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themusic 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

#004

“LAUPER’S SASSY, RAMBUNCTIOUS PERSONA IS TREMENDOUS, BUT HER BALLADS BREAK COLLECTIVE HEARTS.”

INSIDE FEATURES Violent Soho

Avenged Sevenfold Asylum Seekers Top Of The Lake

feature

I’m Your Man Ghostpoet Headphones Arctic Monkeys Nina Las Vegas Melbourne Fringe Festival Placebo

- BRYGET CHRISFIELD REVIEWS CYNDI LAUPER (P46)

“IT’S CERTAINLY RARE TO HAVE AN ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR SAY [THEY HAVE YOU IN MIND FOR A PART] TO YOU.” - DAVID WENHAM IN TOP OF THE LAKE (P26)

Peace Jordine Cornish Dan Sultan Regurgitator Savages Naysayer & Gilsun Television

REVIEWS

Album: Neko Case Arts: Rupert Live: Japandroids Film: Blue Jasmine

POLITICS

“WITHIN A WEEK SHOJA, HIS WIFE AND THEIR SON HAD LEFT THAT LIFE BEHIND.”

- KRIS SWALES ON THE EVAM ASYLUM SEEKER CENTRE (P24)

review

Theatre: Savages Games: Gone Home Gear: Zildjian A Series Cymbals

THE GUIDE Cover: Brothers Hand Mirror Local News Gig Guide

“IT’S A REAL MOMENT OF DELIGHT TO REALISE YOU’RE LISTENING TO ONE CHARACTER WHILE OTHER AUDIENCE MEMBERS ARE LISTENING TO THE SIMULTANEOUSLY LIVED JOURNEY OF ANOTHER.” - SIMON EALES REVIEWS THE CONFIDENCE MAN (P48)

Eat: Salami Fiesta Drink: Coconuts Culture: Election Parties Travel: Number 6 Festival Fashion: Indigenous Fashion The End: Screen Sharks

“THERE IS A LOT OF ENERGY THAT IS REQUIRED TO HOVER ELEGANTLY OVER DEATH FOR AS LONG AS WE ACTUALLY DO.” - QUAN YEOMANS OF REGURGITATOR (P35)

8 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013


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CREDITS PUBLISHER

Street Press Australia Pty Ltd

GROUP MANAGING EDITOR Andrew Mast

EDITOR Bryget Chrisfield

ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR Cassandra Fumi

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Stephanie Liew

MUSO EDITOR Michael Smith

GIG GUIDE Justine Lynch vic.giguide@themusic.com.au

SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR Jeff Jenkins

CONTRIBUTORS Aleksia Barron, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Luke Carter, Anthony Carew, Oliver Coleman, Rebecca Cook, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Dan Condon, Simon Eales, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Tim Finney, Bob Baker Fish, Cameron Grace, Tom Hawking, Andrew Hazel, Brendan Hitchens, Jeff Jenkins, Kate Kingsmill, Baz McAlister, Samson McDougall, Tony McMahon, Fred Negro, Matt O’Neill, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Dylan Stewart, Stephanie Tell, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Dominique Wall, Glenn Waller, Matthew Ziccone

THIS WEEK THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK • 4 SEPTEMBER - 10 SEPTEMBER 2013

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SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Kane Hibberd

PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Briscoe, Holly Engelhardt, Jay Hynes, Lou Lou Nutt

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Brett Dayman

ADVERTISING DEPT Leigh Treweek, Tim Wessling sales@themusic.com.au

ART DIRECTOR Matt Davis

Have you ever tried to peel a rock poster off the wall and ended up with a ripped segment of paper and broken fingernails to show for it? Don’t be such a tightwad! Some of the old posters from Handsome Tours past are now available via planetofsound.com from $4 plus postage, so what better conversation point for the morning after the night before than having some hottie (hopefully) perusing your bedroom wall art, remarking, “Hey! I was at that show and it was a life-changer!” Choose from artists such as The Shins, !!!, The National, Bon Iver, Divine Fits and loads more.

Columbine is a new work created by NIDA grad Daniel Lammin, and an ensemble of uni student theatremakers, that is based on (you guessed it) the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Having long been acknowledged as the birthplace of ideas, student theatre delivers once more with this completely new work that’s confronting and beautiful. Check it out at Monash Uni Clayton’s student theatre space until 6 Sep.

ART DEPT Nicholas Hopkins, Eamon Stewart vic.art@themusic.com.au

ADMIN & ACCOUNTS Loretta Zoppolone Shelley Neergaard Jarrod Kendall Leanne Simpson accounts@themusic.com.au

DISTRO Anita D’Angelo distro@themusic.com.au Subscriptions store.themusic.com.au

CONTACT US Tel 03 9421 4499 Fax 03 9421 1011 info@themusic.com.au www.themusic.com.au 584 Nicholson St, Fitzroy North 3068 Locked Bag 2001, Clifton Hill VIC 2001

We all know about Movember, but have you heard of Sidetember? It’s a Brain Injury Australia (BIA) fundraising initiative for which you grow sideburns throughout the month of September. “SideGirls” can also get involved by wearing special Sidetember jewellery to help spread the word without adopting a hairy face. Why not try for both month-inspired initiatives, fellas? Those sideburns could be coaxed into a ‘tache come Movember, surely. For more info head to mycause. com.au/events/sidetember.

grow MELBOURNE


laugh

New episodes of genius US comedy Arrested Development can be seen in Australia – legally! – with the groundbreaking comedy’s fourth season screening on the Comedy Channel Tuesday’s at 9pm. How much new tragic hilarity can the Bluth family bring upon themselves? Plenty we’re hoping.

watch

pride

Whether you’re a beat fancier or not, you can’t deny the impact Harley ‘Flume’ Streten has had on our musical landscape in the last 12 months. Now the fire is set to burn overseas, with wunderkind peers Disclosure calling on his services to open shows during their massive sell-out UK tour in November. Playing packed rooms at iconic venues like Brixton Academy is a hell of an achievement for any artist. Doing it as a 21-year-old when you’re from the other side of the world – fair play.

Getting super drunk during the summer holidays was awesome when you were a teenager. Slamming brewskis with your pals, riding your bike into the pool, hurtling down giant slip ‘n’ slides, firing off dangerous homemade weaponry – don’t tell mum and dad! The National haven’t forgotten about those times either, channelling irresponsible excess in their latest film clip for Graceless. But fans needn’t worry; they’re still wearing immaculate suits.

eat In a feat of pure and utter deliciousness, US fastfood joint Burger King will soon sell a French Fry Burger, consisting of a standard beef patty topped with French fries and all the burger’s regular fixes. Someone, somewhere needs to start a petition to bring this baby Down Under. Pronto. THE MUSIC • 4th september 2013 • 11


national news news@themusic.com.au BILLY BRAGG

One of Meredith’s exciting curveballs in their 2013 line-up, Brooklyn, New Yorker Joey Bada$$ is set to finally get Down Under after losing his holiday earlier this year when the first Movement Festival was shelved. With a couple of stellar mixtapes behind him, the 18-year-old seems set to sit atop the throne of NYC hip hop in the future – no matter what Kendrick Lamar tells you – and will be showing off his renegade chops with a series of capital city headline shows. Catch him with The Underachievers and Remi, 7 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; 11 Dec, Capitol, Perth; 12 Dec, Metro Theatre, Sydney; and 13 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne.

THE BIG (SOUND) THREE

Billy Bragg. Robert Forster. Regurgitator. BIGSOUND has never had bigger names on their live music bill. Now, these three late surprises are set to make the 2013 industry conference one of the most memorable in its history, adding to an already jammed line-up found within 12 venues across two nights in the Fortitude Valley Entertainment Precinct. Final tickets are still available through Oztix, but they won’t be for long – hop to it.

WELCOME TO FUTURE

One of Australia’s most popular festivals looks set to take it to the next level in 2014, with Future Music Festival forming a strategic alliance with The Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring, and announcing it’s under-18 sister event, Good Life, will run in four cities this year. Line-ups will be announced shortly, but you can cross off these dates in next year’s planner now: Future Music: 1 Mar, Brisbane; 2 Mar, Perth; 8 Mar, Sydney; 9 Mar, Melbourne; Good Life: 28 Feb, Brisbane; 3 Mar, Perth; 7 Mar, Melbourne; 9 Mar, Sydney.

FLAPPING HELL

Their Oz pop has been getting all sorts of love online, but now it’s time to stop watching Shining Bird and start enjoying the Austinmer sextet in the flesh. To celebrate the anticipated release of their debut LP Leisure Coast, the five-piece will perform a free show 11 Sep, Treehouse On Belongil, Byron Bay; before playing 4 Oct, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre, Wollongong; 12 Oct, Goodgod Small Club, Sydney; 18 Oct, The Workers Club, Melbourne; and 25 Oct, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane.

FOREIGN BODY

Moody post-hardcore is coming to us from the west courtesy of Eleventh He Reaches London. Get swept away by the atmospheric soundscapes from this Perth five-piece when the band play 5 Oct, The Bakery, Perth; 10 Oct, The Tempo Hotel, Brisbane; 11 Oct, Hermann’s Bar, Sydney; and 12 Oct, Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne.

FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS CANCEL

Due to a serious motorcycle injury suffered by frontman Chad Ruhlig, For The Fallen Dreams have had to cancel their upcoming Australian dates. The Plot In You, Fit For A King and Storm The Sky will still carry on with the tour (FFAK and STS not appearing in Western Australia), however, there’s been some major venue changes. The list of dates is now as follows: 11 Sep, YMCA HQ, Perth (all ages); 12 Sep, Amplifier Bar, Perth; 14 Sep, Invasion Fest, St John’s Parish, Melbourne (all ages) and Bang, Royal Melbourne Hotel; 18 Sep, The Basement, Canberra; 19 Sep, Hot Damn, The Exchange Hotel, Sydney; 20 Sep, Studio 6, Sutherland (licensed/all ages); 21 Sep, Thriller, Coniston Lane; and 22 Sep, Invasion Fest, Expressive Grounds, Gold Coast, with sweet local supports at each stop on the tour. Every ticketed show is now priced at $25.50+BF, and previously purchased tickets to shows that have been moved to clubs will be refunded. If you’re seeking a refund for other shows contact your point of purchase direct.

“BREAKING: ESSENDON FANS’ HEARTS”

AS CHRIS URQUHART [@CHRISURQUHART] PLAYS THE WORLD’S TINIEST VIOLIN. 12 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

DOLLAR DOLLAR THRILLS, YO

GREAT WHITE HOPE

As far as ludicrous killer animal films go, Sharknado takes the cake (though we will admit Ghost Shark came pretty damn close – look it up!). A cast featuring Beverly Hills, 90210’s Ian Ziering and Tara Reid fight a plague of great white sharks that – you guessed it – are attacking people from the sky thanks to a freak tornado. Do they survive? Who cares? There’s goddamn sharks hurtling from the heavens! Now, the cult phenomenon finally gets a big screen release Down Under, showing in select Hoyts locations around the country on 13 Sep: NSW – Broadway, Charlestown, Warrawong, Blacktown, Bankstown, Warringah Mall, Erina; VIC – Chadstone, Frankston, Eastland, Northland, Watergardens; QLD – Redcliffe; WA – Carousel; and ACT – Woden.

ADALITA

SHE RIFF

Eager to get back on the road, Adalita is hungry to maintain her now legendary status in Australian music and with a second solo record, All Day Venus, to plug, it shouldn’t be a stretch to assume the rock queen will retain her place at the top with this new collection of songs. Her eponymous debut from 2011 was a record of bruised beauty and you can expect to hear a balanced blend of those two releases when she tours nationally next month. Catch her 11 Oct, Barwon Club, Geelong; 12 Oct, Karova Lounge, Ballarat; 13 Oct, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 17 Oct, Transit Bar, Canberra; 18 Oct, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 19 Oct, Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle; 24 Oct, The Zoo, Brisbane; 25 Oct, Kings Beach Tavern, Caloundra; and 26 Oct, Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast. Laura Jean supports on all dates.


national news news@themusic.com.au ANDY BULL

ESKIMO JOE

BACK ON FAMILIAR PATHS

After stripping it back for some shows a few months ago, Eskimo Joe are plugging in again to preview tracks off their brand new album, Wastelands, as well as giving attention to the big hits that made their name in the first place. Catch the Joes 17 Oct, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine; 18 Oct, Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully; 19 Oct, Forum Theatre, Melbourne; 24 Oct, Newcastle Panthers; 25 Oct, Metro Theatre, Sydney; 26 Oct, Waves, Wollongong; 31 Oct, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; and 9 Nov, Astor Theatre, Perth. Fan sale is available now for Eskimo Joe mailing list members, while general public tickets are on sale from 10 Sep.

WOLF & CUB

SOMEBODY SOON

Already established as a triple j favourite, Andy Bull still seems like a well-kept secret for those in the know. He’s probably not going to stay that way for long, though, with the leftfield folk popster dropping another great taste from his forthcoming album in the way of Baby I Am Nobody Now. The Sydney lad will launch the track with an east coast tour, proudly presented by The Music, playing 10 Oct, The Small Bandroom, Newcastle; 11 Oct, Heritage Hotel, Bulli; 12 Oct, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; 19 Oct, Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane; and an early show 20 Oct, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne. Proudly presented by The Music.

“YOU KNOW PEOPLE RAVE ON ABOUT DOLPHINS BEING SO BRIGHT, BUT WHAT EXACTLY HAVE THEY DONE?” KARL PILKINGTON [@KARLPILKINQUOTE] OBVIOUSLY HASN’T BEEN TO SEA WORLD.

OUT COME THE WOLVES

Heavy Weight holds no punches and, recorded and produced by Wolf & Cub themselves, it’s probably the most pure reflection of their complicatedly brilliant take on rock’n’roll. Enjoy one of Australia’s best live acts again when they launch the new release 10 Oct, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; 12 Oct, The Zoo, Brisbane; 24 Oct, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne; 25 Oct, Beach Hotel, Byron Bay; 26 Oct, Amplifier Bar, Perth; and 27 Oct, Newport Hotel, Fremantle. Doctopus support in WA, with Zeahorse on the bill everywhere else. The full national tour is proudly presented by The Music.

IF YOU WANT TO GET DOWN

When boy bands were in vogue back in the late-‘90s and early-‘00s, there weren’t many bigger than British crew Five. The all singing, all dancing quintet managed to move 20 million albums in their time, and enjoyed an incredible response Down Under with three full-lengths and eight singles landing in their respective top ten charts. Now, for the first time in over a decade, Five arrive on our shores, playing 30 Oct, Metropolis, Fremantle; 1 Nov, Enmore Theatre, Sydney; 2 Nov, Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane; and 3 Nov, Palace, Melbourne.

RIDERS ON A NEW STORM

Two years on from the combustion of stellar Sydney outfit Red Riders and Palms, featuring the core unit of that aforementioned band, have just released their debut album, Step Brothers. Hear their new collection of slacker indie cuts on a headline tour which takes place 3 Oct, The Grace Darling, Melbourne; 4 Oct , Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane; and , 5 Oct, Brighton Up Bar, Sydney. If you’re heading to the final shows on Cloud Control’s current tour also, then get down early as the guys are opening on all remaining nights. Check The Guide on theMusic.com.au for full details. THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 13


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au THE PERCH CREEK FAMILY JUGBAND

SHIVER ME TIMBERS

Adelaide alternative folk band The Timbers will be jumping back in the tour van and heading up the East Coast of Australia to launch their new line-up, new sound and new single Gallantry. The single Gallantry is an uplifting song of mateship, camaraderie, battles won and loves lost. It perfectly captures the new energy and direction of the band. Check them out when they come to The Espy on 22 Oct.

HOESEN IT OFF

PERCHED ON THE EDGE

Off the back of new single Big Things Calling, the first taste of their forthcoming new album, Melbourne’s The Perch Creek Family Jugband have just announced their national Dressin’ Up & Shakin’ Down tour. The four siblings plus one stray partner head out to Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on 11 Oct with Fraser A Gorman & Big Harvest and Bob Harrow; Meeniyan Town Hall on 12 Oct with Quarry Mountain Dead Rats; and Northcote Social Club on 16 Nov.

TO THE LEFTSIDE

Some might have seen Leftside playing drums for Bounty Killer on stage or touring as Sean Paul’s road DJ, but in the beginning he was simply Craig Parks, a young man born amidst the best of reggae music. Leftside’s biggest break came with the brilliant 2007 track More Punany – the riddim blends a futuristic digital beat, a chopped and screwed vocal loop, and a sample from a classic Real Rock version. Catch Leftside plus special guests on 27 Sep at The Espy.

PRETTY DAMN GOOD

Papa Vs Pretty are back with a triple-whammy of an announcement: they’ve got a new single, new album and new shows. Plus, they’re now a four-piece with the addition of Luke Liang on guitar and keyboard. Due for release in early 2014, White Deer Park is the band’s follow-up to their ARIA award nominated debut album from 2011, United In Isolation. Its first single, My Life Is Yours, a soaring song of cascading melodies. See Papa Vs Pretty unveil new material at Howler on 26 Sep.

CASEY’S APPEAL

To help with Casey Tutungi’s medical support after the 28-year-old suffered horrific spinal injuries playing footy, Falls Festival organiser, Simon Daly, has rallied the music industry to stage A Show For Casey concert at Simonds Stadium, Geelong, 29 Sep. You Am I will perform some classics with the ‘Allstars’ super group featuring Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey, Regurgitator, Lisa Mitchell, Magic Dirt’s Adalita, The Bamboos, Dan Sultan and Yacht Club DJs. It’s a licensed, all ages show and all proceeds go to The Casey Tutungi Appeal.

