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I T ’ S F E S T I VA L SEASON The ultimate breakdown of this summer’s festivals
Why you need to catch Miss Blanks
Don’t be a dickhead - the festival etiquette guide
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Hopefully, it’s pretty obvious to you by now. But just in case it’s not: We’ve gone monthly.
Knox Assistant Editor/Social Media Co-Ordinator Jessica Dale Editorial Assistant Sam Wall Gig Guide Henry Gibson
e were weekly but now we are not. If you too are sadly addicted to Media Watch (not everything worth watching on free-to-air has to involve Sophie Monk... yet), you’ll know it’s tough out there/in here for media. Google and Facebook are gobbling up all the advertising dollars and we have to get innovative to survive. A few years back we diversified into the digital landscape and now theMusic.com.au is the third most visited music website in the country (according to October Nielsen figures). We then introduced a daily newsletter that has fast become the most influential in the local music industry. Now we have taken the step to consolidate our print output into a monthly. Going monthly isn’t the only change we’ve made. We’ve taken the opportunity to try a few new things. We’ve got bigger pages, better quality stock and we’ve made space for the return of some longer-form journalism. And, some of your regular favourites have migrated to our digital platform. We’ve introduced a new arts section (guess what we’ve called it? yep… The Arts) and we’ve added Your Town, where we scour your local city and surrounding suburbs for the best of music and culture over the coming month. So here you have our first issue in its monthly format. A celebration of our favourite season. Festival season. The Music team has spent hours piecing together the must-attend festivals of the season as well as arguing over who we think the breakout artists of the festival season will be. Of course, our festival run-through wouldn’t be complete without an etiquette guide (seriously, just don’t be a dickhead) and survival tips. Please enjoy and hit us back on our socials to let us know what you’ve liked and what’s pissed you off. Be kind.
email@example.com Senior Contributors Steve Bell, Ross Clelland, Jeff Jenkins Contributors Nic Addenbrooke, Annelise Ball, Emily Blackburn, Melissa Borg, Anthony Carew, Uppy Chatterjee, Roshan Clerke, Shaun Colnan, Brendan Crabb, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Joe Dolan, Jack Doonar, Benny Doyle, Chris Familton, Guido Farnell, Liz Giuffre, Carley Hall, Tobias Handke, Mark Hebblewhite, Samantha Jonscher, Kate Kingsmill, Tim Kroenert, Matt MacMaster, Taylor Marshall, Rip Nicholson, MJ O’Neill, Carly Packer, Natasha Pinto, Michael Prebeg, Mick Radojkovic, Jake Sun, Rod Whitfield Senior Photographers Cole Bennetts, Kane Hibberd Photographers Rohan Anderson, Andrew Briscoe, Stephen Booth, Pete Dovgan, Jodie Downie, Simone Fisher, Lucinda Goodwin, Josh Groom, Clare Hawley, Bianca Holderness, Jay Hynes, Dave Kan, Yaseera Moosa, Hayden Nixon, Angela Padovan, Markus Ravik, Bobby Rein, Peter Sharp, Barry Shipplock, Terry Soo, John Stubbs, Bec Taylor Advertising Leigh Treweek, Antony Attridge, Brad Edwards, Brad Summers firstname.lastname@example.org Art Dept Ben Nicol, Felicity Case-Mejia email@example.com Admin & Accounts Ajaz Durrani, Meg Burnham, Bella Bi firstname.lastname@example.org Distro email@example.com Subscriptions store.themusic.com.au Contact Us Melbourne Head Office Ph: 03 9421 4499 459-461 Victoria Street Brunswick West Vic 3055 PO Box 231 Brunswick West Vic 3055 Sydney Ph: 02 9331 7077 111 Flinders St Surry Hills NSW 2010 Brisbane
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This month 12.
Guest editorial Camp Cope’s Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich on the entrenched culture of discrimination in the music industry.
The Arts 51.
Bianca Del Rio
52. Wonderland From debaucherous cabaret to gut-busting comedy, we pick the best of the bunch from this year’s Fest.
Here’s your ultimate guide to festival season, from events old and new, weekend camping to one-day affairs.
We talk to the rising star of this year’s festival season.
A founder member of alternative rock trio Camp Cope, Kelly-Dawn is a bassist based in Melbourne. Alongside her bandmates, Sarah Thompson and Georgia McDonald, she has spearheaded the #ItTakesOne movement to improve safety at live music venues.
Best Of The Fests
We speak to one of the bad ass kids from Stranger Things, which you speed-binged when it dropped.
16. From opening a studio to touring with Run DMC, Hyrdofunk Records list some of their highlights of the past 20 years..
Neil Griffiths Neil is the Sydney Digital Editor for theMusic.com.au, as well as co-host on ‘The Music Podcast With Dave & Neil’. With a background in TV and radio presenting, Neil has interviewed the likes of Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, blink-182 and Ice Cube and is currently writing a TV series with podcast cohost, Dave Burrowes.
Live and Film & TV
Your Town 32.
34. Got ya pills sorted? No, because we had a false start with pill-testing in Australia. We look into what went wrong.
ARIA Awards Form Guide
59. 60. 61. 63. 66.
Triffid Album Of The Year
The Month’s Best Design Markets
Mitch Knox The General Assembly
Mitch has written for The Music since before it was The Music, weaseling his way to fulltime digital staff member in 2014. He enjoys good tunes, TV, comic books and his regular existential crises. He’s been Brisbane editor for the past two years.
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‘Ridgy-didge Sydney-based indie-pop maestro Bec Sandridge turned heads with powerful new single, I’ll Never Want A BF, last month and immediately confirmed a run of Aussie headline dates in support. You can also catch Sandridge at The Plot.
Yes, we know it hit Stan in late October, but there seems to be a criminally low number of people getting around Claws. Stream the treacherous and darkly funny adventures of five Floridian manicurists now.
On my mind
Friday On My Mind cast Pic: Tony Mott
It’s bittersweet news after the recent passing of music icon George Young, but the ABC’s much-anticipated two-part mini-series about revered Australian band The Easybeats, Friday On My Mind, hits screens 26 Nov.
Big league Justice League hits cinemas on 16 Nov. DC’s cinematic ventures have copped some flack in the past, but we’re very much looking forward to seeing Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman steal literally all of the thunder.
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Championing gender diversity in the music industry, Sad Grrrls Festival will make its first Brisbane trip this month on top of its established Sydney/Melbourne stops. Moaning Lisa, Huntly, Rachel Maria Cox and more are on the bill.
World: oh hi
Breakout artist of the month:
After keeping us waiting since 2015, Canadian rap heavyweight and living meme Drake is back Down Under with the Boy Meets World tour. Catch him this month in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Street Hassle @ Howler. Pic: Joshua Braybrook
O Lorde Lorde blew minds at her intimate Sydney show back in July and it’s finally time for her full tour with her latest album Melodrama. Lorde’s five-date run includes a headline slot at Spilt Milk festival.
If you’re yet to listen to Lucianblomkamp’s latest EP Sick Of What I Don’t Understand, Pt 1 get on it sharpish. Then buy a ticket to one of his national launch shows this month.
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ocal four-piece garage-pop band Street Hassle — they’re from Preston — are so fresh they don’t even have proper promo pics yet (but they’re onto it, don’t worry)! After Jess Owen (rhythm guitarist/ singer), Niamh Crosbie (lead guitar/singer) and Georgia Ehrlich (drums) finished playing with an old band, they wanted to keep making music together so brought in Emily Cartwright (bass) to round out what would become Street Hassle. “Our songs are inspired by a lot of ‘60s garage and pop as well as some country music from around the same era,” Cartright reveals. They’ve only been a thing for three or four months, but already Street Hassle have secured some enviable support slots. “Supporting RVG was such an honour,” Cartwright acknowledges of warming up Howler’s stage last month for these impressive fellow Prestonians, who seem to be popping up on every cool line-up at the moment (they’re playing Meredith, ferchrissakes!). During this gig, our reviewer pointed out the emerging four-piece included a cover of Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger and, fortunately, we also had one of our awesome photographers at this gig so can share a visual of Street Hassle. On Street Hassle’s Facebook page, their band interests are listed as “breaking your heart”, their genre, “mum rock”. There’s sadly no Street Hassle music available on the internet for your ears as yet, but Cartright says the foursome hope to release a 7” “by the start of next year”. But you don’t need to wait that long, ‘cause Street Hassle have a couple of shows coming up! Head down to the launch of One Year (a new joint at 220 Johnston Street, Collingwood that will be demolished in a year, hence the name) on 11 Nov and/or The Yarra Hotel on 16 Nov to check out the goodness that is Street Hassle.
An abridged history of Hydrofunk’s slam dunks It’s almost impossible to pick the highlights from indie hiphop label Hydrofunk Records’ illustrious 20-year run, so we asked co-founders DJ Katch and Zsolt Reggel to share a few of their personal favourites. Opening Hydrofunk HQ In 2011 we had the opportunity to open our own studio after the purchase of a Neve 75 series mixing console. This had always been a goal, and it enabled us to spend the time producing the albums and sounds we wanted without watching the clock in paid studios. It really allowed us to produce music to cater for the global market. Hydrofunk HQ is situated in the hills of Byron Shire, and is a unique space in an amazing natural setting, catering to artists from all around the world. Touring with Run DMC One of the highlight tours of the past 20 years was our Resin Dogs national tour with Run DMC in 2000. It was a privilege to be on tour with this USA rap crew and during that time we met a lot of new emerging talent on
Signing passionate new artists
Looking back on 20 years of hard work
One of the highlights of this anniversary year has been signing and working with Byron Bay-based five-piece conscious hiphop outfit Indigenoise. It has been an absolute pleasure working with these guys from the minute we met at the local Starseed music conference to getting in the studio and producing the upcoming album. These guys are so connected and gifted and passionate about upholding the values of the most successful and ancient civilisation on the planet, it’s an honour to be a part of the movement. Big things for these guys and we are excited about what is ahead.
Going through the last two decades of our back catalogue we are looking back at all the amazing artists and acts that we have had the privilege to work with, and to see some of those artists go on and do some really big things is a career highlight for us. So is the fact that the first Hydrofunk signing, Resin Dogs, and now the newest signing, Indigenoise, are able to tour together as part of the 20th anniversary shows — it’s very special.
the Australian music scene, who we went on to have great working relationships with. To date this holds a fond place in our memory banks and it was during this tour that we locked in the late Robert Reed from Trouble Funk to come on tour with us on the iconic Big Day Out festival. Going international 2017 has been an amazing year for us and one of the highlights has been opening our office in Japan. We have been on this mission for a long time and to finally have everything in place to make it happen has been amazing. We had our first release in July, which was a 7” collaboration between Japanese two-piece Uhnellys and Melbourne-based Tigermoth. The release was received well and all the shows on the national Japanese tour were amazing. Next release and tour early 2018.
Don’t you know it’s Christmas? Anyone who’s worked in retail will tell you nothing lasts as long as a Christmas album. Empires rise and fall in the time it takes to listen to the nth iteration of Silent Night — so you best pick the right one.
Cheap Trick put I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day on the same record as I Wish It Was Christmas Today and then they stuck them right next to each other. Track two and three, friend. Have at it. They’ve made Silent Night sound like Pink Floyd’s breakdown in The Wall and Please Come Home For Christmas is Oh Darling wrapped in tinsel. Beautiful, boldfaced madness.
You Make It Feel Like Christmas goes the classic pop Chrissy route — big, jolly drums, bigger, jollier horns, twee BVs and jaunty strings. It’s Gwen Stefani, though, so it blows the competition out of the water. 10/10 — would dance by the fireplace, with a loved one, in a garish sweater.
Most ‘seasons’ albums are fairly organic and Lindsey Stirling’s masterful violin is definitely the centrepiece of Warmer In The Winter. But it turns out adding electronic beats to Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy and Carol Of The Bells gives them an attractive (if slightly menacing) urgency. This is definitely what Kevin McAllister listens to to get pumped for torturing house invaders.
Dude York have gone the extra mile and written their own songs, so Halftime For The Holidays is more of an album about Christmas than a Christmas album. There are still a few obligatory classics of course (Silent Night, alright!) but lead single Break Up Holidays is pure, heavy-pop heartbreak that just happened to fall in December.
Christmas isn’t about all the bells and baubles, and your choice of carols can reflect that. The Dominican Sisters Of Mary, Mother Of The Eucharist have you covered with Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring: Christmas With The Dominican Sisters Of Mary. No phat horns or guitar solos here, just crystalline choral tones with a bit of simple orchestral accompaniment. The way god intended.
Christmas Christmas (Big Machine Records) is out now
You Make It Feel Like Christmas (Interscope Records) is out now
Warmer In The Winter (Concord) is out this month
Halftime For The Holidays (Inertia Music) is out this month
Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring: Christmas With The Dominican Sisters Of Mary (Sony Music Australia) is out now
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The music industry has an entrenched culture of discrimination and violence. It needs to change. As Hollywood continues to be rocked by historic cases of sexual abuse against women, similar stories are also emerging from elsewhere in the entertainment industries. Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich of Camp Cope is part of a vanguard of female artists challenging the status quo to make the Australian music scene a safer space.
in this community who are so often labeled ‘the hardest working in the industry’, while women, people of colour and LGBQTIA+ people do the same job in the face of adversity. They do the same job and are ridiculed and harassed on the internet. They do the same job while not being listened to by stage crew, technicians and managers. They do the same job and get sexualised, harassed and catcalled. They do the same job and are told they are not hardworking or deserving, but lucky. For us, this makes it very personal and important to be proactive in creating a safe and empowering space at our shows. We create and take part in diverse line-ups and we take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual assault and violence. For this, we are often labeled ‘preachy’ or ‘difficult’. We have been labeled ‘bullies’ for pointing out gender disparity in line-ups and we’ve been faced with aggressive males in our own audiences simply for asking them to calm down and stop potentially harmful or dangerous behaviour. We are a band with no manager, booking agent, tour manager, album producer or major label. We have been called a hype-band, a buzz-band, a girl-band, a feminist band... but never a hardworking-band. The music industry is shifting slowly and more and more there are so many people speaking out against sexism, discrimination, assault and violence that has been ignored or considered ‘just the way it is’ for too long. In particular we are very fortunate to have such a unique festival culture here in Australia and there is no doubt that Australian festivals are in the spotlight for both positive and negative reasons, I feel like this gives us a huge opportunity to take action and make a global impact — setting a whole new precedent for festivals to tackle the issues and standup for the empowerment and safety of their artists, staff and attendees alike. This would mean reviewing and reflecting on the diversity of line-ups, making safety a priority and making meaningful change, and taking action after raising awareness. As a community we need to do better and being selfcritical is important in achieving a new era for music.
y band and I were sitting in the studio last week and the engineer for our record asked if we were nervous about the release of our second album. I cannot remember which one of us said it, but we definitely all agreed that we felt less pressure about the record than ever before because no matter what we do, people will find a reason as to why we did it wrong anyway. We laughed and joked about it, but at its core it was a statement that really hit home to our overall experience being non-male in the music industry. Before forming a band together, the three of us were always extremely active in music. We definitely fit that cliche you hear from musicians that ‘music is and always has been our life’. We’d all grown up playing music, attending shows, working in music shops, venues, labels. On paper, we definitely did read as your typical group of musos. But our image doesn’t really fit that mould. I think when you ask a person to picture a rock musician they picture a sweaty, shirtless — or maybe flannel-clad — long haired dude with a Fender guitar. We are sweaty and flannelclad, and we play Fenders. But we aren’t those men, and that’s the part that gets to people. Music being our passion isn’t the only thing we have in common. Another thing we share is that in this music world we have all been made to feel less important, less listened to and deserving of space because of our gender. This continues together as a band where we are constantly facing discrimination and sexism and then criticism when we are outspoken about it. There have been people asking us if we knew how to use our equipment or if we write our own songs; we’ve had people checking our passes backstage but not our male counterparts beside us; we’ve been placed lower on line-ups and paid less than allmale bands.I really believe if you asked any woman, person of colour or member of the LGBQTIA+ community who works in music, you’d get millions of stories in a similar vein. We are just not considered, respected or listened to in the same way as the white men who do the same thing as us. We have to work harder, speak louder, prove ourselves time and time again to be taken seriously. There are groups of male musicians and men in positions of power
“I think when you ask a person to picture a rock musician they picture a sweaty, shirtless — or maybe flannel-clad — long haired dude with a Fender guitar. We are sweaty and flannel-clad, and we play Fenders. But we aren’t those men, and that’s the part that gets to people.”
Best of the fests
The Music’s essential guide to the festival season.
