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SONGS NANTES UNDERGROUND LOVERS DAMON & NAOMI

N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S D AY 10 A P R I L 2 013 • I S S U E 12 6 9 • F R E E

THE KNIFE

THE DELTA RIGGS

FRIGHTENED RABBIT

TERESA PALMER

www.themusic.com.au


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THE SP RTING CLUB Wednesday

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NEW AUTUMN MENU 8

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If you’re out after midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, Melbourne has lots of public transport options to get you home. Last trains leave the city between 12 and 1am Last trams leave the city between 1 and 2am NightRider buses leave the city and run until early in the morning.

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ISSUE 1269

W E D N E S D AY 1 0 A P R I L 2 0 1 3

Until May 5 - LoopHole Current Exhibiting Artist Naomi Wang A Monument of Eternal Love Until April 21 - MICF presents.... 5 In A Bed, Social Needia: The Epidemic, Twice Shy, The History of LOL's & The LijRetta Show - check guide for details

AMY MCDONALD INPRESS 12

Fri 12. 10pm - In:Session Liquid/Deep/Dark DnB, Dubstep and Glitch Deep Element b2b Serv, Kymaera b2b Asylum,

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Lickweed, Philosiraptor, Hybryd, Jay-B Hosted by Mc Harzee - Visuals by Doug Step

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Sat 13. 10pm - ebb & flo Nikko, Jon Beta and Lister Cooray going back

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to their roots with all things electronic dance Live visuals by Netzair Coming Up.... May 1-5 Australian International Experimental Film Festival

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Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements Moves and shakes with Industry News There’s an ongoing battle between Emma Louise’s head and heart The Knife reckon “the norm of a music journalist is a man” (ahem!) Frightened Rabbit are confident they’ve written their strongest album to date The Delta Riggs welcome “knockbacks and failures” Nantes and Battleships make good touring buddies Glen Hughes admits Black Sabbath letting him go saved his life It’s impossible to Google Songs Spit Syndicate want you to dine with them; Underground Lovers are not Mariah Carey wannabes; Blood Duster don’t wanna be liked; and Damon & Naomi are a real life couple (aw) Amy McDonald made a fan of Paul Weller and Jon Anderson pens tunes about alien races journeying to a new world On The Record rates new releases from The Knife, Waaves and Kurt Vile

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BACK TO INPRESS 33 36

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FRONT ROW 28 28

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Check out This Week In Arts Teresa Palmer gets into her new zombie film Warm Bodies; and we chat to Patrick Greene

about the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures exhibition Adriano Cortese tells us about Ranters Theatre’s new work Song; and Neil Sinclair gets into his MICF show Phoney We review shows from Sam Simmons’ Shitty Trivia to Paul Foot’s Kenny Larch Is Dead; and Good Timing gets into the comedian’s plight this MICF We launch Watching (Mad) Men and Cultural Cringe gets into community radio.

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Gig Of The Week bounces with Full Tote Odds; and LIVE:Reviews blisses out at The xx Sarah Petchell will Wake The Dead with her punk and hardcore talk; the freshest in urban news with OG Flavas; Dan Condon blues and roots in Roots Down; and heavy shit with Adamantium Wolf Pop culture therapy with The Breakdown; hip hop with Intelligible Flow; when your club needs a boss, it’s Business Music; and Beyond The Speakers fills dead air The best Live gigs of the week and Sorted For EPs If you haven’t appeared in Fred Negro’s Pub, your mother probably still speaks to you; and Jeff Jenkins gets down and local in Howzat! Our Gig Guide fills your diary for the weekend Muso quizzes the one and only Geezer Butler as well as Tim Guy Find your new band and just about everything else in our classy Classifieds

GIVEAWAYS GALORE! BRUNSWICK

SATURDAY 13 APRIL

THE STETSON FAMILY COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS &

BRILLIANT HARMONIES, PLAYING SONGS FROM LATEST ALBUM THE DEVIL IN HIS SUNDAY BEST. 5PM

SATURDAY 13 APRIL

TESS MCKENNA & THE SHAPIROS ELECTRIC FOLK/ROCK AND BLUES WITH PITCHPERFECT HARMONIES. 9PM

SUNDAY 14 APRIL

COLLARD, GREENS & GRAVY SWAMPY DELTA BLUES

FROM THIS WELLLOVED, LONGTIME TRIO. 5PM

THE UNION HOTEL

BRUNSWICK 109 UNION ST, BRUNSWICK 9388 2235

10 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags

Fans of The Black Seeds, rejoice, because we’ve got a sweet prize pack to give away that includes a copy of their latest album Dust And Dirt on CD, a T-shirt and a double pass to their show at the Hi-Fi on Saturday 27 April. We also have five copies of Neil Young Journeys on DVD up for grabs. Keep an eye on our Facebook for a chance to win.

CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Bryget Chrisfield music@inpress.com.au Assistant Editor Samson McDougall Editorial Assistant Stephanie Liew Arts Coordinator Cassandra Fumi frontrow@inpress.com.au Staff Writer Michael Smith

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FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

JONESING FOR JOAN For the first time in more than 25 years Joan Baez returns to Australia for a series of concert performances in August. Baez is a musical and political force of nature whose influence is incalculable – she marched on the front lines of the civil rights movement with Dr Martin Luther King, inspired Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, sang on the first Amnesty International tour and stood alongside Nelson Mandela when the world celebrated his 90th birthday in London’s Hyde Park. She has recently been awarded the Amnesty International ‘s inaugural Joan Baez Award for Outstanding Inspirational Service in the Global Fight for Human Rights. Today, Baez’s voice is as extraordinary as ever but carries with it the gravitas of a life well lived. See this special performance at Hamer Hall on Thursday 8 August.

WEDNESDAY 10 APRIL

RESIDENCY

NEBRASKATAK OH PEP! SALAD DAYS THURSDAY 11 APRIL

ALICE D THE BRAVES GEE SEAS SINCE WE KISSED $2.50 POTS, $5 VODKAS!

FRIDAY 12 APRIL

DOUBLE EP LAUNCH

IN YOUR HANDS PORTRAITS OF AUGUST

ROCK N LOAD RETURNS The second annual Rock N Load Festival returns to the Espy on Saturday 1 June with a massive 30 acts over three stages. The Espy will feature some of the best live rock acts from Melbourne and interstate, including Dallas Frasca, The Fumes, The Nerve (featuring Ezekiel Ox and Lucius Borich), King Of The North, Ten Thousand, My Secret Circus, Massive, Gay Paris (NSW), Don Fernando, Dead City Ruins, Vida Cain (WA), Riot In Toytown, Sudden State, The Dead Love (NSW), Sheriff, Virtue and heaps more.

BAND OF BROTHERS

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOY COOPER STREET

In a special event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Beating The Boards – a live double album recorded with the Foster Brothers – Jon English is hitting the road for a series of concerts with the original line-up of the band. From 1981 when English recruited the band for a tour of Germany and Scandinavia until the release of Beating The Boards in 1983 and their second tour of Scandinavia, Jon English and the Foster Brothers sold out tours in Australia and New Zealand. Catch the band at the Corner on Thursday 20 June and Gateway Hotel (Geelong) on Friday 21.

SATURDAY 13 APRIL

ROOFTOP – MATINEE SHOW

WONDERCORE ISLAND MIXTAPE LAUNCH KIRKIS CLEVER AUSTIN DEMIAN SILENTJAY MFP SLAMETZ

PINK DOVE III: THE BIRD FIRE REVIEW

LANEOUS & THE FAMILY YAH GEORGIA POTTER (SINGLE LAUNCH) MKO (EP LAUNCH) SUPERFEATHER (EP LAUNCH) THE WELL ALRIGHTS THE MELOTONINS SUNDAY 14 APRIL

MATINEE SHOW

MICHAELA JAYDE ANNA PADDICK & THE SPEKULATORS WILLOW

7” LAUNCH

THE WILD COMFORTS EATEN BY DOGS THE MATTY GREEN BAND MONDAY 15 APRIL

RESIDENCY

THE BEEGLES EUPHORIACS WHIPPED CREAM CHARGERS ROXY LAVISH & THE SUICIDE CULT

To herald the release of Caroline, Bad//Dreems have released a Wonder-Years-via-Adelaide-badlands video clip for the single. Recorded with Paul “Woody” Annison (Children Collide, Red Riders, Hunting Grounds) and mastered by William Bowden (Gotye, Straight Arrows, The Church), Caroline is the first single taken from Bad//Dreems’ debut EP, which will be released later this year. Bad//Dreems will be launching Caroline on Friday 31 May at the Gasometer.

RedX, originally from Perth and now based in Melbourne, includes core members of the now disbanded, WAMI Award-winning outfit, The Joe Kings. They are set to make a significant impact Australia-wide with the release of their debut EP and subsequent national tour in May. RedX is a rock band with an eclectic mix of other styles thrown in, drawing inspiration from the blues greats of past and present, as well as the classic rock era of the ‘60s and ‘70s. They play the Workers Club on Thursday 23 May.

CAN’T BE TAANED New Zealand multi-platinum, award-winning artist and former Salmonella dub member Tiki Taane returns to Australian shores this June. Renowned as much for his powerful, headlining performances as he is for the anthems he writes and produces, Taane will bring his acoustic/MC show to Australia joined by dubstep heavyweight Optimus Gryme with support from Misfits Of Zion. Catch Tiki Taane performing on Saturday 8 June at the Corner.

A LITTLE BIRDY Drawing on raw emotion and loss was the driving force behind Marshall Okell’s latest offering, Birdy, out Saturday 20 April. Last year had Marshall Okell feeling depths of emotion on a very personal level after the death of his great friend, producer and collaborator Brian ‘Birdy’ Burdett in a fatal car crash with his two young daughters, followed by the loss of his musical and life inspiring father after an epic battle with cancer. To complement Marshall Okell while on tour, he is joined by four of the most talented independent musicians Australia has to offer, The Pride. Catch Okell and The Pride at Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave) on Friday 25 April and the Apollo Bay Festival on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27.

CAROLINA DREAMING

SEEING RED

Tiki Taane

TOUCHED BY ANGELS NEON SHOW Utah rockers Neon Trees will be tearing up Melbourne and Sydney with a special one off performance in each city this May. Well known for juxtaposing dazzling guitar hooks with thoughtful and reflective lyrics, the band have in the last 12 months climbed to the top of the charts with second studio album Picture Show. Lead single Everybody Talks has been a song that lives up its namesake; here in Australia it’s their second single to go platinum and charted ARIA’s top 10. See them at Ding Dong on Wednesday 15 May.

Aussie fans of revered Texan psych rockers The Black Angels had to wait for what seemed an eternity to see their heroes in the flesh prior to the band hitting our shores for the first time in 2011. With both Sydney and Melbourne shows selling out, their debut tour received rapturous acclaim for their intense but accessible guitar freak-outs and gregarious goodtime vibes, and local followers were overjoyed when the Austin natives were announced as part of the 2012 Harvest Festival line up. Now The Black Angels are returning to Australia this June armed with their powerful fourth album, Indigo Meadow. See them on Friday 14 June at the Palace.

TUESDAY 9 APRIL

RESIDENCY

FACEBOOK.COM/THEWORKERSCLUB INSTAGRAM @THEWORKERSCLUB TWITTER.COM/THEWORKERSCLUB TICKETS FROM THEWORKERSCLUB.COM.AU

THE SEVEN UPS THE MOON PROJECT PURPLE TUSKS

COMING UP

TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX: THE BEEGLES (MONDAYS IN APRIL) THE SEVEN UPS (TUESDAYS IN APRIL) NEBRASKATAK (WEDNESDAYS IN APRIL) SHORTFALL – EP LAUNCH (APR 19) DYING FETUS + PUTRID PILE – USA (APR 20) SLEEP DECADE – MATINEE (APR 25) HOWARD (APR 25) TRUE LIVE – EP LAUNCH (APR 26) SUNDAY CHAIRS – EP LAUNCH (APR 27) SEATTLE – SINGLE LAUNCH (MAY 10) LORD – ALBUM LAUNCH (MAY 11)

TAG @THEWORKERSCLUB ON INSTAGRAM DURING APR TO WIN MAY GOLDEN TICKET -A DOUBLE PASS TO EVERY SHOW IN MAY -$40 FOOD & DRINK VOUCHER

TUESDAYS IN APRIL RESIDENCY

FRI 10 MAY

THU 16 MAY

(EP LAUNCH)

(ALBUM LAUNCH) JACKSON MCLAREN NICK LARKINS

WED 24 APR (ANZAC DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY EVE) SILENT JAY, THE EVERGREENS, & THE GROWL (WA) DJ EDD FISHER (TUE 16) THE DEMON PARADE YEO, BANOFFEE, & DJ EDD THEM BRUINS

THU 2 MAY

THU 11 APR

WED 17 APR

(ADEL - ALBUM LAUNCH) ELOIJI CITYWIDE KREW

(SINGLE LAUNCH) AL PARKINSON ROB MUIÑOS

THU 25 APR (ANZAC DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY) RY (EP LAUNCH) MIKEY HUNDRED SHADOW KITSUNÉ

FRI 3 MAY ‘UNFD & SELECT MUSIC PRESENT’

D AT SEA

(EP LAUNCH) THE DREY ROLLIN BAND CHERRYWOOD

FRI 12 APR

THURS 18 APR

FRI 26 APR

SUN 5 MAY (MATINÉE) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’

SUN 12 MAY

(SINGLE LAUNCH) DAMN TERRAN THEM BRUINS

(EXTENDED SET) MILES AND SIMONE

(SINGLE LAUNCH)

STEELBIRDS

WED 10 APR

CHARLES J TAN

(ALBUM LAUNCH) EMMY BRYCE (ACOUSTIC TRIO) DRU CHEN

FULL TOTE ODDS

THE PEEP TEMPEL

AXOLOTL

DAN AND AMY

TINPAN ORANGE

ALLDAY

JEREMY NEALE (SINGLE LAUNCH)

CHASING GHOSTS

(ALBUM LAUNCH) INTO THE WOODS

SAT 13 APR

FRI 19 APR

SAT 27 APR

WED 8 MAY

(SYD – ALBUM LAUNCH) TERRIBLE TRUTHS SCHOOL OF RADIANT LIVING

(SINGLE LAUNCH) LA BASTARD TIM NEILSON (DEATH RATTLES)

(ALBUM LAUNCH) APES NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH

(SINGLE LAUNCH) HIDING WITH BEARS CATCH RELEASE

SONGS

SUN 14 APR (MATINÉE SHOW)

SLEEP DECADE

CASH SAVAGE SAT 20 APR

THE GRISWOLDS

(PLAY ‘INTO SPINNING LIGHTS’) (SYD) PRIVATE LIFE AMANITA OCEANICS MALLEE SONGS

12 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news

SONS OF RICO WED 1 MAY

THE FOX PARTY

VELMA GROVE THU 9 MAY

ELLA HOOPER (SINGLE LAUNCH) SPENDER

HOUSE OF LAURENCE SAT 11 MAY

THE RECHORDS

SHIRAZZ

CHARLES BABY SAT 18 MAY ‘EYEONEYE RECORDS LAUNCH PARTY’ FEAT.

HOLLOW EVERDAZE CONTRAST

SUN 19 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’

(ALBUM LAUNCH) THE NYMPHS

THE STILLSONS

SUN 12 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’

THU 23 MAY

SAL KIMBER & THE ROLLIN’ WHEEL DAN PARSONS & HIS BAND WED 15 MAY

POLICE & THIEVES (EP LAUNCH) TOWERS FLUXX!

(SINGLE LAUNCH) LITTLE WISE

REDX

(EP LAUNCH) MATT GLASS BAND SUN 26 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’

PAPA PILKO & THE BINRATS CHERRYWOOD


Call 1300 304 614 (landline only)

or 03 9614 3441

Application forms available at Police Stations

www.keypass.com.au

13


FOREWORD LINE

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

DON’T ENABLE THEM Milwaukee four-piece Enabler have pushed out eight releases of their own unique meshing of metal, punk, hardcore and grind influences in the last few years, all while touring across the US and Europe. Following on from 2012’s critically acclaimed All Hail The Void album, they’ve just released their Shift Of Redemption EP and are heading down under for the first time to launch it, with guests Urns. See them at the Bendigo Hotel on Thursday 11 July and Black Goat Warehouse (all ages) on Friday 12.

I N D U S T RY N E W S W I T H S C O T T F I T Z S I M O N S frontline@streetpress.com.au

Aerosmith

AEROSMITH JOINS STONE MUSIC FEST LINE-UP Last week the iconic hard rock outfit Aerosmith announced that they will be joining the Stone Music Festival line-up at the expense of their own Sydney show. Originally scheduled to play Sydney’s ANZ stadium Sunday 28 April, Aerosmith will now be sharing the stage alongside Van Halen Saturday 20 April as part of the festival. All original ticket holders have been re-issued with Stone Music Fest tickets. As part of the merger there are major ticketing changes, with new tickets sent out to existing festival and Aerosmith ticket holders from late last week. Aerosmith’s promoter Andrew McManus – who initially had no involvement with the festival – said in a statement, “with no alteration to prices, Aerosmith will play their full set alongside Van Halen for a night of sheer music euphoria! This double bill has never happened before.”

MELBOURNE PUNK LEGEND HOSPITALISED Melbourne punk identity Fred Negro was admitted to hospital on Good Friday after an incident involving a tram on Fitzroy St, St Kilda. While running to catch a tram, Negro tripped and hit his head on a tram stop. Once in hospital the iconic punk musician, and Inpress’ controversial cartoonist, underwent facial reconstruction surgery. Now recovering from his ordeal, the incident has left Negro with steel plates in his head. From his hospital bed Negro told theMusic.com.au, “I now look like Stewie Griffin.” Negro promises that despite the incident he will not cancel any shows.

VALE THE ANGELS’ CHRIS BAILEY After being diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year, The Angels’ bassist Chris Bailey has passed away. Last week the legendary Australian rock band confirmed the death of Bailey, saying he would be “deeply missed”. After replacing the band’s original bassist Doc Neeson in 1976, Bailey went on to play on six of The Angels’ albums including their most recent, Take It To The Streets. After recovering from a battle with laryngeal cancer some years ago, Bailey remained with the band to record the last album until he was forced to step down once the cancer became too aggressive. Earlier this year a tribute concert for Bailey was announced to take place in Adelaide later this month. It features a line-up of Jimmy Barnes, The Angels, Diesel, Ian Moss, James Reyne, GANGgajang (of which Bailey was a founding member) and others. It will go ahead as planned.

GEORGI KAY SIGNS LABEL DEAL WITH PARLOPHONE Breakout Perth singer and songwriter Georgi Kay has announced that she’s signed a deal with UK label Parlophone, with a vinyl release to be followed by an EP later in the year. The last 12 months have seen Kay win an ARIA Award for featuring on Feenixpawl’s track, In My Mind, and receive a Grammy nomination after Axwell remixed the same track. More recently, Kay won an APRA Professional Development Award worth $30,000 in cash, prizes and industry services. Speaking to theMusic.com. au recently Kay said “the [award] money’s definitely going to be going towards travelling and being able to go back the US and UK and do some co-writes there.” Already out locally, Parlophone will release Kay’s latest single, Ipswich, on a limited edition 7” for Record Store Day before the release of an EP later in the year in both the UK and Australia.

PRESENTED BY

HIGH TIME FOR YOU AM I As a celebration of 20 years of friendship as bandmates, You Am I have chosen to present to their fans, old and new, a series of reissues and album-themed concerts that raise a toast to the early years of their career, two decades of friendship and the many good times to come. During June and July You Am I will present live performances of Hourly Daily and Hi Fi Way back-to-back in a lush theatrestyled extravaganza. It’s a chance for You Am I to look back and pay respects to their past as they move forward into their third decade. The tour comes to the Forum Theatre on Saturday 6 July.

ELSEWHERE JUNCTION

Fred V Grafix

CHECK OUT THE GRAFIX A pair of producers who have been working together for the past five years now and showing huge promise, Fred Vahrman and Josh Jackson aka Fred V & Grafix are influenced by an eclectic range of sounds outside their main style of drum’n’bass, from electro/French house, ambient and hip hop. Now the duo embark on their debut Australian tour alongside bass heavyweights Delta Heavy. Catch them at Royal Melbourne Hotel on Sunday 19 May.

YOUNG TERROR The debut album from Charles Baby, The End Of The Terror Lights is the culmination of apocalyptic lyrical folk and follows from 2010’s EP Has Quiet Choruses. The End Of The Terror Lights is a celebration of all the poetry and song craft of Charles Baby and is the result of a year spent recording with J Walker (Machine Translations) at his studio The General Stores and across two abandoned school halls. Charles Baby is launching the album at the Workers Club on Thursday 16 May with Jackson McLaren and Wishful.

MOST IMPORTANT TOOL IN THE SHED In the lead up to Tool’s tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Frontier Touring Company and the band have teamed together to provide fans with a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Tool ticket holders given the opportunity to purchase a VIP package. The package includes access to sound check with members of Tool, a Q&A session with guitarist Adam Jones, an exclusive merchandise pack including items not available anywhere else, and access to early entry to the floor (for GA ticket holders only). The tour comes to the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday 27 April and Sunday 28. The VIP tickets are available from 9am this Friday.

In June 2011 the Brunswick warehouse collective Anytime Place packed up everything and moved out of Ovens Street. Now it’s time for an Anytime Place style festival. Camp Elsewhere is two fabulous parties back to back, with sleep overs in between. From Friday 17 May to Sunday 19 they are taking their two favourite Brunswick baristas and the most infamous party goers to an ex-communist youth camp in Yarra Junction. Delaney Davidson (NZ), Al Duvall (NYC), Mojo Juju and Puta Madre Brothers among many others will appear. Tickets are available now through the Camp Elsewhere website.

WAYWARD WILLIAMS Wisconsin USA’s Hayward Williams returns to Australia for the third time to release his fourth album, Haymaker. Joining him on guitars, vocals and drums for this tour will be Adelaide’s The Yearlings. Williams is known here and abroad for his Americana-soaked songwriting, his soaring tenor and warm and expressive musicianship. Whether he’s in the wood-panelled bars of the American Midwest, city and country pubs around Australia, or small clubs across Europe, the result is always the same: the room halts, noises recede, and clocks slow. Williams will play Mt Beauty Music Muster on Friday 19, Saturday 20, Sunday 21 April; the Pizza And Wine Club (Kyneton) on Wednesday 24; the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 26 and the Apollo Bay Music Festival on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April.

OLLY POP British pop star Olly Murs is set to return to Australia in November for his first official tour, performing with a full band. It has been a whirlwind few months since Murs released his third album Right Place, Right Time last November. The album and its first single, Troublemaker (featuring Flo Rida), both shot to the top of the UK charts. Catch Murs at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on Thursday 14 November.

14 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news

The wonderfully talented Martha Wainwright is heading to Australia with her band for a national tour beginning late May 2013. Fresh from warmly received performances in Europe and North America, Wainwright will represent material from across her career to date – show stoppers from her emotionallycharged debut album to her acclaimed tribute to Edith Piaf, to Wainwright’s latest LP of original material, Come Home To Mama. With a constantly changing timbre of depth, Wainwright displays a remarkable polarity between songs of harrowing despair that also show a sense of spontaneity and playfulness. The tour comes to the Recital Centre on Friday 14 June and Sunday 15, and Memorial Hall Leongatha (Gippsland) on Monday 16 June.

OPTIMISTIC WARNING Brisbane’s progressive/rock/alternative lords Forever The Optimist unleash a cut from their forthcoming record. Warning Horns heralds a big, bold sound from the four-piece. The track is expansive and sprawling with huge melodious vocals, chunky riffs and big, in your face percussion, that ensures the listener can do nothing but be entranced. Forever The Optimist perform at the Espy on Thursday 13 June, Barley Corn Hotel on Friday 14 and Gertrude’s Brown Couch on Saturday 15.

GROWLING PALMS The Growl have announced the special guests for their upcoming national tour. Stopping over in Melbourne on Wednesday 24 April, punters will catch locals The Demon Parade with their trademark psychedelic pop hooks and Them Bruins’ Brunswick tin-shed influenced punk-rock at the Workers Club. The Growl’s new album What Would Christ Do?? is available independently through MGM Distribution having being released digitally last week.

FOLLOW THE TRAIL ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead will return to Australia this May to perform what is arguably their best and most influential record, Source Tags & Codes. The shows will take place in two parts: a complete performance of Source Tags & Codes, followed by a set of highlights from their extensive back catalogue. Incorporating a mix of ferocious rock, unrelenting noise and epic anthemic jams, they bring their incredible live performance to Australia in May. Catch them on Wednesday 22 May at the Corner.

NO PORKIES Matthew Herbert gives one of the Australian premier performances of his acclaimed and controversial One Pig at the Melbourne Recital Centre this Saturday. Herbert, a pioneering British DJ and electronic artist, created One Pig from the sounds generated by the 20-week life cycle of a pig at a farm in Kent, from its eerily quiet birth to its snuffling, oinking maturity and its final end. In this life performance, Melbourne chef Jesse Gerner makes an appearance to cook pork, contributing the sizzle of his frying pan to the sonic mix. Herbert will round out the One Pig show with a DJ set.

COME HOME MARTHA

AERODYNAMIC

The Milk Carton Kids

MILKIN’ IT California’s The Milk Carton Kids play music that’s authentic and timeless. Their music is clearly of American heritage but hard to pin down, not seeming to be rooted in the fields of the north, the swamps of the Deep South, the deserts of Texas nor the mountains of Appalachia, yet encompassing the distinctive virtues of each of these locales. See them at the Thornbury Theatre on Thursday 6 June, Meeniyan Town Hall on Friday 7 and St Kilda Memo on Saturday 8.

Aerosmith will play a second Melbourne show (as well as at Rod Laver on Saturday 4 May) at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Sunday 28 April with a stellar line-up of Australian acts including Wolfmother, Grinspoon, Spiderbait, The Dead Daisies and Diva Demolition. After 24 years, Aerosmith returns to Australia.

WAIT FOR FREEDOM Due to Visa roadblocks, Enslaved have been forced to reschedule their upcoming Australian tour dates. Despite the Department of Immigration & Citizenship being very helpful in assisting the band in this matter, no guaranteed solution to this problem could be offered. Determined to play the shows they promised, they have set them for November. All currently purchased tickets will still be valid and anyone who cannot make the new dates will be entitled to a full refund. See Enslaved on Friday 1 November at the Hi-Fi.


NEWS FROM THE FRONT

FOREWORD LINE

SHOCK AND AWE

SMOOTH HENDRIX

One of the hottest names in bass music, Perth’s ShockOne is back with his killer debut album Universus. Karl Thomas released his first EP as ShockOne in 2009, which featured smash hit Polygon and experimental dubstep anthem Adachigahara’s Theme. Since then, he’s been behind a string of successful singles that have seen Beatport and iTunes number ones, YouTube hits by the millions, as well as support from influential industry tastemakers such as triple j’s Annie Mac, Zane Lowe and Knife Party. See ShockOne at Liberty Social on Thursday 25 April.

Inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s unparalleled creative and musical influence Experience Jimi Hendrix was originally conceived in Sydney by Empire Touring in 2010. This tribute concert brings together an all-star lineup of some of Australia’s musical guitar greats each performing their two favourite Jimi Hendrix songs. See them performing all the classics including All Along The Watchtower, Fire, Hey Joe, Foxy Lady, Wind Cries Mary, Purple Haze and Voodoo Chile at the Palms At Crown on Friday 14 June.

INDUSTRY NEWS WITH SCOTT FITZSIMONS frontline@streetpress.com.au

SECOND SAN While San Cisco are jetting around the world, eager Australian fans have been quick to snap up tickets to their Beach Tour in Sydney and Melbourne, selling out a couple of shows and adding more. A new show has been announced at the Corner for Sunday 26 May, with the Saturday 25 evening show now sold out. Tickets are still available for the Karova Lounge (Ballarat) show on Thursday 23 and the under-18 arvo Corner show on Saturday 25. In other news, the band sold out their first headline show in Minneapolis in the US and have joined the 2013 Lollapalooza line-up.

RAPPIN’ ZOMBIES Shocking, hilarious, sometimes revolting, and yet completely endearing, NYC’s Flatbush Zombies rose out of obscurity on the back of a synth-heavy, weedlaced banger Thug Waffle, an ode to marijuana and breakfast foods that immediately propelled them to the forefront of New York’s fresh crop of talent. Their seamless recipe of can’t-look-away visual appeal and deft lyricism had them opening for Slaughterhouse and Schoolboy Q within a month. On their debut Oz tour, they play at the Toff on Saturday 1 June.

SOMETHING EXTRA Having already sold out their Forum Theatre show (Friday 14 June), Something For Kate are excited to announce an additional more intimate show at the Corner on Saturday 15 as part of the Star-Crossed Cities Tour, their first extensive Australian tour in over six years. Something For Kate will be joined by special guest, Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett. The band will showcase material from their new album Leave Your Soul To Science, as well as a selection of material from their back catalogue.

HAVE A HEART This year will see the sixth annual Heart of St Kilda Concert to be held at the Palais Theatre on Tuesday 14 May – a fundraiser for St Kilda’s iconic Sacred Heart Mission. The night promises some of the best in Australian music and comedy, past and present, with a line-up as diverse as the inhabitants of St Kilda. The first acts to be announced are: Graveyard Train, Kate Ceberano, Darren Carr, Russell Gilbert, Wishful, Rachel Berger, Lisa Miller, Even and Brian Nankervis, with more to be announced.

TUFF NUTS After a huge SXSW showcase, playing some of the biggest parties, lo-fi garage pop royalty King Tuff is headed to Australia! King Tuff is the brainchild of garage-rocker Kyle Thomas. He has moonlighted in a multitude of bands, such as psych-folk band Feathers, garage punk and Sub Pop affiliated outfit Happy Birthday as well as J Mascis’ doom band Witch. Local supports for his Oz shows have been announced, with UV Race, Mighty Duke & The Lords, Made For Chickens By Robots and Peace Pipe DJs warming the Bermuda Float stage on Thursday 25 April.

Bring Me The Horizon

NEALE DOWN Jeremy Neale, Brisbane garage rock royalty and champion of ‘spy rock’, returns this April with the second single from his forthcoming EP. Initially written as an anthem for a fictitious ‘60s girl group, Neale teamed up with Brisbane’s all-girl act Go Violets to create the infectious garage rock banger In Stranger Times. Neale will launch the single across the East Coast this May, kicking off in Melbourne on Thursday 2 May at Workers Club.

SUPPORTING OBITUARY Beginning their career as Xecutioner in 1984, Obituary remains as one of the most influential and groundbreaking bands in the death metal genre. The Rotting Slow In Australia tour will combine an historic set of classics from three classic Obituary albums only: Slowly We Rot, Cause Of Death and The End Complete. Supports have been announced for Obituary’s upcoming Australian shows, with Denouncement Pyre and King Parrot warming up the Espy stage on Friday 3 May.

THE ROCKIN’ DEAD Sydney hard rockers Dead In A Second are pleased to announce they will be joining the Sydney and Melbourne legs of the forthcoming Jericco Beautiful In Danger Tour 2013 as the main support. The band made an instant impact on audiences across the country with their brutal brand of no-holds-barred rock on the recent Festival In Your Lounge Room Tour. Catch them at the Espy on Saturday 25 May.

MARY MARY QUITE CONTRARY Timothy Nelson & The Infidels are hitting the road in support of latest single Mary Lou, the second to be lifted from their forthcoming second album. Nelson wrote the song’s chorus in Santa Cruz and the rest in downtown Willetton, WA. The band will perform at the Toff on Thursday 25 April with support from Amanda Merdzen, Adam Eaton and Porcelain Pill.

A NEW STATE Get ready for a musical evening spanning four decades of hits with legendary musician, songwriter, producer and musical visionary Todd Rundgren. This July he and his band will bring to life 40 years of music for Australian audiences and will release his 24th studio album State. Rundgren’s latest musical vision is a fusion of rock, soul, R&B and electronica that is at once danceable, challenging and infectious. Catch him on Friday 19 July at Chelsea Heights Hotel, Saturday 20 at Ferntree Gully Hotel and Sunday 21 at the Corner.

HERE COMES TROUBLE Just arrived back home after a successful tour of the US and Canada, Brisbane’s The Trouble With Templeton have hardly had time to celebrate with their mini bags of peanuts and tiny Johnny Walker bottles before the announcement of their homecoming shows. Their return shows will also be the first time they’ve seen their home audiences since songwriter Thomas Calder was presented with a prestigious APRA Professional Development Award. Welcome them home at Northcote Social Club on Wednesday 17 April.

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES

HEAVENLY MERCY

Good Times, the second single to be lifted from Claude Hay’s third album, I Love Hate You, was lovingly and painstakingly constructed in his downstairs studio in Sydney’s Blue Mountains and features handbuilt instruments, Frankenstein-like circuitry and customised kitchen utensils. Hay celebrates with shows at the Blues Train (Queenscliff) on Saturday 27, the Apollo Bay Festival on Sunday 28, the Royal Standard Hotel on Tuesday 30, Baha Tacos (Rye) on Friday 7 June, Grind N Groove (Healesville) on Saturday 8 and Northcote Social Club on Sunday 9.

Lead singer of Oh Mercy, Alexander Gow will perform solo opening for Beth Orton on her Heavenly Sounds tour in May. Named by Paul Kelly as one of the young songwriters inspiring him, Gow and Oh Mercy recently joined Paul Kelly & Neil Finn for a special A Day On The Green performance in the Yarra Valley. Gow’s first solo tour, a national co-headline tour with Dan Sultan last year, was met with rave reviews. On this second solo tour, as Orton’s guest, Gow will be performing his songs, stripped back, and selected covers. See the show on Wednesday 8 May at St Michael’s Church.