TANGENTS

Having explored beautiful Australian landscapes and portraiture, Michael Corridore now turns to a digital montage platform in his new exhibition Tangents, compiling layers of body contours and ambiguous shapes to create works. Corridore has received recognition and awards for previous photographic exhibitions as well as selected work from the new Tangents series. The new works are displayed at the Edmund Pearce Gallery between 11 Sep to 5 Oct, with the launch on 12 Sep.

LOOK AT THAT BODY

Bendigo Art Gallery will host another major international exhibition with the Victorian Coalition Government today revealing that The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece will be a major feature in 2014. This exhibition offers an exploration of the human condition seen through ancient Greek eyes, focusing on the Greek fascination with the human body.

“AT LEEDS, OPENLY MASTURBATING TO NORTHERNERS’ ACCENTS” WE ASSUME ROB DELANEY [@ROBDELANEY] IS DOING SOME COMEDY, TOO. HOPEFULLY. 14 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Peter Van Hoesen is a Belgian electronic music producer, DJ and label owner of Time To Express. Immersed in Belgium’s new electronic scene, a young Van Hoesen came of age during heady days of cold wave, industrial, post punk and acid house. Live, he not only presents contemporary, room filling and dramatic techno, but can branch into house, melodic moments, broken beats and atmosphere-lifting classic ‘80s/’90s vibes. Check him out at New Guernica on 27 Sep.

THE ALL SEEING HAND

SEE IT ALL

New Zealand three-piece The All Seeing Hand are coming to disseminate their message by way of throat singing, frenzied drumming and thundering monophonic turntable tones. These elements combine into a band of dissonant, dense beauty and intense live shows that leave observers in an ecstatic state of both wonder and confusion. Following of the release of second album Mechatronics on 1 Oct catch the band at Boney on 10 Oct with Mesa Cosa and Duck Duck Chop.


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(1/6TH, FLUENT FORM, MATA & MUST)

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MONDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

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AMORPHIS FRI 14 OCT

TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

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MADRE MONTE LAMINE SONKO & THE AFRICAN INTELLIGENCE ULTRAVIBRALUX

COMING UP TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX:

THE BAUDELAIRES (MONDAYS IN SEPTEMBER) MADRE MONTE (TUESDAYS IN SEPTEMBER) TULALAH (WEDNESDAYS IN SEPTEMBER) CLAIM THE THRONE (SEPT 13) PLUDO (SEPT 14) THE ETERNAL – ALBUM LAUNCH (SEPT 20) SPIT SYNDICATE – SINGLE LAUNCH (SEPT 21) THE SEVEN UPS – SINGLE LAUNCH (SEPT 28) TIJUANA CARTEL (OCT 5) MANTRA – ALBUM LAUNCH (OCT 11) ELLIOT SMITH TRIBUTE (OCT 20)

PORTER ROBINSON AND THE M MACHINE LIVE SUN 20 OCT

STRATOVARIUS WED 23 OCT

THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 15


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au

MORE ON THE CLIFF

SASKWATCH

More artists have been added to the already stellar Queenscliff Music Festival line-up. The latest acts to join are Sticky Fingers, D At Sea, Leroy Lee, Ginger & Tonic, Andrew Swift & The Rattlesnake Choir, Revomatix, Buddha In A Chocolate Box, Alister Turrill, Luke Biscan, Kurt Gentle, Kiana Archer, Jack Wright and DJs Vince Peach, Manchild and Ken Eavel. The festival takes place between 22 and 24 Nov.

KILLIN’ DA FEST

The St Kilda Festival has announced that applications are now open for artists with links to the City of Port Phillip to be part of Live N Local, and bands from around the country can apply to play the New Music Stage on Festival Sunday. Applications close on 30 Sep, with the nine-day event, spanning various venues and locations across the entire St Kilda precinct, happening from 1 to 9 Nov.

EXCELLENT EXPO

AWME (Australasian Worldwide Music Expo) will again showcase a huge line-up of global roots music with 50 artists performing from 14 to 17 Nov at various Melbourne venues. Among the performers will be the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, New Zealand’s soul singer Hollie Smith and Sola Rosa, multi-talented Indigenous trailblazer Stephen Pigram, Irish singer Damien Dempsey, cosmic cross-culture rock act The Cambodian Space Project and master of Ethiopian soul, jazz and world music Dereb The Ambassador. Stay tuned for the announcement of keynote speakers in the Conference Program.

GET SOME AIR

The Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) has announced the performers for the eighth Annual Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards. This year’s exceptional line-up comprises Violent Soho, Archie Roach, Big Scary, Rufus, Saskwatch (pictured) and Seth Sentry. Stay tuned for more announcements including new Awards, nominations, and guest presenters. The Awards take place at Revolt, Kensington on 9 Oct.

“IF AN ADULT MAN EVER TRIES TO ROMANCE ME WITH A UKULELE I WILL THROW HIM DOWN A WELL” ACCORDING TO PRISCILLA [@ BBW_BFF], SIZE DOES MATTER.

IMPOSSIBLE LOVE THE CACTUS CHANNEL

CREEPY CACTUS

Melbourne’s favourite purveyors of dark, cinematic instrumental funk, The Cactus Channel, have unveiled a trippy new video for Wooden Boy (Part 3), the lead single from their new album Wooden Boy. The band are also playing back to back launch shows at Northcote Social Club to kick off their national album tour. On 5 Sep support will come from The Putbacks, The Seven Ups and DJ Chris Gill, then on 6 Sep guests are Sex On Toast, The Do Yo Thangs and DJ Manchild. 16 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Awaken that deadened heart beat with an ‘impossible love’ trilogy by the inspiring French Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan, who completed these three films by the age of 24 and has won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival. I Killed My Mother, Heartbeats and Laurence Anyways are all playing at the Speakeasy Cinema, across sessions on 2, 3, 4 Sep – or you can bang them out in quick succession on a loungy Sunday on 8 Sep.

OBJECT OF AFFECTION

Hard Rubbish is a Toy Story-like portrayal of the replacement of previously loved furniture with a swish new furniture suite. Fears of abandonment are evoked by the animation of the materialistic objects we obtain and discard. Presented by the Malthouse Theatre and Men Of Steel, you can see this familyfriendly object-puppetry performance at the Malthouse from 12 Sep to 6 Oct.

DOPE DEAL

Motley has announced some Australian show dates to coincide with the release of his third album Deal Or No Deal, set for release on 13 Sep. The tour will follow the success of the album’s first single The Dope Squad Pt 1. Motley describes the album as being a journey of personal growth. Witness him in a live setting when he comes to Laundry Bar on 4 Oct.

BIRTHDAY SHAKE

How else to celebrate a milestone like this but with the renowned Bell Shakespeare working with the community to share these infamous stories? For 2014’s season, A Midsummer Night’s Dream becomes re-envisaged in The Dream. The new season will also include A Winter’s Tale, Henry V, Tartuffe and high school favourite Macbeth. Spanning from March to August of 2014, you can book your seats early through bellshakespeare.com.au.


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THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17


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music

ESCAPE FROM NO MAN’S LAND Words Steve Bell. Photos Kane Hibberd.


If we’re to take the assertion that ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ at face value, then Brisbane rockers Violent Soho must be some damn strong motherfuckers. Frontman Luke Boerdam and guitarist James Tidswell take five with Steve Bell and explain how for them it’s still all about the music.

F

rom their very earliest forays into the Brisbane music scene, Violent Soho displayed an endearing collective naiveté towards the industry – a certain wide-eyed innocence and belief that it was all about the music – which lent both them and their music a certain purity, even when their songs were as dishevelled as the band members themselves. From the outset the four-piece chanced their way into their amazing adventures via talent, charisma and camaraderie rather than some cunning strategic plan; everything that they’ve experienced and achieved in the last few years – signing to Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label in New York, recording in Wales with esteemed producer Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo

paid for, as in we weren’t meant to have to go back to work,” guitarist James Tidswell continues. “Not when it was initially put to us anyway, it was, ‘Go back, just write the next record, and then we’ll sort it out and keep going’. Then we moved home and were suddenly told, ‘No, there’s just nothing. Not only that we sold your van and you now owe more money because you owed more on it than we sold it for’. It was crazy shit, crazy shit. We’re left in the middle of nowhere, all in different houses, we’ve got no money and nowhere to go – we were in no man’s land. So from then on we all got jobs, and eventually that gave us enough time and

was a whole twelve months where it wasn’t interesting for us, like, ‘This isn’t working. The songs are boring. Why is practice boring now, when we used to love it?’” But this hurdle too was surpassed in time, and soon Soho were meeting regularly in the practice room to work up the songs which would become their accomplished third album Hungry Ghost, a record far more assured and adventurous than their previous output without sacrificing any of the core band facets that made them so palatable in the first place. “I just remember thinking, ‘I want more layered guitars’ and I want to break away from the normal arrangement – even if it is the same arrangement I want it to sound like it’s not the same arrangement,” Boerdam tells. “Lyrically I didn’t want to write personal songs anymore, which was the entire basis of the last record – it was all personal suburban stories like Jesus Stole My Girlfriend or Muscle Junkie – whereas with the new songs I was more into focusing on all the sounds and mucking around with pedals and equipment. We grew maturitywise as a band – in terms of our influences the list grew from maybe a hundred bands to thousands between us, with all the touring and being stuck in the tour van for twelve hours a day. Once we started tapping into all of those influences, that’s when it became interesting again, and that’s what we went with.

“WE WANTED IT TO BE MORE RELAXED AND WE WANTED IT TO HAVE A MORE SLACKER VIBE, WE DIDN’T WANT IT TO BE SO AGGRESSIVE AND OBNOXIOUS AND ‘IN YOUR FACE’.”

Fighters), touring the States with a stream of highprofile bands – seemed more though destiny than design, and they accordingly took every windfall that came their way with a grin and a grain of salt. Yet this same innocence could very well have been their downfall when they returned from their yearlong stint in the States – ostensibly on a paid sojourn to write the follow-up to 2010’s Violent Soho – armed with an amazing wad of experiences but precious little else, only to be dramatically cut asunder by those controlling the purse strings. To say that this brought them crashing back down to earth is a massive understatement; they were now for all intents and purposes stranded in the suburbia of Brisbane, exiled in the city that they love but miles from where they wanted to be in every sense of the term. “It was pretty fucked in all honesty,” admits frontman and chief songwriter Luke Boerdam. “We spoke to our manager – who was back in New York – and he said, ‘Just get down there and write another record’. We were all stunned because we’d been touring America that whole time straight, so to be just pushed back home – I think we were all in our parents’ places.” “We were totally, one-hundred percent led to believe that we were moving home to write the follow-up record – 20 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

money to start getting in contact with each other, for a beginning.” “We didn’t even call each other for a while,” Boerdam smiles, “which was fair enough in the circumstances.” This upheaval could very well have split a lesser band asunder, but after a prolonged layoff they eventually got back into the swing of things. Was the break from the band – and by default each other – reinvigorating in the long run? “A little bit,” Boerdam ponders. “No it was, but it took a while. It took time to get the writing to a point where I wanted it and for us to be interested again. There

“Plus, I think it’s miles removed from the last record because we did everything in Brisbane. We said, ‘Fuck it we’re doing it our way – we’re doing it with Bryce [Moorehead – producer], and we’re doing it in the shed down in Albion’. It was awesome, and so far removed from how we did the last record – going overseas and recording with Gil Norton – and I think that makes it sound pretty different from the get-go. The whole recording process was completely relaxed, and the approach was way more about doing stuff in the studio – the songs were written before we went in, but we had way more time to get all the sounds and get everything just painted out so we could muck around adding and removing different layers, even trying out different vocal parts here and there. I think it just added up to a more well-rounded and better-produced record – for us. “I think that Gil did a great job on the last record, but I think Bryce really nailed what we were trying to do with this record. We wanted it to be more relaxed and we wanted it to have a more slacker vibe, we didn’t want it to be so aggressive and obnoxious and ‘in your face’. It was about being relaxed.” Fortunately, Boerdam’s assertion that he concentrated more on tones than the words of the new songs doesn’t


FAST FEUDS When Violent Soho claim they were doing it tough upon their return from the States a few years back they weren’t kidding, as guitarist James Tidswell recounts.

hold up to close scrutiny, because it’s a uniformly strong batch of lyrics, dripping with rich imagery and complete with a fascinating overriding theme. “With Hungry Ghost, behind every song I do see some overall theme – there’s society as spectacle, this big fake-masked reality that we’re born into and we buy into it every day and we live it every day,” the writer reflects. “So the whole record for me is about escaping that normality and escaping that reality that we’re forced to live in every day. OK Cathedral is about finding that place to escape – just being alone and smoking a joint while you look at the sunset. Or Dope Calypso’s about walking to work and picturing skyscrapers falling over. That’s where the title Hungry Ghost comes from; I found this book which touched on Buddhism, and the idea that we’re addicted to living in this world and this society and how we have this addiction that we can never fulfil, so we can never be content and you just lose yourself and fade away and become nothing. All the songs to me are about escaping in your own way.” And now that Violent Soho have themselves escaped from their personal purgatory clutching this great new album, do they feel that they’ve learned anything about themselves and the band?

“We’ve always been stupidly naive about the peripheral stuff,” Boerdam ponders. “We just think, ‘Do we still enjoy getting in a room and playing songs together? Yep? Well let’s release a record’. None of the other shit should matter or get in the way. Who cares that we toured America? We don’t care, what matters is whether we want to write music together and make a record and get out there and tour it, and we do. It’s as simple as that.” “You can’t describe it, it’s all-consuming,”

Tidswell marvels. “You’re in your first year of marriage and you’ve only spent thirty-something days in bed with your wife in the entire year, and you’re playing [tiny now-defunct Brisbane venue] The Troubadour... Then later you’re addicted to drugs, you’re spewing blood, you’ve got no money, and you come home [to Brisbane] and you’ve got to get a job at McDonald’s... I can’t tell you what us playing music together means.”

WHAT: Hungry Ghost (I Oh You) WHEN & WHERE: 4 Nov, Corner Hotel

“I was living at my sister-in-law’s place and I couldn’t get a job too far away from there. I knew there was a McDonald’s close and my cousin worked there so I figured I could get a job,” he remembers. “On my way to the interview I started getting vague congratulatory texts, just confusing, so I get to the interview and this kid goes to me halfway through, ‘Ah, are you from Violent Soho? I saw you at Splendour!’ I couldn’t believe it, and I thought, ‘I can’t do this!’ But I went through the process and they sent me home – the whole thing was pretty fucked up, they showed me every part of McDonald’s, it was so weird – and then on the drive home I hear the nominations for the ARIAs on triple j and we’d been nominated [for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album]! “So I was literally on my way home from an interview for my first job at McDonald’s – after 200 shows in America for a year and doing the band for years – and I hear that news. Then McDonald’s called me and I pulled over; they left a message, ‘Come in and get your uniform, you’ve got your first shift!’ and I just called and said, ‘Dudes, I’m not coming. I can’t do this’. That’s what the mood was like.” THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 21


music

AIN’T LIFE GRAND As Avenged Sevenfold release their first album without founding drummer The Rev, Synyster Gates talks to Tom Hersey about how his presence was still felt throughout the making of the record.

“W

e wanted this thing to be like the modern version of Led Zepplin’s IV or AC/DC’s Back In Black. We wanted it to be gigantic… And I think we achieved that, and I’m really proud of that.” With the kind of chutzpah you’d expect from someone who adopted the moniker Synyster Gates (real name Brian Elwin Haner, Jr), Avenged Sevenfold’s guitarist kicks off our conversation about the band’s sixth record, Hail To The King. It’s grandiosity that borders on pomposity – Gates says the band “feels the fire in our loins for these songs” – but few can deny that Avenged Sevenfold have earned the right to entertaining their feelings of grandeur. They’ve sold around 10 million records in a decade, transformed from a metalcore sensation to rock’n’roll juggernaut and brought an entire generation of kids along for the ride. Most importantly, they’ve dared to be rock stars in an age where the rock star is dead. Case in point, Hail To The King. The ballsiest rock’n’roll record you’re likely to hear all year. ...King has Avenged Sevenfold taking the direction of 2010’s Nightmare to bigger and better plateaus, even if that means scaling back on the chaotic maelstroms that endeared fans to records like 2001’s Sounding The Seventh Trumpet and 2003’s Waking The Fallen. “When we started off [in the band] it was kind of like, ‘Let’s just have fun in the studio and write a bunch of ridiculous shit’. And we’d fill albums to the brim with crazy guitar solos and crazy vocals and everything we could put into them. I think that’s just being young and having fun, but maturity needs to set in. And that maturity tells us what a song should really convey. We’ve always felt that we write those epic, grandiose songs. But this time we wanted to do it in a different format. We wanted to have an album that sounded regal, but with relentless, heavy-hitting grooves. “[To do that] we stuck with the game plan, and stuck with songs until everybody loved them. It was very difficult within those parameters, because we’d never had that. We could always write whatever we wanted before; that’s one of the beauties of being in a progressive band.”