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inter’s cold, wet grasp on the country’s throat has been broken! Toss your thermal underwear in the trash, cut the sleeves off your Ts and air out your sequinned onesies because summer is here and summer means festivals. Of course, that also means there are choices to be made. Unless the folks at Forbes keep track of your net worth, you’re not going to make every worthy event this season. Tragic but true. Every year it seems like the festival list gets bigger, the line-ups more star-studded and the FOMO more all-consuming. Like most of life’s problems, the solution is knowledge. Achieving the perfect summer season takes diligent research. You gotta weigh the pros and face the cons. Sharpen pencils. Make a graph. But the sun’s out, and there’s tins to be cracked — so maybe skip all that and just read our handy guide instead.
amworth Country Music Festival have compartmentalised their ticketing for their 46th year, since there aren’t too many people capable of getting out to 2,800 events over ten days (it’s literally the largest festival in the southern hemisphere). Options include the free Toyota Park Concert series, The Toyota Golden Guitar Awards and more country music than you could possibly hoot and holler at. Apart from headline drawcards Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts, Sara Storer, Adam Eckersley Band and John Williamson, there are also buzz acts like Hurricane Fall, Cruisin’ Deuces and Fanny Lumsden to check out. Plus, Toyota Star Maker regularly brings Australia’s best and brightest up-andcomers out of the woodwork. It’s almost been around as long as Tamworth Country Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival is a BYO-chair festival (yep, there’s specific seated sections in the performance areas and punters even use bike locks to chain their chairs to fences overnight to save having to carry them back and forth). This festival takes over the entire coastal town for its 42nd year in 2018. You’ll see bands performing on flatbed trucks, in churches and halls, and there’s free entertainment on Fiddlers’ Green and the Railway Stage. There’s an Irish-themed Shebeen tent where separate ‘shopfronts’ such as Scruffy Duffys also serve snacks including Savoy crackers, cheese cubes and sliced cabana on a paper plate. And a lollie trolley circulates for all your sugar-rush needs. Here’s a taste of the sweet line-up: Steve Poltz, Mental As Anything, Jack Broadbent, Breabach, Black Sorrows and Tex, Don & Charlie. Newtown Festival is turning 39 and is sharing the love with their new “home is where the heart is” theme. They have a program packed with multi-sensory delights for a measly $5 donation, which goes to fund Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. This year’s band line-up, curated by Sarah Blasko,
They just keep getting better and better.
boasts a line-up with off-tap wow factor and this year is no exception. Lionel Richie, Robert Plant, Seal, The New Power Generation, Jackson Browne, Gomez, Chic feat Nile Rodgers and our very own Tash Sultana — we can’t even! Punters return to this festival, which takes place just north of Byron Bay at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm over the Easter weekend, year after year and it’s fun for the whole family. Boomerang Festival, an “indigenous festival for all Australians”, is also held within Bluesfest. “This is one of the world class, great festivals of all time!” Bonnie Raitt is quoted as saying (on the festival’s website). From those lucky enough to have been in attendance, we hear Bluesfest’s a life-changing experience. A deadset highlight on the annual festival calendar with its celebrated “no dickheads” policy, Meredith Music Festival’s subscriber ballot always becomes a talking point as punters scramble to get their hands on a ticket. And with a festival site called Supernatural Amphitheatre it’s pretty bloody easy to see why. Held on the Nolan family farm, this will be the first Meredith Music Festival since Jack Nolan sadly passed in February this year. The festival turns 27 in 2017 and we can’t wait to prep our custom doof sticks and pack our trippy outfits. We’re also looking forward to pulling shapes to the likes of Todd Terje, ESG, Chk Chk Chk, Warpaint, Aldous Harding (probably more swaying in awe, actually), RVG and Amyl & The Sniffers. It’s also high time you start training for the Meredith Gift, which is a massive nudie-run race, but The Golden Jocks trophy actually belongs in our cabinet this year. Now a multi-state touring festival, Falls Festival is celebrating 25 years of creating life memories while celebrating New Year in 2017/2018. Our noodles smoke when we think about the organisation that goes into coordinating schedules and booking all of the bands’ flights and accommodation as they fly up and down the east coast to perform at all
includes Spit Syndicate, MEZKO, Jep & Dep and I Know Leopard. The grub includes all the local faves (212 Blu, Mary’s, Fleetwood Macchiato et al). The much-loved Dog Show is back, of course, as well as the Writers Tent and Eco Village. You can also trail La Toosh Tram & Stage’s roving cast of musicians, artists and circus performers or set up shop in Heaps Gay’s Karaoke Closet. Further up the east coast and held in Amamoor Creek State Forest, Gympie Music Muster sounds like a hoot and we’ve heard the punters go to a great deal of effort when setting up their campsites, with regulars aiming to set up in exactly the same spot year after year and sometimes even arriving weeks before the event in order to do so. Next year will be the 37th Gympie Music Muster and gone are the days of making do with showers that were actually jam tins with holes punched into them. It’s now a four-day country music festival and from all the pictures we’ve checked out you’d stand out like dog’s balls if you didn’t wear a hat. Once you go, you’re hooked we’ve been told. Another Queensland festival highlight, Woodford Folk Festival is heading into its 31st year and Woodfordia, the festival’s location, hosted Splendour In The Grass for two years so we can attest it is a magnificent site. Held over six days and six nights over New Year, Woodford Folk Festival boasts a crazy amount of performance spaces to choose from (35 in total) so you’ll be spoilt for choice. As well as a kickass musical lineup including The East Pointers, Kate MillerHeidke, Sampa The Great, Pow! Negro, John Butler and The Babe Rainbow, there are also heaps of circus/cabaret acts plus activities and workshops galore to keep the kids occupied. We checked out the sizzle reel and The Fire Event Closing Ceremony looks spectacular beyond belief! It’s Bluesfest’s 29th year in existence! This whopping five-day festival billed as “Australia’s Premier Music Festival” always
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four events. You know how some hangovers just won’t budge unless you plunge head first into the ocean? Well, the good news is that two Falls Festival sites (Marion Bay and Fremantle) are a short stroll from the beach while there are regular shuttle buses in and out of town, where there are beaches, from the other two locations (Lorne and Byron Bay). Flume and Glass Animals are exclusive to Falls Festival (no sideshows) so if you wanna catch those acts you’ll have to snap up tickets to Marion Bay or Fremantle, ‘cause Lorne and Byron Bay are already sold out. The multi-state bush doof that is Earthcore kicked off in 1993 in Victoria, which means the next event will mark its 24th edition. It’s pretty damn fun doing the Melbourne Shuffle in the dust and before too long you’ll be doing so barefoot with all the other soap dodgers. Pull shapes to John OO Fleming, The Freestylers, Plump DJs and Marc Romboy just to name a few. We heard solar-powered fairy lights line the campsite roads to illuminate your passage back to the tent, which is a result for weary feet. The doof stick competition is fierce and there’s also an award for Earthcorian Doofer Of The Year so pack your best raver get-up ‘cause the winner is decided based on whoever scores the most cheers. Maybe visit the Fluff Station first to give your look a zhoozh!?
Remember the essentials
Four things you need to take with you if you’re going to stay in the game. Grampians Music Festival
A good night’s sleep Whether you’re staying five nights or one, you’ll want to go ahead and purchase something that ensures a good night’s sleep. The Music’s not allowed to prescribe valium, but a sturdy little roll-out mattress or some extra fluffy pillows usually does the trick. Take Cuddles the bear, warm up some milk with a zippo and tin cup - do what you gotta do. Twisted backs and tired eyes do not a good audience members make.
Something to stand out Lost your mates? Not with a doof stick you haven’t. What’s a doof stick you ask? It’s a mighty tall, mighty colourful stick you carry around with you so that you are easily identifiable in a crowd. Added bonus, you get to look like a wizard and you can personalise it so people know what you’re about at a glance. You can also plant one of those bad boys at your camp as a beacon of light on your drunken stumble home.
A mum hat The ripe tomato look isn’t exactly the sexiest. Don’t ruin your long weekend with something so simply solved by a big, floppy hat. We all have one stuffed in the back of the cupboard somewhere, it’s time to crack it out. Maybe spice it up with a hot glue gun, some flowers, and a bit of glitter. Your mum will be proud and you will be eternally thankful.
An adventurous spirit Yes, yes, we know you’re here to see Gang Of Youths, just remember there’s always something fantastic yet to be discovered at these do’s. Go and catch some stuff that you wouldn’t normally see. Break away from the group and explore the vast range of artists that the festival has spent so much time meticulously curating. Who knows? Maybe your new favorite band is just a small saunter away.
New kids on the block Certified fresh.
he spin-off of Austin City Limits, brought Down Under by the team behind Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival, Sydney City Limits was on everybody’s lips even before they announced their hefty first bill. ACL has been putting together mint line-ups for 15 years, and it’s no surprise its Aussie counterpart has inherited its Rolodex. Justice, Beck, Vance Joy, Phoenix, Tash Sultana, Grace Jones and Gang Of Youths have all been announced already with more acts in the mail. Plus, the food’s being curated by the folks at Mary’s Newtown and The Unicorn. You beauty. Just a couple hours out south the city limits sits Berry, the idyllic coastal town that’s played host to Fairgrounds the last couple of years. They’ve snagged another bevy of local and international talent, from The Shins and Future Islands to DD Dumbo and Client Liaison, but one of their biggest draws might actually be the amazing tucker and mega family-friendly vibe. The Paperbark Camp pop-up restaurant stands out even in the current festival lean towards good eats, they have an onsite pool and Little Fairgrounds provides plenty of amusement for the munchkins — they’ve even got Tim Rogers, Holly Throsby and children’s author Kat Patrick doing story time. Right over the border, you can strap your doof boots on. The team behind Brunswick’s Rubix Warehouse are setting up shop on the same sustainable 221-acre farm made famous by Boogie and New Year’s Evie, aka Melbourne’s biggest licensed outdoor venue. It’s Friends Of Ours first year out the gate but you wouldn’t know it from the ambitious line-up. There are three days of bass heavy party starters lined up including Aussies Roni Size, Dub FX and Spoonbill and a bunch of the UK’s best — Eva Lazarus, DLR and Dub Princess. Even better, there’s a shuttle bus to and from, because there’s nothing worse than sitting on the side of the road waiting to sober up after a ripping weekend a Friends don’t let Friends drive home cooked. The word boutique gets thrown about a lot these days but second-year event Grampians Music Festival have gone the extra mile and curated their line-up to perfectly match their location. They’re dedicated to
Pitch Music & Arts Festival
sourcing and promoting the new and exciting talent growing right in their own picturesque backyard, and the event will be the festival or headline debut for many of the artists on the bill — this year headed up by Didirri, Fountaineer and Crepes. They follow the same creed with their produce as well; Gramp-goers can get into local gin from Patient Wolf, wine from Blue Pyrenees and Pricky Moses Beer and Cider and food from local producers. Peel Street Festival has a similar local flare, bringing together all the best Collingwood has to offer in a celebration of the local community and culture. It’s brand spanking new and absolutely free and we couldn’t possibly be more stoked. Centred on The Grace Darling and Peel Street, there’ll be food, community stalls, a record fair, a children’s park and more amazing local acts than you could shake a Lamb On Brunswick kebab at. Archie Roach and Cash Savage & The Last Drinks are heading the lists, which also feature Terry, Girl Zone, Golden Helmet, Pillow Pro — just heaps of good stuff — and there’ll be a discussion on Safe Spaces too. Leaping fully formed from the brains behind Beyond The Valley, last year’s debut Pitch Music was genuinely gobsmacking in
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the length and depth of its electronic offering. They haven’t succumbed to the second year jitters either. Taking over Mafeking for another four days of “contemporary electronic music steeped in visual arts and landscape” is veritable who’s who of the genre; Germany’s Motor City Drum Ensemble, aka house pioneer Danilo Plessow, and Booka Shade, Manchester drawcard Floating Points, Melbourne faves GL. Basically, if you like your doofs in the bush and soundtracked by some of the world’s best you should hurry up and grab a ticket. Vanfest only just squeeze into the ‘new event’ category since this will be the fourth year they’ve given us more than enough reason to trek it out to Forbes. Then again it’s been a whole new ballgame every year, the first time around it was a fairly humble pub event and last year the father and son organisers Matt and Grant Clifton dumped 150 tonnes of sand on the site to replicate Bondi Beach. The duo have outdone themselves again with the largest line-up to date — Dune Rats, Tash Sultana, Amy Shark, PLGRMS and more — as well as market stalls, pop-up beach bars, interactive installations and carnival rides. If you’re feeling flush you can even score your own Jacuzzi.
Art attacks Culture, it’ll grow on you. combines performance art, dance and live music from dancer Yumi Umiumare, art collective Club Ate and Haiku Hands. The opening night also features the first of three Mapping Melbourne performances from Japanese rapper Kojoe and celebrated jazz pianist/beatmaker Aaron Chouli — who’ve newly joined forces as Kaiju Hip Hop Jazz Project. Francophiles of South Australian rejoice, as well as painting Melbourne and Sydney blue, white and red this year So Frenchy So Chic In The Park is also headed to Adelaide. There’s beaucoup French culture, food and beverages, as well as family-friendly activities — kids 12 and under even enter free. The line-up is no bagatelle either; organisers have gathered a fine crop of French entertainment for the shindig, including Nigerian-born rapper Fefe, funk/ jazz/soul purveyor General Elektriks, the eclectic sounds of Francois & The Atlas Mountains, avant-garde luminary Juniore and three-piece outfit LEJ. Reaching even further afield WOMADelaide has another colossal global offering in 2018. In the idyllic surrounds of Botanic Park, some of the world’s best musicians come together in one of Australia’s greatest cultural events. The UK’s Architects of Air
are returning with their new inflated luminarium, Arboria, a collision of bounce houses, geometric patterns and installation art. Pay witness to the first of its kind collaboration between Cuban and Jamaican musicians Havana Meets Kingston, as well as Grammy-winning Taureg outfit Tinariwen. On the home front Yolgnu singer-songwriter Yirrmal is also on the line-up with The Miliyawutj, and modern jazz luminary Kamasi Washington is headed over from the States. If you prefer your cultural delights sourced from closer to home, Twilights At Taronga have collected a celebrated lineup of some of Australia’s greatest musical exports. First on the bill are The Jezabels, making their Twilights debut. The same week Dan Sultan returns to Taronga, this time with the absolutely killer combination of breakout act The Teskey Brothers. The series has also paired with Electric Lady, whose festival blew our minds back in July, to bring Montaigne, Tired Lion and Sloan Peterson together for one massive night. If beats are more your speed they also have a partnership with Future Classic, who are presenting Mount Kimbie, Kucka and Christopher Port. There’s something new coming out of the natural amphitheatre every week, so pick your poison. So Frenchy So Chic
he Pleasure Garden is the thinking folk’s rave. Yes, they’ve stacked the line-up with fest faves — Opiuo, Montaigne, Remi and Fat Freddy’s bloody Drop for starters — but they’ve got an immersive creative arts scene that’ll make your grey matter dance as well. Taking inspiration from their time working on some of the biggest festivals in Europe, co-founders Geordie Barker and Goose McGrath have brought mind-blowing custom stages, large-scale installation artworks, and even carnival rides to the table. You’ll have to head along to see exactly what surprises they’ll spring in 2018, but anyone who remembers last year’s lightup ladybugs and glowing lotus loveseats will tell you it’s worth finding out. Just a couple hours out of Sydney’s hustle and bustle Lost Paradise is all about looking to the inner spirit. To paraphrase, if music is the heartbeat of Lost Paradise, the serenity is its soul. There are yoga masterclasses with master yogis, as well as tantric, shamanic and dance healing workshops. Outrageous Entertainment will perform their world-class acrobatics, fire, stilt, UV and LED light magic and Switcheroo Circus will teach you a few tricks of the trade. Make interactive and collaborative art with Ico & Fwendz and Kraken, or become a work of
art with The Glitteratti. They haven’t forgotten the music of course; NAO, Little Dragon, DMA’S and Cigarettes After Sex are all on the almost 50-act bill. Further south, MONA FOMA has spread to 11 days, including the two-day debut of Mini-Mofo in Launceston, and rare pairings and collaborations abound as per usual. Canadian art-rock royalty Godspeed You! Black Emperor will score The Holy Body Dance Tattoo’s office-grind opus Monumental. Tannery, the Tasmanian leather and taiko orchestra, will make beautiful music with a leather horn section and imported Japanese drums in a double bill with Gotye and the Ondioline Orchestra’s concert for late electronic pop pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey. In maybe the most intriguing event, Camae Ayewa and Rasheedah Phillips will run DIY time travel workshops — manipulating the continuum with Afrofuturism and science fiction, memory, imagination, music and language. Multicultural Arts Victoria is presenting the fifth year of Mapping Melbourne, a 17-day series of multi-disciplinary events celebrating independent Asian artists and our unique Australasian culture. You can get into most events without stopping at an ATM, including the launch party, which
The Pleasure Garden
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you’re a hip hop head (Allday, L-Fresh The Lion, Thundamentals), giver of devil salutes (Violent Soho, Against! Me, The Darkness) or just wanna get your dance on (Tash Sultana, Northeast Party House, George Maple, Pnau). Thankfully punters are largely over wearing cow onesies these days. We could never get sick of the Red Frogs stand for free sugar fixes to help ya last the distance, either. Want a bird’s eye view of the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge NYE fireworks? Then Harbour Party NYE’s for you, ‘cause Luna Park in Sydney makes the perfect vantage point for your midnight pash punctuated by shooting sparks. With a lineup featuring the likes of Pnau, Tkay Maidza and Hook N Sling plus more, bangers are a certainty. This location is easily accessible via public transport, which is a bonus, and quality grub — including vegan and gluten-free options — is available in abundance. Some swanky VIP packages that include canapes, a carvery and bevos until 2am are definitely worth looking into (although you may wanna limit your alcoholic beverages if you’re gonna go on the Luna Park rides, just sayin’). Held in the glorious surrounds of Werribee Mansion just a short drive from Melbourne (get a shuttle if you’re gonna drink though, obviously), Let Them Eat Cake is a boutique electronic music festival that’s held on New Year’s Day so you’ll avoid all the ‘challenges’ that heading out on New Year’s Eve presents. Ame, Jackmaster, Jon Hopkins, Kllo, Stephan Bodzin and Tourist are all down to play on the day and a fine array of food stalls promises to dust out the cobwebs if you did happen to accidentally have a massive New Year’s Eve and need something to wash down with your endless litres of much-needed coconut water. Another New Year’s Day party favourite, Sydney’s Field Day has collated a cracking lineup that includes Flume, Schoolboy Q, Vince Staples and Princess Nokia. Who doesn’t love cutting shapes in the great outdoors, specifically the lush grass of The Domain, when it’s (hopefully) sunny? Heck, take those shoes off for a boogie, if you dare. There’s free water available onsite for your hydration needs and you can pick up some free earplugs from the First Aid Tent so you don’t damage your precious hearing. Field Day have partnered up with save-a-mate as well, so make sure you dig deep and donate to help ensure young people are educated on drug and alcohol harm minimisation techniques. A one-day festival that celebrates all things progressive such as psychedelic, art rock, metal and everything in between, Progfest has expanded and will visit Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in January. How good is it when lovers of a particular musical genre assemble in the one place to geek out about their favourite bands and swap fan stories? This lovingly assembled line-up includes
Allday at Groovin The Moo. Pic: Lucinda Goodwin
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival. Pic: Lucinda Goodwin
Short and sweet If you can’t do without a shower and hair/beard straightener for more than a day.
