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WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2011
INPRESS 14 16 16 18 22 25 26 27 28 29 30 30 30 32 34 36 36 36 36 38
The week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash The Frontline brings you the hottest industry news Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements Konono No1 are unlike anything you’ve ever heard Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy is in a happy place Alice Cooper is a big Kesha fan Making records is the most important aspect of what Jack Ladder does Allen Toussaint has not heard a song of his covered and not liked it Panic! At The Disco have reinstated their exclamation mark Cash Savage is a TV-smashing veteran Weddings, Parties, Anything are taking things one week at a time Caitlin Park makes cinematic music Our comprehensive guide to Counter Revolution On The Record rates new releases from Feist and Touche Amore Is Celph Titled the underground Diddy? Dead Letter Chorus are in their true state performing live There may be a Suzi Quatro bipoic on the way Moon Duo were forced to reconsider their San Franciscan postcode Frankie & The Heartsrings are mates with Edwyn Collins Gappy Ranks wants to get to know you
Thursday 29 september
Sweet Jean Sime Nugent & Alice Keath return to play four nights of beautiful “aspirational” folk. 7.30pm
EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Bryget Chrisfield Editorial Assistant Samson McDougall Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse email@example.com Staff Writer Michael Smith
no music today
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Sun 2 October
ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION
The Prayerbabies Gospel, blues, country, hilarity, 80s
firstname.lastname@example.org Reception Holly Engelhardt Accounts Receivable Anita D’Angelo Accounts Payable Francessca Martin
rock’n’roll, and so much more 5pm
Tuesday Trivia 7.30pm
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39 This Week In Arts plans your week ahead 39 Playwright Marcia Ferguson talks about her play, Ganesh Versus The Third Reich 39 Tom Tom Crew’s Ben Lewis prepares for Melbourne Festival 40 Comedian Ryan Coffey still doesn’t think highly of us 42 Cultural Cringe takes a trip into outer space at ACMI 42 Film Carew looks at Tabloid, Project Nim and The Whistleblower 42 Xavier Toby ask for you to consider his Fringe show
BACK TO INPRESS 43 Gig Of The Week digs Batrider 43 LIVE:Reviews appreciates Sebadoh’s sloppiness 49 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 49 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 49 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 49 Kendal Coombs leads the under-18s boardroom in the Department Of Youth 50 Al;l things vinyl with Platter ‘Tude 50 The Calling goes with the flow 50 The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 50 Investing in club music with Business Music 53 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 53 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 54 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 58 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 60 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 62 Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds
Saturday 1 October
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 Jack Crane, 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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GIVEAWAYS Australia’s chainsaw folk vigilantes The Crooked Fiddle Band combine stunning musicianship with a rhythm and energy aimed straight at romantic hearts and dancing feet, intertwining folk traditions with modern evolutions. They’re now about to embark on a national tour in support of their debut album, Overgrown Tales In Chicago. We have five double passes up for grabs for their East Brunswick Club show on Saturday 8 October.
The Doomsday Festival will be held at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 22 October. The festival is a showcase of Australia’s finest sludge, doom metal, psychedelic, heavy stoner, post-rock and experimental bands. American band Cough are headining this year. We’ve got some Doomsday goodies to give away, including a prize pack that contains merch and a double pass, while two runners-up will score a double pass.
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders have been touring their critically acclaimed new album Hurtsville around Australia. Its atmospheric songs follow Ladder’s Australian Music Prizenominated and Red Bull-awarded album Love Is Gone (2008). We have two double passes to give away to the Corner show on Friday night with special guest Ghoul.
Laura Marling’s new album A Creature I Don’t Know is out now and we have five copies to give away. Produced by Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Emmylou Harris), the release follows the success of her sophomore record I Speak Because I Can (also produced by Johns), which along with her debut Alas I Cannot Swim was Mercury Prize nominated.
Toot Toot Toots
Hot rods and rock music get back to their roots for the annual Chopped Rod & Custom show, a three-day festival where pre-1965 style custom cars and music fanatics from across Australia roll into Victoria. As well as the field of dirt drags and cars, there’s a bunch of bands playing rockabilly, garage, rock, blues, country and surf music. Artists performing include Six Ft Hick, Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders and the Toot Toot Toots. It all happens at the Newstead Racecourse this Friday to Sunday and we’ve got one double pass to give away.
HEAD TO THE INPRESS FACEBOOK PAGE TO ENTER
Foxy Shazam New War
New War – great record, even better live.
Call it what you like – WAG-on wheel, lazy susan, rotisserie – the Brownlow’s pre-count fashion pod was a harsh reminder of the AFL’s and Channel 7’s view of women.
Both Big Day Out and Golden Plains are set to unveil their first load of acts later this week. The suspense is killing us!
Now Osama Bin Laden is dead, US airlines need a new demon. We just thought it would be slightly more terrifying than two women locking lips.
BRINGING THE LOVE
SHAZAM! THEY’RE GONE
Underground Lovers are reuniting to play the Corner on 17 November in support of a new two-disc compilation, Wonderful Things: Retrospective. Will be epic.
We’re super-bummed Foxy Shazam have pulled out of Harvest fest – their anticsheavy set was one of the best things we saw at this year’s Soundwave.
STAND AND ROTATE
POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
INDUSTRY NEWS BY SCOTT FITZSIMONS
The Jezabels pic by Kane Hibberd
INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) Paving The Way To Success... By Shane Thompson
On the stage at the back of Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge, Sydney’s Caitlin Park is standing alone with her guitar around her neck and a sampler at her side. The bar, which was opened in place of the Troubadour by the same owners in August, is populated only by a handful of tables and a few people snuggled into the booths, but the low lighting is doing well to cover that fact. The den-like atmosphere is also accentuating the bar’s place as a haven from the Brunswick Street Mall, which, despite the heavy-handed noise restrictions in this city, has been completely overtaken by the Katy Perry-alike music coming from a singular bar in the centre. Perhaps the residents like that sort of thing. Park has noticed the disparity, too. It’s the first time she’s been to Brisbane, she tells us, and she wants to know whether being accosted by drunk men outside is part of the experience. It’s just after 8pm. Park starts up with the opening song from her debut album, Milk Annual, which is out through Sydney label Broken Stone Records and which has seen her embraced by community radio and acquire that slightly confusing prize Triple J often awards artists of a softer ilk: all-out praise and online beat-ups and little airplay. It’s a surprising album, a swathe of intimate and dark folk melodies woven with audio-book and self-recorded dialogue and set atop field recordings that make every song a living, breathing thing. At times there are hints of Fionn Regan’s bubbling acoustic guitar and his forlorn forest-animal analogies; in places Milk Annual is every bit the rural Australian soundtrack, or perhaps the kind we know from films such as Somersault. But there are lighter moments too, as well as an overriding sense of hope in Park’s lyrics, and it was the mix that made my discovery of the album fortuitous. I needed something that reflected the absurdity of life and made me feel okay about smiling and crying at the same time, and Milk Annual is that. Onstage, in the first show of her album-launch tour (the final is this Thursday at the Toff In Town), Park is looping her guitar, sparking samples with a drumstick and using her sandshoe voice as another brick in the wall. She plays the song that was featured in a Bonds ad earlier this year, Warriors With Wild Hearts, as well as the slightly off groove of her latest single Baby Teeth, triggering backups of her own voice and the same two spoken samples that repeat until the disjointed phrases come together to make so much sense – “Did you notice… Side by side.” On Milk Annual’s closing track, Jack, Where You At, Park tells the tale of a young couple through proposal and summer and kids up to its fading lyric, “Jack, she needs your word that it’s okay to be gone, it’s okay to be dead.” Live, it’s every bit as moving as on record, and during both experiences it’s clear that Park isn’t concerned with sadness but with the to-andfro and with inevitable cycles. On the press release for the record, Park claims inspiration from Steve Reich, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and CocoRosie. They all make sense as reference points: the first pair’s use of repetition to subtly turn cold sounds into warm sounds and to turn songs into emotional arcs, and the latter’s ability to do the same with warped notes and harmonies, are all on show on Milk Annual. With the help of Belles Will Ring’s Liam Judson (who also engineered Cloud Control’s Bliss Release), Park manages to also make the record – like the best material from those three references and as the enthralling story of Jack, Where You At encapsulates – an escape from everything outside its start and end points. It’s also a bit like Black Bear Lodge in that way, and as we exit down the narrow staircase after the gig and are thrown back into the dance-pop beats and barfed rants, it strikes me more than usual how much this city is changing and the impact of any city’s change on a life – on lives. Maybe it’s just the way I’m feeling of late – like smiling and crying – but Park’s songs stay with me and I follow the well-dressed partiers and allow myself to succumb to her suggestion that life is like a tide; for every moment we find ourselves out of place on foreign sand, there’ll be another that brings us back in.
THE AMITY AFFLICTION SIGN TO ROADRUNNER Brisbane metalcore band The Amity Affliction announced last week that they have signed a worldwide record deal with metal giant Roadrunner records. Frontman Joel Birch told The Frontline, “We’ve never rushed into anything, which is really good and has ended up working in our favour.” Impressively, the band were approached by Roadrunner, and not the other way around. Birch explained, “We actually tried getting on to a bunch of other labels. I don’t even know how Roadrunner came about, I think they approached us. We didn’t even bother going to them because they’re a major.” The band, who have been together for close to ten years, will head to the studio to work on their next album early next year. Birch said, “We’ve got like five tracks written… they’re not fully fleshed out – but it’s coming along.”
The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has helped pave the way for successful careers for some well-known Australian artists, and given them exposure to a discerning international audience. Winning the ISC has acted as a launching point for some up-and-coming artists’ professional careers. ISC founder and director Candace Avery says musician Gin Wigmore’s success went hand-in-hand with her ISC win. Gin took out one of the accolades when she was only a teenager. “She was completely unknown when she won, having never played a gig before,” Ms Avery says. “She was on the path to becoming a teacher, because of the ISC she eventually got signed in Australia to Island and Motown in the US. She had the highest selling album last year in her home country of New Zealand and she has now been living in Australia the past few years.” Kate Miller-Heidke, who also won the ISC, was signed to Epic in the US after doing showcases in the States following her win. “Winning the ISC helped my career tremendously, not just with the lovely prizes but also by generating interest and publicity internationally,” she explains. “It’s often tough to catch the attention of music industry people, but after the ISC I definitely noticed a shift. I am now signed to Epic in the US. When I do American radio and print interviews, people always want to ask me about the ISC. Besides that, just knowing that people like Tom Waits and Robert Smith have listened to my song is a bit of a buzz.” Even though she already has a strong following for her songwriting in Australia, Kasey Chambers is another local artist who found the impact of winning the ISC a positive one. “I was so overwhelmed by how much great publicity and attention I got from winning the ISC,” she says. “I entered the competition not thinking for a minute that I would even get a place but thought it would be fun to have a go as I’d never entered a songwriting competition like this before. What a special phone call it was when I was told of my win, especially knowing that most of the judges are singer/songwriters I have admired my whole life. I am so proud to carry the title of the 2010 Grand Prize winner.” Ms Avery says the ISC offers Australian artists a wealth of opportunity and exposure. “It offers an unprecedented opportunity to get Australian music in front of international music execs who make decisions about record label signings,” she says. “Also, it offers exposure to publishers, music supervisors, etc. A lot of opportunities are given to ISC winners. One of our judges, iconic blues artist John Mayall, heard the blues finalists and recorded three of the finalists’ songs on his own CD, Tough, released in 2009. Two of them were Australian artists – Peter Harper and Andrew Winton. Both of these artists had their ISC songs recorded on John’s last CD. That’s a great achievement for these artists.” Just some of the other Australian artists who have scored themselves accolades in the ISC include Gotye, Eskimo Joe, The Living End, Sarah Blasko, Sneaky Sound System, Clare Bowditch, Paris Wells and Faker to name a few. Ms Avery says it is always a thrill to receive Australian entries as the level of songwriting is so high. “We’ve come to expect a lot from Aussie songwriters, and they never fail to deliver,” she says. “Considering that Australia has less than seven per cent of the US population, the quantity and quality of entries received is staggering. ISC is a huge fan of Aussie music, and we have built a great relationship with Aussie artists, making ISC their songwriting competition of choice. We go out of our way to promote and expose Australian music in an international arena and will continue to do so. We encourage Australian songwriters of all levels to enter ISC this year, and we look forward to seeing once again the long list of Australian winners!” The deadline for this year’s International Songwriting Competition has been extended. Entrants will be able to submit their entries online until 1 November. To enter this year’s competition, visit songwritingcompetition.com
YOUNG INDIE BAND WIN COMP TO PLAY WITH SCISSOR SISTERS Sydney band Modern Error have won Guinness Australia’s nationwide search for a band to perform in Dublin alongside The Scissor Sisters, Aloe Blacc and the Stereophonics. Four bands performed at the Gaelic Theatre in Sydney in the competition final, with Modern Error bringing the packed room to their feet. The band are described as energetic, chaotic and passionate. Formed in the classrooms of a Western Sydney TAFE, the band includes members from Lithgow, Rooty Hill, Blue Mountains, Blacktown and Mt Druitt. Lead singer Dave Webb said, “It’s been a crazy experience.” The band have already won an overseas trip in the past to Germany to represent Australian music, but according to bass guitarist Max Steel, “This is only the beginning”.
PEOU LEAVES REMOTE CONTROL Remote Control Records’ Sydney-based publicity manager Ankia Peou has announced she is leaving the company after three years of service. The label has said they will announce her replacement in the coming weeks.
JEZABELS CAN’T QUITE BEAT ADELE Sydney young guns The Jezabels have stormed into second position on the ARIA album charts in the first week of release of their debut record Prisoner, a massive debut, but not quite enough to topple this year’s undisputed queen of the ARIA charts, Adele, from the top spot, where she has been perched for the past 18 weeks. Adele becomes the first artist to spend that long at the pointy end of the chart since Savage Garden did so with their eponymous debut back in 1997. There are now only four records in the history of the charts that have spent longer at the peak. Other Aussie acts to debut on the charts this week include Funkoars, whose The Quickening spends its first week in the charts at number 11 and Sydney rockers New Empire, whose second record Symmetry debuted this week at 39. Once again Gotye and Kimbra’s Somebody That I Used To Know is at number one on the singles charts, its seventh week in that position. It is still a few weeks off being the most successful single of the year though; LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem still holds 2011’s record with ten weeks in the prime position.
SMALL GIGS WORTH MORE THAN $1.2 BILLION A report released last week has proven the value of the Australian small venue live music industry, finding that it’s worth more than $1.2 billion. The report, entitled The economic contribution of the venue-based live music industry in Australia, commissioned by APRA|AMCOS in conjunction with the Australia Council For The Arts, Arts Victoria, Arts NSW and Live Performance Australia and conducted by Ernst & Young, estimated that 41.97 million people attended approximately 328,000 venue-based live music performances at 3,904 music venues over the country. It also stated that 14,800 fulltime jobs are created by the industry with $652 million in profits and wages being generated. Despite this, the average musician takes home just $12,200 per year for live performances; Music Victoria’s Patrick Donovan told The Frontline, “And that’s really skewed, most musicians are earning a hell of a lot less than that, there’s a few dragging that figure up… That’s fine if it’s your hobby, but it’s not fine if you’re a serious performer with fantastic skills, you should be earning a lot more than that.”
FACE THE MUSIC PROGRAM ANNOUNCED Melbourne’s Face The Music industry conference will coincide with Melbourne Music Week to offer up a massive program of panels and speeches directly related to Melbourne music. Some of the topics will include Melbourne being one of the world’s great music cities, which will see the likes of Brent Grulke (SXSW – USA), Becky Ayres (Liverpool Sound City – UK) and Daniel Barkowski (Popkomm – GER), speak alongside Councillor Cathy Oke (City Of Melbourne), Patrick Donovan (Music Victoria) and Chris Johnston (The Age). Some of the city’s most influential music bookers will give bands an idea as to what it is they look for when booking their best nights; Triple J Magazine’s Jaymz Clements will host a panel featuring Sarah Guppy (Revolver), Paris Martine (Phoenix Public House, Grace Darling), Mary Mihelakos (Yah Yah’s), Andy Moore (Pony), Anita Nedeljkovic (Way Over There), Amanda Palmer (The Tote), Darve Smith (Ding Dong Lounge), Emily Ulman (Toff In Town) and James Young (Cherry Bar) in the Live Landscape session. The Sounds Of The City session will be hosted by Dobe Newton (The Bushwackers Band, NMIT). It brings together Ben Eltham (freelance writer, journalist, researcher and creative producer), Doctor Kate Shaw (University Of Melbourne), Professor Rob Adams (City Of Melbourne) and Associate Professor Shane Homan. The conference takes place on Friday 18 November and Saturday 19 November at the Arts Centre, Melbourne. Conference registrations are now open; you can take care of that online at facethemusic.org.au or phone 9380 1277.
FACEBOOK IMPLEMENT STREAMING PARTNERSHIPS The strength of streaming media as a consumption method is only going to be solidified if the announcement made by Facebook last week is anything to go by. The new Facebook will be considered a hub in which you can stream music, watch films, read online newspapers and perform myriad other internet activities, but the real connection that is bound to set tongues wagging is that of the massive internet companies who have struck up partnerships with the social networking giant. Music streaming services such as Spotify and rdio are on board; joining them are a huge range of internet tastemakers, social applications and media outlets – all of them allowing you to share what you’re reading, watching or listening to with your friendship group. Just because
we do not yet have the likes Netflix or Spotify operating in Australia doesn’t mean these partnerships won’t affect us. In the most basic sense, these brands partnering with Facebook – a company which boasts 10 million Australian users – will increase their strength, their exposure and the potential they have to both inhabit and thrive in the Australian market. The power of this connection will undoubtedly expand the stretch of both the Facebook brand and those who have become associated, thus the reason for the partnerships in the first place. Success of subscription media services overseas has meant Australia is well and truly ready to embrace them; even our country’s most prominent music body are happy to see them approach. “ARIA supports and encourages any initiative that allows consumers to discover, share and access legitimate music in a way that supports artists and record labels,” ARIA CEO Dan Rosen told The Frontline.
RUPERT MURDOCH’S NEWS LIMITED SET FOR BIG CHANGES Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited will be implementing big changes in the next couple of months – with a paywall for online reading and a new name among the changes. News Corp has already tested paywalls in the UK, where their Times and Sunday Times papers were available to read online if customers paid one pound per 24 hour period or two pounds for a week. Some experts commented that the strategy was a failure, believing two out of three potential readers were turned off by the system. News Limited will undergo major rebranding in the new year, with one reason for the move reportedly that “other people are defining our brand for us”; the company will be known as News Australia from February onwards. In a leaked document about the rebranding it was said that the company wished to shift from being viewed as an “arrogant newspaper company”.
WIN A SIGNED GUITAR, HELP CHARITY The charity Thin Green Line has an acoustic guitar up for auction and the list of celebrities that have made their mark on it is massive. Elvis Costello, Grace Jones, Clare Bowditch, Ben Harper, George Clinton, Gotye, Tim Robbins, Brian Nankervis and Paul Kelly have all signed the guitar in support of wildlife rangers across the globe who often lose their lives in the line of duty to protect wildlife. The charity hopes to help stop further deaths from occurring in countries such as Cambodia, Congo, the Ivory Coast, Colombia, Argentina and South Africa from attempts to save endangered wildlife in violent circumstances. The charity has already supported 60 families of some of the more than 500 rangers that have lost their lives. The beautiful acoustic guitar is hand-painted by Colin Wightman; to purchase a ticket to enter the draw go to thingreenline.org.au.
ARCADE FIRE WIN AGAIN Canadian ensemble Arcade Fire have won this year’s Polaris Prize for their album The Suburbs – after winning the Grammy Award for Best Album earlier this year. The award is usually given to bands that have not necessarily achieved great commercial success, but have received much critical acclaim and a panel of judges vote solely on who they believe is the most deserving recipient. Arcade Fire have become the most commercially popular band to win the award; previous winners have included Fucked Up, Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) and Caribou.
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AFFLICTION ADDICTION NEWS FROM THE FRONT
M A R L E Y
FESTIVAL NEWS http://www.themusic.com.au/sfg/
WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER
THE PICTURE BOX ORCHESTRA
The Shine On festival, returning to the Pyrenees Ranges from 18-20 November, have announced another batch of acts. Topping the list are Kiwi drumâ€™nâ€™bass outfit Shapeshifter (live), alongside Big Gigantic (live), Wax Tailor, AlexKid, D-Nox and Ticon. Also appearing are 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.
MIKKI ROSS MAGNOLIA
ENTRY $12, 8PM
THURSDAY 29 SEPTEMBER
THE HESTONS BETWEEN THE WARS APES LES GARCONS ENTRY $10, 8.30PM
FRIDAY 30 SEPTEMBER
MEET ME IN COGNITO ONSLOW THE INDIGO CHILDREN DJ TOMMY CORROSIVE
ENTRY $15 DOOR, $10 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 8.30PM
SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER
GRAND FINAL DAY
WATCH THE GAME ON THE BIG SCREENS! FREE ENTRY
XENOGRAFT ANNA SALEN THE DESIGN TEMPTING FATE
ENTRY $15 DOOR, $12 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 8.30PM
SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER
BUTTERTIME LAMARAMA TOWERS THE VILLAS ENTRY $5, 9PM
MOUNTAINOUS ANNOUNCEMENT The first Sugar Mountain line-up announcement has been made for the Saturday 14 January show at the Forum and surrounding spaces. On the bill thus far are: Tune-Yards, Deerhoof, Thee Oh Sees, Shabazz Palaces, Julianna Barwick, John Maus, Sun Araw, Worldâ€™s End Press, Prince Rama, and thereâ€™s still a heap to come. On the back of this announcement, youâ€™d be looking at getting tickets as early as possibleâ€Ś this is shaping up to be huge. TuneYards has also announced a headline show at the Corner Hotel on Sunday 15 January.
LOOSE LIPS Plans are now in full swing for the 36th Port Fairy Folk Festival. They have encountered some early leaks as they book down artists so theyâ€™ve decided to share them. There are now twenty International acts set for next March and theyâ€™re rounding up a heap of great local talent. On the bill thus far are: The Davidson Brothers, The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Ami Williamson and Beoga, with a whole bunch more to be announced. The festival takes place from Friday 9 to Sunday 12 March 2012. The artist announcement will occur on Tuesday 25 October and tickets are available at portfairyfolkfestival.com.
MUSIC WEEK DRIP FEED MONDAY 3 OCTOBER
PRIVATE LIFE ANIMAUX SECONDHAND HEART PRIVATE LIFE DJâ€™S FREE ENTRY, 8.30PM $10 JUGS!
TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER
Melbourne Music Week is an initiative of the City of Melbourne that pools the vitality and the variety of the Melbourne music sector. The 2011 event has been co-produced with established industry partners including music venues, independent labels, music promoters, leading music conferences, the Australasian World Music Expo (AWME), Face the Music and peak industry organisations including Music Victoria. Revolutionary open-air music venue KUBIK Melbourne has announced the first headline acts which will include Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts performing an exclusive three-hour DJ set, DJ Krush (Japan), The Gaslamp Killer (US),
Daedelus (US), Wax Tailor (France), Die VĂśgel (Germany) and Alexkid (France). There will also be a pile of industry addresses and showcase events, a DJ workshop for kids, label showcases (including Chapter and Two Bright Lakes) and film presentations/ discussions with local musicians. Head to melbourne. vic.gov.au/mmw for more information. The full program will be released on Wednesday 19 October.
ENTRY $10 FULL, $5 CONCESSION, 8PM $10 JUGS!
Street Press Australia, publisher of this magazine you so lovingly hold in your hands, announced a while back that theyâ€™re bringing RocKwiz to Homebake, with an opportunity for two lucky readers to go head to head in the finals live on stage at the festival in December. If youâ€™ll recall, to get to that point youâ€™ll have to participate in some online quizzes that are happening all day every Thursday, starting this week and going all the way until the finals at the end of October. There are double passes to Homebake available every week, as well as the grand prize itself, so jot it into your diary and head to the RockWiz tab at summerfestivalguide.com.au on Thursday to get cracking. Donâ€™t forget that you must be over 18 to enter, as Homebake is an 18+ event.
After 22 years in the business, Shihad are still a dominating presence on the stage as well as in the studio. This is reflected not only across their most recent tours of Australia and New Zealand where they sold out venues in both countries to rave reviews; but also in their album sales to date. 2010 was huge for the boys, starting off the year supporting AC/ DC on their Black Ice world tour and then playing Homegrown music festival in Wellington. Their highly anticipated 8th album Ignite went Gold, followed by a successful national tour that was extended into earlier this year due to popular demand. Shihad will be hitting Melbourne for a special one-off performance in the Gershwin Room on Friday 18 November. Tickets are on sale now and are available at espy.com.au.
WE SMELL A RAT Melbourneâ€™s noise-pop, dance-enthusiasts Rat Vs Possumâ€™s second album Let Music & Bodies Unite is officially out into the world via Sensory Projects and to celebrate, the band are hitting the road to launch its release. The bandâ€™s kaleidoscopic video clip for debut single Fat Monk, directed by renowned artist Lucy McRae, was also released into the world last week and has already attracted substantial attention in the blogosphere, racking up over 35,000 views within the first two days of it being uploaded to Vimeo. You can catch the party at the Corner on Friday 25 November. Let Music & Bodies Unite is available digitally now via BandCamp and iTunes with 12â€? vinyl to be released shortly.
NEW CHEF NEW MENU NEW GRUB 1ST OCTOBER: FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS
6TH OCTOBER: KITCHENâ€™S FLOOR
WED 28TH SEPTEMBER
FRINGE FESTIVAL AMERICAN ASTRONAUT
THURSDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER FRIDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER FRINGE FESTIVAL - AMERICAN ASTRONAUT (EARLY SHOW) FRINGE FESTIVAL - AMERICAN ASTRONAUT FRINGE FESTIVAL - NOT SUITABLE FRINGE FESTIVAL - NOT SUITABLE FOR FOR CHILDREN (LATE SHOW) CHILDREN (LATE SHOW) FRONT BAR WOODY MACDONALD SUNDAY 2ND OCTOBER SAT 1ST OCTOBER
FRINGE FESTIVAL - AMERICAN ASTRONAUT (EARLY SHOW) FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS [UK] FRONT BAR DJS: ICE CREAM MONDAY 3RD OCTOBER
FRINGE FESTIVAL ARTISTS FOR ARTIST PROOF
TUESDAY 4TH OCTOBER
NO ZU, TIME SHIELD, DJ LA POCOCK, DJ WHITESIDE
FRINGE FESTIVAL - MYSTIC BUBBLEGIM (PREVIEW) FRINGE FESTIVAL - AMERICAN ASTRONAUT NAOMY@GETNOTORIOUS.COM
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
- TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX PRIVATE LIFE (MON IN OCT) HIATUS KAIYOTE (TUES IN OCT) MARSHALL & THE FRO (6 OCT) FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC FESTIVAL (7 OCT) HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOY? â€“ VIDEO LAUNCH (8 OCT) WATUSSI â€“ ALBUM LAUNCH (13 OCT) â€œSANS VOXâ€? MUSHROOM GIANT (14 OCT) THE CANNON BALL â€“ A ROCKâ€™Nâ€™ROLL PIRATE MASQUE (15 OCT)
The hardworking British India have been at it again, slogging it out in the studio to work on the tunes that will eventually make up their fourth album. They embarked on a massive three-month tour earlier this year, and theyâ€™re planning to hit the road yet again on the cheekily named She Prefers Older Men tour. To coincide with the tour, the track of the same name will be available for free download exclusively on the bandâ€™s website. With King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, British India will play Friday 14 October at Kay Street Saloon Bar (Traralgon), Saturday 15 at the Commercial Hotel (South Morang), Friday 4 November at the Bended Elbow (Geelong) and Saturday 5 at the Corner.
With the old school disc jockeys still championing the skills required for a tight analogue mix and the new school of DJs singing the praises of the convenience and endless possibility supported by digital mixing, Swiss DJ Deetron â€“ whoâ€™s one of the many stars of Stereosonic â€“ has met them in the middle. Taking the best from both styles, he has found a synergy between the disciplines on his latest two-disc release, Balance 20, due out in November through EMI. With close to thirty tracks on each, itâ€™s sure to be a treat to watch live at Stereosonic at the Showgrounds on Saturday 3 December.
HIATUS KAIYOTE SYRENYISCREAMY DJ CLEVER AUSTIN
One of the most head-turning and exciting posthardcore bands of recent years, The Amity Affliction, have just been signed to Roadrunner Records. The bandâ€™s most recent album Youngbloods debuted at #6 on the ARIA Charts and was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at both the ARIA and AIR Awards. Youngbloods was also voted Best Album of 2011 on Triple Jâ€™s Short Fast Loud program and in Blunt Magazine, where â€“ with the forthcoming October issue â€“ they will have notched their third cover in 18 months. In addition to their headlining Australian tour this October, the band will also be touring UK, Europe and the US. Theyâ€™ve already sold out two shows at Billboard but there are still tickets left for the one on Tuesday 11 October.
WEDNESDAY 5TH OCTOBER
FRINGE FESTIVAL - AMERICAN ASTRONAUT (EARLY SHOW) FRINGE FESTIVAL - MYSTIC BUBBLEGUM (LATE SHOW)
THURS 29TH SEP
WITH LEADLIGHT AND T-BIRD AND THE LUMBERJACKS
STEP INTO MY OFFICE BABY SAT 1ST OCT
GRAND FINAL DAY AT THE CURTIN TUES 4TH OCT
THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “OOOOH” EDINBURGH COMEDY FEST SHOW
WED 5TH OCT
DR. WATSONS COMEDY SOUL LOUNGE FRI 7TH
HELL CITY GLAMOURS WITH ROCK CITY RIFF RAFF AND MY DYNAMITE
TRACY MCNEIL BAND WITH LACHLAN BRYAN AND RAISED BY EAGLES
15.10.11 21.10.11 22.10.11 27.10.11
BETH KING AND THE HEMMINGWAY COLLEC TIVE RECORD LAUNCH - CHARLS BABY AN PLEASE ANNA HUNTING FOXES EP LAUNCH W THE GIVE AND LEAGUES A LONELY CROWD W SEX ON TOAST, LAN PARTY AND KAREN HEATH ALCEST (FRANCE) HEIRS ‘LE SECRET’ TOUR 2ND AND FINAL SHOW
4 NOV - LIZ STRINGER PLUS GUESTS 11 NOV - ROYAL HEADACHE (NSW) RECORD LAUNCH
FOREWORD LINE T EN S E PR
NEWS FROM THE FRONT The Vasco Era and Papa Vs Pretty
TAKE IT OR LEAVES IT
A PRETTY ERA The Vasco Era release a brand new, independent, self-titled album next month. Recorded live at Melbourne’s Sound Park Studios with producer Steven Schram, The Vasco Era is bursting with nearly freeform metal lashings of noise that whip around the bands blues. To celebrate the new album, The Vasco Era and Sydney’s Papa vs Pretty are joining forces this October and November for a special double-headline tour. Both bands will play songs fresh off their new albums in venues right across Australia. With Papa vs Pretty enjoying critical praise for their debut album United In Isolation (released in May) and The Vasco Era preparing to release their new record, the time was right for both bands to jump in the tour van together. They play on Wednesday 23 November at the Karova Lounge (Ballarat), Thursday 24 at the Hi-fi and Friday 25 at the Bended Elbow (Geelong).
WEARING THE CROWN
SOUNDS OF AUSTRALIA
Stepping out from his group Dilated Peoples, LA hip hop MC Rakaa is set to tour Australia in October, promoting his latest solo album, Crown Of The Thorns. The record, released last year, features guest appearances from his Dilated Peoples’ bandmates and continues the ideals projected by the group since their 1992 inception. When he comes to Australia, he will be joined by Rhettmatic (Beat Junkies, Visionaries), King Kapisi from New Zealand, Tassho Pearce from Hawaii and, a little closer to home, Dialect & Despair of Adelaide. Underground hip hop fans are in for a treat at Laundry Bar on Sunday 30 October.
A founding member of the Warumpi Band, Neil Murray, was the sole fair-skinned bandmate in a group that prided themselves on being the first to play Aboriginal rock’n’roll. Skin colour was no issue for him then and everyone else has cottoned-on since. He’s possibly best known for My Island Home, but he’s penned a lot of songs over the decades during which he’s been living the musical life, the best of which are collated on Sing The Song: The Essential Neil Murray, a CD coming out in October. Catch this living Aussie legend at the Precinct Hotel (Richmond) on Thursday 6 October as part of the Beyond Dreaming Gala event, the Courthouse Arts Theatre (Geelong) on Saturday 8, the Maldon Folk Festival 28 to 30, Melbourne Recital Centre (AWME) on Friday 18 November, Bella Union on Saturday 19, and the Union Hotel (Brunswick) on Saturday 3 December.
PEAS IN A POD Danielle Spencer and Steve Balbi had such a blast together when they collaborated and co-produced an EP of acoustic remakes from Spencer’s debut album that they’ve decided to head out on the road in each other’s company, on what they’ve dubbed the Alone & Together tour. You’ll hear the work of both artists on the night, when they’ll perform – you guessed it – both solo, all alone on stage, and together. The show happens on Sunday 27 November at the Toff In Town.