22 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

The band’s restraint in writing pays off – Hail To The King represents a milestone for the band. It also bears the sombre distinction of being the first album to be written without founding drummer Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan, who died in late 2009 during the recording of Nightmare. Despite his absence,

and it came out right away. So I’m not too much of a religious or spiritual guy, but it was a cool coincidence. That he could give us a gift on his birthday.” After a brief association with Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy (“He wanted to come in and be a fully fledged member and write and do all that shit; we just weren’t ready for that at that time,”), Avenged Sevenfold invited a virtual unknown, Arin Ilejay, to sit behind the kit. It was a bold move, but A7X deals exclusively in bold moves. “We wanted a hungry, young kid, who would come out of nowhere, but deserve to come up. That’s the approach we wanted… Collaborating with this kid

“WE’VE ALWAYS FELT THAT WE WRITE THOSE EPIC, GRANDIOSE SONGS. BUT THIS TIME WE WANTED TO DO IT IN A DIFFERENT FORMAT.” Gates feels The Rev’s presence is still felt within Avenged Sevenfold, especially when they were writing Hail To The King. “It’s kind of like, ‘what would Jimmy do?’ He’s always with us, and I remember we were writing on his birthday, and we couldn’t figure out a chorus for a whole week, but we did this different version, because Jimmy was always like ‘oh yeah, just try this differently’

from nowhere, who’d never expect it, and then all of a sudden go and play in front of 50,000 kids.” On the eve of ...King’s release, Gates is now turning his sights to taking the record of stadium rock to stadiums around the world. And the guitarist says Australian fans are a top priority. “We’ll be over there at the beginning of next year… We’re going to take this record everywhere because these songs are meant to be heard live.”

WHAT: Hail To The King (Roadrunner Records) WHEN & WHERE: 28 Feb, Soundwave, Flemington Racecourse


politics

HUMAN AFTER ALL With ‘stopping the boats’ still high on the agenda as Australia approaches another federal election, Kris Swales looks back on a 2011 visit to a Swiss asylum seeker centre that gave the sloganeering a human face.

B

ordered by poplars, conifers and a bubbling brook so beautiful you could imagine a 1970s feature wall bearing its likeness, the EVAM asylum seeker centre in Crissier is no remote tent city. Nor is the centre, which on this Wednesday in October 2011 houses 337 asylum seekers in its 308 capacity apartment towers, a de facto prison. There are no fences, no guards, no barbed wire and no curfews. Until their applications for refugee status are either approved or denied, the temporary citizens of this complex just five kilometres south of the Lausanne city centre have free run of their adopted city and the iconic Lake Geneva. Lone adults amble around the EVAM (Etablissement Vaudois D’Accueil Des Migrants, or Establishment of Receiving Migrants) grounds. The children have been taken in at nearby schools and allocated a teacher of their own, only integrating with the other children for sport. When they return at 12.30pm, the centre begins to buzz as the youngest kids ride scooters, kick soccer balls and run around the towers without a care in the world. “If I explained to you the history of how we got to this country and all of the difficulties,” says Afghani refugee Shoja. “I would have to write a book.” The 33-year-old tailor had his own business in Herāt, near Afghanistan’s western border, until a not-so-simple business enquiry – from a man wanting a traditional Afghan dress with an oversized internal pocket – proved the catalyst for his flight from Afghanistan. “Suddenly I thought, ‘Why does he want to have this size in a coat?’,” Shoja recalls. “Probably he wants to use it as a suicide bomber. I refused. I felt if I made this the government will know who made this coat and they would come to my shop and bring me to justice.

24 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

“The guy came after and said, ‘If you don’t make this coat, I’ll put you in trouble’. I fought with them, and now if I dream them I’m even afraid of their faces. They tried to kidnap my young son when he was playing downstairs in my shop. Up to this limit, I said to myself, ‘No. I won’t have a future here for me and my family so it’s better to leave the country’.” Within a week Shoja, his wife and their son had left that life behind. He paid a nameless man to help them and several other family groups escape to Iran, where they had ten days of relative safety. His group were shot at as they passed into Turkey, saw one of their fellow escapees die before their eyes, then spent six months hiding out in Istanbul before being detained and fingerprinted by Italian authorities en route to Switzerland.

After ten days in a detention camp in Italy, and with a little help, they escaped. Just a few months after arriving at EVAM, Shoja and his family’s application for asylum was approved and they were relocated to new accommodation. When presented with a sewing kit by an EVAM worker, he wept. Man-mountain Damfa is a nine-month resident of Crissier, his stony facade not hiding his sadness. Damfa left life as a driver and salesman in the tiny west African country of Guinea-Bissau for a two-month journey through Senegal, Mauritania and across the Mediterranean by boat to Naples to find safety in Switzerland. He is safe, but his frustration at leaving his old, active life behind simmers just below the surface. “Here is very difficult,” he admits. “This life isn’t for a human being. If things work out the way I think, I’ll go back to my own country because I’m tired of living in this condition here. “We never know who’s waiting for us in the place we lived, but what am I to do?” Abrahim, a 58-year-old Sudanese electrician who arrived from Libya following the February 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, invites us up to his apartment. His two youngest daughters bring in a plate of biscuits and diet cola from an adjoining room, Abrahim sharing residence at the centre across three modest apartments with his wife and five children. “The government of Libya stopped education for the babies of alien people except by paying,” Abrahim says of the country he settled in with his wife in 1989. “For two years my children stopped school because I did not have money for them.


2012 STATS POPULATION Switzerland: 8.0 million Australia: 22.7 million Source: The World Bank

“I WANT THE LIFE FOR MY CHILDREN TO NOT BE LIKE MY LIFE – THEIR FUTURE NOT LIKE ME, THEIR EDUCATION NOT LIKE ME.”

AREA Switzerland: 41,285 km² Australia: 7,692,024 km² Source: Wikipedia ASYLUM APPLICATIONS Switzerland: 25,950 Australia: 15,790 Source: UNHCR report on Asylum Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, 2012

In 2010, I took them back to school again, with money. In 2011, in February, the war is coming.” “We were in a small city, on the Mediterranean coastline,” Lubna, his 16-year-old daughter, translates briefly. “It’s near to Tunisia.” “I work with a Libyan, he’s a good man, I tell him, ‘Your country is very bad now, I am going’,” Abrahim continues. “He tells me, ‘The sea is very dangerous, you can’t take it, please don’t go’. I say, ‘No’. I say to him, ‘Please, you give me some money’ and he say, ‘Okay’. I take money from him to give to the people, for a ship – after that I took the ship in April 2011 and we come here.” Abrahim’s ship – a powerless fishing boat holding over 500 people in cramped quarters across three levels – turned back once, but eventually crossed the Mediterranean after three treacherous days. “I couldn’t even help myself if the ship had broken,” he recalls of his illness on that voyage. “We would’ve been dead. But the captain of the ship helped me with a small room with two beds which he gave to me, to my family. We are lucky.” Six months into his family’s stay at EVAM and with no word on whether their application for asylum has been accepted, does he feel like he has a better life here? “Of course,” he immediately replies. “When I go outside this camp I feel like it is better. I want the life for my children to not be like my life – their future not like me, their education not like me. “I want them to find freedom.” This is an edited version of Take The Long Way Home, which originally appeared in Three Magazine in November 2011. THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 25


theatre

OUT OF THE BOX For all the punches thrown on Aussie stages, very few have boxing bags. Roslyn Oades talks to Dave Drayton about her production I’m Your Man. ’ m Your Man went down so well at the Sydney Festival, sort of like a surprise underdog hit of the festival.” It’s unclear how many, if any, of the puns in that statement from Roslyn Oades were intentional. There’s more pride than humour in her voice, but that too, is not immediately obvious.

“I

The show was such a hit (absolutely intended) that it was selected for the Mobile States tour – an established circuit funded by the Australian Council for the Arts, which supports one innovative, independent show to tour Australia, from Darwin to Hobart, with ten stops all up.

I’m Your Man was the final instalment of a trilogy of verbatim theatre works by Oades that examined notions of courage. Shadowing Western Sydney boxer Billy Dibs for 18 months in the lead up to his world title fight, Oades offers an invitation to a world where courage is everything, and it’s tested before a crowd. “I really think to be a boxer in that hypermasculine world takes immense courage,” explains Oades, “because the only thing that’s certain: no matter how great your career becomes, eventually you will lose in a really public, humiliating way, and you’ve got to find a way to get through that.

tv

“So much verbatim theatre is like talking heads, talking about things that have already happened. I wanted to make a work that was happening in the present tense, so we don’t know what’s going to happen to Billy, we follow him over 18 months – I interviewed him before and after every fight in the lead up to his world title fight just attempting to capture adrenalin on tape. I love this idea of action in the work, and this sense of present tense.” First performed in the intimate surrounds of Belvoir’s Downstairs Theatre, patrons were certainly treated to a performance that was present. Entering the room, eyes adjusting to bright gym lights spotted a pastiche of boxing posters on the wall, and nostrils were stung or stimulated by the smell of antiinflammatory gel and sweat. Boxing bags hung limp from thick chains drilled into the roof. Recreating this immersive environment in ten different theatres was no small task. “I live in Melbourne and there’s this great boxing gym here called The Fighters Factory, in Blackburn, and for some reason they can’t rig the bags off the ceiling. It’s one of those beautiful old school boxing gyms, and they’ve got this whole system of frameworks that they’ve built in the space to hang everything from, and to keep that real authenticity I had to find a way to recreate that factory feel where everything is really functional and practical.” Oades has found her fair share inspiration in boxing gyms; a summary she uses for the show was taken verbatim from a wall in Tony Mundine’s gym: ‘The more you sweat, the less you bleed.’

WHAT: I’m Your Man WHERE & WHEN: 4 to 8 Sep, Arts House

CAMPION COUNTRY David Wenham talks to Anthony Carew about his latest television adventure and plans for his directorial debut.

“I

was sent the script, but instructed I wasn’t allowed to read it until I met her,” recounts David Wenham, the impossibly-affable actor who, back in the dying days of the ’90s, was known as local television’s ascendant sex symbol, SeaChange’s Diver Dan. Returning to TV screens on the legal drama, Killing Time, Wenham recently appeared in one of 2013’s defining pieces of event television, Jane Campion’s Top Of The Lake.

worlds, whereas others are far more open. The whole film captures this whole cross-section of a community and how that community and the environment are... like an ecosystem.”

Director Campion is the ‘her’ Wenham speaks of and wrote a part with him in mind, but wouldn’t let him see it. “It’s rare that someone tells you they have you in mind for a part,” Wenham smiles, “and it’s certainly rare to have an Academy Award-winning director say that to you.”

Returning to Australia after shooting Top Of The Lake, Wenham put acting on hold to make his directorial debut, helming a segment of Tim Winton’s The Turning, a Robert Connollyassembled omnibus tackling the titular book of short stories. Wenham is currently working on his first feature, of which he’s saying nothing (“I’m superstitious: I feel like if you talk about something you haven’t made, you almost talk them out of existence.”)

Top Of The Lake almost plays like a less-surreal Twin Peaks, a crime in a remote mountain community bringing the town’s dark secrets to the surface. Shot in remote terrain outside of Queenstown, New Zealand, it turns the grand blandeur of the coptershots in The Lord Of The Rings (in which Wenham acted, as Faramir) into a malevolent landscape. “The land is a really, really important part. The location, those foreboding mountains, the sense of isolation in places of real beauty, the weird kind of claustrophobia of wide-open spaces, and the lingering feeling of danger. But, having said that, there are all these other worlds that exist within that landscape, and some of them are secret 26 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

But he was glad of the opportunity to cut his directorial teeth as part of The Turning. “Tim Winton’s writing really has nothing extraneous in it; it strips away all that’s unnecessary and that’s what I wanted to preserve. One of my inspirations for it was The Last Picture Show; there’s a scene in that where one man sits on a log, rolls a cigarette and tells a story. It’s really, really simply covered, there’s only a couple of shots in the whole thing and yet it won an Academy Award. I wanted to do it that simply.” Tim Winton’s The Turning, with its retinue of filmmakers and 180-minute scope, is, for Wenham, a “landmark piece of cinema”. “Not one director knew what the other seventeen were doing, yet, it’s incredible how each of the seventeen stories works in absolute unity. I gotta say I was a little bit wary. I didn’t think that they would actually work together; I thought that they would be much more jarring, that they wouldn’t feel like this one film. But they do, in a way that is really a testament to one of Australia’s greatest writers.” WHAT: Top Of The Lake (BBC)


He says Some Say I So I Say Light is a different album, and different for a reason. “Subconsciously, I’d stored up enough material since my last album so when it came down to write new material just flowed. I didn’t feel pressured or stressed as it was about having fun and making music.” He says he wanted to experiment and explore. “The new album’s still experimental in nature as this time I wanted to work with acoustic instruments and continue my exploration with electronics. I feel it’s evolving me as an artist. I work full-time in music and I’ve been able to immerse myself in the genres that I love.”

DAYS OF LAST Ghostpoet, aka Obaro Ejimiwe, ain’t no rapper, nor is he sure if he’ll ever record another album. But for now he’s waxing lyrical on the every day, one day at a time. Stuart Evans gets the low down.

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here is generally a clue to Obaro Ejimiwe’s lyrics. Ejimiwe, better known as Ghostpoet to the masses, is a melancholic MC with a reputation for lyrics that chronicle life’s variances. His prose is firmly rooted in the abstract. He laughs, “It’s not really that complex as it’s me mumbling over my diverse musical tastes and then getting people to like it. I don’t make records for anybody but myself and most times I go in with the mindset of making a record that I would like listen to.” He says he doesn’t want to be a pop star and his lyrics aren’t complex. “I mean, my lyrics aren’t as straightforward as an ABC rhyme or anything and they’re not Bob Dylan. It’s just me talking about the world as I see it.” After his 2011 debut album, which carried an abstract moniker (Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam) was shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, some tagged Ejimiwe as a neo-rapper – a guy who represented a new direction for British rap. He disagrees. “I’m not a rapper and would never describe myself as one. I’m a fan of rap music but I’m a fan of many genres. I listen to hip hop, trance, indie and all kinds of music and don’t need to limit myself to one genre. I hope the diversity comes out in my music as I don’t write to sound like one particular style.” Released in 2010, Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam was picked up by Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label and the album immediately earned praise for lyrics that spoke of everyday life. And by everyday life, that’s exactly what Ejimiwe speaks of: lyrics could reference a past takeaway, a movie or a dream he had last year. On paper it’s hardly the subject matter that speaks to a generation, yet Ejimiwe has achieved the feat of being completely and easily identifiable. He sees the funny side: “I just say what I want and what I feel. It’s me talking about everyday life, the people I meet and the situations that arise.” Nevertheless, the comparisons with rap are easy to reconcile. If rappers tell stories of personal adversity, triumph, hardships and life’s twists and turns,

so too does Ejimiwe. Still, if comparisons are to be made it’s probably with Mike Skinner (The Streets) or Roots Manuva. Like Ejimiwe, both artists combine tales of gritty urban life with electronic and atmospheric influences. It’s evident in Ejimiwe’s latest and equally conceptual album title, Some Say I So I Say Light. “As strange as it sounds, the album title came to me in a dream,” he laughs. Having received such critical acclaim for Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam, Ejimiwe’s follow-up album was always going to stoke comparisons. Was he little more than a onealbum wonder? The thought never crossed his mind, although the success of Some Say I So I Say Light has surprised him. “I didn’t expect such great reviews as I didn’t think people would like it. I’ve realised as I’m getting old I’m getting more pessimistic. I’m really pleased with the reaction though, so it’s so far so good.”

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Some Say I So I Say Light was largely recorded in analogue and in a studio, a stark contrast from the home recorded Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam, which was recorded via digital instrumentation. Established producer Richard Formby (Formby co-produced Some Say I So I Say Light) helped the transformation, or advancement. Although there was a need to bring in assistance, Ejimiwe’s quick to clarify that Formby’s contribution was a value-add, not a must have. “I knew I needed to bring in a co-producer as I wanted to get the best of this experience. Having a co-producer was about aiding and improving the music I was already making and not him making music for me.” He is also candid about the need for him to progress. “I knew that whatever I did after Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam I needed to develop as an artist and that my next album would have to be recorded in studio.” So his latest effort is slicker and more refined than his debut, yet manages to trend between gritty realism and over-the-top production. The other difference is the list of guest contributors – Tony Allen, Lucy Rose, Woodpecker Wooliams to name a few. Ejimiwe says the choices were deliberate. “I wanted real musicians to feature on the album. They may not be the typical commercial big headline acts but they are people with a reputation for their music.”

“I LISTEN TO HIP HOP, TRANCE, INDIE AND ALL KINDS OF MUSIC AND DON’T NEED TO LIMIT MYSELF TO ONE GENRE.” Content-wise, the lyrics and storytelling remain as abstract as ever, even if it’s relatable. If there’s an evident rationalisation for the new ideas on Some Say I So I Say Light, it’s because life has a canny knack of changing. That Ejimiwe writes about life and not about themes gives him plenty to say. “I just write about stuff. It could be something I’ve read or something I’ve watched on TV. It could be a bit of art I’ve seen. Themes don’t mean anything to me. It’s about exploring the world of emotions. We all feel some kind of emotion – black, white, tall, short, Australian or English – emotions are the one thing we all have in common.” You’d think that he’d have plenty of material for a third album. After all, life changes daily; new books arrive and the information age is relentless with who does what and why it matters. “I don’t have a clue if I’ll ever make another album,” he admits. “I still love making music and I’ll probably make another one at some point. What? How? When and where?… Who knows? I don’t.” WHAT: Some Say I So I Say Light (Liberator) WHEN & WHERE: 14 Sep, Corner Hotel THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 27


out of breath. I’ve kind of gotten used to it, though. Before I think I was just shouting so it didn’t matter if I went out of tune so much!” The song that set the mood for AM was R U Mine? originally released on 7” vinyl for Record Store Day 2012. It now sits second on the album tracklist, though that wasn’t the original intention.

