performances and workshops with Ray Pereira and David Jones are on sale now thought the Drum Theatre Box Office in Dandenong or from drumtheatre.com.au. Tickets are free for residents of Dandenong.

POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME

Melbourne’s thriving arts quarter will receive a welcome boost via new festival Sugar Mountain. Sugar Mountain will take place over multiple locations in the heart of Melbourne’s city centre, including the Forum and No Vacancy Gallery at Federation Square, on Saturday 30 April. The Forum Theatre event will feature both international and Australian artists, celebrating the diverse creative forms of music and visual art, with a focus on the natural meeting points between. Sugar Mountain’s music and sound program is curated by Melbourne indie label Two Bright Lakes and touring company Egad Amia. The visual art program is curated by artist/creative director Pete Keen supported by No Vacancy Gallery, and will feature an impressive roll call of Australia’s finest young creatives alongside very special international guests. Sugar Mountain will celebrate creativity across multiple platforms. The festival directors are committed to creating an environment that is convivial and interactive, presenting engaging performances in intriguing spaces. Stay tuned for the first artist announcement.

MGMT GET SET

Jack Daniel’s have started the new year with their biggest announcement yet with MGMT heading to the legendary Beach Hotel in Byron Bay for their very own JD Summer Set on Thursday 3 March, with support from Pond. Into its fourth year, The JD Set pairs up-andcoming locals with established acts for huge shows around the country. Tickets for The JD Summer Set are only $35+BF and are on sale now from Moshtix.

FLOAT ON

Newly formed Australian group Floating Me have announced their debut tour together to celebrate the release of their first single, Sugar. The group, consisting of Andrew Gillespie, Antony Brown and Tobias Messiter from Scarymother, Lucius Borich from COG and Jon Stockman from Karnivool are set to release their debut album later this year. Featuring members of some of Australia’s finest hard-rock outfits over the past decade, Floating Me are a band with a fine pedigree. The members have combined to create music that is progressive, cinematic and haunting. The band play the Corner Hotel on Friday 18 February and the Ferntree Gully Hotel on Saturday 19 February. The band support Shihad at both shows.

THE WHITE STUFF

To celebrate the release of their new single The White Line, Bonjah are playing a very special intimate single launch show on Saturday 26 March at the Northcote Social Club. Tickets are on sale this Friday from northcotesocialclub.com.

ROCK ACTION AT THE GRAND PRIX Two of Australia’s most critically acclaimed rock bands, The Living End and Birds of Tokyo, are geared up to deliver two days of rocking trackside tunes at the 2011 Formula 1 Grand Prix. Birds Of Tokyo, last year’s ARIA Award winners for Best Rock Album, will headline the amped-up Sidetracked music festival (which also features a dazzling line-up of Australian live acts and DJs) on Saturday 26 March, playing tracks from their coveted self-titled platinum album, including massive crowd favourites Plans and Wild At Heart. Sunday 27 March will see The Living End thrill audiences with a free post-race performance. Single-day and weekend Grand Prix passes are available now from grandprix.com.au and Foxtix.

BE THEIR GUEST

After a brief hiatus thanks to unseasonably good ice-fishing atop the Urals, Guests Of Ghosts return to the fold with the release of their debut single Dirty. The brooding indie foursome have been likened to Foals, splicing dark imagery with soaring vocals and precision guitar hooks. More importantly, however, their haircuts were given a big thumbs-up by a drunken punter during a recent performance. See it all for yourself this Saturday at Revolver. Doors at 8pm, and entry is $8, with 100 free CDs on offer.

AMERICAN PUNK ALL-STARS There will be an all-stars union in Melbourne this March, when members from three of America’s finest punk rock bands join forces for a one-off show at the East Brunswick Club on Thursday 3 March. MXPX’s Mike Herrera will be teaming up with the frontman of The Ataris, Kris Roe, as well as The Summer Obsession drummer, Chris Wilson, as the MXPX All-Stars hit town. The Ataris will also perform. Tickets for the All-stars gig go on sale this Friday 4 February from 9am and are available from the Corner Box Office as well as eastbrunswickclub.com.

THE JOY OF SIX

Byron Bay’s Bluesfest festival this year will, for the first time, run into a sixth day, the Anzac Day holiday, to allow headliner Bob Dylan to play another set. The sixth day almost didn’t happen, with the local council not planning to reconvene until later in February to reassess the Bluesfest application (too late for the event to book artists and put day six tickets on sale), but following pressure from local business and media coverage, six of seven councillors voted in favour of the extension at a January ‘extraordinary meeting’. The festival has just unveiled the day six headliners, who include, alongside Dylan, Elvis Costello, Gurrumul; Paul Kelly, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tim Finn, Tony Joe White, Eli Paperboy Reed and The Mad Bastards – with more to come. The festival runs from Thursday 21 until Tuesday 26 April.

KEEP PUSHING

The Push have welcomed local hardcore outfit Hopeless, Brisbane’s Violent Soho and indie rockers Young Revelry and Gold Fields – who recently picked up the Triple J Unearthed spot at Falls Festival – and emerging artists 2econds to the Push Over 2011 line-up. The Red Shore have pulled out of the event and are taking a break from gigging, but the line-up still features Break Even, Children Collide, Deez Nuts, Dream On Dreamer, House Vs Hurricane, Howl, I Exist, Illy, Last Dinosaurs, Metals, Oh Mercy, 1/6 feat. MzRizk, Owl Eyes, Stonefield, The Storm Picturesque, The Tongue and more. Victoria’s longest-running all-ages live music festival takes over Abbotsford Convent on Sunday 13 March.

LET THEM EAT CAKE

Shock Records has signed one of Australia’s best-loved bands, My Friend The Chocolate Cake. MFTCC’s distinctive brand of pop noir has steeped deep into Australia’s musical psyche across the past 21 years and now the band are preparing to launch their brand new single, 25 Stations. The song is the first taste from the group’s forthcoming longplayer. They will celebrate its release with a show in the Famous Spiegeltent this Thursday and at the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh on Thursday 10 March.

FROM LITTLE THINGS…

Little John are purveyors of country gospel and folk rock. The sound of Little John is captivating: it has been described as devotional, celebratory, heartbreaking and archaic. It combines the angelic harmonies reminiscent of the American folk tradition with a gritty rock’n’roll delivery, evoking images of sparse American landscapes by way of a twisted Australian rhetoric. Catch Little John at Basement Discs in the city this Friday lunchtime, and every Sunday in February at the Old Bar and every Monday this month at the Espy.

THE REGGAE RISING Direct from Jamaica, three great reggae warriors are set to hit Melbourne for one night only in a mighty reggae rising. Led by the Grammy Awar-winning reggae legend, Toots Hibbert, this event will feature performances from Toots & The Maytals, Luciano & The Jah Messenjah Band and Warrior King, who will open the show. Toots & The Maytals have been smashing out hits for the last 40 years and one of their most famous songs, Pressure Drop, has been covered by a number of artists including The Clash, Jack Johnson and Robert Palmer. The reggae legends will be performing at the Palace on Sunday 24 April and tickets are on sale now through Ticketek.

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PUTA MADRE BROTHERS have a term to describe the music they make: “very idiot”. Ahead of their final Melbourne show before an extensive European tour, BOB BAKER FISH chats to ANTO MACARONI, one-third of Melbourne’s only one-man-band band.

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elbourne three-piece the Puta Madre Brothers are a maelstrom of dirty, high-energy Mexican scuzz’n’roll. They’re uncouth, in their dusty old Mexican army uniforms, their faces blackened by grit and misdeeds, grunting and spitting, smoking cigarettes and giggling to themselves, a joke that you know is on the audience yet they decline to share. When they speak it’s in haltering, heavily-accented English, yet you don’t want them to speak, you want the music to just continue onwards, the dirty mariachi Mexicana stomps infused with a deep love of noisy garage or, as they call it, Mexi-Motown. At Meredith recently they showered the crowd in a kilo of corn chips before launching into an hilarious barrage that was one of the breakout sets of the festival. “We try to bring some kind of stupid element to every show,” laughs a strangely unaccented Anto Macaroni. “That was the first time we had corn chips, cheeseflavoured corn chips. We might do it again. Sometimes we have really crap fireworks but that’s pretty irregular because not many people let us do that. We try to bring different things to it. We went and played Falls Festival after that and we actually got attacked by the crowd throwing cushions at us.” Of course there are probably worse things to be attacked with, and Macaroni believes it was an expression of love. Regardless, anything can and more than likely will happen at a Puta Madre Brothers show. In fact, it’s this chaos that they’re striving for.

“We want to make people laugh and witness something very dangerous and get in something very dangerous but enjoyable. Enjoyably dangerous,” offers Macaroni slowly, sounding like he’s making it up as he goes along. “We’ve got this description of ourselves which is ‘very idiot’,” he continues. “It kinda came about from too many shows in a row, too much driving, too much drinking and very strange conversations in the car. That’s kinda our mantra. Probably no one outside the band can understand what we mean by that, but we’re just striving to entertain people. “It’s great fun; we never want to come home after we’ve done a show. Most of the time one or two of us are bleeding, we’re totally exhausted, we’ve got heart palpitations because

we’ve decided to smoke cigarettes doing this ridiculous thing. But, still, after we’ve come off we’re like. ‘C’mon, let’s do it again.’” Which is lucky, because they’re about to head off on a 31-date tour of Europe. “The French promoter was really excited to tell me that the French people were just going to go crazy for an Australian band pretending to be Mexican coming to France singing in a very bad version of Spanish. We might just fit in.” Before we continue it’s probably best to clarify something. Puta Madre are also the world’s largest one-manband. Or possibly the world’s only one-man-band trio. How is this possible? Well, they each have a kick drum, guitar and other assorted percussion material. It should be an

undisciplined mess as it’s common knowledge that people only play in one-man bands because they lack social skills and no one can bear to be around them (hello Squarepusher and Billy Corgan). Yet the results, on their debut album Queso Y Cojones (“cheese and balls”) from mid last year, are anything but. With tightly honed riffs and rambunctious sing-alongs, it’s apparent that the trio of loners have somehow learned to work together. But surely a European tour is pushing it? “There could be some real fireworks,” Macaroni laughs. “We could self-combust. On fire. It could happen. I guess with social skills… I don’t have very good social skills, but the three of us together equal one regular frontman of a band who isn’t socially retarded. Perhaps.” As for the mechanics, Macaroni suggests it’s a combination of rehearsal and regular shows over summer. “We’ve worked it out over time. I’ve got the snare drum so I play the off-beats. Renato has the tambourine so he’s doing the shaky tambourine soul thing. Pickle has the hi-hat, which keeps the constant thing going. I don’t know how the three bass drums sound beyond the stage. But we try to pay attention to each other.” The tour, through France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Belgium, is in support of the album, which has just been released in Europe. “So we can’t give up on it yet,” quips Macaroni. But how does it sound to him now, almost 12 months after it was released in Australia?


“We don’t actually listen to it very much. All bands say that so we’re probably lying. But we’re ready to record a new one. We’ve kind’ve got a whole bunch of new material, so there’s more lyrics. We hear it and want to have a bit more bass in the next album. Keep the crap quality but have a bit more subs. “We want to maintain and have that [crapness] in a live setting as well. That album was recorded on cassette. We’ll continue to record the same way. Just in the shed with our eight-track cassette machine. Just take it a step further without going too Top 40 about it.” Speaking of Top 40, the brothers have been approached by Putumayo Records, who’ve asked for a copy of the album to consider for a possible track on one of their compilations. If you’re not aware of Putumayo, they’re world music-lite; a clean, sanitised version of world music purchased by men in suits or, as Macaroni colourfully phrases it, “elevator world music”. “I don’t know if it’s the rudeness or abuse that we hand out to the crowds, but maybe we’re not world music enough… I can understand why they wouldn’t put us on. I was in New York late last year on a holiday and contacted the record label just to say hello and see how they liked the album, but they didn’t really seem to want to hear from me. But I’m happy with that.” While dalliances with Putumayo and a trip to Europe is all well and good, there’s definitely an elephant in the room when Macaroni is talking about taking Puta Madre Brothers on the road: a return to the motherland. It’s something the trio have contemplated, however nothing is yet concrete.

MEX BEST THING

Popular music is littered with acts cashing in on Mexican culture, writes BOB BAKER FISH.

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exico has a rich heritage of music, from Los Madrugadores to Mariachi Vargas, from Vicente Fernandez to Los Panchos. Okay, maybe not household names, but great musicians nonetheless.

Mexico also has a rich heritage of musicians gaining inspiration from its sounds and culture. Most notable, of course, is Herb Alpert, whose Tijuana Brass defined easy listening music during the ‘60s. Inspired by the brass fanfare he heard during a bullfight in Tijuana, Alpert watered it down, adding a schmaltzy lounge vibe, often using strings or marimba. While he wasn’t above using images of bullfights on his album covers, or getting his band to dress up in cowboy gear, his desire to be the focus of attention prevented any perception other than they were a band of Americans faux-Mexing. Their success inspired countless easy listening brass bands determined to cash in and musically cross the border. With titles like Tijuana: The Sound Of Brass, South Of The Border: The Magic Accordion Of Herbie Marks, Sounds Tijuana!, Golden Trumpet and Along Mexican Highways, Mexico was an essential stop off for any cultured, well-travelled orchestra. Covering tunes like Danny Boy, South Of The Border and, of course, Spanish Eyes, every album cover either features a trumpet, a sultry Mexican woman or a cactus.

I don’t know if it’s the rudeness or abuse that we hand out to the crowds, but maybe we’re not world music enough…

Yet out of this sleazy listening blandness came an artist who revelled in its cheesiness, amping the kitsch factor up to 12 yet simultaneously creating musically complex and interesting work. Julius Wechter was a session musician who played marimba for everyone from the Beach Boys to Phil Spector, though it was his work with Herb Alpert that first piqued his interest in Mexicana. In 1964 he formed the Baja Marimba Band, using jazz musicians who had worked with the likes of Don Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. On album covers and on stage they would dress in sombreros, wear fake bushy mustaches, smoke cigars and drink beer, cheerfully portraying the ultimate cliched vision of Mexico.

“We could probably teach them a few words that they don’t have in their vocabulary,” offers Macaroni facetiously. “Well, Renato was over there at the end of last year. He was over there working on an art project, but also spruiking us a little bit. We have recently had some hate mail about the band name from Spanish people living in Australia, so his concern when he went to Mexico was we were too offensive, just purely the band name. But it seemed fine.” While Macaroni doesn’t divulge the contents of this hate mail, he concedes it did give him pause. “It was kinda exciting because it meant we were famous and also a little terrifying, because I still don’t know how close that guy lives to us. There’s a mixture of feelings there. His name was actually Julius Caesar, which is a bit weird. And he had a lot of Martin Luther King quotes with his signature, which is admirable. But I think he’s a bit confused or something.” So despite the hate mail, the Puta Madre Brothers are putting on a farewell/fundraising show at the Corner Hotel two days before their first show in France. To ensure they’re sent off in style they’ll be joined by a choir and a 14-piece trumpet section. “It’s going to be spectacular. Every three or four months we like to play a big show in Melbourne and put a lot of effort in. So we’re going to have a lucky dip, lots of props; we’re going to decorate the venue with tissue paper roses. It’s going to be incredible. All the trumpets are from China. The whole place will smell like formaldehyde. It will be a pretty modern show, but we don’t want it to be anything like those bohemian balls. They’re very contrived. Our thing will just be very loose, dangerous and very idiot.”

Herb Alpert

The liner notes on their first album describe a rugged mountain peninsula in Mexico known as Baja California: “Combining some of the sophistication of their Northern Neighbours, a warm and rich inborn feeling for melody, the camaraderie of the campfire and the splendour of a voluptuous sunset, The Baja Marimba Band now present their lively music and infectious melodies.” It’s unclear whether anyone actually believed the charade, particularly as their albums are littered with easy listening covers of everything from Puff The Magic Dragon to The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby. Yet they managed to tickle the top of the charts, releasing a slew of albums and actually outlasting Alpert & The Tijuana Brass. If you’re really interested in faux Mexicans, though, look no further than Yugoslavia in the ‘50s, where Mexican culture swept through the country and numerous musicians wore sombreros and sang about the dusty plains. They called themselves Slavic Mexicans. Curious? Check out Yu-Mex records. You wont believe your ears.

WHO: Puta Madre Brothers WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Corner Hotel

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LETTING GO Portland experimental indie trio MENOMENA were on top of the world at the beginning of the year – they’d released their fourth full-length, Mines, and were preparing to take Australia by storm. Then, founding member Brent Knopf suddenly left the band. MITCH KNOX spoke with DANNY SEIM before Knopf’s departure, and it seems he didn’t see it coming.

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ust because you’ve been doing something for a decade, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be more prepared when it comes to crunch time. Maybe you’ll sigh lethargically when you realise – on the eve of your final exams, before that big office presentation, or maybe on a panicked self-inflicted deadline for a magazine – that despite several years of primary, secondary and, in some cases, tertiary education, you are still a crammer. Maybe you’ll sigh, or maybe you’ll think of Menomena and realise that so are they, and that’s never stopped them from achieving success in the past. Think about it; you’ll feel better. “It’s always hard,” says founding member Danny Seim of the band’s tour preparations, on his mind as they prepare to fly to Europe en route to Australia for this month’s Laneway Festival tour. “Because, like,

we never physically play the songs at all until we’re actually touring, because usually they’re kind of written and recorded simultaneously, so it’s not like, one of us just has an idea for a song and we all get together and kind of jam on it and learn it at first and then record it; it’s kind of backwards, where we’re constantly adding to things in these computer programs that we have to make songs fleshed out over time. So, anyway, like the week or two before we have to leave on tour, it’s always this crazy scramble to learn everything and cover our songs.” The method is unquestionably a double-edged sword, though. While their live preparations may be rushed, their approach to recording is infamously less so. “[Mines] took so long to finish, and [it was] so long between the last two albums that we were starting to worry that in this crazy, accelerated blog culture and everything that everyone would have forgotten about us,” Seim laments. “But I dunno, it’s been good to get back on the road and we’ve played cities we’ve played before and people seem like they’re really… they’ve proved their patience with us, which is very nice.” Mission accomplished – and so they managed to pull it off for several years, most recently having returned from a successful five-week stint around the States and Canada. “I think it went over pretty well,” Seim reflects. “We hired a fourth member [Joe Haege] for the first time in our career. We’re gonna be bringing him down to Australia as well; he really helps just playing a lot of the parts and singing a lot, so that’s been good.” Although the original intention was to keep Haege on the road with them for as long as possible as a touring fourth member, Knopf’s decision to leave Menomena to focus on solo and other creative pursuits (don’t worry, it was amicable) has left Haege essentially filling his shoes, at least for the time being. Even if Haege does stay on with the band, it is unlikely they would then seek a replacement fourth, at least according to Seim. “I think it would be kind of hard to get into the mix at this time in our career,” he says. “We’ve just been doing this ten years now, so I think we’ll always make records just the three of us. But this guy Joe, he’s been really solid to have on the road, so we’d like to keep him there as long as possible.” Arguably, though, this development may throw the future of the band into question, since the Menomena record-making process seems to have been one crafted around individual quirks and complexities, with all three members sharing vocal and writing duties, swapping instruments, and doing all sorts of other inconsistent yet entirely effective stuff; a process Seim says could, even after all these years, be a tricky one, despite having fundamentally remained the same since the band’s inception. “It’s mostly the same. [The songs] mostly start out with just using the loops to record together, just by really cheaply and quickly passing a mic around the room and just kinda capturing quick ideas, and then taking those loops and re-arranging them at a later date into actual more kind of pop songs, y’know?” he explains. “So that’s largely the same. As the three of us individually get more comfortable with the whole recording software thing, I think it will tend to make us try new directions and things like that; maybe we explore it a little more on the most recent record, but I think the process is mostly the same.” The difficulty seems to lie in each member occasionally struggling to let go of certain creative visions or ideas they might have had for a particular riff or section that they brought to the table, as any parent would with their child, if songs are like children. “Oh, man, for sure, it’s always a struggle,” Seim admits. “It’s always hard to spend a lot of – I mean, a couple of these songs on Mines, I felt like I worked on personally for… oh, jeez, over a year, it seems like – and then when it came time to pass it off and get the other two guys into it, it’s just kind of hard to let go of that, y’know? They kind of become like your children; and I’ve just got to trust that when it gets passed off it’s going to come back even better. It’s just hard to see that. But thankfully, when they do come back, I always love the changes that [they] make, and it hopefully builds more trust and respect over time.” It must be hard, however friendly the departure, to reconcile with the idea of continuing on in the face of what is essentially the removal of a big part of the band’s heart; like if 75% of the way through Three Amigos, Chevy Chase just never appeared again and nobody got mad about it. Still, even without Knopf, Seim and remaining founding member Justin Harris will face challenges not only in replacing him but in continuing to grow and develop as musicians, whether they continue working with one another or not. “In some ways, it has [gotten easier] because I think in some ways we know each others’ process pretty well by now. So that’s good, but I think it becomes harder because we’re all a little more confident just recording ourselves, so I think the ideas tend to become more final draft rather than just kinda rough ideas that we’re expecting will get re-done at some point. I think now we’re like, ‘Well, I spent a lot of time on that vocal line. Don’t touch it!’” he laughs. “And then it does get touched and it comes back drastically different and there’s always this process where you have to listen to it 100 times before you’re like, ‘Okay, I see what you’re trying to do, and you’re right; you’re totally right.’ It’s hard to let go of those reins, y’know?”

WHO: Menomena WHAT: Mines (Barsuk/Spunk/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Wednesday 9 February, East Brunswick Club

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NAKED AMBITION MATT JOHNSON, one-half of the incredibly upbeat MATT & KIM, tells KATIE BENSON it took months to convince Kim to run nude through Times Square.

W

hen Kim Schifino cornered Matt Johnson at college for his number, he was reluctant. She was older, hot and had tattoos. Luckily, another one of her features was persistence and not long after, a partnership began that blossomed into the happy punk dance duo, Matt & Kim. Beginning with visual arts and film, the pair branched their creativity out into music and after releasing a strong selftitled debut in 2006, the couple from Brooklyn have been making the world dance ever since. Their second album, Grand, recorded entirely in their bedroom and released in 2009, became a cult smash, with the single Daylight being picked up for several commercials and TV shows and selling more than half a million copies in the States alone. With this success came the financial ability to get out of the bedroom and into the studio for their next project, the result being their third album, Sidewalks. Though some of the process had changed between

the two albums, Johnson insists Sidewalks began with the same aim as the last. “We had a very similar goal in mind for Sidewalks as we did for Grand – we just wanted to make music that we would want to hear in this world,” says Johnson. “But with Grand, we recorded it in a bedroom and just figured it out as we went along. We had a lot of success with it and we’re very proud of it, but going into Sidewalks, we had more financial backing so we could work with people who knew what the hell they were doing and Kim and I could concentrate on the music more.” Part of their graduation into the studio included the implementation of a producer, the pair finally settling on Ben Allen. Originally a studio assistant for Puff Daddy at Bad Boy Records, Allen’s diverse work as a producer (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley) is what attracted Matt & Kim. Though they both respected his work and skills as a producer, Johnson reveals handing over control was not an easy task for the DIY duo. “Kim and I are so used to working together, on different stuff, for years and years, so to have another mind come in, we just weren’t used to it,” says Johnson. “In the end we were really happy with what we came out with; it was nice to have some challenges and also someone there to break ties. If Kim and I disagree on something, what do you do? I mean, it’s a case of one versus one. You need a tiebreaker in there. But definitely in the beginning it was very difficult to work with a creative mind.” Before Allen entered as the “tiebreaker”, creative disagreements between the two sometimes compared to a war of attrition for Johnson. For their 2009 film clip Lessons Learned, Matt & Kim stripped naked in Times Square and incurred the attention of passing police officers. After the pair told the police they were shooting a mayonnaise commercial, they were given permission to continue filming. The end result went on to garner the band an MTV Award for Best Breakthrough Video and introduced their music and cheeky style to a much wider audience. According to Johnson, however, the award-winning video only came into being due to his persistence. “I came up with idea of getting naked for Lessons Learned, but I had to convince Kim to do it for months before she agreed. It came out well and we won that breakthrough video thing,” says Johnson. “Now I tell Kim that we have to do whatever stupid idea I come up with, even though we have a saying, ‘Kim’s always right.’ You can tell who made that saying up.”

If Kim and I disagree on something, what do you do? I mean, it’s a case of one versus one. You need a tiebreaker in there.”

With their success and new-found notoriety, Matt & Kim have had to abandon playing the Brooklyn warehouses and house parties that established them back in 2004. Though Johnson says the pair still attends these types of gigs when they can, the past few years have mostly seen the duo living out of bags and hotel rooms, which is exactly how Johnson likes it. “People say that touring’s hard, but it’s a total vacation. We just finished doing a two-month tour here [in the US] and it was just really kind of simple,” says Johnson. “We came back home recently when we had two days free and I felt like I had no real reason to go back to my own place. But given that Kim and I tour together – and we are together – it’s not like we’re leaving anyone behind. And so our best friends sort of become whoever we’re on tour with.” Touring heavily for the past three years, Johnson and Schifino have had the opportunity to befriend many different acts along the way. Last year the pair opened for Melbourne dance group Cut Copy on their tour around North America and in several reviews the Brooklyn pair stole the Aussies’ thunder. Johnson puts their positive live reviews down to their happy brand of cross-genre beats. “Kim and I are lucky in the way that we don’t fall into any one genre; we’ve opened up for punk rock stuff and DJs and hip hop artists. Wherever people want to have fun, that’s where Matt & Kim seem to make sense.” On this current visit to Australia, Matt & Kim have played the biggest Sydney Festival to date, on a line-up featuring artists such as John Malkovich, Paul Kelly and Sufjan Stevens. Don’t be surprised if the festival is the birthplace of the next Matt & Kim album. “It’s not just music we’re inspired by. We found that when people do cool shit, that makes us want to do cool shit,” says Johnson. “Whether it’s art or music or photography or film, it’s a weird competitive art school nature. Like, ‘Oh man, you’re doing cool stuff? Now I’m gonna do cool stuff, too.’ So you work harder and push yourself harder.”

WHO: Matt & Kim WHAT: Sidewalks (Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Corner Hotel

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DOWN WITH O.D.D. YEASAYER guitarist ANAND WILDER talks Pitchfork snubs, Kristen Bell’s beast love and future sounds with DOUG WALLEN.

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ack already, Yeasayer? Wasn’t it just last July that you were here for Splendour In The Grass? Not that we’re complaining. Last year’s Odd Blood is an album that keeps on giving: a new ‘deluxe edition’ includes popular remixes by Memory Tapes, The Golden Filter and DJ/Rupture. Fresh off the name-yourprice holiday release of a digital live album, it caps an amazing 2010 for the Brooklyn visionaries. And while the R&B-informed synth-pop of Odd Blood didn’t please everyone, it was a bold direction for a band whose first album was pigeonholed as world-damaged psych. “I never anticipated that it would get a resounding ‘yay’ from everybody,” admits guitarist and secondary singer/songwriter Anand Wilder. Reminded that the album was voted last year’s second most underrated album in Pitchfork’s readers poll, he responds, “I think that whole ‘underrated’ thing is just because Pitchfork decided they didn’t like the album, and our fans were probably upset with that. I don’t think Pitchfork ever really liked us that much, but it’s great to know we can operate without their approval.” This is Yeasayer’s third visit to Australia – for Laneway plus sideshows – and its first during our summer. When last in Melbourne, the band answered its growing success with back-to-back gigs in a single night. Punters surely appreciated the double exposure, but Wilder recounts the physical toll. “It was fine,” he says, “but it was brutal in between. We were kicking ourselves. You forget how tired playing a gig makes you. But I don’t think we showed it. I don’t think we gave any worse of a show than the first one.”

downloads. Mostly free downloads, which is fine. It’s something we’ll keep experimenting with.” While associated with such artist-friendly labels as Mute, Spunk and Secretly Canadian, today Yeasayer has a large enough fan base to bypass the label system, not to mention the make-or-break hand of Pitchfork. “We have no problem distributing our music now,” concurs Wilder, while citing the support of the above labels for funding those eye-popping clips. “You just put it online and everyone can get it. You don’t need record companies, really, any more.”

WHO: Yeasayer WHAT: Odd Blood (Deluxe Edition) (Spunk) WHERE & WHEN: Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Thursday 10 February, Billboard

When Yeasayer plays live, the gulf between its two albums evaporates. Armed with synths, drum pads, air-tight playing, and pop-star singing, the touring five-piece – as opposed to the core trio – fully realises the trippy territory mapped out on All Hours Cymbals and Odd Blood alike. And let’s not forget the Talk Talk-esque fan favourite Tightrope, a highlight of 2008’s Dark Was The Night compilation. As heard on the Brussels-recorded Live at Ancienne Belgique, all those selections mingle beautifully and are met with equal rapture by punters. As to why Belgium was chosen as the setting for a live album, Wilder explains, “It was really just a logistical question. We knew we wanted to do it at some point on that trip.” Unlike some live documents, it captures a single gig in its entirety. And as Wilder humbly states, “We didn’t make too many mistakes.” The album doesn’t tease fans with any material newer than Odd Blood, however. That’s because Yeasayer’s been too busy touring the world to expand on the demos that some members have recorded on their own. They hope to be able to fine-tune and road-test more recent creations by the middle of this year. That begs an obvious question: will future songs be more in the vein of All Hours Cymbals or Odd Blood? Neither, actually. “We’ll head someplace different,” reckons Wilder. “I think the key for us is to have open minds and not rule anything out.” And while ’80s-steeped synths dominate large swaths of Odd Blood, Yeasayer is by no means burnt out on the ubiquitous instrument. “We’re still discovering great things you can do with synthesisers and computers,” he confirms. “So it’s not like we’re gonna abandon them and make an acoustic guitar record.” Touring aside, the slow trickle of new Yeasayer tunes might have something to do with the ever-percolating side pursuits of various members. Having contributed production in the past to the Bat for Lashes album Two Suns, the band has more lately been occupied remixing the likes of Florence & The Machine, NERD and Cold War Kids. On top of those big-time assignments, drummer Jason Trammell (AKA Jaytram) just shared half a remix album for glitch guru Epstein with Prefuse 73. And primary singer/songwriter Chris Keating has been known to lend his pipes elsewhere, once crooning on the Simian Mobile Disco single Audacity Of Huge. Next up may be a remix for the pioneering kosmische outfit Popol Vuh, by whom Wilder says Yeasayer has been “super influenced”. “Whenever we’re not working on our own thing, we’ll throw in a remix here and there,” he notes. “I’d like to be doing more collaborations. I have a solo concept album that I’ve been working on for years with a friend. It’s kind of a musical, and I need to get a bunch of different people to sing lead vocals on it. So that’s difficult to coordinate, but I’ve working on it a little during time off.” Asked about the chance of a whole remix album for Odd Blood, Wilder dismisses the idea of collecting so many pre-existing reinterpretations in one place. “I don’t really see the need for it,” he argues, “since they’re all available online. If we were going to do a remix album, I’d want it to be all new remixes.” Whatever way, he sounds keener to properly follow up the album than revisit it yet again. Sadly, we’ve also seen the end of Odd Blood’s brilliant trio of sci-fi-influenced film clips, which span the disembodied faces of Ambling Alp, the misfit nightclub kitsch of ONE, and the ailing beast at the centre of the Kristen Bell-starring Madder Red. The first two were the handiwork of LA duo Radical Friend, who had helmed an interactive video for Black Moth Super Rainbow. And the much-discussed Madder Red was envisioned by Andreas Nilsson, the Swedish director behind similarly memorable clips for MGMT, The Knife, Bright Eyes and Moby. In the clip, Bell is racked with grief over the sudden illness of a hideous beast she calls her pet. “He had the off-the-wall idea of this creature and a famous actor or actress interacting with it,” Wilder recalls. “It turned out to be fitting, too, because Kristen Bell is a PETA activist and a real animal lover. And I think that creature really tests your true love of creatures.” Most of the above topics fall under the broad umbrella of interacting with fans in an internet-saturated world, whether it’s near-viral clips, drastic remixes, deluxe editions, or a potentially free-of-charge live record. Wilder agrees that things have definitely changed, and for the better. “Just the release of this live album has been really exciting,” he begins. “Of course Radiohead had done it before, but for us to put out an album without any promotion and see if people would actually take notice… and they did. We got tonnes of

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SINGLED OUT BY CLEM BASTOW

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SINGLE OF THE WEEK

ZOWIE BITE BACK Sony

JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN THE DEEP FIELD Play It Again Sam

HOUSES ALL NIGHT Lefse Records

THE DECEMBERISTS THE KING IS DEAD Capitol Records

As much as I grizzle about the electro-pop explosion/’80s revival, when it’s done well – which tends to occur when left in the trusted hands of icy female solo artists – it’s thrilling. Joining Robyn, La Roux and Roisin Murphy in the good corner is New Zealand’s Zowie, whose Bite Back thunders along (in a manner that inexplicably reminds me of Flo-Rida’s Round Round) with glamorous abandon and vaguely otherworldly synthesiser squeals providing the perfect sonic backdrop for her slightly bored, slightly sullen vocals.

Joan Wasser lists Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder as her main influences for The Deep Field, an overwhelmingly life-loving turn for her long-running project Joan As Police Woman. The ‘70s soul vibe is alive and kicking throughout the album, but in a weirdly discreet way, in the way you can feel a stomach bug but can’t see it for looking. I found it important to be aware of Wasser’s soul inclinations to preemptively tap out the album’s main artery. Because, despite The Deep Field’s funky keyboard riffs, soulful harmonies and Wasser’s own recently discovered joie de vivre, The Deep Field isn’t a soul album. It just isn’t – Wasser’s voice belies her creative intentions.

All Night is the debut album for the latest Lefse Records signing, Houses. The ‘band’ is ostensibly a solo labour of love for ‘frontman’ Dexter Tortoriello, and his project’s debut album solidifies his early promise as the latest purveyor of chill-wave electronic indie sounds.

The Decemberists have shown themselves to be rather fond of a concept album – their last LP, The Hazards Of Love, was a folk-prog epic about a woman who falls in love with a forest-dwelling shapeshifter. Rather than try to top that, they’ve decided to completely sidestep it. For their latest release, The King Is Dead, they’ve chosen to have no concept at all. It makes for a more accessible album and should see them gain fans.

SUM 41 SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER Universal Hey, check it out, these guys are still making music! Yep. They sure are.

GRINDERMAN PALACES OF MONTEZUMA EMI Let’s be honest with ourselves: if this middling, essentially diverting bit of ponderous exotica had been released by anyone other than The Prince Of Darkness™, I doubt that as many people would be in as much of a hurry to praise it as they surely are. I mean, “The spinal cord of JFK wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee”, come on. If forced to choose, I prefer Grinderman in full-bore, rattling mode, because at least then the sturm and drang distracts from a bunch of artists noodling along on autopilot.

BLACK EYED PEAS JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH Universal Given Will.I.Am and co’s predilection for musical pickpocketing that would make MC Hammer blush, it’s almost remarkable that a song of theirs called Just Can’t Get Enough actually has nothing at all to do with Depeche Mode. Instead, it’s a deathly dull hip hop ballad (of sorts) that finds Will’s vocals fiddled with in such a manner that suggests he called a hire company and was met with Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak while on hold.