SING A SONG Australian singer Renée Geyer returns to Melbourne at the tail end of the year to say goodbye to 2011. Over four decades, the singer has created a career for herself, having worked alongside artists like Stevie Wonder, Sting and Joe Cocker, with a repertoire that includes jazz standards as well as her own original tunes. She’ll be playing Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October at Bennetts Lane.
AURAL SPEARS Melbourne-based post-hardcore band, Aural Window, will be hitting the road in the coming months to promote the release of their cover of Britney Spears’s smash hit, Till The World Ends. Aural Window have injected intricate guitar licks to the already infectious dance beat of the original, giving the track a multilayered and kaleidoscopic sound. Till The World Ends can be streamed and freely downloaded at the band’s facebook page. They play Friday 7 October at Bada Bing at Pier Live (Frankston).
VOLUME TEN On Friday 28 October, Francis Plagne will launch new album Tenth Volume Of Maps with a performance at Bella Union that will feature his band of long-time collaborators: Connal Parsley on bass, Judith Hamann on cello, James Rushford on viola and Joe Talia on drums, with a special appearance from expatriate songsmith Ned Collette on guitar. Tickets are $10+BF and available at the Bella Union website. In the meantime, you can catch a stripped-down set by Plagne at his Polyester Records (city) instore on Friday October 7 at 6pm.
Matt Joe Gow spent years envisaging what The Dead Leaves might be, but even as they fall together on this powerful debut album, they weave their own enigma. Cities On The Sea is a majestic rock album that conjures its own atmosphere and panorama of emotions and moods, an immersive experience that engulfs the sum of its parts in a unique alchemy of sound and images. Gow is a journeyman songwriter from Melbourne via Dunedin who’s drawn from every well from Joy Division to Johnny Cash. The Dead Leaves launch the album at the Toff In Town this Saturday.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP Sydney five-piece Deep Sea Arcade will hit the road in November in support of their brand new single Girls, the first cut from their debut album Outlands, which will be released in 2012. Girls, produced by the band and mixed by Dan Grech-Marguerat (The Vaccines), is an anthemic step forward for the band and is currently a fave on BBC Radio 1 in the UK. A deluge of ethereal guitars and lyrical quirks will transport you to the third summer of love, leaving your head with unforgettable melodies. With a sound steeped in a mix of ‘60s beat, surf and psychedelic pop, Deep Sea Arcade’s live performances generate unrelenting interest and intrigue that keeps your eyes transfixed on the stage at all times. Don’t miss them when they play the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 19 November.
NOT SO TINY Tiny Ruins had been quietly going about her business in New Zealand for some time, building a reputation for her intimate and beautiful live performances. But since the release of her debut album in July, that is certainly changing. Its release saw a well-received tour of New Zealand as well as several guest performances on Seeker Lover Keeper’s Australian tour. Album launches included Tiny Ruins’ first Sydney headline, and a packedout show at the Toff In Town. In the UK, press and radio are also cottoning on, and following a journey to East Africa this month, Tiny Ruins will visit London to promote the record ahead of its European release in early November. Once back on Antipodean shores, Tiny Ruins will embark on her largest tour yet, including eight New Zealand dates and a run of East Coast Australia. Catch her at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 24 and the Palais Theatre (Hepburn Springs) on Friday 25 November.
HIGH FIVE Following on from the success of his 2007 album Shipwreck, Melbourne musician and producer Nick Huggins returns with his sophomore solo album Five Lights. Set for release in October on Two Bright Lakes/ Remote Control, Five Lights is a solitary and quietly joyful celebration of acute sensory experiences. It is a multi-format work centred around an album of short songs, inspired by the ability of simple things to be immediately understood but slowly appreciated. Huggins will launch the album with a matinee show at the Northcote Social Club on Sunday 23 October.
HOUSE PARTY On Sunday 23 October at the Toff In Town, revered pop romantics The Apartments play their first Melbourne show since 2007, launching their first release since 1998, new vinyl single Black Ribbons. It’s true – the man about whom the Go-Betweens sang Don’t Let Him Come Back is back. The resigned beauty of Black Ribbons, presented in two distinct versions, is first evidence of the return of cult-hero songwriter Peter Milton Walsh, the sole constant in The Apartments since the band formed in Brisbane in 1978. In only their third ever Melbourne show in more than 30 years, The Apartments will launch Black Ribbons in stripped-back trio mode and will be supported by the fabulous Guy Blackman on the night.
LO! AND BEHOLD Featuring some of the Sydney live scene’s veterans, Lo! have become hot property lately, receiving rave reviews for their shows wherever they may roam. Recently they supported Russian Circles, but they’ve been at their craft for the last five years, finally culminating in the release of their debut, Look And Behold, on 14 October. To celebrate the release of the album, the band will play the Gasometer on Saturday 15 October.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
LOST ANIMAL POSTER
FOR YOUR PLEASURE
To celebrate the release of their debut album Ex Tropical, Lost Animal will perform at the Polyester Records city store this Friday at 6pm. Also, for a limited time, copies of Ex Tropical purchased from Polyester Records will come with a beautiful full-colour Lost Animal poster. This is a truly spectacular album by a gifted local musician, Jarrod Quarrell, and if last Saturday’s Sand Pebbles’ support slot is anything to go by, this will be a cracker of a performance.
Dance provocateurs Pleasurekraft are heading to Australia for the first time. The Swedish pair took the world by storm with Tarantula last year, which won the Track Of The Year award at Beatport’s annual awards. Pleasurekraft have been around for only two short years, and yet have already established a firm name for themselves, remixing the likes of Style Of Eye, Sneaky Sound System and Sander Kleinenberg. You can catch them at Revolver on Sunday 30 October and at the Nash (Geelong) on Friday 4 November.
LANG A BUSY MAN
Jeff Lang has never been one to accept formulas. The trademark qualities of Lang’s playing resonate stronger than ever on Carried In Mind, displaying not only a guitarist of gob-smacking talent, but a songwriter of the highest order. Carried In Mind is a collection of songs recorded live in Lang’s studio, with long time musical partners Grant Cummerford (bass) and Danny McKenna (drums) along with the very welcome addition of Garrett Costigan on pedal steel. Alison Ferrier’s brief appearance singing alongside Lang on the track she co-wrote, breathes harmony and stillness into the album, which is ripe with the rhythms of work, life, and love. Catch Lang and his band playing songs from Carried In Mind during October with support from Jordie Lane and Suzannah Espie. They’ll be playing the Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) on Friday 14 October, the Corner on Saturday 15 and the Way Out West Blues Club (Williamstown) on Sunday 16.
In July this year Loren hit the road for a tour of South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales that left a trail of impressed fans, and garnered a string of praise from many radio presenters who enjoyed live studio performances from Loren and his band. Loren also joined Dan Sultan as a very special guest on the Brisbane leg of his solo tour in July, before heading to South America in search of inspiration. Now back in the country and very much revitalised from adventures through the Americas, Loren will be hitting the road again for some solo dates and shows on the back of new album Listening To The Moon. They play Thursday 27 October at Baha (Mornington Peninsula), Friday 28 at Redd Catt (Sale), Saturday 29 at Nowa Nowa Nudes and Sunday 30 at Little Buckley Gathering.
GET YOUR FI’LL If you put Etta James, Willie Dixon and Alberta Hunter into a cauldron, from out of the smoke would appear Lil’ Fi – retro-punk vision, clutching her ukelele, belting out the blues with a heart too big not to be shared. Translating the Blues, that gritty cry of the oppressed and abused, into a unique Australian hybrid; part punk, part blues, part rockabilly, all unique, all Lil’ Fi. You can catch her on Friday 7 October at the Lomond Hotel, Saturday 8 at St Andrews Hotel, and Sunday 9 at Way Out West Blues Club (Williamstown).
DOUBLE BOK Frankenbok will be joined by longstanding metal mates and New Zealand’s finest metal aficionados Sinate, for a trio of shows at the beginning of October. The Bok will be showcasing more new material from their upcoming release The End Of All You Know, eagerly ruffling their feathers in anticipation for release of their new album. Sinate have spent the last few years touring the world and delivering their distinctive brand of raw, relentless metal at its finest. They team up on Thursday 6 October at the Tote, Friday 7 at the Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo) and Saturday 8 at Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave).
A LITTLE TICKET TO BROUS On the eve of unveiling her dazzling debut EP, Brous is pleased to announce a run of shows stretching along the East Coast and across to Adelaide. With many critics already touting Brous as a lady to keep a firm eye on, these shows are set to be something special. The theatrical video for Brous’ second single Little Ticket was shot in the historic Lithuanian Club in Melbourne and features a choir of Italian grandmothers known as La Voce Della Luna. La Voce Della Luna very rarely performs but agreed to be involved in this particular project on the strength of the song and the video’s concept. The extraordinary group of women will once again be joining Brous for one very special performance at the Phoenix Public House on Saturday 12 November.
CEBERANO ALIVE Australian icon Kate Ceberano, the woman that brought you great tracks such as Pash and Bedroom Eyes is now playing some exclusive shows in Australia as part of her Alive tour. These shows are limited and should not be missed. She’ll play Friday 21 October at the Palms, Crown Casino. Tickets are $55+BF.
Love Is Your Destiny, the debut album from May Dreamers, features songs and sound collages from the imagination of composer Martin Mackerras, played by the six-piece band, extra vocalists, an orchestra, and was more than four years in the making. May Dreamers launch the album at the Thornbury Theatre on Friday 30 September.
LINE ‘EM UP Bust out your finest threads and pointiest boots as the Espy kicks off another night of partying with the The Demon Parade, one of Melbourne’s finest indie bands. Clocking up shows with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, British India and The Church among others, The Demon Parade are hitting the Espy stage for their only Melbourne show for a long time. Joining them for the night are local poster boys Wilfred Jackal, the rock’n’roll pig skulduggery of Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party and the sweet dulcets of Sea Legs. It’s all on Saturday 8 October at the Espy front bar. Free entry.
T EN S E PR
ROOFIES Raise The Roof picks up from where it left off, with a colossal line-up showcasing the finest in established and emerging Aussie hip hop. The first instalment of Raise The Roof in June was a raging success; volume 2 is shaping up to be just as huge. Headlining festivities is Melbourne’s own Pegz. With a recentlyreleased album and fresh off a national tour, the local storyteller is one of Australia most commanding MCs. Returning to the Espy is The Herd’s wordsmith, MC and artist in his own right, Urthboy. Also joining are Diafrix, Joelistics, Skryptcha, Mind Over Matter, Low Budget, In Good Company, Fatty Phew, Coptic Soldier and DJ Matic. Hosting again is Espy regular MC Reason and DJ Flagrant will be bringing back his Aussie hip hop video show. Raise The Roof 2, this Friday at the Espy. Tickets $22+BF.
DISCO DOWN Having released their first EP in 2010 with their second due for release later in the year, San Fran Disco are quickly becoming a regular draw card all over Melbourne and a great new addition to huge festival bills. With support from Better Than The Wizards, Amber Lamps and Sam Kindlen, the group play the Espy’s Gershwin Room on Thursday 6 October.
DEVIL CHILDREN Bust out your finest threads and pointiest books as The Espy kicks off another huge night of partying with the barnstorming swagger of The Demon Parade. Clocking up shows with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, British India and The Church among others, The Demon Parade are going to be drenching The Espy stage in sweat in their only Melbourne show for a long time. Joining them for the night are local poster boys Wilfred Jackal, the rock’n’roll skulduggery of Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party and the sweet dulcet tones of Sea Legs. It all goes down at the Espy on Saturday 8 October.
STILL RAGING After 22 years in the business, Shihad are still a dominating presence on the stage as well as in the studio. This is reflected not only across their most recent tours of Australia and New Zealand where they sold out venues in both countries to rave reviews; but also in their album sales to date. 2010 was huge for the boys, starting off the year supporting AC/ DC on their Black Ice world tour and then playing Homegrown music festival in Wellington. Their highly anticipated 8th album Ignite went Gold, followed by a successful national tour that was extended into earlier this year due to popular demand. Shihad will be hitting Melbourne for a special one-off performance in the Gershwin Room on Friday 18 November. Tickets are on sale now and are available at espy.com.au.
ONYA, ONRA Prince of the beat scene Onra announces his 2011 debut Australian tour, where he’ll be performing music from his highly lauded previous and hugely anticipated upcoming projects including November’s Chinoseries 2, the follow up to the immensely successful 2010 record Long Distance. At once lush and exhilarating, Onra’s music is a stylistic navigation through a myriad of decades and genres – the beat blender melting up Chinese funk, noughties nu-disco, gully street hip-hop sounds and ‘80s pop – to create beautifully addictive tune after tune, winning fans and breaking hearts with each broken beat. Catch Onra at the Revolt Art Space on Monday 31 October.
KANGAROO SKULL GET LUCKY The Melbourne Festival will transform the Forum Theatre into an audio visual playground on Saturday 8 October. Joining the previously announced Black Dice and Lucky Dragons will be Melbourne duo Kangaroo Skull and China’s Sulumi. Kangaroo Skull are the new musical outlet for Ben Andrews and Rohan Rebeiro of Melbourne trio My Disco. What began as an impromptu improvised performance at New Zealand festival Camp A Low Hum has grown into an ongoing offshoot for the long-time musical collaborators, with the duo creating deep minimal techno that is just as intense to watch as it is to listen to. Headlining the evening will be the pre-eminent forces of the noise art movement, Brooklyn based Black Dice. The trio have built a reputation as one of the most mercurial, abrasive and overwhelming live music experiences touring the world today. Accompanying Black Dice will be long time collaborator Danny Perez, who as well as creating live visuals for Black Dice, Panda Bear and Animal Collective, is an experimental video artist in his own right and has produced numerous music videos for artists including Kurt Vile and Animal Collective. Black Dice and Danny Perez will bring a brand new, site-specific visual show to the Forum Theatre for Melbourne Festival.
A WORLD OF THEIR OWN KONONO NO1 first played together in 1966, but weren’t heard outside their home country, the Democratic Republic Of The Congo, until the late ‘70s. It was another 25 years before their first proper recording surfaced, by which time the group were blowing minds with their electrified likembes, salvaged instruments and throbbing rhythms. By BOB BAKER FISH.
t’s rare, but every now and then you hear music so far outside your experience that it feels like it just dropped out of the sky fully formed. In fact, there are few things that can prepare you for the music of Konono No1. To Western ears it’s just so alien, a peculiar, high-energy throbbing buzz and whir of tribal electronic music that seems to reference everything from punk to European trance music and kosmische, yet exists totally in a world of its own. That world is the Democratic Republic Of The Congo, and the band The Orchestre Tout Puissant Likembé Konono No1 formed in 1966, playing parties, weddings and funerals. They weren’t heard outside the Congo until 1978 when they were recorded by French radio. One person who heard that original broadcast was a Belgian former punk turned producer, Vincent Kenis, who, unable to shake the memory, travelled to the Congo in the late ‘80s and mid-’90s chasing whispered rumours and half-truths in search of the music. Eventually in 2000 he located leader Mingiedi, working as a truck driver at the time, who re-formed the band. The recordings that Kenis made at the time in his hotel room form the basis of Konono No1’s first proper recording: Congotronics. What’s so distinctive about Konono No1 even in the Congo is their use of handmade instrumentation – pots, pans and car parts for percussion – alongside likembes (thumb pianos) equipped with handmade microphones built from magnets scavenged from old car parts, and plugged into amplifiers and sent through megaphones. While they’re playing traditional bazombo-style tunes the sound has mutated through the electrification and comes across strange and distorted, weirdly enough referencing western electronic music that of course the band had never heard. These days Mingiedi is in his early 80s, and while still the heart and soul of the band as the first man to electrify the likembe, he no longer feels the need to prove anything. “He doesn’t come on tour anymore,” offers his son and bandleader Augustin Makuntima Mawangu, “but at home he’s still the leader of the band, he’s the founder. He gives us advice. And he’s the one who builds new likembes.” It’s taken three attempts to speak with Mawangu, all three thwarted by the unpredictable power grid and telephone system in his hometown of Kinshasa. In the end we elected to cut our losses and speak via email. “There are power cuts almost every day,” offers Mawangu. “It does create problems for us. We try to rehearse in a place which has a power generator, but that doesn’t always work either. But it’s fine, we manage.” Given their particular reliance upon amplification you’d think that these issues would be a considerable source of frustration, however, it’s this practical make-do attitude that characterises Konono No1 as much as anything else. There aren’t too many arty aesthetic decisions in play here. In the main it’s about utilising what you can, from their salvaging the material that was around them to create their instruments down to the genesis of their unusual sound.
“The unamplified likembe is a very quiet instrument,” Mawangu explains, “and the streets of Kinshasa are very noisy: a lot of traffic, many people, etc. So, in order to play at parties, funeral wakes, etc, my father looked for a way to make himself heard better. That’s how he invented this special amplification we use.” Joining the band around the time of the Congotronics album in 2003, Mawangu is very much the leader of the touring outfit, taking over lead likembe from his father. Mingiedi remembers the ancient bazombo trance music from his grandparents, though currently it’s played by three generations of the family. “We’ve known each other forever, as we’re all related,” offers Mawangu. “My son Makonda plays rhythm likembe, and the other members are all cousins of some sort: Pauline [vocals and bells], Menga [vocals and bass likembe], Visi [snare drum and hi-hat] and Mbiya [hand drums].” Curiously, though most of the band have other jobs beside music, Mawangu still works as a carpenter while his cousin Menga works as a baker. It’s because Konono No1 play rarely in the Congo. Initially they were ridiculed for their distorted sounds, and though international success has increased their profile and assisted them to gain acceptance, there are still many barriers to performing in their home country. When Congotronics was released in 2004 the effect was unprecedented. No one knew what hit them. Mingiedi won a BBC award for Best Newcomer some 40-odd years after Konono No1 formed. He told the audience that they were the newcomers; he’d been playing for years. The band became a touring outfit, travelling to Amsterdam and Brussels (where the Live At Couleur Café album was recorded) and subsequently around the world. While the man who originally located them, Vincent Kenis, would mourn something akin to a loss of innocence once they were exposed to the Western world, their follow-up to Congotronics, 2010’s Assume Crash Position seemed to reflect a subtle change for the band, bringing in more Western instrumentation such as bass and electric guitar. “We got used to playing on stages, on bigger and bigger stages, with bigger amplification, in front of European, American, Asian (and soon Australian) audiences,” offers Mawangu. “So that did change our way of performing. It’s not quite the same to perform a show for an audience of 5,000 at a festival or to perform at a funeral wake for 100 people in Kinshasa. We adapted our way of playing to larger amplification, and have adopted some effect pedals, etc. But our music remains essentially the same. The bass and guitars you’re hearing on the album were there as an experiment, an added flavour. But, so far, we haven’t used guitars or bass guitars in Konono shows. This may change one day, who knows?” With the unexpected success of their music, the opportunities began to flow. One of the strangest positions the band found themselves in was sharing
the studio with Icelandic songstress and pop experimentalist Bjork for her Earth Intruders single, from her 2007 Volta album. Of the experience of working with her Mawangu appears a little nonplussed. “It was nice but short,” he offers. “She came and asked us to play all kinds of things, she recorded us, and then used some bits in her song. She was very kind, but we couldn’t communicate a lot as she doesn’t speak French (or Lingala) and we don’t speak English. It was good, but not comparable to the Congotronics vs Rockers collaboration!” He’s referring to one of the most inspired albums in recent years, an attempt to link both the sounds of Konono No1 and fellow Congo performers Kasai Allstars with the indie electronic set. It’s a remix album of sorts with Konono’s label Crammed Discs farming out their sounds to the likes of Animal Collective, Juana Molina, Burnt Friedman and Shackleton. Tradi-Mods Vs Rockers is a double-CD set and there is not a single step wrong across the whole album. Eye from Japanese art-punks the Boredoms’ take on Konono’s Wa Wa Wa is possibly one of the greatest pairings in musical history, where he transforms the likembe into a squelchy 303 bassline. “Tradi-Mods Vs Rockers was our record label’s initiative,” Mawangu explains. “Our music was praised by so many European, American and Japanese rock and electronic musicians that they thought it would be good to ask some of these to do tracks inspired by our music. We didn’t take part in the choice, as we don’t know those scenes, we trusted Crammed Discs’ choice. I didn’t necessarily like or understand all the mixes, but was delighted when this album turned into a live project, and we wrote music, rehearsed and toured with Deerhoof, Juana Molina, Skeletons, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Vincent Kenis, and Kasai Allstars (they’re also Congolese, we’ve known them for a while, but had never played with them because their music is completely different from ours). This was an exceptional experience: 20 musicians together on stage… we all learned a lot, we toured in ten countries, spent almost three months together… We hope that the project will continue.” Ultimately though Konono No1 are a live band, their trance inducing performances are near legendary for their noise, relentless groove and strange time signatures. While at home they would commonly play for hours upon end, they have become increasingly adept at synthesising their music down into more Western-friendly set sizes. “This is our music, it comes from our tradition,” offers Mawangu proudly. “This is what we play, and we’re happy to share it with audiences around the world. Expect something powerful, loud and fun!”
WHO: Konono No1 WHEN & WHERE: Friday 21 October, Forum
FROM RUMBA TO CONGOTRONICS In the ‘40s and ‘50s the prevailing music in the Congo was rumba, a lazy, slightly sultry groove where Congolese musicians fused Afro and Latin sounds together in large-style orchestras to create music for dances. Upon independence in 1960 the local orchestras flourished, speeding up the music, influenced by the rock’n’roll of the times, creating a sound called Soukous or Rumba Rock. Congo 70 (Syllart), part of the Africa Pearls series, is a great collection of this vibrant time in the Congo and it highlights the rich stylistic diversity of the rumba rock period. It’s a sound that transcended Congo’s borders and for a brief time all of Africa pulsed with sounds from the Congo. OK Jazz were the most influential band during this period and Francois ‘Franco’ Luambo’s ensemble would continue to dominate the airwaves in the Congo over the next three decades with their acoustic rumba style. When Muhammad Ali and George Forman rumbled in the jungle in 1974, James Brown was in tow and the godfather of funk had a profound effect on Congolese music. Particularly on Franco’s great rival, Tabu Ley, who subsequently took on a glitzier, more showbiz style. The story of the Congo is the story of Africa. The political situation continued to deteriorate with military dictatorship and civil war raging with considerable influence from Western powers keen to protect their economic investments. Over the next two decades the Congo’s record industry and economy would deteriorate to the extent that clubs and recording studios would close and no one could afford to see live music anymore. It’s against this backdrop of poverty and desperation that Vincent Kenis visited Congo in the ‘90s and subsequently rediscovered Konono No1. The development of his Congotronics series has heralded a re-emergence of interest in Congo music in the West. Kenis has also recorded a group of paraplegic street musicians who live in the zoological gardens in Kinshasa – Staff Benda Bilili make music that harks back to the rumba of yesteryear but also incorporates a scattered form of funk. They ride customised bikes/tricycles, which are often pushed by street kids in exchange for food, and view themselves as the chroniclers of the changing face of Kinshasa. Of particular note is the homemade instrument santonge, a guitar string tensed between a tin can and a bow, played by a 17-year-old street kid. It’s amazing. Bob Baker Fish
AMBIGUITY AND LOVE WILCO frontman JEFF TWEEDY took some time off to forget all of the songs that he’d written in his life and, as he tells STEVE BELL, this clearing of the decks led to the beautiful duality of the band’s eighth album, The Whole Love. have them speaking to each other on the same record. We had plenty of places where things could go kind of haywire, so I think keeping things in check and having those contrasts creates a lot of tension and that’s good. “I don’t know, it seemed like a really special process for us this time. I always say that and I honestly don’t think that I’ve ever really had a bad time making an album. Even the record that people think I had a bad time making, I didn’t really have a bad time. But there’s something really overwhelmingly positive about the way that this record came together: just being able to do it all up at the Loft at our own studio, including the mixing, it’s the first time that we’ve ever done it all from start to finish all in our own space. It was really great, a great time.” The album that Tweedy is referring to which everyone assumes he had a bad time making is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, its genesis documented in the 2002 film I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, which chronicled the dissolution of the creative partnership between Tweedy and then-bandmate Jay Bennett (who sadly passed away in 2009). That album’s creation was dogged by turmoil and personal suffering, yet the setting for The Whole Love couldn’t be any more polar in its extremes – not only are the band in a great place internally, but before going into the studio they even afforded themselves their first rest from the road in years; a move that allowed them to both take stock of where they were at musically and physically recharge their batteries.
eventeen years into their distinguished career and it’s still no easier to get a handle on Chicago-based rockers Wilco than it was back at the outset, when they emerged from the ashes of alt.country pioneers Uncle Tupelo. Their early work remained anchored in the rustic Americana that songwriter and frontman Jeff Tweedy had perfected in the preceding years, but over time the band’s sound shifted gradually towards more experimental waters and their ‘mid-period’ – best characterised by 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and 2004’s A Ghost Is Born – was almost avant-garde in its comparative sonic sensibilities. It was around this time that the band’s current line-up coalesced and a period of relative stability ensued. Possibly also coinciding with Tweedy’s well-publicised defeat of his addiction to painkillers, the band’s sixth and seventh studio albums – 2007’s Sky Blue Sky and 2009’s Wilco (The Album) – were more laidback, classic-sounding
“I think [having that time off] was helpful to not have to tend to the catalogue of songs that we have to play all the time. To just let go of all of that and forget was really therapeutic. Somehow that seems to take up a lot of brain space,” Tweedy muses with a wry chuckle. “There’s lot of energy expended doing that, but I never really put it all together until we had this long break and I realised that I was just finding it much easier to write. Writing has felt more or less like work from time to time, but this record didn’t feel like that at all. It felt really enjoyable and it felt really open and fresh to embrace the songs as they were coming. The last couple of records were written really fast. I’m really proud of them still, but I just think that they sound probably more like what the band sounds like when we’re on the road and touring a lot, whereas maybe this record has some fresher elements being brought into it.” affairs; not risk-free but certainly devoid of the artistic pretentions of their direct precedents. Ironically, at this time the band had been playing so much together that, abetted primarily by the influence of guitar virtuoso Nels Cline, who’d joined in 2004 – they’d become recognised as one of the most formidable live bands in the business, intuitively able to switch between delicate ruminations and powerful rock wigouts at the trade of a glance. Many, however, rued the fact that this versatility that was the hallmark of their live prowess had yet to be captured formally in the studio, which is perhaps why The Whole Love, the band’s newly-released eighth longplayer, finds the band striving to straddle the divide between the two disparate worlds that Wilco had created for themselves. Beginning with the seven-minute skronkaddled kosmische of Art Of Almost, which features Cline in fine form and augers well for those who prefer Wilco at their more extreme boundaries, the album is
bookended by tender 12-minute ballad One Sunday Morning and in between these two gambits Wilco cover pretty much the entire gamut of their career to date. Yet apparently this dichotomy was more a matter of the band embracing their diversity rather than any massive statement of intent on the band’s behalf. “I think we’re always pretty open to letting a record take its shape,” Tweedy muses from the sanctity of his Chicago abode. “There were two different types of material that seemed to be pretty distinct from each other early on – there’s the obnoxious kind of punk rock strain and then there’s the more atmospheric, almost cinematic folk kinda feel for some stuff. And then over time once we got used to hearing them together they sounded like they fit together, but there was a period where we thought that we were kind of making two separate records at the same time. But I think this works really well and makes it more of a richer experience to
Lyrically The Whole Love finds Tweedy in fine form, holding court on many aspects of the human condition in his typically effortless – albeit somewhat cryptic – manner. “There’s some themes I think that are fairly consistent, not just on this record, but throughout most of the songs that I’ve written over time, but which ring true on this record as well. I seem to be obsessed with the idea of ambiguity,” he laughs, as if finding the notion absurd. “Being able to tolerate ambiguity as a goal – as a consolation in life – to be able to achieve some satisfaction or comfort level with not knowing seems to be always at least some fraction of the meaning of any song for me, so I guess I hear a lot of that still in all of these songs.”
WHO: Wilco WHAT: The Whole Love (dBpm/Anti/Warner)
NIGHTMARE PART TWO His nightmares have fuelled hits across five decades and, like every good slasher movie, ALICE COOPER isn’t short of sequels. TRISTAN BROOMHALL cakes on the mascara to get his Wayne’s World moment with shock rock royalty.
here are few artists who can claim longevity on the scale that Alice Cooper has and even fewer without bowing to outside pressures and ‘toning down’ their art. But Cooper, born Vincent Furnier, has carved himself out a career exploiting our darkest nightmares and devilish desires. His stage antics, uncompromising showmanship and uncanny ability to pen some of the most unexpected hits have all contributed to a career that’s spanned over 40 years. He’s still on the road and bringing his latest nightmares to Australian stages, celebrating the release of new album Welcome 2 My Nightmare. The original Welcome To My Nightmare was a tearaway hit in 1975, marking the point that he split with his hugely successful band and, at the time, Furnier was taking a huge gamble going it alone. “The odd thing about it was that the scariest thing you can do is have a band like Alice Cooper – the original band – and have so many hit
albums in a row and then step away from the band and do a solo project. It didn’t work for Mick Jagger, it probably wouldn’t have worked for Freddie Mercury,” Furnier explains. “The problem was that the band and myself, who are still best of friends and were even best of friends then, just couldn’t see eye to eye on what was next after Billion Dollar Babies. It was just one of those things where I wanted to make it more theatrical and I think they just wanted to back off from the theatrics. On the next project I said, ‘Guys, everyone wants to do their own projects, I’m going to do my own’.” The album was a hit and since those early days if there’s one thing that Furnier gets the most credit for, it’s almost single-handedly creating shock rock, but he’s quick to reminisce about how things were simpler in the ‘70s. “In some ways you could get away with so much more then, because everything wasn’t so politically correct. I always tell people I’m politically incoherent, so I don’t have to be politically correct. Think about it, would they be able make Blazing Saddles now? Not at all – and it was a giant hit in the ‘70s and nobody thought anything about it because everybody got insulted in it.” 2011 sees Furnier updating his nightmarish vision with a new opus and follow-up to that iconic debut. “We weren’t even planning to do an album,” he says. “I got together with Bob Ezrin – who produced the original Welcome To My Nightmare – and all of a sudden we’d started writing songs and the next thing you know I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t Alice have another nightmare? Let’s make a part two.’ We decided what Alice’s nightmares would be 35 years later. It ends up being one of the five best albums I’ve done.” There are some interesting personalities joining in on Alice’s nightmares, including a peculiar choice to play the devil in What Baby Wants. “Bob and I write 99% of everything,” says Furnier. “We sit down and just basically do most of the writing ‘cause he brings out the worst in me and I try to bring out the worst in him. Then we start colouring it, we start deciding things like if we were going to have a moment where the devil wants Alice’s soul in the nightmare, who would play the devil?
…Kesha would rather be a rock’n’roll singer in real life than a diva.”
“Well, we start thinking Christopher Lee would be good, or Vincent Price was great in the original one, then we’d say let’s go totally opposite – how about Kesha? Which is just so off the wall, but it’s a perfect match. First of all Kesha sort of represents a disco thing and Alice hates disco, so she would be a great devil. On the other hand of it, Kesha would rather be a rock’n’roll singer in real life than a diva. So I think we’re pushing her towards getting a band rather than a revue, but she does a great job.” It just isn’t an Alice Cooper album without a memorable ballad and Furnier has bared his sensitive side and had more tearjerkers than any other hard-rocker on the planet. The lighters-in-the-air moment on the new album is Something To Remember Me By. “Dick Wagner and I wrote Only Women Bleed, You And Me, I Never Cry and How You Gonna See Me Now, which are the four biggest ballads I’ve ever had,” Furnier explains. “This is a song that we wrote in probably 1975 and every time that we tried to do this song, I really didn’t have the voice to sing. I said, ‘I’m not going to do this song until I can sing it better than Dick Wagner’ – and Dick Wagner’s got a great voice. So finally, I got my voice in shape and I played it for Bob and Bob said, ‘I love this song.’ I said, ‘Great, we’ll put it in after Ghouls Gone Wild,’ which is sort of an insane ‘50s/’60s beachparty song. You know, Alice will fall in love with one of the zombie beach babes and we’ll have this tender song of him singing to this ghoul. It is one of the prettiest songs that Wagner I have written.” Welcome 2 My Nightmare also presented Furnier with opportunities to work with some of the musicians he’s played with over the years, most notably Steve Hunter, who played on the original … Nightmare. “You know, if Dick Wagner were physically well, I’d have him in the band too ‘cause they’re just two of the best guitar players in the world. Every time I see Steven Tyler he asks me how the dynamic duo are and he means Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter. “Steve Hunter just plays his butt off on this album and he’s still one of the best live guitarists there is. I said to him after the recording, ‘I don’t know how you feel about touring, but I would love to put you in the band.’ He says, ‘I ain’t been out on the road for a long time, I’d love to!’” If you’ve experienced an Alice Cooper show you’ll know that it’s a feat of theatrical rock extravagance, so how much work goes into getting it up and running every tour? “It’s a machine, we tour every single year; we go out and play a hundred cities every year. We go from Moscow to Perth, we go all over the world and every year we change the show into a new show. We’re road rats – that’s what we do. This show that I’m doing now is probably the best band I’ve ever had.”
