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N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S DAY 9 JA N U A RY 2 013 • I S S U E 12 5 6 • F R E E
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W E D N E S D AY 9 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3
NEW GODS INPRESS 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 22 24 26 26 26 26 28 28 28 28 30
Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements Moves and shakes with Industry News Band Of Horses step outta the saddle Converge: 25 years on Two bobs worth from Twelve Foot Ninja George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are still blowing minds David Byrne & St Vincent heading out for MONA FOMA and stuff Conflict and composition with Julia Holter Icehouse’s Iva Davies has a crack at the Taste Test New beginnings with New Gods Diggin’ the deepest with Awesome Tapes From Africa Canadian luck of the Irish with Half Moon Run Stompy & The Heat are cookin’ up a storm Still got soul: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings Benny Walker and family ties Summer lovin’ with Los Coronas Marduk are back to their blasphemous best On The Record rates new releases from Into The Woods and Villagers
FRONT ROW 33 33
SATURDAY ARVO RESIDENCY
Check out what’s happening This Week In Arts and the first ever Art Or Not? Actor Ash Flanders chats about his new play Psycho Beach Party and Kris Moyes on his collaboration for Sugar Mountain Festival We review The Shadow Electric
SATURDAYS 5, 12, 19 & 26 January. Lyrical gewnius Chuck Jenkins plays four big arvo sessions with various members of the Zhivagos. Get down to a least one of these shows ... you’d be mad if you didn’t. 5pm
Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Bryget Chrisfield firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Editor Samson McDougall Editorial Assistant Stephanie Liew Arts Coordinator Cassandra Fumi email@example.com Staff Writer Michael Smith
SUNDAY 13 JANUARY
Chris Wilson Harmonica legend and blues guitarist plays a cruisy solo session. 5pm
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12 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
BACK TO INPRESS 37
Gig Of The Week heads southside for some DJ Yoda 37 LIVE:Reviews hangs at Falls Festival 40 Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk 40 The freshest in urban news with OG Flavas 40 Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down 40 Heavy shit with Adamantium Wolf 41 Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown 41 Hip hop with Intelligible Flow 41 The TV Set with Andrew Mast 41 Diggin’ up the good shit with Search & Destroy 42 The best Live gigs of the week 46 If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you 46 Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! 48 Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend 53 Find your new band and just about everything else in our classy Classifieds 54 Gear and tech talk in Muso
McMahon, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker, Paul Ransom, Dylan Stewart, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen.
R’n’B, garage, and soul band led by Matty Vehl (the Zhivagos). They’re new. Expect epic hammond organ. 9pm
Head to the Inpress Facebook page to win one of five copies of Nurse Jackie season five. We also have two double passes to catch rad instrumental Spanish surf-rock band Los Coronas at their Toff In Town show this Tuesday.
King Bee Biscuit
and Marion Bay Falls Festival Arts We spend five minutes with Sugar Mountain artist Misha Hollenbach Cultural Cringe on freeway art and Fragmented Fish on Werner Herzog’s Into The Abyss Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee levels about ParaNorman and we chat to Cirque du Soleil choreographers Marjon van Grunsven and Michelle Matlock about Ovo Christopher McQuarrie, writer of The Usual Suspects, also levels about his new film
Chuck Jenkins & the Zhivagos
SATURDAY 12 JANUARY
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT
WHAT’S UP, DOC? As the solo output for Hunx & His Punx guitarist Justin Champlin, Nobunny has gone from touring the mock-Elvis circuit as an animal impersonator (aptly named Elvis Bunny), to releasing garage bubblegum insanity across 11 Labels, including Jack White’s Third Man Records, 1-2-3-4 Go! and Goner Records. His latest offering, First Blood, is full of quick and dirty blasts of lo-fi garage rock. Check him live on Friday 1 February at the Tote.
WEDNESDAY 9 JANUARY
MOTION PICTURES BOY RED SEA LEGS RUM ENTRY $5, 8.30PM
KIRIN’S KILLING IT
THURSDAY 10 JANUARY
Enigmatic Sydney artist Kirin J Callinan will be opening for Bat For Lashes at her Laneway sideshow at the Palais Theatre on Tuesday 5 February, after recently wowing audiences at CMJ.
THE SIMON WRIGHT BAND JUDE PERL DASH TASH SULTANA
ENTRY $10, 8PM $2.50 POTS, $5 VODKAS!
GET AMPED Although the judges of The Coopers Amp have been inundated with eligible albums this year, there is one that has already won them over enough to be welcomed into the shortlist: Hermitude’s HyperParadise. It’s the first of nine albums that will be included in The 8th Australian Music Prize’s short list. The Coopers Amp also presents Amp Alive, a free outdoor event to be held in Federation Square from 6pm on Friday 1 February, hosted by Clare Bowditch and Kevin Mitchell and featuring Hermitude, with more acts to be announced.
FRIDAY 11 JANUARY
NEBRASKATAK EATING UNICORNS I’LL BE AN INDIAN ENTRY $6, 9PM
SATURDAY 12 JANUARY
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL
RAW COMEDY QUALIFYING HEAT ENTRY $10, 12.30PM ESC (SUPER GROUP) OSCAR KEY SUNG THE KILLING FIELDS ENTRY $6 DOOR, 9PM
SUNDAY 13 JANUARY
JUNK! BACK BACK FORWARD PUNCH DEAR PLASTIC ENTRY $7, 7PM
MONDAY 14 JANUARY
THE VAUDEVILLE SMASH SEX ON TOAST A ART
ENTRY $6, 8.30PM
TUESDAY 15 JANUARY
SEEK AND DESTROY This Will Destroy You have announced their first ever Australian tour dates for March 2013. Known for their destructive live sound and influential brand of ambient-rock, This Will Destroy You will be visiting our country following the release of their record Tunnel Blanket on Australian independent label Hobbledehoy. Through their consistent work ethic, the band has reached pinnacles previously thought unattainable by an instrumental act, debuting at #25 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart and achieving worldwide sales of more than 100,000 copies. They play at Northcote Social Club on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 March.
WELCOME TO THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE Shady Records hip-hop super-group Slaughterhouse are celebrating the release of their sophomore album Welcome To: Our House with their very first Australian tour after spending 2012 steadily touring Europe and the USA to packed venues. Joining them as main support is Black Hippy Crew’s Schoolboy Q and Australian hip-hop group Full Tote Odds off the back of their respective albums Habits & Contradictions and Place Your Bets. Catch the show at Palace Theatre on Friday 1 March.
EL MOTH KESHIE
As well as being added to the Perth and Adelaide legs of St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Of Monsters & Men have also announced the support act for their sold-out sideshow at Palace Theatre on Tuesday 5 February. Warming up the stage will be Melbourne-based folk-pop troubadour Vance Joy and rising songstress Phebe Starr.
BARE BONES The supports for Jessie Ware’s Laneway sideshows have been announced. Collarbones and Elizabeth Rose will be preparing the crowd at the Prince Bandroom on Wednesday 30 January.
ENTRY $2, 8.30PM
TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX:
WED IN JANUARY RESIDENCY
FRI 18 JAN
THE VAUDEVILLE SMASH (MONDAYS IN JANUARY) EL MOTH (TUESDAYS IN JANUARY) MOTION PICTURES (WEDNESDAYS IN JANUARY) RAINBIRD (JAN 19) ADAMNOTEVE PARTY (JAN 24) CHILLY WACK SPLIT CASSETTE RELEASE (JAN 27) OH, SLEEPER (FEB 7) MASSIVE – ALBUM LAUNCH (FEB 9) SQUARE SOUNDS FESTIVAL (FEB 15 + 16) XENOGRAFT/KETTLESPIDER/BEAR THE MAMMOT – SPLIT EP LAUNCH (MAR 16)
LAMINE SONKO & THE AFRICAN INTELLEGENCE (RHYTHM SECTION) (9 JAN)
MANOR THE RAFFAELO’S
MADRE MONTE FRI 11 JAN
THE CACTUS CHANNEL THE SEVEN UPS SAT 12 JAN
CHRIS DUKE & THE ROYALS UP & ATOM ADMIRABLE ACKBAR’S SUN 13 JAN
HEY DENISE (EP LAUNCH) PORTRAITS OF AUGUST TUES IN JAN RESIDENCY
NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH FARROW (8 JAN) ATOLLS (15 JAN)
14 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
SAT 19 JAN
KSSR’s debut single Passenger signals the beginning of a new dawn for creative “bipolar pop” artist Kiss Reid. Starting off the new year, his first ever shows under this moniker have been announced, with one taking place at Can’t Say this Friday. Support wil come from international DJs Feadz and Kito. Since embarking on his electro pop odyssey two years ago, KSSR’s urge to create music that’s unique and innovative has continually grown.
SAT 2 FEB
FRI 8 FEB
(EP LAUNCH) DAVE LARKIN (SOLO)
(ALBUM LAUNCH) THE DEAD LOVE THE PRETTY LITTLES
SAT 26 JAN (AUSTRALIA DAY)
SUN 3 FEB (MATINÉE SHOW)
SAT 9 FEB
BACKWOOD CREATURES CLAUDE HAY
(WA – SINGLE LAUNCH)
THE EVENING CAST
SUN 20 JAN (MATINEE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
SUN 27 JAN (AUSTRALIA DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY EVE)
SUN 20 JAN
KATE MARTIN ILUKA
THU 24 JAN
THE ANIMATORS (VIDEO LAUNCH) SQUAREHEAD
UK electronica artist Nathan Fake has kept fans of fuzzy-edged synths and pounding acidic techno beats alike guessing ever since his debut release at the tender age of 19. Having just reached his 29th birthday milestone, he is back with new album Steam Days. It’s the considered response of an artist coming of age, drawing upon that characteristic individualism to reach maturity in the glare of the musical infamy that comes attached to a club hit. Check him out at the Rainbow Serpent Festival on Sunday 27 January.
FRI 25 JAN TONE DEAF PRESENT
GRIZZLY JIM LAWRIE
Formed by Danish bass player Jasper Høiby in 2005, the energy and individuality of Phronesis comes from a democracy of expression and empathy between the musicians – three of the finest players on the European jazz scene today. British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger come together with Høiby to create a polyrhythmic sound that is utterly accessible despite its underlying complexity, full of emotion and heart yet always delivered with clarity and direction. They’re touring and will play Friday 1 March at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
TAG @THEWORKERSCLUB ON INSTAGRAM DURING JAN TO WIN FEB GOLDEN TICKET -A DOUBLE PASS TO EVERY SHOW IN FEB -$40 FOOD & DRINK VOUCHER
BAND OF FREQUENCIES (ALBUM LAUNCH) EL MOTH
ALL FAKE EVERYTHING
GIVE US A KSSR
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(SINGLE LAUNCH) THE BATTERY KIDS
CHASE THE SUN
MON 4 FEB ‘MISTLETONE & LA NIGHTS’ PRESENT
SUN 10 FEB (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
(USA – LANEWAY FESTIVAL
(EP LAUNCH) EVAN & MISCHA
SUN 27 JAN (MATINEE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
TUE 5 FEB
NICK & LIESL
TUES IN FEB RESIDENCY
(VIDEO LAUNCH) LAUREN GLEZER
(UK – LANEWAY SIDESHOW) FLASH FOREST JPC
FRI 1 FEB
THU 7 FEB
WED 13 FEB
THE MCQUEENS LIMB
(ALBUM TOUR) SPENDER
THU 14 FEB ‘THE RIPE 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY’ - FEAT
CITY CALM DOWN FRI 15 FEB
FEELINGS SAT 16 FEB
THE LITTLE STEVIES WHITAKER ALSO ON THE CALENDAR 20, 27 FEB, 6 MAR - KUJO KINGS (WEDNESDAY RESIDENCY) THU 21 FEB - TEXTURE LIKE SUN FRI 22 FEB - DIALECTRIX (SYD – EP LAUNCH) SUN 24 FEB (MATINEE SHOW) ULTRAVIBRALUX (ALBUM LAUNCH) THU 28 FEB - TIMOTHY COGHILL PRESENTS ‘CINEMATIC’ FRI 1 MAR - ELIZA HULL
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
MURPHY’S LAW The Godfather Of Goth, Peter Murphy will play a one off show in Melbourne at the Corner Hotel on Friday. His current live show is a career bestof, with him performing highlights from his solo career as well as Bauhaus classics such as She’s In Parties, Stigmata Martyr, Dark Entries and In The Flat Field. This will be the first time Murphy has ever performed in Australia, either solo or as part of Bauhaus, and will probably be your only opportunity to see his unique live performance.
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HIGHS AND LOWS Gotye
GOTYE AND KIMBRA CRACK A YEAR IN US CHART Gotye has racked up 52 weeks – a full year – in the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his world-beating track, Somebody That I Used To Know, which features Kimbra. The top-selling single of last year in America, the track spent eight weeks at the #1 spot of the country’s premier singles chart before being knocked off in June by Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. As well as being the top-selling song of 2012 in America, the viral track – which has attracted over 360 million views on YouTube and a plethora of covers – was the #1 Radio Song, Digital Song, Adult Pop Song and Alternative Song. The track was also the biggest-selling in the UK, moving 1.39 million copies. This week, Somebody That I Used To Know even climbed back up a spot on the Hot 100 to 48, from 49, after an increase in radio airplay. The only other track that has spent longer in the Hot 100 currently is Ellie Goulding’s Lights, which has spent 54 weeks and peaked at two. Elsewhere in the US charts this week, Havana Brown’s latest hit, Big Banana, featuring Dutch DJ/producer R3hab, continued to rise last week in the Dance/Club Play chart, up to two from eight. South Australian band Atlas Genius’ breakout single, Trojans, held steady on the Alternative Songs chart as well, with the track dropping the one spot down to five. It’s also had a small drop to 19 on the Rock Songs chart and eight on the Rock Airplay chart.
HARD ROCK BAND COMP REGOS OPEN The iconic Hard Rock Café has opened registrations for its band competition Hard Rock Rising to take place in its Sydney venue. With applications open through to Monday 21 January, artists can apply for the competition through the facebook.com/ hardrockcafesydney address. Winning acts from each city – in Australia that’s Sydney and the Gold Coast – will move on to the global round with the international prize a world tour and production of an album and video through Hard Rock Records.
FINAL ALBUMS ANNOUNCED FOR $30,000 AUS MUSIC PRIZE The Coopers Amp – a $30,000 prize for Australian albums – announced in December its third and final batch of albums up for shortlist consideration. Following the recent news that Hermitude’s HyperParadise was the first album selected for the final nine – and the first to be part of their Amp Alive live Melbourne showcase – a final 24 albums have been added to the now 71-strong list. Those final 24 are Ali E Landless; Bertie Blackman Pope Innocent X; Big Strong Brute Avalanche Of Truth; Bored Nothing Bored Nothing; Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos Love Your Crooked Neighbour With Your Crooked Heart; Chasm This Is How We Never Die; Corey Colum Corey Colum; Flume Flume; Galapagoose Commitments; Glenn Cardier Stranger Than Fiction; Joe Robinson Let Me Introduce You; Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson Wreck & Ruin; Lisa Mitchell Bless This Mess; Love Migrate Plagued Are All My Thoughts, Like White Ants In The Fence; Maundz Zero; Paul Kelly Spring And Fall; San Cisco San Cisco; Sarah Blasko I Awake; Skryptcha Mindful; Tame Impala Lonerism; The Black Sorrows Crooked Little Thoughts; The Pataphysics Subversive; The Trouble With Templeton Bleeders and Yung Warriors Standing Strong. There have been a number of changes to the prize this year, the organisers dropping the entry price and then asking industry and fans to submit albums for consideration. After 230 records were identified, two rounds of eligible albums were selected for the long-list. The first 26 records were announced October, with the second round of 21 albums in November. The other eight albums that will make the final shortlist for the PPCA-donated cash prize, will be announced soon.
FULLY SICK Since 1986, Sick Of It All have been thrashing out classic hardcore anthems and touring the globe relentlessly. Often imitated but never duplicated, Madball have managed to perfect their patented chugging, grooving New York Hardcore sound, while always maintaining the same streetlife inspired attitude that originally ignited the band’s ever-smouldering flame. The two bands join forces for mammoth Soundwave sideshows and will play Wednesday 27 February at the Espy.
CLARKFIELD FESTIVAL BACK
WETTIN’ THE BED
Ready For Boredom is the debut full-length from Sydney’s most aptly named power punk band, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys - a charming mix of the best of the ‘70s punk explosion with the mid-’80s US independent underground. This is a band that never had a humble beginning by virtue of their idiotic name and anomalous approach - a shambolic trio with a guitar, a bass and a standup drummer bashing cymbal, snare and floor tom, all taking turns to sing songs that were thick with feeling. Ready For Boredom is an incongruous blend of ideas and styles expressing equally the contradictory drives to make of rock music the good times and the drunken mess it has always been, and concurrently the site of an expression of abundant feeling. Catch Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys launching Ready For Boredom at the John Curtin on Friday 25 January with support from Lower Plenty and Leather Towel.
SMASHING Boom Crash Opera shot to fame in the late-’80s, with songs such as Great Wall and Hands Up In The Air becoming anthems for a whole generation of Aussie youth. At the height of their popularity, band members such as guitarist Peter Farnan and singer Dale Ryder were household names, and their music sales were breaking all sorts of records. Now the legendary rock band are making their way to the Espy on Friday 15 February. Entry is free.
AFRO AWESOME Born in a Brooklyn warehouse in 1997, 12-piece ensemble Antibalas are credited with introducing Afrobeat to a wider global audience, influencing countless musicians and developing a live show that is the stuff of legend. The group have performed everywhere from Central Park to Carnegie Hall to Rikers Island Prison, and that’s just in New York. Daptone Records released the band’s first album in five years, self-titled, in late-2012 and now they’re heading our way. Catch them at the Corner Hotel on Wednesday 6 March.
The Second Annual Clarkefield Music Festival will see some of Australia’s finest musicians join forces for a common cause as they raise money to help assist children and their families living in poverty in Cambodia. The Festival will feature renowned Australian musicians Tim Rogers, Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission, Sal Kimber, The Toot Toot Toots, Charles Jenkins & The Zhivagos, The Stetson Family, San Gras and Dead River Deeps, with local acts Brother Johnstone, Jarrod Shaw, Sarah Wilkinson and more great acts soon to be announced. It happens at Clarkefield Pub on Sunday 17 March and pre-sale tickets are on sale now at clarkefieldmusicfestival.com.
16 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
WHAT’S COOKING? Prior to her first visit to Australian shores, Elizabeth Cook will release her acclaimed album Welder this week. Welder, the follow up to Cook’s 2007 critically acclaimed Balls, was produced by the legendary Don Was (Rolling Stones, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson) and recorded with a band to die for. Joining Cook on Friday 1 February at Northcote Social Club will be The Sideshow Brides.
WHIPPING THROUGH Welsh DJ Sasha will help ring in Australia Day this year with a whirlwind tour. In what will be his first club shows in Australia for over a year he’ll hit town on Sunday 27 January at Chasers.
BLOODY PISS LA punk rock supergroup OFF! have had busy year off the back of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. This month will see them bring their explosive old-school rock show to the national Big Day Out, and headlining sideshows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Local supports have now been announced, and Bloody Hammer and Bat Piss will open at the Corner Hotel show on Wednesday 23 January.
ST KILDA FEST FULL PROGRAM The St Kilda Festival, Australia’s largest free music festival, has just announced the full program for Yalukit Wilum Ngargee, Live N Local and Festival Sunday. The Yalukit Wilum Ngargee: People Place Gathering, the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and arts, will be held in St Kilda’s O’Donnell Gardens on Saturday 2 February, with headliner Archie Roach. The Live N Local program sees St Kilda’s live music venues, shops and restaurants open their doors to emerging local talent for intimate live performances from Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 February. Finally, there will be a surprise sunset headline act on Festival Sunday, the iconic final day of this nine-day celebration of Australian arts and music. For the full-line up and more information head to stkildafestival.com.au.
PORT FAIRY SELLING FAST Xavier Rudd and other great acts join the Port Fairy Folk Music Festival 2013 lineup as the third ticket release opens. Fresh off the plane from the Canada leg of his new album tour around the Northern Hemisphere and back, Xavier Rudd will be bringing his let-yourhair-down musical medley to Port Fairy, including a swag of new songs from recently released album Spirit Bird. Xavier has been making us all proud for the past decade, wowing global audiences with his collection of free-spirited tunes that show the world how you can be bang-on the pulse using sounds from the oldest instrument in Australia. Other new acts Sean Taylor (UK), London Klezmer Quartet (UK), Buke & Gase (USA), Baby et Lulu, Cactus Channel, The Ramshackle Army, Riogh, Andy Alberts & The Walkabouts, Mustered Courage, Matthew Fagan and The Stillsons add to the already popular line up. The festival happens over the weekend of 8–11 March and tickets, details and line-up are available at portfairyfolkfestival.com.
Hits & Pits 2013 is only a couple of months away and the bands are excited. On the bill thus far are Mad Caddies, Good Riddance, A Wilhelm Scream, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Flatliners, Diesel Boy (acoustic), One Dollar Short (acoustic), Jamie Hay, Jen Buxton, Totally Unicorn and Paper Arms. The festival hits Melbourne on Good Friday 29 March at the Palace Theatre.
A DATE WITH DETTMAN Ruff, rugged and raw: mentioning Marcell Dettmann as well as his feeling for and vision of electronic music is impossible without these attributes. Whether you take Dettman’s DJ sets (he has been made a resident DJ at the old Ostgut and also at Berghain from the very start); his productions for the self-conducted MDR label; his remixes for the likes of Fever Ray, Junior Boys, Modeselektor as well as Scuba; or if nothing else his debut long player for Ostgut Ton into account, all the various contrasts and distinctions that come with it are manifested in these qualities. Marcell Dettmann links up the art of improvisation with careful preparation and finally gives techno some of its often painfully missed serious physical constitution back. He plays Brown Alley on Friday 15 February.
DEMON BONG CLEANERS When Kyuss Lives last toured, Australia fans spoke with resounding voice as we saw venues across the country whipping out the sold-out sign in mere minutes. In what is sure to be a stunning send-off, Kyuss Lives will perform under that name for the final time ever during their Soundwave performances in 2013. They’ve announced a couple of sideshows and they’ll be joined by Red Fang on Tuesday 26 February at the Palace.
CARNIVAL OF SUBURBIA Carnival of Suburbia features 11 days of live music, from Wednesday 6 to Saturday 16 March, at the Caravan Music Club and the Oakleigh Mechanics Hall. The world-class program of events includes legendary US swamp rock guitarist Tony Joe White, American singer and clawhammer banjo whiz Abigail Washburn, Nashville’s Kai Welch, local outfit The Orbweavers, a night of musical tribute with The After Dinner Moose Review – The Songs of Peter Lillie, a night of stand-up and the triumphant return of RRR-legend Jon von Goes’ Stopping All Stations Except East Richmond, back by popular demand for its third doe-eyed tour through suburban life with a star studded ensemble to be announced. With many more acts yet to be revealed, Carnival of Suburbia definitively cements Oakleigh’s place as a hub of live music south of the Yarra.
BONZA, RIPPER, BEAUT After the success of last year’s Australia Day bonanza, Sugar Mountain are proud to set in a tradition for another round of music and merriment, this time set in the magically lush surroundings of Schoolhouse Studios. The daytime BBQ, on the public holiday Monday 28 January, is set to make your ear hair stand on the very ends of itself and delight every taste bud in your mouth, leaving you gagging for next year’s line-up. On the bill are Thee Oh Sees, Dick Diver and ScotDrakula, with more to come.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
Edu Imbernon is a great example of how a young artist can quickly reach the top in the electronic scene and it’s his talent as producer and DJ that’s got him there. His ability to add a nu-disco tint to his tracks have led him to remix bands such as The xx, Maya Jane Coles and X-press 2, where he showcased his homogeneous blend of electronica, house and indie to critical acclaim. He’s heading down under and will play a Melbourne show on Friday 8 February at a venue TBC.
Ahead of their first-ever national tour this January, The Waterboys will be joined by Oh Mercy at their Sydney and Melbourne shows. Earlier this year, Oh Mercy delivered their stellar third album Deep Heat, which garnered an EG Music Award nomination, adding to the Oh Mercy’s 2011 ARIA nomination. See Oh Mercy opening for The Waterboys at Hamer Hall on Wednesday 30 January.
my OPEN day
INDUSTRY NEWS WITH SCOTT FITZSIMONS firstname.lastname@example.org
THAT WONDERFUL DUFF When names like Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver populate your résumé, you have a lot to live up to on your solo releases. Duff McKagan not only lives up to it, but has cemented his legacy as one of rock’s most unique figures. Twelve years ago, Danko Jones was a hungry lion trying to break free of Toronto’s stagnant indie-rock scene. Today, he’s a well-fed beast who routinely shares arena stages with rock’s elite. Duff McKagan’s Loaded join forces with Jones when they hit our shores next month. You can catch the show on Thursday 28 February at the Espy.
BLAWAN AWAY Jamie Roberts, aka Blawan, is a hotly tipped producer from Sheffield who came out of nowhere with his debut release, Fram/Iddy, for game changers Hessle Audio. Being naturally gifted on the drums, his sound borrows a considerable amount from this skill, using it fully without caution. His eccentric mix of dubstep and acid does not seem plausible on paper but Blawan blends both – mixing faded vocal samples over the top to create a hybrid of two almost contrasting genres. He’s showcasing his abilities on Friday 15 February at Brown Alley.
GIFT OF THE GAB UK prodigy Gabrielle Aplin will be joining Ed Sheeran and fellow support act Passenger for all of Sheeran’s Australian shows. The multi-instrumentalist wrote her first song at 14 and began posting performance videos on YouTube. At 17 she was an online buzz artist, released her first EP and even set up her own label. Before long she was touring the UK and at 19 signed to major label Parlophone. Now, having amassed 15 million channel views on YouTube and counting, Aplin is set to release her debut album. See her with Ed Sheeran at Festival Hall on Monday 4, Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 March (the latter two shows are sold out).
GRAND THEFT RESCHEDULED Amanda Palmer postponed the majority of her upcoming shows to stay in Boston with her best friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer with an uncertain outcome. However, rescheduled dates for Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra’s Australia and New Zealand tour have now been anounced for September. The Melbourne show will be held at Forum Theatre on Friday 20 September. All tickets purchased to the January and February show dates will be valid for the rescheduled shows. Ticketholders unable to attend these rescheduled tour dates will need to seek a refund before close of business on Friday 25 January.
PHIL JAMIESON TO RIDE FOR MENTAL HEALTH NO SOLDIER Vieux Farka Toure was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Toure, who died in 2006. Ali Farka Touré came from a historical tribe of soldiers, and defied his parents in becoming a musician. With help from family friend, the kora maestro Toumani Diabaté, Vieux eventually convinced his father to give him his blessing to become a musician shortly before he passed. He’s heading over for WOMADelaide and will play Monday 11 March at the Corner Hotel.
BOILING POINT Sugar Mountain, Melbourne’s boutique music and arts festival, is teaming up with Good God Small Club and Good Company to bring international internet underground party phenomenon Boiler Room TV to Australia. Starting out on Ustream in 2010 and drawing heavily from London’s pirate radio culture, Boiler Room is a series of small invite-only DJ sets and live performances broadcast out on live internet TV. It quickly became a global phenomenon and is now respected as one of the foremost broadcasters of underground dance music in the UK, having hosted names such as Jamie xx, Lone, Caribou, Jonti and James Blake. Boiler Room TV will broadcast live from Sugar Mountain Festival on Saturday 19 January and at The Bottom End on Sunday 27.
GETTING THE PICTUREPLANE Grouse Party presents Pictureplane, heavyweight of the Denver rave-punk-house scene, on Sunday 17 February at the Liberty Social. Pictureplane merges a deep blend house, noise, synth pop, darkwave, psychedelia, world music and trippy new age space-time theories into compelling soundscapes. His influence ranges from coining the ridiculous genre term “witch house” to his punk rock-like approach to the production and dissemination of his work democratizing electronic music the same way the Ramones, Minor Threat and Black Flag liberated rock music in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Support comes from Melbourne’s most innovative movers and shakers Romy and Roland Tings.
SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL DAY The 2013 Share The Spirit Festival will turn the Treasury Gardens into a thriving hub of Indigenous music, dance and culture on Saturday 26 January as part of Melbourne’s official Survival Day celebrations. This year, the event marks the 75th Anniversary of the Day Of Mourning, a protest organised by the Aboriginal Progressive Association against the injustices surrounding the treatment of Aboriginal People. The stellar line-up includes Aboriginal rock-reggae pioneer Bart Willoughby and band, Stiff Gins, Kutcha Edwards, Lee Morgan, SKIN Choir and dance group Black Mistiq. It kicks off at 1pm and is a free and alcohol-free event.
HAWLEY VENUE CHANGE Following a critically acclaimed 14-date sold out tour of the UK and in line with a highly anticipated appearance at the upcoming Sydney Festival, it has been announced that the venues for former Pulp member Richard Hawley’s upcoming Australian tour have been changed. The Melbourne show will now be held at the Hi-Fi on Tuesday 29 January. All tickets purchased to the original venues will be valid at the new venues; current ticketholders will not need to exchange tickets to gain entry to the shows.
HOWARD’S KINGDOM Ben Howard’s headline show at the Corner Hotel on Saturday 6 April sold out in just two hours. Luckily for any fans who may have missed out, Howard will take to the stage a second time on Sunday 7 April, once again at the Corner Hotel. His Mercury Prize-nominated, platinum-selling release Every Kingdom saw the English singer/songwriter embark on a gruelling international tour, winning over audiences in the US, UK, Europe and Australia.
COLLISION COURSE One of heavy music’s most established and innovative bands, Converge will return to Australia in February and they have announced supports. At their Friday 15 February Billboard show they’ll be joined by The Broderick.
Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson will be leading a motorcycle ride from the Gold Coast Big Day Out to the Adelaide leg five days later as part of an awareness campaign for national mental health foundation headspace. Joining Jamieson will be Rock ‘N’ Ride co-founder and CEO of Big Day Out Adam Zammit, Jamieson’s wife Julie Jamieson, Chris Joannou (Silverchair), Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Paul Mac, Nathan Hindmarsh (Parramatta Eels legend), Kate Peck (MTV presenter) and Steve Andrews (Black Dog Ride). The trip will visit a number of headspace centres during the trip and the foundation’s CEO Chris Tanti said, “Every year we get involved with Big Day Out festivals across the country and this year we’re excited to take this partnership to another level. Rock ‘N’ Ride gives us the chance to engage regional young people in their communities and at headspace centres to create awareness of the mental health issues young people face and where they can go to get support.” More details and the full itinerary are available from bigdayout.com/rocknride.
BIG DAY OUT FACE GOLD COAST AND PERTH ISSUES The Gold Coast leg of the national Big Day Out festival could be a thing of the past after 2013, with festival organisers admitting this year that they “can’t guarantee” the future of the stop. The festival’s CEO Adam Zammit blamed the threat on “punishing commercial terms” and a “lack of confirmed support from local and state government,” in a statement issued to theMusic.com.au and News Limited. He said that the festival “remains determined to keep its show on the Gold Coast… [but] the Commonwealth Games seem to be a distracting priority above longheld events like Big Day Out, despite the loyalty it has shown to the Gold Coast.” The Gold Coast will host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and last September Queensland Premier Campbell Newman pledged to build the athlete’s village, set to house 6,500 competitors, at the Parklands Showgrounds site where Big Day Out is held. The festival, which this year will feature bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foals and Vampire Weekend, is now looking to other venues in northern NSW and Queensland for the 2014 event. According to the Courier Mail, the Queensland state government has already blocked a plan by organisers to move to the Gold Coast suburb of Helensvale. Further south, Bluesfest promoter Peter Noble, who owns the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, has already indicated that he plans to bring more festivals to the region, but it is unclear if the Big Day Out’s size and demographic would fit the mould of the events he is looking to attract. New Splendour In The Grass site North Byron Parklands is also another northern NSW option, but the site’s growth regulations may prove too restrictive to Big Day Out’s 25,000-plus capacity. Late last year BDO’s founder Ken West also had to assure punters that the festival aims to bring the full-length version to Perth after local authorities moved to impose a curfew on the event. Set to be held at Claremont Showgrounds, in recent years festivals at the venue – including Soundwave – have repeatedly come under attack for noise issues. WA’s Environment Minister Bill Marmion saw fit to impose a 10pm curfew on the festival for residents in the area last December. The Royal Agricultural Society of WA’s Commercial Manager Peter Cooper told PerthNow that the Minister’s decision was made without consultation with the festival or the society. “Unfortunately it is not feasible to change the opening and closing times of a national event that has contracts in place with international acts to perform at specific times without major fall out,” he said, “…while it may seem easy to change the opening and closing times, in reality it could have serious consequences.”
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Some bands take their art too seriously, but on the verge of another Australian sojourn Band Of Horses’ frontman Ben Bridwell talks to Steve Bell about evolution, atonement and devising your own musical genre which basically implies that your songs have no substance. ou often hear from established rock bands about the drudgery of being on tour and the pointless repetition of life on the road, but sometimes things can align pretty damn nicely, as happened to Band Of Horses recently in the midst of touring their new album Mirage Rock through the States.
“We’re kind of on a couple of down days here in New York City,” enthuses frontman and chief songwriter Ben Bridwell from the Big Apple, “and we’re going to see the Stones tonight – no Band Of Horses for us tonight, but that’s alright by me. I’m really psyched – our manager actually bought us all tickets as a Christmas present so the whole band is going, we’re really psyched.” Fandom aside, it’s been a few months now since Mirage Rock dropped, and the South Carolina-based quintet are so far stoked with how it’s translating in the live realm. “Yeah, very much so actually,” Bridwell offers. “We’re even playing the weirdest ones on there – Heartbreak On The 101 and stuff like that – because we’ve tried to embrace playing everything. Actually here in New York we tried to play every single song from our recorded albums, so I feel like we’ve put them together in a way where it feels like a cohesive set, but I’m usually the last to know when something sucks. So it’s hard to tell what most people think, but I’m enjoying playing them live.” It was at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York where Band Of Horses tried the ambitious task of playing their four albums worth of recorded songs in one outing. “Yeah, we did it the other night but it was funny because there was a set-list mishap where one of the songs didn’t get copied, so just like everything in Band Of Horses’ career we were one song short of greatness,” Bridwell laughs. “But we tried – we had an acoustic set and then we did
two electric sets in the same building on the same day, and we planned for all of them at least.” Slight mishaps notwithstanding, such an experiment must have given the band (and fans) an interesting perspective on the evolution of their sound since forming in Seattle back in 2004. “Absolutely!” Bridwell stresses. “There’s two songs especially – two sacred cow songs that I had to slaughter – from the first album that one of the dudes who was in the band near the beginning, he co-wrote those if not wrote all of them [Mat Brooke co-writes I Go To The Barn Because I like The (sic) and St. Augustine from 2006 debut Everything All The Time], so I’ve shied away from those since he left the band
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in 2005, so I definitely hadn’t played them in forever and it was definitely a good reminder of how long it’s been and just the evolution of us as a band.” The sound of Band Of Horses has changed substantially since they emerged fully-formed on Sub Pop, morphing substantially – especially when they joined the major label world for 2010 third album Infinite Arms – but Bridwell believes that the previously fluid line-up has settled now with positive results. “Man, I think it’s expanded greatly with the band all coming together and us finally reaching a solidified line-up now,” he muses. “It’s been over five years with the same dudes, and that’s been a huge help – at least for the live shows. So I think at least as far as playing live goes we’ve come light years from where we started. Who knows about the recorded stuff though; like I said before, I’m usually the last one to know when something sucks.” Mirage Rock was recorded with the legendary English producer Glyn Johns (The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Band, The Who, Led Zeppelin) at the helm – after three consecutive albums with US indie stalwart Phil Ek – and Bridwell believes that Johns’ very presence had a dramatic impact on the finished product.
