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N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S D AY 17 A P R I L 2 013 • I S S U E 12 7 0 • F R E E au






Bluegrass Jam Night 8pm Wednesday

Trivia 8pm Thursday

Donnie Dureau & Guests 7pm Friday

Prairie Kings with Slim Dine 7pm Saturday

Greens Dairy Angel Ensemble 7.30pm Sunday

Dan Watkins & Paddy Montgomery 6pm

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ISSUE 1270

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LoopHole - current exhibiting artist Naomi Wang - A Monument To 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 Fri 19. 10pm - Condensed Milk


Future beats, bass-heavy hip-hop, boggie, future funk and visual art from Amin Payne, Jackson Miles, Cazeaux Oslo, Silent Jay,

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Remi + Sesnsible J & Chronic Sans Sat 20. 10pm - Prognosis Techno, house and progressive masters Verve,

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Trent McDermott, Herc Kass, Alex David, Aaron Static & J-Slyde - VISUALS: vdmo Kstati

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Wed 24. 8pm Soundscapes Monthly Presents: Dystopia Experimental and ambient electronic music



curated and designed sounds of "Dystopia" Artists: Brookwise, By Elly & Lost Few


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Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements Moves and shakes with Industry News Nas wants to be a global hip hop ambassador Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner is a huge Bowie and Rowland S Howard fan Evermore take our Taste Test Phoenix dropped their guitars for a “shitty keyboard” Silverstein talk the joy and pain of concept albums Nikki Sixx has a new book, This Is Gonna Hurt YACHT want to alter your mind; Ainslie Wills gains knowledge and relinquishes control; and Sticky Fingers first got noticed on a milk crate stage Bruce Mathiske is onto album number 17; Buckcherry explore common vices on their new album; Aerosmith return to Oz for the second time in 43 years; and Neil Young helped Brian Estepa rediscover his songwriting mojo The Growl dissect Perth’s music scene; and They Might Be Giants can’t stop, won’t stop being unconventional On The Record rates new releases from Depeche Mode and Gold Fields We chat with lege’ Russell Morris, You Am I’s Russell Hopkinson and a bunch of record store peeps for Record Store Day


Check out This Week In Arts; costume designer to the stars Colleen Atwood chats about her



new exhibition; and we talk to British comedian Josie Long Tom Holloway levels about Dance Of Death, while Allison Wiltshire of theatre collective I’m Trying To Kiss You gets into women and theatre We review shows from Kitty Flanagan’s Hello Kitty to Sammy J’s Potentially and level with Travis Cotton about Robots Vs Art; Good Timing sheds a tear as MICF comes to a close; Cultural Cringe gets into the awards; and Watching Mad Men is here to stay




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Gig Of The Week shimmies and shakes it with Saskwatch; and LIVE:Reviews sweats it out with PiL 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; funky shit with The Get Down; and tales from the Big Apple with New York Conversation 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 Gear and tech talk in Muso Find your new band and just about everything else in our classy Classifieds







Another week, another giveaway (or two). We have two double passes up for grabs to The Kooks’ show at the Palais on Wednesday 1 May. But wait! We’re also giving away five copies of Hamish Anderson’s debut self-titled EP, which features members of Foo Fighters, The Wallflowers and Angus & Julia Stone. Keep an eye on our Facey for your chance to win.

CREDITS EDITORIAL Group Managing Editor Andrew Mast Editor Bryget Chrisfield Assistant Editor Samson McDougall Editorial Assistant Stephanie Liew Arts Coordinator Cassandra Fumi Staff Writer Michael Smith

ADVERTISING National Sales & Marketing Director Leigh Treweek National Sales Manager – Print Nick Lynagh Account Manager Anna Moull Account Manager Andrew Phillips

McMahon, Luke Monks, Fred Negro, Mark Neilsen, Danielle O’Donohue, Matt O’Neill, James Parker, Paul Ransom, Dylan Stewart, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Rob Townsend, Dominique Wall, Doug Wallen.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Senior Contributor Kane Hibberd Jesse Booher, Andrew Briscoe, Chrissie Francis, Jay Hynes, Lou Lou Nutt, Heidi Takla, Elaine Reyes.

INTERNS Jan Wisniewski, Annie Brown

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







10 • To check out the mags online go to Art Direction Matt Davis Layout Matt Davis, Nicholas Hopkins, Eamon Stewart

ACCOUNTS & ADMINISTRATION Reception Kathleen Dray Accounts Receivable Anita D’Angelo

CONTRIBUTORS Senior Contributors Jeff Jenkins Overseas Contributors Tom Hawking (US), James McGalliard (UK), Sasha Perera (UK). Writers Nick Argyriou, Aleksia Barron, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Sarah Braybrooke, Luke Carter, Anthony Carew, Rebecca Cook, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Liza Dezfouli, Dan Condon, Simon Eales, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Bob Baker Fish, Warwick Goodman, Cameron Grace, Chris Hayden, Andrew Hazel, Brendan Hitchens, Ching Pei Khoo, Kate Kingsmill, Baz McAlister, Tony

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

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New explosive rock quartet, The Nerve, have announced their plans to tour nationally this coming June. After playing their first ever show to a packed Espy front bar just a few weeks ago, the band lived up to the hype surrounding their individual, illustrious reputations. The Nerve are based out of Prague, Sydney and Melbourne, featuring Ezekiel Ox (ex Mammal), Lucius Borich (ex Cog, Juice), Davarj Thomas (ex Pre-Shrunk) and virtuoso lead guitarist Glenn Proudfoot. See them at Rock N Load at the Esplanade Hotel on Saturday 1 June.





Nina Kraviz is currently the name on everyone’s lips in the house and techno community. Very rarely does a DJ or producer shoot to stardom so quickly; and when they do, they seldom have the talent to back it up. Kraviz is the exception to the rule. Last year saw her release a second single on Naif, as well as a collaboration with Sascha Funke on BPitch Control and the well received remix of Okain’s Scream on Tsuba. Her second release with Rekids in the form of I’m Week is a truly unique take on house music, that translates well on radio without compromising its integrity. Catch Nina Kraviz when she plays Brown Alley on Friday 3 May.






Knievel and Toby Martin (Youth Group) are thrilled to announce their Songs From The Emerald City tour. Martin and Wayne Connolly (Knievel) have a long history of making records together. All the way back, in fact, to the heady days of the early-2000s. This tour will be a chance to celebrate that history and their continuing musical and songwriting like-mindedness. Both Knievel and Martin released records last year – Emerald City and Love’s Shadow respectively – which feature several songs that are imbued with the geographies of their home town, Sydney. You can catch the tour when it hits the Toff In Town on Saturday 4 May.










One of the country’s most successful electronic exports Tommy Trash is returning to home turf for a headline tour in June. The party-hard DJ and producer has been the one to watch over the past 18 months with a string of successes across the globe as both DJ and producer. This year sees no sign of slowing down; having recently landed a Las Vegas residency at Hakkasan, and with his smash single Reload with Sebastian Ingrosso and John Martin landing imminently, there’s no doubt Trash’s trajectory to the top will be fast-tracked in 2013. Tommy Trash plays Pier Live at Frankston on Friday 31 May and Code Red on Saturday 1 June.

With buzz from his packed showcases in Los Angeles, and having recently completed his second album The Pilgrim with legendary producer, Mark Opitz, talented Sydney-based singer-songwriter Owen Campbell will embark upon a national tour in May and June. Campbell’s debut album spent more than ten months in the Australian iTunes Blues Charts, twice reaching the number one position and achieving Top Ten status in the ARIA charts as well as charting in the Top Five in five different countries. He was also a finalist in last year’s season of Australia’s Got Talent. Catch Campbell at the Spotted Mallard on Saturday 25 May.

















The new album from Beastwars, Blood Becomes Fire is gathering rave reviews worldwide and is already being heralded as one of the best metal records of 2013. An album that sees the group abiding by their own steadfast maxim, “obey the riff’, it features ten fierce songs retaining all the strength and psychedelic fire of their debut, alongside a powerful evolution in vision. It was recorded in New Zealand’s deep south with Dale Cotton and mastered by Californian John Golden, and also features the art of Weta Workshop’s (The Hobbit) award-winning Nick Keller. The album is available for free download via bandcamp. Catch Beastwars at the Bendigo Hotel on Saturday 11 May and the Hi-Fi on Sunday 12 May.


















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Lorde, the talented artist hailing from New Zealand, is heading to Melbourne this May for a very special show. In the four months since Lorde posted her debut EP The Love Club online, she has attracted praise from the likes of Grimes and Diplo, piqued interest from all quarters and won a burgeoning fan base from nearly all over the world. The five track EP, which includes new single Royals, announces the arrival of a significant new talent. Catch Lorde when she comes to the Workers Club on Friday 17 May.








Just months after Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders whipped the East Coast into a frenzy on their Been A While single tour, the boys are back with the longawaited EP Roll It In for a country-crossing run of dates. In their trademark explosive manner, they did not muck around when it came time to record their latest release. Although engineered by Ryan Nelson in Andrew McGee’s Empty Room studio, the idyllic, isolated winery location did nothing whatsoever to salve the raw electricity of Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, who finished the EP in three days. Catch them when they play the Hi-Fi on Wednesday 24 April.





DJ Lance Rock and everyone’s favourite cast of colourful characters from Yo Gabba Gabba! are calling fans to get ready to jump, shake and shimmy the sillies out when they bring their new live tour, Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! Get The Sillies Out!, to Australia in June. Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! is a state-of-the-art production and an interactive experience. The show will also feature a guest band in each city (Super Music Friends) and Dancey Dance guest performances from a range of Australian personalities. There will be a morning and afternoon show at the Palais on Saturday 8 June.



Daring, technical command and visionary musicianship belong to the extraordinary blend of artistic qualities at the heart of Alisa Weilerstein’s debut recording for Decca Classics. The 30-year-old American cellist’s eagerly awaited album, out Friday 10 May, presents the unique coupling of two great cello concertos by well-known British composers Edward Elgar and American composer Elliott Carter, recorded in partnership with the Berlin Staatskapelle under the legendary and widely celebrated composer, Daniel Barenboim. Australia will get to experience this talent in person when Weilerstein performs with the prestigious Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Wednesday 12 June. Tickets are available through the Recital Centre website.




















































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WEEKEND COVERAGE Celebrating the release of their first new album in 14 years, seminal dream pop outfit Underground Lovers will debut their seventh full-length album, Weekend on an East Coast tour through April and May. A combination of distinctive guitar, dance loops, ethereal vocals and introspective lyrics produce the unusual pop and rock songs and atmospheric dance music that is Weekend. Catch the Underground Lovers this Saturday at the Corner Hotel.


SIMPLY SMASHING Melbourne band Vaudeville Smash were named by Inpress as one of the Top 13 Bands To Watch in 2013. They played seven astounding shows in Austin, Texas for South By South West before heading to Canada for a further three shows and a last stop in New York. Now they are back in Australia and are releasing their debut album, Dancing For The Girl on Friday 26 April. Catch the Vaudeville Smash when they play the Corner on Friday 14 June.

IS DON IS GOOD Lennard Promotions is presenting legendary songwriter Don McLean in concert across Australia this August. Don McLean galvanised a generation with his timeless hit American Pie. This track along with the classic singles Vincent, Driedel, Everday and The Legend of Andrew McCrew saw McLean elevated into the Song Writers Hall Of Fame. As a special treat for Australian fans, he will be joined by Catherine Britt, one of the country’s most acclaimed singer-songwriters as special guest at each show. You can see Don McLean at the Arts Center, Hamer Hall on Saturday 17 August.

Kev Carmody

KEV CARMODY WINS $60,000 AWARD One of Australia’s most poetic, raw, evocative and brilliant songwriters, Kev Carmody, has been awarded the most valuable individual music award our country has to offer – the Australia Council Don Banks Music Award – for his outstanding contribution to Australian music. The award, which is given yearly to one artist over the age of 50 years, is open to artists of all disciplines, though recent years have seen the areas of classical and jazz music. Chair of the Music Board of the Australia Council Matthew Hindson said that, as well as Carmody’s brilliant songwriting, his approach to recording ought to be celebrated. “Kev’s music is an invaluable collection for the nation, but his contribution to music is greater than songs and stories,” Hindson said. “So much can be learned from his approach to recording. His favourite studio is a converted cold room and fruit packing shed, and if he’s searching for a certain sound he’ll often make the instrument to achieve it, creating unique and beautiful effects.”

TELSTRA PARTNERS WITH TICKETING SERVICE Telecommunications giant Telstra has announced a partnership with new music ticket service BangTango as the company looks to get a foothold into the premium ticket marketing. It was launched last week alongside the offer of a reserved ticket allocation for British pop-star Olly Murs’ tour later this year; the company is in line with Telstra’s ‘Thanks’ loyalty program. Telstra came on board with BangTango as a “start-up” partner as early as July last year, but the company’s Founder and Director Daniel Popic told that it was very much a separate company. Popic, who has a background in ticketing and loyalty marketing, has previously worked at Ticketek, where he was the Alliances Marketing Manager, and had before that launched HMV and Sanity’s loyalty programs. He described the company as a “hybrid between a ticketing platform and sponsorship business” and said that Telstra had been involved with the development since coming on as partners. The commercial and business backing of a company as large as Telstra will allow BangTango to become an influential option to primary ticket providers and promoters. As part of the partnership familiar exclusive ticketing opportunities, such as presales, soundcheck access, after-parties and exclusive events. “There’s a strong pipeline of upcoming tours and for the ones we’re working on the level of support from Telstra is significant,” he said. The service is currently only open to Telstra customers, but BangTango plan to open it up to the rest of the public in the future. Popic denied that Telstra were angling to be a promoter themselves. “We work with the promoters and that’s very much their space. As far as I’m concerned they’re the ones that take the risk to bring out this great music and we’ll work with them to reward Telstra customers.”


ST DOOM Before Sunn O))), Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Earth, there was Saint Vitus. Starting way back in 1978 on the streets of LA, Saint Vitus were among the founding fathers of what was later called doom metal. After 17 years since their previous release Die Healing, Saint Vitus now return with their eighth full-length masterpiece Lillie: F-65. Catch the pioneering doom merchants at the Hi-Fi on Saturday 20 July.

SILKY SMOOTH LORD’S HATE Following their much acclaimed single Lord’s Life released earlier this year, The Hated have just released their free EP and announced their first national tour. Upon listening to their EP you will quickly familiarise yourself with what a Lord’s Life entails. The group paints a vivid picture of their Byron Bay lifestyle with the help of Melbourne producer C1. From headlining packed shows to performing alongside hip hop heavy weights such as Bone Thugs & Harmony, Parachute Youth, D12, Kid Mac and more, their live shows are not to be missed. The boys have just inked a deal with HUB Artist Services and will be hitting the road this May. Catch The Hated when they play the Esplanade front bar on Friday 3 May and the B.East on Saturday 4.

A NEW BEGINNING Multi-ARIA Award winning singer-songwriter Josh Pyke will release his fourth studio album The Beginning And The End Of Everything on Friday 5 July. Pyke is set to hit the ground running with a small run of intimate acoustic “Fans First” shows, playing some of his new songs live for the very first time. Tickets will sell very fast for this rare chance to see Josh Pyke play in such intimate venues. He plays Getrudes Brown Couch on Friday 3 May. Tickets are only available with pre-order of the album.

LA Pocock and Kakkle Tapes are presenting 100% Silk artists Octo Octa, Magic Touch and Bobby Browser for the first time in the Australia. They’ll be playing two very different shows in Melbourne: the first being 100% Party on Friday 24 May, where the three artists will DJ at the Mercat Basement with a performance from Outback-jackers Zanzibar Chanel and DJ LA Pocock. On Saturday 25 will be 100% Live, which will see the crew play live with support from local 100% Silk artist Roland Tings and newcomer DJ Salmon Barrell.

FLU SHOTS Minimal techno/house duo from Germany, Feliks Thielemann and Mathias Schwarz aka Super Flu make a return to Australia on Anzac weekend, courtesy of Melbourne’s Thick As Thieves crew. The lads will perform three shows in Australia, including Sunday 28 April at the famed ‘Summer Series’ event at Revolver Upstairs.

WHAT A SCORCHER Scorcher Fest helps bands to help themselves, providing a framework for performers to play in a live music festival. It’s a great opportunity for bands to network with other bands, expand markets and widen audiences. The initiative brings a huge line-up to Noise Bar this Sunday with over 50 bands playing across three stages. The line-up includes Sons Of Cascadia. Paradies, Royal Parade, Omelette, Myocardium and Lil Red.

O-KAY! On the back of his first addition to rotation on triple j, respected member of the Canberra hip-hop scene, Citizen Kay releases the video (directed by Nic Vevers) for the triumphant debut single Yes! from his forthcoming EP of the same name. The release is accompanied by tour dates around the country which include a support show for Matt & Kim at the Northcote Social Club Friday 3 May and a solo show at the Esplanade later that night.

CHANGE IN DIRECTION Due to a pending court case and Australia and New Zealand Visa eligibility requirements and processing timelines, 2 Chainz will no longer be performing at international hip hop festival Movement later this month. Angel Haze has also been forced to withdraw due to recording commitments. However Australia-born and much-hyped MC Iggy Azalea has been added to the bill, as have Diafrix, fresh from supporting Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on their national tour. The inaugural Movement will now take place at Festival Hall on Saturday 27 April as an all ages event.

RULE OF THIRDS London duo Third Party will tour Australia over the first two weekends of May. Those claiming immunity to the elegant rage of the European progressive house resurgence are clearly yet to come across enigmatic London duo Third Party. Despite their familiar progressive appeal, Third Party remain a force to be reckoned with amid a musical revolution to which they have contributed considerably. They perform two shows on Saturday 4 May at Alumbra and Homehouse (Geelong).

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BATS OUT OF THE CAVE Recently ATP announced their return to Melbourne for a special all day Halloween party called Release The Bats. Held on Saturday 26 October at Westgate Entertainment Centre and Grand Star Reception, Altona, it will be headlined by The Breeders performing Last Splash and The Jesus Lizard (in their only Victorian shows). Today ATP add to the line-up: Television performing Marquee Moon (only Victorian show); Balam Acab, the solo project of 21-year-old Alec Koone; and a Rowland S Howard Tribute, in which a cast of performers put together by Mick Harvey pay tribute to the late Howard. Details and tickets at

NEON PICTURES Utah rockers Neon Trees will be tearing up Melbourne performing their infectious brand of pop rock at Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne on Wednesday 15 May. The band first captured the public’s attention with 2010’s Habits; bursting with charisma and clever storytelling its breakthrough single Animal scored a number one on the US Alternative Songs Chart.


GAY ABANDON Ready to mount their assault against the humdrum, Gay Paris have announced the release of their incendiary forthcoming album, The Last Good Party Friday 19 April, produced and recorded in Australia with acclaimed Californian producer, Sam Pura. Spurred on by apocalyptic new album, the merry-makers hit the open roads of Australia on a 35-date national tour. See Gay Paris when the tour hits Cherry Bar on Saturday 4 May and Cherry Rock on Saturday 5.

SLAVE TO THE NOISE Matt “Radio Slave” Edwards is one of electronic music’s true experimentalists; a man rooted in house and techno whose oeuvre reaches much farther beyond. From the downtempo gloss of his Quiet Village project to a half-hour-long remix of Diddy to the audio-visual soundscape immersions of The Machine, he continually strives to push his music forward and keep himself on his toes. His new concoction, Balance, comes in two distinct parts, its 33 tracks marking a stark contrast to the stripped-back simplicity of his fabric 48 mix. You can catch Edwards at Brown Alley Friday 17 May.

One of New Zealand’s rising songwriting stars, Mel Parsons is set to tour Australian shores for the first time with an 11-date jaunt. Touring her critically acclaimed second album Red Grey Blue, Parsons is armed with a unique sensibility to melody and harmony. You can see Mel Parsons when she plays the Mt Beauty Music Festival from Friday 19 April to Sunday 21 and the Wesley Anne on Friday 27.

DINNER PERK(INS) Over 27 years Tex Perkins has crafted a remarkable career as frontman for The Cruel Sea, The Beasts Of Bourbon and The Dark Horses. Together, Tex and Charlie Owen are best known for their work with Don Walker, who as Australian supergroup Tex, Don and Charlie released two of this country’s greatest ever albums, Sad But True and All Is Forgiven. On Friday 3 May, spend a night with Perkins and Owen at Stones of the Yarra Valley, with a three-course dinner show. Book at

MARS IS BRIGHT TONIGHT Bruno Mars brings his Moonshine Jungle Tour to Australia in February/March 2014. The announcement comes hot on the heels of his performance at The Logies. Mars’ debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans (2010) reached four-times platinum in Australia and his second album Unorthodox Jukebox still resides in the ARIA Top Ten after 15 weeks. He performs at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday 4 March.





It’s been five years since the debut album from Beaches, which was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and made it into 2010 book 100 Best Australian Albums. In the intervening years, the band have toured the US twice, played All Tomorrow’s Parties at the invitation of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, released an EP for NYC label Mexican Summer, shared stages with the likes of Roky Erickson, Deerhunter and Wooden Shjips, and even celebrated the birth of beautiful twin daughters to guitarist Alison Bolger. Now they are due to return for their second album, She Beats, which they will launch with a national tour. Beaches play the Northcote Social Club on Saturday 1 June.

Blue Oyster Cult may be the ultimate “cult” band. Revered by punks, metal heads, sci-fi geeks and horror movie fans alike, they have carved out a 40-year career via a string of complex hard rock albums and killer live shows. Most recently they have released The Complete Columbia Albums Collection, a 16-CD/ DVD box set comprising all their studio albums from 1972-1988; three live albums; a rarities disc and the appropriately named radio broadcast collection Radios Appear. Blue Oyster Cult will appear at the Prince Bandroom on Wednesday 24 April.


JAGWAR NA Jagwar Ma have regretfully announced they have cancelled four of their forthcoming East Coast Australian shows due to illness, and hope to re-schedule dates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast in the near future. The band were set to play the Ding Dong Lounge on Thursday 25 April. A refund for the show can be obtained from the place of purchase.

BIG IN JAPANDROIDS When powerhouse Vancouver duo Japandroids were snapping necks at Laneway Festival during their inaugural Australian visit earlier this year, they vowed that they would come back soon for some more intimate performances. Well guess what? They’re coming back this August and September. So whether you were already blown away by Japandroids earlier this year when they dominated Laneway or are a complete newcomer to their incendiary and primordial live show, catch the duo when they play the Corner Friday 30 August.

BRAKES OFF Having redefined the acoustic pop genre with their debut album, The Optimist, which was short-listed for the Mercury Music Prize in 2001, Turin Brakes went on to release a string of superlative collections which saw them gradually expand on their original sound and vision. Turin Brakes are touring Australia in April/May 2013 for the first time in ten years. They will play a full-band set of favourite tunes spanning their back catalogue plus some new tunes in the run-up to releasing a brand new album in August this year. They will play the Apollo Bay Music Festival on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April plus sideshows at the Northcote Social Club on Thursday 2 May and the Flying Saucer Club on Wednesday 3.

LOCALS JOIN GTM Representing local Bendigo talent at this year’s Groovin’ The Moo is Abreact (triple j Unearthed winner) and the 2013 Bendigo winner of The Push, Eater of the Sky. GTM are also welcoming the scrappy melodies of Apes (who kicked off their career in Ballarat) and Melbourne four-piece, Kingswood, who will add this show to a swag of other festival appearances.


APRA SONG OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED This year’s APRA Song Of The Year award could be the tightest contest yet. The usual big hitters are in there, including last year’s winner Gotye, 2011 winners Angus & Julia Stone and 2010 winners The Temper Trap. Pop stars are represented pretty strongly, Rihanna’s Diamonds might score the trophy thanks to Sia Furler, the song’s writer, being an Aussie. Guy Sebastian’s Get Along and Delta Goodrem’s Wish You Were Here have also made the shortlist, though the award has a tendency to lean towards slightly less mainstream artists. The hottest names in Australian music at the moment should have a very good chance this year, though. 360’s Child, The Rubens’ My Gun and Flume’s Holdin On certainly in with a good chance. Voting is currently open to APRA Members (both writers and publishers).

LICENSING REVENUE BOOM FOR ARTISTS IN 2012 CITY OF CHVRCHES In the last 12 months, Scottish synth-pop group, Chvrches, have been setting the blogosphere alight with their meteoric rise from relative unknowns to the UK’s next big thing. With high profile support slots under their belts with Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club as well as their own headline shows and a slew of European festival appearances to come, theirs is a star well and truly on the rise. This winter they’ll be making their touring debut on Australian shores. Catch Chvrches at the Corner Hotel on Monday 5 August.

TAMING MIDNIGHT Already announced to headline Groovin’ The Moo and a string of stand-alone shows across the country, Tame Impala have confirmed that they’re inviting electro-pop pals Midnight Juggernauts along to warm things up at their sideshow appearances. The Melbourne synth collective recently regrouped to complete their longawaited third album. Recorded in an old church in the French countryside as well as the wild turbulent land known as Australia, the band are ready to unleash their new sounds upon the ether. The all-ages tour comes to the Festival Hall on Friday 26 April.

SUGAR COATED Heavenly Sounds have announced Beth Orton’s first Australian tour since the release of her acclaimed album Sugaring Season. Beth Orton is a BRIT Awardwinner and two-time Mercury Prize nominee who is well-renowned for her collaborations with other artists, as well as being regarded as a pioneer of the folktronica movement. The churches and cathedral tour will see Orton perform solo with a set list including songs from Sugaring Season, as well as tracks from her classic recordings. Lead singer of Oh Mercy, Alexander Gow will be opening on the tour. The tour comes to St Michael’s Church on Wednesday 8 May.

Music licensing revenue streams are leading revenue growth in the recording industry, with performance rights revenues the fastest growing sector in 2012. Released last week, the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry [IFPI]’s Recording Industry In Numbers 2013 report has revealed that performance rights revenues grew by 9.4% globally to a total of $943 million – 6% of total recorded music revenues. In Australia, the sixth biggest music market in the world, the PPCA are the performance rights music licensing company (and therefore the supplier of figures to IFPI) and the nation is ranked eighth globally in the value of performance rights collected. In the report, IFPI CEO Frances Moore said, “After more than a decade of decline, the industry is on the path to recovery, with global revenues increasing for the first time since 1999. At an international level, there is a renewed sense of optimism. This development has not happened by accident. The music industry has adapted to the digital world.”

BIG DAY OUT RETURNS TO NZ The touring Big Day Out festival is set to return to New Zealand in 2014 with an event curated specifically for the market on the other side of the Tasman. Speaking to the NZ Herald the festival’s NZ promoter Campbell Smith said the festival, which cancelled its 2013 Auckland event after a slow year in 2012, would move to one of the city’s suburbs, Western Springs. He said that festival organisers had developed ideas for an event that “made sense for New Zealand” based on the feedback from punters. “It’s not going to simply be the sixth Australian BDO,” Smith said, “it’s going to be a show that we will create and curate for this market.” An Australianbased representative from the festival told theMusic. that the festival will have input from the New Zealand, Australian and US-based offices.




Steve Kilbey from enigmatic rockers The Church, and writer of one of rock music’s greatest songs Under The Milky Way, once again teams up with All India Radio’s Martin Kennedy to release their third album You Are Everything, completing a critically acclaimed trilogy that began in 2009 with Unseen Music Unheard Words followed by White Magic in 2011. The pair will launch the album with a performance showcasing songs from all three albums and featuring Kennedy’s lush downtempo soundscapes and Kilbey’s ageless, silky croon. See something special at the Toff on Sunday 12 May.

Jonny Craig’s musical journey has seen various incarnations, having fronted influential outfits Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa. After releasing his stellar debut solo album A Dream Is A Question You Don’t Know How To Answer free from the constraints of a record label and with complete freedom as an independent act, Craig is hard at work recording his forthcoming EP, due out later in 2013. Catch Jonny Craig for the first time in Australia when he plays an all-ages show at Wrangler Studios on Friday 12 July, Bang on Saturday 13 and Pelly Bar Frankston on Sunday 14.



Things just keep getting better for Melbourne singersongwriter, Vance Joy. Today, Liberation has announced that the artist’s second Northcote Social Club show has sold out, with a third (and final) show added and on-sale now to keep up with demand. Vance Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing is out now. The release of the EP has been met by a wave of praise from all areas of the globe, with local and international audiences falling in love with his stirring songwriting and exquisite vocals. You can still see Vance Joy at the Northcote Social Club on Sunday 28 April.

Having toured almost every corner of the world alongside the likes of Holly Go Lightly and Reverend Beat Man, New Zealand-raised, one-man ghost orchestra Delaney Davidson brings his strange spook stories to Australia this May as part of his never-ending world tour. Armed with his most recent album Bad Luck Man, Davidson is a troubadour of the open roads, spreading his ghost songs across the plains, a true world class performer of the real life macabre. Catch Delaney Davidson when he plays the Spotted Mallard on Saturday 18 May.

American reports of Apple’s manoeuvring towards an online streaming radio service have exploded in recent weeks, with many sources reporting that the computing giant have signed – or are about to sign – deals with major labels Warner Music and the Universal Music Group. CNET have reported recently that the deals were close, but negotiations with Sony and independent publishers were ongoing, and placed the service in direct competition with internet radio service Pandora. It is expected the service will offer expanded revenue streams which would include the ability for listeners to purchase songs heard on the playlisted radio service directly through iTunes. It is unlikely that Apple will offer a Spotify/Rdio/Mog-style on-demand music streaming service at this stage. Australia is believed to be on the cards for the initial roll-out. After the Apple reports spread, Pandora Media’s American share price dropped 7.7% in the one afternoon, according to Deadline. The share price is still up considerably for the year at $12.9 after peaking at $14.27 in mid-March. It was at $10 on 3 January this year.

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In a hardy hip hop culture there shouldn’t be a “greatest” MC. After all, competition is hip hop’s life force. Still, Nasir “Nas” Jones is a master of masters. He caught up with Cyclone and talked about belonging.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? No MC ever rose to the top without battling a rival or two. Nasir Jones’ defining battle happened late. However, his round with Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) recharged his career and his passion for the rap game. There was friction between the pair in the ‘90s, The Notorious BIG’s demise (the culmination of the infamous Death Row/Bad Boy feud) leaving attainable the title of “King of New York”. Carter, BIG’s protégé, generated heat in the early 2000s with his (Kanye West-produced) Jones diss Takeover on The Blueprint. Jones reacted with the lethal Ether. It didn’t end there. On Carter’s low blow Supa Ugly he boasted about a fling with Jones’ baby mama Carmen Bryan. Says respected Melbourne MC Fluent Form, “Nas had always been a personal favourite of mine, but most of his fans knew he was falling off and releasing subpar music that wasn’t even close to what Nasir Jones was capable of. Jay-Z, having always been a Nas admirer, did everyone a favour when he fired proverbial shots towards Nas on Takeover. What made the Jay-Z diss towards Nas so poignant was the fact he was saying what we were all thinking: ‘That’s one hot album every 10 year average.’ It was a brutal verbal attack. It was also the wake-up call Nas needed. Many hip hop aficionados thought it was the end of Nas, but Nas used Jay-Z’s venomous verbals to his advantage.Could he once again reclaim his throne? Finally, he returned with his fifth studio album, Stillmatic, which contained Ether. It was an epic, no-holdsbarred response which ushered in a new peak in Nas’ celebrated career.” Beef lover 50 Cent challenged Jones on The Massacre’s Piggy Bank. But by now Jones was unassailable. He himself nearly sparked a diss war with Kelis as their marriage broke down – Strong Will Continue was bitter. Nevertheless, Bye Baby off Life Is Good is about closure, not old grievances.

hough an urban superstar, Nasir Jones remains inherently street. He’s socially conscious yet credibly – and candidly – contradictory. The Queens, New York storyteller is also a survivor, and self-reinventor. Jones debuted back in 1994 with that instant classic Illmatic, but he’s never been more relevant. He triumphantly battled Jay-Z. Then Jones divorced R&B diva Kelis, the mother of his son Knight, emerging as, not the bad guy, but only human. Last year the literary MC presented an acclaimed tenth album, Life Is Good, which hit number one Stateside. It received multiple Grammy nods.


Now Jones, who first toured Australia in 2008, is determined to become a global hip hop ambassador. He’ll return to lead the inaugural Movement Festival. “It’s actually one of my favourite countries in the world,” Jones extols, his voice melodious and mellow, as on record. “It’s a place where you feel like you belong.” Jones is a curator of Movement, his commitment to be “ongoing” (he’s even cutting a track with co-headliners Bliss n Eso). “I played a festival [Good Vibrations with Damian Marley] there before,” he says, “and, I have great times at festivals in other countries, but I think I have a lot more fun in Australia than most places. I first

‘90s. [But] the next record to me is nothing like it. I’m just starting it, and it’s too early to talk about it, but the next record will be a whole ‘nother thing.” Ahead of Life... Jones spoke of teaming with Odd Future’s Frank Ocean, but the material never surfaced. “We lost the files,” he reveals. Yet Life... has other poignant input. The late Heavy D co-produced The Don, while Jones duets posthumously with Amy Winehouse on Cherry Wine – orchestrated by mutual ally Salaam Remi. Winehouse penned Me And Mr Jones about Jones and they became friends. “She was someone who was just taken away too soon. She was someone who had so much to give to the world musically. She was just a genius when it came to writing and her vocal range, and just her sound, is really unmatched. When you hear her voice now, you know exactly what it is. It stands alone. It’s very unfortunate we didn’t get a chance to really fulfil the dreams that we had about working on her new album, working on my new album – we had a lot of cool ideas. We’re happy that we had Cherry Wine – she sounds great on it – and it’s my way of representing for a good friend who I shared the same birthday with, September 14th, which was really our connection.” Jones also appeared on Lioness’ Like Smoke.