BRING ME THE HORIZON LAND SECOND #1 ALBUM UK metalcore outfit Bring Me The Horizon have roared to their second consecutive ARIA Albums Chart number one this week, with their album Sempiternal knocking off Justin Timberlake and holding Passenger at bay. The band, who until recently featured Aussie Jona Weinhofen, emerged as this week’s highest debut. Still boosted by the surge of number one single, Let Her Be, Passenger’s All The Little Lights retained number two this week, with Pink’s The Truth About Love at three, Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience at four and Ed Sheeran’s + at five. Aussie Russell Morris landed his first top ten with new album Sharkmouth. His highest previous ranking was Bloodstone in 1971, which peaked at 12.

‘SMOKESCREEN’ REVEALED AS ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGN The mysterious Smokescreen Music Festival has been revealed as a marketing campaign from Mushroom Marketing aimed to highlight the dangers of smoking. Dubbed a “killer” new festival, the campaign’s “headliners” were revealed on Sunday to coincide with World Health Day. The phoney acts include M4-CEMA and The Coughin’ Nails. As part of the campaign, which was also the initiative of the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, both have released video clips for anti-smoking songs. Mushroom Music Chairman Michael Gudinski said, “We felt that is was timely to combine this experience and Mushroom’s creative talents and apply them to a serious health issue. We created engaging content and activated a mix of traditional and digital media channels to promote awareness of the health risks associated with smoking… We have certainly fooled some people as I have had band managers contact me asking to be on the bill!” Many media outlets had reported the festival as a legitimate live music event.

CREATE/CONTROL SIGNS SYDNEY’S PATRICK JAMES Sydney-based, Port Macquarie-raised Patrick James has signed with Create/Control. The independent Australian record label has announced the deal ahead of the upcoming release of James’ debut EP, All About To Change. James has spent the past 12 months supporting and playing alongside the likes of The Paper Kites and Boy & Bear’s Tim Hart. James will also join Emma Louise on her upcoming album tour.

ANGUS & JULIA, LADYHAWKE, NEIL FINN JOIN ARTIST VOICE Angus & Julia Stone, Ladyhawke, Neil Finn, Allbrook/Avery, Ta-Ku and Chvrches have all joined the Artist Voice roster, which has launched a Melbourne office to be run by Dave Batty. Adding to existing offices in Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong and Singapore, the Mushroom Group company has grown into one of the region’s top music industry agencies in the past two years. Batty, a respected agent and manager of The Jezabels, will run the Melbourne arm from the Block Arcade building on Collins Street. Previously booked by IMC, Angus & Julia Stone join Artist Voice having experienced their worldwide breakout on the almost-million-selling Down The Way record. New Zealand’s electro-pop songstress Ladyhawke has also joined the roster – she was previously booked by Modular – as does her fellow Kiwi Neil Finn. And from Perth Allbrook/ Avery, featuring members of Tame Impala, joins Artist Voice and emerging electronic artist Ta-Ku joins the Artist Voice Electronic roster. Danny Rogers-locallymanaged Glasgow-based Chvrches also join.

PRESENTED BY For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news • 15


Fiercely independent 21-year-old singer-songwriter Emma Louise has done everything her own way. Brendan Hitchens learns relocating to New York for a couple of months not only informed her debut album but also led to a signing with Les Savy Fav bass player Syd Butler’s prestigious Frenchkiss imprint.

SOLE SURVIVOR

TEENAGE DREAM “It doesn’t really hit you until afterwards,” Emma Louise tells Brendan Hitchens of the experience of sharing a dressing room with her teen idols. As a student at Cairns State High School, Emma Louise Lobb listed her influences as Missy Higgins, Lior and Josh Pyke. Between recording YouTube videos and performing café residencies, Lobb was developing her own inimitable style. The first concert she attended was Missy Higgins at Cairns Convention Centre in 2004. She went home and wrote two songs that night. “I watched her DVD when I got home and I was just so inspired. It was like, ‘Maybe I could be a professional songwriter!’”

espite her age, Emma Louise Lobb is firmly in control of her destiny. At 21, she knows where she wants to go, but is in no rush to get there. As the accolades continue to steadily grace her, she neglects concern about success, rather choosing to focus on longevity and artistic freedom. She’s ignored record label contracts, refuses to write for radio and hasn’t even watched the top rating drama series her song was used in. The self-taught, self-styled star from North Queensland has earned the respect of the music industry and done it all her own way.

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Raised in Cairns, since her mid-teens Lobb has worked tirelessly for her recognition. Admitting her family aren’t the slightest bit musical, her first introduction to music came when her father, a local fire fighter, purchased her an acoustic guitar as a gift. “Nobody in my family’s musical,” she laughs. “My grandad played the violin, but that’s about it. A friend in Grade Seven

had a guitar and she played it a bit and so my dad got me one for my birthday. I was copying her and then I started to learn covers. That’s when I first started playing around with music,” she recalls. Building a supportive group of mentors, Lobb’s success has been largely of her own doing. Embracing the digital age, she would record songs in her bedroom and upload them to YouTube, opening herself up to criticism but also developing the thick skin and self assurance that would ultimately see her music succeed years later. “I would demo my songs by putting them on YouTube,” she says, of spreading her early music outside of her hometown. “The comments get sent to my email. I read them all, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. There’s lots of nice comments, but every once in a while you get a really mean one that you’ve got to shut out. It’s hard.” As word of mouth spread and her video views skyrocketed, her 2011 single Jungle became a runaway success. Lifted off her debut EP Full Hearts & Empty Rooms, it entered the AIR Independent Distribution charts at number one and 26 weeks later remained in the top spot, achieving gold status for sales exceeding 35,000 copies. The song debuted on triple j’s Home And Hosed program and was soon being played across the world, with independent stations in America, Germany and Amsterdam adding it to their playlists. It appeared in the iTunes charts in ten different countries and came in at number 23 on triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown. Along with recognition it also brought expectation, all driven from a song written at 2am one morning, recorded to an iPhone and an afterthought for the EP. “After Jungle came out it was like, ‘I‘ve got the choice to write songs that are really suited to radio. I could be on the radio a lot and be all up in everyone’s grills,” she reflects frankly. ”It took a while to be like, ‘No, I’m just going to be myself and do what I think I should do, even though it’s going to be a slow rise I want to have longevity in my career.’ I think if you’re true to yourself and your art then hopefully people like you for who you are and what you do.” A notion she has had to grapple with ever since, she admits her new album’s title Vs Head Vs Heart was drawn from the predicament. “It was that battle between: do I give

in and do what my head and what other people’s heads are saying with more easy to latch on to music, or do I follow my heart and do what my heart is telling me to write? All last year it was my head versus heart in lots of different aspects of my life.” Not to be consumed by her burgeoning musical career or self-second guessing, Lobb took a step back in late 2012, spending two months in New York City. Escaping expectations and allowing a moment to pause and reflect on what she had so rapidly achieved, she wanted to experience life. The move, while not conventional, was testament to her maturity and patience, and her music benefited from it. “I started recording the album before I went to New York. When I got there I started listening to different music and had a lot of time to myself where I was demo-ing certain things and playing with different sounds. I came back and added a few more songs to the album and deleted a few songs off the album

that didn’t really fit in with what I was newly inspired by.” Content with doing things her own way, Lobb secured a record deal with New York label Frenchkiss, home to Passion Pit, Bloc Party and The Hold Steady. Run by Les Savy Fav bass player Syd Butler, she refers to the label as a family and sees her relationship with the boss as on a personal level. “We had a few American labels that were interested,” she says. “Basically Frenchkiss were just super-cool and didn’t try and put anything on us, they didn’t talk about money. It was just like, ‘You’re an artist that we like and we want you to do what you do.’” Of her relationship with Butler, she says, “We’ve become friends now, which is good. When you get on a personal level with someone, it’s easier to talk about and negotiate things.” Naturally, Australian record labels came knocking, but Lobb stayed firm to her beliefs and has remained independent. “In Australia, when

Jungle came out we had lots of labels that were interested and we sat down with most of them. I think in the end I was so scared of getting under a label and them being like, ‘You have to do this.’ I just wanted to create as much creative space around what I was doing by being independent.” Along with her independent outlook, Lobb remains loyal to her home state of Queensland. Even with a successful industry showcase at the prestigious South By Southwest conference last month and international label backing behind her, she maintains a sense of reality. “If I go well in a certain country I’m going to want to go over there for a bit, but I can’t see myself moving overseas for a long time. Travelling makes me realise how much I love Australia. I love it here, and Brisbane as well. I don’t think I’d move to anywhere else in Australia. All my family’s around here and Cairns and that’s really important to me.” Her allegiance to Brisbane has seen her team up with producer and collaborator Matt Redlich, recording the album at her own pace, in her own neighbourhood. “I did try some producers in Sydney, but I’m very homely and I like being in my little house. Matt’s studio is just down the road so that was really comfortable. He was very flexible so we could take our time and that played a very important part in the album.” Redlich’s ‘nothing is off limits’ approach has seen Lobb’s music and indeed imagination flourish, not confined to time frames or external opinions. “It was like a whole other realm,” she says with a sense of satisfied introspection. “We recorded most of it on tape and perfection was thrown out the window. It was like it doesn’t need to be perfect; we’ll capture it how it is,” a sentiment that has made the fearless young musician a refreshing leader of the pack.

WHO: Emma Louise WHAT: Vs Head Vs Heart (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 9 May; Yarra Hotel, Geelong; Friday 10, Corner Hotel; Saturday 11, Karova Lounge, Ballarat

Lobb’s hopes of becoming a professional songwriter took a leap forward when she won two Q Song Awards that year. Then, years later she was chosen as support act for her idol’s national album tour. “If somebody told me back when I was watching her DVD that I’d be supporting her, I wouldn’t [have believed them]. It sounds really lame, but it was a dream that came true.” While humble about her early success, Lobb worked hard to turn her teenage dreams into reality, even relocating to Brisbane where she would busk on the weekends at the West End street markets to fund her recordings. Prior to supporting Higgins, Lobb was handpicked as the main support for Josh Pyke on his Only Sparrows album tour. At Pyke’s request, she’d get on stage and sing Katy Steele’s part in his song Punch In The Heart. Later, she would duet with Lior to release The Finn Brother’s It’s Only Natural. “I’m so grateful for all those opportunities. It’s pretty insane when you’re in the same room as somebody you listened to for years and you get to know them as a human being and not just a voice from TV. It doesn’t really hit you until afterwards.”


TU OP ES EN DA S Y!

MARY TOBIN PRESENTS

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CUTTING DEEP Few bands actually deserve the word ‘cult’ as an adjective – some are obscure, media-shy and obtuse, but few manage on the scale of Sweden’s The Knife. Through sporadic and polemical communiqués that often bypass the media completely, Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer have built a huge international following over the past decade. They talk to Callum Twigger about shaking the habitual.

arin and Olof are brother and sister. Sometimes, when they are not performing independently as Fever Ray and Oni Ayhun respectively, they’re The Knife: a glacial, Swedish media-phobic electronic duo infamous for juxtaposing garish synthesizers over manic social commentary, and basically, never ever speaking to journalists. Karin and Olof did not perform live concerts until 2006. They are almost completely anonymous to the public; most of the duo’s promo pics feature the siblings wearing masks with birds’ beaks, similar to the traditional Venetian plague doctor masks worn during Carnivale.

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With the privacy-cracking culmination of basically every single technological development of the last decade, the duo’s media-phobia is a feat in its own right, and three albums deep after their eponymous 2001 debut The Knife, their motives remain as opaque as the silvered side of a one-way mirror. In The Knife’s third album Silent Shout’s One Hit, Olof announced “Bend back, give head/It’s not pornography/If you do it with lights/then it’s art you see/if you do it with a twist”. At the time, this seemed a rib-poke at masturbatory art-school posturing, but now, it’s been resurrected as an ironic riddle – the elusive Swedes’ debut track from fourth album Shaking the Habitual was Full Of Fire, a nine-minute techno-revivalist piece with a video directed by queer porn director Marit Ostburg. Ostburg’s most notable previous work, Authority, featured a female police officer who chases a female vandal into an empty building, before the two engage in spitting, slapping and anal sex. But perhaps this is getting lost in semiotics; in a role-play by two notoriously illusive and contradictory artists. Case in point: the video for Full Of Fire apparently visualizes a policy that offers tax deductions for wealthy Swedes who employ women as maids for little pay. In the Full Of Fire video, Karin and Olof play a Swedish couple who are milking this tax break. “You can look at how you organize yourself, how you work within the feminist and intersectional ideas that you have. For us, we have been really looking into who we work with, for example” Karin clarifies. “I think we have been really bad at that in the past, working with mostly male video directors and male music technicians and so on. I think this time we really wanted to work with female technicians, for example mastering engineers and all the technical crew that we will bring on tour. I think that is what you can do as an artist to look after how you work yourself within your field within your area.” In sophomore record Deep Cut’s afterglow, The Knife were awarded the Grammy for Pop Group of the Year in 2003, but they boycotted the ceremony by sending two representatives of the Guerrilla Girls (a feminist group dedicated to increasing female representation in the arts) as a protest against male dominance in the music industry. A decade later, and The Knife are apparently still dead serious about their gender theory and imposing a kind-of broad gender-based realignment across the entire music industry: prior to receiving approval for the interview, I was required to submit a portfolio of my written work to Karin and Olof. Although no official reason was give, it was strongly suggested this portfolio demonstrate some “feminist credentials”, to paraphrase an unfortunate publicist intermediary. My subsequent discussion with The Knife clarified: according to The Knife gender theory 101, this segregation extends to journalists too.

18 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews

“For example, a music journalist, the norm of a music journalist is a man - for example now, we’ve done about twenty interviews so far, and uh… I think if we’ve done twenty, about two of the interviewers have been female,” Karin says. “I think it makes it much harder to become a music journalist if the norm is being a man. Well, what do you think about music journalism, for example? You must see mostly who gets to write about music?” she asks, kind-of inverting the whole interviewer/interviewee dynamic back on to of me for the second time in forty-eight hours (my having to provide a portfolio of writing for The Knife to review being her first). Karin’s claim is unfair in the circumstances – Drum’s writing team has about a 40/60 female/male split, but otherwise, there is certainly a distortion that favors men within music journalism as an industry. “We have a patriarchal system in our society, and that is shown in all sides of society; it of course occurs in the music industry as well, a few of the structures…” explains Olof. “I think there’s a huge amount of projections and things going that... one would be that in certain situations… I don’t know where to start, there are so many things, in our society I believe that men are taught to that it’s more ok to be a nerd and to put things into certain orders and um, kind-of give get the first tools you need to become a music journalist… I think that it is one factor and then another… men take more space by themselves, and just promote themselves better, I don’t know if it’s a good thing, men can only do promo, or like… (‘marketing’ Karin interjects) yes, men are so good at marketing themselves” says Olof. Shaking The Habital, The Knife’s soon-to-be-released record, is apparently about realizing the duo’s rhetoric. The album has at least two tracks inspired by Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, a post-apocalyptic novel that splices genetic engineering and androgyny into a morbid future. Habitual’s second single, An Eye for An Eye invokes the faux-tribal high-tech low-life sound the act developed almost a decade ago in Deep Cuts’ Pass This On. Karin and Olof are apparently intent on overturning the habitual; on usurping comfortable injustices. “I think within all male-dominated fields, it makes it harder for people who are not men who come into that profession… it should be open and free for everybody to be like a music technician, it has not anything to do with what gender you have or what sexuality or what class you have,” Karin asserts. “I think it’s just a matter of showing an alternative and showing the possibility of… I know there is so many female musicians and technicians who have a hard time with the industry, it’s so male-dominated, and I think we’ve got the chance to make a change about that, and this [the album] is one way of doing it.” It all sounds quite intense, relentless, and iconoclastic – unusually heavy lifting for two artists who, prima facie, make gaudy electronic music. But The Knife’s Soundcloud provides perhaps the most appropriate epithet for the duo - “This is the world of The Knife: precise, particular, dark, occult, funny-peculiar, funny-ha-ha.” WHO: The Knife WHAT: Shaking The Habitual (Rabid/Pod/Inertia)


SCOTTISH FICTION Indie five-piece Frightened Rabbit are eager to visit Australia once more and show off their brilliant fourth album. Drummer Grant Hutchison tells Benny Doyle how a newfound sense of ‘band’ helped them get the best results. t’s been three years since Frightened Rabbit have played Down Under, their last trip our way tying in with a performance at the 2010 Splendour In The Grass festival while touring third album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks. According to Grant Hutchison, this hasn’t been due to a lack of interest, though – far from it. The band have been itching to return to our shores; it’s just that the invitations have been few and far between, with Groovin’ The Moo finally sending some love to Glasgow to get the quintet back out here.

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“We sort of disappeared after that [tour].” Hutchison admits. “Well, not straight after that, but not long after, to start doing the new record. It took us a while to get [Pedestrian Verse] written and ready for release, so it’s difficult to know if any people are still interested and still listening to the band when you have an extended break like that. And in Australia, it’s not that easy to just ‘nip over’ for a [few] days; it’s something that costs a lot and takes a lot of planning and you need to make sure people are going to come to the shows. It was frustrating for the offers not to come in [from promoters] but we understood it. “[But] to come over to Australia [now] and visit places that are off the beaten track – it’s great. When you go [overseas] generally you’ve just got shows, you don’t often have a lot of time off. And with such a vast country it’s not so easy to go, ‘I’ve got a day off tomorrow, I’ll go here’. It will take you hours to get there, so it’s really nice [to visit some smaller towns]. Most of us are from the country – we live in the city now – but we grew up outside of [urban areas] so we’re all looking forward to it.” The band are currently on tour in America, a territory they have enjoyed continued support in ever since Pitchfork and college radio got behind Frightened Rabbit’s 2006 debut, Sing The Greys. The band, then a three-piece, had moved on considerably from a mere moniker for the solo work of frontman (and brother of Grant) Scott Hutchison; however, they’ve still made large leaps and bounds to be the fully functional five-piece that we have today.

Tonight they’ve had to cancel a show in Louisville, Kentucky due to Scott falling ill, but although disappointed his brother can’t say enough good things about the current state of the band and the music they are creating together. Pedestrian Verse has been lauded by critics and fans across the globe, the group assured with their playing, the songs stirring in their themes and compositions. “We all definitely felt confident that this was our strongest album,” Hutchison admits. “It was a different writing process; we got all involved this time around, but you never know how albums are going to be received and whether people are going to appreciate the changes you’ve made or maybe the changes you haven’t made. But we felt really good about it as soon as it was done. “I think one of the main things before going into the studio to actually record it was... we were consciously trying to avoid the mistakes we felt we made on the last record, which were really... we just threw everything at the last record,” he concedes. “We just layered it up in an effort to create a big sound, and it’s quite a naive way to create that, to physically make it large by adding more parts. That was something we definitely tried to avoid, and that was something that Leo [Abrahams] the producer was aware of and something that he was quite strict about.” Hutchison credits Abrahams, who is also an accomplished solo artist and session musician, for being a calming presence in the studio, remaining positive and upbeat during their time together in rural Wales. “He was very good working with us as people and musicians,” says the drummer. And by allowing the record to breathe, for the subtleties to be left bare, the producer has made sure Pedestrian Verse is the honest sonic representation that Frightened Rabbit’s warm, gruff indie deserves. “It was difficult to know when to stop, but that was something that Leo was really good at [deciding],” recalls Hutchison. “When he said ‘stop’, we stopped. He’d get up before us, before we got into the studio, and he’d ask us not to come in for a couple of hours, and I’m sure when he was doing that he was making changes, and one of the key things, one of the most

appropriate things he said in relation to this record; he used to work with Brian Eno, and one of his techniques was to always make sure the band think they’re making the decisions.” He lets out a slight chuckle at the thought. “I’m positive he did that with us. There was things happening on the record that we almost knew nothing about. We’d just come in the next day and go, ‘Oh, that track’s sounding good isn’t it?’.” When you look at the ingredients behind the record: the producer, the major label (Pedestrian Verse is Frightened Rabbit’s first release on Atlantic) and the focus on equal songwriting input from each member, it’s no surprise that the album has been the band’s most successful to date. Although, such points failed to reduce the shock and resulting sense of pride that a top ten UK album brought five scruffy blokes from Selkirk. “The label had sort of said, ‘Right, we’d be over the moon with top 20’. Then obviously you get the counts midweek and counts a couple of days before and we were sitting at seven, but then you’ve got the Saturday before the actual charts come out where everyone goes out and buys Rihanna. We actually got leapfrogged by Andrea Bocelli,” he wryly laughs, “because it was Valentine’s week. But it was great, we didn’t expect it at all and it’s

something that I can say for the rest of my life, that we had a top ten record, so that’s brilliant.” And now, a decade into the life of Frightened Rabbit, it seems things are only just beginning. ”We’ve slowly built it over the years and it’s happened quite organically and naturally, y’know,” Hutchison says regarding the band’s growth. “It’s as important that the personalities match, if not more important that the personalities match than musically, and the people that have joined the band since Scott started solo have been carefully chosen. It was just great this time around to get the chance to work as a group from the very beginning and for us to all feel that as a band the record is all five of us and we can all be proud of the top ten position rather than feel like we’re Scott’s backing band,” he jokes. “But it’s really great.” WHO: Frightened Rabbit WHAT: Pedestrian Verse (Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 May, Groovin’ The Moo, Prince Of Wales Showground, Bendigo; Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8, Corner Hotel

For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 19


SCHOOL-ED OF ROCK The Delta Riggs revel in debauchery and laugh in the face of despair. Michael “Monty” Tramonte explains to Brendan Telford how knockbacks and failures are just as helpful as big-name shows. lthough The Delta Riggs haven’t been plying their wares for too long (they played their first show in 2010), they have certainly carved out an iconic path. Having sequestered themselves out into the countryside for a wild few months that brought about two EPs and some national acclaim, the band has seen the highs and lows of pouring blood, sweat and tears into the art of rock. Bassist Michael “Monty” Tramonte admits that the slow build-up of The Delta Riggs’ fanbase has helped them to stay focused on the realities of being a musician whilst crystallising their future direction.

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“It’s been polarising,” Tramonte drawls laconically. “We have been a band for such a short time; we all grew up in Queensland so we started playing shows there, then to move it was like starting all over again. We

seem like we’ve been a band for ages only because we know each other so well. We live in each other’s pockets – we drive together to shows in Albury or to a residency show in Melbourne – it ties you together and yet tests the relationship. You do all that and then play a good show to no one, or to a whole bunch of people who quite clearly couldn’t give a fuck if you were there or not, and then you’d go back to living together. It became this manic fun time but it could have fallen apart so easily. It’s good to have had it so early and come out the other side though, because now it’s built the foundations to the point that now with some of the band living in Melbourne, as soon as we get together to practice or play it’s immediately locked in, it’s second nature. It helped us tenfold to progress quickly; rather than be hurt or pissed off it all holds a great degree of sense.” Debut record, Hex.Lover.Killer, comes after the one-two punch of the two Talupo Mountain Music EPs, recorded over two sessions out at Peats Ridge. The eye-catching moniker for their first foray into full-length album territory is something that Tramonte attests encompasses the themes and sounds that pervade the recordings. “It’s funny, because there is a lot of darkness throughout the album, but a lot of the songs are about love, in a weird kind of way. Elliott [Hammond – vocals/keys] came up with Hex.Lover. Killer one night, as we were all throwing out possible album titles, and that one truly struck. ‘Hex Lover’ sounds like ‘ex-lover’, and there are a lot of references to failed love, and the pun works well with what we are trying to get across with the music. Each word then symbolises a theme content-wise, as well as gives an insight to what it sounds like too. There is nothing too deep about us or the album; it’s something that resonates with all of us.” The process revolving around the recordings of the EPs involved as much myth and debauchery as it did producing music, yet it all informed the slightly unhinged undertone to the songs that proved to fortify The Delta Riggs. The approach to Hex.Lover.Killer wasn’t an about-turn insofar as there was more clarity about where the band wanted to head. “There wasn’t any conscious effort to write in a particular way,” Tramonte attests. “We have always had a similar taste in music – there’s the hip hop element like N*E*R*D, as well as vintage punk and 1970s old rock… there are so many influences anyway that it all informs itself. A few of those songs have been around for three or more years – since before the Talupo Mountain Music times – yet when the four of us came at them again this time they naturally fleshed out to what they are now. In that regard there is perpetual changes – we have the harder punk rock that saw out much of the EPs, then there is some soul creeping in there… Everything that we are influenced by and listen to, we cram into one album, and we are comfortable with that. It makes for a more interesting sound, and nothing dictates where we are going to head next.”

There’s more to this story on the iPad The band has going from strength to strength, which has also shown in the level of shows they have managed to pull together. Having scored support slots for the likes of Divine Fits, Primal Scream and The Jim Jones Revue has allowed The Delta Riggs to access a cross-section of discerning music lovers and systematically melt their faces off. The seemingly disparate shows have taught Tramonte and the boys a great deal about how to come together as a tour de force live performance. “We had spent the best part of a year playing and touring up and around regional areas, to earn our stripes so to speak, and it feels like we are reaping the rewards of that. We had gotten so used to playing to no one that it really helped to galvanise us. We played to five people in Albury one time. We did so much of that shit and it didn’t knock us out, although we don’t really talk about those shows anymore. The cliché stood, the hard work was paying off. Triple j started pushing us more, and the EPs did fairly well, then we started being offered shows. The Primal Scream shows were fucking amazing. Just playing The Tivoli, The Enmore, The Palace in Melbourne, playing to an old British rock crowd that still fit well with us, and the Primal Scream guys were all lovely guys who just love playing music. Bobby Gillespie just floats around drinking coconut water, all dainty and fragile but also super friendly, a true legend. It helped to make sense of what we are trying to do as musicians.” The opposite to that was the Divine Fits support, which saw the swampy rock miscreants opening for two of the twenty-first century’s premiere indie rock songsmiths, Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner. Tramonte still found room to learn amongst the awestruck bouts of nerves. “I have been a massive Spoon fan since forever, so it was certainly daunting,” Tramonte laughs. “That was amongst the Laneway Festival run, so there were times for us to breathe in between the sideshows. To play with Britt Daniel, I was so stoked. He was really nice, and the show at The Corner in Melbourne was one of our best. I think we can fit alongside anyone – some people say we’re a blues band, other people think we are a hard rock’n’roll band. We have learnt to slot alongside anyone, without a true shape of what we are I guess, and that avoiding of pigeonholing is really important. Jim Jones and Divine Fits – you don’t get much more polarising, yet we came out the other side pretty well intact I think.” WHO: The Delta Riggs WHAT: Hex.Lover.Killer (Rah Rah Radio/Inertia) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 20 April, Northcote Social Club

20 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews


DOUBLE THE NEW BREED Brothers in arms taking to the road together, emerging Sydney bands Nantes and Battleships are each showcasing freshly minted releases. Battleships’ Jordan Sturdee and Nantes’ David Rogers tell Michael Smith all about them.

ased around the core of singer, songwriter and bass player David Rogers (who also moonlights in Jonathan Boulet’s band, with whom he did South By South-West) and keyboards player Josiah Eastwood, what began as a bit of fun recording a couple of songs they released as Nantes has become a five-piece touring band – featuring guitarist Benjamin Morgan, synth player Timothy Adamson and drummer Mathew Gardner – with a debut album, BeingsBeing.

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Another now Sydney-based (though all originally from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast) four-piece Battleships – featuring singer and guitarist Jordan Sturdee, fellow guitarist Nato Hannaford, co-songwriter, bass and keyboards player Jonathan Bowden and drummer Dan McMurray – launched themselves last year with the single, In Retrospect, lifted from their debut seven-song mini-album, To You, which managed to score some radio love in the UK. Having successfully lifted two further singles off To You, the boys are now heading out on a co-headlining tour with Nantes promoting new single As You’d Begun.

regarding Nantes’ international “surge”, “just the internet – word of mouth.” As for how the two bands are going to run things as co-headliners, Battleships definitely see themselves as the supporting act, which turned out to be something of a surprise to Rogers, but, as Sturdee puts it, “it’s co-headline, but someone’s got to go first.” WHO: Nantes & Battleships WHAT: Beingsbeing (Deadhead Music/ MGM); As You’d Begun (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 19 April, Northcote Social Club

Perhaps the “connective tissue” discernable between the two bands that makes them complementary touring buddies is each band’s obvious passion for a textured sound, each creating an identifiable sonic fingerprint. “We’ve played with some bands that have been really different to us,” Battleships’ Sturdee admits, “but I think we fit well with Nantes.” “I’ve been friends with Dan, their drummer, for a while now,” Rogers explains, “and I thought it would, like, be a great experience and a great idea to tour together…” “And we couldn’t really say no,” Sturdee finishes the sentence. Regarding the sound of the Nantes album, which took a year to write and record, Rogers suggests, “we didn’t want to live off past successes.” As well as plenty of local airplay, tracks from their eponymous debut EP have been picked up by various US college radio stations, registering spots in the CMJ College radio charts. “We just thought we wanted to do just exactly what would make us happy. Whatever vibe and whatever idea that we had, we just wanted to pursue that, and just through writing and recording, we kept trying different little avenues and different textures and ideas, just to get what we wanted on the table.” That said, they included previous singles, Unsatify and Drones, “which were always kind of destined for the album. They fit really well with the mood. We didn’t really want to tie ourselves down, but we wanted to do a concept album of three different albums, but then we thought we’d do what we do. I guess after the first three tracks that we had that were kind of working together, we listened back to some older tracks and even though they were quite different, they were kind of fitting with the mood and the kind of sense of where the album was heading. From there we built a couple more songs around those kind of ideas.

There’s more to this story on the iPad “I actually lost both my parents to cancer about six months ago, so a lot of the lyrics came out of that. It is a much darker album, lyrically, just because that’s where I was at the time, so that’s where most of the album emerged from that experience. “We’re already planning on recording a bunch of songs that are ready, with the idea of having a three-album kind of project. We wanted to have three albums by this year done – it’s not going to happen – but hopefully we’ll have another one out by the end of the year.” “We’re sort of at the other end, I guess,” Sturdee admits. “We just put out, at end of last year, our first ever recording, so we’re now touring on our fourth single,” he chuckles. “I’d recently moved to Sydney, in Bondi, so [I was] sort of in the thick of it as well. So the record is I guess a lot of, like, just trying to work out where I fit in and that sort of thing. Also I think a lot of our writing were more, like, personal observation and people that we know. I co-write with bass player Jonno; the whole time with the band, and well before that, when we were trying other things, we were always writing together – even when I was living in Queensland and he’s living in here in Sydney. We’re Skypeing all the time, writing songs and mucking around. When you’re sharing, when you’re co-writing, you sort of have to relinquish some of that control, or some of that stake in it. That’s always interesting – especially when you’ve got different ideas sometimes.” As mentioned earlier, like Nantes, Battleships – who have also pencilled in the release of a full album by the end of this year – have been lucky enough to pick up some overseas airplay, in the UK in particular. Elbow frontman Guy Garvey gave the band a head’s up through his BBC6 radio program, as have other UK stations – Amazing Radio, Q Radio and BFBS Radio among them – and Right Chord Music billed them Band of the Week, while Q magazine included them on their Top 140 Songs To Download Now 2012 list. There’s also been some American action courtesy UK-born, LA-based DJ Sat Bisla’s internationally syndicated import radio show, Passport Approved. “It sort of happened accidentally as well,” Sturdee continues. “We didn’t really push it, but someone found it and played it.” “Getting that kind of attention from where you’re not really flogging anything is a great thing,” Rogers suggests before adding,

For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 21


SOUL MOVER – ROCK ICON Legendary bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes is returning to our shores to play a diverse range of shows. Mark Hebblewhite caught up with the man himself to talk Kings of Chaos, Black Sabbath and the latest on Black Country Communion. Here are the results.

hat can you say about a man who’s played in both Deep Purple and Black Sabbath? A man who beat severe substance abuse problems that threatened to end his career, and who managed to reinvent himself as both a soul superstar and heavy rock icon? If you want proof of Hughes’ status as a bona fide legend check out the shape of his upcoming Australian tour, where he’ll be playing huge stadium shows as part of the Kings of Chaos supergroup as well as a series of more intimate solo shows. Even then it’s unlikely that Hughes will be able to cover the sheer breadth of his 40-year career.

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So are the solo shows something of a release valve for the material you just can’t fit into the Kings Of Chaos tour? “Yeah I think that’s the case,” Hughes agrees. “The solo shows are going to be in small venues that are intimate and I will play a mix of electric and acoustic material. I really have a kinship with Australia; I love the country and my fans really seem to like these sort of shows, so I’m free to do what I want. I don’t want to be safe, I want to surprise people and I want to surprise myself. So yeah, I don’t want to give too much away but I’m prepared to do material from Trapeze right through to Black Country Communion. It’s going to be a complete retrospective – I can’t cover everything of course, but I’m going to play songs that I think will strike a chord with Australian audiences.” One part of his history that he won’t be representing on stage is his work with Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath. As Hughes explains, it’s not because he’s ashamed of the material; it’s more a case of missing the necessary artillery. “I don’t think I can do justice to that material without Tony Iommi. When you talk about that stuff you have to have the right guitar player to do that material and I’m really loathe to do it without Tony because he is one of a kind.” While Hughes’ work with Iommi has been some of the finest of his career, he reveals that his time fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-‘80s was amongst the most traumatic of his life. “The album I did with Black Sabbath wasn’t actually meant to be a Black Sabbath album. It was meant to be a Tony Iommi solo record but at the last moment management came in and thought it would sell better as Sabbath. Really, I wasn’t the right person to front Black Sabbath. I wasn’t singing about Satan’s whore or Beelzebub, I was singing about things that happen between people in real life. On top of that the wheels were starting to fall off in my personal life at the time. The addictions were getting worse and things weren’t good for me. It was actually during the Seventh Star period that I entered the lowest period of my life. Just before it started I was punched in the face – and unbeknown to me as a consequence of the punch my eye socket fractured, which sent a piece of bone into my sinus. Now whether I deserved a punch on the nose or not the fact was that I simply couldn’t speak let alone sing. So as a result I started drinking more heavily and things were so bad that Sabbath had to let me go. And thank God they did because it saved my life. “When the doctor finally fixed me up he told me that I’d never sing again. So at that point I had two choices – to die or to rise again like a phoenix. Thank God I did the latter – I beat the devil. For many years I beat myself up about that whole experience and I wished I could go back and personally pay every person who had to sit through my performances on that tour. But really I came out of the experience a stronger man and a more spiritual man. I finally realised that everyone else had forgiven me – Tony definitely had – and I was the only one who hadn’t forgiven myself.” Hughes’ recovery from these dark days has been nothing short of phenomenal. As well as releasing a string of highly lauded solo albums, encouraged by producer and friend Kevin Shirley, he also formed the blues rock juggernaut known as Black Country Communion. Releasing three albums in quick succession and amassing a dedicated fanbase, the band looked to be on the verge of much bigger things. But recently there have been reports of turmoil in the group’s ranks and statements have been made to the effect that the group is now history. Sadly, Hughes confirms that this is indeed the case. “Look, Joe [Bonamassa] has left the band and he’s taken the name with him. Myself, Jason and Derek can no longer perform under that name – there’s nothing we can do about that so all three of us have just decided for now to get on with our lives. When we do decide to move forward it will be under a new name with a new guitar player. I know everyone wants a new Black Country Communion album but that’s not going to happen.