WHO: Alice Cooper WHAT: Welcome 2 My Nightmare (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday and Friday, Palais Theatre
KEY CHANGE On his musical output leading into Hurtsville, JACK LADDER reveals to BRENDAN TELFORD, “There were people who were telling me how much they loved it and I… didn’t feel that, at all.”
wo years ago Jack Ladder (AKA Tim Rogers) was coming off the success of his second album, Love Is Gone – a countryfolk album that had built up a considerably fervent fanbase. Yet despite such success, Rogers himself is an incredibly complicated character, at once very opinionated and sure of his notions, whilst frustrated with the insecurities of having a clear goal, or indeed knowing where he stands within himself. Thus he saw himself as an uncomfortable fit for such a musical medium, somewhat lost at sea and unable to effectively find his muse – a frustrating aspect for any creative mind. “It isn’t the best situation to be in, but I guess I was still trying to find a sound, the right voice for me,” Rogers muses. “I found myself trying things on. I have never felt like I really fit in, so when I recorded that first album [Not Worth Waiting For] there was this vibe, this kitchen-sink folky type of thing.
a particular point in time. It’s not about serving the market, or developing a brand. In some ways it’s not even about pleasing other people. At its most basic level, it’s about telling stories you want to tell. I get worried that a lot of the music scene is more about perpetuating a myth of what is cool, what is now. A lot of what is coming out of the United States or the UK, where people focus on – it really bores me. I find Australian music far more interesting, the fact that there are many exciting bands that refuse to follow any generic trends. Hurtsville certainly isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to any of that, or a statement about that at all. This album represents where I am now… I think, anyway.”
“By chance I found myself in America – I had recorded that stuff whilst at university – and when I came back there was this kind of scene for that, where it really seemed to take root. But I didn’t really like that; it held a naïve sensibility that I didn’t feel a part of. Maybe it was insincere because I didn’t see myself as a part of that? I don’t know. I think that it has a joyous notion instilled in that and I was coming at it from a totally different angle.”
WHO: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders WHAT: Hurtsville (Spunk/EMI)
WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Corner Hotel
This internal struggle had Rogers fighting to define not just his music, but who he was as an individual. “I think I lose sight of my past pretty quickly,” he laughs. “I don’t really attach myself to it. If you are releasing an album once every three years and you are growing at an incredible pace, you don’t really notice how far you have come. So even when I was recording Love Is Gone I didn’t even own an electric guitar, I was borrowing gear. I was far more focused on writing new songs. So I don’t see that my so-called progression is particularly a stylistic change for me. Yet when you feel a disconnection to something that you created, it can be pretty frightening. And there were people who were telling me how much they loved it and I… didn’t feel that, at all. It was something primitive and raw and I was singing in this weird way that was unfamiliar for me. Unfamiliar to me.”
A good song should be able to transcend the artist – that’s what I’m striving for.”
Yet there are no such qualms or uncertainties to be found in Jack Ladder’s third effort, the superlative Hurtsville, an extremely lush and accomplished suite of songs that completely sheds the other versions of Jack Ladder, leaving in its stead an assured songsmith with a languorous voice full of ache and longing. That being said, it wasn’t an easy process. “We recorded the album twice, actually,” Rogers admits. “I had a particular intent with the initial recordings – I wanted to create something stark and skeletal, using the basic elements I’d used in the demos, like a drum machine, guitar and a little bit of bass. But what happened was we brought in live drums to drop over the top and it blew everything out of proportion, especially as I was in a corner singing quietly for a very long time. It didn’t make any sense. I was used to recording in a band setting, so all of this sounded very… sterile. That was a real concern. After those recordings, I even wrote a letter of apology to Burke [Reid, producer] and it was the darkest thing I’d ever written.” So what turned such seemingly dire circumstances into the extremely confident Hurtsville? Cue the two octave mini keyboard: “I sat on it for a while before it hit me – I need keyboards on there. I had created these songs that were all essentially the same, six minutes at a time. Keyboards would fill out those gaps; give it texture and a sense of place. I bought this shitty keyboard and sat down with it for a few weeks, writing the rest of the record on that. It finally made sense after that, so we went and rerecorded it all with this new angle. I was nervous and shaky, but Burke held my hand and led me through it all and it finally… fit.” Hurtsville offers an incredibly lush sound, permeated with a sense of anguish and longing. It is also indicative of how Jack Ladder’s writing processes have changed from that “kitchen-sink folk” that encapsulated his beginnings – yet the idea of finding a comfortable position on the music scene is a continual concern. “I’m nowhere near as literal anymore,” Rogers concedes. “It often gets much more dramatic than my life actually is! Yet these songs are still about my life. “What I’ve learnt is that good songwriting takes real feelings and emotions and experiences and presents them in a way that it can become disconnected from the singer – it’s no longer necessary to see the song as a clear extension of the writer. It can be applied to anything; it doesn’t need to be earnest and potentially uncomfortable. A good song should be able to transcend the artist – that’s what I’m striving for. I want to sculpt and shape something that can be applied to other things outside myself. And for that to happen, I have to be completely happy with what I’ve created.” So, is he happy with Hurtsville? Has he met the real, definitive Jack Ladder? “Making records is the most important aspect of what I do,” Rogers asserts. “It’s the definitive statement of who you are at
EASY COME Local audiences will get to witness a giant of New Orleans music when the legendary ALLEN TOUSSAINT, whose songs have been performed by The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Band, The Doors and Bo Diddley, amongst others, touches down for his first Australian tour next week, writes SAMUEL J FELL.
n New Orleans, where grown men sweat 24 hours a day, there’s some history and there’s a groove. The history is etched upon the faces of the myriad cultures that call the Crescent City home; it is prevalent in the architecture and the way of life and the food and the Dixie beer. The groove though, that’s just in the air, it’s what you breathe as you stroll down Bourbon Street or sit in Congo Square, it’s what defines the people and the vibe and the ethos of the Big Easy. If you step off the beaten track, outside of the French Quarter, away from the tourist hotspots, you’ll come across the real city, the places where the legends were born, places where music was made that still resonates today, with a verve and raw power that epitomises the base urges of this huge, sweaty melting pot. Music that lives and thrives, music that has inspired countless others (it’s part of that history), music that is its own entity, its own lifeforce, a force that has fuelled so many for so long.
Guys such as Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and Champion Jack Dupree got the ball rolling; Dr John, James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford and Irma Thomas have kept it going, the barrelhouse piano and jump’n’jive of that distinct New Orleans R&B running thick through their veins, where a horn section is never far away, where you know there’s somethin’ cookin’, and it ain’t always BBQ. And then of course, there’s the King. The man perhaps most responsible for all of this, and more, is Mr Allen Toussaint. Toussaint will, next month, make his first appearance in Australia, but don’t go thinking that this is because he hasn’t been around. For Toussaint, even though his name won’t ring as many bells as some others’, is a giant of our time. As a pianist and arranger, he’s contributed to literally hundreds of albums over the past 40 years (including records from Wings, Eric Clapton and Elvis Costello), but it is his producing and songwriting for which he is best known. As a producer, he’s worked with the likes of The Meters, Dr John, BJ Thomas, Solomon Burke and Sandy Denny, and as a songwriter, he’s had his songs covered by almost anyone you can think of – The Rolling Stones (Fortune Teller, also covered by The Who, The Hollies and Robert Plant), Boz Scaggs (Hello My Lover, amongst others), Irma Thomas (Ruler Of My Heart), The Yardbirds (A Certain Girl, also covered by Warren Zevon), Ringo Star (Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley, also covered by Phish), Iron Butterfly (Get Out Of My Life, Woman, also covered by The Doors amongst others), Little Feat (On Your Way Down, also covered by Trombone Shorty and Widespread Panic), Bonnie Raitt (What Is Success), The Band (You See Me), Bo Diddley (Going Down) and Van Dyke Parks (Riverboat). “The idea of coming to Australia is very exciting,” Toussaint is at pains to point out. Given the length and breadth of the man’s career (which began in the mid-‘50s), it almost boggles the mind that he’s not made this trip before. “That’s just the way the cookie has crumbled,” he smiles, in his slow, measured way. “But as they say, it’s not too late – I’m glad to be comin’.” Toussaint will appear in Australia as part of the inaugural Legends Of New Orleans tour, alongside fellow Big Easy musicians Jon Cleary and the mighty Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Toussaint is a man who is (in addition to his vast experience behind the scenes) a consummate performer in his own right, particularly down behind that piano. He tells that in addition to some of his better known compositions, he’ll be playing a fair bit of material off his latest release, 2010’s The Bright Mississippi, a record very close to his heart, one produced by the great Joe Henry.
I’m glad to say that every cover I’ve ever heard, I’ve liked very much.”
It begs the question (when talking about this particular record), for a man of Toussaint’s monumental production abilities, what was it like to step away from that, to relinquish control to another? “It was a luxury, quite a luxury,” he smiles. “And [Henry] did it very well, I’m so glad to say… to choose the songs that he chose that he thought would have been good for me to do and the musicians who he surrounded me with… it was a luxury, to have a producer, and more of a luxury to have him as that producer.” Toussaint goes on to say he’ll be working with Henry again soon on another record, but that at this point, the focus is on this Australian tour, which prompts the question, who will he be bringing with him? Bands that step out of New Orleans aren’t known for keeping their numbers down – will this be an all out, horn-laden extravaganza? “It’ll be a quintet,” Toussaint explains. “A drummer, bass, saxophone and myself and guitar. And that’s fine with me, because I only get a chance to work with the large ensemble during Jazz Festival time, because it’s quite expensive to move a lot of people around.” Now, it’d be remiss not to delve back a ways when talking to someone of the standing and reputation of Allen Toussaint. He’s penned more than his fair share of songs over the years, he’s worked with more than his fair share of luminaries and he’s etched his name into that Big Ol’ Songbook, the one people will turn to in years to come when other people ask, ‘Who was great?’ So when it comes to another artist, another band, covering one of his songs, what’s the feeling? Is he worried what people will do, or is he excited? “It’s exciting, I’m never worried about what they’ll do,” Toussaint smiles. “I’m glad to say that every cover I’ve ever heard, I’ve liked very much. And some of them are very close, almost exactly, to the original, and then there are some that had moved away from the original and I dearly appreciate them equally. For someone to put a different twist to something that I did… it’s an interesting collaboration that I didn’t think of. That is always quite gratifying. Like what T Bone Burnett did on Fortune Teller, he did a wonderful version of Fortune Teller in a mode that I would have never thought of. So I like very much every cover I’ve ever heard.”
WHO: Allen Toussaint WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 5 October, Legends Of New Orleans, Palace
PANIC, MARK II PANIC! AT THE DISCO founding members Spencer Smith and BRENDAN URIE have reinstated the exclamation mark, regained some confidence and are enjoying finding new ways of writing and recording following the band’s split in 2009, Urie tells NIC TOUPEE.
anic At the Disco – actually, now they’ve donned their exclamation once more, Panic! At the Disco – experienced something of a crisis a couple of years ago, or perhaps a reinvention. Formed in 2004, the band were a MySpace success case, rising quickly and spectacularly from obscurity – or as obscure as you can be as a high school band in Las Vegas – to international recognition in 2005 when their early demos reached the ears of Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz, who championed Panic! and their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. Their first headline tour of 2006 saw them hitting stadia, bringing acrobats and fire twirlers and all manner of vaudevillian pizazz along for the ride.
In stark contrast, their second album Pretty. Odd. saw the band scaling down the showmanship. The transformation also included what seemed a small trinket – the removal of their exclamation mark – inadvertently causing a storm of outrage, even panic(!) from their fanbase. In a not typical case of second album anxiety, PATD opted for a more orthodox pop format, softer and more immediate than the exuberant first album. Interviews with the band indicated a sense of expectation and a less fertile studio environment the second time around, and subsequently a less harmonious creative direction.
attending because we rarely come out there.” Urie is well disposed towards living from a suitcase, so has been quite content during this recent spate of planes, trains and peoplemobiles. “I love touring,” he effuses enthusiastically. “I’m a nomad at heart; it’s like your tour bus is a different home. On our tour of the States, we’ve been in a new city every day. You see so many different places and learn a lot about a place really fast. ”
WHO: Panic! At The Disco WHAT: Vices & Virtues (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Counter Revolution, Festival Hall
Unsurprisingly, in 2009, PATD announced a split after the second album’s touring had petered out, with members Ryan Ross – original founder of the band with Spencer Smith – and John Walker forming a separate project, leaving singer Brendan Urie and Smith to carry on, which they have done with admirable aplomb. Third album Vices & Virtues, released this year, saw the band re-steering closer to their original path, reinstating the circus performance aesthetic and the theatrics into both their show and their music, and restricting the creative input to a binary construct but retaining Ian Crawford on lead guitar and Dallon Weekes on bass and synth for live performance and studio work. Brendan Urie explains that their initial need to restrict the band to two creative voices has been relaxed a little lately. “What Spencer and I wanted to do after the band split was just be the two of us,” Urie states, “but as we’ve been playing more as a four-piece, it feels more like we’re a band. But right now, we’re still in the process of figuring out a lot of things. With us, for our live shows and whatnot, we see that as a different thing from the songwriting. We knew we didn’t want to pick up random people, so we thought we’d do a few songs by ourselves, see out a few months this way and see how it goes. But having extra people in the band again has been good,” he says brightly. “It has been good to be able to practice together, write together, talk about it, take it into rehearsal. Spence and I definitely needed a breather, so we could regain our confidence in ourselves, but working with four people again feels nice.” In fact, the band have been working on new material as a foursome, Urie confirms. “We wrote a few demos together in Europe last month. We came up with a few ideas, some started as a joke or something like that, but we were enjoying it a lot.” Nevertheless, Urie is still cagey about announcing any long term plans for the current line-up. “When you’re working with new people you end up with different ideas. Where we’re at right now is that we’ve been working with Dallan and Ian for three years, and we’re not going to change anything to be more permanent right now, but it’s hard to say what will happen. We’d rather not rush into it for the sake of having a structure – we’d rather have it be organic.” Personally, Urie has been concentrating on honing his DIY skills, which give PATD further control over the destiny of the band and the sound of their albums. “Right now I’ve been working in the studio, exploring different ways of recording. I’ve been focused on that, finding ways to make things different from what we’ve done in the past. Sometimes using a weird way of recording can spark something different in your songs. I actually learned a lot of little tricks from Butch Walker [who has written songs with Fall Out Boy and Avril Lavigne] and John Feldmann, who produced our last album – I admit I kind of stole a lot of ideas for tricks from that, but I also read about stuff and I experiment.” Touring Vices & Virtues has given the band plenty of opportunity to develop the requisite camaraderie required for the creative hotpot of future songwriting. Having successfully charmed US audiences, thrilled to have the ! back in their Disco, the band are bringing their kit and caboodle to Australia for the Soundwave mini-festival Counter Revolution. Urie is cautious on the topic of how much of the caboodle Australia will actually see. “For our Australian shows we’re hoping to bring some of the props and production over, but we are pretty limited in what we can do,” he admits a little dolefully. “We will try to bring something with us at least. But it will still be a dynamic show – we’re always trying to do something different. Playing shows can get monotonous really quickly if you do the same thing every night, so we keep trying to figure out new ways to make it feel exciting on stage, to make it different for us and the crowd.” Urie’s previous expeditions to Australia have left him with more aspirations than just playing a great show, or bringing a trapeze artist on tour. Like many other artists before him, Urie has been flirting with the idea of buying himself a piece of the Antipodean pie. “We’ve only been to Australia four times, and I think it’s amazing. We’ve joked about me getting a house there and moving when I turn 30, and just settle down and write music there. I haven’t been there in such a long time; we rarely travel anywhere outside the States, so we really want to make it special for people
ON THE MONEY CASH SAVAGE won’t be trading camping with the punters for a band camp pass at this year’s Meredith. SAMSON MCDOUGALL finds a woman frothing to hit the stage of her favourite festival. over five minutes. They immediately were like, ‘We’ve gotta make it work over five minutes,’ and they did a great job. “I seemed to be the only person in the room who knew what would happen when the television smashed. I was so surprised no one had done it; there are that many televisions around, how could you resist it? It’s such an amazing noise. And it was funny when we smashed it. The hair and make-up girl would’ve been the youngest person in the room and she goes, ‘Is anybody else’s heart beating really fast?’”
ash Savage plays the kind of country music that hovers around the periphery of the genre. It’s rough-hewn and moody, yet there’s a silkiness to it that dwells somewhere within Savage’s one-ofa-kind slack vocal tones. Similar to say The Felice Brothers or Drive-By Truckers, her tunes have the ability to grab at the fringe of the country crowd while pulling at the skirts and trousers of the cardigan set; hers is country from the gut, not borne of any scene.
Her first video, for new single Sooner Or Later, dances to a raunchy tune. It features Savage lolling around a lounge room, a call girl arriving and smashing the place to bits with a crowbar. “I was sitting in my lounge room
one day and I thought, ‘How much would it cost for me to get a beautiful woman to come around to my lounge room and smash it to bits?’” Savage laughs. “So then I was thinking about it and also writing the song at the same time. Then I told someone about it at the pub and everybody was just so keen to get on board. And now, a couple a months down the track I have this video.”
The single, video and associated release party at the East Brunswick Club this Friday are acting as a bridge between Savage’s 2010 release Wolf and further recording the band are planning in January. Savage relates that she’s keen to record in her home town of Port Albert (as they partially did for the last record) and explains that spontaneity plays a huge part in the music herself and the band create. “We don’t really have rehearsals in our band, we’ve only had two ever,” she continues. “There’s a track on the album, Downtown, and that was only the third time the band’s ever played it. We’ve never played it like that ever before and I love how it sounds. I love that it’s captured just at that moment and we’re all playing together and it just really works. I’m all about musicians playing together rather than playing the songs. If you don’t know what someone’s gonna do then you have to play with them, you can’t just play the songs. I’ve been in bands where you rehearse every week and you just know your parts, you don’t actually play together. Now I’m in a situation where, on the weekend we played and [to] the guitarist, I just leaned over and said do something different and he just took off and we just all followed him.”
The video was produced by Melbourne production cooperative Truce, who’ve also cut clips for Savage’s mates Graveyard Train. It oozes this latent sexuality and tension. Savage explains the TV smashing element of the shoot generated a similar anxiety in the room. “I just imagined a beautiful woman smashing things but the video goes for
Achieving impromptu genius in the live arena is one thing, but capturing the moment in a recording environment is far more risky. There’s always going to be a niggling question of whether that take is all that it could be. Savage is prepared to take the live recording risk for want of not letting the album pale in comparison to the live show.
ONE YEAR AT A TIME
“It’s my biggest fear,” she continues, “being told the album’s good but the live show is better. We have such a thriving live music scene here in Melbourne, I expect something from the live show, I expect to be engaged. I think it’s really important. Now I won’t buy albums unless I feel I can get that out of it. It is much better to have a great live show, but it is still really important that the album feels like us and I think [Wolf ] is very us.” An exciting development for Savage & The Last Drinks this year has been an invitation to play the famously countryand rock-leaning Meredith Music Festival this December. More than just a tick of approval from the bookers and rite of passage for Melbourne up-and-comers into notoriety, Savage has spent many years as a Meredith goer and is primed to give it everything she’s got. “I’m just excited,” she says when queried whether nerves will play a part. “Crowds don’t make me nervous… lack of crowds make me nervous. “It’s my 11th year of going to Meredith. We go there for family Christmas basically. Not family family but friends’ family Christmas. Same crew, everybody thinks they’ve got the best spot to camp. We used to have a countdown on the fridge; we’d count down from a hundred days. I’ve had dreams leading up to Meredith that I’ve had to camp so far away that I’m basically in the town. I suffer the exact same anxiety about not getting a good spot.” When asked whether there’s any desire to set up camp in the fenced-from-thepublic band camp this year, there’s no question where she’ll be: “There’s band camp and then there’s a fence and behind that fence is the Meredith Music Festival. The grass is definitely greener on the festival side of the fence.”
WHO: Cash Savage & The Last Drinks WHEN & WHERE: Friday, East Brunswick Club; Friday 9 to Sunday 11 December, Meredith Music Festival
UNDER THE MILKY WAY
The legendary WEDDINGS, PARTIES, ANYTHING are happy playing one gig a year, frontman MICK THOMAS tells SAMUEL J FELL.
CAITLIN PARK tells PAUL RANSOM how her debut album came to be filled with creaky boats, film references and unbridled romance. she was able to combine her new-found passions. “After studying a lot of minimalist music like Philip Glass and Steve Reich I started to learn how to utilise the sounds I’d recorded, putting them into loops and creating beats made out of a patchwork.” Consequently, Milk Annual is an album with a rich yet rustic palette of sounds, including match strikes, creaking boats and beating hearts. Taken together, they create an almost visual experience. “When you go to see a movie you can hear the soundtrack and then take it away with you and listen to it again and imagine the visuals you saw earlier,” Park elaborates. “With this I wanted for somebody to be able to put it on and have a very visual story in their head without actually having seen the pictures.”
oday, tradition is our watchword, for where would we be without it? You can’t just go through life willy nilly, where’s the order? Where’s the cohesion? Where’s the tradition? Right here is where it is, alive and well, kicking and screaming, making things fit – Weddings, Parties, Anything know this as well as the next man, and so they’ve made it their watchword too. So much so, they’ve forged their own tradition, that of the Grand Final eve show, something they’ve done for the past three years, and this isn’t just a celebration of good ol’ Aussie country/rock and football, it’s a rare chance to see a legendary local band in action. “It fits for me,” laughs frontman Mick Thomas on these one-off shows, and he’s not alone – the few times the Weddoes do get together, it’s like coming home to find some old friends sitting on your front porch, playing guitar and drinking whiskey. Weddings, Parties, Anything formed in Melbourne in 1984, cultivating a solid fanbase around the country (with a semi-regularly revolving line-up offering variation here and there), releasing a slew of records up until their initial demise in 1998. Then, in 2008, they regrouped (after a couple of one-off shows in ‘05/’06) and have since settled down to the odd show here and there, favouring quality over quantity. You’ve gotta admit though, WPA were hot in their heyday, so surely there’s the urge, the temptation, to get the band up and running more regularly again. “Yeah, well, we had that ten years where we didn’t play, then we got back together to play and that was fantastic and everyone felt really good about it,” Thomas tells. “And so on the back of that we did a tour and at the end of that we were all still friends and it felt really good, there
So, is Milk Annual the soundtrack to a film as yet unmade? Caitlin Park chuckles at the suggestion. “I don’t know if I’d go that far. I wanted the dialogue to be like an audio book, as if you were being read to.” was this real temptation to go, ‘Oh well, the band’s back together’. But I’ve sorta been resistant to that because I’ve got other stuff that I do and that I’m really happy doing. But times are hard, so the temptation to bring it back in a big band is really a pretty genuine temptation. But I think this little once-a-year thing is a good spot.” Relations within the band have, on occasion, been volatile so perhaps the Weddings are best to just keep it simple, heading out together a couple of times a year, and in truth, it seems to suit them down to the ground. “We just get to feel like we’re in a big band again, you know?” Thomas says simply. “It’s sort of, not like you’re proving something all the time, but you sometimes forget: ‘Oh, did that really happen?’ So it is really nice to just get that feeling of playing on that level again, with that big production. “And that’s a really great feeling, to get back and go, ‘Wow, you know, we did all right, didn’t we?’ just to feel so good about what you did,” he goes on. “I don’t think, myself, I could ever be accused of resting on my laurels, and I guess that’s part of the reason why I don’t play the Weddings all the time, I have stuff I want to do that I feel I can’t do within the constraints of what the Weddings is. And I keep going over the reasons why it finished, but that’s the lion’s share of it, I just felt stifled within the framework of the thing. But within that, it’s great to go and play those songs.”
WHO: Weddings, Parties, Anything WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Palace
aitlin Park’s debut album Milk Annual is one of those surprising gems that seem to pop up out of nowhere. With its pared back, textured beauty and air of soft focus romance it fits the so-called folktronic bill perfectly. But that’s nothing like the whole story. Milk Annual is as much a collection of found sound, spoken word and minimalist experimentation as it is a simple ten-tracker. It reflects not only Park’s singer/songwriter proclivities but her fascination for film, language and environmental recordings. Beautifully mixed by Liam Judson (Cloud Control), it is also an unashamedly emotional record. “The record is wholeheartedly about love,” says the 24-year-old Sydneysider. “I also wanted it to be a really storytelling record.” Part of that story, of course, is the story of Park herself – not simply in the autobiographical sense but as a document of circumstance and influence. “Just before I went to university I started working at a cult video store called the Video Shift,” she reveals. “I didn’t really know that much about film, much to the dismay of the owner, but then because he stocked a lot of arthouse and vintage films my favourite genre became film noir. I was drawn to it because of the sound… I sat with a recorder next to the television and recorded little bits and pieces to put into compositions, which I was learning to do at uni.” As a student doing a masters in sound production
That linguistic fascination is exemplified best on the track Tic Tac Language, a song composed of spoken word recordings made in seven languages. “It started off with me wanting to create melodies from the pitches that different languages use, so it was quite experimental and technical,” Park explains. “Surprisingly most people talked about love. I asked them to say whatever they wanted to say and they all came up with these romantic ideas about the world.” For Caitlin Park, however, the somewhat less romantic business of selling the record is now front of mind, with a tour scheduled and ‘profile’ to work on. When asked whether she has a bottom line target, she laughs, “Ah yeah, of course. I guess everyone has a minimum and in their hearts; I guess they also have a ceiling as well. With this record I literally just wanted it to be a warm welcome… I also want to take it overseas because, y’know, there’s nothing better than being a musician and being able to travel with it.” With such a beautiful record tucked under her arm, Caitlin Park’s travels may well be about to begin. Here’s hoping she milks it.
WHO: Caitlin Park WHAT: Milk Annual (Broken Stone Records/MGM Distribution) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Toff In Town
THE ELSTERNWICK HOTEL SUMMER SESSIONS
FRI 7TH OCT SAT 8TH OCT
THE CLEANSKINS SUN 9TH OCT
PETE ZOCH themusic.com.au
PANIC! AT THE DISCO
First they infected us with A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, then they captivated us with Pretty. Odd. and now it’s Panic At The Disco’s turn to remind us why we fell in love with them in the ﬁrst place. With Vices & Virtues, their ﬁrst album as a duo, frontman/multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie and drummer/percussionist Spencer Smith have proven that their best ideas are just starting to get realized. The record not only marks the beginning a new era for this Grammy-nominated, Las Vegas-based rock act but in many ways also rings in a new period of musical and emotional growth that shows no signs of subsiding. Vices & Virtues effortlessly bridges the gap between the energetic pop anthems of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and the psychedelic leanings of Pretty. Odd. while simultaneously showing a progression that’s evident in everything from the album’s arrangements to its instrumentation; it shows a new side of the band without sacriﬁcing the identity that they’ve worked so hard to establish over the past seven years. Panic! At The Disco have never been the easy to categorize and Vices & Virtues continues in that tradition — something the band couldn’t be more thrilled about.
ALL TIME LOW
Since forming in 2003, All Time Low have become one of the biggest pop-punk bands to emerge on the scene, building a grassroots following of die-hard fans with very little radio airplay and a touring ethic that would rival roadweary vets like Green Day. Their proﬁle is only going to rise with the recent release of their stellar fourth album Dirty Work – a 12-track mix of hard-charging anthems and sugar-shot rockers that are poised to dominate house parties and joyrides this summer. What’s more, it shows off just how diverse All Time Low’s inﬂuences are; the track Under A Paper Moon was inspired by an Ella Fitzgerald song and Just The Way I’m Not is the band’s homage to Def Leppard classic stadium rockers. They didn’t lock themselves away to record Dirty Work – All Time Low spent a gruelling two years making the album, in between brief breaks from their non-stop touring schedule (which has included top slots at Warped Tour in 2007, Bamboozle in 2010, and festival billings with their heroes Blink-182). The band’s diversity and determination will see the boys go far.
STORY OF THE YEAR
FACE TO FACE
THE DAMNED THINGS
SET YOUR GOALS
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
Sometimes stepping away from something can remind how much you love it. Yellowcard’s hiatus for the past few years was in no way an ending for the group, but rather a pause that’s revived the band’s passion for their music. The writing process for the group’s energized new album, When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, lasted for the better part of 2010. The band members sent demos and song ideas back and forth via email, and ﬂew to each other’s homes in Seattle, Los Angeles and Phoenix to expand those initial thoughts. The pieces slowly began falling into place and the record came about naturally, without any real plan besides making good music the band was excited about. The ﬁnal album’s ten songs both recall what fans love best about Yellowcard and evolve their music forward. Many of the lyrics deal with what’s happened to the musicians over the past few years. It’s about looking ahead, rather than backward, and being able to move on. That message of forward motion isn’t just in the album’s lyrics. It’s something Yellowcard is embodying as a group as they unleash their ﬁfth and arguably ﬁnest album.
In the ﬁve years Bay Area pop-punk band Set Your Goals have existed, they’ve already achieved what most bands only dream about: toured the world, gained huge respect from their peers and achieved massive credibility among their wide-spread legion of fans. So what exactly separates Set Your Goals from all the other bands? For one, they have no gimmicks. They don’t need to wear ﬂashy neon or sing about getting wasted to melt their listeners’ faces. Instead, they channel positivity through their lyrics and let the music speak for itself. They’re changing the game and blazing trails with their unique style that’s inﬂuenced by ‘90s skate punk and melodic hardcore. No trendy haircuts or cheesy breakdowns here, just straight up head bobbling pop-punk like it’s never been played. Avoiding the sophomore slump like it was the plague, Set Your Goals came out guns-ablazing on second album, This Will Be The Death Of Us, the follow-up to their fan-coveted debut Mutiny. Now, they present third album Burning At Both Ends. Set Your Goals have already proven their longevity and dedication to the music through relentless touring and their acclaimed releases, becoming more and more recognized as one of the pop-punk greats.
Hard work, determination and success go hand and hand—and no one understands that better than Story Of The Year. In that spirit it should come as no surprise that these post-hardcore sensations decided to title their fourth album The Constant. It’s an album that marks the beginning of an exciting new musical chapter for this fearless ﬁvesome. While the band have already released three studio full-lengths: 2003’s Page Avenue, 2005’s In The Wake Of Determination and 2008’s The Black Swan, The Constant picks up where the band left off and proves that Story Of The Year sound more top of their game with each subsequent release. While countless acts have come and gone since Story Of The Year formed over a decade ago, the band credits their success to their ability to form a unique niche in the punk community. Ultimately having already conquered the mainstream charts and converted countless cynics via their music and incendiary live performances, at this point, Story Of The Year are making music simply because they love it without any other outside inﬂuences creeping in to distract them.
Funeral For A Friend’s journey from hardcore roots and DIY shows to major label records and worldwide tours has built a long and prosperous road that many home-grown bands from across the alternative spectrum have been travelling along ever since. Those that play to crowds of thousands each year on Warped Tour, that adorn countless magazine covers, that grace the stages of arenas and that still have ink drying on their recording contracts all owe a debt of thanks to the quintet’s approach, ambition and aesthetic. For those reasons (and more) it would be easy to understand if Funeral For A Friend chose to retreat into the comforts of nostalgia and the appealing warmth of retrospect as their ten-year anniversary draws near. But, instead of seeking solace in the memories of past triumphs, the band have set their feet forward as they boldly stare down all that lies ahead with their stunning new album, Welcome Home Armageddon. With every emotion captured and channelled through an album that is both immersive and urgent, Funeral For A Friend enter their second decade together reinvigorated, ready to continue on their path and determined to change things all over again
Face To Face recently released album Laugh Now, Laugh Later is the band’s ﬁrst release in over nine years, since 2002’s How To Ruin Everything. Their new seventh studio album is chock full of the classic hook-ﬁlled choruses and signature riffs the band has been known for over the last two decades and revisits some of their earlier sounds. To put it simply, it’s pure, unadulterated punk rock; energetic, fast, furious, honest and urgent. Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, the band formed in 1991 in the small town of Victorville, California. Over the last 20 years the band has released a string of crucial punk releases including Don’t Turn Away (1992), Big Choice (1994), Face To Face (1996), Ignorance Is Bliss (1999), Reactionary (2000), Standards & Practices (2001) and How To Ruin Everything (2002). And now, the release of Laugh Now, Laugh Later proves once again why they’re considered one of the most important and inﬂuential punk bands of the last two decades.
A lot has happened to Hellogoodbye since the Huntington Beach, California-based act released their breakthrough album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! in 2006. Over the past four years the band have parted with their old record label, retooled their lineup, released a handful of EPs and performed everywhere from the Philippines to living rooms. All of these cumulative experiences play into the band’s new album Would It Kill You?, a collection of perfect pop gems that not only proves that Hellogoodbye are still relevant but afﬁrms that if anything, they’ve sharpened their musical edge over the past few years. From the horn-driven, Shins-esque indie rock romp Betrayed By Bones to the intricately arranged masterpiece The Thoughts That Give Me The Creeps, Would It Kill You? sees the band exploring new instrumental timbres that bring out the inherent sonic subtleties in these tracks. Musically, the record retains Kline’s love of doo-wop and oldies, but puts them into a fresh, new context to keep these inﬂuences from sounding clichéd. After three years of hard work, sweat and anticipation, Kline and his bandmates are simply happy to ﬁnally have the album ﬁnished and can’t wait for their fans to hear it.
With members from Anthrax (Scott Ian, Rob Caggiano), Every Time I Die (Keith Buckley) and Fall Out Boy (Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley), The Damned Things are undoubtedly a musical force to be reckoned with. While each individual in the band has experienced their own successes, The Damned Things’ debut album Ironiclast, which combines their love of classic rock anthems and powerful melodies with heavy metal intensity, turns out to be much more than the sum of the separate parts. Their songs feature those elements of classic rock with the heavier aspects of Anthrax and Every Time I Die, and the hook-laden choruses of Fall Out Boy. We’ve Got A Situation Here is probably the best example of The Damned Things’ hybrid approach, with its sludgy riffs, catchy chorus, tempo change breakdown and some solos. While they’ve all experienced a degree of success, every member of The Damned Things acts like there’s something still to prove, and part of the exhilaration of it is starting over, going back to the reasons they ﬁrst started playing music. Three years in the making, The Damned Things are ready to play for you.
