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WEDNESDAY 13TH JULY
ENOCH AND THE HUMMINGBIRD + GUESTS
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BIG BOY LEMONADE & SOLID GOLD BENNY WALKER & TOM RICHARDSON
6pm 8:30 pm $10
FRIDAY 15TH JULY
GLORY B SHELDON KING + ROHAN BLACKMORE
5:30pm 8:30pm $10
SATURDAY 16TH JULY
MELODICA FESTIVAL - AL PARKINSON, SAMARA CULLEN, KIMBERLEY AVISO, RYAN STERLING, PLAYWRITE, D. ROGERS, MAJOR CHORD
SUNDAY 17TH JULY
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INPRESS 14 The week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash 16 The Frontline brings you the hottest industry news 16 In The Studio keeps you turned on to your fave band’s movements 18 Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements 20 The Hives know their Oz rock history 24 Batrider’s new LP is a behemoth 26 DJ Shadow is a convert to country’n’western 28 Young The Giant are focussed on their next album 30 On The Record rates new releases from Catherine Traicos and Gillian Welch 32 People love Yelle despite not understanding her 33 Tiny Ruins has found her sea legs 34 Bonjah have expanded their sound 35 The Wonder Stuff are creators, not salesmen
Thursday 14 July
The Native Plants Cool duo playing pop
36 This Week In Arts plans your upcoming calendar 36 Director Kym Osterburg and artist Yandell Walton talk Gertrude Street Projection Festival 38 The Menstruum visits Black Box <> White Cube at the Arts Centre 38 Emma Clair Ford discusses her various shows at the Cabaret Festival 39 Film Carew continues to document the must-see films at MIFF 40 David Whiteley takes a trip down memory lane with Red Stitch’s My Romantic History 40 Cultural Cringe looks at the Helpmann nominations and MIFF 40 Director Asif Kapadia gets up to speed for his documentary Senna
propagated with rock 7.30pm
Saturday 16 July
Coral Lee & the Silver Scream Rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and blues – dust off your swing dancing moves 5pm
Spoonful Highly charged rhythm & blues rock band 9pm
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Roger Shah is the man in white Diesel is under the influence Domny Benet is a hit on the nursing home circuit Split Seconds are haunted by ghosts of WA bands past River Of Snakes make one helluva racket Givers are happy chappies Gig Of The Week gets on the Wagons LIVE:Reviews sees Dan Sultan and Alexander Gow pair up Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down Luke McKinnon goes with the flow in The Calling Capturing the zeitgeist with Paradigm Shift Kendal Coombs leads the under-18s boardroom in the Department Of Youth The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 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 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide Gear and studio reviews in BTL Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds
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Sun 17 July
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The Hives, who are known for their classic swagger, are a raucous bunch of well-dressed, hyperactive men. The quintet are one of the most in-demand acts in the international music scene and they’re playing a Splendour In The Grass sideshow at the Palace Theatre on Tuesday 26 July. We have one double pass to give away.
Sydney four-piece The Laurels have made a name for themselves with their blend of psychedelic shoegaze bliss. They have been described as a mixture of My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, Sonic Youth, The Scientists and The Beatles. The band launch their new EP, Mesozoic, at the Workers Club on Saturday – we have two packs to give away, each containing a double pass and a copy of the EP.
Sydney singer/songwriter Catherine Traicos and her band The Starry Night are launching their sublime new album Gloriosa with a show at the Evelyn on Saturday with very special guests The Holy Sea (in their final Australian show) and Footy. Doors open 9pm, entry is only $12. To celebrate the launch, we have three extra special Gloriosa prize packs to give away consisting of a double pass to the show, a vinyl LP of Gloriosa, a CD, a ‘fancy’ bag, sticker and a fridge magnet.
Sydney’s Tin Sparrow play Melbourne for the first time this weekend, launching their debut EP From The Sun. These indie lords who dabble in the folk/ surf/indie/pop genres (think lilting guitars and lush harmonies) quickly sold out their Sydney EP launch. Supported by Ryan Meeking (solo) and Jumping Jack William, they play the Grace Darling this Friday. We have two double passes to give away.
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JULIA’S CARBON TAX A step in the right direction – not that you’d know it from the coverage from a large section of our mainstream media, who clearly value sales and ratings over , y’know, the future of our planet.
DEAD IMPRESSED Ace news that Texan reprobates …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead are bringing their chaotic live shows back to our shores for just the third time. People who saw either of their previous forays will attest they’re worth checking out…
It may have been shithouse by necessity but the axing of Video Hits is still a blow to the Aussie musical landscape. Let’s hope that this prompts some decent music-related programs to be commissioned, hopefully without the involvement of Dylan fucking Lewis…
TRIPLE J’S HOTTEST 100 OZ ALBUMS Umm, kids… you do know that music existed before 1994, yeah?
S.MOUSE PERFORMS LIVE Dude, that shit just isn’t funny. Move on.
IN THE STUDIO WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD
Could The Avalanches just hurry up and either admit that their ‘difficult second album’ will never materialise or release the follow-up to their debut Since I Left You set of November 2000 already? Far from ignoring the lengthy gestation period between albums, a deluxe ten-year anniversary reissue is on the cards. Back in May, Modular boss Steve Pavlovic told The Music Network of The Avalanches’ second longplayer’s progress: “They’re finished, and they’re celebrating. And they’re going to have a little party to celebrate finishing it. The next stage will see the album go to someone to mix.” In the same interview, Pavlovic said he expected a new single by The Avalanches would be released this year with the companion album to follow in 2012. Rumours circulated in June, 2010 that Ariel Pink was supplying vocals on the forthcoming set by The Avalanches, but if you watch an interview with the LA-based artist speaking exclusively to Poison Pen Films, it’s hard to tell whether he is just going along with the gossip. According to modulapeople.com, Since I Left You’s reissue will contain “the original classic album accompanied by a bonus disc of material including remixes from the original album campaign, new reworks from the likes of El Guincho, MF Doom, Canyons, Black Dice, Jackson & His Computer Band, some exquisite Avalanches remixes of other artists, plus unreleased early B-sides, demo tracks and other such rarities.” In order to find out more information as it rolls out, including the release date, interested parties are encouraged to join the Modular People Facebook group. There’s also a Stereolab remix of Since I Left You on the site to whet your appetite. When it was announced that Since I Left You came in at number nine in Triple J’s recent Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time poll, the station caught up with Robbie Chater from the band, who revealed that “because the reissue has been quite an involved process” the release of album number two has been held up. “It’s been quite a big job and it was supposed to be a tenth anniversary reissue but in true Avalanches form it’s a year late so it’s going to be an 11-year anniversary reissue,” he explained. “It does feel nice to tie it up with this reissue and then move forward.” Because Since I Left You was released to the rest of the world in 2001, the reissue can be plugged as marking its tenth anniversary in all regions other than Australia. “We’re trying to make a really special bonus disc to go with it which will include a lot of the remixes we’ve done for other people over the years plus a lot of other great new remixes we’ve got done of Since I Left You tracks,” he continued. “And then I’m loosely mixing everything together into a journey that will complement the album. It will be two discs that are hour-long mixes.” On record deux, even Chater seemed vague: “I think we’ll get a couple of singles out this year but the album will be early next year I think.”
Dan Sultan and Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow are currently on the road together and have revealed they will be teaming up for a new band project down the line. Speaking to abcdigmusic.net.au to promote the pair’s national tour, Sultan said the band will be called The Superholics and is to be rounded out by his songwriting partner/guitarist Scott Wilson and Bo Campbell from Front End Loader plus some other musicians. Okay, so there’s already a “blues/metal/Southern rock” band from Iowa, US called Superholic that Sultan may need to contact but, in the meantime, if you see this band billed at a venue near you, be sure to check ‘em out.
If you miss Melbourne outfit Sailors & Swine, fear not. From the ashes of this promising band, which went through their fair share of line-up changes but still managed to release a fine debut album in All Hail The Drunken Liar, comes Machine. And the good news is that they have an EP ready to drop. The trio comprises frontman/bassist Billy McCabe, guitarist Nils Arnold and drummer Vijay Singh (who also hits hides for The Process) and a post on their Facebook page reveals, “New Machine extended play available to download in the coming week.” When Sailors & Swine trimmed down to a three-piece, they began approaching songwriting differently and released their Valley Of Voices single as a bridge to this new sound. “We’re using lots of samples and drum loops and those sorts of elements so [the new songs] sound quite different, they sound a little bit more electronic,” Arnold told Inpress leading up to the band’s single launch. You can catch this new incarnation at the Empress this Saturday night as part of the venue’s Limelit night, which also features Jonti (ex-Djanimals), Dream Kit, Hammocks & Honey and Cat Full Of Ghosts. If you head to Machine’s Facebook page, you can also hear a couple of demos that are bound to make you reach for your diary and call your live music-loving posse to spread the word.
INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS
LIVE CONCERTS IN DIGITAL WORLD
Video Hits’ Dylan Lewis and Fuzzy
NEWS FROM THE WEST COAST
Digital music and video distributor Valleyarm has signed a deal with The Electric Sheep Company to launch StreamJam in September. StreamJam will allow punters to ‘attend’ music events virtually over the internet and through a Facebook application on smart phones. According to a press release, consumers will be able to enter a virtual 3D world as an avatar to watch music, purchase merchandise and interact with other fans. Valleyarm hopes to increase its revenue by charging access to the shows and through corporate sponsorship. Valleyarm is currently looking for artists to perform and offer content through the service.
There’s a lot of excitement from Western Australia, especially in the post-Tame Impala environment. Felicity Groom is reportedly fielding offers from a number of record labels, currently under the guidance of Spinning Top management, which also takes care of Tame Impala. Also from Spinning Top is Allbrook/Avery, a new project from Nick Allbrook (Tame Impala, Pond) and Cameron Avery (The Growl). Their single Empty is out now, with the album Big ‘Art due September. Pond’s fourth album is due for release in September also.
TV SYNCING INFLUENCES INDIE CHART
Actor Noah Taylor – The Year My Voice Broke, Shine, Vanilla Sky, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory – is fronting a new band that features Ed Clayton-Jones (ex-The Wreckery) and drummer Cec Condon (The Mess Hall). Noah Taylor & The Sloppy Boys recently launched a Facebook page which claims to have a Nick Cave quote from earlier in the year. “Some of the strangest, funniest, rawest most heart wrenchingly deranged music I have ever heard,” it reads. “The song Live Free Or Die surpasses all understanding – part Bedlamite gibberish, part conspiracy theorist rant, part high opera, it is thrills and chills all the way. Rose is song of the year no contest.” Streaming on the internet, they write “soon to be released 45 vinyl single on Low Vinyl Club Records” about the track Rose.
NOAH TAYLOR FORMS NEW BAND
Despite being released three years ago, Winterpark’s Never Alone (Level Two Music) shot to the top of the independent singles charts (with independent distribution) thanks to a recent syncing with Channel Ten’s show Offspring. The show’s been rating just under a million people each week, but has been promoted heavily through the network. Never Alone currently holds top spot from Emma Louise’s Full Hearts And Empty Rooms (Independent/MGM) and The Jezabels’ Dark Storm (Independent/MGM). Gurrumul’s Rrakala (Skinnyfish/ MGM) is still top in the album stakes.
ADELE HOLDS OFF GOD Not even the assured fan base of Hillsong Live could dislodge the top two albums this week, with God Is Able (Sony) debuting at #3 behind Adele’s 21 (XL/Remote Control) and LMFAO’s Sorry For Party Rocking (Universal). Sydney rock outfit Syndicate (formerly NEXT) managed to take spot #20 with their self-titled record through Sony. There were also debuts for Limp Bizkit’s comeback, with Gold Cobra (Universal) debuting at 12, two ahead of Disney star Selena Gomez & The Scene’s When The Sun Goes Down (Universal). Kaiser Chiefs could only manage #25 with The Future Is Medieval (Universal), Digitalism #41 with I Love You, Dude (Universal) and Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday (Universal) made its first appearance at #48. Hillsong did have a victory though, with the DVD version of God Is Able topping the DVD charts this week. The Wiggles’ Big Birthday! (Roadshow) debuted at #2. In the singles charts, Pete Murray comes in with Always A Winner (Sony) after performing pre-game at the State Of Origin decider last week. The chart is still led – like the album equivalent – by Adele’s Someone Like You and LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.
MOVES & SHAKES Inertia’s promotions manager Jade Adams is leaving the company after five and a half years, with her last day Friday 29 July, with a replacement/alternative to be announced closer to the date. She’ll be doing contract work from August through December. Fuse, currently making a play for a bigger slice of the industry, has announced that Phillipa Berry has joined the company as business development manager and will also take on the role of DVD product manager for Fuse’s TITLE stores. Berry has spent the last six years working in Shock DVD’s sales.
FRESHLY INKED New Shock signing, Canada’s Imaginary Cities, will release their album Temporary Resident locally 5 August. They’re touring in support of Sparkadia throughout September. Meanwhile, Fuse continue to make a play for a bigger industry presence in signing Sydney blues duo Backsliders and Tassie/Melbourne singer/songwriter Van Walker.
NEW MEMBER PROMPTS AUDREYS HIATUS The Audreys have announced that frontwoman Taasha Coates gave birth to a boy, Finley, last week, with the band taking a break until the festival season as a result. Coates is currently living in Brisbane with her partner and Dirty York bassist Todd Bennett. In a statement the band said, “He will be encouraged in all musical pursuits except those involving jazz or the bagpipes.” The Audreys’ latest album is Sometimes The Stars.
US AGENCY LOVES MELBOURNE Fleming Artists have opted to open an Australian branch in Melbourne. They’re claiming to be the first US agency to launch in Australia with the aim of breaking Aussie acts into overseas markets. In a statement announcing the launch the company wrote, “Melbourne is Music City in Australia. There are hundreds of bands playing here weekly so it made sense to open the Australian branch of Fleming Artists in Melbourne. This city has long held the mantle of the best live music city in the country, and the level of talent that’s coming out of Melbourne now is staggering.” They did acknowledge Sydney’s influence though, saying that the bands coming out of Fitzroy’s Old Bar are “the most exciting group of musicians since the Civic Hotel in Sydney in 1978 nurtured bands like INXS, Midnight Oil, Cold Chisel, Mental as Anything, The Angels, Icehouse [and] Mi-Sex.” The Melbourne office will be the agency’s third office after New York City and Michigan’s Ann Arbor and will be led by John Sinclair, previously of Premier/Harbour. The agency as a whole is run by Jim Fleming and has represented Grant-Lee Buffalo, Jeff Daniels and Ani DiFranco over the last 30 years.
THE GIFT OF MUSIC Louise Cooper is attempting to source musical instruments for East Timorese band LEARA, who are unable to afford them otherwise. If you are interested in donating, contact Louise on 0404 853 534.
VIDEO HITS: THE AFTERMATH Network Ten’s Video Hits has officially been axed by the network. A statement issued last week by the network said that the last episode – a retrospective – will air Saturday 6 August, while chief programming officer David Mott commented, “Music and how people listen to it, watch it and enjoy it has changed dramatically in the last few years and now is the perfect time for the institution that is Video Hits to sign off.” The fact that music videos are largely an internet medium is being cited as the main reason behind the show’s demise. In a Facebook blog, host Faustina ‘Fuzzy’ Agolley said, “It is a shame that the show is coming to an abrupt end, especially after its influence on the Australian music industry and for Australians who love music and have watched the show across two and a half decades. This decision was out of all of our hands and it was in the eyes of those who decided the fate of the show, was purely a business decision rather than a content one.” Both she and co-host Dylan Lewis are overseas on holiday at the moment.
A champion of music programming on Australian television, Music Victoria’s CEO Patrick Donovan told music newsletter Your Daily SPA, “With Spicks And Specks biting the dust too, [ABC’s] Rage and [SBS’] RocKwiz are the last chances for Australian acts to get exposed to massive TV audiences. This sends the wrong messages to bands about video production, particularly when production costs have been reduced and the majority of young people around the world discover new music through YouTube. If the commercial channels can’t make money out of music TV shows, then the ABC has a responsibility to provide those outlets for bands and music fans. There are some excellent pilots going around at the moment. Surely it’s time for a new Recovery.” One of those pilots is TTK, a panel show hosted by Kram, Tim Rogers and Tex Perkins. Interest has been shown, but so far it has been knocked back by the ABC and commercial networks. There are about three or four serious pilots being seriously shopped around at the moment, but The Frontline believes TTK to be the most promising to present music content in an interesting context that will be attractive to networks.
FOOS TO CHRISTEN NEW STAGES The Foo Fighters’ recently announced arena tour is set to be the first to visit Melbourne’s new AAMI Park and the first through the recently renovated Gold Coast Metricon Stadium, christening both for upcoming tours. The heavily rumoured Daft Punk tour, on the back of the Tron soundtrack, was allegedly booked in to AAMI – which has a capacity of 30,050 for its sporting events – but the dates never eventuated.
SONICANIMATION WORKING ON COMEBACK ALBUM Much-loved electronic/dance outfit Sonicanimation have reformed after five years, preparing new material for release in the near future. The news was posted on the duo’s (Adrian Cartwright and Rupert Keiller) MySpace with a small message “!!sonicanimation have reformed and are writing another album. Expect it 2011!!” but it wasn’t really confirmed until Bitrok’s press biography confirmed a collaboration. Keiller is set to feature as a guest vocalist on Bitrok’s debut album Smoke And Mirrors, while the bio says that Bitrok will remix Stars In Your Eyes for Sonicanimation’s “forthcoming comeback release”. A group has also appeared on Facebook, suggesting that the band will begin performing this summer for Big Day Out’s anniversary edition. They could also feature in Homebake’s The Classics event this December.
LUCKY SEVEN FOR KAROVA Ballarat venue Karova Lounge is celebrating its seventh anniversary with a weekend of shows on Friday 22 July (The Dead Salesman, Matheson) and Saturday 23 (Hunting Grounds, Fierce). Named Best Entertainment Venue at the 2010 Australian Hotel Association Awards, it’s under consideration for the national title in August.
SYDNEY MUSO WINS JAZZ GRANT Matt Keegan has been announced as the recipient of the MCA/Freedman Fellowship For Jazz in 2011. The Sydney saxophonist, composer and director is intending to initiate a creative development project between musical peers from India and Australia with the grant. The inaugural Freedman For Jazz awards gave Keegan $15,000 and consultations in respect to career building. In association with the Music Council Of Australia, its director Richard Letts said in a statement, “the MCA/Freedman is the State Of Origin of jazz. We again saw the great invention and diversity of jazz in Australia. All the finalists are reaching into something new, whether in the music or in their penetration internationally. The Australian jazz scene is among the hottest in the world.”
SXSW FILM PANEL ANNOUNCED The panellists for the screening of the SXSW documentary Outside Industry have been announced, with the film set to screen to industry only Tuesday 19 July at the Corner Hotel. The screening will be paired with a panel discussing getting more artists – across music, film and interactive – to the 2012 SXSW conference. On the panel will be Phil Tripp (SXSW rep for the past ten years for Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii), Millie Millgate (Sounds Australia), Paul Cashmere (producer Undercover.com.au), Patrick Donovan (CEO Music Victoria) and Leigh Treweek (director, Street Press Australia). This is an industry only event (letterhead, business card or otherwise will suffice) and spaces are limited.
ONCE ROCKING, NOW DEVELOPING Arts Victoria have changed the name of their grants program from Victoria Rocks to Contemporary And Live Music Development – doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like the other, but it is clearer in its purpose. The program itself is the same and the next info session for musicians and managers interested in applying for a grant takes place Tuesday 26 July from 6pm at Brunswick Town Hall Municipal offices’ Council Chambers (RSVP through info@ musicvictoria.com.au). There’s another happening at the Arts Victoria offices at the Australian Ballet Building on Wednesday 3 August from 5.30pm (RSVP to musicgrants@ dpc.vic.gov.au).
YOUR NAME ON THE GRID The Grolsch Grid is currently on the look-out for local talent (artists, illustrators, musicians, street performers, filmmakers and the like) to provide them with the opportunity to present their work in the public domain. You must be 18 and live/work in Melbourne. To apply email apply@grolschgrid. com. Entries close Friday 22 of this month.
TO HOME, OR TO STUDIO? The next Music Managers Forum is dubbed Home Vs Studio, and will cover the “activities, actions and distractions of DIY recording” compared to studio and other approaches. Taking place tonight (Wednesday 13 July) at the College Lawn Hotel, speaking will be UK guest Mick Glossop (PIL, Lloyd Cold, Frank Zappa, Van Morrison among many others) alongside locals Michael Letho (Underbelly, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rush) and Damien Young (Pony Music, Mark Seymour). Entry’s free for MMF members, APRA/Music Victoria members and students $15 and general public $20.
DAREBIN’S FINEST Entries are now open for the Darebin Music Feast Songwriters’ Award, with the top prize worth $1,200 cash, studio time, mastering, duplication and more. You have to live, work or study in the City Of Darebin to enter and there are three categories to the competition: the APRA Open Award, Above Love Theme Award (most “socially articulate” song) and Decibels Youth Award (under-18s). Judged by a panel of local songwriters, to enter head to musicfeast.com.au. Entries close Thursday 28 July, with the winner announced at Northcote Uniting Church Sunday 18 Got news? Announcements? Gossip? Unsubstantiated but hilarious rumours? Send them all to firstname.lastname@example.org.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
The MELBOURNE FESTIVAL’s extraordinary contemporary music program, unveiled last night, explores themes of politics, power and people, directors TOM SUPPLE and HANNAH FOX tell TONY MCMAHON.
Continuing its tradition of groundbreaking international music line-ups, the Melbourne Festival’s contemporary music program has gathered together a truly remarkable array of artists. Featuring performers from corners of the world as far-flung as Syria, Iraq, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, China and New Zealand, as well as the best homegrown talent, this year’s program has assembled a spectacularly impressive gathering under the thematic banner of unity, protest and politics. As if this weren’t phenomenally exciting enough already, a kind of anarchistic coup de grace will see ex-Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra make an appearance, bringing his unclassifiable spoken word/multimedia one-man show to Australia for the first time in almost a decade. A super-excited, very nearly apoplectic Inpress – having witnessed The Dead Kennedys live on their 1982 tour here, can’t help but open with a question concerning Biafra. Unfortunately for program directors Tom Supple and Hannah Fox, it’s probably phrased no better than something like: Jello… Biafra… oh my god… “The themes of this year’s Festival relate to politics and power and people,” says Supple. “So Jello is a person who really stands out as kind of the original political punk agitator. It’s really exciting to get him back here. Also, there’s the fact that we’re not entirely sure what he’s going to do when he gets here…” Fox elaborates by talking about her difficult yet fun dealings with Biafra so far, and she too is unsure what he’ll produce for the Festival, though it’s obvious that she doesn’t doubt for a second it will be something worth seeing. “He’s a man who’s got his phone set up so that you can’t connect your call unless you answer three questions correctly. We’re really looking forward to seeing exactly what he does. I’m not sure if he’s got something ready to go, but he is developing something. I’m sure it will be super intelligent political comment, but delivered in a really entertaining way. We’re also hoping he’ll be able to do a DJ set. Apparently, he’s got this amazing collection of vinyl. I’m such a big fan. I gave him a mixtape when I was 16. I’ll probably go all fangirl when I see him.” When it comes to the themes of the program, Supple says that he and Fox had plenty of latitude to play around with their interpretation.
“We didn’t want to be just programming multiple nights of political art. Instead of that, we took a more literal interpretation of what empowered people. We’ve looked for stuff which encompasses music making en masse and power to the people and political agitation, but expanding on that, we’ve also looked for collaborations between different artists over different genres and different countries as well as thinking about those ideas of being able to make music no matter what the circumstances are, the idea of DIY.” Talking of making music no matter what the circumstances, highlights of this year’s program are sure to be The Narcicyst,
from Iraq, Omar Offendum, from Syria and Konono No 1, from Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Contemplate, dear reader, for just a second, the extraordinary privilege of being able to hear voices in our own hometown as rarified and valuable as these. “It’s really interesting,” says Supple. “And, I guess, it’s an often ignored opinion and insight that you get from those kinds of artists. I suspect one of the things that will really stand out will be what they think about how Arabs and Muslims are portrayed in the media.” “I think that’s particularly the case with Konono No 1,” adds Fox, talking about exactly what a treat it will be for punters. “They’re
such a difficult band to tour, purely for logistical reasons, just the cost of bringing that many people out from the Congo. We’ve been working on this one for three years now, so we’re pretty excited, we think it’s going to be a pretty wild show. They have all these handmade instruments; most of their stuff is made out of scrap metal. They have microphones made out of batteries and old car parts. It’s going to be a pretty incredible show. They’ve been making this psyched out African trance music in Kinshasa since the early ‘60s and just recently, their music has been kind of picked up by the electronic experimental crowd. They’ve recently recorded with Bjork, for example. They’re really unusual. They’re not at all what you would call your standard world music act.” As already mentioned, it’s a terrific deal for Melbourne punters to be able to see a band such as this, but Fox also hopes that local musos might benefit as well. “Yeah, we’re really hoping that some collaboration happens once all these artists are here. There are definitely a lot of Melbourne artists working in that kind of handmade, DIY way, and here’s a band [Konono No. 1] that have been doing it for 50 years, so I really hope something comes out of that.” As opposed to last year, when all the program’s shows were at the Forum, Fox and Supple wanted to widen the scope of venues this year. As such, several of the gigs will be at the super-cosy Toff In Town. “We really wanted to bring out artists who we thought would just work better in a more intimate setting,” says Fox. “That’s why we chose the Toff In Town. There were some performers who we didn’t think would necessarily fit in a venue like the Forum, and we wanted to make the program a lot more broad this year.” In closing, Fox makes the important point that punters should really be looking at the program as a whole. Limited here by space constraints that make it impossible to do so, Inpress agrees wholeheartedly. “We really want people to look at the whole program. We’ve really put it together as a series of events rather than just headline shows.” The Melbourne Festival’s contemporary music program runs from Friday 7 October until Saturday 22 October. For full details check out melbournefestival.com.au
FREE MUSIC INDUSTRY FILM, SEMINAR & PANEL on taking Australian music, film and interactive media to the US and other global markets in 2012 through South by Southwest. The 90-minute film Outside Industry covers the explosive 25-year history of the South by Southwest music festival and conferences as well as its 17 years running allied film and interactive festivals and conferences that have been crucial to breaking Australian talent in all fields over the past decade.
CORNER HOTEL 57 SWAN ST, RICHMOND
TUESDAY JULY 19 5:30-10PM
It is being shown in once-only events in all Australian major cities for those creative industry professionals - bands who want to showcase, managers, labels, music industry workers, film makers and interactive geeks and entrepreneurs - preceded by networking drinks and followed by a panel of SXSW veterans and industry experts. Meet with and learn from the pros who go!
ADMISSION Free to Music, Film & Interactive Professionals with proof of industry status - business card, letterhead, etc
NO RSVPs or reserved seating - first come, first in
TIMING Doors open at 5:30 pm for networking drinks - cash bar
6:30 - Seminar starts with introduction to film and speakers
SPEAKERS INCLUDE: PHIL TRIPP - SXSW Representative for Australia, NZ & Hawaii MILLIE MILLGATE - Export Music Producer of Sounds Australia PAUL CASHMERE - Producer & Partner of Undercover.com.au LEIGH TREWEEK - Publisher Streetpress Australia PATRICK DONOVAN - CEO of Music Victoria SEE THE FILM TRAILER - www.outsideindustrymovie.com GO TO THE SXSW SITE - www.sxsw.com
7:00 - Film starts, doors closed - no further admission
Band submissions for showcasing at SXSW 2012 start August 1
8:30 - Film ends, Panel discussion begins
Registration and hotel reservations start August 1
with audience questions
9:30 - Panel discussion finishes,
Film submissions for juried screenings start August 1
networking drinks to 10 pm
Contact Phil Tripp email@example.com / 0412 266 677 for details 17
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
TERN IT UP
T EN S E PR
One man music machine U-Tern will come to Australia for the first time next month. Having re-rubbed everyone from Mark Ronson to Holy Ghost to Juan Atkins and Britney Spears (?!), U-Tern has developed much respect from his peers and a huge following worldwide. Catch him at Super Disco on Saturday 6 August.
NEED A DRINK?
Tommy & Krista is the new single from Thirsty Merc, currently sitting pretty at number 3 on the iTunes charts and providing visual entertainment for the peeps with its accompanying Boogie Nights-inspired video. On the back of this single, the band is extending its current tour and has added almost 30 new dates over the next couple of months. They play Wednesday 24 August at Whalers Hotel (Warrnambool), 25 at the Ballarat Regent Multiplex, 26 at the Espy’s Gershwin Room, 27 at the Bridgeway Hotel (Pooraka) and 28 at the Sandbar (Mildura). Tickets are on sale now.
WEDNESDAY 13 JULY
Instrumental progressive metal band Russian Circles hail from Chicago, and are set to make the trip to Australia with a Corner Hotel show on Thursday 8 September. This will be the band’s first Australian tour. Tickets currently on sale. The band will be supported by Coerce, Scul Hazards and Bronze Chariot.
PRETTY LITTLES ENTRY $5, 8.30PM
THURSDAY 14 JULY
ROLLER ONE PETE EWING MECHANICAL PTERODACTYL (DUO) ENTRY $10 DOOR, $7 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 9PM
T EN S E PR
FRIDAY 15 JULY
] TIME SHIELD (FAUX PAS) ELEPHANT EYES FRAMES ENTRY $8, 8.30PM SATURDAY 16 JULY
CATHERINE TRAICOS & THE STARRY NIGHT THE HOLY SEA (FINAL AUS SHOW) FOOTY ENTRY $12 DOOR, $10 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 9PM SUNDAY 17 JULY
THE TIERS THE BURNING BUSH ENTRY $5, 3PM
THE REIGATE SQUIRES VAN MYER ALEXANDER HAMILTON BAND ENTRY $5, 8.30PM MONDAY 18 JULY
PRETTY STRANGERS WIRE BIRD ENTRY $7, 8PM $10 JUGS!
TALL STORY When he’s not playing the guitar and singing, Kristian Matsson is of a regular height, but when he gets in the musical zone he becomes The Tallest Man On Earth. The Swedish singer/songwriter last year released his second album, The Wild Hunt, and followed up with an EP, Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird. His unique vocals call to mind the idiosyncrasies of luminaries such as Bob Dylan, and his lyrics tell stories of lands far away. With Australian troubadour Old Man River in tow, The Tallest Man On Earth comes to the Corner Hotel on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 October. Tickets are available from Friday.
The first ever Legends Of New Orleans tour has been announced, bringing some hugely influential acts together to transform Melbourne into the streets of The Big Easy. It will be Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame legend Allen Toussaint’s first appearance in Australia, the blues pianist, vocalist and producer being one who many luminaries today name as an influence. In the past he has worked with artists such as Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Paul Simon. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will make their first Australian appearance since 2006, and Jon Cleary & The Philthy Phew round out the line-up. This tour is a special opportunity for local audiences to travel to N’Awlins without even leaving their own backyard. Tickets are on sale Friday for the show at the Palace on Wednesday 5 October.
LET’S BE MORE THAN FRIENDS
With their debut single In The Summer currently warming up many people’s freezing winters, the fi ve folks in Melbourne’s Loon Lake have followed with a new single, I Loved You Then, from their EP, Not Just Friends. The single will be released this Friday, a sunny garage-pop number sure to get toes tapping. The band will use the momentum from the single when heading out on its first ever headlining tour next month, aptly titled the Not Just Friends tour. Loon Lake play the Toff on Saturday 13 August.
TUESDAY 19 JULY
ATTACK OF THE RHOMB
It’s a wrap for Frenzal Rhomb, who’ve put the finishing touches on their new album, Smoko At The Pet Food Factory. The band travelled to Colorado to make the album, with Descendents’ Bill Stevenson taking over production duties. It’s set for release in August through Shock, and the first single, Bird Attack, is already out and about, assaulting any ears that’ll let it. The band are set to head on tour yet again in support of the album, this time with US punks Teenage Bottlerocket in support. Tickets are on sale 9am Thursday for shows at the Corner Hotel on Saturday 3 September, the National Hotel in Geelong on Tuesday 6 and the Loft in Warrnambool on Wednesday 7.
HEART FULL OF DREAMS
Melbourne sextet Dream On, Dreamer is a month away from releasing its debut album, Heartbound, and in anticipation of the event the band has announced an accompanying tour. Heartbound is released 5 August and the Heartbound Tour will be the band’s first headline ever before they head over to Europe to support their label-mates Memphis May Fire. With The Bride and Hands Like Houses, they play Friday at McGillivray Hall (Bendigo), and Saturday at Wyndham Youth Resource Centre (Hoppers Crossing).
LANE TOUR MADNESS On the back of his latest release Blood Thinner, Jordie Lane is embarking on an extensive Australian tour. Adding further excitement to the release, Lane and JB Hi-Fi are making available limited-edition signed copy of the album as an exclusive pre-sale. In July Lane will play Basement Discs this Friday, the Ararat Hotel Red Room on Thursday 21, Harvester Moon (Bellarine) on Friday 22, Baby Black Café (Bacchus Marsh) on Saturday 23 and Lot 19 (Castlemaine) on Sunday 24. In August he’ll be back to play the Western Point Hotel (San Remo) on Thursday 11, the Corner on Friday 12, the Barwon Heads Bowling Club on Saturday 13, the Old Hepburn Hotel (Daylesford) on Sunday 14 and The Loft (Warrnambool) on Wednesday 17.
NEW CHEF NEW MENU NEW GRUB
GOODIE TWO SHOES FREE ENTRY, 9PM $10 JUGS!
COMING UP: ANIMAUX (MON IN JULY) POCO LA PAX (TUES IN JULY) KINGSWOOD (WED IN JULY) ARTAX PRODUCTIONS LAUNCH (21 JULY) LTM SHOWCASE – RED ROCKETS OF BORNEO (22 JULY) CLOUD CITY – SINGLE LAUNCH (23 JULY)
SAT 13TH AUGUST DONNY BENET FRI 19TH AUGUST WIM ALBUM LAUNCH FRI 2ND SEPTEMBER LITTLE SCOUT
THUR 14 JULY
WED 13 JULY
THE LEVITATING CHURCHES + ROSEY’S MUSIC
+ KELLY EBBLES FRONT BAR: DJ BECAUSE GOODBYE
SYN APPROVED PRESENTS: MIND OVER MATTER + PSYDE PROJECTS + KOOLTA FRONT BAR: DJ JAMES LAKE
SAT 16 JULY ARVO SHOW FROM 2.30PM
CLEAN LIVING (WA) + THE TOWNHOUSES + THE
FRI 15 JULY
RICK MORANIS OVERDRIVE + SEESAW
+ DEEP HEAT FRONT BAR: TWO BRIGHT LAKES DJS
SAT 16 JULY NIGHT SHOW
THE LAURELS + PARADING + THE SUN BLINDNESS
GHOST OF 29 MEGACYCLES + PIONEERS OF GOOD SCIENCE FRONT BAR: ROSCOE TOP BILLIN’
SUN 17 JULY
SEX WHIMSEY + DAVID QUIRK + MYSELF + THIS IS SIBERIAN HUSKY + SEXYTIME! + ANNE EDMONDS EVA JOHANSEN + BRON BATTEN + DJ BRIZTONIC
MON 18 JULY
TUES 19 JULY
TEHACHAPI MONDAY RESIDENCY W/ ESC $2 POTS + FREE ENTRY BEFORE 8PM
INDIE-ROBICS 6.30 – 7.30PM
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
T EN S E PR
AS FAST AS YOU CAN Gearing up to release their second album, Lotus Skies, Adelaide’s Leader Cheetah will head out on tour with Belles Will Ring to get the excitement levels up. The band recently supported The Middle East on their album tour nationwide to much acclaim and are set to appear at Splendour In The Grass at the end of the month, as well as supporting Gomez on their Australian tour. Leader Cheetah will play the Karova Lounge in Ballarat on Friday 2 September and the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 3.
MAYBE SHE WILL
Perth songstress Abbe May has just released her new album, Design Desire, and already it’s been generating excited whispers from industry folk to stoked music fans. She’s been working on her craft over the last four years, and Design Desire is the second fruit of that hard work, earning her kudos from the likes of PopMatters.com and LA radio station KCRW, and following her successful debut, Howl And Moan. She brings her tunes the Toff on Wednesday 24 August.
Touring Australia for the first time is America’s Marnie Stern, who will play a Northcote Social Club show on Friday 7 October. Highly acclaimed for her guitar shredding skills, she’s had her songs described by Pitchfork as “incredibly distinct, fusing the frenetic finger-tapping of metal and the atypical rhythms of math rock to bubblegum hooks sung in a high, girly voice”. If that doesn’t sound cool, we don’t know what does.
South African flautist Wouter Kellerman brings his new album, Two Voices, and its accompanying live show to Australia for a launch next month. The album won the 2011 South African Music Awards for Best Instrumental Album, an honour that is equivalent to receiving an ARIA in Australia. Kellerman performed at the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup to a global TV audience of millions, cementing him as one of South Africa’s finest musicians. Two Voices is launched at the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 13 August.
Get ready, get set, PBS 106.7FM’s Soul-A-Go-Go is coming back to town on Saturday 6 August at Bella Union. Catch the regular Soul-A-Go-Go crew dishing up funk and soul – Pierre “Soul Groove 66” Baroni, Richie 1250, The Manchild, and Emma “Switched On” Peel. Join PBS for the biggest funk and soul party around. Get in seriously early from 9pm and go ‘til late.
WE ARE FAMILY Bringing along tracks from latest album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT, US threesome Akron/ Family, whose music is rooted in the folk genre but with much more will to experiment, will return to Australia in the spring months. The beautifully textured harmonies, chants, rolling percussion and defiant guitars that define Akron/ Family’s music will come to life in a live setting for the first time in our country since their last appearance in 2009. Tickets are on sale Monday for the show at the Corner Hotel on Sunday 2 October, with special guests to be announced.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
Don Walker will hit town on his Tales From The Landsborough Highway tour. Some songs will be old, some new; some have been recorded for the next Don Walker solo release, some will appear on the new Cold Chisel album in 2012, some have been earmarked for Tex Don and Charlie somewhere down the line. Don Walker sings the words, dance beats and sonics courtesy of the Suave Fucks. Don and band play the East Brunswick Club on Thursday 18 and the Caravan Music Club on Saturday 20 August. Tickets on sale now.
