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ISSUE 1207

W E D N E S D AY 1 8 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE INPRESS 16 The Front Line brings you the hottest industry news 16 The week’s best and worst in Backlash/Frontlash 18 Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements 22 No tent sex ever for Kasabian 25 Keeping it cheeky with Guttermouth 25 Whitest Boy Alive are keepin’ it on ice 26 The pitfalls of pigeonholing My Chemical Romance 27 Still creepy after 35 years are The Damned 28 How Austra was drawn to “the dark side” 30 Givers and being covered by a children’s choir 30 Lamb Of God versus a career at Microsoft 30 Beth Orton and her first album in five years 32 Kill City Creeps are keeping traditions alive 32 The joy of other people’s voices, with Matthew Dear 32 The enjoyment of solitude: AA Bondy 32 Barons Of Tang on snorting powdered drinks 34 On The Record rates new releases from Wiley and Harmony James 36 The Big Apple and Eleanor Friedberger 36 Ital is living in the now, man 36 Brian Cadd’s bringin’ back The Morning Of The Earth 36 Folkin’ it up with Sam Amidon

FRONTROW 38 This Week In Arts plans your week ahead 38 Christie Whelan returns with Britney Spears: The Musical


The Shivering Timbers


Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Shane O’Donohue Assistant Editor Bryget Chrisfield Editorial Assistant Samson McDougall Front Row Editor Daniel Crichton-Rouse Staff Writer Michael Smith

A rollicking ride of original and traditional acoustic folk, blues & country 9pm

ADVERTISING National Sales & Marketing Director Leigh Treweek National Sales Manager – Print Nick Lynagh Account Manager Cat Clarke Account Manager Brad Turner

Sundays In January

The Blackeyed Susans


(Trio) The Susans return for a summer residency to play four majestic gigs of countrified alt-rock. Miss these shows at your own risk. 5pm


9388 2235


BACK TO INPRESS 43 Gig Of The Week gets jazzy with Barry Adamson 43 LIVE:Reviews checks Sugar Mountain 50 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 50 Andrew Haug takes us to the dark side in The Racket 50 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 50 Other music from the other side in Fragmented Frequencies 51 Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown 51 Hip hop with Get It Together 51 The freshest urban news with OG Flavas 51 New currents with Dance Moves 53 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 53 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 54 Fill your dance card with our Club Guide 56 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 60 Gear and studio reviews in BTL 62 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 see The Kill Devil Hills’ new 7” vinyl launch at the Corner Hotel this Saturday, check out the Inpress Facebook page, where tyou’ll also see a killer Stepkids giveaway.

Saturday 21 January


38 Filmmaker Andrew Haigh talks about his first screenplay, Weekend 39 Cultural Cringe wraps up the week’s arts 39 Film Carew reviews the new releases 39 Joe Cornish talks about Attack The Block 39 Hiromasa Yonebayashi steps up to direct Studio Ghibli’s new film Arrietty 40 Tommy Bradson brings Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem back to Melbourne




26 Inpress Cover Design / Art Direction Matt Davis Layout Matt Davis, Kieryn Hyde, Eamon Stewart accounts & Administration Reception Holly Engelhardt Accounts Receivable Anita D’Angelo Accounts Payable Francessca Martin


Senior Contributors Jeff Jenkins Overseas Contributors Tom Hawking (US), James McGalliard (UK), Sasha Perera (UK). Writers Nick Argyriou, The Boomeister, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Alice Body, Luke Carter, Dan Condon, Anthony Carew, Chris Chinchilla, Rebecca Cook, Kendal Coombs, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Liza Dezfouli, Lizzie Dynon, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Bob Baker Fish, Robert Gascoigne, Warwick Goodman, Cameron Grace, Andrew Haug, Andy Hazel, Kate Kingsmill, Michael Magnusson, Baz McAlister, Samson McDougall, Tony McMahon, Count Monbulge, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen,

Roger Nelson, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker, Adam Psarras, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Leonie Richman, Antonios Sarhanis, Ingrid Sjolund, Dylan Stewart, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Danielle Trabsky, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen.


Senior Contributor Kane Hibberd Jesse Booher, Ricky Dowlan, Chrissie Francis, Giovanni Lorusso, Lou Lou Nutt, Heidi Takla, Sam Wong.


Cassandra Fumi, Stephanie Liew


The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part may be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder. By submitting letters to us for publication, you agree that we may edit the letter for legal, space or other reasons. ©


Editorial Friday 5pm Advertising Bookings Friday 5pm Advertising Artwork Monday 5pm General Inquiries (no attachments) Accounts/Administration Gig Guide Distribution Office Hours 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday


Street Press Australia Pty Ltd 2-4 Bond Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067 PO Box 1079, Richmond North VIC 3121 Phone: (03) 9421 4499 Fax: (03) 9421 1011


Rural Press Victoria





Last year Street Press Australia launched the first annual Readers’ Poll and with the huge response tallied up over the festive break we now have the results for you. Note, to enter the poll responders had to visit either the Facebook page for one of Street Press Australia’s magazines or, so we can assume every responder is a Facebook/internet user.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR 1. Gotye – Making Mirrors 2. Adele – 21 3. The Black Keys – El Camino 4. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials 5. Bon Iver – Bon Iver 6. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs 7. Boy & Bear – Moonfire 8. Tom Waits – Bad As Me 9. The Jezabels – Prisoner 10. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake Other albums that were frequently put forward by readers, but not quite enough to make the Top Ten, included Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ self-titled album, Elbow’s Build A Rocket Boys, Frank Turner’s England Keep My Bones and Twerps’ Twerps.

AUSTRALIAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR 1. Gotye 2. The Jezabels 3. Boy & Bear 4. Hilltop Hoods 5. Kimbra Unsurprisingly, the all-conquering Gotye won this in a landslide. Adele also got a few votes in Australian category – do people think the British superstar is local?

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR 1. Adele 2. Bon Iver 3. The Black Keys 4. Florence + The Machine 5. Foo Fighters

FAVOURITE GIG OF 2011 For their efforts around the country last year, Foo Fighters came in as the most popular gig for our readers. Not far behind, though, was Sufjan Stevens and Portishead, with honourable mentions to the likes of Gotye and Cold Chisel.

FAVOURITE FESTIVAL OF 2011 Soundwave took out the most popular festival, with Harvest just edging out Big Day Out for second place. Elsewhere our readers enjoyed the sights and sounds of Laneway, Splendour In The Grass, Bluesfest and the Falls Festival in that order.

IPAD WINNER: The winner of a

new iPad for entering the Readers’ Poll is Michael Kerrigan from Victoria! GOTYE



Rap pioneer KRS-One has announced his first ever tour to Australia, but will have to spend four weeks on a boat to get here as he refuses to fly. Announced last week, Trent Roden of promoters Slingshot Entertainment told The Front Line, “This tour has been years in the making but actually came together quite quickly once KRS-One decided that Australia would be next on his international radar. Of course the biggest challenge logistically is that he doesn’t fly. I’m unsure of the exact reason but it’s a known fact around the international hip hop community so the only option was to find an ocean liner to put him on. We have him sailing nearly four weeks from The States to Australia on a luxury ship that will take him via Hawaii and New Zealand. The next challenge is to get him and his crew around Australia which will be via road including from Adelaide to Perth through the centre of Australia across the Nullarbor desert.”


Molly Meldrum is moving closer to rehab following the horrendous fall that put him in a life-threatening last year. A statement from his brother Brian Meldrum reads, “Doctors said today they were pleased with the progress being made by Molly Meldrum and that he was moving closer to being transferred to private rehabilitation.”


Sydney’s alt-pop band Ghoul and Melbourne’s punk band A Death In The Family announced their splits last week. Midway through recording their album, Ghoul posted on their Facebook that the band was over. They’d hinted at it a few days earlier, writing, “Every time a track seems nearly done, there’s another fork in the road…” A Death In The Family also called it quits after eight years, writing, “To cut to the chase, we’ve hit a cross-roads (or dead-end as it seems). Each of our lives and circumstances are vastly different than they were a few years ago and as a group we’ve simply decided now is a good time to move on, rather than pushing on.” Perth’s The Panda Band have split after seven years and two albums together, citing “irreconcilable differences”. The band became triple j darlings with their 2004 single and EP Sleepy Little Deathtoll Town and released two albums, The Vital Chapter in 2006 and Charisma Weapon in July 2011. Members Chris Callan (guitar and keys) and Scott Howard (drums) are focusing on their new project, The Witches.


Amid growing rumours, the organisers of Splendour In The Grass have announced neither Radiohead nor the Stone Roses will play this year. In two tweets last week, Splendour In The Grass wrote: “Re the speculation about Radiohead @ SITG this year, we’d like to officially dispel these rumours, unfort they’re not playing Splendour 2012” Then they added: “And while we’re here… brace yourselves… ditto for The Stone Roses, they won’t be playing Splendour 2012 either :-(” On Facebook they elaborated, “Lots of talk out there about Radiohead at Splendour this year. As much as this would be nice, we’d like to officially dispel these rumours by letting everyone know that unfortunately they will definitely not be playing Splendour 2012… we’ll get them one day ;-)”.


Australian hip hop fans are ‘distressed’ that a charity compilation album formulated by the late Robert Hunter is being downloaded illegally. The compilation Australian Hip Hop Supports CanTeen, which was Hunter’s last project before he succumbed to cancer, was released in December. Featuring tracks from Hilltop Hoods, Drapht and more, profits from the album are being donated to cancer charity CanTeen. Those involved in the project have now expressed dismay that the album has appeared on file sharing websites for free. The project manager for the album, Rachel Pietracatella, confirmed the

illegal download links and said, “I have had quite a number of concerned fans of Hunter’s contact me in response to the illegal links.” She added, “A lot of them are still grieving the loss of Hunter and are upset that the funds from album sales are being diverted from the charity. Many music fans have bought multiple albums to show their full support knowing that the proceeds are going to such a worthy cause, those same people have also donated cash funds on top of it and are rightfully distressed that anyone can go online and download it for free.” Websites hosting the links have been serviced with cease and desist notices, she said. Media Arts Lawyers’ Kylie Giam, who is counsel for the project, said, “Unfortunately, due to the digital nature of the industry that we’re in, it’s virtually impossible to prevent unauthorised links from being posted up. Where these links are brought to our attention however, we can send official notices of infringement to the operators of the host sites in order to protect the rights of the album and I think it’s really important to do this on each occasion.”


Fuse have inked deals with British metal label Peaceville and Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records as they continue last year’s flurry. Fuse were busy throughout 2011, signing deals with a number of new labels and they’ve started 2012 in a similar fashion. Last week they announced that they’d be distributing Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records, starting with Patton’s latest record The Solitude Of Prime Numbers as well as new releases from Retox, The Book Of Knots, Daniele Luppi and back catalogue selections. Patton is currently in Australia to perform at Sydney Festival. They also announced that they’re branching out into the metal sphere as well, with Britain’s Peaceville. Fuse will distribute releases from the likes of Cradle Of Filth, Darkthrone, Katatonia, My Dying Bride and Unholy amongst others. Other recent labels Fuse has snapped up include Goner Records, Jack White’s Third Man Records, HopeStreet Recordings, R.I.P. Society, Lost & Lonesome Recording Co. and Aarght!.


While Gotye is the only Australian artist on the line-up for this California’s Coachella festival this year, the line-up has been noteworthy around the world due to the reformations of punk legends At The Drive-In and Refused. Amid heavy rumours that they would be playing, the bands were announced on the line-up alongside other reunited acts Mazzy Star and fIREHOSE. At The Drive-In’s split in 2001 was notoriously messy, but they have been patching things up in the last few years. Speaking to Street Press Australia recently, member Jim Ward said, “You have to remember for me it was 17 to 24. And those are crazy years. And the last year of that band was more than I was prepared to handle. I think to this day I’m still feeling the repercussions. There’s a part of my brain that’s just dedicated to dealing with that. Somebody asks me about that probably once a day. One of the jokes is like you’re on your death bed and the nurse comes in and says something about [ATDI single] One Armed Scissor… be prepared that your entire life is


Adelaide’s Fuse showcase and conference have revised their list of keynote speakers for the 22 to 24 February event. They’ve decided on Jess Beston (Tiny Monster – A&R Consultancy), Greg Carey (Umbrella Music), Jasmine Kirkwood (Kobalt Music), Keith Welsh (Catalyst Management), Tom Harris (White Sky Management), Catherine Haridy (Cath Haridy Management), Alex Doomadgee (Gadigai Records), Vicki Gordon (VMG Media), Michael Hutchings (APRA), Rhoda Roberts (Vibe), Dom Alessio (triple j), John Zucco (The Right Profile), Chris Johnson (AMRAP), Marianna Annas (ABC Music Publishing), Michael Szumowski (Alberts Music Publishing), Brett Cottle (APRA), Scott McKenzie (Premier Artists), Geoff Trio (Code One), Stu Watter (Morph TV), Michael Parisi (Michael Parisi Management), Heath Bradby (Warner Music), Stephen Wade (Select Music), Christie Eliezer (Journalist), David Vodicka (Media Arts Lawyers), Ben Strong (Darren Sanicki Lawyers), Darren Sanicki (Darren Sanicki Lawyers), Leanne DeSouza (Medics Management), Jordan Verzar (Top Shelf), Andrew Walker (Buxton Walker), Nick O’Byrne (AIR), Millie Millgate (Sounds Australia), Jaddan Comerford (UNFD), Johanna Greenway (Big Day Out), Maria Amato (Air, Media Arts Lawyers), Scott Crawford (Shock), Philip Mortlock (Alberts Music) and Basil Cook (ABC Music).


The first round of winners for the AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) awards have been announced, with the re-branded AFI Awards holding a luncheon over the weekend. Chris Lilley took home the Best Performance In A Television Comedy for Angry Boys, while the Jed Kurzel-scored Snowtown won the award for Feature Film Best Editing. Red Dog won the Member’s Choice Award while there was also recognition for The Eye Of The Storm, Legend Of The Guardians and short film The Palace.



Disappointing to see Ricky Gervais toned things down at this year’s Golden Globes, though we’ll never get tired of people hanging shit on Eddie Murphy.

Wikipedia is going offline today for 24 hours to protest against US piracy laws. We’re not sure whether that makes us trust what we read in The Age more or less…



Jessica Alba obviously has better taste in music than film scripts, tweeting over the weekend she’s digging Twerps’ ace track Dreamin’.


We’ve only just got through this year’s Sugar Mountain, but we’re already gagging for the 2013 instalment. Saturday’s festival was a blast, with Tune-Yards and Thee Oh Sees the biggest highlights on a day full of them.

music 16 • INPRESS

going to reference that at some point. There was a time when I hated talking about it. There was a time when I thought nobody in the world should care, they should only care about the record I’m making… There’s days you hate it. There’s days you love it. It is what it is. But essentially we’re all on the same page, we’re proud of it and we’ll always guard it. We don’t ever want to fuck up that legacy and we all talk about that. We have all made commitments to each other to never ruin that.” Refused, meanwhile, have broken their vow to never get back together after breaking up after the release of their seminal album The Shape Of Punk To Come. In their infamous final press release they wrote, “We will never play together again and we will never try to glorify or celebrate what was.” However in a statement announcing their return last week they said, “We never did The Shape Of Punk To Come justice back when it came out, too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there’s this possibility to do it like it was intended. We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who’ve kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes. We feel that you deserve it and we hope the feeling is mutual.” Other headliners include Radiohead, The Black Keys and Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg.



Boo to the Indian cricket team, for robbing us of three days of evening cricket viewing and condemning us to more re-runs of The Big Bang Theory in its place.


Victorian police are fighting a move to ban beards and ponytails in the force. The irony of cops whinging about being targeted for the way they look is not lost on us….


Thursday 1 March Prince Bandroom 18+ MOSHTIX.COM.AU or 1300 438 849







Following his highly acclaimed 2010 tour, affable raconteur and darkly comedic songster Voltaire makes his triumphant return to gallop across the expanses of Australia on his Black Unicorn tour this February. Performing tracks from his brand new album Riding A Black Unicorn Down The Side Of An Erupting Volcano While Drinking From A Chalice Filled With The Laughter Of Small Children! as well as old favourites, Voltaire is a must for fans of Amanda Palmer (with whom he has recorded the duet Stuck With You from the 2007 release Ooky Spooky). He plays Bar 303 on Saturday 11 February with support from Rouge Fonce.


























Presenting music by Neu!, Harmonia and selected solo works in a world premiere performance, Melbourne music enthusiasts will be lucky enough to experience an unprecedented meeting of great musical minds with heavyweights of kosmische and German experimental electronica Michael Rother, Dieter Moebius and Hans Lampe coming together to tour the country in March 2012. Together they will perform the music of Neu!, Harmonia and other selected solo works Monday 19 March at the Corner Hotel.


Having just wrapped up a triumphant come-back tour with Sebadoh in September, one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of his generation, Lou Barlow, returns to Australia in solo mode this April. A founding member of Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh, Barlow is considered a pioneer of the lo-fi movement. He has released two solo records, Emoh and Goodnight Unknown, allowing him room to explore his introspective folk rock roots. Accompanied only by his guitar, Barlow will deliver an intimate performance at the Northcote Social Club on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April, with support from Music Feeds.

New Zealand bands Tiny Ruins and The Vietnam War will tour Australia this March. Since releasing Some Were Meant For Sea, Tiny Ruins has toured Australia with Seeker Lover Keeper and performed with Fleet Foxes in New Zealand. She touches down this March following guest appearances for CW Stoneking in the UK, and a ten-date European run with Holly Throsby and Jordan Ireland. The Vietnam War honed their dusty sound over six years and countless shows, awakening New Zealand’s jangly rock legacy with their self-titled first record. They’ve also shared stages with The Black Keys and The National. Tiny Ruins’ gorgeous folk plays a perfect contrast to the warm and weathered country rock of The Vietnam War. See them on Thursday 22 March at the Northcote Social Club.

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than listening to the finest tunes influenced by traditions, cultures and places from around the globe? From Saturday 11 February, spend your afternoons at the Famous Spiegeltent and enjoy the myriad of cross-cultural melodies on offer. Saturday Sessions include shows such as the Gospel Shakedown, Loved Up Latin, Turn The Funk Up, Jazzalicious, Big & Brassy, Celebrate St Pat’s, Rockabilly Blues, Klezmer Party, Singing Stories and Gypsy Punk. For tickets, information and the full line-up, go to


In the wake of releasing Big Kiss Goodnight, Baltimore’s hardest hardcore band, Trapped Under Ice, are heading to Australia. Joining them will be Sydney’s Relentless, setting this tour up to be one of the most unforgettable of 2012. Catch them at the Break The Ice fest (all ages) on Saturday 10 March at the Seaford Community Centre and at the Corner on Sunday 11 March.



Boasting an impeccable roster of up-and-coming Australian talent, independent label Broken Stone Records is hitting the road in February for a roadshow extravaganza. With a suitcase full of great local artists, the touring showcase of music and mixed-media art will feature live performances from Sister Jane, Magnetic Heads, Caitlin Park and The Maple Trail. An exciting display of artworks created as part of Broken Stone’s recording releases (including sculptural work used in film clips, photographs from live shows and illustrative cover art) will be on show in the venue space for audiences to explore. Check it out at Kyneton Town Hall on Saturday 18 February (all ages) and Horse Bazaar on Sunday 19 February.

Publicist is Sebastian Thomson, drummer of such awesome indie disco staples as Weird War and Trans Am. This new incarnation takes shimmering disco and pummels it into a sleek panther that leaps from shadow to shadow. What he does is simple: he sequences synths, plays drums on the dancefloor, and has a vocoder. Hawnay Troof is the solo project of Vice Cooler. Over the course of six releases, he has mixed drive, impulsiveness, and an ever-evolving vision to create some truly unique sounds. Check out Publicist and Hawnay Troof with guest High Tea at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 9 February.



Armed with their trademark blend of swamp, punk, country rock, blues and folk, The Kill Devil Hills will be taking over the Corner Hotel this Saturday to launch their latest single, The Week In Pictures. The song is a jarring, throbbing menace, a strange and beautiful montage of images of our world seen from afar. Helping The Kill Devil Hills celebrate the launch of the single will be The Floors and Kim Salmon.


Due to poor ticket sales, Madeleine Peyroux’s March tour has been cancelled. Refunds will be processed automatically back to the credit card used at the time of purchase for tickets booked via phone or internet. Please allow up to ten business days to receive your refund. Patrons who booked at a Ticketmaster outlet need to return to the original outlet with their tickets, identification and credit card used for the purchase to obtain their refund.


San Francisco’s Dead To Me and Reno’s Cobra Skulls are teaming up for an Australian tour covering four states over nine dates. With a shuffling lineup, Dead To Me in their current incarnation will be supporting their third-full length, Moscow Penny Ante, which is their best and most confusing work to date. After quickly recording their first Fat Wreck Chords offering, Bringing The War Home, it wasn’t long before the punk world was screaming for more from Cobra Skulls. In 2011 the band released Agitations to critical acclaim. Joining the two for the ride will be Canberra outfit, Lamexcuse. Catch them at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 29 March with A Death In The Family.


Due to popular demand, a second Barry Adamson film screening and live performance has been added for Tuesday 24 January at Pure Pop Records. Adamson proudly presents the Australian debut screening of his first feature film, Therapist. The show for this Monday at Pure Pop Records has sold out but a second screening and live performance has been added for this Tuesday from 7pm. Hurry up and book to enjoy a moderated Q&A, a glass of champagne or two with the director himself and hearty Mexican food from Blue Corn. The Q&A will be immediately followed by an advance listening party with a live three-song performance; a sampler from his soon-to-be-released album I Will Set You Free.








Grieve Pde

Johnny Rock & The Limits

7” Launch

Rich Davies & The Devils Union

Goodbye Because (Parking Lot Experiments)


Straw King Eye Esc

Happy Hours 4 - 7pm


Johnny Rock & The Limits

Adam Christou (SYN)

The Good China Happy Hour 4-7pm



Wintercoats, Kikuyu

Billy McCabe

Happy Hours 4-7pm


Mrs Brown


Young Revelry

Wilk & Heath Adam Christou (SYN)

Goodbye Because (Parking Lot Experiment)



Happy Hour 4-7pm

New Summer Menu

Crass DJs





Inkswel, Julien Love

Udays Tiger

ORLANDO: Love Songs & Dedications

DJ Chris

LA Pocock (RRR)

Orlando DJs

DJ Chris

Oliver Tank EP Launch




Oliver Tank EP Launch 20th January Slow Club [UK] 2nd March

Plague Doctor

Mesa Cosa

The Sweets EP Launch

Crass Happening!

Clockwork Artists Launch Party

















SATURDAY 21 8:30












































Alternative hip hop has found its strongest voice in a very long time. This phenomenon is called OFWGKTA: Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All or simply Odd Future, and they’re heading down under for the Big Day Out. The Melbourne OFWGKTA side show originally planned for the Palace will now be held at the Hi-Fi. The date for the show remains the same, Wednesday 1 February, and all tickets purchased for the original venue are valid for the Hi-Fi. FOUR YEAR STRONG





New Order, heading our way to play the Future Music Festival, have announced a Melbourne sideshow. Formed from the ashes of tragedy, New Order paid tribute to their previous incantation Joy Division, while redefining the musical landscape in the process. They play Festival Hall on Thursday 1 March.


The wait for the WOMADelaide faithful is finally over. The outdoor festival of music, arts and dance has announced the final 20 groups for its exceptional 20th anniversary festival program. The announcement, led by West African superstar Baaba Maal, completes the line-up for the four day festival, to be held in Adelaide’s Botanic Park from Friday 9 to Monday 12 March. The festival also announced one-off shows by Dirty Three; the king of Latin salsoul, Joe Bataan, performing with Australia’s I Like It Like That Orchestra; Neil Finn’s latest project, Pajama Club; dub DJ/producer Mad Professor; and two shows by acclaimed dancer Shantala Shivalingappa.

As if Jessie J’s bombastic live show wasn’t awesome enough, UK underground hip hop phenomenon Professor Green has been announced as support for Jessie J’s first ever Australian headline tour! Breaking out of London’s underground hip hop scene back in 2006 at the tender age of 23, Professor Green has since won the inaugural JumpOff Myspace battle rap tournament, toured with megastars like Lily Allen and The Game, and dropped a debut LP (Alive Till I’m Dead, 2010) that captivated hip hop fans around the globe. His acclaimed follow-up is At Your Inconvenience. Joining Jessie J and Professor Green is sassy lady Ruby Rose who will warm up the crowds with her DJ set and get the party started. See Jessie J and her guests at Festival Hall on Wednesday 7 March. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.


Mash-up maestro Girl Talk has sold out his Big Day Out sideshows in Melbourne. Girl Talk will provide those lucky enough to have a ticket with the ultimate dance party. Joining the mayhem will be Melbourne’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The seven psych-loving kids have built themselves a reputation as a debaucherous bunch of surf-punks. The septet will kick off the Girl Talk party with their bang-up-fun live show. And if you missed out on a ticket to the Girl Talk show, be sure to catch him at the Boiler Room at the Big Day Out nationally.


The renovations at Seven have turned the club into one of Melbourne’s most chic and versatile party spots, creatively melding a warm lounge atmosphere with the high energy of a nightclub. Australia Day Eve, Wednesday 25 January, Playground hosts Mann. Mann was discovered in 2008 and since being signed to Def Jam records his hit single Buzzin, featuring 50 Cent, has gained more than 16 million views. Mann will be performing his hits in an exclusive live performance. On Saturday 28 January Seven will play host to The Weekend with headlining act DJ Falcon. Best known for his connections with Daft Punk, DJ Falcon has played across the world at almost every prestigious club you can imagine with Seven about to be added to the list.


Four Year Strong have catapulted to the top of the pack as one of the premier pop punk acts in the world today. Returning with their latest studio album In Some Way, Shape, Or Form, the band are at their most ambitious and experimental best. Forming from the ashes of the beloved seminal punk rock band The Movielife, I Am The Avalanche have spread like wildfire throughout the punk community, fast becoming a cult favourite amongst fans and their peers alike. A band as lively and explosive as their name implies, Fireworks have taken the field and shaken it up with their latest offering Gospel. Catch all three bands at their Melbourne sidewave on Tuesday 28 February at the Hi-Fi.


On Tuesday 28 February, UK post-punk legends The Sisters Of Mercy will play a headline performance at the Corner. It will be the only headline performance for the band in Australia, who are touring as a part of the Soundwave Festival. Despite numerous lineup changes, disputes with their record company that saw the band cease recording in 1990, legal battles and internal dissent, The Sisters Of Mercy have remained at the forefront of the underground scene since their formation in Leeds more than 30 years ago. New and unreleased songs make up half of any Sisters set these days, although the classics get a good thrashing in rotation.


It was a big year for Coerce in 2011. Following the release of their second album, the ARIA-nominated Ethereal Surrogate Saviour, Coerce went on to tour nationally, support a bunch of international acts and close the year appearing in many end-of-year top ten lists. Now in 2012, Coerce hit the road for their first national headline tour since their album release tour. Coerce will be bringing along Adelaide’s powerhouse The Burning Sea, Heirs and Gatherer for their Melbourne show at the John Curtin Hotel on Saturday 10 March.



California-based singer/songwriter Cass McCombs’ moody but often surprisingly humorous music has won the hearts of many Australian fans who will be thrilled that he is finally visiting our shores after releasing six much-loved albums, most recently the gently optimistic Humor Risk. McCombs and his band are playing the Corner on Friday 17 February with special guests The Orbweavers. Tickets on sale now from the Corner box office.


Whittlesea Country Music Festival runs from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 February. The festival kicks off with a launch party on the Friday followed by a street party before the main music events. Saturday night will feature a stellar country line-up at the Showgrounds before the wra-up Sunday. Artists performing include Adam Brand, Shane Nicholson, Bill Chambers, Kim Richey, The Black Sorrows, Carter & Carter, Felicity Urquhart, Luke Dickens, Luke Austin and Sam Hawksley. Tickets are on sale from the festival website. 20 • INPRESS

It’s a farewell in a farewell. Jordie Lane is going East, and the East Brunswick Club is simply going. Tragic as it may be, it is also an opportunity to celebrate the good times. What better way than to join Jordie Lane and band, Ben Salter (The Gin Club) and Luke Legs on Friday 10 February at the East Brunswick Club. Lane is leaving our shores to perform at the legendary South By Southwest music conference, Canadian Music Week and to work on new material with Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Biller. You can also catch Lane with Sweet Jean and Luke Brennan at the Caravan Music Club Saturday 11 February.


The Twilights Concert Series is back. Zoo Twilights 2012 will kick off a series of events as part of Melbourne Zoo’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Whatever your musical tastes, there’s something for everyone at Zoo Twilights this summer. The first Twilights show featuring Washington supported by Big Scary on Saturday 21 January has sold out and RockWiz Live is selling fast with limited tickets available and all other shows selling well. Also appearing will be Kate Ceberano, Kasey Chambers, The Beautiful Girls, James Morrison, Marcia Hines, James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite, Vanessa Amorosi, Lior, Gurrumal, and Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows. Head to twilights for more information and to purchase tickets.


KRS-One is embarking on a month-long boat cruise from the United States to school Aussies on the true origins of hip hop. Always a refreshing break from mainstream rap content, KRS-One delivers an intense street-poet performance that leaves the audience rethinking their approach to hip hop and its culture. KRS-One is a mustsee concert and a mandatory lecture for anyone really interested in the true essence of hip hop. He plays the Palace Wednesday 14 March with tickets on sale tomorrow Thursday 19 January.





Added to the already amazing international line-up of this year’s Rainbow Serpent festival is Swedish techno/acid breaks/everything-else-fusion-machine Petter, while acclaimed violinist, composer, sound designer and music technologist Laura Escudé will take time out from her busy touring schedule with Kanye West to perform. Added to the band line-up is international hip hop/swing pioneers Movits, joining Australian favourites such as Oka, Fyah Walk and Ganga Giri. The Festival will be held from 27 to 30 January. For full line-up check out

A heavy metal immortal, Zakk Wylde has ridden the rock’n’roll rollercoaster having played alongside Ozzy Osbourne for more than two decades. Founding Black Label Society in 1999, the band have gone on to achieve phenomenal success commanding a legion of fiercely loyal fans. Brace yourself because Hellyeah featuring metal’s baddest group of outlaws, Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Chad Gray (Mudvayne), Greg Tribbet (Mudvayne) and Tom Maxwell (Nothingface), are bringing their ‘let’s-tear-the-world-a-newarse’ attitude and bonafide fist-pumping metal anthems to a sidewave with Black Label Society at the Forum on Tuesday 28 February. Also on the bill are Black Tide and Holy Grail.




Well at least the ratio remains in the punters’ favour. Unfortunately, DragonForce have been forced to cancel their scheduled appearance at this year’s Soundwave, siting the delay in completing their new album. Guitarist Sam Totman said that the band were disappointed to not be playing the festival but told local fans to not fear as “we can 100% assure our Aussie fans that we will be touring there at some point 2012, we just have to move our touring plans around a little to accommodate the delay.” But while one leaves, two take its place, with Grammy Award winners Switchfoot and goth metal pioneers Paradise Lost being the final two bands to join the monstrous Soundwave line-up. Switchfoot have also announced they will play a Sidewave at the Prince Bandroom on Thursday 1 March.


Girls’ latest album Father, Son, Holy Ghost received critical acclaim. It got a glowing 9.3 on Pitchfork, they did a stellar live performance of their single Honey Bunny on Jimmy Fallon and raves aplenty on the internet. As well as playing Laneway, Girls are doing a couple of sideshows, including one at the Corner on Wednesday 8 February with support from Twerps. Grab your tickets from the venue, or Polyester.


New Found Glory continue their dominance in a genre they pioneered well over a decade ago, providing a breath of fresh air in a scene starved of creativity. Paying homage to the bands that inspired them to pick up their instruments, New Found Glory’s new studio album Radiosurgery showcases a band at the top of their game. Taking Back Sunday are truly in a league of their own. They have firmly cemented themselves in the upper echelons of the rock world, releasing classic album after classic album in an influential career. Taking Back Sunday’s new self-titled album, featuring their original line-up, is undeniably their most varied and innovative record to date marking a new era for the quintet. As part of a killer co-headline tour, New Found Glory and Taking Back Sunday are playing Festival Hall on Sunday 8 April. Tickets on sale this Friday from Ticketmaster.


Brisbane’s indie art rockers Drawn From Bees are heading out on the Dusty Midnight Cowboy Tour. To coincide with the tour, the band will be starring in their very own comic strip: a story of four outlaws who wreak havoc on the Wild West. Check the Drawn From Bees website for weekly updates on the outlaws’ adventures. Following a hectic 17 shows in 20 days tour of the US in early 2011, trailed by extensive national touring across Australia and the release of their single Of Walls And Teeth, Drawn From Bees rounded out the last year with a nomination for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter in the 2011 Queensland Music Awards. They’re one to watch and you can see what the fuss is about at their St Kilda Festival set on Sunday 12 February.


For a band that never expected to play more than one show, The Beards have certainly come a long, long way. Since the release of their second album, Beards Beards Beards in 2009, The Beards toured constantly. Now, the band is hitting the road again, and bringing with them their much-anticipated third album, Having a Beard Is The New Not Having A Beard. Catch them at the Corner on Friday 16 March.

Another massive Sidewave has been announced for the Espy, Wednesday 29 February. Unwritten Law have released six critically acclaimed albums, including their genre-defying breakthrough self-titled album, which spawned the hits Teenage Suicide and Lonesome. With a Grammy nomination, millions of album sales and conquering stages across the globe, Zebrahead are fueled by pure determination. Renowned across the world for their explosive and amusingly entertaining live shows Zebrahead make their maiden voyage to Australian shores. Just good entertainment, that’s what Sweden’s rock’n’roll powerhouse Royal Republic do best.


The next instalment of Deep Roots hits the Espy on Wednesday 25 January. Renowned for their mindblowing live shows, New Zealand heavyweights Kora’s long sets are brimming with their unique brand of dub-based reggae, infused with electro beats and thumping basslines. Local boys Diafrix are a multigenre duo, community activists and one of the most refreshing bands in the Australian musical landscape. They hail from the Gold Coast, but Tijuana Cartel are known for showcasing beats that span the globe. Also on the bill are Funkommunity, Ms Butt, DJ Manchild and The Public Opinion Sound System. Tickets on sale now from and all OzTix outlets.


In just a handful of days Aqua have sold out their Melbourne show, with a new date now added. The new show takes place at the Palace on Tuesday13 March and will feature all of the number one hits that made Aqua a household name, including Barbie Girl, Doctor Jones and Lollypop (Candyman).



Singer/songwriter /pro-surfer Donavon Frankenreiter is hitting our shores next month and the Espy is hosting a free entry show in the front bar on Friday 3 February as part of the Corona Sessions. His laidback attitude, cruisy indie beach tunes and sense of humour have built Frankenreiter a loyal fan base all over the world.


Two acclaimed UK electronic acts, Bomb The Bass and The Orb, join forces for a double headline show at the Hi-Fi on Friday 24 February. From Bomb The Bass’ featured collaborations with artists such as David Bowie and Massive Attack, to The Orb’s pioneering avant-garde sampling, both acts are universally known and revered as crucial trailblazers in the fields of sampling, remixing, accompanying visuals and DJ culture, ensuring that this promises to be an unmissable live audiovisual event.


A second Melbourne show has been added to the upcoming La Dispute Australian tour. Driven by a firm passion for the relevance of a live show, both for the bands involved and for the people in attendance, La Dispute will be bringing their artistically, technically, and emotionally engaging music to Australia’s shores for the third time this February. The new show takes place on Monday 20 February at the East Brunswick Club with the Corner date now sold out.


After his successful Road Dog Diaries East Coast tour, Ash Grunwald has stripped back his live act to perform a special live solo performance at the Ferntree Gully Hotel this Saturday. This is your last chance to catch Grunwald’s special live show before he returns to wow audiences in Europe and Canada.


