N O W AVA I L A B L E O N I PA D • W E D N E S D AY 1 M AY 2 013 • I S S U E 12 7 2 • F R E E
MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA
UNIDA BILAL NEW GODS HAPPY MONDAYS
WIN TWO TICKETS TO SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS
THE SP RTING CLUB Wednesday
Salt Lake City 7pm Free Friday
Paper Street 7pm Free Saturday
Prairie Kings with Slim Dime 7.30pm Free
27 WESTON ST, BRUNSWICK Tues - Fri 4pm till Late Sat & Sun 12pm till Late
SIMPLY ACOUSTIC BAND ROOM
JAMES KENYON 6PM FREE MARK STEVENS 8PM TRIO FRIDAY
BRONI SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND
6PM FREE 8PM $8
PROJECT INSPERADO SARAH EIDA Open...MON - SAT...from 12pm ‘til late Kitchen til 10pm SUN...from 12pm ‘til 11pm Kitchen til 9pm
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THE MELWAYS ANNA STRUTH
2 for 1 meals weekdays before 6pm $12 jugs of Boag’s and Cider OPEN FOR LUNCH FROM MIDDAY
bookings: 9482 1333
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1000s OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
THE GUIDE AT 9
ISSUE 1272 W E D N E S D AY 1 M AY 2 0 1 3
LUCKY THURSDAYS THU 2 MAY
LoopHole - current exhibiting artist Naomi Wang - A Monument To Eternal Love Wed 1. - Sun 5. Australian Int. Experimental Film Festival view full programme at www.aieff.org/
BILLBOARD SATURDAYS SAT 4 MAY
Fri 3. 9pm - Alt Future new techno, house, bass & future sounds from
JENNIFER LYNCH INPRESS 12
Galtier, Spook, 8skeskie, Sailax, Mexicali, Alias Screen mayhem from Chronic Sans
Sat 4. 10pm - Deep Space
live & original deep, dark, dubby techno vibes
ATARI TEE TTEENAGE ENAG GE RIOT (DIM M AK) MAK)
from Chiara Kickdrum, The Primary Colour & Juxtpose - DJ support from PWD Visuals courtesy of Chronic Sans
FFRI RII 1 17 7 MA M MAY AY
Mon 6. 6pm - Process Architecture Forum May process discuss EXChange :::: What do
we get out of change in the city? Thur 9. 6pm - LoopHole - Precious Things
an exhibition of glass sculpture by Laurel Kohut
FRI 24 MAY
THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT
Foreword Line brings you all the latest tour announcements Moves and shakes with Industry News Bob Evans loses the acoustic guitars, gets louder and thinks harder Owl Eyes was given a song from Devendra Banhart; and Melbourne Ska Orchestra‘s Nicky Bomba runs us through recording 25 musos at once The Rubens recount their rapid rise to the top Obituary are gonna give their fans what they want; and Unida’s John Garcia is appreciative and excited as hell New Gods’ Adrian Beltrame takes our Taste Test Happy Mondays‘ Shaun Ryder reckons it’s much easier being an old geezer; Truckfighters don’t care about confusing people with Swedish stoner rock; and Step-Panther got a bit tired of their stripped-back sound Bilal has gone through industry struggle but wouldn’t change a thing; Seth Sentry does more than just “[smoke] weed” and “[play] video games”; Aluka make the most of spaces and sounds using only their bodies; and Mick Harvey’s new album is all about love Howlin’ Steam Train get comfortable in the studio; and everything just comes down to girls for Deathstars, basically On The Record rates new releases from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and !!!
FRI 31 MAY
Check out This Week In Arts; Jennifer Lynch levels about Despite The Gods screening for the
Indian Film Festival; and Josh Price gets into Menagerie by the Daniel Schlusser Ensemble for Neon This week we review: About Tommy, Beached and True Minds; we’re Watching (Mad) Men and Cultural Cringe gets into Hollywood Costume; and Trailer Trash gets into his like for Baz Luhrmann We chat to Daniel Riley McKinley about Blak and Harry Freeland about hunting rituals, the topic of his new film; and Nilaja Sun shares what it’s like to return to Melbourne with No Child
BACK TO INPRESS 33 36
42 46 48
Gig Of The Week sees double with Tegan & Sara; and LIVE:Reviews gets old school at Dig It Up! 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; outta control with Teenage Hate; and 50 shades of travel with Foreign Objects 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
GIVEAWAYS GALORE! KILLING JOKE
FRI 7 JUNE
SATURDAY 4TH MAY
RAISED BY EAGLES MONTH RESIDENCY
KIDDFECTIOUS FRIDAY 12 JUL
LUKE SINCLAIR AND HIS TALENTED EAGLES PLAY FOUR BIG SATURDAYS OF BEAUTIFUL, ORIGINAL ALTCOUNTRY. 5PM
SATURDAY 4TH MAY
SOILWORK FRI 4 OCT
THE PRAYERBABIES AN ENTERTAINING MASHUP OF BLUES, COUNTRY AND GOSPEL. 9PM
Holy smokes! This week we have a double camping ticket for Splendour In The Grass to just hand over; plus we’ve got a double pass for both Fireballs shows (Friday and Saturday) at the Bendigo Hotel; and we’ve got three doubles for musical Legally Blonde and six double in-season passes to Aussie surf film Drift – cowabunga!
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DESIGN & LAYOUT
SUNDAY 5TH MAY
THE DAVIDSON BROTHERS BROTHERS IN BLUEGRASS, SEE
THE DAVIDSONS’ LAST SHOW BEFORE THEY HEAD TO EUROPE. 5PM
THE UNION HOTEL
BRUNSWICK 109 UNION ST, BRUNSWICK 9388 2235
10 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
email@example.com Art Direction Matt Davis Layout Matt Davis, Nicholas Hopkins, Eamon Stewart
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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
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NEWS FROM THE FRONT
CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG To support the international release of their new album Steal The Light, The Cat Empire are going on a huge world tour. It’s their biggest yet and will see them play more than 70 shows across three continents. They’ll be back in Australia in September for a run of shows, with special guests Hiatus Kaiyote, plus The Empire Horns and new addition to the entertainment troupe, Lenny & The Ela Dancers – four amazing dancers to get the rooms moving. See The Cat Empire at the Forum on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September. Animaux will also be supporting at these shows.
WEDNESDAY 1 MAY
RESIDENCY – OPENING NIGHT
I KNOW THE CHIEF THE MCQUEENS LEWIS PIDUTTI
THURSDAY 2 MAY
THE NAYSAYERS MERCIANS AIRCRAFTE $2.50 POTS, $5 VODKAS!
GOT YOUR TONGUE The Tongue announces the nationwide tour in support of his third and most compelling album Surrender To Victory. Released late March on Elefant Traks and spearheaded by the lead single Drums, Surrender To Victory sees The Tongue at his lyrical best. An electric live performer whose confidence with the pen is matched and sometimes bettered when on stage, The Tongue’s live show is co-anchored by DMC Champ DJ Skoob, making this one of Australian hip hop’s most dynamic duos. See them live at the Espy on Saturday 8 June.
IN ALL ITS SPLENDOUR
FRIDAY 3 MAY
ASSEMBLE THE EMPIRE THE NEST ITSELF DEAR PLASTIC SATURDAY 4 MAY
DOUBLE ALBUM LAUNCH
BEFORE NIGHTFALL (QLD) DARK EARTH ALASKAN THUNDER SUNDAY 5 MAY
CAITY FOWLER WISHFUL KATE & LISA
TULLY ON TULLY GRIZZLY JIM LAWRIE MONDAY 6 MAY
RESIDENCY – OPENING NIGHT
THE CACTUS CHANNEL SWOOPING DUCK DJ CHRIS GILL TUESDAY 7 MAY
RESIDENCY – OPENING NIGHT
FANNING OUT If good things come in threes, Bernard Fanning just hit the trifecta; confirming a new album, releasing new single Battleships and announcing a huge national tour throughout July/August. The Departures Tour provides fans from Cairns to Canberra the first opportunity to hear the forthcoming album Departures live, and marks Fanning’s highly anticipated return to stage since Powderfinger’s Farewell Tour of 2010, a run that saw sales in excess of 300,000 tickets and repeat sell outs across the country. Fanning will be joined by Big Scary and Vance Joy on tour. Catch the show at the Palace on Friday 9 August and Geelong Performing Arts Centre’s Costa Hall on Saturday 10.
PRETTY FLY Flyleaf are set for their long-awaited first headline tour of Australia this August. Their hard rock is reminiscent of Deftones, Evanescence and Chevelle, featuring heavy riffs, thrilling arrangements, memorable melodies and mammoth choruses all blazing with a fresh fire. Flyleaf released their acclaimed self-titled album in 2005. The band supported the album touring through 2006-7 on the Family Values Tour with Stone Sour and Disturbed in the US and an appearance on Australia’s Soundwave. They perform at the Hi-Fi on Friday 16 August.
THE CACTUS CHANNEL (MONDAYS IN MAY) ECHO DRAMA (TUESDAYS IN MAY) I KNOW THE CHIEF (WEDNESDAYS IN MAY) SEATTLE – SINGLE LAUNCH (MAY 10) LORD – ALBUM LAUNCH (MAY 11) SKYWAYS ARE HIGHWAYS – EP LAUNCH (MAY 17) PLUDO – SINGLE LAUNCH (MAY 24) EL MOTH – EP LAUNCH (MAY 25) KALACOMA – EP LAUNCH (MAY 31) BUILT ON SECRETS – ALBUM LAUNCH (JUNE 1)
WED 1 MAY
SUN 5 MAY
SHANE KENNEDY & THE CREEPS MEME
(SINGLE LAUNCH) HAARLO SHE SAID ZED
THE FOX PARTY
THU 2 MAY
(SINGLE LAUNCH) DIRT FARMER THE LAUGHING LEAVES
TWERKERS CLUB $1.50 POTS
JEREMY NEALE FRI 3 MAY ‘UNFD & SELECT MUSIC PRESENT’
TWERKSHOP TUESDAYS IN MAY RESIDENCY
D AT SEA
VALENTIINE (14 MAY) JOSEPH PAUL (21 MAY)
SAT 4 MAY ‘PBS 106.7FM PRESENTS’
WED 8 MAY
FEAT. MISS GOLDIE, ZACK RAMPAGE, DJ MANCHILD,
(SINGLE LAUNCH) HIDING WITH BEARS CATCH RELEASE
SUN 5 MAY (MATINÉE) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
STEELBIRDS (ALBUM LAUNCH) INTO THE WOODS WHITAKER
12 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
VELMA GROVE THU 9 MAY
ELLA HOOPER (SINGLE LAUNCH) HAILEY CRAME SPENDER
Lightning Tape Wolf is the living incarnation of man, beast and electromagnetic tape. He plays instrumental fuzzed-up guitar over home-recorded voodoo drums and fuzz bass tracks. See this freak of nature in the flesh when travels from New Zealand to Australia for two shows only: Thursday 16 May at the Barwon Club (Geelong) and Friday 17 at the Grace Darling. The Bonniwells and Towelheads will be supporting at both shows, as well as Ausmuteants at the Grace show.
BLESS THEIR SOULS Sydney folk-pop duo Achoo! Bless You are set to release No Way Of Knowing, the second single off their debut EP No Island. An early demo of the song made its way onto rotation on triple j’s Unearthed digital station well before the release of the EP last December. Since then the track’s received airplay on a number of community radio stations. The band will hit the road in support of pop-country group The Mountains, stopping by at the Espy on Thursday 30 May, Baha Tacos (Rye) on Saturday 1 June and Pure Pop Records on Sunday 2.
INTO THE ATWOOD
Our Last Enemy
ENEMY ENGINEER Sydney’s industrial metal powerhouse Our Last Enemy have just announced their new tour dates in support of their new remix and rarities upcoming release Engineering The Enemy, plus the first round of artists who will be contributing. As well as a stack of local talent, some big name international artists will be joining in. The first names announced are Mortiis (ex-Emperor), Angel (DOPE), Angelspit and our own The Berzerker. The show comes to Revolver on Friday 2 August.
FACEBOOK.COM/THEWORKERSCLUB INSTAGRAM @THEWORKERSCLUB TWITTER.COM/THEWORKERSCLUB TICKETS FROM THEWORKERSCLUB.COM.AU
BELLA & THE MELLOWS TIARYN
COMING UP TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX:
This year Splendour In The Grass finally moves to its idyllic, permanent home at North Byron Parklands. From Friday 26 to Sunday 28 July this eden will be transformed into a nirvana for music and arts enthusiasts. There will be the Tipi Forest, Global Village with its workshops, market stalls and food fair, the Splendour Day Spa and the Splendour Forum, craft sessions plus heaps more. Mumford & Sons, The National and TV On The Radio will be playing their only Australian shows at Splendour. Other acts on the line-up include Frank Ocean, Empire Of The Sun, Klaxons, Babyshambles, Passion Pit, Birds Of Tokyo, James Blake, Laura Marling, Polyphonic Spree, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Cold War Kids, Darwin Deez, You Am I, Haim, Airbourne, The Drones, Ms Mr, Daughter and Wavves. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Tickets go on sale this Thursday.
TAPE IT UP
For the first time in Australia, Miguel AtwoodFerguson will be performing. The multi-instrumentalist, arranger, composer, music director, producer, DJ, and educator has more recently started to become a kind of Wynton Marsalis or Gunther Schuller for the post-soul, semi-jazz, pacifist-hip hop continuum. In one-off shows in Melbourne and Sydney, AtwoodFerguson will perform with selected artists from some of Australia’s most talented pool of soul and jazz scenes, including musicians from Kirkus, Brous, Hiatus Kaiyote and Axolotl. Myele Manzanza and his newly formed Trio will also be making their debut performances as guests, and Silentjay & Amin Payne (The Operatives) and Edd Fisher (PBS FM) will also be supporting. Catch the show on Saturday 1 June at the Hi-Fi. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson will be in Australia as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
TAG @THEWORKERSCLUB ON INSTAGRAM DURING MAY TO WIN JUNE GOLDEN TICKET -A DOUBLE PASS TO EVERY SHOW IN JUNE -$40 FOOD & DRINK VOUCHER FRI 10 MAY
THU 16 MAY
WED 22 MAY
SUN 26 MAY
(EP LAUNCH) THE GOOD MORROWS
(ALBUM LAUNCH) JACKSON MCLAREN WISHFUL
(SINGLE LAUNCH) SEX ON TOAST OUTERWAVES
(ALBUM LAUNCH) JOE FORRESTER
SAT 11 MAY
FRI 17 MAY
THU 23 MAY
WED 29 MAY
(EP LAUNCH) THE DREY ROLLIN BAND (SYD) CHERRYWOOD
(EP LAUNCH) MATT GLASS BAND
SECOND HAND HEART (SINGLE LAUNCH)
FRI 24 MAY
FRI 31 MAY
HOUSE OF LAURENCE
SUN 12 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
SAT 18 MAY ‘EYEONEYE RECORDS LAUNCH PARTY’ FEAT.
THE FROWNING SAL KIMBER & EVERDAZE CLOUDS (WELCOME HOME SHOW) THE ROLLIN’ WHEEL HOLLOW JIMMY HAWK & THE ENDLESS DAN PARSONS & HIS BAND SUN 12 MAY
SUN 19 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
SAT 25 MAY
(SYD – SINGLE LAUNCH)
SUN 2 JUN ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
OWLS OF THE SWAMP
(ALBUM LAUNCH) THE NYMPHS
THE STILLSONS (SINGLE LAUNCH) LITTLE WISE
(EP LAUNCH) REMI ELEQUOR
WED 15 MAY
SUN 19 MAY
SUN 26 MAY (MATINÉE SHOW) ‘TIMBER & STEEL PRESENTS’
(SINGLE LAUNCH) (WEDNESDAYS IN JUNE RESIDENCY)
(EP LAUNCH) TOWERS FLUXX!
(SINGLE LAUNCH) THE CORNER SHOP KIDS SARAH STONE
JARRAD BROWN (EAGLE & THE WORM) (WED 5)
POLICE & THIEVES
PAPA PILKO & THE BINRATS
KNOCKOUT POOL COMP
$100 FIRST PRIZE $5 ENTRY KICKS OF 7PM SHARP
OPEN MIC NITE
REGISTER FROM 6.30PM STARTS 7:30PM
JULITHA RYAN BAND 9PM
FRIDAY 3RD MAY
TICKETMASTER.COM.AU, PH 136100 & OUTLETS
FRIDAY 10TH MAY
CRADLE OF FILTH
TICKETEK.COM.AU, PH 132849 & OUTLETS AND OZTIX.COM.AU & OUTLETS
TUESDAY 14TH MAY
GASLIGHT ANTHEM WITH DAVE HAUSE
TICKETEK.COM.AU, PH 132849 & OUTLETS AND OZTIX.COM.AU & OUTLETS.
WEDNESDAY 15TH MAY
GASLIGHT ANTHEM WITH DAVE HAUSE FRIDAY 17TH MAY
SATURDAY 18TH MAY
FRIDAY 31ST MAY
TICKETMASTER.COM.AU, PH 136100 & OUTLETS
(VINYL LAUNCH) f£äÊUÊ*
JAMES MCCANN &
THURSDAY 6TH JUNE
THIS SHOW HAS MOVED FROM SUN. 5TH MAY ALL TICKETS FOR THIS SHOW ARE VALID FOR NEW DATE. TICKETEK.COM.AU, PH 132849 & OUTLETS AND OZTIX.COM.AU & OUTLETS.
FRIDAY 7TH JUNE
THE NEW VINDICTIVES
FEAT: TYLER, THE CREATOR AND EARL SWEATSHIRT. ON SALE TUES. 7TH MAY TICKETEK.COM.AU, PH 132849 & OUTLETS.
CITY OF COOL
THE BLACK ANGELS
FRIDAY 9TH AUGUST
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DANNY WALSH BANNED
ON SALE FRI. 10TH MAY TICKETEK.COM.AU, PH 132849 & OUTLETS
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KITCHEN NOW OPEN AVAILABLE FOR FUNCTIONS Bar: 9484 1470 Band bookings and venue hire: email@example.com
WITH BIG SCARY AND VANCE JOY FRIDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER
FRIDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER
20 - 30 BOURKE ST CITY - 9650 0180
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
IT MASTA BE ACE When you think of legendary Brooklyn MCs, the name Masta Ace should definitely come to mind. He first came to fame as a member of Marley Marl’s highly influential Juice Crew, along with fellow talented artists Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Biz Markie, Craig G, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan and more. Masta Ace has lasted the test of time, having stayed relevant for over 25 years in the game. In that time he has dropped eight full-length albums, all of which have been well received by fans and critics alike. The legendary Brooklyn MC returns to our shores, playing at the Espy on Sunday 9 June, this time with fellow eMC member Stricklin and revered producer Marco Polo by his side.
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PBS MEMBER DRIVE DETAILS The details of the 2013 PBS Radio Festival have been announced, with the community radio station opting for the ‘Romance Your Radio’ slogan for this year’s membership drive. Prizes on offer for new members include a Red Vespa PX-150 scooter, PBS shirts and CDs featuring material from PBS Studio 5 Live. The station, which relies on memberships to keep up its support of local music will run this year’s festival from Monday 13 to Sunday 26 May.
‘ROWLAND S HOWARD LANE’ PROPOSAL PASSES COUNCIL St Kilda’s City Of Port Phillip Council last week voted in favour of dedicating a lane to Melbourne icon Rowland S Howard. A petition of 2,069 signatures prompted the council to discuss the proposal, which would see the lane between St Kilda’s Jackson St and Eildon Rd named Rowland S Howard Lane. In his later life Howard lived on Eildon Rd. Howard, an illustrious St Kilda identity was a member of Nick Cave’s original The Birthday Party and was renowned for his discordant guitar work. He died in 2009 at the age of 50, shortly after he cancelled a performance at Sydney’s Homebake festival. SLAM’s Helen Marcou welcomed the councillors’ decision last week, telling theMusic.com.au, “Rowland S Howard was a poet, musician and master of feedback. He threw out the rule book, created his own sound and aesthetic. You can hear references to his sound and see his style in band rooms everywhere. Post punk music put St Kilda on the world map and Rowland was the soul of St Kilda’s post punk.” With the proposal now approved members of the public have 30 days to lodge a submission and the council will now apply to the Registrar of Geographic Names for approval to name the lane.
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS SIGN WITH UNFD Brisbane melodic progressive rock outfit Dead Letter Circus have signed to the UNFD label for the release of their second album. The news comes as the five-piece’s debut This Is The Warning was accredited Gold (35,000 sales) earlier this month. The album debuted at two on the ARIA Charts in 2010, staying in the top 50 for three weeks. The band are coming off a capital cities tour earlier this month after a year of international exposure kicked off by a SXSW performance in 2012. They’ve been recording their second album in the past six months with long-time producer Forrester Savell. The band’s vocalist Kim Benzie said he felt UNFD was, “the most progressive label in the country. They are thriving within the new model of the music industry and just seem to go from strength to strength with every step they take.”
MODULAR THROWING CROATIAN ISLAND FESTIVAL Australian-based music company Modular has announced a festival in Croatia featuring Aussie acts Tame Impala, Bag Raiders and Canyons. Taking place on the island of Hvar across three days, the FOR 2013 festival will also feature Solange, 2manyDJs, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and Nicolas Jaar amongst others. Modular’s General Manager Anna Burns told theMusic.com.au that they are working with a local Croatian production company “regarding the on-ground logistics”. The company already has offices in Paris and New York, and is “about to” open an office in London. The two European offices will “work with the Sydney office to oversee this event”. “Tame Impala and Cut Copy are our two most recent successes in the American market,” Burns said. “We also regularly work with other brands and companies in international markets.” The festival will take place Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June this year.
HEAR THAT THUNDER As bassist for Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies, Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is no stranger to Australian shores. However, the master of the four-string is now coming to Australia for his first ever headline tour. In 2011, Thundercat dazzled listeners worldwide with his debut for The Golden Age Of Apocalypse, a shimmering culmination of influences as diverse as yacht rock and free jazz produced by frequent collaborator Flying Lotus. His singing also takes to the fore on tracks like brand new lead single Heartbreaks + Setbacks off the second album Apocalypse, due out July. See Thundercat with guests Hiatus Kaiyote at the Forum on Friday 7 June.
THE NEW NORMA Supports have been announced for the fast approaching Norma Jean, Vanna and Safe Hands Australian tour, which kicks off this week. Joining the bill in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne will be A Secret Death (select shows) who are re-forming after a two-and-a-half-year absence. On top of the show at the Corner this Sunday with guest Belle Haven, a new show has also been added this Saturday at the Ferntree Gully Hotel (A Secret Death not appearing).
NOT DONE YET Baby Animals are back with their third studio album, the first in 20 years. This Is Not The End will be released on Friday 31 May. To celebrate the release of the album the band have announced that they will tour the East Coast of Australia this June. The path trodden by Baby Animals has had some incredible high points. The band’s eponymous album spent six weeks at number one in Australia, converting platinum sales and selling over one million albums worldwide. There were ARIA Awards, international touring and friendships with Van Halen, Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers and Bryan Adams. Catch Baby Animals at the Hi-Fi on Saturday 22 June.
YA FEEL? Feel is the new single from the Gold Coast’s garage-pop bombshells Bleeding Knees Club, and is the first fresh material from the band since last year’s acclaimed debut album Nothing To Do. The puppy-packed film clip for Feel is currently doing the rounds online. Produced by Melbourne-based legend Lindsay Gravina (Violent Soho, Magic Dirt), Feel is the sound of Bleeding Knees Club gaining confidence and branching out. See the band launching the single at Ding Dong Lounge on Saturday 1 June with Sydney surf-pop sensations Sures as well as Atolls.
ADDED POWER Enigmatic performer, Damien Power, will be joining Tenacious D for the Australian leg of their upcoming tour. This follows the unfortunate news that Barry Morgan will no longer be able to appear on the tour. Last year was an incredible year for Power; he reached the finals in the national RAW Comedy competition, was selected by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to perform in their exclusive showcase of the country’s best emerging comedians and was nominated for Best Comedy at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Also supporting Tenacious D will be Sasquatch (US). The Friday 17 May show at the Palais is sold out but there’s still tickets for Saturday 18.
HAVE A BREAK
Eclectic LA-via-Portland outfit Yacht have just landed in Australia ahead of their Groovin’ The Moo performances and headline shows in Melbourne and Sydney. Support for both sideshows comes from the poster boy of Italo funk, Donny Benet. Following his 2011 debut album Don’t Hold Back, Donny Benet toured Australia several times and supported artists such as Warpaint, John Maus and Dan Deacon. He was also invited to play at the MONA FOMA Festival, Sydney Festival and Adelaide festival where he tore up the dance floors of the country’s most high-brow venues with his hip thrusting beats. See him supporting Yacht at the Ding Dong Lounge this Friday.
Following an exceptional run of shows with Rodriguez on his recent national tour, including a star turn at Bluesfest, those fine surf rock gentlemen of The Break are donning their special issue tour space suits in readiness for their first headline shows to celebrate the release of their second album Space Farm. Released mid-March, Space Farm has been embraced by fans and music critics alike. Featuring chants by The Gyuto Monks Of Tibet, various noises by the enigmatic Brian Ritchie, and a full vocal performance by Engelbert Humperdinck on a new version of his 1967 b-side Ten Guitars, it is truly unique. The Break perform at Caravan Music Club on Thursday 30 June and the Thornbury Theatre on Friday 31.
ON A MISSION Final acts have now been announced for the 2013 Heart of St Kilda concert at the Palais on Tuesday 14 May. In addition to the already stellar line-up, performing at this annual fundraiser will be comedians Dave Callan, Hannah Gadsby and Frank Woodley, as well as musical acts the charismatic Henry Wagons, soul and R&B ninepiece hurricane Saskwatch, much-loved singersongwriter Rebecca Barnard and stalwart rocker of the Melbourne scene, formerly of ‘70s band The Ferrets, Billy Miller. This year’s Heart of St Kilda concert aims to fund more than 30,000 breakfasts and lunches, served by Sacred Heart Mission to people experiencing homelessness or poverty.
14 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
GET INKED ONE LAST TIME THRIVING THIRTY Anthony Callea, one of Australia’s finest vocal talents, is thrilled to reveal details of his upcoming headline tour. The Thirty Live In Concert tour will see Anthony take the songs from his new album Thirty to audiences across the East Coast. In addition, Callea will visit shopping centres around the country for a series of special in-store appearances, including Chadstone Shopping Centre on Wednesday 15 May from 7pm. His concert is held on Saturday 13 July at the Palms at Crown Casino.
The boys of Red Ink have announced that they are spreading their wings and relocating overseas for a while and will be playing their final show at the Espy on Saturday 11 May, supported by 8 Bit Love and The Elliotts. Since Red Ink’s first single Audrey burst onto the airwaves barely three years ago, their ascension has been rapid. Blitzing stages locally at Pyramid Rock Festival, Stereosonic, Playground Weekender, and internationally at The Great Escape and Liverpool’s Sound City, as well as sharing the stage with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Miami Horror and British India, Red Ink have perfected a raucously compelling live show.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT
GET YOUR TONGUES WAGON
For Brisbane’s My Fiction, the past year has been about getting back to basics and writing great songs. Their profile in the US was also given a major lift towards the end of 2012 with prominent track placements in US televisions shows including global hit Gossip Girl, MTV’s Awkward and most recently a run of placements in Fox Sports. Now the lads are taking the wraps off their brand new single Neon Cola Signs from the forthcoming second album and hitting the East Coast for shows in May and June. Catch them at the Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo) on Saturday 1 June with Old World Sparrow, Eater Of The Sky and Fractal.
Last year saw Melbourne showman Henry Wagons venture out on his own, releasing his first solo recording, Expecting Company? to international acclaim. Having travelled far and wide to collaborate with musicians and vocalists from Robert Forster to Alison Mosshart, 2013 sees Henry returning home, with work on Wagons’ sixth studio album soon to be underway. To celebrate the return of the old guard, Wagons will perform their first full-band shows since 2011. See them on Saturday 22 June at the Corner, with newly announced supports The Mountains.
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MONDAYS PUSHED BACK Due to unforeseen circumstances Manchester’s Happy Mondays have no choice but to announce that their May Australian tour will now be rescheduled to June. The Mondays are upset and apologise for not being able to make these original shows but are pleased to announce that along with the new dates they will now have seminal Madchester outfit 808 State joining the bill for a special DJ set at each of the rescheduled Australian shows. All tickets previously purchased are valid for this newly announced set of dates. The new Melbourne date is Thursday 6 June at the Palace. Underground Lovers will also be supporting.
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
KASEY CHAMBERS & SHANE NICHOLSON SPLIT DISCOVER OSIRIS Chicago’s Born Of Osiris will finally visit Australian audiences this May. Carrying a remarkable number of notches on their belt for a band so young, the six-piece will be decimating audiences down under fresh from the studio where they’ve been working on their upcoming third full-length. 2011’s critically acclaimed The Discovery showed a band pushing the boundaries of themselves, with fierce dual vocal interplay, majestic shredding, ethereal keyboards and a solid dose of chunky grooves. See them live at the Hi-Fi on Thursday 23 May and at Phoenix Youth Centre on Friday 24 (all ages).
WHAT A STEAL The Nation Blue
TOTES ROCKIN’ On Saturday 8 June, The Nation Blue, No Anchor and Dead will convert the Tote into a veritable forest before your very eyes. The Nation Blue have finally been able to stand up, brush aside the Cheetos and leave the house after a long secluded summer, ready to present some of their first new material since 2009. It’s been almost 12 months since Brisbane’s No Anchor last levelled Melbourne and they are touring on the back of their fourth masterpiece The Golden Bridge, released late last year. Dead subscribe to a similar guitar hate as No Anchor and the bands will be releasing a split 7” together in time for the show.
Chicago’s garage/punk trio Daylight Robbery are heading to Australia for the first time. Emerging from Chicago’s DIY scene in 2006, Daylight Robbery’s sound blends elements of late ‘70s punk with dark, angular surf guitar and infectious male/female vocal interplay. Following two full length albums, numerous EPs and split releases, the trio recently recorded new tracks for the Distant Shores 7”, set for release in July. They play at Public Bar on Friday 5 July with Deaf Wish, White Walls and Bloody Hammer, and at the Gasometer on Sunday 21 with Straitjacket Nation, Bits Of Shit, Gentlemen and Deep Heat.
WWJD? Returning to Australia for his first band shows since 1983, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra has now added a handful of talking shows to his extended schedule. Entitled What Would Jello Do?, the talking shows follow on from Biafra’s YouTube series of the same name in commenting on contemporary political issues, democracy, government conspiracy and cover ups; the type of banter Biafra is notorious for. See him at the Thornbury Theatre on Friday 24 May.
MOVING ON THE BLEEDING’S STOPPED After over a decade as full-time touring act, Californian metal-core giants Bleeding Through have called it a day and have announced a final Australian this July. They firmly cemented themselves atop the metal pantheon with the release of seven genre-defining classic albums including metalcore staples This Love, This Is Murderous and The Truth. See them off at the Ferntree Gully Hotel on Friday 26 July and the Hi-Fi on Saturday 27.
NICE AND SOFT This May, electronic duo Softwar hit the road in celebration of their soon-to-be-released EP, Believe/One Day. Softwar represent the new wave of Australian dance music, and their bio reads like a who’s who of the clubbing world with kudos from music bibles Mixmag and Resident Advisor, among others. They’ve also garnered exclusive plays on BBC Radio 1 and high rotation spins and live mixes on triple j. Catch them at Survivor! at the Bottom End on Friday 25 May.
After nearly a decade on the road with Wolfmother, winning a Grammy and numerous ARIA Awards along the way, Andrew Stockdale returns with a surge of creativity in the shape of Keep Moving, his first self-produced studio album, under his own name. The first single Long Way To Go is released as part of a fourtrack EP entitled Keep Moving (EP), out now. Stockdale performs at the Ferntree Gully Hotel on Thursday 13 June, the Hi-Fi on Friday 14, the Wool Exchange (Geelong) on Saturday 15 and Pier Live (Frankston) on Sunday 16.
MONO FOR MONA For My Parents is the most recent album by Mono, the Japanese quartet who over the course of half a dozen albums in twice as many years have followed their own muse. They are an instrumental rock band whose melodies have grown increasingly lyrical, with increasingly transcendent execution. The unique combination of soul-stirring melodies, cinematic East-meets-West arrangements, and firm command of elusive emotional intangibles is what make Mono so, well, so Mono. Returning to play Hobart’s MONA DARK MOFO festival, Mono will also play additional shows including one at the Hi-Fi on Sunday 23 June.
The musical future of Australian country’s golden husband and wife duo is in doubt after Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson announced their split. Married for eight years, the duo had released two critically acclaimed albums together, 2008’s Rattlin’ Bones and last year’s Wreck & Ruin. While on last year’s promotional trail they regularly citied the strains of balancing a home life with a professional career. A statement from the duo’s management reads, “Sadly we announce that Kasey and Shane have mutually decided to separate. They have been living apart for some time now, however they remain close friends and have a strong family unit.” It is not immediately clear whether the two will endeavour to perform or record together in the future and management have made it clear that there will be no further comment at this stage.
STONE MUSIC FESTIVAL “WILL BE BACK” Promoters of the inaugural Stone Music Festival have vowed to bring the event back next year – perhaps with Muse, Kings Of Leon or Pearl Jam – despite admitting slow ticket sales for the year’s inaugural event. Stephen Duval of financiers and promoters SEQ told theMusic.com.au that the event has a three-to-five year business plan and that the response from the fans and artists was enough encouragement to continue on with the event. The two-day festival took place at Sydney Olympic Park’s ANZ Stadium, with Van Halen and Aerosmith headlining one day and Billy Joel the other. “Sales were lower than what we had hoped,” Duval said, “[but] we’re definitely confident it will be back.” Despite the festival’s low ticket sales, it has been the general consensus amongst punters and media that the performances and the festival’s logistics were impressive. Apart from a few sound issues with Van Halen, Duval said that the response had been “overwhelmingly positive”. Duval stressed that Stone won’t always be for the over 35 market – “It’s not always the ‘70s or ‘80s, we might be looking at late ‘90s, 2000s or current bands next year… It could be Muse or Kings Of Leon or Pearl Jam, or it could be The Eagles, but it will always be rock and they’ll be exclusive.”
VIVID MUSIC CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED Music conference Feedback has been announced to take place in Sydney in collaboration with the Vivid Ideas festival. Run by MusicNSW’s Indent arm and presented by theMusic.com.au, Feedback is aimed at 12 to 25 year-olds and will feature guest speakers, panels and networking opportunities. It will be hosted by triple j’s Home & Hosed host Dom Alessio with Tim Levinson (aka Urthboy) delivering a keynote speech. MusicNSW’s Project Manager Chris Zajko said, “We’re extremely excited about providing an opportunity for young people learn from and be entertained by music industry pros of this calibre. We really do have some of the best in the biz coming along to share their knowledge. The day will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and music industry speed dating dealing with some of the most pressing issues within Australia’s music climate.” Feedback will take place at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art Monday 10 June – the Queen’s birthday long weekend – from 9.30am to 5pm with $20 tickets.