BACK IN THE SADDLE “Well there was a ton of songs to choose from – I think altogether we had over fifty – so we weren’t quite sure what the album would sound like, although everyone had their own ideas thrown into the mix,” he recalls. “But once we signed up with Glyn Johns to produce – and knowing his track record and his pedigree – it just made sense to go in a more rock and roll direction, in a way to show off to him that we could do that kind of stylistic stuff. But we gave some of the material to him – where we thought his wheelhouse would be – while also stretching out a bit and doing some of the textures that I guess we’re known for from the previous albums. “It was done completely live and completely analogue, to where even every mix was a performance by Glyn because he didn’t automate the board or anything, so it was about as prehistoric as you could get. It was a really cool change of pace after last time – we got so hands on with the production ourselves and using the edit button and the
benefits of technology – but with this one it was cool because we took out all that second guessing and just had fun with it, even if you feel like you’re sneaking one past the goalie because it’s a lot easier to record this way.” Was any of this a reaction to the critical reception afforded Infinite Arms, whose relatively slick veneer proved a bit distasteful to many people who had been with the band from the outset? “Yeah, I at least overthought and maybe overcooked some of those – I just got way too hands on with the final mixing and stuff like that – so I could see where that was probably a bit off-putting to some people, so I did want to go back to a more bare bones approach just to have a different challenge,” Bridwell concedes. “But not to please anyone per se, because I do feel that this album is still challenging enough in its own right – enough to not be the easy way out, that’s for sure. “Some of it was quite tough, singing live especially was
something that I’d never done on an album – where I’ve got to play guitar and sing at the same time – that’s a bit nerve-wracking. Luckily, like I said before, we’ve really come together over the last five years with the line-up, and those guys know my tendencies of how I sing so we got to do a lot of the harmonies live together and they know how to fill out the sound to where it’s pleasing and at least as good as my original demo was. I guess we’re well-oiled now or somethin’. “As far as the material chosen there wasn’t a common theme, unless it was trying somewhat to pander to Glyn’s tastes. The process has a common theme obviously, because we didn’t really stray from that mode of recording, and I guess there’s that loose vibe of it all – if there’s any one recurring theme throughout the whole album it’s just that it’s very haphazard and loose.” The original batch of songs must have been pretty strong, because deluxe versions of the album came with an extra EP, Sonic Ranch
Sessions, which include five strong songs (including the track Mirage Rock itself) which didn’t make the cut. “You know it’s funny man, because I’ll still second guess myself to this day wondering if I chose the right stuff,” Bridwell ponders. “There was so much stuff in there, and a lot of it maybe leaned more towards the indie rock stylings. It’s hard for me to over tell what’s good and bad when I do something – I feel like there was three decent albums in there, I think at least over fifty percent were keepers.” You’d imagine someone like Bridwell wouldn’t lose too much sleep over how his band is pigeonholed, but given that he brought genre into the discussion, where exactly does he thinks Band Of Horses sits in the overall scheme of things? “Oh man, that’s a funny question and I do think about it because doing so many interviews over the years and stuff – especially all over the world – it’s sometimes hard to translate how you see yourself, and people are going to choose what they want for the most part usually anyway,” he laughs. “So that’s when I wrote the song Mirage Rock, basically naming the song after what I thought our genre was – ‘mirage rock’. Over here [in the States] we say mirage so that it rhymes with garage, so it’s meant to be a bit of a pisstake on garage rock, but also meaning lacking substance. “It’s basically because I was writing a bunch of these songs in an actual garage – with actual real working male humans on either side of me, doing real man work like welding and shit – and I’m in there complaining politely into this microphone so they won’t hear me, but wondering if during the playbacks what if someone out there might put their ear to the wall and think, ‘What is that? It sounds really interesting’, and then they’d actually open up the door and listen to it and go, ‘Oh shit, there’s nothing there’. It’s a pretty apt label really.” WHO: Band Of Horses WHAT: Mirage Rock (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 23 January, The Palais; Saturday 26, Big Day Out, Flemington Racecourse
SOUTHERN COMFORT Band Of Horses have built a strong rapport with Australian crowds over the last few years, and are chomping at the bit to get down here for the 2013 Big Day Out and the accompanying headline shows. “Dude, we love it down there!” Bridwell thunders. “I think our first time down there was in 2006, and we were just blown away by the kinship we had. Just for us with the southern mentality that we have – not putting on airs or any shit like that – I think that resonates really well with the Australian people. I don’t know, I think it’s because we’re not hoity-toity and I think that relates in some way. I’ve always felt a really close kinship with the Australian and the Kiwi folks and I think they can be a really rowdy bunch, really energetic in terms of crowd response and that helps us so much. I feel like the crowd does half the work for us! If it’s going to be like that we can do enthused rock’n’roll and throw down, but it’s tough when you plan a set just like that and you find a bunch of chinscratching people on their cell phones or whatever. But when people go out down there usually we’ve been lucky to find an enthused bunch. “So we’re stoked, and there’s so many great bands obviously on the Big Day Out schedule that we’re really looking forward to it. We got to play with Alabama Shakes the other night and they were just incredible – I was really blown away at my first time seeing them. And we have a lot of friends down there with The Drones and Mike Noga and The Gents, so I’m really looking forward to seeing our friends as well. Basically I’m excited to get back down there and show off the profound brotherhood that we have together and to really bring people a good time.”
SURVIVAL STRATEGISTS Having existed for nearly a quarter of a century, Converge’s dominance of hardcore, metal and punk is undeniable. However, as vocalist Jacob Bannon conveys to Lochlan Watt, their heads are still more humble than most. o be honest, I genuinely don’t pay attention to it,” ponders the 36-year-old musician about the band’s continuously positive critical adoration. He’s had years to get used to it – while their previous output was by no means unworthy, Converge truly turned the world of heavy music on its head with 2001’s Jane Doe, an album often seen as a clearly defined rebirth in the band’s stunning discography. More specifically, however, he speaks in relation to their eighth and most heavily publicised full-length to date, All We Love We Leave Behind.
“I appreciate the fact that people give our band the time of day, and let our music into their lives in some way,” he continues. “You can’t really take it for anything more than that, ever, because everybody’s experience with music is subjective and is wholly their own. If we started paying attention to people’s opinions of how we make music, what we do, what’s valid, what’s not, what’s good, what’s not, we’d cease making music that’s honest. To us it’s just about putting our heads down, writing music that is fulfilling to us, and sharing it with people. If I allowed it to have weight, then I think we would start making different kinds of music. We would start making music to appease people.” With that in mind, Bannon continues to explain why a band’s latest release should always be their most important – evidently, it seems anniversary tours are for suckers. “I think we’re always the most emotionally in tune with the most recent record we’ve released. I think that’s the way bands should be, because if you’re not, you’re doing something wrong. I’ve always felt that it was odd when bands do a tour of like their old hit record or something like that, because that’s discrediting the emotional substance, and artistic substance of the records they did after that. For me, I wouldn’t want to put out something that was anything less than the record before it.”
have to constantly worry about your gear being stolen, vehicles get stolen, things get broken into. You can go pay for gas at a gas pump with a credit or debit card and you can lose all your fucking money, because someone hacked the little computer that’s in there. That’s the world we live in. That’s not like a reality where people download records and then everyone goes to a show and everyone lives happily ever after.” WHO: Converge WHAT: All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 15 February, Billboard The Venue
‘THE INTENSE, BEAT-BRUISING SLEIGH BELLS LIVE SHOW IS NOT TO BE MISSED.’ – PITCHFORK
Converge has retained the same line-up for well over a decade now, a feat that’s relatively unheard of in heavy music. Bannon reveals how much life on the road can make or break a unit in the early days. “When we were kids, we all had different responsibilities in life – it was sometimes difficult to focus wholly on music. For example, when I was going to college, I was paying for college myself, paying for my apartment, my food, and just my living, and there was those expenses, and it was regimented, so you didn’t really have the time and the energy to be able to play in a band at will. You could go on tour for two weeks at a time; otherwise you’re locked into a full-time job or full-time school. It wasn’t an option. There was no social life, there was no anything for those years. It was just school, work, school, work. You have a lot of pressures from the outside world, whether it be family, friends or just society at large, to participate in a different way. “We shed a couple of drummers for that reason. We lost the second drummer we ever had, he did one European tour with us, and it essentially broke him. You’re basically sleeping two or three hours a night somewhere on the ground in a squat for six weeks at a time, eating whatever food someone’s generous enough to give to you. Those are hard tours, and they broke a lot of people. It’s a hard lifestyle to romanticise and to maintain. When we were kids, people would want to do it, they’d be excited, they’d want to tour, and it’d be a week or two into a tour and they’d want to die.” Since bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller joined Bannon alongside fellow founding guitarist Kurt Ballou around the turn of the century, Converge have held it down as a fourpiece. They’re the definition of eventual massive success through persisting with a DIY approach. The band handles almost everything internally, with Bannon even putting out the vinyl editions of their releases through his own Deathwish Inc. label. Hydra Head Records – a label run by a long-time friend of Converge’s, Aaron Turner of ISIS – recently announced a gradual shutdown in operations, and the poetic yet savage vocalist has plenty to say on it. “You should always be concerned with the future of all labels, because that’s a huge reality. If Deathwish was smart, were intelligent, rather than releasing music because our heart’s in it, we would have closed a long time ago. For the first seven years of our business I didn’t get paid a dime, and I still worked full-time. It’s a labour of love. It’s music and it’s a community, and it’s us giving ourselves to it because we believe in the power of aggressive music. It’s very important for people not to take that for granted. “The Hydra Head situation, they got tired of being broke, and that’s a difficult place, and all small businesses have to deal with that in some way. It’s a very different, difficult world to exist in. As labels we have to support our artists, we promote our artists, and to make the world see and experience their music, yet it’s usually easier to steal the music than it is to purchase it. We exist in a world where we have to literally convince people that the things we love, that we put our hearts into, is something of value. There’s no economy that exists like that. “It’d be great if everything was that utopian, but it’s not. If it was that utopian, where we could exist in a world where people didn’t pay for music, but everybody went to shows, then that would mean that every show that every band played there would be thousands of people at it, and it would be a joyous and positive experience, and everything would be happy to pay their fucking eight to fifteen dollars to get into a show, and would be very helpful, and very enthusiastic. “In reality you get people who complain about door prices for shows, you get promoters who try to screw over bands, you have people that try to steal merch from bands, you have venues that try to take a merch percentage from bands, where that’s really the only source of income, because the expense of just being there is so much. You
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NINJA TUNES Who needs an iPod when you’ve got Twelve Foot Ninja? The progressiveminded Melbourne hard rockers have taken a quantum leap forward on their debut LP. Brendan Crabb lurks in the shadows, blade in hand, with vocalist Kin. arely has an Australian heavy band sounded so strikingly assured – not to mention as musically wide-reaching and coherent – on their initial full-length as Melbourne’s Twelve Foot Ninja. After two EPs, the proggy heavy rockers exhibit a seamless delivery on debut LP, Silent Machine, despite its versatility. It effortlessly flits, often within a solitary song, between heavy-duty metal riffage, electronica, bossa nova, reggae, funk and classic rock, underpinned by Mike Pattonesque vocal musings and Meshuggah-inspired poly-rhythms. Previous recordings bristled with promise, and the band impressed at various festivals and during jaunts with Dead Letter Circus, Mammal, Behind Crimson Eyes and Thousand Needles in Red. However, the inaugural full-length is a major statement.
“We all come from pretty diverse backgrounds,” vocalist Kin chuckles when
quizzed about their eclecticism. “We’re all influenced by a lot of different styles of music, not just metal or hard rock. I think originally the band was conceptualised by our guitarist Steve Mackay. He wrote all the music for the first EP and I think he was sort of basing it on the iPod mentality of skipping songs. We noticed there was a trend of kids who would like listen to thirty seconds, skip to the next one, and then skip to the next one. So we thought we’d attempt to cater to that. Writing that sort of stuff, we don’t plot it out really. It’s not like we say, ‘Okay, let’s make a song with a jazz progression, then we’ll go to a reggae bit and a metal bit.’ It’s a little more organic than that. Most of the time the heavy stuff comes first and we’ll build the other styles around that base essentially.” Said approach must present a raft of challenges for the singer, too. “Yeah, because I realise that because there are a lot of different styles I could easily have gone down the Patton road of the Mr. Bungle-esque vocals, where I’m changing accents and voices, and attempting to blend in with each style. But I tend to work towards building something a little more consistent throughout the song, so that the changes aren’t too jarring. I think there has to be something grounding it all together. So I attempt,” he pauses, laughing, “to tailor my vocals to that concept, and keep it as consistent as possible.” The buzz surrounding the band is undeniable, having earned numerous gushing reviews and winning scores of new converts. It’s remarked that as a proudly independent band, doing it off their own bat must ultimately be more rewarding, even if it means they really have to do their homework. “Yeah, absolutely,” the vocalist responds. “You sort of have to work twice as hard in a way, because you don’t have that backing. You don’t have the hype machine and publicity that’s afforded to you on a major label; or the budget, for that matter. You have to work a little harder to be noticed; but I think for us it’s definitely paid off so far. It’s great that we’ve been able to do this being an independent band. I think that’s indicative of the new music industry business model really, that bands can get out there and do it themselves, be their own boss and still achieve significant results, that otherwise, years ago, couldn’t have been achieved without a major label.”
There’s more to this story on the iPad It also encourages other outfits not signed to majors to have that selfbelief; although of course they also need the talent and appropriate work ethic. “Absolutely, and there’s a plethora of them out there, too. We would hope it would be at least inspiring for some to get out there and not be afraid of doing it themselves. It is harder work, you have to do a lot more yourselves, but I think building it up that way… It creates a better relationship, a much more solid relationship between you and your fan base, because they’re aware of how hard you’ve worked, that you’re not a major label band. So there’s a little more respect and kudos for that, which is fantastic.” It’s apt then that Twelve Foot Ninja have been so actively championed by US prog-metallers Periphery, who began life as strictly DIY act, using various clever online means to build a reputation to such an extent that labels couldn’t ignore them. They regularly promote Twelve Foot Ninja via social media and Silent Machine landed in members’ best-of-2012 lists. “It’s pretty wild, man,” the frontman laughs. “We played a show with them in Melbourne and ever since they’ve been flaunting us to their fans. “We’re seeing tangible results from that; every time they post about us, one of our clips or anything like that, our ‘like’s go up on Facebook straight away. They’ve been absolute legends and their support has meant a lot to us. It’s great to be identified by other musicians that you admire; there’s nothing like it. It’s still a little bit surreal for us at the moment, but it’s been awesome.” Perhaps they see a little of themselves in Twelve Foot Ninja? “Yeah perhaps; that’s likely, actually. I think there’s a very similar sense of humour between our bands as well; I think they identify with our sense of humour. They also identify with the musicianship of the band as well, and the technicality. So we’re kind of aligned; it’s like we’re running parallel,” Kin laughs. “They’re a lot more advanced than we are, and have a lot more experience. But I think we’re sort of parallel. Even though we’re in different worlds, I think as bands we function in very similar ways.” Buoyed by the assistance of their high-profile fans there has also been significant international interest from press and booking agents. “There are a few things in the motions, but nothing’s confirmed yet,” the vocalist says of foreign touring. “But we are hoping to make a foray into other territories, hopefully next year. I’m not sure which territories they’re gonna be, but I think that’s all dependent on where most of our traffic is coming from overseas.” Australian fans won’t be short-changed, though. Beyond their upcoming album launch tour, the band hopes to more extensively trek throughout Australia later in 2013. “It’s basically us just giving it everything we’ve got for the whole show,” he says of their live performances. “It’s relentless, but we’re pretty light-hearted about it. We’ve played quite a lot of shows, done a few tours and just learnt as we’ve gone on. We do gig analysis quite a bit. So if we play a show and things have gone wrong, or we hit snags or anything like that we usually reflect on the show, try to work out a solution to avoiding that in the future. I think from there you start getting a lot more familiar with the territory, the do’s and don’ts just fall into place. “It’s a little bit like learning a language. The more you do it, the more you learn and the bigger your vocabulary.” WHO: Twelve Foot Ninja WHAT: Silent Machine (Volkanik/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 18 January, Corner Hotel; Saturday 19, Ferntree Gully Hotel
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STILL (NOT JUST) KNEE DEEP The godfather of funk, George Clinton, tells Dan Condon why his Parliament Funkadelic can still blow minds after 45 years. eorge Clinton is in a Los Angeles hotel room when he answers our call, his croaky voice sounding not-at-all like it did on those records that made him a star through the 1970s.
“Doing some sessions,” he says sharply when asked what brings him out of his home city of Detroit. Prying further, the sessions he is recording sound interesting. “It’s some Parliament stuff. I’m working on a new record, an album for a cartoon; we’re doing an album for a cartoon called Dope Dogs. “I’ve been putting out music as P-Funk All Stars but this will be the first one for a long time for Parliament,” he explains, before adding that they are “about a quarter of the way through” the album’s recording. The chaos of a Parliament Funkadelic live show, which Australian audiences can witness again this March, is something that one needs to experience to truly understand. Anywhere up to 30 people on stage sing, dance and play all manner of instruments – all prodigiously – while Clinton stalks the stage, pointing at band members, giving hand signals and croaking out a few verses of his own every now and then.
“Oh yeah, until they pull us off the stage,” he laughs. At 71 years of age, with a well-publicised past packed with hedonistic debauchery, one would forgive Clinton for wanting to wind down. Not much chance of that, though. “Not really, I mean I still can outlast pretty much everyone else in the band onstage,” he gloats. “They’re really punks when it comes to staying on stage for a long time. I don’t feel no signs of fatigue.” WHO: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 9 March, Billboard The Venue; Sunday 10, Golden Plains
“We have pretty good signals. Everyone follows my signals pretty good, so it’s pretty loose looking but it’s really organised chaos,” Clinton assures of the Parliament Funkadelic live experience. “There’s a lot of traffic on the stage but everyone pretty much knows what they’re doing. I usually call off the songs according to the audience; it’s been working like [that] for years so we’ve got it down pretty well – it’s pretty organised.” This trip will reportedly see them performing as a 22-piece as they bring a show they’re calling the ‘Galactic Space Circus’.
“Back in the late-‘70s I pretty much knew that we had something that was gonna [stay] around. I had no idea about hip hop coming on and taking it further, but I knew that the music itself was gonna be around for a while.” As crazy as the music of Parliament and Funkadelic gets – and it does get crazy – Clinton says its foundation is built on something solid but simple. “Motown set the stage. I always wanted to have a collation of music, all styles of music, a family band. Motown started that up.
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“I never thought about it. I just knew that I would be here for a long time, I knew that I would stand the test of time; I’m not going nowhere,” Clinton says of the longevity of the music. “I’m certainly happy that the music is surviving too.
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For music as adventurous as the spacey funk of Parliament and the wildly psyched-out Funkadelic fare, it has stood the test of time remarkably well. The odd synth sound might seem particularly dated and visions of the future off kilter, but it generally holds up.
“Kidd Funkadelic, he’ll be there this time, Ricky Rouse will be there, the P-Funk All Stars, the P-Funk horns, my granddaughter, my sons – both of them will be there…”
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“After we got started doing that I realised that characters – you know, like Dr Funkenstein [introduced on 1976’s The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein] and Mr Wiggles [first heard on 1978’s Motor Booty Affair] – the characters last longer than entertainers, so I looked at it like cartoon characters and I figured that was the way to keep it alive for a long time, putting stories in the songs and characters in the songs.
“I realised then that it would be around a long time. I just needed to keep up with the changing trends in music and the best way I figured to do that was to take the music that parents hate. Whenever I hear that parents hate something then I know that’s the new music. Or when I hear old musicians say, ‘That ain’t music! That ain’t music!’ then I know that that’s the new music. That works pretty good. When it gets on their nerves then I know that’s the new music; you just gotta make yourself learn to like it. Kids love to get on your nerves so if they get on your nerves with new music, you just gotta get in it with them.”
His output over the past 45 years has been incredibly diverse, but Clinton’s personal musical preferences remain much the same as always.
“We try everything because all the members in the band like all kinds of music so we pretty much play everything. I’m still partial to doo-wop and Motown, they are my favourite types of music. Then that evolves right into psychedelic and it grows into the rest of the stuff we did. But the basic music [I love] is love songs from the ‘50s and dance music from the ‘60s.”
“It goes around and comes around; right now the funk is in the form of the hip hop. But you will get some funky bands in a minute, probably European bands or something. I mean, it’s already happening but you’ll probably see a lot more of it in a minute. Techno music and dance and electronic music has a bit of funk in it, but the funk bands will probably show up pretty soon.” Given the fluid nature of the Parliament Funkadelic live show and the 45 years’ worth of material the band has to choose from, Clinton admits putting together a setlist can be tough. “The band wants to do a lot of new stuff all the time, but people want the old stuff, so you have to kind of bridge all that stuff. We have so many songs and that’s why we play so long most days.” Indeed, a three-to-four hour set is fairly standard for the group and Clinton hopes the forthcoming Australian shows will go on just as long.
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As for funk these days, Clinton says he hears it most evident in electronic music and hip hop, but is certain that a funk band revolution is not far away.
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1300 438 849 For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 21
THE COMING TOGETHER OF GENERATIONS If you haven’t already, it’s time you met St. Vincent, the utterly remarkable New Yorker who is on her way Down Under with current collaborator David Byrne for a few shows. Ben Preece jumps on the phone to Annie Clark (as her mum knows her) to discuss the incredible collaboration. t’s been a busy couple of years for Annie Clark. No sooner had the dust settled on touring for her third album, 2011’s Strange Mercy, when seemingly out of nowhere Love This Giant lands. A record of remarkable proportions, it was born from a killer collaboration of St. Vincent herself and former Talking Heads’ frontman David Byrne, a couple of akin spirits it would seem who are both not new to the collaboration, but also completely unconventional in their approach to pop music.
A guitarist since the age of 12, Clark began her career as a member of the symphonic pop outfit The Polyphonic Spree and was also part of Sufjan Stevens’ touring band before departing in 2006, starting her own band and dropping the remarkable debut album Marry Me in 2007. A couple more followed – Actor (2009) and Strange Mercy (2011) – as did critical acclaim and notoriety from audiences and peers alike, including one David Byrne. “We first met at a charity concert for Dark Was The Night which was an AIDS charity,” Clark says, explaining her first interaction with Byrne. “Then we actually saw each other at the after-party for that. David came up to me and told me he liked my video Actor Out Of Work; he said it was very creepy which I took as a very big compliment. Then we saw each other again a few days later at another AIDS benefit concert. That charity – called Housing Works – asked us if we’d like to collaborate with each other on a night of music.” It may have seemed like a little piece of fate, but the sessions for Love This Giant didn’t fall into place right away, in fact the two had to learn how this collaboration would unfold before doing anything more. “Well, we wrote pretty much every song together and, how it worked was he would send me music or I would send him music over email and the other person would add to it and send it back. It was kind of like musical tennis,” she laughs. “It took about three years because at first we were best trying to figure out [how] to work together and what our mission would be. And then he was on tour and I was on tour
for most of it, so it took us a little while but we were finally able to get it together. We started recording songs, maybe three or four at a time over 2010.” With these two behind the wheel, you’d expect an absolute myriad of ideas to be floating around, even leftover as the two traded music, lyrics, ideas over the internet. “We had a couple of songs left over but for the most part we used what we had,” she says. “There were a number of ideas that landed on one or the other that, for whatever reason, the other person didn’t bite on.” When you’re dealing with a pair of unconventional artists like David Byrne and St. Vincent, little rules or challenges are bound to be put in place. Thinking they were going to be playing in small spaces with a lack of amplification, they decided to work with a brass band in place of a traditional rock format. “I came up with the idea to work with a brass band for a few reasons,” Clark reveals. “Originally we didn’t set out to make the record together, we just set out to write some songs that could be performed in a book store for charity one night only. Then I thought, ‘Well the bookstore doesn’t have very much PA, so we might as well use acoustic instruments that sound good in a small space’. Obviously we outgrew the bookstore, but also I thought it might be a good idea to have this record sound like its own specific thing and not have it sound just like a David Byrne record or just like a St. Vincent record. So I thought that the horn band was a great equalising force.” But once the album was complete, Clark admits she lost perspective of it and couldn’t really decide if she thought it was going to be successful. “I didn’t have any idea, you never know about a record – there’s no guarantee with any record. The thing that I am proud about is when we started this record and walked around telling people, ‘Oh David and I are writing songs’ and ‘There’s going to be a brass band’, you would see people’s eyes glaze over a little bit because they’d be thinking ‘Oooo-k it’s going to be an ‘art’ project’. It
is artful, but the thing that I get most excited about is being able to merge ‘art’ music with things that are accessible and memorable and, if you want, to use the word catchy. David is great moving in that space too so it probably did start as more of an art project and as time went on we pulled it closer to a good pop record. My version of pop music is probably quite different to a lot of peoples, but I think it is a really good pop record.” Highlights are aplenty on Love This Giant – from the opening horn hook of the infectious first single Who to the calm and collected Lazarus, there is much to hold onto for any listener. For Clark, her fondness of specifics lies in something a little more personal. “I am really fond of the song The Forest Awakes because that horn part, that rollicking horn part is something I’d been kicking around for a long time,” she reveals. “I remember I could never figure out how to make it a song or even what kind of melody it would work over such a moving horn part. I remember sending it to David and he sent it back probably within 24 or 36 hours and all of a sudden it was a song. He added that melody and added a second vocal melody that made it feel like a verse and a chorus. He u-turned it from an abstract horn piece into a song; I was so excited by that.
Having only been to Australia quite recently on her own tour for her Strange Mercy album, Clark will return with Byrne this month for a couple of shows, horns and sharp suits in tow. “I have great times in Australia, it’s always so relaxing – you can go to the beach, we went to the koala reserve in Brisbane – yeah, I’ve had great times down there,” she laughs. “As for the tour, well it’ll be most of Love This Giant, but then also an even amount of David’s songs and St. Vincent songs – David’s ones include Talking Heads’ songs. It’s a very choreographed show – there’s a lot of thought put into it. The horn players, of which there are eight on stage, have choreographed dance moves, not in the Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation-way but in their own strange way. David and I also dance – the show has a really nice dramatic art, combining modern theatre and modern dance and, I guess, modern music. And yes, it really is as fun as it looks!” WHO: David Byrne & St. Vincent WHAT: Love This Giant (4AD/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 January, Hamer Hall
HOLT POP A scion of LA’s enigmatic synthpop movement, Julia Holter talks of conflict and composition with Anthony Carew. ulia Holter would be categorised, by the world, as an ‘indie musician’. Born from the same Los Angeles scene as Ariel Pink, Geneva Jacuzzi, Nite Jewel et al, Holter makes a kind of conceptual synth-pop, in which she explores thematic ideas across whole albums. Her greatest praise comes from the familiar beacons of the underground (Pitchfork praised her latest LP, Ekstasis, with a Best New Music, and placed it on their Albums of 2012 list), she’s newly signed to indie powerhouse Domino Records, and her tours find her playing the outdoor music festivals that cater to such a world; her first Australian tour finding her playing Laneway Festival, a veritable repository of the Best New Music recipients.
Yet, Holter doesn’t see herself as an ‘indie musician’. Schooled in both classical and modern composition, first at the University of Michigan and then at CalArts, she sees herself as a composer. “I think of myself as a composer,” says Holter, with no sense of big-noting or boasting, just a self-actualised rationale. “I like to leave myself open to lots of different projects. I’ve recently been writing a lot of songs, and I think that that will continue, but if I call myself a songwriter it feels quite limiting to me. I don’t think of myself as a project, I think of each of my albums as projects. Which means that every work I undertake can be radically different from the others, but it will still fall under my name, which is Julia Holter, because it is a work that I have done. To me, that’s completely different to saying that I’m a songwriter, and I have this project called Julia Dream, or whatever... Maybe, if a lot of people were interested in you, it would feel really revealing to just have your name on your records, but for me it’s just felt super-liberating. Like, I’m not a project, I’m a person. I can do whatever I want.” Holter’s compositional path began when she was eight years old. Though she’d grown up the daughter of musicians, there’d never been a piano in the house until she convinced her grandmother to buy her one. “I always knew I wanted to play piano, I don’t know where that came from,” she recounts. “I specifically wanted to play classical music; I think I just enjoyed it from the start... I didn’t regard myself that highly as pianist; I wasn’t a virtuoso at all, I just loved playing the piano so much. At 15 I took some theory classes and it really helped me; after that I could just play all these pop-songs that I’d been listening to my whole life, like their secrets had been revealed to me. And, eventually, I decided that I wanted to be a composer.”
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After undertaking her undergraduate studies in Michigan —where she was most interested in field recordings— she returned to Los Angeles, and fell in which the creative scene of the Human Ear Music imprint after starting there as an intern. Holter played in the synthpop duo SuperCreep, the medieval outsider-folk project The Remarkable Thing About Swans, made amazing solo music under the name Julia Shammas Holter, and ended up on bills with bands like Bubonic Plague, Holy Shit, and, of course, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Her first record was a cassette, Eating The Stars, which was filled with giddy, fizzing, fuzzy, semi-Francophone synth-pop; a self-pressed CDR, 2008’s Cookbook, showed the other extreme of her compositional interests, the album a single-take, ‘performed’ field-recording of meal preparation. Holter didn’t see the two pursuits —one more lowbrow and accessible, the other highbrow and conceptual— as being two separate, conflicting things; more experiments in different fields of interest. When she played keyboards and sung sweet songs, she wasn’t being a ‘songwriter’, but a composer trying their hand. “One of the good things about studying music was the way it helped me learn, how it challenged me,” Holter says. “I’m a very intuitive writer, so I didn’t need to go to school; I could’ve happily gone off and written music by myself. But in that collegiate setting, I had to really open myself up to other ways of working, and other possibilities; and that’s something I’m really thankful for. When I was studying music, I started out as someone who was just working behind the scenes, I don’t think of myself as a singer. I come out onto the stage if I want to, but if I do it it’s as a performance, and not just as me.” That sense of theatricality —and of careful, compositional approach— is all over her first two ‘proper’ albums, 2011’s Tragedy and 2012’s Ekstasis. The albums form Holter’s career narrative both in its upward-ascent basics —Tragedy the one to catch critical ears, Ekstasis the essential breakout— and in the way they reveal her musical approach, and sense of ambition. And they work together as essential pair; a set of ‘sister’ albums that riff on a central song, Goddess Eyes. Tragedy was a concept album that set to retell Euripides’ eternal piece of Ancient Greek theatre, Hippolytus, through a sustained suite. The album has a dark, doomy,
echoey quality, with synthesised sounds and triggered MIDI patches functioning as an orchestra; Holter’s voice, bathed in echo, serving as the narrator. It sounds at once modern and ancient; medieval and ’80s; ersatz and authentic; hand-carved and digitally etched.
clearer, cleaner, sweeter, and more accessible. It was met with across-the-board acclaim (the possibly-evil consensuscreator Metacritic calculates it in 2012’s 20 Best-Reviewed LPs), and took Holter, the indie musician as composer, into a realm where her music suddenly became her occupation.
The squelchy, robotic lament, Goddess Eyes, was like a three-minute ‘pop’ song amidst the album’s grander pieces; and New York label Rvng. Intl. (that’s Revenge International, not, sadly, Raving Intellectual) initially approach Holter about turning it into a small-pressing single. Picking up on those ideas, Holter found them unfolding into more; leaving her to shelve her planned follow-up, Gigi, to make Ekstasis. “It was just I actually was just going to make a seven-inch,” she recounts, “but then it became an EP, and then it became an album. It was never intended to be something so expansive.”
“I am very happy right now, because for the first time ever, I’m just doing music,” Holter beams. “[But] being a jack-ofall-trades is a mixed blessing. And, musically, if you define yourself as just being yourself, then I think your music can suffer; because even if you have the skill to do everything yourself, you’re missing out on the benefits of collaboration, in keeping your music open to different ideas. Musically, I’ve really been lucky so far in that I’ve allowed my name to cover a lot of territory; so Julia Holter doesn’t just mean me on stage, I could be performing with a friend, or any number of other musicians. I could be doing anything.”
Ekstasis is also indebted to Ancient Greece —though, here, the philosophical notion of achieving out-of-body experience through proximity to godliness— and it, too, feels like a thoughtful orchestral work composed on synthesisers. Yet, it feels like far more of a marriage of Holter’s various fields-of-interest; dense with field recordings, yet sounding
WHO: Julia Holter WHEN & WHERE: Laneway Festival, Sunday 3 February; The Toff, Wednesday 6 February
TASTE TEST: IVA DAVIES THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY It was probably an album called Soft Machine 5 (Fifth) by a relatively obscure Dutch prog-rock band, and the only reason I bought it was because they had an oboist in the band [laughs].
THE ALBUM I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW Well, interestingly, I don’t really listen to anything much – on very rare occasions – and it’s because it’s work: music is work. In the early-‘80s I had a girlfriend I lived with and she used to like to go to sleep with the radio on, which drove me insane because I’d sit there and in my head I’d be pulling it apart. So the other answer to that is: I have a fantastic system in my house called the Sonos system... So I don’t buy albums per se.
MY FAVOURITE PARTY ALBUM I never was a huge kinda reggae specialist, but for some reason every time I put on a Bob Marley album it just feels like a party, hahaha. I don’t know what it is about reggae, but it just has that thing and it’s so foreign to me, you know. I’ve never referenced anything in my music and I have associations with it, too. I have had a house in Fiji on an island for 23 years and I’ve got a really beautiful sound system there because I actually do a bit of work there – I don’t have a television set, but the button that it pushes with me is: five o’clock, gin and tonic, watching the sunset through the coconut trees and Bob Marley really loud on this beautiful sound system – it’s great.