ave you seen the impressive lineups A Day On The Green assemble these days? We can’t get enough of them. Stevie Nicks with Pretenders and Ali Barter is coming up, as is KC & The Sunshine Band, Village People, Sister Sledge and Marcia Hines! The fact that these events are held on wineries might be another reason why they’re so popular (you can buy wine by the bottle — hic!). Check out the concert and dining packages, which come with the added convenience of private loos, and be sure to pre-book your return coach. Every year, our jaws drop when Laneway’s line-up drops and this year is no exception: Bonobo, Aldous Harding, Dream Wife, Father John Misty, Wolf Alice — we’re not worthy! This festival somehow nails a mix of your favourite established artists as well as about-to-blow-up emerging artists and it’s really tricky to plan out your day given the quality on show. Laneway is also definitely one for the hipsters, so plan your outfit well in advance and make sure it’s weird and wacky (or perhaps even select a theme to make your entire group standout in the crowd). There’s always topnotch food available (we’ve pigged out on Gelato Messina, designer icy poles, Mr Miyagi tacos and frosé in previous years!). And the innercity locations mean it’s not a head-fuck to get there. Good times guaranteed. Ever since we first attended Groovin The Moo in Bendigo, we’ve returned year after year. The regional locations are a bit of a hike to get to for the for city dwellers among us, but there ain’t nothing wrong with a road trip (book your Airbnb/ accommodation heaps early and make a weekend of it). There’s always a sick mix of acts, whether
Leprous (Norway), Voyager, Alithia and Orsome Welles to name just a few and we’ve only ever heard incredible things about Progfest so hope to see ya there next time! For those with only a little scrilla to spill, you can catch a third of Mullum Music Festival’s festivities for a fraction of the price with a day pass. It might be easier picking your favourite child than which day to attend considering the chokkas lineup, but the option’s there. Plenty of artists on the line-up are playing multiple days, but if you head along on Friday you’ll catch All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Teskey Brothers, Sex On Toast and Stella Donnelly. Conversely, get in on Saturday’s action to experience Jon Cleary, Lindi Ortega, Harry James Angus and Too Many Zooz. Mullum Music Festival’s Street Parade happens on Sunday, together with performances by Aine Tyrrell, Caiti Baker, Irish Mythen and OKA. There are actually no wrong choices.
Party In The Paddock
A Day on The Green. Pic: Lucinda Goodwin
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In tents events Nothing but happy campers here.
Party In The Paddock
bly in the mix, but your guess is as good as ours as to who the mystery reunions involve. Either way, anyone who got blown away by West Thebarton back when they were still a Brothel Party knows the Hills have never had a dud crop. Schoolboy Q, The Presets, Matt Corby, Stormzy, Mura Masa — Beyond The Valley’s booking game is strong this year. Despite only starting in 2014, the fest has already developed a reputation for its purpose-built stages, insane lighting, unique art installations and sculptures, communal hubs, boutique bars, and gourmet food trucks. Also, for just being a good time. You get a campsite in the ticket price but if you really want to get lit you can opt up for Electric City, or go full glamp at Lux Camp — we’re talking memory foam mattresses, Egyptian cotton, premium toilet and shower facilities. The last word out of the BTV camp was that they were even trying to get approval for a pool bar. Although originally pure psytrance, Subtronic has grown to include ambient, reggae, acoustic, techno, house, bass, hip hop and electro-punk — which they spread over five stages and 72 hours. That’s three days floating in the Karuah River, exploring shiatsu, acroyoga, sacred geometry, daily meditation and dancing — there’s a whole lot of dancing. This year the line-up includes local legends such as AB Original and Sampa The Great and international stalwarts like UK producer Andrew Weatherall and American techno minimalist Daniel Bell. Butterfly wings aren’t strictly mandatory or anything but you’ll have a better time if you get on board with the vibe and go with the flow. For southern trance fans, jampack your van with glitter paint, good vibes and outrageous costumes (maybe a couple capes?) and get yourself to Rainbow Serpent. For more than 20 years now the epic five-day psytrance extravaganza has brought world class producers, DJs and bands together with psychedelic art, sculpture, genuinely mind-bending light installations and stimulating speakers and workshops. Every year the event is awash with colour and invention — cars decorated as spaceships, people wrapped in fairy lights, stages decked-out like much friendlier thunderdomes. If you don’t feel like digging around in the shed for your swag you can also book out a luxury bell tent or teepee in Sleepy Hollow.
f you’ve been looking for an excuse to hitch your tent on the Apple Isle, Party In The Paddock’s the time to do it. Even if you’ve never been you’d probably recognise the poster — it’s the one with the naked bloke stretching on a hay bale. PITP turns six in February and they’ve had to stretch out to three days to accommodate their growing flock of faithful and the burgeoning line-up — Gang Of Youths, Grouplove, Meg Mac, Ball Park Music, et al. The Aunty Donna boys are on board to headline Fresh Comedy and PITP’s cultural hub Vibestown will be full of glitter, skating, comedy, art and yoga as is tradition. Up in north Tassie A Festival Called PANAMA takes place on a secluded 50-acre property/small-batch cider brewery in the Lone Star Valley. Surrounded by lush forest and taking full advantage of the local brewers, vineyards and distillers, there aren’t many places better suited to a three-night camping fest. Genuine soul legend Lee Fields is bringing The Expressions down this year to celebrate the event’s fifth birthday, along with Brooklyn indie darlings Grizzly Bear, Grammy-winning bass guitar genius Thundercat and one-woman house party Alice Ivy. It’s also your first chance to see Melbourne producer Ghosting’s Reimagining Miyazaki live. There are only 1500 tickets available, which keeps things intimate but means you need to get on it sharpish. Held on the same South Gippsland farm as the legendary The Hills Are Alive festival, we’ve actually checked out NYE On The Hill’s site and can confirm that it’s absolutely picturesque with views for days. What better way to usher in the new year than at this two-night, three-day festival celebrating with friends, and friends of friends, while taking a few pics to make everyone jealous when you eventually post ‘em on Insta? And these bookers certainly have their fingers on the pulse. With Gold Class, Gretta Ray, The Teskey Brothers, Didirri and Angie McMahon locked in to entertain you, your ears will be stoked you made the trek. Speaking of The Hills Are Alive South Gippy’s primo farm party hits the big oneoh in March. The Farmer’s still holding The Hills Are Alive’s tenth line-up close to his chest, but he has hinted that among the 30 bands, comedians and performers on the bill a few old favourites are making their way back to the hills (Remi x Sampa pls) as well as the usual round-up of new acts that’ll knock your socks off. It’s also been suggested that “two since-broken-up acts” are possi-
Don’t be a d*ckhead
Four things to avoid so know one takes you outta
Sneak booze Festivals are expensive, and not always BYO. We’ve all been tempted at one point or another to strap a sneaky flask to our leg, hide a slab in the boot or fill a water bottle with gin. This can only end in tears. Don’t watch your money get tipped down the drain by a grumpy volunteer, go to the bar and spend your cash supporting the festival. No one wants a lukewarm beer or a badly mixed bottle of cocktail anyway.
Get too sauced Don’t get totally shitfaced at 11am. You’ll end up scaring some kid just like your drunk uncle Steve scared you by dancing to The Bee Gees at family Christmas in ‘95. It’s safe to say by the time the sun goes down the family crowd will be off to bed and you can get good and rowdy. Endless G&Ts always taste better under sparkling moon light anyway, have a little patience. It also means you might actually remember a few of the bands the next day. Alcohol is expensive. Memories are priceless.
Be a porta-pooper The toilet line is sacred, don’t cut it. And if you need to check emails or play a few levels of Candy Crush go back to your tent. Please don’t be one of those jerks who doesn’t take care of business efficiently. When you’re three bottles of water deep after a massive boogie sesh there is nothing worse than waiting two hours for the loo. Lastly, be a mate. Aim straight.
Poop the party
Hills Are Alive. Pic: Lauren Murphy
Beyond The Valley.
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Festivals should be a place for a diverse range of people to enjoy themselves. That’s part of the appeal. It’s like a little community where everyone gets to simultaneously experience fantastic arts, music, and culture. Please don’t be the person making everyone feel uncomfortable in the name of ‘fun’. Just be aware people have different needs and abilities. Respect it, bro.
Thems the breaks
“Without me being vulnerable and soft, I wouldn’t be able to be strong and vocal”
Miss Blanks isn’t the only act about to steal the public’s hearts. Here’s a few to look out for in the coming months.
Baker Boy He won the 2017 Unearthed NIMA prize, blew us away at BIGSOUND, signed to the Select Music roster ealier this month and once he’s wrapped up the festival season Baker Boy is looking set to conquer Oz. He’s “the proud black Yolngu boy with the killer flow” and he’s going to flood your speakers in 2018.
Stella Donnelly Speaking of BIGSOUND breakouts Stella Donnelly was was one of the biggest buzz acts to come out of the conference. She’s quickly become one this year’s most popular fest drawcards — with spots at WAMFest, Mullum Music Festival, The Plot, Queenscliff Music Festival, Fairgrounds Festival and even UK’s The Great Escape festival.
The Teskey Brothers The Teskey Brothers couldn’t have asked for a better reaction to their self-produced, independently released debut Half Mile Harvest. Their headline tour sold gangbusters and now the cats out of the bag there’s going to be a lot of curious punters front and centre at their Falls, Bluesfest and Zoo Twilights showcases.
Press Club Falls, Fairgrounds, NYE On The Hill, Festival Of The Sun, Melbourne Music Week — the name Press Club has been around for about ten minutes and it’s already pooping up everywhere. They’ve quickly become a Melbourne fave and guaranteed that love is about to spread.
Miss Blanks is creating her own space within Aussie hip hop. She tells Cyclone that while music plays a “healing” role in her life, it’s difficult “to constantly be ‘on’ for people”.
ily. Coming from a single-parent household, this idea of survival dawned on me early on.” Initially, Vandermuelen chose a path other than music. She worked in fashion PR and brand management for such luxury labels as Chanel. Vandermuelen lived in places as far afield as New York, Paris and Dubai. But, at the pinnacle, she walked away. “I was just, like, this is done. I did what I wanted to do, made the money that I wanted to make — I need to move on. It was just time. And it was just a toxic industry.” Vandermuelen started pursuing music seriously in 2016, her inaugural gig that September. Having circulated various tracks, she premiered officially this year with her nowsignature ode to “a fat ass”, Clap Clap. In July, the rapper announced her signing to Sydney producer Moonbase’s Trench Records. Meanwhile, Vandermuelen has emerged as an influential LGBTIQ activist. She appeared on billboards as part of Spotify’s marriage equality campaign. Then, ironically given her former vocation, the fashionista was recently profiled in the glossy magazine Elle. “I now realise that the music industry has got noth-
risbane’s Miss Blanks (aka Sian Vandermuelen) has the Australian hip hop scene shook. The rapper, sonic auteur and style icon has established herself as a cultural phenom in just over a year. Vandermuelen’s booty music pays tribute to black queens like Adina Howard, Lil’ Kim and Khia. But, as an Australian trans woman of colour, she’s wearing her own jewelled crown. Vandermuelen extols diversity, agency and liberation. Now, on the back of the triple j banger Skinny Bitches, Vandermuelen is airing her first EP — DOAT (Diary Of A Thotaholic). And she’s conquering the summer festivals. The femme MC will blaze The Plot before joining Laneway — here rocking her biggest crowds. Music has played an intimate, if “abstract”, role in Vandermuelen’s life. “I think a lot of my experiences with music have been a way of healing, and not so much healing from negative experiences or negative exchanges or interactions,” she says. “It’s a way of me refocusing, rebuilding and healing — in both the negative and also positive and constructive and critical ways.” Regardless, from the outset, the Brisbanite has been driven to achieve. “Being a perfectionist in all of this kinda thing came out of just me being a child going into my teenage years and quitting school and realising I had to get work early on because I had to support myself, but also support my fam-
music — whether it’s my stage performances, the visual representation, my online presence — everything that is Miss Blanks, it’s all-encompassing. I think, in that same breath, I am very generous. I’m a very generous partner, lover, friend, family person, performer — I give a lot of myself, specifically my body. The aestheticising and tokenising — it’s not tokenising, but it can be sometimes applied to me... The aestheticising of what is this strong, powerful-yet-sassy and sexy, sinful, confronting Miss Blanks — that’s really taxing mentally and emotionally to give that to people all the time, and to constantly be ‘on’ for people.” Following Laneway, Vandermuelen means to take time out “to decompress”. (Post-interview, she’s treating herself to a milkshake.) Many assume that Miss Blanks is to Vandermuelen what Sasha Fierce is to Beyonce — an alter ego. Not so. Vandermuelen accepts that it can be “an honest mistake or an honest curiosity” to ask. However, it likewise arises because, as a personality, she’s considered “strong and vocal”. “A lot of the discussion around Sasha Fierce is: strong, fierce, sexy, unapologetic, raw — all of those kinda things are labelled against these big personas. Same thing with me and Miss Blanks. But people love the idea of that being the be all and end all, like there’s no depth; you’re typecast as always this one thing. For example, you can’t be sexy and smart, you can’t be strong but vulnerable, you can’t be hard but soft...” Yet Vandermuelen’s “juxtapositions”, so evident on DOAT, are key. “Without me being vulnerable and soft, I wouldn’t be able to be strong and vocal.”
“The aestheticising of what is this strong, powerful-yet-sassy and sexy, sinful, confronting Miss Blanks — that’s really taxing mentally and emotionally to give that to people all the time.”
ing on the fashion industry,” she laughs. “It’s so easy to navigate.” On DOAT, Vandermuelen reveals different facets of herself as a narrator, from the playful and pussylicious to the introspective and unguarded. And, as co-producer, she blends trap, trop house and witch house. The hard-hitting Haters, as savage as Vandermuelen’s online clapbacks, recalls Yo-Yo — South Central gangsta rap boss. (“Oh my God — I love Yo-Yo!” she enthuses.) Creatively, Vandermuelen trusts her instincts, but this has proven crucial, too, to her “self-care” in an otherwise exploitative entertainment domain. “I realised with my
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DOAT (Diary Of A Thotaholic) (Trench Records) is out 17 Nov. Miss Blanks tours from 17 Nov.
SUN 25 FEBRUARY SIRROMET WINES MOUNT COTTON
JAMES BLUNT THE AFTERLOVE TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
PETE MURRAY BUSBY MAROU
SUN 11 MARCH SIRROMET WINES MOUNT COTTON
SUN 17 DECEMBER SIRROMET WINES MOUNT COTTON
Ready reckoner Here’s The Music’s list of upcoming festivals that have announced their dates from November on.
NSW Bello Winter Music Festival 12 – 15 Jul Bellingen Blue Mountains Music Festival 16 – 18 Mar Katoomba Bluesfest 29 Mar – 2 Apr Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm
Mullum Music Festival 16 – 19 Nov Mullumbimby Narara Music Festival 5 May Kariong National Folk Festival 29 Mar – 2 Apr Canberra
Tamworth Country Music Festival 19 – 28 Jan Tamworth The Plot 18 Nov Parramatta This That 4 Nov Newcastle
Golden Plains 10 – 12 Mar Meredith
St Kilda Festival 11 Feb St Kilda
FOMO 6 Jan Riverstage
Grampians Music Festival 2 – 4 Feb Halls Gap
Sugar Mountain 20 Jan Melbourne Arts Precinct
Gympie Music Muster 23 – 26 Aug Amamoor Creek
Let Them Eat Cake 1 Jan Werribee Park
The Hills Are Alive 23 – 25 Mar South Gippsland
St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 10 Feb Bowen Hills
Country Rocks Festival 3 Mar Bella Vista
Newtown Festival 12 Nov Newtown
Thrashville 20 Jan Lower Belford
Meredith Music Festival 8 – 10 Dec Meredith
The Pleasure Garden 9 Dec St Kilda
Fairgrounds Festival 8 – 9 Dec Berry
Peak Festival 8 – 11 Jun Perisher Resort
Vanfest 1 & 2 Dec Forbes
NYE On The Hill 30 Dec – 1 Jan Kernot
Unify: A Heavy Music Gathering 12 – 14 Jan Gippsland
Falls Festival 31 Dec – 2 Jan North Byron Parklands
Secret Garden 23 – 24 Feb Brownlow Hill
Pitch Music & Arts 9 – 12 Mar Mafeking
Festival Of The Sun 7 – 9 Dec Port Macquarie Field Day 1 Jan The Domain FOMO 13 Jan Parramatta Grow Your Own 22 Dec Tuncurry Lost Paradise 28 – 31 Dec Glenworth Valley Mountain Sounds Festival 16 & 17 Feb Kariong
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 4 Feb Rozelle Strawberry Fields 17 – 19 Nov Tocumwal Subsonic Music Festival 1 – 3 Dec Barrington Tops
Friends Of Ours Festival 3 - 5 Nov Tallarook
Port Fairy Folk Festival 9 – 12 Mar Port Fairy
Babylon Festival 23 – 25 Feb Carapooee West
Queenscliff Music Festival 24 – 26 Nov Queenscliff
Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival February 16 – 18, 2018 Bruthen
Rainbow Serpent Festival 26 – 29 Jan Lexton
Sydney Blues & Roots Festival 1 – 3 Dec Windsor
Beyond The Valley 28 Jan – 1 Dec Lardner
Sydney City Limits 24 Feb Centennial Pak
Earthcore 23 – 27 Nov Elmore
Sydney Festival 6 – 28 Jan Sydney
Falls Festival 28 – 31 Dec Lorne
Riverboats Music Festival 16 – 18 Feb Echuca-Moama St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 3 Feb Footscray
QLD Airlie Beach Festival Of Music 10 – 12 Nov Airlie Beach Bleach* Festival 29 – 15 Apr Gold Coast Blues On Broadbeach Music Festival 17 – 20 May Broadbeach Broadbeach Country Music Festival 27 – 29 Jul Broadbeach CMC Rocks 15 – 18 Mar Ipswich Earth Frequency 16 – 19 Feb Peak Crossing
F E S T I V A L F E AT U R E
Woodford Folk Festival 27 Dec – 1 Jan Woodford
TAS A Festival Called Panama 9 – 11 Mar Lone Star Valley Dark MOFO 15 – 24 Jun Tasmania Falls Festival 29 – 31 Dec Marion Bay MOFO 12 – 22 Jan Tasmania Party In The Paddock 8 – 11 Feb White Hills
SECRET SOUNDS Presents
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Love it or hate it, home is where the heart is
There’s been a lot of ink spilt on the great cities — but not so much on regional Victoria. Fountaineer have set out to change that with their Bendigo-inspired album, Greater City, Greater Love. Frontman Tony White shares the hometown spirit with Rod Whitfield.
