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WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER 2011
RICKIE LEE JONES INPRESS
18 The week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash 20 The Frontline brings you the hottest industry news 20 Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown 22 Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements 22 Even Tom Waits sometimes has to compromise 28 360’s lyrics represent who he is 29 Ball Park Music write songs to be remembered 30 Jello Biafra is brushing up on our carbon tax 32 Big Scary have something in common with Snow Patrol 34 The Apartments are not prolific 34 Chris Cornell thinks playing solo is almost like doing stand-up comedy 34 The Devil Wears Prada are an out and proud Christian band 36 Bachelorette is a nomad 36 Salmonella Dub were rocked by the Christchurch quake 36 Katalyst has a lenghty hit-list 40 On The Record rates new releases from Funkaors and M83 42 Living the dream with The Bowers 42 Album number four for Pete Murray is “a staggering departure” 42 The Killjoys have unearthed a gem 44 Europe is not loud enough for Cough 44 Rickie Lee Jones is talkin’ bout a revolution 44 Ghostpoet is a Coventry man 46 Crooked Saint are taking it slow and steady 46 Black metal goes New Age via Alcest 46 New Empire are popular and proud 46 Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel aren’t too country
Thursday 20 october
The Native Plants
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Saturday 22 October
The T-Bones Rockin’ alt-country five-piece 5pm
John Patrick & the Keepers Folk style with country tinges and
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With Das Musik Mann Spine-tingling acoustic, blues and soul from talented Sydney lads with support from Das Musik Mann. One not to miss. 5pm
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48 This Week In Arts plans out your coming week 48 Scott Pilgrim star Mary Elizabeth Winstead talks The Thing 50 Cultural Cringe looks at the controversial Melbourne Festival shows 50 We take a look at the oeuvre of Bernardo Bertolucci 50 With the Pause digital festival coming up, we talk to co-founder George Hedon 50 Film Carew weighs in on Midnight In Paris and Take Shelter 51 Bad-ass filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn runs us through Drive 52 US comedian Jamie Kilstein talks politics and LOLs 52 Cabaret star Tommy Bradson speaks about his Melbourne Fringe win
BACK TO INPRESS 54 Gig Of The Week talks Phrase 54 LIVE:Reviews Drones on 60 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 60 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 60 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 60 Kendal Coombs leads the under-18s boardroom in the Department Of Youth 61 The view from EC4 with London Fields 61 The Calling goes with the flow 61 The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 61 Bass frequencies with Bare Bass 65 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 65 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 66 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 70 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 72 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 74 Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds
Oh Native Plants, how we love you so. Check out this stellar non-roots trio performing original guitar pop tunes propagated with 60s rock ‘n’ roll and sweet, sweet harmonies. 7.30pm
punchy melodies 9pm
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,
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INTERNS Jack Crane, Cassandra Fumi, Stephanie Liew
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GIVEAWAYS Laura Jean is playing a very special performance this Saturday to be broadcast live-to-air on RRR 102.7FM. The performance celebrates the release of her third album A Fool Who’ll and you can catch it live from 11.30am. Alternatively, you could just enter our competition to win one of five passes to be there in person when it all happens.
Twenty years ago, indie-pop band The Killjoys won the ARIA Best Independent Release award for their debut album Ruby. Since the demise of its distributors, Ruby has been unavailable for some time. But now, its being remastered and released together with their new album Pearl. The Killjoys will celebrate the launch at Thornbury Theatre this Friday and we have three double passes for you to go celebrate too. Following a smashing set at Splendour In The Grass, Illy has unleashed a new video, joined the 600 Sounds line-up, and has been touring with Spit Syndicate and Sietta, playing shows hosted by M-Phazes. If you wanna get along to the party, Inpress have three double passes to give away for the Palace show on Friday 28 October.
Melbourne will be hosting the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange project on Saturday 12 November. It’s set to be an unforgettable night with over 2,500 guests expected to attend. Junior Jack & Kid Créme and Alex Gaudino will headline the Italian-inspired event at Peninsula. Inpress have ten double passes to give away.
Pic by Kane Hibberd
Phrase is embarking on a massive national tour to perform numbers from his critically acclaimed third album Babylon. Performing all shows with full band, Phrase will perform songs from his back catalogue along with a selection of songs from his new album. Phase is playing only one Melbourne show, and Inpress have five double passes to give away. That’s right. For you, for free, for Phrase. Get on it.
Cold Chisel invited the public to vote for the songs they wanted on the band’s new Best Of album. The votes ae in and we have three signed copies (!) of the album to give away.
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FRONTLASH The Tote: we love
BACKLASH Kim and Thurston: no more love
SONIC SPLIT TOTE’S AWESOME We’re stoked to be presenting The Tote’s monthlong party celebrating 30 years of live music at the venue. Nights will be curated by bands, musicians, individuals and organisations. Wait’ll you see who’s playing our show on Wednesday 9 November. Keep reading Inpress for details.
FREAK OUT! Can’t wait for Chic’s disco inferno at next year’s Golden Plains. Can’t wait for the whole thing, in fact.
FRESH AIR Last week’s Independent Music Awards, held at Revolt in Kensington, were easily the best yet staged, with Adalita’s moving speech and staggering live performance a fitting conclusion to the evening.
Devastated to read that Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are splitsville after 27 years of marriage. Easily the biggest rock’n’roll break-up since Sophie Monk ditched Benji Madden.
WHAT A JOKE Apparently State Parliament is set to make it a criminal offence to “insult” Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien. We did read about this in the Sunday Herald Sun, so we can only hope, as with the majority of their stories, it’s completely made up.
UP IN SMOKE If it’s not, we’re happy to be a test case… We really shouldn’t be surprised, but the State Government’s decision to grant smoking ban extensions to Crown Casino shows what a snivelling pack of spineless cumstains we have running our state.
POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
Sometimes you have to hand it to Simon Cowell. Yes – not sock it to him, hand it to him. Despite having ensured our routine suffering at the desperate claws of many a crap singer since founding the UK’s Pop Idol and then The X Factor, when he really sets out to create a pop-music product for mass consumption, he doesn’t do it half-arsed. It’s obvious when Cowell really commits to an act. He might be contractually obligated to sign the winner of each year’s comp to his record label, Syco, but more often than not he allows those acts to slide quickly under the table after a rushedout single and an album of filler pap. They aren’t Cowell’s failures, they’re his shrug-offs. Similarly, The X Factor’s latest UK winner, Matt Cardle, was allowed to sign a joint deal with Columbia Records, which, like Syco, comes under the Sony banner but deals more with rock-oriented acts. Cowell knows his strength is pop and he also knows how and when to use it. He does so relatively sparingly – he poured time and money into The X Factor finalists Leona Lewis and the ‘manband’ JLS in recent years to develop each into an international brand, but these make up a tiny percentage of the acts that cross his path. So it’s a bright moment in pop-culture gazing when Cowell steps out with an act for which he’s putting in the yards. That act is ‘boyband’ One Direction, who came third in the UK’s 2010 season of The X Factor, its seventh run of the comp. The five teenaged members didn’t enter as a group; they each auditioned separately and it was in the ‘boot camp’ stage of the season that Cowell had the idea of forming them into one act (although the show did well to pin the idea onto guest judge Nicole Scherzinger). Following the season’s close, One Direction (their boyband nick is 1D) signed a two-million-pound deal with Syco. While keeping their immediate fans happy via quick shopping centre appearances and short online videos, they were being ‘groomed’ (in a recording studio in Sweden no less) for a major relaunch as the world’s next boyband phenomenon. Cue sighs of relief. Finally, this generation of tweens gets a real UK boyband to cry about – because no one does ridiculous, teddy bear-clutching, illicitactivities-on-the-tour-bus boybands like the Brits, as Jonas Brothers have once again proven. (Give me the early-2000s, post-Blink-182 UK group Busted over the JBros any day. At least they broke up before going through a ‘serious guitar’ phase.) Cowell picked a song by a Swedish team of writers as One Direction’s debut single. One of those songwriters is Rami Yacoub, who alongside renowned Swedish hit-maker Max Martin has penned successful singles for Britney Spears, Pink, The Backstreet Boys and *N Sync. John Urbano, who has filmed and photographed for ad campaigns by Hollister, Converse and Abercrombie & Fitch, made the video with the group on a beach in LA. The result – What Makes You Beautiful – is nothing short of pop-chart brilliance. The song follows a classic Swedish pop formula set out by Max Martin. In fact, it’s rather similar in melody to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, which Martin wrote. Like that song, too, its production nods to chart-band pop as led in by punk-affiliated pop groups (again Blink-182 make their legacy known) as well as recent ‘indie’ handclapping hits (via ‘60s pop nostalgia) and on-trend, whirring dance music effects. But it’s also classic boyband fodder; a light song made for tween discos with an earnest bridge whereby one of the members tells a girl how beautiful she is despite her inability to see it. Swoo-oon. And it has worked, at least so far in the UK. In September the single racked up the highest firstweek sales of any track this year, topping 153,000 copies, and went to number one. Its video has been viewed nearly 14 million times on YouTube. The group’s forthcoming tour of England and Ireland has sold out well in advance. As far as world-beating acts go, those aren’t huge figures, but they do show a lot of potential, particularly for a group who’ve only had an audience the size of the UK to convince. The greatest hint of potential, however, is Simon Cowell’s resolve to turn them into stars. He’s banking on their success, which means we can bank on being introduced to One Direction very soon.
INDUSTRY NEWS BY DAN CONDON
INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS MAKE FOR A TOP NIGHT
Jägermeister Independent Music Awards organiser Nick O’Byrne has said of the event, which took place last week, “it was our best ever, and others have expressed the same”. Of many highlights throughout the night, Adalita’s Best Album win and closing performance stood out. “When Adalita played at the end, she made a very moving speech about Dean Turner and when she played you could hear a pin drop,” O’Byrne told Your Daily SPA. Turner, a band member with Adalita in Magic Dirt who passed away in 2009, inspired Adalita’s debut solo record. Held in Melbourne, the event attracted a capacity 550 guests. “[We] don’t want to lose the existing community feel,” said O’Byrne. “We’re going to sit down and put together a longterm plan for the awards.” The format of the evening was a “short, seated ceremony with five great performances” and O’Byrne complimented host Dylan Lewis’ respectful, informal-yet-professional approach. A full list of winners is below: Best Independent Artist – The Jezabels Best Independent Album – Adalita Adalita Breakthrough Independent Artist – Emma Louise Best Independent Single/EP – The Jezabels Dark Storm Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album – Pnau Soft Universe Best Independent Dance/Electronica Or Club Single – Seekae Blood Bank/Tommy Trash & Tom Piper All My Friends Featuring Mr Wilson Best Independent Hard Rock Or Punk Album – My Disco Little Joy Best Independent Blues And Roots Album – Gurrumul Rrakala Best Independent Jazz Album – Sandy Evans When The Sky Cries Rainbows Best Independent Country Album – Wagons Rumble Shake And Tumble Best Independent Hip Hop/Urban Album – Drapht The Life Of Riley Jägermeister Most Hunted Award (People’s Choice) – 360
DOLLY PARTON LOOKED FOR PROPERTY IN AUS In one of country music legend Dolly Parton’s latest online videos, she has revealed her serious love of Australia. When last in Australia in 1983 she was joined by Kenny Rogers and looked at property in Queensland: “We were there for five weeks and we absolutely loved it. None of us wanted to come home, I was even looking for property! I was up in the Queensland lookin’ at property, looking all around because I loved the people and I loved the place.” Parton will arrive in Australia next month.
JB HI-FI NO LONGER OWNS IN-STORE MUSIC MAG JB Hi-Fi has decided to cut ties with its in-store music magazine Mag after choosing to “consolidate its media partnerships”. Music articles will now appear in DVD-orientated in-store mag Stack, while Mag will continue independently. The magazine will still be distributed in JB stores – but that will no longer be the only outlet, with plans to move onto the iPad and “broaden its distribution network”. Slattery Media (Large Magazine, AFL Record) will publish Mag and have appointed new editor Mikolai Napieralski. Slattery Media CEO Geoff Slattery said, “This is a magazine that consumers love because it is independent, it does not allow any advertorial or any sponsored sections that are not clearly marked. Mag will never change this approach and I am grateful also for the support of the advertisers whose message is so ably presented in this independent forum.” The changes will come into effect 1 January 2012.
ATLAS AGENCY AND VILLAGE SOUNDS MERGE It was announced last week that The Atlas Agency will merge with Village Sounds under the Village Sounds name. The move will bring valuable Atlas artists to the Village roster, including The Drones, Clutch, Ash Grunwald, Blue King Brown, Gareth Liddiard, The Black Seeds, Kora, Cog, The Beautiful Girls and Salmonella Dub. Village Sounds already has an extensive roster that includes Bernard Fanning, Birds Of Tokyo, Art Vs Science, The Grates, Washington, The Vines, Violent Soho and The Mess Hall. Jessica Ducrou and Evan Davis from Village Sounds said of the merge, “We look forward to working together growing Village Sounds into one of Australia’s most dynamic and innovative agencies.”
KIMBRA AND THE JOHN STEEL SINGERS: BEST FILM CLIPS OF THE YEAR Nominees for the IF Awards (formerly the Inside Film Awards) were announced last week, with Aussie films Red Dog and Oranges And Sunshine receiving multiple nominations each. Nominations in the Best Music Video category included Melbourne/New Zealand born pop success Kimbra for Cameo Lover (directed by Guy Franklin), Brisbane’s The John Steel Singers for Overpass (directed by Josh Groom) and Olivia Newton-John and WACCI for Magic (directed by Dan Murphy). In a similarly eclectic mix, Angus & Julia Stone, Short Stack and Paul Kelly have been previous winners. The awards will take place at Luna Park in Sydney Wednesday 16 November.
SPA TO PUBLISH AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN Street Press Australia (publishers of Inpress) has recently announced the addition of Australian Musician to its list of reputable mags. The publication has been running since
Artisan winners: (left to right) Natasha Pincus, Chris Lilley, Gotye, Katie Noonan, Sally Whitwell
ARIA AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED The nominations for the 2011 ARIA Awards were announced last week, with Boy & Bear, Drapht and Gotye each picking up seven. Gurrumul and Eskimo Joe had six, Birds Of Tokyo received five, Guy Sebastian four and The Jezabels, Josh Pyke and Keith Urban received three each. Amongst the categories, Album Of The Year will be contested between Boy & Bear’s Moonfire, Cut Copy’s Zonoscope, Eskimo Joe’s Ghosts Of The Past, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu’s Rrakala and Grinderman’s Grinderman 2. Single Of The Year nominees are Birds Of Tokyo (Wild At Heart), Boy & Bear (Feeding Line), Drapht (Rapunzel), Gotye featuring Kimbra (Somebody That I Used To Know), Guy Sebastian featuring Eve (Who’s That Girl) and The Jezabels (Dark Storm). Also announced at the event, held in Sydney last Wednesday, were the recipients of the Artisan and Fine Arts Awards. Best Classical Album went to Sally Whitwell for her album Mad Rush: Piano Music Of Philip Glass; Best Jazz Album to Elixir featuring Katie Noonan with First Seed Ripening; Chris Lilley got up on stage out of character when he won Best Original Soundtrack/Cast/Show Album for Angry Boys – Official Soundtrack Album; Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu won Best World Album with Rrakala (we were told he was still awake at 3am at a hotel in Hamburg, awaiting news of the award); and Best Music DVD went to AC/DC with AC/DC – Live At River Plate. In the Artisan Awards, Best Cover Art went to Alter for Cut Copy’s Zonoscope, while the remaining three were all Gotye related: the man himself picked up Producer Of The Year, François Tétaz was Engineer Of The Year and Natasha Pincus of Starkraving Productions won Best Video, all for their work on Somebody That I Used To Know. Speaking to The Frontline Whitwell said she was “very grateful my little offering of abstract minimalism has won this award”. She also said it would be beneficial for the genre to be represented in the main night, pointing to “the opportunities that would be open to us if we were part of something bigger… There must be a way that more people can see this”. The nominations also revealed a big overlap between the ARIAs and the Jägermeister Independent Music Awards, held on the same day. With a total of 162 award nominations available for local artists, 91 of them were received by independents. Oh Mercy’s Alex Gow said of the ARIAS, “Australian music isn’t very glamorous, which is one of the things I really love about it… Without the glamour it’s hard to keep the viewers at home interested… it could be seen as a problem but it’s also something that makes me proud.” The ARIA Awards will be held at Allphones Arena on Sunday 27 November, featuring performances from Gotye, Drapht and Boy & Bear. 1994 and focuses on topics relevant to musicians of all levels, including technicalities of music making, as well as more general issues that appeal to music fans. Editor and cofounder of Australian Musician Greg Phillips said, “The licensing of the Australian Musician title to SPA will not only ensure readers, advertisers and music association members that the magazine will continue to promote music product and musicians for a long time to come, but it also opens up a whole new world of possibilities for improvement… I will continue to edit Australian Musician and the same team of writers will continue to offer their expertise in their respective fields of music, but we now add to the equation a stable of new contributors, designers and advertising staff to inject a fresh energy into the magazine.” Any significant changes to the magazine will occur in 2012.
FUSE FESTIVAL ARTIST REGISTRATIONS OPEN Fuse Festival, Australia’s longest-running annual music industry conference/festival, has opened access for artist registrations to play the artist showcase at the festival. This involves two nights of live music in West and East Ends of Adelaide with more than 20 venues involved. The festival/ conference will be held from Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 February next year and will play host to many of the world’s leading industry professionals. There will be panel discussions, keynote speeches, roundtable discussions and networking events, as well as a Fuse Management Masterclass. Head to fusefestival.com to register.
PERPLEX HAS WINGS, AGAIN Melbourne’s DJ Perplex won the Red Bull Thre3Style DJ competition final over the weekend, making it back-to-back crowns after last year’s win. The final happened at Sydney’s Home nightclub, with finalists around the nation selected through a range of heats. Perplex will now travel to Canada to compete in the world final.
FRESHLY INKED Western Sydney post-hardcore locals Northlane have been accepted into the UNFD family thanks to a new deal between the two. UNFD already has a valuable roster of bands signed to its label including The Amity Affliction, The Getaway Plan and Deez. A&R manager Luke Logemann said, “For a long time, we didn’t sign any new bands as we felt there was a bit of a talent vacuum and we pride ourselves in only releasing music we find original and inspiring to us personally. Northlane epitomises everything that this new breed of Australian hardcore is about – progressive songwriting, a powerful live show and, especially, a strong message.” Northlane will tour their latest album Discoveries in November. Elsewhere in the punk world, label Resist Records have signed singer/songwriter Hugo Costin-Neilsen (AKA Toy Boats), who went acoustic under the guise after fronting hardcore band Dead Ends.
Chris was a huge part of the band, not only as a member, but as a friend. We sincerely wish him every blessing as he takes on a new chapter of his life, he is a gifted writer so be sure to keep an eye out for his future work.” Their next album is planned for release in the first half of next year via UNFD and their last tour with Dicker kicks off on Saturday 5 November. Meanwhile, Sleepmakeswaves have announced a new drummer will join their band – Tim Adderley of Sydney rock band Pirate. The band provided a video of the drummer’s audition on their website and also announced they have a new booking agent – Daniel Sant at The Harbour Agency.
[V] OZ ARTIST NOMINEES In a competition that has in the past seen pop acts Guy Sebastian, The Veronicas, Delta Goodrem and Anthony Callea take home the prize, Channel [V] have announced some nominees for their Oz Artist award. The 50 nominees include Kimbra, Illy, The Vines, Gyroscope, Papa Vs Pretty, Gotye, Parkway Drive, The Jezabels, 360 and Boy & Bear. Viewers of the music television program can vote for whom they wish to be the number one artist or band for 2011 online and winners will be announced on 10 December.
AMP ENTRIES CLOSING Ahead of this Friday’s deadline for entries, the Australian Music Prize (AMP) has attracted more than 135 entries. Australian album releases between 30 November 2010 and 30 November 2011 are eligible for the prize, which nets the winner $30,000 cash. Bands to have entered include Boy & Bear, Drapht, Josh Pyke, Holly Throsby, Kimbra, Leader Cheetah, Oh Mercy, Papa Vs Pretty, Shane Nicholson, The Grates and The Jezabels.
MORGAN EVANS WINS COUNTRY MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP Morgan Evans, based in Newcastle, has won the Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) Country Music Scholarship based on his talent as a singer/songwriter. His first single Big Skies was a hit on radio and the CMC Top 30 National Video Countdown. As part of the scholarship, Evans will travel to Nashville to perform at the CMA (Country Music Association) Global Artist Showcase at CMA Music Fest, the world’s largest country music festival in June next year. Evans performed at the festival in 2007.
REGAL BALLROOM TO HOST MUSIC The Regal Ballroom (established 1912) has undergone some changes in order to launch as a venue for live music and events. In the past it served as a reputable function centre, however, the venue now has been equipped with a JBL line array system to produce high quality sound, and a seven-byfive metre stage that can be extended, amongst other things. The Ballroom is located near Northcote Town Hall and the Northcote Social Club. Line-ups for upcoming acts/musicians are to be announced in the next few weeks.
BAND MEMBERS SHUFFLE While the band will continue on, vocalist Chris Dicker has planned to leave House Vs Hurricane in pursuit of other things. The band have already found a new vocalist and will release their second album after they kick off their last tour with Dicker. Guitarist/vocalist Ryan McLerie said, “Obviously
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NO WAY BACK
Australia’s first REWIND ’80S FESTIVAL has been cancelled. SCOTT FITZSIMONS looks at the factors that led to its failure.
The news that the Australian leg of the Rewind ’80s Festival – the first time the successful UK event was to be held elsewhere – was relocating from a dedicated venue outside Wollongong on New South Wales’ North Coast to Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion with a condensed line-up, sparked backlash and the unravelling of the festival.
On Facebook organisers posted, “We have looked at the refund policys and its quite clear that refunds will only be given in the event of cancellation or postponment, this is not the case the event is going ahead , the part that is available for refunds would be camping tickets purchased.” (sic)
Angry punters called on others to report the festival to the Department Of Fair Trading, which was believed to be investigating the festival after a flood of complaints.
In moving the festival from the intended BlueScope Field to the Hordern due to “climatic conditions”, the festival down-sized from 30,000 to 5,500 capacity and went from an outdoors three-day camping event to a two-day indoor event. In the reduced capacity, acts such as The Human League, Kool & The Gang and The Straits were culled. Refunds were announced, but only for the camping component of the tickets. Angry punters attacked the festival on social media sites as the UK arm looked to distance itself from the fall-out: “The artists have not pulled out, they have been cancelled by the Australian promoter, who has decided to move it to an indoor venue. We are not happy about it either; Rewind in Australia is not the same organisation as in England and Scotland,” they wrote on Facebook. Following those few days of fierce speculation and angry punters, the festival issued a news flash on their website on Monday: “REWIND CANCELLED PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TICKET AGENT FOR A REFUND”. Below is a look at various parts of the mysterious saga.
BAND RESPONSES In a three-post series on Facebook, now-culled headliner The Human League attacked the festival’s organisation. They wrote, “Sorry to say that it is indeed true we will not be playing at the Rewind Festival in Australia as we planned however please be assured that this decision was NOTHING to do with us, we were only informed of it ourselves about 18 hours ago and we’ve just woken up in Hong Kong to find our non-appearance has been unilaterally announced without our knowledge or consent.
THE FESTIVAL Licensing the name from the popular UK ’80s festival, Rewind Australia was being promoted by local Terry Youngman and England-originating, Netherlands-based Shane Sanderson – neither of whom has spoken out since the fall-out. The company behind it is one Evolution Worldwide Ltd, which applied for the Development Application for the original site. It could not be confirmed today if Sanderson or Youngman were involved in the company, or who the investors were. The UK arm confirmed to Street Press Australia’s online newsletter Your Daily SPA that “Rewind UK licensed the festival name to Shane Sanderson/Evolution Worldwide Ltd and undertook to book the artists for the festival from the UK. This was done and all the artists contracted.”
THE VENUE The official reason given for the move by the festival was
“climatic conditions”, that heavy rain and storms would make the event dangerous. Contradicting that reason, a media representative for the Bureau Of Meteorology told Your Daily SPA that forecasts two to three weeks in advance could not be relied upon. “That’s beyond our forecast range, particularly with storms,” they said. “We can’t forecast to that accurately. It could be fair, it could be wet and we don’t know how wet it would be.” It has since emerged, via the Illawarra Mercury, that a development application was yet to be given approval. The application, obtained by The Frontline, confirms that it was still “under assessment”. The application was lodged 5 August 2011, well after the venue was announced and tickets went on sale in July. On top of that, tasks essential to the success of the application were ongoing until yesterday’s
announcement, with a Referral To Stormwater completed 13/10/2011 (the day the move was announced), Referral To Environment 12/10/11 and Referral To Traffic 11/10/2011. Reporters at the Illawarra Mercury told Your Daily SPA that although they hadn’t been to the site, they believed workers were ready to begin setting up the site until the Wednesday of the announcement.
THE REFUNDS/DEPARTMENT OF FAIR TRADING In the announcement of the festival’s move, fans were directed to Moshtix for refunds. It became apparent that the festival was only refunding the camping element of tickets, despite the line-up and venue change.
“This action by the Rewind Promoter in Australia will also force us to cancel our sideshows in Melbourne we’re afraid because they were absolutely tied to the show in Wollongong and without it there is no way we can do them on their own. For example the promoter of Rewind was supposed to arrange all our Australian work permits and we are now aware that he hasn’t even applied for them yet but it is far too late for us to make alternative arrangements.” Without the festival appearance the sideshows, which had allegedly been on-sold to Abstract Entertainment by the UK Rewind office, did not justify their trip to Australia. A source close to the festival today said they believed work permits had been arranged and sent off to the UK, saying that the work done and money spent had been here. They could not provide proof of the permits, though. On Monday, international acts were less optimistic. Carol Decker, vocalist with T’Pau, tweeted “Rewind Australia is cancelled I’m afraid,” in response to an Illawarra Mercury journalist. Similarly Bananarama posted, “Bananarama will unfortunately not be playing Rewind Australia – sorry guys and girls.”
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
SEVERAL SHADES OF J
M A R L E Y FESTIVAL NEWS themusic.com.au/sfg/
In between recording their forthcoming second album full of mariachi-soul-garage hits, Puta Madre Brothers have been playing fish farm festivals in France and dive bars in Germany, searching the globe for the holy spirit of Ritchie Valens. Now they bring their triple quiffkickdrum-guitar-cacophony back to home soil this November for a clutch of small club shows. They will be previewing their new album and also have a limited edition 7” single of the hit tune Para Su Madre for sale at the shows (it’s a love ballad for falling in love with your girlfriend’s mother). Join the shambolic insane mayhem of Puta Madre Brothers at the Old Bar on Saturday 12 November and Cherry Bar on Thursday 24. They’ll also be playing at Shine On, Queenscliff and Falls festivals.
Los Angeles newcomer Hanni El Khatib has already been announced as one of the awesome acts on the Pyramid Rock and Peats Ridge festivals, for which folks are waiting with bated breath, no doubt, as he brings songs from his debut album, Will The Guns Come Out, to life. Mixing the sensibilities of punk rock with ’50s and ’60s classic Americana sounds, the first release is a unique and defining one for the musician. Now fans in Melbourne will be able to catch him performing at a headline show to ring in the new year at the Tote on Sunday 1 January.
With the Future Music Festival line-up recently announced, boasting the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Fatboy Slim, excited punters are now, of course, looking forward to purchasing tickets. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2011 price is staying the same for first release tickets and that there are also more ticketing options this time, including payment plans where you can buy your ticket by paying less than a dollar a day until you reach the price point. Tickets are on sale Thursday from 9am, so get in quick to avoid disappointment. Go to futureentertainment.com.au for details.
GOLDEN JUBILEE The six-sensory sonic smorgasbord that is the line-up for Golden Plains Sixxx is here. Making the pilgrimage to the Supernatural Amphitheatre in March will be: Bon Iver, Chic (featuring Nile Rodgers), Roky Erickson, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (featuring The Cairo Gang), Black Lips, Roots Manuva, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Urge Overkill, Charles Bradley, Wild Flag, Low, Endless Boogie, First Aid Kit, Dexter, Lanie Lane, Kisstroyer, Seekae, The Celibate Rifles, Canyons, Naysayer & Gilsun, Harmony, Lost Animal, Hunting Grounds, This Thing, Two Bright Lakes DJs, DJ Rupture and a couple more to come. They’ve done it again with another cracker of a bill. Head to goldenplains.com.au for all the details.
HOME COOKED Not too long ago, Homebake Festival announced their 2011 return with a ‘classic’ theme devoted to a mega array of fine talent, and now they’ve added the finishing touches. Added to the bill have been: 360, Ratcat, Bleeding Knees Club, Damndogs, Owl Eyes, Gold Fields, Big Scary, Split Seconds, RÜFÜS, Seeker Lover Keeper, Lanie Lane, Daniel Lee Kendall and a whole bunch of comedians for the Sydney Comedy Festival stage. Head to homebake. com.au for full festival details and ticket information for the Saturday 3 December event, which is being held at the Domain, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
RAY OF SUNSHINE
TICKETS TO FUTURE
PUTA YOUR HANDS UP
With a truly international flavour delivering a soundtrack unlike anything else you might see on the festival circuit this year, Shine On is bringing the best of drum’n’bass, techno, progressive, rock, glitch, dubstep, Balkan beats, folk, disco, hip hop, reggae, and more. Here’s their third round announcements: A Guy Called Gerald, Komaton (Austria), Sun Control Species, DJ Wasabi, Pigeon, Chant Down Sound, Savona Sound System, Combat Wombat, Circuit Bent, Tim Scanlan, Affiks & A13 (Heavy Innit), JPS & Nam (The Operatives), Chestwig, Luke McD, Mortisville, Nahuatl Sound System, Deep Fried Dub, Blueshift, Jamie Stevens, Timmus U-One, Thankyou City, Mickey Space and Beatrice. Add all that to their already hefty line-up and you’ve got a massive party happening. Shine On Festival 2011 is taking place from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 November in the Pyrenees Ranges. Head to shineonfestival.com.au for full line-up and details.
Folk-rock troubadour J Mascis makes his long-awaited solo acoustic tour appearance this summer appearing at the Falls Festival and for a series of headline shows along the East Coast. Although Mascis has toured Australia in solo mode before, both as a headliner and as support to Sonic Youth, this tour is the first to feature Mascis and an acoustic guitar and comes off the back of his impressive debut solo-acoustic release, Several Shades Of Why. Check out J Mascis at the Toff In Town on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 January and at the Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) on Friday 6.
San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees are heading back down under for Sugar Mountain Festival and a smashing run of side shows through Australia, their spiritual home, this January. What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions Thee Oh Sees? Probably their riot-sparking live show, right? Visions of a guitar-chewing, melody-maiming John Dwyer careening across your cranium, rounded out by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it’s a nail in the coffin of what you thought it meant to make 21st century rock’n’roll? Yeah, that sounds about right. But it misses a more important point: how impossible Thee Oh Sees have been to pin down. You can try and work ‘em out at Sugar Mountain Festival on Saturday 14 January at the Forum. finest. All five members were ensconced in the extraordinary Australian underground scene of the 1980s and they are one of the few to bands to find success without losing the integrity of their craft. The Cruel Sea will emerge from the billowy depths to shake off the barnacles and deliver some salty grooves and bone-crunching tropidalia. You can catch them at the Prince Bandroom on Thursday 24 November. Tickets via Moshtix and venue. Cut Copy
HARVEST THE ARTS Harvest Festival presents an electrifying and expansive line-up of glam-rock burlesque, circus royalty, electro-swing idols, spoken word institutions and over 50 art installations across its three festivals, in addition to its already critically-acclaimed music bill, this November. Enter Bootleg Alley, where decadent whimsy and dangerous glamour combine in alt.performance palace Le Boudoir. Here you’ll see Emilie Autumn – touring with the infamous Bloody Crumpets; the Australian premiere of New York’s Gospel Superdiva Our Lady J; and irreverent international neo-cabaret superstars The Wau Wau Sisters. Deep into the underbelly of Bootleg Alley lies The Snuff Box: part jaw-dropping art installation, part subversive performance space, part hush-hush goodtime speakeasy. Meanwhile, in blissful alternative area The Secret Garden, kick back to some very special guest funk, soul and reggae DJs on The Garden Stage and enjoy spoken word institutions such as Women Of Letters, as well as gourmet food, boutique bars and holistic markets, in a world full of surprising pleasures and delights. For more information, visit the Harvest Festival website. Tickets for the festival are still available from the website, Oztix and Ticketek.
After announcing a venue change and dropping many of its main acts, including Kool & The Gang and The Human League, the Rewind ‘80s Festival has been cancelled. The festival was originally to take place at the BlueScope Field over three days, but was moved to the Hordern Pavilion last week and, after suffering a backlash from punters after refunds were only announced for campers, has apparently unravelled totally. Acts who were slated to appear on the festival bill included Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Right Said Fred. Refunds are available from ticket agents. Despite Rewind Festival’s cancellation, the good news is that ABC will still tour. You can catch them on Thursday 27 October at Hotel Shoppingtown (Doncaster), Friday 28 at the Chelsea Heights Hotel and Saturday 29 at the Commercial Hotel (South Morang). ABC were one of the more popular New Wave bands of the early ‘80s. The group built upon the detached, synthesised R&B pop of David Bowie and Roxy Music, adding a self-conscious, campy sense of theatrics and style. Under the direction of vocalist and consummate showman Martin Fry, the group scored several catchy, synth-driven dance-pop hits in the early ‘80s, including Poison Arrow, The Look Of Love and Be Near Me.
KUBIK MAKES THE CUT Open-air live music venue installation Kubik Melbourne has announced its full program as part of Melbourne Music Week. It will be based at Birrarung Marr from Friday 18 to Saturday 26 November. Kubik will host more than 50 world-class DJs and bands. The Raah Project and superband FLRL join local heavyweights Cut Copy and Midnight Juggernauts (DJ set) while Dunklebunt adds to the list of international superstars, which includes DJ Krush and Wax Tailor. For a full line-up head to kubikmelbourne.com.
DON’T BE CRUEL The Cruel Sea are playing a small run of shows to coincide with the Queenscliff Music Festival and Golden Days Festival. People who have seen this band know that as live performers they’re some of the country’s
NOW ON SALE AT MOSHTIX:
KITCHEN TCHEN SPECIALS: SPECIALS L
Lovers Electric 27th October Swaskwatch 7” Launches 24th, 25th November
Brand New Spring Menu!
THURSDAY 20TH OCTOBER
WEDNESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER
Burn That Cat presents:
The Euphoriacs, Breaker Morant, Dozers, Spermaids James Lake
FRIDAY 21ST OCTOBER
Secretive George EP Launch Animaux, Patinka Cha Cha, Scotdrakula, Southpaw
November Residency Because Goodbye (Parking Lot Experiements)
MONDAY 24TH OCTOBER
Teenage Mothers October Residency, Machine
FRIDAY 28TH OCTOBER
For Familia Fundraiser: TANTRUMS, Baptism of Uzi, Lowtide, DJ Shags $ DJ Chris (New War)
THURSDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
Charles Baby, Isaac De Heer
Simon Winkler + Lauren Taylor (RRR/Breaking & Entering)
Simon Winkler + Lauren Taylor (RRR/Breaking & Entering) Alex Kovac (Rainbow Disconnection DJs)
SATURDAY 22ND OCTOBER
TUESDAY 25TH OCTOBER
SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER
Amaya Laucirica Album Launch
Grolsch Grid: Catherine Sietkiewicz, Nicolette Fort, Free Beer//Live Art!
Laura Imbruglia Single Launch Love Migrate, Kieran Ryan (Kid Sam)
Wintercoats 12” Launch, Elizabeth Rose, The Townhouses, Projections by Time Shield
Simon Winkler + Lauren Taylor & Rainbow Disconnection
SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER
Melodie Nelson (NSW), The Singing Skies DJ LA Pocock
SUNDAY 23RD OCTOBER
THURSDAY 27TH OCTOBER
MONDAY 31ST OCTOBER
Very Special Guests
FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER
Domeyko/Golzalez Album Launch,
Very Special Guests
Very special guests
CORNER BRUNSWICK AND GERTRUDE STREETS FITZROY / THEWORKERSCLUB.COM.AU / BOOKINGS: NICCI@GETNOTORIOUS.COM
THURS 20TH OCT
CADS OF YORE WITH FALL OF THE UNION AND JARAK FRI 21ST OCT
HUNTING FOXES ‘EP LAUNCH’ WITH THE GIVE AND LEAGUES SAT 22ND OCT
A LONELY CROWD WITH SEX ON TOAST, LAN PARTY AND KAREN HEATH THURS 27TH OCT
ALCEST ( FRANCE ) WITH HEIRS FOR ‘ LE SECRET ‘ TOUR PLUS ENCIRCLING SEA - 2ND FINAL SHOW!
FRIDAY 28TH OCT
DAMN THE TORPEDOES WITH INDIAN MYNAH AND GUESTS SAT 29TH OCT
GREEN GREEN GREEN ‘EP LAUNCH’ WITH BODIES, AUBORON DANCE ACADEMY AND ALKEN ZEYBEK AND THE LESSERMEN
4.11.11 5.11.11 10.11.11 11.11.11 18.11.11 25.11.11
LOWLAKES, THE PRETTY LITTLES PLUS GUESTS LIZ STRINGER W EARL PEPPER AND OH PEP TEALEAVES W INTO THE WOODS, THE ANTI FALL MOVEMENT AND BIG TOBACCO ROYAL HEADACHE ( NSW ) RECORD LAUNCH W WOOLLEN KITS AND USELESS CHILDREN PRIORY DOLLS ‘ FAREWELL SHOW ‘ W LOWTIDE, SUN BLINDESS, DIRT FARMER AND ON SIERRA BOOM! BAP! POW! ( WA ) W KIRA PURU & THE BRUISE PLUS GUESTS
NORTH EAST PARTY HOUSE WITH RED BERRY PLUM AND THE HARPOONS
WITH IMMIGRANT UNION AND THE OCEAN PARTY
MONDAY CHILLI CON CARNE - $10 TUESDAY BEEF, CHICKEN OR VEG WRAP - $10/$8 WEDNESDAY PORTERHOUS STEAK - $12 THURSDAYS FREE POT WITH ANY MAIN MEAL! FRIDAY CHICKEN SNITZ, CHIPS & GRAVY - $10 SATURDAYS FISH N’ CHIPS - $8
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
WHAT ABOUT NOLLSY? Whenever you hear Shannon Noll sing, you instantly recognise his trademark true blue larynx, built sturdy by grit, gravel and beer. He possesses the knack of striking a chord with legions of music fans. Fourth album, A Million Suns, stays faithful to his classic rock roots while ramping up the pace like never before. To coincide with the release of A Million Suns on Monday 14 November, Shannon Noll will deliver his first full live band dates in years, playing a few select shows to give fans a taste of his new material including his two new anthems, My Place In The Line and Switch Me On. Catch him at Trak on Friday 28 October and York on Lilydale (Mount Evelyn) on Saturday 29.
I LIKE YOUR HERMITUDE
JEBEDIAH STRAITS Jebediah has been named amongst the crème de la crème of Australian musicians at the 2011 ARIA nominations, picking up a nomination for Best Rock Album for their fifth album, Kosciuszko. No strangers to the nod, Jebediah have received nominations for their past work, including Jerks Of Attention, Slightly Odway and Braxton Hicks. It’s been a big year for the foursome, who released Kosciuszko in April, which followed hit single She’s Like A Comet. They have had little downtime since, touring to all corners of Australia to play over 30 shows in desert, snow and sunshine. They now look to the capital cities to help carry home the mountainous year with their Battle For November tour. They play Billboard on Thursday 17 November with special guests Stonefield and Split Seconds.
BE THERE WITH HOWLING BELLS ON Howling Bells are set to return to Australia for their first national tour since September 2009. The band continue their endless summer fresh from a UK/ European tour support for one of the UK’s most established, longest standing and well respected indie artists, Elbow. In early September we saw the release of their raw, psychedelic third studio album, The Loudest Engine; the sequel to 2009’s Radio Wars. Featuring the stunning lead single Into The Sky, the new album has earned glowing press at home and abroad and is set to become an essential album for the summer. Howling Bells bring their distinctive brand of psychedelic indie folk rock to the Corner on Wednesday 30 November, Geelong’s Bended Elbow on Thursday 1 December and Ballarat’s Karova Lounge on Friday 2.
ORCHESTRE SPECTACULAR Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos will be joining forces with Orchestre Nouveau on Friday 18 November at the Thornbury Theatre for a one-off spectacular. Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos will be joined by the 40-piece Orchestre Nouveau to perform songs from across his four solo albums. Also on the bill, launching their new album, will be Autumn Gray, and kicking things off will be Mark Lang from Skipping Girl Vinegar, both also accompanied by the orchestra. Tickets available from the venue and Oztix.
If Teenwolf and Patience from The Grates had a baby who grew up to be the world’s greatest air-keytarist, the song they’d perform to would be Hermitude’s latest single, Speak Of The Devil. With its contorting synth lines, hopelessly fun chorus and slamming drums, it perfectly captures the energy and joy of a Hermitude live show. Hermitude have developed a dedicated following for their pumping live shows employing synths, decks and samplers to create a monstrously positive vibe each gig. Catch them launching Speak Of The Devil at the East Brunswick Club on Friday 18 November. They also play the Shine On Festival on Saturday 19.
LAST CALL A month after launching their latest album Dancing With A Dead Man on an action-packed national tour, Calling All Cars are back on the road again. Over the past three years, Calling All Cars’ time has been split, either hunkered down in a recording studio creating their two stellar albums – this year’s ARIA charting monster, and before that their 2010 debut Hold, Hold, Fire – or on the road to a better place, enjoying the treadmill touring life of a band with places to see, things to do, shows to play. Calling All Cars are a band at their performance peak and are about to play their final shows of the year before bedding down for some well-earned respite from the rigours of the road. As well as playing La Trobe Uni Bundoora this Sunday and the Espy on Monday 31 October with Hunting Grounds, the band will also perform at Pyramid Rock Festival on Saturday 31 December.
HEAVENLY SOUNDS IN DEMAND The inaugural Heavenly Sounds tour continues to prove very popular with music fans around the country as they embrace the new concept of experiencing a contemporary live music performance within the setting of historical churches and cathedrals. The first Melbourne show on Monday 28 November sold out, but there are still tickets available for the second and final show on Tuesday 29 at St Michael’s Church. Henry Wagons, the charismatic front man of acclaimed Melbourne band Wagons, will open for Seeker Lover Keeper at these shows. Grab your tickets from Ticketek now to avoid disappointment.
FOREVER HUSKY This year is set to belong to Husky. With the highly anticipated debut album Forever So being released this Friday, Husky announce a major national tour throughout November. The band have been winning hearts around the country with their recent, stunning performances supporting Gotye, Kimbra, Devendra Banhart, Noah & The Whale and Jinja Safari. Singles History’s Door and Dark Sea have received widespread support at Triple J and community radio. If the sold-out Dark Sea single launches were anything to go by, tickets are expected to sell fast for the band’s album tour. Recorded in the band’s own makeshift studio in a backyard bungalow, Forever So was mixed by Noah Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, The Strokes) at the House of Blues Studios in LA. The result is a full-bodied, modern folk masterpiece. See Husky live at the Corner on Thursday 24 November and at Karova Lounge (Ballarat) on Friday 25.
STARTING OVER New Start Again, the debut album by Melbourne foursome Dick Diver, is warm and understated, shot through with casual grace and supported by real backbone. It’s an intriguing combination of widescreen Australian sweep, ‘70s New York edge and ‘90s indie-rock scratch that transcends its influences to become truly honest and exciting. The respectively wry and poetic songwriting of guitarists Rupert Edwards and Alistair McKay lobs Dick Diver up alongside Go-Betweens’ Forster and McLennan, while their often epic fretwork bears echoes of Television and Yo La Tengo. Dick Diver will play an instore at Polyester Records (City) this Friday at 6pm, and at the super new Phoenix Public House on Saturday 19 November.
CHAMPAGNE BLUES There are two weeks left of young blues guitarist Daniel Champagne’s Tuesday October residency at the Northcote Social Club. Champagne will be supported by David Knight this Tuesday 18 October and by Kurt Gentle on Tuesday 25. Get on down to catch a rising blues talent blazing in the band room.
T EN S E PR
The quintessential Bush Christmas Show is coming to Melbourne. Shane Howard and his band will bring the Christmas spirit to the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 17 December. The big red fella will be there and Xmas jingles will be reinvented as well as Howard playing songs from throughout his career. Ticket prices include a donation to Sacred Heart Mission and guests are encouraged to bring a wrapped gift to be distributed to underprivileged children for Christmas. Special guests will be announced shortly and tickets are on sale now.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOTE! XZIBIT, HEY? In addition to Xzibit’s up-coming shows on Friday 25 November at Trak Lounge Bar, Saturday 3 December at Pier Live (Frankston) and Thursday 8 at Kay Street Entertainment Complex (Traralgon), he has just announced he’ll play an extra show for Geelong fans at the Geelong Arena on Sunday 4 December. This will be an all-ages show. For more info, hit his website: xzibitcentral.com.