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With the release of fourth album, Familiar Stranger, Bob Evans loses the acoustic guitars, gets louder and thinks harder. Andy Hazel takes notes. think it’s me,” says Kevin Mitchell (aka Bob Evans) laughing. “I’m the Familiar Stranger. Sometimes with introspection you start to view yourself as a different person, when you look at old photos, or a home video of yourself 10, 20 years ago and you think ‘I know that’s me’, but it’s like looking at a different person with different experiences, there’s a weird detachment that happens when you start doing that.”
Mitchell is chatty, relaxed and worthy of the ‘super friendly dude’ reputation that precedes him. Even in states of deep introspection, he’s jovial, likeable and almost impossibly humble. With buzz surrounding his latest singles, Don’t Wanna Grow Up and Go (especially the latter’s cameoboasting filmclip), the album is poised to be his boldest yet. “I like the title because Familiar Stranger summed up the kind of record I wanted to make,” he continues. “I was trying to hold onto the familiar aspects of the last record that were important to me but I wanted to do something musically that was a bit more adventurous and a bit weirder.” Though Mitchell isn’t about to break out a nose flute and jam with a minimalist Peruvian jazz ensemble, his latest album is more adventurous and daring than his previous three. The first of these allowed him to make the transition from fronting one of Australia’s most successful bands, Jebediah, and the following two won awards and legions of new fans. One thing that hasn’t changed is Mitchell’s sense of humour and sneaky references to other bands in his own songs. Get It Together features the line “All the kids queue around the bend/and they’re stuck trying to pretend they’re in Vampire Weekend/ Get it together”. “It just amuses me,” he laughs, “it’s tongue in cheek. I’ve seen in the last few years it seemed like every fucking new band sounded like Vampire Weekend. It was funny, it makes me laugh, it’s like ‘oh here’s this new band and… Oh there it is, that Vampire Weekend influence’. It’s like when Jebediah were first starting everyone was trying to sing like Eddie Vedder, and
I remember thinking ‘I don’t care how I sing, as long as I don’t sound like Eddie Vedder’.” Differences this time ‘round though are manifold both musically and thematically. “I’m singing to myself,” he says, changing tack. “The last two records there was definitely a sense that I was singing to somebody. On Suburban Songbook I was singing to my wife, almost that entire album is being sung to her, or I’m singing to friends. With this record it’s far more introspective and I really am singing to myself.” To accentuate this, Mitchell decided the rhythm section would be the birthplace of the songs, rather than having them driven by acoustic guitars, a factor that immediately changes their nature, such as the first single from the album, Don’t Wanna Grow Up Anymore. “If you knew nothing about me, I didn’t want to sound like a guy with an acoustic guitar making a record,” he says. “I wanted it to exist in its own space and not be immediately tied to a genre. As soon as you feel
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as though you’re tied to some kind of scene, I think it’s only natural to want to kick against it. I definitely felt that this time ‘round, that I wanted to move out of that before it swallowed me up.” The rhythm section around which Mitchell built these songs is no ordinary duo, as Mitchell explains. “I met Tony Buchan the bass player over dinner last year. We were sitting next to each other and I was telling him about this record I was about to make and what I was trying to do and I think I must have mentioned Joey Waronker (Atoms For Peace, Beck, Air, M83 etc) as the kind of drummer I wanted. Tony said ‘I know Joey, we’ve worked together’, and I said ‘fuck… that’s cool,’ and I guess he was my in. We sent the songs to Joey and he agreed to come out for five days, so I had my rhythm section. I felt so
incredibly lucky to have those guys – they were perfect for the record. Tony was enthusiastic, and because he’s a producer as well, he understood what I was trying to do. He understood my references, understood exactly what I meant; it was just really fortuitous.” Despite deciding that he wanted to get away from Nashville, the birthplace of the last two albums, and record at home, an offer to record at Melbourne’s legendary Sing Sing Studios proved too good a chance to turn down. “I made the first Jebediah records there back in the ‘90s, and I never thought I’d ever go back there, just because it’s an expensive studio. It was nice because I’ve got such fond memories of the place and because it seemed… Almost too good for me,” he laughs. “I guess if I really wanted it to sound like an awesome version of my garage I would have recorded it in my garage, but I
don’t have the means. I feel like I’ve only recently started to get good at making records,” he says with his typical diplomacy. “It’s always been such a foreign thing to me, playing live was what it was all about. Making records was this thing I had to learn. For years, I don’t think Jebediah were all that good at recording. Only in the last phase of my life have I started to get the hang of it.” Seemingly reinvigorated from newfound fatherhood, and following a move from his hometown of Perth to his wife’s home of Melbourne, Mitchell has his next moved planned already, should complacency strike. “What do you do when you’ve built a career writing about struggle, or losing love or falling in love, and before you know it you’re in your mid-30s, you’re married, you have a kid, you live in a house in the suburbs, you’ve got nothing else to write about? When I was making the Basement Birds
album, we were sitting around and came up with the realisation of an answer: politics,” he says, laughing loudly. “The world is always going to have problems; it’s a never-ending well of inspiration. Of course, I speak in jest, but who knows? Maybe I’ll just go on a drug bender and make a record like Tame Impala.” Keen to turn his lens outward, Mitchell doesn’t see social issues as being outside the realm of Bob Evans’ songbooks. “I think I could because I am reasonably well informed; I’d have to get over the self-conscious thing in my head saying ‘no one wants to hear you sing about this shit’. There was a while there where I thought that about other subjects too, and when I started off doing Bob Evans coming out of Jebediah I was worried ‘can I sing these love songs and stuff? Can I get away with pretending to be John Lennon?’” he says, laughing loudly again. “It’s hard to explain without sounding clichéd, but if you’re doing stuff for the wrong reasons, people can see through you, and can sniff it a mile away. I hold firmly to that belief. I think in Melbourne and Sydney, you’re so close to the internal mechanisms of the industry and fashion, and Perth is so far away from it that it’s a little bit less affected, but there are negatives to that as well. Perth can sometimes suffer from that small-town mentality where people can fall into the trap of being big fish in a small pond, and they forget there’s a great big world out there. That’s the great thing about Tame Impala; they’re showing there is a great big world out there and it can be conquered, and you don’t have to change, you don’t have to sound like Vampire Weekend – who I do love, don’t get me wrong. I just think Vampire Weekend are the best band at being Vampire Weekend.” WHO: Bob Evans WHAT: Familiar Stranger (Capitol/EMI) WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 16 May, Yarra Hotel, Geelong; Friday 17, Corner Hotel; Saturday 18, Meeniyan Town Hall
BOB’S TAKE ON THE PERTH SCENE “Part of me still feels like a proud West Australian,” says Mitchell, before expounding on his love of his home and its scene, “it just keeps growing and getting better, it’s amazing. Ten years ago, people in Perth were used to local bands becoming successful in Australia, but ten years before that, even that was rare. Around the 2000s with Sleepy Jackson was when it took off, they opened the door on this international thing. I see a lot of similarities between Tame Impala and Sleepy Jackson – ten years apart – although Tame Impala are doing it even bigger now. I know where they come from and the people around them; Perth is a small place. I think it’s remarkable that a band from Freo who didn’t own a pair of shoes are totally doing their own thing and that it’s exploded all over the world. I think it’s inspiring that bands from Perth don’t have to look very far to see what’s possible, and I think they’re a really good example of that. They’ve totally done their own thing; they’re not making very commercial sounding music yet it’s huge. What a great inspiration. “I’m not there, but I still feel part of the broader community. It’s like family; when you move away or get older and you’re not seeing your brothers and sisters all the time but you’ve still got that constant connection. For a while I thought that people might dislike that I’d moved but I’m old news,” he laughs. “If Tame Impala moved to Melbourne there’d be an uproar!”
THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER Australia’s newest pop princess, Brooke Addamo aka Owl Eyes, chats to Brendan Hitchens about growing up, fangirling and the ‘80s. itting in the boardroom of her record label’s Melbourne office, it’s clear the Owl Eyes moniker is close to Brooke Addamo’s heart. The 22-year-old wears an owl pendant and encases her telephone in a cartoon-like ornament depicting the animal. Her similarities with the bird are present though less obvious. She’s timid and reserved, but astute to what’s around her. Her debut album Nightswim has just come back from the pressing plant and she tears off the shrink-wrap in excitement. It’s early in the morning and the day holds back-to-back press interviews but she appears unfazed. There’s a sense of anticipation in the air, a looming crescendo to years of hard work and she’s visibly eager to embrace it.
Adopting the Owl Eyes title seems a perfect match for Addamo, though its genesis was far less elaborate or romantic, instead stemming from a song from American singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart, a finger-picking folk song he released in 2004 to moderate fanfare. “I’m really inspired by him and I was lucky enough to meet him at Splendour In The Grass,” she says of his 2011 Australian tour. “I was fangirling out and I told him that my name was from his song and he said, ‘I give you this song’,” she laughs, mimicking the exchange. “So I now officially own that song.” Like Lisa Mitchell and Matt Corby before her, Addamo is taking the backwards root to reality success. A finalist in the sixth season of Australian Idol (won by Wes Carr), creating the moniker – though not entirely intentional – has distanced herself from her teen television days. “It was more of a creative thing, but it has helped me in the long run,” she admits. And so emerged Owl Eyes, a confident young woman in control of her image and her music. With a vivid imagination inspired by Enid Blyton and a vocal talent developed through singing jazz covers, she set forth on forging her own musical path. With her debut album Nightswim, which has been described as her coming of age record, she has done just that. “When I was younger I listened to jazz and a lot of beautiful singers and artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Fleetwood Mac. I still listen to those artists now and they always inspire me,” she says, recalling her early influences. “The
last few years I’ve been getting into a lot of intelligent electronic music, that’s what’s been really inspiring me. I try to get out to as many gigs as I can. I got to see Mount Kimbie, Justin Martin and The xx, so that was really inspiring. I’m just in love with synths and all the different sounds. I love layering the music. I think the album is a product of what’s spilling out of me creatively and also what I’m surrounding myself with.” The early reviews for Nightswim have been drawn to its strong synthesizer elements, referencing a bygone sound of the ‘80s; ironic given Addamo was born a decade later. “I’ve always surrounded myself with different music; I’ve never really been into just one band or genre. I just really like to float around. But Phil Collins, who doesn’t love him?” she jokes. Together with surrounding herself with an array of different music, Addamo has collaborated with some of the industry’s best, including producer and film composer Jan Skubiszewski and Styalz Fuego, winner of an ARIA award for his production duties on 360’s Falling And Flying record. “Jan and I have known each other for a few years. He’s a lovely person. He’s so inspiring to me; he’s like a musical big brother. I met him through my manager and we really got along. He took me under his wing and we’ve just been working together ever since. We started the album together and I finished it with Styalz Fuego. I always bring my ideas and then we throw them all around. It’s more of a collaborative thing rather than me being like, ‘this is how I want it, you can’t have any input’. I only work with people I’m inspired by and whose input I love.” Having worked with Fuego and guesting on Illy’s 2010 single It Can’t Wait, a loose hip hop connection, and indeed, influence has emerged in Addamo’s music. “I wouldn’t say I’m a massive hip hop fan, but I respect the beats and the grooves and how the music makes you feel and makes you want to dance. I really like how you can get a hip hop groove and put really pretty synths and melodies over it, I think it works really well for today’s pop music.”
task. “The album was more difficult than the EPs, I think in my mind I made it that way. I think overtime I learnt that I just had to get it done and to not worry. At the start I was freaking out, but as time went on I was like, ‘it’s not so hard, it’s just writing songs and trying to string them all together’.”
After acquiring a gamut of influences and releasing three EPs over the space of three years, Addamo admits writing for a debut album wasn’t an easy
Fittingly the album is released through Wunderkind Records, a label she shares with fellow youngsters Stonefield. “I think Wunderkind means child
prodigy. I think they were just searching for something nice and that meant something to them,” she says, with a modest wisdom. WHO: Owl Eyes WHAT: Nightswim (Wunderkind/Liberation) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 1 June, Corner Hotel
MONSTERS OF SKA Nicky Bomba, the ‘conductor’ of the massive ensemble known as Melbourne Ska Orchestra, tells Chris Yates about the challenges of taking more than 30 musicians, turning them into a band and then taking that one leap further by cramming them into the studio to record an album. bit of organising, a bit of love and a bit of magic and it all comes together,” Bomba laughs as he downplays the technical and logistical aspects of pulling off the kind of event that recording the Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s debut album must have been. “The hardest part is just getting all those people in the one place at the one time – everyone’s doing different things.”
Over the two week duration of the recording process, there were up to 25 people in the studio at any one time. Bomba and his engineer Robin Mai coordinated the recording sessions so precisely that he says it actually wasn’t that much more of a challenge than recording a smaller band. It also helped that as a multi-instrumentalist (Bomba most famously plays drums for John Butler Trio in another life) he was able to pick up the slack and jump on drums or guitars if the circumstance arose.
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“We always had the majority of the horn section there and bass players and percussionists,” he explains. “We always had enough people to make a song and then I added some overdubs later on. It was one of those things where you throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hope that it sticks, and a lot of it did!” The band consist of a lot of session musos and players from other bands, all of whom relished the opportunity to record in such a non-conventional way. “Sometimes it’s hard to translate the live spirit of a band onto a record, and with the orchestra it seemed like the live approach was the only way you could record that band,” Bomba continues. “The essence of the sound was the harmonic synthesis that happens when you have everything in one room. Our main goal was to set up room mics to capture that, and that’s how we spent a lot of our time.
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Researching where to place mics, what mics to use. We wanted the record to sound like you were having that orchestral experience, sitting in a great sounding room.” This method of capturing musicians in a live room environment as opposed to close micing the individual instruments dates back to the beginnings of recorded music, with one or two microphones picking up the entire band due to the restraints or early recording technology. “We did a lot of research listening to the big bands like Gene Krupa Band and orchestras, and they always had a beautiful stereo image,” he says. “If you listen to classical music, even on shitty headphones, you can hear a big stereo aural experience. If you can translate it on that level and you spend a bit of time with it you can really do it. The harmonic overtones that happen when a guitar and a horn and a bassline all congeal – we were kind of thrilled when it came to mixing and we could hear that we had captured that real energy.” Getting down on tape the real essence of a band is always a challenge, and Bomba says that it’s actually possible to achieve if you go about it the right way and think outside the boundaries of how recordings are commonly made in the modern digital age. “You hear people say that about bands all the time, that they sound really great live but it doesn’t sound the same on record,” Bomba continues. “It’s often a diluted version, but we really feel like we captured that energy. There’s a lot to be said for capturing the real emotion of the track, the warmth.” Bomba says that lessons he learnt from the exercise were very valuable and will have an impact on his future endeavours. It also gave him an insight into why he liked the sound of music from his younger days when he fell in love with music the first time, like early reggae and ska recordings. “Even stuff like the Buena Vista Social Club,” he says. “There’s a lot of room in those recordings and you don’t sit back and think about it, you feel the music and that’s it.” Melbourne Ska Orchestra, as you can imagine, are an amazing sight on stage, especially when you get to witness them on stage at an event like Golden Plains in
Meredith, Victoria where the majority of the other acts are three- or four-piece bands. They’ve also taken on the daunting Blues & Roots Festival in Byron Bay and stood their ground amongst the flotilla of international bands and household names the festival is famous for attracting. Bomba says one of the best aspects to finally having an album in the can is that they can now work their own original material into the set and graduate from being almost a review style show to a fully fledged original band in their own right. He says that the last night of Bluesfest this year was a pinnacle moment for the group. “Up and until this year, before we recorded our album, we used to do a few originals but we were just really a ska cover band. Now that we’ve got our own album out, we’ve really stepped it up and the whole feeling throughout the band is that we’re not just rehashing old stuff, we’re making some inroads into the ska genre. To be playing original songs and to get the reaction that we did at Bluesfest, it was pretty special. It just felt great.” The feverish loyalty of ska fans is well known. They stick by the bands and looser associations with the genre despite it falling in and out of public favour as the circle of fashion spins. Bomba says that the fans of the broader genre of ska have been
ready and willing to embrace the band, even if it turns into non-traditional territory and Bomba’s massive range of influences create new tangents. “When we played Golden Plains recently, we were before Parliament and after the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion,” he says. “Half of the people there probably didn’t even know what ska was. We just did what we do and went ‘this is our energy’ and I think people pick up on that. I think the ska purists – well all I’ve heard from them is thank yous for flying the flag for ska. I don’t find any sort of elitist attitude at all from them. What we’re doing, our set and our songs pay respect to old ska, to the 2-tone ska era and with our new stuff it’s like a hybrid with Latin funk and New Orleans. So because we’re offering something new there’s a freshness about it. Guys that have been doing ska for years and years come up to me and physically shake my hand and say thank you for pushing the barriers for ska and turning more people onto it.” WHO: Melbourne Ska Orchestra WHAT: Melbourne Ska Orchestra (ABC/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 May, Forum
BAND OF BROTHERS Menangle’s biggest export since… well, forever, Sam and Elliot Margin from The Rubens take time out from their packed pre-touring schedule to chat with Natasha Lee about their rapid rise to the top. efore the interview “officially” begins, The Rubens frontman Sam Margin pinches something from his mouth before delicately sticking a nugget of wellchewed gum onto his belt. Sitting next to him is fellow Ruben, keyboardist Elliot Margin, who shakes his head and enquires, “Whaddya doing?” “For later,” smiles Sam.
It’s okay. These guys are brothers. That’s what they do. Now The Rubens have been this country’s “hottest new thing” for a while now. Formed in early 2011, they’ve already added a few strings to their fastgrowing bow of accolades, their eponymous debut coming in at #3 on the ARIA charts, #1 on iTunes and certified gold last year. Mean feats not even the band dared dream of. “I don’t think any band thinks they will be as big as they get,” says Sam. “Like, you can hope it’s going to happen, but really deep down you’re not gonna think that you’ll break or anything like that. I mean, it’s such a tough industry.” But break they did – and boy, was it big. Their debut single from the album, Lay It Down, saw the lads (Sam and Elliott’s brother Zaac and childhood friend Scott Baldwin make up the rest of the band) score triple j’s Unearthed spot at Homebake in 2011, before the song hit the airwaves landing the #57 spot in the station’s Hottest 100 poll. “There are something like 40,000 bands out there on Unearthed,” says Sam, “so to think you’re going to be the one that makes it is just ridiculous.” For many of us (this writer included), the idea of working with your relatives is completely out of the question, full stop. But it’s been so far, so good for the brothers who say that having each other around allows them to creatively feed off one another. “I think it’s easier working with a family member in a band in a sense that we know what each other likes and what will work with us,” says Elliott. “But, it’s also really hard because you take to heart when the other person doesn’t like an idea that maybe you’re really passionate about”. “Yeah,” adds Sam. “I mean, I feel there’s no point in arguing because I trust what Elliot and Zaac like; I trust their judgment in what style they think will work.
Yeah, it hurts when you bring an idea to the table and they’re like, ‘Nah’, but it’s good in a way because at least you know that if they do say no, you can move onto the next idea and not waste time.” But when it comes to milking those creative juices, the boys prefer to go it alone. “We don’t jam,” Sam says. “Yeah,” agrees Elliott, “We’ve tried jamming and we don’t really like it.” “Everyone just ends up playing over the top of one another and trying to sound like Led Zeppelin,” adds Sam. “It’s too fun when you’re jamming and too tempting to just go nuts and it sounds awesome, but that’s just for fun. If we’re trying to write a song then we’ve got to keep it real. Each of us has, you know, a laptop and I just sit at home and start writing a song and it gets built up from there. Then I bring the song to the band and we can all put our own spin on it.” The boys pride themselves on the band’s preproduction routine – from never coming to the group without a song ‘already done’, to spending one month in pre-production before heading over to New York to record their debut. “Every time we talk to anyone in the industry and they ask us how we recorded the album and we tell them we did a month of preproduction; they’re all quite impressed,” says Sam. The importance of the ‘preparation makes perfect’ motto was further drilled into them by producer David Kahne (Paul McCartney, The Strokes), who helped whip the boys into shape during the album. “He’s a great guy,” smiles Sam, “a really awesome, nice guy who taught us a heap about the recording process, about writing and most importantly about making sure you do enough pre-production. When we make record number two, whether we make it with him or not, it will definitely involve lots of pre-production.” Speaking of their second effort, Elliott hints that their next offering will be a little dirtier and grittier than the first. “We just love [English alt.rock outfit] Band Of Skulls. We love the production of all of their albums; it’s like they’ve done this old school
thing but it’s still hi-fi. It’s rock‘n’roll, but it’s still hi-fi. Now we just need to find the right producer that can make it sound gritty but still nice.”
after around a year overseas they did manage to dizzy up some new material for their label, only to have it rejected as being ‘too experimental’. Ouch.
Sam agrees, adding that he does have one very strict condition come album numero deux: “On a beach somewhere. After recording in New York, which was freezing, it would be nice to record somewhere warm and at home this time. Over there it was so cold that there was nothing to do but stay at home and watch Family Guy. At least if we do it on a beach this time we can spend our spare time surfing. But then that can kind of become a problem too because we could end up just spending all our time surfing and not release anything, like the Klaxons,” says Sam, referring to the indie-rock band’s infamous sojourn to France in 2008/9. Legend has it the band used it as an ‘excuse’ to pen their second album. Eventually,
Despite the beach environment the boys are hoping to make their next album in, Sam reassures fans they’ll make sure their sound doesn’t get too touched by the sun. “Just because we’re thinking of making it in a beach town, like say Byron Bay, doesn’t mean we’re gonna come out with a Jack Johnson-styled album. I mean, I’d hate to think that location can affect your music or end up changing it.” WHO: The Rubens WHAT: The Rubens (Ivy League/Liberation) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May, Forum; Sunday 12, Yarra Hotel, Geelong; Sunday 28 July, Splendour In The Grass, North Byron Parklands
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 19
THE END COMPLETE Death metal legends Obituary are returning to Australia for a very special run of shows. Mark Hebblewhite talks with vocalist John Tardy and extracts all the gruesome details. rom day one, Florida’s Obituary stood out. When all their swamp-dwelling contemporaries were attempting to outdo each other by getting technical, Obituary slowed down and churned out halfpassed Celtic Frost-inspired riffage that grooved like a motherfucker. In short the Frosties have always done their own thing and it’s this independence that has seen the band survive (with a few breaks) for over 25 years. To celebrate their survival and ongoing legacy Obituary have designed a special set for their upcoming Australian tour. Old school heads you’ve been warned.
“The idea of doing a ‘classic’ set of Obituary material has been floating around for awhile,” reveals Tardy, whose laid-back Southern accent makes it hard to believe that this is the man responsible for the most inhuman bellow in all of death metal. “We had a few different ideas – do we play all of Slowly We Rot, or maybe all of The End Complete, which I think is twenty years old this year. Eventually, we just thought let’s make the set up from the first three albums so we can cover more ground.”
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So does the band themselves consider their first three albums (Slowly We Rot, Cause of Death and The End Complete) to be the best of their career? Do the three records together form a statement about what Obituary is all about? “Look, you’re sort of damned if you don’t and damned if you do when it comes to these sort of things,” offers Tardy. “It’s the same for everyone really. Look at Metallica; when they play everyone wants to hear the material off Kill Em All and Master Of Puppets. It’s the same when I go and watch a band like Slayer – I want to hear Hell Awaits and Reign In Blood. So although we like all our records, and I think we’ve done good stuff throughout our career, we recognise that the fans do consider those three records to be the classic – quote, unquote – Obituary
albums. So we’re happy to give the fans what they want and that’s what this tour is all about.” Reflecting upon Obituary’s rise to death metal infamy Tardy reveals that the band actually evolved through their very own naivety. “Man, we were so young when we did the first couple of records,” he laughs. “It was at a point in time when we were learning so much about a whole range of things – from our instruments to our own writing and the actual recording process. So I guess we developed along our own path because we were learning as we went. We weren’t copying other people – we were just doing our own thing. “Our career developed a bit like that as well. One minute we were playing in my mom’s garage and the next we got asked to put some songs on a compilation and then Roadrunner came to us and asked us to do an album. I still remember the first time I held a copy of Slowly We Rot in my hands – I couldn’t quite believe that we’d actually made an album.” While primarily known for their concrete-heavy and instantly recognisable riffs, Obituary have also received attention for their less than traditional approach to lyric writing, in which memorable slogans such as “chopped in half feel the blood spill from your mouth” and “we’re dying… for our souls to learn” replace… you know, actual lyrics. “Yeah… well I don’t think the lyrical content is what Obituary is all about,” laughs Tardy, who quite freely admits that he’s always substituted monstrous roars and one-line wonders for complex wordplay. “We’re not a super political band or a band where everything rests on the deep meaning behind our lyrics. When we first started jamming we always tried to get the heaviest drum sound, the heaviest guitars, so I just tried to go along with the music and sing as heavy as I could. Obviously, when everything is set like that, love songs or complex lyrics just aren’t going work. Really what I’ve always tried to do is come up with some short gory stuff to go along with the music – the feeling in my vocals is more important than what I’m actually saying.”
One of Obituary’s great strengths is that the core members of the band, John and brother Donald (drums), along with Trevor Peres (guitar) has remained the same all these years. In fact this core unit has been together since 1984 when they called themselves Xecutioner. However, others have also contributed to the Obituary story and Tardy gives Drum a quick update on where they’re at. “Our old guitarist Allen West was an important part of Obituary – he was with us from the beginning but obviously he had his problems and they’ve been gone over enough so I won’t talk about them again. But he’s been doing some recording lately, and I’m glad that things seem to be going ok for him.” As for long-time bassist Frank Watkins, who suddenly quit in 2010, Tardy is more reticent and only offers Drum a terse “we’re doing our thing, he’s doing his.” Tardy is more forthcoming however about the mysterious Daniel Tucker, who legend has it disappeared after recording his bass parts on the band’s superb debut album. “It happened like everyone says it did,” laughs Tardy. “The guy played the session and then just dropped off the face of the earth. We’d call him up and try and find him and no one could so we had to replace him. Months went by, and then years went by and
absolutely no one knew where he was. Then, like last year or something, I was at the Nasty Savage reunion show and a guy walks up to me sticks out his hand and goes ‘Hi it’s Daniel Tucker’ – none of us could believe it. “On the subject of bass players I should tell you all that we have Terry Butler in the band now on a fulltime basis. He’s obviously been in some great bands, like Death and Massacre, and we’ve all known him for a very long time. He’s fitting in really well and the band’s the happiest it’s ever been – so things are good in the Obituary camp at the moment.” This newfound wellbeing is mirrored in Obituary’s plans to spew forth a brand new record. “I know we’ve been saying this for a while, but the new album is coming,” says Tardy. “I’m going nuts over some of the songs we’re writing for the new album and I can definitely say that it will be out early next year. We’ve got three of four songs we could record today and another five or six that are well mapped out – it’s classic Obituary – heavy and full of groove: hopefully it will blow people away.” WHO: Obituary WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 May, Espy
FILLING THE VOID Stoner rock kingpin John Garcia is coming back to Australia with his behemoth Unida in tow, and as he tells Steve Bell, he’s privileged to be returning to his rightful throne, even if he has little choice in the matter. t’s probably fair to say that John Garcia is as close as it’s possible to get to stoner rock royalty. Frontman of the legendary Kyuss from high school through to his mid-20s, he went on to form the underrated Slo Burn in 1996, and then the equally strong Unida in 1998. All three bands plied quintessential desert rock – thick, languid, hypnotic riffs combined with low-end tones, strange tunings and an often monolithic rhythm section – but the real uniting aspect was Garcia’s distinctive, honeyed vocals, his voice seeming to glide over the mayhem below it with nary a care in the world.
In the last decade or so stoner rock – once a cult concern – has reached massive new heights of popularity, largely due to the success of former Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme’s outfit Queens Of The Stone Age. That in turn brought attention back to the pivotal role that Garcia played in the genre’s development, so of late he’s been revisiting the Palm Desert of his youth, first touring with Kyuss Lives! (a reformed version of the iconic outfit, without Homme’s involvement, which recently morphed into Vista Chino following protracted legal unease) and now with the resurrection of the powerhouse Unida. “I think it did take its own course,” Garcia reflects on his initial agenda for Unida. “Unida versus Kyuss are two totally different animals with two totally different vibes, and two totally different types of energy. I think that Kyuss is more of a laxed-out type of vibe, when Unida is a little bit more uppity. There’s no favouritism at all when it comes to the two bands, and there’s an awesome amount of mutual respect when it comes to the type of music that the bands play. But again, I think there’s a lot of different energy with Unida and how it came to be. “Everybody in the desert... When you come from a small town, everybody who knows anything about music has a certain kinship and there’s a certain camaraderie amongst the musicians. We all knew who each other were – we all knew of each other and we all knew what everybody did back in the desert – and I tend to be in awe of how it’s perceived on the outside, when really it’s just a bunch of small town musicians knowing who the music heads are. I don’t care who
20 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
you are or where you are, necessity is what it comes down to – and that’s what it came down to. There was a void that needed to be filled – a huge hole that needed to be filled – and it was a necessity for some kids to fill that hole, and that’s all it really was. “Some of the other Kyuss band members might disagree with me, or have some long fucking drawnout long-winded answer – but it’s as simple as that for the singer of Kyuss and the singer of Vista Chino and the singer of Unida. It’s not something that’s overthought, it’s not something that needs to be sat down and over-fucking-analysed – all it really was for a bunch of kids was just a necessity.” The softly-spoken Garcia seems almost evangelical when discussing this time, as if the purity of the music was sacrosanct. “It was, it really was,” he concurs. “It was totally pure, and I guess that whether you’re in the south of London or the suburbs of Brisbane, when you’re super-hungry you’re going to go hunting for something, and we were hunting. And we found it and we fed it. We nurtured that hunger, and Kyuss and Unida is the animal that we hunted, and we’re still hunting. It’s a good thing.” As well as releasing one strong album, 1999’s Coping With The Urban Coyote, Unida were renowned as a great live act, and Garcia seems stoked to be getting back onstage with the band. “I know that I certainly still enjoy getting up onstage and performing, and the minute that it becomes mechanical and redundant I’ll stop doing it, but until then I certainly enjoy getting up there and doing what we do,” he reflects. “The plight is not selfindulgence, the plight is again filling a void and the plight is still being able to at my age – at 42 years old – being able to do it, and doing it while still being a responsible father and a responsible husband to my family back at home. So all of it really has to make sense for this to happen, and anytime we’re able to do something like this – whether it be with Brant Bjork or Nick Oliveri or Arthur Seay or Mike Cancino – and it still makes sense, then I’m the first one to say, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’, because it’s not very often that I’m able to do something like this.
“I’m so appreciative that I still get to do this, and people don’t get that – there’s an appreciation level that people just don’t get. That I’m very fortunate, and I realise that I’m able to have an unbelievable [family] that allow me to do this, and an unbelievable relationship with my band members that allows me to do this, and once you lose that appreciation you can’t [do it], and if that happens you’re fucked! I don’t give a fat rat’s ass about what people think of me. I’m just grateful that I’m still able to do this, and still able to be a good father and a good husband and a family man – that’s what’s important. I don’t give a fuck, I’m not here to make any friends – I can count my friends on my right hand – and it doesn’t make a difference to me. What makes a difference is what bait I’m going to use with my son when I go fishing with him next weekend. That’s important, the other shit is secondary.” Excitingly it’s not all about revivalism for Garcia, with Vista Chino finally working on new material, and Aussie fans in particular have reason to feel excited.
“For Vista Chino I go in on Thursday to finish up the vocals – I’m almost done,” the singer reveals. “What I’m really, really excited about is that Australia is getting something that is different to the rest of the world. Brant Bjork and I, as well as Bruno Fevery, we all share that certain affinity for Australia, so the rest of the world is going to get the Vista Chino record, and Australia will also get the Vista Chino record but it will also get some rarities stuff that won’t be available in north America or anywhere else. It’s just a couple of songs and some other lyrics and other artwork that no one else gets, we’re really excited. Hopefully it will be out by the end of this year in Australia – it will be out earlier in the States, but for the Aussies we’re going to hold tight and make it something special.” WHO: Unida WHEN & WHERE: Sunday 5 May, CherryRock013, Cherry Bar; Sunday 12, Hi-Fi
TASTE TEST: ADRIAN BELTRAME THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT WITH MY OWN MONEY Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. Everyone was a fan I think, we were all fans. Dom (Byrne, frontman) and I were big fans. I don’t really listen to it these days but there’s a reason he’s the King of Pop. It’s incredible.
ALBUM I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW This is where it gets a bit tough because I don’t really listen to music at the moment because I’m trying to make an album. Is The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky an acceptable answer? It’s true. It’s not that I try not to listen to music when we’re recording, it’s just that because I’ve got songs going over and over inside my head, I just can’t really listen to anything else while I’m doing that. We’ve got a pretty small record collection at home and that’s one of the ones I like to put on.
MY FAVOURITE PARTY ALBUM IS Surrender by The Chemical Brothers. It’s an old one. It just reminds me of when I was at school and that was the party album that we used to put on every night. Another good one is Sam Cooke’s 16 Most Requested Songs. Is that what it’s called? Those two albums are my party albums.
MY FAVOURITE COMEDOWN ALBUM IS Moon Safari by Air. That’s the one that comes to my mind. That’s a good one.
FIRST GIG I EVER ATTENDED WAS Smashing Pumpkins in 1996 at Rod Laver Arena. I remember they played Bullet With Butterfly Wings but it was an unrecognisable version – which was really cool. Jebediah supported and I really liked them too, so that was cool. It was pretty wild. The actual first gig I tried to get into was The Living End at the Corner Hotel. I remember they had that EP out (Second Solution/Prisoner Of Society) but I couldn’t get it, so we just listened to them from the side in the alleyway, so that doesn’t really count, I suppose. I think it was just packed out. The Pumpkins were the real first one though. I liked that they didn’t do Bullet With Butterfly Wings in the normal way.
THE WEIRDEST GIG EXPERIENCE I’VE EVER HARD We did play on a roof one time in Cobram for a festival, with my old band (Little Red), but I can do better than that I think. I don’t know why it was on a roof. We just got there and it was a pub and we were playing on the roof.
THE BIGGEST NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES ON HAVE BEEN I think perhaps it’d be Ernest Hemingway’s novels. I’ve always loved his writing. I also like Van Gogh, his paintings. They both do completely different things but they have a way of magnifying tiny little things. The small, unimportant things in life are made to seem important. I like the way they make you look at things differently in real life. Sometimes that works in music and you can try and use your imagination to think about things that could be there. I really like those two guys. There are many more that I like, too.