There’s been talk of Jones collaborating on an album with Common, Nas (Dot) Com. But the pair have busy schedules, Common being an in-demand actor. But Jones just hung out with the Chitowner at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston. “He’s someone who I would definitely love to work with a great deal.” Jones himself has acted, albeit sporadically, starring in Hype Williams’ gritty crime drama Belly (which he co-authored). “I’ve always had a love for film and movies since [I was] a kid and I

always wanted to do ‘em.” Nonetheless, he’s more interested in making films. (“Look forward to seeing me on the directing side very soon.”) Jones delivered his His Hop Is Dead critique in 2006, but the scene has since regenerated. In interviews, the MC is more upbeat, praising Kendrick Lamar and Philadelphia’s Meek Mill. However, he’s unsure if there can ever be another “golden age”. “I think there’s a moment in hip hop that will never be the same,” Jones ruminates. What matters to Jones, no tragic King Lear figure, is what he’s bringing. “I feel like that, because I’m still here and there’s so many others who are still here, we’ll still continue to make music – so that means I’m excited to make music. So I am! And that comes off when you hear me talk, when you hear the music I’m making – you can hear the excitement in me that I’m happy to do it. Because you’d know if I didn’t like doing it anymore – it would sound like it. For some reason, it’s still in me – it’s still burning inside of me to make music.” Jones has his quirks. Lately he disclosed to NME that he loves Girls. Ask Jones what else might surprise us about him and he’s stumped, repeating the question playfully while mulling over it. “I also like cigars, but that wouldn’t surprise you,” he says finally. “I love tea – herbal tea – but who doesn’t?” The enigma will need soothing tea for those upcoming Movement shows. “Ah, man, look out for electricity on stage and realism – look out for some real shit, live shit... and then some.”


WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 27 April, Movement Festival, Festival Hall

came there with Kanye West and I had such a good time that I felt like I needed to go back a lot more. I wanted to figure out what was the perfect thing to get me there, so it’s not just come there and do some small promotions... This is something bigger – this is something that feels perfect for me and perfect for the hip hop movement. This is the right thing.” Jones has his own touring band, California’s Z (formerly Mulatto). “Those are my guys – they’re a great band,” he says. “It’s a good chance they’ll be coming out.” Jones, the son of the Mississippi-bred jazz and blues musician Olu Dara, grew up in the Queensbridge projects and dropped out of school. Connecting with Large Professor, “Nasty” Nas rapped on Main Source’s 1991 Live At The Barbeque before 3rd Bass’ MC Serch took him under his wing. At 20, he premiered on Columbia with the poetic Illmatic, an inner-city chronicle, DJ Premier among its beatsmiths. Often compared to Rakim, Jones bolstered East Coast rap as it was being challenged by California’s gangstas. He subsequently pursued crossover success with songs like the Trackmasters-helmed If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) (featuring Lauryn Hill) and, as Nas Escobar, strayed into Mafioso rap (Jones fronted The Firm supergroup on Dr Dre’s Aftermath). The heads accused him of selling-out. After The Notorious BIG’s demise, Jones fought longtime rival Jay-Z for hip hop’s symbolic title “King Of New York”, throwing the poison dart Ether in response to Hova’s Takeover diss. They eventually made up, Jones signing to Def Jam, where Jay-Z was president. Today it’s regarded as a defining rap battle. “What I say to people is: When you’re an MC, you never know when your day’ll come to be in a hip hop battle,” Jones reflects. “Hip hop battles are very important parts of hip hop as well. You never know when it could happen. When it happens, people get a chance to see what you’re made of... Those days are those days, but I’m looking forward to the new days.”

Reanimated, Jones would issue Zeitgeist projects with intellectual, philosophical and socio-political themes. He examined urban music’s stagnation on Hip Hop Is Dead (Jay-Z cameo-ed). More contentious was 2008’s Untitled (AKA Nigger), a rapper’s dissertation on racial inequality that coincided with Barack Obama’s ascendancy. In 2012, following a collaboration with Marley, Distant Relatives, Jones unveiled an autobiographical, not conceptual, album in Life..., about his struggles as a black man, husband and father – musically, it evoked epic ‘90s boom-bap. Life... was touted as a divorce record (the sleeve shows a suited Jones, Kelis’ green wedding gown on his knee, disconsolately seated in a club’s VIP suite), but without the bitterness of Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear. It was reported to be Jones’ last Def Jam release, but he denies that. “I’m still with Def Jam, and I’m back in the studio,” he says. “That [Life...] was a very personal album for me. It tells you my perspective, from an artist who’s been around for a long time... I wanted some of the tracks to feel very

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BUZZIN’ FLY Nick Zinner, guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/composer, explains the obligatory trepidation involved when negotiating a new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record. Bryget Chrisfield learns he’s also a “huge Bowie fan” whose “all-time favourite guitar player” is Rowland S Howard.

o far this year we’ve been blindsided by a string of major-league artists dropping their releases with next to no lead time. Yeah Yeah Yeahs were just in the country headlining Big Day Out and then, bam! Mosquito landed seemingly out of the blue. The band’s guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/composer Nick Zinner begs to differ. “I still feel like what we’ve been doing is pretty long. We started doing stuff a few months ago, but we just tried to, like, delay any like production or, you know, having people hear it, and mixing and mastering.” After explaining these measures were put in place to help protect the new material from leaking, Zinner opines, “It’s weird when you work on something for a very long time, and you put it out and it’s, like, six months, eight months later – there’s a strange little distance to it.” Zinner gasps at the effectiveness of Bowie’s recent shazam-style The Next Day campaign. “How did he do that? How did he also have the world think that he was dying and then [he] was secretly making the best record that he’s made in, like, ten years!? It’s just amazing.” A self-confessed “huge Bowie fan”, Zinner lavishes further praise: “It was the coolest thing. And Bowie doesn’t give a fuck about magazine lead time [laughs]. He doesn’t give a shit about, you know, three or four months lead time or whatever, he’s just like, ‘Fuck it! I’m putting this shit out’.”


Each Yeah Yeah Yeah cross-pollinated, embarking on different creative projects to fill the four-year period since It’s Blitz blew our synthesised g-spots: Karen O [Orzolek] creating, writing and performing the Where The Wild Things Are soundtrack and also finding the time to compose/star in Stop The Virgens: A Psycho Opera, with Zinner and drummer Brian Chase driving the orchestra; Chase putting out a solo album, Drums And Drones; and Zinner exhibiting his photographic talents via Please Take Me Off The Guest List and also composing a piece to mark the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, titled 41 Strings. This last undertaking sounds daunting. Zinner chuckles, “Um, I mean, I dunno if ‘daunting’ is the word: I was really excited about it.” His orchestral composition for strings and percussion premiered in New York in May 2011 and then Zinner brought the opus to Sydney Festival earlier this year while Yeah Yeah Yeahs were in the country rocking the Big Day Out circuit. “I was maybe a little bit more intimidated doing it at the [Sydney] Opera House, but, everyone there was just so incredibly supportive and helpful and welcoming, and I couldn’t have asked for more. So it was amazing vibes and amazing times.” Returning to Yeah Yeah Yeahs after spreading their wings is something Zinner says contributed to an interesting dynamic in the studio. “It’s weird, ‘cause we were always working together on other projects and playing Yeah Yeah Yeahs shows sometimes, too,” he considers. “Like, we were all down there working on Karen’s Stop The Virgens… project – I was just going from one to the other, so it was kind of just switching gears but, yeah! At the same time it’s also like: when you’re with people who you already have this incredible, really long, relationship with – at the same time being, like, ‘All right, we’re gonna start from scratch,’ you know? ‘Whadda we do?’ [Laughs] You know, like, ‘What’s gonna work? What’s gonna feel right? And what’s gonna feel forced?’ It’s this whole new set of variables and unknowns that’s kind of exciting and totally terrifying to enter into.” Even though these individual passion projects broadened the pools of inspiration from which the trio drew, Zinner stresses, “Yeah, yeah, but it’s also, like, you can’t really push ideas if they’re not gonna fit.”

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One of the standout tracks on Mosquito is Subway, which utilises recordings of trains navigating railway tracks as backing. Zinner enlightens it was their “genius co-producer David Sitek” who requires a slap on the back for executing said sounds. James Murphy and Nick Launay also made the liner notes as producers on Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest set, but on Subway’s train-ification, Zinner commends: “[Sitek] deserves full credit for that. It was a stroke of absolute brilliance. I think he’s one of these people who’s constantly thinking about and noticing, and often recording, sounds. So I think he just had it in his arsenal and he chopped it up to fit the song.” After this interviewer shares a discovery that the tempo of departing London Underground trains calls to mind Stevie Wonder’s Master Blaster, Zinner chuckles, “That’s really, really funny,” before suggesting another piece of sonic trainspotting. “There’s this New York minimal composer I really love named Steve Reich and he wrote a piece called Different Trains. It’s all based on, like, the repetition and rhythm of trains going over train tracks.” A particularly interesting Mosquito guest-artist catch is Dr Octagon (Kool Keith’s alter-ego) for the creepyfun Buried Alive. Although the concept of the title is terrifying, Zinner offers, “But [Dr Octagon] kind of makes it intriguing, like it would be okay if you could just hang out underground [for] a little bit with him”. Zinner says there was something about this track that cried out for an injection of rap and Octagon was “just the best”. “Another guy, our friend Sam [Spiegel, aka Squeak E Clean], who produced the second Yeah Yeah Yeahs record [Show Your Bones] had worked with him before on his project called NASA [an acronym for North America/South America that saw Spiegel teaming up with Brazilian DJ Zegon]… We didn’t even meet Keith, Sam recorded him, but hopefully we’ll meet him some day, ‘cause we’re all – like, Karen and I are big fans of his stuff.” Zinner goes on to acknowledge, “I think this was probably the only record of ours where we could kinda do something like [the Octagon collab], ‘cause we were like, ‘Let’s just do whatever we want’,” he laughs. When Yeah Yeah Yeahs headlined Falls Festival in 2009-2010, the band secured Rowland S Howard as support act for some of the sideshows, but sadly Zinner’s “all-time favourite guitar player” passed before these scheduled appearances. Yeah Yeah Yeahs dedicated Maps to Rowland S Howard’s memory during these shows in his homeland. “That was really, really, really sad,” Zinner recalls. “It was really heavy, and well, I mean, Mick Harvey told us a few weeks before that that, you know, Rowland wasn’t doing well and that they had to pull out of those dates, but it was still just – the presence was so missed and it was definitely really heavy on my mind.” Zinner appears as a talking head in Richard Lowenstein’s Autoluminescent: Rowland S Howard “for a split second”. “It’s a really incredibly moving and brutally honest biography of him,” Zinner extols of the film, before pausing, barely containing his emotion and adding: “At times it’s just really hard to watch.” WHO: Yeah Yeah Yeahs WHAT: Mosquito (Modular Recordings/Universal Music)

TASTE TEST: JON HUME FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY… I believe it was Blur’s self-titled album, so just Blur. We grew up on ‘60s and ‘70s music mostly, but then the stuff that grabbed us when we first started out as musicians was Britpop, bands like Blur and Oasis. There’s Song 2, and a whole lot of really good songs on that album that at that time in my life I found really fun. But it’s a really good record, overall. I think we are a guitar-based songwriting type band, so we are pretty diverse in our influences, from Pink Floyd to The Beatles to Crowded House, U2, a bit of everything really. Blur has some great songs, and very clever musicians, quite creative with what they do.

THE ALBUM I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW… I really like The Temper Trap’s new album. For an Australian record that would be my favourite right now. To be honest I think I prefer their first album but they’re both really good. The second one’s different but they’re both great records and I think we’ll hear a lot of great music from them in the future as well. I recently got into a thing called Mog, which is a bit like Spotify. Wherever you are you can stream music, so it’s really increased my consumption of music again, which is really cool. It’s a bit risky if you don’t know much about it to buy a whole album on iTunes, it’s hard to pay without knowing what it’s like, but when you can just stream it and check it out it opens you up to more stuff. It’s definitely the future.

MY FAVOURITE FAVOURITE PARTY ALBUM… It’s not completely upbeat the whole time but it’s got some of the funkier songs and that would be Innervisions by Stevie Wonder. It’s got songs like Living For The City and Higher Ground, it’s my favourite period of his. We had it on vinyl when we were kids and we absolutely loved it. So we actually had some reasonable quality music taste, even when we were young, which is nice to know. We actually picked it up second-hand, I can’t remember where. I think I bought it, I didn’t even know what it was, I just stumbled upon it. You go back to some things you liked when you were young and you’re like, wow, what did I see in that? But then other things you’re like, that’s cool, that’s still good, that’s nice to know.

MY FAVOURITE COMEDOWN ALBUM… Probably Neil Young, After The Gold Rush. Very mournful and incredible songwriting. And that sad, melancholic tone of voice that he nails. And great songs.

THE FIRST GIG I EVER ATTENDED… Some of the first ones we went to were ones we were playing at because we started the band so young. So when I was 17 we were opening for Jimmy Barnes. But I think the first proper gig I actually went to was Neil Finn. He played this tour where he would get up a different band in each town and do a few songs with local people in New Zealand. And he let me get up and play guitar on one song, Private Universe. I don’t know if it was any good but he was very encouraging.

THE WEIRDEST GIG EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD… We actually played in Ray White Real Estate two days ago at the Gold Coast. A listener won a competition to have Evermore play at your work place so we just literally rocked up with guitars and keyboards and stuff in the office. We had to unplug photocopiers so we could plug our gear in. It felt like a scene out of the office, very strange. But quite fun actually, we quite enjoyed it. There were like 30 staff there and they were loving it, they were getting right into it. Probably the most exciting thing that’s happened to the office.

BIGGEST NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES… I think the Bible is probably a pretty big influence on me, even language-wise and storytelling-wise. I don’t like to be labelled too much but I do have a belief in God and a faith. I definitely didn’t always subscribe to it, but it’s something I’ve come to myself. And my dad was an influence in terms of just believing in us no matter what, even completely against the odds. When I think about how we were just a bunch of kids from a small town in New Zealand, somehow thinking that we had what it takes to make it as a musician and doing something so risky as that, and willing to believe in us and see us invest a lot of our time in that instead of something safe. He’s just one of those relentlessly optimistic people to the point of sometimes it’s just crazy but then some of the things he’s said have actually happened. Every now and then he’ll hit the nail on the head, and here we still are, 15 years later, still musicians and still loving what we do, which is

great. I don’t think you can just believe in something, obviously you need action to back it up. But I think without it being spoken there’s just no way to even start it. So dad definitely spoke things out and that was a big influence to believe that we were able to do something so seemingly far fetched and far away.

a musician, so I’ll go with that. I think that would have been a cool time in history as well. Either that or America in the ‘50s because I love the whole ‘50s American vibe. Just the cars and the futuristic fashion and furniture design and architecture. American future retro looks pretty fun, I like that.



The coolest person I’ve ever met would have to be my wife. We got married about a year ago. She’s very cool. The first time I met her she had quite a lot of attitude going on and I found that intriguing. And she still does. I love it.

I would say maybe architecture. I see architecture as a little bit like music in terms of it’s an art but it’s also a craft that’s very practical. And music is a bit like that, it’s half art and half craft. You have to be able to play well, you have to be able to sing well, you have to be able to write songs but there’s also art in it.

THE BIGGEST CELEBRITY CRUSH I’VE EVER HAD… I think it would have been Scarlett Johansson back in the day, in the first couple of movies. But I guess I saw a couple of movies with her I hated and it wore off. The bubble was burst at some point, I can’t explain it.

IF I COULD HANG OUT IN ANY TIME AND PLACE IN HISTORY… I think definitely, in a musical sense, the late-‘60s and early-’70s would be my favourite time to be

Interview by Kate Kingsmill WHO: Evermore WHAT: Follow The Sun (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 17 April, Star Bar, Bendigo; Thursday 18, Trak; Friday 19, Mac’s Hotel, Melton; Saturday 20, Ferntree Gully Hotel; Sunday 21, Thornbury Theatre; Wednesday 24, Karova Lounge; Thursday 25, Yarra Hotel, Geelong; Friday 26, SS&A, Albury; Saturday 27, Mulwala Waterski Club

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RISING TO PERFECTION French guitar pop group Phoenix drop the guitars and buy “a shitty keyboard” to make their sixth album Bankrupt!, but as Laurent Brancowitz tells Andy Hazel, it’s all about struggling for perfection. uitarist and quarter of one of the last decade’s most adored bands Phoenix, Brancowitz is amidst the early days of promoting their new synth-heavy album Bankrupt! and fresh from playing Saturday Night Live. “It was very exciting,” he explains, his strong French brogue accentuating his joy. “SNL is totally live so the excitement is at its peak, it makes everything more intense. We are happy with our performance because we did not fail, you know?” He laughs.


Though playing the songs almost daily, he hasn’t heard the album in months. “Actually, it’s good advice you’re giving me. A lot of time you play the songs and forget the original spirit. During [recording] I was very confident and

happy, but right now I reach a level of fatigue. I have no idea if it’s good or bad, but that’s okay. I like this feeling of floating in the ocean and letting the stream do its job.” Few bands break through with their fifth album, as Phoenix did with Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Using the accrued wisdom of being in a stable band for ten years, they took a break and left their native Paris to record. Brancowitz explains that they knew the album would take some time to generate, so they went somewhere exciting. “When Adam Yauch from Beastie Boys offered us his studio – his small, cool studio in New York – it was just too good to say no to. For three months, we recorded there, then we finished in Paris, but the beginning was in New York. Some songs are really connected to this period, the vibe… the ‘80s East Village early-Madonna vibe. I don’t know why but I was obsessed by it when I was there,” he explains. “When we were there we were very homesick and so we listened to a lot of French music from our childhood, so being in New York has made this even more French I think.” The ‘80s synthesizer and percussion sounds that infuse Bankrupt! can be traced to this fixation. Often sounding as though M83 produced the album with Phoenix, songs like The Real Thing and Bourgeois are full of references to the era and to music the band loves. “We used the same drum machine as Prince… as an homage, you know. We love doing that. All our music that is filled with little things like that, little connections, the memories and little things we love. Some are from the ‘80s… like pre-Batman Prince we love. Actually, I don’t know why, but I was playing more keyboards this time than guitar. One day we went to Versailles to pick up some equipment, there we found a small shitty keyboard in a thrift shop, a 30-euro toy keyboard, and I fell in love with it; now it’s on every song. We love to use cheap instruments and beautiful instruments. The extremes are more interesting than everything that is in the middle, so on this album we have the best and the worst.” Boasting that Bankrupt! would sound very different to earlier releases, many fans were surprised to hear lyrics and melodies from earlier Phoenix songs in the first single Entertainment and unsure whether this was laziness or an in-joke. “Your theories are true. We know that, and it’s hard for me to explain,” he laughs guiltily. “It just feels right to us, for sure should try to change, it’s more a sign of weakness. We always have the desire to make something very, very different and in the end we fail, we always sound like us,” Brancowitz explains in mock-despondency. “It’s a bit depressing, so yeah I guess this is as different as we can get, you know. We try so hard but we fail,” he laughs. “You can hear this desire in the music I think, to improve, to be better.” Replacing the dreams that fuelled their early releases and initial success, Brancowitz explains that this failure is key to the band’s motivations. “We are very far from perfection, we are working on this tour but we are very far from what we have in mind. We have this goal and desire, and without this desire, life becomes very boring, so we are frustrated but at the same time we know if it was good already it would be very depressing.” Chasing perfection, Brancowitz explains, is a core motivation for the band. Not to deny their humanness (his one-time membership in the band Darlin’ with both members of Daft Punk may indicate a shared fascination with the perfection/ human dichotomy), but to celebrate it. “We always try to make perfection, but we never get there. We love things that are opposite; like the clockwork mechanism of a perfect song, but also the charm that is something you cannot describe or understand,” he explains keenly. “The more we grow up the more we know that the charm is the most important thing. You can have very shitty songwriting, but if you have this little thing, this unexplainable charm, it’s great. We try to combine these aspects, and it’s hard because they are fighting against it. Actually, the way we work even on record, we think very hard about the perfect mechanism and then when we have to execute it, record it. We usually use the first take. First take is usually not perfectly played, but the idea is to be good, the intention is to be good, but we’re not going for the perfect take. When we play live, there are a lot of mistakes but we consider them… artistic mistakes,” he laughs. “I am a pretty poor musician so I accept I’m good at necessary artistic mistakes. Sometimes the band does not see it that way, they get a bit angry,” he laughs, “but they are really nice about it most of the time.” Looking back through pictures of the band, it seems singer Thomas Mars is photographed wearing the same shirt in almost every photo, suggesting that his wife, director Sofia Coppola, must be either incredibly accommodating or have no sense of smell. After unsuccessfully denying Mars’s penchant, Brancowitz confesses, “Thomas is an obsessive. When he has a shirt he likes he has it duplicated. He has dozens of the same thing, it’s more that than being a very dirty person, he is a perfectionist.” Phew. Unable to say quite when the band is due back to these shores, Brancowitz insists that it is “soon”. “We are working on it right now. We love playing Australia and it was where we did the very first recording of this album, at a studio in Byron Bay, so for us it has a special meaning.” WHO: Phoenix WHAT: Bankrupt! (Liberator)

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SILVER AND GOLD Ahead of their seventh Australian tour, Silverstein vocalist Shane Told levels with Brendan Hitchens about the joy and pain of concept albums, responses they’ve gotten from artists they’ve covered and the reasons behind guitarist Neil Boshart’s departure. ilverstein’s 2012 album Short Songs was career defining. Together with its 11 original songs, the album featured 11 covers of the artists that inspired the band to form as teenagers in Ontario, Canada back in 2000. Reinterpreting songs from Green Day, Descendents and NOFX reinvigorated a band a decade into their existence and seemingly at a crossroads. “It felt great to do that,” reflects the band’s singer and chief songwriter Shane Told. “It felt good to not give a fuck. We just wrote those songs in the same way we would have written them when we were 16. We didn’t care about structure, we just wanted to make them exciting and fun and something that we’d want to listen to. I think it cemented the fact that we’re in this band because we love


music, we love playing music and we love each other. That’s why we’re here. We’re not here because it’s our job or because it’s how we make money to pay our bills. We do this because we love it. When we made that record it reminded us of that.” Despite the fresh approach it created, the record came at a cost for the band, seeing the departure of long-time guitarist Neil Boshart. “With Short Songs he really wasn’t into it nearly as much as the four of us were,” says Told, holding nothing back. “He wrote just one song on that record and a lot of it he wasn’t even around for. We started talking about what we wanted to do with this new album and we realised that he wasn’t on the same page as us. The real reason it all went the way it went was because he seemed to have a growing attitude and didn’t seem happy with anything that we were still happy with. We still all love travelling and touring other countries; the whole grind that is what we do and what we do most of the time. He seemed very over it and it was affecting his performance and his general attitude. I think he understood that we had to let him go so we could continue.” With a new outlook and new guitarist the band released their sixth studio album This Is How The Wind Shifts in February of this year. An ambitious concept record, each song on the album has a Sliding Doors-like parallel track that tells the same story in a different light. “We did a concept record for A Shipwreck In The Sand back in 2009 and that record almost killed me. That record was really difficult. I was losing sleep over it and it was a huge struggle. As much as I love that record, I couldn’t get myself to do another concept record until now. I forgot the pain of it, I guess.” While the struggles remained the second time around, Told has no regrets. “When we were doing this record I was agonising over the idea and the concept and making sure everything worked, more than actually writing it. It was extremely difficult all the way around but I’m so happy with how it came out and I wouldn’t change a thing.” Six full-length albums down, Told admits the concept records and cover songs are not only an effort to constantly stay relevant, but also challenged. “I think there’s an element of that that goes with the path we’ve taken as a band,” he says. “I think you need to take some twists and turns along the way, but I think at the same time it’s good to stay on the road. For us, we pretty much made the first three records the exact same way. We wrote the songs and we put them out and that was that. Then we’ve done some off-the-wall stuff, like Short Songs, which was a lot different for us. With this record, we wanted to dial it back a little bit and again stay on the road, while still making it interesting for ourselves. I think this record is right where it needs to be. It’s not too far out there, but there are some interesting things and some moments where people might go, ‘wow, I didn’t know the band could do that’.” Released two months ago, This Is How The Wind Shifts, according to Told, has been met with universal praise, more in fact, than any of their previous works. “The critical response to this record has been amazing. We’ve never had this much acclaim to anything we’ve done,” he says of being embraced by the music media. “Of course, the fans are what counts. I’ve received emails from fans asking me, ‘what does this mean?’ and ‘does this mean this?’ but also people taking their own interpretations to it, which I think is a really beautiful thing.” Given the thematic nature of the record, which heavily relies on listening to each song in chronological order, Told says the album still translates in a live setting. “The record has a lot of power to it. It’s a pretty heavy record but also an emotional record. I think those elements play well together live.” Over the years a staple of the Silverstein live show has been their covers, tackling everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Nine Inch Nails. “One Republic was really into our Apologise cover. They’re not really into hearing bands like us with screaming in it and everything, so when they heard it they freaked out. I don’t know if Kanye West has heard the Runaway cover but I’d like to get his opinion on it. We’ve covered two NOFX songs. The first was an acoustic cover of a super fast song and I turned it into a total bummer and made it all slow and Fat Mike absolutely loved it. I don’t think there are any successful bands that have put out our songs yet, so when that starts happening I’ll know how it feels.” Throughout April the band will hit the road for their This Is How The Wind Shifts world tour, taking in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Switzerland, Australia and Hawaii – all in the space of 24 days. “We start this tour in the Ukraine and Belarus and both those countries I’ve never been to, so that will be cool. It’s like anything, though,” he pauses, nonchalantly. “We’ve been to Germany so many times now and we’ve seen a lot of that country, so when we go there it’s pretty much just like going anywhere else for us, it’s not that crazy anymore. Every time it’s like, ‘what haven’t we seen?’ and if we’ve seen everything it’s like, ‘let’s just hang out, then’.” The tour will be the seventh time the group have come to Australia, including two Soundwave Festival performances and a headline tour less than ten months ago. “I think this will be tour number seven,” says Told, pausing to count each tour on his fingers. “It’s crazy to think now Australia is like our second home and it’s so far away. But it’s a beautiful country with beautiful people, so we always enjoy coming there.” WHO: Silverstein WHAT: This Is How The Wind Shifts (Roadrunner/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 18 April, Corner Hotel

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HURTS SO GOOD During Mötley Crüe’s recent Australian tour with KISS, Nikki Sixx takes some time out to discuss his latest New York Times bestseller This Is Gonna Hurt with Bryget Chrisfield. Alternate uses for egg burritos are discussed and the bassist/author/ radio host bemoans the boring nature of bands today: “Why is no band taking pictures of some fucking naked girls?” Cover inset pic by Courtney Bingham. epending on your knowledge of Nikki Sixx, you’ll definitely know he’s Mötley Crüe’s chief songwriter-bassist. You may have heard about his Sixx Sense radio show, clothing line (Royal Underground) and most likely even his autobiographical New York Times-bestseller, The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life Of A Shattered Rock Star (2007). Dig deeper and you’ll discover Sixx’s side-project with Dj Ashba and James Michael, Sixx:AM, which was born when a musical companion piece for The Heroin Diaries accidentally materialised. With album number three by Sixx:AM in its final stages, The Heroin Diaries is to be turned into a Broadway play. Did you know Sixx is also a father of four? “My 18 year old [daughter, Storm] told me that she started to read The Heroin Diaries,” Sixx shares, relaxing on a sofa and drinking coconut water in his backstage dressing room before Mötley Crüe’s second Etihad Stadium show last month. “And she goes, ‘It’s, like, the same thing: you woke up and you did drugs, you went to bed, you woke up and you did drugs. I got bored with it’.”


Probably the least known fact about Sixx is this: he’s a gifted photographer. A recovering addict, Sixx refers to cameras as his “new drug”. Sixx’s second New York Times bestseller – This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx – unites his passions: writing music, photography and writing. Having cheated death in 1987 when he survived his second overdose, this time after having been declared clinically dead (the inspiration for Mötley Crüe’s Kickstart My Heart), Sixx hopes his books will inspire people to pursue their dreams (“but maybe like a self-help book written by William S Boroughs”). Sixx certainly isn’t your typical author. ”I understand that everybody can’t write,” he articulates. I can write my own books, but it’s only because I forced myself. You know, I didn’t graduate high school – I was thrown out of high school for selling drugs so I’m not the most academic kid on the block. I had to apply myself, but, because I’ve always got the words, it was easy for me.”

aftermath,” Sixx chuckles. “I mean, come ON! There would’ve been fucking eight girls, face down with their asses in the air [points backwards as if posing for an imaginary profile pic], ‘Man, look at that,’ you know?” He pauses and then expresses genuine concern, “Why is no band taking pictures of some fucking naked girls? Let’s go, guys! I don’t know what’s up with these men out there; they’re starting to worry me.” WHO: Nikki Sixx WHAT: This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography, And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx from Monday 22 April (Harper Collins)

Before The Heroin Diaries came Mötley Crüe’s collaborative autobiography, co-written with Neil Strauss and titled The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band (and Sixx confirms there will be a movie). So help us out here, Sixx: what’s with the whole egg burrito thing? “The what? Oh, the egg burrito, haha,” Sixx erupts into hysterics once the penny drops. “Well, okay. There was these clubs where we’d hang out in the late-‘70s and early‘80s – one club the Starwood Club, it was very famous in Hollywood and I used to work there in the daytime, and at night I would play there… So afterwards everyone would be fucking SMASHED and we’d go through a drive-through right by the club and order egg burritos to kinda absorb some of the alcohol – that’s back when Mötley got together and you could drink and drive and stuff, right? “And then one day one of us was like, ‘Fuck, I’m gonna get busted,’ you know – ‘cause we would fuck the girls in the bathroom or in the bushes outside the club – and then, um, we would go home [to our girlfriends] and we’d smell like the other girls. So one of us was like [mimes looking down at a burrito and then having a light-bulb moment]. And we were like, ‘Oh!’ You bit the end of it off… HA!” Sixx stresses, “It felt good. Nobody ate the burrito after, I can tell you that. That would’ve been a really bad ending to the story.” When Sixx read the entries that would become The Heroin Diaries – written between Christmas of 1986 and Christmas of 1987, which bookended the Girls, Girls, Girls album and touring cycle – he remembers “feeling proud that [he’d] gotten out”. “And I remember feeling shocked ‘cause I kinda forgot how dark it was,” he continues. On his decision to publish the journal, Sixx remembers, “I did hear from a lot of people who said, ‘Are you fucking sure, man? This is like peeling the onion all the way back and exposing all your intestines and every dirty, dirty, dirty thought.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, because I think if someone reads this it could save someone’s life.” One quarter of the proceeds from sales of this book are donated to Covenant House California. “I raised over half a million dollars for a charity for runaway kids, which made me feel really good,” he admits. As well as street photography, many studio shots grace the pages of This Is Gonna Hurt, a book Sixx dedicated to Lisa, the sister he never knew. Born with Down Syndrome and various other disabilities, Lisa spent her life in a facility and Sixx never got the chance to know her. Sixx shot a moving series of portraits depicting how he imagines Lisa would look in heaven. “When my sister passed, I was outside the mortuary and this murder of black crows just came out of nowhere,” Sixx explains of the inspiration behind this photo shoot. “The crows were [part of the shoot] because of what happened when she passed, and the girls were nude because there’s a version of complete vulnerability there, but also they’re naked [because] they’re going to the next place, you know?” Sometimes Sixx avoids explaining the concept prior to a shoot: “If I tried to explain that to a group of people, ‘Well, I have crows and I have girls and I have nudity, and I have this light that I’m using as a leak source,’ they’d go, ‘You’re mad as a fucking bat in a bell tower’ [laughs]. So I just do it and then later people go, ‘I still think you’re crazy, but I think I understand’.” Sixx divulges he has “a relationship with ravens or black crows that [he] can’t understand”. “It’s the logo for my radio show, you know: the crow with the eye. It’s very interesting, when things happen they always come to me and they surround me. My grandfather just passed away and the night before he passed away I went to take my dog outside, and there’s no crows in my neighbourhood – fuckin’ crows just started circling! And I looked up and I went, ‘Oh, it’s gonna happen,’ and I went inside and the phone rang and there it was. So it’s just very interesting.” If the crow is Sixx’s spirit animal, it sure suits him. “I think I look like a crow with the pointy nose,” he allows. “But anyway, back to rock’n’roll.” Okay. What sort of things would Mötley Crüe have posted if social networking existed when they were at their most flagrant? “It would’ve been Instagram of the egg burrito and real-time video of the

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WAITING FOR THE RAPTURE More than just a band, YACHT aim to provide an experience like no other. Kitt Di Camillo speaks with Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans as they prepare for a mind-altering return to Australian shores. usic is littered with cases of musicians combining their art with their own personal beliefs and ideology. The fine line between an interesting aspect and an awkward distraction is an easy one to cross, and for the most part the balance is too difficult to maintain with any commercial ambitions in mind. Having spent the better part of four years merging the commercial with the personal, Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans know more than most about successfully juggling the two.


After beginning its life as a solo outlet for Bechtolt’s own particular brand of dance pop, the euphoric electronica of YACHT has since become a doorway into the duo’s own way of life. Described on their website as a ‘band, belief system and business’, the YACHT story begins properly with the introduction of Evans in 2008. A long-time friend of Bechtolt, Evans is now as fully invested in the group as her partner; the dynamic counterpoint to Bechtolt’s creative electricity. Having already collaborated together on previous YACHT recordings, the partnership evolved into something entirely different after one profound experience. “In 2008 Claire and I moved to the far west Texas desert,” explains Bechtolt. “To a small town called Marfa. And in Marfa is one of the longest-running and most spectacular light phenomena that exists in the world. It’s called the Marfa Mystery Lights, and that’s what we made our record See Mystery Lights all about. That’s where we had that collective-like experience of seeing this crazy light phenomenon in the desert. We just decided that from there and then we wanted to work on everything together and express ideas about human ritual and just play with that sort of stuff.” “I say this a lot,” continues Evans, “but I think Jona and I are both very self-navigated, digital generation-type people. We’ve always felt like we have a lot of access to tools and information. That’s a big part of what we do, and for us to come into contact with something legitimately paranormal and weird and mysterious – something that we couldn’t immediately just Google and figure out – it was a

very enlightening experience for us, and it’s changed the way we thought about everything that we do.” In many cases the urge to include an artist’s beliefs into their music can feel forced, but for the YACHT pair it grew out of a natural desire to explore their new passions. The duo believe that art and spirituality are inseparable, and as outlined in their F.A.Q., aim ‘to provide an alternative to religion, by creating a community which provides long-lasting meaning and value without dogma or submission’. In the group’s detailed and complex mission statement, what stands out above all else is just a genuine push for positivity and ambition. “We’ve always been fans of and interested in the paranormal and mysteries and all that stuff,” admits Bechtolt. “But from that shared experience we were like, ’We should just talk about this all of the time, we should incorporate this into everything that we do’. It has such a heavy meaning for us.” “We’re the kind of people that, in our creative projects, it’s difficult to separate from who we are in our day-to day-lives,” offers Evans. “We spend all of our time working on YACHT, so if we’re thinking about something, we’re going to be incorporating that into YACHT, whether or not we intend to. So we might as well be direct and transparent about it.” That transparency is at odds with many of their contemporaries. Indie rock is known more for its detachment, as many bands prefer to move away from heart-on-your-sleeve emotionalism and honesty. YACHT wear their ideals proudly, and push for something that doesn’t always fit comfortably with the standard musical story. “I don’t know when I would say that it began or how I would really define it,” laments Bechtolt. “But I think there is a movement away from naked vulnerability in the arts. I think people are a little bit afraid to stand by something that they believe in in a direct way because they are afraid of being criticised, because there are so many avenues for criticism now. If you do something and it’s unpopular, you will know immediately, and in many different ways and intimately and painfully.