MY FAVOURITE COMEDOWN ALBUM This is a weird one. It’s quite a peculiar album. It was a soundtrack that Pink Floyd did to some quite weird little movie made by a French filmmaker in the islands of Papua New Guinea called Obscured By Clouds. They must’ve been so stoned and you can actually sort of smell how out of it they were when they were recording it. It’s just so slow and so spacey, you can actually hear their kind of buzz – it’s quite peculiar.
THE FIRST GIG I EVER ATTENDED I used to go to import stores and buy albums on import… I wanted to go and see this band who I knew nothing about, except one album, and it’s a German band called Tangerine Dream. They were an electronic band and this would’ve been like 1973 or something at the Hordern Pavilion. And I think Hans Zimmer, the world famous film-score writer, was a founding member of
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Tangerine Dream so it was all sort of instrumental and it was all sequencers and these kind of soundscapes, but they had the Pavilion wired in quadraphonic. It was amazing, because things just travelled around the room – it was incredibly trippy, but quite obscure.
THE WEIRDEST GIG EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD I’d just broken up with a girlfriend that I’d been living with for a while, and [was] deeply regretting it, and I must’ve been in my very early twenties. There was a gig planned at Manly Beach, and I remember somehow or other I’d been really sick and I was full of antibiotics. And this is a lesson learned, folks – the hard way. I hadn’t really drunk very much, but I’d drunk a little bit, and somehow or other we managed to blag our way into a photographer’s area cordoned off at the front of the stage – I dunno how we managed to do that. I remember as soon as I got into there with Keith [Welsh], I saw this girlfriend that I hadn’t seen for ages and somehow she’d conned her way into there. Split Enz was just finished and Skyhooks were about to come on, on the count of midnight, and all I remember was, ‘Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one,’ ‘cause then I passed out and woke up in the back of the ambulance on the way to Manly Hospital.
MY BIGGEST NONMUSICAL INFLUENCES I think it’s probably a cliché, but it’s obviously my parents because from them I got lots of stuff: my mother was a very highly regarded and finely trained artist and a brilliant pianist, and my father was a singer – opera and stuff like that, but also a poet and into poetry and literature.
THE COOLEST PERSON I’VE EVER MET Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd was pretty cool, through Guy [Pratt] the bass player. I had to go to Düsseldorf because this massive European music show, it was like the Countdown of Europe, had an anniversary gettogether and we won the award for the best song of the ‘80s, the whole decade, with Hey Little Girl. We had to go over to perform it, so Guy was rehearsing with Dave Gilmour, and the band consisted of David Gilmour; Rick Wright, Pink Floyd keyboard player; Phil Manzanera, the lead guitarist from Roxy Music, playing rhythm guitar; and the other guys who played in Pink Floyd for their live shows. So it was Pink Floyd, basically, and they were rehearsing, and I said to Guy, ‘I need a band,’ and he said, ‘I’ll just get the guys from
Pink Floyd to come.’ So I went on European television to play Hey Little Girl with Pink Floyd backing me and then drove down the road to this beautiful theatre, watched the sound check, then went and had dinner with all these legends and then watched the show, the first half of which consisted of the new Dave Gilmour solo stuff, and the second half of which was the best of Pink Floyd, so Shine On You Crazy Diamond, with the original Pink Floyd sax player who played on Dark Side Of The Moon and all that stuff. It was just unbelievable. It was about the coolest night I’ve had, I think [laughs].
and Marc Bolan, and then all of a sudden you had all these West Indians arriving in London with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, and then the more progressive British bands like Queen. I remember just reading the gig list and it was the weirdest set of things and then in the middle of it The Sex Pistols arrived… There was this real strange period of the biggest, messiest set of music, but it seemed like it had incredible energy and I would’ve liked to have been there.
IF I COULD HANG OUT IN ANY TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY
Having a gin and tonic on that verandah in Fiji with the Bob Marley on the player.
I think an incredibly interesting time would have been to be in England in the mid-‘70s when there were these incredible collisions of music. We used to get Melody Maker and New Musical Express and I would’ve only been 19 or something at that time, but you had this tradition of big rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and so on, then they turned into prog-rock bands like Yes and Genesis and so on, and then you had this weird movement of glam from David Bowie
Interview by Bryget Chrisfield
IF I WASN’T MAKING MUSIC
WHO: Icehouse WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12 January, Trevor Music Festival, Newhaven; Sunday 13, Costa Hall, Geelong; Tuesday 15, Wednesday 16, Friday 18 and Saturday 19, Palms
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Following Little Red’s disbanding, Adrian Beltrame and Dom Byrne have continued to make sweet music together with New Gods. “I’d have to think long and hard about playing music if it was with someone other than Dom,” the guitarist tells Bryget Chrisfield. ittle Red was – we all sort of kind of wanted to push it in different directions and it was just getting a bit out of control,” New Gods guitarist Adrian Beltrame laughs, carefully selecting the words to best describe the reasons behind his muchloved previous band’s demise. It must make it difficult when some of the band members have different visions. “Yeah, I guess so. Something like that,” he hesitates.
Beltrame acknowledges “it was a sad time” when Little Red decided to call it a day, before adding, “But the thing is that we’ve never released our best stuff. The best things I remember about Little Red were just [all] being in the one room, chucking mics everywhere – we didn’t know what we were doin’ – and just going for it and putting everything in the red. You know, I mean like the levels of the instruments and all that shit is all overloaded and it’s great! Dom [Byrne] and I have each got piles of tapes and stuff, just recorded at home.” From the ashes of Little Red came various new projects: Beltrame and Byrne, both guitarists/vocalists with Little Red, make up two fifths of New Gods; Little Red drummer Taka Honda went on to lead The Hondas on vocals/guitar; Tom Hartney, former Little Red keyboardist/vocalist, now fronts Major Tom & The Atoms; and Little Red bassist/vocalist Quang Dinh is now band leader with Naked Bodies. “I saw Quang’s band the other night and also Tom’s band as well and they’ve both gone in different directions, but it’s cool. I mean, I’m really happy for them. I love those guys. “I get a kick out of seeing ‘em play and the truth is that they’ve both got other bands and we couldn’t play their music. Like, the way that they’ve gone is quite unique and I don’t think Dom and I could’ve played music like that… We just needed a new challenge.” On how the New Gods songs take shape, Beltrame explains, “It’s Dom’s baby. It’s always been that way.
Awesome Tapes From Africa blogger Brian Shimkovitz doesn’t buy into the misguided ideas that white, Western audiences impose on music from Africa. He chats with Anthony Carew about bringing African tunes to new audiences. He’s just an incredible, talented person and I wouldn’t be doing it without him. I mean, I’d have to think long and hard about playing music if it was with someone other than Dom.” He laughs as if fearing this sounds naff before adding, “You know, we go back a long way.” When asked how his new band came together, Beltrame observes that the local band scene is “a pretty small community, really... The other guys in the band, we’ve all sort of played music together at some stage and I think actually a few of them went to music school together. It’s cool, you know, it’s a cracking band and we’ve got Dale [Packard, formerly of Ground Components], who plays keyboards – [we] sort of knew him from a long time ago as well and, yeah! It’s all been really natural and it just seems to work.” New Gods are signed to Liberation, Little Red’s label, and Beltrame praises, “They’ve been really good to us, ‘cause it’s been a tough year... The guys at the label have been very supportive and at the same time me and Dom feel like we just need to unleash. You know, we could record an album tomorrow if we wanted to [laughs]… Everyone’s sorta telling us to take our time and we’ll do it, hopefully, early next year. We’ll get stuck into that. “I mean, we would’ve liked to have sort of got our shit out a bit earlier in the year but it’s just the way it’s gone, and so it’s kind of a little bit bad timing and we just missed out on the festival circuit for this summer. But that’s cool, we’ve sorta got time off and it’s really up to us now to use that time and work out which way we wanna push it from here.” WHO: New Gods WHAT: New Gods EP (Liberation) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 11 January, Northcote Social Club
OFF AND RUNNING Canadians Half Moon Run have had the luck of the Irish so to speak, scoring record deals and tours – international at that – within months of forming, as Michael Smith discovers from Dylan Phillips. rummer Dylan Phillips was studying for a Master’s degree in piano in Montreal, Canada, when, in October 2010, an old friend of his invited him and keyboards player/guitarist Conner Molander to come along to a jam he was organising, to which singer and guitarist Devon Portielje also came, though ostensibly as the jam’s bass player. There were five at that first jam and they immediately realised there was something special going on, though the initiator and other participant soon departed, leaving the trio to become Half Moon Run.
“It’s a three-way writing process,” Phillips explains. “We all get in a space together and we try and birth ideas in the jam space if we can and we always surprise ourselves when we start writing or when we find something good because we all have really different ideas about what we want or what we bring to the table I guess, but we somehow manage to meet in the middle and create something we wouldn’t have been able to on our own. We finished some songs while we were in the studio and everything came together in the last minute.” Before that, however, the trio had already done some recording courtesy of some student friends at a school of audio engineering, and “they wanted us to be the band for their project – record one song for them and get a free recording out of it – and one of the people who works at the record label we signed with worked at that school as well, teaching, heard the music and from there we were contacted by the label.” With a sound that references the dream folk pop of artists as diverse as Simon and Garfunkel and Radiohead
26 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
In 2006, Shimkovitz found himself living in New York, finished with his degree, and working as a music publicist. Carefully going through his boxes of cassettes, he decided to digitise the results, and started a blog called Awesome Tapes From Africa with no grand ambition. “I was just doing it as a way to relax on the weekend,” Shimkovitz recounts. “I thought I was making it for me and my friends, and the odd world-music nerd who’d come across it on the internet. I was coming out of academia, and I just wanted to do something that wasn’t wordy and encyclopaedic. I thought it was a novel idea to write about something that there was often absolutely no information on. And it seemed like this music was too cool to just go unknown.” The Awesome Tapes From Africa blog arrived right when the indie world was growing increasingly interested in African guitar-pop; with bands like Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekend wearing its influence openly. This made Shimkovitz a pseudo-spokesperson for a cultural shift; being asked to both defend himself against charges of post-colonial exploitation and decry others for doing the same. It’s a reductionist, condescending, shielding-the-poorthird-worlders attitude that Shimkovitz has no interest in. “It’s really easy for jaded armchair critics, especially in New York, to sit and scoff and talk about politically incorrect appropriation and exploitation,” Shimkovitz says, “but those ideas are way off the mark. I guess
discussion is healthy, but slagging off Vampire Weekend isn’t contributing much to the greater good.” Similarly, he sees how “there’s a lot of misguided ideas that white, Western audiences impose” on music from Africa. “People can get bummed out if they hear African rap that sounds too much like American hip hop, or if they hear dance music that sounds not ‘African enough’ for them,” Shimkovitz offers. “I thought it was exciting that that band Blk Jks were talking about being really inspired by Radiohead and The Cure, but for some people that crossed some imagined line. Like, it’s cool if they’re influenced by James Brown and make West African funk music, but it’s not cool if these black South Africans are inspired by indie rock.” With Awesome Tapes From Africa spiking in interest, Shimkovitz is in the slow process of turning his blog from its own black-market enterprise into a legit record label; following imprints like Sublime Frequencies and Sahel Sounds in the transition from musical tourists to cross-continental collaborateurs. Thus far ATFA the label has released reissues of ‘80s recordings of Malian singer Nâ Hawa Doumbia and Somali outfit Dur-Dur Band, and (truly awesome) ’10s recordings from Ghanaian wailer Bola. To pay for this enterprise (record labels aren’t exactly mints these days), Shimkovitz tours, playing his awesome tapes as twin-cassette DJ. “I don’t get super-technical with it, but I’ve managed to get pretty good at blending tracks together, and sometimes I can even match beats,” Shimkovitz laughs. “From the very first time I did it, I thought it made sense to go straight back to the source and DJ from the tapes. To me, it was the best chance of getting the best sound quality, which is ironic given people think of tapes as being of bad sound quality.” WHO: Awesome Tapes From Africa WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12 January, Bar Open; Sunday 13, Hell Towers Saloon
PUTTING THEIR FOOT DOWN Better known as being a writer, producer and guitarist for Dan Sultan, Scott Wilson is reintroducing himself as part of the rollicking good punk/blues trio Stompy and The Heat. He talks about finding inspiration from strange creations and the benefits of leaving the studio door open with Tony McMahon.
“Eventually I dropped out of school and Connor dropped out of school and we went for it a 100 per cent,” Phillips explains the journey to the recording of their debut album, Dark Eyes, “and we’d played probably less than ten gigs before we started recording. At that time I remember we liked to give people the impression that we had lots of music, to get things going when really we had no idea what we were doing.
he first time Brian Shimkovitz went to Africa, in 2002, he was on exchange in Ghana – a jazz percussionist studying ethnomusicology in Indiana who had, ’til that point, never actually left North America – to have a “culturally unique student experience”. In Accra, he first uncovered the great black market of African cassettes: market stalls teeming with an entire continental culture effectively unknown on Western shores. He went nuts in a record-nerd kind of way – “cassettes are really cheap, and you can find them all over markets in various cities, so I ended up going pretty crazy”– and, on a return trip in 2004-’05, travelled through West Africa, buying up big, then posting boxes of cassettes back home to himself.
with a dash of ambient electronica, Half Moon Run quickly found themselves building a solid enough live reputation to score a 32-date European tour this past May, followed by a 25-date tour of the US supporting Metric and most recently a North American tour with fellow Canadian Patrick Watson and his band. “We just play all the time, which is great – it’s really improving our live show and we’re becoming better musicians and we’re learning a hell of a lot about what it means to be on tour, both in the professional sense and in, like, our personal lives and stuff. It’s been incredibly valuable, but the next step for us is to write good songs.” For Half Moon Run, live is actually where they feel their strength lies, for all the pride they feel in their debut album. “When we went in to record, as soon as we started to use all the studio tricks, add layers and start splicing drums and patching everything up and making it studio perfect, then it started to kill the music. We started to learn that actually, we get the best recordings when we try to emulate what it’s like to play the songs live in the studio. That’s why, for us, the album is kind of a rough version of what we do live. For us, the live show is where there’s the most energy and where we have the most fun.” WHO: Half Moon Run WHAT: Dark Eyes (Indica Australia/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 10 January, Spirit Bar And Lounge, Traralgon; Friday 11, Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne; Saturday 12, Karova Lounge, Ballarat
tompy and The Heat is the terrific new album from the band of the same name featuring Pete ‘The Heat’ Marin on drums and Bow Campbell from Front End Loader on vocals. Completing the package is the ridiculously talented Scott Wilson on guitar, the three men creating a whale of a time that’s way too much fun. Interestingly, though, this record was first conceived not in the studio or on tour, as one might imagine, but was inspired by the sound of a cheap, ‘60s Japanese guitar. Wilson explains this refreshingly unusual path. “Well, I like strange guitars. Sometimes cheap and nasty ones. I get bored with real nice ones. Everyone knows what a Les Paul sounds like. There’s so many other sounds out there. One guitar in particular called a Norma just really took my fancy. It just made a really strange sound. That inspired the project. I suppose it’s a bit weird, but I wanted to hear something different.” In stark contrast to the disposability of the guitar is the quality of the line up Wilson put together to make the rest of the music. It might be fair to call it a supergroup, really. “When it started it was just me and Pete, the drummer. We put everything down originally and I’d written all the songs for myself to sing. I didn’t really consider myself a frontman; I just like to have a bit of a scream now and then. I thought, ‘Who would I really want to get to sing?’ and I think subconsciously I’d written the songs with Bow Campbell in mind. I was really happy to get him on board. He actually sounds a bit like me, just a lot better.” And adding to the supergroup feel of Stompy and The Heat is a number of guest appearances. Wilson is generous in his praise for what these ‘minor’ contributors added to the record, but more than this he goes as far as to say that they actually made it what it is.
“I had a solid foundation, but the project kind of evolved as people came in and left their mark. I got some guests to come in and do some parts better than I could. I was really lucky to get Garrett Costigan to come in and play some pedal steel, which really changed the vibe along the way. He’s a wonderful player. A mate came in and did some double bass. As soon as a double bass turns up, it kind of takes things in that direction. The guests very much shaped the record as they came along.” And it doesn’t seem the experience of producing for Dan Sultan had any effect on the way Wilson went about making this record, except to confirm some tenets he already adhered to. “I’m probably more Ed Wood than Steven Spielberg in the studio. I mostly operate with a pretty low budget, usually because I have to,” he admits. “I don’t like bells and whistles. I believe in honesty in the studio – real sounds with real players.” All of which should make for a terrific album launch. Not surprisingly, Wilson says the choice of venue more or less made itself. “There’s some things I might not be able to reproduce, but you look at someone like, say, Pete as a drummer, there’s no edits on his drums. That’s a real band playing, and that’s what it’ll sound like live. It was a no-brainer that it had to be at The Tote. It’s just the right place to play this kind of music.” WHO: Stompy and The Heat WHAT: Stompy and The Heat (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12 January, The Tote
The woman at the forefront of this generation’s soul revival, Sharon Jones, speaks to Monique Cowper about staying true to the sound and telling anyone who jumps on her bandwagon to step off. hen success comes to you later in life it’s no doubt more satisfying than overnight stardom, but for Sharon Jones it’s obvious that the long journey to become the modern day reigning queen of soul will never leave her. Jones and her band, the Dap-Kings, are about to return to Australia supporting an album, I Learned The Hard Way, which they’ve been touring for the last two years. Much has been made of the band, their sound, how they record. Many credit them with being responsible for the last decade’s obsession with soul. Despite their incredible workload and the almost 20 years that the band have played together, the first concern Jones has for the tour is her sound.
The product of a musical family, Benny Walker reminisces with Izzy Tolhurst and recalls his first-ever gig was “at the local picture theatre for a talent night”.
“It’s been two-and-a-half years of touring this album really,’’ she said. “It’s a long time but it’s okay, we’ve doing it for 18 years now, but it is harder on me when you go somewhere like Australia without your own crew.” Jones says that she’s seen footage of herself performing during their 2010 Australian tour and didn’t like what she saw. “I saw film of me, I’ll never forget it, I was so embarrassed because I kept saying, ‘Please get my sound right’. The audience doesn’t know, they think I sound okay, ‘Why is she complaining?’ They don’t know that in my ear I can’t hear myself and then I can’t sing.” There’s definitely a feeling that after years of trying to make it, Jones cares little about what people think of her and much more about making music which is true to her, the band and the independent label that she refers to her as her family. Daptone Records formed in 2000 and two years later released Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ debut, Dap Dippin’ to critical acclaim. It came after Jones worked in jails to pay the bills and faced the likelihood that music would never be her day job. She is proud of the fact that the “family” have stuck by each other despite soul becoming so commercial at the beginning of the decade.
“Some people think we’ve been around four or five years and don’t know about us but every risk we took has paid off,” she tells. “Staying independent, not going commercial, not letting anyone buy us out, just doing soul music and saying, ‘This is what we are’. I appreciate that things didn’t happen fast for me. For 20 years I worked trying to keep a stable job and I had to give that up and take a chance and take gigs which paid $75. Now when people want to come at me I have the right to tell them to step back. If they haven’t followed me and my struggle, if they just see me on television and that’s the only reason they want to talk to me, I don’t need that. I’m not into the paparazzi or fake friends. I’m not a big, flashy person. I used my faith, I took a chance, this is who I am.” She’s also kept her faith in soul music and the DapKings. Many critics have suggested their sound is too old-school and not progressive enough. “Audiences know it is the real music,” she smiles. “No matter what music you’re into it all came from soul. You can call it gospel or R&B, hip hop, but we’re keeping it true. Everyone in this band worked to be here and we’ve stayed as a family together. This is our livelihood. We’re not greedy, that’s not what the Dap-Kings are, that’s not what we’re about.” WHO: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 6 January, Summer Of Soul, Mossvale Park; Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9, Corner Hotel
SUMMER OF SURF Bringing their feel-good instrumental surf-rock vibes to Australia to kick off 2013, Los Coronas’ David Krahe tells Troy Mutton we’ll be getting plenty of (bull’s) heart from the group. ou’d be hard-pressed to find a band more suited to the warm Australian summer than Spain’s Los Coronas. Hailing from Madrid, they’re widely recognised as one of – if not the – best instrumental band to arise from that country, with a unique blend of summery surf-rock, the kind we tend to associate with Tarantino films these days. And in some slightly broken englais, Los Coronas guitarist David Krahe is looking forward to bringing the group’s Spanish melodies and swirling surfer vibes dDown Under, and offers some insight into what we can look forward to. “A mix of the desert’s flavour of the south of Spain and the quiet waves of the Mediterranean Sea,” he begins, before clarifying, “That doesn´t mean we are a quiet band on stage… As we know that Down Under you’ve got bigger deserts and waves than in Spain, we’ll turn to our bull’s heart to play in order to call the attention of the Aussie public.”
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The ocean and the sand of their homeland is a constant source of inspiration, although they’re certainly not limited to long walks on the beach. “Especially at the beginning,” Krahe offers on the sea as an influence. “We wrote songs like Supertubos (Portuguese beach and its typical wave), Maremoto (tsunami in Spanish), Soul Surfer, Terrible Wavers, etc. Actually we have added more references to Los Coronas’ conception, personal references and a lot of Hispanic cultural references: I give you an example – Los Rumbaleros, it’s a pun of the word ‘Rumba’, which is a flamenco style, ‘bala’ and ‘pistolero’, which means ‘bullet’ and ‘gunfighter’.” Spaghetti Western vibes abound throughout Los Coronas’ music, and when you discover their actual location in regards to the surf – and their abilities in the water – you begin to understand why. “We use to say we are road surfers because we are awful real surfers. We all have been trying to learn [to] surf a couple of times. There’s a big tradition in the north of Spain, but we are living a
enny Walker, the Echuca-born purveyor of soul, blues, reggae and folk, started his first band at age 12, which he says was “unoriginally called The Innocent Criminals”. He wielded a black 1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar and he tells that his “sister was the bass player and the kid across the road was the drummer”. They played “old rock’n’roll and old surf music” and, somewhere, there’s a video lying around of the only gig they ever did, “which was at the local picture theatre for a talent night”. Now, however, with his second album release on the horizon, Walker’s gigs have become less about play-for-a-handful-of-change-at-the-flicks. He’s now more a speaking-of-the-strife-wonder-and-continualprofundity-of-life kinda guy. When asked how much of his own personal experience goes into his songwriting, Walker suggests, “For me, I take inspiration from situations I come across. There’s a song on the new record called Enough Is Enough and it’s about what’s happening in the Kimberley at the moment. I was up there last year doing some gigs and the locals still had a big fight on their hands. The chorus says, ‘enough is enough’, you know, digging up all these beautiful parts of our country just to spin a dollar.” The album-in-waiting, Sinners And Saints, was produced by Shane O’Mara, the man whose belt notches include Tim Rogers, Lisa Miller and The Audreys and, with Walker, his work is equally as sincere and unassuming. “We stayed away from using any editing tricks,” Walker says proudly. “Basically we’d go in and I’d do a couple of vocal takes and pick one. You know, Shane doesn’t even have AutoTune on his computer. That was the whole thing: to make an organic and real sound, like a band playing live.”
grandfather on my dad’s side is a country guitar and pedal steel player – I absolutely love the sound of that instrument. And my dad was the person that taught me to play guitar, so they’ve all definitely had an influence on my music and the direction it’s gone in.” Walker’s also had the great pleasure and “amazing opportunity” of playing with notable artists Archie Roach and the Bull sisters, Vika and Linda. “I love the voices of the Bull sisters. I’ve been in their company a few times and every time I hear their voices it just blows me away – the harmonies and the soul they have. I did a support gig for those girls a couple of weeks ago, and Linda just got out of hospital that day [after] having an operation. She went on stage and still took the roof off the place. She was clearly in a lot of pain, but they sang a song Paul Kelly wrote for them. They’re just amazing to watch live.” Walker jokes about his ability to poach “good musicians from left, right and centre”, referring namely to the recent acquisition of Jacob Gellert, keyboard player from roots outfit Tom Richardson Project. His upcoming tour touches down in over 25 venues across our big brown land, all of which he looks forward to with equal anticipation. “I’ve been to a few of the venues before, but I love being on the road in general so I’m just looking forward to kicking off the tour. It’s all gonna be really fun and the band’s coming too, which will make it great.” WHO: Benny Walker WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 12 January, Northcote Social Club; Wednesday 16, Wine & Pizza Club, Kyneton; Saturday 19, Western Hotel, Ballarat; Saturday 20, Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs; Friday 25, Newmarket Hotel, Bendigo; Saturday 26, Monash City Council, Glen Waverley (solo); Saturday 26, Belgrave Survival Day Australia Day Festival In The Park (solo), Sunday 27, the Loft, Warnambool; Sunday 24 February, Moonee Valley Festival; Saturday 9 March, Moomba Festival; Saturday 16 March, Mordialloc By The Bay
Walker is quick to pay tribute to the musicality and influence his family provided, particularly his grandfathers and father, all of whom were accomplished musicians. “There was always an instrument lying around the house somewhere. My grandfather on my mother’s side – who’s passed now – was a jazz saxophonist but he was also a drummer back in his younger days, so he helped me out there. My
TOTAL CONTROL With a brand new album and an impending nationwide tour, old school black metallers Marduk are back at their blasphemous best. Mark Hebblewhite sat down with main man Morgan ‘Evil’ Håkansson to find out how the band have kept it extreme for over three decades.
few hours far away from the coast, so just our sound technician is a real surfer; the rest of the band are satisfied if they remain standing on the board for two seconds!” It hasn’t always been smooth surfing for the group, who began playing live in 1991, a few years before instrumental rock of the ‘50s and ’60s returned to the collective consciousness, thanks in large part to directors like the abovementioned Quentin Tarantino. “In Spain there were no instrumental bands for the first five years we were playing. In 1995 Pulp Fiction was premiered and [there was an influx] of instrumental rock’n’roll in Spain and I think all over the world as well. “It represents the comeback of surf music, like a phoenix. If people in Australia are going to a surf music festival, nobody’s asking, ‘When’s the singer gonna jump into the stage?’ But believe me, we’ve been hearing that question for years… So they were hard times, but we kept playing and we released our albums on our own label as well, Tritone Records. I think these facts have sent a message of some kind of credibility and tenacity to our Spanish public which today is very useful for us.” The group have released four records and two compilations, with the upcoming shows (finally) marking the end of the cycle for their latest effort, and signalling the beginning of a new one. “It’s gonna be funny for us because we are gonna travel to Australia to show El Baile Final, a record that we’ve recorded four years ago. While we are Down Under our new album, Adios Sancho, is gonna be released in Spain. A good New Year’s present for Aussie people would be to present some song off our next album, although everything’s gonna be new for them. Meanwhile we must rehearse our new songs. It’s gonna be the first time we play live one song of our next album!” WHO: Los Coronas WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 15 January, Toff In Town
e are very much a live band and playing shows is the most important thing we do,” explains Håkansson when asked to discuss Marduk’s upcoming Australian tour. “We keep things as simple as possible on stage, just four guys playing their instruments to the best of their ability. We don’t bother with all the effects and other sonic ‘bells and whistles’ some black metal bands lean on. This means we keep total control over what we do and we are able to offer consistency every time we play because there’s a lot less that can go wrong. I find that live we have a unique sort of power – the songs really come alive and often sound even more vicious and visceral than they do on record.”
But while Marduk eschew sonic frippery they remain dedicated to the ‘good pandas gone bad’ visual aesthetic. Just how important is corpse paint to the Marduk experience? “Corpse paint has always been an important part of the visual side of this band,” spits Håkansson. “Of course it doesn’t affect the music at all but it expresses out attitude and our belief in this music. I don’t care that it became trendy and that people started laughing at bands that used corpse paint. To us it’s a part of what we offer and we’re not going to stop using it because other people think we should. “Having said that, to me black metal isn’t about corpse paint, it isn’t even about the actual music – it’s all about the attitude you bring. We’re very proud to play black metal but I know that I’ve been influenced greatly by traditional heavy metal and a lot of great death metal bands. I remember back in the early ‘90s a lot of black metal bands didn’t want to play with death metal bands. We were never like that and did shows with Suffocation and other death metal bands.” Although a segment of their fan base yearn for the blast happy Marduk of old, it’s the band’s later records which have cemented their ongoing popularity. The
likes of Plague Angel, Wormwood, and now Serpent Sermon mix old school fury with mid tempo riffs and chilling melodies. Was this a deliberate shift on the part of Marduk or just a natural progression? “Our fans have very strong opinions about what their favourite album is,” chuckles Håkansson. “I understand that some people like the fastest stuff possible but we don’t write songs in that way. We go where the energy takes us and that’s not always writing really fast songs. We play extreme metal and it’s going to stay that way, but people have to understand that extreme and fast aren’t necessarily the same thing.” Even more controversial than the decision to write the odd slower song is Marduk’s use of provocative imagery. Aside from the Panzer Division Marduk moniker they slapped on their sixth album, there was Live In Germania, which utilised a term synonymous with Hitler’s projected name for his post war Berlin. If, as Marduk claim, they are not in the slightest a political band, then why have they flirted with imagery that makes them look like right wing nutters? “Some things inspire me to create music – and war is one of them,” says Håkansson. “I think Slayer and Motorhead have used the same imagery as us. We write the soundtrack to all out war, we never glorify nor condemn anything; we just tell it like it is. I’ve always had a fascination with history and it bothers me that just because I’m a musician people attack me for this interest. If I was making movies nobody would say a word – it’s hypocritical and ridiculous. We just don’t pay any attention to it at all.” WHO: Marduk WHAT: Serpent Sermon (Century Media/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 11 January, The Hi-Fi
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 27
SINGLED OUT WITH STEPHANIE LIEW
ON THE RECORD
TOUCAN Warrior Independent
The Woods Gaga Digi The debut single from newcomers Brighter Later manages to wrap itself around you, momentarily obscuring reality. Lead vocalist Jaye Kranz sings with an inquisitive intonation, an aural question mark that’s at once breathy yet robust, and terribly charming. The Woods does not present us with a hook to remember, but creates a textured, luminescent soundscape of soft synths, Rhodes-like key tones, acoustic guitar and heady bursts of drums; it’s the kind of enveloping sound quality you would expect from an orchestra, not just a duo (plus guest musicians).
TINPAN ORANGE Over The Sun Independent Emily Lubitz’s emotive vocals gently but firmly push you through what feels like a twee descent into madness on the lead single from Tinpan Orange’s latest album. With a waltzing drumbeat, fuzzy production, violins, circus piano and the echoing thud of drums like a persistent giant pounding the ground, it’s enough to make you feel like you’re in the epiphany phase of a fever dream. Continuing these psychedelic similes because we’ve already come this far, Over The Sun has you dancing around a maypole with your feet not quite touching the floor; you don’t know what’s happening, but man, you’re feeling pretty good for now.
INTO THE WOODS
24 Hours In A Disco: 1978 - 82
Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk
Love & Theft
If you’ve found yourself pining for a fill to the void of jangly pop this summer, then let Into The Woods usher in the new year for you. They’re local, they’re fun, and after bopping their way around the Melbourne scene for more than half a decade they have released their debut record, Goldentone.
Osibisa were an Afro pop band of Ghanaian descent that formed in the UK and became huge in the ‘70s. They were one of the first African bands to cross over into the mainstream, touring the world and enjoying considerable success. Though not a founding member, Ghanaian Kiki Gyan joined the band in the ‘70s and quickly became renowned for his keyboard lines, often referred to as Africa’s answer to Stevie Wonder because of his prodigious talent.
Grit your teeth, hold your breath and get your funky ass down to your local juke joint because with Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk in town, that juke is gonna be the most happenin’ joint in town.
Flicking his own mix of Mississippi mud in whatever direction his guitar is aiming, Chris Russell’s swampdirty, Delta-inspired blues is as authentic as it is inspirational. This is the kind of down-home, stompin’ music that has filled nondescript tin shacks across the American music food bowl of the south for decades, and Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk have been throwing it around Melbourne for the last few years.
CHRIS RUSSELL’S CHICKEN WALK
Warrior starts off like a lullaby, with cloudy scratches and buzzes emulating the markings of a well-loved vinyl. Clicks and bells move it into Christmas jingle territory, before it transforms into something else entirely. Expansive synths, strings and brass tones and timpani-like drums propel it into a swirling, poignant storm that gathers more and more momentum and doesn’t stop. A simple but captivating melody is the important passenger accompanying the driver that is the layers of instrumentation. Subject matter aside, Warrior’s sonic composition alone makes your chest feel tight even after the song has finished.
With co-conspirator Dean Muller (Hoss, Cosmic Psychos), Russell moved upward from playing background music – which he had been doing for 20-odd years – and into pubs and bars across the city. And with a band name worth remembering and a passion for traditional juke joint blues, this is a duo that have plenty of music to share. Despite only having the two members playing on it, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk contains enough diversity across its eight tracks that the listener never gets bored. At the heart of each song is the guttural rawness of the blues, with Russell’s gutsy vocals and guitar riffs playing off against each other while Muller offers as much emotion as a drum kit can allow. It’s not pretty, but Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk is one of the local finds of the past year, and – unsurprisingly, given the amount of time Russell has spent trawling through the Mississippi Delta over the years, watching his heroes – word is that Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk also deliver live. Miss them at your own peril.
It’s an apt name for the album, given the sun-drenched nature of songs like opener, A Cautionary Tale (“I arrived one evening/seeking shelter from her heat/My father held no rules there/people came just as they pleased”) and lead single, Black Dog. To find that Goldentone was produced by Neil Thomasson (Wagons, Crayon Fields) is no surprise, given the sometimes laconic, country-tinged moments that appear throughout. Lyrically, the band don’t break any boundaries (“Picture a piece of me/a piece of you/Now I won’t forget you/ Don’t let the morning come” : Don’t Let The Morning), but clearly the five-piece are having a blast making music together, Goldentone the pay off from many years’ hard slog. Fellow Melburnian Ainslie Wills drops by to lend a hand on the French-inspired lounge number, Morning Bird, a highlight on the album’s second half. With Little Red calling it quits in 2012, the mantle for local pop band of 2013 is up for grabs, and Into The Woods are certainly putting their collective hand up. There’s undoubtedly a lot more music in the bank for the quartet. As long as they don’t over-extend, they’ll find themselves a nice little place on the Australian musical landscape. They’ve already been played on national radio, but Goldentone, you get the sense, is just the beginning. Dylan Stewart
In 1979 he left Osibisa to pursue more lucrative session work and to begin a solo career, recording the title track of this collection, 24 Hours In A Disco, with a 16-piece orchestra, an upbeat slab of disco funk with his distinctive vocals, which fall somewhere between the Bee Gees and Curtis Mayfield. It charted in both the UK and US. He subsequently married Fela Kuti’s daughter, released two albums and got himself addicted to narcotics, which eventually curtailed his recording career. This collection pulls together some of his best work with his two bands, The KG Band and The Twins. The music is very much influenced by the disco craze at the time as Gyan was shooting to become the next Boney M. Yet there are also links to his Ghanaian past, particularly in terms of the hand percussion used in many of the tunes, often during the breakdowns. Then of course there are Gyan’s incredible keys, which really elevate the tunes from the more derivative commercial disco of the time. The solo on the super slick Pretty Pretty Girls is a case in point; it’s hypnotic stuff, deceptively simple and it barely registers until it’s over. But then that was his genius. Everything fitted perfectly. Bob Baker Fish
BLANK REALM Cleaning Up My Mess Bedroom Suck Records Purposely whiny, keenly self-aware slacker-pop: most of us can relate. The bluesy, slightly tropical psychedelic track travels through cycles of energy and lethargy… insert your own metaphor here. Cruisy guitar, bass grooves and elements of playful post-punk and spaced-out garage rock make for quintessential accompaniment to humid nights spent lounging around, philosophising about what we’re doing with our lives. More please.
