JOSH PYKE THE AERIAL MAPS TENSNAKE WET HAIR
V IC T ORI A’S HIGHE S T CIRC UL AT ING S T REE T PRE S S • W E DNE SDAY 14 SEP T EMBE R 2011 ~ IS SUE 1191 ~ F R E E
MELBOURNE - MORNINGTON PENINSULA - BALLARAT / BENDIGO - GEELONG / SURF COAST OAST
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FREE MUSIC IN THE FRONT 7qn BAR INTO THE WOODS + AUÐUR + GENEVIEVE 9;41qn!%21 AND JEZEBEL GSJEBZ!27UI!TFQUFNCFS!
CHORO THE YEARLINGS + SUZANNAH ESPIE
FRUIT JAR LAURA K CLARKE + GUESTS
Open...MON - THU...from 4pm ‘til late FRI...from 2pm ‘til late SAT - SUN...from 12pm ‘til late
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HIGH NOON FESTIVAL: INTO THE WOODS + NIGEL WEARNE + GLORY B + THE STILLSONS + TOBIAS CUMMINGS + THE TIGER AND ME + KHANCOBAN + PLAYWRITE + ROLLER ONE + LITTLE JOHN UVFTEBZ!!31UI!TFQUFNCFS
7:30 – OPEN MIC NIGHT
Winter Special Two for one meals on Mondays (excludes steak, fish and specials)
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ISSUE 1191 WEDNESDAY 14 AUGUST 2011
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 22 The Jezabels are meticulous in their songcraft 24 Ben Salter can be quite pig-headed 26 The Herd mix the personal with the political 28 Sebadoh aren’t ruling out a new album 29 Josh Pyke’s legacy will be his songs 30 Pyjama Club are good mates with Johnny Marr 32 On The Record rates new releases from HTRK and Active Child 34 Simple Plan have a fan in Rivers Cuomo 36 Ringworm hate Victory Records 36 Winterpark soundtracks Offspring 36 Aerial Maps’ new album is an Oz classic 36 Tensnake is a Coma chameleon 38 Goodbyemotel have big things happening in the States 38 I Am Giant auditioned a lot of dudes to find their new singer 38 B# Big Band are hep cats 38 Wet Hair like to DIY
Thursday 15 september
40 This Week In Arts plans your week ahead 40 Bangarra Dance Company’s AD Stephen Page talks Belong 41 Film Carew looks at Melbourne Cinémathèque’s
Sime Nugent & Alice Keath return to play four nights of beautiful “aspirational” folk. 7.30pm
YANTO SHORTIS & BAND Is it a bass? Or is it a ukulele? Find out when the talented Shortis & band play four ripper sessions of original, sophisticated, folk-tinged country. 5pm
Ian Collard & Dom Turner Harmonica guru Ian Collard teams up with guitarist Dom Turner (the Backsliders) to play some awesome delta blues 9pm
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Sun 18 September
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The Lowriders Rockin’ rhythm and blues from the “Maribyrnong” delta 5pm
Tuesday Trivia 7.30pm
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BACK TO INPRESS 45 Gig Of The Week praises Little John 45 LIVE:Reviews rates Kimbra 51 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 51 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 51 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 51 Kendal Coombs leads the under-18s boardroom in the Department Of Youth 52 Fragmented Frequencies looks at music from the other side 52 Pop culture happenings with The Breakdown 52 The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 52 Dance Moves slows things down 56 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 56 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 58 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 62 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 64 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 66 Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds
Saturday 17 September
Lucrecia Martel retrospective and The Eye Of The Storm 41 Burlesque performer Gypsy Wood prepares for Gangsters’ Ball 41 The Italian Film Festival’s programme is dissected 42 Comedian Asher Treleaven steps into MC boots for Gangsters’ Ball 42 Choreographer Jo Lloyd prepares for a Future Perfect 42 Cultural Cringe looks at the movers and shakers of the Melbourne art world
CONTRIBUTORS Senior Contributors Clem Bastow, Jeff Jenkins Overseas Contributors Tom Hawking (US), James McGalliard (UK), Sasha Perera (UK). Writers Nick Argyriou, The Boomeister, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Alice Body, Tim Burke, Luke Carter, Dan Condon, Anthony Carew, Chris Chinchilla, Jake Cleland, Rebecca Cook, Kendal Coombs, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Carolyn Dempsey, Liza Dezfouli, Lizzie Dynon, John Eagle, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Bob Baker Fish, Robert Gascoigne, Warwick Goodman, Cameron Grace, Stu Harvey, Andrew Haug, Andy Hazel, Joey Lightbulb, Michael Magnusson, Baz McAlister, Sam McDougall, Tony McMahon, Count Monbulge, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen, Roger Nelson, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker,
Adam Psarras, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Leonie Richman, Symon JJ Rock, Antonios Sarhanis, Ingrid Sjolund, Dylan Stewart, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Danielle Trabsky, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen, Jeremy Williams.
PHOTOGRAPHERS Senior Contributor Kane Hibberd Jesse Booher, Chrissie Francis, Andrew Glover, Kate Griffin, Andrew Gyopar, Lou Lou Nutt, Gina Maher, James Morgan, Heidi Takla, Nathan Uren.
INTERNS Cassandra Fumi, Stephanie Liew
EDITORIAL POLICY The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. By submitting letters to us for publication, you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons. ©
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The Melbourne Tattoo & Body Art Expo hits the Exhibition Centre this weekend and Inpress have four three-day passes to hand out. This is an independently run expo and will feature more than 100 local and international flesh workers and sculptors. Get bloody!
FRONTLASH Cherry Bar: no more hangovers!
BACKLASH Syl Johnson: get well soon!
Long-time friends Steve Balbi and Simon Meli are Falcons. They’re teaming up for a one-night-only appearance at the Toff this Sunday. Alternating themselves during an intimate night, the Maltese blood brothers will surrender their world to you through song. Inpress have five double passes to give away. The Darebin Music Feast are hosting a special and intimate all-ages show at the Northcote Town Hall on Saturday, featuring performances from Eagle & The Worm and Skipping Girl Vinegar. This will be Eagle & The Worm’s only Melbourne all-ages show in celebration of their critically acclaimed release Goodtimes. We have five double passes to give away to this one-off event.
The Trews wowed Australian audiences with their live shows earlier this year, when they played a string of packed-out residencies in Sydney and Melbourne. The four-piece outfit released their fourth studio album Hope & Ruin in Australia last month and are playing a bunch of shows at Cherry to celebrate. Inpress have three double passes to give away, one each for their shows on 23, 24 and 25 September. When entering, remember to stipulate which show you’d like to attend.
Pic by Penny Lane
In exciting Homebake news, Street Press Australia (publishers of the mag you hold in your hot little hands) have teamed up with Homebake and RocKwiz to run a special competition. If you think your music trivia skills are pretty great, head to the RocKwiz tab at themusic.com.au/ sfg/ – there’ll be a weekly quiz there, through which you can win tickets to Homebake. If you’re up to the standard, you might progress through to a grand final round where the two winners will go head-to-head in RocKwiz, live at the festival!
WHAT’S THE POINT? BIGSOUND AS EVER
Word’s out the Point Break reboot is go. Most un-radical, brah.
Last week’s BIGSOUND conference in Brisbane nearly killed us (lots of bands, even more booze) but we’re already wishing we could get up there next week and do it all again. Major findings: Velociraptor and The Laurels are ace, Alan McGee is a twat who can’t DJ.
PADDLE POP OK, so we would have preferred the bands actually playing on the paddlesteamers, but the new Riverboats Festival in Echuca in February sounds like a helluva lot of fun.
BAR NONE Cherry Bar has announced it’s the first bar in Australia to become completely carbon neutral. That means you can drink there without getting a hangover, yeah?
London club Ministry Of Sound is suing its local council over two proposed apartment blocks nearby, which it will fears will lead to noise complaints from new residents, and then closure. Which reminds us – when are we getting order of occupancy laws in Victoria to protect our established venues?
SYL GOT IT We’re not sure if this is a backlash or frontlash: septugenarian soul legend Syl Johnson had a heart attack after performing in Brisbane last week (that’s bad), but made a rapid recovery and has insisted on playing his Melbourne show (postponed to Saturday – that’s good). Get well soon, Syl!
IN THE STUDIO WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD
OUT, DAMNED SCOT It’s time to investigate a band from the ‘Wasn’t A New Album Promised Yonks Ago?’ file: Franz Ferdinand. We last heard from the stylish Glaswegian archdukes when they released their third studio album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand way back in January 2009. An album-length dub version of Tonight…, titled Blood and produced by Dan Carey, followed in June of the same year. And then a further companion piece for Tonight… was released this year to coincide with Record Store Day, with a slew of awesome artists such as LCD Soundsystem, Stephin Merrit (The Magnetic Fields), Peaches, ESG and Debbie Harry (who recorded a duet of Live Alone with the band) recruited to cover tracks from the album for the imaginatively titled Covers EP. Interestingly, Franz Ferdinand have been known to play a cracking cover of Blondie’s Call Me during their live shows. Franz Ferdinand’s guitarist Nick McCarthy certainly hasn’t been resting on his laurels, though. He revived his side-project Box Codax, which sees the Franz member teaming up with his wife Manuela Gernedel plus Alex Ragnew, a German poet/lyricist. The trio released their second album Hellabuster, part of which was produced by Metronomy frontman Joseph Mount, in May this year. Box Codax obviously explore a lighthearted approach to music making with warped synths, porn basslines, sped-up choruses and hysterical video clips (you need to head to YouTube and experience their track I Won’t Come Back specifically). McCarthy has also collaborated with his friend, the German puppeteer Philipp Pleßmann, in composing music for The Isle Is Full Of Noises: The Tempest Puppet Music Show. Who knew McCarthy grew up in Bavaria? The guitarist described his relationship with Pleßmann during their formative years to The Guardian: “We did everything together: a lot of drugs, playing music, all those teenage experiences.” And yes, the duo’s puppetry extravaganza is accompanied by a live music score and based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The Isle Is Full Of Noises: The Tempest Puppet Music Show went down at Wilton’s Music Hall in London last week and, according to The Guardian’s review of the show, McCarthy’s role demanded that he sing “Shakespeare’s words to music that’s part glam-rock, part sea shanty, part jagged Franzish pop”. Sounds like a contender for next year’s Melbourne Festival to us. It turns out that McCarthy was working on this project while Franz Ferdinand were recording Tonight… and this cross-pollination can be heard on album track Dream Again, which references Caliban’s “the isle is full of noises” speech. Granted, there was also a long gestation period before the release of Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which the foursome were said to have been recording in Glasgow since mid-2007, but come on guys! After announcing they were working on new material way back in February 2010, there have been no updates. Franz Ferdinand’s last gig took place in December 2010 as part of the Belle & Sebastian-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in Minehead, UK and no new material was previewed during their set.
BIP ON THE RADAR If you’re a fan of Neon Neon, Boom Bip (AKA LA-based multi-instrumentalist/producer Bryan Charles Hollon)’s collaboration with Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, you’ll be tickled pink to hear that Hollon’s third solo album, entitled Zig Zaj, is slated for release on 7 October through Inertia. In The Studio is geeking out over the Luke Steele-featuring track New Order, believing it showcases the Empire Of The Sun singer to perfection. There’s also a gorgeously desperate guitar solo courtesy of Josh Klinghoffer of Red Hot Chili Peppers, angelic backing vocals that filter through alternate earbuds, frenzied strings, cowbell and whispering that sounds as if it’s your own early-onset dementia. You can stream New Order via The Guardian website. Other stellar artists to make it onto the Zig Zaj liner notes include the wonderful Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand’s frontman), Cate Le Bon (Neon Neon) and Money Mark as well as members of Warpaint (Jenny Lee Lindberg) and Bon Iver (Mike Noyce). The opening track All Hands is also available for your ears at inertia. com and demonstrates a vastly different sonic palette – much calmer atmospherics that explode into a celestial baptism around the halfway mark. After an advance listen to the album, Zig Zaj’s other eight tracks serve to further express Hollon’s versatility and the way he manages to coax unexpected performances from his guest artists. For instance, in Goodbye Lovers you’d need to refer to the liner notes before confidently trainspotting Kapranos’s vocal contribution: there’s a newfound understatedness that allows his voice to sit within the mix rather than belligerently out front as it does when fronting Franz. Another standout track entitled Manabozh puts Money Mark in the thick of R2D2 bleeps, T Rex drum patterns and general outer-space mayhem. Boom Pip also references UNKLE’s impossible-to-foresee arrangements as he utilises hypnotising basslines, insistent drumming and unidentifiable percussion objects.
INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS
VELOCIRAPTOR LEAD THE NEWLY- HYPED Brisbane garage rock collective Velociraptor wowed an audience full of punters and industry figures at last week’s BIGSOUND music conference, held in Brisbane. After playing the conference’s Live showcase series on Wednesday, the band’s management announced that booking agency Artist Voice have come onboard to represent the band. While there was considerable interest from labels during their set, the band have not yet agreed to sign with anyone. Velociraptor’s manager Jesse Barbera said, “I don’t want to be too specific at the moment” but “there was a lot of label interest”. The band hit Melbourne Thursday for a number of shows this weekend.
‘SYNCHRONICITY’ ISN’T SELLING OUT BIGSOUND’s Synchronicity panel explored the many options that currently exist for artists to sync their music with other industries and while some of the talk was bleak – Michael Nieves of US company Sugaroo Music said, “Selling records is no longer a viable option to make a living”, for example – there was a sense of excitement about the possibilities different mediums could bring for musicians with regards to their exposure. Powderfinger were used as an example, their Drifting Further Away track attracting 10,000 downloads after being played on an episode of US show Grey’s Anatomy. Similarly, Nieves explained how Neko Case had a song that was nine years old reach number two on the iTunes chart soon after being used in an episode of True Blood. While in the ‘70s and ‘80s many artists believed using songs in commercials was selling out, panellist Simon Moore of Kobalt Music Publishing stated, “People now recognise sync as part of the strategy in developing an artist.”
OZ HIP HOP UNLIKELY TO CROSS OVER At BIGSOUND’s New Zealand Music panel, panelists agreed that Australian hip hop music would not be likely to crossover to NZ listeners. Tom Larkin from Kiwi rockers Shihad, who now also works as a producer and band manager, gave his opinion: “The Australian voice is important to Australian hip hop acts but that seals them off to other territories,” he said. On the other hand, panelists stated that bands such as Birds Of Tokyo and John Butler Trio would be likely to achieve success given the genres they represent already have strong followings in the New Zealand contemporary music market.
FRESHLY INKED Emma Louise, another of the more hyped artists to feature at the BIGSOUND conference, announced last Tuesday that she has signed to Universal Music Germany, in a deal that will also include a contract with B1M1 Recordings for Continental Europe. The Brisbane-based artist has recently received airplay in the Netherlands as well as entering their sales charts, while locally she picked up three awards at this year’s Queensland Music Awards. Her management, Ground Control Music, commented, “It’s a great achievement for Emma Louise and it speaks volumes for the connection she is making on YouTube. People totally get her as an artist without coming to a live show.” Fellow Brisbane band Mosman Alder have signed with esteemed Brisbane label Dew Process after only being together as a group for one year. The moody indie outfit played a well-received set at the BIGSOUND Live showcase event on Thursday night. Co-Operative Music, the new kids on the (Australian) block, announced their first signing in the dying hours of BIGSOUND last week, with Sydney jungle pop outfit Jinja Safari the first local act to have a release on the label. In late October Co-Op will issue a release that bundles their current catalogue, which includes their debut EP and this year’s digital-only EP Mermaids & Other Sirens with current singles Hiccups and Mermaids. The band are expected to launch their debut record mid-2012.
GOTYE: BIGGER THAN LEE HARDING? As it begins its fifth week at the top of the ARIA singles chart, Gotye and Kimbra’s smash hit Somebody That I Used To Know becomes the first Australian track to spend that long at the top since Gabriella Cilmi’s Sweet About Me, which topped the chart for a total of five weeks in two separate hits. The last Australian to notch up five weeks consecutively was Lee Harding, whose Wasbabi track did so over the summer of 2005/06. On the albums front, Adele remains at the top of the pile – this week is her 17th in the top position. Gotye’s Making Mirrors manages to sneak up a slot this week, dropping into second position, while Kimbra’s long-awaited Vows debuts at number five. Pete Murray is the other Aussie to debut in the top ten this week, his Blue Sky Blue dropping in at number six – making it his fourth top ten record – while on the international front, Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter IV debuts at nine. It has been ten years since we saw it in the ARIA top ten, but the digital release of The Beatles’ 1 has seen it reappear, albeit into the number ten position. Melbourne band Strange Talk top this week’s Billboard Uncharted list, the first Australian act to do so since it began in January this year. Uncharted tracks acts who have not appeared on other US sales or airplay charts, the chart measured by artists’ popularity online at sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Twitter. Strange Talk’s ascendence in the chart was helped by their track Climbing Walls hitting number one on Hype Machine and being YouTube’s most viewed Australian video of the month. Last month Sydney’s The Jezabels spent time in the Uncharted list and this week also sees Melbourne’s Miami Horror enter at 45.
INDIE AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED The nominees for this year’s Jagermeister Independent Music Awards have been announced, with Magic Dirt frontwoman and newly minted solo artist Adalita and Sydney indie-dance group Seekae leading the pack. Adalita, who released her eponymous debut album in March, has picked up four nominations, including Best Independent Artist, Best Independent Album, Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year and Best Independent Single Or EP (for her single Hot Air). The record has been critically lauded following its release and these nominations cap off what has been a successful album cycle. Left-of-centre Sydney trio Seekae also snagged four nominations: they’ll be up for Best Independent Artist, Best Independent Album, Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album and Best Independent Dance/Electronica Or Club Single. Not quite as critically adored – though certainly embraced by the general populace – are Sydney’s Art Vs Science, who picked up nods for Best Independent Artist, Best Independent Album, Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album (for their The Experiment debut). Perth’s Abbe May scored two of the same nominations – Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Album – while, unsurprisingly, The Jezabels picked up a couple of noms as well: they’re in the running for Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Single Or EP. Fresh faced chanteuse Emma Louise and Aussie hip hop purveyor Illy were the other acts to pick up more than one nomination.
VIRGIN AUSTRALIA HAVE FACED THE MUSIC In a breakthrough deal for touring artists in Australia, Virgin Australia have offered to the music industry a new baggage allowance when travelling on their planes of 32kg across three pieces of checked baggage for individual artists – with an extra 32kg able to be purchased in advance for just $15. Bands can now also ‘pool’ their baggage allowance across the group of people travelling. Multiple music organisations from around the country have played a part in developing this deal and it will be available to any touring musicians who hold association with their respective non-profit music organisations, a list of whom will be announced shortly. At the announcement at the BIGSOUND official launch party last week, Virgin Australia’s group executive Richard Tanner said the music industry’s “concerns and costs around baggage are over”, to a rapturous roar from the industry assembled. Later he commented in a statement, “Ours is a brand that has a long and historic association with music… It has been a pleasure to work with the industry to develop a solution that will deliver real tangible benefits to Australian artists on a daily basis.”
WHAT CAN MELBOURNE LEARN FROM AUSTIN? More than 70 expert presenters will attend Melbourne’s not-for-profit music conference Face The Music on 18 and 19 November, bringing with them a wealth of experience and knowledge in a huge number of industry sectors. Delivering this year’s keynote speech is Brent Grulke, who has been creative director of Austin’s South By Southwest Music conference for more than 16 years. Organisers hope Grulke will be able to shed some light on how the conference, which has been running for 25 years, has managed to garner so much support from the Austin Council and Texas Government. From the management sector the likes of Bill Cullen (Paul Kelly, Sarah Blasko, Seeker Lover Keeper, Clare Bowditch), Catherine Haridy (Eskimo Joe, Jebediah, Bob Evans), Correne Wilkie (The Cat Empire) and Mark Richardson (Bertie Blackman, Kimbra) will give their insights, while a series of musicians, record label representatives and other industry figures will also feature on panel discussions.
AMP AMBASSADORS TO PROMOTE ‘ORIGINALITY AND CREATIVITY’ Gotye, Heidi Lenffer (Cloud Control), Kram (Spiderbait), Catherine Britt and Phrase have been announced as the five respected and talented ambassadors for this year’s Australian Music Prize. The prize is known for being about originality and creativity, and is awarded by a judging panel comprised of industry types (music, media, artists and retailers) – who are supposed to reward “excellence based on the merits of the album alone – not sales, radio play or media coverage”. Enlisting ambassadors is a new initiative for The Amp and they have already begun their job of speaking
about the prize and its place in the country. Gotye said of the prize: “The Amp showcases the incredible depth and diversity of creativity there is in Australian music. It’s important we celebrate the amazing songwriters, performers, and producers we have in this country”. Heidi Lenffer said “The Amp is a great self-awareness exercise in discovering a broad range of home-grown music releases that deserve attention”. Phrase, Catherine Britt and Kram were aware of the award’s importance also, with Phrase commenting, “I’m a big believer in credit where credit’s due. Especially in a world where status and popularity seems to have become more important than the skill, love and passion for the art.”
FUSE LIGHTS UP AUSSIE GARAGE Garage rockers Royal Headache and Total Control will both have albums released through Fuse Music this month, the label also announcing the release of two Eddy Current Suppression Ring repackages. Royal Headache (whose album was released last week through Sydney’s RIP Society Records) have been compared to the likes of Husker Du and early Buzzcocks, and have received plenty of positive press: Dom Alessio from Triple J describing the album as “the ultimate antithesis to modern music: totally intuitive, devoid of any kind of pretension, seemingly spurred on by something totally subconscious and primordial”. Total Control, whose album is out this Friday, have been described by Fuse as “something of a garage punk all-star outfit featuring members of the UV Race and Eddy Current Suppression Ring”. The first Eddy Current Suppression Ring release will comprise their self-titled album and its follow-up Primary Colours (which took out the 2009 Australian Music Prize) packaged together; the second is a 22-track compilation of the band’s singles called So Many Things.
MUSIC RULES CREATIVE ARTS EMMYS There were a few musical winners at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at the weekend, with Justin Timberlake, Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, Lady Gaga and Harry Connick Jr amongst those picking up awards before the major ceremony this weekend. Timberlake previously won an Emmy for his input on The Lonely Island musical skit Dick In A Box in 2007 and again in 2009 for his guest spot on Saturday Night Live. This year he doubled his collection, scoring the gong for Oustanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series and Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, once again for his re-occurring appearances on SNL. Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball special was recognised for its editing while the comedy series Portlandia, created by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, was honoured for its costumes and former Hey Hey It’s Saturday guest Harry Connick Jr won for the music direction of his filmed Broadway concert. Got news? Announcements? Gossip? Unsubstantiated but hilarious rumours? Send them all to email@example.com.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES Touring company Frontier have marked 30 years in the industry with Every Poster Tells A Story, a coffee table book that collates three decades’ worth of concert posters. Frontier CEO MICHAEL GUDINSKI tells SCOTT FITZSIMONS this is the closest thing to an autobiography we’re going to get out of him.
countries it doesn’t happen and we’ve had a lot more interest internationally than I’ve expected, to be honest.” As one of the most enduring touring companies in the Australian music business – and, in Michael Gudinksi, led by one of its most recognisable figures – you can’t discuss the industry’s recent history without mentioning the Frontier Touring Co. Formed in 1979, more than 30 years down the track they’ve marked those first three decades with the coffee table book Every Poster Tells A Story! 30 Years Of The Frontier Touring Company, which is a collation of street posters for tours – international and national – throughout that time. “Art and street posters have been such a big part of live music all the way and it’s not something where you can just put the album cover up and put your name there,” says Gudinksi, co-owner, co-founder and CEO of Frontier. “Street posters have got to be read quickly… and in its own way street posters, to some people, would be like a modern stamp collection. I don’t think you or I know many people who collect stamps but a lot of people collect posters and this is an incredible example of the variety. In the early days we could put a lot more flavour in the art because we were allowed to design a lot more, whereas now a lot of acts with worldwide tours deliver you the art and you just fill in the different parts. It’s really something archival that I thought would be a great calling card to send to some of our acts and to send to some of the big agents and managers around the world.” The book covers the early days with The Police, Squeeze and John Mayall, through the years of famed Kylie Minogue tours (although Gudinski does admit that they missed one, much to his dismay) and Bob Dylan right up to recent jaunts by the likes of Vampire Weekend, MGMT, La Roux, Circa Survive and The Used. It’s interspersed with essays by various journalists covering everything from the early years of Frontier itself, street press, and some massive changes in the industry. “I think having a bit of information from different journos in different eras [is good] and I think coffee table books seem
The book is led by a forward from Gudinski himself, a few pages of recollections and road stories. There’s a tale of finding Iggy Pop asleep in the gutter and simultaneously – but inadvertently – offending the Aboriginal elders of Yothu Yindi and Madonna. But he says, “It’s certainly the closest you’ll get to a book out of me, I’m not going to do a Michael Chugg who was part of Frontier for a long time [and recently released a successful biography]. I think what goes on the road should stay on the road. “I’ve been offered a lot of money and I’ve had a lot of different publishers talk to me. I don’t mind doing interviews and stuff like that, and a couple of stories like that at the start of the book was fitting for the book I thought. But I’ve never kept a diary, it’s something that’s never really appealed to me. I do believe that what goes on the road should stay on the road and to me, we used to have a saying when [at] Mushroom Records, ‘Our artists are our strength’, and in this instance the same thing applies. The artists really speak and the music speaks. Michael Gudinski
to be a popular thing at the moment,” said Gudinksi. “It was very hard to find some of the posters and as it’s turned out, it wasn’t planned this way, but when you think about it it’s a pretty good gift to buy for kids that are into music… [and] for their parents. Back in the old days, in the ‘70s and stuff, an album used to cost a lot more than a concert ticket, so the whole thing’s really changed around and the live experience and the thing about Frontier is we don’t just do big shows, we do a lot of club shows and small shows. I remember some of the best shows in my life I’ve seen when you see bands early on in some of those venues. On the other hand, with the right production and right sound the indoor venues are phenomenal.” Just like street press, street posters have played a vital
role in the history of music in this country. Although not encouraged originally – and poster tensions have caused their fair share of turbulence – they’re widely considered a staple part of the industry these days. “In some countries there’s different restrictions. When I was starting running dances during the school holidays – called them discos then, I guess – I used to put up my own posters and I used to get busted by the police. It’s become an art form; in Brisbane you can put them in proper places and councils have accepted them a lot more now. There’s also been ‘poster wars’ in Sydney a few years ago, which was just ridiculous – posters would go up and another company would pull them down so we stopped doing them… It’s a traditional form of advertising and in some
“Punters will remember the girl they took or who they met, or something happens. There’s some [things] you’d want to forget, and there’s some I have forgotten and there’s some that I’ll never forget. You work with all different type of acts; in recent times I think footballers have taken the place, in a way. Artists have got so much press and commitments and breakfast radio and breakfast TV performances, which never existed 20 years ago… in the new age the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll has calmed down and football seems to be taking its place.” There’s talk of a soft cover edition once the hard sells out and there’ll all be plenty fodder for updated editions. “I think street posters will last a lot longer than newspapers. And I’d like to think that if I was around, I’d be in retirement, pretty old by then [laughs] but I’d like to think there’d be a volume two.” Every Poster Tells A Story is out now.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
Sugar Mountain, Australiaâ€™s newest music and arts festival, will return to Melbourne in January 2012. Sugar Mountain will be held over multiple days, with the main event taking place at the Forum Theatre on Saturday 14 January. The Festival will also utilise Federation Square, No Vacancy Gallery and ACMI to showcase an array of local and international talent. A family of Melbourne creative companies working in music, visual art and touring have curated the musical and visual art line-ups. Sugar Mountain celebrates creativity across multiple platforms. The festival organisers are committed to creating an environment that is convivial and interactive, presenting engaging performances in intriguing spaces.
M A R L E Y FESTIVAL NEWS
SHINE ON TAKES SHAPE
WEDNESDAY 14 SEPTEMBER
POURPARLOUR THE SUN BLINDNESS JOE FORRESTER
Groundbreaking Kiwi drumâ€™nâ€™bass outfit Shapeshifter have been added to the line-up of this yearâ€™s Shine On festival, taking place in the Pyrenees Ranges from 18-20 November. They join a line-up that includes Big Gigantic, Heyoka (live), Diafrix, DJ Wasabi, Heart Tribe, Husky, Joelistics, Pigeon, Puta Madre Brothers, Sal Kimber & The Rollinâ€™ Wheel, Sietta, The Jungle Giants, The Sculla Mooks, The Swiss and the Woohoo Revue, with more to come. Tickets are on sale now from shineonfestival.com.au.
ENTRY $8, 8.30PM
THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
ROCKADEMIC: A ROCK EPIDEMIC
MOROCCAN KINGS KREMATORIUM DEFILED SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED FOR THE MOST PART
ENTRY $10 DOOR, $7 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX (ALL PROCEEDS GO TO BEYOND BLUE), 8.30PM
FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
JACKSON JACKSON GREY GHOST DJ JUMPS (THE CAT EMPIRE)
ENTRY $25 DOOR, $20 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 8.30PM
SATURDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
STONE PARADE (SYD) JENARIUM ENTRY $15, 9PM
MANY COLOURS TO THE RAINBOW
LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE
PORT FAIRY EARLY BIRDS
With heaps of summer festivals just around the corner, announcements are beginning to roll in for the ones a little further ahead in the autumn of 2012. One of the biggest festivals of that time period is undoubtedly Future Music, which always offers the best in dance and electronic tunes, as well as a smattering of others. The first band off the Future rank is New York dance punk heroes The Rapture, who have just released their latest album, In The Grace Of Your Love. Stay tuned for more details of Futureâ€™s line-up and dates.
Early bird tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Port Fairy Folk Festival and those who are keen for a bargain can save themselves $35 off the gate price if they buy now. Thereâ€™s no doubt Australians enjoy a good festival and theyâ€™ve been lovinâ€™ the Port Fairy Folk Music Festival for a long time now â€“ 35 years in fact. Port Fairy Folk Music Festival hosts world class music acts from the four corners of the globe, including the best Australian talent, to create a festival that is internationally recognised as one of the best folk music festivals in the world. With a bill that ranges from traditional to cutting edge contemporary, in a single evening you can catch wildly different styles of folk, roots, blues, jazz, bluegrass, Celtic roots, crossroads, country, rock, and the music of the world. Check portfairyfolkfestival.com for more details.
WIN YOUR WAY TO HOMEBAKE SUNDAY 18 SEPTEMBER
EUCALYPTUS ESC BAD TASTE ENTRY $8, 9PM
MONDAY 19 SEPTEMBER
PLAYWRITE HAYDEN CALNIN KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD (DJâ€™S) FREE ENTRY, 8PM $10 JUGS!
TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER
KUMAR SHOME & THE PUNKAWALLAHS MARCEL YAMMOUNI BAND ARCHETYPE A DJ CALLED MATT
Rainbow Serpent , the marathon four-day event held over the Australia Day long weekend each January, has gained recognition as one of the premier events of its type on the planet, with people trekking from all corners of the globe to immerse themselves in the melting pot of music, arts and lifestyle culture. Rainbow Serpent 2012 will run from 27-31 January and incorporate some of the biggest names in electronic music. Acts so far confirmed include OTT, Loud, Talpa/The Riddler, James Munro, Protonica, Hedflux, Robert Rich, Koze, Peter Horrevorts, Ill Gates, Tipper and Glitch Mob. For more tickets and more info head to rainbowserpent.net.
In exciting Homebake news, Street Press Australia (publishers of the mag you hold in your hot little hands) have teamed up with Homebake and RocKwiz to run a special competition. If you think your music trivia skills are pretty great, head to the RocKwiz tab at themusic.com.au/sfg/ â€“ thereâ€™ll be a weekly quiz there, through which you can win tickets to Homebake. If youâ€™re up to the standard, you might progress through to a grand final round and the two winners will go head-to-head in RocKwiz, live at the festival!
PLEASURE BOATING The Riverboats Music Festival is set to rock the mighty Murray River in February next year. With the Murray River basin flush with new life, a new Music Festival is here, so mark in your diary 17-19 February 2012. This great new addition to the summer festival calendar boasts a whoâ€™s who of the Australian music scene including Tex Perkins & The Band of Gold, Colin Hay, The Bamboos, Mark Seymour, Mick Thomasâ€™ Roving Commission, Vika & Linda Bull, Lanie Lane, The Audreys (duo), Clairy Browne & The Banginâ€™ Rackettes, Benny Walker, Ryan Meeking and The Bride Stripped Back. Head to riverboatsmusic.com for more details.
DONâ€™T FEAR THE REAPER The upcoming Harvest music and arts festival have added new artists to their already stellar line-up. Playing their first Australian shows in three years are experimental New Yorkers TV On The Radio, who meld post-punk, soul and elements of psychedelic free jazz to incredible effect. Awe-inspiring, mountainous Scottish post-rockers Mogwai, a favourite of Australian audiences, also makes it on the bill. Artful indie pop sensations Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will be here hot on the back of the September release of their third LP, Hysterical. Bringing a touch of the Dylanesque troubadour to Harvest is Kevin Devine. Last but by no means least, Australian organic electronica wunderkinds Seekae will also be playing Harvest. They join Portishead, The National, The Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Holy Fuck, The Family Stone, Mercury Rev, Death In Vegas, The Walkmen, Dappled Cities, PVT, This Town Needs Guns, The Holidays, Phosphorescent, Foxy Shazam and Kormacâ€™s Big Band. Tickets for the Saturday 12 November show at Werribee Park are still available.
In Australia in November for the Harvest Festival, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have announced a headline show. They will play the East Brunswick Club on Wednesday 16 November. The Brooklynand Philadelphia-based bandâ€™s third album, Hysterical, is produced by studio veteran John Congelton (Modest Mouse and The Walkmen).
ENTRY $5, 8PM $10 JUGS!
COMING UP - TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX LOVE MIGRATE (MON IN SEPT) SELLING FAST JACKSON JACKSON (FRI IN SEPT) DAYDREAM ARCADE (21 SEPT) WAITING ROOM: SECRETIVE GEORGE (22 SEPT) KHYBER BELT (24 SEPT) THE KILNIKS (25 SEPT) KIM BOEKBINDER (USA) (27 SEPT) THE PICTURE BOX ORCHESTRA (28 SEPT) QVSQ (30 SEPT) XENOGRAFT (1 OCT) BUTTERTIME (2 OCT)
NEW CHEF NEW MENU NEW GRUB 23RD SEPTEMBER: WET HAIR (USA)
FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS (UK)
WEDNESDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER
THE RELEASED SERIES PRESENTS: SOMEONE GOOD + MIKA (JAPAN) + WITH CELER (USA) + OBLAKO LODKA + BATTLESNAKE +DARK DECIMALS FRONT BAR DJ BECAUSE GOODBYE (PARKING LOT EXPERIMENTS)
THURSDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER
BURN THAT CAT PRESENTS: THE BONNIWELLS + THE HIEROPHANTS + THE LIVING EYES + RECKLESS VAGINA FRONT BAR DJ JAMES LAKE
RED ACES + STRINGFELLOW HAWKE + THEY MOVE LIKE WOLVES FRONT BAR DJS TIG AND BLAKE (TWO BIRGHT LAKES DJS)
SATURDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
MONDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER
MOJO JACKET + MADISON JAYNE + HAMISH ANDERSON FRONT BAR DJS RAINBOW CONNECTION DJS
WOLFY & THE BAT CUBS + THE SHERRIFS + NEIL WILKINSON (REDCOATS) $2 POTS $2 ENTRY
WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER THE RELEASED SERIES PRESENTS: YES PLEASE RECORDS + GUERRE + THE TOWNHOUSES + TANK FRONT BAR DJ BECAUSE GOODBYE (PARKING LOT EXPERIMENTS)
FRIDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER
WET HAIR (USA) + CHROME DOME + FREE CHOICE DUO + RITES WILD FRONT BAR DJ TARQUIN (PIKLET) NAOMY@GETNOTORIOUS.COM
FRIDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER
SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER
SCATTERED ORDER (SYD) + PEON + WOLF 359 +TRJAEU + YOUNG ROMANTIX FRONT BAR DJ MARK FREE (LEGEND)
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
SEVENTIES’ SHEILAS Shimmer back to the sublime sultry sounds of Donna Summer, Suzy Quatro, Kate Bush, Melanie, Blondie and Fleetwood Mac. The Sheilas Of The ‘70s, where no wrinklies ever flew, will glide you back through the hazy glaze of Cortina cruisin’, Connie jumper bruisin’ and Chiko roll oozin’. Don’t miss your chance to throw on your platforms and flares, and join in the ‘70s soiree. Catch Kerri Simpson, Monique Brumby and Rebeccca Barnard kicking back to the kooky kodachrome, dusky desert boot days of the ‘70s at the 2011 Darebin Music Feast. Due to popular demand a second Sheilas Of The ‘70s show has been announced at the Northcote Town Hall this Friday. Tickets available at the Northcote Town Hall box office.
MERCY ME Melbourne indie pop favourites Oh Mercy have announced their last headline shows for 2011, during which they’ll play reworked songs from their two albums, Privileged Woes and Great Barrier Grief, as well as new songs birthed since the latter’s release earlier this year. The band were most recently seen here supporting The Vaccines and playing Splendour, before heading abroad to impress US audiences. This homecoming tour will also celebrate Great Barrier Grief’s release on vinyl. They’ll play the Hi-Fi on Friday 25 November and supports are yet to be announced.
BEARD IS THE WORD
The concept of The Beards is simple. They’re a folk rock band that perform songs about just one subject: beards. Forming in 2005 to perform one show only in their hometown of Adelaide, The Beards soon found their truly unique concept in hot demand and were booked to play more shows. By 2007, the band enjoyed a local cult following, with the advent of online social networking leading to a global fanbase. Since then, the band have gone on to extensively tour Australia, produce a hugely successful film clip for their song If Your Dad Doesn’t Have A Beard You’ve Got Two Mums and release a live DVD and two studio albums – with their third, titled Having A Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard, to be released early 2012. Catch these lads in all their bearded glory on Friday 7 October in the Espy front bar. Free entry.
Crossing over from New Zealand to wave hello to you are Salmonella Dub, the much-loved dub group that have helmed a unique style mashing together elements of rock, dub, jazz, drum’n’bass, electronica and reggae. They’ve remained an important fixture in the Kiwi music scene since first appearing a decade-and-a-half ago, and have conquered audiences in their home country as well as in Australia and beyond. Most recently the band released Freak Control Madness – The Twenty Track Pack, a double-CD featuring their Freak Controller album as well as a second disc of extra material. Salmonella Dub play the Espy on Friday 21 October. Tickets through the venue.
THEY ARE 138 Legendary punk rockers Misfits are set to descend on Australian soil, terrorising audiences with more than 30 years’ worth of musical legacy. Though frontman Glenn Danzig won’t be with them (they’re now fronted by founding member Jerry Only), it still promises to be a ferocious tour that will prove just why Misfits have endured the test of time, influencing the likes of NOFX, My Chemical Romance, Hatebreed and Sick Of It All. Tickets are on sale this week for the show at the Hi-Fi on Saturday 3 December.
WHAT UP, WATUSSI Having sold out countless shows with blustering horns, party-fuelled rhythms and rocking roots basslines, Watussi are back on the road. Their 2008 ARIA-nominated debut album Tequila, Sangre y Fuego earned them a series of accolades and found its way into the hands of Brian Eno, who handpicked the band to perform at the Sydney Opera House in 2009 as part of his curation for the inaugural Vivid LIVE festival. This year has seen Watussi continue at a frenzied pace; having already released their Tu Te Vas single and 1000% Handsome EP early on in the year, the band completed an extensive East Coast Australian tour along with dates in New Zealand, and supported their musical idol Santana on his recent tour to our shores. Watussi stop by the Espy on Friday 14 October to play a free set in the front bar.
LA-DI-DA This summer, So Frenchy, So Chic returns to Melbourne. This time it’s not as an eclectic CD compilation or even an intimate gig at the Prince Of Wales – it’s an afternoon of music, food and wine on Sunday 15 January 2012. So Frenchy, So Chic In The Park is a one-day celebration of new French music performed against the magical backdrop of Werribee Park Mansion. Think of it as a day in the French countryside – the wine is chilled; the crepes and macaroons are perfectly Parisian; the performers sing on stages hemmed by rolling lawns and flowerbeds while big trees offer shade from the sun. Best of all, the fine tunes floating through the summer air are from some of the best acts of the current French music scene with more than 1000 shows between them: Fefe, Moriarty, Asa and Nouvelle Vague. Tickets to So Frenchy, So Chic in the Park go on sale on Friday 23 September from ticketmaster.com.
A BIG SCARY GLADIATOR
Off the back of their infectious radio smash Mixtape, Melbourne two-piece Big Scary unleash second single Gladiator and announce a national run of intimate shows this October. Gladiator, the thumping second single taken from Big Scary’s debut album Vacation (out Friday 7 October), is the kind of infectious track that infiltrates every inch of your body. From the initial foot tap that sets in, to the knee/leg jerk that eventually gives way to an involuntary wave of rhythm that overtakes the whole body, Gladiator is Big Scary at their indie-pop finest. Catch the duo on Saturday 22 October at Ormond Hall.
Local indie rockers The Killjoys are back with a new album, Pearl, set for release next month. The band, who have been around in various line-ups since the ‘80s, have created a record that features performances by all of its members over the years. For the fans, too, the new album is being packaged with a remastered edition of the group’s ARIA-winning debut album, Ruby, which has been unavailable for more than a decade. You can catch them in the glorious surrounds of the Thornbury Theatre on Friday 21 October.
STORIES TO TELL Jazz songstress Maddy Hay will release her second album, Tell Me A Story, next month. At just 23, the singer has already become a critical favourite, and this album follows her first, Smoke In The City, released last year. She has sold out gigs both in Australia and abroad, and many of the songs on Tell Me A Story were in fact penned when Hay was living in Amsterdam and Paris. She’ll play Red Bennies on Wednesday 12 October.
