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N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S DAY 14 D E C E M B E R 2 011 ~ I S S U E 12 0 4 ~ F R E E
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W E D N E S D AY 1 4 D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1
Wed 14. 7:30pm Footscray City Screenings Thu 15. 7pm Northland Design Book Launch 7:30pm Fixed Point Productions & Film 45 present a Double Film Premiere 9pm MOOD DJ's NuBody & guests Fri 16. 10pm Friday Night Crabfight Mr Nice, DJ Ego & Phaic VJ exotic beats, equatorial funk, sandswept rhythms, sun-ripened bass music Sat 17. 10pm Prognosis PQM, Taran M, Jed, J-Slyde, Simon Murphy, Aaron Static & vdmo Kstati Tue 20. 7pm Comfortable Shorts local and int. shorts, dj able, prizes, Q&A with directors and writers
FUTURE OF THE LEFT INPRESS 20 The Frontline brings you the hottest industry news 20 The week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash 22 Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements 26 Arctic Monkeys don’t wanna piss people off any more 29 Influences weigh heavy through Opeth’s latest work 29 Future Of The Left’s Falco on quality control 30 CSS mix the sombre with the silly 32 From dabbling with other musical projects, Kram returns to Spiderbait 32 David Dondero is happy to take requests 32 Tales of love with Féfé 33 dance music with bite: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs 34 Are Dum Dum Girls really dum dums? 36 Aeroplane’s Vito de Luca is a busy dude 36 Why The Guild League need not play second fiddle 36 Creepy white soul with Harmony 36 Weighing in with Kerser and 360 38 On The Record rates new releases from The Black Keys and more 40 Delving into the past with The Paradise Motel 40 Reason is leaving the hip hop game 40 The Brow Horn Orchestra have been trying to trump the live show 40 Keeping warm with Yukon Blonde
FRONTROW 42 This Week In Arts plans your week ahead 42 Megan Washington prepares for her Sydneyexclusive Insomnia show
Sime Nugent Original, rootsy singer-songwriter 7.30pm
Saturday 17 December
Shane O’Mara & Lisa Miller Two seasoned performers, one marvellous arvo of music 5pm
Raised by Eagles
Sunday 18 December
The Stetson Family Country/bluegrass & brilliant harmonies, playing songs from new album The Devil in his Sunday Best 5pm
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Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Bryget Chrisfield Editorial Assistant Samson McDougall Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse email@example.com Staff Writer Michael Smith
Brand new, alt-country-bluegrassrock-pop-crossover band featuring Nick O’Mara (Fingerbone Bill), Luke Richardson (The Stetson Family), Johnny Gibson (Van Walker Band) and Luke Sinclair (the Idle Hoes). 9pm
BACK TO INPRESS 47 Gig Of The Week parties with Poison City 47 LIVE:Reviews recovers from Meredith 54 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 54 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 54 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 54 The view from the EC4 in London Fields 55 Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown 55 Hip hop with Get It Together 55 The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 55 Bass culture with Bare Bass 60 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 60 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 62 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 64 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 68 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 70 Find your new band and just about anything else in our classy Classifieds
For the chance to get your hands on one of three double passes to The Blackeyed Susans’ Christmas show at the Thornbury Theatre this Friday, head to the Inpress Facebook page, where you’ll also find Shabazz Palaces tickets and more up for grabs.
Thursday 15 December
BRUNSWICK 109 UNION ST, BRUNSWICK
43 Cultural Cringe looks at GENERATE 43 ACMI curator Fiona Trigg prepares for the Best of the Independent Games Festival 43 Filmmaker Geoff Marslett takes the indie approach to a love story set on Mars 44 TV Set takes a look back on the year in television 45 Film Carew previews the swag of Boxing Day cinema releases
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INPRESS • 19
PAUL KELLY DOCO SLATED FOR MID-2012 With the release of a teaser video for the Paul Kelly doco, Paul Kelly: Stories Of Me, The Front Line can report that it is hoped the film will be released by the middle of 2012. The film is being produced by Shark Island Productions, who’ve previously worked on documentaries such as inner-Sydney’s The Oasis and In The Company Of Actors. They are currently in the editing process and have been for six months. Director and producer Ian Darling told The Front Line, “It was a much larger project than we ever imagined… with a career of 30 years there’s just so much archival footage and so many interviews.” Darling said they are working with 50 interviews and over 1,000 photos and the film – which won’t be narrated – and will take the form of a biographical documentary and try “to answer the question of why he’s been able to speak to all Australians over all the years.” One of the big realisations in making the film is evident in the mix-and-mash teaser video. Darling said the response has been that people, “didn’t realise he had so many fans that are teenagers and 20-year-olds”. The impressive mash-up video that has been released as a teaser features 98 tracks of Kelly performing his staple, How To Make Gravy, overlain with footage from various venues. Sound designer Paul Charlier, who has worked across film, theatre and radio, perhaps most notably on Candy, told The Front Line that, “Because I had the multi-track recordings of them all, I realised that doing the mix-and-mash would be possible. I had access to all the instruments.” That threw up its own problems though as, “Usually when people do the music replacement there’s usually a MIDI sync, but all of Paul’s performances are open.” Piecing it all together, he didn’t want to make the recording too seamless as it would begin to sound like a single recording. “In the video there are instruments that overlap venues,” he said. For example the guitar from the first venue continues into the second, while the guitar from the second venue starts in the footage of the first. “Instruments don’t start and stop with the edit.”
INDUSTRY NEWS WITH SCOTT FITZSIMONS email@example.com
BEST COAST DRUMMER: KICKED OUT AND HEARTBROKEN Former Vivian Girl member Ali Koehler is ‘brokenhearted’ after being kicked out of Best Coast. Announced via Twitter, Koehler posted, “Cat’s outta the bag, I’m not in Best Coast anymore.” Blog Hipster Runoff appear to have broken the news, reporting that Koehler didn’t play with the band at a show last week. The largely satirical website wrote, “In her place was some other random dude who doesn’t even look alt.” In response to fan reactions on Twitter she admitted the decision was “Not my choice, sorry if you’re disappointed” and sent broken-heart emoticons to fans. She also posted, “I’m sorry, I’m equally disappointed” to a fan. Koehler indicated that she’s starting a solo career.
TIM FREEDMAN IN POKIE-STORM The Whitlams’ frontman Tim Freedman has been accused of double standards for choosing to perform in pokie-supported venues. A story in The Daily Telegraph last week claims that Freedman has “blown up his credibility” with his current tour for debut solo album, Australian Idle. They report that Freedman chose to play at venues with pokies over those without, which contradicts his staunch opposition in Whitlams anthem Blow Up The Pokies. They report that five of his chosen venues house 1503 poker machines, including the Orange Ex-Services Club where he’ll play next week. Orange Ex-Services’ CEO Cameron Provost said, “I was quite surprised and found it a little bit hypocritical to be so critical about gaming and have his venue here at the club when there are two other [non-pokies] venues.” Anthony Ball, Clubs Australia’s Executive Director, added, “It’s more than just a bit hypocritical for Tim Freedman to lecture clubs on poker machines every time he needs to promote an album while at the same time performing at pubs, clubs and even casinos.” Freedman is aware of the story, posting it both to his Facebook page writing, “Oooh, the pokies debate is hotting up” and to The Whitlams’ page writing, “Blow Up The Whitlams”. Although his publicist and label declined to comment to The Front Line on the matter, Facebook users definitely have had their say. Although many were supportive of Freedman and critical of the report one posted, “[The reporter] has got this right. When there are other venues Tim could have used he should have. If you use the media to demonise the pokie palaces you shouldn’t perform there. Major case of double standards.”
PERTH SCHOOL KIDS WIN COMP Perth’s 44th Sunset have come away with the MySchoolAct title, awarded in Sydney last Sunday. As the winners of the high school band competition they receive a $50,000 recording and marketing spend from Sony Music and up to $15,000 spend from Sony/ATV Publishing, and will perform at the Perth Big Day Out leg. Other finalists playing Big Day Out are Double Lined Minority (Gold Coast), Sons Of Alamo (Sydney), Let’s Not Pretend (Melbourne) and Love Cream (Adelaide).
TRUE BLOOD SYNC-KING TO SPEAK IN AUS
CLASH MEMBERS’ ON-STAGE REUNION For the first time since Mick Jones left The Clash, he has been joined on stage by Paul Simonon to play tracks by the seminal ’70s band. According to a recent blog post on fan site The Clash Blog, Simonon was a surprise guest on stage during a Mick Jones show in London last week. The blogger describes the night as “historic” and one “I never thought we’d see again.” As well as Simonon, Bobby Gillespie and “two other members of Primal Scream” played through tracks such as Rocks (Primal Scream track), Jail Guitar Doors, Brand New Cadillac and London Calling. Other notable appearances on the night were Pete Wylie, member of iconic Liverpool new wave group The Crucial Three before spearheading Wah! and Peter Hooton, of The Farm (currently reformed). Simonon and Jones have played together recently as part of Gorillaz while The Clash’s drummer Topper Headon plays the odd local show in Kent, it is believed. The Clash’s classic line-up broke up in 1982 and frontman Joe Strummer died in 2002.
Gary Calamar, music supervisor behind True Blood and Dexter, will speak in Australia as part of APRA|AMCOS’s Song Summit industry conference next year. The first announcement for the conference was made last week during one-time Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart’s ‘In Conversation’ Q&A in Sydney, bringing a first round of speakers and the news that the biannual event, in its third year, will happen as part of Destination NSW’s Vivid Sydney. It will be held at the Sydney Convention Centre Saturday 26 to Monday 28 May, 2012. With a range of international speakers including publishers, artists and producers, Calamar might be the most valuable in this age where television synching is becoming one of the most lucrative avenues for artists. Calamar’s work on True Blood, Dexter and Six Feet Under has earned five Grammy nominations. APRA|AMCOS’s Head Of Member Services Sally Howland said, “The program we have developed is dedicated to our local music creators, providing them with access to professionals in the global music business as well as giving them the opportunity to develop their creative and business prospects.” International guests also include Andrew Jenkins (UK – Universal Music Publishing UK), Arnthor Birgisson (SWE – songwriter and producer), David Touve (US – assistant professor of Business within the Williams School
Of Commerce, Economics & Politics, Washington and Lee University), Imogen Heap (UK – Grammy Award-winning singer), Mark Wood (UK – director, Radius Music Management), Myles Keller (UK – membership development director, PRS for Music), Pat Pattison (US – music professor at International Music School Berklee Music), Peter Coquillard (US – Nettwerk Publishing Director), Robert Horsfall (UK – entertainment industry lawyer) and Steve Cropper (US – international songwriter and legendary guitarist). The locals include Bill Cullen (Director, One Louder Entertainment), Catherine Haridy (Director, Catherine Haridy Music), Dann Hume (member of Evermore), Graham Ashton (Director, Frogstomp Music), Guy Sebastian (ARIA and APRA Awardwinning artist), Jake Stone (member of Bluejuice), Jim Moginie (founding member of Midnight Oil and The Break), Kev Carmody (singer/songwriter), Kevin Mitchell (member of Jebediah), P Money (NZ – hip hop DJ and producer), Rob Hirst (founding member of Midnight Oil and The Break), Rob Conley (songwriter), Stav Yiannoukas (Member of Bluejuice), Tom Harris (director, White Sky) and Will Larnach Jones (music manager, Parallel Management). Registrations will open February 2012 through the event’s website.
UNDERWORLD TO DIRECT LONDON’S OPENING CEREMONY British stadium techno legends Underworld have been named as the musical directors for the London Olympics’ opening ceremony. The Underworld duo of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, who’ve been behind anthems such as Born Slippy, Two Months Off, King Of Snake and more recently Scribble, will team up with filmmaker Danny Boyle. The trio worked together on Trainspotting and have collaborated since. Hyde and Smith will be musical directors while Boyle is the artistic director. In a press release last week, Boyle said, “Appointing Underworld to direct the music in the Olympic Opening Ceremony is the final piece of the jigsaw for the team of leading British creatives who will deliver the ceremonies. What’s interesting about working with them is how much broader their taste is than you might imagine. With Frankenstein [a 2010 theatrical collaboration between Boyle and Underworld] we really saw how far we could take a broader approach than we’d used together on the films.” Hyde added, “We want to leave people with a musical memory of the show rather than a purely visual one. It’s a great honour to be asked to do this and one we’re taking very seriously – it’s certainly not something we’ll get the chance to do again.” The British press has reacted fairly well to the news, pointing to the atmospheric tastefulness of Frankenstein and 2010’s upbeat record, Barking. The Guardian went so far as to say that, “Their ambitious projects make them a perfect fit for the Olympics opening ceremony.”
WARNER EXEC RESIGNS
FRESKLY INKED Tame Impala sister band Pond have signed to Modular Records. Their next album, Beard Wives Denim, will be released 2 March. Ben Kweller’s next album, Go Fly A Kite, is set to be released through Shock Records 10 February. In keeping with their flurry of signings this year, they’ve also signed the UK’s While She Sleeps. That band’s mini-album, The North Stands For Nothing, comes ahead of a full-length next year. Skip The Foreplay have signed to Epitaph Records. Fuse have struck up a distro deal with Memphis’ Goner, the original home of Jay Reatard, Ty Segall and the current American home to Eddy Current Suppression Ring. They’ll re-issue titles from all three on Friday. London outfit Zulu Winter have signed to Dew Process, with their debut album to be released next year.
JEZABELS GO GOLD Sydney band The Jezabels are celebrating a gold record this week, after their debut, Prisoner (independent through MGM), was officially accredited. The band returned to Australia just in time for the Homebake festival and will play Southbound and Falls before touring South East Asia with Metronomy and The Naked & Famous.
360 WINS VOTE ON BACK OF ANTI-SHORT STACK VID After posting a controversial video that urged fans not to vote for Short Stack, 360 has been awarded the Channel [V] Oz Artist Of The Year award. The Melbourne-based rapper beat other finalists Short Stack, New Empire and Guy Sebastian to the reader-voted award. In 360’s video, titled Fuck Short Stack, the rapper said, “Every time I hear a Short Stack song I wanna chop off my cock and throw it into heavy traffic on a freeway. Every time you vote for me a Short Stack fan gets kidnapped and has their head shaven. Whenever I hear a Short Stack song I want to slit a baby lamb’s throat and throw it into a minefield.”
After the sales of both Warner and EMI, Warner chairman Edgar M Bronfman Jr has confirmed his expected resignation. Having stepped down as CEO earlier this year, it was expected that Bronfman Jr, 56 and a top music exec since the 1990s, would leave the chairman post after the two sales ran their course. It had long been Bronfman’s goal to bring EMI into Warner, but after failing to purchase the company earlier this year
Get your hands on UK writer Charlie Brooker’s latest TV show, Black Mirror, any way you can. The scenes involving the Brit PM and a pig makes the brouhaha surrounding At Home With Julia seem very lame indeed.
New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley has been accused of homophobia after writing that Hugh Jackman carried himself on stage like “a flaming queen”. Umm, a theatre critic in New York who’s not a fan of the gays? We don’t think so…
A GOOD PORKING
BEST BIRTHDAY EVER
Too many highlights to mention, but the combo of perfect weather and some amazing bands meant Meredith’s 21st birthday will go down as one of best years in the festival’s history.
GO GO GOTYE
Great to see Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know crack the German top ten. It’s a future US number one, we tells ya…
music 20 • INPRESS
Warner also missed out in the eventual split and sale of the major. In a staff memo obtained by Billboard he said, “I wanted to let you know that, as my other obligations are beginning to take an inordinate amount of time, I have asked to step down as WMG’s board chairman, effective January 31, 2012. However, I will remain a director of the company and in that way, continue my association with Warner Music and its extraordinary people.” After leading investors to buy the company in 2004, Bronfman pushed the digital side of the company and developed 360 record deals. No successor has been named although analysts are speculating it will be someone from new owner Access Industries’ board.
GAY OLD TIME
BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE
A new report that claims sniffer dogs only get it right 20% of the time comes as no surprise. We seriously question the judgement of anything that will happily smell and lick up a stranger’s vomit. Ditch the dogs.
FILTH AND THE FURY
So Senator Conroy, the man behind the push to censor the internet, is happy to drop an f-bomb live on national television during kids’ viewing hours? What a hypocritical cunt.
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THE FIRST ANNUAL READERS’ POLL Every year the Street Press Australia editors and journalists have their say on the year past – this year we want you to do the same in our ﬁrst annual readers’ poll. We’re calling on you to vote for your favourite albums, shows and artists of 2011. And, as if you needed any more reason to talk about your opinions on music, you can win an iPad just for submitting your entry! As well as that, ﬁve runners-up will win a CD pack. The Readers’ Poll closes Wednesday 11 January and the results – as well as your opinions – will be printed in the Street Press Australia mags in the week commencing 16 January.
D A P i AN
HEAD HE EAADD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU/THEMUSIC.COM.AU TO ENTER.
INPRESS • 21
FOREWORD LINE ITAL IMPRESS YOU
Ital (AKA Daniel Martin-McCormick) makes his Australian debut with two Melbourne dates in January. Although the New York City-based producer first came to the attention of many through his work in Mi-Ami (Thrill Jockey) and Sex Worker (Not Not Fun) it’s the left-of-centre house excursions under his Ital moniker that have the dance world talking. Ital will be playing a DJ set at the much heralded Love Tempo at the Buffalo Club on Wednesday 25 January and a full live show Friday 27 January at the Phoenix Public House sharing the stage with (My Disco offshoot) Kangaroo Skull as well as No Zu and Forces.
WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER
HAYDEN CALNIN DJ CLOTHES FOR ROBOTS ENTRY $10, 9PM
THURSDAY 15 DECEMBER
WOODY PITNEY ED NUNN & BEC ROUSE ART VAN DELAY DJ ENTRY $5, 9PM
FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER
FINAL EVER SHOW
EMPRA DEADSTAR RENEGADE SUNSET RIOT
ENTRY $13 DOOR, $10 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 8.30PM
SATURDAY 17 DECEMBER
BUY XMAS PRESSIES, DRINK BEER – PERFECT! FREE ENTRY, 12PM
GANGA GIRI AFRO MANDINKO MR FISH
ENTRY $18 DOOR, $15 PRESALE THRU MOSHTIX, 9PM
SUNDAY 18 DECEMBER
MATINEE – BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE FUNDRAISER
THREE’S THE MAGIC NUMBER
In February 2012 three of the nation’s hottest upcoming outfits Millions, Nantes and Northeast Party House are combining their indie-rock sounds for a co-headline tour around the country titled The Triple Treat tour. Hailing from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne respectively, these three artists all share the common thread of being officially Unearthed by national broadcaster triple j. Since, all three have stormed the station’s airwaves and toured relentlessly. They will be playing four shows across Australia, hitting Melbourne Friday 17 Febuary at the East Brunswick Club. Entry is $15.
A glitch in the Matrix last week resulted in us printing an Unknown Mortal Orchestra story twice, one of which replaced what should have been a Felicity Groom story. Felicity, we apologise unreservedly. The rest of you, check her out – she’s amazing…
LAST SUMMER THIS SUMMER
Eleanor Friedberger, the female half of The Fiery Furnaces, released her first solo album Last Summer mid-2011. Since then she has toured with the likes of Deerhunter, The Kills and Wild Flag. Having visited Australia many times with The Fiery Furnaces, she’s returning for her first solo tour in January. Catch her at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 21 January with guests The Fabergettes and Cool Drinks.
LANGVILLE GROVE EXILE AND THE SEA RONJA MOSS DRIFT CARLY FERN & CHRIS WINDLEY JON GRACE ENTRY $5, 1PM
JIM BEAM: BANDLANDS
MONDAY 19 DECEMBER
KATE VIGO KELSEY JAMES LILY PARKER DJ DUSTIN FREE ENTRY, 8PM $10 JUGS!
TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER
RUN FOR THE HILLS
Fresh off the back of a gruelling two month tour of Europe, The Kill Devil Hills will be returning to the East Coast in January with a new single in tow, The Week In Pictures; a jarring, throbbing menace of a rock track, a strange and beautiful montage of images of our world seen from afar. Hard at work on their fourth album and to celebrate the release of The Week In Pictures, The Kill Devil Hills will be bringing their trademark blend of swamp, punk, country-rock, blues and folk to the Corner on Saturday 21 January.
DJ CLEVER AUSTIN
ENTRY $10 FULL, $5 CONCESSION, 8PM $10 JUGS!
Sons & Daughters return to Australia after quite a few years on hiatus. Getting back to their dark, wired early sound, the band decided to hook up with close friend and Optimo selector JD Twitch for their new album Mirror Mirror. The band also decided to return to the live circuit and their recent live shows have been nothing short of sensational. They’re playing at the East Brunswick Club on Friday 13 January and local supports have just been announced. Joinning them on the night will be Teeth & Tongue and Pearls.
OH EM GEE, THEE OH SEES
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. As well as playing as part of Sugar Mountain Festival (Saturday 14 January), Thee Oh Sees are playing a show at the Nash (Geelong) on Friday 13 with Straight Arrows and The Murlocs and at the Corner on Tuesday 24 January with Total Control and Peak Twins.
HOW DEEP IS YOUR SOUL
Due to demand, Ronan Keating has added a third and final Melbourne show. As well as shows at the Regent Theatre on Monday 6 (sold out) and Tuesday 7 (selling fast), Keating will perform on Sunday 5 February as well. Tickets for the Sunday show go on sale this Friday. Joining Keating on tour is fellow Irish artist Sharon Corr – singer, songwriter, violinist and founding member of international starts The Corrs. Keating will be accompanied by a seven-piece band and string quartet as he performs songs from his entire catalogue.
World-renowned rhythmic didgeridoo virtuoso and world electronic fusion producer and band leader Ganga Giri (pronounced gun-gah gear-ree) will play his final show for 2011 at the Evelyn Hotel on Saturday. This show also features Afro Mandinko who are a high-energy groove and funky Afrobeat explosion fronted by Gambian master percussionist King Marong. Opening the night is the enigmatic Mr Fish.
Heavy Music Magazine encompasses all that is amazing about heavy music. To celebrate the launch of the magazine, Heavy has put together a ripper of a show. Headlining are 6FtHick, and supports are Decimatus (launching their debut EP The Betrayer), Bellusira, Circles, Bronson, Dead City Ruins and Dive Into Ruin. Head to the Corner on Saturday 14 January to catch the show. Pre-sale tickets are $15 from the venue or you can get them at the door for $20.
Having recently toured with The Panics, launched their All Through Winter album to a sold out Toff In Town crowd and then hit the road alongside The Howling Bells, Georgia Fair proved they aren’t slowing down by taking on a December residency at the Phoenix Public House. They’ll play this and every Friday in December with special guests each week.
After more than 20 years, two Grammys, a string of number one hits and multiple platinum records, Soul II Soul (Sound System), featuring Jazzie B, Caron Wheeler and MC Chickaboo, will be coming Down Under in their first ever combined tour of Australia and New Zealand. Jazzie B and Soul II Soul exist as some of the most legendary pioneers in UK soul R&B music. Soul II Soul’s stellar stage show consists of an eclectic mix of rare groove, classic soul, house and reggae, with Jazzie B on turntables and keys accompanied by the amazing voices of Caron Wheeler and MC Chickaboo as they deliver the Soul II Soul classics in their unmistakable ‘funki dred’ style. They play the Trak Lounge on Friday 24 February.
Brooklyn’s Big A little a (Aa) return Down Under for New Zealand’s mind-blowing DIY festival, Camp A Low Hum, followed by a very special Melbourne sideshow. Like an ADD-afflicted Boredoms or Aphex Twin re-imagined as a self-taught marching band, the group’s hyper-hyphenate, polyrhythmic sound evokes elements of global dance, hardcore, electronic, pop, psych and other influences with a sensibility that transcends pastiche to create something wholly, bracingly new. Now featuring multiple hybrid acoustic/electronic drummers, dense, laptop-generated soundscapes, heavily processed vocals and a distinctive, starkly minimal light show, Aa’s live performances are atmospheric, frenetic, and constantly surprising. They play the Workers Club on Monday 13 February.
The Blackeyed Susans have announced two special Christmas shows for this December. These events have become something of a tradition over the past few years, and this time around the band are promising their biggest shows yet – stellar line-ups, sad Christmas songs, coloured party lights – the works. After celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2009 with the release of the box set retrospective Reveal Yourself and subsequent tour, The Susans have spent much of this year bunkered down working on new material. You can catch them this Friday 16 December at the Thornbury Theatre with very special guests Ron S Peno & Cam Butler and The Rebelles. Tickets: $25+BF with pre-sales from Oztix. Doors 8pm.
NOW ON SALE AT MOSHTIX:
Monday $8 Burgers till 8pm Fish & Chip shop Tuesday Tue - Sun 4-7pm Happy Hour
Slow Club [UK] 2nd March
(TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX):
KATE VIGO (MON IN DEC) HIATUS KAIYOTE (TUES IN DEC/JAN) ELIZA HULL (WED IN DEC) JIM BEAM: BANDLANDS (SUN IN DEC) NO THOUGHT CONTROL – A CELEBRATION OF PUBLIC EDUCATION (22 DEC) LAN PARTY (EP LAUNCH + FAREWELL SHOW) (23 DEC) SKA XMAS ORPHANS PARTY – ADMIRAL ACKBAR’S DISHONOURABLE DISCHARGE (24 DEC) DAYDREAM ARCADE (26 DEC) 4TRESS (29 DEC) LYDIA (21 JAN)
LOCK UP YOUR SONS & DAUGHTERS
ARE YOU KEATING ME?
DOUBLE A PLUS
PRIVATE LIFE WE THE PEOPLE ENTRY $10, 8.30PM
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
WEDNESDAY 14TH DECEMBER
SUNDAY 8TH JANUARY
Planet Love Sound
Johnny Rock & the Limits Them Swoops, Vulpes Vulpes Happy Hours 4-7pm
Goodbye Because (Parking Lot Experiments)
THURSDAY 15TH DECEMBER
MONDAY 19TH DECEMBER
FRIDAY 23RD DECEMBER
MONDAY 9TH JANUARY
Seagull, Wild Dog Creek
Straw King Eye EP Launch
DJ James Lake
Happy Hours 4-7pm
LA Pocock (RRR)
SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER
WEDNESDAY 21ST DECEMBER FRIDAY 6TH JANUARY
Adnan & The Whale
Glycerine EP Launch
THURSDAY 12TH JANUARY
Cambodian Space Project
Richard In Your Mind
The DoDo [JPN]
Goodbye Because (Parking Lot Experiments)
New Summer Menu!
Adam Christou (SYN)
SUNDAY 18TH DECEMBER
THURSDAY 22ND DECEMBER
SATURDAY 7TH JANUARY
FRIDAY 13TH JANUARY
Crass Happening, Shock Of
Ben Wright Smith
Audego visual show debut
The New, Strung Out, Franco Cozzo
Happy Hours 4-7pm
Adam Chirstou (SYN)
Straw King Eye
Major Napier EP Launch Happy Hour Specials 4pm-7pm
CORNER BRUNSWICK AND GERTRUDE STREETS FITZROY / THEWORKERSCLUB.COM.AU / BOOKINGS: NICCI@GETNOTORIOUS.COM 22 • INPRESS
THE DIRTY F
W THE MAGIC BONES, HUMANS AND LE FOX
THE GUILD LEAGUE CHRISTMAS SHOW
W CITY WALLS AUTUMN FALLS ( SINGLE LAUNCH ) THE WINTER MIGRATION (DUO) TIX FROM WWW.JOHNCURTINHOTEL.COM OR ON THE DOOR.
W B*TCH PREFECT, LAKES AND BRAD BARR. TIX FROM WWW.JOHNCURTINHOTEL.COM OR ON THE DOOR
W ALITHIA, DEATH OF ART AND COLD DIVIDE
SLEEP MAKES WAVES (NSW )
W MENISCUS, PIRATE AND TOEHIDER
“ MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT” VENUE CLOSED
FOOTY AND SCHOOL OF RADIANT LIVING ALKAN ZEYBEK & THE LESSERMEN EP LAUNCH THE OCEAN PARTY ( SINGLE LAUNCH ) WOOLLEN KITS ( RECORD LAUNCH ) VAN WALKER “ UNDERNEATH THE RADAR “ LAUNCH WEDNESDAY 14
NOT HAPPY JAN 9PM
ELECTRIC CONFEDERATION 11PM
ADAM ASKEW, SOME BLONDE DJ, KATIE DROVER
TIGERFUNK LIVE! 10.30PM
AGENT 86, DJ FLAGRANT, M PHAZES, JESSE I, MIKE HUNT, TOM BOOZE, TOM SHOWTIME, AYNA, KUYA, JAPEYE
AGENT 86 (ROOFTOP)
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
MATT RADOVICH 11PM
INPRESS • 23
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
MACHINE HEAD PIC BY ANDREW BOYLE
FESTIVAL NEWS themusic.com.au/sfg/
COLD ARE GOLD
Cold Chisel have been announced as the headline act for next year’s Bluesfest. The legendary Australian band will be closing the main stage on Thursday 5 April in an exclusive festival appearance. It will be the first time that an Australian artist has ever headlined this iconic musical event. Cold Chisel’s record breaking Light The Nitro tour is currently drawing to a close. The tour has been the biggest ever by an Australian-based band, drawing nearly 300,000 fans across 36 huge shows. It’s also been unanimously hailed by critics and fans alike across Australasia. In addition to performing classics, this special Bluesfest appearance will also see Cold Chisel premiere new songs from their forthcoming album. Bluesfest 2012 takes place between Thursday 5 and Monday 9 April at its permanent festival home at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm just outside of Byron Bay.
MACEO IS ACEO
HEAD OF METAL
Machine Head have been redefining the metal genre for the better part of 15 years since their breakthrough classic Burn My Eye blazed a path for all to follow. In 2007 they created a masterpiece of modern metal, The Blackening, and followed it up this year with Unto The Locust. In town next year for the Soundwave festival, Machine Head will be playing a sidewave in Melbourne with a brutal line-up featuring some of metal’s finest, including Chimaira, Shadows Fall and Times Of Grace. Witness the devastation at the Palace on Tuesday 28 February.
Mastodon have never compromised in terms of vision or style and continue to shape heavy metal in the 21st century. The band have never done anything the ‘conventional’ way and for more than a decade they have masterminded a string of complex concept albums. Pushing the boundaries further, the band’s fifth album The Hunter is yet another universe-bending, high-energy opus. Playing with Mastodon in their Soundwave festival sidewave show will be French band Gojira and Norway’s Kvelertak. This massive show will be held at Billboard on Monday 27 January.
WORTH THE WAITE In a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Daryl Braithwaite has become one of Australia’s premier performers. His initial success as a singer came with Sherbet, a band that forever remains in the history books of Australian music. Following the success of Sherbet, Braithwaite returned to the Australian music scene in a very big way as a solo performer in 1988 with the release of the phenomenally successful album Edge which spent well over a year in the national charts. Catch Braithwaite performing all of his hits at the Espy, Sunday 1January with guests Past To Present, Dale Ryder Band and Bad Boys Batucada.
ALL IS LOST
Maceo Parker’s name is synonymous with funky music and his band are one of the tightest little funk orchestras on earth. Now, they are heading back to Australia after his celebrated tour of 2008. Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk: James Brown, George Clinton and Bootsy’s Rubber Band, to name a few. Parker is building a new funk empire, fresh and stylistically diverse as he navigates deftly between James Brown’s 1960s soul and George Clinton’s 1970s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip hop. He plays the Corner Hotel on Wednesday 11 April.
TIERSEN WILL HAVE YOU IN TEARS
In a career filled with millions of albums sales, sold out stadiums and a slew of awards, Lostprophets have also managed to craft a space for themselves and create a sound that is essentially their own. On the back of their brilliant album The Betrayed, Lostprophets will be bringing their explosive live performance for two exclusive Soundwave sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne. Supporting Lostprophets will be Kids In Glass Houses and Versamerge. Head to Billboard on Thursday 1 March to catch the action. Tickets are available from Oztix.
Yann Tiersen – classical composer, virtuoso performer, street entertainer and rock musician – is coming to visit next year. Tiersen began learning piano at age four, violin at six and guitar at 13 (when he formed a rock band). When the band broke up, he got himself a mixing desk, eight-track reel, synth, sampler and drum machine and started work on the music he is known for today. The classically trained multi-instrumentalist is transfixing live, often playing two instruments at once. Fans won’t want to miss his show at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Wednesday 4 April.
For fans of electronic music, the name John Digweed is probably enough to send most into an acute spasm brought on by hyper-excitement. Digweed’s drifted from chief music maker to a name synonymous with popular culture. His list of triumphs is truly astounding: being the first British DJ to hold a residency at New York’s Twilo club, remixing William Orbit, Underworld, New Order and his legendary mixes for Global Underground, Northern Exposure and Renaissance, and of course, his famous partnership with Sasha. Having toured with David Bowie and Moby, what makes Digweed stand out is his demonstrated gift for adopting tracks with a completely new and different style. Check him out at Billboard on Friday 10 Febuary. Tickets from $45.
Local treasures Even are presenting the gift of the season: two nights of what will no doubt be sell-out shows at Phoenix Public House. They’re accompanied by Snout and Ben Mason Band on Thursday 22 and The Fauves and The Bowers on Friday 23 December. It’s Xmas Even and chances are the annual parties are already on your calendar. Bopping and beers will be plentiful, and good times with good company is what Xmas is really all about, right? Doors from 9pm, $22+BF pre-sale and $30 on the door if available.
ON THE KASET
Hailing from Nashville Tennessee, the epicentre for American country and folk , Jasmin Kaset and her band stand out as an act to watch. With music described as having arresting melodies, evocative imagery and meticulously unravelling arrangements, precisely executed by her able backing band, this is one act not to miss as they visit Australia. Jasmin Kaset and her band are currently recording a debut full-length album, which will be released in 2012. They will be playing the Tote this Sunday, Monday at the Old Bar and Thursday 22 December at Labour In Vain, with various supports.
MANCHESTER + ORCHESTRA = SIMPLE MATH LA LA LANA
Secret Sounds is delighted to present Lana Del Rey on her first Australian tour in early 2012. It’s been a stellar year for this captivating New York native, whose breakout track Video Games has amassed almost ten million YouTube views and reached number one on iTunes in nine countries. Forthcoming single Born To Die appears to be on a similar trajectory, having hit over half a million views just a week after its appearance online. Possessed of a hypnotic voice, beguiling persona and buckets of old-world charm,Lana Del Rey’s intimate shows promise to be a highlight of the musical year. Don’t miss her, Saturday 3 March at the Toff. 24 • INPRESS
Acclaimed US band Manchester Orchestra return to our shores in March on the back of their critically revered and fan-beloved new album Simple Math. Touring Australia’s East Coast as part of the Hi-Fi Shoreline Series – a series of shows across the Hi-Fi’s venues celebrating the opening of the chain’s new Sydney venue – they will play the Hi-Fi Melbourne on Wednesday 7 March.
Monique Brumby, Kerri Simpson and Wendy Rule join forces once again to bring you A Witches Christmas this Saturday at the Caravan Music Club. In the spirit of their hugely popular collaborations at the legendary Continental Club in the late ‘90s, these three powerhouse singer/songwriters will celebrate the season in their own uniquely passionate way. Doors are from 8pm and tickets are $25/$20 for seats and floor space respectively.
HAVE A TOTE-ALLY MERRY XMAS Dan Kelly’s Tote Christmas Party on Friday 23 December just got all the more groovy with the addition of Brisbane’s Honky Kong DJs to the already tremendous bill. Purveyors of super rhythmic jams from Africa to Iceland, the Honky Kong blokes will add a certain über sex frisson to the changeovers and after the show, too. Dan Kelly’s Dream Band have been itching to freak out onstage since their last epic show at Boogie fest all those months ago. Helping them will be Gosteleradio with their astral harmony explosion set and new buzz surf band The Bluebottles (featuring members of Eagle & The Worm).
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
A SIDE OF SHIKARI
Enter Shikari are performing two headline shows only on the back of their Soundwave 2012 appearances and Australian fans will be amongst the first in the world to hear new tracks from the band’s forthcoming album A Flash Flood Of Colour. Supporting are LetLive, full of punk-rock aggression and rock‘n’roll swagger, and Your Demise. LetLive is poised to emerge as one of the most exciting and important bands of 2011 while Your Demise have built a reputation as one of the most brutal live hardcore bands in the world playing homage to the good old days of long summers, bruised bones, best friends and hazy regrets. See them on Tuesday 28 February at Billboard, tickets on sale this Thursday. JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
TIME TO BOOGIE
It’s Boogie festival announcement time again, good people. That’s right, it’s back on. The little cosmic happening in the beautiful, wild grounds of Bruzzy’s magical farm in Tallaroook are ready to welcome you again next Easter weekend, from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 April. We will stick to the tried and true three-day extravaganza kicking off on Friday and finishing late on Sunday night. The line-up includes Pond, Justin Townes Earle, Royal Headache, James Reyne, Lanie Lane, AC/DSHE, Snakadaktal, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Bittersweet Kicks, Baptism of Uzi, Merri Creek Pickers and Love Migrate. Tickets are available from boogie.net.au and some record stores.
SUCCESS FROM AN EARLE AGE
Singer/songwriter, actor, author, political activist, producer Steve Earle hasn’t wandered this way for a number of years, In fact it’s been three albums and three Grammy Awards since we saw him last. A protégé of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, Steve Earle quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. He will be touring his 14th studio album I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive around Australia and you can catch him in Melbourne on Friday 30 March at the Corner Hotel.
The brainchild of 22-year-old Trevor Powers, Youth Lagoon produces beautiful melancholy melodies. Youth Lagoon’s debut album The Year Of Hibernation draws from the dark depths of Powers’ struggles with anxiety, love, heartbreak and, well, life. The eerily nostalgic undertones of this haunting collection draw happy comparisons with James Blake, Caribou and Radiohead without being derivative. For Powers, the act of writing is cathartic, allowing him to reflect on himself. Catch him at the Toff on Wednesday 15 February.
The Stax On Soul Revue Band were born out of the much-loved and anticipated annual soul fest held at Yah Yah’s. It came about from the mutual love and respect everyone had for the music and artists that have come off the Stax record label. This Friday they’ll play at the Caravan Music Club in Oakleigh and the band will feature Kylie Auldist, Suzannah Espie, Liz Stringer, Mick Pealing, Ian Collard, Matt Walker, Sime Nugent, Alice Keith, Peter Punk and more as guest vocalists. They’ll also play Yah Yah’s on Sunday and will feature Steve Clifford, Lachlan Bryan, Loretta Miller, Shirley Davis, Peter Punk, Simon Burke, Peter Ewing, Linda J, Lucy Jane, Ruth Lindsay. Check the venues for more details.
Put on your dancing shoes because legendary disco group Chic featuring Nile Rodgers are heading to Australia to perform a series of rare, must-see gigs. Having been absent from Australian shores for more than ten years, the band – who have hits spanning four decades – will be performing their much-loved chart-topping tunes Le Freak, I Want Your Love, Everybody Dance and Good Times with founding member Nile Rodgers. Chic plays as part of Golden Plains Festival and will also be doing a headline show at Billboard on Wednesday 7 March. Tickets for the Billboard show are available from Moshtix and Ticketek.
FUN ON THE MURRAY
The Riverboats Music Festival is set to rock the mighty Murray River in February next year. With the Murray River basin flush with new life comes a new music festival full to the brim with great Aussie acts. It will run from 17-19 February. This new addition to the summer festival calendar boasts a who’s who of the Australian music scene including Tex Perkins & The Band Of Gold, Colin Hay, The Bamboos, Mark Seymour, Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission, Vika & Linda Bull, Lanie Lane, The Audreys (duo), Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Benny Walker, Ryan Meeking and The Bride Stripped Back. Three-day weekend passes are only $75 and are available now through the festival’s website.
GIVE ME SOME SUGAR
The final line-up for Sugar Mountain Festival has been announced. Joining Deerhoof, Tune-Yards, Shabazz Palaces, Thee Oh Sees, John Maus, Julianna Barwick, Sun Araw, Prince Rama, World’s End Press, Absolute Boys, Pets With Pets, The Harpoons and This Thing Presents on the music program will be: Straight Arrows, Lost Animal, The Harpoons, Fox & Sui, a DJ set from Boredoms frontman Yamantaka Eye, and backdrop/stage set duties fulfilled by Rhys Mitchell and Raphael Rizzo. Sugar Mountain will take over the Melbourne CBD over multiple daysover January, with the main event taking place at the Forum on Saturday 14 January. Federation Square, No Vacancy Gallery and ACMI will also showcase a marvellous array of local and international creative talent.