THE WUNDERKIND Neo-folk songstress Ainslie Wills speaks with Natasha Lee about losing control, Hello, Dolly! and how she learnt the hard way about the tricky side of the music business. or any musician to attempt covering a Johnny Cash song they’ve got to be either a) supremely talented or b) clinically insane. Thankfully, Ainslie Wills falls into the former. Wills covered Cash’s Ain’t No Grave on SBS’s RocKwiz last year. But the madness didn’t end there, with Aussie rapper 360 also lending a hand. “That was not my decision!” laughs Wills. “I mean, I wasn’t at the helm of choosing what song to sing. RocKwiz had already chosen this duet and that’s the song that I was to learn and 360 was to rap over it.” In the end though, the pair sent goose bumps bubbling across the arms of all listening; stretching and squeezing the Cash classic into a different kind of morose monster, with Wills’ angelic vocals adding a gossamer-like sheen.

on the iPad

Wills is gearing up for her biggest tour to date to mark the release of her debut album You Go Your Way I’ll Go Mine, a feat she admits she’s now more prepared for after learning the ins and outs of the music biz. “When I released my first EP my focus was on just getting it out there. I knew that bands toured, but I had no idea about distribution. It wasn’t until people came up to me and were like, ‘Who is distributing your album?’ that I thought about it. So, this time around I’ve got all that sorted.” It was during touring for her 2010 EP Somebody For Everyone that Wills decided to try letting go by relinquishing songwriting control and passing on some of the duties to her guitarist and now co-producer of the debut, Lawrence Folvig. “I had always written very autonomously, but it was in 2009 that Lawrence and I began writing music for the album. When I say we began writing together, I don’t mean we sat in a room together and worked on a song. We still went into our on creative spaces to write and then once we were done we’d show each other and see what the other thought.”

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Named after the school Bechtolt attended as a teenager, YACHT are as entertaining in interview as they are onstage, finishing each other’s sentences and swapping jokes throughout. They take their art seriously, but favour enjoyment above all else. “We try not to be dogmatic or anything,” clarifies Evans. “The mission statement, the philosophy, the sort of conversational aspect of what we do, it’s there for the taking for interested parties. We present ourselves with the music first and the visual identity first, and then if people are interested, it’s all there for them if they want to go there. But we’re not marching into the rock club with a stack of bibles and an attitude. It really is a lot more open and loving than that.” The pair put on a show like no other. Expanded in the live environment to include Rob “Bobby Birdman” Kiewwetter on bass and keyboards and Jeffrey Brodsky on drums, the YACHT live show is a pure sensory experience.

“I started this band with the expressed interest in making something that was fun to watch,” enthuses Bechtolt. “When I started, laptop music at least in America, was less band-centric. They would mostly have these almost academic performances where there would be one dude standing behind a table, standing behind a laptop, and it could’ve been him checking his email or browsing the web as far as the audience was concerned… And I feel like I love that kind of performance! I’m not knocking it, but I just wanted to do something that was totally different than that. It’s always been a goal to make something that I would want to watch. And I have a very short attention span!” “We start with trying to make the show as visually complex as possible, to a point where it’s not fun to look at. Too much information happening, like signs, banners, videos, Powerpoint, all these things happening at once. And then we just strip away each layer until we find the essence of what we’re trying to do, and refurbish it until it is just the right harmony of things.” WHO: YACHT WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 May, Ding Dong; Saturday 4, Groovin’ The Moo, Prince Of Wales Showgrounds, Bendigo

THIS IS AUSTRALIA Sticky Fingers got their start by hijacking local festivals on milk crate stages. They’re now on the verge of releasing their all important debut album to a rabid fan base. Chris Hayden gets the scoop.


There’s more to this story

It’s scarier to be weird. And so I think people shy away from the earnest positivity that we have always embraced and they shy away from a lot of the language that we use. And I totally understand that. And I sometimes wish that we were less transparent, because it does hurt sometimes, but at the same time I can’t imagine being an artist in any other way.”

e’ve all lived in Newtown at one time or another over the last few years, so we have a pretty close affiliation with the suburb,” so says Paddy Cornwall, bass player with rootsy Sydney outfit Sticky Fingers. The band has been riding a high of radio play and choice supports for the last 18 months on the back of their infectious singles Caress Your Soul (a track that recently landed at number 61 in the Hottest 100), Clouds & Cream and the most recent Australia Street. The band’s links to the Newtown area and its surrounds are laid fairly clear on this latest track Australia Street being a well known hangout for the suburbs younger and, at times slightly less salubrious demographic.


Although the official word on the origin of You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine is that it’s from the movie Hello Dolly!, Wills candidly admits it is actually something of a homage to the creative process between her and Folvig. “It’s like saying he can go away and do his thing and then I can go away and do my thing, but in the end we meet somewhere in the middle,” she says. To achieve the ethereal sound on the album, Wills set up shop during the dead of winter in a beach house on the Victorian Peninsula. Heavy layers of strings were then later added at a local church creating an almost haunting experience, with Wills finally laying down her magic and recording her vocals at the converted family home of her best friend. “I could have just gone into a studio and recorded it there, but I specially chose those locations to create the image I had for the album,” she explains. Citing Radiohead, Beck, Feist and Jeff Buckley as inspirations, Wills says she especially looked to the latter’s live performances for tips on how to balance her delicate sound in a large venue. “I guess we’re not really the kind of act a raucous crowd would go and see, so I’m hoping the audience is pretty well behaved. I mean, yes, we have a softer sound, but we also have some songs that allow us to go a little bit harder on stage and I think Buckley and even Feist are artists who manage the different sound quite well. That said, I’ll make sure that we will get to enjoy ourselves. I’m just so excited.” WHO: Ainslie Wills WHAT: You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 24 April, Northcote Social Club

“The song isn’t necessarily about the street itself,” Cornwall explains. “Some of what we’re talking about is just a time when we all partied at this house in that area. It was around the same time that we unofficially headlined a festival in Newtown by building a stage out of plastic crates and playing over the fence. That was the first thing we did to get a bit of attention outside our initial circle of mates. So the song is just about that particular summer. It was a time when the band was taking quite a lot of pills. We had a few dudes in our circle who were, sort of, dealing and so they were always around hence why the verses have this chilled out vibe and the choruses have this uplifting, sensational vibe to them. There’s a lyric there ‘chewing on your taste’ which is pretty much about gurning.” As you can probably tell from that explanation, Sticky Fingers are a band that pride themselves on letting their social lives intersect with the music they produce. Always a winning formula when done right, the prechorus cry of “fuck, that was a good time” on Australia Street really rams home the fact that we’re dealing with a group of lads for whom the show and the night are one and the same. This is further evidenced in their latest video clip, in which the band members join a motley crew of randoms for a stroll through (you guessed

it) Newtown, breaking a few champagne bottles and generally causing a ruckus on the way through. “It actually went stupidly well; we nailed it in the first take,” Cornwall says of the endearingly shopworn clip. “We’re all massive fans of wise-guy flicks and we kind of based this one on Goodfellas. There’s that one scene where old mate (Ray Liotta) takes his girlfriend to this show but there’s a massive line so he takes her through all these kitchens. It’s a huge one-shot take so we wanted to do something like that. We planned it the night before because our manager told us that he was releasing the song on a Tuesday and that we needed a clip. So I put out a thing on Facebook saying, ‘we’re gonna film this thing tomorrow, meet in Camperdown Park if you wanna be involved.’ All the people that are in it are pretty much people that we knew, though. At one point there’s a dude with his pants down and his shirt folded up in a funny way, just looking like a total retard. Afterwards he’s like, ‘oh sorry man, doing that was the only way that I knew I’d get into your video clip’.” A noble effort indeed, but what was the reaction of the general public to Sticky Fingers’ particular brand of chaos? “People were okay with it,” Cornwall laughs. “I think people kind of like that sort of thing because over the last few years Newtown has changed quite a lot and become this upper market place, sort of like Paddington, whereas it used to be a bit more working class and raw.” WHO: Sticky Fingers WHAT: Caress Your Soul (Sureshaker/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 25 April, Corner Hotel; Friday 26, Baha Tacos, Rye


THE MUSIC MAN Renowned Australian guitar virtuoso Bruce Mathiske releases his 17th record this year. He sits down with Tony McMahon to talk longevity, public speaking and how he likes to keep it zen. s usual for the strumming genius, the work on My Life is full of surprises and things even the most hardcore music fan has never heard done on the instrument before. There’s lyric-less covers of The Stones’ Paint It Black and Floyd’s The Wall, which truly transport these songs to a thrillingly new place. Then there’s originals such as the aptly titled River Stories, that performs music-as-narrative that this writer, for one, cannot remember the like of. Not surprisingly, reviewers are situating My Life as Mathiske’s magnum opus, and the man himself agrees wholeheartedly.


“I actually believe it,” he says, with good humour but also sincerity. “I really went into my little cave with this one, and it felt like there was something special about it right from the start. I’m really rapt that the early reviews have reflected exactly my intent. It’s the way I feel about it, too, to be honest.” Given My Life is, as mentioned above, record number 17 for Mathiske, it’s possible he felt extra pressure to perform. With such a body behind you, surely expectations are sky high? Mathiske disagrees, though, and explains what can only be called his much more zen approach. “I know, it was bizarre when I counted them up and came up with 17, I couldn’t believe it. But I think one of the reasons that this one is… well, I’m going to say so good, is that I didn’t think about things at all. I didn’t think I should do this or I should do that. That’s when – as a creative person – you can get into trouble. I just did what felt right. I just did an album that I thought I would love to listen to.” Unusually for the normally prolific artist, this album was three years in the making. In explaining the reasons why, Mathiske gives us a strong clue as to why it’s being considered in such a favourable light. “The last part of the process was actually sitting back and not doing anything. The great Chet Atkins once said about listening to previous albums ‘all you hear are the things you’d change’, and that’s so true. Well,

“I’ve struggled with moderation my whole life,” Buckcherry singer Josh Todd reveals. Therefore, exploring common vices on the Los Angeles rockers’ new album was a no-brainer. Brendan Crabb tries to avoid temptation. I took an extra year and made sure I changed those things. It was amazing the difference this made. There were some songs that I thought were perfect and I kind of ticked them off. ‘Okay, that one’s done’. But then you came back a couple of months later after it’s been mixed and mastered and it’s like, ‘well, hang on, it’s not quite dancing. I may have to do this again’.” So, how does this music translate to a live setting? Interestingly, Mathiske says that audiences are more appreciative of his ability to tell a story, so to speak, than his undoubted technical virtuosity. “People always come out of concerts and they’re not talking about that run I just did or anything terribly technical like that. They’re not fret watching. They’re always saying stuff like, ‘oh that song took me to Morocco’, or ‘that song took me to Spain’. And that’s what I want.” Having said that, words are still important to Mathiske, only not in the way someone who’s never seen him live might expect. “What happened a couple of years ago was that a friend said to me that he thought I’d be a good public speaker. And I was getting asked to come and do these corporate gigs, which I didn’t really want to do. But I just thought, ‘okay, I’ll come along and speak’. So, one of my live shows is almost like an ‘evening with’. I try to talk about things that have happened to me, things that are beyond music, I suppose. To be completely honest with you, it makes me feel a little exposed.” WHO: Bruce Mathiske WHAT: My Life (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 19 April, Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool; Saturday 20, Performing Arts Centre, Geelong; Sunday 21, Chapel Off Chapel

ROCK IN A HARD PLACE You know Australia is a farflung touring destination when rock legends Aerosmith are coming here for only the second time in their 43-year career. Steve Bell catches up with guitarist Joe Perry. eteran Boston rockers Aerosmith have been plying their distinctive brand of raunchy, bluesy hard rock since 1970, clocking up literally thousands of shows around the globe, but until now, they’d only ever been to Australia once, as part of 1990’s Pump Tour. They were on top of the world back then, the tour’s titular 1989 album, Pump, having topped the album charts in Australia on the back of omnipresent radio staples Love In An Elevator and Janie’s Got A Gun.

“I think the way we’ve seen our fanbase from the different generations around the world react in terms of what they want to hear, there’s going to be a few hardcore fans that are going to want to hear some of the new stuff, but mostly it’s going to be the classics,” guitarist Joe Perry reveals of their plans. “Using the internet we’ve been able to track what people want to hear, and also just having toured South America and Japan, a lot of the interest has been in the stuff from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we’re certainly happy to play that because that includes some of our favourite songs. And we’ll slip a few of the new ones in as well. [Our fans] tell us what they want to hear so we spend a while before each show working out what we’re going to play that night.” Key to the notoriously rambunctious band’s success has been the chemistry between The Toxic Twins – Perry and frontman Steve Tyler – who despite their lifelong friendship have lived an incredibly tumultuous relationship. Perry famously quit the band for a few years in the early ‘80s due to Tyler’s hedonism, and even as recently as a couple of years back they went through a very public feud about Tyler’s decision to

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rior to releasing their self-titled debut LP (which contains cocaine-inspired anthem Lit Up) in 1999, Josh Todd, frontman for Los Angeles quintet Buckcherry revelled in drug-fuelled excess. Now, new disc Confessions dissects the seven deadly sins. It’s suggested that the heavily-tattooed vocalist (who also dabbles in acting), despite having been sober for more than a decade, surely has so much personal experience to draw on in this area that he wouldn’t need to do much homework.


Not quite the case, it seems. “I don’t think it’s just me,” he explains. “The seven sins are so interesting, because they’re timeless and I think everybody struggles with them in their lifetime, at some point, if not during their whole lifetime. That’s why I thought it was so fun. So many people have tackled the sins with cinema and music, I just thought how great it would be to do it Buckcherry style. I did a lot of reading, lot of writing and re-writing. “It was definitely a personal record for me, like most Buckcherry records. But this one I had to dig deep for, revisit a lot of things in my past. I’ve struggled with moderation my whole life, so that’s why it was such a fun subject to tackle. I did a lot of research when I was writing the lyrics. It was aggravating at some points, but overall I feel we got a fantastic product. We always make honest records.” It’s likely this brutal honesty which has meant that the band, despite a few gold and platinum records on the wall and the occasional crossover hit has remained more of a cult proposition than a household name. Rarely critical darlings, or consistent worldwide charttoppers, they nonetheless continue to command a loyal following. “All the reviews (for the new album) have been overwhelmingly good, which is weird for us,” Todd says. “We’ve had a long career under the radar. I don’t put too much stock in that (reviews). It’s more about what your fans think, what the people think.

“People just don’t know what to do with us. We’re just playing rock‘n’roll, you know? From the moment we started this thing, Buckcherry’s never been a part of the mainstream of music. So it doesn’t really matter; we just continue to do what we do. We’ve created our sound, our own little niche, and that’s all that matters. We built our whole career on our live show, and we do a lot of touring. I think our fans appreciate us and that’s why people like Buckcherry. That’s why we’ve always had an audience to go to.” Their Australian audience has waited a long time for a return visit, too. They’ve been absent from our shores since their debut, but will perform as part of the Stone Music Festival. This lengthy gap means fans Down Under have been missing out on the debauchery that typically accompanies live airings of Hollywood starletinspired Crazy Bitch (from 2006’s 15). Todd admits the track still stirs up a crowd like no other song in their arsenal. “One time we did a free show in Kansas City for some charity event, it was crazy packed. There was this girl up against the front barrier, and I guess it was her boyfriend or something who lifted up her skirt and started fucking her from behind during Crazy Bitch. At another show we had two girls go down on each other during Crazy Bitch. There’s always lots of titties, of course. One time we did a New Year’s show and somebody was fucking on top of our merchandise boxes during that song. There’s always a lot of fucking.” WHO: Buckcherry WHAT: Confessions (Eleven Seven/Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 18 April, Espy

BOTH SIDES NOW In a sense, Neil Young helped Bryan Estepa rediscover his songwriting mojo, as he explains to Michael Smith. or singer-songwriter Bryan Estepa, there almost wasn’t going to be a fourth album, let alone the one he’s just released, Heart Vs Mind. After releasing and touring 2011’s Vessels, he admits he found himself all out of songs in a way.



These days they may not have the chart currency they once had, but there are still plenty of Aerosmith disciples primed for a walk down memory lane, and even though they have a new album, Music From Another Dimension!, in their arsenal, it’s the cherished hits and favourites that the icons are preparing to deliver.


become a judge on reality TV show American Idol, the band even going as far as calling auditions for a new frontman. But all is now well in Camp Aerosmith, and Perry puts the band’s longevity down to a learned understanding of their different personalities. “I think it’s been that we’re kind of late bloomers – we started off just wanting to be a great live rock band, and we knew that becoming recording artists was a whole different animal, and it took a few albums to learn how to deal with that,” he reflects. “And then it was about figuring out just what it was that we were doing right and which got us to the top by the end of the ‘70s – that was the first phase. “Then it was learning about how to deal with each other on a personal level – that was the main thing, not taking this whole thing personally. It’s a family, that’s what it was and is, and we learned how to deal with that after our break in 1980 when I left and Brad [Whitford – guitar] left. We took some time off from each other and realised that it’s really just about the music, and we’re all going to go off and have different lives – have wives, have kids, have families – and learn how to deal with that stuff and still keep our band together and hold on to that excitement. And that’s what we did, and we just keep doing that day by day.” WHO: Aerosmith WHAT: Music From Another Dimension! (Columbia/Sony) WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 28 April, Sidney Myer Music Bowl; Saturday 4, Rod Laver Arena

“I get a collection of songs, record them and switch it off – I’m not a prolific songwriter. But I helped organise a Neil Young tribute night in support of Beyond Blue, the charity helping people overcome depression, and I learnt 30 or 40 Neil Young songs in a very short space of time, and that sort of got the creative juices flowing and I wrote a song very much influenced by Neil Young, that ‘90s sort of heavy guitar sound – Come What May. As soon as that song came, things started to flow slowly – I sort of got my confidence back – and ideas flowed from there.” Not that Heart Vs Mind sounds like it’s trying to be a Crazy Horse album. Estepa’s inherent pop sensibility and gentler vocal style takes this latest collection of songs to other places, embracing the kind of music he grew up listening to while also reflecting his own Australian indie pop roots.

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“AM radio was always a staple part of my sort of musical diet growing up, and growing up too in the Philippines, classic American pop from the ‘70s was a big part of our musical psyche, I guess. I grew up listening to everything from Simon & Garfunkel and Seals & Crofts to Steely Dan. It was hard to avoid, so I guess, like anything, you grow up and you start listening to new things and explore new sounds, but eventually you’ll… That kind of stuff is my comfort food,” he chuckles, “So you can’t escape from it – it’s always there. That’s my bar really, besides my musician friends, who also have the same sort of influences. I set my bar to them as well, but that is a massive influence on what I do and what I write and how I want things to sound on record.”

As often happens, it wasn’t until he’d written and recorded a lot of the songs on Heart Vs Mind that Estepa realised a theme of sorts was emerging. “Around the time I was writing the album, there were a lot of people around me that were ending or getting into new relationships, starting families – there was a lot of end of a circle or a full circle, that dichotomy, the Yin and the Yang – everything was either really great or really bad for certain people I know and I started writing the lyrics for some songs and then I realised I was dipping into the idea and being really conscious of it, and the theme sort of ran through a lot of the songs, which made it really easy for me to write the lyrics. It wasn’t till much later on, after I’d sort of demoed most of the album that I realised I was writing about a fictitious couple, influenced by the people around me.” The other big influence on the way Heart Vs Mind turned out was Estepa’s choice of producer – former Red Riders singer and guitarist Adrian Deutsch. “Maybe it’s a false sense of bravado, but I always felt like I knew exactly what I wanted out of each of my records,” Estepa suggests. “But in reality, I was always digging for other people’s ideas and seeing what they thought. For this, when I started doing it I realised I really needed to work with someone new, someone who also wasn’t necessarily in my inner circle of musician friends. Adrian, I loved his solo albums – he released two really great albums that were pretty much in the ‘70s, singer-songwriter stuff that I love.” WHO: Bryan Estepa WHAT: Heart Vs Mind (Laughing Outlaw) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 18 May, Retreat Hotel

GROWLING AT THE MOON Cameron Avery not only plays drums for Perth’s Pond, he helms his own group The Growl, who have returned from a US tour supporting the unstoppable Tame Impala. He tells Chris Yates all about it in anticipation of The Growl’s own headline shows across Australia. t was just like ten guys from Perth touring around and having fun,” says Avery about the gang taking on the US. “I’ve been best mates with Kev and Nick (Tame Impala’s Parker and Allbrook respectively) for years now and sort of, like, watching that unfold has been pretty amazing. In Mexico the other night they played to 50,000 people. I got a great photo, it was incredible.”


A lot has been said of the creative scenario in WA and much analysis has gone into trying to work out why it is such a fertile breeding ground for indie music unaffected by the passing fads of the big East Coast cities. Avery says that it’s something the bands themselves consider as well, and they do have their own theories.

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“Me and Kev were talking about this the other day,” he says. “We feel like Perth is so far away geographically, in the back of all of us musicians’ minds – no one moves to Perth to make. I mean it’s so far away no one gives a shit. There’s no thoughts about a career in any way; everyone plays in everyone else’s bands because there’s no competition and we’re all just here together. It’s a very arrogant way to think about our home town, but it’s like how the earth is the perfect distance from the sun for water to exist and germinate life – Perth is kind of like that.” A great example of the complexity of the scene is to examine Avery’s group The Growl next to their related contemporaries Tame Impala and Pond. While all three bands undeniably share some sonic attributes, it seems unlikely that they would be lumped into any kind of scene without the common location and crossover band members. The Growl’s debut album What Would Christ Do?? is a sophisticated record that owes a legacy

MASSIVE POTENTIAL Brooklyn iconoclasts They Might Be Giants have been following their wonderfully idiosyncratic muse for over three decades now without respite. One half of the core duo, John Linnell, admits to Steve Bell that they don’t really know how to stop.

to the past but filters it all through Avery’s singular vision, much like Kevin Parker’s Tame Impala. While comparisons with Tame Impala are inevitable, Avery says it doesn’t concern him at all, and he’s happy to talk about the genesis of the projects and how they have intersected. Location had a lot to do with it. “There’s this one place in Subiaco where Kev and Nick and I and our mate Jeff lived,” he explains. “Kev set up a studio in this house and he did most of Lonerism there and I started The Growl record there. A lot of the (Parisian artist) Melody’s Echo Chamber was done there as well.” When they had to move from the house, Avery’s unique recording style helped the album retain its feel. He says he mostly finds interesting sounds by doing things the wrong way. “It just comes from messing around,” he says bluntly. “The funnest thing about recording and mixing yourself is just learning as you go; I learnt fuck-tons recording this album. Stuff about mics and using things like compression in a way that they are not meant to be used. A lot of studio guys have this attitude that there is a right way to mic up a snare drum and compress a kick drum and that’s why there’s so much shit on the radio that has this Australian sound to it; people have stuck to these fucking rules. I’m not saying we’re revolutionary, but recording should be fun and that’s where you get your inspired ideas. They say there’s no polishing a turd if it’s recorded shit – but yes there is! There’s nothing too lo-fi – if you can delete the idea that your band will ever get played on fucking triple j – then you can just have fun.” WHO: The Growl WHAT: What Would Christ Do?? (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 24 April, Workers Club

uirky, unconventional, madcap, eccentric, oddball, geeky – the list of potential adjectives to describe the career of John Linnell and John Flansburgh as alternative behemoth They Might Be Giants is virtually endless, such has been the volume of distinctive music and breadth of leftfield activities and experiments that they’ve conducted over the course of their fascinating career since they started following their steadfastly comic (and somewhat avant) muse back in the early-‘80s.


They’ve sold millions of albums, won Grammys, branched (incredibly successfully) into kids’ music, scored TV shows and even been at the forefront of digital music dissemination, all without watering down their delightfully unique personas and vision. It can be boiled down to a shared sense of the absurd that intrinsically links the two Johns, a random chemistry that’s as unforced as it is undefinable. “I don’t think we know how to do it artificially,” smiles Linnell of the organic nature of the pair’s creative union. “Although in some ways of course it’s artificial, its music, but I don’t think we know how to calculate what we’re doing. We certainly don’t know how to second guess other people and decide we know what people want – we’re so far away from doing that, that we really do have to rely on our own instincts. We’re still doing more or less what we’ve always done, which is making records that we ourselves would like to buy and listen to. Obviously we can’t do everything – there are plenty of records that we like that we ourselves are incapable of making – so this is a narrow category of stuff that we like and we can make.” They Might Be Giants started out basically as two friends trying to amuse each other and gradually morphed into a band, and their live show has made similar focal shifts over that time, eventually becoming an integral part of their appeal.

“Yeah, it has become [important],” Linnell concurs. “Of course it became that a long time ago, but we started out as anything but a live act. We were shut down in the basement with a tape recorder, and that was our ultimate dream at the time – we thought that this is what we want to do, sit and make recordings. When it came time to consider performing live we came up with a show that pretty much just enabled us to do the home recordings onstage – we had a tape recorder playing and we sang over that and played instruments, we were just reproducing our own home taping setup in a live way. It took us about ten years for us to back into playing with a more traditional rock band set-up. Of course once we did that, that’s what we became, and that was almost twenty years ago.” And the two Johns are naturally proud of what they’ve set in motion, although Linnell’s not quite sure how they’re going to eventually slow the They Might Be Giants juggernaut. “I think there’s a mixture of pride and shame,” he laughs of the band’s career. “It’s a little crazy; I’m not sure how you wind down. I’m a little concerned that we’re heading to that ultimate heart attack onstage or heart attack on TV or something like that. I don’t know why, but for some reason it’s a disturbing thought – I guess it’s either that or quietly fade away, and you just have to pick one. We’ll see. I’ll try and be graceful when it happens, I’ll try to work it into the show.” WHO: They Might Be Giants WHAT: Nanobots (Breakaway) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 2 and Friday 3 May, Corner Hotel; Saturday 4, Groovin’ The Moo, Prince Of Wales Showground, Bendigo

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Fools & Lashes Independent You can see the bluesy, grungy mood Brisbanebased trio London Bureau are trying to create with Fools & Lashes’ limping two-note verse riff and alternating high-low vocals in the chorus. Unfortunately, it comes off as standard pub fare; cheesy (“Kiss like a razor blade,” ahem), doesn’t hold your attention the whole way through – the kind of thing you’d be happy to treat as background noise and shout over while sinking brews, wishing they’d turn the volume down.

THE RED PAINTINGS You’re Not One Of Them Bird’s Robe Records/MGM Fourteen years, a handful of EPs and a live album later, Geelong’s The Red Paintings will finally release their debut studio album this year. You’re Not One Of Them is the first taste, and whets the orchestral art-rock appetite. Not even vocalist-songwriter Trash McSweeney’s distractingly pronounced American accent can dampen the bliss-inducing effect of a string orchestra. The light that balances the dark of the razor-edged guitars, the string orchestra rises up and pulls back as needed, taking what’s already a strong experimental rock track and turning it into something cinematic and unique.

The Eccentric Electrics Of Atomtm & Friends Omni

Imagine Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water as a Latin tinged marimba workout, or David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes as a robotic electro ditty. Sound strange? Well strange is the entry point to the world of Uwe Schmidt (aka AtomTM, Geeez ‘N’ Gosh, Lisa Carbon and about 50 other aliases), a man who firmly believes that humour belongs in music. He’s best known for his Senor Coconut guise and his cheeky kitsch Latin covers of Kraftwerk tunes, though he’s achieved well deserved near God-like status in electronic music circles thanks to his amazing productions.







Wave is a thinking person’s dance anthem; it encourages you to not only move, but to feel and think, too. The incorporation of Basque instruments with chiming synths and percussion that somehow stampede forward with a lighthandedness results in a sonic experience that is very much, and aptly, like a wave – particularly in the chorus. As the drums return, rolling in after a break in the pre-chorus, the synths hit like a splash, layered vocals lapping at them. Finally, the song’s completed with open-ended, hopeful lyrics hinting at the interconnectedness of humans and the universe: “We’re on the same wave.”

A German born electronic producer, he was a member of groundbreaking electro group Flanger with Burnt Friedman, before relocating to Chile in 1997 and releasing a slew of material on multiple labels including his own Rather Interesting imprint. It’s impossible to keep track of his endless stream of releases and aliases, however with this collection we at least have a starting point. There are 17 tracks across nine aliases here, a multitude of styles and techniques, with most tunes imbued with a certain juvenile humour and a complexity in structure. The humour comes in the arrangement, the vocal content or even song title. Suck My Groove anyone? It’s electronic music masquerading as pop music, but it’s much smarter. Everything is perfectly constructed with multiple entry points. Whether it’s humour, stylistic fusions or the complexity of the ingredients, it’s difficult not to marvel at the precocious talent of this man. There are crazy breakdowns, addictive grooves, silly vocals and odd sound effects. It’s difficult not to imagine Schmidt laughing hysterically to himself in the studio before he unleashes one of these incredible tunes on his unsuspecting audience. Genius has rarely been this enjoyable. Bob Baker Fish

CAMPERDOWN & OUT Couldn’t Be Better



4AD/Remote Control

Camperdown & Out don’t put a whole lot on the line here. Couldn’t Be Better plods along at a barely-deviatedfrom mid-tempo with monotonous Sydney-centric observational lyrics yawned out; but it’s not without some kind of slack charm. Trouble is, the bright but wilting guitars and bored commentary are relentless in their own kind of limp way. It’s a dirge, and not in an instrumental way. These are a series of songs designed to make you want to stay in bed for the day.

“I’m sorry if I smothered you/I sometimes wish I’d stayed inside my mother/Never to come out”, bemoans Elena Tonra on Smother, taken from Daughter’s debut and ever-so-deep-and-meaningful album, If You Leave. It’s all so earnest and maudlin that it could suck the happiness out of you faster than a dementor could. This is not an album you want to listen to if you’re in, and want to remain in, a happy mood.

Manly is a poor choice to get things off the mark; anyone who’s been to the beach suburb can attest to the mundanity of the place – it’s better off left well alone. Don’t Have A Dog, St Peters and Down And Out follow, and equate to one of the more interesting groups of songs on the album. Tropics Of Capricorn is snoreworthy – a good enough reason in itself to change the record. But that would be a mistake. The back half features some snappy pop songwriting. Follow Me finally introduces some variation in guitar playing, while Hey Woman ups the tempo and is actually sung with a bit of feeling. South Coast falls into the more mediocre end of the song spectrum here and while album closer, Morphine Dream, is perhaps the highlight in terms of instrumentation and mood – conjuring early Velvet Underground – the abysmal lyrics are sadly left ringing through your mind. Nathan John Roche (Marf Loth) and Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn) show glimpses of songwriting shrewdness here, and have definitely done so via their other bands. But the sluggishness of the whole borders on unbearable and Couldn’t Be Better amounts to something that should be so much more. Samson McDougall

Opening track, Winter, is one of the less depressing tracks included on the album, yet it is still not one that will suit a listener with a sunny disposition. From the get go, it appears that Tonra has used the lyrics to these tracks as a vehicle for catharsis, and while her honesty is to be commended, an entire album’s worth of misery wears a little thin if you’re not in the right mood to deal with it. If you are, however, then you will want to let If You Leave’s comforting arms envelope you. Youth is of particular note, as it provides an unexpected jolt of life in the form of some nice drumming, with the only other lively track being in the form of Human. These two tracks inject some much-needed verve into what would otherwise be one long dirge. If you can get past Tonra’s often pained vocals and often overwrought lyrics, the music that she and her bandmates, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella, have created is actually atmospheric and calming, not to mention pretty. Reverberation has been used in spades, giving what would otherwise be quite a minimalistic experience an ethereal quality. For all of its depressive qualities, this is a good album – it’s just not a happy one. Dominique Wall

THE SUN & THE SKY Already One Independent The expansive, electro-rock instrumentation in Already One is let down by a weak vocal melody that is delivered with uncertainty in parts. Just as you begin to be swept up in the heady, high synth lines – which sound like some sort of celestial, otherworldly birdsong – the vocals hit you in the ears like a figurative clump of dirt and from then on that offensively uninteresting succession of notes is all you can hear. Overall, in this current synth rocksaturated environment, it’s not a blip on the radar.

EMIKA Searching Ninja Tune A composer, producer and mixer, Emika has her fingers in several pies. This is evident in Searching: an electro-pop tune that errs on the minimalistic side, with an R&B melody that presents a darker subject matter, all wrapped up inside a glossy bubblegum exterior. Its bouncy beat, Emika’s restrained-yet-emotive head vocals as she sings about confronting deceit and seeking truth, and the contrast between the boppy tones and a sadness mingled with defiance adds depth to a song that’s undeniably catchy at the purest level.

THE HUNGRY MILE Faceless Men The A&R Department Drums fills and pauses are used as devices on melodic alt.rock song Faceless Men, and ideas aren’t fleshed out. Vocalist Chris Williamson is not convincing, his delivery tentative; he’s holding back on the heavier parts, which in turn makes his softer lines less effective as the contrast isn’t as apparent. The whole thing feels like an unfinished brainstorm: full of bits not yet formed into something solid, and just thrown in together without much consideration as to how they transition into one another.