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“Kings of Chaos is all about delivering what the people want,” explains an animated Hughes. “So, with Sebastian onstage as well as the Guns N’ Roses guys you have to play Skid Row and Guns N’ Roses material. With Joe Elliot there you have to do some Def Leppard tunes. And as far as myself people want to hear the Deep Purple material – both the Mark 3 material I was involved in as well as the early material.”

“Really, I don’t care that this has happened because people are going to call us Black Country Communion anyway. I retain a great love and respect for the songs the band wrote and all the members of the band – even Joe, who’s gone now. I do want to assure everyone that we will be back at some stage but right now isn’t the time to talk about that – the wounds are too raw. But I will say there are a lot of great guitar players out there – and when it comes time we’ll find the right person.” WHO: Glenn Hughes WHEN & WHERE: Monday 22 April, Corner Hotel


SPREAD IT ON Off the back of their second record, Malabar, Max Doyle of Songs speaks to Celline Narinli about line-up changes, personality clashes and how jamming overrules songwriting. ’m sitting in some sort of meditation spot in the middle of the rainforest,” laughs Max Doyle. “With a glass of wine... I’ll try not to be too zen.”

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The frontman of Songs is indulging in a well-deserved retreat in Byron Bay as their second album has nowv been unleashed to the masses, with an east coast tour on the horizon. But things have changed in the Songs camp, with Steve Uren and Jeff Burch leaving shortly after the release of the band’s 2009 self-titled debut record, the open opportunity bringing guitarist Cameron Emerson-Elliot and drummer Ben James into the family. The new line-up saw a “massive, massive difference” to their sound. “Not so much with the songwriting, but just with how everything was put together and sounded,” explains Doyle. “In the first lineup, Ela [Stiles, vocals and guitar] was really new in bands back then so [the other members] were kind of like the driving force of the band. I would just write songs and they would put it into shape. So leaving just Ela and I, we just had to find a sound.”

turned out they were closing the whole area down, like where the horse riding thing is, and I got a bit upset about it. I just thought ‘Oh, they’re gonna turn this land into, you know, units or something.’ So I made that jam on the album, Malabar. And it’s pretty meaningless but it’s just like, it meant something for that brief time. And then yeah, the Indian thing sort of tied in because Ela was like, ‘Oh Malabar is in India as well,’ and then it just sorta stuck.” And so the spirit of Malabar lives on. WHO: Songs WHAT: Malabar (Popfrenzy/Cooperative) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 13 April, Workers Club

And lucky for them they came across the awe-inspiring duo who charmed them in and out of the studio. “Ben and Cam joined, they were pretty much the first people we checked out and they sounded good straight away… they’re just such different musicians, like Cam is a really amazing guitar player. Ela used to get them to play Hendrix and stuff just because there was someone in the room who could actually do that. So we were in a bit of awe at both of them as musicians.” Preserving the Songs sound from the past was not Doyle’s intention with their second record, Malabar. Instead, the Kiwi expat preferred each member to take the songwriting into his or her own direction and simply jam away. “I never really tried to make it sound like it had sounded [in the past]. I just didn’t; it’s not my personality to try and push people into particular directions. So we just started jamming [with the new members], but I think both of them were fans of Songs, I think both of them had a bit of an idea of how it should sound when they came to us. And I think they were even surprised that we were sort of letting them run free,” he explains as birds cheep in the background. “So yeah, [Malabar] is way different [to the first record]. Songs took on a much more relaxed approach in the recording process. “I think a lot of this album came out of just jamming, and probably less out of songwriting. And songs are sort of written around jams, which you know, when you work like that it seems really exciting because something’s coming together as a collaboration. “But it doesn’t always translate to something that other people are going to connect with. Whereas you know a song, a good chart pop song – and it’s got hooks in it and everything – you know it’s gonna – well you hope it’s going to – connect on a much easier level. So I don’t know; it’s a lot more jam-y, it started out jam-y, and then yeah we just kind of knocked it into shape. And we had a lot more stuff as well. It was almost twice as long and we had to cut songs out and trim things down.”

There’s more to this story on the iPad Doyle admits he prefers this spontaneous approach to just entering the studio with fully-formed songs and structures. “I just like things to have that spontaneity and, yeah, I’ve never been comfortable with just working and working and working on parts. So, I think this album might be a really great epic stone in our recording career.” Working with Mike McCarthy – who also produced their debut self-titled EP (2008) – Doyle got a taste of mixing a record from opposite ends of the world, thanks to the internet. Although this has become a growing trend and a practical way for musicians and producers to complete their records, Doyle’s not a fan. “We worked with Mike, who did our first EP. And we’d always really liked the way that had sounded: it was sort of very simple, everything sounded just clean and as it should. And so, you know, we were looking at all the options we had for this album, and we were just like ‘Yeah let’s get Mike, it worked the first time.’ He’d moved to England but he was back visiting family so we just nabbed him while he was here. But like I said, it didn’t really work out in that he had to go back and I don’t think that’s a great way to mix a record, over the internet. “I think different things work for different people. And I can imagine – if you’ve sort of built your record up using computers and tracking things like that, it’s probably a natural extension of that, it doesn’t make any difference for you whether you’re in a room with someone or not. But for me, it’s just – I dunno – I feel completely distracted when I’m sitting in front of a computer anyway. For us, I don’t think it was great. But in saying that I do think he did a great job. And the guy who did our last album, I don’t know why we didn’t – there was sort of a bit of a personality clash – but Casey Rice did such a great job with that, I’m hoping we now go back to him as well and give that another go.” Malabar was named after a coastal NSW suburb, neighbouring Maroubra, which is interesting as a southern region in India shares the name. Though there are Indian musical influences speckled across the new album – mainly Looking Without Seeing – Doyle explains that the album title has absolutely nothing to do with India. “It’s funny because Ela in the last few years has spent a lot of time in India. But it’s actually more inspired by the suburb in south eastern Sydney,” laughs Doyle. “Far less exotic.” Doyle then revisits an experience he once had in the suburb of Malabar. “It’s like a really strange place, there’s like a shooting range there and a horse riding sort of area, and when you’re there it’s sort of like you’re in a different country ‘cause of the strange vibe. Like, I’m not a very spiritual person, but I was getting strange vibes and it

For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 23


SUNDAY MORNING, COMING UP FULL SPECTRUM Nick Lupi, one half of Sydney rap duo Spit Syndicate, tells Chris Yates that he can’t wait for the local recommendations of food (and drink) enthusiasts as they prepare for a lengthy tour to promote their latest album, Sunday Gentlemen. t’s equal parts excitement and nerves that comes with doing our biggest tour – but it’s cool and exciting and fun,” says a cautiously enthusiastic Nick Lupi. “But it’s not all just ‘Fuck! Let’s get out on the road and start drinking and partying’ – there’s all the other elements of selling tickets and everything as well when it’s your own tour. Should be good though man; we’ve got a good feeling about it, especially going on tour with (fellow Sydney artists) Jackie Onassis – it’s the first time we’ve done a tour with a national support and we couldn’t ask for a stronger support act. I’m a little bit biased because they are our friends and they’re in our crew, but they’re just kicking goals at the moment.”

It’s taken two decades, but art-rock duo Damon & Naomi are finally gracing Australian shores with their ethereal presence. Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang discuss the spectrum of emotion with Brendan Telford.

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Under the banner of the One Day Crew, the guys from Spit Syndicate along with Horrorshow, Joyride and Jackie Onassis have been a well known collective around Sydney’s Inner West for years. They’ve also just launched a monthly podcast called One Day Radio. Lupi says his association with the guys in the crew goes way back before any of them thought they’d be doing this for real. “I actually went to school with the boys (from Jackie Onassis) as well as the boys from Horrorshow. So we’ve been aware of their talents for a while and Jackie Onassis only really came into fruition over the past year or so,” he explains. “I think the whole crew idea comes from our background in graffiti where it’s individual graffiti writers but they represent a crew that they put at the end of their tag. It comes from that – Spit Syndicate, Horrorshow, Joyride and Jackie Onassis are all doing own thing musically, but this is like a banner that we all ride under.” The recording of the album was done in a studio the guys share with fellow One Day Crew members Horrorshow, and most of the beats for the album were produced by Horrorshow’s Adit. “He’s working on Horrorshow stuff but he’s also started in the last year or two to work on a few other projects. He’s been working with other

writers and singers and really workshopping songs as a collaborative process instead of just working in isolation and I think that results in just everything sounding better. It’s a mad progression for him but it also means that we can work very closely with him.” A really interesting way for fans to get involved with the upcoming tour and have a chance to meet the guys, as well as showing off their hometowns, is to get in the running for the Spit Syndicate Food Safari. The guys pick a couple of fans in each city or town to accompany them for a meal and a couple of drinks while they’re in town. Lupi says it worked brilliantly last time they tried it and they’re really keen to make it happen again. “It was fucking mad man! It was heaps cool. One of our favourite things about going on tour is finding the best bars and the best places to eat in your downtime when you’re on the road and we just thought it would be a cool way of doing it. It’s also a way of engaging with fans. It went really well (last time) hanging out with people who are aware of us or into our music, and just hanging out with them as if they’re our mates. And that’s not something that’s hard for us to do – we’re not particularly reserved people. We’re quite out there and we like talking shit and kicking it with fans. It’s something we’re definitely looking forward to doing bigger and better with this tour.” WHO: Spit Syndicate WHAT: Sunday Gentleman (Obese) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 12 April, Northcote Social Club; Friday 26, Karova Lounge; Saturday 27, Sidney Myer Music Bowl

LIVING FOR THE WEEKEND It’s been 14 years between albums, but Underground Lovers have never been the type of band to follow convention, as Philippa Nihill tells Paul Ransom. nderground Lovers are uncool. Or so says Philippa Nihill: singer, guitarist, keyboard player. In place of cool, the band have simply propelled their idiosyncratic 23-year career with a diverse and beautiful range of releases, the latest being their freshlyminted seventh album, Weekend. “The music scene can tend to be pretty cool but we’ve always had a confidence that we were pretty happy doing our own thing,” Nihill explains, a sardonic smile in her voice.

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Indeed, the Undie’s journey from Melbourne indie land to ARIA-winning, international touring success and back again underscores something about the band that endears them to their fans. Their fertile, multi-layered blend of drone, electronica, pop and dreamscape is littered with film and literary references and spiked with philosophy. There’s a willingness to mess with expectation; theirs and ours. As Nihill observes, “As a group of individuals we’ve got this fairly eclectic and broad aesthetic that does cross many different artforms. I think as a group we’re quite playful, so for us it’s like why not bring in this idea or that sound? It’s all about the music, man – don’t get me wrong – but y’know, there’s no reason why you can’t bring in other things.” For all that, Weekend is classic Underground Lovers. Right from the outset, Spaces puts you firmly into Undie’s territory. With songs like Au Pair and The Lie That Sets You Free the band both revisit and refresh the clash of ideas that has ‘defined’ them over two decades. Echoes of Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine and New Order remain but so too does the band’s Australian sense of upending. “I think it’s beautiful,” says Philippa Nihill with unabashed enthusiasm. “I always love what I’ve done. I mean you can only ever do what you’re doing at the time, so I always love that you get this outward expression of it. And y’know, they are separate from you.” As to whether Weekend represents an evolution or a simple re-statement of the oeuvre, Nihill quips, “Well, I don’t think we’d be very keen to come back as a bunch of Mariah Carey wannabes.”

24 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews

fter five years as two-thirds of New York act Galaxie 500, and over 20 years as ubiquitous duo Damon & Naomi, real-life couple Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang are finally making their way to Australia. The absence of a rhythm section may seem like an aberration, but like most things about Krukowski and Yang, nothing is that straightforward.

However, one fact is equally undeniable: the passing of time. Since their May 1990 Corner Hotel debut the band and the individuals in it (Vince Giarrusso, Glenn Bennie, Maurice Argiro, Richard Andrew and Nihill) have gone from 20-somethings living in an analogue world to wiser souls marvelling at a digital universe. Pondering the years, Nihill simply notes, “In your earlier days you’ve got your eye on this [music] as a path, so you’ve got a slightly longer term view; whereas when you get to now you’re kinda well and truly on that path. We definitely get just as excited as we used to… but I think we get a deeper enjoyment out of it now.” The intervening years have also seen the band members flex their creative muscle away from the band umbrella. Giarrusso’s award-winning feature, Mallboy, was only the fifth ever Australian film to win a slot at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Meanwhile, the Bennie/Nihill GB3 side project produced a critically acclaimed trio of albums featuring the likes of Steve Kilbey, Sarah Blasko and Adalita. Perhaps all the extra-curricular activity explains the 14-year gap between 1999’s Cold Feeling and Weekend. “Actually it doesn’t feel like there’s been any great gap,” Nihill counters. Nor indeed does it seem there’s been any discontinuation of the particular sonic buzz of an Underground Lovers show. “There’s a very clear interplay between moments of pure guitar-driven joy and pure pop expression, but it’s never too far from that dreamscape type of reflective feel. It’s an almost nostalgic feeling.” Not that this gets in the way of good wig-out. “Wigging out is a kind of transcendence. So yeah, we definitely aim for that. It’s quite addictive.” WHO: Underground Lovers WHAT: Weekend (Rubber Records) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 20 April, Corner Hotel

“We shy away from telling people what to play,” Krukowski explains. “So when we invite musicians to come play with us, we don’t give them parts to play, it’s a collaborative effort. Yet it’s always been the functionality of how we write; in the habit of writing with a piano or guitar in our living room. It was a conscious decision to keep (live shows) intimate, to play how we play at home. We invite people to add their elements just like you would if guests visited your home. Bass and drums, we are somewhat possessive of that, it’s what we do in the studio, so it’s the one area that we could get a little bossy.” “Although it’d be fun to get Bootsy Collins in some time, get people dancing,” Yang states cheekily. The “legacy” of Galaxie 500 has hung over Damon & Naomi ever since the band split in 1991, yet the brevity of that outfit speaks volumes about the pair. They have truly grown as songwriters and as people side by side, and it’s allowed them more personal and spiritual development than Galaxie 500 ever would have. “We came to focus on singing and melody more over time,” Krukowski muses. “We didn’t start out as singers, and I think that’s why it’s so hard to think of ourselves in that way. But when we go on stage now, it’s just us and these songs. Galaxie 500 was a short-lived band, and a lot of bands are, but what we had a lot in common with those kinds of bands is we were focused on what the band sound was. It wasn’t about the songs per se, nearly as much as it was about the sound of the group.

As a duo we have never travelled down that path, rather it’s always been about the songs themselves.” The last two albums Damon & Naomi produced stand by that aesthetic, yet embodied emotions and themes that were very much the polar opposites of each other. Within These Walls (2007) dwelled in the disruption and despair that a tumultuous, dark series of events can cast over one’s life at any given moment, while 2011’s False Beats & True Hearts offered a buoyant counterpoint, the light at the end of the tunnel. “The previous record was very dark, it came out of a dark time for us,” Yang espouses. “On Within These Walls the challenge was how dark can we be. It was our state of mind then, and it showed, but once we were writing we wanted to see how far we could take it. So we came out of that and started writing again and we wanted everything to be brighter and more joyous. We are really writers that live in the moment, especially in the lyrics. I think that constant shift in emotions, that rollercoaster ride, is something that everyone has experienced in their lives. Really dark times and a sense of loss can be offset by those better times. Live we have learnt to harness both those abstracts of our music.” “A musician like Bryan Adams can go through those extremes of emotion all within a minute of one song, from verse to chorus,” Krukowski laughs. “It’s true of us too, but over a much slower arc; over whole albums that take us years to make. But we get there in the end.” WHO: Damon & Naomi WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 14 April, Toff In Town

EMBRACE THE OBSCENE On their most successful release to date, titled Cunt, Blood Duster bassist Jason Fuller observes, “When charts mattered back in the day you’d see Rhonda Burchmore and then us, like, two spots higher.” Brendan Hitchens learns this went against the band’s desire to be “wild and banned”. o say the music of Blood Duster is extreme would be an understatement. Never one to pander to public opinion, the band released an album titled Cunt in 2001. Despite road blocks from retail outlets, record companies and printing presses, the album’s deliberately vulgar and anti-commercialist title naturally drew the attention of fans and media alike and proved to be the band’s most successful release to date. “The worst case was a Melbourne printer who would deliberately lose our artwork,” says the band’s bass player and founding member Jason Fuller, on censorship attempts. “Shock Records would press CDs and then someone higher up in the company would say, ‘You can’t release that,’ all the usual stuff. The Cunt record at the time was us saying, ‘Fuck off, we don’t want this in the stores’ or, ‘If it does, let’s be stupid about it and see what we can get away with’. Of course it sold better than any of our other records up until that point. When charts mattered back in the day you’d see Rhonda Burchmore and then us, like, two spots higher. It was like, ‘What the fuck? This wasn’t supposed to happen like this, we’re supposed to be wild and banned!’”

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Continuing the controversy, last year the band released Kvlt, an album that was unplayable, literally. Creating the mantra ‘Do It Yourself, For Yourself’ after writing and recording the album, the band scratched its title into the vinyl grooves, rendering it useless. Nevertheless, the presales of the destroyed pieces of wax sold out shortly after going online and fans lapped it up. “The response was exactly what we thought,” Fuller reflects. “The thing that surprised me was the anger in some people. Some people were so angry, it was ridiculous. How could they be so angry about something they’d never ever heard?” Making their name worldwide, the band has toured through the United States, Japan and Europe, including

performing twice at the long-running Obscene Extreme festival in the Czech Republic. “It was, like, 5,000 grindcore fans coming together to camp in mud and listen to grindcore for three days straight,” says Fuller, reflecting on Blood Duster’s performances in 2005 and 2009. “The festival started as the festival organiser’s birthday party and it’s just grown. Because it came from his birthday party, it’s got a real party vibe to it. The costumes, the dress-up thing, it’s pretty idiotic but these crazy Europeans seem to be having fun,” he laughs. For the first time, the Obscene Extreme festival will take place in Australia. “I really want to see Nuclear Death Terror,” says Fuller of the line-up. “I want to see Extortion. King Parrot are always fun. There’s Sete Star Sept from Japan – there’s so many! Filth, who are doing their first show in 15 years or something.” When asked who the most extreme band on the festival bill is, Fuller pauses. “Because there are so many sub-genres of the whole punk and metal thing, everyone’s pretty much battling to be the most extreme. I think The Kill are good to watch if you want to see something intense. Those idiots just want to play as fast as they can all the time.” Not to be outdone, Blood Duster’s set will further push their boundaries. “We’ve just added another drummer, so we’ve got two drummers for this show. It will be interesting, if nothing else,” he laughs. WHO: Blood Duster WHAT: Obscene Extreme WHEN & WHERE: Friday 12 to Saturday 13 April, Tote and Bendigo Hotels


A BEAUTIFUL THING

WONDROUS STORIES

A simple call out for singers in a music magazine helped launch Amy Macdonald’s career at just 17. Now, a few years on and three albums later, Macdonald tells Cyclone why she’s back doing what she loves after a much needed break. my Macdonald wasn’t even born when Bryan Adams launched his career, but the Scottish singer-songwriter will be the rocker’s special guest on this month’s Australian tour. “When my sister and I were younger, my mum would always play Bryan Adams, so I’m definitely a fan,” the down-toearth Macdonald enthuses. “It’s so incredibly exciting for me to open up for such an amazing artist.”

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Macdonald is partial to ‘80s power rock, having covered Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark. However, it was an obsession with the Brit-pop Travis that prompted her to master (Dad’s) guitar. The teen was soon gigging around Glasgow’s traps. Macdonald’s big break came when she responded to an ad in NME. Paolo Nutini songwriter Pete Wilkinson sought singers for a fledgling production company. Macdonald, possessing a beautiful lilting voice, composed her own material, the quality of which staggered him. He’d assume the role of mentor and manager, securing her a record deal. The UK – and Europe – was captivated by the grand Gaelic guitar pop of 2007’s debut, This Is The Life, especially the title-track. The album hit number one in the UK months after its release. Macdonald made a fan of Paul Weller, with whom she toured. The Modfather allowed the disbelieving young star to use his Surrey studio as she prepared 2010’s A Curious Thing – and he played guitar on it. “It’s always really amazing when you meet people like that who you have looked up to and then they’re just so nice and so easy to chat to.” Last year Macdonald returned with the assured, if reflective, Life In A Beautiful Light. “I’ve got a lot more experience,” she ponders of her development. “When I started, I was a teenager and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing (laughs). I think just with three albums, and it being five years now, I feel more comfortable with who I am and with my music and what I do. So, although I don’t think there’s any drastic change from the sound

His health may have necessitated his leaving Yes for what looks like the final time, but if anything, Jon Anderson is more prolific than ever, as Michael Smith discovers. n 2008, singer, songwriter and co-founding member (with bass player Chris Squire) of the seminal prog-rock band the punks loved to hate, Yes, Jon Anderson was felled by a near-fatal respiratory illness. That was followed by pancreatitis, which necessitated six operations. Yet five years on, not only is he fighting fit and touring, including a couple of shows with Rick Wakeman, but he’s also released another solo album, 2010’s Survival & Other Stories, an album with Wakeman, seven live and unreleased demo albums that he added to the ever-expanding now 20-CD boxset The Lost Tapes and, in October 2011, on his 67th birthday, a 21-minute opus, Open, which predicated his sequel of sorts to his debut solo album, 1976’s Olias Of Sunhillow, working title Zamran Experience, on which he’s been working for some years.

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that I had at the beginning, I think that I definitely have matured a bit with my music. I feel like there’s more to write about now.” Macdonald continues to work closely with Wilkinson, her producer. “Pete is probably one of my best friends,” she says. Importantly, they have a musical affinity. “It just feels a perfect match.” Following A Curious Thing and years of solid touring, Macdonald took a break, hanging out with family and old friends at home. “It was lovely,” she says. In later years guitar pop has been marginalised by EDM and urban. Macdonald now finds herself repping a new alternative – rock. “I think that it definitely feels like there’s a lot less guitar music,” she says. “For someone like me, it’s more difficult now because the radio want to play all their electronic stuff, whatever’s hip, and it’s harder to get guitar music played. But there’s always a place for that, and there’s always bands out there doing guitar music – and that’s like me. I wouldn’t ever want to change who I am or what kind of music I do just to try to fit in. Hopefully, one day it’ll turn ‘round again and it’ll be back to all the similar styles to me that aren’t on the radio a lot.” Adams has established a successful sideline as a photographer. Macdonald, too, has a serious hobby. “I absolutely love cars!” she confesses. Macdonald fancies obtaining a racing licence. “It’s completely different from the world of music,” she laughs, “but it would be quite exciting at the same time.” WHO: Amy Macdonald WHAT: Life In A Beautiful Light (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 20 April, Rod Laver Arena

“I know,” Anderson admits, on the line from his home in California, having spent the day in the studio recording vocals on a Native American “circle song” for a friend, “I shouldn’t have said anything about it until I’d finished it, but it’s going to take another couple of years to finish. It’s nearly four hours of music as we speak and I’m just trying to figure out how to present it, you know, because I just don’t want to put it out on the internet on iTunes; I want to put it out as a visual experience. I have a couple of very good, talented filmmakers and there’s music from North Africa, a lot of music from Asia, a lot of music from Europe and some music from South America, so it’s sort of a constant evolvement of music.” The plan is to follow-up the introductory piece, Open, with the recording – over the Christmas/New Year period – of the first part of the Zamran Experience, expanding in the original story that was the basis of Olias Of Sunhillow, a Tolkein-esque saga about an alien race journeying to a new world after their own has been destroyed. It’s obvious why Anderson is keen on including a significant visual element in the release. “There’s some incredible computer animation out there – it blows me away when I see it – and I’m just very interested in working with that medium as well, with the

music and songwriting and what the songs mean and how it locates and relates to the earth, and the earth as Mother. That’s the important understanding in my heart.” As well as the ongoing work on Zamran, Anderson has found himself collaborating on an increasing number of musical projects. “Well, I think the internet has helped on so many levels,” he suggests. “I’d been sick for a couple of years and decided to do some solo shows and making contact with people on the internet, and now I get three or four songs a week from all over the world, and if they’re good I’ll sing ideas and sing songs. So you finish up doing music that you would never dream of doing, and it’s a very exciting time for music for me. For Australia, it’ll just be Jon Anderson, a couple of guitars, a dulcimer, a ukulele, a piano, that extraordinary voice, and, to take the title of one of the great songs of the 1977 Going For The One album, Wondrous Stories. “I start talking about when I first started with my brother in 1963. We had a band and we went to see The Beatles just before they became famous and we went and played in Liverpool in The Cavern. So we had some incredible experiences through the ‘60s, so the audience gets to know what I did from when I was very young.” WHO: Jon Anderson WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March, Bluesfest, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm; Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 April, Corner Hotel

For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 25


SINGLED OUT WITH STEPHANIE LIEW

ON THE RECORD

DEERHUNTER Monomania 4AD

Punching Dicks Independent This song comprises the one basic guitar riff and lyrics to the effect of, “Punching dicks, punching all the dicks”. I Am Duckeye call their sound “comedy punk rock”, but Punching Dicks doesn’t make you want to mosh or laugh, unless maybe you’re a boy under the age of 15 who thinks “ya mum” jokes are the height of wit.

BRITTANY CAIRNS Behind The Scenes Independent With a main fingerpicked riff and chorus melody suspiciously similar to that of Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, not to mention its lite country-pop leanings and subject matter describing stumbling into innocent young love that’s just like the movies (not that this isn’t widely covered), it’s hard to think of it Behind The Scenes as anything but a T-Swift imitation. Insert your own variation of Yeezy’s “I’m really happy for you and I’ma let you finish, but…” meme here.

COLD WAR KIDS

Daptone Records/Shock

Downtown

Warner

That voice. That unique, instantly recognisable voice. Charles Bradley, despite being well past the usual retirement age, is at the peak of his powers in 2013, and the reward for you, dear listener, is Victim Of Love. Eleven tracks, each lovingly put together by Bradley and his band of talented musicians, will take you from church to the dancefloor to heartbreak, leaving nothing behind.

If you have listened to the radio at all over the past five years, chances are you have heard Cold War Kids and just as likely have sung along to one of their tunes. Known best for their loud, catchy indie-rock anthems, featuring the powerful vocals of Nathan Willett, and an abundance of solid hooks, Cold War Kids have managed to generate a string of popular hits.

Horns, keys and a funky-ass rhythm section provide the perfect base for Bradley’s buttery voice. Even without his vocals over the top, as an instrumental soul record Victim Of Love would still be hot. I mean, come on, when an artist gets signed to the Daptone label, chances are the sound is pretty damn sexy. The Brooklyn-based label is also home to arguably the modern-day queen of soul music, Sharon Jones, and Bradley is right by her side at the top of the tree.

Dear Miss Lonelyheart is the fourth album release from the Long Beach-based quartet and while it sees them experiment with electronic beats and synths, the album essentially stays true to their signature sound. Fans of Cold War Kids’ previous albums will applaud their return and revel in tracks such as Miracle Mile, Bottled Affection and Jailbirds. All three are destined to be successful based purely on sound. For those wanting to delve beneath the fist-pumping layer to explore the band’s musical depth, Willet’s eloquent storytelling will satisfy. Tales of heartache can be heard on the title track (“Water is for fish like air is for men”), on Jailbirds (“The sun is rising so late it’s early/I have spread myself too thin again”) and Tuxedos (“I love to be a stranger at a wedding/’Cause tuxedos don’t discriminate”). Also not to be missed on Tuxedos are the gospel-style back-up vocals – they augment the intensity of Willett’s soulful crooning, which often makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

While Johnny Marr is far better known as a guitarist and songwriter, this is not the first time that he has stepped into the role of singer and lyricist – he did that in Johnny Marr & The Healers, his band since 2000. However, this is the first time he has released a solo album. Admittedly though, he is helped out by The Healers’ Max James on bass and James Doviak (simply credited as “Doviak”) on backing vocals, as well as Jack Mitchell (Haven) on drums. It’s also somewhat of a family affair with Marr’s daughter, Sonny, on backing vocals, and son, Nile, adding some guitar work. Thankfully, this solo album sees Marr lose the cockrock stylings that made The Healers so disappointing. Ultimately, he has put together 12 tracks that are more than a few rungs higher up the musical quality ladder than those The Healers have produced to date.

Victim Of Love

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I AM DUCKEYE

LIVE

CHARLES BRADLEY

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Among the dirty rumbles of bass, chainsaw buzz and shriek of guitars and a darkly seductive-yetdanceable vocal melody, there’s a subtly sharp edge that makes the first single and title track from Deerhunter’s forthcoming album that little bit more thrilling to listen to. Towards the end, as Bradford Cox repeats, trance-like, “Mono-monomania”, the cymbals thrash and the guitars grow more and more agitated, then the noise becomes more distorted and paranoid until everything cuts out and we’re left with the splutter of a motor, like the chainsaw has used up all its juice. If this is any indication of what to expect from the album, then goddamn we are in for a treat. Outstanding.

For those unfamiliar, Charles Bradley is a veteran of the scene. At 65 years old he’s known by his adoring fans (and to those who have ever seen him live, as Australian audiences had the chance to recently) as the Screaming Eagle of Soul, and listening to the pain and suffering that he sings through on songs like Hurricane, it’s easy to see why. Despite his age, Victim Of Love is only his second album, after 2011’s No Time for Dreaming. It would be unwise to categorise Victim Of Love in the ‘easy listening’ genre like you would with, say, Michael Kiwanuka or Al Green. Rather, Bradley is an artist that more often than not evokes passion with volume. But when you’re nicknamed the Screaming Eagle of Soul, why should anyone expect anything less? Dylan Stewart

Dear Miss Lonelyheart

Dear Miss Lonelyheart is another well-produced and polished release from Cold War Kids, with some really powerful and moving tracks. It’s proof the band can consistently write great music and are here to stay (if anyone needed it). Claire Moore

JOHNNY MARR The Messenger

There are a number of fine examples of Marr’s guitar greatness, but none more so than on Say Demesne. We get to hear him embark on a magnificent solo that is a fine example as to why his name is still said with a healthy degree of reverence. New Town Velocity is wonderfully reminiscent of the guitar work in Get The Message by Electronic (Marr’s band with New Order’s Bernard Sumner). Marr’s vocal delivery is spot on, too, being neither forced nor too relaxed. Marr is, without a doubt, an indie music deity, having achieved godlike status as the guitarist and co-songwriter for the legendary and quintessentially English band The Smiths in the 1980s, so the question must be asked whether or not this release would hold up if it did not have Marr’s name giving it a boost. Fortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Dominique Wall

KATY STEELE Fire Me Up Independent With remnants of the full, robust Little Birdy sound (yet also an obvious attempt to separate herself), Katy Steele’s first solo offering is a sneaky kind of song: you start off thinking it’s unconvincing but, before you know it, you realise you’ve stopped whatever you were doing and have inadvertently given it your full attention. Its lumbering waltz rhythm, a drum beat that switches between shuffling and authoritative, and surges of theatrical keys combine with Steele’s signature sweeping wail to make for an arresting and confident solo debut.

THE JESUS CLEAVER Europa Independent Any interest piqued by the song’s first third of racing drums, string flourishes and classical chamber pop flickers are completely negated once John P Shea’s vocals come in. Jarring, weak and off-key vocals, as well as a melody that is literally three notes the whole way through with no variation, result in something unlistenable and cringeworthy. So distracting are the vocals that they blemish what was initially pleasant accompanying music; the one component taints the entire song.

THE LOVE JUNKIES Maybelene Independent Vocalist Mitch McDonald spits and screeches malice in the form of a deceptively light-hearted melody, although when filtered through such a delivery its sing-song air is utterly transformed into something sinister. McDonald’s shouting against the noise is so vehement, we worry for Maybelene’s safety: “Maybelene, I hate it when you speak”. The rest of the song is all angsty blues and sleazy grunge; hard edged, fuzzy guitars and a low bass lurking in the shadows. Gets your adrenalin going through its blaring, intimidating display of unbridled negative emotion and it’s effective as a purely rowdy garage number you’ll want to rattle your bones to.

26 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews

KURT VILE

LITTLE GREEN CARS

MY LEFT BOOT

Matador/Remote Control

Glassnote/Liberator

Independent

Kurt Vile’s latest opus offers up a slow burning set of hazy psychedelic pop rock, which sprawls in slow motion to create a drifting spaced-out listening experience that’s completely immersive. The feelgood title track finds Vile sounding like a dreamer celebrating one of those good-to-be-alive days with contemplative lyrics that are delivered in a lazy drawl.