THE COOLEST PERSON I’VE EVER MET The most famous person was Richard Branson,
he was pretty cool but that’s kind of boring. I met Danny Carey from Tool. He was a bit of a legend. I met him at Big Day Out a couple of years ago, but I wouldn’t call it a meeting, I just shook his hand. I’ve met Richie Benaud – the cricket commentator. I have a friend who works at Channel 9, so I met all the cricket commentary team. I’m a bit of a cricket tragic. Richie was a very suave, dignified character – wearing a cream outfit. We talked about his Sony Walkman – because he knew that I was a musician. He kept talking about these ‘Sony’ speakers – he was pronouncing it wrong though, like ‘”Sonny”. He had the full on Sonny system and he knew I was a musician so he wanted to talk about it.
THE BIGGEST CELEBRITY CRUSH I’VE EVER HAD Oh boy, well... this might not be the answer you’re looking for but I’ve always really been in love with Gillian Welch – that redhead country singer. I’ve always really liked redheads and I like country music and she’s just the most beautiful, soulful
singer I’ve ever seen. I’m also in love with her husband David Rawlings, but mostly it’s her.
IF I COULD HANG OUT IN ANY PLACE AND TIME IN HISTORY, IT WOULD BE The Renaissance. I dig all the splendour. I could maybe live in Venice or something.
IF I WASN’T MAKING MUSIC I’D BE Travelling more. I mean, they go hand in hand because if you’re successful at music you can travel. I guess if I wasn’t making music right now I would be travelling somewhere. I’ve done a lot of travelling with music but I’d like to go to other places that you can’t go and play gigs. There are many, many places I’d like to go. WHO: New Gods WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday May residency, Workers Club
For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews • 21
QUIT YOUR BELLYACHING “We split up as a bunch of kids and got back together as a bunch of retarded old men,” the Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder tells Chris Yates as he pretends to try and recall anecdotes from a hazy past when he really just wants to focus on the future. ’m at home in Manchester, It’s all good.”
Ryder sounds exactly as expected. He’s lucid and relaxed on the phone and breaks into bouts of laugher without any real warning or reason. His thick accent mirrors his singing voice and it’s impossible not to visualise him on a couch taking it easy as he trudges through a full schedule of interviews for the day. Without prompting he starts to gush about Australia, a country where he has spent a lot of times both on tour and as an escape from his beloved hometown.
The story of Ryder and the Happy Mondays has been extensively documented, both in the form of the semi-fictionalised account of the rise and fall of Factory Records in the film 24 Hour Party People and Ryder’s own account of the story, his autobiography Twisting My Melon. With the rights for Twisting My Melon purchased by Granada Television we may well see yet another film dealing with this highly romanticised era of British music in the near future. “I’ve known Luke Bainbridge who I worked on the book with for a long time,” Ryder says of the process behind writing his autobiography. “Luke used to be the editor of a magazine in Manchester and now he works for The Guardian. When I was putting it all together we both went out did interviews with different people together. I mean there’s certain times where I’ve forgot a lot of things, so you need to talk to people to jog your memory. So we just put it together over about six months I think, something like that. Some of it was hard to write about, especially in the beginning – the early stuff. And then it hits the 90s and I can’t remember a lot of it so that’s where the interviews came in. The book’s done really well which is great.” Would he ever consider writing a follow up? “Hmmm - maybe. Give it a few years when some more people are dead and we can get deeper into a few of the stories.” This is one of the few occasions he does not laugh after an answer. Even though he brings it up, he’s keen to quickly move away from the topic of his still unreleased solo album
which he speaks about with great pride. The release date for the album has been pushed into the ‘sometime in the future’ category after a number of proposed release dates came and went. He says the album he recorded with Sunny Levine (producer of the Happy Mondays’ Uncle Dysfunktional album in 2007) is finished and while he would love to see it released soon is happy to put solo aspirations on hold until he’s finished with the current flourish of activity surrounding the Mondays’ revival. It’s a shame he keeps sitting on the record, but there’s a chance that the real reason is he doesn’t want to rush into it because of lessons previously learnt. During a six-month stint living in Perth, he put out a very underthe-radar solo album in 2003. Amateur Night In The Big Top was a collaboration with (Ryder’s cousin) Pete Carroll, Shane Norton and Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire, released on the Offworld Sounds record label. At the time, the record received the very definition of mixed reviews. NME (predictably) called it genius, while Alexis Petridis in his scathing one star review for The Guardian said ‘The biggest (problem with the record) is Ryder, a living public information film about the dangers of drug abuse’ and called it ‘horrible, voyeuristic listening’. It was one of many harsh assessments of a low key project that came about because Ryder wanted to collaborate with some interesting musicians and try a different approach to storytelling as song writing. In retrospect he’s clearly (yet unnecessarily) embarrassed about the project which may explain why he hasn’t rushed to follow it up. “That was a weird one. Because of what was going on at the time, I thought it would be a good idea to let everything just rattle out of me head. I shouldn’t have done it – it wasn’t the right time or right place. It’s just a collection of mad bullshit coming out of my mouth. There was no constructive writing on it at all. Me talking shit! (laughs). I really should have just rested up at that point - I hadn’t had a break for years. It’s Shane who did all the music, he’s an amazing producer and an amazing writer so I don’t regret working with him on those tunes but I really just should have kept that all in
CULTURE SHOCK When you think of stoner rock, you think of sun-kissed desert vistas and warm welcomes to sky valley. None of which can be found in Sweden, so guitarist Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren of stoner rock buzz band Truckfighters explains to Tom Hersey what attracted his trio to the genre. eah, I guess it’s a bit weird,” Truckfighters axeman Niklas Källgren – he’s happy to simply go by ‘Dango’ in the context of the band – says, chuckling over the incongruity of three dudes from Örebro, Sweden taking up a genre populated by bleary-eyed Southern Californian cowboys.
“Before we started Truckfighters, I hadn’t heard of bands like Fu Manchu or Kyuss, any of the music that was coming out of that scene. But a guy I knew at the time was really into a lot of that mid-’90s desert rock. He was basically listening to it all the time, and it really started to rub off on me. Because we were jamming together at the time and playing with that guy went on to become a very early incarnation of Truckfighters, so at the time when we started the band we were all just listening to a lot of that. A lot of people do say things to us about how it’s weird that we’re not playing black metal or whatever else is going on in Sweden at the moment. But obviously that’s not our style, and I guess we don’t really care if we confuse some people,” the affable guitarist admits. Though Dango doesn’t mind confounding the odd music listener, and the band’s sound – which mixes ‘90s desert rock with ‘70s stadium rock, obscure prog influences with an early ‘00s garage jam band sensibility – escapes neat classification – there have been attempts by Truckfighters to explain what they’re about, notably, a 2011 ‘fuzzomentary’, aptly titled Truckfighters, which sort of helped explain things and introduced their name to a world of unknowing rock’n’rollers thanks to the help of one modern rock luminary. “The problem for all underground bands is to get people to hear and know about you as there is no marketing budget or anything like that. It’s easier when you’re able to put stuff out through the Internet, but it also helps
22 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
my head at the time. He’s brilliant and I haven’t seen him for a while so I hope I get to catch up with him.” He says that he’s enjoying playing shows with the Mondays now more than ever before, and emphasises that the group sound better than ever which he attributes to age, experience and the thrills, spills and bellyaches of the party lifestyle well and truly behind them. “Being an old geezer it’s so much easier,” he laughs. “The way it used to be was just getting out of your brain, and groupies and partying. Now it’s just so much easier. You get onstage, you do the show, you have a great time and then you go home. It’s just so much easier. How we used to do it I don’t know. The shows are enjoyable now, it used to just be madness, but now I really enjoy the show. I haven’t been to Australia for about two or three years now. This time we’re gonna be just working. We’re touring all over for the next couple of years, but I feel like I never stopped really. We split up as a bunch of kids and got back together as a bunch of retarded old men. The
live shows now are really great, they really are and I’m not just saying that. It’s like we can do now what we thought we were doing twenty odd years ago.” There’s the inevitable question of whether the reunion of the band will result in a new album being recorded, and Ryder is very hopeful that it will but is hesitant to make any promises based on how hard it is to get everyone together. Having said that, he doesn’t see the reunion as a one-off experiment. “We will do one, I don’t know when but we’ve said we’ll do one. I mean everyone’s got a lot of stuff to do and other commitments. Whenever we can all find the time we’ll get it done. I really want Sunny to produce it as well so it will have to happen when he has time for that too. To be quite honest, if we keep getting offered more shows I’ll probably be doing this stuff for the rest of my life.” WHO: Happy Mondays WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 6 June, Palace
LAYERED SLACKERDOM Although offering a change of pace on their latest release, Steve “Stevsie” Bourke assures Brendan Telford that the more Step-Panther changes, the more they stay the same. ydney trio Step-Panther have never been mistaken for a serious band. With song topics ranging from lasers and loitering to rock’n’roll aliens, music has always been an excuse to lose their shit and have a good time irrespective of the consequences. Although not everything can be at breakneck speed.
“Dreamcrusher we came up with in Sydney with Wade [Keighran – Wolf & Cub],” Burke recalls. “It ties everything together, and became the final piece of the puzzle that we didn’t even know was missing.”
“Yeah, I’ve been hanging out at home, had some breakfast, went out for coffee…that’s about it,” vocalist/guitarist Steve ‘Stevsie’ Bourke drawls.
Dreamcrusher ends with Skullface, a dumb thrasher about a guy with a skull for a face, just to remind everyone that Step-Panther haven’t gone all serious just yet.
Such a laconic, wasted response fits perfectly to Step-Panther’s aesthetic. 2011’s self-titled album was jam-packed full of brash, fast-paced, snotty jams that it immediately struck a chord, to the point that self-proclaimed rock bible NME championed them as one of 2012’s Bands to Watch. Yet after a whirlwind year, the band is happy to slow things down and focus on the music. The result is Dreamcrusher. Recorded predominantly with Simon Berkfinger (Philadelphia Grand Jury), the four tracks still hold the essence of what makes Step-Panther such an appealing prospect, yet showcase a more elaborate, layered approach to songwriting.
“It gets so we really get over doing fast, repetitive stuff all the time, but sometimes that is naturally the only way to go with the song,” Bourke states. “Bad Mood is a song that felt right from the beginning, and it’s a pretty slow song. Usually though it takes a while, and if that’s the way it is, it’s gotta be played fast, then that’s the way it’s gotta be. (Skullface) is one that we’ve always thought was fun and is fun to play, so we wanted it on there somewhere.”
S when you’ve got someone like Josh Homme saying that you’re ‘the best band that ever existed’. That’s obviously going to turn heads, and then give you that chance to show a lot more people what you’re about.” Even with that chance to show the world what these Swedish fuzz monsters are about though, it seems, with Truckfighters nothing’s going to be entirely clear cut. Capturing the band while recording their 2009 album, Mania, the film showed members dealing with day jobs and real-life responsibilities, and then interspersing the footage with psychedelic animations and visuals. “Some people expected it would be more concert footage, but it’s not a music film in that way. It’s more a documentary than a music movie – it’s about how the band lives.” The trio are touring Australia for the first time – Dango promises there’s going to be plenty of jamming when Truckfighters get onstage – and are very close to having album number four out for public consumption. “We’re about ninety per cent finished recording a new album, and because the three of us really worked together on this one, it’s going to be really well-thought.” Apologising for the new record’s delay, the band switched drummers and as Dango correctly points out, “to change one third of the band is a big thing. It sounds a bit like the old stuff. If you mix together the three albums we made, then you’ll have the new album,” Dango says, laughing. “It’s kind of progressive, some of the stuff is more progressive than Mania, yet very groovy, some of the stuff like Gravity X.” WHO: Truckfighters WHEN& WHERE: Sunday 5 May, CherryRock013, Cherry Bar; Saturday 11, Ding Dong
“It’s a bit more intricate, for sure,” Bourke attests. “We just felt like putting a few more elements on there. We were getting a bit tired of that really stripped-back sound that we were getting known for. It gives something extra to listen to and makes it more interesting for us, to mess around a bit more. Simon didn’t influence things in that way; we came in knowing how we wanted to lay down the tracks for a while. We had learnt the songs then went over to Germany knowing we only pretty much had a day to record everything. It was a pretty intense procedure because we were recording all these elements over twenty-four hours and it became a bit of a daze, then he put it all back together and made it sound good.” The title track was something that came after this session, and not only is it a new direction for the band, but it came to shape the entire release.
Regardless of the process, Step-Panther really want to kill it when they take the stage with Melbourne’s Bored Nothing and Brisbane’s own Gung Ho. Bourke admits that this tour makes a lot of sense. “We’re all alike, but not alike, if you get what I mean; there are enough similarities there that means we gel,” Bourke asserts. “We played shows recently with Yacht Club but it didn’t feel like a Dreamcrusher tour. We decided to play a real balls to the wall kinda set, really high energy, just to mess with people before this euphoric dance party kicks in. This time around the set will encompass what we as a band truly are…maybe.” WHO: Step-Panther WHAT: Dreamcrusher EP (Jerko/MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 11 May, Northcote Social Club
SOUL SEARCHING Long before Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Miguel, Bilal Oliver was pushing neo-soul into ever more avant-garde – and indie – directions. He chats with Cyclone ahead of his visit down under. ilal Oliver’s A Love Surreal, is his most high-profile album in years and one that will entice both fans of progressive R&B and vintage soul. Best of all, the cult favourite is bound for Australia. “It’s gonna be a full band,” the laidback Oliver says of May’s shows. “We’re gonna be playing a lot of the stuff from the album. When we play, the way the music is composed, every show we do is kinda different, so I can’t really say how the shows are gonna be. I just know it’s gonna be... electrifying!”
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The Philadelphian has a dual heritage, his father Muslim and mother Christian – and his love of music was fostered in Mom’s church. “Growing up that way made me openminded about religion and just society in general – and how we’re all related,” he says. Oliver, who attended a performing arts school, left Philly for New York to study jazz and so, once signed to Interscope, he wasn’t associated with the boho music scene that gave rise to The Roots and Jill Scott. But he did experience the famous “jam sessions” on trips home. In fact, others checked them out. The singer/producer recalls spotting John Legend and Alicia Keys. “It was just a real surging of hip hang-outs where musicians could get together and convene.” Oliver’s 2001 debut, 1st Born Second, with production from J Dilla and the unlikely Dr Dre, was a success, spawning his break-out hit, Soul Sista. Yet his career would be defined by industry struggle. Interscope was unsure about Oliver’s freeform follow-up, Love For Sale, which was then digitally pirated, never coming out legitimately. Still, Oliver gigged solidly behind the acclaimed Love... “It was a curse, but it turned out to be a gift as well.” Ironically, he pioneered the very promotional strategy later used by Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, who’d give away albums for free online. Nevertheless, Oliver faced a contractual quagmire with his label. He is now philosophical. “I wouldn’t change anything creatively. You learn from the situations that you go through in life. Everybody has their trials. Looking back on it, I have learned to really pay
SALE OF THE SENTRY ”I spent all my time smoking weed and playing video games and the rest of the time I just wasted.” Seth Sentry tells Chris Yates why it took him five years to finally get his album out.
attention to the business side of what’s going on.” Indeed, ahead of A Love Surreal, he assembled the mixtape The Retrospection with the help of Philly DJ Vikter Duplaix. In 2010, instead of a flossy comeback, Oliver presented the experimental (and socially-conscious) Airtight’s Revenge on the Californian IDM label Plug Research – the song Little One, dealing with his son’s autism, received a Grammy nod. He’d become acquainted with Plug Research through collaborating with Sa-Ra’s Shafiq Husayn. Oliver also befriended Flying Lotus. As Oliver’s third “official” album, A Love Surreal and its theme of the cycles of love, retains the electronic production but is more traditional. “My music has always been experimental and kind of left-of-centre. I’ve always been genre-bending and flirting with electronic music – for the last nine years,” Oliver says. The lead single, Back To Love, is ‘90s hip hop soul. The delicate ballad Slipping Away is the finest song Prince never wrote (it even has the guitar). Winning Hand evokes Oliver favourites Steely Dan. The chief guest is jazz pianist – and college friend – Robert Glasper. A Love Surreal’s title is a reference to Salvador Dalí’s art movement, Oliver viewing his works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “I guess that whole concept just meshed in – I started to really think about music like a painter would.” Oliver himself paints. “I wouldn’t consider myself a visual artist, though!” Between albums, Oliver has made countless cameos, including on Jay-Z’s American Gangster. He likewise duetted with fellow renegade Solange Knowles on Cosmic Journey off Sol-Angel And The Hadley St Dreams. “I love Solange,” Oliver enthuses. Today Knowles DJs on the side. Bilal can’t see himself following. “If I ever DJ, everything would sound weird as hell – like nobody would be dancing and everybody would be confused,” he laughs. “It’d be some strange stuff. I will have to DJ at a lounge.” WHO: Bilal WHAT: A Love Surreal (Fuse) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 4 May, Hi-Fi
SPACES AND PLACES
t’s cold as fuck in Melbourne today, I might play some video games.” This is how the mildmannered underachiever Seth Marton used to spend A LOT of his days. But as Seth Sentry, his addiction to playing video games is taking a back seat to his pesky international music career which has exceeded his expectations in the last year or so. “I’ve gone from having not a whole lot on – which was last year and, um, every year before that – to my whole year is planned out with shows and stuff,” he says dryly. “It’s getting tough! I’m certainly not complaining to be getting to see so much of the country and the world really, but there’s definitely some games getting dusty here.”
He’s just returned from his trip to America and his first time outside of Australia. After headline grabbing shows at SxSW, Sentry got onstage to perform live for late night TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live. “The experience wasn’t as full on as I thought it would be,” he says. “I mean, it wasn’t that stressful, it was actually a nice experience. The crew and everyone that was involved in the production were so great, and because it was on a stage and they had a crowd it just felt like doing a gig so that’s the way I looked at it and it kind of made it a bit easier, I guess.” He performed his two most recent singles Float Away and Dear Science for the TV show crowd, and despite his position as unofficial Aussie hip hop ambassador, he really didn’t see any need to play up his Australian-ness for the Americans. “There was never any danger of me doing anything like that,” he says quickly. “I think the music should speak for itself and music that usually does well internationally just does its own thing. That said, I still made an effort to enunciate my words a little bit better and not mumble so much to make it easier to hear the lyrics. “There was a guy that worked for their crew – the stage manager or something – and he was Irish and they couldn’t understand a word he said but I could understand him perfectly,” he laughs. “They were
For a man who keeps his emotions pretty close to his chest, it’s surprising Mick Harvey’s latest album is all about love. Izzy Tolhurst talks with the man who’s worked with everyone about his latest solo venture.
t was through happy coincidence that Annabelle Tunley, Rachael Head and Sally Mortensen became an a cappella trio while studying a diploma of music together five years ago. Though Tunley admits there may have been a little female defiance in the decision to stick together for an assignment rather than recruit the services of a “blokey, boy drummer or boy bass player”, they soon found a shared love in the challenge of approaching a blank canvas with limited resources. With this month’s debut album release, Aluka show how ditching the studio has extended a further level of creativity to their sound.
ick Harvey: it’s pretty safe to say the man is a household name. He’s been making music for around 40 years, started The Birthday Party, helped re-form Crime & The City Solution, and was behind the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ lengthy collaboration, amidst a rich solo career. In short, Harvey is one of those artists regarded as highly influential for his longstanding contributions to the Australian music scene. Now he has yet another album. It’s entitled Four (Acts Of Love), and unsurprisingly, the songs are about love. But Harvey says they are neither “particularly” personal nor an exercise in catharsis. “They’re songs I had a very personal connection with that were still on my list of songs I hadn’t done,” he says.
“We came up with the idea of marrying each song to a unique recording environment, and I guess that idea resonated with us because it was interesting and sounded like a fun thing to do, but also because we’d never particularly loved recording in the studio. I guess as a vocal group we travel around with each other and inevitably we end up spontaneously busting out Destiny’s Child songs in various locations when no one else is around,” Tunley giggles. “Through that, you really notice how different each space is and what that does to the song.” Working with producer Nick Huggins (Mick Turner, Kid Sam, Otouto), the group impressively recorded everything, save a couple of vocal lines, on location. “I think it was a bit of a producer’s wet dream because I think producers also do that thing where they walk around places and go, ‘Wow, this would be amazing to record in here’, but often you just don’t have the band; it doesn’t call for that. So he was really excited by it so that’s what we did. It saw us going to tram depots, swimming pools, World War II bunkers, and farmyards, and yeah, all kinds of places; it was a lot of fun. The songs sound so different to each other; although we thought it would work we were really surprised when we recorded it all, put them
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all back-to-back, chose the order of the songs and listened through to it. We were like, ‘Oh my gosh, this really... it really worked!’ So I guess we were pretty surprised. Each different space adds its little voice to the mix also, kind of like there’s four voices,” she says. Heading out nationally to show off Space, Aluka are seasoned performers who lent their packagedeal backing vocals to Lisa Mitchell’s live show last year, while also working with Clare Bowditch on live and recorded projects consistently since their formation. Tunley is audibly delighted to be bringing the trio to Brisbane for the first time. “When we started out, people generally just didn’t know what they were witnessing a lot of the time. We’d get on stage and I think because at that point we were three very young girls hopping onto stage and you could definitely tell in the room that there was a bit of a, ‘Oh here we go, I wonder what this is gonna be’ type thing [going on]. But it was very satisfying then to see those people, within 30 seconds of us starting, just go kind of silent and their beers just slightly tip until they’re nearly pouring on the floor. I guess we kind of... people don’t expect what we’re gonna do. They either expect us to be very bad or they expect us to be very, very cute. People obviously know us a bit better now, and so I think people come to our shows just knowing that we’re gonna have a lot of life. We love performing, so it will be fun!” WHO: Aluka WHAT: Space (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 May, Northcote Uniting Church
“For me it was just a good first tour taking small steps. I’m not trying to crack the US market or anything like that. I’ve never really tried to do anything other than just my thing.” It’s not false modesty, he’s never really tried very hard to crack the Australian market even. Things have really just fallen into place naturally and without boatloads of hype or money to help him out. When The Waitress Song first appeared as one of 17 zillion tracks on triple j’s Unearthed, it gained natural traction due to Sentry’s frank every-loser delivery and resonated with the many people who have crushed on their local coffee shop staff. “I’ve never really tried that hard to do anything to be honest!” he laughs. “I just liked rapping and if it lets me go overseas and go to New York then it’s just awesome.” Five years since The Waiter Minute EP there was speculation Sentry was taking too long to do an album, but the eventual release couldn’t have come at a better time. Sentry (mis)appropriates a famous George Best quote to describe this time – “I spent all my time smoking weed and playing video games and the rest of the time I just wasted” – and even though he mistakenly attributes the quote to Sinatra, it rings true. He makes no bones about his previous work ethic (or lack thereof) but he says he doesn’t cut any corners on what he takes most seriously about the whole business. “Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely lazy,” he continues laughing. “But I really spent a lot of time on the lyrics. I wanted them to be perfect.” WHO: Seth Sentry WHEN & WHERE: Friday 17 May, Forum; Saturday 18, Ding Dong
ALL FOR LOVE
Using just voice and body percussion, Aluka turned the recording sessions for their debut album, Space, into one big choose-your-own adventure. Annabelle Tunley talks Tyler McLoughlan through the process.
like, ‘You can understand what he said? Amazing. From now on you’re our interpreter.’ So I became the go-between for them and the Irish dude.
“I had this big list of songs, most of which I covered in the first few albums, but then I found I still had these songs on the list and they were predominantly on the subject on love, which I thought was unusual… So I still had a desire to do something with them, and I had to find a framework in which to put them. So I suppose the obvious thing was to put them in a cycle or some sort of thematic setting.” Harvey says the presence of a strong, central theme, leads him to “finding something to write” because, astonishingly, normally he doesn’t write much. Of the six or seven songs Harvey had left over, one he was always certain he’d use was a cover of the unreleased PJ Harvey track, Glorious. The Harveys have previously collaborated and toured extensively together, and the Australian confirms that, “It was always intended that it would be one of the songs that I started the project with.” However, it’s not an album that will be toured extensively or as a whole, and in spite of Harvey’s fondness for the aforementioned Glorious, he says, “Not a lot of the songs on the album lend themselves that well to being played live.” While Harvey suspects that five or six of them will end up in a live set eventually, he also
says, “The album stands as it is for what it is… I can incorporate ideas from the songs into other stuff that I have – the work that I really enjoy playing live.” Harvey’s response is similarly nonchalant to the recently approved Rowland S Howard Lane for the City of Port Phillip. Howard was a fellow Birthday Party member and had a considerable subsequent solo career, but of the announcement, Harvey says, “I had absolutely nothing to do with it at all… I mean, I signed the petition but I didn’t have much to say about that. I find those things rather odd, but anyway. And a back lane in St Kilda, it’s not like a bridge in Brisbane or anything, is it? He deserves better than a back lane in St Kilda! It’s kind of oddly appropriate… But anyway.” Harvey’s closing diplomacy comes in the form of: “So I wasn’t really involved, but it’s very nice of [the council] to do that.” Finally and fleetingly, Harvey shares his sentiments about fame and influence. “I’m aware that the stuff I’ve done is regarded in that way but I don’t really worry about that, and I certainly didn’t consider that when I was doing any of the things that are influential… I work on all kinds of levels too; some things I do become very successful and others are more obscure; some things are almost completely invisible. They’re all important to me, I just keep working on them in my own way.” WHO: Mick Harvey WHAT: Four (Acts Of Love) (Mute) WHEN & WHERE: Friday 7 June, St Kilda Memo
FULL STEAM AHEAD On the eve of their third EP release, Melbourne genre gymnasts Howlin’ Steam Train are focusing on getting their ducks in a row before taking the big steps. Lead singer Matthew Stott explains the process to Chris Hayden.
ALL ABOUT THE GIRLS Deathstars’ Andreas “Whiplasher Bernadotte” Bergh is fed up with trying to be cool. The vocalist tells Tom Hersey he’s got other things on his mind. e like to smoke cigarettes and drink vodka and sleep with girls… Everything is about the girls in the end.”
peaking from sunny Marrickville in a post-Anzac Day haze, Howlin’ Steam Train vocalist Matthew ‘Boots’ Stott seems happy with his band’s burgeoning reputation in the Harbour City of late. Despite the fact that they call Melbourne home, the rock/ soul/groove/what-have-you outfit managed to sell out their last Sydney show, and have therefore returned post-haste to promote their latest EP – Green Jelly.
“The crew that we’ve got up here are really friendly and take really good care of us,” he says of his Sydney friends. “Everyone goes to each other’s gigs and kind of help each other out. Some people have that competitive edge and are dicks about it but we’re all in it because we love music, so we all just come together – especially here.” This is not to say that Howlin’ Steam Train have abandoned their home town. Far from it. “The Melbourne scene is intense, you know,” Stott explains. “It’s good in that regard. There’s just so much happening in Melbourne. For instance, Anzac eve – there was just so much happening. For a band to pull numbers you’ve got to be really onto it and you’ve got to be really clever about how you do it. If you can do well in Melbourne you’re doing pretty well.” An intelligent approach is something that Howlin’ Steam Train has employed from day one. One example of this is the band’s leaning towards releasing a string of EPs as opposed to an album. An attempt, Stott explains, to become more comfortable in the studio before they make the big leap. “This EP was basically about us getting a bit more savvy in the studio,” he says. “We really want to make sure that we know what we’re doing when we go in to record an album. It was really more about the experience for us – we had those four songs sitting there so we thought we’d just knock them out.” To help carve out the tunes making up the Green Jelly EP, the band turned to well known producer Steve
Schram – most recently known for his work with bands like Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes and San Cisco. Stott explains that, while at times challenging, the process reaped results. “Steve really pushes you,” he elaborates. “He works you really hard just to get the absolute best out of you. He’s an interesting fella, he’ll come in and he’ll mess with your sounds and put forward suggestions all the time and I suppose sometimes we’d hear different things in it that he would, but on second listen you could see where he’s going with it. The thing with Schramy as well is that you’re going to get his sound... his signature sound. That’s why we worked with him. We liked the work he did in the past. The way that he records is predominantly live and that’s where we’re at our best. We’re not one of those bands that sort of plays to a click track and does things instrument by instrument. We’re more about getting the best take and Schramy operates under that as well – which is perfect for us.” One result of all this hard work was a recent opportunity for Howlin’ Steam Train to become the first ever band to grace the stage at Deni Blues & Roots Festival – an experience Stott and his cohorts won’t soon forget. “That was incredible, loading into that was nuts,” he enthuses. “We got in through the back gate and saw all these big semi-trailers loading in all Santana’s equipment and were all ‘holy shit’, just looking at all Chris Isaak’s guitars and all his wardrobe. It was up there with some of the best stuff we’ve done. We stuck around all day, watched Santana backstage. We had all the family down there and hung out the whole time.” WHO: Howlin’ Steam Train WHAT: Green Jelly EP (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: Saturday 11 May, Cherry Bar; Friday 24, Espy
According to Deathstars’ vocalist Whiplasher, the Scandinavian metal scene has its priorities all screwed up. He reckons that the bands in the region are too focused on competing with all the other bands from the region, they’ve lost sight of, in the end, what really matters about rock’n’roll. “In Sweden, everybody wants to be the coolest. It’s really pathetic, and it gets to the point where it’s boring. I really don’t like that part of the music industry. Everyone here is trying to be ‘true’. If you play black metal you have to be satanists, or if you play rock’n’roll you have to wear just denim, and we try not to be loyal to any genre. It should be influences coming in from all different stuff.” The vocalist from Sweden’s premier glam/goth/ industrial/theatrical black metal outfit thinks that Deathstars managed to avoid that stifling need for authenticity by approaching their music with a certain degree of playfulness. “We have one foot in the graveyards of Scandinavia, and the other foot on the Sunset Strip of LA,” the singer jokes. “There’s so many bands in Sweden, everyone you know is in a band and most of them are pretty successful. So when people go to a show here, it’s like they’re the music police. Everyone is sceptical, cynical, blah blah blah. And then some place like Australia is different for us then because it’s more free, it’s not like there’s bands everywhere and there’s not that very elitist attitude.” Discussing the band’s upcoming jaunt down under, Whiplasher reckons that their Australian fanbase, comparatively small compared to that in Europe, affords the band more of that freedom they love; freedom to be themselves and do whatever they want to do. “We’re a very, very small band in Australia. So that makes it more interesting for me I guess… Also I’m just pretty amazed that people in Australia have a clue about us, being that we’re Scandinavian and writing about
darkness and cold cities when you guys are barbequeing and surfing and having a good time in the sun.” “And then this Australian tour is kind of extra cool. It kind of feels like closure; we’re going to play all the old songs and then we’re going to go into the studio and do another album. We’ll do all the well-known songs and then it will be time to move on. So, it’s a cool and weird thing at the same time, because Night Electric Night was kind of like the second chapter to Termination Bliss, the two were very closely connected, but this album is going to be a totally different thing.” So, like, yeah? What is happening with that new album? It’s been four years. Whiplasher laughs and labels himself and his bandmates “lazy assholes” before elaborating on what’s held them up thusfar. “It’s been forever since we’ve released an album. And we say, ‘ok, we start recording at this or that time’, and then we end up on a four month tour with Rammstein and then everyone is pretty fed up with it when we get back so we take time and the album gets delayed again. Now, finally, we’re writing the last 30% of the album now so hopefully it will be out before the end of the year.” The conversation veers towards the band’s massive run across Europe with Germany’s Rammstein. The shows were amazing, of course, and Rammstein killed it, of course. So how does one go about getting their band on a tour with German’s undisputed kings of industrial? “We had just come back from Columbia and we heard that Rammstein were going on tour, so I just texted Till and said ‘why don’t we go with you?’ and he replied, ‘yeah, of course’.” WHO: Deathstars WHERE & WHEN: Saturday 4 May, Corner Hotel
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SINGLED OUT WITH STEPHANIE LIEW
ON THE RECORD
MR LITTLE JEANS Oh Sailor Sony
Feel I Oh You There’s something off about Feel. It could be the shift in the band’s sound into ‘90s punk rock, almost emo territory? The single blasé, basic recurring riff among rather plain, distorted guitar strums? Or the lyrics pertaining to some boring, petty argument the vocalist is having with a (former) lover in which he can’t figure out who’s in the wrong and begrudgingly asks her back: “Now that I’ve given you some time I appreciate you more/I stopped thinking as if a relationship’s a chore.” Alex Wall’s voice doesn’t suit this kind of melody that relies on accuracy; he should stick to the garage drawl.
MEG MAC Known Better The A&R Department Known Better begins slowly and simply with vocals and piano, and just keeps on growing and growing on you, with Meg Mac’s soulful and robust vocals carrying the entire track. Each verse varies slightly in melody or instrumentation, with an emphasis on expression. Mac stands firmly, as a person who is aware of her flaws. “Oh boy you know I messed it up this time… You should’ve known better” – she shifts the blame, her apologies more like matter-offact statements. An honest and compelling effort.
BIRDS OF TOKYO
Mosquito’s artwork looks like a Year Eight emo kid’s art assignment. There’s also a lot going on in this album’s opening track and lead single, Sacrilege, but it never overwhelms. Even when the arrangement ushers you into a gospel church while worship’s in session, it’s not overdone. But that’s just how Yeah Yeah Yeahs roll: anything goes when their band name’s attached. The slo’-mo’, clickety clack train-track sample that underlies Subway has a somnambulant effect and Karen O (Orzolek)’s lyrics are often indecipherable – the sound of her voice is more important than her words if she chooses.
It has to be said – it’s a pretty audacious move to name your record in homage to one of the great dance pop albums of all time. Especially if you’re a dance pop act. That said, if any band of the last two decades have earned the right to do something completely, ahem, off the wall, it’s surely !!!. Guitarist Mario Andreoni has explained that the Brooklyn groove survivors chose the title as it seemed to represent an “artist and/or genre’s high-water mark”. As in: INXS’s Kick is the Australian Thriller, Jagged Little Pill is the Canadian Thriller... and so on. So far; still pretty audacious. In fact the only way that !!! could talk themselves out of this one is by making the biggest, boldest, funkiest album of their career. So that’s what they did.
The lead single from March Fires, titled Lanterns, helps to set the reflective tone of Birds Of Tokyo’s latest album. The lyrics – “On we march with a midnight song/We will light our way with our lanterns on” – tell of embarking on a journey.
BLEEDING KNEES CLUB
LIVE YEAH YEAH YEAHS
Mr Little Jeans, aka Monica Birkenes, ignited the internet a couple of years ago with her brilliant cover of Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. Now, with the first single from her debut album, she proves she can stand completely on her own merits. Featuring the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Youth Chorale, Oh Sailor is uplifting and hopeful, filled with childlike awe; airy and sweet as the track is, it’s also able to pull on the heartstrings. Birkenes’ ethereal vocals hover above chimes of synths, sparse in the verses and fuller in the chorus. Buzzes and rings of other electronic noises whiz through like insects, bringing a sense of playfulness and life to the song.