“It’s a love/hate thing and you push and pull against it, but it’s there.”
n artist’s upbringing, background and surroundings have a profound effect on their creative output, and the influence of living in a small country town like Bendigo has been so all-pervasive on Tony White and the others members of Fountaineer that they wrote, recorded and released what is more or less a concept album about the town, growing up there and their shared and individual experiences there. “We started a few years ago, my brother and I just got together,” White recounts the band’s history, speaking from the town’s library. “We finally got a band together, we’d been talking about it for years. We hadn’t played together since we’d left high school, and it all started from there. “The Bendigo thing just happened naturally,” he explains. “There’s always a lot going on around town, and that’s what we started writing about, and the album centred around that. We’re just a very Bendigofocused band.” That where you live seeps into your psyche and then, in turn, comes out in your creativity is more or less unavoidable for certain artists, and this band chose to simply embrace it. “I think where you live and
where you grew up is pretty much a family member in a lot of ways,” he says. “It’s a love/ hate thing and you push and pull against it, but it’s there. It’s nothing something you can change, unless you move. You have to learn to deal with it and appreciate the good things, and do your bit to try and make the place better.” And living in a small regional town, by its very nature, has its own effect. “Everything in a small town is finite. There are boundaries, there are limits. You’re not going to find new people, not like in a city where there’s always different bars and different people to meet. Whoever’s here and whatever’s here is what you have to work with. Everyone knows everyone, and that sucks a lot of the time!” he laughs. The album, entitled Greater City, Greater Love, whose creation was so heavily influenced by its surroundings, has been out since August, and the band are heading off on their very first full-blown tour during November and December. White is looking forward to playing to people outside of their own regular crowd. “Maybe people will turn up that we don’t know, usually in the past it’s pretty much family and friends to be honest,” he
laughs, “there may be a few punters who’ve just listened to and enjoyed the record, you never know.” The album has somewhat of an electronic and new wave type of sound and feel to it, and while their live set will be dominated by tracks from the album, punters rocking up to the shows can expect a very different vibe to what they experience listening to the record. “We just put it all out there,” he describes, “it’ll be mostly songs from the record, maybe a few that aren’t on the record. It’s pretty raw, almost like a garage band just giving their all, we’re not overly technical. It’s probably got a lot more intensity than what you get on the record.” The album has received some pretty significant airplay on triple j, and has also garnered almost wall to wall praise from reviewers and punters. White feels that moments like that make working in such an unforgiving industry so much more worthwhile, especially when it comes to gaining acceptance in their hometown. “All the ups and downs, as you know the old music industry can be quite fickle,” he says, “but stuff like that makes us pretty proud. “The biggest thing for me is that it makes
people in Bendigo take us seriously. No one’s really taken us seriously so far, apart from ourselves, so it’s good to have that sort of thing to hang your hat on.” As far as the future of the band is concerned, White is quite casual and relaxed about their prospects, preferring to live his busy life in Bendigo, take it all in his stride and allow things to come naturally. “We’ve started work on album number two at the moment,” he reveals, “we’ve got a lot of demos sitting ‘round. I’d hope this record comes out quicker than the last one. But real life gets in the way, we’re probably more concerned about jobs and real things than what’s going to happen with the band. The music will take care of itself, we can’t really worry about it too much.”
Greater City, Greater Love (1825 Records/ Warner) is out now. Fountaineer tours from 9 Nov. Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.
Spilling the beans on pill testing
’m gonna overdose on purpose so they blame no pill testing.” Those are the words of a young man on the Spilt Milk Festival Facebook page just ten minutes after it was announced a pill testing trial would not be taking place at their November event. In the past six weeks, the topic of pill testing has once again been thrust into the spotlight, with ACT Minister for Health and Wellbeing Meegan Fitzharris announcing on 22 September that a pill testing service would be available at Canberran festival. “In a progressive move the ACT Government announced it will allow Safety Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-Safe) to conduct pill testing as a key harm minimisation strategy at Spilt Milk on 25 November,” shared Kicks Entertainment, the promoters behind the event. “Kicks strongly supports harm minimisation initiatives with proven results such as medically supervised pill testing. This measure has a demonstrated history of success internationally and Kicks applauds the ACT Government for allowing this measure to be introduced at Spilt Milk.” What followed just weeks later would be somewhat of a blindside; the trial was abruptly pulled through an announcement from Kicks Entertainment director Ryan Phillips on triple j’s Hack program. Phillips credited the cancellation to STA-Safe, saying they had not provided the documentation needed for the trial to go ahead. “It comes down to STA-Safe. They need more time to provide documentation, insurance, legal framework to operate on federal land,” he told the program on 12 October. Many were caught off guard by the announcement, none more so than Dr David Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is an emergency room doctor, a senior lecturer and professor at some of Canberra’s best universities. He’s also been conducting pill testing at music
The recent announcement and subsequent cancellation of a pill testing trial at Canberra’s Spilt Milk Festival has reignited the debate. Jessica Dale takes a look at the issue.
events since the early 2000s and has fast become the spokesperson for STA-Safe. Dr Caldicott and STA-Safe were quick to refute Phillips’ claims, sharing with Hack that as far as he knew, all necessary documentation had been provided. In the time since, Spilt Milk are yet to share further comment beside a statement posted to their Facebook page which begins with “It is a tough day when something you have advocated for so strongly can’t quite make it over the line.” It’s apparent that Dr Caldicott is disappointed. Yes, for the two years of work and effort that went into getting the trial underway, but almost entirely for the fact that the testing option had been promised to festivalgoers and then taken away.
dead claw of Nancy Reagan in that space. The reality is, and my argument has always been, the reason that so many drugs are illegal is because they’re dangerous for your health and health takes supremacy. Health is what is the most important thing and so we should be not telling young people that they’re naughty or that they’re evil or that they’re wrong to use drugs, just that they could get really hurt.” There is one main factor that Dr Caldicott believes to be behind the cancellation of the trial — a meeting between Spilt Milk and the National Capital Authority. Within the ACT there are plots of land and attractions that are governed and run under federal control rather than local jurisdiction. It’s here that the NCA steps in, caring for
“Obviously if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, then you can try the next thing but we fail by not trying to change the status quo.” “I think that the issue really, and I think part of the problem with the people who disagree with us, is that they actually don’t understand an entire generation. People don’t consume drugs not caring if they get hurt. The very fact that they’re testing their drugs means that they very much care if they’re going to get hurt or not, and we find the model of taking a doctor who knows an awful lot about illicit drugs and sitting someone down and saying, ‘Look, buddy, this is what we think is going on and we really think you’re better off not taking this particular drug’ [does work],” Dr Caldicott explains. “There is still, in Australia, very much a prohibition bent towards drugs. For whatever reason, we’re still hanging onto the cold,
landmarks like Canberra’s ANZAC Parade, Federation Mall, Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Park; the venue in which Spilt Milk is set to take place. “I think on the week of the 10th of October, there was a big meeting, I think on Wednesday the 11th between the promoter and the National Capital Authority and at that meeting, we’ve been led to believe that the National Capital Authority advised the promoter that they would not get a licence to conduct Spilt Milk with an application of pill testing,” says Dr Caldicott. “We had provided all of the documentation that was required, not just for the ACT government to persuade them but also the Australian Federal Police, so the documenta-
tion that we had provided to everybody was extensive. The promoter was involved in all of the planning phases and therefore had access to all of the documentation, and then on the Thursday announced on radio, without consulting with us, that he didn’t have all the documentation he needed, so we didn’t know anything about it.” When approached by The Music for comment, Kicks Entertainment referred only to the statement on the Spilt Milk Facebook page. The National Capital Authority were also contacted but failed to respond. While it still remains unclear who exactly pulled the plug on the testing, there are several additional points to consider. The National Capital Authority chairman Terry Weber told the ABC when the cancellation was announced “that it was his understanding Mr Phillips decided not to go ahead with pill testing at the festival” and “the authority played no part in the decision to shelve the pill testing trial.” There are also comments from the ACT Shadow Minister for Health, Vicki Dunne, at the ACT Legislative Assembly in August. “Pill testing will need Commonwealth government approval, and I doubt that they will give it. Ms Fitzharris can feel free to blame the Commonwealth whilst being silently thankful that she did not have to deliver on pill testing.” Regardless of how the conclusion was reached, there’s one theme that remains consistent: people, particularly at festivals, will still continue their use of illicit drugs. One person who knows better than most about this environment is Richie McNeill, director of Hardware Corporation. McNeill is a co-founder of Stereosonic and has been a key figure in the Australian dance music scene throughout his 25-year plus career. “With pill testing, I am for it definitely, however it’s a delicate process and I think if it was to happen, as I’ve said in the past, it needs the support of the venues, the secu-
There’s roughly 20 countries around the world supporting pill testing. Here’s who’s nailing it:
rity, the police, the first aid, the ambulance, the state,” McNeill explains. “It needs to be a collective way forward like the discussion to give it a trial. Obviously if it works, it works. It doesn’t, then you can try the next thing but we fail by not trying to change the status quo.” While he is in support of pill testing, McNeill also suggests alternate strategies closer to the model exhibited in Amsterdam, where photos of drugs that have tested negatively are displayed at festivals. “If it comes in, then I would strongly support all people having their pills tested whether their mate got theirs tested or not,” says McNeill. “I think that’s one of the problems in the past. There’s been a test and it’s been okay and people have posted things on Bluelight or these kind of websites saying these pills are bad or these ones are ok, but these ones are ok in this particular batch. But there’s five other batches out there made in different countries or whatever else. And I think that’s the problem, is the information and how it’s used. It just needs to be ‘this pill is bad’ and no mention of if this one’s ok and no publishing about it.” While it’s a debate that will surely continue for a long time from both sides of the fence, Dr Caldicott’s final point is probably a good summation of the youth vote on the issue, referring to the politicians he believes blocked the trial at this point. “This is a brilliant way of completely distancing yourself from an entire demographic of parents and young people, because it looks ridiculous and it looks foolish and it ooks aged.”
The Netherlands The Drug Information and Monitoring System (DIMS) has been running since 1992. Testing has been approved at a national level and information found during tests is used for scientific purposes in addition to harm minimisation.
Portugal In 2001, Portugal made a call to decriminalise illicit drugs for personal use. Funding is now put into their healthcare system and in 2015 the country reported only three deaths by overdoses per million compared to an EU average of 17.3.
Switzerland While the country hasn’t legalised use, there has been local and police support for pill-testing at events since 1995.
And the award goes to... Height of ARIA Award
The ARIA Award... There’s probably not a local award that Australian musicians aspire to more. So, what really is behind that big hunk o’ metal that we’re all so crazy about?
Number to be handed out in 2017
Most given out in one year
Number handed out since 1990
Solid stainless steel
John Farnham (56)
Number of awards left stabbed in a wall
One (Tex Perkins in 1994)
Number stolen (and returned)
In use since
One (that we know of...)
Weight of ARIA Award
Number of awards at the bottom of Sydney Harbour
One (The Killjoys in 1991)
Flume took home eight of the 11 ARIA Awards he was up for last year, so who will hog the winner’s podium in 2017? Will it be Gang Of Youths, who lead the charge with eight ARIA Award noms? Or is it Paul Kelly’s turn this year? He’s up for seven gongs and has already collected two. Here’s our picks for this year’s awards.
Who will win big at the ARIAs?
Gang Of Youths
Apple Music Album Of The Year AB Original, Amy Shark, Gang Of Youths, Illy, Paul Kelly The Music predicts: Paul Kelly The last time a debut album took out the Album Of The Year category was in 2011 (Boy & Bear’s Moonfire), but we totally get that AB Original’s Reclaim Australia is an exceptional artistic statement. Hold up, Amy Shark’s Night Thinker is actually a six-track EP, isn’t it? Illy usually kills the Urban category, which he won in 2013 for Bring It Back. So we reckon Gang Of Youths are probably the closest contender here for their Go Farther In Lightness set. However, Paul Kelly scored his first-ever number one on the ARIA Albums Chart with Life Is Fine, which made everyone scratch their heads in bewilderment because Kelly’s released a colossal 23 albums over his illustrious 36-year career. Therefore, we collectively reckon Kelly’s gonna take this one home.
Best Female Artist Amy Shark, Jessica Mauboy, Julia Jacklin, Meg Mac, Sia The Music predicts: Amy Shark A former winner in this category, Jessica Mauboy (who collected her trophy in 2013 for To The End Of The Earth) is this time nominated for a soundtrack, which is a compilation of covers (The Secret Daughter: Songs From The Original TV Series). Mauboy has received ARIA nominations in various categories for seven years on the trot now so has gotta be pretty stoked about that. Two-time Best Female Artist winner Sia — This Is Acting (2016) and 1000 Forms Of Fear (2014) — is nominated for a single in 2017 (The Greatest feat Kendrick Lamar), so we reckon this is such a strong list of contenders that the accolade will surely be directed elsewhere. Out of the ridiculously strong pool of contenders that remain — Meg Mac, Julia Jacklin and Amy Shark — the latter two have probably achieved more international success at this point. It’s a tough category to call, but our hot tip is Amy Shark for Night Thinker.
Best Male Artist
whose Murder Of The Universe album debuted on eight Billboard charts, topping the poll on the Heatseekers Albums chart). But AB Original actually started a national conversation with their 26 January single (feat Dan Sultan) so we’d put our money (if we had any) on Briggs and Trials for Best Group.
DD Dumbo, Dan Sultan, lly, Paul Kelly, Vance Joy The Music predicts: Paul Kelly Most of the blokes nominated in this category have already collected one of these gongs. Paul Kelly has two in the trophy cabinet; Dan Sultan and Vance Joy each have one. Joy is nominated on the strength of a single (Lay It On Me) anyway, so we feel he can wait in line until he releases another album. Illy and DD Dumbo both released stunning albums this year (Two Degrees and Utopia Defeated respectively), but something tells us it’s Kelly’s year to scoop the pool — he better start dusting and making room for a slew of new trophy additions on those shelves.
Best Independent Release national and national touring schedule plus a much-lauded US TV debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers (nailed it!), Sultana has well and truly broken through, actually, she’s completely smashed it! Do you think a few more accolades might make Sultana rethink that hiatus she’s threatening? Sure hope so.
Best Group Breakthrough Artist
AB Original, Gang Of Youths, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Peking Duk
AB Original, Amy Shark, Dean Lewis, Tash Sultana, Tkay Maidza
The Music predicts: AB Original The Music predicts: Tash Sultana We’re pretty delighted to note that there are more female previous winners in this category than males, so we’ll just have to see whether this trend continues in 2017. From this magnificent list of contenders, The Music staff unanimously reckon Tash Sultana will take home the Breakthrough Artist gong in 2017 for Notion. With her relentless inter-
Remarkably, none of the 2017 Best Group nominees have already been victorious in this category. And it’s a pretty pukka list, it has to be said! In terms of killer years, 2017 has been particularly noteworthy for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and Gang Of Youths in terms of continuing to nurture and build strong overseas followings (particularly King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard,
AB Original, Dan Sultan, Sia, Tash Sultana, Vance Joy The Music predicts: AB Original Sia’s We Are Born was awarded Best Independent Release in 2010, but she’s up for a single release this year (The Greatest feat Kendrick Lamar). So has an artist ever taken home the Best Independent Release trophy on the strength of a single? 1200 Techniques did for Karma (What Goes Around Comes Around) in 2002, as did S2S (2000) for Sister and TISM for I’m Interested In Apathy (1989). Ok, so it has happened, but team The Music still agree this one belongs to the mighty AB Original for Reclaim Australia in 2017.