Holy shit! Scatterblog, Australia’s most fêted electronic music blog is turning fi ve. And they’re celebrating the only way they know how – by launching a brand new website and throwing themselves a massive party. Over the past fi ve years Scatterblog has grown from a personal blog into one of the most internationally respected and widely consulted resources for the latest developments in electronic music. Expect a night of big drums, hype drops, grinding rhythms, questionable stage antics, impractical props, and bizarre costumes from Lucid, Scattermusic Soundsystem, Bosstone, Congo Tardis #1, The Cumbia Cosmonauts and 1 Fish Two Fish. Catch the action at Laundry Upstairs on 22 July.
WIM are about to head out on the road in support of their debut album. It’s an album filled with classic songwriting and modern ideas. It’s been a creative meeting of minds, being produced by Tony Buchen (Andy Bull, Ray Man 3, Kid Confucius), mixed by industry luminary Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, Roxy Music, INXS) in LA, and mastered by Bob Ludwig (Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix). WIM will play the Workers Club on Friday 19 August.
FINDING THE WAY The songs of Tim and Neil Finn will be reinterpreted by a host of Australia’s finest singers and songwriters on the They Will Have Their Way tour. Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann, Clare Bowditch, Holly Throsby, Lior, Paul Dempsey and Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow will come together to perform the songs they recreated for 2005’s She Will Have Her Way and 2010’s He Will Have His Way compilations in a live setting. Split Enz, Crowded House and The Finn Brothers have all been vehicles through which Tim and Neil have expressed their musical selves, and it’s time for some of their biggest fans to lovingly sing these songs. The tour hits the Palais on Sunday 6 November.
WHAT A HOOT
Melbourne songstress Brooke Addamo, or Owl Eyes as she’s better known, has become a much-loved fi xture on the Australian indie scene, her single Raiders having dominated airwaves around the country. Following the release of her second EP, also entitled Raiders, Addamo is taking the show on the road around Australia to bewitch more audiences with her stunning voice. Friday 19 August she’s at the Palais Hepburn Springs and Saturday 20 she’ll play the Northcote Social Club. Tickets are on sale now.
Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist will bring a deluxe show with stellar players using the old South Melbourne Council chambers. Heavy entertainment is guaranteed from the whole songbook and stretching out to others. The Rock ’n’ Roll Is Where I Hide – 1001 Australian Nights tour will see the band building the sound up from Fitz’s grand piano. Its gonna be a one-off, three nights in a row! 7:45 to 8:45pm, Friday 22 to Sunday 24 July.
T EN S E PR
Jeff Martin (The Voice of the Tea Party) and Terepai Richmond (DIG – Directions In Groove) are venturing out of the box to take audiences through some new compositions with their unique styles that embrace a wide variety of influences from experimental, rock, jazz, and world music sources. Without a doubt, Martin and Richmond stand as two of the great evocative musicians, and these compositions will be revealed by this collaboration for the second time due to popular demand. Together they will bring a new revelation and lust that will long be remembered by those privileged to experience these exceptional master musicians at these few exclusive performances. Catch them together at the Caravan Music Club on Friday 2 September, Cherry on Saturday 3 and the Espy Gershwin Room on Sunday 4.
T EN S E PR
Bonfires In Silver City is the stunning new album from acclaimed Australian songwriter Lucie Thorne. Steeped in that striking spaciousness and sensuality for which Thorne is renowned, Bonfires In Silver City encompasses a breadth of feeling and flavour. Catch her playing material from the album at the Caravan Music Club on Sunday 18 September and Bella Union (Trades Hall) on Thursday 29.
My Friend The Chocolate Cake will be doing one show in August at the Caravan Music Club. After finishing an extensive Australian tour to promote their seventh album, Fiasco, the band has taken a short break but will be taking the stage again on Saturday 6 August. The successful tour was received with rave reviews around the country, as My Friend The Chocolate Cake forge ahead with their musically outstanding blend of pop noir, winning new Facebook fans by the thousands. Fiasco has been well received by public and reviewers alike with the album now well into its second pressing. Of course that is nothing compared to the sales of My Friend the Chocolate Cake Tea Towels at the gigs with the dish-rags now in their fourth pressing.
SPIRITS ARE HIGH
BEST OF THE FEST
On the back of their upcoming fifth album, Ghosts Of The Past, Western Australian rockers Eskimo Joe will undertake a full national tour to show Australia what their new songs are made of. The tour follows a soldout run of acoustic intimate shows earlier this year, and the band’s Splendour appearance in July. For a limited time, tickets on the Eskimo Joe website are available in a combo package with a pre-order copy of the album, which drops 12 August. The Ghosts Of The Past album tour hits the Forum on Thursday 29 September and Pier Live on Friday 30. Tickets are on sale Monday.
The contemporary music program of the 2011 Melbourne Festival was unveiled last night, with the Forum Theatre and the Toff In Town set to host a diverse range of artists from Japan, the US, Iraq, Syria, Democratic Republic Of The Congo, China, New Zealand and Australia. Acts performing include Japanese post-rock legends Mono (partnered with a 23-piece orchestra); noise art pioneers Black Dice; shimmery sonic dreamers Lucky Dragons; Texan alt. country six-piece Okkervil River; dreamy Kiwi popsters Bachelorette; Congotronics exponents Kokono No 1, China’s king of 8-bit techno, Sulumi, ex-Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra (doing spoken word), while Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson will unite for a part intimate folk jam, part art-hip-hop party; and bastions of the Arab-American hip hop scene, The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum, will bring their highly politicised and cerebral sounds to Melbourne for a night of cross-cultural collaborations. Joining this year’s musical mash up is Australia’s finest homegrown talent including Rat Vs Possum, Wintercoats, Roller One, Qua, Geoffrey O’Connor, Jimmy Stewart and Mike Noga. Music runs from Friday 7 October to Saturday 22 October. For the full list of acts head to melbournefestival.com.au.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
DEAD OR ALIVE …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is a band with an incredible cult following, having built it slowly but surely over the last decade and a bit with consistent releases and mind-boggling live shows. The band only played its first headlining tour of Australia in 2009, having previously visited as a support act for Mogwai in 2002. They are coming back to bring their relentless live show to the stage, known for being extremely physically intense. The band’s latest album, Tao Of The Dead, was released earlier this year. They play 7 September at the Corner.
FOOS FOR THOUGHT What’s an Australian summer without a ludicrously enormous tour or two, eh? This sweltering season’s announcements are beginning to roll in and one that’s a little jaw-droppingly massive is the news that Foo Fighters will come back to us at year’s end, bringing with them Tenacious D. Dave Grohl and pals were most recently here earlier in the year, playing to a lucky few on Sydney’s Goat Island and also popping in a surprise club show for a thousand people – because you know, when you’re a rockstar you can throw in all the curveballs you like. The Fooies released their seventh album, Wasting Light, this year and also their first documentary, Back And Forth. Tickets are on sale midday Monday for the show at AAMI Park on Friday 2 December.
In recent years Syl Johnson has toured with the likes of Sharon Jones & The Dapkings and has completed his own successful tours internationally. The rapturous reappraisal of Syl’s earliest work has led to the release of a box set of his Chicago recordings Completely Mythology on Numero Records last year, coinciding beautifully with his nomination for Chicagoan of the Year 2010. Syl Johnson will be performing for one night only in Melbourne at The HiFi Bar on 10 September at 8.30pm. Tickets on sale now through the venue.
The Trouble With Templeton has been asked to join Sparkadia on their upcoming national tour in September. The Trouble with Templeton is the moniker of one of Australia’s newest and brightest young singer/ songwriters, Thomas Calder. The first single Bleeders, after which the album is named, is a taste of what is set to be a beautiful and honest debut, and is available now for free via his website, and for purchase via iTunes. Catch them with Sparkadia on Wednesday 14 September at the Bended Elbow (Ballarat), Thursday 15 at the Bended Elbow (Geelong) and at the Forum on Friday 16.
Overwhelming demand for tickets for John Farnham’s Whispering Jack tour is not surprising as new generations discover The Voice – which together with John’s massive loyal fanbase means shows around the country are selling out. Accordingly a sixth Melbourne show has been added to the tour on Friday 18 November at the Palais. The show will feature two parts – the first half with John and his band performing Farnham favourites unplugged while the second half of the show will be John perform the entire Whispering Jack album for the first time on stage.
Little Scout has kicked off an already incredible 2011 by supporting Belle & Sebastian in Brisbane in March, Holly Throsby in April, and touring the east coast of Australia with Parades. 2010 saw the band in demand, supporting the likes of The New Pornographers, Camera Obscura, Sally Seltmann and Clare Bowditch, while recording their debut album with Jonathan Boulet in his garage in Sydney. Now they’re coming to Melbourne to play Friday 2 September at the Workers Club. Tickets via Moshtix.
The thinking woman’s folk-ruffian, The Bedroom Philosopher is cranking the electric blanket up to ten with his national Head Sex & Bed Socks tour. To combat winter he’ll be layering his thermals and his performance with a radical rumpus of wit, song smarts and madcap banter. Like snowflakes, no two The Bedroom Philosopher shows are ever the same. Catch him with special guest singer/songwriter Catboy on Thursday 18 August at Beavs Bar (Geelong), or Saturday 20 at the Toff.
TO DIE FOR
After another world wide tour, Die! Die! Die! are heading back to Australia. Having stunned audiences on their Form album release tour – the (in)famous three-piece return to the southern hemisphere direct from soldout shows in Japan and China (yes… China). With the promise of old songs and new, this upcoming limited capacity show is the last we’ll see as the band then head into the studio to mix their new album, recently recorded in Paris. Catch the band at the Grace Darling on Saturday 23 July. Adding to this already loaded night, On Sierra have decided to use this opportunity to launch their long awaited self-titled EP and The Euphoriacs have made this night a comeback show after a fourmonth hiatus. Limited tickets are available at Moshtix.
GRAND FINAL EVE PARTY
Folk rock legends Weddings, Parties, Anything will be pulling on the boots for another Grand Final eve bash, playing the Palace on Friday 30 September. WPA shows are always rowdy affairs, and this should be no exception with former bassist Pete Lawler joining the band onstage. Support comes from Darren Hanlon and Tracy McNeil.
COOPED UP THE KILLS ARE ALIVE Mixing blues, country and plain ol’ punk, Western Australian five-piece The Kill Devil Hills are a force to be reckoned with. The band have a slew of new tracks in their repertoire, and next month they’re hitting the East Coast to give them an airing. Since the last time they paid us a visit, the band have been hard at work on their fourth album and toured Europe – 40 dates in total that saw them win over some new friends and fans across the seas. Back on home turf now, they’ll be showing off the chops of their new tracks at the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 20 August, with The Floors in tow.
Known for his outrageous antics, shock rocker Alice Cooper has already been confirmed as one of the headliners for September’s Soundwave Revolution festival, but for those who want more Alice bite for their buck, there will also be a sideshow where the veteran will no doubt get a little crazy – in the past, his shows have been known to include simulated executions, dismembered baby dolls, live boa constrictors and chickens, guillotines and zombies. Recently Cooper was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, and released a new album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Joined by local rock five-piece Syndicate, Cooper will blow the roof off the Palais Theatre on Thursday 29 September. Tickets are on sale 9am Thursday.
“It sucks waiting for perfection for four years sometimes,” admits frontman HOWLIN’ PELLE ALMQVIST, frustrated to have recent recording sessions interrupted by THE HIVES’ sought-after status on the festival circuit. His bandmate, drummer CHRIS DANGEROUS, promises BRYGET CHRISFIELD that their forthcoming fifth album will be worth the wait: “It really is fantastic, I’m not tryin’-a fool you here, either. It’s turning out fucking great.”
TAILS OF THE UNEXPECTED A
t the time of our chat, The Hives’ ridiculously magnetic frontman, Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, is “at home in Sweden watering [his] plants”. “I got one day off at home so I gotta do that before I leave,” he expounds. “They’ve got to survive until I come back.” Since Almqvist’s housesitter of choice “moved out of the neighbourhood”, he says, “I haven’t really found someone else I trust yet.” Chris Dangerous (AKA Christian Grahn) – who hits hides for The Hives – is also at home, nursing a cold while pouring himself a cup of coffee. How does he take it? “Black.” No additives? “No nothin’,” he chuckles. Although Almqvist’s bandmate plays the cocky rock’n’roller role equally well, an infant is heard crying in the background, which kinda breaks the spell.
Now for the question on everyone’s lips: what shampoo brand does Almqvist use to keep his luscious locks bouncing and behaving? “I just use whatever they have at the hotel,” he laughs, sounding almost embarrassed. “It’s all genetics.” The singer also seems to have located the fountain of youth. “Oh, it is rock’n’roll, actually,” he divulges. “I have a lot of evidence to this, like, Mick Jagger or Iggy Pop. And then, have you seen that movie Anvil, about that metal band? When you see that movie, when you see [Steve ‘Lips’ Kudlow] at work he’s kind of crouched over and he looks his age – he looks like he’s 45 or 50, you know? Whatever he is. But then when they’re onstage, even though there’s very few people in the audience, you can see he’s got a straight back, he looks more agile and happy and at least ten years younger! So there you go.” Moonlighting parttime in the realm of rock won’t do the trick however, and Almqvist stresses, “You’ve just gotta keep doing it a lot.” As if putting Almqvist’s theory to the test, The Hives have featured on nearly every festival bill this European summer and their upcoming Australian tour will conclude this touring stint. YouTube footage of recent live shows
serves the purpose of giving impatient fans a taste of new material, albeit often recorded via what the singer refers to as “telephone camera”. Songs to materialise so far include Bad Call, Patrolling Days, Take Back The Toys and Go Right Ahead. Claiming that they’re “putting it out there one by one”, Almqvist explains the benefits of test-driving songs before an audience. “I’ve heard that classical composers do this as well: if you work on music for a long time and then you play it to someone, when you play it to someone you hear it really differently. And we do that, too – we play it to friends. And then you realise when you start talkin’ a bit much maybe that part of the song is not good enough, you know? So it’s the same sort of thing with playing the song live, it’s more about how you react to playing it live than what the audience react to or don’t react to. But it’s a shame. Too much YouTube is kind of ruining the song, because then people have heard ten different versions of the song before you put it out on the record so the record itself is not really that much of a surprise anymore, which I can sometimes feel is a shame. But maybe it’s because I’m a dinosaur or something, I dunno.”
“It doesn’t really matter,” Grahn counters, “because, I mean, when the record comes and it’s finished, it won’t be the exact same versions and it’s more like a sneak peak of what’s to come when we play our songs live. And it’s completely fine by me, because people love ‘em even at that stage so imagine what they will do when it’s turned into perfection – HOOOOO-hoooo!” After initially hesitating to disclose any information on the recording sessions that took place inside Hive Manor, Stockholm – “I will not tell you that much” – the drummer weakens, “Oh, I can tell you. There’s a few guys playing horns on some songs. It really is fantastic, I’m not tryin’-a fool you here, either. It’s turning out fucking great.” So will The Hives be bringing a couple of extra touring members to our shores? “Ah, no, they’re not that good,” he chuckles. When The Hives arrive later this month, don’t be surprised
if they drop in on your wave. “Australia is such a beautiful country and it’s such a great place to be on tour,” Grahn observes. “Not only do you have stunning views and beautiful oceans and a lot of surf shops where you can rent boards, you also have really great crowds and venues and festivals.” The drummer says that while his band have taken advantage of our surfing conditions “at least once or twice every tour”, pesky promotional duties tend to invade their valuable recreation time. “We try to do it as much as we can, but we have to do interviews and shit like that too, which is disturbing when you’re in Australia, ‘cause it’s such a great place to just hang out.”
“Australia is such a fantastic country for music,” Almqvist continues. “There’s been so much stuff that we’ve loved throughout the years, from The Celebate Rifles and The Saints to Hoodoo Gurus and The Avalanches. And Flash In The Pan, obviously.” The Hives recorded a kicking version of Flash In The Pan’s Early Morning Wake Up Call for their Tarred And Feathered EP release of last year. Grahn remembers why his band decided to tackle the tune: “It’s just one of those songs that we’ve always liked a lot, you know, and we thought we could actually do it some justice.” He then lavishes praise on the original: “It’s really good to start with, actually.” “I still remember the day my brother [guitarist/keyboardist with The Hives, Nicholaus Arson (Niklas Almqvist to their parents)] bought The Saints’ Eternally Yours album in a city 45 minutes away from our hometown, by sneaking off to the train,” recalls Almqvist, clearly a fan of our nation’s musical heritage (“The Hard-Ons as well. We love The Hard-Ons.”). “And it’s still one of my favourite albums… We started really searching out the ‘70s punk maybe around the time we formed the band, when we were 14. “I mean, it wasn’t really a professional band at that point, obviously, because we were still at school,” Almqvist clarifies of The Hives in teen mode. “But it’s the same
band, you know? A lot of people form bands in high school, the only difference is that we never quit, haha.” It’s impressive to note that The Hives boast the same line-up, which is rounded out by guitarist Vigilante Carlstroem (Mikael Karlsson) and bass player Dr Matt Destruction (Mattias Bernvall). “It is amazing if you don’t consider the fact that we come from such a small town that there’s really no one else you could get in the band,” Almqvist laughs. “There was only five people our age who were interested in music, basically.” So lack of choice is what’s kept them tight? “It is,” he concurs. “It’s kind of like when Hindus get married. [A spouse is] picked for them and then ten years later they’re the most in love a couple could ever be!” In terms of the quality of the musicians Almqvist fronts, there are understandably no complaints. “I couldn’t be happier,” the frontman admits. On the first time he heard a Hives song on the radio, Grahn recollects, “I was in a car goin’ from Stockholm to close to our hometown, Fagersta. I don’t think I had the age to drive, so I was probably in the back seat back then. I must’ve thought it was pretty cool.” Remembering back to The Hives’ formative years, Almqvist shares, “We had a habit on tour before where we would play at the show – and we used to be the support band so we played the show really early – and then we’d drink, and then we’d go out that night and just kind of go to a bar and ask if we could play a set. Sometimes those sets were shambolic at best, from our perspective. And then there’s been a few shows – also sort of a long time ago, though – where we played to nine punters and a dog and stuff like that. I think it happens to every band [laughs]. Apart from maybe The Strokes, who I get a feeling were popular from note one.” It was a long time between releases for The Strokes, whose latest Angles set dropped to mixed reviews earlier this year, and The Hives are also yet to bless us with a follow-up to 2007’s The Black And White Album. So at
FIX UP, LOOK SHARP THE HIVES are no slouches when it comes to stage attire. CHRIS DANGEROUS slams his suitcase shut as BRYGET CHRISFIELD approaches, but HOWLIN’ PELLE ALMQVIST paints an alluring picture of what Australian audiences can expect to behold. First broaching the subject of onstage ensembles with The Hives’ drummer – Chris Dangerous (Christian Grahn when he’s in his civvies) – proves exasperating, but kinda fun. “I can tell you this much – they’re either black or white or both,” he teases. Are the outfits brand new for this forthcoming album? “They could be.” Carn! Will your shoes be white? “Or black.” What about both? “Could be.” Stripey maybe? “Ah,” he hesitates, “I wouldn’t bet on it.” The construction of such would undoubtedly be too difficult. “No,” Grahn counters, “I don’t think it would, but would it look good? That is the main question.” “There’s not really time to get something else going, so it will be top hat and tails for us in Australia,” Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, debonair band leader with The Hives, isn’t as tight-lipped on the subject. “It feels really good playing in top hat and tails. The pants are a bit tight though, but they usually are,” he laughs cheekily. “The split jumps are slightly narrower.” Has the flamboyant singer ever split his pants onstage? “Yeah, millions of times,” Almqvist replies. “Well, millions is an exaggeration
what stage are The Hives with album number five? “It’s sort of complicated,” Almqvist ruminates. “Well, it’s not that complicated. Basically, it’s not finished but it sort of used to be finished – or almost finished. And we recorded an album’s worth of material then we came up with a bunch of new songs, which we decided we liked enough so that we would take the time to record them as well. And then in the middle of doing that, the summer festivals came along and we needed to go on the road again. So now we are on the road again, and after Australia we will kinda go back into the studio and try to finish it off.” Well, you can’t rush perfection. “No,” he agrees, “not really, but it sucks waiting for perfection for four years sometimes.” It also sucks for the fans. Almqvist ponders, “But I think the fans would rather have an album that we’re proud of and that they can love forever than an album every year that they don’t really like [laughs]. I mean, we know – we’re fans of bands as well. If a band puts out a bad record after they put out a good record, basically you lose touch with that band and we don’t want that to happen to us… You can’t afford to take a step in the wrong direction. It’s tough out there.”
obviously.” We definitely need to know what happens in the event of such a situation! “Well, you know, you’ve just got to crawl out to the side of the stage and get a roadie to tape your ass and then limp through the show,” he enlightens. If you’re wondering why The Hives haven’t rocked Clockwork Orange-themed outfits as yet, Almqvist has the answer. “We have some friends who are in a band called Voice Of A Generation who did, so that’s why we probably would never do it – it’s already taken by some friends of ours.” Although the frontman seems to fancy the idea of donning a cod piece, he deems brandishing a walking stick problematic, even though this accessory “would work really well with the top hat and tails”. “But both my hands are usually busy during the shows, I dunno. [Truer words were never spoken. Have you seen this man clap?] A walking stick is kind of too much to manoeuvre already, plus you’ve got the microphone as well, you know?” Case closed.
two decades, Grahn declares, “I’ve seen some weird shit goin’ on. I mean, the weirdest thing – if we’re not talking human here – is probably: we played a festival in Holland, and on the very last note of our set lightning struck and blew up the entire stage. Everything went black on the exact last note. It was fuckin’ amazing! We got a little help from nature there.” Obviously the rock gods approved. “Or they were trying to shut us down – the anti-rock gods,” he laughs. “We don’t know that, do we? But it was a hell of an ending to a show.” Although no one was electrocuted as far as the skinsman is aware, he jokes, “I mean, I don’t know if it would bite on us, we’re so tough.”
WHO: The Hives WH EN & WHERE: Tuesday 26 July, the Palace; Friday 29 July, Splendour In The Grass, Woodfordia, Queensland
From his position on The Hives drum stool over almost
THREE GO FORTH Now a three-piece, BATRIDER have just unleased a behemoth of a new record, the stunning Piles of Lies. Frontwoman SARAH CHADWICK discusses her lack of guitar skills and being big in Melbourne with SAMSON MCDOUGALL.
he Batrider I saw at a Tote show some four years ago is a far cry from the outfit working under the same moniker today. At the time they were a standard-format four-piece fresh from Wellington, New Zealand. With brutal abandon and twisted vitality they blew my mind that night, and – as they’d fortuitously based themselves in Melbourne at the time – continued to do so for the length of their tenure. Sarah Chadwick’s vocal is unlike any you’ll find anywhere, ever, period. There is a beautiful agony in her voice – one of those musicians that play because they have to, it’s unconditional. And given that Chadwick is the thread that binds early Batrider to the three-piece band that are in the country now, they remain distinctly Batrider despite the changed format and multiple line-up changes, and remain as brutal and vital as they’ve ever been. What’s different now is that the sound feels comfortable within itself; it’s as much about the
spaces between the notes. Their new release Piles Of Lies evidences this beautifully. At 16 tracks, coming in just shy of an hour and a half, the thing is a behemoth. Equally torturous and cathartic, it takes a few listens to really bond with; but when you do, man is it worth it. “It doesn’t necessarily feel more stable now,” Chadwick says of the latest incarnation of the band. “That’s one thing I’ve come to terms with, getting older, is that when Julia [Rouse] and Toby [Morris] left it was really traumatic and I thought ‘Oh no, we’re not going to be able to do it’, but when you’re gonna do lots of travelling and lots of touring and spend all of your money on it for a long period of time, it’s a big commitment and it’s not for everybody forever either. People are going to want to leave. There have definitely been times when I’ve thought ‘Fuck, maybe I shouldn’t do this band any more’ or ‘Maybe it’s time to do something different’ but in the same breath I’ve been doing it for so many years and put so much into it that I may as well carry on. There’s kinda reasons for both sides of that.” Piles Of Lies’ songs rarely pull up short of four minutes – no radio hits here. They create a snapshot into the lives of three. Without getting to literal about it, the thing feels like it could be a window into a day,
...the idea of being a three-piece was quite daunting.”
week or month in the life of the band, the singer or whomever really. The disc traverses terrain so rugged, you’d need a dune buggy to explore. It sucks you down into the pits of despair and heaves you out gasping for air. It’s a journey of a record; very complete, accomplished, realised. It’s a vision of a life lived on the hard road, and Batrider can certainly claim a level of expertise in not taking the soft options. “People can perceive it like you have a groundswell of support growing but it doesn’t necessarily feel like that at the time,” she continues. “A friend said to me a month ago, ‘That was when you were really big in Melbourne’, but I never remember it being like that. We weren’t ever really big, it doesn’t feel like that ever happened to me. It also depends what you’re after really. If you want to stay in one place and have your gigs packed out by your mates every time that’s fine, but it’s never really been about that for us. I think [Piles Of Lies] is the first or second thing we’ve put out that we’ve actually been in the country we’re releasing it in. I wouldn’t overestimate people’s success and I wouldn’t think that’s a reason to stay in any one place.” This attitude saw an increasingly popular Batrider up and set off for a new life in Europe a few years ago. From the outside it did feel like they were experiencing a groundswell of audience support and it did feel like an odd choice of next step. Doubtless it was a bold move. If the latest record is anything to go by, it was a wise choice and the band have managed to find an audience wherever they are. “We’ve always got a handful of people that, when we play in Melbourne or go to Tasmania or are in Europe, go a bit mad over it and really like it,” she continues. “And they’re lots of different people, like older music nerds and younger people that maybe get a kick out of a girl being in a band, lots of different types really.” Though Chadwick rejects the notion that they could be perceived as a ‘musicians’ band’ or ‘best-kept secret’ by claiming she’s “about the world’s worst guitarist” she accepts the universality of thematic material (daily grind-type stuff, heartbreak and the like) plays a large role in connecting with audience. Through the loss of guitarist Julia Rouse (now of The Twerps) and addition and rotation of new members, Batrider have managed to maintain their identity. Through all they’ve experienced as a band now, they have remained distinctively Batrider, and this must play a large part in retaining all of those they manage to convert. “I remember when Julia or Tara [Wilcox] left, the idea of being a threepiece was quite daunting,” Chadwick continues. “Especially for me being the only guitarist, ‘cause with Julia playing guitar for us, she’s an infinitely better guitar player than what I am. She’s fuckin’ awesome and the way that she plays is really unique as well and I’ll think back to older releases or older variations of the band and it was much easier for me to just rely on her and just do some noisy stuff or some chords and she’d do some neat leads. So when she left I was heaps daunted by being the only guitarist and I needed to get some new toys – I’d only ever used like one pedal before. In reality it’s been awesome and made me try out a bunch of stuff. I mean I’m hardly the most inventive fuckin’ musician but I try a bit more stuff than I ever would’ve if I had’ve been able to rely on her.” The adjustment from four- to three-piece has had other advantages. “There’s definitely more room and less sleeping on floors,” Chadwick laughs. “Three, in terms of moving and travelling and stuff, is awesome, it’s a lot easier. It’s one less person to worry about their path being the same as yours or one less person to worry about having enough money or one less person to worry about fuckin’ having a boyfriend that they have to stay home for. But it does affect the sound a bit. In the old days, if I didn’t want to play guitar I just wouldn’t. Now if I don’t play guitar then it’s just bass and drums. I think you just work with what you’ve got to work with really, if you’ve got four people you’ll make that sound cool, if you’ve got three people you will as well.”
WHO: Batrider WHAT: Piles Of Lies (Two Bright Lakes/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 30 September, Tote
SAMPLE SIZE Sick of the same old sounds on his radio, DJ SHADOW bought half a million 45s and started creating his new album almost entirely from samples, writes SASHA PERERA.
t’s the day before his 39th birthday and Inpress is with DJ Shadow in London to chat about his upcoming appearance at Splendour In The Grass – and associated sideshows – and to get a preview of his long-awaited fourth studio album The Less You Know, The Better, which gets a worldwide release in September. Feeling the effects of a hectic tour schedule that has seen him complete the last seven weeks of dates in Europe, culminating in headlining the John Peel Tent at Glastonbury 2011 two nights earlier, Shadow is looking forward to returning home to San Francisco to see his family, before once again packing up his kit and heading down under. Also on his mind is putting the finishing touches to the new album, which he still hasn’t sequenced and finalised the tracklisting for, let alone previewed it to his record label who are desperately – and possibly nervously – waiting to hear where his sonic adventures have taken him this time around. It’s been a long time coming – five years in fact since the release of The Outside, an album of such musical diversity and provocation that it split fan opinion – but Shadow hasn’t exactly been lying low.
“Following the last album in 2006, I toured behind that solidly for about a year,” he says. “Then I worked on the The Hard Sell project with Cut Chemist, which was a follow-up to Brainfreeze and was a tonne of effort, and then we toured that together for about two years, which of course included Australia. Aside from that, in-between, the normal life stuff – remodelling the house, and raising my two girls. Overall, it’s been full-on to be quite honest; right after I started touring I also worked on the DJ Hero thing, and it was only after that I began working in earnest on the new album around March 2009.” Two years in the making – such is the process for his intricate manipulation of samples – DJ Shadow has further confirmed his perceived transformation from ‘just a turntablist’ to a bonafide and truly-gifted music producer with a wide canvas. With The Less You Know, The Better, DJ Shadow continues his musical exploration on an album which he says is 95% sampled, and one which he hopes is equally thought-provoking as it is harrowing and exhilarating. “What was interesting for me this time around was to use more samples. It’s interesting because nowadays you can turn on the radio and hear a rock song, an R&B song and a house record, and they’re all using the same synthesisers. It hasn’t really been like that since the early ‘80s, but what that means is that everything sounds quite similar in my opinion. Samples are a way that I can immediately separate myself from the pack, because very few people are willing to get into the minutia that I am for either legal concerns or financial concerns. Also, frankly, I don’t think there are that many people qualified to undertake the journey. If you use a mining analogy in regards to sampling – that tunnel goes pretty deep. I’m at a point now that almost all the stuff I’m using is proprietary because I’m using a lot of one-of-a-kind acetates and reel-to-reel tapes of stuff that never came out.” A few years back, as he tells me, Shadow bought a large consignment of records with a friend. The collection contained half a million 45s and was shipped to them in a semi-trailer. While they generally knew what
If you use a mining analogy in regards to sampling – that tunnel goes pretty deep.”
they had bought, they also knew that in amongst the collection would also be some surprises along the way. Buried within the stockpile was a collection of independent ‘50s and ‘60s country music from a DJ by the name of Old Glen from Kansas. Initially this was of no interest to Shadow, but after tentatively taking a few listens to the 45s, he found himself inexplicably being drawn into this music and the possibility of what he could do with it. This exploration of ‘50s country’n’western, as well as batches of early ‘80s hardcore – not hairspray – metal, finds its way onto Shadow’s new album in a cleverly-styled, intricately-arranged, highly disguised form… unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Songs such as I’ve Been Trying – which is 100% sampled and can be heard on the preview EP I Gotta Rock, and the tunes which Shadow played Inpress directly from his computer such as Scale It Back and Sad & Lonely are beautifully evocative constructions with a simplicity that belies the incredible complexity and sophistication of their creation. Appearing as more traditional ‘song’ structures as opposed to the cuts and scratches of his earlier work, Shadow’s attention to detail in regards to the layering of samples is nothing short of extraordinary. Onto the Live From Shadowsphere tour which hits Aussie shores later this month, and Shadow is excited about bringing a new and improved version of the tour which initially took shape in Eastern Europe and Russia last year. “There’s at least six songs from the new album that make their way into the live show, and I’ve added stuff since last year. In fact, by the time we get to Australia the tour would’ve gone through two major upgrades. You can check out some clips on YouTube from the tour which are really good – some are really dodgy, but you get a sense of what it’s all about. I mean, I hate to sit here and sound like I’m trying to sell something, but I really invested heavily in the shows and I really think it shows. It’s like nothing else. “The difference from previous tours and this one… well, obviously, musically there’s a whole lot of different tunes, and technically, as with every other tour, things have certainly moved on. In 2002 CDJs were brand new, in 2004 I was the first person to test a prototype of the DVJ, in 2006 Serato was new so I incorporated that, and this show is being generated by a combination of different things from CDJs to Ableton, and this and that. In terms of the visual… it’s nextlevel. I mean, I’m not going to mention people who have been at some of the shows, but they’ve been, like, ‘Fuck, I gotta step it up’. These are my peers, and that’s what this is all about – it’s about competing. Hip hop has always been a competition, and that’s always been in my mind. I mean, I wanna blow rock bands off the stage.”
WHO: DJ Shadow WHAT: The Less You Know, The Better (out 9 September through Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 29 July, Splendour In the Grass, Woodfordia; Sunday 31 July, Palace
ROLLING WITH IT SAMEER GADHIA of YOUNG THE GIANT is taking the praise of Morrissey in his stride. He chats with JEREMY WILLIAMS.
o receive a compliment from one of the world’s living music legends has never really done any music act any harm. But to have someone held in a position of respect by the music industry the world over literally shout your praises from the rooftops must be a pretty amazing feeling. So when former The Smith’s frontman, and equally successful solo artist Morrissey said of Young The Giant, “Having suffered with relish so much yes-but-no new music, I could break down with happiness at the new CD by Young The Giant. I will be kneeling with gratitude on a hardwood floor for many years to come. It is the whole thing... it is the perfect tone... and Sameer’s voice is unbreakable. If there is any justice in the world (and we all know there isn’t) Young The Giant will own most of it by August. It’s so easy to fire out remnants of snobbery where new music is concerned (in fact, I find it VERY easy), but once every three thousand years, a band comes along who restore that precious component of faith. Had I the gift of adequate words I would express more than mere thanks. Instead, I shall leave it at that.” The Californian quintet must have felt
their hearts skip more than a beat or two. However, frontman Sameer Gadhia is surprisingly dignified and modest in his reception of the praise. Rather than getting lost in his own hype, he simply states, “It is very surprising and very flattering. I guess the only thing that we know when we get on stage is whether we had a good time or not. It is a bit wild for someone like Morrissey to say something like that, it is very flattering. “We spent a long time doing it, waiting for it and imagining it, so it is very exciting that it is now being internationally released.” The quiet, composed musician may be enjoying his ride, but he is not about to get ahead of himself. Having formed Young The Giant with a group of close friends in 2004, the group have had to work hard to get the limited success they have enjoyed to date. While they realise they may well have struck gold, they are not about the count their chickens before they hatch. With their success seen by the band to be somewhat unprecedented, it is clear they plan on taking things step by step and not allowing any success to go to their heads. Of the ride so far, Gadhia says, “We just started playing music. We released an EP and it did surprisingly well, so that is when we decided to really give it a go and pursue music. We didn’t know where it would go. We didn’t have any full plan of where wanted to take it. It has really exceeded our expectations. Where we are now, I don’t think a year ago we could have imagined us getting to where we are now.” However, with only an intimation of dreams realised, and new ambitions formed, he says, “We are very very excited.” “People can get complacent. I guess you can be pretty satisfied, which is a good thing.” Part of the reason for Gadhia’s lack of willing to get lost in his profile is due to the group’s changing ambitions. With the project having started out as a group of mates having fun, he realises that they could easily lose their way if their ambitions are realised through initial praise. Rather than simply accept any compliments or success at face value, he and his friends are instead using them as motivation to further their own ambitions. However, he concedes that initially they had to change their own self-perception to pave the way for external approval. “I guess with music, it is really what you want to do with it and how you perceive it – if it is for you or if it is for other people. For us it is a big combination. More than anything we want to be very proud of the work that we are doing. We want to be able to have people enjoy it, but at the same time to push the envelope and do something a little bit different. Right now our ambitions are just to focus our sights on this next album. This was our first studio album, our first go at it and so we are excited to try it again and experiment with some things.”
Right now our ambitions are just to focus our sights on this next album.”
Though the group may now be switching their attentions to album number two, they are also relishing the international release of the record. While his head may be buzzing with ideas for its follow-up, our chat returns to the focal point – their eponymous debut release. Many bands for their debut release opt for the self-titled approach, seeing the record as nothing more than an introduction that will lead on to bigger and better things. “That is exactly where we came from with it. We figured it would be a good place to start,” Gahdia says. “I’d say the album has a lot to do with new found understanding. It really started out for us as complete spontaneity and fun, then we realised what we had created amongst ourselves. How it could be made into a cohesive theme and a cohesive idea. I think it really came subconsciously. It was a lot to do with our newly discovered freedom, taking time off from school and pursuing music full time.” Though the album had never been intended as anything more than a pet project, the boys realised that their material was too good to keep to themselves. Having escaped their normal surroundings and thrust themselves into a situation of relaxed creativity, they found a collective voice effortlessly and decided to embrace the unexpected twist. “At first, especially through the bulk of the writing process, we were living on the beach together. A lot of it does highlight our times in this eternal summer. I really think that the album has to do with the summer and eternal youth and the idea and feeling of eternity. Then you learn and you know that things always fade and drift into some sense of reality. “It is very democratic. We started out as friends and we wrote together. Everything became democratic, even the way that we lived together. Everything is equal. That is how we like seeing the recording process. Everyone has their own individual talents that some others might not possess, but collectively we work so well together that lines become hazy.” With the eternal summer now fading into the distance, it is clear that with the success of the record and the heightening popularity of the group, Gadhia and his friends will cherish that forgotten summer forever. Yet the lessons learnt as they left their teenage naivety behind are clearly having a daily effect on Gadhia and his pals. “Especially now, after toying with the album for such a long time, living with each other and experiencing all these new places together – being a part of this strange business that is the music industry – everything has become a lot more cohesive and together.”
WHO: Young The Giant WHAT: Young The Giant (Roadrunner) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 31 July, Splendour In the Grass, Queensland; Tuesday 2 August, Corner Hotel
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
BY CLEM BASTOW
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
TIN SPARROW FROM THE SUN Independent The whole nu-folk explosion seemed to lose a little momentum last year, but it’s good to see that, locally, things are ticking along nicely. Sydney four-piece Tin Sparrow’s From The Sun is a gorgeous collection of songs that are ripe for the picking by the musical advisors of the world. Eileen is crying out to be used in an independent dramedy, while the lovely For You and Fools Gold will either become giant Triple J hits or mobile phone ads – or both; either way, Tin Sparrow deserve to have some money thrown at them.