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Thrill Jockey/Fuse

Black Sun

It may come as something of a revelation to many that Black Sun is only the debut album release from Australian electro-pop band Gold Fields. Many of the tracks on the debut have been given their fair share of airtime on radio stations such as triple j since the band formed in 2010. Thus, listeners could be excused for assuming the band had a couple of albums under their belt. Instead, the local lads have been biding their time since the release of their first self-titled EP in 2011, and doing their production research, taking inspiration from some reputable international producers before the album’s final release this March. Black Sun is filled to the brim with party favourites that include Meet My Friends, Dark Again, Treehouse and You’re Still Gone. With the exception of the frenetic Moves, the entire album fits the minimal electro-pop mould shamelessly, of which Australian audiences cannot seem to tire. The combination of electronic synths, experimental percussion and punchy hooks has been a recipe for success for many Australian bands, and Gold Fields is no exception. However, the distinguishing feature for Gold Fields is the percussion, dominated by woody, tribal beats that ricochet throughout the tracks, tying the album neatly together. Although some of the tracks, such as Meet My Friends, are a little darker, the majority of the album has a mesmerising, light hearted and nostalgic quality to it. The lyrics are simplistic and at times, a little repetitive, yet they avoid crossing the perilous line from catchy to mundane. It’s sure to be a popular album, given the unrequited thirst for low-key electronic pop-rock and it’s excellent to see some local talent holding their own against an international sea of competitors. Claire Moore

Theme Park

Funk-tinged pop is rocky territory that has been successfully negotiated by precious few bands over the years, yet Miles Haughton, his twin brother Marcus and Oscar Manthorpe appear determined to pitch their tent there, to a less than impressive result. There is one major flaw with Theme Park’s self-titled debut album (aside from the funkiness of the band’s overall sound) and that is that none of the songs on it are memorable. The execution of the tracks can’t be faulted, but much in the same way that it’s hard to like a television show or movie when you don’t care for any of the characters, it’s hard to like an album when there’s nothing that grabs your attention. Saccades (Lines We Delay) attempts to get your interest, but it tries far too hard. With unintelligible lyrics, a change of pace two-thirds of the way in and funked-up bassline that would make Mark King from Level 42 a little proud, it just does not sit right. Los Chikas is another example of an obvious attempt to do something clever that backfires, falling flat rather than being an inspired example of songwriting. While the other songs do not appear to be quite as obviously trying to be too clever, there is still an undercurrent of self-conscious over-trying hanging around. Theme Park may have been meant as an upbeat, feel-good album, however, it falls short of the mark. That is not to say that it is a downbeat or depressing album, because it isn’t – it’s just that the lack of any clear emotion, sadly, leaves you just feeling bored and more than disinclined to get up and dance. Dominique Wall

Brokeback And The Black Rock Bass, guitar and drums. In contemporary music that’s all you need to know. Surely words like ‘tight,’ ‘urgent,’ and ‘take no prisoners’ will follow. Bass, guitar and drums: it’s almost a genre itself, though some would argue it’s another example of how homogenised and devoid of new ideas our music making has become. Yet Brokeback return the words to where they belong, as ingredients, and demonstrate that the main concern should be whose hands said bass, guitar and drums are in. Beginning life as a side project for Tortoise’s Doug McCombs, over a series of five albums, both the sound and personnel have changed markedly with each release. Everyone from Mary Hansen and Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab, to Rob Mazurek (Chicago Underground), to James McNew (Yo La Tengo) have appeared and disappeared, while the sounds have equally delved in and out of electronics, jazz and of course post rock. Brokeback And The Black Rock, the band’s first album in ten years, again sees new personnel, and of course the aforementioned stripped-down approach. This is desert highway twang, the place where Tortoise’s TNT, Ennio Morricone Westerns and, wait for it, Neil Young’s Crazy Horse, meet on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. With a fuzzy guitar and repetitive rollicking groove it’s hard at times not to be reminded of Crazy Horse’s lumbering energy, yet it’s harnessed by Tortoise’s assured bass grooves. McCombs and co utilise the stripped-down ingredients to create mood and space, displaying a patience and a desire to say more with less, mining the space where film score ends and post-rock begins. Bob Baker Fish







Weathermaker Music


Arguably the world’s biggest and longest-running electronic band, Depeche Mode return with their 13th studio album, Delta Machine, their first in four years and sees the return of high-profile producer and audio engineer Flood. It had been touted by the band’s main composer, Martin Gore, as being somewhat of a return to Violator and Songs Of Faith And Devotion.

Owl Eyes’ bio mentions “duality” more than once. She seems fixated on the idea of two ideas co-mingling or informing each other. How does this relate to her music, though? Production on Nightswim is quite lush and cinematic, indicating a sense of vision or scope.

There was a time when the concept of Clutch releasing a substandard record was laughable. Over their past handful of albums, that concept has come closer and closer to reality. With Earth Rocker, it has arrived. On paper, it sounds like a godsend. After a pair of more blues-focused albums in 2009’s Strange Cousins From The West and 2007’s From Beale Street To Oblivion, Clutch have decided to return to the heavier and more aggressive sounds of breakthrough albums like 2004’s Blast Tyrant. On record, it sounds tired, contrived and kind of hollow.

There is something about opening song Sugar from Shout Out Louds’ fourth album Optica that sounds like it belongs in a John Hughes movie. It has a Molly Ringwald smile or a Judd Nelson swagger. The new wave vocals and enchanting synths kick this romp off into Swedish indie pop with a promise of handpicked flowers and slow dances in the moonlight.

Delta Machine

The comparison to the albums that many see as the pinnacle of Depeche Mode’s career is not obvious on initial listen, especially given that the lead single released from Delta Machine – Heaven – was a lessthan-obvious choice. Once you start investigating the album a second time, you start to see what Gore is talking about. The bluesy overtone of Songs Of Faith And Devotion have been represented with second single, Soothe My Soul, which definitely echoes I Feel You, and closing track, Goodbye. It is nice to hear that rather than take the easy route and recreate their earlier work, Gore, David Gahan and Andy Fletcher have actually taken the best parts and turned it into something new. While Gore has once again filled the role of principal songwriter, frontman Gahan has contributed a couple of his own tunes, which sit well next to Gore’s. Gahan’s vocals are as good as ever, as are Gore’s. Sadly though, we only get to hear Gore take on lead vocal duties on The Child Inside, unless you have the deluxe version, in which case you can hear him lead on Always. This is definitely their strongest and most passionate body of work since becoming a three-piece. Dominique Wall


Brooke Addamo (aka Owl Eyes) revels in the big picture, and so she has created an album light on details. Where she gives into broad dramatic strokes, she leaves the nuts and bolts of good songwriting behind. The duality that precedes her written reputation seems to be missing the other half. Her lyrical depth is lacking, and the looping chorus on Hurricane grates and breaks you away from an otherwise arresting piece. Some gutsy work on Ivory really lifts the mood and it’s a slick piece that starts incredibly strong and doesn’t hang around to get old. Addamo moves through some nice Italo disco moments on Salt Water, but the whole song feels like an experiment. There’s some Burial vocal manipulation in there and some cushy neon production during the second half that doesn’t fit. For a pop record, the hooks are weak. Perhaps it’s the vocals. They hover in the background and leave the chord and beat sequences hanging there. Find Out is a ripping Roisin Murphy homage that is one of the few songs on the record that a vocal track actually seems necessary. Nightswim feels like a dance pop record from a session vocalist trying to make it on her own rather than a breakthrough release from a prodigious talent. Matt MacMaster

Earth Rocker

Clutch have always been something more than just a rock band. Rather than simply regurgitating rock clichés, Clutch embraced them and then twisted them towards their own ends. They managed to fold hip hop, funk and blues into their stoner-rock format without once sounding anything but stone-cold classic. All that personality and idiosyncrasy is gone from Earth Rocker. Once baffling and freewheeling in their invention, Neil Fallon’s lyrics now sound dull and lifeless. “If you’re gonna do it/Do it live on stage or don’t do it at all/If you’re gonna do it/ You better take it to the stage or don’t do it at all” he coughs over the opening title track and, aside from the occasional gem (DC Sound Attack), he doesn’t improve. The rest of the band are similarly perfunctory in their efforts. Even Jean-Paul Gaster, one of the grooviest drummers in all of Christendom and elsewhere, is relatively straightforward in his approach. All in all, it’s a dull album that you want to love but really can’t. Matt O’Neill


Shout Out Louds have found a breezier niche after 2010’s Work, and each song here sounds full yet understated. Where Work was stripped-back and almost stark at the hands of producer Phil Ek, Optica was self-produced over a year-and-a-half, providing a much richer sense of what this band is really about. There is an overarching romantic yearning present that makes the heart swell with the ebbs and flows of each wistful guitar hook. Indie music has recently taken a walk down lo-fi lane, and while countless bands have been discovered along the way, it’s refreshing to go back to sonically big, emotionally charged songs such as Illusions and 14th Of July. Standout track Blue Ice could almost be a hidden cut from The National’s 2010 album High Violet, with its pensive slow build to an unreached climax. Chasing The Sinking Sun follows the familiar contrasting recipe of mismatched tempos and nostalgic lyrics. Walking In Your Footsteps attempts the same, but the playful flutes are almost twee and detract from the moody refrains. This might be the only misstep of the record, however. After ten years, this group has not forgotten how to turn lemons into lemonade and it still tastes pretty damn good. Samantha Armatys

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.

For more reviews go to • 29







FOR THE RECORD Whatever you choose to do to this Saturday it had better include dropping cash at your local music store. Chris Yates goes crate digging with Record Store Day ambassador/music legend Russell Morris. he collecting of records is so much more than a hobby for many people. In today’s instant access to information, thanks to the web and our flimsy attention spans, the commitment to seeking out and owning a piece of vinyl is a hallowed experience, and it’s one that continues to pick up more followers.


For Record Store Day ambassador and Australian music dead set legend Russell Morris, it’s an opportunity for him to spruik his rekindled love for the humble record store. After 45 years in the Australian music industry, Morris’ latest album Sharkmouth is, almost inconceivably, his most successful to date. Sharkmouth sees Morris return to his blues roots – the style of music that he first cut his teeth on long before his psychedelic hit The Real Thing established him as one of the most exciting and vital artists of the late-’60s and early-’70s. It delves into the seedy underworld of Australia in the 1920s and 1930s. A history buff, the project started out with much more modest intentions than what it became and Morris says that the larger chains of independent music stores were a vital part of him having any success from the albums at all. “Without the Leading Edge record stores and JB Hi-Fi supporting this record and playing it in store, it never would have done what it’s done,” says Morris bluntly. “We couldn’t get major television support and we couldn’t get commercial radio support. We only had the support of ABC and community radio. With all the record stores playing the album, that’s what actually pushed it into the charts. What they did, there was a Leading Edge conference in Canberra with all the stores, and they said, ‘If you want to make some money, play this album in store without telling people

what it is and they will come up and ask’ – and that’s what happened! It started to move like that, and then JB Hi-Fi did the same thing and it started to go from there. I’m very grateful to them for that so I’m really happy to be involved in Record Store Day.” Morris says that it was such a boost for him that the music itself was pushing the sales and not a massive promotional budget or his reputation, or what he somewhat grimly sees as a lack thereof! “I think my reputation was shot because I had about five albums before that which sunk without a trace!” He laughs. “Not one record company wanted to touch the album so I paid for it myself and was about to release it and sell it at gigs to try and make my money back. At the 11th hour, Robert Rigby who runs Ambition Entertainment said he wanted to release it and he took it and ran with it. The help that we got from those stores made all the difference. They started the fires and without those fires it wouldn’t have happened.” Punters may have thought they saw the last of the famous Record Paradise in St Kilda when they closed their doors at the end of their lease in January. A trip across the river was never complete without a visit to the store to peruse its overwhelming stock of new and old music from almost every genre imaginable. The very happy ending to this story is a new beginning. Record Store Day will mark the first day of trading for the all new Record Paradise at its new location at 15 Union Street Brunswick, in a former mechanic’s garage. “We decided it was best for relocation as we believe Brunswick is little more our style,” co-owner of the store Paul Allen explains. “We live in Brunswick as well and

we found a great location so we decided to go with it. We had to pick a date so we thought that Record Store Day was a perfect opportunity for a double celebration. It’s a really good space and we’re going to have a party, sell some records and settle into Brunswick.” Record Paradise had a lot of stock at its former location, but even if you were a big enough freak to go through every single record on the shelf in the old location (no judgements!) there are new surprises. “We’ve got a lot of stock that no one’s ever seen that we didn’t incorporate into the old shop at St Kilda,” he says tantalisingly. “There was at least six months’ worth of stock that I didn’t even process so what’s been exciting for me has been going through crates that were lost for a year and just finding fantastic gems. Mikey Young has personally delivered us his Lace Curtain record and the new Ooga Boogas as well so we’ll have those on the day.” Not ones to shy away from a good party, Paul and his partner Renae Maxwell have put together one hell of a line-up featuring Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, Fraser A. Gorman, The Morning After Girls and Courtney Barnett. Utopia Records in Sydney are celebrating 35 years of business in 2013, a milestone for any small business let alone one in an industry as fickle as this. Sourcing their collection of over 6,000 records from overseas dealers and by buying entire collections, owner Garry Stapleton says that he sees a growing interest in vinyl happening every day. “The really good thing is it’s not just people who grew up with vinyl,” he says. “More and more it’s the younger kids that have knocked off their parents’ vinyl collection to see what it’s all about and they then come in looking for stuff that they’re more into. It’s obviously a trendy thing, but I think it’s transcended the fad stage. There’s a lot of people who realise it’s something they want to get right into. The tactile experience of a record doesn’t compares to CDs and it certainly doesn’t compare to downloads.” The record store also provides a place for a community of like-minded individuals to get together and talk about the music they love. Utopia specialise in heavy metal and hard rock, a field of

Russell Morris music known for its passionately dedicated fans. Touring bands also make an effort to check out the legendary store, further building the community. “I also think it’s reciprocated by the metal bands that make themselves very accessible. There’s no one I can think of who get recognised and run away or tell people to piss off, they always hang around and chat to fans. We had Trivium in the store not so long ago and people from Slash’s band The Conspirators drop in every time they are in the country. There’s a real buzz about a band called Ghost BC and they all wear masks and things. They were in the story and it was funny to watch customers in the store standing next to these guys and not knowing who they were. It was priceless.”

For more interviews go to • 31


LET’S GET PHYSICAL In the lead-up to Record Store Day, You Am I’s Russell Hopkinson gives his thoughts on all things physical product. t’s funny how we need a “Record Store Day”; to me the notion that music fans need reminding that it’s good to spend some quality time at your local purveyor of fine platters seems strange. But in this modern topsy-turvy hyper-connected world apparently we do. I’ve wasted more time in record stores on more continents than most people but even I need reminding some times that I should get out a bit more and look at some records.


I could get all old guy on you and relate through sepia tinted mind-o-vision about how the local record store was the beating heart of the record fan’s culture, how me and my mates spent all of our formative years poring over racks of counter-culture and humbly enduring the mild contempt of the vaguely Toyah Wilcox-ish counter attendant who would look upon my purchase of the second Riot/Clone EP with bemused pity. How we would glean whatever information we could from poorly printed fanzines and hissy tape compilations before making that commitment to actually go out and buy some music. “But that was back in the 20th century!” I hear you chorus. Well, sure it was and these days yer Spotifys and YouTubes are great resources and I’m as happy to use them as the next Luddite. But all the convenience in the world won’t take away what I love about records. The best thing about a stack of 45s


is the very inconvenience of the format, each piece of music is separated by a moment of contemplation as you unsleeve the record, eye the label for clues as to why it exists and ponder what to play next, each song enveloped by a moment of time. Ten thousand songs on shuffle is a wonderful thing but a box of 100 45s and just your impulses and taste will always be a deeper, more rewarding experience. A long time ago the powers that be – guys in business suits with devil horns, I imagine – tried to kill the vinyl record. In fact back in the early-‘90s our band made what was supposed to be the last record ever pressed in the country. Things were so dire for the format that the record plant had its power shut off before the pressing could be completed. Don Bartley, who cut the record, scratched “this is the last record ever pressed in Australia” in the run off groove and that was that. That wasn’t it, however, fans of the medium never stopped buying or for that matter making records. The pressing and cutting equipment fell into new enthusiastic hands right across the globe and two decades later vinyl culture is pumping. We even have our very own Willy Wonka in one Jack White whose Third Man Records will happily distribute their product via helium balloon or release liquid filled records just because they can. At the centre of it all is the humble record store; the best ones are bulging with stuff, the air filled with music that’s perhaps a little too loud and chock full of people with heads down in racks. I like to go to a record store not knowing what I want, leafing through discs hoping that some long sought after white whale will leap out and grab me. Or else the nice person behind the counter is playing some gem that I’ve never heard and I’m compelled to wander up, cap in hand and enquire as to what exactly the hell it is. A good

I might get up super early, make the bed and everything, have some soup, then probably walk down and buy some new tunes from my new local, The Sound Exchange Record Bar at Long Jetty. What makes in store performances rather special?

Answered by: Pepa Knight, co-writer/producer What release are you putting out especially for Record Store Day? We have a limited edition 7” of our new single Plagiarist with B-side called Aurora, which won’t be on our album. Our brand spanking new debut album, cleverly titled Jinja Safari, will be released shortly after Record Store Day! How will you be celebrating Record Store Day this year?

32 • For more interviews go to


There is definitely something really intimate (and terrifying) about performing in a record store. You’re in a small squishy room, everyone on top of each other, playing cut-down acoustic versions of your songs – it’s like a big family Christmas sing-along. It can actually be quite fun for us to strip back these big production songs with just an acoustic/harmonium/sitar/percussion setup and hear what the songs sound like in their rawest form. Can you restrain yourself in a record store or do you generally purchase way more than you intended? I’m getting more sensible with my self-control, but whenever I walk into a record store, I almost always still have to leave with something, even if it is an old folk album I have never heard. It’s a great industry to support. I remember years ago doing a New York trip with our bassist Joe and a bunch of friends and that is all we did – cleared out every record store in Brooklyn and Manhattan. We flew back though with no excess baggage!

Name and position of person answering: Group effort Contact details and operating hours:

record store will provide you with the thrills of finding things you never thought you’d own and an education in things that you probably should put on your list. No algorithm is ever going to have the charm and wit be able to replace a great record store owner like Warwick at Greville Records in Melbourne or Nick at the sadly closed (but hopefully soon to be resurrected) Intoxica in London. These little temples of good music are the churches of my culture and in Record Store Day we finally have a holy day to celebrate that. Like experiencing a record store, you can experience You Am I live in the flesh when they play Saturday 6 July at the Forum Theatre. Plus keep an eye out for the re-issue of their first three albums Friday 24 May.

100 Railway Road Blackburn; 736 Burke Road Camberwell; 414 Brunswick Street Fitzroy. All shops open seven days, see for opening hours. What does your store specialise in? Quality second-hand LPs, CDs, DVDs. What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why? Blackburn has been playing Hawkwind in anticipation of the upcoming Warrior On The Edge Of Time reissue. How is your store celebrating Record Store Day? A massive 20% off sale, live music at some of the stores, a new canvas bag giveaway. What is the holy grail of vinyl, that everyone wants to buy, but nobody can get their hands on? Apart from the Beatles’ Butcher Sleeve? Good Aussie prog, original pressings of Krautrock, obscure ‘70s funk and mint/original ‘50s and ‘60s pressings… there are never enough.

What’s been your favourite find in a record store?

Who is the most famous customer that has come in to the store and what did they buy?

When we were on tour in LA, I went to a store called Amoeba Records and found Peter Gabriel’s So, one of my favourite albums of all time, for $1!

Locally, have spotted Geoffrey Rush and Burt Newton – don’t remember their purchases.

What was the last thing you bought from a record store? My latest purchase was Melody’s Echo Chamber’s self-titled release and Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse. How do you keep your CDs and vinyl? Are they sorted in any way? I have an old suitcase next to my record player that all my current faves are stacked for easy access and the rest is a constantly growing pile under my bed. Favourite record store to have a good browse around in and why? Whenever we are in Melbourne I always try to make my way to Dixons on Brunswick for the old classics and Polyester Records for newer releases. Otherwise Redeye Records in Sydney is always a fun visit.

Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases? We do not have any exclusive releases – but we are working on next year. What is your favourite concept album and why? The Gong Flying Teapot Trilogy has a story that is both playful and philosophical while being accompanied by some amazing music. The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss. While the demand for owning music on CDs seems to be decreasing, the interest in vinyl definitely seems to be increasing, as more people look to the vinyl format as the way forward for serious music fans. It’s been a long time since CDs were cool, but vinyl’s back, baby!



Name and position of person answering: Anthony Allayialis, Co-owner/Director Contact details and operating hours: 454 Smith Street Collingwood, Tuesday–Thursday 11am–7pm, Friday–Saturday 11am–8pm, Sunday 12pm–5pm, What does your store specialise in? Our store is a combination of a tattoo studio, barber shop and “general store”, which consists of a large collection of rare heavy metal vinyl; horror DVDs and Blu-Ray; men’s apparel, accessories and personal care products; a wall of hot sauce and other condiments; and limited edition art prints from around the world. What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why? Killswitch’s killer new album Disarm The Descent. Opus Eponymous from Ghost is an awesome album


Name and position of person answering: Renae and Paul, co-owners Contact details and operating hours: 15 Union Street Brunswick, Wednesday– Saturday 12–6pm, What does your store specialise in? New and recycled vinyl, focusing on local, indie/ alternative releases and reissues. We also house an amazing archive with over 33,000 records from all genres. Hours of fun.

that only came out this week. Skid Row’s Slave To The Grind is an old favourite and probably the best album ever recorded… Sebastian Bach rules. How is your store celebrating Record Store Day?


Absolutely! But we can’t reveal what until RSD so come down to check it out on Saturday 20 April.

Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases?

We walk in to your shop with $150 to spend – what do you recommend we buy?

We have some great new titles for this year’s RSD but you will also find some hard to get titles from previous years such as (one of our faves) King Diamond’s No Presents For Christmas picture disc from 2012.

Lord Huron’s Lonesome Dreams, Billy Bragg’s Tooth & Nail deluxe editon, David Bowie’s Next Day, Love For Levon (amazing DVD and CD tribute to Levon Helm), the fabulous new Iron & Wine album Ghost On Ghost and Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier’s new CD, Stories Of Ghosts.

We walk in to your shop with $150 to spend – what do you recommend we buy? I would personally recommend a deposit on a tattoo with one of our awesome artists ($50); Van Halen’s 5150 first pressing edition ($30); Thrillseeker Threads “Thrill Skull” shirt ($35); and a decent mix of our hot sauces because that’s how much we love it! ($35). The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss. The demise of physical product comes down to convenience. These days it’s more convenient to jump onto iTunes as opposed to buying a standard CD. The beauty of vinyl is that not only does it have its own unique sound quality but the convenience of having an MP3 card is also included with most new releases so you can upload the album to your computer. I also think the appeal of things like the cover art, limited edition picture disc releases and the inserts that accompany the vinyl itself appeal to collectors because it puts the excitement and fun back into buying music.

“news” end up surrounding the decks at our house. How is your store celebrating Record Store Day?

Name and position of person answering: Dave Clarke, Music Buyer Contact details and operating hours: 309 Lygon Street Carlton; 701 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn; 112 Acland Street St Kilda. All shops open seven days, see for opening hours. What does your store specialise in? All types of music from classical to indie, jazz to folk and world music. We specialise in imports and vinyl, plus we also have a very good range of DVDs. What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why? Lord Huron’s Lonesome Dreams, Billy Bragg’s Tooth & Nail and the new Steve Earle album Low Highway. How is your store celebrating Record Store Day? By offering 20% off all vinyl for the entire month

We have ordered BJTM, Wire, The Fall, House Of Love, Captain Beefheart, Wedding Present, Pulp, The xx, Orange Juice and Miles Davis to name a few. Who knows if they will arrive in time.

What is the holy grail of vinyl, that everyone wants to buy, but nobody can get their hands on?

Paul: Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs is a bold exploration of different aspects of love. Renae: Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, because I cried watching the Google Earth video and it captures why I love the indie scene so much.

Rowland S Howard’s Teenage Snuff Film or Pop Crimes (first press vinyl) and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus.

This Is PIL, The Next Day by David Bowie, Push The Sky Away by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Touring artists and new release and artists in the

Jello Biafra purchased Davy Graham’s Folk, Blues And Beyond and local 7” records including Tram Pig by Urgent! Blood!.


What is the holy grail of vinyl, that everyone wants to buy, but nobody can get their hands on?

What does your store specialise in? Quality local and international releases, preferably on vinyl but CDs are cool too. What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why? Dick Diver’s Calendar Days, one of the best albums to come out in all the years I’ve worked in music retail. How is your store celebrating Record Store Day? It’s essentially a party day – DJs in both stores, Spite House and Constant Mongrel playing in the city store, plus exclusive RSD releases and a 15% off all vinyl, cds and books.

34 • For more interviews go to

Nick Cave and Paul Kelly frequent our St Kilda shop when they’re in town and we were delighted to host an event with Patti Smith at Readings Carlton – and yes, she did buy a few obscure titles on the way out. The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss. The physical market is down from its peak of around a decade ago, but despite widespread media coverage saying the CD is dead it remains the mainstay of our (and loads of other stores’) business. What is certainly true is buying music has never been cheaper; most new release CDs are now around the $20-22 price. We sell more CDs now than a few years ago; they just sell for less, so the dollar amount for the industry is down, but sales are actually holding their own. And of course vinyl is making a huge comeback.

What is your favourite concept album and why?

We walk in to your shop with $150 to spend – what do you recommend we buy? Can’s Cannibalism (Spoon), Dick Diver’s Calendar Days, Joy Division’s Closer (reissue), Marianne Faithful’s Broken English (original vinyl or tape) and a local 7” from either Twerps, The Stevens, Courtney Barnett or The Rebelles...


The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss. Physical sales are dropping, online sales increasing and illegal downloading is out of control! Vinyl sales continue to increase and many indie releases don’t register on official charts suggesting the true figures are even higher. Vinyl has always been for a niche market of music lovers and it is not going anywhere.

What is the holy grail of vinyl, that everyone wants to buy, but nobody can get their hands on?

Well they’ve both been in stock in recent years but both the Rowland S Howard albums. If only there was a record label smart enough to keep them in print.

Hilltop Hoods’s Back Once Again EP and Trem’s For The Term Of His Natural Life 2LP. They occasionally turn up on eBay and sell at elevated prices.

Who is the most famous customer that has come in to the store and what did they buy?

Who is the most famous customer that has come in to the store and what did they buy?

In my time here it’s probably been Tim Robbins. I think he bought a Xavier Rudd CD but apart from that he was pretty cool.

Flavor Flav, who was more interested in our clothing. Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases?

Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases?

387 Brunswick Street Fitzroy, 9419 5137, 10am–late; 288 Flinders Lane City. 9663 8696, 10am–6pm most days,

Who is the most famous customer that has come in to the store and what did they buy?

Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases?

Live music in store from Fraser A Gorman, Courtney Barnett, Sacha & Martin (MAG), Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier and guest DJs. Plus there will be a Paradise Bar and Taco Truck, amazing recycled records, limited local and RSD releases and a 7” lucky dip.

Who is the most famous customer that has come in to the store and what did they buy?

Contact details and operating hours:

Are you stocking any exclusive Record Store Day releases?

Fuck promo codes! Fuck sales! We’re offering the best and rarest heavy metal vinyl in Australia.

What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why?

Name and position of person answering: Nate Nott, co-owner

of April – including an amazing price on the complete Beatles vinyl box set of $439.95.

Yep! Full list should be up on the website now. What is your favourite concept album and why? It’s sentimental (and probably cheating) but You Am I Hourly, Daily. Growing up in the suburbs of Sydney this was it, from dawn ‘til dusk.

Name and position of person answering: Frank, retail manager Contact details and operating hours: 4a Izett Street Prahran, 9529 1577, Mon–Sat 10.30am–5.30pm, Sun 12–5pm,

We walk in to your shop with $150 to spend – what do you recommend we buy?

What does your store specialise in?

Keep it local! Super Wild Horses, Absolute Boys, Songs, The Drones, The Stevens, Dick Diver, School Girl Report - all genuine hit records and you’d probably get some change.

What’s on high rotation on the sound system at the moment and why?

The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss. It’s been exaggerated by lazy media who have only bothered to check Excel spreadsheets and ask their buddies who run multi-million dollar “music stores”. Fuck them. People who have always bought records are still buying records, they’re the only people we listen to.

Imported and local hip hop since 1995.

Dialectrix’s Satellite EP. Also still bumping Oddisee’s People Hear What They See; this album is flawless and always sets the mood for the day.

We’re the only Melbourne store selling the Elefant Traks RSD releases. Hermitude’s Parallel Paradise remix vinyl EP featuring Flume and Urthboy’s Smokey’s Homies Remix EP CD featuring Trials and Drapht will be sold as a pack with a free Elefant Traks t-shirt. What is your favourite concept album and why? Gangreene’s (The Alchemist and Oh No) Vodka And Ayahuasca is definitely on the list. We walk into your shop with $150 to spend – what do you recommend we buy? Dialectrix’s Satellite; Mata & Must’s Low Life’s Gospel; Gangreene’s Odditorium picture disc vinyl; and Urthboy’s Smokey’s Haunt limited edition 2LP green vinyl.

How is your store celebrating Record Store Day?

The demise of physical product in the music industry has been exaggerated – discuss.

We have a selection of DJs repping various local crews including Discourse (Crate Cartel), Heata (Hired Goons), Must (Pang Productions), Ronan (PBS FM), Slap618 (Myspherical) and Jase (Beathedz) spinning vinyl all day.

There’s definitely been a decline in CD sales, especially import titles, but local release hip hop has maintained steady sales in our store. We’ve also noticed a slight increase in vinyl sales with a new generation of collectors buying wax.


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Wolf Children

WEDNESDAY 17 Wolf Children: Meet The Director – a screening of Wolf Children followed by a Q and A with director and animator Mamoru Hosoda, also the creator of Digimon: The Movie and Summer Wars. Nova Cinemas, 6.45pm.

THURSDAY 18 Thomas Green: Sign Of The Times – nominated for the 2013 Adelaide Fringe Best Emerging Comedy award, this show takes you through Thomas Green’s experiences in the modern world and its people, highlighting the drastic changes over history. The Owl and The Pussycat, 8pm.

FRIDAY 19 Class Clowns National Grand Final – the big day has arrived for the 13 finalists from around the nation to decide who is the ultimate class clown. Hosted by Deanne Smith and Matt Okine, this underaged stand up competition will be a fierce battle with this being the first year to have the most finalists ever. Judges include Frank Woodley and Marg Downey with special guest appearance by The Pajama Men. Part of MICF, Town Hall, 1pm. Karin Danger: Hot Box – a cabaret show by singing comedian Karin Danger. The Hot Box is a place when you don’t feel disgusting or overdressed: you feel hot. Danger is an award-winning comedian who has performed musical comedy across Melbourne. Part of MICF, The Butterfly Club, 9pm, to Sunday 21 April.

SATURDAY 20 Josie Long: Romance And Adventure – this lovely UK comedian is back in Melbourne with a new show climbing a mountain, turning 30 and social justice. If you’re a Skins fan you might recognise her as Chris’s

careers advisor. This is Long’s sixth solo stand-up show and is only in town for two weeks, so grab a ticket while she’s still here. Melbourne Town Hall, 8.25pm, to Sunday 21 April.

SUNDAY 21 Assassins – a black comedy musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman that takes the audience through time where men and women make an attempt of to assassinate American presidents. The range of music is interesting from ragtime to Broadway ballads. Fortyfivedownstairs, 5pm. Kitty Flanagan: Hello Kitty – it’s the last night for MICF shows and your last chance to let Kitty Flanagan, accompanied by sister Penny Flanagan, Kitty is not afraid to be physical on stage, the perfect show for people who like pets and are annoyed by people in public. The Athenaeum, 7pm.

Hollow. Atwood is loathe to play favourites, but she says that researching and designing period Japanese-style outfits for Memoirs Of A Geisha, for which she won an Oscar, was particularly rewarding. “I loved the experience [because] I got to really explore another world that doesn’t exist any more in the way that it did at the time.”


Costume designer to the stars, Colleen Atwood, takes off the thimble and steps away from the sewing machine to chat with Sarah Braybrooke ahead of her new Australian exhibit. You might never have heard Colleen Atwood’s name, but you’ve almost certainly seen her work, which has adorned the bodies of the world’s biggest stars, including Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron and Michelle Pfeiffer. The three-time Oscarwinning costume designer has worked on projects ranging from The Silence Of The Lambs and Edward Scissorhands to Dark Shadows and a selection of her pieces will be on display in ACMI’s new exhibition of Hollywood costumes, opening on Wednesday 24 April.

Now recognised as an undisputed design heavyweight, Atwood’s path to renown has been far from straightforward. Over the phone from the US she tells the story of how, after dreaming of becoming a painter when she was a child, she had to put her love of art on hold when she fell pregnant at the age of 17. “I didn’t finish school. I took care of my daughter and worked full-time, as a single mother.” Atwood’s work in fashion retail led to a job as a consultant to buyers. “I learned a lot about

Colleen Atwood clothing from doing that; how things fit, who bought what. Then once my daughter was finishing high school I moved to New York City. By then I had the dream of being part of the film industry, not knowing what my part would actually be. I started working in film and fell in love with it.” Over 50 films later, Atwood has worked across many different genres, from the action-packed Mission Impossible 3 to musicals Sweeney Todd and Chicago, historical dramas like Little Women, sci-fi number Planet Of The Apes and dark fairytales such as Snow White And The Huntsman, Alice In Wonderland and Sleepy

CASTING CALL Expression of Interests Open for Fringe Hub – Melbourne Fringe Festival invites all independent artists and producers to submit expressions of interest for their shows to be part of the Fringe Hub in venues around North Melbourne. Applications involve a meeting with the Fringe team and open Monday 8 April to Wednesday 24 April. General festival registration opens Friday 3 May. For more info head to Calling Male Actors – Melbourne theatre company, Attic Erratic are holding open auditions for new play Domino penned by Giuliano and to be directed by Danny Delahunty. The company is looking for five male actors for this new work that will be on at the Abbotsford Convent (Mechanics Warehouse) opening Wednesday 12 June. Auditions are being held this weekend for more info email


NOT? To continue the discussion head to @frontrowSPA and tweet us

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The title of Josie Long’s latest atest comedy show might be somewhat deceiving. She comes clean in a chat with Sarah Braybrooke. Upon investigation, it turns out that Romance And Adventure, the latest show by UK comedian Josie Long, contains no adventurous romances, or, indeed, romantic adventures. “It is actually a really big con,” she giggles. “The show isn’t about romance or adventure. It’s about when I had a really hard time personally, and also when I was worried that I’d given up hope

politically. But I thought, if I call it Romance And Adventure, everyone then, bad will come along ... and then luck! Just lock the door!” Long lets out a cackle at the thought.