NEW YEAR A GO GO
Get down to Soul A Go Go this New Year’s Eve for the smoothest ride into 2012. Catch PBS stars Pierre Baroni, Miss Goldie, Vince Peach, Manchild and Richie 1250 plus special guest Mr Rex, at Melbourne’s most prestigious soul and funk party. There’ll be super double-room action, with two extra rooms for chillout couch time and mid-tempo tunes, plus all the regular foot stompin’ shenanigans in the main room. Catering for two-step, shimmying and sauntering, this Soul A Go Go party is the be all and end all of extravagant shindigs. Forward planners, it’s your time to shine. Tickets on sale now from bellaunion.com.au.
GOOD TIMES WITH CHIC
Wintercoats (AKA James Wallace) makes intensely physical music. It’s physical in the sense that if you clamp on some decent headphones and listen to his new EP Sketches with your eyes closed you feel as if you’re standing on a cliff with the wind in your face thinking profound thoughts about love. Well get rid of your headphones and your winter coat because it’s summer and you can catch him playing live at Bar Open. Joining him tonight are Belgrave’s best Great Earthquake, Pascall Balbare and Teeth. Doors at 8pm with free entry.
that let humans evoke their shadowy selves and expressions of the heart. They will be joined by Brisbane boys Nite Fields and Isle Adore, Sunday 15 January at the Workers Club.
FIRST ANNUAL READERS’ POLL LAUNCHED
Every year the Street Press Australia editors and journalists have their say on the year past – this year we want you to do the same in our first annual readers’ poll. We’re calling on you to vote for your favourite albums, gigs and artists of the year. And, as if you needed any more reason to talk about your opinions on music, you can win an iPad just for submitting your entry! As well as that, five runners-up will win a CD pack. The Readers’ Poll closes Wednesday 11 January and the results – as well as your opinions – will be printed in the Street Press Australia mags in the week commencing 16 January. Head to facebook.com/inpressmag to register.
HAVE YOU HERD
The nostalgic narrative for The Herd’s new single A Thousand Lives sees the group at their storytelling best. The uplifting track is taken from the critically adored fifth album Future Shade. The video for the song is a ‘to camera’ piece using a projector to juxtapose the members’ previous lives. The video announcement coincides with the announcement of A Thousand Lives tour and will bring something a little different to the ever-innovative hip hop pioneers, as The Herd weave the stories and context of their ten-year history into each night through a combination of narrative and video. Catch them at the Corner on Saturday 21 April with support from Thundamentals.
HAPPY NEW YEAR COMING MID-JAN
Australian-born, Brooklyn-based avant-pop artist Happy New Year makes her way to Australia for the Australian leg of her first world tour and to celebrate will be launching a split release with Brisbane’s burgeoning drone-pop act Nite Fields. Having just toured North America, Japan and with Europe, the band’s focus is on producing avant singles that are addictive for the every day music obsessive through delivering listeners recording innovations and creating songs
DIRTY THREE TOUR GLEE
In early 2012 Dirty Three will boldly break cover with an extensive Australian tour, including their own headlining shows, festival appearances and their first ever performance at the Sydney Opera House. The band will also release a remarkable new album in late February. Dirty Three’s last tour of Australia was in 2009 when they performed their album Ocean Songs in its entirety as part of the Don’t Look Back classic albums series, a run of shows that sold out across the country. This was a tour that confirmed Dirty Three’s status of one of the greatest live acts in the world. Catch them in Melbourne at the Palace, Friday 16 March.
RETURN OF THE MONKEYS
BRIT-POP GIANTS ARCTIC MONKEYS’ DRUMMER MATT HELDERS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ON THE PHONE. INSTEAD BEN PREECE HAD TO THROW OUT ALL HIS DRUMMER JOKES AND TALK TO FRONTMAN ALEX TURNER. NO LOSSES ENSUED.
lex Turner sounds sleepy. He and his Arctic Monkeys’ bandmates – drummer Matt Helders, bassist Nick O’Malley and guitarist Jamie Cook – are in Pittsburgh with a show in just a couple of hours. Not a good time to feel sleepy, but he says he’ll “snap right out of it” the moment the curtain drops. His word is certainly one to trust – at only 25-years-old, Turner and his Monkeys converse, play music and act like seasoned veterans of a music scene that has become more fickle than ever, even in their five short years atop the rock‘n’roll pile. The band is currently touring their fourth album, Suck It And See, one that has turned the band’s sound upside down once again. Their 2009 album Humbug messed with the lads’ formula of frantic drums and messy guitars. Suck It And See not only continues that newfound legacy, but also drags it even further with Turner’s sharp-witted lyrics firmly intact and pop melody sensibilities back at the forefront. He takes pride in the simple fact that the four remain relevant in 2011, despite the relentless musical climate change. “Guitar music is very different to even when we started and were at school and that,” he admits. “It’s different in each country but it sure seems like there’s less rock’n’roll on the radio these days. People who are out there – fans, or whatever you want to call them – like something if you make something good. That’s the way I have to look at it, in a way. We just focus on it and they find it – it comes to that. The thing that you do anyway, whether there are loads of people listening to you or not, is just make music you want to listen to and hope other people want to too. Luckily for us, people want to listen to us. But if you try to adapt to whatever’s going on, then you’re fucked. It’s all a very different game now to even when we started – I still like singles and everything that goes with it, especially the seven inches and if you have a flipside. I think people that get into that are like me and it makes me want to keep doing it. I suppose it’s about the radio too and getting on the radio around the world is even pretty difficult these days. “We’re in a good place though,” he continues, “just coming to the end of this American tour, but it’s been really bloody good. America has really started to… I don’t know, we’ve started getting a really good response over here. They haven’t really been on board in the way they seem to be recently. Over the last couple of records, we’ve been coming here a bit more and they seem to have gravitated towards those records a little bit more than perhaps elsewhere.” 26 • INPRESS
While Humbug really messed with the Arctic Monkeys formula drastically – and didn’t really garner the response the band would’ve hoped for – Suck It And See is a very different animal in many ways. This time around, Turner is confident the new album is being received much better. “We’re really happy with it. We were when we just finished with it and it still feels like a long way to go with it, in a way. It feels like one of those records where it’s still growing and we keep putting different songs out there and that; it’s kind of like it’s got legs. I think we’re going to carry on touring it until next year, which is unusual for us. Usually by this point we’re ready to move onto the next thing, but it’s not the case this time around. “We look for something, at least we did going into these last two records, that wasn’t there on the last one,” he expands, explaining the band’s penchant for experimenting with their own sound. “There was a conscious decision to move on and put something there that was missing on the last one. It never feels like too much of a struggle to do that, we’ve always tried to move forward and not be afraid to do that. Never in your wildest dreams do you replicate something you’ve done in the past. It’s never really on the cards. Hopefully we’ll continue to evolve and grow in one way or another.” Upon the album’s release, much talk surrounded not only the rather blatant title, but also the album artwork – or rather the lack thereof. Turner is clearly baffled by the reactions some of his band’s moves create. “I
no good at all with distractions around. I tend to not bother these days, I wait until I’ve got time alone. “There’s a few things kicking about still, because we recorded every song we had for this record. Since then we wrote a couple of things that might be B-sides and we did a song with our friend Miles Kane for a B-side on one of the singles. It’s quite fun leaving those blanks though. If you get a couple of days and mess around with absolutely almost no pressure, as it’s a B-side and you can do anything you want. We enjoy that little holiday sometimes. There are no plans to work on any new material just yet.” And the exciting part of the touring regime is that it not only brings the band back to Australia for the first time in three years, but it also sees them playing a number of club shows as opposed to only the massive festival slots like the Big Day Out. “We love coming to Oz... don’t think I’ve called it that before,” he laughs. “We haven’t been down there for a long time now – a good three years maybe. It’s a shame because we fucking love playing there, like the Big Day Out last time. Not just saying that because Australia is on the phone, but some of the best tours we’ve ever done have been down there. We’re excited to get back. I love playing over here in the States, it seems like all we’ve done this year. We start a UK tour in three weeks. We’ve only played a few shows in the UK this year so I’m looking forward to sinking our teeth in there.”
if you try to adapt to whatever’s going on, then you’re fucked.”
think we stopped trying to piss people off a couple of years ago. We were very uncooperative in the early days and we try to not ruffle too many feathers anymore, but it’s funny, you still seem to anyway. The record and its title really wasn’t us trying to rattle any cages, but it still did and the artwork too – the world needs something really controversial, clearly.” Arctic Monkeys have been on the road since Suck It And See dropped in June. As prolific as Turner seems, like most songwriters, he still tends to not even attempt writing songs when on the road. “I have tried in the past, but I tend to not get the best results on tour,” he laughs. “I have these little moments on tour where you can snatch a day alone and I’ll write a bit, but I’m
And as a band’s discography grows, so does the quality of their setlist. Not that Arctic Monkeys’ debut trip to Australia was anything to be sneezed at with an album as solid as Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, but this time they do have two new albums to play for Australian audiences with material that hasn’t been heard on stages here yet. Turner reveals the setlist will, of course, also feature the golden oldies “for the fans, or whatever you want to call them. “I guess there’s a whole two more records since we’ve been there,” he contemplates. “Last time, we were so desperate to get down there we came in the middle of making a record, which probably wasn’t
FILM SUBBING As the acclaimed lyricist for the Arctic Monkeys, often with the critical spotlight shining brightly on them and them alone specifically, Alex Turner had the chance recently to strip his music back to its bare bones for the soundtrack of Richard Ayoade’s little indie film that could, Submarine. “I guess that was after we finished touring Humbug and we had a few months. I had started writing for the Monkeys’ new record and I had a few songs that had been around for a while and I wrote a few extra,” Turner explains. “I was aware that a good friend of mine was making this film and we talked about the idea of doing some cover songs or something for it. I tried a few of mine out instead and, yeah… It was a good dress rehearsal, in a way, for writing the songs for Suck It And See, because the songs in the movie are so stripped back and they really had to stand up in the purest form – that was something I wanted these new songs on this record to do.” He seems concerned, however, that there is more to the band and its music than just his lyrics. “We feel like it’s about more than that and it’s everyone’s individual efforts and them bringing something to party. I guess the first album, with its lyrics resonating with a lot of people in the way that it did, I guess now people always have an eye on the lyrics. I am quite happy with that, I’ve got an eye on it too. I think songwriting is a craft and, while you need that little bit of magic to balance it out, you can practice that and hopefully improve. That’s the way I look at it.” the best idea. We roadtested a couple of Humbug songs at Big Day Out, even before we were finished. So yeah, there’s all the songs from that album and all the new ones too and we continue to do the old ones too – I couldn’t dream of not playing I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, even though it seems so long ago and like you’re doing a cover song sometimes. I don’t mean that in a negative way, we do pretty good covers of those old ones I think. Probably the best.” WHO: Arctic Monkeys WHAT: Suck It And See (Domino/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 28 December – Sunday 1 January, Falls Festival, Lorne; Monday 2 January, Palace Theatre; Tuesday 3 January, Festival Hall
INPRESS • 27
HERITAGE LISTED FROM PROGRESSIVE ROCK TO SWEDISH FOLK AND SCANDINAVIAN JAZZ, MIKAEL ÅKERFELDT HAS DIVERSE TASTES, BUT OPETH FANS ALWAYS KNEW THIS. TRISTAN BROOMHALL SCRATCHES BEYOND THE GENERAL METAL TAGS TO GET TO THE BAND’S HERITAGE.
THE IRASCIBLE FRONTMAN OF RAUCOUS RACONTEURS FUTURE OF THE LEFT, ANDY “FALCO” FALKOUS, HAS SHOWN HE HAS NO “OFF” BUTTON. HE REGALES BRENDAN TELFORD IN HIS THOUGHTS ON THE APOCALYPSE, THE EVOLUTION OF THE BAND AND THE ABOLITION OF THE SOUNDCHECK.
weden’s a fertile land for metal and Opeth are usually one of the first bands that spring into the minds of metal fans when anyone mentions the music of that Nordic Kingdom. Since forming in the distinctive death metal primordial soup that oozed and bubbled in Stockholm in the early ‘90s, they’ve built an enviable catalogue of nine albums culminating with the acclaimed Watershed in 2008. After a lengthy wait between albums, the prolific band have recently released album number ten – Heritage – and Mikael Åkerfeldt’s crafted something spectacular from a diverse influence base, something that the album title sums up succinctly. “I like the word and that’s important when you name an album and it’s all connected to musical heritage, you could say,” Åkerfeldt explains. “All of those songs on the album were written by me and there’s also Swedish musical heritage that comes across in this album. Swedish folk music is unique in the world; I’ve never found anything else like Swedish folk music. Most of those songs have been inspired by the music I grew up with, like the hard-rock of the ‘70s and early-‘80s and some of the more recent influences like the prog and the psychedelic rock that’s been highly influential for me. I guess, once that word came up [Heritage] there was a lot of things that just fit together well with the title.” Heritage also played a part in where the album was recorded, as Åkerfeldt points out. “We recorded in this studio called Atlantis that is one of the oldest recording studios in Stockholm and that’s where ABBA recorded most of their records back in the day. There were a lot things that just came together with this album that made the album title just seem absolutely right.” The influence of the folk music of Sweden on Åkerfeldt’s writing for the album is audible throughout, but it’s always only an influence, not the centre point of the record. “In many of the songs, to be honest, a few licks, or melodies, relate back to Swedish folk music,” says Åkerfeldt. “The most apparent one is the opening song, which is called Heritage – a piano piece – and that is directly influenced by a record that came out in Sweden in the early-‘60s that was called Jazz In Swedish [Jazz på svenska] by Jan Johansson, which was basically jazz interpretations of traditional Swedish folk music. That song, plus the second to last song, that is called Folklore.”
While the band have been gradually turning their backs on the growls and sheer vocal aggressiveness of some previous albums, fans will be quick to notice that Heritage is the first album that’s done away with them altogether. “If you listen to this album it’s really clear that there’s no room for those types of vocals,” explains Åkerfeldt. “I can’t really remember what was going through my head, but I think my original plan was to do a heavy record but with only harmony vocals, like three-part vocal harmonies all the way through. “That didn’t happen because I wanted more of a change; I wanted something like 180 degrees basically. I wanted something strange for this album –
something all over the place – I wanted to be inspired, to have something like I’d never heard before.” The cover art for Heritage is jammed to bursting point with symbolism, no doubt a reference to the busy gatefolds of ‘70s progressive rock, forming a suitable wrapper for the music within. “Making that cover I didn’t really have anything to do with it, it was the whole concept that was made by me. I came up with all of the ingredients that I wanted on the cover and told Travis Smith about it and he just made it; made it to my specifications,” says Åkerfeldt. The album artwork is fully realised on the special editions that band have planned, accompanied by some bonus material that Åkerfeldt’s quick to defend. “They’re no less important than the other songs. Before, in the past, we’ve always released everything we recorded, there was never any bonus tracks until we did Watershed, I think. That was the first album we ever did where we had extra material. So I want those songs to be as strong, or maybe stronger than some of the stuff on the album, but the reason we didn’t put them on the album was because we felt they could have been on other previous albums. They weren’t as new sounding to me, but they’re still really good songs. One of them is called Face In The Snow and that’s one of the earliest songs I wrote for the album. The other is called Pyre, which is a song that I wrote together with Frederik Åkesson [guitar] and that’s a really strong track that I have big plans for in the future, but they’re going to be on the special edition of the album.” The 21 days the band spent in the studio was somewhat less than they’ve booked up in the past, but Åkerfeldt says that was a conscious decision. The live approach to recording is especially evident in the fluid drumming of Martin Axenrot. Åkerfeldt explains that Martin’s “been aching to do an album like this for I don’t know how many years.”
t’s late at night on a typically brisk London autumn evening, and Andy Falkous, frontman for Future Of The Left – one of the most acerbic, angular, vitriol-infused “pop” bands to grace this planet – is afraid of the end of all things. “This is the first conversation I have had for a while,” he accedes in his iconic dry brogue. “The last three interviews I was supposed to have haven’t bothered to call. Everyone is asleep except for me and the cat. I thought that I might have been in a bizarre ‘Excel attachment to email error’ world, where the phone is the last connection to the real world. I’m pretty sure that Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon splitting up is one of the ten signs of the Apocalypse, isn’t it?” Falkous may jest, yet the climate in the UK over the past year has not been one filled with cheer and goodwill. The usual conservative stance of sitting on hands and hoping things wash over has not worked this time, as disaffected youths and a suddenly burgeoning criminal underclass have stormed onto the global stage. Such economic and societal unease has indirectly led to FOTL laying low and biding their time before rearing their ugly heads. “It’s not like it’s unsafe to walk the streets at night, I feel the same as I ever have. The same disgruntled fool... And before I start sounding like a retired colonel, spouting a weary tirade about the state of the nation, I will say that we are in a band, you know? And frankly, we haven’t been able to just be a band enough; it’s been a very quiet past couple of years. We have had a line-up change, so that has affected matters, but then it has been problematic between jobs, and then there has been the job searches, trying to put a record together on a relatively low budget... yet here we are, living beyond our wildest dreams...” It’s always difficult to cut through the thick rind of Falkous’ razor-sharp sarcasm, but there is method in the madness. The hard slog has brought about not one but two releases.
“As long as it sounded good it was good enough,” he continues. “We wanted to make the recording interesting and fun, which was one of the main problems with the past couple of recordings – it’s just been boring. We wanted to keep it interesting and fun and in order to do that we had to work more quickly and, besides, the studio was only available for 21 days, so we had to work quickly. “This album, it’s bound to shock a few people but I think once you get into an album like this it’s probably more likely going to stick with you for a longer time than many other metal records, so to speak, out there.” WHO: Opeth WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 18 December, The Palace
“We have one vocal, one bassline and two mixes to go [to complete the album],” he enthuses. “It’s basically all there now, and it sounds magnificent. We are very proud of it as a band, as there were several facets to it. I finally have been given the freedom to write the way that I’ve always wanted, with a lot of the responsibility taken off our shoulders just by pure inspiration, excitement and ability there that Jim [Watkins, guitar] and Julia [Ruzicka, bass/ keys] bring to the whole thing. I mean, Jack [Egglestone, drums] is always the same. He is the reliable, bear-like constant that emerges from the cave for nourishment, usually in the form of nachos... It always sounds a bit fruity when a band talks about how wonderful their new record is, but [to] anybody who has any trust in what we do, and in what an absolute bastard I am in terms of the standards I apply to the process, it really does sound incredible.” Huge accolades coming from the man whose past credits include the criminally underrated Welsh maelstrom Mclusky. The new FOTL release, The Plot Against Common Sense, isn’t hitting shelves until early next year, yet the
off-cuts of these sessions come in the form of an EP, Polymers Are Forever, which gives an indication as to why the normally morose Falkous is so openly excited. “The new EP is something of a sidestep, but it is also chronological in what we chose for the songs. Polymers Are Forever is on the actual record, then the next two songs were recorded for the album, which didn’t quite fit, and the final three songs were demos that felt like something from another time, something that has now been lost. For example, destroywhitchurch.com is a demo recorded by me, Jim and Jack before Julia even joined the band, so there isn’t even bass on it. We’ve probably played it five-or-so times live, but there’s something about the spirit of the track that is impossible to replicate. I absolutely love the song, but we have been ruthless when choosing what to try for the record. So the EP essentially is for people to think, ‘If these five didn’t make it, then imagine how fucking good the real stuff is!’” Self-adulation aside, this newfound enthusiasm comes from coming to terms with some home truths. “It’s been about coming to the realisation of who we are – a pop band,” Falkous continues. “There is this band in Manchester called Kong, this amazingly dark band. We had their bass player Steve Hodgson play with us before Julia came aboard. A really good dark band that needs to write some more fucking songs, they’ve been riding on one album for years! Such an incredible band, lovely people too, but you’re never going to go home and spin their tunes, unless you are going on a knife-throwing spree. So they’re great to play alongside because they push and challenge you, but they aren’t really about the same aesthetic, and it’s been more of a focus of mine. At the end of the day we are a pop band, albeit a pop band who deliver it very loudly. “But that hasn’t been the end of it, because we are now a four-piece, and it becomes problematic, as there is a certain strength that a three-piece has, and the complexities that makes it what it is. Think of You Need Satan More Than He Needs You – it doesn’t really suit anything more than three people, unless you have backing vocals or something, anything else just feels crowbarred in there. Whereas songs like Arming Eritrea or Small Bones Small Bodies, an extra guitar makes it sound 24.8% bigger, and not in a ‘Night of the Living Bassists’ kind of way. And Lapsed Catholics was impossible as a three-piece, but now it’s kind of the de rigueur finale. It just sounds ridiculous. And we kind of tie the end of it into Andy Kaufman’s I Trusted You, one of my and Jim’s favourite songs. Classic Kaufman, very straight-faced and contrary.” WHO: Future Of The Left WHAT: Polymers Are Forever EP (Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December Corner Hotel
INPRESS • 29
SOMBRE AND THE SILLY CSS balance the partying with a tad more self-reflection on their latest album, but still find time for a “Spanish phase”, singer LOVEFOXXX tells DOUG WALLEN.
hat happens when a party band starts to grow up and get self-reflective? For the manic Brazilian upstarts of CSS, it means a third album that’s half irreverent and half melancholic. Coming from a band best known for songs called Music Is My Hot Hot Sex and Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above, it’s indeed a shift. There was, however, a gritty injection of indie rock into CSS with 2008’s second LP Donkey and the new album La Liberación does have its fair share of cheek. So who’s to say what CSS can or can’t do? “I think this party feel is within us,” muses the group’s unmistakable frontwoman Lovefoxxx (born Luísa Hanae Matsushita) in a thick accent. “And the shows are always very cheerful. Just because that’s how we approach the stage – with happiness. This is something people usually expect from us, but we’re free to write about whatever we want.”
And so the band whose unabbreviated Portuguese name (Cansei de Ser Sexy) translates to “I’ve grown tired of being sexy” has begun exploring the fatigued side of that equation more than the sweaty sex appeal that made them famous. It works, as La Liberación may not tap the zeitgeist for globe-trotting party jams like their first album, but it brings in a wide range of guests and takes all the bold chances a “difficult third album” should. Yet it’s not difficult in the least. As for the inspiration behind this more mature outing, it was all about looking back to one’s formative and emotionally fraught teenage years. More specifically, establishing one’s personal identity. “I think it’s good to have a realisation of how you used to be,” observes Matsushita, “and how some of the things remain the same. And it’s good to see that you’ve evolved and found people you can share your life with, like your friends. Being the outcast and growing up and finding your gang; I think there’s a lot about finding yourself with friends on this album.” There’s more to it than that, though. “The main reason to go back to teenagehood is that we had a year off [touring],” she adds. “We were writing, but there was a lot of time to think. When we did Donkey we were mainly thinking about touring and I don’t think it’s nice to write about. Not everybody can relate to that. It’s a very different lifestyle and it’s hard to understand when you’re not part of it.” And so CSS get at something more universal on La Liberación, right from the opening track I Love You. There Matsushita encapsulates the album’s mix of the sombre and the silly with this memorable line: “The rain is falling on my head/ Bringing thoughts it never had/ Like love and shit.” She also curses up a storm on the closing Fuck Everything, which she nonetheless sees as “so positive” and “one of my favourite songs off the album”. And true enough, it’s not a pessimist’s anthem but a fist-pumping promise to “dance all night” when you feel “deep in the shit”. It’s about escaping from everyday life into oblivion just when you need it most. The standout dance ballad You Could Have It All also treads a fine line between desire and disappointment, while the punky title track features lyrics in Spanish rather than English or the band’s native Portuguese. The reason for that is simple. “It’s just because we like when people have their Spanish phase,” says Matsushita. “It’s an interesting phenomenon. All the big artists have it, like ABBA and Toni Braxton and Madonna. We decided it was time for our Spanish phase.” You might expect that Spanish influence to overshadow La Liberación, but the album’s most interesting feature is the wealth of collaborators and how naturally they fall into the CSS fold. Mike Garson – who has worked with Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails and on classic David Bowie songs – brings his trademark piano flourishes to Partners In Crime, a song that simply had Garson-style piano until the band’s manager mentioned he knew the man himself. There’s also a fun vocal cameo by The Ssion’s Cody Critcheloe on City Girl, which manifests its Spanish twinges through horn and guitar while hitting upon that other key theme with the line “When I was 16, I finally moved to the big city”. Meanwhile, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie contributes his side of a duet on the single Hits Me Like A Rock, while electroguitar duo Ratatat turn producers on the hip hop homage Red Alert, complete with rapping, Lovefoxxx-style. As it happens, CSS shared a 2011 Big Day Out bill with both Primal Scream and Ratatat. Does that mean we can credit BDO for these team-ups? Sort of. “We’ve known both bands for years,” Lovefoxxx relays. “When we met with Bobby on Big Day Out, the track was ready already. But when we met with Ratatat, I had the idea of asking them to rework that song. Because that song was always a West Coast type of rap in our heads and Ratatat do really amazing remixes with rap. They build a whole new song. Big Day Out got us talking again.” CSS are the kind of band that treat an entire set like a heady encore, with The Ssion’s Cody Critcheloe likely to crowd-surf and strip off clothes on the first or second song. She describes touring the US recently with JD Samson’s Le Tigre offshoot MEN, where the two bands conspired to trick out venues with pink lighting, disco balls, pastel love notes pasted in the toilets and heart-shaped nametags available free from the merch table. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of connecting with punters.
SAT 3 MAR THE TOFF IN TOWN TICKETS:thetoffintown.com.au
TICKETS ON SALE 9AM FRI 16 DEC Debut album BORN TO DIE out Feb 3 2012
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“I think it’s really nice if I can observe the audience, make comments and interact as much as I can. This helps a lot,” she explains. “The best is when things happen out of the blue. That’s always our favourite. We always force ourselves to be as spontaneous as we can.” And there’s never much anxiety about capturing the albums live, or the live show on the albums. They’re simply their own entities: “We never get the total feeling of it. It’s always one side of what the show is.” Half a decade after their self-titled debut saw an unlikely international release on Sub Pop, CSS are still going strong. They’re returning to our shores less than a year after BDO for Falls Festival, now with that third album firmly in fans’ hearts. That’s the payoff for being true to yourself while expanding your artistic horizons. “I always want to be honest and sincere and I was just being sincere,” concludes Matsushita. “City Girl is really personal, but I’m fine with that. I think lots of our fans are going to relate to a song like that.” WHO: CSS WHAT: La Liberación (V2/Cooperative) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 29 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Thursday 5 January, Corner Hotel
30 • INPRESS
INPRESS • 31
SON OF A GUN ACCLAIMED US SINGER/SONGWRITER DAVID DONDERO BONDED WITH TOURMATE AND LABEL BOSS DARREN HANLON WHILE SHELTERING FROM A GUNMAN, WRITES DOUG WALLEN.
SPIDER MAN During SPIDERBAIT’s sevenyear hiatus, singer/drummer KRAM has crammed in a lot of collaborations and other musical projects. KATE KINGSMILL’s mind boggles.
fter a seven-year hiatus, Spiderbait are finally back and ready to rock. A new album, due next year, is inspired by a misspent youth “riding bikes in the middle of the night ‘round Fitzroy with headphones on and no brakes, listening to Ride The Lightning,” says Kram, the band’s co-vocalist and percussive lynchpin.
very bit the troubadour, American singer/songwriter David Dondero doesn’t have a fixed address at the moment. That makes it easy to visit Australia, where he’s supporting his mate Darren Hanlon on Hanlon’s annual Christmas tour. It’s been close to a decade since his first time here: that tour was also with Hanlon, but Dondero unfortunately fell ill with pneumonia. This time should go better then, especially since Dondero has a new album for the spruiking. His eighth LP, # Zero With A Bullet is out on Hanlon’s own label Flippin’ Yeah Industries. Like Dondero’s previous two albums, it was released in the US on Team Love, the label run by outspoken fan Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame. It’s more of a full-band rock record than some of the man’s folkier early work, but still with that rambling charm of his. The title track is as self-deprecating as you’d guess, while Carolina Moon makes for a rickety single. The triumphant closer All These Fishies Swimmin’ Through My Head comes seared with organ from Dondero himself, who also drums on several of the songs. “I’m originally a drummer,” he points out, “so I like to do layered cadences, deconstructing the drumkit and doing one part at a time and layering it.” Another song, the nervous and characteristically frayed Wherever You Go, cites “the great Darren Hanlon,” who Dondero met a decade ago in Omaha, Nebraska. “We were both playing at this house party,” he recalls with a laugh. “We became friends because there was a gunman that came and was trying to get somebody at the party. So we were all hiding upstairs in a room. We were scared.” Dondero has spent years playing with bands as well as solo. His old punk act Sunbrain was a formative influence on young Conor Oberst, right down to Dondero’s quivering vocal vulnerability. These days Dondero is backed by different players depending in which region of America he happens to find himself. He has folks he regularly plays with in Austin, Texas; Athens, Georgia; Chicago; and San Francisco. But he’s just as happy to play alone, as he will here. And in true Dondero fashion, he doesn’t bother with set lists. “I just go with how it feels in the room,” he explains. “I try to mould it to that. I draw from my entire catalogue and cover songs that might be pertinent. I definitely do field requests.” Called one of “the best living songwriters” by American radio staple NPR, Dondero is more known for his lyrics than his music. In his classic song The Real Tina Turner, he borrows the refrain “I was a real Tina Turner in my time” from a conversation overheard at a strip club. “That was two ex-strippers arguing about who was hotter,” he laughs. “I had to steal that.” He also contributed one of the best-ever drinking songs to the crowded canon with Boulevard Of Broken Hearts, Busted Dreams, Shattered Wills, Booze And Pills. “Sometimes it starts with a title, but sometimes I just write stuff down and it creeps out of the gibberish,” says Dondero of his writing process. Lately, though, he’s less interested in lyrics. “As I get older I’m getting more focused on the music,” he admits. “I’ve been writing songs on guitar that don’t even have lyrics, so I’ve been doing a few instrumentals during my set. I’m getting really into jazz.” On this tour with Hanlon, Dondero will make all of his albums available in a special format: burned two-CD packs with his own artwork. He has also released another album since # Zero With A Bullet: the covers collection A Pre-Existing Condition, recorded on the fly with bluegrass band The Welfare Liners. For someone who’s living on the road, he sure seems suited to the lifestyle. “It’s a good way to live right now,” he agrees. “I’m enjoying it.” WHO: David Dondero WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, Northcote Social Club 32 • INPRESS
Kram, bassist Janet English and guitarist Damian Whitty, are “pumped” to be playing together again, and the vibe of the new tracks they’ve been demoing is “old school heavy, with lots of double kick”, says Kram, who has been listening to Motorhead and Metallica for inspiration. “That’s our vibe. How it ends up sounding is different but just that sort of energy in the music, definitely. I hope we can nail it but it’s coming along so far. There doesn’t seem to be much ‘round like that at the moment. There’s some brilliant stuff coming out of Australia at the moment but there’s nothing really that heavy, and that’s the sort of music we want to play.” The plan is to record the new record in the first half of next year. “We’re pretty keen to debut all the new record at Splendour next year but if we can get a couple of songs out at Pyramid I think it would be awesome. It’s been a little bit difficult because I’ve moved up the coast and Whitt and Janet are still in Melbourne so we’ve just got to write when we can. But the enthusiasm for it is so strong, we’ve just got to find the time to complete the project.” The band’s appearance at this year’s Pyramid Rock festival will be the first big show they have played since they supported Guns N’ Roses at Sydney Stadium last year. “The Gunners were great!” Kram enthuses. “Axl has had a lot of surgery but he still sang great. It was a really massive gig and it was just so rock the whole night.” The scarcity of Spiderbait gigs sustains their excitement for performing. “When we did the old Punters Club reunion show at the Corner, we did heaps of old songs and we loved it. We don’t play enough to get sick of it,” says Kram, who is looking forward to playing a mosh-worthy set at Pyramid. “It gets us moshing mainly! We can’t wait. We haven’t played festivals for
ages. Because we’re making this new record at the moment, we’ll get a chance to play some of these new songs, play them live and give them a test run, so it’s going to be awesome.” Old fans never fear: they’ll still roll out the old classics. “We’ll play all our songs people know,” Kram assures. “But every time we play different anyway. We try and keep our shows really fresh so we don’t really prepare before we go on, we don’t have a big warm up, so that whenever we get onstage it’s just such an awesome amazing surprise for us and we want to be there rather than anywhere else in the world.” Kram is also keen to showcase a track he’s been working on with MCs Phrase, Illy and Mantra. Not one to sit still musically, Kram has been dabbling in the world of hip hop while the rock beast of Spiderbait has been off the boil. “The track is called I Love My Rock’n’Roll. It’s basically about hip hop and the parallels between the styles, in a way. Those three guys, they’re all fantastic rappers and they’re all completely different. I love Illy’s stuff, Phrase I’ve worked with before (on the track Skylight from Phrase’s Clockwork album) and Mantra’s a real discovery. We just got together in Melbourne one night and I gave them the demo of the track and they came up with this lyric and we just cut the thing together so it’s only a demo at the moment but I think the song’s pretty complete. So if the guys can make it to the show, which is not definite yet, I’d love to be able to debut the song live. I think it deserves to be played. And just to see how the crowd likes it.” But that’s not all, folks. Kram has also formed a band called Krash with blues guitar legend Ash Grunwald, and the duo will also perform at Pyramid. Kram admits the pairing is an unexpected one. “We’re from different worlds but we just really connect.” The two men are now neighbours since Kram moved up the coast and lately have been getting together for a weekly jam. “It’s kind of psychedelic blues swamp. We both have keyboards as well as drums and he has guitar so the thing tends to trip right out and go off into this tripsville but then we get back to playing like a Howlin’ Wolf song in the same song, that’s kind of the vibe of that band.” And that’s not even the limit of Kram’s impressive variety of musical projects. Last year he worked on an improvised free jazz project with jazz trumpeter and pianist James Morrison and Paul Grabowsky called The Others. This year Spiderbait recorded a pop cover of the Wiggles song Rock-A-Bye Your Bear for the Rewiggled tribute album,
and Kram performed on the recent Nick Cave tribute tour, singing a folk version of Henry Lee with Lisa Mitchell and Dan Sultan. “That’s my whole thing,” says Kram. “Musically, I can’t really be limited to one style, I just really like changing and I think I’ll be like that forever. His 2009 solo album Mix Tape was an exercise in eclecticism. “I still love The White Album by The Beatles thing of trying to change it completely for every song, but I feel like now I want to have a different sound with each project so if people are coming to see something they know what they’re going to get. You can still vary the music styles a lot but depending on the line-up or what the band is, people who are coming to the show know which one they’re seeing. The thing to remember from a writing point of view is if you write with a lot of variation then good stuff will come around a lot. If you write only in one style then it gets a bit tired pretty quickly. You still have good things come, but it’s like listening, you don’t spend 24 hours a day listening to the same type of music. It doesn’t mean every song is going to be quality, but you never get bored. In music you’re always surprised.” WHO: Spiderbait WHEN & WHERE: Friday 30 December, Pyramid Rock, Phillip Island
FRENCH CUTS French singer FÉFÉ’s lyrical universe may be growing, but family and his relationship with his country will always BE TOPICS HE RETURNS TO, he tells NIC TOUPEE.
erge Gainsbourg, Charles Aznavour, Phoenix and even Plastic Bertrand – these are the names and faces of French pop as we may know it. So Frenchy, So Chic, the lingua franca festival arriving in Australia in January, is certainly going to change that, bringing the best of contemporary French sounds to Melbourne. Joining Nouvelle Vague, Moriarty and more musical souffles très bon, is French rapper/singer Féfé. Once a member of the popular hip hop group Saïan Supa Crew, Féfé has pursued a solo career since 2007, branching out towards a more acoustic-, soul-, blues- and popinfluenced sound. This path reflects a more general change in Féfé’s world – becoming a father and shouldering adult ideas and responsibilities. Even a hip hop star’s life changes after the birth of their child, and Féfé sees it as one of his most significant turning points so far. Luckily, while fatherhood has been marked by a change in both his ideas and his creativity, it has by no means been the end of his passion for songwriting or performing. In Australia last year for WOMADelaide, he’s pleased to be coming back in 2012, after being pleasantly surprised by his warm and empathetic reception (although to be fair if a non-English speaking singer is going to be warmly embraced by an Australian audience, WOMAD is a very likely place for it to happen). A show such as So Frenchy, So Chic should indeed be another safe haven for a fish out of French waters. “WOMADelaide – it was a great experience for me, last year,” Féfé recalls. “It was my first WOMAD and I wasn’t sure how the audience would react when I sang in French. I only rap in French, but it went very well. People were reacting well to the mood of my songs, the feeling of it, although they might have found the lyrics very difficult.” Féfé’s delight in his reception is matched by his confidence that appreciating his music is primarily about understanding that language should not be a barrier to sharing feeling. “I believe music is universal,” he says with optimism. “Even if you can’t understand my songs completely, you can feel the
mood, at that moment. I do try to explain one or two of them though, but try not to go too deep.” What Féfé lacks in English language banter, he certainly makes up for in energy, he effusively offers. Even the energy with which he describes the joie de vivre in his show is fairly motivating. “Generally my show is very ‘alive’,” he enthusiastically explains. “I interact very much with people in my show – do a lot of things to make some energy, try to speak a lot to the audience. I don’t think too much about performing; I do it. When I entertain I mustn’t think – I must be in tune with the crowd. I really want them to try to get inside my head, to try to get them to come into my universe.” Féfé’s first album, Jeune a la Retraite, which literally translates as ‘youth in retirement’, was released in late 2009 in France, going gold a year later, and still continues to receive worldwide releases slowly but surely. Féfé confesses that the album almost never made it to the shelf at all. “Jeune a la Retraite was a very intimate album. At the time I had no record deal, and I was really struggling. I thought it maybe wouldn’t even be released at all, but I still made it because I needed to, I really needed to be doing music. When I began to have a family I was going to stop writing music altogether, but it’s bigger than me – I needed to keep going.” Féfé is working on his second album now. Whereas his first album was confessional and introspective, this next one is looking more towards more universal subjects, and the people around him. “I’m making my second solo album now, and with this one I’m trying to make my universe a little bigger, talking about the world rather than just myself. I still have something to say about things that have happened to me, and my kids. I can talk about my kids for albums and albums, they’re just crazy,” he laughs heartily. “I want to talk about not just my relationships at home though now, but also my relationship with my new fame.” Just as you might be starting to think, ‘Well, this does sound like you’re talking about yourself again, Féfé. Where are all these universal issues you mentioned?’ he catches himself, and returns to the subject. “I’m also trying to talk about subjects bigger than that,” he quickly reassures us. “I’m writing about people, about love – I feel I’m now at an age where I can talk about those matters. When I was younger I didn’t want to, I thought it was so
corny, so cheesy – too cheesy for me to write about.” Tackling the very universal yet very French subject of love seems almost manditory for a French artist. Bravely, Féfé is also writing about his place as a black man in France. “I’m talking abut France, about my country. There are things going on in France which make it still tough for me. I’m a black guy who is almost 36, and sometimes I don’t feel like the people in politics are representing me or talking to me – I didn’t feel it when I was younger and I still don’t feel it.” He is also moving further away still from the confines of an urban dance sound – it seems this time Féfé is hearing the call of the blues. “I think there will be a little more blues on this album, I dont know why. It won’t be an authentic or revival-type sound – I mean I like old sounds, the old feelings, I love soul sounds of the ‘70s but I don’t want to repeat it, it has already been done and this is 2012. I want to mix in progressive hip hop beats with other sounds. In my dreams I’d like that to be the old feeling of the blues and soul and something of tomorrow.” While Féfé is ready to sing about issues which trouble him about his home country, he is still very proud of being French. “I’m very happy to represent France, I’m very proud. French people are open to experiences and I like that about them. I love French music, French lyrics. French people love lyrics, and people that say beautiful things.” WHO: Féfé WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 15 January, So Frenchy, So Chic In The Park, Werribee Park
DINO-MITE BEATS A RIDICULOUSLY MASSIVE STAGE NAME ISN’T THE ONLY CRAZY ASPECT OF TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS, AS TROY MUTTON DISCOVERS.
ou’d be hard-pressed to find a more bombastic-sounding stage name than Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, especially given it’s just for essentially one person – Oxfordshire, UK-based youngster Orlando Higginbottom. Over the past couple of years Higginbottom has been gaining notoriety in the UK beats scene with his twisted take on electro settling in a variety of genres, backed with a live show, dinosaur costumes, off-the-wall headgear and an unassuming young face twiddling the knobs. He started out as most producers do, behind the ones and twos spinning tracks in the club, something he rather rapidly grew tired of. “When I started buying records I was playing jungle and drum’n’bass, around the ‘93-‘98 era of the music, even though it was 2000 for me. I was also playing disco sets after a while and hip hop as well. But, yes, my sound changed a lot because I got bored of those scene/genre nights where you had to play certain stuff...” Higginbottom relays. “Also I wanted to start producing stuff I didn’t understand.”