RYE RYE FEATURING ROBYN NEVER WILL BE MINE Universal Every now and again a collaboration comes along that combines all my interests; Rye Rye and Robyn’s team-up fits that bill perfectly, creating a Voltron of my pop music favourites. My love of Robyn should be no surprise to anyone, but Rye Rye has also captivated me. The Baltimore rapper and the Swedish heir to Neverending Story’s place in my heart is a doleful R&B ballad that is a natural progression from Left Eye and Sporty Spice’s brilliant Never Be The Same Again; if that song was the prologue to a relationship, this one’s the epilogue.
WE ARE GRACE YES I BLAME YOU Independent Every now and again I listen to a single that is so profoundly confused I end up with a headache; step right up, We Are Grace! What’s going on here? There are hints of MCR-esque theatricality, inexplicably musical theatre-ish vocals, some ill-advised falsetto, and the sort of production that is better suited to mid-period Grinspoon. Which one is the real We Are Grace? Just pick one, guys, it’s okay; nobody’s going to typecast you.
WASHED OUT WITHIN AND WITHOUT Pod/Inertia
POP SINGLES LAMBERT ST Independent
It’s finally here. After teasing his audiences with EPs and killer live shows for years, Atlanta-based multiinstrumentalist Ernest Greene, AKA Washed Out, is dropping his much-anticipated debut album. For those who have the EPs and for those who saw him last year at Meredith, let me tell you this – it’s been worth the wait.
Does it make any difference to the quality of the music contained herein that local three-piece Pop Singles decided to release Lambert St on cassette? Do the hand-written and hand-numbered tapes add anything to the listening experience? Is the (possibly physically – you know, like, with Clag) cut and pasted and then photocopied foldout really going to make the world a better, more lo-fi place? Perhaps it’s a nostalgia thing – I don’t know, I grew up in a period where cutting edge music was available, it seemed, almost exclusively on tapes – but the answer from this writer is an unqualified yes.
Chillwave is what the kids are calling it, and Washed Out is recognised as its pioneer, at its forefront. No matter what label you might affix to Within And Without, it sounds effortless, the dreamscapes set upon interesting beats that wildly avoid cliché. Various percussion instruments – see Echoes, for instance – jostle for air time, all the while providing perfect backing for the effervescent pop tunes that dominate the record’s 11 tracks. First single Amor Fati is a perfect example of these melodic moments, and proves one of the most accessible songs on the album. Although it would be difficult to sing along to the words, given they are very difficult to understand, they add yet another layer of sound to Within And Without and are used sparingly to increase their effect. It’s an album that could be listened to in all sorts of situations. In the lead up to a big night, in the come down on the morning after, or simply in the background to a dinner party. Washed Out will certainly find himself on the next Ministry Of Sound Chillout Session, and rightly so. His music deserves to be listened to by as many people as possible, and as much as that prospect will upset those who have the EPs and for those who saw him last year at Meredith, it is the nature of the beast. Within And Without is great. It’s intelligent, it’s deep, it’s multi-layered and it’s hauntingly beautiful. Get it in your ears.
After rabbiting around for a tape player that still worked, third time proved lucky indeed. There’s something truly special about watching the little wheels turn in your machine – not at all confident that they will continue to do so – and the hissy wait for the music to begin. What I then heard was rough and ready, straight-up pop/rock, but with a Flying Nun edge of shimmery guitars and snarey drumming that ensured I was always going to be left wanting more. Recorded mostly around familiar local pubs and clubs, this is more like being there than being there itself: and showing up seems a decidedly good thing with this band. Pop Singles, regardless of the format, are just way too much fun. Bass-heavy It All Comes Out, which opens Side-B (how cool is it to be able to say that?) is one of the standouts, putting the listener in mind of Joy Division’s Peter Hook and his almost lead guitar-esque four-stringer. Another highlight is the band’s cover of Teardrop Explodes’ Ouch Monkeys – from their first ever gig, no less. All up a terrific listening experience and one that plays its own small but important part in subverting the dominant ideas of the digital age. Tony McMahon
Gillian Welch THE HARROW & THE HARVEST Acony Records/Shock David Rawlings, musical partner of country/folk enchantress Gillian Welch, was recently quoted as saying, “When is the new Gillian Welch album going to come out? On the happiest day of my life!” Today then, is a very happy day for Rawlings, as it is for the rest of us, as finally after an eight year wait, we have The Harrow & the Harvest, the new record from Welch, and one of the most sublime records you’ll hear all year. Listening to The Harrow & the Harvest is like looking closely at a desert landscape; it’s so stark and sparse, and yet is so eerily beautiful that you can’t properly comprehend how it came about. And then, amongst the simplicity, are little pockets of hidden gold which may have been obscured by shadow on the original listen, but after a bit of movement, come to the fore and shine with a lustre not seen in modern music. For this is an album from a time long gone, made in 2011, and its simple elegance is breathtaking. The main reasons for this lie in the vocal harmonising of Welch and Rawlings. The instrumentation – guitar, banjo, harmonica – is merely an accompaniment to the vocalising, two voices wrapping around your brain as one making these uncomplicated songs resonate with a subtle force that belies their seeming simplicity. Whether via the back-porch Appalachia of Six White Horses, the steady, lowdown gallop of The Way It Goes or the country/folk tear-stained cheek of The Way The Whole Thing Ends, The Harrow & the Harvest takes you to a place you mightn’t have known existed – a place where music is real, played by real people, for real reasons. This is why this record is so strong. And so beautiful. Samuel J Fell
LIOR & EMMA LOUISE IT’S ONLY NATURAL Stop Start/EMI It helps to be working with a back catalogue as strong as the Finn brothers’, but unlike so many celebrity covers projects, so far the They Will Have Their Way efforts have been delightful. Lior & Emma Louise’s delicate acoustic version of It’s Only Natural takes the Gold FM staple and turns it into something more mournful; caressed by swirling string arrangements, the pair’s voices mesh to create one of those covers that simultaneously respects the original and takes it somewhere completely new. Lovely.
NEW ORDER HELLBENT Warner Jeez, I dunno, guys; how have New Order managed to make themselves sound like the less interesting parts of INXS’ JD Fortune years? I’m certainly not one of those people who forever holds on to a band’s original/old material in a sulk – I still think Slow Jam was one of the best singles of the last decade – but there’s something simpering about Hellbent that is at direct odds to both the title and the band’s talents; they can do a lot better, and at this late stage in a career, get-out-of-jail-free cards are in short supply.
BONJAH GO GO CHAOS Independent In the scheme of “misleading band names”, Bonjah rate pretty highly; to me, that name has me wincing while anticipating the worst of Wednesday night reggae-fusion jam circles. The reality is rather more restrained; Go Go Chaos, despite the name, is a downbeat meditation propelled only by a skittering drum beat, and is quite gorgeous. And there’s not a jam band to be seen.
BALL PARK MUSIC IT’S NICE TO BE ALIVE Stop Start/EMI If there’s one thing I hate (j/k there’s far more than one thing I hate in the music business you guize, lol), it’s faux-naïve/ cute/fun socks pop, which is occasionally described as “power pop” by local pretenders, but is generally anything but. A perfect example is this hand-clappy number by Ball Park Music, with the chorus that runs “Chill out/It’s alright/ Kiss me/It’s nice to be alive”. Look, I’m sure you could argue it’s just harmless fun, but why infantilise love? Give me something with guts.
JULIANNA BARWICK THE MAGIC PLACE Asthmatic Kitty/Mistletone The Magic Place sounds like it was recorded in a large cathedral and in fact Brooklyn-based Julianna Barwick’s layered vocals at times verge into evangelical territory, the kind of heavily reverbed sweeps of pure wordless chorals that evoke a spiritual pursuit. It’s one woman and a loop pedal, and it can alternatively sound like dolphins attempting to communicate with each other, the good bits of Enya (if there are any) and attending church dosed up with horse tranquilisers. It’s beautiful, a lush wall of vocals, often made up of differently pitched wails and melodies in concert with each other. For much of the album there’s little if any musical accompaniment to these harmonic layers of vocals. Occasionally there’s a hesitant run of piano, or a bass guitar picks through some gentle notes, maybe some synth, yet these are the exception, rather than the rule, because truth be told Barwick fulfils the role of a whole band with simply her own vocals. Not that she’s attempting to. There’s no beat boxing or anything as crass as that, rather Barwick creates a bed of ethereal washes of vocals and then intones new voices into the gap, perhaps altering the pitch or refrain slightly. In the second half of the album the instruments start to creep out a little more. It’s still sparse, but the presence is more pronounced. Prizewinning is the undoubted highlight here, which begins with a repetitive percussive throb before Barwick builds up some melodies that just float in the air and a rattling kit kicks in, a steady metronomic jangling beat and Barwick’s vocals grow to near hysterical levels. This is the payoff, the reward for an album’s worth of restraint and as a result it’s so much sweeter, and much more intense. It’s a strange and beautiful album from a unique voice. Literally. Bob Baker Fish
AVALANCHE CITY OUR NEW LIFE ABOVE THE GROUND Warner To say that local guitar pop hasn’t given us much love over recent years would be an affront to those who have made it their business. Clare Bowditch, Darren Hanlon and, more recently, Busby Marou, have released nuggets of gold, albums and songs designed to ward off the winter blues, embrace sunny days and generally put a smile on your face. As we find ourselves in the midst of another winter, Dave Baxter, AKA Avalanche City, has drifted across the Tasman from our Antipodean brethren to release his debut, which follows in the footsteps of the aforementioned artists. On Our New Life Above The Ground, Baxter combines simple songwriting with warm arrangements and a charming voice. In the middle ground between Hanlon and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, it is a strong, heartfelt voice that, when he sings “We started to believe our dreams/And I just kept driving right past the exit/Throwing our cellphones out of the window” (Drive On) it instantly resonates the notion in the listener’s mind as a true possibility. His lyrics can be unashamedly sentimental – “If you had an empty suitcase/I’d help you to pack it tight/And if you were afraid of darkness/Well I would stay ‘til it was light” (You And I) – but they are well-intentioned and pretty; and hey, if you need deep and meaningful words to get you through the day, Shakespeare and Tolstoy are waiting for you in your local second-hand bookshop. Put plainly, Our New Life Above The Ground is not going to break any new ground musically. But Baxter has produced an earnest and, at times, poignant album that is guaranteed to make you look out your wintry window with a little bit more optimism. If this is the nature of local pop music in 2011, then I’m all for it. Dylan Stewart
THIEVERY CORPORATION CULTURE OF FEAR ESL/Shock It’s been 16 years since Rob Garza and Eric Hilton first got together at DC’s Eighteenth Street Lounge and 13 years since we were all blown away by Lebanese Blonde. For a while they were frontrunners in the nu-lounge scene, but time has moved on. Oddly, Thievery Corp have not. The duo’s sixth studio album Culture Of Fear could very well be called Culture Of Not Really Evolving Much. Perhaps this record would have been dazzling ten years ago. Less so now. In 2011 it represents little more than wallpaper for a million identikit lounge bars. It’s jazzy, dubby and just a tad Brazilian. The production is uber smooth, the vibes chilled and the nocturnal ‘culture’ ever so sophisticated. However, this is not to say it’s unlistenable. While it might not be gripping it is consistent and inoffensive. Indeed, there is nothing here to alienate fans of their previous work or cause alarm for bar and restaurant owners. Culture Of Fear glides seamlessly, like a French model in the back seat of a limousine. Pretty and predictable. Name-dropping particular tracks (as one would normally do in a review) isn’t that relevant here, but here goes. While the title track contains some more Garza/Hilton prog political posturing on a groovy hip hop bed, the dub rumble of Stargazer sounds more like Massive Attack circa ’94. Meantime, Where It All Starts is chic, girl voice, Euro smoothness and the album’s closer, Free, is an undeniably addictive blend of Nordic jazz keys and hypnotic bass riffs. Thievery Corporation could well be accused of stealing from themselves with this latest release. Any of these tracks could have been recorded at any time over the course of their career. And yet, having said all that, you just can’t help but nod along. Paul Ransom
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
VARIOUS ARTISTS STRANGE BIRDS IN PARADISE: A WEST PAPUAN SOUNDTRACK Wantok Musik Label
CATHERINE TRAICOS & THE STARRY NIGHT GLORIOSA AOA/Fuse
It’s well nigh impossible to discuss Melbourne musician David Bridie’s astonishing new collaborative album, Strange Birds Of Paradise, without first talking about the politics surrounding it. The music of West Papua is unique and intoxicating in and of itself; having it on our radars is a true privilege. And Bridie’s always interesting western-meetsworld interweaving commands rapt attention regardless, but it is the context here that is all-important.
Catherine Traicos introduces her new band, The Starry Night – Darren Nuttall, Kasper Kiely and Tim Day – on her second record, Gloriosa. Named after a visit to floodstricken Brisbane, where Traicos saw the blossoming of the Gloriosa Superba (flame lily) amongst the dirt and destruction, embodying the essence of this record – from destruction and chaos, beauty can always be born.
This record brings us the work of West Papuan musicians Arnold Ap and Kelly Kwalik, both assassinated by the occupying Indonesian army in a country that is one of Australia’s closest neighbours, yet whose plight continues to garner only minuscule media attention. Their crime was exposing the people of that country to apparently controversial folk songs, in a place rich with a musical heritage intrinsic to its culture. For the recording of Strange Birds, five West Papuan singers and musicians joined Bridie in Melbourne, and it’s difficult not to listen to their haunting renditions of these outlawed songs without wondering what the consequences might be for them. Try to imagine, if you possibly can, The Drones making a record overseas and then never being able to return to their native country under penalty of death because of it. As outlandish as that sounds, this is probably the fate that awaits the performers here, and, naturally enough the record takes on a complete new dimension because of it. Bridie has been quoted as saying that this record “stands alone as an album of cultural and political significance”. In any other situation, this might sound immodest. Here, though, it has the ring of absolute, undisputable truth. Will there be a more important record made this year? I highly doubt it.
Under the talented and guiding hand of five-time ARIA award winner Paul McKercher, this record is a beautifully understated addition to Australian music. Many of the songs on the record play with the idea of sad lyrics, with an uplifting melody. Walk Into The Stars melds two songs of opposing feelings – one optimistic, one pessimistic, this track has kept the best of both worlds. Jason Walker’s pedal steel guitar gives it a cheerful country twang, but the darkness can be felt on the edge. On Baby Don’t Cry, Walker’s pedal steel guitar allows this track to expand with The Starry Night’s pop basics, to a strong country/folk ballad. The emotion in Traicos’ delicate vocals creates a spine-tingling sensation of truth, love and desperation. A Stranger is one of the strongest tracks on the record – the only song that Traicos wrote about the passing of her grandmother that she put on the album. The restrained guitar of McKercher and the rising and falling cello line of Gareth Skinner musically embody the emotional tension of the lyrics.
TINY RUINS SOME WERE MEANT FOR SEA Spunk
SHANE MACGOWAN RAKES, RATS, PRICKS AND KICKS Salvo
Some Were Meant For Sea is the debut long-player from New Zealand-based Tiny Ruins, otherwise known as Hollie Fullbrook. It’s a soft, non-assuming record, one with a dearth of hidden treasures which you, as the listener, need to search for. Not in the sense that they’re buried amongst dross, but more that this is a grower of a record, offering first up a clutch of heartfelt songs, but then after more time, little bits and pieces you might have missed before but that now add to the overall effect.
Shane MacGowan is one of the great pop music songwriters. He is also one of popular music’s great train wrecks. This compilation does a pretty good job at showing off both aspects of MacGowan’s career. Considering MacGowan and The Pogues are credited with reviving interest in traditional Irish folk music in the ‘80s, it might come as a shock to some to hear the punk rock sounds of early band The Nips, and while there’s no doubt the Pogues are MacGowan’s most famous band, his Popes material also deserves an audience.
Recorded with J Walker (Machine Translations) in an old school hall in eastern Victoria, Some Were Meant For Sea is as barebones as you can get. And this adds to the feel of the record, for this isn’t something you’d play loud – it’s something you’d play when you want to listen, when you want to immerse yourself in an album and really get to the core of what the artist in question is trying to get across. As such, the sparse sound and the simple instrumentation really allow Fullbrook’s songs to come to the fore, as I’m sure she would have hoped. There’s a risk with this record first up in that it could immediately be put into the ‘wispy vocal, little girl folk pop’ category, but again, this is a grower and the power in the record is that it quickly transcends that and flowers into what it really is – a simple yet meaningful record from an artist with a lot to say, and a solid idea of how to say it. Samuel J Fell
Gloriosa is a great follow-up to Traicos’ debut, The Amazing. The Starry Night add a greater pop influence to her country/ folk trends, but do not take over.
Packaging up the best of his work with The Popes (his post-Pogues outfit), a bit of early stuff from The Nips, a few collaborations and live cuts of all The Pogues classics, Rakes, Rats, Pricks And Kicks is as terrifying as it is illuminating – especially on the live cuts. MacGowan slurs, snarls and sometimes sounds like he’ll barely make it through a song. And if this was any other artist it would make for a pretty depressing listen, but MacGowan, for his failing faculties and dire lack of teeth, goes about his business with a cheeky glint in his eye. He has always been an Irish rascal, living his life in the spirit of his country’s long dead and pickled poets. The compilation even closes with the singer’s punk rendition of My Way – the ultimate nod and wink. It’s hardly going to be the kind of compilation to win over new listeners – it’s a little too past MacGowan’s prime for that – but if you’re a fan, there’s a lot more than the slurring to celebrate: the musicianship, the gorgeous melodies, and a lyricist who learnt a lot from his Irish poet ancestors. Danielle O’Donohue
NATURAL EXPRESSION With Katy Perry supports and US tours under her belt, singing in her native French has clearly not prevented YELLE – born JULIE BUDET – from achieving worldwide success, writes ANTHONY CAREW.
hen French electro-pop stylist Yelle hits Australia for the first time, she’ll be playing a bunch of smallish, invariably cool club shows to go alongside a spot at Splendour In The Grass. It’ll be quite a change from a run of recent shows in the UK and Europe, where Yelle was opening up for human headline Katy Perry, playing monolithic stadiums for a close-to-clueless crowd. “It was good to tour with Katy, because all the staff around her are really nice and happy and funny, and she herself is a really nice girl, so it was not hard at all,” offers Julie Budet, in a very thick French accent. The 28-year-old Brittany native essentially is Yelle, though she’s forever aided by producers GrandMarnier and Tepr. And the music the three make is almost entirely sung in French, which makes her British appointment opening for Mrs Russell Brand somewhat bizarre. No? Wasn’t it at all, like, strange? “It was not strange! It was huge!” Budet laughs. “We were playing for 10,000 people every night, so
it was really intense. It was a good experience for us, trying to catch the attention of the audience, because you know that people did not care at all about the opening act. And it’s crazy, because you have lots of people and it’s huge. But it’s hard to feel the emotion of people, to catch something, to connect with them, because it is just too huge.” It’s a curious place for Budet to be. Even though Yelle is a pure pop act – bright melodies, verses and choruses, polished to a commerciallyfriendly shine – she’s long been a cult concern, existing on the fringes of the mainstream while never actually crossing over. In France, her debut album, 2007’s Pop Up, peaked at number 61; her latest, 2011’s Safari Disco Club, at number 77. Those’re not unit-shifting statistics. And, Budet confesses, she’d never actually want to be a stadium-sized act herself. “Even if I ever somehow became that popular,” she thinks, “I’d never want to play in places like that. I’d rather do four shows in a small club than one in a stadium. It’s not fun to play there.” And that’s saying something. From her childhood – where as the daughter of a musician father, she was drawn to music instantly – Budet’s wanted nothing more than to be on stages, having the long and semi-embarrassing history of local musical-theatre performances and ambitious teenage pop-bands to prove it. Playing stadiums must really not be fun for she, of all people, to not have fun. “I really enjoy being on stage,” Budet enthuses, glee in her voice. “To give joy to people. To have fun every night. It’s so fun for me, the thing I probably prefer to do to any other in my life. It’s hard to explain; it’s something really crazy, to share something so strongly with people, to give them fun and receive fun, it’s something I truly prefer to do.” It was only when Budet met GrandMarnier – AKA Jean-François Pérrier – in 2002, though, that her love of performing found an appropriate place. “Something really clicked with me; when we began to work together it really felt like this was the music I wanted to make, that I really wanted to sing, express myself this way,” say Budet. Still, it wasn’t a musical marriage of instantaneous success. “I really needed time to be comfortable with my voice, to be comfortable with the dance moves of my body on stage,” Budet recalls. “It took some time to be good, to be natural, to be me. Even if I was really happy, enjoying being on stage, it used to be so much work for me; it’s not something so easy when you never did it before. But over time, we get better and better. And now, it’s so good. It’s funny and it’s easy and it’s perfect.” Yelle first came to notice, in France, when their jam Je Veux Te Voir become an online hit at home; both for its much-viewed YouTube video, which finds Budet dancing in front of a karaoke bluescreen, and for its lyrics, a mocking feminist response cutting down the sexual boasts of French rappers, specifically Cuizinier of TTC. Je Veux Te Voir and the songs on Pop Up were, Budet says, comically, about “boys and girls stuff”, which is short-hand for their playful, risqué, bluntly-sexual nature. That’s shifted with Safari Disco Club, a record that, while more straight bangin’ than its predecessor, houses more complex lyrical wrinkles. “We want to talk about things in a way more deeper, more melancholic,” Budet says, in her sometimes curious English phrasing, “probably because we have more doubts than five years ago; we are maybe more scared about the life, more scared about the future. We have a song called S’éteint Le Soleil, which is about the day the sun will disappear, and so will human life. We didn’t feel like we could talk about things like that on Pop Up, but this time it was the right time for us to find the right words to talk about what we want. This record is more about questioning and doubts, a new way of expressing ourselves, even if we’re still talking about love.” Of course, given Yelle songs are almost entirely in French, we have to take Budet’s word for it. It’s interesting to see an act so committed to singing in their native tongue, when most acts just hedge towards the standard ‘universal language’ of English. “It’s important for us to keep the French language,” says Budet. “Because it’s easy for us to express ourselves in French, to find the good word, to find the good connections between words, comparisons and stuff. It’s hard for us to express in English what we can easily expressive in French.” And, if Yelle’s opening for Katy Perry in the UK and touring throughout the US, it’s obviously no fatal limit to one’s career. “It’s complicated for our audience, because even if they like the music and the energy and stuff, sometimes it’s hard for them to understand the French language,” says Budet. “Which is kind of weird, because we are touring a lot outside of France. We don’t really ask for explanations about that, about why people outside of France are interested in these funny words they don’t understand. Today, it seems like it’s not a problem for American people or English people to be into music with French language. It’s exotic, for them.” And, there’s truth in that strange perception of ‘exoticism’. There’s a billion electro-pop starlets desperately singing in English, no matter their mother tongue. Yelle is one of the few happy to be themselves, linguisticially speaking. “I’ve only just realised that it’s a little bit original, what we do,” says Budet. “When we were touring in the US, on the last tour, lots of people were telling me ‘you are unique.’ For lots of people, it’s really strange and different to listen to something in French. There are so many people out there singing in English, to sing in French is our particularity.”
WHO: Yelle WHAT: Safari Disco Club (Barclay) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 31 July, Splendour In The Grass, Woodfordia, Queensland; Friday 5 August, Roxanne Parlour
SEA CHANGE With debut album Some Were Meant For Sea packed for her journey across the Tasman, New Zealander HOLLIE FULLBROOK – as TINY RUINS – tells TYLER McLOUGHLAN about nostalgic maritime joys, escapades abroad and scoring coveted support dates for Seeker Lover Keeper.
ollie Fullbrook is trying to seek out the quiet of Auckland’s laneways as she heads home in the after-work darkness. She’s late and slightly puffing; her new job (the one that doesn’t involve her beautifully melancholic brand of folk under the moniker of Tiny Ruins) is proving to be a big distraction.
“I toured with Holly Throsby and her band the last time I was in Australia; I loved hanging out with them and we got along well, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it,” she laughs nervously of her coveted support slot.
“I’ve finished my studies [in English literature, theatre and law] and I’m now working at the library as a part-time job and just focusing on my music… it’s a bit of a novelty,” she gushes with the joy of a bookworm. “I got stuck in a book just before I left work, that was why I was late for my first interview because I was reading about the last interview with John Lennon actually… It is hard to pull yourself away from the interesting books that you’re dealing with all the time, but hopefully I can rein myself in.”
“This time around it will be just me,” she says of her imminent Australian adventures that she hopes will incorporate a band in future. “I’ll be on my guitar, troubadour style.”
It’s a quaintly fascinating image of an artist that begs further interest with an insight into some of the spaces and places she chose when working on the songs of her debut album Some Were Meant For Sea: New Zealand winters in a drafty apartment with a guitar and a cat for company, and some realtime collaboration with a Spanish MySpace pen pal, A Singer Of Songs (otherwise known as Lieven Scheelinck) in Barcelona.
WHO: Tiny Ruins WHAT: Some Were Meant For Sea (Spunk/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 24 July, Toff In Town
Her escapades abroad began as a youngster, emigrating from Britain to the land of the long white cloud, which goes some way to explaining her affinity with the sea and its absorption into her debut album. “Well, I think from a very young age I was quite fascinated by the sea… When my family moved here when I was ten years old, the sea was sort of like the defining factor of New Zealand for me. It kind of stood out so much from where we’d come from, which was in a city. The idea of people who used to travel by boat everywhere is kind of a romantic one for me, and I think while I was writing quite a few of the songs [for Some Were Meant For Sea] I was studying up on transportation to Australia in fact,” she mentions breezily, further reinforcing her bookish demeanor. “I just often gravitated towards subjects that involved maritime and old pirate songs and things like that. A lot of poems and songs have been written about the sea over the ages and I think just because it is the kind of subject that is easy to write about, it captures your imagination, and yeah, it’s mysterious.” Like love, the ocean is a comparably expansive topic to write songs about. “Yeah, I think that’s true,” Fullbrook declares before exploring the depths of the theme. “Apparently some psychoanalyst said the deep sea is kind of akin to our subconscious and I think that’s an interesting idea. For sure the deep sea is something that I’m most frightened of; I find it the most unsettling thing watching films about the deep sea. It’s definitely a very powerful theme. But I didn’t set out to write songs about the sea. I didn’t write the songs with the plan of writing about voyages. When it came to thinking of a title for the album it just struck me that there were quite a few references to the sea and people leaving; [about] the simple distance in between people and in between places. So the title of the album is taken from one of the songs, from The Priest With Balloons, and that was about a priest in Brazil who launched himself off a cliff with a bunch of helium balloons and disappeared off into the sea. So the song itself was based on the story of this person who decided to do that about three or four years ago. His name was Father Carli. Google him!” Though on first listen it seems Some Were Meant For Sea is a deeply personal record, a dear diary musical compendium of sorts, Fullbrook is experimenting as much with her own feelings as those of her characters. “At least half of the songs are narratives about characters, people either that I’ve read about or made up. Of course the bigger underlying subtext is about your own life but I quite like the idea of writing songs that are a bit less directly personal. I’m kind of like that guy in The Darjeeling Limited who says that all the characters are fictional, but they are totally, completely based on his own life,” she says giggling. “It takes a few listens to pick up on the disguised humour, but there is some humour in there, I think!” With the songs down, Fullbrook asked around for producer recommendations, and (Greg) J Walker (Holly Throsby, Machine Translations) came on board. Working from his base in South Gippsland, the pair spent a couple of weeks shaping Some Were Meant For Sea, in between fresh air breaks, garage sales and surfing. “I was told he had all these crazy instruments and lived in the middle of nowhere and it just sounded like a good place to start this album which I wanted to be quite simple,” she says in earnest. “He managed to track down a little school hall about fi ve, ten minutes down the road from his house, so it worked out perfectly just stumbling along to the school hall every evening to record. [We recorded in the] evening because there was a bird’s nest in the roof of the hall and they kept up such a racket in the day time that we had to record at night, but I think that lends a slightly nocturnal feel to the album as well, the fact that it was recorded at night time. You can hear the birds actually in quite a few places.” Having already released Some Were Meant For Sea to an admiring home territory audience, it’s now hit the shelves on this side of the Tasman as well. “For someone who’s come out of nowhere like I have, the New Zealand press have been totally onboard,” she gushes. “I’ve had a fantastic run of kind reviews and interviews; it’s been nice to get a bit of acknowledgement from the mainstream press over here. They’ve been altogether quite positive!” With a voyage to Australia on the horizon, Fullbrook will fi t her own Tiny Ruins headline shows in amongst support dates with Australia’s newest supergroup, Seeker Lover Keeper. The slight songstress with the sweetest of lilts and a penchant for picturesque artwork wasn’t a random choice for the trio; a Spunk Records label-mate of the group’s Holly Throsby, Fullbrook has had the pleasure of keeping Ms Throsby’s company previously.
CHAOS THEORY The idea behind BONJAH’s imminent second album Go Go Chaos was to make a more collaborative record that explored plenty of new sounds, REGAN LETHBRIDGE tells TONY MCMAHON.
elbourne-via-New Zealand soul/roots/ rock outfi t Bonjah moved here from their native land quite a while ago now, and to say they’ve done things the hard way is a bit of an understatement. Relentless touring and a solid debut album, Until Dawn, garnering respectable airplay along the way, saw Bonjah establish themselves as a more than credible working outfi t, but it is the imminent release of their second album, Go Go Chaos, that the band hope will launch them as one of the premier acts this country has to offer. If Inpress’ opinion counts for anything, this should be a real no-brainer. Go Go Chaos is decidedly the real thing: a telling document of a band either on fire or about to be very soon, breathy songwriting skills combined with a freshness in the musicality that sets this record truly apart. Guitarist and vocalist Regan Lethbridge is happy to hear our opinion on his band’s new work when we note that it’s something of a departure from their first record.
“That’s exactly what we were going for. We toured the last record for two years, then we locked ourselves away for seven months and came up with something we were really, really proud of. I’m hoping that it resonates. It’s great to start getting feedback, because we haven’t really heard much about what other people think of it, but it’s starting to happen now and so far, so good.” Until Dawn was reasonably successful, but interestingly – and somewhat tellingly – Lethbridge says that the approach to the new record was more about exploration than repeating past accomplishments. And the only pressure to come up with anything durable came from within the group itself. “We didn’t really feel any outside pressure,” Lethbridge says. “I mean, I guess we put a bit of pressure on ourselves to come up with something that we were, like I said, really proud of. We all wanted to move forward, not just as a band but personally as well, in the kind of music we were playing. We wanted to explore new sounds that we hadn’t tried before and we also wanted a really well balanced, solid sounding record where each song didn’t sound the same but they all managed to fi t together. And, you know, we’re stoked with how it’s turned out.” Lethbridge explains that there was much more of an emphasis with this record on making it a proper band album. In doing so, he also reveals a group who are beginning to find more productive ways to work together. “Glen, the singer, he does all of the lyrics and the melodies. So a song will be born on the acoustic guitar, where I’ll write four or fi ve of the songs in terms of the music. This record was all about the band. Our bass player, Dan, he wrote a couple of the tracks. He produced a couple as well. The first album it was a bit like, ‘Here’s a song, let’s learn it and then record it’. This time, we spent a lot of time together and we made trips and we really put a lot of effort into trying to find the sound, making sure we found the balance. Basically, we just worked together way more efficiently.” What about the move over here from New Zealand? Although there’s a distinct living-your-dreams element to the story, it must have been an incredibly tough decision to make: leaving what one knows when quite young for the instability and fickleness of the music business. Lethbridge’s answer reveals first and foremost that Bonjah are keen to be seen as natives now, but also that he and his group are deadly serious about their art: there’s a strong undercurrent in what he says that suggests moving here was anything but a lark, but there was no way it wasn’t going to happen. “We moved over as a band. We all moved over together. We’re all 100% Melbourne boys now. This is where we’re going to be hanging our hats for quite a while. Since we’ve moved here, actually, we haven’t even been home. When we first got here, we’d left behind family and friends and all that stuff. When we came here, all we had was a single contact in the industry. I guess the feeling now is that it’s more satisfying than anything else. I guess things are starting to go all right for us, but we’ve built all that up ourselves. We’ve toured a lot and played and played and we’ve now got a brilliant team around us and we’re starting to see the fruits, you know? With Triple J’s support for the last couple of singles off the new record, things are looking pretty good, but when it comes down to it, we just love playing, we love touring. It’s sort of an old school way of doing things that we hope is going to allow us to sustain a career because we’ve done it that way.” Talking of things beginning to happen for Bonjah, Inpress, naturally, has its ear to the ground, so to speak, when it comes to what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s ‘eagerly awaited’. As such, it’s fair to say that Go Go Chaos has been much anticipated, but Lethbridge says that this wasn’t a factor as the band went about making it. “We were conscious of the fact that for some reason our music has managed to resonate with a fair few people, which is just amazing. When people come along to your shows and sing along with your music it’s just absolutely amazing. I guess it’s been a long time between drinks, too. It’s been about two years since Until Dawn. But we just had some great opportunities to tour and it seemed like people really wanted to see us play live. Lots of people were asking us when a new record was going to be out, but I guess we were busy having fun playing. We definitely don’t want it to be so long between records this time, though. We’re just about ready to go back into the studio and make album number three.” Before they return to the studio, however, there is the question of Bonjah’s upcoming national album tour, something of a behemoth that takes in out of the way places over what can only be described as a very large number of dates. Of course, this gives rise to questions concerning van dynamics, flatulence problems and car stereo hogging. But Lethbridge doesn’t seem too concerned. “We were friends before we started a band. Even when we’re not touring or not doing band stuff we still catch up a lot socially. We really do get along. Towards the end of our last tour, I think we’d been ten months out of the year on the road. We weren’t biting each other’s heads off, but we were ready to go home and start again. At the same time, though, as cheesy as it sounds, we are doing what we love and we have a pretty good opportunity to keep doing it. We’re all aware of that, and it’s a fun job. It’s amazing.”
WHO: Bonjah WHAT: Go Go Chaos (out Friday through Shock) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Revolt; Thursday 25 August, Bended Elbow (Ballarat); Saturday 27 August, Corner Hotel
THE WONDER YEARS Ahead of their first Australian tour in two decades, MILES HUNT of Brit indie popsters THE WONDER STUFF tells SAMUEL J FELL that experience has taught him how to plan the perfect live set, and that he doesn’t miss the promotional duties that come with being on a major label.
o look back over UK group The Wonder Stuff’s history is almost akin to gazing over a newly deserted battlefield. Hiatus and break-up pockmark the landscape, the rubble of records long forgotten litter the ground while more successful albums are lauded and promoted and the smoke obscures things, wafting across the scene, pushed by the winds of time themselves. Twenty-six years since the beginning of this rock’n’roll battle – while it looks messy – it’s testament to the spirit of the band and their co-founder, Miles Hunt, that they’re still alive today. “I think my little snot-nosed self back then would have been appalled if you’d told him in 1987 that you’re going to be around for a quarter of a century at least,” laughs Hunt. “I think I’d have slagged my older self off, but secretly gone to a room quietly on my own and gone, ‘Wow, do I really get to make music for all that time and not go and get a job?’”
This is what Hunt has done. Along with guitarist Malcolm Treece, he’s the only remaining original member of a band that emerged from the Black Country area of England in the late ‘80s and went on to achieve global fame as the scruffy, rule-breaking kid brother of the more mainstream rock bands of the time. Straight off the bat, they released a couple of records now seen as seminal, in The Eight Legged Groove Machine (’87) and Hup (’88), then careened along wildly, as members departed and died. The band stopped for six years beginning in ’94, then began again in 2000, leaving members by the wayside. They indulged in side-projects, bickered a bit and played their brand of English, anti-mainstream rock’n’roll. And they’re still here.
the pace of a Wonder Stuff album otherwise it’s gonna sound like a Miles and Erica album with guest guitarist Malc Treece, which is not a Wonder Stuff album.” It’s been 26 years thus far, and so waiting on Treece to find the time just that little bit longer, isn’t going to hurt anyone. In the meantime, The Wonder Stuff will make only their second foray down under later this month (“20 years, it’s ridiculous,” laughs Hunt), and then they’ll keep on doing their thing, interspersed as it is with solo projects, sideprojects, kids and families. Let the battle rage on.
WHO: The Wonder Stuff WHEN & WHERE: Friday 19 August, Palace
“Now, we know what we’re doing,” Hunt muses when asked how The Wonder Stuff are different these days with all their collective wisdom and experience on board. “For example, we know what works live, from an audience point of view. We’re not trying to pedal half an album’s worth of new material on an audience who essentially just want to come there and shout along to The Size Of A Cow, Circlesquare, It’s Yer Money I’m After Baby, you know? I guess it’s like Mick and Keith after all these years; the Stones can’t go out and not play Satisfaction, so at least at one point in the set you know you’re going to go down a storm. So it’s taken away that element of ‘this could die on its arse’. It’s nice not having that.”
There may be a new Wonder Stuff album next year.”
Made up these days of Hunt, Treece, Hunt’s acoustic project partner Erica Nockalls on violin, bassist Mark McCarthy and drummer Fuzz Townsend (who only joined the fold late last year from Pop Will Eat Itself), The Wonder Stuff are at a solid point in their long and varied career. What helps make them so solid, is the fact that the band is no longer the members’ main focus. This isn’t to say they don’t care, it’s more like when they are back together as The Wonder Stuff, it’s more of a fresh focus, it’s something the members want to put their all into. “We’re so pleased we get to spend this time together and play as a band,” Hunt concurs. “And I’m sure everyone enjoys all the other things that we do, and hopefully the passion and the life that you put into those other projects is equal to the stuff that we put into The Wonder Stuff.” Speaking of focus as well, you’d think that particularly for Hunt and Treece, one of the highlights of the band these days would be the lack of mainstream pressure, pressure which surrounded the band’s third and fourth releases, Never Loved Elvis (’91) and Construction For The Modern Idiot (’93), something which arguably caused their first split the following year. “That’s the best thing, to be honest,” Hunt acknowledges. “I mean, it was nice and we’re very appreciative of what Polydor did for us back then, even though it seemed we were trying to hinder them most of the time. But the commercial side of things wasn’t something we ever sat with comfortably, I think that was quite obvious to anybody who met us at the time. And so to have that removed is great, the relationship is now between the members of the band and the audience as it always should have been, rather than the endless trail of promoting the records. “Being on a major label, you spend more time being a salesman than you do as a creator,” he adds. “We wanted to be creative, I wasn’t really interested in being a salesman.” These days, The Wonder Stuff are free, they’re loose, and they’re now able to concentrate on the moment, and also perhaps, just every so often, to the future. “Well, we’ve got a couple of tunes put aside for a Wonder Stuff album,” Hunt reveals. “And Malc is also working on some new stuff at the moment, so there may be a new Wonder Stuff album next year. “And those tracks are sounding great, very, very lively,” he goes on. “They’re led by electric guitars rather than acoustic guitars, I tend to do everything with acoustic guitars these days. So yeah, very lively, up-tempo, amusing lyrics. So I’ve got very much half of a Wonder Stuff album sketched out in my mind already, but Malc needs to lead the way on this one… and to be honest I’ve had a difficult time motivating Malc into writing new songs. “But in fairness to him, he’s been raising a very young family, he’s got two young kids and so has probably had his mind on more important things. So meanwhile, Erica and I are loathe to start work on a Wonder Stuff album, because essentially, it’ll sound like a Miles and Erica record and then we’ll ask Malc to come and do some guitar on it. And we don’t want to do that as a Wonder Stuff record. So I’ve just put it in Malc’s court and said, ‘When you find time, record me some stuff’, because he always gives me great stuff when he’s got time to do it. So when he throws some guitar parts at me, I’ll sit down. Basically, I need Malc to set
THIS WEEK IN
WEDNESDAY 13 Grindhouse — Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s double feature, Planet Terror and Death Proof, as you were meant to see them: back to back, with fake trailers (or not-so-fake anymore) in the middle. Astor Theatre, 7:30pm.