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DO YOU WANNA KNOW When they weren’t headlining UK’s biggest festival or welcoming the world to the London Olympics, they were working on their fourth record. Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helders talks of new towns and sounds with Sevana Ohandjanian.

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t’s been a year since Arctic Monkeys performed at the London Olympics opening ceremony, and two months on from their rousing Glastonbury headline set. The lads from Sheffield have certainly come a long way. All the way to Los Angeles, with their latest record AM recorded entirely there. The appeal of the West Coast is obvious, according to drummer Matt Helders. “For anyone coming from England, going somewhere like that is exciting, even just the sunshine and I dunno, Big Gulp,” he laughs. “In terms of a band and recording, it’s amazing – there’s loads of studios, anything you want equipment-wise, any amp or drum or guitar you’ve ever thought of is available there, whenever you want it. It’s a really useful place to record, other than, like I say, being in the sunshine and palm trees. We’re still inside a lot in a dark room, but it just happens that you’ve got a lot of useful things around for someone making a record. The funny thing is it’s the first record Alex (Turner) has written out there, and I don’t think it’s that obvious that it’s an LA record.” AM sees a continued progression for the four-piece into riff-heavy, moody sounds. Tunes like Snap Out Of It open with jangly piano chords, something that will ring new to the ears of many well-versed fans. “You’ve probably not [heard keys on Monkeys records before], but we always threatened to do it,” says Helders. “When we were doing Humbug we did more keys and experimented a bit more with extra instruments. Then on Suck It And See, we took it back again into being a band just playing, we did it all live. There was nothing mad because we’ve never been a band who jams or anything, plays for hours until we find some magic – we’ve never worked that way. Everything is organised in a way, but we will try stuff differently with sounds as well. We don’t really care what it is as long as it makes the sound that we want. This time we went back, just adding extra interesting layers to it. We weren’t as precious about

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being able to play it live the next day. We used to be like, ‘If we can’t do it tomorrow then we shouldn’t record it’. Same with backing vocals. Now we just want to make this record sound the best that we can, still sound like us, but a more original sound.” Helders is no stranger to backing vocals either, his yelling voice recognisable as that which has steadily complemented Turner in the past. But how tough is it to play the drums at breakneck speed and sing in falsetto simultaneously? “It’s pretty hard, because in the studio you can do it as many times as you like and be as loud as you want,” says Helders. “It’s more hard for the sound guy, because a lot of times I sing loud but falsetto, and he’s gotta make it sound good without hearing lots of drums down that microphone. I think that’s his job, though. In terms of our side of things, it’s about the coordination and not running

“I don’t know if we knew it at the time; we only recorded that as a standalone single because we were doing that Black Keys tour in America. Once we’d finished touring the record, we were like, ‘Well we can’t do that again, playing all the same songs – we need something new’. Not even to promote, just out of fun and to play something new to people. We recorded that for that reason, and then it had such a good reaction; even today we have so much fun playing it, people really love it. We’d never really played it in Europe, only in America, so we thought it deserved more than just being a single. It ended up being a massive influence on the rest of the record, so I think it were important that it was on there. The next thing we did after that was Do I Wanna Know? and I think at first we were like, ‘Let’s make 12 R U Mine?s’. Throughout the album we’ve sort of covered the riffs side of it, but mainly the element we were most excited about was doing the backing vocal thing, and pulling it off without sounding too stupid – we’re hoping.”

“IT’S WEIRD MEETING PEOPLE WHO WERE SEVEN WHEN THE FIRST ALBUM CAME OUT, OR THIS IS THE FIRST MONKEYS RECORD THEY HEAR, AND THEY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO THE OTHER ONES.” They need not fear, the overwhelmingly positive fan reactions are all over the internet. Helders sees it all too. “I’ve seen that quite a bit, the US Tumblr. I try not to read too much about ourselves, whether it’s good or bad. I don’t think it’s healthy to read too much of it, but if someone sends us something that’s either funny or a good review or summat, I’ll have a look at it. I’ve got Twitter as well, so sometimes you can’t avoid it; people just say things and you’ve got to see it, but it’s never that bad.” The online fandom has also opened Helders’ eyes to the younger audience Arctic Monkeys are courting. “It’s weird meeting people who were seven when the first album came out,” he admits. “Or this is the first Monkeys record they hear, and they go back and listen to the other ones. It’s never-ending. Which is obviously good, but it’s a bit strange sometimes. I think that’s why we always find it important to do something different with every record as well. Which one they’ll like more or like less, it’s hard to say.” WHAT: AM (Domino/EMI)


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AIAIAI Y-COM

PHONE IT IN Since when did headphones become a fashion statement? Natasha Lee aims to figure it all out. Pics by Hannah Spence at Big City Lights.

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one are the days when a clear, crisp sound and a heavy bass were the drawcards when it came to buying new headphones. Now, like everything else, headphones have been sucked into the vortex that is ‘fashion’, with major brands such as Sennheiser and Marshall taking their trigger finger off the technical garb and, instead, focusing their attention on aesthetics. Of course, that doesn’t mean the sound suffers. Indeed, it’s quite the opposite, as our recent fervour for fashionable headgear has done little to dim a music lover’s quest for clear sonics. Harajuku-girl inspired earbuds – complete with diamantes and glued-on miniature animals – have begun popping up in the most curious of places, including late-night convenience stores and even chemists. So, now you can grab a listening device while you treat a migraine. Nifty. The steady rise of fashion forward headphones has been boosted by celebrity endorsements, with Dr Dre’s Beats range (released in partnership with Monster in 2008) leading the charge. Since then, Lady GaGa, P Diddy and Justin Bieber have jumped on the endorsement train, with The Beibs releasing his purple Just Beats range (which, in terms of musical clout, has proven the most vexing thorn in the company’s side). Monster and co. has also just released a limited edition Neon Range, complete with an ad featuring the most oversaturated DJ on the planet, David Guetta, and Les Twins. You’d also be hard-pressed to find another headphone brand that’s riled people up as much as Beats. A quick Google search will reveal a healthy smattering of Beats hate sites, all spewing out hilarious and oddly intense cyber vitriol against the brand. In all seriousness though, there is of course a fine line between fashion and douchebaggery. You know what I mean – those cats who let the headphones hang limp around their neck without even sliding them on.

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So, how does one navigate this fine line? Well, you’ve got a few options.

In terms of price, their classic Plattan style will set you back around 90 bucks – meaning the avid fashionista can splash out on a few colours – and (finally!) start dressing around your headphones.

FYI – forget the aforementioned tawdry trash found in chemists etc. We’re talking headphones that boost supreme sound quality and make you look goooood.

MARSHALL

URBANEARS Urbanears are among a handful of companies that have managed to straddle the sonic sensibilities whilst still appealing to the fashion conscious. Their headphones come in myriad bubblegum pop colours – yellow, purple, red, pink, blue etc – and they’ve come up with a neat little way to amp up the celebrity endorsements by proxy, getting people to snap shots of anyone famous spotted wearing a pair of Urbanears and uploading them with the #urbanears hashtag. Genius. So far, they’ve nabbed pictures of Girls creator Lena Dunham and Macklemore. Not quite Bieber, but good enough. Scrap that: far superior.

They never needed to, but iconic music equipment giant Marshall have also reinvigorated their personal listening experience, with their headphone styles now ranging from the classic black egg shape to a more retro, early ‘60s-inspired box design that’s available in black and white – the latter also boasting shiny gold trimmings. Note: perfect for conservative sound snobs.

SOUL For the less ostentatious, SOUL – the preferred headphone brand for none other than Usain Bolt – boasts a slew of sleek earbuds that are simple and classic. Apart from being spruiked by the fastest man on earth, rapper/actor Ludacris has also lent his design skills to SOUL, creating the eclectic, space age-esque Fly design. These are for those of us who like the simplicity of Apple’s obligatory iPhone earbuds, but want a better sound.

AERIAL7 Designed by three mates with a passion for sound and fashion, the TANK range is bright and chunky. Their TANK Mondrian flavour comes in a sleek white design that’s been splashed with an array of different colours. It’s cubism at its most outrageous. Because these are so visually volatile, you wear them as a statement piece, indirectly cutting your wardrobe cost in half. They also boast designs for the less adventurous, with their Sound Disc Sports Beanie collection, which basically comprises a beanie and flat, disc-like earbuds that fit snug between your ears and the beanie. More for the sports fanatic but also cool if, hey, you just don’t give a shit.


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THE FRINGE OF SOCIETY Jayne Lovelock tells Simon Eales what audiences can expect at Melbourne Fringe Festival this year – from engagement with digital spaces to hybrid art-forms.

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t the start of each spring, the Melbourne Fringe Festival hits town, bringing a massive program of shows and events across all performance art genres. The festival is a chance for independent artists to mount contemporary work and connect it with audiences who want something unusual. This year, the North Melbourne Town Hall will again play host to the Fringe Hub, and Jayne Lovelock, whose first year as CEO last year was a massive success, will again be at the helm. As Lovelock tells me, this year, in response to feedback from artists, the Fringe team has been focused on the core values of providing a presentation platform for artists

and effective support for that platform. Earlier in the year, they ran a mentorship program for producers and a series of forums discussing strategies for putting on new work. “Things that are quite practical, like how to remount your work; things like how to tour your work; things like how to speak to the press,” Lovelock says. They’ve also endeavoured to venture beyond the inner city. “For the first time we ran a program called Melbourne Fringe On Tour, where we took shows from last year’s festival through regional and outermetropolitan Victoria,” she explains. “It was really sensational, being able to get interesting

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and quite contemporary work to regional venues, but also for artists being able to perform to new audiences and experience the process of touring.” Following on from the bevy of events in celebration of the Fringe’s 30th birthday last year, this year’s festival has another innovative Creative Program lined up. The focus is artists’ interaction with the digital world. “We’ve got a suite of programs that really touch on the way artists are starting to engage with digital spaces and social media,” Lovelock says. “The idea of a virtual presence, not just as a publicity tool, but as part of their practice.” Digital Gardens, for example, will be presented in massive marquees in City Square and in the City of Stonnington and will allows for passersby to engage as they please. “We’ve worked with several independent game designers and matched them up with independent artists that are producing work as part of the festival, and together they’ve developed input into a non-combative, immersive, gaming experience,” Lovelock says of the concept. “It was an opportunity to get two kinds of artists that don’t always work together to create something together.” This genre-bending collaboration reflects the independent projects submitted to the festival this year, Lovelock says. “I think that the definition of art-form is blurring for artists. And that’s what is really exciting about being part of a multi-arts festival. More and more we find artists coming to us with work about which they genuinely ask, ‘What category of the festival should I put this in?’ and we have to tell them that ‘Oh, it’s definitely up to you’.” WHAT: Melbourne Fringe Festival WHEN & WHERE: 18 Sep to 6 Oct, various locations

VIVA LA NINA With House Party Vol. 2, Nina Agzarian smashes together everything from Tame Impala to TNGHT. Matt O’Neill speaks to Nina Las Vegas about being altruistic amidst the musical mayhem.

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s Nina Las Vegas, Nina Agzarian is one of Australia’s most celebrated radio personalities. Helming triple j’s House Party and Mix Up programs, she’s a key tastemaker in Australian dance music. Her House Party Vol. 2 mix is a testament to her ear – sporting global stars (Disclosure) and rising impresarios (Tyler Touche) alike. “I was so much more prepared [for Vol. 2]. The first time, I was so stressed out because I didn’t know the process,” Agzarian says. “I’m such a flippant DJ. I play old tunes, rip stuff from Soundcloud, play remixes that aren’t out – and you can’t do that when you’re doing something official. This time around, I was prepared... I got all the songs I love!” There’s significantly more to Agzarian than her considerable accomplishments as a radio DJ, though. For starters, she’s something of a social worker. In 2007, she co-founded Heaps Decent alongside Wesley Pentz (aka Diplo) and fellow Sydney DJ Andrew Levins – an organisation devoted to giving disadvantaged youth access to music-making. “When the initial workshop with Diplo happened, it was a link I’d set up through my mum who was working at a juvenile justice centre in Wagga Wagga,” she explains, “and he had all this gear that he wanted to donate. After doing some research, I realised there weren’t 32 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

many places you could leave gear. I said, ‘Leave it with me, I’ll make sure it get used’. We were just a resource, originally. We’d drive computers with Ableton on them to various organisations. It’s just grown since then, really. Eventually, Fuzzy came on board and that really took it to the next level. We have workshops running every day now, which is amazing.” Beyond that, she’s also an aspiring producer herself. In actual fact, she originally intended to dive fully into production following the release of last year’s debut House Party mix. Unfortunately, she dove into a tour

and another compilation (among her countless other commitments). She’s not optimistic she’ll pull it off on the second go-around, either. “Oh, man. I have like 50 things that are not finished and mastered. It takes so much time! I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want anything shit going out there,” she laughs. “Even just finishing three mixes on the side of what I do every week for House Party took me three months. I just literally don’t have the time. It’s still very much a goal and maybe I’ll try... But it seems like last year just went crazy after that tour. I had maybe four weekends off. And a full-time job. I don’t even... Like, I don’t think you’ll see an EP for me anytime soon. I just want to do remixes and that sort of thing. Build up some industry cred. Even just producing for someone else, I don’t need to be out the front. I kind of like the idea of just me and someone else. I come from a hip hop background, so it’d just be nice to do something along those lines, I think...” WHAT: House Party Vol. 2 (ABC) WHEN & WHERE: 7 Sep, The Hi-Fi


LOVE AND DESPAIR Placebo are back with their first album in four years. Frontman Brian Molko chats to Mark Hebblewhite about the dangers of the virtual world and being attracted to the “melancholic aspects of existence.”

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e’ve all been very aware that’s it’s been a while since we did a full album but this time around we were determined not to rush anything. We really wanted to focus on the quality of the record without feeling like we had to compromise on what we were doing.” So what have Placebo been up to since 2009’s Battle For The Sun? “Well of course we released the B3EP last year – and that was really just to give the hardcore fans some new sounds to tide them over until we finished the new album proper,” says Molko. “But really what we did was put our heads down and tour the world. After Battle For The Sun we were on the road for 18 months. After that I really wanted to take some time off and focus on parenting – so I

and despair. Where the title track sees Molko soar, proclaiming the joys of being alive and having the ability to give and receive love, Too Many Friends, which deals with the insidious creep of ‘online existence’, immediately sends him spinning downwards into bitterness and disbelief. According to Molko this dichotomy was not contrived for

sadness. To go through life thinking that we don’t deserve to feel sadness at any point in time is I think a form of self-sabotage. Naturally as a band we are attracted to the more melancholic aspects of existence – well, we find it more interesting to write about. The record is called Loud Like Love but it doesn’t have ten love songs on it: this is Placebo World so of course we’re going to explore the more dark recesses of emotion – obsession, jealousy, alienation, heartbreak, abandon – and even the absence of love and the effect that has on a human being.”

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Molko goes on to point to the aforementioned Too Many Friends as the perfect example of Placebo’s willingness to get deep into the recesses of human negativity. “Too Many Friends is based on real events. One day I was at my computer – and I don’t know what I typed into Google… what dodgy porn I was watching… and all of sudden my computer started advertising to me. Like, you know, I was a gay man into the fetish thing. And I remember saying to myself, ‘My computer thinks I’m gay today’ – what a ridiculous line to start a song (laughs). Around the same time, some friends of mine who use social media, and I should say that I don’t myself because I have enough trouble keeping up with my real friends, said they had to stop taking friend requests because they had too many friends. I started thinking ‘How can we ever have too many friends? Then I wondered how many ‘real’ friends do I actually have

“THIS IS PLACEBO WORLD SO OF COURSE WE’RE GOING TO EXPLORE THE MORE DARK RECESSES OF EMOTION – OBSESSION, JEALOUSY, ALIENATION, HEARTBREAK, ABANDON.” took a year off to be with my son – and then after that we signed a new deal with Universal Records for the latest album which we’ve finally finished.

artistic effect – in his view that’s just the cost of existence.

“The break was really good for me. I find parenting to be the perfect antidote to the crazy whirlwind, sometimes fulfilling but often superficial, world of rock’n’roll. My son is eight now and things are just getting more interesting every day (laughs). I’ve found that I’ve had to challenge all the things I used to take for granted in my own mind.”

“I see life as very bittersweet and I also believe that a lot depends on your attitude to life. My lyrics reflect this view and also the fact that I believe you have to live in a place of acceptance – that life isn’t always fair. Yes – life can be filled with joy if one is open to it but life is also invariably filled with challenges and

It will only take you a moment to realise that Loud Like Love has been worth the wait. The album’s magic lies not only in the band’s seemingly effortless ability to concoct an almost endless parade of infectious hooks and hummable melodies. Also impressive is the way the ten songs form a detailed case study into that greatest of human dichotomies: hope versus cynicism

and how is the virtual world humans are creating affecting the way we interact with each other? “Is it creating a new society founded on togetherness or is it simply creating a new form of social alienation? I think it’s very dangerous. People don’t have to communicate face to face anymore – you can do it from behind a screen. You no longer have to have the courage of your convictions – you don’t have to justify what you feel and what you really mean. The virtual world creates an amazing platform for the spineless. It’s both a fascinating and dangerous proposition to consider.” WHAT: Loud Like Love (Caroline/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: 28 Feb, Soundwave, Flemington Racecourse THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 33


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PEACE, LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING One of the most hyped bands in Britain right now is Peace, but frontman Harrison Koisser admits to Benny Doyle that they were “a mess” until producer Jim Abbiss got stern with them.