Bongos in the title track prove irresistible and few could belt out “I’ll sUCk your blOOd” with as much menace as Orzolek. She seriously is a fierce frontvixen in the same vein as Chrissie Amphlett (RIP). Brian Chase’s drumming pummels throughout Slave, which opens with what sounds like a demented birdcall. Alien serenade song, Area 52, definitely has shades of Iggy Pop’s I Wanna Be Your Dog and explores a refreshing take on alien abduction with Orzolek playing willing abductee. As malleable as Orzolek’s voice is, when Dr Octagon’s flava hits Buried Alive (the only track on this album for which James Murphy scores a co-production credit), it’s a debilitating stroke of genius (“Doc Oc operate by the clock” – brilliant). Nick Zinner’s screaming guitars could be fingernails scratching frantically inside coffins. Orzolek continues to topsy-turvy traditional ideas of pleasure/pain, desire/horror with a delivery that presents being buried alive as recreation. Unlike the vampiric insect after which this set is named, you’ll welcome Mosquito into your home. David Sitek’s production is sparkling clean as ever and you can’t imagine Yeah Yeah Yeahs ever recording without him. Yeah Yeah Yeahs don’t try to be cool, they just are.
This being their fifth album, Andreoni, singer Nic Offer and their latest crew (they’ve ‘Spinal Tapped’ a few drummers) have turned to Spoon producer Jim Eno to bring THR!!!LER to life. Apparently Eno was a big fan of the band’s live show but felt they were trying too hard to capture this energy in the studio. His influence is immediately obvious in opener Even When The Water’s Cold as the snappy bass and snare immediately recall Britt Daniel’s much loved outfit. Eno’s greatest strength though is knowing when to get out of the way, as he does on any number THR!!!LER’s pounding dance pop anthems. For !!! to stay this focussed and relevant years after the music world was supposed to have passed them by is a testament not only to their enduring vision, but also to their status as a great band; plain and simple. Chris Hayden
The melodies throughout the album are dictated by the drums, especially on This Fire, When The Night Falls Quiet and White Leaves. However, it is the haunting conviction with which lead singer Ian Kenny sings – whether singing about relationships (Liquid Arms) or the state of the world (This Fire) – that sets this album apart. Lyrics such as “Don’t spend your last day waiting, feeling you’re the only one” (When The Night Falls Quiet) and “Resist temptation to forget what you changed/The best part of you” (Sirin) are extremely relatable for the listener. March Fires is an album that utilises light and shade, with the anger of This Fire and the sorrow of Boy offering striking contrasts. Standout track Liquid Arms also brings a delicate moment. Including two instrumental tracks, Motionless and Blume, works well since we’re given time to reflect on Kenny’s words from previous songs. Another standout moment on the album is the hymn-like quality towards the end of White Leaves, which is unexpected and facilitates a pleasing change of pace. Ultimately, March Fires is a dynamic album full of thoughtful lyrics. It can only be described as quintessential Birds Of Tokyo. Maggie Sapet
TEN THOUSAND When I Get You Independent Check out this chorus: “When I get you home/I’m gonna show you life.” Is that a euphemism for impregnation? “I’m gonna make you sweat/‘Til the morning light.” Where’d you learn such original pick-up lines? “So don’t you run and hide.” Uh, well, would you need to say that unless she had a reason to? Anyway, lyrical dissection aside, this track is all about rocking out big and hard. It’s unremarkable cock rock dressed up (disguised) with a bit of glittery production and big, glam guitars.
CHARLES BABY A Happy Affair (With A Terrible Consequence) Independent A folky slow burner, A Happy Affair… has an authenticity and heart to it that’s not all too common. You could either hate or love Baby’s warbling, but it’s certainly charismatic. He’s got a tremor like he’s choking back tears, and it complements the spectrum of emotions in the song; you want to cry and smile at once. Plus, it’s got just the right amount of whistling in it. However you’re feeling, it’s a song to find solace in.
EDDIE NUMBERS Wishes The A&R Department Wishes doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s got chill synth backing, some flecks of lounge, easy listening jazz or soul, as well as rap. There’s no sung melody, which is a shame, because it could have been the element that tied everything together. The band has attempted to marry midi compositions with live instrumentation and it doesn’t gel. On top of its unharmonious sounds, the rap is disjointed, the flow interrupted by awkward pauses and syllables that feel forced or don’t fit. Sometimes being adventurous doesn’t pay off.
26 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
Pale Green Ghosts
With the recent popularity of the ridiculously moreish cheese-fest Nashville (otherwise known as The Adventures of Gunnar and the Sexy Duck) in indie circles, it seems that genuine alt-country is enjoying a level of legitimised popularity not seen since Ryan Adams’ halcyon days in the early noughties. Honeyvoiced songwriter Caitlin Rose threw her hat in this ring a few years ago with her debut album, Own Side, knocking out just about every influential critic this side of Pitchfork, but not quite breaking through to any level of mainstream success. Of note here is the fact that Rose’s mother Liz Rose is a songwriter in her own capacity, having penned many of Taylor Swift’s biggest hits including 2009’s juggernaut, You Belong With Me – although tellingly, only one on Swift’s newest tween-fest, Red (it’s the one that sounds a bit like U2).
This self-titled album is the second to Caveman’s name. Caveman is an atmospheric, ethereal piece of work that serves as a wonderful background record and occasionally a great close listening album. It gives the simultaneous impression of being both ethereally timeless and straddling various genres and eras of influence.
While Caveman doesn’t build and rarely captures your attention, on close listening it’s a multi-faceted and subtle album with dense and delicate instrumental sections. Caveman demonstrates the difficulty in achieving cohesiveness without repetitiveness or flatness, even with a group of talented and experienced musos such as those in Caveman. Hopefully their future will embrace an evolution into bolder work that strays outside the now ubiquitous Brooklyn indie-pop norm.
John Grant’s debut album Queen Of Denmark showed us that even post Czars he is an exceptional songwriting talent with plenty to offer. The anthemic title track picked scabs off old wounds and let Grant delve into all that troubled his heart with wit and wry self-depreciating humour. A lot has changed since the release of Queen Of Denmark. Grant at a recent gig with Hercules and Love Affair rather publicly disclosed that he has been diagnosed as positive for HIV. He has also moved to Iceland where it seems that he is starting over. Pale Green Ghosts finds Grant exorcising the demons of the past under the ethereal brilliance of an aurora borealis. Gus Gus’s Biggi Veira’s production gives Grant’s songs an ‘80s electro-pop makeover that has his melodious baritone swimming through liquid synthetic tones that occasionally bump to techno beats but more often than not melt into regretful string arrangements. It is just heartbreaking that Grant’s trajectory in life seems to continue on a downward spiral but through his explorations of personal misery Grant is producing some of the most powerful and beautiful music you are likely to hear this year. GMF details all his personal failures and he amusingly calling himself the biggest motherfucker we could ever meet. Why Don’t You Love Me Any More featuring Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals gets messy as it bitterly dissects a failed relationship. The majestic Glacier framed as seven minutes of advice to young people coming to terms with their sexuality is a bitter pill when you realise that it is advice born from terribly painful experience. Tear stained but packing some powerful emotional punches this is one of those rare but compellingly unforgettable albums.
All pedigree and genre-exercising aside though, Rose’s second record, The Stand-In, should see her sidling in nicely with this new wave of country lovin’ whilst still maintaining an obviously innate individualist streak. First single, Only A Clown, is a pretty good indication of a par score here - a real windows down, hair-in-thebreeze pop rocker – it’s the kind of initially forgettable, eventually endearing tune that typifies The Stand-In. Elsewhere, we find Rose channelling Emmylou Harris on the delicately poised Pink Champagne, covering The Felice Brothers with some skill on Dallas and going out in true vaudeville fashion on Old Numbers. As a collection of songs, The Stand-In is surprisingly strong, with a loose lost Hollywood theme blending nicely with Rose’s capacity for a quick-witted lyric. There’s an old-fashioned romance at the core of this record, and it’s that much stronger for it. Chris Hayden
The first single off the album, In The City, is a synthy ‘80s revival track with flavours of M83’s Midnight City. It’s a gentle, danceable indie-pop tune that emphasises vocalist Matthew Iwanusa’s echoing, almost choir-like vocals. However, the rest of the album falls short of repeating the energy. The songs are generally strong in isolation; fluid, expansive and dream-like. However, where In The City is memorable, other tracks blend into each other to the extent that they are almost indistinguishable, floating past you instead of grabbing your attention. That said, the mild and drifting approach really shines through in Pricey, which beautifully combines Iwanusa’s musing, airy vocals with deeper melodies. The song evokes a darker synth pop and prog-rock sound, evocative of The Cure with a modern indie twist. The track begins with a stripped-back bass section that not only breaks the mould of the album, but showcases an understated dynamism.
What Would Christ Do??
Fueled By Ramen
At a recent show in London, Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams slammed Rolling Stone for having the audacity to suggest that she’d be better off as a solo artist. “I wouldn’t be where I am without these two guys here,” she announced, doubtlessly sending the crowd into raptures of affirmation. Being attendees of a Paramore show though, they’d probably be aware that Williams is drawing a pretty long bow here. This is clearly a one-woman show, and the evidence is writ large on their self-titled fourth album.
Back in the ‘90s while Blur and Oasis were wishing AIDS on each other and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker was getting arrested for wiggling his arse at Michael Jackson, Suede were a Britpop band that didn’t seem to embrace laddish culture in quite the same way as their contemporaries. Instead they were making pop music that was about a decaying decadence, embracing David Bowie instead of football and lager. And like their musical inspiration’s recent renaissance, a Suede reunion has resulted in one of their career highlights.
Seminal ‘90s Australian band Underground Lovers are back with their seventh album, Weekend. Their first original release in 14 years, it marks the reconvening of the original Undies line-up, with vocalist Phillippa Nihill returning to the fold and adding depth to the incredible musical partnership of founders Vincent Giarrusso and guitarist Glen Barrie. An intelligent mix of pop, rock and electronica, this album is a marvellous return to form.
There’s an old phrase – apparently since co-opted by American Idol – that some people could sing the phone book and it would still sound good. It’s hard to tell where that phrase came from (and who’s to say that hearing someone sing the phone book wouldn’t sound okay anyway?) but Cam Avery, lead singer of ramshackle Perth outfit The Growl (also a member of recent chaos pop darlings Pond and Allbrook/Avery, and former drummer for Abbe May), is in possession of a set of pipes that would tear strips off the old White Pages.
Released in the aftermath of an extremely messy split with two of the band’s founding members (brothers Josh and Zac Farro) – both of whom departed with some choice words on Williams and her status as Atlantic Records’ golden girl (not to mention religion, sex and topless pictures; it got pretty out of hand) – Paramore is a record drenched in defiance. The target really locks in on tracks like Grow Up (“Some of us have to grow up sometimes”), Moving On (“Let em’ spill their guts ‘cause one day they’re gonna slip on them”) and I’m Not Angry Anymore (qualified with “well... sometimes I am”) – all of which make it clear that Williams did not take the bust up particularly well, and is more than happy to share with the class.
Bloodsports is dark, enigmatic and with a stunning richness that immediately reminds the listener why Suede at their best were always such a dynamic presence. On What Are You Not Telling Me?, singer Brett Anderson’s voice cuts through the echoing guitars while the bittersweet backup vocals fade and drift away. The heartbreak and disappointment is palpable, despite its restraint. Elsewhere the band builds thrilling rock around Anderson’s vocals; guitars swell and leave no space around songs such as Sabotage and It Starts And Ends With You. Then there’s Barriers: a rock anthem with an all-encompassing chorus and a racing heartbeat of a drum rhythm.
Opening with the atmospheric Spaces, Nihill’s hypnotic and raspy vocals gently bring you into the album, before Giarrusso opens things up with the swaggering and chugging Can For Now. An album of many paces, Weekend shifts gears from frenetic in Au Pair to drowsy in Dream To Me, but the change never feels jarring. Tinged with ‘80s and ‘90s musical references, such as the New Order-esque Signs Of Weakness, the Undies pay direct homage to Australian counterparts Go-Betweens in the techno pop track, Riding: “We were at a party! Rob and Grant were there!/At the Cattle and Cane disco.”
Musically, Paramore is remarkable in its sheer audacity. Signature pop punk, U2-esque ballads, ukulele solos, gospel breakdowns, EDM and mariachi all pop up at one point – it’s like an instrumental stunt show. As an album it’s listless, inconsistent and generally addictive. Williams is more than the sum of her parts.
Suede were always one slight step out of time. In the ‘90s they sounded more world weary and cynical than their peers. Now, having banished their demons, there’s an underlying hope to this album – an exuberance that makes Bloodsports sound fresh and vital, and more like the start of a new Suede era than anything the band put out as their original career was dwindling away.
But this album is more than mere mimicry. It is introspective and self-deprecating without being a total downer. Haunting one moment with In Silhouette and krautrock arse-kicking the next in The Lie That Sets You Free, Weekend is a perfect landscape of electronic bleeps, distorted guitar and quietly desperate vocals. With long-time collaborators Wayne Connolly and Tim Whitten at the recording helm, Underground Lovers have come back with one of the best Australian releases so far this year.
With one foot firmly in the Tom Waits camp and the other in some kind of murky Drones-ish, Black Keys territory, the enigmatically titled What Would Christ Do?? is a perfect showcase for Avery’s gravelly disposition, in voice and song. He ably leads his merry men through a collection of meticulously put together grunt work, which kicks off with the barnstorming Eleven, an almost industrial number featuring guitar work reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare. The Growl recently toured the US and locally with fellow Fremantle dwellers Tame Impala, but there is very little of that band’s psychedelic edge on show here. Often zigging just when you think they’ll zag, tracks like NIFYWTLWOE showcase an electronic element among the barnstorming percussion and jagged keys on show elsewhere. Despite some obvious comparisons, there’s an honest to badness individualist streak at play here and if Avery and co. can stay focussed on this endeavour for long enough to gain some momentum, he may well have something pretty special on his hands. Chris Hayden
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 themusic.com.au/reviews • 27
THIS WEEK IN
ARTS specific piece of genius, now is your chance to get an audience to see it. Registrations are open to Friday 24 May and Fringe runs Wednesday 18 September to Sunday 6 October. For more info head to melbournefringe. com.au.
Up Over Down Under
WEDNESDAY 1 Australian International Experimental Film Festival – will kick off with the Australian premiere of New York-based Ken Jacobs’ 90-minute work, Two Wrenching Departures (2006). This festival will screen 47 films from Nigeria to Finland to Canada. Loop, 7.30pm, to Sunday 5 May.
THURSDAY 2 Scarborough – a play written by Fiona Evans and directed by Loren De Jong and Celeste Markwell. It explores a couple having a dirty weekend; the catch is this pair is a mouthy 16-year-old and his Phys Ed teacher. Brunswick Arts Space, 8pm, to Saturday 18 May. Amadeus – a play written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Henry Shaw that explores the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Melbourne Uni: Union Theatre, 7pm, to Saturday 4 May. Up Over Down Under – a retrospective exhibition of The Designers Republic full of large-scale works and installations. TDR established in the ‘80s in the UK are known for their anti-establishment aesthetic. Opening night, 6pm, No Vacancy, exhibiting to Sunday 26 May.
FRIDAY 3 Melbourne Fringe Registrations Open – today Fringe registrations are open to the public. So if you have a show, an idea, a site
Dance Of Death – a play written by Strindberg, adapted by Dürrenmatt and butchered into English by Tom Holloway. Directed by Matthew Lutton, this piece is about love, hatred, deceit and the role of women, with Jacek Koman, Belinda McClory and David Paterson. The Malthouse: Beckett Theatre, 7.30pm, to Sunday 19 May.
SUNDAY 5 Design Thinking: Ian Anderson – a one day workshop with the founder of UK company The Design Republic, Ian Anderson. For students and professionals, today’s workshop will look into narration in design. No Vacancy, 11am.
MONDAY 6 Despite The Gods – a documentary by Penny Vozniak about when Jennifer Lynch travelled to India to direct Hisss: a creature-feature film about the vengeful snake Goddess Nagin. But things go wrong very quickly. Part of the Indian Film Festival, followed by a masterclass with Penny Vozniak, Hoyts Melbourne Central, 6.30pm.
TUESDAY 7 No Child – a one-woman show written and performed by Nilaja Sun who after eight years of teaching at one of New York’s toughest schools decided to turn it into a piece of theatre. Sun returns to Melbourne after her sold out Melbourne Festival season. Theatreworks, 8pm, to Sunday 26 May. A Haunted House – a preview screening of Marlon Wayans new film that spoofs the found footage horror film genre; think Paranormal Activity. This screening is followed with a Q and A with Marlon Wayans, who is in Melbourne for his stand-up show. Jam Factory, 8.30pm.
ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES
Jennifer Lynch may have lost creative control of horror/ fantasy film Hisss but she’s excited about Despite The Gods – the documentary that tracks the film’s demise. She chats with Tom Hawking about India, producers and the good that can come from the worst situations. Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe’s Lost In La Mancha is the gold standard for car-crash behind-the-scenes film documentaries, but it may have a rival in the fo rm of Australian director Penny Vozniak’s Despite The Gods, a new documentary about Jennifer Lynch’s ill-starred journey to India to make a film called Hisss (a curious horror/ fantasy tale about a vengeful demigoddess with the ability to transform herself into a giant snake). Where Lost In La Mancha is tragicomedy at its most tragic and comic, Despite The Gods is less spectacular but somehow more excruciating, a document of the slow disintegration of a film that seems cursed despite its creator’s best intentions and resolute optimism. It does not, however, answer one key question: how on Earth did Jennifer Lynch end up in India making a film about a snake woman in the first place? “It was a total happy accident, and I don’t regret a moment of it,” says Lynch down the phone from Cannes, where Despite The Gods is premiering this month. “I screen my films and my friends’ films at barbecues once in a while.
We just like to get together and show each other what we’re up to. One of the producers happened to be invited by a friend of mine to the barbecue, and ended up seeing my film Surveillance. And he just thought of me for Hisss.” At first, she says, the idea of heading to India seemed like a grand, romantic adventure. “I just dove in,” she recalls. But Westerners tend to underestimate the culture shock that working in India will bring. To her credit, Lynch doesn’t rant and rave or throw tantrums, or demand things be done the way she’s used to in the USA – instead, she appears to do her best to embrace both the local working methods and the air of chaos that envelops her film from the very first day of shooting. (In one key sequence, as the camera crew struggle to shoot in a river that looks perilously close to flooding, she turns and reflects wearily to the camera, “I don’t know anyone else who’d have adapted the way I’ve adapted… made use of what I’ve had and MacGyvered the rest of it.”) “I adore India,” she says now of her time on the subcontinent. “I love the people there and I love the
A Haunted House
NOT? To continue the tweet-chat @frontrowSPA. Pic by Olivia Tran, Model—Elliott Lauren
28 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
reject her final cut, recuses herself from the project entirely. “I haven’t seen [Hisss],” she sighs. “It’s not my film. It’s just too heartbreaking a thought to see the footage colour-timed improperly, and the wrong music, and the wrong cut. I hope the producers are happy with what they made, but I don’t intend seeing it.” In fact, she says, had contractual obligations not precluded her from doing so, she would have removed her name from the project entirely: “I wasn’t allowed to [do so]. I guess they thought they could sell it better with my name on it, but they should have taken it off.” It’s the nature of documentaries to pick and choose the footage that best suits the filmmaker’s narrative, but Lynch says that despite the rather sensational nature of Despite The Gods’ tale, it’s ultimately an accurate representation of what happened. Or, more accurately:
Five minutes with
JOSH PRICE ACTOR/ENSEMBLE MEMBER If you were a neon sign, what would you say? Free 24hr parking. What inspires you artistically? Risk. And genius. And Katharine Hepburn right now. I think she’s a risky genius.
Pics by Sarah Walker Why stage Menagerie? the imaginative landscape of Tennessee Williams’ work is so vivid, sexed-up and dangerous that I’d be hard pressed to think of any reason not to. It’s also
Jennifer Lynch on set of Despite The Gods country. I even got into the freeform insanity and spontaneity of how they work. That didn’t leave any bad taste in my mouth. Ultimately I’m just sad the whole thing didn’t work out, because it could have been so much fucking fun.” Unfortunately, Hisss did not work out, and was not much fucking fun. At all. And for all the logistical challenges that plague the film, it’s ultimately a more prosaic problem that undermines its conception: it becomes clear over the course of Despite The Gods that the film’s Indian financiers have a dramatically different vision of how the film should turn out than its director does. As the shoot progresses, Lynch disagrees more and more with producer Govind Menon about the direction of the film and, once the producers
“It’s an accurate representation of some of the things that happened,” she laughs. “I really like the film, and I think all the feelings I have about what could have been in, or shouldn’t have been in, are all my own personal bullshit about how I sound, how I come across, how I look. But it’s Penny’s film, entirely, and I know she’s very proud of it. And I think it’s the very best thing, aside from all the learning and adventures, to come out of that entire production.”
a new work and like nothing that audiences at the MTC have been exposed to before.
the fact that if you book a Neon subscription you can see all five shows for $100. Big fat bargain. WHAT: Menagerie by Daniel Schlusser Ensemble WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 16 to Sunday 26 May, Neon Festival, MTC: Lawler
What was your most recent nightmare? you know that scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark where Harrison Ford is running away from the giant boulder thing? In my nightmare I was Harrison Ford but instead of a boulder I was being pursued by a giant, rolling Whoopi Goldberg. Terrifying! What excites you about the Neon Festival? getting to see a whole bunch of new work from artists whose stuff I’m always dying to see and who always keep me guessing. And
WHAT: Despite The Gods followed by director Penny Vozniak presenting a masterclass: The Trials And Tribulations Of Shooting In India WHEN & WHERE: Monday 6 May, Indian Film Festival, Hoyts Melbourne Central
REVIEWS WAT C H I N G
THE FLOOD S6, E5 This Week On Mad Men: In the flood, the animals went 2x2; when MLK’s assassinated, everyone seeks a shoulder. Peggy gives good consolingblack-secretary hugs, Joan bad ones; Pete and Trudy, so together when JFK was shot, tenuously reconnect; Henry flip-flops for the kids and summarises the ’60s (“they’re gonna burn down the city!” meets “everything’s fine!”). Harry, however, only laments the ad-sales cash lost with each Special Broadcast. The fifth Bobby Draper bonds philosophically with the black help post-Planets Of The Apes: “everybody likes to go to the movies when they’re sad”; but Days-Of-Wineand-Roses Don’s never loved his kids, especially now Henry’s their daddy. Ginsberg Woody Allens his way through a parent-pimped date, asking
ABOUT TOMMY THEATRE About Tommy presents as a staged documentary – a kind of pseudo-verbatim theatre, based on true accounts from the Balkan wars. This show takes a fresh perspective on the war genre by placing our protagonist in a UN peace keeping force. This allowed the Red Stitch team to discard a focus on nationalism and political machinations and instead look closer at the horrific nature of war itself and the effect it has on the individual. Matthew Whitty’s performance was captivating, and while Kate Cole and Paul Henri gave excellent performances for their range of support roles they weren’t pushed hard enough to demonstrate a breadth of character that justified
only two actors jumping from role to role. Nonetheless, all three actors handled the dense text with finesse and director Kat Henry’s brilliant staging was an effective use of the space. Technical elements were a bit hit-and-miss: excellent lighting married with an evocative and truly stunning sound design had me rapt, but the attempt at integrating multimedia elements with the text was let down by poor production quality and a lack of clarity for its place in the directed action. As a whole the piece was informative, but rarely established the tension expected in a war play – it was a true staged documentary with some great first-person recollection and an engaging storyline. James Daniel Red Stitch to Saturday 25 May
BEACHED THEATRE Melissa Bubnic has written a really clever little play for the MTC’s Education Program about an eighteen year-old kid called Arty (played by Damien Sunner) who weighs 400 kilograms and finds himself the subject of a reality TV show. The 80 minute four-hander uses a constantly evolving set and lots of great audio visuals to frame its vibrant and charming cast. There are regular, genuinely hilarious moments, often driven by the razor-sharp Anthony Ahern and Melbourne theatre stalwart Susie Dee, although I did wonder exactly what age it targeted, not being sure whether the average 16 year-old would be comfortable sitting next to their parent or teacher as the F-bomb is liberally
TRUE MINDS THEATRE Part comedy of manners, part screwball romance, the latest work from prolific Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith takes a look at what can bring two people together – and drive them apart. The action takes place over one evening as Daisy, an up and coming writer prepares to meet Vivienne, the conservative dragon-lady mother of her spiffy new fiance. Making it all the more fraught, Daisy has recently written a book arguing that men will never marry a woman whom their mother disapproves of. The play become a test of this hypothesis, as Daisy’s kooky family, a rakish ex-boyfriend, and her own past all threaten to intervene. Nikki Shiels is
if she loves kids; and Abe wants them with Peggy, just in the West 80s. How Big Is Thy Weiner: Midcelebrity-endorsed-awards-show, a half-heard commotion breaks out; confusion sets in. Wait, has history just happened? Arcane & Able: Ginsberg’s TV sluggishly flickers on; a combedover newscaster solemnly intones ‘negro’ thrice over. Pete Campbell’s Punchable-WeaselFace Watch: Or: Harry Crane’s Punchable-White-Castle-Stuffed-Face Watch. Smack him down, PC! Sterling One-Liner Of The Week: “You’re allowing the emotions of the day —and whatever else you’ve got in your system— to influence your judgment.” Anthony Carew Screening every Monday night, 5.20pm and 8.30pm, on Showcase
Melbourne’s answer to Emma Stone as Daisy, delivering a charming performance in a role which could go either way, and Genevieve Morris is great as her wacky bohemian mum. There are some nice moments of political commentary along the way, while Vivienne is more or less Margaret Thatcher with a Twitter account. Daisy’s politically liberal yet domineering father has his own fair share of parental expectations – including, in Daisy’s case, the pressure not to conform. The play seems to be about love that admits no impediments. But there’s a more down-to earth take-home message: a marriage of true minds more often occurs when the parents approve. Sarah Braybrooke MTC The Sumner to Saturday 8 June
dropped, or sex is graphically referred to. I also wondered about its pretty conventional employment of gender and race roles. But Beached is strong for its complex of moral issues surrounding image, identity, relationships, the media, and its concern for living a healthy physical and mental life. Simon Eales MTC: The Lawler to Friday 10 May
WITH GUY DAVIS I like Baz Luhrmann. But I don’t like like him, if you know what I’m saying. Maybe I just have an appreciation for people who create and cultivate their own mythology, although these days you could probably replace that term with another one – brand. This isn’t a new thing for any stretch of the imagination; hell, Shakespeare was probably big on brand awareness back in the day. But when it comes to the not-so-curious case of Baz Luhrmann, I find myself with a grudging admiration for the man behind the curtain – his never-saydie dedication to getting projects made, his work ethic, his attention to detail – and an increasing sense of indifference when it comes to what he actually puts onscreen. Shouldn’t it really be the other way around? Still, when one refers to their own particular aesthetic as ‘Brand Baz’, as Luhrmann apparently does, that’s when you’re through the looking glass. And while we’ve been exposed to it ad infinitum over the years whenever a new Luhrmann joint is thrust upon us, we’re starting to get an especially rich dose as his gaudy, lavish adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby awaits release next month. I’ve already read a couple of pieces talking about how a teenage Luhrmann reinvented himself a la Gatsby, turning away from a strictly regimented childhood and embracing a more artistic lifestyle, changing his name from Mark to Baz as a signifier of his new persona. Maybe this bodes well. The publicity campaign for The Great Gatsby, including a handful of flashy trailers that play up the Jazz Age flamboyance of the timeframe more than the actual story, has met with a mixed response, but maybe the impresario in Luhrmann is using bells and whistles to get the punters in the door and the filmmaker
C U LT U R A L
will then surprise us all with a heartfelt and honest interpretation of the story. Maybe he can tap into its themes, its melancholy mood. Based on his track record, however, I’m a little sceptical. There are moments of true emotion and connection in Luhrmann’s films – they’re few and far between, but when they hit they hit home. Nuance, however, isn’t his strong suit. However, the involvement of genuinely talented actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan (and I suppose Tobey Maguire, although his scenery chewing tendencies need to be kept in check) could prove valuable in conveying something deeper. More and more, however, I find myself reading about Luhrmann’s reinvention of The Great Gatsby for the 21st century. Here’s a snippet from The Hollywood Reporter’s recent Luhrmann profile, in which he talks about persuading Hollywood to pony up the necessary dough (in excess of $100 million, by all accounts): For two hours, he bewitched them with a torrent of words explaining how he would mix old and new, blend hip hop with sounds from the ‘20s and use 3D to make the movie modern, all while showing clips he’d videotaped of Leonardo DiCaprio workshopping scenes. “I went into that room and thought ‘In this moment, I’ve got to tell this story like I’ve never told it before’,” he recalls. Luhrmann’s style is his own, that’s for sure. Since his William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (my favourite of his films), he has made movies in synch with the age of sampling and mash-ups (those are still things, right?). Will they last, though? Will their themes and ideas endure? Or will they just be time capsules of a specific cultural era? It’s a cop-out, I know, but only time will tell. But look at this way: at least there’s no dubstep on the Gatsby trailer’s soundtrack. Be thankful for small mercies.
WITH REBECCA COOK Australian fashion icons Gwendolynne Burkin and Richard Nylon mixed with legends of the film and TV industry such as Jan Chapman, Gillian Armstrong, Jane Turner and Adam Elliot at the launch of the Hollywood Costume exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on Wednesday night. There they were joined by celluloid royalty John Landis (director of The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London, Trading Places) and his wife, eminent Hollywood costume designer and Academy Award nominee Deborah Nadoolman Landis, who curated the exhibition. Brimming with 100 costumes by over 50 designers, Hollywood Costume features famous duds such as Scarlett O’Hara’s green curtain dress from Gone With The Wind (1939), Marilyn Monroe’s sequined dress from Some Like It Hot (1959), the original Superman costume worn by Christopher Reeve; Russell Crowe’s armour in Gladiator (2000); and the high-tech Batman suit from The Dark Knight Rises (2012). On display will also be costumes from The Wizard Of Oz (1939), Titanic (1997), Ben-Hur (1959), Harry Potter and Casino Royale (2006). Altogether there’ll be 19 Academy Award winning costume designs in the exhibition, including a costume from last year’s winner Anna Karenina. There’ll also be some late additions with costumes designed by Catherine Martin and worn by Leonardo DiCaprio, Toby Maguire and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby joining the party on Friday 24 May after the film premieres. Deborah Nadoolman Landis has designed costumes for
Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Coming To America, Michael Jackson’s Thriller and intriguingly Animal House, a frat-house film. She is also the head of UCLA’s head of costume design school and at the opening night she turned ACMI into a classroom running a little costume design 101 for the audience. One of her students was new Arts Minister, Heidi Victoria, who said the expo celebrated the creative process of film costume design. “The exhibition explores the role costume design plays in cinema storytelling and will take audiences behind the scenes and into the creative process of the incredible designers who have helped to create some of Hollywood’s most iconic characters,” she said. The exhibition is one of two Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions that will open in Melbourne this year, alongside Monet’s Garden opening at the National Gallery of Victoria later this month. In brief, Nick Taras is probably standing somewhere right now after sitting through 147 shows at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Taras took out this year’s Funny Tonne for seeing the greatest number of shows at the Fest but he also broke the standing record which was 145 shows set in 2011. “It’s been an amazing month of non-stop laughter and enjoyment, but to be honest, I’m so happy to go back to my normal, sad life,“ he said in accepting the award. The poor bloke had been living on takeaway and not getting much kip for the majority of April, which combined with the sitting doesn’t sound very healthy. Let’s hope it doesn’t spawn a reality TV show next year – The Biggest ‘Funny Tonne’ Loser.
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 29
THE HEART OF BLACKNESS Although Bangarra’s new work Blak has its world premiere in Melbourne this week, its heart remains in country. Choreographer Daniel Riley McKinley tells Paul Ransom that it’s all about connection. “I suppose we do run the risk of being token aboriginals on stage,” says Daniel Riley McKinley. The politics of dancing is never far from the surface for the nation’s highest profile indigenous arts brand, Bangarra Dance Theatre. For quarter of a century they have brought tribal tradition to the contemporary stage. They have toured internationally, been raved about in the media and set themselves up in a central Sydney studio; all of which seems quite removed from the stories and songlines of Australia’s disparate and often dispossessed aboriginal communities. As co-choreographer of Bangarra’s newest work, Blak, Daniel Riley McKinley is quite open about the apparent disconnect. “Y’know, we perform at a theatre, where people pay to come and see it. So y’know, you could look at it like there is this borderline tokenism but the way Bangarra does it, it’s on a whole other level.” Under the twenty year directorship of Stephen Page, Bangarra has worked hard to maintain heart. According to Riley McKinley, “The lucky thing about Bangarra is that Stephen has had this long term relationship with families in Arnhem Land and other communities; and they’re so open to the idea of him sharing their stories and traditions and songs and melding that into a contemporary setting.” However, the desire to remain genuine cuts deeper than simply crafting authentically indigenous dance works. For the Bangarra team, the connection is personal and pivotal. “That spiritual link is really important for us, especially because we live in Sydney,” Riley McKinley explains. “Our stories are so based in culture but it’s hard to say connected to that everyday living in a city like Sydney or Melbourne.”