Reminisce is a fully interactive party, where every single person on the dancefloor has a say into what songs are played. Over the years Melbourne has cemented itself as the dance music capital of Australia, and has gained much notoriety worldwide for its instantly recognisable sound. What a better way to celebrate than to let the people who have made that sound possible, the punters, vote for their favourite house songs of all time? Vote your top ten at to have your say. On Friday 17 February John Course will take you through Melbourne’s top 50 house songs of all time as voted by you! Support comes from Seany B (live) with Tom Evans, Funky Col, Sean Rault, Miss Mills and more to be announced. Tickets $25 from or


The Cherry Bar has announced a special benefit gig for the Ox, Adriano Tiatto: Gut lead singer, former Australian Heavyweight Wrestling Champion and St Kilda music scene icon. Ox is recovering from a heart attack and triple bypass surgery. Cherry appreciates that at this time Ox needs the support of his friends and will need some financial assistance to help address his hospital expenses and the long road to recovery. The Ox must rock! So, on Saturday 28 January, Cherry is doing something for the biggest little guy in the Melbourne music scene. Cherry will host an Ox Fan Benefit Gig featuring Black Diamond Heavies’ James Leg, Bitter Sweet Kicks, Burn In Hell and some very special guests. Tickets are $15 minimum donation (proceeds to the Ox!) on the door from 8pm. Rock up to help the Ox rock back!





fter a few moments are spent loitering in the Crown Metropol corridor, making small talk with a fellow journo, a door opens. Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan appears, his smile immediately exposing those enviable dimples as he extends his hand out for a handshake before Inpress is ushered inside. The singer then closes the door behind us. Meighan sits in a chair, crosses his legs and nurses a cup of tea in his lap. The band arrived in Melbourne yesterday via three flights; a journey he estimates took “about 32 hours”. “When you’ve got something like this,” Meighan praises, pointing out the view from the hotel room window, “you’re like, ‘Fook it’, you know? It’s worth it.” Kasabian are now four albums into their career and, processing this fact, Meighan shares, “You know what? Me and Serge [Pizzorno, songwriter/guitarist] got really emotional with it, ‘cause we were like, ‘Fuckin’ ‘ell, do you remember when we was on the farm? When we got a record deal and it could all go fuckin’ wrong, you know, ‘cause we weren’t prepared.’ It was just – we pissed our money against the wall straight away. But we were kids, though – we were babies – we were only 22. And somehow we’re four albums in. It’s really beautiful when that happens. You have to ‘old on a minute, ‘cause sometimes it passes by and you don’t realise. And it’s pretty sweet.” One of Velociraptor’s album tracks provides further insight into these Leicestershire lads, pre-fame. “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To is a homage to when we were growing up,” Meighan confirms. “When we were young and when we ran through fields with big eyes and stoof ‘cause we were, you know, smoking too much – it was great. “I knew these boys when I was, like, 12. But I wasn’t in their circle, you know? I was in a different kind of gang and we started to get to know each other, [would] say ‘hello’ and stuff, as you do. And we started – I think it was in ‘97; autumn ’97 was when we kind of got our shit together. I’ve known [Pizzorno] a long time. We just got on. It’s just crazy, ‘cause I’ve got so many memories of when we were boys, you know. Serge’s shitty first Fiat car he had and, when he passed his driving test, when he come to pick me up for band practice – stuff like that, you know? And being in a room with four carpeted walls and getting kicked out for not paying the rent. And trying to get there – trying to promote yourself and playing in a shed and it’s two pound to get in, or a quid, and the whole romance of it – and in the end we did and it’s just incredible. It’s just mad, you know wha’ I mean? And it’s just the rise of it: it was always gonna happen, it was just one of those things that was meant to be, you know? So – sorry I’m going on ‘ere, but, you know… It’s not a job, it’s my life.”

The first time Meighan experienced live music was in 1997 when he and Pizzorno went to a concert with Oasis and The Verve on the bill. “They were the only bands we’d ever seen and we were only 16, 17,” he tells, “and after that we just carried on, you know, ‘We wanna do what they’re doing up there. That is amazing! Let’s be one of them.’ And that’s what we did… We were just very religious to what we did. Band practice we’d do three times [a week], I think, we did do a Sunday, a Tuesday and a Thursday.” On whether there’s anything about the obligations that come with being in a successful band that Meighan dreads, he doesn’t miss a beat: “The phoners [phone interviews]. They’re ‘orrible, ‘cause I can’t – I’m not face to face with ‘em and it’s fuckin’ annoying, d’ya know wha’ I mean?” When it’s revealed this scribe’s ‘endured’ various phoners with him, Meighan immediately apologises, “Oh, wow! I’m sorry about that.” One such phoner saw the Kasabian frontman take the call about an hour before his band took to the stage at last year’s Big Day Out in New Zealand. The conversation went something like this: Whereabouts are you right now at the festival site? “I’m just shaving my arse. I’ve got all extra-long black hairs. Sorry. It’s coming off, but I’m just in a porta cabby. Swayin’.” When reminded of this dialogue, Meighan cackles, “What? Oh my god!” Fortunately over the dodgy phone line “arse” was mistaken for “arm” at the time of our chat and hence

when I was young. So I did split my wrist, I did cut my wrist, which is crazy. So, yeah! But, I didn’t punch Serge.” Native Indian calls are sonic threads that wind through Kasabian’s latest album. “Serge created ‘em when I squeezed his balls,” the singer chuckles. So how many native Indians were harmed in the making of Velociraptor!? “None, just Serge’s balls when I squeezed ‘em, haha.” Having caught Kasabian live at RocKness festival near Inverness in Scotland last year, our conversation turns to camping and such matters and Meighan inverts the questioning. “Was it raining? It was a bit miserable, wasn’t it? Did ya have fun? Did ya go noots? Did ya sleep? You camped! So was your tent nice, though? How big? As big as this room? You know when you wake up and it’s moist in the morning, you know, like, the tent, and you’re cold – I don’t like it. If I’m gonna go to anything like that, or go to a festival, I get a fucking Winnebago. There’s no way I’m – I don’t want that feeling of being a cub scout ever again. URGH! No. Did you like it in the tent? Did you spoon? Wow. That’s all right, then. Spoonin’, were ya? Was it all girls? Yeah, all right. Listen, I’m not making assumptions, you know wha’ I mean? But you never have tent sex. Never.” Sounds as if Meighan has first-hand experience. “NO!” he insists. “It’s fucking ‘orrible. The thing about camping is: you can’t wash properly. I need a toilet, you know wha’ I mean? And I need a bathroom – I need to run a bath or have a shower. Fuck the great outdoors!”


the gross-out factor was minimised until the interview was transcribed at a later date. “Wow, that’s disgusting. That’s disgusting,” he admits. In Meighan’s defence, he proves to be an extremely polite young man with impeccable manners when encountered in the flesh. The band’s lyrics have always been worthy of note, often taking an unexpected twist, but on Velociraptor! they are next level. Take this corker from Goodbye Kiss, for example: “We met with a goodbye kiss/ I broke my wrist.” Meighan teases, “I poonched Serge and broke my wrist – I’m kiddin’, I’m kiddin’! You know what? This is really bizarre. What is craziest about that as well: I did put my wrist through a window at my girlfriend’s house

Did Meighan go to festivals when he was a whippersnapper? “We went to Reading one year, for the day, and that was it, ‘cause we were too busy trying to make it. We’re not festivalgoers, we play festivals, you know what I mean?” WHO: Kasabian WHAT: Velociraptor! (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 28 January, Festival Hall; Sunday 29 January, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse





Live Music Bookings



Summer Special Open for Lunch from Midday $12 Jugs of Cider till 6pm. bookings: 9482 1333








uttermouth have been going since 1988, which makes the California band an institution not just in punk years but in the rest of the world’s measuring of time. In a genre where bands flame out overnight, singer Mark Adkins and company have stood the test of time, even if that company has changed quite a lot over the years. In fact, Guttermouth’s current full-time roster has its longest running member (besides Adkins) in someone who’s been on board just a few years. So what’s kept Adkins doing it for 20-plus years, even as the band’s fortunes have risen and fallen with the usual passing trends? Is there no temptation to retire the name altogether and/or start another band on the side? “I’ve always considered side projects,” he announces, on the phone from his native Orange County. “To be honest, I’m just a little bit on the lazy side to get it all together. Usually we have one or two practises and I’m like, ‘Fuck this. This is too much effort.’ Even a cover project, and that’s one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Not [covers of] totally obscure stuff, but stuff I grew up on.” As a teenager in the ’80s, Adkins saw firsthand all the punk bands that influenced Guttermouth and scores of other subsequent acts. It helped that he came from the hotspot that yielded Agent Orange and Social Distortion, among other big names. To this day Guttermouth do the occasional cover of an old Black Flag or Rudimentary Peni song, but his dream of a full-fledged cover band has yet to become a reality. Guttermouth have certainly put in enough time and effort to make Adkins wary of starting all over from scratch. There have been nine studio albums since 1991, plus EPs and the requisite compilation tracks over the years. The hardcore-raised pop punk act got snatched up by Offspring singer Dexter Holland’s Nitro label in the mid’90s, and released albums last decade on both Epitaph and Volcom. There were tweaks to the Guttermouth sound here and there, but Adkins’ cheeky lyrics, melodic delivery and prankish attitude never waned. Now, with a relatively fresh line-up, the band are gearing up to release their first album since 2006’s Shaved Planet next year. How do the new players impact such a longstanding sound, both writing new songs and blasting out old ones live? “Actually, it’s quite a bit better,” Adkins promises. “The musicians I’m playing with now are considerably better than the original line-up, with all due respect to the original line-up.” Longtime bassist Clint Weinrich still steps in from time to time, but he won’t be coming along on the latest Australian tour, thanks to a regular career. “That’s why most of the original guys are gone,” Adkins admits. “They got married or decided to get steady jobs. I kept people as long as I could, but people [kept] having babies and all that fun stuff. Which sounds repulsive to me, personally. My brother has kids who drive me nuts. I hate it when he comes around.” So is this loving uncle able to make ends meet without succumbing to a rigid career path? “Yeah, actually,”

he beams. “But I’m a hustler, man. I’m involved in so many other things.” That includes being part owner of a screen-printing and embroidery shop and leaning on a real estate license he’s had since 1998. And their next album may be their first in six years, but the band sold out of a recent split EP with Florida’s The New Threat. Their name still resonates with fans, as do their fun, forever-teen anthems and their decidedly emo-free brand of punk. Besides, Guttermouth are nothing if not road dogs: Adkins estimates this is the band’s 15th visit to Australia. This tour will see the band hitting not just the usual capital cities but regional stops like Geelong, Wollongong, Airlie Beach and Townsville. “In the States we play a ton of markets that other bands won’t even touch,” he says, “and it totally works.” One area Guttermouth try not to play, interestingly enough, is their hometown. “A lot of great bands came from Orange County,” Adkins says. “Nowadays, it’s just watered down and the venues are crap. It’s a lot of younger people putting on shows who don’t know any of the history. The whole thing’s just diluted. I guess you could find a better way to put it, but it’s just people who weren’t there [years ago and] don’t understand.” That may sound like a stubborn, even misguided, stance, but Adkins is no stranger to controversy. His rabble-rousing candidness has long irked others, including fellow bands on a particular Warped Tour long ago. Adkins’ attitude is as much a part of Guttermouth as those straight-ahead punk anthems. Soon enough, everyone will get a closer look at Adkins when a documentary on the band emerges – shot on their last tour of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand, by Brisbane filmmaker Rhys Day. “He really captured the essence of what we do, and the behind-the-scenes stuff,” Adkins says. “We can’t wait to expose everyone to the realities. He’s releasing little cuts of it on YouTube. How we’re releasing it [beyond that], I don’t know.” So what juicy bits can we expect? “The good and the bad of touring,” he offers. “The fights, of which there were quite a few. Especially me and the drummer: I almost sent his arse home. His girlfriend just rides his arse and he’s depressed the whole trip. I finally sat him down and tore him a new a-hole. It’s pretty funny. Then one of our guys fell in love with a hooker, literally. How do you do that? I kicked her out of the place we were staying at, and she robbed us the next day.” “Lovely young lady,” Adkins deadpans. “There’s so much of that kind of stuff.” WHO: Guttermouth WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 18 January, National Hotel, Geelong; Thursday 19, Westernport Hotel, San Remo; Friday 20, Corner Hotel

he writing was on the wall from the very beginning of the interview. After a couple of failed Skype attempts (we were even going to use the chat function before The Whitest Boy Alive’s bassist Marcin Oz stated he’s a slow typer), a phone call is eventually hooked up and we’re away. “Yeah, just at home… It’s a surreal situation, it’s a very early interview, I never feel ready, but now I kinda am, so let’s do it,” he begins in a very relaxed German drawl. Oh, the time there? “It’s 10.30am now so it’s okay, it’s not too bad.” There I was worried it was gonna be some crazy early time, like 10am or something. Really though, The Whitest Boy Alive have no reason to be in a rush to do anything.

Originally beginning life as an electronic music project fuelled by guitarist/vocalist Erlend Øye’s desire to tinker with the softer side of electronic music (away from his other band, Kings Of Convenience) and Oz’s career as cult techno DJ Highfish, it didn’t take long for the group to develop into a fully live four-piece. They’ve since released two cracking albums in 2006’s Dreams and 2009’s Rules. Not a whole let else though, besides an absorbing live show that comes around when they can be bothered. “We are kind of a luxurious band. We very much take care of us, [we’ve] always been very excited about every single show we do. We never tour too extensively or too much to not get tired and, yeah, never forget that it’s about having a good time, not only work. So we have been touring a lot but we have good breaks in-between and since the two big tours we did at the beginning of 2011, we had the whole summer off.” Lucky for some, but clearly not the ‘work’ of complete slackers. “[Rest] is very important. It’s crucial in a band’s life to do stuff like that from time to time. Never forget that it’s not only about making money.” Understandably, any new music for a follow-up to Rules has been at a trickle, but Oz is more than happy that way, with the last holiday being “kind of a private time off for everyone. Erlend went touring with Kings Of Convenience, the other boys are working on their own music stuff. Sebastian [Mashcat] is a free jazz drummer, you know he loves jazz drumming, and Daniel [Nentwig, piano] is a father and we’re meeting every now and then and talking about making new music. We’ve made three songs this year, so it’s not too bad.” In fact, The Whitest Boy Alive have had enough down time lately for DJ Highfish to start thinking about getting back into the game. “Yeah, I’m kind of starting to get interested [in DJing] again. I had the problem of the young generation of kids, these mp3 DJs that have flooded the nightlife. That was so aggressive that I just felt I don’t wanna play this game. And also, I like playing [in the band] so much better. But now, after having a long break of two years of not DJing at all, I really feel like I wanna do it again.” Although, his time with the band may have somewhat relaxed his tech tastes. “Maybe I’ve softened a little bit, it’s more deep stuff. It’s always been deep techno and never was hard music, but I think I’m a little bit smoother now.” If there were a word that described The Whitest Boy Alive’s sound perfectly it’d have to be smooth. The group’s blend of the electronic, indie, dreamy pop and grooving basslines

makes for the absolute perfect soundtrack to a chilled Sunday at the beach and Oz’s new-found love for the smoother stuff has been a direct result of The Whitest Boy Alive. “Yeah, it was definitely to do with the band. In all my basslines there’s a lot of influence coming from the records I used to DJ with and the music I was making as a producer. Everybody in this band is somehow very different with their personal tastes, so the only thing we really agreed on was this Moodymann, Theo Parrish type of house music. Everybody in the band loves that stuff, so that was the common factor.” The ties to DJ styles don’t stop there either; because while the group’s set is completely live, the majority of it ends up flowing together ala a DJ set. “You know that stuff always happens super spontaneous, it’s stuff we must never talk about. If we plan something it hardly ever works out. We leave these things completely open to the show. We have a setlist but the order is kinda clear but very open and we change it around at the last moment. But we are definitely mixing the songs into each other because it’s so much easier to mix them into each other than finish them and start the new one again.” Discussing the completely live show, it’s clear Oz has a strong passion for the format and it’s something The Whitest Boy Alive really pride themselves on. “Well, when we had our computer arrangements and we tried to play it live, it was a big disaster because it was nothing other than pressing the start button and moving your hips to it and then pressing stop and then the music is over and that was really boring. We just wanted to get away from that and have the influence of the music at any time of the show; just being able to stop and start again and speed up and slow down, whatever,” he tells, for the first time in this chilled chat getting a little animated. “Playing it live makes it so much more exciting and intuitive. If you’re sitting at home how can you possibly make the show right if you are preparing it? Trying to get into the mood somehow feels completely wrong if you prepare. That’s why we want to have it completely live because only then do we have the absolute freedom of decisions on stage.” And don’t even get him started on the ‘(Live)’ suffix that is cropping up all over DJ-laden festivals and club sets. “It’s ridiculous. It’s incredible to see how many bands are somehow slaving themselves to a click… Why don’t they get just another person to play it or something? Because of course on one hand it makes the whole thing more secure because you can actually rehearse it to be like that… But then when the fuck ups happen and suddenly the playback continues and then the fuck up is really bad. “You know, a lot of bands play along to a light show or to video screens; that’s where it really becomes complicated. WHO: The Whitest Boy Alive WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 18 January, The Forum





AA BONDY “This is music for night driving, as though Springsteen’s Nebraska and Mogwai’s Die Young rode the same strip of lost highway ”


nder normal circumstances, it’s impossible to tell whether someone is rolling their eyes over a phone line. But when asked about professional American right wing nut job Glenn Beck’s recent categorisation of the band’s track Sing (which was featured on the mega popular Glee) as “propaganda”, the sound of eyeballs sinking gracefully back into Ray Toro’s skull is almost audible. Not surprisingly, Toro is unwilling to grant the Beckmiester anymore of his time or breath, but he is willing to again address another charge often labelled against the band. That is that My Chemical Romance is – you know – the ‘E’ word. “The emo tag doesn’t really bother us as much as it did in the past,” laughs Toro. “As we’ve developed as a band that charge has really gone away to the point where it only creeps up now and then. I think what was really frustrating though was that the tag itself was really indefinable – we kept getting called something that to us made no sense whatsoever. Second, it meant that we were lumped in with a whole bunch of, for lack of a better word, shitty bands. “Our revenge on all those journalists and commentators who wanted to call us ‘emo’ as if to suggest we were a band that teenagers liked for a couple of months, was to survive and carry on making good records and playing good shows. And in doing that we’ve not only kept fans who have been with us from the beginning, but we’ve made new fans with each record; fans that appreciate us for a range of different reasons.” So if Toro himself could go back in time and invent a catchall description for his band’s blend of punk fire, metal riffage and alt.rock angst, what would it be? “This is going to sound so clichéd and I don’t want to offer up platitudes, but I’ve always felt that we are one of those bands that doesn’t fit into the traditional categories that people use to describe heavy music. When we first started writing songs, we decided that we didn’t want to have boundaries and that’s why you’ll hear everything from a straight punk rock song right through to big emotional ballads like Sing. Basically we don’t give a fuck – if a song sounds good we’ll use it and think about what genre it fits into later.” It’s been a busy time of late for the Garden State natives. In 2010 the band unleashed the well received Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys LP before setting out on the mammoth World Contamination Tour that has seen them play to sold out crowds across America, Europe and Japan. With those dates under their belts, the band is poised to once again hit Australia as part of the Big Day Out line-up. According to Toro, the tour represents a blend of déjà vu and excitement at the bright future the band see stretching ahead of them. “We played Big Day Out back in 2007 and I can safely say it was one of the best festival experiences we’ve ever had in our lives,” he gushes. “We played with such a great line-up – Tool, Muse, The Violent Femmes, Trivium – really diverse acts and I got to watch them all every night. It was fuckin’ mind blowing. There’s something about that particular festival – it has its own unique energy that doesn’t exist in any other festival throughout the world. And trust me, we’ve played everything from the Warped festival to the big European shows and as great as all of them are, there’s nothing like coming down to Australia to do the Big Day Out.” A big part of the Big Day Out’s appeal for My Chemical Romance is the fact that the festival’s very diversity means every band is in a sense being thrown to the lions. Playing to a partisan audience at a festival where every band sounds alike is easy. Stepping on stage in front of thousands of people who have never heard a note of your music is extremely hard. But Toro wouldn’t have it any other way.

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd January THE TOFF IN TOWN

Special Guests... 21st - MATT WALKER (Solo) 22nd - FRASER A. GORMAN



“When you’re out of your element there’s a real challenge to get people’s attention,” he explains. “You have to push harder and play better than you would at one of your own shows. These aren’t people by and large who’ve gone out of their way to see you. They just happen to be there and at best are curious. But this situation, which could be seen as a negative, can bring with it a great positive. When you cross over at a festival – in the sense that you have the attention of those people – it creates a palpable energy for the band that you can never get anywhere else. When you know that a large group of people have become interested in you for the first time at that moment because of the music you’ve been playing, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.” However, it’s not only My Chemical Romance’s live schedule has Toro excited for the coming year. As it turns out, the guitarist is anxiously awaiting the rebirth of one of metal’s greatest institutions. “When I heard that Black Sabbath were getting together I just couldn’t believe it,” he admits. “What an amazing band and it looks like younger fans like myself who never got a chance to see them before [will]. Sabbath are the soundtrack to my life when we’re on tour. I just put my iPod on shuffle through all their albums and I don’t have to worry about anything. Every song that comes out of the speakers is fantastic. “I would never compare our band to Sabbath, but in a way they are like us because they had a willingness to write anything. You know, they’d go from something like Snowblind, which is really fucking heavy, to something like Changes, which is a piano ballad. I really admire them because they weren’t afraid to take risks with their music – and to me that’s the hallmark of a great band.” WHO: My Chemical Romance WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 29 January, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse; Tuesday 31, Festival Hall



s you’d expect from a band who have been playing virtually non-stop (albeit with reconfigured line-ups) for over 35 years the sound of British icons The Damned has changed a lot over the years. Starting out as revered forerunners of the UK punk scene, within a few years they’d tired of the constraints of that particular genre and were soon at the vanguard of the burgeoning goth wave, and while intervening years have seen them incorporate psych, garage and even cabaret into their distinctive palette of sound it’s that early period for which they’re most fondly remembered, which is hardly surprising. Few bands have the opportunity to be at the forefront of a movement even once in their career, yet The Damned managed it twice within a short period of time, which is largely why they’re still revered so rabidly by so many. “We just got back from playing some shows – we’ve refreshed the set quite a lot, and the band’s just been coming offstage grinning at each other, it’s been so much fun,” amicable guitarist/bassist Captain Sensible – Raymond Burns to his school friends – recounts . “We’ve concentrated on the first and the fourth albums, and I think that those were the two which were most important for the band, because those albums kind of changed things a bit, in Britain certainly. The first album Damned, Damned, Damned (1977) kick-started the whole punk rock thing – we beat the Pistols and The Clash and all of those other ‘Johnny-come-latelies’ – and The Black Album (1980) was a cornerstone of that whole ‘goth’ thing.”

because that’s just what they do. “We make an album pretty much once every five years. You’ve got music in you, that’s the thing – once you’re a songwriter you don’t stop writing songs,” he muses. “But the world’s not queuing up for Damned albums every year or so. It’s a joy to be a creative person and I recommend it to everyone. In the great spirit of punk rock, I honestly think that if people like art they should do their own art: if you like music, you should make your own. Go and buy a guitar, it’s easy to learn to play the guitar – don’t tell anybody that I said that, but it is. If you enjoy football and cricket go and play it yourself, don’t watch these overpaid buffoons doing it for you. Be a punk rocker, create your own art!”

The Damned – rounded out most famously by frontman Dave Vanian (who won his audition to join the band when the other person in contention, Sid Vicious, failed to turn up) and former drummer Rat Scabies – were definitely pioneers, but it seems that this was hardly their intention at the time. “It’s funny you should say that, because a lot of bands pioneer stuff and nobody takes any notice of them, and I feel sorry for them,” Sensible offers. “There were a lot of people in the ‘80s who were doing psychedelic garage rock music in Britain and the music papers weren’t interested, but there were some cracking bands. So for us, I think we were the right thing at the right time in the right place, so we were incredibly lucky. Also the fact that were a whole bunch of other people in Britain at the time – and in Australia too, with The Saints – who were thinking along the same lines, that music was diabolically boring in the mid-‘70s and no-one was seemingly coming along to play music that we wanted to hear, so we had to bloody well do it ourselves. That’s why we found ourselves at the crest of a trend, if you like, because we were so pissed off with the state of the music scene – all the country rock and the appalling disco – so we just wanted to change that. Not for the world, we wanted to change it for ourselves: we wanted to listen to music that we liked, so we had to form bands and do it ourselves. “We had no idea that it would all take on such cultural significance later. But I think punk rock became more important as an attitude and as a people’s movement – it became less the property of the bands and it became more of a kind of way of life, if you like, an attitude. Getting through this ghastly and cynical time that we were living in, where you couldn’t turn the TV on without some talking head coming out with the most blatant lies that you’d ever heard in your life, I think the punk rock thing was to cut through that bullshit and find out what is truth and what is patently not truth. I think punk rock people think for themselves.” It must have been an exciting time though – surrounded by people who went onto become music legends, one would assume that it must have been special just watching your mates’ band down the pub. “It was, and a lot of it was down the pub,” Sensible laughs. “The Pistols did their first gigs in pubs, as did we. For all its supposed cultural importance it was all going off in the sleaziest venues that you could possibly imagine – nobody was staying in hotels, they were all sleeping on floors and sometimes sleeping in gutters outside venues because you were so drunk you vomited all over yourself and nobody would take you home. I remember walking home from other people’s gigs with Sid Vicious and people like that, and we were often chased by the police for our various indiscretions. It was all pretty ‘make it up as you go along’. If anyone makes a film about this stuff, I hope they don’t clean it up and make it seem like it was all intentional and cleverly orchestrated because it most certainly wasn’t – it was just bloody good fun!” The Damned always had a theatrical bent and a completely distinctive look – Captain Sensible’s seemingly omnipresent red beret, for example – was this an important part of branding the band or just a bit of that fun? “The thing about those days of punk was that it was a great leveller,” he opines. “If you had money all you had to do was go down and get yourself expensive designer clothes and immediately people know that you’re posh and have plenty of cash. But in those days, for the first time ever, you’ve got rich people having to dress down: they’d go to charity shops and buys some rancid old jacket and tear the sleeves off and pin them back on again with safety pins, the same as we were doing! So to be the height of fashion you had to wear rubbish from junk shops and stuff. I thought that was a marvellous time for the human race.” Sensible believes that The Damned are still making music for the very same reason that they started off doing it–

WHO: The Damned WHEN & WHERE: Friday 20 January, Billboard




anada isn’t renowned for its electronica outside of recent tourists Crystal Castles and Holy Fuck, yet their indie scene has experienced a boom in recent years thanks to bands such as Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene and its various offshoots. Austra’s Katie Stelmanis sees herself as straddling both musical communities but with Austra she is firmly ensconced in creating electronic music to incite dancing and satiate headphone listeners. Classically trained as a child and with a future seemingly pre-determined in opera, it took Stelmanis ‘til her teens to discover contemporary music and see it as a viable alternative. She released a solo record in 2009 and played in the band Galaxy before forming Austra as an outlet for her distinctive voice and her hypnotic, retro synth compositions. “I’ve been playing classical music since I was nine or ten years old,” she explains. “I was pretty obsessed with classical music and pretty much militant about practicing the piano and I was in choirs and the state opera. I knew I wanted to pursue music. Up until the age of 18 or 19 I basically thought I would pursue classical music and be a professional opera singer and as I got older I was drawn towards the dark side and do my own thing and be in bands.” Once she latched onto the dark electronica that is Austra, Stelmanis still felt like she was on her own path, not identifying or connecting with any simpatico local scene in her hometown of Toronto. “I don’t know if it is just me or the circles I’ve been involved in but I’ve always been a member of Toronto’s indie community and I felt like I was one of the only ones making electronic music. It has changed a lot now and there are more artists doing it without a doubt, which is cool. There has been a DJ culture that I didn’t really know about but it is nothing on the scale of London and New York. There isn’t really a strong electronic scene but there are people doing it. It is kind of hard to find and navigate. I found as an artist doing this music it was hard to learn about it as there weren’t many people to talk to about it.” Austra’s debut album, Feel It Break, is a dark and richly textured collection of songs that conjures up

images of late nights, lust and loss. They are coated in washes of boldly pulsing synths that hark back to early ‘80s acts such as Soft Cell and Depeche Mode, who share a dark sexual undercurrent to their music. Stelmanis openly acknowledges her influences but doesn’t see Austra as simply a rehash of the ‘80s. “I definitely take influence from that sound and aesthetically I’m really into that sound – I like crappy synthesiser sounds. There are a lot of bands that have the ‘80s sound but I think generally most people are doing it in a new way – very influenced by the original synthesisers but my stuff isn’t overly drenched in reverb anymore. There are a lot of aesthetic things that have been laid to rest and it is still nice to revisit a lot of those cool old synths and stuff.” Though happy with the final outcome of Feel It Break, Stelmanis describes the recording process as being a difficult and prolonged one as she battled to settle on definitive recorded versions of her songs. “The process of writing an album and recording an album in a studio is so difficult and you need a really different perspective. I think when we were mixing and finishing the record I was really unsure about it. I was flip-flopping back and forth and listening to so many different versions of songs and it got to a point where I thought, ‘I just need to put this out’. Having not listened to it for a long time and going back to it I think it’s really nice. Now I can listen to it – not with entirely fresh ears – but at least I’m in a completely different mind state and I feel good about it.” Stelmanis’ voice catches the ear and makes you lean into the speaker. She has the quirky phrasing of Björk and Kate Bush while tonally she is comparable to Siouxsie Sioux, Zola Jesus and Anna Calvi. “Björk is definitely a big influence and Kate Bush more recently. I haven’t really spent much time with Siouxsie – I should and I’d like to. I’m happy to be compared to all those people. They aren’t just singer/ songwriters, they’re composers and artists and I just hope that people see my music like that. I don’t see myself as a singer/songwriter with a piano, there is a lot more depth to what I’m doing,” explains Stelmanis.

Feel It Break wasn’t Austra’s only release in 2011 – there was also the Sparkle EP, made up of remixes of the singles Beat & The Pulse and Lose It that threw up some interesting variations to the originals. That willingness to embrace other artists’ interpretations of her music has been a fascinating process for Stelmanis. “It was really fun, I’ve never really experienced something like that before. It is really interesting to just hand over your songs and have someone re-interpret it in a way that you would never, ever think of and every single one was a total surprise. It is so interesting what people grab onto in the songs and use in their remix,” she enthuses. Since the release of the album in May, Austra have been on the road playing shows across Europe and the US and the experience and groundswell of support and interest in the band has been a revelation for Stelmanis. “The most exciting thing has been our shows. It has been so nice to have people come out to our shows. We’ve all been playing music for a long time and we are used to playing to 20 or 30 people and to suddenly put out a record and have 300 or 500 people turn up has been amazing. To be able to tour all over the world and have people turn up to our shows has been pretty special for us.”

popfrenzy presents this summer

The live band that Stelmanis is bringing to Australia has expanded during the year to now be a six-piece that includes two additional vocalists (Sari and Romy Lightman), which has allowed her to focus more on specific elements of her own singing and performance. “In the beginning it was really interesting to have them there, as a performer, because I wasn’t totally confident to be a frontwoman by myself. Now I am a lot more confident but they add so much more dynamism to the performance. It is a nice other element. We are confident independently so together it is a bit of a spectacle which I really like. Playing as much as we have, we’ve had a lot of practice on the stage and in general we feel a lot more comfortable there. We are nearing the end of our touring run but I feel like we are just starting to get the hang of it.” WHO: Austra WHAT: Feel It Break Tour Edition (Domino/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 2 February, Northcote Social Club; Saturday 4, Laneway, Footscray Community Arts Centre





Saturday JANUARY




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FREE ~ Issue 2 ~ OCTOBER 2011

FREE ~ Issue 3 ~ NOVEMBER 2011







hile all the members of Louisiana five-piece Givers have been playing music for a long time, they’ve only been performing together since 2009 and just released their debut album In Light mid last year. Now, they’re about to embark on their first tour of Australia as part of the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Vocalist, ukulele player and percussionist Tiffany Lamson can’t hide her excitement. “It’s like this dream, it’s so far away, you know? It’s something I’ve been looking so forward to. None of us have been there before so it’s really a kind of wild thought that I get to play my music and go to that far off a country.” As expected, she also mentions being able to see kangaroos “in person”. Givers have recently returned from touring Europe. While coming to Australia is a big deal for Lamson because it’s so far away from America, getting to play Europe was memorable for very different reasons. “It was one of those moments where every night was kind of like, ‘Whoa, we’re in a different country!’ We were shocked that we got to go to all these places in such a condensed amount of time. So being able to experience that and doing it because we’re playing our music is a pretty incredible thing. Every place in Europe is so unique and that’s what was really cool about it.” Another highlight of Givers’ career was being covered by the Staten Island, New York children’s choir PS22, who are famous on the internet for covering classic and alternative pop songs. Lamson had known of them for a couple of years before her bandmate Taylor Guarisco discovered they did a version of Up Up Up. “Kids have a certain pureness in life and to put that into something we created was so powerful. We were all like, ‘Oh my god, we made it’,” Lamson laughs. “That was like a point in our career when we felt a sense of warmth and respect.” The band are planning to try to meet with the choir the next time they go to New York. Despite their varied musical backgrounds (which include jazz study and funk, blues and rock influences), African and Caribbean vibes feature heavily in Givers’ music. Consequently, they are often compared to acts such as Vampire Weekend and a collective favourite of the group, Dirty Projectors. It was a defining moment when Givers found out they were going on tour with them. “It was like a dream getting to open for Dirty Projectors. In a way, we were all kind of starstruck… maybe it wasn’t starstruck, it was just, somebody that you respect and look up to a lot, for them to love your music like back in a way…” Lamson struggles to find the words to describe that elated feeling. “[Dirty Projectors frontman] David Longstreth was so nice and all of the Dirty Projectors are extremely encouraging. They still keep in touch with us.” This year, Givers are opening for another of their favourite artists, Bon Iver. “It’s funny, because I don’t think you can hear any of [Bon Iver] in our music. We’re so excited because we’re getting to open up for him at Jazz Fest in New Orleans.” Lamson admits that when they found out about it, it was like the Dirty Projectors situation all over again. “Everyone was just freaking out!” Givers’ music is so vibrant and uplifting that one could imagine their live set being absolutely joyous; a celebration of music. “We have a pretty energetic show live. All of us are very passionate people,” says Lamson. “If you didn’t love playing live music as a career then it’s kind of stupid and to us it’s amazing, so I think you can see that in the live show for sure.”

WHO: Givers WHAT: In Light (Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 February, Laneway Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre; Thursday 9, Corner Hotel 30 • INPRESS

got my MCSE – my Microsoft certification – and I was all ready to take on the American Dream over here,” reflects Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler. “Oh yeah, it coulda been very, very different. I was full time at Microsoft for ten years. I held onto that job full time ‘til the beginning of 2005. The touring took over so much time that I couldn’t do both. I had to jump at it then since we were doing well. All the other guys quit their jobs around 2002, 2003 and I held mine ‘til 2005. It was such a good job, it had all the benefits and I was married and it was like, ‘What are you fucking crazy? You’re gonna go play music?’ But it became so obvious that it was going well that I couldn’t not do it. I don’t care what job you have though, if you have the ability to pursue a creative dream and you don’t do it, you are going to regret that. I couldn’t live with the idea of that regret so I jumped in with both feet around 2005 and so far, so good.” By ‘so far, so good’, Adler means beyond all possible foresight and against all odds, Lamb Of God has become one of premier metal bands of this generation. As leaders of the so-called “New Wave Of American Metal” the band have crushed futile uprisings from the shitastic metal-related genres of the ‘90s to author their own chapter at the turn of the century. However, as Adler explains, the challenge of writing a killer seventh album required a new approach. “Name any band you listen to – any one of them – and tell me that your favourite record by that band is their seventh one.” The pause is brief indicating Adler already knows the answer. “There’s not any band right? So we really had to step it up and challenge

ourselves and try to find a way that our seventh record was going to be as essential as our first one and that’s not easy to do. Times change, people change and our experience is different than it was and what we hope to get out of things is different and we had to, now, six records before this, have a lot of material out there and if we haven’t done our best on those records, why wasn’t it on there? So the filter gets smaller and smaller in regards to what’s acceptable and we all knew coming into it that we might not be able to pull this one off and that’s okay. We don’t have to make metal records, we can walk away from this, but we all really want to so let’s put in the time and see if we can outdo ourselves.” The most notable change on the new album, titled Resolution, is the way in which each individual song is structured. Adler admits that being labelled ‘groove metal’ doesn’t just mean getting stuff in the same old rut. To forge a new sound required a little dipping into the chaos of the past. “That was a very purposeful change, because I think that my personal favourite record was the …Palaces… record [2003’s As The Palaces Burn]. I think that was because at the time we had just kind of reached this kind of peak in our ability. We got to the point where we were really at the beginning in regards to what we knew in metal to master our kind of individual records. We didn’t know enough to really write the straightforward songs. Since that record we’ve learned almost too much. We spent too much time thinking, ‘Well, should we just go back to another verse there and then you know, end a song on a chorus?’ That kind of talk never happened on … Palaces. The …Palaces… record was like, ‘Dude that riff was badass. And after that badass riff we’re gonna do this badass riff and okay then the song’s over’. And that would be the end of the discussion. I wanted to get some of that vibe back where we didn’t over-think it and let the song just kinda go where it wants to go. If we don’t get back to the beginning part, then fuck the beginning part. There are no rules – we don’t have to write A, B, A, B kinda songs. And the result? “Well it’s arguable,” replies Adler. “It’s very subjective, but internally I think we all feel like that we have outdone ourselves on Resolution. It certainly is as good as anything we’ve done before and we feel that it is probably little bit better than anything we’ve done before.”