Blessings often come in disguise, and the formation of Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (DRUGS) is an example of how the ending of one experience can be a transformative stepping-stone toward something greater. When front man Craig Owens was let go from the Michigan based post-hardcore band he’d fronted since 2001, he was faced with an uncertain situation. Instead of dwelling on it, he turned that energy into the motivation to create a new project that would eclipse anything he’s done in the past. DRUGS is an exciting new musical project that pairs Owens alongside other musicians who have undergone similar experiences, and join forces on a mission to create something vital and new. To round out the band, he selected Underminded guitarist Nick Martin, From First To Last guitarist Matt Good, Matchbook Romance drummer Aaron Stern and Story Of The Year bassist Adam Russell. While this group of rock veterans had never played together as a unit before, they had an undeniable chemistry from the moment they ﬁrst got together in the same room. Ultimately, Owens can’t wait to hit the road with DRUGS to bring the glory of his redemptive new creation to the masses.
When High Wycombe based quintet Young Guns released their debut EP, ‘Mirrors’, in July 2009, they had nothing to their name. But with a lot of hard work and determination, the group started gathering positive reviews and media coverage. The support slots they’d aspired began to come thick and fast, with shows alongside The Blackout, Lostprophets, Taking Back Sunday and Fightstar, as well as appearances at the Download and Sonisphere festivals. By the time August came around, the band found themselves nominated in the Best British Newcomer category at the 2009 Kerrang! Awards, quite the contrary to Wood and his band mates initial modest expectations. By the end of the year the band had won the Rock Sound and Kerrang! magazine end of year readers polls for Best British Newcomer and Best New Band. They released their debut album All Our Kings Are Dead in 2010 to great response. Young Guns are a band who wants to stay in control, creating their own future and living up to nobody else’s expectations but their own.
Seattle rock act This Providence’s 2006 self-titled debut introduced the world to the band’s inventive brand of indie rock, their latest album proved how versatile they had become from spending the past two years on the road and reﬁning their craft. Who Are You Now?, released in 2009, is a collection of extremely varied rock songs that were inﬂuenced by everyone from The Cure to The Beatles and showcase This Providence’s rock edge as much as it does their stripped-down sensibilities. From dance-ﬂoor anthems like That Girl’s A Trick to pop-inﬂected rockers like Playing The Villain and ambient acoustic explorations like Chasing The Wind, This Providence have truly realized their musical potential with Who Are You Now? As far as their live performance goes, they aim to enrapture their audiences with their high energy level, crowd involvement and kick-ass sounds.
Armed with an enviable combination of musical prowess and an impressive collection of honest, melodic songs, Tallahassee’s Go Radio is one of the most exciting new bands to emerge from Florida’s hotbed of rock’n’roll talent. Second EP Do Overs And Second Chances is a perfect showcase of the band’s abilities, evoking the excitement of discovering something fresh, exciting, real. While the euphoric riff of When Dreaming Gets Drastic is an explosion of an opener, it is epic closing ballad Goodnight Moon that truly displays Lancaster’s unique vocal talents, as he encapsulates real emotion in every note. The quartet both formed and released their ﬁrst EP, Welcome To Life, in 2008. After sensing that they had created something truly special, they decided to test the new songs out on the road, spending the following two years captivating audiences with their refreshing take on pop-rock. Go Radio has the rare ability to transcend genres – something that they are excited to push to its limits on tour in the coming year. The band have made it their mission to play to diverse audiences, something that keeps that fuels their desire to stay inspired as a band.
MAKE DO AND MEND
Adamantly earnest and unwaveringly driven, Make Do And Mend have spent the past four years gaining footholds and garnering attention in every corner of today’s music landscape. Building off the steam of two previous EP releases, a widely acclaimed split seven-inch with Los Angeles’ Touché Amoré and years of relentless touring, the four-piece raised the bar for melodic post-hardcore with the release of their debut album End Measured Mile. The record ﬁnds Make Do And Mend building on their gruff brand of punk rock, blending passion and intensity with melody and sincerity. Heralded as one of the best punk records of the year, End Measured Mile has been raking in critical praise. Make Do And Mend have earned a solid following through rigorous touring and an honest approach to their music and fans, sharing a passionate and unyielding live show and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that hard work and passion are far from dead in music today.
WE ARE THE IN CROWD THE SWELLERS
From the perpetually down-on-its-luck, blue collar, rustbelt factory town of Flint, Michigan, comes signees The Swellers: a punk band that knows a thing or two about making hard, no-nonsense, but inﬁnitely catchy music. When The Swellers began in 2002, the group molded its sound—a cross between classic punk and ’90s rock—at the Vehicle City’s local music incubator, the legendary Flint Local 432, an all-ages, volunteersupported club that also produced the band Chiodos. Following in the footsteps of other hard- Flintites who’ve made their name on the world stage—ﬁlm provocateur Michael Moore, ’70s hard rock pioneers Grand Funk Railroad, ’80s grindcore/death-metal pioneers Repulsion and the late rapper M.C. Breed—The Swellers have forged a hard-edged, yet accessible style of punk over the better part of a decade, the last three of which have been spent touring non-stop with the likes of Less Than Jake, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, A Wilhelm Scream and Streetlight Manifesto, among numerous others. Now signed to Fueled By Ramen, it was just a matter of time before the team that gave us Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! At The Disco, and Gym Class Heroes would catch up with The Swellers.
New Universal Motown band Terrible Things could be considered ‘rock all-stars’, with ex-Taking Back Sunday vet Fred Mascherino, Coheed And Cambria alumnus Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit guitarist Andy Jackson forming the powerful triumvirate. While they were all fan of one another’s work before, when it comes to new collaborations, the chemistry is not always guaranteed. Luckily, for them and for us, everything worked out swimmingly. Appetites whetted for the splintering, pointed rock we’ve come to expect from each member of the reserved trio should prepare for added twists to their own reliable brand this time around. Terrible Things have made a concept album about a series of ﬁres that haunted Mascherino’s former hometown in Pennsylvania. On the album, the band addresses such themes of fear and alienation, as well as touching on the town’s fear and atrophy. Considering each of the members’ stellar pedigrees and the fresh new ideas they’ll each bring into this new project, the band should really be called Awesome Things. (Sorry.)
Alesana released their debut album On Frail Wings of Vanity And Wax in 2006. It was built around a dynamic, emotionally-charged, three-guitar attack; it was a sound the band deﬁned as their own, and one they expanded on with second album Where Myth Fades To Legend. With their second album, the band entered the big time, achieving acclaim in the U.S. and across the globe, building a huge fan-base overseas. The band’s third and ﬁnest effort, The Emptiness, ﬁnds the explosive sextet at their most creative; it offers the listener a theatricallike experience that stretches beyond the expected nuances of a rock record, incorporating a string quartet and a newfound maturity. However, Alesana’s main focus is providing an energetic and memorable live show for their fans. With the creativity of their lyrics, the passion of their music and the energy of their live show, Alesana’s next chapter is set to be the band’s biggest yet.
WE ARE THE OCEAN
In 2007, at the tender age of 18, Dan Brown and Liam Cromby joined Jack Spence, Tom Whittaker and 15-yearold guitar hero Alﬁe Scully to form We Are The Ocean. In these four years, the band have toured with Funeral For A Friend, You Me At Six, Thrice, Fightstar, The Used and Underoath and played Download Festival. When the band recorded their debut seven-track self-titled EP, they put the track Nothing Good Has Happened Yet online, only to have it go viral. The buzz solidiﬁed when the EP came out in 2009; six more rocking melodic post-hardcore anthems accompanying the crowd favourite. Wasting no time, the band recorded and released their debut album, Cutting Our Teeth. It was well received, but it still lived in the shadow of its predecessor. In just over a year the band recorded their second album, Go Now & Live. It’s is an honest and real record that brings all the enthusiasm and energy of the debut to a new set of songs that matched the debut, if not exceeds them. After Cutting Our Teeth the band all discovered and rediscovered music that got them excited to make music again, and it shows.
Formed in 2009, this is a band that had all their dominoes poised and ready to fall in their favor in quick succession. Armed with an irresistible combo of male and female vocals, the EP (Guaranteed To Disagree) and studio album (Best Intentions) We Are The In Crowd have released are only tastes of what’s on the horizon. Originally a studio project between Tay Jardine (vocals), Jordan Eckes (guitar/vocals) and Mike Ferri (bass) there was an obvious chemistry that they felt could be better translated through a full-band sound. When Rob Chianelli and Cameron Hurley joined on drums and guitar respectively, they found their niche in the sort of straightforward, brutally honest pop songs that only those in the throes of young adulthood could convey.
Whether it’s a feeling of being tongue-tied, heartbroken or betrayed, each emotion earns a new life through the words and music of this quintet. A band of driven, self-aware individuals who are out to make music that is fun and have fun doing their craft in return, their “in crowd” is for anyone who wants to enjoy and relate to their music. Nothing is exclusive here, and everyone will be joining this crowd soon.
SINGLED OUT BY CLEM BASTOW
ON THE RECORD
LATEST CD REVIEWS
This is Clem Bastow’s final Singled Out column after seven years in the chair. Here, she looks back on some high- and low-lights.
SINGLES OF THE LAST SEVEN YEARS KANYE WEST JESUS WALKS West at his most imposing; discussing the record industry and Catholicism with equal verve and vitriol, he ended up with his most enduring – and one of his most autobiographical – classics. MGMT TIME TO PRETEND (EP) Well, so much for these guys being the greatest new artist of the century, or whatever everyone said. However, there’s no denying the immense power of the song (the sludgier, more epic EP version), which seemed to sum up all of Gen X/Y’s discontent as the decade ground to a close. THE-DREAM YAMAHA Straight up the most baffling and brilliant R&B love song of the decade; who else could compare a woman to a motorcycle and still bewitch you, body and soul? DAVID GUETTA FEAT. KELLY ROWLAND WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER Written by two girls I used to catch the bus with, this is dance music at its most heart-swelling and life-affirming. The bit, at 1.50-mins, when Rowland goes all ecstatic over “I’ll be loving you” slays me every time. BRITNEY SPEARS TOXIC Der. LITTLE RED STARE IN LOVE I’m cheating, because this wasn’t officially a single, but it should have been. Simply one of the best Australian songs I’ve heard in ten years. KINGS OF LEON CRAWL Hey, remember when Kings Of Leon reached their brilliant zenith, and then threw it all away with the fratboy-baiting Sex On Fire? This was it; dropped without fanfare, seemingly accidentally before the real single was released, it was the true culmination of all their early promise. For me, Kings Of Leon stopped at Crawl; they don’t exist anymore. ANDREW WK NEVER LET DOWN I play it at the gym, I play it when I’m crying, I play it when I’m headbanging over the washing up: motivational speaking turned to Aaron Copland-esque metal megaballadry. …And also: MIA PAPER PLANES BLACK CAB BLACK ANGEL ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI THAT BEEP THOM YORKE HEARING DAMAGE JUSTIN BIEBER SOMEBODY TO LOVE DIRT CHILD RATKING HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY 2 STONES BEACHES IN A WHILE
JOSH RAWIRI MOLECULAR TELEPORTATION JR
TOUCHE AMORE PARTING THE SEA BETWEEN BRIGHTNESS & ME Deathwish
Recordings/MGM For some musicians, roots music is created pretty much by numbers. Fans of the genre can recognise roots music easily with its light, acoustic guitars, faint percussion and a chilled-out, breezy vocal, but every so often an artist or band will come along and delve a little deeper. Josh Rawiri’s latest album hits enough of the aforementioned roots cues, but contains enough diversity to make Molecular Teleportation a surprising hit. There are tracks such as singles War On Religion (all summery harmonica in a Beautiful Girls-esque way that seems to end way too quickly) and Feel Good that belong on country road trips and seaside scenes, seagulls squawking in hunt for stray chips. By contrast Molecular Teleportation, the opening title track, is reminiscent of Antony & The Johnsons; and One, with its beats, strings and rap bridge stands as a fairly mainstream pop song – not that there’s anything wrong with that. There’s undoubtedly a plethora of young Australian roots and surf-rock musicians doing the rounds in their chosen coastal areas – there has been for decades. It makes sense; with one of the world’s longest coastlines, geographically there’s enough turf – and surf – for all of them. Most of them (sadly, depending on your point of view) are never going to make a career in the music industry, content as they are to make music for themselves and their mates confined in their home town. It used to be for Rawiri, the town Portland. But, with drive and a whole lot of ambition, his sound, voice and lyrical content have grown to be equally resonant in his sleepy town in southwest Victoria as Byron Bay, Maroochydore and Margaret River.
Parting The Sea Between Brightness & Me is the second record from Los Angeles band Touche Amore, though it’s almost an embellishment to describe it as a full-length. At a little more than 20 minutes in running time, its dynamic deviates from fast to even faster with bombastic blast beats and angular minor chords reminiscent of Level Plane bands such as Hot Cross and Saetia. Lyrically, the album is one of introspection. Vocalist Jeremy Bolm’s stream of consciousness rarely departs from that of struggle and torment and while often referencing the lyricism of ‘90s screamo bands, he finds himself too often absorbed in his own melodrama. Fuelled with vitriol, his voice is unpolished and raw, opting for brutality over any form of melody. With 13 tracks in total and a running time of 21 minutes, such lack of structure, particularly hooks or choruses, means the songs are for the most part forgettable and the album veers into a despondent blur of grit and noise. Condolences is a rare reprieve with its lingering piano chords while Home Away From Here is the closest thing the band have to a single. Signed to Jacob Bannon of Converge’s Deathwish label, having previously recorded for Geoff Rickly of Thursday, Touche Amore are a band’s band. Revered in the burgeoning post-hardcore scene abroad, they have made a name for themselves via split releases with the likes of La Dispute and Make Do & Mend, however are yet to firmly establish their own credentials. Parting The Sea Between Brightness & Me is an impassioned attempt at liberation but one that falls significantly short. Brendan Hitchens
ICEAGE NEW BRIGADE Abeano/Remote Control Last year four disaffected Danish kids formed a band and recorded an album in four days. That album, New Brigade, is incredibly short – 24 minutes, in fact. Yet almost 18 months after its Scandinavian release, and with its rerelease in other parts of the world this year, one thing is clear – New Brigade is one of the strongest, most relentless and important records of this, or any year. It is nigh on impossible to think four teenagers crafted this visceral punch to the eardrums in the 21st century. Destructive vitality permeates every molecule on this longplayer, evoking a time when such pummelling music was fresh and exciting, instinctual and essential – the idea of popularity or creating anything other than music a foreign notion. First track White Rune is a motoric creeper of a track, a post-punk behemoth that sounds otherworldly in its fervent strength and belligerence. New Brigade emanates with a more ‘70s NY punk vivacity, while Remember offers a Joy Division-esque bounce. I’m Blessed is the closest to an upbeat track they have to offer, evoking the notion of running into the nearest person at full force, splitting skin even as you grin maniacally. There is no hint of airs and graces here. In fact, Iceage abhor such trappings, an incredibly refreshing notion in this day and age. Every crash, bang, stutter and roar is irascible yet inherent, primal yet precise. They are honest in their approach, and while there is still room to grow, the innate energy that emanates from New Brigade never threatens to dissipate. All of these factors make Iceage one of the most exciting prospects in music, and New Brigade the perfect manifesto with which to launch into global aural decimation. Brendan Telford
FACTS AND FIGURES Approximate number of singles reviewed: 2949 Most singles reviewed in the one week: 19 Fewest singles reviewed in the one week: one Average number of singles reviewed each week: seven Number of former Dolly Magazine cover models awarded Single Of The Week: one (Erica Baxter) Number of Miley Cyrus singles awarded Single Of The Week: two Number of Justin Bieber singles awarded Single Of The Week: one Number of Jet singles awarded Single Of The Week: one LOL Number of reviews written in foreign languages: four (French, German, two each) Number of reviews written as World Of Warcraft trade channel chats: one Number of reviews written as calls to the Matchbox 20 Support Helpline: one Number of CDs I later snapped in half: three Number of CDs I later snapped in half, then set fire to: one Number of CDs sent to me loose, with a hand-written “press release” that requested the CD be returned so it could be sent to other journalists: one Number of CDs that came with an iron-on transfer: two (Mercury Four, Jesse McCartney) Lowest price for a single later sold at a garage sale: 50c (Australian Idol Finalists Rise Up) Highest price for a single later sold on eBay: $217 (Mariah Carey Say Somethin’) Single I should have sold while there was a market for it: Missy Higgins EP promo Shortest single review: Kate Ceberano Yes (one word) Longest single review: Brian McFadden Just The Way You Are (679 words)
MY FAVOURITE REVIEW THE WOMBATS TOKYO (VAMPIRES AND WOLVES) [Expletive] [superlative], [adjective] [expletive] [derivative of ‘electro-rock’] [synonym for song]. [Adjective] [preposition] [verb] [preposition] [name of fashion chain]. [Subjective pronoun] [auxiliary verb] [verb] [noun] [conjunction] [pronoun] [verb] [adjective] [expletive] [derivative of ‘electro-rock’] [noun] [adverb] [adverb].
BLACK ROOTS THE REGGAE SINGLES ANTHOLOGY Bristol Archive Records/The Planet Company Black Roots were renowned as one of the UK’s best roots reggae outfits, leaving upwards of ten albums behind them as well as numerous singles and EPs. This compilation pulls together the Bristol collective’s early career at the start of the ‘80s up until 1988 when they started working with Mad Professor. There’s their first EP in its entirety, alongside some additional singles including the theme to the BBC sitcom Frontline. They referred to their music as “militant pacifism” with smooth harmonies and conscious lyrics that often reference areas in and around Bristol. Their sound is what they advertise, black roots, and while there is a relatively straight-up, Bob Marley-esque element to their early work, they often descend into some great dubs, such as on What Them Do, which quickly descends into a spaced-out dub section that’s almost a dub solo, before the original tune creeps back in. It’s on the final three tracks that the eight-piece began working with Mad Professor and to be fair it’s the best work here, such as on Pin In The Ocean, where the band do their power vocal harmonic thing before the Professor just takes over and dubs out the next four-or-so minutes, sending everything sideways. It’s like they needed this final element to their sound to really complete them. Given it’s sequential you can really chart the group’s development, and while the earlier work is burdened with an element of sameness, as the years progressed they became increasingly adventurous with their sounds and that’s where the interest lies in this collection.
BOOTS ELECTRIC HONKEY KONG Dangerbird/Co-Operative Music Flying high from the havoc caused from his badass bromance project, Eagles Of Death Metal with Josh Homme, Jesse Hughes embarks on his first solo flight as Boots Electric. Honkey Kong may be an open love letter to girls, but Hughes remains a conduit for the rock gods. The sirens that chase you into Complexity set the tone for a dangerous listening experience that’s sure to make you randy. Of these ten tracks, Hughes co-penned seven with Mark Nishita (Money Mark) and some of his other famous friends who dropped by the studio to get involved include drummer Joey Castillo (QOTSA/EODM) and Homme’s missus Brody Dalle (The Distillers/Spinnerette), whose horny delivery perfectly offsets Hughes in the salacious Boots Electric Theme. The advisory Summer Nights-style conscience Q&A structure works a treat in the Dreams chorus – “You wanna make this girl your wife”/“Oh no, I don’t, oh no, I don’t/I think it’s moving too fast.” Oh Girl demonstrates a certain vulnerability and the funky wah-wah choruses will leave you a helpless, quivering mess. The sound of smokin’ cowboy-booted footsteps on floorboards introduce Speed Demon. Here Hughes employs a spoken-word delivery to rival Nick Cave’s and crazy carni instrumentation simulates the feeling of “white lightning” coursing through his veins. A swaggering polka tempo characterises You’ll Be Sorry, with its “Bup-bup-bowwhup-bup-bup-bow-whup” falsetto-vocal percussion – genius. Tambourines and psychedelic synths soon join the party and it’s over all too soon. Listen closely to lyrical content, however, this is a cautionary tale disguised by seduction.
First Single Of The Week: The Black Keys Set You Free Last Single Of The Week: Little Dragon Little Man
What makes Hughes so universally doable? He lays it all proudly on the line (check out the CD’s bonus fold-out centrefold poster for all the evidence you need). After just one listen, you’ll be thankful Hughes was “raped by miracles” and chose to spread the gospel according to Boots Electric. His latest demonic undertaking presents music for before, during and after your fantasy hook-up.
Bob Baker Fish
FEIST METALS Universal Breaking through to critical acclaim with her sophomore 2004 album Let It Die, Canadian Leslie Feist skyrocketed to commercial success when 2007’s The Reminder unleashed a little whimsy of a song called 1234 (co-written by Australia’s own Selly Seltmann). Apple ads, guest spots on Sesame Street and Grammy nominations ensued for the Broken Social Scene alumnus, though Feist has always been much more than one song. The Bad In Each Other opens Metals in an unexpected manner; bluesy guitar teams with a stomping rhythm before strings and brass open out the theme of relationship conflict. It is confident in its experimental nature and signifies an attention to detail long known to be one of Feist’s best qualities, despite the easy delivery of her beautiful vocal often indicating an effortless preparation. How Come You Never Go There is the 1234 of Metals in terms of its pop ability to flow easily from the tongue and become embeded in the brain. Though feeling joyful in tone, this anomaly finds its place in an album weighted by melancholic lows with its lyrics of desperate loneliness. Undiscovered First recalls the bluesy swing of the opening track, adding some saxophone sass as it progresses to a group singalong to result in a song that feels as though an epic mountain range is being discovered; isolation mixes hesitantly with hope. Apparently fond of decamping to picturesque recording locations, it’s clear that Feist has allowed this visual inspiration to run through the core of Metals that in its entirety feels romantically cinematic, in a slightly morose kind of way. Making greater use of her guitar skills throughout, Feist delivers a fourth album in Metals that is not a response to the success of The Reminder, but instead reflects her growth as an enduring career artist because of such success. Tyler McLoughlan
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FIONN REGAN 100 ACRES OF SYCAMORE Heavenly/ Cooperative Ambitious Irish singer/songwriter Fionn Regan hasn’t rested on his laurels following his electric-folk foray The Shadow Of An Empire 18 months ago. Delving back into the acoustic world which first brought him to the attention of many (and garnered him a Mercury Prize nomination), 100 Acres Of Sycamore is a richer experience with Regan’s lyrical dexterity in full flight, while the musical arrangements and folk guitar picking all create a tapestry of natural elegance that surpasses his earlier releases. While the constant Dylan references continue to plague him, Regan’s extended use of strings throughout 100 Acres Of Sycamore is more akin to Nick Drake’s esoteric ruminations on nature and the human condition. In fact nature permeates the entire album – referring to a loved one as the Lake District, the title track’s calling for us to “rise up from the trappings of flesh and the holdings of skin… from the pack who are baying and drawing your blood.” For A Nightingale evokes James Taylor’s pastoral wanderings, and evocative wordplay has always been Regan’s calling card, yet as is witnessed on the soaring Vodka Sorrow his song structure is playing an integral part to his musical evolution, offering suites of ephemeral, romantic balladry of fair beauty. Soft and stirring, 100 Acres Of Sycamore sees Regan’s return as a folky songsmith, making music that, rather than offering twee excursions into pastoral realms or experimental pretensions, is deep and rich with intuition and evocative imagery that harbours a beautiful exploration of love and the natural world. Brendan Telford
MUTEMATH ODD SOUL Teleprompt/Warner Mutemath have never really broken through in Australia despite building a determined following for their eccentric alternative rock in the US. It’s hard to know whether new album Odd Soul, their third since they formed in New Orleans almost ten years ago, will change that. This album is certainly good enough to initiate the band’s push into a new market, but some of the things that make this album such an interesting and rewarding listen could distance a lot of listeners.
Paradise (Warner) was the 1978 debut from Melbournevia-Adelaide act Stars. Sounding like a genial bar band plunked down in the American heartland, these guys delivered sweet and slick country rock. In fact, not unlike Adelaide’s current ambassadors Leader Cheetah, Stars turned an obvious Neil Young influence towards clean, catchy tunes. (See also: John Denver and America.) Most grabby of all is the undeniable Mighty Rock, while the closing live cover of Joe Walsh’s Rocky Mountain Way (and more) proves a longwinded anomaly. As reissues go, this is barebones: no liner notes or bonus tracks, just the album as it stands.
From the start, the jittery energy that drummer Darren King provides, and that runs through most of these songs, is unsettling and makes it hard to get comfortable with the tracks. At times songs sound like they’ve been born out of the musicians’ love of experimental jazz (Cavalries); other tracks bear the hallmarks of stomping blues (current single Blood Pressure) and its more modern rock reimagining. Odd Soul might even sound like The Black Keys if it weren’t for all the bubble and hiss of noise that the monster guitar riff is wrapped in, or that haunted voice in the background. Prytania is a thriller that turns King’s frenetic drumming into an infectious little indie rhythm even as it keeps you at arm’s length. Odd Soul is definitely an album worth burying yourself in. The band self-produced the record, keeping themselves isolated from management and their record company while they were recording. Listening to Odd Soul you get the feeling this is exactly the album they wanted to make, audiences be damned. Odd Soul will reward you if you let it. Danielle O’Donohue
Tragically, Stars only lasted one more album, because guitarist/co-songwriter Andy Durant died of cancer in 1980. That makes 1979’s Land Of Fortune (Warner) a sad send-off as well as a real step from Paradise. Darker and more serious, the album finds jaded inspiration in the familiar Aussie landscape, from the title track to Gold Fever to Last Of The River Boats. But then Redneck Boogie means rollicking fun and the closing Never Coming Back is a beauty. The only misstep is an overly glossy take on Willie Dixon’s blues standard I’m Ready. Otherwise, this is a strong, lasting showing.
Models’ fourth and biggest album, 1985’s Out Of Mind Out Of Sight (Warner) still startles today, even with all its era trappings. The songs are profound, sharply plotted and yet still rubbery fun. Requisite synths, sax and backing singers show up, but the best songs are shrouded and chilling, like the late James Freud’s These Blues and Cold Fever. Setting harrowing themes to sunny reggae, Barbados gave Freud the title of his later memoir: “I am the voice left from drinking.” Included here are extended 12” versions of Big On Love, the smash title track and weirdly, Barbados.
A moody, reverbed garage-pop outfit from 1980s Melbourne, The Huxton Creepers quite easily spanned daydream jangle (My Cherie Amour), stadium anthems (I Will Persuade You) and bluesy grit (King Of The Road) on 1986’s debut LP 12 Days To Paris (Fuse). It’s one of only two albums the band released, and this remastered reissue packs bonus tracks plus a second disc of demos, alternate versions and live-on-radio covers of The Flamin’ Groovies’ Shake Some Action and CCR’s Ramble Tamble (the latter veering into Them’s Gloria). Solid stuff, all around. And look: the band are playing the Corner on 8 October. Doug Wallen
LEADER OF THE PACK
TIED TO THE ‘90S
Trailblazing rocker SUZI QUATRO was namechecked in last year’s The Runaways, and may have her own biopic on the way, writes CYCLONE.
VICTOR MERCER, better known as CELPH TITLED, is a ‘90s hip hop fan at heart, the one-time label exec, producer and MC tells CYCLONE.
They got me – and I got you guys. We’re kinda like similar characters with the no bullshit syndrome.” This year Quatro is back with possibly her best album yet, In The Spotlight, input coming from Aussie expat Mike Chapman, the co-producer of Can… (and subsequently the poppier Blondie). Quatro has cut subversive covers of Goldfrapp’s Strict Machine and Rihanna’s Breaking Dishes that prove her ongoing rock chick influence.
oan Jett is indebted to Detroit rock icon Suzi Quatro – something underscored by last year’s biographical film The Runaways.
“I know these girls,” Quatro says of Jett’s original band. “I’ve known them forever. Joan was my biggest fan ever until she started her band – and so it’s not really a story that I have to familiarise myself with. But I’m glad that they made the nod to me. It wouldn’t have been a true film if they hadn’t have done that. I mean, Joan was hanging around me before she started out for years.” Quatro, then a teen, began singing and playing bass in the ‘60s rock outfit The Pleasure Seekers (later Cradle) with her sisters – a Runaways forerunner. She was discovered by producer Mickie Most (The Animals). The Englishman was developing RAK Records. In the early ‘70s a solo Quatro left for England, where she still resides. However, Quatro maintains her Motor City connections. “I’m a Detroit girl in my heart and soul – I will never, ever change that. I can’t change that. It’s who I am.” She celebrated her 60th birthday in Detroit. The singer/bassist debuted with Rolling Stone – but it was her glam-rock follow-up, Can The Can, which became the first of many hits. Australia would be among Quatro’s most loyal territories, Can… a number one. “I think that they just understood me,” she ponders. “They got me, who I am.
Beyond music, Quatro has forged an impressive acting career, initially cast as Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days. “When I walked in to do Happy Days, which was my first-ever acting role, [future Oscar-winning director] Ronnie Howard actually said to me, ‘You’re a natural.’ Nice compliment, eh? I’ll take that one to my grave, thank you very much!” she laughs. Quatro scored ensuing parts in classic British TV series such as Minder and Midsomer Murders (as a rocker electrocuted on stage!) and cameo-ed in Absolutely Fabulous. Nevertheless, she’s understandably wary of reality TV. Quatro participated in the UK ‘documentary’ Trust Me – I’m A Beauty Therapist, but felt she was seriously mis-led. “It’s my one regret – and I say it quite openly,” she rues. The plus? “One thing I did learn was how to cut hair.” Quatro has also published her autobiography, Unzipped. (Previously, former Runaways bassist Victory TischlerBlue directed the Quatro doco, Naked Under Leather.) There may yet be a Quatro biopic – and soon. She’s been approached more than once. “I would love to do a film on my life, absolutely, ‘cause you’re talking about one girl – one girl who went out there and did it and opened the doors. I think it’s really important to get that out there as it should be.” Who might portray her? “I don’t know! People ask me this. I can’t think of anybody who has that character, that tough and that soft – I’m a strange person to imitate. So I’d have to really think that through. Maybe an unknown? ‘Cause nobody known comes to mind.” WHO: Suzi Quatro WHAT: In The Spotlight (Checked Entertainment) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 1 October, meet’n’greet at House Of Rock, Palace; Sunday 2 October, Schweppes Entertainment Centre (Bendigo); Monday 3 October, Palais; Tuesday 4 October, Arena (Geelong)
SECOND THAT EMOTION
not to put down anything he does currently – [but] any producer, the ‘90s era is my favourite. So being able to just stay in that window, which is not something he normally does currently, it was a really great process. It came together from a good friend of mine named James DL, who runs a [vintage hip hop] label called No Sleep Recordings, and he connected me with Buck. We worked on the project for a few years. Once we were finished, which was 2010, it came out – and then that’s that.” DJ Premier deemed Nineteen… “hot” in an interview.
s Celph Titled (AKA Victor Mercer) the underground Diddy? After all, he worked as a label executive – and in-house producer – before breaking out as an MC. Well, maybe not Diddy. In fact, the Tampa, Florida native was MCing – and producing – in his school years. Mercer later transplanted to New York, securing an A&R gig at BUDS International. Last year the hardcore indie MC, previously a member of Equilibrium and also down with the cliques The Demigodz and Army Of The Pharaohs (both alongside Apathy), officially launched his solo career with Nineteen Ninety Now. (Prior to that, he issued the huge anthology The Gatalog: A Collection Of Chaos.) “I got treated like a new artist!” the veteran Mercer, now back in Florida, says with amusement. Such are his affinities with East Coast hip hop that fans might be forgiven for not realising that Mercer is a southerner. “That’s where I’m originally from! It gets confusing ‘cause all the music circle that I’m involved in, everyone’s from different areas.” He touts himself as “The Lone Ranger”. Nineteen… was wholly produced by Buckwild, an affiliate of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew renowned for Black Rob’s Whoa!. Mercer always loved his “echoing horns-type of sound”. “The concept of [the album] was that it was beats from the ‘90s that [Buckwild] made that never got used – whether he never finished it, or no-one picked it, or it was a sample issue at the time… But that was the most enjoyable process of it, ‘cause I’m a ‘90s hip hop fan at heart and that era of Buckwild production is my favourite. That’s
It could be expected that a band who found a space as interesting and obviously harmonious as the one DLC discovered themselves in might want to stay there indefinitely, but Huber has very different ideas. “We think of an album as a snapshot in time of a band. So Yearlings is essentially representing us now. The next album we’d like to think that we’d be completely different, we’d like to explore other avenues and delve more into our creativity, our songwriting. So different albums are always going to be about moving from one space to another. We’ve already started thinking about
WHO: Celph Titled WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Corner Hotel
my house was a lot of early American rock, like Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf. Those bedrock tracks are simple and primal and repetitive, and I’m very attracted to music that has that propulsive quality. With Moon Duo, I play some very repetitive keyboard riffs, and I think it partially stems from this desire to simultaneously anchor and propel.”
Thematically speaking, Yearlings is concerned with satellite emotions. Besides being terrific territory to ply one’s trade as a writer, Huber tells of her and co-writer/ vocalist Cameron Potts being in mind-meld, almost to the point where they ended up making a concept record.