This isn’t to say the album isn’t wonderful, or that Wasser’s voice can’t carry it off. The album is wonderful – deep, sonically complex and fresh. And Wasser’s voice is beautiful, but its ethereal reedy-ness – most evident on the subtly epic Flash – just doesn’t project that assertiveness particular to soul. Perhaps it’s just me, and perhaps I’m over-generalising, but it seems Wasser’s voice is inherently and intricately fractured in a way that can’t impart soul music. Did Wasser ever say she was trying to make a soul album though? No… I don’t believe she did, though a good old fossick through her influences does reap its rewards. Like appreciating that, while it dips like a UFO into the stratosphere of ‘70s soul (Run For Love actually sounds like it’s doing just that), The Deep Field is very much something unto itself. Wasser is 40 now, and her maturity as a musician and a woman is clearly evident on this record. The singular magnetism Jeff Buckley once sang about has lost none of its pull. Alice Body

Decamping with his girlfriend to a small cabin in Papaikou, Hawaii, Tortoriello crafted All Night under unusually spartan conditions, with no plumbing, electricity or gas and with his computer powered by limited solar energy. The results have yielded a highly atmospheric record, boasting digital sounds mixed beautifully with field recordings and gentle vocals. Unfortunately, for all its dense layering and crafted textures, the album does also lack focus and is short on discernible structure. All Night opens with its title track, which builds slowly over delicate percussion, layered with ethereal vocals. Endless Spring continues the vibe featuring mid-paced programmed beats, which provide the bedrock for processed keys and reverb-laden vocal murmurings. At its most potent, the album begins to sound eerily reminiscent of some of Brian Eno’s more experimental works. Meanwhile, Reds is the first sign of anything resembling a structured song on the album, featuring piano chords and chopped beats circling over a repeated vocal mantra. By fourth track Rose Book, it’s apparent that a pattern is emerging; phased keyboards are interwoven with sparse electronic percussive stabs, almost sounding like Daft Punk in slow motion. The second half of All Night takes on an even more reserved tone as the dreamy exploration Soak It Up meanders into the heavily instrumental outro pieces Medicine, Lost In Blue and album closer Sun Fills. Symon JJ Rock

Gone are the metal and prog leanings of Hazards, instead The Decemberists have gone for a sound closer to country (think Wilco, not Keith Urban). This is part of the band’s aim to make an album of American folk, rather than British folk. The album was recorded in a barn and often reflects its rustic origins, with sprinklings of fiddle, pedal steel and mandolin (the latter courtesy of REM’s Peter Buck). Frontman Colin Meloy’s lyrics continue the nature theme of Hazards. On the beautiful June Hymn he remarks that “the thrushes bleating battle with the wrens/disrupts my reverie again” – a bizarre way to complain about being woken from a daydream. This Is Why We Fight is a lush and uplifting call to arms, with some slightly morbid lyrics. It’s a standout song and would’ve been the best choice for album closer, rather than being second last. Unfortunately, Dear Avery gets the job, but just feels weak by comparison to the previous song. It’s a shame that it was chosen as the closer, but that’s the only real blemish on an otherwise excellent album. Admittedly, The Decemberists haven’t really stretched out on this release and it’s hard to argue that they’ve evolved in a major way. But for a band that creates such limits for themselves (lyrically dense folk isn’t one of the most free forms) they work wonders within their own boundaries and have made a brilliant album. Josh Ramselaar

GLEE HEY SOUL SISTER Sony Officially this is listed as ‘Glee Season 2’, but I’m not about to write that as an artist’s name; it’s rough enough having to call it Glee and not, say, Darren Criss, who is actually singing this. Anyway, it’s got the kiss of Criss, and so – despite the dud source material – it’s miles better than most Glee offerings (Criss was also behind the transcendent Teenage Dream). It is, however, still Hey Soul Sister, one of the most anodyne songs of the past century or so, so stick to YouTube, where at least you get to see The Warblers, and Mr Schu’s O_O face, as well as hear them.

J LO FEAT PITBULL ON THE FLOOR Universal I am really enjoying the late-’90s/early-’00s dance thread that has been emerging in R&B over the last few months. Mind you, it also gives me a newfound appreciation for what it must have made Boomers feel like when the nu-disco trend happened back in the mid-’90s: OLD. As for On The Floor, it’s no Waiting For Tonight or Get Right – and is constructed around an inexplicable melody sample of Kaoma’s Lambada, which makes me feel not just old, but terminally confused.

ROXETTE SHE’S GOT NOTHING ON (BUT THE RADIO) EMI In the scheme of comebacks we didn’t see coming, Roxette’s probably rates fairly highly. She’s Got Nothing On begins in such a manner that Red Hot Chili Peppers might like to call their lawyers (“What you got you got to give it to somebody” etc), then quickly plummets down the aural toilet faster than a lead turd in the shape of a keytar. Please, guys, go enjoy your retirement. Don’t feel you have to release music on our behalf.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE BITTERSWEET MEMORIES Sony If there’s one ‘good’ thing to come out of the whole postemo revolution, it’s that at least bands like Bullet For My Valentine have realised their inherent campness and started to inject earnest, harmonised guitar solos into the mix, as they have done for the introductory moments of Bittersweet Memories.

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CRYSTAL FIGHTERS STAR OF LOVE Liberator Music A press release, tucked into a CD sleeve, is not a given in music journalism these days. With information about even the most unknown artist available en masse via the interweb, sometimes there is no need for Susie from marketing to slave away over a few hundred words only to appease the fickle, fickle media. Well, thank god no one told that to Crystal Fighters. Because the ability to sink deep enough between the musical and ideological levels of their debut record Star Of Love to identify the underlying cultural and personal backdrop to the album, would require an investigation Julian Assange would be proud of. On the surface, Star Of Love is a brilliantly crafted dance record. With the party vibe of El Guincho and Crystal Castles (I Do This Everyday, In The Summer) juxtaposed on occasion with the down-tempo bliss of The XX (beautiful moments such as Champion Sound), there are enough pop tunes to keep ravers from Brixton to Brooklyn to Brisbane bopping their heads. But with a back-story influenced by the unfinished opera manuscript of a friend’s Basque grandfather’s mental torment, and featuring instruments such as the trikitixa melodeon and txistu sopranino – folk instruments from the Basque region – it works on a completely different level altogether. The instrumentation and heavily accented vocals suggest a huge Basque influence (as to a Spanish influence, the difference between the two is far too heavy to discuss here). But the band actually hail from London, the only obvious reference being through the eyes of a fictional traveller traversing the city’s underground. In addition, Crystal Fighters employ driving bass, heady synthesisers and the swirling, aural pyrotechnics that can only come out of one of the most forward-thinking, artistic cities around. Star Of Love is going to impress. If not for the fast-paced hedonism of the music itself, then for the subconscious, heaving tones that underlie the cultural high-water mark that it is.

UNDEAD APES GRAVE CONSEQUENCES Merenoise Records

ASA BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTION Cartell Music

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason it warms the cockles of this approaching-50 punk’s heart to hear young people playing old school, three-thrashed chords music à la The Ramones or The Misfits. Brisbane outfit Undead Apes are one such band and Grave Consequences one such album: hairy, nasty, melodic, fun. The Apes are a supergroup of sorts, boasting members from Sekiden, Gazoonga Attack, Dick Nasty, The Fancy Boys and Eat Laser Scumbag, who all obviously know how to name a band. And with song titles on this album such as Eat Yr Brain, Lobotomy and Hypothermia, how is it possible for any right-thinking person not to like this record? The individual tracks never fail to take the exact measure of their ability to entertain and enliven: short, sharp and finishing exactly when they should – not something every band has a handle on – always leaving the listener wanting more, then picking up and starting the whole process over again, the same but deliciously different.

“Why can’t we be happy? ” asks the plucky-sounding, Paris-born, Lagos-raised Asa (birth name Bukola Emelide) as she opens her second album Beautiful Imperfection. Having released her eponymous debut back in 2007, Asa found her musings celebrated by the global music scene. With her David Walters duet Home having only heightened her acclaim, it is more than obvious as to why Asa is in an upbeat mood as she releases her second album.

The press release accompanying Grave Consequences, boasts, “They have a song about ESP that contains the line: ‘gimme gimme ESP”! When has that happened before? Never.” And it’s a valid point, I reckon. There was shock treatment, of course, but that’s a whole other thing surely? And originality, despite the band’s ‘claims’, is not really at issue here anyway. The point is certainly unadulterated fun, what must surely be a killer live show and, taking the band’s name into consideration, a general musical fitting into the rebirth of the zombie genre. For my money, Undead Apes fall somewhere between Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and Zombies Of Mass Destruction, but wherever you want to put them, these crazy Queenslanders deserve a huge round of applause for this funfest of a record. Tony McMahon

Dylan Stewart

Inspired by female vocalists who have worn their hearts on the sleeves, from Erykah Badu through Lauryn Hill, Asa has never sounded like a copycat. With her thick soulful tones, reminiscent of German soul star Ayo, Asa makes for easy listening without ever forgetting that music should be both enjoyable and meaningful. With Beautiful Imperfection proving to be an album that overflows with love and introspection in equal measure, album closer Questions defines the record within its simple but effective wording. Having penned or co-penned all of the album’s 12 tracks, Asa is flawless whether she sings in Yoruba or English. She really shines on the rock-tinged Bimpé. With a determined edge ringing throughout her voice, Asa proves there is more to her than the soft but strong warmth. Lacking the harrowed edge found in Nina Simone’s vocal, Asa adds her own innocent edge to the blues as she approaches The Way I Feel. Though Asa’s downbeat, internalised reflections are more than moving, it is the musically optimistic and joyful fusing with lyrical questioning where she really shines on Beautiful Imperfection. “It’s not that I don’t know/It’s not that I don’t feel,” Asa states on The Way I Feel as she questions her own existence without ego or pride, clearly enjoying every moment as she does so. Asa may be the latest in a long line of strong, soulful chanteuses, but her unimposing presence makes for an intriguing, uplifting listen. Jeremy Williams

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darling, don’t you cry” – his earnest delivery evermore confident with each release. Something about the wistful optimism of this track echoes Together In Electric Dreams (Moroder/Oakey) – it’s all sunlight, popsicles and rainbows.

TAKE ME OVER Okay, so the bass riff here is clearly reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere and if the choruses from both of these songs were sung simultaneously, the dreamy “ooh-ooh-ooh”s would kick in at opposite times – Girl Talk would certainly have some fun with that shit. Bongos can never be a bad thing and the Balinese-tinged keys bring a Hot Chip edge. There’s some sort of seagull/ chimpanzee sound sampled here as well, which pulls the whole “through the jungle, through the night” sound safari together.

CLOUD NOTHINGS CLOUD NOTHINGS Wichita/Inertia Cloud Nothings is the project of 19-year-old Cleveland kid Dylan Baldi. What started out as a way for Baldi to amuse himself turned into something that gathered hype over the internet, and then more hype as he started playing live shows with three other band members. And it’s not difficult to see how such a band could potentially garner a cult following: it’s quintessential lo-fi, hook-laden indie power pop with portions of surf rock, chillwave and even some pop punk (best exemplified in the bratty Not Important) thrown into the mix.

CUT COPY ZONOSCOPE Modular

When I first listened of Cloud Nothings’ eponymous debut album, I mainly took note of the poor recording quality and production, the consistent repetitiveness of all the songs, and the lack of depth. However, upon further listens, all those ‘negative’ points somehow transformed into positive ones: Baldi has penned short, catchy tunes that are supposed to be raw, fun, unpolished nuggets of nostalgia. The average song length is a mere two minutes and 39 seconds; Heartbeat is one minute of basically one line being repeated. Understand At All and Oh I Know (You’re Done With Me) both represent the album well, with the guitar in the former being more jangly and the latter more fuzzy, but both encompassing Baldi’s youthful swagger. By contrast, the bonus track Dancer is charmingly old-timey, complete with a delightfully tinkly piano solo, brushes playing out a swing beat on drums, and bad sound quality that only enhances its quaintness.

The Cutters boys are looking very expensive in their promo shots these days, in matching finery, and they clearly mean business. You can tell they all geek out over their equipment (especially effects pedals and unconventional percussion on this, the band’s third longplayer) and are avid listeners/appreciators/collectors of music; a nod to each new musical fixation bringing an assemblage quality to this material. Bright Like Neon Love, the title of Cut Copy’s debut album, perfectly describes how their music glistens. The listener feels a blinding ache of nostalgia while tumbling through a trapdoor toward future sounds with every spin. There are some spoken word segues scattered throughout Zonoscope and snatches of sound fused together like a fast-forward newsflash. In Ghost Colours cemented Cut Copy’s name, in large font, on posters advertising the biggest international festivals. Zonoscope will take them higher.

While it’s far from a masterpiece, Cloud Nothings has a lot to offer to those who want a simplistic summer soundtrack to which they can live out or re-live their days as a carefree teenager looking for fun while trying to survive suburbia.

NEED YOU NOW

Stephanie Liew

WHERE I’M GOING

Any feelings of nervousness that you’ll be compelled to reach for In Ghost Colours rather than press repeat on its follow-up are immediately alleviated as soon as this track takes flight. A driving undercurrent similar to Donna Summer’s horny, electro disco classic I Feel Love rests beneath wind-chime percussion and trills that sound like an aural mirage. Enter Dan Whitford’s vocal – “Hush

This teaser from Zonoscope first hit the blogosphere last July. The band has come up with their own version of “A-wimoweh-a-wimoweh” (remember The Lion Sleeps Tonight?) to flow through the verses of this track. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, WOO !” is bound to get live audiences all geed up but beware, ‘cause sometimes there’s no “WOO” and at other times there’s another “yeah”. An organ part threads through this track and is particularly prominent in the third quarter. It channels The Who’s Baba O’Riley intro.

STRANGE NOSTALGIA FOR THE FUTURE This is a two-minute siren song from mermen. You’d swim out to your death for sure. Like eating a cube of cheese in between sampling fine wines, it serves to refresh your aural palette.

THIS IS ALL WE’VE GOT While pretty, this track gets lost and doesn’t shine within the surrounding galaxy. Although it provides a different texture, This Is All We’ve Got won’t demand your attention as much as all of the tracks up to this point. It comes off as an afterthought.

ALISA “[Baritone] …carry lonely hearts to [countertenor] YOU-OOH !” Whitford’s vocal range is extraordinary and Cut Copy are immediately back on track. The repetition of fairly simple instrumental parts quickly grabs your attention here and shifts the emphasis to lyrical content. The stirring chorus string arrangement echoes the fluttering of the narrator’s heartstrings. Sublime.

HANGING ONTO EVERY HEARTBEAT A fairly subdued track with some wonderful touches. Sleigh bells AND tambourine? Double the pleasure. The nuances in this track are best appreciated through headphones.

PHAROAHS & PYRAMIDS

CORNER OF THE SKY

This cut opens like the sound that would accompany the squiggly line, shift in time convention favoured by the small screen. Synths carry you off to a forbidden nook and the beseeching chorus lyrics propose an option for your chosen one to put you on layby– “Please baby, please baby/Don’t take your heart away/Just save it for another day/When you need my love some more.” The pogo breakdown here is almost as devastating as that of My People by The Presets. There’s a bass melody here that references a similar sound from Hearts On Fire’s outro – a worthy reappearance.

Oh, come on! Give us a drumstick or mallet so we can join in! The percussive base of this one will cause mayhem if played near anything you can tap. There’s an underlying groove and outerspace keys as well as emphatic, punctuated lyrical phrases – “Jac-kets made of voo-doo.” Get thee to the dancefloor.

BLINK AND YOU’LL MISS A REVOLUTION Is that a glockenspiel supplying the hook? This is infectious stuff but the inconsistent vocal effects/affected vocals in the verses tend to distract from the listening experience – Whitford does Oakey. Dreamy BVs and cranking instrumentation save it from the skip button, however, and live YouTube footage of this track performed at Coachella promises awesome Ian Curtis moves from the frontman.

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SUN GOD Let’s all worship at the altar of all 15.07 minutes of Sun God. “Please, please, please, please, please won’t you give your love to me? ” Well, since you asked so goddamn nicely… You’ll clap along to the “You’ve got to live/You’ve got to die/So what’s the purpose/Of you and I? ” chant and beg for lasers cutting through thick smoke when the prolonged synth stabs take hold. Phew! And I’m spent. Zonoscope is released Friday. Bryget Chrisfield

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NO OFFENCE INTENDED Canada’s HOLY FUCK never set out to cause a commotion, BRIAN BORCHERDT tells ANTHONY CAREW as they head out to follow their acclaimed Latin release with a Laneway appearance. ever mistake us for jazz musicians,” Borcherdt laughs. Still… “Holy Fuck was going to be this amorphous entity, with multiple members that come and go, like an art project or a collective,” he recalls. “Holy Fuck wasn’t the only thing we wanted to do. In fact, it would’ve been very unlikely that we’d have ever formed Holy Fuck if we thought that, one day, it’d turn out to be our only band. We just thought it’d be something we’d do on the side.” “That was part of the excitement about it,” Borcherdt continues. “It felt really refreshing to be on some multipleband bill at a festival something, alongside people who have everything choreographed, right down to their stage banter. We always felt this childish, mischievous thrill to going up there and be the antithesis of that: make a wall of feedback and fuck around. That’s what we were doing on stage. I remember opening for Wolf Parade doing that, and, sure enough, the audience hated it. So, we saw the potential to do more than that, use that same process and same spirit in a way that people would enjoy listening to as much as we were enjoying making it.”

I

f you wonder why a band would decide to stick themselves with the name Holy Fuck, understand what the Canadian combo thought they were undertaking when they founded the project in 2004. It wasn’t going to be a band, but an on-the-side lark. Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh didn’t want to devote their lives to instrumental electronic music with a juvenile handle at all. “This was just going to be some kind of fun project, which is why we decided to make music that had just one singular concept rather than a lot of ideas,” Borcherdt recounts. “And, why we named ourselves something otherwise retarded.” Borcherdt is a 33-year-old Nova Scotian lad who moved to Toronto in 2000. Fresh off the boat, he fell into a gig in popular indie rock outfit By Divine Right, replacing just-departed guitarist Leslie Feist, no less. Not long after, he found himself on an Australian tour. “I was the new guy in the band, still young, hadn’t travelled much, and then over our Christmas holidays I got to fly to Australia in the middle of summer,” he recounts, as if still reeling from the sequence of events. Though Borcherdt was initially excited to have found

his way into By Divine Right – “I was young, and had just moved from a small-town scene to a bigger scene,” he explains, “I was fortunate to meet such cool people with interesting ideas” – he inevitably grew frustrated at just being a band member. “I wasn’t contributing creatively at all,” Borcherdt says. So, he started recording solo – earnest songwritery stuff as The Remains Of Brian Borcherdt – thinking that’d be his main gig. On the side, he undertook a project with Walsh; an improvised, instrumental, noisy outfit that created electronic music with a live rock band physicality; playing drum machines, keyboards and mixing desks live rather than programming beats in advance. “We’d plug in our mixers, feed our batteryoperated keyboard beats into them, run them through distortion pedals, and everything would start to feedback, and react, and do its own thing. So, we recognised that whatever it was going to be was going to have to be spontaneous, because it wasn’t going to be the thing that we could recreate night after night,” he says. To match such improvised music, the line-up would change constantly. Like a jazz collective? “No one would

That initial obnoxiousness was part of the reason that Holy Fuck were born with nary a hint of ambition, conceived as a singular project to exist in the margins. “I didn’t think what we were doing was going to be this acceptable,” says Borcherdt. “But we got busy, we started touring a lot. So, it became different entity, a serious band. I didn’t foresee that happening at all.” In 2005, the year Holy Fuck self-released their self-titled album in 2005, they found themselves out on the road constantly. “We were doing it as a little-known opening band, playing for less than $100 a night,” Borcherdt remembers. “Opening on tour for bands like Metric or Wolf Parade. Nobody had heard of us – nobody was coming just to see us, was wearing our shirts, shouting out our songs – but suddenly we couldn’t be exactly what we wanted to be. Because, if we were going to play every night, we were going to have to demand more of a commitment from our friends that were playing with us. People had to decide if they were in or not; whether they were going to stay in their other bands or not. And we went from being a band that never wrote a set-list, and made up everything on the spot, to getting to the point that, through playing every night, actual songs were just arising from the process of repetition.”

KEY TO THE DOOR Bassist KEVIN BAIRD tells BRYGET CHRISFIELD that all in TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB have now turned 21 and like to include “pornographic magazine of your choice” in their rider. reveals of his band’s festival selection process. “We’ve always felt like our band’s kind of been on an edge – we could easily fit into the indie stuff or we could easily fit into the mainstream, shit pop stuff. So we thought, ‘We’re not interested in being in that place.’ We’re not interested in being millionaires, you know, we just want our band to be fun and to be cool and for us to enjoy ourselves. So we went with the festival, honestly, which had the best line-up and the bands that we wanted to see. And we feel completely in place with bands like Foals and Yeasayer and Les Savy Fav and Cut Copy.”

“I

’m currently in Brussels, in Belgium, and it’s very cold and we just finished a gig so there’s lots of fans outside of our bus,” Kevin Baird, Two Door Cinema Club’s bass player, walks as he talks. “I’m trying to get onto the bus without causing too much of a commotion.” What do the fans want? Signatures? Happy snaps? “Yeah, lots of signings and the like. Everyone wants Facebook profile photos, you know? Oh no, they’re trying to follow me! They were walking past and making very greedy eyes at the bus.” Word is spreading and Two Door Cinema Club have often had to move their shows to much larger venues to keep up with the demand for tickets. “It’s kind of funny,” the bassist considers, “because the last time we played in Berlin was at this tiny little 250 capacity – what looked like a squat place. It was so cool and it was just off the hook, man, and everyone went nuts.” From such humble beginnings, the young Irish band recently booked gigs in Germany that had to be upgraded to venues that could accommodate up to 1,500 sweaty bodies.

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Two Door Cinema Club’s Splendour In The Grass sideshows experienced similar venue upgrades last year, which is remarkable considering the band was touring off the back of their debut album, Tourist History. “It was pretty unbelievable, really,” Baird remembers of the view from the Mix Up stage during their 2pm slot at Splendour In The Grass. “We knew we were gonna clash with The Drums, and we knew there was going to be quite a lot of crossover between our fans and people who like The Drums so we were just really, really thankful that everyone came along to see us and didn’t go to The Drums instead.” He laughs. Even rock enthusiasts were impressed by Two Door Cinema Club’s live performance. “We do run our live shows like a rock show,” the bassist stresses. “I think our music translates into quite heavy rock music when we play live.” Having already ticked an appearance at Splendour In The Grass off their to-do list, Two Door Cinema Club are readying themselves for the touring Laneway Festival circuit this time around. “We didn’t want to do something which was really commercial,” Baird

The young Irish band, who formed in 2007, have already graced the Glastonbury stage and the career highlights just keep on coming. They even met Prince Charles, who attended to help celebrate the festival’s 40th anniversary last year. “We really did meet Prince Charles!” Baird sounds incredulous. “To this day, I still don’t really know why. I still don’t really know what happened. It was very fast and it was very serious. But it was kinda cool, I guess.” On what he recalls of the exchange, Baird offers. “You know, it’s his first job – he’s like the king of small talk ‘cause he’s not the king of England, haha. So it was quite funny actually because he mentioned we were from Wales and when we told him that we weren’t from there, we were from Northern Ireland, he looked a bit scared. He had a very quick glance over to his security guard. And we assured him that we weren’t terrorists and we were fine. It was all just bullshit, really.” Baird managed to get a photo for his Facebook profile “kind of from other people from afar”, which will surely impress the grandkids one day. “Yeah, yeah, I need to meet someone first,” he chuckles. Speaking of which, how old are the wee lads now? “Uh, we’re all 21,” he replies. “I, in fact, had my 21st in Sydney, my first time to Australia. It was kind of awful because Sam [Halliday, guitar], he had his 21st on the flight over to Australia. And the flight from the UK to Australia is quite long so he didn’t have a very enjoyable birthday. He had the worst birthday ever. It was pretty funny actually ‘cause he ended up sitting on his own. We were all together [Baird, Alex Trimble (frontman), Shawn Costa (touring drummer) plus entourage] and he was sitting on his own. I told the airhostess that it was his birthday and so they brought him champagne and decided to give him an announcement. But obviously

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Their first album – “not a very popular record,” Borcherdt smirks – captured Holy Fuck finding their feet; catching that middle-ground between melody and noise, form and formlessness, dancefloor fervour and chin-scratchery. “I liked that [the album] was obviously the beginning, and you could see it, from there, evolving in all kinds of different ways, at different angles,” offers Borcherdt. The second Holy Fuck record was also self-titled, but got referred to as LP. Issued after the duo signed to XL, it served as their breakout set; and, combined with their budding reputation as festival-friendly live beast, LP proved to be beloved by many. Borcherdt was, however, not one of those. “It still felt like a bit of a collage record, in that one song would sound different from the next, and would feature different musicians.” With 2010’s Latin, Holy Fuck strove to make “something that was dynamic, and listenable from beginning to end”, with more energy and exuberance than either prior record. “We know that attention spans are short,” says Borcherdt. “We’re an instrumental band that isn’t focused on melody, so we’re always wondering whether there’s a limit to how long people can stick with you.” That concern also came because, these days, Holy Fuck have “more fans than ever before”. In Canada, they’re something close to a big draw; almost part of the establishment. It’s been quite the ascent for a band whose name can’t actually be said on commercial radio. “If there’s someone out there who actually, honestly gets offended by it, then that’s their right, and I feel almost like I should apologise, because we weren’t trying to offend people,” Borcherdt says, of that damn name. “We didn’t think it would be offensive, we thought it’d be funny. Our friends thought it was funny. The thing I wish would be different is the sense, in this really trend-driven blog world, that there’s a certain kind of way to gather attention within certain confines. Like, there’s a specific name you can chose which pitches you directly to an audience. And, in a world of Crystals and Rainbows and Pyramids, being called Holy Fuck makes us a little bit like the retarded cousins.”

WHO: Holy Fuck WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Hi-Fi; Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre

he was just sitting beside this random girl, and so they came up there with two glasses of champagne, and it kind of looked like he had told them himself!” Two Door Cinema Club tour the world so much these days that it’s pointless paying rent. “We decided to be homeless and we don’t live anywhere,” Baird confirms. “We did have a flat in London for a while but, to be honest, we didn’t enjoy it very much. It was a bit of a squat. It was horrible, really. We had a bit of an insect problem and we were never there to clean it and we didn’t care about it. It wasn’t very nice so we weren’t too sad when we gave that up.” Being such regulars on the touring circuit, Two Door Cinema Club must have their rider set in stone. “We have this little game, which we play when it comes to riders,” Baird employs a cheeky tone. “We like to test the promoter. We like to see if he actually reads it. And because normally everything’s quite generic: beer, water, soft drinks, food, whatever. But then we like to throw in a little wildcard, so at the bottom of our rider we have ‘pornographic magazine of your choice’, ‘a box of man-size tissues’. It was kind of stupid, ‘cause after a while we started to realise, ‘You know what? We’re actually paying for this,’” he laughs. “So we’re better to not get porn, which we’re just gonna throw away. But we’ve got it quite a few times. It’s just funny. Because we say ‘of your choice’, they just get us the most disgusting porn magazine they could ever think of and that’s kind of where the joke is. So we rip the pages out and put them in certain places and annoy people and put them in people’s bags and stuff. It’s just immature little jokes – open your bag and find a really disgusting porn magazine.” We wouldn’t recommend requesting a ‘pornographic magazine of your choice’ in Holland. “We were in Holland two days ago, we had a day off there and stuff,” Baird shares. “We actually got [a porn mag] the other night. It was a bit soft, really. I was expecting better. We were [in Amsterdam] yesterday, actually. We didn’t go to the sex museum. I’ve never been there,” he laughs. “We’re not that kind of band. But I was in the red-light district for a while. It was all by accident, you know.”

WHO: Two Door Cinema Club WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Tuesday 8 February, Prince Bandroom


HEAR THEM ROAR ONE DAY AS A LION drummer JON THEODORE was blown away the first time he heard bandmate Zack de la Rocha rip shit up on the mic, he tells SCOTT FITZSIMONS. with people who inspire you and go play with them it becomes a whole different dimension that’s added. “Although there’s sort of a thin line where you get the best of both, too, especially when you have a group that you’re really in touch with and you feel like you can create something special night to night. There’s a fine line there where you’re expected to bring something forward in a particular context, but you have the freedom to do whatever’s happening in the moment… It’s a chance to shake the typical context and reconnect with a less constructed approach.”

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hen Jon Theodore was drumming with The Mars Volta, he was little short of amazing. The collective musicianship between that band would rival an orchestra, but when they played live Theodore seemed the man who would hold them together, his improvisation and feel for the music’s movements rivalled by very few. It came as little surprise, then, that his next project would be just as inventive and just as powerful. Between Jon Theodore and the outspoken Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, the other half of One Day As A Lion, there’s more passion than an English Cup tie. When Inpress speaks to Theodore, he’s planning a trip to India – a call from the company trying to get his gear overseas even interrupts the discussion

It may seem a diversion from the point, but the topic’s quite relevant to the formative years and ethos of One Day As A Lion. Removed, quite unceremoniously, from The Mars Volta, Theodore was always going to need something special (by his own criteria) to kick back into gear. “It totally ties in,” he enthuses, when the connection is suggested, “because at the time I had developed a pretty substantial context that occurred every time I sat down on the drums. And when One Day As A Lion started it couldn’t have been more different. It was just Zack and I in a room, friends having a conversation. It was like a logical – I should say natural – a natural extension of our friendship. It was and is the antithesis of what typically happens here, especially around Los Angeles music… Some guys want to shoot guns, some guys want to ride motorcycles, some guys like to play music. So it was a pretty great opportunity to reinvent something.” briefly – as a last break before One Day As A Lion’s rare touring commitments kick in. “I’m over the moon about the opportunity to go there so I’m going to take my drums and play with a bunch of cats over there. It’s going to be insane,” he says. One thing immediately noticeable about Theodore is his lust for new experiences, for the unexpected, for life in general. “It’s two radically different things,” he says of the difference between touring with an established act and as a solo unknown, as his trip to India will be. “The first is, obviously, you’re coming over there to present something the people are expecting to hear and so you’re coming to connect with people who are very excited to hear something that’s already been created. But when you go on your own and meet

The duo released their debut and eponymous EP in 2008, so the initial sessions referenced are a little while ago, but to date largely un-documented. An album is in the works and could be available before their Australian visit (it will be ready “the day that it’s ready, I guess,” Theodore explains) but considering there’s been no noise made by label-types, it seems unlikely. We are privileged by their live show nonetheless. Joey Karam, best known for his membership in pioneering noise-punk outfit The Locust, has become a fullyfledged member of the band in recent times, to take care of the keyboard duties while de la Rocha sings/ raps. They needed someone who’d be able to handle the keyboard line, which are played, as Theodore describes, “so idiosyncratic and erratic… they’ve only

TRUTH IN SOLITUDE A period of self-imposed isolation in Tibet informed the themes within the second album from UK rockers WHITE LIES, bassist CHARLES CAVE reveals to CYCLONE.

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ritish synth-rockers White Lies have re-emerged with 2011’s first important album. Ritual is their beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. The band’s dark glam sounds even grander, the metally lead single aptly titled Bigger Than Us.

Still, White Lies are oft-misrepresented as posh goths. Journos write of their music’s “morbid paranoia” or their being “grim bastards”. “I’m not really bothered by it,” Cave insists, White Lies valuing the mystique this engenders. “The media are always looking for something sensational. Writing in an article, ‘Actually, White Lies are fairly normal, grounded people’ is

Everything the band does and achieves, though, leads back to those original sessions. “At the beginning of One Day As A Lion, Zack and I were playing because when the surf was flat, we would play music. Quickly we jammed and I had actually managed to get my hands on this little recorder that was a little mp3 recorder, which I was just messing around with so I brought it and it was like, ‘Okay, tape it, whatever’. But we weren’t trying to make a record, it was just, ‘This will be fun, how does this sound?’ And then through a series of really, I don’t know, coincidental and really happy accidents, suddenly I found myself only halfway knowing how to create edits, in the meantime destroying the music that was happening before the edit… We happened to find that Rhodes [keyboard] that was leaning against the wall in the practice space and that became another step where it was suddenly, ‘How did that happen? How were we suddenly gifted with this beautifully imperfect shitbox of a Rhodes that sounded like nothing we’d ever heard before and suddenly created this blast of inspiration?’ “Suddenly I was burning a disc and I was like, ‘Put this on in your car, this shit sounds killer’. I mean, it sounded like fuckin’ horseshit. I really am a terrible engineer,” Theodore laughs, “but it was like, ‘This is undeniable man, there’s something really beautiful happening here’. Through that haphazard scenario, every single note came from a completely inspired and non-contrived space.” With Theodore behind the kit and de la Rocha behind the keyboard – or mic – live it is “a whole other scenario, man. It’s just such an inspiration, when [Zack] hits the mic it’s fuckin’ like there’s a ruckus. There’s just no stopping it. He never did more than two takes on anything, he just comes and fuckin’ destroys the place [laughs]. That was a side of my man… I’d never seen him do that in person before and standing next to him in the room when he was at the mic, it was one of the wonders of the world to me. All the hairs of my arms and my neck went up, I wanted to fight and I wanted to… it was just a really inspiring a moment, where it was a naked truth. It was one of the realest moments in my life to date.”

WHO: One Day As A Lion WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 1 March, Prince Bandroom; Friday 4 March, Soundwave, Melbourne Showgrounds

What they share, however, is ambition, both groups decrying its absence from contemporary music. The herculean The Power & The Glory harks back to subversive industrial auteurs Propaganda as well as Echo & The Bunnymen. Unpredictably, White Lies have also embraced underground techno, name-checking Richie Hawtin and Trentemøller – and, in fact, Is Love has a nightclub groove. Peace & Quiet is curiously subtle for White Lies, an ambient epic, while Ritual’s closer, Come Down, has a sublimated gospel fervour. For Ritual, White Lies hired producer Alan Moulder, whose credits include Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine and Nine In Nails. Moulder had lent his mixing skills to To Lose My Life. The sessions were, Cave reveals, “alarmingly relaxed”. “I think Alan was very thrilled to be working with a band like us after notoriously working with some of the biggest egos in rock music on some of his most renowned projects.”

Clearly, White Lies favour early-year releases. Their debut, To Lose My Life, materialised in January of 2009 – and shot to #1 at home. Charles Cave, the band’s bassist and lyricist, admits it’s a deliberate strategy. As now marginalised rockers, they didn’t want Ritual to be submerged by the flow of urban and pop issues before Christmas. Not that White Lies were ever a straight rock band, their signature tune, Death, symbolically remixed by fellow genre rebels Crystal Castles. “I don’t particularly feel like [we’re] a rock band – at least not in the very traditional sense,” agrees Cave, on the road in Seattle. “We certainly make a type of pop music. But people find it hard to look past what they see on the surface, which is three guys holding guitars playing songs like that. That’s not really what’s selling that well these days. They want very good-looking girls or boys doing it by themselves and with collaborations from all the most hip and hot guest singers and whatever.” A teen Cave formed the future White Lies with besties Harry McVeigh (lead vocals and guitar) and Jack Lawrence-Brown (drums) in the middle-class London suburb of Ealing. They originally went by the handle Fear Of Flying, cutting unconvincing indie-pop with Smiths associate Stephen Street. But in 2007 the trio abruptly killed off FOF, White Lies rising phoenix-like from its ashes. They’d developed a new, darker, exultant music. Everything had crystallised. White Lies signed to Fiction on the basis of records like Unfinished Business. Compared to anyone from Joy Division to Editors to The Killers, they generated considerable buzz. The band played Splendour. (They’ll be finally returning to Australia soon.) To Lose My Life sold nearly a million copies.

happened once or twice before in the universe”.

not as exciting as writing something a little bit more theatrical.” Death is about confronting fear, rather than mortality (Freudian subtexts about duelling life and death drives, aside). Two years ago Cave described White Lies’ songs as “dark horoscopes”. Nevertheless, Ritual, he says, gives “a slightly more three-dimensional shape to our characters and who we are as a band.” In early 2010, Cave, who’d just split from a girlfriend, travelled to Tibet, his dad in tow. His experiences in the Himalayas permeate Ritual, with its themes of religion, love, the mundanities of daily existence and the quest to discern purpose and meaning in it all. “I find sometimes when we come off a long tour that going home is far more stressful than being on tour, even,” he confesses. “You suddenly have these demands that you feel placed on you – whether it’s by your friends and family who live there and you feel obliged to go and see them and spend time with them, or, at the same time, you have things to do around the house: cleaning, washing, everything like that. I find that quite stressful. We’d just come off basically 18 months of touring and I felt that to

go travelling somewhere would be the best thing to do. I wanted to go somewhere where I was hopefully not gonna see another Caucasian person for a few weeks and really feel isolated, and then that’s exactly what it was. It was really inspiring to be in that part of the world. That’s the kind of scenery that I enjoy as well. I went for the scenery and mountains and snow and landscapes – I love to take photos of landscapes like that.” And the other boys? “I think Harry played a lot of PlayStation…” The reviews of Ritual have been wildly divergent. Some are proclaiming it to be more rock, White Lies’ stab at becoming a countercultural Muse, yet others deem it more electronic. “It’s actually very encouraging to see how much controversy it’s causing among the press – and fans. Some people are giving it one star, some people are giving it four stars, so it’s really getting a strong reaction from everyone, which is fantastic! Much better than everyone just not being interested.” The truth? Ritual is paradoxically a progression and a departure from To Lose My Life. Though White Lies have opened for Muse, the bands are dissimilar.