The ARIA Awards happen on 28 Nov
To read the full list of predictions head to theMusic.com.au
Daryl Braithwaite: 2017 ARIA Hall Of Fame Inductee
that people have for that song is incredible. It does something for people every night we play it.” Braithwaite didn’t write The Horses, but he made it his own. The song was written by Rickie Lee Jones and Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and was the opening track on Rickie’s 1989 album, Flying Cowboys. “I love the fact that I heard the song by chance,” Braithwaite says. “We were right at the end of recording Rise and I put on that album and heard The Horses. I rang [producer] Simon Hussey straight away and said, ‘We should do this song’. I knew that dynamically we could make it sound like As The Days Go By.” Of course, Braithwaite is no one hit wonder. He had an incredible run of hits with Sherbet, with 19 Top 40 singles from 1971 to 1978. As a solo artist, Braithwaite has had 15 Top 40 hits, starting in 1974 with his chart-topping cover of You’re My World. Braithwaite continues to record. He released the album Forever The Tourist in 2013, and a new compilation, Days Go By, to be released on 24 Nov, will feature four new recordings, including covers of Motor’s Too Fast (with good mate James Reyne, who Braithwaite says should also be in the Hall Of Fame for his solo work), Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes (Braithwaite is a huge Gabriel fan; the Edge album included a cover of I Don’t
Howzat! It’s Daryl
un fact: Daryl Braithwaite is the only Australian artist to have had number one singles and albums with a band and solo. Sherbet’s Greatest Hits 1970-75 topped the charts in 1975. Fourteen years later, Braithwaite was back at number one with his solo album Edge. He’s also had four number one singles: two with Sherbet (Summer Love and Howzat) and two solo (You’re My World and The Horses). And now Braithwaite is being inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame for the second time. “I feel really honoured,” he says. “I was 20 when I joined Sherbet. I was just in it for the fun and excitement, and here I am 47 years later. Many good things have gone my way.” Sherbet had more Top 40 hits in the ‘70s than any other Australian act. Back then, a civil war was raging. Our version of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones was Sherbet versus Skyhooks. During the Countdown years, Braithwaite’s grandmother lived down the road from Countdown host Molly Meldrum’s house. She would take him scones and tell him to play Sherbet more often. “She’d also give me a mouthful if she thought I was favouring Skyhooks,” Meldrum recalls. The irony was the two bands were actually great friends, particularly Braithwaite and ‘Hooks singer Graeme “Shirley” Strachan, who were both surfers and tradesmen before finding fame (Braithwaite was a fitter and turner, Strachan was a carpenter). Braithwaite’s dad wasn’t happy when he quit his trade. Braithwaite enjoyed working on submarines at the Cockatoo Island naval dockyard in Sydney, but his bosses weren’t always happy when he skipped work to go surfing. Braithwaite says his real apprenticeship was with Sherbet.
aryl Braithwaite says his lucky number is 11 — he and his twin, Glenn, were born on 11 Jan. “If I ever play roulette, I bet on 11, and if it’s the horses, I always look at what’s number 11.” Daryl is now the 11th artist to be twice inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame. The others are: Harry Vanda & George Young (as Vanda & Young and The Easybeats), Ross Wilson (solo and Daddy Cool), Glenn Shorrock (solo and Little River Band), Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel and solo), Rick Grossman (Divinyls and Hoodoo Gurus), Gary Young (Daddy Cool and Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons), and Neil Finn, Tim Finn and Paul Hester (Split Enz and Crowded House).
Braithwaite, 68, is no stranger to awards — he was King Of Pop three years in a row (1975, 1976 and 1977) and Sherbet were inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 1990 (two years before Skyhooks) as Braithwaite was preparing to release another smash hit solo album, Rise, featuring The Horses, which became his signature song. The Horses is now part of Australian culture. Country artist Lachlan Bryan recently took New Orleans band The Roamin’ Jasmine to Tamworth for a gig. The perplexed Americans were greeted by a bunch of blokes at the bar who asked, “Can youse guys play that Daryl Braithwaite song The Horses?” Braithwaite can’t explain why his version is so loved, especially by young audiences. “I can’t work out why, but the affection
Remember), Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now (which kept Sherbet’s Howzat out of top spot on the UK charts; the new version showcases Braithwaite’s flawless falsetto), and Brian McKnight and Diana King’s When We Were Kings (which was suggested by Braithwaite’s producer, Bryon Jones), plus Braithwaite’s version of Up On The Roof, which was on the recent Carole King tribute album (“one of the best things I’ve done for decades — everything sat perfectly”). Jeff Jenkins
Daryl Braithwaite will be inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame at the ARIA Awards on 28 Nov.
eff Jenkins writes the Australian music column Howzat! for The Music, a journey started two decades ago when the publication started and was called Inpress. Here he shares his connection with Daryl Braithwaite: Howzat! has a special fondness for Daryl Braithwaite. Indeed, the column is named after Sherbet’s biggest hit. Daryl was also the first major interview I did — I was starting out, and he was making a comeback, releasing the Edge album in 1988. We spoke about fame and family. Daryl talked about his mum, Laura (“She was always concerned that I was going to end up as a no-hoper, but she’s heard the new stuff and now she’s really proud”) and his twin brother Glenn (“I really admire him — he’s had to take a lot with his brother being in a pop group”). Daryl also revealed he had some intensive singing lessons before recording Edge. “One of the most important things I learned is the psychology of singing, recognising where your voice comes from and giving a song an interpretation from the heart, not just paying it lip service.” Then, and now, Daryl is a lovely bloke. I’m not sure I’ve met a star more laid back, and I’ve often wondered whether his easygoing nature prevented him from conquering the world. Not that he seems too perturbed. Talk to him for any length of time and it’s obvious he’s more interested in catching the next wave than religiously reading the charts. But his love of music is undeniable and he has a remarkable body of work. He is a deserving double Hall Of Famer.
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Growing up in the Upside Down
t’s 1983, and I’m 11 years old. I’ve stayed up past bedtime to sneak downstairs. Quietly, I switch on the TV and wait for the show to start... This was my immediate impression of the Netflix megahit Stranger Things upon watching its first season last year. The eight-episode science fiction/coming of age/horror/smalltown mystery mash-up certainly wasn’t the first piece of pop culture to hinge on nostalgia for the heyday of the 1980s — indeed, you could say it owes a debt to JJ Abrams’ uneven but heartfelt 2011 movie Super 8, which covered similar territory. But the show, created by relative newcomers Matt and Ross Duffer, pulled off a truly nifty balancing act. Paying homage to the creative icons of the era (most notably Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter, although film buffs could undoubtedly find nods to others), Stranger Things summoned enough ‘80s archetypes to inspire acid flashbacks for viewers who were actually there back in the day and generate envy in those who weren’t. Those nostalgic qualities, however, were wrapped all the while in a compelling story of friendship and family ties as the best defence against the things that threaten you, whether they’re schoolyard bullies or a malevolent beastie from another dimension. Stranger Things didn’t really have star power to draw upon — its biggest name was Winona Ryder, entering an overdue comeback phase in her career — and it wasn’t hyped to such a degree that watching it felt like an obligation. Instead, it became the best kind of success story, the one that gains popularity and momentum through positive word of mouth from people who had perhaps decided to catch a single episode and found themselves cancelling their plans in order to binge the entire season. It quickly seemed Stranger Things was everywhere. The young cast members playing the group of friends at the heart of the story became red-carpet regulars, with UK actor Millie Bobby Brown — a standout as the mysterious, super-powered girl known only as ‘Eleven’ — emerging as the most hyped of this clutch of breakout stars, signing with leading modelling agency IMG at the tender age of 12. Intense fandom spanned every facet of the show, from the origins of its synth-heavy score to the font used in its glowing red title logo. The fate of a supporting character, who ran afoul of the show’s big, bad monster, spiralled into a viral phenomenon. Shrines were built, murals were dawbed, and a hashtag — #JusticeForBarb — continues to pinball around the Twittersphere. And, of course, with that came the almost instant demand for more, more, more. The Duffer Brothers, as they’re billed in the credits of Stranger Things, admit that the show could lend itself to an anthology format, telling a different spooky story with a different setting and cast of characters under the Stranger Things banner each new season. And they say they briefly considered
From a spooky, kooky homage to the ‘80s by two unknown showrunners to the world’s most talked about show, all in a single season; Stranger Things has come a long way since its debut season. One of the hit show’s young stars, Gaten Matarazzo, joins Guy Davis on a trip back to Hawkins.
that approach. But when you’ve found a way to appeal to audiences, there’s a tendency to want to stick with it. “It’s so hard to strike a chord with audiences that, when it happens, everyone is coming to you immediately to do it again and again,” said Matt Duffer in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “They don’t want to leave it alone. In our case, as soon as we started developing with Netflix, it was always supposed to be a multi-season arc.” While the new season may initially seem like more of the same — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, given how much the Duffers got right the first time around — it does move things forward (and in a few other cool directions) in interesting and absorbing ways. One such way is acknowledging that the Stranger Things kids are indeed growing up. Admittedly it’s only been a year since we last caught up with them but the difference in the show’s young cast is noticeable, and some parts of the story reflect that. “Even if I had the choice to freeze them in time, I wouldn’t,” said Matt Duffer in his Hollywood Reporter interview. “We don’t want to be repeating ourselves. This show is going to naturally evolve and feel different year to year, and that to me is a good thing. I like that we’re able to watch them grow.” The character of Dustin, played by Gaten Matarazzo, who’s been acting since making his Broadway debut at the age of nine, illustrates this. A fan favourite in the first season for his irreverent one-liners and distinctive appea ra nce (his front teeth were absent due to a disorder called cleidocranial dysplasia), Dustin in the new episodes has a gleaming set of gnashers he shows off at every opportunity. His voice also seems to have dropped an octave or two, and his interest in video games is seemingly matched by his interest in Max (Sadie Sink), the redheaded new girl in town. Matarazzo downplays the notion of an “obvious crush”, though, hinting that Dustin’s interest in Max is motivated more by bringing her into his fold of friends as they battle new threats this time around. “I’ve always felt Dustin is the glue of the group, and after everything that has happened and what everyone is going through, especially with what Will [played by Noah Schapp] is going through, I feel like he’s trying to keep the gang as intact as possible,” he said. “It’s difficult, though, and I think he looks at Max as a way to help. She’s this cool new character that adds a really great dynamic to the show in that way.” And so we have Stranger Things 2 — there’s a big red numeral right there in the opening credits — which picks up one year on from the first season, with the characters recovering and in some cases struggling to move on from the amazing events 12 months earlier. Will Byers disappearing into the dark dimension known as the Upside Down was the crux of the mystery last time.
“I’ve always felt Dustin is the glue of the group... he’s trying to keep the gang as intact as possible”
Having been rescued by a rag-tag group of heroes, including his best friends Dustin, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), his distraught but driven mother Joyce (Ryder) and grouchy, hard-drinking sheriff Hopper (David Harbour), Will is seemingly back on solid ground in the town of Hawkins, Indiana. And yet, he’s still haunted by memories of the Upside Down, and what lurks within it. The thing is, maybe it’s not memories haunting him. Maybe whatever lurks within the Upside Down is making its way into our world. The Duffers have reached deep into their bag of tricks once again with Stranger Things 2, not only mining the popculture goldmine of the 1980s for new riches (shoutouts to Ghostbusters, Gremlins and Aliens are plentiful and pleasingly integrated into the piece) but developing the existing characters in some smart, empathetic ways (Schapp’s performance as Will is just terrific). And whatever self-conscious restraint may have influenced the storytelling during show’s debut season has vanished in this return to Hawkins. The stakes are higher, the scale more epic, and in all likelihood, the reaction from fans may well surpass the levels of near-hysterical enthusiasm for Stranger Things’ first instalments.
Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
Write folk, produce soul
Something to cry about
Frazey Ford made her name as a member of folk group The Be Good Tanyas but now she’s approaching her third album as a solo artist. Ahead of her November Australian tour she talked with Chris Familton about songwriting, life outside music and her new single covering D’Angelo.
Harry James Angus is coming to your house to make you cry. Kate Kingsmill has something in her eye when he tells her about Struggle For Glory.
n her 2014 album Indian Ocean, Frazey Ford found herself mining a deep seam of soul music. You could still hear her folk heritage buried in the DNA of the songs but now it was ornamented with the restrained and lush sound of players from Al Green’s band. It was certainly a landmark album in her musical career and stepping stone towards her next record. Prior to that, Ford needed some downtime to centre herself before once again becoming immersed in songwriting. “That album kept me pretty busy for two and a half years and so it’s been ten months since I’ve been home and starting to write again,” says Ford. “I like to jump into other forms of creativity to reset my brain. Making and designing clothes, painting, pottery are things I like to do, until I get a strong urge to start writing songs again, which I did a few months ago. When you spend a lot of time on planes and in other countries it’s nice to come back to yourself and have a quiet time before you feel the stirring to do things again.” Ford shares that she and her band “saw D’Angelo a couple of times on tour and he blew our minds. We played Black Messiah before we went on stage a lot too.” Her love for the R&B artist led Ford to record a new single, a cover of one of his older songs, When We Get By. “There’s something about how much you can groove something that is slow. I started to have this vision of taking a D’Angelo song and changing the
vibe inside out. It’s a strange treatment with a different vibe, another thing compared to Indian Ocean,” she opines. Although soul music is something she has evolved into, it did take some adjusting in terms of the way she wrote. “I really have a love for soul music but a lot of the time I come at my writing from a folk tradition. There’s a natural curiosity about the line between folk writing and soul production,” explains Ford. “Approaching the idea of doing a full soul record actually gave me writer’s block for a while because the concept got in the way of just writing the next thing. I had to let go of the idea of what the album was going to be. It taught me that it’s important to be intuitive and that the thing has its own life and it’s going to go in the direction it’s going to go.” Ford comes across as very level-headed and practical yet she still firmly believes in the magic and mystery of songwriting — respecting the muse and not forcing the creative process. “It’s never really a thought-out process for me. I’m drawn to certain sounds but I respect the story that I’m trying to tell. I write a lot of stuff and the things resonate most strongly with me and with the band — those are the things I give the most attention to. The energy of that will define what it is and who will play on it. The next album will be a different vibe and I’m just starting to have an inkling of where it might go.”
MULLUM MUSIC FEST
t the end of the last The Cat Empire tour, Harry James Angus realised that through years of being in a hugely successful band, playing to huge crowds, he’d lost some basic skills. “Me and Ollie McGill, the keyboard player for Cat Empire, we did this competition for fans where we’d come and play in their houses before our big concerts,” Angus tells. “I really enjoyed the experience. But I also realised that I was really out of practice, because I used to do a lot of that kind of thing when I was starting out in music, like busking at the markets or playing in people’s houses. And there’s a certain art to it, you’ve got to be very spontaneous and you’ve got to really connect with people in a way that it’s kind of harder [than] playing to thousands of people, I think.” For his solo tour, Angus decided to organise intimate gigs in people’s houses. “It’s a great way to do a new project just because it’s a proper concert but it’s very informal so that you can really try things as well. It’s a really good way to get something new sounding like it’s well seasoned.” The intimacy of the gigs makes for some interesting moments, says Angus. “I’ve noticed, especially with a lot of older men, kind of business types who maybe don’t go to see a lot of live music, they’re actually very emotionally susceptible to music and it’s like it unlocks something in them... They’re the guys who, I play them a little ballad, and they lose their shit, something happens and they just tear up and it really makes you think that music is this way to tap into people’s emotions, even if they don’t realise they’ve got the emotions.” The tour is called Struggle For Glory, and the concept of the new material is the stories of Greek mythology set to gospel and jazz, which will get its first major airing as part of the Mullum Music Festival. “I’ve always loved gospel music but I’ve always felt like a bit of a fraud. So I’ve always thought it would be great to write music that was inspired by black gospel music but that’s lyrically different, to take away that element of almost like parody.” Reading Greek mythology stories to his six-yearold son, the concept to combine the two popped into his head. “I just really love the stories and they have that similar quality that the bible stories have, of being archetypal, just having these really simple but big concepts. And gospel music’s simple, it’s just a few chords, simple melodies, simple lyrics, and there’s not that much to it in that respect.”
Keep on tracking
Lindi Ortega has had a year of quantum change in her personal and professional life. She talks with Chris Familton about almost leaving music behind.
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FRIDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
MESA COSA SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER
BERNARD FANNING FRIDAY 10TH NOVEMBER
CREO SATURDAY 11TH NOVEMBER
MARSHALL OKELL AND THE FRO
o the casual observer, one might see Lindi Ortega’s recently released EP, Til The Goin’ Gets Gone, as yet another strong entry in her growing discography. Dig below the surface of the songs and their sparse and intimate presentation, however, and it’s clear that there’s some heavy contemplation and turmoil at play. As it turns out, the EP is the signpost at an important crossroads moment for Ortega. “It got to the point where I went to go and pay my rent one time and there was no money in my bank account,” Ortega bravely reveals. “I was at a moment where I was feeling pretty burnt out. I was working really hard and I wasn’t making any money. I’m in my late 30s and as an adult you want to be able to take care of your life and yourself and when you can’t even pay your rent it’s a bit disenchanting and you start to feel like a bit of a failure. I started to question what I was doing and that I’d worked so hard and sacrificed so much... and for what?” It may sound like a familiar experience, the ups and downs of life and the creep of self-doubt, but for Ortega it led to her balancing on the precipice of giving up the only career she has known. “I really was at that moment where I thought I would give up music. I didn’t know what other job I could get after just doing music for the last 20 years,” she admits.
SATURDAY 18TH NOVEMBER
The good news for her audience is that Ortega realised the non-financial worth of her creativity and made some big changes by figuring out how to reset and redirect her career. “It turned out that I just needed to retool how I was doing my business and I had to go back and read some of the messages from fans about certain songs that connected with people and got them through things. I realised I couldn’t abandon that. That is the crux of why I do music, it’s not really about my own personal success,” she says. “I do need to make money to survive but the fact that my music can help someone through a moment in their life — I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than that. I needed to be reminded of that. “I left my label, management and agent, I got engaged and left Nashville and moved to Calgary. I had a lot of changes in my life but I feel that even though they were so difficult to do, they’ve all benefited me in such a positive way and I feel so inspired towards the future and excited about new ventures I’m involved with,” Ortega enthuses, before revealing, “I’m in the midst of creating a new album to release next year and I couldn’t be more excited about it, and putting it out myself. I like the idea of owning my recordings and music, and the challenge of putting it out independently and being my own businesswoman.”