The Tote will celebrate 30 years of bringing live music to Melbourne with a month-long celebration through November curated by bands, musicians, individuals and organisations. Those hosting nights include Inpress, The Meanies, The Onyas, Gareth Liddiard, EG and Mess & Noise – all have supported and have played a part in shaping the unique identity of the Tote. The birthday line-up so far, with plenty more to be announced, includes: Monday 31 October – Dynamo (curated by the Gionfriddos); Tuesday 1 November – Even, Snout, Minibikes, The Swarm (Wally Meanie); Friday 4 – Warped, Poppin’ Mommas (Nicole Tadpole); Saturday 5 – Digger & The Pussycats (front bar residency); Saturday 5 – Little Ugly Girls, The Nation Blue, Legends Of Motorsport, Ivy St (Tom Lyngcoln); Wednesday 9 – The Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre, The Ears (Inpress); Friday 11 – Swidgen, Backseat Romeos, The Shit Hots (The Onyas); Saturday 12 – Digger & The Pussycats (front bar residency) with The Nuftys, Kamikaze Trio; Saturday 12 – The Twerps, Terror Of The Deep, Darren Sylvester, Peak Twins with DJ Dry White Toast (Chapter Music); Sunday 13 – The Meanies, The Splatterheads (The Meanies); Thursday 24 – Thee Convicts (EG); Saturday 3 December – Sixfthick, Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side (Spooky); Sunday 4 – Guitar Wolf, Mach Pelican, Spazzys (Julian Wu). Keep reading Inpress and hit thetotehotel. com for details of more shows.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
GET ABOARD THE BUSBY
Rockhampton’s favourite sons Busby Marou are heading into the business end of the season with the wind well and truly in their sails. After scoring high rotation slots from Triple J and Nova, Busby Marou’s debut self-titled album reached number 24 on the ARIA album charts and five on the Australian artist charts. The boys are also making their presence felt with strong showings in the nominations at the AIR, Deadly and Queensland Music Awards. Having sold out their first ever headline tour in July and scoring coveted support slots with Birds Of Tokyo, Pete Murray and Dolly Parton, Busby Marou are pleased to announce their Underlying Message tour. Joining the band on the road are Sydney six-piece Winter People, who will be venturing into a number of unvisited territories for the first time off the back of their wildly successful debut single, Wishingbone. Catch the shows at Karova Lounge (Ballarat) on Thursday 24 and East Brunswick Club on Friday 25 November.
A GRANEY NIGHT What a massive year for Dave Graney. He’s been spreading the word via his published memoir 1001 Australian Nights, co-hosting a weekly radio show called Banana Lounge Broadcasting on Triple R and contributing essays to monthly publication The Adelaide Review. In among all of these adventures and activities, over the last few months, Graney has travelled far and wide with his co-conspirators The Lurid Yellow Mist, performing songs off his latest album Rock’N’Roll Is Where I Hide. The album contains refreshed, revitalised, reborn and mighty fine reminders of the body of work Graney has given us so far. Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist play the Northcote Social Club on Monday 31 October with Sand Pebbles and The Ocean Party.
DON’T BE A DUM DUM Infectious sing-song sensations Dum Dum Girls have announced a series of side dates around Australia this summer, on the back of appearances at the Peats Ridge and Pyramid Rock festivals. The announcement coincides with the recent release of second fulllength album, Only In Dreams. The new album sees Dum Dum Girls spearheading a pack of nouveau coming-of-age bands with verve, smoke-ringsthrough-your-sheets hooks and a flinty yet understated resolve that is set to surpass their contemporaries. Having played sell-out shows supporting MGMT, Vampire Weekend and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dum Dum Girls are set to continue their impressive run of live performances when they hit Australia this summer. Catch them at the Corner on Tuesday 3 January.
WALKING ON A WIRE After living the best part of two years in Berlin, Ned Collette is briefly back in Melbourne to finish work on a new album and play a one-off Australian show with Wirewalker at the Toff In Town on Saturday 29 October. Presenting a swag of new material, the show will also celebrate the release of the Long You Lie/The Hedonist 7-inch, a collaboration between Collette and his inveterate musical collaborator Joe Talia. Very special guest at the Toff show is Sailor Days, the vocal/viola based project from sometime Collette collaborator Biddy Connor.
RRR YOU READY? Triple R’s Spring Loaded series of live-to-air broadcasts is on again, and an incredible line-up of both established and emerging local talent has been assembled. We have already been treated to jazz ensemble Collider and this week sees a performance from the Laura Jean Trio. You can tune in to the performance, held in the sonically remarkable Triple R Performance Space, at 102.7FM, or stream at rrr.org.au, this Saturday during Off The Record from 11.30am. The Spring Loaded live-to-air series will also feature performances from Lost Animal on Friday 28 October at 6.25pm, Montero on Monday 7 November at 8.30pm, and Ru CL on Monday 14 at 6.25pm.
THAT’S PRETTY NIFFTY Northcote Independent Fashion Festival announces this years stellar line-up for their annual premier event NIFFTY. To be held on Friday 18 November at the Northcote Social Club, the event will be a celebration of fashion as an accessible and essential mode of self expression. NIFFTY reveals the best of High Street Northcote’s fashion in a unique showcase, where the clothes are flaunted by many of Melbourne’s finest musicians. Including Gossling, Andrew Cox of The Fauves, Georgia Fields, Jen Cloher, Angie Hart, The Wolfgramm Sisters, Duke Batavia (Ben Birchall) and more. Each musician performing will be styled from wares found on High Street by local fashion stylist Solange Mardones. Clem Bastow will be MC-ing on the night. Get your tickets for around $20 from the Corner box office.
BUFFALO AND UNICORN
Melbourne’s Aleks & The Ramps are set to release a new digital single, Middle Aged Unicorn On Beach With Sunset, on Thursday 27 October. With references to Shakespeare, Satan, wonky dance floor moves, parental aliens and holiday ennui, this single is the first taste of Aleks & The Ramps’ forthcoming album due for release early next year. In addition to the release of Middle Aged Unicorn... and its totally rad film clip, the band are proud to announce the re-release of their first two (currently unavailable) albums: Pisces VS Aquarius (2007) and Midnight Believer (2009). From basketball uniforms to teensy kitten shirts to sparkly after-dinner wear, Aleks & The Ramps have become known for a colourful and mildly leotarded stage show. Early years of equipment smashing chaos and interpretive dance moves have slowly given way to a more elegant stage show of fancy DIY lighting and an ecstatic pop sound like nothing else. Thursday 10 November at the Buffalo Club: be there.
UK pop band Metronomy will be playing a very special show in Melbourne when they return to Australia this summer. Metronomy are riding high on universal acclaim for their Mercury Prize-nominated third album, The English Riviera. Turning away from the ice-cool, digital melancholia of Nights Out, the new album has the warm studio feel of ‘70s artists like Fleetwood Mac, and is filled with languid funk and belting pop with killer hooks. Catch Metronomy on Friday 6 January at the Hi-Fi. Tickets on sale this Friday through the venue.
TWERPING ON Up until now, a large part of Twerps’ charm has been their rough edges. Recording to hissy four-track tape, singing songs about enjoying the “occasional quiet drink” and then throwing up on your friends, the Melbourne pop foursome have released a series of loveably lo-fi vinyl singles and cassettes on labels around the world. But now, with their self-titled debut album, there might just be a little bit of growing up going on. It’s definitely the biggest-sounding recording Twerps have ever done. Unlike their early manifestos, Twerps was recorded in a bona fide studio, with the help of engineer Jack Farley (Beaches, St Helens). To celebrate the album’s launch, Twerps will host an official launch at the Tote on Saturday 12 November with Terror Of the Deep, Darren Sylvester, Peak Twins and DJ Dry White Toast.
CHRISTMAS POISONING It’s been a bustling year for independent Melbourne record label, shop and distributor Poison City. Between a slew of new releases from Samiam, Luca Brasi, Anchors, Leatherface, Fires Of Waco, Former Cell Mates, The Smith Street Band and Jen Buxton, presenting several national tours and of course the annual Poison City Weekender fest, 2011 has been the label’s busiest yet. So to celebrate the year that was, Poison City are gathering friends, family and a healthy dose of punk rock for a massive Xmas Show taking place on Friday 16 December at the Tote. The huge line-up features A Death In The Family, The Smith Street Band, The Hawaiian Islands and Tasmania’s Luca Brasi. Tickets are on sale from the Poison City Shop, the Tote or online via the Poison City e-store at poisoncityrecords.com.
ROCK OUT AT RIVER ROCKS The fourth annual River Rocks is back on Saturday 12 November at the Barwon Club (Geelong), dishing out a hearty helping of rock from some of the best bands going around. Following on from the last three years of all day/night flat out entertainment, acts to grace the stages this year include Splatterheads, The Meanies, The Onyas and Kim Salmon’s Precious Jules. Melbourne’s own Toot Toot Toots and River Of Snakes make their first appearance along with one of Adelaide’s best hard hitting acts, The Back$eat Romeos. The line-up also features The VeeBees, The Kremlings, Barbarion, Becky Lee & Drunkfoot and Kamikaze.
OFF TO THE NAGS And they’re off and racing… Georgia Fields, Princess One Point Five and Oh Deanna are first past the post at the Empress this cup eve, Monday 31 October. It’s only gonna be ten bucks on the door and first 20 through get a free P1.5 7” single. Them’s good odds.
BLOWING UP Nashville, Tennessee natives The Dynamites are making their way to Australia next month, bringing their soulful funk tunes along for the ride. The band made its Australian debut last year at Bluesfest, quickly coming back to open up Sydney Festival this year. Fronted by veteran Charles Walker, the band’s most recent album, Burn It Down, has earned some great praise worldwide. They play Friday 18 November at the Hi-Fi.
GOD DAMN IT Legendary UK punks The Damned have been making tunes for over three decades now, and in January they’ll be making their way down to our shores to spread the anarchic message that’s kept them alive. With original and longtime members still in the fold, the band’s many years of history will no doubt become larger than life on stage, with a relentless rock energy pulsing through their veins. You can catch them on Friday 20 January at Billboard.
Frozen Ocean emerged from behind the King Kong Discount store in Midland (outer dusty suburbs WA) in 2003, at the hands of two 15-year-olds, Peter Bibby and Mackay Smith. At that time, an unamplified guitar accompanied by table-and-pans percussion was enough to earn them the coveted REIWA award for repeat evictions and endless acknowledgements from Mr Plod, head of the Board Of Fun Prevention (BOFP). The release of their second full-length album Snoises coincides with the first Frozen Ocean tour of Melbourne, running Monday 24 to Saturday 29 October with shows alongside The Beat Disease, High Tea, Bone, Jackals, Little Killing, Ghost Of 29 Megacycles, Duck Duck Chop, and Dark Passenger. Celebrate the diversity of noise and narrative with Frozen Ocean and friends on Monday 24 at Northcote Social Club, Thursday 27 at Bluetile Lounge, Friday 28 at House Party (North Fitzroy), and Saturday 29 at the Grace Darling for the official launch.
JAHSTRALIA Ru CL, AKA Rueben Campbell, is one of the most dynamic artists to emerge from the hip hop, dancehall and reggae scenes. A ‘Jahstralian’ (Jamaican/Australian) based in Melbourne, Ru CL is an explosive entertainer with international appeal. Ru CL returns with Brimstone & Fire, his recently-released second album – a skill-filled, exciting, unique and lyrically clever work. Ru CL will launch Brimstone & Fire at Laundry Bar on Friday with support from Ped Xing, DJ Perplex, DJ Shikung, Jesse Jahmal and Lady Banton.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
The legendarily enigmatic TOM WAITS is renowned for playing his cards close to his chest and being liberal with facts and reality – on the phone to discuss his cracking new album Bad As Me, he talks to an enamoured STEVE BELL about truth, compromise and wearing scuba gear to church. Cover photo by MICHAEL O’BRIEN.
WAITS’ WISDOM The commonly trotted-out phrase “talking about music is like dancing about architecture” is taken to the next level when speaking about music with Tom Waits. Throughout the course of the neverless-than captivating conversation, the affable Mr Waits offered the further life observations:
ust by dint of its very essence the music industry is a pursuit built on the principles of intrigue and mythology, participants valiantly questing to assemble the best possible amalgam of smoke and mirrors to conceal their true identity and thrust another, most often cooler and more desirable, persona onto the unsuspecting masses. Sometimes this charade is undertaken in brazen pursuit of acceptance and success, other times there’s an element of self-preservation involved, whereby the artist seeks to keep some of their innermost essence private, lest they become mere property of the public domain and left with nothing to truly call their own when the curtains are drawn, the spotlights have faded and they’re finally left once more to their own devices. Amidst this rogues’ gallery no-one has made an art form out of the use of guile and obfuscation more than the legendary Tom Waits. Over the course of nearly four decades the inveterate Californian entertainer – now in his 62nd year – has delighted in shrouding himself in mystery and mythology, in the tradition of his great storytelling forebears such as Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Woody Guthrie and even Bob Dylan. Over the years the titbits of information that Waits has thrown into the mix have – along with his penchant for dabbling in various and disparate musical forms; like a crow building its nest and lining it with anything readily available – gathered into one impenetrable and confounding image, painting Waits as a master of the macabre, a doyen of junkyard chic, a bourbonvoiced carnival barker who’s as unhinged as he is enigmatic. Of course the truth is all out there if you can be bothered digging, but where’s the fun in that? It’s best to just buy the ticket and hunker down for the ride, to let it take you where it will. Waits’ new record Bad As Me – his first new studio album in seven years – is a prime example, once more painting a picture of its protagonist as the seedy-yet-indestructible barfly, the troubled troubadour teasing and tormenting the listener with tales from the other side of the tracks. Musically, the album encapsulates all of the diverse styles he’s toyed with over the years – from the more traditional songwriter-based material of his early fare through to the industrial scavenging and primal blues of his later career – meshing it together in one sweeping gesture, with enough buoyant clatter and that inimitable twinkle in his eye that makes even his most morose lyrics cause a grin rather than a grimace. Such is the alchemy that’s made him undisputed king of his realm, that even the great man professes to not having any idea of what he’s about to conjure when embarking on the creative process. “No, I don’t think so. I don’t think anybody does,” Waits muses in that distinctive growl when queried about a pre-ordained agenda for Bad As Me. “You just start eating your way through a piece of cheese, and then it closes up behind you. Like they say, ‘When you’re in hell, keep going!’, so I just kept moving towards the light. You end up with songs left over, but it’s all choices, you know? In making songs, in some ways it’s like directing a very small little film for the
ears – are you going to give him plaid pants or no pants at all? Top hat or bowler? Tablecloth or are we going to eat off our laps on a piece of newspaper? You’re inventing. Like [Italian filmmaking legend Federico] Fellini said, ‘A created thing is never actually invented, it is actually never true, but it is always and ever itself’. The truth is over-rated – it is around here at any rate. But nobody knows what it’s going to be until it pokes its head out: ‘Oh, it’s got five fingers! Oh, it’s a boy!’” The diversity of the album – wherein beautiful, sparse tracks such as Kiss Me nestle amidst depraved barroom stompers such as Hell Broke Luce – is also a matter which Waits takes in his stride, the discussion of which in the process touches upon the nature of meaning contained in his writing and how much of his actual self is invested into this material. “Well, you can’t stay in the nightclub all night,” he chuckles. “Everyone expects you to go in and out of dimensions and worlds – that’s what happens in a film, and that’s what happens in the world. It’s pacing. But you fit it all together and hope that it forms some kind of a sentence. I don’t know… all you’re really doing is letting the air out of a balloon, but in a very artistic way. And then you tell everybody else that the melody came to you in a dream, or the cat plucked it out on the piano. With the lyrics, if you say, ‘Okay, let’s have a sardine can, a full moon, a black bra and a wagon full of bones’ and you think it’s nonsense, people will believe that the images correspond to something real. And of course in fact they do – whether you knew it or not. You chose those things for a reason, and they do and they will have meaning – not in some direct way, but they’re impressions of real things and can be traced back to actual events. The origins of most songs are very meagre – it’s just your overactive imagination that turns it into something.” On the instrumentation front, for Bad As Me Waits – an avid instrument collector – seems to have struck a balance between the ‘alternative sound sources’ that made albums such as 1983’s Swordfishtrombones and 1985’s Rain Dogs so distinctive, and the more traditional route.
nothing new under the sun, certainly not in popular music…” “That was in Ecclesiastics if you want to be accurate – there’s nothing new under the Bible,’ he interjects, still laughing. “I don’t know, ‘new’ is not really the guiding force of popular music – it’s ‘what can you steal?’ It’s all thieves and pirates. Arlo Guthrie once said, ‘Where Bob Dylan threw his line in the stream, no one fishing downstream from Bob Dylan caught anything at all’. That’s what they say. But have you ever seen a piece of one song turn up in another? It happens all the time…” Yet waits still has that sound that’s so distinctive… “Distinctive is different to unique – it means that you do things to distinguish yourself from others,” he posits. “But I can do that by wearing scuba gear in church. I don’t think anybody’s really unique, and thank god – there’d be no one to talk to you. That’s why we all belong together; the world’s not over-populated, it’s just that everybody wants to live next to everybody else for business. No one’s in Utah. If you get too crowded where you are, go to Utah man!” At least Waits has been able to craft his long and successful career without having to compromise his fierce artistic vision – at least one would have supposed this to be the case. “Oh hell, I have to compromise like everybody else,” he exclaims with clear chagrin. “What if I felt like doing a record that was totally different? You know [famous French mime] Marcel Marceau? He did a record in the ‘70s which was 60 minutes of complete silence and then at the end there was applause – that was actually a record! What if I did that? Or what if I just felt like putting the sound of crickets for 60 minutes? No way. I might want to do that, but I have to compromise – I have to make songs. We all make compromises.” The music business has obviously changed exponentially in the years since Waits started out on his amazing journey, and he seems somewhat perturbed by its new direction.
“Nobody uses the same ingredients every time, and even if you do you don’t, because everything is baked in,” he offers. “No one is going to give you their recipe – if you ask somebody for a recipe they’ll usually leave out three ingredients, it’s the best tradition. I asked this woman once for her recipe for this wild persimmon pie that she made, and she wouldn’t give me the recipe – just flat out wouldn’t give it to me. She said, ‘Then you’ll know how to make it – right now I’m the only one who does! I want to keep it that way…’ She said, ‘Go experiment. Make your own!’
“Oh god yeah it’s changed!” he shudders. “And it’s going to change again. I don’t know – they just find new ways of charging you money. The problem now with songs, is that you can’t start charging for matches at a restaurant. Once people start thinking of it that way – like it’s a mint for after dinner, or a toothpick – then that’s it. It’s reorganised structurally and it has a different purpose then. But it’s changed a lot – it’s like music now comes out of an aerosol can, and you can have both menthol and regular. Isn’t that true? What if sofas came like that? There would be a revolt in the furniture business…
“It was arranged the way we usually do it, kind of by intuition and guided by voices and memory. You have the residue of hundreds of songs in your ears, so a lot of times you’re smoking the residue.”
“But people will keep making music – it’s probably the first thing that we did, just pick up something and blow through it, or hit something and like the sound of it. It’s not going away, they’re just going to find different ways of packaging it and selling it to you – it’s like fish, or broccoli or anything else.”
It’s offered that Waits once told an interviewer, “There’s
On the recording process: “There are times when you give a great deal to the music, and sometimes it actually gives you something back. It’s somewhat of an investment in that way – you get a certain amount of return on your dollar.” On being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: “My big line for the occasion was, ‘Hall Of Fame? Okay, how long do I have to wait out here in the hall?’ That’s what I wanted to say, but my family said, ‘Don’t say that! Nobody will get it! They’ll get their feelings hurt!’ Then I was going to say, ‘The only thing worse than being in the Hall Of Fame is not being in the Hall Of Fame’. It inspires one-liners…” On death and mortality: “Hey, if it’s not weighing heavily on you then you’re not paying attention [laughs]. You must have some contacts that I don’t have. Did you book extra time here, what did you do?” On progress: “People are putting their songs in clouds – what’s all that about? What the fuck is that? What if it rained and I had an open sore – what about that? How is all of that Cuban music going to sound mixed in with all that Russian music, and furniture music…” On large animals: “Bullets will bounce off a rhino – did you know that?” On smaller animals: “No two roosters will ever crow at the same time, they’re way too smart for that. They wait for one to shut up and start breathing, and then they’ll crow.” On Australia: “I haven’t been down there in a long time, but I think about you guys all the time! [breaks into wilfully evil laugh].”
In parting, Waits imparts some anecdotes containing bizarre facts from the animal kingdom – as is his wont, he collects interesting facts in a notebook and is prone to offering them tangentially – and one in particular strikes close to home. “If you watch a crow build its nest, and they know that you’re watching them, they’ll start building a decoy nest – they’ll start taking sticks up to some undisclosed location,” the singer grumbles incredulously, as if discovering the fact for the first time. “Instead of going to the tree where their nest is they’ll start going somewhere else, just to convince you that maybe that’s where their nest is, when in fact it’s somewhere else. They’re very wily that way…” It seems Waits was taught by nature’s experts.
WHO: Tom Waits WHAT: Bad As Me (Anti/Epitaph/Warner)
FLYING HIGH, FLYING FREE With a superb new LP converting thousands to his cause MATT COLWELL (AKA 360) is flying high. MARK HEBBLEWHITE sat down with the man himself to chat about artistic experimentation and hip hop’s traditionalism.
f you want to know what Melbourne MC Matt Colwell is all about just think about his chosen moniker: 360 – all angles, no boundaries.
“There’s no real backstory to how I chose the name 360 except for the fact that it perfectly reflected how I wanted to approach music. It was a promise to myself never to be limited by other people’s expectations or my own fears that others wouldn’t like what I was doing. To this day it sums up how I see myself as an artist.” 360 came to hip hop the same way as many others of his generation: the pernicious influence of skateboarding DVD soundtracks. Who would have thought that a misspent youth would open up a career in music? “All the older guys were listening to the music they heard on skateboarding films,” laughs 360. “Back then it was all the East Coast greats like Wu-Tang Clan, Gravediggaz and Mobb Deep – and we wanted to be like the older guys so we’d write down the songs off the DVDs and then go download them.”
“I got more and more into hip hop as a result and started rapping myself,” he continues. “It’s funny, at first I actually couldn’t stand Australian hip hop because I just couldn’t get past the accent – it all seemed really bogany, BBQ and meat pie-type rap. But then one of my mates came along – I was only about 15 at the time – and played me Lyrical Commission – and their multi-syllable approach to MCing got me hooked. From there I got into Hunter & Dazastah, Drapht, Bias B and Funkoars – and many other great Aussie MCs.” 360 admits that despite the usual teenage dreams of making it big he never really considered MCing as a viable career path. “When I was 17 I was desperate to drop an album – just to show people I could do it,” he says. “Thank god I didn’t – I waited and worked on my style – but really it was a hobby more than anything else. Then a couple of years ago I actually had the opportunity to make an LP and so I took it. Even then I was never aiming to be mega-successful, I just still had that burning desire to show everyone I could make a record. After that I started gigging, and got some radio play – and things were going so well that I finally realised that maybe I had a future in hip hop after all.” In the period since dropping What You See Is What You Get , 360 has quickly developed as an artist. Particularly telling are the musical risks he takes on his second release Falling & Flying, an album that is a far different proposition than his more-straightforward debut LP. This is an observation that 360 is in full agreement with. “What You See… is pretty much a straight-up traditional hip hop LP,” he says. “Since then though, I haven’t really been listening to much hip hop. I’ve been schooling myself on the entire Beatles back catalogue as well as appreciating other stuff like The Presets, Miike Snow and dance music in
The best music always comes from reality, from the heart.”
general. I think this process really impacted on the songwriting for the latest album. I used to listen to these guys and think, ‘Man, I’d love to rap over this sort of stuff,’ and this time I just went out and did it. You can definitely hear the different influences – pop, electro and dance – throughout the album” So does 360 still consider himself as a ‘hip hop’ artist? “Look, when I started I would have definitely called myself a hip hop artist in the strictest sense of the term,” he replies after a pregnant pause. “But now I just consider myself a musician. Don’t get me wrong, I still MC and I still love hip hop, but I have sought to widen my horizons and embrace different styles of music in my own sound.” And what about the purists who will claim that Falling & Flying, with its The Presets-styled choruses and musical fusion, is a complete sell-out of hip hop heads and the hip hop scene in general? “You know, I actually get that all the time, and that’s understandable because hip hop heads can be very ‘purist’ in their approach,” admits 360. “But what I’d say to them is, I haven’t compromised on my MCing style – I haven’t changed my approach at all. The only thing that’s changing is the production and the melody side of things where I have introduced some new flavours. I want hip hop heads to listen to this album with an open mind. Listen to it as a piece of music, not a piece of ‘hip hop music’.” For Falling & Flying, 360 chose his musical co-conspirators based on their willingness to push the boundaries. “M-Phazes does two beats on the album and the rest was done by Stylez Fuego,” explains 360. “Stylez was the perfect person for what I had in mind for this record because musically speaking he is capable of doing anything and can encompass many different styles in his production. I told him that I wanted to make an album with no rules and no barriers but to let the songs take us where they would. He loved the idea and really made his mark on the album.” So while Falling & Flying has greater commercial appeal than 360’s first record, it’s actually as far away from a please-play-me-on-the-radio album as you can get. “Definitely, and that goes back to hip hop heads who think that’s what I’m all about by introducing different musical styles into my work,” he agrees. “I haven’t incorporated pop, electro and dance music into my work because I want to get on the radio – I actually really like all those forms of music. Everything I’ve done has been an organic musical progression. I believe that if you try and manufacture a hit single people will see through it straight away – it won’t work because it’s not real. “My music and my lyrics represent who I am – nothing more, nothing less. Listen to the album and you’ll see this – there are songs about my family, where I’ve come from and where I’m going; the best music always comes from reality, from the heart, and that’s what I try to remember every time I record a track.”
WHO: 360 WHAT: Falling & Flying (EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Bended Elbow (Geelong); Friday, Kay St (Traralgon); Saturday 12.30pm (under-18s) and 8.30pm, Corner Hotel; Thursday 27 October, Karova Lounge (Ballarat)
HAPPINESS IS A WARM BUM
across and tap into what young people feel and think.”
“I’m sure plenty of people think my lyrics are stupid and retarded but you go for that. I deliberately say things in the singles that will make people remember it,” BALL PARK MUSIC’s frontman SAM CROMACK tells BENNY DOYLE.
As for regarding himself as a wordy young scholar, however, Cromack remains detached. “I definitely wouldn’t call myself a writer,” he confesses, “but I never pursued it except through song. But I’ve always loved music from a really young age and I’ve always thought that was one of the neat things about music, that you were getting to pair words with sound, and it’s a unique little avenue to say things because it’s not a poem – you have to be a bit more direct than a poem. And it’s not an article so you can’t go into minute details or force any sort of argument. You just get this weird little three- or four-minute bracket where you have to try and charm people or intrigue them, which I’ve really always loved.” Writer or not, the even bounce and rhythm of Cromack’s lyrics are undeniable. And when they’re added to the surf guitar of iFly, the firm-yet-contained drumming on Alligator or the colourful harmonies of bass player Jennifer Boyce on It’s Nice To Be Alive, they’re the critical element that takes these frivolous sing-alongs into seriously tight indie-pop territory. From the simplicity of humming tunes at work and putting phrases on top that just pop out of his subconscious, Cromack and the Ball Park gang have watched as these songs have been tightened, trimmed and edited until they indeed have an individual personality – an identity. “It definitely is [a crazy surprise] and that’s one of the things that I’m still most enamoured by when you think about it, the little adventure that one song goes on,” he concurs. “Like you can recall where it came from, where you wrote it, why you wrote it, and that once upon a time it was this tiny little tune and phrase that existed only in your head. I had a weird moment when we played in Singapore earlier in the year and I was singing “I fucking love you” [from iFly] and there were people in Singapore singing along to it. I was, like, ‘Holy shit!’, y’know, I sat in my house one time with my ex-girlfriend and sort of wrote that as a bit of a joke to her and now people in another country are singing along with me. That’s the shit that makes you keep doing this.” And of course, if you’ve seen the cover of Happiness & Surrounding Suburbs, you’ve immediately pondered the thought – ‘who’s pert arse is that?’ Cromack fills in the blanks before he signs off.
ambitions when you form a band and you kinda just plod along and go for the ride and take any opportunities that are given to you. I try not to get too concerned with buzz or what people think of us. But every now and then you have a glimpse of something where you think, ‘Oh wow, the band really is coming up the ranks a little bit’.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to all that kind of stuff ‘cause at the end of the day I still feel that I’m just a very normal person and I know that everyone in the band is too,” Cromack admits. “You always have these
“But I try not to give a shit about that stuff,” he adds without a hint of aloofness. “I think that it eats away at you if you think about it too much. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read reviews of shows and albums and stuff like that, however. I dunno, it’s nice if people say nice things about it. I keep expecting to open up a review of a show or an album and see someone make some scathing comment but I guess we’ve been lucky that we’ve got away without any scars so far. I’m sure someone will get the balls and do it soon. And especially in our country,” he says citing our renowned ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, “someone might soon hate us with all their passion.”
ast month, Brisbane sextet Ball Park Music had arguably their most important week in the band’s lifetime. With the Bigsound music conference engulfing the Fortitude Valley area for two days of entertaining panels, but more importantly, two nights of ripping live music, the Ball Park crew found themselves as one of the most talked about acts of the event after headlining the Unearthed stage. The very next day, the band released their debut album Happiness & Surrounding Suburbs, and spurred on by the unescapable media hype surrounding the band, the record charted at number 36 its first week. From the inside looking out, Cromack comments on the upward ride from their Big Day Out Unearthed victory last year.
Cromack lets out a chuckle at the thought. It would be a sour, bitter person to hate on Ball Park Music. Their tunes are effortlessly charming, infectiously catchy and also, very direct and relatable – the storytelling of the wiry, bespectacled frontman effortlessly allowing pictures to be painted in the listener’s mind. Cromack confirms that he does strive for such a goal when he’s penning lyrics. “I’ve always liked words and playing with them and writing and I always had a natural interest in that,” he regales. “So I guess you just try and take advantage of that. You have this great opportunity to say something that will make people’s ears prick up in your song, especially if it’s going to get played on the radio, and I’m just gobsmacked when you hear songs with very mundane lyrics. I’m sure plenty of people think my lyrics are stupid and retarded but you go for that. I deliberately say things in the singles that will make people remember it. And at the same time I’m usually trying to get a message
“It’s a real person who we know and it’s a real photo too – that’s him in Nepal,” he surprisingly informs. “Y’know on Facebook how you can look at photos of friends of your friends? I was just doing some typical Facebook snooping, looking at this guy’s travel photos, and I was just like, ‘Holy shit, that is such a good photo!’ He went to school with some of the guys in our band so we just asked if we could use it and he was more than willing. It’s surreal, and everyone I tell that to seems to be surprised but yeah, that’s real. That’s one of many photos he took [like that], he’s a full on adventure man – he’s travelled so much of the world. And that’s why it’s the front cover I guess, I saw it and stopped in my tracks. I hope it now helps him on his adventure,” Cromack finishes, “to get girls or something.”
WHO: Ball Park Music WHAT: Happiness & Surrounding Suburbs (Stop Start/EMI) WHERE & WHEN: Friday, East Brunswick Club
FRESH FRUIT FOR INFOTAINMENT He may have a bad attitude and “psycho” sense of humour but JELLO BIAFRA is certainly not too mellow to fuck (with your mind). PAUL RANSOM lends an ear to the former Dead Kennedy and gets it chewed right off.
hen he takes to the Forum Theatre stage, Eric Reed Boucher will not be lost for words. In fact, it could be argued that spoken word is Boucher’s ideal format.
Better known to the world as Jello Biafra, (former Dead Kennedys frontman and one-time US Presidential candidate), he is rarely, if ever, without an incendiary, passionately expressed opinion. Since he first came to our attention as the composer of American punk classics such as California Uber Alles, Holiday In Cambodia and Too Drunk To Fuck, Biafra has both excited and divided. Sued by former band mates, assaulted at a gig for being a sell-out and charged with obscenity, he remains not only an active presence in hardcore but a mainstay of politically literate spoken word. Now in his 50s, Biafra is anything but mellow. “How could I mellow out when our own government is holding people without trial for ten years and torturing the living daylights out of innocent civilians all over the world?” he begins. “This is
exactly the sort of thing that our ancestors fought the Nazis over.” If you ever get the chance to chat with Biafra, it probably won’t take long for politics, media, the environment and the “corporatocracy” to come to the fore. “It’s something I do both out of a sense of mission and pleasure,” he says of his various passions, which include current band The Guatanamo School Of Medicine and his YouTube ‘series’ What Would Jello Do? “I’m very grateful that I’ve somehow been able to find a way to survive off of my bad attitude and sicko sense of humour. Or is that psycho sense of humour?” That his famously agit-punk attitude began in a Colorado loungeroom five decades ago comes as no surprise. His father, Stanley Boucher, was fond of deconstructing ads and it wasn’t long before the critical eye was passed onto his son. “When I was five years old I’d be watching the news right after a couple of cartoon shows and it was equally fascinating. I saw the Berlin Wall go up. I saw Oswald get shot live right in my parents’ living room,” he recalls. “Of course, by the time of the civil rights movement, Chicago ‘68 and Vietnam I realised that the government, the army and the cops were not my friends.” To use the term anti-establishment to describe him would be somewhat lame because it is apparent that he is anything but a fun-hating leftie or a pot-headed conspiracy nutjob. Fact is, Jello Biafra is razor sharp. “People have to grow sharper bullshit detectors,” he rants, “and they should encourage other people to do the same, especially if they have children and want to protect them from the onslaught of the fashion police, who want to make everybody uptight and have a lot of body and popularity issues.” At the same time, he insists, awareness doesn’t necessarily equal negativity. “Struggle doesn’t always have to be dour and miserable. Y’know the sort of thing: ‘What are we gonna do? We’re gonna do meetings, goddam it.’ Resistance should also be gratifying. A prank a day keeps the dog leash away.” However, Biafra’s renowned pranksterism and adrenalised, acerbic humour does not cloud the issue. The shit-stirring comic combativeness that informed DK tracks such as Nazi Punks Fuck Off and Kill The Poor only serves to underline the more serious cutting edge. “At some point I hope there’s a more constructive action against the super-rich and inequality than we recently saw in England,” he says bluntly. The key word here is ‘constructive’. Far from eschewing the mainstream, Biafra is a man who very much puts into the practise the motto, don’t hate the media, become the media (a phrase which he is often credited with coining). That said, he is a vociferous critic of corporate news. “Nowadays corporate news, instead of covering a lot of different stories, will just take one or two and bludgeon them into the ground. So Tiger Woods’ penis dominated everything for six months,” he sneers. “People outside the United States have no idea how controlled and dumbed down the news media is in this country. About the only thing most people know about Australia now is Fosters beer. They’ve even forgotten about Crocodile Dundee.” (Never mind, Jello, so have we.) This widespread ignorance, he contends, seriously undermines the quality of democracy. How many of us here in Australia would recognise the sentiment behind a comment such as “as soon as they can make it all revolve around a horse race to see who’s gonna occupy the largely ceremonial office of President, then we don’t have to talk about anything else”? And in that blind spot, what happens? Picking up the cudgels, Biafra steams again, “Now they’re trying to ram through a free trade agreement with Colombia, where death squads routinely murder union organisers and indigenous people with American arms and money,” he tells me. “There’s also one with Panama, which is one of the most notorious money laundering destinations in the world. And now they want one with South Korea, with a back left open for so-called free trade with North Korea.” The issue of free trade agreements and the now ubiquitous mantras of the free market will almost certainly be in the cross hairs during Biafra’s one-off Melbourne Festival spoken-word show. “It’s a rogue gangster regime, if ever there was one, and it controls both the big political parties here in America. It’s a corporatocracy,” he laments, “and they know they can get away with anything… They’re like crack addicts, only they’re wealth addicts, which is the most damaging type of addiction.” Yet somehow all of this fire gets focused into a show. Indeed, Biafra has been doing spoken for 25 years and has released a clutch of albums featuring material from his many hundreds of performances. Starting with a pile of old news articles “four feet thick” he sifts and sorts and cuts and pastes “like William Burroughs” until he arrives at his desired hour. “I’ve been very conscious, right from the very beginning of spoken word in the mid-’80s, that what I do is infotainment,” he explains. “In the very first one I ever did at this coffee house at UCLA in Los Angeles I realised that what people were most interested in was buried, mind-blowing information and my sense of humour.” Of course, information is now something we are all very familiar with. “We’re saturated with information,” Biafra adds wryly. “But not everyone stops to try and differentiate and decide how much of it is really important. ‘Should I actually be reading and thinking about something else?’ Maybe I should shut the computer off, get out of Facebook and get out into the real world and have some fun causing trouble.” Interestingly, on the eve of his first visit to our shores in eight years, Jello Biafra had heard nothing about the introduction of carbon price legislation and the acrimonious party-political squabbling over it. “Maybe I should do some research,” muses the man who once tried to win the presidential nomination of the Green Party USA. If he does, you will most definitely hear about it.
WHO: Jello Biafra WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 2pm and 9pm, Melbourne Festival, Forum
BIG HEAVY STUFF When CYCLONE WEHNER chats with both BIG SCARY members, JO SYME and TOM IANSEK, Syme (half) jokes, “We’re more famous than Snow Patrol now.” Both bands have a Grey’s Anatomy sync in common.
elbourne’s Big Scary have already amassed a quality back catalogue, but only now are they unveiling their debut album proper. The title Vacation is ironic as Tom Iansek (lead vocals, guitar and piano) and Jo Syme (drums and vocals) are workaholics – yet they’re destined to journey far. Vacation finds the combo defiantly integrating their disparate influences – grungy garage, soul-stirring indiefolk and broody, post-rock balladry – while thematising their peripatetic, insecure and unpredictable lifestyles as musicians, the wry lead single Mix Tape about picking up. Iansek and Syme started experimenting together in 2006, but didn’t commit to Big Scary until much later. Triple J declared themselves early champions, Big Scary’s 2008 Apple Song an Unearthed pick. The outfit followed with several EPs, including At The Mercy Of The Elements (entailing the piano epic Falling Away), and then last year’s superb compilation (or de facto album) The Big Scary Four Seasons.
Big Scary cut Vacation with an external producer in ex-Yves Klein Blue bassist Sean Cook – at first. “I enjoy the producing side, but I just didn’t feel like I had enough skills to be able to do this one,” Iansek admits from their publisher’s South Melbourne headquarters. Big Scary decamped to Brisbane, where Cook set up the studio, allowing Iansek to concentrate on the music. Big Scary initially encountered Cook at 2010’s Push Over – Yves Klein Blue watched them perform from the side of the stage. “The second time we met him, he said, ‘I wanna produce you guys,’” Iansek recalls. Big Scary didn’t expect anything to come of it, but subsequently decided that Cook was an ideal choice of producer. “He was just the person who we clicked with most.” Cook advised Big Scary on selecting demos (they had in excess of 25, Syme divulges). His fresh perspective was invaluable when “reworking” older songs. More importantly, he encouraged Big Scary to develop a more textured sound. Plus Cook challenged them. “He’s definitely more pop-minded and he’s about tight song structure – cutting a lot of the fat away, which we also agree with,” Iansek proffers. “We like albums that are a bit moody and so we were trying to go in that direction – and he was trying to go in the pop direction. There was that kind of tension, which I think helped shape the album.” Still, the Vacation press blurb alludes to Big Scary’s erstwhile fantasy of “blowing all their cash recording in upstate New York with a big-name international producer.” Who? “Our wildest fantasy was Peter Katis, who’s done all The National stuff,” Iansek reveals. “We just really loved his sound and his style and the sound of his studio. We came close, but it just didn’t work out, basically.” Syme pipes up, “Yeah, we were ready to go [but] he’s booked until 2015 kinda thing...” Iansek continues, “I guess we could have waited it out, see what would happen, but we didn’t wanna wait. We just felt ready to go.” Iansek, Big Scary’s key songwriter, has often spoken of their greatest dilemma in approaching an album – settling on a direction. ‘Should they make a moody or upbeat LP?’ the pair wondered. Big Scary resolved not to curtail themselves. “It’s always worked,” Syme explains. “It’s never been a conscious decision, but we realised there’s no point trying to tone down the eclectic genre stuff because we’ll probably get bored. We change our mind about what we wanna sound like, anyway.” Their “two distinct albums” merged into one, Iansek says. “There’s no point fighting how we write.” Big Scary do offer something familiar on Vacation – they revisit their ‘classic’, Falling Away, Cook and engineer Gareth Parton adding various effects. “We kind of said, as they would say, ‘It’s a pop song, so let’s fuck it up ‘cause it’s still always gonna be a pop song’,” Iansek quips. Coincidentally, Falling Away was remixed for the TV show Offspring by NY neo-disco DJ Jacques Renault and though Big Scary weren’t involved, Iansek deems it “tasteful”. “I am really into remixes, actually,” Syme says, “and so we’re looking at people already for tracks for the album.” Bizarrely, Iansek had a brief “techno” phase in high school – Central Station’s Wild Volume 6, featuring tracks from Sash!, Vengaboys and Billie Piper/Tall Paul, was all the rage on a school camp. “I just went mental for it,” he laughs. Mercifully, the next year it was Jimi Hendrix and Iansek began to learn guitar. On leaving school, Syme studied jazz formally, but quickly ascertained that it wasn’t her world. Instead she relished the freedom of gigging in rock bands. Syme was into the likes of The Libertines on connecting with Iansek, who, in turn, exposed her to the psychedelic Dungen. Previously, she’d listened to little neo-folk beyond Jack Johnson. This year Iansek introduced his folky side-project Dads by way of Man Of Leisure. In fact, it’s not far from Big Scary and he nearly kept Sister for them. “I don’t know – I really wanted it,” he confesses. Yet, as Syme suggests, Dads is increasingly existing as an outlet for the one style from which Big Scary are veering away: acoustica. At any rate, Iansek is unlikely to scale back his (or Big Scary’s) output, even with Vacation out. “I love what Jack White does. I get excited that you can do one sort of music and then still be able to do something completely different.” “Cheesy” as it may sound, he creates according to mood. Iansek has composed music for ads – Autumn was licensed by the US telco AT&T – but would he write for a popster? “I’d give it a go!” he responds. “I’d enjoy the challenge.” Syme’s main contribution to Big Scary is as an arranger. And Big Scary have evolved into a dynamic live act – and in-demand support. (They loved opening for Midlake, The Trials Of Van Occupanther an old favourite on car trips.) Above all, Big Scary are rejecting the indie band orthodoxies, shrewdly charting their own course. They’ve stayed independent, and autonomous, Vacation quietly materialising on their eccentrically named Pieater label. “We don’t so much agree with ‘exploding out of the scene’, being the next big thing and all that stuff, which major labels are really good at doing,” Iansek states. “We’re pretty happy going at our own pace and having a bit of a slow burn. That’s more our style, but more so because we want it to be a career and a longterm thing. And to be able to make mistakes and learn and grow from those at our own speed is the healthiest thing and the best way to keep us on that path.” Big Scary’s musical spectrum doesn’t lend itself to marketing – to hipsters or otherwise. “I think what we do would really come across as confused and misguided,” Iansek holds. Big Scary could easily be as hyped as the now imploded Middle East, the Queenslanders covered in NME well before their album, but they’re playing it cool with the mainstream generally – content to be blogged about. The duo might play SXSW. “There’s no grand plan,” Syme stresses. Big Scary are preparing for a run of “intimate” album launch shows, as well as the festival season, with a 2012 regional tour discussed. Nevertheless, Big Scary may be bigger sooner than they imagine. Thinking About You was lately heard in Grey’s Anatomy. “It was during an abortion scene – yeah, that’s pretty dramatic,” Syme says at the interview’s end. The drummer is bemused as Big Scary don’t perform the song live. There have since been fervent online searches for them Stateside, their publisher chuffed. Syme (half) jokes, “We’re more famous than Snow Patrol now.”
WHO: Big Scary WHAT: Vacation (Pieater) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Ormond Hall
SLOW AND STEADY This week Brisbane’s THE APARTMENTS play just their third Melbourne show in more than 30 years. TONY MCMAHON catches up with singer PETER MILTON WALSH.
haven’t exactly been saturating the Aussie rock’n’roll market,” says legendary frontman for The Apartments Peter Milton Walsh, and it’s tough to argue with this statement. Formed in Brisbane in 1978, Walsh’s group, though revered by aficionados of quality pop everywhere, and having been covered by the likes of This Mortal Coil, have nonetheless adhered strictly to the principal of quality over quantity, with only a miniscule number of releases over the decades. This is why the appearance of a new single, Black Ribbons, in two distinct versions, a spring mix and an autumn one, is a reason for such unalloyed excitement in the offices of Inpress. “My career,” Walsh goes on… “I probably shouldn’t call it a career, but anyway, my career has been a bit stop and start. I got on a roll once, and then I got off the roll. It happens. There seems to be this cycle that you need to get on as a musician: you write, you record, you promote and you tour. Then you go back and do it all over again. I’ve never really done that. Someone like Nick Cave is a master at that kind of thing, and he deserves all the success he’s gotten because he works so hard. If you don’t do that, you don’t really have a right to complain, so I just feel so fortunate when someone is interested.” And surely it also comes down to that quality versus quantity thing doesn’t it? “It’s much better for you to say that than me, Tony.” When Inpress admits to the last-minute nature of this interview and that we’ve only had a chance to listen to The Apartment’s gorgeously dreamy new tracks the night before, Walsh is surprisingly delighted. “I’m glad that you listened to them late at night. There’s just something about that, I think. I’ve always been attracted to what I’d term late night music. I think that when I was five years old someone was probably playing me music late at night to get me to go to sleep. And I think that these songs definitely fit that bracket, if you like.” Side A’s spring mix of Black Ribbons is a duet with Natasha Penot, singer with French electro-pop outfit Grisbi, and the story of how this came about is a telling one for illuminating the reverence in which The Apartments are held, especially in France. “I was doing some shows in France in 2009. It was a long night and we went back to the hotel room. At about two or three in the morning I got a text from my guitarist, telling me to come up to his room, there was something special going on. When I got there, there was this party happening. This guy tells everyone to be quiet and then he presses play. It was a version of one of my songs by this girl Natasha and her boyfriend. They’d seen me play two nights earlier and had done a cover of a song of mine called Sunset Hotel. It was a song that was older than Natasha. She had such a beautiful voice. I really loved it. It was then that the idea of doing a duet with her came about. It just had a feeling of destiny about it. In some ways, it was a miracle.” In talking about the upcoming Apartments show at The Toff, Walsh evokes more dreamy imagery, a little like when he mentioned his love of late night music. “It’ll just be a small thing, it won’t be a big band thing. It’ll work, though – three singers and some other little bits and pieces of things: guitar, tambourine. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s supposed to be a really nice room, too. And I just love the idea of a Sunday evening in the city. Melbourne’s a beautiful town, too. I love Melbourne, it’s a real music town.”