PRUDENCE REES-LEE Emanuelle Gaga Digi Allegedly, Prudence Rees-Lee’s life has so far been “an endless voyage seeking the points where music and earthly transcendence collide.” An amalgamation of experimental chamber pop, baroque, hypnotic harmonies, harpsichord, hearty strings, woodwind, vaguely Eastern flourishes and Rees-Lee’s creepy yet sensual vocals, Emanuelle seems to come pretty close to the manifestation of that voyage.
SHE’S SO RAD Confetti From The Crate Records Written, engineered and produced by multiinstrumentalist Jeremy Toy in his Auckland home studio, Confetti is joyful sum of meaty dance drumbeats, dreamy male harmonies, synths thick enough to wade through and guitar riffs you can’t help but sway to. Tony Hoffer’s influence on the mix can be heard in the way the song tries to sound as vast as possible, a la M83’s arena-sized shoegaze electronica. Aptly named, Confetti’s fun, colourful, sticks itself onto you and is hard to shake off.
28 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS
This is Ne-Yo’s fifth album. His fortieth birthday is closer than his thirtieth. And few genres have seen such a violent upheaval as R&B has in the past two years. The sand is shifting under our host’s feet and it shows.
Following up a debut album is a stressful thing to do. Following up a debut nominated for the Mercury Prize is probably a thousand times more so. This is the backdrop of Villagers’ new album, Awayland, a record following up their critically acclaimed 2010 release, Becoming A Jackal.
Macklemore’s second release, The Heist, in collaboration with Ryan Lewis, displays impressive maturity in both production and lyricism, and as a result is a remarkably enjoyable record. The album opens with Ten Thousand Hours, whose complex and insightful lyrical content and catchy verse structure set up the record brilliantly. The artists then display versatility in terms of production and vocals with Can’t Hold Us, which is conspicuously faster and more upbeat. Thrift Shop is certainly the party jam here and as such has garnered an incredibly enthusiastic reception. The true depth of the artists’ work, however, is displayed in Same Love, which is both political and emotive, and as a result one of the record’s clear standouts. Make The Money then introduces another shift in lyrical content, while retaining the simultaneous depth and clarity of verse structure and lyricism that makes this album so impressive. The artists then include an instrumental interlude with Bombom, effectively acting as a bridge between the LP’s two halves. The record then adopts a more epic, electronic feel with the buoyant beat and flawless production of Jimmy Iovine. A Wake is the true highlight of the record, however, with insightful social commentary and integrity in delivery. Unfortunately final track Cowboy Boots is weaker than preceding songs and almost feels anticlimactic when positioned as the closing moments of the album. Despite this, however, the record is at once immediately engaging and technically complex, the combination of which is certainly no mean feat in this genre and makes for a truly impressive collection of songs. Lucia Osborne-Crowley
To be an R&B fan once meant being a fan of songs like Let Me Love You, R.E.D.’s lead single. Despite Sia’s co-writing credit, this is the sort of by-the-numbers, gently inoffensive crooning that once claimed the hearts of tweenage girls worldwide. Now, when compared to compelling releases from the likes of The-Dream, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, its emptiness is stark. Forever Now is similarly disappointing. So too Carry On. Happily, there are two sides to this story. Don’t Make Em Like You is compelling power pop. It was once said of Billy Jean that it had so many hooks – so many minimoments to cling to – that its commanding success was all but inevitable. It’s a lesson Ne-Yo has gone some way to learning on this jam. Less than a minute in we have accepted an invitation to “Clap for her”, we have a hypnotic “Hey-hey-o-hey”, and magical drums are capped off by a screwy intro. Plus, Wiz Khalifa spits a useful guest verse, made all the more intriguing by the fact it is about Kanye’s ex and Wiz’s current flame Amber Rose. Cracks In Mr Perfect, an initial contender for title track, is cheeky and engaging. “I hate to see you shine,” Ne-Yo admits. “Especially if your shine is outshining mine.” Jealous is neat too. More moments like this and Ne-Yo might enjoy a little more shine. But as it stands, there’s as much tunnel as there is light. James d’Apice
Frontman Conon O’Brien has become known for his way with words. A quirky lyricist with a quick wit, his regard for language as a musical tool is a key element in Awayland, with O’Brien slipping from singing to speech on more than one occasion. Opener, My Lighthouse sees O’Brien’s vocals accompanied by a simple guitar progression and occasional harmonies. The song’s strength is within its lyrics, in which he slowly spins a sad and beautiful tale (“From the violent moonlight/I am searching the tide/In the vessel, in the storm/You’re the kind host in the port.”) The Waves is a melting pot of different styles. Starting with Morse code beeps and O’Brien’s vocals, the song grows into something that sounds like an electronic remix of a Beirut song. Nothing Arrived, on the other hand, is as straightforward a song as could be. With its catchy chorus and memorable melody, it has the greatest potential on the album to become mainstream, but within the context of Awayland it seems a little out of place among O’Brien’s other, more abstract tracks. There isn’t enough variation within the second half of the album, however, and the last few songs seem a little unnecessary and very similar. It feels like O’Brien’s use of language, something which highlights the better songs in the first half of the album, is eventually the band’s downfall. Cate Summers
YOLANDA BE COOL Ladies & Mentalmen Sweat It Out Aussie dance pairing Yolanda Be Cool speak no Americano, or so they say. Their breakthrough electro track, We Speak No Americano – a collaboration with DCUP – was released in 2010, which makes Yolanda’s debut album a little overdue. Ladies And Mentalmen is a 16-track assortment that includes collaborations, club bangers and a bit of old skool nostalgia that suggests the lads have flair and may be around for longer than a clock stroke. Le Bump, featuring Crystal Waters, is typical club fodder: loud, brash and catchy. The clock winds back with the Gurrumul-assisted A Baru In New York, one of the strongest tracks on the album, while current hit, Change, is a distinct cut with dark, sweeping strings that back up the repetitive chorus. Love Keeps includes Barbara Tucker’s significant voice over what sounds like a grand piano, creating a soulful song that could pass for a Defected release. The ‘90s influence persists with the garage-like down-tempo To Be Alone, which is hardly surprising as it has Omar on vocals. Ladies And Mentalmen is a pleasant revelation and the music has more parallels with what was popular in the late-’90s/early-noughties than what’s doing the rounds today. There are singalongs, a touch of yesteryear, nods to classic house and a minimal blend of modern electronica that refrains from being cheesy, for a change. So, Yolanda Be Cool are, indeed, somewhat cool cats who have delivered a variety-packed musical treat that isn’t rammed with monotonous ‘rapping’ or extra-long buildups that last longer than a John Farnham farewell tour. Stuart Evans
SPENCER P JONES & THE NOTHING BUTTS
SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA
Spencer P Jones & The Nothing Butts
The global dancefloor felt a collective thump when news hit of Swedish House Mafia’s demise after this, their second full-length album, Until Now. With producers Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello each heading up labels and decks of their own, it was only a matter of time before the trio called it an indefinite day, but it’s fair to say the dance community wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye, particularly following 2010’s worldwide smash, Until One.
Behind his moniker, The Weeknd, Abel Tesfaye has created a new form of seduction. It’s dark with blurred vision. It’s chemically enhanced and full of bravado. The lifestyle that he’s documenting is inviting but dangerous, and with Trilogy he’s crafted a soundtrack for the highs and lows that those late night choices bring.
Shock This one, the latest in a long line of musical offerings from perennial rock‘n’roll misfit Spencer P Jones, was originally slated as a solo record. Heading out bush with producer Andrew McGee, Jones had the songs and was set to put ‘em together all on his lonesome, but before they knew it the project had grown legs, become sentient and rollicked off on its own, knocking over whatever got in its way and to hell with the consequences. The reason for this was the addition of Jones’s old Beasts Of Bourbon compatriot James Baker (Jones’s call) and fellow rock‘n’rollers Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of The Drones (McGee’s call) – hence The Nothing Butts came to be, and Jones’s solo record was out the window. Instead came about the aforementioned sentient being, a rock‘n’roll record if ever there was one – no surprise really. And, truth be known, it’s exactly as it should be. From the first note of opener Only A Matter Of Time the record bursts from the blocks, spilling whiskey as it lumbers along at a rate of knots, randomly smacking people in face as it goes. Even the slower numbers, like (She Walks) Between The Raindrops, are battle-hardened, such is Jones’s vocal delivery – rough and tumble for sure. Where the group are at their best, though, is on the tracks they lay down, seemingly with reckless abandon. The opener, Freak Out, When Friends Turn and Conditions Apply are all riff-heavy, thrashing beasts, some with a little dash of Pixies too – that fuzzed-out pop sound. All in all it’s a dirty fucker of a record, which is just perfect. Samuel J Fell
Where that album excelled was in capturing the allencompassing mix of feel-good dancefloor anthems alongside interestingly twisted and thoughtful house dynamos with some cool things buried a bit deeper beneath the surface than your average dance LP. Until Now follows hard on its heels in treating listeners with an array of dramatically futuristic soundscapes and mega-hit pop remixes. Of the former, opener, Greyhound, sets a clean and crisp standard of pulsing beats that carries on through tracks like Here We Go. It’s the buzzing electro vibe and unrelenting pace that make sthese tracks stayers, and indeed what guaranteed the trio an undeniable launch pad to stardom, but there’s also much to hook into for those leaning less towards the dancefloor. Inherent in everything is an organic approach to crafting, plain and simply, ripping tracks to get one’s self moving. The list of guest vocalists and remixes is really quite staggering: Coldplay, Miike Snow, Steve Aoki, Pendulum, Usher, The Temper Trap, Florence and The Machine and serial guest TinieTempah. There are bucketloads on offer but the texturally epic and aurally pleasing highlight is Raise Your Head with Alesso.
This much-anticipated three-disc package combines mini albums House Of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes Of Silence, creating a formidable body of work that offers a plethora of varied highlights to disappear within. If you’re already familiar with the output of the 22-yearold there’s not much fresh here – the tracks have been remastered slightly and there’s one new song found on each disc (Twenty Eight, Valerie, Till Dawn (Here Comes The Sun), however, corralled into a single package, to experience Tesfaye’s entire vision back-to-back-to-back is to really bathe in the humbling ability of the young Toronto vocalist and producer. With the bold bass-heavy title track and the pleadingly honest Wicked Games in its ranks, there’s no denying first release, House Of Balloons, stands tall as The Weeknd’s defining body of work. But his phenomenal touches are all over these records, and the way Tesfaye mixes industrial rhythms with his flowing Motown vocal range leaves you with this light and shade balance that sounds like it was built on the streets to transmit to the outer reaches. This collection is somewhat of a victory lap considering the amount of praise that has already been heaped on these discs. What will really be interesting, though, following such an epic undertaking is where The Weeknd takes us from here. Benny Doyle
Drop by Drawing Draw in the gallery alongside artists Louise Hearman / Juan Ford / John Wolseley / Del Kathryn Barton Come and go as you like whilst visiting the NGV Collection. All ages and all drawing abilities welcome. Sundays in January in the 19th Century Salon Gallery 2–4pm NGV International 180 St Kilda Road ngv.vic.gov.au
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 29
XFACTOR ARE YOU NEXT? MELBOURNE AUDITIONS SATURday 12 January TO MONDAY 14 JANUARY 2013
CAULFIELD RACECOURSE - CAULFIELD NORTH Registration 9am - 3.30pm 30
THIS WEEK IN
Berberian Sound Studio
WEDNESDAY 9 Songs For Nobodies – Bernadette Robinson’s one-woman show by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Simon Phillips is back. Robinson seamlessly portrays five anonymous women and five iconic singers: Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. The Arts Centre Fairfax Studio, 8pm, to Sunday 13 January. Enter The Void – directed by Gaspar Noé this film explores death, Japanese nightclubs, drugs and spirituality. Starring Boardwalk Empire’s Paz de la Huerta. Rooftop Movies, 8pm.
Psycho Beach Party – a comedy written by Charles Busch, directed by Stephen Nicolazzo, this play follows the schizophrenic world of Chicklet who is on the brink of a potentially lethal sexual awakening. Theatre Works, 7.30pm, to Saturday 19 January. Shut Up & Play The Hits – a documentary directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace that follows LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy. Shadow Electric, Abbotsford Convent, films start at dusk.
SATURDAY 12 Psycho and The Birds – a double screening of two of Alfred Hitchcock most horrific films. Just before Anthony Hopkins jumps into his famous shoes for the upcoming release Hitchcock. The Astor Theatre, 2pm and 7.30pm. Grrl Fest – a one-night festival that will showcase local female artists, musicians and roving performers with cupcakes. There will be stalls with Flash Tattoos by Audrey, HairCut Radness and Art by Nixi Killick. Irene’s Warehouse, from 4pm.
Acidtounge & Dollface – a new Australian play written by Christopher Bryant. This dark comedy explores destruction, murder and the suburbs. “You hate it that much then let’s do something about it. The suburbs fucked you up. So lets fuck ‘em right back.” The Owl & The Pussycat, 8pm, to Sunday 20 January. Fiona O’Loughlin & Friends – a night of stand-up comedy from this Alice Springs mother of five who shares stories of housewifery and motherhood. Five Boroughs, 8.30pm.
Berberian Sound Studio – Peter Strickland follows his awardwinning debut film Katalin Varga with another mind-bending film set in the seedy world of a 1970s Italian giallo-style horror. ACMI, 5.30pm and 8.30pm, to Sunday 13 January.
Gobsmacked: Showbiz & Dating – cabaret artist Nikki Aitken’s show is based on her search for a relationship that lasts, accompanied by her latest BGBF Jamie Burgess. The Butterfly Club, 8pm, to Sunday 3 February.
Sixteen Candles – John Hughes’ 1984 film that stars ‘80s teen crush Molly Ringwald and fellow Breakfast Club-ber Anthony Michael Hall. Abbotsford Convent, films start at dusk.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF CREATION Itt took a while for music video producer Kris Moyes too get a gig with Kirin J Callinan Callinan, but now they’re working on “the most talked about thing in 2013” for Sugar Mountain Festival. He talks Simon Eales through the somewhat shady details. Epic international projects snap straight into smaller-scale domestic ones for Kris Moyes, and performance art collaborations are taken during tea. At the end of last year, Australia’s ARIA Awardwinning, super sought-after music video director – who’s made clips for the Softlightes, Beck, Sia, The Presets and many others, took out triple j’s Music Video Of 2012 and returned from a hectic two months in New York creating the video for Grizzly Bear’s A Simple Answer. “I guess the general perception is that, as a director, you get set-up
SURF, SAND AND PSYCHO
Laurence Anyways – a new film from Canadian director Xavier Dolan, this film charts the epic ten-year love story between a male-to-female transsexual and her love Fred. ACMI, 5.30pm, to Sunday 3 February.
ART NOT? OR
SPOTTED: Off Chapel Street, South Yarra. To contiune the discussion head to @ frontrowSPA and tweet us
in a hotel room, you get a text from your producer, your car’s waiting downstairs, you arrive on set, do the shoot and someone takes care of all the back-end stuff. But I performed the role of 70 humans [on the Grizzly Bear project]. It damn-near killed me,” Moyes says. “When it’s a project that I have complete control over, like this one, I want to make sure that I can get my vision realised to the letter.” It was for Kirin J Callinan’s song, Way II War, that Moyes won the triple j gong and they’ll collaborate again for Melbourne’s Sugar
Mountain Festival. The two met years ago, after Callinan’s time with Sydney dream-pop outfit, Mercy Arms. “I greedily wanted to work with the band because of him,” he says. “I’d seen him live a few times and was just like, ‘This guy is out of control!’. “Then years later, we were both at a party. I basically rushed at him, I spilled the beans, I was, like, [creepy voice] ‘I wanna work with yoouu’. Four years after that he called me up and said, ‘I’ve got this psychotic piece of music that’s in a demo format, that I recorded in LA. Let’s do something’.” The jerky, primarily black and white clip has Callinan as its delusioned protagonist, mirrored then usurped by a young boy and “grounded” by a burqa-clad woman. The kernel of Moyes’ intention was to depict “the
“Bad taste is great taste! If bad taste is done really well…” Ash Flanders talks to Dave Drayton about the best bits of the worst genres and Charles Busch’s Psycho Beach Party. Melbourne-based actor and theatre maker Ash Flanders has a big year ahead on Sydney stages. From the end of November, he will take to the stage at Bondi Pavilion as Chicklet, a nerd with dreams to surf and a handful of different personalities in the Stephen Nicolazzo-directed Psycho Beach Party; in March his company with Declan Greene, Sisters Grimm, present their hit Little Mercy at Sydney Theatre Company; and in November 2013 another Sisters Grimm work, Summertime In The Garden Of Eden, graces the stage at SBW Stables.
The unifying thread through all the productions for Flanders – not least of all the psychodrama/ beach movie/slasher film parody Psycho Beach Party – is their subversion of filmic genre. “For me as an actor and as a theatre maker, I can’t overstate my love of cinema, and just these narratives that I’ve grown up with and styles that I absorbed without really realising it. There’s a big trend at the moment to do theatre that’s based on the sexy, Australian adaptation of a
classic text, you know? And I prefer my art to come from a low culture accessible point.
“I don’t believe that everyone needs to have read the classics or even needs to see the classics,” reasons Flanders, “I would rather talk about what people are into and what people actually like, you know, the guilty pleasures that we love – that’s exciting to me – and it ties into my love of camp and of kitsch and the audacity of praising something that seems glib or supercilious. Make a wild, fun, sexy, funny experience for people in the theatre, which is a big thing for me; I don’t like my theatre to be too stuffy or too preachy, I don’t want to go to a play about some leftist issue, effectively where they’re preaching to the choir
fractured memories of a man who slowly loses his grip on reality”. “Then it just so happened,” Moyes explains, “that the actress’ son was on set and at the last second we said, ‘Can we use him? Can we get him and Kirin to mirror each other in the game?’ And we just kind of did it on the fly. And it totally works. “It’s a combination of carefully considered conceptual groundwork and spontaneity, which is key to all the stuff I do.” This, his exacting attitude and his ability to underscore an intense conceptual sophistication with technical motifs, are all hallmarks of Moyes’ work. He describes a fascination for the art of cinema and a belief that power comes from the “architecture of the creative process” as continued drives. Speaking just before Christmas, Moyes and Callinan’s Sugar Mountain project had a scope, if not a form. “At this stage it’s in its incubation period, but suffice to say it’s going to be the most talked about thing in 2013. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘Is this going to be something performancebased with backing visuals? Would it be a cinematic experience? Or is it a combination?’. Either way, Kirin’s going to be there… Expect something like Way II War, but next level. It’s going to evoke an emotional response from people, that’s for sure.” WHO: Kris Moyes WHAT: Sugar Mountain Festival WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 19 January, Forum Theatre because a lot of people coming are already lefties. I’d rather go and see blood, see vomit, see sex, see men in dresses, see things that take me out of my life and take me beyond. I’m so not against a good old fashioned curtain up, razzle dazzle, show must go on, turn step pivot high kick. I love all of that, put on a show! People are paying money, give them a show!” Psycho Beach Party certainly offers blood, sex, and men in dresses (well, at least Flanders in dresses, and a bikini) in spades as it tells the story of a series of mysterious deaths in a beachside town populated by surfers, a B-movie actress and the many moods of Flanders’ Chicklet. Once again returning to his love of cinema, Flanders’ excitedly rattles off the hit-list of actors inspiring his multifaceted, flat-chested teenage character. “I maybe am quite similar to Charles in the female women of cinema that I idolise and I guess as a lot of gay men do, camp icons of Joan Crawford or Betty Davis, or a sassy black woman, I feel like a lot of gay guys have those voices within them and I’m just getting excited to bring mine out to the forefront and do my terrifying dominatrix Ann Bowman,” says Flanders, seeming more than ready to inhabit Chicklet’s sexually aggressive alter-ego. WHAT: Psycho Beach Party WHEN & WHERE: Friday 11 January to Saturday 19, Theatre Works
To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 31
C U LT U R A L
THE SHADOW ELECTRIC EVENT As Melburnians embraced a proper summer that had so cruelly been stripped from them in years past, regaled each other with stories of wars waged and woes endured over the weekend, and enjoyed the picturesque surroundings of the Abbotsford Convent, The Shadow Electric Open Air Cinema and Bar at Abbotsford Convent acted as a willing companion, providing throughout the afternoon the welcome additions of Animals Dancing DJs, an abundance of cheap beer, tables with tennis, and the Mr Burger food truck. Hell, Chet Faker was even seen lugging a bag of buns to the food vessel… It was bound to be a good night. However, the evening’s centrepiece was the screening of LCD
FALLS FESTIVAL ARTS: MARION BAY EVENT This festival season we venture south to Marion Bay in a pristine white (not insured) hire car that will need some serious cleaning postFalls. The site is an art installation itself, with lush surrounds and a picturesque view of Tassie’s east coast. The Village (arts hub) is sandwiched between the two stages and easy to find. Peeking through the bamboo gates, one is reminded of a kaleidoscope as heavily costumed villagers busily prepare for the approaching Fiesta event. The vibe tonight is best personified by the enthusiastic vollies who are shaking it in the dust.
There is a visual signifier when the Fiesta is about to begin as a colourful congregation on top of the hill chants, “Get up, get up and get down”. A car decorated with balloons, streamers and flailing limbs leads the parade. Each year the Fiesta brings the arts village of Falls to the main stage. Tonight it’s a double whammy NYE and the tenth anniversary of Marion Bay Falls, so the Fiesta’s theme is, fittingly, a party complete with bubbles, horns and a pink Volkswagen adorned with a talking spongecake. Once the parade makes it to the stage, athletic performers leap out of a giant paper mache birthday cake accompanied by an instrumental version of House Of Fun. Punters arms are up in the air, a sure symbol that we love it. What a fine way to kick off the night’s festivities. The artists at Marion Bay aren’t taking themselves too seriously and this is refreshing in a festival environment. They are bringing it back to basics with arts that focus on entertainment value for the punter. Whether it’s comedy, slam poetry or swear-happy burlesque at 3am, The Village welcomes anyone who dares to venture in. So next time you’re at Falls, check out the arts hub. Where else can you dance to James Brown for ten minutes in a shipping container, while a couple passionately makes out pretty much on top of you? Cassandra Fumi
ART S TA R T E R
Five minutes with
Who is your favourite artist? So many. Sigmar Polke, maybe.
If you could live in an art decade in history when would it be? Now! Or the turn of the 20th century.
Was Meat Slap painting fun? Yes. I love painting with sausages, I discovered. I also want to drum with sausages. And also eat them.
Did you have a New Year’s resolution? Resolved! What’s exciting about being involved in Sugar Mountain? The Forum. What can we expect to see on the Mezzanine Stage this SM? I’m adding to what is an already amazing space. I’ll be adding a twist; a visual cue for the mindset of the day.
And was the intention for it to be phallic? No. The shape obviously is, but such a good shape and concept. Stuffing, tying, hanging. And then slapping! WHAT: Sugar Mountain Festival WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 19 January, Forum Theatre
32 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
Soundsystem documentary, Shut Up And Play The Hits, the 2012 cinematic endeavour of directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern that details 48-hours of before, during and after the band’s final show at Madison Square Gardens in New York. The film reveals the mixed emotions surrounding the band’s dissolution, with lead man James Murphy suggesting to pop-culture interviewer Chuck Klosterman that their greatest single (and defining) failure was the break-up itself. But to solidify the sense of an evening well spent by borrowing from that genius protagonist Murphy himself, as one looked out to the sold-out theatre with all my friends, everyone at The Shadow Electric looked truly at home. Izzy Tolhurst Screenings running until Sunday 31 March, Abbotsford Convent
WITH REBECCA COOK Over the break Cringe cruised down a couple of sides of the coast and was struck yet again by the giant (but actually small when you think about it) model hotel on EastLink. At the time that EastLink opened there was a wee hoo haa over the fact that users of the freeway would have to pay for access, yet $5 million had been outlaid on public art to line the roadway. The Hotel by Callum Morton together with Emily Floyd’s giant blackbird and James Angus’s Ellipsoidal Freeway Sculpture otherwise known as The Smarties were the most prominent of the highway artworks. “Hotel is effectively a giant folly. Motorists will view it from the car as an actual hotel and perhaps over time as a strangely de-scaled prop that has escaped the theme park or film set,” said Morton at the time. And as I passed it the other day, and not for the first time, it made me smile. Certainly there’s not much to smile about on the Geelong Freeway, unless you enjoy the subversive life-size models of housing developments with water-based names and relentless signs for Funfields, a coloured plastic park in Whittlesea. With the Peninsula Link opening soon, I wondered what sort of public art a freeway that links Carrum Downs to Mt Martha and cuts down travel times to Portsea and Sorrento would commission. Perhaps a large steel and polycarbon puce polo shirt with the collar turned up? Or perhaps an artist’s impression of the ASX board in 101 Collins St made out of driftwood and old thongs? Or maybe they’d take the Geelong Freeway approach but
instead of housing developments install large high definition screens projecting realestate.com.au. Ah no, instead the Peninsula Link folks have gone for something far more esoteric and exciting – a giant ram’s head. Dean Colls’ work Rex Australis: The King Is Dead, Long Live The King, is made of Corten steel and is located on a site near the Peninsula Link Skye Road exit. The piece explores the concept of changing fortunes, particularly the former glory days of the sheep industry. It has been placed at the gateway between the city and the country creating a link between the two. “Rex Australis evokes strong rural association with Australia’s colonial past, when wool was king and Australia’s prosperity rode on the sheep’s back, it also symbolised by the monumental ram’s skull, the demanding struggle and the cost of surviving in our dry desert-prone landscape,” says Robert Lindsay of the McClelland Gallery & Sculpture Park, which commissioned two of the pieces together with Peninsula Link developer Southern Way. The ram’s head is one of three initial works which will grace the roadway, the other two being a 16.5 metre high/11 metre wide pseudo space-station and tribute to the motor vehicle titled Panorama Station by Louise Paramour and a large-scale wind activated kinetic sculpture with 22 moving branches by Phil Price entitled The Tree Of Life. Funding for the sculptures is being provided by Southern Way, Abigroup and RBS (Royal Bank Of Scotland) and Peninsula Link will be free for motorists so there’s unlikely to be any public outcry unless it’s actually about the ram’s head scaring children.
WITH BOB BAKER FISH So Michael Perry, a fresh faced syndromy pill-pushing rent boy and his older unhinged anger-fuelled mate, Jason Burkett, know where they can score this hot Camaro. All that stands between them and the car is a mutual friend’s mother. After they bludgeon her to death while she is baking cookies and dump her body, they realise they don’t have the code to get back into her gated community home to claim their prize. So they wait for their friend and his brother to arrive home, lure them away, get the code, murder them too and promptly drive to the local bar, giving friends joyrides with an implausible tale about having won the lottery. What’s missing from this picture? Oh yeah, that’s right – Werner Herzog. On Into The Abyss (SBS/Madman), the eccentric US-based German maverick uses this real case as a vehicle to examine the death penalty. Of course, he immediately makes it all about him, emphasising early on that he respectfully disagrees with the penalty, and maintains a verbal – at times challenging – presence as interviewer and narrator. But that’s just Herzog, a man for whom the term ‘super ego’ seems inadequate. In the US, execution is viewed through a binary prism – you’re either for or against. Herzog adds the messiness, the human cost. He interviews family and friends of both the victims and the offenders, but also former guards involved in the execution process, and recounts the trial via the prosecutor’s interviews. When he interviews Perry he will be executed in eight days. Herzog
tells him that he isn’t there to prove he is innocent or even like him. Perry doesn’t know how to cope with this strange German, his ‘Gee, shucks it wasn’t me’ routine isn’t going to fly this time. There are multiple stories here, the crimes are real and the ramifications of both the criminal actions and the executions remain with those left behind: lives ruined and families torn apart. Also on the disc is the four-part series recently screened on SBS where Herzog interviews four other death row inmates. It’s equal parts exploitative and sobering. Jack Black is rotund. He wears nice sweaters and loves to sing in the church choir. He is a compassionate, outgoing but sensitive young man working at the local funeral home with a rare kind of precision and vigour. His forte is in comforting the grieving widows. Hmm. Bernie (Madman) is also about murder, a true story that would’ve made Herzog weak at the knees. It’s directed by Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise) who revels in the eccentricities of the residents of Carthage, Texas, even going into documentary mode with straight to camera interviews with the real residents. The cast includes Matthew McConaughey as an ambitious DA and Shirley MacLaine as a dour, mean-spirited widow, but you can’t go past the tour de force performance from Jack Black as the sweet effeminate Bernie Tiede. Bernie raises many questions. Do mean people deserve to die? Can good people do bad things? And what happens when you push a Christian way too far?
MEET YOUR WAKE NEW THE INSECT OVERLORDS DEAD
The Cirque du Soleil big top has been invaded by insects for OVO; and yes, they do think they can dance. As Marjon van Grunsven and Michelle Matlock tell carny correspondent Paul Ransom, this time the bugs will not be ironed out. The new millennium circus boom has made acrobatics sexy and the creators of Quebec’s Cirque du Soleil extraordinarily wealthy. It’s also brought about a once unlikely marriage between the big top and the theatre, so much so that the latest Cirque show to land on these shores is being steered by two female choreographers, Deborah Colker and Dutch born Marjon van Grunsven. The show in question, OVO, is an intricate insectoid love story featuring more than 50 performers, many of whom have been trained to “dance like insects”. Indeed, artistic director van Grunsven declares that dance and circus are natural companions. “Dance, like acrobatics, starts in a very technical way,” she explains. “Y’know, you learn the steps, you learn the terms and you start to execute them, and then when you get really good at it you can start to explore and improvise. An acrobat will do his or her tricks just like a dancer would do a pirouette or any of their tricks.” It is in the collision of physicality that the two disciplines coalesce; and under the blue and yellow grand chapiteau of Cirque du Soleil such pairings are not only possible but executed on a massive scale. While that clearly represents a choreographic challenge, working with acrobats unused to the more subtle exactness of dance turned out to be more liberating than limiting. “From a choreographic standpoint there is nothing more exciting than being able to work with bodies that can do more than you ever dreamt of being able to do yourself,” van Grunsven enthuses.
As always, Cirque delivers spectacle, technical perfection and considerable daring, particularly when it comes to the flying acts. Given that OVO is about insects, airborne athleticism is only to be expected. “So it’s our task to get these acrobats to move and dance,” van Grunsven says, “but at the same time we get this extra gift of being able to incorporate their tricks into our choreography. This is fantastic.” Meanwhile, down on the ground American performer Michelle Matlock is revelling in the show’s lead role, Ladybug. Although OVO is undeniably ‘cirque’ it is also a love story. As Matlock says it, “The ladybug begins as this sort of lonely character in this community of insects. She’s sort of waiting for her love to come and finally one day this city fly shows up with this incredible egg. So, it’s like a bug meets bug story.” Having toured North America and played to a staggering two million people, Ovo‘s Australian tour takes in five mainland capitols and runs for more than a year. With its trademark blend of circus trickery, big budget staging and family friendly thematics, the insects of OVO will surely pack out tents around the country.However, Cirque du Soleil always tries to transcend its circus origins. “The overall theme of the show is love and you see that even within the circus acts,” Matlock explains. “ WHAT: Cirque Du Soleil: OVO WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 17 January to Sunday 24 March, Melbourne Docklands
Young Australian actor Kodi-Smit McPhee continues down his road less travelled with new animation film ParaNorman. Guy Davis catches up with the teenager to learn just how he got within the skin of a sketch. Kodi-Smit McPhee knows he’s regarded as “that kid who does those really depressing movies”. That’s what comes from a body of work that includes brilliant but downbeat films like The Road and Let Me In, the American remake of
Don’t be put off by the ead man in Christopher lead McQuarrie’s latest film Jack Reacher. Director talks Guy Davis through realising Tom Cruise was on the same page.