“There was no conscious decision to write any of the songs in a particular way. We feel like the songs are steering the whole thing and we’re more like the mediums, they just come to us naturally. And this album was the first time we’d co-written with one another and I think that’s really helped the record just be a lot more succinct and it feels like a lot more of a collective.”
Mercer is returning down under for a three-city tour. He has solid connections here, contributing to Terntable Jediz’ All Out War. The street hero promises “a highly, highly energised show – just craziness”. “I was out there in 2005 with Apathy and the crowds were just crazy, they were moshing and everything crazy, so I can’t imagine what it’s like now – and now that I’ve got more records under my belt and I’m a little bigger than I was back then. So they can just expect madness, man.”
One half of MOON DUO, SANAE YAMADA, tells DOUG WALLEN that lengthy tours meant they had to reconsider the cost of having a San Francisco postcode.
our next album and taking our sound a little bit further.”
Surely, Mercer’s strangest hook-up over the years was with Fort Minor, devised by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, “a hip hop head at heart”. They had mutual pals in the group Styles Of Beyond. Jay-Z executive produced 2005’s LP The Rising Tied, Mercer cameo-ing on The Battle – plus DJ Green Lantern’s earlier Fort Minor mixtape, We Major. He even toured with Shinoda’s outfit, Apathy in tow. “It was a really cool experience,” Mercer recalls. “And we’re still cool. I don’t know if there’s ever gonna be another Fort Minor project but, if there is, we’ll be a part of it again as well. We’re still cool with Mike, we still keep in touch, so who knows?”
With two songwriters mining emotional territory, the latest DEAD LETTER CHORUS album packs a punch, writes TONY MCMAHON.
iven there’s supposedly nothing new in the zoo, exploring familiar territory with fresh insight is something that all good art aims for in the postmodern world. And this is exactly what Yearlings, the second album from indie pop outfit Dead Letter Chorus, achieves. Presenting as a series of transcendent vignettes concerned with love, loss and hope, this is heartfelt and approachable music for, paradoxically, both the newly broken hearted and the freshly smitten. Occupying a musical space that was all their own was a concern of the band, according to frontwoman Gabrielle Huber – something they’ve managed to achieve quite adroitly, in Inpress’s opinion – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was intentional.
Now the Dirty Version Records boss is in the throes of a follow-up, The Fresh Prince Of Hell’s Lair, to surface next year. This time he’ll be cutting beats himself, while again roping in Apathy. “Whereas Nineteen… was a concept album, and it had a jazzy sound to it, like a throwback sound, this is gonna be my solo solo album – a lot of hardcore stuff, kinda dark beats… So it’s gonna go in a different direction – [with] more modern beats. It’s not gonna be a throwback project.”
When Moon Duo land for their inaugural Australian tour, it will still just be a duo, no matter how many layers manage to pervade the album. Born from a mix of drum machines and live drum and percussion samples, the beats are emitted from a sampler during gigs. If that sounds pretty low-key, look up video footage of the band performing live in the studio at Seattle’s famed KEXP radio station. It’s no great hurdle, then, that Mazes utilises more overdubbing than the pair of EPs.
“I know I write a lot about emotions and just how I’m feeling at the time. That’s almost how I express myself. I think it’s the same with Cameron. He writes a lot about emotions and moments in time. When we got the tracks together, we could see a real beginning and ending, a little bit like the beginning and ending of a relationship. It wasn’t deliberate, but it turned out to be something of a concept album.” Even though Yearlings is a truly beautiful record, punters will be happy to know that DLC still think of themselves as primarily a live band, although they have had to do the odd bit of tweaking to reproduce the album on stage. “We didn’t embellish things too much on the album. We wanted it to sound great sonically, and we’re really happy with how it turned out, but we also wanted it to capture the essence of us as a live band too because we definitely see ourselves as more of a live band. We’re in our true state when we’re performing live. So, we’re trying to keep our recordings and our live performances on par with each other in terms of sound. We’ve started incorporating some electronic stuff into our live set so that we can have that same element. So, hopefully people can pick up the correspondence between both the live set and the album.” And talking of correspondence, there’s arguably no bettersounding place to receive it than the Northcote Social Club, which is, as it happens, exactly where Yearlings is being launched, much to Huber’s genuine-seeming delight. “We love that room. It’s just awesome. And we’re really looking forward to getting back down to Melbourne because it’s our home away from home and we’re just really looking forward to playing some of our new tunes there.”
WHO: Dead Letter Chorus WHAT: Yearlings (ABC Music/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Northcote Social Club
olling off the tongue more easily than his pre-existing band Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo is San Francisco guitarist Ripley Johnson’s project with partner Sanae Yamada. Whereas the former act mines weighty psych rock, the latter is hooked on hazy loops and organ drones. But after the reputation-making Killing Time and Escape EPs, the drummer-less Moon Duo sound like a full-blown rock band on the new LP Mazes. It’s enough to silence talk of Moon Duo as a mere Wooden Shjips side-project. “In some ways it was a side project,” muses Yamada, “as Wooden Shjips were already well established, but I think we both took it seriously from the start and always considered ourselves a proper band. It’s never been shunted aside.”
And on Mazes we truly get to hear what this duo can do. From the unlikely pop hook of When You Cut to Johnson’s acid-tinged guitar work and Yamada’s formidable keyboard fog, it’s a more immersive experience than the homespun, outsider cool of the EPs. Credit that partly to mixing in Berlin at Kaiku Studios, where Handsome Furs’ recent Sound Kapital also got mixed. “We had a few romantic notions about doing a ‘Berlin record’,” Yamada admits. “The idea had a certain grandness to it.” From the start, obvious touchstones for Moon Duo have been Silver Apples and Suicide: all bleary experimentation and machine-like detachment. But there’s some downright guitar jangle and an almost sugary keyboard melody on the title track of Mazes, while other songs channel The Jesus & Mary Chain more than earlier ones. “When I was growing up,” recounts Yamada, “the music in
“I think it’s always tricky to replicate the sound of any recording in a live show,” Yamada observes. “We pretty much accept that our live sound will be different. And [so we] focus on how to cultivate a sound that works best for a live situation, rather than on how to make the show sound like the record. I like it when bands bring something different live than they do on their recordings. That said, there is certainly some looping involved when we play our newer songs.” After three albums – including the terrific new West on Thrill Jockey via Fuse – and a slew of singles, Wooden Shjips have no immediate plans to visit Australia again. (The band made its maiden voyage here last year.) As for Moon Duo, their visit comes right in the calm before the storm of summer festivals. In the personal sphere, meanwhile, Yamada and Johnson have relocated from bayside San Francisco to mountainous Colorado. The reason behind the move was simple, it turns out. “We wanted to tour and record as much as possible,” says Yamada. “As much as we both love San Francisco, it is an incredibly expensive city. We couldn’t afford to pay rent there anymore, especially when we were going to be on the road half the year.”
WHO: Moon Duo WHAT: Mazes (Sacred Bones) WHEN & WHERE: Tonight, Northcote Social Club
Their relationship with Edwyn Collins is not the only reason FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS are standing out from the indie Brit pack, writes DOUG WALLEN.
GAPPY RANKS wants you to get to know him personally during his live show, the UK reggae star tells TONY MCMAHON.
“Because we’ve only been in this band for coming up on three years,” he reveals, “we’re not trained musicians at all. So we can’t play to a click [track], to the annoyance of anyone recording us. [That means] you can’t edit us that easily, because we have to do it as a live performance most of the time.”
t’s not easy to stand out in a sea of young English guitar bands, but Frankie & The Heartstrings haven’t had much trouble. Maybe it’s coming from the North England non-destination of Sunderland – home to Futureheads and Field Music – or having a frontman named Frankie Frances. Or maybe it’s songs that hover between dance-punk throwbacks (think Franz Ferdinand) and the timeless jangle of The Smiths. Maybe again, though, it all started when the band debuted not with your typical single but with a self-released live EP on 10” vinyl. As eccentricities go, it was both an early and conspicuous one. “We thought, ‘What would be more interesting than putting out a live gig of essentially all the songs we had at the time?’” Frances recalls. “We just thought it would be quirky and more interesting than putting out a single on iTunes. And we’re very passionate about physical music, especially vinyl.” From there came an avalanche of razor-sharp singles – witness the one-word-title wonders Hunger, Tender and Ungrateful – and a growing reputation that got the band playing much further afield than their native Sunderland. All of those singles and most of their B-sides are collected on the band’s debut album, also called Hunger, which was released through the taste-making UK indie label Wichita. Now The Heartstrings are in Australia, supporting Eskimo Joe on several dates before a quick stop at the Workers Club. Then it’s back to England to tour with The Vaccines. Imagining Frankie & The Heartstrings’ live show is pretty straightforward. Much of the album was recorded live, and the Hefner-ish highlight Fragile (inspired by Tender Is The Night and name-checking other F Scott Fitzgerald books) has an especially raw feel. There’s a good reason for recording that way, says Frances.
are, in fact, not as different as some might think. “There’s a real connection between reggae and rock. A lot of early rock bands were influenced by reggae. Reggae and rock have all the time had that relationship, if you like. Bob Marley played to a lot of rock crowds in rock venues. There’s a lot of similarities in terms of sound and topic and delivery.”
Luckily, the band had a sympathetic producer in Orange Juice legend Edwyn Collins. “Edwyn just got the sound we wanted,” Frances beams. “He caught some of our rawness, especially on songs like Fragile, which gives a certain amount of vulnerability to it.” The five-piece initially got onto Collins to helm their first single, but it went so well that an album deal was easily sealed. Now they’re friends with the man as well as collaborators, something that still surprises Frances today. “We were just massive Orange Juice fans. I’d often DJ Orange Juice songs in Sunderland to get people dancing,” he recounts. Another name mentioned when discussing Frankie & The Heartstrings is Dexy’s Midnight Runners, but their influences extend beyond just those two. Frances also cites Suede, Manic Street Preachers and Prefab Sprout, pointing out, “You needn’t dance to Oasis records”. If Frankie and band can come off somewhat twee at first glance, there are darker corners to Hunger. The more turbulent moments culminate in the closing Don’t Look Surprised, which packs the unmistakable threat “I mean you harm, you see.” And the band’s own label is called Popsex Ltd. So they’re not awkward young fops touting their innocence by any means. More than just a label, Popsex has been used to catalogue everything the band’s done, from club nights to podcasts to singles. It’s all part of starting something up in a city that’s not overflowing with music. “It’s more of a music community than a scene,” he explains. “I think a scene is competitive, whereas a community is supportive. You end up going out with [likeminded bands] every night because there’s no one else who likes the same things.” And so rose The Heartstrings: “We just decided to have a go ourselves.” WHO: Frankie & The Heartstrings WHAT: Hunger (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Forum; Friday, Pier Live; Saturday, Workers Club
This is not to mention London DJ Don Letts’ influence on early punk bands via his reggae sets at the now legendary Roxy, the results of which can clearly be heard in The Clash and Public Image Ltd. It seems that reggae’s ability to communicate, both geographically and culturally, should never be underestimated.
aving already played to rapturous crowds at headline shows across America, Asia and Europe, UK reggae star Gappy Ranks is now coming to Australia for the very first time to celebrate the release of his second album, Thanks & Praise. Having set the reggae and dancehall world on fire with his debut, 2010’s Put The Stereo On, Ranks’ follow-up is sure to consolidate his position not only at the very top of his genre’s heap, but in the wider musical community as well. When Inpress catches up for a chat with Ranks, the first thing we want to do is simply thank him for coming such a long way to see us. He seems unperturbed about the long plane trip, and says he has no idea what it will be like once he gets here. “I’m looking forward to it though. It is a long trip, but I’m really looking forward to bringing my sound to Australia. I believe the reggae scene is growing bit by bit over there. It sounds like it’s really exciting. And being a social networking society, I’m hoping that the people over there really support it and come out to see me. I don’t know, my expectations are all over the place. There’s no science in the music industry. But the distance is not a problem. I want to show that reggae music can go anywhere around the world.” Clearly, Ranks has put a lot of thought into best serving this idea of bringing reggae music to non-traditional markets such as Australia. His Melbourne show is at rock’n’roll institution the Espy, and the mind boggles at the level of positive cultural exchange that should take place. Interestingly, Ranks points out that rock and reggae
“That’s right. I’ve been to over 40 countries playing my music, and I’m constantly amazed at reggae’s ability to be able to travel to other places and other cultures. When you go to different countries, obviously, you see different languages and different ways of doing things, but reggae music allows you to adapt really easily, especially coming from London, which is such a multicultural place anyway.” But Ranks is interested in more than being able to adapt for purely personal reasons. He lays out his general philosophy of music, and it must be said that it’s one of the more moving ones that this writer has heard. “With the music, there’s no difference. People communicate and relate through music. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, what colour you are or what religion you are. Music talks to people. That’s what I think anyway. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t be making music.” Given this is Ranks’ first tour, we finish up by asking him to describe what the experience will be like for punters. “As I said before, coming from a multicultural city like London means that my music is quite eclectic and versatile, so there’s all different types of music in there, all delivered through reggae music, if you like. At my shows, I also like the audience to feel like they know me personally. I’m not one of those artists who isn’t open. I like to talk to people during shows.”
WHO: Gappy Ranks WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Espy
THIS WEEK IN WEDNESDAY 28 The American Astronaut – directed by James Wray, written by Cory McAbee. Space is a lonely town, in a world of mud-spattered chaps and star-dusted space-helmets, interplanetary travel has become a dirty way of life. Fringe event. Opening night, 7pm. The Workers Club until 8 October. Manhattan Short Film Festival – global film festival; 10 final short films are screened to 250 cities across the world and the audience judges. Films from Egypt, USA, Australia, Sweden, and Peru. Ultimate winner announced in New York 3 October. Astor Theatre, 7:30pm So Blue, So Calm – written and directed by Patrick McCarthy, devised and performed by Matthew Epps and James Tresise. In a dream-like suburban backyard, two young men contemplate the state of the world and their place within it. Fringe event. Mutation Theatre, Collingwood (enter via Travellers bookstore) until 8 October. The Wau Wau Sisters’ Last Supper – NYC’s bravest and bawdiest duo bring a sinful night of chaos, burlesque, comedy, and circus. Endless fun and fearless abandon combine in a night of mayhem with a bacchanalian finale you will never forget. Fringe event. Opening night, 8pm. GH Hotel until 9 October.
THURSDAY 29 A Window In Mine – performance arts meets public transport; blink and you’ll miss it, 40 performers on the Glen Waverly train that passes the Corner Hotel, Richmond. Fringe event. Opening night, 8:40pm, 9:10pm, and 9:40pm. Corner Hotel until 6 October. Ganesh Versus The Third Reich – directed by Bruce Gladwin. World premiere. The Nazis stole the swastika, an ancient icon of Hindu culture. Ganesh wants it back, an epic journey of an elephant-headed Hindu god who seeks to go one-on-one with Hitler. Opening night, 7:30pm. Meryln Theatre, Malthouse until 9 October. Inglourious Basterds – directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, and Michael Fassbender. The Basterds are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. Nominated for 8 Oscars (2009). Astor Theatre, 7:30pm.
FRIDAY 30 Half Real – directed by Sam Haren, written by Duncan Graham. Who killed Violet Vario? You decide. The “whodunit” murder mystery is turned on its head, granting the viewer an unprecedented level of power with 3D video mapping and projected imagery, Adelaide’s The Border Project equips its onlookers with the technology to rewind events, replay them from different perspectives, enter the minds of the suspects and revise the meanings of everything played out before them. Opening night, 8pm. Tower Theatre, Malthouse until October 8. Helmsman Pete: Postcards From The Edge Of The World – Pete Reid performs curio cabinet storytelling featuring startling vignettes and
ARTS acclaimed boot-stomp music sure to set loose the ‘wild-man’ from the most sober of souls… Fresh from a tour of London, Edinburgh, and New York. Fringe event. Closing tonight, Fringe Hub Meeting Room, 10:35pm. Spring Awakening – directed by Yvonne Virsik, musical direction by Tom Pitts, based on the 1892 Frank Wedekind play. An electrifying fusion of morality, rebellion, sexual awakening, and rock’n’roll, with the energy of a rock concert and the power of a great drama. Opening night, 8pm. Alexander Theatre until 8 October.
SATURDAY 1 A Cat In Paris – a revelation at this year’s French Film Festival, A Cat In Paris combines clever animation and a compelling plot to create a refreshing film for all ages. ACMI Cinemas, 1pm. Fourplay – written by Sergi Belbel, presented by Viscous Fish. A postmodernist bedroom farce. A married couple purchases a two-metre by two-metre bed, with the intention that they will each invite a co-worker, unknown to each other, to inaugurate the bed. A backwards and forwards game of seduction, rebuttal and dysfunction. Fringe event. Opening night, 7pm. Fortyfivedownstairs until October 9. Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem – written and performed by Tommy Bradson, the award-winning cabaret artist retells Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, with an original score penned by the legendary John Thorn. Fuck Disney, eh. This is the real romance. Fringe event. Fringe Hub Meeting Room until 8 October.
SUNDAY 2 An Awful Lot Of Vaudeville – all-star cast of Australia’s premier performers and international guests alongside live musical acts curated by the Mojo Juju. With classic illusionists, magicians, mimes, cabaret divas, burlesque beauties, high flying circus, funny men, and sideshow freaks. Fringe event. Closing tonight. Red Bennies, 9pm. At The Sans Hotel – emotionally evocative and quietly funny psychological detective story. Loosely about, yet having nothing to do with, a schizophrenic German woman who arrived at a hotel in the middle of the desert, At The Sans Hotel is a “monumentally original” (Australian Stage) investigation into indecision and loneliness. Closing today. La Mama Courthouse, 6:30pm.
MONDAY 3 Aqueous – abstract artist Richard Valeros exhibits his new works, which have been inspired by the raw beauty of nature. Boscia Galleries, 6:30pm.
TUESDAY 4 TV Dinner – with David Lightfoot, a night of cinema and film industry discussion alongside screenings of local and international short films. This opportunity offers a rare insight for emerging film makers and cinephiles alike to take part in a moderated open forum with a stalwart of the Australian film industry. Red Bennies, 8pm.
THE NAZIS STOLE A HINDU SYMBOL AND REAPPROPRIATED IT FOR THEIR OWN USE; NOW, ITS ORIGINAL GODS WANT IT BACK. BETHANY SMALL TALKS TO MARCIA FERGUSON ABUT GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH.
MAKING A SONG AND DANCE ABOUT IT BEN LEWIS FROM TOM TOM CREW TALKS TO AMELIA SCHMIDT ABOUT STAYING AT HOME AND JOINING THE CIRCUS. If you’ve ever thought the circus was kind of dorky and needed a bit of updating, then you’re on the same page as Tom Tom Crew. Combining DJs, beatboxers, graffiti, live drumming, and acrobatics into a circus that’s got no ringleader, no roaring lions and no clowns, but has a hell of a lot of extremely cool performances, Tom Tom Crew have blown the rest of the world away and are now ready to tear it up in their hometown of Melbourne. Speaking over the phone from Albury, aerial acrobat Ben Lewis explains that Albury is where he grew up and where he now intends to raise a baby. It was there also that Lewis joined the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australia’s most famous children’s circus school at the tender age of seven. “I grew
up in Albury, as a whole bunch of the acrobats from the Tom Tom Crew did,” he explains. “I was a hyperactive little kid and my mum didn’t know what to do with me. I didn’t really take to any of the kind of conventional sports and then she put me in the circus. I fell in love with it and I’ve been doing it ever since.” Not as much ‘running away to the circus’ as you might expect. From Fruit Flys to NICA, Lewis explains that acrobatics is “the only job [he’s] ever had”. So when Scott Maidment asked him to be a part of Tom Tom Crew, it was really a no-brainer. Gathering together his favourite acts – including percussionist and Ben Walsh (of The Bird), beatboxer Tom Thumb, and the other acrobats – Maidment’s brainchild Tom Tom Crew originally
It might seem like a strange thing to say of a play entitled Ganesh Versus The Third Reich, because (let’s be fair) that doesn’t sound super-serious. It also might be hard to imagine how the play aims to deal, sincerely and with an eye to historical accuracy, with both the elephant-headed God of wisdom and the removal of obstacles, and with the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Most people can’t really talk confidently about these things, let alone manage to employ them meaningfully and sensitively as symbolism, but this is what Back To Back Theatre is aiming to do in this work. “It’s... it’s not really, in the end, a comedy,” explains Marcia Ferguson, who co-devised the work. “From the outside, people who aren’t involved, aren’t close to what we’re doing... it can be hard to understand. But fundamentally this is more than anything a piece about people with disabilities, about having a voice as an outsider and about how to communicate in that position.” Back To Back, founded in Geelong in 1987 and with a record of local and international success as a major theatre company, was conceived as a way of creating theatre with, as they describe it, ‘people perceived to have a disability’. The idea of outsiderdom is fundamental to the company’s engagement with and exploration of contemporary theatre and society, and this manifests in Ganesh Versus The Third Reich in fascinating ways. The God himself, for example, is cast as a powerless and disenfranchised figure. “Ganesh has come to Germany,” Ferguson explains, “to reclaim the swastika as a symbol of peace, and he sees these horrors, and he’s undermined because no one believes in him.” That, there, is the formally absurd but not at all flippant foundation for the play: the god’s quest to take back an ancient symbol misappropriated in the cause of a political, rhetorical, and military nationhood with a genocidal telos. A Hindu god does his best in a society that won’t acknowledge him; a man who
performed a semi-improvised jam at the 2006/2007 Woodford Folk Festival. “We did a few other gigs where it was still pretty loose. Before we went to Edinburgh for the first time [in 2007], we had two weeks to sort of make the show ‘proper’,” Lewis says, laughing. “It’s come a long way since then…but the vibe has always been the same.” Part of what makes the show so interesting and varied is the fact that all the performers work together to create it; each contributing his own expertise. It’s a beats and breaks circus mashup for Gen Y, bringing physical performance and urban music
survived despite being subject to torture by Mengele learns to redefine faith and discover a new kind. Actors regarded as having a mental disability playing characters like a god whose only follower cannot believe in him in the context of a society that held it morally right to execute those deemed to be flawed: sure, this is complicated stuff. And yet it gets more so! “That story doesn’t, isn’t meant to hold up or really hold together on its own,” Ferguson says. “There’s a questioning of how people can speak, and how they’re regarded, socially, and what they see their roles can be.” This, as well as referring to the broader aims and ethos of Back To Back as a company, refers to the presence of a metatheatrical element at work in Ganesh Versus The Third Reich: the characters within the play have a sub-plot of quandaries relating to the nature and ethics of theatrical representation as speaking for and taking on the role of the marginalised. There are high hopes, but then this is a very good theatre company, that in so doing they might remind us that a lot of distinctions JESUS and a lot of beliefs are,& inMARYCHAIN fact, socially inscribed and not only can stand up to but merit reinvestigation. WHAT: Ganesh Versus The Third Reich WHEN & WHERE: Thursday to Sunday 9 October, Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse
together in a street marriage. “I think it’s totally different,” Lewis agrees. “There are a few shows popping up that are sort of said to be street or urban or whatever but a lot of them kind of end up being a bit try-hard, they end up being contemporary versions in an urban setting. Ours feels a bit more authentic and real… It’s just us being us and doing what we do.” WHAT: Tom Tom Crew WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 4 October to Sunday 23, Upstairs, Forum Theatre
A NEO RENAISSANCE MAN COMEDIAN RYAN COFFEY TALKS TO DAVE DRAYTON, AND REVEALS HE’S A LITTLE LIKE THE DRINK HIS SURNAME MISPELLS; BITTER, STRONG, AND NECESSARY FOR THE PERPETUALLY WEARY.
“My crippling fear of failure nurtured in me an insatiable lust for validation. That, of course, drove me to a life in the performing arts, where a naturally occurring cycle of adulation and rejection can perpetuate my delusions of the relevance of my artistic ‘imperative’,” a humorously self-deprecating Coffey
explains. For those struggling to wade through his typically robust vocabulary Coffey then offers a simpler description of his role as an artist, “I’m no different to any other douche in the Fringe.” Modesty in comedy goes a long way, and is often par for the course, but when pushed Coffey reveals that far from
being no different from any other douche at Melbourne Fringe Festival, he is in fact some kind of hybrid super-douche; melding musical performance, storytelling, and stand-up comedy. “I’m not exactly creating a new genre. All the stuff I do has been done before, just not in this combination. I’m like a Caesar salad sandwich made from pancakes, that has then been baked into a meatloaf. That might sound shit, sure. Some people might not like it. But then, I’m not a huge fan of much musical comedy either.” With his multifaceted approach to performance it is interesting to see where Coffey is taking his cues from; is it the musical forefathers or comedic geniuses driving his creation? Would Elvis or Adam Sandler be a closer point of reference? “Elvis,” Coffey says with certainty. “I know for fact that when Sandler picks up a guitar doves begin to cry. Prince wrote a song about it – I can’t remember what it was called. On the other hand, I believe it could be safely assumed that Elvis, in more private moments, could probably crank out a pretty decent dick joke. You know, a real Renaissance man,” Coffey adds. A Renaissance man seems like an appropriate point of reference, Coffey has a finger in a couple of pies and beyond the comedy and ditties being peddled in his stage act he has been training himself up in front of crowds by hosting pub trivia
around Melbourne. “You get some great material,” Coffey explains, “I now do this bit about the atomic weight of Boron. It’s a laugh riot. Conversely, I think my stand-up is affecting my hosting negatively. Punters seem to be getting annoyed at me incessantly asking them the times and locations of my festival shows.” Which brings us back to Coffey’s shows, the man has a knack for turning conversation in this direction. With a couple of hundred shows at one’s doorstep throughout the festival, I ask Coffey why someone should see his show. “You should probably see it, Dave, because you work for Inpress and you could probably get in for free. That said, you could probably get in to most shows if you wanted to. Maybe you should aim higher? Your readers should come see it because it says to go see it in the street press. No one listens to street press anymore. Everyone’s researching stuff online. No one takes a chance anymore... That reminds me, check out my YouTube. “There’s a lot of stuff in the Fringe that probably wouldn’t easily find a voice – or an audience – outside of the festival. You can see a comedian – me – any day of the week, but how often do you get to see a drag-clown burlesque-crobat? Like, only every other Tuesday?” With such modesty displayed once again there is an obligation to reassure Coffey that his show has some merit. After a recent performance in Sydney where he provided numerous examples of why ‘Facts aren’t fun’ I thought I would engage with the content and offer Coffey a fact of my own; I enjoyed your show because it was fun. Is that the comedy equivalent of The Matrix? “No,” Coffey says, seemingly unamused.
“This merely proves you’d fail an introductory course in logic. For this to be true I would have to find the ‘fact’ that you found it fun to be a source of fun myself – which I don’t. It just makes me feel ever more hollow and alone. “A comedy The Matrix? Yes, I guess that could be the intention though. If this show becomes a multi-million dollar box office smash hit trilogy of movies, I’ll give you partial credit.” This crippling loneliness was in part brought on by Coffey, who performs the multiple vocal harmonies used in his arrangements himself with the aid of a loop pedal. Perhaps he’d be a little less lonely (and appear a tad less self-obsessed) had he opened the floor to some backing musicians? “So, I surround myself with talented musicians and singers to rehearse and perform the songs that I’d written about my life, to play in a show under my name, then who’s self-obsessed?” Coffey hypothesises. “I can’t win with you media guys; you killed Avril Lavigne that way. I ain’t going out like that...” With the blood of Canada’s noughties teen pop queen on my hands I reason there’s only time enough for one more question and ask a notoriously flirtatious Coffey about the most attractive audience member he’s ever had in attendance. “Ahh, finally. A chance to show off my misogynistic side,” he says excitedly and I realise, devastatingly, the answer is not ‘The bearded guy from the Matrix show in Sydney’. Coffey elaborates, “Yeah, one time there was this hot chick and I was all, like, Boom! And we totally did it and stuff.” WHAT: Ryan Coffey: Live & Stupider WHEN & WHERE: Until Sunday 2 October, Tuesday 4 to Saturday 8, The Loft, Lithuanian Club
EXHIBITIONS AT ABBOTSFORD CONVENT The Abbotsford Convent holds an array of exhibitions running from today to Sunday 16 October. In Gallery 1 is Jemila Macewan’s Boo Hoo. In Space A, Richard Denny’s Recalling Territory. In Space B, Tristan Da Roza’s Detrimental Events Are Going To Be Somewhat Problematic Due To The Nature Of Exhibiting, and in the Project Room Lucy James’s Sudden Flashes Of Unconscious Material. In Gallery 2 and 3, Familiar & Unfamiliar, a touring exhibition of prints by 45 Australian artists celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Print Council of Australia.
CHUNKY MOVE PREMIERES OBARZANEK’S LAST Chunky Move’s new work Assembly, an ambitious collaboration with Victorian Opera, is premiering as part of Melbourne Festival. The show will be presented from Thursday 6 October to Saturday 8 at Melbourne Recital Centre. Staged on a vast staircase, Assembly integrates dance with theatrical and operatic performance; this grand piece involves over 60 performers on stage. It also marks the final piece by Chunky Move artistic director Gideon Obarzanek for the company. Tickets through the venue.
MAORI DANCE AND BURLESQUE AT THE LUWOW Sip, sway, and saunter in and around The LuWOW, Fitzroy. This Friday catch the sights and sounds of traditional Maori dance plus Barbara Blaze, Go Go Goddesses, and Jungle Burlesque.
C U LT U R A L
CULTURAL CRINGE WITH REBECCA COOK Hard to tell if it was fact or fiction as former Deputy Premier and now President of the Board of ACMI John Thwaites claimed to be in Year 8 when Neil Armstrong landed on the
moon. This ambiguity was appropriate considering the blurring of reality and make-believe is the theme of the Star Voyager exhibition that launched during the week. Cringe therefore wonders if guest NASA astronaut Rex Walheim, who opened the exhibition, was in fact a real astronaut or simply a convincing actor. Was he really on
WITH ANTHONY CAREW When interviewing Werner Herzog last month (yes, I know I started last week’s award-winning film columnry the same way; no, I am not boasting), he let out a mocking laugh when I used the phrase ‘Errol Morris’s career’. “What career?” Herzog teased, “all he does is make commercials!” Just as he’d once promised to eat his shoe if Morris ever brought Gates Of Heaven to screen, the old mentor was, even in indirect conversation, still needling his former charge. Tabloid marks Morris’s second feature in the past eight years, but he’s hardly been sitting still the whole time; he has been, indeed, making commercials. His latest flick is signature Morris: a high IQ subject, a wild yarn, ironic illustrative imagery, and a gleeful revelling in the absurd details of his stranger-than-fiction tale. If you’ve watched Morris’s First Person series – a would-be television classic that seems weirdly unbeloved by history – it plays as another episode in Morris asking question after inquisitive question of his oddball subject. Here, it’s Joyce McKinney, who found massmedia infamy in England in 1977 for the Manacled Mormon scandal; in which she supposedly kidnapped and raped her former fiancé as act of attempted liberation from his Mormon mission. As its title suggests, the movie latches onto the tabloid coverage of the case; how for a newspaper like the Daily Mirror, the story’s component parts – a Southern belle, a bizarre American religion, abduction, bondage, fucking – were red rags, an excuse to paint pseudo-pornography in
black-and-white on newsprint, allowing the frisson of salacious scandal to shift papers to uptight Englishmen. The director himself is – as is his way – less interested in the tawdriness of the tale than its particular quirks; more fascinated by the term ‘spreadeagled’ itself than the idea of someone shackled naked to a bed. Morris’s last two documentaries – his only cinematic features post-First Person – were works of weighty political heft examining the catastrophic fallout of American foreign policy; The Fog Of War a recanting confessional from Vietnam-era war minister Robert S. McNamara; Standard Operating Procedure an exploration of the frathouse culture of occupying military in Iraq. In the latter, Morris honed in on how military scandal was turned into systematic scapegoating; specifically, how the jaundiced eye of the mass media sees stories in the light of their own self-interest. It’s a theme he explores here, but without the same sort of gravity; instead, it’s a wild, wacky tale of cheeky Fleet Street toffs smirking at a wildly unreliable narrator. Tabloid is full of men obsessed with, in thrall to, or just plain turned on by McKinney, and her kooky, madcap charisma is key to the crowd-pleasing nature of this first-person portrait. It doesn’t matter if you believe her or not; here, it’s barely the point. If The Thin Blue Line was Morris’s – hell, cinema’s – ultimate crusade for truth, in Tabloid the need-to-know and the pursuit of justice are absent qualities. We’re just invited along for a wild, wacky ride with a gal who’s got the gift
JOIN JOANNA MURRAY-SMITH BEFORE SHE HEADS OFF Joanna Murray-Smith is a Melbourne-based playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. Her plays, which include Ninety, Rockabye, and The Female Of The Species, have been produced around the world. Her recent play Songs For Nobodies is about to commence a world tour. Join Joanna at The International of Brighton Wednesday 12 October, 7:30pm as she discusses her work.
MAKING AN IMPACT Experts from all around the globe will descend upon Monash University for IMPACT7: Intersections & Counterpoints, a major event focusing on the multiple identities of print. The conference gives people the opportunity to hear from experts on every aspect of printmaking, as well as view extraordinary examples of the art form; bringing together artists, writers, theorists and those working in the broad fields of print-related research. The event is on until Friday.