A show that’s actually about keeping going when you are worn out politically and emotionally might sound less appealing, but Long is such an enthusiastic soul that it is almost impossible to respond to her with cynicism. This appearance at the Melbourne Comedy festival is her fifth, although it’s been three years since her last visit. A lot has changed since then, she says: “Like, the whole bloody country in the UK has changed, and my life has changed quite a lot.”

Starting out in stand-up at the precocious age of 14, Long shot to fame at 17 when she won the BBC New Comedy Awards, and has continued performing ever since then, with a few study breaks to complete a degree in English at Oxford University. She recently turned 30, and looking back, she says her comedy has come a long way. “When I was a bit younger I would only do really positive stuff ... and now I’ve broadened out a little bit more; I’ll talk about everything that goes on in my life, not just positive things and not just silly things, all kinds of things.” For Long, that includes politics, which she has become more

Apart from an enthusiasm for discovering different worlds through design, Atwood believes costume designers need to be great communicators, as they have to work with an enormous crew comprising actors, cutters, fitters and many more. Having a great rapport with a director also helps, of course; Atwood enjoys a creative partnership with idiosyncratic director Tim Burton. She says, “We work in a similar way; we don’t have to talk about something for hours before we do it. I also think we do have a basic similar aesthetic, and that connects us on a work level as well.” Toiling away behind the scenes, costume designers aren’t always at the forefront of the public imagination. But all that is changing thanks in part to ‘making of’ features on DVDs, and the rise of design blogs. “There is much more awareness of costume as a part of storytelling ... It has become much more in the foreground than it was ten years ago, for sure.” WHAT: Hollywood Costume WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 24 April to Sunday 18 August, ACMI involved in since the Conservative Coalition came to power in 2010. “When they first got in, I became politically active; I was on marches and meeting people, doing activism, always thinking about politics. [But] you get exhausted. And they’re still doing ... stuff that is going to change society for the worse, and that kills me.” She pauses. “BUT the show is about taking all that, and then saying, ‘okay, I am still going to try and be positive, I’m still ggoingg to tryy to be active’. And I’m still going to keep go going. So there.” Long says she got so some of her perseverance from he her time as a student. “Intellectual “Intellectually it was so rigorous, and you jus just develop how to read and writ write and study.” Studying literary classics clas might not sound particularly fun funny, but Long says there are some surprises to be had – particularly Charles Cha Dickens, whose Great Expecta Expectations she finds hilarious: “People thin think of him as very serious because he’s from the 19th century, but he is a secret s joker!” Finding comedy in unexpected places comes naturally to Long. She’s a big fan of noticing the small things that make you smile. “[You’ve got to keep] trying to notice small delightful things around you. That’s really important. And, like, just being aware of the fact that there are always changes for joy and delight and wonder no matter how shit you feel!” WHAT: Josie Long: Romance And Adventure WHEN & WHERE: now to Sunday 21 April, MICF, Town Hall: Supper Room


Tom Holloway

THE MARRIAGE TRAP Tom Hollowayy has taken take out just about every award available to Australian playwrights. He sits down to chat with Simon Eales ahead of the opening of his latest offering Dance Of Death. Billed as a hilarious in-marriage tete-a-tete, Dance Of Death, as Holloway explains, has a fascinating history. August Strindberg penned the distinctly Swedish, late 19th century original of the same name, which was then translated by Freidrich Durrenmatt into the mid-20th century Play Strindberg, and inspired the Edward Albee classic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Holloway has responded most directly to Durrenmatt’s take. Whereas Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “is about a kind of warring couple tearing the arms and legs off each other metaphorically,” Holloway explains that his version “is kind of that, without the metaphor.”

“It’s a dark, grotesque, black comedy. It’s kind of a dark clown version of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?. The two leads in it are becoming this hilarious, absurdly brutal married couple. Both wonderful and frightening to watch,” he explains. Holloway’s understanding of how stories work is eloquent and erudite. He’s aimed to capture the absurd situation of the modern Western experience that Durrenmatt did so well. “Now we just take it for granted that there is nothing and we’re stuck with nothing,” he says. “In some ways they have absolutely won the war, the absurdists, with their existential angst and their search for nothing; it’s what we just take as the norm now.”

“[The play is] really very funny and kind of dirty. But then there are just these moments where a character articulates some brutal, lonely truth about existence and as you’ve been laughing along hysterically for five or ten minutes, suddenly you’re just left feeling like, ‘Argh, that’s so true – what on earth have I been laughing at?’” On the surface, it seems vastly distinct from some of his other work on the Port Arthur massacre, or Forget Me Not, another new one which opens the same night as Dance Of Death at Sydney’s Belvoir St, about the British-Australian child migration scheme. But Holloway explains that humour is not disconnected from these kinds of stories. “I’ve been amazed how much people have talked about the role of humour and laughter in their tragedy. That’s taught me that anything can be made fun of if it’s done with the right intentions. “Any work that you take on you have to take seriously. It’s about creating a world that makes sense. Whether that is a comedy with lots of fart jokes, or something else.” Holloway seems to know the delicate balance that lies at the heart of humans coming together. Dance Of Death’s dynamic team is no different, with Matt Lutton directing and Jacek Koman and Belinda McClory as leading players. Holloway says the rehearsal room experience is “joyous” and that the ache from laughing is almost too much to bear. “And that’s going to be the hard thing for an audience with this show,” he says, “not needing to go to ER as soon as the show has ended because they’ve burst a kidney or something. I think it’s really going to be distressingly funny.” WHAT: Dance Of Death WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 18 April to Sunday 12 May, Malthouse: Beckett Theatre


Allison Wiltshire, one of the founders of theatre collective I’m Trying To Kiss You, chats with Sarah Braybrooke about the importance of the depiction of real relationships between women in entertainment. Allison Wiltshire, Zoey Dawson and Anna McCarthy formed theatre company I’m Trying to Kiss You in 2009, determined to make work that broke the mould. Wiltshire explains why. “We were really excited by [many of the independent] companies in Melbourne who make work that is outside the traditional realm of theatre... What we noticed [however] was that there wasn’t really a female voice in that independent theatre group.” This March they are bringing back their hit 2011 production, I Know There’s A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes. Described as “an explosive exploration of femininity, prejudice and rage – with cocktails”, the play follows two characters who have been friends since high school and

who meet up one Friday night for a drink. Wiltshire elaborates, “As their conversation continues you learn that they don’t really have anything in common, and that their friendship is much more based on trying to ‘up’ the other, to be the more successful girl, the prettier one, or the one with more boyfriends.” As the evening goes on the play’s narrative begins to unravel. “You start to see their internal worlds... which are completely isolated [and] fuelled by their inability to really connect and be open with somebody else.” The idea for the play came, like much of the trio’s work, from personal experience. “I think one of us had met up with an old high school friend, and had seen an awful side of ourselves, talking about ‘I do this and I do that, I’m so great’,”

Wiltshire laughs. “We were just trying to understand why we have friendships like that. So one of us wrote a scene about it, and another one of us wrote a piece in response to that, and so the show was developed with a really collaborative writing process.” When the writing was finished, Wiltshire moved into the role of director with Dawson and McCarthy taking up the parts of the two characters. Competitivity, loneliness and an inability to connect are all things that Wiltshire thinks will chime for many 20-something women. “[We talked a lot about] the fear that when we go out and present ourselves in a social setting, we are [often] just performing a version of ourselves that we want people to see us as.” It’s a pressure that Wiltshire attributes to society’s ‘feminine mould’, and the way that advertising, the media, and all the trappings of modern society bombard us with images of how to be. With gender on her mind, while working on the play Wiltshire says she began applying the famous Bechdel Test for sexism to movies that she watched. In order to pass, a film must feature at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Few pass the test, depicting the lives of women mainly through their relationships with men. But Wiltshire thinks that might be on the cusp of changing, with drama that explores women’s – often complex – relationships with each other on the rise in TV, film, and stage. It’s about time, she thinks. “In the age we live in, female friendships are so much more important for living in your 20s; for growing up, [and] for wondering about who you are.” WHAT: I Know There’s A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes. WHEN & WHERE: Friday 19 April to Sunday 5 May, La Mama


TOO SOON? ‘Ifft doesn’t teeter at the line of political correctness, he shamelessly dances right across it. And in doing so, has the audience in stitches” “He’ll drop the F-bomb STA TOP R O hundreds of time and also F RA P have you thinking “I can’t JIMAN ODC TED DEDDI AST believe he just said that.” ETALK S**T.C But Ifft is hilarious’ OM




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Armed with a PowerPoint presentation, Donohoe leads the audience on a whirlwind tour of American political culture from a who’s who in American politics to an explanation of the Electoral College (impressively done in less than a minute) to the psychology undergirding America’s obsession with guns. It’s a fascinating, ethnographic undertaking that also happens to be very funny. Donohoe’s attention to the many quirks of the American system, from its citizens to its leaders, is perceptive and good-humoured, a refreshing approach to a subject that tends to inspire cynicism. This is not to say that Donohoe is not critical; rather, beneath his critiques is a genuine concern for

Kitty Flanagan is not angry; she’s just always surprised at how many people are cocks. Flanagan’s new show Hello Kitty is an hour of stories of the new endeavours in her life and the things that just grind her gears. A comedian who is not afraid to be physical on stage, Flanagan is spot on with her re-creations of her observations of the world around us. From the sound of eating a good apple to a Kings Cross junkie, Flanagan nails it. The show ends with some live music as sister Penny Flanagan joins the stage to perform two songs. Kitty Flanagan is hilarious and charming with her honest and casual style of story telling. She even gives you a new word to

politics in America, undoubtedly a product of his shared Australian and American heritage. His strongest material, such as the discussion of guns in America, reflects this balance. Whether you know a little or a lot about American politics, Donohoe’s Game Changer delivers on laughs and insight. Anthony Collebrusco Trades Hall: Evatt Room to Sunday 21 April

SAMMY J: POTENTIALLY Sammy J is away from puppet friend Randy this year and its worth seeing him strut his stuff. The show works itself around an unfinished children’s story manuscript that Sammy wrote as a child. From there, the story is a backdrop for mistakes made, stories told and songs about awkward plane flights and ninjas. What’s great about Sammy J is his ability to create heart and feeling in his show, flip it and bring out a cruel perspective to his content. His presence on stage makes the venue, while quite large seem amazingly intimate. This style of comedy is smart, witty and while it may feel like you know what’s coming, you will be wrong, he knows the rules to mess with



add to your vocabulary: ‘mungry’ meaning more than hungry. She is clearly very comfortable being single with no children and despite what she was told by one magazine, is a great role model for young women. Annie Brown Athenaeum to Sunday 21 April


them. While the ending seems quite anti-climactic, Sammy J’s first full length solo hour is killer and this guy is only getting better. Matt Ziccone Arts Centre: Fairfax Studio to Sunday 21 April

After a brief slide show taken from the trio’s travels, the dour-looking Kransky Sisters glide onto the stage. Looking the epitome of severe, eldest sister Mourne, the hapless Eve and long-suffering doormat Dawn take us on a musical journey that filters pop and rock classics through a tuba, old-reed keyboard, acoustic guitar and musical saw. Scanning the crowd with a flashlight, Mourne and Eve go forth and drag two gents up on to the stage to help celebrate Dawn’s birthday. Now donned in identical black wigs, white blouses and black skirts (a la the sisters) the men are encouraged to mimic the Kransky’s tambourine moves with

hilarious results. Abba, Pink Floyd and surprisingly enough Beyonce all get the special treatment, with a certain Queen number going down an absolute storm. A bizarre mix of musicianship, comedic timing and repressed sexuality, the Kransky Sisters deserve every accolade they’ve ever received. Glenn Waller The Hi-Fi to Sunday 21 April

We’re down to the business end of this year’s Comedy Fest, where lastminute shows are being added like a set of gold-rimmed steak knives and awards start coming thick and fast. By all accounts, this year’s event has continued the Fest’s reign as the biggest cultural event in Oz. Festival Director Susan Provan is chuffed with the turnout so far. “We’ve had great attendances right from opening weekend. Easter was a great kick-off and we’re tracking slightly ahead of last year, which is great because the program is much bigger. It’s been a fantastic year for new talent really breaking through. It’s been a real generational-change year – performers who were newcomers just a few years ago selling out lots of shows and moving into bigger rooms.” And thank God the antics have continued out of the rooms and into the Festival Club. According to Associate Festival Director, Bridget Bantick, the stand-up nights have been a blast but the more alternative comedy nights have seen the best of the Fest. For starters, US hosts of the first Sunday Night Lock-In, The Dare Devil Chicken Club spent the majority of their performance in the buff. “Last Tuesday at our So You Think You Can Clown? night we had the audience in ponchos for the opening act, in which spaghetti went all over the stage and audience,” said Bantick. “This was just the beginning of a crazy night of brilliant slapstick and clowning – naturally ending with Otto Rock from Die Roten Punkte with a cream pie in the face from Astrid Rock.” Among the hilarity there have also been moments of magic, such as the night when ABC2 was filming Comedy Up Late and Rich Hall had an audience member play guitar for him as they improvised a song


Five minutes with

TRAVIS COTTON How was it revisiting Robots Vs Art? Just before we got into the rehearsal room the play was published, so it seemed that rewrites would not be an issue. But as soon as we hit the floor the actors had better ideas and my


newly published play was quickly obsolete. This was disappointing for about a second. Then it became exciting. If I am involved in a new production of my work I don’t think rewrites will ever stop. As a director, because I have the same cast as the last production remounting the play has been a breeze. We have an instant shorthand. Did you see the Android-Human Theatre last year? No, but upon googling it, it seems like a pretty interesting idea. Actors, I think, have to constantly fight against putting their own judgments and idiosyncrasies into the characters they play. Robots would come at it from a completely neutral


position. That, I think, is worth exploring. What they would lack, unless running on a really complex algorithm, would be the ability to improvise and respond in the moment to the more spontaneous human actor’s offer. Do you really think robots will replace actors in the future? Remember when electronic music became popular in the early ‘90s? Being a middle class punk at the time (bad haircut, torn clothes but no piercings) I recall fearing that guitarbased music would no longer be viable. This was not the case. There will always be something attractive about the flaws of humanity and how it affects our art. In short, no.

What’s a recent dream you have had? that my partner and I were babysitting the child of my ex-girlfriend. We were very relaxed about doing this and enjoyed it. But when my ex came to pick up the child she stubbed a cigarette out on my arm. I refused to pull my arm away and just stared at her whilst she twisted it into my flesh. But as Martin Amis’s character Richard Tull writes in The Information:Dreams don’t mean anything.


childhood. Meanwhile, across town, Peggy, empowered by Ted Chaough’s turtlenecks, is in full student-becomesthe-master mode: all terrified nerdlinger underlings, Dawn-alike secretary, and account-stealing chicanery. Stan sparks another spliff, beard bristling.

This Week On Mad Men: All’s unfair in love, war and advertising: cuckolding like Vietnam, work like Munich. Dealing with Jaguar’s detestable Joan-pimper, Don is defiant and virtuous, Pete toadying and spineless; symbolic of these twin philanderers’ adventures in neighbourly adultery. After a flirty dinner party, the Campbells’ life – which Bob “we’ve met before!” Benson so envies – falls down dickingaround’s dark cracks; the once-cutesy Trudy turning terrifying after suffering the indignity of indiscreet indiscretion. Don sails on, a method actor for all occasions: endlessly nailing Linda Cardellini in her Bart-Simpson-singsBetty-Everett wig; lecturing metasoap-operatic, maid-firing, miscarrying Megan on propriety; flashing back to his Southern-Gothic-Brothel

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WHAT: Robot Vs Art WHEN & WHERE: Wednesday 17 April to Sunday 5 May, MICF, La Mama: Courthouse

How Big Is Thy Weiner: “You want to feel shitty, right up until the point I take your dress off,” Don intones, in a seductive seduction scene punched full of operatic-pitch flash-forwards. Arcane & Able: Pete points the clicker at a flickering woodenbox TV, rainbowing in and out of black-haired Johnny Carson. Pete Campbell’s PunchableWeasel-Face Watch: Counselling a victim of domestic abuse, PC snarls, accusingly, “what did you say to him?” Anthony Carew Screening every Monday night, 5.20pm and 8.30pm, on Showcase

Hannah Gadsby together. The Great Comedy Debate gave punters its usual dose of mayhem but with a little extra bang this year as Paul Foot blew up his own jacket and Cal Wilson showed her debating smarts in delivering a killer rebuttal. At the time of writing, the RAW Comedy winners were just being decided. This year’s winner was South Australian Demi Lardner with Victorian Andy Matthews coming equal runner-up with Queensland’s Cameron Duggan. Lardner must be hilarious as she beat over 1000 entrants from across Australia in the largest-ever year of the competition. The title puts her in very good company; previous winners have included Josh Thomas, Anthony Menchetti, Chris Franklin and Michael Workman. Although lesser known than the likes of Thomas, Workman has certainly gone from strength to strength, this year earning himself a Barry nomination. Other nominees for the 2013 Barry Awards (basically the best show of the Fest) are Max and Ivan (Max and Ivan are… Con Artists), Hannah Gadsby, Rich Hall, Trevor Noah, Kitty Flanagan and John Conway. Having stood outside the doors to Hannah Gadby’s show and heard the audience’s response last week, Cringe is reckoning that Ms Gadsby might be a safe bet.


as part of

WITH KIRSTEN LAW If you can believe it, there are only 5 days of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival left. If you haven’t made it to Northcote’s Speakeasy Comedy for at least one show, you need to hop on the 86, stat. If you haven’t been to the Tuxedo Cat at least once, you need to hop on a blue bike, or the City Circle tram, stat. (Just kidding, no one uses the blue bikes.) The shortlists for the Barry and Golden Gibbo Awards were announced this week, so if you haven’t seen the nominees’ shows, it might be too late – they’re probably all sold out. Which means you’re left with the slushpile. Luckily, the 2013 slushpile contains about 475 shows. All right, so who has been shunned, snubbed or otherwise fobbed-off by the festival awards committee this year? I.e. whose shows should you go see before they cotton on? I don’t profess to have seen everything, but I have seen a bit. My picks thus far are past Barry-nominee Josie Long and US character comedian, James Adomian. Everyone’s talking about Josie Long on Twitter because her show, “Romance and Adventure”, is testament to her intellect and wit and not at all what it sounds like. It’s paired-down and rather accomplished stand-up for a performer of (just under) 31 years of age. I’d forgotten how good J-Long is, because she hasn’t been here for three whole years! Make sure this doesn’t happen again by throwing some of your festival dollars her way. James Adomian was super-insightful, highly skilled and full of beans (please bring him out again for a solo show @ micomfest).

I feel really lucky to have had an artist’s pass this year as I’ve seen many amazing things for free. Even so, I paid to see Dave Quirk’s show last week because a) he’s been selling out most nights and b) it was rumoured by my savvy friends to be a great show. It was a dark, honest and compelling story. Warning: this is not a show for those of you who think you can wander up to the Melbourne Town Hall 5 minutes before starting time and get a ticket. Book, people, go forth and book! Not enough recommendations for your liking? Well then, what do a coupl’a funny people I know think you should see? Morven Smith from Red Violin stand-up show, “Dirty Thirties”, recommends Simon Munnery and Keck (Keck’s Gibbo-nominated though, so book now). Of Munnery, she says, “quite simply, the man is a genius.” Rose Callaghan from the Improv Conspiracy has seen 20 shows on her nights off, her favourites being Matt Okine, Anne Edmonds, Mike Birbiglia and Dayne Rathbone. “Go and see Dayne Rathbone,” she says. “The ending cannot be unseen.” OK, there you have it – plenty to choose from! And now, I leave you with a tip. If you really want to take in some Workman, Gadsby or Hall, try going to things like Facty Fact or Fan Fiction Comedy – they have special guests every night. Oh, and go see Josie Long. The Improv Conspiracy plays tonight until Saturday at 6.30pm at The Croft Institute. “Dirty Thirties” has finished its season.




SASKWATCH FRIDAY, PRINCE BANDROOM Hairy bigfoots that inhabit forests are pretty rad, but that’s a different spelling. This kind of Saswatch travels in a pack of nine, isn’t as hairy and produces sounds will make you shake your moneymaker. Guaranteed. Nkechi Anele’s vocals are satched in soul and you better be ready for that brass! Dreamy Daniel Merriweather has been known to jump up onstage for a feat, so get up offa that thing and try not to split your strides when you drop into James Brown-inspired splits from standing. Special guests on the night are Money For Rope, The Bluebottles and Eagle & The Worm DJs.


PiL turned the Palace into a sauna, making t-shirt sales mandatory to replace soaked tops post-show. “We might be back if the response is favourable,” Lydon teased. The extended encore version of Leftfield’s Open Up made us lose collective marbles.

FACE OFF Thank you Oblivion for making the seemingly impossible a reality: Watching Tom Cruise beat the crap out of Tom Cruise? Now let’s get that footage looped!

GIVE NOAH TAYLOR A HAND, PLEASE [Spoiler Alert] Game Of Thrones’ first “WHAAAAAAAAAAA!!?” moment in Season Three came via Aussie actor Noah Taylor. His hand-chopping scene is right up there with S1’s beheading and S2’s imp-slashing.


We’re surprised inventor of bad press John Lydon lasted as long as he did being interviewed by The Project galahs: “It’s been 20 years since you were last here, has the place changed much?”; “Is it good fun performing new stuff?” – a work experience kid could prep better questions.

ATM WTF? “Record this withdrawal as your favourite transaction?” WTF does that even mean?



PiL HARMONY PALACE: 11/04/13 Harmony take to the stage before a half-full Palace, which, as expected, mostly comprises gentlemen who were witness to the headliner’s last tour in 1989. More a variation of sonic forces than a set of songs, Harmony’s excoriating blues and ferocious Australiana

are devastatingly effective. Always a tough act to follow (just ask anyone on day two of Golden Plains 2012), the variety of textures and emotions Harmony span within a song is impressive, and largely due to their imaginative musicianship, and the disorienting construction of the songs. Tom Lyngcoln’s incendiary guitar work remains determinedly economical for a man recently voted amongst the Top 40 guitarists in this country’s history by Australian Guitar Magazine. Notes singe but never linger, chords sound like a free jazz horn trio; it’s disorienting, hellish perfection.

PiL pics by Jay Hynes

Girls with hair dyed white, silver or pink à la My Little Pony. Giddy the fuck outta here.

“Good evening Melbourne,” proclaims John Lydon, as PiL assemble. Dressed in an oversized plaid shirt and resembling an exasperated chicken with his cockscomb hair, pulled in chin, rotund tum and flapping arms, Lydon is on full power from the get-go. His voice powerful and evocative, the show is essentially about him and his concerns, and we’re captivated. ‘Technical brilliance’ was never a term associated with punk or post-punk, but tonight Lydon makes a case for being one of the most overlooked vocal talents in history. His lyrical acuity never questioned, he moves effortlessly from the Muslim call to prayer of opener Four Enclosed Walls to the ensuing caustic fury of Albatross with its dark, suffocating locked groove. The band, made up of talent from The Slits, The Pop Group and Spice Girls’ live band (no, really), specialise in piercing guitar and tight, rolling rhythms, solidly reinforcing Lydon as he wrestles truth. Highlights of the set come from their classic Metal Box album and the writing team of Lydon, Keith Levene and Jah Wobble. The phenomenal Swan Lake (aka Death Disco) merges a subterranean bassline, clustering shards of guitar and Lydon actually crying as he relates the story of his mother’s death,

which, sadly, could double for the passing of his stepdaughter Ari Up (another victim of cancer). “This person’s had enough of useless memories!” he later sneers, leading the band through Memories, another arctic blast from the past. Songs from 2012’s comeback This Is PiL album stand up well; Deeper Waters, Reggie Song and the titanic dub of One Drop all show no drop in power or conviction. Crowd involvement reaches a peak during This Is Not A Love Song (“Melbourne, show me your fucking dance moves. You need more Aborigine,” he waspishly remarks). The barbing continues during Warrior: “Australia, are you a warrior?” Cheers. “Is this YOUR land?” Confused silence. Always needling, even when the rhythms are at their most danceable, Lydon leads us out with a euphoric take on Theme, which ends with a resounding “good-BYE!” Cheered back on, the set closes with Rise (“WHAT is anger?/Anger is an en-er-gy!”) and a surprise revisiting of Leftfield/Lydon’s banging ‘90s club anthem, Open Up, which proves that, whether aiming for the mind or body, Lydon knows the truth never misses. Andy Hazel

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THE SCRIPT ROD LAVER ARENA: 06/04/13 If there is ever an opportunity to get your ex to rethink that breakup, it would be surrendering your phone to The Script’s lead singer Danny O’Donoghue to make ‘the ultimate drunk dial’ in the middle of a gig in a packed arena with everyone gleefully watching on. And the icing? Having O’Donoghue and his bandmates Mark Sheehan (guitar, backing vocals) and Glen Power (drums) perform the band’s poignant ballad Nothing to your ex on the other end of the line the entire time.

The Terrible Truths Pic by Jesse Booher

Songs Pic by Jesse Booher

SONGS, THE TERRIBLE TRUTHS WORKERS CLUB: 13/04/13 It’s after 10pm on a balmy Saturday night, Workers Club’s band room is scattered with a reasonable number of punters eager to once again experience some live music. It’s not a huge crowd, which might be disappointing for some bands, but seemingly not The Terrible Truths. The Adelaide trio don’t seem to care (or notice the lack of attention being paid to them by their audience. It’s a somewhat awkward set, but one that offers a couple of highlights, especially toward its end. Singers Rani Rose and Stacey Wilson trade instruments and vocal duties, and The Terrible Truths’ sound transcends from new wave to a much more enjoyable summery vibe. Stilted and stark, some punctuation between songs in the form of any sort of crowd interaction would be welcomed; instead the only interactions from the stage are requests for more/less foldback from their sound guy up the back. After only 20 minutes the words, “This is our last song, thanks,” are spoken, which is very surprising. Whether it be to the front bar, the dining room, the beer garden or elsewhere on Gertrude Street, the opportunity to relax for a solid half hour is enjoyed by all. When returning to the band room though, in all its faux-ski chalet glory, one thing is most noticeable: the size of the crowd. While by no means bursting at the seams, the room looks to be three-quarters full, with plenty of punters obviously eager to catch Sydney band Songs and support them as they launch their second full-length album, Malabar. While their band name may result in some very frustrating online searches, one thing is for sure: Songs are worthwhile. Lead singer Max Doyle’s vocals are poignant without being melodramatic, and keep the tempo of the band’s music from ever dragging. Bassist Ela Styles and drummer Ben James keep the rhythm bouncing, and lead guitarist Cameron Emerson-Eliot’s fretboard finger work draws every pair of eyes to him for minutes at a time. The new album gets a solid workout, lead single Boy/Girl a particular highlight. Looking Without Seeing, Ever Since The Time and Malabar’s title track are also lapped up by the crowd, but Songs throw in a smattering of tunes from their earlier album and EPs just to keep everybody guessing. Songs’ lack of between-song banter is barely noticeable such is their brand of honest, genre-straddling music. From FM-friendly pop rock and post-punk, to and stoner rock, this band is in no danger of being pigeonholed. Instead, their comfortable stage presence and genuine enthusiasm, not to mention serious volume, has everyone in the room excited about just how far Songs will go in 2013 and beyond. Dylan Stewart

KIRIN J CALLINAN, SHAGS CHAMBERLAIN GRACE DARLING: 14/04/13 Swimming between the flag and a Moog, Shags Chamberlain warms up the crowd by spinning up a pretty chill set in the swank surrounds of Grace Darling. Looking like a spaced-out surf lifesaver, Shags serves up an eclectic selection of classic pop that sends waves of orchestral sounds crashing on the shore. It’s an agreeable musical interlude with an easy vibe that has the urbane punters drinking and socialising while keeping an ear out for the delightfully smooth grooves.

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Shags provides a deceptively calm start to the evening and a rather mild-mannered Kirin J Callinan follows, modestly plugging in effect units and guitars. Tonight Callinan comes without the adornment of a band and he goes it solo with just a sampler, effects and (of course) guitars. “Let’s start with something older,” he says, introducing Thighs with dreamy glittering chords. It soon gives way to controlled spasms of loud, violent noise that lends a sense of desperation to the darkly romantic lyrics etched out in Callinan’s gravelly croon. While the delivery feels imperfect, there is conviction in his voice that makes tonight’s performance compelling. It is almost a flowery start to a set that quickly sinks into a disturbed squall of noise that, seething with angst, is a descent into an altogether more forbidding zone. Strobe lights strategically placed around the band room flicker with dazzling intensity as Callinan simply slides out of control. Crude and rude electronic sequences provide a kind of rough and distorted prehistoric techno into which Callinan goes into battle on guitar. The volume is deafening and Callinan’s vocals are barely audible in the mix. Showcasing new material from his long-overdue debut album Embracism, Callinan seems more restless and angry than ever before. There is tension and drama unfolding in these songs but the largely hipster audience seem unfazed. Chardonnay Sean offers a tender remembrance of tragic events before the testosteronefuelled Embracism, which features Callinan sneering and scowling vaguely homoerotic reflections of masculinity at us in a thick Aussie accent. Much like the rest of the set, it feels claustrophobic, vulgar and unsettling. It is still a couple of months before we can expect to hear the much-anticipated Embracism in full, but tonight gives us a clear indication that it will be intense-but-rewarding listening. Guido Farnell

BEN HOWARD, WILLY MASON CORNER HOTEL: 08/14/13 It’s a thankless job opening for a headliner that attracts such massively obsessed fans who only have ears for them and almost no one else. American singer-songwriter Willy Mason, who is reportedly related to novelist Henry James, approaches the difficult task of opening for Ben Howard with a no fuss, almost workman-like attitude. Going it solo, Mason accompanies himself with a gritty, bluesy, almost country-soul twang on his guitar. After releasing three albums, Mason has acquired a voice that sounds weathered and wise well beyond his years. He deals in fairly conventional songs that are delivered with the demeanour of a troubadour who has travelled many dusty roads with his trusty guitar. It’s the evocative lonesome heartbroken mood he conjures that is spellbinding and those who are listening thrill to So Long and I Got Gold. In between songs Mason apologises for the cancellation of this gig from Saturday to Monday night on account of Ben Howard’s illness and seems surprised that so many have rescheduled to attend tonight. It’s kind of sad to see such an articulate songwriter only receive a lukewarm hand from the audience, but when they seem to realise that Mason won’t be coming back for an encore everyone clapping starts to cheer just that little bit more loudly for him. Despite the cancellation, the promise of Ben Howard’s gig sees the Corner completely pack out. The crowd spans generations and there is a noticeable contingent of patriotic British expats mingling in the crowd. Almost

anyone with a phone seems to be taking photos of their friends and later they will inevitably (and irritatingly) use those phones to document Howard’s every move throughout the gig. The show opens on a low-key note with Everything and Black Flies offering introspective moments that showcase just how intensely finger-picking good Howard can be on an acoustic guitar. The gentle glow of his music at times recalls the once-hugely popular José González. Despite a relatively quiet opening it is difficult for the loudly cheering fans to contain their excitement. As the gig picks up momentum, Howard’s three-piece band chime in with sparse arrangements that allow him to shine front and centre. It all sounds as smooth as his Mercury-nominated debut Every Kingdom. Occasionally, tunes such as Only Love find Howard sliding into a Grey’s Anatomy-soundtrack zone with bittersweet good-to-be-alive vibes that have fans singing along to the choruses with an almost hymnal reverence. “We are going to play a couple of songs and then pretend to do an encore,” says Howard rather matter of factly as they launch into fierce versions of Keep Your Head Up and The Fear before coming back quickly to thrill fans with a three-song encore that features The Burren. Guido Farnell


It is indeed an evening with something for everybody, including the legions of Irish wrapped in green, white and orange. Promising Queensland artist Sinead Burgess opens with smooth country rock style tracks – her voice steely, confident and ethereally reminiscent of Wendy Matthews. The Original Rudeboys, a band of five young men from the same hometown as The Script with a rap-pop style that pays strong homage to them, albeit with less finesse. They ramp up the energy stakes for the young fans and appropriately set the musical landscape for their countrymen. With the recent release of their third album #3, The Script appears to be moving the direction of their songwriting beyond the intense self-scrutinising that weighed heavily in their earlier catalogue. It’s reinforced by the short introductory video with an ominous voiceover narrating a philosophical view of the earth’s existence in the galaxy. The symbolic phoenix-like flames flash repeatedly on the back screen during the evening and culminate in a long prologue to the band’s final number Hall Of Fame in which O’Donoghue holds aloft a blazing torch and dramatically walks the perimeter of the stage. Despite this overt statement however, the band are wise to recognise their affirmed talents: heart-rending lyrics without the pathos, arresting storylines and well balanced rap style vocals on a harmony of interwoven pop and soft rock. They efficiently perform all the solid chart-toppers from their previous albums – Breakeven, Before The Worst, For The First Time, We Cry and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved. A letdown, however, is the sound quality that appears inherent with a stadium venue – the uncontrolled acoustics often distorting their music and vocals. With plenty of unbridled Irish charm and roguishness however, O’Donoghue and Sheehan make this forgivable. They are the Irishmen you dream of meeting at the local pub – their merry on-stage banter and the drunk dial stunt adding to the band’s growing popularity.


Ching Pei Khoo

“We’re Gung Ho from Brisbane, thanks for coming down,” says bassist and singer Oliver Duncan, to the fans huddled at the foot of stage. Often in danger of being overshadowed by the charisma of drummer James Wright, songs ease in and out of moods; the chugging bass lines and whipped beats underpinning Michael McAlary’s fluid guitar riffs and vocal melodies. First single Twin Rays showcases Wright’s sticksmanship, and is a clear highlight. Between in-jokes, banter and moments of genuine fun and hilarity, Gung Ho punch a dynamite set full of clean and heavy riff-driven Raptureesque post punk. Current single Strangers and closing triumph Side By Side are further great examples of atmospheric, breakneck pop, but even more than that, Gung Ho are guys you want to spend time with.