FIDDLE-DE-DEE Mixing the unlikely genres of metal and folk in what they call ‘chainsaw folk’, Australia’s masters of their own genre, The Crooked Fiddle Band, have a debut album to flog. It’s called Overgrown Tales and was recorded in Chicago with the legendary Steve Albini, who’s engineered for artists including Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey. The band have been championed by Brian Eno, which is no small feat, so why not check them out for yourself? The play the East Brunswick Club on Saturday 8 October with guests Barons Of Tang.
DIG IT Innovative jazz/funk outfit DIG (Directions In Groove) are releasing their first studio album in 13 years. Titled Clearlight, it will be released on 14 October via ABC Music, with the band embarking on the Clearlight national tour through November and December. Reflecting on the last 20 years, and brimming with excitement about the release of their fourth studio album and a full-scale national tour, the members of DIG are preparing for the next chapter in the band’s history. They’ll be hitting the Corner on Saturday 10 December. Tickets are on sale now.
FUCKED UP FOO FIGHTERS The Foo Fighters’ nationwide stadium tour this summer with special guests Tenacious D will now feature additional support in the form of hardcore punk ensemble Fucked Up. The Canadian band have been tearing up stages all around the globe for nearly a decade and their live shows are known to explode with pure, unadulterated mayhem, as affirmed by anybody who has witnessed their incomparable live experience. This mega show hits AAMI Park on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December.
BEAT CRAZY HOLD THE VOWELS Having just released their new album, Work (Work, Work), HTRK will bring the noise to Melbourne in November. The group, a trio before the death of bassist Sean Stewart last year, are now a two-piece who make music that traverses genres from electronic to avant-pop and good old rock. They’re an institution respected worldwide, with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars and Shellac just a few of the bands that have requested HTRK personally to tour with them. On Friday 25 November they’ll play St Michael’s Uniting Church with support from Beaches, The Orbweavers, Montero and Wintercoats. This is a killer line-up and will sell out.
All the way from Los Angeles comes beatmaker, producer and instrumentalist Daedelus, bringing his inventive sounds to a stage near you. Defying regular genres, Daedelus – who has released more than ten major albums since 2001 – dares to be experimental and the extent of his daring comes across especially in his live performances. As a guest of Melbourne Music Week, Daedelus will play on Saturday 26 November at ArtPlay.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
A GEYER OLD TIME Renée Geyer returns to the Bennetts Lane stage for two intimate shows on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October. In addition to performing songs spanning her incredible 40-year, 22-album career, Geyer will also perform a few of her favourite jazz standards, but not as we know them – expect interesting, intense, dark Geyer-esque versions that will bring shivers down the spine. Renée Geyer’s past is Australian music history; she is a singer, a songwriter, producer and author. Rita Satch will be the special guest performer on both nights, performing original songs from her forthcoming debut EP, Awoken.
RELEASED: SOMEONE GOOD
GO ON AND FOOL ME The first sound you hear on A Fool Who’ll, the new album by transcendent songwriter Laura Jean, is something never-before heard on a Laura Jean record. It’s the sound of an electric guitar. A Fool Who’ll was initially intended to be an acoustic album but despite composing on her trusty steel string, the songs just didn’t sound right. Back in 2009, Laura Jean was one of eight songwriters to receive an APRA Professional Development Award, and part of the prize was a pastel yellow Gibson SG. Her new guitar went unplayed for quite some time, but it seems to have finally come in handy. Laura Jean plays the Toff In Town on Saturday 5 November. She also plays an instore at Readings in St Kilda (112 Acland St) from 6pm this Thursday and Chapterfest at the Tote this Saturday.
Björn Again return to present their Gimme! Gimme! Some Fun concert, with an exciting new show. Join the irresistible pop melodies performed in Björn Again’s unique way, featuring ABBA’s biggest hits including SOS, Honey Honey, Take A Chance On Me, Knowing Me Knowing You, Waterloo, Dancing Queen and many more. The Gimme! Gimme! Some Fun tour is a joyous night out for young and old, as long as you’re an ABBA fan, of course. See the show at Palms at Crown on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November. Tickets are available now from Ticketek.
IMBRUGLIA PSYCH Laura Imbruglia is back to offer a taste of the new material she’s been working on since moving from Sydney to Melbourne in late 2010. This comes in the shape of new single Why’d You Have To Kiss Me So Hard?. Following on from 2010’s critically acclaimed The Lighter Side Of…, this new cut is a psychedelic about-turn from Laura’s recent alt.country explorations. Produced by Liam Judson (Cloud Control, Belles Will Ring) in the Blue Mountains, and backed by a smoking-hot band featuring members of Talons, Songs and Jewel & The Falcon, Laura shows yet another side of her unique versatility. She’ll play the Workers Club on Saturday 29 October.
HUNTING PARTY To celebrate this year’s upcoming Jägermeister Independent Music Awards (JIMAs) being held in Melbourne on Wednesday 12 October, Jägermeister is giving music fans the chance to get up close and personal with some of the nominees with a series of free music events at the Jägermeister Hunting Lodge from 7 to 11 October. After the successful debut of the Lodge at this year’s Splendour In The Grass, it will be making its first appearance in Melbourne, functioning as a pop up bar in Docklands and featuring DJ sets and intimate performances by the shortlisted nominees and potential winners of the upcoming awards. Details of the events, as well as the soon-to-be announced line-up can be found at: facebook.com/jagermeisterAustralia.
And so arrives the end of the Released Series. After 11 showcases of a diverse array of local and independent labels including Bedroom Suck Records, Aarght! Records, Chapter Music, Sensory Projects, Departed Sounds, Lost & Lonesome, Lofly Records, RIP Society, Special Award Records, Siberia Records and Z-Man Records, the Workers Club announces its final run of the Released Series’ shows throughout September. As per usual, the Released Record Stand will be back, with a huge selection of vinyl, CD and cassette releases from every single label that’s been involved in the series available at highly reduced prices. This week Room40’s sister label Someone Good will feature Miko, Celer (USA), Oblako Lodka, Battlesnake and Dark Decimals. Tonight at the Workers Club.
NOT SO IDLE Tim Freedman is back with his first album in five years, Australian Idle. Free of all expectations, Freedman has recorded an unabashedly joyful ‘70s piano-pop album. From Elton John to 10CC and back to The Beach Boys, his influences are on his sleeve. Keyboard heavy and rich with intricate backing vocals, his band of two girls and two guys features two band leaders in their own right, Heath Cullen and Amy Vee. On bass is the renowned Zoe Hauptmann, and on drums Dave Hibbard. You can catch them on Friday 25 November at the Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) and 26 at the Corner. Tickets from the venues.
COWABUNGA ‘One boat, six months, 13,000 islands, 25,000 Bintangs the infinite search.’ So reads the tagline from the latest surf film for Rip Curl, Float, which will be shown at the Espy on Thursday night. Stretching from one end of the Indonesian Archipelago to the other, Float is a story of adventure, spirit and the surfers who put their lives on hold to chase waves. From perfect waves to cabin fever, Float lives the surfing dream and takes you everywhere except a final destination. This is a free event kicking off at 7.30pm. Rock on down, have a few cold ones at the bar and check out this awesome film. Plus, giveaways and prizes on the night.
MEAT’S SWEET With ticket sales through the roof, Australian fans of mega rock star Meat Loaf will be thrilled to hear that there is a final release of new tickets for all shows. Great seats have been added as staging and production details have now been finalised. Meat Loaf will arrive in Australia next week, ahead of his national tour to promote his brand new album Hell In A Handbasket, which will be released in October in Australia to coincide with his Guilty Pleasure tour. Meat Loaf is also the 2011 AFL Grand Final special guest performer. Thirsty Merc will open all of Meat Loaf’s Australian concerts including the A Day On The Green concerts. He plays Friday 14 October at Rod Laver Arena. Limited new seats are on sale now through Ticketek.
RESIDENT PURU Soul, suffering and sex are the secret weapons of Sydney four-piece Kira Puru & The Bruise. With a voice that is as smooth as bathtub full of a red wine (hints of cigar box and vanilla), Kira Puru is able to command rooms with a hushed croon before completely tearing them open with her incredible range and power. With hints of Ronnie Spector, Amy Winehouse and Etta James, her voice is nothing short of lethal. Kira Puru & The Bruise play a string of Victorian dates including every Sunday in October at the Old Bar, Saturday 1 October at the Palais (Hepburn Springs), Friday 21 and Saturday 22 at Red Bennies.
SHAPE OF THE EMPIRE Local buzz band New Empire have announced that they will take to the road for a national headline tour this October and November, to support the release of their anticipated new album Symmetry, which will drop this Friday. The Symmetry national tour will take in nine dates across six States and Territories, taking the band’s dynamic live show to fans across the country. They’ll land in Melbourne on Saturday 22 October at the Royal Melbourne Hotel. They also support Simple Plan on Tuesday 4 October at the Palace.
SEYMOUR SOLO Acclaimed singer/songwriter Mark Seymour has followed up his successful 18 years with Hunters & Collectors with a vibrant solo recording career. Seymour’s songwriting ever evolves, he continually produces songs that resonate and permeate one’s consciousness. This evolution is due in part to the diversity in his activities, which include composition of film scores, writing and performing music for a theatrical production and acting. Currently Seymour is touring to promote his sixth solo album, Mark Seymour & The Undertow. He’ll be performing with The Undertow in the Espy’s Gershwin Room on Saturday 12 November with special guests Immigrant Union and Mustered Courage.
GUITAR HERO Recently topping the UK and European classical charts, even hitting the top 20 in the pop charts, 28-year-old virtuoso guitarist Miloš Karadaglic will play at 5.30pm on Thursday at Allans Music & Billy Hyde in Bourke Street. The performance will be followed by a Q&A session where he will discuss and demonstrate the technique and skills that have led him to be signed to the prestigious classical label Deutsche Grammophon. He will also be signing copies of his new release, The Guitar.
WORKIN’ IT OUT Gosteleradio will launch their self-titled EP at the Workers Club on 15 October, with supports to be announced shortly. The EP was primarily recorded in one day in June this year (the numerous vocals were tracked later), at Smiley McSlidey rehearsal studios in East Brunswick. Longtime mixer and pal Nao Anzai rigged up an improvised recording studio with a few mics and a laptop on the day, and has since mixed and mastered the recordings. These guys have been getting some huge backslaps around the traps and will be well worth checking out.
DON’T BE SHY The first Vengaboys show at the Corner Hotel, scheduled for Thursday 12 January, sold out in little more than 24 hours. Due to popular demand they’ve added a second show at the Corner on Wednesday 18 January. Best remembered for a string of Euro-flavoured party anthems originally released back in the mid-1990s, most notably Boom Boom Boom and We’re Going To Ibiza, they not only dominated the pop charts but permeated dancefloors across the globe, from weddings to nightclubs and pretty much any social/embarrassing occasion you can think of. Don’t be embarrassed, book at the Corner box office.
REQUIEM FOR THE PLAN Almost four years since the release of their debut album Other Voices, Other Rooms, local four-piece The Getaway Plan are set to release Requiem – the first album since the band announced that their hiatus had ended in November 2010. They will play an over-18 show at the Hi-Fi on Thursday 1 December. Tickets through the venue and MoshTix.
Saturday 24 September will sound the end to Stealing O’Neal’s final chapter in their exciting underground career. The Melbourne five-piece write beautifullycrafted rock music that take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but always leave you with a smile on your face. They’ve turned heads across Australia with their eccentric live shows – catch them doing it one last time in a night you’re sure not to forget. The boys have hand-selected their closest friends to share the stage and send them off on their last hoorah. Rounding out the finale are none other than Matt and Clint of The Getaway Plan, power-punk superheroes The Mission In Motion and the sweet mellow sounds of Kevin Orr (GAMEboy). Kiss them off at the Espy, 24 September.
SECOND HEIRS This October, Melbourne five-piece Heirs will release the first taste of their forthcoming third album in the form of a 10”/CD titled Hunter. To celebrate the release, the band are touring Australia with French metal-gazing giants Alcest. The first Melbourne show of the Alcest/Heirs Le Secret tour has sold out. A second show at the Curtin Bandroom on Thursday 27 October has been announced, and is now on sale.
(left to right) Sam Lockwood, Hayley Mary, Heather Shannon, Nik Kaloper
Describing his band THE JEZABELS as “insecure”, drummer NIK KALOPER adds “but also just so meticulous and we pick things apart until we’re not even sure if they’re good or bad anymore.” Their body of work sounds irrefutably brilliant through BRYGET CHRISFIELD’s headphones. Cover and feature photo by KANE HIBBERD.
BREAKOUT SUCCESS P
unctuating band practice at The Jezabels’ rehearsal studios in Redfern, Sydney with some promotional obligations, drummer Nik Kaloper says modestly, “We’re still labouring some of the new songs off the album so we can play them live. And play them well, more importantly.” Kaloper is an engaging interview subject and any initial reservations about his worthiness for the band spokesperson gig (just sayin’) perish immediately. He’s also gracious, often concludes sentences with “to be honest” and is his own harshest critic. “One thing that definitely keeps your motivation up is challenging yourself,” he advocates. “Even if I’ve made a mistake [onstage] and people say, ‘Oh, you wouldn’t have been able to notice,’ I don’t really care. I just don’t want that mistake to happen.” When defining what makes The Jezabels sound so memorable, the drummer’s constantly changing patterns are as crucial an ingredient as lead singer Hayley Mary’s volatile vocal. Good luck playing spontaneous air drums with The Jezabels as your chosen backing tape, Kaloper constantly changes it up and is obviously acutely aware of the need to challenge himself as a musician. “Thank you for noticing. I mean, that’s definitely something I try and pay attention to,” he acknowledges. “You know, there’s an upper and lower limit for me. The upper limit is – well, for instance, I used to be in a technical metal band and I really like metal music and stuff, so if I start to exceed that threshold and start blast beating and playing too loud or too needlessly technical, it looks a bit ridiculous in the context of a lot of bands. But I definitely establish a lower limit for myself in a sense: I’m not interested in doing anything too straight. I s’pose I like to see how creative I can try and get while still being suitable for a pop band, if that makes sense.” Being careful not to offend any drummers out there
who opt to go for a more basic structure (“maybe some drummers even do that because they truly believe that’s what sounds best and that’s totally fair enough”), Kaloper enlightens: “I’m always, like, very phonetic – drumming that changes up a lot of the time – and I know Sam [Lockwood, guitar] and Heather [Shannon, keys], for instance, would much rather I didn’t always do that. So what you hear is sort of the compromise between what I would be inclined to do and what Sam and Heather allow me to do,” he laughs. “I mean, probably why it takes us such a long time to write songs is it’s a completely democratic process, we all have equal say in what happens and, you know, we’re all entitled to an opinion on everyone’s part. So it’s a challenge because you have to keep rewriting parts and do little tweaks here and there until you come up with something that [not only] you feel satisfied with, but also the other three members feel comfortable with, otherwise there’s no point in playing it. So sometimes it really tests your ability to fiddle around with arrangements and what you’re playing.” His technical virtuosity can’t be denied and Kaloper confirms he is a self-taught drummer. “I started drumming not from a drum set, actually,” he explains. “I grew up in California and I was in marching bands, orchestras, wind ensembles and stuff like that out there so [that was] my first exposure to rhythm and playing instruments. We moved out to Australia when I was 15 and I sort of gave drumming a rest for a while, but I took it back up when I was 19 and got my first drum kit then. I’ve been playing quite routinely since then.” Rewind to the marching bands. Did he have to drum and march at the same time? “Yeah, you have some sort of chest harness that your drums hang off and you have to march in formation. The hardest thing is how much
the drums weigh, to be honest. It is bad on the back actually. I was 15 and started to develop lower back problems for it, but that’s beside the point and it was a lot of fun and I loved it, to be honest – it was great.” Images of flying batons and street parades filter in. “It’s not necessarily marching down the street, it’s more an actual performance, I s’pose,” Kaloper counters, his slight American accent suddenly seeming more pronounced now that he’s confirmed his country of origin. “I mean, if we get into it I suppose I was more in a drum core, which is just brass and drums, and they typically march on football fields and do formations while they play a 10- or 15-minute show. If you wanna YouTube The Blue Devils or something like that, you’ll see what it is I’m talking about.” His stick tricks must be fairly up there then. “I’m not a showman unfortunately,” Kaloper downplays. “I can barely do what I already try and do, so there’s no point in complicating it.” In terms of evaluating their performance, Kaloper informs, “You have to rely on feedback from people after the show, because sometimes I’ve walked offstage thinking, ‘My god, that was the shittest thing ever,’ and then all everyone talks about is how fantastic it was. And sometimes I’ve walked off thinking it was great and then our manager will go, ‘Ugh, that might not have been the best show you guys have ever done.’ So it’s really bizarre having to find reliable ways of trying to get perspective on what’s actually happening when you play a show… We definitely need to have someone who we trust will say it was bad if it was in fact bad. “We’re all pretty self-critical and – as humans, always – no matter how well we do, there’s always room for improvement. So we might as well try a little bit harder… Especially with me and drumming: I mean, even if I thought I was actually a good enough drummer,
I wouldn’t necessarily wanna think that ‘cause then I wouldn’t really see the point [in] continuing to drum.” Kaloper’s attitude is perfectly geared toward exponential success and his band have created an album that’s bound to impress. From the moment you press play and launch into the title track from The Jezabels’ debut longplayer Prisoner, there’s a sense that the band are making a statement. “I can’t believe how much good feedback we’re getting on this one,” the drummer marvels, referring to the aforementioned opening track. “We were a little bit apprehensive, I s’pose, about that – just ‘cause obviously that’s kind of a little bit left of centre, and starting the album like that is a bit, uh, ‘Hey, how you GOING?’” He chuckles. The instrumentation throughout Prisoner would make the perfect soundtrack for a chase scene in a movie. “It’s funny you say that, ‘cause we’ve always, always, always wanted to… one day we really hope that we can write some music, that we can score a soundtrack, actually. It’s something we’d be really interested in trying to do.” The Jezabels listening experience can be heavy: reminiscent of the raw intensity one felt as a misunderstood adolescent, with emotions so potent they came with a physical component. An instrumental piece, Austerlitz, is masterfully woven into the tracklisting just at the point where it’s needed. “Oh thank you,” Kaloper says sincerely when complimented on the band’s judgement here. “We sort of thrashed you with two of our heavy songs there [Nobody Nowhere and Horsehead] and then we thought we should ease off a little bit… Sam got a new delay pedal that did a looping function as well and the whole thing was a little bit improvised, really. We just tried to put ourselves in the headspace of what needed to go [where], you know, atmospherically, and [what would] allow us to get to another sonic landscape in the album, ‘cause it felt like too great of a
ON THE INSIDE
While cross-examining THE JEZABELS frontvixen HAYLEY MARY, BRYGET CHRISFIELD finds that her answers strengthen the quartet’s case for career longevity. Your previous EPs – The Man Is Dead, She’s So Hard and Dark Storm – have been defined as a trilogy. How would you connect the three entities? Hayley Mary: “We started with the first EP and then realised we weren’t ready for an album. We came up with the idea of doing a trilogy of EPs at this point as a way of doing more releases and still developing our musical style and themes throughout the three. For these reasons, I think the EPs really explore very similar themes, both musically and lyrically. They all have a sense of urgency and drama, verging sometimes on melodrama. And themes of romance and loss, gender and sexuality, oppression and identity struggle are present in all. I think (or hope) the main thing that differentiates the three EPs is that our themes and styles have developed – become more expansive, but also more complex and in-depth.” What are the differences you found, from a songwriting perspective, when tackling an album as opposed to an EP? “I think we found we had more room to move with the types of songs we could write. We have four very different sets of taste and influences when it comes to songwriting and, up until the album, it often felt like we had to include a bit of everything, equally, in every song. That was good and helped us develop as songwriters together, but now we find ourselves a bit more free to indulge different sides of us, letting each individual take more of a lead in some songs, which has, I think, made for a better variety of songs that allowed different emotions to come forward, more so than before.”
change to go from one song to the next without some sort of a breath – without taking a breath, I s’pose.” While working intensely on material for extended periods of time, Kaloper admits, “It’s really hard to get perspective on it sometimes, to be honest”. Cue The Jezabels calling on “the fifth member” of their band. “That’s entirely the role of our producer, Lachlan Mitchell, who we worked with on this album,” Kaloper stresses. “Especially the four of us, I mean, we can be so… maybe you could say insecure, I s’pose, but also just so meticulous and we pick things apart until we’re not even sure if they’re good or bad anymore, that kind of thing. So it’s great to have Lachlan there. He’d say, ‘No, no, no, I really think we can work with this,’ and we’d go, ‘Okay, great!’ And we’d stick with the idea and we’d see it through to the end. It turns into something good and we could just as easily have convinced ourselves it was rubbish and tried to start something new. We’ve been lucky, this is the fourth recording we’ve done with him – all three EPs we worked with Mitchell as well – so he’s definitely our partner in crime when it comes to those things.” On whether he has a particular attachment to any of the songs The Jezabels have composed to date, Kaloper, after a lengthy pause, finally decides upon the title track from the band’s EP, Dark Storm, which was released late last year. “I very much like that song,” he muses. “Drumming that song is still really challenging to do live, which I think is sort of fun. It’s less fun when I screw it up and I get down on myself. But, haha, I really like the drum
Do you have a particular attachment to any of the songs you’ve written to date? “It changes all the time. I have an attachment to She’s So Hard because I wrote it on acoustic guitar in my bedroom, before taking it to the band, and the lyrics came to me in about five minutes, which is rare. I normally take weeks or months to write lyrics. Listening back to it is confronting for me because I’m afraid of its honesty and what it reflects about me as a person. I like to think it’s one of those songs that just came from the ether and doesn’t belong to me. You know how people say that about songs? But I think I might just be avoiding responsibility. Haha.” Has something that’s happened as an accident in the studio ever become a feature of a song you’ve recorded? “Hmmm, probably heaps of things. The thing I can remember right now is a vocal on an album song called Horsehead where Lachlan [Mitchell], the producer, said, ‘I think you should sing something in that gap,’ and I just sang the first melody that came to me, in gibberish. That exact take was then copied to another section in the song and occurs twice on the final recording. I think it works quite well.” You’ve achieved so many career highlights to date. Is there any event that truly said, ‘We’ve made it!’ to you personally? “It’s a funny thing. We’ve had an amazing run as a band and we’re all aware of how lucky we’ve been to play where we’ve played and meet the people we’ve met. Countless times over the past four years I’ve thought, ‘Fuck! Is this real life?’ But there’s also a part of you that never really, truly feels that ‘you’ve made it’ because, otherwise, why would you keep going?”
beat in that song, personally, and I just think the way it all came together – it’s a song that stuck out for me for whatever reason in contrast to some of the other ones we’ve written. So I’m quite attached to that song, but I’m just particularly excited to play some of the new songs, like, Trycolour is a lot of fun for me – that’s the fourth track on the new album. But that one always – yeah, I break a sweat in that one every time we rehearse it so we’ll see how we go onstage. It really varies because it depends what you’re finding the most comfortable to play, to be honest. Sometimes you go through phases with songs where they don’t feel quite right onstage and then – for whatever reason, even though you haven’t changed anything – three months later it feels really right to play it, and sometimes I wouldn’t even know what to chalk that up to or what sense to make of it.”
WHO: The Jezabels WHAT: Prisoner (Independent/ MGM Distribution) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 26 October, Karova Lounge (Ballarat); Thursday 27, Friday 28 and Sunday 30 October, Forum; Saturday 29 October, Bended Elbow (Geelong); Sunday 30 October, Hi-Fi (12pm, under-18s); 28 December–1 January, Falls Festival
NEVER THE COWARD The Cat marks BEN SALTER’s first recorded foray as a solo artist, yet there is one hell of a legacy behind its recording. He speaks to BRENDAN TELFORD about the sometimes harrowing journey of putting yourself in the spotlight.
en Salter is a busy man. Having graced the Brisbane music scene with his presence for more than 15 years, first as frontman of Giants Of Science, then in a variety of other guises (The Gin Club, The Young Liberals, The Wilson Pickers, just to name a few). Every musical coat he puts on is emblazoned with his overt zeal for the art form, regardless of the genre or purpose of the outfit. Yet it is under his own name, in the spotlight on his own, that Salter has been able to strip bare the various layers to truly showcase the wry, emotive songwriting that he has brandished brazenly for the majority of his musical career. It is in this format that he gets to take true ownership of the blood, sweat and tears that are poured into the craft – and even with that wealth of shared experience, it can still be a daunting thought. “Everything I’ve been a part of has been a part of me, but in practical terms, a band is a band; it truly is, and always should be, a sum of its parts,” Salter
moderates. “I’ve been doing this sporadic solo thing since I arrived in Brisbane in 1997. The Gin Club started as an outlet for my solo stuff, before others came into the mix and it rolled forth. And some of the songs from that time didn’t fit into what we saw then as the Gin Club aesthetic. The Coward for example, it’s so old that it was originally called Yellow before that Coldplay song reared its ugly head and I had to change it. So a lot of the solo songs were songs that kind of got left behind that I still loved, and I took them on again.” When Salter decided it was time to put some songs down on tape, it wasn’t as simple as hitting record. “I didn’t have all that much stuff, I really didn’t,” he asserts. “I don’t write a lot of songs. With the Young Liberals we write loads because that is the spirit of the band – we never go in with written songs ever, we write down a list of song titles, we write a riff, get drunk, play the riff over and over again, then sign off on it and go to the next one, it’s deliberately throwaway. So I thought I would have loads of songs lying around – turns out there were fewer than I thought…” With the process being a difficult one, Salter made sure that he had people with the know-how to get things done behind the mixing desk. “I travelled down to Havilah, Gareth [Liddiard, The Drones]’s studio, and we also had Robert [Cranny] on board. When I sent them the demos I was nervous because I only had about 17 finished songs and a handful of ideas, after all these years! But these guys came in handy because they didn’t baulk at all, they were quick to say which one we should record and which one we left alone. As it turned out we only recorded one more song than what is on the finished album, so they knew what they were doing – even though I didn’t make it easy on them…” That included some very interesting instrumentation choices. “I have fallen in love with the idea of chaotic music, and whilst I wasn’t ready to go in and play around with what I had, to improvise, I could inject it with that element of chaos. And it came from watching television of all things that allowed it to all come to fruition. I saw a Scott Walker documentary where Walker came in on one recording and insisted that the sax not follow the vocal melody, and six months later I was watching Spicks & Specks and saw this guy doing covers playing Swedish bagpipes, a hurdy gurdy, and all these weird flutes [Peter Novotnik]. It all hit me then, so I got that guy, and Julien Wilson [alto/ tenor saxophone], and Tom [Lyncoln – The Nation Blue/Harmony] and Joel [Silbersher – Hoss/Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses], and roped them all in, but told them that they didn’t get to hear the songs, not to even bother asking about the songs, here are the chords I want, you get three takes and off you go. Straight away I was listening and I thought, ‘Holy shit, this is fucking amazing!’ I pissed them right off, though!”
I thought I would have loads of songs lying around – turns out there were fewer than I thought…”
Salter is renowned for his opinionated outlook, and seeing as it was his proverbial head on the chopping block over The Cat , these opinions were incredibly strong. “Robert and I have a lot in common in terms of music and what we like. So I made it very clear that I didn’t want it to sound like every other record where a guy has an acoustic guitar, I wanted it to represent me more fully than that ideal. I really wanted to fuck with it, introduce this kind of spontaneity. But that could have spiralled out of control, so the dynamic between Robert, Gareth and I was perfect. Everyone was bringing their experience to the table, and they are two guys that I trust implicitly, which was so important because whilst I knew what I wanted I was also terribly insecure. There are so many variables in how you can approach a song that you can become paralysed. For example, I can be pretty pig-headed and a control freak, and I could just have easily turned into an arsehole, spat the dummy and got nothing done. Instead, for example I didn’t want to record The Mailbox Song or The Coward, I was bloody sick of those songs. Robert basically said to me, ‘You’re fucking crazy, these songs are really good, they’re going on the album!’ And after listening back on the initial recordings, it’s funny because you live with these songs and you play them so many times, but you need to listen to them from the perspective of people you trust. They are great, and I’m glad that they insisted that they stay.” Working with Liddiard not only taught Salter things about himself, but opened up a new avenue of admiration for his contemporary hero. “Whilst Robert was there for all the interesting recordings and ideas stage, I went back down to Havilah a couple of times to mix it with Gareth. He is such a good producer – I didn’t know what to expect, I thought he might be a little short tempered because I can be a bit of an arse, but he was so patient and even handed, he really guided me through it. It was incredible, so much more than I could have dreamed of. He never stopped liking the songs – I gave up on the whole thing at one stage, I never wanted to hear the bloody songs ever again, and yet he would sit at Pro Tools for hours on end. It’s not like I was paying him heaps of money either, so that was an encouraging sign.”
WHO: Ben Salter WHAT: The Cat (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Karova Lounge (Ballarat); Friday, Northcote Social Club
HERD MENTALITY Australian hip hop group THE HERD are back after a two-year hiatus, and they’ve brought a new album, new tour and new attitude towards life and politics. SHANNON KENNEDY (AKA MC OZI BATLA) explains all to ALEKSIA BARRON.
don’t know what other people think about the noughties, but they were our prime,” says Shannon Kennedy wistfully, speaking over the phone from his native Sydney. Better known in music circles as MC Ozi Batla, Kennedy is one of the founding members of the enduring Australian hip hop phenomenon The Herd, who have just released their fifth album Future Shade. “The explosion of Australian hip hop, and to be a part of it… it’s been heaps good,” he enthuses. Of course, Kennedy (ever modest) isn’t taking nearly enough credit. The Herd haven’t just been a “part of” Australian hip hop’s meteoric rise – they’ve been instrumental in driving it. They first came to national attention in 2001, armed with, of all things, something of a novelty song involving fish’n’chip shop puns. Scallops became an unlikely cult hit, attracting Triple J airplay at a time when Australian hip hop was only just starting to emerge from the underground. The Herd’s days of takeaway wordplay are long
behind them, though. Their second album, An Elefant Never Forgets, was released in 2003, and featured the anthemic 77% – Kennedy’s furious take on the Tampa crisis and subsequent political manipulations. Having declared in the lyrics that, “This country needs a fucking shake-up”, The Herd became known for their politically charged, sharply analytical lyrics. They also founded the Elefant Traks label, which not only became a vehicle for their own projects but also enabled them to identify and nurture some of the best talent in the hip hop scene (signings have included Horrorshow, The Tongue and Joelistics). After the release of their fourth album Summerland in 2008, however, there was some doubt as to where The Herd could go, musically speaking. Their lead single off that album was The King Is Dead, which featured the smooth lyrics of a new Herd member, singer Jane Tyrrell, and a frank anti-John Howard sentiment. There were questions about what was left for The Herd to say – after all, they’d been angry at the former Liberal government. That government had been ousted. What was there for them to write about? Other projects were pursued. Kennedy’s fellow MC, Urthboy, released a second solo album, while Kennedy himself was busy with his sideproject, Astronomy Class, and a solo record of his own. There was never any doubt in his mind, however, that The Herd would ride again. “I was already working on Herd stuff when I was touring Astronomy Class,” says Kennedy. “There’s always ideas that we’re kicking around. I think there’s some beats on [Future Shade] from maybe even 2009.” Future Shade has been one of hip hop’s most anticipated releases, not least because it’s been a long time between drinks for Herd fans. According to Kennedy, the time spent working on it challenged the band in new ways. “It’s definitely the longest we’ve taken to do an album, and pretty different in the sense that we went away for the other four albums to the same place, up the coast,” he explains. “This time, just because of various factors, we did it at the studio in Marrickville at the Elefant Traks headquarters.” While staying in Sydney rather than heading up the coast may sound like a bit of a raw deal, Kennedy noticed a definite change in the quality of the resulting album. “It’s a different approach in that we kind of punched it out with the first four albums, so there’s stuff that you end up leaving on an album that you might not be happy with, but overall, you’re happy with the vibe of the album. It doesn’t quite diminish it, but there might be little moments on the album that stick out.” With Future Shade, however, he’s experienced no such issues. “On this one, it’s the other way around. I don’t think there’s any moments on it, sonically or lyrically or musically, that people will be unhappy with. In that sense, taking a long time has its merits as well.” With so many of the band members taking time to work on other projects, the question has to be asked – do The Herd find it difficult to work together? Anyone hoping for tales of studio spats will be disappointed, as according to Kennedy, working with the group doesn’t feel all that different to working solo. “It’s not a huge transition. You’re never really working solo, even if you’re a solo artist – you’ve got a mixing engineer or someone. You’re always bouncing ideas off someone.” The long-standing friendship between the members, which spans more than a decade, also helps. “We’ve been good friends for a long time,” says Kennedy. “Some people, you’re going to know them forever. It just kind of happens.” Of course, there has been one particularly notable addition to the band in recent years – songstress Jane Tyrrell, who was invited to join the band full-time after her guest appearance in 2005. On Future Shade, she comes into her own, taking her place as a true third vocalist in the group alongside the two male MCs. “She’s been finding her way into her groove with the band as well, given that she came into a group of people that have known each other for a long time,” reasons Kennedy. “I think that’s just a natural progression for Jane – feeling comfortable in her boots onstage, knowing that she’s a part of it.” Tyrrell carries a track on Future Shade as lead vocalist: “For that reason, Grandma’s Song is just spectacular – quite a sublime piece of music, I think. I’m really glad she got that moment to shine.” The breadth of subject matter is one of Future Shade’s strengths – in particular, there are some heart-wrenching tracks of a more personal nature. My Sister’s Palace, about the tragedy of domestic violence, is particularly resonant for Kennedy, who doesn’t hesitate to name it when asked about the album’s highlights. “There were more personal tracks that came to the fore early on. I think the more extended process of writing lends itself to that – you spend more time looking into things. There have been tracks like that on Herd albums before, but I don’t think in such a poignant way. It’s half personal and half political – half what’s going on outside of us, and half what’s inside.” While an emphasis on more personal tracks was a welcome change for the group, there was no escaping their connection to politics – although writing on that particular subject was a tough ask for the group in 2010. “I think we were confused as well as to what the fuck to say about Australian politics at the time we were writing,” says Kennedy. “We wanted to hope that the Labor Party still had some integrity, but they’d just fucking rolled the Prime Minister. And Tony Abbott has no integrity, so we’re just sort of stuck in the middle.” With tracks such as Red Queen Theory, however, Kennedy feels they managed to say their piece. After all (and Kennedy can’t help chuckling while talking about it), people do know what The Herd are all about by this point. “We left our political legacy with The King Is Dead. I think we got the point across – most people probably know what we stand for by now.” He laughs, just a little. “I think we’ve made that abundantly clear. We can be a little more subtle about it now.”
WHO: The Herd WHAT: Future Shade (Elefant Traks/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Prince Bandroom; 25-27 November, Queenscliff Music Festival
INWARDS AND UPWARDS On the eve of the first SEBADOH Australian tour in some dozen years, founding member LOU BARLOW takes STEVE BELL through the band’s history, in the process correcting some long-held misconceptions about his relationship with fidelity.
nough has been written already about bassist Lou Barlow’s acrimonious 1989 dismissal from Dinosaur Jr – basically tension between he and that band’s frontman J Mascis became untenable – but in this instance the cliché about every cloud having a silver lining was totally on the money. Barlow had been busy stockpiling songs at home – he’d even tentatively released some cassettes under the name Sebadoh while still in the other band, with his drummer friend Eric Gaffney – but once freed to follow his own muse the side-project blossomed, coalescing into a band proper with the addition of Jason Lowenstein in 1989. For the next decade Sebadoh went from strength to strength, the often-erratic coalition of Barlow’s introspective folk pop with Gaffney’s noise wig-outs making them household names in the indie realm. They had some line-up changes along the way (Gaffney leaving in 1993 being the most major) and some huge successes, but things eventually ground to halt following the release of 1999’s The Sebadoh longplayer.
Fast forward to 2007 and, with the band’s catalogue being systematically reissued, the ‘classic line-up’ of Barlow, Gaffney and Lowenstein got back together for the first time in more than a decade, concentrating on songs from the earliest part of the band’s career. With that reunion a success, and with re-releases of Sebadoh’s most accessible albums – 1994’s Bakesale and 1996’s Harmacy – now underway, the band have continued (Gaffney having been replaced by Bob D’Amico on drums) and are returning to Australia for the first time since 1999. “We’re doing a lot of songs from those records, we’re not doing the records,” Barlow explains of the tour from his LA home. “We’re playing a lot of the songs from both of those records, especially Bakesale I guess, but we’ll be doing songs from other records as well. When we did the Sebadoh reunion tour three or four years ago we didn’t really concentrate on those songs, so it’s an opportunity to do those songs now... We had Eric Gaffney in the band in that period, and we did a reunion tour with him and focused on the [1993 album] Bubble & Scrape-era songs, but on this tour he’s not with us so we’re focusing on the songs that he really didn’t want to learn how to play.” Given their relatively ad hoc genesis, was Barlow surprised how over time Sebadoh morphed from his bedroom onto the stages of the world? “Yeah, I guess I was,” he ponders. “I always remember that I had this one moment after I got kicked out of Dinosaur Jr, and I went to the airport to pick up somebody – I went with my parents, one of our relatives was flying in – and I thought to myself, ‘I’ll never come to an airport with my band ever again’. I just had this thought and then felt a real sense of remorse, I was like, ‘Godammit! I want to go to an airport again with my band!’ So that was like a moment that I had where I felt a real sense of sorrow that maybe I would never be able to fly anywhere exotic ever again, and then when Sebadoh started happening, lo and behold we were asked to play places, and that was kind of amazing.” After his tense tenure and eventual sacking from Dinosaur Jr, Barlow quickly found a renewed sense of freedom and vigour in his new band. “When I started the band after Dino, I was like, ‘That was shit, let’s do it right! Let’s have fun, let’s everybody be a part of it and let’s split the money three ways. Let’s just make it something that everybody’s invested in,’ and that’s kind of the way that we went for it. It was great... “Plus it was quite cathartic. I wrote very specific songs about J and about the band and how I felt about it – I don’t think that I wrote quite as many as people think I did, but there were quite a few in the beginning where I was directly addressing my ex-bandmates and my frustration about that area.” Despite Sebadoh’s eclectic music being seen as a reaction to the heavy sounds of his previous outfit, surprisingly Barlow claims that he had no real agendas in this regard when setting out. “No, definitely not – I wanted it to be all over the map, really,” he reflects. “I think one of the things was that at the time I thought music was really macho – I thought that what was considered ‘indie rock’ was very macho. There was a lot of bands like Pussy Galore and even Sonic Youth were in a really aggressive period, to me there was a lot of really aggressive music and a lot of disdain for ‘hippie stuff’, like, ‘You can’t be acoustic, that’s for pussies!’ There was a real sense of that and I just really thought that hardcore punk rock, lyrically, was very introspective. It was really aggressive music, but a lot of the lyrics behind, say, Dischord bands like Minor Threat and SOA, and even Black Flag – there was a lot of inward-looking kind of stuff, and I thought, ‘What if you presented those kind of lyrics back to that audience in an acoustic way, but not in a treacle-y Crosby, Stills & Nash way, without the ‘70s sensibility? What would people think?’ “And I just remember when we did our first record The Freed Man and people were like, [adopts ultra-aggressive tone] ‘What the fuck is this shit?’ It was awesome!” he laughs. “Like, ‘Wow, you don’t get it!’ People related it to ‘60s music, but it didn’t sound anything like that really, it was so much simpler – it was like punk rock in its approach and it was kind of hardcore because it really stripped acoustic music down to its barest elements, and that’s kind of what I was after – stripping acoustic music down to its barest elements. So we did that, and then we electrified it more or less out of necessity, because you start to play live, and especially back then it was hard to play acoustic music and do it well in club situations, because it was a very adversarial relationship that you had with crowds in some places when you tried to play a show.” So much has been made of Sebadoh’s famously lo-fi aesthetic – to many they’ve been considered pioneers in the DIY genre – but Barlow is reluctant to take even the scantest of credit in this regard, claiming that the direction was as much a logistical necessity as an aesthetic desire. “Definitely both,” he stresses. “One thing I reckon I’ve said a million times and I don’t think people get it – I’ve got a record called Wanna Buy A Bridge?, which was a compilation of Rough Trade singles from the late-’70s into the early-’80s. Bands like Young Marble Giants and even Delta 5 and Stiff Little Fingers, all of this stuff was more or less home-recorded, or done in somebody’s basement who actually had a reel-to-reel tape machine. So there was a lo-fi aesthetic to this postpunk. Post-punk was a huge deal for me, and so people would call me the ‘godfather of lo-fi’ and stuff and I’d be, like, ‘Are you shitting me? What are you talking about? Come on, have you heard Colossal Youth by Young Marble Giants?’ I mean I know that people haven’t and I’m not trying to be elitist, but to me music is just this incredible flow of influences and things that have happened before that people kind of pick up on – nobody’s really the first, in a weird way. I guess maybe Link Wray was the first person to play a super-distorted guitar though an amplifier, I don’t know. In general – at least within punk rock and stuff – there’s a precedent for everything, and for me it was that Rough Trade compilation. So Sebadoh in my opinion wasn’t supergroundbreaking or radical. I’m totally cool with that perception – if I happen to be the next torchbearer of the DIY aesthetic then great, fantastic – but I wasn’t the godfather. That’s kind of ridiculous.”