Though Lamb Of God have travelled here before, as recently as the end of 2010 as the support act for the titanic (at least, sank like it) Metallica, Adler explains that this time the band will take destiny in their own hands. “The Metallica tour was huge and it was a lot of fun, but it was not our show. They limited us on volume and the way we were able to use the stage was very difficult. I don’t want to take anything away from them – those guys were very, very good to us and if they called me tomorrow and asked us to go out again we’d jump on the opportunity. It really was a lot of fun and we learned an incredible amount, but that was not a proper Lamb Of God show and neither necessarily is Soundwave, but it is closer. So we’ve had some bad luck in the past with horrible gear and some staffing issues where we couldn’t bring all our people over there and things just went awry on different shows. It’s one of our favourite places to play in the world, so it’s always been kind of a disappointment up ‘til now because we haven’t been able to put on the ‘A+’ show, but this time we’re spending the extra money to get over our guys and our stuff and hopefully everything works out well this time. I think we owe it to you.” WHO: Lamb Of God WHAT: Resolution (Roadrunner) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 2 March, Soundwave, Melbourne Showgrounds



ritish songstress Beth Orton has largely kept away from the spotlight since last visiting Australia in 2006. From Portland, Oregon she reveals that the time has been spent productively. “I’m actually here recording my record,” Orton admits cheerily before shying away from any direct lines of questioning about the forthcoming release. “I feel a bit superstitious about talking about the record – it sort of feels a bit toxic,” she suggests before saying that the male voice yelling out in the background is actually her boyfriend making it known that it’s “top secret”, this business of her new record. She won’t even dish up the name of the producer, though a quick internet search highlights Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, Sufjan Stevens) as the likely candidate. Due for release some time this year, the new record will be Orton’s first since Comfort In Strangers in 2006. In the midst of putting her four month old son to bed as she speaks, it becomes clear why this release hasn’t appeared earlier. “He’s all cryin’ and snotty and got a cold,” she winces, though, surprisingly, the daily trials of family life have afforded her a newfound creative space. “It’s a paradox – I actually feel in some ways that I’ve done more… I feel like I’ve done a lot more writing than when I was always on the road and I was always doing interviews or this, that and the other. I’ve just written more and worked harder on my guitar playing.” Orton has no idea how she’s accomplished this, considering there’s more on her plate now than ever before. “Well I don’t know,” she exclaims with genuine wonder. “With my daughter it was literally like I’d put her to bed and I’d write songs and I found it so magical to put her down for a nap and then go upstairs in the quiet of the night and just know she was sleeping and know that I couldn’t make too much noise. It was just something quite sort of intimate. I don’t know – it just felt a bit magic for me in doing that. It just felt quite special and sort of secret and cosy. It would be strange hours

as well because she would be awake at ridiculous o’clock and you’d think, ‘Oh fuck it, I can’t go back to sleep now,’ and then I’d just do a little and it’s accumulated over the years.” Orton also used the time to really get inside her songwriting process, to assess, deconstruct and rebuild. “It felt like a good time to reassess and just stop. I suppose it happened all at once really and finding myself with a baby – I always just have to sit there quite often for a long time feeding or whatever and I just started to think about what it was that mattered to me and what I did. It was at the same time as meeting [late Scottish folk legend] Bert Jansch and starting to play with him and it all sort of happened at once. I knew that what I wanted to do was for it to be about the songs I write, I suppose and about… I don’t know. I just reassessed it and this is what happened I think, in a funny way. It made me more excited about what I do.”

affects how I play, it’s affected so much and it happened I think very slowly and subtly.” She admits feeling blessed to have spent so much time with her recently passed mentor.

Orton is clear though that it was not a process of wanting to change her style. “I feel in a way that I just wanted to distil what I do and it’s not like I wanted to change what I did – I just wanted to get deeper. So it wasn’t like reinventing the wheel or anything, it was just like, ‘Hmm, here’s what I do, where do I go with it next?’

Having recently turned 42 with an accomplished career that has seen her collaborate often with artists from William Orbit and Chemical Brothers to Beck, it’s refreshing to hear Orton is not beneath seeking lessons. “God knows I need all the help I can get – [I’m] always eager to learn more,” she says seriously.

“I feel really excited actually,” she giggles. “I feel excited, but I feel a bit sad because we’ve just left the studio and we’re not going back until after Christmas. But yeah, I do – I feel like it’s interesting. I said to someone the other day I feel like it’s taken me, you know, fifteen years to make this record in a way ‘cause I feel like it’s the record I’ve been working towards since I started making music in a way… It’s really, really amazing!” she gushes before quickly realising she’s loathe to jinx the record. “I don’t wanna talk about it!”

Visiting theatre-style venues across Australia this month, Orton could have set her sights higher in terms of capacity but has found the personable format works better for her. “The gigs I have done in the last five or six years have been very intimate; small. I think for me what’s become quite essential with what I’m doing is this feeling of connecting with people and really having the songs heard, the voice heard – stripping it down to the bare bones, without sounding like a cliché. For me I suppose it’s become about the essentials and I just find that to be the most interesting and exciting way of performing.”

Collaborating with Jansch for tracks on his 2006 release, The Black Swan, Orton then began returning for weekly lessons with the guitarist she had originally wanted but couldn’t arrange for her first record, Trailer Park. “I would sit and we’d play guitar together. And I felt nothing was happening, other than this extraordinary experience of being with him, but I didn’t know if anything had changed in me, if you know what I mean? That sounds like a really strange way of looking at it, but I felt like I made an incredible friend; I learnt about tunings, I learnt about other singers, I learnt about his way and I felt very challenged by playing with him; it really, really stretched me. But when I’ve come into recording this record, I’ve gone, ‘Oh my goodness it really did change me and it really did change how I write.’ It

Learning of her first pregnancy on her last Australian tour and subsequently cancelling the rest of her UK dates for that year and stepping away from any major touring until now, Orton is feeling slightly sentimental about the trip. “I love it there. I can’t wait – I really can’t wait. It’s such a treat and just to be starting this new era there feels quite poignant and, I dunno, it just feels really good.” WHO: Beth Orton WHEN & WHERE: Friday 20 January, Athenaeum Theatre

69 Yarra Street, Geelong Phone: (03) 5229 4477


Venue Booking Agents, Events & Live Sound Production Artist Management and Rehearsal Rooms PH: (03) 52221186 -




















t’s like it’s telepathic,” says Kill City Creeps’ singer/guitarist Daniel Darling of the excess of decent music coming out of Sydney at the moment. “People suddenly, without copying each other, start listening to similar records and having the same attitude. At the moment there seems to be a good dose of bands doing a more strippedback… people are tagging it as garage rock. I dunno how much you’d call us a garage band, but I guess there’s the aesthetic of just doing it yourself and the whole format of fun rock’n’roll music. There’s always some good band playing in some obscure place, it’s just a really good scene at the moment.” Kill City Creeps are crawling out of a NSW music community that drew fresh breath in the face of a common enemy (arguably the Australian Hotels Association) to take control of a dicey venue situation and turn it on its head. From the bedrooms, garages and warehouses of suburbia are emerging the (for want of a better word) children of this power shift and KCC are bringing their own mode of arrangement. “I’ve always been obsessed with the ‘60s-era sound,” he continues, “then Knives [guitar] and Mon [Cherie, drums] bring a bit of a heavier, Sabbath kinda vibe or a darker stomp to it. The [other] bands that I’ve been in have been more ‘60s pop, very simple sorts of chords. “It started in high school, most people my age were listening to skate punk and stuff like Metallica and the grunge stuff as well, and I didn’t mind some of that stuff. The first time I heard The Doors, I felt like I really took notice of that sound and then I just started getting deeper into it and discovered some of the more obscure bands, like I got a copy of the Nuggets box set off someone’s older brother and I didn’t look back after that.” Melding elements of pop with punk, early rock’n’roll and New Wave, the band pay a fairly direct tribute to influences both stylistic and musical. The resulting sound is less swampy than it is cheery, but there’s a definite sweatiness about it. “I’m open to a lot of different styles of music like garage or psychedelic

M or rock’n’roll stuff,” Darling continues. “I pretty much like music that’s simple, catchy songs and the ‘60s had an abundance of that. Lately I’ve definitely been delving into other eras of music, like I’ve really fallen in love with The Lords Of The New Church. I reckon those guys would almost be classed as New Wave, but again it’s really simple songwriting and I think that’s what we all agree on in this band. We just want to keep it free, we don’t think about it too much.” Their upcoming support slots for goth-punk icons The Damned carry the promise of a relatively new act mining straight to the root of potential future audiences. They are also gigs that carry a huge weight of expectation. Darling reckons they’re the right fit and they’re ready. “The whole ‘70s punk movement, pretty much all of them were listening to the more obscure stuff from the ‘60s and then to The Stooges and MC5 and then [they] created their own thing,” he continues. “I look at us as – we’re continuing that sort of tradition. We’re influenced by those bands and keeping that tradition alive, which is simple set-up, three chords and having fun. Definitely there’s something to see with what we do. We like to leave it up to the moment and go with it; we have a lot of fun playing. I love meeting veteran rockers, to be in their presence always rubs off. Generally speaking, people who’ve been doing it for a while have a great attitude… The ones that are still alive.” WHO: Kill City Creeps WHAT: Kill City Creeps (Citizen Fear) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 19 January, Espy; Friday 20 January, Billboard

Bonding over the sea


“With this record I really experienced how much baggage to leave behind and move into the future and this one has been quite different to the last two. I don’t know if I would call it an record at all. To me it’s more like a soundtrack album; I just don’t hear the typical Neil Young/Bob Dylan connection. To me my personal soundtracks are like that to a TV show or something,” Bondy says by way of introducing his latest work. This is certainly evident in single, The Heart Is Willing, a track that’s acoustic but spacey, where reverb and relatively simple sounds are layered rather than filled in. Think Wilco meets Gomez’s slower stuff. Bondy’s comments about soundtracks are also apt given his music has appeared in various TV spots, including our 32 • INPRESS

Having spent the last two years extensively touring his album Black City, the soon-to-be-released collaborative single Headcage and forthcoming album Beams are eagerly anticipated by both fans and media alike. “I really like to work on music all the time and there’s no other job or hobby that I appreciate as much as making music,” Dear says, taking a break from mixing down a new track in his home studio. “For me it’s finally getting to the point where I can get music out quicker and that’s what’s good. Beams, it’s definitely the quickest that we – me and the label Ghostly International – have got an album ready. It was a momentum that I wanted to keep up and, to be honest with you, I hate overdoing my music so I sure as hell wasn’t going to go on tour again and play all my songs from Black City – that just wasn’t going to happen. I needed to do something new.” With no immediate release date set for Beams, fans can get a glimpse at some of the new material that will appear on Dear’s Headcage EP, out this week. This four-tracker features a vocal collaboration from The Drums’ Jonny Pierce on In The Middle (I Met You There) and also features co-production from Fever Ray affiliates Van Rivers and the Subliminal Kid. “The Drums collaboration was interesting,” Dear says. “My remix of The Drums came about through the label, and also Jonny admittedly being a fan of my music and a lot of my early stuff as well. I think one of his favourite songs was Grut Wall from Backstroke and that initiated a connection between us. And after the remix, knowing he was a fan, we kept him on the radar for collaborating, and when we reached him

through his management he was totally down to do it. “Hearing his voice over my melodies was just a really profound experience for me because I had always imagined, I had always hoped, that my melodies were worthy of a really good vocalist and I had never had anyone sing my music before. It has always been my baritone – at times monotonic – singing style so it totally opened up the song. We finished that and then Jonny wrote his own verse and threw it in at the end and I think it’s cool, you hear the juxtaposition of what’s mine and what’s his, it’s kind of like Matthew Dear versus The Drums.” Dear considers Beams to be a better reflection of where he is at right now. “It is definitely the most personal album I’ve done. I mean, everything is personal but it’s personal in a very cryptic way. I think Black City was still very shadowed, very closed. I’m never one to write about specific tangible feelings or moments – I like to expand upon the daily routine when you are kind of hanging out and living life. My songs are always about relationships, whether it be between my personal life – my friends, my family – or just relationships I have in the public sphere. I think my songs are about the reaction of human life and experience.” WHO: Matthew Dear WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 January, Prince Bandroom


American singer AA Bondy is talking while driving down the highway. He’s on his way to Oklahoma, talking to the international press and generally enjoying the relative solitude. For now. By Liz Giuffre. ll summer I’ve been gone from home, but I don’t know if I prefer alone time or not; it changes from minute to minute. When you live in close quarters for a while you crave alone time, but then when you’re alone you get shocked by how quiet it is,” AA Bondy admits pragmatically. Getting ready to make his first trip to Australia, Bondy will be showing off his wares to an audience that perhaps may have picked him up via second album, When The Devil’s Loose (with its single of the same name), although newbie, Believers, is also starting to get attention. “I had an offer via email to come there [to Australia] and that was about it. You know, if someone’s going to make it easy for you to get to a place you wouldn’t have otherwise gone to – it’s an expensive ticket – then yeah, you’re going to go,” he says in the same sweet understated style that peppers his music. It’s not that he’s not genuine, but rather that there’s a lot of other stuff happening. The other side of the world really was just that – a world away. But he’s very happy to come, don’t get him wrong.

atthew Dear is a genius, a poet and songwriter of our times – a rare commodity in this era of disposable music. Whether he is producing catchy electronic pop, infectious and thought-provoking folk songs or smashing the clubs with his acid techno creations under the guise of Audion, Matthew Dear productions are synonymous with quality and originality, fusing heartfelt poetry with a nod to the dancefloor.

A 2012 PACKED FULL OF TOURING MEANS A BARONS OF TANG ALBUM IS STILL A YEAR OFF, BUT THEY WOULDN’T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY, BASSIST JULIAN CUE TELLS IZZY TOLHURST. At some of the earliest Barons Of Tang shows, in an effort to display maximum masculinity, drunk punters could be caught snorting lines of American powdered breakfast drink Tang, which bass player Julian Cue and his affiliates served. As providers of the piquant powder, it was only natural they became The Barons Of Tang. own Packed To The Rafters, and while it’s not something he aims for, he’s happy for his music to be used in this way. “I don’t even watch the episodes that my songs are on,” Bondy says quickly, but again, with a respect rather than dismissal. “I can’t write for anything other than what strikes me in the moment. I don’t know if I could do it if someone said to me, ‘Here’s a scene in a TV show, write a song for it.’ I don’t know that I would really be interested in that, but then again I guess it depends on what the subject was. Often a lot of TV has to do with teenage love stories – stuff like that – and I just don’t really know about that.” While there has been some connection between Bondy’s work and the vampire wave of recent times (there was some vampire business going on during When The Devil’s Loose), Bondy’s keen to make it clear that wasn’t his bag. “Not that I have to defend myself, but I do want to say that I did write those songs before True Blood,” he explains with relative enthusiasm. Indeed, there were vampires around for just a little while prior to the last wave. “And you know, [Warren Zevon’s] Werewolves Of London is a great song and that didn’t have to be tied to any ‘werewolf movement’,” he adds, at first with relative earnestness, before laughing. A werewolf movement – how cool would that be? “Yeah, it’s a great name for a band.” WHO: AA Bondy WHAT: Believers (Spunk/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January, The Toff In Town

“We came together for a theatre show, Black Lung Theatre,” explains Cue. “We were running a bar at the time – a legal bar I might add – and we had all these boxes of Tang, the American drink. So we put it on the bar, but no one wanted to touch it. But come the witching hour each night people were drunk enough to snort lines of Tang in a display of masculinity or something like that. So yeah, we became The Barons Of Tang after that. And it sort of stuck.” And fresh home from a tour of North America, it’s not long before the self-described “gypsy deathcore” band are back on the road again, panning across this wide, brown land, over to our friends in New Zealand, then yonder to Europe and the rest of the States. “[Gypsy deathcore] was an expression that we coined as a joke, because people would always ask us what we play and instead of giving them a spiel we gave them a label. It was kind of a catchy little tag. But does ‘gypsy deathcore’ actually apply to us? I don’t know. It doesn’t actually mean anything at all, and is not actually a genre of music. But we always tried to pass it off as one.” Having played a non-existent genre at a wide collection of gigs and festivals, it seemed fair to speculate how people adequately warm to The Barons Of Tang. “Everywhere, we gather a different group of people. It can happen by chance; often it’s dependant on how you break into a city to begin with, whether we’re playing at a punk festival and we get crusty punk fans or it’s the jazz and gypsy fans and we tend to get musicians. Then there are places like bush doof, which is the total hippie crowd. It’s very different everywhere we go.

But it definitely has an appeal to a lot of people.” And despite Cue describing the band’s live show as “lots of dancing and flailing, falling down and getting back up again, and more flailing…” he admits Barons Of Tang have gotten where they are through plenty of hard work. “I like the idea that we’re pretty grassroots and DIY. When we first started the band, we spent a lot of time on the road, but of course when you first start a band it’s hard to make ends meet. You know, we very rarely paid for accommodation; we slept in parks and more often than not we were sleeping on someone’s floor, just to make it work somehow. I like that idea. So I guess if we were to be portrayed in some way, I like that: a group of people who just drag themselves through it kicking and screaming. It’s very ground level, and to be frankly honest I’m addicted to the romance of the road… the dirt of it all really does it for me.” Taking into consideration the enormous amount of touring the band have lined up for the coming year, it’s hard to imagine much more is planned, yet a debut album glimmers on the horizon. “Unfortunately it’s going to be a bit of time before we get that out because of all the touring, but hopefully in early 2013 we’ll be able to release it. We’re very excited about going through the whole process of creating an album. A proper album!” WHO: The Barons Of Tang WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 January, Corner Hotel




Young Love/Farmer’s Widow Independent

Universal Quivering with excitement, I prioritise this one. Dirty Eddie Van Halen riff with quality shredding exhibit later on in track? Check. Obviously his finger surgery in 2009 worked. David Lee Roth’s wailing still hits your g-spot and although the band’s lyrics have never exactly been meaningful, cop these: “Swap-meet Sally/Tramp-stamp cat/ Mousewife to momshell in the time it took to get that new tattoo.” Diamond Dave’s spoken-word segment in Tattoo doesn’t even come CLOSE to the one in Panama, but I’m still excited about their forthcoming new album, A Different Kind Of Truth. Check out the classy black’n’white video clip for evidence that Lee Roth can still bust a move as he owns an Irish dancing/Melbourne shuffle hybrid.

THE HELLO MORNING Stone Cold Lover MGM There’s something about the opening verse vocal melody of this song that evokes Revelry by Kings Of Leon while singer/songwriter Steven Clifford clearly loves The Boss. These guys seem to have been playing around the traps for ages and this may well be the year that they start going places. The trippy, distorted keys outro with shimmering tambourine is completely unexpected and the band have created something that you can really engross yourself in here – “Oh yeah!”


E Volo Love




As debut album Tailwind garnered Harmony James acclaim and Golden Guitar nominations, the major label-supported Handfuls Of Sky is her push into the other part of Australia’s country music scene – radio play and record sales.

Those of you who have followed the quietly meteoric career of young Australian guitarist Joe Robinson will already know his penchant for the jazz/funk end of the guitar instrumental spectrum. While there are plenty of ‘rock licks’ throughout this, his third album, the emphasis remains in that smoother end of things, embellished by his surprisingly smooth ‘white soul’ vocals, introduced here on record for the first time.

Handfuls Of Sky

As well as being a palindrome, E Volo Love is the latest longplayer from Domino’s first ever French signing. The album’s eleven songs were created by French bornand-raised (but UK-based) songwriter François Marry while he cycled and wandered the French countryside.










This home recording is as warm and welcoming as a reassuring hug from grandma. Double guitar action meanders along, harmonies are effortless and piano provides a pleasing addition to The Ocean Party’s sound. Lachlan Denton’s vocal style has a similar lackadaisical appeal to that of Foster The People frontman Mark Foster and these two songs are over way too soon for this pair of ears. From Wagga to the world, I say!

The record references a range of influences, all the way from Aphex Twin to the African and Middle Eastern sounds that start and end the album with Les Plus Beaux and Do You Want To Dance. The French lyrics and tasty Afrobeat lilt of the former kick off proceedings with a dreamy vibe that continues throughout. Elsewhere, Edge Of Town belies its winter imagery (“Sitting by the fire/Drinking alcohol”) with perky-yet-soft summery electronica and delightful harmonising. Muddy Heart takes the album in a guitar-led, European indie/folk direction. An interesting tale of Marry literally burying his heart until he is reunited with his lover, the song sounds remarkably like something Shout Out Louds would come up with in one of their more pensive moments. Changing direction again, Cherchant Des Ponts offers classic French chanson. With female vocals over delicate percussion and strings, it is reminiscent of Carla Bruni and is really rather lovely in its elegance.

On a polished and considered collection of pop ballads, guest appearances from Troy Cassar-Daley, The McClymonts and Shane Nicholson are tactful, as is the musicianship. Unassuming guitar lines weave lead electric licks and slide-chord atmosphere, leaving her vocals front and centre, expertly delivered by experienced producer Herm Kovac, who’s been a shaping force in her sound once again. Handfuls Of Sky still has that Nashville shimmer that seems unshakable amongst pop-country, but there’s enough insecurity in her tales to create depth and honestly throughout, particularly in tracks like the classic, ‘What if I’d never left?’ small town song Hauling Cane and the tense Great Grey Cloud. It’s in those moments that James really embraces her past – regularly described as “sheltered” – without letting it dominate the tone. She’s confident, but not so overconfident that she doesn’t stop to acknowledge anything else.

Let Me Introduce You

While there’s nothing particularly profound in Robinson’s lyrics – it’s still essentially about his remarkably fluid playing – they’re not slight either, indicative of a discerning ear for a melodic rhyme as he turns to his lyrical music. While his voice isn’t necessarily strong, tonally it’s perfect for the MOR end of the radio spectrum, exactly right for the US market. It might even catch the odd Australian mainstream radio programmer, which, in an earlier time, would have seen Robinson championed. His playing is just getting better with every album and if he sees what he’s done here as merely small, tentative steps into the world of writing songs, he’s going to be quite a force. After all, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck haven’t jumped that particular hurdle successfully.

E Volo Love is not an album that demands your attention by slapping you around the face, rather it gently woos you with its unfussy yet inventive tunes and its whimsy. While the record offers lyrics in both French and English, the language of romance that François & The Mountain Atlas bring is universally evident.

Blemishes exist – like the forced Emmylou’s Guitar, which seems to have too many ideas in one song; plus lead single Pride, which is a bit pedestrian upon repeated listens – but serve to prove James is still in the early stages of her creative arc. On the back of this, we’ll be hearing a lot more from James this year and it’s good to know that it won’t be grinding when we do.

Rob Townsend

Scott Fitzsimons

Michael Smith




Supported by some sensational American session players – bass player Michael Rhodes in particular matches Robinson line for sinewy line where it counts – this is the sort of album that should establish the young Australian in the US in the same league as Derek Trucks and fellow expat and mentor Tommy Emmanuel.


(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing Memphis Industries/Shock Field Music do their own thing. The vocal melodies are as random as they would be if you played ‘pin the tail on the stave’ and then used the resulting notes in the composition. Add carefully constructed instrumental parts that are given just the right amount of weight in the arrangement plus occasional tambourine, woodblock and handclaps. Brothers Peter and David Brewis clearly pride themselves on supplying unconventional sounds and documenting the obvious: “I’m repeating about a new thing.”

CATHERINE TRAICOS & THE STARRY NIGHT Let You Go Independent The soft, whispered timbre of Catherine Traicos bewitches throughout Let You Go and you really feel the sincerity of her lament: “Well this thing I have to say, weighs me down more than you know.” We’ve all been there: unrequited love is a bitch. This delicate arrangement heightens the heartache and cello enters to cushion the pain. It may not traverse the most original theme, but Let You Go is a worthy addition to the ‘clutching at relationship straws’ genre.


False Prophets/On My Own Popboomerang Records/MGM Don’t be fooled by the sneaky intro of False Prophets, you’ll be tapping those toes in no time. This Melbourne trio definitely sound British. The urgency of On My Own’s riff-demolition intro draws the listener in, but then you can totally sing Blue Monday over the top of it as soon as the vocal comes in, which is just plain weird. All together now: “How does it feel/To treat me like you do…” 34 •INPRESS


Rewiggled: A Tribute To The Wiggles

Omni Yma Sumac, the late Peruvian soprano, is said to have possessed a vocal range of more than four octaves. She became a hit in the ‘50s with the advent of lounge and exotica music, playing with the likes of Les Baxter and Billy May. While there were rumours floating around that she was really a housewife from Brooklyn, the Peruvian government have since claimed her as their own. Her fame came from doing lounge versions of Peruvian folk tunes, though she also appeared in a few feature films such as Secret Of The Incas (1954). Her voice here is striking, a web of improvised wordless scat, wails and nonsensical murmurings weaving their way around the music. At first it seems like a joke, like it’s a drunken reveller making fun of the music. This feeling that it’s somehow disrespectful occurs because it’s so unexpected, so far out of this world.

ABC Music If you are reading this, you are likely to be over the age of five, and unless you are frequently in the presence of small children, you probably haven’t encountered The Wiggles or enjoyed a ‘Wiggly Party’ in more than a decade. Celebrating The Wiggles’ 20th year, 20 Australian artists have had their shot at 20 classic children’s anthems. Many of the reworked Wiggles anthems on this album you could imagine as an extension of each artist’s catalogue. Listening to Washington’s Do The Monkey and Spiderbait’s Rock-A-Bye Your Bear, you could close your eyes and imagine a ‘60s diner filled with youths bopping to surf rock sounds on a Saturday, rather than nappy-clad kids stumbling around on newly discovered legs.

So Frenchy So Chic 2012 Cartell Music

For the eighth volume in the SFSC series, the goal of the compilers was to take the listener somewhere new. It’s a tough brief given the seven diverse compilations that have come before but with their catalogue of contemporary French artists there is nothing if not variety here. First, what you might expect: there’s jazz, including the swing of Nadeah; chanson of the Gainsbourg variety from Bertrand Belin; and some smoky cabaret jazz by the enigmatically named L. Les Zourifs Maracas make gentle Latin café sounds but the award for most beautiful track goes to Arnold Turboust & Barbara Carlotti, whose Mon Mel Ouiseau swan dives into a vibraphone-drenched dream lounge and makes me never want to come out.

Sumac quickly returned to Peru following the album’s making and it ended up being buried in legal disputes, which is a shame because outsider music doesn’t get much better than the king of exotica making a rock album with an insane wailing Peruvian diva.

You’ll no doubt find covers you love and covers you hate on Rewiggled. Most importantly though, the ones you love will remind you of your early years, the simplicity of a good, repeating pop chorus and dancing like a three-year-old, without a care in the world.

As with the previous SFSC compilations the diversity on hand here will challenge the listener. I could do without Fefe’s soul blues, the cabaret oompah of Naif, and the novelty post-new wave of The Dø, who provide two songs this time around. However, the strength of a compilation like this is discovery, and finding what you might not be expecting. The spirit of a Morricone spaghetti western resonates through the songs by Mariama, Mustang and Daphne; The Shoes’ Wastin’ Time and Revolver’s Wind Song would sit happily on a 1980s indie label; Mansfield TYA’s Cavaliers has all the hallmarks of a cold wave classic and Meringue, Alcohol & Us create a style that might be best described as lo-fi indie grandeur. For more sweet dreams try the angelic ambient of Walker by Cascadeur and there’s some mighty fine St Vincent-style choral work from Le Prince Miiaou.

Bob Baker Fish

Alexandra Sutherland

Wayne Davidson

Miracles is her last album. Recorded in 1971, it reunited her with Les Baxter to ostensibly record a ‘rock’ album and make her relevant again. Though you’d use the word ‘rock’ rather loosely as Baxter’s version is all jazzy grooves, or perhaps hard-edged lounge, though a touch of psychedelia does creep through from time to time. Curiously it’s not music totally in thrall of Sumac’s imposing talents either, as at times the music rises above her vocals or she pauses to gather herself and the sounds plunge on relentlessly.

Smooth tracks tainted with melancholy by Sarah Blasko, Paul Green and Clare Bowditch transcend the children’s genre and are highlights, teaching us to not only reflect on one of the most successful Australian musical groups of our generation but also find a place for The Wiggles’ music in years later than the terrible twos-to-fives. This album is a worthy tribute, with its minute-long salutations to the band that began studying early childhood education and composing for a project.




Big Dada/Inertia

Rise Records



Wiley, king of productivity, Twitter don and maker of one of 2011’s best with 100% Publishing has shown that nothing lasts forever. While Evolve Or Be Extinct stands above some of its contemporaries, it doesn’t scale the peaks of its predecessor. Competent, acceptable and nothing more, it’s evidence of a talented man near the peak of powers but lacking the je ne sais quoi we expect. Also, this album contains skits about ordering taxis and about heading on holiday in Barbados but being mistaken for a drug smuggler. LOL? Yawn.

On their third album This Means War, Attack Attack!’s line-up has been reduced from six members to four, the band taking the route of galvanising the remaining over replacing the lost. In turn their sound has departed significantly from their ‘crabcore’ days, having almost entirely replaced the cheesy, synthsoaked metalcore with a modern djent influence.

Formed from members of Gallows, Haunts, Cry For Silence and The New 1920, Spycatcher offer the bearded Gainesville punk sound with a British indie tinge. Having honed their take on the formula with an early demo and debut EP Rock Is Cursed, their first album Honesty gives the UK band room to explore it and they do so comfortably. Sure, there are the obvious and catchy punk by numbers tunes – Livewire, Good Times and Nobody Listens – and they are deployed to great effect, but the band use the longer format to branch out.

Common’s musical output has been remarkably uneven of late, but here Common proves that while he may stumble musically, you can never really count him out.

Evolve Or Be Extinct

The Door To Zion opens proceedings. With more than a whisper of Matrix-ology bookended between occasionally ugly grabs of “Welcome to Zion, welcome to Zion” a generation of disappointed music critics reached for the skip button. Wiley’s at his best making bangers and putting charismatic raps on top of them. Luckily with Boom Blast he’s making use of his tried and true formula again. But then we slip back to the strange anti-aesthetic of I’m Skanking. I’m A Weirdo is another disappointment. “But I’m not a bipolar!” our host tries to assure us. The sharp contrast between last year’s excellence and this year’s disappointment would suggest otherwise.

This Means War


Existing fans of the band will surely still have something to enjoy; and fear not, purists, there’s no syncopated beat here great enough to topple Meshuggah. Caleb Shomo, keyboardist and now-vocalist in both the clean and screamed departments, has successfully introduced melody to his range while still taking the band to the next level of anger. A totally pissed hardcore vibe shows itself in The Family, while Shomo’s pipes reach radio-rock heights on The Motivation. The synths across the album are generally subtle and tasteful. Unfortunately Shomo’s lyrics often fall short – combine that with the band’s repetitive writing mannerisms and This Means War can feel a little forced.

Evolve Or Be Extinct is a sip of diet soft drink. Wiley, capable of soaring above mere mortals, has proved here that we need to cherish his triumphs and hold them close because the next time you hear from him he could be making an album like this one.

Attack Attack! have certainly pushed at their own borders and succeeded with a smooth reinvention, even made headway into a new little niche. All in all it’s an extremely well polished yet fairly predictable affair. They’ve mixed up some of their ingredients and it’s been for the best, leaving one unable to help but wonder what might be possible if Attack Attack! did away with the constraints of the recipe.

James d’Apice

Lochlan Watt

Written, recorded, mixed and mastered entirely by the quintet, the resulting album reveals a band that have revelled in complete creative control and rather than stagnated, taken the opportunity to push themselves. Don’t Like People utilises crowd soundscapes to great effect, heightening the impact of the pleas from vocalist Steve Sears Jr, ‘If you feel we’re slipping away, it’s not personal – I don’t like people, I don’t like meeting them’. The additional programming and keys from Sears and guitarist/live keys player Mitch Mitchener also aid the band’s exploration; adding a soaring indie charm to opener Tabs, an endearingly melancholy intro to Honesty’s lead single Remember Where You Were When Michael Jackson Died and a hint of Jimmy Eat World’s more ‘stadium’ moments in production of the new recording of EP track, Rock Is Cursed.


The Dreamer/The Believer

The Dreamer/The Believer is an absolute gem of a record and showcases all of Common’s greatest strengths. Much of the praise belongs to No I.D., the producer who made the likes of 1997’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense so special. Here I.D. delivers a diverse sonic palate, offering up hard rocking beats and quirky samples from the likes of ELO, Kenny Loggins and Curtis Mayfield. Common himself also impresses. On Ghetto Dreams we see the rhyme animal as he was on 1994’s Resurrection go head to head with Nas. On Sweet he throws venomous darts at an unnamed rapper that the gossip mill has named as Drake. But Common is no longer the one dimensional battle hungry MC he once was and as a socially conscious performer and poet, he dominates the album with insightful lyrics and a smooth flow. Especially poignant is Windows where Common talks from the perspective of his young daughter and The Believer, an anthem of hope with a gorgeous John Legend vocal hook.

A well-balanced and confident debut from a band that should have an even stronger future.

The Dreamer/The Believer is one of Common’s finest releases and we can only hope that it signals a new era of consistency for the Chicago legend.