I WANTED TO START PRODUCING STUFF I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND”
The result has been a warped take on electronica that delves into many a genre, without staying in one place for too long. You could say electro/house is a running theme, but his use of samples, blips and bleeps, combined with jungle styles and 2-step themes always keeps it interesting. It’s no surprise then that people like BBC1 alumni Annie Mac and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard have signalled him out as one to watch. That being said you get the feeling he’d probably be just as happy tinkering away on things without the kudos, as long as he gets to perform live. “It’s something I do really enjoy and I think something I want to take a lot further, whatever that means. I play all my own music using Ableton, some keyboards, samplers, drum machines and singing... And the girls dance. And we all dress up. It’s a good party normally.” Sounds like it – and Higginbottom assures he will be accompanied by said ladies for his Australian visit. “The dancing girls are coming!” Higginbottom loves the theatrics of his totally enormous live performances and it’s something that clearly extends into his visual aesthetic – whether it be press shots, or nearly any video clip of his featuring him wearing some massive piece of headwear, usually involving feathers. He likes to have a big part in those clips, but also knows when to let it go. “Sometimes I have stepped in and got very involved if it has begun to look wrong to me. But I try and work with directors who I trust will do something I like. “With the costumes and artwork, it’s always just been about having fun and taking things slightly too far. It’s exciting for me to think that the whole look of the project could completely change at some point.” The idea of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs getting any more leftfield seems crazy, but not surprising really. So far he’s released three EPs, but he’s currently working on a debut album. Even the full-length album has become an almost leftfield proposition for producers these days, with many opting for single releases in these instant download days. It’s something that isn’t lost on Higginbottom either, for better or for worse. “When I first started it I thought it was basically impossible to write a dance music album that works both as a whole and as individual records on the dancefloor. “Now I think it is possible, but fucking hard and I wouldn’t like to say if I have achieved it or not. Certainly it is something I wanted to do. EPs are a lot of fun but not as challenging as an album,” he admits. “I’ve got one track to finish and the record is done. It should be out early 2012.” Another factor has been his insane touring schedule, which will see him supporting fellow Brit indiedance lads Friendly Fires around the UK, before he missions over to Australia for the Christmas/New Year period, and then it’s straight back into a month-long headline tour back around the UK. These kind of movements are not helpful when trying to write an album really. “It has been fucking hard and next time I write an album I’m going to take some serious time out; maybe four or five months without any shows. I’ve done over 100 gigs this year, which has massively disrupted the completion of this album.” That’s not to say he’s complaining though: “[It’s exhausting], but it’s a lot of fun.” When it comes to the writing/recording process, unsurprisingly Higginbottom tries to get out of his comfort zone as much as possible and basically just sees what comes out the other end. “When I write, I like coming from as many different angles as possible. Sometimes I start with a synth in the studio and just record an hour’s noise, other times I start by working on a kick drum. It’s about avoiding a sense of déjà vu in [the] studio. Though having said that, I do like recycling old ideas that I have previously discarded.” He’s also not averse to recycling other artists’ songs in the form of remixes and his latest edit may come as a surprise to fans – remixing Lady Gaga’s Marry The Night. “On the whole, I love remixing. As weird as this sounds, me and Lady Gaga are on the same record label in the UK. Of course it was a bit crazy remixing the biggest artist in the world, but I try not to worry about what people are going to think of a track when I’m writing it. You can never predict how good a track will be or how people will react to it, so I just get on with it and hope for the best.” It kinda seems like Higginbottom isn’t really fussed with what comes of his music, as long as he gets to continue his own sonic explorations, which look set to continue into 2012. WHO: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 31 December, Falls Festival, Lorne; Tuesday 3 January, Roxanne Parlour
INPRESS • 33
MAKING PROGRESS KRISTIN GUNDRED AKA DUM DUM GIRLS FRONTWOMAN DEE DEE PENNY TALKS TO DAVE DRAYTON ABOUT THEIR LATEST ALBUM, ONLY IN DREAMS, ESCHEWING TRENDS WITH SINGLES AND THE NATURE OF A STAGE MONIKER.
I’ll have my own ‘Iggy Pop’ or something.”
he confusion commences early in the conversation. With Dee Dee Penny on the phone in America there’s a delay between our comments as awkward introductions are made. An operator introduces your correspondent to Kristin Gundred, though she doesn’t immediately respond to that name. So, what’s the deal with stage names? “I do my thing with my band and I do my thing with my friends and family and that’s how I like it,” says Gundred succinctly. “First of all; I don’t think there are any sort of rules. And secondly; when Dum Dum Girls started it was a very different thing. I was very much looking for some anonymity, I just wanted to do the music; I didn’t want anything else that went along with it. It’s certainly a pretty long tradition of artists and musicians and authors deciding to change their names or subscribing to some other name first for an activity they do. So for me, that just made sense. I’ll have my own ‘Iggy Pop’ or something. “At this point, obviously this is what I do on a much more regular basis. I’m pretty honest with what I do and I always have been and for me there isn’t a discrepancy between what you call it and what you do. Call it whatever I call it, I’m still going to put out the same sort of music. I think that Only In Dreams definitely is more personal than I’m probably comfortable with, which sounds funny because I chose to put it out, but at the same time I wasn’t able to write anything else. This was my life and it was completely consuming and so it was ‘write this’ or physically choose to not write,” says Gundred. Only In Dreams is certainly a personal experience. As Gundred grappled with the death of her mother and the frustration that comes from being geographically separated from her husband (Brandon Welchez, who is on tour with noise pop band Crocodiles as much as she is with Dum Dum Girls) Gundred spins the tales anew, backed by a soundtrack of shimmering garage pop and moody indie. It doesn’t get more personal than the album’s first single, Coming Down, a slow-burning, six-and-a-half minute track written about the passing of Gundred’s mother. “That song is obviously a special song to me. I’m very happy with how it came out. I think that it really captured exactly what I was tyring to put off and I think it has a very critical place on the record, but I obviously didn’t assume that a six-and-a-halfminute slow song would be released in any capacity on its own,” Gundred reflects on the odd single selection, given the rest of the album rollicks along with three-minute pop gems. “I think that’s because to the small group of people who were privy to the record it was such a favourite; it elicited such a strong response. I think that everyone wanted to make sure that the song had extra exposure than it would have just being on the record. A lot of people, I suppose, don’t buy full records anymore so if they were just looking for more traditional singles they might not even bother listening to it. So I think we just wanted to give it a bit of extra attention.” Despite the intensely personal lyrical content, Only In Dreams marks the first time in Dum Dum Girls’ history that the frontwoman has been joined by the band – guitarist Jules Medeiros, bassist Bambi Davies and drummer Sandy Vu – during the recording process in the studio. “It was exciting; it was something I hadn’t done in quite a few years. We worked up to it obviously, both with touring – just becoming a much tighter band in that sense – and also we met up in LA for a few weeks of rehearsal before we went into the studio to record. It was a lot of fun for me; I think it was a lot of fun for them too. I think it might have been a little bit daunting at first because they haven’t really ever worked with Richard before – you know, his whole résumé’s a bit… intimidating perhaps,” she lets out a laugh. The “Richard” she’s referring to is Richard Gottehrer, who has produced albums for everyone from Blondie to Mental As Anything, and has done more than just intimidate, guiding Dum Dum Girls as their pop gems shift from lo-fi cult hits to a more polished and refined sound. “I think that that transition would have happened regardless,” Gundred muses, “The EP that came after the first record was also a step forward in terms of fidelity and a lot of that particularly had to do with the fact that it wasn’t me recording in my house on a four track or a laptop without proper mics or amplifiers. It was actually being in a studio with quality equipment and an engineer who knows what he’s doing. I love the first stuff that I did, I love the first record; for me it really captured a time and a place and is a perfect representation of, essentially, me starting to write songs and learning how to record them. But, you know, I wasn’t interested in putting out that same record over and over – although I could do that – I wanted to make some progress and see what we could do with access to higher standards. “The girls are extremely talented and more than capable to handle whatever I throw at them. For me this record was interesting because they had more room to breathe and to put their own personal stamp on things, which was something I was interested in.” WHO: Dum Dum Girls WHAT: Only In Dreams (Sub Pop/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 30 December, Pyramid Rock Festival, Phillip Island; Tuesday 3 January, Corner Hotel
34 • INPRESS
INPRESS • 35
NO LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
A record with Merry Clayton and the follow-up to We Can’t Fly are high on Aeroplane’s agenda, Vito de Luca tells cyclone.
The Guild League have always played second fiddle to band members’ other groups, trumpeter roger clark tells doug wallen.
nf light programming is rarely enticing – or hip. But if you’re jetsetting over the holidays, Aeroplane’s Vito de Luca has a cool alternative. He’s plugging a new compilation, In Flight Entertainment, inspired by the success of his monthly radio mix-up on Belgium’s Pure FM (and accessible on Aeroplane’s official Soundcloud). Funnily, the Belgian DJ doesn’t listen to Aeroplane’s disco Balearica, let alone dance music, when flying himself. He prefers to watch comedy. “Anything with Jim Carrey will do,” de Luca says. Aeroplane originated as a partnership between de Luca and Stephen Fasano in Namur. The older Fasano was then the main DJ, de Luca the muso with a band background. De Luca had discovered Daft Punk’s Homework – and gravitated towards house. Aeroplane premiered in 2007 with Caramellas on Eskimo Recordings. However, the nu-disco duo established themselves with their choice remixes, a version of Friendly Fires’ Paris deemed classic today. Fasano mysteriously quit prior to Aeroplane’s album, We Can’t Fly, of last year.
Teaming with Air producer Bertrand Burgalat, de Luca veered away from cosmic disco into retro AM radio rock and ‘80s synth pop. Indeed, We Can’t Fly was wonky, kitsch and decidedly eccentric – yacht rock for the skies. De Luca penned songs like I Don’t Feel, reaching out to the semi-retired gospel diva Merry Clayton, Mick Jagger’s partner on The Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter. He intends to eventually cut a full album with her. “She told me she was up for it, and I still have her in a corner of my mind, so stay tuned.” De Luca is currently plotting a follow-up LP. “I’m preparing the field for the next record. I’m really excited. I know where to go, I have the technical skills now and the gear, so it should be great – or maybe it won’t be, but I will work hard on this one, trust me.” In Flight Entertainment represents a stopgap between albums. De Luca sought to deliver a compilation distinct from the many mixes available freely online and so he sourced exclusive tracks by allies such as James Curd (Greenskeepers). “You have to trust your taste a little,” he says of the results. In Flight Entertainment even
includes a fresh Aeroplane track, Save Me Now, which de Luca recorded while moving house (and studios). “I’m singing the lead somehow,” he reveals. Dance music was built on the increasingly endangered DJ comp. Does de Luca have a favourite? “The one DJ mix I’ve ever bought and listened to was A Night At The Playboy Mansion by Dimitri From Paris. That’s as far as it goes for me and mixes. A lot of people send me DJ mixes on Soundcloud but, unfortunately, I’m not a promoter – send me tracks, not mixes!” De Luca is disenchanted with mainstream dance – presumably the output of David Guetta and co. He doesn’t know where the culture is headed. “Honestly, [I have] no idea, I don’t know – I don’t want to know,” he says. “MTV is on and it’s only dance music, but none of it is my thing and none of it is the direction I want to go in. So wherever the music will go in 2012, I might not be there.” Regardless, De Luca is keeping busy. This year Aeroplane remixed Cassius’ oldie The Sound Of Violence (“a highlight”) – and a mix of The Rapture will air in the new year. Meanwhile, this festival veteran is returning to Australia for a rare club tour, allowing him greater freedom as a DJ. “For me, club shows are a way to get back to a different style of DJ set – more sexy and wet…” He’s remixed Australian acts such as Cut Copy and, more recently, Gypsy & The Cat, the latter also space-disco cadets. “I discovered them when they contacted me for the [Piper’s Song] remix,” de Luca enthuses. “I know some other songs, but I can’t wait to hear more new material from them! Piper’s Song was a great song.” WHO: Aeroplane WHAT: In Flight Entertainment (Balance/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, Roxanne Parlour
tarted a decade ago as a modest diversion for Lucksmiths singer/drummer Tali White, Melbourne’s The Guild League have always had to play second fiddle to that internationally loved group, even after making three albums of their own. But since The Lucksmiths retired in 2009, there has been a new opportunity for White’s other band to boast their profile. It just hasn’t happened that way – yet. “There’s always been talk of that,” laughs trumpeter Roger Clark. “It gets pretty tricky, because quite a few members are in more than one band. The drummer’s in six or seven. Every year we’ve thought this was going to be the year, but three members have had babies so that’s slowed things up again.” That said, a single is planned for the first half of 2012, with an album to follow in the second half. “It’s at a place now where I think we’re ready to push a bit more,” Clark confirms. It doesn’t help, though, that The Guild League will finish this year with just two gigs under their belts. They played locally three times last year, but at least they toured nationally then. Meanwhile, their most recent album is 2008’s Speak Up, which makes a follow-up more than overdue. The band began when White realised he had a bunch of song lyrics that wouldn’t quite fit The Lucksmiths. And so he branched into what was strictly a recording concern at first, enlisting an impressive 16-strong cast of players for 2002’s debut album Private Transport. Since playing live wasn’t yet a logistical concern, White was free to not just sing and write all the lyrics – as opposed to the multiple lyricists in The Lucksmiths – but play guitar and keyboards too. While he was at it, he brought in horns and strings that have survived since the band became a proper gigging outfit (albeit rarely). So cue Clark, saxophonist Gus Rigby and bassist/cellist Cressida Griffith, in addition to guitarist Gerry Eeman and drummer Phil Collings (who must endure his share of Genesis jokes). The horns position The Guild League closer to classic English guitar-pop like Dexy’s Midnight Runners and The Jam than, say, The Lucksmiths. “A few members are big fans of that era and that stuff,” admits Clark. “That slightly bigger sound is something
Armed with the songs carved out of Mr and Mrs Lyngcoln’s matrimonial lounge room, the band came together in waves. “We didn’t take it for granted,” he continues. “Every single person who we discussed and thought about said yes so that really helped. It’s just worked really well. Everyone has completely different personalities and for some reason everyone just tolerates each other really well.” But, regardless of musical pedigrees, the misshapen songs were difficult to nail. According to Lyngcoln, it was hard work and touring that bent the music into shape – though the moulds may have been lost along the way. “It’s like 36 • INPRESS
While progress on the band’s fourth album looks good – there are already six or seven songs in the works – less certain is an Australian label for it. Their first three albums came out on the prolific Melbourne pop label Candle, but that closed for business a few years before The Lucksmiths did. Both of White’s bands have reliably seen American release over the years on the US label Matiness, so there are no worries there. But even Lucksmiths bassist Mark Monnone’s thriving Lost & Lonesome imprint isn’t a sure home for The Guild League. “I just think it’s a separate thing,” observes Clark. “Tali’s keen to have a line between them. Which is difficult, because you’re always getting comparisons.” Whatever their future label, the band have lined up what’s become an annual holiday-season gig. “Three members have birthdays around December or January,” notes Clark, “so it becomes a bit of a prolonged birthday and festive-season celebration.” That means we can expect a holiday tune or two. “Tali always pulls some rabbit out of his hat,” he says, “so we’ll see what happens.” WHO: The Guild League WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, John Curtin Hotel
Kerser and 360 won’t be pulling punches at their highly anticipated rap battle this weekend, THEY TELL RICHIE MELDRUM.
Those who caught Harmony’s Melbourne Music Week performance at Pony a few weeks back will attest to the band’s near-flawless execution of their innovative and matchless songs. Key to their sound is that the treble of the vocal harmonies be cut by Chapple’s bass. Mr Lyngcoln enthuses that it’s not only bass playing that Chapple brings to the band. “The guy’s a machine,” he says. “[Harmony]’s the first time he’s played bass since Mclusky and I reckon that’s a crime. He brings an energy, this unpredictable tension to things. At first I was like ‘Jon, can you please not leave the stage to take a piss halfway through the set, can you not go to the bar halfway through the set’. Then I got bored and thought ‘You know what, just let him do what he fuckin’ wants’… We accept that if you give him slack he’ll produce genius.”
The band’s name, on the other hand, sits in punning proximity to The Gould League, an Australian environmental organisation dating back to 1909. If The Guild League’s gigs attract a few confused naturalists in the crowd, so much the better. But that’s not the reason behind the moniker. “There were 16 people on the initial album,” Clark reminds. “So there was that idea of a guild and a league, and it was just a catchy name.”
TOM LYNGCOLN TELLS SAMSON MCDOUGALL ABOUT HARMONY, HIS “WHITE, CREEPY SOUL TYPE OF THING”. ou have all these worries when it comes to playing in a band,” says Harmony “slave master” and singer/guitarist Tom Lyngcoln, “particularly when you’re organising things. The one thing I never have to worry about is just how fuckin’ good Jon [Chapple] the bass player is.” Looking around the rest of the cast, you’d imagine he doesn’t lose a lot of sleep. Born out of a (very cute) newlywed agreement between Tom and wife and drummer Alex Kastaniotis to set aside some time every weekend for songwriting, Harmony quickly morphed into a six-piece aural explosion. Along with Chapple on bass, the couple brought in the nothingshort-of-exquisite vocal triplicate of Quinn Veldhuis, Amanda Roff and Alex’s sister Maria Kastaniotis.
we like to hear. There’s always been horns.”
this slave master who’s holding people captive and making them perform things they don’t wanna do, like some kind of war experiment,” he laughs. But of creating the material, he reckons they had to loosen the reins and let the music take its own form. “It comes from wide and varied listening. You take all the things you’ve been listening to and you have a theory and you try to punch out that theory and no matter what, it’s going to come out as skewed as your perspective of things. I guess my perspective’s a little white, creepy soul type of thing – it’s pretty horrid. On paper it looks like a hate crime which we perpetrate on music.” Testament to the quality of the songs (and quite possibly one of the local music coups of the decade), Lyngcoln managed to land bona-fide living legend and Tom Waits collaborator Marc Ribot for guitar duties on Heartache. “I’ve got this mate in the UK who’s played [sax] with Tom Waits,” Lyngcoln continues, “and I thought I’d get him to do something, but he was kinda lukewarm about it. Out of frustration I turned around and thought, ‘Fuck it, I’m gonna track down whoever represents Ribot and have a crack’, fully expecting the standard response that is ‘Mr Ribot is really busy’ and ‘you write shit songs’. He came back to me and said he really wanted to play on this and this, and I said ‘Well, that’s not what I asked’.” The resulting number is the next single to be released from their outstanding self-titled debut album. Lyngcoln doubts Mr Ribot will make it out for the launch. WHO: Harmony WHAT: Harmony (Casadeldisco) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 17 December, Phoenix Public House
t’s the most anticipated rap battle in Australian history between two of the country’s most exciting and diverse hip hop artists. In one corner, Melbourne’s 360 – the amped-up, snap-backed, animal-hat-wearing curio whose unashamed mix of pop-friendly hip hop on latest album Falling & Flying has doused this captivating 25-year-old with the sweet smell of success. In the other corner is an altogether different kind of beast. Hailing from Sydney’s south west, Kerser is raw, aggressive and territorial. A fervent mix of rave, rap, electro and R&B, his debut album The Nebulizer is like nothing you’ve heard before, embraced by a new wave of kids, hungry for a sound to call their own. Long before the match-up was officially announced, people were salivating at the prospect of these two tearing each other to pieces using only their minds and their rhymes. Tensions between the two opposing camps have even escalated to threats of violence with some keyboard warriors clearly taking things way too seriously. Depending on which set of fans you listen to, 360 is a “gronk cunt”, Kerser is a “stupid dero stoner slut” and they’re both going to wipe the floor with the other. But while 360 and Kerser have added their own little online digs back and forth to stir up the hype, it’s all just part of the game for these two who hold a mutual respect for one another, even if their fans don’t. “He’s a good dude,” says 360 of his opponent. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Kerser in doing what he’s doing. Anytime I take a stab at him there is no malicious intent behind it, it’s just trying to build up more anticipation and shit.” It’s the same for Kerser. “It’s entertaining as, man,” he says. “You just got to do it to hype the battle up.” Often the secret to winning a rap battle is in digging up material on your opponent to launch those personal attacks that hit the hardest. However, this head-tohead is a little different. “Usually if I was battling an opponent I’d have to look right into it,” confirms Kerser. “But because so many people have been talking about this battle for so long, it’s always been in the back of my head and all you have to do is type our names into
Facebook or YouTube and you’ve got a lot of material.” 360 likens the preparation to that needed for a boxing match. “You find out who your opponent is months in advance and it’s almost like you’ve got to train yourself up to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and just pick ‘em apart.” According to Kerser, some battle rappers will go to extreme lengths to try and find out those weaknesses “I get weird emails saying, ‘I’m doing a school project’ and saying they need my real first name, last name, where I grew up,” he says laughing. “I say ‘Ok, what’s your Facebook?’ and I don’t get a reply so that’s pretty suss.” Regarded as two of the best battle rappers around, both the boys will be eager as hell to take the win on the night and possibly the unofficial title of the being the country’s number one. “I reckon I’m going to surprise a lot of people to be honest, man,” says 360. “People think I’m just about jokes and being a funny, smart-arse, piss-taking kind of dude but I reckon I’m going to surprise a lot of people.” No doubt Kerser will be looking to play to his strengths too. “I think a lot of battle rappers focus too much on their opponent and their writing,” he says. “They won’t take the crowd into consideration. Whereas I think about how the crowd will react and try and bring them into the writing.” WHO: Kerser vs 360 WHAT: Best Of Both Worlds WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 17 December, Laundry
INPRESS • 37
singleD OUT WITH BRYGET CHRISFIELD
ON THE RECORD
MOUNTAIN STATIC Returning Song Inertia Music
Jessica Says has a stunning voice to match her moviestar looks. However, these tracks aren’t quite as immediate as their predecessor, World Without Men. Collarbones is dark and the stronger of the two with its sinister synths and stark drumming highlighting strings to perfection. The bonus cover of Marie Laforêt’s Viens Viens is très bien.
THE RED PAINTINGS Long Streets Fell Into My Window Independent This is haunting stuff. Remember when you were little and you’d look at shapes in the dark from your bed and they’d morph into monsters? That’s the kind of atmosphere created here. Violins have never sounded so sinister, drumming replicates the pace of your heart beating so fast it threatens to burst from your chest and the urgency of Trash McSweeney‘s vocal grabs hold and gives you a good shaking. The ending poses a question you may not wish to contemplate: “Do cats eat bats?/Do bats eat cats?”
THE BLOODY BEETROOTS FEAT DENNIS LYXZÉN
Despite the Grammys and wide exposure the album garnered, The Black Keys weren’t at their very best on 2010’s Brothers. The hand of producer Danger Mouse is felt rather heavily on Akron, Ohio’s finest these days – El Camino is the band’s third album in succession with him (starting with 2008’s Attack & Release), and the collaboration has seen the duo slightly tone down their heavy blues-rock roots and augment their sound with shades of soul. But in saying that, El Camino, recorded in singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s home studio in Nashville, is much more quintessentially The Black Keys than Brothers – just listen to Money Maker. A few songs here work effectively as a combination of old and new The Black Keys material – Sister, Mind Eraser, and in particular the sublime Stop Stop combine that soul feel of Brothers with the kind of pounding urgency found on the band’s early albums. And there’s a bit more out-of-the-box thinking here. Nova Baby has a soaring, sing-along chorus with melodic keyboard flourishes and Run Right Back is anchored by a Spaghetti Western guitar motif that Ennio Morricone would be proud of. The most intriguing track here is the deceptive Little Black Submarines, which is really two songs masquerading as one. Its first half is a stripped bare folk song that’s more akin to Auerbach’s 2009 solo debut Keep It Hid than any song by The Black Keys. But then at the two-minute mark the song explodes with a raging riff and thrashing drums and it’s the brilliant band of old for the song’s scorching finale. Now seven albums in, The Black Keys have the attention they’ve deserved since 2002 debut The Big Come Up, and El Camino continues their near decade-long run of consistency. Here’s hoping there’s another decade’s worth on the way.
You may know Harry James Angus as the beardy chap from The Cat Empire. Well, he has utilised his band’s current hiatus by releasing a solo album. Little Stories was written over the past three years, usually in his lounge room and, according to Angus, largely just on his own, “laughing at my own jokes, lip trembling at my own tragedies, watching the characters come alive”.
Generally though, this is an interesting and enjoyable alternative to the standard contemporary folk on offer elsewhere and shows Harry James Angus to have the potential to be a very clever storyteller.
Now a decade into their tenure, Brisbane indie pop-rock mainstays Intercooler have undergone quite the overhaul since releasing their 2007 sophomore album Forever Or Whatever. Original Intercooler guitarist Michael Caso has returned to the fold in place of the departed Darek Mudge; Peabody’s Graham Trewin now mans the drums following the departure of Damon Cox; and the band’s core of vocalist/guitarist Phil Ballantyne and bassist Joel Potter have augmented Intercooler’s palette with the addition of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chrissie Trabucco. Overhauled and reconditioned, the Intercooler of the band’s third album, Time To Let Go, is a vastly different beast to what it was four years ago. While on Forever… Intercooler certainly added new dimensions to their sound and this is a full-blown stylistic sidestep. Revealing a new sound that’s awash with shimmering, reverb-drenched keyboards and Ballantyne’s newfound falsetto, these 11 new songs are summery and slightly psychedelic – and have scant similarities to anything on Forever…. Ballantyne’s melodies are gorgeous throughout the album, with album highlights Swimming Clouds and closer I Don’t Wanna all but melting this reviewer with their beauty. And keep an eye out for the lyrical sleight of hand in the latter – you’d be hard pressed to find a prettier song concerned with death. Trabucco contributes lyrics and lead vocals to War And Peace, which might come across as incongruous given that her vocals aren’t as audible elsewhere on the album, but the song itself is a winning slice of off-kilter pop that rides a swell of guitars and keyboards. And Ready and Packin’ For Paris show the band still know how to rock.
Universal Music Australia
(GOOD Music) As one half of Clipse with his brother Malice, Pusha T made his mark on the rap game with two big albums completely produced by The Neptunes (it’s been said they got first pick of their beats) and then one not-so-big album produced mostly by The Hitmen. A stack of Re-Up Game mixtapes also helped them build a groundswell that unfortunately fell flat by the last record. Whether or not Clipse is an ongoing affair is uncertain, but either way Pusha is here to stay. His debut commercial release as a solo artist is a reworking of his Fear Of God mixtape, inspired by the realisation that almost everyone he came into the rap game with is now in jail. The record has been released on Kanye’s GOOD Music label, obviously he was suitably impressed by Pusha’s verses on the Dark Twisted Fantasy tracks So Appalled and in particular Runaway where he basically stole the show.
N CO IO
Queen Of The Night/Collarbones
HARRY JAMES ANGUS
N CO IO
THE BLACK KEYS
Layered harmonies call to mind a lonely shepherd experimenting with his yodel while leaving his flock to peacefully graze. Simon Gibbs brings something mesmeric to Returning Song, which draws you in and holds you captive for its 3.51-minute duration to soak in bravely unconventional harmonies and elongated minimal keys, steady tambourine and occasional handclaps. If someone remakes Picnic At Hanging Rock, Miranda could disappear around a rock face toPIthis LATtune. M
Indeed, the album is aptly named. The 11 songs here are tales in the tradition of Paul Kelly’s storytelling style. Each narrative is clearly defined over finger-picked acoustic guitar which, for a trumpeter, Angus plays expertly. Sometimes he has a real way with words. Banker, for instance, is clever and subtle. “I know I was put on this earth to change pounds into dollars and yen and back again,” he sings in this rather touching tale of loneliness and chaste love. Elsewhere though, the songwriter is perhaps a little too concerned with making himself laugh. The Batsman – which tells of a disgraced cricketer – might offer the occasional chuckle (“The cops found him naked on the steps of the church trying to hit his balls for six with his dick in the rain,”) but mixing comedic one-liners with genuine sentiment à la Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits is a tough thing to achieve and Angus doesn’t always hit the target.
Time To Let Go
Church Of Noise Hussle/Universal
“It only takes five fingers to form a fist.” And then jam it down Dennis Lyxzén’s throat. The presser describes instrumental parts, but all I can really make out is, “CHUUUURCH AAAAARV NOOOOOIIIIIISE!!!!”
TRAILER TRASH TRACYS Candy Girl
Domino Records/EMI I’m not gonna lie, it was the band name that attracted me to this single. Starting off all dreamy, with something of that Julee Cruise Twin Peaks themesong Falling about the bassline, guitar tunings act like a warm embrace throughout Candy Girl. Sounds like a robot playing the tambourine and blunt drumming provides an interesting element. Damnit, I like this, when all I really wanted was for it to be funny.
SABRINA & THE RED VANS Alice Dwyte Independent “She stepped up on the stage and she danced for all who paid.” So I’m guessing Alice Dwyte is a pole dancer. There’s something a bit Melissa Etheridge about Sabrina Sandapa’s gutsy vocals, which are backed by simple, rhythmic strumming and drums that take a back seat until later on in the arrangement. Dynamics are varied throughout and the final 30 seconds of the song grabs your attention. But there’s a murky patch to plough through before you get there.
BAND OF SKULLS
The Devil Takes Care Of His Own Liberator An effective simplicity is employed here, which is not dissimilar to classics by The White Stripes. Fuzzy, casual guitar riffs become agitated come the chorus and both of the group’s singers – Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson – take care of vocals, carrying equal weight as The Devil Takes Care Of His Own. Enter a creepy breakdown with voodoo wind chimes and then machine-gunfire riffage concludes. This trio has far surpassed Death By Diamonds And Pearls with this one.
Pop culture has barely had time to draw its collective breath since Barbadian juggernaut Rihanna last released an album, 2010’s Loud. But already, there’s a followup out just in time for Christmas, Talk Like That. Not surprisingly it offers up much of the same – when you’re dropping albums this quick there really isn’t a whole lot of time for self-reflection or evolution. And when it comes to Rihanna much of the same means big, banging club beats tinged with a dancehall feel and plenty of songs about all manner of things Rihanna likes to do, or have done to her when she drags some lucky bloke home from a club. There’s no question this album will sell. The first single We Found Love features DJ hit maker Calvin Harris and explodes out in a flurry of dancefloor trademarks. And it’s not just Harris that will help shift units here (if Rihanna ever needed help), she’s also teamed up with Jay-Z for the title track. His smooth delivery elevates the song’s jittery, if generic, production. The whole album feels too jittery and fast-paced, even Drunk On Love feels that way, despite its sample from The XX. Could it be that Rihanna and her team figure speeding things up and whipping through these songs will leave her audience no time to realise that very little has changed from her previous albums, to Talk That Talk’s detriment? This isn’t necessarily a bad album, but Rated R and Loud were better and though there’s good songs here, such as Cockiness (Love It), Rihanna’s schtick is starting to get tired. She would be far better slowing down her output and making more of an effort to not just reign over the charts right now but to leave a pop legacy. She certainly has the potential for it. Danielle O’Donohue
Fear Of God II: Let Us Pray
Talk That Talk
It’s not surprising that the best track and first single is Trouble On My Mind, that sits on a big-ass hardcore Neptunes beat that also features a serviceable verse from Tyler, The Creator. One more Neptunes-produced track, Raid, employs more of a piano bounce but is still unmistakeable. Kanye doesn’t contibute any beats, but does drop a verse on the second single Amen, which also features Young Jeezy to help round out the all star cast. The epic cheesiness of Everything That Glitters could be too much for a lesser rapper, but French Montana’s drunken, loose R&B vocals alongside Pusha makes it outstanding.
Hailing from Bristol in the UK, Turbowolf have been trending their asses off the last 12 months, but all without any solid goods to show for it: now they have dropped their ‘proof’ in the form of their self-titled debut longplayer. Turbowolf will never be everybody’s cup of tea – their hard rock, sludge-trotting riffs will get very apparent, grinding and repetitive for some, and vocalist Chris Georgiadis’ obvious singing similarities to a later-life Vince Neil push the limits of mass acceptance – but underneath it’s a crazy boiling pot of melding genres and aggressive energy that grabs you by the ears and headbutts you into submission. The chemistry between bassist Joe Baker and drummer Blake Davies is something to be marvelled at, the pair rolling effortlessly off each other’s lines and building on raucous fills, while the pairing of Georgiadis and guitarist Andy Ghosh brings a largely experimental tone into the mix with doom-driven choruses accompanying touches of synth waves. It’s a mix that shouldn’t really work, but ends up driving their sound towards a weird meeting of Cancer Bats, Kyuss and Rolo Tomassi, which despite his annoying stylings, Georgiadis’ attitude complements perfectly.
It’s far from a perfect record, but as a showcase for Pusha-T’s deliberate, thoughtful, hard and slow rhyming style, it’s a great showcase of some of what he’s capable of.
The majority of the tracks are in a similar vein and the apocalyptic keyboard punk of Read & White, the goth disco soundtrack Son (Sun) and the straight-up hard rock charge of A Rose For The Crows satisfy the thirst with little shift in dynamic. Turbowolf has its flaws, but the record has managed to sneak in a subtle streak of experimentation and musicianship that will make you wonder just how explosive they can make their next.
No matter your stance on deathcore, it is the subgenre that Brisbane’s Aversions Crown undeniably fall into. Is Servitude a simple rehashing of what has come before, or an album that turns creativity on its head and heralds the dawn of a new age? Well, it’s neither, but it possesses a validity that was rarely seen across the entire international board throughout 2011.
As the old joke goes, when a country record is played backwards, supposedly one gets back their lover, their job and their dog, and life generally takes a turn for the better. Whilst the debut album from Brisbane sixpiece Rattlehand might restore sobriety, relationships and hope in reverse, there’s still plenty of fun to be had from start to finish with their country-jam style.
Chaotic in the detailed structure but often straightforward and sensible in overall composition, every frantic riff, sludge-hammering breakdown, and gut-spilling grunt feels like it’s just where it needed to be all along. The 11 songs are lead by a unified confidence from each member’s position, leaving no section questionable or unnecessary – even the undisguised breakdowns never overstay their welcome. Totalitarian drumming provides an unflinching backbone, with subtle rhythmic flutters punctuating in all the right places. Choppy studio effects glisten over background guitars and vocal introductions, somehow avoiding the realms of overproduction, and rather elevating the breadth of the album’s dynamics and giving it that extra something to every horn-raising climax. Aversions Crown have allowed themselves to become entrapped by the boundaries of their sub-genre, and in turn galvanised each piece of their identity to a point of excellence for this debut. While technically there’s seldom new ground broken, Servitude is an album of classic standards executed with finesse and quality.
Making no bones about their business from the opening strains, outlaws, horses, gin and true love are given a chugging sound bed of harmonica and outback swing on opener The Ballad Of Frederick Ward. Steve Wallis’ harmonica is used throughout as a device for key melodies as much, and sometimes in place of, the guitar, which makes Rattlehand a solid live prospect. I’m Doin’ Fine showcases these elements with the addition of mandolin and harmonies in the album’s most well-constructed track, though the quiet mid-album acoustic guitar moment of Odds Ain’t On is overridden by the inability to decipher what the hell frontman Josh Shelton is drawling about in great volume. Whilst he brings a warmth and familiarity to the recordings, at times channelling Johnny Cash or Kings Of Leon’s Caleb Followill, the ‘country’ enunciation can feel contrived in the same way as a vocalist can overaccentuate their Australian-ness. Sunday Night Blues is an irresistibly appropriate album closer with honky tonk piano underlining the rules that lead to the start of the working week and Shelton’s knack for lyricism. Toe-tapping is mandatory. Whistles and woots should follow.
Bradford Cox is one of the current musical generation’s true rock acolytes. Not only because he wields a mean guitar and writes incredible songs, but because Cox loves music. His “day job” Deerhunter may deal in more sonic nuance with washes of distortion, but it’s under his solo moniker Atlas Sound that Cox truly explores his musical mores. And on third LP Parallax we get the truest sense yet of whom he musically wants to be.
Clearly Cass McCombs has too much time on his hands: Humor Risk is the second album the Californian troubadour has launched this year. The great news is that while it offers different delights from the gracefully dark Wit’s End, it is ultimately just as delightful. It opens with Love Thine Enemy, an electrified number that is the closest to a rock tune that McCombs is ever likely to get, and is a massive breath of fresh air. It still contains McCombs’ dry, opaque lyrics, but the burbling hypnotic drive inherent in this track shows that the shutters have been raised and he is letting the world in. Things slow down a notch for some philosophical pseudo-doodling on The Living World, then the drums come pounding down on The Same Thing, a beautifully melancholic track about fractured bonds that echoes notions of Elliott Smith. The down-tempo To Every Man His Chimera is stunning in its sparseness, whilst the folk pop of Robin Egg Blue and the lengthy quasigarage rocker Mystery Mail ensures that the twists and turns keep coming, yet remain inimitably accessible. That word, ‘accessible’, will be bandied about in regards to Humor Risk when holding it up against his other works. And whilst there is little density here that Wit’s End brandished flagrantly, almost daring listeners to unpack it all, there is just as much in the layers of lyrics and beautiful musicianship here to embrace McCombs’ allegorical vision. Mainstream doesn’t necessarily mean mendacity – and Humor Risk is the proof. Brendan Telford
Parallax sounds even more adrift than usual Atlas Sound fare. The rippling Te Amo is a beautiful example, a looped effect intertwining with Cox’s croon. There is almost a tinge of Björk in this sonic experiment, and like the Icelandic enigma, Parallax is a shapeshifter, albeit rooted in Cox’s recognisable themes of isolation, insecurity and loneliness. The woozy ambience of Modern Aquatic Nightsongs is complemented by Cox’s plea for the world to open up and swallow him, for he is “cold, cold, cold.” Yet its Cox’s penchant for crooning that helps makes the biggest shift in focus. Playing with persona as well as form, Parallax is the truest sense yet that Cox is showing his ‘man in the mirror’. The beautifully intense Amplifiers and Doldrums are exquisitely composed, yet the nuances in the vocals are what keeps the tension on a knife-edge. Closing with the joyous Lightworks, a tremulous ‘50s-inflected killer with strands of Stephen Malkmus whimsy, Parallax proves that Atlas Sound is no mere demo airer; indeed, it proves that Cox is one of the day’s true masters. Brendan Telford
inpress • 39
The one before
OUT ON A HIGH
LAST YEAR SAW THE RELEASE OF A NEW ALBUM FROM THE PARADISE MOTEL, THEIR FIRST SINCE RE-FORMING IN 2007. NOW THEY’RE RELEASING THE ALBUM THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE RELEASED LAST YEAR, AS THEY TELL MICHAEL SMITH.
he Paradise Motel’s second album, 1999’s Flight Paths, took them to the UK, though in the end, like many bands before them, it was relocating to London that saw the band fall apart the following year, with four members opting to stay in the UK. By 2008 however, things looked right to reconvene as songwriter, acoustic guitarist and organist Charles Bickford, returning to Australia, found once more that the band had something to say. As such, the recording of what was meant to be the third Paradise Motel album, I Still Hear Your Voice At Night, began. Last year saw, however, the release of a completely different album, Australian Ghost Story, the writing of which was tragically triggered by the untimely death of their drummer, Damien Hill. A year on, the band felt they could finally release I Still Hear Your Voice At Night. “This is an accrued collection of songs,” Bickford explains. “Some of these songs are over ten years old and they were just in the back of various band members’ minds while we were not making music together – basically they were good companions that found each other in the end. Like our other releases, though unlike Australian Ghost Story, this was quite a considered record in that the music was quite considered and layered. “As a band we’ve really grown up together, not just in Tasmania but living in various places both in Australia and in Europe and England. I think when we came back, because we were all here again and wanting to make music together again, these stories were really concerned with tying up loose ends with various characters from our young lives. So there are a lot of songs that are very concerned with people that had been in our lives in the ‘90s and who, often, were no longer there but still had this sort of influence in our lives.”
ABOUT TO RETIRE FROM HIP HOP, REASON WALKS AWAY A CONTENTED MAN. HE REFLECTS WITH RIP NICHOLSON.