The disconnect motif is at least partly explored in Blak, a three part work co-created by Page and Riley McKinley. In the latter’s piece, Scar, the focus is on the journey from boyhood to manhood and the lack of initiation and ceremony in contemporary culture. Inspired by the scars on a friend’s chest, Daniel Riley McKinley began an investigation into the idea of becoming a man. “And that got me thinking, ‘well, what is it for us?’ We live in an urban setting and we don’t have ceremonies, we don’t have a moment or this rite of passage that we undergo and walk away as men.” After a series of ‘deep and meaningfuls’ with Bangarra’s male dancers, Riley McKinley observed recurring themes and began to mould them into Scar. “It’s sad because a lot of young boys don’t have someone to teach them the responsibilities, to show them what it takes to care for family and become self-sufficient. But also, I got to questioning my own status. Y’know, how do I know when I’m a man?” Elsewhere, Blak explores women’s business. Stephen Page’s piece, Yearning, looks at both the loss of language and spectre of abuse. The third piece, (a Page/Riley McKinley collaboration called Keepers), deals with the place of traditional culture in the fast moving contemporary world. Featuring music by renowned electronic artist Paul Mac, Blak does what Bangarra does best; namely, span both temporal and cultural chasms to create work that is both avowedly indigenous and undeniably modern. “People come to Bangarra because of that yearning for culture,” Daniel Riley McKinley concludes. “Maybe it’s for their own culture but it’s still that yearning for connection.” WHAT: Blak WHEN & WHERE: Friday 3 to Saturday 11 May, The Arts Centre
30 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
“This violence, this persecution, this is real, this is what’s happening,” says Josephat Torner, the 36-year-old subject of In The Shadow Of The Sun, a documentary that chronicles the persecution of albinos in Tanzania. Believing that the limbs, hair, and blood of those with albinism has magical and curative powers, witch doctors pay vast sums of money for albino body parts, creating a black market in murder and mutilation. “At home, I have been hunted. I was attacked, but, thanks to God, I survived. They may not stop hunting me, but I will keep talking to people, keep letting the world know: this is what’s happening,” Torner continues. “And the film is a big part of this, because before we had this film, y, it was just me.” before Harry, ‘Harry’ is Harry FFreeland, the debutante directo director who has made this portrait of To Torner’s tireless campaigning for aalbino rights. “Over the past six years years, this has become more than a film tto me, just a huge part of my life,” ssays Freeland. Torner and Freela Freeland are talking on a crackling phone-l phone-line from Ukerewe Island in Tanzania Tanzania, a remote outpost in the middle of LLake Victoria. The island is a refuge for those suffering from albinism; a hhome that is one part liberating, an another enslaving. There’s safety-insafety-in-numbers, but albino communiti communities are ghettoes; the more Dickensian Dickens schools-foralbinos locking th their students in at i ht lik night like a concentration camp. “You cannot believe how human beings are being treated; that children are being taken from their
Anthony Carew sits down with director Harry Freeland to uncover the horrific coloured hunting ritual plaguing Tanzania.
families, kept in isolation, taken to these camps,” says Torner. Ukerewe is, Freeland thinks, a “microcosm of what all people in Africa with albinism [are] going through: isolated from their
families, made to eat off separate plates, kept like animals, really.” The genesis of In The Shadow Of The Sun traces back to 2004. A teenaged Freeland was cutting his teeth as a filmmaker in Senegal,
When US theatremaker Nilaja Sun was invited to perform her one-woman show, No Child, at the Melbourne Festival, she was particularly delighted. Set in a New York high school where a new drama teacher is struggling to engage their students, the play is named for George Bush’s controversial ‘No Child Left Behind’ education policy. It seems a world away from Melbourne, but in fact it has an Australian connection Sun was eager to explore. The show follows a group of students as they stage Our Country’s Good, a play about a group of Australian convicts who themselves discover
the humanising power of theatre. Sun, who based the play on her own years of experience teaching drama to troubled students, was curious about how audiences here might receive the piece. “It was always in my mind,” she explains. “And now it’s actually happening. I’m here in Australia and I’m doing the show about students in New York putting up a play about Australia.” After a great reception in October at the festival, Sun was amazed by what happened next. No sooner had her plane touched down back in New York than she had already been invited back; Theatre Works wanted her to stage another run of the show at their venue in St Kilda. Having fallen in love with Australia the first time around she can’t quite believe her luck. “When I tell folks back home that I have been to Australia most say, ‘Wow, that’s
WHAT: In The Shadow Of The Sun WHEN & WHERE: Thursday 23 May, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, ACMI times – and acting in film and TV, Sun still works as a ‘teaching artist’, going into schools and other institutions and bringing drama skills to young people who often don’t feel that they have a voice.
Actor, playwright and teaching artist Nilaja Sun tells Sarah Braybrooke the secrets behind inspiring a whole new generation of actors.
working for the British council, when a woman approached him on the street, holding an albino infant. “She held her child out and said, ‘take it back to where it came from!’” Over the years, while Freeland made documentaries for NGOs in Africa – like Oxfam and Save the Children – he learnt more about the subject, discovering that albinos in Senegal were sent to a rural farm, where they were kept like cattle; that women with albinism in South Africa were being raped in the belief that it cured HIV. “I thought because I’d shot during a civil war in Sierra Leone that I was prepared for anything, but it’s so shocking, so hard, to come into this world, where people are murdered, and the biggest killer is skin cancer,” he says. So, the pair founded the charity Standing Voice, and now Torner and Freeland spend their days touring with In The Shadow Of The Sun; ffrom international film festivals – fro llike ik the Human Rights Arts & Film FFestival, where it screens locally – Fe t rural communities in East Africa. to ““My goal with it was to never just “M make a film,” offers Freeland, “but m uuse that film to create a charity, us t raise awareness, and finally, to to g back to Africa with it.” Says go TTorner: “The aim of this film is to To rraise awareness that these things ra aare happening, and then to help the ar albino community. This film is an artwork, but it is not just that.”
on my bucket list!’, but I didn’t even have it on my bucket list, because it seemed like such a far flung dream. It has reminded me to dream big.” Dreaming big is a message that Sun also endeavours to take home to her students. As well as performing No Child regularly – she has now staged it over 700
It’s demanding work, but Sun finds it hugely rewarding, “In the past year, I worked with a young man who was in a federal prison that I worked in. He was really a great actor, and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is fabulous’.” Sun didn’t anticipate meeting him again, but six months later she was delivering a workshop in a very different situation; this time a programme for freshman university students, and she saw him. “He had got out of jail and got into a really advanced college acting programme. There he was, and he said, ‘Miss Nilaja, do you remember me?’ I definitely remembered his name and his face, but my mind didn’t even put together that this young man, who was in prison half a year ago, is now going to college.” Sun smiles at the memory, before adding, “It’s funny because now, as I’m speaking to you, I’m realising that that is one if the great themes of Our Country’s Good. So life really mirrored art in that way.” Sun lets out a powerful laugh. “It’s a story that you would never believe was true, but it was.” WHAT: No Child WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday 7 to Sunday 26 May, Theatre Works
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GIG OF THE WEEK
Blue Oyster Cult Pics by Chrissie Francis
TEGAN & SARA THURSDAY, PALAIS A few years ago I was workin’ a merch desk at Groovin’ The Moo in Bendigo and the pesky drug sniffer dogs... Wait, that’s a different story. I was workin’ this merch desk and all the kids wanted Tegan & Sara t-shirts. Anyway, I was like ‘Tegan & who?’ A couple of years later and these Canadian twins are back and they’re pretty well one of the biggest pop acts around. This time they’re playing Groovin’ The Moo once again and they’re also playing their own show at the Palais on Thursday. Local synth-poppers Clubfeet are rounding out the bill. Get there early (doors from 7pm) and be kind to the merch people. Flamin Groovies makes everyone want to dance. There’s nothing to do here other than drink some beer and just enjoy.
DIG IT UP! PALACE: 25/04/13
The second instalment of Dig It Up! offers up a seemingly endless line-up of old-school punk, garage, metal and pub rockers unleashing complete and utter mayhem at the Palace. Today’s impeccable line-up features a stellar mix of Aussie bands and some heavyweight internationals whose glory days take us back to the ‘70s and ‘80s. Of course the event attracts plenty of back-in-the-day grandpa rockers who remember many of these artists’ songs, singing along like it was just yesterday. Dave Graney seems aware that many may have forgotten The Moodists’ tunes as he introduces each song with an amusing anecdote – like the fact that they liked Howlin’ Wolf’s Do The Do so much that by adding two letters to the title were able to re-imagine it as Do The Door. This afternoon’s set is a rare appearance of the band’s original line-up. There is a sense of nostalgia about their show and although Graney and guitarist Mick Turner have since recorded a lot of great music, today they take us back in time to those formative angular post-punk years. Some Kinda Jones works up all kind of nervousness about people who might pick fights with you at parties. Boss Shitkicker makes many nine-to-fivers feel so good about themselves that it’s time to head up to the Attic Stage. The Straight Arrows are a bunch of boisterous young hopefuls from Sydney with a whole lot of attitude. “We would like to thank The Moodists for supporting us today,” says frontman Owen Penglis when it becomes obvious that punters are moving between stages. The outfit deliver an exhilarating mess of guitar noise that’s buoyed with a rhythm that just
As The Stems get ready for their set a couple of blokes in front of us reminisce about seeing them play at Inflation but in the fog of their memory they are unable to agree on exactly what year in the ‘80s it happened. Originally from Perth, The Stems are joined by Even guitarist Ashley Naylor. Their well-known songs adopt a solid pop-rock stance and many in the crowd are inclined to sing along. At times The Stems, under the influence of the flower-powered ‘60s, sound a little like antecedents of Jet. Sad Girl and At First Sight conclude the set leaving us wondering why these gems were not bigger hits back in the day. All this blistering guitar action proves to be a little heavy on the eardrums and we depart for a few minutes respite and a bite to eat. Spleen Bar has been transformed into comedy central with local stand ups giving it their best; it proves an ideal place to chill. Coming on hard and strong Buzzcocks, fronted by Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, spit their angsty twominute punk anthems at us with machine-gun intensity. The two are something of an odd couple and Diggle seems to adopt more of a stadium-rock approach while a rather gnomic looking Shelley plays with a more subdued attitude. They may be original punk survivors but the years have made them less threatening and what remains now is just classic rock that has many old timers grinning from ear to ear as they relive their teenage years. Even Melbourne outfit The Spazzys cannot resist getting in on the action, coming on stage to provide backing vocals on Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve). Whether you are an Orgasm Addict or an old gas-o-matic or asthmatic, Buzzcocks transport us back to 1976. Meanwhile upstairs, Harry Howard is giving us a rare showcase of his work. Howard, who featured in the first incarnation of Crime & The City Solution alongside his brother Rowland, comes to us dressed in black with moody existentialist reflections wrapped in post punk-styled pop songs. Mars may need more guitars but Howard’s band is amusingly the only one on the entire line-up that features synthesisers. Coming very much in thrall of The Beatles, The Stones and also The Byrds, The Flamin’ Groovies, who have not performed together since the ‘80s,
treat us to a selection of their greatest hits that date back to the very early ‘70s. They shift from bluesy rock and roll to pop grooves flecked with dreamy psychedelics as they give us classics like Have You Seen My Baby, Tallahassee Lassie and First Plane Home which was inspired by homesickness after a six-month spell in the UK. Although they have not played together in the longest time their set sounds virtually perfect. Of course, everyone’s waiting for Teenage Head and Shake Some Action, which prove to be highlights of an otherwise brilliant set. By the time Blue Öyster Cult are ready to play the crowd has thinned noticeably. The legendary hard rock band from New York, who have been together for the past 40 years and have released at least 22 albums, have finally made it to Melbourne. Coming on stage to orchestral strains of the theme from Game Of Thrones, they kick off the gig with an extended version of The Red And The Black. Amazingly, all three guitarists come together like a three-headed monster and their guitar licks amazingly lock into each other with such precision that it is instantly obvious that these are some seriously talented players. As Eric Bloom strikes the final chords of the song it becomes clear that they could play for hours but they won’t and fans in the crowd desperately shout the names of their favourite songs. The Last Days Of May, Godzilla (which sounds a little like Muse) and Don’t Fear The Reaper are pre-selected for us and provide exactly the thrills fans are seeking. It’s an exhausting day but sinking some more beer feels good as the Hoodoo Gurus finally take to the stage to play their second album, Mars Needs Guitars!, in its entirety. It’s the album that featured a string of hits on the A-side that pushed the Aussie garage rockers up the charts and on to achieve crossover success. It’s a flawless presentation of the album that at times feels like you might just be listening to the record. Dave Faulkner, sounding as good as he did all those years ago, seems to be having the time of his life while Brad Shepherd just rocks hard like only he can. Encores see the Gurus dedicating a cover of The Easybeats’ I’ll Make Your Happy to Chrissy Amphlett and they follow this with an energised version of MC5’s Kick Out The Jams featuring members of all the bands that played across the day. Faulkner seems unsure if there will be a third instalment of Dig It Up! next year. Fingers crossed, third time lucky.
FRONTLASH DOUBLE DRUM-OFF
We wanna see a drum duel between Tool’s Danny Carey and Tommy Clufetos, who is currently touring with Black Sabbath. Insanity!
FAST TRACKING NBN Infrastructure. Anyone else froth when they see the uniformed dudes that resemble Doozers from Fraggle Rock digging away to hopefully give us faster interwebs?
FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS The first new clip (actually an outtake) from Arrested Development in seven years can be viewed at au.ign.com. The new episodes premiere on Netflix 26 May. Set those reminder alerts immediately!
BACKLASH BIKINI PANTS
As seen on that poxy show The Living Room. Basically mega-lowslung pants connected to a pair of string bikini bottoms. Must we really maintain our summer waxing regimes in winter? Not for this hoochie look.
WOMP MART Just as you get that Bom Bom song by Sam & The Womp out of head, up pops the KMart ad and it’s back in your brain for another 24 hours. S’pose it’s better than hearing Status Quo droning on about Coles though.
TRAM JAM How the hell are we supposed to know where city tram stops are anymore? And having a tram driver refuse to open the door and gesture across an intersection to where the stop’s moved to is just flamin’ infuriating!
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 33
by performing Fleetwood Mac’s (early) Man Of The World (as on 2008’s covers collection, 10). Ure closes with a taste of what is hopefully to come: Ultravox’s enduring Dancing With Tears In My Eyes. Cyclone
NANTES, BATTLESHIPS NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB: 19/04/13 Sydney-based, hot new young things and dual headliners, Battleships (pronounced like two or more big fuck-off war machines) and Nantes (pronounced like a marketing stunt), take to the stage to a typically cold Melbourne welcome.
The Temper Trap Pic by Aleksandar Kostadinoski
THE TEMPER TRAP, ALPINE, MT WARNING FESTIVAL HALL: 24/04/13 If you are heading down to Groovin’ The Moo over the next few weeks, plan to arrive early and lend your ears and heart to tonight’s two excellent local supporting acts, who are also on that festival’s line-up. Mt Warning, headed by Byron Bay musician Mikey Bee, stirs our senses with a delicate balance of lyrical songwriting and finely nuanced harmonies. Their songs startlingly capture the fingerprints of memories and the pregnant pause between adolescence and adulthood. Alpine follow up not far behind with breathy, iridescent cooing on a background of clean, retro notes – the effect is both mesmerising and calming. Their debut album A Is For Alpine would enliven any dull morning.
couple of kids and numerous couples with new-born babies present, which creates a real festival feel in the room. Britt’s I Hate Everything About You – a composition dedicated to her ex-boyfriend – is a great, dark number that is perfectly complemented by Chambers’ slide guitar and distortion effects by Rogers. Their murder ballad Else Jones is surprisingly upbeat but, as with all of their songs, the novelty of actually being able to hear and appreciate the lyrics is intoxicating. The rapport between all band members is friendly and it’s obvious they enjoy playing together. Rogers plays a deliberately antagonising role with the audience and is constantly heckled by the crowd in return. Nevertheless, he gives as good as he gets and responds to one heckler who says he looks a bit girly while playing Britt’s guitar thus: “Well just imagine my cock slamming against your stomach, I won’t look so girly then!” Another crowd pleaser: “Just tell that to my 12 ARIAs”.
The Temper Trap arrive onstage in a hail of blood red strobing lights. They open with Love Lost before lead singer Dougy Mandagi greets the home crowd warmly and the band launch into Fader. Melbourne’s cold winter may have tickled Mandagi’s vocal chords a little during the evening though – the band restart Rabbit Hole after the high notes in the opening lines prove a little too challenging for him to sustain. He laughs it off however, and thanks the audience for their patience and kindness.
At the end of the main set, The Hilllbilly Killers are called back to the stage where they play five more numbers. The particular highlight is Rogers’ rendition of Faron Young’s Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young. While country music may not appeal to everyone – and The Hillbilly Killers are very country – the band is tight, entertaining to watch and they put on a great show.
Having already done a promotional tour here early last year to launch their eponymous second album, Mandagi attributes the band’s absence since then to working on new songs – “We’ve been away writing, writing and shit, and stuff, you know. Trying to get creative.”
MIDGE URE, SAMMY PAUL
As a sneak preview of what they’ve been cooking up at Byron Bay in Mandagi’s backyard, they perform Summer’s Almost Gone, a dreamy, aching number with Mandagi’s strong vocals skimming over the surface of a melancholy melody. Warnings have been given, but the generous use of strobing lights do little to enhance the band’s material. And the wide, naked stage at Festival Hall leaves no room to hide for the army of sound technicians who scurry about throughout the evening, checking on lines and called by Jonathan Aherne to inspect his guitar feedback just before the last song in the encore, Sweet Disposition. But despite these hiccups – including several unusual sound checks preceding a few of their songs – The Temper Trap still impress with pure, honest compositions and a strong determination not to be typecast into any definitive style. Ching Pei Khoo
THE HILLBILLY KILLERS, LEENA NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB: 21/04/13 On this Sunday afternoon, Leena takes the stage with bandmate Shane Riley. Multi-instrumentalists both, Leena alternates between guitar and keyboard while Riley masterfully plays slide guitar and mandolin. One standout of the set is John Rose. Leena tells us the song takes its name from a Tasmanian sailor who was the recipient of several love letters from this songwriter. Delivered with powerful vocals and an endearing country twang, the lyrics perfectly encapsulate the connection and doubt that characterise long distant relationships. Decked out in a flamboyant white cowboy hat, Tim Rogers kicks off The Hillbilly Killers’ set by telling the crowd: “The objective of hillbilly music is to make cocks hard and pussies wet.” Opening with Whiskey And Pills, The Hillbilly Killers play a brilliant pastiche of country music. The six-piece comprises Rogers, Catherine Britt and country music legend Bill Chambers with each sharing vocal duties, harmonising beautifully. As the set progresses, the venue fills as stragglers wander in. The crowd is mainly an older group, with a
34 • For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews
BILLBOARD: 19/04/13 Synth-pop icon he may be, but Midge Ure is an excellent guitarist. The Ultravox frontman, here for the first time in nearly three decades, performs an unexpectedly rocky solo show. Warming up for him is lively Melbourne singer Sammy Paul. Somehow Paul (accompanied by a keyboardist) subversively blends retro electro-pop with SAW-style hi-NRG and Tina Cousins’ Eurodance, tapping into both the ‘80s and ‘90s revivals. Her single 24 Hours, as gleaming as La Roux’ synthpop, is actually more memorable than a muted cover of Gary Numan’s Are ‘Friends’ Electric? Paul’s high street Gimme All Your Money was apparently inspired by reality TV (and Kardashian) fever. Midge Ure, leading a four-piece band, plays to a modest yet enthusiastic crowd. Dapper in a suit, the sprightly Scot opens with 1991’s I See Hope (In The Morning Light) before launching into Dear God. In fact, much of Ure’s set highlights his oft-neglected solo catalogue – including the UK chart-topper If I Was and his personal fave Breathe. Ure possibly holds off on several Ultravox classics (Sleepwalk, The Thin Wall, The Voice, Reap The Wild Wind...) because of a proposed full tour. Still, this original New Romantic does revisit Fade To Grey, which he co-wrote for the Steve Strange-fronted Visage. Ure’s version is punkier, and more urgent – and his voice is mightier than that of Strange – but, without the cinematic and electronic atmospherics, it lacks mystique. Indeed, tonight Ure buries the epic icy synths that elevated his early ‘80s output and presaged Detroit techno. However, Ultravox’s subsequent hits were Celtic rock anthems rather than New Wave – and One Small Day fits in beautifully at Billboard as Ure’s first proper nod to the band’s canon. Later he’ll stage an authentic – and dramatic – Vienna, a timeless ‘80s record. Ironically, one of the evening’s stand-outs is Brilliant, the title-track from Ultravox’s resplendent comeback album of last year (it was better than Muse’s). A chatty Ure, so much more dynamic than a ‘heritage’ act, expresses dismay that Brilliant should be hard to find due to EMI’s corporate upheavals. There are notable covers. Ure’s inaugural solo hit was 1982’s soulfully synthesised rendition of Tom Rush’s No Regrets. Again, tonight Ure’s guitar is heavier, but his voice is no less resonant. He surprises, too,
In front of a reasonably full venue, Battleships woo us to the extent that we forgive lead singer Jordan Sturdee for wearing a tuxedo. Sturdee’s falsetto vocals are impressive to say the least. They’re smooth, consistent and perfectly complement Battleships’ ethereal melodies and shoegaze rhythms. They play through their set in a rather odd business-like manner, which is strange as they are meant to be co-headlining. It doesn’t matter however, as after a gruff “thank you” to everyone, they leave the crowd rocking out to their single In Retrospect. Nantes, who are Joy Divison-esque but with a load more synth, don’t really improve on Sturdee’s bantering skills, with lead singer David Rogers surprising us all with the oh so slightly aggressive statement, “Melbourne is fucking awesome! You guys don’t know how lucky you are!” Confusion ensues. Did someone complain? Do we all seem depressed? Were we bitching about winning that most livable city (for a travelling international businessman) competition again? It is a mystery. Rodgers’ vocals are a mix between Julian Casablancas from The Strokes and Matt Berninger from The National. Unfortunately, Rogers’ voice just lacks the depth and smoothness of Berninger’s and the coolness and fuck-off attitude of Casablancas’ (although he does try very, very hard). With lyrics that seem to contain every variation of “we never…” and “I don’t…”, Rodgers really just comes off as a little whiny. However, with the amount of delay and reverb employed, it’s clear that finding nuggets of wisdom in the chorus is not the reason we love stoner rock. While Nantes start well, sound issues across the first couple of songs reduce us to watching musicians playing as fast as they can to make it end as soon as possible. They do manage to sort this all out by Hail and Charlie, demonstrating a music style characterised by big sounds, slow builds, enthusiastic performances and tight musicianship. Despite this, however, the damage is already done, with the end of the set marked by half-hearted applause and three seconds of awkward silence that sees everyone exit en masse as soon as the GTFO music comes on. Benjamin Meyer
MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS, YESYOU, CLIENT LIAISON CORNER: 24/04/13 Client Liaison are in the middle of a pastel coloured ‘80s synth-pop jam that’s bumping along to an electro disco beat when we arrive at the Corner. Everyone’s smiling and the crowd has clearly warmed to this charming duo comprised of Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller. The ‘80s seem to exert a big influence on the pair who sport big hair and retro outfits. Their music references some cheese-laden influences of that era without slipping into pastiche or attempting to produce something that sounds completely authentic. A power ballad brings down their set, giving the lads ample opportunity to strike some hilariously overacted dramatic poses.
The Juggernauts settle into a groove with Vital Signs and a new track indicated on the set list at the mixing desk as Memorium. It is not long before Vendetta starts to turn into the thin white duke with his deep growly voice embedded in arrangements that reflect the influence of kosmische, Goblin soundtracks and cosmic disco. Although indie dance or synth pop labels could be applied to the Juggernauts they move in different directions to the rest of the pack ensuring that they sound like no one else. At the core of their set This New Technology, their new single Ballad Of The War Machine and Into The Galaxy all seem to merge into one gloriously euphoric jam that delights everyone. As the crowd demands more, The Juggernauts maintain the momentum returning to the stage to encore with the solid beats of the Daft Punk-esque Road To Recovery and So Many Frequencies. It will be interesting to see what the new album brings when we get to hear it in full. Guido Farnell
THE DRONES, KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD FORUM: 26/04/13 The stage positioning of each member of King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard reflects their chaotic yet inclusive style. Each of the members circle drummer Michael Cavanagh with lead singer Stu Mackenzie out front with guitarists Joe Walker and Cook Craig clustered to his left providing backing vocals. Their music is reminiscent of the surf rock style that they emulate, however due to poor mixing all treble from the vocals to the harmonica is drowned out by a mid-range sludge making them sound like every other stoner grunge outfit from the country. This is a shame because the band obviously have the talent and the energy to stand out from the rest. The Drones’ lead singer Gareth Liddiard takes the stage with his signature bottle of spirits (Finlandia Vodka is the poison of choice) and new addition Steve Hesketh on keys. True to the tour name, the band predominantly play songs from their sixth studio LP, I See Seaweed, released in March. The deliberate snubbing of their old stuff to their new stuff is well received, with one punter commenting, “I haven’t heard one song I’ve recognised yet… but I like that”. The rest of the crowd builds up into a slow moving pulsating mass of shuffling feet and head bobbing; the only legitimate way to truly enjoy The Drones’ music. As always, bassist Fiona Kitschin’s vocals provide an ethereal and eerie touch to Liddiard’s long and spiraling lyrics. Indeed, judging by the sheer lack of banter (and considering that he gets half way through the vodka bottle, it’s probably for the best) this is Liddiard’s preferred method of audience interaction. The final song of the set, I Don’t Ever Want To Change coaxes the audience out of their shoegazing stupor to the point of moshing. The Drones walk off but the ear-splitting cheering and almost deafening stomping of the Forum’s floor boards quickly bring them back on. “[T]his song features a shark,” Liddiard says introducing their first song of the encore. Closing off the night with the epic Why Write A Letter That You’ll Never Send, Hesketh really comes into his own providing the reflective and poignant backbone of the song. Leaving the haunting lyrics “I just want to make the world a much less painful place” hanging in the air, The Drones walk off leaving everyone wanting more. So much more. Benjamin Meyer
Relatively new indie dance kids on the block, YesYou from Brisbane transform from primarily being a couple of studio-bound producers into a four-piece for tonight’s show. They deliver a slick but somewhat predictable electro-pop sound that features layers of fluffy synth sounds that float over solid beats. Tunes like Amsterdam and Half Of It prove irresistible as they come with hooks that drill into our heads. Tara Simmons, who has been quietly playing keys all night, steps up to the mic to deal a fine version of Hot Chip’s One Life Stand. She then proceeds to steal the show by giving her voice a real workout with the song Frozen. It makes Frivolous Life like a bit of a comedown but by the time they hit the energetic chorus everyone seems to be having a good time. The Corner is overflowing with fans by the time Midnight Juggernauts are ready to do their thing. Surprisingly they seem to speak to no particular demographic, attracting a truly diverse group of fans of all ages. After a slightly delayed start the trio make a wobbly start with a new song that’s followed by Shadows. Vincent Vendetta apologises, blaming a faulty new keyboard before acknowledging that it has been three long years since they played live and that they are now learning how to play these songs again.
The Drones Pic by Jesse Booher
songwriter/frontman Kevin Parker is sincere when he tells us he’s happy to be breathing Australian air once more. His voice sounds tired and cracks mid-note a few times tonight, which is not like him at all. The bleating lamb quality of Parker’s vocal is endearing and ever-present, but one usually feels completely relaxed and confident he’ll nail every soaring high note. This evening, not so much. Man is this band tight, though. Arrangements that fly away on delightful tangents at the three-quarter mark are what make us heart Tame Impala live. The records are flawless, but live they are a different beast entirely; one that bucks and snarls like a schizophrenic Hippogriff. Elephant is off the chain. A jazz interlude (yes, seriously!) invades the scene and then a couple of bars of that marauding beast of a melody charges back in to conclude and then, cut! Jaws on floor. At the time of writing, this scribe still hasn’t recovered from the thrill. When all band members are up on stage nodding their long locks in unison, they call to mind Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem (The Muppets band). Feels Like We Only Go Backwards twists and turns and takes you on a fantastic voyage. If you were hearing these songs for the first time tonight, they’d sound familiar yet oh-so current. Half Full Glass Of Wine pours elephantine portions live and that riff could give you whiplash. Parker earnestly acknowledges that when his band supported MGMT at this very venue back in 2008, they never imagined in their wildest dreams they would be headlining on this same stage a few short years later. Tame Impala Pic by Aleksandar Kostadinoski
TAME IMPALA, MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS FESTIVAL HALL: 26/04/13 There are several rebels hastily downing their travellers (and butting out blunts) on dodgerama corner en route to ‘the House Of Stoush’. Inside the venue, Midnight Juggernauts open with a track full of sequenced, Simple Minds-esque synth. They’re travelling as a four-piece these days and they wear it well. “We have new equipment,” towering frontman Vincent Vendetta shares. “We’re just working it out.” The genetically
blessed singer/multi-instrumentalist rips out some positively unholy sounds such as the intro Shadows bellow. They may have been a bit AWOL over the last three years, but even the oldest Juggers material sounds as relevant as if it were composed yesterday. Andrew Szekeres’ basslines are a message for the munted. The new material previewed tonight is stellar and closer Into The Galaxy makes us all feel “Bred supersonic”. A welcome return to the touring scene. Fresh from Coachella (and backstage hang-out photo opps with Danny DeVito), this is the first night of Tame Impala’s Australian tour. The band’s mastermind/
A genuine encore features a massively extended jam that makes us feel as if we’re witnessing Tame Impala in their natural habitat. Psychedelic rock’n’roll magic has been cast and there’s no way we’re going straight home. Bryget Chrisfield
AINSLIE WILLS, SPENDER, OSCAR LUSH NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB: 24/04/13 Sydneysider Oscar Lush opens the evening with a small guitar, large beard, tight jeans and an expression that instantly reminds you the Comedy Festival is over. Musically however, Lush is a far from simplistic
categorisation. Openers Started A War and Vanishing Point immediately set him apart as a singer-songwriter, with his resonant and expressive voice, evocative lyrics and deft guitar playing. Channeling Phil Ochs and Jackson C Frank, but probably a bigger fan of The National, Lush is a revelation who seems excitingly out of place in 2013. Songs jerk along with slashing strums and a voice made for filling big old rooms and fire-lit shacks. I Dreamed Of My Brother Dying, a song he apparently finished today, is breathtaking in its lyrical acuity, marking him as a major discovery. Spender are a tight punchy three-piece, specialising in a curiously catchy take on math-rock, with charisma to spare. Despite a reliance on preprogrammed elements detracting from their live impact, a fascinating mix of genres holds attention, even without the dry, geeky humor of main man Tommy Spender. Songs like Hotel Home and Magic Man have the audience on side in moments, so that when the saxophone comes out for jazz-funk freak out of closer Never Again, everyone is smiling. With the ‘sold out’ sign on the door long before she arrives on stage, Ainslie Wills instantly shows how this success has found her. Launching her second album, You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine, yet writing and performing like it’s her tenth, Wills and the brilliant band she has assembled manage to fit so much space and charged atmosphere into her songs they seem light-years ahead of their contemporaries. One of the most obvious weapons in their arsenal against blandness is the fluid, imaginative work from guitarist and co-writer Lawrence Folvig – masterful in his balance of effects and melodies. Album highlights Mary and Lemon Japan showcase her jaw-droppingly expressive voice and the imaginative confidence of her arrangements to showcase it. Natalie Lewis’s invaluable harmonies are equally stunning during the room-silencing build and release of Liquid Paper with its Yorke-esque swoops of melodies and lingering tension. Current single Fighting Kind is a crowd-rousing burst of twisting brilliance with calls to play it again coming as soon as it ends. Closing This Is What I Write is skin-prickling in its beauty and with a delicate encore of Radiohead’s Nude, closes one of the shows of the year. Andy Hazel
For more reviews go to themusic.com.au/reviews • 35
WAKE THE DEAD
BLUES ‘N’ ROOTS WITH DAN CONDON ROOTS@TIMEOFF.COM.AU
THE HEAVY SHIT WITH LOCHLAN WATT
HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH SARAH PETCHELL
bands that have been nominated, 25 will be chosen via a public internet vote to then be reviewed by Hard Rock’s panel to decide who will take out the major prize, which includes a record deal and world tour. To vote, which will only take you a few seconds, head to facebook. com/hardrock. The band are currently mid-way through their Regional Roulette tour around rural Victoria with Frankenbok, Abreact, Dreadnaught and King Parrot, which resumes on Friday 17 May at the Pelly Bar in Frankston.
Villagers The Splendour In The Grass line-up was unleashed this time last week and anyone who has followed this column over the years will know that I like to look at the positive things that the bill gives us rather than piss and moan about how there’s not enough blues and/or roots music on the bill (because you can never really get enough blues and roots, can you?). There’s certainly something in there for fans of the genre; in fact I believe all three headliners could loosely fit the bill. Should you be into the jaunty, singalong British folk Mumford & Sons (which I am absolutely not) it ought to be quite a joyful set when they head up proceedings on the Friday night. Saturday night’s big act The National have a definite kind of chamber-indierock vibe but many alt-country fans absolutely love them. Finally, Frank Ocean is certainly an artist in the urban genre, but his brand of R&B owes far more to the likes of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye than Nelly or Destiny’s Child. A couple of the country’s best soul acts of the moment – The Bamboos and Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes – are both on the line-up this year so you can be guaranteed some definite quality dancing time when those two acts burn up the stage. Hopefully the latter gets a good time slot, they are in great form as a live band and would certainly benefit from a big showing at Splendour this year. Another chance to dance will come with kiwi favourites Fat Freddy’s Drop who seem intent on hitting every festival they can right now. There are big Aussie stars galore – Bernard Fanning, Sarah Blasko, Matt Corby and Boy & Bear among them – as well as a whole swag of up and coming or just not quite that popular Aussie folk-leaning fare like Whitley, Vance Joy, Art Of Sleeping, The Growl and The Chemist. Of course going to see the brilliant Gurrumul will be a real treat when he performs at the event on the Sunday; I’ve not seen him play a festival before and I’m still a little unsure as to how his gorgeously gentle music works with what is generally a rowdy crowd, but I look forward to finding out. From overseas there are a few other big name acts and some that are sure to become big names in the future. Folk lovers won’t want to miss the great Irish group Villagers, who have been enjoying a serious amount of success in their homeland and pretty widespread acclaim outside of it, while British group Daughter could very well be one of the next big things, the gentle songs of Elena Tonra just about ready to jump over to that bizarre point in between the indie world and the mainstream. Laura Marling returns as an older, wiser performer and songwriter but will have people no less enamoured, let me guarantee you that and let’s just say I don’t envy anyone who’s keen on the folk pop work of Of Monsters & Men because they’re set to have an enormous crowd come July. That leaves a couple of personal recommendations that just don’t quite fit the blues and roots framework but I think are necessary to see all the same if you’re going to be hitting Splendour this year. The experimental indie rock of TV On The Radio is brilliant on record, but their skills as a live band are just out of this world; they’ve got to be one of the most gripping live propositions around. Finally, the old-school psychedelic soul pop of Auckland-via-Portland trio Unknown Mortal Orchestra proved earlier this year that they are far from a one trick pony by issuing their second great record in a row in II, another spacey, dreamy cut of soulful pop that showed the inventiveness of the clearly Hendrixinspired guitarist/frontman/songwriter Ruban Nielson that has managed to get a fair amount of critical acclaim but just doesn’t quite have the sheen that makes them a really popular act. Splendour hits the North Byron Shire Parklands from Friday 26 July through to Sunday 28.
36 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog
Obituary Floridian death metal legends Obituary come to town this week, playing a set of classics made up entirely of their first three album releases – Slowly We Rot, Cause Of Death and The End Complete. Denouncement Pyre and King Parrot will open things up at the Espy this Friday 3 May. Bleeding Through will play their final Australian shows. The Californian metalcore pioneers, who formed in 1999 and announced their breakup in January, released seven full-length albums, the most recent being 2012’s The Great Fire. With Perth’s Make Them Suffer on national support duties, you can catch them one or two more times at the Ferntree Gully Hotel on Friday 26 July, or at the Hi-Fi Bar on Saturday 27 July.