THURSDAY 14 Brighton Rock/This Is England — English double feature. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. The Burlesque Hour Loves Melbourne — the global smash hit, legendary burlesque-eats-its-young salon that has set critics raving and 60,000 audience members around the world in raptures comes home at last, with a nine-week love letter to its home town: The Burlesque Hour Loves Melbourne. Melbourne icons unzipped, unveiled and unleashed! This week’s featured act: Phillip Adams’ BalletLab. 7pm. Fortyfivedownstairs until 7 August.
FRIDAY 15 Bastille Day Party 2011 — to fight against winter and bring some heat from the European summer with a Belle Epoque-inspired jazz Bastille Ball Day, the Alliance Française, Cartell Music, Organisation Clandestine, Meet Up Melbourne, and Facci YP invite you to celebrate this important date of the French calendar with them. Acts performing include: La Mauvaise Réputation, Imogen Kelly, RB Can Can Dancers, DJs Jean-Francois (Cartel Music) and Mike Gurrieri. Red Bennies, 7pm.
SATURDAY 16 American Graffiti/Two-Lane Blacktop — double feature of classic Americana. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. The South Side Show — on stage, dancefloor, or hanging from the ceiling, the crème de la crème of local and international guest performers alongside a rambunctious crowd
comprised of circus kids, carney folk and vaudevillians take over the venue. Tonight: Imogen Kelly, Jessica Ward, Grant Swift, Mike Gurrieri, Edd Fisher, Knave Knixx, and Imaan. Red Bennies, 8pm.
SUNDAY 17 More Bang For Your Buck Burlesque Show — end of the week burlesque show with free entry. Guests change weekly, hosted by MC Madame Natalia. Red Bennies, 7pm. Sunday matinee — The Wizard Of Oz and Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. Astor Theatre, 2pm. Sunday evening — David Lynch double: Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. Astor Theatre, 7pm.
MONDAY 18 Anime double — back-to-back screenings of Akira and Ghost In The Shell. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm.
ONGOING Blak Side Story — a multimedia exhibition exploring contemporary Aboriginal identity and traditional stories from the communities fo Melbourne’s west. Opening night, 6pm. Footscray Arts Centre until 28 August. The Joy Of Text — literary theory may seem harmless, but mix it with the impish personality of Danny, a precocious high school student, and the result is not deconstruction but sheer devastation. When a certain controversial book falls into his hands, it’s time to create his own provocative meta-narrative. As his actions send the school into chaos, he learns that, although the author is dead and meaning lacks foundation, the real world has no time for irony. Set against a backdrop of staffroom politics, The Joy Of Text is a bitingly intelligent comedy on the nature of satire, the subjectivity of truth and the knife edge of student-teacher relations. Fairfax Studio, MTC until 23 July.
TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
KATE KINGSMILL TALKS TO ARTISTIC DIRECTOR KYM OSTERBURG AND ARTIST YANDELL WALTON ABOUT THE GERTRUDE STREET PROJECTION FESTIVAL. You might think the best things about Melbourne are obvious: the coffee, the men in scarves and the girls on bikes. But in many ways the allure of this city is the way it whispers its greatness. Its best features are tucked away, often lurking in alleyways and other tucked away places, making their discovery all the more worthwhile. This is what makes Melbourne great. The Gertrude Street Projection Festival’s theme this year is ‘Hidden Spaces And Places’, which is a justabout-perfect fit. “It’s very Melbourne, isn’t it? It’s also very Gertrude Street,” agrees Kym Osterburg, the festival’s organiser. Gertrude Street has a long and vibrant history, and is the regular site of the projection festival, now in its fourth year. “Each year we try and pick a theme that we think reflects our place, our community and our physical space, and we like the idea that Gertrude Street has got all these different layers,” says Osterburg. “There’s the very open, groovy cafes, high end fashion, restaurants, then underneath that there’s a layer of significant indigenous history.” Then there are the many social services operating from Gertrude Street that have been hidden away due to the street’s gradual gentrification. These are just some of the more site specific possibilities for the theme ‘hidden’, while some artists have responded to the psychological inferences of the word, riffing on the notion of hidden spaces and places
within. Yandell Walton, an award-winning site projection artist who is contributing to several works this year, had an immediate connection to the idea of hidden spaces and places. “I think it’s fantastic. Straight away I thought projections don’t necessarily have to be big and bold, and I thought it would be really great to engage artists in more site-specific projects that utilise different spaces and different architectural features of the building, or smaller works that are hard to find.” In contrast to the more traditional expectation of projection art, which is writ large across buildings and walls, many of the artists have embraced the notion of hidden spaces by simply working to a smaller scale. Artist Salote Tawale has taken a particularly distinctive approach: she will be screening her projections into a Crumpler bag. An often hidden aspect of Gertrude Street is that it is home to many social service and community groups, eight of which are involved in creating projections this year. “It’s a really lovely reflection of Gertrude Street’s hidden places that we have projection works happening from the Atherton Gardens Housing Estate and the Artful Dodger studios, which is the Jesuit social services drop-in centre.” Other groups involved this year include Turning Point, a drug and alcohol rehab centre, and the Fitzroy Learning Network, a
computer clubhouse for young refugee adults. “They’ve got their own sites just like everybody else, and they get a great kick out of the fact that everyone’s on the same level playing field,” says Osterburg. One of the groups involved in the festival this year is MAYSAR, (Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sport And Recreation). In one of the festival’s many collaborations, artist Arika Waulu, who is working with projections of this size for the first time, has been mentored by Yandell Walton, who has several years experience as a projection artist. The experience has been a fruitful one for both women. “The chance to have an exchange of technique and skills, and developing concepts is really important,” says Walton. “I’ve taught Arika really simple techniques of animation, like frame by frame animation, and also how projected imagery is going to look onto a building, because it’s really hard to know what things are going to look like.” Waulu says the community support she has had for the project has been “really good”. Having been asked to create a representation of MAYSAR for the festival, Waulu’s approach to the theme ‘Hidden’ has involved exploring what she calls the hidden history of the MAYSAR group. “I fit the theme into that building. The building and the organisation is hidden in itself, not many people know about it.” Waulu feels “very privileged” to work
on the project, as she has a deeply personal connection with the street and with MAYSAR. “My family has had a big input in being proactive in the Aboriginal community from the ‘30s. My great-grandmother set up the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service on Gertrude Street, and my grandmother was one of the main founders of MAYSAR.” By speaking to her grandmother throughout the project, Waulu has been able to bring an invaluable extra depth of personal history to the MAYSAR piece. There are so many magical aspects to the Gertrude Street Projection Festival: it comes alive at night, it’s outdoors, and you never know where a new work might be lurking. Although this year you’ll be able to find the works more easily, with the introduction of a festival iphone app. Even so, says Osterburg, “We really like that art intervention aspect. You don’t necessarily know that it’s on, you go to park your car or something and there it is.” There’s always a great atmosphere at the opening night party. This year it starts at the Workers Club on Friday, with Sensory Overload VJs jamming to music, and from there, punters can spill out onto Gertrude street to explore the projections. Walton, a regular festival artist, is passionate about the way in which the festival brings art out onto the street, away from the traditional gallery space. “It’s challenging the public space and allowing people that might not usually view art to view it for ten nights. There’s always so many people down there, it’s really inspiring. And it brings people out in the middle of winter.” WHAT: Gertrude Street Projection Festival WHERE & WHEN: Various Gertrude St locations Friday 22 July to Sunday 31 (see thegertrudeassociation.com)
NELLIE MELBA AS OPHELIA IN HAMLET, C. 1889
33: NELLY’S SHOES BY ROBERT LUKINS It’s fun to imagine Dame Nellie Melba with a gut full of blue dye and ipecac, thunderously chundering onto the pristine beige floor of her dressing room. I’m seeing her, all hunched over with gloved hands to her belly; such is the routineness of her perfection that even her heaving and retching are set to concert pitch, the A above middle C. I’m riding the elevator down at the Arts Centre and wondering if I’ve got what it takes to make something, even a small something, of my life. The exhibition upstairs was Black Box <> White Cube, a show of performance meeting art in all its brilliance and nonsense. Mike Parr has been the grand old dame of Australian theatrical flagellation for 40 years, and despite all else on show — The Kingpins and mock-comic drag, Jill Orr commendably committing an entire career to being utterly humourless — it’s the sight and stink of Mike Parr that’s still lingering in my stomach as I head down to see the commemorative display of Dame Melba. Parr’s great double A-side: in ’77 he stuffed himself with bread soaked in dye and poison, walked into a gallery space and erupted in a coloured mess across the canvas of the ground. Soon after, he sat before a seated audience, produced a meat cleaver and proceeded to hack his left arm to pieces. Many never realised it was his prosthetic arm packed with liver and offal. It didn’t matter, the self-destruction was believable and complete. I’m now in the lower level foyer,
peering into glass cabinets, seeing the documents and costumes of Nellie’s life and feeling that mixed and so common combination of jealousy and disappointment. I’ve only ever wanted to be a novelwriter, to be responsible for something truly honest and good. Somewhere along the way I decided that selfpunishment was a necessary part of the equation. I would write book after book, demanding that it be torture. Six years ago I set the task of completing three novels, printing them, deleting the files, then burning them all to ash without showing them to a soul. I did this, don’t regret it, but now know there must be another way. I’m looking at Dame Nellie and she’s so beautiful. I haven’t eaten all day, so am a little guilty that I’m staring into her portrait and wondering if there’s a place around here to get cheap elevenses. What’s the Nellie and food thing — Peach Melba? Must be. Wait, Melba Toast? I get it all mixed up with lamingtons and pavlova. They were named after opera singers, ballerinas? Something. There’s some argument about them being from New Zealand? My memory is in need of nutrients. One more display cabinet and I will go find a chocolate croissant. I look down at Nellie’s shoes, they are the size of a child’s. There must be a way for beautiful things to come from peace rather than pain; must be. I imagine these shoes being loved, being worn, pulled snug and warm around the Dame’s tiny feet.
SHADES OF GRAY IMAGINE IF YOU LIVED FOREVER BUT NEVER GREW UP. WELCOME TO THE MELBOURNE CABARET FESTIVAL’S LEAST LEARNED NIGHT OF SONG AND CIRCUMSTANCE. PAUL RANSOM GETS A LESSON IN FOLLY FROM EMMA CLAIR FORD, THE VOICE BEHIND THE DEFIANTLY UNWISE LILA GRAY.
Wisdom is inevitable for most us but for the much reincarnated Lila Gray being an old soul hasn’t translated into wisdom. Such is the premise behind Emma Clair Ford’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival show of the same name. Lila Gray is a song strewn trawl through five of the heroine’s lives, a tale of lessons unlearned and mistakes on repeat. With its blend of human folly, musicality and determined hedonism it fits perfectly into the smoky nocturnal milieu of cabaret. Indeed, for Lila’s creator cabaret has opened many doors since she first fell in love with it as a student. “As part of my degree we did a cabaret component and it was something that absolutely thrilled me. It gave voice to my own creative spirit and gave me the chance to tell my stories. For me that’s always been very important; because performance is storytelling.” And via the medium of Lila Gray, Ford gets to tell many intertwined stories. “She tells the tale of these five bodies she’s inhabited but she doesn’t possess any of wisdom that we normally associate with the idea of an old soul. She’s fickle, she’s impulsive, she’s impatient; and in a lot of ways she kinda turns a blind eye to a lot of the bigger picture questions.” However, woven into the fabric of the show are Ford’s own light-hearted
musings on the grand conundrums of life. “We all have these questions,” she says, “even if we don’t ponder them on a daily basis. Why am I here? How did I get here? Where am I going? That kinda stuff.” It’s meaty content for a one-woman cabaret show to wrap itself around. “In the end we’re all just these tiny creatures in a big, fast universe trying to attain different versions of happiness and success; and that’s just what Lila’s trying to do. She’s just got an odd way of doing it.” In true cabaret fashion Lila Gray comes replete with an eclectic songbook of standards and surprises. From jazz classics to Kurt Weill, to Dolly Parton, Radiohead, and “a little bit of rapping,” Emma Clair Ford sings her way through a century of Lila’s mishaps. “Deep down she probably does understand what’s going on,” Ford qualifies, “but she’s not trying to understand. She’s just in it for a good time really.” Ford meanwhile is in the Cabaret Festival for a busy time. Apart from Lila Gray she is the director of Short+Sweet Cabaret and performing in the slightly subversive Petticoat Soiree. It’s a cracking schedule but one she is more than happy to embrace. “Cabaret gives performers the chance to work,” she notes pragmatically. “Essentially there’s not a lot of
commercial performance work out there, so I think a lot of people turn DRIVE to cabaret as a form of expressing themselves and keeping their skills going. But then, for a lot of people, like me for instance, it turns into this incredible passion.” Clair Ford is clearly a sharp, switched on, singing, dancing cabaret machine; which makes you wonder about Lila? Where did she come from? “Anything that you write is always partly
autobiographical,” Ford confesses. “Sometimes people go, ‘So, this character, was this like a real life lover or something?’ and I’m, like, ‘I think I’ll just keep my cards close to my chest’.” Now that’s what I call wisdom. WHAT: Emma Clair Ford: Lila Gray/ The Petticoat Soiree WHERE & WHEN: Council Chamber, South Melbourne Town Hall Wednesday 20 July and Thursday 21/Thursday 21 to Saturday 23
ACO PERFORMS SCHUBERT, BACH Members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra perform Schubert’s sublime String Quintet, classical music at its most transcendent, and Bach’s Musical Offering interwoven with Stravinsky and Webern at the Melbourne Town Hall on Sunday 14 August and Monday 15. Details and audio clips at aco.com.au/ schubertstringquintet. Tickets are available from theartscentre.com.au.
BASTILLE DAY PARTY CELEBRATIONS Alliance Française, Cartell Music, Clandestine, and French meet-up invites you to celebrate the most important date of the French calendar with them: Bastille Day. The cultural, artistic, business, and networking French institutions of Melbourne join forces and ally to celebrate Bastille Day. The Bastille Day Party will bring heat from the European summer with a Belle Epoque-inspired jazz Bastille Ball Day with French cancan revue and the most French band in Melbourne, La Mauvaise Reputation. Fancy Dress. Lido vs Moulin Rouge, speakeasy inspired! Celebrate Bastille Day at Red Bennies on Friday, 7pm.
WITH ANTHONY CAREW Last week, with the MIFF programme still yet to be unleashed upon the Earth, I hit you with the big guns: the best ten films of the many I’ve seen thus far, all recommended unashamedly. If you missed that, well, you are a loser. But, well, they were: The Ballad Of Genesis & Lady Jaye; Detroit Wild City; Fleurs Du Mal; Into Eternity; Norwegian Wood; Operation 8; She Monkeys; Tears Of Gaza; Tomboy; Tuesday, After Christmas. See them and weep. But, given there’s like ten billion (actually, 330) films in the fest and programmes piling up around town, let’s forge on with more recommendin’. Here’s ten more picks o’ th’ MIFF. Thank me later. Curling (Denis Côté, Canada): Now Denis Villeneuve’s reinvented himself as gravitas powerhouse, Côté stands solitary as Québec’s quirkiest auteur. His latest peculiar portrait of strange humans in a snowy wasteland gives us a single father raising his daughter in pseudo-lockdown; imposed isolation inevitably perverting the worldview of both parent and child. Finisterrae (Sergio Caballero, Spain): Playing like a music-videocum-conceptual-art-installation pushed past the joke-movie point, this kooky conceptual comedy — made by one of the founders of the legendary Sonar music festival — stakes a claim for the hipster event of MIFF: a crazed collision of Jodorowsky, The Mighty Boosh, and the Garrel/Nico movies that gleefully mocks itself — and its audience — as it goes. Hi-So (Aditya Assarat, Thailand): After the towering power of Wonderful Town, the definitive artistic portrait of post-tsunami Thailand, Assarat’s second picture feels far more minor; a Thai-American beefcake back in his homeland, making a tsunami-centric movie (no less), dicking around an American girlfriend, then a Thai one. Its mirroring, bisectional structure makes it feel like some minor, misjudged take on Weerasethakul, but damn me if Hi-So’s eerie, elusive nature, sharp social satire, and decaying, ghosttown environs don’t linger long and tantalising in one’s memory. Jess + Moss (Clay Jeter, USA): Like some form of cinematic chillwave, Jeter’s debut is shot on more than 30 different film stocks, exploring the emotions of emulsion as it rolls celluloid on various degraded and weathered sequences that, in turn, fetishise faded audio-tape and vinyl within the narrative. Like the music of Ariel Pink and his acolytes, it’s an exploration of the intersection between faded technologies and fading memories.
ARCHIBALDS ON TOUR
Works of Archibald Prize finalists are on exhibition at the TarraWarra Museum of Art in July. The TWMA is the exclusive interstate host of the Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) 2011 Archibald Prize touring exhibition. The exhibition includes the works of all 41 finalists, including the prize winning painting of renowned Australian artist Margaret Olley AC, by artist Ben Quilty. Tickets are available now from twma.com. au.
VITREOUS FABRIC Vitreous Fabric by Jennifer Ashley King is a response to the interconnections between the built environment, light and materiality. The work can be perceived in a multiple of ways, ranging from luminous glass sculptures, to maquettes for impossible and unknown structures, to a dialogue engaging with architectural theory and contemporary sculptural practice. The work is constructed from hundreds of components which are formed and manipulated utilising glass fabrication processes. Similar to large scale structures in the environment, the work is in a state of visual flux as the qualities of light alter the glass sculptures from within. Unlike many historical examples of architecture and sculpture, the works are simultaneously surface, interior and structure. The exhibition runs at the Angela-Bird Gallery at Gasworks Art Park from Wednesday 20 July. Opening night is Tuesday 26, 6pm.
MUMA PRESENTS SLAVE PIANOS
Khodorkovsky (Cyril Tuschi, Russia): Less documentary than attempted documentary, this portrait of the jailed Russian oligarch must navigate the tyranny of Putin’s neo-Soviet state, where merely speaking Khodorkovsky’s name is asking for poison in your tea. Tuschi — forever lingering at the edge of the frame — is constantly advised not to make the film, but persists to the point where he backs into an authoritative portrait on modern Russia, in all its grotesque wealth and stupefying horror. Michael (Markus Schleinzer, Austria): Given Austria’s greatest artistic exports of the past 20 years are Michael Haneke and Elfriede Jelinek, it wasn’t going to be long until a suitably brutal, creepy artistic interpretation of the societal spectre of Josef Fritzl arrived. So it comes with this frill-free picture of a seemingly-anonymous Austrian office drone who just happens to keep a boy locked in his basement. There’s not a single salacious scene or hysterical note herein; just an eerie, uneasy, deadpan detachment loaded with theme and meaning. Outside Satan (Bruno Dumont, France): The most unwavering asshole of modern cinema returns with his latest thoroughly-unlikeable film-asfuck-you: another slice of brutal rural miserablism in which uncharismatic people casually do detestable things, perverse Catholic symbolism forever lingers, and the auteur reveals his hand in every frame, self-styled as
interventionist God of his own universe. Project Nim (James Marsh, USA): One of the strongest curative threads in MIFF 2010 was the animal-centric Wild Things section, but none of its impressive works was quite as impressive as Project Nim. Marsh’s chronicle of the first chimp to be taught sign language is a profound work of documentary tragicomedy; a hilarious and heartbreaking saga that effectively explores humanity’s uneasy relationship with its primate heritage. Tilva Rosh (Nikola Lezaic, Serbia): Straggly portrait of jocular, Jackassstyled Serbian youths endlessly killing time in the forgotten, futureless wasteland of their dead-end
hometown, a beacon of formerYugoslavian industrial glory whose cavernous copper mine was shut down; the whole city, effectively, if not literally, now just one giant fucking hole. Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, USA): If you only see one quirky-Americanindie-movie from the many at MIFF (and, given their usual quality, one may be the way to go), Dunham’s made-when-she-was-23 mumblecore memoir should be the pick. Its charming take on the ‘lost’ days of a post-college malaise turned the writer/ director/star into indie ‘it’ girl and adopted Apatow prodigy, after all.
REWRITING THE LANDSCAPE Nature is transformed through the human necessity to occupy, build, develop, and utilise: conventional details in the existing landscape such as roads, carparks, retaining walls, or kerbs are idiosyncratic to the composition and identity of a place. Levelling explores the ways in which landscape is rewritten within the parameters of these artificial modifications, focusing on the underlying infrastructure that forms the intersections of Melbourne’s CBD, suburbs and periphery. Levelling opens at No No Gallery, North Melbourne, Thursday 21 July.
ARTISTS LOOK INTO THE PAST On 23 July the National Gallery Of Victoria will open a contemporary exhibition exploring artists’ fascination with the passing of time. Ten Ways To Look At The Past will feature works by ten Australian artists, including new acquisitions by David Noonan, Tom Nicholson, and Richard Lewer, which will be on display at the NGV for the first time, along with works by Ricky Swallow, Narelle Jubelin, Tracey Moffat, and Emily Floyd. Head to ngv.vic.gov.au for more info. The exhibition runs until February.
MUMA presents a performance by Slave Pianos on the final day of the acclaimed exhibition Slave Pianos | Punkasila | Pipeline To Oblivion: 3 Projects By Danius Kesminas And Collaborators, Saturday July 23, 3.30pm to 4.30pm, at the Monash University Museum of Art. Slave Pianos is a provocative and highly inventive collective of artists, composers and musicians devoted to the exhibition, collection, analysis, performance and re-composition of sound work by visual artists. The closing day performance The Gift: Redaction And Decontamination will combine theatre, music and art to activate elements of the exhibition. Featuring actor Richard Piper, a tesla coil (a high voltage discharge device), and members of Slave Pianos in an execution and musical ultra-reduction of sound works from the avant-garde.
HITCHENS, FATHER BOB MAGUIRE FOR THINK INC Some of the most thought-provoking personalities from around the world will come to Melbourne for Think Inc’s inaugural event at the Plenary on 18 September, 2011. The day will be far from the traditional conference-style events that we’re used to. Fronted by Australian funnyman Josh Thomas, guests will be entertained by a plethora of international speakers spanning science, rationalism, scepticism and secularism, including Christopher Hitchens (via live-feed), Christina Rad, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael Shermer and Father Bob Maguire. Think Inc is singleminded in its approach to provoke thought in both a scientific and rational manner and to address the issues around changes needed to be made over the next ten years to ensure we survive and flourish. Tickets are available from thinkinc.org.au.
RELEASE AT GASWORKS Release is a high energy, quirky, and dynamic work inspired by a series of dance quotations. The meanings are the basis in which the movement is created. Release pays homage to the great pioneers of dance, drawing from George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Fred Astaire, Jiri Kylian and Bob Fosse, and incorporating their unique styles and nuances. Release, running from Thursday to Sunday at Gasworks Theatre, is a compelling look at dance and the world that it creates. Get tickets at gasworks.org.au.
DUEL’S AEROSOL ASSASSIN EXHIBITION Beginning his artistic journey in 1983 in the subways of Melbourne, Duel became renowned for his unique style, establishing him as an innovator within the Melbourne graffiti scene and becoming part of its cultural fabric. After featuring in the documentary Sprayed Conflict in 1992, the significance of Duel’s work went beyond the subways. With large scale productions, and the incorporation of sculpture to his portfolio, Duel inspired countless others with his dynamic style. He pushed the boundaries of the Melbourne scene, building public awareness of the art form, and inspiring a new and fresh approach to graffiti. The Aerosol Assassin, an exhibition of his works, opens at Kick Gallery on Thursday 21 July, 6pm.
MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS
CULTURAL CRINGE EYE OF THE STORM
LIZA DEZFOULI RAKES OVER COALS WITH DAVID WHITELEY, DIRECTOR OF RED STITCH’S ‘ROM DOT COM’, MY ROMANTIC HISTORY.
Does the world need another play about the relationship woes of middle class 30-somethings? We want all the middle class scripts we can find,” says David Whiteley, artistic director of much lauded theatre company, Red Stitch. “That’s who most of us are. I’m sick of the working class!” Whiteley is bringing to the stage a play he dubs a ‘rom dot com’, My Romantic History (by Scottish playwright DC Jackson), to open the company’s second half year. Whiteley describes the work as a “very interesting creation”. “It’s the story of a relationship told from both points of view; you get the female and the male perspective. But it’s kind of told by all three actors and it’s not only about the current relationship but also past relationships.” What makes the play so different and appealing, according to Whiteley, is its singular approach to love’s neverending story. “It’s a really exciting text, with lots of humour,” he notes. “It’s a mash-up, jumping about from one time and one place to another, like a monodrama, a theatrical kind of storytelling.” Whitely talks about directing the play in terms of illustrating a story. “Taking the idea of illustration a bit further, it’s recounting a story by saying, ‘Here, I’ll show you.’ In the blink of an eye it goes from public storytelling to a private mode, from a naturalistic context to an outlandish, exaggerated comical scenario.” Creating shifts, he says, can be done with a carefully chosen prop, a turn of the head, the use of stylised stage language and actors sharing the parts. The challenge for the director, Whiteley adds, lies in finding a theatrical kind of conceit that isn’t conventional to house it all. “Finding a
WITH REBECCA COOK Local legends Paul Capsis, Denise Scott, Hannah Gadsby, Eddie Perfect, Moira Finucane, Geoffrey Rush and Red Stitch Actors Theatre are all in the running for Australia’s most prestigious live performing arts awards, the Helpmann Awards. The nominations for the annual awards, which encompass theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre, were announced last week concurrently in Sydney by MC Jonathan Biggins, and in Melbourne by MC Todd McKenney. But our local performers and companies are up against some pretty stiff competition from star-studded heavy-hitters Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney-based Belvoir St Theatre, who dominated the theatre categories with nine and 11 nominations respectively. Take the Best Play category for example, where Patricia Cornelius’s comment on ageing, Do Not Go Gentle, produced by local venue fortyfivedownstairs, is up against Uncle Vanya by STC and two shows by Belvoir: The Diary Of A Madman and The Wild Duck. It’s an impressive feat for fortyfivedownstairs to make the list considering the STC has Giorgio Armani as a patron, and Belvoir has Optus as a corporate partner. Similarly, Belvoir holds three out of the four nominations for Best Direction Of A Play and two of the four nominations for Best Female Supporting Actor in a Play and Best Male Supporting Actor In A Play. Victorians (or adopted Victorians) fair much better in the Best Comedy Performer category with Denise Scott (Denise Scott Regrets), Hannah Gadsby (Mrs Chuckles), and Tom Gleeson (Up Himself) up against former Melburnian Wil Anderson (Man vs Wil). We also hold our own
stage space to accommodate all that, and the balance of comedy and drama; you need to get the drama right for the comedy to work. “Most romantic comedies are about ‘beautiful people’,” the director continues. “You’ll know they’ll make it, there’s just an obstacle in the way, one’s in the army or something. But what about the rest of us? How do you actually find the one you dreamed of as a young person?” Good question. Someone answer it, quick! “What are the options?” asks Whiteley. “The people we meet at work? Like the play says, you put two animals in a cage, they’ll breed.” The intriguing thing about My Romantic History is the way it explores how our pasts have such bearing on the present, and the point of time when we begin to realise that. “It’s an interesting subject,” says Whiteley. “We are defined by our memories. Our emotional life, our romantic relationships define who we are, they inform our life. When you’re older you can see the pattern in yourself, that dawning awareness of how your life has been shaped by your past, by your relationships… That change that hits you in your 30s, when all your romantic ideas change… It makes you aware of yourself as a partner, or the pain you’ve caused other people that often impedes our future, shapes our relationships later. This is the salient point the play tackles. It’s the reality of life. Everybody will relate to that point of time.” WHAT: My Romantic History WHERE & WHEN: Friday to Saturday 13 August
ONE CORNER CLOSER
million Brazilians looking for something to raise their post-dictatorship depression — rather than a study of the sport. It does vilify Prost a little more than that champion deserves, but Kapida points out that the film is called Senna after all.
SENNA, THE DOCUMENTARY OF ONE OF FORMULA ONE’S GREATEST DRIVERS, CHARACTERS, AND NAMES, BRINGS A WHOLE NEW INTENSITY TO SOMEONE THE WORLD THOUGHT THEY KNEW. DIRECTOR ASIF KAPADIA TALKS TO SCOTT FITZSIMONS.
“Honestly, he’s the most rounded film character I’ve ever had,” he says. “He’s amazingly talented, he’s a genius in one part of his professional life, he’s a tough character, [but] he’s not whiter than white, shall we say, he’s got this edge to him that makes him interesting, that makes him sexy, that makes him cool.”
Depending on who you ask, Ayrton Senna was arguably the greatest car racing driver that not only the sport of Formula One saw, but he’d stake a fair claim to the history of motorsport as a whole. The Brazilian driver who rose through the levels of motorsport as a youngster to win the World Championship three times before his on-track death at the age of 34 carries an air of mystique about his name, a tension and intensity that’s reflected in the feature film documentary Senna. The development of the film started in 2004 when producer James Gay-Rees read a newspaper article describing Senna’s intensity and aura and recalled how his father had remembered him in a similar way. After raising the concept, interest snowballed and people — both inside and outside of the industry — wanted to become involved. Producer Manish Pandy was the husband of a
Those even remotely familiar with sporting history though know how the story ends. The famous in-car footage of Senna’s last lap has been widely circulated and it’s the first search result on the internet, but on
film executive, a surgeon himself, who ended up a writer on the film due to his obsession with Senna. Previously working with dramas, director Asif Kapadia was brought to the project in 2006 to develop a script and work through the sequential process of writing, directing and editing the archival footage. “We had a lot of luck on this film,” he says of those early days. Endorsed and supported by Senna’s family and the Formula One governing body, the film tracks Senna’s years in Formula One with a focus on his bitter and intriguing battle with rival and at times teammate Alain Prost. All the footage is archival, with no talking heads but an approximately 50/50 split of old commentary and modern interviews overlaid on the footage. A sports fan (“long before I was into movies”) Kapadia has tried to let Senna tell the story, and it’s a story of his character — a driver who carried the weight of 160
PETER RUSSELL-CLARKE PAINTS LIVE To launch his exhibition titled Come And See It! at Cyclone Gallery, running Thursday to Friday 19 August, Peter Russell-Clarke will be painting live at an event for media and friends, this evening (Wednesday). The completed artwork will be donated to GordonCare — a charity offering vital services for children, young people, and families. It’s happening at Cyclone Gallery, South Melbourne, 6pm.
in the cabaret category with Eddie Perfect (Misanthropology) vying against Moira Finucane’s Carnival Of Mysteries from last year’s Melbourne Festival, and Paul Capsis (Make Me A King). Melbourne playwright Declan Greene has also received a nod in the Best New Australian Work category for Moth, which was presented by the Malthouse and Arena Theatre Company last year to critical acclaim. Nominees won’t need to hold their collective breath for too long — all will be revealed at the awards ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on 1 August. In brief, the full programme has now been unveiled for this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) with Belgian film The Fairy to open the festival on 21 July. “The Fairy is that rare case of a festival-friendly film that is honourably humanist and inventive yet unapologetically accessible and comical. That it is also whimsical and a little nostalgic makes it the perfect opening for the 60th MIFF,” said MIFF artistic director Michelle Carey. Directors and lead actors Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon (who grew up in Melbourne) will be guests. Other just-divulged highlights include: the world premiere of Fred Schepsi’s The Eye Of The Storm and the world premiere of the first two episodes of the highly anticipated ABC TV series, The Slap, based on the novel by Christos Tsiolkas. Cringe is looking forward to checking out the Crime Scene programme that focuses on international films within the crime genre. In particular Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, that has been touted as the most successful film in Brazilian history. For more, head to miff.com.au.
the big screen that climactic moment — and more or less the manner in which the whole film leads to that point — takes on new gravity. “I think that final lap is some of the most powerful footage I’ve ever seen, the tension inherently in that… For me he’s driving better than ever. That car is flying, feels like I’m gliding, I’m not aware of anyone else in the world. But there is the tension in there, ‘My god, is it this corner? No it’s not, oh god that means I’m one corner closer.’” WHAT: Senna WHERE & WHEN: Screening at Greater Union Russell St Friday 22 July, 6.30pm and Forum Theatre Saturday 30, 4pm
JACK DOUGLAS AND ADAM OEHLERS JOINT EXHIBITION Check out all new works of Jack Douglas and Adam Oehlers in their joint exhibition Taradiddle (a silken lie or fairytale). Expect a “visual mash-up of two worlds created by two artists, exploring a visual depiction of the feeling one gets when losing yourself in a tale and realising that something isn’t quite right.” Taradiddle runs until 18 July at Rancho Notorious, 361 Lt Lonsdale Street.
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$20-36 per hour Great working hours: 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday Located in a bright Victorian mansion just off Lygon street, Carlton. We are seeking friendly people with a laid-back and conďŹ dent phone manner to call businesses. The idea is simple, for every bottle of water a company buys, a bottle with their name on it gets sent out to the SES volunteers. Continued work will be created for the right people. If you have good command of the English language and basic computer skills call us today on:
9946-6868 or 1800-908-034 and ask for Dan or Amy twitter.com/inpressmag
DEAD MAN WALKING LIZ GIUFFRE TALKS TO TEX PERKINS AND FILMMAKER JANINE HOSKING ABOUT THE CHAD MORGAN PORTRAIT THEY’VE WORKED ON TOGETHER, I’M NOT DEAD YET. I’m Not Dead Yet is the story of Chad Morgan, a country music legend who many of us city folk only know a little about, but who by rights should be a legend like Slim Dusty, Smoky Dawson, and the Chambers clan. But with Morgan, forget polite ditties about pubs with no beer; instead there’re stories about murder, nutters, and the odd dog call. It makes sense that this indescribable, but well-loved local treasure should have his story told, and also narrated by the equally adored (and uncategorisible) Tex Perkins. “I did have Chad’s Greatest Hits for many years… I think I was probably about 14 or 15 when I first heard him on radio — a late night DJ in Brisbane put a Chad Morgan CD on,” begins Perkins by way of explanation. “I didn’t think about him again for a few years, then I actually supported him in 1988; [fellow Beast of Bourbon] Spencer Jones and myself, we were doing a little duo set, and we were very fortunate to support Chad at the Labor Club in Surry Hills. “So yeah, Chad’s been a cult figure for a very long time, and I’m really glad to be involved in this documentary. Even
though I’ve known of him for a long time, but not much about him.” Perkins got involved in I’m Not Dead Yet after director Janine Hosking saw his work in the Johnny Cash show The Man In Black, and initially approached him because of his careful respect from a musician’s point of view. “We wanted someone with a connection,” Hosking says, “which is why we didn’t want an actor; I always wanted a musician to do it, but they also had to have enough darkness to them as well, because Chad’s had a pretty wild life.” As the project developed, however, and stories of their former lives converging were unearthed, Tex and Chad were reunited on film as part of the doco, something that will not only satisfy cross-genre and cross-generational trainspotters, but it also proves that despite Morgan’s age, he still commands much respect. “To get the two musos talking was great,” continues Hosking, and indeed, the mind boggles as to what war stories of the Oz music circuit the two may have between them. Backstage at the Surry Hills Labor Club circa 1988
aside, has reconnecting with Morgan via the doco made Perkins think about his own longevity? “I’d be happy to make 59 [in the music industry] — well, actually 49, really. No, I don’t see it happening, but I wouldn’t say no, I won’t be knocking myself off…” says Perkins, laughing. As for the possibility of a revival of Morgan’s work via the doco, Hoskings is optimistic. “I would love to see a bit of a revival because I think what is actually happening, and it’s unrelated to the documentary, there seems to be a momentum building for Chad. He won the Golden Guitar awards last year, where he got a standing ovation from the country music industry, so I think they’re recognising his iconic status, his work in the pioneering days of the genre. And that’s helped quite a lot by having someone like Tex say, ‘You know, I listen to Chad to’, giving him that respect.” WHAT: I’m Not Dead Yet WHERE & WHEN: Greater Union Russell St Sunday 31 July, 4pm
YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL THE BEAUTIFUL LOSERS ARE HERE FOR THE MELBOURNE CABARET FESTIVAL. TROY MUTTON CATCHES UP WITH ONE-THIRD OF THE CABARET TROUPE, MIKE MCLEISH, TO FIND OUT JUST HOW DARK IT REALLY IS. When Front Row catches up with Mike McLeish, who together with Mark Jones and Karlis Zaid forms The Beautiful Losers — a threeman tour de force of blackly comic cabaret theatre — they are in the midst of rehearsals, which appear to be going well. “I’m happy to walk away from those couple of bums for a few minutes,” McLeish says with a laugh. “It’s all spit-polish stuff now so we’re just running through making sure we’ve got the setlist together. It’s sounding great; always good fun with these two guys.” What they are rehearsing is the return of their song-and-dance show, where the three musicians re-do classic songs, but with a much darker edge. McLeish explains further: “Well it’s a cabaret trio that presents… it’s safe to call adult content. We wrap it up in some really beautiful music, but don’t bring the kids,” he begins. “The beautiful work has always sort of been about exploring the dark recesses of the Australian male and all that sort of stuff. Yeah, some of it’s pretty dark, a lot of it’s very funny too. But it has
moments of darkness.” According to the press release, the show may or may not contain tales of murderers, sado-masochists, necrophiliacs, gay soldiers, dog handlers, and Jesus freaks. You have been warned, and so far, people have been up for the show, which has been running for a few years now. “I think in my time we’ve only had one walk out, which I find really disappointing,” Mcleish jokes. The show will feature the music of such legends as Lou Reed, Randy Newman, Rufus Wainright, and, er, Adam Sandler, and McLeish explains a little further the process when it comes to song selection. “We’ll often look at the songs through the lyrical content first and figure out if it sort of fits with, you know, systematically with what we want to do and then we’ll work on arranging the songs to fit that,” he says. “Just now, we’re working on an arrangement of Run To Paradise by the Choirboys. It is very different from the original… You know that’s a big Aussie rock anthem, but when you listen to the lyrics it’s
actually pretty dark, kind of a junky’s lament. So we’ve sort of taken the lyric out, and I’ve done a bit of a different arrangement to highlight the lyrics a bit more.” For McLeish the show comes on the back of his hugely successful turn as Paul Keating in Keating! The Musical, plus multiple roles in another infamous Australian’s show, Shane Warne The Musical, and The Beautiful Losers is proving a pleasant departure from the largeness of those spectaculars. “Keating! was an all-guns-blazing crowd pleaser, and this… It is probably safe to say that it’s more challenging material, but musically, it’s pretty beautiful. Mark Jones and Karl Zaid are both pretty top musicians and beautiful singers so even in the content it always sounds good.” WHAT: The Beautiful Losers WHERE & WHEN: The Butterfly Club Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 July
SMALL ODYSSEYS Small Odysseys, featuring live music by Jethro Woodward and vocalist, double bass player Ida Duelund Hansen, is a work of grit and tenderness. It tells stories both intimate and vast. A collage of images and moving pictures reveals moments of daring and glimpses of journeys from the epic to the everyday. Small Odysseys plays with proximity and distance, shifts between intimacy and isolation and carries a yearning for home. This new work by Rawcus, a company of performers with and without disabilities, continues their trademark style of stunning visual imagery and magical realism with moments of gentleness, anarchy, humour and heart. Small Odysseys runs until Saturday 23 July at the Arts House Meat Market. Tickets from the venue.