WHO: Sebadoh WHAT: Bakesale reissue (Domino/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday and Monday, Corner Hotel
FOOTPRINTS JOSH PYKE altered his trajectory and even utilised beat boxing on his latest release Only Sparrows. He tells WARWICK GOODMAN that his legacy will be his songs.
osh Pyke took a flight to Melbourne at the break of dawn from Sydney, and supposedly he’s seeing out the tail of a flu, but you’d never know it – he seems bright and golden on this drizzly August morning. Pyke is setting himself up for a national tour in support of his grand new album Only Sparrows, which he recorded earlier this year. The bearded songwriter is coming back from a year off from playing live, though he certainly can’t be accused of slacking: the sabbatical was spent writing the new album, becoming a father and a four month hole-up in the studio – the longest he has spent recording in his career so far. Fatherhood is why the usually relentless artist eased the pace a bit in the recording process. “Well it was actually largely because I’ve got a kid now, you know, and Wayne [Connolly, the producer] has a family and I didn’t want to be… Billy Crystal said something great once, he said that he didn’t want to be uncle daddy anymore. Yeah, so I wanted to be home as much as I could. So we were working kind of nine ‘til seven, six days a week, where in the past we’d work ‘til four in the morning a lot of time. So I’m glad we did it the way we did.” Pyke wrote all the songs before heading into the studio and employed many musicians to play on the record, whereas he has previously played most of the instruments himself. He explains what it was like: “I really loved it, but it was confronting at first. Because, you know, my whole career thus far I’ve really tried to keep a real tight rein on everything, so if it went well it was because of the decisions that I’ve made, and if it fucked up then I wanted to know that it was because of the decisions that I’ve made. I just didn’t want to have any excuses apart from me, you know? But for this record I wanted to step out of that a bit, be more the big picture guy. I wrote the songs, I demoed them all and sung them all acoustically, then I gave that version to the guys that played on the record and we went into the rehearsal studio and did it the way that bands have done for so many years, where you jam out a song until you get a version that you like. I had to sort of learn a new skill to always bring it back to where I wanted, so yeah, it was a bit tough at first.”
to express things that I’ve come to believe, or theories that I’ve come to have about the world, is to write songs. Leaving a legacy is something that’s become more important, the idea has become more important now having a kid. Also, like, my grandfather’s really old now, I love my grandfather, and he’s got so many amazing stories, and I don’t know how these things live on unless it’s through storytelling.” And it all makes for some brilliant songwriting, and a new album from Josh Pyke that is well worth the wait.
WHO: Josh Pyke WHAT: Only Sparrows (Ivy League Records) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Corner Hotel; Saturday, Bended Elbow (Geelong); 28 December-1 January, Falls Festival, Lorne
Oh man, I’m the beatbox master.”
The result is lush and expansive, with a plethora of sounds and instruments finding their way onto Only Sparrows. Is there a banjo in there somewhere? “There’s a banjo in there somewhere, yeah. There’s flute, there’s strings, I mean there’s loads of stuff. But we’re also using our phones a lot, you know, little apps on our phones, little electronic theremins and stuff. And weird, random tone generators and stuff. And we used little Casio keyboards.” Pyke set out to create something different, but it was quite an organic process of experimentation. “It was a conscious decision to have a much broader sonic palette, to have it sound much richer and lush, way more lush, but kind of without overly referencing too many current bands. I wanted it to sound different to stuff, and also from what my other stuff sounds like, but in terms of actually the execution of that, that came about in the studio, just experimenting.” The album opener Clovis’ Son begins with what sounds like an electronic drum beat, but is infinitely more ‘natural’: “Well that’s actually me beatboxing. I wanted an electronic little drum thing and I was describing what I wanted and I was going, you know, [beatboxes] ‘mmh-ka-te-pa-ki-pa-te-pah’ and we were like, ‘why don’t we just use that?’ So we looped it and just filtered the shit out of it and turned it into what it is.” Responding to a suggestion that he could make an entire album of pure beatboxing, he replies, “Oh man, I’m the beatbox master, haha. No, I’m not the beatbox master.” Though Only Sparrows features some new sounds and musicians, it is still patently a Josh Pyke album, stamped with his intricate song structures, charming melodies and rhythmic lyrical phrasing. Pyke’s old friend, Katie Steele of Little Birdy, sings with him on Punch In The Heart and the duet is very much glorious. “She’s got such a great voice, such a unique voice, such a strong female voice, but with all the vulnerability that that song needs. She’s in New York now, I sent the files across to her and she did it and she got it in one go.” The always curious Inpress asks Pyke about the origin of this ‘lover’ that’s holding him back in the jivey first single No One Wants A Lover. Pyke’s answer gives insight into the qualms of creativity: “It’s not about a relationship between people. But it could be, I mean, that would be the simple version of it, but that’s not what it’s about. A lot of this record, in terms of the relationship theme in it, it’s more about the idea of the relationship between a creative person and what they create. I think that relationship – it can be the same as a relationship between people, that if it starts to get stale, or uninspiring, you have to shake it up.” So you have to let it go? “No, you don’t have to let it go. Well you could let it go, or you could try to make it better, you know, like fucking keep trying, get out of your comfort zone and work. Life is about work, you know.” Really, life is about work? “Haha, it is!” It seems he will make quite the father. But as per the sentiment in the song, Pyke says that he lacked inspiration for a time last summer; that he felt he knew too much about himself and his situation and had nothing to write about. So he acted on the advice of his partner and went to New York to “shake it up”. He rented an apartment in Greenwich Village for a month and roamed the snow alone in pursuit of ideas. He came back with the last four songs on the album written. What is behind this need to be creative? “I think that it’s because I want to leave something behind. It’s not because I think that what I say is so important that it’s going to make an impact on the world, but, from a very personal level – some people write journals, some people make stuff, you know, some people film themselves or take photos or whatever to sort of map their place in the world for themselves and for their families. But the only way I’ve ever known how
PAJAMA RENAISSANCE When it comes to pajamas, NEIL FINN of (his most recent musical undertaking) PAJAMA CLUB is “a traditional, striped kinda guy”. BRYGET CHRISFIELD also finds this “very good friend” of Johnny Marr enamoured with a particular brand of Spanish wine.
pparently there’s people wandering around on the streets of Dublin, and other cities in the Northern hemisphere now, wearing pajamas all day,” Pajama Club’s bandleader Neil Finn, enlightens. “They can’t be bothered putting clothes on, they just wear pajamas all day. It’s a little bit of a feral development, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a few people on the streets of Melbourne in jammies and ugg boots as well.” Damn straight! Who hasn’t done a munchie run in their jammies before? “Oh well, that’s acceptable,” Finn backpedals. “Totally acceptable, yeah.” You can even make it to and fro in the ad breaks sometimes, if you go as is. “Yep, I reckon,” Finn concurs, “and nobody would give you a second look, would they?” The person in charge would probably be too busy making sure you’re not stealing stuff. Finn chuckles, “But it’s hard to hide things in pajamas, so it’s probably quite good for them.”
It has to be said that Finn is an affable chap, so the pajama-related banter continues. What’s his sleepwear of choice? After admitting he’s “a traditional, striped kinda guy,” Finn expands, “Well, my pajamas are slightly bastardised, really – I wear a t-shirt and pajama bottoms. My concession: I find pajama tops generally too hot. But Sharon [his missus and also the other official member of Pajama Club]’s got some really lovely pairs, there’s a couple of satin pairs and, you know, she’s got a fine pajama aesthetic.” The Finns recently returned to Auckland, New Zealand “after a couple of months doing shows with Pajama Club”. “We’ve had an absolute ball,” he elaborates on how these early shows went down. “We’ve had a fantastic response really and so we take that as a real blessing. I’m just surprised, pleasantly surprised, that people – I expected at least a proportion of the audience to come along and be yelling out for [Crowded House hits] Weather With You and Don’t Dream It’s Over, no matter what the context, but actually that was not the case and people were really willing and open to listening to the new stuff, and seemed to really like it. So we’re delighted.” Finn describes the songwriting/recording process as “really unusual”, for him. “I’ve never started from drums and bass. The fact that it was Sharon and I playing them was even more unusual. I mean, the rhythm tracks on the record – the drum and bass – are all our original jams recorded on 16-track [tape recorder] up in our music room. We had a little bit of help from technology in the sense that we could choose the bits of the jams we liked and stitch them together.” Pajama Club’s tracks were fleshed out in hotel rooms while Finn toured the globe with Crowded House – the wonders of portable hard drives. When asked whether he’d typically leave his bandmates at the bar and head upstairs for some sonic experimentation, Finn corrects, “I wouldn’t necessary leave them at the bar, I’d be at the bar for a little while and then go and have a couple of hours in my room late at night – get my computer out and try a few little ideas, get some chords laid on things, you know?... It was a really fun process, this was.” During Crowded House’s tour late last year, Finn’s wife got up onstage to do BVs and he admits that those experiences “certainly helped pave the way for [her] being in a live band now”. “It’s a strange environment and she was quite nervous.” The crowds during that tour “were massive”, “so it just helped to get her over the hump of natural shyness and reluctance to perform,” he tells. “It’s really helped us this year, but even so it’s been a big learning curve to suddenly be able to step out in front of an audience who are keenly awaiting your work.” Pajama Club’s presser acknowledges “a sensible supply of red wine” as an essential ingredient during early songwriting sessions. “Ah, well, we have gone through many, many boxes of a particularly nice but very humble Spanish wine called Gran Fuedo,” Finn reveals. “We’ve gone through 2001 to 2005 so far and they are mostly very, very good. I think 2003 was our favourite – no, 2004 sorry.” This exercise must’ve depleted the Finn’s cellar somewhat. “Well, we don’t actually currently have any of that particular brand [left], but we are big fans it and it probably was the fuel for those first few jams.” Shiraz? Cabernet Sauvignon? Which particular varietal? “I think it’s probably a Tempranillo, like, a Spanish grape. It’s 13, could only be 12.5% alcohol so it’s relatively light, but [it’s] really nice, very flavoursome.” On composing music with his wife, Finn says, “It kinda sounds corny, but it’s something we can do together, you know? [Laughs] We never knew we had it in us.” Opening up different lines of conversation can never be a bad thing. “Sure,” Finn agrees. “She’s got more interest in the music business now than she had before, ‘cause we’re suddenly both in it together. Before, certain conversations might have been fairly tedious [to Sharon] but now she’s quite prepared to jump in, even [talking] about types of amps and guitar strings. [He pauses] She’s not really nerdy yet, on the whole thing, but she will be.” The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr plays on a couple of tracks on Pajama Club and his friendship with Finn harks back to “a benefit concert in London that [they] were both on around the year 2000”. After enjoying the chat and swapping numbers, it wasn’t until the 7 Worlds Collide project that they reunited. “The idea for 7 Worlds Collide came about out of a conversation with a friend of mine, Ed O’Brien, at Piha beach [Auckland]. One of the people we thought would be great to ask – just on a whim, really – was Johnny. Both of us [are] big admirers of his guitar playing and The Smiths and I probably would have expected to get a, ‘Well thanks, but I’m too busy,’ but it just came at a good time for him and he was immediately into it. So we did this 7 Worlds Collide series of concerts in Auckland around that time... We spent ten days together and have been very good friends ever since.” When asked how Marr came to be involved in his latest musical project, Finn explains, “He was passing through Auckland. It was just an accident of timing, really. He happened to [have] a day off and we were in the studio doing Pajama Club stuff. So he came in and just played a whole lot of random shit over everything and some of it was fantastic – in fact, all of it was fantastic, but some of it made its way on the record.” Marr put his stamp on Go Cart and… “Uh, the other one he played on was Can’t Put It Down and there may be a couple of other sprinklings of him in other places as well, but they were the more substantial contributions.” Go Cart is this scribe’s favourite Pajama Club track. “Oh, great! Well it’s a visceral little journey that one, you can feel the pace coming off the track.” It has a frenetic pace that calls to mind Devo. “That’s a very nice reference point, I love Devo! I actually saw them not that long ago in Dublin and they were amazing... They’re not quite as lean as they used to be, but they still look good.” Finn reckons he could “probably dispense of [his] exercise regime” if he played the drums every night: “I only play drums on one song in the live shows because there’s so many other things I need to be able to cover, but I think I play that one with reasonable authority from beginning to end and so my skills are improving slightly. I’m almost too good now, hahaha.” Does he put touring drummer Alana Skyring (ex-The Grates) to shame? “Ah no, not really, no,” Finn defends, “Alana’s covering my arse very well.”
WHO: Pajama Club WHAT: Pajama Club (Lester Records) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Prince Bandroom
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
BY CLEM BASTOW
SINGLE OF THE WEEK
DAVID GUETTA FEAT USHER WITHOUT YOU EMI If it’s not patently obvious after years of having mentioned it, the one thing I am a sucker for is any production value that sounds like either Giorgio Moroder or Klaus Doldinger’s contributions to The Neverending Story soundtrack. So, I’m really cross that David ‘I’m Everywhere’ Guetta has shoehorned my Achilles heel into one of the best soaring dance anthems since, well, his own When Love Takes Over; the perfect alchemy of strings, massed vocals (all Usher’s, obv), hints of Roger Sanchez’s Another Chance/ Mylo’s In My Arms, and swirling, saccharine synths. If this doesn’t have a video featuring POV shots of flying through clouds then I’ll eat my hat.
NEW BOYZ FEAT CHRIS BROWN BETTER WITH THE LIGHTS OFF Warner Hey, let’s talk about Chris Brown for a moment: why is he still getting work, why is he still getting cheered at the MTV VMAs? Here is a guy who beat his girlfriend up, who is unrepentant about it, for all intents and purposes. That’s different to, say, being a drug addict or a lousy drunk or a Republican. This guy abuses women and, by continuing to give him airtime, the music industry says, “Hey, that’s cool, man, don’t worry about it, bitches ain’t shit”. Well, fuck Chris Brown, and fuck this shitty, creepy song.
MUTEMATH BLOOD PRESSURE Warner
KIMBRA VOWS Warner
OPETH HERITAGE Roadrunner
MAKE DO AND MEND END MEASURED MILE 3Wise Records
Every once in a while an artist comes at us fully-formed, proving almost instantly that some people just have it all. Rest assured the NZ-born/Melbourne-based Kimbra is indeed one of these types, possessing not only the perfect package as a popstar, but also the credible musical swagger, lyrical intent and ferocious determination to become the next big import from this part of the world.
This year has already thrown a few heavy metal curveballs: Morbid Angel’s career suicide, Dream Theater beginning a new era and The Haunted’s misunderstood gem among them. Then there’s Opeth’s tenth opus, which had fans in a tizzy online at the mere suggestion it was completely growl-free.
Amongst the droves of over-stylised and gentrified genres of punk and post hardcore come Make Do And Mend. Having released a couple of EPs and split 7”s, E nd Measured Mile is the band’s debut album; the focus on songwriting is retained without the tracks being over-produced. The end result is a raw and emotional album without over-dramatisation; in essence, this is as real as it gets.
To call Vows anticipated would be a gross understatement and no album in a long time has been better prepared to swiftly cross over from the indie girl next door, looping vocals and guitar sounds at the local pub, to fully-fledged superstar. You already know the massive singles – Settle Down and Cameo Lover – they smothered radio and united cool kids and pop fans alike. The next offering Good Intent is an equally sexy slice of accessible pop with an assured sway on the right side of credible while the rest of the album complements everything you know about Kimbra already while continuing the story in a flawless direction. Old Flame is a big, beautiful ballad that owes more than a thing or two to Prince’s Purple Rain record (sans big guitar solos) while the sublime Two Way Street plays out like something of a romantic Hollywood movie scene touched with the old-school Janet Jackson grin. Elsewhere Kimbra executes an incredible smoky croon on Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring, a love of Dirty Projectors and Tune-Yards on the almost-primally percussive Limbo and collaborates with M-Phazes on the funky Call Me. Vows is near-flawless, Kimbra is a star and there’s no one within earshot disagreeing as she drops this, a debut album that can only be described as the perfect first step. Ben Preece
You hear a lot about how Mutemath are at the forefront of rock’n’roll innovation and yet when I listen to Blood Pressure, I hear the same quasi-psychedelic slants on stoner/garage that The Soundtrack Of Our Lives were peddling in the early-‘00s. Now, since I love TSOOL, that’s not a bad thing, but come on, industry: is that the best you can do? Is this the most interesting thing you can find to crow about? Get me a bunch of weirdos recording pop-opera space jams in a solar-powered toilet and then talk to me about excitement and innovation.
The buzz about the death grunts is on the money, but Opeth have already made one great record without brutal vocals (2003’s Damnation), so devotees shouldn’t be surprised. These hang-ups aside, Heritage is a rich exercise in ‘70s progressive rock (you’d be hard pressed giving large portions the ‘metal’ tag) that delves further into frontman Mikael Akerfeldt’s record collection. Jazz, folk and classic rock acts à la Rainbow are also touchstones. Said influences were often window dressing previously – here, they’re pushed so far towards the front you can’t ignore them. Ambient, confounding and unconventional are all appropriate adjectives, but you can also add increasingly rewarding and intriguing. Akerfeldt’s clean vocals are more confident yet understated and piano, Mellotron and clarinet add further colour. Standout moments include the searing, thoughtful leads of The Devil’s Orchard, tripped-out vocals and off-kilter instrumentation of Famine and The Lines In My Hand’s surprisingly infectious melodies. The band have already carved a distinctive sound, but the psychedelia-drenched Haxprocess is unlike almost any other music being created today.
HAVANA BROWN GET IT Island/Universal So people really listen to this stuff, eh? Fascinating. I remember a Q Magazine feature on hard house back in the day that described it as like being “hit over the head repeatedly with a squeaky hammer”. The ear-shattering Get It is more like the squeaky hammer performing a spot of trepanning on your head in the change-rooms at Valley Girl.
SWITCHFOOT DARK HORSES Atlantic It’s always a bit of a shame when bands deny their true greatness in favour of something more palatable. Stealth-Christians Switchfoot wrote one of the 2000s’ best inspirational anthems in Stars, but evidently they’ve ditched that clarity of melody in favour of a far more generic commercial rock sound; this is a bit like POD-lite, and given that POD were themselves Rage Against The Machine/Kornlite, that’s saying something.
BUSBY MAROU BIDING MY TIME Warner To The Music Advisor At Channel Seven. Dear Sir or Madam, during my eight-year tenure as Inpress’ singles reviewer, I have shown an uncanny knack for picking the songs that you will use either as station idents or in promotions for Packed To The Rafters and Winners & Losers. With this in mind, and with a copy of Busby Marou’s Biding My Time in hand, I feel it is only fair that you offer me a well-paid position doing the same from your Melbourne offices. I promise not to abuse my power by using Andrew WK too often. Yours sincerely, Clem Bastow.
End Measured Mile could well become a reference point in the future. This album has refocused the post-hardcore genre with its dirty aural texture and brazen earnestness to stand out and be noticed. Along with bands such as Touché Amoré and Title Fight, Make Do And Mend are championing the ‘less is more’ punk mentality, which will re-energise a tired genre and put the focus back to where it needs to be – on the music. James Dawson
Opeth have never been easily digestible, but this may be difficult for some fans to swallow. Have they made better records? Yes, but whether Heritage is a one-off experiment or indicative of a new direction, it’s a bold move and the warm, natural mix is seemingly a response to much of today’s sterile, over-produced heavy music. Brendan Crabb
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS I’M WITH YOU Warner
KURT VILE THE CREATURE Matador/Remote Control For some reason whenever I hear Kurt Vile, I’m surprised; probably because of his winking play on ‘Kurt Weill’, I expect some sort of thunking cabaret inkiness. Instead, The Creature is his usual downbeat folk, the sort of thing that will send the Liberty-print-dress-with-workboots set into paroxysms of joy. It’s okay, I guess, but I prefer either a bit less stylistic restraint (Devendra Banhart, Scout Niblett) or a lot more semi-religious chorale vocals (Fleet Foxes) with my nu-folk than Vile provides here.
What makes this album so emphatically heartstrong is partly to do with frontman James Carroll’s voice – he could be the Mark Lanegan of the punk world, sporting an in-your-face gravelly tone that is unwavering in its passionate delivery. Make Do And Mend are musically quite melodic, yet heavily rooted in rhythmic accents and gritty guitars. Lyrically the songs are stories that the everyman can relate to. Carroll, in the album’s first single Oak Square, states: “Another slave to a paycheck/A silent servant to my monthly rent.”
MARIACHI EL BRONX MARIACHI EL BRONX ATO/Shock It’s not really fair to say that, throughout their career, The Bronx have done pretty nicely out of sticking to their formula for smashing out venomous punk rock, but at the same time it’s also not really fair to give them props for originality in any sense. If it ain’t broke, The Bronx won’t fix it, and they’ve taken this attitude even further into album number two with their Mariachi El Bronx sideproject. Everyone was shocked with the band’s first foray into this style of music – there was a sense of respect for the traditions of the genre, and more importantly a perhaps unforeseen ability to replicate it – but second time around this is expected; the band have shown their cards already. What is important is that they haven’t let themselves down – this second foray into the mariachi style is really every bit as good as their first. Having said that, there’s a certain disappointment that goes along with this record – it doesn’t feel as if the band have pushed themselves and developed their take on the genre in any real way. There are a couple of exciting steps – enlisting female Mariachi outfit Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles on the eponymous Mariachi El Bronx, one of the more striking tracks, works extremely well, for example. There’s still a lot to like. Matt Caughthran’s lyrics require next to no interpretation and there’s sweetness in that stark simplicity, particularly in songs of romance such as 48 Roses and Fallen. Some of the arrangements are more embellished and some of the performances a little more taut – but this record sounds a lot like the one we heard two years ago. If you want something new, it’s disappointing. If you’ve played the guts out of the first Mariachi El Bronx record and crave more, this should satisfy you perfectly. Dan Condon
ACTIVE CHILD YOU ARE ALL I SEE Spunk/EMI If Sigur Rós and James Blake copulated and the resulting spawn made music, it would most definitely sound a lot like Active Child. In You Are All I See, Active Child (AKA Pat Grossi) creates a private musical sphere just for his listeners, in which he weaves soundscapes made to be interpreted in whichever way they deem fit. The sounds are ethereal with falsetto-tipped vocals surrounded by glacial beats that give warmth to potentially alienating songs. Grossi seems to outsmart the listener time and time again – where we might expect a song to rise, it drops instead; where the bass should probably hit maximum impact, it pulls into the ether. It’s that which turns the almost standard dubstep-cum-deep house of Hanging On into a stunning exercise in listener trickery, as vocal loops introduce a baritone that sweeps into a high-pitched cry in a heartbeat, while the percussion surreptitiously makes the heart beat a little faster. While he grapples with the mixed emotion of a man awaiting romantic reciprocation, it becomes evident that the sedate treatment is more a reflection of his hopelessness than anything put into words. Elsewhere, John Maus-esque synths appear, with even a twinge of Kanye AutoTune on Playing House, a song that takes the melodies of ‘90s R&B and throws atmospheric echoes and a clap track to turn it into a beast of another name. The Jónsi aping is most prevalent on Way Too Fast, where Grossi’s pitch-perfect voice on a minimalist soundscape is more heartbreaking than any kind of vocal gymnastics. For a moment, you almost believe that you are all Active Child sees. Sevana Ohandjanian
It’s impossible to review the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2011 as the same band that gave us such legendary records as Freaky Styley, Mother’s Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik or even Californication – so let’s not. However, to begin, there are a few reasons to approach Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tenth album with uneasy apprehension – firstly their last effort, the overblown Stadium Arcadium, well, sucked; secondly guitarist John Frusciante isn’t present and is long acknowledged as the key ingredient to the band’s sound; thirdly, the first single from this longplayer, The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie, sure leaves a lot to be desired. With all that in mind, I’m With You is pretty bloody good. Most of the undeniable aspects of the hard-pop sound that the band create a quarter of a century-plus from their inception are still present – Anthony Keidis’ everimproving croon is as solid as ever and it’s tunes such as Brendan’s Death Song and Annie Wants A Baby that prove he still has what it takes as a vocalist to touch the right nerves. Factory Of Faith is the classic track two, dripping with pure gold from one of the greatest rhythm sections in history and fully using the Rick Rubin production muscle. It’s a similar story with mid-way highlight Did I Let You Know, which features a trumpet solo and some of the most prominent work new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer offers. He is no Frusciante and nor does he try to be – yes, there is a gaping hole in the sound that Frusciante would normally occupy, but if you had no experience with the Chili Peppers of old, you’d never know. Otherwise, I’m With You is a solid effort from a band not necessarily doing what they do best but managing to stay atop the rock pile after 25-odd years. Ben Preece
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
PRECIOUS JULES PRECIOUS JULES Battle/MGM
HTRK WORK (WORK, WORK) Mistletone/Inertia
KATALYST DEEP IMPRESSIONS Invada/Remote Control
THE JEZABELS PRISONER MGM
Kim Salmon (The Scientists/Beasts Of Bourbon) and Michael Stranges (Morning After Girls/Ripe) team up as Precious Jules to create an eponymous album that gleefully plods along in its own punk squalor, dragging glam icons and post-punk uptightness down in the mud while they’re at it. It’s the sound of two guys taking what they love and fucking about with it – and it’s actually very good.
It’s hard to get past the all-too familiar tragedy associated with the second HTRK album. The Australian trio have been living the rock’n’roll dream. Relocating to London, touring Europe, spending creative time in Berlin, recording their debut album Marry Me Tonight with Roland S Howard – it all seems like the idealistic fantasy for so many young bands. Before this album was completed, bassist Sean Stewart took his own life after a long battle with depression. The remaining duo of Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang continued on to complete the album, in what must have been torturous circumstances.
Adored Sydney producer Ashley Anderson (AKA Katalyst), alongside partner-in-crime Steve Spacek, produced one of the finest albums of last year in Space Invada’s Soul-Fi. The set saw Anderson take his talent to a whole new level, his sparkling beats constantly outshining Spacek’s soulful vocals. Returning to his solo production work he now unleashes a new album, Deep Impressions, a balls out, caution-to-the-wind-throwing explosion of big beatinfluenced dirty funk, party soul and block party hip hop.
Some bands take too long to make their debut album. The momentum of early EPs is lost while the band works at crafting ten or 12 album-worthy songs. Some bands rush their debut, releasing a batch of half-baked ideas that they haven’t given enough time to live. Then there’s The Jezabels. Prisoner comes after three EPs and a triumphant Splendour set this year that cemented their fast-growing live reputation here and overseas.
Precious Jules opens up with The Precious Jules Theme, acting as a double-barrelled signal of intent. A Necessary Evil utilises a motorik drum march that Salmon chants over the top of in top drunken showman style, while The Bald Faced Truth is as Sex Pistols as you can get, played by an infinitely better cover band. Shine Some Darkness On Me has that same thumping bluesy dirge that The Kills have made their own, Salmon even sounding Hince-like with his murmured growls. The Urban Swamp is what it says on the tin, a viscous crawler emanating with sonic disease; Seein’ Spots throws Iggy aside to wrestle The Stooges alone in their own funhouse; You’re A Backlash is the equivalent of chugging a jerrycan of glass and acid reflux. Cheap ’N’ Nasty, actually a cover of Salmon’s 1977 outfit Cheap Nasties, is as bare-bones punk as AC/DC ever dared to get, while Too Uptite takes on a Jon Spencer swagger that it gloriously never recovers from. It is clear that Salmon and Stranges are having a whale of a time, and are arrogantly daring you to join in on the decadent fun. The best thing about Precious Jules is how each track insidiously burrows its way into your subconscious, pushing sweat out of your pores and pure thoughts out of your mind. It’s a gloriously dirty trip. Brendan Telford
Work (work, work) is an even more distilled version of the dark minimalism that the group crafted on their debut. The introductory track Ice Eyes Eis is as cold and distant as music could possibly be. With a half-speed trip hop loop as the basis (it’s almost painfully slow at around 46 bpm) it’s sprinkled with a wash of incoherent chattering and choral synth pads that are positively frightening. The album builds to the pace of a resting heartbeat on Slo Glo, with just a reverb-addled hi-hat creating the rhythm for the introduction of barely-there whispered vocals. The electronic drums building and ebbing throughout the record form the structure of the album. The space is filled around the sporadic drum hits on tracks such as Eat Yr Heart and the magnificent Skinny, with hefty amounts of reverb that colour the spaces and refuse to stay in the lines – everything bleeds over everything else. It’s a beautiful, disturbing and ultimately heartbreaking record, the real life tragedy adding a gravitas to the work, which makes it hard to listen to lightly. It is a compelling and brutally truthful experiment in downbeat atmospherics without peer.
Of the hip hop tracks, Black Dragon finds MC Mr Clean adding his Aesop Rock-ish flow to punky beats and oversize horns, Sydney’s KweenG rocks the funky fun of Ready To Drop, U Can’t Save Me sees Buff 1 and Stephanie McKay take it into Quantic/Spanky Wilson/Alice Russell territory while Time Ticks On brings ’88 back with uptempo breaks, sirens, blaxploitation funk and the solid mic skills of Sydney MC Hau. The best of them though is Clapping Song, a genius idea in which Shirley Ellis’ 1965 hit of the same name is interpolated into a celebration of hard times with help from American MC Coin Locker Kid. Breaking free of the hip hop, first single Day Into Night sees McKay add her soulful vocals to Desmond Dekker’s reggae classic Coming Home, while the jaw-dropping Prince Of Cool bears witness to Jade MacRae smashing to pieces a wonderful hybrid of early house, electro and UK street soul. While some of the sounds on Deep Impressions, particularly the instrumental pieces, feel a touch redundant, this is only because Katalyst has set the bar so high; thankfully, he exceeds expectations on multiple occasions here. If not taken too seriously, Deep Impressions is a fine middleweight party album. Darren Collins
This is just about as beautifully formed a debut album as you’re likely to hear all year. The four-piece went into the studio with local producer Lachlan Mitchell and perfectly captured what it is they do – and that’s building dense, epic pop around the vocals of frontwoman Hayley Mary. On the band’s debut EP, The Man Is Dead, there was a tendency to play a more comfortable form of indie rock. But with another two EPs under their belt, this band have realised just what it is that puts them way out in front of the pack – Mary’s impassioned voice, used here to perfect effect. Opening song Prisoner is vocal-less until more than a minute in, and when Mary does first appear she’s restrained while Nik Kaloper’s frenetic drums echo around her. Then about a minute before the end of the song, the mood changes and that voice is suddenly let loose. And The Jezabels’ fate is sealed. This is pop that is dark, expansive and ambitious, and there isn’t a song out of place. The band haven’t just written good songs, they’ve worked hard at making them fit together into a cohesive and satisfying work of art. So don’t just buy the singles. Take home the whole thing and listen to it every chance you get. It would be nice to say you supported Australia’s next great band right from the very start. Danielle O’Donohue
WELL GROUNDED STEPHANIE LIEW chats with SIMPLE PLAN’s SÉBASTIEN LEFEBVRE about working with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and what it means to give a little back. wanted to know exactly where the money went. “With all the letters and all the fans that we meet and all the crazy stories that we hear, you know, it’s kind of horrible being young, being a teen these days,” explains Lefebvre. “There’s a lot of social pressure.” He goes on to mention seeing Pierre [Bouvier, singer]’s brother and Jeff [Stinco, lead guitar]’s mother go through cancer and how hard that experience was on his bandmates. “So we just try to help out kids that are either sick or socially troubled, or promote music as a way to find a passion in life, and that’s kinda the goal of the foundation. We’ve been raising money for the past four or five years now and we’ve donated over half-a-million dollars so far to different organisations that help out youth.”
o you remember Simple Plan’s first single, I’m Just A Kid? The song perfectly captured every angst-ridden teen’s frustration over feeling left out, alienated, misunderstood. That song is ten years old. Take a minute to reflect on that. Since Simple Plan’s inception in 1999 they haven’t had a single line-up change, so they must have felt camaraderie that contradicts some of the feelings in their songs about not belonging. What’s kept them together for 12 years? “I think success on that side is definitely communication,” says Sébastien Lefebvre, Simple Plan’s rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. “When there’s conflict or disagreements, you figure them out, talk about them and then sort of put them aside and move on. Also, I think it’s kind of important to see the big picture. I feel like a lot of bands will break up over a stupid fight and very often they probably could have worked it out, you know, but the ego gets in the way or whatever. The band is definitely bigger than anything else that is happening or that we could be fighting about, so when you put that into perspective, you sort of make the right decisions.” Judging from the French Canadian pop-punk band’s array of award nominations and wins – and the fact that all four of their studio albums peaked in the Top 30 in six
countries – one must admit that they probably did make some right decisions along the way. The morning after this interview was conducted, the band was scheduled to fly from Montreal to Korea to begin touring in Asia (“We just got back from the around the world tour so I pretty much just emptied out my suitcase, washed everything and then put it back in!”) but when Simple Plan first began, Lefebvre didn’t think they would ever be an international success. “You know, you sort of have, like, smallish-scale goals and dreams when you start. You’re like, ‘We’ll open up for this band at some point, you know, in our hometown. That’d be awesome!’ And then eventually you’re headlining across the world to even more people than you could ever imagine, so obviously we’re extremely lucky to be where we are today. We’ve worked our asses off and I think we have awesome fans that have been supporting us since day one, or newer fans that have been supporting us since last week, which are equally as awesome!” As far as bands who try to give back to their fans go, Simple Plan could be deemed role models. Six years ago, they established the Simple Plan Foundation, which focuses on helping disadvantaged teenagers. While they often contributed to other charities, they
In March this year, when Japan was hit by an 8.9 Richter scale earthquake, Simple Plan couldn’t sit back and watch the damage and destruction without doing anything. It was in Japan in 2002 that they recorded their first live album. “It’s the first place in the world where we ever had a sold-out tour, so obviously we have a very close relationship with our Japanese fans,” says Lefebvre, reminiscing about how polite the Japanese are and how they’re such great singers (“... because they love karaoke. It’s kinda crazy how good they are!”). The band decided to donate $10,000 to the Japan Red Cross Relief Efforts and asked their fans to help out by purchasing ‘Simple Plan Help Japan’ t-shirts, with all proceeds from the sales going towards the fund. “We’re actually going back in like a week or two, we’re doing this big Summer Sonic festival, so looking forward to that!” says Lefebvre. Simple Plan even recorded a song on their recently released fourth album Get Your Heart On! that was not only inspired by their fans’ personal stories and letters of appreciation, but was also partly written by their fans. Via Twitter, the band asked their fans how they felt when they were listening to Simple Plan’s music and, using their favourite responses, started to write This Song Saved My Life. Twenty-five fans from various countries were then invited to Vancouver to lend their voices for the song. “We weren’t sure how it was gonna sound, honestly,” recalls Lefebvre. “We weren’t sure if they were gonna be good singers at all and it turns out they were, so that was a plus! It’s a main part of the song; it’s very touching and it gives me goosebumps whenever we hear it.” After the slightly more serious feel of their self-titled, third studio album, Get Your Heart On! brings back some of the
original energy and lightheartedness that was present on debut album No Pads, No Helmets... Just Balls and follow-up Still Not Getting Any... “When we were writing the third album, Pierre’s brother was going through cancer and Chuck was going through a break-up. We always write about stuff that happens to us or around us so obviously the mood of the band might have been a little bit darker. We wanted to try new things, explore new sounds a little bit. For a band like us to put out a record like that, it took some balls, I feel, and I’m very proud of this record.” With their latest offering, they “just wanted to put everything that Simple Plan is good at back on this record” and when combined with a more modern sound and some deeper songs (similar to those on their third album), Lefebvre describes it as “a record that could not have been made before this year.” There are plenty of special guests who feature on Get Your Heart On!, including one of the band’s heroes, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. Lefebvre says he was the “nicest guy, pretty much exactly how you imagine he is,” and that after they wrote Can’t Keep My Hands Off You (“kinda quick, actually, in an afternoon!”), Cuomo had to leave to go and meditate. “Which is absolutely awesome and very much like him, I think!” laughs Lefebvre. “We did a little demo of the song, sent it to him and he loved it. Then he said, ‘If you guys don’t use it, it can be a Weezer song!’ and we’re like, ‘Yeah, no, I think we’re gonna use it!’ And then we asked him if he wanted to sing on it and he said yes, and there you go; we have Rivers Cuomo from Weezer forever on one of our albums.” When asked what he’d say if he could go back in time ten years and give his younger self some advice for the road ahead, Lefebvre pauses to reflect. “That’s a hard one because honestly I feel like we’ve had a little bit of everything since the band started. We’ve had some ups, some downs, some fun, some boring times, we’ve had clearly some success and we’ve had some harder times at the beginning as well. I think we figured a lot of stuff out along the way but, you know, just to keep having fun and not take yourself too seriously and remember why you’re doing this, really; for the love of the music.”
WHO: Simple Plan WHAT: Get Your Heart On! (Atlantic) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 4 October, Palace; Wednesday 5 October 2pm, Hi-Fi (under-18)
RINGING THE CHANGES
COMA CHAMELEON Despite crossing over with last year’s Coma Cat, MARCO NIEMERSKI – AKA TENSNAKE – has no interest in simply rewriting his big hit, writes CYCLONE.
Ecstatic to be leaving Victory Records, Cleveland bruisers RINGWORM are going out on a high with latest album Scars, writes MARK HEBBLEWHITE.
Tune – he arranged interviews. Niemerski grew up listening to everything from disco to boogie (courtesy of an older brother) to new wave pop. At different stages the teen was into all things mod (cue: The Who) and post punk (Pixies). Today he digs Washed Out’s ‘pop’. Before long, Niemerski was partying at Hamburg’s gay club Front – its resident DJs Klaus Stockhausen and his protégé Boris Dlugosch – and collecting vinyl. Niemerski was attracted to the funky, or soulful, house emanating from the US. (Larry Levan is his hero.) He dabbled in music-making as early as the ‘90s. The bedroom producer eventually launched a label, Mirau, with two friends as “a hobby”, airing 2006’s Around The House.
achievement to date. Dense, forbidding and darkly unrelenting, Scars is a timely reminder that mixing metal’s riffage with hardcore’s dissonance can still be done with stunning effect. What makes Scars all the more remarkable is it represents Ringworm’s last effort for Victory records, a label with which the band’s relations are decidedly frosty. Where they could have thrown out a half-arsed project to fulfil their contractual obligations, the boys instead decided to go out on a high.
hat sets us apart from a lot of these newer metalcore bands is that we are all about the riff, not the breakdown. Many of them are so busy ripping off other modern bands they haven’t stopped to look at the history of what they claim to be doing,” states Ringworm vocalist Human Furnace, real name James Bulloch. “We grew up in the age of classic thrash where good riffs were more important than anything else. Our influences aren’t these bands that string breakdown after breakdown together and call it a song, instead they’re crossover bands like Cryptic Slaughter, early DRI and COC and The Crumbsuckers. Of course we also loved hardcore bands and straight-up metal bands, so our style came out of all those things.” Ringworm are a confronting outfit even for those who have never heard a note. This tends to happen when you share a moniker with a rather nasty fungal infection of the skin. Funny thing is this was no calculated attempt to disgust. “We put absolutely zero thought into the name,” Bulloch laughs. “We were at our first-ever band practice and had written a song, so we figured we’d need some kind of name. I’m a big horror movie fan and I wanted to name the band Conqueror Worm but it seemed too hard to say – so I just came up with Ringworm. No one argued and everyone just said, ‘That’s fine’. What’s in a name anyway? You’ve got all these bands now with sentence fragments for names or multiple phrases, so we’re happy with what we have.” Ringworm’s latest LP Scars is perhaps the band’s finest
“Look, it’s no mystery that we’re pretty happy to be seeing the back of Victory Records,” Bulloch says. “It’s like the end of a bad marriage really, but we would never have considered putting out inferior music just to be rid of them. We’re just really looking forward to working on new stuff with a label that will support what we do. The fact that for this album Victory does finally seem to be giving us some belated support drives home the facts even more. I wish they’d supported our last record The Venomous Grand Design that we were really proud of, but which disappeared straight away because we got no support. So anyway, right now we’re happy, we have a great record and we’ve got some exciting options to look into for the future.” For now though, Ringworm simply plan to get into the van and play as many gigs as possible. Because when it comes down to it that’s what the band set out to do all those years ago – bring their music to as many people as possible. “We’ve definitely paid our dues over the years, but we don’t resent a minute of it because you’re not a real band if you can’t pull off your music live,” Bulloch spits. “And we’re taking the songs off this new record across the States, through Europe and of course down to you guys in Australia where we always have a blast. Apart from doing the new stuff we’ll also be giving you guys a little bit from all the records. Our fans in Australia know their stuff when it comes to Ringworm, so we’re always careful to put together a setlist worthy of them all.” WHO: Ringworm WHAT: Scars (Victory/Riot) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Bastardfest at the Corner Hotel
ermany’s leading disco houser Marco “Tensnake” Niemerski crossed over into the UK charts with his balmy Coma Cat. He was even profiled by The Guardian. Yet Niemerski has no interest in churning out carbon copies of his signature tune. Already this year he’s aired the rave throwback Something About You – perfectly timed for the ‘90s house revival. The Hamburg native, touring Parklife with his live laptop show, is now contemplating his next move. “I’m really into bass music lately,” Niemerski reveals. Indeed, he’s curious to see how Magnetic Man goes down in Australia at Parklife. But bass music – Tensnake? “At the moment we have, not a big revival, but the UK garage and the bass sound is coming back a bit,” he says. “I also realised that in the clubs you can hear broken beats more and more. So it’s not only four-tothe-floor – breakbeat is coming back a little bit as well. I’m just looking forward to doing some different stuff. Also for myself, production-wise, I’m a little bit, I wouldn’t say bored, but I’ve done the house/disco-ish sound for two years now and I’m looking forward to going into some new direction.” Niemerski has always claimed to be a producer, not a DJ. Nevertheless, last year he presented a solid volume in Defected’s In The House mix compilation series and it opened him up to new possibilities. “I changed my live set a little bit, so it’s like a mix of a live set and a DJ set. I mainly play my own productions and remixes, but I throw in some edits I did of people I like and tracks I like. Current club music.” Still, at Parklife Niemerski’s “sunny” set will be more festival-oriented than clubby, he imagines. The return visitor may be a new name to many even within dance music circles, but he’s been around, labouring behind the scenes at home. Niemerski used to do promo for Ninja
WIDE OPEN ROAD
In 2010 Niemerski’s gently euphoric Coma Cat – orbiting the same solar disco ball as Metro Area, Lindstrøm and Aeroplane – blew up, having surfaced first on Permanent Vacation, then Defected. He’s recently remixed Azari & III (the cult Reckless (With Your Love)), Aloe Blacc (the enduring I Need A Dollar) and fellow Parklife headliners Little Dragon (Ritual Union) – not to forget Australia’s own disco ‘band’ The Swiss in 2009. The most personal feedback Niemerski received was from Sweden’s Little Dragon, whose Ritual Union he tweaked. “I met them in Germany at the Melt! Festival. They were really nice. We had a short chat and they told me that they really loved the remix.” He’s actually produced music for Sally Shapiro, Scandinavia’s answer to La Roux. Niemerski is keen to do more such work but, ideally, recording face-to-face, not remotely. Similarly, he’d love to collaborate with other producers. However, Niemerski is progressing slowly on his own album. “I have to say I’m at the very beginning, which means I just started two or three layouts – because I really want to start from scratch,” he laughs guiltily. “In between [recording] I made the decision to renovate my flat and to build a proper studio. So this is what was happening between the weekend gigs and eating up all my time. I also see the Australian tour as my inspiration! When I come back, I’m planning to lock myself in the fresh new studio and sit down and produce the album.”