Seemingly in existence for about half an hour (though actually formed in 2011), California two-piece Deap Vally hit the stage to rowdy cheers. Bedecked in sequins and denim, drummer Julie Edwards and guitarist and singer Lindsey Troy look as though nothing after 1977 – bar a set of extra-heavy guitar strings – ever entered their consciousness. True to blues-rock form, instrumentation (and, in this case, clothing) is sparse and room for personality is large, so within a few songs you feel you know a little about the duo. In fact, several pledges of marriage are shouted and coyly dispatched before the end of the third song. “Hello Melbourne, we have found our homeland. It’s called Melbourne,” smiles Edwards. “Sydney was a warm up show for tonight, this is cookin’.” And it is. Every song gets louder cheers, a more raucous mosh and a makes for a hoarser, huskier and happier Troy. After one particularly energetic tussle in the crowd Edwards interjects, “One of you just got fucked up by rock and roll. My apologies and congratulations all at the same time; it’s like bein’ shat on by an ibis.” Current single Lies (“a song about an Australian gentleman”), and previous single End Of The World are behemoths. Walk Of Shame (“Does that register with anybody? No? You’re being coy! Would someone bring me another whiskey?”) would earn a thousand Meredith boots. Rarely playing more than one humongous note at a time, Troy hacks at her Mustang to devastating effect. Songs are skeletal; thumping glam rhythms, bass-driven buzzing guitar riffs and howled excoriating vocals. Troy’s voice is a formidable weapon and their songs are excellent vehicles for it. An encore of possibly the heaviest and darkest version of I Put A Spell On You sees Troy collapsing, mic-stand and all, into the front row, consumed by a rabidly affectionate crowd. Rumours of their return for Splendour should see this crowd size quadruple within months. Andy Hazel

WORKERS CLUB: 12/04/13 In honour of The Peep Tempel’s single launch, Melbourne’s hard rock enthusiasts slowly dribble into Workers Club. First on for the night are howling four-piece Them Bruins. The frontmen shred their guitars and bounce around stage, sweaty and animated, performing noisy rock songs. The band’s lead singer casually informs us that he’s “bleeding profusely” from the mouth before launching straight into their single Black Widow, an anthemic rock song. All in all it’s a strong, boisterous set. Next up are the popular Damn Terran, an energetic, hard rock outfit with a sound reminiscent of ‘90s grunge – The Smashing Pumpkins producing a metal lovechild. The band incorporate jarring, sharp treble sounds with frenetic punk sections. Lead singer and guitarist Lachlan Ewbank throws himself around like Harry Potter on his rogue broomstick and it seems his guitar is the one leading. Their single Rebels is a particular highlight, with Ewbank’s screaming vocals alternating nicely with bassist Ali Edmonds’ deep female timbre. At the close of the set, Ewbank throws his guitar at his brother, Leigh, on drums – a conclusive gesture to their growling ’90s shtick. Headliners The Peep Tempel pack out the band room in a way that’s rarely seen. An energetic, post-punk influenced outfit, The Peep Tempel come across similarly to The Stooges; that mix of boppy, fun melodies and a harsh distorted sound. Lead vocalist/guitarist Blake Scott has an unusual voice that’s akin to a rapping Jack White as he spits out songs to a cheering crowd. Scott has a jovial interaction with the audience, informing one rowdy fan, “I’ll do the jokes, fuckhead”. After raucous laughter from the crowd, Scott immediately apologises. Dark Beach, the single they launch tonight, is a hard rocking, chord-driven song with an effective build that makes many fans up front pogo madly. Later, Scott mentions the birthday of (presumably) their biggest fan. The anointed is eventually allowed to perform some solo, celebratory moshing onstage (despite being forbidden at first on the basis that he’d wreck all their equipment “again”). Scott gets slowly drunker and more filthy-mouthed throughout the set, but maintains quality of performance with his deep voice and high screaming notes while both he and bassist Stevie Striker convulse and stagger about the stage. It’s a fun, electrifying and noisy set; alluring to even the most tentative hard rock fans. Stephanie Tell

The centre-stage vacuum is quickly filled by attentionseeking audience members who clamber up and dance badly for as long as possible. When one of the security guards that bookend the performance space makes a move inwards, that’s their cue to dive back into the careening mob. Many crowd-surfers are repeat offenders who are more concerned with their own activities than what’s happening on stage. Some slam uncoordinatedly into Ridley’s cymbals on their way past and one steals Parsons’ setlist. It all starts to feel like they’re filming a scene from Skins in here, with the band providing background for the ‘character’ development. A new song is being premiered this tour and it’s vicious and snarling, egging on the throng. Gebbie Street (yeah, you know the one. It goes: “Your eyes like diamonds [something-something]/ You know our bodies make the right conversation”) acts as starting klaxon for extreme stage invasion and Parsons’ mic is knocked from its stand. Ridley wisely launches into a drum solo to fill the sonic void, but it’s ages before we hear Parsons’ vocal again. Although no one else in the crowd really seems to notice.

DZ Deathrays Pic by Andrew Briscoe

DZ DEATHRAYS, DAMN TERRAN DING DONG: 13/04/13 Damn Terran back-announce a song and this reviewer realises there’s been mispronunciation, and perhaps even misplaced emphasis, where this band name is concerned up until this point. Ali E and Lachlan Ewbank’s guitar chords one-up each other with Leigh Ewbank’s drum frenzy acting as metronomic referee. Rebels sounds particularly vibrant tonight, but with Shane Parsons observing from the front stalls, we wonder why he’s not summoned to the stage to perform his guest vocals on Pills. When it comes to unison stopstarting and shambolic time signatures that suddenly lock into synchronicity, Damn Terran are where it’s at. Acting as their own roadies, DZ Deathrays set up their gear and hang a couple of Draculas theatre restaurant-inspired vampire puppets to act as

backdrop. With ‘D’ spray-painted on one, ‘Z’ on the other, both marionettes feature red flashing eyes and limited zombie-like movement (one appears to be low on battery). Mötley Crüe’s Kickstart My Heart plays out in full to get us in the mood and eager punters migrate into the moshpit. As Parsons and his other musical half, drummer Simon Ridley, take their places on either side of the stage, there’s a gaping hole in the centre. Cops/Capacity as opener ensures shit gets brutal straight up and the pit sways violently, testing the reflexes and push-back skills of those on the outskirts. After lurching over foldback wedges for three songs straight, a decision is made to retreat to the top of the stairs. Parsons is on fire and when a smoke machine is activated, you’d swear his fierce guitar chops caused him to smoulder. Some of DZ’s loops take on a Crystal Castles intensity these days.

We can see Parsons positioned offstage right, so an encore is hardly surprising. A chant goes up: “One. More. Song! One. More.Song!” This is granted. Parsons plays guitar proficiently while crowd-surfing, but the fact that a punter drops in on his wave strengthens the argument that DZ Deathrays need to reclaim ownership of their stage. The duo’s music and musicianship are way too good to be in the background while Generation My pull focus. At least it’s too turbulent for said Teenage Kickstarts to take selfies! Bryget Chrisfield

TULLY ON TULLY, GOLDSMITH, MANSION ALASKA GRACE DARLING: 11/04/13 Local five-piece Mansion Alaska open the evening at the Grace Darling with their laidback, dreamy indie rock. Their technical competence and smooth synchronicity far outweighs the relatively small audience size. The band’s sparkling and resonant guitar melodies fill the intimate space with long instrumental sections and a dense sound while lead

vocalist Dom Willmott astounds with his incredible vocal range, which is reminiscent of Thom York. This young band’s melodic, new-age psych rock truly captivates and they seem destined for success. Next to play are Goldsmith, a group that evoke goldenness in both name and nature. Donnie Goldsmith, vocalist and keyboard player, has a unique look with his tight golden curls and yellow knitted jumper. Performing in front of a shimmering golden curtain with large disco-ball overhead, the scene could not be more appropriately set. They open with Henry VIII, a shiny pop tune that showcases Goldsmith’s high, crisp vocals that blend seamlessly into the songs that follow. The songs are all quite similar with their shimmering, warm funk beats and dreamy verses leading into long spouts of fairy-like instrumentation. Though the set as a whole seems a little repetitive, it could potentially lend itself to a groovy dance environment. Goldsmith offer an interesting mix of genres: elements of ‘70s disco and dark ‘80s synth-pop. Goldsmith’s rich instrumentation is really brought to life in a live setting. Not only is the bass volume turned up and leading the fellow band members, but Goldsmith’s unique, energetic stage presence really shines. He switches comfortably between eccentric boogying and manning the keyboard, fully invested in the performance as well as his own close relationship with the music. He’s an unconventional leading man but completely captivating, as is the band as a whole in their mastery and assuredness. Headliners Tully On Tully perform their immaculately tight indie pop to end the night. Natalie Foster’s vocals are breathtaking from the opener; effortlessly clear and powerful, but also bewitching and warm. Meanwhile Frank Lee’s drum rolls evoke an epic marching feel, which enriches the band’s clean sound. This is especially noticeable in their song Naked. All over, this is a band with an ethereal quality; Foster’s lyrics evoke notions of a cinematic tragedy, especially when she dramatically smashes a tambourine against her arm. Tully On Tully are both delicate and powerful, demonstrating flawless mastery of their instruments and vocals. A great performance. Stephanie Tell

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for them to tour Australia. I’m sure their Australian tour will be rescheduled at some point, but at this stage, there’s nothing to announce.” Adamantium Wolf has poured out a bit of bongwater for that one.

The Milk Carton Kids I mentioned The Milk Carton Kids a couple of weeks ago; their new LP had just been released and I was quite enjoying it and anticipating that there would be an Australian tour at some stage in the not-too-distant future. Well I was right, of course, and dates for mid-year were announced just over a week ago. I am going to take a guess that the folk duo are a stunning live proposition; their album just seems to suggest as much to me, but we’ll have to see for ourselves. They play the Thornbury Theatre Thursday 6 June, Meeniyan Town Hall Friday 7 and St Kinda MeMo Saturday 8; you can grab tickets from the Love Police website right now for $33+BF. Melody Pool supports.

Sydney post-metal group We Lost The Sea have just dropped the video clip to their huge Barkhan Charge, from last year’s The Quietest Place On Earth album, which has also just been re-released on CD digipack. The stunning, disturbing video is dedicated to vocalist Chris Torpy, who tragically took his own life earlier this year. Check out

I was absolutely overjoyed to hear news that the one and only Kev Carmody won the very prestigious (and, let’s face it, valuable) Australia Council Don Banks Music Award for his outstanding contribution to Australian music last week. Carmody’s music very much serves as a vessel for stories about his life, indigenous culture and historical themes with a political, religious and socially conscious bent. Carmody’s songs cut deep; they’re unpretentious, sometimes desolate, but never bitter or cantankerous. His songs are important tales that speak of a shameful history and ought to be used to elicit change in the future. Carmody was presented with the award, which comes with a prize of $60,000, at a ceremony at the Brisbane Powerhouse last week.

US thrash lords Municipal Waste have announced an extra Melbourne show on Wednesday 19 June at the Bendigo. Join The Amish and Metalstorm will support. Tickets are on sale now and limited to only 300.

The first weekend in October will prove to be a veritable feast of blues for those who choose to head to Narooma on the South Coast of New South Wales for the Great Southern Blues Festival’s big return from Friday 4 October through to Sunday 6. The 2013 event will so far feature San Franciscan bluesman Chris Cain, Virginian traditional blues and gospel outfit The Holmes Brothers, a one-off reunion show of Darren Jack, Chris Nable and Grant Cummerford’s power trio Third Degree, Aussie rock legend and great blues player in his own right, Russell Morris and old favourites of the festival, The Backsliders. More announcements are due in the coming weeks. The festival had 250 “First Up” tickets, which are discounted adult full season passes, on sale through their website from Monday 15 April, with further advance tickets being made available on Wednesday 15 May. I recently discovered that, after 27 years, the Monterey Bay Blues Festival has been forced to file for bankruptcy. It seems a timely reminder that blues events on every scale still need active support from the people who love this music if they are to continue to survive, so if you’ve often thought about the trek to Narooma, it’s a good idea to put your money where your mouth is to ensure it can survive! Looking to get into some new blues? I can’t recommend Alligator Records enough for a wide variety of quality blues releases. The Chicago based Alligator has been home to everyone from Buddy Guy to Professor Longhair and currently boasts the likes of Charlie Musselwhite and Marcia Ball on its roster. In association with America’s National Public Radio, they have released a brand new 17-track sampler, quite simply called Alligator Records Presents Blues & Roots and it features songs selected from throughout the label’s storied 42-year history. As tends to happen with compilations like these, there’s every chance you won’t like everything on here, but there’s a fair stack of really great quality stuff; you can’t argue with the groovy The Moon Is Full by Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland, nor the intensely soulful A Woman Or The Blues by Curtis Salgado (a personal favourite of mine) or the cooler than cool Callin’ All Fools by Rick Estrin & The Nightcats. Honestly, there are stacks of incredible tunes on here and it’s a great way for you to discover some new stuff if nothing else. You have until Saturday 11 May to download it, which you can do over at

44 • For more opinion go to

Cannibal Corpse

Thy Art Is Murder just keep on winning. The Sydney/Brisbane band have officially been added to the North American/Canadian Summer Slaughter tour alongside The Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals As Leaders, Periphery, Norma Jean, The Ocean, Cattle Decapitation, Revocation, Aeon and more. The band has also announced another run of European shows for June and July.

Cannabis Corpse have cancelled their scheduled Australian tour in July. A statement from promoter Heathen Skulls reads: “With their recent signing to Season Of Mist records, and an upcoming US tour in early July, other commitments have now become a priority, and time, at this stage, doesn’t permit

Local deathgrinders A Million Dead Birds Laughing have unveiled a new pre-production track from their forthcoming third album. It’s their first recording to feature ex-Ocularis Infernum vocalist Darren Leslie. With the recording set to take place over the next few months, you can check the track out at enterarterialexistence. com. You can also catch the band live at the Gasometer this Friday with The Seaford Monster, Hadal Maw and Stoning. Black Majesty will head over to Grapow Studios in Slovakia this June to begin recording their sixth full-length album, and follow-up to 2012’s Stargazer. The Melbourne power-metal lords have announced one more local show before they leave, playing alongside Kettlespider on Friday 3 May at Madhouse (CBD Nightclub). Local deathcore group Boris The Blade recently revealed that they have teamed up with Artery Global for management and bookings. The band is set to release their debut full-length sometime later this year, and you can catch them supporting Born Of Osiris and Upon A Burning Body on Thursday 25 May at Hi-Fi, and Thursday 30 at Next. Dying Fetus and Putrid Pile will bring the American brutality to the Evelyn this Saturday evening, with local support from Whoretopsy. Dutch symphonic group Epica will perform in Melbourne for the first time ever this Sunday at Billboard. Eyefear will open the event. If you are having a tough time coping with something, know that help is available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit them at lifeline. Call BeyondBlue on 1300 22 4636 or visit them at


Major Laser This month is all about the contrast between the old and the new. I mean, where would older blokes like me be without a foot firmly in both camps, ie. electronic productions from whiz-bang producers onto otherworldly beats mixing beautifully with analogue recordings off four-track machines pressed straight to vinyl? So let’s start with the new, and what better place to start than with someone who’s been around forever and I’d bet you’ve never even heard of him. Robin Thicke’s new track, Blurred Lines, is my track of 2013. With some of the tightest Pharrell production we’ve heard in years due to his completely slick re-work of the Marvin Gaye classic, Got To Give It Up, this jam absolutely oozes funky cool. Mr Thicke has written songs for just about everyone and he had a sick single that went almost nowhere back in 2005, à la Wanna Love U Girl (also produced by Pharrell), but he’s come with the goods on this one and I’m going to continue to ram this one down punters’ throats until they worship at the same altar with me. Also of hype-worthy mention is the latest club stomping, whistle blowing, future anthem from Major Lazer, Watch Out For This (Bumaye). Dancehall has needed a solid injection of something for quite some time now and this Diplo project has been exactly what’s needed. All of you who still sing along to Get Free will be happy to know that the new album, Free The Universe, is well wicked and covers all the dancehall, dub, bass, reggae and glitch that keeps you tuned in

for their ride. Between this and his Express Yourself EP release under his own name last year, you can say Diplo’s on another tear again. Switching over to the analogue side of things, I want to hype you all to a few mandatory 45s you absolutely need. First off the rank is the latest 45 from uber-sweet Italian label, Record Kicks: Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers’ version of the Barbara Lynn classic, I’m A Good Woman. Anyone that knows this song, knows how good it is and this UK band have done it justice with the right amount of crooning soul to open with and stomping glory to get your suit all sweaty to finish. The flip contains an absolute nugget of rocksteady reggae sunshine in the form Lee “Scratch” Perry’s soulful queen of the ‘70s, Susan Cadogan and their collaboration Day After Day. They’ve enlisted a wicked band in the form of The Crabs Corporation out of Buenos Aires and crafted the track I should have been dropping every Sunday down at my reggae weekly, but alas I was too late to the party. Damn!!! Still, you don’t have to be, and, with two A-sides, this release is easily worth the price of admission. Also worthy of a purchase is the latest 45 from Detroit natives, Will Sessions. If you haven’t been hyped to these cool cats yet, you need to get onto them now! Loosely aligned with Stones Throw, this eight-piece soul/funk/horn ensemble is the real deal and they are well known in hip hop circles that support real deals. Their latest 45 is a double-sided monster that drips sweaty, James Brown-circa-Hot Pants funk on one side whilst repping some Bamboos action on the flip that any fan of Kylie Auldist will absolutely love. Google the name and get to their Bandcamp page for a free download of one of their live sets with some wicked rhymes if you don’t believe me and try to swindle a copy from Northside before they’re gone for good. My final mention goes to the BGP label and the love I have for them for pressing Spanky Wilson’s all-time classic cover of Sunshine Of Your Love on 45! Such a tune and absolutely slays the original. With that, I’m out of here!

The Bennies In their three-year existence, Melbourne punk act, The Bennies, have performed over 300 shows, not just in Australia but in Asia also. This relentless touring schedule has seen the band’s hard work rewarded with their careful carving of a reputation as an exciting new, live act. Now The Bennies have announced a new four track 7”called Better Off Dread through Jackknife Records, with a tour to match. You can catch The Bennies in their hometown on Saturday 20 April at the B.East. The Bridge 9 ’10 Year Anniversary Series’ has seen the label re-issue some really rad stuff, and the newest release in the series is the release of No Warning’s Ill Blood, which will be shipping at the end of the month. No Warning was a hardcore band from Toronto and Ill Blood has long been considered their landmark album. The band left behind a legacy of fast, catchy and melodic hardcore and their absence from the scene has been felt by fans following their dormancy once the Ill Blood LP went out of print. Finally, Bridge 9 is bringing this classic album back into print as a gatefold double LP that has been remastered specifically for vinyl. The double LP will feature Ill Blood on LP1 and No Warning’s self-titled EP on LP2. You can pre-order the record now through the B9 webstore, along with some brand new merch designs. If you’re heading along to Break The Ice, keep an eye out for the Telltale Records OZHC Compilation Tape. The ten-track compilation, called State Of Mind, is due out Saturday 27 April in time for the fest. The comp features new tracks from bands like Survival, Bonestorm, Mindless, Shackles, Born Free, Warbrain, Moodswing, Truthseeker, The Others and Outsiders Code. If you want to get a preview, the tape is streaming now through the Telltale Records Bandcamp page, otherwise pick it up at Break The Ice. While you’re on the Bandcamp, check out some of the other releases by this small local label, including the new 7” from Byron Bay’s The Dead Ends. On the topic of Break The Ice, I’ve talked about the dates and locations heaps of times, so I’m not going to go into that, but following the unfortunate loss of Rotting Out a couple of weeks ago, Broken Hive have announced their replacements and a couple of new additions to the line-up. Joining the likes of Bane, Cold World, Relentless, Endless Heights, Outright, Thorns and so many more will be Melbourne heavyweights Warbrain, local newcomers Free World and Canberra’s Machine Genova (this is a name I keep hearing people talking about). Hit up the event page on Facebook for all the details. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Sydney favourite posi punk outfit, Milhouse, were playing their final shows. As a final send off, the band have released an unheard track called To Hell With Disbelief for a name-your-price download through their Bandcamp. The song is a leftover from their studio sessions to record their Everything Coming Up 7” last year. I’m not sure if this is the last that you’ll hear from Milhouse. There is a rumour on the wind that Midnight Funeral Records (who released the band’s demo and 7”) may have plans to release a discography LP the includes both 7” records, their Subwoofer split with Headaches and a live set from Poison City Weekender last year, so stay tuned! Last up for this week, we all know that Margaret Thatcher died last week and despite her own politics, we have her to thank for so much of the music that we have come to know and love. Her actions as UK PM gave a generation of musicians the vehicle to write protests songs that still influence the punk and hardcore of today. Think the likes of The Specials, The English Beat, Elvis Costello, Crass, Billy Bragg, or Morrissey (Morrissey may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m including him anyway). Even Frank Turner, in more recent years, has titled a song Thatcher Fucked The Kids. So in a roundabout way, I guess we (as fans of hardcore and punk) have to “thank” Thatcher for the inspiration.







Erykah Badu LL Cool J and Brad Paisley The internet has been having a hearty collective giggle over the last few days about Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s Accidental Racist. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a curious country number wherein Paisley catalogues his Southern angst about being seen as a racist for wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt adorned with the Confederate flag, and laments his feelings about being “caught between southern pride and southern blame.” As if the song weren’t weird enough already, it features a verse from LL Cool J that sounds like it was recorded on GarageBand underwater and features the immortal line: “If you don’t judge my do-rag/I won’t judge your red flag.” The whole thing is hilarious, obviously, but it also highlights the fact that for all that they appear to be avatars of two entirely different worlds, hip hop and country aren’t quite as far removed as one might expect. In post-millennial America, they’re both very, very big business – everyone knows that hip hop is pretty much the biggest genre in the world these days, in commercial terms at least, but in the USA country music gives it a pretty decent run for its money. As it were. In this respect, they’re both examples of how genres that start as the sound of subcultures are reabsorbed back into the mainstream. Both hip hop and country started off as the voice of social classes without a voice in mainstream culture – in the case of hip hop, it’s black urban youth, whereas with country it’s the white agricultural working class – and both have been subsequently commercialised, glitzified and sold back to that same demographic as an aspirational consumerist ideal. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this process has been the fact that in both cases, it’s also involved a political shift. Country music is generally seen as pretty right wing these days – it’s generally country types who are prepared to endorse Republican presidential candidates, play GOP conventions, etc. This is so much the case, in fact, that it’s easy to forget it wasn’t always thus: country, after all, is the genre that gave us Woody Guthrie and the ballads of the dustbowl, Johnny Cash and his songs “for the poor and the beaten down/Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town.” Country was always socially conservative, of course – the genre’s Christian roots saw to that – but economically it was based around ideas of representing the working man, the poor, the disenfranchised. It wasn’t as nationalistic as it is these days, either – perhaps the era’s most famous portrait of America, Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, was shot through with deep ambivalence about the country’s direction and contained a verse questioning the concept of private property. There’s little of that today, not in the age that gave us songs like Toby Keith’s ultra-jingoistic Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue – look at the shitfight that ensued after Dixie Chicks made their notorious comments about George W Bush, for instance. Clearly hip hop hasn’t moved anywhere near this far to the right, and it’s hard to imagine that it ever would do, but it’s definitely less socially radical than it used to be. The genre’s obsession with materialism has been well-documented over the years, and what began as a reaction against the establishment has slowly metastasised into the establishment itself. Where rappers once dreamed of changing the game, these days they largely dream of winning it. It speaks little these days of narrowing the gap between rich and poor, just being on the right side of that gap. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s telling that “socially conscious hip hop” tends to get thought of as a separate genre these days. Once, all hip hop was socially conscious. These days, it’s more about selling an aspirational consumerist ideal to its target demographic – if you’re lucky, you too can have the material trappings of success. If that’s all that America’s most popular genre can tell you to aspire to – well, it seems a shame, doesn’t it?

The indie R&B movement is only growing. It’s now been branded “PBR&B” (after the hipster Pabst Blue Ribbon beer) with an actual Wikipedia entry. OG is sticking with “illwave”. Regardless, Erykah Badu, the ‘90s High Priestess of Neo-Soul, is all over the electronic stuff. She popped up on Flying Lotus’ Until The Quiet Comes. Now she’s united with the UK’s Bonobo (AKA Simon Green) for the dissonant Heaven For The Sinner off his The North Borders LP on Ninja Tune. Badu then duets with Coco Owino, from the Danish electro-soul outfit Quadron, on Tyler, The Creator’s surprisingly jazzy and boho Treehome95 off Wolf, his most experimental album. There’s something powerfully feminine about today’s electronic soul. Take last month’s debut album from Los Angelese-based Rhye. Rhye’s Canadian vocalist Mike Milosh has been widely compared to Sade – like Jessie Ware, herself plugging an upbeat Julio Bashmore-helmed new single, Imagine It Was Us – with his androgynous contralto. The title of the romantic Woman plays on that gender ambiguity. The album’s theme is desire, Milosh’s “muse” being his new wife, but Rhye offer a sensuous alternative to the predatory sexuality of contemporary urban. As with Ware, Rhye are additionally indebted sonically to The xx, their arrangements economically modern but informed by ‘80s R&B. Ironically, Hannibal has discussed Rhye’s love of, not merely classic soul, but also “daggy” easy listening acts: Michael McDonald, Phil Collins and Sting. Woman’s strongest tunes remain the singles – Open, the epitome of neo, quiet storm balladry with its strings, and The Fall, which borders on piano house. Last Dance recalls Sweetback, Sade ally Stuart Matthewman’s side-project, with funky guitar and sound system rhythms. One Of Those Summer Days has retro sax. Woman closes with the post-coital title-track, featuring Milosh’s almost wordless vocals.

James Blake, too, has female influences, the Londoner having covered Feist and Joni Mitchell. He admires such artists’ restraint, telling Boston’s Phoenix, “There’s this kind of male tendency to flourish and to embellish on things that might not need it.” Of course, the post-dubstepper has just returned with Overgrown – and it’s unimaginable that a more magnificent “soul” album will materialise this year (let’s see what TheWeeknd does with Kiss Land). Coincidentally, Overgrown was inspired by a woman, Blake falling hard for Warpaint guitarist Theresa Wayman – eight years older, with a son, and residing in faraway Los Angeles. It’s his first relationship. No wonder, then, that the singer/songwriter should cut an album that is simultaneously euphoric, melancholic and anxious – but never corny, trite or obvious. Overgrown represents a huge evolution from Blake’s cerebral eponymous debut..

I’m conflicted about this. After all, hip hop and vinyl are more intricately connected than most forms of music – it’s the backbone of the 50% of the genre that’s not, well, rap. Want to be a producer? A penchant for crate-digging and a hefty collection of obscure vinyl are pretty much prerequisites. Being passionate about hip hop means being passionate about vinyl, hence the continued determination artists show when it comes to making their releases available in this format, even when it makes virtually no economic sense.

The introductory title-track subtly builds with looped counter harmonies. It’s an epic track that isn’t conspicuously epic. Blake penned it after meeting Mitchell, the pair discussing “permanence”. Similarly, Retrograde, Blake humming, has been likened to Kanye West with its meta commentary on artistry. Life Round Here is dismantled ‘90s R&B. RZA playfully raps on Take A Fall For Me. To The Last is an atmospheric, tranquil ballad. He lets loose on the supernaturally clubby, yet abstractly fervent, Digital Lion, written with Brian Eno, and housey Voyeur. Blake is bound for Splendour In The Grass, so don’t sleep.

And why, given the symbiotic relationship between hip hop and vinyl, do wax releases fare so poorly in the marketplace? Well, because of jerks like me. How and when we consume music has dramatically shifted. We don’t sit in our bedrooms listening to records any more – we’ve got smartphones chock-full of mp3s, and we listen to tunes on public transport, at our desks at work, in our cars. I don’t buy vinyl because I can’t stream it wirelessly via Bluetooth during my morning commute.

POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY exploration of the body’s capabilities, the potential to use the body as a machine in performance.

There’s a point midway through Absolute Boys’ debut album, Heavy Flow (Bedroom Suck), in which the band’s individual parts sound as if they’re separating and floating away from each other. The effect occurs in the song Scrap Museum, one of the longer of the album’s tracks at a little over three minutes. The recurring guitar line is swallowed by its own reverberation, the primitive drum beat steps out of the mix and grows harsher; Will Farrier’s vocal disappears at what sounds like the beginning of a new phrase, leaving a short echo. Each part moves off in its own direction and then, by some magic, the song reappears a few seconds later from the white space left over, a full groove played from just the other side of the speakers.

Yay! It’s Record Store Day this Saturday 20 April! Um, is this a good time to mention that I don’t actually own any vinyl?

Overgrown centres on Blake’s sonorous voice (with less auto-tune), piano and innovative electronics. Overall, it’s warmer, and softer, again evoking ‘80s soul – and R&B slo’ jams. Yet Blake’s quiet storm is literal: his music is about finding harmony in discord. On Overgrown he further explores the dramatic entropy of Wilhelm Scream. The album has the intimacy – and emotional range – of Lewis Taylor’s 1996 self-titled album, seminal British soul, but it’s more avant-garde. Blake’s gift is that, while inventive, he composes beguiling melodies.


Absolute Boys


Absolute Boys somehow evoke both, perhaps due to existing in urban Australia (ie. their dub is never going to be the dub) and keeping their rhythms fairly upbeat, if tight and churning. They also never keep on anything long, drifting to a new song idea as soon as they’ve come full circle on the last. The album lasts only 30 minutes. Visualised, the band’s clip for 2010 track Single Space sums it up well: guitarist Dennis Santiago floats through Sydney City on a skateboard, swerving pedestrians and traffic. There’s tension to the ride, a present danger, but also a sense of groundlessness.

It happens so subtly and is performed so quickly that if you’re moving around a house, say, or listening through headphones while travelling, distracted by other things, it feels part of the regular sensory to-and-fro of listening to music. You head for the bar at a gig and the bassline of a song follows you; the singer turns from the microphone and you mishear what she’s sung.

There are drawbacks to what Absolute Boys do. It’s difficult at first to latch onto any specific song or song-part of Heavy Flow. The band’s method of shifting focus between instruments and messing with the whole focus of a song, moving from sharp to soft and back again – the trick described earlier – means casual listening provides little suggestion for re-entry points. When you aren’t certain where you are in the place and time of an album, it’s hard to find a way back there. That doesn’t mean there aren’t distinctive or enjoyable or even spine-tingling moments on the album, just that a bit more attention is required to find them and know when they happen. And it’s an album that invites that kind of attention simply because, as an album, it’s immediately pretty and mysterious.

It’s a trick the Melbourne-via-Sydney trio perform throughout Heavy Flow. It’s also made possible by the band’s style, a mix of expansive dub effects and percussion and math-rock’s precise approach to timing and looped phrasing. The creation of that style – or at the least the band’s successful marriage of those traits – is no mean feat given how opposed the aesthetics of those techniques are on the musical landscape. One evokes something natural and laidback, the other a dark

Melodically, Farrier gets into some R&B dips and some doubled-up ‘60s West Coast psalms via a 2013 sharehouse. Even the lyrics that jut out of the record initially, about girls who need to be chill and the like, manage to be fun and remind that there are real people behind the songs despite being a little silly. Sometimes a few flaws in a record help to pull things back down to earth, to cause a smile or a “what was that?” moment, and to point out the mastery elsewhere.

But (of course there’s a “but”) I am nonetheless glad that vinyl continues to exist. Even though I don’t own it myself, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to it being played for me, and the clarity and richness of the audio produced is astounding – it remains the gold standard. Even the records themselves are often things of beauty, and as much as I appreciate being able to download an entire album by tapping the touchscreen on my phone, I remain in awe of the intricacies of album art and the effort that goes into creating an aesthetically astounding hard release. While practicality and economics will probably prevent me ever forming a serious vinyl habit, I can understand the appeal, and I admire the people who continue to push for respect and love for the old-school format. So, I think we’ve established that records are pretty cool. However, loving them is only part of why Record Store Day is so important – the other part, of course, is the store. There’s been an emerging trend over the last few months that has seen lots of artists getting support for their vinyl releases via crowdfunding. It makes a lot of sense, considering that the vinyl business model has been pretty flawed for a few years (it went something like: 1. Listen to fans whinge about album not coming out on vinyl. 2. Release album on vinyl to placate whinging fans. 3. Sit back and watch absolutely nobody buy the vinyl). By having people pledge money on Pozible or the like, and effectively pre-order the vinyl release, artists are reducing their vinyl-induced headaches and debts. However, pre-ordering a record over the internet doesn’t really replace the store experience. Record stores are struggling in the face of the digital revolution, but they’re still the best place to go to learn more about the music you love and its available formats. Never underestimate the value of expertise dispensed by a passionate person. This Saturday, celebrate Record Store Day with Melbourne’s flagship hip hop store, Obese Records in Prahran. They’re getting some great DJs in, including Heata, Slap 618, Discourse, Must, Ronan PBS and Jase, all of whom will be spinning vinyl (naturally). The festivities go down from 10.30am to 5.30pm, and they’ll be stocking the exclusive, very limited Record Store Day offerings from Elefant Traks – a vinyl release of Hermitude’s Parallel Paradise EP, and a CD release of Urthboy’s remix release, Smokey’s Homies. Let’s show records, and our record stores, some love this weekend. Happy Record Store Day, y’all.

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BEARHUG Over Easy (Spunk) Bearhug make themselves pretty easy to love. Recalling Dinosaur Jr at their most melodious and filtered through the jangle-pop revival of the last few years, they’ve fallen on a golden sound. Whereas in the past they’ve relied on this sound too much without nailing every tune, the songs on Over Easy show a strong progression in song value leading into their second LP. It’s hard to pick a winner among the tracks and it’s great to hear the band mix up the song structures a little by following each other down unknown passages outside the verse and chorus. An excellent EP from a promising Australian band.




It’s been a busy 12 months for Zoophyte, sharing stages with the likes of Eskimo Joe, Grinspoon and Tex Perkins, plus opening for INXS right across the East Coast and releasing their album Somewhere Elsewhere. Zoophyte perform at the Espy each Monday in April.

DEADLY GAMBLE Regional Roulette is a collective of Victoria’s best heavy music acts taking a unique approach to touring regional areas. Come watch Frankenbok, King Parrot, Heaven The Axe and Abreact light up the stage as part of Regional Roulette on Friday 26 April at the Bridge Hotel Castlemaine.

KING KONEKTED The Campaign (Class A Records) The debut EP of fresh emcees Dontez and Culprit from Brisbane’s western suburbs allows them to vent their acute observations of the tough world they have long belonged to. Together as King Konekted, their vital lyricism is at the fore throughout the six tracks on The Campaign. They are aided by the simple old-school production from experienced minds such as Prowla and Trem and some spot-on sampling from Strickne. Although there are various guest spots it is most refreshing hearing the two friends trade heated verses. Despite the obvious temptation to drop themselves into their narratives, both avoid oneupmanship and bravado, and spin quick metaphors around the tough subject matter. Their considered approach means the songs lack a little fire, but overall a refreshingly sincere debut from the duo.