COMFORTABLE SHORTS FILM NIGHT Comfortable Shorts is a new monthly short film night, bringing you the best short films both locally and globally. This exciting night boasts a live DJ, prizes, Q&As with directors and writers, complimentary nibbles and a fully serviced bar. This is the ideal place to network, chat, have a couple of drinks, be merry, and watch some great cinema. It’s happening at Loop, Tuesday 19 July, 7pm. For more details check comfortableshorts.com.
AFTRS OPEN PROGRAM SHORT COURSES Interviews can explore the emotional landscape of a person, uncover facts and/ or just purely entertain. They are crucial to creating the heart of a story. This course equips students with the essential skills for conducting potent documentary interviews across a variety of genres. Different techniques are examined such as: the interrogator, the confidant, the innocent, the peer, the conversationalist,
the superstar, and the foil as well as the ethical issues that arise with filming real people. The Interviewer’s Guide To Truth And Intimacy workshop runs Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 5pm. Visit openprogram.aftrs.edu.au for information on how to apply.
THE MOURNERS LOOKS AT THE FRINGE The Mourners, by award-winning photographer Georgia Metaxas, is on at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Fitzroy. The exhibition continues the artist’s fascination with capturing subjects at the fringes of the community, exploring their rituals and way of life. The Mourners presents a series of portraits documenting the ritual of wearing black as a signifier for perpetual mourning. The women presented in these portraits have chosen to wear black for the rest of their lives. The exhibition runs from until 7 August.
THE MAN IN WHITE
INSPIRED EFFORT DIESEL talks his new record Under The Influence with JEREMY WILLIAMS.
In case you weren’t sure, the backlash is over and trance is cool again. ROGER SHAH tells STUART EVANS why.
of time. So, can Diesel even begin to comprehend where the time has gone? He admits with a proud smile, “I can’t actually. 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the first album, so I saw that go by. Toby Creswell, the journalist I have been speaking to, figured out when I started with the ball rolling. It is 25 years of The Injectors and all that. But where do you stop? It is even longer if you figure it out from when I left my bedroom at the age of 14. Do we need to go there? But I think it coincides nicely with this record as it is a way of celebrating all the music that has influenced my career. Not all of it, but a lot of it.”
during my shows. I enjoy playing for the people,” he says. Such is the interest in Shah he’s managed to chart in the top 50 of DJ Magazine’s Top 100 chat for the past three years. In 2007 trance stalwart Armin Van Buuren named Shah’s Who Will Find Me as his track of the year. The Dutch DJ recognised the commercial opportunity for Who Will Find Me and subsequently contacted Shah in early 2008 to ask if he fancied collaborating. The result was Going Wrong, featuring Chris Jones’ vocals, which became the biggest selling trace single of the year.
orn in Esslingen, southern Germany, Roger Shah’s musical stride started in 1999 with Tides Of Time, Claps and The Mission. In 2003 Nebula, a Virgin Records’ imprint, signed High – his first non-domestic release. Trance music is where Shah’s at, and he believes the future is glowing for the genre. “It’s a really exciting time for trance music right now. There’s been a house and trance fusion where house tracks are a lot more melodic and trance records are slower than they’ve previously been. It’s been a year of progress for trance music,” he tells. Not that trance has had an easy ride. From the genre’s euphoric highs to the canning and backlash it received a few years back, Shah reckons the genre has a place amongst today’s electro-dominated beats. “Music is changing a lot but the fusion between house and trance will help. I’m not sure about the uplifting trance that’s around 140 beatsper-minute though, as I get bored by that kind of style.” Shah’s stage presence is hard to disregard. Aside from the obvious – Shah decked in white, wireless keyboard clutched in one hand – his live performances have brought something different to the moribund and familiar live DJ spectacle. Shah’s made watching a DJ interesting again. “A good live show is about interacting and engaging with people. I wanted to incorporate that aspect into my sets to give something back to the people. That’s why I try to pick random people from the audience to come up on stage to play the keyboard with me
Shah’s own Magic Island label, named as homage to Ibiza, has been pivotal to his achievements. He says he’s used the label to release his own grooves and celebrated its 50th release in late 2010. And, of course, Shah’s repute to produce a good remix is known and appreciated by the likes of Tiesto, Sarah McLachlan, Cosmic Gate, System F and the Thrillseekers. Another populist approach has been his Music For The Balearic People compilation series and his Magic Island: Music For Balearic People radio show. This month Shah will release his follow-up to the 2008 album Songbook. Called Open Minded?, he believes his latest offering has a few key differences from his last effort. “This is my first actual artist album that uses just my full-name of Roger Shah,” he reveals. For Shah the devil is in the detail. In late 2008 he dropped the DJ prefix, opting to go it alone in the naming convention. “I dropped the DJ reference as DJ Roger Shah didn’t tell the whole story. It was just wrong to call myself a DJ as I was doing more than just DJing and my live shows weren’t just me standing there playing records. The decision was an easy one to make,” he tells. On Open Minded? Shah’s opted for his regular vocal collaborations of Adrina Thorpe, Chris Jones and Inger Hansen as well as Carla Werner (the vocal from Paul Oakenfold’s Southern Sun) and Moya Brennan. The latter, known to many as the sultry voice behind Chicane’s Balearic classic Saltwater, teamed up with Shah to make Morning Star. “I called the album Open Minded? because the album’s very diverse. On one disc it really shows the progression from house to trance while the other disc has little to do with dance music and is more like a full live band production,” he explains.
WHO: Roger Shah WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Amber Lounge
ad I emerged out of Perth maybe in the last ten years even, I might have ended up staying and living in Perth like all the Perth bands now. They don’t need to live in Sydney or Melbourne. It was different in my day. You had to get out of there, you had to physically move and rent some shit hole in Melbourne or Sydney to show that you were serious.” Diesel (born Mark Denis Lizotte) is in retrospective mode. Having been based in Sydney for a good few years, the Massachusetts born Perth singer/guitarist has noted over the past 25 years of his celebrated career that the Australian music industry has undergone several changes. With the industry making a larger global contribution than it has ever done previously, on the home front, it is easier for bands to establish themselves on the national scene without having to give up their homes. While he has no regrets about his moves, and is clearly content in his Sydney home, it is also obvious that at the age of 45, with well over half his lifespan having played out on stage, that Diesel is in the mood for contemplating and celebrating how it all began. As they say, time flies, and for anyone who has been as busy as Diesel, who is set to release his 12th studio album and has won no less than five ARIAs (three for best male artist), it is hard to believe how much can be achieved in a relatively short space
The record of which he speaks is aptly entitled Under The Influence and sees him reworking classics by all his childhood favourites, from Neil Young to Al Green, with just a touch of Louis Prima thrown in for good measure. While all the aforementioned were strong influences on a teenage Diesel, there is a late, great Seattle born guitarist whose work is heavily featured on Under The Influence and to whom Diesel feels he owes the inspiration for his career. With the teenage fan gleaming through the twinkle in his eye, Diesel beams, “Hendrix. I went from playing cello at the age of eight through to I was fourteen, very seriously every week. I was playing in orchestras and taking lessons, then I drifted over to playing the guitar. I got given one as a Christmas present, an electric guitar and that was it. Then I found the cassette that changed my life, Jimi Hendrix Smash Hits and that was it. I was off. I had my guitar hero and a guitar, that was all I needed to get going.” While after 25 years in the business, Diesel is taking a moment to tip his hat to his own heroes, has he ever stopped to think that he may well have been one of the reasons the Australian industry has become so all embracing of talent regardless of location? Or the fact that as he tips his hat, there is a whole generation of musicians who may in a few years be doing the very same in his honour? The modest musician smiles and says modestly, “I guess that is how it works. Making the record I could hear myself playing these songs by people and I hear their influence coming back out through me and back into their music. It was really weird. It is like it goes in here and comes out here. It is mutated, it is like The Fly, the combination of the two together. It is a hybrid.”
WHO: Diesel WHAT: Under The Influence (Liberation) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 22 July, Regent Theatre (Ballarat); Friday 23, Palms at Crown; and Saturday 24 Gateway Hotel (Geelong)
RIDING THE SNAKE
Disco funk powerhouse DONNY BENET cut his teeth playing to senior citizens. He tells BRENT BALINSKI why entertaining a nursing home is harder than rocking a festival.
fter refining his art at nursing homes, birthday parties and the Las Vegas Airport Hilton Hotel lobby, the artist known as Donny Benet is ready to take his cheesy, synth-heavy disco funk to the masses. Music is, as the cliché goes, in his blood. “My father was the famous Italian disco accordionist, Antonio Giocamelli Benet, and he played at weddings and Italian nightclubs and I used to go and sit in with him,” says Benet, whose father (his perhapsnot-completely-believable backstory goes…) was a famous Italian disco piano accordionist. “So I’ve taken over from him. Basically for me I’ve been between Australia and a hotel lobby [in Las Vegas], I’ve been playing a lot of music there.” Benet is back from a year in Vegas, entertaining lobby-goers with his Michael Henderson-influenced smoothness, his blistering Moog solos, and his distinctive though not-quite pitch perfect croon. You might hear a little bit of Harold Faltermeyer-esque atmospheric ‘80s soundtrack kitschiness, maybe even a touch of Italian synth prog a la Goblin, but Benet cites Henderson as the major influence behind Don’t Hold Back. “He was a jazz player with Miles Davis and he kind of did the whole turnaround and went from being a young jazz bassist to an R&B heartthrob,” explains Benet, who is familiar with wearing very different hats musically, and who can also be seen in Jack Ladder’s band as his bassist. “The major influence for this kind of music is late-’70s, early-’80s stuff. I just discovered this great R&B singer called Kashif, and another guy, Dennis Edwards.”
Sonically, Benet has drawn from the above sources, but the lyrical and emotional content on DHB was informed by the highs and lows of Vegas. “That was a really funny time, because my father’s manager, Frank Fiorelli, kind of helped me cut my teeth. It was a pretty tough gig,” explains our friend behind the the Fender Rhodes. The tremendous possibilities and the constant sleaze left their mark on Benet. “A lot of the songs are about being a bit unlucky in love. I found that that any relationships you wanted, even the non-sexual relationships, involved money. It was a really bright and dark place to be.
or eight.’ But no, it’s actually the opposite. If you can do it with three you’re on a winner. That’s my take on it.”
“There was a lot of situations in the Hilton lobby where there’d be a few people there and you really have to push as a performer, and it’s also about putting yourself out there and not holding back on anything. It is trying to send a positive message to people to better themselves.”
Though River Of Snakes’ drummer has since changed (November, last year), the process of songs just “coming out” remains. “Pretty much we just write them like: I’ll come up with a riff or a chord progression, and maybe like Bad Blood [the upcoming EP’s title track] – that’s just two words,” Sanchez explains, enunciating “bad blood” with a little extra emphasis on the ‘B’s and ‘D’s, making the phrase sound a little like it came out of a character from Deadwood. “We’re really fast,” he continues. “We don’t spend a lot of energy going over it. If it doesn’t work, we just drop it, and if it does work, we’ll just stick to it.”
To be fair to the initially skeptical crowds, it is not every day that they will be exposed to “mind-melting” Moog solos, which, despite their raw exuberance and virtuosity, might take a little getting used to. The Moog harks back to Benet’s earliest musical disagreements with his father, The Great Antonio Giacomelli. “The Moog was kind of an extension from the influence of my father,” remembers Benet with a little sadness. “I used to play accordion quite a bit but found it couldn’t cut through. We kind of had – not really a falling out, but – an obtuse disagreement about precision vs technology and I said with a synthesiser we can amplify it and really cut through, and we can pitch bend and that’s kind of why I chose it.” In October Benet will be playing the Parklife festival. “Parklife will be – they’ll take it or leave it,” he predicts, “which is exciting for a performer.” He cites previous gigs, such as a series of dates at the Scallabrini Village, as much more intimidating to play than any music festival. “Most of the people at the nursing home would be semi-comatose, I guess,” he remembers. “It’s actually harder for entertainers at the Scalabrini nursing home; you’ve got to give it your all, because the audience has got better things they could be doing.”
a joy that we get to reap the fruit of because we’ve looked at how fucked up we can be, and we’ve called ourselves out on issues that, normally, many people would ignore. It’s not easy to convey joy: it takes a lot of patience and perseverance. It takes looking at yourself and how fucked up you are, and realising that you’re not fucked up at all. That you’re beautiful. Y’know?”
“A lot of stuff we write because we feel that there is this lack of happiness in the world,” begins vocalist/ percussionist Tiffany Lamson. “A lack of joy, or the pure pleasure of being alive. We try to tap into that side to show people that it does exist, to hopefully make them more welcoming to happiness in their own lives.” “It’s the natural way that we all want to be,” continues Taylor Guarisco, Givers’ guitarist/vocalist, and effectively Lamson’s foil out front. “Being happy is the natural way of existing; when you’re kids, you’re all just naturally happy. We want to find that again, and it takes work. You have to look at yourself and say: ‘What about me is fucked up, that’s stopping me from being happy, like I was when I was a kid? Why am I insecure about this? Why am I so overthinking that?’ “To truly feel joy, you have to face the fact that you have insecurities, you have to face all this shit. Because it’s not a fake joy, it’s a real joy we’re tapping into. It’s
ehind the counter of the most satisfactory Thornbury Records, there are the remains of an unfortunate guitar held barely together by its own strings and pinned to the wall. This was once Raul Sanchez’s (Magic Dirt, Midnight Woolf and, most recently, River Of Snakes) guitar, a post-show present to the store owners. It suffices pretty well as an introduction to the man, who cites wanton destruction as all part of the fun of playing hard music. Sanchez was inspired to start playing once introduced to the Sex Pistols in his teens, back in Spain (from where he originally hails). He describes the irresistible pull of punk and garage that informs so much of the music in his new band, River Of Snakes: “I think the thing that really connected me to it was the energy. It was the energy and also, you know, the sentiment,” he explains. “I don’t know why. I didn’t have a reason back then to be that angry, but it just connected with some kind of frustration. And you know, I like breaking things and jumping around.” If a dismembered guitar corpse could speak, it’d clearly concur.
Despite its offhandedness, the method evidently works for Sanchez. In fact, he has something of a philosophy behind it. “I never sit down with my guitar and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to write a song.’ I just sit down and start playing my guitar and a song will come. I’ve said this a few times before, but I think artists take too much credit for their art,” he states. “I don’t know where it comes from. I just let it happen. I’m like the conduit. The songs that you have to labour over, it shows. It’s like: that’s a bit strenuous. Whereas the ones that just flow, they tend to be the best ones.” River Of Snakes’ flow aims to break the banks at Bad Blood’s upcoming launch, with some more of Melbourne’s heavier bands in tow: Useless Children, Blacklevel Embassy and Dead River. DJ Adalita will be spinning tunes on the night as well. All in all it looks to be a great night – get on board.
WHO: River Of Snakes WHAT: Bad Blood (Emergency) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 22 July, Tote
Being happy ain’t easy in this day and age. But as ANTHONY CAREW discovers, as far as GIVERS are concerned it’s possible.
In lieu of Magic Dirt going on hiatus, Sanchez formed River of Snakes. “It originally started off as just a bit of fun,” Sanchez says. “Me and Matt Sonic [Magic Dirt] would just hang out on Sunday arvos and play some tunes, and then songs started to come out. And, yeah, we thought, ‘Well, let’s get a bass player.’” The band’s current line-up consists of bassist Elissa Rose (The Loveless) and drummer Dante Gabriele (Midnight Woolf).
Sanchez agrees that the decade or so spent in seminal Australian garage band Magic Dirt were influential in his making as a musician: “Yeah, massive,” he concurs. “When you’re in a band with a great songwriter and great musicians, well, it taught me more about making things simpler than about actually complicating things. I have a tendency to be like, ‘Oh, gotta make this but have six chords,
WHO: Donny Benet WHAT: Don’t Hold Back (Rice Is Nice) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 July, Corner Hotel; Saturday 13 August, Workers Club
ivers take being happy seriously. It’s clearly their musical metier: delivering bouncy, peppy, handclapping odes to joie de vivre, drawing on their past as Zydeco musicians – they all grew up amidst the Cajun culture of Lafayette, Louisiana – and fusing it with the kind of polyrhythmic, polyglot pop practiced by Dirty Projectors and Talking Heads. Their anthem is called Up, Up, Up; their songs sparkle with sunshine; and their band photos are so filled with smiles and good-times that they feel kinda zany. Turns out, it’s hard work being so happy.
RAUL SANCHEZ of RIVER OF SNAKES talks to ALICE BODY about stripping it back.
A solo project that became a band recently scooped the pool at the WA music industry awards. SEAN POLLARD tells MICHAEL SMITH the SPLIT SECONDS story. And all was based, to some extent, on a few songs Pollard wrote in London that, initially, were simply going to be for a solo project. “I kind of ended up in London following a girl, as you do,” he laughs. “I moved over there with my girlfriend – probably three years ago now – and just lived the lifestyle for a little while. I didn’t really plan to write any songs while I was over there, but I brought a guitar with me and ended up writing a bunch of songs that I sent home to my family and felt I should do something with them.”
Both Lamson and Guarisco were groomed as musicians from when they were kids. Lamson, daughter of a pastor, was presented with a drum-kit as a child and grew up playing for congregations. Guarisco picked up the bass on the cusp of adolescence, and soon became a teenaged session musician. Both felt like they were headed for a life in music as teacher or session player, but then Givers fell into their laps in January, 2009, when Lamson roped together a band to fill in a vacant set at a local Lafayette venue. They jammed for hours, recorded the results, and eventually fashioned them into songs.
The band marked new frontiers for their leaders: both had been used to dwelling in the rhythm-section, now they were front of stage, singing for the first time. “It was a humbling experience. I felt like I had always been pretty good at the bass, but then getting up and singing in front of people, I really felt like I wasn’t good at singing at all,” says Guarisco. “But we had each other for support,” Lamson counters. “Because the other person was going through the same thing as you, there wasn’t that same sense of isolation, or pressure, where everything was on you.”
t was a pretty good night,” singer/songwriter Sean Pollard reckons, on the line from Perth and still a little surprised at his band’s success at the WAMIs (WA’s equivalent of the ARIAs). “A total surprise! I think we got nominated for, like, six of them, but I think we were just hoping to not walk away without anything and be publicly humiliated, so it was good to avoid public humiliation to actually win something, which was really the main thing for us,” he laughs.
In 2009, they got to open for Dirty Projectors, their “favourite band at the time”, for their ninth-ever show; the DPs eventually took Givers on tour, and their self-titled CDR made its way through the file-sharing wires. They eventually signed onto neo-major Glassnote (US home of Phoenix) and polished off their debut LP, In Light. True to their nature, the record’s bright and colourful and happy; Givers sounding overjoyed at the mere notion of being in a band. “This music is what we believe in,” says Guarisco, “and it is a statement of how we think and how we feel.”
Not only did Split Seconds walk away with a sackful of awards, including Most Promising New Act, Best Indie Pop Act and Best Vocalist, they managed to outscore every other WA-based act in contention – no mean feat for any band let alone one that’s barely a year old and with one EP to their name. That success came on the back of another big win for the six-piece, their debut single, Bed Down, included on the EP, having won them a Triple J Unearthed spot on the Perth leg of this year’s Big Day Out.
WHO: Givers WHAT: In Light (Glassnote/Liberator)
“Yeah, that was pretty good too actually,” Pollard remarks. “It all seems like a lot when you talk about it this way. That was another pretty unexpected thing that happened. I mean, we knew Triple J were pretty keen on the single, but to win that Unearthed thing was a really big deal, especially the Big Day Out one.”
Before heading off to London, Pollard had been in a band called New Rules For Boats, who did a few tours and got some airplay but didn’t really break through. “It was energetic but a bit too hyperactive I think, so I needed a bit of time to calm down and actually start writing some real songs, so that’s why I took those couple of years off, went to London and figure out what I was doing with myself. So this band is kind of a result of that – the experience of having been in a band helping me to know what to do and what not to do in putting this band together.” The result has that classic WA pop ballad feel. “I think obviously it seeps in, kind of hanging around in WA. You always hear people banging on about The Triffids and these kinds of bands end up influencing you, kind of despite yourself really,” Pollard laughs. “So once I kind of let it happen, let it in, without kind of railing against it, it was really great to find bands like that to become influenced by and I really did discover a lot of them while I was away as well. Hopefully it’s got that WA feel – I like to think that it does. In fact I did a bit of research and The Triffids actually lived about five minutes from where I lived in London. I found that out after I came home.”
WHO: Split Seconds WHAT: Split Seconds (Shock) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Corner Hotel
ISSUE 1182 - WEDNESDAY 13, 2011
INTERNATIONAL ROGER SHAH: July 16 Amber Lounge
CLARE BOWDITCH, LANIE LANE: July 13 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 14 Wellers Restaurant (Kangaroo Ground); 15 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 16 Thornbury Theatre DAMN DOGS: July 14 Toff SINGLE TWIN: July 14 Grace Darling Hotel OLD MAN RIVER: July 14 East Brunswick Club; 15 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) TIJUANA CARTEL: 15 July East Brunswick Club GENERATION SWINE: July 15 Prague SPLIT SECONDS: July 15 Corner BUSBY MAROU: July 15 Northcote Social Club; 16 the National (Geelong) WAGONS: 16 Forum Theatre CHOCOLATE STARFISH: July 16 Corner BALL PARK MUSIC: July 16 Northcote Social Club THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED, FLOATING ME: July 16 Hi-Fi RENEE GEYER: July 16 Palais Hepburn Springs Corner
EMERGE FESTIVAL: Until July 30 The Kill Devil Hills Saturday 20 August East Brunswick Club
GIG OF THE WEEK
WAGONS, PUTA MADRE BROTHERS, TEETH & TONGUE FORUM
Over the last decade, country yarn spinners Wagons have built on a reputation of old-fashioned balladry and open-hearted good humour. The Wagons juggernaut has taken them from the latte belt to the frontiers of rural Australia and the international country music scenes. Their Forum Theatre album launch this Saturday is the veritable icing on the multi-tiered trifle that has been the career of the band thus far, and we know they’ll be pulling out all the bungs to grace their hometown’s premier venue with a night to go down in the annuls of Wagons mythology. Plus, they got Teeth & Tongue and Puta Madre Brothers to open up proceedings. It’s gonna get sweaty.
Dan Sultan & Alexander Gow pic by Lou Lou Nutt
LEO SAYER: July 20 Playhouse Theatre (Geelong); 21 Regent Multiplex (Ballarat); 22 West Gippsland Arts Centre (Warragul); 23 Wellington Entertainment Centre (Sale); December 1 the Bairnsdale RSL Club RISE AGAINST: July 21 Festival Hall MODEST MOUSE: July 21, 27 Prince Bandroom DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN: July 21 Espy JASON HERD: July 23 Prince GLASVEGAS: July 25 Hi-Fi JAMES BLAKE: July 25, 26 Prince Bandroom MONA: July 26 East Brunswick Club THE HIVES: July 26 Palace WARPAINT: July 26, 27 Corner ENRIQUE IGLESIAS, PITBULL: July 27 Rod Laver Arena FOSTER THE PEOPLE: July 26, 27 Hi-Fi ELBOW: July 27, 28 Palace Theatre BRITISH SEA POWER: July 27 East Brunswick Club THE KILLS: July 28 Prince Bandroom REVEREND BEAT MAN, DELANEY DAVIDSON: July 28 Northcote Social Club FRIENDLY FIRES: July 29 Billboard PULP: July 29 Festival Hall FITZ & THE TANTRUMS: July 29 Red Bennies DOOMRIDERS: July 29 East Brunswick Club
DAN SULTAN & ALEXANDER GOW NATIONAL THEATRE
Even a night that tonight’s headliner, Dan Sultan, later refers to as “a bastard”, can’t keep us away from this rare opportunity to see two frontmen in solo (sometimes duo) mode. A spotlight illuminates four guitars in a simple rack, a couple of amps plus two mics in stands. Sultan and Alexander Gow wander out sporting ‘casual Friday’ attire and immediately establish tonight’s relaxed tone. Gow tackles Icehouse’s Great Southern Land, with Sultan on slide guitar in lieu of Fairlight. The captivating melodies of Oh Mercy’s Keith St translate well to a stripped-back, two-man interpretation.
CATHERINE TRAICOS: July 16 Evelyn WAGONS: July 16 Forum SEEKER LOVER KEEPER: July 21 Stones Of The Yarra Valley; 22 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 23 Meeniyan Town Hall; 24, 25 Thornbury Theatre MONA: July 26 East Brunswick Club THE HIVES: July 26 Palace FOSTER THE PEOPLE: July 27 Hi-Fi MAT MCHUGH: July 28 Swindlers Bar (Mt Hotham); 29 Palais (Hepburn Springs); 30 Thornbury Theatre KELE: August 2 Billboard THE VACCINES: August 3 Hi-Fi YOUNG REVELRY: August 3 Loft (Warrnambool); 4 Tote; 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 6 Peli Bar WU-TANG CLAN: August 6 Festival Hall JIM WARD: August 12 East Brunswick Club EAGLE & THE WORM: August 18 Nash (Geelong); 19 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 20 Corner THE PANDA BAND: August 18 Northcote Social Club; 19 Barwon Club (Geelong) JESUS JONES, THE WONDERSTUFF, THE CLOUDS: August 19 Palace CALLING ALL CARS: August 24 Loft (Warrnambool); 25 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 26 Corner Hotel; 27 Ferntree Gully Hotel BONJAH: August 25 Bended Elbow (Ballarat); 27 Corner Hotel MONSTER MAGNET: September 16 Palace THE HERD: September 16 Prince Bandroom SEBADOH: September 18 Corner Hotel ESKIMO JOE: September 29 Forum; 30 Pier Live HEIRS, ALCEST: October 22 Toff In Town TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: October 25, 26 Corner Hotel FOLK UKE: November 10 Caravan Music Club; 11 East Brunswick Club
pretentious tit, though.” The starting bell tolls and then lights are flashed to hasten bums back on seats. There’s now a keyboard onstage and Sultan saunters out to tickle the ivories more impressively than he would care to admit. (After switching to guitar, Sultan needlessly apologises to any pianists present.) The nuances in Sultan’s delivery are increasingly evident as he invests himself emotionally into these songs. Of his decision to embark on this kind of tour, Sultan jokes, “It’s a bit indulgent for me. Sorry. Thanks.” Old Fitzroy is particularly poignant with piano accompaniment as Sultan’s penetrating vocal tells a story that needs telling. My plus one tears up and fumbles about inside her handbag in search of a tissue. Sultan’s banter is flawless. “Sorry, I swear when I’m nervous,” he admits upon remembering Mrs Sultan is in the house. After giving her a shout-out, Sultan tells us he used to tell her that one day he’d have a white Stratocaster (check) and that people would pay to hear him sing (double check). Prefacing School Days Over, a traditional song taught to him while he was in Ireland, Sultan extols: “It’s like Happy Birthday – anyone can play it and you don’t have to pay, which is great.” Much gratitude is dealt songwriting partner Scott Wilson’s way and his song about truck drivers on amphetamines, Enemy, is captivating. After Sultan translates a couple of phrases from Nyul Nyul Girl for us, we are all the more touched by his rendition.
Sultan fares us well for now, leaving Gow in the hot seat. “There’s the exit, in case you think a four dollar Vic Bitter would be more interesting than me,” Gow announces before adding, “I wouldn’t blame you.” This selfdeprecating banter continues throughout the first half of the show and when Gow showcases a comical jig before launching into a song, we are chastised for laughing: “What are you laughing at? I’m just trying to get the tempo. I’ll do it anyway.” Gow previews a few new songs and something tells us Dylan is up there on his ‘most played’ list. More familiar Oh Mercy material performed tonight emphasises quality songwriting and Gow’s yearning vocal during Stay, Please Stay adds an emotional edge. Attempting Leonard Cohen’s The Future is unwise, however.
An encore is demanded and a punter throws a Fantale onstage for Sultan, which he starts to consume but then discreetly removes when it’s time to sing. A fairly intoxicated Gow returns to the stage and this tarnishes the vibe as we hold our collective breath and hope he won’t fuck up. The pair performs I Want You Back by Hoodoo Gurus, during which Gow bafflingly walks beyond the footlights and presents his back to the audience in order to face Sultan. Sultan reacts as best he can by joining him on the apron of the stage, wisely choosing to face the audience. A bizarre ending to an otherwise stellar evening’s entertainment. Especially the latter half.
During intermission, a gentleman responds to his companion, who praises Gow’s set, thus: “He’s a bit of a
firstname.lastname@example.org JOHN 00 FLEMING: July 29 Roxanne Parlour DEVENDRA BANHART: July 29 Prince SALMONELLA DUB DJ SOUND SYSTEM: July 29 Espy DON MCGLASHAN: July 29 Caravan Club (Oakleigh); 30 Northcote Social Club FORBIDDEN: July 30 Prague DJ SHADOW: July 31 Palace Theatre PERIPHERY: July 31 Hi-Fi NO USE FOR A NAME: July 31 Corner; August 2 National Hotel ISOBEL CAMPBELL & MARK LANEGAN: August 1 National Theatre DANANANANAYKROYD: August 1 East Brunswick Club AVENGED SEVENFOLD, SEVENDUST: August 2 Festival Hall THIEVERY CORPORATION: August 2 Palace Theatre GROUPLOVE, YOUNG THE GIANT: August 2 Corner KELE: August 2 Billboard NOAH & THE WHALE: August 3 Corner THE VACCINES: August 3 Hi-Fi GOMEZ: August 4 Palace Theatre DOES IT OFFEND YOU, YEAH? August 5 Prince Bandroom WU-TANG CLAN: August 6 Festival Hall THE GET UP KIDS: August 7 Billboard OWL CITY: August 17 (18+), 18 (U18) Billboard JACQUES RENAULT: August 19 Mercat Basement JUSTIN DERRICO: August 19 Bended Elbow (Geelong); August 20 Espy Syl Johnson Saturday 10 September Hi-Fi
DOLLY PARTON: November 22, 23 Rod Laver Arena ELTON JOHN: December 6 Rod Laver Arena
SEEKER, LOVER, KEEPER: July 21 Stones of the Yarra Valley; 22 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 23 Meeniyan Town Hall; 24, 25 Thornbury Theatre HANDS LIKE HOUSES: July 22 Pint &Pickle Tavern (Frankston); 23 Fist2Face (Ringwood); 24 Phoenix Youth Centre (Footscray) DIESEL: July 22 Regent Theatre (Ballarat); 23 Palms At Crown; 24 Gateway Hotel (Geelong) DAVE GRANEY & THE LURID YELLOW MIST: July 22-24 South Melbourne Cabaret Festival JINJA SAFARI: July 23 Corner ZULYA & THE CHILDREN OF THE UNDERGROUND: July 24 Bennetts Lane TINY RUINS: July 24 Toff PNAU: July 26 Billboard MOVING PICTURES: July 29 Palais THE IMMIGRANT: July 30 Prince JAMES BLUNDELL, CATHERINE BRITT: August 3 Hallam Hotel; 4 Gateway Hotel (Corio); 5 Moe RSL club CHILDREN COLLIDE: August 3 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 4 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 5 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 13 Corner JORDIE LANE: August 12 Corner EAGLE & THE WORM: August 18 Nash (Geelong); 19 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 20 Corner DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: August 22 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 23 Uni Bar (Gippsland); 24 Hi-Fi; 30 Flying Horse Bar (Warnambool); and September 1 the Sand Bar (Mildura) CALLING ALL CARS: August 24 Loft (Warrnambool); 25 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 26 Corner Hotel; 27 Ferntree Gully Hotel REGURGITATOR: August 25 Bended Elbow (Ballarat); 26 Hi-Fi; 27 Bended Elbow (Geelong) BONJAH: August 25 Bended Elbow (Ballarat); 27 Corner SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: August 26 West Gippsland Arts Centre SEEKAE: August 26 East Brunswick Club FANTINE: September 1 Evelyn BASTARDFEST: September 17 Corner JOHN WATERS: October 27 Playhouse (Geelong); 28, 29 Palms At Crown; 30 Frankston Performing Arts Centre; November 12 Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre JOHN FARNHAM: November 9, 11 Palais
BIAS B, BRAD STRUT, MAUNDZ
CORNER HOTEL The Corner stage is decked out with old posters of Bias B events past, setting the tone for a nostalgic night of top-quality hip hop. The room is already filling up nicely when Maundz takes to the stage to open proceedings. It’s a brilliant set, confident and engaging. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, it’s over all too soon.
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Over the last couple of years, enough cutesyfolk artists have emerged to satiate the appetite of even the biggest folkie. But every now and again, an artist pops up who really stands out from the listless mass. Gossling – the sweet vanilla pie-sounding baby of Melbourne’s Helen Croome – is one of them.
The host for the evening, Stewbacca, sends everyone outside for a smoke break (you know it’s a hip hop show when...), before regrouping just in time to see Brad Strut take the stage. Another of the few who can claim the word ‘pioneer’ when it comes to Australian hip hop. His fluid, seamless flow is on display during tracks like the highlight Never Ending Blue, where he calls for the audience to be lit with blue lighting. He spins and weaves his lyrics with such ease that all the audience can do is keep their hands waving in time to the frenetic beat.
Playing a sold-out gig at the Northcote Social Club, Croome is explicitly moved by how many people are here to show support. Gossling are a truly remarkable quartet. With the absolutely stunning Croome on vocals and piano, Peter Marin on drums, Josh Jones on bass and Anita Quayle on cello, their sound is both nurturing and unrestrained and it’s delivered with so much passion and gusto that it reaches your emotional core. The singer/songwriter clearly has a knack for telling stories and writing kickass lyrics – the kind that resonate well after the song has finished. And although she cites Damien Leith as a big influence on her music, you can hear a bit of Ray LaMontagne and Boy & Bear creeping through as well. Being adored as she now is, it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to pick on Croome for her almost-signature, soft way of speaking. I Was Young, she explains, is about how she was tormented for it in high school and how, although you think you get over it, maybe it does change you in some way. If you’re going to get back at bullies, a hit on Triple J is certainly the way to do it. There aren’t too many people who haven’t been affected by bullying and the crowd couldn’t cheer harder in appreciation. With her charmingly innocent voice, Croome’s vocals are reminiscent of Julia Stone and Lisa Mitchell, but don’t let that deceive you. She may sound soft and delicate, but when she wants to she can belt out a tune with so much ferocity that it blows you away. Add to that some rollicking banjo, piano and the rich elegance of a cello and you have the perfect mix of instruments for slow, mournful love songs like Trailed, or uplifting ones like Paper Boat.
The crowd literally chants Bias B on stage, where he opens his set with a flawless, a cappella verse before launching into Midlife, one of the more personal tracks from his latest album Biaslife. The set itself ultimately feels less like an album launch, and even less like a retirement set. What it really feels like is a passing of the torch. Bias B readily shares the stage with his various collaborators, but what’s unexpected is his willingness to let them showcase their own material while performing in more of a hype man role himself, on occasion. “This is off Bigfoot’s album,” he announces, the two of them then performing Burning Hot to rapturous applause. The wickedly funny AFLthemed lyrics of Can I Kick It? are another highlight – again, a collaboration from Bigfoot’s Giant Steps. The guest stars revolve steadily throughout the night at an almost-dizzying pace. However, despite his every attempt to promote the fortunes of his companions, the real star of the evening is Bias B. “I’m still here!” he says, almost in disbelief, before revving the crowd up with Aerosol Era. As the set starts to draw to a close, t-shirts and CDs are tossed into the audience until the supply is exhausted. “Don’t hate on me,” says Bias. “There’s only so many things I can give away.” A final gift: Bias is joined onstage by his many and varied collaborators for a rousing rendition of Hursty. “I used to be amazed by the hip hop scene,” he spits, in timely fashion. With a crowd who remain entirely amazed by him, it’s a fitting finish to one of the most important careers in Australian hip hop history.