Dave Drayton

Mark Hebblewhite






s half of the sibling duo Fiery Furnaces, for some time Eleanor Friedberger has been the one who didn’t make solo records. Her brother Matthew released two albums at once in 2006 and, more recently, started up a subscription series of vinyl albums. But last year Friedberger put out Last Summer, which quietly cast her familiar daydreaming voice from Fiery Furnaces against a Matthew-free backdrop. The result is part DIY idiosyncrasy and part freewheeling singer/songwriter ramble. Considering that Fiery Furnaces have been around for a dozen years and have been all too prolific in the last decade, how long coming was Friedberger’s debut? “Not terribly long,” she admits. “It wasn’t something I was scheming or plotting. I wish I had a better story. It was just a combination of a few boring things.” Those include her brother moving to Paris, which demanded time off for the band, plus her renewed interest in recreational home recording after years away from it. “I was just alone,” she continues. “It takes having some time to myself to put my head down and really focus. I’ve heard people say they wait for songs to come to them; I don’t have that luxury. I just wrote the songs over the course of about six weeks, paid for the recording myself and then played it for a handful of people.” Demoing all the songs alone before entering a studio, Friedberger wound up working with multiinstrumentalist and producer Eric Broucek – former house engineer for DFA Records – for the sheer fact that he was a friend’s boyfriend with a studio nearby. They brought in a drummer and other guests, but Friedberger has since assembled her own backing trio – a “straight-up rock band” that sees her playing guitar instead of the keyboards that anchor Last Summer. When she comes to Australia for her first solo tour, in fact, it’ll just be her and a guitar. And there won’t be any Fiery Furnaces songs. “At first I played a few,” she says. “But I stopped because

AS ITAL, DANIEL MARTINMCCORMICK MAKES WARPED TAKES ON OLD-SCHOOL HOUSE. JUST DON’T ASK HIM ABOUT HIS TIME IN POST-HARDCORE CREW BLACK EYES, DISCOVERS ANTHONY CAREW. I didn’t feel right about it. I don’t know why. Luckily I’ve been writing lots of new songs.” Does that mean a second solo album sooner rather than later? “I hope so,” she affirms. “I would love to make a record with the guys I’m playing with, before working on another Fiery Furnaces record. Like I said, half the songs are already done.” And with her brother living in France, she’s free to keep on writing. Not that anyone should count out the proven brothersister songwriting team however. “We haven’t lived in the same city for quite a while,” she says, simply. “Now he lives in another country. We’ll figure it out. Who doesn’t want to go to France?” The Guardian called Last Summer “a recollected Brooklyn travelogue”, which is true to a degree. “It’s a pretty boring travelogue,” Friedberger laughs, “because I don’t get beyond, like, South Brooklyn.” That said, she does namedrop many geographical sites. “I’ve always written songs with proper nouns in them,” she observes. “I’m not very good at rhyming, so it’s always been a case of packing in a lot of details and finding words that sound good when I say them. But it’s about being in the places in New York I talk about. And one place in Los Angeles.” With shrugged-off lyrics like “Watching Footloose with the biggest bottle of vodka in the world”, Last Summer is brimming with carefree wit. Friedberger actually improvised the lyrics to some of the songs; something she would never attempt in her regular band. “I wanted it to come from a more naïve perspective,” she concludes. “Ideally, I wanted it to sound like if I [had] made a solo album when I first moved to New York when I was 23. I wanted to keep it very spontaneous.” WHO: Eleanor Friedberger WHAT: Last Summer (Merge) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 21 January, Northcote Social Club


“So we thought, let’s just get out there and see how well it will go, and of course the shows were great, so this time is an opportunity to have everyone here and in the country and available, so let’s try and do it at a time when everyone is at the beach.” The 2008 shows took place through winter, so having this run during summer seems more apt. It’s also coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the film’s release, something which pertinently highlights how popular, how wideranging, how poignant Morning Of The Earth truly is. “When we look in the audience and afterwards, we see groups, family groups and it would be a father and son, or father and daughter, or very often the whole family and the youngsters would know it, they’d be singing the songs, they’d know all the pictures,” Cadd says on the generational appeal of the film. “So I think it’s generational and most people agree that it’s been handed down like some kind of a talisman 36 • INPRESS

“Can we talk about something other than Black Eyes?” Martin-McCormick spits. “I don’t really have all evening, I don’t want to talk too much about a band that broke up in 2004. I don’t want to try and trace my entire musical life. I mean, I’m busy, I got a bunch of shit to do; I’m about to leave on tour.” Given we’d spent roughly four minutes talking about said band, it seemed like a strange, strained reaction. Was Martin-McCormick really just concerned about his packing schedule? Or was there some level of shame stoking his fires? “I’m not trying to pick a fight, I’m just confused,” he defers. “Why are we talking about a band that’s ancient history? To me, it feels not tremendously relevant.” More irrelevancy: Martin-McCormick, as kid, cut his teeth on the Dischord scene in his hometown. “It was a great place to grow up, musically; DC has a really strong community with lots of all-ages shows,” he recalls. The first show he ever saw was Burning Airlines – “I was like, they sucked! But I’ve got to go to more shows” – and, as underage kid, he saw piles of local bands, including Trooper and The No-Gos. From their ashes grew Black Eyes: with two drummers, two bassists, two vocalists,

“In retrospect, it was almost ridiculous how quick it all happened. It was like: I graduated high-school, we started playing, we got signed to Dischord,” Martin-McCormick recounts, pre-picking-a-fight. Black Eyes wanted only to experiment – “we really wanted to do something that didn’t just sound like Fugazi or Sonic Youth” – and, in turn, so Martin-McCormick has been with every band. Ital – with its pop hooks and clean club lines – is just his latest experiment; not some kind of old-school-house revival. “In Black Eyes, people used to say we sounded like classic post-punk, and I can see why they did, but we weren’t going for that at all,” he says. “The same thing with Ital: if people claim they hear classic house in there, maybe they do, but there’s no specific thing I’m trying to revive.” The bridge between his punk-rock yore and dancefloor now comes in Mi Ami, who across their three albums have ranged from frenetic math-rock-gone-Afro-pop (2009’s Watersports) to electronic space-outs (2011’s Dolphins). Concurrently, Martin-McCormick has worked at making club music, first under the name Sex Worker, then as Ital; producing largely for the awesome Not Not Fun label and its ‘club’ off-shoot, 100% Silk. In 2011, Ital took on a life of its own, and Martin-McCormick embraced that guise. “Sex Worker started to feel a little more closed off. Ital just seemed to offer a wider horizon to work with,” he offers. After three 12”s for 100% Silk and a collaboration with label boss Amanda Brown’s LA Vampires, Martin-McCormick ended 2011 with Ital signed to English electro imprint Planet Mu, and an LP, Hive Mind, on the early-’12 horizon. So, here’s to his future. And asking questions about his past. WHO: Ital WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 25 January, Buffalo Club; Friday 27, Phoenix Public House



Inpress is speaking to Cadd this month because Morning Of The Earth will hit the road, as it did to great acclaim in 2008, in the live setting; a stage show of sorts where the film is played on a huge screen, while down below in the darkness, Cadd and a host of other musicians soundtrack it live. “At that point [in 2008], it was just us testing the water, pardon the pun, to see what was out there,” Cadd tells on the initial stage show run. “Because for years and years in CD lines after a [Brian Cadd] show, people had been saying to me, ‘You didn’t do any Morning Of The Earth stuff’, and it wasn’t just one group, it was a lot of different people.

A 28-year-old, New York-based, DC-born bro who juggles his time fronting frenetic duo Mi Ami and making warped takes on old-school house as Ital (“I don’t think of them as projects trying to seek out different audiences, like I’m honing in on different market shares”), Martin-McCormick cut his teeth playing in Black Eyes, a cacophonous combo who cut two albums for Dischord in the early-‘00s; breaking up on the eve of the release of 2004’s Cough. Advice for future Ital interviewers: two questions about Black Eyes are okay, but push for a third and Martin-McCormick may lose his shit.

and 18-year-old Martin-McCormick out front.


SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO TAKE SEMINAL AUSSIE SURF FLICK MORNING OF THE EARTH BACK ON THE ROAD, SONGWRITER BRIAN CADD TELLS SAMUEL J FELL. ust shy of 40 years ago, filmmaker Alby Falzon and producer David Elfick released what was to become a classic cult Australian film, Morning Of The Earth. The film and its soundtrack became a part of the surf culture it originally sought to capture on tape, and is still making waves, so to speak, four decades down the track. “God, it’s amazing isn’t it? Where’d they go, those 40 years?” muses Brian Cadd, who back in the early ‘70s, was one of the original songwriters and performers on the film’s soundtrack.


ock interviews are usually pleasant affairs, polite promotional conversations where nary a feather’s ruffled. Sure, everyone has their horror stories of being stuck with, like, Lou Reed, but it’s very rare to get anything resembling confrontation mid-politepromotional-conversation. In that tiny minority, I now get to add an interview with Daniel Martin-McCormick.


am Amidon is a folk singer in the truest sense of the term. The 30-year-old Vermont native – based, these days, in London, as (touring) companion to Beth Orton – has released three albums filled almost entirely with traditional tunes. “I’m not some preservationist,” says Amidon, on the phone from New York. “I don’t believe that we have to carefully dust these songs like noble, worthy museum pieces. I sing these folk songs because these are wise and mysterious and deep words that’ve been sung for a long time.

from generation to generation. And young surfers are pretty hip to the fact that it’s a pretty bloody good movie in terms of showing their lifestyle.” This youth and vitality is showcased on stage too this time around, as along with the likes of Cadd, Tim Gaze (who with Tamam Shud appeared on the original soundtrack) and Mike Rudd (Spectrum), you’ll find Lior and north NSW native, Gyan. “Lior was actually with us last time, and he brought an enormous amount of freshness to the whole project,” tells Cadd. “He wasn’t even born when it came out, but he’s very aware of it and it really suited his outlook on life… kind of a hippie thing.

“It’s a wonderful thing to think about,” Amidon continues, “this ‘accidental’ quality to them; the fact that none of them were written by any one person, but they were passed along through the voices of thousands of people. There’s something very interesting and mysterious and strange to that kind of process.”

“And Gyan, she’s a lot more hippie, she’s the real deal even though she wasn’t born then either,” Cadd goes on. “So they’ll bring a freshness… because we could have picked people that were not of that ethos, but then it would have just been a mechanical process, whereas these guys are really involved in the whole thing and know the whole movie back to front.” A film like Morning Of The Earth almost demands that freshness; it’d be quite odd, to be frank, to not have people fully immersed in what the film is all about, what it represents and stands for, and indeed, this is why it’s still going strong now, and will be when it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2022, no doubt. WHO: Brian Cadd WHAT: Morning Of The Earth WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 19 and Friday 20 January, Regent Theatre; Saturday 21 January, Dromana Drive-In

Yet, despite his career-long embrace of dark, death-centric songs sourced from ancient Appalachian oral streams, Amidon balks at the label itself. “I don’t think of myself as a folk singer in this greater cultural sense,” he offers. “If someone said to me, ‘I want to hear a great album of folk songs’, I would point them to Alan Lomax field recordings, or a record by Andy Irvine & Paul Brady. I wouldn’t tell them to listen to me, because I don’t know if what I do, with all these crazy arrangements and changed-up harmonies, is even folk music.” Amidon was born into this: both his parents were folk musicians and he was presented with a fiddle in his infancy. “I sang a lot as a child,” Amidon recounts, “but then I didn’t sing again, except for in group situations, until I was in my twenties and started again as a solo performer. I had been playing instrumentally a lot before that, but no one seemed that interested in me playing free-jazz on my fiddle alone in my bedroom.” Growing up, Amidon’s best friend happened to be Thomas Bartlett, future Doveman and collaborator with The National, Sharon Van Etten and Antony & The Johnsons. The two made piles of recordings together, including Amidon’s ‘official’ solo debut, 2007’s But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted. Bartlett laid down lots of

“weird keyboards and shit like that” on top of Amidon’s bare-bones banjo-and-croaky-vocal folk songs. That relationship was soon reflected, again, in Amidon’s fruitful collaboration with composer Nico Muhly, whom he met through Bartlett. Amidon recorded his second album, 2008’s achingly beautiful All Is Well, in Reykjavík, Iceland, with producer Valgeir Sigurðsson and Muhly providing sumptuous orchestrations. “Nico just slathered on those crazy things without even asking my permission first,” Amidon eulogises. “Iceland is like a magical place, filled with sunny white people, volcanoes and swimming pools. Here I was, just a boy, fresh off the boat. I was very shy. Nico just dropped me into this world of people. We never really spoke that much about it; I was just going to visit him in Iceland. When I got there, it wasn’t like, ‘Let’s make the album’, it was more, ‘Come upstairs and drink some whiskey! Sing some songs!’ Then, when I got back home, Nico was like, ‘Hey, check this out, Valgeir and I made an album from it!’” He returned to Iceland to make 2010’s I See The Sign, this time bringing Orton and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily with him. The album featured electronic elements, an Amidon original and a rapturously-beautiful cover of R. Kelly’s Relief, but it was still built on long, hard, dark traditions. “Maybe these ancient stories of death and despair don’t seem too close to our lives, but back in the 19th-century, maybe this was more autobiographical; they knew this shit,” Amidon says. “Murder ballads, hymns, traditional songs – these are our history, whether you like it or not.” WHO: Sam Amidon WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 19 January, Northcote Social Club; Friday 20, Athenaeum Theatre





















THIS WEEK AT GASWORKS BACKYARD CINEMA Bridesmaids – a bridesmaid’s life begins to unravel in the lead up to her best friend’s wedding. SNL’s Kristen Wiig brings us Annie, marginally employed and unlucky in love, who leads the bride and a group of colourful bridesmaids on a hilarious trip towards the aisle. Friday, 8pm at Gasworks Backyard Cinema, Gasworks Park. Gasworks Backyard Cinema runs every Friday night until 17 February. More info at

WEDNESDAY 18 Britney Spears: The Cabaret – starring Christie Whelan, a satirical look at the perils of fame by award-winning writer/director Dean Bryant. Hilariously funny and strangely touching, musical director Mathew Frank turns Britney’s hits into cabaret songs, seamlessly intertwined into the fabric of her life story. Opening night, 7.30pm. Chapel Off Chapel until 29 January. Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem – written and performed by award-winning cabaret artist, Tommy Bradson, composed and accompanied by John Thorn, this is a sleazy, retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Fuck the Disney version, this is the real romance of a desperate, washed-up mermaid and a drunk sailor. A mustsee for Melburnians to discover the power of one man, a great story and cabaret. Part of Midsumma festival. Opening night, 7pm. Red Bennies until 22 January.

THURSDAY 19 Collaborators – written by John Hodge, screenwriter of Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, The Beach, directed by National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner. A play that centres on an imaginary encounter between Joseph Stalin and the playwright Mikhail Bulgakov. A filmed version, part of the National Theatre Live collection. Cinema Nova, 11.30am. Negative Energy Inc – angry homosexualist Ash Flanders takes no prisoners in this petty, unwarranted attack on the modern world. Accompanied by pianist Dave Barclay, Ash will speak, sing and mince in a desperate attempt to prove that life is an exhausting and thankless task. Part of Midsumma Festival. Opening night, 7pm. Theatre Works until 5 February. Shadow Electric Open Air Cinema: Autoluminescent – directed by Richard Lowenstein, a documentary that traces the life of Rowland S Howard with archival footage and interviews with Nick Cave, Lydia Lunch, Wim Wenders, and Thurston Moore. Howard was a beautifully gaunt and gothic aristocrat in the early Melbourne punk scene. With his unique furious guitar style, obscure taste and intelligent wry wit, this feature is an intimate portrait of an artist that never “sold out”. See it in the glorious open-air environment of Shadow Electric, Abbotsford Convent, 6pm. See for more info.


FRIDAY 20 Jurassic Park – directed by Steven Spielberg. A huge advancement in scientific technology has enabled the creation of an island full of living dinosaurs. A cult classic that inspired several sequels, hoards of merchandise and a Disneyland ride. Astor Theatres, 7.30pm. Shadow Electric Open Air Cinema: We Need To Talk About Kevin – directed by Lynne Ramsey based on Lionel Shriver’s bestselling novel. Oscar winner Tilda Swinton creates a chilling and eerie portrait of Eva, a mother who is haunted by feelings of guilt, regret and loss as she struggles to come to terms with what her son Kevin does. See it in the glorious open-air environment of Shadow Electric, Abbotsford Convent, 6pm. See shadowelectric. for more info. We Found It In The Bedroom – Melburnians Harley Heford and Hannah Mossmon exhibit a collection of paintings and drawings. Opening night, 6pm. Egg Gallery until 30 January.

SATURDAY 21 Mother/Son – writer and performer Jeffrey Solomon plays a son and his mother who struggles to accept his sexual orientation. Tracing the transformation from shell-shocked parent, to the mum at the front of the Pride Parade, banner in hand. In this one-man show New York Jewish Solomon takes to the stage for Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival, in this internationally acclaimed one-man show. Closing night, 7pm. Theatre Works.

SUNDAY 22 The Interrupters – directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams). A documentary film set in Chicago, a city drowning under the tide of youth crime. In 2009 the city saw more casualties on streets than US military losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. An absorbing investigation of modern society shot at street level. ACMI Cinemas, 7.15pm.

ONGOING The mad square – an exhibition of modernity in German Art 19101937, direct from the Art Gallery Of New South Wales; this collection of works shows the explosion of creativity that occurred in Germany in the early 20th century whilst the country was in turmoil and political unrest. In the now oh-sofashionable ‘Berlin’ at the turn of the century, artists shared a radical interest in experimentation across all artforms – theatre, design, painting, photography and political satire in movements such as Dada, Expressionism and New Objectivity. This exhibition showcases over 200 of the most exciting and diverse avant-garde works from the period of Modernism in Germany. National Gallery of Victoria until 4 March.


CHRISTIE WHELAN TALKS TO ALICE BODY ABOUT THE HUGELY POPULAR BRITNEY SPEARS: THE CABARET. battles, rehab stints and radical follicle renovations were culminating for the late-’90s/early-’00s’ reigning princess of pop. Although the cabaret is billed largely as a comedy, Whelan does not give the slightest impression of someone partaking in a joke at Spears’ expense, describing herself as a “huge fan” of the singer: “We do 15 of her songs in the show and I think I only had to learn one, because I knew the other 14 off by heart,” she says. “And my cat is named after Britney.” In fact Whelan went along to Spears’ last concert in Australia. “It was quite shocking really,” she says, with a fan’s sincerity. “It just kind of felt, to me, there was no passion left for what she was doing. That showed in her performance. And these are the things we’re now looking at in the show: why would someone continue, when what appears to be the passion is gone?”

Despite Whelan’s evident appreciation of Spears, the show pulls no punches in its depiction of a falling star. Press photos show Whelan looking uncannily like the singer, both expensively tacky and expensively wasted in a trucker’s cap and designer jeans, tucking into fast food. Such portrayals prompt the question: how to write a cabaret about a woman clearly in the throes of psychological turmoil using songs predominantly written for her by others? Whelan agrees that this fact alone works to comment on Spears’ limited control on a life overwhelmingly plugged into publicity, promotion and paparazzi. Yet it is the fact that the songs have been stripped from their synth- and beats-heavy incarnations to be represented simply by voice and piano, allowing the lyrics to be heard in the process. “The songs are quite beautiful


Yet Weekend has, with rapturous critical reception and sustained cinematic release in the US, proved a financial success. “It’s been more than we ever thought it would be,” Haigh says. “I never thought a tiny little film made for no money would end up being on the list of The New York Times’ films of the year.”

Despite the abundance of media interest surrounding creative duo Bryant And Frank’s upcoming show Britney Spears: The Cabaret – and the subsequent queue of interviews – the show’s star, Christie Whelan, remains a gracious conversationalist, as if determined to belie that possible note of weariness in her voice. Britney Spears... debuted at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2009, attracting rave reviews. Though the couple of years that have passed since then don’t seem much to us mortals, times moves differently in that plane inhabited by celebrities, causing those behind the show to start referring to it as historical: “We were just saying the other day that it’s kind of a period piece,” Whelan asserts. “It was written at a point in Britney’s life and basically that’s the story we’re telling.” It was a time in which custody

ANTHONY CAREW TALKS TO ANDREW HAIGH ABOUT HIS FIRST FEATURE FILM, WEEKEND, A PORTRAIT OF TWO MEN FALLING IN LOVE, WHICH HAS BEEN MEET WITH CRITICAL ACCLAIM. Weekend’s been called the ‘gay Before Sunrise’: two paramours meet and fall deep into conversations/love; only, here, it’s two chaps on council estates in Nottingham. “It was born out of the frustration of not seeing films about normal gay people starting a relationship or falling in love,” says writer/director Andrew Haigh, of his first-ever screenplay. “I wanted to explore these complex, flawed characters through their conversations. I’ve always disagreed with that piece of Screenwriting 101 advice: ‘show, don’t say.’ Because in real life, people talk.” And those two Linklater films, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset? “I don’t think you can make a film like this without having those two films in your mind,” Haigh admits. “But as much as it

falls in behind those films, [Weekend] is as much a reaction against those films. It’s not set in the picturesque streets of Vienna or Paris, it’s set in Nottingham, indoors.” So, are those Haigh’s old stomping grounds? “Actually, I’d never been to Nottingham before [I wrote it],” the filmmaker says. “[It was] mainly because I didn’t want to have the film set in London, a city that was perceived as being a big, exciting, liberal culture; gay people live all over the place, they don’t all live in Soho. And, well, Nottingham was also where we got the money from.” Cash-wise, the pic cost a reported £120,000, securing the ever-elusive funds having the “slight added difficulty of making a film about two gay people”.

That success has proved that Weekend transcends the gay-cinema ghetto; its honest, realist portrayal of early romance resonating with universal humanity. Which was exactly what Haigh was hoping for. “This film is about two people who happen to be gay, not about the whole gay community,” he says. “Gay cinema has, in the last ten years, really stalled, because there’s too much of a worry about representing a community, about waving a flag, rather than just worrying about making really interesting films that just happen to have gay people in them. If your crusade is striving for equality and ending discrimination, then you have to make films where gay people are real people, with flaws, existing in the real world.” In one of the more interesting discussions of the talk-piece, the two dudes – played with name-making

and poignant,” Whelan maintains, “especially going into the story. The songs really hold up when you strip them apart. “It was a shock to all of us,” she continues. “The way that you could match these songs to fit in with the monologue of the story. It was really a surprise. Well, to me anyway. Maybe Dean [Bryant] had a greater plan.” Spears did write some of her own songs. It is one of these that Bryant And Frank reserve for the show’s closing number, and one that, “just happens to be one of the most beautiful,” opines Whelan. “At the end, when we finally get toward the song that she wrote, it’s even more heartbreaking.” WHAT: Britney Spears: The Cabaret WHEN & WHERE: Today to Sunday 29 January, Chapel Off Chapel

appeal by Tom Cullen and Chris New – speak of alienation from the greater gay culture. “When you’re still in the closet, you’re so desperate to be able to just be yourself, yet, after you come out, it’s so easy to get trapped all over again, by getting sucked into this gay mainstream that doesn’t let you just be yourself, either,” Haigh says. “It can be really depressing, when you’re young, to feel completely alienated by the world-atlarge, but also by what’s supposed to be your community. I’ve never felt like I really fitted in anywhere; which is what a lot of people must feel. This film is about those kinds of people.” WHAT: Weekend WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas from 26 January




WITH REBECCA COOK By the time this column is printed Melbourne will be in full Australian Open hysteria. For two weeks, regardless of whether you know your serve from a lob or a volley, we’re all held in its thrall. Over the years the Open has expanded its appeal and drawn a younger crowd by complementing its sporting schedule with big name entertainment in the evenings and family fun in the Garden Square inside the tennis centre. This year Jimmy Barnes, Eskimo Joe, Josh Pyke, The Potbelleez, Washington, and Bluejuice are just some of the acts gracing the Heineken Live Stage. This got me thinking; while Serena Williams will typically hit Chapel Street for 15 minutes one day and Marcus Baghdatis will pop into Stalactites for a souva binge one night, you rarely see tennis players doing anything cultural when they’re in Melbourne. Admittedly I’m sure they spend the majority of their time either bashing a ball around, eating some scientifically prepared, protein-enriched diet, or lying about in gigantic black bins of ice, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could enjoy some time out that rallies the brain cells. For example, I’m sure Roger Federer’s twins would love a trip to Scienceworks to check out ‘Explore-A-Saurus’ – what kids don’t love animatronic dinosaurs. They could go on a play date with the Clijsters clan. German stayer Tommy Haas would no doubt feel at home at the National Gallery of Victoria, which is currently showing The mad square – an exhibition of modernity

in German art 1910-37. This comprehensive exhibition of German avant-garde art features works by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Christian Schad, Hannah Höch, August Sander and László Moholy-Nagy. Now in amongst its usual array of performance, arts, music and film, Cringe notes that as part of this year’s Midsumma Festival’s sporting programme there is a special tennis tournament on 22 January. Imagine the frenzy if one of the seeded players turned up for a hit. Midsumma, Melbourne’s annual celebration of queer culture, kicked off with its Carnival over the weekend and runs until 5 February. Or if Lleyton, who apparently resides in the Bahamas, wants to get reacquainted with Aussie culture, he could spend a couple of hours with his feet up watching Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company at the Arts Centre. This quintessentially Aussie play about two cane-cutters on the tear with two Melbourne barmaids opened earlier this week and features a stellar home-grown cast including Alison Whyte and Robyn Nevin. Bernard Tomic’s star is certainly on the rise, perhaps he’d enjoy Star Voyager: Exploring Space On Screen at ACMI. He’s young enough that many of the cult sci-fi films in the exhibition could also be a form of historical fiction as well. And of course any of the players who bow out in the first round will have plenty of time to catch Songs For Nobodies by Joanna MurraySmith with the season at the Arts Centre just extended until the end of January.




WITH ANTHONY CAREW So, Ye Olde Homie Film Carew was making them plans to go watch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, before this revelation dawned: wait a minute, I sunk over seven fucking hours into watching the so-so Swedish originals, do I really need to see the AllAmericanised Fincher version? Just so I can hear the bangin’ Reznor industrial jams? It’s not exactly a prime advertisement for a wise investment of your life: watching something you’ve already seen, as redone by the dude who made The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Fincher acolytes can talk all they like of how the infinitely-impressive Zodiac showed how Fincher can upend assumptions about procedurals – can make a film in which a crusade for justice is hollow and futile, and an audience used to vengeance is left tellingly wanting – and how that, in turn, suggests there could be something in his version that passed by Niels Arden Oplev’s less-ambitious original. But we’re all going to die, perhaps soon, and on my death-bed I’m hoping that when my life flashes before me, I don’t just see stills from all those movies I wasted my time with. The Descendants wears its theme in its title: Alexander Payne’s picture tells the story of a Hawaiian lawyer (George Clooney, hair artfully ruffled) who stands as the trustee for a cabal

of cousins who’ve inherited half an island, handed down as pristine wilderness for generations, tracing all the way back to Kamehameha. But it’s a study in the immediate legacies of family; in parents and what they pass down – through genes, through behaviour, through relationships, through presence and absence – to their children. The film’s drama is built on Clooney’s wife, who, after appearing – free, alive, beautiful – in a poignant opening shot, spends the rest of the picture laying in a coma. Comatose, she is empty vessel; a place in which her surviving family – Clooney, angry teenage daughter (Shailene Woodley in a star-making turn), her oddball ten-year-old sister, a taciturn grandad (Robert Forster), etc. – can project their fantasies, their grief, their grievances, their anger, their confusion. Father and daughters – with comic stoner randomly in tow – are sent on that American dramatic staple, the road-movie, but it’s not as dire as that sounds. Payne has, as always, a fine ear for droll comedy, but here there’s genuine profundity at play; something that goes way beyond any minor emotional currents that ran through About Schmidt; something best embodied by an astonishing, astonishingly profound performance, in mere moments of screen-time, from Judy Greer. With a coma the cipher at its centre, there’s death lingering in every frame; and, in turn, that taps


ALIENS INVADE A RUNDOWN LONDON COUNCIL ESTATE IN ATTACK THE BLOCK – A PLACE NOT TOO FAR FROM WHERE WRITER/DIRECTOR JOE CORNISH GREW UP, HE TELLS BAZ MCALISTER. The world of feature films has wreathed Joe Cornish ever since he was a lad, but it took him a while to dive headlong into their world. With his partner-in-comedy Adam Buxton, he burst onto British TV in 1996 with The Adam & Joe Show, a comedy sketch program where the pair’s love of film and pop culture shone through. Then came a successful career for the pair as beloved radio DJs. But fast forward to 2011 and Cornish has helmed a wicked, fresh, innovative sci-fi film called Attack The Block. “I guess I was lazy,” he shrugs. “There was lots of good stuff on the TV, lots of good video games ... I think I was waiting for the right idea and waiting to know enough about screenwriting to think I could do a decent job of it, really. I think it was working with Edgar Wright on AntMan that gave me the real kick up the arse to do it.” Indeed, Cornish has collaborated with the Shaun Of The Dead filmmaker on Ant-Man and also a rewrite of the imminent The Adventures Of Tintin, but he sniggers at the idea of ‘formal training’ as a screenwriter. “I went to film school, but I’m not sure you could call that ‘formally trained’ – I’m imagining this Hogwarts of screenwriting, this very strict Victorian school where Steven Zalian is the PE teacher, and Robert McKee and Joe Eszterhas rule over you with rods... that sounds a bit filthy. I don’t want to think about where Joe Eszterhas’s rod has been. You shouldn’t touch it. Yes, so I went to film school but they didn’t really teach screenwriting. I did the McKee course when I was in my 20s and read all the books but they gave me writer’s block, really, and then I ended up doing comedy which seemed to be something you didn’t need a huge amount of discipline for.” Cornish says two events inspired Attack The Block, the tale of the alien invasion of a London council housing estate and the teenagers who defend it. One was being mugged by kids

back into the film’s title, to its theme. To descend from others is to replace them; to continue their legacy is to live for them; the passage from generation to generation the cycle of life and death writ in family-tree form. The best way to recommend The Interrupters would be, simply, to say that it lives up to the prior documentaries of Steve James; studies of basketball (Hoop Dreams), um, basketball (No Crossover: The Trial Of Allen Iverson), and mental illness (Stevie) that were, each in their own way, studies of America; of the grandeur of its big dreams and how quickly they fade for those who fall through the cracks. James chronicles a crew of ‘violence interrupters’ working to effect social change in Chicago’s most crimeridden areas, armies of ex-cons out to stop the unending cycles of violence currently claiming the adolescents

not unlike his protagonists. The other was watching M Night Shyamalan’s Signs. “Signs reminded me how much I loved alien siege movies,” he says. “There weren’t that many of them, and I thought it could be done in a John Carpenter style or a Rio Bravo style. What would happen if you applied that to this neighbourhood where I grew up, and these kids that robbed me?” When the skeleton of the script was written, Cornish went to London youth clubs and talked kids through the story using illustrations, asking what they would do in certain situations, and listened very carefully to everything they said in their peculiar argot. This is what makes his kids so believable. He opens on a mugging, perpetrated by his main characters – but by the end, you’ll be cheering for them. “Attack The Block has a mugging, then spends the next 80 minutes exploring what led those kids to that moment. Whereas in your average Hollywood movie there will be people shooting each other in the face, stabbing people in the neck with kitchen knives, and nobody bats an eyelid. It’s a pretty moral movie, Attack The Block, and also quite an optimistic one,” he says. Somewhere along the line, he knew he had to helm the film himself. “I couldn’t really imagine not directing it,” he says. “I don’t know if you could call what we did on The Adam & Joe Show directing, but we controlled everything, lit it, made everything, so I’m used to having my hands all over things – oh, I’m having flashbacks to Joe Eszterhas’s rod now. It’s unignorable. It’s very bright red, it’s eye-catching.” WHAT: Attack The Block WHERE & WHEN: Screening at Shadow Electric Open-Air Cinema, Abbotsford Convent Friday 27 January

of local communities. James does so in classic observationist fashion: offering no voice-over or editorialising, and largely suspended judgment on those who come before his camera. The approach of the mediators is to not take sides – no one is right or wrong in a beef where both sides have grievances – but to stop people from taking the ‘second step’ towards violence; and, so, too, does James not take sides. As his Interrupters throw themselves, via the power of their convictions and the force of their words, in the middle of the fray, the causes behind violence aren’t gangs, drugs, degeneracy, failing prison systems etc.; no individual nor institution nor culture, even, at the root of every homicide. Here, the problem is of a society as a whole; the problem is, essentially, America itself.



Arrietty is the latest critically acclaimed film from the Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli. The studio is as famous for its anime features – including Spirited Away, Ponyo and Howl’s Moving Castle – as it is for its founding director Hayao Miyazaki, whose work has been some of the highest grossing in Japan. However, in the studio’s newest offering, Miyazaki steps down from the helm in favour of Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the youngest ever director of a Ghibli film. “This is the first time for an animator of the studio to be directing a feature film, so I felt the pressure,” Yonebayashi says. “I still do not understand why I was asked to direct this film. The producer Mr [Toshio] Suzuki said he had offered me the job after hearing Mr Miyazaki talk about my work on the last film Ponyo, whereas Mr Miyazaki said he had a ‘hunch’.” Miyazaki had been wanting to adapt the novels for 40 years, so the pressure was on Yonebayashi to capture both the distinct look and feel of a Ghibli film, with a veteran animation team, without damaging his own cinematic vision. “Every animator learns the basic rules of drawing movement when he or she joins the company: the way of running, walking, or turning around; these basic rules are developed by Mr Miyazaki and Mr Takahata over the years,” Yonebayashi says (Isao Takahata is a Ghibli co-founder and director of Grave Of The Fireflies). “A Studio Ghibli animator would learn on the job, one film after another, such basic animation drawing skills, and yet each animator’s personality would come across on the screen. That is to say, although the staff abide to a common set of rules, the result is [not lacking character], rather it is our strength that the studio retains the same group of staff over the years. “It was both painful and fun to animate each [blade of] grass and leaf that

moves when Arrietty passes through. Also, it was difficult to draw the human boy, Sho, because he is such a sensitive character; a slight change of movement or expression that is out of his character would completely showcase a different person. Therefore, much attention had to be paid in drawing Sho.” Based on Mary Norton’s classic novel, The Borrowers, Arrietty tells the story of a young Borrower, a tiny Thumbelina of a person who, together with her parents, lives under the floorboards of a large house. Despite being warned about the risks outside, Arrietty ventures further and further away from home, eventually befriending Sho, the sickly “human bean” living in the house above. This new friendship exposes Arrietty and her family to new dangers in the guise of the human’s housekeeper Haru. The greatest difference between the original material and the film was the bare bones of the story being transported from England at the turn of the century to modern-day Japan. “This is the idea of Mr Hayao Miyazaki who conceived the production plan and screenplay of this film,” Yonebayashi says. “By contrasting the modern day’s mass consumerism with the frugal lifestyle of the Borrowers, who only take what’s needed, we hope the audience would think about their own way of life after watching the film.” This in turn also allowed the film to explore traditional Studio Ghibli themes about respecting the natural environment. “But ‘respect for nature’ is not the only theme depicted in Ghibli’s films as our work deal with many different subject matter,” Yonebayashi says. “You can see that Arrietty has different messages as well.” WHAT: Arrietty WHERE & WHEN: Screening in cinemas now





TOMMY BRADSON TALKS TO ALICE BODY ABOUT HIS CABARET PIRATE RHAPSODY, MERMAID REQUIEM. There’s a longish and slightly alarming pause following the question about whether current Sydneysider Tommy Bradson is excited to bring his cabaret Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem to Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival this week, having picked up Best Cabaret Award at last year’s Fringe. After a second or two, there comes a sound of faint coughing, and a momentary worry that this is a signal that he isn’t. Yet he quickly collects himself with a husky, “I certainly am, it’s just hard for me to express excitement at this time in the morning.” (Saying nothing of the fact that “this time in the morning” is 10am.) Apart from the subsequent impression that Bradson’s world is one lit by lights of the electric variety, it’s decided that we will retreat to this alternate reality –


in conversation at least, if not in person. At the moment Bradson’s cabaret Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem, inspired by The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen version, mind), is at the forefront of this world. “The reason I decided to tackle it was because I found it to be this obscure and dark love story,” Bradson says of the original tale. “In my teenage years I saw the Disney film and noticed there were discrepancies between what I knew as a child and [the Hans Christian Andersen story], and thought, ‘They’re lying to us, this is awful.’ The original version is so wonderful and horrific: this woman gives up everything to be with this guy who doesn’t love her in return.” As for why Bradson was interested

particularly in The Little Mermaid as the subject of a cabaret: “It could just be as simple as me wanting to play a mermaid,” he says dryly. “I wanted a challenge, actually, not to have legs for a short while. But no one’s going to cast me as a mermaid, so I’ll write a show where I get to do it.”


More seriously, Bradson explains that he is interested in the theme of duality. His last cabaret, When The Sex Is Gone, featured a hermaphrodite. In Pirate Rhapsody, “I was playing with duality stuff again, wanting to look at both sides of the coin. But it’s much more exciting being a boy and a girl [separately],” he adds. “And I get to wear a peg-leg. I get to wear a fishtail.”


Bradson’s interest in duality seems to extend to his experience as a performer: whilst engaged with the creative liberty he enjoys in the one-man space that cabaret affords, he confesses he gets lonely on stage. “I don’t play well with others,” he declares, “but I get quite lonely up there by myself, so I drag the audience into the story.” However, by virtue of cabaret’s licence for creative control, “the [fourth] wall is gone.” Bradson qualifies this statement: “You can control it. You can distance yourself from people or you can push straight through it and speak to them. You can’t always do that on other platforms, this is one where you have total control and you can choose either way, and it works either way. “It makes improvising and interacting with people always an edge-ofyour-seat kind of thing – for you, not just the audience, actually for you as a performer. That’s always exhilarating.” WHAT: Pirate Rhapsody, Mermaid Requiem WHEN & WHERE: Today to Saturday, Red Bennies

A combination of masterful calligraphy skills with the speed and attitude of graffiti is ‘Calligraffiti’, from Dutch-born artist Niels Shoe Meulman. His most recent collection of works, Upside Down, has been described as Abstract Expressionism with a calligraphic origin, and will appear in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore. Rather than shipping the artwork from abroad, Meulman will make site-specific art in each city. Upside Down exhibits in Melbourne Thursday 2 February at RTIST Gallery and at the Crown Jewels screening at the Rooftop Cinema. The exhibition will continue at RTIST until Sunday 12 February. One of Melbourne’s most loved theatre/art spaces is turning ten and starts the year off in a big way with two exciting Midsumma events. In Vogue: Songs By Madonna, written and directed by Dean Bryant and performed by Michael Griffiths, joins after sell-out seasons in Sydney and Adelaide Cabaret Festival, running today (Wednesday) to Saturday 28 January, and The Women’s Circus’ latest show, Leggings Are Not Pants, an exploration into the divide between masculinity and femininity and being queer in a contemporary world, runs downstairs from Wednesday 1 to Sunday 5 February. Come help fortyfivedownstairs blow out their birthday candles.