Their country might still be reeling from the worst financial crisis in decades, but try telling Irish band Little Green Cars that uplifting pop music is dead. Soaring melodies, catchy choruses and an attitude that flies higher than any bailout are the order of the day for this band on their debut record Absolute Zero.

Dear Melbourne,

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

Across much of this album Vile sounds like he’s at the crossroads, transitioning from the cooler-than-thou sneering angst that featured on previous albums to a more mellow introspective thoughtfulness that tempers attitude with self-deprecating humour, childlike wonder and insightful reflection. Pure Pain and Too Hard suggest Vile understands he is growing older but doing it gracefully; he seems accepting of new responsibilities and is clearly trying to make sense of it all. His distinctive half-mumbled vocals float over glistening, soft out-offocus textures played on acoustic guitars, which give way to inspired electric guitar solos. Tunes like Snowflakes Are Dancing and Air Bud (you have to wonder if he likes the movie) see Vile adding a little more swirl and atmosphere to the mix with synthesized sounds. The darkly glittering Girl Called Alex finds Vile sliding into “fantasy infinity” nostalgically lost in romantic reverie. It is a highlight that almost matches the brilliance of the album’s closing Goldtone, which sets us adrift on a sublime soundscape of slide guitars and Vile’s musings on being a musician. It’s one of the longer songs on this album but its beguiling beauty makes ten sweet minutes evaporate all too quickly. Already a singer-songwriter to be reckoned with, Vile grows and matures with each release, suggesting that perhaps the best is yet to come. Guido Farnell

Absolute Zero

Little Green Cars can be slotted in some kind of alt. country, modern-day Americana genre (alt-icana? If that term takes off, remember where you read it first). Throughout their recent tour of the USA – where, among other things, they dominated SXSW – comparisons to everyone from the Dixie Chicks (ambitious) to Band Of Horses (much more apt) abounded. The harmonies on tracks like My Love Took Me Down To The River (To Silence Me) sounds as though it could’ve been lifted from the latter’s most recent album, but there’s also a distinctly European sound to songs such as The Consequences Of Not Sleeping (think Tallest Man On Earth) or first single The John Wayne (listen to Danish band The Kissaway Trail and the similarities will be clear). Full of variety – the auto-tuned vocals of Red And Blue are like something off Kanye West’s 808’s And Heartbreaks album, and on tracks like the tender The Kitchen Floor, vocalist Faye O’Rourke does her best Florence Welch impression – Absolute Zero is a gem of a pop record. Little Green Cars would undoubtedly have grand plans simmering in the background, and the scope of fourand five-part harmonies belie this fact, but for now it’s great to hear the passion and excitement that Absolute Zero is delivered with. Whether on a Texan plain or in a hot tub in Scandinavia, Absolute Zero is a winner. Dylan Stewart

Summer Songs

You’ve done it again. As if your ever-evolving cycle of genres weren’t impressive enough, you go and reintroduce us to My Left Boot. Sure, their hard rock spells and wailing guitar riffs have been doing the rounds for a few years now, but their debut full-length album spells it all out for us: your womb has spewed forth another killer band. Summer Songs, my dear Melbourne, does not restrict itself to the warmer months. Sure, that’s the best time to drink beer and throw oneself around a sweaty band room (which My Left Boot demonstrably suggests one does), but to do so would restrict oneself to listen to Summer Songs only in one season. And given that you are prone to throw down one heck of a winter, this would be to deny oneself the pleasure of My Left Boot’s company all year. Oh Melbourne, while you did not spawn Queens Of The Stone Age, Iggy & The Stooges, or Led Zeppelin, those bands’ sounds have planted their roots in the puddles of your alleyways and corner bars, and into the ears of this band. And, as My Left Boot’s sound formed amid the beer-soaked sticky carpets of your inner suburbs, it transformed itself into a fullyfledged entity that has your fingerprints all over it. Because, my beloved city, My Left Boot have created one shit hot record. They have thrown everything they have into Summer Songs. Seeing them play these tunes in your pubs and clubs, drenching their fans with oozing rock’n’roll has been a sight to behold for years, and now we welcome them into our homes, our cars, and our ears. And we drink your blood every time we do. Dylan Stewart


WAAVES

MILK MUSIC

THE BREAK

THE KNIFE

Pod/Inertia

Fat Possum/Spunk

Sony

Rabid/Inertia

Afraid Of Heights, the fourth album from Californian stoner rockers Wavves, is the most meticulously controlled record in Nathan Williams’ body of work to date. The change of direction (and producer) for his latest project is evident in contrast to his last studio album, the noisy surfer-pop King Of The Beach or even the DIY EP Life Sux. It’s an album with hints of Wavves’ infectious energy and grabbing melodies, restricted by controlled volume changes and a far softer sound. It’s a change that appears to indicate maturity or a yearning for accessibility.

Fuzz rockers Milk Music crawled out of Olympia, Washington – the small town central to the Nirvana story, also home to Sleater-Kinney – and they accordingly display an indisputable Pacific Northwest vibe that shines vociferously in their powerful music.

Space music, surf music, spy music, western music… it’s all very similar. So don’t go calling Aussie supergroup The Break a one-trick pony, even though there are some striking similarities between Space Farm and their 2010 debut Church Of The Open Sky. It’s still largely instrumental, slightly experimental, somewhat whimsical and executed with the precision you’d expect from Rob Hirst, Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey of Midnight Oil, Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes and, now, trumpeter Jack Howard of Hunters & Collectors.

The first three albums by Swedish brother and sister duo The Knife were a dizzying ride of experimental soundscapes that had no beginning or end and synth pop classics like Lasagne from the 2001 selftitled debut and its more sophisticated reimagining, Heartbeats, from 2003’s Deep Cuts. The vocals of Karin Dreijer Andersson are a common thread, whether crooning like an accented Cyndi Lauper or growling like some kind of pitch-shifted demon.

Afraid Of Heights

Opener and lead single Sail To The Sun instantly grabs you as an ode to Wavves’ rough playfulness that was so apparent in earlier releases. Demon To Lean On follows, the watery reverb sound reminiscent of a classic Nirvana song. Then comes tracks Mystic, Dog, Afraid Of Heights and I Can’t Dream, consisting of subtle instrumentation, archetypal guitar chords and vocals that, though lyrically playful, are musingly meandering, reminiscent of a seasoned rocker who’s mellowed with age. Other tracks span mood and genre, from Beat Me Up – a playful tune with a ‘50s rock’n’roll sound – or the glossily grungy Everything Is My Fault and That’s On Me, punctuated by Williams’ typically self-loathing but laidback vocals. It’s impressive that the surfer punk is ambitious enough to expand into broader instrumentation featuring strings, chimes and clapping. However the album’s polished sound is a far cry from the musician previously lauded for his iconic garage ethos. It’s certainly Williams’ voice penetrating the cleanly produced album. But it’s a different, more refined Williams who’s cast aside his distortion pedal in favour of a tighter, all-over sound. Stephanie Tell

Cruise Your Illusion

Milk Music built a big buzz around their 2010 debut EP Beyond Living, and have delivered on this promise with debut long-player Cruise Your Illusion, owning a sound that’s authentic and gritty but with clear nods to hard rock classicism. Singer/guitarist Alex Coxen sounds like Hüsker Dü-era Bob Mould – partly due to where his vocals are placed in the mix – and the music all somehow feels loose, even though the arrangements are watertight and there’s nary a note or tone out of place. Opening instrumental coda Caged Dogs Run Wild morphs into the insanely catchy Illegal And Free and the inevitable Dinosaur Jr comparisons kick in – even though the guitars do occasionally have that feel, as well as sounding in parts like Built To Spill, they’re all clearly copping from the same Neil Young tropes. New Lease On Love rides on choppy guitars, the pained diatribe of Cruising With God is offset by cathartic yelps, Crosstown Wanderer starts with fun, catchy riffs but melts into a wash of epic passion, while No, Nothing, My Shelter is liberating in its levity. There’s no real weak points, closer The Final Scene an incredible finale, a shift down in pace but a vertical leap in intensity, a desperate cry for redemption complete with brilliantly hooky backing vocals.

Space Farm

The trumpet provides the biggest point of difference between the two records, adding a magical sense of colour to songs like Majestic Kelp and Rotor. As if trumpet wasn’t enough to throw you off your game, everything is kinda turned on its head when the familiar voice of Engelbert Humperdink croons through the great classic pop of Ten Guitars. Tumbling For Eons Through Turbid Atoms is as weird as it sounds, Day 300 brings a classic western vibe and Face The Music features Brian Ritchie in his most stunning vocal performance since Birdman on their last LP. The songs are decent, they’re very well played and there ought to be enough variety to keep you from boredom.

Cruise Your Illusion is ambitious but not too serious, emotive but not histrionic – a breathtakingly excellent debut from a new rock’n’roll force in our midst.

The record ends in the most bizarre fashion with Space Farm Suite: Psychonauts For Freedom, Ritchie curses a star (“you fucker”) and talks about drinking UDL cans as the Gyuto Monks of Tibet chant, a synth bleeps and the band occasionally kicks in with a thick groove. The Break might be seriously good, but they don’t want you to take them too seriously, thus Space Farm is a brilliantly fun piece of work.

Steve Bell

Dan Condon

Shaking The Habitual

First single, Full Of Fire, sets a template that the more traditional songs on the record all use. The drumming is heavily effected and centre stage. The rhythms seem lifted from that kind of frenetic street performer style of drumming you see getting bashed out by buskers on rubbish bins and buckets. Rapid tapping at unquantized out-of-time intervals from synthesisers fills out the sound, with big bass synths warping in and out. Without You My Life Would Be Nothing builds on this with more tribal drumming elements included, but the premise is the same. Counterpointing this fast urgency of much of the record, Shaking The Habitual regularly drops off into ambient sprawling without derailing the common threads that make it work so well. Third track in, A Cherry On Top, seems like elements ripped from the rest of the record, flipped backwards and layered into sound art. It’s these sections that give the rest of the record their weight. It’s a ridiculously hard album to describe in mere words, as the sounds themselves so rarely offer convenient comparisons. This of course is one of the main successes of this group, and why their continued experiments keep resulting in genius. Chris Yates

For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 27


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THIS WEEK IN

ARTS

TREASURE TROVE

FanFiction Comedy

WEDNESAY 10 Top Arts 2013 – an exhibition from VCE Studio Art students from 2012. This showcase has been running since 1994 and this year features 43 young artists. It takes current students through the VCE art journey and includes the students’ folios and workbooks that led to the final piece. Ian Potter Gallery, to Sunday 7 July.

THURSDAY 11 The Festival Club – a smorgasbord of MICF’s finest comedians who are willing to stay up late and perform long into the night often with no script, so there’s potential for the show to go anywhere. A good show to see to get a taste of who’s performing at the festival. ABC2 will also be recording some of the shows to put together a series to air on TV later in the year. Part of MICF, Hi-Fi, 11.15pm, to Saturday 20 April.

FRIDAY 12 Houseboat Horror: Cinema Fiasco – a celebration of bad films with commentary from Geoff Wallis and Janet A McLeod. This Aussie horror follows a group of mulletwearing bogans on a trip to Lake Eildon where they are chopped by a man with a machete. Enjoy the hilarious expert commentary and one of the worst Australian films ever made. Cinema Nova, 7.30pm.

SATURDAY 13 Dave Callan: The Psychology Of Laughter – stand up comedian Dave Callan is back at the comedy festival with a new show about a book he found while at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Callan moved to Perth from Ireland as a teenager

and still has a strong accent; he has been a MICF regular for many years. Part of MICF, Trades Hall, 9.30pm, to Sunday 21 April.

SUNDAY 14 FanFiction Comedy – join the lovable group of Kiwi nerds as they read their fan fiction fables. Each show promises a new batch of stories from the resident writers as well as two special guests who bring a story each. This week comedian Justin Hamilton returns for his third show as a special guest. When he was asked to do only a single show, he invited himself to stay for an extra few weeks, and who could blame the guy. Part of MICF, Victoria Hotel, 4.30pm, to Sunday 21 April.

MONDAY 15 Felicity Ward: The Hedgehog Dilemma –the comedy show that was nominated for best comedy at every major Australian comedy festival last year returns to Melbourne for one night only. The show will be recorded for a DVD to be released later in the year. Don’t miss out on this rising comedic star. Part of MICF, Athenaeum Theatre, 9pm.

TUESDAY 16 Genevieve Fricker: Party Pooper – a RAW Comedy finalist, classically trained musician, cast member of Karen O’s psycho-opera Stop The Virgens and writer and performer on ABC2’s The Roast, this young comedian has an impressive résumé. This is Fricker’s first solo show, delivering hilarious tales of good intentions, broken hearts and linen pants. Part of MICF, Forum Theatre, 6pm, to Sunday 21 April.

ART OR

NOT? SPOTTED: Swanston Street To continue the discussion head to @frontrowSPA and tweet us

28 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags

Patrick Greene

While too many priceless Afghan antiques and artifacts have been destroyed in the last few decades, some have been saved by brave individuals and are able to be seen in an exhibition that’s coming to Australia. Sarah Braybrooke chats to Museums Victoria CEO Patrick Greene about it. In 2001, shocking footage emerged of the ancient Buddhas of Bamiyan being dynamited. Measuring hundreds of feet in height and carved from the side of an Afghan cliff, the fact that they were World Heritage listed didn’t deter the Taliban, who destroyed them as part of a purge on what they perceived as idolatrous imagery.

They were just the latest in a litany of priceless Afghan antiquities destroyed or believed to be lost forever in the decades since the Soviet invasion of 1979. But a change of fortune in 2003 saw a group of ex-employees from the National Museum in Kabul come forward to reveal that 14 years earlier they had risked

their lives to hide thousands of the museum’s most precious objects from destruction. Ranging from 4000-year-old golden bowls and Greek statues to ornate jewellery worn by royal nomads, these artifacts are currently on show as part of a touring exhibition that has already wowed audiences across the US and Europe, and now comes to the Melbourne Museum before heading to Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Many of the exhibits are astoundingly opulent; one collection on display, called the Bactrian Hoard, even contains more gold items that Tutankhamun’s tomb. Until now, however, few people were aware of these amazing finds. Museums Victoria CEO Patrick Greene admits that even he was amazed when he first came across them. “There is so much in this exhibition that people just don’t know about. And that includes me! I’m somebody who works in a museum, I’m an archeologist, and yet so much of this was new to me, including the Bactrian Hoard. The explanation for that is that the National Geographic magazine did publish an article about the hoard, written by the person who excavated it. But he finished that article by saying: ‘Look carefully at the objects in these photographs, because you will never see the originals.’ It was thought that they were destroyed.” Greene is clearly moved by the bravery of the museum staff who risked their lives to save the trove.

Teresa Palmer’s Palmer’s new film is a zombie flick, but she’s not necessarily a huge fan of the genre. She chats to Dave Bradley about why, then, she was attracted to Warm Bodies. Bodies

GETTING WARMER Teresa Palmer is in LA during the following phone interview, although she was, of course, in Adelaide only days ago. “Yeah, I only got here yesterday. Strange…” Ah well, surely we can talk about Warm Bodies just about anywhere. So what was it that initially got her interested in the script? An interest in zombie movies? The romantic elements? Or was she maybe a fan of director Jonathan Levine (who previously helmed All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, The Wackness and 50/50)? “All of the above… I was also really excited by the concept: it’s original and new and exciting, and I felt connected to it. I loved the characters as they

were sassy and funny, but they were also grounded in reality.” Did she have to audition? “A bunch! I auditioned three times: once with Nicholas Hoult and twice on my own… I had to film myself doing a scene at home too, and my Mum read with me, and she was very cute, as she had to pretend to be a zombie. It was pretty surreal.” Palmer isn’t quite a major devotee of zombie movies, however. “I loved 28 Days Later, which felt edgy and raw. I also loved Shaun Of The Dead, but I’m not some major fan; I mean, I liked Zombieland too, but that’s where it ends. I went for Warm Bodies because it was new and

fresh and pushed the boundaries.” Palmer adored the character of Julie, and liked the way that the script allowed her to be an action hero, a romantic figure and more. “Real life’s like that. We’re romantics, we’re warriors, we’re lovers and fighters, and we’re all very layered. Julie’s a feisty, funny woman, but she’s also capable of love… That genre mash-up thing is very attractive: you’ve got comedy, action, romance and horror, so it’s accessible to a really wide audience.” She’s also on screen with Nicholas Hoult’s zom ‘R’ an awful lot, so how was it working with him, and so closely? “I couldn’t have

“It is a very remarkable story of courage and selflessness on behalf of the staff of the museum.” Would he have done the same? “I think all of us never know. However brave we like to think we would be, unless we are put in that position, you simply don’t know... What I find very moving is the way that in conditions of extremity, museums have a very important part to play.” The show reveals thousands of years of history, from a time when Afghanistan – then called Bactria – existed at the centre of four ancient empires and was a key player in the trade along the ancient Silk Road. In the midst of so much history, the last few decades of conflict in the region appear laughably short. But they have still been phenomenally destructive. When the exhibition’s tour ends, its contents will be returned to the renewed Afghanistan National Museum, in a country that is still striving for stability. Does Greene fear for their safety once they return? He is circumspect. “I have hope for the people working in the museum... They are optimistic about the future of the museum and the future of Afghanistan, despite all the problems which the country has. And they are convinced that it is their heritage that will be one of the important factors in binding a very fractured country together.” WHAT: Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures WHEN & WHERE: now to Sunday 28 July, Melbourne Museum asked for a better actor to work with. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he does take his work very seriously, which is the ideal combination. He’s a really joyful person and fun to be around… He was very enthusiastic, and we fell into this very natural chemistry.” And while she’s worked with some serious stars before (including Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Sandler and Nicolas Cage), was it nevertheless perhaps intimidating sharing scenes with John Malkovich? “He’s hilarious, a wonderful man. He’s kooky and smart and unaffected… He’s a very happy person and has a great sense of humour, and while I was initially intimidated, I then actually met him and had a conversation with him and was immediately eased by his spirit. It was just a blessing to work with him.” Palmer’s been working on other projects since Warm Bodies concluded, and yet there’s only one she wants to talk about to wrap things up: “After Warm Bodies I did Knight Of Cups, which is Terrence Malick’s new movie. I do most of my scenes with Christian Bale, and it was just the most remarkable experience of my whole career. It was something truly special, and Terry is really my favourite director of all time, so to be given the chance to work with him was just incredible. And it brought back my passion for filmmaking and reminded me about what acting means to me.” WHAT: Warm Bodies In cinemas Thursday 11 April


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Pic by Sarah Walker

Adriano Cortese

NO REAL SING-ALONG

Billed as ‘the antith antithesis hesis of the computer and TV screen experience’, Adriano Cortese tells Sarah Braybrooke why Song, the latest production by Ranters Theatre, eschews digital trickery to transport the audience into a different kind of simulated world.

“I spend a lot of time in front of a screen and it drives me crazy, I’ve got to get away from it sometimes,’ explains Song’s artistic director Adriano Cortese, adding that he wanted to “create a moment” where we could all get away from that. The answer? Building a set that emulates the natural world – with a sun disk, sounds from nature, breezes and even the odours of the outdoors – and inviting the audience to lounge on a synthetic grass floor.

The set isn’t just a novelty slice of indoor nature, but designed to encourage the audience to focus their senses. “We are creating a giant listening room. We started with wanting to present a song cycle, except we didn’t want to do a gig or concert.” When Brazilian visual artist Laura Lima was invited to contribute she brought her own ideas about environment and landscape to bear on the project. It soon grew from a modest proposal to an immersive installation. “I thought it would be just a small little project, but now it’s become one of our biggest shows in years.” There’s a romanticism to the natural setting, which is informed in part by French Romantic writer Victor Hugo’s book The Toilers of the Sea. Cortese admits that his collaborator, UK songwriter James Tyson, had a mild case of writer’s block to start with, but after happening on Hugo’s book they found themselves inspired. “That was our first springboard

to writing the songs, which are about work and relationships [but also] Nature and isolation.”

The Englishman originally came to Melbourne with his then girlfriend. “[One night] we got really drunk and decided that it would be a pretty great if I were to move to Australia. So I told all my friends and family that I was moving. I then told her that I had told all my friends and family that I was emigrating and she was like, ‘What do you mean? When did we decide this?’” he says. However, he moved, broke up with the girl and nine years later he’s still here.

The song-cycle, which Cortese is reluctant to assign a genre, takes place in 18 short sections. “They aren’t always pleasing little pieces in song form, with a chorus, hook or stuff like that. They end as fragments of songs, and sometimes they stop in the middle and suspend and then continue. It’s about trying to break up the song itself.” It’s a free-form style that is in keeping with the relaxed and non-prescriptive setting. Not only are the audience invited to relax on the grass as they listen, but they can wander in and out of the performance – which lasts for a little over an hour – as they please. Counter-intuitively, it’s all part of making the audience feel more involved, says Cortese. “When you look at a performance there’s a passive sort of relationship; you receive it and then you applaud at the end. And we didn’t want to do that.” The environment is designed to stimulate the audience’s senses subtly, and without the kind of visual overload that digital technology creates. “The sun disk actually starts off in day and then moves into sunset; over a very long period of time it actually changes colour. It’s slow and gentle, and we’re hoping that people can stay in the moment with it.” And not forgetting the most important thing: “They can go out and get a beer and come back!” Cortese laughs. WHAT: Song WHEN & WHERE: Friday 12 to Sunday 21 April, Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall

Benjamin Meyer gets personal with comedian Neil Sinclair about lying and the London Riots. Winner of the 2008 Raw Comedy competition, Neil Sinclair is back for the 2013 MICF with his new show Phoney. “[The show] is about lying; about how to lie and how to spot a liar. It has lots of anecdotes about how people lie to themselves, and how lying is important,” Sinclair shares. Inspiration for Sinclair’s show came after watching Pamela Meyer’s aptly named TED talk How To Spot A Liar. “The facts about lying were just mind-blowing and [despite there being] people who can lie exceptionally well, no one can hide lying absolutely. It was fascinating for me, and I was like, ‘right, I’m going to do a show on that’,” he says. However, he admits that despite all his hard work putting the show together he hasn’t got any better at picking liars. Sinclair deadpans, “Except in myself. When

LIAR LIAR?

I lie, I have no faith any more, because I’ll be telling a lie and I’ll be noticing all of this stuff that I’m doing. I turn red so easily.”

Sinclair got into comedy after going to workshop with friend and fellow comedian Craig McLeod at the Comic’s Lounge. Sinclair shares that after a bad start where they were forced to endure “one comedian from the old days just sitting there getting drunk telling everyone how he started comedy in Melbourne and no one gives him credit for it”, he returned the week after “with some truly terrible jokes and got just one laugh”. However, “it was an amazing experience to get one little laugh. I was like, I want more of this. I want to get better at it,” Sinclair says.

He did return to the motherland for a year and a half just in time to catch the London riots. “It was insane. [My housemates and I] saw it happening on TV and we convinced our bosses to let us go home early. At home we were all just sitting in the kitchen watching it on the computer and then the sounds started getting louder and louder and then suddenly people started to kick on the door, trying to get in,” he says. It wasn’t that terrible, though, as he wrote his previous MICF show Panic! about the experience. On top of that, after the rioting had died down a little, “we’d go and look outside and there would be pockets [of rioters] just waiting. There was the constant threat that it was going to happen again. So we just got drunk,” says Sinclair. And Sinclair’s two cents as to why the riots happened: “My Dad always goes on about how he didn’t have television, only pocket meat sandwiches and that was enough for him. But what he doesn’t realise is that nobody came and took his pocket meat sandwiches away.” WHAT: Neil Sinclair: Phoney WHEN & WHERE: now to Sunday 21 April, MICF, Imperial Hotel

Explore Melbourne Zoo after dark in a world-first interactive experience. Selected evenings at 6.30pm. See website for dates.

Book today www.zoo.org.au/ianimal or phone 1300 966 784 Recommended for 16 years and over Created by The Border Project ART PROCESSORS

For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 29


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MICF REVIEWS SAM SIMMONS: SHITTY TRIVIA Sam Simmons is definitely bald and creepy but also pretty funny. The name Shitty Trivia cunningly avoids disappointment by setting you up to expect it. But although the trivia is shitty, the show is far from it. Expect revelations from a talking meat tray, visitations from a mysterious shoe and a killer costume change. Simmons has a knack for tension, timing and tantrums and the wonder and over-enthusiasm of a red cordial fuelled six-year-old emanates from this mustachioed man. He’s also an amazing dancer. Audience participation was a highlight, and Simmons is at his best bouncing off other people. A few ‘boundarypushing’ (offensive) jokes fell

CHOIR GIRL

flat – regardless of intention or reception, it seems unnecessary for a man so well versed in nonsense and randomness to fall back on casual racism or misogyny. Despite the random and ridiculous nature of this show, to Simmons’ credit it was controlled and considered. Izzy Roberts-Orr The Hi-Fi to Sunday 21 April

SMART CASUAL: THE OTHER BROTHER Musical comedy duo Fletcher Jones and Roger David are so slick in their presentation that it’s difficult to tell whether they focus more on the comedy or the storytelling elements of their show. There’s no doubt that they’re great comic songwriters, but instead of trying to crowbar otherwise funny songs into a bland cabaret or stand-up set, these two comedians have created a full narrative that supports their hilarious music numbers. We’re taken on a full journey: we learn about them, their idyllic early years and the bond that formed between these two astoundingly average half-brothers. Then that evil bastard of a step brother comes into the

thrown in for good measure, with references to Eisteddfod’s, AMEB exams and daft accompanists, soliciting chuckles from those musicians in the audience. Positioned somewhere between Sister Act, Puberty Blues and an awkward teen rom-com, Choir Girl, in its cross generational appeal, is a Comedy Fest surprise packet. Brendan Hitchens Town Hall: Supper Room to Monday 15 April

JORDANA BORENSZTAJN SOCIAL NEEDIA: THE EPIDEMIC

equation, to mess everything up. Trials, tribulations and Chinese burns abound, and the audience loved every moment of it. Smart Casual utilise evocative storytelling to conjure up 90s schoolyard memories and cleverly make use of reminiscence as a launching pad for uproarious laughter. James Daniel Town Hall: Lunch Room to Sunday 21 April

TOMMY BRADSON: SWEET SIXTEEN OR THE BIRTHDAY PARTY MASSACRE Wildly entertaining, captivating and hilarious, Sweet Sixteen Or The Birthday Party Massacre is a rollicking romp that promises to offend and delight in equal measure. Tommy Bradson dazzles, shines and provokes in his latest offering. Part cabaret, part comedy, part Australiana piss-take. With skillful physicality and whip-cracking wisecracks, Bradson portrays a variety of characters – from party host the chain-smoking June to her Hawaiian-shirted, alcoholic husband Gary, as well as the nervous, sexually rampant, cheating boyfriend of Lula (whose surprise 16th birthday party it is). The

A far cry from the stand up routines taking place around it, Choir Girl is a theatrical, musical and comical treat. Fronted by lead character and writer Sarah Collins, Choir Girl tells of the trials and tribulations of joining a community choir and the internal politics that surround it. The single monologue, maintained throughout the play, is very much an “I said,” “he said,” affair. At risk of becoming tedious, the injection of a live eight piece choir, in full burgundy choral costume, adds a certain pizzazz, with their unique arrangements of Dusty Springfield, The Everly Brothers and most significantly Britney Spears’s Hit Me Baby One More Time, the pinnacle of a unique performance. There are plenty of colloquial choir jokes

FAULTY TOWERS: THE DINING EXPERIENCE

Social Needia: The Epidemic is Jordana Borensztajn’s first festival show. In one hour she catalogues the various anxieties associated with social media and technology. How do you feel when no one likes your Facebook status? How should you overcome Instagram food envy? Should we accept our grandpa’s friend request? Borensztajn interrogates how we construct an online personality that is inevitably different from the person we are in the flesh. Although there are some funny moments, her insight rarely goes further than listing these anxieties. The show is inflected with the tired message that

table is set with cheese cubes, Savoys, lollies, party hats and cask wine as the audience gradually become part of the party. Bradson masterfully sings, swoons, croons, offends and seduces using old rock’n’roll favourites to keep the show moving at a punchy pace. Celeste Macleod Northcote Town Hall to Sunday 21 April

regardless of the numerous benefits that technology provides, our obsessive usage is disconnecting us and that we need to reconnect offline. The laughs elicited from the audience were merely laughs of recognition. Borensztajn needs to go further in her interrogation of the material. Her lack of experience is obvious but so is her potential. Oliver Coleman Loop Project Space and Bar to Thursday 18 April

30 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags

British comic Paul Foot is onstage at a sold out Hi-Fi Bar wearing a shimmering silver jacket and his patented long-back-and-sides (but short on top) hairstyle, overflowing with rambling energy as he delivers his surreal and hilarious musings. He opens with a story of a woman who has the world’s premiere collection of cheddar cheeses in her shed (with every kind of rare or novelty cheddar imaginable — Foot lists them). The shed is on a branch train line that hasn’t been used in 25 years due to cut backs, and meanwhile, down the line, a neighbour grows a cucumber for a cucumber competition. “The cucumber gets so big that it slumps

GOOD

Benjamin Meyer The Aegean Restaurant to Sunday 21 April

down over the fence and leans on the lever that shifts the tracks. “A woman’s dream is over!” Foot screams as the train destroys the cheddar collection. Later, he brings out cards displaying what he calls Airline Anagrams. ‘Cock Pit’ becomes ‘Cock Tip’ and ‘Air New Zealand Economy’ becomes ‘A Rayon Acne Mildew Zone’. It is a truly maniacal show. Warwick Goodman The Hi-Fi to Sunday 21 April

TIMING

as part of

WITH KIRSTEN LAW

intersperse with a plotline that follows Bane as he tracks a man hell-bent on his demise. A brilliant show that can only be described as a ten-year-old Robin Williams reciting Raymond Chandler. Glenn Waller Trades Hall: The Quilt Room to Sunday 21 April

THE STEVENSON EXPERIENCE HOW I MET YOUR BROTHER Identical twins Ben and James Stevenson have honed a slick, tight show, comprised of very witty songs, with killer one liners throughout. They will inspire all too obvious comparisons to Flight of the Conchords, but survive the comparison admirably well. They have found their own style, and manage to plumb all the clichéd notions that us non-twins have about the lives of identical twins for big laughs. Awkward sexual encounters, kitchen-dominating mothers, James Blunt, and the relative merits of singledom vs couplehood, all provide rich source material for some very

genius rather than building upon it. Furthermore, while two thirds of the show is improvised every night you feel that no matter what you do, the performers have seen it all before in their 16 years touring together. The food is rubbish as well.

PAUL FOOT: KENNY LARCH IS DEAD

BANE 1 Joe Bone commands the attention of all present from the moment he explodes onto the stage, the considered strumming of solo guitarist Ben Roe to his left. To call this a one-man show would be a disservice to Roe’s accompaniment, which lends the show a palpable edge. Playing a multitude of characters at a trigger-fast click, Bane leads the charge – a brooding, no-nonsense character, part hard-bitten gumshoe, but all man. Watching Bone work the stage tonight, one almost suffers vertigo from the dizzying pace he sets; from dodging bullets to pulling off a car/motorbike chase, the action never ceases – sweat dripping off his brow a testament to this fact. Hilarious flashback sequences

Walking into the Aegean for the Faulty Tower Dining Experience, one is greeted by the delightful décor of gleaming brown floorboards, beige walls and appropriately mediocre mood lighting. The venue reminds you of every awful 21st birthday party experience because they were all probably held there. The immersive theatre experience is based on the much loved television series Fawlty Towers. The audience is invited to experience Basil’s, Sybil’s and Manuel’s hospitality for a three-course dinner. While the show is as polished as the floor and does extract gales of laughter, it is far too safe and rides on the coattails of Cleese et al’s comic

well crafted comic lyrics. The rather slender premise on which the show is structured is the idea that Ben and James are tallying up the pros and cons of pursuing a career in comedy. Predictably, the cons took an early lead. If I could offer one more to the pro list, it would be that the Stevenson boys are very, very funny. Oliver Hamm Trades Hall: The Evatt Room t to Sunday 21 April

I wanted to call this week’s column In Defence Of Poo. Here’s why: last week, the MICF show I’m in received a damning review from a high-profile reviewer. (It also received a lovely one, which made us all feel better, but that’s another story). One of the things that, let’s call him ‘Mr S’, took issue with was an extended joke about human excrement. Say what you will about poo jokes, but I think it’s worth noting that Lime Champions aren’t the only ones painting the town brown this year. One prolific night last week I managed to see eight performers including – at the Festival Club – Lawrence Mooney, DeAnne Smith, Dave Callan and Mel Buttle. During this mammoth survey of acts I counted not one, not two, but 13 references to poo. After witnessing this collective tribute to faecal matter, I really felt for Mr S. I don’t think he’s going to have much fun at MICF 2013. That’s the thing about reviews – they’re subjective. People lauded with four and five stars one year will be slammed, cruelly dissected or even unfavourably compared to Benny Hill the next – sometimes by the same reviewer. And so, it is our task as performance makers and content creators to ignore them. Even though it’s difficult to remember at times, the old adage goes that “it’s just one person’s opinion”. In discussions with friends who are often on-stage, the consensus is that in order to cope with the inevitable bad review, you have to pooh-pooh the good

ones too. Or maybe just not dwell on them. All right, maybe keep one next to your bed and look at it before you turn off the light for a few nights to remind yourself of your accomplishments. But do this for no longer than a week. More than two weeks and you risk puffing up your ego so much that your friends and family will be praying you get a visit from Mr S. All Of The Things star and Good Timing favourite Rachel Davis calls for the media to bare all. “Every reviewer should put their vital stats (age/demographic/comedy they like/interests) at the bottom of a review,” she says. And this is not just for the benefit of the people presenting the show. “Not everything is for everyone, so I think the reader needs more info than just what the show was like on a particular night. Like, what if the reviewer had a bit of a headache, had just eaten some bad dumplings or was being grumpy because it was rainy and they forget their umbrella?” What if, indeed. Now, to cap off the column, I want to make a recommendation. A show that I’ve really liked this year is Le Foulard. Performed by wiry Briton, Lucy Hopkins. It’s part cabaret, part Jacques Lecoq, part musing on the depths of loneliness, and completely hilarious to anyone who’s had any contact with the art world. See it if you can. PS: 31/urban dweller/character comedy/vintage pencil sharpeners.