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Yet the beauty of Ritual is that it isn’t over-produced. “We learnt to be a lot less precious this time… The first album, we were desperate to compensate for a lot of insecurities in the band, and in the songs, because it was the first chance of making an album that we’d had. We were very nervous and not 100 percent confident in ourselves – and we used production to kind of remedy that and to put a bit of a smokescreen over that insecurity. This time we were so confident with what we were writing, and what we were creating, that we actually enjoyed leaving things in some ways quite unpolished – [we were] leaving mistakes in and leaving very rough takes of certain parts in, bits that we’d recorded in Harry’s bedroom as a demo, and not redoing everything… In some ways, I hope that every album that we make will almost become more and more human-sounding, until the point where we can just all sit in a room and play the songs and record them like that.” And White Lies have discreetly changed their image, NME mischievously propagating rumours of the band having a stylist to wean them off black. “I wish we had a stylist!” Cave laughs. “I hate buying my own clothes, it’s really boring. But, um, no, we’re a very unstylish band, unfortunately. We look like a bunch of oddballs most of the time – always mismatched – but I kinda like that in a way. Each of us has their very own individual, muddled style... We just wear whatever we’re comfortable in. We never match very well, but whatever.” WHO: White Lies WHAT: Ritual (Universal)

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THIS WEEK IN

ARTS

WEDNESDAY 2 Skin Tight – a feverish fusion of intense physicality, daring tenderness, and poetic lyricism set against the dramatic South Canterbury landscape. Produced by SaySIX Theatre and The Groundswell Division. Preview, 8pm. Fortyfivedownstairs until 20 February.

THURSDAY 3 Apocalypse Now: Redux – extended version of Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War masterpiece; a 35mm Panavision, Technicolor dye-transfer print. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. Smash His Camera – a definitive portrait of the original paparazzo, Ron Galella. See Film Carew for review. ACMI Cinemas, 7pm. Until 6 February. Super Night Shot – UK/German collective Gob Squad hit Melbourne after a successful Sydney Festival run; their show involves the screening each night of an hour’s work running about the city that took place immediately beforehand, improvised and raw. Opening night, 9pm. ACMI Cinemas until 5 February.

FRIDAY 4 Bear Nation – documentary exploring the subculture of the male gay community that celebrates the hirsuite and hefty. See Film Carew for review. ACMI Cinemas, 9.30pm. Also screening 11 February. Coffy – Cinema Fiasco presents Pam Grier (later famous in Jackie Brown) on a rampage against drug dealers in the blaxploitation film Coffy. Astor Theatre, 8pm.

SATURDAY 5 Fag/Hag – a revealing look into the world of fag hags. Opening night, 9pm. Part of Midsumma. Closing night. Gasworks Arts Park. Identity – Midsumma produced exhibition featuring the works of Catherine Johnston, Kelly Manning, Matto Lucas, Janet Carter, Matt Jowett, Michael Pearce, Jules Renton, Ryan Davis, and Michael Brady, exploring “who we are, who we have been and where we are going”. Closing day. Fortyfivedownstairs.

Skip Hop – documentary showing the early days of Australian hip hop through to current (at time of release in 2004). Plenty of music and candid interviews, featuring the likes of Hilltop Hoods and The Herd. ACMI Cinemas, 4pm. Also screening 12 February. 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. Closing night. National Theatre.

SUNDAY 6 La Barbe bleu (Bluebeard) – Catherine Breillat’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale Bluebeard. Part of the Charles Perrault: The Godfather of European Fairy Tales program. ACMI Cinemas, 3pm. Also screening 13 February.

TUESDAY 8 Comings And Goings – an allegorical portrayal of solitary man in a transient environment, this exhibition by Andrea Jenkins takes you on a journey through Melbourne’s iconic Flinders St Station and Parliament Station, the underpass, the subway and the Royal Arcade. Opening day. Fortyfivedownstairs until 19 February. Crowds – exhibition of sketches by Hilary Senhanli, from observations on public transport, whilst shopping, and at sporting events. Opening day. Fortyfivedownstairs until 19 February.

ONGOING Dreams Come True: The Art Of Disney’s Classic Fairy Tales – exhibition featuring hundreds are artefacts from the Disney vault, or, more specifically, the Animation Research Library. Features sketched, frame cells, drawings, concept art, and more, from the likes of The Little Mermaid, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella. ACMI until 26 April 2011.

THE GREAT ESCAPE SANCTUM IS A BLOCKBUSTER 3D US/AUSTRALIAN FILM BACKED BY JAMES CAMERON, STARRING RICHARD ROXBURGH AND RHYS WAKEFIELD AS TRAPPED UNDERWATER DIVERS. INTERVIEW BY ALICE TYNAN. James Cameron’s name may be stamped all over the poster for Sanctum, but this film is really an Australian affair. Based on the harrowing experience of producer Andrew Wight – a renowned cave diver who, 22 years ago, was stranded underground by a freak storm in the Nullarbor – his story has been fictionalised into a father and son action drama brought to life by the legendary Richard Roxburgh (Rake, Moulin Rouge!) and up-andcomer Rhys Wakefield (The Black Balloon). Kokoda director Alister Grierson is at the helm, but we do have to thank James Cameron for the 3D cameras (and, as executive producer, the cash!), which were shipped straight from the set of Avatar. Indeed, as Wight describes his ten-year partnership with Cameron making a series of underwater 3D documentaries (Ghosts Of The Abyss, Aliens Of The Deep), it becomes evident that Avatar and Sanctum are essentially two sides of the same coin. “With Avatar, Jim was able to take all the experience and the people and the technology [from our previous documentaries] to make that movie and then the idea was that I would make Sanctum as another kind of proof of concept. People were obviously going to say, ‘Sure you can

make 3D on $200-plus million, but is this ever going to work for everyone else?’ And that’s what Sanctum is,” Wight says. “We’re kind of polar opposites: Avatar was a lot of motion capture, advanced visual effects and CGI, and live action, [whereas] Sanctum is virtually a fully live action film with a small budget, small group of people, but it delivers a big, big picture. We’ve used exactly the same cameras, and we’ve made what I think is one of the first live action 3D originated films that has been done to date with this technology, and it looks great.” Inheriting James Cameron’s equipment was a pretty tall order for director Alister Grierson, who admits to being a little spun out by the whole experience. “It felt like such a fantasy, that it could never possibly happen; very kind of Entourage. It was a difficult film to make, with big underwater scenes and in caves and you’re dealing with the 3D technology and the cameras, so we’re learning about that 3D as we go, and all sorts of physical, technical difficulties about filming it and delivering it on time,” he says. “And so I never really thought about Jim and the pressure of working for Jim, it was more about

INVASION OF THE DINOSAURS

APOCALYSPE NOW

The return of Walking With Dinosaurs: The Arena Spectacular is nigh; hitting out shores in April, and stomping its way across Australia allowing us to walk amongst life-size, moving, tyrant lizards and the like, Walking With Dinosaurs descends on Melbourne to Hisense Arena 4-15 May. To walk amongst the dinos visit dinosaurlive.com.

just doing it and doing the best job that we could.” Calling Sanctum ‘difficult to make’ is actually a pretty hefty understatement when you consider what the actors put themselves through. Describing long night shoots and harrowing breath holds, Roxburgh and Wakefield are both fairly sanguine about the arduous shoot, but they’re also happy to share some hairy stories. “I loved the whole underwater stuff with no breathing apparatus,” Wakefield enthuses. “When it’s just me with no mask and no [regulator]. I’m down there at, like, 3am, just swimming, barely able to see because of the low lighting and no goggles, and then them calling, ‘Cut’, and me holding my hand out and just trusting that my safety diver would just had have a regulator in my mouth within a second so that I can breathe. That was crazy. And you can’t go to the surface because there’s a whole set of rocks all around you.” For Roxburgh, “‘Doozy’ doesn’t even begin to describe the kind of madness it was like at times, shooting. “It was interesting on paper,” he says wryly with a chuckle, but the reality – having to complete an underwater shoot with a head cold – proved much more confronting. “I ended up shooting with blood coming out of my nose.” Roxburgh also undertook one of Sanctum’s more dangerous stunts and most terrifying scenes: buddy breathing with a full facemask.

“That was the kind of landmark event. You have to unclip eight clips, take your breath and then hand it over and stay calm. Then when you get it back, to clear a full facemask takes about 10 seconds, in which time you have to stay calm and take what I think is a funny term, they call them ‘wet breaths’. It’s a real piece of underwater nastiness where you’re basically breathing a little bit of water and hoping to not start spluttering down at 12 meters. So yeah, that was another nightmare.” Roxburgh’s efforts certainly didn’t go unnoticed, as Grierson is quick to sing his praises. “Richard I think is just wonderful, he’s such a surprise. Watching Rake now is just so different from what he did with us. He’s the hardest working man in show business, there’s no doubt about it.” But vying for that title is James Cameron, for whose guidance Grierson is abundantly grateful. “He’s been a wonderful mentor for me. I had a great master class with him after we screened that earlier version of the film. He’s the busiest man in the world, probably literally, so just to get a couple of hours of with him was a real luxury and a great joy.” In more ways than one Sanctum is the remarkable result of courage under pressure. As a true story, as a filmed feat – one that had to get a stamp of approval from Jim Cameron – as well as an exponential learning curve of local 3D filmmaking. But for Wight, a true believer in 3D, the technology is there to amplify what he sees as Sanctum’s universal themes: “People don’t often go out and challenge themselves, so what is it like to go out and be really frightened on the edge of your experience? What is it like to make a life and death decision?” WHAT: Sanctum WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 3 February

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FULL SLEEVE “I’M NEVER ENTIRELY SATISFIED WITH ANY OF IT, WHICH MAY EXPLAIN WHY IT’S TAKEN ME 22 YEARS TO BRING THE SHIT OUT FOR THE SHOW.” ROBERT LUKINS GETS THE STRAIGHT ANSWERS FROM RECORD COVER ARTIST MARK PALAZZOLO, AKA ZOMBO. Until now, the visual craft of Mark Palazzolo has graced record store hoardings and looked up from the sleeves of freshly-cut hardcore releases, but has yet to have its back to the cold surface of an exhibition wall. This is set to change with the current show of the artist’s full scale work – a collection two decades and a river of sweat in the making. “Accident is everything with this stuff.” Revealing the role chance plays in directing his pieces, Palazzolo is happy to show his workings. “Half the things you see are unintentional. The arms and faces and crocodiles and whatnot. It’s like a big mental vomit that hits the paper and arranges itself into this teeming little society of organisms. You take a

C U LT U R A L

As a founding member of Perth hardcore outfit Rupture, he played bass with the band for a dozen years before their ultimate collapse in Melbourne in 2001. In this time his role extended beyond the aural as he provided snatches of his art output for a swathe of Ruptures’ releases: Foreceps EP (1990), Debut LP (1991), Corrupture 10-inch (1992) and the Lust And Hate LP (1994). Now an active member of Melbourne foursome, ThrillKillers, Palazzolo is still putting ink to paper. Asked if the music feeds into its visual representation, Palazzolo explains, “Until very recently, no. The material I provided for Rupture was

CRINGE

WITH REBECCA COOK Is Bill Henson the nearest we’ve come to in Australia of an artist being imprisoned for their art? The Melbourne photographer had his works depicting naked children seized by the New South Wales police in 2008, but in the end he wasn’t charged with any offence. There are certainly plenty of artists who should be arrested for their art – mainly on aesthetic grounds for being terrible. But in Australia, you would have to seriously push some buttons to be imprisoned for your work. Except of course if you’re a graffiti artist – who by their very nature have to blur the blue line. A couple of years ago LA artist Revok went on a rampage in Melbourne after a conference he was here to attend was cancelled due to lack of funding. Unfortunately for him, he tweeted that he was at the airport about to fly home and the social media savvy Victorian Police were standing at the boarding gate. Still, we’re pretty lucky when you compare Australia to other countries in the world. For example, the Wharf Revue’s recent political satire Not Quite Out Of The Woods raised only eyebrows and laughter – if Jonathan Biggins and co lived in Burma they might find themselves in jail for 45

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step back and think, where the fuck did that come from? It’s true.”

REVIEW

JAFAR PANAHI

years with Burmese satirist Zarganar, who has been imprisoned since 2008 for performing a sketch about the government. If they lived in Iran, they could find themselves in jail with award-winning filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, who were sentenced late last year to six years in prison for making films against the Iranian regime. Not

culled from pieces drawn by me over the years, independent from the band or any musical considerations. The ThrillKillers EP was drawn specifically for that record, if only because we couldn’t think of anything to put on it.” And as for being a gun for hire? “The general rule has been to stick to bands I play for. That being said, I’d probably do any genre if the money was good enough. No moral quandaries there!” It could be easy to imagine a golden age for record cover design, perhaps in an era before the digital download and their demotion of images to lowly-rendered thumbnails. Zombo corrects this notion, while admitting to an admiration of the work of yesteryear. “I see cool stuff all the time,” he says. “Opeth have got excellent photographic design, consistent from album to album. Typically, for anyone my age the Hipgnosis album sleeves from the ’70s are a benchmark – I also like tacky painted speed metal artwork from the ’80s.” With his open and eclectic taste in design, it is no surprise that Zombo does not claim to be continuing the work of any one artistic tradition. He cautiously tips his cap to the Surrealists, professes a connection with directors of film, but ultimately wants only to continue a tradition of his own making. “Contemporary album art ain’t the problem, much of it looks great.” Addressing the state of music art today, he makes no bones. “It’s the music I have an issue with. Everything seems to sound so fuckin’ polished.” WHAT: Zombo WHERE & WHEN: The Prague, Thornbury until Sunday 27 February

only were they imprisoned, they’ve also been banned from writing and making films, giving interviews, leaving Iran, or communicating with foreign cultural organisations for 20 years. Panahi and Rasoulof have some high profile friends such as Robert Redford, Terrence Malick, Steven Spielberg, the Coen brothers, Oliver Stone, and Ang Lee, who have all publicly condemned the arrests. Martin Scorsese released a statement of support, saying, “I was shocked and disheartened by the news of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof’s conviction and sentencing. It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release.” Cringe wonders if Spielberg, Stone, and Lee couldn’t rouse a bit of a hi-tech hardcore military-style break-out between themselves? Short of that, film festivals around the world including our very own Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) are also joining in to protest their treatment and pressure the Iranian government to lift the sentences. In Australia, MIFF is banding together with the Sydney and Adelaide Film Festivals as well as Madman Entertainment to host special fundraising screenings of Panahi’s film Offside (2006). The film seems particularly pertinent as it was shot on the run and follows an assortment of women who had to disguise themselves as men to attend Iran’s World Cup football qualifier against Bahrain in 2005. All proceeds from the screenings will go towards the campaign to free these two filmmakers. The Melbourne screening is on 6 March. For tickets head to miff.com.au.

THE MENSTRUUM 14: THE GROT OF PROSERPINE BY ROBERT LUKINS My hands are still slightly shaking from having carried 60 litres of cow manure from the boot of the car to the back garden. I now know that 60 litres is not as great an amount of manure as it might sound, but still, more than I could conveniently produce and store on my own. It’s a Saturday afternoon and it made sense to combine the journey to Hell Gallery with a drop in at Bunnings. Hell, it turns out, is at 5a Railway Place, Richmond – it’s just behind the Coles, which is handy. Until 19 February it’s playing house to (Tasmania Is An Anagram Of) I Am Satan, a return exchange with Hobart artist-run thingy, INFLIGHT. We arrive, getting sunburnt, and still stiff from the parking ticket machine that ate my $1.30 and proceeded to just make noises. Hell, much like the rest of Richmond, has the feel of an overflown student sharehouse; a two-for-one pizza voucher, funny and chipped ’70s lamp, whatever’s-onspecial beer slab kind of flavour. No one’s parents have visited Richmond in a while, so things have, just, sort of, gotten away from us a bit. A friendly and weary bespectacled man is picking up empties and adding to the stack by the bins when

THE HOLY TRINITY, PERFORMANCE VIDEO STILL, 2010. COURTESY OF HELL

I walk in off the street. “Excuse the mess.” Over the trodden fag ends, bottletops, in the far corner is the showing room and inside are 17 revisions of Apple Isle gothica. A cyst-red Beelzebub is blinged out and standing amid a ground of coloured toothpicks. A corner is an alter of skewered plasticine, grapes and failing mushrooms. “You don’t just get a place in hell, you earn it.” All this to the naturally awful scowling of Andrew Harper reading Ted Hughes – the sound of it repeatedly sticking a dirty knitting needle in your ear. There is a well-pummelled idea that to show even echoes of effort is to proclaim oneself as unread. There is a difficult and painful to locate place in ourselves, and there is Tasmaniahipster Hades. All is as it should be.

DEAR MR PRESIDENT MELBOURNE THEATRE VETERAN NEIL PIGOT HAS RETURNED TO THE STAGE TO TAKE ON ONE OF HIS MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING ROLES YET, IN SONG OF THE BLEEDING THROAT. HE SPEAKS TO ALEKSIA BARRON ABOUT DEATH, DEMOCRACY AND TOILET HUMOUR.

The driveway of Port Melbourne Bunnings is happily choking. On the way in we have to avoid Guy Pearce carrying a really decent length of two-by-four. All I can manage is, “Hey guy, whatchit, you nearly pierced me,” and that’s 20 seconds too late and not nearly good enough to go back and shout over the carpark. We do laps and buy a shovel, picture wire, a cutlery drawer, and 66 average human stomach capacity’s worth of cow shit. As the man tries to find the barcode on our new doormat I think about how I fit art shows into my week, like filling up with petrol, like getting my coffee card stamped, and getting the seventh one free. A guy with dreads and a beret once told me that the only answer was to become art yourself, that you must yourself be beautiful – with everything that means. I’m trying, I swear, I really am trying. That’s the last thing that Abe clearly remembers,” he says, explaining his character’s state at the start of the play. For those unaware of the grisly details of famous political killings, Lincoln remained alive (but unresponsive) for some hours following the shooting by Booth. Song Of The Bleeding Throat takes place in this limbo state, where Lincoln questions the success of the civil war and the nature of democracy itself. He’s not alone – two willing conversationalists are along for the ride. One is Walt Whitman, whose famous poem O Captain! My Captain eulogised Lincoln; the other is John Wilkes Booth, who, if he’d written poetry about the President, probably wouldn’t have been nearly as complimentary. To Pigot, who is probably best known to audiences as Inspector Falcon-Price from Blue Heelers, it’s a fascinating exploration of some very pertinent ideas. For starters, he loves playing a conflicted Lincoln. “A lot of conjecture surrounds Lincoln, and Lincoln’s motives. He was the last victim of the Civil War, if you like, and that’s enriched his legacy. But he’s looking at it, thinking, ‘Did I do the right thing? Was it the right thing for democracy?’ He says in the piece, ‘Can God be for and against the same thing?’” After all, says Pigot, the “democracy” that we learn about from our earliest school days is far from perfect. “Democracy is flawed – let’s be perfectly honest. What we have now – do we call that democracy? Or is it some kind of hybrid consumerismslash-democracy?”

What can audiences expect from Song Of The Bleeding Throat, Eleventh Hour’s new production about the nature of democracy, as pondered by Abraham Lincoln as he lingers between life and death? “Expect the unexpected,” chortles Neil Pigot, who plays the leading role of the not-quite-deceased 16th President of the United States. Well, fair enough – ask a stupid question, get the obvious answer. Fortunately, Pigot is forgiving of journalists who ask rather obvious questions about his latest stage foray. It’s partly because he’s a perfect gentleman, and it’s partly because actor-turned-writer David

Tredinnick’s Song Of The Bleeding Throat is a highly original work, the likes of which most audiences probably haven’t experienced. How does he describe the play in a nutshell? “It’s an examination… in a humourous and scatological sense – a lot of poo jokes in there – of the notion of what democracy is.” If that sounds utterly bewildering, fortunately Pigot is happy to elaborate. The play is set, he explains, in the half-dead state that Lincoln experienced following his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. “Booth picked a line from this play that always got a big laugh, to conceal the sound of the gunshot.

Naturally, the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford has thrown the play into sharp relief. Pigot explains that the events in Arizona have not so much altered how he sees the play, as much as they’ve reinforced his belief in the importance of critically considering the value of our democratic systems. “If we look at America, I would have to say that I don’t believe that democracy is working – if you call that democracy. It’s set around democratic principles, but it’s like people who read the Bible and take what they want from it to serve their own aims. If that’s democracy, I’m a monkey’s uncle.” WHAT: Song Of The Bleeding Throat WHERE & WHEN: The Eleventh Hour Theatre, Fitzroy until 12 February


frontrow@inpress.com.au

COMEDIENNES RAISING MONEY FOR AIDS COUNCIL Nine of the funniest women in the country – Julia Zemiro, Fiona O’Loughlin, Cal Wilson, Denise Scott, Kate McLennan, Rachel Berger, Geraldine Quinn, Geraldine Hickey and Zara Swindells-Grose – are joining together for a night of laughs called Short & Girly Comedy Gala to raise money for Victorian AIDS Council. The event will be held at National Theatre, St Kilda on Saturday 12 February. Tickets through Ticketek and further info through myspace.com/shortandgirly.

GIVEAWAYS THE ROOM

The Room has become one of the most talked about films in these parts over the past year, and we have Cinema Nova to thank for that largely, being the first cinema to screen it. Tommy Wiseau’s impressive tour de force in over the top melodrama, terrible editing, and, well, just plan bad cinema has gained notoriety and paved the way for films such as Birdemic: Shock & Terror to make it to our shores. To celebrate its one-year anniversary down under, Cinema Nova are hosting a special anniversary screening of The Room this Saturday 5 February (11.30pm). We’ve five double passes to give away, so for a chance to win one email giveaways@inpress.com.au with ‘THE ROOM’ in the subject line.

Straight from a highly acclaimed season at Sydney Festival, Gob Squad’s Super Night Shot will be performing this weekend at ACMI. Super Night Shot involves the performers running about the city during the day of performance to build the story, which they edit together and show to the audience (you) on the night. A Hero’s Welcome begins the night, and from there the day’s events unfold. No two nights are the same. We’ve five double passes to the Thursday 3 February (9pm) session to giveaways, so for your chance to win one email giveaways@inpress.com.au with ‘SUPER NIGHT SHOT’ in the subject line.

FILM

CAREW REVIEW

WITH ANTHONY CAREW Tamara Drewe is based on some serial comic-strip from the Guardian, and you can feel its years of source-text jostling throughout: countless characters and competing storylines bustling about. Despite its titular heroine – who, with a sense of flourish, only arrives well into the first act – it’s a true ensemble piece, a cast of characters competing for attention. Loosely ‘inspired’ by Thomas Hardy’s own monthly serial, Far From The Madding Crowd, it’s social satire; loosely of the bourgeoisie, but of the literary world, of English manners, village drudgery, academic preposterousness, supercilious success, and anything else that tickles the fancy of its author, Posy Simmonds. It’s generally mean-spirited, and, on screen, that occasionally yields comic results. Stephen Frears’ to-screen adaptation can occasionally feel like a string of comic vignettes; sometimes more ‘whimsical’ than particularly funny. The blackness of the satire sometimes gets lost in an uneven tone, and Alexandre Desplat’s score is, predictably, awful. But, the sheer busyness of the narrative and its eternally mocking nature make it enjoyable in a non-demanding, lightlyenjoyable kind of way. There’s a particular practice of film festival programming – ‘curating’,

TAMARA DREWE

as it’s supposed to be called – in which documentaries are shown not due to artistic merit but because there’s an obvious audience for them. Few are the subcultures left undocumented in the 21st century, and Bear Nation is the obligatory portrait of the bear community, helmed by Kevin Smith’s pal Malcolm Ingram. It’s very much a 21st century flick: you can literally feel every home-computer edit. It’s also not the work of a true documentarian; there’s no sense of perceptiveness, no journalistic inquiry, no attempt to look at a bigger picture, to dig deeper. Ingram merely sits down a bunch of bears – big, hairy, gay men for those who’ve somehow remained unaware – and listens to them talking. Which is fine, I suppose: personal testimonies of coming out, for example, are always moving. But Bear Nation stacks up its handful of personal anecdotes, and leaves their testimonies unquestioned. Looking for specific details on the beginning

of the movement, its cultural crossover, its recent reductionism to an archetypal standard, etc? Ingram’s not going to find them. Instead, he leaves all stones unturned, delivering a collection of talking heads, bearconvention footage, and a host of costly soundtrack placements. It’s a subculture documentary of the most blandly adequate kind. Smash His Camera is a far-moreinteresting documentary: Leon Gast peering through his own lens at the ‘pope of Paparazzi’, Ron Galella, with exactly the kind of throughtful gaze that sees the rich themes of his chosen subject. There’s a portrait of a human-being: a bumbling Jersey guido whose built a grotesque mansion and ‘grotto’ garden of ridiculous wog kitsch; a repellent, sub-human pest who gormlessly, thoughtlessly stalked Jackie Onassis for years; and, now, a tired, limping old man in his late 70s, struggling to keep up in the hyper-saturated, gossip-driven culture of the day. But

Gast looks at the big legal, cultural, and artistic questions: Is he just a professional harasser? Does the public have a ‘right’ to peer into the lives of public figures? Though these paparazzi are scum of the Earth, are they just performing thankless work that’s an invaluable public resource? Like the garbagemen of culture? And, is the banality of their snapshots – so beloved because they’re not art, because they’re not stage – its own kind of art? Chronicling an old man, reflecting on his life, Gast finds conflict everywhere, not least of all in the posterity of Galella’s work. Though it’s ensconced in MOMA – its own debate, spoken aloud here – as a window into a past era, and though it will persist long after his death, his work holds resonance only as long as we know the subject. Galella is still working because the life of the paparazzo – and the culture of paparazzi – is never about the past, but the next picture. Poignantly, and pointedly, we witness young folks walking blithely through Galella’s career-defining exhibition, through this imposing hall-of-celebrity, utterly oblivious as to who most subjects are. Jackie Onassis may’ve once been a global icon, now she’s no one. Or, as one lass memorably puts it, peering at the card beneath two super-duperstars causing a press frenzy with an affair on the set of Cleopatra: “it’s Taylor Burton, whoever that is.”

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DOWN TO THE LAST MINUTE

THE TV SET

GOB SQUAD RUN AROUND COLLECTING THEIR STORY A MERE HOUR BEFORE THE “PERFORMANCE” BEGINS, THE RESULT OF WHICH IS WHAT THE AUDIENCE IS PRESENTED WITH. SEAN PATTEN EXPLAINS IT TO BETHANY SMALL.

TODD HAYNES AND KATE WINSLET CLEAR THE MILDRED PIERCE SET OF WIRE HANGERS

WITH ANDREW MAST So what’s ahead in 2011 for our local networks to botch the scheduling of? In the US, Todd Haynes is trying his hands at remaking Mildred Pierce as a HBO mini-series. Hopefully this can work. As the modern day ‘women’s director’, Haynes will not rest until he has proven himself our generation’s Douglas Sirk. So give the man who directed Far From Heaven a hardboiled James M Cain novel, originally made as a film with Joan Crawford, and re-team him with fallen indie idol James LeGros and his Sirk-icision is underway. David Milch comes back from the Deadwood with horse racing drama Luck (also HBO). Having never been able to keep his promise of two final Deadwood telemovies, he instead followed his western series with the barely seen John From Cincinatti. JFC was odd. Not always in a good way, but definitely an oddity to be seen. And if you watch the DVD extras of JFC, you see Milch explaining the show’s concept and intended existential meaning to a befuddled cast – you then know Milch is just nutty enough to deliver some classic shit. Y’see, JFC was a mystical surfing serial that tried to revive Rebecca DeMornay’s career. She got to be an angry granny hung up on a moment from her past when she caught her son masturbating and proceeded to show him how to do the job properly and who married a man given to uncontollable bouts of levitating. So ah, who knows what Milch can do with horses. Hit epic fantasy Spartacus: Blood And Sand has been rejigged for its second outing due to its star Andy Whitfield’s reoccurring cancer. At first the producers filed a prequel stop-gap mini-series (Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena) but have now replaced the young Australian actor for a second season of Blood And Sand (Spartacus again played by an Aussie, this time Liam McIntyre). Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein has created, and stars in, the character-driven comedy Portlandia for the indie IFC cable station (home to The Henry Rollins Show and Onion News Network). Penned by former Colbert Report head writer Alison Silverman, its plots are in the absurdist vein of The Sarah Silverman Program and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – one ep of its debut season has Browmstein discovering her maid is singer Aimee Mann. Yes, lots of music-type cameos are planned (members of The Decemberists and The Shins have already filmed a spot). The US also continues to revamp foreign shows, in 2011 there is: Shameless with William H Macy taking in the role of the pill-popping alcoholic patriach Frank Gallagher; Being Human with Mark Pellegrino playing the nasty vamp Bishop fresh from villain turns in both Dexter and Supernatural; Wilfred, which retains

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its Aussie ‘dog’ star Jason Gann – but he’ll now get his belly rubbed by Frodo Baggins (that is, Elijah Wood); and The Killing, a remake of Danish thriller Forbreydelsn, which stars Mireille Enos (she plays the twins in Big Love) and Michelle Forbes (crazy demon woman in season two of True Blood) but, worryingly, has ex-Cold Case folk producing. There is also the MTV frame-by-frame cover of Skins which is already whipping up frenzied, ratings-magnet headlines in the US. Still strong is The Amazing Race, with its 18th cycle tipped to feature non-winning, audience-favourite teams from past seasons – hopefully that means the goths, the gay hippies, and dwarf Charla. Sadly, taking their final bows this year will be two of the best shows produced in the States in the past decade, bigamist drama Big Love and football soap Friday Night Lights. From the UK we can expect The Hour with The Wire’s Dominic West, it’s a ’50s-set, behind-the-scenesof-a-topical-TV-news-show drama… the Brits want their ‘quality telly makers’ title back, so this one is said to be pitched at the Mad Men market. Former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston will attempt to redeem himself after his turn as Lennon in Lemon Naked (and don’t think we’ve forgotten that stint as the invisible dude in Heroes) in conspiracy drama The Shadow Line. There will also be more big budget supernatural/ sci-fantasy with Outcasts from Spooks and Party Animals writer Ben Richards as well as Touch from Skins writer Jack Thorne. And, Who spin-off Torchwood goes uber-budget, shifting to the US with Bill Pullman added to the cast and Buffy/Battlestar Galactica writer Jane Espenson on board. UK journalist/media satirist Charlie Brooker has launched 10 O’Clock Live, a panel show he’s co-presenting with Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell (Peep Show), and former Kenickie singer Lauren Laverne. Unfortunately, with the team tackling topical British media stories it’s unlikely that any network here will think it relevant enough for our eyes. Instead, we will get the comedy channel’s local take on Brooker’s You Have Been Watching, with Peter Berner hosting. Ah well, it can only be better than their current Trevor Marmalade-hosted, Eddie Maguireproduced panel show Statesmen Of Comedy. Another local payTV offering will be Fox8’s LA Rove, basically Rove McManus doing his usual thing, but now in LA. Considering he has previously borrowed liberally from other US talk shows, it will be interesting to see if his recurring panel role on Chelsea Lately will influence his new format. Can we expect a panel of Vegas comedians and lots of gags about anal sex with Fiddy Cent? If only 2011 could really be that good.

“You do sound a long way away,” Sean Patten says once we’ve established who we both are. “I can really tell I’m talking to the other side of the world! Am I loud and clear? I’ll try to project a bit, you know, IN A THEATRICAL MANNER.” Patten’s had plenty of practise at that sort of thing, it seems, as while the Super Night Shot project he and the rest of Gob Squad are performing at ACMI is played on screen, the filming itself is a guerilla art piece where they run around the city, four characters playing out their parts with the help of random members of the public. Well, not entirely random. “We’re not really into that kind of thing you see a lot in TV culture, the pouncing on people and, you know, ridiculing them for our own entertainment,” he explains. “We’re very careful to tune to people’s body language and only talk to people who are up for it, and if someone doesn’t want to be filmed we’ll just walk away and talk to someone else.” But they are still the approachers. “We don’t really come across people that do sort of seek us out; I mean we’re quite hard to find. Even if they wanted to, each of us is just a oneman or a one-woman camera team; we don’t really look like a film crew, we just literally have a very small camcorder, the type that people use to record their weddings or their holidays. And we just walk around like that and we film ourselves and we film the people we meet. We’re

quite inconspicuous.” For the audience, the show begins at the end, with everyone being directed to assemble in the bar and streamers and confetti showering down as the four performers enter the venue in a sequence called the Hero’s Welcome, which Sean says, “provides a link in time and space that links the whole thing together… makes it a unique experience.” The Gob Squad themselves have set out an hour before with their camcorders and raced around the city doing their tasks, and what the audience sees is the four recordings that’ve just been made. “Each of us have our jobs,” Sean says, “but exactly how your conversations go… so much of it’s improvisation and whatever the people we talk to bring into the proceedings.” So there is an element of stress to the production, that there’s only a certain amount of preparation they can really do for each role and each performance. “In a way part of the rehearsing, it’s a very strange piece to rehearse, you couldn’t really do it in the way that people normally prepare for a theatre show, a lot of what we have to do is just to walk around on the streets and just sort of tune into the rhythm of the street in a way. “A lot of people afterwards sort of say to us, ‘Oh, I really liked that, can I

THEATRE REVIEW SONG OF THE BLEEDING THROAT Eleventh Hour Theatre The Eleventh Hour’s new play Song Of The Bleeding Throat is, without doubt, the most original of the original Australian works to emerge recently. A highly intellectual exploration of democracy, defecation (really), and crushing domesticity, David Tredinnick’s debut playwriting effort is almost frighteningly highbrow in parts (and lowbrow in others), but consistently compelling. For audiences, Song Of The Bleeding Throat’s greatest hurdle may lie not necessarily in the play itself, but in its marketing, which has centred heavily around the image of Abraham Lincoln. Hence, the first half, featuring Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, his wife Jane, and their dog Nero, throws a bit of a curve ball. A different promotional strategy might have helped audiences connect with the characters, instead of spending the first 90 minutes of the play wondering where Abe is.

The best approach is just to surrender yourself to the rich language and clever direction from Brian Lipson, and drink in the rapid-fire debate as best you can. It’s somewhat like those first lectures at uni, where you’re forced to quickly adjust to an entirely new learning style. If you can manage it, there’s a reward in the form of an intriguing discourse about some very pertinent ideas surrounding the viability of democracy. The impressive performances from Neil Pigot, Richard Bligh, Anne Browning, and James Saunders go a long way to keeping the audience on side. “I like my theatre with a dash of superiority,” says Bligh’s Walt Whitman. Sure, don’t we all. Song Of The Bleeding Throat, however, doesn’t so much come with a dash of superiority as a vat. You’ll struggle to stay afloat, but if you can manage, you’ll have appreciated possibly the most daring offer on an Australian stage so far. Until 12 February

ALEKSIA BARRON

CHELSEA LATELY IN SYDNEY Chelsea Handler, American comedian and host of E!’s late night comedy talk show Chelsea Lately, has announced an exclusive night in Sydney, playing the State Theatre in March. With her first show on Thursday 10 March (7pm) already sold out, a second show has been announced for the same night, at 9.30pm. Get in quick! Handler will also be recording three episodes of her TV show whilst here. For more information, head to chelseahandler.com.

have it? Can I have it on a DVD?’ and we always say, ‘You know, no, this is the idea of it, it’s like a one-off thing, like if you see any other theatre show, this is something to hold in your memory.’” And you can keep

your ticket, and maybe swipe some confetti. WHAT: Super Night Shot WHERE & WHEN: ACMI Thursday 3 to Saturday 5 February

FUNDRAISER SCREENING FOR SENTENCED FILMMAKERS The recent sentencing of Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, Crimson Gold) and colleague Mohammad Rasoulof (The White Meadows) to six years’ jail and a shocking 20-year ban from their profession (writing and making films), giving interviews to the press, and even leaving Iran and communicating with foreign cultural institutions is a massive violation of human rights and has shocked the film industry and their fans across the world. Their crimes? For making films “against the Iranian regime”. Martin Scorsese has condemned the sentencing, saying, “It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release.” Organisations across the globe are showing their support through screenings and events, with the Berlinale – one of the world’s premiere film festivals, which awarded Panahi the Silver Bear for his film Offside – hosting a programme of screenings of Panahi’s films and a panel on censorship. In Australia, the Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide Film Festivals, in conjunction with Madman Entertainment, will screen Offside (which follows, in real time, a group of women disguising themselves as men in order to watch a football match, due to women being banned from such events) as a fundraiser to raise money to help free the two filmmakers. In Melbourne the film will screen at ACMI Cinemas Sunday 6 March, 7.15pm. Tickets through the venue.