WHO: The Apartments WHAT: Black Ribbons single (Chapter) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday, Toff In Town
SOUNDS DIFFERENT CHRIS CORNELL decided to share his songbook for a solo acoustic tour. BRENDAN CRABB is looking California and feeling Minnesota.
econvening ‘90s Seattle hard rock superstars Soundgarden would be enough on the plate for most musicians, but vocalist/guitarist Chris Cornell is currently juggling that much-anticipated reunion with a successful solo acoustic tour. The Grammy-winning, 21-million album-selling, James Bond theme-writing performer’s Songbook tour has already completed a sold-out US run. The intimate shows feature Cornell alone and armed solely with an acoustic guitar, performing material from throughout his illustrious career, including Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple Of The Dog, his solo releases and a few surprise covers. The tour was spawned after a series of acoustic shows in Los Angeles, mushrooming into a worldwide jaunt. Has the level of acceptance surprised him? “I guess what I didn’t realise was what it was going to feel like playing the shows and it took me a couple of shows to kind of figure it out,” Cornell says, speaking during a break from rehearsals. “But at first I was just nervous about the concept of trying to keep people entertained for an hour-and-a-half, with just an acoustic guitar and me singing. Right away it turned into like two-anda-half hours and became a very different experience than I’ve ever had, where I can be playing for two-plus hours with an audience that doesn’t speak. It’s like you can hear a pin drop. I was pretty knocked over by that and the shows were just really special and exciting. In a way, to me as a solo artist it’s the best form to show up in because I can cover any part of my career and it seems to work great. Then also, being in Soundgarden again, writing songs, recording and touring, the rock side of me is very fulfilled. It wouldn’t make sense for me necessarily to be doing solo tours around going out with a band where it’s electric and loud. Soundgarden is so much about that aggressive, experimental rock, I can’t imagine needing or wanting to do that outside of Soundgarden. So it sort of accidentally became the perfect thing to be doing. “It’s funny because you can actually have a conversation with someone. You’re sitting there onstage and the audience is quiet and if somebody says something, you can hear it and respond. It’s almost like doing stand-up,” he laughs. “There’s an intimacy no matter what; you can’t avoid it. It’s there so if I’m nervous, I’m nervous for about the first 30 seconds and then it goes away and then there’s a connection you have with the audience right away. In the context of a rock band, I’ve always felt like that’s there if you want it
song. Then after playing it several times in a row within an acoustic show it kind of changed, just in the context of an acoustic performance. One night I can do it one way and another night I can do it another way; when you’re playing alone where it’s just you and a guitar, you can speed up, slow down, start from the middle of the song and it’s just different. The song can really change night to night.” The excitement surrounding the upcoming tour aside, Inpress can’t allow our conversation to end without an update on activities in the Soundgarden camp – especially given that they’ve just been announced on the Big Day Out 2012 line-up. The past half-decade has featured a plethora of ‘90s reunions, with some bands making a new record, while others have avoided that potential minefield. Cornell is clearly excited about the new Soundgarden offering and isn’t concerned some may view it as potentially detracting from their sizeable legacy.
and if you’re not in the mood, you can just get behind that sonic wall and there doesn’t necessarily have to be intimacy. It can be more about the visceral rock experience.” No era of Cornell’s extensive career is off-limits at these shows – even the widely panned, electro-popinfused and Timbaland co-produced 2009 solo effort Scream is fair game. In fact, he says incorporating that material into the Songbook setlist makes for a well-rounded, musically satisfying experience. “Obviously there’s songs that would be silly to try to do on an acoustic guitar, anything that’s really riff-oriented or super aggressive,” he muses. “But you never really know; it’s just a matter of reapproaching the song. I remember when Rick Rubin wanted me to do an arrangement of Rusty Cage for Johnny Cash to record. I thought it was kind of a dumb idea honestly; it didn’t make any sense to me. I probably spent a couple hours trying something and called up and just said, ‘Yeah, I kinda just gave up,’ I didn’t really understand the idea at the time. Then when he did it and I first heard it, suddenly I realised, ‘Oh, it can be anything you want!’ It just sounded like a Johnny Cash song where he’s singing Rusty Cage over it and it works perfect. I learned a big lesson there – music is malleable, it doesn’t have to remain in any specific structure. If you experiment with something, maybe it won’t work but maybe it will and there’s nothing wrong with trying. So you never know.” Rearranging the songs to better translate to the acoustic environment has been rewarding. “Burden In My Hand for example, a Soundgarden song that I wrote, doing that acoustically it’s definitely become a different thing,” Cornell continues. “It sounds like a very different
“I didn’t feel that way,” he emphasises. “I felt right away like it would be something worth trying. The whole concept of us getting back together was surrounded by the attitude that we don’t have to put any kind of expectations on what it is we do; we don’t have to put any pressure on how long it takes. It’s just a situation where we can come together as a band and as long as everybody’s happy and comfortable, we can see what comes out of that. Because we took that approach, we wrote songs really quickly, had a great time and have actually recorded and put songs together faster than we ever did before, with the exception of the indie days when we first started out. It’s great. We did a summer tour in the States and right before we started I got a CD with all of the rough mixes of the songs on it and it was the first time I’d had them all on one CD and actually listened to it. I remember for every Soundgarden record, there was that moment where I would hear all of the songs in rough form together and get a sense of what the feeling of the record was going to be. I got that this time right before we went out on tour and it was great, I was super happy. It’s different, unusual, it’s nothing that anyone’s going to expect. It’s a very comfortable Soundgarden production, nothing is clean and overdone. There’s a lot of personality to the songs, there’s definitely a lot of experimentation and it feels like we didn’t miss a beat in a way.”
WHO: Chris Cornell WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday) and Thursday, Palais
TAKING THE THRONE THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA vocalist MIKE HRANICA is turning up the aggression and emotion. By BRENDAN CRABB.
ime and again when an established heavy band hits the promotional trail in support of a new album, it’s claimed they’ve become better as musicians and songwriters, enabling them to craft their heaviest, most melodic and/or most “mature” output yet. The end result often sounds like a contrived attempt to satiate all sections of their fanbase. US metalcore mob The Devil Wears Prada sought a more technically proficient, metaloriented and progressive approach on new disc Dead Throne, their fourth full-length and the follow-up to the successful With Roots Above & Branches Below. However, while spouting a few clichés of his own, vocalist Mike Hranica emphasises the creation of Dead Throne was not calculated in any respect whatsoever. “We never really go into records with too much of an intentional sound behind it,” he explains. “We did want the  Zombie EP to be darker and heavier, but otherwise usually when we come up with any ideas it’s about a general progression. This time around I think with more focus and with more of an idea of what… this unconscious idea of what we really wanted with the record and getting to work with a great production team as far as Adam [Dutkiewicz, Killswitch Engage and Times Of Grace guitarist]. It just turned into a record that we’re all really proud of and definitely what we could call our best effort to date.” This collaboration was born out of a mutual admiration first realised in early 2010, when The Devil Wears Prada supported Killswitch Engage on tour. Many fans solely associate Dutkiewicz with his clownish onstage demeanour, but if you ask any band who have worked with the producer, they reveal the wackiness is just one part of his personality and he’s ultimately a hardworking perfectionist. “It was terrific,” Hranica gushes. “Everyone’s always heard something about Adam – whether he’s crazy, likes to goof off and whatnot – and everyone knows his legacy as far as being in Killswitch. But even outside of him goofing around all the time, he was incredible. What everyone says is you always see how hard he is on bands. He was definitely hard on us, but he will never push you to where you break. I’d heard that before and it was definitely true and I really don’t have enough nice things to say about working with Adam. He definitely is a perfectionist. Even on a song like Kansas, which doesn’t have any vocals on it, I have no idea how many times we tried the parts to that song as
Wears Prada. “We’ve been a Christian band since we started,” the vocalist says. “The more shows we started to play and the more people that started coming out, the more interest the band was attracting and it just seemed more and more clear that we had great reason for what we were doing. That reason was because of our faith and because we had and still have the ability to really tell people about something wonderful. That applied from day one, it applies now and it is definitely spoken through Dead Throne as well, as far as referring to faith as the one certainty and the one regularity, as compared to everything else that passes, primarily idols. “[Love lost] is a poetic topic I’ve always touched upon and exaggerated, but this time around it was a little bit different as far as where it was coming from. My biggest lyrical models for the album are also very ‘love lost’-generated writers, which have an influence on me. The record contains a lot of self-loathing and a lot of bitterness, which all has a spin on it to where the only thing that does not pass in our lives is our faith and our trust in God. Dead Throne takes a bitter perspective – the world is dead and the only thing we have is the Lord.”
there was something always that he would pick out; ‘Oh, this isn’t right’. So we would just do it again and again and the song itself as far as rhythm-wise is really simple, but there was always something to improve on and that always came down to Adam. He would hear something and he would have to have it just a little bit better.” The slick production values aside, ultimately Dead Throne tackles issues of failed relationships and perseverance of faith. “Primarily the record deals with idolatry and lost love, I think that’s pretty obvious listening to the songs. The opening title track has a very detailed account of what the record title is about and there are a lot of songs that dive into that. Our first single Born To Lose deals with idolatry and then a lot of the record, like Forever Decay and Chicago delves into the love-lost vibe. Then there are also songs on the record which are just on there, totally un-themed, like Constance.” The sextet have never sidestepped discussing their faith in Christianity either, which the frontman says impacted greatly on the new record’s lyrics. Bands wary of potentially alienating fans will instead use a line such as, “We’re a band of Christians rather than a Christian band,” but there’s no ambiguity with The Devil
The new album now on the shelves, The Devil Wears Prada’s attention turns to the road and they will kick off the Dead Throne world tour on these shores. Up-andcoming fellow Americans We Came As Romans (whom they recently trekked about the US with as part of the Warped tour) and fast-rising Melbournians Dream On Dreamer will join them. “It’s always the same thing for us: it’s always just about feeling something and feeling something emotional,” Hranica says of playing live. “I know that regardless of what kind of band I’m seeing, whether it’s a band that stands still or a band that is all over the place, as long as I can feel what they’re trying to express, that’s the most important thing. That’s exactly what I try to do with Prada and the live performance and we’re all really on the same page as far as just wanting to play the songs we wrote and really give them something to watch as well while we play those songs. It’s just the polar opposite of a dull live show and something that’s entirely sincere and wholehearted.”
WHO: The Devil Wears Prada WHAT: Dead Throne (Roadrunner) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 3.45pm (under-18) and Sunday, Billboard
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The titles of BACHELORETTE’s recorded work can be viewed as a career overview in reverse, writes ANTHONY CAREW.
BACK TO THE FRONT Sometimes you have to drop back to climb to the top again, SALMONELLA DUB’s ANDREW PENMAN tells STUART EVANS.
t has been a traumatic year for New Zealanders Salmonella Dub. The Christchurch purveyors of drum’n’bass, dub, reggae and all things hip hop have been forced to take respite. The devastating earthquakes to hit their home town knocked the group hard. The band’s sorrow and grief was profound as they lost friends, family and property. Thanks to Mother Nature’s fury, the earthquake also took something intangible. “We lost a lot of memories,” tells founding member, guitarist and band manager Andrew Penman. “Things will never be the same again and I remember crying over and over. We did a gig [in Christchurch] in July and had to play in a marquee as you can’t get within one kilometre of the city. There is no central business district anymore.” The natural disaster has influenced the band’s prose. “Our songwriting process is really writing the actual track first and then the vocals later. The aftershocks have continued in Christchurch and we will no doubt write about them in future.”
hen bands – or, as is the way these days, projects – release a self-titled record well into their career, it usually sounds alarm-bells – signalling a complete lack of inspiration or an embarrassinglyearnest attempt at self-congratulatory reinvention. Given Bachelorette’s Annabel Alpers has been making her looped-out synth-pop since 2004, it’s curious that she’s gone the eponymous route for her third LP, this year’s Bachelorette. Curious enough to have me asking: why? The question doesn’t prompt a prompt response. Though the self-titled opus came out early in 2011 (on Mistletone in Australia and one of the world’s truly great labels, Drag City, in North America), the 32-year-old Kiwi hasn’t been pestered with this question; Alpers hasn’t, in fact, ever really spoken it aloud. “I haven’t tried explaining it before, to anyone,” she says.
Musically, Salmonella Dub have remained busy throughout a tumultuous period for the nation. The boys forged a reputation spawned from electronica, reggae and mild psychedelic guitars. On paper, their musical combinations probably should not work. But work it does. “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” Penman says of their music concoctions “We’ve always had a tongue-incheek approach to making music and have really tried our best not to become some kind of personality through our music. We view music as abstract art as we line up a bunch of different things and then throw it all together before we stand back and watch what happens.”
Taking on too much is exactly what happened. After they dropped the revered Killervision in 1999, which became a platinum-selling album, the group’s true vision became blurred. “The success of Killervision was an accident. We had spent a long time laying the foundations long before the album came along. Killervision was certainly a turning point,” he confirms. Success came at a cost for the Kiwis as a global tour with back-to-back bookings proved exhausting. “We did a massive tour on the back of Killervision. We toured throughout Europe and Australia, yet after the New Zealand leg of the tour we had ended up back in our day jobs. We really took on too much and tried to juggle everything. I guess you have to drop back to go back up again,” he tells. And bounce back they did, as a remarkable hot-streak of success followed with Inside The Dub Plates, which came two years after their ill-fated tour and went doubleplatinum, while Outside The Dub Plates (2002) went gold and One Drop East (2004) hit double-platinum.
contemporary harmonies and the orchestra’s classical approach. “It was a great experience and something that worked well with the diversity of styles. Our music consists of a range of styles and experiences, so hooking up with the orchestra was good as it highlighted our diverse backgrounds and experience,” he says. Salmonella Dub, named after a bacterium and for the band’s strange versions of bad-taste covers, have been a permanent fixture on the Australasian music scene since Penman formed the group in 1992. The band’s name has meaning for Penman. “Salmonella is a food posioning and is actually character building,” he laughs. As teenagers, the boys grew up through the backdrop of early ‘80s punk and if their moniker is eccentric, then the lads’ history is just as mottled. Between them they’ve played in orchestras, metal bands, hip hop collectives, jazz bands and drum’n’bass outfits. Penman says this multiplicity has led to what is heard today. He also reveals that work is underway on a new album. He tells, “We’ve started to bounce ideas and talk about what we want to do and what kind of sound we want to achieve.” Penman says he wants the next Salmonella Dub album to be “raw”. He wants to take the sound of the live band, complete with authentic loops, drums and edits, and harness a more analogue approach to recording while shifting from the typical highly produced output often heard. “We want to record an album straight off the bat. Our last few albums have been over produced and we’re keen to make an album that is unprocessed,” he says. Even if Penman succeeds in making an unprocessed album, when it comes to the music-buying public there are few alternatives and even fewer stores that sell music. “The concept of the album has gone out the window. Places like iTunes have put the focus firmly on singles, so our thinking around albums has to be different as people are more likely to pick and choose rather than listen to the whole thing,” he says.
From there, Alpers devolves into a faltering, convoluted, half-philosophical soliloquy that doesn’t bear up to rock-interview transcription – her reasons essentially due to the “self-referential” feeling she had about working on these particular songs, and the feeling of trying to both live up to and defy “responsibilities and obligations” to her band-name/music.
Line-up changes over the past few years, including the departure of the effervescent Tiki Taane in 2007, have done little to dent the band’s progress. Ostensibly, Penman says they have now settled into what is possibly their definitive sound. Nowadays there are few, if any, poppy reggae songs and pumped up drum‘n’bass. It is as though Penman undertook a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to find out what their true focus is. He laughs, “It was really going back to basics to do what we do best as we’d reached a dead end creatively. When Taane left it was good for him and good for us as I think we just took on too much. It was a prudent move, although they were great years.”
Something that didn’t play into the titling process but makes the self-titled titled feel more like statement: Alpers is seriously considering making Bachelorette the last Bachelorette LP. “It’s mostly likely to be my last album under the Bachelorette moniker,” she admits. “I still want to play music, but I want to change my approach, perhaps make it a bit more collaborative.”
As her band name befits, Alpers has been riding stag this whole time. The Christchurch native had played in a handful of local indie bands (most notably the surfy twang of Hawaii Five-O), when she started home-recording on banks of old synthesisers, making woozy, dreamy pop songs in many, many layers. Her debut LP, 2007’s Isolation Loops, had a far more telling title than her self-titled LP, effectively condensing Alpers’ working ways into five syllables. Since then, Alpers has spent so much of her life on tour, travelling on her own as the one-woman-band – the Bachelorette in a day-to-day sense. “I can’t say I actually really live anywhere at the moment,” she says. Her actual hometown, Christchurch, feels unfamiliar for other reasons, too. “The face of it has changed so much, it’s pretty unrecognisable since the earthquake,” Alpers says. On February 22, when the 6.3 tremors struck Christchurch, she was actually in a plane descending towards landing at CHC; only for the pilot to have to turn around and fly all the way back to Wellington. She came back two days later, and spent two weeks with family and friends, sharing in the “insane situation” they were going through. Though she’s now a wandering minstrel, unsure of her home, her future, or her musical nomenclature, Alpers’ fondest musical memories are connected to her ravaged hometown. The first one plays like this: “When I was a child I used to have these elaborate fantasies about singing on the stage at the Christchurch Town Hall with a choir of children behind me.” And the second is Bachelorette’s first-ever record-release show, back in 2005. “It was somehow magical,” Alpers beams. “Maybe that’s just because I was still so new to doing it. The freshness of making new music and having people pick up on that freshness, it just felt so amazing to me. That’s my favourite memory of playing live.” Whilst her last Bachelorette record may be selftitled, her debut EP was called, with some irony, The End Of Things. Tracking discographical history by titles, it, too, seems a neat loop.
WHO: Bachelorette WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Melbourne Festival, Toff In Town; Friday, Forum
Their loyal following has remained faithful throughout, particularly their Aussie fans who have built up a cultlike following for the band. “You know, we’ve always remained quirky as we’ve focused on the music and not the image,” he says. Not that their sound is limited to the Southern Hemisphere – they’ve regularly packed out halls and clubs across Europe. In February 2008, Salmonella Dub and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) collaborated for the Feel The Seasons Change tour of New Zealand. The tour combined dub’s
KATALYST’s shit-list comprises David Guetta, Mark Ronson and Kanye West, but CYCLONE learns he counts Portishead’s Geoff Barrow among his close friends.
s Sydney’s Katalyst (AKA Ashley Anderson) going electro? The DJ-cum-producer is back with his third album, Deep Impressions, and he’s changing things up. But, while the song The Popcorns has Euro synths, Anderson isn’t reinventing himself as an Aussie David Guetta. “David Guetta – god, that guy kills me!” he quips acerbically.
In the ‘90s, Anderson crafted illbient alongside the late Michael ‘Illpickl’ Wright as Moonrock. José Padilla licensed their Ill Street Blues for a Café Del Mar. The beatsmith started Invada Records with friend Geoff Barrow – of Portishead fame – and engineer Fraser Stuart in 2002. An early Katalyst track, Active Fusion, appeared on the eighth volume of John Stapleton’s breaks compilation series Dope On Plastic!. Anderson presented his largely instrumental solo debut, Manipulating Agent, on Invada to glowing reviews. He was more ambitious with 2007’s socially themed follow-up, What’s Happening. Anderson hired prestigious vocalists – New York neo-soul diva (and Barrow protégé) Stephanie McKay, Brit expat Steve Spacek, and, on the trip hop epic To Dust, Katie Noonan. There was a subliminal rock orientation. And, yes, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On provided conceptual inspiration. Next Anderson devised Space Invadas, his side-gig with Spacek, their Soul-Fi LP out last year. Deep Impressions is divergent again. The classic elements of Anderson’s sound remain – ol’ skool hip hop, soul, funk, jazz and reggae – but he’s also experimenting with synths. The Lights, featuring The Pharcyde’s Booty Brown and Spacek, is romantic ‘80s electro that evokes Visage. “It’s very much a nod to The Human League and that kind of modern romance thing that I was listening to when my friend’s older brothers were introducing us to smoking weed and all those exciting things when you’re 15 or 16. I wanted to include some of these influences on the record, when I decided to call it Deep Impressions, and also just to represent a slightly broader range of influences than the last record perhaps.” That’s not all. The Popcorns is a deep soul affair with incongruously crunky riffs, Jade MacRae cameo-ing as Jane Doe. (She previously graced Space Invadas’ Life.) In fact, The Popcorns is the tune everyone keeps mentioning to Anderson, who has been conducting interviews for the past two hours. “There was a vocal sample I used in
there and he says, ‘When the popcorn’s gone...’ I didn’t wanna call it The Popcorn because James Brown’s got a track called The Popcorn. [So] I just put the ‘S’ on there and called it The Popcorns!” McKay returns for the Caribbean Day Into Night (in addition to the hip hop soul U Can’t Save Me). The underground MC Coin Locker Kid peps up a fun take on The Clapping Song, originally cut by Shirley Ellis and then The Belle Stars in the ‘80s. The North Carolinian will shortly join Anderson on tour together with the album’s local guests and live musicians. Anderson admits that combining Invada’s administration with his own music-making is tricky, but he’s become more realistic. “I made the decision between the last record and this record to really try to get back to focusing on music, ‘cause the label does chew up an amazing amount of time.” Anderson isn’t signing new acts, instead just releasing music from the existing roster or projects in which he has input. Somehow he manages to find time to assemble Katalyst mixtapes. Though Barrow is still involved in Invada, he’s preoccupied with its UK affiliate, established a year after the Australian incarnation. “They release a pretty different catalogue to what we release out here,” Anderson suggests. He has relative freedom to develop RuCL and foster Koolism, but is in regular contact with Barrow. “I still hit him up for advice on all the releases. We talk on Skype a few times a week... So we’re never too out of touch.” The Bristolian, touring with Portishead later in
With more than two decades’ worth of experience in the music biz, do they view themselves as leaders? “I don’t think we are. Our sound and style is very different from other bands in New Zealand, so it’s hard to compare, although we may have inadvertently opened doors for a few others.”
WHO: Salmonella Dub WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Deep Roots, Espy
the year, intends to “hang out” in Australia for a month.
Anderson can’t help but excitedly divulge details about another upcoming project – a collaboration with Barrow and producer 7stu7 (Stuart Matthews) known as Quakers. They’ve spent three years on the hip hop enterprise, harnessing the internet to uncover dope MCs. “The goal was to get 30 MCs on the one record – and we ended up with 32.” Anderson lets slip that 7stu7’s slammin’ title track from RuCL’s Blueprint-y Brimstone & Fire was a Quakers “reject”, Barrow adhering to “the highest standards”. “You play him a beat that most people would freak out about and he’ll just go, ‘Yeah, what else you got?’” Anderson has long been critical of what passes for commercial urban, and modern soul, journalists welcoming his candour. Some of his targets are obvious, like Will.i.am, who’s not off the hook today. “Will should be shot, basically. The fucking amount of shit that he’s put out there – for a talented man as well. I mean, the guy can make amazing music. But how much money do The Black Eyed Peas need? How many bloody Rolls Royces does he want?” In 2007 Anderson dismissed Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black as an “industry record”, lacking in ‘real’ soul. And, as with Barrow, he’s (rather unfairly) laid into “rich kid” Mark Ronson. He now respectfully stays away from Winehouse. (Anderson would subsequently acknowledge that he’d been harsh, actually preferring her music to that of others on commercial radio.) He hasn’t wussed out, however. Anderson is unimpressed by Kanye West (“a fucking wanker”), disapproving of his award show antics. Even so, he gives credit where it’s due: He loves Otis. “I’m a massive Otis Redding fan,” Anderson enthuses, a little ashamed that he ‘slept on’ the soul great until viewing the doco Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story. “I made sure I sampled an Otis track for Quakers.” Anderson isn’t necessarily a traditionalist. He “dug” James Blake’s post-dubstep version of Feist’s Limit To Your Love. And there’s a mutual fanclub. “I don’t know if Steve [Spacek] ran into him or [if] he got a call from him, but apparently [Blake] hit Steve up and said he was a Space Invadas fan,” Anderson says. “But, yeah, look, if it’s heavy and it’s got soul, I’m into it – and, basslines, bring ‘em on.”
WHO: Katalyst WHAT: Deep Impressions (Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Toff In Town
SINGLED OUT BY BRYGET CHRISFIELD
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SINGLE OF THE WEEK
MUTEMATH BLOOD PRESSURE Teleprompt/Warner Who’s been keeping these sounds from me? WTF!? They formed in New Orleans in 2003? They’ve had a Grammy nom? That’s it; I’m grounding myself for a whole week with only Mutemath’s back catalogue plus music videos as sustenance. Elongated strings are sucker punched by a wailing guitar riff and then debilitating, overlapping riffs and pounding drums cause racing pulses. Chiding verses and punishing choruses are sure to get you slapped at work for drumming on your desktop. And that’s all before the track’s final minute, which makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of an endless vertical drop. Don’t miss Blood Pressure’s film clip, it’s pure genius.
DUCK SAUCE BIG BAD WOLF Etc Etc “The big bad wolf/The big bad wolf.” That’s all the lyrics you need to memorise when you try to keep your house of bricks together while losing your shit on the dancefloor. This clearly worked with their previous hit, Barbra Streisand, so why shouldn’t Duck Sauce (AKA Armand Van Helden and A-Trak) keep the average munted festivalgoer’s attention span in mind when penning all their future tunes? Not to mention the howling ‘big bad wolf’ sample actually sounds like a werewolf for all those Twihards and Trubies out there. Why, of course Big Bad Wolf will make it onto Ministry Of Sound’s upcoming The 2012 Annual. That’s a given.
NICK HUGGINS ICEBERG Two Bright Lakes/Remote Control After listening to this single, I’m gonna hunt down Nick Huggins’ second album, Five Lights, which dropped at the end of last week. Iceberg starts as a drone and gradually builds into sounds that replicate an orchestra tuning up. Words don’t enter the spectrum until the 1.30-minute mark, when evocative lyrics are delivered in spoken-word fashion with just enough attention paid to diction: “A one-way lifeboat tears across town”. What originally comes across as random noise suddenly falls into place and the effect is similar to wind chimes in a squall by track’s end.
HUSKY FOREVER SO Liberation
NEKROMANTIX WHAT HAPPENS IN HELL, STAYS IN HELL
It really is no wonder that Melbourne band Husky have begun to garner a lot of attention, and it seems that things will only get better with the release of their debut album, Forever So. From the opening muted strums and gentle humming of Tidal Wave to the serene ending of Farewell (In 3 Parts), Husky Gawenda, Gideon Preiss, Evan Tweedie and Luke Collins have encapsulated the beauty that comes from genuine musical talent combined with exquisite songwriting. Gawenda has said that “you shouldn’t notice the music or the art of it; you’re just transported to another place”. This is definitely the case on Forever So, where you can just let yourself go when you listen to it. Having said that, it would be a shame to not notice the music or art of the songs as there is so much to admire in the music and lyrics. There are so many wonderful, highlight-worthy tracks on the album, however, one in particular needs special mention. The Woods is a masterpiece that moves the listener to the core in such a way that one can easily be brought to tears. Preiss’ delicate piano work and Collins’ perfectly accented drumming cap this number off superbly. There is one criticism of this record, though, in that it is almost criminal that Preiss’ awe-inspiring piano piece that is played during their shows has been excluded. Husky’s debut album is an intelligent, truly beautiful and, more often than not, deeply moving affair; the maturity and emotional depth reached both lyrically and musically is something few bands reach in their lifetime, let alone on their first album. Better yet, this brilliance comes not just from one person, but all four band members, with each playing an intrinsic part in this equation. Dominique Wall
Hellcat Records The line-up may have changed (once again), but psychobilly fans around the world can rejoice in a superb return to form by Nekromantix – one of the genre’s best. Kim Nekroman, as always, is on coffin bass but he has been joined by Francisco Mesa (Nightbreed and Ultimo Asalto) who has taken on guitar duties, and Lux (Mystery Hangup and Sacred Storm) on drums, filling the shoes of Andy DeMize, who sadly died in a car crash in 2009. Despite the sadness of DeMize’s passing, it seems the four-year recording hiatus has worked wonders with What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell proving to be a vast improvement on 2007’s Life Is A Grave & I Dig It. Lyrically, there is always a danger that psychobilly bands can become stale, especially those with a 22-year history, but Nekroman has outdone himself this time around, managing to stay away from the dullness that invaded Life’s A Grave & I Dig It. Bats In My Pants serves as a humorous, fast-paced opener, while Nekrotastic Extasy is classic Nekromantix. Demonspeed shows off Lux’s drumming prowess – it’s no wonder she’s classed as one of the world’s best female drummers (and she plays in stilettos!). Crazy is a particular highlight; it may be slower than many of the other tracks, but its somewhat unsettling lyrics seem to be refreshing for this band. The best track though is Bela Lugosi’s Star – what could have been a mass of lyrical clichés is a clever piece of work with perfect musical accompaniment. The only low point is I Kissed A Ghoul and that’s only because of its lyrical play on I Kissed A Girl during the chorus. It’s great to hear Nekroman back to his best. Hopefully Nekromantix tour this album here before long.
RYAN ADAMS ASHES & FIRE Capitol/Sony For years Ryan Adams masqueraded as the tortured, prolific poet – as brilliant with words and melodies as he was troubled by life, seemingly committing his every thought to tape and unleashing it onto a hungry public – before a couple of years ago he declared that he was jettisoning his band The Cardinals and leaving music for good. Since then he’d only released a couple of things from the vaults, so for Ashes & Fire – his first new studio album in three years, an eternity in his world – there is actually a tangible sense of relief and anticipation. And for the most part the wait has been worth it. Adams has embraced sobriety, faced down a debilitating disease, found love with actress/musician (and now-wife) Mandy Moore and seems to be in the best mental state of his previously tempestuous career. Songs such as Lucky Now, Save Me and the beautiful country-infused Invisible Riverside all seem to look back on his days of hedonism with the contentment of someone who’s emerged from the wild, but who in hindsight realises that the experience helped shape who he’s become. And tracks such as Come Home, Chains Of Love and epic closer I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say reek of a man totally at peace with himself and finally happy with his lot in life. Musically the album mightn’t scale the heights of his revered 2000 solo debut Heartbreaker, but the two are quite similar beasts with their relaxed tones and preference for the acoustic over the electric. Adams’ abundant muse means that he can often be hit and miss, but when he hits them they stay hit, and Ashes & Fire contains enough gems that it’s awesome to welcome him back from the musical wilderness. Steve Bell
DANNY WIDDICOMBE NO ONE ELSE ABC/Universal The Wilson Pickers member sounds as if he’s had America’s A Horse With No Name on high rotation (a great thing). On the first single to be lifted from his upcoming solo album, Widdicombe’s voice sounds simultaneously casual and competent, with the correct amount of vibrato. No One Else employs a jaunty pace and melodies intertwine to recreate early infatuation: simultaneous euphoria and terror. Instrumentation soars, but you can sense the protagonist’s hesitance.
WINTERPARK HEY LOVE Independent So, I was about to comment on Matt Ridgway’s extraordinary falsetto (‘cause there’s a picture of a guy on the slick), but then noticed Susannah Legge is this single’s accredited vocalist. Beats me why there are two ‘remixes’ included when they are virtually identical to the original, just varying in length. If you fancy falling asleep in a deckchair by the pool, here’s your tune. Coming soon to a Café del Mar-style chillax compilation real soon. [Stifles yawn] Now where did I put that can of Red Bull?
ALEKS & THE RAMPS MIDDLE AGED UNICORN ON BEACH WITH SUNSET Gaga Digital In amongst castanets, hand claps and harp lie samples of a baby trying to say something and a sound that could have been sampled from that trippy kid’s show Boohbah. Each verse introduces different found sounds and Aleks Bryant’s impossibly low register delivers intriguing lyrics with an understated matter-of-factness: “I had some kids and let them do everything but crystal meth… A sock puppet production of Macbeth.” Aleks & The Ramps offer something captivating and I was compelled to play this single five times in a row, which could never be bad. Don’t be put off by the wanky, try-hard song title.
THE RED EYES CIRCLES Echofoxtrot Records The Red Eyes should get in touch with the Nimbin shuttle, since this song would make a fitting soundtrack for the return trip. There’s a desolate whistle by way of intro, where tumbleweeds roll through your mind’s eye, and then before too long you’ll be doing that reggae skip step move. Inventive instrumentation elevates Circles and frontman El Witeri cuts a fine shirtless figure, which won’t stunt their fanbase.
M83 HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING Pod/Inertia
TOTAL CONTROL HENGE BEAT Iron Lung Up until this debut LP, the output of four singles/EPs from local five-piece Total Control has displayed a smooth, almost imperceptible progression away from jams that revel in the band’s hardcore/punk roots (Eddy Current Suppression Ring/The UV Race) to minimalist electronica, the most obvious correlative being the Wire of Pink Flag through 154. Opening track See More Glass seems to confirm the transition, with synthetic imagery deadpanned by singer Dan Stewart over a pulsating drum machine and synth patterns. The most jarring live drum sound in recent memory announces the punk rock attack of Retiree, a nice encapsulation of the band’s extremes, condensed into Henge Beat for 35-ish minutes of glorious sonic whiplash. Like any good genre-hoppers, Total Control do it with a complete lack of ostentation or any whiff of play-acting. The modes on display range from the fierce post-punk of One More Tonight, expert Kraftwerk pastiche on The Hammer, and quizzically charming kosmische interludes such as Shame Thugs and Sunday Baker acting as gentle respites. Remnants of the band’s hardcore make-up come out in full force for No Bibs, with the Eddy Current connection becoming most explicit on the impossibly sexy and hypnotic extended jam Carpet Rash, whose kosmische leanings continue into the blissful and unexpectedly warm closer Love Performance. Tonally and sonically reminiscent of the closing title track of Eno’s Here Come The Warm Jets, Stewart’s refrain of “These are not the last days” makes sure Henge Beat sounds out with a hope and optimism that, if not the dominant mood on an LP that tends toward the detached and oblique, at least corresponds to the feeling that you’ve discovered your new favourite band. Ian Barr
The year is 2025. A kid is going through his aging hipster parent’s record collection. He’s just starting to learn about music and this weird format called ‘vinyl’ which was popular in the ancient days of the 1970s and then for some reason came into fashion again in the late2000s, for a short while at least. He stumbles across a magnificent gatefold double-LP by a band called M83. The swirling intro on side one immediately captivates his attention. He skips back and plays it again. There’s a childlike sense of musical discovery, pure creative expression and imagination inspiring dreamscapes crammed into this album by Anthony Gonzalez’ M83. Similar hyperbole has been heaped upon pretty much everything M83 has released, but HUWD represents the perfect culmination of a decade’s worth of experimenting and refining his sounds and ideas – almost as if it was all building up to this masterpiece. There’s a sense of ‘80s revivalism that has no roots in irony or sarcasm. The sax solo in Midnight City would sound trite in a lesser recording. Gonzalez’ voice soars like Peter Gabriel or even Steve Winwood on Reunion. While still low in the mix, it’s not suffocated by reverb or drenched in effects. It’s big and loud and focus-pulling. Smatterings of slap bass even infiltrate the proceedings on Claudia Lewis, although it’s barely noticeable on the first pass. It’s not all fuzzy, feel good synth pads – This Bright Flash explodes into a rock party before being sucked into a vortex of nothingness like an exploding star. Prog keyboards, In The Air Tonight drum fills, echo drenched snares – there’s so many elements that could be the album’s undoing, but somehow they all converge in some kind of universe of absolute perfect balance. Chris Yates
THUNDERCAT THE GOLDEN AGE OF APOCALYPSE Brainfeeder/Inertia You walk into a bar – a shady, cold and smoke-filled room. You might be dreaming. Men stare at their drinks. The sound of Thundercat carries through the air. The air is old and the sound is new. The album is The Golden Age Of Apocalypse. Teeming with character, the debut record from Los Angeles musician Stephen Bruner (AKA Thundercat) delivers a journey through the spiralling depths of the artist’s jazz-centred expertise. Co-produced by Flying Lotus, the album takes its preliminary cues and impetus from the pair’s last merger: Lotus’ 2010 release Cosmogramma. Here, however, it is the virtuosic prowess of Bruner as both performer and composer that is at the frontline of the Thundercat sound. Entrenched in the tracklisting is Bruner’s rich and diverse history in music (including credits as bassist for Suicidal Tendencies, and production with Snoop Dogg and Erykah Badu). Through each tune, the listener turns a new page, discovers a fresh story and exposes inspiring light on the Thundercat name. Via HooooooO and then Daylight, The Golden Age… opens through a milky turn of synthesised funk dazzle (featuring a transitory sample from the 1980s animation of which the artist derives his name). From the cool and jovial Fleer Ultra through For Love I Come and Boat Cruise, the sonic quips and intricacies within the narrative-laden tracks provide the weight and substance to this nu-jazz experience. At album close, the curious bookend of Mystery Machine (The Golden Age Of Apocalypse) and Return To The Journey creates an additional layer of colour and intrigue. The ambiguity in their intent or purpose serves as the perfect stimulant to trigger another spin – and an alternative interpretation to a vibrant record. Carlin Beattie
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FUNKOARS THE QUICKENING Golden Era Funkoars’ new release, The Quickening, has all the confidence and clarity the group’s long career has afforded them, but also shows they’ve lost none of the energy and fervour they’ve become known for over the years. This catchy collection of party songs is hard-hitting and light-hearted in equal parts but also boasts a sense of rawness that commands respect from listeners from its opening lines. The record opens with Fumes That Smell Like Doom, an upbeat introductory track that sets the bar high for what is to follow. The Quickening is self-assured, powerful and catchy as hell, not to mention that the production (a result of collaboration with Large Professor) is remarkable. The album also achieves a distinct rough-around-the-edges feel, in true Funkoars fashion, which certainly adds to its charm and is particularly poignant in Where I Am. This rough raw sound does fall apart slightly in It’s All Good, one of the weaker tracks on the record, but a recovery is made in the slower beats and well-placed verses of the record’s standout, All We Need. The truly infectious beat behind Being Vincent D’Onofrio, combined with its passionate testament to the joys of the group’s musical lifestyle, make it another of the record’s standout tracks. This album is delivered confidently and clearly consolidates the important position Funkoars have carved out for themselves in the world of Australian hip hop. For ballads paying homage to a life lived hazily, they are told with alarming clarity and commitment. Filled with all the harsh lyricism and truly unique beats we have come to expect from Funkoars, this record will certainly not disappoint. Lucia Osborne-Crowley
GLEN CAMPBELL GHOST ON THE CANVAS Surfdog/Thrillhill/ Inertia Glen Campbell has vouched that his latest album Ghost On The Canvas will be his last studio record of new songs that he intends to make. Sad as this is, it’s made even more poignant due to the recent admission that Campbell is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Ghost On The Canvas then is the full stop to what has been an evocative, illustrious career (his role in True Grit notwithstanding), and as always Campbell does it all his own way, his heart on his sleeve. This is no Rick Rubin/American Recordings outing either – Ghost On The Canvas is an album that is a clear extension of Campbell’s musical trajectory. And he has pulled in some heavy hitters to help him smash this one out in style – The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan have written songs specifically for the album, while there is a Guided By Voices cover (Hold On Hope) and appearances by the likes of Chris Isaak, Dick Dale, Rick Nielsen and, bizarrely, Billy Corgan. None of the glitz overshadows Campbell though, and his personal approach to the craft is evident throughout – the first line of opener A Better Place, “I have tried and I have failed, Lord,” is as succinct a line about the darker moments of his life as any, yet it comes with the hint of hope for the future. Hold On Hope is beautifully constructed, but also becomes more affecting in knowing what the future years may hold for him. Even when The Dandy Warhols join him for Strong, it is clear that Campbell’s inimitable spirit that has gilded his career has not left him. Ghost On The Canvas is a portrait of an esteemed performer giving it his all, with purpose, and in doing so has created one of the best albums of his career Brendan Telford
CANT DREAMS COME TRUE Warp
LO! LOOK AND BEHOLD Green/MGM
Cant is white boy R&B, an at times dense indie electronic album that is brimming with disparate ideas and approaches – perhaps too many. One moment it’s gentle late night and minimal with a repetitive guitar line and throaty, folksy vocals, yet then it moves into taut electronica before erupting into woozy distorted avant electronic sound art piece. And that’s just one song (Bang).
Carl Whitebread of metal band Omerata; a drummer who’s served time in 28 Days and Degeneracy; the bass player from Huntsmen; and a vocalist who, unbelievably, is fronting a band for the first time after a brief stint on keys for Switchkicker: welcome to Lo! and their debut record, Look And Behold. It’s a heady behemoth of an album that reflects their mixed musical influence with impressive cohesion.
It’s everything but the kitchen sink, clearly the work of someone throwing every idea they’ve ever had at the music and seeing what sticks. Or you’d think so if it wasn’t the debut solo album of Chris Taylor, a man who’s already demonstrated his chops in Grizzly Bear, and via production for Twin Shadow (who appears here) and Blood Orange. The production is crisp and articulate and the vocals are earnest with gentle harmonies – but that’s where the resemblance to his day job ends. It’s very much an electronic album, with dense washes of synth and programmed beats. All of this could make it a little cold, a little artificial, however, the vocals really plug right into the emotions. In fact there’s a certain Phil Collins element to the way he sings at times, particularly on opener Too Late Too Far. It’s these unexpected links that highlight the real pop feel to his music. It’s the opposite of slick, and in fact the pop often appears hand-in-hand with the noisier more dissonant moments, yet it’s lurking here and prevents any prickly moments of abrasiveness from becoming too much. Between the son-based electrics are these gentle acoustic moments with Taylor crooning on guitar or even piano. There’s a lot going on here and there’s no doubt it takes some time to digest and allow the tunes to really breathe, but when they do, the sheer musical and production precociousness as well as the diversity of the music will leave you breathless.
A number of the tracks from their demos appear again here, though the extra tracking and mastering has given them new depth and added punch. What’s more, they sit perfectly amongst ten tracks that swell, fall and climax in brutal riffs, as a whole. Opener Hath and the piano-laden misery that is Doth almost entirely comprise criminally eerie and dire soundscapes; there’s a ghostly falsetto over the condensed groove of Moira Kindle, and the bass in Bastion could make you pregnant. Perhaps most impressive (especially for those fortunate enough to have witnessed the aural carnage of Lo! live) is frontman Jamie-Leigh Smith’s vocals. Having never fronted a band before, he is an assured and charismatic frontman, but more importantly displays a great versatility despite his voice rarely straying from the heavier end of the spectrum. Deluge (Carnivorous Flux) has him working between a sleazy low-range croon, a rumbling and doomy growl, a staunch bark and throat-tearing yell. In a way his vocal diversity represents Lo!’s sound as a whole: a manifesto that boldly (and with no bullshit) states that something needn’t be one dimensional or derivative by simple virtue of the fact that it is ‘heavy’. Then they go and back up such statements with this confidently assaulting debut. Dave Drayton
Bob Baker Fish
VINTAGE SOUNDS Recording at a vineyard just outside Nagambie was a dream album-making experience, THE BOWERS’ KIT WARHURST tells MICHAEL SMITH.
e actually just thought it would be fun,” Kit Warhurst, drummer with The Bowers and formerly Rocket Science, admits when asked what prompted The Bowers to introduce themselves with a run of 7” vinyl singles. “It was something we all felt we would like to have in our own collections as lovers of music. It was like, ‘Damn, man, wouldn’t it be great to play in a band that had released three seven-inches before releasing anything else?’ I don’t know if it did us any favours or not in the bigger picture,” he laughs, “and we were able to do it ourselves. It’s something I cherish as a collection.” Songwriter and guitarist Phil Gionfriddo, who’s previously worked with Spencer P Jones, pulled The Bowers together in 2004 after spotting a young singer named Liam Linley at a gig, calling in the old Rocket Science rhythm section, though bass player Paul Maybury moved on in 2009 after that first run of singles, replaced by Spencer Dyson. Economics inevitably saw the band release their debut album, Her Night, on CD. “But then Phil made a contact in Spain and they wanted to put the record out on vinyl because that was the medium they like working with the most so we jumped at the chance. And this second album [Odds Or Evens] is going to come out as a longplayer in vinyl through Cobra Snake Necktie Records – two Melbourne guys, lovely gentlemen – which is great.” When it came time to record Odds Or Evens, rather than heading into a conventional studio somewhere in their hometown, The Bowers took themselves off to the Victorian country town Nagambie, or more exactly, to a vineyard not far outside it. “It was a brilliant recording experience, and a big part of the sound was recording down at Nagambie at a friend’s [Andrew McGee] house. He allowed us to come in for five days and pretty much take over the house, setting up all our equipment essentially in their living space and making music to our hearts’ content. And they catered for us, amazing food and beautiful wine from the vineyard. It really was the recording experience I’ve always dreamed of having but never thought I would, this wonderful non-pressurised situation. I can certainly hear the good feelings that were created there that went down to tape so to speak, so I think it translates to the record. “With this record, we wanted to touch on the different sort of flavours that are within The Bowers, and I guess a lot of the time we get to play those types of songs in a live format, so they sort of get put to the side sometimes because we tend to play more of the uptempo stuff given the way our live shows go. So we do have quite a few of that style of numbers, the slower ones and the darker broodier ones, but they don’t often get a chance to get an airing, so it was nice to include at least one element of that on the record.” Thanks to that Spanish album deal, The Bowers were able to set up a tour, albeit a pretty modest one, of France and Spain last year. “It was really about going over and cementing friendships and relationships with venue owners and booking agents and of course seeing if there was a chance of gaining ourselves a following, and we achieved all three of those things. Also it was all about having a great time as well – and that was achieved as well. Plans are already underway to get back over there again.”