Not that, with a band like The Paradise Motel, where the emphasis is on creating these extraordinarily intense and evocative soundscapes, the stories of these characters were ever likely to be presented other than through the prism of layers taken from other times and places that might add a little more mystery to the telling. Take for instance two songs, Shipped As Ballast and Memory Of Leonski. “Superimposed on a number of these songs are events outside the nucleus of the band I guess. Memory Of Leonski is a pretty straightforward telling of the story of this really famous painting, from which we take the name, that concerns this American sailor, who murdered some women in St Kilda just after World War One. It’s a pretty typical kind of a narrative I guess for us, for me, thinking about people in that situation; we’ve often been addressing the listener from the grave. It was just a news story I’d read, which I think was valid for this album. “Again there are these recurring motifs on the record of pressure points on people who have intense experiences in their lives and the reaction in the aftermath. The record is about… yeah, events after the moment and how we deal with it really. It’s my favourite subject in many ways. But I think the thing that really asserted itself for us when we were all together again in Australia was how interested we are in Australia and how unable we are to express ourselves in any other way than through Australian stories.” WHO: The Paradise Motel WHAT: I Still Hear Your Voice At Night (Left Over Life To Kill/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, East Brunswick Club
“The central premise of the band is an electronic foundation, so you’ve got all the intricacies of a prearranged concept, but instead of just being a laptoptype performance, we wanted to create this really great spectacle of live instruments; if you can mesh them together, you get the best part of both worlds. You get the big, party, phat beats, but at the same time I guess the rawness and the exhilaration of live instrumentation,” vocalist and keyboardist Nic Owen explains. “Our music is quite diverse really; one song will be a very soulful hip hop song, but then we’ll suddenly be doing an Afro number and then a real house kind of track, but I think that hopefully we’ve been able to find a bit of a signature that you can stamp across all of that – something that identifies all those different types of music as our own and that’s probably like the string that ties it all together.” He also notes ongoing experimentation since the outfit’s humble beginnings as critical to their ability to combine diverse influences. “We just started off as two poor cats wanting a bit of coin and status, shits and giggles,” he says breezily. “It evolved from these kind of jams we were just doing on the street 40 • INPRESS
“It’s something that frustrates me, particularly for the last five years. The very core of the Australian hip hop scene still stands true to its value, but that concept of making music to the masses has evolved now to where some people are taking it to a place where I don’t believe it’s worthy of Australian hip hop. “Fifteen years ago there was a group of us who were staunch and totally against this concept of rapping with an American accent. We thought this was a place where we could truly develop a sound that is Australian. We tried our hardest in so many different ways to ensure that these people would eventually disappear. And they didn’t. So, we have learned to coexist. We accepted that there are other types of hip hop from this country and ‘nuff respect to those who have stuck with it. I haven’t got any issues with it now. Fifteen years ago, I found it hard to deal with.”
still in my heart and I’m proud of my achievements and the achievements of my peers across the country. “All the people that I can comfortably say I gave a first break to, who are now not only my contemporaries, but stand strong as icons of Australian hip hop. I remember taking Bias B on his first across-state tour, Pegasus on his first back-up show. I’m blessed to have been a part of this development. They could have chosen other paths but chose to blaze further into hip hop and I’m proud to be involved with that history.” Behind him, the Australian hip hop scene stands on top and Shulman, a forefather of this movement and much more than an MC, can now walk away, content with his work and contribution. “It’s been so worth it,” confides Shulman. “Sometimes in my own quiet little world I think about how far Australian hip hop has come to right now and if there was a hidden camera in the ceiling it would see this old fella sitting in the corner with a massive smile on his face. He hasn’t lost his marbles, he’s just really proud of where we’re at.” WHO: Reason WHAT: Window Of Time (Obese) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, Espy
FUN POP POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE NOMINEES YUKON BLONDE WRITE THE KINDS OF SONGS THAT SOUND LIKE THEY SHOULD HAVE COME FROM SOMEWHERE MUCH WARMER THAN CANADA. MICHAEL SMITH INTERVIEWS BRANDON SCOTT.
INTERRUPTING REHEARSALS OF WAVE-MAKING WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FUSION OUTFIT THE BROW HORN ORCHESTRA, NIC OWEN TELLS TYLER MCLOUGHLAN THAT THEIR LIVE SHOW TRUMPS THEIR DEBUT EP, AT LEAST UNTIL HOLOGRAPHIC IMAGERY COMES STANDARD WITH ALL CDS.
Shulman made a distinction from the trend of rap music that infiltrated the early development of Australian hip hop. He persevered against the grain and nurtured a new wave of local dialect, cutting the umbilical cord from America. Today, the way the art has blossomed, Shulman is at peace with all the dialects and enunciations that permeate within our culture.
As one of the oldest in the culture, Shulman leaves to pursue a career outside music, family life and the workshops he remains dedicated to. “I wanna walk out on a high. All the time and effort that I have invested into this scene, all the passion that I’ve shown, that’s
nyone who recalls the days of ABC’s Recovery will have great difficulty getting their tongue around The Brow Horn Orchestra, such is the similarity to program host Dylan Lewis’ recently reunified funkadelic outfit The Brown Hornet. Unsurprisingly, the Perth seven-piece had never heard of them before, until being interviewed by Lewis himself for Video Hits earlier this year upon a West Australian Music Industry (WAMi) Award win for their video clip Don’t You Wanna Sing Forever? Aside from both having a “quintessential horn section” and a love of genre fusion (evidenced by a further WAMi win for Best Funk Act plus a Perth Dance Music Award for Best Hip Hop Act in 2010), the similarities end there.
efore he leaves us for good, the path that Jason ‘Reason’ Shulman has blazed becomes ever more apparent with every new hip hop joint stamped into the history of Australian music. Fifteen years ago one MC led an assault of Aussie rap and paved the way for a branch of the genre reared strictly on home soil, representing our own struggles and poetic renaissance of expression. Reason’s new and final album Window Of Time Reason pieces together one man’s legacy and the inward paths to furthering hip hop on our own home turf, for our own identity.
and then eventually we became a fully certified band with enough members… We kind of had 15 [members] at one point but we’ve just been scaling back down.” After a run of singles, The Brow Horn Orchestra released their debut EP Can’t Afford This Way Of Life in September and though very proud of the effort, Owen is a realist in terms of where the band’s strengths lie. “I guess we’re more renowned for being a live band, so it’s been a long time coming really, because we’ve always just been about playing live and building up our fanbase that way,” he continues. “We tried to capture that on record and I think we didn’t quite achieve it, because obviously when you play live there’s that visual element, but it’s our best effort to capture the vibe with everything about our stage show and then kind of squash it into a little package you can take home in your hands. “We like to jump around and be a bit ridonkulous,” Owen admits of their live performance. “We try and be a bit infectious and make people really happy. It’s kind of all about losing your inhibitions and hopefully that translates to people in the audience so everyone can feel not afraid to dance so it feels really happy and fun to be in the room. I guess on record you don’t have the physicality of people jumping around and being a bit ridiculous… unless we skip 20 years into the future and we’ll appear as holographic images in your lounge room. It might be our next EP. We’ll team up with rocket scientists or something.” WHO: The Brow Horn Orchestra WHAT: Can’t Afford This Way Of Life (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 16 December, Rainbow Hotel; Saturday 17, Dreamfest, Hepburn Springs; Sunday 18, Belgian Beer Café, St Kilda
riginally from a city called Kelowna in Canada’s British Columbia, the four-piece Yukon Blonde inevitably relocated to that country’s musical big smoke, Vancouver, in 2009 in order to build their career. As it happens, the band initially formed as a five-piece called Alphababy in 2005, recording and releasing two EPs before changing their name at the suggestion of fellow Canadian songwriter Jon-Rae Fletcher, with whom they were touring at the time. “Similar-sounding band,” Yukon Blonde guitarist Brandon Scott explains, on the line from Vancouver. “It’s just that two of the members weren’t so driven and Jeff [Innes, vocals/guitar], Graham [Jones, drums/vocals] and I really like to tour, so we were very serious about that and it didn’t matter whether we lost our jobs or whatever, we’d always play music for a living. So it just kind of disbanded and we needed a fresh mood in the group and got a new bass player [John Jeffrey]. “The sound of the band really didn’t change too much. We had a keyboard player, but we’ve kind of filled that void with more harmonies now and we do play keyboards and whatnot on our records and synthesisers and stuff, but usually I can mimic most of it on my guitar. It’s just evolved – we’re better songwriters now and a little more mature.” In fact, it’s their often ethereal harmonies that set them apart from being merely another solid if occasionally enigmatic folk/country/indie rock ‘two guitars-bassdrums’ four-piece, using them as another instrument in the way bands such as The Beach Boys and Queen did. They introduced themselves as Yukon Blonde with an EP, Everything In Everyway, in 2009, before, finally, releasing a self-titled album in 2010, recorded live to tape. “We just always wanted to do that and had the opportunity to use a really amazing room in Vancouver called Mushroom Studios, with reel-to-reel machines and great drum recordings. We did it really fast, in five
days – all our tracks – and then we just overdubbed vocals. We were really obsessed with that analogue sound, you know. We always use really old amps and old drums and kinda wanted that big ‘70s sound.” That said, for their forthcoming second album and current EP, Fire//Water, they opted for a more traditional recording approach. “Our first record came across punky I suppose, not as heavy as our live shows or as loud perhaps. With this new record we really wanted to capture – kind of a slightly more aggressive tone to it. So we went in and recorded 14 songs together, four of which ended up on that EP, though we’d recorded them all at once. So it’s a little faster, a little more rocky, this record coming out. We’ve just been kind of really into late‘70s, almost punk rock lately, like, alternative Elvis Costello stuff and The Clash, you know? That kind of stuff. We really just wanted to make sort of a fun pop record and have it really tight and just experiment with sounds and we took a long time getting great guitar tones. We just needed to try something different.” On the evidence of the Fire//Water EP, Yukon Blonde are nowhere near as jagged or confrontational as either the early Costello or The Clash. “Totally,” Scott agrees. “We’ve definitely got like a pop vibe and the EP doesn’t really… I mean those are kind of songs that didn’t fit the record that we’re putting out in the [northern] Spring. Those four songs fit our old record I find, so that’s why we kind of put them on there, just a way to ease into the next realm of Yukon Blonde.” WHO: Yukon Blonde WHAT: Fire//Water (Dine Alone) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 3 January, Northcote Social Club
THIS WEEK IN
Le mystère Picasso (The Mystery Of Picasso) – a film that examines the creative process of one the most celebrated figures in 20th Century art, Pablo Picasso. Shot through a clear canvas to give an uninterrupted view of the new works appearing before them, and casting a time limit on Picasso’s productivity augmented by Georges Auric’s uneasy score. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. ACMI cinemas, 7pm. Waitressing And Other Things I Do Well – cabaret starring Gillian Cosgriff as a conscientious 20-something, fresh out of university with a performing arts degree in hand. No job, no house, and existing on a steady diet of Pringles and VitaminWater, Gillian’s calling in life seems to be… waitressing. Opening night, 9pm. Chapel Off Chapel until 23 December.
Return To The Earth – world premiere written by Australian Playwright, Lally Katz (Smashed). Directed by Aidan Fennessy A new play that looks at the strangeness within, Alice returns home to the sleepy seaside town of Tathra and everything is just as she left it, yet it seems so unfamiliar. Closing night, Fairfax Studio MTC, 8pm. The Ugly Duckling – animator Garri Bardin crafts a magical world bringing to life Hans Christian Anderson’s fable. When an unknown chick emerges into the coup, it is met with suspicion and disgust until it is forced out into the world to search for identity and eventual happiness. Six years in the making, this is a classic tale of triumph over adversity. ACMI Cinemas, 7pm.
THURSDAY 15 Danger Folk Pop-up Gallery – group exhibition from the artists that make up the Tattoo Magic studio in Fitzroy. Opening night, 6pm. Dangerfork Pop-up Gallery until 18 December. Sweet Tooth/Changes – double premiere of two short films: Sweet Tooth, written and directed by Cassie Dart; a short action thriller, set in an apocalyptic future world, and Changes, written and directed by Philip Mitchell, and based on true events a reimagining of an Australian family’s struggles in the lead up to the Black Saturday bushfires. Loop, 7.30pm.
FRIDAY 16 The Economist – written by Tobias Manderson-Galvin, directed by Van Bandam the new Associate Artist (Writing) at the Malthouse. This play is based on the horrific attack that happened in Norway on 22 July 2011 when Anders Breivik detonated a bomb in Oslo killing eight people and then used it as a diversion to trap and kill 69 people. Closing night, 8pm. MKA Pop-up, Abbotsford. Mr. Bennies Xmas Special – a vaudeville Christmas party to get you in the festive spirit. Hosted by stand-up comic Asher Trelevan, with Strawberry Siren, Ikko, and Skopalova, they should get even the most unbelieving in the Christmas spirit. Red Bennies, 10pm. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – the new twilight amongst the bats, swoon for Edward or Jacob it doesn’t matter whom; Bella is on the eve of her wedding, get ready for one of the most fast-paced and surprising instalments in this worldwide smash hit series, with a killer soundtrack. Moonlight Cinemas, Royal Botanic Gardens.
UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS MEGAN WASHINGTON MAY HAVE NUMEROUS AWARDS, HIT SINGLES, AND A BIZARRE ONE-NIGHT-ONLY SHOW COMING TO THE OPERA HOUSE, BUT SHE’S “JUST AN ARSEHOLE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE,” SHE TELLS DAVE DRAYTON.
SUNDAY 18 The Departed – one of the greatest crime movies ever made, Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning adaptation of the famous Hong Kong thriller Infernal Affairs. Never predictable, always face-paced, a true cinematic delight, screening at one of Melbourne’s most picturesque rooftops. Rooftop Cinema, Curtin House, Melbourne CBD, 9.30pm. Flight – written by Michael Healy, directed by Skye Staudeil. Tilman Hessel is living the life he always wanted as an environmental activist. An exploration of what happens if you’re lost when you’ve achieved all you desire. Closing night, 7.30pm. The Courthouse, La Mama.
MONDAY 19 The Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton’s stop-animation masterpiece; Jack, the King of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town, but is overwhelmed by the concept of lights, decorations, toys, and a strange, undeniable warm fuzzy feeling. The Astor Theatre, 7.30pm.
TUESDAY 20 Comfortable Shorts – monthly short film night, screening of local and global films, an ideal place to network, chat, have a couple of drinks, be merry, and above all watch some great cinema. A highly interactive and unique event. Loop, 7pm. Pipilotti Rist: I Packed the Postcard in my Suitcase – new exhibition from world-renowned artist Pipilotti Rist, the first major survey of Pipilotti’s works to be shown in Australia. A vivid video environment which takes viewers into a dream state, her works are epic and often deal with issues related to gender, sexuality and the human body, but in a way that evokes a sense of unadulterated happiness and innocence. Opening night, 6pm. ACCA until 4 March.
“Have you ever taken acid, David?” Megan Washington is on a street in Manhattan asking the big questions down the phone. “You ever had a trip?” She sounds like she’s peddling gear at a Grateful Dead gig, but she’s actually describing the set of her new stage show, Insomnia, which draws on the album of the same name, that is being staged as a series of one-off shows in Sydney, New York, Paris, and London. “So you know how everything becomes Dalí-esque? The design’s kind of trippy, very stylised. I wanted it to be like a decomposing, suburban space. Robbie [Rowlands, designer] has heard the record and I had a rough idea for what I wanted the set to look like which is a pretty mutual space but that could have elements of… It’s going to be like an imposing, hallucinatory bedroom.” Like the CD that spawned the stage show, it will be separated into movements; Opiate, Amphetamine, Barbiturate, and Nicotine. So talk of acid isn’t too far from where we need to be. “The pharmacopeia was a pretty natural way to structure because they’re all drug families that I investigated during the course of writing those songs,” Washington explains, somewhat nervously, somewhat guarded. “To generalise, the songs that come under, for example, Nicotine, are quite wordy,
verbose, very text-based songs, where the music isn’t the point of those songs, they’re all about the lyrics. I didn’t really have to think about it, it was quite an innate decision, so when it came time to put a show together it’s been really easy because those four groups are quite suggestive in aesthetics.” Themed movements, hallucinatory set designs, and limited performances are combined to create a portrait of Washington that is starkly different to the portrait of her presented to the public with the shimmering pop of breakthrough album, I Believe You Liar. “It’s not my job to say, ‘I’m a blues artist.’ That’s weird to me. I don’t ever want to think like that. Maybe it’s quixotic of me to think that way but, I don’t know, I just fucking write songs. As an artist, like the whole jazz thing,” Washington says, referencing her earlier days as a jazz singer, “basically all you do when you sing standards is interpret people’s songs that were written before your grandparents were born. So, I have been an interpreter of songs, I’ve been a writer of songs… “I have this friend called Meow Meow, she’s a cabaret artist from Sydney, and I wrote a bunch of cabaret songs for her show at the Malthouse [in Melbourne] ’cause I like theatre and I had a go at that. I mean shit, I love pop, I love Kurt Weill with a W and I love Kurt Vile with a V, I fucking like music and I write songs and I listen to music and I write
MICF REVEALS FIRST LINE-UP FOR 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival has made its first artist announcement for the 2012 season, and it’s chocker-block full of exciting talent. We’re most excited by Simon Amstell’s appearance, the Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Pop World host a favourite of ours we’ve been hanging out to see live in years. He’ll be bringing his new show Numb to Melbourne (and Sydney, FYI). Joining the Grandma’s House star will be returning stars Mike Wilmot (CAN), Paul Foot (UK), and New Art Club (UK), Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Wanda Sykes (US), Tupperware fiend Dixie Longate (US), Tim Key collaborator Alex Horne (UK), Shappi Khorsandi (UK – Asylum Speaker, MICF 2007), Tim FitzHigham (UK), and familiar faces David O’Doherty (UK), Carl Einar-Häckner (SWE), Mark Thomas (UK), Judith Lucy, Claire Hooper, Sam Simmons, Jason Byrne (IRE), Wil Anderson, Frank Woodley, Ross Noble (UK), Mark Watson (UK), Jimeoin (IRE), Tom Green (CAN), and Stephen K Amos (UK). Of course, more acts are to be announced. MICF runs 28 March to 22 April 2012. Head to comedyfestival.com.au for more details and tickets.
42 • inpress
stupid poetry that sucks and I draw shitty pictures and I’m just an arsehole like everybody else.” Self-deprecation aside, it is this cornucopian creative back catalogue that was the catalyst for the entire Insomnia project. “I’m a closet, clumsy, visual…” Washington trails off here to gather her thoughts and settles on: “I like to pretend like I can do visual arts sometimes. Blurring the line is what this project is about. It really has been for me a process of delineation, or deconstruction of the song writing process. I sound like an arsehole. I don’t know. When I write, I wish I had a clear process and I wish that it was a very straight forward thing where it was like, ‘Okay, I’m sitting down to write a song right now, here I go, done,’ but I really don’t function like that. “I write constantly and a lot of what I write is shit and a lot of what I write is made up and some of that I use in song and some of that I put somewhere else. It’s really messy. So instead of trying to find or create some kind of structure – and the process of that excludes a lot of things – I just sort of got everything that had come from this time. I cut half of it because the record company said I couldn’t have more than 12 pages of booklet because that costs money. There were drawings and photographs and it basically all just got sliced in half because we can’t print it all because, I
mean shit, I’m not Leonard Cohen, no one wants a book of my shit. It’s about really blurring that line between public and private.” By her own definition it would seem she sees herself as little more than a fortunate hobbyist, whimsically dipping into creative practices, though the list of accolades already accrued suggests an undeniable talent. The public may have the wrong idea, and Washington’s own views of herself may differ drastically, but Insomnia should present the clearest portrait of the artist yet. “A lot of this becomes philosophical – but I’m sure you’ve written enough about the music industry to know how controlled and contrived a lot of it is – and I don’t mean that to be derogatory, it’s its own thing. The artist is a brand and all that stuff, you always look better in your press photos, each band has a zeitgeist and a brand and an aesthetic and a concept and a blah blah blah. This whole thing for me has been about avoiding all of that and just having a very, very thin filter. Which is terrifying, because that’s all very well to say conceptually but then you actually have to stand there and fucking sing that song and it’s kind of weird and creepy.” WHAT: Washington presents Insomnia WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 January as part of Sydney Festival, Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House
Rooftop cinema returns to the Heart of Melbourne At the top of Curtain House, Rooftop Bar is turned into a cinema committed to showcasing arthouse, classic, and recent release films in this completely unique urban environment,equipped with deckchairs. Program A has been released; highlights include Jaws, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Stand By Me, Trainspotting, and Casablanca. Program A runs until 5 February; films screen nightly at 9pm, except Fridays. More information at rooftopcinema.com.au.
‘Brown’ Girl’s Bitchy Burlesque at Red Bennies Candy Bowers is a self proclaimed ‘brown’ girl, a writer, hip hop artist, social innovator, theatre maker, and lyricist. She has a new burlesque/hip hop show for Red Bennies, with musical direction from Busty Beatz aka Kim Bowers, called Hot Brown Bitch Burlesque: Her Body The Dish. The show will be performed three times: Thursday 12 January to Saturday 14. Head to redbennies.com for more details.
C U LT U R A L
WITH REBECCA COOK Last week Cringe wrote about the distinct lack of controversy surrounding the announcement of the City of Melbourne’s most recent arts grants. Of course, a day or two after I typed those words, it was revealed that one of the Occupy Melbourne protesters has in fact been a beneficiary of the Lord Mayor’s purse – not the giant one in Bourke St mall either. According to reports, the artist and anti-greed protester received $2,000 last year to create a postcard featuring a picture of his hand that alternated between the peace sign and the ‘V’ for victory gesture. Victory gesture? Cringe wonders if the ‘V’ wasn’t in fact the wrong way round. After being labelled a hypocrite by the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, the artist laid down the gauntlet stating he would launch a campaign to de-throne Doyle next year. Perhaps he could apply for some financial support to set up his campaign under a new federal scheme that was announced on Friday by Arts Minister Simon Crean to test new and innovative business models for creative enterprises. Although he might have to launch a musical campaign as GENERATE is designed to facilitate collaboration between music and other creative industries
such as film, online games, and publishing. The pilot programme will offer business development knowledge and skills, expert mentoring support, and access to financial investment to help music businesses grow. “We need to develop new models and strategies which will promote sustainable growth of the creative economy,” Mr Crean said. “Australia is home to world-class creative and cultural talent, but small creative enterprises face a number of barriers that can limit their growth – challenges we are addressing through the development of the National Cultural Policy. The GENERATE pilot seeks to establish effective methods of encouraging and distributing private investment to support creative enterprises in the music industry,” he said. The pilot will be delivered in three stages. The first stage will be based on national business model workshops, following which up to 15 enterprises or ideas will be selected to attend an intensive master class on business strategy and market development. Those enterprises can then submit a proposal for investment of up to $30,000 each. If you don’t mind taking money from the man, then expressions of interest and nominations to participate in GENERATE are now open. One gentlemen who is GENERATING his own success and prosperity is Simon Taylor, who on Saturday night won the Butterfly Club’s prestigious annual Under Our Wing Award. The Melbourne stand-up comic now joins an esteemed list of former winners such as Tim Minchin and Sammy J. The Butterfly Club’s Simone Pulga said, “the Under Our Wing Award is given by the venue to an outstanding performer who deserves much more recognition than they are currently receiving. It puts the spotlight on ‘the next big thing’.” In accepting the award, Mr Taylor said: “The award, for me, validates all the work and compromise that comes with a vocation in entertainment. It’s almost a way for them to say ‘don’t worry, we don’t think you’ll be a poor starving artist forever’. So that’s nice.”
Various Artists (UMA) It’s hard to believe that there’s a whole generation of youngsters out there that has yet to assign any special significance to those magical words, “It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights...” For the rest of us though, OK Go’s bleepy, squiggly invocation that kicks off this CD will have inspired a flood of memories before you even have time to say, “It’s not easy being green”. On Muppets: The Green Album – a new take on these puppet-performed staples – it’s alterna-pop folkie Andrew Bird that is given the weighty task of delivering that froggy anthem and he does a beautiful job of it. As
LIFE ON MARS?
Whether you’ve never picked up a D-Pad in your life or you’re a committed gamer who’s interested in what’s going on in the underground, ACMI’s Best of the Independent Games Festival has you covered. Curator Fiona Trigg tells Nick Jarvis how the exhibition came about.
Guy Davis speaks to Geoff Marslett, whose uniquely animated sci-fi romance tale Mars screens as part of ACMI’s Fantastic Journeys: Space On Film programme.
Gamers and non-gamers of the world unite, for there is much more to the world of video games than blowing things to hell in Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The Independent Games Festival (IGF), established in San Francisco in 1998 as the gaming world’s equivalent of the Sundance Film Festival, recognises and assists independent game developers. After several years of informal forums and exhibitions linked to the IGF, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is stepping up with an annual exhibition featuring the festival’s prize winning games. “The IGF is a great place for indie gamers to come together and look at each other’s work, and it gives a lot of exposure to the industry, but obviously because it all happens in the States it’s hard for Australian audiences to get access to that,” says exhibition curator Fiona Trigg, “so we bring the top games over to put them on show in ACMI and let people play them for free.” There’ll be 14 games available to play at ACMI between 20 December 2011 and 25 March 2012 (including sessions between 3 and 13 January where you can play the games on the big screen in Federation Square). After a two-day break, the exhibition will then be back on 27 March with the pick of the crop from 2012’s IGF. This year’s exhibition features everything from international indie game sensation Minecraft (a freeform, open-environment construction game that won the Grand Prize and Audience Prize at the 2011 IGF), to defiantly lo fi, high-speed fencing game Nidhogg, the aesthetically rich 2D arcade and puzzle game Hohokum, and the critically acclaimed ‘mind-bending psychological MINECRAFT
does Sondre Lerche with his light and airy Mr Bassman. Not surprisingly the biggest clunker is Night Life – a hardrocking dirge provided by members of Atreyu and Good Charlotte. The song is completely devoid of that trademark muppet sparkling sense of mischief, though if you picture Animal playing the song’s drum solo it does feel slightly better.
MUPPETS: THE GREEN ALBUM
GAME ON, GAMERS
Though you’d still be best slipping your original Muppets vinyl onto the stereo, at least this album gives a whole new generation of kids the chance to, ‘get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational…’ Muppet Show. DANIELLE O’DONOHUE
Embarking on a new romance can be a lot like journeying into outer space. Sure, there’s the possibility of peril but it’s more than likely that you’ll encounter wonders hitherto unexperienced. (There’ll also a chance you’ll burn up on re-entry. Zing!) And it’s the parallels between love and interstellar travel that are explored in the playful, engaging animated comedy Mars, a low-budget feature written and directed by Geoff Marslett, an indie filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. Mars is part of the Fantastic Journeys: Space On Film programme screening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, from late December. Coinciding with the exhibition Star Voyager: Exploring Space On Screen, the festival comprises a diverse array of sci-fi films ranging from Ridley Scott’s Alien and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to the magnificent NASA documentary For All Mankind. And Mars, an offbeat blend of various animation styles mixed with a deadpan comic sensibility reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch and Hal Hartley, is an unusual but inspired addition to the line-up. It tells the story of a trio of slackers (one of whom is played by ‘mumblecore’ superstar Mark Duplass) competing with an international team of astronauts to be the first to reach the titular red planet. Along the way, romantic entanglements take precedence over rocketing through space. Marslett has drawn inspiration from the likes of the aforementioned Jarmusch and Hartley throughout his filmmaking career, influenced by “films that couldn’t necessarily come out of the Hollywood industry, films that were more about the filmmaker than the subject matter... these intensely personal works where their ideas were all over the screen, where they were able to try
experiments that wouldn’t be allowed in a larger-budget film. “But I also grew up watching Star Wars and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly and I think that also really influenced the kind of story I wanted to tell.” The work of two other Austin filmmakers, Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez, also played a part in inspiring Mars’ look and tone. “It’s kind of cool that two films which had an influence on the way I shot Mars, even though they’re quite different in terms of story, are Waking Life and Sin City,” says Marslett. “Both of those films came out of Austin, and we have an interesting kind of hybrid of filmmaking and technology occurring here right now. I ended up writing my own software that would allow me to shoot actors on a green screen.” What’s more, Mars’ distinctive animation added another element to its emotional component. “I’d wanted to write this story that looked at the similarities between exploration and romance, how falling in love and exploring are very similar things,” says Marslett. “Once we decided to animate it, it opened up the possibilities. And what’s a more exciting first date than going to Mars? Part of that analogy, part of my take on romance, is that you see a woman across a room and when you approach her and start to talk to her, start to get to know her, she’s never the same as you imagined. So I wanted the visual to have this feeling of something you could see but never fully approach. It’s a transmission from somewhere else.” WHAT: Mars, screening as part of Fantastic Journeys: Space On Film WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 27 December to Sunday 22 January, ACMI
Kick Gallery Celebrates the end of the year BOHM
Even the sometimes grim and ghoulish Alkaline Trio know to give their self-aware punk-pop a spring in its step on Movin’ Right Along. Though OK Go are given the important task of opening this collection with The Muppets Theme, the real honour is given to Weezer and Hayley Williams, who take on the legacy of The Rainbow Connection. In the steady hands of puppetmaster Rivers Cuomo, this dreamy anthem swoons and blooms in all the right places.
exploration game’ Antichamber, by Melbourne developer Alexander Bruce. As varied as the selection is, one thematic link ties them all together, and that is an inclination towards puzzlesolving, lateral thinking, and unique environments, rather than bombastic button-mashing. “Puzzle games and exploratory games are what generally emerge from the IGF every year,” Trigg says. “The big cinematic first-person shooter games really need to be produced by a big studio where they have the resources and the computing power to put together those big, complex, animated games, whereas indie gamers, by their very nature, are students working on their own, so the games have simpler interfaces, but it means they can also explore a whole range of different gameplay and imagery that you don’t get in conventional genre games. “Some of the games refer to genres, like fencing game Nidhogg, but they take them off in a new direction, and some of them are beautiful animations where you move gently around and just experience the world the developers have created, not feeling pressure that you’re doing the wrong thing. “We want to give people the chance to see what’s happening on the cutting edge of games design, and I think a lot of people who don’t think of themselves as gamers, they’ll be surprised by how accessible and beautiful some of these games are to play. Although, if you’re still there at closing time, we’ll have to ask you to leave!” WHAT: Best of the Independent Games Festival 2011 WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 20 December to Sunday 25 March, ACMI
Kick gallery is having end of year drinks and opening up the stockroom for an exhibition which will feature an array of artists. Including one of Melbourne’s most innovative and experimental street art practitioners, RRB3, whose work Heart Of Darkness is a perfect example of his mixed discipline aesthetic. Duel will be another street artist exhibited, alongside Jewels Stevens, Emma Stuart, and Damien FitzGerald. The exhibition will run to 24 December; festive drinks will be held this Friday, 6pm.
The Jewish Museum Thirty Years On
The Jewish Museum is about to reach its 30th year and has announced a new strategic vision under director Rebecca Forgasz. The museum is prioritising the need to touch more people, to ensure the survival of this Melbourne landmark. The new programming is more relevant to the younger generation. This month, the museum celebrates the festival of lights, Channukah, where a small amount of oil is burned in the temple for eight. More information of the 2012 programme can be found at jewishmuseum. com.au.
RED BENNIES NEW YEAR’S EVE GETS BRIEFS New Year’s Eve at Red Bennies is set to be a spectacular that’ll ensure your entry into 2012 starts with an absolute bang. The dynamic duo of Fez Fannana and Mark Winmill – all male, all vaudeville, all trash – take over the venue to form what will forever be fondly known as Club Briefs. They will be joined by gypsy swing band The Woohoo Revue; and celebrity burlesque and circus performances from Gypsy Wood and Lilikoi Kaos will add a certain feminine flair to the evening. Also, the hilarious Daniel Oldaker will be entertaining you with his side-splitting Vaudeville antics. New Year’s Eve. Red Bennies. Hit redbennies.com. inpress • 43
WITH ANDREW MAST Brit TV: re-shapes, pisstakes, Misfits In a year that saw US television productions lauded and torrented more than ever before, even the British TV press had to admit that their networks weren’t showing enough of the quality Stateside programming. But despite sweeping budget cuts to the UK’s BBC, they and other British networks quietly crept up on us here and delivered the year’s best TV viewing. Most outstanding was series two of Misfits (series three is currently screening in the UK); the supernatural comedy is immaculately scripted and has made a next-big-thing out of Robert Sheehan and scored unknown Lauren Socha a BAFTA. Helping keep the Brits atop this genre was another strong year of Being Human, however the sharehouse horror tale is doing a Skins with the younger recurring vampires and werewolves stepping into the lead roles vacated by its stars in series four (including Michael Socha, brother of Misfits’ Lauren). And while Doctor Who was rehabilitated with improved stories and less stunt casting, its spinoff Torchwood lost its way in its new US franchise format. It made the return of trashy time-jumping dinosaur romp Primeval seem a far worthier redux. And some of the UK’s quality comedies got a look in too. While there are still plenty that haven’t made it here yet (Stewart Lee, Mongrels, Him & Her, The Cafe) we did eventually get some of the best. Leading the pack was the latest Brit vicar comedy Rev (this time a county priest moves to the inner city) and the incredibly downbeat (almost depressing) hospital sit-com Getting On, with Jo Brand playing a put-upon nurse. Two comedies came
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at the foodie market from different directions too. Whites was a Kitchen Confidential-style sit-com penned by Matt King and starring Alan Davies while The Trip was a partlyimprovised two-hander with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Although The Trip was inexplicably truncated into a theatrical-length release for our territory, the full six-episode series needs to be experienced to get the full effect of this tragically humourous road series. We also got to play catch-up on UK high school comedy The Inbetweeners and odd-couple sit-com Peep Show as well as the final series of The IT Crowd and the most recent series of The Armstrong & Miller Show, keeping the sketch show format alive and well. US TV: help the aged That’s not to say it was a bad year for US TV production as they continued to crank out the cable dramas and comedies that have seen them experience somewhat of a new Golden Age of television. There was a second season of David Simon’s Treme, more Mad Men, more Sons Of Anarchy, while Mos Def, Colin Hanks, and BSG’s Edward James Olmos joined Dexter. Class shows Big Love and Friday Night Lights bowed out in style – leaving gaping holes in the States’ quality quota. However fantasy series Game Of Thrones is epic enough to fill even a crater-sized scheduling hole – and promises to hold up longer than the now anemic True Blood as, unlike that brand, Thrones is intending to adhere to its source text. There is also zombie hit The Walking Dead, which holds promise now that it’s shed Frank (Green Mile) Darabont from show runner duties (Dead is set to show here on FX in 2012). But the year’s best offering came in the
form of Mildred Pierce, a mini-series that Todd Haynes re-adapted from the 1941 James M Cain novel. It reinvigorated the mini-series format and will hopefully signal TV execs that it need not just be the domain of historical re-enactments... and that Guy Pearce can be a real cad. On the comedy front, we have seen more of Louie, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Bored To Death from the US cables. Sadly, the innovative Party Down was put down but balancing that out was Entourage being laid to rest, four years after it started begging to be euthanised. Of course, big lols still flowed from E’s compendium of weekly TV, the Joel McHale-fronted The Soup. McHale is also in network sit-com Community, which alongside Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, and The Office, are top-notch sit-coms from NBC (and have overall catapulted stand-up comedians Rainn Wilson, Aziz Ansari, Donald Glover, and Mindy Kaling to supercult status). The talkshow rolled along nicely but both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report suffered from lack of election anger (get the ROFL-pad readied for the 2012 election). The highlight of 2011 was Eleven picking up the The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and his sidekick gay robot skeleton in “ass mode”. Fergie subverts the format without anyone noticing and his guests chat like it’s school camp fireside, full of adolescent innuendo, while on the flip you may see Kristen Bell and Eddie Izzard discussing atheism while wandering the backstreets of Paris. The CW network continued to nail their demographic as The Vampire Diaries revved up the presence of secretlysenstive villain Iain Somerhalder over the once-central Bella/Edward-esque coupling of Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley – more Ben & Jerry, less Coles brand vanilla. Horror soap Supernatural continued being meta while messing with as many TV serial conventions as
possible (one recent ep title: ‘Season 7, Time For A Wedding’). And, CW added another fine show in the form of the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring, suspense soap Ringer (with the added draw of appearances from Veronica Mars’ Jason Dohring, Twin Peaks’ Madchen Amick and Buffy’s Amber Benson). It remains to be seen if its writers can sustain the crazed twists and WTF cliffhanger endings beyond one season though. Local telly: bad cover version Local takes on overseas reality/contest formats seemed to dominate more than ever. MasterChef, The Celebrity Apprentice, X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, Beauty & The Geek, etc. were all over free-to-air. And they rated. But it was The Amazing Race Australia that got us most worked up; creating heroes of Big W checkout ladies and making nerdy layabout Mos a star attraction of the Melbourne Zoo gift shop. Producers just need to inform host Grant Bowler that loosening up a bit (hell, TAR US’ host went topless once) won’t ruin his chances of getting another True Blood-type gig. A re-jigged Project Runway Australia made a bitching return despite the distracting, ever-twitching pecs of new ‘mentor’ Alex Perry (and no wonder he hawks cheap specs as he thinks they are for forehead decoration, not for any actual medical condition). While 2011 was littered with catastrophes the size of Ben Elton’s ego, the networks at least tried some original programming. In the, ‘ah well, you gave it your best’ category were ABC comedies At Home With Julia, The Hamster Wheel, Twentysomething, and The Bazura Project. Though all superior to Wild Boys, Winners & Losers, Angry Boys, and the year’s most earnestlyoveracted drama, Paper Giants. But we got Laid. An observational sitcom about a killer vagina, it was adored
SONS OF ANARCHY or abhorred, depending on whether or not you think author Marieke Hardy is hack whore or heroic ‘whoooooar’. It was adored here. And although Tangle, the best local production of the decade so far, was in hiatus, it’s young star Blake Davis spent his gap year in The Slap. The show didn’t quite live up to its well-read, leafy surburbanite hype but Davis (as Richie) was one for the ‘pros’ column, along with the Tony Ayresdirected episode ‘Manolis’. Attempting to manipulate divisiveness was SBS’ reality doco (where’s the line drawn these days?) Go Back To Where You Came From – let’s just say, we look forward to the ‘what ever happened to’ follow-ups in the years to come. Also, on the short-and-sweet list is Oz Skins (aka SLiDE), which was beginning to tread water after ten episodes (literally, the cast seemed to spend more time in the pool than in class) and Spirited, the Claudia Karvan/Matt King ghost romance was axed after two series – but it leaves behind a pretty corpse. Sorted for Danes and flix The year also saw 2007 Danish crime series Forbrydelsen do a ‘Wire’. Quietly loved when it first aired here on SBS, a torrent trickle built to a box-set
DVD tsunami as the world became intrigued by Sarah Lund’s collection of hand-knitted sweaters. Titled The Killing for English language markets, it spawned a sequel, a US remake, and a high street fashion frenzy for heritage jumpers in the UK. The ABC continued to lead the online catch-up market, still offering the country’s best source of streaming programs on iView. While SBS, Seven, and Ten make token attempts to keep abreast, Nine seem to be struggling to understand a post-Hey Hey world. While the locals were napping, BBC’s iPlayer successfully entered the market (dominating the iPad free app chart upon its release) and Foxtel promise to make a serious go of it in 2012. With overseas TV streaming sites sniffing at this territory’s butt, the major networks could better spend their marketing money on streaming services rather than on that epic Freeview TVC no one quite gets. Overseas viewingon-demand companies have started to commission shows that won’t be available to networks – the revival of Arrested Development has been signed exclusively to Netflix. There is no longer room for a Daryl Somers-mentality.