GIRLS DO GERTRUDE “You look ridiculous if you dance, you look ridiculous if you don’t dance, so you might as well dance.” – Gertrude Stein. In celebration of Gertrude Stein – a poet, playwright, and renegade – directors Yvonne Virsik and Cheyney Caddy team up with an enormous cast to bring you their vision of Stein’s Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters and A Circular Play. The show features over 40 of Australia’s most talented performers, musicians, and designers who over seven days and nights will attend a camp at Falls Creek to race against the clock to bring you this all-female, all-fabulous spectacular. Running as part of Midsumma, Tuesday 24 to Sunday 29 January at the Northcote Town Hall, for more information and bookings visit

LA MAMA LOOKS BACK FOR ITS LATEST SHOW The Tragic Suicide Of Professor Walter Benjamin, The Well-Known Academic Psychologist is not only one of the longest play titles in recent memory but La Mama’s latest theatrical offering. Written, performed and devised by David Adamson – who describes himself as an actor, singer, and struggling human being – analyses literary critic/cultural philosopher Walter Benjamin, a German-Jewish intellectual who was often deeply misunderstood and famously a close friend of Bertolt Brecht. Each performance will be followed by music in the age of mechanical reproduction, an opportunity for the audiences to play authentic wind-up instruments. Running at La Mama Theatre Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 February.

SCRATCH THE SURFACE AT THE ASTOR WITH FACE TO FACE Face To Face is adapted from one of Australia’s top dramatist, David Williamson’s play of the same name and is directed by Angel Baby’s Michael Rymer. It’s a story about a young scaffold construction worker who is charged with assaulting his boss. Assumptions about guilt and blame are challenged as ten people sit in a room discussing the turn of events that brought the protagonist to breaking point. Twists and surprises reveal that all is not quite as simple as it seems. Screening at the Astor Theatre Sunday 22 January, 4pm.

THE HOME COOKED COMICS FESTIVAL Lovers of comic books and graphic novels, the Home Cooked Comics Festival is the afternoon event for you. With live music from Animaux and Squid Squad, and comic workshops on Kamishibai: a form of storytelling that originated in Japan and utilises 12-20 individually illustrated cards that notate a narrative. There will also be a Comic Parade where punters dress up as their favourite comic book character. This festival is one component of a bigger program called In Your Backyard. A series of new events being held in 2012, in public places to introduce the arts into the daily lives of the community, it’s all happening at Batman Park on Saturday 28 January, from 3pm.



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THE DAMNED: January 20 Billboard KASABIAN, THE VACCINES: January 28 Festival Hall GIRL TALK: January 31 Palace KANYE WEST: January 31 Sidney Myer Music Bowl NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS: January 31 Palais RÖYKSOPP: February 2 Palace MILLIONS, NANTES, NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: February 17 East Brunswick Club NEW ORDER: March 1 Festival Hall JESSIE J, PROFESSOR GREEEN: March 7 Festival Hall MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA: March 7 Hi-Fi

INTERNATIONAL SAM AMIDON: January 19 Northcote Social Club 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 THEE OH SEES: January 24 Corner


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 ASH GRUNWALD: January 21 Ferntree Gully Hotel JAMES MORRISON QUINTET: January 22 Zoo Twilights

YOUTH LAGOON: February 15 Toff In Town BEN KWELLER: March 5 Hi-Fi WILD FLAG: March 9 Corner Hotel JOHNNY CLEGG: March 10 Palais FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: March 11 Flemington Racecourse DIRTY THREE: March 16 Palace; 18 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) MICHAEL ROTHER: March 19 Corner Hotel


DEAD TO ME, COBRA SKULLS: March 29, Northcote Social Club JAY & SILENT BOB: Thursday 26 April Palais

INTERNATIONAL 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 THE STEPKIDS: January 28 East Brunswick Club BEST COAST: January 28 Corner DAS RACIST: January 30 Corner VINTAGE TROUBLE: January 31 East Brunswick Club BRUCE KULICK: January 31 Allan’s Music & Billy Hyde GIRL TALK: January 31 Palace Theatre MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE: January 31 Festival Hall CAGE THE ELEPHANT: January 31 Northcote Social Club NOEL GALLGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS: January 31 Palais ODD FUTURE: February 1 Hi-Fi

BEN KWELLER: Monday 5 March Hi-Fi


MONDAY (SOLD OUT) AND TUESDAY, PURE POP RECORDS Jazz devil Barry Adamson is bringing his feature film Therapist to Pure Pop Records next week for its first and second Australian airings. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Adamson, an advanced listening session of his latest album I Will Set You Free and a live three-song performance. There will be champagne and Mexican food courtesy of Blue Corn, and given the Monday night screening has already sold out, you’d be advised to get on the blower to Pure Pop at 9525 5066 to secure one of only 50 tickets available. sdfsdfsdfdsf THEE OH SEES PIC BY LOU LOU NUTT

artists that provide stunning projections and animations make the stage so much more enticing to look at. The moving static on the screen behind Absolute Boys’ set complements their deliciously hazy, delay-dripping, minimalistic ambient noise-pop. By chance, one of the highlights is a song called Endless Projections.

LOU BARLOW: Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 April Northcote Social Club

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 AUSTRA: February 2 Northcote Social Club RÖYKSOPP: February 2 Palace HALL & OATES: February 2 Melbourne Convention Centre; 12 Rochford Wines (Yarra Valley); ANNA CALVI: February 3 Corner DONOVON FRANKENREITER: February 3 M83: February 3 Prince Bandroom THE DRUMS, CULTS: February 3 Palace THE HORRORS: February 3 Forum YUCK: February 3 East Brunswick Club



The Sugar Mountain festival this year differs a little from last year’s inaugural one. Firstly, it begins at 6pm rather than midday. Because of this, there are three stages instead of two to accommodate all the artists. The main stage – in the hall where most Forum gigs are held – is dubbed “The Womb”, the upstairs theatre is called “The Summit” and the new Mess & Noise stage is on the mezzanine. Yes, the mezzanine. No, it doesn’t quite work. The space is long and narrow, and since the stage is barely 30cm tall, most people can’t see the artist if they are more than about six rows back (or more like three if you’re on the shorter side). However, the artists on the Mess & Noise stage are ‘smaller’ than those playing on the other stages and therefore there is no overcrowding. The atmosphere at the festival is very relaxed and the crowd, dickhead-free. Everyone is here for the music. Sugar Mountain caters to a more underground market, but there’s plenty of variety in the artists featured. And it’s not just the music that makes the festival; the visual

World’s End Press get The Womb crowd moving with their freak-house-disco. The entire hall is covered in projected stripes that ripple around and we feel like we’re in a giant optical illusion. Cheesy, arpeggiated synth lines and funky walking basslines of songs such as Faithful and Only The Brave match the band’s enthusiastic dancing. The percussionist marches and nods his head so vigorously while tapping away at his drum-sample pad that it’s almost comical. Kaleidoscopic visuals on the massive projection screen complete the disco vibe. Back upstairs Julianna Barwick stands alone on stage with a small desk of equipment in front of her. She’s a main attraction; there are no seats left so patrons crowd the stairs and floor, much to the security guy’s chagrin. Despite his constant traipsing about telling people not to block walkways, the audience seem to have all their attention aimed at Barwick, who is not dressed at all like a fairy as some might expect from listening to her music. Aptly, close-ups of woodland and glimmers of light behind branches and leaves are playing on the projector, as Barwick’s classical voice fills the theatre and cascades in loops upon loops. Out on the mezzanine, DJ Yamantaka Eye mixes club beats and there’s a cramped dance party happening. The crowd swats at balloons, keeping them up in the air. Eye is an oddly calm DJ, staring intently at his laptop, headphones on, swaying or nodding softly now and then. Lost in his own world, it seems. Tune-Yards (aka Merrill Garbus) is the hands-down highlight of the night for this scribe. It’s her first Australian show ever and she nails it. Initially alone on stage, drums placed to her left and right, she begins to loop her catchy warbling and percussion. She’s then joined by a bassist and a couple of saxophonists. The fast syllables, stop-start bridge and jumpy melody of Gangsta are replicated perfectly, with the saxophones shrieking to finish. The saxophones play the opening riff of Bizness and also an extended jam towards



TOUR GUIDE THE KILL DEVIL HILLS: Saturday 21 January, Corner Hotel

[HED] P.E.: February 4 Prince Bandroom EMA: February 4 Tote 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 GIRLS: February 8 Corner TORO Y MOI, WASHED OUT: February 9 Hi-Fi PUBLICIST, HAWNAY TROOF: February 9 Northcote Social Club ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI: February 10 Hi-Fi SCOTT KELLY, JOHN BAIZLEY: February 10 Corner JOHN DIGWEED: February 10 Billboards VOLTAIRE: February 11 Bar 303 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, 19(U18) Corner ROXETTE: February 18, 22 Rod Laver Arena DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL: February 20 Prince Bandroom DAN MANGAN: February 22 Northcote Social Club ERYKAH BADU: February 22 Palais Theatre JASON LYTLE: Feburary 22 Toff SOUL II SOUL: February 24 Trak Lounge NEON INDIAN: February 24 Prince Bandroom CUT CHEMIST: February 24 Corner BOMB THE BASS, THE ORB: February 24 Hi-Fi BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, HELLYEAH, BLACK TIDE, HOLY GRAIL: February 28 Forum ENTER SHIKARI: February 28 Billboard THE SISTERS OF MERCY: February 28 Corner FOUR YEAR STRONG: February 28 Hi-Fi MAYER HAWHORNE: February 29 Corner SYSTEM OF A DOWN: February 29 Rod Laver UNWRITTEN LAW, ZEBRAHEAD, ROYAL REPUBLIC: February 29 Espy THURSDAY: February 29 Billboard SWITCHFOOT: March 1 Prince Bandroom NEW ORDER: March 1 Festival Hall 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, PROFESSOR GREEN: 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 JOHNNY CLEGG: March 10 Palais TRAPPED UNDER ICE: March 11 Corner ROKY ERICKSON: March 13 Corner TAYLOR SWIFT: March 13, 14 Rod Laver Arena AQUA: March 13, 15 Palace ST VINCENT: March 14 Hifi 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 MICHAEL ROTHER, DIETER MOEBIUS, HANS LAMPE: March 19 Corner TIM MCGRAW, FAITH HILL: March 20 Rod Laver Arena NICK LOWE: March 22 Forum TINY RUINS, THE VIETNAM WAR: March 22 44 • INPRESS

Northcote Social Club BORIS: March 24 Corner WOODEN SHJIPS: March 28 Corner DEAD TO ME, COBRA SKULLS: March 29 Northcote Social Club CROSBY, STILLS & NASH: March 30 Palais STEVE EARLE: March 30 Corner EDDI READER: March 30 Melbourne Recital Centre DEAD MEADOW: April 1 Corner Hotel THE POGUES: April 4 Festival Hall YANN TIERSEN: April 4 Melbourne Recital Centre ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA: April 6 Palace Theatre TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE: April 7 Corner NEW FOUND GLORY, TAKING BACK SUNDAY: April 8 Festival Hall GEORGE MICHAEL: April 9 Rod Laver Arena MACEO: April 11 Corner LOU BARLOW: April 17, 18 Northcote Social Club HENRY ROLLINS: April 18, 19 National Theatre MELISSA ETHERIDGE: July 15 Plenary

NATIONAL KATE CERBRANO: January 28 Zoo Twilights BABBA: January 29 Zoo Twilights CONTRIVE: February 1 Billboard KRISTY COX, JERRY SALLEY: February 1 East Brunswick KASEY CHAMBERS: February 4 Zoo Twilights THE PINK SHOW: February 5 Zoo Twilights JORDIE LANE: February 10 East Brunswick Club; 11 Caravan Music Club THE DECLINE: Ferbruary 10 Tote; 11 Fist2Face (Ringwood, daytime, AA), National Hotel (Geelong) TROY CASSAR-DALEY: February 10 Fed Square; March 18 Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club SLEEPMAKESWAVES: February 10 Espy; 11 Evelyn; March 24 Corner THE BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS: February 11 Zoo Twilights THE CLOUDS: February 11 Corner MILLIONS, NANTES, NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE: February 17 East Brunswick COLIN HAY: February 24 Geelong Performing Arts Centre, 25 Playhouse Vic Arts Centre ELIXIR: February 24 Famous Spiegeltent BEN KWELLER: March 5 Hifi COERCE: 10 March John Curtin THE BEARDS: March 16 Corner BODYJAR: March 31 Corner THE HERD, THUNDAMENTALS: April 21 Corner

the end while Garbus and her bassist bang on drums. Garbus tells us we’re “fine-lookin’ dancers.” Thee Oh Sees have two drummers, placed in the middle of the stage. It’s hard to tell whether this really adds much or just looks cool, but the drums don’t drown out the other instruments so there is no reason to criticise. Their noiseart-psychedelic-grunge-rock-whatever music means the evening is getting down to the rock’n’roll end, and Thee Oh Sees certainly have the energy and sound to prepare the crowd for the next act, Deerhoof. Anyone who is familiar with Deerhoof’s music (experimental-art-rock-noise-pop... have we reached our hyphen quota yet?) can probably imagine what they’d be like on stage, and anyone who isn’t might be a tad confused. Take screeching guitars, furious drums, unconventional time signatures and a tiny Japanese woman rocking out on bass – sweetly (almost childishly at times) singing off-kilter melodies – and the average person might be left wondering whether Deerhoof are a serious or ‘joke’ band. They play with an emphasis on being in the moment rather than being tight: are they being loose for style purposes or is that just how they play? Further research confirms that some of Deerhoof’s members did learn their instruments specifically out of necessity for the band. It’s easy to see why their fans are so dedicated to them, however; regardless of whether you think they’re clever or wanky, you can’t deny they are creative and challenge the genre of pop music. While Shabazz Palaces close the main stage, The Harpoons (featuring Martin King of Oscar + Martin on drums) play on the Mess & Noise stage to what seems like a group of friends or some very excitable fans. Either way, the small audience is really into them. Their R&B/‘60s pop/soul/funk sound is refreshing after a night of experimental electronic/noise music and vocalist (well, one of the three) Bec Rigby shines during slow jam Faithful, her voice unexpectedly powerful and filled with ache as she cries, “Don’t break my heart!” Sugar Mountain is arguably still finding its feet, but it fills a void in the festival scene. One could describe it as a much smaller, indoor version of Laneway festival, with a more obscure line-up, but it has a distinctness that’s all its own. Presenting music and art as one, Sugar Mountain is a growing, buzzing hive of creativity. It’ll be interesting to see how they up the ante next year. Stephanie Liew


FESTIVALS SHARE THE SPIRIT FESTIVAL: January 26 Treasury Gardens RAINBOW SERPENT FESTIVAL: January 27-30 Western Victoria ST JEROME’S LANEWAY FESTIVAL: February 4 Footscray Community Arts Centre WITTLESEA COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL: February 10-12 Wittlesea ST KILDA FESTIVAL: February 12 ADELAIDE FILM FESTIVAL: February 24-March 18 FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: March 3-12 CARNIVAL OF SUBURBIA: March 8-18 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh) PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL: March 9-12 Port Fairy GOLDEN PLAIN SIXXX: March 10-12 Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre BOOGIE 6 FESTIVAL:April 6-8 Tallarook GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 5 Prince of Wales Showground

One bad thing about being a punter in Melbourne is that by being so spoilt for choice when it comes to good bands to see live, some fall under the radar. The Messengers are one such band. Although this local fivepiece is, sadly, playing to a rather empty room, they put on a great set. It’s fairly obvious from their appearance that the members in this band wear their influences on their sleeves (or, more to the point, head), with their Beatles-esque hairdos announcing that you’re in for some British ‘60s rock‘n’roll, with a dash of Britpop thrown in for good measure – there’s something decidedly Oasisish in the mix. The music is stompingly good, making sure that the handful of people in the audience have a great time. As a side note, with such skinny legs, the dark-haired guitarist could easily be in The Horrors. The glow of The Messengers’ set is soon obliterated as Love Migrate begin. Sounding like every other average indie band you’ve ever heard, they fail to make a positive impression. In fact, their energy is nonexistent; with lead vocals that are in no way conducive to making you happy if you braved the winter-like temperature and pouring

rain to get here (and heaven help you if you’re fighting off jetlag!). Their final song’s repeated refrain of “It’s so hard” echoes what the past half-hour-or-so has been like. By the time The Fearless Vampire Killers hit the stage, the audience numbers have increased impressively. They kick off their set with the single Loaded Gun, which also happens to be on Batmania: the album they’re here to launch. It’s a moody, sexy and cool track driven by singer Sean Ainsworth’s perfectly gravel-accented vocals. There’s something very reminiscent of The Sexbombs in this band, which is one hell of an awesome thing. The majority of the tunes included in tonight’s set are, unsurprisingly, taken from Batmania – including Country Rock, The Sinner, Jacky, The Monkey Song, Tell Me What You’re Trying To Say and I Won’t Stay Too Long – however mention must be made of non-album song Alright Now, Honey and an exceptionally fine rendition of The Beatles’ Yer Blues. This is one band that should not fall under your radar. Their bio puts it perfectly, stating that they “have proved they possess the raw talent and genius essential for creating highly infectious tracks.” The only thing I can add to that is “and how!” Dominique Wall


The venue change from the Palace to Trak means this is not the regular sort of gig experience: there are security men in suits with earpieces logging our IDs before we descend into a venue that has areas cordoned off for DJs and VIPs. Electric Empire blow our socks off with their brand new, old-school funk and soul. Superb musicians playing great songs, they are the perfect support for Aloe Blacc, though he could justifiably be concerned about being outshined. With a singing keyboardist, drummer and guitarist, at times it’s like there’s three Stevie Wonders on stage, they’re that good. Aloe Blacc’s band, The Grand Scheme, emerge first for a funk and soul medley wig-out. Then Blacc hits the stage, all sartorial dapperness and smooth moves. He is the very definition of a soul entertainer. He looks sharp, moves well and knows how to rock a crowd. His endearing philosophy of positivity, peace and love is something he refers to throughout the night – in between songs, but it’s also infused through his music. Good Things is followed by Something Special Happened Today and then Blacc gives a soliloquy about the importance of sharing. Some of the slower songs like his cover of The Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale drag the pace a bit, but new number Downtown and the funk skank of Miss Fortune do the job of upping the energy. A harp player is introduced on stage for Momma Hold My Hand, which seems to be a crowd favourite. Blacc asks if it’s okay if he plays some hip hop? Hell yeah, it is. Who knew Blacc could beatbox? I Need A Dollar of course gets one of the biggest responses of the night, and the band segue into a reggae version of the song, which improves it further. Maya Jupiter hits the stage like a hurricane and they perform a Latin number, Rico, together. Jupiter announces that since it’s just hit midnight it’s Blacc’s birthday, and the crowd sings Happy Birthday to him. Blacc knows how to choose a good cover. A beautiful sax solo becomes a souled-up Billie Jean, and Blacc’s version of California Dreaming is a funky slow jam. He finishes the night with a butt-shaking Loving You Is Killing Me and we all glide, souls satisfied, up the winding carpeted staircase out of the Aloe Blacc church of love and happiness. Kate Kingsmill

playing through his energetic folky-rock songs. They sprinkle several new songs throughout the set, hinting at an album that should have no difficulty equalling his excellent self-titled debut. From where we are, the bass is a bit too high in the mix and occasionally smothers the quieter moments. Things aren’t helped when some random distortion comes through in a later song. Thankfully, everything pulls together nicely for the band to finish with crowd favourites A Community Service Announcement and You’re A Animal. California’s soulful bluesman Hanni El Khatib has drawn the short straw, which sees him go up against The Getaway Plan. For the duration of his set there’s no more than 30 people watching – more people leave the tent than come in. It’s a shame, because his performance is wonderful – full of rocking numbers reminiscent of The Black Keys and boasting awesome guitar work. He and his drummer work their hardest despite the underwhelming turnout, rewarding us with a fantastic set.


PYRAMID ROCK FESTIVAL PHILLIP ISLAND DAY ONE It’s already promising to be a scorcher at Pyramid Rock as we join the crowd pouring in to see Triple J favourites and winners of this year’s Unearthed Artist Of The Year, Ball Park Music. They open with a deliberately ramshackle version of the 20th Century Fox themesong (from the start of so many movies) before continuing on into an energetic set of their biggest and best songs. Album opener Literally Baby gets as good a reception as the older crowd favourites, which also happen to make up the final trio of songs – iFly, Sad Rude Future Dude and then It’s Nice To Be Alive; the first of many singalongs today. We move on to see another Unearthed winner, The Delta Riggs, who won their spot in the Pharaoh’s Annex tent. Their swampy garage rock has them sounding somewhere between The Greenhornes and The Black Crowes. They pull out all manner of tricks – guitar duels, calland-responses with the crowd, “taking it to church” for a slower song – revealing that they’ve got serious stage presence and a well-oiled live show. During a mind-blowing jam that closes the show, they lay claim to the title of the festival’s guitar heroes. No other performance comes close over the rest of the festival. With the day rapidly heating up, we take the chance to sit in the shade and soak up the atmosphere for a while, catching the second half of The Bamboos’ set on the main stage. The soul/funk group provide a wonderful soundtrack for one of the more relaxed moments of the day. They pull out an excellent cover of The Rolling Stones’ song Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, although this mostly seems to fly right past the largely young audience. Krash, the new project for Ash Grunwald and Kram (the drummer/singer from Spiderbait), are on next in the tent. Despite still being a largely unknown quantity, their separate reputations are enough to draw a large and interested crowd. They pound out rough, bluesy rock and share vocals (both voices very suited to the style). The crowd are dancing in no time at all and the duo receives a great response for their set. Hunting Grounds follow Krash on the tent stage and follow Johnny Cash for their fashion tips, or so it would seem. The Ballarat boys come out all dressed in black and looking very serious. The vast majority of their set is taken up by new material, which sounds very removed from their first two EPs. Unfortunately, the EPs barely get a look in, with less than a handful of those songs played. Spiderbait come out to raucous applause and waste little time before laying into the groove that begins Take Me Back. Over the next 45 minutes they play a thunderingly loud set and lock in together perfectly – not bad for a band that’ve only played sporadically since 2004. They get one of the biggest cheers of the day when Kram announces, “We’re gonna be making a new record soon!” The crowd later outdo this cheer when the familiar riff from Black Betty comes roaring out of the speakers. The only downside to an otherwise amazing set is the omission of their classic, Buy Me A Pony. The Vasco Era are wonderfully loose and rocking as always in the tent. They have no trouble bringing their chaotic pub/club show to a festival stage. The band take a request for Kingswood and obligingly hammer it out, reminding us how sorely missed it is from their setlist. They work through all their singles and best album songs (as well as a quick Bob Dylan cover from frontman Sid O’Neil in solo mode) before finishing with their cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child and ending on a massive freak-out. It’s an excellent way to cap off a year of highs for one of Australia’s best rock bands. On the main stage, things are getting to the business end of the day. Sparkadia are the first of the big guns to

come out. They pull out all their singles and choice cuts mostly from their latest album, The Great Impression. The show is solid and largely devoid of any particular standouts or special moments – the band happy to let the songs speak for themselves; something they do excellently. Next up is the man everyone wants to see today – Wally De Backer, better known as Gotye. As the sun slowly begins to set, the squealing of the female portion of the audience is deafening and it only gets louder when De Backer actually takes to the stage. He’s playing with a nine-piece band who play together perfectly and do justice to De Backer’s famously complex compositions. State Of The Art is a highlight of the set with wonderful visual accompaniment on the screen. Late in the set the band cover an instrumental that De Backer announces is Seville – a song he sampled in Somebody That I Used To Know. The crowd goes nuts for the song and everyone happily fills in for the absent Kimbra. Disappointingly, a lot of people leave immediately after the song, missing older hits Hearts A Mess and the finale, Learnalilgivinanlovin.

Next up in the tent is Graveyard Train: Melbourne’s finest “horror country” band. This tag may be tongue in cheek, but it’s certainly a very apt description of their sound. All their songs have dark or supernatural themes, delivered with chilly vocals (when they harmonise it’s downright spooky). They play with such force that it seems like they’re trying to exorcise some sort of musical demons – possibly Drapht, who they’re fighting to be heard over for half of their set. As the show comes to an end, they remind us: “You’re all gonna die! Happy New Year!” Blue King Brown open with a fantastic jam before singer Natalie Pa’apa’a and two back-up singers join the rest of the band on stage. What follows is an amazing set with the band settling into a tight groove as Pa’apa’a protests and preaches to the crowd. Water easily gets the crowd dancing and singing along. A jam later in the set sees each band member solo, and then cover other songs (the bassist pulls off a sweet Billie Jean), before the

whole band launch into a Rage Against The Machine song and headbang in unison. It really breaks down the ‘serious hippie’ perception that surrounds the band and is definitely the highlight of the show. Bluejuice take to the main stage in the dark, dressed impeccably in suits with fluoro trim. Within minutes their fun, infectious songs warm up a crowd that feel the chill after the sun goes down. Singer Jake Stone announces that they’ll be in a car on the way back to Sydney over 12 o’clock and asks (unsuccessfully) for the crowd to throw drugs at the band. They’ve added two back-up singers who also act as hype girls – as if Bluejuice have ever had any trouble getting a crowd hyped up! They’re a great addition to the show though, and the pair go just as nuts as the rest of the band and the crowd. Vitriol leads into Broken Leg to close the show and gets an amazing response from the crowd, ending Bluejuice’s year on a fantastic note. Bluejuice may have gotten tonight’s party started, but it’s New York disco’s finest Scissor Sisters that are going to take us into the New Year with a bang. They don’t disappoint in any way. Singers Jake Shears and Ana Matronic constantly work the stage and strike a pose and the band know their way around dance music perfectly. After 12 o’clock passes the band decide to really get the party going, playing Take Your Mama and moving on to other hits including Laura and I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’. Late in the set they play Filthy/Gorgeous, getting everyone in the crowd dancing, jumping or just going crazy. They extend the song, turning it into some sort of disco church where Matronic is our preacher with a message of love, dance, acceptance and unity – “because you are ALL our Scissor Sisters!” Confetti cannons explode as if to punctuate the sentiment and, unfortunately for us, to herald the end of an amazing show and an excellent festival. Josh Ramselaar


We wander over to check out one of hip hop’s elder statesmen, Grandmaster Flash. Performing a DJ set, he pushes a few buttons to play mostly recent dance songs and tells the crowd to “make some noise!” every few minutes. Disappointed, we head back to the main stage where Cloud Control are a much more inviting proposition. The four-piece put in a solid set, although they arguably would’ve been better suited to playing in daylight. Still, they go down well with the crowd and their quite short set is received very warmly. Multitudes of people spill out of the tent keen to catch perennial festival favourites The Living End. They’re a bit tamer than usual tonight – no VB-bottle guitar slides, no perching on each other’s instruments, less of their crowd-play than usual – but they still put on a rocking show. The setlist is cherry-picked from their best songs, although those off their latest album are met with a lukewarm response from the crowd, who clearly want nothing but classics. Prisoner Of Society unsurprisingly sates everyone’s appetite for vintage material from The Living End and the band really give it everything. Oddly though, it’s relegated to penultimate song of the performance – instead Machine Gun (from their new album) gets the honours, baffling a lot of audience members. DAY TWO Getting into the festival grounds a little later and a little worse for wear, we’re lucky to have Calling All Cars on the main stage to wake us up. Their no-nonsense rock is blasting out over the festival grounds as people make their way in. The band have no trouble warming up a small but steadily-growing crowd. Singer/guitarist Haydn Ing is a classic frontman, pulling all sorts of moves normally reserved for stadium-sized shows.


Loon Lake have already got a decent-sized crowd in the tent when we get there. They’ve been given a perfect timeslot and provide a nice chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the festival. As the band point out, the surf can be seen from various parts of the festival grounds – a reminder of just how great the setting is. Loon Lake’s poppy surf rock provides an excellent soundtrack for this and it’s obvious they’re having a lot of fun on stage. Gold Fields are the next band to take over the tent and in no time at all they’ve filled it with their dancey grooves and chunky basslines. Despite this and the quality of their songs, the crowd is almost entirely static for the duration of the performance. The second half of the set picks up as more people come in after Illy finishes on the main stage. Gold Fields appear to notice this, as they really let loose and finish with a bang. On the main stage Jonathan Boulet and his band are




Julianna Barwick’s atmospheric world is one of ghostly echoes, galactic lullabies and traditional chants. By means of loops and pedals, and occasional piano and percussion, she builds layer upon layer of abstract vocals to create a delicate sound of lush ambient folk. Barwick’s new album The Magic Place is full of magic, solace and bursting joy. Free of the constraints of narrative and traceable language, it’s the same joy in giving yourself over to opera in a foreign language, of letting go of your pesky rational mind and allowing the feeling to come through in the voices and performance. She plays the Toff tonight (Wednesday) with guests Wintercoats and Superstar.


LeBelle bring their live show to the Prague in Thornbury this Friday night. Mixing the atmospheric feel of Massive Attack, lead-vocal quirks of Shirley Manson with powerful rock progression, LeBelle absolutely captivate their audience. Jen Knight & The Cavaliers, Pretty Villain and DOM will support in an epic night of music.


Unpaved, a new website dedicated to country folk music in Melbourne, and the Retreat Hotel have teamed up to showcase some of Melbourne’s best unsigned bands in a series of shows throughout 2012. The first event on Sunday 29 January from 4pm includes Cherrywood, Big Bug Trio (featuring Kat Mear, Pete Fidler and Daniel Watkins), Sean McMahon’s Western Union, Peter Ewing & Ruth Lindsey and Fraser A Gorman. Proceeds from voluntary donations will help to fund Unpaved’s work in bringing news, reviews, interviews and videos to Melbourne country folk fans.


Sex On Toast have developed a reputation as one of Melbourne’s most unhinged and engaging live acts. Their patented brand of live madness has consistently perplexed and entertained audiences. From punk rock to yacht rock, free improv to surf rock, Sex On Toast are specialists of forgotten eras with a distinct modern edge. Now they’re back at their home away from home, the Toff, playing a January residency. The next show’s this Monday, featuring guests Laneous & The Family Yah. Entry’s $10 and doors open at 7.30pm.


Feeling fine off the back of a jam-packed year, Howlin’ Steam Train are gearing up for what’s bound to be a massive 2012 with an EP and tour in the works. The boys will be delivering their wise-cracking, modern rock‘n’blues-infused set every Thursday in January at the Retreat. This week, support comes from Skyscraper Stan. After Howlin’ Steam Train, rock duo King Of The North will be lifting the roof off in a late-night residency. The entertainment starts at 9pm and entry’s free.


The Once Overs have again been awoken from their unholy slumber and rise up like zombies to feast upon the brains of their musically starved fans. They’ll be bringing their surfy, self-branded ‘horse rock’ to the Retreat this Friday. Joining them on the night will be the amazeballs psych, pop and rock’n’roll of Ferry Tails. Then to finish off the show is DJ Xander spinning tunes from midnight to 3am. The show starts at 9.30pm and entry is free.

Bell St Delays are accomplished Melbourne singer/ songwriters Tracy McNeil and Luke Sinclair. This husband and wife duo also feature the acclaimed talents of Sean McMahon on guitar. Delivering gorgeous harmonies riding on beautifully-crafted pop hooks, with influences steeped heavily in ‘70s rock and alt. country, this exciting new act are poised to break the mould. Bell St Delays play two sets at the Retreat Hotel front bar this Sunday from 4 to 6pm, with Stax On Soul Revue playing two sets as well from 7 to 9.30pm.


Having released their debut EP Desperate Love in July of last year (which was featured on Hobart’s Edge Radio and Brisbane’s 4ZZZ, and led to their first appearance at Queenscliff Music Festival in December), Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue have since been tucked away working on material for their debut LP, building on their trademark blend of jangly guitars, driving rhythm and a whole lotta attitude. Many of these new songs will get their first airing at Yah Yah’s on Saturday 28 January, together with a few old favourites. Joining them will be the magnificent Thee Wylde Oscars, in their first Melbourne show in some time. They’ll be bringing their infectious ‘60s low-brow garage rock. Doors open at 8pm and entry’s $10.


Staffan Guinane (frontman of Melbourne twee indiepop outfit Francolin) is in residency at the Grace Darling, performing solo alongside special guests on Wednesdays in January. Each week he will pull a fresh batch of songs that sound deceptively cheerful while they discuss heartache, love, death and fantasising about the end of greed through natural disasters… Or perhaps how all the kind-hearted people can come together and build a new, troublefree world in some far off place. It is this deliberate exploration into wide-eyed naivety that creates such a delightful escape from the every day. Catch him in the Grace cellar from 6pm. Entry is $5.

Queer popster Jade Leonard will be singing retro favourites plus a few of her own originals at the Rice Queen in Collingwood on Friday 3 February. Also playing will be Camp Camp Revolution, premiering their brand new musical extravaganza Get Dump. You can grab some grub from 6pm, entertainment starts at 8pm and entry is free.




Hepburn Springs Folk Festival is a community-run festival about 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne. It takes pace on Saturday 28 January out the back of the Old Hepburn Hotel. There will be a local maker’s art market, chai tea lounge, and nationally acclaimed country/blues band The Death Rattles will be headlining Saturday night. Tickets are $20/$17/$10 (full/con/U18) at the door. Kids under 12 are free. For more info hit the Facebook page.

This Thursday’s Uncomfortable Beats show at Bar Open is the biggest one yet. Dizz1 has collaborated with Roots Manuva, Om’Mas Keith, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Harmonic 313, DJ Dexter and Africa Hitech. Diger Rockwell’s sounds are an intercultural mix of global sounds, field recordings, spoken word, heavy drums, driving bass and spaced-out sonics with context and narrative. Mannheim Rocket bridges the worlds of classical music and modern bass. Able8, the baby-faced MC, has gone from strength to strength, whether fronting live bands as an MC or pushing electronic gadgets as a producer. Rounding it all off is Uncomfortable Beats’ resident DJ ShiKung. Get in and nod your head off. Doors at 9pm and entry’s free.


Ben Mason (who you may remember from bands such as The Smallgoods) has put together a new group of handsome young men, called The Ben Mason Band. They play nice songs about love and are launching the band with a special show at the Toff this Thursday. Also playing on the night will be the magnificent Francis Plagne with his band, and the uncomfortably good looking Adrian Stoyles from The Gin Club. Tickets are around $10 and doors are at 7.30pm.


Kids Of Zoo formed in Australia mid-2008 from the ashes of straight-ahead rock’n’roll stalwarts The Specimens, and cast back into the filth and grime of every nook and cranny of the Melbourne circuit. Their mission statement is nothing more than “create a wall of noise that will melt your face off like that soldier dude at the end of raiders of the Lost Ark”. The Russian Roulettes have been bangin’ through every pub and bar in Melbourne since mid-2006. Their sound is a mash of ‘60s garage and ‘70s punk with a healthy dose of psychedelic guitar noise and soulful drum beats. Catch both bands at the Retreat this Saturday. The show starts at 10pm and entry’s free.

Melbourne three-piece The Peep Tempel will be launching their self-titled debut album on Friday 17 February at Northcote Social Club. A collection of vignettes inspired by the grime of everyday life, The Peep Tempel bring a frenzy of concise riffs and incisive lyricism that goes for the jugular. Joining in the assault with their unique brand of fury are post-punk three-piece, Damn Terran. It’s $12 at the door and doors open at 8.30pm.


Buckley Ward launch Into The Darkening Blue, the second single from their forthcoming album So Pretend, on Saturday 18 February at the Buffalo Club. The Melbourne indie-pop quintet spent the last half of 2011 turning heads with the release of first single So Pretend, as well as a slew of prestigious support slots opening for the likes of Howling Bells, Oh Mercy and Big Scary to name a few. Joining Buckley Ward will be Boats Of Berlin and Eliza Hull. Tickets are $12 on the door.


After their very first gig in December, they’ve gone from back to front (that’s from the Tote back bar to front bar) and drinking and honky-tonkin’ their way forward into the new year. Every Sunday in January join Jemma & The Wise Young Ambitious Men for sorrow on the rocks, tears in their beers and probably various name changes along the way. This Sunday they’ll be joined by their friends Heel Toe Express and on Sunday 29 January by Reigning Men. Show’s free and starts at 4pm.


Rainbow Chan and Sui Zhen are teaming up to launch their respective singles from forthcoming albums. Chan’s Sweet Tooth is a sensual collage of strange and dreamy vocals and skittering electronic samples produced by the lady herself in her bedroom studio. Zhen’s Little Frog takes a sideways look at her folk and country influences, placing her somewhere between Joanna Newsom and PJ Harvey with stark and intricate arrangements. Both singles are available for free download on and Check them out at the Grace Darling this Thursday from 9pm. Entry’s $10.


Dirty Canary launch their long awaited CD with supports from The Sunsleepers and War In Arcadia on Friday 3 February at Gertrude’s Brown Couch from 8.30pm. It’s also Dirty Canary’s last show for three months so it’s set to be a cracker of a gig. Entry’s $10.