WHO: The Bowers WHAT: Odds Or Evens (Love & Theft) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Tote
UNEARTHED GEM THE KILLJOYS are reissuing their long out-of-print debut Ruby with their latest all-star album, writes TONY MCMAHON.
ore than just another studio album, Pearl, the latest release from The Killjoys, is a celebration of a long and distinguished career, a kind of best-of with a twist. Featuring performances from all band members over the group’s journey, this is – as usual – a delightful and intoxicating album from one of this country’s most important outfits, but takes things to a completely new level with harmonies, both musical and (one would imagine) personal, hitherto unimagined. As if this were not reason enough already to rush out and open the wallet, Pearl is packaged as a gorgeous, digipack edition complete with a bonus disc of The Killjoys’ stunning, ARIA Award-winning debut album, Ruby, which has been unavailable for years. Vocalist Anna Burley and guitarist/vocalist Craig Pilkington discuss the idea of both combining two records and revisiting past band members.
whole world was in front of us. It was all up from there. It was a very optimistic time and I really enjoyed that.” For Burley, however, the record brings back memories of the band’s former manager and legendary Punters Club booker Linda Gebar. “I guess for me, it always reminded me of Linda, who used to be our manager, who’s since passed away. So, whenever I hear it, I have a lot of memories of her, so it’s actually quite a sad thing, too.”
and ask ourselves ‘How we can use these players in a really good way to take these songs in different directions’.”
“It’s always exciting when a new record comes out,” says Burley. “But we’re particularly excited about this one. Having all the old members perform on it was Craig’s idea. We’d been talking about re-issuing Ruby, but whenever we had the money we always wanted to use it to make a new record. But then Craig pointed out that the anniversary was coming up for the record, so he came up with this idea of approaching everybody. I thought it was kind of hairbrained at the start, but it ended up being very exciting.”
“We’d start with the bones of the songs,” adds Burley. “The vocals and guitars, and then we’d have a real good think about who would be great on it. It was such a fun thing to do.”
Pilkington continues: “It was about the possibility of looking back over all the band’s past members and using them for what they were really good at and then using all the best bits and putting it all together into lineups that never actually existed. It’s always really good to have some senses around a project, whether it be thematically, or instrumentally or whatever. So, for me, that was a really great way of approaching the record. I don’t know, life goes by so quickly, it’s good to stop and just sort of mark these things every now and again.”
“Over the years, we’d had a lot of requests from people who’d lost their copy or it had broken or they’d split with their partner and they’d split the record collection and that kind of stuff. Right around the time I noticed that it was 20 years since we’d won an ARIA for it, there was a copy on Amazon for $250 and I just thought we were stupid for not having it available.”
On paper, it’s tough to disagree with Burley’s initial reaction that getting a bunch of ex-band members together again had the potential to go horribly wrong. Personal dynamics aside, though, the ultimate question no doubt concerns the effect on the music, and this was obviously a huge success. Pilkington puts this down to a kind of embarrassment of riches. “With the songs, I think it allowed us to say, ‘Okay, well, now this one can go in this direction and that one can go in that direction’. It did allow us to look at the collective arsenal
When it comes to the decision to re-release their debut, Pilkington admits that some of the motivation came from ego-Googling, but there were also a ton of emails, and Inpress suspects the real rationale was more egalitarian.
“In some ways it was nice to see that it was collectable,” adds Burley. “And I would have been happy to see it stay that way in a sense. But we just had people constantly emailing us to the point where it became crazy not to have it back out there.” What was it like emotionally to revisit a record from so distant a place in one’s past? Pilkington says it was mostly a very enjoyable experience. “I guess I listened to it again for the first time in ages when I was considering remastering it. I’d forgotten about some of the songs that were on it. I guess it took me back to a time when we were working on it. Emotionally, it was good; because the memory of that time was that the
When it comes to reproducing Pearl live, Burley and Pilkington thought about installing a revolving door on stage for the launch at the Thornbury Theatre, but ended up going with a different strategy. “We did consider that,” says Pilkington. “And we thought that if we designed a show around bringing a whole lot of people on stage we were making a huge weight around our ankles. So, we’ve put together the sort of 2011 version of The Killjoys, which involves the four core members who’ve been playing with us for the last ten years. And Deanna Rumsaviche, from the band Oh, Deanna, who I produced a record for earlier in the year, she’s playing keyboards. She was actually born a year before the band was formed, which is exciting. She’s brought a real youthful optimism to the line-up. And Barb Waters, who also happens to be my wife, will be playing guitar as well. So after all these years, we’ve finally addressed the gender imbalance of the band, we’ve got three boys and three girls. Six hands and lots of voices, so it really allows, you know, the whole back catalogue and lots of songs from the new record.” As a launch venue, the Thornbury Theatre strikes this writer as, quite simply, the perfect venue. Burley agrees wholeheartedly. “We can’t wait. Everything I’ve seen there has always sounded so lovely. I’ve always really, really wanted to play there. We’ve done some shows there as a duo, but never a full band show, so it’s pretty exciting.”
WHO: The Killjoys WHAT: Pearl/Ruby (Popboomerang) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Thornbury Theatre
TOUCH THE SKY “I went in going, ‘Gee, I better not be shit’,” PETE MURRAY informs TONY MCMAHON of recording at Sunset Sound in the same booth as the likes of Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and Prince.
fter three super successful albums, all of which reached number one on the Australian charts, it would be fair enough if a fourth from Pete Murray was more of the same. Murray’s is, after all, a sound that so many people have come to love: a warm, smoky cross between Dylan and Drake with the songwriting chutzpah to match it with anyone. But it’s testament to Murray’s desire to not just be successful, but also to make relevant music, that he did no such thing. Album number four, Blue Sky Blue, while still very much a Pete Murray record, is also a staggering departure – no small achievement. This is a forceful, much more rock-oriented record than Murray’s previous work, exquisitely produced by American Tom Rothrock who – besides having the coolest name in the business – has manned the desk for acts the calibre of Beck, Foo Fighters and Elliott Smith. So, how exactly did Murray manage the complex balancing act of change, keeping the fans happy and making the kind of music he felt he needed to? It doesn’t appear that it was much of a conscious decision on his part. Rather, it seems that his main desire was to make an album of material that would work well on stage. “This time around, I haven’t listened to any music. On the other ones, I think I listened to music to get influences. But for the last three years, I’ve just been writing and surfing and trying to go back to doing what I do. Everyone seems to be saying that this record is a new beginning, that it’s a fresh-sounding style. I found I really had no desire to do acoustic songs. Even though there’s acoustic elements in there, I wanted to make a record where every song was one that I wanted to play live. I’d like to be able to play every song and for people to love each one. These days, you really need to have a good live show. If you don’t have that, you’re pretty much screwed.” Even though Murray too doubts the legitimacy of his producer’s name, he has no uncertainty whatsoever that Rothrock was the right choice to take Blue Sky Blue to another level. “It’s funny, you know? I met his mother when I was over in the states. We had dinner and I felt like asking her if her name was really Mrs Rothrock. She’s a lady in her sixties or her seventies, so obviously I couldn’t, but I really wanted to. But, yeah, about 12 or 18 months beforehand there was only one name on my producer wishlist and that was Tom’s. I had to put some other names on there as I got a little closer because Tom picks and chooses who he wants to work with and I couldn’t just
didn’t think that the number which eventually became the title track was even going to make the album. But a seemingly innocuous suggestion from Rothrock and a truly kick-arse drummer changed all that in a hurry. “That was the first track we played. Blue Sky Blue was just an acoustic track that I didn’t think was going to make the album. Tom suggested we start with it and use the bass and drums as well. I think I said something like, ‘It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but let’s go for it.’ The guy on drums was such a good drummer, though, that after about five takes he just nailed that groove. It just sounded fantastic and I thought it became this really good representation of the album. And it’s probably the song on there that’s closest to the older stuff, but once the groove kicks in, it opens up another chapter.” send it out to one guy. So there were about ten guys that we sent stuff out to and within 24 hours Tom had gotten back to us. He’d kind of retired because he hadn’t heard anything that tickled his fancy, but when he heard this he was really keen to work on it. That was comforting to know. When I went over there and met him, we got on really well and it just also felt like he was the guy who was going to help push me away from where I’d come from.” And the album was recorded in the legendary Los Angeles studio Sunset Sound where, legend has it, Jim Morrison was, err, pleasured by his girlfriend in a vocal booth during a take. Naturally, this was at the forefront of Murray’s mind when he arrived, but it seems that the studio is famous for a couple of other things as well. “I went into that vocal booth. That’s a little hidden room off the side of studio one. It was a storage room and they took all the gear out of it. That’s where it was all going on. I had to check it out, for sure. But everyone’s recorded there: Led Zep, Fleetwood Mac, The Stones, Prince. I was nervous. It was a little bit to do with the rhythm section I was playing with, because they were just so good, but it had a lot to do with the place as well. I went in there thinking I didn’t want to let the studio down. There’s been so many great albums come out of there that I went in going, ‘Gee, I better not be shit’. So, there was a bit of pressure, but it was good pressure, it made me really step up and play well.” Amazingly, when the recording sessions began, Murray
In discussing his process with a new band of session musos, Murray reveals the inner workings of songs very much growing in the process of being recorded. “Everything was written, but I’d never played with these guys before. We’d sit down and discuss it. I had some acoustic versions that I’d played to Tom and we’d put some beats and grooves to them. Or I’d just play the songs on an acoustic guitar. Nate Morton, the drummer, would chart the beats out and then we’d jump into the room and play it for a few takes until it felt like it had locked in.” And this almost-live approach to recording should mean that Murray’s wish for Blue Sky Blue to make an absolute killer live show is fulfilled in no uncertain way. Tellingly, though, he’s also philosophical about the very end result. “If I love playing every track live, it should mean the crowd love it too, hopefully. It’s just got good energy, I think, this album… Look, music finds a place, so wherever it is that this album finds a place, that’s going to be fine by me.”
WHO: Pete Murray WHAT: Blue Sky Blue (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday, Inferno Nightclub (Traralgon); Thursday and Friday, Hi-Fi; Saturday, 11 Pier Hotel (Frankston); and Sunday, Ferntree Gully Hotel
NOT ALOUD? American doom merchants COUGH hope Aussie audiences are open to loud sounds, bassist PARKER CHANDLER tells SAMSON MCDOUGALL.
arker Chandler of Cough describes his band’s sound as “21st century American doom”. Listening to their shit, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that he’s right. Cough’s music is the stuff of nightmares – contorted screams over slow-driving concrete guitars and cymbal crashes. It conjures a descent into hell, and they’re bringing that to Melbourne for the first time this weekend. Since 2007, Cough have spewed forth an EP (which, with four songs spanning 27-odd minutes, would combat most ‘album’ releases these days) and two albums worth of unrelenting quagmire-ish doom. To give you a gauge of the gravity of this stuff, their song lengths range from five (288 Days Of Sin) to 13 minutes (Ritual Abuse) yet neither of their albums stretch further than six songs. This is heavy duty aural abuse on a mammoth scale, and it begs the question: where exactly was this shit was spawned? The bassist’s dogs bark savagely in the background as he talks about their hometown of Richmond, Virginia, and reveals a music community under siege. “It kinda prides itself on supporting the arts but when it comes to live music, besides the actual community of musicians that are out there performing, there’s not a lot of support,” he says. “We used to have a really good community for house shows and lately the police force has basically created a unit that sets out to find parties and bust them. It kinda killed the house show scene here. “For smaller- to mid-level bands there’s basically one venue. There are bigger venues around where bigger touring acts playing more accessible forms of music can perform, because they can bring out the people required to fill the room, but when you’re into punk and metal you don’t get the chance to play.” At this point the dog barking reaches crescendo. “Sorry,” he says, “my dawgs are goin’ crazy.” Rising from the, now-dwindling, house party scene, and fused on a mutual love of fundamental US doom merchants Eyehategod and Buzzov*en, Cough appeared at about the right time in terms of the supposed doom revival of the past couple of years. Newfound popularity for bands such as The Sword have brought a heavier sound back into the consciousness of listeners. Arguably, this has led to increased interest in the likes of Acid King, Melvins and Buzzov*en – bands that have been doing it for the duration. Cough’s sonic directive was not so much to pay tribute to these acts, but surpass them in every aspect. Unfortunately, Chandler says, this doesn’t necessarily translate to all live performances. “It depends on the place we’re playing live,” he continues. “We set out with the goal of being as heavy as we can on our budget. In America you can turn up and crank everything as loud as you want, y’know. The sound guys over here are used to it, they don’t really think twice about it. They may say, ‘You don’t really need all of this, we have a PA,’ but I just tell ‘em it’s okay and we do it anyway. In Europe, we’re playing with half the gear and they have us turned down to about one. It sucks. In Europe they just don’t like loud music, I hope Australians like it loud ‘cause it’s hard to get into it if it’s not at the right volume for us.” Touring with Buzzov*en earlier this year, Cough were put to their task by the forefathers of their genre. Through more savage barking, Chandler maintains that 20-something years on, the sludge metal stalwarts are as confronting as their reputation suggests. “They still do their thing and get up there and kill it,” he says. “There were a couple of crazy nights with fights onstage and stuff like that – the kind of stuff you used to hear about and you were wondering if that would still be the case. Then that happens the first night of the tour… At that point you’re thinking, ‘Is this tour really gonna happen?’ There goes those dawgs again. Shut up Ash!”
WHO: Cough WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Doomsday, Northcote Social Club; Sunday, Tote
TALKING ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION Notes From The Hard Road And Beyond is a concert celebrating music of protest and rebellion. RICKIE LEE JONES outlines her plans for change to NIC TOUPEE.
ast in Australia just 12 months ago, for Melbourne Festival show Seven Songs To Leave Behind, American singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones has returned for the 2011 festival to participate in a new show. Invited once again by the respected Indigenous arts collective The Black Arm Band, this time Jones – joining Joss Stone, Mavis Staples and Australian political balladeer John Schumann (most famous for his band Redgum) – has been asked to contribute to a night described as “a glorious and daring celebration of the music of protest, rebellion, love and hope”. It seems perfectly fitting to invite Jones to pick her favourite protest songs. On her songs choices for the evening, Jones offers, “To be honest, I haven’t selected them yet. I haven’t confirmed my choices about what I will sing. Last year, all the songs were my choice, but this time I am choosing from a big list of songs.” Jones reveals that each artist will choose from a set group of protest songs selected by The Black Arm Band. The show, called Notes From The Hard Road And Beyond mentions undeniably crucial names in the protest canon: Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday and even Green Day. While Jones’ choices currently remain under wraps, she is not reticent to offer her thoughts on the ideas behind this show: revolution. “Revolution happens unexpectedly. I don’t think real revolution is planned,” she muses. “Small groups of people through the years, fighting the powers of their governments, keep the seed growing and suddenly… things do change. When the Wall came down in East Berlin, who could have imagined that would happen? But, in hindsight, it happened right after the student massacre in Tiananmen Square. Seeing that people had been killed there for protesting set a seed in people’s minds, and the Wall came down. Revolution does not have to be a violent act; real revolution happens in quiet ways.” Jones has a widescreen theatre of ideas and loves mythology, dream symbology, the power of the
unconscious and the deep waters of emotional development, as is evident in her later – arguably more experimental – work. However, her thoughts about protest embrace the pragmatic. “You fight in little ways,” she recommends. “Instead of driving a car in LA, I ride a bicycle; I’ve become part of a small group of people who refuse to be like others. In your town, if for five years, or ten years, people refuse to buy oil or gas, something like that, if it grows, can topple the oil industry and – suddenly – the world has changed. Singing songs about that spirit, that potential for change, which lies in each of us, reminds people that every person’s actions count.” Jones recognises that there are more issues for protest than there are songs to describe them. “The big issues are everywhere, you can look in any direction. Women around the world are castrated, raped and kept in slavery; oil companies create wars and kids from my country are mercenary soldiers effectively working for these oil companies, fighting not for democracy but for oil, greenhouse gasses… It’s a strange time because the world I grew up in is toppling and ending, and a Brave New World is coming. When I was a kid, I also noticed a loss of… what’s the right word… civility, courtesy, empathy. It’s weird to see it all coming from a generation of hippies that wanted to save the world, change the world.” Jones also continues to engage with the imaginative
GENRE GHOST When there’s something strange, in your neighbourhood – who you gonna call? STUART EVANS discovers GHOSTPOET gets that a lot. On the surface, the softly spoken Obaro Ejimiwe (AKA Ghostpoet) isn’t your average music maker; he’s more in tune with philosophy and probably has more in common with Socrates than your emblematic musician. “I wouldn’t say that,” laughs the softly spoken Englishman. “I don’t plan my sound and don’t try to complicate my lyrics. I figure that I’m not the best singer or rapper in the world, but my music is me being me and it is music that I like.” His musical reckoning started when he purchased his first record and set about improving what he heard. “The record was instrumental so I tried writing lyrics that worked with the music. I became curious and enjoyed the process, so I wanted to do more and started to experiment,” he reveals. The UK-based Ejimiwe first made noise with his Sound Of Strangers EP, but it was when he dropped the wonderfully odd named album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jams via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings imprint that things started to ensue. “I never even thought I’d get to meet Gilles Peterson, let alone work and be associated with him. This year has really been amazing,” he reflects. Ejimiwe’s gritty, tough and wise lyrical poetry falls in to the quagmire of styles and substance that’s as unyielding as it is melancholic. Even The Streets’ Mike Skinner is reportedly a fan. As an MC, hip hop is the easiest label to fling Ejimiwe’s way. However, the blemish is Ejimiwe’s more placid and bluesy delivery, and with live drums and scattered electronics the tilt is more trip than hip. “I’m not into genres or labelling myself anything. I know what I am and what I’m trying to do. I know sometimes people need to label me with something as it probably makes it easier for them to identify me. I’m influenced by music and love music and then try to incorporate various aspects into it,” he says. Ejimiwe drags an assortment of musical influences to make a track work. Be it indie, dub, hip hop or electro – his ethos of not generalising is working. “This year has been a mad whirlwind and I certainly never envisaged any of it. It’s been so pleasing that people have taken my music to their hearts.” Given daily life is surrounded by influences, which can be both good and bad, music is often the basis of transpired events. The Londoner has a favoured
approach to songwriting. He says he starts with a beat (or beats) and gradually gets a sense of a hook or a chord to turn an idea into something of essence. Not that he has an abundance of beats churning around in his mind. “I do have a lot of ideas going around in my mind though,” he reveals. “Songwriting is personal, as it’s my life and also other people’s [lives]. It makes sense for me to write about that kind of thing where I can then work on the basis of how it will work with a tune.” Though born and raised in London, it is Coventry, in England’s West Midlands, that he refers to as his home. Ejimiwe says Coventry is significant in another way: it was the birth of Ghostpoet. “When I left home, Coventry was my first destination. I was at university and started to write lyrics without making any actual music or knowing how to play a musical instrument,” he tells. That Coventry supplied him with a diet of soul, hip hop, grime and garage says much about his musical output of varying influences. He studied media production at Coventry University. He met a girl, got a job as a customer service representative at an insurance firm and then got a mortgage. At night, he messed with electronic beats and started to write lyrics, set up a MySpace page and slowly started to make progress – the key word being ‘slowly’. “I was working nine-to-five at the time and it was hard not to get carried away and dream about making something more out of music,” he reflects. Ejimiwe was also a member of the grime collective, but his initial fondness for grime was short-lived. “I found grime limiting and really just lost interest and passion. I wanted to say something different and more in a different style, as I just couldn’t do that with grime.
and the internal, which are the botanical garden from which her songs are made. “My interior world, my landscape, is a private place, which has been there since I was a little girl. And that part of me is intact, never changing and always the same. It’s made up of, for example, a rainbow and a tree, and no matter what’s happening, that rainbow and tree exists. When I’m onstage, I could be at a bus stop in China – the stage doesn’t matter, it’s a place of imagination. Politics, marriage, or poverty: your imagination is the place that saves you from the real world.” With her last album Balm In Gilead, released in 2009, Jones has had plenty of gestation time to consider her next release. However, Jones may be considering not only the ideas for a new work, but the format itself. “I have a couple of ideas for records, but I have to write at home. After Christmas I have no more shows booked, and I’m not booking any more, so I hope to start then. I’m also writing stories about my whole life, a bit at a time. It has been an amazing life, so I figure I had better write it all down before I start forgetting. I have an agent, and have been talking to him for a couple of years but it took me a long time to send him anything. I only recently sent him my first random pages – let’s see what voice I have in writing.” Jones finds herself looking at writing as a method of forcing herself to be more communicative. “I’m a reclusive person,” she confesses, “and I am alone most of the time with my dog and plants, content doing that. I have to make an effort to go out, spend time with people – it’s not in my nature and I think I’m missing something. I remembered a time when I had been writing a short story based on the title of a song, and was writing about sad afternoons. I remembered a night in 1963 when a man tried to break into our house in the middle of the night... I remembered how the guy was going to all the different doors in the house trying to get in. It was terrifying, and I had totally blocked this memory out, but as I went to write about that year I remembered.”
WHO: Rickie Lee Jones WHAT: Notes From The Hard Road And Beyond WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Melbourne Festival, Sidney Myer Music Bowl
I wanted to concentrate on words and the structure of those words in an overall arrangement of music that doesn’t just complement a beat of a drum,” he explains. Ejimiwe’s a musical poet who, despite not being able to play traditional music instruments, has relied on his instinctive ability to write lyrics that display wisdom and thought. He has still never mastered one instrument. “I wanted to learn and play saxophone but there was only one in my school at the time and somebody else got to it first. I tried to play a bit of clarinet and trombone, but at the time the school required insurance for me to take them home so I could practise. I asked my parents, who said they didn’t want to waste money on things like that!” If he’s lyrically robust, production is an ongoing learning curve. “I’m still learning and realise how important it is. It’s one of those things that will no doubt improve as time goes on.” And his experience working within the grime genre did have positives. “One of the guys taught me some of the basics around computer production and how to mould sounds and instruments together,” he reveals. He’s also deep in a whimsical kind of way, without ever revealing too much about his personal life and history. “My lyrics aren’t biographical but do feature aspects of my life that people can probably relate to.” Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam displays far more than simply moulding instruments. Think of Ejimiwe as a conversationalist with lyrics rich in symbolism. There’s no posturing or attitude often associated with an MC. There are moments that are gut-wrenching that are balanced with joy and positivity. “Life can be a struggle and it doesn’t always go the way you intend. I wanted to get that across in my music. Every person is different and every person’s life is different and being able to relate and connect is something I really wanted to get across.” Ejimiwe defines his album as a body of work and not part of a grand master plan. He says it all started with a few demos before gradually building up a collection of works. “I wanted to create something that I’d like to listen to.” The album title has meaning, too. “I thought about what I associated with being down, so I started to think about colours. When I’m down I also like to eat, which is where the food angle comes from,” he laughs.
WHO: Ghostpoet WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Northcote Social Club
CROOKED SAINT are quickly building a name for themselves, but are in no hurry to release an album, TIM WHEATLEY tells TONY MCMAHON.
ALCEST explore “spirituality, life after life, immortality of human soul [and] astral journeys,” frontman NEIGE tells BRENT BALINSKI.
enjoyable as a recorded artefact, goes straight to the part of the brain that desires strongly to see this music played live. Wheatley says this was very much at the forefront of his mind while recording. Also, the band were simply in shit-hot form.
I can, but of course some artists influenced me.” Outside of music, Raymond Moody’s Life After Life and Bardo Thodol (AKA Tibetan Book Of The Dead) are books that have left their mark on Paut, who sees similarities between his other-dimensional world and accounts of near-death experiences.
“We’d literally just finished a few shows together and went into the studio and put down the basics of the tracks with the whole band there together. And that was certainly something we were after, that kind of live vibe. I think it really does come through, too.”
fter the success of his debut EP, Every Angry Inch, Crooked Saint, also known as Tim Wheatley, has followed up a scant six months later with a terrific little four-tracker, Sweating Bullets. Much more of a band record than his first effort, this is an instantly likable mix of alt.country and west coast-tinged rock/ pop, topped off with Wheatley’s sincere and laid-back singing/songwriting, and should by rights see this adorable outfit garner even more praise than they have in the past. On the subject of comparing his two releases, Wheatley admits that he quite consciously did just that. “It’s a big step forward from the last one, I think. Whether it’s better or not, that’s up to others to decide, but when we finished it, we sat down and listened to both of them side by side and we thought that this was where the other record didn’t go. While I thought the other record had five goods songs on it, it didn’t feel like there was one that really stood out. With this one, I just feel like it grabs you straight away.” Having said all that, though, Every Angry Inch was very well received, so there must have been a desire to repeat the formula. But Wheatley says that doing something completely different was a real no-brainer once he met his band. “With the first one it was just my producer and I. We played everything on that record. When we were getting ready to launch that record, we got this band together and they sat really well. So we did the next record with that band, and there were flavours from all the other people that came out. There was just much more of a band atmosphere.”
As mentioned above, it’s only been six months between drinks for Wheatley. Does this mean he’s one of those incredibly prolific artists, and we’ll see an album soon? He’s not entirely convinced this is the way to go, even though he once was. “I’m not sure. I write songs because I love doing it. It doesn’t seem like work to me because I love it so much. I actually wanted to do an album before that first EP came out. But now I think that I’m really happy just building, taking baby steps. To go balls-out and do a whole album, with all the money behind it – it’s a little daunting, I find. So, yeah, I’m just happy building. Maybe another EP. I’ll flog this one over summer and then sit down and work out what the next step is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s another EP.” Although a lot of Wheatley’s upcoming shows are acoustic, there’s one – at a V8 Supercars race in Sydney’s ANZ Stadium – where he’s way too scared to go up on stage alone. “Are you fucking kidding me? There’s no way I’m doing that one solo. I’m definitely getting a band for that. I’d get crucified up there solo. You know, I’ve got absolutely no idea what to expect from a V8 Supercar race. I’ve never been to one. I think it’s going to be a real case of winning them over, you know? A real test of one’s mettle. I’ll probably be pressured into playing Khe Sanh I reckon.”
WHO: Crooked Saint WHAT: Sweating Bullets EP (Walnut St Records/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday, Revolver
his is not a world I created but a world that truly exists. I had very special experience during the first years of my childhood,” says Neige (AKA Stéphane Paut), the singer, guitarist and creative force behind Alcest. “I had kind of flashes – visions – of a place that was not the world we all know.” Paut’s band, which also features drummer Winterhalter and a couple of touring musos, does what it can to try and evoke the “fantastic faraway world” that its leader visited as a young’un. Alcest began as a solo project in 2000, before Paut put out 2001’s Tristesse Hivernale (with a band) – a garagey, grating, four-track blast of black metal. A decade later, Alcest (French for “snow”) could not sound more different, with a vestigial black metalness and dream-like elements that see them described with adjectives like “shoegaze”, “haunting” and “ethereal”. Sometimes Paut is taken back to his “faraway world” and he tries to take his audience with him, through music. “Some specific nature contexts, especially in springtime, can remind me in a way this other dimension,” the Frenchman says. “It triggers my feelings related to it. But of course even the most beautiful place on earth is infinitely less beautiful than this ‘other world’, this heaven. As for music, I just let myself be inspired by these feelings and of course I try to take the listener [there].”
Talking of which, Sweating Bullets, while more than
Paut isn’t one to rabbit on about musical influences, but lists Yann Tiersen, Dead Can Dance, Burzum, The Chameleons and Slowdive as inspirational acts. “With Alcest I precisely try to get rid of any musical inspiration in order to keep the music as pure as
BUILDING AN EMPIRE
ON A ROLL
JEREMY FOWLER, frontman for Sydney’s NEW EMPIRE, tells SAM HOBSON about the band’s revitalised pop sensibility.
Sydney band New Empire have, since their first album, begun to really refine this difficult dichotomy. Back with a record that’s not only noticeably an evolution and maturation from their first, but also an album that’s even more accessible, they’re clearly a presence with their heels firmly dug-in for the longest and most egalitarian of hauls. “I think, musically, as a band we’ve been influenced by a whole range of styles pretty much from the last 40 to 50 years of music,” singer Jeremy Fowler explains, tracing back their inspirations. “Bands like Toto, Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles, and then from today bands like Kings Of Leon, 30 Seconds To Mars and Phoenix – we’re into them all. I think it really helps your creativity when you can broaden your sense of style, musically, as much as possible. “I think, as a band, we just really like great melodies,” he continues, “and I think that’s probably the foundation of popular music. I guess that’s where the pop [fixation] comes from with us; we’re always looking for a good melody and chord progression. We’ve grown up loving pop music, and we like the Top 40 stuff, but [on the whole] we do also lean towards stuff that’s a little bit more abstract.” When it’s offered to him that being a ‘pop’ artist today is in growing circles considered a pejorative label, Fowler rightly shrugs it off.
“Alcest is just a testimony of this experience and various themes related to it such as spirituality, life after life, immortality of human soul, astral journeys, et cetera.” Ever since 2005’s Le Secret – a two-song, 27-minute journey – Alcest has been carving out a reputation as a truly distinctive, supremely eccentric entity. Paut has kept busy this year with Old Silver Key (with Drudkh’s Roman Sayenko), which put out Tales Of Wanderings recently. And, of course, Alcest has a new record due out very shortly. “This will be the longest and richest Alcest record to date,” says the frontman. “There’s a huge amount of work on this album – musically, lyrically, visually. It’s dealing with Alcest’s usual theme in an even more accurate way. “Musically people that heard it say that it doesn’t sound like anything they’ve already heard before. It’s a real accomplishment for me.” Les Voyages De L’âme contains eight songs and is due out later this year. This will be Alcest’s first Australian tour and they are touring with Melbourne’s post-rock act Heirs, which the latter has described as a light vs dark billing. Paut believes this is accurate. “I really like such a contrast as well and I think the billing is very interesting. People can expect a strong emotional experience from our show. Our aim is to deliver otherworldly, nostalgic and ethereal feelings.”
WHO: Alcest WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, Toff In Town; Thursday 27 October, Curtin Bandroom
SAL KIMBER chats with NICK ARGYRIOU about Bonnie Raitt, a hearse-esque touring station wagon called Silver Comet and her loving band, The Rollin’ Wheel.
“I think it’s good to try and have the best of those both worlds,” he enthuses. “That world where you are using great melodies, and great structures, but then also [the one in which you] experiment with really different sounds, and ones that you wouldn’t normally hear in that one-hit-wonder formula.”
t’s quite a thing, to be a successful pop artist. To be capable of remaining popular without alienating your audience is a feat that’s often overlooked and even undervalued in today’s outsider musical climate.
“It’s simply beyond words. It’s actually quite close to the heavenly places described by people that had a near-death experience,” he explains. “Having looked for answers for years I think now that I could have kept some memories of the place I was before being there. As you [might] suppose, this experience has a huge impact on my life.
But is it more work for the mainstream band to achieve success, then? Trend-giants Triple J seem to do literally all the publicity and promotion for their bands du jour – and now with the launch of a channel devoted exclusively to unsigned Australian acts, that arm of support has greatly extended: does that then leave the artists such as New Empire, who don’t have that de facto backing, out in the cold? Gigging, one would expect, with all the necessary networking with bands and venues that process requires, would be especially tough. “It’s kind’ve interesting,” Fowler starts tentatively, and with a hint of defensiveness in his voice. “In this country, there’s a lot of really big Triple J bands, and then there’s [bands like] us, doing the more Today FM, and the Nova FM thing. It’s not really something that we sat down and set out to do, it just happened. “But we’re totally cool with that,” he says, genuinely. “With any route, it has its challenges either way. We’re finding it has its definite pros, but it also has its cons at the same time, going down this line. “I think there’s some bands that’ve had some incredible success off the back of Triple J in this country, and that’s something we’ve not yet experienced. So that’s something that’s been a little more difficult, not having that support to back you a little bit more. But really, you just find other ways to let people know about you, and to get new ears to listen to you. “I’d say we’re pretty lucky.”
WHO: New Empire WHAT: Symmetry (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12.30pm (under-18s), Prince Bandroom; Saturday 8pm, Royal Melbourne Hotel
to perform, arguably, the optimum roots record of 2011. After passing over a chance to work with producer Nash Chambers on the album, Kimber explains how the decision was based on the band not wanting to run the risk of the album sounding too country. And as much as Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel adore the genre, it wasn’t really befitting of them and of where their genre headspace was at in late-2010. “Nash is a really beautiful dude but that was our concern so we went for someone a bit edgier and Shane [O’Mara] was on the top of our list,” she says.
al Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel spend plenty of time on the road playing gigs around the country. They’re old-school road warriors in the truest sense, except the means of transport is not the old Tarago, but a ‘hearsemobile’ that Kimber’s father, Andy ‘Papa’ Kimber, a songwriter who incidentally released 24 songs about road signs on cassette tape once, got for her three years ago. “It’s the local Glenrowan funeral director’s that he used to pick up the bodies in I guess because there’s curtains and railings,” she laughs. “It’s silver and we call it the Silver Bullet! The windows are tinted, probably illegally too, but it protects all the gear from being visible to outsiders.” Battling the last stages of laryngitis when we converse, Sal Kimber comes over all throaty but it never detracts from her desire to speak at length about her self-titled record, Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel. Balancing remedies from both her placid naturopath and western-medicine-fixated physician, Kimber admits to being torn as to who will fix the condition first. “I went for a bit of both [antibiotics] and pumped myself with vitamins and weird tonics also,” she chuckles. Despite the ailment to their leader, The Rollin’ Wheel – featuring drummer Cat Leahy, lead guitarist Jacob Cole, electric and double bassist Trent McKenzie and Kimber’s sister Beth ‘Buffy’ Kimber on keyboard, piano accordion and glockenspiel – marched on triumphantly to last Friday’s arvo show at Basement Discs and then Sunday’s hometown show in Wangaratta. They’ll do the same come Saturday night when they launch their self-titled LP at the East Brunswick Club. Thorny, rustic guitar crunch reverberations that stem from that Lucinda Williams-meets-Emmylou Harris school of sound is what you’ll expect to hear when they hit the stage
While the sound of the record is still quite country-orientated, there’s piano accordion and glockenspiel to mingle through the folk and dusty noir aesthetic that is influenced by guitar luminaries Doug Pettibone, Charlie Sexton and Kimber’s penchant for “chicks with guitars”. And none do it better than Kimber’s musical hero, Bonnie Raitt. “I think she’s the queen and her ability to play slide is incredible. I tried to play slide on the banjo recently in that Bonnie-esque sort of style. [Laughs] It’s pretty damn cool, I loved it!” With 25 songs initially taken to O’Mara’s Yikesville studio, Kimber explains that she cut back from “stacks more and probably had too many songs about trains” in that time anyway. Admitting to being jumpy before entering the studio, Kimber says that the band’s fears were soon put to rest thanks to O’Mara’s goofy demeanour and music nerdery. “Shane was just a big dag and it was all so friendly, like I’d be driving his son to tennis after recording and we’d also be cooking a big meal together sometimes,” Kimber fondly recalls. Yet the songstress was even more amused by guitarist Cole and O’Mara’s swelling musical relationship that saw the pair continuously hiding out to talk at great length about guitars and pedals. “They’d spend a significant amount of time talking about pedals like the Big John Granny Pucker Guitar Pedal and Shane had some beautiful old electric Gibson guitars and baritone guitars too… I guess we all had a big musical crush on him in the end when I think about it,” she laughs.
WHO: Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel WHAT: Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel (Vitamin Records) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, East Brunswick Club
THIS WEEK IN WEDNESDAY 19
Aviary: A Suite For The Bird – choreographer Phillip Adams from BalletLab presents a fantasia of contemporary movement and exotic birdlife, set against the avianinspired 20th Century idiom of French composer Oliver Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux (1958). Between the twitchy agitation of British new wave, recordings of birdsong, and the paradise of the New Guinea jungle, this is a dance performance of uncommon adornment and flamboyance. Part of Melbourne Festival. Opening night, 8pm. The Arts House until 23 October. Hedda Gabler – directed by Thomas Ostermeier (Germany) who has made his name in Europe updating and disrupting some of theatre’s most hallowed texts such as Othello and A Doll’s House. This play thrusts the detached malevolence of Hedda Gabler into a postmodern, digitised nightmare. Set inside a glass walled, blankly hip apartment, Ibsen’s classic text is propelled into the modern age, becoming a current reflection on the indelible links between sex and power. Part of Melbourne Festival. Opening night, 8pm. The Arts Centre until 23 October.
Morbid Porn – written by Tamara Rewse, performed by Kelly Ryall and Rewse. A story of intimacy, teetering between reality and fantasy examines how we see ourselves in our dreams, when we are alone and there is no one but a dog to reflect the image of ourselves. Part concert, exploration and voyeurism with a puppet and live music. La Mama Explorations at La Mama, 7.30pm. The Rehearsal, Playing The Dane – Pan Pan Theatre (Ireland) present this audacious and irreverent riff on Hamlet – does not so much update or deconstruct the play as it explode it. This show is a surprising and unique testament to the endless possibilities of theatre and the presence of Shakespeare in our lives. Part of Melbourne Festival. Closing night. Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse. Things To Come – exhibition featuring works by JKB Fletcher, Daniel Smith and Luke Cornish. From Smith’s picturesque realism, to ELK’s intricate stencils, and Fletcher’s fantastical female portraits, a diverse collection of artistic techniques and subject matter. Closing today. Metro Gallery.
THURSDAY 20 Focus On Bertolucci – a cinematic retrospective of Bernardo Bertolucci, one of the most acclaimed auteurs in the history of cinema who carved a niche fusing stylistic lyricism with provocative explorations of sexuality. ACMI offers a rare opportunity to view Bertolucci’s work as it deserves to be seen, on magnificent new 35mm prints. Opening night, ACMI Cinemas, 7pm. Bertolucci’s films screen until 3 November. Jamie Kilstein – USA comedian co-host of Citizen Radio with Allison Kilkenny performs in Melbourne. Trades Hall, 8pm.
FRIDAY 21 Australian Silent Film Festival – the fourth annual Australian Silent Film Festival hits the Astor Theatre. First film up is Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant (1917), screening with two other silent comedians, Buster Keaton and Roscoe Arbuckle. Astor Theatre, 3pm. Festival runs until 23 October. Hola Mexico Film Festival – ‘Mexico, a place like the movies’ is the theme of this year’s Mexican Film Festival, celebrating the contrasting faces and stories of Mexico. Opening night selection, The Raft, is directed by Alfaro Curiel. Amigo Silverio transforms his old, abandoned taxi into a raft in an attempt to sail to Miami in search of the American dream. Followed by an opening night party. ACMI Cinemas, 7.30pm. Festival runs until 30 October. The Lovebirds – a wild and exotic cabaret wonderland filled with song, dance and a Rio Carnival of colour and energy. Paying homage to 1930s bohemia and the psychedelic and sexually ambiguous nature of San Francisco’s cult theatrical commune, The Cockettes. Part of Melbourne Festival. Festival Lounge, 11pm.
WOULDN’T CHANGE A THING
SUNDAY 23 Taxi Driver – directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Robert de Niro, Jodie Foster and Cybill Shepherd, a disturbing drama about the degradation of a taxi driver on the streets of New York. Astor Theatre, 7.30pm. Tom Tom Crew – a circus show for the 21st Century featuring, acrobatics, hip hop, beatboxing and percussion to create an entertaining, adrenaline-fuelled spectacle. Featuring, ringmaster Ben Walsh and beatboxing wiz kid Tom Thum. Part of Melbourne Festival, closing night. The Forum, 5pm. Whiteley’s Incredible Blue – directed by Julian Meyrick, written by Barry Dickins. A one-man hallucinatory exploration of artist Brett Whiteley’s life. A journey into the swirling imagination of creeping addictions that eventually pushed Whiteley to the edges of artistic expression. Part of Melbourne Festival. Closing night, 8pm. Fortyfivedownstairs.
MONDAY 24 Last Tango In Paris – directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, a young Parisian woman decides to pursue an anonymous sexual liaison with a middle-aged American man (Marlon Brando) who is reeling from the recent suicide of his wife. ACMI Cinemas, 7.30pm.
TUESDAY 25 Loop de Loop – monthly stop-animation global challenge, this month’s theme is ‘Spooky’ because we all like to be a bit freaked out sometimes. Loop, 7.30pm The Oyster Club Comedy – Asher Treleaven hosts a stand-up comedy night for Melbourne comedians to test new material for the fast-approaching Comedy Festival. Red Bennies, 7.30pm.
ONGOING It’s A Jungle In Here – an interactive installation artwork that inserts two people into a simulated environment. Part of Melbourne Festival. Screen Space until 29 October.
STRAPPING ON A FLAMETHROWER AND ROASTING ALIEN DOPPELGANGERS IS A SOLID CAREER MOVE FOR OLD-SCHOOL HORROR FAN MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD. SHE TELLS BAZ MCALISTER ABOUT BATTLING THE THING. John Carpenter’s The Thing failed to light up the box office in 1982, but nearly 30 years on, it stands up as a masterclass in the filmmaking of fear and paranoia. Not to mention disgust, for it still stakes a claim to some of the most repugnant visual effects ever created. This effective yarn about an alien shapeshifter terrorising an isolated research base in Antarctica was technically a remake of a 1951 Howard Hawks film, The Thing From Another World, which was itself based on a novella by John W Campbell Jr. And this year, Dutch filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen is taking audiences back to 1980s Antarctica for another round with The Thing. And, specifically, he’s terrorising actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Winstead has picked some fun roles in her career, from scream queen turns in Black Christmas and Final Destination 3 to the plum roles of ultra-hip, dimension-hopping courier Ramona Flowers in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs The World and vapid grindhouse-bait Lee in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. It’s not surprising that she’s quite the genre film nerd. “I’m a huge horror fan,” she gushes, “especially of ’70s horror, films like Rosemary’s Baby and The Shining. I’ve seen them all, I don’t know how many times. That’s something that’s a part of me and I can’t help but be drawn to anything that unsettles me.” That said, Carpenter’s The Thing wasn’t on her radar until four years ago when she picked up the DVD at the insistence of her now-husband, filmmaker Riley Stearns. “I loved it, and wondered how I hadn’t seen it sooner,” she says. “It really gets into your bones, the paranoia sets in, and you really feel the isolation of these characters. It’s unsettling and terrifying. I think it’s still very relevant today – the issues of trust and not knowing where to turn. It’s a commentary on the nature of human beings and what we’ll do when we’re scared.” When Winstead heard there was a new script called The Thing floating around Hollywood, her first instinct was to be worried for the sacrosanct Carpenter flick. The new script called for a strong female lead in young, smart, self-assured palaeontologist Dr Kate Lloyd. Winstead went for it with some trepidation.
“Before I read the script it I was like, ‘Oh god, why are they doing this?’ – but it really read like it was the same world as the Carpenter version, but not the same old movie. The character of Kate wasn’t the kind of role I often read as an actress so that was a big draw. Then when I talked to the producers it seemed like they had a good handle on how to do it in a smart and unique way and not tarnish the legacy of the Carpenter film.” The van Heijningen version explores the events directly leading up to Carpenter’s film – a direct prequel, set in a world meticulously recreated by production designers. For Winstead, the presmartphone retro setting amped up the fear and isolation. “Really, every horror film should be set in the ’80s. You can get away with a whole lot more. In modern horror films when something happens, it’s like, ‘Why don’t you just call somebody?’” When creating the character of Kate, the scientist recruited to fly out and examine an alien lifeform trapped beneath the Antarctic ice, Winstead drew on her sister, a neurologist. “She has a very scientific mind and takes her work so seriously, and she’s very smart. I just wanted to come across as more intelligent than I actually am, so I based it on the smartest person I know,” she laughs. But there was another more subtle influence – Sigourney Weaver’s iconic turn as Ellen Ripley in the Alien movies. “It wasn’t something that I thought of when I first read the script or first auditioned but I know it was in the back of Matthijs’s mind,” Winstead says. “Ripley is one of his favourite film characters and when he cast me he told me I reminded him of her. It wasn’t something I thought about too much because I didn’t want to try and act like Sigourney Weaver but it was in the back of my mind, too.” Ripley is known for her penchant for torching aliens with flamethrowers and it doesn’t take Kate long to work out that modus operandi will work for her, too. Winstead did two months of gruelling fight training to play ass-kicking Ramona in Scott Pilgrim, but says Kate’s weapons training was a little more straightforward.