ZAI KUANG EXHIBITION AT MOSSENSON Zai Kuang has been painting suburban domestic scenes, portraits and still life since immigrating to Australia from China post-Cultural Revolution. He is one amongst many
the last Space Shuttle mission or has he just watched a lot of Babylon 5? He certainly looked the part in his official looking NASA spacesuit. Perhaps if he’d worn his helmet and floated in on a wire flying-fox, I’d have suspected he was an actor. He did talk convincingly about coming “tantalisingly close to Australia” three times in the past and thanked Melbourne for leaving the lights on when he flew by two months ago. However, he also admitted to being a sci-fi buff and feeling a bit nostalgic when he saw the Lost In Space model in the exhibition. “Film is an important function for youngsters… it helps them to dream. The film industry has had a big impact on astronauts’ desires to travel into space – everything from the science fiction we watched in our formative years to feature films such as Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff and the documentaries we watched as we grew older,” the alleged astronaut said. He was also very enthusiastic about the archival footage in the exhibition stating that it was good to have as the “memories start to fade”. Sound a tad convenient? The Victorian Government won’t be casting aspersions as they were presented with a commemorative plaque from NASA at the launch
to celebrate our involvement in the space programme. Cringe managed a quick peek at the new exhibition and recommends it – particularly to anyone with a bent for sci-fi as it includes some seldom screened Russian and European sci-fi films dating back to the start of last century as well as more modern cult classics. The exhibition design in itself is worth a visit with one gallery transformed into a field of Sputnik-shaped screens and another that perfectly evokes the filmic sensation of walking through a spaceship. An installation titled Earthstar even attempts to synthetise the aroma of ozone so you can experience being on a star. As an old-time sci-fi fan, a terrarium of factual and fictional plants got Cringe’s pulse racing. Mr Spock’s spacesuit will likely induce trekkies into a similar state. Walheim (if indeed it was him) said he hoped that film could push space travel farther and make some of the concepts and ideas in the exhibition a reality in the future – Cringe was too much of a pussy to ask if the original moon landing footage was included in this – conspiracy anyone? There’s a whole program of terrestrial events around this exhibition, for more details head to acmi.net.au.
of the gab.
entertainment; a tragicomedy to make the naked apes laugh and cry in seated comfort. But its philosophies run deep; and that duality marks Marsh’s movie for greatness. The Whistleblower has the feeling of a failed awards-show chaser; a based-on-a-true-story tale cut from the heroic-crusader cloth, with Rachel Weisz the cop-with-a-conscience in Sarajevo, where she uncovers a sex-trafficking ring involving American military contractors, UN stooges, supposed peacekeepers, etc. It’s rich, toxic material that could make for amazing moral drama – military contractors are the ultimate symbols of sheer corruption – but the film plays as eternally hokey; feelbad fodder with big string music and a clear dramatic passage. Its only sting comes with the cruel post-script typed on screen, which suggests the heroism depicted herein amounted to nothing. For all cinema’s virtuous victories, the world remains fucked.
Project Nim is, if not the best documentary of 2011, certainly the most poignant. James Marsh’s mighty picture is essentially the biography of Nim Chimpsky, the first chimpanzee to be taught sign-language; to be raised, effectively, as a human. In such, it’s less an exploration of chimpanzees than of their fellow great apes, homosapiens; teasing out man’s uneasy relationship to his primate relatives, and the very nature of what it means to be a human-being, to be a mammal self-aware. The ‘project’ is as much a product of cock-eyed ’70s fantasia as it is scientific study; oh-so-symbolically, multiple carers admit to smoking pot with Nim. And all the flickering super-8 footage from back-in-the-day bursts with unironic sunlight-dappled celluloid warmth, offering optical pleasures for newmillennial viewers. In such, Project Nim plays as a piece of crowd-pleasing
working in the realist genre, but his method sets him apart from those whose efforts appear trite and over worked. Where a traditional still life may include a concoction of bowls, vases, fruit or flowers, Kuang’s Basic Food is reduced to only two elements – a bag of flour and the tabletop onto which it spills. His paintings are devoid of context, imploring us to draw out the ‘real’ character of the bag and its purpose for being there. Please join the artist for a drink to celebrate The Reality Of Silence’s opening at Mossenson Galleries, Collingwood Thursday, 6pm. The exhibition runs until 29 October.
INSOMNIA CAT CAME TO FRINGE Quiet Little Fox proudly presents Insomnia Cat Came To Stay. A story of the sleep deprived, a cross-media fusion of music and original animation projected onto one woman. Her desperate need of sleep and descent to mania draws the audience into a captivating tale of sleepless nights. Insomnia Cat Came To Stay performs at Loop until Saturday 8 October.
PAUSE FEST SNEAK PEAKS Pause Fest is Melbourne’s first digital festival that will showcase a unique blend of international and national agencies and artists that produce 3D, animation, VFX, motion graphics, interactive, digital, and multitouch installations and anything that moves and kicks ass. In the lead up to the festival the organisers are introducing some of these exciting pieces and artists fortnightly at Loop. Next up: Wednesday 12 October, 6pm.
THINK, THEREFORE YOU CAN BY TELLING US WE’RE ALL STUPID, COMEDIAN XAVIER TOBY IS WAVING A RED FLAG AT A BULL. HIS ONLY HOPE IS THAT THE BULL ISN’T TOO THICK TO NOTICE. OUR CRETINOUS REPORTER PAUL RANSOM DRAGS HIMSELF AWAY FROM TWITTER LONG ENOUGH TO CONCENTRATE ON WHAT HE HAS TO SAY.
It’s one thing to be a creationist; it’s another to suggest that evolution is going backwards. However, such is former engineer turned backpacking comedian Xavier Toby’s concern for the diminishing intellectual capacity of humanity that he’s written a whole show about it. The result, Binge Thinking, is a comic rant against this mental de-evolution. Well, that’s not really very funny, you might think. But at least you’d be thinking and that would make Xavier Toby happy. “As we become more introspective and more about ourselves, like with all those social media things, people are thinking more and more just about themselves and people they know and what affects them,” he says, almost pained. “They’ve got less time for things outside themselves, far reaching things.” With its missiles firmly locked onto the Twitter fed factory chickens of tabloid suburbia, Binge Thinking is sociologically aware (and alarmed) comedy. Here again, Toby is quick to sink the boot in. “I talk a bit in the show about how people don’t read anymore,” he reveals. “You lose the ability to concentrate and think deeply about things; and if you carry around a book everyone just thinks you’re a genius.” Of course, this could all turn out to be little more than uncharitable vitriol were not Toby a self-confessed dolphin fetishist, football fan, drinker, and womaniser. (Not to mention a crap engineer.) His task as a solo stand-up perched in the corner of a relatively small space confronted by rows of punters is clearly difficult. “By opening up with a few jokes about dolphins and stupid stuff you get people to relax,” he says. Comedy based around the idea that most of us are dumb and getting
dumber certainly runs the risk of pissing off the crowd. “I’ve done gigs at some places and I’ve got off stage and gone, ‘what was wrong?’ and my director [Adam Richard] said, ‘they didn’t laugh because you were talking about them. Half way through they got that and their backs got up’. But I don’t really think that’s a bad thing because if you’re offended you usually remember what happened.” However, rather than simply prop himself on a soapbox and deliver blistering sarcasm, Xavier Toby sets up a faux dinner party scene, with old friends and stereotypes represented by bottles, casks, and goon bags. It’s a device that serves not only to paint a scene but to conjure up the prevailing mindset of self-obsession and Andrew Bolt opining that we have all seen playing out in the dumbed down political and media space of late. “When you point out the utter stupidity of things in really plain language people just laugh,” Toby says. “Like the fact that asylum seekers are 30 times more likely to arrive in Australia by plane than by boat. So when one of the dinner party guests says, ‘then we have to stop the planes’ everyone just laughs because that’s a very stupid idea.” By taking to the stage and making a stand-up hour of his own impassioned opinions, Xavier Toby is opening himself up to the criticism that he too is just another armchair world saver. “I’m not telling people what to think,” he says by way of defence, “I’m just hoping that they think a little bit more.” Ouch, that might hurt. WHAT: Xavier Toby: Binge Thinking WHEN & WHERE: Thursday to Sunday 2 October, Thursday 6 to Sunday 9, Locker Room, Portland Hotel
GIVEAWAYS The feature film debut of The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, Submarine is a coming of age film about Oliver Tate, a precocious teenager trying to woo his love. Shot with great visual flair, evoking the greats of French new wave as well as Wes Anderson, this tender comedy features great performances from newcomer Craig Roberts, as well as his on-screen parents Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) and Noah Taylor (Shine). The film also features a soundtrack of new songs from Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. Thanks to Madman Entertainment we’ve five in-season double passes to give away. For your chance to win one, head to facebook.com/inpressmag. Having recently screened at Possible Worlds, Sydney’s Canadian Film Festival, to rapturous response, Daydream Nation is the story of a teenager whose single father has just relocated the two from the big smoke to a small town. Described by Variety as Juno reimagined by David Lynch, the film stars Kat Dennings (Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Andie MacDowell, and Josh Lucas, and boasts an excellent soundtrack featuring Stars, Emily Haines of Metric, Lou Reed, Constantines, and Devendra Banhart. Thanks to Anchor Bay Entertainment we’ve five copies of the film on DVD and its soundtrack, to give away. For your chance to win a prize pack, head to facebook.com/inpressmag.
ISSUE 1193 - WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER, 2011
THIS WEEK INTERNATIONAL 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
NATIONAL LUCIE THORNE: September 29 Bella Union ESKIMO JOE: September 29 Forum; 30 Pier Live (Frankston) LEVI MCGRATH: September 29, October 1 Seraphim Upstairs; October 30 Wallan Gateway Church BATRIDER: September 30 Tote JACK LADDER & THE DREAMLANDERS: September 30 Corner WEDDINGS, PARTIES, ANYTHING: September 30 Palace DEAD LETTER CHORUS: September 30 Northcote Social Club CASH SAVAGE & THE LAST DRINKS: September 30 East Brunswick Club GOTYE: September 30, October 1, 2 Forum KIRA PIRU & THE BRUISE: October 1 Palais (Hepburn Springs)
FESTIVALS MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF BRASS: September 25October 1 South Melbourne Town Hall COUNTER REVOLUTION: September 30 Festival Hall
GIG OF THE WEEK BATRIDER, NATIVE CATS (DOUBLE LAUNCH) FRIDAY, TOTE
It’s been a long time coming, it feels like the album dropped months ago, but finally Batrider are here to officially launch their best album to date, Piles Of Lies at the Tote this Friday. They’ve also invited Tasmanians The Native Cats along to launch their record Process Praise on the night. As anyone who’s ever caught either of these bands live will attest, it’s highly probable this double header will go down as one of the best of the year and is an absolute must see for any fan of the darker hues of modern Australasian music. Don’t be the one who’s kicking themselves for missing out come Saturday.
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 CROOKED FIDDLE BAND: October 7 Palais (Hepburn Springs); 8 East Brunswick Club; 9 National Hotel (Geelong) 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 SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: October 14 Northcote Social Club 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
Every Time I Die Thursday Espy Sebadoh pic by Jesse Booher
Harding’s baritone guitar takes a beating as he recreates the sound of a Tumbleweed EP being played very loudly on a dying cassette player. Lou Barlow joins for last song Redrum and concludes a perfectly chosen support set.
INTERNATIONAL 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 TAYLOR DAYNE: October 7 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster); 8 Chelsea Heights Hotel BLACK DICE, LUCKY DRAGONS: October 8 Forum THE COOLIES: October 9 Workers Club DEAN WAREHAM: October 11 Corner COSMO JARVIS: October 13 Workers Club CHICAGO SOUL COLLECTIVE: October 13 Hi-Fi THE BATS: October 14 East Brunswick Club MEAT LOAF: October 14 Rod Laver Arena MARCEL DETTMAN, BEN KLOCK: October 14 Brown Alley OKKERVIL RIVER: October 14 Forum; 15 Meeniyan Town Hall FLO RIDA: October 14 Geelong Arena; 17 Bluestone (Ballarat)
SEBADOH, ADAM HARDING & FRIENDS CORNER HOTEL
Any gig that begins with the support band’s drummer escaping Houdini-style from a straightjacket suspended above the stage and doesn’t steal thunder from the headliners is going to be a) different and b) good. Dane Certificate, drummer and escapologist, moves from the straightjacket to the drums and the unholy noise of Adam Harding & Friends erupts gloriously. Thrashing the hell out of his kit as Harding and Steve Patrick send slices of distortion through the air like a chainsaw through ice,
“A show of hands… how many were here last night?” asks Barlow keenly surveying us. “Not many of you… damn I was hoping to slack off,” he grins. Slack is a perfect word to describe tonight’s set, beset with lost capos and plectrums, a busted snare drum and copious rambling banter to cover for it. It’s perfect. Sebadoh shouldn’t be tight and unfussy, and we get a set that contrasts gloriously with that of the previous night. Bursting alive with Too Pure, Barlow’s voice evokes a welcome phone call from a long lost friend. On Fire follows and highlights his piercing guitar tones, as if he borrowed it from Neil Young and couldn’t change the settings. Ocean and Skull become instant highlights and gradually the nearly sold-out capacity crowd unfold their arms and moves from calmly appreciative to quite excited and not afraid to heckle. On The Rebound and Magnet’s Coil smoulder brightly as songs follow in short bursts of fury as Barlow and bassist Jason Loewenstein (who still looks 25) swap instruments and Loewenstein’s fiercer fodder and dirtier guitar gets drummer Bob D’Amico even more unhinged. “Lets get this Monday night momentum going,” he drawls ironically before launching like Evil Knievel into S Soup, with its “crazy people are right on” hook causing D’Amico to break his snare. The ensuing ten-minute gap allows Barlow to wax lyrical about his love for Eddy Current, Klimt and his hatred of Americana. Partway through Not Too Amused, D’Amico returns and the set reawakens. Careful, Sister, Dreams and a bitter Drama Mine punctuate a set full of highlights before Willing To Wait and a story of its near inclusion in Friends closes what must rate as one of the gigs of the year – all 32 songs of it. Andy Hazel
POUR HABIT, SMOKE OR FIRE: October 15 East Brunswick Club THE WOMBATS: October 15 Festival Hall JEFF MARTIN: October 16 Northcote Social Club 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 SALMONELLA DUB: October 21 Espy ALCEST: October 22 Toff In Town; 27 Curtin Bandroom 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 ONRA: October 31 Revolt Art Space JOE PUG, WAGONS: October 31 Espy DESTRUCTION: November 4 Prince Of Wales FLY MY PRETTIES: November 5 Athanaeum Eskimo Joe Thursday Forum; Friday Pier Live
Theatre PASSENGER: November 5 East Brunswick Club TUCK & PATTI: November 5 Palais Hepburn Springs; 6 Corner CARTEL: November 5 Prince (U18s), Bang (18+) 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 EVIL NINE: November 11 Brown Alley BLIND IMAGE: November 11 Prague; 19 Shepparton Hall KD LANG: November 12 Sidney Myer Music Bowl KINGS OF LEON: November 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena RUSSELL WATSON: November 14 Plenary Hall CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: November 16 East Brunsiwck Club DOLLY PARTON: November 22, 23 Rod Laver Arena THE MOODY BLUES: November 23 Palais Theatre TINY RUINS: November 24 Northcote Social Club; 25 Palais Hepburn SpringsDAEDELUS: November 26 ArtPlay 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 MISFITS: December 3 Hi-Fi THE INTERNATIONAL SWINGERS: December 3 Corner 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 UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA: December 8 Toff In Town; 10 Northcote Social Club JEDI MIND TRICKS: December 9 Billboard DIG: December 10 Corner FUTURE OF THE LEFT: December 16 Corner OPETH: December 18 Palace Theatre ARCTIC MONKEYS: January 3 Festival Hall THE VENGABOYS: January 12, 18 Corner HALL & OATES: February 2 Melbourne Convention Centre; 12 Rochford Wines (Yarra Valley); ROGER WATERS: February 7, 8, 10, 11 Rod Laver Arena INCUBUS: February 8 Festival Hall ROD STEWART: February 17 Rod Laver Arena; 18 Hanging Rock (Macedon) ROXETTE: February 18, 22 Rod Laver Arena JESSIE J: March 7 Festival Hall TAYLOR SWIFT: March 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL: March 20 Rod Laver Arena
DFA 1979 pic by Giovanni Lorusso
NATIONAL JUSTINE CLARKE: October 5 Dallas Brooks Centre ABBE MAY: October 5 Northcote Social Club 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 St Saloon (Traralgon); 9 Bended Elbow (Ballarat) MAJOR CHORD: October 6 Northcote Social Club; 8 Basement Bar (Bendigo) 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 THE CROOKED FIDDLE BAND: October 7 Palais (Hepburn Springs); 8 East Brunswick Club; 9 National Hotel (Geelong) CONFESSION: October 9 Musicman Megastore (Bendigo, AA); 15 (U18), 16 Corner THE AMITY AFFLICTION: October 11-13 Billboard MADDY HAY: October 12 Red Bennies THE PANICS: October 12 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 13 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 14 Palace THE DRONES: October 14 Corner SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: October 14 Northcote Social Club 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 GOSTELERADIO: October 15 Workers 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 (Ballarat); 22 Whalers Hotel (Warrnambool); November 5 Surf Coast Sport Club (Torquay); 18 Star Bar (Bendigo); 19 East Brunswick Club LANIE LANE: October 21 Northcote Social Club BALL PARK MUSIC: October 21 East Brunswick Club THE KILLJOYS: October 21 Thornbury Theatre KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD: October 21 Tote THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: October 21 Pier Live (Frankston); 22 Ferntree Gully
PARKLIFE SIDNEY MYER MUSIC BOWL & KINGS DOMAIN On a day slightly more overcast than anticipated, eager scene kids wait at the Parklife gates. As promised, there are epic police patrols. Opening the Sahara stage, Melburnian electro-clash heroes Strange Talk are hot to trot. Grabbing a beer on the way (taking anything up to ten minutes according to the efficiency of bar staff) the grass is a safe haven to flop down on and enjoy accompanying kaleidoscope visuals. Crowd pleaser Climbing Walls most notably pulls the energy onstage. Despite the obscene stage size, this quartet manage to fill the massive stage with sheer swagger before they’re through. Over at the Atoll stage for Kimbra, general opinion is that this stage will see the day’s finest action. Miss Johnson looks every part the diva in a flirtatious dress of bright colours, sparkles and black. Can you emulate the birth of the cosmos? Johnson gives us her sexy sass for Good Intentions and the band are blistering. Keys, strings and skins are imbued with that trademark electro soul, and a beautiful rendition of Nina Simone’s Plain Gold Ring tips the scales of awesome. Diplo pic by Giovanni Lorusso
The Naked & Famous played early at Big Day Out – ridiculous, since the Kiwi band had already been tipped as one of 2011’s international breakouts by NME. The same happens at Parklife, the Kiwis scheduled for an ignominious 2.30pm on the main Sahara stage. Mind, they attract a decent audience. The band may be tight musically, but they are yet to develop their live presence. Still, they finish with an epic Young Blood. Sticking to Atoll like glue, Swedish collective Little Dragon are a big hit. Obviously digging this style, 18-year-olds sway in an atmosphere of abandon, perhaps less sober than you should be at 2.45pm. Whatever, it’s a festival! Vocalist Yukimi Nagano creates percussive strokes with her colour palette of sounds in between wild, interpretive dance moves. Enlightening hearts with that special brand of dreamy electro-pop, Looking Glass and Shuffle A Dream frame hard edges and soft lyrics. One of Parklife’s highlights are the reunited Death From Above 1979 at Atoll, the most accessible stage. The Canadians’ cultic, thrash-metal rave is ideally suited to an indie dance festival. The hipsters are out in force, one guy wearing a woman’s cheery, polka dot blouse. With Jonathan
firstname.lastname@example.org Pierce look-alike Sebastien Grainger on drums and vocals/wails, and MSTRKRFT’s Jesse F Keeler on bass and keys, DFA 1979 are fierce – plus they have excellent sound. The crowd goes off for Blood On Our Hands. There’s relatively sedate moshing and even crowd-surfing, that’s nonetheless quickly thwarted by security. And how incongruous are smoke machines in the afternoon? Lairy behaviour at DFA 1979 necessitates a quick dash to the ace Katy B, who, though on the main stage, isn’t as mainstream in Australia as Parklife’s promoters imagine. Aside from drawing on her debut On A Mission, and airing singles such as Katy On A Mission, this ‘dubstep Adele’ covers Inner City’s Detroit techno classic Good Life. The casually attired Brit is a bouncy performer and her six-piece band comprise an MC and horns. Alas, the sound in the cavernous bowl lets her down. Example should have been on in the bowl, but is instead relegated to a swollen Kakadu stage. Oddly, the MC has to work hard to rouse the crowd, but Kickstarts and his smash Changed The Way You Kiss Me do the trick. Example even chucks in his Skream collab, Shot Yourself In The Foot Again. The Londoner is well positioned to take over from retiring The Streets (AKA Mike Skinner) as the Brit geezer rapper. The hype surrounding Santigold has long dissipated, but she’s on the comeback, aligning herself with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation stable. Her Sahara show is engagingly dynamic, the Afro-punk accompanied by two cheerleader-style dancers with gold pompoms – very early Rihanna. She also has a powerful voice. What Santigold lacks is more ‘hits’, her set’s stand-outs LES Artistes (the second song!) and reggae-fied Shove It (AKA Brooklyn Go Hard). Santigold invites crowd members up on stage briefly. The mood is blissful as the sun starts to settle over the city backdrop while we sample the delights of Kakadu for Wolfgang Gartner (AKA Joey Youngman). Popping out party beats that make arms raise to salute the sound, Illmerica sticks in the mind. It is a resounding call to arms in the age of electronica. Stellar in his delivery, Youngman houses his delights in a bright white bubble reaching over the stage, a futuristic machine cutting through time and space.
Suits are the new fashion for DJs, apparently, with Diplo, lately modelling for an Alexander Wang campaign, channelling Mark Ronson. The tie doesn’t last long however, and by the close of his slot, he’s in a singlet. Diplo’s sweaty set lurches from pumpin’ dance with trance riffs to minimal hip hop and he drops Kanye West’s triumphal All Of The Lights. And Diplo happily jumps onto the mic, once the height of dag for any post-’70s DJ.
Santigold pic by Giovanni Lorusso
Stowing away at the cosy Cave stage, Feed Me feeds us armfuls of pick’n’mix beats. Head to head with The Streets, performing on Atoll stage, Brit boy Jon Gooch conjures hype with healthy servings of electro house/dubstep. Dropping Grand Theft Ecstacy, the emphatic following meld into one writhing mass as the strobe cuts furious edges in the trees. Feed Me’s set is characterised by cartoon visuals of his monster and one guy has brought his own. Homemade and complete with mouth flapping in time to the beat, it’s genius! Gossip haven’t gigged in a bit, a chatty Beth Ditto forewarns a packed Sahara come early evening, but you’d never guess. Ditto, in a body-hugging black and gold dress, is an R&B diva trapped in a rock chick’s body, her voice gospelly and soulful. The band rip through their repertoire of modern blues, punk funk, disco and Yazoo-era synth-pop, with Standing In The Way Of Control inevitably a favourite. A cover of Dolly Parton’s Jolene is a treat. Back at the Atoll, Lykke Li is bathed in hazy white light but, while the atmosphere is there, something is missing. Despite an impressive second album in Wounded Rhymes, the Swede still comes across as Björk’s understudy. Headlining back at Kakadu stage, Magnetic Man combine the euphoric tricks of producers Skream, Benga and Artwork into one hefty figurehead. Mindmelting visuals engulf the stage as Dread MC spits rhymes and chats up the crowd to spectacular effect! The mood is high as fuck for Magnetic Man’s debut performance on Australian soil. Fresh dub blooms are served wonderfully in I Need Air and Katy B’s Perfect Stranger completes the evening – the mood is perfectly captured, harking back to her earlier set. Clementine Lloyd and Cyclone Wehner
TWO TYPES OF AUSSIE
After last month’s massive four-year celebration, Dub Club Melbourne takes it back to basics for a no-frills night of pure undiluted reggae and dub, the way it’s made to be played and forwarded in its traditional medium. Get ready for foundation shaking reggae and rootical dubwise played by Heartical HiFi Outernational on their full sound. Ruff an tuff at the Night Owl this Saturday, 10pm ‘til late.
HELL AWAITS Sydney’s Hell City Glamours will be holding the John Curtin Hotel to ransom on Friday 7 October with their brand of wild rock’n’roll. Having spent the past seven years touring internationally and nationally with bands such as Alice Cooper, Airbourne, Paul Stanley, Living Colour and Young Heart Attack, they’ll be playing songs from current album One Night Only. Support comes from Rock City Riff Raff and My Dynamite.
ANA NICOLE SYNTH
This Friday night sees Ana Nicole play at Yah Yah’s. Think doom guitars, vintage synths and grimy bass atop of minimal techno and yet more songs about food, sex, freeways and those bloody suburbs. Ana Nicole feature Melissa D’or on bass and vocals, Jacqui Moore on synth, Masato Takasaka (ex-Teen Wolf) on guitars and Simona Castricum on drums (ex-Fluorescent, Kapitolina). Support on the night comes from Franco Cozzo, Dead River and Plast Her Ov Paris. Doors at 9pm and entry’s $10.
IT’S A DANCEHALL DRUG
I Love Dancehall at Miss Libertine this Saturday night features dancehall music from old school to the newest tunes out of Jamaica and the rest of the world, bringing together a showcase of Melbourne’s best dancehall DJs, MCs, dancers and producers for an all-night bashment party. Talent includes Al Good, SoFire, NukC, Kavinda, Voodoo Dread, Ayna, Papa Stylee, Jumpdred, ZuluFlow and Burn City Queenz. Entry’s $5 before 11pm and $10 after.
Sip, sway and saunter in and around The LuWOW, Melbourne’s newest night spot in the heart of ye old Fitzroy. Check out Barbara Blaze The Calypso Queen on Thursday, and on Friday escape your locale with a Maori dance spectacular, plus the sounds of Barbara Blaze. On Saturday you can take a trip from Hawaii to the Cook Islands with a Polynesian floor show whilst Dan The Man and Sye Saxon provide the toones. Let the Go-Go Godesses and jungle burlesque woo you and get in early before 8pm for free entry, otherwise it’s a small fiver.
RIDE THE WEEKEND EXPRESS
The final Friday of September is nearly upon us folks and you know what that means... It’s time to dust off your winklepickers and steam iron your velvet jackets because this month’s Cosmology at Loop is gonna be a doozie. Alias hopper and producer wunderkind Daniel Ooi has been amongst the thick it for years and has managed to consistently come out on top with a heavy DJ schedule and a slew of releases. Now under his freshest moniker Weekend Express, the quality tunage keeps coming. As always, support comes from your favourite hosts Lopan and Cosmo K, with visual wizardry from Jem The Misfit. Entry’s free and doors are at 10pm.
It’s fast approaching Pickled Beats time again and this month sees Australia’s heavyweight champion of genre-melting bass music and party jams Nick Thayer stepping up to the podium. Responsible for more floor-smashing remixes than you can poke a pole at and equipped with a dancefloor delivery that will have you up on your toes, Thayer is nothing short of a super-exciting DJ. Joining him will be club residents Lickweed and Ego who will leave no musical stone unturned, toes untapped or heads unnodded in what will be a massive night. Get down to Loop from 10pm, where there are good times and free entry as always.
MILES SEATON – AKRON/FAMILY turned me onto fashion. I don’t get down with the TV so much, but I LOVE watching Project Runway. This season, they have unfortunately played up the drama a little more than I’d prefer and the talent isn’t what it was last year, but I’m hooked. What I’m reading right now is… Salman Rushdie: Midnight’s Children. So beautiful. A lovely epic novel about an Indian family. Magical realism at its finest. So much detail, and humour(!).
2) Black Flag: The First Four Years. I just moved to LA and am rediscovering the magic of pre-Henry Rollins Black Flag. Desperate, insane, and deliciously misanthropic, it’s perfect music to get pumped up to before a long ride through traffic. 3) Boubacar Traoré: unknown cassette. The best Malian blues, hands down. I love Ali Farka [Touré], but Boubacar has my heart forever. What I’m watching right now is… Honestly? Project Runway. I got this lady in my life. I’ve always liked collecting fabric, and woven things from all over, but she
Back in town following their eight-week Canadian tour that saw The Little Stevies drive over 10,000km, play 34 shows and five festivals across five provinces, Melbourne’s folk-pop darlings are jumping on stage at the Northcote Social Club with a swag of new stories to tell. Catch them on Saturday 8 October, supported by Tassie favourites Ben Wells & The Middle Names. Tickets $15+BF.
Four decades on and they say, legendary rocker, international superstar, iconic queen of rock, Suzi Quatro still rocks. As an aside from her Monday night, full-band, Palais show, Quatro will be appearing at House Of Rock at the Palace on Saturday for a meet and greet session. Get down to catch this stalwart of the rock’n’roll realm in all her glory.
GET YOUR RODS OUT
Hot rods and rock music get back to their roots for the annual Chopped Rod & Custom, a three-day festival happening this Friday to Sunday where pre-1965 style custom cars and music fanatics from across Australia roll into Victoria. Taking place at the Newstead Racecourse, Chopped is a unique cultural experience similar to that of being thrown back to a 1950s/60s Hop Up Carnival. Throughout the day and into the night the crowds constantly switch their attention between the field of dirt drags and cars and the stage where 15 bands play rockabilly, garage, rock, blues, country and surf music. Head to chopped.com.au for line-up and further details.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR
What I’m listening to right now is… 1) Kim Seok Chul: Shamanistic Ceremonies Of the Eastern Seaboard. Kim Seok Chul was a Korean shaman and a soul-shredding improvisor. A hail of wild gong- and cymbalheavy percussion lays the ground for Chul to call out to the world beyond with his hojok – a reeded instrument that is in a similar range to a clarinet. The results are mesmerising. Jazz drummer Simon Barker (an Aussie in fact) introduced him to me via his very sweet documentary called Intangible Asset No 82. Go for it!
STEVIES ARE BACK
PopRocks is held at the Toff every Friday from 9pm, with Dr Phil Smith playing no brainers, guilty pleasures, club classics and the best in pop from Chuck Berry to Katy Perry and everything in between. It’ll be eight hours of non-stop hits from the ‘50s until now in a whole bunch of genres, all mixed and blended into the musical gumbo from hell. Entry is always free!
THE LAST TIGER
Creating a genre all to themselves, Jenny M. Thomas & The System have recently released their debut album Bush Gothic, a collection of traditional Australian bush songs re-worked and planted firmly in the 21st century. To support the widespread airplay their album has received, the band are heading out on a national tour. Their songs of criminal women and convict men are given dark edged arrangements with moody rhodes, drumkit, double bass, fiddle-singing and, of course, the spoons. Multi award-winning Zulya & The Children Of The Underground are one of the most intriguing and unique acts in Australia, and indeed the world. They performs exquisite original music loosely inspired by Zulya’s Tatar and Russian roots. Zulya has independently produced six albums to date, including the ARIA-winning 3 Nights (2007). Don’t miss this excellent double bill at the Toff on Sunday night from 7.30pm.
TURN UP THE VOLUME
The Fringe Festival presents Volume 3, the dynamic amplified solo-violin show that sold out the BMW Edge in 2010. Melbourne violinist Sarah Curro performs brand new commissioned Australian music for acoustic, semi-acoustic and electric violins all made by Paul Davies of Arts Music. Curro also presents digital images, filmclips, movies and costumes made just for the show! Volume 3 at the Toff in Town this Tuesday will, for the fourth year running, see Curro showcasing some of Australia’s finest music-writing talent all conveniently brought to you in one solo violin -powered show. There’s pop artists delving into the classical style, classical composers breaking out the effects pedals – all rules are broken at the Volume experience. Tickets are $15+BF from Moshtix or $20 at the door. Doors at 7.30pm.
The live launch for The Motifs/ The Zebras split 7” will be happening on Friday 7 October at the Grace Darling. The Motifs chime in with one of their greatest tracks yet, Words, while The Zebras turn up the longing with their latest hit Desert Island. Joining both bands on the night will be support from Great Outdoors and DJ Doug Wallen. Entry will be $8 and 7”s will be available on the night for a special launch price of $5 each.
Clowns are band of four 19 year olds, doing what they do worst. Forming in early 2010, Clowns have built a reputation for hosting energetic and wild live shows. After receiving a bit of airplay from PBS and Triple J’s Short Fast Loud, they are set to release their first 7” Repeat After Me. Get to Pony on Saturday to watch them play what is set to be one of their best shows yet, as well as enjoy some post Grand Final beers. Supporting them are Dozers, Foxtrot and Old Skin, as well as a 2am show from Bad Taste (formerly Powerfuck). It’s all for only $10 on the door, or $12 with a vinyl.
The Tiger & Me are architects of sing-along good times, dark-edged pop-leaning folk and sideleering swagger. Following their sell-out show at the Toff in July and tour launching latest release The Howling Fire, The Tiger & Me headed back to the Sporting Club for a rollicking Friday night residency in September. They’re about to play their final residency show from 6-8pm for free in the front bar, so stop making excuses and just go.