Local rockers The Jacks take over the Tote this Friday with the mighty Damn The Torpedoes and Geelong punk rock upstarts The Kremlings along for the party. It’s only $8 to get in the door and it promises to be a truly awesome evening of one hundred percent pure electric rock’n’roll fury! Radness guaranteed.

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This Sunday, women will converge in Fitzroy’s Edinburgh Gardens for an all-in wedding cake brawl in the name of equal love, as part of the Midsumma Festival. The Gay Nuptials Cake Bash is the latest in a series of women’s-only fights held by Femme Fight Club over the past two years from Melbourne to Berlin. The fights are non-spectator and were conceived as a place where women could express their natural aggression without fear of judgement or injury. This time, they’re fighting for gender equality in marriage. Tickets are $8 full/$6 concession from (adults only); meet at 3pm by the rotunda. Vegan cake ‘weapons’ will be provided and there will be live music after the hour-long biff is up. Come in bridezilla attire. FRANKENBOK



Three-piece Pop Singles, one of Melbourne’s recent staple indie acts, have an album recorded and in the works for a March/April release. They play tuneful to morose guitar-pop, often likened to chiming ‘80s Australia, with a dose of Husker Du/Wipers/’60s

It’s the beginning of the end of all you know about the bearded cheesers that call themselves Frankenbok and they’re coming to the Prague Bar this Saturday to lay down the supreme form of beardcore. The event celebrates the finale of the band’s album launch tour and will be full of dirty riffs, Aussie thrash and a hefty dose of shits’n’giggles. This gig is also the last chance to cop a steaming eyeful of Truth Corroded before they head to Europe for the final countdown. Scar The Surface will open up another gushing wound in your soul so don’t mess around. Get there early.


If you enjoy getting out of the house and away from the TV mid-week then the perfect excuse has arrived. Next Wednesday night I Am Duckeye play Revolver Upstairs, with Sydney’s White Knuckle Fever opening at 8.30pm. Following the music, all the way from Tassie is Circus Horrificus, a circus sideshow-type act that will dazzle you like a Bedazzler with sword swallowing and contortions. Doors are $15/$10 pre-sale via Moshtix.


This Thursday 19 January, the always super fun Gasometer will be home to Wizard Oz, The Clits and Velcro, playing a night of lo-fi pop magic – perfect sounds for a hot summer night. Get along



Wolfy & The Bat Cubs live in a world of their own. They are on a quest to quench the thirst of a drought, feed the souls of innocence, and set sail into the unknown waters with fuel to burn. The stage is their home and rock’n’roll their bed. Wolfy & the Bat Cubs will be launching their debut EP at the LuWow on Thursday with special guests The Spazzys and The Sheriffs. There will be go-go dancers and swinging DJs between bands. If you like ‘60s rock’n’roll with a twist don’t miss out. Tickets available from the venue.


Lovers Jump Creek are a Sydney-based indie rock four-piece that are living testament to the fact that hard work pays off. And now with an East Coast tour on their horizon and the brand new Bless This Mess EP fresh from the print, they are ready to chase down the titans of the music world. The are playing the Penny Black, Saturday 25 February. So if you like partying, good times and impressive tunes, join the show and get caught up in the wave of support for Lovers Jump Creek.


Simmer are an Afro-reggae band based in Melbourne. Initially, Simmer started as a recording project between drummer Luke Collins (Husky) and bassist/producer Linden Lester (Morph, Saritah). Originally inspired by the likes of Malian kora player Toumani Diabate, Ali Farke Toure and Salif Keita, they wrote and recorded several tunes before inviting instrumentalists and vocalists to join them for the live project. Simmer are launching their debut album Desert Red this Friday at the Evelyn Hotel. The album is a result of three years’ writing and recording between the band and vocalists Lamine Sonko and Jornick Joelick.


psych-esque inspirations. Lower Plenty deliver some heart-wrenching outback ballads and beautiful instrumentation, and feature Dick Diver, Deafwish and UV Race members. Full Ugly are a pop gem you don’t get the chance to see enough. They all play tonight at Bar Open. Doors are at 8pm and entry is free.


The Laughing Leaves are launching their first ever single, Do You See Me, a psychedelic, surf-pop track that has been gaining serious momentum in the triple j Unearthed charts. Supporting The Laughing Leaves will be psych-rock outfit Flyying Colours, who’ll have you grooving. Also supporting The Leaves will be alternative rockers The Fire Alive, a progressive rock, blues and roots outfit, whose unique tone and old-school attitude make them really stand out from the crowd. So get on down to Revolver this Thursday for what is going to be an awesome night. Tickets $8+BF pre-sale or $10 on the door.





C4$H1N8 Independent


PLAYWRITE Independent

C4$H1N8 is unapologetically tonguein-cheek, which is evident from its opener 8008135. The ‘90s-sounding dance track consists of the repeated lyric, “I love ya boobies, I love I love ya boobies”; Leonard says it’s a homage to the female form. The Prince-inspired 5* name-drops every ‘celesbian’ one can think of and features catchy percussion and a main, repeated riff that is built upon by other instruments. The other tracks are acoustic and allow Leonard to bare her vocals, but her strength undoubtedly lies in her dance tracks. EMMA LOUISE

Foxx On Fire play pop-leaning rock with psychedelic and funk influences. The title track is a summery, falsetto-filled affair, while funk track Vicious Satellite features frantic drumming and guitar grooves. Their psychedelic sounds are more creative than their straightforward rock songs; the bland Into The Light doesn’t compare with the funk-disco fusion on Mission Abort, even though the latter doesn’t go anywhere dynamically. The EP ends with a reprise of the title track; a psychedelic jam complete with sax solo, which shows imagination that’s missing from the other tracks. Catch Foxx On Fire at the Buffalo Club this Saturday 21 January.



Excellent indie-pop opener Animals Housed has scattered piano competing with a steady pounding drum, making way for a roaring chorus towards the end. In contrast to the organic sound of the first track, Little Ark features electronic samples and the frenetic tapping of sticks on drum rims. It’s dark pop with a wellimplemented 5/6 time signature chorus, urgent gang vocals and a driving guitar riff. Multiple Universe begins as a glitchy, electronic drum beat dream and eventually becomes a soulful group sing-along; it, along with the EP as a whole, displays Playwrite’s ability to tackle several genres and styles.

This young up-and-comer recently played the Falls Festival, and her debut EP is a testament to all the attention she’s been getting. Her delightfully raw-sounding voice is a cross between the timbres of Missy Higgins and Sarah Blasko, and shines on 1000 Sundowns, an acoustic track about love in the past. Earthy pop song Bugs is simple yet affecting, with abundant, subtle harmonies. Jungle drums, aptly, combined with Louise’s delicately layered vocals make triple j favourite Jungle a thrilling track. A very promising debut from Emma Louise.

FORTUNE Independent



for Velcro’s amazingly catchy and beautiful sounds, followed by Melbourne favourite The Clits, who always produce a wild and hypnotic set. The night concludes with some noise-pop experiments of Wizard Oz’s first show for the year. There will be banging new songs, possibly a mystic light show, and some cheap tapes for sale, so be sure to get down, have a few beers and do summer right.

Fortune opens with a sweeping start in Dead Man’s Left, quickly progressing into a spirited, orchestral, folk-pop song. Charming violin lines and chorus-like harmonies feature all throughout the EP, with the group vocals perhaps being one of Inland Sea’s greatest strengths, as can be heard during the drum-and-vocal part in the bright, countrytinged The Only One. Sometimes reflective, sometimes vivacious, superbly put together and evoking images of woodland, Fortune is an EP of catchy mini-epics.

LESTER THE FIERCE THE SUMMER DELUGE Independent The Summer Deluge aims to portray “the feeling of rain and water in the heat of the Australian summer”. Indeed, the melancholy tones of Lester’s songs are bleak but enchanting, as is her classical, almost majestic-sounding voice. The Hunter is a captivating introduction to Lester’s intense, cinematic, dark pop, with its marching-band drum beat and permeating strings. The sparkling keys in November manage to evoke images of raindrops, and first single Holland is a suspenseful, western-sounding tale propelled by the thumps of drum and the strums of harp. An enthralling, mature first offering from Lester The Fierce.

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Dominic Death and his ACT vigilante party squad the Fighting League are coming to Melbourne to launch their debut album of killer songs/grooveathons.They play Yah Yah’s this Friday. Think Black Flag meets calypso-pop, the record is killer. Old Mate play their first gig, straight-up punk featuring members of Bitch Prefect. Pop Singles open the night with doors at 8.30pm. Late music from Fanta Pants. The Fighting League then head to the Gasometer this Saturdsay with supports from White Walls, who are heavily into Doc Marten, My Bloody Valentine and Dinosaur Jr worship, Ally Oop & The Hoopsters who haven’t played at the Gas in a while, and new kids Valley Girls.



Internationally acclaimed Australian singer/ songwriter and producer Hugo Race is offering a unique and immersive experience of his music every Saturday throughout January at Pure Pop Records in St Kilda kicking off at 6pm. The residencies will showcase a series of covers of songs by Billie Holiday, Suicide, T Rex, Leonard Cohen, Roky Erikson and a whole swathe of others.


Rat King and Lenin Lennon are two odd bands from Newcastle who both loosely create psych-punk with idiosyncratic approaches. They are coming down from Newcastle to launch their new split-7” upstairs at the Gasometer. Joining them will be Melbourne bands Penguins and White Walls, playing some guitar-drenched rock. All four bands perform tomorrow, starting at 8pm for only $6 entry.


A great show is happening this Friday at the Gasometer. Melbourne’s own Lunars return from shaking it in Sydney, with their nocturnal, twisted-pop experience. Joining Lunars on the night will be the lush sounds of one-man pop powerhouse Popolice, raucous garage duo Kaos Kids (The Gingers), and the always surprising and bewildering stylings of Jouissance. It’ll be balmy, it’ll be a Friday night, and you’ll be seeing four amazing bands for $8.


Trawling down from Sydney, Extreme Misanthropy Crew play atmospheric, bleak, bass-driven sludge. The ambient blackness of Soil & Ash and harsh textures and skull worship of The River Of Heaven are set to complement them for a night of ear-destroying electronic brutality. Start your preparation now for this show upstairs at the Gasometer, this Friday.


Melbourne Fresh’s first showcase for 2012 at Revolver Upstairs is this Saturday and will feature Kristie Glab, The Cult Of Marcu, Auerlius, Chev Rise, Scalar Fields and Armed Korean. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets are $15 and are available on the door.

There’ll be hardcore punk this Saturday upstairs at the Gasometer with Sick People, Downpour and Shackles playing with Kicked In (with new singer) and Soma Coma. It’s gonna be $10, plenty of room to feel uncomfortable and maybe have a good time rock‘n’rollin’ to the tunes on display. Slam yourself into the new world or be left behind.


Taylor Project (full band) play at the Gasometer this Sunday with the Dark Ales and their slowburn ballad prog-rock with awesome wall of keyboard. Also on the bill are Anthony Atkinson & The Running Mates, who play clever and catchy featuring former members of The Mabels, Mid State Orange and The Lucksmiths. It is only a gold coin donation. Doors 7pm.


Each Friday in the early evening Dan Bourke and his posse of traditional Irish enthusiasts take to the Drunken Poet armed with guitars, accordions, fiddles, and all other things traditionally Irish to create a cacophony of goodness to begin the weekend in style. Dan Bourke & Friends this Friday from 6pm at the Drunken Poet.


Grouse Party kicks off 2012 with a mammoth rap and R&B party on Friday at Roxanne Parlour. The line-up features the finest female DJs with five-star finesse, with DJ Mafia returning to Grouse to lead the charge. MzRizk makes her debut at Grouse in the early set and regulars Ann Ominous and Melodee Maker take the baton to bring it home in the late sets, rounding out a night that’s sure to be chock-full of hip hop bangers, sexy R&B and booty jams as the soundtrack to your time on the dancefloor. It’s only $10 on the door from 9pm.


Summer never came but that don’t mean you can’t stay hot. With Conga-Lipz-Oh this week, the likes of Ms Butt and Lewis CanCut will be saturating you with the hottest sounds straight out of Africa and Latin America. This night is packed with tropical beats for all you tropical freaks. Every second and last Thursday of the month at the Workshop.

The crew at Lizardskin Talent have put together a showcase of awesome young Melbourne artists. Shooting Stars Live will be held at Number 5 Southgate on Friday 27 January and will feature Relene Dixon, Samirah, Rebecca Cardamone, D&D, Jade Angela, Back Back Forward Punch, MZ Wood with many more acts to be announced. Get along to support our local talent.

It’s a great night for Yah Yah’s tomorrow. The night kicks off with Limb, a dance-fuelled slice of fury with a penchant for hip displacement. Next up will be A Gazillion Angry Mexicans, bringing some tough rock to the stage – it’s kind of like tequila in band form. Last will be The Bellastrades, music your girlfriend, mother and even the most testosterone-filled man can enjoy. So get down with a cowboy hat, glowsticks and some unresolved feelings and you should be fine. Doors at 9pm.


It’s crazy festival time and that means it’s also time for Yah Yah’s Weekender’s traditional festival warm-up special. Get ready for a spate of touring bands by dancing to The Drums, Kasabian, Foster The People, The Vaccines, Best Coast, Horrors, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and more. Plus there will be live slots from the melodic psychedelic pop of Wilding, supported by the cool surf sounds of The Bluebottles. It’s only $10 entry, this Saturday with late tunes from Applejack.


The last Ladies Night at The Dojo was absolute craziness and they intend to back it up. Ladies Night regulars Kuya will be playing another vinyl-only hip hop and nu-jack set alongside Kate Chip dropping all your favourite dancefloor tunes with her gal pal Swarm. They are joined by special guest Ayna who knows how to get the party started. Brand new cocktail and shots menu and free entry for ladies before midnight. All at the Order Of Melbourne, Saturday.



the musical equivalent of a highly theatrical show. Cabaret has such a diverse history, but the one thing it’s always been about is telling universal stories through music.” “I come from classical music,” says Kingwell. “It’s interesting how our two backgrounds have aligned. We have differing ideas about how narrative can be structured. Also, I think one common denominator with mine and Tom’s upbringings is folk music, and just that really strong tradition of storytelling.”



Feeling a little Juicy after the festive season and New Year’s shenanigans? Then Bimbo Deluxe prescribes Friday night hands in the air party jams, hip hop classics, nufunk, bootlegs, breaks and beats. With one of Melbourne’s best DJ line-ups including M Phazes, Agent 86, DJ Flagrant, Mike Hunt, Tom Showtime, Ayna, Jesse I, Tom Booze and guests, they guarantee all-killer-no-filler and a dancefloor jumping from start to finish or your money back (entry is free). There’s Juicy drink specials, tasty special guests and a bouncing party every Friday night. All party, no bullshit.


With a bunch of albums and a swag of accolades to his name, Lloyd Spiegel is the most experienced young blues artist in Australia. Through his 18-year career Spiegel has come to be regarded amongst the finest blues guitarists in the nation and has played bills with up-and-comers such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Buddy Guy. Following Spiegel will be Richy McKay, this Sunday at the Drunken Poet from 4pm.

Every Tuesday this January, Melbourne Fresh are proud to present The Pailing Black for a Revolver residency with special guests each week. Support for this week’s show, Tuesday 24 January, comes from Hamish Anderson and Ian Rickard. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets are $7 on the door.


Proximity Butterfly come all the way from Chengdu in China. Their music combines a variety of elements, including the retro atmosphere of Led Zeppelin through complex jazz time signatures, Pink Floyd’s psychedelia and strikingly poignant lyrics, an unidentified aspect of aggressive rhythm structures and an ethereal tactfulness only to be compared to the likes of Jane’s Addiction or Sigur Ros. Proximity Butterfly melt together with ancient Chinese instruments and cutting edge-rock layered with psychedelia. This Sunday at Yah Yah’s with doors from 5pm, free entry.





Last year was a huge one for local post-cabaret outfit The Jane Austen Argument, having played both the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe festivals, as well as touring with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. At the risk of labouring the point, they have also recently supported The Dresden Dolls on their national tour here. Jennifer Kingwell and Tom Dickins form the backbone of the group, so much so that it’s probably safe to refer to them as a duo. And 2012 is beginning at exactly the same frenetic pace as last year. Kingwell and Dickins are launching a new single, Northsoutheastwest, which is the first taste of an upcoming album. Both seem to think it’s something of a departure from their previous work. “I guess I would say that the album is a real graduation for us,” says Dickins. “It’s basically just been the two of us in the past. For the album, we’ve got a cellist, a drummer, a bass and a guitar. It’s a much thicker sound than we’re used to, and this song in particular is faster and more urgent than some of our ballads.” “It definitely plays to our strengths as a songwriting duo,” says Kingwell. “Whereas a lot of our other songs are driven by one voice or another. This song definitely has two distinct voices coming through.” What about the genre, for want of a better word, of cabaret in general? It has a long history, including such diverse practitioners as Jacques Brel and, well, The Dresden Dolls, yet always manages to sound interesting and cutting-edge. Dickins and Kingwell put the unique sound of their own outfit down to their differing backgrounds and the ability they have learned to tell stories. “My background is in theatre,” says Dickins. “So for me, it’s about the ability of theatre to transform stories. The meeting point between that and music, and what Jen and I do together is

Talking of storytelling, do Kingwell or Dickins have any good dirt they can share with Inpress readers on The Dresden Dolls? It seems that they are both too blown away by how awesome it’s been touring with them to share any good gossip. “We’ve just been so fortunate to have this opportunity,” says Kingwell. “It’s been incredible, really. Kind of like this amazing apprenticeship, I suppose.” “It’s just been incredibly inspiring,” adds Dickins. “Very, very exciting.” Interestingly, one is just as likely to see The Jane Austen Argument at one of their trademark ‘twitnics’ (impromptu gigs with fans, instruments and beer) or house parties, hastily organised through social media, as one is to catch them at a club or pub. For the launch of Northsoutheastwest, however, the band are taking on the reasonably sized East Brunswick Club. This writer, for one, wonders aloud about the matching of the room with such an intimate sound, but Dickins quite rightly points out that intimacy can easily translate to a bigger venue, and that recent experiences have helped the band understand this. “On the night of the launch, we are going to have other instruments with us onstage, but it all comes back to Jen and I. Touring with The Dresden Dolls has been an important learning curve for us with this. We’re really interested in cultivating an intimate mood despite the size of the room. We’d like it to be like we’re playing in someone’s house: just as much for people in the front row as those in the back.” WHO: The Jane Austen Argument WHAT: Northsoutheastwest (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 20 January, East Brunswick Club


Singer/songwriter Bill Jackson will be joined by his friends Tracy McNeil, Suzie Dickinson, Luke Sinclair and Dan Lethbridge for a very special one-off night of songs in the round at the Caravan Club in Oakleigh to officially launch his new record Jerilderie on Saturday 18 February from 8pm. The first 50 people who book tickets online will receive a free copy of Johnson’s The Nashville Session EP.


Riff Fist comes to the Prague on Friday 27 January with The Laughing Leaves, The Fire Alive and ZuZu Angels all vying to be the ultimate riff warriors. Get down early for what is sure to be a great evening and then be hardcore and stick around to rock out at the Prague or head off to what you’d rather be doing on a Friday night after you’ve had your innards firmly kneaded by some glowing tubepowered heavy tones, or feel free to join the after party farewelling some mighty legends on the same night.


As part of this year’s St Kilda Festival, Readings will be hosting a series of exciting screenings and in-store performances at their Acland Street shop. First up is a special live performance by FrenchAmerican musos, Moriarty. They meld harmonica, kazoo, harp and wild west twang in a manner that evokes visions of tumbleweed, hillbillies and bison. They play today at 5.30pm, entry is free.


Off the back of their EP, Melbourne’s own rockabilly rebels Road Ratz take some time out of their busy schedule comprising of backgammon and solitaire to melt the faces of anyone who dares set foot in the Tote Hotel on Thursday. Main support will be none other than country blues outfit Sly Grog. Containing one half of The Broadside Push, and the other half bloodsucking vampires from the 18th century, be sure to watch them as they bring back the blues. Before the blues madness are Road Ratz’s rockabilly relatives The Bombardiers and Street Fangs. Doors from 8.30pm, $8.


PBS’ Soul-A-Go-Go is set to return for another year on the first Saturday of each month at Melbourne’s most regal party house, Bella Union. Catch PBS stars Pierre Baroni, Miss Goldie, Vince Peach, Manchild, Richie 1250 plus special guest Dave Bowman, at the biggest and best soul and funk party in town. Following the triple room spectacular on New Year’s Eve, each SoulA-Go-Go for 2012 will be set over two rooms. Mark Saturday 4 February in your diary for the year’s kick off.


In a cracker start to 2012 for Dancing Heals, St Kilda Festival has announced the four-piece to play the 6pm slot at the Live’n’Local stage on Festival Sunday, 12 February. The festival appearance takes place hot on the heels of releasing their double A-side single, Live & Learn and Hillary May, which hits digital stores on Monday 30 January.


Off the back of numerous supports and festival appearances in 2011, Rainy Day Women will commence 2012 with an EP of their best material and a whole lot of touring. Forming mid-last year, and fronted by singer/ songwriter Dylan Ollivierre, the band have been quick to enjoy success with both their debut single If and current single Sleigh Bed garnering attention on radio nationwide. Rainy Day Women will play Revolver on Saturday 11 February followed by the St Kilda Festival the next day.


On Saturday 28 January, Melbourne’s newest queer hip hop and performance dance party Mince Pie will be having their spectacular debut at the Phoenix Public House. The House Of Mince resident DJs The City Loves A Boyfriend mix a unique collection of international hip hop, while their resident stylist Kari Iammom Kollar curates a visual feast of alternative drag performances and epic looks for five hours of the hottest and sweatiest dancing y’all will do this new year. Doors are at 9pm, entry is $15.


Wednesday night sees Charles Jenkins return to the Empress Hotel for a very special two-set show. The first set will be brand new songs earmarked for a new album to be recorded this year. The second set will be songs you request. You can do so by posting on the Empress’ Facebook page. All suggestions will be considered! The whole thing will be recorded and filmed, so you may well find yourself on YouTube. And the best news, the whole thing will only cost you $5. What a steal. Doors from 8.30, show kicks off at 9pm sharp.



PBS 106.7FM have announced that the Rock-A-Bye Baby Music Sessions are back for 2012. First up for this year and straight out of high school are The Cactus Channel, bringing their ten-piece funk orchestra to the Fitzroy Town Hall. With an average age of 18, these kids are burning down original funk breaks and breaking down funk originals with a musical maturity way beyond their years. The Rock-A-Bye Baby Music Sessions offer a gig-going experience for carers and children where the music hasn’t been dumbed down or sugared up. It provides a chance for families to share the experience of live music in a safe and clean environment.


The Floors are a live band. Brothers Luke and Ryan Dux took home West Australian Music Industry Awards for Best Guitarist and Best Bassist respectively, in both 2009 and 2010, all based on the strength of live performance. Even in the studio, The Floors are a live band. They perform their songs together in a room, captured by a few German microphones. The Floors’ debut album promises to be everything the band have become known for on stage. Catch them along with The Kill Devil Hills this Saturday at the Corner.

The new year is just getting started with the first fine offering from Raspect Records. This Friday sees the Empress Hotel shake to the sounds of MoneyKat, New Dub City, Saki and Apex. This is going to be a night of hip hop meets dub styles with some of the best new talent Melbourne has to offer. With a very reasonable cover charge of $7 and some album giveaways, this is a night not to be missed.


Sans Gras return to the Grace Darling with their trance-inducing blend of musicality and frenetic energy. Alien vocal lines entwine driving grooves to build a tapestry of love, loss and allure. With support from Ballarat rockers Them 9’s and Melbourne loop-crooner Hayden Calnin, Sans Gras are offering a free download from their recent recording session. This Friday from 9pm, $8 on the door.



the racket


Blues’n’roots with Dan condon

Metal, heavy rock and dark alternative with ANDREW HAUG

hardcore and punk with Sarah Petchell

of today’s post-metal and rock scenes.” Comments Prong guitarist, vocalist and founder Tommy Victor: “It was the hardest I’ve ever worked in the studio on any record I’ve ever been involved with.” UK-based metal heroes Dragonforce have released a quick update. Commented guitarist Herman Li: “We are all glad to be finished in the studio, especially given that the new record is sounding fantastic! Dragonforce are well and truly back!”

SLEEPMAKESWAVES JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE We’re only just halfway through January and there is already an absolute treasure trove of amazing music to look forward to in 2012. Plenty of artists have gotten in early, planning releases in the next couple of months – here’s a look at a few. JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now Nashville-born, New York-based Justin Townes Earle is the epitome of the classic rambling troubadour – seemingly on an endless world tour, playing anywhere that’ll have him and wooing everyone who sees him. Given his touring schedule, it’s a wonder he has time to make new records, but his fairly constant output just confirms what a hard worker this guy is. Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now will be his fourth record in as many years when it comes out on Friday 23 March through Bloodshot Records/Inertia. It took only four days to track the record, but that was because Earle and longtime collaborator Skylar Wilson decided that, in order to capture the energy they knew these sessions would be brimming with, they’d be wise to get a white-hot band and track the record live to tape. It’s an awfully tasteful release, plenty of great horn arrangements, delicate percussion, unobtrusive lead guitar and a whole lot of forlorn lyrics about lost love, moving on and once again plenty of references to what he sees in his transient life. It’s great. Don’t forget Earle will be in Australia this April, so grab the record as soon as it’s out and get familiar with the material! LEONARD COHEN – Old Ideas The masterful Leonard Cohen has been threatening a new record for years, performing a number of new songs in his live performances and promising that we’d see a release before too long. Well it’s finally almost here, as Sony Music release Old Ideas – LP number 12 for Cohen and his first in eight years – on Friday 3 February. I’m not going to bother explaining what has made this guy indisputably legendary over the past 45 years, but I will confirm that the 77-yearold poet has proved he’s still a voice that must be listened to in 2012. It’s funny, given the life he has led many probably wouldn’t have thought, back in the day, that he’d be alive this long, let alone releasing records and performing live shows of such quality. His deep, rich voice has always sounded worn – never more so than it does here – but it’s still got that spine-tingling power to it; it’s kind of soothing, kind of scary and just incredibly robust. He’s not lost his knack for lyricism either; love, death, sexuality, spirituality, all Cohen’s favourite topics are covered in his own unique way. I’m not going to say it ranks up there with his best records, but it is still devastatingly good and a must-own record. PAUL MCCARTNEY – Kisses On The Bottom Now let’s go from one legend to another. I’m a massive fan of The Beatles; I mean, everyone likes The Beatles, but they are far and beyond my favourite band of all time. I’m not a huge fan of Paul McCartney, personally (though he has had his moments of genius post-Beatles, I will concede), but such is my love for the Fab Four, I will still listen to everything he releases. Kisses On The Bottom (named for a line in album opener I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter) is a bunch of covers of classic old pop songs (and by old, we’re talking 1930s and ‘40s fare, mostly) and a couple of Macca originals that comes across as pretty watery and inoffensive. It’s a shame to say it but it’s an incredibly boring record full of songs that, frankly, don’t suit McCartney’s voice in the slightest. It’s obviously all a tribute to songs of yesteryear that he loves, but you can’t help but wish he’d have left them alone. If you need a gift for your grandmother, this could be a winner – it’s out through Universal on Friday 3 February. 50 • INPRESS

California’s In This Moment have entered the Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with longtime producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne) to begin recording their new album for a summer release via Century Media Records. Drummer Jeff Fabb and guitarist Blake Bunzel recently left the band in order to join the backing band of American Idol finalist James Durbin. The band commented: “We are embracing this change with open arms and a renewed spirit. In the meantime, we are back in the studio and the new songs are sounding better than anything we’ve done to date.” Local melodic power metallers Black Majesty have been announced as part of the 2012 Masters Of Rock Czech Republic festival. They will be promoting their new album, produced by Roland Grapow (Masterplan), due for release in May 2012 through Limb Music Germany. Heavy music innovators Prong have set Carved Into Stone as the title of their new album, due later in the year via Long Branch Records/SPV. The CD is currently being recorded with producer Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan). According to a press release Carved Into Stone “is quintessentially Prong. It stretches into the band’s earliest and dirtiest foundations on which the band was founded on New York’s Lower East Side to the present as a staple

Swedish death metallers Grave entered their own Studio Soulless this past weekend to begin recording their new album, tentatively titled Endless Procession Of Souls. The band will lay down 12 songs for the CD to be released mid-2012 via Century Media Records. North Carolina legends Corrosion Of Conformity will release their self-titled new album on 28 February. Recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in Northridge, California, the CD was produced by the band in cooperation with longtime collaborator John Custer. New Jersey’s melodic, thrash metal warriors God Forbid are working with acclaimed Producer Jens Bogren for their record due later this year. The bulk of the CD was recorded by Mark Lewis (Devildriver). Guitarist Doc Coyle previously stated about the material for the band’s forthcoming CD, “It’s always difficult to tell how a new album will sound this early in the process, but I can say that our new guitar player Matt Wicklund [ex-Himsa] is contributing tons of material. His stuff is very hook-oriented with a Scandinavian twinge. The stuff I’ve been writing has been varied from evil Morbid Angel, black metal shit to mid-tempo/power groove Machine Head-type stuff, and signature God Forbid material that is a logical progression from our previous albums.” Sydney-based instrumental rockers Sleepmakeswaves have announced an extensive Australian tour, promoting their recent success of their debut album ‘…and so we destroyed everything.’ Catch ‘em at the Espy on Friday 10 and the Evelyn on Saturday 11 February.

FRAGMENTED FREQUENCIES OTHER MUSIC FROM THE OTHER SIDE with BOB BAKER FISH “I got the recordings home and I just couldn’t help myself, just chopping it, stretching it, totally rearranging phrases,” he laughed. “Within the space of two days I had three tracks. So I sent them to Heidi and she was like, ‘No, that’s not what I wanted at all’.”

JOHN MCCAFFREY Scissors & Sellotape is John McCaffrey. He lives in Northcote. He also goes under the name of Upward Arrows and Part Timer and, regardless of his nom de plume, the music is amazing. Originally from Northern England, he settled here with his wife and child a few years back and continues to make amazing music that rarely receives a local release. Last year alone he offered up Real To Real, a gentle, understated release on Lost Tribe Sound as Part Timer – an album that lulls and seduces in equal measure. Later in the year he snuck in For The Tired And Ill At Ease on Facture under the Scissors & Sellotape moniker, and it’s a work that deserves to be considered in everyone’s top ten. Except that like his Lost Tribe release it has no distribution in this country, which is nothing short of a crime. It’s based on a session with frequent collaborator Heidi Elva, who had befriended the priest at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury and negotiated three hours on the piano and organ in return for getting it tuned. “Okay. I’m an absolute arsehole,” offered McCaffrey earlier in the year when Fragmented Frequencies had the opportunity to sit down with the man behind the personalities. “The idea was to go in there and record Heidi playing some fairly straight simple piano melodies and then afterwards I’d go in and add a bit of ambience to them and edit out some duff notes and add a little bit of pixie dust.” But it didn’t go entirely according to plan.

The resulting album is sparse, gentle and contemplative, like a series of melodic waves crashing down around you. There’s a strong electronic/digital element to the music, where McCaffrey has interspersed crackles, skips and beats, leaning heavily upon reverb and constructing a dreamy, highly creative sound-world that frequently beguiles and amazes in equal measure. For more info check out Goodgrief Commune are also local but much stranger. They refer to themselves as “punk-primitive free-noise”, and their triple cassette document is “the Melbourne via Tasmania faux-skronk aesthetic in all its harmonically oversaturated glory”. It’s noisy, messy, but somehow quite beautifully wrong. It features members of Snawklor and Mum Smokes and a bunch of other bands at their unruly best. They suggest it’s “evidence of many inner-city days spent indoors, hitting record on a found cassette recorder, exuding shambolic sonics to be captured on a stack of found cassette tapes; and rolling ‘til the spools ground to a halt.” The resulting mess is available at The recent Australasian World Music Expo (AWME) alerted us to the notion that world music is on our doorstep. Wantok Musik is a label/foundation set up by David Bridie and hosts some of the best and brightest from here, PNG, West Papua and Vanuatu. Artists include South Australian indigenous desert-dwelling rockers Iwantja, who are clearly destined for great things with their Payla release of last year, PNG bass player Mogu, and the Incredible Moad Stringband’s gorgeously uplifting sounds. Wantok is a not-for-profit foundation that was established to generate and foster relationships between Australia and its neighbours, as well as support and release indigenous artists from the region. Check for more details.

AT THE DRIVE-IN What a huge week it has been for the world of punk and hardcore! For me the biggest news was the startling revelations from the Coachella line-up, where many things once thought impossible came to pass. I am of course talking about the reunification of two bands that have placed an indelible mark on what punk and hardcore is today – Refused and At The Drive-In. While the ATDI reunion has been quiet since the Coachella announcement, Refused have been busy announcing appearances on the international festival circuit over the European summer including an appearance on Groezrock. Perhaps this is an indication of what we can all expect from the 2012/2013 festival season here? Either way, if either of these bands tour Australia, you can expect to see me front row and centre. Coerce had a massive 2011, releasing their ARIAnominated second album Ethereal Surrogate Saviour and touring with the likes of Russian Circles and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. Now they’re kicking off 2012 with an appearance on the Adelaide leg of Big Day Out and a national tour, their first headline tour since the release of ESS. Coming along for the ride will be fellow Adelaidians The Burning Sea. You can catch Coerce on Saturday 10 March at the John Curtin with Heirs and Gatherer. One of the biggest and most anticipated hardcore releases of last year was Baltimore hardcore outfit Trapped Under Ice’s second album Big Kiss Goodnight. Without a doubt, this record surprised many and proved that the band weren’t just a onetrick, hardcore pony. Now the quartet are heading back to Australia, to be joined on the road across the country by Sydney’s Relentless. Tickets are now on sale for the 18+ show at the Corner Hotel on Sunday 11 March. You’re probably wondering what happened to an all-ages show on this tour? Well here it is… Trapped Under Ice will be headlining the inaugural Break The Ice Fest at Seaford Community Centre on Saturday 10 March. Doors are at 2pm with tickets $27+BF. And here’s why you should go: not only will Trapped Under Ice be playing, but joining them will be some of the best in Australian hardcore including 50 Lions, Hopeless, Shinto Katana, Dropsaw, Phantoms, Iron Mind, Relentless and Warbrain, as well as newcomers from Sweden, Anchor (who fans of Carpathian and similar should check out as they’re quite good!). There are more acts to be confirmed, so stay tuned! Epitaph Records have announced the addition of Orange County act The Ghost Inside to their roster for the release of the band’s third album. As yet, the album is untitled, however, the band are holed away working on it with producer Jeremy McKinnon (of A Day To Remember fame). If you missed the announcement on Short.Fast. Loud last week, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory and This Time Next Year will be teaming up this April for a tour that’s not quite the Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour that was originally expected, but will definitely be more than enough to satiate fans of all the bands involved. You can catch the tour when it hits Melbourne on Sunday 8 April and they play Festival Hall. Lastly, Melbourne punk favourites A Death In The Family have called it a day. A short statement from the band read: “A Death In The Family band is no longer. To cut to the chase, we’ve hit a cross-roads (or dead-end as it seems). Each of our lives and circumstances are vastly different than they were a few years ago and as a group we’ve simply decided now is a good time to move on, rather than pushing on. As a band we’ve done more than we ever imagined and made lifelong friends in many parts of the world. This ship has sailed. ADITF 2004-2012. Thanks for the memories.” If you never got into this incredible band, it’s not too late to check them out and appreciate just how amazing they are.