“They just strapped the flamethrowers on us and let us go,” she laughs. “We had a 30-minute briefing where they showed us the safety regulations, but for the most part it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s just like, don’t burn anybody, you know, and try not to set anything on fire that’s not meant to be on fire! But it’s really a lot of fun; you do feel very powerful when you wear one of those things.” Despite looking like a snowbound base the bulk of the film was shot in a Canadian quarry in summer, meaning that the hardest part was staying cool in a fluffy parka – “After the shoot I wanted to burn mine with my flamethrower,” Winstead jokes. But her mainly male castmates were a joy to work with, her opinions were embraced and respected. For instance, she fought hard to destroy any sniff of romance between Kate and gruff chopper-jockey Carter (Joel Edgerton, playing a guy who would have been great mates with Kurt Russell’s RJ McReady on the next base over).
“Occasionally there would be a rewrite that came through which hinted at a relationship – but if there was even a line of dialogue that was a little too flirtatious, I’d say, ‘Noooo’. It just wasn’t necessary. These were just people who are trying to stay alive. It wouldn’t make any sense for a romance to come up in that situation. And for a female character, I think it’s so cool to finally play a character who doesn’t revolve around being somebody’s love interest.” Winstead has just finished Timur Bekmambetov’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and her next role is typically quirky. “I’m just starting work on this really small indie called Smashed, with [Breaking Bad’s] Aaron Paul,” she says, “where I play a woman dealing with alcoholism, but it’s also kind of funny – it’s a very dark comedy.” WHAT: The Thing WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now
EXHIBITION GOES BEYOND THE WALLS What happens to the work of art when it is extended beyond the four white walls of the gallery space? Out Of Bounds, the next Young Curators’ project, is an exhibition that ponders these very things. Artists include Josephine Bradley Scott (AKA Yoyoe), Travis Nicolson, Justin Tumilaar, Josh Griffin, Duaa Madonna, Lauren Wraight, Chelsea Hatherall, Ciara Glover and Brooke Williams. Out Of Bounds displays at Basement Lounge at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Friday 28 October to Friday 16 December.
HEAR A COUPLE OF COMPASSIONATE BASTARDS TALK Despite their differences, both of our major political parties profess to share a common approach to illegal boat arrivals: lock them up and send them somewhere – anywhere – else. But, after years of incarceration, most illegal boat arrivals are granted refugee status. It’s this mix of indifference and compassion that makes the issue such a divisive one. In Compassionate Bastard, Peter Mitchell, formerly manager of Villawood Detention Centre, will be in conversation with David Manne, one of Australia’s most committed refugee advocates. Head along and listen at the Wheeler Centre on Monday 7 November, 6.15pm.
YOU YOU GONNA CALL? Ivan Reitmen’s classic Ghostbusters is back from the dead and being projected on the big screen, fully restored and in high definition. Bill Murray (in his most iconic role) and the whole team will return to Cinema Nova for a limited season, giving fans a chance to revisit Ghostbusters on the big screen in pristine digital presentation. Nova will kick off with a premiere and 1984-themed party that will see Melbourne’s geeks, sci-fi fans, film buffs and children of the ’80s party like it’s 1984. Relive your greatest ’80s moments, get down to the sounds of Ray Parker, Jr and come dressed in either your best 1984 fashion, as a Ghostbuster or as your favourite apparition. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed guests on the night. The Ghostbusters party at Cinema Nova happens Tuesday 25 October, 8.45pm.
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WITH REBECCA COOK Question: what sort of arts festival would it be if everyone left the building with a reciprocal, “Oh well, that was pleasant… if we’re lucky we might catch the end of Midsomer Murders!” Answer: it would be the Milk Arrowroot of arts festivals. It wouldn’t be the Melbourne Festival if there wasn’t a macaroon of controversy to crunch into; you may recall the dance
performance that didn’t involve any dancing but lots of farmyard animals (Green) and a show that involved the liberal dousing of performers in blood (I Am Blood). After a couple of years of relative tranquillity, thank god 2011 provided a couple of artistic skirmishes. The first was the uproar around renowned theatre troupe Back To Back Theatre’s production Ganesh Versus The Third Reich. Without having
LET’S GET DIGITAL MELBOURNE’S ABOUT TO GET A FESTIVAL CELEBRATING ALL THINGS DIGITAL, FROM ARTIFACTS AND ARTWORKS TO ITS MEANING AND PLACE IN SOCIETY. ALICE BODY TALKS TO COFOUNDER GEORGE HEDON. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that Pause – Melbourne’s first and only digital festival – is in its very first year by looking at its website. Sporting a variety of participants from across the world and a range of showcases, from screenings to forums to interactive exhibitions and more, across the span of a week, Pause is one hell of a side-project. “We’ve tried to get into different ‘pockets’, not to spread ourselves too thin because there’s only three of us: myself, Filip Nakic, cofounder and head of digital, and Andrea Andric – she’s PR and media,” Pause’s other cofounder and chairman – the down-to-earth, Serbian-born George Hedon – explains. “Filip and myself, we work eight hours [a day] in an ad agency, and Andrea studies journalism at RMIT. But basically Pause is really a side-project that has evolved and become that huge that it could really be a full-time project. But yeah, we just – financially, we cannot support ourselves in order to run it [alone] just for now.” Despite the conscious effort to limit those inevitable hassles that come
I used to really hate Woody Allen. So much so that I started out one awardwinning Film Carew column with the following poetic sentiment: “Woody Allen is a cunt.” He was, to my mind, the most overrated of the overrated; a middling sitcom artisan hailed, for some incomprehensible reason, as one of the great artists of cinema. But, just as the righteous indignation of youth has faded; so, too, has the reverence for Allen himself. Now, I couldn’t be bothered hating him, just as the world seems to barely be bothered liking
need food and shelter and respect. They do not need the humiliation of bad art. If I were festival director, I’d close the show down.” The creators of the show hit back with a response, which The Age published a couple of days later, soundly refuting the claims of the reviewer: “We don’t feel insulted by well-written material that is in this production… It is an insult to imply that we are not smart enough to work out if we are being exploited. So it is important for people to stop speaking for us,” wrote Cath Taylor, Ant Bridgeman, Margie Howlett, and Aunty Judith Jackson, who contributed to the show and have all experienced extended periods of homelessness. “We have always welcomed critical analysis of our work,” said a festival spokesperson of the review. “It is a community theatre work in the best tradition of community theatre – made by and with members of the homeless community. We 100% endorse their right to tell their story their way. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.” The festival ends this weekend so there’s still time for another brouhaha biscuit, but if you want to get along to a show you’ll have to be quick with tickets selling like hotcakes for the remaining shows of Hedda Gabler, Jello Biafra, Kronos Quartet, Playing The Dane, We Came From The East, and Whiteley’s Incredible Blue.
images come up on it.” Among the multitude of other similarly awe-inspiring digitised things to see are Studio Equator’s computerised human head, complete with multitouch screen eyes, and a performance by local Microsoft Kinect hacker/ maestro, Chris Vick. “He has to dance in a particular way to actually produce the [musical] tracks that he’s written,” Hedon says of Vick. “He has to stick to very strict choreography, but it looks amazing.” “Eye opening” and “mind bending” seem to be the appropriate adjectives for Pause. Yet the festival isn’t just for digital ingenues such as this writer. The Pro-Pause forums are for “leaders in the industry talking about the future
of computing, the future of gaming, and presenting some digital projects with Q&As,” Hedon explains, while the evening screenings and the festival as a whole is intended to give exposure to, and kick off conversation between, those artists and companies already in the industry.
stumbling into the Paris of the 1920s, where he meets the era’s celebrities (the Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, Dalí, etc ad infinitum), and gets to live out his romantic dreams of Paris at its most romantic. The concept of time-travel usually opens a philosophical can-ofworms, but here there’s seemingly no repercussions to messing with the sanctity of the human timeline; no sense that Wilson’s wanderings through 90-years-prior will radically alter the future from whence he came. It’s little more than a cutesy comic premise in which each hallowed literary figure is a zany caricature of their reputation. There’s a tiresome nudge-nudge to the introduction of the unending cast of historical figures (“hello, I’m Pablo. Pablo Picasso! etc), but the idea at the film’s heart is at
least a worthy one: that nostalgia is a poison, and people who pine for past eras are weak and witless. Or, y’know, something like that. The ending film is, like the pottering geriatric author himself, too innocuous and inoffensive to bother hating; this just the latest minor, meaningless picture for a filmmaker whose clichés – yes, there’s a tired light-jazz soundtrack – long ago curdled.
In any case, however you approach it, Pause looks set to be a fresh and welcome addition to Melbourne’s festival scene. Keep your eyes on these pages for more in the coming weeks. WHAT: Pause: first digital festival WHEN & WHERE: Monday 7 to Sunday 13 November, various locations around Melbourne (see pausefest.com.au)
Pause sprawls over Melbourne’s CBD in November: “We’re trying to have [digital] animation as the base and then add other elements to it,” Hedon says. “We have a few major locations like Melbourne Central shopping centre, Federation Square including ACMI, Rancho Notorious and Loop. If you’re in the city during working hours, you could go to Melbourne Central and see some projects there, we have ten or 11 exhibits ranging from Transparent TV–” Transparent TV? “It’s literally TV that’s transparent,” Hedon laughs. “It’s kind of like a piece of glass that actually somehow projects images on it, but you can see through it. I thought it was a green screen kind of thing, but I’ve seen a picture and it looks like your window, but some
WITH ANTHONY CAREW
with organising such an event, Hedon confesses it has been something of a struggle to prevent Pause from overtaking his life: “It’s a bit awkward because most of the times I have to go on my lunch break and then call people to enquire about stuff. It’s very funny because it’s like, ‘Why are you calling me around one [o’clock], all the time?’”
seen the show (because it hadn’t even opened at the time) a US-based Hindu leader called on the festival to cancel performances, warning the production was offensive to Hindus. The festival and Back To Back were quick to act, organising a roundtable discussion with the local Indian community and inviting them to the opening night so they could see the show for themselves. “We began consultation with the Indian community as soon as they raised the possibility of an issue, and had several roundtable discussion with representatives of the Hindu community,” said a Melbourne Festival spokesperson. “We invited them to attend the first performance and, after that, the issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all those who attended. The audience feedback has been wonderful – some members of the Hindu community gave it a ringing endorsement.” Ah, they just don’t make controversy as headstrong as they used to. The second outrage was around multimedia theatre simulation, Site Unseen. The work, a collaboration between homeless people, artists and community organisations, was devised to immerse audiences in the daily lives of the homeless to gain a better understanding of their situation. The show scored a half-star review in The Age (a major Melbourne Festival sponsor) complete with some scathing commentary from the reviewer Cameron Woodhead such as, “The homeless
him. Midnight In Paris isn’t a work of ‘failure’, however; it’s, somehow, the most commercially-successful Allen film ever. But it’s a work whose happy mediocrity shows a lowered bar for both filmmaker and audience; a trifling sitcom in which the blasé Owen Wilson undoes the normal neurosis of the Woody-esque main character (a self-described “Hollywood Hack”; oh, to only think this was a confession) as he blows from kooky contrivance to contrivance. The sitcom hook: whilst holidaying in Paris, Wilson somehow ends up – via the most casual form of time-travel ever committed to screen –
Take Shelter is billed as an apocalyptic film, but it’s more a depiction of an apocalypse of the mind; not so much about the world ending as the feeling that the world is about to end. New-millennial anxieties – everything from the rise of catastrophic weather to birds falling from the sky to the tenuousness of ownership in an
THE DREAMER TOMORROW, ACMI BEGINS ITS EPIC FOCUS ON BERTOLUCCI RETROSPECTIVE. HERE, ANTHONY CAREW EXPLORES THE ITALIAN AUTEUR’S BODY OF WORK.
The most fascinating thing about ACMI’s collected retrospective of Bernardo Bertolucci is how much you get to see Bertolucci at work: The Italian Traveller an earnest portrait of the artist as sojourner, plying his trade on foreign shores; The Cinema According To Bertolucci a semi-comic plunge into the grandiose undertakings of his five-hour epic-toend-all-epics 1900; and Once Upon A Time… Last Tango In Paris an exploration of the production, artistry, and legacy of, y’know, Last Tango In Paris – putting its salaciousness in social context. These aren’t just tossed-together DVD extras, but enlightening supporting documents for what is a complete exhumation of the 70-year-old auteur’s career. With the Focus On Bertolucci screening all 16 of the filmmaker’s features, there’s the opportunity to address the director’s career as whole; to tease out the narratives that come from the recurring tendencies in his work. And each documentary effectively touches on those most basic perceptions of Bertolucci: the worldly wanderer journeying through cultures; the Oscarendorsed epicist creating a dreamer’s vision of historical cataclysms; and the dude who shoots people fucking. Sex is alive not just in the self-destructive downward spiral depicted in the kindof-dated flagrance-in-extremis of Last Tango In Paris – Bertolucci’s attempt to chart the darkest recesses of the sexual revolution; reducing bodies to a brutal, animal state – but in his most recent films; in the coming-of-age defloweringto-Mazzy-Star-on-a-Tuscan-hilltop of the sexually-tense Stealing Beauty, the morally-monstrous lust masquerading as benevolence in Besieged, and, of course, the comforting sight of Louis Garrel’s familiar cock in the nostalgic ménage à trois of The Dreamers. The Dreamers was singled out, on its 2003 release, as connecting back to Bertolucci’s past; the social cataclysm
of May ’68 tapping into that other great narrative of the filmmaker’s work: Bertolucci the fiercely political auteur. Yet the sublime, banal detachment and ideological withdrawal of the decadent, over-sexed aesthetes in The Dreamers didn’t ring true with what Bertolucci brought to screen in his early work. Before The Revolution found a Marxist ideologue losing his commitment to the cause; both out of disillusionment and a lack of mettle. The Conformist, so often acclaimed as Bertolucci’s magnum opus, posed a profound parable of fascism; in which a devoted company man sells out his basic humanity for a cause he doesn’t believe in. The Spider’s Stratagem has little of the Cinema Classic acclaim of The Conformist, but it sometimes feels like a sister picture; a hallucinatory detective story in which an easy narrative reading – murderous fascists and righteous crusaders – is cryptically skewered by a refusal to wholly pitch into the suspension of disbelief; there’s an air of nouvelle vague-ish experimentation in the way the young Bertolucci took an intellectualist idea to a chin-scratchery extreme. Some of his early experiments – like The Spider’s Stratagem or Partner – couldn’t be further removed from the syrupy slickness of The Last Emperor and Little Buddha, effectively Hollywood-friendly family films filled with troubling depictions of Eastern Mysticism that exoticise where once Bertolucci criticised. But the presentation of Bertolucci’s entire body-of-work makes, in a strange way, every film matter; the multi-Oscar winners and forgotten, student-ish experiments each carrying equal weight in his collected filmography. Rather than presenting an incomplete portrait designed to be flattering, they instead do something far better: presenting a cinema titan in his totality. WHAT: Focus On Bertolucci WHEN & WHERE: Thursday to 8 November, ACMI Cinemas
on-credit world – add up in the head of Michael Shannon’s almost comicallygeneric blue-collar-toiler/stoic-father; to the point where his fears manifest in horrific nightmares, and he starts to wonder if he’s losing his sanity. Yet, at the same time he starts preparing for the end of the world as if it’s truly nigh; as if his haunted visions are a portent of an imminent cataclysm. He takes out a high-risk loan to turn his tornado shelter into a tricked-out bomb shelter, stocks up on gas marks and canned goods, and watches the skies with eyes wide. He does all this, in annoyingly masculine fashion, without ever mentioning any of it to his wife (The Tree Of Life’s Jessica Chastain, note); maintaining a stiff-upper-lip that you can’t wait for her to sock him in. Sadly, it slowly dawns that, as
audience member, you are supposed to identify with either emotionallyretarded husband or long-suffering/ stand-by-her-man spouse; are supposed to feel like their troubled togetherness and conviction to stay together in silent mutual resentment is a wise one. ONE NIGHT IN PARIS
A REAL HERO MASTER FILMMAKER NICOLAS WINDING REFN TALKS TO GUY DAVIS ABOUT HIS BRUTAL – AND UTTERLY BRILLIANT – NEW FILM, DRIVE. NICOLAS WINDING REFNR
“Do you watch that show Breaking Bad?” Nicolas Winding Refn asks. “It’s the fucking best.” Okay, now that we’ve established the bona fides of this Danish filmmaker, surely one of the most exciting popculture artists since the rise of Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson, let’s talk about his exhilarating new movie Drive, shall we? Refn has been a filmmaker to watch for a few years now, thanks to moody, intense, violent and provocative movies like the Pusher trilogy, Bronson and Valhalla Rising. (He also directed a couple of Miss Marple telemovies for British TV but, hey, everyone takes a
RYAN GOSLING AS DRIVER
paycheque job now and then.) And while Drive marks his first venture into Hollywood filmmaking, he’s made the leap without compromising his style or approach, transforming James Sallis’ novel about an LA stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver into a sleek, atmospheric neo-noir that both celebrates and debunks the archetypes of the traditional action movie. Ryan Gosling plays the nameless Driver, a strong, silent type who goes from zero to 60 (not to mention heartmeltingly romantic to head-crushingly brutal) in 3.2 seconds. A taciturn loner, his life is changed when he falls for his neighbour, a single mother played by Carey Mulligan, and vows to help her estranged husband, fresh out of jail and under the thumb of some very nasty individuals. It places him on a collision course with some even nastier individuals, a gang of mobsters led by the ruthless Bernie (Albert Brooks, giving a chilling, career-reinventing performance). A synopsis makes it sound kinda pedestrian. But the uniformly excellent performances and especially Refn’s seemingly offbeat but invariably on-the-money directorial decisions set it apart from the crowd. And while that has earned it widespread acclaim (including the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival), it has also left the odd viewer confounded. One viewer in the US, for instance, is suing Drive’s distributor because she claims the film’s ad campaign led her to expect something akin to a Fast And The Furious sequel. She also claimed that the movie’s portrayal of Jewish gangsters struck her as anti-Semitic. It is, of course, a boneheaded act of litigious overkill. But Refn, an articulate
guy with a bone-dry sense of humour, is diplomatic in discussing it. “Look, I think America is the greatest country in the world and I think Americans are the greatest people,” he says, calling from Bangkok, where he’s shooting his next film. “But I think when you have the greatest people, you also have the strangest people. And I just feel that the idea of this lawsuit is like the film [This Is] Spinal Tap, you know? It’s that absurd. And being called anti-Semitic is something I take as a personal insult because I’m Jewish.” Still, giving people what they didn’t necessarily expect is part of the Refn agenda. As he points out, Bronson is ostensibly a movie about the toughest man ever housed in
the UK prison system, but it’s actually about a man finding his calling as an artist – “his violence is his art”. And the surreal, metaphysical Valhalla Rising is a science fiction movie in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey, only clad in the trappings of a Viking movie.
of Refn’s key themes. “Like Bronson and Valhalla, Drive is about a man who is in transformation. Bronson has a man transforming into his alter ego. Valhalla is about a man who becomes Man. And Drive is about a man who transforms himself into a superhero.”
And Drive? Well, according to Refn, it’s a Grimm fairy tale. “I read Grimm’s fairy tales to my daughter a few years ago, and the idea with Drive was similar,” he says. “You have Driver, who’s like a knight. You have the innocent maiden, the evil king, the dragon – they’re all archetypes. And it all takes place in LA, this city of imagination. It takes place in a city of millions but you never really see anyone else. That isolates them, makes it very specific.”
Pretty heady stuff for a movie about a guy and his car. “Well, I’m a fetish filmmaker – I make what I’d like to see,” says Refn. “But I do like working in genres because on one hand it can be a piece of entertainment and on the other you can smuggle things that will maybe stay with the audience long afterwards. If they’re well-made, genre films are also metaphors.”
On top of that, Drive also explores one
WHAT: Drive WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 27 October
A LOOK AT FEMINIST ART PRACTICE, PAST AND PRESENT Tonight Dr Anne Marsh is in conversation with curator Dr Kyla McFarlane and artists Janet Burchill, Helen Grace and Lyndal Jones, for a discussion that examines post-material practice in reference to performance, film and feminism, then and now. Head along to Monash University Museum Of Art, Caulfield Campus, 6pm, for Post-material Practice, Film And Feminism.
STREET ARTIST D*FACE COMES TO AUSTRALIA For the first time in Australia the phenomenal and notorious D*Face will premiere a solo exhibition at Metro Gallery. Often cited as a challenger to Banksy’s crown as the King of Street Art, and as one of the most exciting and prolific contemporary urban artists of his generation, this solo exhibition will be the only chance to see D*Face in Australia this year. D*Face will be showing at Metro Gallery from Monday 24 October to Saturday 12 November. More info at metrogallery.com.au.
NATURAL WORLD COMES INTO FOCUS WITH CHISEL & BRUSH Chisel & Brush is an upcoming exhibition featuring Igmus (Brett Davies) and Leith Walton, two local artists blessed with a gift for manipulating the simple aesthetic of the natural world are combining their powers of imagination. Chisel & Brush will be held at Synergy Gallery, Northcote Tuesday 25 to Sunday 30 October.
THERE’LL BE NO LAUGHING HERE The No Laughing Matter Comedy Gala is coming to Melbourne on Friday 2 December at Athenaeum Theatre after being a huge success in Sydney earlier this year. Featuring some of Australia’s most sought after and loved comedians, notably Corrine Grant, Dave O’Neil, Peter Helliar and Tommy Little. Aimed to raise public awareness of the severe problem Australia faces with suicide, a leading killer claiming approximately 2,500 lives a year, one of the highest rates in the Western world. Book your tickets here: nolaughingmatter.org.au.
BY THE LEFT, QUICK MARCH
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY CASSANDRA FUMI TALKS TO TOMMY BRADSON, WINNER OF THE BEST CABARET AWARD AT THE RECENT MELBOURNE FRINGE FESTIVAL.
CONSTANTLY MENTIONED IN THE SAME BREATH AS BILL HICKS AND GEORGE CARLIN, RANTY COMIC JAMIE KILSTEIN TALKS TO BAZ MCALISTER ABOUT BALANCING A BLOSSOMING COMEDY CAREER WITH POLITICAL ACTIVISM. When rising New York comedy star Jamie Kilstein hits Australia this month, it’s the definition of ‘whirlwind’. The whip-smart prince of the piss-funny polemic is here for just three shows in three days – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane – then it’s back to NYC, the nerve centre of the universe. “I like packing all of the fans into the one show, blowing it out, then bailing,” Kilstein laughs, but then confesses the real reason he can’t afford to stay long is that he’s not keen to be apart from his wife too long. Not just for all the sappy reasons, though. The 29-year-old is married to journalist, blogger, and political commentator Allison Kilkenny, his cohost on their “little stupid podcast”, Citizen Radio. Kilstein can’t afford to be away too long because he’s afraid of missing a big story they could rip to shreds together on the political comedy show they call “like CNN, but with more swearing”. At the time of our chat, Kilstein is doing a couple of gigs in Toronto but even an hour’s flight away from NYC is too far when there’s shit going down. “My wife is down on occupied Wall Street right now,” he says, “doing a bunch of interviews and talking to all the kids who are camped out there protesting.” He’s champing at the bit to be at her side in the thick of the action – but the stage is calling, and since he smashed it on Conan O’Brien’s show earlier in the year, the phone’s not stopped ringing. He’s just put out a new album, Libel, Slander & Sedition, which he’s really proud of. “I’ve never said something good about what I do, except for Citizen Radio – in fact I would tell you not to buy my other CD, [2009’s] Zombie Jesus, for as much as I love the name I’m sick of the material and I was a different comic then,” he says honestly. “But I’m really fucking proud of the new one.” Not only that, but he’s still reeling from getting the nod to tape an hour-long TV special. “It’s nuts,” he says. “When I got that, I had a life-flashed-before-your-eyes moment of dropping out of high school to do comedy, living out of my car to do comedy, and I was like, ‘I’m not crazy!’” When Kilstein takes to the stage, it’s a 90-minute, all-out, high-energy assault, laying down the law to homophobes, bigots, warmongers and idiots. And
recently, as his profile has raised, he’s finally been able to abandon doing the American comedy club circuit and concentrating on theatre shows where a more discerning audience can really get behind his material. “Comedy clubs in the States are the worst, you literally have waitresses in the front row taking drink orders while you’re talking – I could be telling a story about finally reconciling with my father after 25 years and all you’ll hear is ‘Mozzarella sticks?’,” he says. “The most depressing shit ever. So I just stopped doing comedy clubs, I fired my old agent and manager.” His beef with comedy clubs is coincidentally much the same as his beef with news bulletins – they pander to the drunks and bigots in the audience, because god forbid one should complain. “People go on about ‘the extreme left and the extreme right’ – they’re not equal,” he says. What does ‘the extreme right’ stand for? These things got applause breaks at Republican debates: when [Texas governor] Rick Perry mentioned his more-than-200 executions in Texas, some of whom may have been innocent men; [Republican presidential candidate] Ron Paul saying if a 30-year-old man doesn’t have insurance and is going to die, we should let him die. Then a gay soldier who served in the war that these assholes started gets booed. What do the extreme Democrats stand for? Healthcare, a woman’s right to do whatever she wants with her body, education – that’s not ‘extreme’, it’s basic kindness. So when you have a comedy club owner saying, ‘Well I can’t book you because I don’t want to piss anybody off’ – what am I saying to piss people off? ‘You shouldn’t be mean to gay people?’ He’s saying he’d rather appease the bigots than have me alienate any of his audience.” Now, his favourite places to play include tiny little rooms in the back of hole-in-thewall New York bars, plying his material on 20 hipsters on the Lower East Side. His spiritual home, however, is NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, a tumbledown 150-seat theatre underneath a grocery store. “It’s the one place that always let me do a full hour and that’s where most people discovered me,” he says. “They also let
us do Citizen Radio live from there once a month and we’d have really cool panels of guests – comedians, musicians, activists. One show was Ally and I, with Moby and Billy Connolly. Another one was Sarah Silverman, and [journalist] Matt Taibbi, who broke all the Goldman Sachs stories, and Regina Spektor sang. We’ve had Bad Religion, we’ve had Noam Chomsky, just these really fucking cool people.” Kilstein says improvising Citizen Radio has sharpened him up for the stage immeasurably, and he’s enjoying stand-up all the more because he’s “not doing it every day like a fucking robot”. When he talks about the show and the grassroots groundswell of support it’s garnered in its relatively short lifespan, he glows. “Citizen Radio never had any advertisements. Up until this year, Allison
and I were never on TV. We had no credentials. It spread through word of mouth. The whole show is geared towards young kids who don’t have a voice, who were apathetic but now want to get involved. Our guests get so excited to do it because they can speak freely. And our audience is so cool because Allison and I are so alienating! Anyone who sticks with us, we’re going to get along with. I feel like anyone who can sit through us quoting five minutes of The Simpsons, then calling [Israeli PM] Benjamin Netanyahu a war criminal, is going to be on our team, you know?” WHO: Jamie Kilstein WHAT: Libel, Slander & Sedition available on iTunes; Citizen Radio at wearecitizenradio.com WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Trades Hall
GIVEAWAY WIN AN IPAD WITH X-MEN: FIRST CLASS Before they were superheroes, the fate of humanity depended on an extraordinary group of youngsters who went on to become X-Men: First Class. Based on the international bestselling Marvel Comics franchise, X-Men: First Class bursts onto Blu-ray and DVD on Wednesday 19 October. Before Charles Xavier (James McAvoy, Atonement) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds) took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the ﬁrst time, working together to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known. The ﬁlm features a star-studded supporting cast, including Academy Awardnominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), January Jones (Mad Men), Rose
Byrne (28 Weeks Later), Zoë Kravitz (Californication), Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man), Lucas Till (Walk The Line), and Emmy Award-nominee Oliver Platt (The West Wing). The X-Men: First Class Blu-ray is pretty much the ultimate experience
for X-Men fans and is one of the most compelling Blu-rays Fox has ever released, packed with more than two hours of exclusive content including eight behind-the-scenes features, extended and deleted scenes and picture-inpicture interactivity.
Thanks to the crew at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, we’ve a particularly epic prize to giveaway. Just in time for the release of iOS 5 we’ve an iPad 2 – a device we’d imagine being pretty popular in the X-Mansion (and a great way to read your X-Men comics) – along with X-Men: The Ultimate Collection Blu-ray box set, which includes the complete saga thus far (X-Men, X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and X-Men: First Class), and X-Men: First Class Collector’s Book, a behind-thescenes book made exclusively for its DVD release and not available to purchase. We’ve also got 20 runners-up prizes of a copy of X-Men: First Class on Blu-ray. For your chance to win this prize pack, head to facebook.com/inpressmag to enter.
The luscious world of cabaret is grander than our own, and despite ourselves, we crave it. It allows audiences to witness a spectacle of amplified emotion and perhaps that’s why Melbourne’s cabaret scene has exploded in the last few years. This world was realised for Fringe-goers in Tommy Bradson’s Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem, which won best Cabaret at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Bradson is an eccentric who seems to live his life like an oh-so-seductive cabaret, celebrating the win with “a couple of mates from Sydney and of course Thorny, at Melbourne’s Gin Palace, with toasted sandwiches and vodka martinis”. “Thorny” is Bradson’s co-conspirator and accompanist, John Thorn. They met only two years ago and Bradson was charmed: “We hit it off straight away like, old mates.” Together, they wrote Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem in a house “over Boxing Day and New Year’s, writing the show together, drinking whisky, and having a great time.” Since then Bradson has been “festivalling around” with this compelling show – a show that leaves you heartbroken, yet wanting to kiss his foul mouth for its boldness and honesty. Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, which Bradson’s nanna read to him. “She used to read a lot to me, in particular the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen – all cautionary stuff,” he says. Bradson rediscovered this literary classic at university describing it as “an incredible love story about someone who gives their whole self to somebody else and gets nothing in return. “She is still so believing in this love that she will die for it and I think that is just really wonderful.” Whether the little mermaid is Ariel or
not, this story is one that still resonates with audiences. However, it’s not just the story that made this show an award winner, it is the delivery. The audiences who were transported to a grimy, seaside tavern where dirty talk and slurring your Rs was not only accepted but encouraged, and the raw truth of these “poor, unfortunate souls”; a drunken pirate and a washed-up mermaid were exposed in this cabaret. Bradson’s banter in performance was slick, unpredictable and dirtier than I am sure many anticipated. “I am told there is a lot of filth in the work, but it’s just how I see the world,” he says. “Maybe I do have a warped perception compared to the norm.” The show will appear at the Perth Fringe, completing an entire Australian festival circuit – “Then it’s time for something new,” says Bradson, who is in the process of creating a new cabaret that will be premiering at Adelaide Fringe 2012, titled, The Birthday Party Massacre. “It’s an old school rock’n’roll show about a sweet 16th. [It’s] a cover show; I will sing tunes [from groups] such as The Coasters.” Melbourne Fringe traditionally honours the most outstanding work for the year with an array of awards that are presented at the closing night party at the North Melbourne Town Hall fringe hub. Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem won the award for Best Cabaret, in the esteemed categorysector of the awards, which includes categories such as Best Circus, Best Comedy and Best Performance. “[It] meant a great deal,” says Bradson, “as to go to a new city and have people really come to you and enjoy themselves, I mean, that’s why I am here.” WHO: Tommy Bradson WHERE: tommybradson.com
ISSUE 1196 - WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER, 2011
Phrase pic by Kane Hibberd
THIS WEEK INTERNATIONAL 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 AGENT ORANGE: October 20 Corner 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 JELLO BIAFRA: October 22 Forum THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: October 22 (U18), 23 (18+) Billboard THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: October 25, 26 Corner
GIG OF THE WEEK PHRASE
Tallest Man On Earth Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 October Corner Hotel
FRIDAY, PRINCE OF WALES The best thing about hip hop is a successful transition from recorded work to live stage show. For his Babylon release tour, Phrase has enlisted the backing of a four-piece band to help him bring the noise to audiences around the country. What this means is that Phrase will be boasting an even bigger sound live than what he achieved on his sonically groundbreaking album – this can only be a good thing. Plus, he’ll be supported by Box Rockets, The Bowers and Flagrant (video set). It’s all taking place in the southside’s premier band room and with tickets only $20+BF, this will be a ripper of a night.
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 BALL PARK MUSIC: October 21 East Brunswick Club PHRASE: October 21 Prince Bandroom JELLO BIAFRA: October 22 Forum HEIRS, ALCEST: October 22 Toff In Town NEW EMPIRE: October 22 (arvo) Prince Bandroom; 22 (evening) Royal Melbourne Hotel TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: October 25, 26 Corner Hotel THE JEZABELS: October 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 27, 28, 30 Forum; 29 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 30 Hi-Fi (U18) ILLY: October 28 Palace FUNKOARS: October 28 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 29 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) SKA NATION IV: October 29 Fairbank Café (Clayton, all-ages); 30 Corner Hotel; 31 CBD Nightclub GOLD FIELDS: October 29 Corner Hotel; November 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) RIDING SIDE SADDLE: November 3 Prince Bandroom FOLK UKE: November 10 Caravan Music Club; 11 East Brunswick Club CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH: November 16 East Brunswick Club JEBEDIAH: November 17 Billboard
NATIONAL PETE MURRAY: October 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) MANTRA: October 20 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 22 Whalers Hotel (Warrnambool) LANIE LANE: October 19, 21 Northcote Social Club BALL PARK MUSIC: October 21 East Brunswick Club THE KILLJOYS: October 21 Thornbury Theatre PHRASE: October 21 Prince RU CL: October 21 Laundry Bar KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD: October 21 Tote THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: October 21 Pier Live (Frankston); 22 Ferntree Gully Hotel HEIRS: October 22 Toff In Town NEW EMPIRE: October 22 Royal Melbourne Hotel BIG SCARY: October 22 Ormond Hall MY FRIEND THE CHOCOLATE CAKE: October 22 Theatre Royal PAUL DEMPSEY: October 23 Corner CALLING ALL CARS: October 23 La Trobe Uni Bundoora
Adalita’s a total goddess isn’t she? The cynicism that characterises us Gen Y folk, like a permanent pockmark, means that in the wake of all the hype I have reflex hesitations about jumping on the Adalita bandwagon at first. This particular Corner set, however, is converting any remnants of the heretic in me before she even finishes the first song. Anyone who can shoegaze before they kick arse – and vice versa (both require a certain standard of imperturbable awesome) – is in possession of some truly praiseworthy talent. Adalita is up there with PJ Harvey and Anna Calvi for me – the three of them surely represent some sacred pillars of something. Simply fucking good music, maybe. Mercifully, the crowd shuts up while she plays and as the riffs are repeated, and repeated, it feels like a sonic pickaxe is cracking into that bullshit that persists somewhere, everywhere. Truly brilliant.
The Drones pic by Jesse Booher
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH: October 26 Corner DROPKICK MURPHYS: October 26 Forum JANET JACKSON: October 26, 27 State Theatre ALCEST: October 27 Curtin Bandroom 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 CARSICK CARS: October 28 KIPL; 30 Toff In Town
LIVE: REVIEWS THE DRONES, ADALITA CORNER
The Drones amble on after Neil Young fills the interval and perform a Tarantino of a set. Gareth Liddiard has his whole zombie/dandy/“Throw us a hay bale Jack, I only gotta stick at this job ‘til it buys me gas to hit the road” thing going great guns. The crowd is absolutely thronging to see these guys, from the Southbank waifs in their Frankie finery to the beards snug in their solid social status to the skinhead getting all headbangy on his lonesome a few steps to my right. Particular standouts include I Don’t Ever Want To Change and Sharkfin Blues – surely a song to make a grown man cry, even if he doesn’t know why. The Drones are one of those bands that have cemented their place in Australia’s rock history, with the crowds – and the stage presence to accommodate them (tonight features a lengthy conversation about penis sizes, hooray!) – making it even more evident. In fact, if you didn’t get down to one/all of these three consecutive gigs by The Drones – or indeed any of their gigs to date – you’re doing your unborn (or born, it’s never too late to indoctrinate) children a disservice. As The Drones are heading off interstate on the next leg of their national tour after this, it’s highly advisable you do your bit for forthcoming generations and stack some hay on the double. All ‘round a solid show of widescreen proportions. Alice Body
In Town 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 Theatre PASSENGER: November 5 East Brunswick Club CREEPING: November 5 Bendigo Hotel TUCK & PATTI: November 5 Palais Hepburn Springs; 6 Corner CARTEL: November 5 Prince (U18s), Bang (18+) THE POINTER SISTERS: November 7 Palais Theatre BECKY LEE: November 7, 14, 21, 28 Espy; 12 Old Bar; December 3 Tote 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 Brunswick Club TV ON THE RADIO: November 16 Palace 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 Springs DAEDELUS: November 26 ArtPlay THE MAGICIAN: November 26 Roxanne Parlour 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 King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Friday Tote
HOW TO DRESS WELL: December 3 Phoenix Public House 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 MUDHONEY: December 8 Corner UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA: December 8 Toff In Town; 10 Northcote Social Club JEDI MIND TRICKS: December 9 Billboard OFF!: December 9 Corner; 11 Fitzroy Bowls Club DIG: December 10 Corner BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS: December 11 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh); 13 Prince FUTURE OF THE LEFT: December 16 Corner OPETH: December 18 Palace Theatre ALOE BLACC: January 1 Palace Theatre THE JIM JONES REVUE: January 2 East Brunswick Club ARCTIC MONKEYS: January 3 Festival Hall DUM DUM GIRLS: January 3 Corner J MASCIS: January 3, 4 Toff In Town; 6 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) THE VENGABOYS: January 12, 18 Corner ABSU: January 14 East Brunswick Club PJ HARVEY: January 15 Regent Theatre 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 MADELEINE PEYROUX: March 14 Palais TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL: March 20 Rod Laver Arena NICK LOWE: March 22 Forum
Illy pic by Sam Wong
Billed as a new “super-group”, if tonight’s support slot for New Zealand’s The Coolies is not Täx’s first gig, it sure seems that way. Considering that Sean Bailey, Justin K Fuller and Simon Taylor have apparently each been in a number of bands prior to this one, it is difficult to not expect more. There seems to be a lack of cohesion among the three and the whole set is rather uncomfortable. Of course, this discomfort, which makes it look more like a paid rehearsal, could be due in part to the sparse audience. Matters are not helped at all when Taylor breaks a string during their penultimate song, causing cries of, “Does anyone have a bass?” and a lengthy break before one of The Coolies comes to the rescue.
NATIONAL THE JEZABELS: October 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 28 Forum; 29 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 30 Hi-Fi (U18) JOHN WATERS: October 27 Playhouse (Geelong); 28, 29 Palms At Crown; 30 Frankston Performing Arts Centre; November 12 Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre TIJUANA CARTEL: October 27 Loft (Warrnambool); 28 Corner; November 4 Westernport Hotel (San Remo) KING CANNONS: October 27 National Hotel (Geelong); 28 Loft (Warrnambool); 29 East Brunswick Club. ILLY: October 28 Palace SHANNON NOLL: October 28 Trak; 29 York On Lilydale (Mt Evelyn) BOY IN A BOX: October 28 Espy FUNKOARS: October 28 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 29 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) LAURA IMBRUGLIA: October 29 Workers Club A DEATH IN THE FAMILY: October 29 Bendigo Hotel NED COLETTE & WIREWALKER: October 29 Toff In Town JIMMY HAWK & THE ENDLESS PARTY: October 29 Buffalo Club GOLD FIELDS: October 29 Corner; November 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) BABY ANIMALS: October 31 Corner CALLING ALL CARS: October 31 Espy DAVE GRANEY & THE LURID YELLOW MIST: October 31 Northcote Social Club THE GRATES: October 31 Hi-Fi; November 2 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 3 Bended Elbow (Geelong) DARREN HAYES: November 2 Forum FAKER: November 2 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 3 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 4 Corner GOSSLING & OWL EYES: November 3 Prince Of Wales SOPHIE KOH: November 3 Northcote Social Club LAURA JEAN: November 5 Toff In Town REDCOATS: November 5 Northcote Social Club MANTRA: November 5 Surf Coast Sport Club (Torquay); 18 Star Bar (Bendigo); 19 East Brunswick Club JOHN FARNHAM: November 9, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18 Palais ALEKS & THE RAMPS: November 10 Buffalo Club PARIS WELLS: November 10 Northcote Social Club; 24 Loft (Warrnambool); 26 Palais Hepburn Springs LAURA: November 11 Corner MARK SEYMOUR: November 12 Espy BROUS: November 12 Phoenix Public House CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES: November 12 Hi-Fi TATU REI: November 12 Malthouse Theatre; 18 Revolt PUTA MADRE BROTHERS: November 12 Old Bar; 24 Cherry Bar SHANE NICHOLSON: November 14, 15 Melbourne Recital Centre GEORGIA FAIR: November 16 Toff In Town JEBEDIAH: November 17 Billboard GYROSCOPE: November 18 Corner HERMITUDE: November 18 East Brunswick Club JINJA SAFARI: November 18 Prince Bandroom GOSSLING: November 18 Northcote Social Club COLD CHISEL: November 18 Gateway Lakes (Wodonga); 19 A Day On The Green; 24 Rod Laver Arena BJORN AGAIN: November 18, 19 Palms at Crown DICK DIVER: November 19 Phoenix Public House DEEP SEA ARCADE: November 19 Northcote Social Club BOY & BEAR: November 23 Bended Elbow
THE COOLIES, TÄX
JÄGERMEISTER INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS REVOLT
After nearly getting in someone’s press photo, my plus one and I get into Revolt and work our way through the bustling crowd of people variously connected to the music industry and play a bit of ‘spot the muso’. It’s hard for us not to feel out of place, we’re underdressed and fairly certain we’re the only people here who don’t contribute much more than fandom. Upon finding out about the free drinks from sponsor Jägermeister, I kind of regret the decision to drive. Soon we’re all ushered into the main room for the show. With no introduction but the dimming of lights, Calling All Cars take the stage and hammer out a blistering version of Worlds Collide, off their latest album Dancing With A Dead Man. It’s a rocking start to the evening and a fantastic example of the quality of independent Australian music. Once the band exit and applause dies down, tonight’s host, Dylan Lewis, takes the stage. After a brief introduction and the obligatory sponsor mentions, the award ceremony is underway with local trio My Disco taking out Best Independent Hard Rock And Punk Album. The new award for Best Independent Dance/Electronica Or Club Single couldn’t be split, with both Seekae and Tommy Trash & Tom Piper receiving the exact same amount of votes, while Pnau take home the Best Independent Dance/Electronica Album category. Following the first few speeches is Illy playing the Best Independent Single Or EP-nominated It Can Wait. Collaborator Owl Eyes is on hand to sing the chorus and the song has the crowd moving in their seats and a few people singing along. It’s a fantastic performance and worthy of the nomination (although unfortunately Illy loses out to The Jezabels when the result is revealed later on in the night). In an odd coincidence, none of the next four winners are present to claim their statuettes. Prerecorded videos and substitutes are left to fill the gap. Thankfully, there’s another performance to break up the awards. Brisbanite and Breakthrough Independent Artist Of The Year Emma Louise and her band play Jungle, its pounding drums, rumbling bass and soaring chorus filling the room. They easily prove why she won the award and mark her as an artist to watch. Local rapper 360 wins the inaugural Most Hunted Award and gives the funniest speech of the evening. “The bar wouldn’t give me a Jägerbomb, they said they could only do Jäger and Red Bull,” he exclaims. “That IS a Jägerbomb!” The next performance sees Sydney band The Holidays grooving their way through album highlight Broken Bones. The song almost feels wasted with everyone in the crowd sitting down, but it’s still an excellent performance.
It’s said that one way to deal with a brat is to ignore them and it seems that most of Melbourne has chosen to do just that with so-called “perpetual brats” The Coolies. While a handful of extra punters populate the Workers Club in the downtime between sets, it’s still a poor turnout; then again, it is a Sunday night. This doesn’t seem to phase The Coolies however, who give the impression that they wouldn’t care if there was one person or if there were 500 people. Even though their frontwoman announces that it is the band’s vocalist/keyboardist’s birthday today, neither of them seems excited to be here. There is very little talk in between songs and they seem to go through the motions. Drummer, Michael Prain, who has been borrowed from New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die!, is the liveliest performer onstage, although that’s mainly due to the instrument he plays. Overall, tonight’s show is a little disappointing. On record, The Coolies are a pretty fine DIY/riot grrrl-esque outfit, but onstage their lacklustre attitude is off-putting. It detracts from the enjoyment of the music and makes you wonder why they bother turning up at all if they can’t be arsed. Having said this, musically there are no complaints; the mix is just right and songs are executed well enough. The Coolies make it difficult to like them from a live perspective, as playing the songs competently enough doesn’t count for much if you don’t care one iota about being there. Dominique Wall
LUCKY DRAGONS, GEOFFREY O’CONNOR TOFF IN TOWN
Geoffrey O’Connor flew back into the country from a US tour only a few hours ago and he’s looking a little ramshackle tonight, which is at odds with the supersmooth sounds of his earnest, ‘80s new romanticinfluenced sounds. When he wanders into the audience with his super-long microphone cable, he looks like he’s lost something, or perhaps wants to speak to the sound guy. But, no, he’s apparently working the crowd, yet because he’s so passive and slightly aloof it just tends to confuse. He sings tunes from his recent Vanity Is Forever LP and the song Whatever Leads Me To You is a highlight. But it all sounds a little different. “Qantas lost my instruments,” he explains, noting that friends and strangers donated all the gear he is playing. Vanity Is Forever raises many questions in the listener – its mix of earnest and kitsch, heartfelt and the artificial. This performance answers none of these questions and in fact raises a few more. The intrigue just builds.