WHO: Tensnake WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 24 September, Parklife, Sidney Myer Music Bowl and King’s Domain; Saturday 24 September, Mercat Basement (late)
THE ART OF NOISE
THE AERIAL MAPS have crafted one of the most unique – and Australian – albums of the year with the stunning The Sunset Park, writes TONY MCMAHON.
MATT RIDGEWAY, the brains behind the Offspring-endorsed WINTERPARK, tells WARWICK GOODMAN it’s much harder staging an art exhibition than a gig.
we believe it’s a patch on that record, but rather just to say that the way McComb wrote about Australian space and landscape, and its potential to impact on the individual, was at the forefront of my mind in the writing. His ability to articulate the sense of malevolence that can lie in the landscape of Australia while at the same time celebrating the joy of bare feet on hot concrete or a place where the sky is ‘big and empty’ has always been a deeply powerful thing for me. I once read Wide Open Road described as ‘sunny but sinister’ and that has been vital to my view of the song, and Australia, ever since.”
live looping and effects processing, of both vocals and guitars through that. And a friend of mine, Dan West, who’s another laptop-muso boffin, he’s playing synths and a bit of guitar. And there’s also a friend of mine Susanna [Legge], who’s singing and playing some sort of loopy keyboard things, and a bit of piano and stuff.”
eleased to massive critical acclaim, The Aerial Maps’ stunningly original, spoken word-led narrative album, The Sunset Park, is without doubt the Australian release of the year so far, and well up there with anything from overseas to boot. It tells the story, in strikingly poetic imagery, of a journey across Australia and, as frontman Adam Gibson explains, he did some quite literal research. “I’d been nudging this story around in my head for years, and had done several trips to Western Australia and elsewhere in order to research it. None of it was just written on a whim – I’d travelled down roads, visited towns, drunk in pubs in order to try to find the story I was looking for. But an essential part of the whole thing was that it is both a physical and a psychological journey across Australia. So I felt I needed to actually travel the same route as the story and thus, I set off east from Fremantle one morning and drove across the country, solo, on the same roads I imagined the characters in the story would be driving. So whilst I had largely written the story before the trip, that drive was the defining action that linked it all.” Having said that this album is stunningly original, which it sincerely is, Inpress nonetheless can’t help asking Gibson about another landscape balladeer, David McComb, and his extraordinary songwriting, especially the way he collided landscape and psychology. Not surprisingly, Gibson is a huge fan.
“Yes, David McComb and The Triffids were a massive influence. And I have no hesitation in saying that The Sunset Park is directly inspired by the album Born Sandy Devotional in particular. That’s not to suggest
Ridgeway wants to rely on more organic looping and live performances to create the lush sonic backdrop when performing. “I’m trying to get the processing, like the live processing thing happening, and looping, rather than totally just relying on prerecorded things. I’ve always thought it was a bit stale doing it like that. I’m trying to make it exciting.”
So, what does the future hold for a band as critically adored as Gibson’s seems to be? Besides touring The Sunset Park hard, there is one venue in particular he’d like to play. “Our plan is to play a lot of shows in support of the album in Australia and see what happens from there. Playing overseas would be fantastic, but we’re realists in the sense that doing so requires money and we haven’t got much of that to throw around. As Dave Graney says, in music, ‘we’re all volunteers!’ But we have had some encouraging feelers from overseas and it’s interesting that despite the world seeming small these days, there is still an element of exotica associated with Australia, and people overseas have responded to that. We’ll see, but my personal immediate goal is to play a show at the Sydney Opera House. It represents a symbolic place for me as the pinnacle of music in Sydney.” And talking of place, it seems that our very own hometown holds a special one in Gibson’s heart. “Most of my favourite Australian bands have come from Melbourne and The Aerial Maps have seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people in Victoria. I’d say we get more correspondence from regional Victoria than anywhere else – I’m not sure why that is, but it’s great. And to Shane in Geelong, we’ll try to get there one day mate.”
WHO: The Aerial Maps WHAT: The Sunset Park (Popboomerang) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Bella Union, Trades Hall
interpark is, for all intents and purposes, a man by the name of Matt Ridgeway. The live show line-up of this local electro-shoegaze act has undergone umpteen transformations since it started in 2005, but Ridgeway has always sat at its reins. He’s taken the music on some enviable global escapades over the years: Winterpark’s second album was written in an apartment in Berlin and shows have been played everywhere from Brooklyn to Reykjavík. You’d think Ridgeway would know his way around a challenge. But when deciding to launch the new album’s wonderful first single, The Night Beetle, with an art exhibition, he underestimated what it took to be a gallery curator. “It was a lot of fun, and it was a lot of work too,” he says. “This was before I decided to put a band together, because I had made the record and I thought I’d just get a bunch of artist friends to make some works, and I’d have, like, iPods at each of the different artworks, and people [could] listen to the record that way. So that was the idea behind it. I thought it would be much easier to curate an art exhibition than actually play a live gig, but it was a lot harder and I ended up playing a live gig anyway,” he laughs at his overworked self. The new album Sunday Morning, which Ridgeway made entirely at home and on his own, is about to be launched, and he explains how the current live set-up looks. “God, I’ve been through so many different lineups, it’s a bit ridiculous,” Ridgeway says. “Now it’s me, and it’s my computer still, and I’m doing quite a bit of
The gallery-launched single The Night Beetle has a perceptible quality of The Beatles in its melody and sound, and Ridgeway confirms this hunch. “Well, yeah, that was my homage to The Beatles,” he says. “That track sort of stands alone a little bit; it’s definitely like that, particularly the guitar solo, I was channelling George [Harrison].” These musical greats even influenced his initial plan for the continuity and flow of the album. “I actually had this vision of making an album sort of like the Abbey Road B-side, where all the tracks sort of flow together, from one to the other.” In fact, they even affect the very way he thinks about music. “If The Beatles were around in 2011, what kind of music would they be making, with the technology that is available today? That’s sort of how I like to approach writing,” he chuckles. “What would The Beatles do?” This philosophy could be working. Winterpark’s track Never Alone was recently featured during a pivotal moment in popular television show Offspring. Did this make him any new fans? “This is the funny thing about it, after it was on the telly, I sold so many singles, it was out of control. It got to be, like, on the iTunes chart, like, number one in the dance and electronic thing, and then it reached, like, the number one point on the [Australian Independent] charts, it’s actually ridiculous. But I dunno, maybe it’s just an iPod thing, hopefully they’re into it and want to come down to a gig.”
WHO: Winterpark WHAT: Sunday Morning (Level Two) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Grace Darling
STATES OF PLAY
NEXT BIG THINGS
Local up-and-comers GOODBYEMOTEL have big things happening for them in the US, writes TONY MCMAHON.
ver recent years, still-young local outfit Goodbyemotel have forged a considerable niche in the indie rock world with a decidedly Britpop bent to their catchy sound, and always intoxicating live shows and releases. Their new EP, Wish Your Way, should act as a true turning point for a band who’ve been knocking on the door of bigger success for quite some time now, sounding, as it does, more assured than just about anything out there at the moment. Charismatic lead singer Gustaf Sjodin Enstrom acknowledges that this record is unlike anything the band have ever done, but doesn’t know if it will be the sign of things to come when an eagerly anticipated new album emerges. “It’s very exciting. I think it’s a really fresh perspective on the band,” he says. “It’s kind of the sound of the new line-up, reflecting the four-piece that we now are. The band has changed a lot over the past year or so. It kind of shows the raw side of who we are. Whether the album will be the same is difficult to say. That’s still in the planning, so how it turns out will depend to some extent on the time it’s being recorded. They may turn out to be wildly different animals, but I’m sure there’ll be some connection in some shape or form.” Adding serious weight to the theory that Goodbyemotel are about to break big are some peripheral happenings for the band: songs on TV shows Gossip Girl, Covert Affairs and Suits; a new US management deal; and a cover for the new album designed by none other than the legendary Storm Thorgerson, whose most famous work is probably the artwork on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.
Having topped NZ charts with Blindspott, drummer SHELTON WOOLRIGHT again appears poised for succes with new band I AM GIANT, writes NIC TOUPEE.
Thorgerson. “It’s incredible. We met Storm at a show and just started talking to him and he seems to be on board. We’ll wait and see what happens when the album is ready. It’s still a few months away, but hopefully he’ll still be available. I really can’t believe it. It’s just ridiculous.”
key focus point for a band, and wanted someone with an international voice. That’s why we moved form New Zealand in the first place, to compete on the international stage. It took a year, but we finally found the right guy, and we knew he was the right one as soon as he walked in the door and sang.”
And the band are particularly excited about their recent exposure in the US. Unfortunately though for local punters, Sjodin Enstrom concedes that America’s gain could well be Melbourne’s loss.
British vocalist Ed Martin, who had previously worked on the pre-dubstep UK circuit with Artful Dodger, almost walked straight back out of the door, due to a post-audition misunderstanding. But all was well that ended with a pint.
“That’s what we’ve been working towards for the last few months, really. We’ve had a little bit of attention over there through a couple of US TV shows, so we thought why not try and take a chance and see what happens. It could mean a whole lot of things. I don’t know. Maybe one day we will move over there. You never know. But even just getting some more exposure in the US is a good thing for the home market here too.”
“With our other auditions, the singer would come in, do a song or two and we’d say, ‘Thank you, we’ll be in touch. Ed sang one song and that was it. He went to the bathroom, and after he went in we were beside ourselves with excitement. He came back and said, ‘Should I do the other song now?’ and we said, ‘No mate, don’t worry about it’. He thought we didn’t want him and nearly walked out, but we called after him, ‘No, you’re definitely in, now let’s get off to the pub!’”
Again contributing to the buzz surrounding them, Goodbyemotel were able to secure the services of legendary producer Julian Mendelsohn, whose other work includes records for Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel and Pet Shop Boys. Not surprisingly, Sjodin Enstrom says it was a terrific experience. “It was just amazing to get to work with someone like that. I mean, he did Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax. It was just really exciting to have him in the studio with us. It was almost a live recording, you could say, just one or two takes and no overdubbing or anything like that, but he really pushed us to get the best out of ourselves. I guess that the way the sound comes through on the record is all about how he approaches the recording process.” What shenanigans do the band have planned for the big launch at Revolver? Lots, it seems, but Sjodin Enstrom is tight lipped about the details. “I’m sure there’ll be plenty of things going on, but let’s just say you’ll have to be there to find out what they are.”
WHO: Goodbyemotel WHAT: Wish Your Way EP (Nice Bike Records) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Revolver
Am Giant’s drummer Shelton Woolright had some cold, poor and uncomfortable months in London, after his arrival in 2008. He, like many before him, arrived with a carry-on pack full of hopes for a successful international music career, leaving his past successes in Blindspott, one of New Zealand’s most successful contemporary hard rock bands, behind him. In a few months, Woolright was wondering whether he had made the right decision. “Blindspott had two number-one albums, but it still felt a bit small, like in New Zealand we had achieved all we could. I wanted to try something else, so I grabbed a friend and moved to the UK. I ended up doing odd jobs and wrote some songs on the side, but was running out of money and it wasn’t going the way I’d hoped,” he remembers soberly. Finally, fortunes turned for Woolright when he and bandmates Paul Matthews and Aja Timu started writing songs that showed sufficient promise to motivate them to find a vocalist and start recording. But even then, the path forward hit some serious road blocks. “We wrote a few songs songs including one called City Limits, and thought it was pretty good, so it was time to get a vocalist,” Woolright explains. “So we set up some auditions. It took trialing 160 vocalists until we found the singer we wanted.” He admits they were unusually fussy – Woolright and the rest of the band knew that choosing the right vocalist was essential.
It was lucky for both the band and singer Martin: after 159 not-quite-rights, Woolright had run out of steam. “It was such a relief! I was beginning to think I couldn’t do this anymore – it was too hard, I’d run out of money and had to work more hours at the local pub, which of course was compromising the music. I thought I’d wasted a year of my life, and was really getting the blues.” Once they had the missing puzzle piece, I Am Giant worked with an almost superhuman frenzy to build up a fan base and finish their album The Horrifying Truth, which taps into their lean months for inspiration. “We were so hungry for it, and because we had had success in NZ we knew what it was like: we knew we couldn’t drop the ball now, and worked our arses off to make it happen. If you want to be on the world stage you have to give everything. We were in the studio, writing and recording every day, relentlessly, and online, giving people free music, doing everything to let fans know about us.” WHO: I Am Giant WHAT: The Horrifying Truth (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Espy; Thursday 22 September, Saloon Bar (Traralgon); Friday 23 September, East Brunswick Club
“It’s ridiculous,” says Sjodin Enstrom, talking about
“We were really picky – we understood vocalists are a
IN THE SWING
REED ALL ABOUT IT
The B# BIG BAND will celebrate their eighth birthday in style at this weekend’s Gangsters’ Ball, writes SAMUEL J FELL.
With nothing else happening in his hometown, WET HAIR’s SHAWN REED created his own label to release his music, writes DOUG WALLEN.
Daddies, so what the B# Big Band are likely to be layin’ down will provide delight to anyone with a heartbeat, be they 18 or 80. “Yeah absolutely, [it’s gotten bigger] in underground circles,” Kovacevic acknowledges. “I guess it’s the same as any other music, if radio stations and record companies wanted to push it more they could and they’d find more people who’d get into it,” he goes on. “So that whole neo-swing revival we had in the ‘90s… really sparked off this Gen Y interest, and it started a journey for them. They started listening to Royal Crown and the Daddies and a whole range of other bands, but then as they started exploring they found their way back to some of the swingin’ bands from the ‘50s and ‘40s and started to learn about Count Basie and Duke Ellington and Chick Webb, and now a whole bunch of them know more about swing and jazz musicians than I do.”
icture the scene, man. It’s hot and steamy, ties are loose and fingers snap, the dancefloor is packed, cats and kittens man, heels kicking high, skirts twirling wide – you can see those thighs – spats on shiny shoes and fedoras on sweaty heads, slick back that hair man, get loose. Feel that rhythm? Yeah, you can man, from the top of your head all the way down to your toes – gangsters and molls, this is the ‘40s, feel it? Big band kickin’, horns and horns, you can feel the breeze, this is where it’s at man, dig the scene. But this ain’t the ‘40s, this is today, the swing and the beat from the big band – the B# Big Band, to be quite precise – pulsating and satiating despite the fact it’s a heavy tune from a bygone era. These cats – there are 18 of them – are bringing it all back for the Gangsters’ Ball, and that ain’t no word of a lie. “I guess that gangsters’ era typically covered that ‘20s and into the ‘40s era and the big band swing thing was the perfect fit for it,” concurs B# band leader, Henry Kovacevic, known on the scene as Henry K. “So we’ve got some tunes from that era, plus also some neo-swing sorta stuff which should be of some interest as well to a lot of the younger people,” he adds. Again, no word of a lie, this neo-swing thang has been ramping up since the mid-‘90s, courtesy of bands such as Royal Crown Revue and Cherry Poppin’
Hear that? You’ve got no excuse not to get out on that floor, there’s a fresh new sound harking back some 70 years, and it’s just waiting for you to get on board – the B# Big Band will make damn sure of that. “Well, we’re gonna be a 15-piece band, which is basically five saxes, three trumpets, three trombones and a four-piece rhythm section,” Kovacevic tells on what to expect come the Gangsters’ Ball later this week. “That’s very much in the style of the bands that were popular in the ‘30s and ‘40s, the big-band era. “And we’ve now got three guest vocalists, I’ve just said yes to another young guy… so it’s a 15-piece band with two vocalists, and we’ve now added this additional vocalist to come on board and sing a few tunes, which is an added bonus.” Man, dig that, an 18-piece ensemble, this will be something to see, to hear and to feel, you’ve gotta dig it. The B# Big Band have been swingin’ since 18 September, 2003 (their first gig was at the Forum), which, in a quirky twist of fate, will see them celebrate their eighth birthday in the same venue, one day early – crazy, no? “It’s obviously meant to be,” laughs Kovacevic. You can take that to the bank all you cats, it’s time to swing.
WHO: The B# Big Band WHAT: The Gangsters’ Ball WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Forum
with Naked On The Vague, and Reed has booked gigs for acts such as Alps and Kitchen’s Floor when they’ve come through his unlikely US home base. A college town and arguably cultural oasis in a largely rural state, Iowa City is the setting for both Wet Hair and Night People, just as it was for Reed and Garbes’ former band, Raccoo-oo-oon.
he last time Shawn Reed toured Australia as Wet Hair, it was still a solo concern. Reed came not just to ply his homemade music but to work on the short film Twelve Dark Noons, billed as “a psychedelic movie for the apocalypse in 12 chapters.” Directed by Jacqueline Castel and produced by Caleb Braaten of the US label Sacred Bones, the short featured Reed’s visual art and starred the Sydney band Naked On The Vague. It also made Wet Hair’s visit more of a working holiday than a tour. “I was definitely into hanging out in Australia,” he recalls. “The movie was a loose affair, so there was positive and negative. We had some weather problems and it was just hectic, because we didn’t have that much time. It was just an experiment.” Reed’s music often has been just as much of an experiment, centring on bleary synth jams and underwater-sounding drones. But with this year’s In Vogue Spirit, the fidelity has improved and Wet Hair have become a firm trio in bassist Justin Tye, drummer/keyboardist Ryan Garbes and singer/ keyboardist Reed. The songs are still groggy, rhythmic and psychedelic, but everything is cleaner and less diffuse. “It’s the third LP,” he explains, “but we almost see it as our first real album. It’s more distinctly song-oriented than anything else we’ve done, and more developed. A lot of the stuff we did before was ideas and sketches and collages to figure out how to be the band we are now.” While in Australia this time, Wet Hair are stopping at Chapterfest in Melbourne and played Frankly! It’s A Pop Festival in Brisbane this past weekend. They have friends at both: Reed has released cassettes by such Aussie bands as Twerps, Chrome Dome and White Woods on his tiny label Night People. Wet Hair have also done a split LP
“It’s kind of a weird zone,” reflects Reed. “There’s a large university, but once you get rid of the study body, the population isn’t very big. It’s very young and transient.” Although he can feel old being a 30-year-old amidst so many students at gigs, he hasn’t been tempted to move, simply because he’s often away on tour anyway. And with such cheap rent, he’s able to make a full-time job of his creative pursuits, his label and band and visual art sharing space under the same affordable roof. Rather than license releases to Australia, Night People simply does a great deal of international mail-order. Focusing on tape and vinyl and the kind of fringe bands that jump between equally fringe labels, Night People recalls 1990s imprints such as Shrimper. “That’s basically what I came out of,” agrees Reed. “My mindset is a product of that ’90s DIY mentality, mixing with a more art aesthetic. It just makes sense. We had to create the situation ourselves because there were no labels here. There was nothing going on. So it was just a natural process to start putting out our own tapes and records, and being really active about inviting bands to come here.” Isn’t it tricky to maintain quality control, releasing your music on your own label? “We come from a visual art background,” Reed replies, “and relate to being very critical. Maybe even more critical of ourselves. We’re not easily appeased.” That quest for perfection ultimately drives Wet Hair. “There’s been questions about our band becoming more accessible or less experimental,” says Reed, “but to me that has nothing to do with it. We’re just trying to move forward and constantly evolve.”
WHO: Wet Hair WHAT: In Vogue Spirit (De Stijl) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Chapterfest at the Tote; Friday 23 September, Workers Club
A TATALISING EXHIBITION This weekend from 16 to 18 September, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre will play host to an exhibition that’s far from conventional. A selection of the world’s leading artists will show off completed works and live performances, however the medium isn’t going to be canvas – it’s going to be human flesh. Photos by STEVEN GUZMAN. The Tattoo & Body Art Expo is like Miami Ink gone live times ten and then some. Over 100 leading Australian and international tattoo and body artists will be making their inaugural voyage to Melbourne after three successful Sydney shows. As Australia’s largest tattoo exhibition, it has pulled in a variety of colourful characters representing what tattoo culture is all about. Guest appearances by tattoo celebrities such as Chopper Read’s bodyguard, Tony ‘The Face’ Cronin, guarantee entertainment. Famous for taking bullets and writing novels about hard living, Cronin gets his name since he generously donated his face as a human canvas. The wonderful storyteller with a wicked past will be available all weekend, sharing insight into how tattoos have influenced his life.
Yep, there will be traditional and contemporary tattoo geniuses there. For example, last year Sydney was fortunate enough to have LA Ink star Ruthless make a guest appearance. Attendees not only saw her in action, but were also given the opportunity to get some fresh ink from the tattoo juggernaut. The day promises to get continually interactive with a no-holds-barred tattoo contest. Anyone who thinks their ink can match it with the best is welcome to enter. Tattoos will be judged in six main categories, each of which will score the victor fantastic prizes. On top of tattooing, artists will be participating in a range of activities. There will be head-to-head art battles, fashion parades from tattooed beauties, interviews, audience Q&As, a skateboard-graphic
contest that will see the decks auctioned off with the proceeds going to Westmead Children’s Hospital plus stacks more visually stimulating affairs. The cultural experience of the expo isn’t limited to simply tattoo and body art either, there are also clothing/merchandise/lifestyle vendors and rare, exclusive books and publications on tattoos, body art and tattoo philosophy. Backed with car and motorbike displays, DJs, live music and food and beverage stalls, your thirst for culture will be easily quenched. The Tattoo & Body Art Expo is an all-ages event with children under nine admitted free of charge with an accompanying paid adult. Everything is censored to a point of decency and, past expos have proved that the kiddies will have an absolute ball too.
With no affiliations to any association, motorcycle club, magazine or tattoo studio, this independent expo is being organised to cast a spotlight on the everblooming industry of tattoo and body art throughout Australia. Designed to promote culture not individuals, the expo promises to be a shindig of fun, not egos, so make sure you get down there and relish in an event that doesn’t follow the beaten track! Tickets can be purchased for just $20 online or $25 on the door. Check out the tattooexpo.com.au website for more info and follow the links to the Facebook page to keep up to date on giveaways, prize packs and current news. GIVEAWAY The Tattoo & Body Art Expo is giving away 20 free tattoo packs that include free entry to the expo. To be in the running, simply submit a photo of yourself posing in front of some form of advertising for the event, whether it be a in front of a Tattoo & Body Art Expo poster on the side of a tram, billposter or other form of street media. Submit your pic to the Facebook page.
THIS WEEK IN WEDNESDAY 14 Creature – directed and designed by Gabrielle New, journey into a Butoh wonderland. A surreal world of creatures, supported with an original soundscape from UK composer Norm Skipp. A photographic exhibition by Robert Spillane will also take place concurrently. Opening night, 8pm. Theatre Works until 17 September. Italian Film Festival Opening Night – this year’s festival kicks off with Welcome To The South, directed by Luca Miniero. An Italian take on the French hit Welcome To The Sticks, that proves that the north-south rivalry is alive and kicking. Palace Cinema Como, 7pm. Italian Film Festival runs to 5 October. TweetFilm: Transformers The Movie – the 1986 animated 2D classic. No Shia, No Fox, but plenty of Judd Nelson and Orson Welles. Loop Bar, 7pm.
THURSDAY 15 Blackbox 149 – written by R. Johns, directed by Shahin Shafaei. The day that started two Gulf Wars, reveals a pilot on the run. Opening Night, 8pm. La Mama Theatre until 2 October. The Dollhouse – a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, transposed by director Daniel Schlusser to contemporary domestic horror, the second in a trilogy of works by Schlusser that explores the theatrical form, through the lens of social ritual. Opening Night, 8pm. Fortyfivedownstairs until 25 September. Kill Bill Volume 1 & Volume 2 – directed by Quentin Tarantino. A female assassin (Uma Thurman) is attacked on her wedding day by her husband and group leader, Bill. She wakes up from a coma and seeks revenge. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. Slowfall – by Mårten Spångberg (Stockholm), a dance piece that opens doors to mystical landscapes choreographed through a series of images. Dancehouse, Carlton, 8pm.
FRIDAY 16 At The Sans Hotel – directed and designed by Nicola Gunn, an emotionally evocative, psychological detective story. Opening night, 8pm. La Mama Courthouse until 2 October. Factotum – directed by Bent Hamer, Matt Dillon plays Hank Chinaski, a skid row writer in downtown LA, fashioned after Charles Bukowski in a film adapted from his autobiographical novel published in 1975. ACMI Cinemas, 9.30pm. Frankenstein In Love – written by Clive Barker, directed by Emma Palackic and Sophie Phillips, a dictatorial government has been overthrown. Guerrilla fighters led by the scarred El Coco have taken the city. In a dark vault, a doctor is creating monsters and the dead have found a way to walk. Opening Night, 8pm. Collingwood Underground until 25 September.
PRAHRAN MISSION 28TH ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION ANNOUNCED Prahran Mission participants have produced an amazing variety of artworks for the Prahran Mission 28th Annual Art Exhibition. Held during Mental Health Week, the exhibition validates the importance of creativity in the recovery process from a diagnosis of a mental illness and aims to bring communities together and break down the barriers of isolation and stigma. The exhibition will be held at Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran Tuesday 11 October to Sunday 30.
Tell It Like It Is – Heavyweight Intercontinental Poetry Slam featuring Jive Poetic (US) and Ken Arkind (US), and Shane Koyczan (Canada). Part of the Overload Poetry Festival. Footscray Community Arts Centre, 6.30pm.
MTC MAIN SEASON 2012 PROGRAMME COMING SOON On Tuesday 27 September at 9pm, Melbourne Theatre Company will announce their 2012 main stage programme. A calendar of performance dates (without play titles or playwrights) is available for download now for those that like to book their time as far in advance as possible. The first tickets to the 2012 Season will be available for purchase online at time of announcement as part of an MTC Subscription package. Visit mtc.com. au for further info.
SATURDAY 17 Kristian Haggblom: Sumoi – photography exhibition, Kristian Haggblom is the winner of CCP/Leica Documentary Award at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. Opening day, 3pm. Beam Contemporary Gallery until 8 October. Metropolis 2040 – the year is 2040. The Age of Man is over. The Machines are here. Featuring the brand new film from the people that brought you the Gorelesque Sequences (Nominated for Best Short Film & Best Short Film Director at Bloodfest Fantastique Festival). Closes tonight. Red Bennies, 8pm. Speak English Or Die – written by Jeremy Johnson, directed by Sara Tabitha Catchpole. Playreading. In a Paddington (Sydney) house, a dare-turned-disaster divides and topples race, religion, and belief. La Mama Theatre, 2pm.
SUNDAY 18 20 Cigarettes – directed by Aureliano Amade. Venice Film Festival 2010 Winner, seven awards including Best Film and Young Cinema Award. Based on director Aureliano Amadei’s 2003 experiences in Iraq, story of a 28-yearold anarchist and anti-war activist who receives an offer to fly to Iraq as assistant director on a film. Part of the Italian Film Festival. Palace Cinema Como, 1.45pm. High Noon Festival – Northcote Street Festival; the day kicks off early with high breakfast at 10am, when the finest local cafés and restaurants start serving up a selection of breakfast treats between Clarke and Separation Streets. 10am-6pm.
MONDAY 19 Fire in Babylon – Stevan Riley’s exuberant documentary charts the rise of one of the most successful sporting teams in history: a potent mix of music, politics and sporting prowess. ACMI Cinemas, 7pm.
TUESDAY 20 Verbatim – Australian premiere, written by Miranda Harcourt and William Brandt, directed by Colin Rochford, coming from transcripts of over 30 interviews with convicted murderers, their families, and the families of the murdered victims. Opening Night, 7pm. Old Council Chambers, Trades Hall until 8 October. We Believed – directed by Mario Martone. an epic reconstruction and reimagination of the political and social forces that led to Italian independence. Set during the nation’s difficult birth from the 1820s to the 1870s. Part of the Italian Film Festival. Palace Cinema Como, 8pm.
THEATRESPORTS ROUND TWO THIS OCTOBER Every Sunday night in October join round two of the Impro Melbourne league as four teams of improvisors battle it out in an exhilarating and hilarious display of improvised theatre. The Space, Prahran. Head to impromelbourne.com.au for more info.
CELEBRATE THE RICH HISTORY OF HEPBURN SPRINGS AT THE 2011 SWISS AND ITALIAN FESTA The Hepburn Springs Swiss and Italian Festa is a vibrant celebration of the region’s heritage, culture and lifestyle. The ten-day event is a feast of music, food and wine, art and sport and ensures that October is a great time of year to visit central Victoria. The 2011 Hepburn Springs Swiss and Italian Festa runs from Wednesday 19 October to Friday 30. For full programme info, visit swissitalianfesta.com.
IT’S ABOUT IDENTITY AS BANGARRA DANCE THEATRE PREPARE TO SHOWCASE THEIR NEW SHOW TO MELBOURNE AUDIENCES, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR STEPHEN PAGE TELLS PAUL RANSOM ABOUT THE UNAVOIDABLE POLITICS OF DANCING. Stephen Page doesn’t care to indulge in retrospectives. The fact that he has been fronting Bangarra Dance Theatre for 20 years is not why he’s here. Indeed, all he offers on the topic of his two decades as one of the country’s best known choreographers is, “It’s gone fast.” What gets him going is what has always inspired him; namely, telling stories through the medium of dance and, in doing so, manifesting a deep pride in the Indigenous cultures of a vast continent. “The great thing about telling stories, especially through dance theatre is that it makes things accessible,” he begins. “When you’re not dealing with book writing or text based drama you’ve got a medium that allows you a bit of freedom to express a truer honesty.” For Bangarra this is a more than usually salient point. As Australia’s flagship Indigenous dance company, there is more to life than the simple routine of a turning out a critically acclaimed, internationally successful
repertoire. As Page observes, “I think it was the stories that were able to plant the seed of why we existed.” In his role as artistic director of the company, Stephen Page is charged not only with being Bangarra’s ever erudite spokesman but with the creation of dance works that find a connect point with the broader Australian community. Achieving this without the benefit of obvious text-driven narratives is clearly both a storytelling and choreographic challenge. “It’s all the elements, from the inspired stories to the music, to the costumes and the lighting; they all provoke something,” he argues. “There’s this Indigenous theatrical experience that you get with all these mediums coming together… and when they’re measured right, when they all synergise, it ends up being more of a spiritual thing. And I think that’s what audiences get.” However, he is keen here to draw a distinction. “It’s not so much a spiritual awakening but a sense of your spiritual consciousness being shifted,” he says.
“You don’t have to understand it as such; but y’know, I think we all wanna try and tick off boxes. We want things to be a product straight up; and that’s probably why the environment is screaming at us at the moment.” What you cannot fail to notice about Stephen Page is how engaged he is, or how analytical he can be. Never one to shirk the wider cultural context, he goes on, “Western society likes to push time and likes to resolve and own; and this is where the English language becomes kinda one dimensional. But I think that our shows are a three dimensional experience.” The suggestion here is not a simple and slavish nod to the multimedia megatrend in theatre but something deeper about both the source and the impact of the works. Bangarra’s practice of basing shows on traditional myths and stories goes beyond the mere preservation of a particular heritage and dances into territory that tries to speak across the various racial, cultural or political ‘divides’. “It’s just a shame that this country has not embraced the medicine of live storytelling as a huge part of its cultural immune system,” Page laments. Rather than surrender the fight, however, Bangarra picked up the cudgels. “The most accessible way to connect to Indigenous Australia, or reconcile your own consciousness, is through storytelling, whether it’s music, visual art or Bangarra,” Page declares. “If there’s any way really for people to glimpse the true spirit of Indigenous culture it would be through the arts.” Whatever it is we think we know about Indigenous culture in this country it is abundantly clear that wisdom is passed down via an oral tradition of myths, legends and stories. For Stephen Page this is crucial. “The challenging thing for us is that communities around the country entrust us with their stories and let us be the urban/modern caretakers down south or whatever. Our responsibility is to take it out there to the mainstream
consciousness and to say it in a contemporary way. So y’know, there’s an integrity there that we have to maintain to have any true currency.” Even though he might shy from the notion of flag bearing, Page’s latest work (premiering this week at the Opera House) asks the ambitious question: “what is an Aboriginal in the twenty first century?” ID is a series of loosely connected that, in JESUSvignettes & MARYCHAIN their creator’s words “look back at the whole Aboriginal social psyche over the last ten years and how it’s shifted.” Sharing the bill with Page is another of Bangarra’s choreographic stars, Elma Kris. Her latest work, About, revisits Torres Strait Islander myths about the four winds. Clearly impressed, Page quips, “It’s hard to do because, I mean, you go ‘well, how can we do a story about four winds?’ Sure, you can have wind on stage and you can have someone standing there getting blown over but…” With its combination of ancient stories and contemporary reflections, the ID/ About double bill further underlines the Bangarra raison d’etre. “If you’re an Indigenous person living in the twenty first century, sure you’ve got your socially dysfunctional situations and this blanket of guilt,” Page explains, “but at the same it’s just about embracing and feeling proud and passing that sense of hope onto the next generation. If my dance stories can do that, then that’s a great thing.” Most would agree that Bangarra Dance Theatre and Stephen Page in particular have done much to press both cultural pride and dance excellence buttons, even if the man in question is less than triumphal. “I suppose it’s really a kind of three-dimensional magical illusion in the end,” he concludes. “Y’know, you either go with it or you don’t. Or maybe you just fall asleep.” WHAT: Belong WHEN & WHERE: Thursday to 24 September, Playhouse Theatre, the Arts Centre
The Eye Of The Storm WITH ANTHONY CAREW There’s countless cases like this – the state of what’s-actually-on-in-cinemas is eternally depressing – so I’m not about to attempt to turn Lucrecia Martel into some cause célèbre. But it’s seemed strange to me that the director’s body-of-work – whilst being roundly praised, hailed as the definitive voice of the Argentine newwave and found on countless cinephilic best-of-the-decade lists – has barely been a blip on the local radar. Her films – 2001’s La Ciénaga, 2004’s The Holy Girl, and 2008’s The Headless Woman – have only turned up deep in film festival programmes, if at all. A screening of them at Melbourne Cinémathèque offers a chance to celebrate her bodyof-work; and the chosen title for this mini-retrospective, Tropical Maladies, has, in its evocation of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, an inbuilt reference to a once-off-the-radar filmmaker who’s recently been allowed into the realm of regular release-dom. The title riffs on the setting for all Martel’s movies: Salta, in the sub-tropical Northwest of Argentina; the ‘swamp’ of her debut’s title, festering in the mosquito-buzzing foothills of the Andes, far from the familiar rugged landscapes of the icy South or the metropolitan thrum of Buenos Aires. La Ciénaga has a near-mythical quality for Argentines: its messy, straggling, sweaty
tale of a bourgeois extended-family’s injuries-of-excess arriving coincidentally, in 2001, with local economic collapse; its bruised, battered, and emotionallyscarred characters symbolising the social collateral of national fall; its falling-apart family-house and stagnant swimming pool potent metaphors for Argentina itself. The Holy Girl, too, takes place in a rundown setting: a decaying hotel hosting a medical conference. But it’s less contemporary; a semi-autobiographical tale of Catholic schoolgirlism set in the era of the Dirty War. Here, a cold-eyed teenager starts stalking a middle-aged doctor after he presses his tumescent crotch against her in a crowd; she wishing to somehow ‘save’ him, whilst verily burning with nascent sexuality. In The Headless Woman, an upper-class dentist has a car accident that may or may not be a hit-and-run, then wanders around in a concussive fugue state; a ghost barely there, head muddied; unable to reconcile her hazy half-slumber with life around her, her past with where she is now. Men vie to either comfort her, take advantage of her, or coach her; relatives push and pull her; and no one really seems to notice how she is, or what she’s done. Like all Martel’s films, The Headless Woman is vitally alive to ethnic divisions in Argentina; but, where there’s an upstairs/downstairs quality to La Ciénaga’s family and
THIS IS ITALY WITH THE 2011 ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL KICKING OFF TODAY, ANTHONY CAREW PREVIEWS ITS PROGRAMME AND REVEALS THE HIDDEN GEMS AMONGST THE “BLOCKBUSTER” DRAWCARDS.
Here’s a question: were you excited when Little Fockers opened? I’m guessing not. And yet the Italian Film Festival is asking people to be excited by The Ages Of Love, the third film in the reprehensible interconnectingrom-com-storylines Manual Of Love series, and one starring that tragic fallen saint of failed cinematic dreams:
Robert Fucking De Niro. Longlasting Youth at least has a semi-impressive lineage to live up to, following up the iconic mini-series Best Of Youth; but its existence feels less like an artistic necessity, more a chance to just make some cash. That kind of generic, lowest-commondenominator thinking isn’t merely the
their servants, here the lines are as blurry and troubled as the protagonist’s headstate. The Headless Woman plays as Martel’s crowning glory, the culmination of an increasingly-refined, singular style; which, whilst never too idiosyncratic or flashy, has become her own: immaculate sound-design rich with details of wind and weather; shots framed through windows and doors, around corners; people and objects crammed in front of the camera in chaos; her every composition dense with detail. Even when telling tales with specific protagonists, she tends towards massive ensembles, characters spilling everywhere; each one specific and singular; families and class-rooms teeming, class divide and sexual tension forever bristling, a sense of unease perpetually lingering. Patrick White stands as the only Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but literary greatness does not naturally beget a great screen translation. So it is with Fred Schepisi’s The Eye Of The Storm, which plays as a fruity soap-opera with a frothy, borderlineintolerable soft-jazz soundtrack stuck with constipated soft-focus sax. The flick effectively functions as a social satire of ’70s Australia: a Centennial Park mansion divided upstairs/downstairs, a toffee lunch-party teetering on tasteless debauchery, the upper-crust ‘arts’ at odds with workaday proles, etc.; hitting that instant in which Eurocentrism of yore gave way to a new national identity. Here, we dwell almost entirely with those wearing airs and titles; with Charlotte Rampling a dying matriarch, and Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis as her two homecoming children, fresh from social ‘success’ in Europe. There’s all the obligatory family grudges plainly worn, and the standard skeleton that’s finally shaken from the closet via the climactic reveal, but not much of it feels daring or vital, no instant that ever truly transgresses the jaunty comic air Schepisi favours. The film will sell itself with the meta-narrative of a Schepisi/ Rush/Davis homecoming in honour of our greatest literary titan, but when extracted from that story and seen in cold critical light, The Eye Of The Storm is a minor, imminently-forgettable picture.
province of Hollywood. As always, there’s piles of forgettable genre fodder at the Italian Film Festival, the commercial comedies of foreign shores that’d never make it here on sheer artistic merit; like Escort In Love, a mind-alteringly wretched collection of strident, screeching caricatures, and Basilicata: Coast To Coast, a horrendous light-jazz road-movie – on foot! – that plays like tepid middleaged-male fantasy. Amidst the “breezy” and “enjoyable” stuff to dodge, there are things to anticipate (see: Nanni Moretti’s We Have A Pope, which I’ve yet to witness) and other things well worth your time: like Sorelle Mai, in which that salty dog, Marco Bellocchio, continues to tear apart the safe clichés of cinema and society; here exploring the personal-documentary with a playful approach that swims through his own films, his daughter’s real life, and scenes he authors into this work of pseudo-vérité. And, if you believe that anything with Toni Servillo in it is worth watching, he brings a double dose of gravity to the fest: as the titular lowlevel stooge in the comically-dresseddown, beyond-low-life Gorbaciòf: The Cashier Who Liked Gambling; and playing a successful Italian-German chef whose new life comes unglued in A Quiet Life, a brooding, slow-burning, non-clichéd, uneasy entrant into the familiar genre of the failure-to-get-outof-the-old-life/thinking-man’s-crimemovie. There are mixed-blessing type pictures in the mix: Six Venice is a macro portrait of a city through six micro portraits of everyday locals;
NAKED & PROFANE WHAT WOULD A GANGSTERS’ BALL BE WITHOUT A SEXY SIREN STRIPPING? AUSSIE SHOWGIRL SUPREME GYPSY WOOD TELLS OUR BLUSHING VAUDEVILLE CORRESPONDENT PAUL RANSOM THAT BURLESQUE IS ALL ABOUT SEX.
burlesque revival was about taking back nudity and sexuality and not just letting all the modern lap dancing, strip shows and porn world have all the fun.” Despite its obviously nostalgic pitch, Gangsters’ Ball necessarily has an edge. “Burlesque is about sex,” Wood boldly declares. “I guess it will always have something of a controversial nature. Artists in the scene will always seek to break down new boundaries; and the origins of burlesque were always more confronting than entertaining.” With its richly themed and smartly tailored approach, Gangsters’ Ball is the country’s biggest annual burlesque bash. Mix in vaudevillian stage acts with roulette wheels and plenty of swing and you have a deliciously kitsch concoction of subterranean chic and time travel. “The great eras of the past, such as the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, the War years, and the birth of rock’n’roll in the 1950s have been a massive inspiration to a lot of people,” Wood observes. “I think generally there are many people who love those eras for nostalgic reasons or, like me, consider themselves historians of some craft or art and hope to keep it alive… not just keep it alive but to keep refining and making it better. The Gangsters’ Ball is a fantastic example of this.”