FOOD COURT SUNDAY 19TH NOVEMBER
GIZZFEST FRIDAY 24TH NOVEMBER
WILD HONEY SATURDAY 25TH NOVEMBER
THE STRIDES FRIDAY 1ST DECEWMBER
TAY OSKEE SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER
THE RUMINATERS FRIDAY 8TH DECEMBER
BLEACH GIRLS SATURDAY 9TH DECEMBER
LA WITCH SUNDAY 10TH DECMEBER
DEAN LEWIS FRIDAY 15TH DECEMBER
MAR HAZE FRIDAY 22ND DECEMBER
COG SATURDAY 23RD DECEMBER
THE BADLANDS THURSDAY 28TH DECEMBER
SUNROSE FRIDAY 29TH DECEMBER
THE CINEMA WRISTYS SATURDAY 30TH DECEMBER
GOOCH PALMS NEW YEAR'S EVE
PSYCHADELIC PORN CRUMPETS Mullum Music Festival runs from 16 - 19 Nov in Mullumbimby
Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.
MULLUM MUSIC FEST
Locke & Loaded Universe is the second album for Melbourne’s Jess Locke. She tells Jessica Dale why it was important to get this collection of songs down in one place.
“It’s like a bit of a team so that’s certainly new compared to how I’ve been doing things before.”
Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for more details.
elbourne based sad pop” — that’s the description Jess Locke uses to describe herself and her music on her Instagram account. It’s an interesting introduction for someone who, when chatting, is actually quite upbeat. In 2017, Locke has toured extensively (both in her own band and as a touring member with fellow Melburnians The Smith Street Band), she announced her signing to Pool House Records and released her latest album, Universe, which at the time of writing was happily sitting in a Top 20 spot on the AIR Independent Music Charts. “It’s nice to finally get it out and [it’s] real, you didn’t just imagine it. It’s been really nice, some nice feedback and it’s been great to just be able to finally share it,” explains Locke. When asked if it’s somewhat of a relief, she agrees. “A bit of a relief, definitely. Although there’s still a lot of work to do but definitely, it’s a lot of it coming to realisation so that’s nice but it’s also exciting, I guess, now we can actually [know] people are hearing and getting responses and stuff so that’s exciting as well. “I guess this album is sort of a collection of songs that were written over quite a long period of time. So it’s not so much about one thing or like it going in a particular direction in terms of songwriting but I think I started playing with my current band just after I released my last record and I think that sort of feels like this record is the sum of playing with them for the last two years and kind of ties all the songs together. Some of the songs are quite old, some of them are newer but yeah, it’s kind of just like tying it all together.” The older songs Locke refers to are pieces that have been sitting in her back catalogue for the past few years, some of which she chose to re-record to better fit the album. “I think I kind of gave it something different. Yeah, there’s one song — the first one on the album — I recorded it at least six years ago or something. It was way more lo-fi, folky kind of vibe and we sort of just started playing it with the band and I dunno, I think it just felt like kind of a new song so I just decided to re-do it. “I guess I’ve always had a bit of a backlog of songs and you know, not really having recorded them properly and just feeling like I haven’t really done them justice so I was trying to put them down to move on. I guess I’ve never really sat down and wrote an album from scratch with a blank slate. It’s just always been like ‘oh yeah, I’ve got that song. I really want to get that down’. It’s always just kind of bringing it all together and trying to do something with them so I can free my mind of them and move on.” She laughs when asked if there’s still a few songs hanging around that could be used for the next album. “Ohh, yeah,” exaggerates Locke. “I think there’s always songs I’d like to do something with but I actually would just like to sit down and try writing from a different perspective and sit down and a write an album as a project in itself rather than just sort of a collection of songs. There’s definitely always songs that I still want to do something with so I just have to find a place for them.” This album has also presented Locke with a new home in Pool House Records — a new Australian label run by her friends and sometimes bandmates The Smith Street Band. “It’s been great — pretty much very similar to how we’ve done things in the past; having lots of control over the recording and doing it in a house, we did it at the local pub as well, but obviously being with Pool House there’s a lot more people involved, so there’s been a lot of support and constantly talking with people. It’s like a bit of a team so that’s certainly new compared to how I’ve been doing things before. It’s sort of the same but different.” This month sees Locke and her band heading off around the country in celebration of Universe, something she’s looking forward to. “I think it’s the biggest tour we’ve ever done... and we’re going to some small places that we don’t usually visit or haven’t played at all in some cases, like Perth and Wollongong, so that’s great. I think it’ll be great. It’s nice to put on our own shows and we’ve picked a bunch of bands that we love to play with us as well, so hopefully people can just expect to have a nice time and see a bunch of different music.”
Universe (Pool House Records) is out now. Jess Locke tours from 3 Nov.
Taika Waititi on the set of Thor: Ragnarok with Chris Hemsworth
How do you tackle a lost god with a hangover? Thor: Ragnarok is not only the latest Marvel blockbuster, but its also Taika Waititi’s Hollywood feature debut. He tells Neil Griffiths how he treated the daunting endeavour like another indie project.
he successes of the filmmaker’s earlier works such as Boy and Hunt For The Wilderpeople (the top two grossing films in New Zealand), as well as horror-comedy What We Do In The Shadows (co-written and directed with friend and collaborator, Jemaine Clement) and Academy Award-nominated short film, Two Cars, One Night, were enough for Hollywood to come knocking. In Sydney this month to talk about his biggest project to date, Waititi, relaxed as ever, explains how he contained the nerves while filming Thor: Ragnarok. “I think if you look at the story, this is basically an independent film with crazier costumes,” he says. “It’s just about a guy who goes out, gets drunk and gets lost and is trying to get home... kinda shrink it down to that idea. Then all the relationships [Thor’s] got — he’s trying to get on with his brother, he comes from this dysfunctional family and his mate is this bipolar guy who gets really angry all the time... that for me is a story that I can imprint my Taika-kinda style on. “All the rest of it, the explosions and spaceships and all that stuff, that’s not the important stuff. The important stuff is the emotion and the relationships and his emotional journey through the film. That’s the only way I could approach it.” The 42-year-old admits though that the process of directing a Hollywood film compared to an indie is vast. “You’ve gotta watch out what you ask for,” he laughs. “I suggested making a spaceship as a joke and then [the studio] made it! All those elements, you’re only limited by
and they just wanted to move in a completely new direction and just to shake things up. “And also just, for Chris [Hemsworth] especially, he wanted to do something that just felt new for him.” As he does in most films, Waititi throws himself in the thick of it all. In Thor: Ragnarok, his character, Korg, requires the director to spend a lot of time on set in a motion capture suit; not the most comfortable of tasks when you have to order the likes of Sir Anthony Hopkins (or “Hoppo”) and Cate Blanchett around. “It’s really hard to be taken seriously as a director and order people around when you’re wearing speckly pyjamas and covered in ping pong balls,” he smiles. “But I’ve had that on all my films where I look like an idiot and try to direct people. In What We Do In The Shadows dressed like a 17th century dandy trying to be taking seriously as you’re hanging off a wire with a frilly shirt, going, ‘Hey guys, can we hurry up ‘cause I can’t feel my legs.’ “But it’s so much fun for me to do a role like that, with a little bit of myself and my style of humour.” Given the positive response to Thor: Ragnarok, talk is already underway for Waititi to helm the fourth Thor film and he wouldn’t hesitate to return. “Yeah for sure,” he says. “If you look at the story, this is basically an independent film with crazier costumes.”
your imagination with these kind of films and that’s an amazing thing. “My films are most definitely limited by budget and time so anything I can imagine, you know, ‘I want a big spaceship and a hurricane’ and they say, ‘Well, maybe you could just get one of your characters to describe that instead of us actually spending money on it.’”
“I think if you look at the story, this is basically an independent film with crazier costumes.” Thor: Ragnarok has already received acclaim from critics and fans, specifically due to the edgier and, simply put, funnier direction it takes the franchise. Don’t be mistaken, though it’s is a Disney project, this is Waititi’s film. “I think when we made a really hardhitting drama and people couldn’t stop laughing, we just changed the description to comedy,” Waititi jokes. “Right from the beginning [the studio] got me in to pitch on the film. They said that they wanted to make a departure from Thor one and two, which had little bits of humour in them, but they were definitely a lot more serious in tone
Thor: Ragnarok is now screening
What we two in the shadows
Waititi as Viago in What We Do in the Shadows
Given that Taika Waititi is now a fully fledged Hollywood director, you’d be forgiven for thinking plans for a spinoff of his critically-acclaimed 2014 film, What We Do In The Shadows are scrapped. However, the New Zealand filmmaker told The Music work on the project is already underway. Waititi confirmed what actor Rhys Darby told The Music last year; that the spin-off will be based on the wolfpack. “That is the plan,” Waititi said. “We are still story-lining that and writing it, but [co-writer, co-director and actor Jemaine Clement] and I are notoriously lazy. “It took us a long time to write What We Do In The Shadows. We may as well not even written it though, because we didn’t show the script to anyone. “We do have plans to do it, it is in the works, it’s just when.”
11 Nov – Suicide Swans | 18 Nov – Life Strike 2 Dec – The Stress Of Leisure 9 Dec – Jackie Marshall | 10 Dec – Spiral Stairs
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Yayoi Kusama Life is the Heart of the Rainbow For more than 60-years, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has been a source of limitless creativity, and despite reaching her 88th year, she’s showing no sign of slowing down. A stalwart of the avant-garde and pop-art movements in her adopted home of New York, her extraordinary contribution to the art world spans virtually every medium imaginable, from soft sculpture to performance, sight-specific installations to conventional paintings. The full spectrum of her practice will be on display at this major retrospective, including her early experiments through to her most recent installations, such as her iconic ‘infinity rooms’.
From 4 Nov at QAGOMA
La Boite Theatre Losing It This world premiere draws on the experiences of young people from Inala and Stradbroke Islands, who find themselves caught between a modern society heading full-speed into the future and a cultural heritage dating back millennia. From 9 Nov, Roundhouse Theatre
The Wizard Of Oz A star-studded cast, including Aussie musical theatre legend Anthony Warlow, are bringing the much-lauded London Palladium production of the evergreen MGM classic to Brisbane. Get ready to follow the yellow brick road to the emerald city somewhere over the rainbow.
From 4 Nov, Lyric Theatre
Brisbane Powerhouse Michael Leunig: Ducks For Dark Times Australia’s favourite doodler, artist Michael Leunig, has combined cartoons and social commentary for decades. To celebrate the publication of his 20th collection, Leunig will be revealing his unique process.
15 Nov, Brisbane Powerhouse
Queensland Symphony Orchestra Alondra & Vengerov One of the world’s most revered musicians, violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov, joins forces with the QSO’s indomitable music director, Alondra de la Parra, to deliver the Brahms Violin Concerto. 18 Nov, QPAC Concert Hall
Queensland Theatre Scenes from a Marriage One of Australia’s most prolific playwrights, Joanna Murray-Smith, offers a feisty adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic tale of dysfunctional matrimony. Starring real life married couple Marta Dusseldorp, aka TV’s Janet King, and Benjamin Winspear. From 11 Nov, QPAC Playhouse
GOMA Measure the Distance The human body, at once the full extent of our subjective experience and insignificant compared to the geological, is the point of departure for a fascinating exploration of scale, intimacy and distance, featuring works from the ‘60s to the present. From 18 Nov, QAGOMA
ON IN NOVEMBER
A Dummies’ Guide To Drag
It takes more than a wig and a pair of heels to be a drag queen. But if you don’t know your lace fronts from your fish oil, Maxim Boon is here to give you a crash course in the queer subculture that conquered the world.
isten up hunties. Get ready to snatch those edges, beat that mug and read those other shady ladies for filth, gurl. Because, no T, no shade, no pink lemonade, but if you want the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent to stomp it like Violet, death drop like Laganja, and tongue-pop like Alyssa, then you are gonna have to be a Glamazon, mawma! So get your cucu tucked, your back rolls ready, and make those other kweens eat it! Because it may be water off a duck’s back, but never forget: she already done had hersesszzz. So go awn and get up in this eleganza extravaganza, because the time has come for you to lip sync for your life! And don’t forget to tell Mimi: I don’t have a sugar daddy, I’ve never had a sugar daddy, if I wanted a sugar daddy, yes, I probably could go out and get one because I am what? Sickening! You could never have a sugar daddy because you.are.not.that.kind.of.girl. Baby, everything I have I have worked for and I have got myself. I’ve built myself from the ground up. Can I get an amen up in here?”
If the previous paragraph didn’t make a lick of sense to you, then you’re probably one of the tiny number of people yet to become a super fan of the global TV phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race. This reality TV drag talent search began its life in 2009 as a tacky, uber-camp, medium-budget show on a little-known fledging LGBTQIA+ station. But over the past eight years and nine seasons, it has become a multi-award-winning (including three Primetime Emmys) global smash hit, broadcast now on VH1 and Stan in Australia. It’s meteoric success and record-breaking ratings have propelled its contestant alumni to international superstardom and brought the art form of drag squarely into the mainstream spotlight, a fact that bears out in the industry’s impressive stats. DragCon — the drag equivalent of Comicon — which is hosted annually in LA and New York, attracts upwards of 40,000 visitors. YouTube channels, Instagram pages and online forums devoted to drag culture, from make-up tutorials to comedy vlogs to music videos, are racking up clicks in the tens of millions. What was once a misunderstood subculture has conquered the zeitgeist. So now you know about the hype, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
What is drag anyway?
So, it’s just about dressing up?
Bianca Del Who?...
In its broadest sense, drag is a form of character acting, in which male performers impersonate women. If that sounds a bit suspect, it’s worth noting that such practices have a rich and respected history in various forms of theatre dating back centuries. It can be found in Shakespearian plays, where all the female roles were performed by men, and in traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre, where to this day, it is a revered craft to be an “onnagata” — a male actor who portrays female roles. But before we learn more about what drag is, it’s important to understand what drag isn’t, namely transvestitism or transgenderism. Let’s be clear, drag is not a kink or fetish, and it is not gender identity. Drag queens do not want to be women — although some queens are in fact trans, their gender identity and their drag personas are always separate. Moreover, drag is about creating the illusion of the feminine, in a dramatic, over top way, rather than trying to merely “pass” as female. If a drag queen is “unclockable”, she better go home and put on a few more layers of mascara! While it is now a seemingly glamourous profession, it wasn’t always so. In the 1970s and ‘80s, drag balls in New York were a way for marginalised queer communities to come together and indulge in an escapist fantasy that often transported them, if only for a brief time, away from harrowing living conditions and social exclusion. The same factors influenced the evolution of drag culture in Australia, which now boasts an excellent pedigree when it comes to drag history, most notably in the cult movie hit Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, but more recently, in the success of drag stars like Melbourne’s Karen From Finance and Drag Race and Australian Idol alum, Courtney Act.
That, my dear, is just the tip of the stiletto. Drag queens come in all shapes and sizes, and their talents are just as varied. In America, drag pageants gave rise to a particular breed of queen, whose skills focus on opulence, poise, and flawless beauty — in a kind of garish, tacky, American way. Think huge hair, glittering ball gowns, and hollywood smiles from ear to ear. In the vibrant club scenes of New York and San Francisco, club kids, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like the iconic Leigh Bowery, showcase a form of drag that defies gender, revelling in extreme acts of genderfuck fashion and avant-garde make-up. The advent of social media was a watershed moment for this corner of the drag community, with Instagram becoming one of the most powerful platforms for showcasing queens on the bleeding edge of the art form. A relatively new sub-genre, the so called “art queens”, express themselves through highfashion couture aesthetics, and cerebral styling, referncing art history and queer culture. These bizarre and beautiful creatures have become viral style gurus, trend setters and even the muses of renowned designers. Other drag stars live to perform, but even these fall into different categories. Lip syncing — mouthing along to existing songs — is perhaps the most prevalent kind of act, but if you think that sounds easy, you need only watch the likes of Peppermint or Alyssa Edwards to see what incredible skill is required to pull it off. But there are also comedy queens, and these are arguably among the most popular artists to break out of the Drag Race talent factory. And of these funny gals, one stands head, shoulders, and weaves above the rest: insult comic, Bianca Del Rio (pictured).
Winner of season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, this self-proclaimed “clown in a gown” has gone on to tour the world with her hit comedy shows, The Rolodex of Hate and Not Today Satan, which both sold out on their Australian legs. Very few queens can match her for pure lightning-fast wit, but woe betide anyone who crosses her, because this kitty got claws! Del Rio’s shtick plays to her strengths, namely her whip-smart skill at dishing out insults. During her season on Drag Race, while she liked to play up just how much of a sourpuss she could be, occasional moments of tender-hearted support for her fellow competitors revealed a soft, squishy centre beneath her inches of foundation. But don’t bank on seeing much of that during her live performances, which are a noholds-barred tongue-lashing massacre of filthy, nasty, outrageous and uproarious bad taste humour. PSA: only the very thick skinned should near the
Bianca Del Rio’s Blame It On plays from 10 Nov at QPAC
Wander through Wonderland
When Cassie G started her Bachelor of Musical Theatre she thought she was going to find the boy of her dreams. What she found instead was a gaggle of beautiful, charming, nurturing guys that were more interested in underground theatre than her undergarments. Cassie G’s journey from good Christian girl to reigning fag hag on campus is a glorious musical odyssey — you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love.
With 20 spectacular shows over 12 nights we thought you might need a map to some of the debauched peaks in Wonderland Festival’s lush topography at Brisbane Powerhouse.