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t’s a bit strange to find out that Dublin is anything other than a wet, miserable mess, but according to Harry ‘Harrison’ Koisser the Irish capital is boiling hot. Calling in while on tour, the Peace frontman is tired but kind natured, speaking with a laboured flow that offers plenty of pregnant pauses but remains endearing nonetheless. Forming in 2009 as November And The Criminal before changing their front to Peace roughly a year later, the four-piece from Worcester in England’s West Midlands were pretty much an unknown quantity until early-2012, when a chance encounter on their first full tour of their homeland changed everything. “We toured around the UK and more and more people came to the shows, and then at the end of it we ended up signing a record deal,” Koisser recalls nonchalantly. “At that point it kinda felt real; that was in the beginning of 2012. There was one [show] where we played in a pub in south London that we almost didn’t do, and I think the editor of NME lived across the road and had just got back from holiday and kinda went to the pub and we were playing, and she went and told her husband who was the guy that ended up signing us.” Airplay and press behind their debut EP, Delicious, led to a nomination in BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, and following that the upwards trajectory the band’s taken has been nothing short of vertical. Somewhat unsurprising when you consider the story recalled in the previous paragraph, NME proclaimed their debut record In Love as the album of the year. It was released 25 March, 2013. With such bold statements following the band’s movements, you’d imagine Peace would be feeling the pinch when it comes to matching the hyperbole on stage. Right? “Um, well,” Koisser ponders, letting out a big yawn in the process, “I don’t think so. Praise is good, we like a bit of praise, but it doesn’t really add any pressure, though. I think we’ve got this weird ability to see the positives out of anything.” So did Peace see the positives that were going to develop when they first listened to In Love cover to cover? “I don’t know, we all felt a bit confused, we were like, ‘What have we done?’” admits the guitarist/vocalist.

“We’d never recorded anything properly before – we’d done an EP – but then an album... It was weird. It sounded really like a debut record, I guess. We’d never really thought that we’d do it.” Helping them put their dreams to wax was Jim Abbiss, a formidable name in the world of music production, and a man that has assisted in the creation of such iconic debuts as Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Sneaker Pimps’ Becoming X and Kasabian’s eponymous first record. Koisser credits Abbiss with helping Peace discover their real selves in the studio, his casually stern nature allowing the band to see who they needed to be – themselves. “We were like a mess at the beginning because we were so confused and didn’t know what to do, like what should we sound like,” Koisser says somewhat sheepishly. “I was just putting phaser on everything and trying to make Brian May’s guitar sound in the studio, and Jim was just like, ‘Go in the room and play’, and then played it

back to us and was like, ‘Look, that’s what you sound like. Let’s record you’. And then we did that and we were like, ‘Ohhhhh. Okay, that’s what we’re going to do’. So that’s what we did for the rest of the recording process. “The first few days in the studio we had no idea what we were doing,” he continues. “We had all these songs, but suddenly as you’re recording it you’re like, ‘Wait, if I wanted to make this sound a certain way then this is my last chance’, so we were experimenting too much, and Jim was just like, ‘Right, lads, go in the room and play the song’. And then we did, and that’s what we did for every song. We did a few overdubs and stuff but the majority of it is just us playing.” Right now, Peace are showcasing the fruits of this successful partnership on stages right across Europe, enjoying a string of summer festival appearances which included a memorable stop at the Glastonbury festival.

“I THINK WE’VE GOT THIS WEIRD ABILITY TO SEE THE POSITIVES OUT OF ANYTHING” “It was magical, it was a great show,” he beams. “I didn’t really think about the show when I was playing it, but seeing photos afterwards it was like, ‘Whoa!’” And he credits the reception their set received to constantly improving performance chops and a commitment to staying grounded. “We’re always getting better live, I think. Just little things change; we’ve just continued to do what we do. It’s really straightforward, I guess, really simple. I’m not trying to be cool or anything, I don’t really care about trendy shit, it’s straightforward and honest; people seem to dig that, people like songs that aren’t dressed up.” Soon it’ll be Australia’s turn to let Peace into our lives, with the young four-piece eager to arrive removed of any preconceptions and let the positive energy flow. “I never really research anywhere I’m going to go, I kind of like to learn by being there,” Koisser remarks. “I haven’t really been told what to expect – I’ll be the judge. I’m sure it will be really good.” WHAT: In Love (Sony) WHEN & WHERE: 13 Sep, The Eagle Bar, La Trobe University; 14 and 15 Sep, Northcote Social Club


GET MOVING Jordine Cornish attended a masterclass by US choreographer Erik Kaiel and impressed him so much he hired her to be his assistant. Like him, Cornish also wishes to make dance more accessible to children, she tells Sarah Braybrooke.

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hen US choreographer Erik Kaiel came to the Arts Centre to deliver a masterclass on making shows for young people earlier this year, he didn’t sugar-coat his intentions. “Working for young audiences is not about simplifying things, but about investigating and deepening,” he said. “There is no need to dumb-down our work, no need to remove

the sharp edges. In fact, during this workshop we will work on sharpening them further.” Committed to making contemporary dance for children and young people, Kaiel is known for pieces that include acrobatic, playful elements, and often take place in unconventional territory – from disused swimming pools to subways. One of the participants on the four-day course – which was put on as part of the Arts Centre’s new Industry Card scheme – was Jordine Cornish, a young Melbournebased dancer and choreographer. Cornish impressed Kaiel so much that he invited her

to join him in Dusseldorf as an artistic assistant at an upcoming project. “It was really lovely to not have known him beforehand, [but for him to] see something interesting in me and invite me over to Germany,” Cornish says. Raised in Bunbury, WA, Cornish moved to Melbourne at the age of 17 to pursue dancing. After completing a Bachelor of Contemporary Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts she travelled around Europe for five months, attending workshops and festivals from Austria to Spain, before heading back to the VCA for postgraduate study in performance creation and choreography.

dance

The absence of dance performances for young people is mystifying to Cornish, who, like many people, began dance lessons as a child, and developed a passion for jazz, tap and musical theatre as a girl. There’s an abundance of theatre shows for kids, but when it comes to dance – especially contemporary dance – next to nothing. Perhaps it’s an image problem; it’s an art form that can get typecast as too inaccessible and abstract for kids to handle. Kaiel’s manifesto makes it clear he couldn’t disagree with this view more. “Young audiences are an extremely exciting audience ... because of their openness, and the fact that they have not yet lost connection with imaginative play as a means of making sense of the world. They do not complain about what they don’t fully understand, but rather respond and riff on new developments. Not so concerned about being understood, or justified, but with being present, being anchored in the Now.” Cornish is in agreement: “I think it’s incredibly important to be challenging and inspiring young people through dance. It is an empowering tool ... [And] it would be a shame if kids grew up without being able to look at the world in a creative, playful way.”

CHOOSE LIFE

music

Kate Kingsmill finds Regurgitator frontman Quan Yeomans full of philosophical musings and in the mood to discuss Buddhist principles.

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uan Yeomans is a complex abstraction. He likes to think deeply about how we make sense of the world, and he doesn’t enjoy small talk. He has a natural introverted character of a writer or a librarian, but instead became a musician/rockstar. He doesn’t particularly like crowds but he lives in Hong Kong, the most densely populated place in the world. “The universe is quite abstract,” says Yeomans. “And all you’re attempting to do constantly with your brain is to rearrange the abstractness into something you can digest on a daily basis. To make sense of the world, that’s generally what people do.” The weird thing is when the complex abstractness of life gets filtered through Yeomans’ mind, it generally gets extruded as irreverent, three-minute pop songs. Regurgitator’s new album Dirty Pop Fantasy has a track on it called Sine Wave. It’s typical Regurgitator punk pop, with breezy lyrics: “We go up and then down/Just keep on running around/I don’t know what it’s about/But we go up and then down/Don’t try to figure it out.” It’s a deceptively superficial song with some deep philosophical thought behind it. “Sine Wave is kind of a bit more of a philosophical tune. That idea of life being like a sine wave that goes up and down: for every high you have there’s a similar low, for every desire you have, there’s a price – it’s just so chaotic, that’s the weird thing about it all.” For someone who’s had an amped-up existence – 20 years of life as a musician

punctuated by thrilling, ego-fuelling performances – equilibrium like that is challenging to maintain, and Yeomans has for a long time been drawn to Buddhist principles. “I think the idea of so-called enlightenment is to really squash that line down. If you look at a sine wave, its amplitude is kind of the bustle in your life and how dramatic your life can be. I think the flatter the line is, the more at peace you are with the world and the universe. So that’s something that I aspire to. And of course death is the ultimate flatline.” His interest in Buddhist principles developed after discovering his father’s copy of the book Being Peace by

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Tchich Nhat Hanh: “It just started reading like a manual to my own brain, and I realised he must have implanted some of these kinds of concepts into me at a young age.” One of the basic tenets of Buddhism is that life is suffering, and Yeomans’ theory about why life can feel difficult is because living is “not actually a natural state for anyone to be in”. “There is a lot of energy that is required to hover elegantly over death for as long as we actually do. Seventy or eighty years is quite an achievement for such an unnatural state. Our natural state is to be dispersed as molecules and atoms into the universe and so it requires a big energy input to maintain this body that we have, this conglomeration of atoms and molecules in this particular form.” WHEN & WHERE: 27 Sep, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine; 28 Sep, The Hi-Fi THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 35


music

BUSINESS TIME Dan Sultan talks Samson McDougall through some of the benefits of satisfying your creative urges and the dangers of excessive barbecuing before admitting it’s gonna be good to “say g’day to The Boss”. our years since his last album, Get Out While You Can, Dan Sultan is finally laying down some new material and he’s got good reason to be enthused. Packing a few dozen songs he’d already penned and accompanied by his long-time rhythm section of Peter Marin and Josh Jones, Sultan, presented with the opportunity of working with producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones, Modest Mouse etc) at the legendary Blackbird Studio, jetted to Nashville to start tracking.

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Three dozen songs written over four years may sound like a fair output for a songwriter, but Sultan reckons it’s only really the culmination of the last year. Coming out of a bit of a creative dry patch, this burst of writing has come at an opportune time, with several career planets aligning and some incredible opportunities presenting themselves. Thirty-something songs is a hefty start-point, and although they’ll need to be whittled down to around 12 or so numbers for the record, he seems ready to jump into this next phase of his songwriting journey. “I hadn’t written anything in about three years,” says Sultan of the years following Get Out While You Can. “I was in a real rut and then I changed the situation I was in, took a bit more control over my career and over my life in general. I think some would probably call it growing up, you know, making the shift. “I think it’s important to be creative; being active like that and just working your brain and your spirit, y’know – in a creative way. Particularly being a creative person, and to not write anything and to not feel confident about anything for so long and [then] to just come out and do it, y’know, it was a good feeling.” Of the songs that didn’t make the final cut, Sultan says there’s no regrets. Since the wheels started turning he’s been happy to roll with whatever needs to happen to make it work. “There was a bit of apprehension about that kind of stuff,” he allows, “but at the end of the day we’re trying to [get] something down that we’re all proud of, and not just me as a songwriter but the people in my band and the people that we’re making the record with. We’re all invested in this, our time and our energy, and you’ve gotta get down to business.” For the country soul of Dan Sultan, Nashville’s a no-brainer (“There’s guitars in glass cases at the airport”). In working with the best, he’s essentially measuring his own playing, his band and his songs up against the best. It was a chance to step up and test the depth of his rekindled creativity. “It’s a music city, they take a lot of pride in that and the people that come out of Nashville, the people who are considered the best in Nashville, are the best in the world, really,” he continues. “You need a mandolin player? You can get one of the best on the planet. Or if you need a pedal steel player, or an acoustic guitar player, or a keys player, or anything, really... “It’s definitely got a special vibe about it. You go downtown and, y’know, it’s a bit of a touristy area but you can literally walk three metres down the street and there’s another place that’s got music playing at 11 o’clock in the morning.” There’s also the famous 36 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Tennessee Barbecue, which he says is “not a sustainable situation”. And the waistline? “I’m maintaining, it’s good,” he claims. “Up and down a little bit. In America, man, you get whatever you want; you can eat like shit as much as you want or you can eat well as much as you want... it’s holding up okay.” Taking your wares halfway around the world to the veritable beating heart of the country music (and barbecue) industry doesn’t come without its fair share of trepidation, though. Sultan admits nerves played a part but is hopeful some of this energy will be captured in the record. “I wouldn’t say ‘intimidating’ but it was very exciting,” he says. “I did get nervous but it’s a good feeling to be able to hear some results. Even after the first day of tracking, it’s such an amazing place... If you’re kinda holding it together it’s inspiring, encouraging. But absolutely, we were very nervous and I still am, but I think it’s good to be nervous, good to be excited, especially when you’re trying to be creative. If there’s a little bit of fear there then that’s a positive thing...” Last year, Sultan broke with his usual band format and tested a bunch of new material in Melbourne venue The Toff In Town. There were cries of disappointment from around the country that the stripped-back shows didn’t reach further than that. The first mission he’s

“IF THERE’S A LITTLE BIT OF FEAR THERE THEN THAT’S A POSITIVE THING.” set himself upon returning from the US is to rectify this with a national ‘Back To Basics’ solo tour. This low-key return will be followed up by two performances of a very different nature – Sultan, with band, will be opening for Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at AAMI Park in Melbourne and Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley. “It’s going to be good,” he understates of the Springsteen shows. “It’s a good reason to get a killer band together, you know. I’ve got a lot of players that I’ve played with for a long time and I’m looking forward to getting a lot of those people back on... It’s going to be good to get some crew together and get some new faces as well and some new instruments and go and say g’day to The Boss.”

WHEN & WHERE: 11 Sep, The Toff In Town; 2 Nov, Thornbury Theatre; 8 Nov, The Wool Exchange, Geelong; 9 Nov, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine; 15 Feb, AAMI Park


THE HORRIBLE TRUTH Writer Patricia Cornelius presents the male form in all its depraved excess with Savages, a play that cuts far too close to home, writes Simon Eales.

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ormer High Court Judge Ian Callinan’s recent finding that Victoria’s parole conditions have been inadequate brings Patricia Cornelius’ new play, Savages, into renewed relevance. Callinan’s findings are set to trigger the introduction of the country’s toughest parole legislation. The inquiry follows a devastating slew of fatal attacks on young women by released criminals over the last ten years. In her play, which doesn’t refer to this issue directly, Cornelius targets base masculinity, and the society that condones it. The play’s narrative obliquely resembles the Dianne Brimble case a decade ago, where Brimble died aboard

a P&O Cruise, her body overloaded with artificial sedative. Here, four middle-aged male friends take a cruise to escape their mundane everyday life. But things turn horrific as their sense of humanity plummets with sexual desperation and pack mentality. For Cornelius, masculine antisocial behaviour is a growing problem in contemporary Australia. Her intervention is driven by “the plethora of things you hear about in the media about men en masse or men in groups, in football teams, on holiday or whatever. Their eternal dissatisfaction with their own selves and their life has made them angry and

HARDLY WORKING House duo Naysayer & Gilsun are returning to Perth to promote their new EP, All That Good Work/ Blue. Sam Gill tells Scott Aitken about working separately, going with the flow and what’s next. ith the release of their latest EP, All That Good Work/Blue, Melbourne production duo Naysayer & Gilsun, aka Luke Neher and Sam Gill, are hitting the road on a national tour that will see them returning to Perth for the third time. “We’ve always had a ball in Perth because people really party in a different way,” says Gill. “It’s always fortunate for us to come out and it’s just always been a uniquely great time.”