“I just love getting naked,” says showgirl Gypsy Wood. Then, after a quick cold shower, it’s time to re-focus and get on with the rest of the interview. And let’s face it, there’s plenty of titillating material here. Born of showgirl stock, Gypsy Wood studied dance before slinking into the burlesque underworld and slipping out of her clothes for various audiences, from New York socialites to bewildered Aussie Prime Ministers. It’s a perfect pedigree for the upcoming Gangsters’ Ball tour, where she will be performing her new “more glamorous, less rude” routine, Birds Of Tivoli. Just as Gangsters’ Ball celebrates and Carlo Mazzacurati’s collection of to-camera testimony and convivial conversation effectively making for a minor rendering of a major locale. 20 Cigarettes mounts a playful, ironic look at the business of war-movies and war-mongering in Iraq, but its drama peaks with such hysteria that it undoes its own darkness, semi almost Requiem For A Dream-level silly. And Dark Love features one cliché I’m astonished someone would still dare bring to screen: when a spontaneous, heartfelt speech in a public forum is met by stony silence, only for one person to gallantly clap, then another, until the whole room erupts in a touching standing ovation. The fact that the film, itself, isn’t a debacle suggests how wildly uneven it is. Antonio Capuano’s lengthy post-rape saga – how perp and victim attempt to move on – crams countless ideas into its run-time, ladling thoughtful philosophies into a drama part dense, part dud. But, if a festival only needs one genuine surprise – one small film that wouldn’t show anywhere if not for here – to justify its existence, the IFF scores one in Corpo Celeste: Alice Rohrwacher’s washed-out, grainy-stock’d, utterly unsentimental coming-of-age movie using decaying urban environs, Catholic Church politics, and small-town gossipry as totemic symbols in its uneasy tale of a nervous girl’s crisis-of-faith as she goes through confirmation. WHAT: Italian Film Festival WHERE & WHEN: Palace Cinemas today to 5 October
revives the pre-TV era of variety theatre and nocturnal naughtiness, so Gypsy Wood keeps the grand tradition of tease alive and bursting out of birthday cakes. “Stripping, burlesque, and erotic entertainment has had a long and interesting development in Australia, from the old follies shows of the iconic Tivoli Theatre and the famous Les Girls of ’60s King’s Cross to the explosion of pole dancing and the burlesque revival.” It is perhaps typical of the age we live in that stripping is no longer simply a stage act but some kind of political statement. As Wood explains, “After the sexual revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, nudity on stage was never the same. In some ways I think the
Whether she’s getting nude for Satan or squirming around in fake blood for gay fetishists, Gypsy Wood is clearly someone with a sharp sense of humour and a desire to ruffle the odd feather. However, it’s nothing that Mum wouldn’t approve of. “My mother, Jeanette Luke, performed as a child in vaudeville and then in the ’60s worked as a soubrette to showgirls such as Sandra Nelson. She named me after the most famous burlesque star of all time: Gypsy Rose Lee. She’s thrilled I’ve kept within the burlesque world and, jeez, I’m only travelling the world having the time of my life.” Or in other words, she’s having a ball. A Gangsters’ Ball, no less. WHAT: The Gangsters’ Ball WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Forum Theatre
COURTHOUSE ARTS ATTACK WITH XAVIER MCGETTIGAN A school holiday programme like no other, offering a wide range of courses, Xavier McGettigan will attack dance with four different dance sessions for beginners and advanced. McGettigan was trained in professional dance at Jason Coleman’s Ministry Of Dance and teaches his company three nights a week. Dancers between the ages of 11 and 27 welcome. Courthouse ARTS ATTACK at Courthouse ARTS, Geelong Monday 26 September to Friday 30. Head to courthouse.org.au for more info.
SHAUN TAN TO OPEN EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO HIS WORK Academy Award winner Shaun Tan will speak at the opening night of Sean Tan, an exhibition dedicated to the animator, featuring his Oscar winning short film The Lost Thing. The exhibition opens Wednesday 21 September and is held at Australian Academy of Design, Port Melbourne. Head to designacademy.edu.au for more info.
RANJANI SHETTAR EXHIBITION LAUNCHES NEW NGV SPACE National Gallery of Victoria will launch its newest contemporary art space this November, with an exhibition of work by internationally renowned contemporary artist, Ranjani Shettar. Dewdrops & Sunshine will showcase the artist’s unique approach to sculpture including material experimentation, relationship to space, engagement with nature, exploration of tradition and resonance with modernism. Shettar’s newest piece, Interplay, created especially for this exhibition, will be on display for the first time along with five other works dating from 2003 to present. Ranjani Shettar: Dewdrops & Sunshine will be on display at NGV International Friday 4 November to February 2012.
UNWELL BUNNY ‘NEW’ WORK BY ED BECHERVAISE Based on the quick fix culture of now, Ed Bechervaise, AKA Unwell Bunny’s New Work exhibition is a comment on “the shifting nature of the things that surround us and the speed in which they come and go.” With his previous two shows sold out, Rtist Gallery, Prahran presents this new body of work offering an exciting look into the future direction of street-based art form. The exhibition opens to the general public this Friday, 6pm and runs to 2 October.
BORED FECKLESS WITH DAVID ROSETZKY Join exhibiting artist David Rosetzky in conversation with choreographer Lucy Guerin and screen critic Jake Wilson as together they traverse the introspective concerns of ennui and youthful angst. Bored Feckless will be held at ACCA, Southbank Wednesday 21 September, 6pm.
GANGSTERS’ MC CIRCUS-TRAINED COMEDIAN ASHER TRELEAVEN HAS TRAVELLED MANY A MILE FROM THE BACK OF A UTE TO THE FRONT OF HOUSE; AND NOW HE’S INTRODUCING TARTS, TRICKSTERS, AND TRAPEZE ACTS. OUR MAN IN VAUDEVILLE, PAUL RANSOM GETS AN EARLY INVITE TO THE GANGSTERS’ BALL. It’s a long way from sun drenched canefields to the smoke filled nocturnal dens of gangster chic. However, for vaudevillian comic Asher Treleaven the transition from rough-hewn country boy to nightclub fancy pants is complete. As the newly installed MC for this year’s Gangsters’ Ball, Treleaven gets to dress up and hang out with all manner of decadent denizens. As a celebration of furs, fedoras, and sharp dressed felons, Gangsters’ Ball is Australia’s most notorious touring caravan of Burlesque variety, celebrating the tailored glamour of prohibition era pimps, swing era strumpets and fun lovin’ flappers. It’s all about dressing up and taking the TARDIS back to a time before television. Marketing hype aside, it’s also about hitching a ride on the coat tails of the burlesque boom; a retro fetish that has resolutely refused to fade away. “I think the performers are fuelling it,” Treleaven argues, “but I don’t think it’s a fad. To be quite honest, I have no idea why live performance has had such a large resurgence in the last few years but it seems to be the same for artists across
C U LT U R A L
WITH REBECCA COOK There’s one big game of reverse musical chairs going on in the Melbourne art world at the moment with the National Gallery of Victoria director signalling his intention to leave his chair and the hunt for a bum to sit on the big chair at Melbourne Festival also commencing with ads in the weekend papers. Gerard Vaughan announced he would retire from his role as director of the NGV in July next year. The announcement caused a quiet stir as Vaughan still has three years to run on his current contract. Mind you, he’s been at the helm for 12 years – surely a good run by anyone’s measure. During his time at the top job Vaughan led the NGV to programme several blockbuster exhibitions including The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musee d’Orsay; Picasso: Love & War 1935-1945; Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now; Art Deco; and Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire. He also oversaw the redevelopment of two NGV buildings – perhaps here’s a clue to his retiring as anyone who’s ever done their own renovations can attest; one house is enough to drive you insane, let alone two large public buildings. Dr Vaughan didn’t mention tradespeople but he said he believed the time was right to retire from his role. “In any field of endeavor, knowing when to leave a role is crucial. I believe this is the right time to bow out. I am very proud of our achievements over the past 12 years, and am confident the NGV is in good shape for the future. In 2011, NGV celebrated its 150th anniversary, a very significant milestone in the life of this great gallery. During this year thousands of Victorians have celebrated with us, with activities for all in the community. It was always my intention to complete this marvellous milestone and then look to my own future.” And in terms of his own future he hinted that he would return to the world of academia saying he “looked forward to continuing his close association with the Australian art world, to research and writing in the field of art history and to undertaking different roles.” Now if the NGV need any tips on recruitment, they could look to their friends over at the Melbourne Festival who’ve just commenced the
process to replace artistic director Brett Sheehy who will move on to become CEO and artistic director at the Melbourne Theatre Company in late 2012. The ad which Cringe spied in The Age and online over the weekend certainly sounds tempting. “By 2020, Melbourne Festival wants to have redefined the meaning of ‘international arts festival’. It will have transformed what people experience and value as the Melbourne Festival. Grounded in the life, the character and the spirit of the city, Melbourne Festival will reach out to welcome and celebrate
the board, from music to comedy to variety and burlesque.” For the costumed punters at this year’s Gangsters’ Ball events (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) it represents an opportunity to enter a different and much better dressed world. “I think it’s that perfect combination of partying and voyeurism,” Treleaven adds. “Dressing up, watching great performances and kicking up your heels; it’s the triple threat, isn’t it?” Over his years in the biz, Asher Treleaven has developed his own triple threat, combining his undeniable comic sense with a touch of circus elasticity and vaudeville sleaze. Kicked out of year eight drama at Mullumbimby High School, Treleaven eventually found his way into NICA in Melbourne where he completed two diplomas in the ‘carnie’ arts. From there he hit the boards, making a dandy splash in both the UK and Australia. High profile gigs at both the Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival followed in course, with his 2010 show Secret Door winning The Age Critics’ Choice Award. All of which makes you wonder how a kid who used to spend his days in the
back of a ute ever dreamed of life as a Vaudevillian fop. “Well firstly, the ‘young’ Asher was attracted to sitting on his arse and skateboarding,” he readily admits. “It was actually the ‘older’ Asher that got into performance. I didn’t have anything to do with the dramatic arts until I moved to Melbourne… I was attracted to the circus through its combination of comedy, creativity and danger. I remember watching a Circus Oz show one year in Lismore and thinking, ‘Fuck, I wanna be a part of that’.” His role in this year’s Gangsters’ Ball is a little less dangerous. As MC his brief, as he describes it, is “to hold the whole thing together, to frame the performers perfectly, start the party and keep a steady stream of LOLs coming.” It’s all part of the GB shtick, where variety and old school tease’n’trapeze are front row centre. With strippers, magicians, roulette wheels, dancing comps and even a ’20s style photo booth, it’s an evening of retro revelry. But be warned: a dress code most definitely applies. WHAT: The Gangster’s Ball WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Forum Theatre
A PERFECT WORLD the world of creativity – the new, the different, the unlikely, the sophisticated, the fresh, the stylish, the spontaneous, the extraordinary. Melbourne Festival will be valued for reflecting and challenging the familiar cultural milieu – all at once celebrating, enabling and astounding. It will propel possibilities. It will explore, exhilarate and inspire. It will be open, available and curious.” I reckon I’ve got the ‘available’ and ‘curious’ elements down pat but might struggle with the ‘sophisticated’ and ‘stylish’.
DANCE ME TO THE END OF THE SENTENCE. LIZA DEZFOULI IS MOVED BY SOME DEEP GRAMMAR WITH CHOREOGRAPHER JO LLOYD, CREATOR OF FUTURE PERFECT. “Future. Perfect. These are powerful words,” says choreographer Jo Lloyd, whose new work is about to premiere at the New Ballroom at the Trades Hall. ‘Future perfect’ is a tense confirming that something will have happened in the future. It’s an odd thing, when you think about it, to be so sure of things. By the time you have seen Lloyd’s work you will be pondering it more deeply. “It’s quite tricky to avoid clichés,” says Lloyd. “Thinking about the future... You can go there in the way of sci-fi, in the way of Space Odyssey; 2001. Now we’re in those places!” Lloyd, described by Dance Australia as a “dance maker and performer of rare intelligence”, says that this work “looks forward to the moment when you look back”. “I like ‘future perfect’ as a title for the work,” she says. “It looks at our perceptions of the future, how we approach things and our awareness of doing so.” Future Perfect plays with the idea that there is a perfect future. Being enslaved to this idea is something of a mental malaise in our society. “But you can’t actually say when the future is, so there’s
that ambivalence, that uncertainty,” muses Lloyd. “And your perception of the future depends on your perception of now. People bring their own experience and perception; they have this idea that things that are beautiful are finished and complete, polished, that there is a point of perfection.” The in-between states of mind, when we are not so sure of ourselves or what lies ahead, intrigue Lloyd, and she wants to create an awareness of those moments in her audience. “There are moments in this piece where there is a sense of how the audience will be lured into the work,” she says. “I really like the idea that the audience will drift, that they will realise their minds have been able to shift beyond their normal thinking patterns. I want there to be time for them to drift off then come back and be engaged. I am interested in ‘retelling’,” she continues. “That word, ‘apparently’. It sounds gossipy but there is more to it, there are people’s perceptions and how they might shift.” In case this is all beginning to sound a tad
esoteric, Lloyd insists that Future Perfect is grounded in raw energy and movement encompassing a range of dance styles. “It’s a feast in terms of the physical element,” she notes. “I like to show what dancers are investing of themselves physically. I like to see their endurance.” Her dancers, including Rebecca Jensen who recently performed Sandra Parker’s Document, need to be highly skilled to work with this choreographer. “I am a fan of movement,” Lloyd says. “You have to have ballet training to do what I ask.” But, like life, Lloyd is finding that work on Future Perfect doesn’t always flow so smoothly. “At the moment the middle bit has to be worked out,” she says. “It’s book-ended, but how we shape that middle bit, that has to stimulate things. There’s an arc to it. You can’t just let things go, there has to be a flow to it, it has to lead from one to another. The whole thing is a progression from start to finish.” WHAT: Future Perfect WHEN & WHERE: Tonight to Sunday 18, New Ballroom, Trades Hall
ISSUE 1191 - WEDNESDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2011
THIS WEEK INTERNATIONAL SIMONE FELICE: September 14 Northcote Social Club; 15 Palais (Hepburn Springs); 16 Meeniyan Town Hall BRYAN ADAMS: September 15 Palais AN21: September 16 Roxanne Parlour ABOVE & BEYOND: September 17 Festival Hall SEBADOH: September 19 Corner
NATIONAL SPARKADIA: September 14 Bended Elbow (Ballarat); 15 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 16 Forum BEN SALTER: September 15 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 16 Northcote Social Club VELOCIRAPTOR: September 15 Vineyard; 16 Miss Libertine; 17 Colonial Hotel THE AERIAL MAPS: September 16 Bella Union RAT VS POSSUM: September 16 Buffalo Club JACKSON JACKSON: September 16 Evelyn BASTARDFEST: September 17 Corner ELIXIR: September 17 Thornbury Theatre NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: September 17 Northcote Social Club TOMAS FORD: September 17 Yah Yah’s LUCIE THORNE: September 18 Caravan Music Club BIRDS OF TOKYO: September 20 the G (Albury) Simone Felice Tonight (Northcote Social Club); Thursday Palais (Hepburn Springs); Friday Meeniyan Town Hall National:
GIG OF THE WEEK LITTLE JOHN SATURDAY, TOFF
Torsion, as defined by the Farlex online dictionary, is the stress or deformation caused when one end of an object is twisted in one direction and the other end is held motionless or twisted in the opposite direction. It occurs in nature (think: how does a flat-fish become a flat-fish?), but there are a couple of bands in town that have the ability to produce a similar effect whilst playing live. One such act are five-piece Little John. From rock to gospel to country and blues, you cannot predict where Little John will take you next. This Saturday at the Toff, Little John give you the chance to twist to their crooked groove.
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL MYCHILDREN MYBRIDE: September 21 Music Man Megastore (Bendigo, all-ages); 24 East Brunswick Club; 25 Phoenix Youth Centre (all-ages) CONGOROCK: September 24 Prince GOLDIE: September 25 Hi-Fi HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD, SKINDRED: September 27 Espy MOON DUO: September 28 Northcote Social Club ALICE COOPER: September 29, 30 Palais EVERY TIME I DIE: September 29 Espy AKRON/FAMILY: October 2 Corner SUZI QUATRO: October 2 Schweppes Entertainment Centre (Bendigo); October 3 Palais ALLEN TOUSSAINT, THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND. JON CLEARY & THE PHILTHY PHEW: October 5 Palace KASABIAN: October 5 Peninsula (Melbourne Docklands) SIMPLE PLAN: October 4 Palace Theatre; 5 Hi-Fi THE SECRET SISTERS: October 6 East Brunswick Club; 8 Palais Hepburn Springs BOOKER T JONES: October 7 Hi-Fi MONO: October 7 Forum MARNIE STERN: October 7 Northcote Social Club
Kimbra pic by Heidi Takla
LIVE: REVIEWS KIMBRA, HUSKY FORUM
BEN SALTER: September 15 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 16 September Northcote Social Club THE HERD: September 16 Prince Bandroom SEBADOH: September 18 Corner Hotel THE OWLS: September 23 Yah Yah’s ESKIMO JOE: September 29 Forum; 30 Pier Live JACK LADDER & THE DREAMLANDERS: September 30 Corner Hotel PHRASE: October 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 6 Kay St (Traralgon); 21 Prince Bandroom MONO: October 7 Forum FUNKOARS: October 7 Billboard; 8 Whalers Inn (Warrnambool); 28 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 29 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) BLACK DICE, LUCKY DRAGONS: October 8 Forum ERNEST ELLIS & THE PANAMAS: October 8 Toff In Town SULUMI: October 9 Toff In Town LUCKY DRAGONS: October 12 Toff In Town OKKERVIL RIVER: October 14 Forum; 15 Meeniyan Town Hall AESOP ROCK & KIMYA DAWSON, THE NARCICYST & OMAR OFFENDUM: October 15 Forum THE WOMBATS: October 15 Festival Hall WILL SHEFF: October 16 Toff In Town BACHELORETTE, RAT VS POSSUM: October 19 Toff In Town 360: October 20 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 21 Kay Street (Traralgon); 22 Corner Hotel (arvo U18; evening 18+); 27 Karova Lounge MANTRA: October 20 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 22 Whalers Hotel (Warrnambool); November 5 Surf Coast Sport (Torquay); 18 Star Bar (Bendigo); 19 East Brunswick Club KONONO NO 1: October 21 Forum
replicating the descending water-droplet keys effects to perfection. Kimbra’s band sound spectacular and display equal enthusiasm to that of their muse. Drummer Stevie McQuinn rocks an image to rival Kimbra’s with his Mickey Mouse t-shirt, skyscraper mohawk and seriously ghetto bling. Line drawings from the Vows CD booklet come to life on the cyclorama. These are very effective and express Kimbra’s identity well, but definitely need to be synchronised to the beat in order to further enhance the visual impact. The moment the introductory melody into Kimbra’s Nina Simone cover Plain Gold Ring filter through the air, fans turn to their friends to share expressions of delight. Luring a venue this size into complete silence is extraordinary and the extended instrumental outro sounds divine. There’s a costume change. Kimbra returns in a sassy, red, off-the-shoulder saloon dress. She hitches it back up onto her shoulders frequently, which becomes distracting – Hollywood tape anyone? Marigold, a new song with a calypso edge, gives us insight into an exciting flow of creativity from Kimbra and her portrayal of heartfelt ballad Old Flame shows a maturity way beyond her 21 years. Main set closer Cameo Lover is suitably vibrant, but we’re not done yet.
For the plentiful punters who assemble to soak up Husky’s sounds early, it’s gorgeous background music. Frontman Husky Gawenda’s voice is a true gift and History’s Door inspires some head nodding and stageward glances, but the Melbourne quartet struggle to cut through the din of audience banter tonight. We clock some fluoro tribal face paint designs in the front stalls. Minimal set-up time is required for Kimbra since her band’s equipment is already in place, concealed under black cloth during the supports. There’s some incidental music and then the star of the show, fine Kiwi stock Kimbra Johnson, bursts onto the stage and strikes a theatrical pose. She looks like a porcelain doll; all dressed up in a delicious little pink meringue-inspired number that exposes her slender pins. Familiar “Boo-ba-boo-BAH” vocal percussion and handclaps introduce Settle Down, the track that drew most in attendance to this unique artist in the first place. Her usual backing band has been beefed up with a pair of suave gentlemen on BVs this evening and they prove to be a classy addition throughout with their synchronised moves and matching, dusky pink velvet blazers. It turns out that the two Tavares brothers, Francisco and Joshua, were recruited at the last minute by M-Phases, who sat in the producer’s chair for Kimbra’s debut album alongside François Tétaz. Kimbra herself looks their way, several times, in approval. They’re keepers.
Kimbra eventually returns to the stage, trailed by Davey and her other keyboardist Fagan Wilcox, amid much relieved applause. She straps on her guitar, giggles a lot and then warns us the trio “haven’t really rehearsed” the next number: Somebody Please (a hidden track on Vows). Of course they nail it. It’s all hands on deck for final track The Samaritan and we treasure this opportunity to once again clap eyes on the enthusiastic Tavares brothers busting out smooth moves. At once feminine and gutsy, Kimbra launches headfirst into her performance and isn’t afraid of pulling unsightly faces in order to extract just the right sound. Truth is, she could never dream of looking (or sounding) anything less than exquisite.
The dramatic intricacy of Good Intent comes to life in this glorious theatre setting with Ben Davey
TAYLOR DAYNE: October 7 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster); 8 Chelsea Heights Hotel BLACK DICE, LUCKY DRAGONS: October 8 Forum DEAN WAREHAM: October 11 Corner COSMO JARVIS: October 13 Workers Club THE BATS: October 14 East Brunswick Club OKKERVIL RIVER: October 14 Forum; 15 Meeniyan Town Hall FLO RIDA: October 14 Geelong Arena; 17 Bluestone (Ballarat) POUR HABIT, SMOKE OR FIRE: October 15 East Brunswick Club THE WOMBATS: October 15 Festival Hall BACHELORETTE: October 19 Toff In Town CHRIS CORNELL: October 19, 20 Palais JAMES RHODES: October 19, 20 Melbourne Recital Centre GHOSTPOET: October 20 Northcote Social Club KONONO NO. 1: October 21 Forum EMMANUEL JAL: October 21 Corner TIGER & WOODS: October 21 Mercat Basement SBTRKT: October 21 Roxanne Parlour ALCEST: October 22 Toff In Town JELLO BIAFRA: October 22 Forum THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: October 22 (U18), 23 (18+) Billboard THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: October 25, 26 Corner DROPKICK MURPHYS: October 26 Forum JANET JACKSON: October 26, 27 State Theatre STEELY DAN, STEVE WINWOOD: October 27 Rod Laver Arena THE BUSINESS: October 28 Tote CELPH TITLED: October 28 Corner HERNAN CATTANEO: October 28 Billboard LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: October 28 State Theatre BROKENCYDE: October 29 Royal Melbourne Hotel SHAPESHIFTER: October 29 Forum Theatre LONDON ELEKTRICITY: October 31 Prince Bandroom FLY MY PRETTIES: November 5 Athanaeum Theatre THE POINTER SISTERS: November 7 Palais Theatre CHILDREN OF BODOM: November 10 Palace FOLK UKE: November 10 Caravan Music Club; 11 East Brunswick Club MAD SIN: November 11 Hi-Fi Velociraptor Thursday Vineyard and Loose Change at Exchange Hotel, Footscray; Friday Can’t Say at Miss Libertine; Saturday Rats at Colonial Hotel
EVIL NINE: November 11 Brown Alley KD LANG: November 12 Sidney Myer Music Bowl KINGS OF LEON: November 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena RUSSELL WATSON: November 14 Plenary Hall DOLLY PARTON: November 22, 23 Rod Laver Arena THE MOODY BLUES: November 23 Palais Theatre LEO SAYER: December 1 Bairnsdale RSL Club EMINEM: December 1 Etihad Stadium SADE: December 2 Rod Laver Arena FOO FIGHTERS, TENACIOUS D: December 2, 3 AAMI Park GUITAR WOLF: December 2, 4 Tote SALT-N-PEPA: December 3 Palais Theatre KURT VILE & THE VIOLATORS: December 4 Corner ELTON JOHN: December 6 Rod Laver Arena GANG GANG DANCE: December 7 Corner EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: December 8 Forum Theatre JEDI MIND TRICKS: December 9 Billboard FUTURE OF THE LEFT: December 16 Corner ARCTIC MONKEYS: January 3 Festival Hall THE VENGABOYS: January 12 Corner HALL & OATES: February 2 Melbourne Convention Centre; 12 Rochford Wines (Yarra Valley);
ROGER WATERS: February 7, 8, 10, 11 Rod Laver Arena ROD STEWART: February 17 Rod Laver Arena; 18 Hanging Rock (Macedon) ROXETTE: February 18 Rod Laver arena. TAYLOR SWIFT: March 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL: March 20 Rod Laver Arena
Stonefield pic by Lou Lou Nutt
NATIONAL BIRDS OF TOKYO: September 22 Pier Live (Frankston); 23 Forum; 24 Kay St Entertainment (Traralgon); 25 Eureka Hotel (Geelong) JACKSON JACKSON: September 23 Evelyn NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: September 24 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo) DRAPHT: September 21 Bluestone (Ballarat); 22 Chelsea Heights Hotel; 23 Palace TRIAL KENNEDY: September 22 Saloon Bar (Traralgon); 23 East Brunswick Club BROUS: September 23 Buffalo Club BENI: September 24 Prince NEW WAR: September 24 Phoenix Public House SAND PEBBLES: September 24 Northcote Social Club RICHARD IN YOUR MIND: September 24 RAOBGAB Buffalo Club LUCIE THORNE: September 29 Bella Union LEVI MCGRATH: September 29, October 1 Seraphim Upstairs; October 30 Wallan Gateway Church BATRIDER: September 30 Tote DEAD LETTER CHORUS: September 30 Northcote Social Club NAT COLE & THE KINGS: September 23 Hotel Spencer THE SCREAMING TRIBESMEN: September 23 Espy PUBLIC OPINION AFRO ORCHESTRA: September 23 Corner ESKIMO JOE: September 29 Forum; 30 Pier Live (Frankston) GOTYE: September 30, October 1, 2 Forum JACK LADDER & THE DREAMLANDERS: September 30 Corner WEDDINGS, PARTIES, ANYTHING: September 30 Palace JUSTINE CLARKE: October 5 Dallas Brooks Centre ART VS SCIENCE: October 6 Pier Live (Frankston); 7 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 8 Kay St Saloon (Traralgon); 9 Bended Elbow (Ballarat) PHRASE: October 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 6 Kay Street (Traralgon); 21 Prince ART VS SCIENCE: October 6 Pier Live (Frankston); 7 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 8 Kay Street Entertainment (Traralgon); 9 Bended Elbow (Ballarat) FOR THIS CAUSE: October 7 Kate’s Party (Bayswater) THE BEARDS: October 7 Espy HUXTON CREEPERS: October 7 Barwon Club; 8 Corner FUNKOARS: October 7 Billboard; 8 Whalers Inn (Warrnambool); 28 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 29 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) ERNEST ELLIS & THE PANAMAS: October 8 Toff In Town CONFESSION: October 9 Musicman Megastore (Bendigo, AA); 15 (U18), 16 Corner THE PANICS: October 12 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 13 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 14 Palace THE AMITY AFFLICTION: October 11-13 Billboard THE DRONES: October 14 Corner WATUSSI: October 14 Espy RENEE GEYER: October 14, 15 Bennetts Lane JACKSON MCLAREN: October 14 National Hotel (Geelong); 15 Grace Darling JEFF LANG: October 14 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh); 15 Corner; 16 Way Out West Blues Club (Williamstown) THE RED EYES: October 15 Northcote Social Club TEX PERKINS: October 15 National Theatre DM3: October 15 Caravan Music Club; 16 Northcote Social Club PETE MURRAY: October 16 New Albury Hotel; 19 Inferno (Traralgon); 21 Hi-Fi; 22 Pier (Frankston); 23 Ferntree Gully Hotel 360: October 20 Kay St Saloon (Traralgon); 21 Corner (Under 18 Afternoon); 22 Corner (Over 18 Night); 27 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) MANTRA: October 20 Karova Lounge
brilliant, guitar player/vastly assured songsmith and the band have the huge crowd moving exactly as they want them to within moments. But it is the encore that, almost literally, brings the house down. In a momentous example of Indigenous notions of both respect for elders and looking out for youth, Coloured Stone are joined onstage by two Warriors, one of whom, Tjimba Burns, is the son of Stone’s lead guitarist, for a mind-blowingly moving rendition of their ancient hit, Black Boy – a melding of old-school rock with hip hop and a taste of exciting things for the future. The almost palpable feeling in the room afterwards is that everyone present has witnessed something truly special. The birth of Indigenous Australian hip hop culture reaching its tipping point may well be traceable, for future generations, back to this very night. We feel enormously privileged to have been here and to have looked through a unique window to the beginnings of how we might achieve real reconciliation. Tony McMahon
CALLING ALL CARS, BOY IN A BOX, THE REDCOATS CORNER HOTEL
EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB While most 13-year-old girls spend their time doing things like making up new handclap routines or going to the local shopping centre after school to hang out with friends, Holly Findlay, the youngest member of Stonefield, just travelled to the UK to play at Glastonbury. Together with her siblings Amy, Hannah and Sarah, the four Findlay sisters featured on the John Peel Stage, a platform dedicated to showcasing new and emerging talent. Fast-forward a couple of months and now these young ladies are touring nationally, for the first time, promoting their Black Water Rising EP. The East Brunswick seems to be bursting at the seams with everyone in good spirits singing along to Cold Chisel as Stonefield set up shop. As the four starlets take the stage and break into Yes Master, the crowd cheers loudly and it’s clear that Stonefield have a solid fanbase. These chicks continue to deliver throughout the evening with tracks including Drowning and Foreign Lover – the song that received high rotation on Triple J, helping Stonefield (then Iota) win the Unearthed J Award in 2010. Their ‘70s psychedelic rock songs are executed with nothing short of high energy and there is a moment where Holly whips her hair back and forth in a way that puts Willow Smith to shame. Watching in awe, it is easy to forget just how young these girls are. Stonefield could be Patti Smith and Janis Joplin’s love children and they have something going on that is completely unique, aside from their age: Amy is the lead vocalist and also the drummer. While their songs currently sound very similar to one another, there is no doubt that this will improve over time. As they grow and gain confidence, their tracks will become more nuanced and varied. Danielle Trabsky
BLACK BOY NATIONAL TOUR FEAT COLOURED STONE; YUNG WARRIORS; JOHNNY MAC, MR MORGZ & MISS HOOD EVELYN
More than a mere gig, the Melbourne leg of the 2011 Black Boy national tour is a cultural event of profound significance. Part family reunion, part meaningful reconciliation, part theatre and large part simply awesome sounds, this was without doubt the most meaningful musical performance this writer has ever attended. Organised by Essendon footballer Nathan LovettMurray’s Payback Records, the Black Boy tour features Australia’s oldest remaining Indigenous band, Coloured Stone, supported by up-and-coming Indigenous hip hop crew Yung Warriors and local Indigenous acts from each of the five states and territories it is visiting. Opening tonight are Johnny Mac, Mr Morgz & Miss Hood, who project an engaging and often soulful sound. Next are soon-to-be hip hop superstars Yung Warriors. This crew have talent to burn: careful, clever rhymes, charismatic frontmen and the ability – no small thing – to adequately or even excellently reproduce their recorded sound onstage. Their smooth single, Just A Thought, surely up there with anything else on the radio at the moment and bound to become a classic, is performed here with stunning verve as, for that matter, is the entire set. Headliners Coloured Stone have been around for three- plus decades and it really shows. Frontman Bunna Lawrie is a consummate, probably even
Initiating the Friday night cleansing ceremony are classic hard bluesy rock chaps The Redcoats, who have been making a name for themselves around Melbourne as a must-see band. Smoke and mirror visuals add to their mise-en-scène, as do singer Emilio Mercuri’s ‘fro and mono sparkly dangly earring. Longhaired lads who look as if they’ve just come from a Rush gig surround him. The band’s lo-fi rock sound contrasts high-pitched vocals, which are aided by heavy drops, rigid riffs and guitar wig-outs that give a depth and tightness to their style. American Pie choirboy Chris Klein look-alike, Tobias Priddle, who fronts Boy In A Box, steps up next to play happy-go-lucky pop rock. Catchy cute tunes such as Moon Comes Up (reminiscent of the now-defunct Yves Klein Blue) warm up the room as well as our hearts. Touring nationally off the back of their Dancing With A Dead Man album, the dudes from Calling All Cars open with their single, Reptile, which causes front seat passengers to fist pump the air as they’re assaulted by a barrage of piercing strobe lights. Frontman Haydn Ing darts around the stage with vigour. From a distance it looks as if he is rowing a canoe, really fast and then real slow, manoeuvring through the reeds of people as he throws himself off the stage to play on top of the crowd. Drummer James Ing and bassist Adam Montgomery let him do his thang and keep the engine going to their hard, pop-rock tunes. As their set progresses, the crowd gets giddier: more crowd surfing is aloft and vodka lemonades are poured from lofty heights onto unsuspecting heads. Aggressive types just pummel their mates in the head, knocking each other in the chops. Most know the lyrics to the songs and fill the void as directed. Cranking into their final act for the evening, the frontman puts it out there: “If you want to get loose, now is the time to do it.” Some happily oblige. Drawing the curtains to a close is their hit Disconnect from their debut album Hold, Hold, Fire, which leaves its mark on Melbourne town. A Springvale squire and neighbour in the crowd sums the gig up quite succinctly: “It’s what you come for: good music, good people, good atmosphere.” Fair enough. Those who dig Gyrscope will have a jolly roger for these guys. Lee Spencer-Michaelsen
ROSCOE JAMES IRWIN, KISSHEAD RED BENNIES
A cover of Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock is a good way to be introduced to Kisshead; frontlady Juleiaah Boheme has that tender-heartedness and raw, waiflike quality in common with Miss Mitchell. As often happens to this reviewer, Kisshead is caught on a night when they are missing members (apparently there is a DJ element, judging by the tunes on their MySpace page) so proper judgement of the band should be reserved until they are witnessed fully bloomed, though Kisshead are enjoyable as a sparse, darkly calm trio. Boheme has the sort of voice that is concurrently beautiful and sad; a voice that oscillates effortlessly between breathy lustre and shimmery heartbreak. Hate to automatically segue into the Florence Welch comparison, but it is a gorgeous quality that both ladies share. Kisshead’s internet presence will now be stalked, in order to catch them again, because the addition of dark beats and other such electronic add-ons can only serve to bolster this intriguing project higher and greater. Roscoe James Irwin is pretty much a major label’s wet dream, as if he has come straight from the cover of ‘Non-Threatening Boys Magazine’: his pin-up
firstname.lastname@example.org boy hair perpetually in his eyes; a sweet, toothy grin glued to his face. His presser calls him “indie pop’s suspiciously energetic Mr Nice Guy”, which seems to be a complicated persona: for someone to be suspiciously energetic, are they expected to be, you know, skipping quickly out of a bank, or running on their tip-toes to keep quiet when leaving the house? But the charmingly awkward singer/ songwriter does what he does quite well. Irwin and band play largely from their latest album, The Hunting Road, which, according to this set, is chockers with country lite-rock and indie folk, of varying degrees of interest. Irwin’s particular brand of song-style isn’t reinventing the musical wheel; at times, the lyrics even feel hackneyed or forced. But then, just when you can sense a cloud of beige beginning to storm over the stage, Irwin and co pump out something damn lovely to suck you back in. The track Georgina, the most energetic and winsome of the night, best shows how great the band, and Irwin, can be. It reveals the kind of quirky ingenuity that bubbles below the surface when more generic ideas are being peddled. Lisa Dib
THE MARS VOLTA, THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS PALACE
They may be no oil painting(s), as the saying goes, but The Fearless Vampire Killers sound the authentic garage business and wield fetching vintage guitars to match. Frontman Seán Ainsworth has a pleasing yowl, similar to that of The Vasco Era’s Sid O’Neil, and this Melbourne quartet wear their surfabilly influence as proudly as dad sports that novelty titty apron while manning the BBQ. Any band slick enough to lure The Mars Volta’s sound manipulator/keyboardist Lars Stalfors into the producer’s chair deserves to warm up the stage for tonight’s revered headliners. Closer The Monkey Song quite simply rules. As a couple of Apple Macs are set up onstage, they are ogled suspiciously as all jostle for the best vantage point in between sets. “There’s a lot of people here tonight who are on some shit,” a random informs and the minute The Mars Volta appear, we wonder whether their electric bassist Juan Alderete could be counted among them. Lord knows as soon as now fro’-less frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala utilises his best Robert Plant wail we all feel as if we’ve selfmedicated. While their intro tape plays out – theme song from Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western A Fistful Of Dollars (composed by Ennio Morricone) – all band members take a moment to ready themselves and wave at the adoring crowd as if knowing full well they’ll be awesome. And none doubt they will be. All present have a crush, secret or otherwise, on hot-geek guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López and the things he can do with those phalanges. Rodríguez-López has clearly spent a lot of alone time with his instrument. The Mars Volta set their own rules and play material from their forthcoming album, due in 2012, until there are a mere 25 minutes remaining in their set. For the duration, all three levels are entranced. A guy in front of us appears to be suffering from phantom shoulder pains, which his mate later explains may or may not have been due to the acid he dropped earlier. According to a neighbour in the crowd, The Mars Volta’s material switches up depending on who’s perched on the drum stool. They are now on to drummer number five, Deantoni Parks. (Our verdict is that although Parks seems a good fit for TMV’s new material, he doesn’t quite capture the essence of the band’s mighty back catalogue.) We are soon silenced: If you dare have a chat while these virtuosos play, you are sure to cop the hairy
eyeball. A falling umbrella strikes this scribe on the head. Looking skyward to identify the culprit, it immediately becomes apparent that the item was released from the upper circle. A bouncer retrieves the offending item and scales the stairs with a scowl. Our first familiar song of the evening is Inertiatic ESP and Alderete somehow succeeds in making his axe sound like machine gunfire. We’re simply not worthy. A Justin Bieber look-alike comes hurtling down the stairs and pauses for an air guitar demonstration on the platform. He also manages to garner a few high fives while being manhandled by security back to stalls level. Bixler-Zavala’s mic handling technique is awe-inspiring during The Widow as he hits notes we previously thought were only achievable on the keys. Goliath concludes proceedings – “Give me that corpse, please/The one that tore nightly/I really want it now…” – turning the Palace into a slathering den of iniquity. There will be no encore. It’s against the Mars religion. The minions know this, but stay put in order to grapple for precious setlist souvenirs. Bryget Chrisfield
LIAM FINN, TEETH & TONGUE, MULHOLLAND WORKERS CLUB
With the Kiwi contingent high, there was little question tonight’s show was going to be a big one. Quite how big, is something of a surprise. Opening act Mulholland is a Kiwi with a Lennonesque bite to his voice. He’s equally at ease singing as he is chatting, with comments such as, “I’m serious when I say you guys are awesome,” to cheers and claps, before deadpanning, “but we’re better,” making him instantly likeable. It’s a conclusion you could draw from hearing his songs. Existence Is Futile is a heartfelt ballad about resurrecting Elvis to celebrate the opening of a sandwich (“There are days you look up to see/A talking vagina with a 50-foot wingspan”), and Let’s Go Fishing a blinding power-pop salvo featuring Elroy Finn on bass. Bizarre humour is a welcome change from the typically deathly serious troubadour, even if songs such as the staggeringly beautiful Meet Me In The Hallway are anything but funny. As soon as Teeth & Tongue take to the stage and the three very stylish Melburnians making some very stylish music are at risk of seeming pretentious – no easy-going, Kiwi-accented banter here. But their vocal-heavy, keyboard-driven urbane swagger disarms the room of Liam Finn fans with an unexpected charm. Singer Jess Cornelius seems born to perform and the band generate an interesting take on atmospheric pop. At times T&T linger on Kate Bush-via-Fitzroy quirkiness but, as the set builds and the room reaches capacity, it’s safe to say many new fans are won. With no aplomb and loud cheers, Liam Finn and Eliza-Jane Barnes amble on stage and launch into a set that lives up to Finn’s opening pledge: “We will play songs we find fun, we hope you do too. In fact we fucking promise you!” Tonight, there is a prominent use of electronics. Songs are reborn through a Line 6 delay pedal, allowing Finn to smash a drum kit while niftily triggering loops with his left foot. It’s not until mid-set and Fire In Your Belly that a folkie side emerges. To The Chapel follows and things get decidedly mellow for a few minutes before Finn is back looping heavy fuzzsaturated riffs and beating the kit. Mulholland and Liam’s brother Elroy then join in for a mesmerising and blistering take on Cold Feet and we’re given the caveat: “We’re doing things differently tonight. We’re playing tomorrow and don’t want to double up.” More than a reinterpretation of songs, tonight is an example of loudly and lovingly articulated charisma, and it’s very hard not to get caught up. Andy Hazel
KHANCOBAN, THE ORBWEAVERS TOFF IN TOWN
The Mars Volta pic by Elaine Reyes
Liam Finn pic by Jesse Booher
The crowd here tonight, scattered under the dim red glow of the house lights, are looking suitably refined; representative of the nomenclature of the venue itself, these modern day toffs are here to see some of the finest indie-folk acts in town. None more so than The Orbweavers’ Marita Dyson, who wears a bright blue scarf around her neck and a classical guitar over her shoulder as she sings and strums with stark composure. Then she speaks to explain a song, showing a perceptible inkling of bashfulness, and this scarily cool perception is dashed, though only to make her all the more engaging. “This song is about hoping nothing bad happens,” Dyson tells us before Pins & Hummingwire, during which she whips up imagery of pepper trees, and cutting across the plains to the “deathland”. Big-bearded bassist Paddy Mann holds a groove with drummer David Leggatt’s brush taps while guitarist Stuart Flanagan lays on the neat, floating melodies. The
Bower, from their debut album Graphites & Diamonds, is a standout performance tonight, as set up by Dyson’s explanation of how the male bowerbird courts bower babes with architectural prowess: “This next song is about bowerbirds, about how they build nests – no, not nests, bowers; to attract their partners, just in case you’re interested.” They finish with Spotswood, which is about, as Dyson tells us, “a girl in Spotswood who worked in a tower on this bacteria that was eating into the sewage pipes,” and features some stirring trumpet melodies amongst the hushed storytelling. The Orbweavers spin a handsome web tonight. Khancoban are launching Arches Over The Sun, their second full-length album, and their most impressive recording to date. Vocalist/guitarist Andre Hooke and keyboardist/vocalist Jim Patterson come out first, Hooke announces, “We’re gonna start with a song that says ‘fuck’ a lot,” and the two of them play the memorable new track Do Not Trust The Horse, which rightfully receives loud applause. Hooke announces, “That’s the scheduled part of the night over,” as the remainder of the five-piece walk on to play Causing Chaos, and their countrified indie rock sounds are full and flowing now. Drummer Jemima Hooke keeps the beat, guitars chime, a lap steel swells and drifts, bespectacled Patterson impresses with his keyboard flair and strong back up vocals and Andrew Hooke repeatedly stamps a foot like a soccer striker chipping the keeper. The crowd still cling to their sophisticated ways: though the room is almost full, only the photographers brave that all-too-common empty horseshoe in front of the stage. But we’re enjoying what’s unfolding and Hooke has a great voice, unaffected and full of character. It stands out in Until It Takes You Over, which rouses Patterson to swing a tambo’ emphatically as he shouts his harmonies. They play This Block to finish, with warm, thrumming keys and simple guitar rhythms picked over a softly stomping march. A contented Hooke gives us an exhausted “thank you” before the lights dim out. Warwick Goodman
REGURGITATOR, DISASTERADIO, BOYS BOYS BOYS! HI-FI
Perth six-piece Boys Boys Boys! pack a visual punch with the three female vocalists dancing a choreographed routine across the front of the stage. The three girls switch main vocal, back-up vocal and synth duties seamlessly while the three boys play their parts solidly in the background. They’re a little bit Le Tigre and a little bit The B-52’s with the energy of The Grates’ leading lady Patience Hodgson; they’re bratty, upbeat and a lot of fun. Some bands who attempt to do synchronised dance moves only succeed in making the audience cringe, Boys Boys Boys! manage to pull it off with their spirited attitude and retro girl-power style of music. Continuing the dancing is New Zealand’s Disasteradio (AKA Luke Rowell), who surprises all of us when he breaks out into jumps, squats and lunges. He’s a DJ, loop artist, mad synth player and apparently your new favourite aerobics dance instructor all rolled into one. Using a laptop, synth and a few other pieces of equipment linked together with a crapload of cables, Rowell plays dance/electro/new wave/pop songs with names like Gravy Rainbow, You Win and his self-dubbed “sexy song” Charisma. His between-song banter is well received (“I’m full of pizza and chiko rolls”, “I went to Shanghai Dumpling House and they didn’t play Happy Birthday!”), as are the dramatic stares and diva-like hand gestures he does while singing through a vocoder. Regurgitator walk onto the stage wearing skeleton suits (a skeleton printed on a black hoodie and trackies), as a visual projection plays on the screen behind them. The punters are a rowdy bunch, with the front half of the crowd yelling, moshing
and jumping wildly to the vast majority of songs. Regurgitator play a mix of songs from their entire discography and it seems like every second or third song could be called a crowd favourite; there are no fillers, no lulls in this set. There’s hip hop gems such as I Will Lick Your Arsehole and All Fake Everything (that features a ballad-like intro during which the crowd actually wave lighters in the air), pop-rock tunes such as One Day and Punk Mum, the tonguein-cheek electro-pop goodness of Polyester Girl and grittier/rockier tracks such as F.S.O, Fat Cop and The Drop – Regurgitator’s performance is tight, faultless. To hop from one genre to another is no easy task, yet they manage to do exactly that while also maintaining their own distinctive sound – it’s no wonder they’re still relevant in the Australian music scene almost 18 years after their inception. After finishing the set with a mash-up of Kong Foo Sing and Pop Porn, Regurgitator return for a 20-minute encore before ending a brilliant one-hour-and-tenminute-long set with a third and final encore. Stephanie Liew
ANDY BULL, SPRING SKIER, BUCHANAN NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Though Andy Bull’s excellent EP The Phantom Pains was released almost a year ago to the day, the Sydneysider only now seizes the chance to celebrate its release. Local lads Buchanan take to the stage first, charged with the burden of a sparse bandroom, with an unwilling few patrons camped at its wings. Moon opens proceedings, a twinkling piano-laced epic in wait, blooming amidst lashing snares and fits of passion. The methodical optimism of Teachers soon sees Buchanan at their emphatic best; a rousing output conjuring parallels to Arcade Fire’s more epic inclinations. Similarly, Aisles makes a play for comparison, akin to an admirable Coldplay obscurity. Their only true misstep arrives in the finale, which emerges as a chaotic, discordant cacophony. Buchanan’s execution of their indie rock certainly displays both the band’s technical and creative prowess, though their own identity lies in wait. Spring Skier – a duo comprised of Hungry Kids Of Hungary’s Kane Mazlin and Remy Boccalatte – are soon found serenading a sea of relaxed, crosslegged patrons. Far from the pop-rock fanfare of their more recognised outfit, the pair professes an indie-folk approach with enormous heart. Their intimate folk charm emanates effortlessly from a stunningly simple configuration, with only an acoustic guitar and a keyboard in their repertoire. Spring Skier quickly illuminate their act as a kind of two-man Midlake, their softly-spoken harmonic bliss captivating the crowd. Their stripped, backto-basics approach consistently yields an air of melodrama. The pair – both demonstrating humble stage personalities – reveal this is their first tour, sealing the deal. Spring Skier are an act to watch. Andy Bull arrives onstage with a strangely tentative air, an outlook reinforced by the tender, bittersweet plea of My Street. The title track of his EP follows, sufficiently warming up the ensemble for a run at new material. The songs – slated for Bull’s sophomore album – are simply brilliant, each preview augmenting the anticipation of things to come. Bull’s electrifying lilt proves as irresistible as his effortless pop prowess, his vocal gymnastics igniting for fan-favourite Dog and the retro bop of Nothing To Lose as well as covers of The Shins and Tears For Fears. The jovial frenzy of Last Waltz summons Spring Skier back to the stage for a thunderous finale, but it’s the encore of Small Town Arsehole – an incensed, profanity-infused masterpiece – that steals the show. The evening confirms Bull as an astonishingly gifted musician and songwriter and one who remains, somehow, a criminally underrated identity in Australia’s music scene. Nick Mason
One of Sydney’s fi nest DJs, Simon Caldwell (he’s been running Sydney’s longest running club night, Mad Racket, for 12 years and counting), is coming down to Melbourne to play at 161 for Fluidlife Lunar on this Friday. Catch his mammoth three-hour set. Tickets $15 for guests, $20 for non-guests.