BOXING DAY SPECIAL WITH ANTHONY CAREW This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but in slow-motion, at ecstatically-heightened operatic crescendo. Well, that’s the way Melancholia starts, at least, beginning with the same stylised overture as Antichrist, effectively signalling that it’s a sister work, a companion piece to the most controversial work from Danish shit-stirrer Lars von Trier. As it plays out, their structure is effectively the same: the same fever-pitch prelude; the film’s domestic drama and ‘realist’ aesthetic – shaky camera, close-ups, dressed-down actors – a lo-fi façade concealing a picture working on a grand symbolic plane; the story growing into a profound, provocative parable of nature-asdestroyer and women-as-nature-asdestroyer and man’s faith in science being obliterated by all-consuming destruction. But, where Antichrist was about grief, grieving, and the cold cruelty of the natural world, Melancholia is about depression. After beginning with a bang, the film – once the music pipes down and the story starts to unspool – lopes along with a whimper: an innocuouslycomic set-piece involving a stretch limousine too stretched to make it up a winding road to a country castle. It’s played for laughs – with a joking, giddy, tipsy, bride-in-white Kirsten Dunst the glittering starlet of its early romance – but the metaphor is clear: as with so many weddings, things won’t go to plan. After such, little – save for a running, weirdlybroad joke involving Udo Kier as an aggrieved (and, yes, camp) wedding planner dismayed at carefully-laid-
plans going to waste – happens with any of that levity; the film slowly squeezing the life out of characters initially delivered bright and beaming. The wedding essentially falls apart because Dunst is mired in the depths of depression, and even the bigmoney charade of princess-for-a-day and happily-ever-after can’t tide her over; it may be her day, but it’s still crippling, painful, unfaceable. There’s plentiful painful, familial-collateral moments – moments, herein, nearly reminiscent of that ol’ Dogme #1 itself, Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen – and, amongst those gathered, one recurring question: why can’t the blushing bride just be happy? Von Trier takes those questions, and, then, in the profound second half of its bi-sectional structure, turns them on their head. Effectively, the film goes from questioning Dunst’s depression to throwing viewers inside it; the depressive’s solipsistic sense of the world ending made magically manifest as, woah, the world is suddenly ending. And, in turn, the family who once felt isolated by her despair now share in it. The symbolism is hilariously over-thetop – a planet called Melancholia is due to crash into the Earth – and the film is unsentimental, cold-hearted, and weirdly aloof. It’s prime von Trier: grand, cocky, inscrutable, colossal, and featuring not a single simple Christian woman going blind... Sometimes it’s puzzling that Pedro Almodóvar has ascended to the ranks of beloved cinema institution; that he’s the kind of filmmaker omnipresent at awards shows, that his films open on Boxing Day, and that old people file in to see them. It seemed particularly peculiar with Talk To Her, a crowdpleasin’ portrait of a
creepy weirdo raping a coma patient. And, again, it seems strange that people’ll pile in to watch The Skin I Live In, a hysterical melodrama (of course!) that plays like some strange mix between Greek tragedy, horror movie, and telenovela. It starts out like homage to Georges Franju’s eternal Eyes Without A Face, with a rogue, creepy scientist tainted by personal grief, out to use radical, unconscionable, God-playing surgery to try and heal the trauma of his past. Being Almodóvar, though, that past is every bit as important as the narrative present; and, via the auteur’s astonishing screenwriting pen, the story soon pirouettes fluidly through character, timeframe, transgression, and all known boundaries of sexuality and gender. The story – adapted from Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula – is full of all kinds of scandalous revelations that keep it super-entertaining; and, being Almodóvar, it plays as trashy fun, classic cinema, and high-art all at once. The Women On The 6th Floor is a crowdpleaser of a more traditional crowdpleasin’ stripe: the tale of the button-downed white person seduced by the exotic cultural other. Here, it’s eternal French leading man Fabrice Luchini, playing the insincere, mannered suit he always seems to, who falls into the world of the Spanish servants in his highfalutin’ 1950s townhouse, much to the scandal of wife, children, nosy neighbours, society wenches and the like. There’s some interesting undercurrents trickling through the screenplay – life in exile whilst a dictator rules back home; class warfare as dielogy and as reality; amour leading to a swept-up romance with whole other culture to the point where the ‘love’ is for both person and the idea they represent – but they’re swept beneath a broader current of sweeping gesture bubbling
with feelgood froth. The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn starts out with a gag lifted straight from the opening frames of Team America: World Police: a cartoon-withinthe-cartoon portrait of its titular boy-reporter providing both homage to its iconic source-text and chance for a dramatic ‘pull back’ into its 3D world. The elaborately-plotted computer animation is helmed by Steven Spielberg, and, given such, it’s impossible to miss how much ol’ Señor Spielbergo liberally pillaged from Hergé’s tales of sleuthin’ amidst exotic cultures and old-world contraptions when penning those Indiana Jones movies. Those reared on the Tintin television animation may find it strange to hear toffee English voices in place of those unintentionallycomic French-Canadian accents; those devoted fans of the comics may... oh, actually, fuck it, I don’t care what they think, let’s not give credence to ‘fans’ as if they are some high-power that must be catered to (like, seriously, who gives a shit if Peter Jackson consulted with Tolkien nerds about his unending Rings adaptations, that didn’t make them any good). The Secret Of The Unicorn verily rolls along like a gay old lark, and though its comic relief is excruciatingly unfunny, its webof-cheesy clues and elaborate boy’sown adventure and happy derring-do make it plenty entertaining. Whether or not Spielbergcorp mounts another instalment in the franchise, well, again, who cares; can’t we just take a picture in isolation, without signing up for the brand? Peruse the ACMI catalogue and there’s a handful of curious films dotting their coming weeks. Being Elmo is a feelgood shrine to chasing-your-dreams, seeing come-true glories in the life of Kevin
Clash, the puppeteer who grew up on Wire-worthy Baltimore streets dreaming of working with Jim Henson, and ended up as the dude behind the Henson workshop’s most new-millennially-beloved creation. For all that it’s universal and all-ages friendly, Being Elmo has a specific hint of masculinity to it: this, as much as anything, a story a kid who had the balls to not hew to masculine clichés, and the parents who didn’t quash his ‘effeminate’ dreams. Adapted from a JR Ackerley memoir, My Dog Tulip is a super-sentimental, wondrously sweet, artfully-wobbly line-drawn animation which recounts the love-affair between an aging curmudgeon and his disobedient dog; the text speaking aloud its narrator’s preference for canine over human in no uncertain terms. Its love-of-hounds fits perfectly alongside Animals Distract Me, Isabella Rossellini’s cute, kooky shrine to her unending warmth for the beasts, certain odd facts about creatures, and the intersection thereof. It’s a personal essay (see: home-movie footage) in which Rossellini walks dogs, has
“Potent theatricality ... unerring visual impact” The Australian on Bangarra Dance Theatre
THREE WORLD PREMIERES FROM GRAEME MURPHY GIDEON OBARZANEK & STEPHEN PAGE
Graeme Murphy strips ballet back to its bare essentials in The Narrative of Nothing. Gideon Obarzanek (Chunky Move) subverts Swan Lake in There’s Definitely a Prince Involved. And Stephen Page leads a new collaboration between Bangarra Dance Theatre and The Australian Ballet with Warumuk – in the dark night.
24 FEBRUARY – 6 MARCH the Arts Centre, State Theatre with Orchestra Victoria
TICKETS from $39
Transaction fee of $5.00 – $7.50 may apply
australianballet.com.au 1300 369 741 or theartscentre.com.au 1300 182 183
imaginary conversations with the Darwin in her mind, and dresses as animals in the style of her cult online series Green Porno; which, coincidentally, is being screened alongside it. Mars is a mumblecore space-mission, a zero-budget sci-fi film trussed in the rotoscoping animation pioneered on Waking Life, with Mark Duplass as a laidback bro piloting a space-ship into the unknown. It’s not quite American Astronaut-level inspired/zany, but it’s charmingly oddball and far from your cinematic usual. Bleak Night was Yoon Sung-Hyun’s graduating work at the Korean Film Academy, making it peers with Jo Hung-See’s awe-inspiring, mind-altering shrine to the rapture, End Of Animal. Here, Yoon slips into the hyper-masculine hierarchy fiercely clinging to their post in the pecking order at a Korean boy’s school. The psychological warfare is palpable, but the true collateral is left unspoken; the narrative’s revelations less important than the sense of sustained claustrophobia that permeates throughout.
“Murphy is the master of movement invention” The Age
“Obarzanek’s depth and breadth of inquiry is stimulating” The Australian
australianballet.com.au Government Partners
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46 • INPRESS
GIG OF THE WEEK
TOUR GUIDE THIS WEEK
NIKKO: December 11, 18 Old Bar EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY: December 8 Forum MUDHONEY: December 8 Corner Hotel THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED: December 8 Espy, 9 Ferntree Gully Hotel JIM JONES REVUE: January 2 East Brunswick Club ARCTIC MONKEYS: January 2 Palace; 3 Festival Hall JIM WARD: January 3 East Brunswick Club THE KOOKS: January 4 Festival Hall GROUPLOVE: January 4 Corner Hotel THE DAMNED: January 20 Billboard KASABIAN, THE VACCINES: January 28 Festival Hall GIRL TALK: January 31 Palace NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS: January 31 Palais RÖYKSOPP: February 2 Palace MILLIONS, NANTES, NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: February 17 East Brunswick Club JESSIE J: March 7 Festival Hall YOUTH LAGOON: February 15 Toff In Town WILD FLAG: March 9 Corner Hotel JOHNNY CLEGG: Saturday 10 March Palais DIRTY THREE: March 16 Palace JAY & SILENT BOB: Thursday 26 April Palais
INTERNATIONAL AEROPLANE: December 16 Roxanne Parlour CARL CRAIG: December 16 Roxanne Parlour FUTURE OF THE LEFT: December 16 Corner TIM SWEENEY: December 17 Toff In Town OPETH: December 18 Palace Theatre JASMIN KASET: December 18 Tote; 19 Old Bar; 22 Labour In Vain
NATIONAL MUSTERED COURAGE & DAVIDSON BROTHERS: December 14 Northcote Social Club EXPATRIATE: December 15 East Brunswick Club MILLIONS, SAMPOLOGY: December 15 Fed Square MATT CORBY: December 15, 20 Toff THE PARADISE MOTEL: December 16 East Brunswick Club A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, THE SMITH STREET BAND: December 16 Tote SHANE HOWARD: December 17 Thornbury Theatre PETER COMBE: December 17 Espy THE BLACKEYED SUSANS: December 18 Thornbury Theatre BEDROOM PHILOSOPHER: December 20 Northcote Social Club
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL ROUND TABLE KNIGHTS: December 24 Prince EASY STAR ALL-STARS: December 30 Corner HANNI EL KHATIB: January 1 Tote JOHN DAHLBACK: January 1 Alumbra DJ YODA: January 1 Espy THE 6TH BOROUGH PROJECT: January 1 Bridge THE JIM JONES REVUE: January 2 East Brunswick Club ARCTIC MONKEYS: January 3 Festival Hall DUM DUM GIRLS: January 3 Corner JIM WARD: January 3 East Brunswick Club YUKON BLONDE: January 3 Northcote Social Club J MASCIS: January 3, 4 Toff In Town; 6 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) BAD MANNERS: January 3 National Hotel (Geelong), 4 East Brunswick Club THE KOOKS: January 4 Festival Hall (AA) CSS: January 5 Corner GZA: January 5 Espy METRONOMY: January 6 Hi-Fi ALOE BLACC: January 6 Trak Lounge Bar MOUNTAIN MOCHA KILIMANJARO: Jarnuary 6 Corner JUSTICE: January 6 Festival Hall HANGGAI: January 7 Corner; 8 Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave) BEIRUT: January 9 Hi-Fi; 10 Forum
POISON CITY XMAS SHOW
KASABIAN January 28 Festival Hall
FRIDAY, THE TOTE
Local label, distributor and skate/record shop Poison City (you’ll find them at 400 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy) have had their busiest year ever in 2011, releasing records by the likes of Samiam, Luca Brasi, Anchors, Leatherface, Fires Of Waco, Former Cell Mates, The Smith Street Band and Jen Buxton, and staging the rip-roaring Poison City Weekender festival. To celebrate, the multi-taskers have gathered four of their fave acts – A Death In The Family, The Hawaiian Islands and the aforementioned Smith Street Band and Luca Brasi – for one final knees-up to see out the year. It all goes down at the Tote this Friday from 8pm. Tickets are selling fast from the venue and Poison City. sdfsdfsdfdsf Grinderman pic by Jesse Booher
with a bit of venom of their own. Forget the wildly popular radio tunes you may have caught in recent months, UMO deliver revamped and decidedly more menacing versions of their otherwise erratic pop numbers. There are hints of Ruban Nielson’s previous band The Mint Chicks glimmering through but this material dazzles in comparison. Penultimate tune Boy Witch’s tempo shifts crackle through the early-evening air and the extended guitar solo can only be described as epic. It’s pretty hard not to buy in to the hype surrounding Kurt Vile & The Violators and that brings a certain air of expectation. It might be the vocal-drenched mix (in a very Dylan- or Hendrix-esque way, his voice is far from his greatest asset), it might be the late-afternoon lag; whatever it is, Vile’s performance misses the mark. There is still a fair bit to take from it – some of the best drumming of the day and Freak Train could be the song of the festival – but the performance strolls for too long before lumbering into a fast walk.
JASMIN KASET: Sunday Tote; Monday Old Bar; Thursday 22 December Labour In Vain
If there’s one thing that Explosions In The Sky do well, it’s rock worlds without saying too much. The instrumental group play one hell of an inspired set full of building crescendos, barely controlled chaos and an all-round glorious experience. Somewhat channelling The Dirty Three’s 2004 Saturday night set (minus the lightning), the Texan group leave absolutely nothing behind in delivering the goods. It’s a set that sees more than a few boots/thongs/cans raised in the air, and proves a mesmerising high point thus far. DEERHOOF: January 11 Hi-Fi IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE: January 12 Espy THE VENGABOYS: January 12, 18 Corner HAWKSLEY WORKMAN: January 12 Caravan Music Club; 13 Nothcote Social Club SONS & DAUGHTERS: January 13 East Brunswick Club THE OH SEES: January 14 Nash (Geelong), January 24 Corner ABSU: January 14 East Brunswick Club PJ HARVEY: January 15 Regent Theatre SAM AMIDON: January 19 Northcote Social Club YO! MAJESTY: January 20 Roxanne Parlour THE DAMNED: January 20 Billboard BETH ORTON: January 20 Athenaeum Theatre ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER: January 20 Northcote Social Club LYDIA: January 21 Evelyn Hotel; 22 National Hotel (Geelong) AA BONDY: January 21, 22 Toff In Town DEATH GRIPS: January 22 East Brunswick Club MATTHEW DEAR: January 25 Prince Bandroom ITAL: January 25, 27 Buffalo Club, Phoenix Public House KITTY DAISY & LEWIS: January 27 Corner KASABIAN:January 28 Festival Hall BEST COAST: January 28 Corner
MEREDITH MUSIC FESTIVAL SUPERNATURAL AMPHITHEATRE
Every December, Christmas comes a couple of weeks early for 11,000-odd music lovers at the fabulous Meredith Music Festival. This year we dust off the camping gear and load up the wagons in anticipation of perhaps the most rock-oriented MMF in recent years. Once the line is negotiated, the trailer searched for stowaways, campsite-deciding arguments settled and tents are up, the only thing to do is rustle up a beverage of choice and meander down to the lush green grass of the Supernatural Amphitheatre for the first time in months. Ah, how we’ve missed you. Local heroes King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are given opening duties this year and the Geelong contingent of the crowd goes berserk. The band’s straight-up, though ever-so-slightly psychedelic, pub tunes draw an energetic and shirtless throng in seconds. Some wind damage and first-band issues with the mix render the right side of stage less than ideal. But hey, the sun is defying the shoddy weather predictions and the band manage to slam home a decent opening effort. All nine pieces of Cash Savage & The Last Drinks ooze genuine affection for this festival and Savage looks at home on her fave festival stage. The double-drumming back section of the band give a surprising visual treat and, though a fair contingent of the King Gizzard crew have toddled off to smash some beer bongs at their cars, the amphitheatre is lost in this wondrous layering of instrumentation and Savage’s matchless vocal timbre. CS&TLD exemplify the commitment this festival has always had to excellent local country music, and the band set an early bar for this year’s musical entries. Unknown Mortal Orchestra hit the stage around the time the sun loses its afternoon sting and they manage to replace it
Wandering down Highway To Hell, there’s a dude sporting a sparkly silver three-piece suit. He’s rapt with it and gushes of this online purchase, “It only cost $175” – what a rip! Pyros and sparks shooting from axes lure us toward Barbarion. A seven-piece who resemble extras from a movie version of the Asterix comic, sporting Viking hats and exposing hairy backs, their bio also promises: “The heaviest band in Melbourne – a combined weight of nearly 700kgs.” The Supernatural Amphitheatre is no stranger to novelty acts but, unlike the likes of Airbourne, these guys don’t have the songs or musical ability to seize our attention longer than a couple of songs once the initial wow factor of flames and onstage fire hazards wears off. Up next is adopted Kiwi, Pip Brown (AKA Ladyhawke). After a packed warm-up show at the Tote earlier last week, Ladyhawke showcases some excellent new material on the Meredith stage: The catchy, vocalpercussion hook of the title track from her forthcoming Anxiety set proves particularly immediate. Brown always looks effortlessly hot on stage – heavily made up and in casual, manly get-up – but once you’ve processed this there’s little to draw your attention stageward. The sing-along appeal of the likes of My Delirium, Back Of INPRESS • 47
The Van and Paris Is Burning cannot be denied, however.
TOUR GUIDE DAS RACIST: January 30 Corner VINTAGE TROUBLE: January 31 East Brunswick Club GIRL TALK: January 31 Palace Theatre MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE: January 31 Festival Hall CAGE THE ELEPHANT: January 31 Northcote Social Club HIGH FLYING BIRDS: January 31 Palais ODD FUTURE: February 1 Palace FEIST: February 1 Palais (all ages) GLASSER: February 1 Toff In Town TWIN SHADOW: February 1 Corner CAVALERA CONSPIRACY: February 1 Billboard MOUNTAIN MAN: February 1 Palais Theatre WU LYF: February 2 Prince Bandroom AUSTRA: February 2 Northcote Social Club RÖYKSOPP: February 2 Palace HALL & OATES: February 2 Melbourne Convention Centre; 12 Rochford Wines (Yarra Valley); A DEATH IN THE FAMILY: Friday, Poison City Xmas Party, Tote
JOHNNY CLEGG: March 10 Palais ROKY ERICKSON: March 13 Corner TAYLOR SWIFT: March 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena MADELEINE PEYROUX: March 14 Palais FIRST AID KIT: March 14 Northcote Social Club LENNY KRAVITZ, THE CRANBERRIES, WOLFMOTHER: March 17, 18 Sidney Myer Music Bowl JANE BIRKIN: March 18 Melbourne Recital Centre DURAN DURAN: March 19 Rod Laver Arena TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL: March 20 Rod Laver Arena NICK LOWE: March 22 Forum BORIS: March 24 Corner WOODEN SHIPS: March 28 Corner STEVE EARLE: March 30 Corner THE POGUES: April 4 Festival Hall YANN TIERSEN: April 4 Melbourne Recital Centre TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE: April 7 Corner GEORGE MICHAEL: April 9 Rod Laver Arena MACEO: April 11 Corner HENRY ROLLINS: April 18, 19 National Theatre JASON DERULO: April 28 Rod Laver Arena MELISSA ETHERIDGE: July 15 Plenary
ANNA CALVI: February 3 Corner M83: February 3 Prince Bandroom THE DRUMS, CULTS: February 3 Palace THE HORRORS: February 3 Forum [HED] P.E.: February 4 Prince Bandroom RONAN KEATING: February 5-7 Regent Theatre ROGER WATERS: February 7, 8, 10, 11 Rod Laver Arena INCUBUS: February 8 Festival Hall ACTIVE CHILD: February 8 East Brunswick Club TORO Y MOI, WASHED OUT: February 9 Hi-Fi ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI: February 10 Hi-Fi SCOTT KELLY, JOHN BAIZLEY: February 10 Corner JOHN DIGWEED: Febuary 10 Billboards Aa: February 13 Corner SEAL: February 15 Rod Laver Arena YOUTH LAGOON: February 15 Toff IL DIVO: February 17 Sidney Myer Music Bowl ROD STEWART: February 17 Rod Laver Arena; 18 Hanging Rock (Macedon) LA DISPUTE: February 18 Corner ROXETTE: February 18, 22 Rod Laver Arena ERYKAH BADU: February 22 Palais Theatre JASON LYTLE: Feburary 22 Toff SOUL II SOUL: February 24 Trak Lounge NEON INDIAN: February 24 Prince Bandroom ENTER SHIKARI: Febuary 28 Billboards MAYER HAWHORNE: February 29 Corner SYSTEM OF A DOWN: February 29 Rod Laver THURSDAY: February 29 Billboard SLIPKNOT: March 1 Rod Laver Arena MEN: March 1 Phoenix Public house LOSTPROPHETS: March 1 Billboard RYAN ADAMS: March 3 Regent Theatre LANA DEL REY: March 3 Toff EDDIE PALMIERI: March 3 Hi-Fi JESSIE J: March 7 Festival Hall BLACK LIPS: March 7 Corner CHIC: March 7 Billboard MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA: March 7 Hi-Fi URGE OVERKILL: March 8 Espy WILD FLAG: March 9 Corner ADAM COHEN: March 9 Regal Ballroom BONNIE PRINCE TYLER: March 9 National Theatre, 10 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) ROOTS MANUVA: March 10 Prince Of Wales
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EMILY BARKER: December 21 Wesley Anne THE GIN CLUB: December 22 Northcote Social Club BIG SCARY, RICHARD IN YOUR MIND: December 22 Fed Square SAND PEBBLES: December 23 Espy Front Bar. January 6 The Nash (Geelong) SAN CISCO: December 29 Toff In Town THE CHURCH: December 30 Forum REGURGITATOR: December 31 Corner GRINSPOON: January 3 Chelsea Heights Hotel; 4 Commercial Hotel (South Mornag); 5 Pier (Geelong); 6 Whalers Inn (Warrnambool); 7 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 8 Espy JOE ROBINSON: January 11 Bennetts Lane THE RED PAINTINGS: January 13 Hi-Fi ALPINE: January 19 Corner BLUEJUICE: January 19 Whalers Inn (Warrnambool). 20 Torquay Hotel PASSENGER: January 19 Beavs Bar (Geelong); 20 the Loft (Warrnambool); 21 Baby Black Cafe (Bacchus Marsh); 22 Palais Hepburn Springs THE KILL DEVIL HILLS: January 21 Corner THE STEPKIDS: January 28 East Brunswick Club CONTRIVE: February 1 Billboard TROY CASSAR-DALEY: February 10 Fed Square; March 18 Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club THE CLOUDS: February 11 Corner MILLIONS, NANTES, NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: Febuary 17 East Brunswick COLIN HAY: February 24 Geelong Performing Arts Centre, 25 Playhouse Vic Arts Centre ELIXIR: February 24 Famous Spiegeltent BODYJAR: March 31 Corner THE HERD: April 21 Corner
FESTIVALS FALLS FESTIVAL: December 28-31 Lorne PYRAMID ROCK: December 29-January 1 Phillip Island SUMMADAYZE: January 1 Sidney Myer Music Bowl SUGAR MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL: January 14 Forum RAINBOW SERPENT FESTIVAL: January 27-30 Western Victoria ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL: February 4 Footscray Community Arts Centre ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL: February 24-March 18 FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: March 3-12 PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL: March 9-12 Port Fairy BOOGIE 6 FESTIVAL:April 6,7,8 Tallarook GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 5 Prince of Wales Showground
Future Of The Left destroy the crowd with Small Bones Small Bodies and barely take a breath for the ensuing 45 minutes. Their Friday-night headline spot is justified as programming genius as they deliver a masterclass in musical subversion and complete emersion. Arming Eritrea, You Need Satan More Than He Needs You and brand newie Polymers Are Forever shine, but it’s Manchasm that brings it to fever pitch. Mclusky’s Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues and To Hell With Good Intentions close the thing out and, though remarkable in themselves, you’d almost say they didn’t need to play them. Could FOTL be better than Mclusky? This festival-defining set certainly suggests so. By the time Gang Gang Dance take to the stage, all hell is breaking loose. Memories are being spilled like the contents of an esky when the dude surfing it loses his shit, but on stage the Manhattan group do all kinds of crazy business to keep the punters happy. Throwing down their own brand of experimental tunes, theirs is a set full of raucous appreciation, and for those in the crowd who aren’t totally incapacitated (or trying to mack on with the hottie next to them), the appreciation is mutual. DAY TWO Phew, it’s hot! The breeze that filters through Top Camp is to die for, but the same can’t be said for the sticky Bush Camp conditions. There’s a definite butterfly epidemic and we dread stepping on the lovely creatures while nursing sore heads and staggering toward sustenance. Ballarat Municipal Brass Band present “quite a selection of numbers” including Europe’s The Final Countdown and a medley they label ‘Queen Rules’ is surely a new addition to their repertoire – clashing brass notes sound like what the inside of our scones feel like. That old jazz standard Caravan proves a highlight and Bob takes it away on cornet. First up on Saturday morning is a coveted timeslot here at Meredith, with ex-participants of this time going on to bigger and better things (see Wolfmother, Ground Components etc). Local duo Oscar + Martin coax the sleepy-eyed crowd from their tents with their glitch and harmonies, providing those lining up for coffees and breakfast with a thought-provoking soundtrack. Full of guests but lacking continued stage presence, the set is a mixed bag, which is surprising given their album For You is so consistently strong. The Rechords rock us around the clock at midday and all embrace the trip down memory lane this trio bring. Upright bass equals irresistible. If the term ‘rock chick’ ever makes it into the dictionary, it should be accompanied by a picture of Geelong-reared Adalita. “Hey! How the fuck are ya?” she yells. During Hot Air, a punter waves a crutch in the air and Adalita cheerfully waves back. She’s correct, JP Shiloh is “fucking amazing” on guitar. Adalita’s late Magic Dirt bandmate Dean Turner’s two daughters, Charlie and Evie, are invited to the stage for a dance. As Adalita spins on her back while playing guitar, the two little cowgirls with AAA lanyards take turns jumping over her. Dear Aunty Meredith, please book Adalita for future Supernatural Amphitheatre loving. Self-confessed “new old guys on the block”, Off! launch their rumbling riff attack on the hillside to devastating effect. A contender for this year’s MMF ridiculous award goes to the two dudes dressed up as Lycra dinosaurs who tie their tails together for some spontaneous tug o’ war. Snappy dresser Joelistics follows, winning many new fans. His ode to recent visitor to our shores Dolly Parton, via Jolene sampling, is a treat to sing along with. Asking us to vote for his song Glorious Feeling in this year’s Hottest 100? This festival has a “no dickheads” policy, remember. For punters contemplating whether a stroll to the amphitheatre would be worth it in the late afternoon, hearing the haunting(ly beautiful) Scarecrow from everyone’s favourite local horror-country band Graveyard Train
would surely clinch the deal. If not the set of the festival, then surely one of the best Saturday afternoon shows in recent memory, both audience and band give their all. The group’s members have been attending Meredith for years, and the satisfaction in seeing them get The Boot during their set is palpable – both on stage and off. Next up is another Texan powerhouse, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. It is surprising to see them given a daytime timeslot, given the horn-laden funky stylings, but here they are in front of an audience who are more than happy to lap it up. There’s enough room to swing a cat at the front of the stage, which equals plenty of room to shake some serious booty. On stage, Black Joe Lewis commands his band with equal parts swagger and soul, and not even some dodgy sound quality can detract from a killer set. There’s no fanfare or fucking about when Mudhoney hit the stage. Following the fabulous Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears could break a lesser act but with Suck You Dry as a set opener, Mudhoney have the already warmed-up rabble – and by now we are most certainly that – eating from their callused hands. As the heavens open for the first time Touch Me I’m Sick brings the crowd to its collective rock-loving knees, but when Keith Morris (Off!, Circle Jerks, Black Flag) appears onstage, the gravity of what’s going down really hits home. At what other festival would you see a naked guy sporting wookie headwear hurtling down a DIY, garbage bagconstructed slippery slide as revellers toss the contents of their BYO bevos his way? Securing front row for Icehouse, it’s satisfying to see an LED-lit backdrop and various other specialty lighting rigs. As soon as the band take to the stage, it’s apparent we’re in for a treat – they sound absolutely phenomenal and the synchronised guitar playing of Iva Davies and Paul Gildea is unparalleled. Opening with Icehouse, Icehouse get Electric Blue outta the way early and then Hey Little Girl is simply sublime. Davies introduces Cross The Border, a song the band wrote after touring Germany pre fall of the Berlin Wall when their manager almost got them shot. Walls is a sprawling beast of a track where synths are mercilessly attacked by duelling guitars come the chorus. Outstanding. A celebration of this iconic Australian band who fittingly close their set tonight with Great Southern Land.
Big Freedia pic by Jesse Booher
There’s suddenly a very obvious changeover in demographic (perhaps even an entire generation) for pole position. The wacky maze/sobriety test entrance to Pink Flamingo Bar becomes increasingly challenging as the night progresses. Was it like this last night? Cut Copy have spent the majority of this year satisfying their American fanbase and must be chuffed to be following one of their influences on the Meredith schedule. The intro into opener Take Me Over sounds very much like the band are about to tackle a take on Blue Monday. Dapper frontman Dan Whitford’s not exactly a natural-born singer and his voice sounds a tad strained tonight, perhaps suffering by comparison to Davies. Pharoahs & Pyramids must be experienced live to be believed and special guest percussionists from Midnight Juggernauts bring added mayhem. Whitford’s liturgical gestures conduct the rainfall during Hearts On Fire and closer Lights & Music is still Cutters’ secret weapon of mass destruction. Caterwauling onstage in full wolf-man mode, Nick Cave summons the total lunar eclipse from song one: Mickey Mouse & The Goodbye Man – “WahOOooooo!” Grinderman leave the crowd swaying, lurching and gasping throughout their entire set as the band obediently follow Cave’s unpredictable lead. Highlights include but are not limited to: Martyn Casey’s sinewy Heathen Child bassline; Honey Bee (Let’s Fly To Mars) with Cave’s demented, one-handed keys playing and vocal hissing; and No Pussy Blues, which is something we doubt Cave has ever actually experienced. The frontman launches from the stage to the crowd barrier with alarming speed, rapidly scaling it while a security guard maintains a firm hold on the back of his belt to rein him in where necessary. Chastising countless victims throughout Kitchenette, Cave points his finger in many voracious faces. Simultaneously terrifying and tantalising, Cave embodies the demon Seed and many are gutted when he announces this gig marks the end of Grinderman. Cue Arrested Development-style ‘sad walk’ back to the campsite. It’s late, those who crashed early are staying crashed in their tents, and down at the amphitheatre all hell is breaking loose. New Orleans diva Big Freedia is on stage with her dancers and the booty that is being shaken is, well, bloody awesome. There’s a sense that no one, not even Girl Talk a few years back, rocked the stage with that much ass as is being witnessed tonight. The tunes are certainly not everyone’s cup of pink flamingo, but hot damn! Watching a dozen scantily clad women shake what their mommas gave them at 2.30am at Meredith is certainly something to stay up late for. DAY THREE Just when you’re backslapping your Meredith crew with calls of ‘best Meredith ever’, along comes a quietly spoken humble genius to blow away what’s left of your fragile little mind. Frank Fairfield contorts his body like a mantis as he fiddles, plucks and stomps out some fine bluegrass and country blues. From his chair, he dances his feet to stomp out the percussion on what could only be a mic’d floor (!?). Via three beaten-up instruments and delightful songwriting smarts, Fairfield brings at least a thousand smiles to the dishevelled masses. Perth’s Abbe May conveys her dirty rock at 12 o’clock. Festival casualties surprise themselves by finding an extra energy reserve and nod along. She sure can play guitar and, once May’s learned how to conceal technical difficulties (of which there are several today), nothing will stop her. What’s that? She’s already had a song (Mammalian Locomotion) synced to Entourage end credits? The world is her oyster. Bloody Meredith from Pink Flamingo Bar? Check. Wait half an hour and then get a free breath test from Vanessa? Check. Pass mandatory breath test via booze bus stationed on the road towards Melbourne? Check. Resist urge to look in tissue after blowing nose? Impossible. Bryget Chrisfield, Samson McDougall and Dylan Stewart
SADE ROD LAVER ARENA Countless people would have looked twice at Sade’s name and assumed it a prank when she first came to prominence in the mid-‘80s. No one need look twice these days: Sade is pronounced her way first, the marquis be damned. Thirty years since the heady days of Smooth Operator and Sade still pulls a sizeable crowd, and a much cherished one at that: the kind that still pays full-price for music. Although Sade is an understated performer and her between-song patter is mostly rehearsed, the theatrical elements of her show – video projections, choreography, costume changes, stage effects – combined with an overlong absence from these antipodean shores make for an entertaining evening. The night begins with Soldier Of Love. The song incorporates a mechanised, industrial feel that is a slight departure from her usual fare and the whole production plays on it: the performers emerge from the depths of the stage on the beat; the band synchronise their movements in lockstep; Sade coolly hams it up; and the lights accent the snare drum pounding on the two and four. These theatrical elements are generally a clever touch the whole night through; a nonsensical video that should be providing the backstory to Smooth Operator while affording time for an obligatory costume change, however, is not. Regrettably, neither is the song’s rendition a great success – Smooth Operator feels limp and rushed. But no matter: soon after, an atmospheric rendition of Is It A Crime elicits the greatest response of the night, the slow burn of the verses that build to the chorus that goes somewhere close to emotional, a welcome change from the general coolness of Sade’s material. The restrained funk of Paradise has a handful of audience members on their feet and, when the song breaks down into a sanitised, adult-oriented hip hop section, everyone gets on up. Sade wisely leaves the stage to her two back-up singers who lead the crowd in a stock-standard call-andresponse routine of, “Yeah”, “Oh, yeah”, “Now scream!” It’s lightweight and ridiculous; nonetheless, it’s fun. We’ve been told we’re loved, we’ve heard the hits; while she never commands the stage, Sade is a gracious performer and, smartly, she doesn’t rely on her intimate, understated music alone to entertain in a venue as vast as Rod Laver Arena. Her urbane exotica and the show’s production are all well done and – dare I say it – a smooth operation indeed. Antonios Sarhanis
CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES, THE FROWNING CLOUDS, LITTLE JOHN HI-FI BAR The launch of the debut album by Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Baby Caught The Bus, has been billed as an old school, dancehall-style party, but the night begins on a sombre note with a folk-rock set from Little John. Frontman John Dickson’s haunting voice carries the audience from gentle moments of harmonious gospel through to stirring howls from the gut. The resonating poetics of Little John still linger in the room, but the mood quickly shifts when The Frowning Clouds take to the stage. Although they look the part, the set seems sloppy at times with vocal direction giving over to pubescent posing. But catchy pop, unashamedly mined from The Rolling Stones’ early output and The Kinks, win the punters over. As the set closes with popular single All Night Long, the party has well and truly begun. Wing-tipped shoes tap and twist, full skirts swirl and red lips burst into flirty smiles. The transformation into a sweaty dance hall is complete. Midnight approaches and anticipation builds. As the headliners are introduced, a kind of religious fervour takes
Sade pic by Tony Proudfoot
over. The crowd cheers in giddy appreciation as Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes take to the stage with a choreographed dance number. The four women, all big hair and curves, shimmy across the stage making converts of us all before even a single note is sung. What follows is more than an album launch – it is a celebratory stage show complete with theatrics, dancing, costume changes, balloons, confetti bombs and, of course, music. A nine-piece band, including horn section, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes produce a big-but-controlled sound that skilfully traverses the genres of ‘60s rock, gospel, R&B and Northern soul. The audience is treated to a showcase of songs including the cheeky She Plays Up To You, a reinvention of Cher’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) and the moving gospel track I’ll Be Fine. The gentle harmonies of The Rackettes are beautifully demonstrated in Vicious Cycle, the audience joining in to create an eerily atmospheric moment. An impressive night of local talent overall, but it’s the charismatic Clairy Browne that steals the show. She commands attention with her sultry looks and playful humour, hypnotising the audience with her velvety voice and seducing us with the slightest sidestep and sway of the hips. This is true showmanship. Adèle Psarras
THE FAMILY STONE, HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE PRINCE BANDROOM Once you’ve perved on Hypnotic Brass Ensemble live, there’s no turning back. Having first received an education on these eight brothers (plus one unrelated drummer) when they toured with Gorillaz late last year, a double dose of Harvest-plus-sideshow is mandatory. There are a lot of NY caps, lowslung jeans and streetwear logos crammed up there and Hypnotic Brass Ensemble’s synchronised moves and instrument swings are somewhat restricted on the Prince stage tonight, but they certainly warm up the crowd with their eight-pronged brass attack and calland-response rapping – we barely have time to catch our breath between “ParTAY!”s. When the MCs are joined
unexpectedly by an assault of brass, Kryptonite, quite simply, detonates and it’s all hands in the air, bouncing. As for the band member who removes his shirt to reveal “FOREVER” tattooed in a half circle dipping under his impossibly buff belly, thanks for the memories. What these guys bring, you can’t fake. And sadly a post-set visit to the merch desk reveals there are no HBE CDs for sale tonight. Continuing the family theme, The Family Stone bring their Family Affair for our listening (and viewing) pleasure. A sea of gold satin invades the stage and the impossibly saucy Trina Johnson breaks a lot of fashion rules up there in the strapless, leopard-print, micro mini-dress she’s poured herself into, but we’ll forgive her in the name of showbiz. She sets a nearby male crowd member’s pulse racing. He responds to one of her intros thus: “You can say whatever you want, sweetheart.” Every musician on stage gives it their all and rightly expect equal energy from us in return. Different band members shout out their versions of Hot Fun In The Summer Time in between sung chorus lines (eg. “Fishing with friends!”), but the ultimate suggestion of “Partying with The Family Stone” cannot be topped. I Wanna Take You Higher is a clear highlight, with the depth of new vocalist Alex Davis’ range tested to the extreme. Punters love the “boom-shakalakalaka”s and “Yaaaaahyah-yah-yah-YAH”s. Trumpeter Cynthia Robinson not only plays like a demon but also orders us around with her sassy demands to Dance To The Music etc. Johnson provides old-school introductions to each musician, paying respect to the various onstage Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees while “naasty grooves” are laid down. Each member of this incarnation of The Family Stone then grants us a lengthy solo putting their enviable abilities on display. Johnson mops Nate Wingfield’s brow with a towel, mid-solo, and we’re floored by his guitar chops. To all those who kept a wide berth of this gig because The Family Stone isn’t fronted by Sly this time ‘round, it’s your loss. There’s so much talent on stage and psychedelic soul has never sounded so good. “I’m gonna sing my heart out through my family right now,” Johnson enthuses and yes, we all wish to be adopted. Bryget Chrisfield
INPRESS • 49
IN A ROWE
Tonight (Wednesday) at the Sporting Club Hotel from 7.30pm to 10.30pm, come as you were in the ‘90s. If you’re dreaming of the days when Kurt Cobain was still alive, Salt-N-Pepa were topping the charts and you could sit down to watch Buffy without having to tweet about it, then Jay & Silent Sarah’s ‘90s trivia is just the thing for you. There’s free entry, you can win drinks, and there will be food and memories from the ‘90s.
Singer/songwriter and guitarist Jed Rowe blends blues, folk, rock, and alt.country to create a diverse contemporary roots sound. Rowe and his band have just recorded their second album, which was produced by multiple ARIA winner Jeff Lang. Two of the new tracks, Waiting By Your Side and Bloodlines, are already garnering airplay on triple j, RRR and PBS after being released as a double A-side in November, ahead of the full album release in March. Rowe plays an intimate solo gig at the Sporting Club this Saturday before heading out with his band on an East Coast single launch tour in January. Head to the front bar from 6pm. Entry is free.
DISCOVER THE MISSING PIECES Alexis Nicole will be sharing her tunes this Friday at the Sporting Club Hotel. Her music expresses courage and vulnerability all at once and is a fusion of folk, alternative and gypsy genres. She’ll be joined by members from her band The Missing Pieces, whose instruments include double bass, saw, banjo and drums. Nicole and this talented group of gents go on to create new and fresh sounds for the music lovers out there that crave raw and relatable music. Check them out in the front bar from 6 to 8pm, free entry.
TO MARKET, TO MARKET The Charles Street Artists Market & Workshop is the latest market to hit vibrant Brunswick. With one week before Christmas, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the right gift. There are heaps of new stall holders and regular favourites showcasing their amazing arts and crafts. On this Saturday from
5pm to 9pm in the Sporting Club Hotel carpark, there will be music jams and live art workshops open to the people; food, drinks, live painting and the fun-loving vibe you have come to expect from a Charles Street Artist’s Market. Take your family, friends and party tricks and get involved.
A PENY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Peny Bohan is a singer/songwriter with a love for jazz, folk and music that you want to sing along to. After a four-year sojourn into the world of classical horn, she found herself with a music degree and yet a still overwhelming urge to write songs of a more whimsical and less formal nature. Since graduating, Bohan has immersed herself in creating the perfect setting for procrastination and the odd bit of songwriting. Jam-making, cake-decorating and hammock-lounging have been the bricks and mortar that have sprouted the unique material that she is itching to share with new audiences. Her tunes cover topics of bliss, heartache, frustration, boredom and everything in between. See her play at the Sporting Club Hotel this Sunday from 4pm to 6pm.
OH, CAROLS! LIKE MARIAH CAREY AND THE NEIGHBOURS CAST BEFORE HIM, THE BEDROOM PHILOSOPHER HAS CUT A CHRISTMAS RECORD. HE TALKS BON-BON JOKES AND TINNED PINEAPPLE AHEAD OF HIS FINAL NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB RESIDENCY SHOW.