THEATRE REVIEW RED BENNIES’ FIRST BIRTHDAY Red Bennies, 29/01/2011 It’s probably an overworn trope, but it’s impossible not to acknowledge exactly how much one feels transported from mid-summer Melbourne to the glorious hedonism of Weimar, Germany when walking into a place such as Red Bennies for this multitudinously exciting venue’s first birthday celebrations. You expect to run into Sally Bowles around every corner. Is that Christopher Isherwood over there? Brecht? Rainer Werner Fassbinder? Should your correspondent get with the program and order a glass of absinthe? Over its first year of existence, Red Bennies has quickly established itself as the venue for off the wall and underrepresented entertainment art forms: fetish nights, drag shows, jazz, flesh suspension, ninjas, swing bands, sheep sheering, circus

performers, burlesque. Just as legend has it concerning between the wars Europe, all stops are exuberantly pulled out tonight by a venue becoming famous for its dedication to all forms of excess. First up is Sapphic trapeze duo Tank and Kelly Ann Doll, getting the audience thoroughly in the mood. Then Zoe Robbins delights us with a specialist foot skills display that is beyond my powers to describe. Suffice to say that foot fetishists everywhere are delighted. There is burlesque and balloons from the delightful Lauren Skopalova and – the highlight – beautiful, dazzlingly hypnotic aerial tissue work from Japanese artist Ikko. All up, a night to remember for its dedication to the bizarre and intriguing, its celebration of the obscurely skilful, and its willingness to present this incredible work to a public craving something different.

TONY MCMAHON


Photo: Belinda Strodder.

THERE’S A DANCER IN ALL OF US! Chunky Move dance classes are the perfect way to unwind, get fit and improve your flexibility and strength. Classes are offered in contemporary, ballet, funk and pilates for beginners to intermediate, and are taught by some of Australia’s best dance teachers. All classes are held at the Chunky Move Studios in Southbank. Monday

6.30 – 8.00pm

Contemporary/Improv (open) Ballet (beginners)

Tuesday

6.30 – 8.00pm

Contemporary (intermediate) Funk (open)

Wednesday 6.30 – 8.00pm

Contemporary (beginners) Ballet (intermediate)

Thursday

6.30 – 8.00pm

Contemporary (intermediate) Fletcher Pilates (open)

Saturday

10.00 – 11.30am Contemporary (beginners) 11.45am – 1.15pm Contemporary (intermediate)

For more information and to sign up to our Chunky Move e-newsletter visit chunkymove.com or phone 03 9645 5188. GOVERNMENT PARTNERS

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MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL GUIDE 2011

We’re gearing up again for that special time of year when it’s ok to wet yourself in public... with laughter! That’s right folks, the 25th annual Melbourne International Comedy Festival kicks off on March 30 running through to April 24 and Inpress will once again, for the 11th year in a row, be publishing the largest most comprehensive free guide to what’s on, what’s hot and what deserves rotten tomatoes. With over 600,000 festival goers checking out over 300 shows, this is your chance to ride the MICF wave and let festival attendees know about your show. Comedy is thirsty work so for non-comedy festival advertisers there will be plenty of people to eat and drink or just to chill while they catch their breath. Full colour ads at mono rates and those unable to submit finished art, we can design your ad free of charge. The 2011 Inpress MICF guide ide hits the streets of Melbourne on March 30.

DEADLINES

Artwork Deadline March 16

CONTACTS

Please contact : sales@inpress.com.au or on 03 9421 4499 to book your space

BIG, BOLD & GLOSSY ! twitter.com/inpressmag

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ACCIDENTAL FOLK Having previously been in Australia as a conservationist, STORNOWAY frontman BRIAN BRIGGS tells CYCLONE that the strong reaction to the band’s debut has meant an unexpected halt in their careers.

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all it ‘nu-folk’, ‘freak folk’, or just plain ‘folk’, but folk music is back. The popularity of Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and even our own Boy & Bear is possibly a reaction to ubiquitous landfill indie and AutoTuned urban pop as much as to postmodern fatigue. Though selected as one of the BBC’s Sound Of 2010 acts, with that ‘future folkie’ Ellie Goulding the winner, Stornoway haven’t experienced the same level of mainstream exposure as Mumford. Nevertheless, last year the Oxford troubadours delivered an affecting, charming and surprisingly unpredictable debut, Beachcomber’s Windowsill, traversing gentle protest songs (We Are The Battery Human), caravan punk (Watching Birds) and dream-pop (The End Of The Movie). Zorbing, the spirited single, is Paul Weller-ish neo-soul, not neo-folk, with its lovely harmonies. (This hybrid is already being dubbed ‘Fo-town’: folk-meets-Motown.) NME’s reviewer sagely described Beachcomber’s Windowsill as “a Constable landscape of a record”. Now the grassroots favourites are touring here with the tastemaker Laneway Festival. It transpires that Stornoway’s frontman Brian Briggs, who boasts a PhD in Ornithology (he studied duck behaviour), has visited Australia previously. “I’ve spent six months out there, but quite a long time ago, as a

conservation volunteer, planting thousands and thousands of trees, pulling out bitou bush, an invasive shrub… I travelled around a lot, actually.” Stornoway are no newcomers, forming in 2005. Briggs, a Bristol native, bonded with London multiinstrumentalist Jonathan Ouin at Oxford University. The story is that Briggs asked Ouin if he followed 1990s jangly popsters Teenage Fanclub. Ouin was embarking on a Masters in Russian Literature. They’d initially perform as a two-piece, rehearsing in the Wolfson College dining hall. Later, Ollie Steadman joined as bassist, not disclosing the fact that he was still in school, while his brother Rob, then all of 15, eventually became Stornoway’s drummer. Briggs, in his 30s, admits that he “had concerns” about the age gap, but the Steadmans, who hail from South Africa, are worldly – and sensible. Briggs’s sibling Adam, a GP, occasionally plays trumpet with them. As for the name Stornoway, it’s a town on the Isle Of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The band finally gigged there last April, media in tow. The buzz surrounding Stornoway began as early as 2006. An enthusiastic BBC Oxford jock, Tim Bearder, was suspended for dedicating an hour to the band one morning. By 2009 Stornoway were appearing at Glastonbury and guesting on Later… With Jools Holland.

Stornoway largely recorded Beachcomber’s Windowsill themselves on an eight-track, complete with both improvised and accidental sounds, such as vegetablechopping, over several years. (Mind, they also laid down songs in a proper studio with Magic Numbers producer Craig Silvey.) Stornoway were preparing to issue an album through Truck Records, but it had financial woes. They wound up on 4AD, home to Bon Iver and Atlanta’s cred Deerhunter. Beachcomber’s Windowsill surfaced in May – almost a year on from Zorbing. Why the wait? “These days in the UK, and I imagine in the rest of the world, it’s very difficult for a band to get a record deal, just because of the current situation with the music industry, and we basically didn’t look for one,” Briggs explains. “We just got on with what we were doing. What we did was we played lots and lots of gigs in Oxford and then we started to go to London and played lots of gigs there. We released our own recordings on little EPs at home – just self-released. We didn’t really have any particular kind of aspirations or aims. We just knew that we enjoyed it and that we wanted to see how far we could go with it. So we didn’t specifically hunt for a record deal. Eventually, when radio stations started to play our music and we reached a few pairs of ears of festival organisers and things, then slowly the record labels started to take interest – and 4AD is the label that we went with. They’re an indie label and they’ve allowed us to continue to have our own DIY approach and release what we want and do our own recordings and artwork and things like that. It’s been a good match.” Stornoway’s success has necessitated Briggs abandon his job as an ecologist, something about which he’s philosophical. “It definitely has meant a temporary end to that career, if not permanent, but I wouldn’t rule out going back. The fickle nature of playing in a band and working in music means that there’s probably a good chance that I will go back to it one day. And that will be fine by me because I’m just as passionate about nature and the outdoors as I am about music. It’s just music’s a slightly more risky business. Both of them are something you definitely don’t do to get rich, but do out of the love.”Still, there are other dilemmas. Ollie has finished his degree in chemistry at Warwick University, but Rob is deferring. Beachcomber’s Windowsill is a sublimely romantic affair. However, Stornoway are not obviously nu-folk,

HARD AT IT “It seems like it’s god’s payback,” a sober JOE COCKER says of playing to masses of pissed punters. It’s lucky he still loves getting on a stage, he tells TONY MCMAHON. at me. It seems like it’s god’s payback. But I am looking forward to the music halls that we play in the centre of the towns. They’re good, because you know they’re going to be the real diehard fans. They’ve been a pretty solid audience over the years, the Australian fans.” Cocker is on record as having once preferred the surrounds of a studio to the live stage, but all that has changed now. As he’s gotten older, it seems that the emotional connection a performer feels with an audience has come to mean more and more to him. “Performance is everything to me now. I mean, you’ve got to face it when you’re 66: your career is winding down. There’s something very special about a live performance. I used to prefer the recording experience, and I’ve found you have to make an album for people to know you’re still around, but at the same time there’s something very special about shows for me now, each one seems something special. My whole thing’s always been about emotion, you know? So I find as I’m getting on a bit that I’m getting through to people more, I’m reaching them more through live performance, and that’s become a very important thing for me.”

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ith the most iconic set of vocal chords on the planet, a back catalogue that includes 21 studio and four live albums, and a following that boasts something like true affection and respect, Joe Cocker is one of music’s most deservingly loved practitioners. His latest record, Hard Knocks, finds Cocker in possibly the poppiest territory of his career, but still swaggering with his trademark grittiness and – as the title suggests – hard livin’ ethos. With a penchant for covering others’ songs and taking them to places even the originals couldn’t reach – his version of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends being the standout example – Cocker this time provides us with nine out of ten original tracks, and his gruff voice is just as engaging, just as awe-inspiring, and just as moving as it has been on any of his previous work. As if this is not already exciting enough, Cocker is about to regale Australian crowds with the Hard Knocks tour, playing both theatres and wineries all along the East Coast. And – given we booted him out of the country in 1972 – it’s fortunate, to say the

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least, that he’s had the good grace to come back at all. Inpress reminds Cocker that we also considered ourselves too good as a country to tolerate a crooner by the name of Frank Sinatra, so, historically, he’s in solid company. “That’s right,” he laughs. “Didn’t you refuse to refuel his jet or something?” He laughs some more. “It’s okay, though, I’ve only been back about 15 times since and everyone there is so apologetic about it.” So, everything is obviously forgiven and forgotten, and Cocker must have a genuine affection for Australia, given he has been back so many times. Surprisingly, though, he says that it’s still a difficult place for him to play, although not perhaps for the reasons one might expect. “Well, you know these vineyard gigs? They’ve kind of evolved. It’s only been the last couple of times I’ve been down here that we’ve been doing them. It’s kind of odd. I mean, I quit drinking ten years ago and now I play to these audiences where everybody’s out of their minds, you know, rocking and rolling and looking

And this surely cuts both ways as well. As a punter, there’s nothing better than watching a muso who has put in the hard yards as opposed to Johnny come latelys without a clue. Cocker agrees, in the process revealing some of his formative influences, and what influences they are. “I went to see a lot of the older cats when I was young. I remember all the blues guys. You know: Sheffield, England, when Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson and those kinds of guys would come in. And I wonder now all these years later if we’re not kind of like jazz acts who have survived all the pop. And I think people come along and see you because you’ve honed you craft and there’s something there. I don’t know if a lot of young artists are willing to give up what we had to give up. They want the fame and money bit, but I don’t think a lot of them understand the thing of giving your life to the music.” Given Cocker’s truly vast back catalogue of hits, how does he go about forming a setlist? Apart from Germany, apparently, it’s basically formed for him. “I do change the set around a little in Germany. The

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their music straying into jazz, soul and rock. They even have Afrobeat textures. Briggs, who listens to anything from blues to jazz to reggae, mentions vintage faves like The Beach Boys and Van Morrison through to the hip Beach House. Like Marling and co, he regards ‘nu-folk’ as a media construct, inspired by Noah And The Whale’s crossover hit 5 Years Time. For Briggs, folk – and acoustic – music has always flourished, but he’s grateful for any wider interest (Stornoway count Biffy Clyro as fans). “I’m not complaining about it because it’s done wonders for us.” Briggs himself considers Beachcomber’s Windowsill ‘maritime pop’. In the past Briggs, the group’s primary songwriter, has revealed that most of his lyrics are about a girlfriend (reputedly now his wife). Yet he imagines a time when especially Stornoway’s younger members contribute more to the writing. “There’s every chance that we might collaborate on the lyric side of things in future, but so far it just hasn’t worked that way. Musically, we’ve started to work together a bit more, but that’s quite similar, in a way, because for the most part they’re demos that I have recorded myself at home and taken to the band and we’ve arranged [the songs] together. Some of them are slightly more collaborative. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the rest of the band.” Stornoway can be quirky – their early song The Good Fish Guide was just that, a list of fish it’s ethically correct to eat (profits were directed to the Marine Conservation Society). And the band’s Australian shows should be similarly playful. “There’s gonna be at least five of us travelling,” Briggs rhapsodises. “We like to use a lot of different instruments on stage. It’s gonna be a struggle coming out to Australia, because we’re gonna have to leave a lot of things behind, but hopefully we’ll be able to borrow instruments – because we like every song to sound a bit different and we try different sounds and different instruments throughout the set. We enjoy a bit of silly banter and facts, sometimes wildlife-related (stifles laugh). We’ll just be very excited to be out in Australia. If there’s anyone there watching us, that’ll be a bonus. We’re just gonna be visibly enjoying ourselves as well.” WHO: Stornoway WHAT: Beachcomber’s Windowsill (4AD/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Thursday 10 February, Corner Hotel

German fans have just been with me so long and I’ve had hit records there that haven’t been hits anywhere else. But there are just so many songs that people want to hear: Unchain My Heart, Leave Your Hat On. I mean, it’s like 20 songs, that’s my set. I change the running order around, but basically it’s an old show.” So, how does one decide to make a 21st album? When you’re Joe Cocker, it’s all about, well, being Joe Cocker. “The album before was Hymn For My Soul; we kind of went back to more playing live to tape with no special effects or anything. And you’re always wondering how to do things a little differently. We parted company with EMI and Sony said they wanted to do a record and they said ‘can you give us more of a Cocker album?’ That’s exactly how they put it.” Rather than Hard Knocks being a record by someone whose career is winding down, Cocker sounds as fresh as a twenty-year old, and he has no hesitation in attributing this to his producer. “I talked to a few producers in LA, but I liked Matt Serletic, the rapport we had was pretty good. We decided that what we were trying to do was make a modern soul record. From that foundation we came up with the one track, Hard Knocks, and we brought this album out. And I think Matt brought something out of me vocally. He was very encouraging. That was it, I think. You’ve really got to give it all you’ve got. I really don’t know how to go about things in half measures.” As someone who performed at the now legendary Woodstock festival, it would be remiss of Inpress not to ask Cocker about the experience four and more decades later. “I can understand the fascination. It was so huge. Back then, though, it was just another gig. I suppose I kind of lucked out with The Grease Band. I thought we were pretty good on the day. You know, sometimes you’re not when you do these big shows. It’ll always stick in my mind when I flew over there in a helicopter and I asked the pilot what were all those people doing down there and he said, ‘That’s where you’re playing, son’. I mean, only a couple of years before, the most I’d ever played to was a hundred people.”

WHO: Joe Cocker WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, A Day On The Green, Rochford Winery; Tuesday 8 and Thursday 9 February, Palais


UNTHANKS FOR THE MEMORIES BECKY UNTHANK chats to ANDY HAZEL about folk music, the Mercury Music Prize and how to clog dance with a straight face. a context for what you’re doing. It’s just our folk music to them I think and sometimes it just doesn’t click with them that it’s not just a family thing, and it’s dead exciting.” English folk music, especially English traditional folk music, long held as the infinitely less cool uptight brother of its American counterpart, finds its authenticity in tales of working-class celebrations and hardship. Springing up in areas removed from political centres and cultural hubs, English folk music saw its heyday during cultural revolutions when people had a lot to say.

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n the line from her flat in West Yorkshire, Becky Unthank sounds genuinely happy to be talking about her music. Though not hers by pen, there are few more stunning expropriators of songs than her and her sister Rachel in their group The Unthanks. Even the legendarily blunt Robert Wyatt favours their versions of his songs over his own. “That’s the great thing about folk music,” say Unthank with a disarming Northumbrian burr, “is it’s all about songs and the windows they open. We originally did Robert’s Sea Song on our second album and fell in love with his music. A good song is a good song and I wouldn’t be worried about singing a pop song or anything really. We did a concert at Union Chapel last month of just his and Antony Hegarty’s songs – I’m in love with Antony’s music – we did For Today I’m A Boy of his for years and years and we never

thought we’d do a set of just their songs. I did wonder for a while: ‘He’s such an amazing artist, what are we trying to achieve anyway?’ But we just had an incredible time exploring the ins and outs of the music. It was a brilliant experience for us and hopefully everyone else.” With this, their third Australian tour, a Mercury Music Prize nomination and their most recent albums charting in the UK, people thinking their music is brilliant is becoming an increasingly common response. Since 2005, The Unthanks have gone from being a regional, familial project to an English music institution. “I think after the Mercury Music Prize… being put in that context, you’re visible to a lot more people and they remember your name. It was a great window and very exciting. The family were pleased but mostly it was my friends getting excited – it gave them

SINGULAR VISION

With little in the way of competition, The Unthanks have spent the last five years becoming one of the finest, most successful and most respected bands drawing from this fathomless well. “We’ve always done music in our family really for fun,” she says brightly. “On our way to festivals and at parties, our parents got into it in the ‘60s from going to folk festivals in the summer and they took us too and it was so fun meeting young people in such a relaxed environment. We’ve always been involved in it and I never thought it was unusual until we became teenagers,” she says with an embarrassed laugh. “I went through a boy band phase and Rachel went through a metal phase and of course I didn’t go around telling everyone in Newcastle I was into folk music, but I never lost interest in it. It’s such a great social life and the songs and the stories are something that you can really become involved in. They’re about life at home, love, hope and death, things that matter to us but we’re not singing from our voice because these songs don’t belong to one person, they’re someone’s testimony. We’re passing on the stories and I like that part of it. This isn’t all ‘this is the way the world should be’, you can take from them whatever you want to and it’s not dictating our view.” Though most of The Unthanks’ previous albums (when they were known as Rachel Unthank & The Winterset) comprised songs unearthed in their local Northumberland in the north of England, recent years and their forthcoming album Last have seen an expansion of source material. “When we do an album we rack our brains for what songs we’ve been singing for years, our dad’s brain, songbooks, we pick up songs at folk clubs and old records of our parents’. It’s an ongoing trawl. What captures us is a story really, something we can empathise with, a song that touches us and makes us think ‘I want to sing that to a lot of other people’. The family do it as a whole,

Since Last August, having released I’m Having Fun Now, their debut as Jenny & Johnny, the pair have toured the world with their two bandmates, headlining shows as well as supporting Vampire Weekend and Pavement, one of Lewis’s favourite bands. “I’m a huge Pavement fan and I have been since the ‘90s and just to hear those songs live was a real treat… just being able to watch the show from side of stage was pretty magical. They were very nice, we didn’t hang out much but when we did they were really cool and we drank some of their beers. Thank you, Pavement!” Lewis and Rice were introduced by Conor Oberst in 2005 and began an artistic and romantic relationship, ultimately melding into a powerful creative force. “Every creative relationship has its ups and downs. I think you have your moments and sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s hard and ultimately I think if you’re working on something that you’re proud of, things will go a lot more smoothly. If you’re working on something that you think is shit, the relationship will often suffer, but if you really believe in what you’re doing it works out. Johnathan and I like the same things – we like a lot of the same records and so I think in some ways

The ‘that’ which Unthank talks about is not just musical, but a deeply entrenched, centuries-old cultural pride, something anathema to many British and Australian sensibilities. Besides the folk music, there lurks that mercilessly parodied and laughably antiquated bugbear, folk dancing. “Oh, I know!” Unthank says with mirthful glee. “Rachel and I have both been clog dancing since we were five. We didn’t realise everyone else didn’t do it until we were much older, and after we did some dancing on Jools Holland we were asked to do a TV show on folk dancing, going around the country and filming different traditional dances, some which we’d heard about and others which were totally new to us. It was a blast. We always bring some of that dancing to our shows and it doesn’t seem funny when you’re so used to it.” The live shows, the natural home of traditional music, see the now-five-piece band switching between instruments. “The new album in coming out in March. There’ll be a couple of things from that at the Australian shows, maybe some Antony songs too. We thought about doing a live album in Melbourne for a while because we loved the sound at The Toff In Town, then it became talk of a live album with an orchestra back home, but it just hasn’t been the right time,” she says slightly despondently. “It’s hard to capture a live performance when you make an album, though we did record the Union Chapel shows and I know I’m really happy with it and I’d like to do another live album.”

WHO: The Unthanks WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Bella Union at Trades Hall

A trip to the US for a single radio interview has paid big dividends for Aussie bluesman CLAUDE HAY, writes SAMUEL J FELL.

there’s a singular vision shared by two people.”

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Happily, all this media attention has brought about a change in the typical audience demographic, ie. people under 25. “I find more and more teenagers do come to our shows,” Unthank counters. “It’s not our typical audience of course, but a lot of younger people don’t necessarily know they have their own folk music but when they do, they’re interested. England’s not like Scotland or Ireland where there’s definitely been a history of that.”

MAKIN’ HAY

Rilo Kiley frontwoman JENNY LEWIS is now having fun with her squeeze as JENNY & JOHNNY, she tells GISELLE NGUYEN.

ohnathan Rice is out exploring while Jenny Lewis, his girlfriend and creative partner, is at their home in Los Angeles doing interviews. “Johnny went on a little trip up the coast. He likes to do that every couple of months. He takes his guitar and I believe he’s up above Buellton,” Lewis explains, naming a town about 220km west of LA.

it’s the way we socialise, we become more like friends. Some people dread family parties – we can’t wait.”

adding with a laugh, “Within five minutes I’d sold more CDs than I’d sold on the road for the year. It was just crazy.” It was that radio appearance that really broke Hay in the US (despite the fact he’d been there a couple of times before), leading to Deep Fried Satisfied landing at number nine on the Billboard Blues Charts, number five on Amazon’s Blues Albums Of 2010, and the song, Miss You So, making number three on Amazon’s Best Blues Songs Of 2010. Not bad for a man not many had heard of.

The pair have co-written songs on each other’s solo albums since 2006, with Rice also producing Lewis’s last album, 2008’s Acid Tongue, plus playing at all of her solo shows in her band. The creation of Jenny & Johnny, however, was pure chance. “Pierre [de Reeder] from Rilo Kiley opened a little studio in the San Fernando valley and offered us some free studio time so we had a bunch of songs lying around – some of which were Johnny’s, some of which were mine – and we went in because we were bored, to demo some songs, and while we were working we realised that we’d stumbled upon a new sound. The songs didn’t really feel appropriate for either of our next solo records, so we kind of created a new band by accident.” The difference between the creation of these songs and the ones they penned together for their solo albums, Lewis says, is that there’s a much closer sense of collaboration. “I was kind of going through a bit of a period of writer’s block where I had a bunch of songs that I couldn’t quite finish lying around, 15 or 20 of them, so it was really liberating to have threequarters of the song and say to Johnny, ‘Hey, what do you hear for the chorus?’ and he would contribute something that I wouldn’t have thought of… We often say that we’ve been having a five-year conversation and the songs are just a part of what we talk about.” Beyond the upcoming tour, Lewis and Rice are playing it by ear – the future is uncertain and they’re perfectly fine with that. “I don’t think we really have any plans… We’re coming to Australia and that should be great and probably doing a couple more shows in the States and beyond that, we’re pretty open. If something cool comes up I’m sure we’ll hop in the van or our station wagon and bring our guitars and play a show.” WHO: Jenny & Johnny WHAT: I’m Having Fun Now (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Thursday 10 February, East Brunswick Club

“America is just going off over there at the moment, it’s all exciting,” he smiles modestly. “We’ll head over there in March, we got in to the SXSW festival, so that’ll be good. And we’re also booking a tour over there for August.” Hay’s star is steadily rising in the States, as it is over here – last week Hay was nominated for two Chain Awards, the annual Australian blues awards, and he continues to draw big crowds to his shows.

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or many, the name Claude Hay won’t mean much, and that’s understandable. This is a man who’s sprung from seemingly nowhere, a man who plied his trade in various bands for a number of years before branching out to take on a solo career, releasing his debut record, Kiss The Sky in 2007. This won’t mean much either, and even the fact that last year he followed it up with a second record, Deep Fried Satisfied, probably won’t push him to the forefront of your mind. However, if you’ve even half a finger on the fast-beating pulse that is Australian roots music then chances are Claude Hay won’t remain a stranger for long. Hay’s debut made inroads, particularly in the UK and the US. But with the release of Deep Fried Satisfied, things began to snowball. Inpress interviewed Hay last October, just before he was set to fly to the US to do a single radio interview – odd, but did it ever pay off – and when we speak to him again it’s evident that things are now well on track. “Everything kinda spurred from that one interview,” Hay muses on his appearance on NPR’s Weekend Edition in late November last year. “I didn’t think it was going to go as well as what it did, but it was really good. Just from that show alone, we played to 14 and a half million listeners,” he smiles, before

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Drawing on the roots, the blues, Hay’s sound intertwines with a harder rock feel, something that seems easy or common, but not so for Hay when you realise he’s doing it all himself, utilising a serious looping pedal as well as various percussion instruments. It’s a sound which has drawn comparison to Ben Harper and John Butler, something Hay is more than aware of, but it’s a sound which invites variation, as he’s keen to show as he moves into the early stages of putting together his next record. “I kinda want to find another sound,” he muses on where to head next. “When I did Deep Fried… I’d only just got the twin-neck guitar (this is a twin-neck guitar/bass hybrid) and I’ve got all these new amps now, so I really want to hone in my own sound… The next one will be a change of sound, a more grungier sound.” He’s not afraid to try new things – Inpress has seen him play a few times and can attest to that. So 2011 is shaping up to be a big one for this lone player, and you can be sure that by year’s end, you’ll all know the name Claude Hay.

WHO: Claude Hay WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, the Evelyn; Friday, Baha Tacos (Rye); Saturday, Cherry Bar

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FEBRUARY 5TH 2011

MELBOURNE MORELAND STREET STAGE

EAT YOUR OWN EARS AND THE WINDISH AGENCY PRESENT THE

RIVER STAGE

AIH AND OPULENT PRESENT

CAR PARK STAGE

CUT COPY 8:50 - 9:50 PM

GOTYE 8:55 - 9:45 PM

!!! 9:10 - 10:00 PM

THE RED BULL STAGE AIH DJs 7:00 - 8:00 PM

FOALS 7:35 - 8:20 PM

DEERHUNTER 7:40 - 8:25 PM

HOLY FUCK 7:55 - 8:40 PM

BRAIN CHILDREN 6:00 - 7:00 PM

YEASAYER 6:20 - 7:05 PM

ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI 6:25 - 7:10 PM

LES SAVY FAV 6:40 - 7:25 PM

DJ PEOPLE 5:15 - 6:00 PM

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB 5:05 - 5:50 PM

LOCAL NATIVES 5:10 - 5:55 PM

BLONDE REDHEAD 5:25 - 6:10 PM

OPULENT SOUND 4:15 - 5:15 PM

BEACH HOUSE 3:50 - 4:35 PM

WARPAINT 4:15 - 4:55 PM

MENOMENA 4:15 - 4:55 PM

HIDDEN SUNS 3:15 - 4:15 PM

JENNY AND JOHNNY 2:45 - 3:25 PM

CLOUD CONTROL 3:10 - 3:50 PM

BEAR IN HEAVEN 3:10 - 3:50 PM

MAT CANT 2:30 - 3:15 PM

STORNOWAY 1:40 - 2:20 PM

THE ANTLERS 2:05 - 2:45 PM

PVT 2:05 - 2:45 PM

SPIRAL STAIRS (DJ SET) 1:45 - 2:30 PM

THE HOLIDAYS 12:50 - 1:20 PM

WORLD’S END PRESS 1:25 - 1:55 PM

VIOLENT SOHO 1:05 - 1:45 PM

DECLAN KELLY 1:00 - 1:45 PM

BUCHANAN (TRIPLE J UNEARTHED) 12:05 - 12:30 PM

RAT VS POSSUM 12:35 - 1:05 PM

BAPTISM OF UZI 12:15 - 12:45 PM

GATES OPEN 11:30 AM - PLAYING TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE (check the Laneway App for the latest times) Tracks between bands programmed by Declan Kelly & EYOE

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MELBOURNE SATURDAY 5TH FEB 2010

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ISSUE 1159 - WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY, 2011

TOURS

PRESENTS

Conor O’Brien Sunday, Northcote Social Club

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

THIS WEEK

CARIBOU, FOUR TET: February 16 Hi-Fi I AM KLOOT: February 17 East Brunswick Club

INTERNATIONAL

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 Palais

NATIONAL

CHASE THE SUN, CLAUDE HAY, JARRAH THOMPSON: February 3 Evelyn CHASE THE SUN, CLAUDE HAY, CASS EAGER & THE VELVET ROPE: February 4 Baha Tacos (Rye)

MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY: February 18 Hi-Fi SWERVEDRIVER: February 17 Espy; 19 Corner Hotel

GIG OF THE WEEK

ALOE BLACC & THE GRAND SCHEME FRIDAY, PRINCE BANDROOM

Those bummed by Cee Lo Green’s withdrawal from next weekend’s Good Vibrations festival (he pulled out to perform at the Grammys instead) are well advised to get along to the Prince this Friday to check out Aloe Blacc with his band the Grand Scheme. His most recent album, the soultastic Good Things (released on Peanut Butter Wolf’s excellent Stones Throw label – think Doom, Madlib, etc), is a far superior record to Green’s both musically and – with songs tackling the difficulty many have struggling to get by in an unforgiving capitalist system – lyrically. The album’s first single, I Need A Dollar, is the theme song to the HBO series How To Make It In America, while the record also features a gripping take on The Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale. Support comes from Benji B and Waajeed.

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 BALL PARK MUSIC, EAGLE & THE WORM, WE SAY BAMBOULEE: March 19 Northcote Social Club THE HOLIDAYS: April 9, East Brunswick Club DISTURBED, TRIVIUM, AS I LAY DYING: April 24 Rod Laver Arena KYUSS LIVES: May 8 Billboard

Beach House pic by Jesse Booher

Carrying her bubble of sheer perfection on to the stage, Marita Dyson hasn’t a hair out of place as she takes a stance with her eyes up high, feet planted together and violin poised lightly against her shoulder. The Orbweavers barely seem to make an impact over the loud and overbearing crowd but Last Dance still leaves a warm spark in the air to those who listen carefully. Their music and lyrics are pure simplicity, but intricately woven simplicity like the makings of a patchwork quilt. It reflects Dyson’s personality nicely as her quaint simplicity has the undercoating of layers of intricacy. On top of all those layers is a face that seems somewhat frustrated with how noisy the crowd is. Their usual banter between songs is gone tonight as Dyson stares at the ceiling, rather emotionless. It’s most likely nerves, but there is almost a cold chill on the warm breeze their music is offering tonight.

CHASE THE SUN, JARRAH THOMPSON, CASS EAGER & THE VELVET ROPE: February 5 Cherry 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

UPCOMING

INTERNATIONAL

JOE COCKER: February 9 Palais DEERHUNTER: February 9 Billboard MENOMENA: February 9 East Brunswick Club BEAR IN HEAVEN, THE ANTLERS: February 9 Corner YEASAYER: February 9 Billboard WARPAINT: February 9, 10 Northcote Social Club ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI: February 10 Hi-Fi STORNOWAY: February 10 Corner !!!: February 10 Prince Bandroom JENNY & JOHNNY: February 10 East Brunswick Club FOALS: February 10 Palace DE LA SOUL: February 11 Billboard BOB LOG III: February 11 East Brunswick Club RETURN TO FOREVER: February 11 Regent Theatre; 12 Forum BBQ: February 12 Tote; 17 Nash (Geelong); 19 Yah Yah’s TIM FINN: February 12 Corner

DOVES: February 19 Forum

LIVE: REVIEWS

BEACH HOUSE, THE ORBWEAVERS HI-FI

M

istletone have an amazing ability to create a hipster convention at the mere drop of a poster. The latest to benefit from their never-ending successes are locals The Orbweavers, scoring themselves tonight’s brilliant support slot and an even more brilliant recording contract.