“It started as an exercise and became an addiction,” is how tough-as-nails Jack Reacher describes his lifestyle, which sees the former military police officer drift from town to town with little more than the shirt on his back and the toothbrush in his pocket. He’s answerable to no one except his own code of conduct, which occasionally sees him bumping up against some unsavoury types who prey on the
the Swedish horror masterpiece Let the Right One In. But at the tender age of 16, the Australian actor is looking to display his versatility. Portraying a shy kid with the ability to talk to dead people may not automatically seem like a step in
vulnerable or the defenceless. And when that happens, Reacher is ll th h bbumps hhardest. d t usually the one who Reacher is, of course, fictional, the hero of UK author Lee Child’s series of bestselling novels that have seen the character tangle with every form of bad guy under the sun. With millions of Reacher adventures sold worldwide, it was only a matter of time before he made his way to the big screen. What few Reacher fans could have anticipated, however, is that the tall, broad and muscular character would be embodied by Tom Cruise, who’s in ripping shape for a man nudging 50 but doesn’t necessarily fit the Reacher bill. And there have been more than a few devotees
that direction. But voicing the title character in ParaNorman, a new animated horror-comedy from production company Laika, the people behind the offbeat animation hit Coraline, does allow Smit-McPhee the opportunity to lighten up a little. For all the laughs in ParaNorman – which could be called the best Tim Burton movie Tim Burton never made – there’s a surprising amount of heart and soul in the story of Norman, whose extraordinary ability makes him the only one who can save his hometown when the dead begin rising from their graves. “The first time I read it, I was like, ‘Is that really what I think I read?’” says Smit-McPhee. “I read it again and again and again, and I was amazed. You can watch it and take it as just a fun kind of ride but as you go deeper into it there’s a bunch of stuff in there, whether it’s about bullying or about staying true to yourself or a lot of other things. And they didn’t push it too much or make it too obvious. It’s all there for you to find. You go in expecting a kids’ film and come out realising there was a lot in there for adults as well. It’s a very emotional film, very deep.” For all the emotion of the end product, though, Smit-McPhee says he and his fellow cast members (including Casey Affleck, Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick and Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse) had a ball putting the film together, even as the production
period stretched over two years for Smit-McPhee. “It was something that became really close to me,” he says. “I auditioned in Australia without knowing a whole lot about it. I put down my audition on tape and sent it off and when I found out I got the job I also found it was the people who did Coraline, which was one of my favourite animations ever. Reading the entire script, the whole thing just hit me. “And I believe being with it longer gets you closer to the character; you start filling in more and more spaces and it becomes a lot easier. You can add things to your performance, change it up a little bit, and it felt like that in this case. With animation it can sometimes feel that there’s only so much you can do with your performance but this was a lot of fun. I may have shown up for work a couple of times in my pyjamas.” Clearly Smit-McPhee had some form of kinship with Norman from the very beginning, though. Upon landing the role, he decided to sketch what he thought the character would look like. After an initial version that sported dreadlocks, he came up with his final version. “And when the guys at Laika showed me their prototype sketches of Norman, it was almost exactly the same,” he laughs. “It was very cool.”
of Child’s books who initially took issue with the casting of the star in Jack Reacher, the new action-thriller based on Child’s novel One Shot. According to the film’s screenwriter aand director Christopher McQuarrie, though, focusing M ssolely on Reacher’s physique ddoes the character a disservice. ““The physicality of Reacher in the bbooks, while it’s very explicit or bbecause it’s very explicit, can almost eeclipse in the mind’s eye what is iimportant about Reacher’s character, w which is his character, his approach, hhis mindset, his attitude, his tone,” ssays McQuarrie, an Oscar winner for hhis Usual Suspects screenplay. “There aare many facets to this character aand too much emphasis on any one of them would dilute the overall.” Jack Reacher is McQuarrie’s second film as a director, and it’s been more than a decade since his debut feature, the gritty, violent crime drama, The Way Of The Gun. But he’s collaborated with Cruise on projects like Valkyrie and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and calls their friendship and creative relationship “an ongoing conversation about movies with no plan”. Cruise’s production company had held the rights to the Reacher novels for some time when McQuarrie was brought on board to discuss adapting and directing One Shot for the screen. “When this was presented
to me, my immediate assumption was that it was a movie for me to direct, not a movie in which Tom would star,” he says. “I was literally waiting for his notes as a producer and a collaborator. And when he came back to me, he said ‘Look, I don’t know who you have in mind to play this guy but I’d love to do it.’” McQuarrie was happily stunned when Cruise made his play but wanted to ensure the actor knew what he was getting into. “I said to him ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Because it’s very different from any character you’ve played before. To my way of thinking, you usually play characters who are under extreme pressure and in pursuit of the object of the plot. And this is a character who does not experience pressure and will not pursue anything. This is somebody who very calmly sits back and waits for the movie to come to him.’ “As I said this to Tom, there was this almost imperceptible shift – you could feel him settle into his chair and there was this ‘Oh, God, I would love to play that.’ Like he’d been looking for that and hadn’t articulated it. So the fun of the movie was finding the ways in which he could relax into scenes that would normally be about finding ways for him to relax under intense pressure while maintaining the tension.”
WHAT: ParaNorman WHEN & WHERE: In cinemas Thursday January 10
WHAT: Jack Reacher WHEN & WHERE: In cinemas now
To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 33
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It’s a bit awkward when a band thanks not only a different city but also a different state during their onstage banter. However, when Vincent Neff of Django Django proudly yells, “Thanks so much people of Queensland!” to a crowd of people standing in a valley in Lorne, Victoria they are able to laugh it off. A fair ‘80s influence sneaks its way into the set with a ton of synth and a few cowbells thrown in for fun. Perhaps the most interesting moment though, is when they remix their own song, Default, and work in an ambulance siren – very Tarantino of the boys. Observation: VIPs take longer to go to the toilet. Oh, look! There are mirrors in here! The Hives have arrived. Cue hysteria. Smokin’ hot frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s pre-performance beverage of choice? Coffee. All band members are already in their dapper matching top hat and tails ensembles (minus headwear) and are later ogled limbering up in the backstage area as directed either by one of their wives or a personal trainer. In a blaze of nowhere-near-long-enough glory, Sweden’s finest rock’n’roll export and self-proclaimed best live band on the planet (agreed) set a performance standard that’s impossible to outdo. Almqvist boasts a new set of hilariously arrogant big-ups/dressing downs and observes this is the third time his band has been tricked into touring out here in our supposed summer only to find it “fuckin’ freezing” even for a Swede! New material (Take Back The Toys, Patrolling Days) slots majestically alongside their face-melting hits (Hate To Say I Told You So, Walk Idiot Walk) and each Hive is a gun on his instrument. Taking an unflattering portrait of drummer Chris Dangerous would be impossible and he barely breaks into a sweat despite testing out the durability of those skins beat by trenchant beat. If, like death row inmates, one could choose one’s last gig experience to follow the final meal, only The Hives would be worthy.
DAY THREE The Flaming Lips
FALLS FESTIVAL LORNE: 28/12/12 – 01/01/13
DAY ONE This year, highway signs direct all Lorne-bound, Falls Festival traffic from Melbourne via the less scenic, inland route. We drive through quaint rural towns such as Winchelsea and Deans Marsh and notice several suspicious-looking parked cars with radar-wielding cops in the driver seat (hopefully not too late). Our legs are saved by the fact that Grand Theatre on the hilltop is the only stage open for business tonight. Luring up-for-it volunteers into the thick of it for crazy antics doesn’t prove problematic at all for international games facilitators Legs Akimbo and who would’ve thunk watching two underwear-clad, greased-up (in baby oil) dudes wrestling blindfolded in a bid to remove their opponent’s socks could be so entertaining? (Actually, that even sounds awesome on paper.) A helpful reminder thanks to the Falls Festival app: The Cactus Channel are about to hit the stage. We wish we could text back “thanks”. How many years out of Princes Hill Secondary College is this ridiculously talented ten-piece? Not many, if any. Drummer Hudson Whitlock is a mini Josh Homme yet to become aware of his greatness. A five-piece brass section is bound to blow your head off and The Cactus Channel sound incredible. They just need to work on that extra something that’s gonna keep punters coming back for repeat doses of their live show. Once they locate that extra dollop of showmanship, they’ll be unstoppable. Anna Lumb distributes hula hoops throughout the front section of the tent and teaches us some moves such as “the elevator” and “the fanny catch” before we all get to ‘perform’ the routine to an assortment of tunes including the Amy Winehouse version of Valerie by The Zutons. Next up and bringing the “peace, love, ecstasy” is Muscles, who performs in solo piano mode. There’s big love for the artist and it’s difficult to hear him over the enthusiastic shout-alongs to tracks such as Ice Cream and the humorous blatant self-promotion of Hey Muscles I Love You (“I wanna have your babies”), but one can’t help but crave the full production. Those lucky enough to have a four-day ticket score the option of experiencing The Bamboos twice. Day one sees a crowd that’s itching for a dance and they get exactly what they want when Ella Thompson and Kylie Auldist both almost blow the tent over with their out-ofthis-world vocals. Dancing feet must be rested to last the distance however so it’s all aboard the campground shuttle for transport express to the land of nod.
DAY TWO Today it’s the Valley Stage’s turn to play exclusive host. Drink tokens can be used across the entire duration of the festival, as opposed to being colour coded and restricted to redemption the day of issue as has been the case in previous years – best way to help celebrate Falls Festival’s 20th anniversary ever! There’s also a white board set up inside the info tent
Django Django Pics by Chris Turner
on which to leave messages for friends in lieu of texting since reception is severely limited up here. As well as proving kids these days don’t know how to waltz, The ReChords bring some early “yeehar”s to the amphitheatre. “We love this shit!” announces a durry-smoking random who would probably never have otherwise stumbled upon these retro stylings. The trio are Easily Loved and my, what shiny instruments they have! It’s hard to understand why Thomas Calder packed up shop from solo work and started a band. As a collective, The Trouble With Templeton sound just fine but Calder’s voice stands out as a dominant element. The music has these wonderful crescendos that go almost unnoticed by really sloppy punters who even heckle the band at one point. They manage to work through it though using their stunning harmonisation to ease the crowd into the start of a great day. There are a lot of footballs and frisbees flying around the joint and it’s our personal opinion that these should be confiscated at the gate alongside smuggled booze and umbrellas. A crowd is no place for refining ball skills. The breadth of this Valley Stage allows for all seven members of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard to spread straight out across the front of it. In profile, they resemble a lurching, multi-headed raptor and you wouldn’t wanna share Stu Mackenzie’s mic – a sudden jolt could make him swallow it whole. Eric Moore doesn’t so much play the therimin as play with it, but KG&TLW certainly intensify festival frivolity. Many experienced festivalgoers pack a hobbyhorse or some such item on a stick to hold up and assist lost friends in locating their posse. We clock a choice alternative: the outline of an enlarged photo of a reveller’s head complete with self-penned tick of approval, cut out and taped to a ruler. All campsites must be vacant such is the hillside population assembled for San Cisco. Adorable drummer Scarlett Stevens struggles with her vocals during the chorus of Wild Things. And you can tell everyone’s really hanging out for Awkward, which is awkward. Frontman Jordi Davieson prompts the guys and gals in the audience to sing their respective parts during the Vodafone-synced fave, but this still can’t conceal the fact that Stevens struggles when multitasking. The crowd disperses from the festival site for siestas immediately after San Cisco’s set and Sharon Van Etten spends the entire 20 minutes before her scheduled onstage appearance meticulously sound checking/tuning her guitar. The DJ drops Dance With Me (Dizzee Rascal Feat Calvin Harris & Chrome) and we happily oblige. Van Etten steps up to the mic and gingerly enquires, “Are you ready for this?” Not really, it would appear, although this is no reflection on the quality of what she brings. Lisa Mitchell has this timid persona surrounding her that she manages to shatter in Spirits when she belts out a high note worthy of the uproar it receives. Getting her lungs out in the first song is finally a step in the right direction for Mitchell. Fans take it a little too far throwing coins at Mitchell during Coin Laundry, which depletes her confidence slightly, although thanks to the remaining, caring crowd members she plucks up and puts on a game-changer set despite a sudden, bucketing rainfall.
A less than ideal way to greet Falls day three is hearing the telltale rhythmic squeaks of a camping mattress. Curse the opportunistic dude sorting out his morning glory! Suddenly The Hives effect creeps in and we worry that we’ve already experienced the highlight of the festival before the two-day ticketholders have even pitched their tents. Ball Park Music serve up a polished set of geekchic classics to an enraptured Valley Stage crowd. Constant gigging has seen this band perfect their live sound, but they need to make sure they stick to what it is about them that appealed to listeners in the first place (iFly, Sad Rude Future Dude and the like). Cool they most certainly are not and their most endearing and relatable material comes from an honest place.
GIG OF THE WEEK
DJ YODA ESPY FRONT BAR, FRIDAY Coinciding with the release of his new album, titled Chop Suey, DJ Yoda is playing a special free show in the Espy Front Bar this Friday. From hip hop beginnings, DJ Yoda has evolved in the past ten years, developing his turntable skills and drawing from diverse influences. His shows are peppered with film, TV and YouTube samples and visuals that lift his sets to new, often stratospheric heights. Chop Suey is a coming of age album, which realises his songwriting and production talent amid classic hip hop and dance influences. Catch DJ Yoda, Psyde Projects, Remi and DJ Prequel at the Espy this Friday.
FRONTLASH HIVE DIVE
When Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist of The Hives halted his band’s show at the Forum on Sunday night to ensure an unco crowd-surfer who crash-landed on his head in the photographer’s pit wasn’t actually dead, he achieved what we previously thought was impossible: we now rate this band even more highly.
PIECE OF PI If you ignore the new agey mumbo jumbo of Life Of Pi you actually get to see some of the best, and most subtle, use of 3D on film yet. So get ya glasses on.
Always pulling a decent crowd, the energetic, tropical band Jinja Safari could be seen bouncing around the stage from the pinnacle of the Falls amphitheatre. And while there’s a vibe that everyone watching their set would drop their dacks and bend over backwards for every member in this band, it’s pretty clear the boys are talented. Mixing in a sax solo played by a man in just his jocks with up-tempo drumming and fast-paced guitar is not easy, but these boys make a party of it.
GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS
The second appearance by The Bamboos includes a Frank Ocean cover (Lost), which is very festival-demographic savvy. I Got Burned still sizzles minus Tim Rogers on guest vocals as does Midnight minus Bobby Flynn’s pipes. This set is sadly under-attended however, due to a clash with Ash Grunwald up in Grand Theatre.
SURF & DESTROY
Having spied Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil) and Scott Owen (The Living End) fraternising with Grunwald earlier on, we deduce the pair are his backing band for today and so make the trek up the punishing incline accordingly. Grand Theatre is rammed and even if Grunwald’s not usually your bag, it’s well worth clapping eyes on this dream Australian rhythm section feeding off each other and doing their thang. The admiration between the players is palpable and their undetectable, seasoned-muso communication produces spectacular results – seriously jizz-worthy. Hirst’s drumming is crisp but far from clinical and Owen’s groove is unmistakable. The throng demands an encore, but sadly only Grunwald returns to the stage, craps on for way too long and then tries to lead us through a Wade In The Water-style singalong before the stage manager chucks a wobbly and cuts off the sound. A Grunwald/ Hirst/Owen collaborative side-project in 2013? Bring it on! When an act is described as good, fun, pub rock, it always manages to sound like an insult, but this is honestly what Cosmo Jarvis brings live. Throwing in an inspired riff, if not the exact riff that opens Buffalo Springfield‘s For What It’s Worth, changes the pace nicely; however it does keep falling back into that British pop-rock genre. Jarvis definitely succeeds in demonstrating an impressive vocal range though. SBTRKT pulls a motherfucking crowd. From the moment we step into the vicinity, it’s non-stop dancing. The kick bass, step bass and use of flicking tings see SBTRKT exploring so many different styles of dance music. Aaron Jerome’s voice is like salty chocolate; it goes down a treat but has that tang to it as well. He does get slightly confused, saying: “It’s our first time in Australia… This year… Well actually we played earlier in the year, but it’s been about 12 months.” But all can be forgiven for this cracker of a set. As the punters scatter, Beach House’s intricate stage adornments are assembled. Quite how frontvixen
The Lena Dunham mumblecore sitcom is back for season two. Can Adam Driver keep his shirt on? Find out next week.
BACKLASH The unco crowd-surfer at The Hives show at the Forum on Sunday night. You had already crowdsurfed once then went back for seconds and the delay definitely would’ve cost us a coupla songs.
YOLO NO MO’ Anyone over 12 years of age who uses this retarded acronym for You Only Live Once, You (actually) Often Lose Oodles (of respect and credibility).
FISH FINGERS To the busker who was spied stealing money from the wishing moat out the front of the NGV after what was obviously a slow business day for him, we hope you fished out foreign currency. Victoria Legrand achieves the perfect balance between tousled and tamed mane is enviable, but her manner is surly this early evening. Courtesy of the giant screens, we witness her barking orders left and right between songs, which serves to break the spell that their calming, beguiling sound casts. An act that’s probably more suited to being experienced indoors where atmospheric lighting effects can be fully realised. “We are at capacity,” is probably the best thing an artist can hear before their gig and boy is Grand Theatre at capacity for Flume. Harley Streten creates this undulating soundscape that pulsates around a room, infiltrating and almost possessing your body to move with the vibrations. Insane seems the most appropriate song for the moment, however Holdin’ On gets the most screams. The downside is that the sound is a little weak at the back of the tent. Perhaps it might have been just as fun, if not more fun, outside the tent. There are more people trying to cram under the marquee to catch Flume than are braving the zero-degree temperature on the hillside awaiting The Flaming Lips spectacle. continued over the page...
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 35
at the end of Golden Revolver, adding, “I can’t really see you, but I’m sure you’re all looking good.” We’re warned that the version of Reckless we’re about to hear will be a little different from the EP version, and Davieson isn’t kidding. They’ve sped it up, rocked it out and given it a helluva drumbeat, but it works fantastically well. The remainder of tonight’s set is, unsurprisingly, dominated by their recently released self-titled debut album – including Toast, Stella, Wild Things and Nepal – but their previous EPs are not forgotten, with Lover, John’s Song and Rocket Ship (the latter two forming the encore).
continued from previous page... Confetti cannons, Wayne Coyne crowd-surfing inside a giant transparent bubble, random dancers in dress-ups onstage, red smoke billowing from Coyne’s megaphone – all experienced within this picturesque amphitheatre setting framed by towering trees. It’s something to behold, but there’s verve lacking. Perhaps it’s time for the band to surprise and dazzle us with something new? There are so many punters crammed into the campground shuttle before set’s end that we need to sit on each other’s knees. It would appear the jury is unanimous.
Long may San Cisco carry the Australian indie-pop flag.
What!? Today is New Year’s Eve? Time to get down to the business of sourcing possible candidates for a 12 o’clock pash and dash! As the remaining stray remnants of confetti from last night’s The Flaming Lips set flutter down from the flies on the breeze, Hayden Calnin throws out the old, “Thanks for coming down early,” chestnut. For My Help is simply divine, but the sombre content could make those nursing frayed emotions fight back the tears. Calnin encourages us to dance to his last song, acknowledging, “It’s the only song of mine which you might be able to dance to.” A captivating talent bound to extend his reach in 2013; the new material presented today also bodes well. Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino has a beverage holder screwed onto her mic stand, which is a stroke of genius. Theirs certainly is dreamy music for couples (Boyfriend, Honey, When I’m With You, Do You Love Me Like You Used To – you could write a love poem outta their song titles) and there are way too many PDAs going on in the valley, which is not conducive to locating that midnight tonsil hockey contender. So it’s up the incline for some Bleeding Knees Club. Frontman Alex Wall changes up the Have Fun chorus lyrics from, “I just wanna have fun”, alternating with “I just wanna shag your mum”, but it’s kinda subtle so only a few smirks are detectable on punters’ dials. The trio are definitely more proficient on their respective instruments these days but have lost none of their slacker appeal, which is a relief. And spirited drummer Brett Jansch adds a spiked goon bag to the already intoxicated party brew. Introducing themselves as “Swedish sisters from Sweden”, First Aid Kit further fly the blue and yellow flag by sporting matching outfits as a tribute to ABBA: micro minis with giant cartoon cat prints, a different breed and colour of cat for each sister. The Söderberg sisters later cement this homage with a stunning cover of ABBA’s Chiquitita that perfectly showcases their sibling harmonies. Two little toddlers dance onstage with the girls for the majority of their set and we’re charmed. They’re maturing beautifully (Johanna could be Carmen Electra’s not slutty baby sister) and the themes of First Aid Kit’s songs reflect a depth and sensitivity way beyond their years. Sound levels for Matt Corby’s set are probably the worst of the festival. It’s almost impossible to hear the Corbstar from the shade tent which, let’s face it, after four days in the sun everyone wishes to be under. From up the front though, his gypsy eyes and masculine voice draw you in. The boy also has arguably the best range in the business, hitting the high notes with ease while also not being afraid to go low and incorporate a bit of vibrato. It would seem that he is taking his sound in more of a rock direction and getting away from those angelic live tunes. A tried and tested gee-up for any festival, Hilltop Hoods once again deliver during their sunset slot. There’s something so genuinely appreciative about the way they address the crowd and the minute that flute sample kicks in to intro The Nosebleed Section, the valley becomes a makeshift trampoline. Plutonic Lab is faultless on the skins accompanying Suffa and Pressure and I Love It feat (an absent) Sia just about sums up how we feel right now. Rolling into Grand Theatre after a detour back to the campsite to rug up proves opportune: World’s End Press are the maestros of mayhem. Whatever they’ve been up to in the opposite hemisphere with Tim Goldsworthy is definitely working for them and their new songs are instantly accessible. The band doesn’t rely solely on John Parkinson to pull infectious shapes onstage either, with bassist Sashi Dharann and keyboardist Rhys Richards also proving they’re slaves to the rhythm. A couple of Falls volunteers who are dancing wildly intervene during our trip to the bar. They’ve just finished their shifts and Two Door Cinema Club provide the perfect soundtrack for such a celebration. Undercover Martyn speaks directly to those in search of a meaningful other – “I can tell just what you want/You don’t want to be alone…” Crap! What’s the time? “Ten, nine, eight…” No hotties on the hill. Damn! Hugs it is then. The clash of the festival would have to be Coolio and DZ Deathrays, just after midnight. Yeah, sure, they cater to two totally different types of music fan and both bands bring unique experiences, but there’s something about ringing in the New Year that can make one feel like reminiscing. Love for DZ wins out. There’s only two of them up there, but they dominate that massive Grand Theatre stage and smash out short, sharp, demented tunes that make you feel as if you’re riding the Gravitron. Tripping down the hill to refuel as Coolio’s playing his final track proves advantageous. Guess what it is? Gangsta’s Paradise. And a Happy New Year to you, too. Bryget Chrisfield and Jack Crane
36 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
EVAN DANDO & JULIANA HATFIELD, BAMBINO KORESH CORNER HOTEL: 18/12/12
Alexisonfire Pic by Kane Hibberd
ALEXISONFIRE FESTIVAL HALL: 12/12/12 Circling the venue for a car park, there is a uniform for tonight’s event: coloured hair, tattooed skin and paying respects to the headliners on your chest via choice of T-shirt. Who knew Alexisonfire had such an array of merchandise? But given they disbanded just after their tenth anniversary and have spent most of their career touring Australia, it all adds up. For a band with so much to say through their music, they don’t talk much on stage. Of the few words, one statement resonated most true: “This is not a funeral, this is a wake”. Saying goodbye to a band that have such an emotional connection to fans is never easy, but when the band show such disconnect from each other onstage, it suggests the idea of a reunion show is unlikely. The setlist is perfection – Type Alexisonfire into iTunes, press shuffle and there’s the gig. From their first hit 44 Calibre Love Letter to fan favourite Get Fighted, few would be disappointed in tonight’s song choice. Like most hardcore bands, they perform as if there are electric volts coming through the stage. Drummer Jordan Hastings keeps it together, proving his new career in a covers band is keeping him in time. It’s hard to keep your eyes off newly healthy, slimmed down bass player Chris Steele with his eccentric dance movements keeping the beat while he stares off at particular crowd members as if glamouring them. Wade MacNeil, the backing vocalist and newly appointed frontman of UK punk band Gallows, performs brilliantly and proves he can pull focus. The biggest name in the band, Dallas Green (aka City And Colour) is the biggest disappointment of the night; there’s next to no interaction with his comrades and too much of his attention is directed toward guitar difficulties. For a band whose audience loves a good singalong, Green’s attention-seeking vocal excursions leave fans feeling scared to participate. Alexisonfire’s frontman, George Pettit, gives his heart, soul and two shirts to this performance. Bouncing around the stage from start to finish, checking in with each bandmate and every corner of the crowd, this is obviously a memorable occasion for him. Pettit, who seemed to be left in shock with the disbandment news last year, is seeing off the city (outside of their hometown) that first gave this band a chance with pride and respect. Fans feel this wake, like any other, with tear-filled eyes. We tell stories of past experiences with the band and proudly clutch newly purchased T-shirts to add to the collection.
on ‘über’-dark beats, extra effects in corners of their rattling tracks where there seems no room for more. Like all good theatre of its type, it’s ridiculously exciting. They’re an interesting support for Catcall because Catherine Kelleher walks her show down the other side of the road. They pass each other somewhere along the way. Catcall’s debut album, The Warmest Place, and its long run of lead-in singles found champions from all parts by pushing Kelleher’s punk instincts into the mould of pop theatre. With the exception of remixes, her recordings are hi-fi-with-heart. Live, Catcall is a different prospect, mostly because Kelleher can’t help but be anything but herself. In a glittered cape, flanked by producer Andrew Elston (aka Toni Toni Lee) and Palms/Straight Arrows guitarist Al Grigg, Kelleher turns space-funk album song Shoulda Been into a breathless post-punk number, even with the slick backing and vocal harmony samples. Though her voice broadens through the set, the notes getting bolder and longer, it remains a raw energy in the songs. Perfectly so. Kelleher throws her body into it, too. Swimming Pool becomes a rhythmic thrust as it warps into the chanted chorus of TLC’s No Scrubs. On My Own, dreamlike on record, is reinterpreted as a nicely scratchy indie-rock epic thanks to Grigg’s riffing. The World Is Ours is a one-two punch. It’s quite removed from the recorded experience, which might explain why the audience is a motley crew. Earlier in the night a fan handed Kelleher a drawn portrait. Yes, Catcall get fan drawings because they make live music for misfits, and the misfits like to dance. Adam Curley
While it could be argued that they’re not at their best tonight, with many off-notes and the occasional wrong chord, the audience is so enthralled that these things honestly don’t seem to matter. If anything, it adds to the low-key nature of the show, where it feels as though Dando and Hatfield could easily be hanging in your lounge room, playing songs for their own amusement. What a Christmas present! Dominique Wall
CORNER HOTEL: 01/12/12 Chela may still be a relative newcomer, but you’d never guess it from the way she is commanding the attention of the crowd with her incredible stage presence, as said crowd pack themselves as close to the front of the stage as possible to enjoy her set. On top of this, she has some damn fine tunes to back it all up. She finishes her unfortunately far-too-short set with Full Moon, “A song I wrote about having fights with that guy [she points to her guitarist, Tommy Boyce] at the full moon”. Those who are yet to turn up have missed out.
TOFF IN TOWN: 13/12/12 The T-shirts say it all: one Boy London, one the logo for DIY label Nihilistic Orbs. FORCES occupy a space somewhere between. The recurring comparison is with The Presets, primarily due to a perceived potential for the local duo to go from small clubs to, well, wherever they want with their stomping, mechanical madness. It’s a fool’s decision to predict such things, but it can be said that FORCES aren’t playing The Presets’ game. This is no striptease performed by aloof everymen. Theirs is a knowing theatricality. They slap round sunglasses
Indie darlings San Cisco play to a packed house that, it seems, would step on their own mothers to get a better view of the band. The intro starts and the crowd roars, but the curtains are not drawn back until the drums kick into the intro of Fred Astaire, and it’s at this moment that this fawning mass of fans scream even louder at the quartet who are milking their popularity for all it’s worth. You can hardly blame them as they are actually worthy of the hype they’ve garnered. “You’re all awesome singers,” muses frontman Jordi Davieson
Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield waste no time getting started with the Ben Lee-penned Dando song, All My Life. It’s a gentle, sweet and yet somewhat melancholic beginning to a night that will take many of us back to our youth. The love from the audience for these two performers is almost palpable and they, in turn, seem genuinely grateful to have so many fans here to watch them do what they do best. It’s Hatfield’s turn next, with her track Butterflies, and this sets the pattern for the rest of the evening, with the duo taking turns to sing their own songs, as well as songs from their ongoing (in Dando’s case) and past (in Hatfield’s case) bands. It’s at the end of Down About It that we hear the first anecdote of the night, with Dando informing Hatfield that part of the song was written about her. It’s these occasional, and clearly off-the-cuff, tidbits that help make the show so warm. The next hour and a half sees a veritable torrent of indie-pop gems, including Bit Part (which leads Hatfield to clarify that it isn’t her, but Polly Noonan, who starts the album version), Somebody Is Waiting For Me, Confetti, Lament by Blake Babies and a gorgeous rendition of Frank Mills (originally from the musical, Hair).
SAN CISCO, THE PREATURES, CHELA
The mood changes significantly, musically speaking, when Sydney outfit The Preatures take to the stage, and it’s not for the better. Where Chela brought us an upbeat and refreshing set, The Preatures bring little but stale, uninspired goth-tinged rock, not helped by the fact that the first few songs are particularly dreary and slow. Sadly, a change in pace (and singer) doesn’t help matters. Unfortunately, their set seems far too long.
It’s no surprise that tonight’s support band, Bambino Koresh, is the current project for none other than Australian indie pop-rock stalwart and Lemonheads contributor, Tom Morgan (Smudge/Sneeze/Godstar). This band sees Morgan on bass and backing vocals, his wife Leticia Nischang on guitar/lead vocals and Sarah McEwan on drums. Sadly, not much of a connection is made between them and the audience, with their between-song banter limited to barely a couple of song introductions and one apparent in-joke, which makes it hard to fully appreciate their set. It also begs the question as to whether the band would have scored the support were it not for Morgan’s connection with the headlining duo.
Juliana Hatfield Pic by Andrew Briscoe
Paris is particularly well received and Morrissey’s grand gestures are perfect embellishments. Longtime Morrissey co-writer/guitarist/musical director Boz Boorer changes up instruments after just about every song. He requires his own tech to help him strap on, given that one arm is in a sling. This physical impairment doesn’t affect his playing one iota, however. Ouija Board Ouija Board is a welcome addition with a keys outro that positively shimmers. During Let Me Kiss You, Morrissey rips off his own shirt while singing “someone who you physically despise”, but obviously doesn’t despise his naked torso too much since this isn’t the only portion of tonight’s show where he winds up topless (let’s just say he looks good for his age, but not exactly buff). He then exits the stage, returning sporting a flattering and stylish long-sleeved black shirt. Ah, that’s much better: The singer looks svelte with his gear on.
Morrissey Pic by Kane Hibberd
MORRISSEY FESTIVAL HALL: 19/12/12 As Morrissey breezes through Shoplifters Of The World Unite (the first of a generous smattering of songs by The Smiths to be included in tonight’s setlist, much to the delight of fans), it’s immediately established that the godfather of gloom’s glorious pipes have been well maintained. The no-filming rule is militantly enforced in the balcony, as ushers constantly reach over and wave their hands in front of punters’ smartphones. Other seated patrons shield their eyes from the bright lights flashing from the stage at regular intervals, which suggests what we already know: Morrissey fans are getting long in the tooth. Every Day Is Like Sunday sees heads swaying and psyches swooning. Morrissey’s lyrics pop due to his exceptional diction and the sound tech achieves excellent balance, which makes November Spawned A Monster harrowing to digest live. No one does
disdain quite like Morrissey. Bassist Gary Day lurches left to right with much swag, and who needs an elaborate stage set when you’ve got this colossal drum kit? There are Australian-themed double kick drum skins – a variation on our coat of arms: emu and kangaroo with soccer ball in lieu of shield in between. The arrangement of a standout, extended version of How Soon Is Now is striking and the hall erupts in an unchecked display of appreciation. The drummer belts the shit outta what must be the biggest tom in the world, which is also illuminated from within somehow, to close out Speedway. The visuals illustrating Meat Is Murder were never gonna be comfortable to watch, but some of the footage of chicken farms is so disturbing that it sends weak-stomached audience members scurrying from the auditorium. This scribe averts eyes from the screen several times and vows to become a vegetarian. Morrissey achieves what he intended here. Of his new material, I’m Throwing My Arms Around
The segment during which Morrissey presents the mic to individual audience members for spontaneous testimonials is beyond lame. And of course, those singled out sing his praises, while Morrissey acts chuffed, panto-style. There’s a lot of stage invading as well, which Morrissey welcomes. Playing saviour, he plucks various ‘chosen ones’ from the crammed front section. A crazy loon, with greasy hair and not enough clothes on, somehow clambers on stage during Sweet And Tender Hooligan – security! “You will never see the one you love again” may prove closer to the truth than some Mozza tragics may care to admit. Morrissey’s outburst of lamentation lasts for an hour and a half, and being part of his congregation is surprisingly therapeutic. Bryget Chrisfield
THE KEY OF SEA HAMER HALL: 14/12/12 It is a unique gig night at Hamer Hall, as the CD The Key Of Sea – Volume 2 is given life in a concert that joins Australian musicians with performers from asylum-seeking backgrounds, with the profits going to various refugee charities.
The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment as the entertaining maestro from RocKwiz, Brian Nankervis, prowls the stage and the aisles, inciting laughter as he warms up the crowd. Tim Rogers and Polyxeni kick off the evening and give an engaging performance full of dark gypsy tones. Rogers is fantastic, his voice in fine form as he gels with the other band members, dubbing them his “new best friends”. A group of Sudanese children, aged from eight to 13, enter the show when Nankervis calls some of them up to the stage during a band’s set-up time. Two young girls (12 and 13 years old) perform a rap that is slightly disturbing due to the bullying undertones in the subject matter. They are very confident though, and “oh so cute”, as one woman in the audience repeats quite a few times. Sophia Brous performs with Awaz, a Kurdish musician. Brous’ voice is strong and alluring as she sings a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Story Of Isaac, and her impossibly high crooning notes marry well with Awaz’s low register in Come Along. The Tiger & Me are next, paired with Murtaza Jafari, who plays a fascinating instrument from Afghanistan, the dambura. It is long-necked and played like a guitar, with a beautiful earthy tone. The band’s indie-pop stylings fuse well with the foreign sounds in their collaborative song with Jafari, Az Eshq Tho. The Royal Swazi Spa marry a soft jazz vibe with African calypso happiness. Chet Faker arrives on stage on crutches to join them, his leg bandaged, and lends his husky voice to Fear Like You. It’s a fantastic grooving song, enhanced by the brilliant jazzy background. Jinja Safari wrap up the night, performing with Kinfe Geshu, called “Spaceman” by the band due to his shiny silver suit. Silence Of The Guns is a celebratory extravaganza, as all the performers from the night file back on stage to clap and dance along, and the Sudanese kids let loose on the chorus. There is an abundance of warm fuzzy feelings swirling around for this great cause and a feeling of togetherness seems to permeate through the audience. This collaborative music truly becomes a uniting force that forges bonds across different cultures and is a joy to watch. Jaye Weatherburn
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OUT IN JANUARY For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 37
WAKE THE DEAD
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTS@INPRESS.COM.AU
THE HEAVY SHIT WITH LOCHLAN WATT
HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH SARAH PETCHELL
members. Expect a new single from Aversions Crown to be released digitally in early February. There is no official word on what this means for the future of Signal The Firing Squad yet. Melbourne’s King Parrot released a ridiculously awesome video clip over the holidays. Go on, head to YouTube and have a search for Shit On The Liver. Eternal Rest will hit the road throughout late January and February to launch their debut album Prophetic. You can catch the Brisbane technical death metallers out on Friday 8 February at the Gasometer, and Saturday 9 at Ha’Penny Bridge. Exact release details for Prophetic are expected soon.