Croome is to folk music what 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton is to bed linen: pure indulgence. Sure, you could buy 600 thread count sheets, you could even buy regular cotton, but once you’ve experienced the good stuff, anything else just pales in comparison. Tianna Nadalin
Aleksia Barron Ghostwood pic by Lou Lou Nutt
FESTIVALS HIGH VOLTAGE FESTIVAL: August 6 Corner PARKLIFE: September 24 SOUNDWAVE REVOLUTION: September 30 Tabcorp Park (Melton)
GHOSTWOOD PINBACK: August 21 Corner THE AMAZING RHYTHM ACES: August 23 Corner BALANCE & COMPOSURE: August 25 Poison City Records (all-ages), Colonial Hotel (18+) YOU ME AT SIX, WE THE KINGS: August 30 (18+), 31 (all-ages) Hi-Fi BIG BOI: September 2 Palace NICK WARREN: September 2 Billboard TITLE FIGHT, TOUCHE AMORE: September 10 Billboard SUICIDE SILENCE: September 11 Billboard (U18 afternoon; 18+ evening) RYAN ADAMS: September 15 Palais ABOVE & BEYOND: September 17 Festival Hall SUZI QUATRO: October 2 Schweppes Entertainment Centre (Bendigo); October 3 Palais
MISS LIBERTINE Ghostwood are fashionably late and also the fi rst on stage, because apparently indie clubs do it in reverse: the headline act plays fi rst while the supports play later, in the wee hours of the morning. Most of the crowd seem to have taken advantage of the cheap tequila shots early, are already stumbling and paying little attention as the Sydney boys launch into their fi rst song, just after 11pm. The front two rows, however, appear to contain the only punters interested in actually seeing the band, while the rest of the crowd are either snogging strangers or posing in preparation for same. Guitarist, Paddy Harrowsmith, weaves some atmospheric spacey sounds through all their songs, while lead singer Gabriel Winterfield’s wailing could use some work. It’s Winterfield’s salute to Blur’s Girls & Boys that gives me a bit of a chuckle, as he sings its chorus seamlessly over their own shoe-gazer rock. Sadly, the Blur shout-out goes over the heads of most of this young audience.
POUR HABIT, SMOKE OR FIRE: October 15 East Brunswick Club CHRIS CORNELL: October 19 & 20 Palais STEELY DAN, STEVE WINWOOD: October 27 Rod Laver Arena LONDON ELEKTRICITY: October 31 Prince MAD SIN: November 11 Hi-Fi KD LANG: November 12 Sidney Myer Music Bowl
Churning through a 45-minute set, it’s easy to hear shades of Joy Division and even The Smiths, as well as elements of psychedelic gurus Brian Jonestown Massacre in their sound. Songs Red Version and Sunset Mirage garner a minimal reaction from the otherwise occupied crowd, but show promise of what the band is actually capable of. Their set closer is an epic, eight-and-a-halfminute psychedelic romp that makes drummer James West really work hard for his money.
KINGS OF LEON: November 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena RUSSELL WATSON: November 14 Plenary Hall
Unappreciative crowd aside, it would be really good to see Ghostwood return to Melbourne in the near future. Lou Lou Nutt
Local folk troubadour Owls Of The Swamp plays his last Australian shows this week before he relocates to Europe where he’ll be touring his new album Go With River, throughout the UK, Iceland, Denmark and Germany. He’ll be opening for Old Man River on Thursday at the East Brunswick Club and Friday 15 July at the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh.
AN OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE At Bar Open on Thursday 21 July, up and comers The Great Outdoors will sing their songs about single mothers, golf clubs, what’s for dinner and the fl irtatious twins that live down the street. Ben Montero’s Relaxing Music Experience is one man’s dream come true, but then it was everyone’s dream come true. Sunkissed will begin the evening and, being a collaborative effort, with members from Far Concern and Isle
Adore, they’re sure to please any fan of good pop. Doors at 9pm, entry is free.
PETS SOUND GOOD
The Good Things are a DJ collective founded by veteran DJs Kim Dezen and Jumbo who are focused on pushing quality, genrediverse music while maintaining respect for listeners. Pet Sounds, presented by The Good Things, is inspired by genres and movements that were born from positivity – golden era hip hop, funk/disco, the modern house music of Detroit and cut and paste disco house. But genre don’t matter, as long as it’s positive music! Pet Sounds play Loop Bar this Saturday with support from Inkswel, Ari Roze and Edd Fisher.
MIKELANGELO’S SUNDAY SURFING
After a sold out album launch at the Northcote Social Club, Mikelangelo & The
Tin Star return to the place where their surf’n’western sounds began with their Surf ’N’ Western Sundays at the Old Bar in July. You see, the Old Bar is run by fellas who know what’s really good for you on Sundays – wild rock’n’roll, go-go dancers and liquor. After all the drinking, dancing and good times with friends on a Sunday night we know you’ll wake up feeling fresh as a daisy on Monday morning. Each performance Mikelangelo will be deputising some of Melbourne’s fi nest players to join the ranks of The Tin Star, and will feature members of Go Girl Gadget Go Go! shimmying with their go-go moves for the third month running at the Old Bar. Sundays in July, $7 entry.
It’s been almost 14 weeks now since 2010 Vic/Tas Debut Blues Artist Of The Year Shaun Kirk packed his van and hit the road for the far north. After clocking up some
serious kilometres and playing in excess of 40 shows along the way – including spots at the Cairns Blues Festival, Blues On Broadbeach, Mount Beauty Music Muster and headlining the Darwin Blues Festival – the one man blues/ soul troubadour is headed home to continue recording his fi rst full-length album, due for release in December. Kirk will be celebrating his return with a huge free entry show at the Union Hotel, Brunswick on Saturday 23 July.
TWOKS ARE KICKING
Known for their art-pop sound and unconventional line-up of only electric violin/voice and drums, The Twoks are an inventive musical force with high-octane chemistry. They have approached funding an EP through the generous donations of their fans over eight weeks performing at the Rainbow Hotel. The EP includes all the raw, spontaneous beauty of a Twoks live show due to live and somewhat unconventional recording processes at Revolt Artspace with engineer Phil Threlfall. The Twoks launch their EP at the Northcote Social Club on Friday 29 July. Doors at 8.30pm, entry is $10 (or $15 with an EP).
CLINK YOUR WINTER WILLIES Wash
Winter’s Willies Away With Whiskey will return once again to its home at the Tote Hotel this year on Sunday 31 July. Headliners for this year’s festival will be the rockin’ Cash Savage & The Last Drinks (a special band put together for this show only), the swingin’ Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, and, of course, the rollickin’ behemoth Clinkerfield. This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever – there will be some surprise events on the day, as well as some exciting line-up announcements to come in the following weeks. As the event has sold out the last three years, pre-sale tickets will be available for the fi rst time from the Tote or online from Oztix.
FANGS GET BITING
Fangs are a tight, thrashing, and overtly wasted threepiece punk band whose hard-hitting, vision-blurring shows have earned them a blistering reputation within the live scene of late. The Melbourne-based punks will play at the Espy’s iconic Gershwin Room this Saturday night with Trial Kennedy. They will be playing tracks from their latest full-length album Junkyard as well as bashing out some brand new material. They are keeping their teeth busy supporting Young Revelry at the Tote on Thursday 4 and at the Peli Bar in Frankston on Saturday 6 August.
ALL DOLLED UP
The glamour of old Hollywood is set for a revival in the heart of Melbourne! This Sunday night, the Order Of Melbourne will house Doll Face – the gala launch party of Full-skirted Productions’ 2011 season at Chapel Off Chapel. Featuring a bounty of burlesque, circus, music, a vintage auction and especially alchemised cocktails. Lady Diamond will enchant you with her Marilyn Monroe-inspired drag tribute; Ella Holmes (Trick Circus) will rekindle the silent fi lm slapstick of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin; and Strawberry Siren will leave you gasping with her raunchy burlesque performance. Doors at 6pm, show at 7pm. Tickets are $20 standing, $80 table for three, $130 table for five.
CROSS COUNTRY KINGS
Having gigged relentlessly in WA since early 2010, The Joe Kings packed their duffle bags and set off into the sunset. Having arrived in Melbourne, they are ready for another wild East Coast party. With performances in Melbourne in July, a national support with Bonjah beginning in August, followed by their second national headline tour and an EP to be released in early September, The Joe Kings aren’t looking back. Join the party and get wild at the Tote this Thursday night and discover why The Joe Kings are deemed one of the best live bands in the country. Doors 8.30pm.
JUST ADDED TO THE FALLS BILL
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is the work of Mint Chicks’ Ruban Nielson, a New Zealander transplanted to Portland, USA. With local Portland producer Jake Portrait on bass and teen prodigy Julien Ehrich on drums they ﬁrst appeared, sans hype, via the Ffunny Ffriends cut on Bandcamp last year. The album is as you might expect a Portland/NZ hybrid to be - a merging of underground pop that is as much Captain Beefheart as it is Sly Stone and RZA jamming on some dark variation of a kids TV show theme.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA IS OUT JULY 15 ON SPUNK
POWERED BY STREET PRESS AUSTRALIA
Metal lords Electrik Dynamite headline an awesome night at Next with support from Oh Pacific and Acrasia & Goodbye Zoe, while Grips & Tonic do a very special guest DJ set in the party room! Partake in Disposable Teens – get snapped by a disposable camera or score one for yourself, with the best pics making it into the Facebook gallery next week. There will be some copies of the re-release issue of the I Killed The Prom Queen CD and DVD to give away thanks to UNFD, and with the super cheap drinks for all, it’s going to be brilliant. Doors at 8.30pm, entry is $20 before, or $15 after midnight.
SHARKS AT HIGH TIDE
Ever wondered what it would be like if you fi lled an old jail cell with 20,000 colourful plastic balls? Well, wonder no longer as this Saturday night is Ball Pit at Bang! Queensland rockers Mourning Tide smash the main stage with support form Feed Her To The Sharks and Make Them Suffer. If that ain’t your thing, sing along to your favourite pop punk in the front bar and score heaps of free drinks and prizes in the karaoke comp! Score copies of the new Incubus album and tickets to see No Use For A Name on their upcoming Australian tour. Doors 9pm, entry is $15.
TIM’S GOT TALENT
Playground presents Timomatic’s first Melbourne club show. He is currently starring on Australia’s Got Talent after blowing judges away this week. Timomatic’s prospects are looking promising after his success on So You Think You Can Dance last year. The guy can not only dance, he can hola too. His debut album Welcome was written, performed, and produced by Tim alone. He will perform this Saturday night at Seven Nightclub.
RICK ATE THE KIDS
DJ-IZM Sweat Saturdays at the George presents DJ IZM (Bliss N Eso) for an exclusive free show this Saturday. Having held down the decks behind Bliss N Eso since their inception, Izm has toured the world and played every major festival in Australia, including performing in front of over 80,000 at the Sound Relief concert in Melbourne in 2009. With such a hectic touring and recording schedule, this is a rare chance to see one of Australia’s most talented DJs rock a club set.
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL PARK
Announcing their first ever headline tour, this is your chance to get to know Queensland’s Ball Park Music a little better. Their killer tunes and crazy onstage antics have given them a reputation as one of the hottest live shows in the country. The year has so far been busy for the sextet, kicking it off with appearances at Big Day Out and Good Vibrations. The Triple J Unearthed Triple Rainbow tour alongside Eagle & The Worm and We Say Bamboulee closely followed, and a tour alongside Guineafowl soon after that. They land at the Northcote Social Club this Saturday with support from City Riots and Buckley Ward. Doors 8.30pm, $12+BF or $15 on the door if still available.
MOM’S THE WORD
Aussie hip hop heavyweights from Sydney Mind Over Matter (AKA MOM) are coming to Melbourne to play SYN-Approved at the Worker’s Club. The boys have definitely earned a seal of approval from the hip hop scene, staying productive with a healthy list of releases, support roles and collaborative works since 2006. Their show features live instrumentation and crafty cuts on decks. Audience members: be prepared to lose a kilo or two! Co-headlining the night will be local lads Psyde Projects delivering their swag of samples from diggers’ records with unpretentious lyrics. The purveyors of golden age hip hop have a track record of crowd pleasing live shows and will be showcasing their new single Kay-Pee-Em taken from their debut LP Welcome To Boomtown. This Thursday night from 8pm, entry is $10.
The Roni Shewan Band launch their new single at the Northcote Social Club this Thursday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Roni Shewan, vocals: “It was a very gradual process. I’d been writing songs for a solo side project (I’m also in progressive/art rock band A State Of Flux) for a number of years. David O’Brien and I had worked together previously, and really enjoyed sharing our compositions at rehearsals. Both of us needed an avenue to perform our songs, so we decided to collaborate. I’ve been good mates with Dave Robinson and James Robert Stewart (bass and drums respectively) for years and admired their work (Johnny Uppercut, Sadhana) so asked them if they’d like to be involved. After a few gigs as a four-piece we decided a guitarist was needed to capture the atmosphere of the songs. I met Jeremy Badcock at jazz school and was really inspired by his playing. He completed the lineup late last year.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We recorded a double single (Helen/This Place We Get To) at the Red Lodge with producer extraordinaire Red Black. We’ve already begun work on a second single (The New World/Odessa) and plan to release an album in 2012.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Moody, jazz-tinged, atmospheric pop.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Well this is a pretty impossible question; there are so many wonderful bands to choose from! As it happens, I’m currently watching the sublime Cinematic Orchestra, live at the Recital Hall, Sydney, (Moshcam rocks). They are pretty spectacular and would be incredible to support, merely as an opportunity to see them live!” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Almost definitely Miles Davis’ A Kind Of Blue. Aside from being an absolutely amazing album, it’s also been a source of stress relief for me over the years. I think I’d be pretty upset after a fire destroys my worldly possessions, so I’d like something to calm me down.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? Yes! I actually have a lucky bra (argh!). It’s red silk and pretty. Even though no one can see it under my clothes, I always feel a million bucks when I wear it. Definitely helps get the old musical mojo working and also calms the nerves.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Burritos; I make a pretty mean bean salsa.”
PHRASE IT Phrase will be doing an exclusive one off showcase performance of his new album Babylon in Melbourne on Wednesday 20 July. This is a limited capacity event and marks the fi rst time Phrase has performed this material live. Babylon will be available on 12 August. Catch Phrase at the Toff, Wednesday 20 July. $10+BF or $15 on the door.
Arriving fresh from Europe, Roesy brings to the stage a beautiful evening of songs picked from his past five albums. This Irish songwriter has been playing for nearly 15 years and has been signed to Warner. He has supported the likes of Joan Armatrading and Badly Drawn Boy, and his vocals and the singer/ songwriter guitar’s playing take the listener to a different place every time. Roesy plays the Workers Club tonight (Wednesday) with support from The Levitating Churches and Ellen Kibble. Doors at 8pm, entry is $8.
Clean Living are a two-piece experimental post-punk band hailing from Perth who began gigging last year and have played across the city as well supporting several touring acts. The band have quickly gained a reputation for blending elements of post-punk, dance-punk, noise-rock and no-wave into their own unique sound. Clean Living have just released the Are You Clean Living EP on Perth’s Owls label and are following up the release with a brief stint in Melbourne. They play an afternoon show at the Workers Club this Saturday at 2.30pm, so get down early to catch them while they’re here. Entry is $6.
A REPEAT ORDER OF SOUL
Shirley Davis & Band return to the Order Of Melbourne for an encore performance of the last month’s gig that led to many-a-move being busted. Blending scorching new tracks with a bag of well-loved standards, Davis and her funky cohorts deliver an assortment of up-and midtempo grooves. Will there a repeat performance of the guest collab on It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World? One can only hope. Doors open at 5pm and show kicks off at 8pm; entry is free.
The launch of River of Snakes’ brand new EP Bad Blood, a solid slab of sonic mayhem and scuzz-pop, will happen on Friday 22 July at the Tote. With special guests Useless Children, Blacklevel Embassy, Dead River and DJ Adalita, this is guaranteed to be one of those all-killer Tote evenings, not to be missed. Bands start at 8.30pm, River Of Snakes will be on at 11.30pm.
Hailing from Sydney, The Laurels share a range of visions and influences extending from sonic pioneers The Velvet Underground to the pure shoegaze bliss of My Bloody Valentine, the inner city filth of Australian legends The Saints to the lush pop harmonies of The Beatles. This highly acclaimed psychedelic outfit have been lucky enough to share stages alongside the likes of Low, Tame Impala, Cloud Control and Tumbleweed to name but a few, cementing a loyal fanbase along the East Coast of Australia with their intense live show and sonic brilliance. The Laurels return to Melbourne to play the Workers Club this Saturday night in support of new EP Mesozoic. Doors at 8.30pm, entry is $10.
Tehachapi have been playing along to $2 pots of beer, live art projections and some more surprises each Monday in July. Tehachapi perform psychedelic, groove-based post rock. The band are close to releasing their new EP and will be releasing a limited release of a new single on one of the three Monday nights. Esc will support Tehachapi for the final night of their Workers Club residency this Monday 18 July. Entry, like the pots, is just $2.
Royston Vasie have got a rocking sound to wreck your health and this Friday night they’re playing the Retreat Hotel in Brunswick along with ‘70s post-punk enthusiasts Run Run. The show gets underway from 9.30pm but why not come down for a post-work bevy at 7pm and check out Nick O’Mara performing a solo acoustic set in the front bar.
TIN SPARROW did it over three days or so. Writing the songs took a lot longer. I wrote the fi rst Tin Sparrow song in late 2009 and then sporadically wrote songs from there until we recorded the EP in mid 2010.” What was inspiring you during the EP’s writing and recording? “Most of the songs were written while we were all still at uni. Not sure if that inspired us, but it defi nitely had an impact.”
THE DEMON’S ABODE
Batten down the hatches and prepare to enter the House Of Rock as resident devil’s children, The Demon Parade, get set to summon the mighty Viking gods from slumber in Valhalla and unleash their wall of sound across the Palace Theatre main stage. Their rock’n’roll filth and squalor has seen them share stages with everyone from The Brian Jonestown Massacre to Swervedriver. Coming off a tour that launched their acclaimed new single To The Mountain, the boys are promising an epic psychedelic rock squall of apocalyptic proportions as they divine the hammer of the gods this Saturday at the Palace. Doors at 9pm, entry is $15.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? If I’m south side, the wonderful Antique Bar in Elsternwick, if north side, the Wesley Anne. I’m also a fan of 1806 in the city – hot bartenders, good service and spectacular booze.”
KILLER TOTE BILL
Rick Moranis Overdrive is a garage punk band from cold old Ballarat. The band is made up simply of Gaz and Kreg, they met at Meredith right when it was getting weird and spat a lot of shit at each other. A few months later, after a series of escalating dares and a gentleman’s skin full, Gaz booked a gig for a band named ‘W(anchor)s’, to be held two weeks from that day. After ten name changes and one of the fastest songwriting exercises anyone is ever likely to experience, they produced the most down-in-the-gutter party Ballarat has seen, and Rick Moranis Overdrive was formed. Almost as fast as its inception, the band produced its fi rst longplayer Honey, I Ate The Kids. Ladies and Gentlemen, you can witness this glorious evolution this Friday from 8pm at the Workers Club with support from Seesaw and Deep Heat. Entry is $10.
What’s the title of your new EP? Matt, vocals/guitar: “From The Sun.” How many releases do you have now? “Just the one.” How long did it take to write/record? “Recording the EP was quick. I think we
What’s your favourite song on it? “I like them all, but I especially have a soft spot for Fools Gold.” We’ll like the EP if we like… “Big harmonies, guitar solos and sunshine.” Where and when will you be launching it? “At the Grace Darling on Friday.” For more info see: facebook.com/tinsparrow
LOVE OF PATTERNS
These Patterns, Melbourne’s minimalist post punk trio are finally releasing their debut EP after two years of writing and recording. The band’s independent EP titled Species features experimental electronics, thumping tribal beats, haunting vocals and grungy no-wave riffs. To celebrate These Patterns’ long-awaited work, the band are throwing a big party down at the Tote on Friday. Joining them onstage are their good friends Tomaki Jets, the exciting two-piece A Dead Forest Index and the fucking amazing Night Terrors with The Emergency DJs creating the ambience. Expect unsuccessful stage dives, intense visuals and, of course chocolate crackles. $10 entry, $15 (with an EP).
SUZIE’S SOUL’S ON FIRE Be sure to get along to the Vic this Friday to catch the intriguing Suzie Stapleton and her band ring the necks of their instruments one last time before Stapleton heads to the UK for a solo stint. They are joined by Soulfister, which is not one, not two but three of the Kill Devil Hills clan – a sight and sound to behold. Kicking things off with no less of a bang is Jack On Fire. It’s free, it’s a full moon and it’s gonna get loose from 9pm.
The Town Hall Hotel in North Melbourne has a totally sick line-up this weekend. Friday sees the awesome Pop Singles hit the stage with experimental duo Clean Living from WA, then on Saturday it’s a massive bill of the radness featuring the blistering noise of Tax, the beautiful dark sounds of Pearls and the inimitable Mad Nanna opening up. All shows are free, 10pm start.
Heaven The Axe have been turning heads, cranking the volume and gathering die-hard fans since they debuted live in October 2009. They’re set to release their blistering debut album Sex, Chugs And Rock’n’Roll and already the radio can’t get enough. Why? Because Heaven The Axe are what’s been missing in Aussie rock culture – an unashamed, unapologetic, wailing blonde frontwoman powered by the guts and glory of a true-blue Aussie tradie, metalcore, cranking monster sound. Catch them at the Prague on Friday with South Australian touring glamsters Generation Swine, The Deep End and Empra. $10 entry, doors 8pm.
Come down to the East Brunswick Club next Wednesday 20 July from 7.30pm for a night of trivia in support of Animals Australia. Animals Australia is Australia’s most dynamic animal protection organisation and is responsible for campaigns including Ban Live Export. Kamal the magician will be the MC for the night. He will also perform some of his jaw-dropping illusions and aweinspiring magic tricks. The always lovely writer, producer and former RRR and Triple J presenter Marieke Hardy will be spinning tunes and DJing in between rounds. There are great prizes on offer for each round and the overall winners. There will also be a raffle on the night and yummy vegan snacks, mains and desserts available for purchase on the night. Tickets are $15 on the door.
Heaven The Axe play the Prague this Friday. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING MUSIC? Phoebe Pinnock, vocals/guitar: “I have a very strong memory of being five years old and watching some six year olds perform Catch A Falling Star on a high school auditorium stage at a dancing and singing school concert. I decided then and there that I would make it my life’s mission to be that girl. Six months later I was on that stage in a pink sequinned leotard singing Venus with a dance routine to rival Beyoncé… (Yeah, not quite, but in my mind I was the next fucking Martika.) The fi rst song I wrote was after reading a Dolly magazine article about how the bad boy always gets the girl. I saw an immensely hot, long-haired guy driving a panel van which inspired my hormonal pubescent heart to pour out the four chord wonder Hey Mr Bad News – I Wanna See The Back Of Your Panel Van… When I hooked up with Steve to write music we worked out that it was HIM driving the panel van that I wrote about. Mental. Let’s just say we’ve made a lot of beautiful music together…”
IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “It would most certainly be the Heaven The Axe – Sex, Chugs & Rock’n’Roll master disc from 301. Most certainly. I don’t mean to sound ‘up myself’ – hell, of course I will, this is Australia, place of decapitated tall poppies. But this music is my life story, this is my heart, my love, my marriage, my family, my best times, my dream, my soul. We all love it, live it, breathe it, fuck it and shit it. Other music? Ah, I’ll listen to you on my iPhone if I can be fucked.”
SUNNY DAYS Take a large melting pot, fi ll halfway with reggae, add a dash of East Timorese folk song, a punch of Cuban salsa, a sprinkle of Latin dance, three parts Afrobeat, two parts tropical island rhythm, a sprinkle of Brazilian samba, fi ll with funk and stir. Sol Nation play Bar Open this Saturday. Doors 10pm, free entry.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “Apart from the band room and the lounge room… the Bendigo Hotel is our local. We run an open mic night there every Wednesday where we air our new material. All of our stuff comes from the acoustic guitar from which it gets revved up into the high octane versions you hear on Heaven The Axe’s recordings.”
Saturdays in July, the Builders Arms will host the evocative and compelling music of Ali E. Band member of Ferry Tails and Damn Terran, Ali E’s solo music breathes tales of dark desire and constructs metaphors of emotive and weathered landscapes, while her guitar-driven melodies have the ability to haunt and engulf. Throughout the residency Ali E will be joined by special guests from Little John, Howl At The Moon and The Once Overs. Every Saturday until 30 July at the Builders Arms, 4-6pm in the front bar. Entry is free.
When NICK BARKER was first asked to play Bon Scott in Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be he said no. Here he tells PAUL RANSOM why he changed his mind. Parkinson, who knew Scott from his early days in The Valentines. Indeed, Parkinson’s band, Focus, beat Scott’s Valentines in the 1969 Hoadley’s Battle Of The Sounds final. As Barker says, “You can find lots of people who knew Bon from the AC/DC days but the fact that Doug had these stories from, like, 1970 was pretty amazing.” The more you speak to Nick Barker about the show the more you realise how inspired he is. As a teenage fan of Bon-era AC/DC back in the late 1970s, he is clearly enamoured of the man. “He’s just got an amazing fuckin’ life. People don’t realise he did all this stuff before AC/DC. Y’know, I mean he even toured overseas with Fraternity, who were a fuckin’ amazing band. Y’know, they could have been Small Faces.”
CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Our album title – Sex, Chugs & Rock’n’Roll.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “If we could support any band we would choose Slipknot just because we respect their tribe vibe and would love to have them as friends. We have a tribe vibe in Heaven The Axe in that every musician and their partner are there at every rehearsal and part of everything we do as well as the people who contribute their creative media talents in any aspect of what this is. It’s far more than five musos.”
HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “My band have recorded our debut record, Sex, Chugs & Rock’n’Roll, with Ren Parisi at Melbourne Records in Altona. Parisi is worth every cent just for the education into his conversation on his view of the world. I recorded one song in my bedroom on acoustic guitar and cello called Tails To You in the wee hours and thank god, ‘cause I can never remember how to play it.”
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “Soooo hilarious. I’m generally sewing my stage costumes frantically as the boys are loading their gear out for the show!”
Thomy & The Tanks are loud – punches thrown, broken bones, blood everywhere, seedy pubs, sticky floor, lust, wasted souls, rock’n’roll, abusive, diluted eyes, smoke-filled rooms, nothing to do, bored, offensive, broken hearts, pogo dancing, dirty women, fuck the man, fuck the world, gimme more. Seedy Jeezus play ass-grooving, heavy-riffed stoner rock’n’roll. They will at times break into spontaneous jams and just write new parts to a song on the spot. They’ve been likened to many bands, mostly ‘60s or ‘70s rock-vibed ones. They are definitely not shoegazing material, these guys go for the throat and make you wanna boogie. Lethal Binge are gonna warm the fuck outta ya with their bass licks, all over your face. Love you. Doors 8pm, Sunday at Bar Open upstairs.
Bon Scott is Oz rock. Hard working, hard playing, irreverent. The rock god clichés just tumble out. Maybe this is why he is sacred ground; a subject so admired yet so difficult to approach. After all, you wouldn’t want to get it wrong. For the creators of Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be dealing with the Bon Scott legacy was as much a challenge as deciding which songs to include the show. Fortunately for AC/DC diehards, Scott’s work is in safe hands. Directed by Brian Nankervis of RocKwiz fame, Hell... is much more than a nostalgia sesh for aging fans. According to Nick Barker, the man drafted to ‘play’ Bon, it had to be. Indeed when Nankervis first approached him he refused. “I didn’t wanna do it and have it be shithouse basically,” the former Reptile bluntly confesses. However, Nankervis persisted, and after seeing the script, Barker relented. “So I said, ‘If you let me put a band together and get into a rehearsal room and have a sorta fuck around with it, I’ll make my decision based on that’.” The desire to create something more than a lame hits’n’memories stagger down amnesia lane fired Barker’s musical imagination. “I wanted it to kick arse,” he says. “I didn’t want it to be this kinda watered-down version of what he did, ‘cause I mean Bon Scott was just this punk rocker. He was the real thing and I wanted to get that across in the music. I wanted the music to be quite nasty, even though it’s a theatre show.” Following the format of the Johnny Cashthemed Man In Black, Hell... is a narrated concert, with songs and stories interspersed. To handle the narrative, Barker suggested Doug
However, for Barker, the process of getting inside the skin and life story of Bon Scott has gone beyond mere hero worship. As someone with more than 20 years in the fickle biz of rock’n’roll, he is well appraised with the less glamorous aspects of the trade, not to mention the personality disorders. “I can probably speak for a lot of guys in bands who’ve got that addictive kind of personality where you don’t really know how to switch off,” he muses. “And I mean, with Bon, it wasn’t just a public persona, he was really like that. He would just go, go, go and had the constitution of a fuckin’ ox… So, y’know, had I been presented with the same set of circumstances – the fame and all that – I reckon there, but for the grace of god, go I. Go a lot of us, really.” Taking the legend of Australia’s greatest ‘live fast, die young’ rock icon and packing it into a two-hour theatre show was always going to be a tough ask, not the least because Bon Scott fans are known for their somewhat puritanical protection of the legend. Nick Barker chuckles to himself at the thought, “I hope that people don’t become too precious about it and go, ‘This, this, this and this,’ ‘cause, y’know, it’s not really about me pretending to be Bon, it’s a kinda peek into the guy’s life; the music and everything.”
WHAT: Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be WHEN & WHERE: Until Sunday 24 July (excluding Mondays), Athenaeum Theatre
WAIT FOR IT
GETTIN’ LITERAL Playwrite create a wild and haunting wall of sound; animalistic and undeniably catchy. The band released their debut EP Black Cloud to sold-out crowds at the Workers Club in June and are excited to announce their upcoming show at the Evelyn Hotel on Friday. Supported by Tim Shield (Faux Pas), Elephant Eyes and Frames, this will be a cracker.
Ever wondered what it would be like if you filled an old jail cell with 20,000 colourful plastic balls? At Ball Pit at Bang! this week we’re ripping the end off with Queensland rockers Mourning Tide smashing the main stage with support form Feed Her To The Sharks and Make Them Suffer. If that ain’t your thing, sing along to your favourite pop punk in the front bar and score heaps of free drinks an prizes in the karaoke comp. Score copies of the new Incubus album and tickets to No Use For A Name when they’re in Oz soon. These Patterns launch their new EP at the Tote this Friday.
BIRDS OF TIN
One of the many bands to emerge out of MacQuarie University of late, this folk quartet has been slowly gathering momentum over the past summer. Playing the Peats Ridge Festival and having shared the stage with the likes of Oh Mercy, Ball Park Music, Guineafowl and Lanie Lane, Tin Sparrow are finally set to release their eagerly awaited EP at the Grace Darling this Friday. 9pm, $10.
HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jess, keys/synth: “We bonded over our love for pho.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? Sam, drums/vocals: “We’re just about to release our debut EP, Species, which was recorded at Headgap Studios in Preston with Brent Pushon, mixed by Manfred Kaindel of Kunsthaus Studios and mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service. We’re pretty psyched. That aside, who doesn’t love a little bit of tooling around?!” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? Sam: “Angular, abstract, aggressive and asthmatic.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Paul, vocals/bass/slide: “Meatloaf! He’s actually playing at the grand final this year… go figure.”
Single Twin performs the first show of a monthlong national album tour; the first in Melbourne since the recent release of the widely-celebrated debut album. The moniker of local musician Marcus Teague, Single Twin is currently performing its darkly cinematic, narrativedriven post-folk in special five-piece band mode. Guests on the night include a rare performance from Grand Salvo – currently completing his much-anticipated fifth album. Catch them at the Grace Darling this Thursday, 9pm.
Liz Stringer is often associated with words beginning with ‘be’. Beguiling. Bewitching. Beamazing. Okay, so the last isn’t a word, but two out of three ain’t bad. A songwriter of subtlety, with a prodigious command of her instruments, Stringer’s body of work and inimitable live performance have garnered rave reviews and a loyal following Australia wide, Stringer is a performer to be reckoned with. Stringer plays the Drunken Poet from 4pm this Sunday. Be there.
Jess: “City & Colour. Dallas Green’s voice is incredible.”
PAUL GEORGE – TIJUANA CARTEL The record I put on when I’m really miserable is… Anything by Tom Waits. Sometimes I find the only way to deal with misery is to listen to someone sound more miserable than you are. I need Tom Waits harping on about a dodgy used car salesman getting a divorce from a downtrodden hooker. It just seems to really hit the spot.
The first record I bought with my own money was… Bros’ When Will I Be Famous. I really wanted to lie and say something much cooler, but I’m just not that cool. I even begged my mum to let me get a bleached, flat top hair cut (thank god she said no) and I learned all the words to Drop The Boys.
After more than 20 years on the scene, Chris Wilson has long been established as an essential part of blues and rock music in Australia. From stints with Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls, myriad collaborations with the cream of the Australian industry and numerous solo outings, Wilson’s huge voice and legendary blues harp are unmistakable. With a presence and talent as big as the country he lives in, Chris Wilson is truly a master of his craft. This Saturday at the Drunken Poet from 9pm. Entry is free. Wanna be in a Matt Sonic film clip? Fresh from a triumphant Californian tour, local psychedelic rockers Matt Sonic & the High Times are filming a film clip for their new single This Is Heartache at Cherry Bar, tonight (Wednesday) from 8pm and you’re invited to participate and be in the clip! Entry is free, there’s $4 Jägers and Shots Fired then Vice Grip Pussies play later. So, rock on down and let’s see if anyone can outrock pose the lion-maned denim warrior, Matt Sonic.
The best record I stole from my folks’ collection was… Animals – Pink Floyd. Complete with five-minute guitar solos, over-indulgent 12-minute tracks and Roger Waters’ selfimportant lyrics, it was just too good to leave in my mother’s collection.
Kingswood are a Melbourne rock’n’roll band currently simmering under the indie sheath that covers the music scene. Steeped in the blues, Kingswood are comprised of vocalist Fergus Linacre, guitarist Alex Laska, bassist Mango Hunter and drummer Justin Debrincat. Kingswood, with guests The Pretty Littles, will play the Evelyn tonight as part of their July residency. Head on down.
Nigel Wearne brings his compelling blend of alt. country and folk to the Drunken Poet this Thursday. Equipped with personally handcrafted Wearne guitars, his music melds finger-style guitar, slide Dobro, country twang and honest storytelling. Come along to the Drunken Poet for a drink or two, Lloyd Bosch kicks off at 8pm, Nigel Wearne at 9pm. Free entry. Wearne also performs live at Pure Pop Records in St Kilda this Sunday. It is no news that Charles Jenkins is a fine songwriter. From Icecream Hands through to his current work on the solo front, this fine gentlemen has been filling our ears with wonder for some time. Jenkins’ last two records have both been lauded as the best of his career, the sort of form that is very hard to argue with. Charles Jenkins will be spreading the good word this Sunday at the Drunken Poet from 6.30pm.
Good things come to those who wait, they say. As something of an addendum to that, we’d like to add that good things can often come to those who haven’t really been waiting that long at all – case in point, the Reigate Squires’ first recording, That Which Was. The Squires are bringing their particular take on punk-influenced folk rock to bear in support of their new EP at the Evelyn Hotel on Sunday. They are joined on the evening in question by the distinctive musical might of Van Myer, and the superlatively enjoyable Alexander Hamilton. What an enticing prospect, indeed – we’ll see you there.
The record I put on when I bring someone home is… The XX – Crystalised. Although I find it’s getting a little old now, it’s just obscure enough to make a clever comment about you and sultry enough to slide a little closer to that someone it was chosen for. The most surprising record in my collection is… Elton John – Yellow Brick Road. There’s an epic instrumental track on it that still pushes all the right buttons.
MONDAY CURRY OF THE DAY $10 TUESDAYS BEEF, CHICKEN OR VEG WRAP $10/$8 WEDNESDAYS PORTERHOUSE STEAK $12
Jess: “Jeff Buckley – Live At The Sinè.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? Sam: “A very supportive bra.” Paul: “My shoestring belt and underwear… sometimes.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? Jess: “Tofu stir fry. Yeah, I’m Asian, so it’s in our blood.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? Jess: “Il Fornaio. It has damn good coffee.” Paul: “The Tote, and our friend Hannah Neeson’s house when its John’s birthday.”
WELCOME TO INTERZONE
The last thing I bought/downloaded was… EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints, It sounds like Iggy Pop and Courtney Love had a love child raised by Sonic Youth. My favourite album at the moment. Tijuana Cartel play the East Brunswick Club this Friday.
IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Paul: “Toss up between Kyuss – Welcome To Sky Valley and The Dead Kennedys – In God We Trust Inc. Both cherished 13th birthday gifts!”
Interzone (featuring members of Fabulous Diamonds, Repairs, Chrome Dome) bring their brand proto-punk-funk upstairs at Bar Open. Krakatoa recall the sounds of synth-heavy ‘70s and are currently working on a release with Shags Chamberlain (Lost Animal, Pikelet, Brous) due for release later in the year. They asked Jonny Telafone (Dream Damage Records) along to set the tone. Since moving to Melbourne from Canberra, J TFONE is a much happier man, though his music is still as dark as it always was. Come and sip from the gutter. It’s free, doors 9pm.
THURSDAYS FREE POT WITH ANY MAIN MEAL!
FRIDAYS CHICKEN SNITZ, CHIPS & GRAVY $10
SATURDAYS FISH N' CHIPS $8
GLORIOUS TRAICOS Gloriosa sees Catherine Traicos and her new band, The Starry Night, offer up a beguiling blend of alt.country, blues, roots and folk, delivered by one of the most delicate and beautiful voices in contemporary music. The Starry Night will be joined by one of the most intelligent, artistically innovative and foot-stompin’ bands in this country, The Holy Sea, in what promises to be their final Australian show before lead singer Henry F Skerritt relocates to the USA. Catch all this and more at the Evelyn this Saturday.
GIANTS UNDER THE SUN DICE, PETER & JOHN FROM 8:30PM
SHERIFF, HUMANS, ROB TOMAS' FAVOURITE BAND, HUNTER FROM 8:30PM
I DREAM OF GENRE, SHAKE RATTLE SOUL, DEATH VALLEY MUSTANGS FROM 8:30PM
JULY 21ST - BABYLON BURING (SA) WITH SAN SALVADOR, THE KUJO KINGS AND LOONEY TUNES JULY 22ND - STEP INTO MY OFFICE BABY DJ'S FEAT ANDY MCCLELLAND, NATHAN JONES AND MISS MODETT JULY 23RD - PRIMARY SOURCE WITH LOS THEORY, SPEECH THERAPY, TWO FACE AND BASTIN KILL JOY JULY 24TH - BUTTERTIME WITH CAPE COD AFFAIR AND CHEERLEADER JULY 25TH - KASHMERE CLUB WITH BURNING VIOLET BRIDGES (SYD), FIERCE MILD AND RAIN BIRD
ROSE COLOURED GLASSES
Straight from completing a successful and packed out five week residency at the Evelyn Hotel, Rosie & George are back to play at the Grace Darling after recording their second EP. Their live shows have been capturing audiences everywhere with their own special blend of soulful tunes, mellow sounds and beautiful harmonies. Joined on the night by the fabulous Charlie Lim Band and The Harlots, doors open 7pm and it’s only $4.