How do you celebrate Christmas? “I go home to my family in Tasmania and entertain them with David Lynchian interpretations of bon-bon jokes. For example: Q) Why was the skeleton sad at the ball? A) He had no body to dance with. I’ll flesh that out to a 45-minute, oneman mime/horror show using chicken leftovers and alfoil.” What’s on your 2011 Christmas list? “A Macbook Air so I can play the computer game of Miranda July’s The Future. It only has two levels but is near impossible to finish.” Have you struck anyone off your Christmas card list this year? “I think the Gen-Y equivalent is being struck off the group email list. I will be sending an impersonal email to those who have liked my status updates three or more times.” What’s been your most memorable Christmas? “Christmas ‘93 featured a Rip Curl wetsuit and Bonzai Pipeline backyard waterslide featuring ‘Wahoo Bump’. I was at the age where a man can use a backyard waterslide and not be compromised downstairs. My Uncle Nigel came down from Sydney and was a ton of fun. There’s a photo of me with a bowl cut and two balloons under my t-shirt for breasts and Nige giving them a cheeky squeeze. Bless Australian Christmas. It’s all cricket commentary and pineapple juice from the tin.” Perfect Christmas menu? “The Heazlewood tradition is a ham and pineapple champagne breakfast. For lunch it’s roast lamb with baked potatoes, nan’s homemade mint sauce, baked pumpkin with gravy. Wait a minute, it’s 30 degrees outside. Why are we doing this again?” Fave Christmas carol? “Little Drummer Boy is the only carol that sounds like a real song. It’s very powerful when it goes to that second chord. Most versions are really plodding but you can totally rock it up like The Dandy Warhols did. I do a parody called Little Drama Boy on my new EP. I gave it a pub-rock jangle which accentuates its toughness.” Least favourite carol? “White Christmas. Its themes are inappropriate from a socio-political and meteorological perspective.” Got your New Year’s resolutions sorted yet? “Cut down on Red Rock Deli chips and be more accepting of my own success. What’s that Nelson Mandela quote? ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same’.” WHO: The Bedroom Philosopher WHAT: A Very Beddy Christmas EP (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 20 December, Northcote Social Club
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SMITH & WALKER Broderick Smith has been a clerk, storeman, soldier, copywriter, graphic artist and actor. He has also sidelined as a singer/songwriter in several of the most important country and roots bands ever to surface in Australia (see: The Dingoes). That’s quite a resume. The resume of Matt Walker, while lacking in non-music related employment, is equally impressive. Walker has been touring, writing soundtracks, producing records and generally being involved in all aspects of the artform since his teenage years. A combination of vast experience and skill, Broderick Smith and Matt Walker combined are a rare treat. They’re playing this Sunday from 4pm at the Drunken Poet.
LITTLEFOOT LIVES Littlefoot have been spreading their disease on the music scene and will be taking it to the Prague this Friday for a night of ear-bleeding tunes alongside Drifter, Vinal Riot and Redfield. First up to the stage are Redfield, an alternative/grunge band setting the mood with their raw tunes. Next up are Vinal Riot sending out a wave of emotions in a dirty sound orgy, making way for Drifter to seduce and destroy with their heavy alt.rock. After all that, Littlefoot, hot off their release of their single Stiltskin, will blow your mind with their super fuzz, howling tunes. Doors open at 8pm.
Hardcore Barrage Upstairs at the Gasometer this Friday are five bands who want you to come celebrate a top year for local hardcore punk with a diverse line-up of Melbourne’s finest. Performing on the night are Halfmast, Mindset, Declaration, Term Four and Right Mind.
Double the Kaiyote
In the Zond This Friday at the Gasometer check Zond and their maximum volume, minimalist sound. They broadcast very dark grey ecstasy, not from space but from a place deep inside the automatic mind brain. Their live shows vary from a screaming psychedelic punk car crash to an ambient metal alloy hum; intensity is assured. Joining them on the night are Zingers and Interzone.
NO LONGER PERCHED Preston Perche play their final gig at the Cornish Arms this Friday from 9.30pm. The band are calling it a day as their lead singer Bec Langley is going overseas for three years. Beginning as an acoustic duo with sisters Bianca Maes and Bec Langley, they released two EPs in their first year-and-a-half together. Their style was signature guitar riffs and rhythms combined with light-heartedly serious lyrics. Preston Perche have played as a full band for 12 months with Steph Bramich on drums and Jonathan McCoy bass, mixing their love of funk, prog-rock and soul. Give them a good farewell at the Cornish Arms with support acts The Charlies and Wet Young Dolphin.
AN ANNUAL REUNION Dan & Al are a couple of withered shards of yesteryear. Having played thousands of shows together throughout the ‘90s, they now play only once a year lest they kill each other, though chances are one of them will weep on stage at some point. Dan will become boisterous, magnanimous and mildly violent. Al will become embarrassed and frozen with fear. Are you a ludicrous freak show trapped in an inexplicable vortex of tragic nostalgia and ennui? Then head to the Corner this Sunday from 8pm to catch the reunion.
GET YOUR GRRR ON
What I’m listening to right now is… The Jim Jones Revue.
Having recently released their single Go Now, Sydney’s Tigertown are teaming up with Melbourne’s Cordial Factory at the Toff tonight for a co-headline event. Both bands have begun to earn quite a reputation for their upbeat and interactive live performances. With The Former Love (previously known as The Former Love Pirates) and Young Maverick on the bill for support, this event is a must see and will have every folk/indie fanatic drooling at the mouth. Tickets are just $10+BF from Moshtix.
What I’m watching right now is… Game Of Thrones.
CAN’T STOP CORBY
JAMES GRIM – BROTHERS GRIM
What I’m reading right now is… One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez. The best film of all-time is clearly… Currently it’s Drive. The one song I wish I’d written is… Chase The Dragon by the Beasts Of Bourbon. Brothers Grim play the East Brunswick Club this Saturday 17 December.
HAVE YOU HEARD
Just before Hiatus Kaiyote skip off into summer festival adventures they’re going to make Bar Open’s knees shake this Thursday, with a double dollop of experimental soul. This night will include two sets, the other from a Kaiyote Collective plus DJ. Get down with the gang and see what all the fuss is about. Free entry and doors open at 9pm.
Matt Corby has certainly carved a unique path for someone that started his career aged 16 on a reality TV talent show in 2007. With triple j flogging his single Brother, the success of his intimate Secret Garden shows around the country, as well as selling out numerous shows (we’ve lost count now) at the Toff in support of his new EP Into The Flame, Corby has come a long way and is bound to go much further. He plays two final EP launch shows at the Toff tomorrow night (sold out) and this Tuesday night, with support from Hayden Calnin.
LET BURKE OUT Out of a mid-life crisis and a battle with bipolar disorder comes Matt Burke’s third album, Let Me Out! The album is an up close and personal depiction of Burke’s emotional journey, predominantly expressing his feelings of confusion, pain, destruction and ultimately, understanding. Burke plans to tour the country in support of his new album soon, but in the meantime, the album is available for purchase from mattburke.com, iTunes and Amazon.
A ROYALE RESIDENCY The Bombay Royale are a Melbourne band dedicated to honouring and reviving the funky, bizarre and mysterious music of vintage Indian cinema. Dusting off near-unheard relics, smashing out Bollywood classics and putting down surfadelic Hindi originals is all in a day’s work for The Bombay Royale. This band brings the sound of the Golden Age of Bollywood back to the future, where it belongs. Check them out this Monday, from 8pm.
Sepia Tones Brisbane band In Sepia are in the process of organising their last tour. They drop by the Gasometer tonight with good buds Strathmore, The Quiet Contender and Bowcaster. In Sepia could best be described as an indie-emo band that draw influences from Mineral, Christie Front Drive and the like. They toured the East Coast last year with NIM from Japan and performed more than admirably.
Fields of Gold The first time you hear the distinct sound of Frank Fairfield a couple of things spring to mind – the past and the Appalachian Mountains. But the multiinstrumentalist is a 25-year-old Californian. Taking the basic structure of traditional folk songs, he reshapes them into a style that becomes his own both through his amazing voice and his musicianship. In his first trip to Australia, Fairfield plays the Gasometer this Saturday with The Orbweavers and Khancoban.
Sunday Fun Upstairs at the Gasometer this Sunday is Matthew Brown, who plays synth in Zond and also plays frequently on his own with drum machines and synthesisers; Emma Russack, who plays country/ indie music with her voice being the focal point; The Great Outdoors, who play cruisy jangle pop tunes with nice hooks and multiple vocals; and finally MSG, who are the Mia Schoen Group.
Howard’s Immortals Harry Howard’s musical history includes many years living in London playing with such luminaires as his brother Rowland S Howard in Crime & The City
In Malice’s Wake play Christmassacre at Cherry Bar this Saturday 17 December. How did you get together? Shaun Farrugia, vocals/guitar: “My brother Mark and I began IMW back in 2001. Over the years there have not been a great number of member changes, however, Luke was the last to join twoand-a-half years ago and this current line-up is the most tight and aggressive the band has had.” Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? “This year we finished our second full-length album – both have been recorded sparing no expense and feature world-class production. Bedroom recording systems are a great way to cultivate ideas, however.” Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? “Violent, aggressive, memorable, heavy.” If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? “Testament or Sodom. Both bands are a huge influence on IMW’s sound and we are big fans of both. We’ve recently had the thrill of supporting both Forbidden and Destruction, also big influences, and this was fantastic.” If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? “My signed copy of Testament’s The Gathering… a hard one though, I love my CD collection.” Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? “Nah, but I think Luke’s vest makes it to every show. Not sure if he’s ever washed it…” If you invited someone awesome ‘round for dinner what would you cook? “BBQ, easily done and you can have a beer while cooking…”
Solution and These Immortal Souls. Now teamed up with Dave Graney and Clare Moore (permanently moonlighting as his rhythm section) plus Edwina Preston, Howard is currently preparing to unleash his CD upon the world as Harry Howard & The NDE. They are playing this Friday at Yah Yah’s with Bronwyn Adams who also played with these Immortal Souls, Sean Simmons, crooner from The Spoils, and everyone’s new favourite garage rock band with a great deal of youth on their side, The Murlocs. Doors open 9pm,
INPRESS • 51
HAVE YOU HEARD
Ripe for the listening Melbourne Fresh presents a Christmas showcase with a twist of unsigned Melbourne talent this Friday. Coming back to Revolver after two great shows, RPM hit the stage with their high-energy rock supported by The Grey File, The Winters, The Handfuls and Grace Walker (with band). Then on Tuesday 20 December catch Nonagon, Private Radio, Bury The Truth, Waking Fate, Pete Jones, Reflex Rex, Ruby Red, Fubex and Adam Strang appearing. Doors at 7.30pm, $15 entry.
yuletide spirit Emily Davis is a chanteuse and troubadour who’ll perform original goth-country, swampy blues and gypsy-folk songs from her latest record Undone on Friday 23 December at the Wesley Anne. Davis has plenty to celebrate and shall be calling on the Yuletide spirit (a couple of days early) armed with nothing but a guitar, her vocal cords and a hearty laugh. She’ll be supported by gorgeous local songstress Cilla Jane. Tickets are $12 at the door, show starts at 8.30pm.
Collarts Presents Cola Cola Wars invite one and all to their Christmas show tonight (Wednesday) at Revolver with special guests The Villains Lair, Cavalcade, Alvarez and Abbey Leigh. This show is being put together and run by students at Collarts (Australian College Of The Arts). Cola Wars feature Shane and Cam from the legendary Bodyjar, Mikey from recently reformed FAO, and one other dude. They will unleash some songs from their second yet-tobe-released album as well as the choice cuts from their debut Invader album. Entry is free, Doors at 7.30pm.
Take Aim Archer & Bow return to the Melbourne stage in December with the release of their new single, The Spot and their brand new webpage. After launching their selfproduced debut album in July this year, Archer & Bow decided to venture back into a studio this time, enlisting the help of Sam Swain to record what would become The Spot, a song that didn’t make it onto the album because it was too intense. Archer & Bow will be taking to the Revolver stage tomorrow with all five egos on board and support from locals Jubal and The Oxford Collective.
Eloquor possesses the kind of traits comparable to those of a modern-day vigilante. The sentiments strewn through his rhymes promote dignity and the importance of living life by your own design. One of the most persevering, hard-working MCs in the game, Eloquor has earned his stripes performing
Dropbunny play Breed at DV8 this Saturday 17 December. How did you get together? Xero, vocals: “Dropbunny grew out of a carnivorous hivemind, hidden 12 kilometres under Flinders Street Station. It took several years for us dig our way through the hard earth, losing skin, fingernails and flesh until our hands were naught but gory stumps, completely useless for playing music. So, we broke into a prosthetics shop in North Fitzroy, kicked the owner (the prosthetician?) to death, stealing 14 cast-iron hands which we duct-taped to ourselves. The seven of us were so fucked up by this experience that we began screaming into the abyss that we felt was screaming directly into our minds. Someone offered us a tenner if we made the same noise at their pub. We said yes.”
If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? “Dropbunny would be proud to support any band whose performance features spontaneous human combustion. That would be so rad.” If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? “Slayer’s God Hates Us All, because I think they will’ve been proven right by this scenario.”
STORY TIME WITH HARRY If you are looking for an antidote for the office parties, the electronic cards, the television specials and the terrible music, come and join Harry James Angus and special guests Simone Page Jones and Miles O’Neil for an intimate night of storytelling at the Toff this Sunday. Angus will be performing a selection of carols, songs related to Christmas, and also some songs unrelated to Christmas from his new album Little Stories. Tickets are $25+BF from Moshtix or $30 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm.
52 • INPRESS
Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? “I have a fractaline rabbit pendant that I often wear. It’s not so much lucky per se, but more amazingly unlucky for everyone who’s not wearing it. So when the people around you are all getting electrocuted by hairdryers, becoming fatally allergic to the colour blue, or waking up to find their eyelids replaced by wasps, you feel lucky by comparison.” If you invited someone awesome ‘round for dinner what would you cook? “As the saying goes, ‘Give a man a salad, and they will eat for a day. Inject a man with a virus that modifies their genes so they start producing chlorophyll, and they will eat for a lifetime. Plus, then you can put them in your salad.’” What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? “The gutters. Always the gutters.”
Reggae Brigade This Friday Lotek continues his Bar Open residency complete with a full band and specially selected supports, toasters and selectaz. Lotek and his crew bring the huge phenomenon that is reggae and everything that bursts from it: hip hop, dubstep, 2 Tone, ska and drum’n’bass. Soul and funk singer Florelie Escano, an immense and versatile vocal talent, has opened for acts such as Roy Ayers and Arrested Development and joins Lotek every Friday during December with her sidekick DJ Saul Knight slashin’ up the decks. Get along to Bar Open by 10pm and enjoy the free entry and music.
FOR THE LOVE OF IT JOE GRIMES AND HIS LABEL SOUND OF MELBOURNE RECORDS ARE PREPARED TO TAKE A HIT IN THE HIP POCKET IN THE NAME OF QUALITY RELEASES, HE TELLS TONY MCMAHON. JOE GRIMES
Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? “We’ve just finished our second album, IO, recorded at Woodstock Studios by Cameron Trewin (Augie March, Coco Rosie), and mastered by Ue Nastasi (Slipknot, Strapping Young Lad, Clutch) at Sterling Studios in New York. It’s due out on 28 January, and there’s four preview tracks up at dropbunny. com. You can also still download our first album, Hypothesis, for free from dropbunny.com.” Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? “To fuck you up.”
alongside industry heavyweights such as Pegz, Briggs, and Hilltop Hoods. Catch Eloquor with In Good Company, 1/6 & DJ Must, Tenfold and Slap618 at Revolver this Saturday. Doors open 8.30pm with pre-sale tickets $10 from Obese Records in Prahran or $13 on the door.
Is Melbourne on the brink of becoming the new Madchester? Are there bands currently toiling away in tiny pubs who will one day go on to be as historically significant as Joy Division and The Happy Mondays? Is there a disused warehouse somewhere in Brunswick that people will one day write books about, like the famous Hacienda? According to Sound Of Melbourne Records boss Joe Grimes, the answer to all of the above questions is a resounding yes. And unlike many others, Grimes is putting his money where his mouth is with the release of Sampler 2011, a stunning compilation of tracks by ten established independent acts and three emerging ones. Surely this is as important a release as the 1978 A Factory Sample. Grimes even has a Liverpool accent, and doesn’t sound all that dissimilar to a Manc – a good omen. “Each time I’ve been in Melbourne I’ve just been blown away by how many great bands there are,” he says. “I’d been working away and had some money in my pocket, so it just seemed like a chance to put something back. I’d been in bands in Liverpool and Manchester as a young lad and I looked at the scene here and was just blown away at how good it was, what a huge amount of talent there was here. Even if some of it wasn’t my particular taste, I could still recognise how bloody good it was.” Miraculously – or perhaps suicidally, depending on your worldview – Grimes has gone so far as to model his business plan on that of Factory Records. “It’s not designed to make money in any way. It’ll loose money this first album. Factory Records went bankrupt twice, and I’ve based my philosophy on theirs. It doesn’t make good business sense, but it
does make good music sense. For every vinyl copy of the album we sell, we’ll probably loose about seven dollars. I think factory lost ten pence on every copy they sold of Blue Monday. With inflation, it’s probably about the same.” Grimes’ point about his label making good music sense is key here. This writer recalls an interview with Factory boss Tony Wilson just before his death from liver cancer. Unable to pay for medication that would have prolonged his life, Wilson was asked whether he was bitter about this, given the amount of money that had passed through his company, all of which he spent on more music. His answer was resoundingly in the negative, pointing out that he was the man who’d released Joy Division, and that anyone who had that on their résumé had no place being bitter. It’s obvious that Grimes is cut from very similar cloth. “The album is dedicated to John Peel and Tony Wilson,” he says. “They were two massive influences on me when I was growing up. Their philosophy about music is the driving force behind the label.” This writer has no problem admitting that seldom has he been as excited as this about a record. The launch, at Pure Pop Records, will see me open my wallet and gladly pay whatever it is Grimes wants for a vinyl version of Sampler 2011, despite being the owner of a promotional copy on CD. Hell, I might even pay seven bucks more. “That’s great. Pure Pop is a fantastic place for us to have the launch. It’s kind of unique to Melbourne. It’s a great live music venue so it gets people out seeing live music and it also gets people back into record shops again. It’s what we’re all about.” Grimes departs and tells me he’ll be spending the rest of the day hand numbering albums. Will he be doing it in his own blood, as Wilson was said to have written Factory contracts? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, such is the man’s obvious dedication to music. Fuck, you wouldn’t be dead for quids. WHO: Various Artists WHAT: Sound Of Melbourne Records Sampler 2011 launch WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December, Pure Pop Records
World Wide Sound System
Nahuatl Sound System come back to Bar Open this Saturday. Straight from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Australia, their combined live set is a powerful mix of hi-tech dub, nu-Cumbia, techno, heavy basslines with Latin-American roots and rhythms. Guest Austero brings a very powerful and futuristic style of hi-tech dub and glitch. Albino will play a live set of his future style music that is not to be missed. KLVO (Abstractor), the producer of the highly influential Venezuelan soundsystem Babylon Motorhome, comes to Bar Open with an original flavour of dub and dubstep combined with Cumbia and Latin-American folklore. Doors at 10pm with free entry.
Watch out, Damn Terran’s decided to break up with 2011 in the most devastating way, by headlining for the first time in months at Yah Yah’s this Saturday. Supporting acts getting tangled in the velvet include Raul Sanchez’s (of Magic Dirt and Midnight Woolf renown) latest project River Of Snakes, mystery Ouch My Face cover band TITS (featuring all the members of Ouch My Face), and grunge magician Dane Certificate. Damn Terran are sure to unleash their infamous rep as a tight-sounding, hard-hitting and blood-splattering live act. Doors at 9pm.
Quality Plain to hear The Plains are all girls who play fine pop rock music. They are appearing Thursday at Yah Yah’s with Ghost Mut, The Laments and The Raffaellas. They are four hill folk who started playing together at the beginning of 2011 and decided to become a real band. They enjoy playing in front of people and busking on the grass. Doors at 8.30pm.
MISTY EYED After a recent hiatus Lisa MacKinney’s Mystic Eyes project makes a triumphant return with a careful, timely study of acetone and guitar drones. Support will come from Dark Passenger creating his mono-chromatically eroding and degraded metallic drones; Bonnie Mercer exploring unrestrained depraved feedback, hallucinatory white noise and hypnotic sonic guitar experiments; and the frosty, classically-inspired synth and guitar drones from newcomer Em Vécue Aquieu. Wednesday 21 December at the Grace Darling.
chaos THEORY The Chaos Festival: Swags For Homeless charity event is on this Saturday at Musicland in Fawkner. Featuring Lamort, Whoretopsy, The Seaford Monster, Internal Nightmare, Jigsaw Torture, Naberus, Abreact, Krematorium Defiled, Zypohoid, Southpaw, Avalerion, and metal DJs Vixzen and Sinister, the all-day event will raise money to buy swags for some of Melbourne’s homeless community
COUCH PLONK It’s not a dream it’s Plonk, back just in time to make all your Christmas nightmares come true. Featuring DJs Joey Lightbulb, Clink Burton, Rainbow Gary, The Milkman and Matt Chico, you can expect crunchy rock’n’roll, pyschedelic house, taut techno, classical symphonic flourishes, pure pop and a whole lot of Christmas cheer and beer. This Friday at Gertrude’s Brown Couch. Free entry. for Christmas. There will be giveaways, a charity auction, amazing bands and DJs, cheap drinks, and some special surprises, and it’s all for a great cause. It runs from midday ‘til midnight and tickets are only $10.
THURSDAY SPITFIRES The Spitfires from WA are stopping in at Pony as part of their national tour this Thursday night, with good pals Premodernists and Rayon Moon. Doors from 8.30pm and entry is free. The Universal will play the new Thursday 1am slot.
MOLLY MEETS JOEY LIGHTBULB
HAVE YOU HEARD
Saint Jude launch their new single All Ways Were Lost at the Post Office Hotel this Sunday 18 December. How did you get together? Bill Deeble, drums/vocals: “Pretty much tripped and fell into it. It was a serendipitous event with cataclysmic results.” Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? “Pretty personal second half to the question there, chaps. My preference is for me and my lady to really… actually we put out an EP a couple of years back when Saint Jude was a three-piece. Looking back at it, it’s not as bad as we thought. New single has just been ‘serviced to media’. I’m in the game, motherfuckers! New album finished and out in March.” Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? “Rock. And. Or. Roll.” If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? “The Band, in their basement, with Bob Dylan pulling beers and waxing lyrical about whatever the hell he wants to. Obviously Papa Legba would have to be in attendance to mediate between members of The Band that have passed on. And maybe get Rick Wakeman to sit in on keys because 1) G Hudson has lost the plot, and 2) Bern has a boner for Rick Wakeman. Chuck Norris on security.” If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? “Brooke [Penrose, guitar/vocals] mentioned the original BBC cast recording of The Hobbit. Alternatively Harry Smith’s Anthology Of American Folk Music.” Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? “I have a lucky pair of sky blue Bonds undies, but they’re lucky for other reasons (see questions about tooling around in the bedroom). Boots. Must have boots on to play. You’re pretty much not allowed to play north of the Yarra River if you don’t have the boots.” If you invited someone awesome ‘round for dinner what would you cook? “I’ve actually got a couple of salmon fillets in the fridge at home that I’m going to cook tonight. Bed of creamy mash, French sauce for the fish, and steamed asparagus delicately balanced on top to give it that restaurant-made look.” What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? “Old Bar, the Standard, the Labour In Vain, Wesley Anne beer garden. My front verandah also has a lovely aspect across the Epping train line.”
INPRESS • 53
WAKE THE DEAD
Blues ‘n’ roots with Dan condon firstname.lastname@example.org
Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG
hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell
Bischoff (Heaven Shall Burn) and Mitch Lucker (Suicide Silence).
PSYCROPTIC STEVE EARLE After last week’s tribute to Coco Robicheaux, I’m not exactly thrilled to open this week’s column by paying tribute to another who has passed on to the other side: the great Hubert Sumlin. Sumlin will always be best known as one of the guitarists in Howlin’ Wolf’s band and he kept that group going after Wolf passed away in the mid-1970s, before going on to record and perform under his own name. This guy was a huge name in the world of blues guitar and there are many who have and will pay tribute in far greater detail than I, so keep your eyes peeled for obituary pieces over the next couple of weeks. Funk and Maceo Parker go together like tequila and regret; he’s one of the world’s foremost funk musicians and has been for almost half a century. His list of playing credits is nothing short of epic: he started his career playing in James Brown’s band, joining the Godfather back in 1964 and staying with him during that glorious mid- to late‘60s period, before leaving after the release of the awesome Sex Machine record in 1970. He then started leading his own band before joining George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic in 1975. Since then he’s played alongside everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to De La Soul to Keith Richards and so many more and if you caught him last time he was out here you’ll know he is still incredible. As well as coming back to Bluesfest he’s announced a sideshow, hitting the Corner on Wednesday 11 April; tickets are available now from the venue’s box office for $88+BF. The masterful Steve Earle is one of the most exciting names on next year’s Bluesfest bill; not only because he’s one of the greatest living American songwriters, not just because his latest record I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive is actually really excellent, but also because I’ve been watching The Wire lately so it will be a kick to see him again and this time pretend he’s Walon, Bubbles’ rehab buddy. He’s announced a sideshow to take place at the Corner on Friday 30 March and word is it is selling mighty fast. So it should. Hurry up and contact the venue to grab your ticket – it’ll set you back $55+BF. I’ve only got room for one more, so why not go for a big one. Buddy Guy really disappointed me the first time I saw him back at the beginning of this century, but every time I have seen him since (quite a few, thanks Bluesfest) he has been amazing – in fact last year his performance was one of my top five shows of the year! This guy is nothing short of a completely legitimate blues legend and we are privileged to be able to see him perform out here so often. He’s going to be appearing – with Johnny Lang, a guitarist whose return has been demanded ever since he blew minds back in 2000 – at the Palais Theatre on Tuesday 3 April. Tickets from Ticketmaster range from $95.60 to $105.60. And of course I need to mention that the headline act for Bluesfest 2012 was revealed last week, with Cold Chisel scoring top billing this time around. I had a feeling when watching them a couple of weeks back that they’d do the festival and I can attest to the quality of the performance – these guys are a worthy addition to the bill. Another act has been (unofficially) added to the line-up, with the legendary Canned Heat letting it slip on their website that they’ll be playing at the festival as well as doing a side show at the East Brunswick Club on Monday 2 April. It’s worth noting that three-quarters of the current line-up played that legendary Woodstock set in 1969, which is very exciting! 54 • INPRESS
Killswitch Engage are continuing to write and demo material for the follow-up to their 2009 self-titled album. Bassist Mike D’Antonio writes in an online posting, “Killswitch Engage should be in the studio in February/March, so expect a summer 2012 release for the new record. As of now we have eight demos finished for the new record. Everything is coming together nicely at the moment… My demos are pretty fast. Blast beats, anyone?” Testament frontman Chuck Billy has confirmed to the UK’s Terrorizer magazine that drummer Paul Bostaph has left the band. Due to a “serious injury,” Bostaph was absent from the recording sessions for Testament’s new album The Dark Roots Of Earth which is scheduled for release in April via Nuclear Blast Records. “We just found out last week Paul Bostaph is not coming back to the band, he’s starting his own new project and doing some things on his own,” Billy told Terrorizer. “So we’re actually going to be holding a couple of auditions with probably a small group of drummers that we chose – we don’t want to have a revolving drum stool, we have a new record we want a permanent drummer.” Billy’s new project is Blackgates, featuring ex-Anthrax vocalist Dan Nelson. Caliban will release their eighth studio album, I Am Nemesis, on 28 February via Century Media Records. The CD will feature guest appearances by Marcus
Tassie metallers Psycroptic will release their new album, The Inherited Repression, on 7 February via Nuclear Blast Records. Commented Psycroptic guitarist Joe Haley: “The Inherited Repression is far and away my favorite Psycroptic record thus far – all of us in the band think this. It’s the age-old cliché from bands when they talk about their new album as being the best of their career, blah, blah, but I have to say it because it’s true. The Inherited Repression is quite different from anything we have done in terms of songwriting and structure, and we spent a lot longer writing and demoing the songs before we recorded it, which you can tell. It’s a very dynamic album – the fast elements faster, the slow elements slower, and a lot of light and dark binding it together. It’s a very catchy album as well – you can tap your foot, bang your head or anything else you want. Basically, it has a lot of groove on it from start to finish.” Swedish black metallers Naglfar have begun recording their sixth album, Téras, for a 2012 release. According to a press release, fans should “expect nothing less than another prime example of infernal melodic black metal from the vanguards of the scene.” Dutch symphonic metallers Epica have set Requiem For The Indifferent as the title of their fifth full-length album, due on 9 March via Nuclear Blast Records. Commented the band: “This title refers to the end of an era. Mankind can no longer stick their head in the sand for the things that are happening around us. We are facing many challenges”. Former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart is currently in the studio working on material for a new project that has yet to be officially unveiled. He has commented, “We’re busy tracking drums and we’ve got one crazy motherfucker in there that’s been driving us mental all week.” Theart previously promised that his new band’s material would “fucking hit the listeners in the face”.
LONDON FEILDS THE VIEW FROM EC4 WITH JAMES MCGALLIARD
The Horrors I’m not sure if it’s just people I know, but at this time of year the interest in top ten lists feels like something that’s escaped from the pages of High Fidelity. These tend to make me reflect on the fact that music was a big factor in abandoning my native Australia for the comparative anonymity of London and further realise that I haven’t really written much about it since returning from Primavera Sound back in May. This year it did feel that the festival was beginning to be a victim of its own success, but PJ Harvey still provided a captivating 75 minutes, making the large expanses feel intimate, while the first public performance of the return of Pulp met and exceeded all reasonable expectations. Here also The National finally achieved what they’ve been on the verge of on so many occasions I’ve seen them over the years – capturing that heartbreaking melancholy and delivering a powerful and sustained emotional punch throughout their early-evening set. A secret highlight was eschewing both The Walkmen and Grinderman to see Smoke Fairies deliver what could have been the performance of the festival to a small but gripped crowd. The most enjoyable performances of this year’s Camden Crawl could be found in the front lounge of the Spread Eagle, where Andy Ross curated a wonderful two days of performances. The larger shows there were more of a mixed bag with SCUM (supporting Killing Joke) a particular lowlight (strange as they’ve gone on to produce one of the best albums of the year), but my
overall highlight was Mat Motte’s deranged take on pop. I caught the new expanded line-up of Spotlight Kid on various occasions, as the year progressed they became an ever-more cohesive live outfit. Seeing Veronica Falls play their upbeat pop on a Dalston rooftop made the August riots seem very far away while Still Corners only seemed to gain by losing a member as they became a more striking live proposition as a four-piece. Elsewhere Esben & The Witch were remarkable for refusing to pander to the conventions of live performance. However, my pub gig of the year would have to be The Horrors at The 100 Club; their star has now risen so high that shows of this small a scale are virtually unknown and this night was allowed the rare pleasure of a close-up insight into how Skying was created. This year was certainly one for veterans, especially from Manchester. James toured the country with an orchestra, their set mostly kept away from the hits and concentrated on rarer album tracks and early numbers. Thankfully WU LYF showed that not everything in Manchester was about the past, which was just as well as The Stone Roses announced their reformation and most of New Order reassembled for live dates. Their contemporaries The Cure certainly had all made friends again as Lol Tolhurst joined them as they played their first three albums in their entirety at the Royal Albert Hall. I even saw Blancmange and Modern English this year, so it certainly sometimes felt like another decade. That said, Scritti Politti’s Christmas shows in Dalston proved that some sounds are indeed timeless. But there’s been one artist who both live and on record has been the key player of 2011 and his name is Josh T Pearson. It saw him begin the year in the tiny environs of The Slaughtered Lamb and end at the prestigious Barbican Hall in November. His album Last Of The Country Gentlemen brought about this remarkable change in his fortunes, but its success was also a bind, as it saw him having to relive the disintegration of his marriage on stage night after night. Finally any discussion of live music in London this year must also mention the loss of its best live venue when the Luminaire closed its doors forever in March. Vale – you are still very much missed and I fear we shall not see your like again.
Next March and April a couple of Fat Wreck Chords artists will be back in Australia for a joint tour. San Francisco’s Dead To Me and Nevada’s Cobra Skulls will be teaming up for the All Drive, No Lullabies tour (where they cover four states in nine days!). And joining them will be Canberra outfit Lamexcuse who have been in hibernation since 2009. Both bands have new records out – Dead To Me recently released Moscow Penny Ante and Cobra Skulls Agitations. The bands play the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 29 March. It was only announced a couple of weeks ago that Melbourne hardcore act Proteam would be getting back on the bike by releasing some new music and playing some shows. While not new music, what has been revealed is that boutique Melbourne vinyl label Midnight Funeral Records (who are also back from a short break) will be releasing the band’s 2007 EP Our Wasteland as a six song 7”. Originally supposed to be released in 2007 by Washed Up Records, this release will see the EP in 300 copies on random coloured vinyl. What this means is hell for serious collectors (or heaven, I’m not sure which) as there will be many, many colours and variations of the record for you to get your hands on. Be warned: there will be no pre-orders. If you don’t want to miss out, I strongly suggest that you head to the Midnight Funeral Facebook or Tumblr and start following, because that is where you’ll get the news that they’re available first. While we’re talking about limited edition vinyl releases, Bodyjar are set to re-release their landmark 1998 album No Touch Red on vinyl through Pile Of Sand Records. They’re available for pre-order now through the Bodyjar online store with a number of packages to choose from. And to celebrate the release, Bodyjar will also be playing a special Melbourne show in which they will perform the album in full, as well as a range of other tracks from across their career. The show is set to be an absolute cavalcade of ‘90s punk bands re-forming, including One Dollar Short, Antiskeptic and Game Over (their first show in a decade). So dust off the Dickies and get your tickets because the show will take place at the Corner Hotel on Saturday 31 March. Next year’s line-up for what looks like becoming the annual Australia Day at the Tote celebration has been announced and it’s awesome! The day is a not for profit fundraiser for the Refugee Council Of Australia, and with 20 bands from across the country coming together from midday on Thursday 26 January, it’s a great afternoon. The line-up as announced so far includes Arrows, Anchors, The Smith Street Band, Darren Gibson, Quiet Steps, Nuclear Summer, Waiting Room, Milestones, Make More, Foxtrot, Cavalcade, Palisades, The Union Pacific and The Castle Nervous. Last week Stu Harvey wrapped up his year on Short.Fast.Loud with his annual listener’s poll, and I guess controversy was the word this year when the final 40 was released. To give you an idea, here is the top ten , from ten to one: Neighborhoods by Blink-182; Radiosurgery by New Found Glory; Clash Battle Guilt Pride by Polar Bear Club; Suburbia I’ve Given You All And Now I’m Nothing by The Wonder Years; Smoko At The Pet Food Factory by Frenzal Rhomb; Empty Days And Sleepless Nights by Defeater; Separation by Balance & Composure; Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me by Touche Amore; Shed by Title Fight; and rounding it out and taking out the top spot was Wildlife by La Dispute.
POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
URBAN AND R’N’B NEWS BY CYCLONE
GET IT TOGETHER HIP HOP WITH VIKTOR KRUM
not Blige. Winehouse’s posthumously compiled Lioness: Hidden Treasures is more ‘complete’ than My Life II… In fact, Blige’s past few LPs haven’t been up to standard – 2009’s Stronger With Each Tear was especially dismal – and so, for her tenth, she’s apparently randomly decided to cut a sequel to 1994’s seminal My Life.
GRINDERMAN It’s tempting at this time of year to attempt to draw lines between everything that’s happened over the last 12 months. Amidst the readers’ polls and the writers’ polls and the ‘we asked our favourite band managers who their favourite brand of toothpaste was to fill some column space’ polls, the end of any year inevitably brings out those whose job it is to piece it all together (or those who make it their job – or, in the case of the dailies, some interns from AAP, if Marieke Hardy is busy). Those who set out to make some sense of everything that took place, wrap it all up in a sexy Christmas bow, call it The Year That Was and give it to Jarvis Cocker so that he can grumble something about it in response. Just to make it, you know, official. It’s a tough business and it’s getting tougher. At least in music. If there’s one thing that 2011 showed us, it’s that the links between things that happen in popular music are growing more and more tenuous as the ‘industry’ settles into its new mode of functioning in a decentralised, powershifting, niche-market environment. Perhaps ‘mode of functioning’ is even too certain a phrase – if anything, the motto of the ‘industry’ at large is now: every woman, man and publicist for themselves. If there’s a sign that bands are now acting as separate entities, devoid of any intention to blend into a ‘scene’, it’s in the attention-seeking, brandmaking and just-plain-bad band names we’re seeing. Part of the ‘call it something random and it will stand out and stick’ school are: Papa Vs Pretty, Calling All Cars, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Snakadaktal, Ball Park Music, Bleeding Knees Club, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard… Then again, Australia hardly has a recent history of great band names: the acts up for Best Group at the ARIAs this year were Boy & Bear, Birds Of Tokyo, Eskimo Joe, The Living End and, the old hands with the saving-grace banner, Grinderman. Maybe there is something in that line of thought after all. Either way, it’s been a hard year for grouping acts together based on names and aesthetic, save perhaps for the garage rock exchange between Australia’s East Coast and the US led by bourgeoning Aus labels RIP Society and Bedroom Suck. Bar some long-standing holdouts, the places we find out about music are also decreasingly looking to be one-stop scenarios. Instead, they’re looking to create their own profiles, build their brands – from blogs to national radio broadcasters. Indeed, if there is a defence that the old industry habit of backscratching is alive and well, it’s surely to be found in the (far more relaxed and congenial) ‘friendships’ formed by specific media outlets and labels or ‘band scenes’. It’s not uncommon to see the same labels and connected bands cropping up on blogs, or the same group of bands being played on a radio program, or media outlets ‘presenting’ a stage at a festival, or ‘exclusives’ routinely given to media in any format by labels in exchange for the promotion that lends. That is also just to say that music communities are tightening, localising. Far from being the scrappy bar fight it sounds, ‘every woman, man and publicist for themselves’ means a more level playing field where connections can be made and our music culture strengthened. It’s no bad thing, whether looked at from the perspective of the audience or the musician, when it’s considered that there are many communities with, now, innumerable (and affordable) ways of reaching out and being reached. It is true that some media outlets or labels or promoters have more money and thus a greater marketing spenditure than others, but it’s also true that many have – this year included – been started on the smell of a crusty band T-shirt and built themselves up.
MARY J BLIGE Sade is the reigning Queen Of Quiet Storm (sorry Anita Baker!), wowing all with her first Australian shows in more than 20 years. The Brit, often considered unchanging, has actually assimilated hip hop into her jazzy soul – live, Soldier Of Love is hard. There’s nothing ‘retro’ about Sade’s concert, either, with only The Sweetest Taboo a little ‘80s noir. Someone who might closely study Sade is Mary J Blige, the Queen Of Hip Hop Soul, back with My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1). The ladies have much in common – mystique, an affinity with vintage R&B, and a love of hoop earrings. Somehow Sade is eternally cool. Even now emergent urban artists like Drake are clamouring to work with her. Sade augured nightbus (post-dubstep soul) in 1984. Her secret? Sade avoids gimmickry. And she never tries too hard. Notably, it’s Blige who in 2005 conservatively covered U2’s One with Bono. In contrast, Sade transformed Thin Lizzy’s Still In Love With You for this year’s Ultimate Collection. In recent times Blige, who pre-empted neo-soul (as, again, did Sade!), has been sidelined by those R&B glamazons Beyoncé and Rihanna. Neo-soul has a new Queen Of (Broken) Hearts in Adele, her 21 nominated for six Grammys. This season we’ll be hearing Adele and Amy Winehouse everywhere,
My Life II… opens with a cringeworthy rehearsed telephone conversation between Blige and her old mentor/producer Sean “Diddy” Combs, who doesn’t otherwise contribute. Blige explains that, in relation to My Life, the album is “not a competitor – [but] a sequel, an extension…” We could have sussed that out ourselves. My Life II… is solid enough when Blige sticks to classic ‘90s R&B, even if these days she’s more suburban mall than block party. The album’s pinnacle, Feel Inside with Nas, comes early. It slams nearly as much as 2001’s mega hit Family Affair, yet its producer isn’t Dr Dre but old Fugees cohort Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis, sampling the Wu-Tang Clan’s Triumph. Nearly as dope is Midnight Drive, featuring Blige’s rap alter ego Brook Lynn. Alas, Blige’s attempts to sound ‘current’ are unconvincing – and cheapening. Next Level (with Busta Rhymes) is totally out of sync with the album concept. Has Danja been listening to German techtrance type Tomcraft of Loneliness fame? Blige teams with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins for a tacky hi-NRG cover of her hero Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody. Drake’s Take Care is a contender for 2011’s tastemaker urban album, the Canadian refashioning his beloved ‘90s R&B into futuristic illwave. Nevertheless, Drake’s song here, Mr Wrong, helmed by Jim Jonson and Rico Love, is throwaway – as was his previous single with Blige, the Auto-Tuned The One. My Life II… ends in an avalanche of bland MOR ballads, the best the acoustic, country-esque Need Someone. Blige’s duet with Beyoncé, Love A Woman, is anticlimactic, lacking the dramatic intensity of the Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston hook-up When You Believe, but not the oversinging.