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Beach House offer no such chill this evening as the warmth goes straight into oozing luxury as soon as the “oh oh oh” comes out on Gila. Victoria Legrand looks like a painting, standing elevated in the centre with a mound of messy hair covering all but her voice, swaying lightly from side to side in a haze of orange light. Her immaculate and strong, husky voice offers sex-line operators a textbook to study by. It compliments the rather light and soft guitar work of Alex Scally as he bops on his stool as though it’s impossible to stop. Discarding the chair in crowd pleaser Norway, his feet shuffle about the stage as the crowd attempt to regain their breath from the sheer sexiness of everything. As the comparisons to Nico continue to mount, it feels more like a soundtrack to a Sofia Coppola movie with fingers running through a field of daisies, but perhaps with less virgins committing suicide. There is a beautiful black and white contrast between the two, with Legrand’s shaggy light hair as it runs over her keyboard in Zebra and Scally’s black mop to the side. Ending on 10 Mile Stereo, the two offer everything, shaking about to create a complete colour haze. Leonie Richman

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I Heart Hiroshima Saturday, Northcote Social Club

LLOYD COLE SMALL ENSEMBLE: February 12, 13 Thornbury Theatre ANDREW MCMAHON: February 13 Hi-Fi 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 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 THIS TOWN NEEDS GUNS: March 2 Toff In Town 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 MXPX ALL-STARS, THE ATARIS: March 3 East Brunswick Club 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

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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 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, 2 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 CHERRY POPPIN’ DADDIES: April 9 Corner JIMMY EAT WORLD: April 11 Palace BARRY MANILOW: April 11 Rod Laver Arena GOOD CHARLOTTE, BOYS LIKE GIRLS, SHORT STACK: April 13 Rod Laver Arena ZZ TOP: April 18 Festival Hall MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD: April 19 Palace IRMA THOMAS: April 20 Corner BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, AARON NEVILLE, MAVIS STAPLES: April 20 Palais Theatre DEREK TRUCKS & SUSAN TEDESCHI, ROBERT RANDOLPH AND HIS FAMILY BAND: April 22 Palace Theatre

NATIONAL

STONEFIELD: February 10, 17, 24 Tote HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: February 11 Westernport Hotel (San Remo); 12 Loft (Warrnambool);13 St Kilda Festival POND: February 16 East Brunswick Club THE LITTLE STEVIES: February 18-20 Port Fairy Folk Festival 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 ALPINE: February 25 Corner Hotel LOVE OF DIAGRAMS: February 25 Northcote Social Club GOLD FIELDS, BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: February 26 East Brunswick Club DAN PARSONS, STEVE GRADY: March 3 Jack Ryan’s Irish Pub (Sale); 4 Kay St (Traralgon); 11 Barwon Club (Geelong); 12 Baby Black Cafe (Bacchus Marsh); 13 Great Ocean Hotel (Apollo Bay) ALTIYAN CHILDS: March 4,5 Palms At Crown WAGONS: March 4 Corner 78 SAAB: March 5 Northcote Social Club CATHERINE TRAICOS: March 5 Empress; 6 Pure Pop TRIAL KENNEDY: March 12 Northcote Social Club

FESTIVALS

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 GROOVIN’ THE MOO: April 30, Bendigo Showground

Wire pic by Jesse Booher

WIRE, MY DISCO CORNER HOTEL My Disco, much feted supports for Wire tonight, are in full – if muted – throttle when I slink into the Corner, attempting to navigate quietly but effectively through the capacity crowd to some kind of pole position before Wire take to the stage. A mixed assortment of post-punk loyals, full of fervour and memories of the previous tour of some years prior, and keen new eyes fill the venue, and are giving My Disco appropriately warm support for their post-post sound: part Spinal Tap mark II, part Howard Devoto. When Colin Newman, Graham Lewis et al take relatively understatedly to the stage – no fanfare, muted utilitarian performance wear – and begin their set almost introvertedly, tentatively even, the crowd seems to respond in equally quiet kind. Perhaps some who attended their concert of two years ago, and remembered its fiery vitriol, are confused and taken aback. For a band who this year pronounced themselves at the top of their game, a perceived newfound confidence and stage-de-vivre, it is definitely a surprisingly un-cocky beginning. It seems to set the tone, and Wire’s set only gradually ramps up to what could by any definition be deemed frenzied, emotional, angry or even just extroverted. It’s not like they seem to be going through the motions, either, but there is definitely a pensive feedback mechanism between band and crowd. I suspect the hecklers aren’t helping. Perhaps there is a hint of jetlag still beleaguering the band? By the two encores, we all seem to be in the same place and time, and the crowd’s obvious enthusiasm for known tracks Drill, 106 Beats That and encore finale and arguable highlight Pink Flag provide whatever lift is needed to persuade Wire to give the finale some edge and vivacity. Disappointed by the lack of 154 material but, overall, ready to see them again when Wire next deign to grace our shores or I theirs.

darker version of the irresistible The Greatest. Tonight’s set also features unreleased original material, rumoured to be contained on the forthcoming Cat Power album. The intense slow build of the dreamily psychedelic Cherokee leads off an encore of largely new and unfamiliar material. “That song was a virgin but we didn’t fuck it right,” says the laconic Marshall with a grin, unhappy with one of these new tunes. Much of the encore is unfamiliar but also instantly likable and proves to be a very agreeable taste of things to come. A mesmerising version of Metal Heart brings the night down and serves as a reminder of just how much Chan Marshall has evolved over the years. Guido Farnell

HEALTH EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB Health’s recordings are so ferociously concentrated and blisteringly loud that it’s hard to imagine how they could possibly up the ante live. But, playing to an almost-sold-out East Brunswick Club tonight, they really do. Drummer BJ Miller rules the stage, raising his sticks high above his head like a sacrificial offering between absurdly rapid bursts of pounding percussion. At various points he’s joined on drums by one and then two of his bandmates and the cacophony of layered beats is astonishing – riotously complex but also so controlled and steady in its math rock-esque precision that at times it’s hard to tell what is live and what is programmed. The theatre of the multiple-drum-kit percussion and of bassist John Famiglietti’s wild-haired head banging provides welcome visual entertainment from a band who spend much of their time crouched down twiddling with knobs on their many effects pedals. Health are frustratingly disdainful of their audience (failing to smile or offer any banter whatsoever, which is disconcerting for a party band) but their sound is so intense and mesmeric that it’s worth being ignored by them in order to be able to see and hear them. Rarely does a noise band manage such a subtlety of textures. The delicate yet deafening interweaving of synth and guitars is in sharp contrast to the uninflected near-monotone of singer Jake Duzsik’s unintelligibly mumbled vocals. Together, it makes for a surprisingly melodic wash of sound that is laid over an increasingly danceable, relentless beat. It’s a shame that the audience isn’t more into dancing, actually, as Health are surely the most house-y of art-rockers. Singles USA Boys and Crimewave are squealing whirls of electronic hypnosis. The latter track was remixed by Crystal Castles and their rave-y energy is palpable.

Nic Toupee

Roger Nelson

CAT POWER, CONWAY SAVAGE

MISSY HIGGINS & FRIENDS

FORUM Conway Savage has been tickling the ivories for Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds for many years now but on the side he has also managed to put together a delightful catalogue of solo material. Savage, playing the part of an elegantly wasted dandy presents his music with a droll sense of humour but there is also a deep sense of ennui underscoring tonight’s set. It leaves you feeling that you are drowning your sorrows in a whiskey-soaked bar where the pianist in the corner is doing his worst to drown you in the most melancholic music he can play. Savage’s symphonic flourishes across the keyboard complete with many botched notes have an endearing charm. Subtle guitar and organ from two backing players arrange themselves around Savage beautifully. Savage provides a low-key start to the evening’s proceedings and Cat Power (AKA Chan Marshall) seems keen to keep it that way when she starts her set with a chilled version of The Stones’ Satisfaction, which she plays without the support of her band The Dirty Delta Blues Band. It’s spellbinding stuff but, despite the moody atmosphere Marshall is trying to create, it doesn’t stop enthusiastic fans from screaming “Happy Birthday” which elicits a smile and wink of acknowledgement. Moments later Marshall appeals to our patience as her band botches the delicate arrangement featured on the cover of Don’t Explain. Marshall’s exquisite husky vocals hang in the air, striking a very strong emotional chord with the audience. Her cover of this song reminds me more of Nina Simone than Billie Holiday but her ability to make the songs she covers uniquely hers is always amazing. Cat Power and The Dirty Delta Blues Band deal a luscious set of laid-back, Southern country soul with flecks of gospel. While the amusing cover of the gospel tune Lord Help The Poor And The Needy reminds me of something Diamanda Galas might attempt, Marshall lets rip when sinking her teeth into Nico’s These Days, which merges with what seems like her ode to Bob Dylan, Song To Bobby. Showcasing many of the covers on Jukebox, Marshall and her band drop spellbinding versions of Making Believe and Angelitos Negros. There is plenty of room in the set for original tunes such as Good Woman and a startlingly

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TRAK Music means money. The formula is not a complicated one and appeals around the world often rely on its power to spread their word and raise muchneeded funds. With last weekend having seen a few last-minute, post-flood fundraisers popping up around Melbourne, Missy Higgins returns to the stage with her band after a two-year break to raise awareness and money for the Kimberly. Billed as Missy Higgins &Friends, Higgins took the latter half to heart and, rather than a star-spangled event, Trak feels intimate and unimposing as everyone from Higgins’ brother Dave and her housemate Ben Fountain share her spotlight. The evening opens with Higgins’ Broome-based pals Will Thomas and Guy Gas sharing their compositions inspired by their beloved home. Thomas, a true storyteller, uses his three-song set well to share his insights. The now Morningtonbased Tash Parker mourns her move from the Kimberly with stories of colour and childhood. While her vocal is flawlessly compelling, her shy presence garners less attention between songs than Thomas. As a newly blonde Higgins takes the stage, her nonchalant appeal bursts across to the audience. From the moment she opens with The Special Two, the audience are in the palm of her hand. Rather than preaching, Higgins knows that simple association will do the work for her. Having written her second album On A Clear Night in Broome, Higgins has an affinity for the region but, rather than force the appeal on her audience, she entices interest with stories. With friends Angie Hart, David Bridie, Dan Sultan and Shane Howard on hand for some impromptu Australian-themed duets, Higgins clicks best with buddy Jen Cloher on The Go-Betweens’ Was There Anything I Could Do? Yet it is when her brother Dave joins her onstage that spines really tingle as they breathe The Finn Brothers’ Gentle Hum to life. While Scar is without any doubt the audience favourite, it is Higgins’ nod to her grandma that brings tears to this reviewer’s eyes. Jeremy Williams


live@inpress.com.au Iggy Pop pic by Kane Hibberd

– come ON!” he bellows. A couple of dozen Marshall amps form an impressive backdrop and O’Keefe necks half a bottle of red wine and then later scales the scaffolding to perform a guitar solo from the top of the structure, which exemplifies the Warrnambool quartet’s No Guts. No Glory. backdrop/album title. The considerable throng in front of the Green Stage comes into view before any sounds can be deciphered, but it’s instantly recognisable as an Andrew WK set – all hands are in the air, pumping fists perfectly in unison. Free of the mysterious legal problems that kept him from touring the last few years, WK (in all white, of course) plays largely from his 2001 debut, I Get Wet, and still shouts about parties and the ‘posi’ life, positioning the band’s set (and dated nu-symphonic metal) as a capsule of once fresh ideas. Does it matter? Nup, not with his endearing energy. His firecracker of a performing sidekick wife, Cherie Lily, helps a lot, too. CSS are a five-piece but frontwoman Lovefoxxx has enough personality and pizzazz for 50. Looking like New York Dolls on holiday, the Brazilian pop-dancepunkers bop enthusiastically but not overly wildly MIA pic by Kan Hibberd

MELBOURNE SHOWGROUNDS

From the opening feedback squalls and rock-solid drum intro for Outtathaway! it’s clear that early arrivals wish to pour their energy into supporting The Vines. Frontman Craig Nicholls sports a Highly Evolved t-shirt and when they perform Winning Days – “The winning days are gone” – it’s sad to see the once headliners warming up the Orange Stage today. The band are as tight as they ever were and Nicholls is just as loose, smashing his guitar to bits at the end of a rapturously received Get Free while the rest of the band dodge flying debris. A valiant effort that sets the standard of brilliance for the day ahead. It’s gonna be a scorcher, but that doesn’t stop a stack of young ’uns from getting in the late morning sun for a hot set from New Zealand’s The Naked & Famous. It’s a fun, poppy way to start the day, the under-18s leading the charge when it comes to sing-alongs with lead singles Punching In A Dream and closer Young Blood. Looking around, it seems a girl on one’s shoulders is the sunscreen of 2011. If ‘50s-style rockabilly is your thing, The Jim Jones Revue, on the Green Stage, proves a tonic to ease you right into the rock’n’roll fever due to set in across the rest of the day. It’s frontman Jones leading the charge of these five very-fucking-dapper gentlemen, and even though a smaller crowd are here to enjoy it, “Australia’s own” Elliot Mortimer on piano tears shreds, and we have ourselves an early highlight. The Greenhornes are peddling some deep-fried southern rock’n’roll in the Hot Produce tent while frontman Craig Fox looks as if he’s emerged onstage through a bucket bong haze – he’s totally in the zone, his gaze fi xed on something invisible. To his credit, his playing is impeccable. Closer I’ll Go Crazy (from their excellently titled latest album Four Stars) enthrals and ridiculously tight tempo changes are nailed without the need for musicians to so much as glance in each other’s direction. Catching the tail end of Airbourne’s set on the Blue Stage, we arrive in time to hear frontman Joel O’Keeffe encouraging punters to get up on a neighbour’s shoulders. “Let’s get a few of these cunts up in the air

through tracks like Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above as Lovefoxxx crowd-surfs euphorically, somehow maintaining perfect control of the microphone despite her adoring queer and straight fans’ best efforts to wrest it from her. When she flashes her bra to cool off, the response is appropriately hot. After catching the last 20 minutes of Lupe Fiasco’s blistering set on the Orange Stage, local hip-hoppers Bliss N Eso seem to have their work cut out for them. But with the trio riding high on the back of their latest album, Running On Air, doubts can be cast aside. Their heaving audience of thousands know the words to every track and despite a distinct bogan vibe, both in the group and the crowd, Bliss n Eso prove their ability to play to a crowd. Melbourne pub regulars The UV Race have recently returned from a US tour but their show still feels very local, almost to the point of being cliquey: frontman Marcus Rechsteiner explains midway through their set that his repeated “She’s a bad egg” vocals have been directed at his sister. They’re not the tightest musicians in the world but their anarchic post-punk drone-romps are endearing and memorable, and sound extra special for the lucky few who catch a glimpse of Rechsteiner getting his bum adorned by a roving face painter. Packing out the Boiler Room, there’s a moment in Die Antwoord’s set when it becomes apparent the Cape Town trio have nailed their self-aware trash shtick scarily well: this crowd isn’t chanting “Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, oi, oi, oi!” back at them ironically. Whether they’re embracing it or mocking it, or both or neither, the result is undoubtedly one of the tent’s best sets of the day. Like Larry Clark characters, they’re creepily transfi xing, cutting together Afrikaans hip hop, pulsating trance and even some Chicago house, at the same time bringing flat-tops, pelvisthrusting and Town & Country fashion back. The tent is screaming and they’re delivering on the hype.

Die Antwoord pic by Kane Hibberd

Deftones haven’t visited these shores since 2007 but they are still doing the same thing they were doing in the early ‘90s. The five-piece play quintessential stadium metal: meaty layers of guitars and reverbed drums underpin flat, epic but only vaguely pained vocals. They don’t move around the stage much despite the vigour and volume of their sound. Ten years ago this would have been mind-blowing, now it’s kind of meh. Expectations are high and the crowd is swelling. But before Crystal Castles take the afternoon Boiler Room stage, we’re told that singer Alice Glass is performing against doctor’s orders due to a broken ankle. After a slow start, the bass-heavy live drums mesh with the hyper-glitchy synths and the magic begins. But the sound is muddy and the vocals are weak and buried: it sounds like hearing the album muffled through your neighbours’ walls. Long breaks between songs kill the momentum and disappointment creeps in. A usually phenomenal act gives an only fair performance. Brooklyn power-pop duo Matt & Kim have an eager handful of people pogo-ing and singing their syrupy hooks back to them on the Lilyworld stage. For the rest of us (cynics?), it’s all a little too much to handle: the overdone mid-song gushing and grinning, as well as their incessantly naïve playing, recalls Play School more than the positive bubble-punk they’re clearly aiming for.

BIG DAY OUT A surprisingly hassle-free entry into Melbourne Showgrounds, considering we arrive before the gates open, is a blessing and a trend that continues throughout the day with drink/food and toilet queues never holding up our desire to dance to the beats. There are water mist stations everywhere to lessen incidents of heatstroke and some ultra polite and extremely young Big Day Out virgins ask us for directions to the entrance into the D barrier. As soon as this opens, enthusiasts sprint at the stage, appearing to us as flashes, in order to secure the best possible vantage point.

Long in the sunshine, Plan B and co close their set with testosterone aplenty as both ‘B and Faith SFX slam into members of the backing band, ultimately causing a keyboard to fall off its stand, remaining skew-wiff on its side while the keyboardist looked on helplessly.

Back in the tree-lined enclave of the Essential Stage, a long-haired crowd present to their masters of love, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. With ten members on stage, and with frontman Alex Ebert in and out of the crowd, there’s a slight Polyphonic Spree-esque, cult-ish thing going on. Musically though, their sound is akin to the full-bodied, supple sound of Arcade Fire. Dropping songs like 40 Day Dream and the epic sing-along Home, it proves a highlight of the day. Exactly how old is Iggy Pop? He’s 63 years young and struts onstage as if illustrating what Lupe Fiasco explained of his chosen profession earlier in the day, “It’s not a chore it’s a lifestyle.” Topless (of course) and with silken blonde locks, he eyes the D barrier fences with disdain, provoking, “Tear down the fuckin’ fence!” He invites half the crowd up onstage, paying particular attention to a pretty young thing with a shock of pink hair. When a brunette lass tries to follow, Pop consoles, “Eeeeeeasy, baby! Everything’s cool,” before a bouncer pushes her head back down into the photographer’s pit. As the breeze hijacks much guitar nuance, sax stabs are often the only noticeable sound. Pop thrusts against the scaffolding and grabs hold of a stray cable, which he fashions into a noose. Johanna is a highlight and I Wanna Be Your Dog sees Pop with paws up and tongue out. He often waves into the distance (or gives us the bird) while showing off a set of perfect gnashers and the front rows get much love as the legend prowls through the pit while stage hands wrestle with his neverending mic cable. When Primal Scream first toured Screamadelica, Bobby Gillespie could barely stand he was so drugfucked. At sunset today, he’s vital and grinning from ear to ear. The audience is small but enthused and the sound is mellow but captivating. The ‘90s never sounded so good as when indie rock and acid house were melded into perfect pop. It’s gentle and mesmerising: a beautifully comfortable Edward Sharpe pic by Kane Hibberd

If you’ve clocked Plan B’s stance, you’ll realise that he believes he should be everyone’s Plan A – all selfassured geezer braggadocio à la Mike Skinner of The Streets. His band sports matching dapper attire: longsleeved shirts, slacks, waistcoats and ties. She Said inspires clap-alongs. The addition of a gobsmackingly talented beatboxer more than sustains our interest and sees Faith SFX stealing the limelight when faux bass rumbles through the stage during a cover of Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine. Advising us not to Stay Too

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ride from Don’t Fight It, Feel It’s “gonna get high ‘til the day I die” to I’m Coming Down’s “I’ve been so high I never wanted to come down.” Their decision to make relatively laid-back, percussiontinkering grooves over the club remixes they’ve had wider success with means Ratatat don’t even draw a full crowd to their Hot Produce evening set. Everyone else’s loss. The skinny pair, looking like shabby video game obsessives who’ve just risen from the couch, move effortlessly between their grab-bag of instruments, producing much of their blissful electro-scapery live. Their 2006 single Wildcat gets an airing, but it just shows how far they’ve come, especially when they break into last year’s cerebrally orgasmic LP4 track Drugs, peaking their set with its intricate-yet-accessible arrangement. Some dual bass drumming tops it all off. LCD Soundsystem are back, which in itself might explain why the Boiler Room isn’t a heaving mess. Wasn’t James Murphy talking about ending the group even before their last tour? Ironically, they sound bolder and freer than ever, and Murphy’s vocal range and prowess is at a peak. With sax, synth-pad and live drums, and keys player Nancy Whang’s honeyed BVs, their festival set-up is now like some kind of Hercules & Love Affair turned big band. Indeed, much of what’s emerging in New York City has invaded their sound, down to the kosmische-meets-soul house revamp of Daft Punk Is Playing At My House. Daft Punk probably wouldn’t approve, but we certainly do. Headlining the Green Stage like kings of men, Grinderman prove the main stages aren’t the only arenas for heavy, loud-as-balls rock’n’roll. Age shall not weary the rock god within, and those brave enough to watch are assaulted with a barrage of brilliant riffs, loose antics and the leviathan that is Nick Cave. Posturing and grinding like a deviant, Cave leads the band through tracks like Heathen Child, No Pussy Blues and Palaces Of Montezuma, before their selftitled anthem sends us away licking our wounds. The scene at the Essential Stage sees impatient punters tossing water bottles, and whatever they can lay their hands on, into the air while those on the outskirts marvel at the spectacle and film the action on their mobile phones. Pnau have been off in Old Blighty with Elton John prepping album number four and we hear three newies tonight, The Truth included. There’s emotive lyrical content that’s well suited to Nick Littlemore’s liturgical moves and one of these songs sounds a little Eurovision. Wild Strawberries, Baby and Embrace are rapturously received as the crowd shakes off sunstroke and ignores weary legs. Choofing off to secure a decent posi for MIA, we witness what appears to be a mass exodus toward the exit gates post-Rammstein. Early flashes of brilliance courtesy of Born Free and Boyz get our feet moving but a lone figure on the stage flanked by two dancers isn’t exactly the spectacle we are used to witnessing to ignite the Boiler Room for the final hour. Just as the petite Sri Lankan singer seems on the verge of something great, there’s a break in momentum as a track is cued or a few sound effects are played. Far from the memories we have of MIA’s colourful, frenzied, controversial Parklife appearances of 2007 and Groove Armada’s victorious closing Boiler Room brilliance last year. Bryget Chrisfield, Adam Curley, Roger Nelson and Dylan Stewart

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DIXIE LEONARD

STATE I’M IN

Straying from her improvisation and interpretive roots, singer, pianist and songwriter Jade Leonard has released her first bubble gum pop tune – with a twist. Electro heads will appreciate Leonard’s brand new gay pop stylings in her self-penned track Funny Bunny, which she’ll be performing as part of her shows at Kaye Sera’s Bizarre in St Kilda this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The shows will mark the end of Leonard’s 11-month solo cabaret tour. Go see how a real all-rounder – jazz singer, indie songwriter, covers queen and gay pop diva – does it.

MUSIC VICTORIA UPDATES WITH PATRICK DONOVAN Grinderman tearing up the stage at the Big Day Out on Sunday was a sight to behold. Having earlier on the night witnessed the timeless godfather of punk rock, Iggy Pop, teach most of the acts on the bill a lesson in showmanship and endurance, it was hard not to feel patriotic pride seeing how far our own Warracknabealborn punk hero Nick Cave and his Ballaratbred sidekick Warren Ellis have come. It was a timely reminder of how important it is to nurture our country and regional music scenes. Because last Thursday, we co-ordinated a gathering of western Victoria music industry people in Geelong and the message came through loud and clear: the west needs some love. How does a region that hosts, per capita at least, the most music festivals in the world – think Falls, Meredith, Golden Plains, Port Fairy, Apollo Bay and Queenscliff just for starters – then turn into a musical wasteland once summer is over? Geography and fragmented markets and a lack of public transport are clearly the biggest enemies. But communities and councils just don’t seem to afford the arts the same respect and level of support as sport. It was a different story in the 1980s and 1990s, when Gen X-ers spent weekends at local venues, and local heroes such as Chrissie Amphlett, Rose Tattoo’s Ian Rilen and Magic Dirt were played on the radio. But now, with the exception of Warrnambool rockers Airborne, few local musicians get radio airplay, so the kids don’t have something to aspire to. These days (outside the city), there doesn’t seem to be radio programmers roaming the pubs seeking out new talent to play on the radio, which does little to support local musicians. Surely local radio can allocate a few hours a week to quality home-grown talent? To compound matters, music education is being cut by schools and universities in the area. Drugs, alcohol, violence and youth suicide are big problems in regional Victoria. As was proven at the Big Day Out, live music doesn’t cause violence, it soothes the savage beast within. Experiencing 52,000 strangers bond and help each other out in trying circumstances (with no arrests) was a testament to that. Young people need outlets and opportunities to express themselves. As Geelong-based musician Wayne Jury, who runs Blues Boots Camps for kids, said: ‘’Kids crave something to sink their teeth into’’. Maybe it’s time to think more laterally about performances. Like starting shows earlier in the evening, or playing private shows at houses? Music Victoria is doing its bit by talking to politicians, councils and media. It is lobbying the State Government on the Agent Of Change planning issue (noise and amenity issues with neighbours) and the Federal Government on increasing quotas for Australian music on radio. The federal Arts Minister, Melburnian Simon Crean, is also the Minister For Regional Australia, so you could do worse than send him a letter asking for more support for regional artists.

YOUR THREE SONS

BROADSIDE NAVAL GAZING The Broadside Push take the stage at Fitzroy’s Revellers this Friday night for their first show of the year. By now, Melburnians have come to expect the slow dirges and wild-eyed rock’n’roll that has distinguished the sound of The Broadside Push. Their live sets see sweeping shows of painful love songs and spine-chilling murder ballads, all through a haunted mix of violin, banjo, mandolin, double bass and shakey tremolo guitars. After launching their debut album Grace On The Banks late last year, the band have amassed a devoted following. Supports on the night come from Howlin’ Steam Train and The Murdered Birds, completing the ingredients for an untamed night of Melbourne rock’n’roll!

ZOMBO LAND The art of Mark Palazzolo (AKA Zombo) has never been publicly displayed, despite gracing some of the more memorable record sleeves of the 1990s. That’s all set to change this Thursday at the Prague in Thornbury, where he presents 16 of his fine art pieces, spanning 22 years from 1989 to present. The gallery opening is at 6pm, later with live punk/metal/ rock accompaniment from Chicoflash, Atlantic, ThrillKillers and SPG. Entry is $10 from 8pm.

TONGUIN’ WATTS

Patrick Donovan Music Victoria CEO

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An iconic Brunswick feline (yes, a cat) and staunch supporter of Melbourne’s indie music scene, Truly was recently attacked by escaped huskies and left in a critical condition. Truly’s owners have decided to put together a benefit show featuring Truly’s favourite acts to raise money for treatment (yes, we’re still serious). Truly Madly Deeply will see Sophia Brous, Oliver Mann, Francis Plagne Band, and a rare performance from Grand Salvo at the Empress this Sunday. A raffle will be drawn during the show (with prizes including an upright piano!). Entry is $12/$10 from 7pm.

It’s gonna be a night of mayhem and debauchery at Revellers Bar North on Friday 11 February. So the holidays are over and you’ve spent all your money at the festivals – but you’re still craving something new and exciting to listen to and at a good price. How about four bands who are building names for themselves, gigging around town and getting audiences along the way. Rock’n’roll, indie rock, punk and alt.funk metal. It’s all covered by Dirty F, Felix Glyde, Passport For Amy and Black Hayet. Entry is $10 from 8.30pm.

SHAOLIN SOUL A side project featuring most members of The Transatlantics, the mysterious Afro-soul of Adelaide’s The Shaolin Afronauts first echoed across the dancefloors of Australia in 2008. Heavily inspired by the sounds of 1970s West Africa, Ethiopia and the pioneering avant-garde jazz artists of the same period, The Shaolin Afronauts draw on this highly innovative and sometimes volatile era in music, using it as inspiration to create music with the same fire and intensity. The key to their unique sound is the line-up, which comprises a three-piece horn section, five-piece rhythm section and three percussionists. They play Bar Open on Friday 11 February – entry is free from 10pm.

SNAKES ON A STAGE Dusting off the musical sand between their summery toes River Of Snakes return to the stage this Saturday to crank out their own brand of trashy noise rock. Helping them out with the musical havoc will be agressive punks Bitchslap, power-pop grungers The Instincts and riot grrl newborns Plast Her Ov Paris. This night of frenzy will take place at the Prague (911 High Street, Thornbury) and entry is $8 from 8pm.

YOU DIG? PETER JAMES’ Iceage Productions provides an outlet for local avant-garde performers, writes BOB BAKER FISH. a compilation of local musicians. Titled The Shape Of Sound Volume 1, it boasts new material from the likes of improv duo Infinite Decimals, Zac Keiller, Wolf 359, psychedelic noise merchants The Paul Kidney Experience and even legendary experimental pioneers The Primitive Calculators.

DIRTY REVELLERS

Public perceptions about music also need to change. And it can start by simply taking your kids to local festivals and explaining how much work and effort goes into honing one’s craft.

We are also holding a workshop at the St Kilda Festival on Tuesday 8 February at Alliance Francais, 51 Grey Street, St Kilda, with seasoned industry workers such as Neil Wedd, Jen Cloher and Karen Conrad offering wide-ranging music management advice. It’s free and all are welcome.

SOPHIA’S CAT LULLS

Alex Watts writes character-driven narratives in the form of three-minute pop songs, featuring characters both fantastical and everyday. Having previously fronted Dirty Sanchez, Watts spent two years traversing the globe and writing a new tune or two, upon arriving back in Oz last year he enlisted a new three-piece band, The Foreign Tongue. Simply put, they are indie rock superheroes. Be sure to catch Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue play at the Great Britain Hotel in Richmond this Thursday, supported by Shaun Tenni. Entry is free from 9pm.

We need to go back to the fundamentals. We need to break down the barriers that are preventing the cream rising to the top. Small things such as networking, mentorship and communication between festivals so their events don’t clash is a start.

The best way to change perceptions about music is to start with the foundations. Music Victoria has organised a meeting with some of Victoria’s top music educators and academics to discuss how we can assist the next generation of music industry workers.

Sons Of The Ionian Sea have been honing their skills in the Melbourne scene for quite some time, first as Peeping Tom and now as the almighty SOTIS. Their recently released debut LP is an instant classic and worthy of a place in everyone’s record collection – if you’re a doubter then go see for yourself at the Prague in Thornbury this Friday night when they play with Dread, Don Fernando and Swidgen. Dread have recently been recording some brand new tracks and will showcase them for the first time at the Prague. Entry is $10 from 8pm.

I

ceage Productions is a Melbourne label that has been releasing commerciallychallenging, difficult and strange music since about 2005. It was established by Peter James, originally to provide an outlet for his work in Wolf 359, a noisy experimental outfit, though has since expanded to include other unique local avant-garde performers. For James the ethos of the label is nice and simple. “I don’t have any constraints on what I release,” he explains. “If I think it’s good I just approach someone and put it out really.” It’s about giving a platform to Melbourne’s fertile experimental music scene, and also attempting to reach listeners who may not traditionally view themselves as experimental music connoisseurs. “It’s difficult music to get people interested in,” James confirms. “I’ve played something like Zac Keiller to a lot of different people who aren’t into experimental music and they love it. That’s one of the big things of the label is to push that out there to people who might not actually be aware of what’s happening in Melbourne.”

The album that he speaks of is Keiller’s Start Burning, a work that skirts experimental drone music and musicality with increasing flair. “I’d seen him perform live and thought he was an original guitarist,” offers James. “I didn’t think there were too many people who approached his style or skills with drone music, let’s say. His style of guitar playing really caught my attention. He’s released and recorded a lot of material that’s really worthy of being heard.” It’s this dedication to highlighting the work of his favourite musicians that has seen James put together

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“As far as Primitive Calculators go I was just very lucky to have snagged the only track they’ve recorded in 20 years, I think. I went and saw them at one of their first shows after the festival that Nick Cave curated [All Tomorrow’s Parties] and said I’d been a fan since I was a teenager and paid X amount of dollars for their records and I actually grew up in the town that they originated from. In fact that was one of the original reasons I looked them up, because I thought it was interesting that an electronic punk band was coming out of Springvale. And they said ‘Definitely, we’ll be on it’. And it’s a brilliant track, too, supposedly it’s something Stuart [Grant] wrote back in the day that they never recorded.” James views the compilation as a snapshot of a moment in time, in much the same way the “NMA tape series from the ‘80s gave light to the Australian experimental scene, EC Productions and particularly Harry Butler as well as Clinton Green’s Shame File compilation releases and Ulex Xane’s Zero Cabal tape label.” With small runs, Iceage Productions has a split album with Keiller and Infinite Decimals on the way as well as minimal UK synth punk duo from the ‘80s, Dada Computer, and Adelaide ensemble White Tiger AA, who James describes as having a “nasty and relentless thing going”. Again it’s a highly personal process, putting out music that appeals to him, that he believes deserves wider appreciation. “I’m always searching the net for those lost gems,” he laughs. “I suppose that what got me into that was listening to Nuggets, Songs That The Cramps Taught Us and the Born Bad series. There’s a lot of hidden gems out there, where if you dig a little bit you’ll find some great music. I’m always doing that, chasing one person’s influences.”

WHAT: The Shape Of Sound CD launch WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, Bar Open


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JUST CALL DOMINADOS

LAST MAN STANDING No one else D. ROGERS grew up with is still bothering to release albums, the singer tells JEREMY WILLIAMS. go back and listen to older recordings and it’s a bit cringeworthy, but I also like the fact that there has been a development. I feel like I am making better records than I was five years ago. While the music clearly pours out of Rogers naturally, he finds it difficult to explain his lyrical inspirations. “I guess the thing I have found myself writing about over the past few years is the people around me and people growing up. Seeing people I knew as kids and young people turning into adults. That scares the hell out of me. A lot of my writing comes from just observing that.”

D

avid Rogers is not a salesman, but then he doesn’t need to be. Having started out in a string of local bands in the late ’90s, Rogers has achieved acclaim for his three solo album releases to date (released under the name D. Rogers). He is now set to drop his most accomplished recording to date, Natural Disasters. With the Queensland floods the latest in a long line of recent problematic natural occurrences, is Rogers trying to make an environmental statement? “I never thought of it this way. A few people have been asking if it is anything to do with the spate of natural disasters that has been happening recently, but I actually came up with the title whilst writing it. I think it describes what I do musically,” he explains. Given that Rogers has survived the challenges of the music industry for more than a decade, how does he feel about his position today? While many of his contemporaries will have given up the gauntlet and returned to the nine-to-five, Rogers is still drawing in the crowds. He concedes that during his “formative years I played in a band who were focused on doing big things,” but instead of getting lost in the momentum he allowed himself to learn from the experience. “What that taught me was that I love putting out albums and making albums. My approach has changed in that way, that I am just so excited about making albums. I am already thinking of my next two or three.” With four solo albums now under his belt, does Rogers ever take the time to reminisce? If so, how does listening to his own back catalogue make him feel? Clearly proud of his efforts to date, he also sees no harm in being self-critical as your mistakes are there to be learnt from. “I feel like I have gotten better as a songwriter and better as a musician. I

POUNDING GHOSTDRUMS

Ghostdrums’ debut self-titled release made an impact in 2010. You may have heard Red Thread on RRR’s Incoming program, or seen apparitions of the single Morning Sun as Rage’s Indie Clip Of The Week. Now Ghostdrums heads to Melbourne for the first time for a special one-off show at the Builders Arms on Friday 11 February to play his experimental electronica, which combines intricate production with a lo-fi acoustic sound that’s as innocent and whimsical as his performance set-up. Keeping things spooky will be Mystic Eyes and Aoi. Entry is $8 from 8pm.

WAR ALL THE TIME

Toyota War are one of the most interesting and arresting young bands in Melbourne at the moment, creating a warmly familiar yet cuttingly new blend of DIY garage sounds that deserve to rank alongside the best of what the burgeoning post-punk scene here has to offer. Coming fresh from supporting the likes of Jeff The Brotherhood, Toyota War are nothing short of sick-balls. They play Bar Open this Thursday with The Call Up and The Rant. Entry is free from 9pm.

In opening up about his lyrical inspiration, a sense of nervousness becomes immediately more apparent in Rogers’ voice. He puts forward the notion that he is “ feeling a little bit like you are on an island and it is getting smaller and smaller until you are the only one left standing on it.” Harking back to the earlier point of his contemporaries hanging up their musical shoes and returning to the daily grind, could it be that Rogers is feeling the pressure to conform? “Shit, I am the only one of the people I grew up with musically that is still bothering to put out albums. Sometimes you go fuck, well maybe it is time to stop. Music is a young person’s game and there are lots of great young artists out there at the moment.” As if speaking his internal fears out loud for the first time, Rogers’ voice almost cracks before a momentary pause perks up his resolution once again as he determines, “but at the same time, you just think ‘Fuck it, it’s all I can do’ so I am just going to keep doing it.” With everything clicking back nicely into its proper place, Rogers’ momentary panic is worked through as he explains that music “is just what I do. I don’t have any other hobbies. I can’t build a cabinet and I don’t like water-skiing. If someone said you couldn’t put an album out again it wouldn’t change my hunger for doing it.”

Los Dominados are coming out blazing hot in February. They’ll be playing tunes from their forthcoming third album at Revellers North this Saturday with support from up-and-comers Valentine and Little Foot for a night of sweet apocalyptic garage pop noise. They will follow it up with an afternoon set at the Thornbury Bowls Club on Sunday with a host of other local bands. Los Dominados will also appear as part of the line-up of Goddess – a celebration of feminine inspirations and performances at Bar 362 on Friday 11 February, also featuring Lisa Wood, Mercurian & The Spaceman, Rosemary Haden, The Fascinators, the charismatic Penny Ikinger and more.

WEBB OF FUNK

Dan Webb has returned for his second residency this summer at the Evelyn Hotel. The 21 year old is becoming well-known for his spontaneous stage antics and improvisational style, having last year headlined a national tour in support of his second EP, Hyperspace Clearance, and last month played with Conway Savage (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds). Dabbling in funk, blues and rock, Webb and his band play the Evelyn this coming Tuesday 8 February with support from Tobias Cummings. Tickets are $7+BF from Moshtix and on the door from 9pm.

TOTES LOVE ABRAHAM The Sunday Sixpack returns to the Tote for its second feelgood hit of the summer this weekend. Leading from the front will be local lads Sons Of Abraham at 4pm, cooking up some meaty riffs while the Tote’s trusty BBQ will be doing much the same thing. Following them at 5pm are retro grunge rockers Copse, and then the post-natal rock contortions of Dive Into Ruin. At 7pm The Hidden Venture will launch into your laps with some foot-to-the-floor, guitar-slapping rock action, before the orgasmic lovechild of Ween and Iron Maiden, I Am Duckeye. Aptly, bringing the day down into the night are the Melbourne underground’s resident ringwraiths Spider Goat Canyon, playing tracks from their new album Screaming Sisters. Entry is $12 from 3.30pm.