GHETTO GOODNESS True Live will take on DJ Dexter in a battle of Melbourne music heavyweights at the Espy front bar on Saturday 24 September. Since True Live’s very fi rst performance in 2005, they have defied categorisation and belonged to a genre all of their own. With each of the band’s six members bringing their own set of influences to the table, the outcome is something unlike anything you’re accustomed to hearing. Four-time DMC Australian champion DJ Dexter has wowed audiences the world over with finger blistering sets. Stacking dazzling displays of technical proficiency on top of damn fine music, Dexter eschews genre ghettoism for a real love of good sounds, wherever they come from.
After a successful maiden performance in Sydney in June, Falcons could hear calls from south of the border – it was only a matter of time before they would head to Melbourne. Now long-time friends and musical peers Steve Balbi and Simon Meli join forces under the guise of Falcons for one night only in Melbourne this Sunday at the Toff In Town, where they will be appearing on stage to share each other’s music by song and by tale. Tickets are available now via Moshtix.
Melbourne-based three-piece Celadore recently entered Red Door Sounds with the sole intention of leaving with a recording that captured them at their very best, as a live band. Kinks In Armour, the fi rst taste of the fruits of this labour, is a brooding pop rocker with style, swagger and more hooks than your average bait shop. They’ll play 24 September at the Grace Darling to celebrate.
Taking place in Melbourne from 16 to 18 September, this year’s Poison City Records’ Weekender has a massive line-up featuring Bridge & Tunnel (US), Screamfeeder, The Nation Blue, Mutiny, The Smith Street Band, Harmony, Anchors, Jen Buxton, Luca Brasi, The Gifthorse, Fear Like Us, The Hawaiian Islands and plenty more. The Sunday 18 September show at the Tote is very close to selling out. Get your tickets now!
GETTIN’ HIGH The High Street Festival is back after a year off, with a more family-friendly format, HIGH NOON director BEN MASTWYK tells ALICE BODY.
ANY GIVEN LINES
Singer/songwriter Tim Reid is gearing up to launch his long awaited new album Lines, the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Any Given Day. The album is preceded by a teaser EP Only One, which will be launched Sunday at a special afternoon kid-friendly show at the Empress Hotel. Special guests will be The Weekend People. The limitededition EP will be available for sale on the day and features three exclusive non-album tracks.
Luke Thomas’ Deserters are busy in the studio recording the follow-up to their acclaimed debut Pale Morning. New York-based producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, The Panics) has mixed their new single Stars Burn, which also features backing vocals by Sydneysider Elly-May Barnes (youngest daughter of the legendary Jimmy). Deserters will be launching Stars Burn at the Retreat Hotel on Friday.
Inspired by the sounds of the early American soul music circuit and with authenticity and musicianship beyond their years, The Transatlantics are the new face of Australian soul. Signed to UK-based Freestyle Records in 2010, The Transatlantics’ amazing live show has taken the band across the country to perform at festivals including Falls, Big Day Out, Playground Weekender and Parklife and the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Marva Whitney, Roy Ayers, The Menahan St Band and Eddie Bo. Catch them at Bar Open this Saturday night in their only Melbourne show. Doors 10pm, free entry.
The WooHoo Revue
As the Darebin Music Feast prepares for the reinstatement of a High Street festival to accompany its fortnight of celebrating the Darebin region’s musical offerings, High Noon director Ben Mastwyk is positive that a daytime festival model will be a sustainable one for the future. “Everyone was pretty upset to have to pull the plug last year,” he says, referring to the sudden demise of the incredibly popular High Vibes street festival, “but it allowed us to go back to the drawing board and reinvent something that can hopefully live into the future.” High Vibes’ last hurrah was in 2009; that year it drew more than 80,000 people and propagated a rip-roaring trade for the bars and restaurants along High Street. Yet the late finish of the festival was bringing with it mounting numbers of drunken revellers, and, with that, growing fears of alcoholrelated violence. The City Journal reported there being two arrests – one for assault – at the last High Street festival in its High Vibes incarnation. Mastwyk, for one, doesn’t appear to lament the loss of High Vibes. “Northcote loves a street festival, but High Vibes was getting too big for its boots,” he puts it bluntly. “We needed to pull things back and reconnect with what it is that makes Northcote special. We needed to be sure we catered to our audience and created an atmosphere that was engaging but safe.”
DANCEHALL DUDE Gappy Ranks’ Put The Stereo On was touted as one of the reggae albums of 2010 but his ambition didn’t stop there. In 2011 the UK dancehall star came back with his second LP entitled Thanks & Praise, which is a modern reggae and dancehall album including tracks featuring Delly Ranx and Russian. He’s hitting Australia for the fi rst time and will be playing the Espy front bar Saturday 1 October. Free entry.
Beyond the improved family- and neighbourhoodfriendly status of the festival, Mastwyk sees the new festival model as a step-up from High Vibes in other ways: “[High Noon] has got so much more to offer in terms of entertainment on the street,” he enthuses. “The venues fill up quickly and so they don’t cater to the masses on the street itself. We’ve got each venue showcasing their stuff on these small-scale ‘stage-ettes’, as we’re calling them. And there’s lots of cultural stuff going on too.” The ‘stage-ettes’ are provided by dedicated live music haunts the Northcote Social Club, Bar 303, Wesley Anne and Open Studio. Well-loved local acts including The Bon Scotts and The WooHoo Revue are among some of the acts scheduled to perform.
High Noon begins at 10am, at which point the local cafés and restaurants will have set up some al fresco seating arrangements on the closed-down section of High Street between Separation Street and Northcote Town Hall. Mastwyk invites festivalgoers to turn up early for ‘High Breakfast’, available from individual eating establishments on the street. However, the festival seems like it will really kick off at noon, when a battle of brass bands is scheduled to erupt, starting near the Northcote Uniting Church. The Red Brigade and The Blue Brigade are set to try to out-trumpet and out-cymbal-clash each other – a musical struggle they have engaged in before, according to Mastwyk. “I’d heard about this crazy renegade musical happening and I thought, ‘What a great way to really kick off a street festival.’” The Red Brigade, an all-girl marching band, will take on Balkan brass band Opa! (The Blue Brigade), with audience participation encouraged. The showdown is such a feature of High Noon, it was the inspiration for the event’s naming. “The name came to us when we were discussing the musical showdown at midday,” Mastwyk says. “Someone said, ‘It’s the showdown at high noon,’ and we knew we had our name right there. The movie [Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 western] later served as inspiration for one of the promo videos we made.” The so-called ‘curfew’ for High Noon revellers this Sunday is 6pm. Hopefully the festival’s altered structure will mean that, along with the Sydney Road street festival, it can continue to fill the gap left behind from the demise of others such as the Brunswick and Chapel Street festivals.
WHAT: High Noon WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 10am6pm, High Street, Northcote
STATE I’M IN Music Victoria updates with PATRICK DONOVAN Melbourne is gearing up for one of its biggest weeks in music in November when the Face The Music conference, the Australian World Music Expo (AWME) and Melbourne Music Week join forces for the first time. As a partner of Face The Music, Music Victoria is thrilled to be presenting the artistic director of Austin’s South By Southwest festival, Brent Grulke, to deliver the keynote speech and discuss ‘Great Music Cities’ on a panel at the Arts Centre on 18 November. Not many cities in the world can sustain three large music events at the same time. We’re hoping that once Grulke has spent a week in Melbourne Music City, he’ll appreciate that Melbourne is the Austin of the southern hemisphere. Clearly he’ll be keen to visit the world’s Most Liveable City. On the day Melbourne celebrated its 176th birthday, it was announced that the old girl had just been awarded the honour. Take a bow, music, because you are one of the main reasons why that is so. In other exciting news, touring just became a lot easier for Victorian artists with airline Virgin Australia announcing a new initiative aimed at addressing the ongoing problems musicians face when travelling with musical equipment. After discussions led by national body the Australian Music Industry Network (AMIN), of which I am a director, Virgin Australia have made an offer exclusively to the music industry that includes a baggage allowance of 32kg (across three pieces of checked baggage) for individual artists – with an additional 32kg able to be purchased in advance for just $15. Bands will also now be able to ‘pool’ their baggage allowance across their travelling group. And independent Victorian bands will have nationwide exposure when Triple J’s new digital radio station, Triple J Unearthed, is launched next month. This is a very big deal. Why? It’s hard for bands to tour regional Victoria if no one knows who they are. This second station will help give exposure to Victoria’s best up-andcoming acts and give them the potential to get out of the garage – or shearing shed – and onto the national and world stage. Part of Music Victoria’s strategies for regional Victoria include helping stimulate the regional touring circuit and providing regional musicians with better opportunities to be heard, so the launch is timely. Live music was in the headlines for all the right reasons recently when Premier Ted Baillieu launched the much anticipated live music report. The report revealed that the industry contributed more than half a billion to the economy, and had more attendances than the AFL home and away season. It also sparked some emotional debate about how little musicians received of the pie. While international concert prices and have skyrocketed and movie tickets now cost at least $18, small venue door deals have hardly changed in 20 years. But it’s a complex issue. Musician supply far outweighs demand and the spectrum of musicians’ skills and circumstances is so vast. There’s not one simple solution, but many. We need to ensure that the industry leverages off this report to improve the livelihood of musicians. We need to try and increase the pie, and encourage music fans to get out to more local gigs and not baulk at cover charges. If you need any more convincing, check out the recently launched Music Matters campaign, set up to encourage music fans to appreciate the value of music (whymusicmatters.org). Recently there was the launch of new benevolent organisation Entertainment Assist, which offers education on finance, health issues and crisis support for people working in the entertainment industry, including those working behind the scenes. They have a big fundraiser at the Sofitel on 28 October. Dig deep because the Pratt Foundation will match every donation and funds raised. In other news, I have been invited by the Federal Arts Minister, Simon Crean, to join the board of the National Film And Sound Archive. The NFSA plays a crucial role in ensuring Australia’s culture is preserved and archived and I am thrilled with the opportunity to ensure Victorian music is adequately represented.
The Ovals fuse psychedelic rock with progressive sensibilities and express a deeply considered musicality. Their kaleidoscopic dreamscapes are both intoxicating and visceral, taking the listener into ranging musical terrains and invoking a sense of wonder and the big picture. The Ovals will be playing selections from their catalogue as well as debuting a few of their new progressive psych works at Yah Yah’s on Friday. Playing alongside will be friends The Jackals, who also have some undiscovered fi ne musical offerings. Brisbane’s Black Mustang will also be stopping in to share their new album Loaded Gun, as part of the Melbourne leg of their album tour. Opening the night will be an existential drone performance by Kidney 3, the solo creation of Constantine Stefanou from Tehachapi. Get there early, Doors 9pm.
DJ BOOTH DJ Jumps plays the Evelyn every Friday in September, the Deviate dance battle at Moonee Valley Race Club this Saturday and Fabulous Funk at the Laundry on Saturday 24 September. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR DJ NAME? “My nickname.” IN A NUTSHELL, DESCRIBE WHAT YOU PLAY? “Funk, Afro, Latin, breaks.” WHAT TRACK TURNS YOU ON RIGHT NOW? “Mellow Madness – Save The Youth.” WHAT MADE YOU START DJING? “I have always loved music and when I was young the DJ in hip hop was a big thing so I wanted to scratch and mix just like them. Listening to Steppin To The AM on PBS FM, hosted by DJ Krissy, I was inspired by the many talented local DJs like FX, Cash, Ransom, J Red, Excel, Peril and many more.”
SNAKES IN A RIVER
HIGH OCTANE The F1-Elevens, a high-speed, motor-rock band from Queensland, are making their fi rst trip south to Melbourne. If hair swinging behind your head, shredding, sweat, blood and beer sounds like something you’d dig, get down to Riffage at the Prague on Friday 23 September. The night also features local rock’n’rollers My Dynamite, Battle Axe Howlers and Macondo Blowout. Right on!
Soft-rock self-help gurus Montero have been making waves with their debut 7” single Mumbai b/w Rainman. Montero will perform a free, allages instore at the Polyester Records city store this Friday from 6pm. Get along and drift away on a cloud of post economic meltdown relaxation gas, and pick up a freshly minted 7” while you’re at it with artwork by Bjenny Montero and Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets’ fame. Mumbai is out now on Mistletone Records through Inertia.
River Of Snakes have a busy weekend coming up, having recently returned from their fi rst foray into NSW and the ACT to launch their EP Bad Blood. They’ll be lacerating ears and minds with their brand of noise-rock-scuzz as they open for Russian Circles (USA) and Matt Sonic & The High Times at the Espy’s Gershwin Room this Friday. They’ll also be doing a free show at the Town Hall Hotel this Saturday, supported by Uptown Ace. Bands start at 8.30pm.
Richie 1250 presents the second in a quartet of themed parties in the cellar of the Grace Darling: Hawaiian Zombie. There will be palm trees and voodoo rituals, white rum, coconuts, and more. There will be Plague Doctor, Richie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ and the legendary Greasy Hawaiians raving it up live, plus a swag of Richie’s favourite Hawaiian records and plenty more Hawaiian zombiethemed stupidity to boot! This Thursday at the Grace Darling, below deck from 9pm.
WHAT’S THE WORST BOOTLEG YOU’VE EVER HEARD? “Don’t really keep an ear out for bootlegs.”
After a long period of inactivity Ivy St are out to roadtest a bunch of new songs with a bunch of great bands each Wednesday through September at the Tote. Midweek beer? All shows are from 8.30pm. All shows are only $8 and this week they’ll be joined by Midnight Caller and Little Killing.
THE MOST IDIOTIC REQUEST YOU’VE HAD AS A DJ? “‘Play something funky’ while a James Brown track is playing.”
TURN THE PAGE
For Chapterfest this year, they’ve upped the band count to a whopping 11, including surprise US headliners and influential kosmische trio Wet Hair. Also appearing will be Bum Creek, The Cannanes, Fabulous Diamonds, Guy & Marcus Blackman Experimentations, Laura Jean, Jonny Telafone, New Estate, Geoffrey O’Connor, Pikelet and Twerps. There’ll be a vegie-friendly BBQ, a lucky dip for the early arrivals, mind-numbingly awesome prizes and the same insanely cheap and amazing records from across Chapter Music’s almost 20 years of existence. It’ll also be your fi rst chance to lay your hands on some of the label’s vital upcoming releases. This Saturday at the Tote.
Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows are hitting the road to promote their upcoming CD, Crooked Little Thoughts, which is due for release later this year. Crooked Little Thoughts spans three CDs and features a great bunch of new tracks that draw on the full breadth and depth of Camilleri’s experience and influences. They’ll play shows this Friday and Saturday at the Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh), Friday 23 at Northcote Social Club, 8 October at Knox Ozone, and 16 October at the Angelsea Music Festival.
WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE SEEN IN A NIGHTCLUB? “A couple of full-sized palm trees.”
PUSHING IT Johnny Rock & The Limits release their EP Highly Likely this September. Following their single Give You What You Need being featured in a Cornetto ad campaign early in the year, and touring their single Shoeshine in June, the band are excited to be bringing their fans a new release. Produced by ARIA-nominated Steven Schram (Ground Components, Little Red), the raw energy of Johnny Rock & The Limits’ live shows has been captured and distilled into a four-track set. Bursting out of your stereo like a freight train with its non-stop pop, Highly Likely is rough around the edges, yet powerful in its conviction. Catch them at the Espy front bar on Friday 4 November.
BREEZY SMASH HITS
Following the success of RMIT’s MAVIS project, The Vaudeville Smash have enlisted the help of RMIT’s TAFE media students to help promote and present a commercial gig to celebrate the release of their most recent single Breezy Summer Hits. The MAVIS project has been running for several years and is a collaborative project between RMIT’s Sound Production, Audio Visual, Photography and Screen & Media students in their fi nal year of study. The night is an opportunity for students to apply their skills in recording, live sound, fi lming, lighting, event planning and staging in a professional environment. The Corner Hotel will host the event and it will take place on Saturday 24 September.
GOOD KIDS Unearthed by Triple J in 2008, Quiet Child have been simmering away under the surface of the progressive rock scene in Australia for a few years. In this time they have played at the Adelaide Big Day Out and shared the stage with some of the biggest alternative rock acts in the country. Quiet Child will be releasing their second LP Thumper, which see play the Evelyn on Saturday 24 September, and a Fist2Face instore and the Espy on Sunday 25 September.
LIVING FOR THE WEEKENDER The annual POISON CITY WEEKENDER is one of the biggest parties on the punk rock (and not so punk rock) calendar. We get the lowdown from a bunch of the bands playing. meet some friends and hang out.”
Bridge & Tunnel
Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the Weekender? J: “I have never been to the Weekender before. I’m really just looking forward to seeing what it is all about and taking in the experience. I have listened to a bunch of the bands playing and have been really excited to see them live.”
BOWERS ON FIRE Melbourne garage rockers The Bowers release their second LP Odds Or Evens on 21 October through Cobra Snake Necktie Records/Love & Theft. Odds Or Evens was recorded at a vineyard in the Victorian countryside town of Nagambie over five days with producer Robbie Adams (Killing Heidi, Gary Barlow). To celebrate, the band have a bunch of shows coming up. You can catch them at Old Bar this Saturday, Bower Gallery (Ripponlea) as part of the Fringe Festival on 23 and the Retreat on 30 September; the Hi-Fi on 8 October and the Tote on 22 October. Phew.
WW: “Obviously Bridge & Tunnel are going to be really great. Hawaiian Islands are another obvious favourite. I’m going to attempt to watch every band this weekend, there isn’t one I don’t want to see! And can’t wait to hang out with all the crew that culminates in Melbourne this time of year. Looking forward to seeing who wakes up on my couch as well!”
DM: “Fellow Van Diemens, The Scandal. There is something pretty special about that band. Could be all the extra heads?”
TS: “The Nation Blue.”
May Dreamers will play two sets that cover songs and soundscapes, improvisations, hypnotic compositions and minimalist pop pieces at the Thornbury Theatre on Friday 30 September and will be accompanied by an orchestra. There will be 20 musicians on stage taking part and it promises to be like no other musical experience around. There will be drinks and snacks available and support from Sailor Days from 8pm.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN
Child Wise is Australia’s leading international child protection charity, committed to the prevention and reduction of sexual abuse and exploitation of children around the world. A special concert fundraiser for the charity will be hosted by Brian Nankervis (RocKwiz) and an impressive line-up includes: Louis Tillett (The Wet Taxis), X, James Black, The Spoils, Brian Henry Hooper, Cold Harbour, Mick Harvey, Superdarling, Firebird, Nomadic Funk and Bailey Judd. It will go down at the Espy’s Gershwin Room next Wednesday 21 September and all proceeds will go to Child Wise.
System Of Venus will be out in full force this weekend causing double the trouble as they create havoc in both Brunswick and Collingwood. The ladies will be kicking off the weekend with a benefit gig at the Barleycorn on Friday with Johnny Jay 33, BustHer, Kenzo & KP and EMPRA, in aid of Skateistan, which is a charity providing skateboarding equipment and facilities to kids in war-torn Afghanistan. The festivities continue on Saturday as System Of Venus and I Am Duckeye support Sydney-based Jessamine (ex-Nitocris) as they launch their debut album at the Brunswick hotel. Doors at 8pm.
Spending the last year not-so-quietly making a name for themselves around Melbourne, 8 Bit Love are all geared up to drop their double A-side release of Rock The Digressers this weekend. Rather than a traditional launch party, the band will be launching the release via a live streamed performance from the band’s website 8bitlove.com this Saturday. Rock The Digressers will be available for download from all regular digital music retailers. The live stream kicks off at 2pm, tune in for a launch party you don’t even need to leave the house for.
CHARGE YOUR BATTERIES
Described as the rock’n’roll soundtrack to a Tim Burton fi lm, The Battery Kids consist of crunching organs, grinding guitars and heaps of harmonies. The band have recently moved from Adelaide and are already infecting the vibrant rock’n’roll scene of Melbourne, playing a bunch of shows around town. They’ve also just recorded a new EP, the follow-up to their debut album, and promise to release it later this year. Check them out at Pony this Thursday, the Grace Darling this Saturday, the Espy on Friday 7 October and the John Curtin on Thursday 13 October.
P: “The Gifthorse, because according to the band, the last time I saw them in Melbourne at the Espy was ‘the worst show they ever played’ so I think they need to make amends.” TB: “We are all huge fans of The Gifthorse so we are very excited to see them play. We also look forward to drunkenly screaming ‘Tassie’ at The Nation Blue, The Scandal and Lincoln Le Fevre.”
Describe your band in eight words. Jeff, Bridge & Tunnel: “We are a band from the United States.” Wil Wagner, The Smith Street Band: “Five drunk vegetarians getting rich, famous, babes, etc.” Dan McKay, The Nation Blue: “What could happen when bricklayers are given guitars?” Tim Steward, Screamfeeder: “Cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, lager, coffee, skinny, short and moustache.” Pat, Anchors: “Bogans and rich kids playing beyond their means.” Tom Busby, Luca Brasi: “Potential Hot Water Music lawsuit band from hell!” Jamie Hay, Fear Like Us: “Some migrant from Newcastle on acoustic guitar, drunk.” Your ideal weekend involves… J: “My ideal weekend would involve teleportation. Assuming that the teleportation technology is such that there is no jet lag whatsoever. I would teleport to Germany Friday night, play a show and wake up in time to teleport to Australia in nice weather and get to the beach and play a show at night. That would be a great Saturday. Sunday morning I would teleport back home to New York in time to get a late brunch with friends. Perhaps play basketball after brunch.” WW: “More or less this one! Shows all weekend, sunshine, regrettable tattoos and friends from all over! And Collingwood winning.” DM: “Shitloads of sleep and scrambled tofu.” TS: “Food, sleep, music and a hot bath.” P: “Sitting on the balcony drinking Little Creatures, smoking cigarettes and listening to Chris Wollard.” TB: “Seeing a few bands, drinking a few beers, laughing at my mates whilst they play noughts and crosses on each other with a tattoo gun and not working!” JH: “* Friday night out with my wife, delicious breakfast at home then a ride to
JH: “I’d have to say Mutiny. They have long been one of my favourite Australian bands and they are a good time. It will be a great set to end the Weekender.” Poison City Weekender will be the best show we’ll see this year because… J: “From what I can tell, the Weekender gives folks an opportunity to see a tonne of great bands in one place. A lot of bands from all over the country are coming together in Melbourne to do something really special. You get to see a show that would seemingly take a lot of travel and expense to fit it all in without the Weekender. There is a broad range of musical content and I think this will make the festival a dynamic one. There are a few really cool reunions going on there too.”
THROWING STONES Sand Pebbles return with their fifth album Dark Magic, which they’ll launch on Saturday 24 September, with support from Lost Animal, Amaya Laucirica (solo) and DJ Licorice Pie at the Northcote Social Club. Then on Tuesday 11 October at the Corner, they’ll be supporting Dean Wareham of Galaxie 500! Check out why Sand Pebbles have cemented themselves as one of Melbourne’s premier psych-rock bands and have your brain bent to their sweet delights.
Taking over Pony on Friday are four bands set to tear the roof off the place. Kicking off the night are Sheriff, who have just fi nished recording their debut EP, due out in October. They’ll be followed by Jessamine from Sydney, who are currently touring on the back of their debut self-titled album. The Hunting Club are all set to taunt and tease the audience into a writhing stupor before Chico Flash dish out a dose of their medicine. All bands will be selling copies of their latest releases on the night so bring some extra coin and take home a tangible memento from the evening. Doors from 9pm.
Cabaret touring machine Tomás Ford is hitting the road to pimp his brand new single I Feel Dirty around the nation. He stops off at Yah Yah’s on Saturday night for a show Melbourne audiences are likely to remember for a long time. Be prepared for Tomás and his unpredictable combination of live beats, fi lm projection, punk rock audience-baiting, costume changes and party starting showmanship. Joining him will be Perth-based Naik getting psychedelic, progressive and experimental with his instrumental hip hop music. DOS4GW is one of Perth’s dubstep masters. His laptop-hopping live show packs a seriously bassy punch and his idiosyncratic stage presence makes it a must see. Doors from 9pm.
WW: “If you’ve been to one before you know why and if you haven’t come fi nd out! The community atmosphere and hundreds of friends, family and band reunions going on always makes for better shows, all these great bands are going to play better (and drunker) than you’ve ever seen them before. Getting tingles just thinking about it!” DM: “Shane Collins and Luca Brasi are both in town. It’s like Haley’s Comet playing Mario Kart with a solar eclipse.” TS: “Screamfeeder are on the bill. What else was I gonna say?” P: “Anyone who’s a top bloke/sheila from anywhere in Australia and abroad will be there. You cannot overstate the value of hanging with mates for a weekend.” TB: “Because the Shane Collins/Saxon Hall look-alike jokes are going to be out of control. Tyler will hopefully give the elephant g-string a run but mainly because it’s the best bands full of the biggest legends being awesome for three days. The beer will be cold as well.” WHAT: Poison City Weekender WHEN & WHERE: Friday, East Brunswick Club; Saturday, Old Bar and East Brunswick Club; Sunday, Tote
KNOCKED UP Three months after playing their fi rst gig, Teenage Mothers were invited to tour Australia with The Kills. TM’s James Kennedy gave free nitrous oxide to the crowdsand did his trademark backfl ips off nine-foot barriers. On Saturday night, Teenage Mothers headline the Cherry Bar. Special guests are metal-head weirdos The Beasticles, haunting post-punkers Jackals and searing UK/NZ duo Ghetto Ghetto. Plus Australia’s nuttiest skate crew, Poon, will be DJing everything from Morrissey to Mozart.
Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL Yet another independent music retailer has announced that they will cease trading, and this time it is in the form of Melbourne’s seminal Missing Link. I know a lot of you would have bought from Missing Link at some point. I know that I can look at my music collection and see that a large proportion of CDs, vinyl and books have been bought from there. At present, the doors of the 405 Bourke Street premises will close Friday 7 October. In a statement, the management cited “adverse trading conditions” as the cause of the store’s demise. Please support what independent music retailers there are left. For punk and hardcore there is still Poison City Records on Brunswick Street, Fist2Face in Ringwood and Ritual Music & Books in Fitzroy. After announcing the departure of vocalist Frank Carter and his replacement with Wade Macneil (formerly of Alexisonfire), Gallows have now announced that they are currently in Los Angeles to finish up writing material for a new EP. Not only will it be the first with a new vocalist, but it will also be the first new material from the band since their 2009 opus Grey Britain. The band said they are “not changing our name, not changing making disgustingly heavy punk rock, not changing not giving a shit about what anyone thinks.” Gallows also recently premiered a new track called True Colours with Macneil doing vocals. Musically it sounds the same (and that’s a good thing), but the vocals are going to take some getting used to, just because it’s definitely not Frank Carter. You can check out the track on Gallows’ website. Formed in 1977, their DIY mentality and aggressive music (and lyrics) saw Misfits influence multiple generations of bands from Metallica to My Chemical Romance to Sick Of It All. Now, more than three decades later, they are descending upon Australia for a run of shows this December. I’m not going to lie, there is no Glen Danzig, but with a line-up that includes founding member Jerry Only and former Black Flag alumnus Dez Cadena, these should be great shows. The band hit up the Hi-Fi in on Saturday 3 December.
DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH All things under-18 with KENDAL COOMBS Our Backyard, the ultimate hip hop experience, is on again for another year, hitting the Arts Centre on Sunday 25 September. This is the fifth year the free event has bought the young and old of the hip hop community together to celebrate the culture of this unique music in the city of Melbourne. Artists who will be appearing at this year’s event include DJ Peril, Mantra and host of the event Yung Philly, plus a huge line-up of internationally renowned dance crews including Poptarts, A2D (Addicted To Dance), Kstar Evolutionz and Sole Symphony, with a special jerking showcase by The Firm. I have not heard of jerking so I am intrigued to check that one out. The house band on the day will be Australian funk impresarios Deep Street Soul, who will play throughout the day but particularly during a massive all-star hip hop jam featuring Muma Doesa, Defron, Lotus and Dragonfly. As in previous years there will be poppin’ and lockin’ and DJ battles plus an array of graffiti artists on show. You can check out all the artist profiles by visiting thepush. asn.au and heading to the Our Backyard page. Pre-show activities will begin at 11am so get down early to secure your free entry wristband and enjoy the events of the day.
The Age Of Uncertainty all-ages gig, organised by Northland Secondary students, is on tonight from 6pm. Tickets are $7 on the door.
Decibels Records’ artist showcase presents Animaux, Rosie & George and The Kilniks as they launch their new EPs at the Northcote Town Hall from 6pm. Tickets are $10 on the door.
In another major label departure, during the week The Used’s Bert McCracken announced that the band are preparing to release a new album through their own imprint, Dental Records. The album will be called Vulnerable and is set for release in February. The Used also announced that they will commence touring in support of the album’s release around the January/February mark. Local supports for the Confession tour have been announced. Fractal will be opening things on the Sunday 9 October instore at Musicman Megastore in Bendigo. There won’t be an opener from the looks of things at the under-18s show at the Corner on Saturday 15 October, however, at the 18+ show (also at the Corner) on Sunday 16, At War With Gods will be warming up the crowd. The band also announced during the week that they have secured international distribution with some choice international labels. In the US, the new record be available through Mediaskare and in Europe, Lifeforce Records will be making sure kids over there can get a hold of the record.
First up, what are you most looking forward to about Counter Revolution? Forrest Kline: “Being in Australia. It’s the best place. It’s like San Diego meets the UK and everyone is friendly.” Who are you looking forward to checking out on the line-up and why? “Maybe Panic! At The Disco, because we toured with them once. Also The Swellers and Make Do & Mend.” Where is the worst place to be at a music festival? What is the best place to be at a festival? “The worst place is hungover or even drunk in the heat. But the best place is at the garlic fries stand.” If you could change your band name to something else, what would it be? “I changed it to The Burbs for about a day but only online a while ago, but I chickened out. I love the sound of it and that movie rules!” What is your dream festival line up? “Prince, The Flaming Lips, Sondre Lerche and Whitest Boy Alive. There would be tonnes more obviously, but that would set the tone.”
Blues ’n’ roots with DAN CONDON email@example.com Syl Johnson has postponed his Melbourne show to this Saturday after suffering a heart attack (!) after performing in Brisbane last week. The 75-year-old insisted he play the Melbourne date, scheduled for 10 September, but was convinced to postpone the event for a week. Tickets for the 10 September show remain valid; those unable to attend can obtain a refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The quality records just keep on coming in 2011, so it seems about time I take you through a few of my favourites of the past couple of weeks. The undisputed rulers of West African Tuareg blues music, Tinariwen, have just issued Tassili, their fifth full-length record. While it wasn’t until 2001 that they released their first recording on a worldwide scale, the band have been around since 1979, where they formed in a Libyan refugee camp. Actually, calling them a band probably isn’t really all that accurate a description, they’re more of a collective, and while collaborations with western musicians are nothing new for the band this latest record sees them take it perhaps a step further, with Wilco’s Nels Cline and TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe appearing on this record. I’m a massive fan of Cline and quite partial to TVOTR as well, but for some reason the thought of them playing with Tinariwen didn’t quite sit well with me; I needn’t have worried though, their input is for the most part unobtrusive and when you can hear them, it works pretty well.
EV’s is getting punked with The Deep End, Take Your Own, Fortnight Jumbo, Brodown, Bad Repeat and Pinwheel playing Croydon from 6.30pm. Tickets are $12 on the door. Timed perfectly to coincide with Spring Fashion week, the Fashion And Variety Parade at Boucher Hall, in Bairnsdale is happening from 7pm. Tickets are $10 on the door. The YoungBlood all-ages event featuring Belle Haven, Dead September, Ocean Grove, Foundations Fall and Black Mayday takes place at Musicland in Fawkner from 7pm. Tickets are $12 on the door. Northland Secondary are at it again with Group Therapy to help “cure teen angst” and network with others through music. Join the students at the Northcote Town Hall from 7.30pm for $7 or $10 including a CD of their own original music.
The Australian Teenage Expo is a huge event for young people which will cover all the big issues in a young person’s life. Head to Moonee Valley Race Club from 9am Saturday and Sunday for free. Register at teenageexpo.com.au. As part of the expo DEVIate Dance Company are holding a competition to show off their best talent. You can get involved so head to the website to learn more. Eagle & The Worm and Skipping Girl Vinegar play the Northcote Town Hall as part of the Darebin Music Feast. This event starts at 1pm, tickets are $10 on the door. Check out musicfeast.com.au for other program details.
British India, Welcome Wednesday, Meet Me In Cognito and more play the Australian Teenage Expo from 10am. Tickets are $15, check out teenageexpo.com.au to find out more. The High Noon Festival is happening on High Street in Northcote between Clarke and Separation Streets, celebrating food, dance, music and more from 10am. This event is free.
Closer to home, the new record from the Backsliders has finally dropped. It’s their first release since 2009’s Throwbacks covers EP and their first album since 2007. Of course founding member Dom Turner is there as per usual, as is Rob Hirst, who has been in the band since 2000, but the big change this time around is the presence of masterful Aussie blues figures Broderick Smith and Ian Collard. The recording was completed at Hirst’s Midnight Oil bandmate Jim Moginie’s place, Oceanic Studios, which is where their Church Of The Open Sky record with The Break was recorded and, at least in my opinion, it’s the best sounding Backsliders record yet. The new Wilco record, which is out soon, is really good. This mightn’t sound like a particularly glowing review, but this band, who have released some of my favourite records of all time, have come really close to losing me on their past couple of records. They’ve slipped into MOR territory a bit too much for me lately, though they remain one of the truly great live bands of our time. I’m pleased to report that The Whole Love sees them at their most exciting in ages.
Some people find this Tuareg blues difficult to enjoy – they’re sure as hell not playing 12-bar bar-room stompers – but this is so raw and so pure and if you can lock yourself into the groove that they lay down then you will find it to be
RACKET Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG
quite rewarding. The lyric book that comes with Tassili also has English translations of their lyrics and, frankly, there’s some awfully heartbreaking stuff in there, as well as a lot of beautiful depictions of the pride they have for their homeland and the spirit it possesses.