FRONTROW@INPRESS.COM.AU

JOSH THOMAS: DOUCHEBAG “I consider myself a pretty good person,” begins Josh Thomas, “maybe a five or six out of ten. If I see a bit of poo on the toilet, you know, I’ll pee it off.” In his show Douchebag, the young, fidgety, adorable comedian stands in front of a flower arrangement and a white cake (that he baked that day, and later auctions off for charity) to unapologetically declare himself as a far from perfect person. He damns his boyfriend’s interest in alternative medicine; he unsuccessfully seeks out a happy-ending massage in Thailand; and he feels the urge to crush a baby chicken called Melinda in his bare hands. “I’m terrified of commitment,” Thomas admits. “I fight for gay marriage

HANNAH GADSBY: HAPPINESS IS A BEDSIDE TABLE

but on the inside it’s the thing I love about being gay — marriage is illegal, that and giving blood. Tick, tick.” His stories are selfdeprecating, full of humorous faux pas, but we can silently relate to them, and really he’s not a bad guy at all, which makes this clever show all the more fun. Warwick Goodman Town Hall: Lower to Sunday 21 April

CLAIRE HOOPER: PLUMS Although it was sad to say au revoir to Good News Week, it’s great to see the lovely Claire Hooper doing her own thing. Plums is all about that: Plums. And all the different forms this stone fruit comes in. Hooper pays particular focus to plums being a metaphor for balls, and her realisation that she needs to grow a pair. This show really highlights Hooper’s amazing abilities as a writer, with each story connecting to the others to create something bigger. Her humour is witty and smart and is best suited for an audience who are quick to get the joke. Unfortunately performing in a smaller venue made audience members feel

C U LT U R A L

the need to interject and appeared to cut off Hooper’s flow, creating some awkward moments. Annie Brown Town Hall: Cloak Room to Sunday 21 April

While we’re smack bang in the heart of Comedy Fest, it’s worth reflecting on how many local comedians got their first leg up on community radio. For example, Dave O’Neil woke up with Kate Langbroek for years on RRR, Tom Ballard woke up Warrnambool on 3WAY FM, and Josh Earl is still with the hilarious Lime Champions on RRR. Of course community radio is a truckload more than a stepping stone for comedians: it’s a treasure chest of music you won’t hear on commercial stations (RRR, PBS); it’s a place to hear something in a language other than English (3CR, 3ZZZ); or hear about your community (such as Indigenous station 3KND); it’s a space for young voices (SYN); and it’s a haven for those with reading difficulties (IRIS). But all of the digital arms of these stations are currently under threat. “Now hang on,” I hear you say while pointing your index finger, “I distinctly remember RRR being saved from the whole digital thingo a while ago”. And you’d be right. In 2009, the Federal Government allocated funding enabling community stations to get on the digital bandwagon and in 2011, community digital radio services were launched. The problem is maintaining the digital services. In last year’s Federal budget, the government only set aside $2.2 million per annum in funding for 37 stations to maintain their services, which according to the Commit to Community Radio campaign is $1.4 million less than the minimum required each year to maintain current community digital radio services. The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), who are organising the campaign say: “Unless the government

commits the funding required for transmission of community digital radio services in the upcoming federal budget, the number of services will have to be substantially reduced. It’s expected that all community digital radio services in at least two of the capital cities would have to be shut down unless the funding shortfall is addressed.” Now while there’s no plan to get rid of analogue radio (imagine all those poor little transistors out on the street next to the orphaned TVs) around 1 million digital radios have been sold in Australia and it’s undoubtedly a big slice of the future pie. It’s no surprise considering the alumni of these stations that the campaign has garnered some high profile supporters including Christos Tsiolkas, Andrew Denton, John Safran, David Bridie and Paul Kelly. HG Nelson (Greig Pickhaver who started out at RRR) wrote in support: “To state the bleeding obvious, community radio is a vital coalface in the open cut mine of Australian media. It provides a dump truck with grunt and poke for Australians, of all backgrounds, with ideas and updates struggling to be heard elsewhere on the dial.” The Federal Budget is in early May so you still have time to make your voice heard; head to committocommunityradio.org.au. Speaking of where community radio can take you, former RRR Breakfasters presenter Jess McGuire has an unusual gig in a couple of weeks; she’s hosting literary speed dating at the Wheeler Centre. The event, which involves bringing along your favourite book to stimulate conversation with potential suitors, is sold out. Ah, so many Lizzie Bennetts looking for Mr Darcy, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, get in quick next time.

If the true test of great stand-up is the ability to leave the audience with a sore jaw from smiling so incessantly, then 22-year-old Jack Druce has a long and promising comedy career in front of him. Given his age, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he is the new kid on the block but in fact, this is Druce’s fifth time performing at the festival. From the moment he steps on stage he takes the audience on a personal journey of self-improvement; discussing the perils of high school, the joys of travelling abroad, the problems with social media, and his irrational dislike of magicians. There are a few gags in the show that don’t quite muster up the

(MAD) MEN

love of neck to knee bathers. The show is deftly constructed and the themes explored with honesty, intelligence and compassion. The audience is left feeling as if they had been in the presence of a friend. Happiness Is A Bedside Table is insightful, quirky and ultimately uplifting. Highly recommended. Oliver Coleman Town Hall: Supper Room to Sunday 21 April

JACK DRUCE: UNQUALIFIED LIFE COACH

CRINGE

WITH REBECCA COOK

Since her 2006 win in the Raw Comedy Competition Hannah Gadsby has been on an upward journey to comedy success. Gadsby’s new show Happiness Is A Bedside Table continues the ascent. Gadsby is an absolute delight. In Gadsby’s assured hands we follow her on the slow and painful journey from a self-loathing adolescent to her current state, at the age of 35, of self-acceptance and subsequent contentment. Often her stories make would make you cry if they weren’t told so hilariously: getting stuck on a waterslide as an overweight adolescent, being unnecessarily de-wormed by her villainous ex-girlfriend and her

WAT C H I N G

THE DOORWAY S6, E1+2

laughs they deserve, proving the refined, insightful and downright hilarious jokes are wasted by his inability to read his audience. Rebecca Vukovic Town Hall: Lunch Room and Spleen Bar to Monday 15 April

This Week On Mad Men ? Season 6 drops in on a POV of an NDE —it’s the Drapers’ doorman, mid cardiac arrest— and death is always on its mind. 1967 is ending, joints are passed, everyone has sideburns, Abe looks like Frank Zappa, Fat Betty braves beatniks/tetanus in the bombed-out East Village, Linda Cardellini catches swingin’ Dick’s wandering cock, and Ken smacks down tryhard office noob Bob Benson, but the more things change, the more TV’s best show just stares at the grim spectre. Roger’s mum dies, then his shoe-shiner; a Hawaiian hotel pitch looks like suicide porn; Lane’s odour still lingers in the office; and drunk Don demands his doorman describe beyond the pale: “did you hear the ocean?”

How Big Is Thy Weiner: The only-Matt-Weiner-can-do-this-on-TV moment slowly pulls in for a close-up on the back of Don’s flammable hair, the sound of waves —or Korean War military aircraft— buzzing in his ears. Arcane & Able: Megan rings in ’68 by having the neighbours over for fondue: cheese, then chocolate! Pete Campbell’s PunchableWeasel-Face Watch: Ribbing Don about his work ethic —“then you take a nap!”— PC is smirkin’ and backslappin’. Sterling One-Liner Of The Week: Don pukes in the umbrella stand at Roger’s mother’s funeral: “He was just saying what everybody else was thinking.” Anthony Carew Screening every Monday night, 5.20pm and 8.30pm, on Showcase

CORRECTION ON BEHALF OF CENTURY EVENTS

In last week’s ‘rAge’ lift out a photo of a man ironing was printed without consent. The man was not “Kirk Mahorn” but Dosh Luckwell the creator of Iron Man, an outrageous strip show set in a shop window! Performed at recent festivals in Melbourne and Perth, sidewalk audience’s payed pimp, Miss Fanny La Rue, to watch Iron Man strip and steam his clothing to the street. Outrageous and confronting, Iron Man stopped traffic, press and a few heartbeats. Century Events, producers of the ‘rAge’, apologise for the misuse of Iron Man’s photograph. For more information on Iron Man visit www.facebook.com/ hornyponyproductions

For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 31


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GIG OF THE WEEK

FULL TOTE ODDS THURSDAY, WORKERS CLUB Radelaide sure knows how to Bounce. Remember those Hoods that got restrung? Well what are the Full Tote Odds that another crew from their hood could roll on down from the Adelaide Hills and make you Place Your Bets about who spits best? Just clock these phat rap names that no generator app could possibly produce: Levelheaded, Slats, Eslev, Ross Read and DJ Hacksaw. Full Tote Odds are sure to flow like the Yarra often doesn’t, so shave those pits ‘cause all hands will be airborne like there’s epileptic puppet masters on the loose, controlling all strings.

FRONTLASH FORWARD CHARGE

Tame Impala’s continued success sees them double-synced on free-to-air telly at the mo’: Elephant advertises BlackBerries; Feels Like We Only Go Backwards is used for SBS2 promo. The band continue to move forward at such a rate that the latter song’s title could not be any farther from the truth.

IRON LION ZION Get thee to see Snoop Lion Reincarnated: The Film. The Doggfather’s weed-infused philosophising just never gets old and, together with Diplo, sweet reggae is also made. Please believe, jah.

ISN’T [HE] LOVELY So Inpress assistant editor Samson McDougall made a baby. While we still wish his missus had pushed it out while attending Bruce Springsteen at Hanging Rock, specifically during the encore inclusion of Born To Run, it’s still all good news. And Bobby’s a damn cute name.

BACKLASH The XX pics by Jesse Booher

THE XX JAGWAR MA FESTIVAL HALL: 04/04/13 If you closed your eyes, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked into a rainforest as Sydneysiders Jagwar Ma kick off their time on stage. It’s only when you open them that you remember just where you are, and Festival Hall is filling up nicely for the night’s entertainment. It doesn’t take long before the band’s mostly indistinguishable vocals drift through a wash of layers, loops and beats. They bring the house down, literally. Well, part of one of the roof speaker stacks, at any rate. Thankfully, it happens above a vacant area backstage. Jagwar Ma’s mix of soundscape-y music and washed-out vocals actually works well, with just

the right amount of life pumped into them. While it clearly takes a more refined ear than this reviewer has to differentiate between their tracks, their brand of baggy music is most definitely one of the best around. The stage is set up in a way that accurately represents the The xx: vast and minimal. Jamie Smith (better known as Jamie xx), Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim keep the full house waiting for 20 minutes, but all is forgiven the second they step out on stage and an extended intro into Try begins. The band are clad in black and, with some extensive and incredibly bright back-lighting, they often dissolve into the shadows. It is incredible just how much room such minimal sound can actually fill. Heart Skipped A Beat elicits a gigantic roar and the song is executed beautifully. The mixing tonight is perfect and for such quietly-spoken people Madley Croft and Sim’s vocals are amazingly strong live. With a

gentle, “How’s it going, Melbourne? This is our biggest Australian show to date, so thank you so much,” Sim endears himself and his band to the room even more before they quickly head into an exquisitely slowed-down version of Crystalised, which induces goosebumps. One thing tonight’s show confirms is that the band members are not aloof. Reserved, yes, but icy, no. Furthermore, they’re extraordinarily polite, and the few times Sim and Madley Croft do speak, it is with great warmth and sincerity. The band’s performance is nothing less than perfect, with only one very small slip from Smith where he gets the Islands intro wrong and has to stop and start it again, much to the crowd and his bandmates’ amusement. If you thought The xx couldn’t get better than on their records, be sure to catch them live.

THE BOOB

So word has it that while Michael Bublé sounded shocking via our television sets, he sounded good in the room. Oh, that’s alright then. Hang on, no it’s not! It’s a television awards show, FFS!

BARBIE BOOB Okay, so watching The Voice judges ‘jiving’ in their chairs during the blind auditions trying to out-riddim each other was lame, but did anyone notice Delta’s no-cleavage barbie boobs? SO not sexy!

ELASTICATED ANKLES ARE THE NEW CANKLES The only reason to wear pants with elasticated ankles is if you are a geriatric trying to stop diahorrea from dribbling into your slippers.

Dominique Wall

For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 33


soundtrack. In manic fashion, he doesn’t break from his character of Ivanhoe Martin, as the song starts to kick in. As the rhythm section slowly fades out and without drawing for breath he continues, “Here is a song from another movie, Cool Runnings,” picking up a guitar and beginning I Can See Clearly Now. Cliff returns to his roots by performing his 1962 single King Of Kings segued into Miss Jamaica. A first-wave ska double header, it gets the dancefloor moving and confirms Cliff’s title as a reggae and indeed ska pioneer. Though his marbles may have gone, his voice certainly hasn’t with Many Rivers To Cross showing off his gospel prowess, while a version of Rivers Of Babylon, backed only by African drums, shows its flexibility. Closing with One More from his 2012 album Rebirth, it fast becomes the catch cry for the next half hour, as Cliff submits to encore after encore, in a set lasting 100 minutes. Finally finishing with Blessed Love, at 64 Cliff isn’t just a living legend, he is fit, firing and as relevant as ever. Brendan Hitchens

ENDLESS BOOGIE, BURIED FEATHER TOTE: 29/03/13 There’s a supremely chilled, almost lazy vibe about the Tote tonight with most punters looking intent on chilling their way through the Easter break. Strange Talk Pic by Holly Engelhardt

STRANGE TALK, PHEBE STARR CORNER HOTEL: 28/03/13 Brisbane five-piece Pigeon and Sydney gal Phebe Starr – both of whom are recipients of significant triple j airtime and highly sought-after festival and support slots – are appropriately selected supports. However, the latter’s set starts a little shakily, and while pleasantly ambient and ethereal, there is an absence of concrete structure. But as Starr progresses there is far less disjoint, more self-assurance and a voice with tremendous power and range is unveiled. Strange Talk’s show, one of nine around Australia, celebrates the launch of their debut album, Cast Away, which is played in full by the four-piece. Prior to touring the album nationally, Strange Talk have enjoyed considerable career highlights abroad, including playing New York’s 2012 CMJ Music Marathon and shooting music videos in the Mojave Desert. Likening their sound to the beguiling melodies of bands such as Foster The People, Empire Of The Sun and Cut Copy, songs from the new album – particularly Falling In Love and Cast Away – are both upbeat and catchy and therefore true of such a comparison. An elaborate light show accompanies Strange Talk’s set and while it certainly suits the high-energy music and show, it seems a little ‘tits-on-a-bull’ given the band are touring their first album. Closing with the song that got them where we are today, Strange Talk thank the crowd with a playful and unwaveringly enthusiastic rendition of Climbing Walls. Hoards take pleasure out of this set, indulging in the band’s extravagance and dancing their little hearts out, so a few grains of praise are surely warranted. Setting out with a vision to “play the best fucking show [they’ve] ever played” for their hometown, electro-pop (or “electronic soft rock,” as lead man Steve Docker calls it) team Strange Talk certainly give everything, but after the proverbial dust settles and the ostentatious lights dim, there’s still the palpable feeling that often it’s the subtler, humbler moments that make a concert fucking tremendous. There’s a lot of ego crammed onto that small stage, but credit must be doled out where it’s due: the music is confident and tight, and Gillan Gregory’s guitar solos are particularly impressive. Izzy Tolhurst

THE LUMINEERS, THE FALLS CORNER: 29/03/13 It’s Good Friday, and the distinct sense of revelry is in the air as the hordes move swiftly through the welcoming doors of the Corner Hotel. Sydney duo The Falls take to the stage a little after 9pm. Their brand of acoustic, harmonic tunes is easy to enjoy, and their lilting love songs have couples throughout the room holding hands and looking deeply into each other’s eyes. On a good day, it’s tough for a duo like this to keep the attention of a sold-out room as big as this, but The Falls do as good a job as they

34 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews

could’ve hoped for in focusing all eyes to the front of the stage. Triple j fave Home goes down a treat, and for those in the audience familiar with their Hollywood EP the set does not disappoint. To top it off, an excitable bunch of Canadians at the front of the stage almost lose their shit when the band drop Neil Young’s Heart Of Gold. At 10.15pm, Denver band The Lumineers bound onto the Corner stage in a flurry of activity and excitement. They launch straight into Submarines and the excellent Classy Girls and, before anyone can think, the entire crowd is singing along. By the third song lead singer Wesley Schultz has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand, the band looking as though they’d just travelled from an episode of Boardwalk Empire. It’s a surprise when they drop Ho Hey early in the set, but it doesn’t stop an eruption of noise from all corners of the room. It’s even a bigger surprise though, when the band kick out a rollicking version (as if there’s any other way) of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. By the time they play Stubborn Love the set has reached fever pitch, but it’s just a precursor for what’s about to happen. Carrying their instruments and chairs out to the middle of the crowd, and ushering a silence and for everyone to put away their camera phones (one of many much-appreciated live-in-the-moment-and-putyour-phones-away requests of the night), they play Darlene completely unamplified. It’s a goosebumpinducing moment and is followed up by a raucous rendition of Flapper Girl. It’s hard to remember a time when a crowd was as genuine about getting an encore as tonight, but there’s no disappointment. Good Friday? How about Fucking Great Friday. Dylan Stewart

JIMMY CLIFF CORNER: 27/03/2013 Throughout his career, Jimmy Cliff has played the role of two distinct characters: the actor and the activist. With a discography spanning 44 years and multiple soundtrack and movie appearances, the Jamaican musician knows how to enlighten and to entertain; as evident tonight, sometimes simultaneously. “We the people have got to let them know, we don’t want another Vietnam in Afghanistan,” he says, prefacing an updated version of his 1970 single Vietnam, now known as Afghanistan. The song Bob Dylan once described as the greatest protest song of all time has the audience’s undivided attention, as Cliff fires political condemnation at the world’s leaders. The line between his characters becomes blurred when he follows it up with Hakuna Matata and then Wonderful World, Beautiful People, but it’s the juxtaposition of good versus evil and fact versus fiction that makes Cliff and his musical guises so captivating to watch. “This is from the movie I think that you here in Australia were introduced to reggae from,” he says, before re-enacting a scene from the 1972 feature film The Harder They Come, for which he played the leading role and wrote the majority of the

Melbourne four-piece Buried Feather have been gigging around town for some time now and perfecting their somewhat paisley psychedelic rock grooves. Their sound revolves around insistent motorik rhythms that move in repetitive but hypnotic circles while lead guitarist and vocalist Steve McLennan adds flourishes of songwriting. There’s plenty of rumble to their sound; the guitars are distorted, loud and fuzzy while the vocals are dripping with reverb. Josh Moult on a Minimoog and electric organ gives the mix plenty of acidic squelch. It all adds up to a lush swirl of sound that rocks out whilst urging listeners to dance. Tonight the lads reveal that we can look forward to seeing the wraps come off their debut album in a few weeks’ time. Judging from the tunes they play tonight, it is sure to make for interesting listening. As if responding to the MC5’s call to kick out the jams, New York’s Endless Boogie bring the party when they take to the stage. Despite the veneer of boneheadedness that suggests these guys have perhaps had a little too much fun in one lifetime, this four-piece produce a tight squall of noise that demonstrates they really know how to cook. At their instrumental best they deliver a searing assortment of wild riffage that sounds like a kaleidoscopic mix of every hard rock band you have ever heard. At breakneck speed they fluidly shift from the blues to prog to garage to stoner to kosmische effortlessly, without the need to stop and take a breath. It is a haze of noise that is deeply indebted to the psychedelic sounds of the ‘70s. Endless Boogie may play it loud but there is a softness about their sound that makes listening more inviting than the go-hard harshness of younger bands of the same ilk. It feels like they have played General Admission for almost 30 minutes and by this time almost everyone in the joint is lost in the music and has joined the party. Into his 60s, frontman Paul Major, aka Top Dollar, is a one scary caveman whose nasty growl is delivered with a smile. “We are going to take a smoke break and when we come back, we are gonna jack it up,” he promises as the band put down their instruments, much to everyone’s surprise. Most punters move to the courtyard and light one up too. Thirty minutes later and they are back playing Taking Out The Trash, which morphs into the sublime The Savagist, proving why their new album Long Island makes for essential listening. In between songs they argue with audience members about the pronunciation of Melbourne. Eventually a slow jam chugs and builds into a wild crashing crescendo that brings down the night. After half an hour it all comes to an end too quickly and tonight the boogie hardly seems endless. The crowd demand more but Endless Boogie have left the building. Thankfully they will be back at the Tote again this Friday. Guido Farnell

LURCH & CHIEF, TULLY ON TULLY, THE RED LIGHTS WORKERS CLUB: 30/03/13 From the moment The Red Lights step on stage, the rapidly filling and chatty Workers Club snap to attention. Boasting tight, charging melodies and Dean Valentino’s laser-beam precision for guitar and vocal lines, the three-piece channel a rousing vein of clean,

guitar pop with bags of swagger. Ghosts, Radio and This Just In are Killer(s) Strokes (haha, geddit?) of harmony-driven indie rock and an irresistible blast from the early 2000s. Their catchy hook-laden tracks let their set rise like a Phoenix from the hypoglycemic slump of a Good Friday evening; they’re the perfect choice for a Bloc Party. I’ll stop now. Tully On Tully are a shining example of how much great music there is in this town and a reminder of how few great performers there are to sell it. Singer Natalie Foster is a mesmeric presence on stage – totally committed to the performance and fronting an incredibly proficient four-piece. Struggling against sound issues while dispatching their playlisted single Naked, it’s still clear they’re going from strength to strength, with every gig a new high point and further evidence of Foster’s evolution into genuine star. The twisting heartbreaker So Close To Over is a sterling example of the songwriting chops at work and with an album due later this year, it’s thrilling to see a band this good before the spotlight reaches them. After a monstrous take on current single Stay they close with Going On Like This, its glorious spiraling guitar work and Foster’s bell-clear vocals earning the raucous audience reception. Six-piece Lurch & Chief have gone from anonymity to packing out the Espy (and now Workers Club) in under a year, and from their opening track it’s easy to see why. Psych-pop hooks clash with southern rock attitudes in an intriguing way and, though the rock is played with reverence, there is a sense of fun that infuses all they do. Without ever suggesting there is a chance of ‘losing control’ or getting too down and dirty, all the touchstones for an Australian Alabama Shakes/The Black Keys are present: hirsute frontman who looks like he drove the band here in his Chevy, wailing female soul singer, crunching riffs and deep and loose rhythm section. The burgeoning talent, curiously long song structures (essentially adhered riffs rather than verse/chorus) and stage proficiency mean they’re only going to get more and more known, and for the right reasons; tonight’s audience are already vocal converts. All the sounds are spot on (particularly single I’ll See You On Planet Z), the look is fantastic and singers Hayden Somerville and Lili Hall work well together, but the ingredients haven’t quite found their right quantities yet. It won’t take long, and it will be fantastic when it does (Jack White will probably become a fan). Tonight’s single launch for stellar closing track On Your Own is a mere pitstop on their journey to greatness. Andy Hazel

HARMONY, THE STEVENS, MERE WOMEN JOHN CURTIN: 05/04/13 Opening the bill for the night are Mere Women, whose brooding sound leaves the crowd mesmerised. The slap-back delay on singer Amy Wilson’s vocals make the lyrics hard to decipher, however the shadows she casts on the wall behind her add to the mood and tone of the band’s music. Guitarist Flyn Mckinnirey fills out a vital part of the band’s sound, accompanying Wilson’s vocals with shrill guitar tones while at the same time adding a deep and brooding rhythm with drummer Katrina Byrne, who uses her kick drum and toms effectively. The Stevens follow and replace the dark, ambient nature of the night with their subversive pop tunes. This band keeps the crowd entertained with their short, sharp set. Each song rolls into the next and, before the crowd knows it, the band are thanking them for dancing and packing up their gear. Finally, Harmony takes centre stage to a nearfull house. Immediately after belting out the opening number, and in one of the few moments of complete silence tonight, frontman Tom Lyncoln approaches the microphone, telling the crowd, “This is the reason why we’re here,” and with that the band launch into their new single Do Me A Favour, which they are launching tonight. Halfway through their set a number of projections start to play behind the band, which shift the dynamics of the night one last time. Suddenly the guitars sound sharper, the drums punch harder and the harmonies cut deeper. On one screen – behind Lyncoln, bassist Jon Chapple and drummer Alex Kastaniotis – a school of hammerhead sharks swim aimlessly, reflecting the pain of the songs. A series of ‘50s-style physics and mathematical slides roll out behind the band’s three-part vocal ensemble of Amanda Roff, Quinn Veldhuis and Maria Kastaniotis, and these seem to represent the complexities of what the band are trying to say. Sam Lambert


are launching their sparkling new album The Thin Line tonight and the Toff proves to be the perfect venue for their elegant melodies. Preceding them is Brisbane psych-rock fivepiece Little Casino: a slick outfit who know their way around a pop song with grunt. It’s like they’re already writing music for stadiums.

Voodoo Glow Skulls Pic by Holly Engelhardt

Mad Caddies Pic by Holly Engelhardt

MAD CADDIES, VOODOO GLOW SKULLS, THE BENNIES, KISSING BOOTH NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB: 30/03/13 Third wave ska is one of the more maligned genres, criticised for being derivative and unimaginative. More often than not, this is true – it can be incredibly difficult to tell the bands apart. Say what you will though, they sure know how to have fun in a live setting. And who best to do so than Mad Caddies, with compadres Voodoo Glow Skulls in tow. Before there was ska though, there was Kissing Booth. They’re far from a ska band, sounding more like Lemuria with their soft, fuzzy guitar tones and shared male and female vocals. Their short set is excellent; they’re definitely a band to watch out

for. The Bennies are next, for their first show with Jules Rozenbergs, their guitarist, back after getting injured in an incident on their February tour. They pull out all their usual tricks and antics and even try something new – Anty Horgan, the singer, successfully manages to ‘crowdskate’, getting passed around while standing on a skateboard. Voodoo Glow Skulls open with a song that repeatedly announces “ska is your motivation”, not that the crowd need reminding. Before the singer has even come out (wearing a Mexican wrestling mask when he does) a mosh/skank pit has opened up and grows steadily throughout the set. Voodoo Glow Skulls have always had more of a hardcore edge compared to other ska punk bands. Accordingly, their songs only have two speeds – fast and faster. This is alright in small doses, but it makes the hour-long set become exhausting.

Mad Caddies have a reputation for raucous, fun live shows and they more than live up to it tonight. They play a number of crowd favourites (surprisingly) early on – Leaving and Backyard both appear within the first four songs. After a quick half hour of songs, they open it up for crowd requests, starting with one they “received from the internet”. They show off their diversity in the second half of the set, pulling out a dub instrumental (Down By The Riverside), a sea shanty (Weird Beard) and a cover of ABBA’s SOS, which impresses purely for getting punks to sing and mosh to ABBA. The Caddies’ ability to mix things up makes the set fly by. They play for an hour and a half before being told to wrap things up. “I guess this is our last song then,” says singer Chuck Robertson reluctantly. Coyote gets the job of closing the set and the crowd skank one last time for tonight. Third wave ska may be falling by the wayside, but Mad Caddies are making sure it goes down fighting. Josh Ramselaar

BLACKCHORDS, LITTLE CASINO TOFF IN TOWN: 06/04/13 Fresh from honing their craft on a North American tour and performing at SXSW, Blackchords

The stage looks magical, strewn with fairy lights, and Blackchords, now a four-piece with the addition of awesome new drummer Sarah Galdes (The Tiger & Me), kick-off their set with the swirling title track from their new album. Since this track opens the album, it’s a fitting way to start the set with gentle layers slowly building to a crescendo. The surprise is how much of the melancholy guitar pop that is The Thin Line translates live. There is a The National-esque introspective sound to many of the tracks on Blackchords’ second record, although perhaps not as much as on their mellow debut, but some material on this follow-up longplayer also pulses with enormous energy. The band has experimented more with big-synth sounds on this record and it’s this direction they channel live. Blackchords veer more towards the big-pop vibe of tracks such as Dance, Dance, Dance and From Here. They have a similar epic quality to other powerpop bands such as Delphic and The Temper Trap. Blackchords’ performance is exhilarating, the songs are enormous and joyful, and go a bit too well with red wine. They play almost every track on the new album during tonight’s set, the wonderfully jerky pop of At World’s End is the only track drawn from their first album. Nick Milwright is a superb frontman with a stunning voice and possesses a Tom Meighan-esque self-assurance. He makes a valiant effort to close the gap between the audience and band at one point by running through the crowd. Although it doesn’t work – the invisible barrier remains, with most of the crowd hugging the wall – it doesn’t temper the band’s intensity. They finish on Oh No and bring the tempo down with a beautiful encore featuring Kitchen, which showcases Milwright’s gorgeous vocals. Kate Kingsmill

For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 35


ROOTS DOWN

ADAMANTIUM WOLF

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

Slide, King Parrot, Japan’s Sete Star Sept, Fuck... I’m Dead, Kromosom, Finland’s Rotten Sound and the penultimate (ever) show from Blood Duster, while at the Bendigo Festering Drippage, Split Teeth, The Mung, Debacle, Deathcage, another set from Rotten Sound, Captain Cleanoff, The Reverend Jesse Custer and Extortion shake the walls. Tickets are $33 for the Friday and $36 for the Saturday, which will gain you entry to both venues.

Rodriguez Bluesfest is over. I’m exhausted beyond belief. Here’s a quick rundown of the best things that happened. Now I need to go back to bed. Mavis Staples on Sunday She’s played Bluesfest a number of times in the past, but this Easter Sunday performance from Mavis Staples and her band was her finest yet. The gospel legend started with a bit of a cough, but by the end of the set had a moderately-sized congregation in one of the festival’s smaller tents in the palm of her hand; singing, dancing, smiling and wondering why there weren’t more around. Wilco on Monday The last band standing at Bluesfest 2013, Wilco closed out the event to a small but incredibly passionate crowd and treated them to a set completely different to the one they turned in to a packed-out main stage two days prior. There was an aggression, a wider scope of experimentation and a simple sense of enjoyment from the band as they performed to what would have to be one of the smaller but most fervent crowds they have faced in our country. Iggy & The Stooges It became immediately obvious when Iggy & The Stooges ran out on stage and blasted through Raw Power that I wasn’t going to be making it over to see Robert Plant. The band played with more ferocity and vigour than they did on their most recent Australian tour a couple of years back and turned in a set so full of classics that you just couldn’t fault it. Iggy Pop is still the best frontman on the planet and, if they keep playing like this, I’d go and see them when they’re 100 years old. Dr Burt It was frustrating to see Dr Burt play to such small crowds, and a shame to see him only play for a touch under ten minutes per night, but that ten minutes gave the few who saw him some of the most powerful, engaging and affecting experiences of their blues-loving career. Dr Burt is the real deal and you’d better hope he can make it back out here soon so you don’t miss seeing him again. Rodriguez on Thursday Truthfully, I could have put either of Rodriguez’s shows in here as they were both brilliant, but the first time seeing him with The Break was pretty special. He’s been an enjoyable live act the past couple of times he’s played Bluesfest, but the band backing him on this occasion just brought so much out of his songs; the arrangements sounded fuller than ever and he seemed to sing with more confidence than ever. Charlie Musselwhite Kudos to Ben Harper for making it so that the great Charlie Musselwhite could once again take the headlining position on the main stage of Bluesfest, some 23 years after he appeared as the headline act at the first ever Byron Bay Bluesfest in 1990. On top of that, Musselwhite and Harper put on a fantastic performance that showcased both of them equally, putting to bed the worries that it might be a too Harper-heavy project. Bettye LaVette on Sunday After a devastating performance at last year’s event, Bettye LaVette once again proved her brilliance with this incredibly powerful performance. With plenty of new tunes from her Thankful N’ Thoughtful LP of last year aired, she dominated the stage with a very classy band behind her; renditions of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy and Renee Geyer’s (The Closest I’ll Get To) Heaven particularly brilliant. Wanda Jackson on Thursday Her voice is still brilliant after 60 years of performing and the setlist that the 75-year-old queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson put together for us at her first Bluesfest was a really great snapshot of the many brilliant songs she has sung over the years. She’s a true legend with a charming demeanour who put on a hell of a fun show. You can read my daily blogs from the festival (they’re pretty long) at theMusic.com.au.