César Aira: The Seamstress And The Wind. A beautiful novella from Argentina. Aira considers himself something of a literary improvisor, in that he doesn’t edit the narrative of his stories, he just writes his way out of it. Makes for fascinating, magical stuff. I read every book that he has translated as soon as it comes out. They are all great. The best film of all-time is clearly… Seriously? this is a funny question. To be honest, I’ve never been a fi lm buff. I always just say Repo Man (‘80s movie with Emilio Estevez). Weird radioactive alien punk B-movie stuff. So killer. Great soundtrack too. I also LOVE The Goonies. “Down here this is OUR TIME!” The one song I wish I’d written is… The ONE? Hahaha. depends on the day. Sometimes it’s Tangled Up In Blue, sometimes it’s Like A Rolling Stone, but it’s always Bob Dylan. He’s the best. And not because I don’t love Neil Young or Lennon/McCartney, and sure it’s hard to believe a human wrote Suzanne, but no one tops ole Zimmerman, and that’s okay, because it’s just one less race to run. Akron/Family play the Corner Hotel on Sunday 2 October.
WHAT A PLONKER Plonk Party is returning to Gertrudes Brown Couch. Mikey Cahill (Hit Magazine, Inpress, Revolver Trivia host, mad fuka), you just kind of have to know him, arrives once every three months with a posse of fellow DJs, free cake and a big bag full of ominous surprises. It’ll go down on Monday 31 October. Mark it down.
After making a small stir in the Black Metal underground with their 2005 mini-CD, Le Secret, Alcest have left their origins in that scene far behind them. Their 2010 LP, Cailles De Lune, spread Alcest’s genre-melting renown across the globe, bringing elements of shoegaze and post-rock to the fore. Hailed as one of the best post-metal albums of 2009, Heirs’ debut, Alchera, established the band among Australia’s top instrumental acts. Lat year saw the release of Heirs’ second album, Fowl, displaying a shift towards a broader sonic palette, taking further influence from industrial, darkwave and gothic rock. You can catch these two unique acts together at the John Curtin Hotel on Thursday 27 October.
El Monstro Del Mar will launch their new DVD at the Bendigo Hotel this Friday. Support will be in the form of The Velocettes, La Bastard and The Perfections. There will also be burlesque performances from Becky Lou, La Viola Vixen, Nicole and The Go-Go Sisters. Sounds like a pretty stacked line-up and a super way to kill your pre-footy anxiety/ambivalence.
HAIR FREE Playing an eclectic blend of gypsy-folk and roots, The Bearded Gypsy Band from Adelaide never fail to surprise and captivate. With members as young as 16, the band already have a full-length record under their belts and have received numerous rave reviews for their live shows. Commended for their incredible musicianship and unique sound, The Bearded Gypsy Band truly come to life on stage, performing with raw energy and enthusiasm and the musical insight of performers twice their age. The Bearded Gypsy Band will be playing alongside Hannah Acfield and Twyce Daily at the Chandelier Room this Saturday night. Entry is $10.
Bass player from The Exotics Timmy Rolfe and his band Soy Latte Sound have been locking up the latte lounge early to go and play at the Sporting Club Hotel in Brunswick every Thursday in September from 6pm. With tunes penned on public transport about buying premium stationery on eBay combined with a preference for New Orleans flavoured R&B, catch Timmy Rolfe & His Soy Latte Sound play their last residency show this Thursday from 6-8pm for free in the front bar.
SURE TO PLEASE
Brunswick’s newest monthly indie/rock/soul party Please Please Me will be held this Saturday night at the Sporting Club’s front bar from 7pm to 1am. Each month, PPM will feature DJs spinning all your favourite indie, soul and rock bangers. You can also catch some of Melbourne’s best up and coming bands. Enjoy Grand Final night in the heart of Brunswick, away from all the mess, with good tunes and good people. Get into $10 jugs from 8 to 9pm and enjoy our resident DJs, who will spinning everything from indie rock to northern soul until close.
ALIES SLUITER’s experiment PICTURE BOX ORCHESTRA is more than just a ‘side project’, writes TONY MCMAHON. And Sluiter should perhaps be commended for having the derring-do to mix such a large number of musical egos in the one room. Although she offers nothing more than a “no comment” and a giggle on this matter, she does indicate that communication was the primary goal of the recording sessions.
As mentioned above, this record presents as a wonderful melting pot of disparate influences and styles, featuring as it does musicians from here, Iran and Pakistan. Again, it’s no surprise that Sluiter suggests this involved some trial and error. “I guess it comes down to what sounds good. We spent a week with several musicians in Melbourne with everyone in the same room. I just wanted to try out a lot of the ideas I had for the album. That was quite hectic. After that I pretty much just collated everything and went from there really. Some tracks worked really well and some other tracks went by the wayside.
“It was pretty intense. Everyone was really professional. I think it was about finding that place where we could communicate. The musical language and backgrounds we were coming from were all quite different. I’ve worked with Faheem [UK/Pakistani musician Faheem Mazhar] quite a bit so I know how to communicate what I want, but putting that together with other musicians, that was quite an… interesting process.” As also mentioned above, it’s not often that punters get a chance to see Picture Box Orchestra in a live setting, but a rare opportunity is about to present itself at Fitzroy’s Evelyn Hotel, and, at least in Inpress’s opinion, this makes it one of the must see gigs of the year so far. Sluiter does little to allay our excitement, especially when, quite rightly, she brings culture ergo politics into the thing. “I’ve got an eight-piece we’re playing with. We’ve got a singer from India. There’s another violin/cello player, and then there’s all the Melbourne musicians. It’s pretty much the same as the record. We try and replicate the recordings as much as we can. I think that the live setting is really nice to just kind of cement that relationship between the band members and the audience, to have that cross-cultural exchange. I think that’s really important, considering the way we’re going culturally. It’s interesting, you know? Increasingly, especially internationally, you’re starting to get a real mix of musicians playing together, and it’s terrific. I’ve learned so much about music and musical styles I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise.”
WHO: Picture Box Orchestra WHAT: The Picture Box Orchestra (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Evelyn
FIND PEACE AND QUIET WITH ZEN
It’s been a really fascinating process.”
“It’s been such a long process and it’s been really hard to piece together all these things that I’ve recorded in Australia with things I’ve recorded on tour and that kind of stuff. I think I’m more relieved than anything.”
Audioporn and Onesixone are presenting Grand Final Goodness this Saturday. With free entry, delicious gourmet barbecue, pies, sausage rolls and scones with jam and cream all complimentary during the game, plus drinks at pub prices to help wash it all down. The night will then roll on with Audioporn regulars Agent 86, Le Zok, James Ware, Nick Jones, Rowie and the Melbourne Deepcast crew.
Zen launch their Peace & Quiet EP on Saturday 8 October at the Espy’s Gershwin Room, with supporting bands InVolume, Sounds Of Sirus, Sleeping With The Enemy and Dropbunny, presented by Saltar Hype. Zen are a Melbourne-based five-piece that play cryptic, fearless doom punk with bouncy rhythms and plenty of lyrical chutzpah. Doors are at 8pm.
When applied to a band, the sobriquet ‘side project’ can often have a pejorative effect, conjuring, as it will, images of a bunch of musicians who would rather be doing something else. But this is decidedly not the case with Picture Box Orchestra. Unusually, it’s this band’s actual status as a side project – the rarity of their live performances and the other work its members do – as well as the excitingly eclectic nature of their sound, that make this writer at least simply yearn to see them. Then there’s PBO’s upcoming debut album, which is billed to include genres as wide-ranging as Indian classical, jazz, hip hop and Western classical. There is also the not inconsiderable fact of the rest of frontwoman/violinist Alies Sluiter’s oeuvre, having worked with Hugh Jackman, David Helfgott, Natalie Imbruglia, and The Shaolin Monks of China, if you don’t mind. Sluiter is obviously an ambitious person. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that when talking about the process of making the record, she points to its construction as having been no easy thing.
Seagull is the brainchild of Chris Bolton, a classicallytrained guitarist influenced as much by the sonic adventuring of minimalist music as he is by the rustic traditions of folk and blues. Beginning as a solo project in 2006, the first Seagull EP was released in 2007 to critical acclaim. After the success of the EP, Seagull toured extensively alongside acts like Whitley, Touch Typist, Otouto and Psuche Ensemble, sometimes playing solo (with Chris on guitar, vocals, delay pedal, and dictaphone) and often with a band which has evolved through several line-up changes to include Kishore Ryan (Kid Sam, Otouto) on drums, Ed Bolton on Bass, and Michael Zulicki (Albert’s Basement) on melodica and percussion. Catch them at their last residency show at the Sporting Club Hotel this Sunday from 4 to 6pm in the front bar.
BE A THNKR
This September will mark the launch of Melbourne five-piece THNKR. Forming earlier this year and having stayed confined to the rehearsal room and studio, they have now finalised their set list and are ready to launch it this Wednesday at the Toff In Town. The months leading up to this launch have been exciting and the band has been extremely busy. This launch promises to be a great night, with two other up and coming Melbourne bands, Quince and Descartes Error, supporting THNKR. Tickets $5+BF from Moshtix or $8 at the door. Doors are at 7.30pm.
The Coves launch their new single at the Old Bar this Thursday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Pete Azzopardi, guitar/vocals: “Three of us met at a Geelong high school, played a bit but went on to do other things before getting it together in 2009. Daniel, our fourth, just joined and has played in bands with Jarrod, our drummer [Sherpa Sherpa, High Heels].” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Two EPs are available for free download at Bandcamp, one recorded in many rooms of a house, and one in a rehearsal room and a bedroom. Our new single was recorded at Head Gap studios in Preston.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “That striped sunlight sound.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Paul Westerberg, if he ever gets out of his basement again, because he is an amazing songwriter and I love everything he touches. And if The Replacements ever reform, I wanna be there. I don’t speak on behalf of the band here.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Whatever one I’m currently in love with, which at the moment is Don Walker’s Cutting Back. But if I was being practical, probably my Bob Dylan mono boxset.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “Any item of clothing that isn’t falling apart is a plus for me at the moment.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “The only person that visits me is our drummer Jarrod, so probably a hot dog and a Big M.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The Old Bar, because of the great music and staff, and the high proportion of beards.”
A FINE CHAMPAGNE
HOSING YOU OFF When The Bamboos take off their suits and want to stretch out with soul, jazz, Latin and funk instrumentals they become The Firemen. The eight-piece band will take you on a wild fl ight of improvised madness performing classic and much-sampled tracks from legendary labels like Bluenote, Prestige, CTI and Groove Merchant. Check out the new album Black Feeling Volume 2, out now on Freestyle Records. Spinning in between and after the gigs will be both Lance Ferguson and Kano. Catch the action at Bar Open, every Friday in October.
Daniel Champagne’s guitar-playing seemingly runs the gamut from the instrument’s very soul to pushing it way beyond the boundaries. His now signature explosion of two-hand tapping, body percussion and fiery runs in a variety of different tunings, alongside sublime jazzy finger picking and tasteful improvisation have become hallmarks of his impressive live shows. The same versatility can be said for Champagne’s writing and choice of material. Pulling off sets from intense foot-stomping crowd pleasers, experimental compositions, bags of originals to century-old folk and blues songs, all delivered with an exciting youthful flair. Having previously released two EPs, 2011 has marked the release of Champagne’s debut album Pint Of Mystery. See Daniel Champagne when he plays an October Tuesday night residency at the Northcote Social Club.
ALIVE & DIRTY
If you haven’t seen Dirty Elvis yet, then why not? Wowing unsuspecting crowds around Melbourne for the last year and now impressing YouTube viewers with their new film clip, Dirty Elvis are on the eve of releasing their full-length debut album. Get down to Yah Yah’s on Thursday, especially you school teachers (holidays yeah!), and see Dirty Elvis. Support from funk-rockers Soul Safari and rock stoners Hidden Venture.
email@example.com an atmosphere that has earned the band a reputation as an enthralling act with a loyal following of musiclovers and musicians alike. Howl At The Moon have be busy recording their debut album, to be released in early 2012. Sword Fighting is the first single off the album, a bittersweet reflection on the disintegration of romantic relationships. The band will launch the single at the Old Bar on Friday 4 November.
Justin Timberlake. Either way, it is certainly turning heads. Lawson is launching his album Bread & Water nationally at two shows in Melbourne: this Sunday at Pure Pop Records and this Tuesday at the Esplanade Hotel. He has a bit of an all-star band for the shows, featuring Jon Schofield formerly of Paul Kelly’s Coloured Girls and Gye Bennetts from the Hitmen on drums. They are joined at the Espy by the wonderful Penny Ikinger solo and rising talent Nigel Wearne.
JUMPING THROUGH HOOPOES
In their first show in five months, Jane Dust & The Giant Hoopoes hit the Marquis Of Lorne this Sunday. Jane has dumped the twang and is jet packing upwards into spacey, symphonic pop . Come down to the Marquis and watch her and the Hoopoes lift off at 5pm. They’ll be supported by the legendary Bulls.
TARTED UP Chanteuse, songwriter, ukulele and baritone player, artiste extraordinaire and dissolution personified, Luna Tart is all these things and she has a show to perform, if she can just get sober enough. Luna, the creation of Austin, Texas-based musician, actor and puppeteer Laura Freeman, is officially down under and ready to serenade Australian audiences with her melancholy ballads and tragic tales of love gone wrong. Watch as she makes wreckage of a perfectly pleasant evening, lurches like an out of control circus and takes aim at a lover who has spurned her affections. See her perform on Saturday 8 October at the Thornbury Theatre bar lounge and Sunday 9 at the Wesley Anne. Both shows feature support from The Tiger & Me.
THEY’LL HAVE YOU HOWLING
Smart, dark and moody, Melbourne four-piece Howl At The Moon can most likely be found executing their breath-taking music around Melbourne’s inner north. Vocals soar, whisper, ache and accuse as tales of self-despair, abandon, murder and camaraderie lead you into the woods on a carpet of sparkling guitars, intricate drums and rumbling bass, creating
Melbourne artist Chris O’Neill launched his second EP Fingerprints & Souvenirs last week at Spensers Live, Melbourne. This five-track EP provides the following chapter to debut EP Entr’acte, and a whole new creative approach for O’Neill. Fingerprints & Souvenirs depicts lessons learnt over the past year, and a fresh perspective towards life and what it brings. Where Entr’acte was meticulously calculated and planned, Fingerprints & Souvenirs is daring and spontaneous, with that dash of extra colour and character thrown into the mix. Catch Chris O’Neill playing songs from his new EP at an all-ages launch at Fist2Face (Ringwood) this Sunday.
MCNEIL COUNTRY Acclaimed Canadian songstress Tracy McNeil comes to the John Curtin Hotel on Saturday 8 October for her final show of a highly successful tour. Also known as the other half of Fireside Bellows, she’s been playing her country-roots repertoire to sell-out crowds across Australia these past few months in support of new album Fire From Burning, as well as recently supporting Weddings Parties Anything. Support on the night will be from Lachlan Bryan and Raised By Eagles.
Melbourne bizarro pop maestros Aleks & The Ramps are pleased to announce a short residency this September at new venue Phoenix Public House. Over three weeks The Ramps will be joined by a butt-load of amazing bands and crunk inducing DJs. Having recently completed a new album, the band are psyched to rip out a slew of excellent material from their extensive back catalogue as well as bunch of brand new songs. This final week sees the band joined by guests Parking Lot Experiments, Tiger Choir and Butcher Blades DJs. Doors from 8.30pm, $10.
WHET YOUR APPETITES
Over winter, three Melbourne women came together in a collaboration that crosses artistic mediums and suburban boundaries. With a Brunswick-based band, Northcote-ian director and lead actor from West Heidelberg, this is local art at its best. Musician Anna Smyrk, director Bethany Young and actor Lucia Smyrk lent their myriad talents to create a video for Anna Smyrk & The Appetites’ new single, Seek Out The River. On Wednesday 12 October at the Northcote Social Club, the film will screen in public for the first time. Preceding the screening, Anna Smyrk & The Appetites will perform a set of their unique original material. With soaring vocals and sweet grooves, they tell stories about gardens, changing seasons and household appliances.
Mighty Sun are a five-piece local band whose compositions take the listener on an auditory journey. Their dynamic sound is woven with melodic harmonies and blues-inspired arrangements, which pay homage to artists such as Dave Matthews Band and Jeff Buckley. Their delicate keys and compelling lead vocals leave the audience feeling connected with the music. Catch them at the Edinburgh Castle this Friday with Dan Banks Band and Conrad Williams in support.
HE’S GOT THE MAGIC TOUCH
Magic Touch, the first single off the upcoming debut solo release by Richard Lawson, has had some pundits likening its sound to Zappa and others to
KICKIN’ ASS Jody Galvin and her merry gang of Tenderhearts bring some country noise to the cosy confi nes of the Drunken Poet this Saturday night for an evening of a stompin’ and a swayin’. Equal parts Hank and Jerry Lee, Jodie & The Tenderhearts are all post graduates from the University of Kick Ass, leaving any room they play steaming and every audience wanting more.
Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL It is so very cool to see Australian punk and hardcore talent making huge waves overseas. We’ve all seen footage of Parkway Drive playing to massive crowds at the festivals over the European summer, but now the next Aussie band making a massive footprint on the international hardcore/punk scene are The Amity Affliction. Last week it was announced that the Brisbane six-piece have signed a deal with Roadrunner Records for the international digital release of Youngbloods on 25 October. What the deal also includes is the release of the band’s third album, which they will enter the studio to record in early 2012. They will once again be joined in the studio by producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Suicide Silence, Cobra Starship). Said vocalist Joel Birch in a press release, “Ever since I can remember in Amity we’ve been dreaming big: big tours, big shows, big crowds, but never in our wildest dreams did we ever think something this big would come around. Signing to Roadrunner worldwide is almost beyond a dream come true, because there’s no way any of us would have ever dreamed of being able to achieve something this monumental.” In the meantime, the band have tours in Europe, the US and of course the Fuck The Reaper tour across Australia all lined up. While we’re on the subject of the Fuck The Reaper tour (which is selling out EVERYWHERE by the looks of things), support acts for the tour were also announced last week. Joining The Amity Affliction, Asking Alexandria and Skyway at Billboard on Tuesday 11 October for an 18+ show will be local hardcore act Hopeless. Then on Wednesday 12 October, Feed Her To The Sharks will open the sold out 18+ show at Billboard, and finally on Thursday 13 October I Explode Like will open the under 18s show, also at Billboard. If you’re going to the shows, make sure that you get down to the venues early and support local talent. If you’re a fan of bands like Breach, Converge or Baroness and haven’t checked out Sydney’s Lo! yet, then you really need to. Having kept a pretty low profile from inception, the band burst onto the scene in 2010 and since then have supported the likes of The Nation Blue, Doomriders and
Russian Circles (a weird combination, but it really does show off their diversity). This is sludgy, dirty, noisy hardcore. Now the band are releasing their debut album and have announced a national tour in support of its release. Titled Look And Behold, the album hits shelves nationally as of 14 October and what follows is a string of shows with some exceptional support acts. For example, on Saturday 15 October the band will play at the Gasometer along with a stellar line-up including Night Hag, Bowcaster, and Risk And Reason. Some people may not consider talk of As I Lay Dying appropriate punk/hardcore discussion, but The Descendents are involved so it’s getting included! California metalcore act As I Lay Dying have hit the ten-year anniversary mark and to coincide with this momentous occasion the band are releasing Decas – a 12-track compilation consisting of three brand new songs, cover songs (one of which is Coffee Mug by The Descendents) and remixes, including one by The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Benjamin Weinman. The album will be available sometime in November through Metal Blade/RIOT. On a short note, Sydney metalcore act Hand Of Mercy have announced some preliminary details in relation to the release of their second full-length album. The as-yet-untitled album sees the band head to Boston to record with Shane Frisby (Bury Your Dead, The Ghost Inside) with the aim of releasing in early 2012. This week is also an excellent week for new releases with some cracker albums hitting stores. At the top of my list is the new one from New Found Glory, out through Epitaph/Shock. Called Radiosurgery, I’ve had the privilege of having heard the record and it’s everything a good pop punk record should be – melodic, fun and catchy as all get out. It also represents a return to the band’s roots, with NFG taking some cool cues from the likes of Green Day (old Dookie-era Green Day). The Amity Affliction’s Youngbloods gets the deluxe treatment, being released with a bonus DVD made by vocalist Joel Birch. Into It Over It are one of my favourite new finds at the moment, and they’re releasing their second full-length, titled Proper, which is definitely worth checking out. And finally, recent visitors Man Overboard are releasing the self-titled follow-up to the highly successful Real Talk this weekend as well. I cannot wait to hear this album in full. All of these albums will be available as of Friday.
Blues ’n’ roots with DAN CONDON firstname.lastname@example.org If you’ve had a chance to catch the fantastic Joe Pug at some stage over his past couple of visits then you don’t need me to tell you how great a performer this guy is. The Chicago-based singer/ songwriter has been playing around the traps since around 2008 and in that time has been out on the road with the likes of Steve Earle, Josh Ritter, M Ward and plenty of other great acts. His debut record Messenger was released last year and word is he is currently putting the finishing touches on his new, as-yet-untitled record. Before its release, however, Pug is coming back to Australia for a massive Melbourne Cup eve show alongside a band who needs no introduction, Wagons, at the Espy on Monday 31 October, before he heads out with Mr Henry Wagons for shows at the Meeniyan Town Hall on Friday 4 November and the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 5 November. A couple of weeks back the New Orleans scene was in mourning following the death of legendary arranger Wardell Quezergue. Quezergue was known as the “creole Beethoven” and his contributions to a wide range of recordings as a producer, arranger, conductor and band leader have been absolutely massive since the 1940s. He was a massive contributor to the sound of New Orleans rhythm’n’blues through the ‘50s and ‘60s, responsible for the iconic syncopated horn lines on truly classic tunes such as Professor Longhair’s Big Chief, The Dixie Cups’ Iko Iko, King Floyd’s Groove Me, and Jean Knight’s Mr. Big Stuff to name but a few. Even Paul Simon, after hearing some of the hits that Quezergue worked on in the ‘70s, enlisted him to help out on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. He led a fascinating
RACKET Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG
DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH All things under 18 with KENDAL COOMBS The FReeZA Push Start Battle Of The Bands competition is heading in to regional finals season now that the heats have all come to a close, which means it is time to start looking at what bands have made it through to the highly competitive next round. The first of the regionals will be the eastern metropolitan regional final on Friday 14 October with The Brass Monkeys, Cat Or Pillar, Lachy Duthie, Somnium and The Tonics vying for supremacy before Stealing O’Neal take to the stage to close the night at the Mooroolbark Community Centre. The next day Gippsland will be having their regional final at the Warragul Exhibition Hall. The competing bands include Bastion, Caught In The Crossfire, Exoscript, Excuse For An Exit and Miranda with Have You Seen This Boy? and Johnday headlining. The next FReeZA final will not be until November with the Hume final on Friday 4 November, held at the Benalla Town Hall. Finalists include 400 Hundred Watts Of Inspiration, Audacity, Forbidden Burning, Jay Sea, Peta Jones and The Wayfares. No headliner as yet for the Hume final but there’s still time. Barwon South is close behind on Saturday 5 November at the Colac Otway Performing Arts Centre with Erepato, Increments, Stonefire, Altitude and more to be confirmed battling for survival in the competition. I’ll bring you more of the competitions progress next week. All-ages favourites Closure In Moscow are headlining a show that, I have it on good authority, is “not to be missed”. The Take Over concert happening at Cranbourne Public Hall from 6pm on Friday 7 October will be headlined by the popular group who have recently returned from touring Japan and the United States and are now on a tour of Australia. The concert falls in the middle of their East Coast leg and will see them playing with local acts The Aura Cura, We Rob Banks, Summerset Avenue, Apart From
This and Brighter At Night. Entry is cheaper if you have a pass, which you can get from all City Of Casey Youth Information Centres and Customer Service Centres. To find out more about the gig head to insideinfo.casey.vic.gov.au.
Jungle Fever, a special under-18s event for the school holidays, featuring DJ Andy Murphy, Johnny Bongos plus fire breathers, jungle dancers, resident rockstar DJs and more, takes place at Chasers Nightclub from 5pm. Tickets are available from selected Supre outlets.
An all-ages mic night is happening at the Castle in Dandenong from 7pm. This event is free. Alice Cooper was recently inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame and will be at the Palais Theatre from 7.30pm Thursday and Friday. Tickets start at $99 through Ticketmaster.
Rockabilly is back with the Chopped Rod And Custom 2011 festival at Newstead Racecourse until Sunday. Bands include Six Ft Hick, Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, Captain Reckless & The Lost Souls, The Toot Toot Toots, The Rechords, Abbie Cardwell & The Chicano Rockers, Adrian Whyte and more. There are lots of rules about the kind of cars allowed to be included in proceedings so head to chopped.com.au for tickets and information. Counter Revolution, the event organised in response to the cancellation of Soundwave Revolution and featuring Panic! At The Disco, All Time Low, Yellowcard, Story Of The Year and more, takes place at Festival Hall from 11am. Tickets are $103.05 and are available through the Soundwave Festival website. Inverleigh FReeZA are presenting a day of DJs, jumping castles, temporary tattoos, spin art, fairy floss, BBQs, slushies, and badge making at Inverleigh Hall from 11am. This event is free.
Whoaaa, check this from out of left field. Eccentric singer, songwriter and pianist Tori Amos, who has just released the classically inspired album Night Of Hunters, told Spinner. com that she wasn’t surprised when she learned that wrestling superstar Mick Foley was a fan of her music, claiming that the emotion in her songs is more powerful than anything the heaviest of metal bands can churn out. Amos said, “Sometimes you don’t know how music affects people. I embrace that because I don’t think that just because I talk about emotional stuff that it’s not ‘motherfucker’ stuff. I’ll stand next to the hardest fucking heavy metal band on any stage in the world and take them down, alone, by myself. Gauntlet laid down, see who steps up. See who steps up!” She continued, “I’ll take them down at 48. And they know I will. Because emotion has power that the metal guys know is just you can’t touch it. Insanity can’t touch the soul. It’s going to win every fucking time.” Italian rock/metal band Lacuna Coil will release their new album, Dark Adrenaline, on 24 January via Century Media Records. Lacuna Coil’s female singer Cristina Scabbia commented, “As some of you know, the release for Dark Adrenaline was postponed a bit… and this made me even more nervous because I had to wait even more to spit it out! I am so thrilled I can finally say something about this album – ha! I simply love it. I feel this is the best work we have ever done, and it absolutely captures the essence of who we are. The atmosphere of the record will make a lot of old-school fans very happy, and the newer fans will enjoy the vibrant energy and the dark blood running through the songs. I really believe the Dark Adrenaline will wake you up. Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to enjoy the trip!”
life – I’d recommend checking out the PRX American Routes interview with him from a couple of years back to learn more. He passed away on 6 September of complications relating to congestive heart failure. He was 81 years old. If you were thinking about celebrating the end of the year with a trip on Queenscliff’s Blues Train, then you might want to make a booking right now, because there aren’t many tickets left for shows between now and the end of the year. There are heaps of great acts from all around the country playing on the train throughout December, the only month of the year where the train also runs on Fridays to keep up with the massive demand. I’m not even kidding when I say there are barely any tickets left, so consider this your warning; hit thebluestrain.com.au for all the details on what you can and can’t go and see. If you do miss out, there’s always January (though that also looks like it’s selling quickly). I can’t quite believe this. Stevie Wonder is coming back to Australia next month, playing one single show in Sydney to celebrate something to do with the Star City Casino. Doesn’t it seem such a waste? One of the greatest living performers of our time flying all the way across the world to play this one exclusive show. Oh well, such is life. For any of you who make far, far more money than me, you can catch Stevie Wonder at Star City’s Lyric Theatre on Wednesday 26 October. The cheap seats are only $399 or if you want to shell out for the better ones, you’ll only need to fork out $525. For fuck’s sake. Daniel Champagne has spent the past few years wowing audiences all around the world with his song smarts, his incredible guitar playing and a voice that belies his mere 21 years of age. For the month of October, the young performer will be performing a Tuesday night residency at the Northcote Social Club, so you have a few chances to get along and see what the fuss is all about. Entry is $12 per show, there are different supports each week and they kick off at around 7.30pm.
greater opportunities. My connection with you on the internet or in person has always been surrounded by these ideas of art and how art can help ease the pain of life. When you feel a certain way and you think you’re alone, you can open this book up and read stories, poems and glare at photos or other mediums of creation to help you breathe and realise you are not alone.” San Francisco Bay Area thrashers Testament have been spending time in the studio recording their new album Dark Roots Of Earth, tentatively due in February 2012 via Nuclear Blast Records. Commented Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick: “We’re more than halfway done recording the new album, Dark Roots Of Earth. It’s coming along as well or better than any album this band has done. It just seems to have a focus, clarity and definition on a level that I don’t remember at this point in the process. Of course, you can never truly sum up an album until all the tracks are recorded, the mixes are done and the entire collection is mastered. But from where things stand right now, it’s looking like we may have a winner.” According to The Pulse Of Radio Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor has told Artisan News that the band’s next album may be a double-disc concept record. Taylor explained, “The thing I can say is that it’s like little bits and a piece of the first three albums, but it’s very dark. I’ve got a story… it’s almost a concept album that I’m writing right now – and it might turn into a double album.” Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – triplej.abc.net.au/ racket. Email email@example.com Lacuna Coil
According to DesMoinesRegister.com Slipknot percussionist M Shawn Crahan has announced plans to create a Maggot Bible, a crowd sourced book made up of 1,000 works of art submitted by the band’s fans, affectionately called “maggots”. “Okay, I am going to do the very best I can to describe this crazy dream I had about a book called the Maggot Bible,” he writes in a two-page introduction on the MaggotBible.com website, displayed to look like an open holy book. “We all have to feed off what the world puts us through, in order to grow and experience life’s
OG FLAVAS Urban news with CYCLONE Jay-Z and Kanye West have dropped Watch The Throne and Lil Wayne has returned… In fact, hip hop’s big guns have already yielded albums this year – including Weezy’s Aussie tour buddy Eminem, who gave us that Bad Meets Evil “EP” with Royce Da 5’9”. So what else is coming before Christmas? The next major hip hop album will be from Jay-Z’s flagship Roc Nation signing J Cole. The North Carolinian is aiming to rebalance hip hop’s aspirational fixations with its socially-conscious heritage on Cole World: The Sideline Story. Cole himself has produced much of his debut, which sees Hova cameo on the post-dubstep Mr Nice Watch. Missy Elliott pops by, too. Full review next week! Amazingly, Nas is gearing up for his tenth album, tentatively entitled Life Is Good. A who’s who of hip hop producers has been attached to the project, among them DJ Premier, who, of course, had a hand in 1994’s classic Illmatic. But most interest is centring on Nas’ collab with Odd Future. The New York MC has also reunited with his old homeboy (and rap underdog) AZ. The lead single is Nasty, courtesy of Salaam Remi. Above all, Life… will have a nostalgic orientation. “There’s a certain sound in hip hop that I love, so some of the album may give you a ‘90s feel,” Nas recently told Rolling Stone. Curiously, he wants to connect with Scarface – the progenitor of Odd Future’s horrorcore. Life... will be the final album in Nas’ Def Jam deal. He last teamed with Damian Marley for Distant Relatives. And fans of social hip hop will be pleased to hear Common’s The Dreamer, The Believer, his first LP through Warner (no mind – he’s still with Ye’s GOOD family). The MC is recording exclusively with his longtime ally No ID. Common has so far issued two singles, the finest the Nas-guesting Ghetto Dreams. Like Nas, the Chi-towner is drawing inspiration from
BUSINESS MUSIC Investing in club music with PAZ DJ MEHDI Mehdi was the guy who bought you a greasy kebab at the end of the night. One way to witness his greatness is to download the DJ Mehdi – Loukoums mix. The Loukoum is a Middle Eastern sweet/donut. Mehdi made “donut” loop tapes too, which were released to friends of Ed Banger (at the time, it was a sweat dedication to Dilla, the original loop tape stylist). Busy P upped it this week. HOUSING PROJECTS Lean House popped up this month. A product of French producers slowing house tunes to 110bpm. Dubbed “Lean” in reference to the chopped and screwed, sippin’ purp, southern hip hop movement. The finger is pointed at Frenchy Boston Bun. He tarred himself with this “phase” in house music. The style has nothing on the groundbreaking production trends started by Justice. There is no real additive to power this sound further than the end of the year. Costa House also popped up. The translation of “Costa” is “seaside” or “coast”. María y José of COCOBASS has a few tracks floating on his Soundcloud. It’s freestyle meets Detroit at the OK Coral. Who likes freestyle? Only those that still drink pina colada. This sound will make it through the southern hemisphere summer. LUNICE The new Lunice Stacker Upper EP comes mildly recommended. He is Canadian, like maple syrup, which is essential on pancakes (the best food group ever), but who eats pancakes every day? It sounds regional to somewhere between Downtown LA and Houston, so it is best played in your car (unless it’s a Holden Commodore). If you had a ‘93 Benz it would sound and look respectable. Out on the Scottish label Lucky Me with cover art by Colin Faulks, who is also on the One Hunned EP (great EP titles/not spelling errors). The cover art is a winner. Buy the T-shirt at least. MOOMBAHTON TIME AGAIN It’s more than a year old now. Happy
hip hop’s golden age. The Dreamer… will be a feel-good LP. Incidentally, Common has just published his autobiography, One Day It’ll All Make Sense, praised by Maya Angelou. That Canadian emo rapper (or illwaver, as OG tends to dub him) Drake will follow 2010’s Thank Me Later with Take Care next month. There’s little concrete info – and, as of press time, no track list – yet the Cash Money star is apparently going even more avant. In addition to working with his Toronto homies, like the brilliant Noah ‘40’ Shebib, he’s sought out The XX’s Jamie Smith to produce. At one stage Drake was also doing stuff with 9th Wonder. As for guests? Florence Welch has been mentioned, as has Stevie Wonder and the buzzworthy The Weeknd, Canada’s Frank Ocean. Drake has circulated several ‘street’ tracks, the best the R Kelly-esque Marvin’s Room, which prompted an answer remix from JoJo. Nevertheless, last month’s Headlines is the official lead single. Don’t expect Dr Dre’s blockbuster Detox to materialise this year – the West Coast son is stalling again. However, 50 Cent will be releasing a hard hitting (as yet untitled) album in November with two Dre joints. The über gangsta had been in dispute with Interscope, but they seem to have reached a resolution (bet dude bounces when his deal finishes, though!). Fiddy aired Outlaw, helmed by Cardiak, midyear. (He also cameoed on Nicole Scherzinger’s mega Right There remix.) The beef magnet is even marketing another book – a “redemptive” semi-autobiographical young adult novel, Playground, about a bully called… Butterball. And that ‘90s nostalgia Nas speaks of is pervasive. Indeed, Naughty By Nature are staging a comeback. Treach and Vin Rock have reconciled with DJ/producer KayGee and so Anthem Inc will be their first album as a trio since 1999. The album has been in the pipeline for a while. Early last year the New Jersey posse offered the single Get To Know Me Better (featuring Pitbull) and they followed with a mix tape. Can Naughty relive the days of Hip Hop Hooray? Why not?