Death Audio will be lucky enough to support Sweden’s Soilwork for a second time – this time in Sydney at Manning Bar on Thursday 3 October. The Melbourne-based groove metal act released their debut self-titled album last year and you can also catch the group this Saturday 4 May at the Evelyn Hotel in support of Norma Jean (USA), Vanna (USA), Newcastle’s Safe Hands and the recently re-formed A Secret Death. The aforementioned touring bands will also play at the Corner Hotel on Sunday 5 May with Belle Haven.
Local brutal death metal band Involuntary Convulsion have released a new song and lyric video to their new track, Purified Exsanguination. You can check it out on YouTube or Soundcloud. It is expected to reappear on a forthcoming release from the band in 2013.
Due to potential copyright, trademark and hence potential international distribution issues related to their forthcoming second album, Melbourne melodic death metal group Orpheus have officially changed their name to Orpheus Omega. To coincide with the announcement, the band launched a new video clip and track, Sans Memoria, from their new album ResIllusion. Catch the band launching it this Saturday 4 May at the Evelyn Hotel alongside Before Nightfall (QLD), Naberus (who will also be launching their debut album Reveries), Dark Earth and Alaskan Thunder.
Melbourne’s own heavy hitters Heaven The Axe have come out on top to represent the Australian pack in the Hard Rock Rising 2013 international battle of the bands. Out of 96
Swedish goth/industrial metallers Deathstars are hitting the Corner Hotel this Saturday 4 May. Sydney’s Graveyard Rockstars and locals The Mercy Kills will provide support.
FOREIGN OBJECTS WITH CLARE DICKINS fabric, perhaps a trip up to Liverpool to attend Yousef’s Circus, or even a visit to Manchester so he could get a taste of the mentalist sweatbox that is Sankeys. Nope.
Girls Aloud Trips of a lifetime can take many forms. I guess I’m still in the midst of mine – although it’s stretched on to the point I actually realised the other day I may well fall into the category of an ‘expat’. Bizarre to say the least. One of my oldest and dearest friends came to visit me in London last month – his first trip overseas at the ripe old age of 29. Someone once described me as having an “aggressive passion for music”, which I saw as a huge compliment – nothing worse than musical ambivalence. In Adem’s case this is taken to an almost Olympic level of enthusiasm. A music critic and blogger, his acid tongue is also legendary. In 2004 he penned a review for Inthemix of an appearance at Bass Station by Italian hardstyle duo the Trance Generators, that was so scathing, legend has it, it actually caused the remainder of their Australian tour to be cancelled. One of the more memorable lines in the review actually had him comparing their fistpumping to a ‘HARDSTYLE HARDSTYLE’ vocal sample reminiscent of Hitler at the Nuremberg rallies. He goes on so say ‘the music they were playing actually made me aggressive, developing wild fantasies in my mind, contemplating starting something reminiscent of the L.A Riots just to keep myself entertained’. I still click back on that review every year or so for a guilty giggle, such is the masterclass of vitriol he executed with that review. So you can imagine the impact when Adem exultantly talks about the music he actually likes, or one better, buys himself a whirlwind holiday around Europe to chase his musical idols. I must confess that prior to his arrival I had fantasies of taking him to
This reformed raver was fully committed to his pop roots and was coming overseas to see not one, but two Girls Aloud concerts (London and Liverpool, ultimately their last ever gig with the announcement of the split coming straight after), a One Direction show in Cardiff, a trip on the Eurostar to see Liza Minnelli in Paris (including the obligatory pilgrimage to see Jim Morrison’s grave) and Olivia Newton-John at Royal Albert Hall. There was also the shared experience of us seeing the Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, but that so B-grade we’ve almost blocked it from our collective memories. (Why Jennifer Saunders, why?!). Like any superfan, Adem ensured he was front and centre for the first Girls Aloud concert in London. When they cried during their rendition of ‘I’ll Stand By You’, so did he. His sobs were even immortalised on film when the camera shot him “ugly crying” (his words) for their tour DVD (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=VtFScwp94zk - he appears minute 2:49) In Paris he waited in the cold to greet Liza after her gig and bum rushed her car to tell her he’d travelled all the way from Australia to see her. “Oh dahhhhling! I hope it was worth it!” she responded in a way only Liza can. When the news broke of Girls Aloud’s breakup he spent the following days mourning them like a death of a loved one. Details of the motives behind the split were poured over with other fans with all the seriousness of a discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I must admit there were times when I wished he’d gone out and explored London a bit more; seen the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and strolled along the Thames. But for Adem, when Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle tells you, “I love you too! So much!” that pretty much beats the hell out any experience wandering around London’s choked tourist ghettos. Go to ademwithane.com to read his hugely entertaining blog or follow him on twitter, twitter.com/AdemWithAnE
The Wonder Years The biggest and best piece of news this week is that one of my all-time favourite Australian bands, The Nation Blue, are coming out of a summer hibernation to play a show at the Tote on Saturday 8 June. Best of all, joining them will be No Anchor and Dead. Brisbane’s No Anchor haven’t been to Melbourne in almost 12 months and they will be presenting tunes from their 2012 masterpiece, The Golden Bridge, as well as their split with Dead (that will be released in time for the show). Tickets are on sale now. I thought that Robotosaurus had broken up, but apparently not quite yet as two weeks ago the Adelaide five-piece announced that they would be releasing a split with a Wollongong five-piece called Totally Unicorn. If you go by the last split that Robotosaurus worked on (which was with Coerce and was my favourite record of 2011) then this is bound to be an incredible release. ANYWAY, the split is called Together Again and it’s coming out soon through Brisbane based label, Monolith. Philadelphia pop-punk act, The Wonder Years, are getting ready to release their new album, The Greatest Generation. I mentioned a while ago that it had been picked up by UNFD Records and was getting a release later this year, but it looks like the record is available for pre-order now. You can pick up a copy when it drops in stores on Friday 17 May, but in the meantime a couple of tracks from the album are streaming online now. Prestigious punk hardcore label Bridge 9 Records announced last week that they’ve signed Iron Chic. A melodic punk band from New York State, Iron Chic formed back in 2008, quickly released a five song demo tape, a 7” and then finally their debut full-length Not Like This back in 2010. The band developed a reputation, not only for their excellent music, but also because of their status as a punkrock “supergroup”, featuring members of Latterman, Small Arms Dealer and Capital. Now, in 2013, Iron Chic have written and recorded the Spooky Action EP, which is getting the vinyl treatment thanks to B9, with plans to release a full-length coming soon! Everyone’s favourite ska band, Less Than Jake, have announced that they are officially back with Fat Wreck Chords. This follows the 2012 re-issue of Borders And Boundaries and the EP collection Greetings And Salutations, but in the meantime we have to wait until later this year to get new material from the band. This release will mark Less Than Jake’s first full-length of new material since 2008. Vinnie Fiorello, drummer for the band, said of the new arrangement, “When we first talked to Mike about repackaging our limited EPs… it was a casual conversation about our new songs and direction. Then we started to write songs for a new record.” He went on to say, “Working with Fat feels right and with that said we are happy to be headed into the studio in May knowing that Fat will be handling the next record.” There is a new band coming out of Melbourne that were brought to my attention last week. Called Ceres, the band are making a name for themselves with their brand of catchy, ‘90sinfluenced emo rock. SHORT.FAST.LOUD and triple j have been giving them a little bit of airtime, which is usually a good indication that the band are onto something good. Their latest release is an EP called Luck and I recommend heading along to their Bandcamp page and giving it a listen. Lastly, we say farewell to the band that brought us crabcore. Attack Attack! have announced they will be parting ways. The band posted a message through their Facebook page saying, “It’s been a wild ride for Attack Attack, but I think it’s about time Whiting and I take some time to write this note… The Back in Action Tour will be Attack Attack’s final and most ironic tour. After six long years of playing in garages, VFW halls, clubs, open air festivals, and everything in-between, we’ve decided it is time to lay AA down for good… We are sad to lay Attack Attack to rest, but are very excited for what is next in this new chapter of our lives.”
ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’, OUT OF CONTROLLIN’ WITH TIM SCOTT
URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE
HIP HOP NEWS & COMMENTARY WITH ALEKSIA BARRON
Rule Of Thirds Two of the stronger Australian punk releases to have sprung in 2013 come not from Melbourne or Sydney but from Adelaide’s Rule of Thirds and Brisbane three piece Occults. Releases nineteen and twenty for No Patience a label operated by Lewis Godwin who plays in Rule of Thirds and the Vaginors Beginning in 2009 with a now sold out demo 10’ bootleg of Brisbane hardcore band Teargas, the DIY punk label/distributor has since developed into one of Australia’s strongest releasing records from the likes of Straightjacket Nation, Suffer, Chrome Dome and Godwin’s former band Bloodclot Faggots. With over ten records planned for 2013 Lewis don’t look to be slowing anytime but while earlier releases were of the hardcore variety upcoming albums include the gloomier Lakes LP and a TAX 7”. “Australian garage has a strong and unified presence internationally through the efforts of Eddy Current Suppression Ring and RIP Society and Negative Guest List records etcetera but I wanted to do my part to put bands that I think are overlooked as much on the map as possible”, Godwin explains before a recent Melbourne trip with Rule of Thirds. Lewis describes the three song Rule of Thirds album as “batcave-esque death rock” and while Occults share similar territory albeit with a slightly more downer rock’n’roll / Australian swamp punk sound, he says the gothy punk vibe of the two releases was more coincidence than anything. One of No Patience strongest acts to date is Godwin’s own band Vaginors a maniacal almost absurd hardcore band that puts some fun back into punk. Their album Nuclear Papsmear samples Rammstein and their live show could be described as juvenile bordering on obnoxious . Definitely entertaining. Lewis approaches his label releases in the same manner as he does the punk bands he plays in - varied. When so much of modern punk is so one dimensional it’s refreshing to hear a label that enjoys throwing the odd spanner. “I like a lot of different kinds of music.” he explains. “At the end of the day I like a strong hook and a well written song. Good music is good music, regardless of the specifics.”
RICH RISTANGO Detroit is a weird and wack city that has a long history of producing even weirder and more wack musicians. Rich Ristagno is one of them. The story goes is that a young Rich wanted to get closer to the infamous Detroit race riots of 1967 after hearing about the them on the radio. So he and his Midnight Riders garage band ventured into the no go zone only to get busted for looting. Later after being conscripted he returned to Motown in the early seventies where he continued his outsider punk. Originally released as a private press of 200 copies (with no cover art) in 1980 his What Would It Be Like To Be Rich album has recently been reissued by Drag City and it’s as odd as it is awesome. Basically an autobiographical concept album Ristagno hired a local funk band called Soular Flight then recorded an angsty fuzzed out opus. While there seems to be very strong Lou Reed and VU influence in his odd ball funk rock Ristagno himself apparently cites Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac. Bizarre but great. Teenage Hate air every Wednesday night at midnight on Triple R 102.7 FM
It’s been ages since R&B had a mega male vocal troupe. But the pop success of Simon Cowell’s One Direction and their slightly more urban rivals The Wanted could kick off a revival – possibly led by Mindless Behavior, who’ve just released their second, All Around The World. The Californian teen quartet, a social media phenom, is a throwback to manager Chris Stokes’ franchises IMx (AKA Immature) and B2K. Though the boom in boy bands, and slicker vocal harmony groups, is equated with the ‘90s, it all started a decade before with New Edition (or earlier, if you count The Jackson 5 or back the doo-wop ‘50s). New Edition, their first hit 1983’s Candy Girl, opened the way for New Kids On The Block, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, and Britain’s Take That. Boy bands have long been scorned by (male) music critics – not just because they’re typically manufactured, but also because they appeal to “hysterical” (female) teens. Still, there were the more credible – and grownup – R&B ensembles, most obviously Motown’s Boyz II Men – like the kiddy Another Bad Creation, discovered by Michael Bivins of New Edition (and Bell Biv DeVoe) fame. The Philadelphians touted themselves as “hip hop doo-wop”. More street were Teddy Riley’s Guy, leaders of New Jack Swing. Riley, a brilliant producer, subsequently formed BLACKstreet, their biggest hit, No Diggity (featuring Dr Dre). Guy’s Aaron Hall remains among R&B’s most underrated vocalists (YouTube his solo ballad, I Miss You). Guy foreshadowed the ‘bad boy’ Jodeci, developed by young Uptown Records exec Sean “Puffy” Combs. Jodeci’s biggest fans were surely Baltimore’s Dru Hill, which the flamboyant Sisqó fronted. In the ‘90s every self-respecting urban super-producer or label boss had a male vocal group, whether
naughty or nice: 2 Live Crew’s Luther “Luke” Campbell introduced H-Town (y’all recall Knockin’ Da Boots?), Puffy’s Bad Boy signed 112, Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def had Jagged Edge, Naughty By Nature DJ KayGee brought us Next with the charismatic RL, and Michael Jackson’s MJJ Music launched both 3T (actually brother Tito’s offspring) and Men Of Vizion. 98 Degrees were a white counterpart to LaFace’s Az Yet – or Shai. New Edition, including Bobby Brown, smartly reconvened for 1996’s blockbuster, Home Again. The UK gave us Damage and Another Level (who covered Freak Me by Keith Sweat’s protégés Silk). Australia had the soul-pop Human Nature and urban CBD and Kulcha. Yet few vocal groups survived the hip hop revolution. Romance was out, raunch in. Groups’ sales dipped and their deals soured. Dudes fought. For many it really was, as BIIM sang, the End Of The Road. Members went solo (Bobby Valentino began in the Organized Noize-guided Mista). Others forged careers behind the scenes, acted, found God or appeared on reality TV. Remember Color Me Badd’s I Wanna Sex You Up? Today CMB’s Sam Watters belongs to the production fold The Runaways. 98 Degrees’ Justin Jeffre ran for Mayor in Cincinnati. However, acts have reformed to capitalise on ‘90s nostalgia, reaching out to that ‘adult contemporary’ demographic. Unusually, All-4-One, best known for their country cover, I Swear, stayed intact. 98 Degrees are about to drop a comeback, 2.0. But back to Mindless Behavior – or Prodigy, Ray Ray, Princeton and rapper Roc Royal. They were assembled through auditions in 2008. The ‘90s R&B producer Vincent Herbert, now the label mogul who mentors Lady GaGa, is involved. After touring with Justin Bieber, Mindless Behavior debuted with 2011’s US Top 10 #1 Girl. B2K were never all that, Omarion’s presence aside, but Mindless Behavior’s music is horribly generic – either retrograde Swedish House Mafia-mode club fare (the asinine title track) or simpering balladry (Used To Be), all heavy on Auto-tune. The biggest ‘urban’ hitmaker, Sean Garrett (Usher, Beyoncé) has a hand in the swaggy Southern bumper Keep Her On The Low. The best thing would be to forget Mindless Behavior and dig out your ‘90s CDs – especially Mista.
THE BREAKDOWN POP CULTURE THERAPY WITH ADAM CURLEY
Lana Del Rey With its tracklist spinning around the Internet the past month, the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby will be out next Monday internationally through Interscope. The list of acts featured is aligned with Interscope’s preference for high-camp, costumed takes on whichever genres its artists plough. It also features three of the label’s own: Will.i.am, Lana Del Rey and Fergie. Add to those names Jay-Z, Beyonce and Andre 3000, Coco O of Danish duo Quadron, Florence & The Machine, Jack White and Sia, and it becomes evident that the pop music landscape has itself turned into a Luhrmann wonderland. The filmmaker hardly had to look far to pick acts suited to his OTT rendering of East Egg. Right now, the most pervasive pop acts are widescreen, big-money versions of their influences and give a knowing wink at the end of the show. They’re in on the joke they become when performing so crassly. Will.i.am must include drunken fratboys in the videos for his club thumpers. Beyonce must dance to the point of parody. It’s for this reason, no doubt, that Lana Del Rey’s Young & Beautiful was chosen as the soundtrack’s lead single, released last week. LDR has the kind of online reach that will help the film spread its webby tentacles preceding its cinema release later in the month. She also embodies the tragic glamour of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s characters – but not just that. Having come full circle on her vision (or with audiences and the media having come full circle on her vision), LDR can now be accepted as delivering glossy commentary on glamour while wearing someone else’s clothes. She exists now as an actress hamming it up and doing it (on record, at least) rather endearingly. It’s rhetorical when she questions over an orchestra on Young & Beautiful, “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?” She knows we
won’t; we know we won’t – and the song’s meaning comes from that shared knowledge rather than from the question’s face-value insecurity. Of anyone on the soundtrack, LDR is the closest musical equivalent of a Luhrmann production, where emotion is drawn from the audience’s relationship to the spectacle, from the sad gap between the spectacle and a real life. I’m thinking of the fireworks in Romeo & Juliet and the two-dimensional proclamations of the bohemians in Moulin Rouge. They represent such bombastic ideals and desires that what affects us is their impossibility. We yearn for them. Luhrmann’s approach to scoring and soundtracking has been different with each of his films, and he’s using what he’s learned on Gatsby. On Romeo & Juliet he balanced bubblegum pop by unknowns with ‘credible’ rock acts, with the latter given the task of delivering the melodrama. Shirley Manson singing, “I would die for you,” was histrionic, but it was Shirley Manson so it was an acceptable indulgence. The effect of Moulin Rouge’s medleys of past pop songs was nostalgia, which was close enough to romance and regret. On the Gatsby OST, Luhrmann is again juxtaposing modern pop and a period setting, as well as linking the bravado of rap to Jay Gatsby’s celebration of wealth, the way he linked Christina Aquilera and Lil’ Kim to Parisian cabaret on their cover of Lady Marmalade. But the songs on Gatsby are mostly new, aside from Bryan Ferry & The Bryan Ferry Orchestra’s jazzed version of Roxy Music’s Love Is The Drug. The down moments are left to The xx and Gotye, being themselves, and to Jack White’s 2011 cover of U2’s Love Is Blindness. Known and credible quantities. Otherwise the soundtrack features largely celebratory tunes from current pop and rap royalty with the garish façade of 1920s jazz over their own styles. Beyonce and Andre 3000 give a sultry version of Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black; Will.i.am incorporates The Charleston into his track and Fergie sings for her supper on an even more annoying cousin to We No Speak Americano. None of them have to act much to invoke the desperate pomp of Gatsby’s parties, or to cover old songs, because they’re already acting enough. Luhrmann is simply putting them in front of us, letting the spectacle do its thing.
Tuka Ellesquire has one of the slickest flows in the business, and now he’s dropped some long-awaited new material in the form of The Messtape, a free mixtape now available for digital download. Oh heavens, it’s good – although would we be expecting anything else from the man behind the brilliant On The Prowl? The Messtape, quite simply, is terrific fun – from the cheeky braggadocio of opener Dosey Doe to the Drapht-spoofing Where’s LS?, there’s plenty to love. And then there’s the brief but excellent track Place To Stand, which is one of the most surprisingly perfect 90 seconds of music I’ve ever experienced – a beautiful piece of lyricism with an instrumental backdrop. It’ll be exciting to see what Ellesquire does next – he’s achingly close to winning the hearts of a larger audience segment, and he’s got the perfect opportunity to pull it off, too. He’ll be supporting Seth Sentry on his massive run around the country, and nobody’s proved that Australia loves a quirky rapper more than Sir Seth. I’m barracking for Ellesquire in a big way, and if you want to see what all the fuss is about, I’d suggest you check out The Messtape post-haste. You can download it for free via ellesquire.bandcamp.com. Another release you should be adding to the collection is Kadyelle’s new LP The Theory Of Everything. The Perth MC has been building her name out west for several years now and is starting to turn heads across the country – with good reason. She’s a highly skilled MC with a unique worldview and an ear for unexpected beats. There are some smashing collaborations on her new album too, including Ten Steps with Ozi Batla and Puppet Strings, which features a bunch of Perth’s brightest lights – Dazastah, Optamus, Soma, Thorts, Porsah Laine and a posthumous appearance by the late, great Hunter. I’m also very taken with the acoustic guitar-tinged Before We Sleep, featuring Ceschi, which blends the swagger of hip hop with a much more muted folk style. It’s an ambitious track but it works beautifully. Nicely done. The album is available via kadyelle.bandcamp.com on a “name your price” basis (and yes, the price can be $0.00, but trust me – this one is worth a bit of dinero). Grab it and give it a few spins – there’s something special about this one. The latest hip hop artist to re-interpret a song for triple j’s Like A Version segment is none other than Tuka, one third of Thundamentals and the man behind the 2012 sleeper hit album Feedback Loop. (Interestingly, he’s also heading on the aforementioned Seth Sentry tour alongside Ellesquire – just another reason to go!) He dropped by the triple j studio last week to perform his cover of Chet Faker’s I’m Into You. The stakes for Tuka were higher than for most – just last year, the Thundamentals’ cover of Matt Corby’s Brother went positively viral, attracting months of radio play and pole-vaulting the boys into the 2012 triple j Hottest 100. The good news is, Tuka’s take on I’m Into You is a gem within itself – he blends a bit of rap into the track, but also hangs onto the original heartfelt melody (he even takes advantage of the opportunity to give his own pipes a workout). If you haven’t seen the video yet, head to youtube. com/triplejtv to check it out. While you’re there, you can also watch the footage of Tuka performing his single Die A Happy Man featuring Jane Tyrrell, whose presence on a track is never anything short of a gift.
For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog • 37
SORTED FOR EPS WITH JAN WISNIEWSKI
THE HATED Lords Life (Independent)
MIDNIGHT DOG INTERCEPTOR
Melbourne’s premier fuzz and reverb-drenched rock and/or roll band Midnight Woolf return to the hallowed halls of Yah Yah’s this Saturday. Joining them will be Cal Pec & The Tramps from Western Australia and Melbourne’s own The Interceptors.
Five-piece Milk Teddy released their debut album, Zingers, late last year. The album runs through first wave punk inflections and blissful new wave as well as hints at doo-wop and acid fried futures. They’ll be playing at the Northcote Social Club this Sunday for The Lifted Brow magazine launch show.
The debut EP from The Hated is unapologetically full of braggadocio. It’s slightly offensive at times, yet it’s pretty hard to hate them. C1, the producer, does a great job in creating some epic sounds for the trio to splash their personalities over. In fact the biggest let down on the release is the wasted Florence sample on Never Let Go. Lead single Lords Life sees The Hated at their best, with some definite skill being shown behind the microphone in the verses. Life So Far works very well as a change of tone, which hints at what the group could produce with future releases. The Hated play this Friday in the Espy front bar and Saturday at the B.East.
Presented by Timber and Steel, Melbourne locals SteelBirds will launch their new album this Sunday with a matinee show from 2pm. Led by Luke O’Connor the four-piece specialise in bringing group harmonies to their expansive folk sound. Whitaker kick things off followed by Into The Woods.
MATT WALKER Mama Go Tell Your Children
(Stovepipe Records/Fuse Group) After releasing Echoes At Dawn, his first album in seven years, Matt Walker follows up with a threetrack EP to showcase new single Mama Go Tell Your Children. It’s a good song to highlight with its infectious quality derived from both a strong melody and the down-to-earth delivery from Walker. Mandolin is the main driver of this song and it combines well with Walker’s voice and Broderick Smith’s harmonica. The two remaining tracks are full band versions of solo tracks from the album which, while sweet, are mostly there to show off his new live band. Matt Walker & The Lost Ragas play the Spotted Mallard this Friday.
BEASTS ARE BACK Two legendary Australian guitarists and members of the Beasts Of Bourbon, Spencer P Jones and Kim Salmon will play together this Saturday at the Prince Of Wales Public Bar. The Ronson Hangup featuring the Pinkerton Brothers and Ashley Naylor will be their supports. Entry is free.
This Sunday at the Prince Of Wales Public Bar will be reggae night. Featuring four vocalists, a four-piece horn section and a skankalicious riddim section, Kooyeh will be headlining the night. Quickly rising through the local ranks Echo Drama will playing support on this occasion. Entry is free.
GNOME See In Walk (Independent/MGM) A pretty exciting release from this newly formed trio: experimental and daring, but at the same time hypnotic and beautiful. Gnome feature the vocals of former Kyü member Freya Berkhou – supported by her brother Elias and producer Danny Keig – and use expansive, electronic soundscapes to portray their delicate thoughts. They turn the repeated “Count on your fingers” line from opening track Honey into something that becomes sermonic. In fact, the unusual sounds that run through the EP seem to call on something spiritual. A wonderful debut effort from these young Sydneysiders, which moves beyond most of what you’ll hear on the radio at the moment.
PLACE OF INDIGO Illuminate (Independent) Set firmly in the post-punk mould, Place Of Indigo deliver an impressive sophomore EP. Opener Kaleidosope possesses many hallmarks of the sound with the baritone vocal from Sam Joyce sounding truly glorious in the chorus. It’s only aided by the well-spaced and clean production from Andy Lawson. In an effort to bring up the tempo, the lead cut from the album, Shapes Shiver, probably doesn’t fit perfectly with the band’s dynamic but the urgency of the melody helps sell it. The middle tracks make minimal impact but the bass-driven The Garden and solemn closer Heartblock ensure the EP leaves a good memory in your mind. Place Of Indigo launch Illuminate this Thursday at the Grace Darling and this Sunday at the Toff In Town.
Daniel Champagne has covered a lot of ground for an artist so young. Hence, his second album The Gypsy Moon (Volume 1) is what the 23-yearold singer-songwriter/guitar virtuoso calls “a collection of road songs”. He plays at the Northcote Social Club this Saturday with Max Savage.
FREAK ON A LEASH Indie-pop three-piece The Fox Party are a band influenced by good education, precision hand-eye coordination and sharp bargaining skills. They’re playing at the Workers Club tonight (Wednesday) with Shane Kennedy & The Creeps and Meme.
AFFAIR WITH A STRANGER Jeremy Neale’s new single In Stranger Times is a club banger initially written for a fictitious ‘60s girl band and recorded with Brisbane’s Go Violets. Neale launches the new single (which is off his forthcoming album A Love Affair To Keep You There) this Thursday at the Workers Club with guests Dirt Farmer and The Laughing Leaves.
Doyle Perez aka D At Sea found his audience by doing acoustic covers of hardcore and metal songs. Earlier this year he signed to indie/ punk powerhouse UNFD and recently released his Unconscious EP and a music video for the title track. On his first tour since the release, he’ll be playing at the Workers Club this Friday with Millie Tizzard and Chasing Ghosts.
(Plus One Records) After a quick batch of releases in the past couple of years, Brisbane band We All Want To return with an EP led by the voices Tim Steward and Skye Staniford. With a recent line-up change, the EP is a bit of a mix and match featuring songs from last year’s Come Up Invisible, acoustic cuts and a cover of Lifter Puller’s Mission Viejo. However, it all runs together smoothly. When a band’s sound is already well formed the only thing to worry about is the impact of their music and thankfully nothing passes by without leaving an impression. We All Want To launch No Signs at the Yarra Hotel (Abbotsford) on Friday 10 May and the Public Bar Saturday 11.
WE ALL WANT TO No Signs
FIREY STABS Last year Fireballs promoted their self-released album Hellrider with a nation-wide tour. After returning from Holland, they’ll be playing at the Bendigo Hotel this Friday with special guests The Murder Rats and Royal Cut Throat Co and then on Saturday with Yard Apes and La Bastard for two nights of psychobilly, metal and speed rock.
JOIN THE GANGA This Saturday, the Espy will play host to the constantly evolving live experience of The Ganga Giri. The ensemble mixes pumping, percussive didgeridoo with fat tribal beats, and funky dub basslines with world percussion sounds. Lotek, New Dub City and Ras Crucial are the supports.
GET SURREAL Returning for a rare gig at Tago Mago this Friday is the legendary Kim Salmon & The Surrealists. The Beastly Scientist will be tearing the roof off for one night only, playing songs from an amazingly diverse back catalogue of swamp rock classics and some extra surprises. Support will be Seedy Jeezus, who are launching Pick Up, their limited edition 7”.
RICE RICE BABY
This Saturday Ding Dong hosts Krista Polvere for her Reservoir Drive album launch, with guests Toby Knox and Adam Eaton. If you haven’t seen this natural storyteller’s live performance or listened to her albums, you may have heard her voice on From Little Things Big Things Grow from the National Hesta Super commercial. Her voice was specifically chosen for the job by the author, Paul Kelly.
COSTUMED BODIES The Lost Cause are heading down to Melbourne for a weekend of partying on their latest Pink Flamingos tour. Joining them fresh off their national tour are Clowns, ska kings Admiral Ackbar’s Dishounarable Discharge, punk rockers The Posers and Spew N Guts. They’ll all be playing at the Bendigo Hotel this Thursday night.
FLOPPY FRIES Forming at the start of the year by a love of Sonic Youth and The Go-Betweens and a need to make a melodious mixture of three-minute pop songs about love, loss and the inability to drive a car, new band Chips Rafferty emerge fully formed and highly excited to perform a debut gig this Thursday at the Tote. They’ll be joined by Sadglint from Brisbane.
A folk/pop, singer-songwriter, fun-haver that sounds like Damien Rice and Conor Oberst had a baby and it grew up to write spontaneous, hopeful songs, Broni will be playing at the Wesley Anne front bar this Friday.
The songwriting of Peak Twins is informed by the voices of Julee Cruise, Mick Jagger and Roy Orbison. 2013 will see Peak Twins release their first album on Bedroom Suck Records. They’re playing this Friday at the Tote to launch the first single from it, Steppin’ Off.
VINCENT – SHADOWS What’s the song about? Adrian Tan, bass: Shadows tells part of a story, more of a dialogue between two characters set in space. I’ll let the audience come to their own conclusions about the song, but general themes include regret, forgiveness and the power of personal relationships. Sean T Barnes (director – Seja, The Vasco Era) and a whole bunch of our friends made a great video for the song that gives the audience a hint of what it’s about. Is this track from a forthcoming/ existing release? Yes, it’s a single from an upcoming album that we hope to record later this year. The album will tell the rest of the story, each song providing a glimpse for the listener to piece together what’s going on. How long did it take to write/record? There’s no clear answer to this question. The intro riff is something that’s been kicking around since we first formed as a band. But the rest of the song only recently came together when we really knuckled down and started writing this album. The recording process took a few days, we got into the studio with producer Samuel K (Gatherer, Closure in Moscow) who rocked our world, and got everything down – from pre-production to final vocals – in four days. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? As I said before, this song was written in stages. I can’t recall what was going through our heads ten years ago but, as we finalised the song, we wanted something catchy and unique while remaining representative of us. The dialogue between the two characters were big driving factors in our lyrical writing. We’ll like this song if we like… Fucked-up time signatures and black holes. We class ourselves as progressive rock and have influences ranging from Coheed & Cambria to Mew and The Veronicas. Do you play it differently live? One of the characters being female, we made the decision to have a female vocalist record that part for us. Being all male, we were lucky enough to have our friend B volunteer to record it. Unfortunately we won’t be able to have her at every gig, so we’ll have to make some changes. But the music will stay the same. Hopefully we can get some crowd participation on this one too! Will you be launching it? Yes! We’re very excited to be getting the song and video out to the people. Set aside Friday 3 May and come to the Evelyn. We’ve got Dear Plastic, The Nest Itself and Assemble The Empire helping us out and we’re pumped for a great night! For more information, check out: facebook.com/vincenttheband
Dark siren of song Sarah Eida is a captivating, powerful presence on stage. Eida’s debut album Lady Wolf features an alternative collection of hard knockin’, dirty blues tunes with a dark burlesque twist. She’ll be joined by James Harrison, Michael Yule and Johnathan Devoy this Saturday at the Wesley Anne.
This Saturday at the Tote, Great Earthquake will launching their new album Mind Maps. Utilising a broad range of acoustic instruments, as well as vocals and sounds from nature, Great Earthquake’s soundscapes are built up meticulously around jaw-dropping drum kit rhythms. They’ll be joined by A Dead Forest Index and Isopedia.
Matt Walker & The Lost Ragas will be launching their new single at the Spotted Mallard this Friday. Walker’s work as a songwriter, producer, session guitarist and composer is credited on dozens of albums, films and documentary scores, and among his peers down under he enjoys the status of a true cult legend. He and his band will be joined by Pony Face and Saint Jude.
THE PIRATE KING
Smoky Seas will make their return to the stage this Friday, after a break spent recording their first single. If you like standing-on-a-cliff-with-your-hair-blowingout guitar solos, outrageously complex basslines, triumphant horns, driving drums and dramatic vocals, then this is for you. They’ll be joined by the awesomely funk, soul, reggae Crooks & Queens.
New jazz trio from inner city Melbourne, Zelus enjoy sharing their musical passion with their audiences through their diverse repertoire. Their original compositions draw from many influences such as jazz, funk, blues and Latin with a strong improvised spirit. They’ll be performing at the Spotted Mallard tonight (Wednesday).
Union Royale is the coming together of three tried and tested road soul dogs opening the songbook and taking a reckless spin – combining Shane Reilly on pedal steel and vocals, Simon Burke on keys and Toby Lang on drums. They’ll be playing their intimate matinee sessions every Sunday at the Spotted Mallard in May.
38 • For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news
KING OF THE JUNGLE
Tonight I Know The Chief will be launching a Wednesday night residency at the Evelyn in May. Describing their euphoric sound as ‘jungle disco’, this five-piece have already undergone a rollercoaster in their music journey. Tonight they’ll be joined by The McQueens and Lewis Pidutti.
For many a year now, Afro Mandinko have been bringing the energy of Afrobeat to the globe and are back with a new show for 2013. They’ll be joined by Broadway Sounds and their multicultural psychedelia. Chris Gill will be spinning the freshness later on in the night. They’re all teaming up this Thursday at the Toff.
AUTUMN SHADOWS Melbourne alternative four-piece Avantair are finally set to release their first single Summer Silhouettes. Bringing their combination of catchy guitar riffs, a driving groove and simple melodies to the Evelyn on Thursday for the launch, Avantair will be joined by The Naysayers, Mercians and Aircrafte.
HAUNTED HOUSE Blending ambient, progressive and post-hardcore rock, Melbourne’s Vincent launch their debut single Shadows at the Evelyn on Friday. Supporting on the night will be the dynamic post-punk of Assemble The Empire, the atmospheric, passionate rock of Sharp Sharp Pretty, and powerful instrumental music and projections from The Nest Itself.
MERRY OLD LAND Knievel and Toby Martin are announcing their Songs From The Emerald City tour, a chance to celebrate that history and their continuing musical and song-writing like-mindedness. Both Knievel and Martin released records last year, which feature several songs that are imbued with the geographies of their hometown, Sydney. They’ll be playing at the Toff In Town this Saturday with Rory Cooke.
PURPLE CITY WALLS Perth’s Place Of Indigo have recently emerged with their second EP Illuminate. Lead single Shapes Shiver is a dark, melodic slice of sophisticated post punk. The group play at the Grace Darling this Thursday with Mansion Alaska, I Know The Chief and Rogue Wavs and at the Toff this Sunday with The Primary, Esc and The Citradels.