Buddy Guy I sure hope the festive season was kind to you and that you’re in good spirits as you face the New Year. I finally got my hands on the Buddy Guy Live At Legends album that I spoke about a couple of weeks ago and, while I usually wouldn’t mention a record twice in this column, I simply cannot help myself. This is the distillation of the absolute finest elements of a live Buddy Guy show; it’s gritty, loud, aggressive and not for the faint-ofheart and it would have to be one of the better live blues recordings I have heard in a very long time. Guy’s voice and guitar sound incredible and he’s clearly even more comfortable in his own bar than he is anywhere else – and that’s really saying something. I give it my most absolute recommendation and now all I want to do is see Guy play live again! The album is out now. Another blues record that has just been released comes from legendary Aussie rocker Russell Morris. Sharkmouth sees Morris in complete blues mode as he tells stories of Australian characters going all the way back to 1919. He’s calling it a “roots and blues representation of the Aussie Battler”, which, I’ll be honest, sounds pretty appealing to me. The fact that he has managed to pull it off in a way that musically recalls the traditions of American blues but still sounds innately Australian is a seriously impressive feat. Being Russell Morris, he’s managed to put together an amazing band with Chris Wilson, Troy Cassar-Daley, Renee Geyer, Mark Lizotte and Shannon Bourne just a sample of the many musicians who make this such a quality Aussie blues release. You can grab it right now. I spent part of my short break at the Woodford Folk Festival, one of those events that you really should experience at least once in your life, and I had a wonderful time. The main reason for my journey was to once again witness the brilliance of Daptone Records figureheads Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, who failed to disappoint as is always the case. Jones is the ultimate frontwoman who just gets better and better as the years go on and considering she will be 57 this year that’s really saying something. Of course The Dap-Kings themselves absolutely dominated; they have to be one of, if not the, best soul groups around, and the laidback Woodford crowd really soaked up the vibes that the band were emitting for their hour on stage. I only managed to make it along to the end of the round robin blues session that Fiona Boyes was heading up, but I have to say that Boyes and Ray Beadle were both absolutely sensational at the performance. The concept itself is a good one and it’s always fun to see great blues artists collaborating, but the highlights truly came from those two aforementioned artists when performing on their lonesome; Beadle’s blazing guitar playing and Boyes’ powering voice are two of the best things in the world of Australian blues, in my opinion.
Duff McKagan’s Loaded Holy flipping Soundwave sideshows! First up we got Duff McKagan’s Loaded doing a sideshow with rockers Danko Jones on Thursday 28 February at The Espy. Following their recent legal defeat, Kyuss Lives! will also be playing their final headlining shows under that name with support from Red Fang and hit the Palace in Melbourne on Tuesday 26 February. Sick Of It All, Madball and Vision Of Disorder will join up for some massive hardcore shows including one on Wednesday 27 February at The Espy. Local supports for Converge and Old Man Gloom were announced while we were on holidays – check out The Broderick opening up the pit at Billboard on Friday 15 February. Brisbane’s killer deathcore group Aversions Crown just got a little heavier. Following hot on the heels of the departure of bassist Steve Noad last month, the band has just announced their new expanded line-up. Bassist Jay Coombs and guitarist Hayden Foot from the Sunshine Coast’s Signal The Firing Squad have both been added, bringing the band’s line-up to six
Denouncement Pyre will release their new album Almighty Arcanum through Hell’s Headbangers on Tuesday 22 January. The Melbourne-based black metal group has chucked a teaser for the full-length up on YouTube, and released the Darkness Manifest 7” EP as a bit of a teaser last month. Sydney post-metal group At Dark have a new seven-track release available through at-dark.bandcamp.com. Featuring members and ex-members of We Lost The Sea, The Amenta, Slowly Building Weapons and Lo!, you can be assured that the selftitled release is a heavy experience. A vinyl edition is expected to arrive in the coming months through Grindhead Records. Get down to The Hi-Fi this Friday to catch the complete grimness of Sweden’s Marduk, with an all-star supporting cast of Portal, Order Of Orias and Ignivomous.
SEARCH AND DESTROY DIGGIN’ UP THE GOOD SHIT WITH SAMSON MCDOUGALL about shit, mostly people decide to give it a miss.) But man did you all miss out. Their transitions between songs were barely registrable pauses, their guitar interplay was superb, their tunes still have it and, more than anything else, they were having a fucking ball while they were doing it.
I finally got the chance to catch Folk Uke in a live setting and they surpassed my expectations by a long way; Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson have often made little comments in the press about not being very good and, while they won’t be winning the same plaudits that their fathers/ grandfather have received, their stunning harmonies and filthy lyrics made for a seriously endearing live performance and I daresay they are far better than they would have many people believe.
We’re listening to Gang Of Four at work this week and it sparked memories of their Soundwave appearance a couple of years back. For those who were there, a fairly hungover (by his own admission) Jon King spat his lyrics with the vitriol of a street punk a third his age and Andy Gill’s guitar jags cut like ear razors. They fucking owned their set and virtually nobody saw it. They were as, if not more, vital than any band on the bill at what is regarded Australia’s number one heavy music festival. Given that Gang Of Four’s trailblazing debut, Entertainment, from 1979, undoutedly paved a fair chunk of the pavement now occupied by the bands occupying Soundwave bill space, it’s a bloody shame that every kid at the festival wasn’t forced to sit through the set – give those whippersnappers a bit of what for regarding their modern tastes and what got us here. Alas, I was one of the few cantankerous old fucks to bear witness, but at least none of those damn kids were stinking up the joint.
But what really makes Woodford is the vibe; you couldn’t even imagine witnessing any acts of violence at this event, there’s so little negativity and just about everyone is smiling all of the time. I’m not much of a hippie, but I was more than happy to put up with their quirks and charms while at the event. Goodness knows it’s better than the meatheaded vibe that has infiltrated so many of our favourite events over the past decade. Until next year!
A similar thing happened at Meredith just been and it made me think a bit about promotion (not usually a topic occupying much of my limited brainspace) when Hot Snakes delivered what I considered to be one of the great Meredith heavy(ish) sets in recent years. Again, where the fuck were you all? I’d been bangin’ on about this band since I saw they were on the bill and many of my people chose to give ‘em a miss. (Mental note: whenever I bang on
38 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog
Atlas, the fourth full-length from Byron Bay’s Parkway Drive, just reached gold sales status. It’s the second time this has happened for the band, who will have been cranking out the tunes for a decade this year.
There were a few contributing factors to the crappy turnout for Hot Snakes: 1) they played at 3pm on a fucking hot, windy and dry Meredith afternoon; 2) they were slotted in between the festival’s only hip hop and soul acts, and, most importantly, 3) they aren’t really a big ticket band out here. Who knows why Hot Snakes never resonated that strongly in Australia but their Meredith set would’ve won them any of the bods in attendance. Similar to the Gang Of Four set a few years earlier, it doesn’t matter much because it’s pretty unlikely they’ll ever return (though I did notice GOF have a couple of 2013 dates lined up). On a more local and less whiney note, fuzzy punk peeps Chook Race launch their tape, Power Nap (who doesn’t love a power nap?) at the Grace Darling in a couple of weeks and with Pageants and Towel Heads along for the party it’s gonna be fucking ace. Chook Race have to be some of the most charismatic fuckers in town right now and Pageants popped out one of the late entries for the album of 2012. It goes down on Friday 1 February. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys will make a pilgrimage down from their native Sydney for their Ready For Boredom (out in a couple of weeks via RIP Society) album launch at the John Curtin on Friday 25 January. These dudes have been rattling around the NSW scene for a fair while now and past excursions have proven their dedication to the party. And to round S&D off for another month, OFF! (featuring none other than Hot Snake Mario Rubalcaba on drums) have announced their Wednesday 23 January Corner Hotel show supports as the insane Bloody Hammer and one of 2012’s local pub rock standouts, Bat Piss. Oh, and Love Of Diagrams play the Tote this Thursday.
Refused The curse of Boys Of Summer strikes again, with unforseen but necessary changes being made to the line-up just weeks before the tour. For The Fallen Dreams have cancelled, but a replacement was found in the form of San Francisco’s First Blood, who will be joining Deez Nuts, Comeback Kid and Hand Of Mercy. Vocalist Carl Schwartz was quoted as saying, “We’re pretty damn pumped to finally return to Australian again… See y’all soon in the summertime down under!” Also joining this pretty packed line-up will be Western Sydney’s The Bride. The band are using the tour to say goodbye to the stages of Australia (more on that in a second), so if you’re a fan this is your last chance to catch them live. A band plagued by line-up changes, 2011 saw them finally release their debut full-length President Rd. The Boys Of Summer tour hits Melbourne for an all ages show at Central Ringwood Community Centre on Friday 18 January with Free World and on Saturday 19 January at the Corner Hotel for an 18+ show with Trainwreck. As mentioned just above, The Bride posted a farewell message in the last days of 2012, detailing that they would be breaking up. The statement said, “The Bride has undergone a series of line-up changes since its inception six years ago, with the current line-up being our strongest and most functional, ultimately defining the band as most perceive it now. As some of you may have speculated, Kevin [Schultz, vocalist] has decided to part ways with The Bride and as a result of his departure, the four of us have decided it best to lay The Bride to rest. We feel that another frontman change under the same moniker would be a severely diminishing strike against our authenticity.” Now that Refused are OFFICIALLY fucking dead the members of the band are free to pursue their other projects and endeavours. One I’m a big fan of is Dennix Lyxzen’s old-school hardcore outfit AC4 who have announced that they’ll be releasing their second album this March. Titled Burn The World, the album is to be released through Lyxzen’s own label, with the vocalist describing the sound as, “Just good old hardcore”. Pre-orders are up now for Sydney hardcore outfit Relentless’ second album, the Nick Jett-produced Turn The Curse (which will be hitting shelves thanks to Dogfight Records on 25 January). It looks like this album is set to really boost the band internationally (with the band having announced a Southeast Asia tour with Madball recently as well) as it has been picked up for release by 6131 Records in the United States and Reality Records in Europe. Joining Relentless on the road will be Adelaide’s The Weight and Melbourne’s Thorns. It hits Melbourne Saturday 9 February for an 18+ show at Bang Nightclub, then there’s an all-ages show at Phoenix Youth Centre on Sunday 10 February. And the tours keep coming, with Brisbane’s Marathon announcing a four-date run of shows this February. This tour, which includes the band’s first trip to Adelaide, will be their only interstate shows before they head into the studio to record their debut LP. You can catch the band on Friday 8 February for an 18+ show at the Bendigo Hotel with Outright, Clipped Wings, Internal Rot and Cavalcade. One of my all-time favourite hardcore albums is The Hope Conspiracy’s Death Knows Your Name. Released back in 2006, it was their last studio album and reports have all been vague about what the band have been up to, whether they were still together and what exactly was going on. So you can imagine my excitement when a little Twitter post popped up from the band that said “2012: we wrote some new songs”. So there you have it. The Hope Conspiracy are apparently working on new material, and so long as this doesn’t turn into the fabled lost album of Glassjaw, I will await its release with so much anticipation that I could burst!
THE TV SET
WITH ANDREW MAST
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
HIP HOP NEWS & COMMENTARY WITH ALEKSIA BARRON
Top Of The Lake The TV Set previews new shows set to appear on TV screens early 2013.
TOP OF THE LAKE Dir: Jane Campion; Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, David Wenham. Hunter and Campion reteam (The Piano) in NZ for what looks a gritty police drama where Moss can shake her nice-girl Peggy image by wearing jeans instead of Mad Men pencil skirts. UKTV look like expressing from US where it starts 18 March.
DECEPTION Thanks to the success of the truly pathetic Revenge (y’know, the primetime soap ‘proper critics’ consider a ‘guilty pleasure’), the search is on for a replicant hit. Giving it a lead on Deception is that creator Liz Heldens is hot off Friday Night Lights. On the downside, before that she worked on the revamp of Bionic Woman.
THE JOE SCHMO SHOW With the appearance of reality spoof Burning Love (with Kristen Bell and Carla Gallo), US mennel (men’s channel) Spike has felt the need to bring back its own reality spoof from the early noughties. The show’s original creators went on to write and produce Zombieland, so there may be something in this.
1600 PENN Dir: Jason Winer; Cast: Jenna Elfman, Bill Pullman. Remember That’s My Bush! from the South Park boys back in 2001? Well, this is another South Park-related White House sitcom (creator Josh Gad starred in Book Of Mormon – created by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone team). Disappointingly, it doesn’t look as crude as ...Bush! but director Winer does work on the wonderfully amoral Don’t Trust The B**** In Apartment 23 (they’ve officially ditched the ‘Bitch’).
BANSHEE Exec Producer: Alan Ball; Cast: Anthony Starr, Ben Cross. Ball bails from True Blood now that it is truly unwatchable and creates what looks like a by-numbers, made-for-cable thriller (a little bit of Sons Of Anarchy, a little bit of Justified, a little bit of True Blood). How long before he screws this up?
THE CARRIE DIARIES Exec Producer: Miguel Arteta; Cast: AnnaSophia Robb, Freema Agyeman. What’s not to hate about this? A Sex And The City prequel, starring the worst ever Doctor Who companion (Agyeman). But then there’s Arteta: Youth In Revolt, Freaks And Geeks, Star Maps. Surely his one episode of American Horror Story can’t undo all this good work. Fox8 are expressing from 14 January.
LEGIT Exec Producer: Jim Jefferies; Cast: Jim Jefferies, DJ Qualls. Aus comedian Jefferies is more appreciated overseas than back home. Over there, he’s considered the new Louis CK. Over here, he’s not considered. But the idea of him and Qualls (Supernatural) together is enough to have us contemplating that thing people do to get a look at US TV shows before they screen here...
Drake remained low key in 2012, that Aaliyah ‘collab’ Enough Said aside. But his influence was pervasive. The Canadian has ushered in a new existentialist hip hop, challenging the culture of materialism, aggression and machismo. He’s also eschewed the omnipresent Euro-urban sound, pioneering the murkier illwave. Though no ‘emo’ rapper, Compton, Los Angeles’ Kendrick Lamar is indebted to Drake, his approach subliminal, introspective and empathetic. Not since The Game (a long-time Lamar ally) has a West Coaster generated such heat in hip hop. Lamar, who toured Australia in mid-December, built his rep with mixtapes. He signed to the indie Top Dawg Entertainment as a teen. In 2011 Lamar released the album, Section.80, digitally. He caught the attention of that elusive maestro Dr Dre, who secured him for Aftermath. Lamar’s major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, which reached #2 Stateside, made several 2012 ‘best of’ lists. But if good kid... is a classic, it’s a flawed one. While hailed as the ‘New King Of The West Coast’, Lamar’s steez is rooted in illwave, his gangsta rap incongruously subtle and modish. The MC favours downbeat tunes with occasionally twisted samples (Beach House!) or muted singing and no obvious hooks. It’s difficult to discern any vestiges of G-funk and, in fact, Lamar’s influences transcend rap’s old coastal binarisms (good kid... has been compared to Atlanta’s OutKast). Dre serves as executive producer, but beyond mixing down tracks and his raps on The Recipe (a ‘bonus’ here) and Just Blaze’s Compton, he doesn’t contribute beats. Instead, Lamar has commissioned lesser-known producers, among them Sounwave, plus the likes of Pharrell Williams (the Blaxploitationy good kid). Canadian illwaver T-Minus is behind the first official single, Swimming Pools (Drank).
Musically, good kid... isn’t distinctive (Kanye West affiliate Hit-Boy’s Backseat Freestyle would easily fit Cruel Summer) or compelling. Its real significance lies in Lamar’s inspired storytelling and theatrical range as an MC. The music is necessarily secondary. good kid... is autobiographical, almost cinematic, documenting Lamar’s coming of age in gang-riddled Compton. The 12-minute Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst is a (surreal) dream within a dream. The current Hollywood musical hit Les Misérables romanticises – well, sentimentalises – poverty. Plan B proffered an ‘alternative’ Les Mis in the grittier iLL Manors. Lamar does something similar with good kid..., although, however conflicted, he believes in redemption – unlike B. Lamar, too, cherishes family. Ultimately, where The Game has always been a gangsta rap revivalist, Lamar is deconstructing it. Lamar showed on Drake’s Take Care. Here, Drake returns the favour, rapping on Scoop DeVille’s Janet Jackson-sampling Poetic Justice. West Co’ vet MC Eiht symbolically graces m.A.A.d city. The most upbeat number? Now Or Never, helmed by Jack Splash and featuring Mary J Blige. Likewise taking cues from the Canadian contingent is Pittsburgh’s Wiz Khalifa – if only sonically. For his largely generic LP, ONIFC (Only Nigga In First Class), he’s cut the broken beat Remember You with The Weeknd. Wiz, engaged to ‘Ye’s ex Amber Rose, also seems to have raided André 3000’s closet, going by the cover. Drake opened the door for Toronto talent like The Weeknd, not to mention T-Minus, but others are still struggling. Somali-Canadian K’naan – a conscious MC, singer and muso – dropped his blockbuster comeback, Country, God Or The Girl, late in 2012 to little fanfare. K’naan, famed for 2009’s global smash, Wavin’ Flag, is evidently aiming for commercial success with his synthesis of hip pop, electro, rock and Afro-beat (he plays mbira on Simple). What’s more, Country... boasts huge guests – K’naan’s activist pal Bono, Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards and, er, will.i.am – as well as Ryan Tedder and RedOne (Lady Gaga). The MC appeared on Nas’ Distant Relatives with Damian Marley, and this time Nas cameos on Nothing To Lose.
THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
Pantha Du Prince Marcus says he doesn’t see the distinction between online and offline. That there’s really no difference. Of course this is the life perspective we’re told to expect in a year such as 2013. The ‘virtual’ is no longer virtual but… co-physical? We shake our heads. Those kids. But Marcus is adamant. I can’t agree but I’m envious. I activate and deactivate, switch on and off, connect and disconnect. I open tabs and look for life in the grey-lined gaps between them, in the 40 centimetres of air between me and the screen. It’s one or the other. Pantha Du Prince is seeking light in sound. The latest record from Berliner Hendrik Weber, Elements Of Light (out Friday through Rough Trade/Remote Control), finds him utilising Norway collective The Bell Laboratory in a continuous composition split into five tracks: Wave, Particle, Photon, Spectral Split and Quantum. Weber has used bells before – and has performed with The Bell Laboratory prior to this record – but the album is his biggest work with bells and also his most public statement of his interest in them, if albums are, like exhibitions to an artist’s studio, statements of intention (and it’s possible to argue that they aren’t). The tracks vary in length from around four minutes to nearly 20 and begin as anyone would instantly expect of this kind of undertaking, like a producer finding the groove in church bells, adding beats, backing chimed melodies with synthetic notes. It shifts though: in Spectral Split the synths pulsate and the bells shimmer, like a more kosmische version of an Apple (or Sony or Intel…) marketing soundtrack, a reappropriation of those scores, or maybe a reimagining of these things that want us to connect emotionally to light sources.
Weber isn’t the first composer to pair synthesised sounds with unmodified (organic? real?) sounds, but the pairing of synths and bells is an interesting one. A bell is built to make one sound. It’s an early instrument, maybe only bettered by the drum in evoking the image of a woman or man hitting a rock with a stick, or whatever was the fashion. A synthesiser evokes the same image in a different age: a single noise, a primitive blip or bleep or whomp or some other onomatopoeia. Weber draws lines between the instruments and, despite the billing on the album of two artistic companies at work, even suggests that there isn’t a difference between the instruments. The bell and the synthesiser, one and the same. Nor is Weber the first to call on music to describe something outside of sound – and we have colour words for sounds and we have synaesthesia and we have the great impact of great composers and we have the very reasons for music, which spread to every part of life beyond the notes themselves. It might be ignorant, too, to make any kind of comment on the use of synthetic sounds in describing something that occurs naturally. When you break it down it’s all science, it’s all God – and you’re just a stunned Jason Schwartzman looking for more tiny gaps between tiny particles and wondering where Dustin Hoffman’s nose ends and space begins. Good luck with that. But bells ain’t bells. Or bells ain’t just bells. In many cultures, when we hear bells we hear a call to something bigger, even if we don’t agree that such a call is possible or useful or sane or for anything more than ourselves. Buddhists, Taoists, Christians, pagans. Bells in temples and churches; bells doing the praying and bells answering prayers. Bells carrying religion across city centres. Those goddamn bells, an Apple advertisement for some light-filled life and we’re listening for it in the gaps of the notes, anxious to be saved with each step to each beat, straining to find God in the spaces. Or maybe some of us aren’t. I’ll have to ask Marcus.
Maggot Mouf So, ‘tis the season. ‘No it isn’t!’ I hear you say. ‘Christmas was a couple of weeks ago!’ Well, I’m not talking about Christmas – I’m talking about the triple j Hottest 100 voting period. It seemed as though the moment that voting opened Facebook and Twitter exploded with artists making impassioned pleas for fans to vote their songs into the countdown. If you found this annoying, that’s understandable, although it’s worth remembering what’s at stake – getting a song into the Hottest 100 can be a huge boost to an artist. (However, artists who spam mercilessly begging for votes will likely find themselves hidden or unfollowed by their fans, so they should bear that in mind.) If you haven’t voted yet, please do so ASAP. Yes, I know the Hottest 100 is just populist crap and no longer the infallible musical barometer of your youth, but true aural aficionados are needed to counter the million ‘joke’ votes for Gangnam Style. (They were joke votes, right? Right?) Get amongst it and show some love for the artists who contributed something wonderful to the world of music in 2012. You can cast your vote at abc.net.au/triplej/ Hottest100 until midnight on Sunday 20 January. We tend to go a shade quiet on new releases in January (understandably, given that it’s tough to compete with festival season and whatnot), but local act BBS are giving us some early-2013 love with their new EP Won’t Be Told, which is dropping next week. The four-piece, consisting of MCs J Stark (no relation to Ned, I suspect), Rare and Yorgs and DJ Rude B have been regular performers around Melbourne for the last few years, frequently warming the stage for the likes of Illy, Pez and M-Phazes. The new EP will be produced by C1 and will be available as a free download from Tuesday 15 January. To find out more about it, or download the title track, check out the BBS triple j Unearthed page. I know this is still a way off, but if you haven’t put Friday 1 March in your diary yet, DO IT NOW, for this is the date of Catch Wreck. The latest in a long line of seriously impressive local hip hop events, Catch Wreck is a pure celebration of underground royalty, featuring a line-up of premium Australian talent. Headlining the show is none other than Lazy Grey, accompanied by Jake Biz and DJ DCE. Who else is performing, you ask? Well, there’s local hero Brad Strut, Terra Firma legend Simplex, the always-entertaining Maundz and mic monster Fluent Form. There will also be performances from K21, Raven & Myk Reid, Mata & Must and Smiley, who’s coming out all the way from WA. Oh, and Heata and Discourse will be on the decks, and Slap 618 will be playing host. Basically, it’s the gig you always wished someone would organise. To avoid disappointment, buying a presale ticket is highly encouraged. You can do this at the Obese Records shop, or via moshtix.com.au. Just make sure you don’t miss out on Catch Wreck – it’s gonna be a good one. Of course, you shouldn’t have to wait until March to go to a killer gig – and the good news is, you don’t have to! One Sixth is launching his highly impressive debut album Electronic Mail at The Espy this weekend. It’s set to be an epic set, with guest appearances from Mantra, Maundz, Fluent Form, Class A, Candice Monique, Luka Lesson and more. The support acts are great, too – Maggot Mouf with Gutz, Bailer & Retainer, DJ Master and No Name Nath. The gig is happening Saturday 12 January, and tickets are available at the door or via theespy.oztix.com.au. Oh, and thanks for coming back to keep reading Intelligible Flow, now in its second year. It’s lovely to have you stick around.
For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog • 39
HAVE YOU HEARD?
RISE OF THE RAT LAUNCH THEIR GRIM INDUSTRY CD AT REVERENCE HOTEL ON SATURDAY 19 JANUARY. How did you get together? Karl Mautner, vocals/guitar: I wrote a few songs that were reminiscent of mid-period Blue Oyster Cult and my old housemate, Emanuel (bass) is a massive BOC fan, so it seemed obvious to get him involved. Rick (guitar) and I were in HBlock101 together and we’ve always worked well with each other musically speaking and Nick (drums) was previously in The Dead Things and BDC with Emanuel and liked what we were doing, so when we needed a new drummer he was the man for the job.
SINNER OR SAINT
Following the release of his Summer Sun EP, Benny Walker presents his latest full-length offering, Sinners And Saints. Walker has joined forces with ARIA award winning producer Shane O’Mara (who has worked with the likes of Tim Rogers, The Waifs and Paul Kelly) to create a record showcasing not only Walker’s maturing as a songwriter but also his heartfelt and soulful vocals, backed by the perfect band of musicians. Join Walker and special guests Sal Kimber & Nick Lovell and Tom Richardson at Northcote Social Club this Saturday for the official launch of Sinners And Saints. Tickets are $15 pre-sale and $16 on the door.
VAUDEVILLE AND SEX Two heavyweights of the Melbourne live scene go head to head at the Evelyn this Monday. In one corner you have the disco-pop machine that is The Vaudeville Smash, masters of the hook and the relentless groove, with a penchant for spirit hands. And in the other corner there’s the synth-infused, falsetto love grooves of Sex On Toast. Who will win? You be the judge. Doors open at 8.30pm and entry’s $6.
Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? The band actually started as a recording project, so we’d already recorded a 12-track album before we played a single show. Then we got itchy fingers.
If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? Black Rose by Thin Lizzy.
What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? Reverence Hotel, Footscray – two bandrooms, easy to get to via the train, plenty of parking if you drive, it’s only 5km from the CBD and it’s run by the best bunch of people I’ve ever met.
SAY HI TO YOUR NEW GODS New Gods are a new band on a voyage to connect people. The band, named after a Meatpuppets track, features Dominic Byrne and Adrian Beltrame from Little Red (frontman, songwriter and guitarist respectively), along with Richard Bradbeer on bass (Eagle & The Worm), Sam Raines on drums, and Dale Packard on keys (Ground Components). Having supported Alt-J, Gypsy & The Cat and The Rubens in 2012, and receiving high rotation on triple j for their debut single On Your Side, the band have worked hard to hone their live set and build a loyal fan base around the country. They launch their EP at Northcote Social Club this Friday, with support from Montero and Jessica Says. Tickets are $15 and doors open at 8.30pm.
GETTIN’ SEEDY This Thursday at Bar Open will see your faces melted so hard that bringing a mop is a prerequisite. With a bill comprising Honeybone, Sooky La La, Son Of Set and the amazing Seedy Jeezus, this eclectic mix of stoner, blues, psychedelic and straight out rock will be sure to have something to blow your minds to all comers of the upstairs band room. Entry is free and doors open at 8pm.
FLYYING HIGH After a cracking first headline show at Yah Yah’s at the start of December, Flyying Colours will undertake their very first residency at Cherry Bar every Wednesday in January. With comparisons to classic british psych and shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine and The Stone Roses, Flyying Colours will put on sets suited to balmy summer evenings. Plus, all shows are free entry. Supporting them tonight are Teenage Mothers and WA bands Chainsaw Hookers and Surefire Midnights.
THE BAR IS SMOKIN’ Smoky Seas are back for 2013 with a big show at Bar Open tonight to follow their successful gigs of late 2012. Known for their rollicking pirate-y folk-prog stylings, a blistering horn section and plentiful guitar solos, Smoky Seas are a band you can dance to, sway emotionally to and think hard about later. Smoky Seas will be supported by the stormy and beautiful piano ballads of Darn Matter (playing a solo show) and the world of funk that is Super Fat Fruit. Doors open at 8pm and entry is free.
YOU’RE LOOKING GREEN
The Grand Rapids are back at Yah Yah’s this Friday and they’re bringing their trusty projector and its kaleidoscopic light show freakout. Expect drone-rock wig-outs and some new tunes featuring backwards guitars and modulating loops galore. Joining them on this sonic sound apocalypse will be psych-fuzz merchants Dead River, who have had a massive year playing a million shows and supporting the likes of Dead Meadow and Earthless. Opening the show will be the triple guitar/ twin vocal psych styles of The Ol’ Faithfuls. The music starts at 9pm and entry’s free.
This Saturday sees the return of A Day By The Green to the St Kilda Bowling Club. Doors open at 3pm with opening act Noir hitting the stage at 3.30pm. They’ll be closely followed by The Divine Fluxus before Fiona Lee Maynard and her Holy Men take over the room. 12FU plus a very special surprise guest is next up, then Marilyn Rose & The Thorns and Hell Hounds. The curators of the event, Cold Harbour, hit the stage next, with Mesa Cosa hot on their heels. Rounding out the night is Valentiine before The Fuck Fucks bring proceedings to a close. Not to mention, the whole event will be MCed by Tony Biggs of 3RRR and there will be a set by punk poet Dan Whitewood. Entry is $20 for a whole afternoon and night of fantastic homegrown talent, drinks are cheap and Senor BBQ will be providing wholesome food to help soak up the booze.
The Paul Kidney Experience were lucky enough to record an album with legendary German drummer Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru/ Harmonia/Acid Mothers Temple). Their luck has just doubled as Neumeier is returning to Australia for a brief visit and has requested to reprise this recording with a live set as Paul Kidney Experience’s drummer! It all goes down this Saturday at Yah Yah’s. Support on the night comes from Faspeedelay ahead of touring their debut album and ‘60s/’70s psych and hard rock purveyors Swamp Moth. Doors are at 9pm and entry’s $10.
If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? KISS circa the Revenge album so I could try and convince them not to put the makeup back on – when I say ‘them’, I mean Gene.
If you invited someone awesome ‘round for dinner what would you cook? They could have some beers and if they were hungry they could make themselves a sandwich.
James Reyne is one of Australia’s most loved singer-songwriters; he led the seminal Australian Crawl to the top of the Australian music scene and he’s set to perform at Elsternwick’s Flying Saucer Club this Friday. Support comes from special guest Gallie.
MANI KIDNEY EXPERIENCE
Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? Harmonised guitars, social commentary.
Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? No, but Emanuel bought me a red, white and blue sweatband that looks like something someone from the new wave of British heavy metal would have worn – I think I’ll make that my lucky item from now on.
PULL IN THE REYNES
VENUS AT MIDNIGHT Head to the Brunswick Hotel this Friday for a dose of fierce tunes from System Of Venus, Wolfpack, Charm and Thick Line Thin Line. This will be the first gig for 2013 for System Of Venus, who have been busy in the last couple months recording their up coming album due for release in February. Entry is free. The music starts at 9pm and System Of Venus are on at midnight.
MULQUEEN OF HEARTS
MEET THE MORRISONS
Equal parts cabaret, folk and heartbreak, Kate Mulqueen spends her evenings taking the venues of Melbourne by polite yet unconventional storm. Armed with a generous arsenal of ebony, ivory, irony and melody, Mulqueen’s performance is reminiscent of such pop innovators as Tori Amos and Amanda Palmer, women who are relentlessly creative and flat out refuse to follow the movements of the day. Catch Kate Mulqueen this Thursday night at the Drunken Poet from 9pm.
Melbourne four-piece The Morrisons hit the road this January to take their tunes to regional Victoria. Catch The Morrisons throwing at you their blend of high energy flat out swirling punk rock this Friday at the Barwon Club Geelong with guests Red Rockets Of Borneo, and again on Saturday at the Bridge Hotel Castlemaine with guests Bodies. It’s $10 entry and doors at 8.30pm for both shows.
LIKE A MOTH TO A FLAME With the nights finally warming up and those sweet summer vibes rolling our way, El Moth are stoked to announce they’ll be playing the Evelyn Hotel every Tuesday night in January and February. Expect some guest musicians and epic jams, and of course the mood-elevating blend of reggae, funk, rock and hip hop that the lads are known for. Supports for this Tuesday’s show are Keshie and Munro Melano.
BLUES BODIES Sydney eight-piece blues and soul outfit Beaten Bodies have just released their debut self-titled EP and are celebrating with an extensive East Coast tour over summer and a string of shows throughout Victoria in the next couple of months. The band mixes dirty, down-low grooves and up-tempo rhythms to produce a vintage sound with a contemporary presence. Playing with them at Yah Yah’s this Thursday will be Melbourne eight-piece reggae/soul/dub band Kooyeh and Box Hill six-piece soul/funk band Up Up Away. Doors open at 8.30pm and entry is $10.
THE WAITE IS OVER With a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, Daryl Braithwaite is one of Australia’s premier award-winning performers. The Flying Saucer Club is very pleased to host a performance from Braithwaite this Saturday, with special guest Leticia Maher.
40 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
WILDLY COMFORTING The Wild Comforts are a dirty country band ready to make you wish your wife left you, your ute was broken and your dog was dead so you could write country songs too. From traditional country songs like Disappearing House to the more upbeat Every Girl Carries A Gun and the epically dark murder ballad Kill Bill, their debut album is split into two parts, with a bunch of guest musicians playing instruments such as mandolin, violin, pedal steel, harmonica and piano. Live, they present heavier and more energetic versions of the songs. Catch The Wild Comforts when they play the Retreat Hotel this Thursday at 9pm, with Drooling Mouths Of Memphis on at 10pm. Free entry.
AWESOME TAPES Performing for the first time in Australia this Saturday at Bar Open is the USA’s Brian Shimkovitz, the man behind the widely acclaimed blog Awesome Tapes From Africa. To celebrate, the bar will be dressed up with all kinds of plants, decorations and visuals for a big party with Shimkovitz DJing some of your African favourites. Local entertainment will be provided by Cumbia Cosmonauts, Broadway Sounds and Lewis Cancut. Doors are at 10pm and entry is free.
A SPOILED RESURRECTION The Spoils perform in duo mode as they play their first shows for the year Wednesdays in January at the Resurrection in East Brunswick from 7.30pm. Armed with a guitar, violin, accordion, musical saw, glockenspiel and an Indian drone box, the husband and wife duo bring their “Melbournised melodrama” to the Resurrection for the first time since its opening. Entry’s free.
FEEL IT IN YOUR BONEZ
A progenitor of pitch-shifted, porn-influenced goregrind and one of the most influential groups within the style, Germany’s C&B Torture make their first ever trip down under at the very start of 2013. With three full-lengths and several EPs and splits, the group are known and loved worldwide for their catchy pornogrind. After 15 years together and countless successful shows and tours, the lurid lads decided it was finally time to give Australia a taste of the aural filth they’ve been dishing up for one and a half decades. Catch them at the Tote this Friday. Support comes from Fck... I’m Dead, Captain Cleanoff, Intense Hammer Rage and Embodied.
Sydney-based wild things Bonez launch their debut single This Mess with a national tour pulling into Revolver and being joined on stage by partners in crime, Burn In Hell, The New Savages and Son Of Set in what is sure to be a wall-shakin’ night of rock to rattle your bones. It’s happening tonight from 8pm and entry’s about $7.