ELIZABAND Troubled Trees (Independent) Founding member of Brisbane’s Gaslight Radio, Rory Cooke, returns as Elizaband with Troubled Trees. There is a fragile feel to this release; Cooke doesn’t sound defeated, but rather happy to be re-emerging as an artist. Opener, Be Your Own Good Friend, is an almost-classic. Building on marching drums to the chorus, Cooke pleads for us to follow the title-advice. As the following two tracks play out, it becomes clear that Cooke has lost nothing in his songwriting. Despite the modest production and slightly offcentre direction, both the driving Nature and the ghostly drone of Little Death share the effortless accessibility of the opener. Elizaband launch Troubled Trees at the Spotted Mallard this Saturday.

ANIMAL HANDS Animal Hands (Independent) Power-pop trio Animal Hands bring down their solid debut from the Dandenong Ranges. Much of the appeal here is generated from the cool-as-fuck vocals of Danielle Whalebone, who undersells nearly everything she sings. Hearing the rhythm section create a rumbling backbone to these tracks while Whalebone croons coldly over the top can be exhilarating, particularly when she breaks in her delivery a little for her choruses. However there is still something missing in the songwriting with some aspects, both lyrically and musically, a bit generic. Definitely worth a listen though, especially opening track Defiance. Animal Hand launch theEP this Friday at Cherry Bar.

After touring Australia and Europe performing in mismatched venues, warehouses and on street corners, the folk troubadour Kaurna Cronin will be launching his new EP Pistol Eyes with the support from Al Parkinson, Ildiko and Demi Louise this Sunday at the Evelyn.


The Trouble With Templeton are celebrating the release of Like A Kid the unexpected, explosive follow-up to smashing single Six Months In A Cast with a few Australian shows including one tonight (Wednesday) at the Northcote Social Club.

In a short 18 months RüFüS have been busy. They’ve played multiple sold out tours in Australia, sold out parties in NYC and had main stage festival appearances. With new single Take Me, RüFüS hit the road for some shows including two at Ding Dong Lounge this Thursday and Friday night, supported by Back Back Forward Punch.



Belle Roscoe is a Paris-based rock/pop group led by Australians. The sound is fresh and commercial, a dreamy rock pop album laced with vintage synths and driving hooks. Belle Roscoe play the Toff tonight (Wednesday).

ANTHROPOLOGY Sherry Rich & The Notorious Byrd Brothers

FREE AS A BYRD Following on from the recent sold out Pure Pop Summer of Classic Albums show Sherry Rich & The Notorious Byrd Brothers will reprise their performance of The Byrds’ classic Sweetheart Of The Rodeo album this Friday at the Flying Saucer Club. Also on this night Kim Volkman (guitarist from Oz punk rock greats X and The Love Addicts) performs Steve Earl’s Train A Comin album.

HOUSEBOAT Nantes and Battleships have just announced a joint venture that will see the acts touring the country together. With Nantes’ latest single Avid and Battleships’ new single As You’d Begun, they play this Friday at the Northcote Social Club with guest Manor.

READY FOR SAILING While they apply the finishing touches to their forthcoming debut album, Hex. Lover. Killer, The Delta Riggs have announced a national album release tour, including a show this Saturday at the Northcote Social Club, along with Stillwater Giants in support.

Vydamo, the solo project of Art vs Science’s Jim Finn, announces his first ever tour dates this April. First single Gonna Make It has been all over the radio this summer. Vydamo will perform as a five-piece and be supported by We The People at the Toff this Saturday.

MUSE OF TRAGEDY Melbourne-born singer-songwriter Melpomeni was a long-standing member of the number one selling UK classical chart act, Mediaeval Baebes. On Monday night at the Toff, Melpomeni will be joined by Melbourne poet and writer Koraly Dimitriades.


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

REVERB OF PARADISE Eden Mulholland‘s take on pop music is complete with strange voices, ripped apart rhythms and momentary flashes from ethereal orchestras. Mulholland performs at the Grace Darling this Friday to launch new single I Will Echo from his forthcoming debut record Feed The Beast.


After six months of trade-life in Geelong, Tom Milek has moved back to the Big Smoke to begin recording a new album. This Thursday at the Evelyn he’ll perform with a four-piece band and will be supported by Sagamore and duo Phoebe & Schina.

HELLO, MR ANDERSON Melbourne’s Hamish Anderson has made a name for himself locally through a live show that encompasses a mix of blues, rock and folk with moments of loud, electric blues-soaked songs and delicate acoustic balladry. His self-titled EP and its lead single Howl will be launched at the Toff on Wednesday 1 May.


When delivering a live show, Shortfall have one goal in mind: play loud, aggressive rock with a killer stage presence to boot. They’ll be launching their debut EP Falling Awake at the Evelyn this Friday with three killer supports: Pretty Dulcie, Hawkai (SA) and Lung.

Three Decades Of Brutality brings 30 years of metal to one stage in one night on Saturday 27 April at the Gasometer. The line-up features Dreadnaught, State Of Integrity, Join The Amish and Camp David.

Turtle & Fox are an indie folk-inspired brother and sister duo from Melbourne. They are now set to launch their debut EP The Plight Of The Stern Tern this Sunday at the Evelyn, with Other Side Of The Fence and Alex Lashlie.

46 • For more news/announcements go to

If you could time travel back to any gig in history which would it be and why? Madison Square Garden, 1973, Led Zep! The greatest band of all time at the peak of their career. What movie do you think your music would best accompany and why? Almost Famous – because we are everything that Stillwater was about. A bunch of dudes who take off around the country with their friends. What are your plans for the immediate future? Finish this beer. As for the band, tour the album non-stop round Australia, then hit overseas. What is your favourite song lyric and why? (Answered by Jarrod, drums) Our song One By One: the lyric is, “a broken man, I’m on the edge and I’ve got hell to pay”. It is what we are about: pushing through diversity, picking ourselves up and pushing on. Favourite “pick me up for a big night” drink? Shot of jäger down at Cherry Bar with Appetite For Destruction blaring in the background. If that don’t get you up, you should see a doctor! Favourite hangover cure? More beers, some loud rock’n’roll bands, going out with mates, meeting a few ladies: hangover gone! For more info see:




What do you think is your act’s greatest strength? Brad Marr, lead vocals/rhythm guitar: High energy, explosive stage presence, an unexplained madness where anything could happen next; that and super good looks, nice shoes, well maintained hair and charming personalities.

Sydney’s The Griswolds have kicked off 2013 in style with their single The Courtship of Summer Preasley heating up the airwaves throughout summer. The band are hit the road in April, stopping this Saturday at the Workers Club with support from Private Life and Oceanics.





Releasing their debut EP Immurare in April of 2012, The Mercury Theatre have been recognised by others in the local music scene as one of the finest progressive rock bands in Melbourne. They play this Friday at the Tote with support from Glasfrosch, Yoshitoro, Lunaire and The Ambience Of Rain.

Melbourne-based Naked Bodies are a raucous foursome led by Quang Dinh, the ringleader to his troupe of merry lunatics, who vibrantly paint his wild, garage-born ballads with haunted violins, deep sea bass lines and heaving percussive assaults. They play a residency at the Tote every Saturday in April.




Pioneertown Melbourne four-piece Winston deliver an impressive mix of bluesy folk rock on this debut EP. The two guitars, organ and piano that form the foundation for these tracks create a classically timeless sound. Long-time Ned Collette collaborator, Joe Talia, has helped them forge a warm, full-bodied release, possibly also aided by the acoustics of the converted barn they recorded in. Frontman Angelo Greco sings Americana-style tales, sounding like a mix between Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. Though his delivery is strong for most of the tracks, if he can truly embrace the hinted-at charisma, Winston could be a local force to reckon with. Winston launch Pioneertown this Friday at the Empress.

Saskwatch’s latest single is I Get Lonely, with clangy guitars and fast-paced drums evoking ‘60s surf-rock vibes while the horn section bring the melody, all held together by Nkechi Anele’s gutsy vocals. They’ll be playing at the Prince Bandroom this Friday supported by Money For Rope and The Bluebottles.

WETLANDS Sunday evenings in April boast Joe Forrester’s residency at the Great Britain Hotel (Richmond). Forrester’s blend of emotional, hard-driven original acoustic indie folk has the ability to crush souls and lift sunken spirits. Supporting this Sunday will be Big Seal & The Slippery Few.

This Thursday, Tinpan Orange will play at the Workers Club. Six-foot frontwoman Emily Lubitz twirls her flaming hair out across a complex and original musical creation. Support comes from Miles & Simone.

WOODEN ANIMALS No Zebra are a Melbourne four-piece alternative rock outfit returning from a six-month hiatus. They’ll be performing at the Vic Hotel (Brunswick) this Friday, with support from The Groves.

STRAWBERRY JAM Johnny Can’t Dance play Cajun and Creole twosteps, one-steps, waltzes, blues and stomps from the swamps. They’ll be performing with support from Fruit Jar at the Vic Hotel (Brunswick) this Saturday.

TOUGH LOVE Cash Savage and her beloved band introduce the new single I’m In Love. Swollen with honesty and backed by the enormity of seven musicians, this is Savage at her most emotive. The single launches at the Workers Club on this Friday with supports from La Bastard and Tim Neilson (The Death Rattles).




With a single launch tour continuing till June, Tully On Tully will be sharing the stage with some of the country’s best up and coming talent including Sydney’s Katie Wighton and local electro-pop wonder Yeo (solo) at the Grace Darling tonight (Wednesday).

This Saturday The Doors Show Absolutely Live are heading back to the Espy on for a huge Gershwin Room show with support from Exile (Rolling Stones tribute) and Fortunate Sons (Creedence Clearwater tribute).

BLOODY BATTLE War In Arcadia will smash it out once again at Revolver Upstairs on this Saturday, with supporting from Rexkramer, Michael Yule and Red Attraction.

KEY CHANGE EDEN MULHOLLAND – I WILL ECHO What’s the song about? Eden Mulholland, guitar, samples, vocals: Taking advice from friends, breaking out of a rut.

Since his debut album in 2007, Major Chord’s Dan Flynn recorded, produced, sampled and performed almost every single note on Major Chord’s next two albums. This Friday Major Chord will release single Transition at the Grace Darling with Charles Jenkins and Georgia Fields.

We’ll like this song if we like… Atlas Genius, Dan Black, Dandy Warhols, Blur, Talking Heads. Do you play it differently live? Pretty much as the recording with a possible lead break thrown in. Will you be launching it? The I Will Echo release party will happen this Friday at the Grace Darling. The doors open at 9pm and tickets are $10 on the door.

PICK POCKETING Tallship Sounds presents Melbourne city’s very own high octane rock’n’roll outlaws The Jacks at the Gasometer this Friday. Joining them will be The Tearaways and NZ’s The Beggers Way.

CRIMINAL CHAOS Embarking on their debut album tour, Trainwreck are making their way to the front of the queue and not stopping for questions. They play the Gasometer this Saturday night. Support comes from Pledge This, Ennui Breathes Malice, Good Will Hunting, and Culprits.

Street Fangs are playing at the Reverence Hotel (Footscray) this Thursday, bringing a party of new material along with them. The new EP is set to be an absolute ear buster with the inclusion of A Bomb Whores, Charm and Long Holiday.


Coming off their seminal release, Kids ‘R’ Kool, Hug Therapist are pumped-ready and throbbing to unload their Tearjerker EP. Head down on to the Reverence Hotel bandroom this Friday to see Hug Therapist as well as Outlines, Right Mind, Japan For and Kings Cup.

Country psych folk renegades Immigrant Union are putting the finishing touches on album number number two, due out later in the year. They’re playing Wednesday 24 April at the John Curtin bandroom with guests Jess Ribeiro & The Bone Collectors and Cherrywood.

How long did it take to write/record? Some songs on the album are over three years old and took their final shape during the eight days recording and mixing at Roundhead Studios. I wrote and completed the rest in a couple of weeks prior to recording. Nothing like a deadline to help make decisions. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Most of these songs are derivations of music I have written for Contemporary Dance scores over the past couple of years. I’m hoping that some of that context has seeped through into the songs. Where I have travelled, who I have collaborated with and partied with while working on these projects is my greatest inspiration. During recording I am influenced by the most excellent engineer and friend Neil Baldock, a genuine sonic genius. That and plenty of wine.



Is this track from a forthcoming/ existing release? It is the first single from debut album Feed The Beast due out Friday 7 June.



Blues and soul multi-instrumentalist, Shaun Kirk has released his brand new album and accompanying DVD The Wick Sessions. To celebrate, Kirk will be launching the record this Thursday at the Northcote Social Club with support from Al Parkinson and Blue Eyes Cry.

Projeto Inesperado’s passion for the musical traditions of Portugal, Brazil, Capo Verde and Argentina is present in the sound of their debut release Feito à Mão (made by hand). They’re playing this Saturday at the Wesley Anne.

ACROSS THE OCEAN Rising Tide (formerly Yggdrasil) formed in 2006, brought together by a love of traditional music styles from around the world, with a desire to create a unique and original sound. They’ll be playing this Sunday at the Wesley Anne.


This Saturday Elemental Burn return to the stage at the Espy. Joining Elemental Burn will be Moustache Ant, Clint Flick and False Prophet.

How long did it take to write/record? Three days to write, four days to record and mix.

Do you play it differently live? Not really, we just play it with a big extended intro. Will you be launching it? Yes. This Saturday at the Workers Club with Oceanics.

OLIVE BRANCH Olivers Army is the music of Barossa Valley born singer-songwriter Ryan Oliver. His music channels cleverly concealed reflective brooding while still managing to burst with live energy. Olivers Army perform at the Spotted Mallard this Thursday.

The Alan Ladds bring together the classic sounds of fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel, double bass, flat top guitar and drums. They will be performing every Wednesday in April at the Spotted Mallard.




Is this track from a forthcoming/ existing release? From the current Heart Of A Lion EP out now.


Super Unsigned is the top industry showcase for unsigned bands in Melbourne. The Corner will host this event over two stages. Tonight (Wednesday) features Mr Woo, Saving Cleopatra, Vela, Nikhail, The Art Of Subtlety, The Narrow Road, Sofa King, Oceans To Athena, Black Revolver and The Weary.

After performing in the UK and the US, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote) returns to Melbourne to perform several intimate solo shows. Nai Palm’s songs are always soulful, cathartic and replenishing without hemmed by a specific genre. Nai Palm is playing this Sunday at the B.East.

What’s the song about? Daniel Duque-Perez, guitar, backing vocals: Dream girls sometimes being more of a punisher than a dream.

We’ll like this song if we like… Indie music, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Grouplove.


Laughing Leaves draw influences from The Beach Boys and Nuggets. Food Court started jamming ‘60s garage blessed with some sweet ‘90s fuzz. They’ll both be playing at the Grace Darling this Saturday with support from Pretend Eye.


What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? The drive was to really incorporate a nice crossover of traditional instruments with some traditional electronic sounds.

Brenton Foster Band combines pop sensitivity and sentiment with insatiable grooves and melodies. They’ll be launching their new record at the John Curtin bandroom this Sunday with supports from Andy McGarvie Trio and Chris O’Neill.




When he recorded his latest album Love Come Save Me The Beautiful Girls’ Mat McHugh wasn’t sure which way to go. All the elements that had once been separate had, over the past decade, merged into one. He decided the new album would be released under his own name. He performs live with The Seperatista Soundsystem on Wednesday 24 April in the Espy.

Dark, twisted, witty, funny and, at times strangely romantic elements are joyfully rolled up into one energetic and theatrical Melbourne based, French inspired band Cyclo Timik. Cyclo Timik are playing at Open Studio (Northcote) this Saturday.

HUNTING HOWARD This October, the legendary Jack Howard of Hunters and Collectors will see the release of his latest CD, Lost Horizon, under the name The Nightbirds. This Sunday he’ll be playing at the Prince Public Bar.

For more news/announcements go to • 47


Underground Lovers

WEEKEND AT BENNIES Howzat! recently wrote that the Underground Lovers’ Vincent Giarrusso and Glenn Bennie were the Morrissey and Marr of Australian music, which prompted some Facebook comments: “You leave them in the dust of the past,” one fan stated, while another added, “I prefer to think of you as the Forster and McLennan of, erm, Melbourne music!” And another punter concluded: “It ain’t Morrissey and Marr, folks… the Undies sound like themselves.” Fair enough. Morrissey and Marr may never reunite, but Vince and Glenn are together again for the Underground Lovers’ first album in 14 years, Weekend (out now on Rubber Records), which sees them joined by the band’s original members – Philippa Nihill, Maurice Argiro and Richard Andrew. It’s a glorious return. How did the Undies approach the record? Did they have any mantras: Forget the past, It has

48 • For more opinion go to

to be as good as Leaves Me Blind, or Have a good time all the time? “We always have a good time,” Vince smiles. “Being in the Underground Lovers is like being in an episode of a favourite sitcom. Think Seinfeld meets Gilligan’s Island meets Girls. We just did what we know to do. It was weird ’cause it felt like no time had passed and then we would catch glimpses of ourselves in reflections and gasp.” Vince and Glenn reckon the re-formation was like a high school reunion (coincidentally, they went to East Doncaster High together). Did the Undies have to call in Metallica’s psychologist to sort out their differences? “Nope, we just got on with it. It was quite professional, except for the gags, jokes and silly role-plays. We do our own in-house therapy.” A deep, philosophical question: Do people change? “People change,” Vince says, “so that things can stay the same.” The band shaped the album at the I-Sonic Institute with their good friend Tim Prince (Crazy Baldheads). The recording also saw them reunited with producer Wayne Connolly, who worked on Leaves Me Blind, Dream It Down and Rushall Station. Has he changed much over the years? “Nope, still looks like a 30-year-old stoner. Good hair and teeth. Fast on the knobs and the sarcasm, and an excellent ear for subtleties. And he’s very funny – he needs his own TV show.” Weekend features a lovely tribute to The Go-Betweens, Riding. “Parts of Riding were written when we wrote Rushall Station,” Vince reveals. “We had this idea for a song that juxtaposed the lyricism and melodic complexities of a Go-Betweens song with a cranking dance/disco beat. What time did was give the song weight and resonance on

another level. It’s also a bit of a tribute to Grant [McLennan], who I briefly knew. He loved to dance.” Can Vince put the making of Weekend into a few words? “Exhilarating, surprising, quick,” he replies. It’s one of the greatest comebacks in Australian music – put it alongside Whispering Jack and Daryl Braithwaite’s Edge. What’s Vince’s favourite “comeback” album? “For my tastes, mbv [My Bloody Valentine], though he needs to work on the lyrics.” Asked for his three favourite Aussie acts right now, Vince lists Lower Plenty, Sleepy Dreamers and Bits Of Shit. Have Vince’s music tastes changed in the past 15 years? “Not really. As long as it takes me somewhere, I’m there.” Finally, are the Undies back for good? “Yes,” Vince confirms, “we are back in our own way. We never really went away, we just took a break. It was for a long time, but [now] we want to play shows and make more records. We’ve got a bunch of songs that are ready to go.” Unfortunately, drummer Richard Andrew won’t be part of the Weekend launch at the Corner on Saturday after nearly losing an arm while working at his set-design job. Tendons from his good arm had to be put in his bad arm. While Richard recovers, his drum spot is being filled by Stevie G, Steve Griffiths, who played with Vince’s 2009 outfit Underground Lovers in LA.


for East Timor, liver transplant recipient, Jesuit social worker … it’s time for a Paul Stewart book. And how ’bout some more Dockers shows, following their triumphant induction into the EG Hall of Fame in 2009.

CHART WATCH The Stafford Brothers, with a little help from Lil’ Wayne and Christina Milian, jump six spots to number four. Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (number four) Broken Vow HARRISON CRAIG (18, debut) Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (21) Scarborough Fair/Canticle CELIA PAVEY (27, debut) Holdin On FLUME (30) Lanterns BIRDS OF TOKYO (31) Brand New Key KAITY DUNSTAN (40, debut) Sharkmouth continues to eat up the charts. Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (number six) Flume FLUME (13) Loners Are Cool ALLDAY (18, debut) March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (22) Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (33)

Happy Record Store Day! Support an endangered species by doing some real shopping on Saturday.




Great to see Paul Stewart on the cover of last week’s Melbourne Times Weekly as “Saint Paul”. Paulie is one of the greatest stories in Australian music: Sun journalist, Painters And Dockers singer and trumpet player, tireless worker

Made It To The Harbour THE TIGER & ME Breathe LAUREN BRUCE As Night Falls BLACKCHORDS Thank You BEN LEE














J ""/ ° "°1  ""° "É/ ""/  ""/ ° "°1 GET IT ON YOUR IPHONE


Sunday 21st April 9.30am-5pm

Ukrainian House

3 Russell St, Essendon (Opposite Essendon Station)

Rarities, hits and bargains at Melbourne’s leading music related fair

70,000 Records, 10,000 CDs. All styles and all eras. Music books, magazines, posters, memorabilia, 1000s of cheapies. DVDs, sheet music. Interstate stallholders attending. A collectors paradise and music comfort zone. Don’t miss it! First fair for 2013. s2ECORDSLEEVESANDTURNTABLEPRODUCTS s0RIVATE*APANESE,0COLLECTION s+ISS !#$# 0INK&LOYD ,ED:EPPELIN -ETALLICA s#$OBSCUREEARLYSGIRLGROUPS DOOWOPANDMALEPOPs:OMBIE$6$S s0LENTYOFNEWERANDOBSCUREITEMS !IRCONDITIONED FREEPARKING CANTEENFACILITIESAVAILABLE

ENTRY $4 ENQUIRIES PH: 9308 1729 49


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


DYING FETUS: April 20 Evelyn

BONJAH: April 19 the Loft (Warrnambool); May 24 Baha Tacos (Rye) VYDAMO: April 20 Toff

TEGAN & SARA: May 2 Palais

SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 Corner (two shows)

THE KOOKS: May 3 Palais

NORTHLANE: June 9, 10 Corner

MATT & KIM: May 3 Northcote Social Club

THE BEARDS: June 13 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 14 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 15 Hi-Fi

JAGWAR MA: April 25 Ding Dong


GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 4 Prince Of Wales Showgrounds (Bendigo)

SILVERSTEIN: April 18 Corner

BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club BOB EVANS: May 16 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 17 Corner; 18 Meeniyan Town Hall

GLENN HUGHES: April 22 Corner


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

YOU AM I: July 6 Forum

EXTREME: April 19 Palace




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


JAPANDROIDS: August 30 Corner

EMMA LOUISE: May 9 Yarra Hotel (Geelong);

FOALS: September 27 Palace

JOZIF: April 19 New Guernica 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




17 APRIL 2013

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 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 STILLWATER GIANTS, THE DELTA RIGGS: April 20 Northcote Social Club UNDERGROUND LOVERS: April 20 Corner


UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL DADA LIFE: April 24 Billboard MIDGE URE: April 24 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster) 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 MEL PARSONS: April 27 Wesley Anne TOOL: April 27, 28 Rod Laver Arena BANE: April 27 Bang SUPER FLU: April 28 Revolver 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 THE KOOKS: May 1, 3 Palais TEGAN & SARA: May 2 Palais TURIN BRAKES: May 2 Northcote Social Club; 3 Flying Saucer Club THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS: May 2, 3 Corner Hotel MATT & KIM: May 3 Northcote Social Club EXAMPLE: May 3 Palace OBITUARY: May 3 Espy SIX60: May 3 Forum YACHT: May 3 Ding Dong NINA KRAVIZ: May 3 Brown Alley THIRD PARTY: May 4 Alumbra. Homehouse 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

Julien Wilson ‘B For Chicken’ Quartet: 303, Northcote The Secret City, Salt Lake City, Klara Zubonja, more: Bar Open, Fitzroy Daryl Roberts: Clifton Hill Hotel, Clifton Hill Super Unsigned Music Festival feat. The Art Of Sublety, Saving Cleopatra, Vela, Oceans To Athena, Mr Woo, more: Corner Hotel, Richmond Artist Proof, Garden Party, Mel Calia: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Tully On Tully, Katie Wighton, Yeo: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room) Collingwood Open Mic: Music Land, Fawkner The Trouble With Templeton, Ali Barter: Northcote Social Club, Northcote SiB, The Staffords, Dan Parsons: Old Bar, Fitzroy Toby: Open Studio, Northcote Grand Wazoo: Royal Melbourne Hotel, Melbourne The Alan Ladds: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Alaska, Lourdes: Star Bar, Bendigo Joe Oppenheimer, Seb Mont & Thee, James Fahy: The Bendigo, Collingwood Open Mic: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Alicia Adkins, Kate Lucas: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Collage with Goodbye Motel, Since We Kissed, Chop Squad, Scaramouche: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda The Finks, Sam Cooper: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood The Big Small, + Guests: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Marissa Quigley, Alison Ferrier: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Belle Roscoe, Adam Hayes, Emily Ulman: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Holy Moses Heartache, Velma Groove: The Tote, Collingwood

50 • To check out the mags online go to

Dan & Amy, Al Parkinson, Rob Muinos: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Bopstretch: Uptown Jazz Cafe, Fitzroy

THU 18 APRIL 2013 Artie Styles Quartet: 303, Northcote The Quivers, Gamma Rays, Lunaire: Bar Open, Fitzroy The Rebelles, DJ Vince Peach, Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Silverstein, Sienna Skies, The Belle Havens, Who Invited The Wolf: Corner Hotel, Richmond Rufus, Back Back Forward Punch: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Kerberos, John Turcio: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Roscoe James Irwin, Cilo Renner, Nick Batterham: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Tom Milek, Sagamore, Phoebe, Sprinkled Cashews DJs: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Diamond Of Neptune, Bluejay, Somebody’s Sun, Daniel Jenkin: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Kumar Shome & The Punkawallahs, KKS, Hue Blanes: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room) Collingwood House of Light (Berlin), The Primary, Euphoriacs, Tangrams: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement) Collingwood Toby: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond The McClymonts: Hallam Hotel, Hallam Edna Kenny Trio: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Lioness, The Grand Rapids: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Shaun Kirk, Al Parkinson, Blue Eyes Cry: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Lupine, The Melanomads, Nun Of The Tongues: Old Bar, Fitzroy Street Fangs, Charm, Long Holiday: Reverence Hotel, Footscray

Shimmy Shimmy with Bareback Titty Squad, Kids Without Bikes, Clock Towers, more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Olivers Army, + Guests: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Take Your Own, Idle Hands, Fever Teeth, As a Rival: The Bendigo, Collingwood Squid Ink, The Move, Man City Sirens, The Native Plants: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Alex Lashlie, Emlyn Johnson: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Buckcherry, Richie Ramone, The Art: The Espy (Gershwin Room) St Kilda London Cries, + Guests: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda Waking Giants, Pandoran Sky, Searcher: The Espy (Basement) St Kilda Bent Caberet feat. Baby Cherry, Blueberry, Bengal Devine, more: The Luwow, Fitzroy Josh Owen: The Prince (Public Bar) St Kilda Seven Heads, Five Islands, Space Junk: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Donnie Dureau, Guests: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Donnie Narko: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury Tinpan Orange, Miles & Simone: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Evermore, The Spheres, Matt Kelly: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Glenn Shorrock: Wellers, Kangaroo Ground Rooster, The Boys: Wesley Anne, Northcote

FRI 19 APRIL 2013 Kalacoma: 303, Northcote Josh Owen: Baha Tacos, Rye The Hoodangers: Bar Open, Fitzroy Midge Ure: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Stephen Pigrim: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh

Animal Hands, Vinal Riot, Claws & Organs: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Spencer P Jones: Cherry Bar (Afternoon) Melbourne British India, The Love Junkies: Corner Hotel, Richmond Rufus, Back Back Forward Punch: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne David Gardner: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Max Savage: Elsternwick Hotel, Elsternwick Winston, Born n Bred, Sinead Beth: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Shortfall, Hawkai, Pretty Dulcie: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Sherry Rich, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, Kim Volkmann: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick Major Chord, Charles Jenkins, Georgia Fields: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room) Collingwood Eden Mulholland, Cullen: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement) Collingwood Cody Blackbird: Habitat HQ, St Kilda Bruce Mathiske: Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool Lily & King: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Evermore, Saritah, Phoebe Jacobs: Mac’s Hotel, Melton The Hillbilly Killers: Meeniyan Town Hall Meeniyan Nantes, Battleships, Manor: Northcote Social Club, Northcote The Revellers, Too Soon, Del Lago, Foley: Old Bar, Fitzroy Miroslav Skoro: Palais Theatre, St Kilda Flying Engine Stringband: Railway Hotel, Windsor Hug Therapist, Japan For, Right Mind, Outlines, more: Reverence Hotel, Footscray The McClymonts: Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster Crossing Red Lines: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Elizaband, Chris Smith, Map Ends: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Mark My Words, Battletruk, Declaration, Free World, Cold Ground: The Bendigo, Collingwood Lane Chaser, Dear Stalker, Charm, Shadow Red: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick

Dan Bourke & Friends: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Ce’cile, DJ Pit, Jess I & Ras Crucial, Sista Itations: The Espy (Gershwin Room) St Kilda Pharoahe Monch, Mantra, Dylan Joel, M-Phazes, more: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda Kung-Fu Monday, Heartless Vendetta, These Dirty Roses, A Very Small Band: The Espy (Basement) St Kilda The Jacks, The Tearaways, The Beggars Way: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) Collingwood A Million Dead Birds Laughing, The Seaford Monster, Hadal Maw, Stoning: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Ballarat Ska Orchestra: The Luwow, Fitzroy Saskwatch, Money For Rope: The Prince (Bandroom) St Kilda Red Ink: The Prince (Public Bar) St Kilda Fatti Frances, Johnny Telafone, Yama Boy: The Public Bar, North Melbourne The Prairie Kings, Slim Dine: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Cio Renner, + Guests: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury PopRocks with Dr Phil Smith: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Dick Diver, Milk Teddy: The Tote, Collingwood Alithia, The Mercury Theatre Yoshitoro, Lunaire, The Ambience of Rain: The Tote (Cobra Room) Collingwood The Poly’s: The Vineyard, St Kilda Cash Savage, LA Bastard, Tim Nelson: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Toby, Rosie Burgess Trio, Trio Agogo: Wesley Anne, Northcote Merri Creek Pickers, Krista Polvere, The Millar Jukes: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

Nicolette Forte & Friends: Chandelier Room, Moorabbin Rock For Doc Feat. James Morley, Bob Spencer, Ian Hulme, Peter Maslen, Alfie Rocker, King Of The North, more: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Underground Lovers, The Morning After Girls, Lowtide: Corner Hotel, Richmond John Montesante Quintet, Hetty Kate: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Collard Greens & Gravy: Elsternwick Park, Brighton Neil Wise, The Night Before Tomorrow, Signal X, more: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Dying Fetus, Putrid Pile: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Evermore, Special Guests: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Live Sessions with Max Savage, Simon Levick: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Syre & Fresko, Cheeky Goose, more: First Floor, Fitzroy Tinpan Orange, Roscoe James Irwin, Lauren Glezer: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick Bruce Mathiske: Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong The Laughing Leaves, Food Court, Pretend Eye: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement) Collingwood Jack On Fire, 100 Acre Woods: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond Ben Kelly & Band: Grind ‘n’ Groove Bar, Healesville JP & The Edisons: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The House of Light, Michael Planter & The Exit Keys, The Midnight Scavengers, more: Muscle Shoals Records, Brunswick

JOZIF: April 19 New Guernica

Adalita: Yah Yah’s (Late) Fitzroy

SAT 20 APRIL 2013 Low Speed Bus Chase, Little Vertigo: 303, Northcote Toby: Baha Tacos, Rye Sammy Owen Blues Band: Bar Open, Fitzroy Record Store Day feat. Suzannah Espie, Ian Collard, Eagle & The Worm Lisa Miller, Shane O’Mara, more: Basement Discs, Melbourne Mia Dyson: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh

Jewels of Rock n Soul feat. Anthea “Jewels”Sidiropoulos: Music Land, Fawkner The Delta Riggs, Stillwater Giants, The Messengers: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Texas Tea, Jemma & The Wise Young Ambitious Men, Grizzly Jim Laurie, DJ Kezbot: Old Bar, Fitzroy Josh Groban: Palais Theatre, St Kilda Brad Martin Project: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy The Ivory Elephant, Sheriff: Retreat Hotel, Brunswick The Ska Vendors, Loonee Tunes, The Kujo Kings: Reverence Hotel, Footscray

War In Arcadia, Rex Kramer, Michael Yule: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Bryan Adams: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Kisstroyer, Electric - The Cult Show: Sandown Park Hotel Noble Park Elizaband: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick The Bennies: The B.East, Brunswick East The Quarters, The Dividers, Hunter, Dear Ale: The Bendigo, Collingwood The Detonators: The Blues Train, Queenscliff Catch Release, Ryks Blue Planet, more: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine The Balls, Dirty F, Storming Vegas, Duke Veda: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Amy Ganter And The Love & Squalors, Guests: The Brunswick Hotel (Afternoon) Brunswick Catfish Voodoo: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Absolutely Live - The Doors Show, Exile (Rolling Stones Tribute), Fortunate Sons (Creedence Clearwater Tribute): The Espy (Gershwin Room) St Kilda Sub Atari Knives, The Killgirls, Anna Salen, Thick Line Thin Line: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda Elemental Burn, Moustache Ant, Clint Flick, False Prophet: The Espy (Basement) St Kilda Trainwreck, Pledge This!, more: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Nick Van Breda, Ribbons Patterns, The Shadow League, Lucy Wilson: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) Collingwood NO ZU, Client Liaison, Electric Sea Spider, Andreas Fox, D D Dumbo: The Liberty Social, Melbourne Ezra Lee: The Luwow, Fitzroy Spoonful: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Vice Grip Pussies: The Prince (Public Bar) St Kilda Them Nights, Sookylala: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Greens Dairy Angel Ensemble: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Small Man Syndrome, Mattricks: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury Vydamo, We The People: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Naked Bodies, Joseph Paul: The Tote (Front Bar ) Collingwood The Ruiner, Hotel Wrecking City Traders, TTTDC: The Tote, Collingwood The Griswolds, Private Life, Oceanics: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Saskwatch, Money For Rope: Theatre Royal, Castlemaine Kaisha, project insperado: Wesley Anne, Northcote Mass Cults, Les Minijupes, Mild Horses, The Undecided: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy Andy Young: Yah Yah’s (Late) Fitzroy