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While known for their audio-visual live shows, Gill says the Perth show this time round will solely be about

the music. “Last time we came, we tried to do the audio-visual show and the promoters went to a huge amount of effort to try and make it work. We came to the conclusion that it doesn’t necessarily work in a club environment because it can be a bit too attention-demanding for people who are just there to switch off and drink and enjoy themselves. So this time around we’re just going to DJ and that allows us a bit more time to go with the flow and enjoy ourselves.” Gill says the basic ideas for the EP came from he and Neher

dangerous,” she says. “And who are they most dangerous to?” she asks, “Women. There’s something quite sad about it and it feels out of control at the moment.”

theatre

Despite her vehemence, Cornelius is certainly not out on a man-bashing quest; she has an adult son of her own, she says. But, for her, “the subject of maleness is such powerful stuff ” even without the coincidence of recent events. “There’s a pathos there. For men to get caught up in silly and old-fashioned notions of what it means to be male is really intriguing.” It could be a childhood, developmental problem, she suggests. “The pressure on boys to be something and behave in a certain way is immense. They’re young and weak. They’re sweet, and why wouldn’t they be? And yet they’re already toughening up. It’s tragic really.” There’s no simple remedy for Cornelius. Of course, not all men are violent, and not all men are criminals, and yet many good men will behave inappropriately towards women in certain environments. Cornelius suggests that educational failings and a culture unwilling to appropriately address the issue are as much to blame as the individual. “How do you undo the damage?” she asks. “How do you undo a society that condones certain behaviours? I don’t really have the answer. These men, they do love women: they love their mothers; they love their sisters. But when it becomes sexual it gets muddy for them. They need help. They need a society that doesn’t condone that behaviour, right from the word ‘go’.” WHEN &WHERE: to 8 Sep, fortyfivedownstairs

working individually and then bringing ideas together in the studio. “We work a lot faster and produce things at a rate that’s not possible when we’re both behind the controls. With electronic music, when you’re writing it and programming simultaneously, there’s a real flow to it and when you work with other people it can be a bit slower no matter how well you mesh stylistically.”

music

The EP builds on the band’s focus on combining organic and digital sounds. For Gill, this meant combining software sounds with his old Korg Prophecy synthesiser “A lot of the time we write lines on basic software synthesisers and experiment by taking certain melodies and applying them to different synth patches we’ve created or trying them out on the Prophet. It’s got a lot of sounds like on Radiohead’s Kid A and you can tap into those Boards Of Canada-style emulations of John Carpenter super-scary, super-eerie atmosphere.” While Gill says there’s no plan musically for the rest of the year, nothing’s set in stone. “I have to remain very reactive this year and play it by ear. We have some other shows that are kind of in the works for later on this year and we have sort of a bundle of tracks that are very, very slowly starting to assemble an album. So I think we’re going to have to find some time to just sit down and really look into what we really want. It’s all kind up in the air right now but that in its own way is pretty exciting.” WHAT: All That Good Work/Blue (Club Mod) WHERE & WHEN: 27 Sep, The Hi-Fi THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 37


it still sounds fresh, and the prospect of the eight numbers in order is electrifying. While Verlaine is coy about whether he believes the songs stack up to his standards today, he’s gratified that there’s still demand to see them performed live and says, despite having written the lyrics 30-something years ago, he wouldn’t change much if he were given the opportunity to do so. “It’s not dated in any way because it’s not a generic rock record based on blues changes, or rockabilly changes, or Beatles imitations or something like that,” he says. “I think that’s why it’s still a little fresh... I don’t think I’d rewrite any of them... There are songs on our records where I’ve thought, ‘That verse could’ve been better, or certain verbs could have been better’ – little things that could have been better, but not a whole lot.”

music

TRANSMISSION REBOOT Frontman Tom Verlaine explains to Samson McDougall how Television’s illusion of improvisatory genius was carved through diligence and hard work rather than gifted by chemistry or destiny.

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elevision singer-songwriter-guitar player Tom Verlaine doesn’t listen to a lot of new music: “Only what people send me,” he says, “and then half of the time I don’t even get halfway through it.” But recently he was surprised by a YouTube link sent to him by Television bass player Fred Smith. The footage featured a band of teenagers covering Television’s title track from the 1977 album Marquee Moon. “What’s incredible is that it’s the best version I’ve ever heard anybody play,” Verlaine continues. “The bass player loses it a bit but the two guitar players, for being that young, play it really good. The singer is a girl, which is really strange; I don’t know what to make of the girl’s voice. But I thought, ‘Geez, these two guitar guys really got this thing down’.” The song is a behemoth: ten-plus minutes of duelling guitar parts and sparse lyrics cutting through clean instrumentation. In ’77, the album arrived in the midst of what would later be looked back on as the punk explosion; incongruous in its considered arrangements and clean tones. The cover art of the record features a Robert Mapplethorpe photograph of four spotty young men standing against a flat backdrop. The colour levels are way out of whack and this renders their faces off-white with red blotches – they look unhealthy, the four of them. “It’s ‘cause of the Xerox effect,” says Verlaine, “it makes all our faces look pock-marked and criminal too. We got the photo back and we picked the best one, and we thought, it looks a little too clean, you know? Colour Xerox machines had just become available so I took it to the copy shop and stuck it in the Xerox machine and changed the colour settings on it, which I thought, ‘Yeah, this is more striking’. It wasn’t more flattering, that’s for sure, but we never actually thought about that.” Verlaine’s been playing many of the Marquee Moon songs over the years in the various emergences of

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Television and as a solo artist, so, he says, the prospect of their Release The Bats performance of the album start-to-finish is no big deal. “As the band and as a solo artist I’ve played half of these songs since the record came out so it’s not a bunch of new stuff,” he says. “A couple of them we have to rehearse a bit more because we haven’t played them, I haven’t actually sung them, in so long – I don’t think I’ve sung Torn Curtain in 30 years. But, you know, once I figured out some of the chords it’s not a big deal... I sometimes play chords that I don’t know the names for, there were a couple that I could not find the fingerings for but I’ve got all but one figured out.” With Marquee Moon they set out to capture the energy of the band performing live. They achieved exactly this; the verve of the album ensures

The solos are individually credited on the back sleeve of Marquee Moon – an almost even split between Verlaine and Richard Lloyd. Much has been made of the double-lead guitar interplay genius of Verlaine and Lloyd, who left the band in 2007, but Verlaine plays down the guitarplaying relationship insisting that he and Jimmy Rip’s 15 years of ‘solo’ shows more than qualify the ‘newcomer’ for filling Lloyd’s spot. Verlaine puts the quality of the guitar work on the record down to careful consideration and arrangement more than any special connection between he and Lloyd – it was no happy accident or blind luck. “So much of what’s written about the band is total baloney,” Verlaine says of the guitarists’ famed chemistry. “Lloyd himself has often said that [I] showed [him] a lot of what to play, maybe as much as 80 per cent or more. I would never show him solos, but I would show him a part. And generally I would go to rehearsal, because I don’t like to rehearse a lot, with parts made up, even in the ‘70s, and I would say, ‘Let’s try this’, and it would go from there. Sometimes the parts would be instantly

“SO MUCH OF WHAT’S WRITTEN ABOUT THE BAND IS TOTAL BALONEY.” good, sometimes we would change things and sometimes we would forget about them. So things are not so spontaneous as people seem to think. “It’s very, very simple arrangements for two instruments. A lot of the stuff I played on piano, the left-hand part became Richard and the righthand part became me, then we would tweak it – change it, take notes out of it, change rhythms... There was very much a sense of arrangement. It’s not like walking into a rehearsal room and having some magical song appear because the two guitars gelled so instantly. It was very, very arranged, you might say – it was thoughtful.” WHAT: Release The Bats WHEN & WHERE: 26 Oct, Westgate Centre & Grand Star Reception


THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 39


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reviews

This week: trying to stop a covert alien invasion of America in the ‘60s in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, the early Oscar buzz for Cate Blanchett is justified in Blue Jasmine and Arctic Monkeys add a few feathers to their cap in AM.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

VIOLENT SOHO

TRACK LISTING 1. Dope Calypso 2. Lowbrow 3. Covered In Chrome 4. Saramona Said 5. In The Aisle

Hungry Ghost

I Oh You/Liberation

Brisbane four-piece Violent Soho have come out with all guns blazing on Hungry Ghost – their first album in three years and first of all-new material in five – not so much reinventing themselves, rather completely redefining what they’re capable of. All the old traits remain, but they’ve added a refined nuance and subtlety to their armoury – abetting rather than replacing their trademark precision riffage and intensity – along with an amplification of their innate ability to conjure memorable hooks and melodies, both of which saturate these 11 tracks.

HHHH½ 6. OK Cathedral 7. Fur Eyes 8. Liars 9. Eightfold 10. Hungry Ghost

This substantial shift seems like a natural progression rather than a roll of the dice – testament to the blooming songwriting prowess of frontman Luke Boerdam – and the band tie it together with effortless cohesion, while producer Bryce Moorhead lets it all manifest perfectly. The obvious harbingers of change include nihilistic slacker manifesto, Dope Calypso, cruisy change-up Saramona Said, the guitar bends and layers of centrepiece, OK Cathedral, the pop sensibilities of the gorgeous Fur Eyes and the epic, fluid title track to finish, but every song brings something of note to the kief-covered table. There are harmonies, vocal tricks, eclectic arrangements and a pervading sense of relaxed confidence, and though their influences occasionally bubble to the surface, who and what these tracks may sound like is redundant compared to their unabashed vitality. A band once seen by some as a onetrick pony is now undeniably the complete package. World class. Steve Bell

THE MUSIC • 4th september 2013 • 41


album reviews

GOLDFRAPP

ARCTIC MONKEYS

Tales Of Us

AM

EMI/Mute Those approaching Goldfrapp’s sixth record anticipating a comeback of the sex-drenched throb of albums Black Cherry or Supernature, or the outright dance of Head First, should probably go elsewhere. However, the fans of the English duo’s stunning debut Felt Mountain or even arguably their finest album Seventh Tree should come on in and marvel at the Goldfrapp that many fell in love with in the first place, the dream-pop merchants, if you will, that influenced the likes of Bat For Lashes and beyond. Tales Of Us brings back the uber-chilled vibe of old. Lush strings, funeral-paced arrangements and Vangelisesque, barely-there percussion are all present, but all provide only the backdrop of sorts for Alison Goldfrapp’s sublime vocal. Here she seems fuelled simultaneously with desire and regret, while her lyrical themes are often left of centre.

Domino/EMI

★★★★ On Annabel, for example, she sings of a girl trapped inside a boy’s body while Simone seems to be about finding her daughter in bed with her lover. Goldfrapp’s new jam is far from a jam, instead it is that triumphant return to the ethereal beauty of old. Abound with orchestral manoeuvres and void of anything remotely ‘radio’, Tales Of Us certainly isn’t a record to be split up and begs to be heard as a whole. In its entirety, it plays out beautifully with a majestic and cinematic aesthetic that beckons more. Goldfrapp truly are the musical gift that just keeps on giving. Ben Preece

NEKO CASE

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smoothly into jaunty keys and mid-tempo drums, striking that all important tension between eager and mysterious. Backing vocals are another welcome addition, like the falsetto breakdown on Knee Socks or ‘whoa whoa’s on the slow-burn One For The Road. Arctic Monkeys seemed to function on only two speeds: breakneck fast thrashing or down tempo middling, but on AM they have by and large conquered that. There’s endless charisma right through to the final torch song I Wanna Be Yours, and you can practically see Turner’s sly grin when he suggests wanting to be “your Ford Cortina, I will never rust”. Sevana Ohandjanian

Dirty Pop Fantasy Valve Records

Anti-/Warner

Early on, Night Still Comes hints at her country music early years while Man is pure guitar pop that would fit in on any New Pornographers album. It’s also where contributing guitarist M Ward’s presence is most evident. There’s a lessis-more vibe to much of the album. No song is ever more elaborate, over arranged or more instrumentally layered

The stand out factors on AM are the sounds we’ve never heard on Arctic Monkeys records before. It’s a reassuringly vibrant jolt to the system when, for the first time in their discography, piano melodies open up Snap Out Of It. The best part is that it all works; Turner’s trademark tongue-twisters blend

★★★★

REGURGITATOR

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You It could be a conscious desire to eventually tackle every style and genre music has to offer. Or it could just be a short attention span. Whatever it is, Neko Case seems determined to never be pinned down. From country, to pop to alt. super-group The New Pornographers, Case has proven herself up for any musical challenge. And she tackles more than one here.

There are some things that are quintessentially Arctic Monkeys: Alex Turner’s Sheffieldian brogue, verbose lyricism that’s part allusion, part narrative. Since Humbug it felt as if they were stuck in a musical rut, focused on changing direction but wandering aimlessly. AM is transformative in that regard – a sharp, clever record that thumps around one’s brain with authority. Unassumingly catchy with moody sensuality oozing, AM charts the uncertainty of new romance, from the thrilling tension of mutual attraction in Do I Wanna Know? and the obvious question of R U Mine?

★★★½ than it needs to be. When nothing more than an acoustic guitar and Case’s beautiful voice get the job done, we get I’m From Nowhere. Give Case a deep drone and the sound of water droplets, and she’ll give you the first half of Where Did I Leave That Fire. Nearly Midnight Honolulu dispatches the need for instruments altogether with gorgeous a cappella harmonies. Slow and contemplative, fast and fun, quiet and brooding, The Worse Things Get… is an eclectic mix that could have spun out of control. But when reined in by Neko Case, it’s an eclectic trip well worth taking. Pete Laurie

When not out and out embracing the poppiest of pop music, the ‘Gurge has always had a knack for hiding catchy pop songs under distorted guitars, dark lyrics and the odd sprinkling of hardcore hip hop. With their latest, Regurgitator try to have it both ways. While a lot of Dirty Pop Fantasy sounds like it could be Unit: Part 2, the rest sounds like the more modern-day incarnation of Quan Yeomans and Ben Ely, heard on 2011’s SuperHappyFunTimesFriends and 2007’s Love And Paranoia. With only five of its 19 tracks breaking the three-minute barrier, Dirty Pop Fantasy never messes around in getting to the point. Mountains sees Yeomans doing his best Ian Curtis impression. So Tuff is 60 seconds of the kind of Ely simple punk rock every Regurgitator album needs, while Answering Machine is all acoustic finger-picking and almost whispered vocals with a hint of Simon & Garfunkel.

★★★½ Is the album title Regurgitator’s almost apologetic confession to indulging completely in their own retro, dirty pop weaknesses? Or is it a declaration that they know it’s dirty, they know it’s totally indulgent, and they just don’t care? The ‘Gurge made it through the ‘90s alt-Oz boom. They made it through fleeting mainstream success. They made it through wilderness years and performance art. These days, I think the band, and Dirty Pop Fantasy, can both be summed up best by album standout, We Love You!, with Yeomans declaring, “We know what you want, but we’re not gonna give it to you, ‘coz that would be easy.” Pete Laurie


album reviews

★★★★

★★★

★★★★

★★★★ ½

THE CACTUS CHANNEL

TONIGHT ALIVE

LITTLE SCOUT

LONDON GRAMMAR

HopeStreet Recordings

Sony

Independent/MGM

Dew Process/Universal

The songs on The Cactus Channel’s Wooden Boy, not unlike its predecessor, Haptics, have been crafted with coolness firmly in mind, yet there’s no egostroking, just quality songwriting.

There’s no denying this Sydney five-piece have matured tenfold since they exploded onto the pop punk scene in 2008, and this resonates throughout The Other Side.

There’s a distinct ‘70s flavour permeating the musicality of this release, from the sparing guitar work and drums to the melodic horns that underpin everything, making it hard not to drift off in a reverie filled with New York mean street clichés right from album opener, Who Is Walt Druce.

Delivered with the distinct, breathy yearning of vocalist Hannah Reid, London Grammar’s debut exhibits a similar level of intrigue, designed detachment and late-night charm that captured hearts on The xx’s first record.

How they’ve managed this at such a tender age is anyone’s guess, but they’ve done it again.

While maintaining the playful vibe from their 2011 debut record, this record, in particular single Lonely Girl, is emotionally charged with a unique darkness. From the first line of opener The Ocean, vocalist Jenna McDougall is on a mission to ensure this record doesn’t go by unnoticed. Tonight Alive’s debut welcomed a fresheyed bunch of teens into their careers, and with this release, they are one step closer to defining it.

Glenn Waller

Daniel Cribb

The so-called ‘sophomore slump’ is a beast that traps many a promising band, but not Little Scout. On Are You Life, the follow-up to 2011’s debut, Take Your Light, the Brisbane quartet display a maturity and refinement that sees the expected level of sugar-and-spicery juxtaposed against a pervasive, darkened edge, ethereal atmospheric touches and an underlying compositional profundity and ambition that rewards repeat, intimate listens. The minimalistic We Used To Know is a standout but, then, the entire album is a shining testament to the strength of Brisbane’s music scene beyond post-adolescent dance-pop. Treat yo’self.

Wooden Boy

The Other Side

Are You Life

If You Wait

Perfectly titled, it doesn’t give it all up on the first date, electing instead to tantalise with the new love flirtations of Stay Awake, the bright, clean tones of ripe-forremixing Metal & Dust and the depth of conflicting guitar and piano minimalism on Wasting My Young Years. Musical restraint has never sounded hotter. Tyler McLoughlan

Mitch Knox

★★★★

NANCY VANDAL

Flogging A Dead Phoenix Erotic Volcano Records Australia’s premier ska punk rock’n’rollers are back with their first full-length since 1999. With song titles like Hot Pants Nation and King Kong Bundy’s Ponzi Scheme, it’s clear what we’re in for; thankfully these veteran rockers have the musical chops to back up the laughs. At a click under 30 minutes, the record never outstays its welcome or lets you sit still. Crunchy riffs, booming sax and genuinely funny, irreverent lyrics drip from every pore on this record. Whether a fond farewell or welcome return, we’re lucky to have this hard-arse rocker. Andrew McDonald

★★★★

SUMMER FLAKE

SUPERCHUNK

Rice Is Nice

Merge/Inertia

Stephanie Crase has spent her fair share keeping time for Batrider, but as Summer Flake she steps out from behind the drums and shows her ingenuity at creating slow-burning guitar pop jams awash with wistful chagrin and weary acceptance.

The second album of Chapel Hill indie rock legends Superchunk’s comeback recording phase – tenth overall – finds them ploughing similar furrows but with a vitality that belies their vintage, maintaining that great knack of emoting without coming off emo.