birthday Moombahton. No infanticide in the foreseeable future for this one-year-old. Sabbo (the one from Tel-Aviv) drops the Deepation EP on the Generation Bass label. This time it’s a 4am, deep club vibe. It was expected Moombahton was going to get “bro’d out”. Not yet, but it will happen. Scottie B & King Tut’s African Chant gets a Moombah re-rub from Skinny Freidman. Can someone please organise with Robert Doyle a Moombahton party during Melbourne’s Moomba festival? ENDORSEMENTS Swizz Beatz’s Showtime is too future. He has been collabin’ designs with Reebok and has outed himself as “Creative Director”. Swizz has also upped a jingle/track for the Reethym Of Lite campaign titled International Party. It’s uptown Manhattan vs meat packing district, and sounds like Timbaland 2012. Damon Dash (Roc-A-Fella Records) is currently endorsing his own brand of motor oil. It’s a connection between himself and a Brooklyn oil factory. Damon Dash is still adding to his rap sheet (criminal not lyrical) so anything this crazy is better than jail (NB: there was a bust in Oz recently with coke stashed in a motor oil shipment). There was a point in hip hop approximately four years ago, when it was all about having your own energy drink, but now it’s all about the “black gold”. FAVE SONG TITLES AND ARTIST NAMES Best song title goes to Swaggot by Bosstone and Lucid and best artist AKA is still owned by Dwaingerous, who is responsible for this year’s best soca riddem Charlie Sheen. Lunice
LUKE MCKINNON goes with the flow Okay, so 360’s new album, Flying And Falling, drops this week and unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a social media vacuum, chances are you’ve heard about it. The Calling has had the record for a few weeks now and needless to say, the album is going to divide audiences. Flying And Falling is like no hip hop record you’ll hear this year. Forget any preconceived notions you have about 360, his rhyming style and usual choice of subject matter – Flying And Falling blows these all out of the water. Having enlisted Styalz Fuego for the majority of the production, the album tips its hat more to dance music, electro and dub-step rather than a traditional hip hop sound. The result is an album of earnest lyricism and divergent production that will give Australian hip hop both a new sound and, for the time being, a new flag bearer. Sydney-based hip hop duo LHA have announced the release of their debut album, Split Decision. Written and produced entirely by the duo, the album perfectly captures the ethos of LHA: soulful, catchy, heartfelt music to move to. For those unaware, LHA comprises Australian MC Adikkal and Korean producer LeeHahn. Captivated by the idea that a song should move you inside and out, LHA make music full of provoking grooves. Crossing cultures and fusing elements of soul and funk on the bedrock of hip hop, they produce a distinct sound that, while gathering eclectic influences from music’s fringes, upholds an appeal for music fans across the globe. The album’s brand new single, This Is Your Life, is at radio this week. Ignited by the powerful lyrics of Adikkal and his fight for self-actualisation, the track is driven home by the soulful but commanding beats of LeeHahn. If you haven’t caught these guys’ sound, hunt them down and check them out. This Friday night, the Espy will once again host a fantastic evening of local hip hop under the moniker of Raise The Roof. Picking up
PLATTER TUDE All things vinyl with SHANE O’DONOHUE Liberation will next month release a limited edition double vinyl pressing of Rowland S Howard’s 1999 debut solo album, Teenage Snuff Film. Originally released on CD by Bruce Milne’s Relient Records, and subsequently on vinyl by Melbourne label Radio One, the album featured eight Howard originals and covers of Billy Idol’s White Wedding and Jay & The Americans’/The Shangri-Las’ She Cried/He Cried. Shut Me Down, a bonus track on the original vinyl release, and later re-recorded for Howard’s acclaimed 2009 record Pop Crimes, will be replaced by a version of The Velvet Underground’s Ocean, recorded with the Devastations and previously available as the B-side on Howard’s Autoluminescent 7”. Limited to 500 copies, the Teenage Snuff Film reissue precedes a “deluxe anthology” of Howard’s work, to be released in the first quarter of 2012. Covering his entire career, the vinyl package will include tracks by The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party, Crime & The City Solution, These Immortal Souls, Howard’s solo work “and a number of very special collaborations”. The anthology will be packaged with a book including essays, liner notes and photographs. Posting on Mess & Noise, Teenage Snuff Film producer and engineer Lindsay Gravina wrote that he has an “outtake” from the session, “Rowland’s best ever version of Shivers, which has never been heard. I was asked to release it for the anthology but I remain undecided. I don’t think I was asked to release it for the TSF vinyl re-release, which would have made more sense you’d think…” HTRK’s latest, Work (work, work), has been blowing minds in the Inpress office over the past few weeks, and it leads a big month of vinyl releases from one of our fave local labels, Mistletone. Stock was due to arrive this week, though pre-orders come with an immediate download code. Another Mistletone gem is the Mumbai/Rainman 7” from soft rockin’ local supergroup Montero. With Bjenny Montero (exTreetops), Guy Blackman, Geoffrey O’Connor
from where its June guise left off, Raise The Roof 2 will showcase the finest of established and emerging talent. Returning to the Espy is The Herd frontman Urthboy, who will be joined by Diafrix, Joelistics, Dialectrix, Skryptcha, Mind Over Matter, Low Budget, In Good Company, Fatty Phew, Coptic Soldier, DJ Matic and Slap 618. Tickets are available via Oztix and at espy.com.au. This week producer and sometime rapper Pharrell Williams has revealed that despite his quiet output of late, he’s still been working with some of music’s biggest names including Jay-Z, Mary J Blige and Gloria Estefan. In a brief interview with Vibe, Williams revealed that he had indeed been working with Jay-Z, but remained relatively coy about the details. “I’m working with him [Jay-Z], but he’s not talking about what he’s doing. What he needs I got ‘em. I just can’t go into… that guy just does things the way he wants to do ‘em,” Pharrell explained. “But yeah, it’s some magic… I don’t wanna talk too much about what I’m doing. Only because I just like for it to smack, ‘Pow!’” On top of his work with Jay-Z, Williams also contributed to Mary J Blige’s upcoming album, titled My Life 2: The Journey Continues, as well as a project for producer/singer The Dream. “The Mary stuff is sick. [She’s] on her A-game right now. Her new album is incredible and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Williams said. “Shout out to The Dream too. I did something for him and we’re getting ready to go in.” Finally, Elefant Traks duo Hermitude are set to turn heads with their most playfully infectious song to date, the party starting Speak Of The Devil. If Teen Wolf and Patience from The Grates had a baby who grew up to be the world’s greatest air-keytarist, the song it’d perform to would be Speak Of The Devil, no question. With its contorting synth lines, hopelessly fun chorus and slamming drums, it perfectly captures the energy and joy of a Hermitude live show. The boys are set to bring that live show to the East Brunswick Club in November and if you’ve never seen these lads bring the sound, then do yourself a massive favour and secure your ticket now.
(Crayon Fields), Cameron Potts (Ninety Nine, Baseball, Cuba Is Japan), Robert Bravington (Cuba Is Japan) and Gerald Wells (The TM Band) in the ranks, it’s little wonder this is one of the year’s best debuts. Wintercoats’ lush 12” Sketches EP also hits stores this week, while Mistletone’s next vinyl album release will be Jonti’s Twirligig on 14 October. We’ve heard it, and it’s ace. Peanut Butter Wolf agrees – the album will be getting a US release through his Stones Throw label. Back to HTRK: they also pop up on New War’s amazing new 12”, Ghostwalking. Out on Fast Weapons, the label run by the Gossip’s Nathan ‘Brace Paine’ Howdeshell, the flip side features remixes from both HTRK and the Gossip. It’s a lovely looking package, and the vinyl itself is first grade, but charging $20 for a single (and at the launch, no less!) is a bit steep. The good folk behind the great Record Paradise in St Kilda are making their popular garage sales monthly until the end of the year. Taking place at their warehouse at 15 Union Street, Brunswick from 10am-4pm on the first Sunday of each month (yep, the next one’s this Sunday), the sales feature thousands of records across all genres at dirt-cheap prices. Our most recent haul was blues- and R&B-heavy (think Big Bill Broonzy, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, John Hammond), but with so much to wade through, and most records $1 (and everything else half price) you’re unlikely to walk away empty handed. Press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org; records to PO Box 1079, Richmond North, Vic, 3121. Rowland S Howard
and vaudevillian rock’n’roll. Rapskallion will be swashbuckling into Bar Open this Saturday with a garnish of sideshow performers and musical treats. And yes, there will be footy earlier. So saddle up the mules, hoist the main sail, and party.
Machine are an art-rock instrumental collaboration between Nils Arnold, Vijay Singh and Billy McCabe – all formerly members of Sailors & Swine. Using simple, hypnotic beats, rolling bass grooves and waves of omnipresent, effected guitar, Machine set out to create upbeat soundscapes that are as intense as they are beautiful. Their debut EP was recorded at Birdland Studios with Lindsay Gravina (HTRK, Rowland S. Howard). To promote the release of this work, Machine will perform live at the Grace Darling Hotel on Saturday with support from The Process. Doors from 9pm, $10.
A BIT MIFFED
Fresh from a string of dates around Victoria, Miffy Duke will brace themselves for the final stop on their Victorian tour at Pony this Thursday. With an epic blend of Indie-pop, the boys will be supporting Melbourne rockers Apollo Pathway whose new single Dress For Success is the follow-on from Never Ending Story, which received national airplay. Also in support will be The Modern Age, bringing their brand of female-fronted pop/rock to Melbourne ears. Get set for a huge night of rock and melodies as these three Melbourne bands take to the stage. Doors from 9pm.
PONY ROCKIN’ GF EVE
After nearly two years of anticipation, Sandoz will be unleashing their double a-side single on the world’s pricked ears, this Friday at Pony. Get back to your sticky-carpet roots and shake your booty or bang your head along to some old fashioned bluesy, grungy rock in the venue where it all will make sense. Also playing on the night is the super-exciting Wicked City. Opening the Grand Final Eve festivities, raucous Melbourne four-piece The Hidden Venture will deliver their take on the true essence of rock.
EXPECT THEM TO GIVE
The Give are a post-indie band; three guys and a girl who formed in late 2009. Within six months they had written and recorded an unofficial EP. The release gained attention on the Triple J Unearthed charts, reaching the first, second and third spots in their genre and number 13 overall with the track Expect Me To Be. They play Yah Yah’s this Sunday with friends The Artie Styles Quartet and Language Of Birds. Doors are from 6pm.
We’ve all been there: the Sunday morning after a huge Saturday night where you aren’t necessarily hung over yet, but in fact still drunk. You know what you need? Hair of the Dog. Drag yourself out of bed in the late afternoon and come on down to Bar Open to relax and become a functioning human being again. Recover from your big night out with a free sausage sizzle to settle your stomach, and some post big-night-out drink specials to ease you back into it. The barbecue will kick off at the reasonable hour of 5pm, with plenty of bands and entry only $5-a-head.
TAGO MAGO FOOTY GOODIES This week at Tago Mago things are ramping right up for rock’n’roll footy finals fever. On Friday night, catch Kim Salmon & The Surrealists, then back it up again on Saturday to see none-other than Spencer P. Jones. They got the footy on the big screen and a free barbecue running all weekend. All for only $5 entry. Sick.
Call them what you will – Balkan/gypsy brass band, roaring ‘20s swing ensemble, wild west fiddle contest or a soundtrack for Looney Tunes – it barely scratches the surface. There are few, if any, parallels to the sound of The Woohoo Revue. This fiendishly talented sextet create an adrenalinfuelled celebration fit for dancing, drinking, and ignoring tomorrow. Catch them on Friday at Bar Open. Doors 10pm and entry is free.
After a self-imposed winter exile spent recording a new album in Byron Bay, Rapskallion return to the itty gritty city. Like buccaneers gone electric, the ‘Skallions explode onto the stage like a jack in the box, in a flurry of feathers, corsets and subversive accordion riffs, mixed into a concoction of old-world romance, junkyard theatrical blues,
around Melbourne for a number of years. With music influenced by artists like Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright, his melodies and voice don’t shy away from the candidly emotive.
If you were looking for the perfect environment to psych yourself up for weekend pre-drinks, then experimental R&B artist Fatti Frances is playing for you. Perhaps you were planning to fly a virtual airplane to the analogue dance bloops of Matthew Brown, or even ride an elevator all night long to the soft and sleazy sounds of Legendary Hearts. If all you wanted was to drive into an eternal sunset, the warm sounds of This Free Field is definitely your thing. It’s all the one experience, it happens at Bar Open this Thursday.
The Bonniwells were grown in the dripping caves of New Zealand, feeding on reverberating sounds that fuzzed up through the rocks. They took root, however, in the fertile fields of Geelong – telepathically synchronising with a raucous collective of madcaps. Their sound incorporates blistering, frantic guitar, pounding drums and chugging bass. Check them out at their Saturday residency at the Tote for the month of October. The first show is this Saturday arvo at 5pm.
For thirty-one years, Going Down Swinging has brought you the best stories in print, on CD, and live on stage. Tonight (Wednesday) join them for a night of yarns, rumours, and cold hard facts. A hand-picked selection of their 2011 writers will bring you Tall Tales & True. Mixing storytelling, a cappella rap, and spoken word, they’ll go back to the bardic tradition as they take you on a springevening journey through things that were or might have been. Doors 8pm, pay attention to win a prize.
Flats & The Friendly Few begin their Edinburgh Castle Saturday residency this week at 4pm for free in the front bar. Tom Flatman, AKA ‘Flats’, has been performing his acoustic melancholia
FOOTY YEAH The Brunswick Hotel will host its third Grand Final celebrations this Saturday. The game will be shown live over four big screens inside and out with a free barbecue and cold beer flowing all day. Once the game is fi nished the inside will light up with some of the best bands the Brunny has had over the past year including Mushroom Horse, Fall Of The Union, Secretary Lily, ESC, Shane Diiorio Band, Miffy Duke, Buttertime and The Deadly Are The Naked-inspired Mick Malthouse Experience. Doors open from midday with the party continuing into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
a different flavour. They all had their own studios so we could sit there and map out songs one on one, whereas my fi rst album was written as a band jamming in a lounge room. I think the songs are a little bit more thought out because of that – and I had more time to think about lyrics, which gives these songs a different depth.
After a stint in the UK, RANDA & SOUL KINGDOM are educating local audiences about the history of soul and funk, writes NIC TOUPEE. ‘purist’ time-capsuling approach, revealing for 21st century listeners, where so much of that sampled funk sound came from. Joining the campaign for real funk is Perth’s Randa & The Soul Kingdom, flying the flag in one of funk’s most remote outposts. Little wonder then, that Randa Khamis transformed a short UK tour into a six-month stopover in London’s soul and funk heartland. But she disputes that this is any kind of revival – in the underground clubs of Soho, apparently it has never faded.
James Brown may be gone, but he is far from forgotten. Brown’s breaks and funk bass have been referenced, sampled, imitated and reworked countless times since he fi rst started shaking and working his hoodoo-funk in the 1950s. In recent years, a more literal revival of his raw funk sound has emerged, with bands such as Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings and Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra taking a more
“In London, I started going to Madame JoJo’s quite a lot,” explains Khamis. “It’s a place in Soho that has its own history, and its own vibe – it’s a London music institution. I saw a lot of different musicians, there was a lot of music that was a bit beatnik or mod. London defi nitely has its own funk vibe going on, which is very different to Australia, because it has a longer history of that sound. In Australia, we’re just now coming into a funk sound, just discovering it – or at least that’s what it feels like. In England it has been going on forever.” While she was mining London’s rich scene seam of lineage-funk, Khamis found sympathetic minds, and before she left London had an album’s worth of collaborations in the bag.
After a creative six months, Khamis found it difficult to drag herself back out to Heathrow and head back to Perth. “I was quite reticent to come home by the time I left,” she recalls wistfully. “I felt immersed in music and had a great circle of friends and musicians, and I really felt like I belonged. I didn’t want that to end, but only had a six-month ticket. I also had to come back and record the album with Lance [Ferguson, producer] in Melbourne and he only had a certain window so it all worked out well.” While there are diverse elements to the album What You Need, Khamis is still strongly devoted to the pure sound of original funk, harking back to sounds born almost half a century ago. “The sound of my album is essentially still funk and soul, and I’m still influenced by the ‘60s and ‘70s old school vintage sound. What we hear today all comes from blues, funk and soul anyway; what I’m doing is going back to the source of all that. I’m holding up a flame for that sound, reminding people – don’t forget your history, because that’s what shapes us to the current day.”
WHO: Randa & The Soul Kingdom WHAT: What You Need (Fuse)
“I’d meet musicians there who were into soul, funk and mod sounds and collaborate with them, which has lent my second album
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Order Of Melbourne
ALL THAT JAZZ On Sunday the Grocery Bar is excited to introduce The Phoebe Lindner Trio from 3.30pm. The Phoebe Lindner Trio were formed mid-2011 when three Melbournebased musicians met whilst studying jazz at Monash University. They formed in order to realise Lindner’s unique compositions and in order for Lindner to experiment with original arrangements, which exploit the unique capabilities of a string-based trio.
If you’re thinking about having kids, you might want to read Peggy Frew’s debut novel, House Of Sticks ($29.95, Scribe). A tale of domestic drudgery, it will put you off parenthood forever. Peggy is the bass player in Art Of Fighting, and her book is about Bonnie, a guitarist, struggling to come to terms with having three kids. “I feel the same inside as I did when I was 20, or even 18, or even younger,” Bonnie tells her partner, Pete. “It’s like I’m the same person inside and all this stuff’s just happened to me and sometimes I sort of… forget. And then someone yells ‘Mum’ and I think, ‘Oh my god, that’s me – I’m someone’s mum’.” In real life, Peggy has three kids with her partner, Mick Turner from the Dirty Three, but stresses that the book is not autobiographical. House Of Sticks – which won the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript – is more about motherhood than music. Of course, it’s a tough gig, but Bonnie is so negative – whingeing and whining constantly – that it’s hard to like her. But there’s a lot to like about Peggy’s writing. She has a knack for building tension and revealing genuine emotion. This is a remarkably assured debut.
compelling tale of faith and family, the pick of the books that Howzat! reviews here. A young Ben (Jacob in the book) enrages his dad by declaring, “Elvis is God.” Ben plans to expand on his love of Elvis in his next novel. The strength of The Last Great Day puts that book firmly on the ‘eagerly-awaited’ list.
CHART WATCH Just two homegrown hits in the national Top 40, but Gotye equals You’re The Voice – spending seven weeks on top. The last Aussie male solo artist to spend longer at number one was Austen Tayshus (eight weeks with Australiana in 1983). Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number one) Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (16) Big debut for The Jezabels, but they can’t knock off Adele. Prisoner THE JEZABELS (number two, debut) Making Mirrors GOTYE (three) Vows KIMBRA (eight)
HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS
READ ABOUT IT It’s been another great year for local music books. There have also been many musicrelated books. Here are a few of ’em:
RPM Noel Mengel is one of Howzat!’s favourite music journalists. The chief music writer for Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, Noel has now released his debut novel, RPM ($24.95, University Of Queensland Press) and won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. It’s a gentle book (the main character is even called Neil Gentle); imagine an Aussie High Fidelity, set in small town Queensland in
the ’80s, with a bunch of misfits bonded by their love of music. It’s a little hard to believe that the country kids were into The Pretty Things, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Persuaders and The Records when the charts were dominated by Chisel, Culture Club and Duran Duran. Then there’s this sentence after Neil meets the 15-year-old girl of his dreams: “Time stood still as we talked about Orwell or de Beauvoir or Dostoyevsky, or whatever we happened to be reading, as you do in a country town café at half past three on a Friday afternoon.” Later, “One afternoon we debated what was the greater: Robert Graves’s fiction or his poetry? It was astonishing that someone else in the world actually read Graves’s poetry, that they lived in the same town as me and we were talking about it.” Astonishing, indeed. But RPM is a fine book, a love letter to music. “A great record or a great guitar will never let you down, Neil. Can’t say I’d say the same for people.”
HOUSE OF STICKS
THE LAST GREAT DAY Howzat! interviewed Ben Mitchell in 1990 when he was in a Channel Seven cop show called Skirts. Instantly likeable, it was also obvious that Ben was a big music fan. We chatted about the music on the show and I recall being amused that Big Pig provided the soundtrack to a scene where a big cop chased a crook. Ben later starred in Neighbours, sharing a house with Natalie Imbruglia’s character. He returned to Ramsay Street 15 years later to play Tottie Goldsmith’s ex. Ben also spent time in London, where he recorded his debut album, 2006’s The Stars Can See. It’s been a remarkable career, but nothing compared to Ben’s life, which he documents in his debut novel, The Last Great Day ($29.95, benjamingrantmitchell.com). When we chatted 21 years ago, I had no idea that Ben’s early years were spent in a doomsday cult, The Worldwide Church Of God, an organisation started by an American advertising man, who tipped that the world was going to end in 1975. Ben’s dad was a minister in the church. The Last Great Day is a
Blue Sky Blue PETE MURRAY (nine) The Quickening FUNKOARS (11, debut) White Heat: 30 Hits ICEHOUSE (13) Yes I Am JACK VIDGEN (20) Rrakala GURRUMUL (22) Moonfire BOY & BEAR (27) Ghosts Of The Past ESKIMO JOE (36) Symmetry NEW EMPIRE (39, debut) Get ’Em Girls JESSICA MAUBOY (40)
HOWZAT! PLAYLIST Covered By Snow DEAD LETTER CHORUS Dark Magic SAND PEBBLES Only One TIM REID Ghost THE KILLJOYS Stars Burn DESERTERS
WED 28 Able, MZ Rizk, Raceless, Sizzle Miss Libertine
Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq
Penny Bohan, The Pears, Ben Mackie (The Polites), Jayden Kenny (The Thod)
Flying Colours, Manchild, No Zebra, Acid Western, Premodernists, Towers
Serious Name, Rusti Munc
Ben Carr Trio, Steven Rossitto Quartet
Kollosoul, Nude Funk Orchestra
Paris Cat Jazz Club
Empress Hotel Sean Whelan & the Interim Lovers, Felix Nobis, Erik Yoshiaki Dando, Ben Pobje, Libbie Chellew, Briohny Doyle Bar Open
Fringe Festival American Astronaut, Not Suitable for Children
Sprowell, Leadlight, T-Bird & the Lumberjacks John Curtin Hotel
The Workers Club
Since We Kissed, College Fall
Union Hotel Brunswick
Tender Bones, Michael Plater
Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie, Prequel, Black Diamond Kicks
Bopstretch Uptown Jazz Café
Bunny Monroe, Council Cherry Bar
Buttered Loaf The Lounge Pit
Cameron & Co. Open Studio
Carlo Barbaro Bennetts Lane
Charles Jenkins The Standard Hotel
Daryl Braithwaite Wellers of Kangaroo Ground
Dizzy’s Big Band
Spidey, Shaky Memorial, Adalita, Number Station, Kenny Cornflakes, Sebastian Astone Revolver
The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie
Goodtime Medicine Band Lomond Hotel
Horse MacGyver, Aoi, David Axelrad (MR. DNA), Amyl Bitrate Mercat Cross Hotel
James McAnn, Pete Ewing The Drunken Poet
James Osbourne Collective Paris Cat Jazz Club
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
The Picture Box Orchestra, Mikki Ross & his Whizz-Bang Theatre, Magnolia
Low Key Live Electro
Jailbird Jokers, Dom Cooley & the Children out of Wedlock, You N Your Music Esplanade Lounge
Karlos, Shaeh Psaila Wesley Anne
Katz, Anderson, Tsui, Lam, O’Kane
Wine, Whiskey, Women, Susie Ingram, Michelle Meehan
Luke Watt, John Patrick & the Keepers Retreat Hotel
The Drunken Poet
Mood, DJ NuBody
Tim Neal Trio
New Melbourne Jazz Orchestra
THU 29 Aleks & The Ramps, Parking Lot Experiments, Tiger Choir, Butcher Blades Phoenix Public House
Alice Cooper, Syndicate Palais Theatre
Kewti, Tim Pledger Product
Angie Hart, Blood Red Bird
East Brunswick Club
Kim Kelaart, Ben Grayson, Daniel Farrugia
Apollo Pathway, Miffy Duke, The Modern Age, Love/Hate
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Moon Duo, Pets With Pets, Tiger Choir
Northcote Social Club
Buried In Verona, Ennui Breathes Malice, Eyes Wide Open, Good Will Hunting
Nimbleman Family Band Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Number Station, Kenny Cornflakes, Sebastian Astone Revolver Upstairs
Open Mic Dancing Dog Café
Caitlin Park, Tin Sparrow, Sui & Fox, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, TDAH The Toff In Town
Dirty Elvis, Soul Safari, Hidden Venture
Everytime I Die, The Acacia Strain, The Word Alive
Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar
Open Mic Thornbury Theatre
PCP Lounge Bar
Peep Tempel, Udays Tiger, The Morrisons The Old Bar
Trades Hall Bar
Paris Cat Jazz Club
New Guernica DJs
The Toff In Town
The Joe Kings, Buckley Ward, Simon Phillips Band, Forever Son, Bonjah
The Plains, Amber Lamps, The Laments
Lucie Thorne, Hamish Stuart, Jo Jo Smith
Ivy St, Tiger Choir, Mole House, Home Travel
The Milano Express
Bella Union Trades Hall
Girls on Film, Peter Tollich, Stand & Deliver
The Hestons, Between The Wars, Apes, Les Garcons
Lucie Thorne, Jo Jo Smith
THNKR, Quince, Descartes Error
The Workers Club
Northcote Social Club
Fringe Festival American Astronaut
The Feel Goods, The Pirates, White Veins, Lizard Punch, Dumbshit, Dick Wakefield
Dizzy’s Jazz Club Workshop
The Old Bar
This Town A Forest, Summerset Avenue Next
Sporting Club Hotel
The Fox Hotel Collingwood
Timmy Rolfe & his Soy Latte Sound
The Sporting Club
Todd Mayhew, Steve Mayhew, Damien Mah, Catboy, Andy Hazel, Hugh Rabinovici
The Lounge Pit
The Woohoo Revue
Cal Walker, Reigning Men
Leez Lido, The Battery Kids, Atomic Bliss
Builders Arms Hotel
Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Plague Doctor, The Highwater Ballroom Band
Lucie Thorne, Hamish Stewart, Jo Jo Smith
Bar Open Tonight Alive, Closure in Moscow, Jay Sean, Oh Pacific, Bury the Truth, My Best Friend BOOM!,
Palace Theatre Yes Tesla, Chaperone Gold, Booty Quest, Smoking Toddlers, Scuba Gear, Wednesday the Rat,
Charge Group, Great Earthquake, Near Myth The Gasometer Hotel
Chev Rise, International Exiles
Mighty Sun, Dan Banks Band, Conrad Williams
Loop COUNTER REVOLUTION, Panic at the Disco, Yellowcard, Set Your Goals, Funeral for a Friend, Face to Face, TH3 Festival Hall
Northcote Social Club
Death Valley Mustangs, Sexy/Heavy, Knitting for Gran, Bonney Read
Fringe Festival American Astronaut, Not Suitable for Children, Woody MacDonald The Workers
Geoff Hollings Band
WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo
Jack Ladder, Ghoul, Forces
Reflex Rex, Smoking Toddlers, Backyard DJs, Indian Summer DJs Shake Some Action @ 161
Richie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ, Stella Angelico, Chook Race Grace Darling Hotel Rikechae, White Summer, Winter Street, The Rapala’s, Hans DC, Sam Gudge, John Doe, James
FRI 30 Alice Cooper, Syndicate Palais Theatre
Alpine, Dirt Farmer, Private Life Prince Bandroom
Ana Nicole, Dead River, Franco Cozzo, Plast Her Ov Paris, DJ Applejack
Rikechae, White Summer, Winter Street, The Rapala’s
Fatti Frances, Matthew Brown, Legendary Hearts, This Free Field
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Sarah Carnegie Great Britain Hotel Cherry Bar
Andrew Reid, Gil Askey, Roger Clark Quartet Batrider, Native Cat, Absolute Boys, Lady Dreams The Tote
The Corner Hotel
James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite Trak Showroom
James Sherlock Trio Uptown Jazz Café
Jarrah Thompson Baha Tacos
Johnny Cash Karaoke The Gem Johnny Rock & The Limits, The Solomons, The Villians Lair, James Murphy, Mike Callander, Safari, Nick Jones Revolver
Johnny Rock & The Limits, The Solomons, Villians’ Lair
Pegz, Urthboy, Joelistics, Dialectrix, Mind Over Matter, Diafrix Esplanade Lounge & Gershwin Room
Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town
QvsQ, Meet Me In Cognito, Onslow, The Indigo Children Evelyn Hotel
Rebecca Mendoza Quartet Bennetts Lane
Samara Williams, May Dreamers Thornbury Theatre Elwood Lounge
Soul Infusion featuring Carmen Hendricks Rahk Melbourne
Step Into My Office Baby, Andrew McClelland, Nathan Jones, Miss Modette John Curtin Hotel
Strange World Whitehorse Centre
The Gun Runners, The Union Pacific, Bravo Juliet Public Bar
The Living Eyes, The Pretty Littles, The Pl! ains, The Hollow Hounds Esplanade Basement
The Murlocs, Facetime, The Magic Bones Cornish Arms Hotel
The Orphanage, Jack On Fire, The Broadside Push, The Euphorics, DJ Del Amp
The Old Bar
Joshua Seymour, Money For Rope, The Bowers, Phil Gionfriddo
The Perfections, LA Bastard, The Velocettes
The Tiger & Me
Kim Salmon & The Surrealists
The Sporting Club
The Night Cat
Speed Tripper, Screenings, Until Further Notice, Lucy A
The Drunken Poet
the Lessermen, Grunge Betty House Of Thumbs, Heaven the Axe, The Mercy Kills, Abreact
Mt Erica Hotel
We Disappear, Arbia, Diprosus Metal
Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends
Yes Tesla, Chaperone Gold, Booty Quest, Smoking Toddlers
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Lomond Hotel Grandpa’s Guitar Sessions, Sandoz, Wicked City, The Hidden Venture, Bunny Monroe, Alkan Zeybek &
Mezzanine, Count X
Cosmology, Weekend Express, Cosmo K, Lopan, Jem the Misfit
Dead Letter Circus, The Hello Morning, The Trouble With Templeton
Wonderland, Once Were Heartless
Backyard DJs, Electric Avenue
Randa and the Soul Kingdom, Candice Monique and the Optics, Chelsea Wilson
Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Bluestone Lounge
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Reflex Rex, Smoking Toddlers, Backyard DJs, Indian Summer DJs
Mark Wilkenson, Tom Richardson, Todd Cook
Choro, Marie Casanova, Doc Henry
Toot Toot Toot, Death Rattles, Danny Walsh Band
The Order Of Melbourne
Plastic Palace Alice, The Guilts, Alysia Manceau
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Pete Glennon, James Chappel
Large No 12’s
Uptown Jazz Café
Weddings Parties Anything, Darren Hanlon, Tracy Mcneil
Timmy Rolfe & his Soy Latte Sound
Paul Grabowsky Sextet
The Vagrants, Mark Gardner Band, Poor Excuse
Joe Ransom & The Big Smoke launch their new album at the Northcote Social Club this Sunday at 2pm. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Joe Ransom: “I lit up a cigar one day, and the band just formed like a genie out of a bottle… No really, I was making a solo album, which I started recording around this time last year, and I brought together my own choice selection of musicians to play on the record. I named this choice selection The Big Smoke because they are mostly from Melbourne, and the album’s title is Snow From Different Cities.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Yes, I’ve recorded lots. Previously under the name Lost Note Foundation, and before that, in other bands.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Smokie, crisp, real, honest.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Scottish band Idlewild. They’re my favourite band.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Tim Rogers – The Luxury Of Hysteria. I just looked painfully and longingly at my collection, and chose it because it was on the top of the pile.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “Nope.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Australasian roo stir fry is my latest thing.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “I really like the GB in Richmond. It’s always a relaxed vibe, with good music.”
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