Footscray’s only true source of Vitamin D, Caught Ship return to Yah Yah’s on Thursday. This show will see them playing with self-confessed “talking” band, Mad Nanna who’ve just returned from a successful New Zealand tour and which features an impressive line-up that is the cream of the Australian avant-underground. Also on the bill are Old Growth Cola from Brisbane and Susie’s Gone. Yah Yah’s this Thursday, 9pm.
Taken from forthcoming album Rain On The Humming Wire, Jae Laffer’s iconic storytelling shines through on the J Award-winning band The Panics’ new single, Majesty. Majesty is grand and sweeping with Jae Laffer’s trademark lyrical prowess delivering a topical track worthy of a place in Australian music history. The new album follows the ARIA-winning Cruel Guards and hit single Don’t Fight It, with Rain On The Humming Wire at once their most dynamic and electric album, while also their most tender and poetic. They play a sold-out show at the Corner this Friday.
Taking influences from the likes of Waylon, Ryan Adams, Springsteen and Loudon Wainwright, Cisco Rose has been playing in bands around the country for ten years. Country, folk, rock – he plays it all. Get down to Yah Yah’s Friday for a great night of intimate roots rock.
GET SOME PARTY VIBES
Yah Yah’s Saturday will host a grind/funk party, actually more grind than funk but still good times. Party Vibez, no band name could be more apt. Michael Crafter fresh from their triumphant South East Asia tour where they received the rattan cane on an almost daily basis. Battle Pope – like Crafter, also from Sydney – and kings of the grind. Rounding out the bloody carcass of grind mayhem is Lazerface. There will be blood. Doors 9pm.
GUNS R US The Moosejaw Rifle Club are playing two sets on Wednesday 20 July at the Standard Hotel, Fitzroy. Good food, good tunes. Come on down for lots of three-part harmonies, banjo, mandolin, guitar, foot-stomping fun, tales of woe, murder, plane crashes, drownings, drinking, drunks and vampires.
When Friday night rolls around it’s time to get brutal at Pony, with a hard and heavy line-up to head bang along with. Venomartyr is a hardcore/ metal band not just making a mark in the Melbourne heavy music scene but tearing it a new one. Bury The Fallen is a Melbourne metalcore band that have gone from strength to strength in the last two years, playing all over Victoria and supporting some great bands. Driven To The Verge are an up-andcoming band in the Melbourne metal/hardcore scene. Having formed in late 2009, DTTV have built a strong and loyal fanbase along the way with sounds true to their roots while obtaining a distinct and unique slant of their own. There’s all this and more at Pony this Friday so get down there and let four killer bands unleash their fury upon you.
THE F WORD Dirty F have been warmly welcomed back to the Vic Hotel to play a free show on Friday 22 July with the support of Sambros Automoblie. Be sure to brave the likely wind, rain, hail and other miserable weather that a Melbourne winter has to offer and dance and drink your winter woes away as Dirty F promise to work up a frenzied, relentless performance that will leave the likes of those who come down pouring with sweat only to be struck down with pneumonia on their graceless exit from the venue.
In the first Mixed Lolly Thursdays, Pony’s got a jumbled-up, genre-twisting line-up of three true up and comers. Headlining is Circus Therapy, a powerful and refreshing three-piece act that delivers a unique mixture of melodic metal, grunge and kooky punk-reggae tunes. Direct to your ears from the distant valley of forbidden freaks, they have a strict ‘no love song’ policy, so you can trade the ‘awws’ for ‘grrrs’ and be assured that the only ‘whine’ available on the night, is purchased at the bar. Card Houses are an eclectic three-piece from Brisbane’s northern suburbs, who mix experimental and post-punk sounds with a combination of electronic and acoustic instruments. Their influences include quasars, Nintendo 64 and triangles! They’ll be joined on the night by local upstarts Her. Doors 8.30pm
Kristina Miltiadou doesn’t cross her t’s and dot her i’s – she draws lightning bolts and love hearts on them. Taking genres that often draw a roll of the eyes, Miltiadou layers pop, soul and R&B together to fit her own hyper-coloured vision, fresh with beer-flooded dancing vigour. She’s ready again to burst into the spotlight headlining Cant Say at Miss Libertines this Friday night, complete with new songs for an eager audience. Get ready to pull out the imaginary maracas and make sure your dancing shoes have been freshly polished.
The last month has seen the release of Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue’s debut EP, Desperate Love, which has helped establish the Melbourne fourpiece as a force to be reckoned with, receiving critical praise nationwide. Not content to rest on these achievements, this Friday will see the group play their last scheduled show for several months as they return to the studio to work on some new material and maybe spend some time with their kids. This Friday head down to watch Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue at the Cornish Arms in Brunswick with The Dark Ales and Larissa Agosti. Entry is free so get down early.
The Empress glowingly presents an evening of light and sound like no other. Spread over the entire venue, Limelit is a haven for the senses, featuring a line-up of Australia’s most amazing electronic sound makers including Jonti (ex-Djanimals), Dream Kit (featuring Declan Kelly), Machine, Hammocks & Honey, Cat Full Of Ghosts + more. On the visuals will be the Blitza Produktions team. Renowned for their work at festivals and club nights all over the world, this crew regularly blow minds with their light and visual shows. The cosy cave of the Empress will be transformed for one night only. Come and awaken your senses! Presales through Moshtix or $15 on the door from 8.30pm.
Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL
Blues ‘n’ roots with DAN CONDON email@example.com
So Frenzal Rhomb have just finished wrapping up production on their newest effort, Smoko At The Pet Food Factory. This 16-track album was recorded at the Blasting Room in Colorado with Bill Stevenson (of The Descendents) at the helm. Here’s where some cool punk rock trivia comes in: the studio operates within the grounds of a large pet food factory which Stevenson owns, and you can just imagine how confronting the operations (nothing illicit) of a pet food factory would be for the four vegetarian members of the band who were living, recording and sleeping in that environment. Anyway, the album is set for release on 19 August through Shock Records. There is already a track from the album streaming through the band’s Facebook page. Called Bird Attack the lyrics are simple: “Magpie, seagull, ibis/Eyes drawn, ice cream, helmet”. In the context of the album, this sits nicely alongside songs about cockroaches, goths, racists, rapists and ciggies. So this is typical Frenzal fare. To celebrate the release of the album, the band will be hitting the road this September with US punk band Teenage Bottlerocket coming along for the ride. There are three shows for Victoria. First up, on Saturday 3 September, the tour hits the Corner Hotel. Then on Tuesday 6 September, Frenzal and Teenage Bottlerocket move to the National Hotel in Geelong, and then finally on Wednesday 7 September, the final Victorian show will be at the Loft in Warrnambool. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, so get onto it quick! The first taste of the new Mariachi El Bronx album (following the typical tradition of The Bronx it is just called Mariachi El Bronx 2) has hit the net. The track is called 48 Roses and can be streamed through Bombshellzine.com. This is exactly what you would expect from Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi versions of songs that, were they punk songs, could be on any Bronx album. This album (as well as The Bronx 4) is due out this year, so stay tuned for more information about both releases, including street dates, as it comes to hand. Every Time I Die have just wrapped recording on their newest, as-yet-unnamed album, and as one of my all-time favourite bands their inclusion on the Soundwave Revolution line-up has me all sorts of excited. Vocalist Keith Buckley answered a couple of quick questions for us about his expectations of the festival and his answers are nothing short of hilarious! What are you most looking forward to about heading to Australia for Soundwave Revolution? “While the shows are monumental, what I’m looking forward to most are the days in between. Australia is like an angel’s wet dream. The weather, the scenery, everything. On days off we take full advantage, like last time we were over there we went on a bike ride around an island and fed some wild ass quokkas. Another time, we went to a zoo and watched a kangaroo touch his private parts. It’s awesome.” Who are you most eager to check out on the bill? “There’s a little up-and-coming band called Van Halen I kind of want to see. I think they’re going to do big things someday.” What is something that no one knows about your band? “It was made in a lab.” Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you have to stick to before you go onstage? If so, what… “I like to have a gentleman’s beverage and just clear my head.” What is your dream festival line-up? To see or to play? Because I’d rather just watch my favourite bands play and not have to worry that we might be playing at the same time as them. Although, if I were just in general public, I probably wouldn’t get backstage and creep on them preparing for the gig. I hope your original question was more rhetoric than anything because obviously there are too many hypothetical obstacles for me to simply know what I like.”
It’s probably the best triple bill of New Orleans music I could imagine being assembled in this particular day and age – the Legends Of New Orleans tour is coming to Melbourne. Heading it up is the beyondlegendary pianist, composer, producer and vocalist Allen Toussaint, who makes his way to Australia for the very fi rst time in his illustrious 55-year career. You cannot do this man justice in a mere paragraph – he is one of the most influential fi gures in rock’n’roll and has worked with everyone from The Band to Elvis Costello to Paul McCartney to name a mere few. Even Elton John says he was a major influence on his piano playing style. In the modern day you don’t get a more renowned New Orleans pianist than the magnificent Jon Cleary, who will be back in Australia (he must love it here) with his power trio The Philthy Phew. Cleary has been the go-to guy for funk piano for a long time now and he never, ever fails to impress. Rounding out this bill is the band who many say do more for New Orleans music in the modern day than any other group, the incredible Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The injection of funk and bebop into the traditional New Orleans brass band sound has seen them considered as one of the most rousing party groups going around and you can bet you’ll be both gasping for breath and cheering for more when they beat a path through Aussie venues later this year. You can see these three incredible acts at the Palace Theatre on Wednesday 5 October; tickets are available from Ticketek from Friday morning. The new album from Steve Cropper is a tribute to the work of The 5 Royales and features guest appearances from the likes of (wait for it) Sharon Jones, Bettye LaVette, Lucinda Williams, BB King, Steve Winwood and Shemekia Copeland. Cropper – who is best known as the guitarist in the Stax Records house band, as well as Booker T & The MGs – hasn’t let the band he’s paying tribute to, his guests or himself down with Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales (429 Records). The great thing about Cropper’s work here is his guitar tone hasn’t really changed much since the glory days. Listen to Say It and, behind Bettye LaVette’s powerful vocal,
RACKET Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG firstname.lastname@example.org Megadeth have set TH1RT3EN as the title of their new album, due in November via Roadrunner Records. The CD was recorded at Megadeth main man Dave Mustaine’s Vic’s Garage studio in San Marcos, California with producer Johnny K. San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans Testament recently entered the studio with British producer Andy Sneap (Megadeth) to begin pre-production on their new album for a late 2011 release. Due to a “serious injury,” drummer Paul Bostaph is unable to take part in the new CD recordings but will rejoin Testament for future touring activities. Hitting skins on the record will be drum god Gene Hoglan. Bassist Greg Christian states, “Eric, Gene, Andy and I have been in the studio jammin’ on the new songs since last week and today is the last day of pre-production. Gene starts recording the drum tracks tomorrow. It’s coming to be, and it’s heavy as shit.” German power metallers Primal Fear have set Unbreakable as the title of their new album, due in January 2012 via Frontiers Records. The band commented, “We’ve survived earthquakes and tornados. This is the story of all who tried to destroy us or are still trying or gave up.” The UK’s Rise To Remain will release their debut album City Of Vultures on 5 September via EMI. The 12-track effort was recorded last year at Tree House Studios in Chesterfield with producers Carl Bown (Trivium) and
Cropper’s guitar sounds almost exactly as it did on Green Onions back in 1962. While thousands have replicated his tone over the years, no one quite does it like him. The guest appearances are all solid, the band are watertight and while it’s far from mindblowing, it’s a lot of fun and it sounds like there was a great spirit in the studio. In the liner notes Cropper explains the influence the band had on him as a young musician still in school in the 1950s, particularly guitarist Lowman Pauling, who Cropper admits to essentially modelling his own playing style on, so
you can tell this was a real passion project.
Colin Richardson (Slipknot). “We’re ecstatic now the album is complete,” says frontman Austin Dickinson. “That’s the only way to describe it; this album has been our focus for so long. I want this album to take the band to major new levels.”
know we are being a bitch with nothing giving any solid news regarding our new album but we do have the feeling that most of the bands give it all on the net, spoiling any possible romance, seduction game which is essential for a Moonspell record. So it’s not that we don’t want to be generous to our fans, it’s just that we don’t want to lose any impact on this one as we believe it to be one of the finest jewels we ever wrote. We will produce the album ourselves but we are working with two producers and friends that are helping out the final shape of the album. We will keep you informed about this one trying not to lose any of its original secrecy, mysticism and strength. This is a very important card for Moonspell and all our fans and we will not give hand and spoil the mood.”
San Diego’s Pathology have entered Lambesis Studios (owned by As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis) in the band’s hometown with producer Daniel to begin recording their new album. “I’m very excited to be back in the studio,” states drummer Dave Astor. “This will be the tightest and heaviest recording we have ever done. The new material we wrote is more thought out and way more brutal than anything that we have ever written. We’re doing the same brutal music as we have always done. We just made the breakdowns heavier, the fast parts faster, and the slow parts slower.” Maryland-based experimental, progressive metal six-piece Periphery have released the following statement: “We have some sad news to share. Guitarist Alex Bois and Periphery have decided to part ways. This is truly a sad day because Alex has been with us since the beginning, and he is like a brother to us. We’re going to do everything we can to make the most out of this unfortunate situation, and soldier on like we always have in the past when faced with setbacks. In regards to all of our upcoming shows and tours, worry not! We will have special guest artists filling in for Alex, so our touring plans will not be changing whatsoever. Throughout all of this, we really appreciate your support and understanding.” Technical thrash metallers Powermad have secured the percussion talents of Dirk Verbeuren for their next full-length album. Verbeuren is now a permanent member of Powermad and is writing material for the CD in hopes of a late 2011 release. Vocalist Fernando Ribeiro of Portuguese metallers Moonspell has issued the following update: “I
George Thorogood, one of modern blues rock’s most successful mainstream artists, released a collection of Chess Records classics done with his band The Destroyers called 2120 South Michigan Avenue last Friday (through EMI). If you like Thorogood’s somewhat white bread, meat and potatoes blues rock then you’ll fi nd plenty to like here. I had a chat to the man last week and I’ll be revealing some very interesting information about the record in next week’s column.
LOCAL GIG GUIDE
Aeon Of Horus at Metalfest – Friday, Croydon EV’s (all-ages) Aeon Of Horus – Saturday, East Brunswick Club
TOURS, TOURS, TOURS
Forbidden – Saturday 30 July, Prague Periphery, Tesseract – Sunday 31 July, Northcote Social Club Avenged Sevenfold, Sevendust – Tuesday 2 August, Festival Hall Blind Guardian – Sunday 2 October, Billboard Suicide Silence – Sunday 11 September, Billboard (U18 arvo, 18+ evening) Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – triplej.abc.net. au/racket. Email email@example.com
PARADIGM SHIFT Capturing the zeitgeist with KRIS SWALES Poor old electronic dance music. It really can be amazing, honest, but a little part of me dies inside every time I switch on Rage on a Saturday morning for my weekly dose of mainstream music (though I do have a nasty Triple M habit at the moment, but it seems the poor programming department there only have albums by the Foo Fighters, Chisel/ Barnesy, INXS and Run To Paradise at their disposal so I don’t think it provides a good representative sample of what’s really going down out in lowest common denominator land). It’s pretty easy for people of a certain vintage to get all misty-eyed about how everything was better back in the day, which is true to an extent if you’re willing to suspend disbelief and delude yourself into thinking that there’s actually a serious message beating away at the heart of Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam once you scratch the surface. But for the sake of this week’s argument, let’s just pretend that Black Box’s Ride On Time is operating on a profound level that few can even comprehend and begin a sustained assault on just what constitutes dance music in 2011. Pointless dubstep breakdowns, eardrum bursting ravey synth stabs, guest 16s from rappers who should know better, David Guetta/Will.I.Am/Benny Benassi – these are the current prerequisites for 4/4 dance music chart crossover success. What the fuck exactly is the justification for the existence of LMFAO’s Champagne Showers? What about the portamento house synth squeals that have been shoehorned into Havana Brown’s We Run The Night? Is it
OF YOUTH All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a fi lmmaker looking for that jumpstart to kick off your career? Well, a short fi lm competition based around Sydney Road in Brunswick is offering prize money that should be a tasty incentive for anyone looking to fund future projects. Sydney Road is a culturally diverse, richly edifying destination and can offer much inspiration for young fi lmmakers – from the myriad of wedding dress shops to the treasure trove of secondhand stores, baklava sellers, nicknack havens and the café using a clever Star Wars pun that sells the best big breakfast for miles. The competition states that fi lms must be no longer than seven minutes and must include some aspect of Sydney Road, which I have just demonstrated should be no problem. To receive the full competition guidelines (which you must do in order to enter the competition) email email@example.com and read them thoroughly. Entries close Monday 22 August. May the force be with you. All this week until Saturday, the Melbourne Magic Festival will be taking place at the Northcote Town Hall. I went to a variety show this past weekend and was amazed, impressed and inspired (the eight-year-old version of myself almost wet herself when one of the magicians pulled a real bowling ball out of a drawing of a bowling ball). There are shows designed for people of all ages happening all week with tickets ranging from free to around $15-$20 concession. There are also a series of magic workshops to get involved in, and the much anticipated fi nal of the Junior Stage Magic Championships to fi nd the best new magician under the age of 18, which is happening this Saturday at 3pm in Studio 1 of the Northcote Town Hall. All tickets are $10. Don’t let the road works on High Street slow you down, trains still run to the nearby Merri Station as usual, so make sure you check out melbournemagicfestival. com and get your tickets today.
All this week Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, the theatrical production of the
because I traumatised my Grade 7 teacher so much she had to get a transfer to another school? Should I call my mother more? The coup de grâce is the press release for Vanessa Amorosi’s new single Gossip breathlessly trumpeting that it’s an “electropop track with a dab of dub-step (sic)”, the “dab” in question being a brief five second interlude which feels like it was included for the sole purpose of fulfilling a mystery checklist for Saturday morning TV ubiquity (and presumably because Snoop Dogg and/or Ludacris were unavailable for a guest spot). It’s nowhere near the po-faced seriousness of the breakdown in Britney’s Hold It Against Me (which was so close to disappearing up its own arsehole that it was unintentionally hilarious), but in terms of pointlessness it’s right up there with transforming robots from a galaxy far, far away having human attributes like hair, beards, and the ability to pass wind. So there you have it. Dance music – brainless, formulaic, instantly disposable, thanks for parting with your $2.19 on iTunes (and somewhere in the vicinity of 350,000 Australians have done just that for LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, none of whom I’ve ever met or ever want to. Sorry, but I just don’t think it’ll ever work out for us.) Am I really this far out of touch with reality? Was Melissa’s Read My Lips really any better back in 1991 than J-Lo’s On The Floor is now? Am I just old and set in my ways and settled in for opening any discussion about music for the rest of my life with the phrase “back in my day”? I really hope not. Because as much as I doubt I’ll have another year like 1994 or 2000 where every new album I had in my possession somehow felt important, hearing a perfectly constructed pop song from Katy Perry or Katy B or even KT fucking Tunstall gives me some hope that maybe I’m not due to be wheeled off to the Old Gurners’ Home just yet.
life and times of AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, is on at the Athenaeum Theatre. Tickets are $45 through Ticketmaster.
The Push and FReeZA all-ages tour featuring Closure In Moscow, Dream On Dreamer, Awaken I Am, Ennui Breeds Malice, We, The Dreams and more, makes its way to McGillivray Hall at Bendigo TAFE from 6pm. Tickets are $15. The Hoist music show on SYN FM is unplugged and off the rails with emerging Australian talent performing intimate shows just for you. This event is free and if you are one of the fi rst 100 to sign up to the doorlist by RSVPing to signal@ melbourne.vic.gov.au, you will win some awesome prizes. At Flinders Walk, Northbank, behind Flinders Street Station towards Sandridge Bridge from 6pm.
Emerge At The Drum, an event which celebrates the cultural diversity of Dandenong, is on again at the Drum at Dandenong Town Hall. Things kick off at 11am, entry is free. The Push and FReeZA all-ages tour hits Werribee Youth Centre in Hoppers Crossing with Closure In Moscow, Dream On Dreamer, Awaken I Am, Brighter At Night and more from 4pm. Tickets are $12. Get Your Hop On! youth music event is being held to raise funds for the Winchelsea Skate Park, featuring Altitude and The Underhanded at the Globe Theatre in Winchelsea from 6.30pm. Entry is $5.
Way With Words’ Better Off Friends EP Launch with guests Daylight Hours, Madison and Welcome Wednesday takes place at the Knox Community Art Centre in Bayswater from midday. Tickets are $12. The Northlane The ‘Strayan tour will hit the National Hotel in Geelong with special guests Through The Eleventh Hour, Ennui Breathes Malice, Perfect Fit, That’s What She Said and Athenas Wake from 12.30pm. Tickets are $15. Feed Her To The Sharks, Make Them Suffer, Of Whispers, The Ocean The Sky, Wolves, Saviour and I Know A Ghost play the Phoenix Youth Centre in Footscray from 1pm. Tickets are $15.
LUKE MCKINNON goes with the flow Phrase will be doing an exclusive one-off showcase performance of his new album Babylon on Wednesday 20 July. This is a limited capacity event and marks the first time Phrase has performed this material live. The showcase will take place at the Toff In Town. Babylon will be released 12 August. Syntax and Gold Coast hip hop producer Mules have joined forces to create a new free EP, Death Stars. A throwback to colourful video stores and puffy VHS jackets, Death Stars pays homage to cinema’s greatest movie composers with slick samples, inventive pop culture infused lyricism and a masterful overtone of well crafted production. Every song on Death Stars features a prominent sample from a Hollywood film score, effortlessly looped and pushed through the Death Stars ‘razzle dazzle’ filter – the ultimate synthesis of rap and nerdish fixations for the local video store. Death Stars will be available for free download from Friday at the official Death Stars/Bad, Meet Evil website: deflectorshields.com. In other Soulmate Records news, the longawaited release of 360’s new album, Flying And Falling, now has an official release date. The record that will be out on Soulmate/EMI will be delivered to fans on 30 September. Sydney hip hop duo Mind Over Matter are coming to Melbourne to play SYN Approved at the Workers Club this Thursday (tomorrow night). The boys have toiled tirelessly since releasing their debut LP, Keepin’ It Breezy, in 2008 supporting many local and international acts as well as being prolific in the recorded medium. They’re one of Australian hip hop’s up-and-coming acts and are well worth checking out while they’re in town.
Def, Jean Grae, Maino, Kendrick Lamar, Curren$y and Nelly. Reflection Eternal partner Hi-Tek will feature on the boards as will fellow producers Will E. Jones, Terrace Martin, Rahki, Symbolic 1, Oh No and Madlib. Brooklyn rappers Das Racist have announced their first official album, Relax will be released via group member Himanshu Suri’s Greenhead Music on 13 September. The album will include guest appearances from El-P, Danny Brown, Despot and Bikram Singh, as well as production from Diplo, Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij and Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder. If nothing else, this will be one of the most interesting sounding albums to be released this year. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the release of Swizz Beats’ forthcoming album, Haute Living Of Late. But it seems the MC/ producer will not be taking the traditional route when it comes to releasing the record. Instead of releasing the LP as a complete package, Swizz plans on releasing the album in song-by-song instalments in order to make each track an ‘event’. He told MTV that his perspective on music and the current status of the industry is what led him to go the non-conventional route. “I want to change the whole mindset of the way I do things as an album, but Haute Living is definitely coming” said Swizz. “I’m just tired of doing things traditional. My whole concept of life is just to do things non-traditional, making new rules. Sky’s not the limit – it’s just a view.” Profound stuff that… Phrase
Talib Kewli has been ridiculously prolific of late and his run does not look like abating. On Sunday night, Kweli announced that his sixth solo album, Prisoner Of Conscious, will be released in November. Following the release of this year’s Gutter Rainbows, the LP will also feature guest appearances from Mos
OG FLAVAS Urban news with CYCLONE Forget nightbus. The happening new ‘urban’ genre is furban – folk-meets-urban. It began with The Roots’ album How I Got Over, the feted hip hop band reconfiguring songs by Monsters Of Folk and Joanna Newsom. Then the maverick Kanye West reached out to that neo-folkie Bon Iver AKA Justin Vernon. West has long pursued unorthodox collabs, even hiring Jon Brion for Late Registration. But no one imagined that he was a fan of Vernon’s melancholy, introspective and ultra lo-fi debut, For Emma, Forever Ago. Vernon experimented with Auto-Tune on his a cappella Woods For The Blood Bank EP, in much the same way West did on 808s And Heartbreak. French electro-house mogul Pedro Winter apparently played Woods to an instantly enamoured West, who sampled it for his Lost In The World. Vernon also performed on Monster, likewise for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. “I think he liked that I had a similar emotional approach to music,” Vernon recently told Rolling Stone, “and that I used Auto-Tune as a kind of texture. It made sense.” The scruffy, beardy muso hasn’t gone all ‘slick US R&B’ on his follow-up, Bon Iver – and ‘Ye is absent. Instead he’s drawn inspiration from West’s genre busting. Bon Iver is no Midwestern cabin joint: Vernon creates a more layered, fuller sound with sax, horns, strings, piano, synths, electric guitar and pedal steel… The song Perth is avant rock with a military drum beat (in fact, a bit Jesus Walks). Minnesota, WI might be an alt.folk Isaac Hayes. And the finale, Beth/ Rest, is Auto-Tuned ‘80s rock (does Vernon secretly share West’s love of Phil Collins?). Folk is considered the antithesis of hip hop – it’s rustic, rap is urban – but today’s musicians are more fluid, or less purist, than ever. Johnny Flynn is one folkie who digs
hip hop – he was once obsessed with De La Soul. The Brit reputedly wrote music for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation fold (this we need to hear). Besides, hip hop is a form of ‘folk’. Even today’s soulsters – Cee Lo Green, Adele and Daniel Merriweather – have cut folky numbers. The current mainstream folk revival started with America’s so-called freak folk acts (Animal Collective, Devendra Banhart, Newsom), but a second wave (Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons) sprang from the UK, giving rise to the ‘nu-folk’ phenom. There’s an inherent soulfulness to nu-folk – the genre folk’s counterpart to the ‘90s’ neo-soul movement led by D’Angelo. (Detroit neo-soulster Tony Rich, on LaFace Records, ventured into folk with Words – ahead of its time in 1996.) Noah’s The First Days Of Spring was closer to ‘70s high soul than it was recognisably ‘folk’, being a Marvin Gaye-esque break-up album for frontman Charlie Fink. London’s Marcus Foster, signed to Communion, the label co-founded by Mumford’s Ben Lovett, has already been described as ‘Fo-town’. Foster lately presented the Tumble Down EP, home to the ol’ skool R&B Shadows Of The City. An album, Nameless Path, is due soon. Yet another Brit newcomer, Edward ‘Ed\’ Sheeran, is going further. Aligned with Warner, Sheeran’s The A Team crashed into the UK top three. The singer/ songwriter (and Prince Harry lookalike) touts his style as “acoustic folk” on Facebook, but he has a Streets-influenced urban attitude – and he’s collaborated with grime MCs such as Wiley and Devlin, plus ‘urban’ producer Jake Gosling, while touring with Example. Sheeran has notably covered Woon’s quasi-traditional Wayfaring Stranger live. (He sure can work those guitar loop pedals.) The Yorkshire lad has been active since 2005, but his career escalated after he moved to London. Significantly, Sheeran has also harnessed YouTube. Ironically, The A Team was originally issued on last year’s independent EP Loose Change. Sheeran’s DIY video cost a mere £20 – very austerity era. His debut, +, drops in September. Postnightbus? It’s furban time. Expect big things.
Having packed their duffle bags and set off into the sunset, The Joe Kings have arrived safely in Melbourne ready to unleash their brand of raucous blues rock to unsuspecting punters at Pony this Saturday night. Since their fi rst gigs early in 2010, the band have racked up scores of shows all over the country and have now relocated to Melbourne where they are bound to divide and conquer the city. Joining them this night at Pony will be Jupiter’s Bonzai and Hopwood.
McAlpine’s Fusiliers draw upon celtic music from the Australian, Irish and Scottish traditions and combine it with an energetic up-beat punk rhythm to create an intoxicating brew of original music. This has been referred to as “swaggie punk”. Playing the Vic this Saturday, there is never a dull a moment at their shows. This is music for the drinkers, the dancers, the goldminers, the shearers and those in search of old sounds revived with as much courage and balls as the Catalpa’s glorious rescue in Western Australia. As Mr Brown says, “Bring a shovel to lean on!”
That one-madman band BJ Morriszonkle will be gracing the Old Bar stage Mondays in July and if you’ve never seen him before then you absolutely must see him this month. With a sound that makes you think of exploding coconuts, falling anvils and getting chased by cartoon characters he is defi nitely not to be missed. 8pm, free entry.
The Mercy Kills will be kickin’ out their best killer sounds at the Espy top bar this Saturday with Melody Black, Attack Of The Mannequins and Rocket Queen. Apart from playing a handful of shows scattered over the last few months The Mercy Kills have been keeping a low profi le with the exception of joining You Am I and Tumbleweed last month for the Reclink Community Cup. This is a free entry show so why not come to the Espy this Saturday for a killer night of deadly new music and witness four damn fi ne bands.
Hide your kids, hide your wives – some of Melbourne’s most loved bands are on one Yah Yah’s stage; White Summer, Phantom Agents and The Pretty Littles. White Summer are back in action, ready to reveal some new material before it’s recorded in August. And of course expect the guys to give you the usual high intensity, ballsy, bluesy rock you all love. Come listen to some oldies, but hold onto your jocks, the new tracks may just blow them away. This Sunday at Yah Yah’s, 6pm.
FREE STEAK KNIVES
HOWLING WOOLF Midnight Woolf return to the Retreat Hotel, their rock’n’roll home away from home, to rip up another set of mind-bending, fuzzsoaked garage mayhem. To help them out will be the surf-a-licious Velocettes featuring the ethereal voice and guitar talents of the wonderful Alicia Manceau. It’s happening this Saturday night and it’s free! Come along and bring your dancing shoes.
DOE, A DEER
Doe are a five-piece, multi-instrumental unit from Adelaide. Over the past 12 months they have been generating much attention in their hometown, creating their own sonic textures with elements of psychedelic, kosmische, noise and drone. They have played at obscure venues such as a disused veterans hospital, basements and warehouses as well as supporting the likes of My Disco and Japanese drummer Tatsuya Yoshida. Doe are very excited to be performing in Melbourne for the first time with Little Killing and Yolke at the Old Bar on Thursday and at Longplay with Where Were You At Lunch and Slow Hog on Saturday.
Sorted for E&Ps RIVER OF SNAKES BAD BLOOD Emergency Music Ah, it’s refreshing to hear solo guitar strums intro-ing a track, but don’t get too comfortable – your eardrums will be assaulted soon enough. Is this really a threepiece? MAN, do they make a hellavu racket (in a good way)! Elissa Rose’s Bad Blood bass is irresistible and River Of Snakes wouldn’t sound out of place on the Dogs In Space soundtrack. That’s a terrifying shriek on Raul Sanchez (also of Magic Dirt) as well! “He came from Werribee/Heard the music and it set him free… Coppin’ it sweet/Smashin’ the beat.” It’s impossible not to love these guys and they nail humorous lyrical content, which is no mean feat. It’s 4.45 minutes before words enter closer The Harsh Light Of Day and we’ll probably see you at the Tote on Friday 22 July to check whether these cats can back this awesomeness up live. The trio also perform live to air tomorrow night at PBS FM (5-7pm). BUCHANAN NO PHOTO Remedy Music If you dig Arcade Fire, you need to hear Buchanan. Mr Keeper Man immediately calls to mind No Cars Go – “I’ll be the fox and you’ll be the kitten/ In the basement…” sounding ominous in a The Silence Of The Lambs kinda way. Whatever that bird callsounding riff is in Waiting, it really drives the chorus. A lot of these songs are piano-driven and Josh Simons (vocals/keys) and Jon Bara (guitars) have a defi nite feel for the dramatic. Teachers sounds like a Split Enz (Six Months In
Steakknives & The Set play saucy jazzy pop tunes that will warm the heart while our open fireplace does the rest. Salt Lake City and Vintage Red follow suit with equally charming folk numbers. Why not make a night of it at the Empress this Wednesday and eat some yummy food from the kitchen. Bring a date, make it romantic. Doors at 7.30pm.
Okay, so this may be the best residency the Empress has ever seen. Along with a mini-skip full of bands who will play support, Secretive George is here every Thursday over the month of July. Synth attacks, punk rock guitar, a red-headed drummer, a guy dressed as a bear, a man who can’t move in time and everyone dancing! Entry is cheap and every week they have a different dress-up theme! Yeah, this will be the best July of our lives. Doors at 7.30pm, $6. This week dress in any one colour.
LADIES AND GENTS
James Hazelden & The Gentlemen Callers are set to play an encore show at the Empress on Friday. The band, featuring Rob McComb from The Triffids, have only played together a handful of times and this will be their last Australian show together for at least three months. While the album, The Man Who Broke His Own Heart is available online in MP3 format, the only way to purchase the CD or the limited edition New York CD single is to see Hazelden live. Doors at 8.30pm, $8 entry.
EP Reviews with Bryget Chrisfield
GUILT FREE On Monday at the Empress, burgeoning balladeers The Guilts play host to a marvellous selection of Melbourne’s finest circus, sideshow and cabaret performers. Charming, mysterious and muscular magician Sebastian Alexander Rideaux The Magnificent will rob you of sleep with wonder. Miss Ellaneous will delight and confound you with her gravity-defying feats of balance and juggling. Marvel as escapologist Alex Gellmann challenges the clock and locks in a daring contortion. Between each course in this feast of freaks The Guilts will croon out some bloody bawdy songs, with special guest femme fatales, Alysia Manceau and Seri Vida. All this with free soup. Yes, we realise it’s cold, so we want to warm you inside and out. Doors 7.30pm, $5 with all proceeds going towards the ongoing legal costs of Captain Ruin.
The awesome Luau Cowboys begin a threeweek Sunday residency at the Victoria in Brunswick this week from 4pm. For a dose of unbelievable Hawaiian and country blues, be sure to get down to the Vic this month. Kitchen open all day as well.
If you’re peninsula bound this weekend be sure to catch alt.country, folk-rock outfit President Roots along with Jimmy Hocking performing live at the opening of Baha Tacos (2203-2209 Point Nepean Road, Rye) on Friday. Info at bahtacos.com.au.
MAKE GREAT PETS
A Leaky Boat)/Dappled Cities (The Price) fusion. Wrap your ears around Buchanan’s lush sounds when they support Trial Kennedy at the Espy’s Gershwin Room this Saturday or Jinja Safari at the Corner on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.
THESE PATTERNS SPECIES Independent
This four-piece’s attention to detail is noteworthy: their stances on the back of this CD’s artwork perfectly mirror the astronauts that grace its front cover. Apollo Pathway’s sounds are slick and you can tell they have a unity of intent. The way Are You Free concludes is arresting and inspired – Shihad’s Tom Larkin has done a cracking job in the producer’s chair, allowing each instrument equal weight in the mix. These lads seem very evenly matched, which bodes well for live performances. Apollo Pathway hit the Espy front bar on Thursday 28 July.
Wow. These Patterns really explore their own musical template and offer something sinister yet compelling. The four Species tracks flow seamlessly into each other and Foresty & Furniture transports you to the inside a wind tunnel. Vocals take the form of echoed noise and are supplied by Samantha Arthur (drums) and Paul Satur (bass/ slide). In lieu of those boring audio aids you can hire at art galleries, These Patterns should be recruited to compose symphonies to ponder masterpieces by. Arthur’s drum prowess is noteworthy – she exhibits machine-like precision. Synth/keys player Jessica Njoo also takes care of the band’s artwork and design. Closer Visionary could soundtrack apocalyptic terror. Don’t miss These Patterns as they launch this EP on Friday night at the Tote with a little help from The Night Terrors, A Dead Forest Index, Tomaki Jets and The Emergency DJs.
THE LAURELS MESOZOIC Other Tongues
PLAYWRITE BLACK CLOUD Independent
The Laurels are certainly not resting on theirs and this is something you’ll notice the minute you press play. Black Cathedral twists your ears around many interlocking melodies that teeter toward the discordant. This Sydney four-piece doesn’t shy away from distortion, either. Lyrics are indecipherable – the vocals a drone that is given lesser prominence than those wrestling, squally guitars – and this all adds up to music that you can convulse to rather than connect with. Turn On Your Mind sounds like Jim Morrison tripping on peyote in the desert and there are bound to be loads of nodding heads and flailing limbs when The Laurels launch this EP at the Workers Club on Saturday.
This duo play gentlebut-innovative ditties that are atmospheric and could prove difficult to dance to. But that’s cool, Playwrite’s home studio-recorded EP is endearing nonetheless and boasts an honesty that’s impossible to fake. Black Cloud’s an inspired name for this collection of songs, which would suit a rain-soaked drive down the Great Ocean Road with a treasured friend you don’t feel the need to converse flat-out with. Pretty vocal harmonies make you zone in on these words. A female voice is showcased for Open Heart and there’s nothing obvious about this release, particularly how this track plays out. Intrigued? Head to the Evelyn this Friday night and show your support. Playwrite come recommended.
APOLLO PATHWAY DRESS FOR SUCCESS Remedy Music
After an el massivo sell-out launch at the Tote last week that unfortunately saw many friends turned away at the door due to a packed house, Pets With Pets celebrate their homecoming show in Melbourne to re-launch their sublime album Saturday Aquatic Pixie Acid with very special guests for a special encore launch at Collingwood’s newest watering hole, the Gasometer on Saturday 16 July.
Vincent is a five-piece band that cite acts such At The Drive-In, Tool and These Arms Are Snakes amongst their influences. Vincent’s sound fuses together a unique blend of rock, prog and punk, which is brought to life through the fury and energy of their live performance. In May, Vincent released their debut EP, Collider. Check out these rock’n’roll geeks supporting the debut EP launch of local J-Rockers Baby Panther in the Espy’s Gershwin Room this Friday. Tickets $13 at the door.