BARE BASS BASS CULTURE WITH RICHIE MELDRUM
SBTRKT They say the only things certain in life are death and taxes but here at Bare Bass we wholeheartedly disagree. They forgot to mention the sure bet that is Glasgow’s Numbers Records releasing the kind of quality dance music that you knew you wanted to hear, but just hadn’t heard yet. Their latest output sees Montreal new boys Sibian & Faun dish up I’m Sorry – a fantastic, dreamy, zappy, electronic R&B number that sounds like Timbaland drinking a mushy shake then sucking on a handful of spark plugs. Regular contributor and valued member of the Numbers stable, Redhino’s Stay Together is softer – little bit retro, little bit ravey, with a synth funk trunk packed full of chords and one of the biggest drops you’ll hear all year. Out now, this is a double-sided vinyl release but – here’s the catch – there is only one vinyl, yes, that’s one, as in, one for them and none for you. So your only chance to check out what the next six months sounds like in bass land is to get on the download and crank up the volume. While we’re on the subject, we can’t not mention the upcoming visit of one of the head honchos at Numbers, co-founder Jackmaster aka Jack Revill. Having been running clubs and working in record shops (most notably the famous Rub-A-Dub in Glasgow) since he was 16, Revill is known in the scene as a true DJ’s DJ. Someone who, despite having access to the freshest dubplates and new
releases before almost anyone else, still chooses to pepper his sets with much loved tracks and forgotten gems from yesteryear. Whether it’s a Detroit techno classic or that old school chart rave track that you used to love so much back in the day, Revill knows how to work them in to make the dancefloor his own. Those looking to hear this in action need only check out his recent Fabric mix, which features cutting edge electronic artists including Addison Groove and Hudson Mohawk sitting alongside some of dance music’s true legends such as Larry Heard and Underground Resistance. Hitting Revolver for a 2am set this Saturday night, this is Melbourne’s first chance to hear the ever-fresh mix of house, UK funky, bass and techno that the influential Scot is known and loved for. A little bit further down the track but still close enough to send little jet streams of excitement running down your spine, the masked wonder of bass and beats that is SBTRKT is back for a summer tour that will see him play at the Laneway Festival as well as in his own sideshow at the Prince Bandroom. Spooky, alluring and primal, SBTRKT blew the crowd away at his Sydney festival performance a few months ago and that was only a DJ set. This time it’s the full live show so we urge you to get down to one of those dates and see for yourself why this guy’s reputation is so well deserved. Finally, a relatively new name in the all-encompassing bass music bracket we love so much, Sepalcure is a collaborative project from New Yorkers Machinedrum and Praveen Sharma. Binding a collection of styles and sounds, including garage, house, dubstep and footwerk, the result is unsurprisingly complex with multiple layers and textures reminiscent of the UK’s Burial and pushing the same tone and feel as fellow US future garage don Falty DL. Their debut self-titled EP isn’t anything groundbreaking but does paint an accurate picture of the state of play in the global bass music scene in what has been a defining year for this diverse and captivating genre.
Immortal Technique In news that would have been impossibly exciting a decade ago, pretty exciting five years ago, and is still fairly exciting now: Immortal Technique is coming out next year. It’s exciting even though he’s some years from the peak of his relevance as an angry, paranoid ex-con who burst onto the scene spitting conspiracy theories and swear words at us. He was a trailblazer. Tech “took a piss on a development deal from Sony”, hyper-politicised the n-word, and shook a huge audience of (middle class, white) rap fans like they’d never been shaken before. He took a swipe at you if you were a “coffee shop revolutionary” not committed to the cause. He knew The Truth: that 911 was an inside job set up by George Bush, the Illuminati and the villain from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. These days he stands on the brink of irrelevance, present in the here and now perhaps only because he found a voice as part of the #occupy movement and now stands for the 99%. He’s coming to play at the Espy on Thursday 12 January. Fair’s fair: this could be an amazing show. Few rappers are as passionate. And, importantly, few other rappers (or maybe no other rappers) can talk about politics and make sense at the same time. He was a beacon in the post-911, pre-torrent world and, next year, we will have our first ever chance to throw our fists in the air with him. The word “phenomenal” is easy to misuse. It doesn’t mean “good”, “exciting”, “popular”, “new”, “successful”, or “something you read on that blog your cousin’s boyfriend put you on to”. It is an adjective. It describes an event, an artifact, or a moment that is a phenomenon; something so different from the norm that it stands out starkly and brilliantly above the rest. We clear? Good. We’re about to use the word “phenomenal” now. Hold on to your hats, guys! Horrorshow’s rise has been phenomenal. It couldn’t’ve been scripted better. Firmly grounded in the suburbs they grew up in, blessed with a committed fanbase of diehards who get Solo’s lyrics tattooed on their ribs, and able to produce a big single every so often that manages to capture the imaginations of occasional listeners enough to plant the HS flag firmly into the computers of all music fans with a half-decent iTunes playlist. And Solo and Adit are about 12 years old! Phenomenal. They’ve got a new single online for you to listen to (or download from the Elefant Traks website for a measly $1). It’s called Did You Hear? and it sounds like Horrorshow, but further refined. Which is to say that there will be some of us who won’t listen to another song for weeks and there will be some of us who simply know a good track when we hear it and will plug our digits in. Take your pick. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have put together an EP. It serves as a preview to a forthcoming album-length collaboration between the two. Exciting news. As exciting is the manner in which it was released. According to HipHopDX Madlib was playing a show two weeks ago and announced that he and Gibbs had collaborated on an EP. After the performance he made the EP available for sale at the show! Now that’s productivity. All other musicians take note. You can catch the EP through the Stones Throw website if you’d like. It includes the instros to two of the tracks, dudes… Go for it! Did you know that Tyler, The Creator still exists? Well, he does. To prove it he has voiced a cartoon character based on himself for a Cartoon Network show. Yawn. Can you believe Goblin came out only, like, several months ago? Feels like he’s been around forever. Big Boi loves the new Kate Bush album, y’all. I’m as shocked as you are. In Rolling Stone we heard BB’s sense that Bush “seems to be in love like a motherfucker”. Cute. INPRESS • 55
FUN IN THE SUN Shoot The Sun return to Pony with a new release in hand. The band teamed up with Real Life’s Danny Simcic to produce their debut EP. The EP will be played in full and copies will be available at the door. In tow are the ever-powerful Chaos Kids, the spellbinding Cads Of Yore and Betti & Alysha. It’s sure to be a killer summer night full of Pony fun. Doors from 9pm, this Friday at Pony. Cherrywood on at 2am.
FUNK IN YER TRUNK
Start the holiday season in super funky style at Fabulous Funk. You’ll hear the hardest working funkateers in showbiz dropping the funk, soul, disco, boogie, breaks and beats for your dancing pleasure. Catch Lance Ferguson (The Bamboos), DJ Jumps (The Cat Empire), Chris Gill (RRR), Garry Seven (PBS), DappaJam DJs and The Soul City Soundsystem on Friday 23 December at the Laundry. Entry is free before 10pm.
double residency waves in Melbourne’s independent music scene and are both set for breakthrough 2012s with the release of their debut EPs next year. Special individual guests to be announced for all shows.
On the back of their recent single launches Mistress Mondays and Sheriff will team up in February for a four-week Thursday co-headline residency at Revolver. The talented bands have been creating
Soul city soundsystem
so you think you can... Have you always wanted to be the best on the dance floor? Well, here’s your chance as Red Bennies welcome you to Swing Patrol. Be it lindy hop, balboa, charleston, blues, solo jazz or tap dancing – you’ll learn it all. So, are you ready to swing? Simply turn up. No bookings, prior dance skills or even partners necessary. Let the professionals lead the way! Every Monday at 7pm.
TYRON SHAW – THE RECHORDS The song I’m really digging at the moment is… To be honest, a brand new tune recently written by one of our band members Felix Potier, called Down By The Water.
ALI E EDINBURGH RESIDENCY
A song more people should know about is… Now You’re Home from Clare Bowditch featuring Lanie Lane. Oh, plus anything by The ReChords.
SEE MORE SEYMOUR Mandoliner and singer Joshua Seymour (Cherrywood) delivers tales of hope and woe, from the tragic to the comic with melody and soul, dust and dirt, a smile, nod, wink and a snarl. You can find out exactly what that means each Thursday in December, when he is joined by special guests at the Sporting Club from 6 to 8pm in the front bar. Entry is free.
The song that always gets me on the dancefloor at 3am is… Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz by the Sandman. The song I most wish I’d written is… Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree… sorry Colin Hay. The song I never want to hear again is… Any shit they try to pass off nowadays as R&B. You know who you are, America. The ReChords play the Northcote Social Club this Sunday at 2pm.
After a successful single launch, Ali E is gearing up for her last gigs of the year with a residency at the Edinburgh Castle. Ali E will be playing every Wednesday evening from 7pm to 9.30pm and will incorporate a mix of old and new songs with a bunch of covers thrown in for good measure. Ali E will be joined by a variety of guests to mix up the mid-week residency a little. Every Wednesday night in December at the Edinburgh Castle.
STELLA SHOW Stella Angelico is unique, raw with a voice that’s been described as “rough and gorgeous”. Along with her super tight two-piece, The Wilhelm Scream, she will perform her stunning original set, fusing influences from exotica and tango to rock and ‘60s soul. Angelico and band are renowned for their long-running residency at Smith Street’s Rice Queen. Feel the Edinburgh Castle shake with the music of an indomitable talent this Friday from 6pm.
Eddie Wouldn’t Go At the Prague this Saturday comes a huge threepeat line-up featuring Factory, Mojo Jacket and the return of Eddie Would Go. Factory mix rhythmic, guitar rock with ‘70s-style grooves and soulful vocals to produce a distinctive and original sound. Mojo Jacket are a three-piece acousticrock band with influences from all forms of rock, a little blues, funk, jazz, folk, old-style swing and Spanish music. Eddie Would Go began in Melbourne in 1996 and, up until their disbandment in 2001, released three successful EPs. More recently members have played in bands known as The Go Set, 6 Of 1 and the aforementioned Factory.
adventure into design THINKING | MAKING | CONNECTING
Open NIGHT Thursday Dec 15 – must RSVP Enrol now on 1300 851 245 or join us at www.billyblue.edu.au
Think: Colleges Pty Ltd, ABN 93 050 049 299 trading as Billy Blue College of Design, RTO No. 0269, HEP No. NSW5028, CRICOS Provider Codes: NSW 00246M, QLD 03107J, VIC 03252M.
56 • INPRESS
INPRESS • 57
WALK LIKE A CHICKEN
Fresh from their national tour supporting King Cannons, The Strums are ready to play their brand of foot-stomping, hip-shaking rock’n’roll. Joining them at the Grace Darling this Saturday will be good friend Isaac Graham, whose second album Glorious Momentum is overflowing with unflinchingly honest lyrics and rollicking songs. A double header tour not to miss. Doors from 9pm.
Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk is just the solo project of Chris Russell. While it has been rumoured that this moniker is due to its owner possessing the gait of a chicken, this has been widely disproved. He is an electric guitarist, songwriter, sometime singer and dabbler in the dark art of blues harp. His style is a mix of Delta blues, hill country blues, hillbilly country, Chicago blues, greasy southern soul and ‘60s rock’n’roll, a style dubbed ‘Chrississipian’ by some of his more ardent admirers. It’s music that makes chickens and humans want to groove. Check it all out this Thursday at the Drunken Poet from 4pm.
End of Year Smash Catch The Vaudeville Smash one last time in 2011 at Cherry Bar this Friday. This year has been phenomenal for the Melbourne group. It has seen the band travel the country and the world and become a household name. With plans for an album already underway and shows lined-up including St Kilda festival and the Australian Open, 2012 looks set to be even bigger. They will be supported on the night by Melbourne soul super group, Animaux. Tickets on sale at the door.
that funky monkey The Brass Monkeys are a reassurance of diversity from the average teen rock band, playing originals in a quirky amalgamation of funk, ska, reggae, soul and rock’n’roll. Possessing an undeniable groove supported by their onstage energy, TBM have wowed audiences at all their shows. You can catch them at Red Bennies this Friday from 10pm.
A LITTLE HORSE The upstairs beer-soaked room on Little Collins is going to get crazy on Saturday as the dudes from The Groves headline a massive night at Pony. These guys will knock you against the wall and seduce you
with smooth licks, before slapping you in the face and leaving you with a distorted and twisted expression. Also on the bill are Twin Ages, a band with a unique style of garage/grungey rock and a crazy live show. Apes will get you moving one way or another and to start off the night are the awesome two-piece with a twist Knitting For Gran. Doors from 9pm.
WILD PONY On the Saturday at 2am (really Sunday morning) Pony is going to be torn a new one. The Bennies and your lovely self are going to be having one of those nights where the night lives on as a confused memory. Questions like, ‘did that really happen?’ and ‘does anyone know what happened to my undies?’ will never be answered. They will be lost in a vague memory of one of the craziest party, punk, reggae and frenetic ska nights of the year. It’s free and it’s at 2am at Pony.
hop to it Don’t go outside the grid, don’t mess up the hopping, try to jump in time with the music, winners play winners in round two… and the hopscotch grand champion wins a DVD prize pack from Hopscotch Entertainment. Hooray! With artist-designed grids and DJs including Wolfcallowww!, Tet Tet DJs and Mob Wife playing all night, $5 hops and $5 scotch, head down to Phoenix Public House on the best night of the week, Tuesday, for Hopscotch Tuesdays. Bring your sneakers, free entry.
sword play Born and raised in New Zealand, Angel Dudek has developed her skills over a period of 11 years, starting off with the Whirling Bros Circus. She has been part of Rainbow Serpent, Circulation Festival, Voyage Festival, Tasmanian Circus Fest and House Of Burlesque. Being one of the few female sword swallowers, fire eaters and fire breathers gives her a unique edge. She is passionate about giving breathtaking and awe-inspiring performances. Catch her this Saturday at Red Bennies with Jess Ward, and DJs Knave Knixx and Mike Gurrieri.
HEating Up The Gasometer is extremely excited about this album launch. Deep Heat launch their amazing eight-song EP Low Lights with a beast of a lineup including White Walls, Bad Aches and The Stevens. If you are a fan of buzzy melodic punk with three-way vocals you won’t be anywhere but the Gasometer this Sunday 18 December.
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moonshine Chomping at the bit to play after an 11-month hiatus from gigs, Dandelion Wine are delighted that they have been invited to play with Wendy Rule at her annual Midsummer Faerie Party at Northcote Uniting Church on Friday 23 December. Celebrating the summer solstice, the band will be playing a family-friendly acoustic set early in the night and will then let fly with their trademark electro beats and medieval instrument hybrid. Perfect for faerie dancing under the new moon.
Melbourne’s own Feed Her To The Sharks will be re releasing their debut album The Beauty Of Falling. The album has the sonic punch of a fullscale studio production, sure to dent stereos and see heads banging across the country, and will be available nationally on Friday 20 January through Shock. Feed Her To The Sharks headline BANG this Saturday. Doors at 9pm, entry $10.
Friday. Not only a horrible song by a manufactured poptart by the name of Rebecca Black, but a gateway to fun and good times that we know as ‘the weekend’. So if you want to forget the nine-tofive, let loose and shake thy rump, it’s time to get Juicy at Bimbo Deluxe! A juicy DJ line-up drops all killer, no filler every Friday night, with regulars including Agent 86, DJ Flagrant, M Phazes, Jesse I, Mike Hunt, Tom Booze, Tom Showtime, Ayna, Kuya and Japeye from 8pm, with Jesse I and friends dropping summer vibes from 6pm on the first Friday of every month on the rooftop.
run for your life Run Run is a catchy synth-driven entrée from Melbourne three-piece Private Life but beware, this unforgettable tune will leave you lingering for more. This Thursday at the Grace Darling they’ll be joined by Without Wolves and Kisshead for a Christmas party. Doors are from 9pm and it’s $10.
cured penguins split On Thursday the Grace Darling will host the launch for Cured Pink and Penguins split 7”, released by eclectic Melbourne label Vacant Valley. Cured Pink is the project for Brisbane artist Andrew McLellan. Live and on record, violent theatrics oddly compel and unnerve. Penguins is an ever-evolving project for Peter Bramley from Melbourne. Joining them in the basement will be Dane Certificate and The Clits.
sea change The Ocean Party will play at the Grace Darling this Friday in celebration of the release of Deadbeat, the second single from their forthcoming debut album The Sun Rolled Off The Hills. Gracing the stage before them will be Great Earthquake, Kieran Ryan and Howls Moving Castle. Doors are from 9pm and entry’s $10.
Clairy Christmas Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes have been working on a special Christmas show for all the kids at Cherry’s soul night. With some new original tunes Nobody Hates Christmas Like You and Hit The Road Christmas, plus bells, antlers and more gold glitter than you can handle, it’s going to be one soulful Christmas. This is their last headline show for the year and it’s going to get sweaty on the dancefloor with CBBR, Pierre Baroni and Vince Peach playing until late. This one is on Thursday 22 December at Cherry Bar. Doors open 9pm, entry is $8.
ROPING IT IN Christmas time is all about giving, so check out what local sextet Money For Rope have got in store for you all this week as an early Xmas gift: two free shows. Tonight, Money For Rope grace the Cherry Bar stage, their old stomping ground, for two sets from 9pm. This Sunday, they do a matinee show at the Retreat Hotel from 4pm, with special guest Fraser A Gorman and his merry band on at 3pm. Available at both shows will be two different t-shirts and two fantastic 7” singles, I’ve Had Days and My House Or Yours. Money For Rope are also part of the fantastic Espy NYE lin-up, alongside the likes of Jebediah, Paul Dempsey, Stonefield, Violent Soho and lots more. Get there early or you’ll miss ‘em, though!
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HOWZAT! local music news by jeff jenkins the nation was battered by floods, fires and cyclones. And when Dave went to launch the album at the Northcote Social Club, the city was hit by a freak storm, which stranded many punters. Dave joked that he was going to call his next album Perfect Album Launch Weather.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Great performers get lost in the music. They’re unpredictable, moody and inspired. And great art is timeless. It also takes time. This artist’s first solo album came 25 years after his band’s classic debut. “I have my own fire to light again,” he declared, inviting the listener to “hear me sing”. It’s an offer you can’t refuse, with his voice both majestic and occasionally menacing. Call it Peno envy, Ron S Peno is Howzat!’s Artist Of The Year.
GIG OF THE YEAR
RON S PENO
2011: WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? Khe Sanh cracked the Top 40 for the first time. Angry Anderson joined the National Party. Meat Loaf “sang” at the Grand Final. Yes, it was a strange year. Local singer/songwriter D Rogers was like Mike Williamson at the 1966 Grand Final, saying, “I tipped this!” After calling his latest album Natural Disasters, 60 • INPRESS
It was a festival of festivals. But the best gigs still happen in dark rooms on sticky carpets. On Preliminary Final night, Howzat! was not happy. We turned up to the Northcote Social Club, still upset that the Melbourne Storm weren’t going to get a fairytale finish. Dave Graney was the first person we bumped into. Later that night, he took the gig somewhere else, telling a tale that involved guitarist Ben Michael X, Natalie Imbruglia, a vagina and some crystals. As the band looked perplexed, Dave ordered them to “play me something that stinks!” Dark Magic, indeed. Sand Pebbles with special guest Dave Graney is Howzat!’s Gig Of The Year.
Everything old is new again. Cold Chisel did 2011’s
biggest tour, while Icehouse re-released Flowers’ debut, appeared at Meredith and did a “secret” Espy show. Twenty years after the classic Doughboy Hollow, Died Pretty did a one-off gig at Cherry Rock. Huxton Creepers returned to promote the CD release of their debut. Icecream Hands started the year with a gig at the Northcote Social Club. The Hummingbirds did the Sydney Big Day Out, and Clouds re-appeared. The Killjoys have never broken up, but they were resurgent in 2011 with the wonderful Pearl, a sequel of sorts to their debut, Ruby. Mi-Sex returned – with Noiseworks’ Steve Balbi on vocals – while The Angels did gigs with Dave Gleeson out front. And Hunters & Collectors came back to play at the V8 Supercars in Sydney. Never say never, Powderfinger.
LABEL OF THE YEAR
The year started with a shock. After nearly 21 years at Shock Records, their longest-running employee, Dave Laing, departed, joining the Fuse Group. It caused confusion at Fuse – where there was already a Dave Lang – but the infusion of another passionate music man energised the label and by year’s end, they had delivered some of 2011’s finest compilations from Ups & Downs, Essendon Airport and The Screaming Tribesmen, a live album from Young Modern, new albums from Ron S Peno and Laura Jean, as well as signing the prolific Van Walker. Fuse also started a magazine called Strangelove, and the group includes the TITLE record stores. At a time when record companies are looking to do nothing more experimental than a 360 deal, it’s great to see a label that still loves music. Fuse is Howzat!’s Label Of The Year.
VIDEOS OF THE YEAR
The days of the big-budget clip are over. But with the rise of YouTube, the video has regained its relevance. Two Melbourne acts created clever clips in 2011. Sophie Koh’s Lo-Fi is a one-shot
supermarket spectacular, while The Little Stevies’ Feel It manages to both send-up and celebrate dance videos. “We’re terrified by music video as an art form,” admits guitarist/bass player Robin Geradts-Gill. “You get this one chance to show the world what you’re like when you’re not on stage. We always try to make them as interesting as possible – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” Feel It works, as does Lo-Fi. Check ’em out at YouTube.
ROCK IN PEACE
The year started terribly, with the loss of two legends. Guitarist Harvey James – whose first Sherbet recording was the classic Howzat – died of lung cancer on 15 January. He was 58. The following day, Cold Chisel drummer Steve Prestwich – who wrote Forever Now and When The War Is Over and co-wrote Flame Trees – died of a brain tumour at the age of 56. Margot Smith, a Best New Talent nominee at the 1994 ARIAs, died in April. Her producer Steve Kilbey wrote: “Fucking alcohol claims another victim. I hate alcohol, I hate what it does… sad, tragic, inevitable, useless, pointless waste of a rare and fabulous gift.” April also saw the passing of blues pioneer Dutch Tilders. He was 69. Cancer also claimed the life of one of Howzat!’s favourite rock chicks, Josie Jason. She was just 49. Her funeral, appropriately at the Espy, was a wonderful celebration of a rock‘n’roll life. Also in 2011, we said goodbye to one of Melbourne’s most important venues, the Arthouse. The Public Bar also disappeared, and disturbing rumours surrounded the future of the Prince and the East Brunswick Club. Silverchair announced their “indefinite hibernation”. And, after 24 years, the final episode of Video Hits went to air. *The 2011 wrap continues next week with Howzat!’s albums of the year plus a look at the year on the charts.
Our Big Day Art competition is back. All you have to do is send us your impression of an artist on the current Big Day Out schedule and upload your entry in the Festivals section of theMusic.com.au (then click onto Big Day Art page). The competition is now open and entries close Friday 7 January. The prize? Not only will your entry appear on the front cover of Inpress/The Drum Media/Time Off, but the lucky winner will also score a pass to the Big Day Out plus CDs by Big Day Out artists. But it gets Bigger and Artier than that! To celebrate the BDO festival’s twentieth anniversary, we are also giving the winner exclusive prints of heritage BDO poster art. Feel free to take inﬂuence from the handicraft theme BDO are using for this year’s festival artwork – as long as it’s uploadable: a Kanye doily design, Frenzal Rhomb string art, a sock monkey Noel Gallagher… And, of course, our editorial and art team will select an entry to grace our annual Big Day Art cover.
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CLUB GUIDE WED 14 Coq Roq: Lady Noir, Agent 86, Mr Thom Joybot, Blaberunner: Lucky Coq Lounge Wednesdays: Lounge Lost & Found: Sinead Ni Mhorda, Spidey, Shaky Memorial: Revolver Upstairs NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe The Birthday Party: Cheapdate: New Guernica
THU 15 3181 Thursdays: Hans DC, Nikki Sarafian. Jake Judd, Sam Gudge, John Doe, Sean Rault, Bimbo Thursdays: Bimbo Deluxe Bottom End Thursday Night: Andras Fox, Jules Inkswel, Deejays Of Reknown: Bottom End Do Drop In: Kiti, Lady Noir: Carlton Club Free Range Funk: Who, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut: Lucky Coq Funhouse: Finlo White, Kitty Kat: Co. Nightclub Good Evening: Principal Blackman: The Toff Carriage Room
Jesse Young, Hey Sam: Revolver Upstairs Lounge Thursdays: Lounge Love Story: Indian Summer, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, Mickey P: The Toff Midnight Express: Prequel, Edd Fisher: The Toff Carriage Room Mood: DJ NuBody: Loop New Guernica Thursdays: Post Percy, Awesome Wales: New Guernica Noizy Neighbours: Kalus, Bran, Genetix, Joel Fletcher, Samuel James, Van G: Room 680 Safari Thursdays: Pretty Please Switch ThursdaysOfficial David Guetta CD Launch: Cauc-Asian DJs, Jarrod Moran, Ben Hornstein, Ken Walker, Piero: EVE The Factory: G-Monney & Sammy: Trak
FRID 16 393 Fridays: First Floor 393 Bottom End Friday: Prequel, Andee Frost, Marco Polo: Bottom End
Crabfight: DJ Ego, Mr Nice: Loop Danceteeria Queer Party: Laundry Lounge Fridays: Honeysmack: Lounge Octave One, Fritz Kalkbrenner John Roberts: Brown Alley OneSixOne Fridays: OneSixOne Panorama: Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano: Lucky Coq Paparazzi: Danny Clayton: Co. Nightclub PopRocks: Dr Phil Smith: The Toff Pyramid & Speciman A: Brown Alley Upstairs Remember Me: Andy Murphy, Generik, Sean Rault, Tom Evans, The Bad Cats, Nick Young, Aaron Trotman, John Doe, Sam Gudge, Stefan Hart: The Motel Revolver Fridays & NQR 2nd Birthday: Mike Callander, Katie Drover, Otologic, Chardy, Nick Coleman, Luke McD, TBIB, Groove Pigs, Jack Love, Hoops, Jesse Young, James Steeth, Sam Gudge, SeanRault: Revolver Upstairs
Sounds Of Fusion: DJ Piero, Dean T, Chris Mac, Johnny M, DJ Atomic: Fusion The Likes of You, Carl Craig, Aeroplane: Roxanne Parlour
SAT 17 360, Kerser: Laundry Audioporn: Dr. Zok ,James Ware, China Hoops ,Rowie: OneSixOne Bottom End Saturday Night: Jake Judd, Nikki Sarafian, Otologic, Spacey Space: Bottom End Eloquor, In Good Company, 1/6, & DJ Must, Tenfold& Slap618: Revolver Upstairs Houseparty: Eurotrash Lounge Saturdays: Muska & Volta: Lounge Majik Saturdays: Papa Smurf, DJ Kat, Trent McDermott, Steve Strangis, Charlie Z, Jewelz, Heath Renata, Van G, Nick Mascara: Room680
Mr. Bennies Xmas Special: Aasher Treleaven, Ikko, Strawerry Siren, Aerial Manx, Jess Ward, Karlis Zaid: Red Bennies New Guernica Saturdays: Weekend Express, Cheapdate ,Chestwig Mu-gen, Lopan, Thomas Touche: New Guernica Prognosis: PQM, Taran M, J-Slyde, Simon Murphy, Aaron Static: Loop Replay Saturdays: Tenzin, Tate Straus, Phil Ross, Nova, Johnny M: Fusion Tim Sweeney, Andee Frost, Otologic: The Toff The Late Show Xmas Party: Jackmaster, Ransom, Mat Cant, Too Much!, Nick Thayer, Paz, Prequel & Edd Fisher, Julien Love, Booshank, Boogs: Revolver Upstairs Under Suspicion: Brown Alley Very Sexy Christmas Party: Kitty Kat, Matty G, Dean T: Co. Nightclub Hot Step: Bimbo Deluxe Why Not? Pretty Please
JOHN WHO ‘VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS’ OUT NOW
www.johnwho.com.au 62 • INPRESS
SUN 18 Guilty Sundays: Pretty Please Revolver Sundays: Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Radiator, Silversix,: Revolver Upstairs South Side Hustle: Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Junji, Disco Harry: Lucky Coq Star Bar Sundays: Star Bar Sunday Summer Series: Oliver $: Revolver Upstairs The Sunday Set: Andy Black, Haggis: The Toff
MON 19 IBimbo: Bimbo Deluxe Kool Aid Mondays: Laundry Monday Struggle: Lucky Coq
TUES 20 Bimbo Tuesday: Bimbo Deluxe Choose Tuesdays: Post Percy: New Guernica Matty G, Courtney Mills: Co. Nightclub
Ayna plays Juicy at Bimbo Deluxe on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 December, Kool Aid at Laundry on Monday 19 December, Ninja Funk at E55 on Thursday 29 December and New Year’s Eve at the George. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR DJ NAME? “It is my real name, so I didn’t stretch the brain cells too much coming up with a DJ name. Although I am thinking of changing it to Ayna Hennessy, which is also my real name, except that it makes me sound like I’m from da hood!” IN A NUTSHELL, DESCRIBE WHAT YOU PLAY? “Underground hip hop, party hip hop, ghetto funk, old school R&B, funk, soul, and more recently reggae and dancehall.” WHAT TRACK TURNS YOU ON RIGHT NOW? “Hard to choose a track so I will be more general… anything by Badboe. His mixes, his tracks are all killing it for me at the moment, I love the hip hop or reggaeinfused ghetto funk.” WHAT’S THE WORST BOOTLEG YOU’VE EVER HEARD? “I might pass on that question. These things have a way of coming back and biting you in the ass…”
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WED 14 27th Minute Veludo Able, MZ Rizk, Raceless, Sizzle Miss Libertine Accapella Go! Wesley Anne Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Lucky Coq Alastair Kerr Quartet Paris Cat Jazz Club Ali E Edinburgh Castle Hotel Bopstretch Uptown Jazz Café Cola Wars, The Villians Lair, Calvacade, Alvarez, Abbey Leigh, Spidey, Shaky Memorial Revolver Compression Session, Cassawarrior, Dd, Ricka E55 Dizzys Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club Eliza Hull, Hayden Calnin, Clothes for Robots Evelyn Hotel Ennui Breathes Malice, Eyes Wide Open Karova Lounge, Ballarat Graduate Screenings Loop Halfways Workshop Howlin’ Steam Train, Fraser Gorman, The Manny Fox Hangman’s Club The Old Bar In Sepia, Strathmore, The Quiet Contender, Bowcaster The Gasometer Hotel Jay & Silent Sarahs 90’s Trivia The Sporting Club Johari Window, The Rules, The Hosies, Better Than The Wizards Esplanade Lounge Jonathan Cohen Cruzao Arepa Bar Julien Wilson Quartet, Hetty Kate 303 Man from the Meteor, The Deep End, Aimee Francis, Tane, Sunday Chairs, Sophy, Through The Window, Bravo Juliet, Room 11 Corner Hotel Money For Rope, DJ Jack Davies Cherry Bar Mustered Courage, The Davidson Brothers, Bill Jackson Northcote Social Club New Guernica DJs New Guernica Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Le Butcherettes, River of Snakes, Dead Wasp East Brunswick Club Open Mic Dancing Dog Café Open Mic Elwood Lounge Open Mic Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar Petar Tolich, Scotty E Co., Crown Planet Love, Because Goodbye (Parkling Lot Experiments) The Workers Club
64 • INPRESS
Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie, Prequel, Black Diamond Kicks Bimbo Deluxe Super XX Men Open Studio The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Brunswick Hotel Tigertown, Cordial Factory, Former Love, Young Mavericks The Toff In Town Tim Willis’ “The End” Bennetts Lane Tom Cat Boy, Seven Hearts, Jantina Gardner, Pina Tuteri Empress Hotel Two Jacks & a Jill, Ben Blakeney The Standard Hotel Velvet Cake Gypsies, Sly Grog Retreat Hotel Wine, Whiskey, Women, Alli Stringer, Lucy Peach The Drunken Poet Wintercoats, Great Earthquake, Pascal Babare, Teeth Bar Open
THU 15 Adam 12, Guru, Rohan Ferntree Gully Hotel Adnan & the Whale, Seagull, Wild Dog Creek, DJ James Lake The Workers Club Archer & Bow, Jubal, The Oxford Collective, Hans DC, Nikki Sarafian, Jake Judd Revolver Betty Airs, Ross de Chene Hurricanes, Apes The Tote Brunswick Blues Shooters Railway Hotel Cam Scott Hammond Group 303 Colin Hay Wellers of Kangaroo Ground Conductors, James Kane & Friends, Negative Magick, Nu Balance, Post Percy New Guernica Daniel Gassin Trio Dizzy’s Jazz Club Expatriate East Brunswick Club Finlo White, Kitty Kat Co., Crown Gallie Elwood Lounge Graveyard Train, Cash Savage, Elsworth St Ramblers Karova Lounge, Ballarat Hiatus Kaiyote, Kaiyote Collective Bar Open Innerspace, Jesse Mitchell Northcote Social Club Irwell Street Paris Cat Jazz Club Jacinta Caruana & band, Simon Phillips Veludo Jesse & his Hucklebuckers Lomond Hotel Joshua Seymour Sporting Club Hotel Joshua Seymour The Sporting Club Laura Soding, Rich Yeah, Bryce Wastney, Tim O’Leary Ruby’s Lounge
Luke Brennan, Adrian Slattery Rice Queen Made For Chickens By Robots, My Favourite Colour Is Gold, The Infants The Prague Matt Corby, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, Principle Blackman, Midnight Express, Prequel, Edd Fisher The Toff In Town Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Billboard Maximilian White, Fabian Toonen, Chris Russell The Drunken Poet Mood, DJ NuBody Loop Natalie Gauci Bennetts Lane Open Mic Plough Hotel Ozi and Ringo Open Studio Phil Lyddy Trio, Al Parkinson, Glenn Mossop, Elk & Whale Wesley Anne Pony Face Edinburgh Castle Hotel Pony Girl & The Outsiders, Sunset Riot, Spy Kite Esplanade Lounge Private Life, Without Wolves, Kisshead, Cured Pink, Penguins, Dane Certificate, The Clits Grace Darling Hotel Ryan Nico & the Overlanders, The Velocettes Retreat Hotel Sampology, Millions Federation Square Saskwatch, Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni Cherry Bar Sights & Sounds, Grenadiers, Chasing Ghosts Next Sime Nugent Union Hotel Brunswick South Bound Snake Charmers, Bluestopia Music Land The Church of Hysteria, Colostomy Baguettes, Shallow Grave, Go Genre Everything, Bucketmen Noise Bar The Dead Leaves, Buck Creek, Exile & the Sea, The Winters, Lourdes Freakout! Thursdays @ The Dirty F, The Magic Bones, Humans, Le Foxx John Curtin Hotel The Hemmingway Collective Great Britain Hotel The Plains, Ghost Mutt, The Laments, The Raffaellas Yah Yah’s The Scrapes, Cuba is Japan, Margins The Gasometer Hotel The Spit Fires, Premodernists, Rayon Moon, The Universal Pony The Vendettas, The Last Design, The Quiet Contender Gertrude’s Brown Couch Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Tom Kline, Josh Owen, Kate Walker Empress Hotel
WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Lucky Coq Woody Pitney, Ed Nunn, Bec Rouse Evelyn Hotel Young Mavericks, Smoking Toddlers Shake Some Action @ 161
FRI 16 AJ & Bids, Mass MC, Ciecmate, Newsense, Briggs, Art Of War, Jase, Peril, Rusty Esplanade Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces Sporting Club Hotel Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces The Sporting Club Baba Looey Whitehorse Centre Banjo & The Horizon, Gemm, Strathmore Ruby’s Lounge Belfast 16, Rich:)e Rich, Simon Cole, Jeff Tyler Prince Bandroom Black & Blue The Palais, Hepburn Springs Blackout Bimbo Deluxe Boylesque, Tabitha Turlington, Pussy Willow GH Hotel Crabfight, Nice & Ego Loop Darren Hanlon, David Dondero Northcote Social Club DJ Sideways Phoenix Youth Centre Dream On Dreamer Pier Live Fastrack Evelyn Hotel Flying Engine Railway Hotel Future Of The Left, The Nation Blue, Brat Farrar Corner Hotel Georgia Fair Phoenix Public House Gil Askey, Roger Clark Quartet Dizzy’s Jazz Club Harry Howard & the NDE, The Murlocs, Sean Simmons, Bronwyn Adams, DJ Tasty Yah Yah’s Jack Lad, Madame Natalia The Butterfly Club Jack Shit, Vivienne Kingswood The Standard Hotel Jess Porter, Oh Pep!, Wiley Red Fox Edinburgh Castle Hotel Judge Pino & the Ruling Motions Open Studio Julia Messenger Band Bennetts Lane Kate Ceberano Trak Showroom Kelly Auty Band Lomond Hotel Kiss Asylum, Australian Bon Jovi Show, X Halen, White Widdow Esplanade Gershwin Room Little Foot, Clowns, Drifter, Inedia The Prague Lotek Bar Open
Marilyn Rose & the Thorns, 12FU Lyrebird Lounge Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Lucky Coq Motionless Me, Octane Overdrive Barwon Club My Left Boot, The Charge, The Ritz, System of Venus, Luke Tylim Brunswick Hotel Myyth, Akhnaut The Vic Naysayer & Gilsun, Millions The Hi-Fi Nick Lovell, Indigo & the Bear, Autumn Gray, Carly Fern Wesley Anne Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat Co., Crown NTI, Jon Montes Abode Octave One, Fritz Kalkbrenner, John Roberts Brown Alley Ooh Ee, Paz First Floor Phil Ross, Dean T, Miss Sarah, DJ Atomik, Johnny M Fusion, Crown Poison City Records Xmas, A Death In The Family, The Smith Street Band, The Hawaiian Islands, Luca Brasi The Tote Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town Rebecca Ireland The Horn Red Rockets Of Borneo, The Peep Tempel, Ryan Nico & the Overlanders Empress Hotel RPM, The Grey File, The Winters, The Handful, Grace Walker, Mike Callander, Katie Drover Revolver sababa, JC & Sammy Sax Veludo Screamers Music Land Sean McMahon, Magic Bones, The Harlots, DJ McGregadeth Retreat Hotel Shane Walters Elwood Lounge Soul Infusion featuring Carmen Hendricks Rahk Melbourne South East, When We Were Small Barleycorn Hotel Steaming Summer Sounds, Slugger Fontaine, Shoot the Sun, Chaos Kids, Cads Of Yore, Betti & Alysha, Cherrywood, White Rabbit Pony Stella Angelico Edinburgh Castle, early show Strange Forces, Citizen Sex Town Hall Hotel Tamara Kauldins Dirty Martini, Tracy Harvey & The Smokers Paris Cat Jazz Club