Finally, it’s time for the three biggest awards to be presented: Best Independent Single Or EP, Best Independent Artist and Best Independent Album. Absent from the ceremony, but evidently still a force to be reckoned with, The Jezabels take home the first two awards. The crowd explodes with applause and cheers when Adalita is announced as the winner of Best Independent Album for her self-titled solo debut. Her speech and moving tribute to late Magic Dirt bandmate Dean Turner is applauded greatly. She follows this with a spellbinding performance of Fool Around accompanied only by a guitarist. The whole room seems to be in a daze as she sings, right until she starts pounding a floor tom at the song’s peak. The song is greeted with a rapturous response from the crowd and with that the ceremony is over for another year, but the night’s celebrations are just beginning.
Lucky Dragons’ previous visit to our shores, and in particular their show at 3RRR, was an incredible demonstration of how to make the experimental fun, actively using the audience as a compositional tool with all manner of unidentifiable electronic instruments finding their way into the hands of audience members. It’s this egalitarian approach that’s on display again tonight, with a bunch of audience members up onstage hunched over a table spinning around a circular disc that not only creates a hypnotic, synthetic drone, but also a strange geometric visual display on the screen behind them. Throughout the performance, audience members continue to take turns in manipulating this curious instrument. Behind these sounds the Los Angeles duo add seemingly improvised bass sounds, at times beats, or later droning vocals at peculiar, possibly predetermined, times. The performance is fascinating initially, however the duo appear hampered by their desire to include the audience in a performance in a non-tokenistic way, meaning that they can influence the sound and direction, despite having no idea where to go. Lucky Dragons don’t censor the sound, meaning that the synthetic drone continues pretty much unabated for the entire performance, which becomes somewhat fatiguing. Perhaps if they exercised more control over the sounds, or even increased the diversity of their backing sounds, these issues wouldn’t be such a problem. “That was the first time we’ve done this,” they offer at the end, making it difficult to be too hard on them. This is how music should be: new, risky and with equal potential for success or failure.
Bob Baker Fish
email@example.com show, particularly when it synchronises with some dramatic visual effects. I mostly enjoy it – initially, at least, it is like getting sucked into a lava lamp just before it erupts into a crazy, waxy toothpaste spurt all the colours of the rainbow. The more pedantic parts of Qua’s set are definitely preferable.
Alice Cooper pic by Heidi Takla
Next up is “China’s reigning 8-bit maestro” Sun Dawai (AKA Sulumi). He’s got a red hammer and sickle symbol on his t-shirt, which gets him brownie points for starters. All of the computer-cute graphics that frolicked about the stage during Qua’s set have scrambled, along with their cheery hues, and scratchy, black-and-white visuals jitter epileptically onstage as Sulumi hunches spasmodically over his gear, occasionally leaping back to pump his fist in the air. ‘Mmm yes, invigorating,’ my spidey senses intercept from the silver foxes, all a-flutter safely down the back. Meanwhile there are some fans showing their appreciation closer to the stage, and, as random as they are wonderful, a couple swing dances (swing dancing!) in an out-of-the-way corner. Sulumi truly is something of a maestro though – I can’t imagine what kind of Big Boss would be big enough to suit this crazy orchestra-in-a-Mario Kart-race stuff. Alice Body
FUNKOARS, VENTS, CIECMATE
The theatrical nature of tonight’s show is apparent the moment you see the outfits worn by an Alice Cooper audience, which include a sexy nurse and all manner of gothic/Halloween-inspired get-ups. There’s a Vincent Price intro and then Cooper materialises on a cherry picker, embodying The Black Widow (dressed as a spider). There’s strings attached, but two of Cooper’s extra ‘legs’ have sparklers sizzling from them. Wow factor. This opening track is menacing and hardcore with ample opportunities for the musicians to rock out. The four axes onstage make love with each other and one-upmanship extracts outstanding performances. Our very own Orianthi shreds her life away while casually chewing gum. The Adelaide-born stunner best known for her role as lead guitarist for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated This Is It concerts is a matchless player, but demonstrates a little less enthusiasm about the various ‘acting’ requirements associated with sharing a stage with Cooper. When the other two axe wielders don creepy, transparent masks for Clones (We’re All), Orianthi remains au naturale.
Funkoars fans are a special breed. They’re devoted, a little deviant and utterly determined to have a good time. Even while Billboard is just starting to fill up, the crowd are squeezing towards the barrier, giving support act Ciecmate a healthy audience. The Melbourne MC is spinning his trademark brand of furious, beautifully weighted hip hop, giving the evening a solid start. Adelaide’s Vents is up next and it’s clear from the punters’ reactions that they’re more than familiar with his work. He’s on great form, bounding around the generous stage. He’s ably assisted by Adfu, whose ability to meld hypeman and DJ duties puts to shame the notion that men can’t multitask. Vents finishes up with Rolling Balls, strongly finishing a great set.
The backdrop reads “No More Mr Nice Guy”, acknowledging this specific tour’s name. Only Cooper can get away with rhyming “snake” and “cake” (Brutal Planet). He’s got the wide-legged, rockstar stance and snarl down pat and sure knows how to work his props, brandishing a crutch with aplomb and twirling various canes as expertly as a possessed cheerleader from hell. During Billion Dollar Babies, he even shakes dollar bills from his lance. Hey Stoopid is a standout and sees us hollering a chorus of, “Hey-hey-hey-HEY/Hey stoopid!” Makeupwearing rockers such as Cooper sure ain’t stoopid, ensuring their images remain intact until they drop. While Cooper leaves the stage for one of his many costume changes, we are treated to a face-melting instrumental. Drummer Glen Sobel is off the hook and has the crowd standing with jaws agape during his polyrhythmic solo, which is further enhanced by perfectly timed stick tricks. Cooper returns, sporting a jacket with “New Song” scrawled on the back. Muscle Of Love kills it with Cooper’s suggestive lyrics – “Holy muscle of love/A gift from above.” The hits are included and Only Women Bleed sees Cooper dancing and romancing a life-size female rag doll, which he pashes at song’s close. He then proceeds to batter ‘her’ – controversial. Feed My Frankenstein sees a ginormous monster ‘created’ onstage (about a quarter the size of Iron Maiden’s Eddie). The chorus in Poison is quite frankly the greatest sing-along opportunity ever: “I want to love you, but I better not touch (Don’t touch).” We all brace ourselves for the show’s mandatory death scene. A guillotine is brought out and Cooper’s head is secured within the contraption as he struggles dramatically. Once the job is done, one of the ‘executioners’ waves the severed head around, seemingly making out with it. He then bites out a chunk of its face before spitting gore into the front rows. Genius. School’s Out is interspersed with a segment of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall, much to the delight of the crowd. We fear there will be no encore, but then Cooper returns, resplendent in his Uncle Sam-style Elected outfit, which is covered in mirrored panels. Fashion designers in the house find inspiration for their next collections based on Cooper’s threads – he must have armed guards at his wardrobe door. We suddenly find ourselves in a feather-shaped tickertape shower and if Cooper were up for presidential consideration, he’d get our votes. Bryget Chrisfield
AESOP ROCK & KIMYA DAWSON, THE NARCICYST & OMAR OFFENDUM FORUM
The stage darkens and the crowd take up the chant. Funkoars burst onstage, kicking off with Where I Am and It’s All Good. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, it’s official: nobody ever has as much fun onstage as these guys. They exude such camaraderie that the audience can’t help but get swept up in the euphoria. Trials announces that DJ Reflux is turning the big 3-0, and the audience obliges with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. The cheering continues as Flux shows off his scratching skills with a cut-up of Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name. Trials declares Melbourne the loudest crowd of the tour so far, and the audience loves it – he even records the screaming on his iPhone as proof. Steve Jobs would have been proud. The show is pure fun. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s got lots of “fuck yeah”s and hands in the air, and it’s exactly what this audience wants. This Is How and the somewhat misogynistic The Greatest Hit get huge reactions, as does Being Vincent D’Onofrio (complete with Reflux in a D’Onofrio mask). For the time being at least, What’s Your Malfunction closes the show. But the crowd aren’t letting these guys go without an encore, so Funkoars troop back out with Vents in tow to knock out a rendition of Assassination. They’re flagging a little, but they round out the set with The Quickening and a shout-out to their devoted audience, finishing up neatly on the very stroke of midnight. As we file out, a couple of guys in brand new tour tees are chugging the last of their beers, taking it in turns to blow into the coin-operated breathalyser. “Dude, I am so much more fucked up than you!” bellows one, while the other laughs into his drink. Ah, yes… Funkoars fans are indeed a special breed.
The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum are clearly some of the North American underground’s finest, and the talented MCs are putting on a spectacular show. Their set is a combination of their collaborations and solo work and they take it in turns to play hypeman for each other’s numbers. Omar Offendum’s Damascus is a particular highlight, featuring a beautifully paced beat and eloquent lyricism. Punters who had their hands in the air barely moments ago are taken aback by the sudden appearance of Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson, armed with only microphones and an acoustic guitar. They open with a couple of their collaborative songs, including Delicate Cycle, but they skew much more Dawson’s way than Aesop Rock’s – they’re thin, indie-folky guitar pieces, with Aesop Rock occasionally rapping a few bars amongst the singing. It feels less like a collaboration and more like an amateur remixing effort. Aesop Rock exits the stage and it becomes apparent that each of the artists will spend some time performing alone. This is a problem – their individual styles are so vastly different that the audience members aren’t likely to be interested in both. Dawson battles along valiantly; Loose Lips and Tire Swing, from the Juno soundtrack, get okay receptions. Unfortunately, by the third number she’s well and truly lost the room.
A screamed out, “Hey, babe!” from a passing car as we wander up Flinders Street serves as a reminder that it’s footy grand final night. There’s only one football scarf sighting inside the packed venue, however – phew. Playing four consecutive shows at the Forum goes some way toward illustrating the impact Gotye’s record-smashing single Somebody That I Used To Know has had on his popularity. Having last caught the scaled-down, three-piece Gotye show at the National Theatre in January this year (and loving it), tonight’s gig has a lot to live up to. This mini-orchestra incarnation contains 11 multiinstrumentalists and they nail Eyes Wide Open: driving beats and captivating vocals packing an early punch. The stunning, accompanying Brendan Cook-animated video clip illuminates the cyclorama, plus two smaller screens, downstage. “This is a song about my organ,” is how Gotye (AKA Wally DeBacker) introduces State Of The Art – don’t reckon he’s aware of the phallic connotations, though. In this live rendition, the song’s resemblance to The Police’s Walking On The Moon is striking, particularly to the tempo. Rubber House’s animation on the back screen makes the perfect visual addition, although at times less light onstage throughout the night would make more of a feature of the synchronised footage. DeBacker explains to us that he’s repping The Thin Green Line Foundation, which raises money for rangers around the world who are busily protecting endangered species and habitats. He shares a post from his Facebook wall, where a ‘friend’ mistakenly believed these fundraising efforts were for rangas (our ginger-haired mates). This causes much hilarity. De Backer’s banter defies his shy demeanour and he’s at ease in front of the capacity crowd. Admitting Kimbra isn’t present to sing Somebody That I Used To Know, De Backer encourages us to sing her parts. He also confesses to feeling nervous about the prospect of hearing 1,200 people taking on the role of jilted ex-girlfriend. He checks that we’re sure we know the words and then the exquisite sounds take hold. De Backer flawlessly recreates the recording’s emotional portrayal and the audience doesn’t miss a beat in lieu of Kimbra. What could have fallen flat serves to emphasize just how much the nation has taken this song into their hearts. You had to be there. Once everyone has warmed up their larynxes however, their enthusiastic contributions completely spoil Hearts A Mess. Jeez, let’s just leave it to De Backer to nail that impossibly high “ConnEEEEeect” note, shall we? As moving as Bronte is, particularly when introduced by De Backer as a composition he wrote for two of his dear friends who lost a loved one, its placement as the final song of the main set should definitely be rethought.
The return of Aesop Rock to the stage elicits tangible relief from the audience, who suffer through a couple more collaborative tracks before their man takes over. He brings out Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz and asks us if we’re ready to make some noise. (At this point, scores of women, clearly Dawson fans, leave.) Breakdance Beach goes down a treat, as do Big Bang and Daylight. Dawson’s back onstage, and Aesop Rock announces that they’ll perform a couple more songs together. People start leaving. He adds that he’ll do one more on his own at the end. They stay. We bear with renditions of The Aquarium and Bats before Aesop closes the show with the outstanding None Shall Pass. In the end, nobody’s really happy.
We’re all pensive and sombre when the band reappear to “kick it up a notch” and De Backer cheekily dedicates In Your Light to all Collingwood supporters in the house. Continuing with this Phil Collins tribute section, Learnalilgivinanlovin follows. Although said ditty isn’t this scribe’s fave by the artist, De Backer’s drum solo goes off live, as do the added brass injections. The mood lifts instantaneously, as if we’ve double dropped, and it’s time to fork out 20 bucks for one of those ranger raffle tickets. While queuing for the eftpos facilities, a thought creeps in. What? No Thanks For Your Time? NOOOOooooo. Of this evening’s setlist, 11 out of the 13 songs played are lifted from Gotye’s latest Making Mirrors set. We missed Coming Back also, but that won’t stop us from coming back for more Gotye.
Gotye pic by Heidi Takla
THE TOFF IN TOWN Tonight feels like an example of how different circumstances can shape a context into something out of (conventional) kilter with the event itself. Both Qua and Sulumi are acts that would be nestled like square pegs into square holes if they were to appear at a freaktastic music festival say, or a windowless club at ping o’clock. Here, at Toff In Town’s scheduled Melbourne Festival event, there’s more of a round(ish) hole-vibe going on. There are more than a few well-heeled silver foxes thoughtfully observing the stage. It makes you feel like you’re at an art opening. Not to insinuate that the sets aren’t impressive in an artistic sense. Qua’s sampleheavy – and while we’re at it, sample-intricate and sample-enthusiastic, too – sounds dip and weave from being mesmerising to almost assailing, Nine Inch Nails-style. A friend who suffers from the occasional migraine feels one coming on during one of the more hard-hitting segments of Qua’s
Sorted for E&Ps
HAVE YOUR CAKE, EAT IT TOO Celebrating 21 years at the forefront of Australian music, My Friend The Chocolate Cake return to Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal this Saturday to perform their seventh album Fiasco. This is the band with the strings, the piano, the big tunes and the plainly daft name. This is the album that has garnered rave reviews and attracted thousands of Chocolate Cake Facebook fans. This is the band whose music clip Request has been nominated for an Independent Film Award. Their seven-album history is a multidimensional mural of modern Australia that illustrates its geography, its political mores and its predominantly suburban identity—all by the kind of stealth that makes the most haunting, exhilarating and enduring music. Here’s your chance to experience the imaginative and intensely colourful world and music of My Friend The Chocolate Cake.
SECRETIVE GEORGE AT A PRIVATE LIFE
Secretive George and Ainslie Wills play Private Life this Monday at the Evelyn. Tarko oozes an appetite for destruction as he plays his saxophone under the skies of purple rain. His supernatural knack on the synth has struck a chord with Jamie the bass player with a tapestry of hysteria. Together under the Joshua Tree they begin to see parallel lines. Their sound needing one last element to build a bridge over troubled water. Enter Renee. A jagged little pill of feminine randomness her vocals edged with a lonely hearts club attitude. This is Private Life. Doors open 8pm.
GOT A DOLLAR?
What do you get when you get four international exchange students who really dig psychedelic garage rock? Wandering Spirit, that’s what. Blaze up and get down to eight minute jams with licks hotter than summer. The In & Dated are local lads who are playing their first pub gig ever. They don’t have any tunes recorded so we can’t comment on their sound from experience. It’s gonna be like opening presents at Xmas – you don’t know what you’ll get. On the decks is Kinsky spinning ol’ funk and garage jams to get your groove on. Still $2.50 pots, still $5 pizzas, still free entry, still Footscray, still Loose Change. Thursday night at the Exchange Hotel.
EP Reviews with Stephanie Liew
KIRA PURU & THE BRUISE
THE LIAR Independent
ANYWHERE THERE’S YOU Departed Sounds
This Sydney four-piece blend dark, sultry jazz and gritty rock’n’roll to create songs that are subdued and explosive all at once. Kira Puru’s vocals (with hints of Etta James, Amy Winehouse and Adele) are impressive, as her hushed purrs turn into powerful belts. In The Liar, sparse, creeping bass in the verse gives way to furious walking riffs in the chorus. Ragdoll Baby is a jazz track that features a rock solo and funky Streetlights is sure to get people moving. These songs were written to be performed live. Kira Puru & The Bruise play the Old Bar this Sunday.
This electro-funkreggae six-piece fuse rock instruments with keyboards and samples – as well as plenty of horn/brass sounds, thrilling percussion and bongo beats (Devils Dance) and both rapping and soulful singing – resulting in well-crafted, fun songs. Once Again reinforces a positive message through a funk soul vibe. Sunshine In My Juice is high energy and Cat Empire-esque with frenetic keyboards. Everything I Do is a bizarre Auto-Tune-lounge-reggae jam and One Way Ticket an irritating electro-dance rock one; both might work in a live setting but seem incohesive with the rest of the EP. The Levitators launch Eclectica at Bar 303 this Saturday.
Opener No Excuses is sunny, lo-fi, chillwave-influenced pop that complements Amaya Laucirica’s husky drawl. Anywhere There’s You – with its sparse, meandering bass, hissing hi-hat, and almost childlike piano – also allows Laucirica to show off her great earthy tones. The live version, however, is vastly different. It’s almost double in length and features full instrumentation; noisy guitars contrast nicely with Laucirica’s coffee-coated vocals. The live recording is just as appealing as the studio version; each has its own charm. Catch Amaya Laucirica at the Workers Club this Saturday.
This Sydney three-piece make lo-fi dance music that’s innovative, clever and infectious. They know how to create electronic music that still sounds organic, dynamic and not too robotic. Paris Collides features tinkling arpeggios that fade in and out, a steady thumping of drums and a combination of falsetto and low bass vocals. Nocturnal draws you in with its seductive bassline and vocal melody and catchy guitar/synth riffs. We Left is subtly hypnotic and suspenseful. While not all the songs on the album are of equal calibre, Rufus’s ideas and potential are promising. They play the Colonial Hotel this Saturday.
Luke Brennan composes simple, laidback country folk rock ditties. At times, it seems like they’re too simple, too relaxed; opener It’s A Glorious Day is pleasant enough but there’s nothing that holds your attention. Slowdance is purely for country music fans. In contrast, lengthy closing ballad Peaceful & Quiet redeems the EP. Brennan manages to express honest emotion here, and the instrumental second half builds up beautifully, taking on a character of its own and ending with sounds of birds, church bells and footsteps. Luke Brennan performs at the Old Bar tonight.
his huge mesmerizing voice and dazzling piano playing, all delivered with a vaudevillian nuance and humour. Pugsley Buzzard is playing at the Basement (Geelong) on Friday 4 November, San Remo’s Westernport Hotel on Sunday 6 and the Retreat on Thursday 19 November.
THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH SOMETIMES THE BLUES IS JUST A PASSING BIRD Dead Oceans The Tallest Man On Earth is the moniker of Swedish singer/ songwriter Kristian Matsson. He’s often compared to Bob Dylan, and his songs feature warm, acoustic fingerpicking (Little River/Like The Wheel), a story-like lyrical style, expressive vocals and simple yet compelling melodies. Matsson’s vocal timbre is nasally, has a country twang and can be harsh, but goes superbly with his music; in The Dreamer, his voice cracks and jumps over the soft electric guitar and shimmering synth. The Tallest Man On Earth is playing the Corner on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 October.
After relentless gigging over the past few years Sheriff have ripened their unique blend of southern/psychedelic/horror/blues/rock. The band entered the studio early in 2011 to document their sound in the form of a debut EP. Put on your dancin’ shoes and cowboy boots and come witness Sheriff’s captivating live show, while getting a taste of the upcoming EP, when they launch debut single What You Want at Revolver this Saturday. Supports from Tanks and Death Valley Mustangs. Doors at 9pm.
Pugsley Buzzard has performed all over the world, from the smoky jazz cellars of Berlin to downtown New Orleans the womb of the blues. He has dazzled and delighted audiences with his unique blend of dark hoodoo blues, good time rollicking boogie and blazing stride style piano. At the centre of Buzzard’s shows is
ALWAN FOR ALL
Middle-Eastern ensemble Alwan will be supporting Mercan Dede (Turkey) at the Arts Centre on Sunday 20 November. Combining traditional Turkish sounds with modern melodies and electronica, Mercan Dede’s Istanbul Quartet will also feature a spectacular Whirling Dervish dancer. Nominated by the BBC as the best world music artist four years running, Mercan Dede is renowned for perfecting the balance of digital, electronic sounds with hand-made, human ones. Alwan have played numerous folk festivals and currently have residencies at Claypots Bar (Thursdays) and Maha Bar & Grill (Sundays). Alwan also launch their new CD at the Boite on Saturday 13 November.
Rich Davies will captivate you with his storytelling and murder ballads. He stands on a stark landscape inspired by alt-country, folk, reverbdrenched swampy rock and acoustic balladry. His soulful voice sits somewhere between Bruce Springsteen, Nick Cave, Win Butler (Arcade Fire) and Peter Hayes (BRMC). See him play at his Sunday residency at the Sporting Cub Hotel. Free in the front bar from 4 to 6pm.
A ROYAL PAIN
Royal Headache have been labelled as everything from “Motown-inspired garage” to “rock and soul” by everyone from jaded nerds writing blogs on their mum’s computers to Rolling Stone. They’ve just completed a month-long tour of America on the back of their recently released debut album and they’re about to get out and do it again up and down the East Coast of Australia throughout November. They play the John Curtin bandroom on Friday 11 November with Woollen Kits and Useless Children.
IT’S A SWAMP THING
New Zealand-based Swamp Thing are a brand new power blues and roots duo comprising superstar drummer/percussionist Michael Barker (The John Butler Trio, Split Enz) and Grant Haua (a well-respected Kiwi singer songwriter). These two unique musicians come together bringing a wealth of experience, passion and love for their craft to make blues flavoured music with a deep groove and soulful spook. Their fi rst album Balladeer, has just been released and Swamp Thing are celebrating by playing their fi rst Australian show at the Empress Hotel on Thursday 10 November. Supports include blues band The Groves and folk-rockers Southpaw. Doors at 8pm and tickets are $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS THE GROLSCH GRID is a three-week collaboration between musicians, artists and designers across nine Fitzroy and Collingwood venues. We ask MANDY MEADOWS from participating band THE MADNESS METHOD to think outside the box.
FAMILY FUN The aim of Familia Moja Children’s Home is to work within the Kenyan community to set up sustainable development projects that both support the orphanage and benefit the community. The fi rst ever group of volunteers are heading across to Kenya in January to assist in building the permanent children’s home. To help with funding, a night of musical treats, with all proceeds going to the Familia Moja Children’s Home, will be presented at the Workers Club on Friday 28 October. Bands playing on the night include Tantrums, Lowtide, Baptism Of Uzi, Melodie Nelson (SYD ), and special-guest DJs Shags (Lost Animal, Pikelet) and Chris (New War). Entry is $15 at the door and it kicks off at 8pm.
BY A MILE
This year started off a very promising one for Newcastle’s Broadway Mile as they found themselves supporting such artists as Bluejuice, You Am I and The Holidays. The trio continued that momentum while working on their debut EP, Now You Know. The EP has drawn comparisons to Simple Plan, Owl City and Motion City Soundtrack, while capturing the natural energy from their live performance. Check out Broadway Mile when they play Revolver Upstairs on Thursday 27 October with Undercolours, Our Best Laid Plans and The Indigo Children, and the Mynt Lounge (Werribee) on Friday 28 with The Take Off.
The quietly spoken Sons Of Lee Marvin are a shadowy cabal of telepathic guitar slingers, manic bone rattlers, honey-hued warblers and bullhorn screamers. Presenting tales of psychotic organgrinders, gypsy bar-room roach fights, haunted telephone booths, robot ghosts and somnambulist singing frogs, they’ve been playing a Saturday night residency at the Sporting Club Hotel. Check them out for free from 6 to 8pm in the front bar.
Teenage Mothers play every Monday in October at the Workers Club, and the Toff In Town on Sunday 30 October. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Raph Brous, guitars/vocals: “Since I was 16, I’ve skateboarded with James ‘JK’ Kennedy. One afternoon, I saw him at Prahran skatepark, totally drunk and wired. He was topless, singing with the Aboriginal kids and the local thugs. Then he did a backfl ip off a rubbish bin. I realised that he had to sing in a band. We started Teenage Mothers. After playing six gigs, we toured with The Kills and JK did a backfl ip off the big nine-foot barrier at the Metro in Sydney. So I made the right decision. Hopefully JK will arrive at our gig this Monday. He’s sleeping under a tarpaulin at the Occupy Protest in the City Square and he doesn’t want to leave. I’m serious.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Yeah, we’ve done an album of demos. Orlando & Miranda has been on a few radio stations here and in the UK. We’re recording our album in December with Jim Sclavunos. He’s the drummer from Grinderman, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and The Cramps. He’s a great producer and extremely tall too.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Punk, sardonic, confessional, noise.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “Rose Tattoo, so I could demolish the shrine to Tony Abbott in Angry Anderson’s dressing room.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Washing Machine by Sonic Youth (how can Thurston and Kim break up?!)”
ROCKETS SET TO LAUNCH Melbourne’s own Box Rockets launch their No Control EP to their hometown crowd on Thursday 27 October at the Northcote Social Club. Produced by Steven Schram (Vasco Era, Cat Empire, Eagle and the Worm) the No Control EP follows the release of the titular lead single, which attracted a cracking review from Inpress, and scored the band their breakthrough airing on Triple J with a spin on Mornings with Zan Rowe. Support comes from inimitable local rockers Money For Rope and bittersweet ghost-pop groovers Wilfred Jackal. Doors open at 7.30pm with $10 entry.
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “From now on, a hockey mask (in case Angry Anderson is in the audience).” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ‘ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “What type of question is that? Am I speaking to Inpress or the Masterchef magazine?! I don’t know… something vegan. I’ll say onions.” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The large Sukkah currently on Hotham Street (a Sukkah is a temporary roofless hut, made of palm branches and sticks. It’s an ancient Jewish thing. We drink a lot of whisky in there).”
What’s the perfect visual to accompany your sound? “Usually our songs are written around a very clear storyline so each track has its own perfect visual. In our dreams, the title track of our album, Dirty Money, would be a great soundtrack to Occupy Wall Street and affi liated protests. On the other hand, Jon wrote a song recently that would aptly accompany the last 30 frenetic seconds of a male orangutan’s orgasm. The bit after the arse waggling and chest thumping.” What film or TV series is your music the perfect soundtrack for? “Home & Away or Neighbours – we’ve sent them both countless demos but they can’t seem to decide which one to use for their new theme tunes!” The perfect sync would see your music paired with what product? “Couldn’t do Maccas or KFC – Jon would die of shame. Paul might suggest Advanced Hair, yeah, yeah. But I’d have to say Grolsch – they have been fantastic in supporting the local music and arts scene over the Grolsch Grid arts project, giving us all a platform on which to show our wares. Thumbs up too to Flexicar, who have made our new album CD Of The Month for January!” Do you think alcohol is advantageous to the creative process? “It didn’t do the Beatles any harm! Or the Stones for that matter! I think anything that loosens the inhibitions and gets the juices flowing can give you a different creative angle.
GIMME A DEE
With a new single for her band Howl At The Moon looming ominously on the horizon, Ladie Dee has taken to the Sporting Club stage each Thursday in October with a new companion aiding her in the second set of every performance. This Thursday it’s Rich Davies (Rich Davies and the Devils Union) and next Thursday it will be Mark Renall (Howl At The Moon/Ferry Tails). It’s a free show from 6 to 8pm in the front bar, so get down there!
LET THE WHISKEY FLOW IN STREAMS
The last time Streams Of Whiskey played Bar Open, the whiskey/love was flowing and there were more than a few sore heads, legs, arms, ribs and little toes the next day. Streams Of Whiskey feature the infamous towering force that is Steve Milligan (MYC) doing the job of Shane on vocals and includes members of folkpunk powerhouses The Currency and Mutiny. Accordion guru Rowan Blackmore will also be joining them. Head to Bar Open this Saturday for two blazing sets with some surprise guest musicians. Entry’s free and doors are at 10pm.
But live, not too much otherwise I just forget the lyrics and trip over the chords! Maybe just a couple of Grolsch for looseners!” What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? “I’m a dedicated binge drinker. I exercise, diet and generally abstain six days a week and then get wasted on the seventh! I’m not fussy – anywhere that will serve me a flaming absinthe. I found a great German club a few weeks ago but for the life of me can’t remember where it is. Chinatown maybe!” What have you got coming up after the Grolsch Grid? “We are having a launch for the new album on 1 December at the Espy alongside some great local ska acts including Loonee Tunes, Menage A Ska and The Kudo Kings. And for the Northsiders, we’re taking it to the Penny Black in Brunswick two days later. It’ll all be aimed at building on the profi le we established following our fi rst release, Better Without You, 12 months ago. Some radio play would be nice, so listen out for our track Concrete Heart! We’re also fi lming two video clips, for which I’m currently auditioning male models. It’s a tough job.”
WHO: The Madness Method WHEN & WHERE: Tonight (Wednesday), Evelyn
NIGHT OF GRIND
Get ready for a night of solid grind and powerviolence at the Pony this Friday. Kicking things off are Doubled Over, a heavy grind twopiece with members of Roskopp and 731. Second up are Trench Sisters, keeping up the fast grinding pace. Following them are Rort, bringing blasts, breakdowns, China and chops. Topping off the lineup is Extortion, playing their first ever Pony show. Having recently completed the huge Bastardfest tour, they’re heavier and better than ever. Doors at 8pm.
Enola Fall are an indie rock band from Hobart, Tasmania. Ostensibly isolated, but uniquely switched on, they write songs that sound a little like Arcade Fire, a little like Tom Waits… and absolutely nothing at all like either of them. But here we also have trombone and banjo, moog and a 20-piece choir, a lead singer with an operatic range and the guts to use it. They will release their latest EP I Am An Aerial on Creative Vibes, and be touring extensively throughout 2011, so don’t miss this chance to catch Enola Fall in the Pony 2am late slot.
This Saturday night from 9pm sees a glorious lineup at Pony. The swooping and seamless sounds of Mushroom Horse will get you swayin’ through the people trees before Black Fox make you shake, wiggle and swing to their well thought out rindy pop. Next up Shaman Son shoot you to oblivion, before, from their magic dust appear the Magic Bones, who are sure to captivate with their catchy rock/ garage/ psych tunes that you can’t help but hum to, dance to and love to.
The fellas from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard will be releasing their new 10” EP, Willoughby’s Beach at the Tote this Friday. The King Gizzard boys will be ably supported by local favourites Baptism Of Uzi, Harry Howard & NDE and The Murlocs. This will be their last headline show before they play at Meredith. Don’t miss this chance to catch a glimpse and grab an EP. Doors at 8pm and entry is $10 on the door.
ALI ALI ALI, OI OI OI
JOVIAL SAILORS From buskers to world beaters. The threepiece that make up Set Sail, who all dropped out of university with the ambitious idea of making music to fund a trip around the world, are gathering an impressive following online via their YouTube channel and Facebook. At last count over 13,000 loyal fans were following every move of Brandon, Josh and Josiah’s global adventure. In support of their new single, The Boat Song, Set Sail have returned home for their national Chasing Summer Tour. The ambitious trio are set to play the Hi-Fi on Saturday 10 December.
PLAYING THE BLUES
The Greyhound Hotel will host the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (MBAS) Blues Performer of the Year 2011 Finals this Sunday. The aim of the MBAS Blues Performer of the Year Contest is to find the best possible blues band/artist to represent the MBAS and Australia at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis USA in late January/early February next year. Whoever wins first prize at this Sunday’s finals receives three return airfares and accommodation to Memphis, admission to the International Blues Challenge, radio coverage and a $1000 cheque from PBS FM. The show’s from 5 to 10pm, entry’s $20 ($15 for MBAS and PBS members) and burgers will be available.
Friday evenings in October, the Sporting Club Hotel has been hosting the evocative and compelling music of Ali E. Band member of Ferry Tails and Damn Terran, Ali E’s solo music breathes tales of dark desire and constructs metaphors of emotive and weathered landscapes, while her guitar-driven melodies have the ability to haunt and engulf. Ali E plays from 6 to 8pm in the front bar, and entry’s free.
ODDS AND EVENS
Indigenous hip hop/soul group Impossible Odds, are launching their debut album Against All Odds. The strong debut covers a lot of ground. From battle raps to faith, facebook to musicality and of course Indigenous identity, as seen through the eyes of somebody who gives a damn about all of it. Join Rival MC and DJ Returnagain for their Melbourne launch on Saturday 5 November at the Laundry.
It will be a hell of a night for a nocturnal kick-on this Saturday with trashabilly simians The Yard Apes riding the Pony at 2am for free. Coming off some heaving, sweating shows supporting Six Ft Hick and The Reverend Beat Man, The Yard Apes are primed to cause a ruckus in the CBD. Expect rock’n’roll shtick, reverb fuzz and booze stained shoes. BYO bananas but don’t bother with earplugs... you’re going to hurt tomorrow so you may as well do it properly. Mr Sharp extends the night into the wee hours of the morning with a free set at 3am.
Pets With Pets continue their October Tote residency tonight (Wednesday) with support from Qua, Speed Painters and DJ La Pocock (RRR). Following the massively successful Saturday Aquatic Pixie Acid tour earlier this year, in which Pets With Pets sold out two Melbourne album launches, the four-piece slunk back behind the curtain. Now with a spankin’ new line-up including members of New Zealand’s Shocking Pinks and local brats Teen Archer, Pets With Pets are bringing their romantically psychedelic dance bangers to you every week in October. All shows are only $8 on the door. Every ticket wins a lucky door prize.
This Thursday from 8.30pm sees the Tote serving up a delicious platter of fuzz, garage, punk and psych sprinkled with some pop and lots of good times to keep you moving at only $8. Royal Ace kick off the evening with some dirty rock riffage followed by the psychedelic dreamy garage sounds of Onett. Udays Tiger continue their busy run, bringing you layered, fuzzed guitar backed by thunderous drumming. ESC will close the doors on this garage-fest with their brand of post punk/happy noise tunes that will be sure to get you moving about. This night will be awesome… Unless you are deaf… But come along anyway for the lights and colours.
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER
THE MADNESS METHOD JAREK
KANE MUIR & THE RAG-TIME KIDS THURSDAY 20 OCTOBER
PRIVATE LIFE SECRETIVE GEORGE
351 BRUNSWICK STREET
FITZROY I MELBOURNE I 3065
TEL. 03 94195500
AINSLIE WILLS DJ IC-ORGAN
ENTRY $8, 8.30PM
FREE ENTRY, 8.30PM $10 JUGS!
FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER
TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER
THE BROWN HORNET MANCHOIR
HIATUS KAIYOTE JAMES LANEOUS VS DOMINO VS THE VOODOO
THE EVELYN HOTEL
ENTRY $5, 8.30PM
MONDAY 24 OCTOBER
STRAW KING EYE BAD TASTE
JOHNNY & IDA!
DECORTICA (NZ) ENNIS TOLA
FREE ENTRY, 7.30PM
FRANCOLIN STRANGERS FROM NOW ON
UNDER “THE KIDS”
This Sunday the Grocery Bar welcomes the Sam McAuliffe Trio with McAuliffe on guitar, Paul Armit on double bass and Josh Kelly on saxophone. Combining subtle acoustic sounds and rhythmic interplay,the trio are inspired by the musical possibilities of a drummer-less group.
WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER
GROLSCH GRID NIGHTS
20 YEARS OF THE EVELYN
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PRIVATE LIFE (MON IN OCT) HIATUS KAIYOTE (TUES IN OCT) GROLSCH NIGHTS (WED IN OCT) AUS YOUTH CLIMATE COALITION FUNDRAISER (27 OCT) SAN SALVADOR (28 OCT) THE BON SCOTTS – ALBUM LAUNCH (29 OCT) DIAFRIX (31 OCT)
Hardcore and punk with SARAH PETCHELL IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! The cat is out of the bag and the slow drip-feed of bands already announced for Soundwave 2012 cannot compare with what the first announcement of headliners had in store (even despite the healthy trip back to 1998 the line-up has inspired). Joining the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Saves The Day and Four Year Strong are A Day To Remember, Lostprophets, Angels & Airwaves, Cobra Starship, The Used, frequent visitors You Me At Six, Unwritten Law, Dashboard Confessional, Thursday, Forever The Sickest Kids, Underoath, Circa Survive, Jack’s Mannequin, Enter Shikari, Madina Lake and locals Heroes For Hire. Aside from my obvious excitement at seeing TDEP (my all-time favourite) and Thursday, I’m really curious to also check out Kvelertak and Letlive. Both bands have been making quite a bit of noise in the last year or so, releasing albums that have had so many people talking about how simply good both are. And for all you fans of hardcore, there are even quite a few bands that are going to appeal especially to you, including one of my personal favourites, Raised Fist, along with Hatebreed, Biohazard and The Cro-Mags. It’s been talked about from well before the tour commenced, but the brutal thrashhardcore crossover bands that are of course the mighty Mindsnare and Ringworm have finally announced that they will be releasing a split 7” together, with pre-orders available now. Called Your Soul Belongs To Us and released through A389 Records, the record comes packaged with an eight-panel, minicomic book insert that has been illustrated by Ringworm’s own The Human Furnace (AKA vocalist James Bulloch). The official release date is Friday 28 October so make sure you keep an eye out on the Resist Records webstore for when pre-orders will be available. The cover art is also floating around the internet, so check that out as well. The UNFD roster is rapidly expanding to include some of the best up-and-coming as well as established Australian talent. Already it
DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH All things under -18 with KENDAL COOMBS Melbourne’s premier all-ages hip hop event Our Backyard was held at the Arts Centre recently, and delighted hip hop fans once again with a stellar line-up of acts and battles. The winners on the day were Fresh Joxs in the 4x4 breakin’ battle, EyePhree in the MC battle, Boogalama in the poppin’ battle and Lovin Lama in the lockin’ battle. It was great to see some fresh new talent stepping out on the day and taking it to the pros. Our Backyard shows no signs of slowing down. Face The Music is on the way for another year and it’s time to start preparing for the biggest all-ages music industry forum on the Melbourne calendar. It takes place on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November at the Arts Centre. This year the best of the best of Australia’s music managers will join the line-up to give you the best industry advice around. This year there will be more than 70 guest presenters advising budding musicians and music industry peeps. This is the fourth year of the not-for-profit event and the Association Of Artist Managers (AAM) have partnered up with the Face The Music organisers to make this year’s event one not to be missed. Presenters include Bill Cullen, who has Paul Kelly, Sarah Blasko, Seeker Lover Keeper and Clare Bowditch on his books, just to name a few; Catherine Haridy, who has managed Eskimo Joe, Jebediah and Bob Evans; Correne Wilkie who helped bring The Cat Empire to national acclaim; and Mark Richardson, who brought us Bertie Blackman and the muchloved Kimbra. Registration is now open for the conference – head to facethemusic.org.au to find out more. I say this every year: this event rolls around but the Face The Music conference is one of the most valuable investments of your time – I got a fantastic internship out of attending this event, asking the right questions and speaking with the right people, which gave me experience working at the Laneway
boasts the likes of The Getaway Plan, Dream On Dreamer, House Vs Hurricane and more recently The Bride. But the newest addition to the mix are Sydney metalcore act Northlane. Said A&R manager Luke Logemann in a press release: “The quality of music coming out of the Sydney hardcore and metal scenes is simply too good to ignore. Northlane epitomises everything that this new breed of Australian hardcore is about – progressive songwriting, a powerful live show and, especially, a strong message.” As such, the label will be releasing the band’s debut full-length Discoveries on Friday 11 November. Self-produced, the album is culmination of two years of constant touring around Australia and their consistent focus on technical musicianship and live performance has earned them a legion of fans as a result. This year’s ARIA Award nominations were released last week, and following Parkway Drive’s nomination (and eventual win) in the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album category last year, 2011 may potentially see another punk/hardcore band take out the award. The nominees in the category this year include Coerce for their brilliant record Ethereal Surrogate Saviour and Dream On Dreamer for their debut Heartbound. It is truly awesome to see great bands getting recognised for their hard work. While we’re also on the topic of members splitting from bands, Melbourne outfit House Vs Hurricane have announced that they will be parting ways with their long-time vocalist, Chris Dicker. “Obviously Chris was a huge part of the band, not only as a member, but as a friend. I/we sincerely wish him every blessing as he takes on a new chapter of his life, he is a gifted writer so be sure to keep an eye out for his future work,” says vocalist/guitarist Ryan McLerie. The band have stated that they already have found a replacement. However, as a farewell to Dicker and to close out this chapter of their history, House Vs Hurricane will be embarking on one last East Coast tour. Joining them on all dates will be labelmates The Bride. You can catch them on Saturday 19 November at Bang Nightclub for an 18+ show and then on Friday 9 December for an all-ages show at EV’s in Croydon. Stay tuned, however, as the band have announced that they will be announcing their new vocalist as well as all the details about the album that they have spent the majority of the year working on later in November.
Music Festival and managing the tour of a high profile band around the country. If you want to work in music, attend this conference!
The Young People Of Bayside Art Exhibition celebration is on at the Bayside City Council Corporate Centre in Sandringham from 6pm. The exhibition showcases the artwork of various mixed media created by young artists aged between ten and 25, who have significant ties to Bayside. The exhibition is open until Tuesday 15 November. This event is free. Chris Cornell and Mat McHugh play the Palais Theatre tonight and Thursday. Tickets start at $89.90 through Ticketmaster.
An indigenous hip hop workshop takes place at the Maryborough Education Centre from 1.30pm. This event is free.
Epics, Cavalcade, Kill The Matador and A Gazillion Angry Mexicans play the Phoenix Youth Centre from 7pm. Tickets are $8. Spring Outa September with DJ Manic Panic and Ultimate DJ is on at the Memorial Hall in Kerang from 7.30pm. Entry is $5.
360 and Grey Ghost play the Corner Hotel from 12.30pm. Tickets are $15+BF through the Corner box office. New Empire and For Our Hero play the Prince Bandroom from 12.30pm. Tickets are $20+BF through the Prince box office, Oztix and Moshtix outlets. The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans and Dream On Dreamer play an under-18s show at Billboard from 3.45pm. Tickets are $51.60+BF through Ticketek and Moshtix.
Blues and roots with DAN CONDON firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re a fan of classic old-school soul music then you should already know all about The Dynamites Featuring Charles Walker. The Dynamites are a bunch of eight fairly young dudes from Nashville who have a love of the old-school soul and deep funk of the 1960s and ‘70s. They were a pretty hot outfit, but a few years back they hooked up with Charles Walker, an old soul singer who cut his teeth opening for the likes of James Brown, Etta James and Wilson Pickett back in the day, and he has added an extra sense of authenticity as well as an incredible voice to the band’s classy deep funk. They’ve been out to Australia a few times in the past couple of years and they’re on their way back, dropping by the Hi-Fi on Friday 18 November. Tickets are $32+BF from Moshtix. Another international sensation making his return to Australia soon is the fantastic Joe Pug. If you managed to catch him on previous visits you’ll be excited to hear of his return, particularly given the fact that I hear he has been working on a new record, so one would imagine there’s a pretty good chance we’ll be catching some new tunes when he’s back here real soon. When in Melbourne and surrounds he is appearing as the guest of Wagons, who are always a delight, and together they will be appearing at the Espy on Melbourne Cup Eve (Monday 31 October), Meeniyan Town Hall on
RACKET Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG With Slipknot confirmed for Soundwave 2012, percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan has confirmed that the band have plans to record another studio album. Asked by UK’s Kerrang magazine about the group’s future plans, Crahan replied, “There’s plans to make another record but that’s a way off. No one will push it, because it’s going to be a big one. It’ll be closer to Iowa but it’ll be sadder and crazier and really thought-provoking, it could even be conceptual.” He continued, “We’re still taking some time to reflect on our brother Paul Gray. Everybody needs to be collecting thoughts so they can get it out and no one has really had time to collect thoughts yet. But we’re the fucking ‘Knot and when we come out, you’ll know your band is done.” The band’s vocalist Corey Taylor stated in August, “It’s still too soon, at least that’s how I feel. I’m not ready to make a Slipknot album. I think there will be a day when we do. But for me, doing it now wouldn’t make sense. If we jumped right in, it wouldn’t be about the absence. It would be about the rest of us. We were the nine, but there’s a piece missing. We should allow people to pay their respects before we come out with new music. We should do this right.” Also on Soundwave – do we really need more Fred Durst? According to Deadline.com, the Limp Bizkit frontman has signed a deal with CBS to star in a new sitcom. In the half-hour project, currently known as Douchebag, Durst will star as a ‘rock legend’ trying to juggle his family and his famous-person lifestyle. It will be written by Matthew Carlson (Mr Sunshine), who will executive produce with CBS TV Studiosbased producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. The idea was brought to the Tannenbaum Co by Durst’s manager/producer John Schneider who will serve as a non-writing producer. Ex-Deo – the Ancient Roman-themed arsenal led by Kataklysm frontman Maurizio Iacono – will enter the studio in November with producer Jean-François Dagenais (Misery Index) to begin recording their second album Caligula for a summer 2012 release via Austria’s Napalm Records. The CD will feature appearances by “some very special guests”. Commented Maurizio: “Writing for the new Ex-Deo album is in full force. Everything is coming together nicely. We’ve taken some new steps with Caligula that we have never explored before musically.” Bassist Tobias Cristiansson of Swedish death metal veterans Dismember has released the following statement to blabbermouth.net: “After 23 years, Dismember have now decided to quit. We wish to thank all our fans for [their] support.”