BOMBAY COME RIGHT AWAY The Bombay Royale are a Melbourne-based ensemble playing slammin’ surf, disco and funk tunes from ‘60s and ‘70s Bollywood. Whilst many of the great composers of this era such as RD Burman and Anandji-Kalyanji, along with performers such as Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi are household names in India, their music is relatively unknown outside of India. The Bombay Royale project seeks to both reinterpret this material and compose new works drawing on this era for inspiration. Check them out at Bar Open this Friday night from 10pm. Entry is free.

APPRECIATE THIS Ever think that your weekend was too short to go out and listen to the same dull music all night? That your ears and feet deserve better? Then get to Music Appreciation Society at Loop this Friday, where selections journey through genres as far as the eye can see. The night is inspired by soul, hip hop, boogie and disco with everything in between and beyond. Join Esty and Augustus as they bring the true soulful sound of the underground to Loop from 10pm ‘til late. Visuals by PixelAngel.

Guests Of Ghosts play Revolver this Saturday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Tylah Breese, guitar: “Well… Alex [Zielke, drums] and I used to play in the playground in primary school. AZ: “Actually, you used to hit me with your bike chain. Year Four was crushing. Marcus Buttigieg, vocals: “I met Zolk [Alex] arm wrestling at a party and Tylah had his pants down in the corner. Tom Dockray, bass: “I live in Launceston. I don’t participate in such things.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? TB: “We have done some fandangling in most places.” MB: “Definitely prefer recording in a proper studio.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? TB: “Tylah Marcus Alex Tom.”

WHO: D. Rogers WHAT: Natural Disasters (Popboomerang/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Northcote Social Club

IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? TD: “Limp Bizkit, because we wanna break stuff.”

STRING ‘EM ALONG

Virtuosic instrumental trio The String Contingent compose and perform music of sparkling beauty and originality. Australians Chris Stone (violin) and Holly Downes (double bass) with Scotsman Graham McLeod (guitar) integrate disparate musical styles through their refi ned acoustic sensibilities. The String Contingent head to the Toff In Town this Sunday for a concert that will be fi lmed for a live DVD. Those attending will receive a copy of this limited edition DVD for free! Limited tickets are available due to fi lming/seating restrictions, so book tickets ASAP! The String Contingent will be supported by Lucy Wise, who sings original songs rooted in Appalachian and Irish folk music and influenced by pop and whatever else has floated by throughout her musical years. She started out playing and singing with her family in The Wise Family Band, and is now amongst the most renowned young players and songwriters in the Australian folk music scene. Tickets are $13.50+BF from Moshtix or $18.50 on the door from 6.30pm.

DIVORCED FROM REALITY Craig Dermody (Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Spider Vomit, Lindsay Low Hand) has been able to trick another group of amazing Melbourne musicians (members of Beaches, ZOND, the Spazzys and producer Jack Farley) to join him as Divorced for three Thursdays this month at Yah Yah’s for some scuzzed-out rants with the volume and speed turned to 11. His recurrent themes of dead-end jobs and girls are played out to the backdrop of duelling wah solos, fast drumming and an overall brattiness only found in teenagers or some experienced Melbourne musicians going through a mid-life crisis. The first show is Thursday 10 February, along with MOTO from the USA, with support from Interzone and French. Entry is $8 from 9pm.

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IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? MB: “Nas – Illmatic.” TB: “Iron Maiden – Peace Of Mind.” TD: “Kenny Loggins – Keep The Fire.” AZ: “Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? TB: “Not really, but our old bass player would always wear a condom.” AZ: “Nah, that’s just a bad in-joke.” TD: “I wear jeggings. All night long.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? MB: “Knuckle sandwiches.” AZ: “Mmm… delicious, love snacks.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? TB: “The Peel.” TD: “Anywhere I can get in a fight.”

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STARK ARCHER

FRAGMENTED FREQUENCIES OTHER MUSIC FROM THE OTHER SIDE WITH BOB BAKER FISH The radio can be a curious companion while driving long stretches through the outback. Stations come into range for a couple of hours before retreating in stuttering static as you search the bands for new treats. While country music or classic blandness from the ‘80s are the mainstays, you can occasionally be blessed by Christian children’s stations, terrible jingles for the local mechanic or inept announcers sharing their theories on immigration. One mainstay, however, is Radio National – as one call sign disappears under raining static, another one appears on an alternate band. So this holiday period we found ourselves dodging floodwaters and tuned to Radio National, who provided a fascinating program peering beneath the veneer of film music. This particular episode was a conversation with Rodney Holland, a sound editor who has worked with some of the great filmmakers of modern times including Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Sam Peckinpah and Nicholas Roeg. Holland took us through some of the sonic choices made in films like Barry Lyndon, Don’t Look Now and in particular the disturbing battle scenes in Cross Of Iron. As he would speak about these films the soundtrack would appear behind him, illustrating his points, which when divorced from the images were incredibly powerful. In fact, in his new book based on the series, The Sound Of Pictures: Listening To The Movies From Hitchcock To High Fidelity (Black Ink), broadcaster and music show presenter Andrew Ford speaks of editing the sound of this scene for the broadcast, stating that divorced from Peckinpah’s patented spurting blood and slow motion choreographed ballet of death, the sounds took on even more terrifying proportions, causing them to feel physically ill, to the extent that they cut out half so as not to inflict it upon the unsuspecting audience. This he states is the power of film sound. Ford goes to pains not to overly jargonise his text or bury it beneath impenetrable academic theories. There’s a love of film sound here, best evidenced by those he sought out to interview. Each chapter is a conversation with one exponent in the field, initially composers like Howard Shore (Lord Of The Rings), Lalo Schiffrin (Dirty Harry), Woody Allen mainstay Dick Hyman and the great maestro Ennio Morricone, responsible for the iconic Mission and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Then he goes to the other side and speaks with directors: Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas), Peter Weir (Picnic At Hanging Rock), Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Peter Greenaway (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover) and Sally Potter (Orlando). In between he takes the reader on a personal journey through film sound, discussing various techniques and approaches, touching upon everything from Blow Up to Mamma Mia. There’s something incredibly loose about this approach. He’s not attempting to ram a thesis through, rather he throws some ideas into the wind and sees what sticks. There are some central themes, however. Firstly, when a film is made, prior to commissioning the score they put a temp score on to show it to the studio who financed it. It’s usually from other film music (and usually The Mission). This is the bane of all film composers. By the time they’re brought into proceedings everyone has fallen in love with the temp score, so the composer is asked to merely replicate it. Morricone flat out refuses to score films that have temp tracks, but he has power. Bruce Beresford found a way around it, temping Double Jeopardy with the work of unknown Canadian Normand Corbeil, the man he wanted to score the film. So when everyone fell in love with the temp track and asked who should do the score, Beresford was able to suggest the man who had already composed the music. Then, of course, there’s the story of Alex North, who had his music for 2001 dumped in favour of Kubrick’s temp score, which has since become iconic. Scorcese refuses to use temp scores at all. The Bourne Identity comes in for some criticism, where the role of music just seems to be playing endlessly, keeping the momentum going. Ford also asks some interesting questions about the absence of music. Morricone suggests the minimal trumpets in The Hill (Sidney Lumet, 1965) were a masterstroke. In fact that’s what makes this book so incredible, it’s an intimate peek into the minds of the practitioners, and an awakening about the power and art behind the sounds we hear.

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HAVE YOU BEEN?

Acclaimed Melbourne poet Luke Beesley put down his pencil and picked up a reconditioned 1965 parlour guitar and started writing minimalist, bookish folk rock. Under the guise of New Archer – and with a voice that sits somewhere between Neil Young, Will Oldham and Tim Buckley – he is developing a reputation as one of Melbourne’s most unique songwriters. In 2010 Ian Wadley (Bird Blobs, St Helens) got on board with some wonderfully sensitive, fidgety drumming. About to knuckle down to record their anticipated first album, New Archer play the Builders Arms tonight (Wednesday) with A Wallace. Entry is $6 from 8pm.

TOTAL BETTY

NEXT BEST HEROES This Thursday at Next, Sydney pop punk aficionados Heroes For Hire headline an amazing pop punk line-up with support from solid locals Strickland and The Playbook! The Next crew will be cooking up a fantastic free feast for all attendees, and as always there will be cheap jugs (ahoy!) in the beer garden until 11pm every week, as well as resident DJs playing the best punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, rock, indie, electro, dubstep, retro and party tracks across multiple rooms all night! Entry is $15 from 9pm. For more info and weekly club pics check destroyalllines.com or facebook.com/nextnightclub.

A LITTLE BENEFIT

This Saturday at Bertha Brown, The Little Stevies will headline a line-up of Melbourne musicians to help Remission Possible’s goal of raising $1 million for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). Statistically, one in three women and one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, meaning that few, if any, people will not be touched by this disease at some point in their life. Sharing the stage with The Little Stevies will be The Yellow Stallions and Cam Ewart. All proceeds from the gig will go to the ACRF in its bid to find a cure for cancer. Tickets are $15 at the door.

MESA YAH YAH BINX Contemplating what to do with your future? Here’s a hot tip: get to Yah Yah’s this Thursday and atone your spirit with a mighty night of fuzzy psychedelic Tex-Mex madness. First off, Duck Duck Chop will upset your ears with their raucous and nasty set. Sounds evil. Kinda is. In a good way. Then it’s The Magic Bones, playing lush melodies and basslines that pepper wonderful soundscapes of psychedelic perfection. Leave your amyl at home. Next, Death Valley Band get out their desert psych stoner rock to make the tumbleweeds spin. And, finally, leading the party are garage rock ratbags Mesa Cosa with guitars as fuzzy as their songs are catchy. Entry is $8 from 9pm.

GREAT WOOD Straight off the back of their successful tour to Tamworth, Cherrywood begin their Sunday residency at the Great Britain Hotel this weekend. A little bit of country, a little bit of rockabilly and a lathering of blues will be mashed up with frontman Tim Durkin’s husky tones. Expect to wanna get up and boogie (but since you live in Melbourne an expressionless stance is more than likely), have a few beers, watch strings get broken, fingers bleed and get loose. Entry is free so there are no excuses for all you tight arses. Be there at 7.30pm.

THE CHANDELIER ROOM WHAT IS YOUR VENUE FAMOUS FOR? “Encouraging the original music scene.” WHAT SETS YOUR VENUE APART FROM OTHER VENUES? “The venue is owned and managed by musicians. We care about our musical community. Yeah, that’s right, a venue that cares.” WHAT’S THE VENUE’S MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? “Jordie Lane played a residency when we first opened in January 2010. We heart Jordie Lane.” WHAT IS YOUR VENUE DOING TO HELP THE LOCAL MUSIC SCENE? “We offer an incentive package that offers the band a free video of their set.”

Betty’s Driving Force features Betty’s heartfelt vocals and cool as a uke grooves, subtle bass and drums. This is ukulele-driven music – nothing too strenuous. Betty and her boys invite you to join them for lazy afternoon drinkies at the Builders Arms this Sunday 4-6pm in the front bar. Relax to some rockin’ blues and laid-back jazz, some pop and a sprinkle of originals that draw from the magic of Nina Simone, Mose Alison, Tom Waits, Bonnie Rait and Rose Royce amongst others.

CHERRY-POPPIN’ GRUNTS

Gruntbucket take their wild and crazy psychrock show to Cherry every Wednesday in February! They’ll be playing tunes from their smash debut album Receiving as well as previewing tracks from their soon-to-be-recorded Difficult Second Album! The entry is free, the drinks are cheap and the music is loud. Get on down tonight from 9pm to experience one of Melbourne’s best rock bands in one of Melbourne’s finest rock establishments.

BLOOD BUZZ

UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS: Three bands every Saturday night, specialising in rock, funk, soul and blues. Singer/songwriter sessions every Sunday afternoon from 4pm, which are free. Highlighting the cream of local, interstate and international singer/songwriters.

Five months of Urgent Blood has seen ten members, 500 EPs fly out the door (or into the faces of audience members) and a bunch of shows (including two in two hours with a bass player who learned all the songs the same day!). Urgent Blood play very fast, very loud and run around like idiots. Their very last show happens this Sunday at Yah Yah’s to launch a new 7” before Danny leaves the country the next day. Joining them on the night will be friends The Fiction, Clowns and Death O’Connor. Doors open at 6pm.

CONTACTS FOR THE VENUE: 91 Cochranes Road, Moorabbin

GET UP AND GOYIM

SUM UP YOUR VENUE IN THREE WORDS. “Unique, edgy, live!”

03 9532 2288 anthea@palmerspaces.com.au chandelierroom.com.au

LEARNING TO SWIM After the tragic passing of their drummer, Justin Juddy Rollar Brooke, in February 2009, Melbourne musicians The Blue Swimmers, Trust Us, Inkstain Pro & The Squid Squad and Travvy Wonders Family Band will pay tribute to their friend and brother in rock’n’roll by playing a massive show this Saturday at the Evelyn Hotel. Profits from this epic night of rock’n’roll will be donated to Juddy’s son Zephyr’s trust fund, and the other half will be donated to help raise awareness for mental health issues in young men. So get down and support this great cause! Tickets are $10+BF from Moshtix or on the door from 8.30pm.

METAL MAJESTY

Goyim covers a range of gypsy and Klezmer styles (comprising dance and celebration music) from across Eastern Europe and the Middle East, creating a touch of that burlesque cabaret Balkans brass band appeal, all the while getting an infectious high energy village street sound found among the gypsies. They play the Edinburgh Castle front bar this Thursday evening from 8pm as part of their residency. It’s free!

NINJA STARS FROM NZ Tonight (Wednesday), the Empress hosts a very talented band who are currently ‘holidaying’ in Melbourne. Auckland natives Star Colour play a psychedelic brand of pop just catchy enough to hook you in but just weird enough to make you think about it. Awesome. Take a punt on them tonight and you’ll also be rewarded with some indie goodness of our own: Logarithm and Dom Kavanagh support with their freaked-out, psychedelic soundscapes. Entry is $5 from 8.30pm.

Local melodic power metal band Black Majesty will headline the new monthly heavy metal night at Metal Central, Central Club in Richmond, this Friday. Support on the night is from new progressive outfit Cell. Entry is $12 and doors open at 8pm. Other news sees Black Majesty guitarists Hanny and Stevie set to appear on Channel 31’s Guitar Heroes & Masterpieces. Look out for performances from the boys in the coming weeks.

LOSE IT AT REVOLVER

Lost & Found is a classic vinyl-influenced rock’n’roll night running every Wednesday in Revolver’s back room. Each week features Revolver’s legendary stalwarts Spidey, Adalita and Mary M alongside newly promoted resident DJs Gupstar and Decameron. Each week DJs spin lost and found soul, rock and indie records until dawn. Better yet, every week features a special guest on the decks. Entry is free and it kicks off at 10pm.

ALEXIS BRINGS PIECE Alexis Nicole is the real deal. She’s been composing pieces since she was big enough to play guitar at the age of six! Nicole’s song present a fusion of folk, alternative and gyspy genres, always with a purity at their core. Now with her band The Missing Pieces – including double bass, saw, banjo and percussion – she and this talented group of gents go on to create new and fresh sounds for the music lovers out there that crave raw and relatable music. They play the Builders Arms this Saturday, free in the front bar 4-6pm.

SIN LIKE A WINNER

Sin City return to their old Fitzroy stomping ground Yah Yah’s for a huge night of blistering rock action this Friday. It has been a long time between shows on the hallowed red carpet and Sin City’s previous shows at Yah Yah’s are the stuff of legend so expect mayhem aplenty at this gig. Joining Melbourne’s kings and queen of punk’n’roll on the night are those rowdy Celts The Ramshackle Army, reggae rockers The Tearaways and psychobilly upstarts Cherrywood. Now that is one mighty all-killer, no-filler lineup! Doors open at 9pm and entry is only $8.

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NACIONAL ACTION It’s set to be a big year for ‘new industrial’ as Nacional return to Revolver to launch their debut EP, Polyandry, this Friday night. Their live show has been described as like “watching a Nine Inch Nails video clip while wearing evil rose-coloured glasses”. With their enigmatic lead singer HJ capable of almost anything whilst on stage and an intensity that cannot be described, this will without a doubt kickstart what promises to be a very successful year for the band. With support from the incredible Red Leader and Deja, entry is $10 from 9pm.


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NEXT NEXT

BANG

NEXT

BANG

NEXT NEXT

N EXT BANG

NEXT BANG

NEXT

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BANDS ARE MAGIC

PENNY’S A GODDESS Goddess is an event that will highlight some of Melbourne’s finest female singer/songwriters in a dazzling expo of live performances and video. The first of a series of gigs, Goddess will showcase this wonderful female talent in a vaudeville format of 20-minute sets, backed up with video pieces in between each act. Headlining this first showcase event at Bar 362 in St Kilda on Friday 11 February will be internationally renowned singer/ songwriter/guitarist Penny Ikinger with no lesser talented women such as Helen ‘Helcat’ Cattanach (Los Dominados), Vivienne Gay (Butterfly) and a host of other performing artists. This first Goddess event is not to be missed. Doors at 8pm.

BURLESQUE BURGERS Are you a burlesque virgin? This Saturday at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood, Kitty Rock & Lady Bird are proud to present Melbourne’s first ever ‘Improvised Burlesque Quest’. They have the props we have and the costumes, so all you need to do is show up! Entry is $10 from 8pm. The Bendigo also opens its kitchen this week – get in there for some mouth-watering burgers and curly fries!

Ella Thompson plays Wednesday nights in February at the Evelyn Hotel in the first series of shows debuting her new material. Joined live onstage with collaborators DJ Able (Flowlab/The Community), Dustin Mclean (keys/synths), Leigh Fisher (drums) and James Gilligan (bass), the group plays a mix of live and electronic sounds. Influenced by the lyrics of Leonard Cohen, the vocals of Bilal, Jeff Buckley and Feist and the production of Little Dragon, Flying Lotus and others, Thompson is truly a new-wave songwriter. Tonight she’s joined by Sam Lawrence Band and Eliza Hull, and entry is $12 or $10 for students from 8.30pm.

GARDENERS LIE

DEVIL SPAWN ROCK

CHUG CHASERS

DOC HEADER

Some of us have fond memories; others, well, not so much really. Whether your family is just like the Osbournes, the Simpsons or, heaven forbid, the Mansons, or if your mob are more like the Partridge, Von Trapp or Brady bunches, we guarantee those vacations can’t possibly have been as much fun as the inaugural Family Vacation tour promises to be. Join hotly tipped rockers Chase The Sun alongside folkie Jarrah Thompson and one-man stomper Claude Hay as they roll into the Evelyn Hotel this Thursday night. Tickets are $10+BF from Moshtix.

When you last heard from Ancient Free Gardeners they told us they were about to traverse the globe in different directions, urging us to get to their album launch. What they told us was a lie. They’ve been here the whole time. And they’ll be here in February too, specifically at the Empress on Thursdays for a nice little residency. Be there to find out just what ‘live overheard animation’ actually is. They kick off this Thursday with support from Footy and Josh McLeod. Entry is $5 from 8pm.

VISIT YER STALKER Following a memorable 2010 that saw the recording and release of their debut EP, Dear Stalker kick off 2011 with two consecutive gigs. This Friday they’ll be making noise at the Espy Basement with Dirty Canary, Rouge Foncé and The Kernal (also featuring Stalker drummer Alan Murphy). Then, this Saturday 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. It’s the beginning of a big year for Dear Stalker, with the upcoming release of their debut video clip, regional and national touring, and more recording later in the year.

AUDIAC LICK CHERRY

Audiac present their new album, El Toroloco, at Cherry Bar this Friday. The album, which includes highlights No Feelings and Bonnie And Clyde has been called “a refreshing reprieve from the wave of modern indie”. The first 50 people through the door will get a free copy of the album. Supporting are new wave/post-punk sonic prophets Signal X and the angular Britpop sounds of Orange Room.

COLA WITH A BANG

Playing live on the Bang main stage this Saturday are Melbourne’s own Cola Wars, comprised of members of Melbourne punk rock elite Bodyjar and For Amusement Only – we can promise it’s going to be a rad show! Cola Wars are supported by Numbers Radio and Any Last Words! As always there will also be DJs playing your favourite punk, hardcore, emo, metal, alternative, rock, indie, electro, dubstep, retro and party tracks until the early morning! Entry is $15 from 9pm. For more info and club pics head to destroyalllines.com or facebook.com/BangNightclub.

GUESTS GET DIRTY After a brief hiatus thanks to unseasonably good ice fishing atop the Urals, Guests Of Ghosts return to the fold with the release of their debut single, Dirty. The brooding indie foursome have been likened to Foals, splicing dark imagery with soaring vocals and precision guitar hooks. More importantly, however, their haircuts were given a big thumbs-up by a drunken punter during a recent performance. See it all for yourself this Saturday at Revolver with support from The Fiction, Sheriff and DJ Post Percy. Entry is $8 from 9pm.

ORANGE CRUSH

Tinpan Orange return to the Toff In Town for a special show this Saturday. Having spent the past year winning hearts at venues and festivals across the country, and throughout Europe and the UK, Tinpan Orange are back home in Melbourne, playing their only show for their summer tour in 2011 with special guest Ross James Irwin (The Cat Empire, The Bamboos). Tickets are $15+BF on sale from Moshtix, or $20 on door from 8pm.

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This Friday, The Devilrock Four are heading back to one of their favourite venues, the Old Bar in Fitzroy to play their first show for 2011. Just a month before the release of their second album, Night Is Falling, the band will be road testing plenty of songs from the upcoming release as well as the ones you’ve heard a million times. Rounding out the line-up on the night are Melbourne rock heavyweights Sons Of Lee Marvin and Harvest Smoke (ex-Screwtop Detonators). It’s set to be a great night so get down early and get the most out of your $8. Doors from 8pm. Regarded as a band of tomorrow, Doc Viney have a reputation for captivating their audience with a blend of subtleties and out and out rock moments. Melbourne Rock City is a real foot stomper, Just A Minute is raunchy, and Bring The Gun will have you stealing the nearest Harley and riding like there’s no tomorrow. Catch them this Friday at the Edinburgh Castle with Seth Henderson and Tea For Frances for an 8.30pm start.

HENRY’S A TRIPPER

This Friday, Henry Manetta & The Trip will perform their melismatic concoction of deep jazz thought, spatial blues and in-the-pocket soul fire at the Empress Hotel. Think Captain Beefheart and Tim Buckley forming a band with Sun Ra sitting in on keys. Defiantly individual and possessing a vocal range that almost defies belief, Manetta draws influences from the grand traditions of jazz and soul, as well as the world of the avant-garde, to create music that is nothing if not unique. Joining him are a pair of equally talented guests: soulstress Chelsea Wilson and gifted songwriter Arowe. Entry is $10 from 8pm.

YOU GOT RIFFS? Tonight (Wednesday), head to the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood to Show Us Your Riffs! You’ve been practising in your bedroom for months and you feel like you’re now ready to perform an acoustic set. The Bendigo is proud to present a weekly Wednesday open mic night focusing on local talent and singer/ songwriters seeking exposure in the Melbourne music scene. Anyone is welcome to use the house guitar, but you can take your own if you want – otherwise take your plectrums, vocal cords or any other instrument you wish to play. You can register online or pre-registration at the venue is available, but get in early! Entry is free.

SPOILED BY SEAN While his main project, the Spoils, remain on extended hiatus, singer Sean Simmons ventures out on his own for a residency at the Edinburgh Castle on Saturdays in February from 4pm. Simmons will be performing Spoils songs in intimate mode. The Spoils haven’t played in Australia since April 2010 and plan to return to Europe in 2011, so this will be a rare chance to hear Spoils songs again performed in any format. Simmons will be supported each week by special guest Dot Matrix. An improvised, instrumental, experimental project with guitar and bass ably backed by a $30 Casio synth, an ‘80s drum machine, a $6 typewriter and a clarinet which he boasts to have never had a lesson for. It’s free in the backyard 4-6pm.

ELLA GOOD

Magic Mountain Band are a new and exciting arrival on the Melbourne music scene. After a triumphant debut in 2010 they return in 2011 to perform their unique brand of instrumental country folk/space rock at the Toff In Town this Tuesday 8 February, and every Tuesday for the rest of the month. In a time of endless and uninspired repetition they dare to take the audience boldly by the scruff of the ear and lead them into a magical and ethereal world of possibility. Support for the first of the residency shows comes from The Hello Morning (solo) and Roller One and entry is $10 from 7.30pm.

THE SOUND OF 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 joining forces with Brisbane-based soloist Timothy Carroll and Video Day for a show at the Grace Darling Hotel on Friday 11 February to showcase the latest in alternative pop folk bliss.

WOMEN, NEAT

The Drunken Poet’s Wine, Whiskey, Women tonight (Wednesday) presents an old favourite in Gen Finnane & Flora Smith. Drawing influence from Hank & Lucinda Williams and Townes Van Zandt to the songs pouring out of bars and street corners across the world, Finane and Smith are narrative storytellers from the old school. Their assault of old-timey goodness has a room stomping one minute and silently transfi xed the next, never failing to leave an impression. They take the stage at 8pm, followed by Mandy Connell at 9pm.

SONIC THE ROCK HOG

Matt Sonic & The High Times, fresh from their Big Day Out psychedelic show-stopper and on the eve of their 11-date Californian tour in March, play a free headline show at the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick this Saturday night. And what’s more, they are supported by The Jacknives, playing their final ever show! So why not Break Free Your Mind and beat a retreat to Sydney Road Brunswick for a sexy and psychedelic Sonic Saturday. High times guaranteed.

JOHNNIE DOES SURF The Surfin Safari Ball is going to be a night of good vibes and amazing fun with Johnnie & The Johnnie Johnnies playing their surfin’ riffs, The Reefers with their high-energy Middle Eastern surf tunes, Beachy Boys with their stylish beachy boy songs, Hawaiian Supremes serenading love songs; Girl Happy And The 2 Clams will have everyone mesmerised with this surf shadowing performance, and The Great Gondos will perform their crazy circus antics. There will be two tiki bars as well as plenty of beachy snacks! Mondo! It all happens at Collingwood Town Hall and pre-sale tickets are $40 concession/$50 full from Friends Of The Earth on 9417 4382 or food@foe.org.au.

AUBURNLIES WITH EVERYONE

Melbourne four-piece rock outfit Auburnlies are getting set for a hometown launch of their second EP, Odyssey, at the John Curtin Bandroom this Saturday, supported by the electrifying Ezekiel Ox (Mammal, Ox & the Fury) and The Advocates. Following on from 2008’s debut EP, Sol, the band spent most of 2010 recording and co-producing alongside ARIA Award-winning songwriter/producer Peter ‘Reggie’ Bowman. Working with Bowman, the band experimented with the dynamics of creating lighter moments, broadening their musical scope, whilst maintaining their natural leanings towards hard-hitting, rifffuelled rock. Entry is $12 from 8.30pm.

TRUE THAT

Even in name, True Radical Miracle offer a suck on plastic positivity only to leave you pants-less with bruising on the lobe and aluminium foil in your mouth. Or maybe that’s just from the leftover tacos you dive through bins to bring to the surface after the removal of the Mexican truck that you’ve abused on prior occasions. Crying sour cream tears next to the BBQ, guacamole down your front, brains down your back, a hole in the fence where the cheese used to flow and a hole in your heart where the pop used to go. Huh? True Radicle Miracle play the Tote this Friday with Breathing Shrine, Krömosom and Tax. Entry is $12 from 8.30pm.

TASTE TEST MUSCLES

START WITH KRISTINA

Kristina Miltiadou has been setting the music industry on fire with her soulful electro-tinged pop. After supporting Marina & The Diamonds, she went on to sell out a headline show at the Grace Darling last month, drawing one of their biggest crowds ever. Before Miltiadou and her band get ready to unleash her debut single and album, she’s performing an exclusive residency at the Workers Club every Monday in February. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Monday nights at The Workers feature rooms bursting with punters drinking cheap pots. This coming Monday 8 February she’s supported by Tully & The Thief.

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What I’m listening to right now is… The Naked & Famous. What I’m watching right now is… Futurama, Fringe, The Walking Dead, the US Skins. What I’m reading right now is… Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and Voltaire’s Zadig and L’Ingenu. The best fi lm of all-time is clearly… A Mighty Wind and A Very Brady Sequel. The one song I wish I’d written is… Diana Ross’s Muscles, written by Michael Jackson. Muscles plays the St Kilda Festival on Sunday 13 February.


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LUKE, PROBS NOT YOUR FATHER

Luke Sinclair (of alt.country outfit The Idle Hoes) joins forces with Tracy McNeil this Sunday at the Drunken Poet for a twilight session of lyrical country and folk for the whole family. At least some of the family, those of whom are interested in lyrical country and folk presumably. These two are about songs, relatable stories that combine the classic tenets of American roots music with something distinctly Australian. Kicking off proceedings at 4pm will be the tropical jazz of The Alex Burns Adventures In Paradise. Luke & Tracy follow at 6.30pm.

WEDNESDAY WEDGIES

Wedgetail are a mob of like-minded, road-hardened musical cooks. They fry up melodies that splice flavours into something that tastes like grunge-psych-gaze. See them gather with some of their close musical mates to create a menu of delicacies each Wednesday in February at the Tote, including tonight. Delight your palette with the strong aftertastes of Electric Dudewolf, Plague Doctor, Craig Westwood, and Dopetones (members of Augie March and Legends Of Motorsport), with more guests to be announced. Wedgetail will cater for musical and gastronomic tastes, with a free BBQ each night, alongside the now famous Wedgetail cheese bonanza! Entry is $7 from 8.30pm.

DANCE ‘TIL YER PURPLE Have you found the hairs on the back of your neck are standing on edge and a there’s a nervous rumble deep within your loins? That’s your indie instincts informing you that the Purple Sneakers DJs’ We Mix You Dance Vol 2 national tour has been edging closer and finally this Friday the party is set to erupt in its Melbourne home of Miss Libertine! Representing the crew is MIT with a party playlist as big as his personality! Hitting the stage for some live action are the sonically charged melodies of Ghostwood, whose psychedelic indie tunes are guaranteed to blow the ears off unsuspecting listeners. In support are the raw wails of Bright Yellow tearing through your souls while Wildlife DJs, Nouveau Riche, Lukewarm and James Kane get you tearing up the dancefloor. This week is also the launch of The Go! Team’s Rolling Blackouts thanks to Shock. Get to Miss Lib for the party to end ‘em all this Friday. Entry is $12 from 8pm.

GOOD TEETH 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 Hotel this Sunday 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, Tambourine is the follow-up to Teeth & Tongue’s acclaimed debut album Monobasic.

ED HARVEY The Ed Collective is back at the Wesley Anne on the first Sunday arvo of every month. Five great acts, picnic-themed decorations and home-baked sweets all included. It’s the perfect gig for a lazy afternoon/impressing somebody on a date/cheering you up if you’re sad or just keeping the good vibes flowing. This Sunday proudly presents Sam Harvey, Kate Walker, Frankie Andrew, Jakksen Fish and Michelle Hosking from 4pm. Entry is $7.

SALMON OUT OF WATER The rock’n’roll community gathers to lend a hand to all those affected by the Queensland floods this Friday at the Thornbury Theatre. Presented by Heathen Skulls, the benefit will be headlined by the ever-loved and lovin’ Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, joined by the absolutely massive and esteemed bill of Budd, Mick Harvey, Harry Howard, The Stabs, New War, Harmony, River Of Snakes and DJ Mikey Young (ECSR). Doors open at 7pm and entry is $20. For more details, visit heathenskulls.com.

The Broadside Push play Revellers Bar North this Friday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Benezra, vocals/guitar/banjo: “Met at a festival where two of us were billed, jammed a couple of numbers before a show. Been playing together ever since.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We launched our debut album, Grace On The Banks, at the end of last year. It was recorded by the mighty Dave McLuney from Atlantis Sounds and perfectly mastered by Jack The Bear. It’s out now through Green/MGM and Waterfront and has been solidly embraced here and overseas.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Cold hearted/hot blooded.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Gotta admit that The Drones are doing some strong shit. But if I had my choice, it’d be something like Ma Rainy and Kim Deal on rhythm and backing vocals, fronted by Leadbelly singing Townes Van Zandt covers with Bo Diddley on maracas. Bang!” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Hmm… A tough one! Probably Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “Nothing beats a buddy’s backyard. But the Labour In Vain, the Union Hotel in Brunswick and Idgaff come pretty close.”

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DEPARTMENT

WAKE THE

All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS accessallages@inpress.com.au

Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL

OF YOUTH

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Neon Love on a successful career. The 2007/08 series FReeZA Push Start Battle Of The Bands competition winners officially played their last two shows ever on the weekend after calling it quits late last year. If you missed out on jumping on the Neon Love bandwagon then you can still find the EP they recorded as part of their prize for winning the competition at various CD stores around the city or listen to it on their MySpace page. The boys played many underage and all-ages shows throughout their time together, including one of my first gigs without a supervising adult as a 17-year-old at Kryal Castle in Ballarat. They gave me some of my best gigging memories and I wish them luck in their future musical and non-musical endeavours. One of their regular gigs was the St Kilda Festival, happening this year on Sunday 13 February. The day is one of the biggest free festivals on the all-ages calendar. This year the line-up includes Gareth Liddiard, The Break, Paris Wells, Jebediah, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Tim Finn, Muscles, July Days, The Transatlantics, Kimbra, Graveyard Train, The Resignators, last year’s Triple J Unearthed High winners Stonefield plus loads more including dance classes, beach volleyball, extreme sports and more. The 96 tram from Bourke Street takes you right into the thick of the action. There is plenty to see and do as part of the yearly festival this week so check out stkildafestival.com.au. Attention Victorian songwriters of all ages – the 2011 Push Songs launch takes place on Tuesday 8 February at APRA’s offices in Richmond. Get along to hear a free songwriting presentation from Skipping Girl Vinegar’s Mark Lang. Titled ‘Making And Breaking Your Own Mould’, the event will feature a discussion on ideas for stamping out your own sound. Throughout the discussion Lang will be talking about writing and recording Skipping Girl Vinegar’s new album, and applying it to your own process as an artist. You can RSVP for the free Push Songs launch/songwriting workshop with Mark Lang but you have to do it by this Thursday by emailing victas@ apra.com.au. The workshop kicks off at the APRA Office, 3-5 Sanders Place at 6.30pm. Nothing in the way of gigs for the first week back at school, but the following week there is plenty to look forward to. From Monday 7 to Saturday 12 February the Summer Moreland Photographic Competition exhibition is open to the public. To be in the running for great photographic prizes in a range of age categories, entrants simply have to capture summer forever in a photograph and enter your image/s into the inaugural Summer Moreland photographic competition. The competition is open to all high school and primary school students in Moreland. It’s about describing what it’s like for you and your friends experiencing summer in Moreland – the good, the bad, the fun and the not so fun. Up to three photographs can be entered per person. All entries will feature in an exhibition at Tinning Street gallery. Students need to register their interest on Facebook at Summer Moreland Photo Competition – follow Summer Moreland Photo Competition on Facebook for updates. The closing date for entries is this Saturday. Eagle & The Worm and Oh Mercy play on the main stage at Federation Square on Thursday 10 February. The gig starts at 6pm and is free. Underage is on at the Wyndham Youth Resource Centre in Hoppers Crossing on Friday 11 February. Entry is $8, doors open at 7pm. Neon Love

DEAD

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost six and a half years since the HorrorPops last toured Australia (especially given that their most recent album, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, was released three years ago). Well never fear, because with a new album on the horizon, the HorrorPops are returning to our shores for a run of dates across the Easter long weekend. For Melbourne, we get a show at the Corner Hotel on Monday 25 April. Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you get in quick for one of the most fun nights of your life! I’ve been hearing rumours of a Defeater tour for months now. Travels (2008) and the follow-up EP Lost Ground were among my favourite releases for their respective years, and I can pretty much guarantee that the forthcoming Empty Days & Sleepless Nights will be in my top ten come the end of the year. ANYWAY… this March, Defeater will finally be hitting our shores with a killer line-up to back them up. First up are headliners, Miles Away, with Fires Of Waco rounding out the bill. There are two shows happening in the area. First up on Thursday 31 March, the three-band bill will hit up the East Brunswick Club, following the show up the next day with an all ages show at Seaford Community Centre. In relation to news a bit closer to home, popmosh hardcore band, Hand Of Mercy, are set to embark on a tour with One Vital Word this March. Last year was a massive one for Hand Of Mercy – they started 2010 off supporting As I Lay Dying, releasing their debut full-length The Fallout through Dogfight Records and ended it with the album coming in at number 25 on Short. Fast.Loud’s best of 2010 list. Not a bad effort at all! With two shows around Melbourne, there’s really no excuse for fans to miss out on seeing these guys. They play Next on Thursday 17 March for an 18+ club show, and then Phoenix Youth Centre for an all ages show on Saturday 19 March.