Tessa & The Typecast, Snowy Belfast, Jade and the Lost Castle Karova Lounge, Ballarat The Brow Horn Orchestra, You & Ur Music Rainbow Hotel The Dub Captains, San Salvador 303 The Electric Sun Kings, KOHL, Monkeytin, Fields of Reign, The Mimes Bended Elbow, Ballarat The Firemen Uptown Jazz Café The Guild League, City Walls Autumn Falls, The Winter Migration John Curtin Hotel The Kilniks, Beef, Scotdrakula, Noah Harris Noise Bar The Nudgels Penny Black The Ocean Party, Great Earthquake, Kieran Ryan, Howls Moving Castle Grace Darling Hotel The Paradise Motel, Tully on Tully, Andy Hazel East Brunswick Club Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet Vaudeville Smash, Animaux, Dj Max Crawdaddy Cherry Bar Wednesday the Rat, Tomderson, Booty Quest, Backyard DJs Fashion Keyboard Wet Young Dolphin, Preston Perche, The Charlies Cornish Arms Hotel Zond, Zingers, Interzone, Half Mast, Mindset, Declaration, Term Four, Right Mind The Gasometer Hotel
SAT 17 Alison Wonderland Brown Alley Because They Can, The Never Ever, Tom Jordan, Krash, Tubovas Prince Bandroom Bellusira, Xenograft, The Moroccan Kings, The Refunds, Big Words, White Cell, The Volatiles, Dylan Hammond, Bill & the Jerks Esplanade Gershwin Room Ben Carr Trio, Viking De Jerez Open Studio Boomgates, Bitch Prefect, Lakes, Brad Barr John Curtin Hotel Brothers Grim, Howlin’ Steam Train, Luke Legs East Brunswick Club Cambodian Space Project Kingswood The Workers Club Cast Iron Pinata, Mayqueen, The Deep End Bended Elbow, Geelong Cisco Rose Edinburgh Castle, early show
Clip Clop Club George Basement Crepes, Master Ooji, Noom Karova Lounge, Ballarat Damn Terran, River of Snakes, Tits, Dane Certificate, Shaky Memorial Yah Yah’s Dan & Al Corner Hotel David Cosma, Lisa Marmur, Damon Smith Bar Nancy Digger & The Pussycats Great Britain Hotel Eddy Would Go, Factory, Mojo Jacket The Prague Feed Her To The Sharks, Aura Vale, Death by Six, DJ Matty Turntable Bang Finlo White, Joe Sofo Co. Nightclub Frank Fairfield, The Orbweavers, Khancoban The Gasometer Hotel Fruit Jar The Drunken Poet Funky Brew, Santa, The FB Dancers, The Keiths Noise Bar Ganga Giri, Afro Mandinko, Mr Fish Evelyn Hotel Gerard Daley & The Ragdolls, Autumn Grey, Bridges, Wiley Red Fox Pure Pop Records Harmony, Witch Hats, High Tea, My Favourite Colour Is Gold Phoenix Public House Hot Step Bimbo Deluxe Immigrant Union The Tote In Malices Wake, Desecrator, King Parrot Cherry Bar Jacket Off Veludo Jackmaster, ELOQUOR, In Good Company, 1/6, DJ Must, Tenfold, Slap 618 Revolver Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B Billboard Jed Rowe Sporting Club Hotel Jed Rowe, Charles St Artist Market The Sporting Club Kingswood The Vineyard Kingswood, The Pretty Littles Vineyard Let Them Eat Cake, Charm, Goodbye Galaxy, Think Line Thin Line Ruby’s Lounge Lizard Punch, Clowns, Secret Crackpipe Handshake, Pleasure Beach Idgaff Bar and Venue Louise, Merri Creek Pickers, McAlpine Fusiliers, Xander Retreat Hotel Matty G, Dean T, Kitty Kat Co., Crown Nahuatl Sound System, Austero, Klvo Bar Open
Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee Lucky Coq Peter Combe, Bellyflop in a Pizza band, John Patrick & the Keepers, DJ Erin, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Phil Manning, Black Jack Oz Rock St Andrews Hotel Prognosis, J-Slyde, Simon Murphy, Aaron Static Loop Rita Satch Quartet Bennetts Lane Sade Rochford Wines Sam Sara, Proletarian Riot, The Sweaters, The Princetons, Mark Gardener Brunswick Hotel Shane O’Mara, Lisa Miller, Raised by Eagles Union Hotel Brunswick Sights & Sounds, Grenadiers, Chasing Ghosts The Nash Hotel, Geelong Sims Holiday Adventure Lomond Hotel SINthetic, Lady J, SmuDJ, Syme Tollens Abode Steve Sedergreen Quartet Paris Cat Jazz Club Super Disco DJs Pretty Please Super Saturday Solo Spectacular, Darn Matter, Teen Itchero, Roxy Lavish, Your Humble Narrator, Rowan Dalgleish, Joel Edmondson, Freya Dalgleish, Digani Gaciga Grumpy’s Green Tabasco Tom & Doc White, Twyce Daily, Double Entendre Chandelier Room Tehachapi, Sleep Decade, Redberryplum, Matt Kelly Northcote Social Club Tenzin, Tate Strauss, Miss Sarah, Nova, Johnny M Fusion, Crown Terry Hart Elwood Lounge That Devil Music, Sambrose Automobile, Rich Davies & The Devils Union, Master Gun Fighters, Bulls, Poison Oak, Apache Medicine Man, Udays Tiger, The Ramshackle Army Cornish Arms Hotel The Bitter Sweethearts, Sean McMahon’s Western Union, Matt Green, Plague Doctor, Actor/ Model, Trappist Afterland Band, Marcus Teague, Bravo Canyon Empress Hotel The Blowup Ascot Vale Hotel
74 JOHNSTON ST FITZROY 9417 4155 WWW.THEOLDBAR.COM.AU 12PM - 3AM EVERY DAY FREE WI FI
WEDNESDAY 14TH DECEMBER
HOWLINâ€™ STEAM TRAIN FRASER A GORMAN MANNY FOX HANGMANâ€™S CLUB THURSDAY 15TH DECEMBER
BURL IVERS - LAUNCH MAJOR CHORD JACOB S HARRIS FRIDAY 16TH DECEMBER
GAY PARIS TOTALLY UNICORN
GOD GOD DAMMIT DAMMIT GRENGREENGREEN DJ DEL AMP SATURDAY 17TH DECEMBER
PLAGUE DOCTOR SUN GOD REPLICA GRUNTBUCKET DJ ANDRE SUNDAY 18TH DECEMBER
THE SCRAPES ARVO GIG:
GERRY HALEâ€™S BLUEGRASS SESSION: UNCLE BILL
MONDAY 19TH DECEMBER
JASMIN KASET HEEL TOE EXPRESS JIMMY CLINKERFIELD TUESDAY 20TH DECEMBER
HANHELA HELEN BEGLEY
140 Sydney Rd
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY THE 14TH OF DECEMBER - 8PM
+43 C7 +8=4 +78B:4H +><4= ?< ;;84 'CA8=64A ?< D2H $4027 (7DAB C7 ?< !0G8<8;80= +78C4 0=3 0180= (>>=4= ?< 7A8B &DBB4;; A8 C7 ?< (A038C8>=0; A8B7 !DB82 '4BB8>= F8C7 0= >DA:4 0=3 A84=3B
THE BRUNSWICK HOTELâ€™S OPEN MIC NIGHT
WITH YOUR HOST BRODIE EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT REGISTER ON THE NIGHT FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS
THURSDAY THE 15TH OF DECEMBER - 8PM TILL MIDNIGHT $2 POTS OF DRAUGHT - $5 BASICS
IN ELEGANCE, A SLEEPLESS WINTER AND GOODBYE SKY HARBOUR
FRIDAY THE 16TH OF DECEMBER - 9PM
MY LEFT BOOT
THE CHARGE, THE RITZ (TAS), SYSTEM OF VENUS, LUKE TYLIM
SATURDAY THE 17TH OF DECEMBER - 5PM
MARK GARDNER 9PM
PROLETARIAN RIOT, THE SWEATERS, THE PRINCETONS
'0C C7 ?< AD8C 0A
SUNDAY THE 18TH OF DECEMBER - 5PM
BURN IN HELL
BITTERSWEET KICKS AND VICE GRIP PUSSIES
?< A>34A82: '<8C7 0=3 !0CC +0;:4A ?< "82: 70A;4B 0=3 $4C4 83;4A (D4B C7 ?< 7A8BC<0B (A8E80 '?4280; (74 AD=:4= $>4C $44; 'CA44C 8A42C;H >??>B8C4 %D44= *82 !0A:4C $7>=4 FFF<HB?0242></3AD=:4=?>4CB
THE SKAMPZ NON OF THE ABOVE
MONDAY THE 19TH OF DECEMBER - 8PM
PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY
HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS OPEN STAGE READINGS AND SPOKEN WORD WELCOME WITH FEATURE PERFORMERS EVERY FORTNIGHT $10 JUGS
TUESDAY THE 20TH OF DECEMBER - 8:30PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT
GIVING CHANCES TO UP AND COMING LOCAL TALENT! THIS WEEK: HIDING WITH BEARS, DAVID KNIGHT, WILEY RED FOX
INPRESS â€¢ 65
The Boys, Dan Lethbridge & The Campaigners, Tessa Lancashire, Shane O’Mara, Scott Darlow Wesley Anne The Crackwhores, The Rostovs, The Coincidents The Vic The Groves, Twin Ages, Apes, Knitting for Gran, The Bennies, Mr Sharp Pony The Laughing Leaves, Kashmere Club, CoTangent Barwon Club The Prayerbabies The Palais, Hepburn Springs The Strums, Isaac Graham, The Stirling Collective, Between The Wars, Wil Wagner Grace Darling Hotel Tim Sweeney The Toff In Town Tracy Bartram Dizzy’s Jazz Club Waverley, My Echo, Cooper St Exit 303 Wim, Bon Chat Bon Rat, Convaire The Standard Hotel
SUN 18 Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Jumbo, Junji Lucky Coq Bandlands, Animaux, Private Life Evelyn Hotel Bebop59 Ruby’s Lounge Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Radiator, Silversix, Oliver $, Thick as Thieves Revolver Broderick Smith, Matt Walker, Nick Charles, Pete Fidler The Drunken Poet Burl Ivers, Stewart Kohinga, Open Mic Chandelier Room Chelsea Wilson Veludo Cherry Blues, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Dj Max Crawdaddy, Kitty K Cherry Bar Chris Wilson Williamstown RSL Colin Hay Caravan Music Club Cy Gorman, Misha Open Studio Dale Barlow, Selena Cross Bennetts Lane Dancehall Rackateers, Ken Mayer & Tony Hargraves Lomond Hotel Deep Heat, White Walls, Bad Aches, The Stevens The Gasometer Hotel Dodo, Black Fox, Windsor Thieves 303 Drummer Girl, Spinifex, DJ Tig Huggins Grace Darling Hotel Duck Musique Edinburgh Castle, early show Elephant Eyes The Vic
66 • INPRESS
Gunn Music Competition Esplanade Gershwin Room Harry James Angus Band, Simone Page Jones, Miles O’Neil, Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town Jasmin Kaset, Heel Toe Express, James McCann & Akustika, Jemma & The Baby Ruths The Tote Jeremy Badcock Elwood Lounge Jimi Hocking Mentone Hotel Kurtis Gentle, Stellaluna, Tom Rule, Curtis Why Noise Bar Mighty Sun, Jeff Hann, Rosie & George, Gabriel Lynch Wesley Anne Money For Rope, Fraser Gorman, Livingstone Daisies Retreat Hotel Music Trivia, Hamilton Empress Hotel Open Mic Rose Hotel Opeth, Quiet Child Palace Theatre Opeth The Palace Theatre Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Penny Bohan Sporting Club Hotel Peny Bohan The Sporting Club Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Bimbo Deluxe Priestessa, She Hunter Great Britain Hotel Roz Girvans High Horses The Standard Hotel Ruckus St Andrews Hotel Saint Jude, Jacky Winter The Post Office Club Hotel Sights & Sounds, Grenadiers, Chasing Ghosts Phoenix Youth Centre Stammgast Bar Open Stax on Soul review Yah Yah’s The Brow Horn Orchestra Belgian Beer Café The Ocean Party, Sunset Blush, Reece Dillon & the Jellybabies, Sinead Pure Pop Records The ReChords, Merri Creek Pickers Northcote Social Club The Skampz, Non of the Above, Burn In Hell Brunswick Hotel The Stetson Family Union Hotel Brunswick Undercolours The Workers Club Xmas with a Bang!, The Detonators, Hanks Jalopy Demons Davey’s
MON 19 Allan Browne’s Christmas Party Bennetts Lane ALP, Elk & Whale Veludo
Howlin’ Steam Train Esplanade Lounge iBimbo Bimbo Deluxe Kate Vigo, Kelsey James, Lily Parker, DJ Dustin Evelyn Hotel Lebowskis Xmas Party 303 Mariachi Mondays Retreat Hotel Mumbletown, Mara Clara, A Art, Max Sheldrake, Scarlett Empress Hotel Open Mic Bertha Brown Open Mic Wesley Anne Passionate Tongues Poetry Brunswick Hotel Straw King Eye, LA Pocock The Workers Club The Bombay Royale The Toff In Town True Radical Miracle, Tax, Exerciser Northcote Social Club
TUE 20 Becky Lee & Drunk Foot, Boobi & The Dicktraps The Tote Brad Martin, Lincoln Mckinnon Retreat Hotel Christmas Trivia Special The Drunken Poet Comfortable Shorts Loop Cosmic Pizza Lucky Coq Cumbia Cosmonauts, Nahuatl Sound System, DJ El Patron Bar Open Dodo, Matt Glass, The Twoks, Swap Esplanade Lounge Hiatus Kaiyote Evelyn Hotel Hiding with Bears, David Knight, Wiley Red Fox Brunswick Hotel Hopscotch Tournament Phoenix Public House Irish Session Lomond Hotel Jess Harlen, Hailey Cramer, Zevon 303 Matt Corby, Hayden Calnin The Toff In Town Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who Bimbo Deluxe Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase, Never Cheer Before You Know Whos Winning Revolver Open Mic Empress Hotel Sarah Ettinger Veludo The Bedroom Philosopher, Monash University Chorale Northcote Social Club Tribute to Tadd Dameron Dizzy’s Jazz Club
VENUE GUIDE Bang
Saturday Feed Her To The Sharks, Aura Vale, Death by Six, DJ Matty Turntable
Wednesday Wintercoats, Great Earthquake, Pascal Babare, Teeth Thursday Hiatus Kaiyote, Kaiyote Collective Friday Lotek Saturday Nahuatl Sound System, Austero, Klvo Sunday Stammgast Tuesday Cumbia Cosmonauts, Nahuatl Sound System, DJ El Patron
Bended Elbow, Geelong
East Brunswick Club
Wednesday Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Le Butcherettes, River of Snakes, Dead Wasp Thursday Expatriate Friday The Paradise Motel, Tully on Tully, Andy Hazel Saturday Brothers Grim, Howlin’ Steam Train, Luke Legs
Edinburgh Castle Hotel
Wednesday Ali E Thursday Pony Face Friday Jess Porter, Oh Pep!, Wiley Red Fox
Saturday Cast Iron Pinata, Mayqueen, The Deep End
Thursday Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Saturday Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B
Wednesday Soul Army, Vince Peach, Miss Goldie, Prequel, Black Diamond Kicks Thursday Tiger Funk Friday Blackout Saturday Hot Step Sunday Phato A Mano, Agent 86, Tiger Funk Monday iBimbo Tuesday Matt Radovich, Andras Fox, Henry Who
Wednesday The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Friday My Left Boot, The Charge, The Ritz, System of Venus, Luke Tylim Saturday Sam Sara, Proletarian Riot, The Sweaters, The Princetons, Mark Gardener Sunday The Skampz, Non of the Above, Burn In Hell Monday Passionate Tongues Poetry Tuesday Hiding with Bears, David Knight, Wiley Red Fox
Wednesday Man from the Meteor, The Deep End, Aimee Francis, Tane, Sunday Chairs, Sophy, Through The Window, Bravo Juliet, Room 11 Friday Future Of The Left, The Nation Blue, Brat Farrar Saturday Dan & Al
Wednesday Tom Cat Boy, Seven Hearts, Jantina Gardner, Pina Tuteri Thursday Tom Kline, Josh Owen, Kate Walker Friday Red Rockets Of Borneo, The Peep Tempel, Ryan Nico & the Overlanders Saturday The Bitter Sweethearts, Sean McMahon’s Western Union, Matt Green, Plague Doctor, Actor/Model, Trappist Afterland Band, Marcus Teague, Bravo Canyon Sunday Music Trivia, Hamilton Monday Mumbletown, Mara Clara, A Art, Max Sheldrake, Scarlett Tuesday Open Mic
Esplanade Gershwin Room
Friday Kiss Asylum, Australian Bon Jovi Show, X Halen, White Widdow Saturday Bellusira, Xenograft, The Moroccan Kings, The Refunds, Big Words, White Cell, The Volatiles, Dylan Hammond, Bill & the Jerks Sunday Gunn Music Competition
Wednesday Johari Window, The Rules, The Hosies, Better Than The Wizards Thursday Pony Girl & The Outsiders, Sunset Riot, Spy Kite Friday AJ & Bids, Mass MC, Ciecmate, Newsense, Briggs, Art Of War, Jase, Peril, Rusty Saturday Peter Combe, Bellyflop in a Pizza band, John Patrick & the Keepers, DJ Erin, Phil Para Sunday Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Monday Howlin’ Steam Train Tuesday Dodo, Matt Glass, The Twoks, Swap
Wednesday Eliza Hull, Hayden Calnin, Clothes for Robots Thursday Woody Pitney, Ed Nunn, Bec Rouse
Friday Fastrack Saturday Ganga Giri, Afro Mandinko, Mr Fish Sunday Bandlands, Animaux, Private Life Monday Kate Vigo, Kelsey James, Lily Parker, DJ Dustin Tuesday Hiatus Kaiyote
Saturday Tehachapi, Sleep Decade, Redberryplum, Matt Kelly Sunday The ReChords, Merri Creek Pickers Monday True Radical Miracle, Tax, Exerciser Tuesday The Bedroom Philosopher, Monash University Chorale
Phoenix Public House
Friday Boylesque, Tabitha Turlington, Pussy Willow
Grace Darling Hotel
Thursday Private Life, Without Wolves, Kisshead, Cured Pink, Penguins, Dane Certificate, The Clits Friday The Ocean Party, Great Earthquake, Kieran Ryan, Howls Moving Castle Saturday The Strums, Isaac Graham, The Stirling Collective, Between The Wars, Wil Wagner Sunday Drummer Girl, Spinifex, DJ Tig Huggins
John Curtin Hotel
Thursday The Dirty F, The Magic Bones, Humans, Le Foxx Friday The Guild League, City Walls Autumn Falls, The Winter Migration Saturday Boomgates, Bitch Prefect, Lakes, Brad Barr
Wednesday Graduate Screenings Thursday Mood, DJ NuBody Friday Crabfight, Nice & Ego Saturday Prognosis, J-Slyde, Simon Murphy, Aaron Static Tuesday Comfortable Shorts
Wednesday Agent 86, Bladerunner, Mr Thom, Joybot Thursday WHO, Agent 86, Lewis Can Cut, Tiger Funk, Jumbo Friday Matt Rad, Mr George, Tom Meagher, Phato A Mano Saturday Pacman, Jean Paul, Sam McEwin, Samari, Kodiak Kid, Moonshine, Ash-Lee Sunday Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Jumbo, Junji Tuesday Cosmic Pizza
Friday Georgia Fair Saturday Harmony, Witch Hats, High Tea, My Favourite Colour Is Gold Tuesday Hopscotch Tournament
Thursday The Spit Fires, Premodernists, Rayon Moon, The Universal Friday Steaming Summer Sounds, Slugger Fontaine, Shoot the Sun, Chaos Kids, Cads Of Yore, Betti & Alysha, Cherrywood, White Rabbit Saturday The Groves, Twin Ages, Apes, Knitting for Gran, The Bennies, Mr Sharp
Friday Belfast 16, Rich:)e Rich, Simon Cole, Jeff Tyler Saturday Because They Can, The Never Ever, Tom Jordan, Krash, Tubovas
Sporting Club Hotel
Thursday Joshua Seymour Friday Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces Saturday Jed Rowe Sunday Penny Bohan
The Drunken Poet
Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Alli Stringer, Lucy Peach Thursday Maximilian White, Fabian Toonen, Chris Russell Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Fruit Jar Sunday Broderick Smith, Matt Walker, Nick Charles, Pete Fidler Tuesday Christmas Trivia Special
Friday Naysayer & Gilsun, Millions
Northcote Social Club
Wednesday Howlin’ Steam Train, Fraser Gorman, The Manny Fox Hangman’s Club
Thursday Sights & Sounds, Grenadiers, Chasing Ghosts
Wednesday Mustered Courage, The Davidson Brothers, Bill Jackson Thursday Innerspace, Jesse Mitchell Friday Darren Hanlon, David Dondero
The Old Bar
The Standard Hotel
Wednesday Two Jacks & a Jill, Ben Blakeney Friday Jack Shit, Vivienne Kingswood Saturday Wim, Bon Chat Bon Rat, Convaire
Sunday Roz Girvans High Horses
The Toff In Town
Wednesday Tigertown, Cordial Factory, Former Love, Young Mavericks Thursday Matt Corby, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes, Principle Blackman, Midnight Express, Prequel, Edd Fisher Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday Tim Sweeney Sunday Harry James Angus Band, Simone Page Jones, Miles O’Neil, Andyblack, Haggis Monday The Bombay Royale Tuesday Matt Corby, Hayden Calnin
Thursday Betty Airs, Ross de Chene Hurricanes, Apes Friday Poison City Records Xmas, A Death In The Family, The Smith Street Band, The Hawaiian Islands, Luca Brasi Saturday Immigrant Union Sunday Jasmin Kaset, Heel Toe Express, James McCann & Akustika, Jemma & The Baby Ruths Tuesday Becky Lee & Drunk Foot, Boobi & The Dicktraps
Union Hotel Brunswick
Thursday Sime Nugent Saturday Shane O’Mara, Lisa Miller, Raised by Eagles Sunday The Stetson Family
Wednesday Accapella Go! Thursday Phil Lyddy Trio, Al Parkinson, Glenn Mossop, Elk & Whale Friday Nick Lovell, Indigo & the Bear, Autumn Gray, Carly Fern Saturday The Boys, Dan Lethbridge & The Campaigners, Tessa Lancashire, Shane O’Mara, Scott Darlow Sunday Mighty Sun, Jeff Hann, Rosie & George, Gabriel Lynch Monday Open Mic
Thursday The Plains, Ghost Mutt, The Laments, The Raffaellas Friday Harry Howard & the NDE, The Murlocs, Sean Simmons, Bronwyn Adams, DJ Tasty Saturday Damn Terran, River of Snakes, Tits, Dane Certificate, Shaky Memorial Sunday Stax on Soul review
I Y! CRA S T FOO
The Pierce Brothers
Bar & Cafe
WEDNESDAY 14 DECEMBER
OPEN MIKE WITH AUDACIOUS ALEX
FRIDAY 16 DECEMBER
with GANGA GIRI and Piece Pai Book Now!!!
STREET PRESS AUSTRALIA XMAS DEADLINES FINAL EDITION FOR 2011 is w/c Dec 19 BOOKING AND ART DEADLINE is 5pm Thursday Dec 15 FIRST EDITION FOR 2012 is w/c Jan 9 BOOKING AND ART DEADLINE 5pm Friday Jan 6
THE SWINGSET 7.30PM
SUNDAY 18 DECEMBER
SALSA & SANGRIA 5PM
....TUNES WITH IZZY.S. MONDAY 19 DECEMBER
INDEPENDENT FILMS, BYO FILMS. OPEN 7 NIGHTS
42 ALBERT STREET, FOOTSCRAY
9689 2566 • WWW.DANCINGDOG.COM.AU
INPRESS • 67
BEHIND THE LINES WITH MICHAEL SMITH BTL@STREETPRESS.COM.AU LYRIC WRITING MASTERCLASS
Exclusive to APRA members, the JMC Academy South Melbourne Campus is hosting a lyric writing masterclass from 6.30 to 8pm on Thursday 5 January with Pat Pattison, who is a professor at the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Massachusetts, where he teaches lyric writing and poetry. Over the hourand-a-half session, Pattison will look at how you can take a strong song and tone it up into something truly memorable by focusing on the prosody between the intent of the song and its structure, rhyme, rhythm, point of view, phrasing and so on. So the call is out to APRA members wishing to attend: they can submit a song, via mp3 with lyric, to info@cmcproductions. com.au. Here the songwriters can also RSVP their intention to attend, and, if selected, Pattison will go through the submitted song at the session. This masterclass will follow a weekend seminar Pattison will present at the Academy from 10am through 4pm on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January, during which he will show writers how to integrate object writing into their own songwriting, under the banner Songwriting Without Boundaries. The weekend costs $250 and you can register for a place at the CMC Productions website, where you can also register for a further session 6.30-10.30pm on rewriting on Monday 9 January (this session costing $125). For full details check out the aforementioned website, APRA or the JMC Academy.
GIBSON GUITAR ACQUIRES STANTON PLATFORM
As part of its continued expansion as a lifestyle brand, Gibson Guitar has created a pro audio division through the acquisition of the platform assets of the Stanton Group. One of the oldest, most widely recognised and respected designers and marketers of audio products, Stanton Group is comprised of KRK Systems, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton DJ and makes superior products for consumers and professionals. Together, the companies will form Gibson Pro Audio Division, which will boast headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. This acquisition marks Gibson’s further expansion into the pro audio market with loudspeaker, monitor and electronics technology. In addition, Stanton Group gives Gibson the ability to leverage its existing research and development base.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
JUST THE THREE OF US GOING IN TO CUT THEIR NEW ALBUM ODD SOUL, NEW ORLEANS THREEPIECE MUTEMATH SET THEMSELVES A VERY SPECIFIC AGENDA, AS MICHAEL SMITH DISCOVERS.
ocking themselves away in singer and keyboards player Paul Meany’s home studio in New Orleans, Mutemath were determined that nothing and no one would influence what they were going to create. The plan was, in Meany’s words, “No camera guys, no producers, no engineers, no record label people, no management. No one would hear or comment on what we were doing until we were done.” On the line from Lansing, Michigan, in the middle of a tour, Meany explains what the band did in recording the new album, Odd Soul, which has what can only be described as this extraordinary shimmering sonic fingerprint across the album that gives it a very distinctive sound. “Well,” Meany begins, “necessity is the mother of invention in our case, most of the time, but especially with this record. The only place we had available was my house and we kinda just put together all the equipment that we have accumulated over the years of playing, in a number of bands or whatever we’ve bought and have found along the way, and put it all together in my house and just tried to use it the best we can – converting my dining room into a drum room and my bedroom into a control room. [We] just used half my house and recorded for about six or seven months. My wife was extremely tolerant, but that was it – pretty makeshifty. “We did most of the tracking into a Roland 2480 and then we also used Logic on a laptop to do more recording and editing, stuff like that, and between those two mediums, that’s how we tracked the whole record.” The VS-2480 is Roland’s best-selling 24-track workstation, the first such self-contained workstation in fact to offer 24-track/24-bit digital recording with 64-channel digital mixing, along with onboard effects, processing and optional CD burning. It includes 17 motorised faders, a VGA monitor output, a mouse and ASCII keyboard inputs, and
allows 16-track simultaneous recording with 384 v-tracks. As it happens, the recording wasn’t entirely digital. “We used old four-track and two-track tape machines, but only to go through, to get the electronic sound of it. But we didn’t actually run the tape – cleaning tape, that’s too much work – but we can run it through the electronics and kind of get some of that grit.” That shimmering quality to the sound of the album, Meany contends, is down to the 2480: “That’s one of the things I really love about the sound of it. The compressor on that thing is really great and they do a certain thing, and since we started recording with Mutemath, we always use that thing that the 2480 does for something on the record; a lot of time with the drums, but just other certain things that we really like – suits the music.” Forming in 2003, Meany – originally with guitarist Greg Hill, bass player Roy Mitchell-Cardenas and drummer Darren King – released their first EP, Reset, late in 2004, followed in 2006 by their eponymous debut album, co-produced by the band and Tedd Tjornhorn and recorded in Nashville. The second album, Armistice, followed in 2009. Odd Soul, written entirely in the studio as they went, is their first album recorded without guitarist Hill, with Mitchell-Cardenas playing the guitar parts instead. “That gave Roy a chance to, in my opinion, really blossom as more of a key part of this band. He’s a fantastic guitar player and admittedly he’s the best musician in this band – he always has been – so the fact that now there was this new opportunity, the guitar was just sittin’ on the shelf, and Roy was just a ball of inspiration. The guitar was a new instrument for all of us. At some point Darren and myself, we picked it up and it just became a refreshing part of this band.” Since the release of the album, Todd Gummerman has joined the band on guitar. As to the songwriting process with regards to Odd Soul, “We do our share of jamming, but we actually have most success when a song starts with Darren. And what Darren does is he usually puts together these electronic sort of instrumental tracks, some very simple, some extremely elaborate, but just
something that has some resemblance to a musical idea that we kind of build off of from there, and we’ll either jam to that or I’ll write a vocal for that and we just then unearth the process. Our songs are usually fairly revision-heavy; we like experimenting, like chasing rabbits, and ‘try this’, ‘try that’ and we’ll go on that journey for a while until we feel like a song’s done.” The decision not to use a co-producer for Odd Soul was part necessity – not having the money to afford one – but, as Meany explains, “even if we did have the money, we didn’t have the will this time so it just worked itself out fine. The thing that we really did differently on this record was to tell everyone to just leave us alone. I think the last record got really convoluted with a lot of opinions, for one from the producers – we had multiple producers – from the record company through management, even to [where] we were posting cryptic ideas on our website, doing video blogs, you know, and fans were weighing in on some of the songs that were coming together. So we got all this pool of conflicting opinions on what you’re working on and it really convolutes the process. We found our way through it but we knew we did not wanna do that again. So the idea of creating isolation for ourselves, and the only three guys that were going to be involved were the three guys in the band, was really refreshing. We just followed that train all the way home.” Mutemath’s Odd Soul album is out now on Teleprompt/Warner Bros.
Determined to recreate the warm analogue sounds of their classic albums, Kiss took themselves into Conway Studios in West Hollywood to cut their forthcoming record, Monster, due mid-2012, on 24-track tape using an old Trident sound desk and as many tube amps as possible. Gene Simmons produced the album with Greg Collins. Best known for his work in the ‘70s with James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, producer Peter Asher has produced the new album from Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Area 52, at Abdala Studios in Havana, with a Cuban orchestra. Expect it in January. Enslaved, the eighth studio album from Soulfly, due in March next year, was recorded at Tallcat Studios in Phoenix, Arizona, with Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, The Red Chord) and frontman Max Cavalera co-producing. Melbourne four-piece Waverley recorded their album, Challenger, with producer Craig Harnath and Matt O’Connor. Jez Giddings (Red Ink, Hunting Grounds) mixed and Jack The Bear (Silverchair, Eskimo Joe) mastered. Having found that the recording they’d made at a professional recording studio on the Gold Coast just wasn’t cutting it, Canberra four-piece Lavers re-recorded the guitars and various other parts in a couple of takes at a paint warehouse in Albion Park, the makeshift studio of fellow musician and mixer Dan Beazley. You can hear the results on their EP, The Street Is A Symphony. Melbourne three-piece The Peep Tempel recorded their forthcoming debut album at Sing Sing Studios with producer Clinton Kraus, Casey Rice (Tortoise, Dirty Three) then mixed it before Joseph Cara mastered it at Crystal Mastering. Now featuring Ben Franz from The Waifs, who also engineered the sessions, on pedal and lap steel guitars, The Stillsons recorded their latest and self-produced album, Earnest, at their home, then called in Craig Pilkington (The Killjoys, Shane Howard) to mix and master it at Audrey Studios. Byron Bay’s The Black Stars cut the bulk of their debut album, Elementary, at Blackbox Studios in Brisbane with Magoo, who also mixed it at Applewood, while Adam McElnea mastered it at Sonamax in Sydney inner city suburb Glebe.
68 • INPRESS
NEED A MONTH OF WORK WITH GREAT PAY? The Established Bottled Water Company is looking for a bakers’ dozen of good workers to help out with our current project.
$20-36 per hour Great working hours: 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday Located in a bright Victorian mansion just off Lygon street, Carlton. We are seeking friendly people with a laid-back and conﬁdent phone manner to call businesses. The idea is simple, for every bottle of water a company buys, a bottle with their name on it gets sent out to the SES volunteers. Continued work will be created for the right people. If you have good command of the English language and basic computer skills call us today on:
9946-6868 or 1800-908-034 and ask for Dan or Amy themusic.com.au
$30 $55 $50 $50
RECORDING PROJECT ROOM FROM $100
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LIVE SOUND EQUIPMENT, STUDIO NEEDS, PA SPEAKERS, MIXING CONSOLES, MICROPHONES, SIGNAL PROCESSING, CABLES, MULTICORES, STANDS ROAD CASE SPECIALISTS – READY TO GO AND CUSTOM MADE
E-STORE : WWW.GIGGEAR.COM.AU SALES@GIGGEAR.COM.AU CALL : 1300 289 997 FACTORY 18 / 21 BARRY STREET, BAYSWATER, 3153 SHOWROOM HOURS MON – FRI : 9.00AM-6.00PM;
INPRESS • 69
EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION DJ AVAILABLE- ANYTIME www.djzokithefab.com -0416306340 for any dj service club or home or birthday call anytime-GET A REAL DJ NOT MP3 PLAYER OR CRAPPY DOWNLOAD.......VINYL DJ ROCKS iFlogID: 16089
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: email@example.com iFlogID: 13289
FOR SALE AMPS Peavey Bandit 80watt 12” guitar combo 2 channel. Footswitchable. Great fat tone. Reverb/saturation etc. USA made. VGC.$350. Ph.0428744963. Cooroy
GUITARS Fender Pink Paisley Strat. Genuine 1980’s. All original. in case.Great tone/ action/condition. Very rare. $1500 ono. Ph.0428744963.Cooroy iFlogID: 13027
Dean Vendetta. 24 fret, floyd rose, locking nut, super low action - Absolute BEAST of a guitar! Great for shredding. $400 Call Ben 0405441838 iFlogID: 16676
Gibson Robot Explorer! Self Tuning Guitar! $2500 0405441838 iFlogID: 16670
Yamaha 12 String Acoustic. Beautiful Guitar great sound. $250 ono. Call Ben 0405441838
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: firstname.lastname@example.org iFlogID: 13287
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
OTHER ++ play more chinese music - love, tenzenmen ++ www.tenzenmen.com iFlogID: 14468
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact email@example.com or see www.bizwebsites.com.au
OTHER 2001 Toyota Corolla 4 Door Sedan Black. 157000KMs. $7000 Call Ben 0405441838
Customised 50W Guitar Amp Covered in Fluffy Orange material. Looks awesome onstage. Great sound. HC50R Hardcore Combo with a new 100W speaker in it. $175 ono. 0405441838
MASTERING Audio Mastering, mixing, recording. CD-R music & data duplication, cover artwork, colour disc printing, online global distribution. Full studio package deal for EP or full album projects. Enquiries ph: 02 98905578
Music publicity. Do you want to get noticed? Affordable exposure for your band by someone that actually cares! www.perfectlywrite.com.au Drop me a line!
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
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 iFlogID: 15173
TUITION At STRINGS ‘N’ SKINS: You will find tuition for- Guitar, Bass, Drums, 5 String Banjo. Rock, Blues, Country, Jazz, Slide, Finger Picking, Music Theory. Sutherland Shire Contact Terry 0402 993 268 iFlogID: 16077
Beginners to Advanced Easy and Effective Singing lessong workshops include -Vocal scales - pitch and breathing excercises -singing and learning songs of choice -performance techniques -songwriting iFlogID: 16430
MUSIC SERVICES DUPLICATION/ MASTERING
Recording Studio, Parramatta, $30hr casual rate. No kits! Singers, songwriters, instrumentalists for acoustic, world, classical genres specialist. 25+yrs exp, multi instrumentalist, arranger, composer, producer. Ph: 02 98905578, 7 days.
PA / AUDIO / ENGINEERING Sydney PA Hire: Best quality equipment, small to large 2, 3 and 4 way systems, packages for all occasions, competitive prices servicing Sydney and environs. Details; http://www.sydneypa.biz, Chris 0432 513 479 iFlogID: 13943
RECORDING STUDIOS Awkward Studios - Mobile recording studio specialising in production, engineering and composition. Recordings at live venues or rehearsal spaces. Also mixing and mastering. www.awkwardstudios.com.au - Ty Wood - 0433409109 iFlogID: 16249
Incubator Recording and Mastering. “Where the grooves are hatched”. Record your next demo or release in a relaxed creative enviroment with experienced engineer. Affordable check it out online at www.incubatorstudio.com.au
Eastern Suburbs guitar/ukulele/bass/ slide lessons with APRA award winning composer. Highly experienced, great references, unique individually designed lessons from Vaucluse studio. Learn to play exactly what YOU want to play! www.matttoms.com iFlogID: 16690
Music tuition, classical / flamenco guitar, celtic harp, theory & harmony, arranging. 9am - 9pm, 7 days. Parramatta area. $40 hr, $30 half hr. Mature & patient. Harps for hire. Ph: 02 98905578 iFlogID: 15158
VIDEO / PRODUCTION D7 STUDIO MUSIC VID FROM $250 music vid $250. Live gig edits, multi angles, fr $125 a set, 1 live track $100. All shot in full HD. firstname.lastname@example.org 0404716770 iFlogID: 13368
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 email@example.com iFlogID: 13825
MUSICIANS AVAILABLE BASS PLAYER Electric & upright bass. Good gear. Comfortable in most styles. Experience performing live and in the studio. Check out my website if you wanna hear more. http://www.wix.com/steelechabau/ steelechabau
DJ Dj available Dubstep to Drum&bass willing & able to adapt to your event. Low hourly rates. Everything negotiable. Easygoing, flexible entertainment. Call for a quote today. KN!VZ Entertainment Group Ph:0415680575 iFlogID: 16661
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
TOP INTERNATIONAL DRUMMER available, great backing vocals, harmonica player and percussionist. Gigs, tours and recording always desired. www.reubenalexander.net iFlogID: 14261
OTHER Percussionist - Professional Freelance Percussionist with 20 years professional experience playing both nationally & internationally. Looking to perform with professional musicians on a freelance basis. Very reliable. Call Timo on 0402980602.
DRUMMER Experienced drummer with a commitment to regular rehearsals and professional performances required for alternative rock band. Influences QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Nirvana etc. www.myspace.com/mollydredd 0411 372 469 iFlogID: 16359
WHO ARE YOU? Are you a reliable Metal Head into Conspiracies who plays Drums or Guitar? CONTROL NEEDS YOU... Contact: 0423 350 259 iFlogID: 15071
We are a friendly jazz band playing music to any style for romantic situations, weddings, anniversaries, small cozy clubs - very affordable. contact Chris 0419 272 196 firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSICIANS WANTED BANDS Play horns? Funk/soul band looking to build a Horn section no matter what you play from trumpet to the baritone sax contact email@example.com for more information. Sydney based.
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!
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY- from $399 including UNLIMITED pages, Logos, Hosting and 5xemail addresses and much more! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.bizwebsites. com.au iFlogID: 13864
Limited Edition mens tees and hoodies with a sense of humour. All hand-screened and numbered. monstrositystore.com iFlogID: 13611
OTHER Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact email@example.com or see www.bizwebsites.com.au. iFlogID: 15454
Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY- from $399 including UNLIMITED pages, Hosting and 5xemail addresses and much more! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. au or see www.bizwebsites.com.au. iFlogID: 13862
If you want to use DRUGS, that’s your business. If you want to STOP, we can help. Narcotics Anonymous 9519 6200 www.na.org.au
Up & coming bands wanted for gigs-get yourself some exposure in front of small/ med size crowd-send band details & contacts to email@example.com
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
Need to promote your restaurant, club and make it the place to go? Contact us now, because providing good entertainment is a personal skill. Chris 0419 272 196 firstname.lastname@example.org
BASS PLAYER FEMALE BASS PLAYER REQUIRED Female bass player 20s-30s own gear / transport wanted for indie rock band. Rehearse Brunswick. Album recording booked with song releases through 2012. Info/sounds @ www.noescapefortheking.com. Interested? Call 0414524422. iFlogID: 16706
SERVICES GRAPHIC DESIGN Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact email@example.com or see www.bizwebsites.com.au
TATTOO Monstrosity Dreadlocks, Sydney. Dreads and maintenance special: All service $30 per hour. Professional, guaranteed service. Kings Cross. Call 0421356410 iFlogID: 13613
TUITION P&O DJ CRUISE
P&O and DJ Bootcamp present, 8 day, 3 island professional DJ Cruise # 2. Nov 26th, 2012. Book early and save. www. djbootcamp.com.au iFlogID: 15754
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OPEN 7 DAYS
BAYSIDES PREMIER GUITAR SCHOOL
70 • INPRESS
iFlogID: 15177 iFlogID: 16159
TUITION - PERFORMANCE - SALES - REPAIR 330C SOUTH RD. HAMPTON EAST 3188 PH 9553 7262 WWW.LMCGUITAR.COM.AU
GUITARIST 18 year old guitar player looking to form Rock N’ Roll band. Influences: Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, New York Dolls. Preferably in South. Call Tom on 0401722767.
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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...
Published on Dec 13, 2011
Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...