Friday 4 November and Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 5 (both those are with Henry Wagons solo and with support from Jordie Lane). Northern New South Welshman Yeshe has just returned from a trip to the US and Canada where he was plugging the hell out of his latest record Roots & Wings. It was a successful trip, too – the record ended up peaking in the number five position on Canada’s National Earshot Charts and plenty of people lapped up his live performances. Back in Australia he has paired up with violinist Cye Wood and is ready to continue spreading his utterly unique brand of roots music, which fuses countless musical elements that Yeshe has undoubtedly picked up from throughout his travels. He’s in Victoria this week and will be performing at the Palais, Hepburn Springs this Friday and Wesley Anne this Sunday. I’ve seen Yeshe a few times and while it’s incredibly intriguing musically, you just wait ‘til you hear his voice! I had a chat to someone at the Byron Bay Bluesfest the other day and they promised me an announcement wasn’t too far away. I can tell you that there is one act who has been confirmed and it’s a bloody good one. He (or she) has already announced Australian shows in the week before the Bluesfest and Tyagarah will be a great place for him (or her) to cap off the tour. I don’t want to tell you who it is because I hate being yelled at by festival promoters, but I can tell you that the last time he (or she) was in Australia he (or she) was supporting a very good friend who has recently released a new album and has been requested by Bluesfest punters for many, many years now. I can’t narrow it down any further than that!
Progressive rock/metal band Cynic will release a new EP, Carbon-Based Anatomy, on Friday 11 November via Season Of Mist. Unlike last year’s Re-Traced, this new EP consists exclusively of brand new material. Mainman Paul Masvidal describes the EP as “both a philosophical as well as a musical journey, one that begins in the Amazon jungle on the lips of a shamanic wisewoman (as portrayed by Amy Correia) and ends in outerspace.” Guitarist Matt Brown has left Seventh Void, the band featuring former Type O Negative guitarist Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly. Kelly states, “No replacement has been made yet. Meanwhile, the rest of us are working on demos and will hopefully be recording the next Seventh Void record before the holidays. At least that’s our goal!” Heavily bearded local metallers Frankenbok are launching their new album End Of All You Know this Saturday at House Of Rock at the Palace. Staying on the local front, Ne Obliviscaris have released a statement regarding their album. “…Our debut album Portal Of I is finally 100% done! Not almost, not nearly, not hopefully sometime soon… but really and truly 100% done! The album release date is being confirmed shortly but is likely going to be either late 2011 or early 2012? More news soon.” German melodic metallers Symphorce have officially called it quits. Commented singer Andy B Franck: “Seven albums, 12 years and thousands of enthusiastic fans don’t make that decision easy, but after long thoughts and lots of talks we decided together to call it a day and dissolve Symphorce.” The Red Chord guitarist and founding member Mike McKenzie is putting the finishing touches on a solo album under the name Stomach Earth. McKenzie wrote all the music and lyrics, and sang and played all the instruments on the CD, which he describes as “miserable and crawling doom/death metal with a heavy HP Lovecraft influence”. Fans of the old Earache Records catalogue are likely to detect musical nods to the early works of bands such as Godflesh and Cathedral.
LOCAL GIG GUIDE
Frankenbok – Saturday, House Of Rock, Palace
TOURS, TOURS, TOURS Children Of Bodom – Thursday 10 November, Palace
Opeth – Sunday 18 December, Palace Absu – Saturday 14 January, East Brunswick Club Andrew Haug hosts Triple J’s The Racket every Tuesday from 10pm – triplej.abc.net. au/racket. Email email@example.com
OG FLAVAS Urban news with CYCLONE Pop culture is so fickle. Just as Lady Gaga is finally making music as interesting as her imaging, she’s deemed to be ‘over’. OTT pop costuming is apparently ‘out’ – troubling not only for Gaga, but also Nicki Minaj, whose mantra is surely to ‘keep it surreal’. Today it’s all about authenticity, not artifice, thanks to Adele. You’d think that Adele was the sole artist in the world recording ‘real’, ‘raw’ and autobiographical soul. In fact, many neo-soulsters have been banished from the mainstream. Jill Scott, charming in The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, lately presented her musical comeback, The Light Of The Sun, with minimal local promo by her new label, Warner. Syleena Johnson has released a fifth album, entitled Chapter 5: Underrated. She re-sang Lauryn Hill’s lines from Mystery Of Iniquity on Kanye West’s All Falls Down, but that exposure didn’t necessarily give her a longterm boost. As for neo-soul’s gents, Eric Benét, who’s just toured Oz, reached US platinum sales with 1999’s elegant sophomore A Day In The Life, yet last issued the super-underground Lost In Time. Alas, he’s still best known as Halle Berry’s ex. Adele’s male counterpart may be Mark Ronson’s Aussie protégé Daniel Merriweather – or is it Edward ‘Ed’ Sheeran? OG first raved about the Brit singer/songwriter mid-year in relation to the folk hop or furban trend (and the term ‘furban’ still hasn’t caught on!) presaged by Cee-Lo Green, The Roots and ‘Ye, who’s collaborated with Bon Iver (AKA Justin Vernon). Then, the Yorkshire lad, raised in Suffolk, was blowing up with his Dylan-esque The A Team, originally released on 2010’s Loose Change EP, before he struck a Warner deal. It’s an austerity-era hit about a woman Sheeran met while volunteering at a homeless shelter one Christmas. The sofa-surfer’s career, launched in 2005, gained momentum when he moved
to London to study. He’s since gigged solidly, exploited YouTube and, being DIY, flogged EPs out of his backpack. Now Sheeran has delivered his album, +, a UK number one, and he’ll be in Australia on a promo tour next month. Sheeran has summarised his style as “acoustic soul, folk and a bit of hip hop”. If anything, + recalls Adele’s spare 19, but Sheeran is also indebted to the everyman hip hop of The Streets, and his sometime tour buddy Example, plus ska revivalist Lily Allen. That the Van Morrison fan is overtly reconciling folk with hip hop, folk’s urban counterpart, is timely, the two genres traditionally considered antithetical. In Sheeran’s bio, both Damien Rice, who he met as a starstruck tween, and Jay-Z are cited as influences. In January an indie Sheeran unleashed his cult No 5 Collaborations Project, featuring grime (and hip hop) MCs such as Devlin, Wiley and Wretch 32. It was co-produced by Jake Gosling, who’s back for +. (Common’s cohort No ID assists with Kiss Me – you’d never guess.) Nonetheless, Sheeran’s debut proper is relatively conservative. He’s toned down his more street, and experimental, inclinations. Usually, aside from playing guitar, Sheeran loops his beatboxing through an effects pedal – but not so much here. Still, Sheeran sing-raps on the break-up song UNI. Oddly, he penned Wake Me Up at Jamie Foxx’s crib, languishing by the pool. Last year Sheeran headed to Los Angeles on spec – Foxx spotted him at an open mic and invited him to hang. The clear stand-out of + is The City. It has a nightbus beat – and stabs of metallic electric guitar. The City is a homage to London up there with Adele’s ballad Hometown Glory, but Sheeran sounds more like Jamie Woon (himself a former folkie) or Gotye. And Sheeran offers the funny, braggadocios and very rap-inspired You Need Me, I Don’t Need You, written after his previous management told him that, among other things, he’d need to dye his hair. Dude even beatboxes on it. As Sheeran told Q Magazine flippantly, “I’m bringing ginger back”. He’s in good company – so are the lovable Prince Harry and Rupert Grint.
LUKE MCKINNON goes with the flow Following their critically acclaimed 2010 release Exile, and after a busy year of touring, Sydney duo Spit Syndicate are back with a brand new online mixtape project, Best Intentions: Part One, the first of a two-part series available for free download via online networks. Best Intentions sees MCs Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice return to the mixtape format in which they first made waves in the local hip hop scene. Over the course of nine tracks, Spit Syndicate drape their trademark flair over a range of different sounds, from the boombap of Pharoahe Monch to the more eclectic, moody sounds of indie outfit The XX. Exhibiting their sharpest lyricism yet, the mixtape series showcases Spit Syndicate’s ability to reinvent a selection of tracks with command and creativity. Just a taste of what’s to come and keen to provide fans with a little something to tide them over, Best Intentions is a prelude to the highly anticipated third album dropping in early 2012. “Best Intentions is a gesture of thanks and gratitude for everyone who’s shown us love and support,” says Lupi. “We’ve treated it with the same attention that we would a studio record, but there is something about a non-album project that seems to free us up; less overthinking and more straight-up hip hop.” In other Obese Records news, charismatic MC Kerser brings fans his debut album The Nebulizer via their distribution arm. The south-west Sydney-based MC is the reigning champion of the notorious Got Beef battles and has managed to earn himself widespread attention through his YouTube clips and the success of his two mixtapes. Joining forces with producer Nebs, The Nebulizer also features contributions from Sarm, Hyjak, DJ 2Buck, Anthony ‘Rats’ McCarthy, Rates, and partners in crime Jay-Dee and Boobz. Earlier this week, 50 Cent released the 11th song in his Street King promotional series 50’s
BARE BASS Bass culture with RICHIE MELDRUM There’s been a lot of talk lately lamenting the bastardisation of dubstep, with many laying the blame for what they consider to be the demise of the genre at the door of a number of North American DJs and producers, including the recently titled ‘most hated man in dubstep’ Skrillex. Such is the intensity of this focus on hating the harder, electro-edged dubstep, it could be argued that we have failed to give enough attention to the counter insurgence of new and exciting producers who are keeping their output much closer to the genre’s original incarnation. Therefore, Bare Bass this week is all about highlighting what’s good and what’s proper when it comes to the forefront of lowend frequencies. Bristol in the UK is always a good bet when searching out quality dance music – after all, the city has given the world the Bristol Sound through musical pioneers such as Massive Attack, Portishead, Roni Size and Tricky, amongst others. Looking at the quality of such musical pedigree, it might not be surprising that Bristolian producer Kahn has been getting props from all the right places for his work on tracks including Like We Used To and Helter Skelter, both on the city’s own well-respected Punch Drunk record label, as well as the playful, hypnotic merry-go-round of bass that is the remix of Alter featuring the beautiful hazy echoes of vocalist Jasmine. Usually a touch more 2-step than others in a lot of his work these days, Kahn also has the arsenal to hit it harder when he chooses. Such breadth of scope is demonstrated to full effect in the dark and dastardly goings on of Fierce – if you hear this track past 3am on a dancefloor and the place doesn’t erupt, then grab your jacket and leave. Another act keeping his distance from the midrange madness is Manchester’s Biome. Similar in style to Kryptic Minds and Kromestar and the sounds pushed by DJs including Rinse FM’s Youngsta, Biome’s productions are deep and dreamy with snarling sinister undertones. The former drum’n’bass head has mastered that tricky balance of sound vs empty space that makes dubstep so unique and, having stacked up a decent back catalogue of past releases, seems to be now getting the recognition he deserves. Tracks worth seeking out include No Tomorrow,
My Favourite. But the Queens rapper raised some eyebrows when he seemingly took aim at Lupe Fiasco with the lines, “I could fit your house inside my house/Then your neighbours and your yard/Oh my god/This shit ain’t about shit, so I ain’t gonna go hard/Now kick, push, kick push/Get the fuck outta here/Kick, push.” Lupe then responded to claims that 50 had targeted him in a recent radio interview, stating that he wasn’t mad that 50 mentioned his hit song’s title in the song and that he doesn’t feel the lines were a diss at all. Lupe then assured his listeners that if push were to come to shove, he wouldn’t turn the other cheek. “That’s fine, 50 [Cent]’s a good guy,” he said. “I got the chance to perform with him and tour with him a bit. I don’t really look at it as a diss. I’ve got fans in high places, I guess [responding] is always in the chamber. I always keep that in the chamber, they know what’s up.” This year’s ARIA nominations are out and in the always controversial Best Urban Album category it is pleasing to see that all of the nominees come from the Australian hip hop milieu. The following artists have been nominated: Drapht, The Life Of Riley; Illy, The Chase; Koolism, The Umu; Phrase, Babylon; and Vents, Marked For Death. It should also be noted that Drapht has been nominated in the following five categories: Single Of The Year; Best Male Artist; Breakthrough Artist – Album; Breakthrough Artist – Single; and Most Popular Australian Artist. Finally, it is the end of an era for Australian hip hop stalwart Reason. The moment of truth has arrived and the legacy left behind by Reason will be further entrenched within the history of Australian hip hop. Window Of Time (his final album) is to be released Friday 4 November and shall lay testament to Reason’s two-and-a-half decades of dedicated service to the hip hop genre. In typical Reason style, there are guests aplenty throughout the album including Lazy Grey, Bias B, Hau, Dialectrix, Hunter, Iron Braydz, Lotek, AJ, Joyride, KYE, Mdusus, Rachel Berry & Rappaport. The album is further blessed with superb production from Suffa, Debris, Debate, Mdusu, Geko and WIZDM.
Minus, Space and the epic Propaganda. Another one who likes to keep his dubstep deeper than Atlantis is Sleeper, whose Zombies is heavy enough to put a huge hole in even the most sturdily constructed clubs thanks to an unforgiving bassline and a penetrative, shimmering cymbal stab and trademark kicks. Although signed to the highly regarded Chestplate imprint, much of Sleeper’s music remains unreleased so hearing a piece of this Englishman’s work requires a bit of online digging. Thankfully, Sleeper likes to give stuff away for free so you shouldn’t have to go too far before coming across tracks including Submerged and 2nd Step, which the kind bloke has made available for download for nada. There are numerous other acts and artists that deserve a mention in these here pages for showing that dubstep’s evolution doesn’t have to be so linear. Our advice for those who are keen to hear more is to keep your ear to the underground and listen out for that special tremor which signals that dubstep for deep heads is alive and kicking. Kahn
LONDON FIELDS The view from EC4 with JAMES MCGALLIARD It was hard to not notice her, but it proved somewhat harder to remember how or why we all recognised her. We were in a park-side local after work taking advantage of one of the recent strangely warm autumnal evenings when we noticed someone doing the whole ‘don’t look at me, I’m here incognito’ thingy, the one that just makes you tend to take more notice while affecting not to at all. Finally it twigged – she had been one of the housemates in the very first series of the UK version of Big Brother more than a decade ago. When it began here back in 2000 it was an interesting social experiment; by the third year it had degraded into a platform for nobodies who were only involved as they wished to become somebodies (or just had a personality disorder). It could be argued that the decline of the television documentary began with two offerings from the BBC – Airport in 1996 and Driving School in 1997. From these a new phenomenon was born – the reality star, an ordinary person living their normal life who now attained some kind of celebrity status merely by doing what they did (followed by a film crew). This was like some sort of dystopian imagining from science fiction, and the phenomenon became fully entrenched once Big Brother arrived. The staged reality soap can be seen as the latest incarnation in the blurring of the lines from documentary-via-reality television to pure soap. What began with MTV’s The Real World de-evolved into Jersey Shore and The Hills, which in turn led to UK equivalents which were something else entirely. Last year ITV2 had a surprise hit (and winner of the BAFTA audience vote) when The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) arrived and brought vajazzle into the lexicon. This year it was followed by Channel 4’s entry into the genre, the godawful Made In Chelsea, and Vice recently reported that auditions are underway for a Shoreditchbased series (which if they had any sense of humour they’d name Hoxton Twats but not tell
the participants until it aired). All these bear possibly even less resemblance to real life than EastEnders does to living in East London or Neighbours does to suburban Melbourne. What these staged-reality shows do have in common with the latest version of Big Brother (now on Channel 5) is how the names of the “characters” are embossed on screen each time they appear. Is this just to help first-time viewers, or is it a sad indication of what the makers consider to be the average viewer’s attention span, or merely an honest admission that the people portrayed are so forgettable that you need to be reminded who they are every time they appear? But a documentary series currently screening on Channel 4 showing real people in their ordinary lives moves away from many of these recent conventions and simply allows the actions to tell the story. That show is Educating Essex and was filmed with real Year 11 and 12 students and their teachers at Passmores School in Harlow, Essex. Placing 65 cameras all over the school meant they were able to film without the intrusion of a film crew (although one was used for interviews after) which meant that people acted more normally. Yes of course the students were aware of the cameras and so subject to the Hawthorne effect, and of course the filmmakers selected the footage and highlighted stories for effect and narrative drive. Yet despite all this, what emerges is a cabal of caring, dedicated individuals with seemingly incredible patience spending a great deal of time on a small percentage of pupils with behavioural problems or personal crises. While series such as TOWIE seek to reinforce the opinions, prejudices and stereotypes that we might expect for the subjects that they portray, Educating Essex instead challenges them and does all it can to rewire them. Media coverage of modern schooling in the UK is almost uniformly negative and the continual improvement in examination results is linked to a supposed dumbing down of the tests themselves, while the press is full of stories about “youth” being out of control, and the cause of so many of ‘Broken’ Britain’s woes. What Educating Essex shares in common with its comic predecessor Summer Heights High, is that the stories of these people are initially funny and finally deeply moving, just as Chris Lilley’s series was. londonfieldscolumn.blogspot.com
A SWEET KISS
Tonight (Wednesday) at Bar Open we see a stellar double-header starting from 8pm. Sugarcraft make their live debut after nearly two years of song writing, beat making and procrastination. They are joined by Kisshead, the love child of Jeremedy & Juleiaah. Their songs beautifully bring together a crunchy electronic texture with the soft, soulful sounds of glockenspiel and ukulele. Juleiaah’s graceful vocals and Jeremedy’s nimble raps never fail to hit the mark.
KAOS AT THE RETREAT
HUGGINS ALBUM LAUNCH Melbourne musician and producer Nick Huggins returns with his sophomore solo album Five Lights following on from the success of 2007 album Shipwreck. The work is centred around an album of short songs, inspired by the ability of simple things to be immediately understood but slowly appreciated. The album has a palette largely restricted to national guitar, homemade electronics, massed recorder, fi rewood percussion, piano, string synthesiser and voice. The album launch is this Saturday afternoon at the Northcote Social Club with Portustud supporting. Doors 2pm.
OUT OF EXILE
Playing together for the first time in 31 years, legendary eighties acts Little Murders and International Exiles reunite this Friday on stage at the Vic Hotel, Brunswick. A free serving of power pop combined with clever songwriting. It’s historic.
SAPIENS ON FILM
Melbourne-based bombastic psych-rockers Go-Go Sapien celebrate the launch of their eleven track sophomore CD release and accompanying DVD film This Body Is Wrong For Us (out 4 November on Popboomerang), with a series of film screenings at LongPlay Bar Cinema on Monday 17 October at 7.30pm, Tuesday 18 at 7.30pm (media only night) and Thursday 20 with two screenings at 7.30pm and 9pm. The high concept release includes an album length film, drawing influence from the canon of classic scifi, schlock-horror B-movies and surrealist art films. Tickets available now for $10 via gogosapien.com.
Currently touring around Australia in nearly every corner of the East Coast, don’t miss the smoothly sexy, pelvic grinding sounds of Kira Puru & The Bruise. With a voice comparable to Ronnie Spector, Amy Winehouse and Etta James, as powerful as sustained gunfire and as smooth as bathtub full of a red wine (hints of cigar box and vanilla), her voice in nothing short of lethal. Kira Puru & The Bruise play a string of Victoria dates including every Sunday in October at the Old Bar, this Friday and Saturday at Red Bennies and Friday 25 November at John Curtin Bandroom.
The Retreat Hotel and PBS 106.7FM have joined forces for the second resurrection of the mighty Cup Day Kaos. This cup day, Tuesday 1 November, catch a stellar line up of Melbourne’s finest acts playing over two stages all day long at the Retreat and broadcast live on PBS. Get in early, donate a fiver and catch Shakleton, Mikelangelo & The Tin Star, Howl At The Moon, Ben Salter, The Bowers and Dirty York. You’ll be cajoled through the day by some of our friendly PBS announcers spinning tunes and MCing between bands, plus stick around for DJ Adalita on late, the famous Retreat BBQ and all of the other usual Cup Day Kaos shenanigans with all the proceeds going to PBS.
Littlefoot have been spreading their disease on the music scene for the last year or so and will be taking it to Bar Open this Sunday for a night of dirty, punk rock with Drifter and Thrasher Jynx. First up is Thrasher Jynx a grunge/punk threepiece who will be playing their dirty tunes and paving the way for Drifter who will chew you up and spit you out with their heavy alternative rock. Littlefoot will then finish it up with some massive howling tunes which are sure to melt your face.
A TUNEFUL BARRAGE
Bar Open brings us a strong cast of performers this Thursday. Drunk Dial will fill the air with the sound of electric sheep on their way to the slaughter. Yuko Kono with aplomb and grace sings, plays a wooden recorder, and nylon-string guitar. Her music doesn’t hit you over the head, but commands your attention through it’s stark simplicity. Jasmina Maschina has a head for experimental electronics (she was one half of Minit) and a heart for gentle, repetitive guitar. Mark Barrage’s music is unassuming, heartrending, even catchy. A rare live performance and what looks to be a great way to end the night.
THE BROWN HORNET REUNITES
Picture this. The mid nineties. Political correctness was in. Acid jazz and funk were healthy. And we were all getting ready for the end of the world when millennium bugs would kill everything. That was where The Brown Hornet was born in Fitzroy, Melbourne, the epicentre of the funk movement. Originally a four-piece, then expanding to a six-piece with the addition of horns. Then back to a four-piece, then adding more horn and somewhere along the way, a guitar change. See them at the Evelyn this Friday, doors 9pm.
When The Bamboos take off their suits and want to stretch out on soul, jazz, Latin and funk instrumentals they become The Firemen. The eight-piece have taken up a Friday night residency for October at Bar Open. The Firemen will take you on a wild flight of improvised madness, performing stone-classic and much-sampled tracks from legendary labels like Bluenote, Prestige, CTI and Groove Merchant. Spinning in between and after the gigs are both Lance Ferguson and Kano. Doors open at 10pm with free entry.
Born and raised on the windswept prairies of north-west Tasmania, between healthy doses of hallucinogenic cheese and the LA Lakers of James Worthy, Van Walker heard the music of one Robert Allen Zimmerman and decided the way forward was words and music. A decorated career in the NBA would have to wait, there were stories to tell. Some years ago Van made the trip across Bass Strait in order to share said tales and nail jump shots. More stories have been nailed than jump shots, but it must be said that both have been well worthy of our attention. He’s been described as the Oscar Wilde of Aussie music and a fella that turns innocuous combinations of words into poetry. Catch Van this Sunday at the Drunken Poet from 4pm. Mixa
This Saturday you can catch Flats & The Friendly Few as part of their Edinburgh Castle residency from 4pm for free in the front bar. Tom Flatman, AKA Flats, has been performing his acoustic melancholia 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.
IT’S A PARADOX
Red alert! Warning! Danger Will Robinson! The Stu Thomas Paradox are kickin’ it live again at Tago Mago this Friday night. Be transported by their other-worldy aural skills and animal grace. They’ve been described as “Tarantino meets David Lynch” and “smokin’ hot.” The show is free, so why not go and make up your own mind about them?
BONNIWELLS AND BBQ
This Saturday The Bonniwells are playing the fi nal show in their Tote front bar residency for October. With the summer sun starting to make itself known, the Tote is offering a free BBQ in the beer garden from 3pm every Saturday. So head down early to enjoy the free tucker before The Bonniwells and guests The Galaxy Folk kick off the evening at 5pm.
WANDERING The Vagrants are at Cherry Bar on Friday supporting the classic punk band X. The Vagrants, known for a kick-ass live show, recently headlined Cherry Bar when they launched their new CD Stand UP, which has really struck a chord worldwide. The protest song Can’t Take Anymore got repeatedly spun on commercial English network radio, received countless great reviews in Germany, and now the Aussies are catching on to their home town heros.
Ennis Tola, Decortica and Anna Salen are coming to the Evelyn Hotel this Sunday for a very special showcase event. Progressive Rock act Ennis Tola originate from Melbourne. Their first album Seed drew the attention of the national and international progressive rock community, with stellar reviews from press all over the world, including Classic Rock Presents Prog (UK) and Progression Magazine (US). Entry is only $5, doors open 8.30pm.
LOST & FOUND
After a successful launch last week, Melbourne’s newest weekly hip hop and beat-orientated party returns for it’s second October instalment and fi rst ladies night. Once a month the Order Of Melbourne will open the doors for free entry for the ladies and provide super-cheap drinks and great booty-shaking music. This month they have the new crew Drum Machine Party featuring Danielsan (Koolism) and Inkswel (Rush Hour Records) utilising 707 and 808 drum machines live and infusing them into their DJ set. They will be joined by the forever in-demand Ms Butt (Northside Records) and Mixa (Wax Museum Records). It’s all happening at The Dojo at the Order Of Melbourne from 10pm to 3am.
PEBBLE HEADS Spring Time, Who Hasn’t Lost Their Head? By popular demand, Sand Pebbles will perform a very special Dark Magic launch encore with special guests Black Cab. This superb double banger will happen this Saturday at the ace new Brunswick venue Phoenix Public House. Tickets are on sale now from phoenixpublichouse. com. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
NO REST FOR SNOOKS
Inspired by some of his favourite artists such as Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings and Dwight Yoakam, and dipping into the classic early ‘70s sounds of America, Adelaide troubadour Snooks La Vie who has been a prominent figure on the roots circuit for the best part of fifteen years, is hitting Melbourne for a series of gigs to launch his CD, Another Place In Time (produced by Chuck Jenkins). Credited for his soulful vocals and authentic delivery of the harmonica, Snooks La Vie has quietly secured the endorsement of the Australian music industry. Catch Snooks La Vie at the Standard Hotel on Wednesday 9 November, Friday 11 at the Penny Black, Saturday 12 at Oscars (Belgrave) and the Drunken Poet on Sunday 13.
GROWN FROM SEED
ENTER THE DOJO
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Russian Roulettes, have just received the master of their second LP back from Masterdisk New York and it sounds tops. Titled Physical Education, the new album sees the band expand on its garage-fuzz punk rock awesomeness to include some fatback soul, funk jams and ‘70s psychedelica. Hear some fresh tunes this Saturday at the Espy Front Bar when they hit the stage as main support for The Go Set, also scheduled for a new album this summer.
It’s taken five months, two members traversing the globe to find themselves and one member losing himself in Melbourne, but Sans Gras finally return to the stage. Previewing songs from their forthcoming EP and bashing out gems from debut Retrograde Motion, Sans Gras play Yah Yah’s on Sunday with support from Lashes To Lashes and Constant Killer. Get your shakin’ thing down and show them what you can do with it.
TIME TO RHYME AND RAP BATTLE
Think you can spit? Come down to the Evelyn this Saturday and show us what you’ve got. MCing the night will be one of Melbourne’s most acclaimed new-wave rappers, Julez, who has just freshly dropped his fifth album. Supporting, with some of the dopest rhymes this city has to offer will be Manix, Mr Miyagi, Whacks Off , Ra Ra, DJ Muel-1 and heaps more. It’s free entry so you’ve got no excuse not to come down and get loose. Doors open at 8pm but get down at 5pm for a barbecue in the public bar.
This week the Poet’s Wine, Whiskey, Women brings us the magnificent work of Suzie Stapleton. Having been an enthusiast of the Sydney dance scene back in the day, in 2007 Suzie realized that dance music was shit, had a shot of tequila, borrowed a guitar, and played in public for the first time at an openmic night in St Kilda. This proved to be a good call. An excellent call in fact. Getting some of the town’s finest players on board, Suzie went about recording some tunes and has there hasn’t been a breakbeat sighted since. Wednesday night from 9pm at Melbourne’s home of wine, whiskey and the finer sex.
PARADING IVY ST
Ivy St, a three-piece mess of ex-Hobart ideology, will be commandeering the Grace Darling along with Parading and Batrider’s Sarah Chadwick this Saturday night. Ivy St will be playing stuff from their forthcoming album, Sarah will be playing a bunch stuff from the recently released Piles Of Lies record and Parading will be golden, as they always are. Doors 9pm, entry $10. EMERGING ARTISTS
OFF THE GRID
Tonight at the Evelyn, Grolsch Grid will continue its celebration of emerging local talent. Jarek will start things off with chunky sounds and a textual blend of instrumentals. Next up, The Madness Method will share a mix of beats through a feisty blend of ska, pop and rock. Kane Muir & The Rag-Time Kids will have you tapping along to their jazz and old time gypsy blues and in the background audiences can view a work in progress from an artistic collaboration between No Scribbles and Haw on the Evelyn’s fi replace wall. Doors from 7.30pm.
On Thursday The Incredible Kicks will unleash their pop harmonies upon Melbourne, with the release of their debut EP Fairytales. Blending the best parts of prog rock and pop, The Incredible Kicks have crafted an EP packed full of tasty treats. A fusion of styles and sounds, at times epic, at times intimate, Fairytales is a wicked and wondrous musical journey down the rabbit hole. For a bite of this plump, red poison apple, join them at Yah Yah’s on Thursday. Doors open at 9pm. The Dukes Of Deliciousness kick off the night, followed by Leez Lido, The Incredible Kicks and LeBelle.
TASTE TEST DYLAN LEWIS – THE BROWN HORNET
Private Life play the fi rst four Mondays in October at the Evelyn. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jamie Barlow, bass: “Over tapas at Naked For Satan.” HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “Well, we’ve recorded two singles with Colin Leadbetter (Whitley, Sarah Blasko), but we’ve mostly been tooling around in the bedroom. Being a two-piece, we record as we write. So keep your ears peeled for some demos coming soon.” CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Phat, edgy, catchy and sweet.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “To me, Radiohead sums up the perfect band, they’re sophisticated but humbly so, and can still write a mean pop song whilst maintaining an original sound that is themselves.” IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire. It wasn’t higher-powered a smite, it was insurance fraud.” DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “I wear a fox tail under my pants. I come from a family of fox hunters, but most of our audience is vegetarian, so I keep it hidden.” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ‘ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Feral fox pie.”
Experimental soul group, Hiatus Kaiyote have released their debut single, Lace Skull, receiving immediate radio play in LA and the UK. The song, recorded and mixed at Oakland Studios by King Charlie is a significant debut and showcases the breadth of the band’s expertise as musicians and arrangers. Over 70 layers of sampled sounds are used in the ‘cosmic explosion’ towards the final bridge of the track, everything from cicadas in Indonesia, segments from late night synth freak out sessions to atmospheric recordings played backwards. Catch Hiatus Kaiyote playing every Tuesday through October and November at the Evelyn from 9pm with special guest supports every week.
AN AWKWARD BUNCH
Sweet juicy and unique, Pear & The Awkward Orchestra are a quirky, memorable musical offering. Whimsical folkpoproots from the miniorchestra of diverse instrumentation and sparse arrangements support an emotive and powerful voice and gritty, personal songs. The Brisbanebased group have enjoyed critical acclaim and regular airplay for their 2007 EP Russian Doll, and 2009 EP Something Will Come, which orchestrated the grass roots rise of this unique band, not to mention their beautiful handmade ecologically sustainable merchandise, which has to be seen to be believed. See them this Sunday at the Grace Darling. Doors from 7pm, entry $12. It takes guts to look yourself in the eye and write about it, but that’s what Nat Foster’s music is all about: Tully On Tully is all about self-reflection. Oh, and catchy, delicious alt-pop songs. Soaring vocals paired with tight pianobased arrangements, Tully’s songs are peppered with thoughtful imagery and dark, moody undertones, Tully On Tully has a mysterious underbelly and a dark side that quietly draws you in. Join them with The Neighbourhood youth whose indie pop/rock tunes will have you dancing your way through the second half of the week and into the weekend. Wednesday 26 October at the Grace Darling. Doors 9pm, entry $7.
Terry Springford is a singer/songwriter from Melbourne, known for his insightful, melancholic songs and distinctive vocals. In 2010, after a long hiatus from music, Terry returned to his home studio in the mountain forests outside Melbourne to record his Pretty Girls album, released in October. The album represents a departure in style for Terry as he moves towards indie-pop with a variety of electronic sounds to augment his strong songwriting and indie-folk roots. You can see him at the Edinburgh Castle this Sunday from 4pm.
What I’m watching right now is… Terra Nova! Thought I’d hate it – but I accidentally love it! Dinosaurs – boys always love them.
The one song I wish I’d written is… Sky Go Brown – The Brown Hornet. (Wait a minute… that’s right… I did write that! Woooo!)
What I’m reading right now is…
The Brown Hornet play the Evelyn this Friday.
The best film of all-time is clearly… Star Wars. Especially Attack Of The Clones… especially scene 11 in Dex’s diner (I’m an extra in the background!).
in a caravan park to a festival stage in front of more than 1000 people. Somewhere along the way the boys swapped the black t-shirts for a shirt and tie, and the Chuck Taylor’s for a pair of wingtip shoes, and refined their musical style from scrappy punk rock, to a blend of rock, indie, ska and new wave. Supported by Chaos Kids and Lights On At Heathrow, it promises to be a great night at Yah Yah’s this Saturday.
VOODOO GURUS The dark jungles of the Forbidden Temple are coming alive with demons! Priestesses! And no doubt a couple of witches, too. LuWow’s Forbidden Temple has been turned into… A Night On Voodoo Island! With shock horror performances by Miss Nic, Betty Blood and Lady Bird, followed by The Level Spirits and non-stop horror pop dance tunes from Knave Knixx… So do the Transylvanian twist with LuWow’s Zombie A-Go-Go girls for a horrific halloween hootenanny and have a ghoulish time. Compulsory dress-up! Monday 31 October from 8pm ‘til late. Presale tickets are $13 over the bar at LuWow.
THE EVELYN’S 2OTH BIRTHDAY BASH
Bob Marley biography. He’s a personal hero. My daughter loves him too now (she’s nearly three).
TULLY ON TULLY
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The Carlton Club, they have lots of stuffed animals there. I’m trying to get them a fox as we speak.”
Come and help the Evelyn celebrate the past 20 years of delight and debauchery on Thursday 20 October. To mark this very special occasion, we have strung together a very special line up of Melbourne’s fi nest. Be shocked at the swampcrust-psychedelia of The Philistines. Then, Straw King Eye will have your feet tapping, jumping and kicking as they vigorously exude their stories of love and doom. After that we introduce to you to Strangers From Now On , a band that is locally famous for their haunting depictions of both the good and the ugly. Lastly. Francolin will bring the night to an end, ensuring you get moving to their pop-rock sound. Doors 8pm entry’s $8.
What I’m listening to right now is… 360 – Falling & Flying, especially Hammer Head. What an awesome local talent. Some nice deep and meaningful tracks on this album – and of course some hilarious ones too. That’s why I love Hammer Head – and ‘cause of the dooooope dub sounds! Nice.
Jules Hutcheson is an independent solo artist based in Melbourne. She has been captivating audiences with her groovy riffs and diverse collection of acoustic tunes which draw on a blend of jazz, bossa nova, blues and funk. Carried by her smooth, soulful voice and quirky lyrics, she is an artist you will not want to miss. Hutcheson will be playing at the Chandelier Room this Saturday night, alongside Dave Diprose and Rebelquin. From 8pm, $10 entry.
BIRD TAKES FLIGHT Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tristen Bird deals in subtle, intimate, mood-driven storytelling. Armed with his debut album Horse To Water, which was recorded with ARIA award winning producer Shane O’Mara at the wheel in Melbourne’s Yikesville studios, Tristen is preparing to embark on a criss-cross of the country to promote the CD during October and November. Upcoming Melbourne dates include this Saturday at Bella Union, Sunday at Pure Pop Records, Friday 28 October at Basement Discs and Thursday 17 November at Willow Bar.
Jouissance are riding the wave of energy created at their recent shows by harvesting young souls. This hell-inspired wave will travel to Yah Yah’s on Friday. Swept up along the way are the Buftie Boys (a punk force of maximum potency) and Psalm Beach (a mesmerising post-punk feast), who will join in the merriment of slaughtering innocent victims. This will be the last show for Jouissance for the year so you better be there unless you want to hear about the best show of the year that you did not attend because you were lazy or busy or some crap. Doors open at 9pm and the mayhem will start shortly after that.
For almost five years, the dapper lads from The Sophisticants have been peddling their unique brand of seamy rock’n’roll around Melbourne and nationally, playing everywhere from the back of a flatbed truck
OARSOME Known for having one of the most dangerous shows in the business, The Funkoars will be performing an all-new live show incorporating songs from their new album The Quickening as well as their classic material that forged them one of the biggest cult followings in the country. Joining The Funkoars on the road nationally is Golden Era label-mate Vents, Ciecmate and Adelaide newcomers Mase & Mattic. The Funkoars play Bended Elbow (Geelong) on Friday 28 October, Karova Lounge (Ballarat) on Saturday 29, Pier Live (Frankston) on Friday 11 November and the Ferntree Gully Hotel on Saturday 12.
come home after a decade in the US. Have Anna and Craig changed much since Ruby? “Yes, making people changes you a lot, you don’t take the risks you used to and you try not to do stupid things,” Craig says. Anna: “I think I’m probably a more confident performer, though I still get nervous. I still hate the telephone and I still want to take off and wander ’round the world.” Anna’s voice remains an instrument of beauty and brilliance. “My voice is a hundred times better than it was. I have more notes and I know where they’re going to land. All you have to do to keep in good voice is sing all the time, which I do. I’ve also noticed that staying up all night drinking and talking does it no good, so I have to stay home before shows.”
HOWZAT! Local music news by JEFF JENKINS
PEARL HARBOURS A YEARNING FOR THE PAST
“This is the song that brings you back.” So starts the aptly-titled Ghost, the opening track on The Killjoys’ new album, Pearl (out now on Popboomerang). Suddenly, it’s 1990 again and Howzat! is back at the Punters Club. “The thing I remember most from those days is the camaraderie between bands,” says singer Anna Burley. “I’m not much of a reminiscer, as my friends will tell you, but I do remember feeling
like I had hundreds of friends who were all in bands or making art. It felt like there was a lot of fire and energy around. It could also have been the amount I was drinking.” Guitarist Craig Pilkington adds: “I still remember the feeling of walking into the Punters, knowing you’d see someone you knew or an amazing band you didn’t know. A poster run usually started with carbonara at Mario’s and finished with beer and pool at the Punters.” Pearl is a sequel of sorts to The Killjoys’ 1990 debut, Ruby, with “songs of love, loss and regret”. “When Craig pointed out the anniversary, he also came up with what I thought was an insane idea – to do a kind of answer CD, featuring all past members of the band.” The guests include Michael Hohnen, who now works with Gurrumul; Caroline Schwerkolt, now living in Hobart; and Penny Hewson, who has
Ruby was launched at the Club in Collingwood. Pearl is being launched this Friday at the Thornbury Theatre (with Ron S Peno and Livingstone Daisies). The album is dedicated to the band’s former manager Linda Gebar, who died three years ago this month. “We met Linda very early on, as she was the girlfriend of our first bass player, Jeremy Smith,” Anna explains. “Linda never thought any idea far-fetched or out of our reach. She was always right.” “She became like the band’s mother,” Craig adds. Anna says she feels sad when she hears Ruby nowadays, because it reminds her of Linda. Pearl has been packaged with a re-released Ruby, which won an ARIA for Best Independent Release. The band promptly dropped the trophy into the Sydney Harbour at the after-party. A replacement “mysteriously disappeared” while in the custody of the band’s original drummer, so a replica of the replica now safely resides in Craig’s studio.
When it comes to Aussie male solo artists spending time at number one, it looks like Gotye is gonna be tied on eight weeks with Austen Tayshus, Joe Dolce and Normie Rowe. This week, he fails to return to the top, slipping from two to three. Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (number three) Inescapable JESSICA MAUBOY (30) The new Sneaky Sound System album sneaks in at 11. And the brilliant Big Scary debut arrives at 37. Making Mirrors GOTYE (number four) Ultimate Hits LEE KERNAGHAN (eight) Falling & Flying 360 (ten) From Here To Anywhere SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM (11, debut) The Acoustic Chapel Sessions JOHN FARNHAM (13) Vows KIMBRA (15) Coast To Coast CODY SIMPSON (16) Prisoner THE JEZABELS (18) Blue Sky Blue PETE MURRAY (20) White Heat: 30 Hits ICEHOUSE (26) Storybook KASEY CHAMBERS (28) Red Dog Soundtrack VARIOUS (30) Songs & Pictures BECCY COLE (33)
Finally, is Anna more of a ruby or pearl girl? “I have an old ruby and pearl ring that I wear, so I guess I like both,” she smiles.
Moonfire BOY & BEAR (39)
AND THE WINNER IS…
It’s certainly awards season. Great to see Wagons and Drapht pick up trophies at last week’s Independent Music Awards. The ARIAs are happening in Sydney on 27 November, and the EG Awards are at the Prince on 23 November. A mate in the UK tells Howzat! of an indie awards where one of the big trophies is for the Best Second Album. Not a bad idea.