BIG BAND ARE BACK ATM15 are a 16-piece band and they’re back with a new project that has been six months in the making. This time around they have prepared exclusively written arrangements of hits by their favourite artists – including songs by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, D’Angelo and more. Check out ATM15 perform amongst the attractive surroundings of the Order Of Melbourne with support from CoMeT this Thursday. From 8pm, entry is $5.
HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS
THE FLOWERING OF CATHERINE TRAICOS
Her dad is one of cricket’s great trivia questions. Her sister is an actress. And Catherine Traicos has delivered the finest album of her career, Gloriosa (out now on An Ocean Awaits Records through Fuse). If you had to describe Catherine’s third album in just one word, it would be ‘classy’. “Thank you,” she smiles. “Making the album was tough, revealing, cathartic, exhausting and beautiful.” Catherine’s dad, John Traicos, is one of only two men since the 1970s to play test cricket for two countries (Kepler Wessels is the other). He was part of the South African team that flogged the Aussies in 1970. He then returned, at the age of 45, to play in Zimbabwe’s first four tests in 1992. When that country’s political problems forced John and his family to flee, they relocated to Australia in 1997. Catherine didn’t know much about Australian music. “I knew who Kylie Minogue was. I really liked Locomotion and I asked my aunty in Perth to send me a poster of Kylie but she sent me one of Jason Donovan instead. So I guess I knew who he was, too. Also there was a picture of Craig McLachlan in my sister’s Girl Annual and I thought his hair was cool. I didn’t know he did music though.” Catherine now has other local faves, listing her three favourite Australian songwriters as The Holy Sea’s Henry F Skerritt (“Such an honest and sensitive songwriter; he showed me that loving music and writing your own songs is more than enough to go out there and give it your best shot”), The Marlon Winterbourne Movement’s Marty Cooke (“His melodies are timeless and take you on an unexpected and
So where is home? “Australia,” Catherine says simply, “more specifically Sydney, which is where I’m based at the moment. Why? As they say, ‘home is where the heart is’ and I like to keep my heart close by.” On her new album, she challenges the listener: “Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t feel my heart.” You can’t. Gloriosa is glorious.
DARK MAGIC ALL AROUND
The Sand Pebbles have revealed that their new album, their fifth, will be called Dark Magic. It will see the light of day on 26 August. The first official single is called Occupied Europe (Take Me Across The Water), though there is also a limited-edition 7” single – Because I Could, featuring Tim Holmes from Death in Vegas, and Entrance To The Stream, mixed by Will Carruthers from Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized. It will be launched at Yah Yah’s on 22 July.
Tiny Tim would be smiling from above – suddenly the ukulele is cool. The instrument is a prominent part of Ben Birchall’s new outfit, Duke Batavia; Sarah Carroll (who has just released a great new album, Home & Heart) is a ukulele teacher; while Eddie Vedder’s new solo album is called Ukulele Songs. Georgia Fields was at the forefront of the unlikely ukulele revival, so Howzat! asked her why the tiny instrument was now big. “One, they sound fucking beautiful,” Georgia replied. “Two, they were previously considered lame and daggy, which means that in the cycle of cool/uncool, they eventually swapped to being cool. Basically, you pick something that is really uncool right now, give it six to 12 months, and it will be cool.” So what’s next after we ‘nuke the uke’? “I predict a comeback for soprano sax in 2012,” tips Georgia, who’s playing at the Builders Arms tomorrow (Thursday).
PACKED HOUSE FOR ICEHOUSE
In the greatest ‘secret’ show at the Espy since Men At Work in the mid-’90s, Icehouse delivered a 13-song greatest hits set last Saturday, including a cover of Bowie’s The Jean Genie – with The Living End’s Chris Cheney on guitar.
SPLIT SECONDS, FIRST TIME
“This is where it ends and this is where it starts…” A mate told me to check out Perth band Split Seconds. “They sound like The Triffids,” he said. Big call. It’s not easy being compared to a band that’s revered, especially when they hail from the same city. But Howzat! was hooked from Bed Down, the opening cut on the band’s self-titled EP. It’s one of 2011’s best debuts. The vocal is grand but intimate, and the sprawling songs suggest greatness. Split Seconds make their first trip to Melbourne this week, to support The Panics at the Corner on Friday.
blissful journey”) and The Dirty Three (“In some ways I see them as the future of songwriting; in other ways, they contain something so primal and old that you can’t help but feel it resonate deep inside of you”). Gloriosa includes the line, “I hope someday you’ll find the love is already inside you”. When did Catherine realise she loved music? “It’s a love I’ve always had, one that has grown and shifted through my life. A pivotal moment was discovering Radiohead’s The Bends while in an abusive relationship. That album saved me… I looked inwards and felt something far more powerful, moving and eternal – my love for music. That’s still my favourite album of all time.” Catherine was happy when her music was described as ‘deliciously damaged’. “It kind of proves that I went through all the damaging crap for a reason.” Catherine and The Starry Night launch Gloriosa at the Evelyn on Saturday, with The Holy Sea and Footy. “Footy are a band The Holy Sea recommended,” Catherine explains, adding, “I follow Fremantle, the Dockers – and not just because their colour is purple and the Pav is dreamy.” Catherine is also a big cricket fan. “I think it’s in my blood. I do barrack for Australia, but when they play Zimbabwe, I go for Zimbabwe. It’s a family thing.”
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Comfortable Shorts Loop Cosmic Pizza Lucky Coq Dar.E.Beats Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club Dumplings DJs Eurotrashbar Indie Robics Workers Club Irish Session Lomond Hotel Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who Bimbo Deluxe Open Mic Empress Hotel Open Mic Rubys Lounge Open Mic Wesley Anne Open Mic Night Ruby’s Lounge OSH 10, Ben Jackson The Toff In Town Rowan Blackmore, Sheldon King The Retreat Hotel The Brunswick Discovery, Old Skin, Rouge Elephant, Diploid, Idle Minds Brunswick Hotel The Groves, Uday Tigers, Myyth, Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning Revolver The Matt Keegan Trio Meets Dave Ades Bennetts Lane Weekly Trivia The Drunken Poet
Celebrity Birthday Party: Lopan & guests: New Guernica Coq Roq with DJ Lady Noir, Agent 86, Kiti, Mr Thom, Joybot: Lucky Coq Dumplings Tuesdays: Streetparty, Swick, Tranterco, Sweethearts, Naysayer & Gilsun: Eurotrash Layla: Sababa, Parrots of Fashion plus DJs: Sugar Lounge Le Belle, New Manic Spree, Joel Myles & The Jetpack Academy, Hopwood: Esplanade Lounge Bar Speakeasy, Esther Stephens (NZ), Mose: Revolver Upstairs The Soul Army: Vince Peach & Miss Goldie: Bimbo Deluxe
Citizen.com, Silversix, Code Luke: Lounge Bar Dirty Deeds Thursday: The Vineyard Factory Thursdays: Ken Walker, Mitch Kurz, Tom Evans, Ed Vine: Trak Lounge Bar
Full Moon Party: Afrojack, Bobby Burns, R3hab: Paradise Club Love Story: 1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH: The Toff in Town Night Skool Thursdays: DJs JD, Citizen.com, Snowie, Sadtraxx: Eurotrash Rhythm-al-ism: Allure Dancers, DJs Damion De Silva, FMR, A Style, K Dee, Simon Sez: Fusion The Factory: Ken Walker, Mitch Kurz, Tom Evans, Ed Vine: Trak Lounge Bar Thursday Night Live: Tigerfunk Live, Dave Pham: Bimbo Deluxe Wah Wah Thursdays: Heath Renata, Some Blonde DJ: Wah Wah Lounge
393 Fridays: Eighties Funk and Nineties Jams: First Floor 393 Baby Panther, Vincent, Kitchen Knife Wife, Corpse, Low Speed Bus Chase: Esplanade Gershwin Room
Bimbo Fridays: Hey Sam, Silversix, Jacob Nolan and more: Bimbo Deluxe Cosmology: Loop Discotheque: DJs Scott Thompson, Greg Sara: Match Bar & Grill Dysfunktional: Friday Nights: The Loft Felix Fridays: DJ Wasabi, Kodiak Kid, Bags: Felix Bar Finger-Bang Fridays: Adam Bartas, Dean Paps, Mono & Trav, Luke Will, PK, Wes & Stef and more: Syn Bar Flashback Fridays: DJs Mark Pellegrini, Louie Gallina, Michael T and more: Bar of Eden Fridays at Rah Bar: Andy De Silva: Rah Bar Image, Adam Bartas vs Kalus, Heath Renata, John Doe, Stevie Minx and more: Roxanne Parlour Indecent Fridays: DJ Chris Ostrom, DJ Ryza, Nova, Ant-1, TMC and more: Syn Bar Kid Kodi, Rasty French: The Bay Hotel Mornington Lady Luck Fridays: Circus Bar Like Fridays: DJ Reg-e, DJ Suga, DJ Rubz, DJ Sef and more: La Di Da
Live Soul n RnB: DJ Marz: Hush Bar Lounge Fridays: DJ Who, Mr Moonshine, Snowie, Tahl, Muska: Lounge Bar Midnight Midnight: Post Percy, Simon TK: New Guernica Nick Jones, Nick Jameson: Hoo Haa Panorama: DJs Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano: Lucky Coq Papparazzi: DJs Nikkos, Joe Sofo & Kitty Kat: Co. Playwrite: Evelyn Hotel Poprocks: Dr Phil Smith: The Toff in Town Revolver Fridays NQR edition: Mikle Callander, Matt Radovich, Katie Drover: Revolver Upstairs Risky Entertainment presents Freedom Fridays: Fashion Lounge Saskwatch, The Cactus Channel: Bar Open Sounds Good: Mark John, Arlen DeSilva and more: The Motel Nightclub Sounds of Fusion: DJs Phil Ross, Dean T, Chris Mac, DJ Atomik, Johnny M: Crown Co. Thank God Itâ€™s Friday: Tony Ruth: Mentone Hotel
The Bassment: DJs Daniel Koch, Broz RDZ, D.Trak, Samus Jay and more: Downstairs La Di Da The Mothership Part III: Pspiralife (live), Tristan Boyle (live), Onepointzero (live), Wasabi (live) and more: My Aeon Voltage Relaunch: Chewy Chocolate Cookies (UK), Ajax: Brown Alley
After Dark Social Club: Jamie Doom (Bang Gang): Roxanne Parlour Alumbra Saturdays: Steve Bleas, James Belias, Franky D, Simon Digby, Apap, Evan Telia, Joe Mattei: Alumbra Colours Recording Launch Party: Cubist, AC23, Spinfx, Woz, Ouch, MC Wasp, Scotty Hinds, MC Terraform: The Night Owl Dysphemic & Eliza, BackyardJob, Diistortion, Baron Von Rotton: Brown Alley Envy: YO M.A.F.I.A, DJs Finlo White, Joe Sofo: Crown Co.
Fetch, Pop The Hatch, Kurk Kokane: Brown Alley Freaks of the Deep, Lillys Radio, Crackwhore, 4Tress: Esplanade Basement High Ground: Andrew Till, Simon Slieker, Ranjit Nijjer, Quale, MaxvEgas, Thieryy Lamarque: My Aeon House De Frost: Andee Frost: The Toff in Town House Party Saturdays: 1928, Sleeves, Tranter, Supremes, D.Ceed, Pingu: Eurotrash Midnight Express, Mugen, Lopan, Bobby Lane, Kate Miller: New Guernica Nick Thayer, Mr Nice, Get Low, Tamas Jones: Revolver Upstairs Party Vibez, Michael Crafter, Battle Pope, Laserface: Yah Yahs Rats: Indie Party Saturdays: Talkshow Boy, Rat Vs Possum, Mugen: Brown Alley Saturdays First Floor: Perplex, Agent 86, Simon Sez, Paz and more: First Floor 393 Scott Alert, Dean Dee, Soul T, LCK, LonSkii: Martini Lounge Snowy Belfast, The Hello Morning: The Toff in Town
Soul Clap Saturdays: Astyle, Rev, Peril, Weapon X, Mafia and more: Element Lounge Stereosonic presents Sebastian Ingrosso, John Course, Catrina Davies: Paradise Club Strut Saturdays: Mark Pellegrini, Jason Serini, Andreas, Jason Heerah: Trak Lounge Bar Wah Wah Saturdays: Heath Renata, Spacey: Wah Wah Lounge Washout!: DJs Mugen, Kuya, Loule Knuxx (DJ set), Mz Rizk: Laundry Bar Why Not? Anyo, Sonny Fodero, Illya, Jacob Malmo and more: Pretty Please
Headspace, Bad Boys Batucuda, Dale Ryder Band: Esplanade Lounge Bar Nadene Satch, Kisshead, Sam Lawrence, Spender, Edd Fisher: The Toff in Town South Side Hustle: Djs Askew, Peter Baker, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Junji, Disco Harry: Lucky Coq Revolver Sundays: DJs Boogs, Spacey Space, Radiator, T-Rek: Revolver Upstairs
140 Sydney Rd
163A Sydney Road, Brunswick 3058 Bookings/Enquiries email@example.com www.cornisharms.com.au
The Sunday Set: DJs Andyblack and Haggis: The Toff in Town The Sundae Shake: Phato Amano, Agent 86, Tigerfunk: Bimbo Deluxe Sunday Soul Sessions: Afrodescia (live), DJs Bobby Love: Alumbra
Animaux, Pretty Strangers, Wire Bird: The Evelyn Hotel Tehachapi: The Workers Club
Dumplings Tuesdays: Streetparty, Swick, Tranterco, Sweethearts, Naysayer & Gilsun: Eurotrash Myplace: Room 680 Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning: Revolver Upstairs Osh10, Ben Jackson: The Toff in Town The Grooves, Udays Tiger, Myyth: Revolver Upstairs
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY JULY 13TH - 8PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL OPEN MIC WITH HOST BRODIE
THURSDAY JULY 14TH - 9PM
Mon - $12 Burger & Pot, $14 Porterhouse Tues - $6 Pizza Wed - $14 Porterhouse Fri - $6 Pizza Thu - Great Pub Quiz Challenge
MWT PRESENTS MANIC MUSICIANS JAM NIGHT!
FROM 8PM TILL MIDNIGHT - $2 POTS AND $5 BASICS FRIDAY JULY 15TH - 8PM FALLOPIAN TUNES PRESENTS -
LIVE MUSIC & EVENTS
DOCUMENT SWELL, BLACKSTAR GALAXY, KLLYRSLF
SATURDAY JULY 16TH - 9PM
FRIDAY JULY 15
COMMON THREAD (RE-UNION SHOW),
PUBLIC LIABILITY, NO CREDIT HOPES ABANDONED 8:30 - 9:30 HAPPY HOUR $4 SCHOONERS OF DRAUGHT.
Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue The Dark Ales
SUNDAY JULY 17TH - 5PM STORE BOUGHT COOL, PIONEERS OF GOOD SCIENCE AND THE CLITS
SATURDAY JULY 16
SCARAMOUCHE, THE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCHMEN AND VICE
MONDAY JULY 18TH - 8PM
PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY
FEATURED ARTISTS AND OPEN STAGE. $10 JUGS HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS. FOR MORE INFO CONTACT POETRYMG@HOTMAIL.COM
TUESDAY JULY 19TH - 8PM
TUESDAY NIGHT BRUNSWICK DISCOVERY
Function Room Available Kitchen Open Every Evening
THIS WEEK - OLD SKIN, HALF MAST, DIPLOID AND IDLE MINDS
BANG Saturday Mourning Tide, Feed Her To The Sharks, Make Them Suffer
BAR OPEN Wednesday The Nest Itself, Lunaire, Black Galaxy Experience Thursday Interzone, Krakatoa, Jonny Telafone Friday Saskwatch, Cactus Channel Saturday Sol Nation Sunday Smokinbillsundays, Thomy & The Tanks, Seedy Jeezus, Lethal Binge
BILLBOARD Thursday Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Saturday Adam Bartas, Andy Murphy, Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Ziggy, Wes Bucello
BIMBO DELUXE Wednesday Vince Peach, Miss Goldie Thursday Tiger Funk Friday Blackout Saturday Hot Step Sunday Phato A Mano, Tiger Funk Tuesday Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who
BRUNSWICK HOTEL Wednesday The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Thursday Manic Musicians Jam Night Friday Yolke, Document Swell, Blackstar Galaxy, KLLYRSLF Saturday Common Thread, Public Liability, No Credit, Hopes Abandoned Sunday Store Bought Cool, Pioneers Of Good Science, The Clits, Little Pictures, Scaramouche, The Neighbourhood Watchmen Monday Passionate Tongues Poetry Tuesday The Brunswick Discovery, Old Skin, Rouge Elephant, Diploid, Idle Minds
BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL Wednesday Lake Palmer, Alysia Manceau, Colnol Polgrim Thursday Georgia Fields, Davey Lane, Courtney Barnett Friday New Archer, The Great Outdoors, Voight-Kampff Saturday JJ Symon & The Monochromes, The Greenhatch Effect, Kit & Con
BUILDERS ARMS, EARLY SHOW Friday Cylinders
Terry McCarthy Special SAT 16TH
Saturday Night Fish Fry Sun 17TH
the rechords firstname.lastname@example.org
289 WELLINGTON ST COLLINGWOOD 94195170
KITCHEN OPEN 6 NIGHTS 62
Saturday Ali E Sunday Fallow Fields, Danna & Friends
CORNER HOTEL Friday The Panics, Grace Woodroofe, Split Seconds
CORNISH ARMS HOTEL Friday Larissa Agosti, Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue, The Dark Ale Saturday Royal Chant, Sherrif, Lunars
EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB Thursday Old Man River, Gabrielle & Cameron (Dead Letter Circus) Friday Tijuana Cartel, Cumbia Cosmonauts, Moneykat Saturday In Malice’s Wake, Aeon of Horus, A Million Dead Birds Laughing, Dark Earth
EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL Wednesday Rezzalp Thursday Lower Plenty, Woollen Kits Friday TBC Saturday The Walking Sparrow
EMPRESS HOTEL Wednesday Steak Knives & The Set, Salt Lake City, Vintage Red Thursday Secretive George, The Townhouses, The Yeah Boys, Namine, Griffon Green Friday James Hazelden & The Gentlemen Callers, Who is Mr Jones?, Connor Farell Saturday Jonti, Dream Kit, Machine, Hammocks & Honey, Cat Full of Ghosts Sunday Music Trivia Monday The Guilts Tuesday Open Mic
EMPRESS HOTEL, ARVO SHOW Sunday Mr Jimmy, Gen & Flora
ESPLANADE BASEMENT Thursday Charlie Mayfair, Yelka, Rick Steward Friday Mason, Maniaxe, Seppuku, Sordid Sanctity, Karnage Saturday Freaks of the Deep, Lilly’s Radio, Crackwhore, 4tress
ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM Thursday Mikelangelo, Sammy J, Clairy Browne, Tom Spender, Geraldine Hickey, Thief Card, Jodie Moran, Mellow Kitty Friday Baby Panther, Vincent, Kitchen Knife Wife, Copse, Low Speed Bus Chase Saturday Trial Kennedy, Money For Rope, Buchanan
Sunday Gunn Music Competition
ESPLANADE LOUNGE Wednesday Le Belle, New Manic Spree, Joel Myles & the Jetpack Academy, Hopwood Thursday The April Maze, The Hosies, Delsinki Jane, Tane Emia-Moore Friday Johnny Rock & The Limits, Winter Street, Ross de Chene Hurricanes, Rimply Sed, Rusty Saturday Melody Black, Attack of the Mannequins, The Mercy Kills, Rocket Queen, Phil Para Sunday Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Snowy Belfast Tuesday Cleveland Blues, Curtis Why, Eupymia, April Maze, Joe Oppenheimer
EVELYN HOTEL Wednesday Kingswood, The Pretty Littles Thursday Tom Woodward, Roller One, Pete Ewing, Mechanical Pterodactyl Friday Playwrite, Time Shield, Elephant Eyes, Frames Saturday Catherine Tracios & the Starry Night, The Holy Sea, Footy Sunday The Tiers, The Burning Bush, The Reigate Squire, Van Myer, Alexander Hamilton Monday Animaux, Pretty Stranger, Wire Bird
GRACE DARLING HOTEL Friday Tin Sparrow, Charlie Mayfair, Ryan Meeking, Jumpin’ Jack Williams Saturday Private Function Sunday Rosie & George, The Charlie Lim Band, The Harlots
JOHN CURTIN HOTEL Thursday Giants under the Sun, Dice, Peter & John Friday Skincoat, Sherrif, Humans, Rob Tomas’ Favourite Band, Hunter Saturday Zuzu Angel, I Dream of Genre, Shake Rattle Soul, Death Valley Mustangs
LOOP Thursday Mood, Bobby Chombo, Mitch Friday Mr Nice & Ego Saturday The Good Things Monday Dont You Have Docs?
LUCKY COQ Wednesday Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Thursday WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Friday Matt Radovich, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano
Saturday Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari Sunday Booshank, Paz, Ms Butt, Askew, Jumbo, Junji
NEXT Thursday Electrik Dynamite, Oh Pacific, Acrasia, Goodbye Zoe, Grips & Tonic
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Wednesday VULGARGRAD, Blunderbus, DJ Russian Disco Thursday Roni Sheewan, Khristain Mizzi & The Sirens, Karen Heath, Dylan Hammond Friday Busby Marou, Avalanche City, Jackson McLaren & the Triple Threat Saturday Ball Park Music, City Riot, Buckley Ward Sunday The Zebras, Anthony Atkinson & The Running Mates, Monnone Alone Monday Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Dopetones, Groundgrubber
PONY Thursday Circus Therapy, Her, Card Houses, Love/Hate Friday Venomartyr, Bury the Fallen, Driven to the Verge, Infected, Boarders, Slugger Fontaine Saturday The Joe Kings, Jupiters Bonzai, Hopwood, The Scholars, Grunge Betty
PUBLIC BAR Friday Angry Mules, Are You Armed?, Darktown Strutter
THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Hanna Acfield, Naomi Jones Thursday Lloyd Bosch, Nigel Wearne Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Chris Wilson Sunday Liz Stringer, Charles Jenkins Tuesday Weekly Trivia
THE GEM Friday Terry McCarthy Special Saturday Saturday Night Fish Fry Sunday The ReChords
THE HI-FI Saturday Thousand Needles in Red, Floating Me, Electric Horse, Bellusira, Fading Hour
Sunday Mikelangelo & the Tin Star, Leon Thomas, DJ Kezbot Monday BJ Morriszonkle, Matt Grim, DJ Broadbent, ‘Crotchety Knitwits’ Tuesday Alysia Manceau, Mikey Madden, Co Pilgram
THE STANDARD HOTEL Wednesday Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk Sunday Kim Salmon
THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday Georgia Fair, Daniel Lee Kendall Thursday Damn Dogs, Strange Talk, Myth & Tropics, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Snowy Belfast, The Hello Morning, The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday Nadene Satch, Kisshead, Sam Lawrence, Spender, Edd Fisher, Andyblack, Haggis Monday Swing Patrol, Johnny T, Ramona Staffeld Tuesday OSH 10, Ben Jackson
THE TOTE Wednesday The Bulls Thursday The Joe Kings, The Tearaways, Grunt Bucket, I Love Painting Houses Friday These Patterns, The Night Terrors, A Dead Forest Index, Tomaki Jets Saturday Bits of Shit, King Leghorn, Six Ft Hick, Bodies, Wolfy and the Batcubs
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK Thursday The Native Plants
WESLEY ANNE Wednesday Enoch and the Hummingbird Thursday Big Boy Lemonade & Solid Gold, Benny Walker, Tom Richardson Friday Glory B, Sheldon King, Rohan Blackmore Saturday Al Parkinson, Samara Cullen, Kimberley Aviso, Ryan Sterling, Playwrite, D Rogers, Major Chord Sunday Kahlia, Mon Ami, Alice Keath, Tully Sumner, Lucy Wise, Cavanagh & Argus, The Twoks Tuesday Open Mic
THE OLD BAR
Wednesday Keggin, Fisty Cuffs, Made in China Thursday Doe, Little Killing, Yolke Friday Bowcaster, These Hands Could Separate The Sky, Poor People, Heavy Yolks, DJ Eljay Saturday Private Function
Wednesday The Levitating Churches, Roseys Music, Kelly Ebbles, DJ Because Goodbye Thursday Mind Over Matter, Psyde Projects, Koolta, DJ James Lake Friday Rick Moranis Overdrive, Seesaw, Deep Heat, Two Bright Lakes
ON THE STEREO Bonfires In Silver City LUCIE THORNE Arches Over The Sun KHANCOBAN The Light Of the Sun JILL SCOTT The Big Roar THE JOY FORMIDABLE Quiet In The Valley, On The Shore The End Begins JIM WARD Piles Of Lies BATRIDER Kilo LUCY LOVE Start Of The Nation THE CLIFFORDS Dedicated STEVE CROPPER Take Your Light LITTLE SCOUT
3RRR SOUNDSCAPE Unknown Mortal Orchestra UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Don’t Hold Back DONNY BENET Goodbye Bread TY SEGALL Dedication ZOMBY Medicine Show No.9: Channel 85 Presents Nittyville MADLIB From Africa With Fury: Rise SEUN ANIKULAPO-KUTI & EGYPT 80 Skying THE HORRORS Our New Life Above The Ground AVALANCHE CITY Smocks PEAR & THE AWKWARD ORCHESTRA Darker My Love GUERRE
TRIPLE J HIT LIST Somebody That I Used To Know (Ft. Kimbra) GOTYE Soft Universe PNAU Taurus Chorus ABBE MAY It’s A Bubble BENI Goldstar CASHIER NO 9 Lodum (Rising) GHOUL Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now) PORTUGAL THE MAN Watch Me Dance TODDLA T & ROOTS MANUVA Ffunny Ffriends UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Black Tooth KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
SYN TOP TEN Empty ALLBROOK/AVERY Streamers BROUS Now And Then GEOFFREY O’CONNOR Firework Spraying Moon JONTI We Come Divided KARTON You’re Haunting Me KATE VIGO Drifting Away PANEL OF JUDGES Black Book SUPER WILD HORSES Shut The Door (Ft Jay Profits) ALIIKE Natural CLAM CASINO
PBS TIPSHEET Unknown Mortal Orchestra UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA High Life Volume 2 VARIOUS ARTISTS Flight Of The Ancients THE SHAOLIN AFRONAUTS From Africa with Fury: Rise SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80 Design Desire ABBE MAY The Light of The Sun JILL SCOTT SBTRKT SBTRKT Nigeria 70 VARIOUS ARTISTS Awadakpekpe PERRINE FIFADJI Horse Meat Disco 3 VARIOUS ARTISTS Saturday Clean Living, The Townhouses, The Ghost of 29 Megacycles, Pioneers Of Good Science, The Laurels, Parading, The Sun Blindness Sunday Sex Whimsey, David Quirk, Myself, This is Siberian Huskey, Sexytime, Anne Edmonds Monday Tehachapi, ESC Tuesday Indie Robics
YAH YAH’S Thursday Caught Ship, Mad Nanna, Old Growth Cola, Susies Gone Friday Cisco Rose Saturday Party Vibez, Michael Crafter, Battle Pope, Fat Guy Wears Mystic, Wolf Shirt, Lazerface, Richie 1250 Sunday White Summer, Phantom Agents, Pretty Littles
BEHIND THE LINES Compiled by MICHAEL SMITH email@example.com
NEXT GENERATION CROWN XTI 2 SERIES
Distributed in Australia by Jands, Crown recently released an updated version of its popular XTi series of amplifiers, now called the XTi 2 series and comprising four models: XTi1002, XTi2002, XTi4002 and XTi6002. The front panels, previously brushed aluminium, have been replaced by tour sound grade one piece cast aluminium panels, as used on the Macro-Tech i and I-Tech HD amplifiers, while the Harman proprietary DSP engine on these new units runs twice as fast as the previous generation allowing for operation of a vastly improved limiter. Also new in the DSP engine is a fully featured SubHarmonic Synth. In the previous generation, the synth offered only an on/off and a level control. These controls are retained but are now augmented by a maximum harmonic frequency and crossover controls. A subharmonic synth takes frequencies at a user-selected crossover frequency and doubles them an octave lower. You can set a maximum harmonic frequency and add in one parametric EQ filter to further tailor the operation of the synth – great for adding more sub to your set-up without carting around loads of subwoofers. Of course these next generation amplifiers contain all the previous XTi features including the USB network port from which you could control a rack of these devices from your PC, make up custom control panels and integrate them into a network control system comprising other Harman brands. Software to configure, control and carry out firmware updates on these amplifiers as well as a load of other Harman brands within one software suit, System Architect 2.3 is available to download at hiqnet.harmanpro.com.
ANGUS & JULIA ARE SHURE
Not only are the Sydney siblings multiple award winners, but Angus & Julia Stone are also endorsed by one of the most respected microphone manufacturers in the world, Shure, distributed in Australia by Jands. Among the swag of Shure gear the pair use are the PSM 900 Wireless Monitor System, which includes among others the all new CueMode, which allows their live sound engineer to monitor different stage mixes at the touch of a button; Shure KSM9 vocal condenser mics; Shure Beta 52A supercardoid mics; Shure Beta98D/S percussion mics; and Shure SM81LC unidirectional condenser mics.
Brisbane five-piece Alibrandi dug out their tape machines and nestled into a little studio called Loose Stones to record their debut EP, The Emergency, produced by Shane Graham and mastered by Troy Glessner in his facility, Spectre Mastering, in Seattle, Washington. He passed away in December last year but the legacy of Perth engineer/producer Shaun O’Callaghan continues with the release of the latest album, Kaleidoscopes, from WA band The Autumn Isles, recorded at O’Callaghan’s Studio Couch recording facility in North Fremantle. Sydneysiders Fait Accompli recorded their double-A side single, No Fool/On A Blue Day, at two different studios with two different producers – Def Wolf Studios with Dave Hammer and Mr Milk Studios with Dylan Adams. Byron Bay natives In Hearts Wake headed south to Melbourne record a cover of Chris Brown’s club hit 3x, opting once again to work with Dan Brown (Confession, 50 Lions). Melbourne artist Jordie Lane relocated Stateside to record his second album, Blood Thinner, with Tom Biller (Beck, Kanye West, Karen O) mixing and co-producing in a basement garage in Eagle Rock, LA and the hotel room at Joshua Tree that Gram Parsons died in. It was mastered by Grammy winner Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Hollywood. Written and produced by Kasabian’s own Sergio Pizzorno, their new album, Velociraptor!, due out mid-September, was recorded in their hometown Leicester and mixed in San Francisco. Switchfoot recorded the bulk of their forthcoming eighth album, Vice Verses, in their home studio in San Diego, California, with producer Neal Avron (Weezer, Linkin Park). Brisbane four-piece Dangerous!, signed to US label Epitaph, took themselves off to Los Angeles to record their debut album, Teenage Rampage, with producer Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Pantera), the album mixed by Marc McClusky (Weezer). Hooking up with The Killers’ Mark Stoermer, who recorded and produced it, expat Australians Howling Bells went into The Killers’ Battle Barn Studios in Las Vegas, Nevada to record their new album, The Loudest Engine.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
SOUND ADVICE GEAR REVIEWS WITH RYAN MORTIMER starting with the HT-1 being based on the award-winning HT-5 amplifier, then the HT-5 which was based on the award-winning HT series of pedals – which are some of the leading tube overdrive pedals available on the market to date – and so on.
BLACKSTAR HT-1 (WITH REVERB)
Those who judge on first appearance may have found the Blackstar HT-1 to be slightly on the trivial side. Unfortunately for the ignorant, they are wrong… again. Dig your fingers and brains deep into the source and begin the unravelling of the babushka doll that is the HT series of amplifiers from Blackstar,
Armed for battle, the HT-1 has a unique and innovative tone consisting of two channels, one deliciously warm and clean and an ear-rattling high gain overdrive. The gain knob will be your saviour on the clean channel if you wish to get an ‘old-school’ crunch. In reality this amplifier is very capable of producing virtually any sound – there are nearly infinite tonal adjusting abilities via the ‘Patent-Applied ISF’ feature that you will regularly see on Blackstar products (such as their heads and tube-overdrive pedals). It doesn’t require a manual to figure out, not even a simple crash course. Turn the knob all the way to the left and you will find your ‘US’ style tone. Turn the knob all the way to the right and there is your ‘UK’ style tone… and as you imagined, anything between the points is free game for whatever country would like to claim it.
The model that was reviewed featured an inbuilt digital reverb, which surprisingly worked rather well. Much unlike other reverbs, you can really crank the reverb knob to full and not suffer from an eardrum-piercing load of gibberish. Being only a single knob, it might not be a universal sounding ‘verb’ but considering this whole head isn’t much more expensive than a Boss effects pedal, who are we to complain? The HT-1 also features a Stereo MP3 input, providing you option for a guitar-karaoke, play-along styled practice session. This modest looking amplifier is the perfect addition to any studio set-up and is more than alluring as a practice amplifier for your home. The emulated line out is nothing short of useful and almost guarantees that you will be using it for the majority of your recordings. Supplied by Icon Music; available from blackstaramps.co.uk.
RHOMBING IN THE USA FRENZAL RHOMB guitarist LINDSAY MCDOUGALL – and his tattooist – talks to MICHAEL SMITH about the making of the band’s new album. He was meant to be back at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, the studio owned by Bill Stevenson of the Descendents, where Frenzal Rhomb have spent much of the past month recording their next album, but when Inpress finally tracked him down, Lindsay McDougall was at a tattooist not far from the studio getting several cats’ heads added to his collection. The conversation that followed is mostly true.
Studio shot: Lindsay and Jason Livermore (producer)
On the choice of Stevenson as the producer for the record, McDougall explains, “I think we just kind of figured well, we probably won’t record too many more albums and everyone wants to record an album some place cool, whether it’s the place where Guns N’ Roses recorded Appetite For Destruction or Led Zeppelin recorded Houses Of The Holy, but we don’t give a shit about Guns N’ Roses or Led Zeppelin [laughs] so let’s go and do it with Bill Stevenson from the Descendents and Black Flag. We may as well do it before we all get too old to play our guitars. “The last album that we did [2006’s Forever Malcolm Young], with [producer] Phil McKeller, who we’ve used for years and who’s fucking awesome, his approach was get in there, plug all your stuff in, play the songs once or twice until they’re all sounding good and then press ‘record’. Bill’s a little bit different. He has this real kind of punk rock production line approach going, so there’s like him and Jason Livermore, who he’s been working with, like, forever. So while Tom [Crease] is doing the bass in one room, I’m in another room, and this is after Gordy [Foreman] has done all of his drums – like Gordy only took about two days to do all of his drums; that’s like 16 songs in two days, the fucking super-human freak – so we’re doing the bass and the guitar in two separate rooms and running between each other, me asking what the chords are ‘cause I can never remember, and just like bashing it out. That took about three or four days and then onto the vocals as the songs are getting mixed. So it’s this weird production line where, like The Minutemen had that ‘we rock econo’ thing where you do things as quickly as possible because, you know, fuck, who cares? But all the songs sound pretty different, which is cool. “What we did, we actually went through all the songs with Bill so we could get something that he calls a Tempo Map, which I still don’t understand what it is. So [in pre-production] we went through each song once or twice that way, but we’ve been in a band for 20 years so we know when a song is as good as it’s gonna get – which is not particularly good, mind you. There were a couple of times where we’d play a thing and he’d say, ‘Really? You really wanna do that?’ But then he wouldn’t so much suggest something; he’d get us to rethink. He’s much better at getting the whole sound, the guitar sounds and bass sounds and shit.” Built in 1994, the Blasting Room features two studios, with Studio A equipped with an SSL console, a 2.93GHz 12-Core Intel Xeon ‘Westmere’ Mac Pro with Pro Tools HD 9 AC3, and 2” analogue tape machine, while Studio B has API and Chandler pre-amps and Pro Tools HD 8 AC2. Frenzal Rhomb set up in Studio A.
Stevenson was already aware of McDougall’s guitar sounds from the Australian tour Frenzal Rhomb did last year with the Descendents. “He had a listen to all my guitar sounds and all the guitars that I’ve got and we came to the mutual decision that I wasn’t allowed to bring any of my guitars over to America because they all sound like shit,” McDougall laughs. “Actually I did have a Cole Clark guitar I would like to have brought over, but we’re also over here on tourist visas pretending we’re on holiday, so it’s kind of dodgy to pretend like you’re on holiday and carrying a guitar and a bunch of pedals and shit. So we’ve used Bill’s Les Paul and his crazy [Fender] Jazzmaster, on which apparently the last NOFX album was all done, and we also used this amazing Gibson Les Paul baritone guitar, which is tuned down to A, which fucking sounds heavy as fuck. “The only concession to wankerism we had was this old Silvertone amp which you could make sound really, really angry if you put a bunch of pedals through it. I’ve got a modified FB1 super-overdrive pedal, so we just cranked that through it and it sounded like somebody was actually going to get punched.” “It sounded like Nickelback,” the tattooist chimes in, McDougall naturally agreeing. “I’ll just repeat everything that the tattooist says!”
As for Stevenson’s approach to recording the vocals, as McDougall tells it, “there’s a really good trick that he uses, which Tom and Jason are loving, and that is singing the song a million fucking times until you get it fucking right! They’ve never spent this long on vocals; it’s amazing. [Stevenson] doesn’t like doing that thing where they just get a bunch of different options and cut them together word by word. It’s you sing until you get it fucking right and then move onto the next one. “And the thing is, when you do that, and I’m sitting there in the studio as Jason’s singing, you listen to some of the words and you’re thinking, ‘Are you really singing that Jason? Singing about standing up naked on the bus?’ And he is apparently, in one of the songs, When My Baby Smiles At Me I Go To Rehab. As to mics, there’s definitely a mic being used – I can confirm that. I’m not allowed into the room where the vocals are being done. And we will apologise in advance for the American accent that Jason now sings in because Bill likes all his bands to sound like Rise Against!” The forthcoming album looks like it will probably be called Smoko At The Pet Food Factory, a reference to Whalley’s studio, the Pet Food Factory, where the band rehearse. Smoko At The Pet Food Factory will be released on 19 August through Shock.
Sydney four-piece metal rockers Recoil have scored exclusive international sponsorship deals with Peavey Amps and Sennheiser. Melbourne rockers Tin Alley have become the latest Australian artists to be endorsed by Australia’s premier guitar manufacturer, Maton guitars, still a 100% familyowned company, still making guitars here in Australia.
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Published on Jul 12, 2011
Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...