The oldest of the remakes is The Girl From Ipanema. A teen Winehouse cut the bossa nova standard when she met Remi. More devastating is her A Song For You, laid down at home in 2009 on acoustic guitar as, a presser tactfully suggests, “she battled her demons”. At the end, Winehouse, her voice less damaged than raw, expresses an affinity with the tragic Donny Hathaway, who made Leon Russell’s composition so famous. Remi has added a fuller arrangement, but it’d be more poignant if left alone. AMY WINEHOUSE THE XX While everyone was talking about the ‘best’ albums of 2011 and placing their bets on which tragic/ sexy singer’s name we’d all come to know in 2012, an odd thing was happening inside retail spaces, bars and cafés in the lead up to Christmas. It was impossible not to notice it. It was as apparent as MGMT’s takeover of commercial stereos over the summer of 2008/’09. Okay, nothing is or will ever be that apparent ever again, but it was very apparent. As shoppers charged their hard-earned credit cards and caught up over cold-press coffee and macaroons, they/we did it to the sounds of The xx’s 2009 debut self-titled album. It was everywhere; the minimal-yetwarm guitar lines and production and Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s measured voices seeped (or wept) out of high-street fashion chains and hole-inthe-wall drink stops alike. Why the record is suited to such a range of commercial scenarios doesn’t require much in-depth analysis: the group create the perfect combination of sleek London club cool and heart-tugging drama, an appealing blend of nostalgia and ‘now’ that crosses generations. If it wasn’t so damn good, it would be tempting to call it ‘inoffensive’. Certainly the number of tracks used from the album in TV shows and films confirm, without any editorialising, that The xx make decent background music, which is no criticism. It isn’t easy making music that can be many things to many people. But why the record was seemingly reaching saturation in Australia two years after its release is a question not readily answered. Confirmation of the record’s status as a local slowburner came mid-December when Remote Control Records, which released the album in Australia, announced that The xx had reached ‘gold’ sales in this country, meaning it had sold in excess of 35,000 copies according to ARIA’s accreditation system. That’s no mean feat when you consider many ‘indie’ records deemed ‘successes’ in this country struggle to sell even a third of that number. It was by coincidence that towards the end of 2010, a year after The xx was released, I happened to be talking to Remote Control’s marketing manager Steve Cross about the album. Sales of the record had been reinvigorated, he told me, adding that sometimes that just happens to an album – it takes a while for people to catch on. When I asked Cross this week why he thought the record’s sales had endured since its release, he had this to say: “It’s a quiet, understated album that slowly gets under your skin. I do think some people underestimated it… There have been people at media who have loved it, but it’s hardly had ‘across the board’ support. Instead it’s been a word-of-mouth thing, people turning their friends onto it or discovering it for themselves online.” Sometimes it takes time for certain sounds or production styles to reveal their relevance to cultures or individuals. When the album was released, it had few ‘indie’ contemporaries in its minimalism; now, sparse, melancholy productions have been touted by many working in new dubstep and electronica. Just prior to the announcement of The xx’s gold sales status, the band’s production wiz Jamie Smith said in an interview with The Creators Project that the band wanted to have their second album out in time for the UK’s 2012 festival season, which would be around June. Smith also revealed that the trio’s new songs were being informed by club cultures, which is perhaps not surprising considering the amount of remix work he’s undertaken over the last two years, most notably an excellent reworking of Gil ScottHeron’s I’m New Here, titled We’re New Here. The band also posted a demo of a track titled Open Eyes from new recording sessions to their blog, suggesting the creation of a new album was indeed in full swing. If we do see a new album from the hypnotic trio this year, it’s possible that The xx will be the massive 2012 success story many haven’t been predicting.

Has the backlash to Amy Winehouse’s Lioness: Hidden Treasures been justified? It’s received muted reviews. In Australia Lioness… peaked at number eight on the ARIA chart and is certified gold. (It did reach number one in Britain, where it’s double platinum.) Many fans felt that issuing it at Christmas and less than six months after Winehouse’s passing was cynical. Still, Lioness… is more ‘authentic’ than Michael Jackson’s Michael and, significantly, has the blessing of Winehouse’s family. Those on board have stressed that Lioness… isn’t Winehouse’s long-awaited third album. In fact, that may never appear. The Brit soulstress had written, but not recorded, material. As such, Lioness… comprises alternate versions of Winehouse classics, random covers, outtakes, demos and previously unreleased songs – all from 2002 (before Frank) onwards. Mark Ronson, less involved in Lioness… than co-producer Salaam Remi, has shown reluctance to participate in future posthumous anthologies, telling NME, “Once you start to piece half-finished things together, it becomes a slippery slope.” Here, he provides a slower Valerie and post-production to Winehouse’s take on The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (another rendering surfaced on 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason soundtrack). Word is that Will You…, stronger than the reggae Our Day Will Come, will be a 2012 single.

The doo-wop original Between The Cheats, obviously about Winehouse’s tumultuous marriage, was earmarked for the follow-up to 2006’s Back To Black. She recorded it with Remi on blowing out of sessions for the theme to the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace. According to NME, Winehouse argued with Ronson on how to approach the brief and called Remi. Winehouse’s father Mitch has highlighted the Frank-era Half Time as a favourite – and it’s the closest she comes to ‘90s neo-soul, being a jazzy, acoustic, Erykah Badu-style affair. ?uestlove from The Roots finished off the demo. But OG Flavas’ pick of the ‘new’ songs is the haunting hip hop soul Like Smoke, now featuring Winehouse’s pal Nas. (She sang of him on Mr & Mr Jones.) It bears all of Winehouse’s Byronic – and ironic – flair. Notably, Lioness… excludes the leaked Procrastination. Today Winehouse’s influence is pervasive. New York’s Lana Del Rey, a self-proclaimed “gangsta Nancy Sinatra”, is a little Winehouse-y with her “Hollywood sadcore” – or Black Dahlia torch songs (she’s also Lady Gaga-meets-Mulholland Drive, all subversive pop artifice, down to the trout pout). And the UK continues to breed cred soul acts. London’s Michael Kiwanuka has won the BBC’s Sound Of 2012 poll (unannounced as of last week’s press time), with Frank Ocean runnerup (Jessie J was 2011’s winner). Kiwanuka, whose background is Ugandan, has gigged as a guitarist for the likes of Labrinth, but specialises in folksy, rootsy soul. He’s identified Otis Redding as a touchstone, but also references Bob Dylan and grunge. The Guardian has summed him up as “Bill Withers, reborn”.

DANCE MOVES NEW CURRENTS with TIM FINNEY fuse is modern disco editing culture and its ethos that buried in the heart of the most unlikely tune is a nugget of groove compulsion, a passage that can set the dancefloor alight if liberated and deployed with sufficient skill.

NICOLAS JAAR Here’s a half-baked “theory” for you: most interesting stabs at stylistic variation in music exist along an axis of tension, the product of tense negotiation or even outright dispute between countervailing, contradictory impulses. Sometimes this is painted grandly in broad brush strokes – the opposition of the soulful and the mechanic in Detroit techno, for example. Sometimes the dispute is much more specific or ambiguous or difficult to recognise – the thousand shades of compromise between rigid discipline and organic rhythmic fluidity struck by post-Villalobos minimalists. But it’s the tension itself that is the thing, the sense in which the music wants to go – perhaps is being pulled – in two directions at once, a complex articulation or constellation of the many ways in which music can move you. Chilean-American producer Nicolas Jaar frames stylistic disputes that are both grand and technical. In the former register, he short circuits the space between a host of pre-electronic, pre-clubbing musical styles from times and traditions gone by, and the polished production values of the past decade of German house; Villalobos, sure, but also the wooziness of DJ Koze, and especially the orchestral flare of Henrik Schwarz, whose techhouse organism (rippling pianos, flaring strings, grainy old soul or African vocals) is re-imagined by Jaar in precarious watercolours. But this grand cross-cultural collision is itself a product of a technician’s ear: the

On Jaar’s finest efforts, it feels like he’s marshaled an armoury of old word stylistic affectations to mimic modern dance music’s most becoming qualities – eg. Her String, where succulent percussion and live bass build to a gorgeously deliquescent flamenco guitar solo like a classic house breakdown. But I found Jaar’s album of last year, Space Is Only Noise, a disappointment, its limpid explorations of where house and downbeat turn into modern ambient jazz reflecting a form of negotiation more akin to passive acceptance, each side of the equation merging into the other by sculpting or sanding away at its (once productive) differences. The album’s meandering synth patterns, piano figures and found sound felt resolved rather than relational, the delicate sound design gorgeous, but it lacked his best work’s hum of intensity. Jaar has since repented with a host of amazing tracks but perhaps a better illustration of where Space Is Only Noise might have gone right is Duo, last year’s album by Henrik Schwarz and Norwegian jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft. On this loose, live-feeling (and often live, in fact) collaboration, Schwarz weaves attenuated rhythms and his signature strobing chord patterns with and around Wesseltoft’s rippling, supple performances, achieving a state of bemused reverie that resembles nothing so much as a modern (and slightly more energetic) version of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way. This stylistic collision is more literal and straightforward, and perhaps also less sophisticated, than Jaar’s: rather than get inside his organic sounds at the microscopic level, Schwarz is more content simply to place them in winning settings of quiet drama and contrast. But this turns out to be enough, the resulting tension (even when the music approaches its most becalmed) more captivating than the sculpted-but-supine mood music of Space Is Only Noise. Sometimes a rougher but firmer hand is exactly what is needed.

TRUE VIBENATION Everyone’s a hypocrite, right? You’re a hypocrite. We’re hypocrites. Your mum’s a hypocrite. No surprises. In a life where we are all constantly experiencing new things, speaking with new people, having our opinions challenged and reformed it’s impossible not to occasionally stumble into a few of those beliefs you once held dear, or backtrack a little from your tough talk. It’s human nature. You’ve done it. You’ll do it again. Well, even though we all do it it’s still nice to catch a certified oxygen thief right in the middle of some mad hypocractics. Professor Green, king of yawn rap and cannabis prince, recently released an album. It was boring. Anyway, there is this track on it called DPMO. It stands for “don’t piss me off”, the theory being that if you piss off Pro Green you might live to regret it. It’s an empty boast, sure. Whose aren’t? But there is this one line where he says, “Say the wrong thing about me and your career is something you can say goodbyebye-bye to.” Last year Wiley tweeted that Professor Green wouldn’t have a career but for the popularity of Eminem. Green responded, “I will always be a fan, but that’s not to say I won’t shit all over you. It’s not a problem for me… We don’t have a problem so let it go.” Wiley: “Yeah we have got a problem, when I see you we will discuss it.” Green: “I’m just saying this is pointless… would you not agree? We both do our ting.” Finally Wiley: “No we both don’t. I do. You’re an idiot.” Green then deleted all his tweets. Wiley said the wrong thing about him, apparently, and – rather than stand behind the sentiment he espouses – Green got all PR about it. Hypocrite. We’ve been more hypocritical in this past. So have you. But, sometimes, it’s nice to see a raging hypocracticalist take a public stumble. New The Weeknd! Oh jeez. It’s called Echoes Of Silence. We haven’t given it a proper listen but this much is true: it’s a frontrunner for album of the year to date as far as we’re concerned. Buckle up, though, kids. Hopefully 2012’ll be one for the ages. Oh, those Big Villagers. We love that work ethic so, so much. They may not have the roster of some other labels, your best mate’s cousin may not be getting many shows supporting them, they’re taking their sweet time getting around to a Rapaport release – but it’s just so exciting have a young, hungry label on the come up looking after a broad range of artists and showing some real enthusiasm about doing things differently. True Vibenation are a case in point. They may not be your favourite crew (“did someone order some echoes of mid-‘90s, ska-laced pop punk?”) but, by gee, they sound different to anyone else around and they are working. Hard. It’s refreshing. We’ve discussed it before: It’s a website worth visiting, the forums particularly. They are full of experienced, intelligent contributors, some rabid trolls, a bit of rampant homophobia and genuinely engaging discussions. They’re now getting their ninth annual (ninth!) Awards together and need your help to vote. Your votes matter by the way. Not to lift the skirt too high but for an up-and-comer to be able to say “voted best such-and-such at the ninth annual awards” is pretty valuable for those looking to hook music churnalists like us. INPRESS • 51


Gloves ‘The Synth Shaman’, bike slut and occasional tennis enthusiast, better known to some of us as Yama Indra, holds a list of dance-’til-you-drop-dead accolades that would make any “been-there-donethat” globe-trotting journo with a chip on their shoulder envious. This Friday at Miss Libertine’s Can’t Say, Gloves will be joined by Airwolf, Jasper, Mat Cant, J Heasy, Indian Summer DJs and also a sneaky Swick vs Tranter set. It’s an all-round aural assault and disco destruction that will keep you moving ‘til the early hours of the morning.



Out from the murky swamps creep the anamorphic android souls of the chemically enhanced and the coldblooded being, dripping sludge all over you’re nice clean floors. Wipe the mud from your face and brace yourself for a full-frontal assault on your world. Resistance is futile. Survival is for the weak. Are you ready? Humans are playing Pony this Friday night. They’ll be joined by Alkan Zeybek & The Lessermen, Smoke Signal and Cushion Time Valley. It’s time to get loose kids.


Foxx On Fire make psychedelic pop music, ideal for dancing and transcending. They have spent the last year touring the UK and Ireland, playing at the Underage Festival with Bombay Bicycle Club, Miles Kane and Viva Brother and recording their debut album in Ireland. They now return to Australia to launch their new summertime single March Into The Sun. Head to their EP launch party this Saturday at the Buffalo Club, where they’ll be supported by Jimmy Hawk & The Endless Party and Them Swoops. Starts at 8pm and entry’s $10.


Ron S Peno & The Superstitions will play two Sunday afternoons at the Labour In Vain in January. This Sunday they will play as a trio and the following week they’ll be performing as a full band. Both shows start at 5pm, for two sets and entry is free. You don’t get it much better than that.


This Friday will be a night of acoustic music at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Brunswick. Headlining is Craig-Lee Smith performing original acoustic country folk tunes with a few covers thrown in. Also on the bill are up and coming songwriter Teknia, Mark Gardner (he has an EP Great Divide), and the gothic folk songs of Sarah Eida.


Oliver Tank’s EP launch parties are kicking off this week, with Melbourne being the first stop on the map. He’s playing at the Workers Club on Friday with Wintercoats and Kikuyu supporting. Pre-sales are $8+BF and can be purchased from Moshtix.


A sight to be seen on Saturday at Pony: Rayon Moon, The Magic Bones, Cassini and the infamous Bidet Mate. Rayon Moon are in a state of flux, constant shifting. They are part garage, part punk and using limited techniques and equipment they produce their own brand of rubbish rock. Doors are from 9pm. Keggin play the 2am slot.


Giving local audiences a taste of what his upcoming album has to offer, Texture Like Sun will be playing a very special afternoon show this Sunday at the Empress. Kicking off at 3.30pm, Texture Like Sun will be providing the perfect summer soundtrack alongside Axolotl and Jess Harlen. Tickets are $10 at the door.


On the first and third Fridays of every month is Anytime. Old faces have come and gone but the shining beacon of pale blue light still flickers on. Residents Joe ‘4 Pint’, Seven and Sean ‘Rothchild’ Deans tip one to the curb and play some damn good music for the Workshop people with disco to dubstep, hip hop to house, electro and everything. There’s special guests on regular rotation. From 8pm until 2am, free entry, this Friday at Workshop.


La Fiesta at the Workshop presents some of Melbourne’s finest DJs. Manchild, Ennio Styles, Chris Gill and Jumps will be reaching deep into their crates bringing the best of Afro, Latin, tropical and funk rhythms. Free entry, free BBQ, from 3 to 9pm this Sunday at Workshop. 52 • INPRESS

Melbourne roots outfit Monkey’s Pirate are set to kick off 2012 with the long-anticipated launch of their debut album, Oceans Between, this Saturday. Be prepared to swagger, sway and stomp to tantalising tunes, old and new, in the mystical setting of one of Melbourne’s oldest hotspots for original music, the Empress Hotel. Also, sharing the stage with MP will be the awesome Elsewhere and Micro (Wilderbeast). Doors from 8.30pm.

Ambient music pioneer Robert Rich is touring Australia to support his new album, Medicine Box. Direct from opening the main stage at the Rainbow Serpent Festival, Rich will play at the Northcote Uniting Church on Saturday 11 February from 8pm. Rich’s performance will include live electronics with keyboards and computer, along with his signature hand-made flutes and steel guitar. Saturday afternoon (2pm) will also feature an exclusive artist talk and Q&A session with Rich as he demonstrates his tour rig and discusses his process and then opens the floor to questions. Support comes from Steve Law (Zen Paradox), Melbourne’s own electronic music legend. Tickets to the talk are $20+BF and $30+BF for the performance. Or grab a combo deal for $40+BF. Head to to grab your spot.


This Saturday at the Tote, you’ll get the best in sludgy, heavy, balls-out rock courtesy of Melbourne’s most riff-tastic bands. Catch Don Fernando at their triumphant return from an extensive European tour, flogging their recently released album Dia De Los Meurtos. Support comes from Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Dead, Broozer and Brooklyn Hookers. Entry’s cheap and the riffs are massive, so don’t miss out on the best in Melbourne’s heavy rock department. Please note that Karma To Burn (USA) will not be appearing at this show as previously advertised. Refunds are available from Oztix.


The band coalesced just a few years ago, from the ashes of a high school outfit called All The Brave Old Dead. Only one member is different between the two bands, but everyone plays different instruments now. The Fighting League specifically grew from some “guitar and singing shit” Death wrote, and they started out with a now-departed synth player, a failed stab at an EP and “a Big Black vibe, sort of”. In fact, following that disastrous EP attempt, the band didn’t plan to ever record again. Nothing had come out of it but fighting, claims Death.

“I think the most important thing is that we all have different ideas of music,” muses Death. “If it was just me, the band would sound like a straight street-punk, power-pop band.” But as things are, he’s able to happily outline the other members’ affection for jazz, rap, surf rock and minimalism, among other styles.




Just one of a handful of great bands signed to the fledgling label Dream Damage, The Fighting League are another strong bit of proof that Canberra has a music scene worth noticing. The self-described “tropical punk” five-piece emit songs that are crude and anthemic on one hand while leftfield and artful on the other. There’s something of both Television and Dead Kennedys in singer Dominic Death’s wobbly delivery, plus the odd Chuck Berry-style guitar solo elsewhere.


It’s time to shake that ass again! To celebrate the fact that Bootay is back at Workshop this Saturday, they’re throwin’ a whopper of a party. DJs on the night will be Mike Hunt and C:1 playing all your favourite ghetto tech, booty house, juke, crunk, hip hop, Miami bass and everything in between. Entry is free, so get down early ‘cause it’s going to be a big one. Doors open at 8pm.


This January the Brite Bang Mother Ship is flying across Australia with international guest Larry Bang Bang and Melbourne’s own Brite Fight steering their psychedelic pop-party around the galaxy. After burning up the NYE audience with their Falls Festival appearances in Lorne, these two eclectic electric-acoustic poetic talents will be bringing their enthusiastic and inspired indie party to the bohemian underground of Old Bar on Thursday.

Australia Day at the Union Hotel will feature Chris Wilson and his awesome blues harmonica, ripper guitar, and banter par excellence. Following that will be your perfect cross-generational, patriotic, funloving crew, The Band Who Knew Too Much, and some of their washboard/accordion-driven anthems.


Sound Of Melbourne Records are on the lookout for unsigned local talent and graphic artists so let them know about your favourite bands/artists for their 2012 sampler. Their 2011 sampler features 13 unsigned local acts and is available at all good independent record stores or via their website Sound Of Melbourne are a not-for-profit organisation working towards developing new and emerging talent.



After two years of constant shows, bleeding fingers and hoarse throats, Gold Coasters Death By Dance are set to greet audiences of the nether regions with their take on punk, grunge and permeated chaos at Pony this Thursday. With a live show that will have you screaming for more, Death By Dance fight against a scene that asks for unoriginality and contrived perfection. The Spinset, Scalar Fields and Virgins open the ruckus.


On Sunday Bar Open hosts a night of marvelous and rare performances. Three-piece twee posse Apple Time play their first headlining show of the new year. They’re ready to harmonise with each other, your soul and your calendar as they create a very relaxing soundtrack to your summer. YIS frontman Simon Fazio has very graciously accepted the invitation to come out of second-album hibernation for one night only; Al Matcott will be dusting American soil off his acoustic guitar as he returns to an Australian stage. Free entry, what a night, what a saving. Doors from 7.30pm.

All of which belies past accusations online that The Fighting League dumb down their brash punk songs. “I didn’t get really offended,” Death says. “I thought it was funny. Maybe people miss the seriousness of it, just because it is fun. I don’t take myself seriously, but I am quite serious, if you know what I mean.” There may be a song about X-ray glasses on the band’s debut album, Tropical Paradise, but the much-noted tune Pizza Man actually has almost nothing to do with its feel-good title. And by the same token, The Fighting League depart from slacker sing-alongs – which can come off like a poppier version of UV Race – on the melodytickled standout 19 and an actual lovelorn ballad in Sacrifice. Then again, Bad Attitude is as frayed around the edges as you’d expect from that title. “Familiarity is important in our songs,” argues Death. “We analyse everything and sit around and talk shit. I think that’s what heaps of our songs are about.”

Then their two managers hooked them up with Bruce Callaway, one-time guitarist with The Saints, as producer. They went in to do an EP and ended up doing half an album in a couple of hours. Those managers soon exited, but the band were able to finish the album with just a second day of recording. Befitting its name, Tropical Paradise is infused with the carefree spirit of the band’s hometown. “We’re from Canberra, which is fairly tropical,” says Death. “We just wanted to reflect that.” As for the Canberra scene on the whole? “It’s sick,” he enthuses. “But it’s not like Melbourne or Sydney, where you play in different places and there’s a scene you need to get on. If you’re a band in Canberra, you’re on the scene. You’ve done it.” House parties played a large role in the band’s early gigging, and they’ve been lackadaisical about touring much beyond Canberra and Sydney. They are launching the album in several other cities, though. And they’ve found a kindred spirit in Dream Damage, the tiny label that’s home to Cat Cat, Teddy Trouble, Jonny Telafone and other cult bands. Like so many things in Canberra, it wasn’t hard. “Tim [Guthrie] started Dream Damage and we said, ‘We are fucking on it!’” Death cackles. Even so, are any of the members ever tempted to move to a new setting? “We’ve talked about it,” Death answers. “It’s not boring [here]; it’s awesome. It’s just that it’s lazy. But in answer to your question, we would never leave Canberra.” WHO: The Fighting League WHAT: Tropical Paradise (Dream Damage) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 20 January, Yah Yah’s; Saturday 21 January, Gasometer

HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC NEWS BY JEFF JENKINS what a marketing phenomenon The Reptiles were,” he says. “People still know me from that 12 months of marketing that Mushroom did in 1990. I can get in a cab anywhere in the country and if the driver is under 50, he’ll know Nick Barker & The Reptiles. But he will have never heard of me apart from that. They’ll say, ‘What have you been doing? Where have you been?’”


SURE BEATS GOING FOR PIZZAS Nick Barker is getting into a taxi in Sydney, carrying a guitar. “So you’re a musician are you, mate,” says the driver. “Yeah,” smiles Nick. “Are you famous, what’s your name?” “Nick, Nick Barker.” “Never heard of you. Been in any bands?” “I had a band called The Reptiles, Nick Barker & The Reptiles.” “No way,” exclaims the driver, “I loved that band!” Nick laughs when he acknowledges that his name is still often followed by “and The Reptiles”. “You forget

Of course, Nick has released seven superb solo albums, the most recent being 2009’s Black Water Blues. But he’s comfortable with his Reptilian past. In fact, he’s put the band back together – Nick Barker & The Reptiles are playing on Friday at the Wheelers Hill Hotel. If truth be told, Nick is probably enjoying the re-formation more than the original version. “I was really stressed back then,” he confesses. “I felt I had to maintain a certain profile.” Nick had come out of “the inner-city angst kings”, Hugo Race’s The Wreckery. But Mushroom wanted to turn The Reptiles into the next Guns N’ Roses. Howzat! added to the hype when we saw the band do a support slot at Melbourne Park. “It showed,” we gushed in The Sun, “that the big stage is The Reptiles’ natural habitat.” Only problem was, Nick explains, “all we wanted to be was a bar band, like The Georgia Satellites or Jason & The Scorchers. And we were a real good bar band.” The Reptiles did about 500 shows in three years, releasing two albums, 1989’s Goin’ To Pieces and 1991’s After The Show. Despite their profile, they had just one Top 40 hit, their cover of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel’s Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me). “We were playing the game,” Nick admits.

“Back then, commercial radio was really big on classic rock, so doing a cover gave them something to play, and they could also say they were supporting a young local band – it ticked the boxes.” Nick had a love/hate relationship with Make Me Smile, but recently made his peace with the song, playing it on RocKwiz. “I realised it was not the song’s fault,” he laughs, adding that he’s looking forward to playing it again with The Reptiles.

Kick, Icehouse’s Man Of Colours and The Black Sorrows’ Dear Children. And Nikki Webster turns 25 on 30 April. It’s 20 years since Frente’s debut album and the first Big Day Out. And it’s a decade since Midnight Oil’s final studio album, The Vines appeared on the cover of US Rolling Stone, Delta released Born To Try, and Motor Ace shot to number one with Shoot This.

Nick is happy that The Reptiles’ resurrection is happening at the Wheelers Hill Hotel. It’s near where he grew up, and the band “used to kill it out in the suburbs”. All The Reptiles are still playing music, so “we’re definitely all better players than what we used to be”. Some festival gigs, including Apollo Bay, are planned, plus maybe a live album. And Nick is also thinking about writing a book “about all the dumb things we did”. That said, Nick is proud of what The Reptiles gave him – a career. “I’ve been able to support myself through music,” he says. “Some years have been pretty lean, but I’ve never had a job. I’m grateful for that.”

Three Aussie singles in the top ten.


We all know that Kylie is celebrating her 25th anniversary, but 2012 brings some other big anniversaries: The Sunbury festival started 40 years ago this month. It’s also 40 years since Split Enz and Dragon formed in NZ. And 1972 saw the first US number one by an Australian-born artist – Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman. Angie Hart is 40 on 8 March, and Darren Hayes will be 40 on 8 May. It’s 30 years since three iconic Aussie songs – Goanna’s Solid Rock, Moving Pictures’ What About Me?, and Icehouse’s Great Southern Land. And it’s 30 years since Hunters & Collectors’ self-titled debut, Chisel’s Circus Animals and Midnight Oil’s landmark 10 To 1. Men At Work topped the US charts in 1982, while Le Hoodoo Gurus released their debut single, Leilani. It’s 25 years since the final Countdown, INXS’


Set It Off TIMOMATIC (number four) Don’t Worry Be Happy GUY SEBASTIAN (seven) Good Night REECE MASTIN (ten) Somebody That I Used To Know GOTYE (16) I Love It HILLTOP HOODS & SIA (21) Galaxy JESSICA MAUBOY & STAN WALKER (27) Boys Like You 360 & GOSSLING (35) 360 leaps from 22 to 11. Reece Mastin REECE MASTIN (number three) Making Mirrors GOTYE (ten) Falling & Flying 360 (11) Moonfire BOY & BEAR (17) Vows KIMBRA (19) All For You COLD CHISEL (20) Red Dog SOUNDTRACK (37)




CLUB GUIDE WED 18 Coq Roq: Lucky Coq

Conga-Lipz-Oh: Ms Butt, Lewis CanCut: The Workshop

Rhythm-al-ism: Fusion Safari Thursdays: Pretty Please

Facon Sandwich: The Workshop

Do Drop In: Kiti, Lady Noir: Carlton Club

Loaded Wednesdays: Revolver Upstairs

Dubstep: Eurotrash

Shake Some Action: Street Party, Samaritan, Polyavalanche: OneSixOne

Lost and Found: Spidey, Gupstar & Dan, Shaky Memorial: Revolver Upstairs

Expressions: Lotus

Soul in the Basement: Cherry Bar

First Stop Thursdays: Urban Bar

Lounge Wednesdays: Matty Raovich, PCP, Adelle: Lounge

Freakout: Laundry

Switch Future Music Warm-Up: EVE

NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe The Birthday Party: Cheapdate: New Guernica Wednesdays @ Co: Petar Tolich, Scotty E: Co. Nightclub

THURS 19 3181 Thursdays: Hans DC, Nikki Sarafian. Jake Judd, Sam Gudge, John Doe, Sean Rault: Revolver Upstairs Bimbo Thursdays: Bimbo Deluxe Bottom End Thursday Night: Andras Fox, Jules Inkswel, Deejays Of Reknown: Bottom End


Free Range Funk: Lucky Coq Funhouse: Finlo White, Kitty Kat: Co. Nightclub Hangtime: Ding Dong Lounge Lounge Thursdays:, JD, Danny Silver: Lounge Love Story: 1928: The Toff Midnight Express: The Toff Carriage Room Mood: DJ NuBody: Loop New Guernica Thursdays: Post Percy, Awesome Wales: New Guernica Night Skool: Eurotrash

The Factory: G-Monney & Sammy Prosser: Trak Tight: The Workshop Trinity Thursdays: La Di Da Unlucky: Seven Nightclub

FRI 20 393 Fridays: First Floor 393 Amber Fridays: Amber Lounge Any Time: 4 Pint, Rothchild: The Workshop Bottom End Friday: Prequel, Andee Frost, Marco Polo: Bottom End Crabfight: DJ Ego, Mr Nice: Loop

Fabolous Funk: Lance Ferguson, Jumps, Garry Seven, Dappajam, Soul City Sound System: Laundry

PopRocks: Dr Phil Smith: Toff

Houseparty: Eurotrash

Strut Saturdays: Trak

Revolver Fridays: Revolver Upstairs

Hot Step: Bimbo Deluxe

House De Frost: The Toff

Fake Tits: Tramp

Sounds of Fusion: Phil Ross, Dean T, Chris Mac, DJ Jay-J, Johnny M: Fusion

Lounge Saturdays: Nick Coleman, Darren Coburn, Luke McD, Jason DíCosta, Muska & Volta: Lounge

Under Suspicion: Brown Alley

Fridays at Eurotrash: Eurotrash Grouse Party: DJ Mafia, MZ Rizk, Ann Ominous, Melodee Maker: Roxanne Parlour Heavyweight Soundz:Andy C, Fierce, Camo & Krooked: Prince Bandroom Indecent Fridays: Syn Bar

WOW Fridays: Neverland

SAT 21 All City Bass: Brown Alley Alumbra Saturdays: Alumbra

Juicy: Bimbo Deluxe

Audioporn: Dr. Zok, James Ware, China Hoops, Rowie: OneSixOne

Lounge Friday: Smile On Impact,, Tahl, Snowie: Lounge

Baywatch Birthday: EVE Bootay: Mike Hunt, C:1: The Workshop

Midnight Midnight: New Guernica Mu-Gen, Token: Eurotrash Noisia: Brown Alley Outrageous Fridays: Wah Wah Panorama: Lucky Coq Paparazzi Fridays: Luke Mitchell: Co. Nightclub

Bottom End Saturday Night: Jake Judd, Nikki Sarafian, Otologic, Spacey Space: Bottom End Easy Word Bar Envy Saturdays: Co. Nightclub

Majik Saturdays: Papa Smurf, DJ Kat, Trent McDermott, Steve Strangis, Charlie Z, Jewelz, Heath Renata, Van G, Nick Mascara: Room680 Mashouse Saturdays: 577 Lt Collins Motley: Laundry New Guernia Saturdays: Weekend Express, Cheapdate, Chestwig Mu-gen, Lopan, Thomas Touche: New Guernica Planet Of The Breaks: Laundry Playground: Seven Nightclub Prognosis: Loop

Forbidden Saturdays: Amber Lounge

Replay Saturdays: Timmy Trumpet, Tate Strauss, Matty G, DJ Nova, Johnny M: Fusion

Freakzone: The Workshop

Saturdays at First Floor: First Floor 393

Why Not? Pretty Please

SUN 22 Guilty Pleasure Sundays: Pretty Please La Fiesta: Manchild, Ennio Styles, Chris Gill, Jumps: The Workshop Revolver Sundays: Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, Radiator, Silversix,: Revolver Upstairs South Side Hustle: Askew, Booshank, Paz, Miss Butt, Junji, Disco Harry: Lucky Coq Spit Roast Sundays: Cushion Star Bar Sundays: Star Bar Revolver Sundays: Revolver Upstairs The Sunday Set: AndyBlack, Haggis: The Toff

Tigerfunk, Freya, Steve Stevens: Bimbo Deluxe Tribe: Brown Alley

MON 23 IBimbo: Bimbo Deluxe Kool Aid Mondays: Laundry Monday Struggle: Lucky Coq

TUES 24 Bimbo Tuesday: Bimbo Deluxe Cosmic Pizza: Lucky Coq Choose Tuesdays: Post Percy: New Guernica Dumplings: Eurotrash Mos’e & The FMLY, Saraj De Haan &The Lost Boys, Bids: Toff MSG Tuesdays: Laundry Myplace: Room680 Oasis: Tramp


WED 18 A Midsummer Nights Dean Loop Adam Rudegair Jazz Duo Paris Cat Jazz Club Alex Aronsten Duo Retreat Hotel Andrea Keller Quartet Bennetts Lane Archer Open Studio

Wine, Whiskey, Women, Gen Finnane & Flora Smith, Channelle Davis The Drunken Poet

THU 19 A Midsummer Nights Dean Loop Alpine, Geoffrey O’Connor, Playwrite Corner Hotel

Ben P Salter The Tote

Backtrack, Iron Mind, Crowned King Next

Bohjass, Tierra, Edel Plastik 303

Bellastrades, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans, Limb Yah Yah’s

Charles Jenkins, The New & The Old Empress Hotel

Ben Mason Band, Francis Plagne, Adrian Stoyles, 1928, Summer DJs, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti,

Circus Horrificus, I Am Duckeye, White Knuckle Fever Revolver Upstairs

Supremes The Toff In Town

Compression Session E55

Bluejuice, The Aston Shuffle Whalers Inn, Warrnambool

Cotton Sidewalk, Language of the Birds, JK Ruff Esplanade Lounge

Brunswick Blues Shooters Railway Hotel

Dizzy’s Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club DJ’s Karova Lounge Francolin, Yuko Nishiyama, Tom Milek Grace Darling Hotel Grieve Pde, Because Goodbye (Parkling Lot Experiments) Workers Club Guttermouth, 28 Days, Mervin Gribbs, The Half Pints National Hotel

Citrus Jam, Steak Knives & The Set Great Britain Hotel Clayton Doleys Organ Donors 303 Conductors, James Kane & Friends, Negative Magick, Nu Balance, Post Percy New Guernica Dakara Dirt, Heartless Vendetta Esplanade Gershwin Room Dan Waters Labour In Vain

Harry Hookey Veludo

Dark Arts Karova Lounge

Julianna Barwick, Wintercoats, Superstar The Toff In Town

Daydream Arcade, ESC, The Darjeelings, The Mcqueens Noise Bar

Open Mic Dancing Dog Café Open Mic Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar Open Mic Thornbury Local Petar Tolich, Scotty E Co., Crown Pop Singles, Lower Plenty, Full Ugly Bar Open Rich Davies & The Devils Union, Cherrywood, Poison Oak The Old Bar Sean McMahon & Warwardbreed The Standard Hotel Simon Imrei, Maddison Wilson, Louie & the Pride, Bodies of Wonderland Wesley Anne Skinny Leather Ties Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie Brunswick Hotel Vengaboys, The Herbs, Algorithm Corner Hotel Vice Grip Pussies, DJ Jack Davies Cherry Bar Whitest Boy Alive, Mitzi, Cadillac Forum Theatre


Dizz1, Diger Rokwell, Mannheim Rocket, Able8, DJ Shikung Bar Open Elephant Eyes, Sex Face, Alie Picken John Curtin Hotel Emma Gilmartin, Mark Lockett Quartet Dizzy’s Jazz Club Empire, July Days, Fink Empress Hotel Freakout Collective, Manchild Laundry Bar Guttermouth, 28 Days, And Burn, Take Your Own The Westernport Hotel, San Remo Howlin’ Steam Train, King of the North, Skyscraper Retreat Hotel Jesse & his Hucklebuckers Lomond Hotel John Patrick & the Keepers Rainbow Hotel Judy Carmichael (USA), Bopstretch Bennetts Lane Kaks & the Kicks Edinburgh Castle Hotel Kashmere Club, Golden Years, The Skampz 161

Kill City Creeps, The Bonniwells, Plast Her Ov Paris Esplanade Lounge Larry Bang Bang Bang, Brite Fight (Flying Scribble), BJ Morriszonkle The Old Bar Leah Cotterell, Pearly Black Paris Cat Jazz Club Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Billboard Ms Butt, Lewis Can Cut Workshop

Ben Salter, Adrian Stoyles, Ola Karlsson The Gem Beth Orton Athenaeum Theatre Bluejuice, The Aston Shuffle Torquay Hotel Brooke Taylor, Anita Chorowics, Lizzie Sims Cornish Arms Hotel Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Elsworth St Ramblers Karova Lounge

Kill em All, Iron Madness Rubys Lounge Kill em All, Iron Madness Ruby’s Lounge Le Belle, Jen Knight & the Cavaliers, Pretty Villian The Prague Loonee Tunes, The Madness Method, DJ Snowy, Lucy Arundel Cherry Bar Mike Callander, Lewie Day, Tom Lally Revolver Upstairs