From 23 Nov
There’s Something About Mary(s)
There’s Something About Mary(s)
Two of last year’s favourite Wonderland performers are returning again, this time to raise the dead. Magician Pete Booth and mentalist Sean Mergard will summon the spirit of history’s favourite killer for your amusement using a every trick in the medium’s handbook. It’s pegged as a darkly funny night of magic and mayhem, ghosties and ghoulies, and you’ll even learn an illusion to use on your friends.
Elizabeth I Directed by Benjamin Schostakowski and starring Emily Burton as the titular monarch, Elizabeth I promises to be an alluring blend of stand-up comedy, historical fan fiction and late-night slow dance. The latest work from Monsters, the award-winning company behind A Tribute of Sorts and Klutz, Elizabeth I is a shamelessly theatrical vision of The Virgin Queen and secret artistic endeavours that littered her 45-year reign.
From 1 Dec
Mama Alto: Torch Songs Gender transcendent artiste and resplendent cabaret diva Mama Alto is always a must-see. Among countless laurels she’s sold out Melbourne Recital Centre, delighted at Havana International Theatre Festival and received rave reviews for Torch Songs since its 2016 debut. Every performance is unique — Alto remaking a different selection of the American Songbook in her lush countertenor each night with pianist Miss Chief.
From 23 Nov
A Rose Among Horns
Wasteland Following in the footsteps of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Wasteland asks the question, “What sort of world are we leaving for the children?” Developed by Flipside Circus, renowned circus artist Chelsea McGuffin and dramaturge Robert Kronk, the performance sees 12 extraordinary young performers hemmed in by towering monoliths of garbage, usual circus apparatus replaced with repurposed materials and scrap.
From 24 Nov From 23 Nov
Rose Among Horns
If you saw her last outing The Cindy Twitch you already know that Genevieve Butler has some questions about where romantic love falls in the modern landscape. Her new show A Rose Among Horns lays a flower on chivalry’s grave and asks what Prince Charming thinks he’s doing here in the 21st century, where lust and deception are as palatable as love and probably more realistic.
W O N D E R L A N D F E ST I VA L
From 23 Nov
Organic Everybody loves Arj Barker. The Cali comedian and actor comes Down Under so often we’ve basically adopted him and we still can’t get enough. His latest show has been dubbed Organic and comes with the Barker guarantee; “my crueltyfree jokes are ALWAYS tested on animals, and 100% goatapproved by the time you hear them”. That’s quality you can trust.”
From 1 Dec
The Modern Guide To Heroism And Sidekickery
Powerhouse Artistic Director Kris Stewart on the thinking behind this year’s fest
Describe the vibe of this festival — what kind of experience will punters walk away with?
The Modern Guide To Heroism And Sidekickery At this point there are more DC and Marvel films than not — Spiderman’s origin story alone comes in a box set. You know the score. Whoop a costumed creep, save the city/world/ universe, pout at a horizon, roll credits. But Michelle Zahner has additional questions and The Modern Guide To Heroism And Sidekickery reaches for answers with storytelling, poetry, comedy and physical theatre.
What’s the inspiration behind this year’s program? There are things Brisbane is known for — the best circus city in the world, fantastic burlesque and fashion, the kind of shows you could watch in a tent with a drink in your hand. That experience unifies the whole event. There’s a great ratio of female artists championed in this year’s selection. Was this a conscious choice to address the gender disparity that is a continuing issue in the arts sector?
From 30 Nov
Well, I think if you’re truly open to who is doing good work, you inevitably get strong female representation. I mean — sure, it’s on our mind. But we find we don’t need to enforce it, we just need to encourage good artists to make cool shows, and talent brings things into balance.
Whenever she gets gloomy with the state of the world, Amy thinks about the arrivals gate in the opening scene from Love Actually. Just thinking about the ’03 hit rom-com/dramedy makes Natalie gloomy. Does Love Actually represent everything good about the human experience of love? Or is it unrealistic and manipulative crap? Definitive answers to come.
From 30 Nov
This is about the best of summer arriving in Brisbane. It’s a reminder of what is cool about living in this town and a festival experience that is authentic and local. The perfect fusion of lifestyle and performance. Its thrilling shows, great friends and a nice cold drink or three.
W O N D E R L A N D F E ST I VA L
Releases Ten local albums you need to know about in November Nic Cester Sugar Rush (Bloodlines): It’s the dude from Jet dropping the dirty denim rock for smart slacks rockin’ soul. (3 Nov)
Various Spawn (Again): A Tribute To Silverchair UNFD
★★★★ What a marvellously diverse band Silverchair was, and what interesting ride they took their many fans on across the course of their five-album career. Now, ten years after their last album Young Modern and 20 after the classic Freak Show, a who’s who of Aussie rock, punk and metalcore acts have got together to pay tribute to the great three-piece. And they do a fabulous job. From their early, grungy days, through the middle part of their career where they morphed into a powerhouse rock act, to the last record which put them on the quirky art-rock fringe, their great tracks are given even greater diversity in their delivery, purely due to the fact that ten different bands do ten different songs. No one version deserves to be singled out as being superior to the others. Suffice it is to say that each band puts their own unique spin on the track they are covering, while maintaining the core essence and vibe of the song. One single minor disappointment is Columbus’ rather ham-fisted attempt at the usually triumphant Straight Lines. Aside from this however, this is a reverential and highly enjoyable tribute to a classic Aussie rock act.
Catherine Traicos Luminaire (Independent): Traicos returns to the studio with a full group after a four year hiatus of recording from band work. (10 Nov) Slum Sociable Slum Sociable (Liberation): After pushing back the release as member Miller Upchurch dealt with mental health issues, their album featuring a mix of jazz, electronica and soul finally drops. (24 Nov) Polaris The Mortal Coil (Resist): You wouldn’t think an album recorded in a holiday house in an idyllic location three hours south of Sydney would sound this crushing. (3 Nov) Pnau Changa (etcetc): A welcome return for dance music royalty. (10 Nov)
The Cactus Channel Stay A While (Hope Street Recordings): The funk and future soul is still there, only this time look for more psychedelic touches. (3 Nov) Grenadiers Find Something You Love And Let It Kill You (Green Room): More raucous rock’n’roll with punk overtures. (10 Nov) Good Boy Shirk Life (Barely Dressed): It’s the sound of early disaffected 20s punks in Brisbane. (10 Nov) Evan Klar Deepest Creatures (EMI): He signed a record deal before playing his own official shows, so does the lush sounding album live up to his initial hype? (10 Nov) Jeremy Neale Getting The Team Back Together (Dot Dash): Velociraptor’s main man releases his first solo album, but still gets by with a little help from his friends as it features a large cast of well known Brisbane musos. (3 Nov)
Blockbusters of the month
The hip heritage five
Sam Smith The Thrill Of It All (EMI) The follow up to his 12 million selling In The Lonely Hour. (3 Nov)
Radnor & Lee Radnor & Lee (Independent) Josh Radnor and Ben Lee team up with a spiritual and philosophical slant. (10 Nov)
Evanescence Synthesis (Sony) This finds them reworking their back catalogue with a full orchestra, and a couple of new tracks to boot. (10 Nov)
Machine Translations Oh (Spunk) J Walker returns to MT for their most rock’n’roll album yet. (10 Nov)
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Who Built The Moon? (Sour Mash) Oasis this ain’t. (24 Nov)
Mavis Staples If All I Was Was Black (Anti-) Staples and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, this time addressing the fissures dividing America. (17 Nov)
Bjork Utopia (Pod) Once again working with Arca, Bjork has said her new album is about rediscovering love. (24 Nov)
Sharon Jones & The DapKings Soul Of A Woman (Daptone) One hell of a final statement from the departed soul singer. (17 Nov)
Converge The Dusk In Us (Epitaph) Frenetic and sludgy metalcore combine for their first album in five years. (3 Nov)
Charlotte Gainsbourg Rest (Because) Gainsbourg teams with producer SebastiAn for a sound with a disquieting, mechanistic edge. (17 Nov)
The reputation of reputation
aylor Swift will drop 2017’s most anticipated pop ‘event’ album, reputation, on 10 Nov. It’s the US megastar’s sixth outing — and her first in three years. But, at press time, reputation is one big blank space — Swift revealing minimal advance info and still unwilling to grant promotional interviews. So what do we know?
1. The Theme Reputation follows 2014’s 1989 — which won the Grammy for Album Of The Year. It will be more fearless, madder and darker. Swift is going fully meta, pointedly declaring the death of “the old Taylor”.
2. The Sound The 15-track reputation has hatched three hits. The hard-hitting LWYMMD mines ‘90s electroclash. Only the wryly romantic Gorgeous is a 1989 throwback. Will reputation be Swift’s most ‘urban’ LP? 3. The Collabs Swift has engaged old studio allies like fun Swedish hit machine Max Martin. Other rumoured collabs are more OMG. Has Tay teamed with Drake? Kesha has hinted at a feature on Instagram — Swift assisting the singer during her Dr Luke legal suit.
4. The Drama Swift channels personal dramz into art-pop. She’s infamous for her feuds with Kanye West and Katy Perry — and reputation should be dripping in bad blood. Still, Swift’s rawest songs chronicle her romantic relationships. Gorgeous is plausibly about Swift’s current boyf, blue-eyed British thesp Joe Alwyn. 5. The Image Swift shared reputation’s cover on Insty in August — and, inevitably, it’s been decoded. The monochrome artwork shows Tay as a neo-riot grrl against a backdrop of newsprint — her name endlessly reproduced, Warholstyle. Some have compared it to Yeezy’s The Life Of Pablo!
Australia’s #1 music news site
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theMusic.com.au live reviews “Garrett [guarantees] the band’s genuine affection for Queensland before eviscerating our past cultural improprieties with a thrashing version of Dreamworld to bring it all home.” – Steve Bell Midnight Oil @ Riverstage
Sebastian Bach @ The Tivoli. Pic: Barry Shipplock
Midnight Oil @ Riverstage. Pic: John Stubbs
For the latest live reviews go to themusic.com.au
Sebastian Bach @ The Tivoli. Pic: Barry Shipplock
Film & TV Stranger Things 2 Reviewed by Guy Davis
he Duffer Brothers have obviously picked up a very valuable lesson from the two Steves (King and Spielberg): the monsters will capture the attention of the audience, but the characters up against the monsters will keep the attention of the audience. The camaraderie of the characters, not to mention the depth and dimension given to each one by the show’s uniformly strong actors, was the cornerstone of the first season’s success. Well, that and a grab-bag of wellpitched ‘80s references and influences. So while Stranger Things 2 may seem to be spinning its wheels a little when it comes to its story (it’s scrappy, loveable teen dorks versus hell-beast from a dark dimension, Round 2),
this new nine-episode run does give the bulk of its characters room to grow and opportunities to develop. It gives this new season a big, beating heart and it makes the occasional bump in the narrative a little easier to handle Having said that, there are one or two noticeable flaws with Stranger Things 2, mainly the attempt to expand the scope of the show’s mythology by having super-powered young Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) meet up with a similarly gifted “sister” and her posse of punk misfits. It’s shrewd of the Duffers to lay the groundwork for a more expansive Stranger Things universe (they’re reportedly now writing the next season) but this bottle episode grinds the story’s momentum to a screeching halt and, more importantly, deprives us of more scenes between the unexpectedly wonderful pairing of Brown and David Harbour, whose bearish, grouchy and soulful work as the town’s sheriff/Eleven’s guardian is a perfect complement to Brown’s beautiful vulnerability. That’s not to say the supernatural stuff — which borrows from a variety of ‘80s sources — doesn’t get the pulse racing on occasion. It does. Worthy of a weekend binge-watch.
Suburbicon Reviewed by Anthony Carew
t’s fitting that, in a film about segregation, George Clooney’s sixth directorial effort feels like two films divided. At the centre is a story from an old Coen brothers script, a satire of all-American ‘50s suburbia, White flight conformity, and Atomic Age awshucksery. It’s all, as the familiar depiction goes, just a facade; the brochure-brought-tolife utopia really a dystopia. That’s revealed by Matt Damon’s hapless noir-ish stooge, who sinks into a downward spiral of Fargoredo bad choices. There’s hired goons, illconceived plans, ping-pong-paddlin’ infidelity, an ear for era dialogue, literal white bread and, when Oscar Isaac shows up, lord does this thing sing!
But Clooney and co-producer/scripttweaker Grant Heslov take this Coenist lark and shoot it through with a searing take on what All-American ‘50s suburbia represented: segregation, institutionalised racism, cultural whitewashing. Inspired by a real-life tale of persecution in 1957, in the pre-fab commuter-burb Levittown, New York, the flick also finds an African-American family moving in next door, earning the ire of the Suburbicon-dwellers who fled the city in search of lily-white conformity. Hoping to drive “these people” outta the there-goesthe-neighbourhood, local yokels harass them day and night; these angry mobs going from hostile gawping to a good old-fashioned race riot, gathering with the wild fury — if not the speed, delirium, or provocation — of the interlopers in Mother!. As Damon finds his life falling apart — his humiliation symbolising the death of father-knows-best paternalism — in blackcomic fashion, the horrors of racist persecution sit, uneasily, alongside; the stories of the neighbours remaining separate, on either side of the subdivision fence. The contrast between them makes thematic sense — both of Suburbicon’s stories depict the darkness of suburbia — but not for a coherent picture.
Stranger Things 2 is now airing on Netflix
Suburbicon is now screening
“One of the best Australian electronic albums in some time”
THE KITE STRING TANGLE
ARIA Nominated Best Dance Album
Includes Selfish, The Prize feat. Bridgette Amofah
& This Thing We Got Out Now THE MUSIC
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EVERY SUNDAY DON’T MISS free live music every Sunday from 3.30pm.
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Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Geeks assemble! One of the nation’s biggest comic carnivals is once again returning to Brisbane, and the line-up of sci-fi, fantasy, comic book and pop culture A-listers on the bill is set to be one of the best anywhere in Australia, including the master of Marvel, Stan Lee, and Stranger Things megastar Millie Bobbie Brown. In addition to the killer lineup of guest speakers, there will also be the usual spread of merch, comics and graphic novels on offer, and as always, cosplay is very much encouraged.
From 10 Nov, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Why fans connected so strongly with Teen Wolf Teen Wolf star Shelley Hennig tells Daniel Cribb why the supernatural hit is more relatable than a lot of other shows out there.
hy do you think I’m napping? I only nap when I’m depressed,” sighs US actor Shelley Hennig, still processing the series finale of Teen Wolf. Over the past three years, she’s developed a loyal following through her portrayal of Malia Tate on the MTV hit and the reaction garnered from fans when the final episode aired recently proves just how strong an impact it had. “Even though it was a supernatural show, it was surprising relatable; if you put aside the powers that we had, at the end of the day, they were pretty relatable teenagers dealing with being different, and I think we can all relate to that.”
fans fell in love with and she’s keeping that ball rolling with upcoming Netflix film The After Party, featuring Andy Buckley (The Office), Wiz Khalifa and more. “Basically, it’s a movie about a young rapper who wants to get signed by a record label and if he doesn’t within 24 hours then he’s going to join the marines,” Hennig explains. “My brother in the movie is his manager, and I’m just out of high school. I’m the older sister who the artist has always had a crush on, so my brother makes me come along to convince him to come back out instead of joining the marines.” Hennig will also appear in the upcoming TV comedy Liberty Crossing, which is cur-
In between life or death battles with supernatural creatures, most of the characters were worried about getting good grades. “I appreciated that,” Hennig laughs. “It kept things grounded.” While the show might be finished, Hennig says it won’t ever truly be gone, with dedicated fans around the globe keeping it alive; like those attending Supanova Brisbane and Adelaide this month to meet her and other guests such as Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) and Graham McTavish (Preacher). But Hennig’s stepping away from the supernatural and into the world of hip hop with her next film. She showcased a natural comedic flair throughout Teen Wolf that
rently in post-production, as Carly Ambrose. “I’m open to anything, it just seems that comedy has been coming lately,” she tells. “Comedy’s hard, though. Comedy and drama are both challenging in different ways. Comedy is a lighter day, mentally, but also more challenging in other ways.”
Supanova happens from 10 - 12 Nov at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Five reasons not to miss Supanova Brisbane The annual Supanova Comic Con & Gaming Convention has dished up another star-studded list of guests, upping their previous efforts and enlisting industry heavyweights for panels, photos opps and more. Here are our picks from the line-up.
Millie Bobby Brown
Pop culture icons don’t come any bigger than Stan Lee and the living Marvel legend will grace Brisbane with his presence during this November’s event. The 94 year old has started decreasing his appearance at conventions around the world, so it’s highly likely this will be your last chance to meet him, get a photo and have something signed. With Marvel’s latest cinematic masterpiece, Thor: Ragnarok, scoring rave reviews, it’s perfect timing.
We move from the oldest guest on the line-up to the youngest, and although Millie Bobby Brown is only 13, she’s already established a career most actors spend a career chasing. Another timely visit, the star of Netflix hit Stranger Things will no doubt be bombarded with questions about the new season. Her portrayal of Eleven has made her a fan favourite.
Buffy celebrated its 20th anniversary this year and the fact it still has such a dedicated following two decades on tells you everything. Marsters stole the show as Spike, and then carved more classic moments in Angel, before he appeared in Witches Of East End, Hawaii Five-0 and more. He’s also an established musician, often busting out classics from his band, Ghost Of The Robot, on his acoustic while at conventions.
The brains behind cult hit The 100 will be at Brisbane Supanova to help bridge the gap until the show’s return in early 2018. Of course, there’ll be plenty of fans more interested in dissecting her latest novel, Rebellion, which dropped at the end of last year.
The latest edition to the Supanova line-up is Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte, who is a little different to the talent you normally see on the convention’s line-up, but a nice change of pace. Known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White Jr on the AMC megahit, he has also starred in Switched At Birth and has a number of films on the horizon.