You Can Have It All

The haunting Die Trying is buoyed by a frantic guitar implosion, whilst the squalling breakdown on Just Fine stirs the emotions. Crase’s vocals are soft, worn, yet defiant – and on songs like Blue and Naked Or Nude, she shows a canny familiarity around pop conventions too. Crase really can have it all. Brendan Telford

★★★★

★★★★ ½

I Hate Music

Contains a diverse array – cruisy, laidback numbers (Low F, Out Of The Sun, highlight Trees Of Barcelona), thrashy (Staying Home), angular and anthemic (FOH, Me + You + Jackie Mitoo) – all bristling with their typical hyperkinetic fashion. Catchy melodies and hooks aplenty, but still plenty jagged – at the top end of their excellent canon. Steve Bell

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE Yes, It’s True Create/Control On The Polyphonic Spree’s fifth album, Tim DeLaughter and co have once again composed 11 tracks of over-joyous bliss. Opener and current single, You Don’t Know Me, is pure oldschool TPS, harmonies galore and sublime instrumentation. There’s something quite amazing that happens when listening to TPS albums – an overriding sense of positivity and personal affirmation washes through you and Yes, It’s True is no different. This album is the perfect companion to see in Spring and as you Raise Your Head to the sky, revel in what’s truly this year’s feelgood hit of the summer. James Dawson

THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 43


singles/eps

★★★★

SEEKAE

Another Future Classic Muted synth pads get sharper, shorter, blooming gradually under Alex Cameron’s falsetto. Beats push you around and a lush orchestral end provides the KO.

RICKI-LEE

Come & Get In Trouble With Me EMI Unremarkable disco-pop. Might just end up on a promo for a TV network where actors/presenters try to show how fun they are.

SUPER BEST FRIENDS Round And Round Independent A timely comment on the circular Human Centipede that is the relationship between media and politics, perfectly complemented by a bizarre video starring our nation’s pollies. Kicks ass.

FAIRCHILD

LUCAS PAINE

Vitalic Noise

Independent

Independent

This production trio from Nashville present a slick, synth-laden, self-titled debut release. Basecamp is a chilledout, rewarding exercise in R&B-infused electronica. The combination of a smooth, expressive voice reminiscent of Gnarls Barkley with the minimalist vibe of James Blake results in an entrancing, cohesive release. Opener Emmanuel is a particularly silky track. The lengthy song gradually builds to a satisfying and dramatic crescendo while the songs that follow possess a more understated air. If soulful, urban dance grooves are your thing, then this EP is definitely worth checking out.

The debut release from this Queensland-based, indie-pop outfit (since they renamed themselves as Fairchild earlier this year) comprises three well-crafted tracks that could be described as a gentler Glass Towers. Notable for its high-quality production, these upbeat synth-pop melodies are overlaid with Adam Lyons’ smooth, tuneful vocals. Single Dancer takes a calmer approach, its darker, electro-pop elements paired with a somewhat haunting vocal line, which builds toward an energetic, full-sounding chorus. Positively influenced by that nostalgic, dance-pop sound, Fairchild will be a winner for fans of the revamped, repolished ‘80s revival movement.

This earthy, alt.country singersongwriter’s excellent new stripped-back release is steeped in the sound of America’s South. Sally Away is a jangly, melancholic opener with gothic elements that set the tone for a raw and slightly mournful collection. Listening to the EP, you could easily imagine Paine plucking away in an old barn, or a haystack, on the side of a highway. It’s familiar and comforting while conveying some world-weariness, but it’s certainly not stale. Chasing Winter also features some beautiful slide guitar. Paine and his band The Cutting List play Northcote’s Uniting Church Chapel on 20 Sep.

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

AVRIL LAVIGNE Rock N Roll

Epic Records/Sony Unapologetic pop rock that harks back to Avril’s glory days. Watch the amazing, self-aware, over-the-top video reminiscent of Tarantino’s Death Proof.

HAVANA BROWN Flashing Lights

Island Records/Universal A cross between Modjo’s Lady (Hear Me Tonight), Daft Punk disco and Kylie Minogue circa Spinning Around, yet somehow it lacks all the star quality. Stephanie Liew 44 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Fairchild

Basecamp

★★★½

Streets Of Your Town Changes so little of The Go-Betweens classic you’ll wonder why they even bothered.

★★★★

BASECAMP

WE ALL WANT TO +1 Records

★★★½

MOUSTACHE Moustache Independent Singer-songwriter Stacy Gougoulis (aka Moustache)’s self-titled EP is a gentle indiefolk offering that at times has a definite Belle & Sebastian feel. The record patters by delicately, serving as uplifting and reflective background music while occasionally drifting aimlessly. Though Moustache is whimsical and wandering in both his lyrical content and vocal style, the EP’s instrumental sections really shine through, such as those in Carpé: a twinkling track with oriental influences. Meanwhile Bouzouki features Gougoulis’ skills on said instrument, giving the song an exotic and unusual feel that’s sure to put you in a tranquil, hazy mood. Stephanie Tell

Chasing Winter

★★★★

★★½

NAYSAYER & GILSUN

WAYWARD SMITH

All That Good Work/ Blue Club Mod/Modular

Bleeding Gold Independent

This adventurous offering should serve to solidify this duo’s place within the local club scene. Those used to their visual-heavy live show, which mashes-up catchy beats with movie sound bites, might struggle to divorce this element from the music itself. However this EP proves itself to be a great listening on its own, without relying on that “I love this movie!” factor. This is especially apparent in EP closer Blue (Eliphino Remix). This ‘90s-influenced techno remix puts a stronger emphasis on melody over bass and shies away from a modern tendency towards dubstep. They’re playing on 27 Sep at The Hi-Fi.

Lively opener Highway, without a doubt the highlight of this release, is a shimmering indie-pop song. Singer Eloise Mitchell’s high, pretty voice would be perfect for a standalone folk artist, or even a pop songstress. However it’s a delicate instrument that could be reined in occasionally since it borders on whiny in Reruns. Bleeding Gold spans genres quite starkly, moving from an understated piano sound to the edgier, guitarheavy Push Me Away. Though the EP suffers from its lack of cohesion, it certainly demonstrates this band’s versatility. Wayward Smith play 19 Oct at Retreat Hotel.

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell


live reviews

THE BOMBAY ROYALE, THE BLUEBOTTLES Howler: 31 Aug It’s a balmy Saturday evening and even though tonight’s gig is sold out and the remainder of Howler is packed to the brim, the bandroom is surprisingly underpopulated as local quartet, The Bluebottles, rock out their brand of mid-century instrumental rock. Their mix of covers (including such classics as Walk, Don’t Run) and originals is perfect for getting the crowd in the mood for what lies ahead, with a particularly enthusiastic handful making use of the empty

At one point, singer Shourov Bhattacharya (aka The Tiger) informs us that while on tour they are constantly asked what sort of band they are, to which he replies: “I don’t know – inspired by vintage Bollywood, but cutting our own path.” It’s a highly accurate description, given that other than the obvious Bollywood-music influence, there appear to be elements (at times and to varying degrees) of ska, mariachi and surf music. It’s a giant melting pot of sounds and the divine vocals of Bhattacharya and Parvyn Kaur Singh (aka The Mysterious Lady) are a joy to listen to. Almost all of the audience are dancing in one way or another (some a little more fervently than others), with more than one person trying out their take

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space by dancing like no one is watching. The close-to-stifling heat makes it difficult to get comfortable, but the atmosphere is definitely one of happiness. Having only recently returned from a five-week tour that saw them grace the Glastonbury stage, among others, The Bombay Royale announce their impending presence without words thanks to their giant inflatable elephant coming through the door. By the time this much-loved 11-piece take to the stage, the room is packed, not to mention boiling, and the crowd are thrilled to help welcome them home. As if it isn’t enough that there are 11 bodies onstage, they utilise the movie screen-esque backdrop with a mixture of snippets from Bollywood movies, as well as their own images, creating visual sensory overload.

tracks written by The Fauves’ own Phil ‘Doctor’ Leonard. Treading a fine line between humour and in-joking, the four lads exit the stage having played a loose set, whetting the appetites of those present, hungry to witness Andrew Cox (Coxy) and friends in all their dry-witted glory. The Fauves take to the stage with minimal fanfare, curtains revealing a white-suited, redtied Coxy, standing out like dog’s balls among his more casually garbed, long-time bandmates. Having promised to revisit their extensive back catalogue, the boys launch into Skateboard World Record from their successful Future Spa LP. Keen to please fans by playing “at least one thing off all of our 11 albums”, Coxy

JAPANDROIDS @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: KANE HIBBERD

on Bollywood dance moves. The Bombay Royale are not just paying lip service to Bollywood – there is a real beauty in what they’re doing and they pay homage to this highly infectious world in a wonderful way. For pure entertainment value, they are rivaled by a few, but it’s nice to see there is quality in there too. Dominique Wall

THE FAUVES, DOCTOR’S ORDERS Corner Hotel: 31 Aug Comprising half of Dancing Heals (who warmed this same stage in support of Ash, recently), Doctor’s Orders play

is in full effect now, with no one safe from their acerbic sledging (especially themselves). A multitude of embarrassing promotional photos fly by in quick succession, including a high-waisted, middle-of-the road photo from the ‘90s that Coxy describes as having been taken during their “Rivers years”. Self-deprecatory news clippings and rejection letters from EMI follow, as does a lengthy list of backstage rider requirements the band thought they would try to push their luck with, only to have it returned in one instance with all requests denied (barring flat mineral water). This second act of the night done and dusted, the music returns with Give Up Your Day Job. A top ten of fan-voted hits follows, counting down from

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laments that their first album is “largely unlistenable and largely unplayable”. “So apologies for this next one, it’s not a great song, frankly,” he adds. The Fauves then crank out the first single they released on a major label, Thin Body Thin Body. It’s worth the price of admission alone to watch the laidback chemistry and goldlittered banter between Fauves members, and after the first part of the show finishes, the band gets the opportunity to satisfy their comedic yearnings with a PowerPoint presentation charting the band’s history. Describing their humble beginnings as a young Melbourne band full of beans who started out under the moniker Coxy’s Band (much to the chagrin of the other band members), The Fauves’ passion for piss-taking

Understanding Kyuss at number ten. The list almost solely comprises material from fanfavourite ‘90s LPs Future Spa (five tracks) and follow-up Lazy Highways (four). The top three songs are The Charles Atlas Way, Dogs Are The Best People and, not surprisingly, Self Abuser. It’s great to hear these tracks in the live arena played by this shameless bunch of Aussie larrikins. Glenn Waller

JAPANDROIDS, DRUNK MUMS Corner Hotel: 28 Aug Melbourne’s hard-rocking five-piece Drunk Mums open the bill this evening minus one band member. Apparently this is something the group THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 45


live reviews are famous for and when the latecomer eventually appears onstage he blames commuting from Footscray. This high-octane outfit play hairy, Aussie punk rock, often shouting in unison throughout their performance. Their set consists of ballsy, no-nonsense tunes about topics as classy as “Adam [Ritchie, bass] puking his guts out”. Subject matter aside, this band impress with clear mastery of their instruments and frequently alternate between three vocalists, each demonstrating vastly different vocal styles. Bouncy and potentially anaemic tambourine/maracas player Isaac Forsyth is an entertaining addition to the group. He wavers between wild moshing, exhausted puffing and aggressively staring down

challenge. The Canada-based duo treads that middle ground between straight-edged punk and indie rock to great effect and their set is split evenly to include material from both of their albums. However, hit songs The Nights Of Wine And Roses and Evil Sway, performed in a tight and rigorous fashion, receive the biggest crowd reactions. King sets his guitar tone and distortion at the beginning of each song and generally makes no adjustment throughout. Without a bass player, there’s a lack of dynamics and each song has a samey feel. While Japandroids lack that extra edge that defines a truly exceptional live rock band, they make up for this in charm. King and drummer David Prowse exert massive amounts of

DOCTOR’S ORDERS @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: MATT ALLAN

the crowd while slapping his tambourine roughly against his thigh. All of these things make Forsyth thoroughly enjoyable to behold. The Mums round off their set with the melodic, ragged garage tune Big Titty Trippin’, but when this song’s vocalist, Dean Whitby, realises there’s still ten minutes to go, he announces, “Fuck! I’m going nowhere. Who wants to hear some Paul Kelly or Cat Stevens?” Unfortunately, the band walk unceremoniously off stage shortly after this comment. Tonight is Japandroids’ first Melbourne show, but the second to go on sale. It’s utterly packed with fans, excited grins plastered on their faces from the get-go. Frontman Brian King informs us that his recent show in Adelaide was one of their best and is the one to match, which leaves the crowd eager to rise to the 46 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

support act Max Sharam. Her make-up is poorly applied (channelling Gaga’s current look?) and those baggy, fleshtoned stockings with an abundance of glitter do her no favours. As for that red, twinpeaked headpiece: Madonna called and she wants her Blond Ambition World Tour-era conebra back. After introducing a song that she says is “for girls, primarily”, a heckler yells out, “NO SHIT!” to Sharam. It’s not going well and we only got here early thinking Sharam’s Coma single was that masterpiece of the same name by the OG Pendulum (not the Australian/ British drum’n’bass group). Returning to Australia to mark the 30th anniversary of her barnstorming She’s So Unusual debut by performing the album

THE FAUVES @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: MATT ALLAN

physical and emotional energy onstage. The pair make a serious effort to get over their obvious fatigue and it’s a delight to watch them take real pleasure in interacting with the crowd. Stephanie Tell

CYNDI LAUPER, MAX SHARAM Palais Theatre: 29 Aug There are a lot of ‘units’ in attendance tonight: brightly coloured feathers in feral, hair mascara-streaked locks, The Goonies t-shirts and rah-rah skirts. My plus one declares, “Well Cyndi is the OG unit!” She has a point. Our peoplewatching is interrupted by

Carol Burnett show.” She’s not just funny, Lauper’s banter is guffaw worthy and she probably speaks more than she sings this evening. “After I won the Tony [2013 Best Original Score for Kinky Boots]... I thought it would be nice to do this [kind of intimate show],” Lauper shares and it really is the ideal setting in which to showcase unique talents. Of course Lauper continually references Miley Cyrus’ recent ‘Twerkgate’ and even recites some of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines lyrics with disgust (the date rape ones). We learn Lauper recorded She Bop in an isolated room while topless and tickling herself (you know that giggling bit?) and it’s these insights into her lyrics and what inspires her as an artist that make this show so

THE FAUVES @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: MATT ALLAN

in full, Cyndi Lauper is amongst the crowd from midway through The Brains cover/album opener: Money Changes Everything. Lauper’s flaming red Medusa dreads are seen bobbing about as she careens in front of the front row. Her designer black leather corset ensemble is not something you’d encourage many 60-year-olds to get about in, but Lauper looks terrific. This music demands two keyboard players, one of whom is the spitting image of Kath & Kim character Kath Day-Knightish behaviour. When said keyboardist removes some wrist bling after a couple of songs, it’s very Day-Knight. Girls Just Want To Have Fun emphasises how much Hayley Mary from The Jezabels wishes she were Lauper. “You gotta understand,” Lauper implores in her Queens, New York drawl, “this isn’t really The

CYNDI LAUPER @ PIC: HOLLY E

memorable. She performs All Through The Night holding a single strip light up to her face and then exchanges this for a hand-held mirror ball for the second half of the song – there are a lot of grand gestures in Lauper’s show and her “mad Sicilian dance” is quality. Lauper’s sassy, rambunctious persona is tremendous, but her ballads break collective hearts. Just when we thought Time After Time was exquisite, Lauper closes her encore with True Colours. Demonstrating pure talent and the responsibility she feels to stay true to herself as an artist, while encouraging us all to be courageous enough to fly our freak flags, Lauper is “beautiful like a rainbow”. Our tear ducts have been well exercised. Bryget Chrisfield


live reviews

BLOODS, MAJOR LEAGUES, RITCHIE 1250 & THE BRIDES OF CHRIST Workers Club: 30 Aug Openers for the evening, retro-pop outfit Ritchie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ once again demonstrate their utter dedication to showmanship. Ritchie 1250 is indisputably one of the quirkiest and most endearing frontmen around, highlighted by his comical demands to his bandmates of

PALAIS THEATRE. ENGELHARDT

for new fans, there are no CDs available at the merch desk. This is surely an oversight considering this show is partly to launch their single Endless Drain; a hazy, anthemic summer tune with some brilliant horror undertones. Tonight’s headliners Bloods’ brand of twee garage-punk is like brown sugar, in equal parts sweet and gritty. The Sydneysiders have evidently developed a keen Melbourne following with this formula, much to the girls’ joy and astonishment. The two frontwomen are instantly likeable – you can’t help but wish you had friends like them to emulate throughout high school. Tonight is the launch show for Bloods’ new EP and the trio play Golden Fang in its entirety for the second portion of their

CYNDI LAUPER @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: HOLLY ENGELHARDT

“Cheaper! Cheaper!” during their cover of Sex Crazy Cop by Leoncie (a total MILF, apparently). Other delightful characteristics include Ritchie 1250’s charming lisp, a token mid-show costume change and an attempted backwards somersault. Next up, Brisbane outfit Major Leagues nod to Pavement in both name and nature through their fuzzy, garage-pop tunes, which they combine with understated, breezy vocals. They cover Splendora’s You’re Standing On My Neck, the famous theme song for cult ‘90s TV show Daria, and it’s solidly performed. Though it’s certainly a hit with the crowd, the band encapsulate that affected, grungy aesthetic to stereotypical proportions. However, Major League’s overall set is a captivating, dreamy performance. Unfortunately

strength and growing popularity of Bloods’ sparkling take on scrappy, girl-driven punk. Stephanie Tell

UNDERGROUND LOVERS, ALPHA BETA FOX Northcote Social Club: 31 Aug Indebted to ‘90s British bands, Adelaide’s Alpha Beta Fox are a perfect choice as support for tonight’s show. The five-piece pull together the best parts of Lush, St Etienne and brighter moments of mid-‘80s The Cure. Alpha Beta Fox boast the dual