ALREADY FUTURE Future-pop duo Deja explore the fusion of the digital and organic. Weaving their unique brand of home spun beats and synths, washed with layers of boy-girl vocals, the pair ranges from lush, dark psychedelia to frenetic dance to crystalline pop. They’ll be supported by Polo Club and Broadway Sounds this Friday at the Grace Darling.
That Gold Street Sound is a motown, funk, rock and soul band who will make you shake your tail feather. It’s devil’s music with heavenly vocals that will make you wanna dance, and put you in the mood for romance. Motown with a modern twist, old-fashioned soul with the influence of rock’n’roll, they’ll be playing at Bar Open this Saturday from 10pm.
Have you recorded anything or do you prefer to tool around in your bedroom? We recorded some demos late last year at a friend’s place on the Peninsula and plan to record our first proper release in London later this year. Can you sum up your band’s sound in four words? I would describe our music as rhythmic, melodic, psychedelic pop. If you could support any band in the world, who would it be and why? The Stone Roses. They were the last great band I saw; I saw them twice and would love to see them again.
If you invited someone awesome round for dinner what would you cook? I was making a pretty mean pad thai for a while there. I do a good bolognese as well.
One of the most prominent young melodic deathmetal bands around, Bleed The Way Orpheus will be officially launching their second album ResIllusion this Saturday at the Evelyn alongside Naberus, who will be launching their debut album, Reveries. They’ll also be joined by Before Nightfall, Dark Earth and Alaskan Thunder.
What’s your favourite place to drink in Melbourne? Probably the Tote, actually. Feels like home. When and where is your next show? Saturday 4 May at Black Night Crash (Rochester Castle).
Monnone Alone offload their shambling jangling pop tunes on the Gasometer lower level this Friday night. They’ll be joined by Totally Mild, who come fully prepared to aurally soft-soap the audience with their highly-crafted, bashful pop tunes, and also the dream pop of local duo Creeks.
How did you get together? Doug Hind, vocals/guitar: Leigh [Baines, drummer] and I played in our previous band The Solomons since 2009. We changed our name late last year.
Do you have a lucky item of clothing you wear for gigs and what is it? I’m going through a paisley phase at the moment, but Ash [Davis] our bass player has been going through one his whole life so we have to coordinate.
SHIVA & THE HAZARDS
If a higher power smites your house and you can only save one record from the fire, what would it be? David Bowie’s new album [The Next Day], because I only bought it yesterday and I haven’t listened to it yet. My favourite vinyl that I have listened to is Exile On Main Street.
WORTH ITS WEIGHT
Since beginning the band in December, Farrow launched their debut single Give Me Something, have played a string of shows and are now starting work on their first EP, to be launched later this year. They’ll be playing at the Evelyn this Sunday with Tully On Tully and Grizzly Jim Lawrie.
HAVE YOU HEARD
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DELANEY DAVIDSON With one foot firmly in the blues trash corner of the ring, the other on the road, you could say New Zealand’s Delaney Davidson sees music as he sees geography. The one-man ghost orchestra brings his strange spook stories to Australia as part of his never-ending world tour. Witness the man dressed in a sharp suit, combed hair and a smirk that never becomes a smile at the Bridge Hotel on Thursday 16 May.
OBAMA MAMA The Angel & Baby Chain are already are a glamour punk band (members of Keith! Party, In the Vogue Closet, Red Red Krovvy and Drunk Mums). Newbies on the scene Barack O Shaka bring a blend of psychedelic garage and laidback Aussie slacker vibes. Wod is a four-piece power jam band. Together they’ll be playing at the John Curtin this Friday.
THE NEXT BIG AUTOMATON
BATTLE FOR FLIPPER
Hitting the Gasometer this Saturday will be Melbourne-based astral spacecore sorcerers, Alithia. Also joining the party is Sudden State, four mates with a love of ‘80s rock and metal, Adelaide act Squeaker and China Vagina, who have been rocking stages around town.
Lopaka, Chinese Handcuffs and Format Wars are bringing their show of delectable instrumental, ambient, post-rock, experimental, math noodling sounds to the Reverence (Footscray) this Thursday.
They played the opening slot at Brisbane Soundwave and have supported big name acts like Between The Buried & Me and Veil Of Maya. Now The Schoenberg Automaton are coming down to play a few shows in Melbourne. Catch them at Next on Thursday 23 May with Upon A Burning Body and at the Bendigo on Friday 24 with House of Thumbs, Ouroboros and Whoretopsy.
QUEEN OF CORN
A NEW KIND OF COUNTRY
Crowned’s murky veil of atmospheric black metal echoes like the chant of choral ghosts in forgotten crypts. They’re heading our way and will be joined by Agave Maize, Pale Sage and Sewercide this Saturday at the Reverence Hotel.
Bringing together country, old-time soul, rock’n’roll, the playfulness of two sisters and a kick-arse rhythm section, Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel are heading to the Bridge Hotel on Friday 10 May for a show with guest Benny Walker.
TREND SETTER IMBRUGLIA
John Flanagan & The Begin Agains blend traditional Americana stylings with Australian storytelling to create their expressive style of bluegrass/folk music. This four-piece Melbourne band have developed a unique sound characterized by warm, crystal clear vocal harmonies and delicate acoustic textures. They’re playing at the Edinburgh Castle (Brunswick) this Thursday.
Accompanied by her phenomenal Melbournian band and with special guest Seja Vogel (Regurgitator) on keys, Laura Imbruglia continues her trend of sounding unlike any other female artist around. Performing songs from her upcoming album and supported by Iowa and Little Wing, the lady providing the shimmering ear candy will be at the Bridge Hotel on Thursday 9 May.
This Thursday the Gasometer hosts an intense party of fresh experimental hip hop and electronica. Headlining is Brothers Hand Mirror, the samples and rhymes combo of HTML Flowers and Oscar Key Sung. Support comes from Sydney rapper/ producer Simo Soo, rave/rap crew Keith! Party and electronic producer B Deep.
UNDER WATER This Saturday night Lowlakes will be playing one farewell show before their three-week tour of Germany and Switzerland. They’ll be playing at the Grace Darling with support from the duo I, A Man.
For more news/announcements go to themusic.com.au/news • 39
HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC NEWS BY JEFF JENKINS show, while maintaining the huge pop hooks. Just check out the latest single, Don’t Say A Word. With dark ’80s synths, it’s a tale of love and infidelity. Not all nostalgia is cheesy. Sometimes the past is a painful place.
VAUDEVILLE SMASH HITS Marty McFly: “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” “Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person,” American author Sarah Dessen said. Vaudeville Smash’s debut album, Dancing For The Girl (out Friday) is like a musical version of Back To The Future. It’s a brand new album, but it manages to take you back to Blue Light Discos, roller-skating, first kisses and lost loves. “Do you remember?” singer Marc Lucchesi asks in the title-track. As the bio says, Dancing For The Girl manages to sound both wonderfully nostalgic and right now. It’s one of 2013’s great albums. Anyone who’s caught Vaudeville Smash live knows they’re highly entertaining. But sometimes they can be heavy on the cheese. The album is a surprise because it’s much deeper and darker than their live
40 • For more opinion go to themusic.com.au/blog
While listening to Dancing For The Girl, Howzat! had another flashback, to a conversation with a German friend in 1989. “Hey, do you want to go see Wa Wa Nee?” we asked. “Wow,” our friend replied, “but how much will it cost and how will we get tickets?” He couldn’t believe it when we revealed it was a free gig. No other Australian band sounded exactly like Wa Wa Nee. Fortunately, the local scene is more diverse and broad-minded than it was in the ’80s. But, still, no other Australian band sounds quite like Vaudeville Smash. Here’s hoping they manage to find their own niche locally, without having to go overseas, because Dancing For The Girl –which they’re launching at the Corner on 14 June – is far too good to fall between the cracks. Lorraine: “Marty, will we ever see you again?” Marty: “I guarantee it.”
TWEET HOT If only Twitter was used more often for good and not evil … It’s great to see superstars use social media to spread the word about things they like. Rod Stewart tweeted last week: “Saw one of the greatest rock n roll movies for the 3rd time last night, The Sapphires. I’ve seen it w/my band & w/my kids. They all cheered.” And Missy Higgins raved after seeing Ainslie Wills: “Saw this lady play 2 nights ago for her debut album launch and her voice just blew me away.”
STEEP AND MEANINGFUL Former Inpress music editor Martin Jones recently reviewed Heath Cullen’s second album, The Still And The Steep (out now on Five By Nine Records through Fuse), in Rhythms, calling him “one of those inordinately talented musicians who is far too tasteful to make it in Australia”. Heath launches the album at the Thornbury Theatre on Saturday, with special guest Emma Heeney.
GOOD DIE YOUNG She was wild and she was wicked. And she was a pioneering performer, our greatest rock chick. And we should also celebrate Chrissy Amphlett’s wonderful sense of humour. The day after Chrissy’s death, Howzat! was chatting with Ron Peno. Chrissy always loved catching up with the Died Pretty singer. “Ah,” she would exclaim when giving him a big hug, “it’s Ronnie Peanut!” Howzat! also laughed when we re-read two classic quotes from Chrissy’s autobiography, Pleasure And Pain. Before she was a star, Chrissy had a role in the musical Let My People Come. In one scene, she had large rollers in her pubic hair. She said: “After wearing rollers in my pubes, how could I ever be inhibited again?” And Chrissy knocked back a chance to be a body double in the movie Dawn! Saying, “You could never pay me enough to play Dawn Fraser’s arse!” I’m sure Chrissy would have got a kick out of the media’s reporting of her passing – at the age of 53. If you read the account of Chrissy’s early days, there’s no doubt she was closer to 60 than 50. She talked of supporting Zoot, who broke up in 1971. Chrissy was young when her career started, but I don’t think she was supporting Zoot when she was 12. She also went to high school with Denis Walter, who was reportedly born in 1955, not 1959. But Chrissy’s life was an incredible story – she could tell it whichever way she wanted. Howzat!’s good buddy Mark Opitz signed Divinyls and produced their first two albums.
“To me, Christina Amphlett has always been beautiful; even when she wasn’t,” Mark writes in his new book, Sophisto-punk. “Vivacious, wild, independent. It made no difference that she was working in a man’s world; Chrissy wasn’t intimidated by anybody. She was intense and talented, a diva in the purest sense of the word.”
CHART WATCH Just one Aussie hit in the top 20. Hello STAFFORD BROTHERS (#9) Big Banana HAVANA BROWN (22) Holdin On FLUME (25) A Thousand Years CELIA PAVEY (33, debut) You Raise Me Up HARRISON CRAIG (40, debut) Renée Geyer swings into the Top 40 with the 25th album of her 40-year career. Flume FLUME (#4) Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (6) The Essential DIVINYLS (14, debut) Swing RENEE GEYER (22, debut) Armageddon GUY SEBASTIAN (27) Nightswim OWL EYES (28, debut) March Fires BIRDS OF TOKYO (34) HOWZAT! PLAYLIST Don’t Say A Word VAUDEVILLE SMASH Alfie RENEE GEYER Silver Wings HEATH CULLEN Fighting Kind AINSLIE WILLS Human On The Inside DIVINYLS
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Gully Hotel; 11 Pier Live (Frankston); 24 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); June 14 Forum BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club
SANDI THOM: May 4 Caravan Music Club; 5 Art Gallery of Ballarat
BOB EVANS: May 16 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 17 Corner; 18 Meeniyan Town Hall
TEGAN & SARA: May 2 Palais
SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 Corner (two shows)
THE KOOKS: May 3 Palais MATT & KIM: May 3 Northcote Social Club
NATIONAL PEZ: May 2 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 3 Kay St Entertainment Complex (Traralgon) FLUME: May 2, 3 Festival Hall LOVE LIKE HATE: May 2 Grumpy’s Green; 4 Revolver DANIEL CHAMPAGNE: May 2 Beav’s Bar (Geelong); 3 Caravan Music Club; 4 Northcote Social Club JOSH PYKE: May 3 Gertrude’s Brown Couch CITIZEN KAY: May 3 Espy TEX PERKINS, CHARLIE OWEN: May 3 Stones Of The Yarra Valley D AT SEA: May 3 Workers Club; 4 Showground Shed NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH: May 3 Mynt Lounge (Werribee) MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA: May 4 Forum PATRICK ROBERTS: May 4 Palms At Crown KNIEVEL & TOBY MARTIN: May 4 Toff KRISTA POLVERE: May 4 Ding Dong GAY PARIS: May 4, 5 Cherry Bar GUY SEBASTIAN: May 4 Nowingi Place (Mildura) NEW GODS: May 7 Workers Club
FESTIVALS GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 4 Prince Of Wales Showgrounds Bendigo CHERRYROCK013: May 5 AC/DC Lane
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL FRIGHTENED RABBIT: May 8 Corner Hotel BETH ORTON: May 8 St Michael’s Church JULIAN MARLEY: May 9 Corner SANDI THOM: May 9 Melbourne Recital Centre CRADLE OF FILTH: May 10 Palace 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; 24 Thornbury Theatre (talk) 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 ISAIAH MITCHELL: May 15, 22 Northcote Social Club; 18 Public Bar LIGHTNING TAPE WOLF: May 16 Barwon Club (Geelong); 17 Grace Darling DEFTONES: May 17, 18 Palace TENACIOUS D: May 17, 18 Palais LORDE: May 17 Workers Club MATT EDWARDS: May 17 Brown Alley LOCAL NATIVES: May 18 Forum DELANEY DAVIDSON: May 18 Spotted Mallard STAN RIDGWAY: May 18 Corner
MELBOURNE SKA ORCHESTRA: May 4 Forum
THE BEARDS: June 13 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 14 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 15 Hi-Fi
EMMA LOUISE: May 9 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 10 Corner; 11 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)
INTERNATIONAL BLACK SABBATH: May 1 Rod Laver Arena THE BRONX: May 1 Corner Hotel CARB ON CARB: May 1 Public Bar; 3 Gasometer 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 AEROSMITH: May 4 Rod Laver Arena 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
NORTHLANE: June 9, 10 Corner
FRIGHTENED RABBIT: May 8 Corner
THE RUBENS: May 10 Forum; 12 Yarra Hotel (Geelong)
WED 1 MAY 2013 Julien Wilson ‘B For Chicken’ Quartet: 303, Northcote Sheldon King + James Butt + Courtney Robb: Bar Open, Fitzroy Tak Tok + The Outfit: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Singalong with Rebecca Barnard + Billy Miller: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Ten Thousand + Virtue: Cherry Bar, Melbourne The Bronx + DZ Deathrays + Batpiss: Corner Hotel, Richmond Acid Western + Young Mavericks + Red Leader: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne I Know The Chief + The McQueens + Lewis Pidutti: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Bombs Are Falling + Bricks + Infamous 506: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Beat Science feat. Vida Sunshyne: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Turin Brakes + Liz Stringer: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Magic Hands + Chinless Kings + Hyperborea: Old Bar, Fitzroy The Kooks + Glass Towers: Palais Theatre, St Kilda Roots of Music feat + Albert Salt + Amistat + Cardinal: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Black Sabbath + Shihad: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Zelus: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick James Southwell Band + Joe Conroy + The Bendigueros: The Bendigo, Collingwood Open Mic+Various: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Wondercore Wednesday + Kirkis + Slammetz: The Curtin (Band Room), Carlton Wine, Whickey, Women+Cookie Baker + Linda Joy: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Collage+Goodbye Motel + Slugger & the Stone + The Princetones: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda
YOU AM I: July 3, 4, 6 Forum GOLD FIELDS: July 12 Karova Lounge; 13 Corner; 18 Eureka Hotel (Geelong) JAPANDROIDS: August 28, 30 Corner
SOMETHING FOR KATE: May 10 Ferntree
42 • To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
THE HAPPY MONDAYS: June 6 Palace
GROOVIN’ THE MOO: May 4 Prince Of Wales Showgrounds (Bendigo)
Matt Neal: The Loft, Warrnambool Carb on Carb + Duck Duck Chop + Pioneers Of Good Science: The Public Bar, North Melbourne David Andrew Milne: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Hamish Anderson + Tanya Batt + The Walters: The Toff In Town, Melbourne The Clits + Velcro + Big Tobacco: The Tote, Collingwood The Fox Party + Shane Kennedy & The Creeps + Meme: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
THU 2 MAY 2013 David Rex Trio: 303, Northcote Poison Fish + Temple + Sordid Ordeal + Bricks: Bar Open, Fitzroy Daniel Champagne + Max Savage: Beav’s Bar, Geelong Pez: Bended Elbow, Geelong, Geelong Nat Bartsch: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Next feat Brutality Will Prevail + Warbrain + Thorns + Torment: Colonial Hotel, Melbourne They Might Be Giants + Pluto Jonze: Corner Hotel, Richmond John Flanagan & The Begin Agains: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick Courtney Robb + Queen & Convict + Mandy Connell: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Avantair + The Naysayers + Mercians + Aircrafte: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Flume + Chet Faker: Festival Hall, West Melbourne Rhythm-Al-Ism+DJ Damion De Silva + DJ K-Dee + DJ Simon Sez: Fusion, Crown, Southbank mnttaB + Nothinge + Dylan Hill + Lazy Bones: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Sexbomb with +Millie Minogue: GH Hotel, St Kilda Place Of Indigo + Mansion + Alaska + I Know The Chief + Rogue Wavs: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood
FOALS: September 27 Palace
Oh Pep! + Al Parkinson: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement), Collingwood This Lucid Interval: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond Piano Kitsch with +Love Like Hate + Bec Newman + Georgia Maq: Grumpy’s Green, Fitzroy Store Bought Cool + Auto Portraits: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Ivana Tomaskova + Tamara Smolyar: Melbourne Recital Centre, Southbank Turin Brakes + Benny Walker: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Grand Prismatic + Anthonie Tonnon + Palm Springs: Old Bar, Fitzroy Tegan & Sara + Clubfeet: Palais Theatre, St Kilda Lopaka + Chinese Handcuffs + Format Wars: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray Rolling Perpetual Groove Show + Ghengis Can’t Swim + Contangent: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Tek Tek Ensemble: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Julitha Ryan Band: Tago Mago, Thornbury The Lost Cause + Clowns + Admiral Ackbar’s Dishonourable Discharge + The Posers + Spew n Guts: The Bendigo, Collingwood The Kilniks + Butterscotch Blonde + Harry Borland and the Ugandan National Choir + Bloom: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Open Mic Night+Various: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Brothers Hand Mirror + Simo Soo + B.Deep + Keith!Party: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Right Mind + The Approach + Searcher + Fever Teeth + Love Alone: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Tarryn Hawker: The Loft, Warrnambool Suzannah Espie + Ian Collard: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Salt Lake City: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Afro Mandinko + Broadway Sounds + The Fandroids + DJ Chris Gill: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Chips Rafferty + Sadglint: The Tote, Collingwood
Jeremy Neale + Dirt Farmer + The Laughing Leaves: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Ross Wilson: Wellers, Kangaroo Ground James Kenyon: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote Mark Stevens Trio: Wesley Anne, Northcote Spunk Machine + Up Up Away: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
FRI 3 MAY 2013 Foxtrot + Del Lago + The Shadow League + The Flaying So High Ohs + Max Goes to Hollywood: 303, Northcote Smoky Seas + Crooks & Queens: Bar Open, Fitzroy Yvette Johannson + Joe Roberto Trio: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Daniel Champagne + Max Savage: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Black Aces + Cherry Grind + De La Cruz + DJ Max Crawdaddy: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Spencer P Jones: Cherry Bar (Afternoon), Melbourne They Might Be Giants + Pluto Jonze: Corner Hotel, Richmond Jarek + Nice Boy Tom: Cornish Arms Hotel, Brunswick YACHT + Donny Benet: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Greens Dairy Angel Ensemble: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick Baberaham Lincoln + The Solicitors + Wolf + Nick Larkins & The Bones: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Vincent + Assemble The Empire + The Nest Itself + Sharp Sharp Pretty: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Flume + Chet Faker: Festival Hall, West Melbourne Six60: Forum Theatre, Melbourne Josh Pyke: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Deja + Polo Club + Broadway Sounds: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Black Cab + Lowtide: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement), Collingwood Barbarion: Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Pez: Kay St, Traralgon Short Order Schefs: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Neighbourhood Youth: Mynt, Werribee Matt & Kim + Citizen Kay: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Aluka: Northcote Uniting Church, Northcote Cal Peck & the Tramps + Wrong Turn + Blue Stratos: Old Bar, Fitzroy Example + Peking Duk: Palace Theatre, Melbourne The Kooks + Special Guests : Palais Theatre, St Kilda Shed Zeppelin: Prince Bandroom (Public Bar), St Kilda La Dance Massive+Machete Brothers: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy No Way Out + Fractures + Term Four + Cold Ground: Reverence Hotel, Footscray Somebody’s Sun + Pretty City + JCCE & Dating Summer: Revolver Upstairs (Morning), Prahran El Bango Cinco De Mayo Fiesta feat. +Los Romanticos + Any Last Words + Admit One + Up and Atom: Royal Melbourne Hotel, Melbourne Matt Walker & The Lost Ragas + Pony Face + Saint Jude: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Kim Salmon & The Surrealists + Seedy Jezus: Tago Mago, Thornbury Fireballs + Murder Rats + Royal Cut Throat Co,: The Bendigo, Collingwood Temple + Sister Anxiety + Damn That River + Easy Please: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick The Angel & Baby Chain + Barack O’Shaka + Wod: The Curtin (Band Room), Carlton
Bilal: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Kayla Dwyer: The Loft, Warrnambool Soul Fist+The Charlies + DJ Jumpin’ Josh + Dan The Man: The Luwow, Fitzroy The Harlots: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Cocks Arquette + Hotel Wrecking City Traders + Hex On The Beach: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Paper Street: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Peak Twins: The Tote, Collingwood JD Project: The Vineyard, St Kilda D At Sea + Chasing Ghosts + Millie Tizzard: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Broni: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote Songwriters In The Round+Various: Wesley Anne, Northcote The Detonators: Wheelers Hill Hotel, Wheelers Hill The Leslie Avril Band: Williamstown RSL, Williamstown Digger & The Pussycats DJs + Mesa Cosa + High Fangs + Pronto: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
SAT 4 MAY 2013 West Papua String Band + MUK & the Sophisticated Hulus + Rose & Friends: 303, Northcote President Roots: Baha Tacos, Rye That Gold Street Sound: Bar Open, Fitzroy Maddy Hay: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Baauer: Brown Alley, Melbourne
THE KOOKS: May 1, 3 Palais
Traditional Irish Music Sessions+Dan Bourke & Friends: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Obituary + Denouncement Pyre + King Parrot: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda DJ Woody + Citizen Kay + The Hated + The Psyde Projects: The Espy (Front Bar ), St Kilda Blood Line + Ordinance + Three Storey Goat + Order Of Chaos: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda Monnone Alone + Totally Mild + Creeks: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Scotdrakula + Carb on Carb + Psalm Beach: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood
Chris Wilson + Sandi Thom: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Roesy + Ealey & Tyers + The Mike Haynes Trio: Chandelier Room, Moorabbin Gay Paris + My Echo + The Stiffys: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Deathstars + The Mercy Kills + Graveyard Train: Corner Hotel, Richmond Krista Polvere + Toby Knox + Adam Eaton: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Hugh McGinlay: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Jimi Hocking: Elsternwick Hotel, Elsternwick
Rowan Roebig + Justin Bernasconi + Golden Sound: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Orpheus + Naberus + Before Nightfall + Dark Earth + Alaskan Thunder: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Norma Jean + Vanna + Safe Hands: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Live Sessions with+Howlin’ Steam Train + Simon Levick: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Melbourne Ska Orchestra + Strange Tenants + Savona Sound System: Forum Theatre, Melbourne The Charge + Seven Days Falling + Stone Revival + Michael Hickling: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Lowlakes + I, A Man: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood The Bastard Children: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond The Bennies + Rick Moranis Overdrive + The Tearaways: Karova Lounge, Ballarat The Hornets: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Daniel Champagne + Special Guests : Northcote Social Club, Northcote Guy Sebastian: Nowingi Place, Mildura WaywardBreed + Junk Horses + Ravenswood + Water Music: Old Bar, Fitzroy King Parrot: Pier Live, Frankston Kim Salmon & Spencer P Jones : Prince Bandroom (Public Bar), St Kilda Backwoods Creatures: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy Jailbird Jokers + Elcaset + Farenheit 43 + The Stray Melodics: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray May Crowned + Agave Maize + Pale Sage + Sewercide: Reverence Hotel, Footscray Love Like Hate + Aimee Francis + Karly Jewell: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Aerosmith + The Dead Daisies: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Union Royale: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick James McCann & The Vindictives + City Of Cool: Tago Mago, Thornbury The Hated: The B.East, Brunswick East Fireballs + The Yard Apes + LA Bastard: The Bendigo, Collingwood The Soulenikoes + Guests: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Wildfest ‘13 feat. +Murder Rats + No Idea + Crackwhore + The Lost Cause + Kong Fuzi + more: The Brunswick Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Dan Lethbridge: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne The Ying Yang Twins + Stormey Coleman: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Ganga Giri + Lotek + New Dub City + Ras Crucial + Phil Para: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda
Alithia + De La Cruz + China Vagina + Sudden State: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Surrender + Left For Wolves + Metcalfe + Valjean: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Bilal: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Witchgrinder + more: The Loft, Warrnambool Popcorn Partytime+The Jukebox Rackets + Barbara Blaze: The Luwow, Fitzroy Harry Howard & The NDE: The Post Office Hotel, Coburg Mat Watson + Wunderlust + Constant Light: The Public Bar, North Melbourne The Prairie Kings + Slim Dime: The Sporting Club, Brunswick Toby Martin + Knievel + Rory Cooke: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Great Earthquake + A Dead Forest Index + Isopeda: The Tote, Collingwood Heath Cullen + Emma Heeney: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury The Moonee Valley Drifters: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Sarah Eida + James Harrison + Michael Yule + Johnathan Devoy: Wesley Anne, Northcote Project Insperado: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote Midnight Woolf + Cal Peck & the Tramps + The Interceptors: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy
SUN 5 MAY 2013 Mal Webb + Ben Smith + Mayfair Kytes + Tailor Birds: 303 (Afternoon), Northcote Sandi Thom: Art Gallery Of Ballarat, Ballarat The Baudelaires + Willow Darling + Mightiest Of Guns + Child: Bar Open, Fitzroy David Jaanz: Master School Presentation+Various: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Wilbur Wilde: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Cherryrock 013 feat +Unida + Truck Fighters + Barbarion + Matt Sonic & The High Times + Drunk Mums + Gay Paris + more: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Norma Jean + Vanna + A Secret Death + Safe Hands + The Belle Havens: Corner Hotel, Richmond Shakey Stills: Edinburgh Castle Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Birds & The Bees Showcase+Various: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Farrow + Velma Grove + Grizzly Jim Laurie: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Atomic Hi-Tones: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully Green’s Dairy Angel Ensemble: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond
The Detonators: Heritage Tavern, Balnarring Kelly Auty: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Marty Kelly: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Street Fangs + DJ Duke Tudesco: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Milk Teddy + more: Northcote Social Club (Matinee Show), Northcote Cash Savage & The Last Drinks + Cherrywood + Tinsmoke: Old Bar, Fitzroy Prince Sunday Session with + Kooyeh + Echo Drama: Prince Bandroom, St Kilda Pheasant Pluckers: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy
The Melways: Wesley Anne (Front Bar), Northcote Anna Struth + Special Guests : Wesley Anne, Northcote
MON 6 MAY 2013 Bennets Lane BIG Band: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Nicholette Forte & Friends + Jordan Walker + Jamie Wills: Lounge Bar, Melbourne
FLUME: May 2, 3 Festival Hall
Nigel Wearne: Retreat Hotel (Afternoon), Brunswick Wil Wagner + Will Staler + The Shadow League + Lucy Wilson: Reverence Hotel, Footscray Johnny Gibson + Tim Crossey + Duncan Graham: Royal Oak Hotel, Fitzroy North C3: Shamrock Hotel (Afternoon), Kyneton Danny Walsh Banned + SiB: Tago Mago, Thornbury Michael Spiby: The Bay Hotel, Mornington Itchy Scabs: The Bridge Hotel (Afternoon), Castlemaine 4Tress + Styx & Stonz + Diana’s Bow + Moonshifter: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick The Large Number 12s: The Carringbush Hotel, Abbotsford Gen & Flora + Dan Dinnen: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Headspace + Dale Ryder Band + Bad Boys Batucada + Ms Butt: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Mountain & Swamp Sessions with+Craig Woodward & Friends: The Gasometer Hotel (Front Bar / Afternoon), Collingwood Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt + Reverend Jesse Custer: The Public Bar (Afternoon), North Melbourne The Hired Guns: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Place Of Indigo + The Primary + Esc + The Citradels: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Steel Birds + Into The Woods + Whitaker: The Workers Club (Afternoon), Fitzroy Clio Renner + Haarlo + She Said Zed: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Grand Wazoo: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury
Songwriter Sessions + Various: Old Bar, Fitzroy Passionate Tongues Poetry+Various: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Zoophyte + Tom Tuena: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda
TUE 7 MAY 2013 Klub Muk+Various: 303, Northcote Gemma Turvey Trio + Craig Beard: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne The Patron Saints: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Frightened Rabbit + Admiral Fallow: Corner Hotel, Richmond Echo Drama + Bella Jabara & The Mellows + Tiaryn: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Melbourne Improvisors Collective+Steph Mascetta & Tully Ingamells + The Jon Crompton Collective + Mark Lockett Trio: Gertrudes Brown Couch, Fitzroy Kain Borlase Trio: Kojo Brown, Richmond Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Sean Kirkwood & The Radio Show + Alex Arenston & The Southern Lights: Old Bar, Fitzroy Discovery Night+Various: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Alex Lashlie: The Curtin (Front Bar ), Carlton Collage+Various: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda New Gods: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
TOUR GUIDE Hotel; 19 Caravan Club FRED V & GRAFIX: May 19 Royal Melbourne Hotel BOBBY WOMACK: May 21 Hamer Hall ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: May 22 Corner LITA FORD: May 23 Prince Bandroom THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT: May 23 Caravan Music Club; 31 Billboard; June 2 Ferntree Gully Hotel BORN OF OSIRIS: May 23 Hi-Fi; 24 Phoenix Youth Centre ELUVEITIE: May 24 Billboard OCTO OCTA, MAGIC TOUCH, BOBBY BROWSER: May 24, 25 Mercat EMMURE, THE GHOST INSIDE: May 25, 26 Hi-Fi KAKI KING: May 30 Corner JULIE ANDREWS: May 31 Hamer Hall MIGUEL ATWOOD-FERGUSON: June 1 Hi-Fi FLATBUSH ZOMBIES: June 1 Toff MATTHEW E WHITE: June 3 Northcote Social Club THE HAPPY MONDAYS: June 6 Palace THE MILK CARTON KIDS: June 6 Thornbury Theatre; 7 Meeniyan Town Hall; 8 St Kilda Memo KILLING JOKE: June 7 Billboard KAMELOT: June 7 Hi-Fi THUNDERCAT: June 7 Forum TAYLOR DAYNE: June 7 Chelsea Heights Hotel; 8 Palms At Crown; 9 Shoppingtown Hotel (Doncaster) CHUCHO VALDÉS & THE AFRO-CUBAN MESSENGERS: June 8 Hamer Hall TIKI TAANE: June 8 Corner DASH BERLIN: June 8 Shed 14 Central Pier Exhibition Halls YO GABBA GABBA!: June 8 Palais CHRIS LIEBING, JIMMY EDGAR: June 9 Brown Alley MASTA ACE: June 9 Espy THE BELLRAYS: June 12 Corner ELEANOR MCEVOY: June 12 Northcote Social Club ALISA WEILERSTEIN: June 12 Melbourne Recital Centre THE BLACK ANGELS: June 14 Palace BARB JUNGR: June 14, 15 Recital Centre Saloon MARTHA WAINWRIGHT: June 14, 15 Recital Centre; 16 Memorial Hall Leongatha (Gippsland) BORIS: June 19 Corner JON ENGLISH & THE FOSTER BROTHERS: June 20 Corner ARTURO SANDOVAL: June 22 Palais MUNICIPAL WASTE: June 23 Corner MONO: June 23 Hi-Fi PAUL THORN: June 23 Northcote Social Club; 25 Hallam Hotel A$AP ROCKY: June 29 Festival Hall CANNABIS CORPSE: June 29 Hi-Fi DAYLIGHT ROBBERY: July 5 Public Bar; 21 Gasometer GILBY CLARKE: July 7 Northcote Social Club PINK: July 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, August 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23 Rod Laver Arena
NATIONAL GUY SEBASTIAN: May 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 ELLA HOOPER: May 9 Workers Club LAURA IMBRUGLIA: May 9 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 11 Old Bar EMMA LOUISE: May 9 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 10 Corner; 11 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) DANIEL CHAMPAGNE: May 10 Loft (Warrnambool) SOMETHING FOR KATE: May 10 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 11 Pier Live (Frankston); 24 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); June 14, 15 Forum MUSTERED COURAGE: May 10 Northcote Social Club MESSRS: May 10 Grace Darling; 11 Saloon Bar (Traralgon) THE RUBENS: May 10, 11 Forum; 12 Yarra Hotel (Geelong) BORED NOTHING: May 11 Northcote Social Club RED INK: May 11 Espy SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR: May 11 Audrey’s Rooftop (Abbotsford) (two shows) STEVE KILBEY, MARTIN KENNEDY: May 12 Toff NEW GODS: May 14, 21, 28 Workers Club ANTHONY CALLEA: May 15 Chadstone Shopping Centre; July 13 Palms At Crown CHARLES BABY: May 16 Workers Club BOB EVANS: May 16 Yarra Hotel (Geelong); 17 Corner Hotel; 18 Meeniyan Town Hall THE BROW HORN ORCHESTRA: May 16 Espy; 17 Spotted Mallard; 18 Baha Tacos (Rye); 19 Westernport Hotel (San Remo) SETH SENTRY: May 17 Forum; 18 Ding Dong HEROES FOR HIRE: May 17 Wrangler Studios (Footscray) THE STEVENS: May 17 Tote BRITISH INDIA: May 17 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 24 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 25 Ferntree Gully Hotel FRANKENBOK, ABREACT, DREADNAUGHT,
NEIGHBOURHOOD YOUTH: May 3 Mynt Lounge (Werribee)