Yarraville Laughs Feat. Glenn Robbins, Dave O’Neil, Brian Nankervis: Yarraville Club, Yarraville

SUN 21 APRIL 2013 Clunk Orchestra: 303 (Afternoon) Northcote OPA: 303, Northcote Somebody’s Sun, Pretty City, Bluejay: Bar Open, Fitzroy Epica: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Ross Hannaford & The Critters: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Bruce Mathiske: Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran Cherry Arvo Blues with Chris Wilson, DJ Max Crawdaddy: Cherry Bar (Afternoon) Melbourne Monster Jeans, Just Us League, Big Head Ella, Bommy Knocker: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Birds & The Bees Showcase+Various Artists : Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Turtle & Fox, Alex Lashlie, Other Side of The Fence: Evelyn Hotel (Afternoon) Fitzroy Kaurna Cronin, Ildiko, Al Parkinson, Demi Louise: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy The Detonators: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Joe Forrester, Big Seal & The Slippery Few: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond Cairo Clubbers: Kingston Town Hall, Moorabbin Ron S Peno & The Superstitions: Labour In Vain, Fitzroy TekTek: Lomond Hotel (Afternoon) Brunswick East Ken Maher & Tony Hargreaves: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Hillbilly Killers, + Special Guests: Northcote Social Club (Matinee Show) Northcote Beersoaked Sundays with LA Bastard, The Yard Apes, Seri Vida, : Old Bar, Fitzroy Coheed & Cambria: Palace Theatre, Melbourne Andrea Marr Band: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy Between The Wars Trio, A Commoner Revolts, Dead Peasant: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar / Afternoon) Footscray Rain Factory, Mansions Of Sorrow: Reverence Hotel (Band Room / Afternoon) Footscray Boof, Johnny Longshot: Royal Oak Hotel (Afternoon) Fitzroy North Stax On Soul Revue with Side Stacks: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Geoff Achison : The Bay Hotel, Mornington Bridget Pross, Terry Springford, Travis Addison, + Guests: The Bendigo (Afternoon) Collingwood Whitehorse, Pure Evil Trio, more: The Bendigo, Collingwood

Checkerboard: The Bridge Hotel (Afternoon) Castlemaine Catch Release, Bleeding Rose, Monotreme Price, The Naysayers, Jane McArthur: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Shackleton: The Carringbush Hotel, Abbotsford The Harmaniax, Waz E James: The Drunken Poet (Afternoon) Melbourne Headspace, Dale Ryder Band, Bad Boys Batucada Ms Butt: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda

Ditch The Desk Disco: Ding Dong Lounge (Early Afternoon) Melbourne The Beegles, Smoke Signal, Straylight, Divide & Dissolve: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy The Spinning Rooms, Matt Bailey, Tom Lyngcoln: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Songwriter Sessions : Old Bar, Fitzroy Bill Oddie: The Astor Theatre, St Kilda Passionate Tongues Poetry : The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Zoophyte, Tom Tuena: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda Running Gun Sound, Bad Aches: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood



STILLWATER GIANTS: April 20 Northcote Social Club

OM: May 10 Hi-Fi DJ AFRIKA BAMBAATAA: May 11 Laundry DRAGON: May 11 Palms At Crown BEASTWARS: May 11 Bendigo Hotel; 12 Hi-Fi 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 LORDE: May 17 Workers Club MATT EDWARDS: May 17 Brown Alley

FLUME: May 2, 3 Festival Hall


LOVE LIKE HATE: May 2 Grumpy’s Green; 4 Revolver

DELANEY DAVIDSON: May 18 Spotted Mallard STAN RIDGWAY: May 18 Corner Hotel; 19 Caravan Club

DANIEL CHAMPAGNE: May 2 Beav’s Bar (Geelong); 3 Caravan Music Club; 4 Northcote Social Club; 10 Loft (Warrnambool)

FRED V & GRAFIX: May 19 Royal Melbourne Hotel

JOSH PYKE: May 3 Gertrude’s Brown Couch

BOBBY WOMACK: May 21 Hamer Hall



TEX PERKINS, CHARLIE OWEN: May 3 Stones Of The Yarra Valley

LITA FORD: May 23 Prince Bandroom

D AT SEA: May 3 Workers Club; 4 Showground Shed

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

PATRICK ROBERTS: May 4 Palms At Crown

ELUVEITIE: May 24 Billboard



KRISTA POLVERE: May 4 Ding Dong GAY PARIS: May 4, 5 Cherry Bar; 24 Fitzroy Hotel; 31 Loft (Warnambool)



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

MATTHEW E WHITE: June 3 Northcote Social Club

LAURA IMBRUGLIA: May 9 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 11 Old Bar

KAKI KING: May 30 Corner JULIE ANDREWS: May 31 Hamer Hall

THE MILK CARTON KIDS: June 6 Thornbury Theatre; 7 Meeniyan Town Hall; 8 St Kilda Memo

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

KILLING JOKE: June 7 Billboard

SOMETHING FOR KATE: May 10 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 11 Pier Live (Frankston); 24 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); June 14, 15 Forum

KAMELOT: June 7 Hi-Fi TAYLOR DAYNE: June 7 Chelsea Heights Hotel; 8 Palms At Crown; 9 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster)

Headless Death, Split Teeth, Watchtower, more: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs / Afternoon) Collingwood Mountain & Swamp Sessions with Craig Woodward & Friends: The Gasometer Hotel (Front Bar / Afternoon) Collingwood Super Wild Horses: The Luwow, Fitzroy Jack Howard: The Prince (Public Bar) St Kilda Lizard Punch, Foley, Anarchy In The Ukelele: The Public Bar (Afternoon ) North Melbourne Dan Watkins & Paddy Montgomery: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Eaten By Dogs: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Open Decks: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury Communion feat. Thelma Plum, Deja, Stu Larsen, more: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Apart From This, Tigers: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Rising Tide: Wesley Anne (Afternoon) Northcote Pocket Perspective: Wesley Anne, Northcote

MON 22 APRIL 2013 Sven Svalbe Group, David Dower: 303, Northcote Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Glenn Hughes: Corner Hotel, Richmond


MUSTERED COURAGE: May 10 Northcote Social Club

TIKI TAANE: June 8 Corner

THE RUBENS: May 10, 11 Forum; 12 Yarra Hotel (Geelong)

DASH BERLIN: June 8 Shed 14 Central Pier Exhibition Halls

BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club

YO GABBA GABBA!: June 8 Palais



CHARLES BABY: May 16 Workers Club

THE BELLRAYS: June 12 Corner ALISA WEILERSTEIN: June 12 Melbourne Recital Centre

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

THE BLACK ANGELS: June 14 Palace

SETH SENTRY: May 17 Forum; 18 Ding Dong

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT: June 14, 15 Recital Centre; 16 Memorial Hall Leongatha (Gippsland)

HEROES FOR HIRE: May 17 Wrangler Studios (Footscray)


THE DEEP END: May 18 Cherry Bar

THE GROWL: April 24 Workers Club THE TEMPER TRAP: April 24 Festival Hall

MARK SEYMOUR & THE UNDERTOW: May 18 Sphinx Hotel (Geelong)

The Alan Ladds: Cherry Bar, Melbourne

FLINCH: April 24 Espy

TONIGHT ALIVE: May 18, 19 Ding Dong


REDX: May 23 Workers Club

They Might Be Giants: Corner Hotel, Richmond

ALBARE: April 24 Melbourne Recital Centre

The Seven Ups, Up Up Away, That Gold Street Sound: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy


Kain Borlase Trio: Kojo Brown, Richmond

EVERMORE: April 24 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 26 SSA Club (Albury)

We Tigers: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Melpomeni, Koraly Dimitriades: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

TUE 23 APRIL 2013

Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Trappist Afterland Band, JMS Harrison, Andy Kentler: Old Bar, Fitzroy Sierra Leone, Honeybone, Karl Leeden: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Collage with Delsinki, The Gallant Trees, Josh Durno, Since We Kissed: The Espy (Lounge Bar) St Kilda Horsemeat, Auto Da Fe, Home Invaders: The Public Bar, North Melbourne A Night of Folk with Oscar Lush, Whitaker, Grizzly Jim Laurie: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Axolotl, Banoffee, Yeo: The Workers Club, Fitzroy

MESSRS: May 10 Grace Darling; 11 Saloon Bar (Traralgon)

THE STEVENS: May 17 Tote CITY RIOTS: May 18 Rochester Castle

SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 (two shows), 26 Corner

AINSLIE WILLS: April 24 Northcote Social Club

LEE KERNAGHAN: May 23 Ballarat Regional Multiplex; 24 Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre; 25 Geelong’s Costa Hall; 29 Bendigo’s Capital; 30 Swan Hill Town Hall; June 2 Shepparton Eastbank Centre

GRINSPOON: April 24 Bended Elbow (Geelong); 25 Pier Live (Frankston); 26 Inferno (Traralgon); 27 Ferntree Gully Hotel

JERICCO: May 25 Espy

HOUSE VS HURRICANE: April 24 Plastic; 25 Courthouse (Geelong); 26 Mooroolbark Community Centre

OWEN CAMPBELL: May 25 Spotted Mallard CALL THE SHOTS: May 26 Fitzroy Town Hall SUPER WILD HORSES: May 31 Tote

CHANCE WATERS: April 24 Kay Street Saloon Bar (Traralgon); 25 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 26 Northcote Social Club; 27 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)

BAD//DREEMS: May 31 Gasometer TOMMY TRASH: May 31 Pier Live (Frankston); June 1 Code Red on Saturday 1 June

DIG IT UP! FT. HOODOO GURUS: April 25 Palace and surroundings

OWL EYES: June 1 Corner

SHOCKONE: April 25 Liberty Social

BEACHES: June 3 Northcote Social Club


THE CHEMIST: June 7 Workers Club

MARSHALL OKELL: April 25 Ruby’s Lounge (Belgrave)

THE SUPERJESUS: June 7, 8 Espy

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)

NORTHLANE: June 9, 10 Corner

HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: April 26 Corner Hotel THE DRONES: April 26 Forum

FOREVER THE OPTIMIST: June 13 Espy; 14 Barley Corn Hotel; 15 Gertrude’s Brown Couch

ALLDAY: April 26 Workers Club


ROCKET TO MEMPHIS: April 26 LuWow; 27 Spotted Mallard


SONS OF RICO: April 26 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 27 Workers Club

KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: June 16 Lighthouse Theatre (Warrnambool); 21 St Michael’s Church; 22 Capital (Bendigo);

TAME IMPALA: April 26 Festival Hall SPIT SYNDICATE: April 26 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)

THY ART IS MURDER: June 13 Corner; 14 Arrow On Swanston THE BEARDS: June 13 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 14 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 15 Hi-Fi

23 at Westside Performing Arts Centre (Shepparton)

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)

MOVEMENT FESTIVAL: April 27 Festival Hall

KIERAN RYAN: April 27 Toff VANCE JOY: April 27, 28 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)

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 • 51


WED 17 APRIL 2013 Cosmic Pizza +NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Compression Session with Various DJs: E55, Melbourne KIT Wednesday +Various DJs: Kit & Kaboodle, Kings Cross Dubstep Grime Drum & Bass+DJ Baddums, Carmex: Laundry Bar, Fitzroy Coq Roq +Agent 86, Lady Noir, Joybot, more: Lucky Coq, Windsor Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne The Dinner Set feat. +DJ Ennio Styles: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

THU 18 APRIL 2013

Lucky Thursday +Various DJs: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Tiger Funk Live+DJ Moonshine: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Bellusira, Silverstein: Brown Alley, Melbourne Grad Party+DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Mood+NuBody: Loop, Melbourne Free Range Funk+Agent 86, Lewis CanCut: Lucky Coq, Windsor Le Disco Tech+Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda 3181 Thursday with +Hans DC, Nikki Sarafian, Jake Judd, more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Do Drop In+Kiti, Lady Noir: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne Term Four, Disasters, Jurassic Penguin, Yachtburner: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) , Collingwood DJ Jones Thugs n Harmony, Rad Bromance, Rosefacekillah: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood

Love Story+Various DJs: 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 Don’t Think I’m Alive+Various DJs: The Vineyard, St Kilda Radionica+Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

FRI 19 APRIL 2013 Juicy+Chairman Meow (Pearls), Coburg Market, Mr Fox, Tigerfunk: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy andhim, Nice7: Brown Alley, Melbourne Weekender+Various DJs: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne

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

Badaboom+DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Word of Mouth feat. Kritical, more: First Floor, Fitzroy Panorama+Matt Rad, Mr George, Phato A Mano, Tom Meagher: Lucky Coq, Windsor Discotheque+Elana Musto, Greg Sara, Scott T: Match Bar, Melbourne Jozif: New Guernica, Melbourne Retro Sexual+Various DJs: One Twenty Bar, Fitzroy Can’t Say+Various DJs: Platform 1, Melbourne La Danse Macabre with +Brunswick Massive: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy I Love Old School+Shaggz & Puppet, DJ Tey, Merv Mac: Red Bennies, South Yarra Revolver Fridays with Mike Callander, Lewie Day, more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Will Holland, Beat Service, Daniel Kandi: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Jean Paul, Last Boy Scout: Veludo, St Kilda

SAT 20 APRIL 2013 Neo Sacrilege+DJ Nero: Abode, St Kilda Billboard Saturdays+Various DJs: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Gold On Gold: Brown Alley, Melbourne DJ Damion De Silva, Ken Walker, more: Co. Nightclub, Southbank Action Sam, DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Sound Empire+Tate Strauss, Joe Sofo, DJ Matty, DJ Miss Sarah: Fusion, Crown, Southbank Condensed Milk feat. Various DJs: Loop, Melbourne Textile+DJ Pacman, Jean Paul, Moonshine, Tahl: Lucky Coq, Windsor OneSixFive+DJ Courtney Mills, DJ Hoops, DJ Ollie Holmes: Onesixone, Prahran

Club Fiction+Kitty Rock & The Bad Ladies: Red Bennies, South Yarra The Late Show feat. Ransom, Mat Cant, Paz, more: Revolver Upstairs (Late) , Prahran Miller City Sessions+Jason Lema: Room 680, Hawthorn The House deFrost with+Andee Frost: The Toff In Town (Late) , Melbourne The Potbelleez, Andreas, Danny Merx, Henrique, more: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Jacket Off: Veludo, St Kilda

SUN 21 APRIL 2013 Sundae Shake+Agent 86, Phato A Mano, Tigerfunk: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy

Surrender+DJ Sergeant Slick, Adam Trace, DJ Adrian Chessari, more: Fusion, Crown, Southbank South Side Hustle+Askew, Booshank, Disco Harry, more: Lucky Coq, Windsor Guilty Pleasures+Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda Revolver Sundays with +Boogs, Spacey Space, T-Rek, more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Danger+George Hysteric, Rohan Bell Towers: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne The Sunday Set+DJ Andyblack, Haggis: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room / Afternoon) , Melbourne Sunday Sessions +Various DJs: Veludo, St Kilda


Kool Aid+DJ Mu-Gen: Laundry Bar, Fitzroy Green House+Various DJs: McKillops, Melbourne Stiff Drink with +DJ Roman Wafers, Michael Ozone: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room) , Melbourne Twerkers Club with+DJ Fletch: The Workers Club, Fitzroy

TUE 23 APRIL 2013 Bimbo Tuesdays+Adam Askew: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy DJ Jaguar: E55, Melbourne Cosmic Pizza +Various DJs: Lucky Coq, Windsor

22 APRIL 2013 Ibimbo+Lady Noir, Kiti: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy

“Live At The Lomond� THU 18TH 8.30PM

140 Sydney Rd


9387 6637

(Contemporary folk roots)


















52 • To check out the mags online go to







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Ever the innovator, Todd Rundgren has reduced his recording necessities down to a laptop, running Propellerhead Reason – he’s done away with any necessity to use ProTools – and a guitar in cutting his latest album, State. Tuareg guitarist Bombino, aka Omara Moctar, whose story and music was brought to the wider world in the documentary, Agadez, The Music And The Rebellion, recorded his second international album, Nomad, with producer Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys at his Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville. American country Ashley Munroe, who made her name as one third of Pistol Annies, recorded her second solo album, Like A Rose, with producer and artist Vince Gill and Justin Niebank (Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts). Beth Orton’s husband, London-based American indie folk artist Sam Amidon’s Nonesuch label debut, Bright Sunny South, was produced by Amidon with his childhood friend and longtime collaborator Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) and legendary English engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Vashti Bunyan, R.E.M.) and recorded in London. Melburnian singer-songwriter Adam Eaton, with Shane O’Reilly, recorded and produced his debut album, Catastrophes, at Tendertrap Studios in Northcote over nine days in October last year. New Adelaide four-piece Divine Rip recorded their eponymous debut EP at their infamous hometown Keswick Studios with producer James Mannix, Jack Farley (Beaches, Zond) taking care of mastering. Adalita is in Birdland Studios in Melbourne at the moment working with producer Lindsay Gravina (Magic Dirt, Rowland S. Howard, The Living End) on her next album. Signing last year to ABC Music, Melbourne’s Blackchords recorded their second album, A Thin Line, with Grammy Award-winning producer David Odlum (The Frames, Glen Hansard, Josh Ritter, Luka Bloom) at Barra Shed in Gladysdale, Victoria. Nicely settled into Studios 301 Sydney’s Studio 8, one of the facility’s new production studios, producers Tim Carr and Simon Todkill have been working with Matt Corby and Nantes respectively. Tasmanian-born Sydney-based soul-pop singersongwriter Amali Ward recorded her debut album, Back In Time, in LA with producer David Ryan Harris (John Mayer, Lupe Fiasco, India. Arie) utilising John Mayer’s touring band. Urban Guerillas have been busy recording some new material at Damien Gerard Sound Studios in Sydney’s Balmain.

IN THE STUDIO: STEVE SMART There’s something mystical about the mastering process, that part of any recording that commits the sounds created by artists to the medium of their choice. Studios 301 Sydney mastering engineer Steve Smart explains some of those mysteries to Michael Smith. tudios 301 in Alexandria in inner city Sydney is Australia’s largest mastering facility, running three mastering rooms and boasting the talents of senior mastering engineers Leon Zervos and Steve Smart, along with Andrew Edgson, Ben Feggans and Sameer Sengupta. The mastering suites feature specifically tailored acoustics and monitoring along with high-end analogue and digital signal processing including vintage custom transistor EMI TG mastering consoles and components, as originally designed for and used at Abbey Road Studios, providing a smooth, warm analogue sound.


One of Australia’s most respected mastering engineers, Smart began working at 301 in 1991 when it was still housed atop the building with that number in Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Before that, he worked in the recording department of CBS Records, now Sony Music, where he cut vinyl for the Australian releases of artists as diverse as Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, which makes him one of the few engineers working today who can faithfully master specifically for the vinyl medium. At 301, he’s mastered for far too many acts to mention, but the very short list includes You Am I, The Jezabels, Crowded House, The Living End, Midnight Oil and Parkway Drive. While he loves analogue gear and owns an enormous collection of outboard processing equipment, he’s totally versed in the digital domain and brings a depth and space to that domain that is based in his extensive experience in the analogue world of vinyl. Smart has set up his mastering suite within 301 Sydney’s complex of mastering suites in his own unique way, to his own design, complete with a 301-designed “Chromateq”, in pride of place, “purely for entertainment

Produced by the man himself, the new album, Four (Acts Of Love), from former Bad Seed, Mick Harvey, was recorded at Grace Lane, North Melbourne and Atlantis Sound, Melbourne. The as yet unnamed second album from WA’s Timothy Nelson & The Infidels was produced by Eskimo Joe’s Joel Quartermain and mixed by Steve Schram (San Cisco, Vasco Era, The Cat Empire, Eagle And The Worm). Troubled Trees, the new 10” EP from Melbournebased singer-songwriter Rory Cooke, aka Elizaband, was recorded to 2” analogue tape by Richard Andrew (Underground Lovers, Crow, Registered Nurse) at Pharmacy Studios over four days towards the end of last year. Newcastle-based guitarist Bruce Mathiske lobbed into jazz multi-instrumentalist James Morrison’s studio as well as utilising his own Rhythm Hunter Studios to record his latest album, My Life, engineering it with Tod Deeley, before sending it to Benchmark to be mastered by Don Bartley.

54 • For more interviews go to

“The 16 bit Word doesn’t contain any understanding or is capable of actually faithfully reproducing harmonics, fundamentals, harmonic distortion or flat modulation. It’s incapable of understanding true harmonics, and that’s quite apparent if you listen to a piano, recorded at 44 kHz/16 bit and play it back off the digital – it’s a keyboard then; it’s not a piano anymore.” Digital audio generally uses what’s called Linear Pulse Code Modulation to represent audio signals, essentially “taking a snapshot” of the analogue audio signal and assigning each a numerical value. The resolution of a recording is therefore determined by the sample rate and the bit depth, so, with the CD standard of 16 bit/44 kHz, the original signal is sampled around 44,000 times per second. “But there’s the new format that iTunes has brought out, the Mastered For iTunes. If someone sends in a 96 kHz/24 bit file, I record it at 96 kHz/24 bit, or sometimes even higher, I record it at that spec, I master it and it gets sent and loaded to iTunes so that their compression codecs take advantage of the full high resolution glory.” Studios 301 Sydney is one of a handful of studios worldwide approved to provide (and they recommend) Mastered For iTunes masters, working closely with Apple through the process. When uploading to iTunes, Apple can now store your masters on their servers at up to 24 bit/96kHz sample rate recording resolution, which is becoming a standard format within the industry, allowing for both better encoding into the latest iTunes codec, and compatibility with future formats. Files are kept in their original format on the Apple servers, and from these the Variable Bit Rate 256kbit AAC’s that go on sale are created. If you are recording at any resolution between 24 bit/44.1kHz to 24 bit/192kHz, 301 can provide a master at that same resolution, which doesn’t lose the benefit of the extra bits and samples captured during recording. And 301 can still provide CD quality masters

at 16 bit/44.1kHz, which are mastered differently to be optimised for the lower quality format. These are required if you need a DDP or PMCD master. In many ways, what this format returns to the mix is something of the qualities of vinyl that were lost when formats first moved over into the digital realm, those transients and harmonics. “Vinyl even added to that with groove distortion, intermodulation tracking distortion,” Smart points out. “That even brought something to it. The way a high frequency is cut into a record groove; it’s at a forty-five degree angle, the record groove, and a high frequency is like a jagged, saw-tooth sort of cut into the actual groove, and because of the elasticity of the lacquer or the polymer, or the way that they plate it and they separate the plates and the vinyl when they press to vinyl, by the end of it those jagged bits get smoothed out and rounder, so the top end sounds thicker. It doesn’t have that super brittleness about it.” To book a mastering session, call (02) 9698 5888 or email mastering@studios301. com. The cost varies depending on whether you wish to attend the mastering sessions, charged at an affordable hourly rate, or not.

PRODUCT NEWS tunings to match other instruments. A guitar with Min-ETune feels the same, looks the same (the unit mounts onto the back of your guitar’s headstock) and plays the same, but most importantly, it sounds the same – the Min-ETune works by tuning the physical strings, not by digital trickery that degrades your tone. Check it out at your regular Gibson stockist.

Jimmy Eat World coproduced their latest and seventh album, Damage, with Alain Johannes (Mark Lanegan, Chris Cornell), recording it in the northern autumn of last year at Johannes’ Los Angeles home studio. Mixing duties were left to James Brown (Sound City, NIN, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart). The forthcoming album, Trouble Will Find Me, from The National, was recorded at Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, New York state, the band producing themselves while Craig Silvey (The Horrors, Of Monsters And Men) did the bulk of the mixing. As it happens, Natalie Merchant also spent almost two months last northern autumn at the Clubhouse, created by engineer Paul Antonell “to be one of the finest examples of classic analogue recording techniques combined with the latest digital audio formats”, recording her new album.

purposes,” as he readily admits with a cheeky grin. “All of this gear in here,” he proudly points at his suite, “is really high spec’d, very low noise floors and high dynamic range.” I asked him about the state of mastering today.


GLEN SOBEL DRUM CLINICS Currently Alice Cooper’s drummer, though he lists among his career credits stints with Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford as well as bands Beautiful Creatures and Impellitteri among others, LA-based Glen Sobel is coming to Australia to present a series of drum clinics sponsored by Mapex Drums and presented by Electric Factory. Sobel will be presenting his clinics from Sunday 5 May, when he kicks off his Australian run at Kosmic Sound in Osbourne Park, WA. Tuesday 7, he’s at Drum Factory in Parramatta, Wednesday 8 Cranbourne Drum Superstore in Melbourne and Friday 10 Ellaways Music in Underwood, Brisbane. Bookings are essential, so contact the relevant venues for details.

THE GIBSON MIN-ETUNE Originally developed by Gibson for its Firebird X range of guitars, the Min-ETune is a compact, battery-powered robot tuner that tunes your guitar in seconds, and delivers 80 to 100 tunings on one charge. All you have to do is adjust the tuning pegs manually, turn on the Min-ETune to tune all six strings to perfect pitch automatically, or select any of 12 popular alternate tunings (including six you can program yourself). You can even adjust your guitar’s

Collaborating with the American boutique amp designer Tony Bruno, Vox amplifiers have come up with three new all-tube amps that take the classic brand into new tonal territory – the TB35C1 and TB35C2 35-watt amps and the TB18C1 18 watt amp. Bruno has had a long association with Vox, having previously worked on the 1960s-era six-input hand-wired AC30, the Vox Night Train and their Custom Series amps. With Vintage American tube voicing, the 35-watt Voxes feature a 12AT7 and a 12AX7 reverb tube as well as four 6V6 power tubes and three 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tubes, running a Celestion G12-65 speaker.

A&H GIVE ICE ON USB With the 1RU ICE-16, UK audio mixing console specialists Allen & Heath have packaged part of their digital technology in a very handy, standalone audio interface/recorder. It’s a 16-channel in/16 channel out audio interface that allows performers and audio engineers to easily capture high-quality multi-track recordings direct to a USB drive or interface to a computer. The ICE-16 is capable of studio quality interfacing, converting and bi-directional streaming of 16 channels over high-speed USB or FireWire at 24 bit, 96kHz resolution. Alternatively, 16 channels can be simultaneously recorded straight to a USB hard drive or memory stick at up to 24bit 48kHz resolution .wav file. And it’s expandable, so you can link units together and synchronise recording of many more channels. The unit connects to any audio mixer or analogue source using ¼” jacks for the inputs and RCA phono connectors for the outputs. Signal and peak metering is provided for each channel and can be switched

to show input or output. Headphone monitoring is also included with switches on each channel for checking of individual or multiple channels. ASIO drivers and Core Audio compliance ensure full compatibility with all the main DAWs, including Logic, Sonar, Cubase and ProTools. Retailing at $1,595, like all Allen & Heath products, the ICE-16 is distributed in Australia by Technical Audio Group.

THE FOO FIGHTER SIGNATURE P BASS Modelled after his much loved and played 1971 Fender Precision bass, Foo Fighter bass player Nate Mendel can now proudly boast his own signature Precision, which features all the features of the original but now includes special body contours, extra-slim neck and nut width, a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound split singlecoil pickup and Badass II bridge for added sustain and stability. Keeping it in the family, Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett also has a Telecaster Deluxe guitar with his name on it, based on his 1972 Tele Deluxe with a pair of new custom-designed high-output humbucking pickups and a 12”-radius rosewood fingerboard.

MEET THE NEW MINI3 FROM VOX The MINI3 G2 from Vox is being described as “the definitive portable modelling amplifier,” and includes Vox’s original “Bassilator” circuit “for dramatically enhanced sound quality”. Essentially, you’ve got 11 realistic amp models built in, powered by the modelling technology that was developed for the Valvetronix series, with models ranging from powerfully distorted high-gain sounds to pure and undistorted clean types, capable of supporting a variety of instruments besides electric guitar including acoustic-electric guitars and keyboards. The enhanced quality effects available include compressor, chorus, flanger, tremolo and delay/reverb. There are also dual power options – the included AC adaptor or six AA batteries for up to ten hours of portable musicmaking. There’s also a dedicated mic input with separate volume and reverb/delay controls, and a built-in E-string tuner.

SLX® Wireless Microphone Systems

SMART, HARD-WORKING WIRELESS Whether it’s for a sound installation or a working band on the road, audio professionals need powerful wireless tools that can be set up quickly and used confidently. Shure’s rugged SLX™ Wireless Systems exceed these demands with innovative automatic setup features, exceptional wireless clarity and legendary Shure microphones. Supporting up to 20 compatible systems across multiple UHF frequency bands, SLX smoothly integrates into houses of worship, lecture halls, conference rooms and mobile gear cases.

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Originally released through RCA Victor in April 1973, Aladdin Sane was David Bowie’s sixth album, co-produced by Bowie and Ken Scott. Recorded at Trident Studios, London and RCA Studios, New York and Nashville, between October 6, 1972 and January 24, 1973, it was to be the last album on which The Spiders From Mars would appear. Ray Staff remastered the just released 40th anniversary edition of the album at London’s AIR Studios. As it happens, Staff cut the original LP during his time at Trident Studios. He also remastered the 40th anniversary edition of The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars last year.

VALE ANDY JOHNS British sound engineer and record producer Andy Johns, younger brother to Glyn, passed away Sunday 7 April aged 61. His most recent production work included last year’s Hollywood Forever album for LA Guns and Double Four Time for The Swayback, but he made his name back in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s producing the first two albums, As Safe As Yesterday Is and Town And Country for Steve Marriott’s post Small Faces band with Peter Frampton, Humble Pie, and three albums for Free – Highway, Free Live! and Heartbreaker. He also engineered Led Zeppelin III and IV, Houses Of The Holy, Physical Graffiti and the posthumous Coda, and, with brother Glyn, The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street, Goats Head Soup and It’s Only Rock’n’Roll albums. While as a teenager he followed Glyn into Olympic Studios in London, Johns learned his trade working as a tape operator under engineer Eddie Kramer on the first couple of Jimi Hendrix Experience albums. Johns had entered hospital for treatment for a liver condition ten days before he passed away. He’d been working on a forthcoming project by LA Guns guitarist Stacey Blades.

CHASING SOUNDS In a very real sense, the music of Ultravox pioneered the digital musical landscape in which we now find ourselves. The band’s most visible member, Midge Ure, ponders the technological changes with Michael Smith.

being signed to a major label or depend on some guy in the accounts department deciding whether you were worth keeping or not, so, just the idea of being selfsufficient. It’s as important to me to have the recording tools as it is to have the guitars. I was working today with a couple of guys from a German band who flew over to do some writing with me, and they were asking me what my studio was like and of course it was big analogue tape machines and Harrison desks and all of that stuff. Now it’s just a handful of computers really.”

y the time the wider world discovered Midge Ure, at his joining New Wave electro-pop band Ultravox, the Scottish multi-instrumentalist had already had a successful pop career with Slik, had turned down the opportunity to front The Sex Pistols and formed another electro-pop group called Visage, which eventually included keyboards player Billy Currie, who invited Ure to join his former band Ultravox on the departure of frontman John Foxx. With them, Ure had several huge hits, most notably 1981’s Vienna, and he would record five albums with them before going solo in 1986, reuniting with them again in 2009 and recording and releasing a new album, Brilliant (Chrysalis/EMI), last year.


Back in the day, as with most bands utilising early synthesisers, Ultravox travelled with a huge barrage of synths, Currie for instance typically running an ARP Odyssey, a Yamaha CP70 electric piano and SS30 string machine, CS80 synthesiser, a PPG Wave 2.2 digital synth and a Prophet T8. While no one in Ultravox was necessarily researching better ways to synthesise sounds, they were pushing the instrument manufacturing community to ponder how to do it, all of which led to the digital revolution of which we are heirs.

Ure today has his recording studio set up in a lightweight office building based down the back of his garden at his home just outside Bath in UK county Somerset and uses a DAW system running Logic or ProTools on Apple Macs, depending on the requirements of the project in hand, with MOTU 828 audio interfaces and an AMT8 MIDI Interface. Ure has an M-Audio MIDI fader desk and NHT Pro monitor system.

“In the early Ultravox days, we kind of had to invent how we performed live with the technology,” Ure admits, “’cause the technology was so incredibly basic. It was pre-MIDI, where one machine can talk to another machine just via one cable – it was before any of that could happen, so we couldn’t get the drum machine to talk to the MiniMoog, and couldn’t get the MiniMoog to talk to whatever. So we had to adapt everything that we had and figure a way of making these things work, both in the studio and live. The soundchecks that we used to do back then took five hours, which was three times longer than the show itself!

“You know, it’s something I’ve always had,” he explains, “ever since I generated my first income from playing music back in the early ‘80s. The first thing I ever did was build my own studio, ‘cause I figured out that, with your own tools, when it wasn’t as easy to have your own studio, nobody could stop you from making music then. You know, you didn’t have to depend on

“So we kind of pushed manufacturers into a situation where we’d say, ‘We need to be able to do A, B and C,’ and then they’d go off and think about it and try and help us, so I suppose we were kind of data-testing what they were trying to build back in the early days. On the last Ultravox tour last year, rather than going out with the synthesisers that we did on the last show

in 1986, we each have a little laptop on stage and they’re stacked full of all the soft synthesisers and all the sounds that we need, and we’ve now narrowed it down to five keyboards on stage – and our keyboards player Billy has three of them, I’ve got one and Chris [Cross] the bass player’s got one – and the technology we use now is so microscopic compared to what we used to lug around the world back in the old days. “It’s kind of like going on stage with a complete recording studio, ‘cause you’ve got digital desks, your monitor desk’s all digital, so when you put your monitors on, you should get a very, very good-sounding mix. You don’t have to kind of rebalance it every day. You walk in and it’s all memory, it’s all patched and bang, there comes the song in your head – you’re all set to go. So it’s infinitely easier in that respect, but the problem being laptops were never designed to go on the road. They’ve got flimsy little cables coming out of them and nobody trusts that stuff – they’re not rock’n’roll.” WHO: Midge Ure WHEN & WHERE: Friday 19 April, Billboard, Melbourne; Wednesday 24, Shoppingtown Hotel, Melbourne

Even if you’ve sold your soul down at the crossroads, you’re still going to need a case.

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58 •Gator For Guitar more interviews go to ad.indd Half Page MUSO 1

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Inpress Issue #1270  

Inpress Issue #1270

Inpress Issue #1270  

Inpress Issue #1270