THE

RACKET

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Push Over 2011 is happening at the Abbotsford Convent on Sunday 13 March. There have been few additions and changes to the line-up, some for the good and some that may disappoint. The Red Shore have pulled out as the band are taking a break from gigging for a while. However, a few bands have been added to the bill, most notably Hopeless. They join the likes of Break Even, Deez Nuts, House Vs Hurricane and I Exist. It was announced last week that Title Fight have been signed to Side One Dummy, meaning that they will be distributed by Shock Records here in Australia. Their current release, the EP The Last Thing You Forget, is an awesome indication of the exciting direction that modern hardcore is taking, so I strongly recommend that you get your hands on it and check this band out before their debut full-length drops later this year. It was produced by Walter Schreifels of Gorilla Biscuits, Rival Schools and Quicksand fame. Also in signing news, Epitaph Records announced that they are welcoming Alesana to their own roster. The extra good news is that fans can expect a fourth studio album from the North Carolina sextet in late-2011. “They’ve got an amazing discography, have helped countless Epitaph bands by taking them on the road and with their latest release being their strongest are a band at the top of their game,” adds Epitaph founder and president Brett Gurewitz. “I’m stoked to welcome Alesana to the Epitaph family.” Also in Epitaph news, the label had a good week in the US record sales charts last week thanks to the new Social Distortion record, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes. The album came in at number four on the US charts, which was the highest ever chart position for the band. Where the news comes in is that these are the biggest first week sales

in the history of Epitaph Records in the US. I guess it goes to show just how the importance of independent labels is increasing. Or that Social Distortion fans still buy CDs. Social D will be in Australia for the first time as a part of Soundwave. In other Soundwave news, the Sidewaves just keep on coming with a very, very intimate Sidewave featuring This Town Needs Guns being announced late last week. From Oxford, England (which is also the hometown of Radiohead) This Town Needs Guns are riding high upon the critical acclaim of their debut album, Animals. To give fans a taste of what they can deliver live, the band will be playing at the Toff In Town on Wednesday 2 March. Tickets go on sale 9am this Thursday. Also announced was a Sidewave that would definitely give the pop punk kids something to squeal like a little girl about, as MxPx and The Ataris are set to play a Sidewave together at the East Brunswick Club on Thursday 3 March. This week’s Soundwave quick Q&A comes all the way from Sweden, with Matthias from Millencolin answering a couple of questions for us. What are you most looking forward to about heading to Australia for Soundwave? “It would have to be the weather. It is freezing cold with tons of snow in Sweden right now. And of course the awesome crowds from down under.” Who are you most eager to check out on the bill? “It must be Iron Maiden. I hate to say it, but I haven’t seen them live before.” What is something that no one knows about your band? “That we won the Beerbong Olympics a couple of years ago!” Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you have to stick to before you go onstage? “We get together and forms our arms into a pyramid. Then we shout out the word, ‘kuuuuuuuuuk’. It’s a word in Swedish, a very mature language…” What was your favourite album of 2010 and your most anticipated for 2011? “Best of 2010 – Hard In Da Paint by Waka Flocka Flame. Most anticipated of 2011 – new Millencolin album. LOL…”

Psycroptic xx

Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG theracket@inpress.com.au Swedish metallers In Flames have set Sounds Of A Playground Fading as the title of their upcoming tenth album, due in May. Thirteen songs were laid down for the CD, which was recorded at the band’s IF Studios in Gothenburg with engineer Roberto Laghi (Sonic Syndicate) and is currently being mixed. The group stated, “We are very happy with the result.” Thee mighty Mr Devin Townsend will make a new live EP available for free download next week via Century Media Records’ website. Southern California band Winds Of Plague have announced Against The World as the title of their new album, due on 19 April. The CD was recorded at a Los Angeles studio with renowned producer Matt Hyde (Slayer) and will feature guest appearances by Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. Some people just never learn! According to KTNV.com Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge and will spend two weeks in a Las Vegas jail. He will surrender on 15 February and will serve 15 days in the Clark County Detention Centre, followed by another 15 days of house arrest. “I have recognised that you can’t drink and drive at all,” Neil said in a statement released Tuesday. “I take full responsibility for my actions and will learn from this experience.” Neil failed three field sobriety tests and had a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit during his June Las Vegas arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. In an interview conducted two days after the arrest, Neil admitted he was drinking and said, “I shouldn’t have been driving. I should have gotten a limo from the Hilton.” Drummer Dave Haley of Tasmania’s tech death metallers Psycroptic has issued the following update: “In between all of this we were hard at work writing our new album, which we’re happy to say, is fully written. It’s as yet untitled, but we are throwing a few names around. We start tracking the drums on 14 February at Red Planet Studios, and once completed we will be moving to Joe’s [guitarist] studio to complete all the rest of the recording. We’ll be taking our time on this one, as

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Millencolin

we have felt a little rushed in the past… The material is great so we want to ensure the recording matches. We’ll post studio progress reports to keep everyone updated. Look out for the new album later this year!” Florida crew Trivium spoke to Guitar World magazine about the songwriting process for the band’s upcoming fourth album, due later in 2011 via Roadrunner Records. According to the group, they have foregone the complex epic compositions, tricked-out leads and sevenstring guitars that characterised their past two albums and have taken an approach similar to that of their second album, 2005’s Ascendancy, by using uncluttered riffs, drop-D tuning and more straightforward solos. “When we did Ascendancy, we were writing specifically for the songs, not to show how well we could play,” said guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy. “That wasn’t exactly the case with our next two records,” added Heafy’s co-guitarist, Corey Beaulieu, “We’re making sure every part in every song needs to be there and is super-catchy and doesn’t go over people’s heads.” Heafy continue “the record will feature some of our most minimalistic and most brutal moments, it’s gonna go way beyond what people think metal is or can be.” Danish melodic death group Mercenary will release their sixth album, Metamorphosis, on February 25 via NoiseArt Records. The CD was produced by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat).

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LOCAL GIG GUIDE

Black Majesty, Cell – Friday, Central Club

TOURS, TOURS, TOURS

Tool – Tonight (Wednesday), Sidney Myer Music Bowl Iron Maiden – Wednesday 23 February, Hisense Arena Saxon, The Sword – Monday 28 February, the Espy 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 theracket@inpress.com.au


live@inpress.com.au

THE

Catcall

BREAKDOWN Pop culture therapy with ADAM CURLEY February’s here, which means all the office workers are getting back to doing whatever country-running tasks they do when they’re not ‘letting loose’ and the wasters and uni students are left to keep midweek bartenders paid. January’s just fine, but it’s comforting to have everything back in its right place. It also means we’ve had a month of releases already and, just like Oscar films around this time, January can produce some pretty substantial label output, mostly because it’s only the serious who are buying. Before we get to the albums, though, there are a stack of tracks deserving of a look-in. Philadelphia tripper Kurt Vile will release the follow-up to his insanely good Childish Prodigy experi-FM rock record in March, titled Smoke Ring For My Halo, and Matador has posted the second track from it on the Matablog. The track is called Jesus Fever and, while the man can do little wrong in The Breakdown’s ears, it’s a more explorative and beautiful cut than previously released track In My Time, once again proving that Jesus will trump currency every time. Ahem. Perhaps a little behind on these but they’re worth backtracking for: Brisbane’s tiny Bon Voyage label – a young label concentrating on limited-run vinyl, tape and digital releases – has two great local offerings out. The Rational Academy, through their dedication to subtle and gorgeous variations on indie-pop-in-the-true-‘90s-sense and their work with cult production dude Lawrence English, have become a secret many want to keep down south (the cred! The cred!), but that’s elitist and boring, so go have a listen to their Satan/Kobe Excerpt Live In Japan tracks and then grab the 7” from the Bon Voyage webstore. While there, you can also grab the debut LP, Ceiling, from Brisbane’s Loomer, who take new adventures in lo-fi art-rock and shoegaze to task. In Melbourne, the new project for Fluorescent’s Simon Casticum, the rather awesomely named Ana Nicole, have just recently played their first show. In their own words, they “work the linear and minimal spaces between German new wave and noise rock influences”, but that doesn’t go far enough in describing the sheer, wonderful density of their sound, or its dark, slow-motion cloudiness. Have a listen at myspace.com/ananicoleband. Just quickly, Sydney’s Catcall has released more remixes of her Swimming Pool single. The Julian Mendelsohn edit was The Breakdown’s ‘track of

ROOTS DOWN

Blues ‘n’ roots with DAN CONDON rootsdown@inpress.com.au The third announcement for Bluesfest is due any day now and I’ve had my investigator’s cap on to figure out who we’ll be seeing on the third announce. I think this announcement will lean a little closer to the obscure, which ought to make everyone very happy, because the power of a festival as big and bold as Bluesfest is the fact that you’re likely to hear and see things you never would have done otherwise. I can all but confirm the great Raúl Malo – who most would know as lead singer of The Mavericks – will be there, as will Canadian Cree folk legend Buffy Sainte-Marie, reggae superstar Luciano, UK songstress Imogen Heap, Django’s grandnephew Lulo Reinhardt and, most excitingly for me, American folk/country rockers The Felice Brothers. I stress that this isn’t confirmed, but I’m fairly confident that you’ll be seeing these names and more when the announcement drops soon. And, of course, you’ll hear me crapping on about it incessantly, as that is how I roll. Thoughts go out to the original parrothead, Jimmy Buffet, after he stacked it at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney last week. Because he’s okay, I’m happy to say that it is all pretty hilarious and I really do enjoy all of the gags about “some people say there’s a woman to blame” etc. Anyway, I hope Buffet has a good lie down atop his mountains upon mountains of cash and gets well soon. There are heaps of awesome things that begin with the letter W. One such thing is Wednesdays; there’s a good chance you’re past the halfway mark of the working week (not such a pleasant W) and you can cause a great deal of pain to anyone who utters the phrase ‘hump day’ and not feel bad – everyone hates that phrase. Three other great

2010’, and it’s included in the Swimming Pool Party (Remixes) release, available on iTunes. Brisbane ‘angular’-indie duo An Horse have a new track available from their website free just for subscribing to their e-letter; Trains And Tracks comes from new album Walls, due in April. Following their speedy and underpublicised tour of the coast, former Gold Coast duo The Death Set have a new digital EP out, Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Slap, though you can probably hear most of it on Pitchfork now anyway seeing as they’ve become the site’s nu-elecpunk obsession (what happened to Japanther?). On the album front, Liberator Music has released the debut album from Spain’s much hyped Crystal Fighters, who, considering early tracks and their shtick of teaming traditional Spanish instruments and drumming with club beats and synths, could have turned out to be the new Sleigh Bells (ie. all pills’n’thrills but tiresome over an album). Instead, the album is a gentler exploration of their influences with some wonderful, communityspirited lyrics to boot – even if costumed live clips suggest they’re painting themselves into a corner. More likely to a be a word-of-mouth grower than pushed through the ‘normal channels’ – like The XX or Jesus – Brighton’s Esben And The Witch have followed up all the blog love with their debut album, Violet Cries (Matador/ Remote Control). Where UK bands turning to alt.rock or dark art-rock for inspiration often overdo it, the beauty of the album is in what the trio hold back; there are ideas but no overwhelming ‘concept’ and though it’s serious matter there’s always a slight playfulness between the tinkered instruments and echoing voices. It’s everywhere: Smith Westerns could probably be called the year’s first breakout/crossover band or whatever, but there’s no hate coming from this corner. The Chicago group’s Dye It Blonde is a fun piece of classic garage pop, suitable for the wasters and the office folk. Nothing about Jesus, though.

Ws are wine, whiskey and women and that’s just what you’ll get when the Drunken Poet in West Melbourne hosts a night of that same name each Wednesday night. There are some great shows coming up, all featuring solely female artists, including Gen & Flora and Mandy Connell tonight, Lydia Philips and Kate Lucas on Wednesday 9 February, Hussy Hicks and Julia Rose Duo on Wednesday 16 February and the Jess Ribeiro Duo and Sarah Carnegi wrap up February’s dates on Wednesday 23 February. Entry is free and the vibes promise to be good! If you like your blues a little on the cheeky side then don’t miss your opportunity to catch up with Gold Coaster Mark Easton when he’s around our part of the world this weekend. Easton is currently on his Blue Balls tour (poor bastard) where he is playing a bunch of songs from his soon-to-bereleased album – wait for it – I Got Wood. It’s important to note that Easton doesn’t purely rely on crass puns and cheap jokes to get by, he is a great guitarist and skilled songwriter and his latest effort sees him adopting the use of loop pedals and electronic percussion and injecting a dose of hip hop and funk into his tunes. If this sounds like your kind of thing then go and say g’day to him when he hits the Royal Standard Hotel on Tuesday 8 February, the Bridge Hotel in Ballarat on Thursday 10 February, Stawell’s Diamond House on Friday 11 February and Apollo Bay’s Great Ocean Hotel on Saturday 12 February. Hit up markeaston.com.au for more details. A couple of good records (roughly) in the blues and roots vein have dropped over the past couple of weeks. Social Distortion’s Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes is a raucous, rockin’ slice of soulful punk rock. For a band that’s been doing their thing for more than 30 years, they still sound incredibly vital; if you don’t mind a bit of grit then it’s certainly worth a crack. The long-anticipated Wanda Jackson record The Party Ain’t Over, as produced by Jack White, is also a bit of fun; it’s far from amazing but it ought to put a smile on your face.

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live@inpress.com.au

Fiona Lee Maynard

HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS

SURVIVAL OF THE FEMME FATALE “No one can escape the truth of who they really are,” she sings on her new solo EP, Stiletto Survival (Part 1). But who is Fiona Lee Maynard? She’s one of Melbourne’s greatest rock chicks. Howzat! will never forget seeing Fiona for the first time. It was at The Club in Collingwood and she was fronting Have A Nice Day. Of course, we’d seen Suzi Quatro and Joan Jett on TV, but we’d never witnessed such a formidable female rocker in the flesh. Soon after, Howzat! interviewed Concrete Blonde’s Johnette Napolitano. She was also a fan. “Please get Fiona to give me a call,” Johnette insisted, “I want to sign her.” The new EP – the first half of an album – features a confronting title: Biggest Bitch. “I took this line, ‘Though I walk through the valley of the

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shadow of death I will fear no evil, because I am the biggest bitch in the valley’ from a poem my mother had used when she was roughly the age I am now, to help give her strength to overcome some workplace bullying,” Fiona explains. “I was about 12 at the time and that poem made a big impression on me.” Fiona played the song live, asking the crowd if she should call it a polite name, “Landmark For The Pain”, or “Biggest Bitch”. The answer was unanimous. Stiletto Survival – which Fiona is launching at the Caravan Music Club on Sunday 6 March – is delightfully dark, filled with melodrama and menace. It’s like the soundtrack to a late-night movie. Call it pop noir, if you want. And the highlight is Fiona’s evocative voice. She could sing the phone book and make it sound sexy or scary. The EP opens with a song called Opened The Door. “When I was 20, living in a share house in Carlton, I was a ‘victim of crime’,” Fiona reveals. “I opened the door one night to a home invasion. This event means I have to live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the rest of my life, but I have become very good at managing it with the support of my family and friends.” Fiona had never been able to write about the experience, but just before

comedian Dave Grant died of cancer, Fiona was giving him Reiki. “He was a very good friend, and when I shared this story, he said, ‘Fiona, you weren’t to blame for that, all you did was open the door.’ Together, we realised we’re not always to blame for the trauma we face in our life. When I returned home, I went straight to my recording machine and wrote the song.”

CHART WATCH

STONE THE CROWS

Friday To Sunday JUSTICE CREW (18)

Howzat! agrees with the late-great James Freud who wrote in his first book: “Why is it that Triple J, which is funded solely by Australian taxpayers and is run as a non-profit organisation, doesn’t play 100% local music? Surely that should be their mandate – to reflect Australia’s artistic, political and musical diversities? We all own Triple J, let’s make it 100% local.” That said, it was pleasing to see that more than half of Triple J’s Hottest 100 was homegrown. Angus & Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane became the first local song to top the listener-voted poll since Augie March’s One Crowded Hour in 2007 (and the first to feature a female vocalist since The Cranberries’ Zombie in 1995). Nine of the 18 year-end Hottest 100 winners have been local: Spiderbait’s Buy Me A Pony, The Whitlams’ No Aphrodisiac, Powderfinger’s These Days and My Happiness, Alex Lloyd’s Amazing, Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Bernard Fanning’s Wish You Well, and Augie March and the Stones.

Rapunzel DRAPHT (23)

LESS IS MORE

D. Rogers loves a good short song. “I subscribe to the 30-minute theory of human attention,” he says. His new album, Natural Disasters, contains a dozen songs and clocks in at just 32 minutes. But it closes with a couple of epics – This Part Of Town (3.44) and Food & Electricity (3.51). “It seems as though I’ve tried to hide the longer songs up the back of the album, hoping that no one would notice,” Dave laughs. “But that’s not the case. Even though I tend to write shorter songs, I never think about how long they go for when I’m writing. I’ll never tack on an extra chorus or force a middle-eight just to get the song to the three-minute mark. Or maybe I wanted the album to have an epic finish.” Dave launches Natural Disasters at the Northcote Social Club on Friday.

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The Hottest 100 success sees Angus & Julia Stone return to the Top 40. Who’s That Girl GUY SEBASTIAN (number seven) Saturday Night JESSICA MAUBOY (17)

Big Jet Plane ANGUS & JULIA STONE (32) Birds Of Tokyo fly from 17 to 11. Twenty Ten GUY SEBASTIAN (number six) Down The Way ANGUS & JULIA STONE (nine) Altiyan Childs ALTIYAN CHILDS (10) Birds Of Tokyo BIRDS OF TOKYO (11) Gilgamesh GYPSY & THE CAT (17) Get Closer KEITH URBAN (20) We Are Born SIA (24) Running On Air BLISS N ESO (26) He Will Have His Way VARIOUS (27) I Believe You Liar WASHINGTON (29) Little Bird KASEY CHAMBERS (34) Get ’Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (35) Immersion PENDULUM (37)

HOWZAT! PLAYLIST

Opened The Door FIONA LEE MAYNARD Buyer’s Remorse D. ROGERS The Circus Clown NIC DALTON Everything You Need NICK BATTERHAM Mark The Day LAURA


The

2011

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gigguide@inpress.com.au

WED 02

Aaron Speed, Terry Springford, Sarah Strachan Rubys Lounge Ben Carr Trio, Uncle Dynamite 303 Chris Altman The Gem Cilla Jane Edinburgh Castle Hotel Die Antwood Prince Bandroom Dizzy’s Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club Ella Thompson, Sam Lawrence Band, Eliza Hull, DJ Ed Fisher Evelyn Hotel Flood Benefit, Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison, Dan Dinnen, Heather Stewart, Lloyd Spiegel, Paulie Bignell,Dreamboogie East Brunswick Club Francis Plagne Band, Fjorn Butler, Make Up Sex, Where Were You At Lunch Bar Open Gruntbucket Cherry Bar Lady Noir, Agent 86, Kiti, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq Matt & Kim (USA), Howl, Naysayer & Gilsun Corner Hotel Miles H O’Neil, Simone Page Jones, Guests The Old Bar New Archer, A.Wallace Builders Arms Hotel Nigel Wearne Duo Retreat Hotel Obliveus, Manchild, Moonshine, Tahl, Matt Radovich, Lindsay Marchment Bimbo Deluxe Open Mic Bendigo Hotel Open Mic Brunswick Hotel Open Mic Soft Belly Bar Open Mic The Bender Bar Peter Tollich, Stand & Deliver Co., Crown Primal Scream, Underground Lovers, Worlds End Press Forum Theatre Resident Strings Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Rich Webb The Standard Hotel Spidey, Adalita, Mary M, Gupstar, Decameron Revolver Star Colour, Logarithm, Dominic Kavanagh Empress Hotel The Hidden Venture, Changing Falls, Johari Window, The Scholars Esplanade Lounge The Wanderer, Fierce Mild, Master Beta, Bill O Connell The Arthouse Tool Sidney Myer Music Bowl Trivia Grumpys Green Vickey Jacobs The Butterfly Club

58

Wedgetail, Craig Westwood, Dopetones The Tote Wine, Whiskey, Women, Gen & Flora, Mandy Connell The Drunken Poet

THU 03

Adam Bartas, Dean Paps, Luke Will, Jody McLeod, Heath Renata, Kizzam Dakota, Ringwood Alex & Tobes Dan O’Connell, Carlton Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue, Shaun Tenni Great Britain Hotel Ancient Free Gardeners, Footy, Josh McLeod Empress Hotel Any Last Words, Trial By Night, Her Tortured Embrace Brunswick Hotel Broderick Smith, Matt Walker Retreat Hotel Caitlin Park, Lehmann B Smith, Yama Boy Workers Club Chase The Sun, Jarrah Thompson, Claude Hay Evelyn Hotel City Calm Down, The Box Rockets, Archetype, Mitch Bain, Joel Alpha, Tom Evans, Jesse Young, Aaron Trotman, Hans DC Revolver Colectivo29 Paris Cat Jazz Club Cookin’ on 3 Burners 303 Dower, Dower, Osborne and May Dizzy’s Jazz Club Finlo White Co., Crown Goyim Edinburgh Castle Hotel Hard Copy, The Approach, Sleeping With the Enemy Rubys Lounge Heather Stewart, Sprowell, Canvas Wesley Anne Heroes For Hire, Strickland, The Playbook Next Holy Fuck, Beaches, Total Control, DJ Ash Breadcrumb The Hi-Fi Jake O’Leary, China, Jimmy Cox, James Rosales, Joel Alpha Valve Jeff & Pete Elephant and Wheelbarrow Jenny Biddle Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Kisstroyer Prince Bandroom Looking For Scarlett, Boy Rides Monster, Daydream Pioneers, Milk, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Pony Lupe Fiasco The Palace Theatre Mesa Cosa, Death Valley Band, Magic Bones, Duck Duck Chop Yah Yah’s

Mickey Cosmo, Andreas, TMC Red Love Cocktail Bar Miles Jnr, Dwayne Thompson, Tom Evans White Charlie Monique Di Mattina The Gem Mood, Johan Elg, Tuan Beser Loop Numbers Radio, Cola Wars The Bended Elbow Open Mic The Drunken Poet Poco La Pax, Mimi Velevska The Toff In Town Primal Scream, Underground Lovers, Worlds End Press Forum Theatre Ross Horkings, Jamie Vlahos, Matt Dean Billboard Rosstown DJ’s Rosstown Hotel Sam Lawrence Builders Arms Hotel Saskwatch Cherry Bar Scotty E Wheelers Hill Hotel Son Tres Mi Corazon Station DJ’s Station Hotel Stonefield, Immigrant Union, Guests The Tote Sweet Jean Union Hotel Brunswick Swidgen, Dead City Ruins, Indian Mynah The Old Bar Switch DJ’s Eve Bar The Bucket Room, Local Singer Songwriter Night Grumpys Green The Greenhornes, The Stabs Northcote Social Club The Moxie, The Young Faithful, Cutlery The Arthouse The Naked and Famous, Undercolours Corner Hotel Tinman, Art Of War, Thirty One Fifty Esplanade Lounge Toyota War, The Call Up, The Rant Bar Open Tubovas, Amexica, Russia, Lowdown Dirty Shames Esplanade Basement U-One, Dave Pham, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe WHO, Agent 86, Lewis cancut Lucky Coq Zinnia Blue, Guests The Bender Bar Zombo Art Exhibition, Chico Flash, Atlantic, Thrillkillers, SPG The Prague

FRI 04

Adam 12, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Aloe Blacc & the Grand Scheme, Benji B, Waajeed Prince Bandroom Andrew Reid, Warren Wills Dizzy’s Jazz Club

Andrew Swann Collective, Stomping Blues Grumpys Green Anna Paddick Band, Jessica Moussi & the Harmonettes 303 Annabelle Tunley, Malia Sloman Wesley Anne Audiac, Orange Room, Signal X Cherry Bar Black Devil Yard Boss Rubys Lounge Boogs, Phil K, Musca, Andrew Padula The Decca Chase The Sun, Cass Eager & the Velvet Rope, Claude Hay Baha Tacos Clowns, Urgent Blood, Rusty (Electric Mary) Esplanade Lounge Confession Mynt Lounge CQ DJ’s CQ Bar D Rogers, Georgia Fields, Tim Reid, DJ Piques & Valleys Northcote Social Club Dear Stalker, Dirty Canary, Rouge Fonce, The Kernal Esplanade Basement Devil Rock 4, Sons Of Lee Marvin, Harvest Smoke, DJ Del Lamp The Old Bar Diamond Dancers, Baby D, Julz, Yatha, Nova, Nousky Lotus Bar & Lounge Ding Dong DJ’s Ding Dong Lounge DJ Count X, Mezzanine Abode DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat Co., Crown Eddie Mac, Chris Ng White Charlie Element Elephant and Wheelbarrow Fatali, Deeper Room 680 Fifteenth Avenue Blue Diamond Flood Benefit, Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, Budd, Mick Harvey, Harry Howard, The Stabs, New War, Harmony, River of Snakes Thornbury Theatre Flood Relief Concert, The Choirboys Revesby Workers Club Henry Manetta & The Trip, Chelsea Wilson, Arowe Empress Hotel Jason Midro, Bexta, Master Kaos, Jewelz, Dj Kat, Steve Strangis Platform One Kicking Horses, Moose Jaw Rifle Club, Andrew McUtchen Builders Arms Hotel Laidback Luke, Valdalism, John Course, DJ Helena Billboard Los Impenetrables Builders Arms, early show Low Tide, Pollux B, Gary Bohmer Public Bar Mandek Penha, Umulat, PIVIXKI Evelyn Hotel Mass Cult, Bad Aches, Chook Race, The Beat Disease, Kiti, Lady Noir Pony

Matt & Earl James Squire Brewhouse Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq Max Vagas Bertha Brown Mu Gen, NXR Eurotrashbar Music Appreciation Society, Esty, Augustus, VJ PixieAngel Loop Nacional, Red Leader, Deja, Mike Callander, Tom Lally, Lewie Day, Katie Drover Revolver No Trigger, Such Gold, ANCHORS, First Base The Arthouse Numbers Radio, Cola Wars Peli Bar Numbers Radio, Cola Wars Pelican Bar, Frankston Peril, Sef, Achos, Shaggz, Dinesh, NYD, Unique Marrakech Lounge Platinum DJ’s Valve Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Puta Madre Brothers, The Town Bikes, Ross de Chene Hurricanes, BJ Morriszonkle, The Suitcase Royale Corner Hotel Red Love DJ’s Red Love Cocktail Bar Retro DJ’s Club Retro Ryan Katzen, Shaggz, NYD Tryst Bar Shaun Kirk Elwood Lounge Shimmy Shake, Foxtrot India, Dolores Daiquiri, Becky Lou, Sapphira, Alexandra Hofgartner, Shuffle Club Red Bennies Simon Slieker, Mo Ichi, Freya, Mish’chief, Katie Drover, Shane Copal Bimbo Deluxe Sin City, Ramshackle Army, The Tear Aways, Cherrywood, Andrew Young Yah Yah’s Sircuit DJ’s, Gavin Campbell Sircuit Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Dread, Don Fernando, Swidgen The Prague Station DJ’s Station Hotel Swamplands The Gem T-Bird Club Abode Tea for Frances, Sam Cole & the Mornings, Doc Viney Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Awesomes Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda The Big Hoo Haa Portland Hotel The Bombay Royale Bar Open The Demon Parade, Brat Farrar, DJ Geoff Leppard Retreat Hotel

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The Eternal, Tread, Sons of Abraham East Brunswick Club the F100’s St Kilda Bowls Club The House of Honeys, The Hidden Venture, The Relief Brunswick Hotel Tim Wilson, Chantel Mitvalsky Bennetts Lane Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet Trash DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub True Radical Miracle, Breathing Shrine, Kromosom, Tax The Tote White Widdow, Def Repplica, X Halen, Heartbreak Blvd, Australian Bon Jovi Show Esplanade Gershwin Room

SAT 05

1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Mu-Gen, Megawuoti, Dceed Eurotrashbar 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 Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces Builders Arms, early show Andrew Higgs Band, Bones Blackwood, Twelve Inch Clocks, Salvador, Tully Sumner, Andy Garlick Golden Vine Hotel Andrew Reid, Alto Battle, Harold Jefta, Roger Clark Quartet Dizzy’s Jazz Club Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, The Antlers, Beach House, Bear in Heaven, Blonde Redhead, Cut Copy, Djanimals, Deerhunter, Foals St Jeromes Laneway Festival Azucar Mi Corazon Big Fela Afrobeat Orchestra, Bosaks Beijao 303 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 Brad Spolding, The Luau Cowboys, Matt Sonic & The High Times, Jacknives, DJ Xander Retreat Hotel Burlesque Suicide Bendigo Hotel C-Bas Station Hotel Chase The Sun, Cass Eager & the Velvet Rope, Claude Hay, Jarrah Thompson Cherry Bar

Chill James Squire Brewhouse Chris Wilson Union Hotel Brunswick Citrus Jam Grumpys Green Cola Wars, Numbers Radio, Any Last Words Bang Comedy, Master Beta, Every Second Friday, Between The Wars, Low Speed Bus Chase Esplanade Gershwin Room Dan O’Connell Fiddlers Dan O’Connell, Carlton Daniel Power, Three Feet of Beat, Mike Gurrieri, Knave Knixx Red Bennies Dear Stalker, The Mercury Theatre, Seri Vida Public Bar Diesel & Band, Ryan Meeking Melbourne Zoo Dirty F, Chico Flash Great Britain Hotel DJ Artie, Dean G, Luke De Angelo, USO Tryst Bar Dr Detroit Blue Diamond Flood Benefit, Dave O’Neil, Anyone For Tennis, Nazeem, Geraldine Hickey Empress Hotel Gareth Eunson, Blake Scott The Drunken Poet Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side, The Toot Toot Toots, Priory Dolls East Brunswick Club Geoff Achison, Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers St Andrews Hotel Goyim Bebida Bar Goyim, Travis Marke, Rosie & George, Annie McKinnon Wesley Anne Greg Downey Room 680 Guests Of Ghosts, The Fiction, Sherrif, DJ Post Percy, Nick Thayer, Ransom, Paz, Mat Cant, Danielsan Revolver I Heart Hiroshima North Atlantic Public Bar Jack Talbot, John Baptise, Van-G, Genetix, Bran Kalus, T-Rek Wah Wah Lounge Jahrukus, Chant Down, Jessie I, Ras Crucial, Papa Dalton, Stick Mareebo Corner Hotel Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy Billboard Jessica Says, Fatti Frances, Baptizm Of Uzi, Monsters Of Poetry, Sammy & the Time Bombs, Pierre Baroni, Richie 1250, DJ Richie 1250 The Old Bar Jesus, DJ Agey, Andy R, Adrian Marolda, Rob Sama, Dean Paps, Matty Grant Marrakech Lounge

Joe Cocker, Diesel, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, The Dingoes Rochford Wines Jon-E, Syme Tollens, Blu Abode Jon-E, Steve Punch, N-Tice Abode Laura, Slocombe’s Pussy, The Dirt Band, Ice Claw The Tote Lord Bishop Rocks, Cloudmouth, The Darrens, Kerryn Fields, Mitch Finglas, Al Parkinson Brunswick Hotel Los Dominados, Valentine, Little Foot Reveller’s Bar Lotek, RuC.L Bar Open Mark Pellegrini, Jason Serini, Andreas, Nick Van Wilder, Michael T, Mas, Danny Merx Trak Showroom Metrik Elephant and Wheelbarrow Moonshine, Pacman, Ash Lee, Kodiak Kid, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Tahl Lucky Coq Motel DJ’s The Motel Pean, Ralph Dakota, Ringwood Perfect Fit, Ladies and Gentlemen, Cravel, Just Between You Me The Arthouse Pickled Beats, Cutloose, Mr Nice, Ego, Lickweed Loop Play-Doh Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Provincial DJ’s Provincial Hotel Rebecca Mendoza Quartet Bennetts Lane Red Ink, City Calm Down, Royston Vasie, The New Eileens, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Red Love DJ’s Red Love Cocktail Bar River of Snakes, Bitchslap, The Instincts, Plast Her Ov Paris The Prague Samara Williams, Guests The Bender Bar Scotty Erdos, Phil Ross, Nick James, On Time The Loft Sean Simmons, Dot Matrix Edinburgh Castle, early show Simon Digby, James Belias, Ganz, Nik M Alumbra Snack Attack DJ’s, DJ Graeme the Colonel Manhattan Hotel Son of Set, Dreaming Of Ghosts, No Love for Lexi, Bombing Angels, Rocket Queen, Slugger Fontaine Pony Sweet Jean Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Tate Strauss, Dean T, Johnny M, Nova Fusion, Crown The Buddy Love Jazz Tryst Kojo Brown


Wed. 2nd (Wine, Whiskey, Women) 8pm: Gen & Flora 9pm: Mandy Connell Thurs. 3rd 8pm: Open Mic Poetry, Storytelling & Song Fri. 4th 6pm: Traditional Irish Music Session with Dan Bourke & Friends Sat. 5th 9pm: Gareth Eunson 10pm: Blake Scott Sun. 6th 4pm: The Alex Burns Adventures in Paradise 6.30pm: Luke Sinclair & Tracy McNeil Tues. 8th 8pm: Weekly Trivia

All Shows Always Free! The Drunken Poet, 65 Peel Street (Directly opposite Queen Vic Market). Phone: 03 9348 9797 www.myspace.com/drunkenpoets twitter.com/inpressmag

59


gigguide@inpress.com.au The Glorious Bastards The Post Office Club Hotel The Little Stevies Bertha Brown The Pheasant Pluckers Labour In Vain The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Wilful Damage, Swamp Donkey The Chandelier Room The Zonks, Inevitable Orbit, Pollux B Edinburgh Castle Hotel Tinpan Orange, Ross James Irwin, The House deFROST, Andee Frost The Toff In Town Tom Evans, Nick Jones, Ryan Wells, Josh & Sash, Mee2, Nick Flemming Valve Trust Us, The Blue Swimmers, Inkstain Pro, The Squid Squad, Travvy Wonders Family Band Evelyn Hotel Tunes By Aerlie Wild The Gem Weekender, Ding Dong DJ’s Ding Dong Lounge Wonderland DJ’s Casey’s Nightclub Working Horse Irons, The Council, Bunny Monroe, Jimmy the Clink Yah Yah’s

60

SUN 06

Afrodescia Alumbra Andy Cowan St Andrews Hotel Askew, Peter Baker, Booshank, Paz, Ms Butt, Junji Lucky Coq Bakersfield Glee Club, Roz Girvan Union Hotel Brunswick Ben Smith Railway Hotel Betty’s Driving Force Builders Arms, early show Black & Blue Brunswick Hotel Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, T-Rek Revolver CC Ryder Sunday sessions, Meg Doherty, Alysia Manceau Edinburgh Castle Hotel Celeste Kate, Kosh Empress Hotel, Arvo Show Chardy, Luke McD, Nick Young, Aaron Trotman, Tom Evans, Anyo Circus Nightclub Cherrywood Great Britain Hotel Comedy Night, Col Cameron, Lehmo, Linda Beatty, Anyone For Tennis, Lawrence Mooney Blue Diamond

Deadly Are The Naked, The Committal, Junk!, The Harlequin Chapter, Vincent The Arthouse Dirt York Trio, The Dirt Band, Bullet Retreat Hotel Duck Musique Edinburgh Castle, early show Edinburgh Collective, La Mauvaise Reputation Wesley Anne Film Night, Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds Red Bennies Grand Salvo, Sophia Brous, Oliver Mann, Francis Plagne Band Empress Hotel Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Hunting Foxes, The Give, Planet Love Sound Evelyn Hotel INXS, Train, Baby Animals, Sean Kelly Rochford Wines Jason Lowe, Nia Robertson The Chandelier Room Jenny Biddle The St Kilda Branch John Flanagan & The Begin Agains, Lionel Lee’s Curse Pure Pop Records Kahuna Daddies, Gil Askey and Friends, Margie Lou Dyer Trio Claypots

Kitty K & the Jager Bombs Cherry Bar Little John, Howl At The Moon, SiB, DJ Kezbot The Old Bar Liza (On a E) The Hi-Fi Mango Straights, Roni Shewan Band, Opa 303 Monique DiMatina Grumpys Green Moonee Valley Drifters Yorkshire Stingo Hotel Open Decks The Bender Bar Pat Mckernan PJ O’Brien’s Irish Pub Peter Mac, Arlen De Silva, Gavin Campbell, Butch Le Butch, Mummy Complex, Godzilla Jones Prince Bandroom Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Poor People Marquis Of Lorne Hotel Primitive Calculators, Infi nate Decimals, Wolf 359, Zac Keiller Bar Open Scar the Surface, Bronson, Moniker Soul, Bury the Fallen Ruby’s Lounge Shackleton, Mick Thomas, Anna Burley, Liz Stringer Carringbush Hotel Shaun Kirk Gods Kitchen

Teeth & Tongue, Super Wild Horses, Slow Hog Grace Darling Hotel The Alex Burns Adventures in Paradise, Luke Sinclair, Tracey McNeil The Drunken Poet The Art of Deceit, Steve Approved, Wolf vs Fire, The Wanderer, Seven Year Itch, No Love for Lexi Esplanade Gershwin Room The Australian Fleetwood Mac Show Melbourne Zoo The Freak Technique 29th Apartment The Freak Technique Lost For Words The Happy Lonesome, Michael Plater, The Rusty Pickers, Ben William The Prague The Hidden Venture, I Am Duckeye, Ether, Spider Goat Canyon, Copse, Sons of Abraham The Tote The Huw Joseph Experience (solo acoustic) Iddy Biddy The Ramshackle Army Prince Public Bar The ReChords The Standard Hotel

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The String Contingent, Lucy Wise, Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town Tim Butt Dan O’Connell, Carlton Undead Riddims, DNB Dubstep Party Esplanade Basement Under The Apple Tree Elephant & Wheelbarrow, St Kilda Urgent Blood, The Fiction, Clowns, Death O’Connor Yah Yah’s Van Walker, Liz Stringer Labour In Vain Villagers, Gossling Northcote Social Club Zaite, Nyce Bryce, Wonzo, Kenjii, Stu Mac Provincial Hotel

MON 07

5 Stars Bitch, Trivia, Nath Valvo The Toff In Town Battle of the Hits Esplanade Gershwin Room Bird & the Bomb, Tiger Funk Lucky Coq Blonde Redhead, Amaya Laucirica Billboard Diego Zaragoza, Rob Draper, Ainslie Wills Veludo

Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band The Old Bar Hail Hail St Andrews Open Mic & Jamm Night St Andrews Hotel Jessie Lloyd 2 Doors Down Kristina Miltiadou Workers Club Little John Esplanade Basement Monday Night Madness! Brunswick Hotel Ms Kiti, Lady Noir Bimbo Deluxe Pax Iddy Biddy Simon & Me The Arthouse Sircuit DJ’s Sircuit The Collective Grumpys Green Train Forum Theatre

TUE 08

“Mind Out” Trivia The Arthouse Bright Knights Molotov Cine - Cult, Never Too Young To Die 303 Cisco Caesar, Annie McKinnon Band, Craig Fraser, Curly Joe, Delsinki Jane Esplanade Lounge

Dan Webb, Tobias Cummings Evelyn Hotel Daniel Jericho, Sarah Nagorcka, Jonny Wouters The Old Bar DJ Streetparty, Swick, Tranter, Smokin’ Todlers, Polyavalanche, Streetcore DJs, Boobs & Booty Eurotrashbar Fantastic Mr Fox, WHO, Chairman Meow Bimbo Deluxe Joe Cocker, George Thorogood & the Destroyers Palais Theatre Les Savy Fav, Straight Arrows Billboard Local Natives, Leader Cheetah, The Paper Scissors Corner Hotel Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning, Trivia Revolver NHJ Lucky Coq Open Mic Dan O’Connell, Carlton Peter Ewing Labour In Vain Rock Aerobics, Shaky Memorial Retreat Hotel The Brunswick Discovery Brunswick Hotel Weekly Trivia The Drunken Poet


140 Sydney Rd

Wednesdays Trivia from 7.30pm Free Entry Thursdays Anna’s Go Go Academy Free BBQ $10 Jugs SUNday Beer Garden Residency Heel Toe Express

BRUNSWICKHOTEL.NET

9387 6637

NO COVER CHARGE

WEDNESDAY FEB 2ND

THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL

OPEN MIC - 8PM START TIME $10 JUGS

THURSDAY FEB 3RD - 9PM

ANY LAST WORDS TRIAL BY NIGHT HER TORTURED EMBRACE

FRIDAY FEB 4TH - 9:30PM

THE HOUSE OF HONEY THE HIDDEN VENTURE THE RELIEF

Beer Garden FULL KITCHEN COMING SOON Open Tuesday- Friday 4pm till Late Saturday and Sunday Midday till Late

SATURDAY FEB 5TH - 9PM

LORD BISHOP ROCKS CLOUDMOUTH THE DARRENS 5PM - KERRYN FIELDS MITCH FINGLAS AL PARKINSON

SUNDAY FEB 6TH - 5PM

BLACK AND BLUE Contact Details 380 Victoria Street Brunswick Phone: 9388 0830 Email FUNCTIONS AND BAND BOOKINGS TO: victoriahotel @me.com

MONDAY FEB 7TH

MONDAY NIGHT MADNESS $10 JUGS FREE POOL AND JUKEBOX!