FOR THE LOVE OF DIAGRAMS
It’s a real mixed bag upstairs at the Gasometer Hotel this Thursday. Opening the night will be Five Islands, a solo act of improvised drone/ trance by some guy wearing a headlamp. The second act of the night will be Ciggie Witch, playing only their second show after Zac Denton of The Ocean Party moved to Melbourne; the five-piece will be playing their jangly slacker pop tunes and launching their double EP on limited run cassette. Closing the night will be The Great Outdoors, a relativity new band featuring members of Full Ugly, Milk Teddy, Totally Mild and new guitarist Pete Head (Actor Buddhists). They play dreamy, golden pop and are about to release a 7”.
A GOLDEN AFTERNOON This Sunday, Midsumma Festival begins with its annual Carnival Day on Birrarung Marr. After a day by the river, Grouse Party teams up with fellow party-throwers Danceteria to bring you Midsumma’s Official Afterparty, The Gold Party, at Transport at Federation Square. The Gold Party kicks off from from 5pm, headlined by Stereogamous (featuring Paul Mac and Jonny Seymour), with a live set from Romy, drag king performance by Rocco D’Amore & the Silver Bullets, and DJ sets from Clairy Browne, DJ Sveta (Syd), Mz Rizk and Danceteria’s resident DJs Whiskey Houston and Leather Locklear.
LITTLE BASTARD PLAY SUNDAY 3 AND 10 FEBRUARY AT LABOUR IN VAIN, SUNDAY 17 AND 24 AT THE RETREAT. How did you get together? Ed Rowe, fiddle: A couple of us went to school together but on the whole we all met through different connections in the local music scene in the inner west of Sydney. I think Trev [Davies] actually started playing with us after he saw a gig and asked if he could come and jam with us. That night he asked around to see if anyone he knew had a mandolin, learnt a few chords and strummed along at our next jam. I think all seven of us just dug the vibe of the band and wanted to be a part of it. Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? We have recorded a few demo tracks here and there. One upstairs at the Annandale Hotel in Sydney and a bunch at a small studio called Hanging Tree where we recorded live to tape. We have a bunch of these tracks online and on discs, but we have focused on our live performances so far.
LES THOMAS, MORE COUNTRY-FOLK Melbourne country-folk songwriter Les Thomas approaches music with big ideas and powerful inspiration from the likes of Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark and Mississippi John Hurt. Winning over audiences with humour, sincerity and great songwriting, this is an artist to put on your must see list in 2013. Appearing at The Victoria Hotel, Brunswick on Sunday 13 January from 5pm. Free entry.
Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? Absurd Punk-Party Hoedown. If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? Too many bands, if I had to put a name to one, Wilco would be pretty ridiculous and it’d save me having to hustle for tickets online. If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? The Byrds – Sweetheart Of The Rodeo.
YAMAKING ME EXCITED Born in Sapporo, Japan in 1989, Shohei Yamaki grew up listening to the great rock and jazz guitar masters of the second half of the 20th century. Early on in his life, he became deeply enmeshed in the wealth of guitar tones and styles that emerged out of America and Europe and began studying the guitar as if it were his only calling. By the time he reached his 20th birthday in 2010, he could emulate practically any guitar sound and style that existed in the world. In 2010, Yamaki was the unanimous choice of the judges for the First Prize of the Sapporo International Jazz Festival. Since then, he has released two albums and toured internationally in countries such as Canada, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Shohei Yamaki plays his first show in Australia at the Toff tonight. Tickets are $10 and doors are at 7.30pm.
Sydney’s party punkers Chris Duke & The Royals are taking some much earned time off from their busy, married, law enforcing, teaching and beverage pouring lives to grace the Revolver Bandroom this Friday. Last in Melbourne as part of the national Streetlight Manifesto tour, CDATR will now be bringing their new CD Lion King – Live At The Annandale Hotel, which was recorded as part of their latest EP launch, Music And Maniacs. They will be joined by good friends and local heroes, The Kujo Kings, The Resignators, Aitches and The Furrows. Entry is $15 and doors open at 7.30pm.
Kill The Darling are excited to announce the launch of their self-titled debut EP this Thursday at the Gasometer Hotel. The duo have been quietly garnering attention with their melodic blend of folk, blues and pop using a loop pedal to create lush, heady soundscapes. The launch promises to be a bittersweet event – it will be the band’s last show in their Melbourne hometown before moving to Berlin next year. Support comes from James Pasinis and Sea Suns.
A TASTE OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS
A ROYAL SHOW
Love Of Diagrams play their last show of the summer this Thursday at the Tote before heading to snowy Chicago to record album number four with acclaimed engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey). With support from Milk Teddy (whose killer debut Zingers was a recent Triple R album of the week) and Early Woman, a new band featuring members of St Helens, Montero and Spider Vomit.
Sime Nugent is a name that requires little introduction in this town. Having enjoyed a long and varied career including singing to thousands at Vienna Jazz Festival, co-founding the Castlemaine Music Festival and more recently joining the ARIA-nominated bluegrass party band The Wilson Pickers, Nugent has long proven to be a versatile and sought-after talent. In his solo guise, Nugent takes cues from roots, blues and rock to create songs both ageless and entirely his own. He will be taking to the Drunken Poet stage at 6.30pm this Sunday night.
HAVE YOU HEARD?
Under the guise of Grand Salvo, Paddy Mann has established himself as a songwriter of unique heart and soul with a depth of lyricism matched by a warm and precise musical vision. This year’s Slay Me In My Sleep has seen much acclaim and recognition as an unabashedly romantic song cycle of star-crossed lovers. He will be playing with a full band on the night. Slay Me In My Sleep also features vocal contributions from Heather Woods Broderick. Having performed and recorded previously with Efterklang, Broderick currently plays in Sharon Van Etten’s band. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter in her own right, her rich and resonant songs hold a magical air in their blending of folk intimacy and ambient realms. See both acts at the Toff this Sunday.
GOOD MORNING After spending the last five years based in New York City, The Morning After Girls have finally returned home to our shores with a new album and will play a very special one-off show. Catch them on Friday 18 January at Ding Dong Lounge.
Do you have any lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? Not really. I didn’t wear a pair of RMs boots once though and it felt a bit weird. Made For Chickens
LICKITY SPLIT In October 2012, two of Melbourne’s strangest musical acts toured Europe together following the release of their split 7” single. Both one-man bands, BJ Morriszonkle and Made For Chickens By Robots basically just confused Germans and rich Swiss people during a month-long invasion. They will be launching a split single in Melbourne at the Old Bar on Thursday 17 January. Also performing will be a band from Germany called Dos Hermanos.
Earlier this year, Coerce recorded Genome and are happy to announce the record launch show this Friday at the Gasometer with Hoodlum Shouts and White Walls. Coerce have tirelessly and expensively been running over the past five years and will continue to make music together, but this will be it for sometime. Show self-funded bands like Coerce some love, as they rely on friends and supporters to survive.
A HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT Hostile Objects play their first ever shows outside of Sydney this Friday at the Reverence Hotel with Rort and Michael Crafter, and this Saturday at the Bendigo Hotel with Extortion, Batpiss, Hailgun, and Clowns. Featuring ex-members of Massappeal, Murder/Blasting Process, Grand Fatal, Twin City Faction and Extortion, Hostile Objects channels bands like DRI, Poison Idea and The Accused in the pursuit of solid, intense and no-frills thrash.
If you invited someone around for dinner what would you cook? Probably safer that I didn’t, but if I were to cook I make a mean, supersloppy shepherds pie. Yummo. What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? Our vocalist/percussionist Ross ‘Pot Sipper’ Tipper (aka Alcopops Tipper), who has extensive experience in bars, loves a good yarn at the Old Bar. Oh, and I hear the Labour In Vain and the Retreat are pretty sweet as well.
THE WEBBS WE WEAVE Melbourne singer-songwriter Dan Webb is back with 12 brand new songs, each to be released individually for free download throughout 2013. The first track, Departure, is out now and features the vocal talents of The Bamboos’ frontwoman Kylie Auldist. He’s also touring this summer and will play Thursday 7 February at the Workers Club.
DN’T RSIST RTIST The collective behind Prahran’s progressive RTIST gallery, RTIST Creative, have curated a unique two-part experience this January that combines street art and some of the city’s best electronic DJs and urban acts. Beginning with the No Parlay Boat Cruise, a VIP experience departing the Docklands at 2pm on Saturday 19 January, the RTIST ship will sail the harbour in a day of revelry featuring sets by Kodiak Kid, Perplex, Andee Frost and Galapagoose. Tickets are available through noparlay.eventbrite.com.au.
For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news • 41
SUNDAY UNION Union Royale is the coming together of three tried and tested road soul dogs opening the songbook and taking a reckless spin. This surely can’t be a bad thing when combining Shane Reilly on pedal steel and vocal (Tex Perkins, Blue Sun), Simon Burke on keys (Mia Dyson, Something For Kate) and Toby Lang on drums (ex-Audreys, Kate Nash). Expect to hear Buck Owens to Bowie, drenched in pedal steel, of course. These intimate Sunday sessions are free for one and all at the Spotted Mallard from 4pm.
TAKE YOUR MEDICINE Live on Sunday 3 March the Rock & Roll Gumbo Medicine Show rolls into town for a special matinee performance from 1pm to 4.30 at the Corner Hotel. There’s guaranteed mad dancing, improvisation and strange inspired gibberish from genuine shamans. The bill includes Charles Jenkins, Kerri Simpson, Kim Volkman, Suzannah Espie, Sherry Rich and Blind Kiwi & His Cigar Box Guitar with more TBA.
HEAVY Mag presents HEAVY Fest: the inaugural celebration of Australian heavy music. Hosted by one of Victoria’s long-standing supporters of heavy music, the Corner Hotel, HEAVY Fest’s line-up comprises some of Australia’s heavy music legends including Blood Duster, Black Majesty, Malignant Monster (album launch) and Frankenbok (launching their new album Cheers, Beers & Beards). Completing the bill is an array of outstanding bands such as Boris The Blade, Bronson, Subjektive, Desecrator and Internal Nightmare (album launch). It all happens Sunday 27 January.
CARDBOARD CUTOUTS Paper Arms have announced a run of shows through February to launch their brand new album The Smoke Will Clear. They’ll be joined along the way by the likes of Arrows, Fear Like Us, Life & Limb, Harbourer, Ride The Tiger and more at various dates. They play Friday 22 February at the Bendigo Hotel.
WIPING IT DOWN
PICK YOUR BRYAN The Wildes frontman Lachlan Bryan spent 2012 playing major festivals, supporting the likes of Steve Earle and John Hiatt and touring the USA. He’s written a pack of new songs and will debut them, along with a selection of outlaw country classics, each Wednesday in January (apart from the 23rd) in the Retreat Hotel front bar – with help from a different special guest each week (including Sean McMahon, Bill Jackson, Ange Boxall and Tobias Hengeveld). They’ll be taking requests. Free entry, starts at 8.30pm.
IT’S ALL SUPERNATURAL It’s the first Supernaturalist of 2013 at the Gasometer Hotel this Sunday, and boy, is it a big one. Matthew Brown blew everyone away with his piece for Life in the Undergrowth at the very first Supernaturalist in 2010, now he’s back with what will no doubt be an amazing and unmissable set. Evelyn Ida Morris is a musical chameleon who has showcased her talents in Pikelet, True Radical Miracle, Ev & Shags and many other bands. We’re really looking forward to seeing what she’s got in store for us for her solo Supernaturalist debut. People Person build slowly shifting soundscapes from single threads of synth and keyboard lines and are one of the best bands we’ve seen in a while. Their Supernaturalist set is going to be a real treat so make sure you get down early enough not to miss them.
IN MUSIC WE TRUST Trusty Chords Music presents In Music We Trust: a month of free Sunday early evening shows starting at 3pm throughout January at the iconic Public Bar in North Melbourne. Featuring an eclectic line-up of up and coming acts, interstate visitors and well known Melbourne singer-songwriters, no week is the same and every show is a good reason to kick back and have a good Sunday session with some pals. This week’s guest is Andrew McDonald. Known for his work in Tiltmeter, McDonald has been playing solo for some time now and has a solo record out. He will be joined by the fresh faced Ben Cue from Warrnambool.
HAUNTED HOTEL After releasing their debut EP in 2011, Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue spent 2012 working on new music, with the first taste This Haunting out now. Co-written with Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything), the new single shows a maturation and evolution from the jangly rock of that initial release. A typically upbeat and impassioned tale, This Haunting showcases the band’s ability to convey a complex narrative within four-minutes of thinking man’s pop music. Catch Alex Watts & The Foreign Tongue when they headline the Retreat Hotel this Friday night at 11pm, following The In The Out at 10pm. DJ Adalita is also on board to keep things going until 3am. Free entry.
Last September the Espy threw the biggest Spray N Wipe party to date, which saw a writhing mass of sweaty indie darlings movin’ and shakin’ to the likes of Northeast Party House, Strange Talk and Dune Rats. The next instalment of Spray N Wipe has been confirmed for Friday 1 February at the Espy and headlining the party will be Brisbane’s indie-pop four-piece Hungry Kids Of Hungary. Also on the bill are The Aston Shuffle, The Holidays, New Gods, Alison Wonderland and more to be announced. Tickets are $23+BF via espy.com.au and all Oztix outlets.
HEARING HANGOVERS Johnny Gibson, born in Tasmania, came to Melbourne in the early 2000s. He has since been a hard-working drummer in such bands as The Swedish Magazines, The Currency, Reigning Men and Streams Of Whiskey. Johnny Gibson & The Hangovers perform at The Vic Hotel on Saturday 12 January with support from The Jackals. Starts at 9pm and entry is free.
TEMPEL OF BOOM
FAREWELL PUTA MADRE BROS Rumours are starting to circulate that Puta Madre Brothers are going to hang up their hair pomade and call it a day for goodness after their Saturday 19 January Northcote Social Club show. Sources close to the band have revealed that due to the proliferation of Mexican inspired music, food, restaurants, drinks and novelty items in Australia since the band’s inception back in 2007, the band feels their job is done. Catch them while you can.
CRASS CHICKS Chicks On Speed are known globally for their hybrid, explosive DIY aesthetic; present in their exhibition installations, video pieces, content-laden fashion and music. The band’s pioneering core members Melissa Logan and Alex Murray-Leslie now present a new live performance entitled DON’T ART FASHION MUSIC! A Performance Art Show! It focuses on their new collection of self-made “Objekt Instruments,” which act simultaneously as machine/instrument/sculpture, and fashionable technology. Check it out at CRASS! Happening at the Tote on Thursday 24 January.
MORE FINN/KELLY Neil Finn and Paul Kelly have just announced an incredible seventh Melbourne show at Palais Theatre on Wednesday 6 March. Tickets will go on sale at 9am this Friday. My Live Nation members can access tickets first during the pre-sale which is open now until 5pm Thursday. Sign up at livenation.com.au.
42 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
This summer, Brisbane’s favourite family cult have dropped their third and finest record to date, and they’ll be celebrating the launch of this gemencrusted long player with a string of dates down the Australian East Coast. Consisting of three siblings – Daniel, Luke and Sarah Spencer – plus guitar tech/maestro Luke Walsh on the golden strings, Blank Realm are renowned for their ecstatic live performances and boundary-pushing records, all within a comfortable Fleetwood groove. Catch them on Saturday 9 February at the Gasometer.
FROM ZAMBIA WITH LOVE
NOISY MAN Tokyo-based Melbourne-born Benjamin Skepper has gained international recognition for his solo performance installation style, creating sound installations in unlikely places. In a new creative chapter, the artist’s multimedia performance will bring the audio and visual spheres into orbit, with symbiotic visual projections by Tomoya Kishimoto. Catch the spectacle on Wednesday 16 January at the Corner Hotel with guests Simon Winkler, Edd Fisher and Takao Ishizuka.
ENTER THE REALM
Sunday 27 January The Peep Tempel are taking the stage at the John Curtin Hotel for their first show of 2013. Having spent the end of 2012 at the beach The Peep Tempel are back after a year which saw them release their long awaited and much admired debut LP, tour across Australia and Europe, play in clubs, bars, squats and festivals. The Peep Tempel are set for an even bigger year starting with a cracker at the Curtin. Joining them for the show are two of Melbourne’s finest punk bands, Bits Of Shit and Batpiss.
Larry Maluma was born in Zambia and moved to Australia in 1985, where he now resides permanently in Melbourne. An accomplished African musician, composer and performer, he sings in a combination of Zambian and English languages, and adopts styles which blend to create his individual brand of roots music. The resulting unique sound has put many of his songs at the top of the charts in Zambia, where he is recognised as a popular music star. Since arriving in Australia, Maluma has produced nine albums and broadened the Australian perspective of African Reggae and World Music. He launches a new CD at the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday 26 February.
PSYCH TRANSFER Transference are a new modern day psychedelic incarnation that features a core musical unit and feature guest vocalists from all around the world. To put it simply Transference take a musical fusion of Pink Floyd meets a Velvet Underground and Tangerine Dream approach to the song writing and production style and delivers it with the pomp and ceremony of a Rick Wakeman theatrical spectacular. Check them for yourselves at Thornbury Theatre on Friday 1 February.
THE MIGHTY JUNGLE The exciting 2013 band line-up is sure to get everyone grooving at Werribee Open Range Zoo each Saturday and Sunday during the month of February. There are plenty of activities for the whole family, including kids games which kick off from 4.30pm. Grab your dancing shoes, a picnic blanket and your sense of adventure. Two of the headline acts this season include the Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, Melbourne’s original Afrobeat heavyweights, and Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence, playing tunes from across Africa. Popular band favourites will perform also, including Musiki Manjaro, Kinshasa Express and Soukous Ba Congo. Head to zoo.org.au/Werribee for all the details.
ROLLER DERBY FUNDRAISER After their first trip to the USA Victorian Roller Derby League Allstars went from being an unranked team to 11th their region. To keep competing and take Australian roller derby to the next level in the world league, the Allstars need to get back to the USA. The VRDL is a completely grassroots not for profit organisation and needs your support, so they are holding a massive fundraiser. Helping them out are Australian Celtic punk rockers The Ramshackle Army, City Vs Country and Andrew Swift. It goes down at Revolver on Friday 18 January and presales are $15+BF on sale from Moshtix.
ACCORDION TO SHARON Sharon Shannon, an accordionist from Ireland, has made the much-maligned accordion ‘cool’ in her home country. She’s renowned for her collaborations not just in Irish traditional music, but through all musical genres: hip hop, Cajun, country, classical and rap. Sharon Shannon plays at the Spotted Mallard on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 January at 8.30pm. In memory of Jill Meagher, 30 per cent of all proceeds from both performances will go to the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) as a tribute to Meagher’s life and enduring spirit.
HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC NEWS BY JEFF JENKINS
KERRI SIMPSON – Fortune Favoured Me
The best album you never heard in 2012. The solo debut from the former Tiltmeter singer is unbelievably beautiful. 8. MINIBIKES – FOR WOODS OR TRAIL
One last look at 2012, with Howzat!’s 12 favourite albums of 2012.
Marcel Borrack is a gentle genius. His Minibikes debut is a hit in any terrain.
1. JIM KEAYS – DIRTY, DIRTY
9. DAN LETHBRIDGE – OH HAWKE
Some lives do have a second act. A glorious covers record that shows that Jim Keays is alive and kicking.
Sturdy songs, superior songwriting, an album that will last.
When The Moment Comes … Mia Dyson steps up with a triumphant tale of resilience and redemption. 3. JAMES REYNE – THIRTEEN Adventurous, unpredictable and as good as any of James Reyne’s solo work.
SOPHIE KOH – I Understand
Saved by melody. A deceptively clever record – the subtle reinvention.
7. ANDREW McDONALD – THE FUGITIVE ASSEMBLY
2. MIA DYSON – THE MOMENT
BUTTERFLY BOUCHER – Warning Bell SUZANNAH ESPIE – Blue Mountains
2012’s finest debut – a record filled with haunting songs and hooks that’ll have you humming all day.
ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
LIZ STRINGER – Glutton
5. MISSY HIGGINS – THE OL’ RAZZLE DAZZLE
6. LAUREN BRUCE – BEFORE THE DUST SETTLES
FIVE FAVOURITE 2012 SONGS
10. SARAH HUMPHREYS – HELLO Hello, we have a new folk-pop star. 11. EVEN – IN ANOTHER TIME As reliable as a Swiss Army Knife, with just as many tricks.
4. LIZ STRINGER – WARM IN THE DARKNESS
12. MICHAEL MEEKING & THE LOST SOULS – RIDE ON
World class. A singer-songwriter who should be a superstar.
No frills, just quality roots rock, beautifully played and produced.
RADIO WAVES Matt Corby’s Brother was the most played Australian song on radio in 2012. It was the year’s fifth most played song (The Black Keys’ Lonely Boy was at number one), according to Aircheck, and the only Aussie song in the Top 20. Just 13 Australian songs featured in the Top 100. Overall, Guy Sebastian was the most played local artist, with 29,950 radio plays during 2012.
CHART ATTACK In 2011, we lamented the lack of Aussie acts on the charts. 2012 saw a much better result – thanks to The Voice and The X Factor. There were just seven homegrown Top 10 hits in 2011; 28 made the Top 10 in 2012 (26 of them had some sort of reality show link). There were 86 Australian Top 40 singles, compared to just 31 in 2011. Five Aussie singles topped the charts (compared to three in 2011, and one in 2010). Ninety-nine Aussie albums reached the Top 40; 47 cracked the Top 10, while eight went all the way to number one (compared to two in 2011, and four in 2010).
NUMBER ONE SINGLES Karise Eden – Stay With Me Baby (one week) Reece Mastin – Shout It Out (one week) Justice Crew – Boom Boom (two weeks)
Guy Sebastian – Battle Scars (six weeks) Samantha Jade – What You’ve Done To Me (one week)
NUMBER ONE ALBUMS Hilltop Hoods – Drinking From The Sun (two weeks) Keith Urban – The Story So Far (one week) The Temper Trap – The Temper Trap (one week) Missy Higgins – The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle (two weeks) Karise Eden – My Journey (six weeks) The Sapphires soundtrack (two weeks) The Amity Affliction – Chasing Ghosts (one week) Guy Sebastian – Armageddon (one week)
13 ACTS TO WATCH IN 2013 This should be a massive year for Animaux, Blackchords, Caitlin Harnett, Courtney Barnett, The Darjeelings, Emma Heeney, Hayden Calnin, Jess Ribeiro, Kingswood, Livingstone Daisies, Sarah & The King Bees, Stonefield and The Vaudeville Smash. Meanwhile, Underground Lovers are getting set to release their first new album in 14 years. Davey Lane is releasing his first solo album. Georgia Fields is working on album number two. Ron Peno and Kim Salmon have reunited for another Darling Downs record. The Break will release their second album. Ben Lee’s new album, Ayahuasca: Welcome To The Work, is coming soon. And Mark Seymour has got a great covers album, Seventh Heaven Club, which will be out in March.
For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog • 43
The Spoils The Resurrection - East Brunswick
THE DEMON PARADE: January 11 Torquay Hotel; 12 Barwon Club (Geelong)
HALF MOON RUN: January 10 Spirit Bar & Lounge (Traralgon); 11 Ding Dong Lounge; 12 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)
TWELVE FOOT NINJA: January 18 Corner Hotel; 19 Ferntree Gully Hotel
B3 Madness 303
YEASAYER: February 6 Hi-Fi MS MR: February 7 Northcote Social Club STRANGERS: February 8, Workers Club GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: February 15 Forum FATHER JOHN MISTY: Februray 17 Hi-Fi
THIS WEEK INTERNATIONAL BEACH HOUSE: January 9 Forum Theatre HOT CHIP: Janurary 9 Palace LOS CORONAS: January 10 Westernport Hotel VENGABOYS: January 10 Espy SHARON SHANNON: January 10 Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh); 11, 12 Spotted Mallard BEN SOLLEE: January 10 Northcote Social Club; 11 Meeniyan Town Hall; 12 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) DAVE GUNNING: January 11 Caravan Music Club BASEMENT JAXX: January 11 MCG PETER MURPHY: January 11 Corner Hotel TIM CHAISSON: January 11 Caravan Music Club MARDUK: January 11 Hi-Fi DJANGO DJANGO: January 12 Hi-Fi GARY JULES: January 12 Corner Hotel; 13 Trak Lounge SABATON: January 13 Corner Hotel DOS HERMANOS: January 13 Retreat Hotel DRAGON: January 13 Mildura Waterfront Soundshell NIGHTWISH: January 14 Palace DAVID BYRNE & ST VINCENT: January 14, 15 Hamer Hall
NATIONAL MADRE MONTE: January 9 Workers Club HALF MOON RUN: January 10 Spirit Bar & Lounge (Traralgon); 11 Ding Dong; 12 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) KSSR: January 11 Liberty Social NEW GODS: January 11 Northcote Social Club THE PRETTY LITTLES: January 11 Loft (Warrnambool) THE DEMON PARADE: January 11 Torquay Hotel; 12 Barwon Club (Geelong) ASH GRUNWALD: January 11 Espy COERCE: January 11 Gasometer THE X FACTOR LIVE TOUR: January 11 Festival Hall BENNY WALKER: January 12 Northcote Social Club ONE SIXTH: January 12 Espy ICEHOUSE: January 13 Geelong Performng Arts; 15 Palms At The Crown
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL BENJAMIN SKEPPER: January 16 Corner Hotel WEEZER: January 16 Sidney Myer Music Bowl; 17 Palais DOS HERMANOS: January 16 Cherry Bar; 17 Old Bar; 18 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 19 Northcote Social Club ALESTORM: January 18 Hi-Fi WOODS: January 18 National Hotel (Geelong); 27 the Tote YANNI: January 19 Palais MAHMOUD AHMED: January 20 Arts Centre Playhouse HUNX & HIS PUNX: January 20 Tote A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS: January 20 Corner Hotel GARY CLARK JR: January 22 Corner Hotel THE KILLERS: January 22 Palace DEATH GRIPS: January 22 Ding Dong AGAINST ME!: January 22 Hi-Fi CRYSTAL CASTLES: January 22 Billboard BAND OF HORSES: January 23 Palais OFF!: January 23 Corner Hotel SLEIGH BELLS: January 23 Billboard CHILDISH GAMBINO: January 23 Hi-Fi JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD: January 23 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 24 Corner Hotel ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: January 23 Palace THE NEW MENDICANTS: January 22, 23 Northcote Social Club
BLOODY BEETROOTS: January 24 Palace ALABAMA SHAKES: January 24 Forum Theatre CHICKS ON SPEED: January 24 Tote DJ PAULY D: January 25 Festival Hall DIRTYBIRD: January 25 Brown Alley OSAKA MONAURAIL: January 25 Espy ELVIS COSTELLO: January 26 Rochford Wines MOUNT EERIE: January 26 Toff In Town DJ SASHA: January 27 Chasers THEE OH SEES: January 28 Schoolhouse Studios; 31 Hi-Fi; February 6 Barwon Club (Geelong) RICHARD HAWLEY: January 29 Hi-Fi JESSIE WARE: January 30 Prince Bandroom THE WATERBOYS: January 30 Hamer Hall HIGH HIGHS: January 30 Toff In Town PERFUME GENIUS: January 30 Northcote Social Club OF MONSTERS & MEN: January 31 Palace Theatre SLEEP ∞ OVER: February 1 Liberty Social ELIZABETH COOK: February 1 Northcote Social Club NOBUNNY: February 1 Tote SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA: February 1 Sidney Myer Music Bowl EXPIRE: February 1 Bendigo Hotel; 3 Phoenix Youth Centre ABOVE & BEYOND: February 2 Hisense Arena JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE: February 2 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 3 Corner Hotel FROM THE JAM: February 2 Hi-Fi EARTH CRISIS: February 2 Corner Hotel DRAGON: February 2 Kryal Castle (Ballarat); 3 Victory Park Soundshell (Traralgon); March 30 Warrnambool Racecourse; 31 Mansfield Showgrounds; May 11 Palms At Crown NITE JEWEL: February 4 Workers Club DIVINE FITS: February 4 Northcote Social Club POLICA: February 4 Corner Hotel CLOUD NOTHINGS: February 5 Ding Dong KINGS OF CONVENIENCE: February 5 Hamer Hall BAT FOR LASHES: February 5 Palais Theatre DEAR TIME’S WASTE: February 5 Grace Darling; 6 Toff In Town EL-P: February 6 Corner Hotel OH, SLEEPER: February 6 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 7 Evelyn Hotel; 9 Pelly Bar (Frankston);10 OLP (Ringwood) THE MEN: February 6 Northcote Social Club YEASAYER: February 6 Hi-Fi JULIA HOLTER: February 6 Toff In Town CELTIC THUNDER: February 7 Geelong Arena; 9 Hisence Arena GIN BLOSSOMS: February 7 Hi-Fi MS MR: February 7 Northcote Social Club NINA FERRO: February 7 Spiegeltent EDU IMBERNON: February 8 TBC THE HOLLIES: February 9 Hamer Hall DESCENDENTS: February 9 Festival Hall ULTRAMAGNETIC MCS: February 9 Espy DEER TICK, TWO GALLANTS: February 9, 10 Northcote Social Club STARS: February 10 Corner Hotel DIRTY BEACHES: February 10 Tote BARRY GIBB: February 12 Rod Laver Arena MACKELMORE & RYAN LEWIS: February 13 Palace; 16 Corner Hotel DAVID HASSELHOFF: February 14 Corner Hotel I AM GIANT: February 14 Ding Dong CONVERGE: February 15 Billboard SWANS: February 15 Corner Hotel GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: February 15 Forum Theatre BLAWAN, MARCELL DETTMAN: February 15 Brown Alley JENS LEKMAN: February 15 Garden Party Southbank CLIFF RICHARD: February 15, 16, 18, 19 Hamer Hall JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR: February 15 Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave); 16 Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival; 17 Northcote Social Club LEO SAYER: February 16 Melbourne Zoo
44 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
PAUL KELLY & NEIL FINN: February 16, 18, 19, 20, March 4, 5 Palais; March 2 A Day On The Green, All Saints Winery (Rutherglen) EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN, MICK HARVEY: February 19 Palace SOJA: April 6 Prince Bandroom CAT POWER: March 7 Forum DINOSAUR JR: March 7 Corner Hotel THE STONE ROSES: March 7 Festival Hall PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL (featuring Arlo Guthrie, Gurrumul, Glen Hansard): March 8-11 Port Fairy TORO Y MOI: March 9 Corner Hotel FUTURE MUSIC FESTIVAL: (featuring The Stone Roses, The Prodigy, Steve Aoki): March 10 Flemington Racecourse JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION: March 15 Espy; 16 Corner Hotel THIS WILL DESTROY YOU: March 21, 22 Northcote Social Club GRINSPOON: March 22 Hi-Fi; April 24 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 25 Pier Live (Frankston); 26 Inferno (Traralgon); 27 Ferntree Gully Hotel ROBERT CRAY, TAJ MAHAL, SHUGGIE OTIS: March 24 Hamer Hall BONNIE RAITT, MAVIS STAPLES: March 27 State Theatre IGGY & THE STOOGES, BEASTS OF BOURBON: March 27 Festival Hall BLUESFEST: (featuring Ben Harper, Iggy & The Stooges, Wilco): March 28-April 1 Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm (Byron Bay) ROGER HODGSON: March 28 Palais BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA: April 3 Hamer Hall
Austin Veludo Beaten Bodies, Kooyeh, Up, Up Away Yah Yah’s Bella Jabara & The Mellows, Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni Cherry Bar
Natalie Gauci Pure Pop Records Red X The B.East Ronit Granot Wesley Anne, Front Bar Seedy Jeezus, Son of Set, Sooky La La, Honey Bone Bar Open Seymour Hollow Labour In Vain Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, + Special Guests Corner Hotel
Ben Sollee, The Falls Northcote Social Club
Sharon Shannon, + Guests Caravan Music Club
Brother James, Carterrollins, The Southbound Three, Crooked Saint The Espy, Basement
Tabula Rasa, The Mercury Theatre, Dear Stalker, Hands Like Ours Brunswick Hotel
Ciggie Witch, The Great Outdoors, Five Islands The Gasomater Hotel (Upstairs) Afternoon
The Carltons Great Britain Hotel
Cut Sick, Debacle, Needles, Soma Coma Bendigo Hotel
The Pinkertons The Resurrection - East Brunswick
Dan Krochmal, Real Now, Reﬂex Rex, Temple Gertrude’s Brown Couch
The Vengaboys, Dr Phil Smith The Espy, Lounge Bar