Devildriver vocalist Dez Fafara and Lamb Of God guitarist Mark Morton are collaborating on a new project. Writing on his Twitter profile, Fafara compared the music to Circus Of Power meets Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden while Morton cited Chicago doom legends Trouble as an influence on the material. Fourteen “killer tunes” have been written so far, with Morton stating that he is “not sure when or where it’ll come to light”. Added Fafara, “It’s been a very personal work in progress and Mark is in full control of when or where it will be heard. Except for our close friends that have been hearing it for years now.” Progressive rock/metal band Cynic release a new EP, Carbon-Based Anatomy, on 11 November via Season Of Mist. Unlike last year’s Re-Traced, this new EP consists exclusively of brand new material. Paul Masvidal describes this new EP as “both a philosophical as well as a musical journey, one that begins in the Amazon jungle on the lips of a shamanic wisewoman (as portrayed by Amy Correia) and ends in outerspace.” Following the release of Evinta earlier this year, in which the band marked 20 years of existence with a release of symphonic compositions reimagining past My Dying Bride themes, the UK doom legends now present their latest chapter in the form of new EP The Barghest O’ Whitby, to be released 7 November through Peaceville Records on CD and limited vinyl. This single track, 25-minute epic represents the epitome of poetic grace and funeral soundscapes from one of gothic doom’s most celebrated acts. The band comment, “Carrying straight on from the success of Evinta found us kind of out of breath for a second; we were already aware of a new-found love of all things bleak and grey and were eager to start writing in a more traditional My Dying Bride style. What did catch us off guard was the increased heaviness and the fresh approach to songwriting. Moving away somewhat with the lyrical theme from our usual feeding ground, we found ourselves on the rainy moors of Yorkshire contemplating the story of the Barghest, a supernatural entity hell bent on revenge. The tale now to be told wove itself into a 25-minute epic which initially we thought would be a three-part EP, but it simply became
one very long song full of everything, My Dying Bride and more. The violins conjure lonely tears atop a chasm of epic British doom.” The mighty Cannibal Corpse have begun recording their 12th studio album at Sonic Ranch studios in Texas with producer Erik Rutan. The band have spent months writing the album; they have recorded at Sonic Ranch in the past, but never with Rutan at the helm. More details on the album, including art, songs, title and more will be revealed in the months to follow. Commented bassist Alex Webster: “After having spent the past seven months writing and rehearsing new material, we’re very excited to finally begin recording. We’ve had great success working with Erik Rutan on our past two albums so we’ve decided to work with him again, but to keep things fresh we decided on a change of location – we’re returning to Sonic Ranch studios in Texas, where we’ve recorded several albums in the past. We are psyched to see how this combination works out – we feel it’s pairing that could result in our best album yet.” City Of Fire, featuring Fear Factory members, will enter the studio this week to begin recording their second album. After eight years of touring and three records, bassist Sean Delson has left Fozzy by mutual decision. “Ever since the success of Chasing The Grail and the subsequent world tours that followed, it became apparent that Sean’s mindset and goals for Fozzy were different from ours,” says frontman Chris Jericho. “So we decided it would be best to make a change now rather than later and he agreed. But we love Sean as a brother and a player and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.” Effective immediately, Fozzy have announced the addition of Paul DiLeo as their new four-stringer. DiLeo is a seasoned veteran who’s played with such legendary performers as Billy Joel and Joe Lynn Turner and currently performs with Fozzy guitarist Rich Ward in Adrenaline Mob. Former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart is currently in the studio working on material for a new project that has yet to be officially unveiled. He states, “It’s time to break the silence. We’re in the studio right now recording some new shit. I’ve got a whole bunch of new friends and writing some new tunes that will fucking hit you in the face.” Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – triplej.abc.net. au/racket. Email email@example.com
OG FLAVAS Urban news with CYCLONE Nicole Scherzinger’s long stalled album Killer Love has arrived, but has she missed her chance? Scherzinger was the star vocalist in the Pussycat Dolls, the new millennium’s first big girl ‘group’. Indeed, even more than the Spice Girls, PCD existed as a franchise. But, at least on 2005’s debut, PCD, home to the Cee Lo Green-penned Don’t Cha, their hip hop burlesque had a certain kitsch appeal. PCD opened the way for the ‘avant-garde’ Lady GaGa. Alas, their second album, Doll Domination, was chart fodder with too little trashy cabaret. The troupe’s novelty value wore off fast. Feminists decried them, the girls’ stripper image symptomatic of a degrading ‘raunch’ culture. Indie girl Alexa Chung, interviewing PCD for the British music show PopWorld, asked them facetiously, “You do a lot of things mediocre – but what are you worst at?” Killer Love, too, is mediocre.
Wynter Gordon and a RiRi. (Oddly, Marina & The Diamonds are recording with Stargate.) Poison is a club grinder from RedOne (GaGa), who produces a good portion of Killer Love – but the Danish femcee Lucy Love also has a song entitled Poison and her’s wins. Another track is actually called Club Banger Nation. (It has cheesy guitar.) Killer Love closes predictably with ballads, the piano-based AmenJena very Vegas. The best, if kitschest, number on Killer Love involves yodeling. You Will Be Loved is a tearjerker with all the trite affirmations found in Miranda Kerr’s book for girls, Treasure Yourself. Scherzinger duets with Sting on the MOR (and old) Power’s Out. Desperate is alt.rock.
Scherzinger – who’s now quit PCD, as have all of them, mogul Robin Antin auditioning new members – was meant to have a career like that of Fergie. (Scherzinger was reputedly first offered her job in Black Eyed Peas.) A label blurb for Killer Love touts it as “eagerly anticipated”, but that’s untrue. Scherzinger scrapped an earlier LP, My Name Is Nicole, after several singles bombed. Killer Love could yet be a commercial disappointment to match Pharrell Williams’ In My Mind.
And other potential US R&B superstars are delivering formulaic, disposable and characterless albums. Kelly Rowland’s third, Here I Am, is dismal. Abandoning B-grade R&B (2007’s Ms Kelly), she reinvented herself as a dance diva. Rowland had a fluke hit with David Guetta’s When Loves Takes Over – and has been striving to replicate it ever since (Commander wobbled). And so on Here… she retreats into ‘sexy’ urban electro (I’m Dat Chick – so cliché). If Rowland is to ever rival Beyoncé Knowles, she’ll need to commit to a sound – and source better quality songs. While many are describing Knowles’ adventurous 4 as a flop, it’s her strongest album yet. We can no longer assume it’s Matthew Knowles’ privileging Beyoncé that’s at fault, as Rowland, too, has changed management (and is now signed to Universal Motown).
Lately Scherzinger has followed other desperate pop stars (Jennifer Lopez!) in embracing reality TV, winning the US Dancing With The Stars – though she got her break with the pre-Idol Popstars. She released, first, the single Poison, then the high street thumper Don’t Hold Your Breath, and Right There (featuring Fiddy on a ‘remix’) – the last an embarrassing clone of Rihanna’s Rude Boy, but top ten here. Killer Love, belatedly out in Oz, is dominated by generic urban dance. There’s now virtually no difference between a house diva such as
Even Jennifer Hudson, whose I Remember Me underperformed, is shoring up her fortunes by cameo-ing on Guetta’s ultra commercial Nothing But The Beat (the forgettable Night Of Your Life) – but, then again, Jessie J also shows (the disco-trance Repeat). The Brit starlet’s debut, Who You Are, has sold more than one million globally and she’s just aired the (non-album) single Domino, helmed by Max Martin and Dr Luke and not unlike Katy Perry’s lite rock. Sure, Ms J’s album was lacking in musical originality but, crucially, she expresses personality.
repeat, just slower than before. They still indulge in edits and exercises in genre eclecticism, but tunes such as Mark E’s mind-melting, Janet Jackson-sampling 2007 anthem R&B Drunkie are essentially hymns to the triumph of groove over style, inviting you to lose yourself in the slothful rigidity of the beat rather than the colourful flash of the source material.
New currents with TIM FINNEY Like the slow food movement, slowed down house has always existed, but it acquired a new purpose and significance once someone made a concept out of it. In fact the last half-decade has witnessed an explosion of interconnected niches for exponents of lazier 4x4 grooves, each dedicated to uncovering (or, at least, underlying) some essential truth about dance music we’d previously overlooked, and each arguably reflecting a different strand of the work of Detroit producers Moodymann and Theo Parrish. Balearic revivalism’s forensic gaze is trained to genre, rehabilitating past musics previously forgotten or frowned upon in its quest for a post-ironic disco utopia. Meanwhile disco practitioners approach genre as process, arguing that any song, no matter how familiar or unwieldy, can be reduced to a dancefloor bomb by liberating the hitherto unrecognised endless groove lurking in its heart. Slow-house, for want of a better name for the third circle in the Venn diagram, is pure process. Instead of revealing an alien past as house avant la lettre, producers such as Mark E, Linkwood and The Revenge have honed in on house’s core properties: kick drums that really kick, sharply snapping snares and grooves that repeat and
With his penchant for revivifying soul and funk, new American producer Matthew Kyle underscores this music’s debt to Moodymann while carving out his own identity through sheer craft. On tunes such as Lady Love and Off My Mind he constructs torpid grooves out of florid, over-ripened soul samples (flaring strings, soaring horn lines, crooning and hollering vocalists – think Isaac Hayes, basically) tightly wound in cages of marvelously sharp, crisp jacking grooves. The resulting mixture of ostentatious beauty and bumping intensity vaguely reminds me of Kanye West and Just Blaze’s decade-old production work on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint; nothing new, strictly, but executed with an impossibly expensive perfectionist sheen. This music’s going nowhere fast (geddit?), but alongside similarly smacked-out new players – the plush ‘80s R&B affectations of Soul Clap, the creaking pointillist antiquarianism of Nicholas Jaar; call it all “the new lushness” maybe – it makes for perhaps 2011’s loveliest stylistic cul-de-sac.
FRAGMENTED FREQUENCIES Other music from the other side with BOB BAKER FISH The woozy, churning, noisy, experimental dance music of Sydney-based post-punks Scattered Order is relentless, encasing a dark-hued pallor around even the most sugary of house-like beats, making you feel somewhat seasick with their heady mashes of sonic reference points and techniques. Perhaps a more apt description might be post-post-punk and then post-all-the-other-stuff-that-followed, because these days one wonders if anyone remembers punk beyond seeing the Sex Pistols on Rage singing God Save The Queen on a barge. The band, who began as a duo and are now a trio, have been around for 25-odd years in various incarnations, and you can tell. Who else would use samples from US talk show host Donahue? (If you don’t know the show, imagine Oprah crossed with Jerry Springer 30-odd years ago). They’ve just released the A Solar Rush Towards A Treble Heaven EP on CDR and via download on Bandcamp, and though they tend to move stylistically from release to release it’s hard not to hear traces of the likes of Throbbing Gristle in their hypnotic soups of dub, dance and noise. They’re launching it in their only Melbourne show for the year at the Workers Club on 24 September with electronic percussion duo Peon, Trjaeu, Young Romantix and Wolf 359, who are steadily gaining a reputation for their mindnumbing live shows. This is all-encompassing, full body music. Every space is filled; it’s like the music has escaped from the musicians and is careening off downhill under its own momentum. Lost Tribe Sound are a relatively new label from Arizona and they’ve gone for an earthy analogue, somewhat rustic approach to sound. It’s the brainchild of Ryan Keane, a member of eclectic sonic duo Tokyo Bloodworm, who would incorporate musique concrete techniques with modern classical sounds to strange hypnotic effect in their music. Their last album Palestine is an absolute cracker, further distinguished by being the last release on English label Moteer. Having released albums from Melbourne’s
THE BREAKDOWN Pop culture therapy with ADAM CURLEY I was 13 when I bought Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged In New York, the first Nirvana album I owned on CD and one of only a handful of CDs I personally owned at the time (as opposed to stole from my sister). That record might seem a strange choice as an introduction to one of the heaviest commercial rock bands of the day – or, really, any day – but it wasn’t entirely my decision. I was on school holidays with my family on the Gold Coast and had already decided that I was going to spend what little money I had on a Nirvana album when I entered Sunflower Music on the lower level of the Oasis shopping centre, a place we’d arrive at by monorail (which was the style at the time). Unplugged was the only Nirvana album the store had in stock and so that was it. It was 1996. Now, I’d still defend the album in their discography: their cover of The Vaselines’ Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For A Sunbeam is immaculate (and particularly big for me in Year Eight) and the live recording of Something In The Way beats Nevermind’s. (Yeah, what?) The acoustic versions of the songs were also probably a good lead in for a less than precocious kid who was only starting to be opened up to heavier rock. There’s no doubt in my mind that Kurt Cobain’s death two years before had begun the process for me, such was its impact on pop-culture in 1994. At 11, I’d been aware of its occurrence – everyone had – but it had taken some time to sink in, for puberty and anxiety and spending money to start and for me to really become curious about what this band was – what this music was.
Now, much later, it’s still all a bit of a mystery. Like many people, for whatever reasons, I came after the fact. Cobain was dead and I’d never really know what Nirvana were about without the ensuing media coverage and the inevitable perspectives brought on by listening to a musician who has passed away, particularly by their own hand.
own purveyor of gentle electronics, Part Timer, the folktronica of Pollution Salute and a label sampler offering morsels from Aaron Martin and Benoit Pioulard, the real star of their label is a peculiar guy who goes under the moniker Vieo Abiungo. His real name is William Ryan Fritch and is probably best known as a member of Anticon-rapper-turned-bandleader Sole’s Skyrider group. Yet that outfit barely scratch the surface of this precocious talent. His debut Blood Memory (Lost Tribe), was a moody exploration of the place where film music, modern classical, experimental and tribal music intersect; rough, raw and dark, yet undeniably powerful. It was so textured, so accomplished, that it was impossible to believe that it was the work of only one man. Yet his most recent work, And The World Is Still Yawning (Lost Tribe), two years on, actively highlights this fact. The YouTube clip for the single Our Racing Hearts features Fritch alone in a room, playing every instrument you hear: marimbas, harp, flute, clarinet, violin, guitar, you name it. The album feels lighter, at times poppier, though still tapping into similar concerns as its predecessor, yet it’s not as thick. Light has penetrated the murk, and the density has been replaced by space. It’s clearly the work of an artist growing in confidence and though you’re never quite sure what it is exactly, you can’t help but feel it. It’s available on both vinyl and as a download and comes with a limited remix disc. Cumbia is party music, a mixture of African beats and South American melodies that originated in Colombia and have since spread across the continent. In recent times there has been a renewed interest in Chicha, a Peruvian blend named after cheap alcohol from the Andes thanks to a couple of great compilations from Barbes. Melbourne’s Cumbia Cosmonauts are more space-age, a duo with an electronic bent on the genre, creating DJ culture faux dub cut up cumbia jigs. Vostok – 1 (Scattermusic) is their latest, a four-track EP that sounds like they’ve taken to cumbia with an electronic blowtorch then launched it into space with an abundance of blips, beeps and vocal samples, imbuing the traditions with relentless though somewhat stilted dancefloor beats. Check out their Bandcamp page for live dates and to download the EP.
This month marks 20 years since the release of Nevermind, the band’s second and biggest selling album. Of course the event has been overtaken in the press by another anniversary (which is probably why I have little memory of much being made about the ten-year anniversary, but then, grunge hadn’t come back around by then, either) and I’ve been wondering what the value is in taking the time to consider it. Not just say, ‘Hey, that was a huge album – great,’ (which is fine because no one needs a reason to celebrate something they like) but actually give it any mind, and I think the answer is that Nirvana have been so ubiquitous in popular culture since the record’s release that it’s a chance for those who weren’t ‘there’ at the time to go back and see what was going on. To kind of ‘lift the veil’ of all the stuff that’s come after and go to the source. As part of the ‘anniversary’, a two-CD deluxe reissue of Nevermind is released this Friday through Universal (a remastered album plus B-sides and a ‘rarities’ disc), though internationally Universal have also announced a four-CD and DVD package. On the DVD is a full concert Nirvana played at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre on 31 October, 1991 – a Halloween homecoming following a tour for the album’s release. In Australia, that concert is being screened in selected cinemas for one night only, on Friday 23 September, distributed by CinemaLive, the company that also takes a lot of opera to smaller cinema screens. Tickets are $35, including a copy of the twoCD package, which could be better put to use seeing a current band live, but the screening is also the closest many of us will get to seeing the band lifesize and perhaps as good a chance as any to make some sense of this band that have been around many people for most of our rock-conscious lives, as an idea, a soundtrack, an influence, recontextualised and reconfigured by everyone from Tori Amos to Miley Cyrus. A band whose biggest album came after the industry giants jumped on their ‘movement’; who were influenced by many different bands and scenes at the time; who were, in fact, just a band, not a ‘happening’ or a ‘revolution’. One whose live album could be bought for $21.99 in 1996 at Sunflower Music, an independent record store which is, unlike the band, still going, by the way.
Get down to Yah Yah’s this Thursday and get rocked by four great acts. Headliners Squid Squad are an eclectic aquatic troop and have already recorded the genre bending Tribe Of Squid and toured down the East Coast where they dazzled and frazzled crowds. From the many corners of music, a beast-child spawned in an organic orgasmic manner are Polygasm. They might look like three men and a lady but Polygasm are a new breed of fish – a slippery and slimy punky monkey. Kane Muir & The Rag-Time Kids will be bringing a collection of toe-tapping jazz and old-time gypsy blues and Matt Kelly will be kicking off the night with some sweet solo acoustic action. Doors from 8pm.
OUCH MY FREAKIN’ EARS
SPOILER ALERT Brisbane’s Black Mustang don’t need an introduction to rock audiences. Having burst onto the live scene in 2004, they have played and toured relentlessly, covering all corners of Australia while earning a reputation as Brisbane’s own garage rock stalwarts. With the release of their second full-length album Loaded Gun, and new single Ain’t Going Down on the airwaves, Black Mustang are stopping in at Pony this Saturday night and will get local favourites Australian Kingswood Factory out of retirement along with the mighty Mary Of The Moon. Should be a big one. Doors 9pm; late show featuring Velociraptor from 2am.
Sunday 30 October (Cup eve eve) will see a mammoth line-up at Laundry Bar. Rakaa (LA), Rhettmatic (LA), King Kapisi (NZ), Tassho Pearce (Hawaii), Dialect & Despair, Mugen, Mr Starks, Class A, Scarlett City and Carmex will be rockin’ the beats and rhymes in what could be one of the club line-ups of the year. Don’t miss your chance to get along. This event will sell out. Tickets are $25 and available now through OzTix.
LITTLE SUPERSTITIONS After supporting the exceptionally talented likes of Gomez and Jordie Lane last month, Little John return to headline a very special one-off show at the Toff In Town this Saturday to launch new single Wolves. Joining them on stage will be one of Australia’s fi nest and most charismatic frontmen Ron S Peno, with band The Superstitions, as well as Geelong-based rhythm and blues quintet Sambrose Automobile.
If you haven’t seen Ouch My Face before, now is the time to do it. They say goodbye to Huf at the Cornish Arms on Saturday night. Supporting them are post-punk trio Damn Terran, fresh from their national tour with Children Collide; and must-see Kids Of Zoo, with their trashy garage-style punk. On Sierra open up the night with an instrumental wall of post-punk noise. To top it off there will be Tantrums DJing and entry is free.
LAUNDRY THE MONEY
Five months since their only show for 2011 so far, The Spoils have announced two rare full-band shows before they disappear once again to Europe in late September. They’ll be playing the Northcote Social Club as part of the High Noon Festival this Sunday and the Child Wise Benefit at the Espy’s Gershwin Room on Wednesday 21 September alongside X, Louis Tillet, Mick Harvey, Brian Henry Hooper and more. Don’t be shy, catch Sean Simmons’ spectacular baritone in full flight with full band in action.
Don’t Hear Me Now is a showcase of music back to bare bones. Celebrate the art of songwriting with three fine Melbourne singer/songwriters: Nigel Wearne, Jessica Paige and Tully Sumner. Join them as they tell stories of mischievous bank robbers, wandering poets, failed dreams and the joy of travelling. This is an opportunity for all music lovers, musicians and poets to listen without distraction and appreciate storytelling through song. Enjoy an intimate evening of music at the Wesley Anne on Friday 23 September. Doors at 8pm, tickets $12.
Canberra’s Ruby Shoes will be headlining Mixed Lolly, this Thursday at Pony. Dark Globes, a psychedelic noise band, are also along and have been making waves about town with their wild, reverb-drenched freakout shows. They’ve got a self-recorded seven-track EP and take their influences from Dead Meadow, The Doors and Pink Floyd. Vinal Riot are up-to-no-good kids who grew up together and found music as an escape from the shit town in which they grew up. They’ll be playing grunge-inspired toilet water music with a twist of lemon. The Battery Kids will bring their crunching organs, grinding guitars and heaps of harmonies as well. Doors are from 8pm; late set featuring Love/Hate from midnight.
TAKING OFF As part of their single launch, Box Rockets have invited anthemic indie rockers Winter Street and haunting balladeers Ghosts along to support at the Grace Darling this Thursday. The EP is due for release in October, with a tour to follow. Stay tuned for dates. Tickets for Thursday available at moshtix.com.au or at the door.
ANIMAUX ATTRACTION Young seven-piece ANIMAUX are benefitting from a new Darebin City Council youth initiative, writes ALICE BODY.
In October 2009 Connor, Calum and Lorne met in a basement rehearsal room to see what would happen when they made a little noise. They were not displeased with the sounds they heard and decided to call themselves Sketch Club. They have since released an EP Burn This House and are currently working on their second release. Sketch Club make unrestrained, unrelenting, honest music with a dark edge that still has a light switch somewhere in the room if you look hard enough. Also playing on the night will be electro psych folksters Dead Pilot and acoustic soulster Glen. Yah Yah’s this Sunday from 6pm.
Much loved locals The Orbweavers launch their eagerly-awaited new album Loom at the Northcote Social Club on Sunday 30 October. This will be a matinee show, with doors opening at 2pm and support from The Townhouses. Songs from Loom (out 28 October on Mistletone) have already found a special place in Melburnians’ hearts thanks to RRR and PBS, who have devoted much airplay the gorgeous double A-side single Japanese Mountains/Spotswood and new single You Can Run (Fern’s Theme). Tickets for the launch are on sale now through the NSC website and are expected to sell out, so act quickly.
METAL AT MENZIES
On Friday 23 September, Menzies Hall (Dandenong North) will feature bands: ArmourUs, Syndrome, Prosthesis Of Mind, Wychbury Hill, This Fiasco and After The Apocalypse. Doors are from 6.30pm and tickets are only $14. Catch the future of the local metal music industry all under the one roof in what promises to be an amazing night.
Beyond Dreaming is focused on raising awareness and starting conversations on depression and anxiety within remote and metropolitan Aboriginal communities. Beyond Dreaming will be using vehicles such as music and food to facilitate these conversations. Cohost of Triple M’s The Hot Breakfast Luke Darcy and Geelong AFL footballer Travis Varcoe are the fi rst ambassadors for the project. They are holding a launch at the Precinct Hotel on Thursday 6 October and will be having highly respected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians perform in support of the cause.
DOUBLE DUTCH Jackson Jackson quickly became a live-circuit favourite when they launched a few years back with their album The Fire Is On The Bird. They followed up quickly with Tools For Survival, featuring turbo-ballad Eliza. Fronted by Harry Angus (The Cat Empire) and Producer Jan Skubiszewski, and joined on stage by a gorgeous choir and one of Australia’s best rhythm sections, Jackson Jackson consolidated themselves with a reputation for delivering a show not to be missed. You can catch them every Friday in September with special guests at the Evelyn. This week’s support will feature Grey Ghost.
Here’s some brilliant trivia on upcoming pop/ funk septet Animaux: remember Graeme Base, the guy who created Animalia and The Sign Of The Seahorse? Well, the cover art on Animaux’s soon-to-be-launched debut self-titled EP is his work. Inpress can barely constrain its childish glee when frontwoman Alex Lahey informs it of this fact. “Yeah, it’s cool. It’s like a Where’s Wally? of animals,” she laughs, adding that the artist is father to the band’s bassist (evidently the surname also contributes a bit of nominative determinism to the mix). At this point, Inpress would drop in some clever line about how in this case you can judge a book – or EP – by its cover. However, one of the growing minority of Animaux eager beavers in the local music industry has already snaffled it. So it must be by inference that Animaux are deserving of such cover art, and the fact that not only have they made it to the southern metropolitan regional fi nals of the FReeZA Push Start young band competition – the last heat before the grand fi nal, Push Over (to happen at Abbotsford Convent early next year) – but they also are one of the fi rst bands to be adopted by Darebin City Council’s new youth project, the Decibels Records initiative. “Well, the program itself has been really great,” Lahey enthuses. “It’s the fi rst year they’ve done it so we’re all kind of guinea pigs. It’s been really great getting the experience to actually find out how EPs happen. I had no idea how people actually released a record and all the things that go into it. Particularly, like, I’d never done a preproduction session or a post-production session.” Part of the Decibels Records initiative’s shtick is consigning an industry professional to mentor a young band. Animaux landed Jimi Maroudas, producer to Eskimo Joe and The Living End among others. “To have him come in and watch us play a few songs and get his advice and input, and also to make connections and that sort of thing, was great.” Animaux are indeed doing well for a young band, the youngest member of which is only 16. Lahey herself, just three years older, has
largely taken on managerial duties on top of a fi rst year jazz course at Monash University, casually commenting, “Yeah, I’m basically the band’s manager and do all the stuff at the moment, which is not too overwhelming just yet, but as soon as it is I think I might handball it.” Animaux’s seven-strong line-up, which includes a horn section (two saxophones and a trumpet), holds them in good stead to pump out their particular brand of pop/funk. Lahey dismisses the idea that pursuing the big band genre is unusual for a young band, citing successful local acts such as The Cat Empire and The Bamboos as inspirations and pointing to the swathe of young outfits getting in on the act across Melbourne.
Wicked City were last seen playing riffs in Thornbury with other punk rock dogs, and scavenging proscuitto from supermarket dumpsters. They have a low growl and like a tasty wet lick. Spider Goat Canyon are a ten-year-old beagle and answer to ‘The Goat’. Both are sorely missed by loving families that can’t wait to see their furry space-rock metal bundles of joy again. Slocombe’s Pussy are a cute as a button, psych/cross space-rock pussy descendant of the ancient stoned feline Slocominus and are presumed devastatingly heavy due to riff appetite. Find them all at the Builders Arms at 9pm on Saturday.
Melbourne record collectors and interstate stall holders will present 70,000 records, 10,000 CDs and much music memorabilia from past to present at the Essendon Record and CD Fair on Sunday at the Ukrainian House in Essendon (opposite Essendon Station ) between 9.30am and 5pm. This is Melbourne’s largest totally music-related fair and the last for the year. After a five month break the expectation level will be high. Entry is only $3, grab a bargain.
“I think the horn is making a comeback. Horns are in again,” she says. “The Cactus Channel is a good example, they’re doing some really big things, and Saskwatch as well – I think this week is the second anniversary of their Cherry Bar residency, and they’ve also got a [slot on the] Falls line-up. Eagle & The Worm are another up-and-coming band who do the horn thing,” Lahey lists. “So yeah, there’s a lot of really, really good young bands that are doing this style of music, but I think the beauty of it is that all of them are different in some way.”
Coco is looking for acoustic acts (solo, duo or trio) for their new monthly comp. Each month, there will be four acts competing for a $100 cash prize – most votes on the night wins, so bring your mates. The winner of each month goes into the half-yearly fi nal. The winner of the fi nal wins a monthly residency at Coco! Competition starts 7pm Wednesday 21 September, so get cracking and send those demos to: PO Box 1361, Collingwood, 3066; or drop them in to 129 Smith Street, Fitzroy. Playing tonight (Wednesday) at Coco are Carolyn Bryers and Greg Ramanado. Music starts at 8pm. Entry is free.
Animaux launch their EP at the Decibels Records Release Launch, as part of the Darebin Music Feast, happening now. Despite having to factor in exams around November, Lahey looks forward to an ever-thickening schedule of shows: “Our goal is to get on another tour again, start supporting bigger acts to help make those connections and get that experience.” Watch this space.
GOOD GRIEF, GIRL
WHO: Animaux WHAT: Animaux (Decibels Records) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Northcote Town Hall
Since releasing her highly acclaimed debut album Glorio, Brisbane-based chanteuse McKisko (Helen Franzmann) has been busy touring and recording her latest release Good Grief. To celebrate the release of Good Grief (on Monday 3 October), McKisko will be treating audiences to her expansive aural delights at the Toff In Town on Thursday 13 October, followed by a special Pure Pop instore performance on Saturday 15 October. Combining soaring, ethereal vocals with guitar, keys, melodica and drums, McKisko layers delicate melodies to create a sparse yet intimate soundscape. McKisko has performed with the likes of Bon Iver, Juana Molina, Tiny Vipers, Jose Gonzales and Robert Forster.
the BoDeans’ Sammy Llanas said, “You’re a local band until you get a record contract, then all of a sudden, Bruce Springsteen is your competition.” But when Animaux’s Alex Lahey sings, “I’m gonna give it my all”, you believe her. Their self-titled EP shows that they’re genuine contenders. Animaux have just done some dates with Stonefield, and now they’re joining Rosie & George and The Kilniks for the Decibels Records’ launch at the Northcote Town Hall on Thursday. More info at musicfeast.com.
Rosie & George
GOODBYE MOTEL, HELLO WORLD
HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS
DECIBELS MAKES A NOISE
“I can’t make it all alone, and I can’t do this on my own” – This Time, Animaux The music industry is not easy. A&R man Tom Whalley says, “The hardest thing to do in this business is start a band nobody’s heard of.” You need help. Sometimes that help comes from unlikely places. Darebin Council has started Decibels Records, signing three local acts – Animaux, Rosie & George and The Kilniks. It’s a fine initiative. As Tommy Boy Records boss Tom Silverman said, “Independent labels take nothing and make something out of it. Major labels buy that something and try to make more out of it.” How did Rosie & George find out about the label? “We recorded our last EP at the Decibels Youth Music Centre, so we were pretty up to date with the goings-on at the centre. We
saw they were starting a record label – through Facebook, of all places – and decided to apply. We thought it’d be great to be part of a community-based label and we knew that the people who run this place are awesome.” Can Rosie & George describe the experience of making their self-titled debut EP? “Cups of tea. Sleep-deprived. Exciting.” The Kilniks’ first gig was at Darebin’s Push Start competition, which they won. An indie rock band, they exhibit a fine sense of humour on their debut EP, Not That Kind, which includes the song Get Dumb, Have Fun (sample lyric: “We will get dumb, we will have fun”). Each Kilniks gig has a different theme – one night, the band members will be wearing sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts; another night, it’s denim jackets and mohawks. Howzat! is not usually a fan of band names that people struggle to pronounce. Animaux (rhymes with ban-a-mo) is French for “animals”. Now, Animals might be a good name for a metal band, but it wouldn’t work for a band that describes its sound: “If jazz and pop had a lovechild, got divorced, remarried funk and soul… Animaux would be the end result.” But Animaux is a good name for a band that’s all class. Who knows where they’ll end up? As
Howzat! loves bands with ambition. Marry that with talent and you’ve got a potent combination. Melbourne’s Goodbyemotel hooked up with producer Julian Mendelsohn to make their new EP, Wish Your Way. Julian has mixed Musical Youth’s Pass The Dutchie, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax and Peter Gabriel’s Shock The Monkey and produced Paul McCartney and Pet Shop Boys. He’s helped Goodbyemotel create radio-ready rock that’s both epic and interesting. The guys launch the EP at Revolver on Thursday, before heading to the US to make a new album.
HOLMES AND AWAY
The Hummingbirds re-formed briefly to play at the Sydney Big Day Out. Unfortunately, the band didn’t make it to Melbourne this year, but the next best thing is Friday’s album launch for The Aerial Maps at Bella Union, because the band features The Hummingbirds’ Simon Holmes (who also produced the album) and Alannah Russack. The Aerial Maps’ frontman, Adam Gibson, was a massive Hummingbirds fan. “There was a period when I listened to Hindsight every day for, like, a year. They became the spearheads of what was a fantastic era of Sydney guitar music and the fact they came from a scene in which my brother and I were involved made them real heroes for me. And when Blush broke through and the album Lovebuzz hit the charts, we really felt as if everything seemed possible. But I never imagined that I’d ever meet Simon Holmes and play in a band with him.” Adam’s brother got to know Simon, and he ended up producing their band Modern Giant. “The thing with Simon Holmes is there is absolutely no ego about him at
all,” Adam says. “I mean, he may have written some of the best ever Australian guitar pop songs, but he’s totally humble. I really feel privileged that he’s involved in the Maps.”
Gotye spends a fifth week at number one. If he stays there next week, he’ll be the first Aussie act to spend more than five weeks on top since Savage Garden’s Truly Madly Deeply had an eight-week reign in 1997. Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number one) Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (11) Pete Murray’s new album arrives at six. Making Mirrors GOTYE (number two) Blue Sky Blue PETE MURRAY (six, debut) White Heat: 30 Hits ICEHOUSE (seven) Rrakala GURRUMUL (14) Yes I Am JACK VIDGEN (15) Moonfire BOY & BEAR (17) Ghosts Of The Past ESKIMO JOE (22) Only Sparrows JOSH PYKE (26) Roy DAMIEN LEITH (29) Get ’Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (30) Like Drawing Blood GOTYE (31) Gurrumul GURRUMUL (37) Future Shade THE HERD (38) The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating THE LIVING END (39)
HOWZAT! PLAYLIST This Time ANIMAUX
Miss Sunshine ROSIE & GEORGE Get Dumb, Have Fun THE KILNIKS The Sunset Park THE AERIAL MAPS Wish Your Way GOODBYEMOTEL
Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq
Armagidion Time, Jesse I, Ras Crucial, Mat Cant Laundry Bar
Art Noise, Sleep Decade, Vodnik, Peny Bohan Blue Tile Lounge
Art Vs Science
Trak Lounge Bar
Art Vs Science, Kate Miller-Heidke, Tim Derricourt, Patience Hodgson Trak Showroom
Bunny Monroe, Working Horse Irons Cherry Bar
The Lounge Pit
Conrad Williams Bebida Bar
Conversations with God Wesley Anne
Dizzy’s Big Band
Sounds of Cleo, DJ Woz, Spinfx, Heels on Deck, Spidey, Adalita Revolver
Sounds of Cleo, Woz, Spinfx Revolver Upstairs
Sparkadia, Imaginary Cities, The Trouble With Templeton The Bended Elbow
Stand & Deliver Co. Nightclub
Straw King Eye, The Sticky Valentines, Bitter Oryx Bar Open
Terry Springford, Pax, Hissy Loco Empress Hotel
The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie
Brunswick Hotel The Released Series presents: SomeOne Good, Mika, Celer, Oblako Lodka, Battlesnake, Dark
Decimals, DJ Because Goodbye Workers Club
The Tealeaves, Josh McDonald
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
The Toff In Town
Folk From Around the World
Tom Vincent Trio
Paris Cat Jazz Club
Gertrude’s Brown Couch
Turtle & Fox
Kewti, Glory B, Tierra
Two Jacks & a Jill, Ben Blakeney
Matt Radovich, PCP, Adelle
Wine, Whiskey, Women, Cilla Jane, Kate Lucas
Midnight Caller, Ivy St, Little Killing The Tote
Mose, Able, MZ Risk, Raceless, Sizzle Miss Libertines
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Nimbleman Family Band
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Dancing Dog Café
Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar
Peep Tempel, Sun God Replica, Jackals The Old Bar
Petar Tolich, Scotty E Co., Crown
Pourparlour, The Sun Blindness, Joe Forrester Evelyn Hotel
Seri Vida, Lisa Marmur Bar Nancy
Signal X, Steal Birds, Preston Perche, Leadlight Esplanade Lounge
Simone Felice, Catherine Tracios Northcote Social Club
Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie, Prequel, Black Diamond Kicks Bimbo Deluxe
The Standard Hotel The Drunken Poet
Acid Western, Magic Spells, KAT, Max, Smoking Toddlers, Backyard DJs, Indian Summer DJs 161
Acid Western, Magic Spells, Kat & MAX, Smoking Toddlers, Backyard DJs, Indian Summer
Shake Some Action @ 161
Dan Lethbridge & The Campaigners Rainbow Hotel
Dirty Deeds Vineyard
Do Drop In, Kiti, Lady Noir The Carlton
El Boliche de Simon Open Studio
Eliza Hull, The Commas, Ainslie Wills Northcote Social Club
The Palais Burn That Cat DJs, The Bonniwells, The Hierophants, The Living Eyes, Reckless Vagina, DJ James Lake Workers Club
Citizen.com, DJ Who Lounge Bar
Funhouse DJs Co. Nightclub
Goodbye Motel, Hans DC, Sam Gudge, John Doe, James Steeth, Sean Rault Revolver
Paul Grabowsky Sextet Bennetts Lane
Plastic Palace Alice, The General Assembly, Ladie Dee Edinburgh Castle Hotel East Brunswick Club
Shortfall, Tzolkin, The Murderballs Brunswick Hotel
Goodtime Medicine Band
Simone Felice, Jordie Lane
Hopsin, SwizZz, Kid Crusher (S.A), Damage Dollz, Bald Head Scallywags, Bub the Zombie
Squid Squad, Kane Muir & the Rag Time, Kids, Polygasm, Matt Kelly
The Corner Hotel
I Am Giant, Shaman Son, Seedy Jeezus Esplanade Lounge
Into The Woods, Genevieve & Jezabel Wesley Anne
Joakim, Cheap Date, Post Percy, Kiti New Guernica
Jules Sheldon, Anthony Young The Drunken Poet
Law Schools Got Talent The Hi-Fi
Leagues, William Blaxland Empress Hotel
Loo$e Change, Velociraptor, Undercolours, Drunk Mums Exchange Hotel
Loungapalooza Ruby’s Lounge
Low Key Live Electro The Bender Bar
Mack & the Boys Elwood Lounge
Builders Arms Hotel Moneykat, Lotek, Candice Monique, Luka Lesson, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes The Toff In Town
Mood, DJ NuBody Loop
Moroccan Kings, Krematorium Defiled, Socially Handicapped, For the Most Part Evelyn Hotel
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Paris Cat Jazz Club
Obsession DJs First Floor
Pajama Club, Ernest Ellis & the Panamas
Ruby Shoes, Dark Globes, Vinal Riot, The Battery Kids, Love/Hate
May Dreamers, Mad Nanna, Bali Hai
Grace Darling Hotel
Finlo White, Kitty Kat
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Andy Jans Brown, Beetet Karova Lounge Box Rockets, Winter Street, Ghosts, Richie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ, The Greasy Hawaiians, Plague
Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross
Ollie McGill’s ‘The Genie’
The Palais, Hepburn Springs
The Bended Elbow
Strangers From Now On, The Gloves, Mater Gun Fighters, Udays Tiger John Curtin Hotel
Union Hotel Brunswick
Tehachapi, Black Fox, Afterlaughter DJs, Rahmen, Dirty Uncles, Manchild, Freakout DJs Laundry
Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses Theatre Royal (Castlemaine)
Texel Rising, Vintage Cinema, The Magic Bones, Mushroom Horse Esplanade Basement
Textbook Music, Circuit Bent, Monkey Marc Miss Libertines
The Broderick, Distant Wreck, Cardinals, Like Royalty Next
The Delta Riggs, The Money Smokers, Howler The Old Bar
The Sweaters, The High Drifters
Great Britain Hotel The Vacant Smiles, Bennis Can’t Surf, Tit For Tat DJs, DJ Toadfish, DJ Manchild, Polat (Beards) Freakout! Thursdays @ Laundry
Timmy Rolfe & his Soy Latte Sound The Sporting Club
Eildon Mansion, St Kilda
WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Lucky Coq
Woolen Kits, Dick Threats, Angel Eyes, East Link
Heaven the Axe, Witch Grinder, Abreact, Standby Soldier Karova Lounge
Red Aces, Stringfellow Hawke, They Move Like Wolves, Two Bright Lakes DJ
Jackson Jackson, Grey Ghost, DJ Jumps
Josh Pyke, Emma Louise, The Paper Kites
Joshua Kyle Quintet
Run For Your Life
Running on Reality
Backyard DJs, Electric Avenue, Wednesday the Rat, Tomderson
Russian Circles, Matt Sonic & The High Times, River of Snakes
A Wallace, Yffer, Peter Emptage Mandrake and Willow
Backyard DJs, Electric Avenue, Wednesday the Rat, Tomderson, Three Dees, Booty Quest
Bad Repeat, Tulalah, Lonely Smokers, Deepest Purple
The Corner Hotel
Paris Cat Jazz Club Bennetts Lane
Windsor Castle Hotel
LA Bastard, Poison Oak, Rich Davies & The Devils Union Cornish Arms Hotel
Large No 12’s
Ben Salter, Harmony, Lost Animal, Sailor Days
Let The Cat Out
Northcote Social Club
Blood Duster, Legends Of Motorsport, Captain Cleanoff, Counter Attack The Tote Brightside Duo, Om-unplugged, Dessert Steel, James Brown Tribute Show, The Love Shack, Samantha
Stolberg Beer Café
Cal Walker, Nildo Orso, The Broadside Push
Bar Nancy Cal Walker, Reigning Men, Gaylord Lovelace, Smoke Machine, Heel Toe Express, The Sinking Tins Builders Arms Hotel
Cash Savage & Little John, Piece Pai Baha Tacos
Pure Pop Courtyard 303
Lucie Thorn, Hamish Stewart, Jo Jo Smith
Elana Musto, Greg Sara, MC Scott T Match Bar
Feed Your Munkie, Francesca LiDonni, The Pierce Brothers, The Moon Project Ruby’s Lounge
Gavin Campbell, DJ Greg, MaxtheMAX Turner
The Carlton Grandpa’s Guitar Sessions, Tim Durkin, Chico Flash, The Hunting Club, Jessamine, SHERIFF, The
Sophisticants, Grunge Betty Pony
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Shaolin Afronauts, Kano172, Chris Gill, Slim Charles, Terravita Laundry Bar
Claypots Seafood Restaurant
10 Dollar Souls
The Post Office Club Hotel
A Lonely Crowd Baha Tacos
Above & Beyond Festival Hall
After Dark DJ’s, AN21, Max Vangeli Roxanne Parlour
Australian Bon Jovi Show, Kill em All, White Widdow
Masters Apprentices, Russell Morris, Madder Lake, Spectrum
Simone Felice, Jordie Lane
Australian Kingswood Factory, Black Mustang, Mary Of the Moon, Velociraptor, Mr Sharp
Trak Lounge Bar
Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq
Mondo Freaks The Night Cat
Motionless Me, Warning, Geneva Spur, Ghoul Barwon Club
Mr Moonshine, Citizen. com, Snowie, Tahl, Tavish Lounge Bar Mz Wood, The Ivy, Squares & Zeros, DJ Wakg, Mike Callander, Jamie Stevens, Chardy, Aaron Trotman, James
Grace Darling Hotel
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Choro, The Yearlings, Suzannah Espie
Damn The Torpedoes, The Hidden Venture, Johari Window
Winterpark, Ross McLennan, Popolice
Wesley Anne Ciecmate, Bigfoot, Jake Biz, Maggot Mouf, Gutz, Dazed & Flawless, No Name Nathan, Rusty Esplanade Lounge
Chinatown Angels, Mammoth Mammoth, Bunny Monroe, Dj Max Crawdaddy Cherry Bar
Robag Whrume, Tommy Four Seven, Guti
While The City Sleeps
Mz Wood, Ivy, Squares & Zeros, DJ Wakg Nice & Ego Loop
Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat
Bar Open Meeniyan Hall
Sir William The Vic
Soul Infusion featuring Carmen Hendricks Rahk Melbourne
Step Into My Office Baby, Andy McClelland, Nathan Jones, Miss Mod John Curtin Hotel
The Aerial Maps, Van Walker, Crystal Thomas & The Flowers Of Evil Trades Hall
The Backwood Creatures Rainbow Hotel
The Black Sparrows Caravan Music Club
The Herd, Sietta, Jimblah
The Nymphs Open Studio
The Ovals, The Jackals, Black Mustang, Kidney 3, Myles Gallagher Yah Yah’s
The Queen Tribute Show The Palms
Paul Van Ross Quartet Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Paulie Bignell The Gem
The Sporting Club
Phil Ross, Dean T, Chris Mac, DJ Atomik, Johnny M
Fusion, Crown Poison City Weekender, The Hawaiian Islands, ANCHORS, Fires Of Waco, Grim Fandango, Stolen Youth, Luca Brasi East Brunswick Club
Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town
Rat Vs Possum, Horse MacGyver, Time Shield, No Zu, Toy Balloon, Nick Rave & the Bad Speed The Buffalo Club
Pony Bang Grand Sumo Championship, Feed Her To The Sharks, A Fate Worse Than Death, Aura Vale Bang
Cardinals, A Sleepless Winter, The Lesson, With Composure, With Lions
Ruby’s Lounge Chris Kaye, Tom Evans, Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B Billboard
Citrus Jam Bar Nancy
Constanze, Adam Askew, Mr Honeysmack The Carlton
Cosmic Tonic Veludo
Dancing Heals, Private Life, Complimentary Headsets John Curtin Hotel
The Penny Black
Darren Coburn, Luke McD, Nick Coleman, Jason D’Costa, Muska
The Superguns, Black Hyatt, 180 Proof, Seedy Jeezus
Eagle and the Worm!, Skipping Girl Vinegar
The Toot Toot Toots, Digger & The Pussycats, Strangers From Now On, DJ Ruari Fangin The Old
The Waylon Joes Bender Bar
Babushka Lounge, Ballarat
Northcote Town Hall
Elixir, Katie Noonan Thornbury Theatre
Finlo White, Joe Sofo Co., Crown
Fly, Moonshine, Booshank, Chestwig, Laser Ferrari Loop
Freestate, Stone Parade, Jenarium
Fruit Jar, Laura K Clark
Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends
Tristen Bird, The Stillsons, Kate Walker
The Drunken Poet Empress Hotel
The Bender Bar
Jah Mason Jamie Oehlers Band, Gian Slater Jason Lowe
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SEAN VAN DOORUM LILY PARKER
firstname.lastname@example.org Jessamine, I Am Duckeye, System of Venus, McAlpine Fusiliers Brunswick Hotel
Josh Pyke, Emma Louise, The Paper Kites The Bended Elbow
Jouissance, The Stevens, The Clits Empress Hotel
The Sporting Club
KAT, Max, Velociraptor, Magic Spells, Deacon Rose, Smoking Toddlers, Wednesday the Rat Rats @ Brown Alley Little John, Ron S Peno & the Superstitions Trio, Sambrose Automobile, The House deFROST,
Rebelquin, Mack & the Boys, Nowra Chandelier Room The Night Cat
Rick Moranis Overdrive, Clowns, The Moist Karova Lounge
Ringworm, Mindsnare, Extortion, Psycroptic, Pod People The Corner Hotel
River of Snakes
Town Hall Hotel
Sarah McLeod, Tate Strauss, Rachel Andrews, Nova, Johnny M Fusion, Crown
The Toff In Town
Los Neutrinos, Sonic Attack
Lucie Thorne, Hamish Stuart, Jo Jo Smith
Piping Hot Chicken Shop
Lucie Thorne, Jo Jo Smith
The Piping Hot Chicken Shop
Manteia, The Modern Age, The Pretty Littles, The Peeks 303
Matheson, One & The Same, Living Skies Public Bar
Windsor Castle Hotel
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Midlife Crisis Bar 362
Mike Simonetti New Guernica
Mojo Jacket, Madison Jayne, Hamish Anderson, Rainbow Connection DJ’s Workers Club
Motely, Mu-Gen, Sizzle, B-Two, Mamacita Bonnita, Boobs & Booty, Sista Sara Laundry Bar
My Echo, Assemble The Empire, Move To Strike, The Supervibes, Loose Joints, Mat Cant Revolver
My Echo, Assemble The Empire, Move To Strike, The Supervibes Revolver Upstairs
Noria Letts Quintet Paris Cat Jazz Club
Northeast Party House, Midlife, Snakadaktal Northcote Social Club
Ouch My Face, Damn Terran, Kids Of Zoo, On Sierra, Tantrums DJs Cornish Arms Hotel
Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee Lucky Coq Poison City Weekender, Bridge & Tunnel, Scream Feeder, The Nation Blue, The Gifthorse, Paper
Arms, The Optionals East Brunswick Club
Union Hotel Brunswick
Builders Arms Hotel
Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar
Shaun Kirk, Ruckus St Andrews Hotel
Superdisco, Hook N Sling, John Course Prince Bandroom
Syl Johnson, The Bamboos, Cactus Channel, Chris Gill, Pierre Baroni, Mohair Slim The Hi-Fi
Teenage Mothers, The Beasticles, Jackals, Poon Dj’s Cherry Bar The Bowers, Spinning Room, Richard Fyshwick & the Nuftys, DJ Old Hands, Wil Wagner, Jamie Hay, Darren
Gibson, Lincoln Le Fevre
The Old Bar
The Brass Monkeys Great Britain Hotel
The Dukes of Deliciousness, Dirge, Seedy Jeezus Barwon Club
The Ghost of Electricity, Andre Camilleri, Matt Leary The Bender Bar
The Nudgels Trio
The Drunken Poet
The Shuffle Club Transit Lounge
The Transatlantics Bar Open
The Universal, Secretary Lily, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Spender Grace Darling Hotel
The Vasco Era, Money For Rope, Fangs, Passport For Amy, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge
Alan Zeybeck & The Lessermen, Fantasy Island, Tommy El Salvador Bar Open
Askew, Booshank, Paz, Ms Butt, Jumbo, Junji Lucky Coq
Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Radiator, Silversix Revolver
Danger with Roman Wafers, George Hysteric The Carlton
Dean & Curruthers Mentone Hotel
Doc Leeroy, Speakeasy Windsor Castle Hotel
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Epithets, Jess Locke, Franco Cozzo
Gertrude’s Brown Couch
Grizzley Jim Lawrie The Vic
Gunn Music Competition Esplanade Gershwin Room
Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge High Noon Festival, songwriter’s Collective, Melbourne Ukelele Collective, A DJ Called Matt, Bohjass, Red
Rockets Of Borneo, Manchild, Pataphysics, Mista Savona
303 High Noon Festival, The Bulls, Amy Bodossian, Damon Smith, Amy Joy, Nic Tate, Vintage Red, Salt
Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Jacky Winter, DJ Dave Heard, CROTCHETY KNITWITS The Old Bar
Glenn Patrick, Annie M Veludo
High Noon Festival, Rapskallion, The Woohoo Revue
Chandelier Room The Gem
Empress Hotel Mutiny, The Smith Street Band, Harmony, Fear Like Us, The Scandal, Headache, Arrows, Following
Sea, Jen Buxton The Tote
Nick Charles & Blue Strings, Woodward & Rough Lomond Hotel
The Sporting Club
The Bender Bar
Love Migrate, Playwrite, Hayden Calnin, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Round and Round Storytellers night Brunswick Hotel
Russian Circles, Fangs
Open Mic Night
The Chandelier Room
The Night Cat Bimbo Deluxe
St Andrews Hotel
Sarah McLeod Cherry Bar
Sebadoh, Adam Harding, Laura Imbruglia
The Corner Hotel
Sketch Club, Dead Pilot, Glen Yah Yah’s Socially Handicapped, The Sledge, Clint Flick, Windsor Thieves, The Evening Cast, Puppies Brunswick Hotel
Steve Balbi, Simon Meli Falcons, Natasha Stuart, Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town
Union Hotel Brunswick
The Miserable Little Bastards The Standard Hotel
Screen Sect Bar Open
Sebadoh, Adam Harding The Corner Hotel
Snowy Belfast, John Patrick & the Keepers Esplanade Lounge
The Toff In Town
The Rust Buckets, The Living Skies Empress Hotel
Wolfy and the Batcubs, The Sherrifs, Neil Wilkinson Workers Club
Ali Barter, Craig Fraser, The Timbers, Neal Mathews Esplanade Lounge
Annie Smith and the Jazz Drive Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Cine - Cult 303
Town Hall Hotel
High Noon Festival
Tim Reid, The Weekend People
Tiger & Me, Khancoban, Playwrite Jimmy Tait, High Tea, Midnight Bosom, DJ Street Jody Galvin & The Tenderhearts Carringbush Hotel
Joel Frahm & Jamie Oehlers Bennetts Lane
Lloyd Spiegel, Lily and King The Drunken Poet
Mistletone, Two Bright Lakes and Sensory Projects. Everything these guys do is solid.”