Vacation BIG SCARY (37, debut)
Painter TESSA & THE TYPECAST Freefalling THE KILLJOYS Leave The Party MYLES MAYO Chase The Sun SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR Deeper Into Dream BEN LEE
Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq
Anna Salleh and Friends Paris Cat Jazz Club
Bachelorette, Rat Vs Possum
The Madness Method, Kane Muir & the Rag Time Kids, Jarek Evelyn Hotel
The People, Tualah, Less Than Zero, Riot in Toytown Revolver Upstairs
Wine, Whiskey, Women, Teresa Dixon, Suzie Stapleton The Drunken Poet
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Bret Ernst, Doug Chappel Comic’s Lounge
Brian Cadd, Russell Morris
Wellers of Kangaroo Ground
Agent Orange, The Meanies, The Duvtons
The Lounge Pit
Damon Smith & The Quality Lightweights
Palomino, The Coves, Courtney Barnett
Northlane, The Rosetta Stone, Thieves, A Sleepless Winter
Dan Banks Band, Tim Chaisson, Blackchords
Palomino, The Coves, Courtney Barnett
Digger & The Pussycats, Wolfpack, Muscle Mary
Paul Williamson Hammond Combo
DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee
The Drunken Poet
Obsession DJs First Floor
Old Grey Mule
St Kilda Bolwing Club
The Toff In Town
Nick Murphy, Hugh McGinlay
Bended Elbow, Geelong Corner Hotel
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee The Hi-Fi
Psycroptic, Scar the Surface
Deadstar Renegade, 180 Proof
Chris Cornell, Matt McHugh
Dizzy’s Big Band
Dave Rex Quartet
Dizzy’s Jazz Club Red Bennies
Girls on Film
Lanie Lane, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Miss Little Northcote Social Club
Dazook, Coins, Dirt Magnet
ESC, Udays Tiger, Onett, Royal Ace
Texel Rising, Atlas Murphy
Hayley Couper, Enola Fall, Weekend People, The Mean Times
Great Britain Hotel
Francolin, Strangers From Now On, Straw King Eye, The Philistines
The Blood Poets, Fare Evader, Kristian Risti, Love/Hate
John Curtin Hotel
The Euphorics, Lady Dreams, DJ James Lake
The Lounge Pit
Esplanade Basement The Tote
Funhouse DJs Co. Nightclub
Ghost Poet, Simon Winkler
Northcote Social Club
Merri Creek Pickers
Miss Elm, Steph Hannah 303
The Sporting Club
Le Belle, The Incredible Kicks, Leez Lido, The Dukes of Deliciousness Yah Yah’s
New Guernica DJs
Old Grey Mule
Loo$e Change, Wandering Spirit, The In and Dated, Kinsky, CMMNPPL DJs
The Standard Hotel
Dancing Dog Café
Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee Inferno Nightclub, Traralgon
Pets With Pets, Qua, Speed Painters, DJ LA Pocock The Tote
Second Bite Panel Wesley Anne
Simon Imrei, The Reigate Squire, Jimmy Phoenix Empress Hotel
Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie Bimbo Deluxe
Straw King Eye, Sleep Decade, ESC, Luke Brennan Old Bar
Sugar Craft, Kisshead Bar Open
The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Brunswick Hotel
The Common Threads Veludo
Phoenix Youth Centre
Katie Noonan, Elixir, Joe Chindamo Trio
Mikelangelo & the Tin Star, Martin Cilia, Saint Claire, The Velocettes
Matt Katsis, College Fall, Scarecrow Retreat Hotel
Labour In Vain
Emmanuel Jal, Silverstone, DJ Dexter, Mr Fish, Future of Rap
Paris Cat Jazz Club
Brunswick Hotel Katalyst, Steve Spacek, Kween G, Coin Locker Kid, Jane Doe, Mr Clean, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves The Toff In Town
Ron S Peno & the Superstitions Trio
Paris Cat Jazz Club
First Floor DJs
In Motions, ArmourUs, Arcane Saints
Pure Pop Records
Like Royalty, Colour Me In Blue, Paul Mah Lolo & Berto
Elk Bell, Lucy Peach
Extortion, Rort, Trench Sisters, Doubled Over, Enola Fall, White Rabbit
The Footscray Exchange
Ryan Nico, Jane Dust & the Giant Hoopoes
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Leigh Barker & The New Sheiks, VCA Secondary School Showcase “Generation Next” Bennetts
El Bastardo, Owen O’Vinyl, Big Sammy, Dirty Garry
Epic, Calvacade, Kill The Matador, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans
Freakout! Thursdays @ Laundry
Cumbia Madness Miss Libertines
Cornish Arms Hotel
Elly Hoyt Quintet
Alcatraz, The Hidden Winter, Sir Apples, DJ Esquire GH Hotel
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Ferntree Gully Hotel Rayon Moon, Sons Of Messengers, Wildcat General Strike, The Red Lights, The Men Without Pants,DJ Manchild,
Chris Cornell, Matt McHugh Palais Theatre
The Workers Club
The Freeworld, Term Four, Bateman, Seaweed, Old Skin Bendigo Hotel
Mark Barrage, Jasmina Maschina, Yuko Kuno, Drunk Dial Bar Open
Mark Lockett Quintet Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Martin Cilia, Mikelangelo & the Tin Star, The Velocettes Esplanade Gershwin Room
The Sweets, Agility, The Latonas, Smoking Toddlers, Indian Summer DJs, Chaperone Gold Shake Some Action @ 161
Vimm, Little Killing, Art & Craft Old Bar
WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Lucky Coq
360, Grey Ghost
Kay Street Saloon Bar
The Sporting Club
Andre Warhurst, Chris Wilson Retreat Hotel
Mental As Anything
Wellers of Kangaroo Ground
Michael Mooney, Spender, Black & White Boy Empress Hotel
Mood, DJ NuBody Loop
East Brunswick Club Elwood RSL
Citizen.com, DJ Ego Loop
The Hi-Fi Peter Yannakis & the Fat Black Hats, Tash Sultana, Miss Elm, Mick McIvor, Brad Cox, Sarah-Rose
Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town
Rock Monster, Ivory Elephant, Funky Trunks, The Antoinettes Ruby’s Lounge
Ron S Peno & the Superstitions, The Killjoys, The Livingstone Daisies Dizzy’s Jazz Club Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel, Sola Rosa Soundsystem, Sticky Fingers, Widowbirds, Thieif & Eliza Wolfgram,
Ras Crucial, Ms Butt Esplanade Lounge & Gershwin Room
Secretive George, Animaux, Patinka Cha Cha, Scotdrakula, Southpaw Sid Air
Grace Darling Hotel
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Baptizm Of Uzi, Harry Howard & the NDE, The Murlocs The Tote
Kollosoul, Nude Funk Orchestra Veludo
Lanie Lane, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Miss Little Northcote Social Club
Lethal Binge, Freedumb Nation, Woolhouse, John Hardy Public Bar
Little Murders, International Exiles Lunice
Laundry Marquee Moon, Ashes, Booty Quest, Strangeways, Tomderson, Backyard DJs, Wednesday the Rat,Electric Avenue Fashion Keyboard
Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq
Soul Infusion featuring Carmen Hendricks Rahk Melbourne
Stu Thomas Paradox Tago Mago
Te Waka Rakuru, Mohair Slim LuWOW
Te Waka Rakuru, Miss Nic, DJ Mohair Slim, Maroi Exotica The LuWow
The Brown Hornet, Manchoir, RUBY Evelyn Hotel
The Firemen Bar Open
The Lloyd Weir, Citrus Jam, Stirling Collective Duo, Nicolette Forte Wesley Anne
The Swingset, Harry Cooper Dancing Dog Café
Tiger & Woods
Mercat Cross Hotel
Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet
X-Spurts, The Vagrants Cherry Bar
Yeshe, Cye Wood
The Palais, Hepburn Springs
Mezzanine, Count X Whitehorse Centre
Northlane, Feed Her To The Sharks, Brooklyn, Good Will Hunting Karova Lounge
Old Grey Mule, Howlin’ Steam Train, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk Old Bar
After a German gestation, Australian guitarist and songscribe Tom Murphy brought his fortuitous band – born of right-place-right-time happenstance – back to Brisbane. Once home, he paraded what became the fi rst EP by his band The Bloodpoets, Fire In Erlangen. It was a chance meeting at a party in – funnily enough – Erlangen that Murphy had met producer Fabian Strangl, and three weeks later he had an EP in his hands, and a German tour to play. After he had ensnared the attention of an attentive German public, it was time for Murphy to taste the fair Vegemite once more on his home soil.
360, Grey Ghost, Prime Corner Hotel
A Lonely Crowd, Sex On Toast, Lan Party, Karen Heath John Curtin Hotel
“Sunny Day is definintely the most ‘pop’ track on the EP, and so it was easy to choose it as the single,” Murphy offers. But all is not as it seems behind the alluring exterior, he intimates. “The thing about it though, is that it’s quite ironic – the song is actually quite sinister, and rather nasty. In it, I mock myself: I sing about how it’s another sunny day, how grand, but the verses leading up to that talk about how terrible life is – that it’s just another sunny day, that happens every day. I sing all of that with a poppy kind of instrumentation in the background, so it’s tongue in cheek, and just a little unsettling, this negative story against the poppy music.”
First The Bloodpoets’ album Polarity did extremely well for the four-piece, three years after the Fire In Erlangen had ceased to burn, and stoking the embers
Alcest, Heirs, The House deFROST, Andee Frost The Toff In Town
Fishing, Indian Summer DJs, Randall Stagg, DJ Lotion, J Heasy
McKisko, Carry Nation, Lindsay Philips Pure Pop Records
Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces
Edinburgh Castle, early show
Moose Jaw Rifle Club
Amaya Laucirica, Melodie Nelson, The Singing Skies, DJ LA Pocock
Husk, Fenian, Bear The Mammoth, 34 Beast
Intoxica, Emma Peel
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Intoxica, DJ Emma Peel
New Empire, For Our Hero, The Indigo Children
Backyard Surgeons, Charging North, Kill The Matador
Ivy St, Parading, Sarah Chadwick
Ben Delves Quartet, Eddie James & The Prowl
The Workers Club
Ormond Hall Cough, Dusk, Clagg, Looking Glass, Summonus, Hydromedusa, Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Mother Mars,
Northcote Social Club
Crashdiet, Diamond Sins, Heaven the Axe, Virginia Killstyxx, Antoinette La Noir Esplanade Gershwin Room
Flats & The Friendly Few
Grace Darling Hotel Veludo
Jam Session - Oscar Peterson tribute Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Missfire, Dan Scarfo, 4 King Loud, New Model Agency Esplanade Basement
Empire Café Gallery/Bar Fitzroy Pinnacle
New Empire, For Our Hero, Way With Words Prince Bandroom
Noxy Snood & DJ Dozza Bended Elbow, Geelong
Oak & Willow, Elk Bell, Lucy Peach Empress Hotel, Arvo Show
Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee
John Patrick & the Keepers
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee
Johnny Rock & The Limits, The Dot Coms
Phil Manning, Ross Hannaford Trio
Pulp, DJ Graeme the Colonel
Forum Theatre Elwood Lounge
Union Hotel Brunswick Great Britain Hotel
Lucky Coq Pier Live
St Andrews Hotel
Def Leppard, Heart, The Choir Boys
Portland Civic Centre
DJ NuBody, Bobby Chombo, Emmanuel
Leigh Barker & The New Sheiks, Vanessa Fernandez
Caravan Music Club
Rod Laver Arena
Eletrik Dynamite, Dawn Of Retribution, Desecrator, Dark Earth Barwon Club
Epic, Counter Attack, Clowns, Old Skin The Gasometer Hotel
Finlo White, Joe Sofo Co. Nightclub
First Floor DJs First Floor
Paris Cat Jazz Club
Magic Bones, Shaman Son, Black Horses, Mushroom Horse, The Yard Apes, Mr Sharp Pony
Club 59, Whaler’s Inn, Warrnambool
Mark Vincent The Palms
Matheson, Gus & Bags Karova Lounge
WHO: The Bloodpoets WHAT: Wings EP (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, Pony
for the band were no less than Triple J’s Richard Kingsmill, and the good benefactors at Channel [V], giving Murphy and friends a good year or so of tantalising touring and admirable airplay.
Phrase, Box Rockets, The Bowers, Flagrant
The Workers Club
THE BLOODPOETS’ new single, Sunny Days, marries a cheery beat to some dark lyrical themes, writes NIC TOUPEE.
Vibe on Smith
Jouissance, Buftie Boys, Psalm Beach, DJ Lovepuff
Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants
Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross
Cherry Bar The Soulful Guy Mallaby, The Whimsical Tim O’Leary, Rich Yeah, Laura Soding, Emily Huybers Ruby’s Lounge
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
The Night Cat
Kikuyu, Fatti Frances, Melodie Nelson
Union Hotel Brunswick
Manchild Mantra, In Good Company
The Native Plants
The Footscray LuWOW
Ross Wilson, The Peaceniks Rufus
Laundry Rufus, Sticky Fingers, Orchard, The Men Without Pants, Wednesday the Rat, Smoking Toddlers Rats @ Brown Alley Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel, Chris Wilson, Shane O’Mara, Dan Lethbridge & The Campaigners East Brunswick Club
Sand Pebbles, Black Cab Phoenix Public House
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firstname.lastname@example.org SHERIFF, Tanks, Death Valley Mustangs Revolver Upstairs
The Go Set, The Russian Roulettes, Wolfpack, Jail Bird Jokers, Phil Para
Sons of Lee Marvin Quietly Spoken, Spring Cleaning
Cornish Arms Hotel
The Sporting Club Station Hotel
Steve Punch, Jon Montes, Beaker, Syme Tollens Abode
Strathmore, Daybreak, Homeward Bound, The Union Pacific Bendigo Hotel
Streams of Whiskey Bar Open
Sunburst, Patron Saints Tago Mago
Swiss Italian Opening Ball, The Shuffle Club
The Kremlin Succession, Gun Ballads, Master Gun Fighters, Jackal The Levitators, Planet Jumper, DJ Ego 303
The Paints, Officer’s Droid The Vic
The Rio, Red & Black Carnival Party The Hi-Fi
The Sophisticants, Chaos Kids, Lights On at Heathrow, DJ Joe Kokomo Yah Yah’s
The Palais, Hepburn Springs
The Weekend People, Autumn Gray, Lily Parker
The Night Cat
Terry Springford, Tane Emia-Moore, Coco Velu, Bill Knight Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Tessa & The Typecast, I A Man, Dirt Farmer, Enola Fall The Buffalo Club
The Bonniwells, The Galaxy Folk, The Bowers, The Demon Parade, Sun God Replica The Tote
The Butterfly Effect
Ferntree Gully Hotel The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans, Dream On Dreamer, Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam,
Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B Billboard
Union Hotel Brunswick
The Drunken Poet
Dizzy’s Jazz Club
Tristen Bird, The Stillsons, Esther Lamb, Michael Antoniou
Bella Union Trades Hall
Tuscadero, Rich Davies & The Devils Union, Clinkerfield Retreat Hotel
The Retreat Hotel
Van Myer, Rare Child, The Reigate Squire, Chris O’Neill, Holliava, Into The Woods, Daydream Arcade,
The Winter Migration, City Walls Autumn Falls
Wicked City, Blacklevel Embassy, Spinning Rooms, Bat Yoghurt, DJ Del Amp Old Bar
Working Horse Irons, The Jacks, The Tearaways Cherry Bar
Yvette Johannson Bennetts Lane
Couch’s 3rd Birthday The Palais, Hepburn Springs
Cough, Whitehorse, Agonhymn, Van, Dead, Hotel Wrecking City Traders The Tote
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Agent 86, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe
Great Britain Hotel Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, BJ Morriszonkle, Tommy El Salvador, The People, Midsummer Tribe, Agility Brunswick Hotel
Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge
John Curtin Hotel
NMIT Recitals, Daniel Gassin Sextet 303
The Workers Club
Hiatus Kaiyote, James Laneous, Domino, The Voodoo Shaman Evelyn Hotel
Indian Summer DJs, Smoking Toddlers
Danny Walsh Banned, Shackleton
Pear & The Awkward Orchestra, Howlin’ Steam Train, Killbot Kindergarten
Van Walker, Jeb Cardwell
Open Mic Night
Wasabi, Voodoo Dred, Liquid Funk Orchestra, Zulu Flow, Mata & Must, Julez, DJ Sizzle
Passionate Tongues Poetry
Jules Sheldon, Wasp Summer, Max Sheldrake, The Kilniks
Wilson and Keller Duo
DAREBIN SONGWRITERS GUILD, Opa Josh Owen
Grace Darling Hotel
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee
Ferntree Gully Hotel
Quarter Street Orchestra
The Night Cat
Kira Puru & The Bruise, Dead River Deeps, Isaiah B Brunt, DJ Broadbent Old Bar
Kitty K & the Jager Bombs Cherry Bar
Recreational Outrage Empress Hotel, Arvo Show The Sporting Club
Ruby’s Jukebox Sundays Ruby’s Lounge
Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Jumbo, Junji
Blues Performer of the Year
Royal Derby Hotel
Cairo Club Orchestra
Calling All Cars
NMIT Recitals, Michael Mazziotta, Daniel Waters
Young & Jacksons The Gem
Elwood Lounge Yah Yah’s
St Andrews Hotel
Moonee Valley Drifters Nick Barker
Caravan Music Club Northcote Social Club Dizzy’s Jazz Club
The Standard Hotel The Drunken Poet
East Brunswick Club Bennetts Lane
Yeshe, Andrew Nolte & His Orchestra Wesley Anne
The Apartments, Guy Blackman, Haggis, Andyblack The Toff In Town
The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans, Dream On Dreamer Billboard
The End, Pep Talk Open Studio
Private Life, Secretive George, Ainslie Wills Roxy Lavish, Ash Briody, Freya Dalgleish, Rowan Dalgleish Empress Hotel
Teenage Mothers, Machine
Charles Jenkins, Matty Vehl
Pure Pop Records
Dumplings Bitch! @ Eurotrash
Sans Gras, Lashes to Lashes, Constant Killer
Tristen Bird, Pear & The Awkward Orchestra, Lucy Fisher, Conway Savage
Union Hotel Brunswick
Grolsch Grid, Catherine Sietkiewics, Nicolette Forte
Jelka, Milan Milu, Dylan O’Brien, Alicia Pope
Little Foot, Drifter, Thrasher Jynx
The Widowbirds, Das Musik Mann
Dan Rolls, Richard Jeffrey
Open Decks, Dead Kings Quartet, Knight at the Discotheque
Allan Browne Trio, Phil Noy, Sam Pankhurst Bennetts Lane
Howlin’ Steam Train Esplanade Lounge
Immigrant Union, Alex Hamilton (Merri Creek Pickers), Fever Old Bar
Jackals, Frozen Ocean, Absolute Pricks Northcote Social Club
The Workers Club
The Shelf, Peter Hellier The Toff In Town
Caught Ship, These Patterns, Psalm Beach, Pets With Pets The Toff In Town
Cosmic Pizza Lucky Coq
Daniel Champagne, Kurt Gentle Northcote Social Club
Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who Bimbo Deluxe
The Sporting Club
People Under The Stairs 303
The Brunswick Discovery, The Pears, Paadmoose & the River Machine Brunswick Hotel
The Pierce Brothers, Joel Dalton, Olivia, Sarah Gurry, Hotei Esplanade Lounge
The Tallest Man On Earth, Old Man River Corner Hotel
University High School Dizzy’s Jazz Club
The Drunken Poet
140 Sydney Rd
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY THE 19TH OF OCTOBER - 8PM
oct 21 jed rowe band oct 22 waz e james oct 28 tobacco bros oct 29 saritah every 2nd wed peninsula songwriters club
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL’S OPEN MIC NIGHT
WITH YOUR HOST BRODIE EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT REGISTER ON THE NIGHT FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS
THURSDAY THE 20TH OF OCTOBER - 8PM $2 POTS OF DRAUGHT - $5 BASICS
WITH GUESTS ARMOUR US, ARCANE SAINTS
FRIDAY THE 21ST OF OCTOBER - 9PM
SID AIR (EP LAUNCH)
WITH GUESTS WANDERING SPIRIT, FARE EVADER, THE BUDD ST HEDONIST SOCIETY
SATURDAY THE 22ND OF OCTOBER - 5PM
THE REIGATE RIP ROARER FUNDRAISER FOR RED CROSS VAN MYER, RARE CHILD, THE REIGATE SQUIRES, CHRIS O’NEIL, HOLLIAVA, INTO THE WOODS, DAYDREAM ARCADE, MONKEY’S PIRATE, THE WINTER MIGRATION, CITY WALLS AUTUMN FALLS, PUZZLED AND MORE!!
SUNDAY THE 23RD OF OCTOBER - 5PM
ALKAN ZEYBEK AND THE LESSERMEN WITH GUESTS BJ MORRISZONKLE, TOMMY EL SALVADOR
WITH GUESTS MIDSUMMER TRIBE, AGILITY
MONDAY THE 24TH OF OCTOBER - 8PM
PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS TUESDAY THE 25TH OF OCTOBER - 8:30PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT
GIVING CHANCES TO UP AND COMING LOCAL TALENT! THIS WEEK: THE PEARS, PAADMOOSE AND THE RIVER MACHINE
THE CLEANSKINS SUNDAY 23RD
Lost & Found: Sinead Ni Mhordha, Spidey, Presto: Revolver Upstairs
Next: Northlane, Rosetta Stone, Thieves, A Sleepless Winter: Colonial Hotel
Shake Some Action: Smoking Toddlers, Backyard DJs, Indian Summer DJs: Onesixone
Textbook Thursdays: Miss Libertine
The People, Tualuh, Less Than Zero, Riot In Toy Town: Revolver Upstairs
Funhouse: Funhouse DJs: Co. Nightclub
Good Evening DJ People: The Toff Carriage Room
Ghostpoet, Simon Winkler:
Northcote Social Club
Hammon Sessions: Skazz: 303
Katalyst Album Launch, Coin Locker Kid, Steve Spacek, Kween G, Jane Doe, Mr Clean, Hau:
Poprocks: Dr Phil Smith: The Toff
Ru Cl Brimstone and Fire: Ped Xing, DJ Perplex, DJ Shikung, Jesse Jamal, Lady Banton: Laundry Bar
Tribeadelic: Logic Bomb: Brown Alley SAT 22
360, Grey Ghost:
The Corner Hotel
Alcest, Heirs: The Toff
3D: 3D DJs:
Creatures Of The Night: Lady J, SmuDJ, Syme Tollens:
Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants:
Decadence: Steve Punch, Jon Montes, Beaker, Syme Tollens:
Envy: Finlo White, Joe Sofo:
East Brunswick Club Miss Libertine
Deep Roots: Salmonella Dub, Tijuana Cartel, Sola Rosa, Sticky Fingers, The Widowbirds, Ms Butt:
First Floor Saturdays: First Floor DJs:
Espy Gershwin Room
Friday Night Crabfight Launch: Loop
Nights At The Boom Disco: Loop
Rewind: Damion De Silva, K Dee, Jay Sin:
The Toff Stage Room
Paparazzi: DJ Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat:
The House deFrost: Andee Frost:
Midnight Express: Prequel, Edd Fisher:
The Magic Bones, Shaman Son, Mushroom Horse, Black Horse:
Love Story: Tranter, TDAH, Megawuoti, Sleeves:
Mood Thursdays: Loop
The Night Cat Abode
Prince Of Wales Bandroom
Laundry Bar The Toff
and had the foundations of what would become We Left. Since then we found our gun drummer James and released an EP along with a bunch of remixes over the year.”
Be: Damion De Silva, Ken Walker, Jay J, Lightning, Hoesty, Ever, Durmy:
HAVE YOU RECORDED ANYTHING OR DO YOU PREFER TO TOOL AROUND IN YOUR BEDROOM? “We record and we Pro Tool in our bedrooms! We’ve always combined the electronic with acoustic sounds and it’s an idea that we love toying with. There’s a looseness and real feel to recordings that can’t be simulated electronically and vice versa for electronic sounds; the two combined always makes for something special.”
Big Daddy Kane, Koolism, Plutonic Lab, Dialect, Despair: Prince Of Wales Bandroom
Global Hip Hop Collective: DJ Wasabi, Voodoo Dred & Kronic Krumpers, Liquid Funk Orchestra, Zulu Flow Zion, Mata & Must, Julez, Sizzle, Lotus, Billy Hoyle:
CAN YOU SUM UP YOUR BAND’S SOUND IN FOUR WORDS? “Sun-drenched dancey darkness.” IF YOU COULD SUPPORT ANY BAND IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? “LCD Soundsystem – heroes of an indie dance sound that we are in awe of and they’ve broken up, so probably just to see them live again!”
East Brunswick Club Hotel
The Sunday Set: Haggis, DJ Andyblack:
IF A HIGHER POWER SMITES YOUR HOUSE AND YOU CAN ONLY SAVE ONE RECORD FROM THE FIRE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Considering I have everything on my laptop these days, sold most of my vinyls and the ones I still have were warped in the sun one unfortunate day, I’d be left with saving an old Kitsune Maison compilation double vinyl that seems to be the only one in decent condition. I think I’ve already been smited.”
The Toff Carriage Room
Dumplings Bitch: Wednesday The Rat, KnightSansArmour, Indian Summer DJs, Smoking Toddlers: Eurotrash Bar
Loopdeloop : Loop
Rufus play Rats at the Laundry this Saturday. HOW DID YOU GET TOGETHER? Jon George, keys/synths/percussion: “Tyrone is best mates with my little brother and they came up to visit me whilst I was finishing my audio engineering degree in Byron last year. Tyrone was working on solo acoustic pop material and I was working on more electronic dance music production. We spent a bit of time making a track together in Byron
DO YOU HAVE A LUCKY ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU WEAR FOR GIGS AND WHAT IS IT? “James wears a special sock that he tore off Tyler The Creator when he was crowd surfing when Odd Future were in Australia last; it works – but don’t know if he’s washed it yet…” IF YOU INVITED SOMEONE AWESOME ROUND FOR DINNER WHAT WOULD YOU COOK? “Seafood paella with a chorizo, watermelon and watercress salad!” WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRINK IN MELBOURNE? “The Laundry (of course!)”
BANG New Empire, For Our Hero, The Indigo Children
CARAVAN MUSIC CLUB
Sugar Craft, Kisshead
Ross Wilson, The Peaceniks Nick Barker
Mark Barrage, Jasmina Maschina, Yuko Kuno, Drunk Dial
Agent Orange, The Meanies, The Duvtons
Streams of Whiskey
Emmanuel Jal, Silverstone, DJ Dexter, Mr Fish, Future of Rap
Little Foot, Drifter, Thrasher Jynx
BENDED ELBOW, GEELONG Thursday 360
Noxy Snood & DJ Dozza
BENDIGO HOTEL Thursday
The Freeworld, Term Four, Bateman, Seaweed, Old Skin
Strathmore, Daybreak, Homeward Bound, The Union Pacific
Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross
The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans, Dream On Dreamer, Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B
360, Grey Ghost, Prime
The Tallest Man On Earth, Old Man River
CORNISH ARMS HOTEL Friday
Digger & The Pussycats, Wolfpack, Muscle Mary
The Kremlin Succession, Gun Ballads, Master Gun Fighters, Jackal
EAST BRUNSWICK CLUB Friday
Ball Park Music, Northeast Party House, The Jungle Giants
Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel, Chris Wilson, Shane O’Mara, Dan Lethbridge & The Campaigners
Dazook, Coins, Dirt Magnet
Hayley Couper, Enola Fall, Weekend People, The Mean Times
Missfi re, Dan Scarfo, 4 King Loud, New Model Agency
ESPLANADE GERSHWIN ROOM Thursday
Martin Cilia, Mikelangelo & the Tin Star, The Velocettes
Crashdiet, Diamond Sins, Heaven the Axe, Virginia Killstyxx, Antoinette La Noir
ESPLANADE LOUNGE Wednesday
Matt Katsis, College Fall, Scarecrow
The Go Set, The Russian Roulettes, Wolfpack, Jail Bird Jokers, Phil Para
Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada
Howlin’ Steam Train
The Pierce Brothers, Joel Dalton, Olivia, Sarah Gurry, Hotei
LUCKY COQ Wednesday
Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot
WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo
Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano
Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee
Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Jumbo, Junji
Northlane, The Rosetta Stone, Thieves, A Sleepless Winter
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Wednesday
Lanie Lane, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Miss Little
Ghost Poet, Simon Winkler
Lanie Lane, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Miss Little
Cough, Dusk, Clagg, Looking Glass, Summonus, Hydromedusa, Sons Of The Ionian Sea, Mother Mars, Wurms
The Devil Wears Prada, We Came As Romans, Dream On Dreamer
The Madness Method, Kane Muir & the Rag Time Kids, Jarek
EDINBURGH CASTLE HOTEL
Francolin, Strangers From Now On, Straw King Eye, The Philistines
Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie
Saturday Hot Step
Dan Banks Band, Tim Chaisson, Blackchords
Terry Springford, Tane Emia-Moore, Coco Velu, Bill Knight
Agent 86, Tiger Funk iBimbo
Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who
BRUNSWICK HOTEL Wednesday
The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie
In Motions, ArmourUs, Arcane Saints
Simon Imrei, The Reigate Squire, Jimmy Phoenix
Passionate Tongues Poetry
The Brunswick Discovery, The Pears, Paadmoose & the River Machine
Hiatus Kaiyote, James Laneous, Domino, The Voodoo Shaman
GRACE DARLING HOTEL Friday
Kikuyu, Fatti Frances, Melodie Nelson
Palomino, The Coves, Courtney Barnett
Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, BJ Morriszonkle, Tommy El Salvador, The People, Midsummer Tribe, Agility
Private Life, Secretive George, Ainslie Wills
Michael Mooney, Spender, Black & White Boy
The Weekend People, Autumn Gray, Lily Parker
Van Myer, Rare Child, The Reigate Squire, Chris O’Neill, Holliava, Into The Woods, Daydream Arcade, The Winter Migration, City Walls Autumn Falls
The Brown Hornet, Manchoir, RUBY
Ivy St, Parading, Sarah Chadwick
The Lloyd Weir, Citrus Jam, Stirling Collective Duo, Nicolette Forte
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee
Pete Murray, Busby Marou, M. Jack Bee
The Rio, Red & Black Carnival Party
Old Grey Mule
THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday
Bachelorette, Rat Vs Possum
Katalyst, Steve Spacek, Kween G, Coin Locker Kid, Jane Doe, Mr Clean, 1928, Tranter, Sleeves
Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith
Extortion, Rort, Trench Sisters, Doubled Over, Enola Fall, White Rabbit
Magic Bones, Shaman Son, Black Horses, Mushroom Horse, The Yard Apes, Mr Sharp
PRINCE BANDROOM Friday
Phrase, Box Rockets, The Bowers, Flagrant
New Empire, For Our Hero, Way With Words
Alcest, Heirs, The House deFROST, Andee Frost
The Apartments, Guy Blackman, Haggis, Andyblack
The Shelf, Peter Hellier
Caught Ship, These Patterns, Psalm Beach, Pets With Pets
Pets With Pets, Qua, Speed Painters, DJ LA Pocock
ESC, Udays Tiger, Onett, Royal Ace
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Baptizm Of Uzi, Harry Howard & the NDE, The Murlocs
The Bonniwells, The Galaxy Folk, The Bowers, The Demon Parade, Sun God Replica
Cough, Whitehorse, Agonhymn, Van, Dead, Hotel Wrecking City Traders
JOHN CURTIN HOTEL
Backyard Surgeons, Charging North, Kill The Matador
THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday
Wine, Whiskey, Women, Teresa Dixon, Suzie Stapleton
Mood, DJ NuBody
Nick Murphy, Hugh McGinlay
Citizen.com, DJ Ego
DJ NuBody, Bobby Chombo, Emmanuel
Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends
Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces
Yeshe, Andrew Nolte & His Orchestra
Open Mic Night
YAH YAH’S Thursday
Le Belle, The Incredible Kicks, Leez Lido, The Dukes of Deliciousness
Jouissance, Buftie Boys, Psalm Beach, DJ Lovepuff
The Sophisticants, Chaos Kids, Lights On at Heathrow, DJ Joe Kokomo
Sans Gras, Lashes to Lashes, Constant Killer
ON THE STEREO This Body Is Wrong For Us GO-GO SAPIEN Five Lights NICK HUGGINS Dead Beat KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD How Do You Do? MAYER HAWTHORNE Hunter HEIRS Twelve Hundred Times LAURA Bootleg Vol III JOHNNY CASH Cole World: The Sideline Story J COLE Nobody’s Got A Gun To Your Head WILDCAT GENERAL STRIKE Odds Or Evens THE BOWERS
3RRR SOUNDSCAPE Twerps TWERPS Both Ways Open Jaws THE DØ So Many Things EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING Biophilia BJÖRK Twirligig JONTI Odds Or Evens THE BOWERS Wolfroy Goes To Town BONNIE PRINCE BILLY M1 TIJUANA CARTEL Gosteleradio GOSTELERADIO Lemons TESSA & THE TYPECAST
The Blood Poets, Fare Evader, Kristian Risti, Love/Hate
EMPRESS HOTEL, ARVO SHOW
Daniel Champagne, Kurt Gentle
Second Bite Panel
Lethal Binge, Freedumb Nation, Woolhouse, John Hardy
A Lonely Crowd, Sex On Toast, Lan Party, Karen Heath
Jackals, Frozen Ocean, Absolute Pricks
WESLEY ANNE Wednesday
Oak & Willow, Elk Bell, Lucy Peach
Pear & The Awkward Orchestra, Howlin’ Steam Train, Killbot Kindergarten
Roxy Lavish, Ash Briody, Freya Dalgleish, Rowan Dalgleish
Van Walker, Jeb Cardwell
THE STANDARD HOTEL
Wasabi, Voodoo Dred, Liquid Funk Orchestra, Zulu Flow, Mata & Must, Julez, DJ Sizzle
THE VIC Little Murders, International Exiles The Paints, Officer’s Droid
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK Thursday
The Native Plants
John Patrick & the Keepers
The Widowbirds, Das Musik Mann
TRIPLE J HIT LIST Always Looking DUM DUM GIRLS Tell Me What You’re Trying To Say FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS Meantime GIVERS Twirligig JONTI Audio, Video, Disco JUSTICE Is It Me THE KOOKS Little Man LITTLE DRAGON I Wrote A Novel THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON Now That You’re In Love UNDERLIGHTS Le Bump (ft Crystal Waters) YOLANDA BE COOL
PBS TIPSHEET To The Horses LANIE LANE Life Sux WAVVES Memory Of Elements MEMORY OF ELEMENTS Mezza Luna NADYA AND GIGA’S 101 CANDLES ORKESTRA Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is A Fucking Liar SPANK ROCK Odds Or Evens THE BOWERS So Many Things EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING Forever So HUSKY Little Stories HARRY JAMES ANGUS Twerps TWERPS
AIR ALBUMS CHART Making Mirrors GOTYE Ultimate Hits LEE KERNAGHAN Falling & Flying 360 Prisoner THE JEZABELS Storybook KASEY CHAMBERS Red Dog: Music From The Movie VARIOUS ARTISTS Triple J’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time VARIOUS ARTISTS Vacation BIG SCARY Seeker Lover Keeper SEEKER LOVER KEEPER Rrakala GURRUMUL
BEHIND THE LINES Compiled by MICHAEL SMITH
ALLANS MUSIC BASS CLINICS Two of Australia’s most respected bass players – Roger McLachlan, who has done time with Little River Band and John Farnham, and Rob Little, who has worked with Tommy Emmanuel among others – are presenting a couple of bass guitar clinics, covering everything from playing techniques to how best to set up and run your bass rig, and even a bit of history about the instrument and the role of the bass player within a band. The clinics are running exclusively by Allans Music & Billy Hyde, the first happening from 7pm this Thursday at the Blackburn store and the second from 6.30pm on Thursday 27 at the Roxburgh Park store. As usual, space is limited so your best bet is to check into the website and register a place.
GIBSON RELEASES KRIST NOVOSELIC SIGNATURE RD BASS Hot on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s seminal Nevermind album, Gibson Guitar has announced the release of the Krist Novoselic Signature RD Bass. Novoselic used several different Gibson basses during his time in Nirvana, and the black 1970s RD bass on which this Signature model was modelled can be seen in iconic footage of the band’s first appearance at the Reading Festival as well as in the celebrated Halloween 1991 show at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, the DVD of which was just released as part of the expanded 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind. The Krist Novoselic Signature RD Bass has a body and glued-in neck of solid maple in the classic RD shape, with a rounded, offset body style reminiscent of the Thunderbird bass. The sustain and resonance are enhanced by a stringsthrough-body design with solid three-point bridge, and a gently back-angled headstock to maintain optimum string pressure in the PLEK-cut slots of a Corian nut. Grover ‘shamrock-key’ tuners keep the pitch tight and true, regardless of how hard you hit it. The neck profile with a depth of .860” at the first fret and .960” at the 12th is paired with an exotic obeche fingerboard with 20 frets and a 12” radius. To optimise the power, punch and clarity of the bass’s natural resonance and sustain, Gibson has put in a pair of Seymour Duncan Bass Lines STK-J2n and STK-J2b ‘Hot Stack’ pickups, designed to offer the precision and harmonic richness of singlecoil pickups, with the noise-cancelling properties of humbuckers. An independent volume control for each enables you to dial in your preferred balance of bridge and neck pickup for any playing situation, while a master tone control allows fine-tuning of your instrument’s voice. Check into your local Gibson stockist to test-drive one.
SOUND BYTES Ben Lee’s new album, Deeper Into Dream (out this Friday), was recorded at his Laurel Canyon, California home studio with Noah Georgeson (The Strokes, Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom) on mixing duties. Lee produced the sessions himself. Best known these days as the guitarist in the Blues Brothers band but seminal in establishing the Stax Soul sound as part of the legendary label’s inhouse studio band, Booker T & The MG’s, Steve Cropper co-produced his latest album, Dedicated, a tribute to one of his own influences, The 5 Royales, with Jon Tiven. Songwriter Dan Penn recorded the basic tracks at the wonderfully named Better Songs & Gardens Studio. Tiven recorded the overdubs at Hormone Studios, Jim Demain mastering it all at Yes Master! in Nashville. Shane Nicholson produced the latest and seventh album, Songs & Pictures, from Beccy Cole, with Jeff McCormack on recording duties at Grove Studios up on the NSW Central Coast, while Nicholson also did some recording at Sound Hole. McCormack mixed and mastered the album at his own Music Cellar studios. Steven Schram recorded and produced the new self-titled album from The Vasco Era at Soundpark in Melbourne, then mixed it at Bangkok Ninja Academy before sending the album up to Leon Zervos in Sydney to master it at Studios 301. One track, Rock & Roll Is The Only Thing That Makes Me Feel Good, however, was produced and recorded by Neil Gray at Big Sky Audio.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
PLAYING TO WIN ARIA Producer Of The Year WALLY DE BACKER, AKA GOTYE, and Best Video award winner NATASHA PINCUS, talk to MICHAEL SMITH about their ARIA Artisan Award wins last week.
Though his album, Making Mirrors, missed this year’s ARIA Awards’ eligibility period, Gotye, AKA Wally De Backer, has still managed to score seven nominations for the single from it, Somebody That I Used To Know (featuring Kimbra), and at the Sydney Theatre last Wednesday, that single won in three of those categories (some Artisan Awards are handed out before the official ceremony on 27 November). Natasha Pincus of Starkraving Productions picked up the pointy thing for Best Video; De Backer’s long-time collaborator Francois Tetaz (Bertie Blackman, Sally Seltmann, Lior) won for Engineer Of The Year; while De Backer himself scored for Producer Of The Year. Tetaz was overseas at the time of the announcements, but Inpress caught up with De Backer, Pincus and her cinematographer Warwick Field.
Gotye and Natasha Pincus
One of the most intriguing aspects of the clip Pincus created for Somebody That I Used To Know was the way she mixed stop motion with real time cinematography. “It was very challenging,” she explains. “We had to do a lot of pre-production, a lot of tests beforehand. It really hadn’t been done before, blending in that way. We had a split-screen – half stop motion, half live action together – and trying to make that look seamless was very challenging. The camera that Warwick chose was a Canon 5D, which is able to capture both types of cinema – HD and stills – in the same camera, which made the whole thing a lot easier in terms of blending their looks. But obviously the approach is very different in that with stop motion you’re taking hundreds of thousands of photographs and combining that with the momentum of the song to give it a certain energy. I edited myself actually at home in my office over two weeks, which meant I could just play and really massage out the arc of the story. “The maths of planning out the stop motion was very tricky, because you hear the song doing a certain kind of musical flourish and you have decide how that sound should look in a sort of synaesthesia, and then you have to compose that in terms of breaking it into microseconds, and then you change the speed of the final clip as well to match the tempo and velocity of the melody. That was definitely something new for me.” On accepting Tetaz’s ARIA on his behalf, De Backer thanked him “profusely for the very sensitive and fun way that he works co-producing my music, which is basically by being the best sounding board in the world and most interesting purveyor of interesting YouTube clips.” As De Backer added to Inpress later, “Francois is very much a Pro Tools world digital guy – and I really love that environment, and we’re both really into using masses of plug-ins and being very acute with what you can do with them.” As for De Backer’s own approach to production, it was obviously important for him to step things up from his previous ARIA Award-winning album, 2006’s Like Drawing Blood, beginning the recording of Making Mirrors in a studio he set up in a barn at his parents’ farm in Melbourne’s south-east. “I just tried to explore different avenues, I suppose, to try and make a record that sounded different to the last album. Some experiments worked, some didn’t, and some ended up on the album, some didn’t, but I still went in lots of different directions at the same time to see what would end up coming back together again at the end. One of the big parts, just as a process, that felt fundamentally different to the way I made the last album was not relying as heavily on sampling old records. Even though I still enjoy and did that a lot on this
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album, my starting point was more about trying to play more instruments and do sampling for sort of a field recording perspective. Like, there are a couple of odd instruments from the outback, I multi-sampled acoustic instruments and sort of turned them into virtual things to use as kind of my own custom virtual instruments. So that gave me a range of sound sources that was different from sampling a lot of old records. In the end I think though, it still sounds like more of a refinement and progression from the last album.” The main bassline, for instance, on the album’s first single, Eyes Wide Open, features sounds sampled from the Winton Musical Fence – quite simply, fence wire between posts purpose-built by Australian composer Graeme Leak at
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TUITION - PERFORMANCE - SALES - REPAIR 330C SOUTH RD. HAMPTON EAST 3188 PH 9553 7262 WWW.LMCGUITAR.COM.AU
BAYSIDES PREMIER GUITAR SCHOOL 72
Carisbrooke Station in Winton, Queensland, that can be plucked and played. De Backer discovered it while touring with The Basics and recorded it with his tape machine, so while the album was recorded for the most part in the digital realm, there are analogue tape elements. “I was given a quarter-inch tape machine by a friend of mine in Tasmania and I had it serviced but it wasn’t serviced very well so I had to struggle to get any decent, clean recordings out of it. But especially in that process of multi-sampling instruments and virtualising them I tend to record things to tape to try and get more of that nice harmonic distortion that tape can give you when you go hard to tape, and then I’d sample out of the tape machine into Pro Tools and chop things up and operate in the digital world after that. “My vocals took a big step forward – I pushed myself to do that, so that’s a part of it,” De Backer adds, before expanding on how he recorded his vocals. “I did decide on a good signal chain after I did a few shoot-outs, borrowing and hiring a few different mics. I eventually bought a Neumann M-147, which is kind of like a new baby version of the U-47. They call it a transformer-less tube replica. That combined with this mono SSL channel strip that I bought for a couple of grand is a really nice signal path. “One of the main things I found on this record is that, as I had a bit more money to spend on some nice signal paths, or in particular this one nice vocal signal voice, which suited my voice in its low range and its high range, not every song suited it by any means, and there were a couple of songs where I struggled for months before realising, ‘I know what it is – this is just too nice and polite a signal path!’ So in the end, some of the vocal sounds I’m most proud of on the record are actually ones recorded very grungy and garagey; recorded directly into my MacBook Pro, then manipulated with a plug-in and then layered with a crusty old ribbon mic and made into a double track. So the more peculiar approaches were usually the ones that got the most idiosyncratic results.” Gotye will perform at the 25th annual ARIA Awards at Allphones Arena, Homebush, on Sunday 27 November.
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CD / DVD Attention Musicians, Record Collectors, Universities, Libraries - new Book (print/ cdROM/direct download) compiling 100 years of popular music. GO TO www.plattersaurus.com web-site on how to buy. Enquiries: (02) 9807-3137 eMail: email@example.com iFlogID: 13287
Drummer wanted for Sydney Grunge Band. In Carlingford/Paramatta area 24 years and under. Influences: Silverchair, Nirvana, AIC, Sabbath etc Contact Daniel on 0403 885 433 for more info and demos.
DRUMS WANTED VINTAGE DRUM KIT, old Ludwig, Gretsch etc. Also want vintage snare drums etc. Sydney based but will pay top $ and arrange courier. Ph 0419760940 iFlogID: 13234
Guitar Lessons. Experienced and qualified tutor (PhD, BCA(hons), teaching since 1983) $40 an hour Beginners to Advanced..Various genres. Music reading, theory, improvisation and technical exercises. Gary Butler hearhere2002@ yahoo.com.au iFlogID: 15973
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SALES & MARKETING People needed to send eMails offering a new music Book for sale. Must have own computer - payment by commission via Paypal. Contact Bill on (02) 9807-3137 or eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 13289
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DUDE WHERE’S YA BAND PLAN??
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FENDER PINK PAISLEY STRAT.
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KEYBOARDS KORG TRITON Extreme88 synthesizer in new condition with keyboard stand and damper pedal. Worth over $7,000 sell for $4,295 including delivery. Currently in Perth. Phone 0439301165 Email: THE001Music@hotmail.com iFlogID: 13084
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DUPLICATION/ MASTERING CD MANUFACTURING:Acme is Australias best price CD manufacturer. 500 CD package = $765.05: 1000 CD package = $1320.00 Short run also available. www.AcmeMusic.com.au KevinW@ AcmeMusic.com.au iFlogID: 13117
solid mahogany.great fat tone.VGC.$400. Ph.0428744963.Cooroy. iFlogID: 13029
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FOR SALE AMPS 120 watt.2 channel.f/switchable.reverb. direct out.very punchy.great tone.UK made.VGC.$350.Ph.0428744963.Cooroy
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HIRE SERVICES For as low as $100, you get a professional sound/pa mixer system with operator for the evening. Suitable for weddings, pub/clubs band gigs, private parties etc. Infovision@yayabings.com.au. Contact Chris 0419272196
Drum-In-Tensions - your local mobile Drum and Percussion service and repairs for Brisbane, Gold Coast and Northern NSW. Free quotes available. Call Timo now on 0402 980 602.
Are you an emerging unsigned independent artist? Free tips, youtubes and workshops (f2f or skype) on band/artist planning and all things indie. Get the edge. Sort out where you wanna go and how you’re gunna get there. www.crazybandplans. com
TUITION ATTENTION: MUSIC CREATORS
Contact me for your free chapter of my book “ Chord Voicing for Composers, Arrangers, Songwriters and Pianists”. The complete guide to advance harmony. email@example.com
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact info@bizwebsites. com.au or see www.bizwebsites.com.au.
Kontrol Productions is a highly professional production company that specializes in the production of music video’s. We ensure that our products are of the highest industry standards. For enquiries www.kontrolproductions.com iFlogID: 13827
MUSIC VIDEOS offer a great way to gain exposure. Immersion Imagery has worked with a variety or artists and strives to offer quality & creative Music Videos. Visit www.immersionimagery.com email info@ immersionimagery.com iFlogID: 13825
MUSICIANS AVAILABLE DRUMMER A1 PRO DRUMMER AVAILABLE for freelance gigs, tours etc. Extensive touring experience, gret time/tempo/groove, great drum gear and pro attitude. Sydney based but will travel. More info, ph 0419760940. www.mikehague.com iFlogID: 13230
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GUITARIST 18 year old guitar player looking for another guitar player. Influences: GN’R, Aerosmith, Zeppelin, New York Dolls. Preferrably someone in the south (Shire). Call Tom on 0401722767 iFlogID: 13407
SINGER GOSPEL SINGERS WANTED for nondenominational music ministry to record triple-CD in Perth. World-class, passionate and devotional vocalists sought. View www.THE001Music.com for details. Jesus is KIng! Reverend Eslam. God Bless You! Original Band looking for a vocalist in the South Eastern area. Influnces include Alexisonfire, Rise Against ect. Looking to practise 1-2 times per week. Contact me 0412750722 iFlogID: 15616
wanted experienced vocalist to front our band covers and originals rehearse weekly at Wetherill Park ready to gig soon contact 0417044497 iFlogID: 15913
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Chasing ORA, an established Female Fronted Indie Rock band is looking to recruit a talented drummer. Northern Beaches based. Must have pro gear, own transport, relevant influences. Check out Chasing ORA’s music at www.facebook.com/chasingora. If this is something you can be passionate about register your interest by email at chasingora@hotmail. com. Please provide examples of your playing and as much detail as possible on your background. iFlogID: 15956
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Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...