36 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog

Lo! This Wednesday be sure not to miss thrash metal/hardcore group Black Breath (USA) at the Reverence. With Canberra’s I Exist doing the national trek with the group, Chaingun will open what is sure to be a killer gig. Tickets available at the door. Melbourne grind/thrash/punk crossover lords King Parrot last week announced their signing to worldwide metal label Candlelight Records – home to such acts as Fear Factory, Burzum, Vision Of Disorder, Enslaved and more. The group, who have just completed their first tour of Indonesia, promise to announce more details regarding their signing and further international touring plans in the near future. On the topic of King Parrot... you can catch the band live this weekend at Obscene Extreme, the world’s premier grindcore festival, which is running across both the Bendigo and Tote hotels in Collingwood this Friday and Saturday. On Friday at the Tote you can catch Headless Death, Internal Rot, Sweden’s Birdflesh, Filth, Intense Hammer Rage, The Day Everything Became Nothing and Nuclear Death Terror, while Abhorrent, Wolfe, Flatus, The Kill and another set from Birdflesh will destroy the Bendigo. The Saturday at The Tote will feature Analkholic, Michael Crafter, Super Fun Happy

US metal/hardcore/grind band Enabler will be making their way to Australia for the first time this July, and they’re bringing Melbourne’s Urns along for the ride. The band have eight releases under their belt in just a few short years of existence, the most recent being 2012’s All Hail The Void for Southern Lord, and this year’s Shift Of Redemption for Think Fast! Records, and have toured with such bands as Black Breath, Rotten Sound, Martyrdod and more. You can catch them on Thursday 11 July at the Bendigo and on Friday 12 at Black Goat Warehouse, where tickets on the door will be $15. Whoretopsy is probably the most brutal band getting around Melbourne at this point in time. The band has released a new single and lyric video on YouTube for the track Nature’s Pocket – a tale of a kleptomaniac office worker who steals stationary and stashes it in her vagina and colon. Sydney’s Lo! have unveiled the first track off their forthcoming second album Monstorum Historia. Entitled Lichtenberg Figures, you can find a link over at lookandbehold.net. The album is due out through German label Pelagic Records on 22 April and is self-produced by the four-piece. The Schoenberg Automaton have announced their first Melbourne show off the back of this year’s debut album Vela. Catch the Brisbane shred demons on Friday 24 May at the Bendigo with House Of Thumbs (also launching an EP), Ouroboros and Whoretopsy.

BEYOND THE SPEAKERS FILLING THE DEAD AIR WITH RACHEL CORBETT speakers without first having the chance to create a stranger-worthy playlist was enough to induce a mild stroke. For a start, having worked as a voiceover artist for years I kept a lot of my work in iTunes and you never knew when a Daft Punk song would be followed by an advertisement for Boost Juice and, believe me, nothing clears the dancefloor like spruiking the health benefits of a ‘Mango Magic’. Hall & Oates When people find out I make my living sitting behind a microphone, intermittently spewing my ill-conceived ideas between rock songs, the first question they always ask is, “So, do you get to play your own music?” While this is an understandable curiosity for the uninitiated, it does carry with it an assumption that my iPod consists exclusively of a mix of rock from the “‘80s, ‘90s and Today” which is, in fact, not the case. It’s a romantic image, but the heady dreams of walking into a commercial radio station with a collection of gems you’ve found on some obscure blog and want to educate the masses about is far from reality. The truth is that every musical decision that comes out of your speakers is the result of mountains of research, feedback, meetings and statistics. Nothing is left to chance, which is why there is no way in hell they would put old Mix Master Rach at the helm of the Triple M ship, unless they wanted me to steer it right into an auditory iceberg. If I plugged my iPod into the towering inferno of rock and set it to shuffle, it wouldn’t be long before our faithful followers, horns up, would be beating down our door, complaining that the station they have stuck with since the 1980s was in the grips of a musical personality crisis. Nobody who has devoted their entire life to the church of AC/DC wants to hear whose kiss is on Hall & Oates’ list. With music taste as heavy on the nostalgia as mine, there has always been an inherent social risk involved in revealing my dirty little secret. I remember a time when the idea of plugging my iPod into public

Maybe it’s maturity or maybe I just don’t care anymore but in the last few years I have finally started to see the contents of my playlist for what they are – a source of pride, and since realising this I have begun to find other kindred spirits who share my shameful joy and aren’t afraid to admit it. When I’m not talking on air I can usually be found writing and if I’m alone I always write in silence. Although sometimes I’ll put on a little Ennio Morricone because it helps me pretend that I’m writing something worthy of contemplation by English majors in the world’s best universities, instead of a sketch about Brynne Edelsten. In the writers’ room however, where it’s not just me, music becomes a necessity and the role of DJ is a coveted position with unexplainable pressure. It was here that Rachel got her groove back, and started to refer to herself in the third person. Suddenly, the nostalgic tones of Phil Collins, John Farnham and Peter Gabriel were not only accepted but applauded. Chaka Khan and Cheryl Lynn no longer induced looks of pity but were cause for a ‘pens down’ dance-off. I had stopped being ironic and started being accepted. Perhaps it had something to do with the mantra of ‘get the garbage out of your system so you don’t put it on the page’, but I didn’t care: I had finally found my church. Bruce Hornsby was leading the congregation, Whitney Houston was at the head of the choir and I was loudly singing from the pews, praising Jesus Jones that I was Right Here Right Now. Rachel co-hosts Triple M’s national drive show, Merrick And The Highway Patrol, and is a writer and performer on ABC2’s The Roast. @RachelCorbett

City And Colour Last week was the week of April Fool’s Day and there were a few announcements that threw people for a loop. One announcement on that day that definitely wasn’t a prank, made the biggest news that week and that was that Modern Life Is War is an active band again. In the statement, the band said, “In September of last year, we wrote an album in John’s basement in Marshalltown, which will be recorded at Godcity in May and released on Deathwish in September. The original line-up of Chris Honeck, Matt Hofffman, Jeffrey Eaton, Tyler Oleson and John Eich will be in place. For that it’s worth, we are not approaching this as a ‘reunion’ but rather as a band with a new record that will be working to contribute something worthwhile.” From there, MLIW took great pains to point out that extensive touring is not on the cards, with the first show back being an appearance at This Is Hardcore. If you’re not familiar with Modern Life Is War, I strongly recommend checking out their 2005 album, Witness. With Break The Ice and its associated tours only a matter of weeks away now, Broken Hive made the unfortunate announcement last week that one of the international acts would be bailing on the line-up for reasons that were very much out of the organiser’s hands. Los Angeles’ Rotting Out have left it and their national tour with Cold World and Civil War. Vocalist Walter Delgado said, “Rotting Out apologises for any inconveniences we have caused... We are disappointed in ourselves for letting you all down. We are devastated that we can’t go and hope to make it up to you all as soon as we can.” Broken Hive have stated that all shows will be going ahead, with extra locals on all lineups and potentially partial ticket refunds available through the various ticketing agencies. Head to the Broken Hive Facebook page for more details and announcements regarding the remainder of this tour, including Break The Ice on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April at Lilydale Showgrounds. When Jimmy Eat World announced their Record Store Day release, everyone got a sneaky little peek at what their new album would be like. Now the band have given fans more details for their eighth full-length. Called Damage, the album will be released Tuesday 11 June through Dine Alone Records and was produced by Alain Johannes (most famous for his work with Queens Of The Stone Age, These Crooked Vultures and Mark Lanegan, so an educated guess would be this is going to be a more adult rock album). Frontman Jim Adkins said of ot, “I would describe it as an attempt at making an adult breakup record. The consequences to what the characters are going through are more significant... I’m 37 and the world around me is a lot different than when I was writing breakup songs in my 20s.” I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Dallas Green would be releasing his fourth album under the City & Colour moniker later this year, and now details of the release have emerged. You’d have caught the preview video released around the same time, but now the album has a name and a release date. Called The Hurry And The Harm, the record will be released Friday 31 May through Dine Alone Records, with pre-orders available through iTunes now. Of the new album, Green comments, “I don’t have a lot of faith in myself, so it is hard for me to have a lot of faith in something I have created. But I’ve never been happier or prouder about something I have done.” The album also takes more of a band-centric approach, with Green and producer Alex Newport (At The Drive In, Death Cab For Cutie) enlisting some of the best musicians to assist of the Nashville sessions. Last up for this week, if you’re a fan of the heavier side of hardcore, record label A389 have released their annual label mixtape. This is the ninth instalment of the free download and features several brand new and exclusive tracks, including a first sneak peek at the new album from Integrity. Forty tracks all up, featuring Xibalba, Ringworm, Pulling Teeth, Rot In Hell, Iron Reagan and so many more. Head on over to the A389 website.


BUSINESS MUSIC

OG FLAVAS

INTELLIGIBLE FLOW

WHEN YOUR CLUB NEEDS A BOSS WITH PAZ

URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE

HIP HOP NEWS & COMMENTARY WITH ALEKSIA BARRON

Laura Mvula DJ Znobia

ZOUK BASS WITH DJ UMB Zouk Bass is the new trend in club bass music, with tribal and tropical sound systems having been deprived of a slower contemporary club sound outside of South America. The Latin crews of central and southern America have cumbias. Now the European/African counterparts have their own chopped and slowed answer, a soundscape that merges popular UK and US bass styles like trap and dubstep with the once isolated club sounds of Angola and the Antilles. The larger music news sites like OkayAfrica and Generation Bass have been establishing the timeline and players that led to the birth of Zouk Bass. DJ UMB is head editor of Generation Bass, and although located in the UK he is well on top of global music trends and the organic styles that develop in Africa. I asked DJ UMB about Zouk Bass as he uploads some mixes that establish Zouk and its history. Is the Zouk/Tarraxinha movement associated more with live or DJ culture? Well, today it is associated more with DJ Culture. Is Zouk Bass mixing also encouraging work with vocalists and MCs? Well, Zouk Bass is a relatively new ‘scene name’ coming into existence on 21st February 2013 when MC Kalaf from Buraka Som Sistema was hollering it out all over the Boiler Room sessions. He was MC’ing that day and on their first ‘so-called’ Zouk Bass track Buraka used a vocalist. So in some instances it does, I guess. Is Zouk Bass growing in Africa or is it more of a European trend? If you went to Angola in Africa and asked what is Zouk Bass, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. If you asked them what is Tarraxinha, they would be able to tell you. At present it is mainly an European phenomenon. Its roots, however, lie in African styles like Tarraxinha and also from the Caribbean, which is where Zouk originates from. We’re not even sure it’s an actual ‘thing’ yet, albeit the interest in it and the productions coming along and labelling themselves as Zouk Bass are growing at a phenomenal rate. Will the sound infiltrate the UK bass scene? Well, it supposedly takes elements from the UK Bass scene for its fusion but will it catch on here, I’m not so sure. I don’t think so judging on the past explosions that have caught on in most places around the world but not in the UK . Who would you predict is going to be the biggest players for this sound? Well obviously Buraka Som Sistema will be mentioned by all the mags as that’s the only name they know. But I really hope some of the new generation of Tarraxinha producers will catch on too – Deejay Kuimba, DZC Crew, DJ Paparazzi, Mestah – and some others, as they are the ones who have helped to create this fusion style. Plus of course the guys who were doing it years ago, DJ Znobia, Marfox and others; I hope people don’t forget them. What are the most interesting releases to drop into your inbox this last month? Unreleased tracks by Deejay Kuimba, SaBBo and DJ Paparazzi. Are there any tracks that have been released prior to the Zouk Bass explosion that could easily fit into a Zouk Bass set? Yes, a lot of Tarraxinha tracks fit that mold as that forms the basis for the beat. So if you’re searching for more of that kind of sound, a search for Tarraxinha would not be a bad place to start. You can read more about it at the Generation Bass site as well as review the sound with two powerful mixes from DJ UMB himself.

Sony Music has all the hot urban releases right now. Justin Timberlake has triumphantly topped the charts in the US and Australia with his comeback The 20/20 Experience. Gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg will complete his metamorphosis into peace-lovin’ reggae singer Snoop Lion with the Bob Marley-inspired Reincarnated. Diplo (aka Major Lazer) is leading the LP’s production team. (Guests include... Miley Cyrus!). Kanye West’s GOOD buddy John Legend will return with June’s Love In The Future, his first solo foray since 2008’s Evolver. He’s already premiered the hip hop-oriented single Who Do We Think We Are, featuring Rick Ross. Then there are Sony albums from more divisive figures – Odd Future’s weirdly endearing Tyler, The Creator (Wolf, just out) and the thoroughly disagreeable yet persistent Chris Brown (X, due mid-year). Brown, who’s aired Fine China, is reportedly going for a “mature” R&B over Auto-Tuned Euro fare. But has he grown up? The self-styled media martyr is recently alleged to have punched Frank Ocean during a car space dispute. However, the loudest buzz has to be that surrounding UK newcomer Laura Mvula with her spectacular Sing To The Moon. As with the big-voiced Clare Maguire, Mvula hails from Birmingham. The neo-soulstress, who was nominated for the BRIT Awards Critics’ Choice and placed fourth in the BBC Sound Of 2013 poll, is no obvious retro artiste in the Amy Winehouse tradition, but nor is she a post-dubstepper like Jessie Ware. Mvula might be a way more avant-garde Lianne la Havas, but she’s also at points comparable to the hip hop soul Lauryn Hill, theatrical Janelle Monáe, and jazzy Lina. Reviewers have suggested that Mvula is a futuristic Nina Simone, only we’re hearing Dame Shirley Bassey. Mvula’s multi-tracked vocal harmonies have been likened to The Beach

Boys, but they’re actually a bit James Blake, too. But, really, the Midlands lass is totally doing her own thing. Mvula’s postmodern sound draws on epic hip hop, experimental electronica, show tunes, psychedelic folk, hymns and ‘classical’ music – be it choral, orchestral or Renaissance. Mvula does have a formal background. She learnt piano (and violin) in childhood and later studied composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire – it was here the then Laura Douglas, like no-party girl Emeli Sandé, met husband Themba Mvula. Additionally, Mvula, her family Caribbean, has a gospel heritage. She used to sing with her aunt Carol Pemberton’s a cappella collective Black Voices. As a kid, Mvula loved Eternal, the English En Vogue. Eventually, she fronted a neo-soul outfit. Mvula, by now a supply teacher, found herself writing songs on a laptop. She’d team with Steve Brown (who produced Rumer’s breakthrough Seasons Of My Soul), offering the EP She late last year. Sing... similarly flaunts wondrously lavish instrumentation in tandem with contemporary recording techniques. The Guardian has tagged Mvula “gospeldelia”. The album’s tuneful opener, Like The Morning Dew, is most redolent of Ms Hill – it’s psy-soul with overdubbed vocals and, mid-way, Jesus Walks-mode marching band beats. (The one slight irritation is Mvula’s Americanised pronunciation of ‘dew’, but we forgive her.) In fact, ‘Ye would love the grandiosity of Sing... and there’s a distinct hip hip swell to the Lina-esque Make Me Lovely, That’s Alright (which has Adam And The Ants’ Burundi drum rhythms) and the horn sectioned Flying Without You. So very urban baroque. The single Green Garden, a paean to Mvula’s childhood home, is a folksy version of Monáe’s Tightrope – with a transgressive trace of Auto-Tune, handclaps and hefty swing. The gently compelling Is There Anybody Out There?, with delicate harp, evokes Bassey’s Moonraker theme. Mvula’s least unorthodox song arrangement is the piano-based Father, Father, about her parents’ divorce. Sony Australia has issued Sing..., a UK Top 10 album, in a ‘deluxe’ package – something that usually surfaces months after an act has blown up. The bonus tracks, demos and curios on the second CD are definitely worthwhile. Seek.

THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY

Kurt Vile It’s often said that happy songs are the hardest to write. Meaning can be drawn from misfortune and abuse, from bad relationships and broken families, but it’s a challenge to say much about life when things are going well. Even writing the word ‘happy’ feels an act of whimsy, as if the word – and therefore the emotion – lacks substance, the good stuff of art. Kurt Vile has been trying to write happy songs for some time. The closest he’s come, previous to his new and fifth studio record, has been the single He’s Alright, added as a bonus track to 2009’s Childish Prodigy. The song is a celebration of otherness with an easy, cantering rhythm. “People say I’m to blame/I guess I think it’s a shame/Oh, but I don’t care” he sings, sounding less like a man digging his heel into self-pity and more like one claiming his bruises. What makes it a successful ‘happy song’ is that it’s uplifting without being throwaway, it keeps musically in the present and it utilises all of Vile’s abilities as a songwriter. Compare it to the single’s B-side, Take Your Time; a hushed, plucked ditty that sounds as if it’s looking backwards, speaking to a younger self (us and him). Or to Trumpets In Summer from 2008’s Constant Hitmaker, a looped wash that is really a beautiful aside, sans vocals, adding more as a found object than an artist’s creation. Vile’s main strength to date has been his ability to evaluate the past, to ponder and summarise, musically and lyrically. It’s what made his last record, Smoke Ring For My Halo, an outsider’s prize: it looked at life from a distance and didn’t stray much from melancholy tones. When we look to the past we’re often looking from a present

place of isolation. On his new album, Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador/Remote Control), Vile is decidedly in the present, surrounded by people. And he’s happy – or perhaps more aptly put, he’s at ease. It’s there in the opening track Wakin’ On A Pretty Day, also the album’s first single, a pop song with guitar lines that blossom, rather than sweep their feet through autumnal leaves, and a smiling drum beat. “Wakin’ on a pretty day/Don’t know why I ever go away”, Vile sings. It sounds a light start, and the song concludes with a description of “floating in place… sayin’ nothin’” but it gets there via the assertion, “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing/ It’s only dying”. Vile is still the outsider, but he’s an outsider in the thick of it, with real reasons to be in the present, with “loved ones” to answer to. In that vein, the album is very much about Vile coming to terms with being a family man, with his success, with travelling. It’s also simply an album in awe of life’s beauty, reflected in the full and graceful instrumentation. At all times Vile’s band – expanded by ten extra pairs of hands – are active in the house of each song. They even get their picture on the back of the album. There’s an abundance of guitar, and the beats drive Vile from behind; you get the feeling the pace of this album has been set for him. That presence, and the transparency of the process, keeps the album from wandering off into old aesthetics. Not that Vile is over all that. On Was All Talk, he puts his past-gazing in context: “There was a time in my life that is gone/I sometimes still go back to it…. Now take a look at my hands/Watch ’em go.” He even revisits old advice, thinking on it: “Take your time/So they used to say and that’s probably the best way to be/But what about those who are fathers?... I will promise to do my very best.” Vile knows here that happiness is in trying, it’s in showing up, not letting all the other shit get in the way. Things aren’t easy, but there’s reason to be positive, even with all the hard stuff around. There’s certainly substance in that message.

Letters To The Sun There’s a great new debut album around at the moment, the self-titled LP, Letters To The Sun. Consisting of Coin Banks and Akouo, Letters To The Sun is a fine collaboration between two hip hop devotees. The release is dappled with live instrumentation and eschews the pop/electro experimentation that we’ve seen in a lot of recent releases. Letters To The Sun is something smoother, gentler – the duo describes it as “sunshine music”, and it’s an apt choice of words (so apt, in fact, that I’m not sure I can come up with anything better). There are some great tracks on the album, including the cruisy, roadtrip-worthy Drive Slow featuring Tiaryn, or the almost indecently chilled (but very clever) Deja Vu. Letters To The Sun is an album well worth checking out – it’s out now via Obese distro, so you can grab it at good record stores or via iTunes. Our female MCs are killing it in the competitions lately. Hot on the heels of Chelsea Jane (who took out the Hilltop Hoods Initiative for 2013) comes Kadyelle, a Western Australian MC. Kadyelle has won the triple j Unearthed Groovin’ The Moo competition, and will be playing the Bunbury leg of the festival. Yes, it’s a fair trek, but if you’re planning to catch the WA show, make sure you see this set. Kadyelle’s been carving it up in Perth for years, and hopefully this will act as a launching pad to get her better known in wider circles. If you want to find out what she’s about, check out kadyelle.bandcamp.com. Adelaide lad Purpose has been building a big name for himself over the last few years, culminating recently in the release of his debut album Where It Starts. The record has had a good run, launching a few triple j-spun singles, including We Will Be Heard and Comin’ Home. He’s finally making it out our way for the launch, which is going down this Saturday 13 April at the Laundry Bar. This is a great chance to support an artist who hasn’t been afraid to go the hard yards to get himself off the ground. You can grab your tickets from laundrybar.oztix.com.au. Also in town this weekend? Spit Syndicate, to launch their album Sunday Gentlemen. However, if you haven’t gotten a ticket to that one yet, you may be out of luck – it’s sold out. If this news is upsetting you, let this be a reminder as to the importance of purchasing tickets well in advance. You can’t always rely on there being door sales available on the night. Also, it’s probably worth giving y’all a heads up a week in advance that Pharoahe Monche will be playing the Espy next Friday 19 April. Let’s be real – nobody puts on a show like this guy. I’ve still got chills from seeing him rip up a broiling summer room at the Queensland Flood Relief gig back in 2011. If you’re hoping to get along to this one (remember what I said before about not relying on door sales?) you can get your tickets from theespy.oztix.com.au. If you’re after some free tunes to get you through the week, check out the new mashup EP from local producer whiz kid Tom Showtime. His album The Jam Thief was one of 2012’s slickest offerings, and now he’s put together Mashiona Tasty Mashups Vol. 1. To give you an idea of what’s in store, tracks include My Name Is Biz (Eminem vs Biz Markie) and They Call This The Message (Classified vs Dr Dre). You getting the idea? Download the four-track EP for free at soundcloud.com/tomshowtime.

For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog • 37


SORTED FOR EPS WITH JAN WISNIEWSKI

CARRIE PHILLIS & THE DOWNTOWN THREE Spend It With You (MGM) This Melbourne outfit’s debut EP certainly leaves an impression. The opening title track eases you into the Downtown sound with Philllis’ vocals riding high. The song hits its stride after a false finish, losing the rigidness associated with the ‘60s girl group sound they favour. The melodies aren’t as sweet as those cultivated by those of the time, but Phillis and co make up for this with large amounts of energy and attitude that kick in properly on second track Outta Space. The three musical veterans that form the band do a great job bulking up the sound and when Phillis pushes up her own intensity to match her musical backing, it’s very exciting to hear.

THELMA PLUM Rosie (Footstomp Records) Plum mixes some beautiful songs with cheerful cheekiness. She and her musical partner Andrew Lowden have created a set of songs that reflect the ups and downs of life, with Plum unafraid of lyrical honesty. At times she settles for bland passages though, which fail to take off due to her casual delivery. This is forgiven once you reach closing track (barring the secret finale) King. It shows the ambition Plum possesses as it takes a step up from her other material. There is a bright future if Plum can capture her best moments from Rosie and roll them out consistently.

WEDNESDAY THE RAT Pedo’s Anthem (Scattermusic) Talented 21-year-old, Dylan Tainsh, has released his second EP under his Wednesday The Rat moniker. The five-track effort features two original tracks followed by three remixes. The title track opens proceedings with Tainsh testing the listener with an incessantly squeaky sound leading the track. However, the percussive inclusions are well executed and once the squeak returns later on it feels like things are ready to take off. Next up is Tom Boy – a heavier track that also delivers on the late-night feel. Tainsh aims to avoid clichéd techniques by using unusual sounds and his ability to bring things to a peak make any future work an exciting prospect. Wednesday The Rat plays Can’t Say this Friday.

CHINA DOLL She Don’t Need To Know (Independent) Formerly Spoonful Of Sugar, Perth outfit China Doll have released their debut EP. The band is led by singer-songwriter Karin Page, who brings the same pop-folk feel to her new band albeit with a slightly more theatrical sound. Lead single and opener She Don’t Need To Know sounds a little forced. However the rest of the EP, starting with the elegant Come To Me, is engaging and authentic. Page really has a way with melody and China Doll are strongest when this is highlighted by everything else that is going on in the band. There is something exquisite here, something warm. China Doll have the songs to take them well beyond their West Australian homeland.

THE REBELLES The Clapping Song (RB Records) If the red vinyl doesn’t win you over, then just wait until you hear the songs on this 45. The Rebelles are a 15-strong female vocal group that play the tunes of the wall-of-sound era. But rather than Spector-perfection, they fill their songs with a punky energy and raucousness that’s driven along by some proactive drumming and the odd splash of lead guitar. The record sounds as if it’s been recovered from a bargain bin after being unfairly cast away. A bloody fun record to listen to. The Rebelles launch The Clapping Song this Thursday at Soul In The Basement at Cherry Bar.

OBSCENE IN COLLINGWOOD

FRIDAY EVENING

For over a decade people have travelled the globe, driven across continents and slept in airports and railway stations to make it to Obscene Extreme, and now Obscene Extreme is coming to the Tote and the Bendigo Hotel this Friday and Saturday. Headlining the festival are Rotten Sound, Bird Flesh, Blood Duster, The Kill and Nuclear Death Terror plus many other acts.

Marrying dreamy melodies with endless amounts of fuzz, Sydney four-piece band Creo will be playing a show this Friday night at the Espy Basement to celebrate the launch of their single Monday Mourning. They will be joined by Palace Of The King, Bonez and Cotangent.

WAYWARD WOOD

Often named the hardest working band in Australia, infectious five-piece Bonjah return with new single Evolution. A band that has truly found its sound, Evolution has huge hooks, pounding drums and a driving vocal melody. They will be debuting their new single in Melbourne with a show at the Corner this Saturday, supported by Ghost Orkid and Old Medicine.

Troubled Trees is the new 10” EP from Melbourne singersongwriter Rory Cooke, aka Elizaband. The follow-up to the 2011 debut album Firework Dogs, Troubled Trees is a sonic reflection on outsider humanity, the EP being a welcome new addition to Rory Cooke’s rich catalogue of DIY guitar art which began as the founding member of the highly influential Gaslight Radio. Catch Elizaband when they launch the Troubled Trees EP at the Spotted Mallard on Saturday 20 April with Chris Smith and Map Ends.

TRAVEL WITH GRACE Always wanted to travel the world but can’t afford the ticket? Never fear! This Saturday, DJs Serhan Ali (Mondo Loco) and PBS’s Emma Peel and Mohair Slim will take you on a vinyl excursion around the globe. DJs will be spinning original vinyl from the 1960s-’70s, navigating their way through cosmic oriental disco, calypso, salsa, samba, ska, funk and much more. Passengers are advised to secure their overhead lockers to ensure maximum dancing.

FISHLIPS This Thursday Australian guitarist and alternative musician Kim Salmon will be playing at the Espy lounge bar. Salmon was inducted into the West Australian Music Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He’ll be joined by Burn In Hell, Loose Lips, Yokohomos and Axegirl.

PEEPING IN THE DARK The Peep Tempel have just released the first single, Dark Beach, from their forthcoming Modern Professional EP and will be launching it Friday night at the Workers Club, with Damn Terran playing their first live show for 2013 along with fellow locals Them Bruins. With Dark Beach the band stays true to their raw sound and sees them continue with their own unique take on Australian rock‘n’roll.

THE CABRÓN Fresh from a sold out, over capacity album launch at the Spotted Mallard and national tour in support of their new release Tales From The Beyond, Melbourne’s surf, rockabilly, ‘60s extravaganza La Bastard are back hosting the much anticipated beer-soaked Sundays in April at the Old Bar. The band are being joined by a musical pick and mix of local and interstate guests each week. This week it will be Wrong Turn, Some Jerks and DJ Kezbot.

FLOWERING BUDS

A FAIR WARNING Dead Letter Circus will be playing a show with guest Breaking Orbit this Friday night at the Corner Hotel. The band will be unveiling new songs from their forthcoming new album on this tour. Breaking Orbit’s debut album The Time Traveller is a captivating mix of eclectic soundscapes, driving poly-rhythms, euphoric vocal melodies, tribal drum breakdowns and heavy grooves.

SA SUMMER Summer Flake is the downbeat slacker project of Steph Crase (ex-Birth Glow, Hit The Jackpot, Batrider) and this April she’s touring Australia for her new EP Where Do I Go?. She’ll be playing upstairs at the Gasometer this Friday night supported by fellow Adelaidians Rip (previously known as Xixi) who are also launching an EP, as well as Circular Keys and Evelyn Ida Morris.

ANCIENT PROMISE Holy Moses Heartache bring their varying degrees of facial hair, intelligence and musical ability as well their intoxicating brand of folk music to the Tote each Wednesday in April. With songs about sex, death and a man’s genuine love of his horse, there’s bound to be something that strikes a chord in even the shallowest of hearts. Tonight they’ll be supported by The Promises and Jules Sheldon.

UNHOLY UNION Melbourne five-piece The Stetson Family are bringing their brilliant harmonies to the Union Hotel (Brunswick) this Saturday afternoon from 5pm. With a fresh twist to the timeless sound of bluegrass and highlonesome country/folk, they’ll be playing songs from their latest album The Devil In His Sunday Best.

SUN AND STARS Melbourne record label upstarts Dream Vessels are proud to present their first signing, electrifying jungle punk duo Clavians, who are set to launch their blistering new four-track Cosmic Hood. They will be playing at their favourite Melbourne hangout, the Old Bar, this Friday with the instrumental brutality of On Sierra, the rocking synchronicity of The Sinking Teeth and the sci-fi, electro synth-maestro Solaires.

BITTER SPIRITS Thursday nights in April, Chelsea Wilson brings soul and funk to the Retreat. Featuring Ivan ‘Choi’ Katchoyan on drums (Cookin’ On 3 Burners), Lucas Taranto on bass (Gotye), Mitch Power on guitar (Deep Street Soul) and Adam Rudegeair on keys (PBS FM’s Black Wax), Chelsea will sing tracks from her EP Bitterness and preview new songs from her forthcoming self-titled debut album. Special guests include some of Melbourne’s finest female soul vocalists – this week it’ll be Florelie Escano from 8.30pm.

WORKING ON A TAN Local folk wizard Charles J Tan will be launching his album Maybe Somewhere North tonight (Wednesday) at the Workers Club. Tan plays the guitar, ukulele, banjo, glockenspiel, melodion and a few other hat tricks. He will be supported by Emmy Bryce with acoustic trio and Dru Chen.

38 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news

How long did it take to write/record? I wrote all the tunes within about a year and then it took about eight months to record/produce them. So quick! What was inspiring you during the making of the EP? I had just moved to Sydney when I first wrote those songs so they are about change, love and heartbreak in all its forms, my family and moving house six times in a year. Musically I was listening to a lot of Björk, Susanne Sundfør, Silent Running. What’s your favourite song on it? Onwards And Upwards – love the production of it. Brian Campeau is bloody terrific. We’ll like the EP if we like… Tea, heartache, soaring vocals, tantrums, tears, t-shirts – just kidding about the t-shirt; it was just another word that started with ‘t’. Will you be launching it? Surely will! With a bloody big tour! It’s called the Lounge Room Tour and thanks partly to the Australia Council For The Arts I’ll be venturing down the East Coast into people’s lounge rooms. The Melbourne show is on Wednesday 17 April at the Grace Darling with Tully On Tully and Yeo (solo). We are also playing at the Apollo Bay Music Festival on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April.

MOTHBALL JACKET

Eli Wolfe is a curious and creative soul who has been touring Australia and the world extensively over the past few years. Now back on home soil, Wolfe is releasing a brand new EP Perfect Moment. He will be playing at the Wesley Anne band room this Thursday.

Morphed from players of Cabaret Antique and featuring members from Jazz City, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, The Guilts and Squid Squad, Letter B have been around. They play a mix of cool groovy Latin jazz with a unique modern edge. Currently recording their debut original album this summer while wooing Melbourne audiences, this new concoction presents five smooth lads with a passion for jazz. The play the Wesley Anne front bar this Sunday.

How many releases do you have now? Mmm, I’d like to say one but it’s two. The last one feels like something I wrote when I was a toddler – it was so long ago!

Brisbane-based singer-songwriter TJ Quinton begins his East Coast tour of Australia later this month to promote his latest single What Is Real. Quinton had an impressive year last year playing at various venues and festivals around Australia, NZ and the UK. He’ll be playing at Willow Bar in Northcote on Friday 10 May with special guests.

STAR FOX

MODERN ROMAN

KATIE WIGHTON – YOU ARE HERE

FAKE APOLOGY

DOUBLE DOORS Sydney’s infamously charming hip hop duo Spit Syndicate have begun their national tour for their third LP Sunday Gentlemen. The album debuted on the national ARIA album charts last week at #15. Their single Folly is on the Triple J rotation now, the second single on the album to do so following Beauty In The Bricks last year. Their gig at Northcote Social club on Friday night is sold out but they will also be playing at Bar 3909 in Lakes Entrance on Thursday.

EP FOCUS

FIRST LADIES The Dames recently had their debut album mixed by acclaimed, award winning icon of UK post-punk and ‘90s film funk music Barry Adamson. While they edge closer to getting the album out they are coming together for a show at the relatively new Brunswick venue the Spotted Mallard this Friday night. Joining them will be Emily Mae And The Alarum Belles and WAM And DAZ in their debut gig together.

Behold! Swamp Moth rises from the murky mists and revives hard rock’s long forgotten masters of the unholy riff. Five of Melbourne’s finest purveyors of swagger and groove dig deep to find the best of the rest of late-’60s and early-’70s psych and hard rock and protometal. They perform at the Victoria Hotel (Brunswick) this Friday with support from Dog Hair Jacket.

RUBY SATURDAY Likened to Mudhoney, Radio Birdman and The Stooges, New Jack Rubys will melt your face with their sheer rock’n’roll power, while their intelligent lyricism, exploring topics such as the correct way to make Caesar salad and how much their guitarist hates Surfers Paradise, will leave you pondering the meaning of life long into the night. They perform at the Victoria Hotel (Brunswick) this Saturday along with Drifter.

MORE SUNDAY SOUL Start making plans; Grand Wazoo, Australia’s smokin’ hot Soul Legends, return to the Velvet Room at Thornbury Theatre this Sunday at 7pm. With mighty May Johnston, superb Samantha Morley and charmer Elvis Muelu on the frontline, happiness is guaranteed.

CHANGE OF HEART Over the last 12 months, troubadour Patrick James Patrick has been touring widely supporting the likes of The Paper Kites and Tim Hart (Boy And Bear) and was Unearthed by triple j. Patrick will be taking his freshly released EP All About To Change and joining Emma Louise on her Vs Head Vs Heart album tour. They’ll play in Melbourne on Friday 10 May at the Corner Hotel.


EP FOCUS

STAR CROSSED LOVERS

NAUGHTY ZION

The Cambodian Space Project (CSP) is back in Australia for six weeks, ostensibly as artists-inresidence at Montsalvat where band members are working on writing the next LP. The album is to be produced and recorded in Detroit by Motown psychguitar legend Dennis Coffey. A show at the Northcote Social Club this sunday arvo will be a chance for Melbourne to catch the Cambodian Space Project in one of the CSP’s only Australian shows this year.