Marc Hannaford Trio, James ‘Larry’ Carter Quartet
The Sideshow Brides
Northcote Social Club High Noon Festival, Into The Woods, Nigel Wearne, Glory B, The Stillsons, Tobias Cummings, The
THE RELEASED SERIES is an initiative of the Workers Club, showcasing the rosters of local labels. We check in with next week’s host, MATT BLANCHARD from YES PLEASE RECORDS.
Lake City, Steak Knives & The Set Bar Nancy
PLEASE PLEASE ME
The Old Bar
Matty Chaps, Joe Ransom, Open Mic
Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers
Experimentations, Laura Jean, Jonny Telafone, New Estate, Geoffrey O’Connor
Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk
Tomas Ford, Naik, DOS4GW, Shaky Memorial Dizzy’s Jazz Club Wet Hair, Bum Creek, The Cannanes, Fabulous Diamonds, Guy & Marcus Blackman
Mack & the Boys, Dead Kings Quartet
Eucalyptus, ESC, Bad Taste
Lucie Thorne, The Yearlings, Hamish Stuart
Caravan Music Club
Relax With Max
Sex On Toast, Wicked City, Spider Goat Canyon, Slocombe’s Pussy
Yanto Shortis & Band, Ian Collard, Dom Turner
Empress Hotel, Arvo Show
Tuamgraney, Andrew Nolte & His Orchestra Open Studio
Jess Ribiero & The Bone Collectors, Cherrywood The Toff In Town
Kumar Shrome & the Punkwallahs, Marcel Yammouni, Archetype, A DJ Called Matt Evelyn Hotel
Browne, Robertson Noy Trio Bennetts Lane
Children Collide Barwon Club
Make it Up Club Bar Open
Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who
Bimbo Deluxe Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase, Whitehall, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatsparrow, High Art Destruction, Never Cheer
Before You Know Whos Winning
Michel Benebig Quartet Paris Cat Jazz Club
Guerre How long have you been running your label? “Yes Please is still very fresh, I’d say the label’s only been up and running properly since February, but I started kicking ideas around and approaching artists in September last year. It’s been a very slooow process, it’s actually really surprising how long everything takes!” What’s the philosophy behind your label? “The idea behind Yes Please is purely to release music I love. Australia has so much amazing talent that goes by almost unnoticed, I want to use Yes Please to shine the spotlight on those artists I love and help them move onto bigger and better things.” What was your first release? “Uhhh, well we only really have one release to our name, but I suppose the remixes of Guerre’s EP Darker My Love was our first release. As far as first releases go it went really really well.” And the most recent? “We followed the remixes of Guerre’s EP up with (surprise, surprise) the originals of Guerre’s EP.” Which labels do you most admire? “There are so many great labels out there. I love Editions Mego, Olde English Spelling Bee, Jagjaguwar, Warp, Anticon, Ghostly International the list goes on… Locally my faves are Nathan Bird
The Sporting Club
Who are your three fave musical acts at the moment and why? “This is a tough one to narrow down but I’d have to say Shlohmo, James Blake and Mark McGuire (sorry Grouper, it was a close call). Shlohmo’s just released an album and it is LUSH. This is probably exactly where I’m at musically. It’s warm, chilled and pushing the boundaries of ambient music and beats. Very highly recommended. “James Blake just because he’s James Blake. I caught his Splendor sideshow in Sydney and it blew my mind. He’s one of the few musicians around the world who can reinvent himself with each release and still sound distinctly true to himself. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. “Mark McGuire encompasses everything I love about ambient music. It’s moody, it’s deep and it can sweep you up and take you somewhere far, far away. His music is almost entirely created with a guitar and looping pedal, yet for such a simple set-up, it has such depth. Everything he does it really special.” Who have you chosen to play at your night at the Workers and why? “The line-up for the night is Guerre, The Townhouses and Tank. Guerre and The Townhouses are kinda selfexplanatory, plus I love their music and they both put on a great live show. Tank I asked to play because he’s very much the Yes Please sound. He’s a supertalented young guy from Sydney with just a few tracks to his name but those few tracks are an amazing start. Watch this guy, he’s going to do great things.” Yes Please showcase at the Workers Club next Wednesday 21 September.
The Brunswick Discovery
Tim Wilson Quartet
Sean Van Doorum, Ainslie Wills
The Old Bar
Skinny Leather Ties Veludo
Union Hotel Brunswick
Wednesday the Rat, Knee Cools, Cracker Bax, Indian Summer DJs, Smoking Toddlers
Dumplings Bitch! @ Eurotrash Whitehall, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatsparrow, High Art Destruction, Bastian Kill Joy, Royal Jelly Dixie Land Band Revolver Upstairs
140 Sydney Rd
every 2nd wed peninsula songwriters club Sept 16 cash savage and little john Sept 17 piece pai Sept 23 the graveyard train book now! oct 1 Jarrah thompson band
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY THE 14TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL’S OPEN MIC NIGHT
WITH YOUR HOST BRODIE EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT REGISTER ON THE NIGHT FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS
THURSDAY THE 15TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM TILL MIDNIGHT $2 POTS OF DRAUGHT - $5 BASIC
WITH GUESTS, TZOLKIN, THE MURDERBALLS
FRIDAY THE 16TH OF SEPTEMBER - 9PM
WITH GUESTS BLACK HAYET, 180 PROOF, SEEDY JEEZUS
SATURDAY THE 17TH OF SEPTEMBER - 5PM
MCALPINE FUSILIERS WITH GUESTS TBC!
WITH GUESTS I AM DUCKEYE, SYSTEM OF VENUS
SUNDAY THE 18TH OF SEPTEMBER - 5PM
WITH GUESTS THE EVENING CAST, PUPPIES
SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED WITH GUESTS, THE SLEDGE, CLINT FLICK
MONDAY THE 19TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM
ROUND AND ROUND MUSICIANS STORYTELLING
TUESDAY THE 20TH OF SEPTEMBER - 9PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT THIS WEEK: TBC!
163A Sydney Road, Brunswick 3058 Bookings/Enquiries email@example.com www.cornisharms.com.au
Mon - $12 Burger & Pot, $14 Porterhouse Tues - $6 Pizza Wed - $14 Porterhouse Fri - $6 Pizza Thu - Great Pub Quiz Challenge
LIVE MUSIC & EVENTS
La+Bastard Poison oak + Rich Davies & the devils union
Ouch My Face + Damn Terran + Kids Of Zoo + On Sierra TANTRUMS DJ
Monday nights Open Mic Function Room Available Kitchen Open Every Evening
JD Set: Art vs Science, Kate Miller-Heidke, Patience Hodgson, Tim Derricourt: Trak Bar
Lost & Found: DJ Heels, Spidey, Adalita: Revolver Upstairs
Ring The Alarm: Ring The Alarm DJs: Laundry Bar
Sounds of Cleo, Woz, SpinFx: Revolver
The Tealeaves, Josh Macdonald: The Toff
Moneykat, Lotek, Candice Monique, Luka Lesson: The Toff
Mood: DJ NuBody: Loop
Animaux, Roie & George, The Kilnis:
Northcote Town Hall
DJ Kiti, Lady Noir: The Carlton Hotel
Funhouse: Funhouse DJs: Co. Nightclub
Good Evening DJ People:
The Toff Carriage Room
Love Story: Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti: The Toff Stage Room
Simon Caldwell, Lister Cooray, Luke McD, Tyson Ballard, Tom Pandzic:
DJ Funk, Ajax:
Velvet: Velvet DJs:
Midnight Express: Prequel, Edd Fisher:
The Espy Lounge Bar
Obsession Thursdays: Obsession DJs:
Plague Doctor, Richie1250, The Brides Of Christ, The Greasy Hawaiians: The Grace Darling Hotel Below Deck
The Factory: Ken Walker, Tom Evans, Ed Vine, Mitch Kurz: Trak Bar
The Psyde Projects, Monique Jean, Maddy Bradly, Prequel, Mike G, Sam Devitt, Marquee Moon, Will Cumming: Red Bennies
Unlucky: Unlucky DJs: Seven Nightclub
Ciecmate, Bigfoot & Jake Biz, Maggot Mouf & Gutz, Dazed and Flawlezz, DJ No Name Nathan, Rusty From Electric Mary: Billboard
Windsor Castle Hotel
Eighties and Ninties: First Floor DJs: First Floor
Feed Your Munkie, Francesca LiDonni, The Piece Brothers, The Moon Project: Ruby’s Lounge
Gavin Campbell, Lady Noir, DJ Greg: The Carlton Hotel
Let The Cat Out: 303
Masters Apprentices, Russell Morris, Madder Lake, Spectrum: Trak Bar
Mz Wood, Ivy, Squares & Zeros, DJ Wakg: Revolver Upstairs
3D: Alex Kidd, DJ sNuff, Jaffa, Pgram, Chris X: CBD Club
Paparazzi: DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat: Co. Nightclub
Poprocks: Dr Phil Smith: The Toff
Rat Vs. Possum, NO ZU, Toy Balloon, Nick Rave & The Bad Speed: The Buffalo Club
Revolver Fridays: NQR: Revolver Upstairs
Robag Wruhme, Guti, Tommy Four Seven:
The Herd, Sietta: Price Bandroom
Strut: Mark Pellegrini, Jason Serini, Andreas, Jason Heerah: Trak Bar
The House deFrost: Andee Frost:
Above & Beyond, Jaytech, Mat Zo, MaRLo, Trent McDermott, Papa Smurf:
The Late Show & Get Low: The Modern Age, The Pretty Littles, Peeks: 303
The Universal, Secretary Lily:
The Grace Darling Hotel
Tomas Ford, Naiki, Dos4gw: Yah Yah’s
Constanze, Adam Askew, Mr Honeysmack: The Carlton Hotel
Envy: Finlo White, Joe Sofo: Co. Nightclub
First Floor Saturdays: First Floor
Fly: Justin Jamieson, Moonshine, Booshank, Chestwig, Laser Ferrari: Loop
Be: Jade Angela, Damion DeSilva, Jay J, Lightning, Hoesty: Co. Nightclub Doc. Leroy, Speakeasy: Windsor Castle Hotel
Future Roos, Spoonbill, Treats, A DJ Called Matt, Bohjass, Red Rockets Of Borneo, Manchild, Pata Physics, Mista Savona: 303
Windsor Castle Hotel
Roman Wafers, George Hysteric:
Size Matters: AN21, Max Vangeli:
Matthew K-Von Gill:
The Toff Sunday Set: Andyblack, Haggis:
The Toff Carriage Room
Sketch Club, Dead Pilot, DJ Glen:
The Carlton Hotel
Swing Patrol: Johnny T, Ramona Staffeld: The Toff
Ali Barter, Craig Fraser Band, The Timbers, Neal Matthews: The Espy Lounge Bar
Dumplings Bitch: Wednesday The Rat, Indian Summer DJs, Smoking Toddlers: Eurotrash Bar
Jess Ribeiro, The Bone Collectors, Cherrywood Band: The Toff
Make It Up Club: Bar Open
Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning: Revolver Upstairs
PARK MUSIC Gasworks Arts Park are presenting a new event offering for the spring season – Gasworks Music In The Park, a free concert series held throughout October. Featuring Cosmo Cosmolino and Deborah Conway, you can spend (hopefully) sunlit Sunday afternoons in October on the grass, indulging in some Australian acts. These free events are dog- and bik-friendly, so pack a picnic, take the family and head down to the gorgeous Gasworks Arts Park for some stunning musical performances.
Friday Cash Savage & Little John, Piece Pai Saturday A Lonely Crowd
Saturday Bang Grand Sumo Championship, Feed Her To The Sharks, A Fate Worse Than Death, Aura Vale
Wednesday Straw King Eye, The Sticky Valentines, Bitter Oryx Thursday Woolen Kits, Dick Threats, Angel Eyes, East Link Friday Simmer Saturday The Transatlantics Sunday Alan Zeybeck & The Lessermen, Fantasy Island, Tommy El Salvador Monday Screen Sect Tuesday Make it Up Club
Thursday Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Saturday Chris Kaye, Tom Evans, Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B
Wednesday Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie, Prequel, Black Diamond Kicks Thursday Tiger Funk Friday Blackout Saturday Hot Step Sunday Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Monday iBimbo Tuesday Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who
Wednesday The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Thursday Shortfall, Tzolkin, The Murderballs Friday The Superguns, Black Hyatt, 180 Proof, Seedy Jeezus Saturday Jessamine, I Am Duckeye, System of Venus, McAlpine Fusiliers Sunday Socially Handicapped, The Sledge, Clint Flick, Windsor Thieves, The Evening Cast, Puppies Monday Round and Round Storytellers night
Tuesday The Brunswick Discovery
BUILDERS ARMS HOTEL
Tuesday Open Mic
Tuesday Kumar Shrome & the Punkwallahs, Marcel Yammouni, Archetype, A DJ Called Matt
EMPRESS HOTEL, ARVO SHOW
Thursday May Dreamers, Mad Nanna, Bali Hai Friday Cal Walker, Reigning Men, Gaylord Lovelace, Smoke Machine, Heel Toe Express, The Sinking Tins Saturday Sex On Toast, Wicked City, Spider Goat Canyon, Slocombe’s Pussy
Sunday Tim Reid, The Weekend People
CARAVAN MUSIC CLUB
ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM
Friday The Black Sparrows Sunday Lucie Thorne, The Yearlings, Hamish Stuart
CORNISH ARMS HOTEL
Friday LA Bastard, Poison Oak, Rich Davies & The Devils Union Saturday Ouch My Face, Damn Terran, Kids Of Zoo, On Sierra, Tantrums DJs
EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB
Thursday Pugsley Buzzard Friday Poison City Weekender, The Hawaiian Islands, ANCHORS, Fires Of Waco, Grim Fandango, Stolen Youth, Luca Brasi Saturday Poison City Weekender, Bridge & Tunnel, Scream Feeder, The Nation Blue, The Gifthorse, Paper Arms, The Optionals
EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL
Wednesday Nimbleman Family Band Thursday Plastic Palace Alice, The General Assembly, Ladie Dee Friday Hamilton Saturday Matt Glass Sunday Duck Musique
Wednesday Terry Springford, Pax, Hissy Loco Thursday Leagues, William Blaxland Friday Tristen Bird, The Stillsons, Kate Walker Saturday Jouissance, The Stevens, The Clits Sunday Music Trivia Monday The Rust Buckets, The Living Skies
Thursday Texel Rising, Vintage Cinema, The Magic Bones, Mushroom Horse Friday Bad Repeat, Tulalah, Lonely Smokers, Deepest Purple
Wednesday Movie Screening Thursday Movie Screening Friday Russian Circles, Matt Sonic & The High Times, River of Snakes Saturday Australian Bon Jovi Show, Kill em All, White Widdow Sunday Gunn Music Competition
GRACE DARLING HOTEL
Thursday Box Rockets, Winter Street, Ghosts, Richie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ, The Greasy Hawaiians, Plague Doctor Friday Winterpark, Ross McLennan, Popolice Saturday The Universal, Secretary Lily, Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes, Spender
JOHN CURTIN HOTEL
Thursday Strangers From Now On, The Gloves, Mater Gun Fighters, Udays Tiger Friday Step Into My Office Baby, Andy McClelland, Nathan Jones, Miss Mod Saturday Dancing Heals, Private Life, Complimentary Headsets
Wednesday Signal X, Steal Birds, Preston Perche, Leadlight Thursday I Am Giant, Shaman Son, Seedy Jeezus Friday Ciecmate, Bigfoot, Jake Biz, Maggot Mouf, Gutz, Dazed & Flawless, No Name Nathan, Rusty Saturday The Vasco Era, Money For Rope, Fangs, Passport For Amy, Phil Para Sunday Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Snowy Belfast, John Patrick & the Keepers Tuesday Ali Barter, Craig Fraser, The Timbers, Neal Mathews
Wednesday Pourparlour, The Sun Blindness, Joe Forrester Thursday Moroccan Kings, Krematorium Defiled, Socially Handicapped, For the Most Part Friday Jackson Jackson, Grey Ghost, DJ Jumps Saturday Freestate, Stone Parade, Jenarium Sunday Eucalyptus, ESC, Bad Taste Monday Love Migrate, Playwrite, Hayden Calnin, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Thursday Mood, DJ NuBody Friday Nice & Ego Saturday Fly, Moonshine, Booshank, Chestwig, Laser Ferrari
Wednesday Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Thursday WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Friday Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Saturday Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee Sunday Askew, Booshank, Paz, Ms Butt, Jumbo, Junji Tuesday Cosmic Pizza
Thursday The Broderick, Distant Wreck, Cardinals, Like Royalty
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB
Wednesday Simone Felice, Catherine Tracios Thursday Eliza Hull, The Commas, Ainslie Wills Friday Ben Salter, Harmony, Lost Animal, Sailor Days Saturday Northeast Party House, Midlife, Snakadaktal
MONDAY CURRY OF THE DAY $10 TUESDAYS BEEF, CHICKEN OR VEG WRAP $10/$8 WEDNESDAYS PORTERHOUSE STEAK $12
Sunday High Noon Festival
Thursday Ruby Shoes, Dark Globes, Vinal Riot, The Battery Kids, Love/ Hate Friday Grandpa’s Guitar Sessions, Tim Durkin, Chico Flash, The Hunting Club, Jessamine, SHERIFF, The Sophisticants, Grunge Betty Saturday Australian Kingswood Factory, Black Mustang, Mary Of the Moon, Velociraptor, Mr Sharp
Thursday Pajama Club, Ernest Ellis & the Panamas Friday The Herd, Sietta, Jimblah Saturday Superdisco, Hook N Sling, John Course
Friday Damn The Torpedoes, The Hidden Venture, Johari Window Saturday Matheson, One & The Same, Living Skies
THE DRUNKEN POET
Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Cilla Jane, Kate Lucas Thursday Jules Sheldon, Anthony Young Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday The Nudgels Trio Sunday Lloyd Spiegel, Lily and King
Friday Paulie Bignell Sunday Mikelangelo
Thursday Law Schools Got Talent Saturday Syl Johnson, The Bamboos, Cactus Channel, Chris Gill, Pierre Baroni, Mohair Slim
THE OLD BAR
Wednesday Peep Tempel, Sun God Replica, Jackals Thursday The Delta Riggs, The Money Smokers, Howler Friday The Toot Toot Toots, Digger & The Pussycats, Strangers From Now On, DJ Ruari Fangin
Saturday The Bowers, Spinning Room, Richard Fyshwick & the Nuftys, DJ Old Hands, Wil Wagner, Jamie Hay, Darren Gibson, Lincoln Le Fevre Sunday Jimmy Tait, High Tea, Midnight Bosom, DJ Street Monday Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Jacky Winter, DJ Dave Heard, CROTCHETY KNITWITS Tuesday Sean Van Doorum, Ainslie Wills
ON THE STEREO 12 Days To Paradise HUXTON CREEPERS Life Sux WAVVES Let Music & Bodies Unite RAT VS POSSUM Wild Flag WILD FLAG Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS In Your Room CAMERAS Sun RICHARD IN YOUR MIND Happiness And Surrounding Suburbs BALL PARK MUSIC Brous BROUS Cerebral Ballzy CEREBRAL BALLZY
THE STANDARD HOTEL
Wednesday Two Jacks & a Jill, Ben Blakeney Sunday The Miserable Little Bastards
Work (Work, Work) HTRK Ex Tropical LOST ANIMAL A Creature I Don’t Know LAURA MARLING Tassili TINARIWEN In The Grave Of Your Love THE RAPTURE Believers AA BONDY Glass Swords RUSTIE Speaking Volumes MANTRA Glazin’ JACUZZI BOYS Vows KIMBRA
THE TOFF IN TOWN
Wednesday The Tealeaves, Josh McDonald Thursday Moneykat, Lotek, Candice Monique, Luka Lesson, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Little John, Ron S Peno & the Superstitions Trio, Sambrose Automobile, The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday Steve Balbi, Simon Meli Falcons, Natasha Stuart, Andyblack, Haggis Monday Swing Patrol Tuesday Jess Ribiero & The Bone Collectors, Cherrywood
Wednesday Midnight Caller, Ivy St, Little Killing Friday Blood Duster, Legends Of Motorsport, Captain Cleanoff, Counter Attack Saturday Wet Hair, Bum Creek, The Cannanes, Fabulous Diamonds, Guy & Marcus Blackman Experimentations, Laura Jean, Jonny Telafone, New Estate, Geoffrey O’Connor Sunday Mutiny, The Smith Street Band, Harmony, Fear Like Us, The Scandal, Headache, Arrows, Following Sea, Jen Buxton
Friday Sir William Saturday Los Neutrinos, Sonic Attack Sunday Grizzley Jim Lawrie
THURSDAYS FREE POT WITH ANY MAIN MEAL!
FRIDAYS CHICKEN SNITZ, CHIPS & GRAVY $10
SATURDAYS FISH N' CHIPS $8
TRIPLE J HIT LIST Prisoner THE JEZABELS Audio, Video, Disco JUSTICE The Reckoning THE GETAWAY PLAN Shuffle BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB Panther Shrine FIRE! SANTA ROSA, FIRE! All I Want Is You BALL PARK MUSIC Speak Of The Devil HERMITUDE Stand Right Up KING CANNONS Polish Girl NEON INDIAN Car Song (Ft Santigold) SPANK ROCK
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK
Thursday Sweet Jean Saturday Yanto Shortis & Band, Ian Collard, Dom Turner Sunday The Lowriders Tuesday Trivia
Wednesday Conversations with God Thursday Into The Woods, Genevieve & Jezabel Friday Choro, The Yearlings, Suzannah Espie Saturday Fruit Jar, Laura K Clark Sunday High Noon Festival, Into The Woods, Nigel Wearne, Glory B, The Stillsons, Tobias Cummings, The Tiger & Me, Khancoban, Playwrite
Wednesday The Released Series presents: SomeOne Good, Mika, Celer, Oblako Lodka, Battlesnake, Dark Decimals, DJ Because Goodbye
STRANGERS FROM NOW ON
WITH THE GROVES, MATER GUN FIGHTERS AND UDAYS TIGER
STEP INTO MY OFFICE BABY DJAYS
FEAT. ANDY MCCLELLAND, NATHAN JONES AND MISS MOD
WITH PRIVATE LIFE AND COMPLEMENTARY HEADPHONES
Thursday Burn That Cat DJs, The Bonniwells, The Hierophants, The Living Eyes, Reckless Vagina, DJ James Lake Friday Red Aces, Stringfellow Hawke, They Move Like Wolves, Two Bright Lakes DJ Saturday Mojo Jacket, Madison Jayne, Hamish Anderson, Rainbow Connection DJ’s Monday Wolfy and the Batcubs, The Sherrifs, Neil Wilkinson
Thursday Squid Squad, Kane Muir & the Rag Time, Kids, Polygasm, Matt Kelly Friday The Ovals, The Jackals, Black Mustang, Kidney 3, Myles Gallagher Saturday Tomas Ford, Naik, DOS4GW, Shaky Memorial Sunday Sketch Club, Dead Pilot, Glen
FRI 23RD SEP - DEAD RIVERS DEEPS WITH GO GO SAPIAN, VOODOO ECONOMIC AND CAYN BORTHWICK ( SAN GRAS ) SAT 1ST OCT - GRAND FINAL DAY AT THE CURTIN FRI 7TH OCT - HELL CITY GLAMOURS WITH ROCK CITY RIFF RAFF AND MY DYNAMITE THURS 27TH OCT - ALCEST (FRANCE) 2ND AND FINAL SHOW FRI 11TH NOV - ROYAL HEADACHE ( NSW ) RECORD LAUNCH
BEHIND THE LINES Compiled by MICHAEL SMITH
MILOŠ KARADAGLIC AT ALLANS Miloš Karadaglic is a 28-year-old virtuoso guitarist who recently topped the UK and European classical charts, cracking the top 20 on the pop charts while he was at it. Allans Music & Billy Hyde in Bourke Street will be hosting a performance by Karadaglic this Thursday from 5.30pm, which will be followed by a Q&A session where he will discuss and demonstrate the technique and skills that have led him to be signed to the prestigious classical label Deutsche Grammophon. He’ll also be signing copies of his new release, The Guitar. The event is free but, as always, there’s only limited space so you might want to register your intention to attend at the Allans website.
SOUND ADVICE GEAR REVIEWS WITH KRIS SWALES HOUSE OF MARLEY STIR IT UP HEADPHONES Conscious headphones. It’s an esoteric concept, and perhaps one that only one of music’s most famous names could successfully indulge in. But that is the conceit under which The House Of Marley operates, taking the principles spread across the world by reggae’s most seminal name – Bob Marley, of course – and integrating them into a business division launching here in Australia with both earphones (seemingly aimed at iProduct users) and headphones across three distinct tiers and price points: the Jammin’, Freedom and Destiny collections respectively. The three collections are united by three principles, namely Superior Quality, Eco-Friendly and Cause-Minded, the latter seeing proceeds from sales of The House Of Marley brand going to the Marley family’s 1Love movement and being spread through the United Nations Environment Program, Charity: Water, the African Leadership Academy and Invisible Children charitable organisations.
NMIT SONGWRITING MENTOR SESSION Kicking off 10am this Saturday, the NMIT Fairfield Campus is hosting free forum, workshop and showcase opportunities titled Your Song Matters, led by APRA Songwriter Of The Year winner Greg Arnold (Things Of Stone & Wood), with songwriters Rebecca Barnard (Rebecca’s Empire) and Charles Jenkins (Icecream Hands). All you have to do is bring along your songs. Again, there are only so many places available so it’s best to call Arnold on 9269 8806 to ensure a spot.
APRA ROADSHOW SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED
Knowing you’re wired for sound with a clear conscience is one thing, but if the products aren’t up to scratch it’s a moot point – fortunately, the headphones deliver on the Superior Quality promise. Skipping the entry level Jammin’ Collection (which offers three headphone choices ranging from $59.95 up to $79.95), we head straight for the Freedom Collection’s top model – the Stir It Up line ($179.95). It’s one of Marley’s most iconic tracks and if you were to make your selection based purely on that being a personal favourite, you’d be well served. Built from sustainable materials these may be, but that doesn’t mean you’re dealing with something
On Monday 26 September, Ormond Hall on St Kilda Road hosts The APRA Roadshow, a chance to chat to the experts, develop your songwriting skills and connect with others in the wider music community. Running over five hours from 3.30pm and free to APRA members, along with this year’s APRA Ambassador Lior the Roadshow panels will feature Evelyn Morris (Pikelet, True Radical Miracle) and Leanne Menard (freelance publicist). Get in touch with the APRA office on 9426 5200 for the details.
SOUND BYTES Lou Reed and Metallica have recorded an album together titled Lulu. It was co-produced by Reed, Metallica, Hal Willner and Greg Fidelman, who also mixed the record. Canadian band The Trews recorded their forthcoming fourth album, Hope & Ruin, in The Tragically Hip’s Ontario studio, Bathouse, with Gord Sinclair producing. They then called in fellow Canadian Mike Fraser (AC/ DC, Aerosmith, Metallica, Chickenfoot) to mix at Warehouse Studio in Gastown, Vancouver. Believers, the new album from Birmingham, Alabama alt.folk singer/songwriter AA Bondy, was recorded in the northern spring by Rob Schnapf at Mant and Kingsize Studios in California. Switchfoot recorded most of their eighth album, Vice Verses, produced by Neal Avron (Weezer, Linkin Park), in their San Diego, California home studio. San Francisco-based psych-pop four-piece Wooden Shjips recorded and mixed their recently-released first proper studio album, West, in six days at Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco with engineer Phil Manley. It was mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unisinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at The Lodge in New York. Portland folk rockers Blitzen Trapper teamed up with Tchad Blake (Tom Waits, The Black Keys) and Gregg Williams to co-produce and mix their new album, American Goldwing. Sydney five-piece Tonight Alive recorded their debut album, What Are You So Scared Of?, in LA earlier this year with producer Mark Trombino (Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World) at NRG Studios. Signed to Mute, UK folkie Beth Jeans Houghton recorded her forthcoming album over four months in Miloco Studios in London’s Bermondsey with producer Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode, Blur, Doves, Elbow). Just how SPA group editor Andrew Mast missed this one is a mystery but it’s true – 87-year-old Doris Day has just released a new album, My Heart, a compilation of previously unreleased studio recordings produced by her son, Terry Melcher (The Byrds, The Beach Boys), before his untimely death in 2004. Four of the tracks were written by Melcher with The Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston. Former Atlantics bass player Bosco Bosanac has been concentrating on a tribute to Johnny Cash called Cash On Delivery and in that context has reworked a number of Cash classics in his own way on an album, A Boy Named Sue, produced by himself and wife Jacqui and recorded, engineered and mastered at Brain Recording Studios in Sydney.
biodegradable here – the headphones are weighty (without being overly so) and solidly constructed with speakers set in beech wood and connected by a recyclable aluminium strap wrapped in tough black canvas. They’re easily adjustable to a variety of head sizes (thankfully, this reviewer’s large one is easily accommodated) and sit snugly on the ears – they almost feel like they close in a little tightly, but it’s a small price to pay when you can tell the weight in the earpieces is delivering just the sort of sonics you’re looking for. The bottom end feels spacious, the stereo field is wide and the frequency balance is as close to perfect as you could ever hope for. And if you did want to rock these in public with your portable music player of choice (the timber finish is so sexy you will find it difficult to resist), the removable black fabric cable (speckled with reggae red, yellow and green, naturally) is fitted with volume control and play/pause button for ease of use – and a mic should someone interrupt your listening experience with a phone call. Joggers or gym junkies who desire superior sonics while they exercise will have to take into account the additional weight the Stir It Up set delivers as well – or perhaps even incorporate it into their calorie counting. While Stir It Up should satisfy most prosumers, there’ll always be someone looking for a little more. They’ll find that in the Destiny collection’s single piece, the TTR: Iron over-ear headphones which retail for $349.95, but there’s enough to like about the Stir It Up to make it a potential go-to option for music fans on all levels of the ‘discerning listener’ bell curve. NB – these cans were road-tested using kiwi drum’n’bass/ dubstep renegade Bulletproof’s new long-player Dub Me Crazy. Somehow, we feel Bob would be pulling a bassface of approval and quite possibly even calling for a rewind. For more info, visit thehouseofmarley.com.au.
POINTS OF REFERENCE A reissue of ESSENDON AIRPORT’s 1981 album Palimpsest shows that by looking back, the group were ahead of their time, writes DOUG WALLEN. In today’s nostalgic, mash-up, in-joke world, it’s easy to feel like everything’s been done before. But even that feeling has been done before: young generations have long felt at a loss to create something new with so much accumulated history nipping at their heels. And so artists hijack the past and make it their own. That’s exactly what Melbourne’s Essendon Airport did as a band 30 years ago, dismantling notions of popular music within their sample-spiked, funk-addled post-punk. That makes their only album, 1981’s Palimpsest, all the more fascinating in its reissuing by Chapter Music. “It was always going to be referencing something,” recalls singer-keyboardist David Chesworth. “We were quite driven by the idea that rock and pop were commodities. We were very aware of the business, so it was an acknowledgement that all we could do is regurgitate in different ways music that had already been done. We did it with the sense that we were roleplaying or playacting, because it didn’t feel like there was anything new we could do.” And so Palimpsest – a term for a manuscript with writing over pre-existing writing – constructs something new and self-aware from spare parts of the past. The album starts with Correct Pitch?, combining a demo record for a drum machine with one for the ARP Odyssey synth and a collection of stock guitar licks. Later is a snippet from the three-LP set The Science Of Sound and a daggy quote from Bay City Rollers. Meanwhile, the title of the instrumental Beguine references a slow Caribbean dance. There’s also a brief sample from the film Spartacus and several references to funk. And on I Feel A Song Coming On Chesworth sings the lyrics of that 1930s standard, but in a robotic deadpan over original music that blends Ian Cox’s repetitious saxophone with Paul Fletcher’s erratic drumming. “A really self-conscious band, we were,” admits Chesworth. “A lot of the songs are referencing songs from the ’40s and ’50s. Most of the vocals were using pre-existing lyrics, but with new music.” As for the fixation with funk? “The funk thing grew out of our fascination with rhythm,” he says. “We were influenced more by minimalism, like early Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Funk was having a bit of resurgence, but no one was playing that music in Melbourne when we started doing that. Or redoing it. There was no sense that we were competing with American black funk. It was just this sidebar.” Named in honour of a landmark in the suburb where
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Chesworth and co-founding guitarist Robert Goodge resided, Essendon Airport began in 1978 as a minimalist duo. Following 1979’s Sonic Investigations Of The Trivial 7” EP – reissued on CD by Chapter in 2002 – the band picked up two more members and began developing ideas for a proper album. Palimpsest was recorded for free on eight-tracks at LaTrobe Uni, which Chesworth had access to as a tutor. He taught himself how to use the equipment and guided the band through a hasty recording process. Essendon Airport split in 1983, with Goodge and two other members graduating to the much more commercially viable I’m Talking with Kate Ceberano. Goodge later started the production duo Filthy Lucre, which did seminal
remixes of Yothu Yindi’s Treaty and other Aussie singles. Chesworth now works as an artist, although he also has an 11-piece group called David Chesworth Ensemble. Goodge is a member of that, and the duo have played Essendon Airport material as a duo. There was talk of reforming the Palimpsest line-up for some gigs around the reissue – which features an engrossing second disc of live material – but the rehearsals didn’t feel right. “It belongs, in a sense, to a younger version of us,” Chesworth reckons. “Some of the material, where we’re a bit angry or cynical, just doesn’t belong to where we’re at [now]. But we wouldn’t rule it out. We might revisit it.” The reissued Palimpsest is out now through Chapter.
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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...