Chronik, Knight at the Discotheque, Adapt and Hobbit Veludo

New Dub City Sound, Moneykat, Saki, DJ Apex Empress Hotel

Open Mic Plough Hotel

Craig Lee Smith, Teknia, Mark Gardener, Sarah Eida Edinburgh Castle Hotel

Nikkos, Joe Sofo, Kitty Kat Co. Nightclub

Passenger, Tim Hart, Stu Larsen Beav’s Bar, Geelong

Daniel Champagne, Howlin’ Steam Train Caravan Music Club

Paul Madigan, Peter Ingliss

Deep Street Soul Bar Open

Murderscene Pres: $3 Schooners & $5 Basic Spirits Brunswick Hotel

Peter Ingliss, Peter Starkie The Drunken Poet Rainbow Chan, Sui Zhen, Carry Nation Grace Darling Hotel Road Ratz, Sly Grog, The Bombardiers, Street Fangs The Tote Rob Sawyer Baha Tacos Sam Amidon, Otouto Northcote Social Club Saskwatch, Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni Cherry Bar Saving Cleopatra, Blunt Paper Massive Veludo Stonefield, Tessa & The Typecast Federation Square Straw King Eye, ESC, Adam Christou Workers Club The Boys Wesley Anne The Laughing Leaves, Flying Colours, The Fire Alive, DJ T Rich Revolver Upstairs the spinset, Death By Dance, Scalar Fields, Virgins Pony Wilks & Heath, Mrs Brown, Duncan Graham Evelyn Hotel Wolfy and the Batcubs, The Spazzys, The Sherrifs The LuWow

FRI 20 Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces, Selena Cross, Callee, Alex Hallahan Wesley Anne

Duchesz, Ooh Ee, Paz First Floor Electric Mary, My Dynamite, City Walls Autumn Falls Laundry Bar Fashion Keyboard DJs, Tomderson, Buster Stickup, Smoking Toddlers, Playpen DJs Esco Bar Ferry Tails, The Once Overs, Xander Retreat Hotel Flying Engine Railway Hotel Forever Young St Andrews Hotel Freestate, Speak Digital Water, Riot in Toytown, We The Innocent, Liquid X Esplanade Gershwin Room Go Go Sapien Penny Black Grouse Party, DJ Mafia, MZ Rizk, Ann Ominous, Melodee Maker Roxanne Parlour Guttermouth, The Go Set, Take Your Own Corner Hotel Heavyweight Soundz, Andy C, MC GQ, Camo, Krooked Prince Bandroom High Fangs, Horror My Friend, DJ Bird of Steele The Old Bar Human, Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, Smoke Signals, Cushion Time, The Harlots, White Rabbit Pony In A Memory, Divisions, Term Four, Outlines, Half Mast, Seaweed Brunswick Hotel Jarek, Fourteen Nights At Sea, Seth Rees Northcote Social Club

Andy Grant Baha Tacos

Joe Seven, Sean Deans Workshop

Australian Rihanna & Lady Gaga Tribute Show Frankston Arts Centre

Josh Pyke The Westernport Hotel, San Remo

Backtrack, Iron Mind, Ill Vision, Bear Witness, Thorns Phoenix Youth Centre

Josh Pyke Westernport Hotel

Backwood Creatures Rainbow Hotel

Joshua Kyle Quintet, Trio Agogo CD Launch Paris Cat Jazz Club Judy Carmichael (USA) Bennetts Lane

NTI, Lady J Abode Oliver Tank EP Launch, Wintercoats, Kikuyu Workers Club Passenger, Tim Hart, Stu Larsen The Loft Passenger, Tim Hart, Stu Larsen The Loft, Warrnambool

We The People, Bravo Juliet, Someone Else’s Wedding Band Gertrude’s Brown Couch Woollen Kits, Dead Farmers, UV Race, Loose Grip John Curtin Hotel

SAT 21

Jazz Jam - Tribute to Dave Brubeck Dizzy’s Jazz Club Josh Pyke Torquay Hotel Judge Pino & the Ruling Motions Bar Open Julie O’Hara Sextet Bennetts Lane

A Midsummer Nights Dean Loop

Kez YM, Inkswel, Julien Love Workers Club

Amber Lamps, Cat Or Pillar, Bear The Mammoth, Gerard, Plan the Escape Ruby’s Lounge

Kids Of Zoo, DJ Shaky Memorial, Russian Roulette Retreat Hotel

Andy Grant Baha Tacos Ash Grunwald Ferntree Gully Hotel Australian Rihanna & Lady Gaga Tribute Show Barwon Heads Hotel Billy Hoyle, Duchesz, MZ Rizk, Wasabi First Floor Black Pig, Big Seal and the Slipper Few, Monty & The Dead Horses Gertrude’s Brown Couch

Latin Effect Spanish Club Lauren Lucille Duo, Sonja Horbelt, Nina Ferro Paris Cat Jazz Club Lily and King Penny Black Lost Animal, Circle Pit, Teenage Mothers, A Gender, DJ Dirtbag, Phil Para Esplanade Lounge Lydia, Calvacade Evelyn Hotel

Brother Johnstone, Falloe Rainbow Hotel

Mani & the Rissoles, The Basement People, Twin Ages, War in Arcadia Noise Bar

Cave of the Swallows, Bugdust, Death Valley Mustangs, Billy Walsh Cherry Bar

Marshall’s Commonwealth, Liberty Parade, Ryan Sterling The Vic

Prayer Babies Lomond Hotel

Citizen, Tzolkin, Black Nail Papercut, The Fog Esplanade Basement

Proximity Butterfly, Kingston Downes Barwon Club

Clampdown Rochester Castle Hotel

McAlpine Fusiliers, Beef, Red Leader, Emmanual Ciccolini’s Tex-Mex Takeout, Darcy and Alyce Gumleys, Hot Jam Donuts Brunswick Hotel

Pop Singles, The Fighting League, Old Mate, Fanta Pants Yah Yah’s Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith The Toff In Town

Rory Clark Quartet, Cynthia Neville, Roger Clark Quartet Dizzy’s Jazz Club

Clip Clop Club George Basement Cosmic Tonic Veludo

Sans Gras, Them 9’s, Hayden Calnin Grace Darling Hotel

Dotcoms, Claws & Organs, The Medicators Cornish Arms Hotel

Sarah Carroll, Sarah & Chris Wilson Harvester Moon Café

Eleanor Friedberger, The Fabergettes, Cool Drinks Northcote Social Club

Sforzando Red Bennies

Elektrik Dynamite, Elm Street, Inebriator Bang

Soul Infusion featuring Carmen Hendricks Rahk Melbourne Storming Vegas Esplanade Basement Sydonia, New Skinn, Sleeper, Sons of Abraham, Rusty Esplanade Lounge The D.Y.E, Primary Source, Nothin Suss, Owais, Faz 303 The Damned, Dr El Suavo, Kill City Creeps Billboard The Fox Party, Clock Towers The Vic The Jacks, Damn The Torpedoes, The Kremlins The Tote The Jane Austin Argument, A Lonely Crowd, Karen Heath East Brunswick Club Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet Troy Barrett, Johnny Livewire Edinburgh Castle, early show

Extreme Misanthropy Crew, Dude Mountain, Slow, Grim Rhythm, DJ Kezbot The Old Bar

Iain Archibald Band, Pull My Finger, Unhinged Musicland (Fawkner) Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B Billboard Jason Lowe, Andre Camilleri & the Northernaries, Lonesome, Black Swans Of Trespass Wesley

Stewart Kohinga, The Magic Bones, Leticia Maher The Chandelier Room Sun God Replica, Bat Piss, Don Fernando, Dead, Broozer, The Brooklyn Hookers The Tote TBC Edinburgh Castle Hotel The Chad Mason Band Labour In Vain The Go Set Sweet Valley Sounds Festival, Mt Beauty The House deFROST, Andee Frost The Toff In Town The Party Animals The Hi-Fi The Scholars, The Dufranes Great Britain Hotel The Shivering Timbers Union Hotel Brunswick Washington, Big Scary Melbourne Zoo Weekender, The Blue Bottles, Applejack Yah Yah’s

Yolanda Be Cool, The Aston Shuffle, Ajax, Holly J, Club Junque, Biggie Peppermill Inn Hotel Motel

Monkeys Pirate, Elsewhere, Micro (Wilderbeast), Ghost Towns of the Midwest, John Patrick & the Keepers, Two Jacks & a Jill Empress Hotel Monsters of Rock, The Turnarounds, Hunting Grounds, Pat McCabe Karova Lounge

Pandorum, Zenith ASP, Heavenly Skies John Curtin Hotel

Hydrosis The Palais, Hepburn Springs

Spencer P Jones The Drunken Poet

Mike Hunt, C:1 Workshop

Frankenbok, Truth Corroded, The Fabergettes, Cool Drinks The Prague

Hugo Race Pure Pop Courtyard

Secret Room, Jon Montes, Syme Tollens Abode

Yolanda, Music for Lovers Lomond Hotel

Natasha Rose Edinburgh Castle, early show

Hey Charger, DJ Bodz Bended Elbow, Geelong

Sarah Carroll, Sarah & Chris Wilson, Dave Steel, Tiffany Eckhardt Porticos on Sturt

Michael Yule, Geoff Achison St Andrews Hotel

Finlo White, Joe Sofo, Marcus Knight Co., Crown

Funk Buddies, Lowdown Street Orchestra 303

Rosie Burgess, Emma Wall, Kerryn Fields, Sam Lohs, Ruth Kateleros, Monique Kenny East Brunswick Club

Passenger, Tim Hart, Stu Larsen Baby Black Café Paulie Bignell & the Thornbury Two, Chris Finnen & the Melbourne Blues Club Wilson Botanic Park Peggy Seeger, Just Small Caravan Music Club Proximity Butterfly, Kingston Downes Esplanade Gershwin Room Raw Comedy, The Kill Devil Hills, The Floors, Kim Salmon Corner Hotel Rayon Moon, The Magic Bones, Bidet Mate, Cassini, Keggin, Mr Sharp Pony

SUN 22 Andyblack, Haggis The Toff In Town Anyo, Vedran, Jake Judd, Jacob Malmo Pretty Please Apple Time, Simon Fazio, Al Mattcott Bar Open Bell St Delays, Stax on Soul review Retreat Hotel Ben Salter, Loren, Murray Kyle Wesley Anne Broderick Smith, Matt Walker Caravan Music Club Carino Son, Ken Mayer & Tony Hargraves Lomond Hotel Casey Donovan, Julien Wilson Quartet Bennetts Lane Cherry Blues, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk, Max Crawdaddy, Kitty K Cherry Bar Clinkerfield, The Palenecks, Skyscraper Stan, Isaiah B Brunt The Old Bar Clip Clop Club Transport Hotel (Fed Sq)







8:30PM $8




8:30PM $10



8:30PM $8




8PM $7








140 Sydney Rd


9387 6637



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INPRESS â&#x20AC;¢ 57

Davy Simony, Brendan & Ash Bar Nancy Dean & Curruthers Mentone Hotel James Morrison Quintet, Paul Williamson Hammond Combo Melbourne Zoo Jemma & the Wise Young Ambitious Men, Heel Toe Express, Slowjaxx & his Flying Bong Brothers, Fantastic Exposure, Centre & The South, Zoe Ryan The Tote Jody Galvin & The Tenderhearts The Vic Joel Plymin & Them Blues Cats Great Britain Hotel John-Luke Shelley, High Speed Steel Cornish Arms Hotel Johnny Rock & The Limits, The Good China, Plague Doctor, Billy McCabe Workers Club Josh Pyke Club 59, Whaler’s Inn, Warrnambool Josh Pyke Whalers Inn, Warrnambool Lloyd Spiegel, Richy McKay The Drunken Poet Longyard, The Hold Me Downs, Busy Kingdom The Prague Luau Cowboys Hickinbotham Winery Manchild, Ennio Styles, Chris Gill, Jumps Workshop Music Trivia Empress Hotel Open Mic Rose Hotel Paadmoose & the River Machine, Samm Beulke Noise Bar Passenger The Palais, Hepburn Springs Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Esplanade Lounge Paulie Bignell & the Thornbury Two GH Hotel Peter Joseph Head, Totally Mild Edinburgh Castle Hotel Proximity Butterfly Yah Yah’s Richard Smith, Darryn Farrugia, Craig Newman, Phil Turcio Dizzy’s Jazz Club Ron S Peno & the Superstitions Labour In Vain

The Mick Pealing Band St Andrews Hotel



The Rectifiers The Standard Hotel

Thursday Rob Sawyer

Tom Francis, Shane Walters The Chandelier Room

Friday Andy Grant

Wednesday Vengaboys, The Herbs, Algorithm

Vengaboys, Cocco Dee, Silverset Music Corner Hotel Warren Earl & The Atomic Rockers The Gem

MON 23 Eastlink, Jack Mannix, Mad Nanna Northcote Social Club Howlin’ Steam Train Esplanade Lounge Mariachi Mondays Retreat Hotel Mesa Cosa, Udays Tiger, LA Pocock Workers Club Pugsley Buzzard, Ben Wright Smith The Old Bar Secretive George, Project Puzzle, ESC, Howard, These Patterns Evelyn Hotel Sex On Toast The Toff In Town Teknia, Mark Gardener, Blue Turtle Shell Empress Hotel

TUE 24 Das Musik Mann Labour In Vain Grizzley Jim Lawrie Retreat Hotel

BANG Saturday Elektrik Dynamite, Elm Street, Inebriator

Thursday Dizz1, Diger Rokwell, Mannheim Rocket, Able8, DJ Shikung


Thursday Kill City Creeps, The Bonniwells, Plast Her Ov Paris

Friday Deep Street Soul Saturday Judge Pino & the Ruling Motions Sunday Apple Time, Simon Fazio, Al Mattcott


The Weathermen, Rowan Blackmore Empress Hotel

Switchblades, Bombardiers, Monty & The Dead Horses, T.K Bollinger, That Sinking Feeling Brunswick Hotel

Thee Oh Sees, Total Control, Peak Twins Corner Hotel Weekly Trivia The Drunken Poet

Friday The Jane Austin Argument, A Lonely Crowd, Karen Heath Saturday Rosie Burgess, Emma Wall, Kerryn Fields, Sam Lohs, Ruth Kateleros, Monique Kenny

Saturday Hey Charger, DJ Bodz



Wednesday Skinny Leather Ties

Thursday Matty Grant, Matt Dean, Phil Ross Friday The Damned, Dr El Suavo, Kill City Creeps

Thursday Murderscene Pres: $3 Schooners & $5 Basic Spirits

Sarah Carroll, Dan Warner, Marcel Borrack Rainbow Hotel

Tuesday QANTM Art Exhibition

Tuesday Thee Oh Sees, Total Control, Peak Twins

Mos’e & the FMLY The Toff In Town

The Brunswick Discovery, Moonshifter Brunswick Hotel

Friday Freestate, Speak Digital Water, Riot in Toytown, We The Innocent, Liquid X

Wednesday Cotton Sidewalk, Language of the Birds, JK Ruff

Wednesday The Brunswick Open Mic with host Brodie

Southern Stars Big Band Dizzy’s Jazz Club

Saturday A Midsummer Nights Dean

Sunday Vengaboys, Cocco Dee, Silverset Music

Max Impact, Jules Sheldon, A Roara The Old Bar

QANTM Art Exhibition Loop

Thursday Dakara Dirt, Heartless Vendetta

Wednesday Pop Singles, Lower Plenty, Full Ugly


Open Mic Wesley Anne

Friday Guttermouth, The Go Set, Take Your Own

Thursday A Midsummer Nights Dean


Leek, Jordan Clarey, Pailing Black Revolver Upstairs

Nicolette Forte, Simon Astley, Ali Barter, Steel Birds, Daniel Peterson Esplanade Front Bar

Thursday Alpine, Geoffrey O’Connor, Playwrite


Saturday Raw Comedy, The Kill Devil Hills, The Floors, Kim Salmon

Indigie Femme 303

Sam Mcauliffe Jazz 4, Merci Trio, Kattimoni Veludo


Saturday Andy Grant

Saturday Jamie Vlahos, Frazer Adnam, Scott McMahon, Mr Magoo, Ziggy, Wes B

Hiatus Kaiyote Evelyn Hotel

The Cult of Marcus Aurelius, Miyazaki, Josh Parish Gertrude’s Brown Couch

The Blackeyed Susans Union Hotel Brunswick


The Clunk Orchestra, Opa 303

Friday In A Memory, Divisions, Term Four, Outlines, Half Mast, Seaweed Saturday McAlpine Fusiliers, Beef, Red Leader, Emmanual Ciccolini’s Tex-Mex Takeout, Darcy and Alyce Gumleys, Hot Jam Donuts

Saturday Proximity Butterfly, Kingston Downes


Friday Sydonia, New Skinn, Sleeper, Sons of Abraham, Rusty Saturday Lost Animal, Circle Pit, Teenage Mothers, A Gender, DJ Dirtbag, Phil Para Sunday Past to Present, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada

Thursday Kaks & the Kicks

Monday Howlin’ Steam Train

Friday Craig Lee Smith, Teknia, Mark Gardener, Sarah Eida


Saturday TBC Sunday Peter Joseph Head, Totally Mild

EMPRESS HOTEL Wednesday Charles Jenkins, The New & The Old Thursday Empire, July Days, Fink Friday New Dub City Sound, Moneykat, Saki, DJ Apex Saturday Monkeys Pirate, Elsewhere, Micro (Wilderbeast), Ghost Towns of the Midwest, John Patrick & the Keepers, Two Jacks & a Jill Sunday Music Trivia Monday Teknia, Mark Gardener, Blue Turtle Shell

Thursday Wilks & Heath, Mrs Brown, Duncan Graham Saturday Lydia, Calvacade Monday Secretive George, Project Puzzle, ESC, Howard, These Patterns Tuesday Hiatus Kaiyote

GH HOTEL Sunday Paulie Bignell & the Thornbury Two

GRACE DARLING HOTEL Wednesday Francolin, Yuko Nishiyama, Tom Milek Thursday Rainbow Chan, Sui Zhen, Carry Nation Friday Sans Gras, Them 9’s, Hayden Calnin


Sunday Switchblades, Bombardiers, Monty & The Dead Horses, T.K Bollinger, That Sinking Feeling

Tuesday The Weathermen, Rowan Blackmore

Monday Open Mic

Friday Storming Vegas

Friday Woollen Kits, Dead Farmers, UV Race, Loose Grip

Tuesday The Brunswick Discovery, Moonshifter

Saturday Citizen, Tzolkin, Black Nail Papercut, The Fog

Saturday Pandorum, Zenith ASP, Heavenly Skies


Thursday Elephant Eyes, Sex Face, Alie Picken

LOOP Wednesday A Midsummer Nights Dean

NEXT Thursday Backtrack, Iron Mind, Crowned King

NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Thursday Sam Amidon, Otouto Friday Jarek, Fourteen Nights At Sea, Seth Rees Saturday Eleanor Friedberger, The Fabergettes, Cool Drinks Monday Eastlink, Jack Mannix, Mad Nanna

PONY Thursday the spinset, Death By Dance, Scalar Fields, Virgins Friday Human, Alkan Zeybek & the Lessermen, Smoke Signals, Cushion Time, The Harlots, White Rabbit Saturday Rayon Moon, The Magic Bones, Bidet Mate, Cassini, Keggin, Mr Sharp

PRINCE BANDROOM Friday Heavyweight Soundz, Andy C, MC GQ, Camo, Krooked

THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday Wine, Whiskey, Women, Gen Finnane & Flora Smith, Channelle Davis Thursday Paul Madigan, Peter Ingliss Peter Ingliss, Peter Starkie Friday Traditional Irish Music Session, Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Spencer P Jones Sunday Lloyd Spiegel, Richy McKay Tuesday Weekly Trivia

THE HI-FI Saturday The Party Animals

THE OLD BAR Wednesday Rich Davies & The Devils Union, Cherrywood, Poison Oak

Thursday Larry Bang Bang Bang, Brite Fight (Flying Scribble), BJ Morriszonkle Friday High Fangs, Horror My Friend, DJ Bird of Steele Saturday Extreme Misanthropy Crew, Dude Mountain, Slow, Grim Rhythm, DJ Kezbot Sunday Clinkerfield, The Palenecks, Skyscraper Stan, Isaiah B Brunt Monday Pugsley Buzzard, Ben Wright Smith Tuesday Max Impact, Jules Sheldon, A Roara

THE STANDARD HOTEL Wednesday Sean McMahon & Warwardbreed Sunday The Rectifiers

THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday Julianna Barwick, Wintercoats, Superstar Thursday Ben Mason Band, Francis Plagne, Adrian Stoyles, 1928, Summer DJs, Tranter, Sleeves, Megawuoti, Supremes Friday Poprocks at the Toff, Dr Phil Smith Saturday The House deFROST, Andee Frost Sunday Andyblack, Haggis Monday Sex On Toast Tuesday Mos’e & the FMLY

THE TOTE Wednesday Ben P Salter Thursday Road Ratz, Sly Grog, The Bombardiers, Street Fangs Friday The Jacks, Damn The Torpedoes, The Kremlins Saturday Sun God Replica, Bat Piss, Don Fernando, Dead, Broozer, The Brooklyn Hookers Sunday Jemma & the Wise Young Ambitious Men, Heel Toe Express, Slowjaxx & his Flying Bong Brothers, Fantastic Exposure, Centre & The South, Zoe Ryan

UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK Saturday The Shivering Timbers Sunday The Blackeyed Susans

WESLEY ANNE Wednesday Simon Imrei, Maddison Wilson, Louie & the Pride, Bodies of Wonderland Thursday The Boys Friday Alexis Nicole and the Missing Pieces, Selena Cross, Callee, Alex Hallahan Saturday Jason Lowe, Andre Camilleri & the Northernaries, Lonesome, Black Swans Of Trespass Sunday Ben Salter, Loren, Murray Kyle Tuesday Open Mic

WORKERS CLUB Wednesday Grieve Pde, Because Goodbye (Parkling Lot Experiments) Thursday Straw King Eye, ESC, Adam Christou Friday Oliver Tank EP Launch, Wintercoats, Kikuyu Saturday Kez YM, Inkswel, Julien Love Sunday Johnny Rock & The Limits, The Good China, Plague Doctor, Billy McCabe Monday Mesa Cosa, Udays Tiger, LA Pocock

YAH YAH’S Thursday Bellastrades, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans, Limb Friday Pop Singles, The Fighting League, Old Mate, Fanta Pants Saturday Weekender, The Blue Bottles, Applejack Sunday Proximity Butterfly

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INPRESS â&#x20AC;¢ 59

Behind the lines SONIC SHIFT




Just a quick reminder that Los Angeles-based contemporary and smooth jazz guitarist Richard Smith is presenting a hands-on guitar clinic from 9.30am to 3.30pm this Sunday 22 January at Dizzy’s Jazz Club in Richmond, as part of the ongoing Guitar Player Studios series of clinics. For details and bookings, check into the Guitar Clinics website or call Dizzy’s on 9428 1233.

COLLARTS OPEN DAY The Australian College Of The Arts (Collarts), 5 Brady Street, South Melbourne is, this year for the first time, offering three new degree courses for students interested in getting involved with the music industry. They are BAs in Music Contemporary Music Performance, Audio Production and Music Business. Collarts Dean Dr Raffaele Marcellino explains that these courses “combine foundation, professional and elective subjects, and can be completed in a minimum of two years (six semesters).” Designed to develop the musical, technical and creative skills of students, new appointments to the faculty Gene Shill and Paul Doombusch will be program leaders for Music Performance and Audio Production respectively. Collarts is running an open day 10am-3pm this Saturday 21 January where prospective students will get the chance to learn more about the courses and meet the lecturers who will be presenting them. For further information or to book a place for any of the courses, check the Collarts website or call 9281 8888.

NEIL GIVES VINYL THUMBS UP The unflappable Neil Finn, owner of Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand, recently told UK magazine Mojo that, despite enjoying his iPod shuffle, as far as he’s concerned, “There’s no question, LPs are the far superior format. They sound better and are a more enjoyable listening experience.” As for the CD format, he’s scathing: “Whoever thought of the CD jewel box as a packing device I personally blame for music losing its value for the consumer. You can’t hold it and think, ‘This is a valuable thing’.”

TENTH ANNIVERSARY JP MUSIC MAN Commemorating ten years of collaboration with Dream Theater guitar player John Petrucci, Music Man is releasing two new signature models, the JPX 6 and JPX 7. The new body shape has a slightly thinner upper horn and more symmetric bridge-end profile, and the body, made of alder with maple top and mahogany tone block, is also chambered for added acoustic resonance. The bridge is a custom John Petrucci Music Man Piezo floating tremolo, made of hardened steel with solid steel saddles, black finish, of course, while there’s an DiMarzio Liquifire pickup at the neck and DiMarzio Crunch Lab pickup and a Piezo bridge pickup at the bridge. Check your local stockist to test drive one.



he members of New Jersey indie pop fourpiece Big Troubles fell in love with, on the one hand, Britpop and shoegaze, and on the other, the art-pop indie from their own side of the pond that was being made in the ‘80s. Hence they called in Mitch Easter – whose CV includes some of the biggest records by REM, Pavement, Tim Finn and Crowded House – to engineer and produce their second album, Romantic Comedy, recorded over ten days. So they sent him an email. Alex Craig is one of the band’s two songwriters, alongside Ian Drennan. “We’re all big fans of [Easter’s] band Let’s Active and a lot of bands he recorded in the ‘80s, like The Bee Gees and stuff,” Craig tells. “The sorts of sounds that he captured with those bands were something of the sound that we were hoping to explore with this record. We demoed something like 25 songs in the months before we went into the studio and those recordings were mostly there. I mean, for some songs, the demos have every element that happened on the recording in the studio. Being a proper band now, with a rhythm section [Luka Usmiani, bass and Sam Franklin, drums], our arrangements are much more evolved and we knew we had to record them in a studio.” You can really hear the room in which the drumkit was recorded, feel the air moving and something of the character of the space that is Easter’s purpose-built recording studio, The Fidelitorium, in Kernersville, North Carolina. It features six booth areas and a large live room, the control room design

based on RFZ (Reflection Zone Free) principles, whereby the reflections in the control room are absolutely minimised at the listening position. Musician, engineer and architect Wes Lachot – who runs his own facility, Overdub Lane Studio in Durham, North Carolina – designed The Fidelitorium. “[Easter] has an insane amount of gear [of different] types of vintage,” Craig explains. “In the end though it was only the drums that we recorded to tape and then we dumped them all into Pro Tools and mixed it and tracked the rest of it on Pro Tools. We thought about maybe doing more to tape, but we didn’t have a lot of time to record the album so we just thought for convenience’s sake that we’d do it in the digital realm. “We credit [Easter] as a co-producer on the record but he assumed more of an engineer and mixer role. We would actually ask him a lot how he felt about things and he was really helpful in terms of helping us figure what we wanted to sound like and he would know how to do that. He helped us achieve the cleaner sounds that we wanted, which was a drastic sonic shift for us. The songs are certainly more melodic and dynamic and we’d like to think the songwriting is stronger. In some ways we’re an entirely new band from the one that recorded [2010 debut album] Worry, but I think we still sound like Big Troubles, only cleaner.” Craig and Drennan were the only two members of Big Troubles when they cut their lo-fi debut. They produced it themselves, recording in their respective bedrooms and various friends’ apartments on a four-track tape machine into their computers with the rhythm section covered by a ‘90s Zoom drum machine, with flourishes of Juno and Casio SK-1 synthesisers, chorus and flange pedals and their electric guitars. So in terms of recording technology, working in The Fidelitorium was a massive leap forward, with the bonus of Easter’s experience and engineering skills. “And I think you can hear on the first record that we had no idea what we were doing [laughs] in

terms of producing. We didn’t have any experience of the band recording in a studio before [working with Easter] so, just the whole process of realising how you go about it. Recording in a studio, we had to learn a lot about time management in terms of trying to put everything on the record in a really short amount of time. We really want to be able to spend more time on the next record.” Craig and Drennan have developed a pretty distinctive vocal sound between them, something that isn’t based on power but rather on subtlety, which meant ensuring those vocals were never drowned out by the wail of guitars. “We’re really quiet singers,” Craig admits, “so in terms of recording, we used, often, a lot of compression in order to sit them above very loud guitars, drums and stuff like that. On the first record, the vocals are really heavily couched and on this record we didn’t really want to do that again, instead using more tasteful delays and chorus that really helped the soft vocals that we do.”

Romantic Comedy is out now on Popfrenzy/Inertia


SOUND BYTES Produced with longtime collaborator Skylar Wilson, Justin Townes Earle recorded his fourth album, Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now, completely live, no overdubs, over four days in a studio in an old converted church in Asheville, North Carolina. Sir Paul McCartney spent much of last year recording his new album, Kisses On The Bottom, at Capitol Studios in LA, as well as in studios in London and New York. It’s due for release in early February. LA sludge rock four-piece 16 recorded their new album, Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds, at Double Time Studios in San Diego, California, with longtime engineer Jeff Forrest, the record then mastered at Visceral Sound Studios by Scott Hull. The forthcoming album, On The Impossible Past, from US punks The Menzingers, was recorded at Atlas Studios in Chicago with longtime collaborators Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms) and Justin Yates. Sydney three-piece Royal Chant recently went into Def Wolf Studios with producer/engineer Dave Hammer, to record their next round of fuzz-pop singles. Lachlan Mitchell (Lungs, The Jezabels) engineered and mixed Paper Spine, the debut album by Sydney five-piece Between The Devil & The Deep. He co-produced the album with the band, the recording done at Production Avenue, Studios 301 Sydney and Jungle Studios. Alan Douches (These Arms Are Snakes, Bear Vs Shark) mastered the album at West West Side. Perth four-piece Hostile Little Face went into local studio, real2reel, run by James Newhouse, to record their debut album, The Architect, while UE Nastasi mastered it at Sterling Sound in New York City. 60 • INPRESS

planet waves dual action capo

planet waves headstock

PLANET WAVES NS MINI HEADSTOCK TUNER For all of you clever ones, you may be able to catch on to our theme for this week’s reviews: accessories! We now have one of the most important of all, the tuner. The guitar tuner has evolved from tuning forks and constantly having to have a piano about, to electronic gadgets like the mini headstock tuner. Good quality tuning pedals came around 15 years ago and now we have ones that will clip on to the back of your headstock! Amazing! All sarcasm aside, this is actually a nifty little number. The backlit screen swivels on an adjustable clamp that will fit snugly to the headstock. I tried it on a variety of electric and acoustic guitars without issue and the screen was viewable at all times. It isn’t the most solid piece of hardware I’ve encountered but the screen is easy to read in most lighting situations (unless you’ve been staring at the sun) and surprisingly accurate on an electric guitar with the volume down. Thus enabling your singer to jabber away in between songs

uninterrupted and, most importantly, saving the good folk watching you from the irritating and unprofessional experience of tuning up by ear onstage. While the unit is adjustable and fits nicely to the instrument without fear of marking the finish, energetic performers may want to avoid this as I can’t see it clinging on while you throw your guitar around your neck or yourself around the stage. Planet Waves have been producing their own versions of standard muso tools for some time now and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

PLANET WAVES DUAL ACTION CAPO Why review a capo? Well, the reason is that when it comes to these little gadgets, finding a reliable tool that you can count on as a gigging muso can be hard. The main issue is finding a capo that can be applied quickly while maintaining even string pressure across the fretboard. A capo with uneven coverage will mean buzzing, dead notes and tuning issues. A capo that has to be applied via an elaborate clamping process is one, just damn frustrating and two, unless you’re

never going to be taking it off, almost useless (unless you and/or your singer enjoy REALLY long monologues between songs!). Planet Waves have made this process simple by taking a springloaded clamp capo and adding a micrometer tension adjustment so that you can tailor the fit to your guitar. Quite a simple step to take, though it gets tricky as to how practical it is, with the quality of components and the construction itself coming into play; if it ain’t put together right then it ain’t gonna last long! I haven’t spent a lot of time with this particular capo so I can’t really say as to whether or not it will last through the rigours of the live circuit long haul. My impression is that it’s a solid tool that’s well put together. The micrometer tension adjustment works nicely to finetune the fit to the guitar neck while keeping the application simple and smooth. Planet Waves have been putting out accessories for a while now and their bits and pieces are generally around the top end of town in the commercial music world. Sean Hughes Supplied by D’Addario Australia

INPRESS â&#x20AC;˘ 61

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SALES & MARKETING People needed to send eMails offering a new music Book for sale. Must have own computer - payment by commission via Paypal. Contact Bill on (02) 9807-3137 or eMail: iFlogID: 13289

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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 iFlogID: 13019 Australian Monitor 1k2 Power Amplifier 600W plus 600W. Two available: one $550 other $440. Currently used at Princess Theatre, Brisbane. Also available Australian Monitor F300 foldback wedges. 0400 404 919

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 iFlogID: 16672


PEDALS - Brand new T-Rex - Distortion / T-Rex Alberta - $195 each. Fulltone - Choralflange - $195. Elect case Humidifier - $35. Acous case Humidifier & Hygrometer - $75. Mob - 0415285004 iFlogID: 16808

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:

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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 iFlogID: 16674

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iFlogID: 14468 Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY - from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact or see iFlogID: 15452 Music publicity. Do you want to get noticed? Affordable exposure for your band by someone that actually cares! Drop me a line! iFlogID: 15737 Why not advertise your bands new release or next national tour online at Ozjam currently has over 6000 members Australia wide and advertisers include Triple J magazine, Mojo’s Bar, Allans Music +Billy Hyde. For competitive banner ad campaigns structured to fit your budget please contact

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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! 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. d7studio@ 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 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 email 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 iFlogID: 16159

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. iFlogID: 13230 TOP INTERNATIONAL DRUMMER available. Great backing vocals, harmonica player and percussionist. Gigs, tours, recording. Private lessons/mentoring also available. iFlogID: 14261



GOSPEL SINGERS WANTED for non-denominational music ministry to record triple-CD in Perth. World-class, passionate and devotional vocalists sought. View www. for details. Jesus is KIng! Reverend Eslam. God Bless You!

iFlogID: 14923

iFlogID: 13088

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

Original Band looking for a vocalist in the South Eastern area. Influnces include Alexisonfire, Rise Against ect. Looking to practise 1-2 times per week. Contact me 0412750722 iFlogID: 15616

iFlogID: 15177

MUSICIANS WANTED BANDS 15yr old bass player looking to start metal/punk band. influences include big4 bands, ozzy osbourne, black sabbath, trivium, pantera, blink182, offspring and alot more. email if your interested.


SERVICES GRAPHIC DESIGN Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact or see iFlogID: 15450

iFlogID: 16774 Play horns? Funk/soul band looking to build a Horn section no matter what you play from trumpet to the baritone sax contact rhyseaquilina@ for more information. Sydney based.

Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY- from $399 including UNLIMITED pages, Logos, Hosting and 5xemail addresses and much more! Contact or see

iFlogID: 16460 iFlogID: 13864

Up & coming bands wanted for gigs-get yourself some exposure in front of small/med size crowd-send band details & contacts to

Limited Edition mens tees and hoodies with a sense of humour. All hand-screened and numbered.

iFlogID: 15385

iFlogID: 13611

young guitar player looking to start metal, punk band. influences include metallica, ozzy, black sabbath megadeth, trivium, bullet, anthrax, slayer slipknot and many many more. email if interested iFlogID: 17027

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 @ Interested? Call 0414524422. iFlogID: 16706

DRUMMER Experienced drummer with a commitment to practice and regular rehearsals required for Melbournebased alternative rock band. Influences QOTSA, Foo Fighters, Nirvana… 0411 372 469

OTHER Get your Band or Business Online Cost effectively and PROFESSIONALLY - from $299 including Hosting and email addresses! Contact or see 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 or see iFlogID: 13862 If you want to use DRUGS, that’s your business. If you want to STOP, we can help. Narcotics Anonymous 9519 6200 iFlogID: 16217 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 ventura@

iFlogID: 16936

HARDCORE DRUMMER WANTED Fast, creative drummer wanted for hardcore (eg Negative Approach, Poison Idea, etc) band “Cabin Fever”. Text Danny 0432197257 iFlogID: 16830

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.

WHO ARE YOU? Are you a reliable Metal Head into Conspiracies who plays Drums or Guitar? CONTROL NEEDS YOU... Contact: 0423 350 259

iFlogID: 13358

iFlogID: 15071

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



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.

iFlogID: 15175

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. iFlogID: 15754 Vox Music Academy, a premier music singing academy has VOCAL & GUITAR TUITION available at our Dandenong, Bayswater & Brunswick studios. For Info and Bookings: 1300 183 732

iFlogID: 13407 iFlogID: 16815














©2011 Lion

Inpress Issue #1207  

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...