Dan Waters Wesley Anne. Band Room DD Dumbo Post Office Hotel Drooling Mouths of Memphis, The Wild Comforts Retreat Hotel Eagle & The Worm, Oscar & Martin Federation Square
The Naysayers Empress Hotel
Turtleneck, Cassius Clay, Bottleneck Lounge Bar Venice Music, Billy Longface, Wilding Open Studio Zelus Barleycorn Hotel
Gossamer Pride, Speakeasy, Vela Penny Black
A Sleepless Melody, Burning Brooklyn, The Playbook, Strickland Rubys Lounge
Jane Dust & the Giant Hoopoes, The Divine Fluxus, Head Honcho Old Bar
Alex Watts & the Foreign Tongue, The In The Out Retreat Hotel
Joe Black Trio, Dan Rolls Babushka Bar - Ballarat
Andyblack, Haggis The Toff in Town, Afternoon session
Enda Kenny, + Friends Lomond Hotel
MADRE MONTE: January 9 Workers Club
WED 09 Bohjass, Tom Fryer 303 Bonez, Burn In Hell, The New Savages, Son of Set Revolver Upstairs CBT, Intense Hammer Rage, The Day Everything Became Nothing, The Kill Bendigo Hotel Dan Trolley (Mass Cult), Sunny The Magosapher The Tote Dash Velour Flyying Colours, Chainsaw Hookers, DJ Soundie Ben Cherry Bar Helen Catanchin & Co Open Studio Hetty Kate, Jane MacArthur The Drunken Poet Hot Chip, World’s End Press Palace Theatre Humbug, Tiller, Buck Jnr, Kid Dry The Espy, Lounge Bar
Joe Black Trio, Tiaryn, Brooke Russell John Curtin Hotel Kim Salmon The Standard Hotel Lachlan Bryan, Bill Jackson Retreat Hotel Front Bar Madre Monte, Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence The Workers Club Mikelangelo Pure Pop Records Motion Picture, Boy Red, Sea Legs Run The Evelyn Open Mic, Lil Az Brunswick Hotel Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, + Special Guests Corner Hotel Shohei Yamaki, + Special Guests The Toff In Town Smoky Seas, Super Fat Fruit, Darn Matter Bar Open The Infants, Ryan West, Elephant, Phoebe & Schinn Old Bar
Kate Mulqueen, Mana The Drunken Poet Kill The Darling, James Pasinis, Sea Suns The Gasometer Hotel La Mauvaise Reputation Paris Cat Jazz Club Leez Lido, Sean Tait, Brendan Ryder Reverence Hotel, Footscray Lieutenant Jam, The Archetypal, Contrast The Toff In Town Los Coronas Westernport Hotel Love Of Diagrams, Milk Teddy, Early Woman The Tote McAlpine Fusiliers Victoria Hotel
Ash Grunwald, Howlin’ Steam Train, The Pierce Brothers The Espy, Gershwin Room Basement Jaxx Trak Lounge Bar Beaten Bodies, Jumpin’ Josh, Bruce Milne The LuWow Forbidden Temple Ben Sollee Meeniyan Hall Best of the 80s Barleycorn Hotel Bjorn Wilke, + More OneSixOne Black Devil Yard Boss Tago Mago Brow Horn Orchestra Westernport Hotel
Brunswick Massive DJ Collective Rainbow Hotel
Peter Murphy, Ikon, Dandelion Wine Corner Hotel
CBT, Fuck I’m Dead, Captain Cleanoff, Intense Hammer Rage, Embodied The Tote
Poprocks at the Toff The Toff In Town
Chris Duke & The Royals, The Kujo Kings, The Resignators, Aitches, The Furrows Revolver Upstairs Coerce, White Walls, Hoodlum Shouts The Gasometer Hotel Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Kylie Auldist Bar Open Dan Bourke & Friends The Drunken Poet DJ Adalita Retreat Hotel (late) Dot.Ay, 10K, Scotdrakula, cTrix The Gasometer (Upstairs) Edith Lane, All My Alien Sex Friends, Roservelt 303 Ghost Orkid, El Moth Baha Tacos Grand Rapids, Dead River, The Old Faithfuls Yah Yah’s
Rort, Michael Crafter, Hostile Objects Reverence Hotel, Footscray Sarah Carroll Pure Pop Records Shaky Memorial Yah Yah’s (Late) Sharon Shannon Spotted Mallard - Brunswick
Barbarion, King of the North, Bugdust, Ten Thousand, The Deep End, + More Corner Hotel Barry Savage & The Little Caesars The Tote, Front Bar Ben Sollee Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) Benny Walker, Sal Kimber, Nick Lovell, Tom Richardson Northcote Social Club
Short Order Schefs Lomond Hotel
Better Than The Wizards, Flounder, Jen Knight & the Cavaliers Ding Dong Lounge
Half Moon Run, Lowlakes, I A Man Ding Dong Lounge
The Cactus Chanel, The Seven Ups, Chris Gill The Workers Club
Harry Howard & the NDE Post Office Hotel
The Morrisons, Clowns, Red Rockets Of Borneo Barwon Club
Blue Ruins, Kurt Gentle, Jamie Pye Chandelier Room
The Pretty Littles The Loft, Warrnambool
Bonez, Ivory Elephant, The Fog, Sarah Eida Lyrebird Lounge
McAlpine Fusiliers The Vic (Brunswick) Mike Rudd Whispering Hills Winery Mustered Courage, Davidson Brothers Wesley Anne. Band Room Neo Abode New Gods, Montero, Jessica Says Northcote Social Club Nichaud Fitzgibbon Quartet Paris Cat Jazz Club Nigel Wearne The Gem Bar - Collingwood Panorama Do Brasil Open Studio
ICEHOUSE: January 16 Palms At The Crown MADRE MONTE: January 16, 23 Workers Club JIMMY BARNES: January 17 Trak Bar SHE CAN DJ TOUR: January 17 Seven; February 15 Baroq; 16 Home House (Geelong) THE MORNING AFTER GIRLS: January 18 Ding Dong BONJAH: January 18, 19 Espy Gershwin Room TWELVE FOOT NINJA: January 18 Corner Hotel; 19 Ferntree Gully Hotel NORTHLANE: January 18 Neil Wilson Pavilion (Wodonga); 19 Mechanics Institute (Ballarat) DEEZ NUTS: January 18 Central Ringwood Community Centre; 19 Corner Hotel KIKUYU: January 19 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine) PUTA MADRE BROS: January 19 Northcote Social Club SHAUN DIVINEY: January 19 Ding Dong BENNY WALKER: January 19 Western Hotel (Ballarat); 20 Old Hepburn Hotel; 25 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo); 26 Monash City Council (Glen Waverley) and Belgrave Survival Day Australia Day Festival In The Park; 27 the Loft (Warrnambool); February 24 Moonee Valley Festival; March 9 Moomba Festival; 16 Mordialloc By The Bay DZ DEATHRAYS: January 23 Billboard DEMI SORONO: January 23–27 Hamer Hall EMMA LOUISE: January 24 Toff In Town MISSY HIGGINS, HAYDEN CALNIN: January 25 Melbourne Zoo SUN CITY: January 25 Can’t Say DUB FX: January 25 Hi-Fi Bar BED WETTIN’ BAD BOYS: January 25 John Curtin REECE MASTIN: January 26 Geelong Arena JUSTICE CREW WITH KATE ALEXA: January 26 Melbourne Zoo HEADACHES, NUCLEAR SUMMER et al: January 26 Reverence Hotel HERMITUDE: February 1, 5 Corner Hotel KATE MILLER–HEIDKE, KIM CHURCHILL: February 1 Melbourne Zoo TOKYO DENMARK SWEDEN: February 1 Espy HERMITUDE: February 1 Federation Square KIM CHURCHILL: February 1 Melbourne Zoo; 2 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) THE FIRETREE: February 1 Loft (Warrnambool); 2 Great Australian Beer Festival (Geelong); 3 Retreat Hotel; 5 The Vineyard KEITH URBAN: February 2 Rod Laver Arena CLARE BOWDITCH, ROYAL JELLY DIXIELAND BAND: February 2 Melbourne Zoo CHASE THE SUN: February 3 Workers Club LITTLE BASTARD: February 3, 10, 17, 24 Labour In Vain DEAD CAN DANCE: February 6 Palais Theatre THE PRESETS: February 6, 7 Palace DAN WEBB: February 7 Workers Club CLUBFEET: February 8 Star Bar (Bendigo); 9 Ding Dong Lounge LISA MITCHELL, GEORGIA FAIR: February 8 Melbourne Zoo MY DISCO: February 8 Corner Hotel BARRY MORGAN: February 8 Spiegeltent STRANGERS: February 8 Workers Club MILES & SIMONE: February 9 Spiegeltent KERSER: February 9 Hi-Fi (2 shows) BABBA: February 9 Melbourne Zoo
Dirty Harriet & The Hangmen, Death By Deathray Retreat Hotel DJ Traffic Jam Retreat Hotel (late) Django Django, Twinsy, Palms The Hi-Fi
Susy Blue Wesley Anne, Front Bar
Big Winter Wesley Anne. Band Room
Marduk The Hi-Fi
Daryl Braithwaite Flying Saucer Club
VENGABOYS: January 10 Espy
Grouse Party Bendigo Hotel
KSSR The Liberty Social
Sure Fire Midnights, Mammoth Mammoth, Uptown Ace, DJ Whore-AllSummer Old Bar
System of Venus, Wolfpack, Charm, Thick Line Thin Line Brunswick Hotel
The Zanes, The Staffords Penny Black Tim Chaisson, Dave Gunning, Vishten, Andy Brown Caravan Music Club X-Factor Live Festival Hall Yvette Johannson, Joe Ruberto Trio Bennetts Lane
SAT 12 All Good Funk Alliance, + Special Guests The Espy, Lounge Bar Bad Vision, The Kremlings, Rayon Moon, Messed Up Old Bar
Bottle Of Smoke, Ben Kelly, Virtue Ruby’s Lounge Brian Shimkovitz, Cumbia Cosmonauts, Broadway Sounds, Lewis Can Cut Bar Open
Doug De Vries Trio, Heather Stewart Paris Cat Jazz Club Dropframe, Nerves, Von Stache Grace Darling Hotel Ganga Giri Baha Tacos Gator Queen Post Office Hotel Hornets Lomond Hotel Johnny Gibson & The Hangovers, The Jackals Victoria Hotel Kashmere Club, We The People Penny Black Kill Em All, British Steel, Iron Madness Musicland (Fawkner) King Bee Biscuit Union Hotel Brunswick, Arvo Show
Catfish Voodoo The Drunken Poet
Letter B Open Studio
Cavalcade, Hug Therapist, Aitches, Japan For, Foxtrot Reverence Hotel, Footscray
Mohair Slim Yah Yah’s (Late)
Chris Duke & The Royals, Up and At Em, Admiral Ackbars Dishonourable Discharge The Workers Club
Cold Snap Rainbow Hotel
Spencer P Jones Cherry Bar, Arvo Show
Tequila Mocking Bird, Cast Iron Pinata, Onyx The Espy, Basement
James Reyne Flying Saucer Club
Chuck Jenkins, The Zhivagos Union Hotel Brunswick
Lisa Miller Trio, Shane O’Mara Labour In Vain
Ol Timey Bluegrass Band Victoria Hotel (afternoon) One Sixth, Mantra, Maundz, Lotus, Candice Monique, + More The Espy, Gershwin Room
TIM CHAISSON: January 11 Caravan Music Club
SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM: February 10 MCG TINA ARENA: February 12, 13 Hamer Hall COLIN HAY: February 12 Performing Arts Centre (Hamilton); 13 Light House Theatre (Warrnambool); 15 Frankston Arts Centre; 16 Athenaeum Theatre; 19 Capital Theatre (Bendigo); 20 River Links Performing Arts (Shepparton) SARAH BLASKO: February 14 Hamer Hall PETE MURRAY: February 14 Spirit Bar & Lounge (Traralgon); 15 Forge Theatre (Bairnsdale); 16 Wool Exchange (Geelong); 17 Riverboats Music Festival (Echuca); March 7 Commercial Hotel (South Morang); 8 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 9 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 10 Pier Hotel (Frankston); 14 Regent Multiplex (Ballarat); 15 Corner Hotel BLACKCHORDS: February 15 Ding Dong BOOM CRASH OPERA: February 15 Espy MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA, MIGHTY DUKE & THE LORDS: February 15 Melbourne Zoo NEIL FINN & PAUL KELLY: February 16, 18, 19, 20, March 4, 5 Palais Theatre; 2 March All Saints Winery ABBY DOBSON AND LARA GOODRIDGE: February 16 Spiegeltent CRIME & THE CITY SOLUTION: February 18 Hi-Fi AT LAST – THE ETTA JAMES STORY: February 19 – March 3 Athenaeum Theatre TREVOR ASHLEY: February 19 Spiegeltent JULIA STONE: February 20 St Michael’s Church SALLY WHITWELL: February 20 Spiegeltent STONEFIELD, OWL EYES: February 22 Melbourne Zoo THE TOOT TOOT TOOTS: February 22 Spiegeltent PAPER ARMS: February 22 Bendigo Hotel THE SMITH STREET BAND: February 23 Reverence Hotel; 28 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); March 2 the Loft (Warrnambool) ROSS MCLENNAN: February 23 Spiegeltent BIRDS OF TOKYO: February 27 University Of Ballarat; 28 Pier Live (Frankston); March 1 Kay St (Traralgon); 2 Forum Theatre TEX PERKINS & THE DARK HORSES: February 26, 27 Spiegeltent MERLYN QUAIFE: February 27 Spiegeltent TIM ROGERS, THE BAMBOOS: March 1 Melbourne Zoo LOON LAKE: March 1 Corner Hotel THE BAMBOOS, TIM ROGERS, ELECTRIC EMPIRE: March 1 Melbourne Zoo LIOR, GIAN SLATER & INVENIO: March 1 Spiegeltent URTHBOY: March 2 Corner Hotel RENÉE GEYER: March 2 Spiegeltent
To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 45
Outsiders Code, Low Standards, Outlines, + More The Gasometer (Upstairs) Paul Kidney Experience, Faspeedelay, Swamp Moth Yah Yahâ€™s Pheasant Pluckers, Lake Palmer Retreat Hotel Front Bar Pitch Bitch Loop Princess Speedball, Godzilla, Mummy Complex The Gasometer Hotel
The Riding Hood Great Britain Hotel
Andy Grant Duo Baha Tacos
The Twoks Pure Pop Records
Big Seal & The Slippery Few John Curtin Hotel
The Unkind, Igoya, Poison Fish Gertrudeâ€™s Brown Couch Thy Art Is Murder, Ennui Breathes Malice, Your World in Ruins Royal Melbourne Hotel Tinsley Waterhouse Band Brunswick Hotel - Arvo
Saoirse Caravan Music Club
Tracy Bartram Dizzyâ€™s Jazz Club
Sarah Jane McKenzie Band Bennetts Lane
Trash Ivory, Slocombeâ€™s Pussy, Roussemoff, Seedy Jeezus Brunswick Hotel
Sharon Shannon Spotted Mallard - Brunswick
Trio Agogo Wesley Anne
The Blood Grooves, Clock Towers, Jack Carlin, + More First Floor The Fuck Fucks, Valentiine, Mesa Cosa, Cold Harbour, Hell Hounds, + More St Kilda Sports Club The Morrisons, Bodies The Bridge Hotel The Perfections, Frankie Alibi, Andrew Young The LuWow Forbidden Temple
Twin Ages, The Groves, Road Ratz, DJ Mermaid Cherry Bar Wendy Rule 303 Yolke, Nimble Animal, Document Swell The Toff In Town
SUN 13 Alicia Adkins Great Britain Hotel
Black Jesus Experience The Horn Brunswick Blues Shooters Lomond Hotel (afternoon) Chris Russellâ€™s Chicken Walk, Dean Muller, Mr Sippy, Max Crawdaddy Cherry Bar, Arvo Show Chris Wilson Union Hotel Brunswick Clinkerfield, The Steins, Suicide Swans Old Bar Den Hanrahan, Chuckâ€™s Wagon, Black Hills The Tote Dos Hermanos, Uptown Brown Retreat Hotel
Jerome Smith, Kerri Simpson Victoria Gardens
Mr Black & Blues Rainbow Hotel, Arvo Show
Joe Black Trio Musicman Megastore, Bendigo
Nick Barker & Band Caravan Music Club
The Drunken Poachers, The Drooling Mouths of Memphis Penny Black
Onslow, Hey Denise, Portraits of August The Workers Club
The Gold Party Transport Hotel (Fed Sq)
Peter Baylor & the Roadhouse Rodeos The Gem Bar - Collingwood
Tim Woods, The Neo, The Mouldy Lovers Wesley Anne. Band Room
Queen & Convict Retreat Hotel, Beergarden
Union Royale Spotted Mallard - Brunswick
Roservelt, Homemade, Saturn Cloud Bendigo Hotel
Vowel Movement, Matinee Show Grace Darling Hotel
Julia Turner Open Studio Large No 12â€™s The Standard Hotel Leigh Sloggett, Hailey Calvert, Idle 55 Chandelier Room Les Thomas, Beth Knights Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Maricopa Wells, Nathan Seeckts, Brad Vincent, Grace Lawry Reverence Hotel (afternoon), Footscray Mark Nunis Wantirna Club Wantirna South
Grand Salvo, Heather Woods Broderick The Toff In Town
Marty Kelly & Aubrey Maher Lomond Hotel
Grand Wazoo Thornbury Theatre
Matt Katsis Band, Third Earth Brunswick Hotel - Arvo
Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada, Ms Butt The Espy, Lounge Bar Hellhounds Labour In Vain Jeremy Gregory Veludo
Matt Kelly Empress Hotel Mike Kay, Aoi, L Burn Bar Open Mr Black & Blues Rainbow Hotel
140 Sydney Rd
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Sarah McKenzie Band, Bennetts Lane Big Band Bennetts Lane
Cherry Jam Cherry Bar
Sime Nugent, Alex Burns Trio The Drunken Poet Supernaturalist, Matthew Brown, Evelyn Ida Morris, People Person The Gasometer Hotel System Unknown Sound Clash 303
David Byrne & St Vincent Hamer Hall Divina Providencia Felix Bar Duvz, S-Tea, + Guests The Espy, Lounge Bar Irish Session Lomond Hotel Lebowskis 303
Open Mic Night Wesley Anne. Band Room
Passionate Tongues - Poetry and Spoken Word Brunswick Hotel Songwriter Sessions Old Bar
The Peeks, Wally & Rob, Andrew Swift & the Rattlesnake Choir, Leadlight, + More The Espy, Lounge Bar
The Vaudeville Smash, Sex On Toast, A Art The Evelyn
The Story So Far, ANCHORS, The Playbook, Sidelines Corner Hotel
Red X Cherry Bar
The Story So Far, ANCHORS, The Playbook, Sidelines Corner Hotel, Arvo Show
TUE 15 Al Kennedy Collective Dizzyâ€™s Jazz Club
William Cooper Loop
Carlo Barbaro Bennetts Lane Dan Parsons, Yeo Retreat Hotel Front Bar Dos Hermanos Open Studio Icehouse The Palms Ladie Dee, Ben Wundersitz, Billy Longface Old Bar Los Coronas, The Exotics The Toff In Town
Nath Valvo The Toff In Town
Tango Rubino Wesley Anne, Front Bar Tess McKenna Pure Pop Records
Nightwish (Finland), Sabaton, Eyefear Palace Theatre
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY THE 9TH OF JANUARY - 8PM
+43=4B30H 0= C7
Sabaton, Black Majesty, Eyefear Corner Hotel
Ocean Party, Hot Palms, Crude Northcote Social Club
THE BRUNSWICK HOTELâ€™S OPEN MIC WITH YOUR HOST LIL AZ GET IN AND REGISTER FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS OF BRUNSWICK BITTER
THURSDAY THE 10TH OF JANUARY - 8PM TILL 1AM
$3 SCHOONERS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT - $5 BASIC SPIRITS
TABULA RASA (SA)
WITH GUESTS THE MERCURY THEATRE, DEAR STALKER, HANDS LIKE OURS
GET YOUR STREET PRESS MAGS DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR! â€“ HEAD TO THE THEMUSIC.COM.AU FOR A SUPER SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON 6-MONTH INPRESS, DRUM MEDIA AND TIME OFF SUBSCRIPTIONS!
FRIDAY THE 11TH OF JANUARY - 9PM
SYSTEM OF VENUS
WITH GUESTS WOLFPACK, CHARM, THICK LINE THIN LINE
SATURDAY THE 12TH OF JANUARY - 5PM
TINSLEY WATERHOUSE BAND BY 3 SETS
WITH GUESTS SLOCOMBEâ€™S PUSSY, ROUSSEMOFF, SEEDY JEEZUS
SUNDAY THE 13TH OF JANUARY - 5PM
MATT KATSIS BAND
WITH GUESTS THIRD EARTH
MONDAY THE 14TH OF JANUARY - 8PM
PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS OPEN STAGE READINGS AND SPOKEN WORD WELCOME WITH FEATURE PERFORMERS EVERY FORTNIGHT $10 JUGS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT
TUESDAY THE 15TH OF JANUARY - 8PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT
GIVING CHANCES TO UP AND COMING LOCAL TALENT!
46 â€˘ To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
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VENUE GUIDE BAHA TACOS Friday Ghost Orkid, El Moth Saturday Ganga Giri Sunday Andy Grant Duo
BAR OPEN Wednesday Smoky Seas, Super Fat Fruit, Darn Matter Thursday Seedy Jeezus, Son of Set, Sooky La La, Honey Bone Friday Cookin’ on 3 Burners, Kylie Auldist Saturday Brian Shimkovitz, Cumbia Cosmonauts, Broadway Sounds, Lewis Can Cut Sunday Mike Kay, Aoi, L Burn
BRUNSWICK HOTEL Wednesday Open Mic, Lil Az Thursday Tabula Rasa, The Mercury Theatre, Dear Stalker, Hands Like Ours Friday System of Venus, Wolfpack, Charm, Thick Line Thin Line Saturday Trash Ivory, Slocombe’s Pussy, Roussemoff, Seedy Jeezus
Monday Passionate Tongues Poetry and Spoken Word
CORNER HOTEL Wednesday Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, + Special Guests Thursday Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, + Special Guests Friday Peter Murphy, Ikon, Dandelion Wine Saturday Barbarion, King of the North, Bugdust, Ten Thousand, The Deep End, + More Sunday Sabaton, Black Majesty, Eyefear Tuesday The Story So Far, ANCHORS, The Playbook, Sidelines
CORNER HOTEL, ARVO SHOW Tuesday The Story So Far, ANCHORS, The Playbook, Sidelines
EMPRESS HOTEL Thursday The Naysayers Sunday Matt Kelly
GRACE DARLING HOTEL Saturday Dropframe, Nerves, Von Stache Sunday Vowel Movement, Matinee Show
LOOP Saturday Pitch Bitch Tuesday William Cooper
LOUNGE BAR Thursday Turtleneck, Cassius Clay, Bottleneck
NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB Thursday Ben Sollee, The Falls Friday New Gods, Montero, Jessica Says Saturday Benny Walker, Sal Kimber, Nick Lovell, Tom Richardson Monday Ocean Party, Hot Palms, Crude
PALACE THEATRE Wednesday Hot Chip, World’s End Press
Monday Nightwish (Finland), Sabaton, Eyefear
REVERENCE HOTEL, FOOTSCRAY Thursday Leez Lido, Sean Tait, Brendan Ryder Friday Rort, Michael Crafter, Hostile Objects Saturday Cavalcade, Hug Therapist, Aitches, Japan For, Foxtrot
REVOLVER UPSTAIRS Wednesday Bonez, Burn In Hell, The New Savages, Son of Set Friday Chris Duke & The Royals, The Kujo Kings, The Resignators, Aitches, The Furrows
THE DRUNKEN POET Wednesday Hetty Kate, Jane MacArthur Thursday Kate Mulqueen, Mana Friday Dan Bourke & Friends Saturday Catfish Voodoo Sunday Sime Nugent, Alex Burns Trio
THE EVELYN Wednesday Motion Picture, Boy Red, Sea Legs Run Monday The Vaudeville Smash, Sex On Toast, A Art
THE HI-FI Friday Marduk Saturday Django Django, Twinsy, Palms
THE STANDARD HOTEL
Tuesday Los Coronas, The Exotics
THE TOTE Wednesday Dan Trolley (Mass Cult), Sunny The Magosapher Thursday Love Of Diagrams, Milk Teddy, Early Woman Friday CBT, Fuck I’m Dead, Captain Cleanoff, Intense Hammer Rage, Embodied Sunday Den Hanrahan, Chuck’s Wagon, Black Hills
UNION HOTEL BRUNSWICK
Wednesday Kim Salmon Sunday Large No 12’s
Saturday Chuck Jenkins, The Zhivagos Sunday Chris Wilson
THE TOFF IN TOWN Wednesday Shohei Yamaki, + Special Guests Thursday Lieutenant Jam, The Archetypal, Contrast Friday Poprocks at the Toff Saturday Yolke, Nimble Animal, Document Swell Sunday Grand Salvo, Heather Woods Broderick Monday Nath Valvo
WESLEY ANNE Saturday Trio Agogo
YAH YAH’S Thursday Beaten Bodies, Kooyeh, Up, Up Away Friday Grand Rapids, Dead River, The Old Faithfuls Saturday Paul Kidney Experience, Faspeedelay, Swamp Moth
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SAT 12TH 9:30PM
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To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 47
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RemmosK returns to “The Wall” in full throttle electric mode with special guests @ The Wall, The Bald Faced Stag Hotel, Leichhardt, Fri 25-01-13
WANTED: KEYBOARD/GUITAR PLAYER Guitarist for high profile Australian rock ‘n roll band embarking on solo project seeking keyboard / guitarist. Based in inner Melbourne with national touring through 2013, 20-30 years old. Guitar and synth oriented psych rock/pop, along the lines of the likes of Tame Impala, Jay Reatard, Spoon, Todd Rundgren, Supergrass and The Flaming Lips. Contact Nik: 0417 051 514 iFlogID: 20773
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PRODUCT NEWS TAKAMINE PRO SERIES
Three new Pro Series guitar families offer the finest in Takamine design aesthetics and functional excellence. Pro Series 1 models have resonant crossbraced solid cedar tops and sapele backs and sides, mahogany necks with rosewood fingerboards and pearl dot inlays, and split-saddle bone bridges for faultless intonation. Other features include chrome die-cast tuners for superb tuning stability, beautiful gloss natural-finish tops on satin backs and sides, and Takamine’s acclaimed CT4B II preamp system for outstanding amplified sound and performance. Pro Series 2 models build on the features of the Pro Series 1 models with solid spruce tops. These soundboards are slightly lighter in appearance and impart a more resonant quality, with a loud, clear tone and great sustain. Pro Series 3 guitars have western cedar tops with hand-scalloped crossbracing, stylish ivory body binding complemented by handsome dark purfling, and beautiful concentric-ring rosettes with meticulous wood marquetry. Other features include gold tuners with amber buttons, a natural satin finish and Takamine’s acclaimed CT4B II preamp system for outstanding amplified sound and performance. www.promusicaustralia.com
MONSTER HEADPHONES With state-of-the-art features, ultra-dynamic sound and style-forward design, the Monster DNA Headphones range is set to change the way we view headphones. These on-ear progressive performance audio headphones are the ultimate fashion accessory, tuned to the way you experience music; massive sound with the clarity of live music. Made from premium vinyl, the Monster DNA’s looks are specifically designed to give a high quality finish. And with their pillow-soft, Advanced Noise Isolating cushions, DNA™ Headphones lock in sound so you can listen for hours without distraction. The Monster DNA Headphones are available exclusively to Harvey Norman and Apple stores, rrp $249.
GALACTIC MUSIC TO DISTRIBUTE BEHRINGER, BUGERA AND EUROCOM IN AUSTRALIA Music Group is pleased to announce it has appointed Galactic Music as the sole fulfillment partner, responsible for the distribution of its Behringer, Bugera and Eurocom brands in Australia. VP, Global Sales, David O’Kelly said, “Galactic Music has developed a highly efficient distribution and logistics operation, and is skilled in providing the critical backbone functions required to fully support our brands in Australia.”
VOICELIVE PLAY UPDATE
BLOOD TIES AT BLUESFEST Youngest of the famous Neville Brothers, percussionist, poet and soul singer Cyril comes to Australia at Easter for Bluesfest and side shows with his new band the Royal Southern Brotherhood. Greg Phillips speaks to Cyril about the regal musical ties of his new musical project. e don’t pick it, it picks you,” says Cyril Neville of that special family chemistry that pervades New Orleans’ rich music culture. Cyril should know more than anyone, being a member of New Orleans’ most famous family The Neville Brothers, as well as the legendary Meters. Cyril’s latest music project is the Royal Southern Brotherhood, a band that features a blood link to another celebrated Southern music family, the Allmans. The Royal Southern Brotherhood, who will be in Australia this Easter for Bluesfest and national side shows, consists of Cyril, Devon Allman (son of Gregg), acclaimed blues guitarist Mike Zito, respected bassist Charlie Wooten and drummer Yonrico Scott.
Anyone who has followed the Neville’s lineage will know that there has always been an undeniable funk element to most of the music in which the family members are involved. However, Neville fans may be surprised by the rock guitar edge, in addition to the voodoo soul that are features of this new band. “It is like a beautiful musical gumbo,” explains Cyril. “For all of us, it is an opportunity to be part of this great group, but at the same time, we all still stand out as individuals as well. Instead of one thing cancelling the other out, we end up enhancing each other’s energies. It makes for a beautiful record and beautiful show as well.” The band came about at the suggestion of Reuben Williams, who handles management for all of the Royal Southern Brotherhood members’ main projects. “We all feel like this was something which was meant to be. The manager, Reuben Williams really likes to stay in the background but this is one story you can’t talk about without mentioning him because it is his brainstorm, his idea. The Neville Brothers and Allman Brothers hadn’t done anything together. He thought, ‘Let’s see what happens if we put an Allman together with a Neville’.
We talked about it. It seemed like a good idea from the beginning for me and the rest of us. So we got together and got to thinking about some song ideas. At that point we hadn’t thought about a name or anything like that. We found that we could write songs together, good songs. Then the next thing was to get together and see if we could play together. So that worked. This whole process took maybe a year. We got into a studio last December , then the CD came out [last] March. We have been moving forward with it ever since.” Apart from being a sweet soul singer, Cyril Neville is also well known as a skilled percussion player. His interest in percussion was born out of his childhood exposure to his uncle’s Indian practices every Sunday. “I got exposed to a lot of different intricacies playing those Indian rhythms. That became something that is deeply incorporated in what I play. The other part of it is my fascination with Haiti. Earlier on, I did as much readin’ on it as I could. When I first heard the stuff from there, the call and response, the harmonies and the poly-rhythms, it was just made for me. All of that is incorporated into what I do as far as percussion is concerned.” Like many New Orleans residents, Cyril was a victim of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and lost his valued percussion collection. “I had a large collection before the storm but not no more. Slowly but surely I am picking up different things. I haven’t been travelling much as well up until the brotherhood thing happened. What I really like are the drums made in Haiti and I would really love a
IN THE STUDIO
Based on user requests and feedback, TC-Helicon has released ‘More Play – Direct Effects Control & Preset Mega-Pack’, a free firmware update for the popular vocal multi-effects and harmony processors VoiceLive Play and VoiceLive Play GTX. Since its release in January 2012, VoiceLive Play has quickly become one of TC-Helicon’s most popular vocal multi-effects units. Simple, fun and intuitive to use, VoiceLive Play is a pro unit that’s for everyone, from bedroom singers to live stage veterans. Update details, including a presets overview list, can be found at www.tc-helicon.com/more-play
RINGO DRUMMER’S NEW SIGNATURE STICK Gregg Bissonette is known for being one of the most versatile drummers in the business, so it’s no wonder Ringo Starr has him beating the skins for his All Starr band, which will be touring Australia for the first time in February. Vic Firth has just released a new Bissonette signature stick, the SGB2 Gregg Bissonette Backbeat. Check ‘em out: www.austmusic.com.au
The loss of musical heritage because of Katrina cannot be underestimated, as Cyril explains “There’s no way of even calculating it man! I lost a lot of reelto-reel tapes, 25 years worth of stuff. Stuff that you can’t even put a monetary value on. You’re talking about a whole city of people who were musicians, poets and artists who lost a lot of stuff.” Rather than look to the past though, Neville is excited about the future, particularly about bringing his new band to Australia for Bluesfest. “I have been to the Byron Bay festival several times thankfully. I feel blessed to be coming back. This line-up of musicians that we are included with is like heaven on earth. You know you won’t get a chance to see all the people there, but just to know that we are associated with this event is worth its weight in platinum. We are very excited to be bringing the positive energy that is in our music. I feel that our music is a combination of the past, the present and the future.” The band’s debut self-titled album was released last year and the guys are now working on a new studio record. A double set DVD/CD that was filmed and recorded in Germany last October will be released in March. www.bluesfest.com.au
but Peter Cupples’ Changes album with people like Darren Farrugia, Chris Bekker, Tommy Emmanuel, Jack Jones, Lisa Edwards, Deb Byrne, Jimi Hocking, etc. was very special. Biggest studio no no for a band? Don’t let the singer get trashed the night before he/she has to sing! This has happened to me more times than you’d think possible. For more responsible bands, don’t try to record something that you can’t play. If you run though a part in rehearsal and only nail it one time in five you’re probably not going to get it right in a studio when nerves kick in. Simpler is often more powerful anyway. Do you have any advice for young or inexperienced artists who are heading into the studio? Know the songs. I’m always surprised when a band comes into the studio and has to rehearse their parts for hours before we can start recording. I’m sure there are cheaper rehearsal spaces! Trust the engineer/producer. If he’s doing his job right, he’ll make sure that you’re comfortable with everything that is going on and let you just concentrate on doing the job to the best of your ability.
TOMMY EMMANUEL PLAYS CLEARTONE Cleartone believe that a lot of coated guitar strings use tone killing materials. Cleartone strings, however, feature the thinnest possible coating. At one micron, they feel and sound like traditional strings but with the added benefit of three to five times string life. In tests conducted by Cleartone, their strings proved to be up to 36 per cent louder than the leading coated string brand. Tommy Emmanuel has been a recent Cleartone convert. “I tried coated strings like everyone else; I didn’t like them. Cleartone are so bright and responsive I forgot they were coated. Bend them in good health.” www.dynamicmusic.com.au
couple of drums made in Cuba and some stuff from West Africa. One of my favourite people is Mickey Hart (ex Grateful Dead), who did a lot of research and has a large collection from around the world. I got kinda inspired from hanging out with him for a while.”
TREVOR CARTER STUDIO 52 COLLINGWOOD, VICTORIA What are your main tools of the trade at Studio 52? At Studio 52 we use Logic Audio Pro in all three studios with RME ADI8s as converters. The programming side of Logic is so powerful and the 40-plus gig of free loops and samples are all so instantly usable that all our engineers fall in love with the program. The audio side, especially the editing, is totally pro-level and very quick and easy to use. Our mic set is very comprehensive but I do love the SE Gemini and the Audio Technica 4050 for vocals. For nearfield monitoring I use EMES Blacks in Studio A and Adam S3X in Studio
50 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
C. The wall monitors in Studio A are EMES Sians. We have a large collection of high quality pre’s and compressors including Focusrite Liquid Channels and the TLA VP-1s. We have a massive range of TC 6000 Powercore plug-ins which are standalone and therefore require no DSP. The reverbs and mastering software in the 6000 series are the best I’ve ever heard. What’s a piece of gear you couldn’t do without? The Focusrite Liquid Channel. The sweetest compression and the variable selection of pre’s are great. What song/album best represents your work? Marc Collis’ I Miss Everything. Favourite session you’ve worked on? Tough, I’ve been doing this for over 25 years,
Any words of wisdom for those wishing to become a producer or engineer? Get yourself a laptop and an interface and record anything and everything you can. Get to know as many bands/artists as you can and start working with them. Listen to everything, read everything and make sure you know what things ‘should’ sound like and how they all fit together. Don’t get bogged down in one genre. Australia is too small. I have recorded everything from opera to metal and pretty much everything in between. Current project? Natasha Duarte (current winner of the International Songwriting Comp in the Teen category). She’s an incredible young pop artist through Empire Records (managed by Glenn Wheatley) who I’m sure will soon be a household name. www.studio52.com.au
Aleka SAE Institute Graduate SAE was key to gaining an insight into the world of sound. Since then, Iâ€™ve been applying all this knowledge to my career in the music industry.
INFO NIGHT Tuesday January 29TH 5pm-9pm Take a tour of our campus and get an in-depth understanding of the higher education pathways we offer, and learn about how you can start your career in the creative industries. Audio Production | Film Production Electronic Music Production | FEE-HELP available To register call: (0)3 8632 3400
235 Normanby Road, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Published on Jan 9, 2013
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...