Triffid album of the year
urrently The Triffid has put forward the nominees for its second annual Queensland Album Of The Year award, with the winner set to have their album spine added to a prime position on the venue’s legend-filled music wall of fame for the next year. The big reveal takes place on 9 Nov, which coincides with the venue’s third birthday, before a special screening of The Go-Betweens: Right Here. Here’s who’s up for the slot:
The Jungle Giants
Postcards From The Shell House
Hush The Mountain
No stranger to any Australian music fan worth their salt, Bernard Fanning is already featured on The Triffid’s wall by virtue of his work with acclaimed outfit Powderfinger, but his most recent solo effort would be a most worthy addition on its own merits.
Brisbane-Melbourne band Holy Holy were nominated for this award in its first year off the strength of their 2015 debut album When The Storms Would Come and now they’re back with another shot at mural glory thanks to their excellent second full-length Paint.
Having well and truly left their days as cookie-cutter triple j indie-popsters behind them, The Jungle Giants reached new and ambitious heights on third full-length Quiet Ferocity.
Following a tough year in 2016 that saw her spend several months recovering after a serious fall, Sabrina Lawrie has bounced back in a big way and released her long-awaited debut fulllength, Hush The Mountain, in March this year.
Rockhampton-bred duo Busby Marou earned their first ARIA #1 album with their third studio effort, Postcards From The Shell House, when it emerged in February this year, four years after their top-fiveplacing second full-length, Farewell Fitzroy.
Highlights Ruel Good M-Phazes apprentice Ruel, the lad with the golden pipes and Sir Elton John’s seal of approval, is supporting Khalid for his Australian American Teen tour. You can find the mononymous duo at Eatons Hill Hotel, 10 Nov.
Freshly returned from their European tour, indie-folk sweethearts Tinpan Orange are headed for The Foundry with their latest single Wanderers. Catch the mesmeric trio on Nov 17 with support from Jess Ribeiro.
Gizzfest is coming north. Starting with Leah Senior, The Murlocs, LA’s La Luz, Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo and the masterminds themselves, King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard, this boutique fest will blow away The Northern this 19 Nov.
The month’s best:
design markets Finders Keepers Spring /Summer Markets
Etsy Made Local
Young Designers Market
This haven for design devotees has come a long way in ten years. Starting out as a humble, but driven, set of 20 stallholders, today it is the longest-running design market in all the land, with more than 200 retailers set to rock up for its tenth anniversary. And it’s not just schmick design on offer. There will be live music, bars, coffee huts and food trucks creating a truly celebratory vibe.
A grass-roots concept that is already being rolled out nationwide, this craft market champions local artisans, collectors and style gurus, with both newly made wares and vintage finds up for grabs. With its local, small business focus, every purchase helps the independent retail sector thrive, so you can get some good fuzzy feels for your ethically minded, socially conscious shopping while splashing out on some beautiful designs.
This well-loved monthly institution does exactly what it says on the tin and a whole lot more. Showcasing the best and brightest up-and-comers from Brisbane’s design scene, including makers of fashion, jewellery, homewares, furniture and more, it’s a perfect place to make exciting discoveries for reasonable prices.
From 10 Nov, Gregory Terrace
From 24 Nov, Brisbane Showgrounds
5 Nov & 3 Dec, Little Stanley Street
This month: should Australia embrace cycle-sharing schemes like oBikes
n the business pitch TV hit Shark Tank, wannabe entrepreneurs get a roasting from Australia’s biggest fat cats over the viability of their get-rich schemes. Is there a demand for their idea? Does it make fiscal sense to invest in it? Will the public embrace this potential gamechanger? I can’t help but think the founders of oBikes should have gone through a similar grilling before launching their flop of a bike-sharing scheme. They may have gone back to the drawing board. Granted, Melbourne and Sydney have excellent infrastructure for cyclists, with well-maintained and newly created bike paths creating a safer environment for bike commuters. But it doesn’t therefore follow that lack of access to a bike is the main barrier for those not yet pedalling their way to work. And even if there are some people unwilling to fork out for their very own two wheeled transport, Melbourne has successfully rolled out docked hire bikes — a format that has a proven track record of success in cities across the world. Sydney and Melbourne have taken a punt on oBikes, and good on ‘em for giving the scheme a shot. But it’s worth bearing in mind that the business gurus on Shark Tank always ask potential investees about market research and the public have certainly made their opinion known where oBikes are concerned — I’ve seen way more bikes being fished out of the Yarra than I’ve seen people actually riding. Brisbane have already declared that it will not be backing oBikes, opting instead for the docked option. Sydney and Melbourne should follow suit.
all me sentimental, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the scrappy underdog and when it comes to public transport, bike share schemes like oBikes have had to punch well above their weight. For starters, the concept is deceptively difficult to promote. We’re a culture that has been conditioned to lock-up, nail-down and firmly secure anything of value, so leaving something as relatively valuable as a bicycle out in the street (albeit with an electronic wheel lock) seems to invite abuse. And abused it has been, with oBikes in Melbourne and Sydney found in trees, thrown on top of cars, discarded on beaches and, on multiple occasions, fished out of rivers. Rather unfairly, the public ire has largely been aimed at oBikes, rather than the people vandalising this company’s property, and local councils have reinforced this PR crisis by sending oBikes deemed to be cluttering the streets from the city to the rubbish dump. But let’s look at the grander scheme of things. Granted, oBikes can often be left in less than ideal places. But rather than removing them, surely city councils would be better served by promoting safer locations to park bikes, in locations protected by CCTV, that encourage engagement and not just irritation. It’s also in the public interest to embrace win-win schemes that promote healthy travel choices and are better for the environment. So, how about we give this little guy a fair go, instead of turning a blind eye to consequencefree vandalism.
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SUN 29 APR
FT. BOOMBOX CARTEL, TIMMY TRUMPET, WILL SPARKS & MORE
riginally founded as an oyster and beer festival — a tasty combination, we’re sure you’ll agree — the good people at Green Beacon have upped their game this year, giving Salty Days something of a sea change. For the first time, they’ll be taking over the whole street and opening-up their surf-bound bonanza to include all the fruits of the sea, including Mooloolaba King Prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, succulent calamari and, of course, freshly shucked oysters. And what could be better at a seafood block party than a program of live music acts, followed by after-dark DJ sets so you can bust a few shapes to work off all that tasty ocean fare. But if you just can’t wait to get your fill of some deep-sea delights, Ballina Prawn Festival has got your back — it is the home of the world’s biggest prawn (pictured) after all. Tuck into some of the sweetest, richest prawns in Australia. Granted, you will need to make the trip just south of the Queensland border, but it’s a small price to pay when the eating is this good.
THURS 1 MAR
THURS 7 DEC
NEWS DAY FOAM PARTY
Salty Days, 25 Nov, Green Beacon Brewing Co, Helen Street
THE ULTIMATE WILD TOUR
FRI 1 DEC
Ballina Prawn Festival, 11 Nov, Missingham Park, Ballina
Paces is out on the road for his latest single Creepin. Catch him at Woolly Mammoth, 10 Nov with signature dancers and visuals as well as guest vocals from Melbourne songstress, Woodes. Supported by producer Feki and Sydney singer Muki.
Seafood lovers are getting a double dose of tasty treats from the briny deep this month.
SAT 6 JAN
FRI 10 NOV
TICKETS & INFO GO TO: EATONSHILLHOTEL.COM.AU EATONSHILLHOTELPAGE 646 SOUTHPINE RD EATONS HILL
The mysticism of modern living A man of many talents and artistic pursuits, Matt Wicking speaks with Donald Finlayson about the life of a poet-turnedsinger, the release of The General Assembly’s debut album Vanishing Point and finding joy in the often forgotten art of rock lyrics.
peaking shortly after hosting a workshop related to his “other life”, Matt Wicking of The General Assembly recalls the time when he realised he loved the art of the written and spoken word: “Ten years ago, if you had asked me if I liked poetry, I would have just said no.” But after realising his own appreciation for the art of lyrics, Wicking had a light-bulb moment that seemed to scream, “Oh, shit! I actually love poetry!” Unlike the many poets and writers who decide to turn to the power of music, Wicking sings in a powerful baritone with clear confidence and melodic instinct. Far from a trademark Leonard Cohen or David Berman monotone, Wicking’s voice carries the listener through the ghostly ambience of his music and stories like a trusted narrator or heroic protagonist. “It took some time to get my confidence as a singer. But now I know that I can stand in front of a room, with or without a guitar, and have the room just listen.” The sole songwriter on every track on Vanishing Point, Wicking reveals that almost every one of these electronic works originally came to life through the organic magic of his acoustic guitar. “That’s really just how I tend to write,” explains Wicking, “mostly just out of necessity, I suppose. That’s the main instrument that I play and then I’ll take it to the band and work things out from there. I’ve had these songs for about five or six years, just incubating. I think it was ultimately just a matter of finding the right musicians and the right producer to put things together.” With upcoming plans to release Vanishing Point on more digital stores and streaming services like Spotify and iTunes, it would seem natural for listeners to expect a physical release of the album at some point. But much like how they tread interesting new ground in the realm of electronica, the band also have brave new plans for the future of their music’s distribution. Choosing to forgo the production of any kind of physical merchandise, Wicking cites some of his own deeply personal environmental concerns as the primary reason behind this business decision. “When we released an EP about seven years ago, we packaged the CDs in old books
The General Assembly – Vanishing Point
that were destined for landfill, which turned out to be this beautiful product. The initial idea was to save waste and to use less plastic but it ended up really being a bonus for the creative side of things.” Always looking forward, Wicking expresses the excitement behind “taking things one step further”, revealing a hesitation for “The General Assembly to become a small manufacturing business, which is usually kind of the path you have to go down if you wanna make money as a band. But for me, it’s actually just not an option, full stop.”
Vanishing Point (Independent) is out now. The General Assembly tour from 16 Nov.
“It took some time to get my confidence as a singer. But now I know that I can stand in front of a room, with or without a guitar, and have the room just listen.”
NOVEMBER THU 2
r o f d o foolders f f o % 0 2 ticket h til n u p u e the l b a m e Rede 7pmigonnight g
THE BLACK SEEDS W/ BEARFOOT FRI 3
SASKWATCH W/ HACHIKU & MOONLOVER SAT 4
THE SCIENTISTS W/ FOREVR & SOME JERKS AMERICANA SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ PHIL SMITH SUN 5
MURPHY’S PIGS - FREE IN THE LIVE ROOM FROM 2PM WED 8
MONO W/ BALLOONS KILL BABIES TRIFFID ACOUSTICS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ JEREMY HUNTER THU 9
THE TRIFFID’S THIRD BIRTHDAY & ALBUM OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION - FREE EVENT THE GO-BETWEENS “RIGHT HERE” FILM SCREENING FRI 10
BABY ANIMALS W/ ELECTRIC MARY SAT 11
SOMETHING FOR KATE - SOLD OUT AMERICANA SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ ZAC GUNTHORPE SUN 12
OCEAN COLOUR SCENE W/ STILLA SNEAKY SUNDAYS DJS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ JAMES WRIGHT, CUTLOOSE & JAYMAK WED 15
TRIFFID ACOUSTICS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ DOOLIE FRI 17
CONFIDENCE MAN W/ BROADWAY SOUNDS & LOVE DELUXE SAT 18
THE STEMS W/ ROCKET SCIENCE AMERICANA SESSIONS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ JAMES VAN COOPER SUN 19
THE LACHEY DOLEY GROUP W/ THE INVISIBLE NUMBERS & BAND OF FREQUENCIES SNEAKY SUNDAYS DJS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ TONY LEE, BUTTERZ & ERTHER MON 20
MISS MAY I - ALL AGES/LICENSED W/ SYLAR TUE 21
CONCERT FOR CHRIS BLACK FEAT. MIXED NUTS, PORT ROYAL & BETWEEN KINGS WED 22
MARKY RAMONE’S BLITZKRIEG W/ SPECIAL GUESTS TRIFFID ACOUSTICS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ LAURA MARDON THU 23
SAN CISCO - ALL AGES/LICENSED W/ SPECIAL GUESTS FRI 24
THE CLOUDS W/ FALLING JOYS SAT 25
BRITISH INDIA W/ BUGS & ELIZA AND THE DELUSIONALS AMERICANA SESSION - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ JEMMA NICOLE SUN 26
SNEAKY SUNDAYS DJS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ CHARLIE HUSTLE, RASP & TOM BLOOMFIELD WED 29
TRIFFID ACOUSTICS - FREE IN THE GARDEN W/ HUNTER DOUGLAS CRAIG THU 30
THE CHURCH W/ SPECIAL GUESTS WWW.THETRIFFID.COM.AU | 7 STRATTON ST, NEWSTEAD | TICKETS - WWW.OZTIX.COM.AU
the best and the worst of the month’s zeitgeist
Disgraced in Hollywood
Say no to trolls
Good news wordsmiths: we got a whole bunch of new additions to the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary this month. Prepare to annihilate the competition next time you play Scrabble with the likes of “kangatarian”, “humblebrag” and “rurosexual”. Read ‘em and weep!
John Oliver, of Last Week Tonight, is the latest comedian to weigh in on same-sex marriage equality. Oliver is a ninja-level satirist, and on this topic, his comedy kung fu was especially strong, branding the use of $122 million to pay for the nonbinding postal survey, “the weirdest waste of Australian money since every Baz Luhrmann movie ever.”
Legislation passed in NSW, which will hopefully be rolled out nationwide, is being introduced to prevent automatic bulk buys of gig tickets by automated bots, so that scalpers and third party ticketers can’t resell at grossly inflated prices. With any luck, music lovers being ripped off will soon be a thing of the past.
Back in ‘60s, Sam Panopoulos invented the Hawaiian pizza, creating an unholy marriage of fruit and pizza. Now, the latest affront to our fav hangover cure is here: strawberries on pizza. To this we say, fuck off strawb pizza. Fuck right off and never come back. Ever. Seriously.
Nauseating revelations about historic cases of sexual abuse in the American entertainment industry continue to emerge in the wake the Havey Weinstein — or as we call him, Harvey Shitstain — scandal. The latest disgraced A-lister is Kevin Spacey, who tried to distract from abuse allegations by coming out as gay.
Aussie hip hop artist L-FRESH The LION’s new music video was targeted with a wave of racist and abusive comments this month. The Western Sydney-based rapper’s clip, Raci$t/Our World was released in conjunction with YouTube’s Creators For Change initiative designed to “help counter xenophobia, extremism and hate.
The final thought
Words by Maxim Boon
o, you think you’re controversial, Milo? You think that, as a white, middle-class, right-wing man, your stance on women and racial minorities is shocking? You think, as a mouthpiece for an extremist hate rag, that calling feminism “cancer” and rape culture “a myth” is outrageous? You think that because you’re a gay man of privilege who is utterly divorced from the LGBTQ community, that your stance against samesex marriage equality is scandalising? You think your hate-mongering, fear-spreading obsession with digital trolling, while dressed
like a gay conversion therapy scarecrow, makes you “dangerous”? And you think being dangerous is something worth boasting about? Well, it is the title of your autobiography. Sorry to burst your bubble Milo, but in these times of alt-right cluster-fuckery, you’re becoming a tragic cliche, one that gets more redundant with each passing Brexit, Travel Ban and Plebeshite. If you really want to cause controversy, I suggest you take a leaf out of Kathy Griffin’s book. After all, you both sold out your Australian tours. Granted, she has actual talent, whereas you’re just gobshite with frosted tips, but let’s focus on why Griffin is a virtuoso of subversion, rather than the finer points of her craft. For starters, while by her own admission she ‘doesn’t give a fuck,” she does actually care what people think. I hear you gasp, Milo, but empathy can be your friend too. It’s given Griffin the objectivity to laugh at herself. She knows she’s irritating as fuck, but by owning that flaw she’s given her punters the license to laugh with her, not at her. This has been an especially essential skill during the white-hot hysteria in the wake of her infamous Trump photo. Surely you can empathise with Kathy, just a tiny bit on this? You’re like two peas in a pod: she held up a bloodied mannequin head for a satirical photoshoot and was inundated with death threats, subjected to a two-month federal investigation, and put on a no-fly list without
ever breaking a single law. You advocated for paederasts and had to give a short apology speech, only to come back a few months later, seemingly unscathed and unrepentant. After that ordeal, Milo, surely you can feel some solidarity? But probably a fair bit of envy too, right Milo? I mean, she cranked up the right’s phoney outrage machine into overdrive without ever uttering a word, typing a tweet or mobilising a digital army of racists to hound Leslie Jones. As someone who traffics in the same relentless attention seeking, that must have smarted, just a little. If only you could still raise hackles like that, Milo. Now the best you can manage is blowing raspberries at Clementine Ford via The Daily Mail. But perhaps the most important lesson Kathy can give you, Milo, is her sheer, defiant refusal to be obliterated by a country that is so morally colour blind, it would liken a publicity stunt to an act of terrorism, while simultaneously allowing its leader to start nuclear Armageddon with a tweet. That, as a woman, she was able to weather the storm of an industry so comfortable with misogyny, sexual predators are only challenged after they have decades of assaults under their belts. Imagine if you could muster that same unbreakable spirit, Milo. You might just be able to break out of the hall of mirrors that must surely be your ego. And wouldn’t that make the world just a tiny bit less shit than it is right now.
5 BL ACKWOOD ST NORTH MELBOURNE
10TH - 11TH NOVEMBER 2017
WORKSHOPS + M O R E . . . IN PARTNERSHIP WITH E
PPL ET A SWE DE R CI
The Music is a free, monthly magazine distributed throughout Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. From local insights and insider knowledge to in...
Published on Nov 1, 2017
The Music is a free, monthly magazine distributed throughout Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. From local insights and insider knowledge to in...