TUESDAY FEB 8TH - 8PM

TUESDAY NIGHT BRUNSWICK DISCOVERY

Wed 2ND

chris altmanN THURS 3RD

MONIQUE DI MATTINA Wed 2nd February Trivia

FRI 4TH

7.30pm

SWAMPLANDS

Thurs 3rd February The Bucket Room showcase local singer/songwriter night

SAT 5TH tunes by

8.30pm

AERLIE WILD

Fri 4th February Andrew Swann Stomping blues 9.30pm

TUES 7TH

Sat 5th February Citrus Jam Alternative rock and roots

Jimmy Stewart residency

9.30pm

gembookings@gmail.com

Sun 6th February Monique Dimattina Chilled jazz and bluespiano vocals 2pm

Mon 7th February The Collective jazz and blues

289 WELLINGTON ST COLLINGWOOD 94195170

7.30pm

All events at Grumpys Green are Free entry www.grumpysgreen.com 125 Smith Street, Fitzroy

KITCHEN OPEN 6 NIGHTS twitter.com/inpressmag

61


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BANG

EVELYN HOTEL

Saturday Cola Wars, Numbers Radio, Any Last Words

BAR OPEN

Wednesday Francis Plagne Band, Fjorn Butler, Make Up Sex, Where Were You At Lunch Thursday Toyota War, The Call Up, The Rant Friday The Bombay Royale Saturday Lotek, RuC.L Sunday Primitive Calculators, Infinate Decimals, Wolf 359, Zac Keiller

BENDIGO HOTEL

Wednesday Open Mic Saturday Burlesque Suicide

BLUE DIAMOND

Friday Fifteenth Avenue Saturday Dr Detroit Sunday Comedy Night, Col Cameron, Lehmo, Linda Beatty, Anyone For Tennis, Lawrence Mooney

BRUNSWICK HOTEL

Wednesday Open Mic Thursday Any Last Words, Trial By Night, Her Tortured Embrace Friday The House of Honeys, The Hidden Venture, The Relief Saturday Lord Bishop Rocks, Cloudmouth, The Darrens, Kerryn Fields, Mitch Finglas, Al Parkinson Sunday Black & Blue Monday Monday Night Madness! Tuesday The Brunswick Discovery

BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL

Wednesday New Archer, A.Wallace Thursday Sam Lawrence Friday Kicking Horses, Moose Jaw Rifle Club, Andrew McUtchen

CHERRY BAR

Wednesday Gruntbucket Thursday Saskwatch Friday Audiac, Orange Room, Signal X Saturday Chase The Sun, Cass Eager & the Velvet Rope, Claude Hay, Jarrah Thompson Sunday Kitty K & the Jager Bombs

CORNER HOTEL

Wednesday Matt & Kim (USA), Howl, Naysayer & Gilsun Thursday The Naked and Famous, Undercolours

62

RADIO STARS LIVE Between touring their latest single and recording their next single, Melbourne trash pop kids Radio Star have chosen to spend their uni holidays getting drunk off cheap pots each Monday night at the Workers Club and playing a free show while they’re there. This Monday night sees Radio Star sharing the stage with The Boo Hoo Hoo’s for the final show of the series. Kicking things off from 8.30pm, be there early to get a good possie. Friday Puta Madre Brothers, The Town Bikes, Ross de Chene Hurricanes, BJ Morriszonkle, The Suitcase Royale Saturday Jahrukus, Chant Down, Jessie I, Ras Crucial, Papa Dalton, Stick Mareebo Tuesday Local Natives, Leader Cheetah, The Paper Scissors

Saturday Flood Benefit, Dave O’Neil, Anyone For Tennis, Nazeem, Geraldine Hickey Sunday Grand Salvo, Sophia Brous, Oliver Mann, Francis Plagne Band

DIZZY’S JAZZ CLUB

ESPLANADE BASEMENT

Wednesday Dizzy’s Big Band Thursday Dower, Dower, Osborne and May Friday Andrew Reid, Warren Wills Saturday Andrew Reid, Alto Battle, Harold Jefta, Roger Clark Quartet Tuesday The Vintage Suits

EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB

Wednesday Flood Benefit, Jimi Hocking, Geoff Achison, Dan Dinnen, Heather Stewart, Lloyd Spiegel, Paulie Bignell, Dreamboogie Friday The Eternal, Tread, Sons of Abraham Saturday Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side, The Toot Toot Toots, Priory Dolls

EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL

Wednesday Cilla Jane Thursday Goyim Friday Tea for Frances, Sam Cole & the Mornings, Doc Viney Saturday The Zonks, Inevitable Orbit, Pollux B Sunday CC Ryder Sunday sessions, Meg Doherty, Alysia Manceau

EMPRESS HOTEL

Wednesday Star Colour, Logarithm, Dominic Kavanagh Thursday Ancient Free Gardeners, Footy, Josh McLeod Friday Henry Manetta & The Trip, Chelsea Wilson, Arowe

EMPRESS HOTEL, ARVO SHOW

Sunday Celeste Kate, Kosh

Thursday Tubovas, Amexica, Russia, Lowdown Dirty Shames Friday Dear Stalker, Dirty Canary, Rouge Fonce, The Kernal Sunday Undead Riddims, DNB Dubstep Party Monday Little John

ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM

Friday White Widdow, Def Repplica, X Halen, Heartbreak Blvd, Australian Bon Jovi Show Saturday Comedy, Master Beta, Every Second Friday, Between The Wars, Low Speed Bus Chase Sunday The Art of Deceit, Steve Approved, Wolf vs Fire, The Wanderer, Seven Year Itch, No Love for Lexi Monday Battle of the Hits

ESPLANADE LOUNGE

Wednesday The Hidden Venture, Changing Falls, Johari Window, The Scholars Thursday Tinman, Art Of War, Thirty One Fifty Friday Clowns, Urgent Blood, Rusty (Electric Mary) Saturday Red Ink, City Calm Down, Royston Vasie, The New Eileens, Phil Para Sunday Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Tuesday Cisco Caesar, Annie McKinnon Band, Craig Fraser, Curly Joe, Delsinki Jane

Wednesday Ella Thompson, Sam Lawrence Band, Eliza Hull, DJ Ed Fisher Thursday Chase The Sun, Jarrah Thompson, Claude Hay Friday Mandek Penha, Umulat, PIVIXKI Saturday Trust Us, The Blue Swimmers, Inkstain Pro, The Squid Squad, Travvy Wonders Family Band Sunday Hunting Foxes, The Give, Planet Love Sound Tuesday Dan Webb, Tobias Cummings

GRACE DARLING HOTEL

Sunday Teeth & Tongue, Super Wild Horses, Slow Hog

Saturday Dear Stalker, The Mercury Theatre, Seri Vida

RETREAT HOTEL

Wednesday Nigel Wearne Duo Thursday Broderick Smith, Matt Walker Friday The Demon Parade, Brat Farrar, DJ Geoff Leppard Saturday Brad Spolding, The Luau Cowboys, Matt Sonic & The High Times, Jacknives, DJ Xander Sunday Dirt York Trio, The Dirt Band, Bullet Tuesday Rock Aerobics, Shaky Memorial

REVOLVER

Thursday Heroes For Hire, Strickland, The Playbook

Wednesday Spidey, Adalita, Mary M, Gupstar, Decameron Thursday City Calm Down, The Box Rockets, Archetype, Mitch Bain, Joel Alpha, Tom Evans, Jesse Young, Aaron Trotman, Hans DC Friday Nacional, Red Leader, Deja, Mike Callander, Tom Lally, Lewie Day, Katie Drover Saturday Guests Of Ghosts, The Fiction, Sherrif, DJ Post Percy, Nick Thayer, Ransom, Paz, Mat Cant, Danielsan Sunday Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, T-Rek Tuesday Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning, Trivia

NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB

ROSSTOWN HOTEL

LABOUR IN VAIN

Saturday The Pheasant Pluckers Sunday Van Walker, Liz Stringer Tuesday Peter Ewing

MARQUIS OF LORNE HOTEL

Wednesday Resident Strings Saturday Sweet Jean Sunday Poor People

NEXT

Thursday The Greenhornes, The Stabs Friday D Rogers, Georgia Fields, Tim Reid, DJ Piques & Valleys Sunday Villagers, Gossling

PONY

Thursday Looking For Scarlett, Boy Rides Monster, Daydream Pioneers, Milk, Love/Hate, A13, Throbulator Friday Mass Cult, Bad Aches, Chook Race, The Beat Disease, Kiti, Lady Noir Saturday Son of Set, Dreaming Of Ghosts, No Love for Lexi, Bombing Angels, Rocket Queen, Slugger Fontaine

Thursday Rosstown DJ’s

THE ARTHOUSE

Wednesday The Wanderer, Fierce Mild, Master Beta, Bill O Connell Thursday The Moxie, The Young Faithful, Cutlery Friday No Trigger, Such Gold, ANCHORS, First Base

Saturday Perfect Fit, Ladies and Gentlemen, Cravel, Just Between You Me Sunday Deadly Are The Naked, The Committal, Junk!, The Harlequin Chapter, Vincent Monday Simon & Me Tuesday ”Mind Out” Trivia

THE CHANDELIER ROOM

Saturday The Quarry Mountain Dead Rats, Wilful Damage, Swamp Donkey Sunday Jason Lowe, Nia Robertson

THE DRUNKEN POET

Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Gen & Flora, Mandy Connell Thursday Open Mic Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Gareth Eunson, Blake Scott Sunday The Alex Burns Adventures in Paradise, Luke Sinclair, Tracey McNeil Tuesday Weekly Trivia

THE GEM

Wednesday Chris Altman Thursday Monique Di Mattina Friday Swamplands Saturday Tunes By Aerlie Wild

THE HI-FI

Thursday Holy Fuck, Beaches, Total Control, DJ Ash Breadcrumb Sunday Liza (On a E)

THE OLD BAR

Wednesday Miles H O’Neil, Simone Page Jones, Guests Thursday Swidgen, Dead City Ruins, Indian Mynah Friday Devil Rock 4, Sons Of Lee Marvin, Harvest Smoke, DJ Del Lamp

PRINCE BANDROOM

Wednesday Die Antwood Thursday Kisstroyer Friday Aloe Blacc & the Grand Scheme, Benji B, Waajeed Sunday Peter Mac, Arlen De Silva, Gavin Campbell, Butch Le Butch, Mummy Complex, Godzilla Jones

PUBLIC BAR

Friday Low Tide, Pollux B, Gary Bohmer

RATS ON BLUEGRASS In an age of dancing robots and the electric toothbrush, the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats are taking it back to a simpler time, where the pickin’ was fast and the banjo was king. With fire in their bellies, these musical comrades hailing from The Mornington Peninsula bring their raw and gritty version of bluegrass kicking and hollering into the modern day. The influence of old-time mountain-music combined with rock‘n’roll sensibilities make the Quarry Mountain Dead Rats an act that make you sit up, take notice and come back for more. See them this Saturday at the Chandelier Room in Moorabbin.

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LAURA FOR YER BIRTHDAY To celebrate publican Jon Perrings 50th birthday, the Tote will host a night of guitar-soaked fuzz and psychedelic sonic madness. Laura, who haven’t graced the stage for a year and a half, will headline the show as a warm-up for their up coming 7” release, Mark The Day, in March. They will be playing a mixture of retrospective and new material, delivering a set of intense post rock purity. Joining them will be post-psych voodoo warriors Slocombes Pussy, Queenslanders The Dirt Band and Ice Claw, the side project of Jensen Chung (Hate Club, Deaf Wish) and Nick Lane (This is Your Captain Speaking). It’s gonna be one trippy night, but then when isn’t Saturday at the Tote trippy? Entry is $10 from 8.30pm. Saturday Jessica Says, Fatti Frances, Baptizm Of Uzi, Monsters Of Poetry, Sammy & the Time Bombs, Pierre Baroni, Richie 1250, DJ Richie 1250 Sunday Little John, Howl At The Moon, SiB, DJ Kezbot Monday Fruit Jar’s Old Timey String Band Tuesday Daniel Jericho, Sarah Nagorcka, Jonny Wouters

THE PRAGUE

Thursday Zombo Art Exhibition, Chico Flash, Atlantic, Thrillkillers, SPG Friday Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Dread, Don Fernando, Swidgen Saturday River of Snakes, Bitchslap, The Instincts, Plast Her Ov Paris Sunday The Happy Lonesome, Michael Plater, The Rusty Pickers, Ben William

Saturday Laura, Slocombe’s Pussy, The Dirt Band, Ice Claw Sunday The Hidden Venture, I Am Duckeye, Ether, Spider Goat Canyon, Copse, Sons of Abraham

THORNBURY THEATRE

Friday Flood Benefit, Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, Budd, Mick Harvey, Harry Howard, The Stabs, New War, Harmony, River of Snakes

UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK

Thursday Sweet Jean Saturday Chris Wilson Sunday Bakersfield Glee Club, Roz Girvan

WESLEY ANNE

Wednesday Rich Webb Sunday The ReChords

Thursday Heather Stewart, Sprowell, Canvas Friday Annabelle Tunley, Malia Sloman Saturday Goyim, Travis Marke, Rosie & George, Annie McKinnon Sunday Edinburgh Collective, La Mauvaise Reputation

THE TOFF IN TOWN

WORKERS CLUB

THE STANDARD HOTEL

Thursday Poco La Pax, Mimi Velevska Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Tinpan Orange, Ross James Irwin, The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday The String Contingent, Lucy Wise, Andyblack, Haggis Monday 5 Stars Bitch, Trivia, Nath Valvo

THE TOTE

Wednesday Wedgetail, Craig Westwood, Dopetones Thursday Stonefield, Immigrant Union, Guests Friday True Radical Miracle, Breathing Shrine, Kromosom, Tax

Thursday Caitlin Park, Lehmann B Smith, Yama Boy Monday Kristina Miltiadou

YAH YAH’S

Thursday Mesa Cosa, Death Valley Band, Magic Bones, Duck Duck Chop Friday Sin City, Ramshackle Army, The Tear Aways, Cherrywood, Andrew Young Saturday Working Horse Irons, The Council, Bunny Monroe, Jimmy the Clink Sunday Urgent Blood, The Fiction, Clowns, Death O’Connor


BEHIND THE LINES HOLD THAT FIREBIRD X

Those of you who were looking forward to checking out the new limited edition Gibson Firebird X guitar, due to hit stores internationally in the middle of December, may have noticed their conspicuous absence. It seems the research and development team at Gibson got so into “delving into the [guitar’s] seven microprocessors and three operating systems” that they apparently discovered “even more ways to improve the guitar”. Those improvements then prompted the Nashville division to look at “new finishing processes to give the guitar a radical new look to match”. The result has been of course a delay in the release of the Firebird X. Stay tuned for the next official launch date.

THE PROFILER SIMON PAUL’S STUDIO Simon Paul – producer/engineer basses, and new heads on the drum kit! Ensure your stringed instruments are properly set up to avoid intonation problems, and hire a drum technician to tune the drums if you’re unsure of how to do this properly. Often instruments with poor intonation may sound like a problem in the mix, when in actual fact, it’s the subtle discrepancy in the tuning when chords are played in different positions. If a chord sounds out of tune at one position, try playing it up or down the neck. It may be a quick compromise on the fly when having the instrument set up is no longer an option.”

MEET THE LOCALS

On Tuesday 15 February, APRA is inviting members along to the office at 3 & 5 Sanders Place, Richmond, to get know the staff and other key industry members including Music Victoria’s Patrick Donovan, the Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR)’s general manager, Nick O’Byrne, and the Australian Songwriters Association’s Trevor Shard, in this year’s first Connecting Members event. While the gathering is free, it’s wise to get onto them and ensure a place as space is limited.

TRACEY & NASHVILLE’S OZ MAFIA

She might have gone to Nashville to record her latest album, By The Wayside (Laughing Outlaw), but Australian singer/songwriter Tracey Bunn called in fellow ex-pat Australian, guitarist and songwriter Anne McCue to not only add various stringed instruments but also produce the album, recorded at Flying Machine Studio, with Mike Esser mixing it at 16 Ton Studios, and Ray Kennedy mastering the results at Zen Masters, also in Nashville. Additional electric guitar came courtesy of another expat, the longtime Nashville-based producer Mark Moffatt, who recorded his parts at Big Dog Studio.

SOUND BYTES

Rockabilly veteran Wanda Jackson recorded her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, at Jack White’s studio in Nashville, White not only producing but also playing on the album, as does the Raconteurs’ rhythm section. The Horrors took themselves to Dalston in their hometown of London, where their guitarist Joshua Third has built a studio, to record their next album, which they’ve produced themselves. Corinne Bailey Rae’s new covers EP, The Love EP, was recorded, in Bailey Rae’s own words, “as we travelled, taping a gig in Washington, DC, snatching a few hours in an Amsterdam studio, recording backing vocals under a duvet in freezing New York, sweltering in Las Vegas as we couldn’t record with the noisy air-con turned on, editing in the back of a tour bus in Korea and channelling vivid memories of racing around Coachella trying to catch Sly Stone’s performance”. Joan Jett’s former sidekick in The Runaways, singer Cherie Currie, is cutting her first solo album since 1980, having recently gone into the studio with Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, who is producing the affair. Denver-based group DeVotchKa’s upcoming fifth album, 100 Lovers, saw the band again head to the vastness of the Arizona desert with producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case) to record. Peter, Bjorn And John’s sixth album, Gimme Some, due for release in March, was recorded at Tambourine Studios in Malmoe, Sweden. For the first time, the band called in an outside producer, Per Sunding, from the ‘90s trio Eggstone, who were one of their own early inspirations. Sunding has previously worked with The Cardigans and Bob Hund and a backto-basics power pop trio format was used. Late December saw drummer Hamish Stuart (Tina Harrod, Jackie Orszaczky), in down-time while promoting his debut solo album, head up to Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains to do something he’d never done before – record with his multi-instrumentalist brother John in the latter’s studio, Sound Heaven.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

Which notable artists have worked at the studio? “Clients I have worked with include indie artists such as Triple J Unearthed featured artist Young Werther, Signet Mae, Chasing Gravity, Owls Of The Swamp and commercial artists including Ricki Lee, Bobby Andonov, John Foreman and Silvie Paladino, and work for Channel 9’s Postcards and Mornings With Kerri-Anne.” What’s the studio set up you have there equipment-wise? “I have recently set up a mix/edit/mastering and composition suite for the purpose of reducing studio costs for independent artists. This studio is based around a ProTools HD Accel system with analogue summing, outboard and lots of plug-ins. As the cost of quality production can, in many cases, be very overwhelming for artists, I have deals with various commercial studios (such as Sing Sing) and smaller project studios to accommodate all stages of record production. For example, tracking the band at Sing Sing, overdubs at RMIT’s Studio 1, editing and mixing at my studio. This way, the overall cost is significantly reduced, while the quality of production is retained.” Any tips for artists entering a studio for the first time? “I have written a detailed page covering this on my website: simonpaul.com/services/production/. Speaking with one’s producer/engineer and setting realistic expectations, then preparing for the session is very important. It’s all about good communication, understanding and clarification. A really simple tip is remember to put new strings on all guitars and

Who do you have on staff and what’s their background in the industry? “I have a couple of studio assistants (from RMIT’s music industry course), who I mainly employ to do editing work, which again, reduces the cost to artists, while generating work for the industry, so it’s a win-win situation. I also work with a group of session players (guitar, bass, piano, drums) who are available for solo artists requiring a backing band, or bands who need fill-in musicians. These guys are top notch, with years of performance experience with bands such as The Living End and stage shows such as Jersey Boys.” Can bands bring in their own engineer or do they have to solely use a house engineer? “I am happy to speak with engineers interested in a dry hire.” Is the studio capable of holding a full band at once for recording? “The studio space is certainly large enough to comfortably fit a band during mixdown, and the larger studios such as Sing Sing are well equipped for large scale recording projects.”

We’re an impoverished indie band – do you offer any deals for acts in our situation? “Much of the work I do is developing artists and working with indie bands, so I guess you could say I specialise in accommodating budgets. This is the main reason I set up my mix room. The actual recording stage may equate to 10% of the production process, meaning that bands are hiring a multi-room studio space that is empty, other than the control room, for 90% of the time. It makes more sense to me to mix and edit in a single room facility, with lower overheads. With studios for tracking ranging from $100-$1,500 a day, many price points and qualities are covered. I also offer a mastering service from as little as $35 excluding GST per song, which is ideal for artists wanting to polish their demos for MySpace etc, on a tight budget.” Do you have any in-house instruments at the studio acts can use, or is it totally BYO? “A selection of guitars, effects pedals and percussion instruments are available free of charge. As is a large collection of vintage and modern amps for hire from a friend of mine (Simon Bray – The Amp Guy) at very reasonable rates. Drum kits are also available for hire from The Living End’s former drummer. His kits are incredible, and he is often available to drum tech on sessions as well.” What’s the access to the studio like with regards to parking, flat load, etc.? “There is limited off street parking and free parking in the street. Anything required for overdubs can be easily loaded in.” Working in the studio can be arduous and we’ll need a break – what are the amenities in the local area? “The studio is on Carlisle Street in Balaclava, with many bars and cafes. There’s always activity on the street, and it’s a really relaxing vibe.” What are your contact details? Mobile: 0409 354 542 Email: simon@simonpaul.com

RAISING THE BAA LAMB’s LOU RHODES and ANDY BARLOW talk to MICHAEL SMITH about the processes behind making their first album in eight years. Towards the end of 2010, singer and songwriter Lou Rhodes began work on a new Lamb album with the other half of the duo, multi-instrumentalist, programmer and songwriter Andy Barlow, in Barlow’s home recording studio just out of Brighton in the UK. It’s been six years since the band essentially broke up, though they now describe it as a hiatus, and eight years since they released their last album, Between Darkness And Wonder. Rhodes has since established a solo career, while Barlow has been recording soundtracks, remixing and working on his own solo project, LOWB. Lamb reunited in 2009 for a series of ‘one-off’ festival appearances that ended up becoming a 30-country tour, and will once again travel the globe this year ahead of the May release of new album, 5, an album which, according to a statement on the band’s website, wouldn’t have happened had they not had something to say. It went on to state that the pair are determined to ensure it recaptures the feeling of 1996’s eponymous debut, created before the pressures of record deals and world tours. “The day that I gave up trying to make the sounds that came into my head was when music really came alive for me, because your head’s your head,” Barlow admits. “Usually we start with an idea and then be as open as possible to completely changing everything about sometimes, or a mistake triggers an idea or something, because then it’s almost outside of yourself and I kind of feel that I’m more of a clearer vessel for something to come through. I think if we ever went, ‘Okay, let’s write a pop song now,’ or, ‘Let’s write a single,’ it’s just a disaster and we always just do a substandard piece of something that we never release. It’s almost like we’ve just got to go, ‘Okay, we’re going to sit in front of the machines until something comes out,’ and that’s it. It’s that simple.” “When we started out,” Rhodes continues, “and wrote the first album, we had a broken four-track machine and a really basic computer on a really old Cubase program, and we were totally constrained by the technology in front of us. Then we entered into this journey where we had a deal with a major label and bought loads of gear, and I think there were times in our career when it was far too

is real strings. But there are lots of other things that you can do or approximate digitally and it sounds great, and for me, programming beats is really fluid now. I can just kind of fly into an idea and five minutes later I’ve got a load of different ideas. I use software called Ableton, which is just fucking amazing; it’s just so quick. There are no long menus and over-complicated stuff, it’s just really straightforward, so it’s kind of turned it all on its head really in the last 15 years.”

tempting to use far too much of this new gear that we’d bought, and I think we’ve kind of come full circle in a way… We realised that simplicity is where it’s at and it’s more about what you leave out than what you put in.” The basic methodology in building the new album has been Barlow putting down a song idea on GarageBand for Rhodes to take away to develop some vocal ideas, essentially then setting each other homework and Skyping – they live at opposite sides of the country now – to see how they’re each getting on, working together on alternate weeks between individual lives. “How much the technology has moved on is phenomenal,” Barlow admits. “When we started, we were delighted with ourselves when we got a floppy disk drive! I love having a really powerful laptop. Lamb used to tour with four racks – each one weighed 200 kilos – of gear, which now, pretty much two laptops can do everything that was in those racks, so it’s got really exciting for how portable and how flexible and how malleable it all is. “In the studio, it’s kind of half and half – we’ve got loads of analogue stuff and nice mics but loads of powerful computers as well, and I think our sound is just a combination of the two things. You need a real Fender Rhodes [piano] to make it sound like a real Fender Rhodes, and it’s the same with strings. The only thing you can use to make real-sounding strings

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Many of the songs’ more acoustic elements hadn’t yet been recorded at the time of our interview in early January, the strings being recorded the following week and double bass player John Thorne due in for a session a fortnight later. Otherwise, as Rhodes explains, they’ve “kept most of the tracks, the kind of raw interplay of my voice and the technology really. We’ve got bits of electric guitar and piano and all of that but I think we realised that the place we’ve come to after the break from Lamb, the first album and the purity of that was because it was just that interplay of my voice and the technology and very little else.” “I’ve been fortunate enough to have been lent a very expensive old Neumann mic,” Barlow continues, “and after using it, and especially using it on Lou’s voice, it’s been, ‘Oh my god, now I get it.’ So I saved up the pennies and bought one. It’s just fantastic. You don’t really need to do anything to it. It would have the same U-47 capsule that someone like Sinatra used, but it’s built into a more modern body so it’s not quite as noisy and it’s got different patterns so it’s a bit more flexible but it’s essentially the classic design. You just put it in front of Lou with a pop shield, no EQ, touch of compression and it sounds like she’s there whispering in your ear or singing right in front of you.” “Usually I am!” Rhodes laughs. The interview ends with Barlow telling me he’d literally just got a copy of his LOWB album, five years in the making, and wondering if I’d plug the fact that it’s out this month. Consider it plugged. Lamb play the Prince Bandroom on Thursday 17 February, with 5 set for a May release.

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MUSIC VIDEOS offer a great way to gain exposure. Immersion Imagery

has worked with over 20 artists and strives to offer quality creative Music Videos at an affordable price. Visit www.immersionimagery.com or email info@immersionimagery.com iFlogID: 10885

SnakeEyeProductions offers EPK’s also know as an electronic press kits they work as a bio/ show reel, to promote your band to bookers/ promoters/labels and venues. PH0416120639 iFlogID: 10910

SnakeEyeProductions specializes in live gig film clips for your website or myspace. All filming is done in HD with broadcast quality equipment, we also edit clips and provide DVD transfers/authoring and uploads.... PH- 0416120639 E- kaisha33@ yahoo.com iFlogID: 10906

MUSICIANS AVAILABLE DJ WANT A DJ? Etch ‘n’ Sketch are availiable experienced club ready house dj’s call seth on 0401655063 iFlogID: 10733

GUITARIST 18 year old Guitar player wanting to join a rock n’ roll band. Influences: Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper. I live in the south. Call Tom on 0401722767 iFlogID: 10948

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 fast58chev@gmail.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

OTHER SAXOPHONIST AVAILABLE Experienced saxophonist based in Sydney is looking for bands and studio sessions. Jazz, fusion, funky, afro, reggae, latin, rock, folk. Contact Lorenzo: 0410 041979 or lorenzo_ colombo@tiscali.it. Cheers. iFlogID: 10861

MUSICIANS WANTED BASS PLAYER BASS PLAYER NEEDED FOR ALTERNATIVE/ROCK BAND

iFlogID: 10952

Bass player wanted to complete ready to gig 8 piece soul, reggae band No time wasters please we have had far too many of those! Please contact jon@low-gear.com if you are up for a challenge! iFlogID: 10963

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

NOT AVAILABLE FOR FREE ADS. CL Bass player wanted for sydney based rock/funk/blues/hard rock band. We’ll start off playing a few covers then start writing our own material once we’re gigging. Call Ben on 0400120340 or drac-tacular@hotmail.com iFlogID: 10918

NOT AVAILABLE FOR FREE ADS. CL Looking for singer, bass player, drummer and 2nd guitarist to form a creative rock band. Applicants must want to create originals and want to expand in playing infront of bigger crowds. Contact if interested iFlogID: 10934

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

Drummer wanted for up and coming original,covers rock blues band, require committed and experience drummer, influences free hendrix Deep purple Eric clapton to play with motivated Guitarist no band hoppers rehearse between central coast and newcastle 0449536661 iFlogID: 10924

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

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

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 18 year old Guitar Player looking for another Guitar player to form a band with. Influences: Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper. I live in the south. Call Tom on 0401722767 iFlogID: 10950

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. iFlogID: 10441

Lead Guitarist Wanted:busy original band Novakayn,are looking for an easy going, peacelovin’ person 2 join us. Must be reliable, creative and professional attitude. Soft Rock, catchy songs. Email: novakayn@y7mail.com or ph. 0403777532 iFlogID: 10971

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 Looking for a solo acoustic guitarist/ singer for acoustic wedding gig in Byron Bay on 12/3/11. jacktiernz@ hotmail.com iFlogID: 10394

SINGER 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

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 info@techwebdevelopers.com iFlogID: 10873

Singer wanted 4 busy original band Novakayn. Harmonies and shared lead vocals required. Must be a peacelovin’, easy going person with a profession, creative, reliable atti-

tude. Soft Rock with catchy tunes. email novakayn@y7mail.com or ph. 0403777532 iFlogID: 10973

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: 10429

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 iFlogID: 10744

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

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

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

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

iFlogID: 10594

OTHER Exhibition Space: Approx 30sqm, high ceilings, white walls, hanging system, shop front window, 10 minutes walk from St James Station (City), staffed 5 days/week ONLY $900 for 3 week show, no commissions taken! www. monstrosity.com.au iFlogID: 10746

Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively - About Us, Photogallery, Videos, Audio Jukebox, Gig Dates, Links, Contact Us, Forums and much more from $399 including Hosting! Contact info@bizwebsites.com.au or see www.bizwebsites.com.au iFlogID: 10871

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

PHOTOGRAPHY! Melbourne based professional photography service, specializing in gigs/concerts, parties, festivals, shows and other events. Cheap rates. Contact Caleb on 0420415510. Check my website for examples of my other work - www. caleblloydphoto.smugmug.com iFlogID: 10955

TUITION PROTOOLS TUTOR AVAILABLE - Brent Heber, ex Avid Digi product specialist and Avid certified instructor, is available for online tuition. Get up to speed with Pro Tools 9 or Q&A on more advanced editing and mixing topics. www.protoolsprofessional.com iFlogID: 10742

SHARE ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE Unfurnished Room- Rent $280 per week including electricity. In 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment with pool and gym, In Alexandria, close to transport.To Share with 1 female who works full time,loves music and enjoy mixing music.Available Now!contact 0411822557 iFlogID: 10946

WANTED BUSINESSES STALL HOLDERS WANTED FOR NEW SATURDAY PUB MARKET IN BONDI $30 INC TABLE 0426275655 ANDY FOR DETAILS iFlogID: 10961


Inpress Issue #1159  

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...

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