The original funk and soul sound of Melbourne, Revomatix will be playing at Bar Open this Saturday night. These local funksters have recently released their debut album Disrespect. Snapping at their heels come Shanty Town, a seven-piece, first generation ska band.

HORRID JAVA PANCAKE CREO – THE MEMO How many releases do you have now? Jorjee Haman, frontman: This will be our very first. Debut EP, represent! How long did it take to write/record? Some of the songs were from months ago and others were written specifically for the record. So it was a bit of a build-up from old, and new material, to see what fit together best. We were in the studio for ten days, recording with Jimi Maroudas, who happens to be one of the nicest people you could ever meet. What was inspiring you during the making of the EP? Most of all: the surroundings. We recorded at Sing Sing in Melbourne. So being from Sydney it was very much a focused environment where we put every little bit of energy to the task at hand. It helped create a special vibe in the studio. What’s your favourite song on it? They all have their special little place in our liking palettes, BUT, if I had to choose, my pick would be the last track, Blue Hearts On Valentines. It’s dynamic and progressive, which makes it mad fun to play live. We’ll like the EP if we like… Music that isn’t jangly, and hasn’t been purposely produced to sound “raw and un-produced”? Alternative music, I guess. Our major influences are The Smashing Pumpkins, Bruce Springsteen, The Bronx and Placebo. Will you be launching it? Yes! Friday 12 April at the Espy (Basement).

HEAVY CRAMPS The Spasms are a brand new garage, punk, psych three-piece from the minds of Kit Atkinson (The Kits), Pete Hansford and John Davis. Inspired by The Gories, The Cramps and Three Headcoats, you can see The Spasms in the flesh as they headline Black Night Crash at Rochester Castle (Fitzroy) this Saturday. Support comes from sludge’n’roll locals Sexy/Heavy.

MODEL CHILDREN This Saturday the Toff In Town will host Neighbourhood Youth. Oft-bruised, ever-soaring vocals coalesce with wet guitars and driving rhythms to produce amazingly crafted songs, with a live set brooding with intensity and cohesiveness that is sure to see their star continue to rise. They’ll be supported by indie five-piece Buckley Ward and trip-hop up-and-comers Dear Plastic.

CAPE CHASM Sky Pillar is a hard rock, classic metal band from the Mornington Peninsula area. They formed in late 2011 and have been writing and rehearsing towards developing their own style of rock. They’ll be playing at the Bendigo Hotel tonight with support from The Rift and Super Saloon.

CRUMBLING WORSHIP In mid-2010, The Ramshackle Army played their first show, and since then have made a ruckus up and down this fair country, as well as across some decent-sized oceans. After two-and-a-half years of one line-up, multi instrumentalist Loc Kibell (Banjo/Mando/Bouzouki) is moving on, and this will be your last chance to catch him on stage with the RSA. Supported by The Tearaways, Maricopa Wells and The Shadow League, they’ll be playing at the Reverence Hotel (Footscray) this Friday.

Monday Night Mass sees the Northcote Social Club door thrown open for a free band extravaganza from the deepest caverns of Melbourne’s underground. This week Pikelet, Terrible Truths and Krakatoa will appear.

PUPPY SUICIDE This April The Beegles will be releasing their first EP at the Evelyn Hotel’s famous Monday night residency. They’re a seven-piece pop band from Melbourne whose performances exude a powerful energy while maintaining dynamic control and hook-laden groove. Their debut EP is the band’s excuse for planning this month long party which sees The Beegles harvest supports from some of the finest acts in Melbourne. This week it’ll be Roxy Lavish & The Suicide Cult.

EIGHT SEVENS Drawing inspiration from legends such as Sly Stone, James Brown, The Funkees and of course Fela Kuti; The Seven Ups have become Melbourne’s favourite support band, playing a slot at pretty much every funk show over the past few months. This all-instrumental, all-original eight-piece will be playing every Tuesday in April at their home-away-from-home, the Evelyn Hotel, each week hosting two new funky supports. This Tuesday it’ll be The Moon Project and Purple Tusks.

DOUBLE EP LAUNCH Following a huge year in 2012 that saw In Your Hands play many shows in and around Melbourne, the band are gearing up to launch their debut EP titled Bitter Ways. Joining them at the Evelyn Hotel this Friday and also launching their EP is Portraits Of August as well as Have You Seen This Boy and Cooper Street.

CLASSIC DOORBELLS The Dingalings are a newly polished rhythm and blues band that play vintage tunes from the 1950s. They playfully revive the style of music that had one of the biggest influences on rock’n’roll music, indulging in tunes by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Fats Domino, among others. They play Bar Open this Friday.

COURTING ANGELS

BONJAH – EVOLUTION

Tonight (Wednesday), Prudence Rees-Lee arrives at the Toff to perform material from her upcoming debut album Court Music From The Planet Of Love. Accompanied by an eight-piece band, live shows will be somewhat of a rarity. She takes up where Russian symbolists and psychedelic folk artists of the 20th century left off, vibrating through the mystic chord to deliver the ultimate millennial salvation by slide guitar. Supports from Angel Eyes and Hyperborea.

What’s the song about? Regan Lethbridge, guitar: Glenn [Mossop] our singer wrote the tune. He says: “What the song means to me is that throughout our lives we wind and turn, sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down. No matter where you are or what you’ve done, you are going in the right direction.”

SEXT KITTEN Melbourne sextet The Tiger & Me is not afraid to explore each end of the musical spectrum. The launch for their single Made It To The Harbour will be on Saturday night at the Northcote Social Club, with special guests The Twoks and Texture Like Sun.

THE FIVE SETS This Saturday night celtic/folk punk rockers The Go Set are playing at the Espy lounge bar. The Go Set have created a sound of their own by combining traditional folk instruments with distorted punk guitars and timeless rock’n’roll energy. They’ll be supported by Ravines, McAlpines Fusiliers and The Stiffys, plus an early set from resident Phil Para from 6pm.

NORTHERN STARS The Starry Field is the musical baby of Australian producer Mark Myers. With a style best described as alt.country, synth-pop, Myers brings his songs to life with a collection of talented musicians from the northern reaches of Queensland. He’ll be playing at the B.East this Thursday.

ELECTRIC ZAP A piano player and singer with a distinctive sound, Pugsley Buzzard’s shows are exciting and captivating at the centre is his huge mesmerizing voice and dazzling piano playing all delivered with a vaudevillian nuance and humour. This Thursday he’ll be playing at the Spotted Mallard supported by Guy Kable.

QUEENSLAND RAYS Brisbane-based thrash party duo DZ Deathrays released their debut LP Bloodstreams 11 months ago, have toured extensively and picked up the ARIA and AIR awards for best Australian heavy release of 2012. The duo will be hitting the highways of Australia for the final headline tour of the Bloodstreams album cycle this April. They play at Ding Dong this Saturday.

WHINING THUNDER This Friday Dirt Farmer will be launching their new single at Ding Dong. Infused with a languid, lazy charm, Delilah Lightning is a slacker-pop anthem that descends into a glorious fuzz of guitar noise. They’ll be joined by Ali Barter and Grizzly Jim Lawrie.

BEER IN SPACE

AGES TILL TONIGHT

Indie dream-pop purveyor Diamonds Of Neptune are joining forces with vintage grunge rockers The Dark Ales and fresh-cut guitar psychedelics Local Group for a night of revivalist grunge and indie prog mayhem. Diamonds Of Neptune have been cutting a swathe across the Melbourne indie scene with their infectious genre-bending, off the back of their debut single Spiderweb. Head down to the Gasometer this Thursday.

Tonight (Wednesday), Bar Open sees the thumping sounds of rock’n’roll shaking the dust off the rafters. Twin Ages are a bluesy grunge band from the south east, the left hand of rock’n’roll. They recently released their EP Quit Yo Howling and are from the second generation of dirty blues bands who have remolded their sound to thick riffs and heavy undertones. Newcomers The Scalps will join them. Also onboard are The Braves.

Is this track from a forthcoming/ existing release? It’s the first single off our third record, which is to be released in spring. Evolution hits iTunes on 13 April. How long did it take to write/record? Three-four days. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Meeting a young girl after our show in Rye early this year. She explained how our music had got her through a really tough time and saved her life. It affected us a lot. Our singer Glenn went away and wrote the lyrics and music in the next few days. I remember he sent me a demo of it and the minute I heard it I knew we had something special. The first time we played the song together in the same room we were grinning like it was the very first time we have played together. We had written a bunch of new material, but this shone through. During the recording we just tried to have fun with it and keep to the original essence of the demo. We also used our good friends Fraser and Cam to record it which was a nice vibe and one of the world’s best producer/engineers Nick Didia to mix it. We’ll like this song if we like… Good, honest music. This was written from a very real place and recorded together in the same room. Do you play it differently live? It’s pretty fresh so I’d say we will stick to the arrangement, we may jam around a little in the middle 8, who knows.

PICK N MIX What began as a few gentlemen playing hokey stringed instruments in a bungalow has now become a six-piece country-folk-rock outfit replete with dancing bass riffs, double drum kits, three-way vocal harmonies, and blazing lead lines. This is the Merri Creek Pickers and they’ll be playing at the B.East this Friday night from 9pm.

SINGLE FOCUS

Will you be launching it? Certainly, at the Corner on Saturday 13 April with Ghost Orkid and Old Medicine supporting.

SUNDAY LEFTOVERS Except for their performance of The Velvet Underground and Nico for Pure Pop’s Summer of Classic Album Series, this Sunday The Spoils will be playing the second of their two full band shows since July last year. They’ll be playing at the Post Office Hotel in Coburg from 4.30pm. Expect new experimentations, Spoils hits and perhaps even the odd Velvet Underground cover.

KOMBI JANE Kieran Kane (USA) has been recording for 30 years as a solo artist. Together with David Francey (Canada) who is recognised as one of today’s finest singer-songwriters, they meet as Go Jane Go at the Caravan Club this Friday.

SHOTGUN CONFESSION

FUNKY PANDA Australian soul sensation and leading lady of the ARIA nominated The Bamboos, Kylie Auldist is a remarkable voice in the global funk and soul scene. Comparisons to Diana Ross and Sharon Jones are bang-on. Her energy on stage is absolutely electric and it is rare to see somebody who isn’t grooving when she gets going. She’ll be playing this Saturday night with special guest Chelsea Wilson at the Caravan Club.

This Friday I Confess headline a massive night of local acts at Revolver Bandroom. Ably supporting are newcomers Districts, their energy will leave a mark on the stage and audience. The furious anger of Oedipus Rex will set the tone for the night and opening the night is the solid pop-punk of The Just-Us League.

LONELY CAPTAIN

The Alan Ladds bring together the classic sounds of fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, double bass, flat top guitar and drums. Executed with grit and panache, they inject themselves into classics, modern and personal statements in song with a swinging honkytonk sensibility. They will be performing this Sunday night at the Standard Hotel.

As part of their March and April tour on release of their new single On Your Own, musical vintage darlings Lurch & Chief will be playing at Prince Public Bar this Friday night. The genre-bending Melbourne six-piece showcases the unique blend of catchy yet emotive male/female vocals the band are becoming known for in this new single.

TYPICAL, GUYS

SANDY UNDIES

SHIMMY SHIMMY This Thursday at Revolver Upstairs Bareback Titty Squad will launch their new residency. They’ll be supported by local heroes Palace Of The King, The Fighting and July Days. After midnight Prahan royality DJ Sammy The Bullet and DJ Get Busy heat things up on the dance floor with their renowned selection of hip hop, trap, bounce, club, house and everything in between.

Descending upon Bar Open this Thursday is Sandcastle: four good-natured boys with a penchant for the experimental, a proclivity to outbursts of noise, and panache for atmospheric excursions. Sandcastle now comfortably habituate their own realm of rock-based music, with wildly varied worlds of sound fused into fluid, energetic jams rich in textural detail. They’ll be joined by the psychedelectable sounds of The Citradels, the tropically blissful Document Swell and the wonderfully weird experimentation of The Menstrual Cycle.

For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news • 39


HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC NEWS BY JEFF JENKINS first proper attempt at an album. We had lots of things that we didn’t have for our first album – a producer (Steven Schram, who was fantastic), an extended block of consecutive studio time, a record deal, a budget and a settled line-up. We felt privileged to be in a position where we could focus entirely on making music.”

The Tiger & Me

ROAR POWER It’s Tiger time. “It’s time we achieved something,” Jane Hendry declares on The Tiger & Me’s second album, The Drifter’s Dawn (out now on ABC Music). Hendry also ponders, “Do you think that we could be on the brink of something glorious?” But ambition, as Shakespeare noted, should be made of sterner stuff. “Does it frighten you,” Hendry asks, “knowing that we could do all the things we’ve ever wanted to?” The Tiger & Me singer Ade Vincent denies those lines are about the band. “It [Common Thief] is not explicitly about the band,” he claims. “Really, it’s a statement about throwing caution to the wind and going for it – whatever that may be.” The Drifter’s Dawn follows the band’s 2010 debut, From A Liar To A Thief, but Vincent says, “This very much felt like our

40 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog

What were the biggest lessons Vincent learned from the first album? “Personally, it was to stop worrying about my vocals being perfectly, immaculately and unfalteringly in tune and just sing it like you mean it. Our singer/accordion player Tobes [Selkirk] has been at me for years about character over obsessive technical accuracy. That was something that really helped bring that live energy we were trying to capture into the recordings. And that’s where having a producer really helped, too. Having someone with the big picture view, sitting in the control room experiencing the songs, is a valuable thing.” A simple description of The Tiger & Me’s sound is indie pop. But with three distinct singers, their sound is something deeper and diverse. Having been inspired by European folk songs, there’s also a gypsy, circus-like element. One punter told the band they should play more Metallica, even though they were not as good as Metallica. “I’m not saying he’s wrong,” Vincent smiles, “but the remark definitely surprised me.” Another review compared The Tiger & Me to Fleetwood Mac. “I didn’t see that coming, but on reflection, it makes sense, from a ‘three distinct singer-songwriters’ angle.” Vincent wrote the band’s new single, the 2.23minute dark gem Made It To The Harbour (which

comes with a striking video, directed by Tobias Cummings). “I listened to either Beck or hip hop pretty much exclusively for about a month and then this song happened,” Vincent reveals. “It’s my inner hip hop guy trying to get out. I would be a terrible hip hop guy though, so it came out like this.” The Tiger & Me launch the single at the Northcote Social Club on Saturday, with The Twoks and Texture Like Sun.

THEY CALL HER BRUCE Needing a Bruce fix after the E Street Band’s triumphant tour? I’m not sure if Lauren Bruce will include any Springsteen songs in her set when she plays at Wesley Anne on Saturday, but her smart songwriting and sublime singing will satisfy all music fans. Tracks from her debut album, Before The Dust Settles, can be downloaded for free at her website, laurenbruce.com.au.

– at St Jude’s Church Hall, opposite Percy’s pub on Lygon Street in Carlton. “It was pretty shithouse,” Skyhooks songwriter and bass player Greg Macainsh recalls. “There was hardly any people there and it was a terrible sound. But like any first gig, we just wanted to get it out of the way. It was first blood. Once it’s done, you’re a band.” Tuesday 16 April is a big day in Australian music – it’s also Peter Garrett’s birthday. The Oils singer, federal minister and Hooks fan was born 60 years ago.

CHART WATCH The Stafford Brothers jump from 15 to ten. Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (number ten) Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (17) Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (18) Holdin On FLUME (30)

YOU’RE THE VOICE

Believe it or not, Russell Morris has never had a Top Ten album – until now.

Much debate and discussion last week after the Herald Sun poll showing John Farnham as the greatest voice in Australian music. No Doc or Delta in the Top 100?!

Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (number ten)

For the record, this is Howzat!’s Top Ten, in order: Stephen Cummings, Joe Camilleri, Ross Wilson, James Reyne, Abby Dobson, Tina Arena, Henry Wagons, Suzannah Espie, Shirley Strachan, Chris Wilson. Two artists in our list – Chris Wilson and Suzannah Espie – are part of the bill for this Sunday’s gig at the Thornbury Theatre, “These Machines Cut Razor Wire”, a fundraiser for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. More info at thesemachines.org.au.

March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (14)

HEY JUDES It’s an unlikely location for the start of the band that shaped Australia’s modern music industry. But 40 years ago next Tuesday, Skyhooks played their first gig

Flume FLUME (13)

Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (28) Bout It DEEZ NUTS (35, debut) Controller BRITISH INDIA (40)

HOWZAT! PLAYLIST Made It To The Harbour THE TIGER & ME Know My Heart LAUREN BRUCE Montgomery JR REYNE Riding UNDERGROUND LOVERS Thank You BEN LEE


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TOUR GUIDE

GLENN HUGHES: April 22 Corner JAGWAR MA: April 25 Ding Dong

PRESENTS

NEWTON FAULKNER: April 11 Prince; 14 Caravan Music Club

MATT & KIM: May 3 Northcote Social Club

MUSIC MAKER BLUES REVUE: March 27 Northcote Social Club

GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 4 Prince Of Wales Showgrounds (Bendigo) MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA: May 4 Forum

STRANGE TALK: March 28 Corner Hotel

THE HAPPY MONDAYS: May 5 Palace

BLUESFEST: (featuring Ben Harper, Iggy & The Stooges, Wilco): March 28-April 1 Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm (Byron Bay) ROGER HODGSON: March 28 Palais NORTHLANE: March 28 Plastic; June 9, 10 Corner

INTERNATIONAL

CHARLES J TAN: April 10 Workers Club FRENCHAM SMITH: April 11 Pizza and Wine Club (Kyneton) THE STARRY FIELD: April 11 The B.East GOLDSMITH: April 11 Grace Darling MAMA KIN: April 11 Northcote Social Club; 12 Loft (Warrnambool) ELI WOLFE: April 11 Wesley Anne; 12 Harvester Moon (Bellarine); 13 Carolyn Theatre (Cororooke) SPIT SYNDICATE: April 11 Bar 3909 (Lakes Entrance); 12 Northcote Social Club DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: April 12 Corner Hotel DIRT FARMER: April 12 Ding Dong CREO: April 12 Espy THE TIGER & ME: April 12, 13 Workers Club THE PEEP TEMPEL: April 12 Workers Club; 13 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine) THE MCCLYMONTS: April 12 Matthew Flinders Hotel (Chadstone); 13 York On Lilydale (Mount Evelyn) SONGS: April 13 Workers Club SELF IS A SEED: April 13 Barwon Club (Geelong) SILENT KNIGHT: April 13 DV8 LANEOUS & THE FAMILY YAH: April 13 Evelyn Hotel DZ DEATHRAYS: April 13 Ding Dong KYLIE AULDIST: April 13 Caravan Music Club KIRIN J CALLINAN: April 13, 14 Grace Darling ALBARE: April 13 Geelong Performing Arts Centre AINSLIE WILLS: April 13 Golden Vine (Bendigo) NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH: April 13 Toff JORDIE LANE: April 14 Burke & Wills Winery MICHAELA BURGER, KELLY BREUER, MARY WEBB: April 14 Carters Bar; 16 Espy

UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL SILVERSTEIN: April 18 Corner EXTREME: April 19 Palace PHAROAHE MONCH: April 19 Espy JOZIF: April 19 New Guernica MIDGE URE: April 19 Billboard; 24 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster) BRYAN ADAMS: April 20 Rod Laver Arena DYING FETUS, PUTRID PILE: April 20 Evelyn JOSH GROBAN: April 20, 21 Palais COHEED & CAMBRIA: April 21 Palace GLENN HUGHES: April 22 Corner FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS: April 22 Festival Hall DADA LIFE: April 24 Billboard BLUE OYSTER CULT: April 24 Prince Bandroom HAYWARD WILLIAMS: April 24 Pizza & Wine Club (Kyneton); 26 Northcote Social Club FIREWIND: April 25 Corner Hotel KING TUFF: April 25 Bermuda Float DERRICK MAY, BEN KLOCK, EATS EVERYTHING: April 25 Brown Alley OTEP: April 26 Hi-Fi THE BLACK SEEDS: April 27 Hi-Fi TOOL: April 27, 28 Rod Laver Arena BANE: April 27 Bang AEROSMITH: April 28 Sidney Myer Music Bowl; May 4 Rod Laver Arena THE BAD SHEPHERDS: April 29 Corner Hotel BLACK SABBATH: April 29, May 1 Rod Laver Arena THE BRONX: April 30, May 1 Corner Hotel TEGAN & SARA: May 2 Palais

ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD: March 30 Corner Hotel

SOMETHING FOR KATE: May 10 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 11 Pier Live (Frankston); 24 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); June 14 Forum

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA: April 3 Hamer Hall

BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club

BEN CAPLAN: April 4 Northcote Social Club

BOB EVANS: May 16 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 17 Corner; 18 Meeniyan Town Hall

THE SNOWDROPPERS: April 5 Northcote Social Club JAKE SHIMABUKURO: April 5 Corner Hotel

SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 Corner (two shows) THE BEARDS: June 13 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 14 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 15 Hi-Fi

SOJA: April 6 Prince Bandroom BEN HOWARD: April 6, 7 Corner Hotel

YOU AM I: July 6 Forum

CREO: April 12 Espy BONJAH: April 13 Corner; 19 the Loft (Warrnambool); May 24 Baha Tacos (Rye)

GOLD FIELDS: July 12 Karova Lounge; 13 Corner; 18 Eureka Hotel (Geelong)

VYDAMO: April 20 Toff

FOALS: September 27 Palace

WED

THU

10 APRIL 2013

11 APRIL 2013

Bareback Titty Squad, Palace Of The King, July Days, The Fighting: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Pugsley Buzzard, Guy Kable: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Spencer P Jones: Tago Mago, Thornbury The Starry Field: The B.East, Brunswick East Daryl Roberts: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Kim Salmon, Burn In Hell, Loose Lips, The Yokohomos, Axe Girl: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Diamonds Of Neptune, The Dark Ales, Local Group: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Bone, Celery, Beiamin: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Newton Faulkner, + Special Guests: The Prince (Bandroom), St Kilda Josh Owen: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda Donnie Dureau, + Guests: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Alex Aronston: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury Miles & Simone, Brighter Later: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Milk Teddy, D D Dumbo, Jealous Husband: The Tote, Collingwood Anna’s Go-Go Academy: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Eli Wolfe, The Boys: Wesley Anne, Northcote Lioness Eye, The Attics, Halt Ever, Coast Emotive: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

Julien Wilson ‘B For Chicken’ Quartet: 303, Northcote Twin Ages, The Graves, The Scalps: Bar Open, Fitzroy Dead City Ruins: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Jon Anderson, Harry Healy: Corner Hotel, Richmond Cry Yourself a River feat. Axis of Awesome: Forum Theatre (Upstairs), Melbourne Brooke Russell & The Mean Reds: Retreat Hotel (Front Bar ), Brunswick The Alan Ladds: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Marisa Quigley, Sam Lohs: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Collage with The Peeks, Scaramouche, Stephen Ward Band, Since We Kissed: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda The Finks, JA Core: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Ghost Towns of The Midwest: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Prudence ReesLees, Angel Eyes, Hyperborea: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Holy Moses Heartache, The Promises, Jules Sheldon: The Tote, Collingwood Simply Acoustic+Various Artists: Wesley Anne, Northcote

42 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags

EMMA LOUISE: May 9 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 10 Corner; 11 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) THE RUBENS: May 10 Forum; 12 Yarra Hotel (Geelong)

BETTYE LAVETTE, JON ANDERSON: April 4 Corner Hotel

NATIONAL

FRIGHTENED RABBIT: May 8 Corner

ALLEN STONE: March 28 Northcote Social Club

SHAWN COLVIN: April 1 Corner Hotel

JON ANDERSON: April 10, 11 Corner PUBLIC IMAGE LTD: April 11 Palace BLACK BREATH: April 11 Reverence NEWTON FAULKNER: April 11 Prince; 14 Caravan Music Club ZUCCHERO: April 12 Palais Theatre MOVE D: April 12 Brown Alley @PEACE: April 12 Espy MATTHEW HERBERT: April 13 Melbourne Recital Centre DAMON & NAOMI: April 14 Toff EUGENE BRIDGES: April 14 Williamstown RSL

THE KOOKS: May 3 Palais

JIMMY CLIFF: March 27 Corner Hotel

IGGY & THE STOOGES, BEASTS OF BOURBON: March 27 Festival Hall

THIS WEEK

TEGAN & SARA: May 2 Palais

Cookin On 3 Burners: 303, Northcote Spit Syndicate, Jackie Onassis: Bar 3909, Lakes Entrance The Rebelles, DJ Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Jon Anderson, Harry Healy: Corner Hotel, Richmond Tim Woodz: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick Cry Yourself a River feat. Axis of Awesome: Forum Theatre (Upstairs), Melbourne Goldsmith, Tully On Tully, De Fremerly: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Cabbages & Kings, Benjamin Jones: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond Peter Ewing: Labour In Vain, Fitzroy Stray Hens: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Whipped Cream Chargers, The Sommerville: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Mama Kin, Spender: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Remzelk: Open Studio, Northcote Public Image Ltd, Harmony: Palace Theatre, Melbourne Soul Sessions with Chelsea Wilson, Florelie Escano: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick Black Breath, I Exist, Chaingun: Reverence Hotel, Footscray Storyhorse, Samuel Tate, Fuck Folk: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar ), Footscray

FRI 12 APRIL 2013 Diploid, Rotary Hoes, Cholesterollers, Mangel Werzel, Swimsuit Dynamite + more: 303, Northcote The Dingalings: Bar Open, Fitzroy Mama Kin: Basement Discs (Early Afternoon), Melbourne Rewind feat. Christine Anu: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Move D: Brown Alley, Melbourne Go Jane Go: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Dazook, Moroccan Kings, Sudden State, Twelve Inch Clocks: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Dead Letter Circus, Breaking Orbit, Self Is A Seed: Corner Hotel, Richmond Dirt Farmer, Towers, De Fremerly, Grizzly Jim Laurie: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne The Alan Ladds: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick Hello Good Mornings: Elsternwick Hotel, Elsternwick In Your Hands, Portraits Of August, Have You Seen This Boy, Cooper Street: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Cry Yourself a River feat. Axis of Awesome: Forum Theatre (Upstairs), Melbourne Eli Wolfe: Harvester Moon Cafe, Bellarine Cousin Alice: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Spit Syndicate, Jackie Onassis, Mikey Hundred: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Zucchero: Palais Theatre, St Kilda

Children Overboard, Stevie & The Sleepers, Sean Simmons (The Spoils): Retreat Hotel, Brunswick The Ramshackle Army, The Tearaways, Maricopa Wells, The Shadow League: Reverence Hotel, Footscray I Confess, Districts, Oediupus Rex, Just Us League: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran The Dames, Emile Mae, WAM: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Johnny Gibson & The Hangovers, The Ol Faithfuls: Tago Mago, Thornbury Obscene Extreme+Rotten Sound, Birdfl esh, Blood Duster, Captain Cleanoff: The Bendigo, Collingwood Skyscraper Stan, Junk Horses: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Creo, Palace Of The King, Bonez, Contangent: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda Servant of Sorrow feat. Belligerent Intent, Blackwater, Myridian, Hybrid Nightmares, Headless: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda @Peace, Remi, Eloquor, Amin Payne, Brendan West: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Silence Dead Silence, Dead River, Tender Bones, Seesaw: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Summer Flake, Divine RIP, Circular Keys, Evelyn Ida Morris: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Mama Kin, Spender: The Loft, Warrnambool

Charles Baby, Trio Agogo: Wesley Anne, Northcote The Detonators: Wheelers Hill Hotel, Wheelers Hill Bec Plath, Rebekah Davis, Kristian Risti: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

SAT 13 APRIL 2013 Byron & The Gypsy Cats, Universal Love Theory: 303, Northcote Money For Rope: Baha Tacos, Rye Shanty Town, Revomatix: Bar Open, Fitzroy Self Is A Seed: Barwon Club, South Geelong Morgan Joanel: Bended Elbow, Geelong, Geelong Rewind feat.+Christine Anu: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Bondi Hipsters: Brown Alley, Melbourne Kylie Auldist, Chelsea Wilson: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh The Ape + Special Guests: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Bane Of Winterstorm, Silent Knight, Damnation’s Day: Club DV8, Melbourne Bonjah, Ghost Orkid, Old Medicine: Corner Hotel, Richmond DZ Deathrays, Damn Terran, Super Best Friends: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne

SELF IS A SEED: April 13 Barwon Club (Geelong)

Lurch & Chief: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda Josh Forner: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Harry Hookey: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury Obscene Extreme Festival with Nuclear Death Terror, The Day Everything Become Nothing, Intense Rage, Filth + more: The Tote, Collingwood The Poly’s: The Vineyard, St Kilda The Tiger & Me, The Peep Tempel: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Swamp Moth, Dog Hair Jacket: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick

David Bramble: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Darling James: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick Phil Para Band: Elsternwick Hotel, Elsternwick Laneous & The Family Yah, Georgia Potter, MKO, Superfeather, The Well Alrights, The Melotonins: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Wondercore Island+Kirkis, Clever Austin, Demian, Silentjay, + more: Evelyn Hotel (Rooftop Afternoon), Fitzroy


The Hello Morning, Simon Levick: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Cry Yourself a River feat.+Axis of Awesome: Forum Theatre (Upstairs), Melbourne The Rechords: Gasolina, Southbank Albare: Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong Albare, Special Guests: GPAC Drama Theatre, Geelong Kirin J Callinan: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Lisa Miller Trio, Shane O’Mara, Ash Davies: Labour In Vain, Fitzroy T-Bones: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Detonators, The F100s: Lucky 13 Garage, Moorabbin Loose Lips, Axe Girl, The Yokohomos, Clowns, Loose Tooth, 12fu, The Fuck Fucks, + more: Lyrebird Lounge, Ripponlea The Tiger & Me, The Twoks, Texture Like Sun: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Geoff Achison & The Soul Diggers: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy Stephen Brandon: Retreat Hotel (Beer Garden Afternoon), Brunswick Dirt River Radio: Retreat Hotel (Front Bar ), Brunswick The Exotics, Dogs Day, DJ Shaky Memorial: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick Dead River Runs Dry, Adamus Exul, Hordes Of The Black Cross, Internal Harvest: Reverence Hotel, Footscray Crackwhore, Dixon Cider, The General: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar ), Footscray Oh Pacifi c, IKARII, Outlines, Cardinal: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Black Night Crash feat. +The Spasms, Sexy/Heavy: Rochester Castle Hotel, Fitzroy Shaun Kirk, Al Parkinson, Hiding with Bears: Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave Judge Pino & The Ruling Motions, Mighty Duke & The Lords: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick The Peep Tempel: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine The Go Set, The Ravines, McAlpines Fusiliers, The Stiffys, Phil Para Band: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda The Fighting, Blacknail, The Rosencrants, Simon & Lauchie: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda Live Session #1 feat. +White Walls, Deep Heat, Gold Tango, Shit Weather, Gentlemen: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood

Outright, Starvation, Manhunt, Risk and Reason: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Ainslie Wills: The Golden Vine, Bendigo Sol Nation: The Luwow, Fitzroy Spoonful: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg The Elliotts: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda Greens Dairy Angel Ensemble: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Jemma Nicole, + Guests: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury The Neighbourhood Youth, Mercians, Dear Plastic, Young Men Dead: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Obscene Extreme Festival with +Blood Duster, Rotten Sound, Kromosom, Fuck... I’m Dead, + more: The Tote, Collingwood Naked Bodies: The Tote (Front Bar ), Collingwood Songs, Terrible Truths, School Of Radiant Living: The Workers Club, Fitzroy New Jack Rubys, Drifter: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Ol Timey Bluegrass Band: Victoria Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Lauren Bruce, Letter B: Wesley Anne, Northcote Shitbox Valley Fundraiser+Various Artists: Wesley Anne (Afternoon), Northcote Ben Kelly & Band: Wild Thyme Cafe, Warbourton Wolfpack, Clowns, Rise Of The Rat, The Jacks: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy A Date With Effi e feat.+Effi e, Gab Rossi: Yarraville Club, Yarraville

SUN 14 APRIL 2013 Darebin Songwriters Guild+: 303 (Afternoon), Northcote The Unprettier, Hopes Abandoned, Public Liability, And We Are The Enemy: 303, Northcote Chewing, Tom Reilly: Bar Open, Fitzroy Newton Faulkner, Morgan Joanel, Jolan: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Catfi sh Voodoo, DJ Max Crawdaddy: Cherry Bar (Afternoon), Melbourne Land of the Blind, The Solicitors, Sookylala: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Jewels of Rock n Soul feat.+Anthea “Jewels”Sidiropoulos: Daveys Hotel, Frankston Tango Rubino: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick The Wild Comforts, Eaten By Dogs, The Matty Green Band: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy

Michaela Jayde, Anna Paddick & The Spekulators, Willow: Evelyn Hotel (Afternoon), Fitzroy Cry Yourself a River feat.+Axis of Awesome: Forum Theatre (Upstairs), Melbourne Kirin J Callinan: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Joe Forrester, Bernie Carson: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond The 4 Peace Band: Green Table Social Club, Dandenong The Hello Morning: Labour In Vain, Fitzroy

Mountain & Swamp Sessions with+Craig Woodward & Friends: The Gasometer Hotel (Front Bar Afternoon), Collingwood The Rechords: The Gem, Collingwood The Spoils: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Simon Wright Band: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda Dan Watkins & Paddy Montgomery: The Sporting Club, Brunswick The Alan Ladds: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Open Decks: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury

MOVE D: April 12 Brown Alley

Marty Kelly & Aubury Maher, The Moonee Valley Drifters: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Goo Goo Muck+: Lounge Bar, Melbourne The Cambodian Space Project, + Special Guests: Northcote Social Club (Matinee), Northcote St Kinda Youth Festival feat.+8 Bit Love, Kuan Yin Society, MZ Rizk, Soliliquy, + more: O’Donnell Gardens, St Kilda Chris Wilson: Rainbow Hotel (Afternoon), Fitzroy Mick Daley & Tim Crossey: Retreat Hotel (Beer Garden Afternoon), Brunswick Lucie Thorne, Raised By Eagles: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick Hoodlum Shouts, Lucy Wilson, Grace Lawry, Mara Threat: Reverence Hotel (Afternoon), Footscray Side Stacks: Spotted Mallard (Afternoon), Brunswick Bonsack Machine, Rolling Perpetual Groove Show, Plymouth Reverends: Tago Mago (Afternoon), Thornbury Checkerboard: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Maddy Serong: The Carringbush Hotel (Afternoon), Abbotsford Gunn Music Espy Showdown Final+Various Artists: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada, Ms Butt: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Rort, Starvation, Blood Rule, Man Hunt, Pregnancy: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood

Damon & Naomi, Guy Blackman, Wintercoats: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Cut Razor Wire feat.+Chris Wilson, Jeff Lang, Charles Jenkins, Suzannah Espie, + more: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Andrew Higgs: Victoria Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges: Williamstown RSL, Williamstown Hey Gringo: Yarra Valley Grand Hotel (Afternoon), Yarra Glen

MON 15 APRIL 2013 Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne The Beegles, Euphoriacs, Whipped Cream Chargers, Roxy Lavish, The Suicide Cult: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Pikelet, Terrible Truths, Krakatoa: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Zoophyte: The Espy (Front Bar ), St Kilda

TUE 16 APRIL 2013 The Seven Ups, The Moon Project, Purple Tusks: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Kain Borlase Trio: Kojo Brown, Richmond Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Charles Jenkins: Retreat Hotel (Front Bar ), Brunswick

TOUR GUIDE THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: May 2, 3 Corner Hotel THE KOOKS: May 1, 3 Palais MATT & KIM: May 3 Northcote Social Club EXAMPLE: May 3 Palace OBITUARY: May 3 Espy SIX60: May 3 Forum YACHT: May 3 Ding Dong DEATHSTARS: May 4 Corner Hotel NORMA JEAN: May 4 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 5 Corner Hotel BAAUER: May 4 Brown Alley SANDI THOM: May 4 Caravan Music Club; 5 Art Gallery of Ballarat; 9 Melbourne Recital Centre THE HAPPY MONDAYS: May 5 Palace FRIGHTENED RABBIT: May 8 Corner Hotel BETH ORTON: May 8 St Michael’s Church JULIAN MARLEY: May 9 Corner CRADLE OF FILTH: May 10 Palace OM: May 10 Hi-Fi DJ AFRIKA BAMBAATAA: May 11 Laundry DRAGON: May 11 Palms At Crown JELLO BIAFRA: May 11, 12 Corner; 17 Coolangatta Hotel UNIDA: May 12 Hi-Fi THE SEEKERS: May 14 Hamer Hall FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND: May 14 Corner Hotel; 15 Pier Live (Frankston) NEON TREES: May 15 Ding Dong DEFTONES: May 17, 18 Palace TENACIOUS D: May 17 Palais LOCAL NATIVES: May 18 Forum STAN RIDGWAY: May 18 Corner Hotel; 19 Caravan Club FRED V & GRAFIX: May 19 Royal Melbourne Hotel BOBBY WOMACK: May 21 Hamer Hall ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: May 22 Corner LITA FORD: May 23 Prince Bandroom THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT: May 23 Caravan Music Club; 31 Billboard; June 2 Ferntree Gully Hotel BORN OF OSIRIS: May 23 Hi-Fi; 24 Phoenix Youth Centre ELUVEITIE: May 24 Billboard EMMURE, THE GHOST INSIDE: May 25, 26 Hi-Fi KAKI KING: May 30 Corner JULIE ANDREWS: May 31 Hamer Hall

DZ DEATHRAYS: April 13 Ding Dong

ROCKET TO MEMPHIS: April 26 LuWow; 27 Spotted Mallard SONS OF RICO: April 26 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 27 Workers Club TAME IMPALA: April 26 Festival Hall SPIT SYNDICATE: April 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH: April 26 Barwon Club Hotel (Geelong); May 3 Mynt Lounge (Werribee) DARYL BRAITHWAITE, JOE CAMILLERI, JAMES REYNE, ROSS WILSON: April 26 Palais; 27 Geelong Costa Hall; 28 Capital Theatre (Bendigo) KIERAN RYAN: April 27 Toff VANCE JOY: April 27 Northcote Social Club BIG SCARY: April 27 Corner TIMMY TRUMPET: April 27 Billboard; 24 Mynt Lounge (Werribee), Eureka Hotel (Geelong) PEZ: May 2 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 3 Kay St Entertainment Complex (Traralgon) FLUME: May 2, 3 Festival Hall LOVE LIKE HATE: May 2 Grumpy’s Green; 4 Revolver DANIEL CHAMPAGNE: May 2 Beav’s Bar (Geelong); 3 Caravan Music Club; 4 Northcote Social Club; 10 Loft (Warrnambool) D AT SEA: May 3 Workers Club; 4 Showground Shed MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA: May 4 Forum PATRICK ROBERTS: May 4 Palms At Crown KRISTA POLVERE: May 4 Ding Dong GAY PARIS: May 4, 5 Cherry Bar; 24 Fitzroy Hotel; 31 Loft (Warnambool)

NATIONAL KATIE WIGHTON: April 17 Grace Darling THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON: April 17 Northcote Social Club EVERMORE: April 17 Star Bar (Bendigo); 18 Trak; 19 Mac’s Hotel (Melton); 20 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 21 Thornbury Theatre; 24 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 26 SSA Club (Albury) THE ART, RICHIE RAMONE, BUCKCHERRY: April 18 Espy THE MCCLYMONTS: April 18 Hallam Hotel; 19 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster); 20 Gateway Hotel (Corio) NANTES: April 19 Northcote Social Club BRITISH INDIA: April 19 Corner Hotel SASKWATCH: April 19 Prince Bandroom; 20 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine) THE HILLBILLY KILLERS: April 19 Meeniyan Town Hall; 21 Northcote Social Club BRUCE MATHISKE: April 19 Lighthouse Theatre (Warrnambool); 20 Geelong Performing Arts Centre; 21 Chapel Off Chapel VYDAMO: April 20 Toff THE GRISWOLDS: April 20 Workers Club STILLWTER GIANTS, THE DELTA RIGGS: April 20 Northcote Social Club UNDERGROUNDLOVERS: April 20 Corner THE GROWL: April 24 Workers Club THE TEMPER TRAP: April 24 Festival Hall FLINCH: April 24 Espy MAT MCHUGH & THE SEPERATISTA SOUNDSYSTEM: April 24 Espy ALBARE: April 24 Melbourne Recital Centre AINSLIE WILLS: April 24 Northcote Social Club GRINSPOON: April 24 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 25 Pier Live (Frankston); 26 Inferno (Traralgon); 27 Ferntree Gully Hotel HOUSE VS HURRICANE: April 24 Plastic; 25 Courthouse (Geelong); 26 Mooroolbark Community Centre CHANCE WATERS: April 24 Kay Street Saloon Bar (Traralgon); 25 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 26 Northcote Social Club; 27 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) DIG IT UP! FT. HOODOO GURUS: April 25 Palace and surroundings JAGWAR MA: April 25 Ding Dong SHOCKONE: April 25 Liberty Social TIMOTHY NELSON & THE INFIDELS: April 25 Toff MARSHALL OKELL: April 25 Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave) FRANKENBOK, ABREACT, DREADNAUGHT, HEAVEN THE AXE, KING PARROT: April 25 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 26 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 27 Edge Hotel (Mildura); May 17 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 18 Inferno (Traralgon); 31 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo); June 28 Yahoo Bar (Shepparton) HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: April 26 Corner Hotel THE DRONES: April 26 Forum ALLDAY: April 26 Workers Club

GUY SEBASTIAN: May 4 Nowingi Place (Mildura); 8 Lighthouse Theatre (Warrnambool); 10 GPAC Costa Hall; 11 Eastbank Centre (Shepparton); 12, 13 Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre; 21, 22 Capital Theatre (Bendigo) KATHRYN ROLLINS: May 9 Grace Darling LAURA IMBRUGLIA: May 9 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 11 Old Bar EMMA LOUISE: May 9 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 10 Corner; 11 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) SOMETHING FOR KATE: May 10 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 11 Pier Live (Frankston); 24 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); June 14, 15 Forum MUSTERED COURAGE: May 10 Northcote Social Club MESSRS: May 10 Grace Darling; 11 Saloon Bar (Traralgon) THE RUBENS: May 10, 11 Forum; 12 Yarra Hotel (Geelong) BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club JINJA SAFARI: May 15, 16 Toff CHARLES BABY: May 16 Workers Club BOB EVANS: May 16 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 17 Corner Hotel; 18 Meeniyan Town Hall SETH SENTRY: May 17 Forum; 18 Ding Dong HEROES FOR HIRE: May 17 Wrangler Studios (Footscray) THE STEVENS: May 17 Tote THE DEEP END: May 18 Cherry Bar CITY RIOTS: May 18 Rochester Castle MARK SEYMOUR & THE UNDERTOW: May 18 Sphinx Hotel (Geelong) TONIGHT ALIVE: May 18, 19 Ding Dong REDX: May 23 Workers Club SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 (two shows), 26 Corner LEE KERNAGHAN: May 23 Ballarat Regional Multiplex; 24 Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre; 25 Costa Hall (Geelong); 29 Capital Theatre (Bendigo); 30 Swan Hill Town Hall; June 2 Shepparton Eastbank Centre JERICCO: May 25 Espy CALL THE SHOTS: May 26 Fitzroy Town Hall SUPER WILD HORSES: May 31 Tote BAD//DREEMS: May 31 Gasometer

FESTIVALS MOVEMENT FESTIVAL: April 27 Sidney Myer Music Bowl SUPAFEST: April 27 Flemington Racecourse GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 4 Prince Of Wales Showgrounds Bendigo CHERRYROCK013: May 5 AC/DC Lane HEART OF ST KILDA: May 14 Palais CAMP ELSEWHERE: May 17-19 Yarra Junction ROCK N LOAD: June 1 Espy SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS: July 26-28 North Byron Parklands

To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 43


CLUB GUIDE

WED

THU

10 APRIL 2013

11 APRIL 2013

Cosmic Pizza+NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Soul Army+Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Dubstep Grime Drum & Bass+DJ Baddums, DJ Carmex: Laundry Bar, Fitzroy Coq Roq+Agent 86, Lady Noir, Joybot, Kiti, Mr Thom: Lucky Coq, Windsor New Guernica Wednesdays+Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne The Dinner Set feat. +JPS: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Mezzanine & The Back Room+DJ Mannequin, DJ Syto: Abode, St Kilda

New Guernica Wednesdays + Conductors, James Kane, Negative Magick, Nu Balance, Post Percy: New Guernica, Melbourne

Good Evening+DJ People: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Le Disco Tech+Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda

Midnight Express+DJ Prequel & Ed Fisher: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Billboard Thursdays+Matt Dean, Matty Grant, Phil Ross: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne

3181 Thursday+Hans DC, Jake Judd, Nikki Sarafian, Hey Sam, Jesse Young, John Doe, Sean Rault: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Tiger Funk Live+DJ Moonshine: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy

Do Drop In+Kiti, Lady Noir: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne

Chi Beats+Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne Grad Party Thursdays+DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Mood+NuBody: Loop, Melbourne

Lost & Found+DJ Spidey, DJ Ruby Frost: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Free Range Funk+Agent 86, Lewis CanCut, Who: Lucky Coq, Windsor

The Dinner Set+Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Trocadero+Various DJs: Match Bar, Melbourne

Love Story+ : The Toff In Town (Late) , Melbourne Good Evening with+Principal Blackman: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room) , Melbourne Midnight Express with+DJ Prequel & Ed Fisher: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room Late) , Melbourne

Love Story+Various DJs: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Don’t Think I’m Alive Thursdays+Various DJs: The Vineyard, St Kilda The Ritz Thursdays+CaucAsian DJs, Joshua Gililand, Ken Walker, Lucille Croft, Carrick Dalton, Sam Cohen, Ed Wilks, Max Kruse, Tim Light, Zack Rose: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Bang N Mash+Various DJs: Word Events Warehouse & Lounge, Melbourne Radionica+Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

FRI 12 APRIL 2013

Hoodrapz+Wednesday: Workshop, Melbourne

Latin Quarter+Various DJs: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak

Cant Say+Various DJs: Platform 1, Melbourne

Friday Night Commercial House DJs+DJ Lauren Mac , Low and Behold, Tania M: Veludo, St Kilda

La Danse Macabre+Brunswick Massive, Machete Brothers: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy

Friday Debrief+DJ Obliveus: Big Mouth, St Kilda Juicy+Chairman Meow (Pearls), Coburg Market, Mr Fox, Tigerfunk, Who: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy

La Danse Macabre+Machete Brothers: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy I Love Old School+Shaggz & Puppet, DJ Tey, Merv Mac: Red Bennies, South Yarra

Chi Fridays+Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne CQ Fridays+Various DJs: CQ, Melbourne

Revolver Fridays+Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Badaboom Fridays+DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne A Gender Disgracement Party+KT Spit , Wet Lips: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Get Lit+Various DJs: Lounge Bar, Melbourne

Discotheque+Elana Musto, Greg Sara, Scott T: Match Bar, Melbourne

Mama Saids 3rd Birthday+Gavin Keitel, Daniel Tardrew, Dean Benson, Isaac Fryar, Jacob Malmo, Liam Waller, Luke Bourke, Matt Kovic, Oliver James: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran PopRocks+Phil Smith: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Anytime+Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

SUN 14 APRIL 2013 Revolver Sundays+Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, + more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

SAT

The Sunday Set+DJ Andyblack, Haggis: The Toff In Town

13 APRIL 2013

MON

(Carriage Room Afternoon) , Melbourne

Spin The Globe feat. +Serhan Ali, Mohair Slim, + more: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood

15 APRIL 2013

Super Grande+Various DJs: Lounge Bar, Melbourne

Duvz n S-Tea: The Espy (Lounge Bar) , St Kilda

The Late Show+Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Stiff Drink+Various DJs: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Dance Klub+Various DJs: Seven, Melbourne The House deFrost with+Andee Frost: The Toff In Town (Late) , Melbourne

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DAMN THAT RIVER

WITH GUESTS SORDID ORDEAL, POISON FISH, CURSING TOMORROW FRIDAY THE 12TH OF APRIL - 9PM

HEY! SANTIAGO

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ÂC‚FINAL SHOW! FEATURING GUESTS UNCLE RUDY, SILENT DUCK (SA), LUCY’S CROWN, 12 INCH CLOCKS, ÂC‚FRACESCO CITERA SUNDAY THE 14TH OF APRIL - 8PM

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WITH GUESTS ANNA MARIA LOUISA THERESA, JACK DARIOL MONDAY THE 15TH OF APRIL - 8PM

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THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT

GIVING CHANCES TO UP AND COMING LOCAL TALENT! THIS WEEK: TBC!

44 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags

AMANDA CONNELL BAND

COUSIN ALICE

FRI 12TH

+43 C7

s+8=4+78B:4H+><4=t ?<'0< >7B ?<!0A8B0%D86;4H (7DAB C7

?<>A30= ?<0AAH;&>14ACB A8 C7

9:30PM

(R&B grooves)

SAT 13TH 8:30PM

(Urban grooves)

SUN 14TH 5:30PM

?<0<4B!20== 0=3$4C4F8=6 'D= C7

?<4>55278B>=  ?<!82:0;4H (D4B C7

?<+44:;H(A8E80 (74AD=:4=$>4C $44;'CA44C 8A42C;H>??>B8C4%D44=*82!0A:4C $7>=4  FFFC743AD=:4=?>4C2><0D

MOONEE VALLEY DRIFTERS (Western swing)

SUN 14TH 9:00PM

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T-BONES

MARTY KELLY & AUBURY MAHER (Acoustic roots)

TUES 16TH 8:00PM

IRISH SESSION (Diddley-diddley-dee)

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~ EXCELLENT RESTAURANT AND BAR MEALS


45


BEHIND THE LINES VALE PHIL RAMONE

No relation of course to those other “Ramones”, 14-time Grammy Award-winning South African-born, US-based recording engineer and producer Phil Ramone passed away in New York on Saturday 30 March aged 79 while being treated in hospital for an aortic aneurysm. Over a long and distinguished career that began with the launch of A&R Recording Studios in 1958, in which he was a partner, Ramone, who began his musical career as a songwriter, produced records for artists as diverse and distinguished as Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Barbra Streisand, Paul Simon, Keith Urban, Queen Latifah, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra for his 1993 “comeback” album, Duets, which utilised a pioneering fibre optics system that allowed artists to record a song from different studios. Among those 14 Grammys was the 2004 Technical Grammy “for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.” Ramone was instrumental in the commercial introduction of optical surround sound for film, which would evolve into the 5.1 sound system in use today, and in 2005 won the inaugural Grammy for Best Surround Sound Album for the Ray Charles album, Genius Loves Company.

SOUND BYTES According to the Associated Press, producer Mark Ronson has worked on three songs for the next Paul McCartney album, commenting that, apart from a serious case of nervousness, working with the former Beatle was like “taking a master class in production.” Due for release in June, the new album, ...Like Clockwork, from Queens Of The Stone Age, was produced by Josh Homme and the band and recorded by Mark Rankin at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, California. Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye have been recording at State Of The Ark Studios in Richmond, Surrey, UK, which is kitted out with a lot of Abbey Road equipment including a vintage EMI TG 12345 console and was once the private studio of songwriter and guitarist Terry Britten of ‘60s Adelaide popsters The Twilight. They’ve teamed with producer Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). The fifth album, Monomania, from America’s Deerhunter was recorded via multiple eighttrack machines into an MCI mixing desk by Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes in Brooklyn, NYC through the first two months of this year. It must have been quite a session, Aaron Neville in Electric Lady Studios in New York City recording his latest album, My True Story, with co-producers Don Was and the inimitable Keith Richards. Joe Satriani releases his 14th studio album, Unstoppable Momentum, recorded at Skywalker Sound in the San Francisco Bay Area and produced by Satriani and Mike Fraser (AC/DC), in May. Dallas Green took his City & Colour project into Nashville’s Blackbird Studios late last year to record their fourth album, The Hurry & The Harm, with, once more, producer Alex Newport (At The Drive-In, Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta). The all-female post-punk four-piece Savages recorded their debut album, Silence Yourself, over three weeks last December in north-west London’s Fish Factory studio with producers Johnny Hostile and Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Adele). Canada’s Monster Truck recorded their debut album, Furiosity, produced by Juno-nominated Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Three Days Grace, Cancer Bats) at Vesper Studios in Toronto and Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville. Recently in Australia supporting Ed Sheeran, Gabrielle Aplin recorded her debut album, English Rain, with Mike Spencer (Rudimental, Alex Clare) over some six months in his Buckingham studio. Showstopping acoustic guitarist Daniel Champagne recorded his latest album, The Gypsy Moon Vol 1, at Pirate Studios, just out of Merimbula on the NSW south coast with veteran producer Dave Sparks (Lime Spiders, Gyan, Robyne Dunn), with whom he has recorded all his releases to date. Melburnian experimental vocal group Aluka have made an album, Space, that took them and their producer Nick Huggins (Kid Sam, Otouto), renowned for his innovative microphone choices and recording techniques, on quite a journey around Victoria, recording in ten unconventional and remote locations including a swimming pool, a barn, various cars and a World War II bunker.

46 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews

SABBATH BLOODY BASS PLAYER He was born Terence Butler, July 17, 1949, in Birmingham, UK, but the world knows him as Geezer, the bass player with the band that established the blueprint for heavy metal for generations, Black Sabbath. While Ozzy Osbourne might have become the “Lord of Darkness”, a lot of the lyrics he was singing were actually Butler’s, but it’s on his role as bass player and the development of his sound that Muso quizzed him on the eve of the band’s Australian tour. It’s often said that Black Sabbath invented heavy metal music. The first album was a lot heavier and the guitars dirtier than anything else that had been before. Where did that sound come from? Was it a conscious thing, or just a sum of the parts? It was a progression of the sound that we listened to and liked: Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, John Mayall, John Lee Hooker, Art, Deep Feeling and those kinds of “heavier“ bands. Tell me about the gear you were using on tour back in the debut album days. I used a Fender P Bass, a Laney 70-watt guitar amp, a Park 3x12 cabinet [I couldn’t afford four speakers] and, eventually, two Laney amps and two Laney 4x12 cabinets. What gear did you use on the new album? How many basses? Kind of amp? Any effects? Strings? In the actual recording of the album I used a custommade Lakland bass, a Bill Nash P Bass, a Hartke Kilo amp, an original 1969 Ampeg SVT and 8x10 cabinet, and an Evil Twin direct box. No external effects. Did you use the Zoom B3? Not in the studio. I use those when writing. Does that gear differ from your live rig much? What will you be using on the Australian tour?

I’ll be using eight Hartke Kilo amps, four 4x12 custom cabs and four 2x15 custom cabs, and my custom Lakland basses. What can you tell us about the new album? Is it classic Sabbath sound or will we be in for a surprise? I think it’s closer to the first three albums in that we strived to capture a live feel to the tracks, rather than first laying down the drums then overdubbing everything. We recorded each track about five or six times, all together in the studio, then picked out the one that had the best feel to it. What was the vibe like playing in Sabbath with a different drummer? It was weird at first, because we’ve only really recorded with two drummers before - Bill Ward and Vinny Appice. Brad [Wilk] was very nervous at first, but after jamming for a few days, he soon got into the swing of things. What was it like working with Rick Rubin? How did he differ from producers you’ve worked with in the past? It was great working with Rick, especially for Ozzy. He did a great job with him. He was different because he’s always been a fan of the band and it was one of his ambitions to produce a Sabbath record. He was really into the feel of the songs rather than the technicalities, and that is rare these days.

Hear any new bass players that impress you? I do occasionally, but I’ve no idea who they are. Bass seems to be a neglected form in the new metal bands, so I mostly listen to jazz players.

You’re a very influential bass player, one of first to use a wah on bass. Where did that idea come from? That came from Roger Bain, the producer on the first album. I used to do the intro without any effects and he suggested using Tony Iommi’s wah pedal. It worked!

Who do you listen to these days in your spare time? While writing the new stuff I avoided music in case any of it subconsciously seeped into my playing. I don’t really have any favourites. I quite like Laura Wilde, I believe she is an Aussie lass, but I usually listen to audiobooks or talk radio or sports.

Is there a Geezer Butler signature bass in the works? Yes, I got the second prototype from Lakland in January. The first prototype didn’t work out to my liking, but the second one sounds and feels great, so we’ll be going with that version. How important was ‘volume’ as a sonic tool back in the day? Did you need to shake the shit out of the audience as well as entertain them? Well, you had to play loud to get people’s attention, since we used to play in pubs and everyone would be having a pint at the bar and shouting at each other, so volume definitely helped.

What’s your favourite Sabbath album and why? I don’t have a favourite Sabbath album. I have a least favourite.

What are you most proud of? Musically, I’m proud of our fans who have stuck with us through thick and thin, fad after fad, and weren’t afraid to admit they liked Sabbath. WHO: Black Sabbath WHAT: 13 (Vertigo/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Monday 29 April and Wednesday 1 May, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

KEEPING IT SIMPLE With a little help from his friends, singer-songwriter Tim Guy has managed to record a quietly crystalline collection of songs for his latest album. He talks to Michael Smith about the making of it. igned to NZ pop diva Bic Runga’s own label, Monkey Records, the currently Melbournebased singer-songwriter Tim Guy has just released his fourth album, Dreaming Of A Night Mango. Unless you’ve been to his shows, this is his first official Australian release, and as often happens with artists, this album is to a great extent a reaction to his last, 2010’s Big World, which was recorded in their then-shared flat in Auckland and coproduced with Jeremy Toy (Open Souls, Hollie Smith), mixed by Jol Mulholland and mastered in LA by Dave Cooley (Serge Gainsbourg, Danger Mouse).

S

“I wanted to make it so it was myself for most of the record,” Guy, who plays a Maton acoustic guitar he’s owned for almost 20 years, explains, “because my last album had heaps of people on it. Then things got pretty boring in there, so I brought in the guys I play with [Nat Riley on electric guitar, Jeremy Toy on bass and drummers Jeremy Rolling and Daniel Brates], just one at a time if a track needed something. But we did most of it live, all together in the same room, complete takes. The only overdubs were where I was adding other guitar tracks myself.” Opting once again to record at home rather than in a studio, the sweetness of the sound on the record is down to the room in the cottage in Coburg, hard by one of the walls of old Pentridge Prison. “The house was built in the ‘40s, a beautiful house with carpeted floors and really high ceilings so it did really well, that place. Lots of the time I was recording with one mic and spent a lot of time positioning the microphone in the right spot to capture the vibe and the performance. Some of the time it turned out that the microphone was best, you know, two and a half metres

to my left-hand side behind my shoulder kind of thing. That was the best spot to capture what I was going for. “I’m not really a technical person, so I’ve just got the minimum of equipment, just enough to get me by,” he says. “And the major thing with this record was trying to find the right vibe as opposed to getting gear together; so just the bare minimum of stuff that I needed – instruments and a microphone and a computer – and I sort of went from there. I just borrowed microphones actually – some of my buddies just left their stuff. “I was running it all through Cubase, and my brother-in-law, Johann Aldons is a computer tech – he’s a really good electronic musician, a studio musician who works under different names but mostly Machina, so he has all the stuff that I need and is my tech person when things go wrong.” One track, Battlefield, was recorded at a friend’s little studio in his wooden house up on the Tweed River in northern NSW towards the end of 2011. “Basically, I’d just come back from touring the last album and he said, ‘If you want to come up to do some recording, the place is yours.’ So I spent a few weeks up there… I made a whole album actually up there and left it all behind, but I kept that one track that made the seed of what is my album now. I think that was basically just part of the process, because I’d just finished my last album and I thought, ‘Okay, let’s try and do something crazy and make an album in two weeks,’ which I did and I’m really glad I achieved it. But then once I sat back and listened to it, I realised I could do better and, you know, took another batch of songs and took nearly another eight months to put the next record together. It’s not so much that I ditched [that earlier album], it’s more that I just kept recording when I went back to Melbourne. Slowly but surely, songs overtook previous ones and those other ones got dropped off until I got a cohesive batch of ten together. “Both my father and my grandfather are ex-soldiers – my grandfather was in Second World War and my father was in Vietnam – they weren’t career soldiers – and I wanted an album that would make people like that feel calm and relaxed, so I wanted

this all to be one kind of mood with a very relaxing, calming sort of effect. I think I reached it.” It seems Guy’s father likes it, or at least the track Battlefield, a first for him, so perhaps the effect will translate to the rest of his generation. “I work with about six or seven different musicians at different times for different shows, and we work really hard at keeping it really sparse. That’s one of our strengths, at times having so many people on stage playing so little, which is something I’ve really wanted to do. There’s a tendency, once you get on stage... you really want to play, but it’s actually harder getting on stage and not playing. And also we like to play really quietly and don’t want to force the music onto people – we want people to come in and grab the music.” Edmund McWilliams mixed Dreaming Of A Night Mango over in Auckland, with Jack The Bear, and mastered the album in Melbourne. WHO: Tim Guy WHAT: Dreaming Of A Night Mango (Lost & Lonesome) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 24 April, Grace Darling; Wednesday 1 May, Open Studio; Sunday 12, Marquis Of Lorne


47


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CLASSIES

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49


BEHIND THE LINES RECORDING THE LOVERS

Expat Sydney singer, songwriter, film score composer and guitarist Mitch Grainger, based these days in Los Angeles, has recorded, mixed and produced a debut album in Doug Messenger’s Hard Drive Studios, with his musical partner Rosa Pullman as The Lovers. Originally set up in the 1970s, the studio’s name has since become quite ironic, since it’s one of the best all-analogue recording studios. Messenger’s studio credits as engineer including recordings for RL Burnside, Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Jimmy Eat World and many more. “We recorded and mixed this record to analogue tape,” Grainger explains, “and it was a joy. We made decisions as we had to; it was either keep the take or record over it. No ProTools, make decisions later… and it was really nice to do it like this. All the tracks were recorded live as a trio or quartet (bass, drums, electric guitar, Wurlitzer) with vocals, acoustics and solos overdubbed. “The signal chain ran through a custom desk that was personally designed and partly built by legendary sound pioneer Dean Jenson, into a 24-track Stephens tape machine, the very same machine that was at Producers Workshop [now Boulevard Recording in Hollywood] in the ‘70s and was used on The Wall, Rumours and a host of hit albums. Stephens machines were the high-end custom machine of the ‘70s and very rare these days – they sound amazing. “Then it all went onto original Scotch 250, 24-track, two-inch tape. This tape also sounds amazing [and] is extremely rare to find in good condition, though Doug has a secret connection in LA. A note on this… I experimented mixing from a Studer and with different tape (we did a transfer) and the results were not nearly as good as the Stephens, Scotch 250 combination. The record was then mixed manually (no recall) through the same analogue desk to a 3M half-inch tape machine, again on Scotch 250 tape.” The album is being mastered by Rob Hadley, who works from The Mastering Lab, Doug Sax’s all-custom super high-end set-up, with the team creating their lacquer from the ½” analogue tapes and also doing a digital master.

50 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews

ELECTRIC SKETCHES Had he lived, Jimi Hendrix would have turned 70 this year. Thankfully, his legacy has lived on and producer Eddie Kramer has been committed to bringing to light his unreleased gems. He talks to Michael Smith about the latest collection, People, Hell & Angels. etween the recording of the second album, December 1967’s Axis: Bold As Love, and the third – and, as it turned out, last with his UK band the Experience – October 1968’s Electric Ladyland, construction had begun on the studio in Greenwich Village, New York City, Jimi Hendrix had been planning with his engineer Eddie Kramer that gave that third album its name, Electric Lady Studios, complete with a then-state of the art SSL 9080J desk in Studio A. Designed in association with acoustician John Storyk, Hendrix only got to spend two and a half months actually recording in the studio before he headed for the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. He died shortly after.

B

Hendrix had first met Kramer at Olympic Studios in London in January 1967, where he recorded some of the first Experience album, Are You Experienced?, other sessions taking place at De Lane Lea and CBS Studios. Kramer became Hendrix’s regular recording engineer, even out front at the festivals that made him internationally famous. Unlike contemporaries such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Hendrix owned his songs and master recordings, so didn’t have to record at recording studios owned and operated by his record company. So after compromising on the second album because of label pressure to capitalise on the success of Are You Experienced?, Hendrix was determined to set up a studio where he could record whenever he wanted. He would prove incredibly productive. Electric Lady wasn’t quite ready when Hendrix began sketching tracks for Electric Ladyland, so that, as well as Olympic, was why he recorded tracks at the newly-opened The Record Plant, a 12-track studio in

New York set up early in 1968 by recording engineer Gary Kellgren and entrepreneur Chris Stone. Since 1997, when Kramer teamed up with Janie Hendrix and John McDermott to oversee the release of the Hendrix legacy – including the remastered studio recordings, unreleased studio sessions and live recordings – he’s overseen the release of three albums’ worth of previously unreleased sessions that show the evolution of Hendrix’s music in the years 1968 and 1969, beginning in 1997 with First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, then 2010’s Valleys Of Neptune, and now, People, Hell & Angels, mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood. Together, they chronicle Hendrix’s experiments with different line-ups as he moved from the Experience to the Band of Gypsys, offering tantalising clues as to the direction he was considering for First Rays Of The New Rising Sun, his planned double album sequel to Electric Ladyland. “We’ve tried to maintain a modicum of order and clarity and vision to the legacy, which we guard very carefully,” Kramer explains. “So when it came time to putting this record [People, Hell & Angels] together, we all started thinking about material. John and I combed the vaults and were very careful to put aside material that we thought would work, and then, over a period of time, we mixed a whole bunch of stuff and it became very clear which ones were the strong candidates and which weren’t, and we knew in advance this would be the last of the studio albums. “It gives the fans – and the critics alike,” he chuckles, “a chance to hear the bare bones of a song before it took its other journeys, before all the extra overdubs were put on. One thing that always struck me when I was putting the record together with John and Janie was that there was a raw, bare-bones sort of quality to the performances because Jimi had not had a chance for the most part to do many overdubs, but this is a strong record – it takes no prisoners.” Remarkably, Kramer has never had to “bake” a single master tape, despite their being more than 40 years old. “So when we transferred the stuff from the various sources – you have four-track, you have twelve-track

one-inch and you have sixteen-track – over into ProTools, we’re using a very cool A to D converter called Burl Audio. It is just the best A to D converter that I’ve ever heard and it sounds just like the original tape, which is amazing. It’s the only one I’ve found that sounds at least as close to the original tape as possible. And then when we mix, we mix back onto analogue tape, and then we still use loads of plug-ins as well, so it’s a very modernsounding record. Very fresh, as if it was done yesterday.” Kramer and McDermott use LAFX Studios in north Hollywood, which houses a vintage 88-channel API console with automation, rebuilt by Brent Averill. Originally an audio equipment rental service, the recording studio part of the business opened in 1994 and was the original NRG Recording studio utilised by Prince, among others. As to Hendrix’s use of studio technology, “there are two very distinct lanes of technology here,” Kramer reminds us. “One is Jimi’s guitar and his amplifier and his pedals, and there is me at the board with what I do. Yes, he did push the envelope in getting the guys who worked on his pedals to make him different – absolutely, that was very much in his mind – but when it came to recording, it was very much my domain, showing him what I could do for him. That’s how we worked together.” People, Hell & Angels is out through Sony Music.


Inpress Issue 1269  

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...

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