HEAVEN THE AXE, KING PARROT: May 17 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 18 Inferno (Traralgon); 31 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo); June 28 Yahoo Bar (Shepparton) THE DEEP END: May 18 Cherry Bar CITY RIOTS: May 18 Rochester Castle MARK SEYMOUR & THE UNDERTOW: May 18 Sphinx Hotel (Geelong) TONIGHT ALIVE: May 18, 19 Ding Dong REDX: May 23 Workers Club SAN CISCO: May 23 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 25 (two shows), 26 Corner LEE KERNAGHAN: May 23 Ballarat Regional Multiplex; 24 Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre; 25 Geelong’s Costa Hall; 29 Bendigo’s Capital; 30 Swan Hill Town Hall; June 2 Shepparton Eastbank Centre MANIFEST AT THE CORNER FT KING PARROT: May 24 Corner GAY PARIS: May 24 Fitzroy Hotel; 31 Loft (Warnambool) JERICCO: May 25 Espy SOFTWAR: May 25 Bottom End OWEN CAMPBELL: May 25 Spotted Mallard THE MURLOCS: May 25 Northcote Social Club CALL THE SHOTS: May 26 Fitzroy Town Hall THE MOUNTAINS: May 30 Espy; June 1 Baha Tacos (Rye); 2 Pure Pop Records SUPER WILD HORSES: May 31 Tote MATT CORBY: May 31 Palace CLAIRY BROWNE & THE BANGIN’ RACKETTES: May 31 Corner BAD//DREEMS: May 31 Gasometer ANDY BULL: May 31 Workers Club TOMMY TRASH: May 31 Pier Live (Frankston); June 1 Code Red ENOLA FALL: May 31 Espy; June 1 B.East OWL EYES: June 1 Corner MY FICTION: June 1 Newmarket Hotel (Bendigo) BLEEDING KNEES CLUB: June 1 Ding Dong BEACHES: June 3 Northcote Social Club THE CHEMIST: June 7 Workers Club THE SUPERJESUS: June 7, 8 Espy THE TONGUE: June 8 Espy THE NATION BLUE: June 8 Tote NORTHLANE: June 9, 10 Corner THY ART IS MURDER: June 13 Corner; 14 Arrow On Swanston FOREVER THE OPTIMIST: June 13 Espy; 14 Barley Corn Hotel; 15 Gertrude’s Brown Couch THE BEARDS: June 13 Pelly Bar (Frankston); 14 Theatre Royal (Castlemaine); 15 Hi-Fi HAILER: June 13 Brunswick Hotel; 14 Yah Yah’s; 15 303 (Northcote) ANDREW STOCKDALE: June 13 Ferntree Gully Hotel; 14 Hi-Fi; 15 Wool Exchange (Geelong); 16 Pier Live (Frankston) EXPERIENCE JIMI HENDRIX: June 14 Palms At Crown VAUDEVILLE SMASH: June 14 Corner THE RED PAINTINGS: June 15 Espy KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: June 16 Lighthouse Theatre (Warrnambool); 21 St Michael’s Church; 22 Capital (Bendigo); 23 at Westside Performing Arts Centre (Shepparton) I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN: June 21 Corner ROBOTOSAURUS, TOTALLY UNICORN: June 22 Reverence WAGONS: June 22 Corner BABY ANIMALS: June 22 Hi-Fi IN HEARTS WAKE: June 22 Workers Club; 23 Phoenix Youth Centre THE BREAK: June 30 Caravan Music Club; 31 Thornbury Theatre YOU AM I: July 3, 4, 6 Forum BALL PARK MUSIC: July 5 Forum DICK DIVER: July 5 Corner; 6 Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine); 12 Barwon Club (Geelong) BAPTISM OF UZI: July 6 Northcote Social Club GOLD FIELDS: July 12 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 13 Corner; 18 Eureka Hotel (Geelong) OUR LAST ENEMY: August 2 Revolver BERNARD FANNING: August 9 Palace; 10 GPAC Costa Hall (Geelong) DON MCLEAN: August 17 Hamer Hall THE CAT EMPIRE: September 12, 13 Forum
To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags • 43
WED 1 MAY 2013 Cosmic Pizza with+NHJ: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Moâ€™Soul feat. +DJ Vince Peach + Miss Goldie + Special Guests : Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Dubstep Grime Drum & Bass+DJ Baddums + DJ Carmex: Laundry Bar, Fitzroy Agent 86 + Lady Noir + Joybot + Kiti + Mr Thom: Lucky Coq, Windsor Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne The Dinner Set + The Winters: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran
THU 2 MAY 2013 Mezzanine & Back Room + DJ Mannequin + DJ Syto: Abode, St Kilda Lucky Thursday+Various DJs: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Tiger Funk Live + DJ Moonshine: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy
Sweethearts Soul + DJ Vince Peach + Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne Grad Party + DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Mood + NuBody: Loop, Melbourne
3 MAY 2013 Juicy + Chairman Meow + Coburg Market + Mr Fox + Tigerfunk + Who: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy
Free Range Funk+Agent 86 + Lewis CanCut + Who: Lucky Coq, Windsor
Shuffle + Various DJs: Bridie Oâ€™Reillyâ€™s Brunswick, Brunswick
Trocadero + Various DJs: Match Bar, Melbourne
Nina Kraviz: Brown Alley, Melbourne
Conductors + James Kane + Negative Magick + more: New Guernica, Melbourne
DJ Claz + DJ Peril + DJ Sef + more: Chaise Lounge, Melbourne
Le Disco Tech+Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda
Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne Various DJs: CQ, Melbourne
3181 Thursday with + Hans DC + Jake Judd + Nikki Sarafian + more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran
Weekender â€˜Kooks Afterpartyâ€™+Various DJs: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
Do Drop In + Kiti + Lady Noir: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne
DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne
Midnight Express with + DJ Prequel & Ed Fisher: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room), Melbourne Donâ€™t Think Iâ€™m Alive + Various DJs: The Vineyard, St Kilda The Ritz + Cauc-Asian DJs + Joshua Gillard + Ken Walker + more: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak
Closet Party+Various DJs: First Floor, Fitzroy Various DJs: Fox Hotel, Collingwood Various DJs: Libation, Fitzroy
Discotheque + Elana Musto + Greg Sara + Scott T: Match Bar, Melbourne Midnight + Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne Retro Sexual + Various DJs: One Twenty Bar, Fitzroy Canâ€™t Say + Various DJs: Platform 1, Melbourne I Love Old School + Shaggz & Puppet + DJ Tey + Merv Mac: Red Bennies, South Yarra Lewie Day + Mike Callander + Alex Thomas + Katie Drover + Who: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Sweet Nothing + Marcus Knight + DJ Xander James: Temperance Hotel, South Yarra Uptown Groove + Various DJs: The Order Of Melbourne, Melbourne Poprocks At The Toff + Dr Phil Smith: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Latin Quarter + Various DJs: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak
Alt Future + Various: Loop, Melbourne Panorama + Matt Rad + Mr George + Phato A Mano + Tom Meagher: Lucky Coq, Windsor
4 MAY 2013 Neo Sacrilege+DJ Nero: Abode, St Kilda
Billboard Saturdays + Frazer Adnam + Scott McMahon + Jamie Vlahos + more: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne
Various DJs: One Twenty Bar, Fitzroy OneSixFive + DJ Courtney Mills + DJ Hoops + DJ Ollie Holmes + DJ Josh Paola + DJ Will Cummings: Onesixone, Prahran
Hot Step+Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Phaturday+Tom Showtime + DJ Ayna: Blue Bar, Prahran Get Maad+Gaza + Jessi I + Sista Itations + Troublemekka: Cape Lounge, Fitzroy DJ Andy Pala + Kah Lua: Chaise Lounge, Melbourne
DJ Damion De Silva + Ken Walker + more: Co. Nightclub, Southbank
Sound Empire+Tate Strauss + Joe Sofo + DJ Matty + DJ Miss Sarah + Phil Ross: Fusion, Crown, Southbank
PBS Presents Soul-AGo-Go+Miss Goldie + Zack Rampage + Manchild + Richie 1250 + Special Guests : The Workers Club, Fitzroy
Various DJs: Laundry Bar, Fitzroy Mixed Drinks+Various DJs: Libation, Fitzroy Textile+DJ Pacman + Jean Paul + Moonshine + Tahl: Lucky Coq, Windsor Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne
Be.+DJ Damion De Silva + Ken Walker + more: Co. Nightclub, Southbank
The House deFrost with+Andee Frost: The Toff In Town (Late), Melbourne
Various DJs: Fox Hotel, Collingwood
6 MAY 2013
Club Fiction+Kitty Rock & The Bad Ladies: Red Bennies, South Yarra
The Dojo+Various DJs: The Order Of Melbourne, Melbourne
Billy Hoyle + Duchesz + MzRizk + Wasabi: First Floor, Fitzroy
5 MAY 2013 Sundae Shake+Agent 86 + Phato A Mano + Tigerfunk: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy
Marcus Knight + DJ Xander James: Temperance Hotel, South Yarra
Action Sam + DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne
Poison Apple+Nick Foley + J Heasy: Prince Bandroom, St Kilda
The Late Show+Mat Cant + Ransom + Too Much + more: Revolver Upstairs (Late), Prahran
Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne
Strut +Andreas + Danny Merx + Henrique + Jason Serini + Mark Pellegrini + MC Junior + Nick Van Wilder: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak
Various DJs: McKillops, Melbourne
South Side Hustle + Askew + Booshank + Disco Harry + Junji + Miss Butt + Paz + Peter Baker: Lucky Coq, Windsor Guilty Pleasures+Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda Revolver Sundays+Boogs + Spacey Space + DJ Radiator + Silversix + T-Rek: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Danger+George Hysteric + Rohan Bell Towers: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne
The Sunday Set+DJ Andyblack + Haggis: The Toff In Town (Afternoon), Melbourne
Freedom Pass + Phil Ross + B-Boogie + Chris Mac + Dozza: Co. Nightclub, Southbank Thatâ€™s A Rap+Various: First Floor, Fitzroy
Surrender+DJ Sergeant Slick + Adam Trace + DJ Adrian Chessari + DJ Chris Ostrom + DJ Sef: Fusion, Crown, Southbank
Cherax Destructor + Pilbu + Pony Boys + Areographe : Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood
Ibimbo + Lady Noir + Kiti: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy
Stiff Drink with + DJ Michael Kucyk + DJ Michael Ozone + DJ Roman Wafers: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Twerkers Club with+ DJ Fletch + more: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
TUE 7 MAY 2013 Adam Askew: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Open Mic + Nfâ€™a Jones + Vida Sunshyne: Cape Lounge, Fitzroy DJ Jaguar: E55, Melbourne Cosmic Pizza +Various DJs: Lucky Coq, Windsor
â€œLive At The Lomondâ€? THU 2ND
SHORT ORDER SCHEFS
140 Sydney Rd
NO COVER CHARGE
WEDNESDAY THE 1ST OF MAY - 8PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTELâ€™S OPEN MIC WITH YOUR HOST BRODIE GET IN AND REGISTER FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS OF BRUNSWICK BITTER THURSDAY THE 2ND OF MAY - 8PM TILL 1AM
$3 SCHOONERS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT - $5 BASIC SPIRITS 8PM
WITH GUESTS BUTTERSCOTCH BLONDE, HARRY BORLAND AND THE UGANDAN NATIONAL CHOIR, BLOOM FRIDAY THE 3RD OF MAY - 8PM
WITH GUESTS SISTER ANXIETY, DAMN THAT RIVER, EASY PLEASE SATURDAY THE 4TH OF MAY - 12PM
23 BANDS, 2 STAGES, Ă‚Câ€š1 DAY FEATURING MURDER RATS - NO IDEA - CRACKWHORE - THE LOST CAUSE (QLD) - KONG FUZI (NSW) - LOS AMIGOS - CLOWNS - SPEW N GUTS - THE HYBERNATORS - THE RESIGNATORS - WOT ROT - ADMIRAL ACKBARâ€™S DISHONOURABLE DISCHARGE - THE MURDERBALLS - WHEREâ€™S GROVER? -12FU - DIXON CIDER - CYCLONE DIABLO - LIQUOR SNATCH - THUNDABOX - BOMBS ARE FALLING - MASTER_BETA - INFAMOUS 506 - SOMEONE ELSEâ€™S WEDDING BAND SUNDAY THE 5TH OF MAY - 8PM
WITH GUESTS STYX AND STONZ, DIANAâ€™S BOW, MOONSHIFTER MONDAY THE 6TH OF MAY - 8PM
PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS OPEN STAGE READINGS AND SPOKEN WORD WELCOME WITH FEATURE PERFORMERS EVERY FORTNIGHT $10 JUGS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT TUESDAY THE 7TH OF MAY - 8PM
THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT
GIVING CHANCES TO UP AND COMING LOCAL TALENT! THIS WEEK: TBC!
44 â€˘ To check out the mags online go to themusic.com.au/mags
(Contemporary jazz funk)
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SAT 4TH 8:30PM
(Deep blues grooves)
KELLY AUTY BAND
SUN 5TH 5:30PM
MARTY KELLY & CO
SUN 5TH 9:00PM
TUES 7TH 8:00PM
(Diddley-diddley-dee) ALL GIGS FREE ~ EXCELLENT RESTAURANT AND BAR MEALS
1000s OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
THE GUIDE AT 45
BEHIND THE LINES MY GEAR: JOE SATRIANI
An Ibanez endorsee, Joe Satriani has been very hands-on in developing a JS Signature Series of guitars with the Japanese music instrument manufacturer that’s been the first to massproduce the seven- and eight-string electric guitars so favoured within the metal community at the moment. Not that Satriani’s current range goes beyond the six strings of which he is such a master. Anyway, the bulk of his recording in the past couple of years has utilised his JS-2400s, but on his recent trip to Australia to present a series of masterclasses, he was using the prototype to the JS-2410, which is basically a JS-2400 but with an alder body and a finger stripe through the maple neck, which, as he told Muso, “adds a little bit more, what would you call it? Organic sustain, as opposed to, let’s say pickup, like a wood sustain, and some kind of upper midrange solidity. I don’t know if that’s a real phrase you can use for describing guitar tone, but it’s something I feel – hard to put into words but I’ve been doing these clinics with it fresh, right out of the custom shop, one of the production models, and it’s confirmed… Every night when I play, I can just feel it has just a solid tone to it that really cuts through the mix very well, and I think you can hear it on [the new] album [Unstoppable Momentum], where it just has this beautiful sustain to it; it really helps make those melodies just jump right through. And we were using the signature Marshall JBM410-JSH head – it’s got four channels and three different gain structures per channel.”
SOUND BYTES Recorded at The Loft, Wilco’s studio in Chicago, the new album, One True Vine, from veteran soul/gospel legend Mavis Staples once again features producer Jeff Tweedy on nearly every instrument except drums, which were played by Tweedy’s 17-year-old son Spencer. Wait To Pleasure found Montreal noisepopsters No Joy set loose in their US label Mexican Summer’s studio, Gary’s Electric, for two weeks last year with producer Jorge Elbrecht (Violens, Lansing-Dreiden) at the helm. Bernard Fanning headed for Spain to write the follow-up, Departures, to his incredibly successful debut solo album, Tea & Sympathy, then headed for Los Angeles to record it at Sunset Sound with producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Raconteurs, Augie March, My Morning Jacket). The debut EP, Reckless, from Perth singersongwriter Kathryn Rollins, was recorded and produced by Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe, Basement Birds) at The Wasteland in Fremantle apart from one track, Cold Water, which was recorded at Fremantle Arts Centre, all tracks then being mixed at Blackbird Studios by Dave Parkin (Snowman, Jebediah, The Ghost Hotel). LA indie-pop four-piece Family Of The Year cut their latest album, Loma Vista, with producer Wally Gagel (New Order, PJ Harvey). Canadian producer Roger Frankham has been in Damien Gerard Sound Studios in Balmain overseeing the recording of a compilation of Australian rock with keyboards player Lucy DeSoto putting together a crack local lineup to do the business. Also utilising Damien Gerard’s, Sydney band Avenue Nine spent a long weekend with engineer/producer Russell Pilling, the recording then mastered by Andrew Beck. Once described as “the world’s most indie band”, Sydneysiders The Cannanes, who started the lo-fi DIY career that has taken them around the world back in 1985, recorded their latest album, Small Batch, at New York City’s music and sound design studio Explosion Robinson, which specialises in post-production audio for TV, film and the Internet, with its inhouse producer and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Hermann, four of the six tracks then mastered at Masterdisk by Andy VanDette and the other two by Devin Kerr. Multi ARIA Award-winning singersongwriter Josh Pyke recorded his new album, The Beginning And The End Of Everything, with producer John Castle (The Bamboos, Washington, The Drones). Studios One and Two at Studios 301 Sydney recently saw the installation of a stereo set of Neve 1073DPD preamps.
46 • For more interviews go to themusic.com.au/interviews
IN SESSION WITH ADALITA Currently in Birdland Studios in Prahran, Adalita Srsen talks to Michael Smith about recording her second solo album. he very firm idea I had for this album,” singer, songwriter and guitarist Adalita Srsen, best known as the frontwoman of Melbourne indie rockers Magic Dirt, explains, three weeks into recording the follow-up to her eponymous 2011 solo debut, “was I wanted a band this time round. That’s the main point of difference with this one – it’s much louder and there’s a lot more distorted guitar; a bit tougher than the last one.”
Adalita hadn’t actually intended recording that debut solo album, being more than happy working within her band context, but Magic Dirt’s bass player Dean Turner persuaded her to have a shot and the pair began working on it at Melbourne’s Head Gap Studios. Sadly, Turner lost his battle with a rare form of tissue cancer in 2009, aged just 37, and Adalita finished off the album’s production herself. So the desire to return to a band context with her second album is natural – and it’s very much about getting the best out her guitar and pedal. “They’ve been my two lifelong companions, and I wanted to just get them recorded as authentically, with as much integrity as possible, and I wanted to bring out a lot of the nuances of the guitar playing, so I’ve got harmonics sort of stuff in there. And I just wanted a really nice, solid bedrock of guitar that goes with the drums, which is a really important part of the record as well. Just get the best, as always.” Adalita plays a 2003 cherry red Gibson SG, with P94 pickups, through a Boss GS1 and a 40-watt Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp (“I’ve actually gone to the other side for this record,” she chuckles) with the one 12” Eminence Legend 125 speaker. Alongside bass player Matt Bailey from The Paradise Motel, the rhythm section on the album features three drummers – Dirty Three’s Jim White, who was back in Melbourne from New York, where he’s based these days; The Devastations’ Hugo Cran and Lee Parker, now Melbourne-based but
formerly with Brisbane punk/hardcore bands Slug Guts and Teargas. Each was chosen for whatever their own unique playing style brought to a particular song, so it was important to record in a space that allowed for those different rhythmic and sonic nuances. That saw Adalita return to Melbourne’s Birdland Studios. Originally opening in 1992, Birdland features the country’s only 128-input Neotek Elite console (64 channel including 12 stereo channels, which boosts it to 128), the console analogue automation modified to run from ProTools, with both ProTools and the console automation saved in the same ProTools session. Birdland boasts the country’s only high-end Neotek Elite of this size, originally designed for use in a famous TV station abroad. Running the equivalent of HD6, Birdland’s set-up is fitted with mastering quality Lynx converters, which out perform the standard Digidesign hardware. The studio reckons that, “Music with drums (rock, pop, indie etc) still sound better mixed through quality analogue consoles with great outboard, that’s why the world’s best still work that way.” Adalita adds that she loves that console: “It’s spectacular, and it captures the sound perfectly and it’s so rich and warm. I dunno – it’s just got a really good vibe.” As it turns out, though, Birdland wasn’t Adalita’s obvious choice. “It was at first,” she admits, “but then I went around and had a chat with some other producers because I wanted to spread my wings and fly with some new people, and had conversations with some great Australian producers who I admire, but then at the end I just felt like, because I was taking a big leap into the band sort of idea, I felt like I had so many new things going on that I probably needed something a bit more solid and familiar, and Birdland is one of my spiritual homes. So I went back to thinking of Birdland and [producer] Lindsay [Gravina]. He’s perfect because he knows me and knows my sound and knows how to capture it, and he doesn’t let me get away with anything, doesn’t let me slack off – he’s pushing me constantly to the edge. So I’ve got the familiarity with the world-class producer at my side, so we’re coproducing together with Rob Long, the engineer, who’s an absolute master in his field.”
Gravina of course had worked extensively with Adalita’s band Magic Dirt, having engineered their 2004 What Are Rock Stars Doing Today album and recorded, coproduced and mastered their last, 2008’s Girl. His production credits include Kate Miller-Heidke’s 2012 Nightflight album, the late Rowland S Howard’s last album, 2010’s Pop Crimes, and Epicure’s 2008 Postcards From A Ghost album, among many. Her familiarity with Gravina allowed her to take more risks while still feeling secure that her production team understood where she was coming from. “I’m sticking to the original [demo] ideas very closely and being very focused and thorough with each part, just making sure I nail each part,” she explains, the recording process this time very different to her usual band experience. Leading up to the recording, she’s jammed with each drummer, then rehearsed with the bass player, and has recorded each part separately rather together in a room in band mode. “It’s been good concentrating on everything in blocks and the songs are being realised exactly how I want them to be.” As crucial as capturing the sound of her guitar and pedal with authenticity is of course that of Adalita’s voice, and the studio has a Neumann M49 and a U87 on hand for just that purpose. No final decision yet on who will mix or master the album, but you can expect to hear the finished product before the year is over.
IN THE STUDIO: BLACKCHORDS In order to record the album they were determined to make under the best conditions, Melbourne’s Blackchords took themselves off to the countryside. Michael Smith investigates. ed Room Studios is a recording facility operating in a beautifully renovated 1920s farmhouse at Macclesfield in the Dandenong Ranges, so it’s obviously designed for artists and acts that want to get away from the city in order to concentrate on the task in hand – recording. So it might seem a little odd that Melbourne four-piece, Blackchords, should go a step further, utilising much of Red Room’s gear as well as its owner/operator Mark Stanley, setting up a recording space in a huge country shed dubbed Barra Shed, in Gladysdale in rural Victoria.
“We were doing preproduction in that shed kind of on and off in the six months beforehand,” bass player Tristan Courtney, who is also responsible for a lot of the electronics sounds you’ll hear, explains the work that went into recording their second album, A Thin Line, “so by the time we went to do the record it was quite a familiar space I guess and we’d kind of worked out a few things by then, like the best spot to get the drums sounding good. That initial time was just playing a lot of songs and trying to craft them, but I think the way that the sounds and the textures came together was quite different to what we were expecting when we actually came to start doing the album. “We were in a space where we were doing a lot of science experiments and trying out new things and trying different combinations of sound and synths and different guitars and that sort of stuff. So that really came together on the record as one big kind of experiment rather than something that was meticulously laid out before we went to do it.” As for why the shed, “we did a Pozible [crowdfunding] campaign to fund the record so we didn’t have a huge budget and the shed was very cheap so it gave us more time, we could be more relaxed and work on
getting our parts right rather than just trying to get them correct. It was a really nice place to be – you really felt the elements. There was no air-conditioning and we were doing the record in summer and it was forty degrees every day in a big metal shed. You really felt your environment; nothing was too sterile. We slept there the whole time, we didn’t have any mobile reception, no Internet, so though it was isolated it was quite nice to be connected to this one space. “When I say a tin shed, it’s a lot more than that. It’s kind of been decked out a little bit; there’s a big bar, there’s lots of clutter and stuff, and straw in the walls for insulation, and we brought rugs to put on the cement floor to soak up the sound a bit, and down one end of it there’s kind of like a stage – the guy that owns it puts on gigs for his mates.” Stanley brought his portable studio set-up from Red Room and recorded the demo sessions and then the album with a combination of Logic and ProTools, though the man brought in to produce the album, Grammy Award-winning Irish producer David Odlum, once the guitarist with The Frames, who has produced records by his former band as well as their frontman Glen Hansard, Josh Ritter and Luka Bloom among others, prefers to work with ProTools. “Mark used to live in Ireland,” Courtney explains, “and played in a band with David called The Mary Janes and still keeps in touch, and David now runs his own studio in France [Black Box Recording Studio in Noyant la Gravoyere] and has done a lot of great records over the years that we liked. While we were doing demos, Mark would be sending stuff off to David and getting to see what David thought, asking for suggestions and getting ideas, and then when we came to do the record it just so happened – David is usually super, super busy – he just had some time off and he said, ‘Summer in Australia sounds great rather than winter in France,’ so he came out to do the record. He brought a lot of ideas and really pushed us, tried to make us uncomfortable in the best kind of way so we weren’t going through the motions and pushing us one step further than we were usually prepared to go.”
In the end, Odlum was only available for 11 days, so there was a bit of going back and forth working on overdubs on bits that hadn’t worked, back at Red Room with Stanley. Then the tracks were sent over to Odlum to do the mixes via email and Dropbox. While Stanley and Odlum were working on band tracks, Courtney would be working up sounds in a sideroom on his laptop, “firing up a whole lot of different things and then dragging the samples over and dropping them into the main session and some would work and some of it wouldn’t and I’d go back and try other stuff. For a lot of the synths I was using [Spectrasonics’ virtual instrument] Omnisphere, and also we have one of those Elektron Machinedrums, that does most of the electronic drums that you hear on the record, but also we used the Stylus RMX [plug-in] for a few extra things. “A lot of the drums, we were playing really simple versions of the drums, just kick and snare, and sort of cutting up those samples and moving them around. So a lot of what sounds like live drums on the record isn’t actually live drums at all – they’ve been quite carefully crafted, just to try and come up with something that sounded a bit different.” A Thin Line by Blackchords is out now on ABC through Universal.
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OPEN 7 DAYS
PRODUCT NEWS Yngwie Malmsteen with Seymour Duncan
DID YOU KNOW… That the man behind one of the most respected lines of guitar pickups, Seymour Duncan, is also a pretty mean guitarist in his own right? In recognition of his contribution to the art and craft of guitar, Fender has created the Seymour Duncan Signature Esquire, modelled after the man’s personal 1954 Esquire. The guitar features a lightweight solid ash body, specially shaped hard rock maple neck and a custom-designed pickup built by Seymour himself. Every aspect of the building of this guitar was personally overseen by Seymour, including the special wiring he did on each of these instruments. The finish on the body is 100 per cent nitro lacquer, as is the thin finish on the neck.
THE NEW GIBSON J-35 Based on the original 1936 model, the revamped J-35 is the modern equivalent of that original round-shoulder flat-top with Gibson’s historically celebrated, full-bodied acoustic tone. Reborn for the same reasons that brought the original to the market, the desire among musicians for a quality, handcrafted guitar with matchless tone, the J-35 is handcrafted with solid tone woods and all the acclaimed skill of Gibson Acoustic’s luthiers of Bozeman, Montana. The spruce top and mahogany back and sides produce the warm, expressive tone sought after by artists, acoustic connoisseurs, record producers and sound engineers alike. The short-scale neck with
dovetail neck-to-body joint, attached with traditional hot hide glue, provides for smooth tonal response and easy playing. An Antique Natural finish hand-sprayed with Gibson’s signature nitrocellulose lacquer preserves the natural grain and lends a clean, modern look, while enhancing the guitar’s resonance. A unique fire stripe pick guard, multi-ply top binding and soundhole rosette, and a Gibson script and banner logo make it easy to distinguish in the family of round-shoulder dreadnoughts and is equipped with a Baggs Element pickup.
THE NEW HARMON/ KARDON HEADPHONE Defined by their exceptional acoustic performance and sleek design, the new headphone range is a reflection of harman/kardon’s commitment to innovation and excellence. The harman/kardon NC headphones come with active-noise cancellation technology, with features including an exclusive acoustic system, an optimised driver system plus sonic clarity and accuracy, even at low volume levels. With a claimed rechargeable battery life of 30 hours and the ability to be used in passive mode, they’re the perfect travelling partner. Removing the fuss of wires, harman/kardon BT (Bluetooth) headphones employ AAC and apt-X coding for the highest quality wireless audio streaming. Unlike other Bluetooth headphones, the battery will still work when connected by the supplied bypass cable to a playback device. Light and comfortable, they also feature a closed-back design that keeps the music in and external sound out. The harman/kardon CL in-ear headphones offer superb mechanical design and are both comfortable and lightweight, and outperform other headphones in extended bass response. Drawing from harman/kardon’s rich heritage of acoustic innovation, the in-ear AE earphones feature aluminium alloy housing for extended bass and true low-frequency reproduction, while the harman/kardon NI earphones offer noiseisolating properties and employ an optimised driver system, all through a unique rectangular shape.
MARKBASS BIG BANG MARSHALL MS-2 MICRO AMP I test drove the new Marshall MS-2 “Micro Amp” on the weekend and let me tell you this amp does not go to 11. But that’s not the point. Standing all of 13.5 cm tall it’s the amp you have when you’re not having an amp, and I mean that with the most positive of intentions. Imagine having a compact, neighbour-friendly amp to plug your favourite axe into, get a good sound that even clips to your belt, so you can work on your songwriting, riff-making or just general practise in the comfort of your beanbag. For those about to busk, Marshall salutes you. I found that it’s certainly louder than an acoustic guitar. The intention is mostly for home use and the avoidance of big cumbersome amps taking up floor space, with the bonus that picking up and moving from room to room or place to place is all so easy. The battery-operated option has its obvious value. It is very simple technology. You plug in, turn on, set to clean or distortion and “voila”, instant Slash karma. The little fellow is the spitting image of his big brother so it will look in company on the mantel piece alongside your other music icons, like your bust of Beethoven or the picture of Hendrix at Woodstock and of course the name “Marshall” is such a star in the music pantheon. RRP $99. Steve Flack
The Italian manufacturers MarkBass have been with us for around ten years. In that time they have produced a series of bass amps and cabinets that are advanced and innovative. I must admit to bias here. Five years ago, I was looking for a new amp and the best thing I found was a MarkBass Combo Head, a couple of years old. First thing I did was lift it up…. so light! Can’t be any good (I thought because, as you know, us sound guys know everything about everything)... then I played it and bam! There was loads of smooth bottom end and a really nice rounded tone, I bought it, love it and it is still going strong. The latest offering is an amp called the Big Bang and it is even smaller than the amp in my Combo Head, weighing just a couple of kilos. The sound is pretty much the same in depth and quality as my own amp (which is 600 real watts) but in such a tiny package! The MarkBass tone controls are fantastic as always, four bands and then two powerful filters that make pretty much any tone possible, from funky slaps to country boomtwang. It’s solid state and while it will never give you the harmonically rich tone of a valve amp, it goes as far as any other solidstate amp does with a hint of that valve compliance. The amp features a direct out with a ground lift to avoid PA hums and a very thoughtful headphone out so it can double as a practice amp. So the Big Bang is evolution rather than revolution. At 500 watts it packs plenty of punch, sounds good and offers a host of MarkBass features in a package that is very small and light. RRP $1495. Paul Dengate
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY GUTHRIE They call themselves the Twangtrust, a unique artist/engineer/producer collaboration between Steve Earle and Ray Kennedy. Earle talks to Michael Smith about their work on Earle’s latest album, The Low Highway. heir production partnership began with 1997’s El Corazón, though Steve Earle first worked with Ray Kennedy on the previous year’s album, I Feel Alright, which had been coproduced by Kennedy and Richard Bennett, and together, calling themselves the Twangtrust, they’ve produced everything Earle has recorded since, apart from 2007’s Washington Square Serenade, produced by John King, one-half of the LA-based Dust Brothers,
and 2011’s I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, produced by T-Bone Burnett. But they got back together for Earle’s latest album, The Low Highway. “Ray mixed [Earle’s 2009 tribute album to mentor Townes Van Zant] Townes,” Earle, who relocated to Greenwich Village from Nashville in 2007, points out. “He didn’t record it because I did it [at my home] in New York, but he did mix it and mastered it – and we’ve also done some other production projects together – the Joan Baez record [2008’s Day After Tomorrow] he recorded and mixed that I produced. So we never stopped working together. I decided to go back to working with Ray in Nashville on this one – it’s what made the most sense for the way this was recorded, with the band in five days. “We fight like cats and dog when we’re working together like a fucking married couple, but I like the
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way he records and he knows how to record me and it’s a pretty effortless situation. I’m talking to Marianne Faithfull about her record and Ray’s gonna record it ‘cause it’s the easiest thing to do – I can concentrate on songs and the artist, and I know what I’m gonna give her. I’m mixing a record with Ray right now; he’s in Nashville mixing and sending me mixes over the Internet, and I trust him with them – I did the Baez record that way, and I’m making a record of David Broza, who’s an Israeli singer, that we recorded in East Jerusalem with a half Israeli half Palestinian band, and we’re mixing that right now [laughs], but Ray’s done the wrestling with qanuns [Arabic violin] and ouds and stuff – all kinds of weird instruments!” Joining Earle on The Low Highway are his live band, The Dukes, featuring guitarist Chris Masterson, violinist Eleanor Whitmore, double bassist Kelley Looney, drummer Will Rigby and singer and guitarist Allison Moorer. “The original idea behind this record was a musical idea,” Earle explains. “Okay, this band’s really good – I’ve got the best band I’ve had ever, so I wanted to record it, and I already had the three Tremé songs [written for David Simon’s award-winning HBO TV series in which Earle plays a street musician named Harley]. They sort of headed me in a direction because the story of New Orleans after Katrina is linked directly to the economic times that we’re living in, and the rest of the songs were written as I was out touring with the band finishing up the dates in North America over last [northern] summer, and I’m lookin’ out the winda and writin’ songs and suddenly the epiphany was that I was seeing something way closer to the America Woody Guthrie saw than any singer-songwriter of the last couple of generations. We all do a job that was invented by Bob Dylan as he was sort of inventing himself in the image of Woody Guthrie, which means that we’ve always done it with this link, spiritually and stylistically as far as music goes, back to the ‘30s and the Depression that runs through the singer-songwriter thing, and the ironic thing is none of us that do this job, including Bob Dylan, ever witnessed that first hand. And it suddenly dawned on me that what I was looking at travelling around in this day and age is very near what Woody saw. Times are very, very hard out there.” The album was recorded in ProTools, which Earle feels is good enough now, “it sounds pretty fucking good
– it’s hard to tell the difference. The T-Bone record was recorded in ProTools using tape as an effect. It goes through tape and they’ve used the same piece of tape through the whole project over and over again. There’s no tape being manufactured that’s really dependable as far as I’m concerned for recording.” That said, they still ran things through an analogue console in the boutique studio Kennedy set up after Earle departed for New York and Kennedy felt their Nashville studio, Room And Board, was too big. “Ray has a new version of Room And Board, which is a mixing room, and he does have a tracking area, but I haven’t recorded there. We recorded the tracks, which were basically the whole record – we only did about two overdubs, which were a couple of background vocals, and the mixing was done at Room And Board. The rest of it was recorded at Ben’s Place, which is Ben Folds’ studio, which is the old RCA [Victor Nashville Sound Studios] A, which is this great big, cavernous, old-fashioned recording studio, which is kinda what Ray and I like. Ray’s new place is not really smaller, and he does track records there, but there’s a great API console at Ben’s Place. ” The Low Highway, by Steve Earle & The Dukes (AND Duchesses), is out now through New West Records/Warner Music.
Published on Apr 30, 2013
Melbourne is one of the few true rock’n’roll capitols of the world. And Inpress magazine is the voice of this great rock’n’roll city. For ov...