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set. The last three of these songs – Back To You, Hailing Down and Language – put less emphasis on that fast-paced dynamic of their earlier tunes, instead foregrounding strong vocal harmonies. Both female singers have matching voices in the vein of ‘90s cult idol Rose Melberg. Warm and expressive, they carry the melody effortlessly throughout their songs. This, plus the addictive bass hook in Language especially indicate the band’s ability to craft a feverishly catchy pop tune. Though the crowd give an enthusiastic reception after each song, it’s only Twentysomething actor Josh Schmidt and a few friends up front whose excited dancing truly mirrors the fun, high intensity of the trio’s performance. However, the positive turn-out and reception undoubtedly indicate the

vocal talents of Tanya Giobbi and Rebecca Burge Versteegh and, of course, churning, chiming guitars. Far from being copyists however, ABF also use Theremin, inspired fizzing synth and a bird whistle to create their genuinely unusual sound. Opening song Lady Don’t Ride instantly announces them as one of the boldest and brightest discoveries so far this year, and the crowd are audibly impressed from the outset. Songs veer from swoon-worthy to writhing with their lovely j play-garnering buzz single Pins & Needles far from their strongest effort tonight. The odd lazy lyric aside, this is a band to watch. Tonight’s sold-out crowd is mostly dressed in flattering black and aged northward of 40. Underground Lovers wander on and proceed to do what they do best: play garage rock

for hovercrafts. The Stereolablike brilliance of I Was Right with its mantra, “And the way it begins/Is the way that it ends/I was right,” gets us all on side. Singer Philippa Nihill paces the stage as if she’s nervous, but sings like she owns it. Glenn Bennie’s inspired-yet-unflashy guitar work is a well-known national treasure, but hearing him at full bore and on form, as he is tonight, is a revelation. Songs as good as those on their recently released Weekend album can only come from years of experience and the balance they achieve between intelligent aggression and mellifluous texture is uniquely their own. There is no fading out here; the consistency and sheer talent is as vital as it was when they were ARIA Award-winning triple j

CYNDI LAUPER @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: HOLLY ENGELHARDT

fixtures. It’s these newer songs that get cheers of recognition and bond the crowd just as much as the incendiary brilliance of Beautiful World and Leaves Me Blind. As warmly as we respond, the band seems even happier. “We don’t do banter,” singer Vincent Giarrusso lies joyfully. Melbourne music mainstay Julian Wu jumps up on stage to spruik the Haunted (Acedia) single the band launch tonight (a split single with Chinese band Dear Eloise). Can For Now, In Silhouette and their new single are stunning and, as we change our calendar pages over into September, Underground Lovers’ excoriating encore of 1992’s Eastside Stories leaves us wholly sold that this enduring team have a lot more to give. Andy Hazel THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 47


arts reviews

THE CONFIDENCE MAN Theatre

Arts House (finished) The Confidence Man, created by Perth’s Side Pony Productions, sits just on the cusp of being a phenomenal independent theatre show. Basically, it’s an immersive crime thriller in which six audience members are enlisted to act. Everyone – these ‘actors’ and their audience – wears headphones, which play prerecorded monologues, dialogue, stage directions and background music for each character. Each audience member controls which character’s audio channel they listen to and when. A house floor plan is marked out in the large space. It’s furnished but without walls, so that from wherever you sit on the edge of the central playing area you have a good view. A simple thriller narrative develops and eventually weaves the stories of all six characters together. It’s a real moment of

BLUE JASMINE

delight to realise you’re listening to one character while other audience members are listening to the simultaneously lived journey of another. The voice tracks are beautifully acted and there’s a bit of Jane Austen about the writing, which gets surprisingly and pleasingly lyrical at times. Writer Zoe Pepper shows great versatility, working assuredly between tight and dramatic narrative revelation, compellingly realistic dialogue, internal monologue and whimsy. While a second act and a lift in the stakes would have made this show next level, The Confidence Man is an adorable, engaging and technically impressive piece. Simon Eales 48 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

BLUE JASMINE Film

In cinemas 12 Sep Woody Allen’s latest film sees wealthy socialite Jasmine Francis (Cate Blanchett) being forced to move in with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) after her husband (Alec Baldwin) is exposed as a criminal and she loses everything. Blanchett absolutely steals the show as a woman in mid-flail who never needed to figure out what she wanted to be, until now. As insufferable as Jasmine can be, watching her try to maintain composure while the cracks are so evidently widening causes you to feel for her – a testament to Blanchett’s acting. Flashbacks seamlessly edited into the film highlight the contrast between Jasmine’s previously ‘perfect’ life, its unravelling and her less than ideal current situation. This is done cleverly, treated as Jasmine’s own triggered flashbacks, as when we jump back to present day we can see Jasmine traumatised by her memories. There are some amusing appearances by Louis

shortcomings – a weak ending and awkward pacing at times – it is carried by fully-formed, layered protagonists and is ultimately a fascinating character study.

around Murdoch’s influence on the coming Australian election, Rupert is an extremely timely and telling performance.

Steph Liew

Theatre

PRIVATE DANCES

MTC, Arts Centre Playhouse to 28 Sep

Northcote Town Hall

RUPERT “Is it cold in here or is it just Rupert?” a woman in front of me asked at the end of David Williamson’s new bio-play on the most powerful media magnate of all time. While Williamsons’ historical exposition on Murdoch’s rise from the inheritor of an ailing Adelaide newspaper to the head of the world’s largest media empire is an extremely entertaining and slick production, it doesn’t elucidate any hidden soft side to the man, or any concrete psychological insights to his motivations. Ironically, considering it’s narrated by the mogul himself (played masterfully by Sean O’Shea) there’s also none of the Murdoch press’s

CONFIDENCE MAN

CK and Peter Sarsgaard, but the dynamic between Jasmine and Ginger is the most captivating relationship; Ginger constantly wants approval from her sister, who is vocal about what she thinks of Ginger’s grocery store job, living conditions and ‘loser’ boyfriends. Hawkins wonderfully portrays a perfectly capable woman who feels incompetent around her sister, even though she’s the one with her life on track in comparison. We have an abundance of films exploring the failures, uncertainties and existential/identity crises of 20-somethings, so it’s interesting to see it from the perspective of a middle-aged woman. While on the whole Blue Jasmine has some

trademark titillation. There’s not a paedophilic B-grade celebrity in an auto-erotic death orgy in sight or even a hint to Wendi and Tony Blair. This is quickly picked up by our narrator Rupert who says that while “his family is in the play, they’re not the focus. It’s about me.” Williamson’s use of current day Rupert as narrator is a masterstroke – a cheeky device that plays on his control-freak nature and pays dividends in terms of humour and progressing the plot at breakneck speed. Director Lee Lewis works her actors harder than a newsroom on election night to great effect. There’s not a dull patch in the whole two and half hours. With all the froth

Rebecca Cook

Dance

In the spirit of Fringe hangouts and experimental theatre, the audience at Private Dances is presented with a jumble of live vignettes and videos, delivered in tents, vans and cloak rooms, and screened on iMacs and iPads. There is no guarantee you will see everything (in fact it’s most likely you will not) but that’s hardly the point. The small spaces, short pieces and necessarily tiny audiences allow for an unusual closeness. Sitting in the van with Tyler Hawkins and Elise Drinkwater while they ‘go off ’ to Benny Benassi or chatting with Appiah Annan after his sweaty and muscular piece, Bawa, doesn’t just break the fourth wall, it

RUPERT

does away with walls altogether. Meanwhile, screen pieces like the elegant punning of The Palindromist or the animated burlesque of Deborah Kelly’s Beastliness are YouTube-length splashes of abstraction, providing counterpoint to the intimate, immediate affairs elsewhere. Private Dances is a deft reworking of the variety show concept, and it even manages to stay on the right side of damn cool. Paul Ransom


games from Metroid, you’re treated to an arsenal of abilities and weapons that must be incrementally acquired throughout your descent. SteamWorld Dig made me feel like a real cave explorer. As I burrowed my way through the crust of the earth, claustrophobia set in. My light started to dwindle and apprehension of unseen monsters emerged. This is where SteamWorld is at its strongest.

★★★½

STEAMWORLD DIG Image & Form Nintendo 3DS Ever dreamed of working the mines, but can’t be bothered going FIFO? Welp, with Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig, you can try your hand at it. SteamWorld starts you in a town populated by robots; you play as robot called Rusty, who arrives in search of a mine shaft owned by his uncle. Taking influence

★★★★½

GONE HOME The Fullbright Company PC/Mac

Gone Home casts you in a first person adventure as Kaitlin Greenbriar, a university student who returns from a European vacation to find her family home mysteriously empty. Kaitlin, a silent protagonist, is basically just the lens through which you witness the story of her younger sister, Samantha – the true star of Gone Home. A breadcrumb

The question of fight or flight is a constant concern, due to Rusty’s fragility. Being pursued by prehistoric beasts whilst tunneling deeper is a blast. Unfortunately, the action hits a wall around twothirds in. Chipping away at solid rock soon loses its novelty, much to the demise of your 3DS’s A button. This sequence spoils what would otherwise be a tight and slick package. Thankfully, the well-crafted ‘dungeon’ segments are compelling as are the creative labyrinths, featuring puzzles and hidden secrets. Andrew Sutton

trail of scribbles and (excellently acted) voice journals reveals Samantha to be an engaging and creative high-schooler. A tale is told via doodled sketches, chip packets kept fresh with airlock pegs, family photos and old brochures. There’s humour that seems natural, never forced. This honesty is consistent through the entire experience, and is the real source of Gone Home’s success. Her search for friendship blossoms into an affecting tale of secret and doomed love as prying parental oversight homes in on the signal, culminating in a heartrending inevitable parting. Playing Gone Home with no expectations, the idea of exploring an abandoned family home amidst a growling thunderstorm seemed sure to descend into survival horror. I was expecting bioweapon zombies and improvised weapons at every turn. Instead, I was surprised by a delicate and touching portrait of a teenager’s fight for love and identity against the fanged parental machine. There are no monsters in this game – just personal demons. Michael Pendlebury

SPACE HULK

Full Control Studios PC/Mac Space Hulk is a modified expansion of the immensely popular Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game, faithfully re-recreated for PC by indie developers Full Control Studios. Set aboard a grimdark derelict spaceship in the infamously grimdark W40K universe, it pits power-armoured Space Marines against alien Genestealers through turn-based strategy. But

★★

THE BUREAU: XCOM DECLASSIFIED 2K Games

Xbox 360/PS3/PC In The Bureau, you play as William Carter, an agent at a US military organisation (compare: The X-Files) in the ‘60s tasked with stopping the covert alien invasion of America. The Bureau’s combat gameplay is neurotic and confused: you can’t really shoot because you’re

is it fun? Well, quite frankly, no. It’s quiet, lonely and ridiculously boring – barring a brief flurry of action before you die. You enter the hulk with a predetermined squad of Space Marines to control turn by turn through a set of ironically named ‘Action’ points. Turning a Space Marine 180 degrees will cost you two of them, one-third of your total per Marine. Your task is to kill the swarmy things that swarmeth, and swarmeth they do – faster than you can react because a) it’s not your turn and b) you’re all outta action points. It’s only a matter of time before the tide of Genestealers ravage your invariably dormant soldiers: Genestealers are simply statistically much better at killing you than you are at living. In terms of single-player lastability, after failing yet another mission I watched ants on my desk discover Cheezel dust, and then realised I was having more fun watching the ants. This is a mission for stubborn, cave-dwelling nostalgists only. Simon Holland managing tactics, and you can’t really manage tactics because you’ve got to fucking shoot stuff. That your two squadmates have all the initiative of Tamagotchis doesn’t help; it’s a surprise you don’t have to literally tie their dapper shoelaces for them before battle. If they’re not wailing for support (despite the fact they’re technically your goddamn support), they’re probably unconscious and in need of reviving. Outside combat missions, there’s a loose metagame where you slog through dialogue trees to flesh out a skeletal plot (we need to get X to research Y! We need to research Y to get Z!, ad infinitum) and mooch. All this blows, because aesthetically, The Bureau is stronger than predecessor X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Set in an oppressively recreated Kennedyera apple-pie-and-flag-waving America, The Bureau has a grimmer rogue’s gallery and more consistent tone. The Bureau’s moody and effective visuals rescue an otherwise confused and unfortunately wasted opportunity. Callum Twigger THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 49


muso

NEWS

SCOTTY MOORE SIGNATURE ES-295 Gibson’s new limited edition Scotty Moore Signature gold ES-295 guitar is an exact replica of the gold ES-295 Scotty bought new in 1953. Moore was the guitarist on the Sun Studios session that brought Elvis Presley to the attention of the local Memphis producer Sam Phillips and launched the musical revolution that changed the world. The guitar’s Bullion Gold, nitrocellulose lacquer finish is created by hand-mixing the same bronze powder Gibson used on Moore’s original guitar 61 years ago. It also features the same mid-size neck shape topped with a dark, 19-fret Rosewood fingerboard and aged cellulose split trapezoid inlays. The guitar naturally includes recreations of the original “dog ear” P-90 pickups, made with two Alnico 5 bar magnets in each pickup and vintagespec coils scatter-wound with 42 AWG wire.

ALLANS BILLY HYDE ACADEMY Melbourne’s Allans Billy Hyde Academy in Bourke Street is under new management, the new operators also running The SoundLab Music School in Prahran. The Academy offers private teaching rooms on the first floor in the iconic city retail store. Lessons cater to all ages and levels, and times are flexible. To book a free, no-obligation introductory lesson call (03) 9510 4455 or email bourke.academy@ allansbillyhyde.com.au. 50 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

AMAC’S BACK! The Australian musical instrument industry gathered for the first time in three years to look at the latest music equipment at AMAC 2013. Greg Phillips reports.

F

or three whole years the Australian musical instrument industry had gone without a homegrown ‘general product range’ music trade show. The presentation of AMAC at Jupiters on the Gold Coast changed all of that when the industry came back together to work and play for three days from August 10. AMAC (Australian Music Association Convention) is not a public show, but the consequences of the deals done on the trade show floor do affect to a certain extent what your local music store will stock for the remainder of the year. The Kawai Company made a big impression at the show entrance with an array of acoustic and digital pianos. Taking pride of place was the world exclusive appearance of their ES100, a sub-$1000 digital piano with 192-note polyphony, which should be in stores in September. The walls of the KJ Music stand were full of new Hofner guitars, basses and mandolins as well as some slick-looking Wiseman saxes. Pro Music talked up the new Takamine 3 series guitars and Pro Series from Japan. There was also a whisper of Cool Tube 3 preamps coming soon. Adams percussion products out of Belgium and The Netherlands were popular with delegates on the Optimum Percussion stand. The ever-present Fender guitar company displayed their Super Sonic guitar and bass amps. Catching many a muso’s eye was an American Standard Strat featuring an unusual new colour, a metallic jade pearl. WA-based company Zenith Music showed their range of Cordoba guitars, ukes and mandolins, including a Gypsy Kings endorsee model acoustic. Interestingly, Brad Clark, who started Australian guitar company Cole Clark guitars, has

designed guitars for Cordoba and the pickup system in them is built in Dandenong. Cole Clark were there too, with their range of quality acoustic guitars and had the talented Lloyd Spiegel on hand to demo for them. Over at the Jands exhibit you could view the new GLXD wireless guitar and pedal receiver as well as their line of solid, affordable Gator cases. Rather than bring a shipload of gear, the Australis Music Group chose to promote their Christmas catalogue, featuring Ibanez, Laney, LP percussion, Aquarian and Ashton gear. Taking the opposite approach, National Music did bring the kitchen sink. The Queenslandbased company were really pumped to show off the limited edition commemorative TW10 Tanglewood acoustic featuring a Southern Cross

“TAKING THE OPPOSITE APPROACH, NATIONAL MUSIC DID BRING THE KITCHEN SINK.” inlay in the neck. Also impressive on the National stand was their big range of Crush drums out of the USA, including a superb see-through kit. Just a step to the left and you found the EMG guys, who had the ‘cool’ gear; the stuff the real aficionados sniff out at these kinds of shows. I’m talking about US-made Badcat amps and their amazing attenuator called The Leash, plus The Unleash Re-amp. Also shouting ‘buy me’ were some lovely Californian-built Voodoo Labs pedals, including the Sparkle Drive Mod and Giggity pedals. Innovative Music showed the mind-blowing Kemper amp profiling range and Novation synth gear. A walk through the back doors of the main trade show floor took you to a section housing private rooms, one inhabited by NAS, who offered the new Blackstar effects pedals, smaller versions of previous releases. Dynamic Music gave us products from Zoom, DrumCraft, Recording King, Fishman, CAD Audio, Seagull, Godin and heaps more. Next door, Roland talked up the MicroCube GX amps with iCube link, but I was more intent on stealing the new RC-505 loop station, the most userfriendly looper I’ve yet seen. The Resource Corporation displayed their solid K&M stands and Sony Digital Wireless gear, which isn’t affected by the current issue of the government selling off certain broadcast frequencies. Casio’s Paul Noble presented the PX55 stage piano and XW series as well as Privia and Selviano pianos. The most visually striking exhibit was the ULA Group’s lighting display. Marketing Manager Lenka presented SDV’s amazing colour LEDs with multi-clip technology, aimed at the club market, and the stunning Litecraft lighting gear, more suitable for rental. In the back corner of the floor Gibson were displaying their usual range of classic-looking electrics and Orange amps.


muso

REMO POWERSTROKE 3 BLACK DOT As a recording engineer and producer I’ve seen many expensive kits sound worse than a cheap one tuned well with a great set of skins. Remo recognised this and added a black dot to the Powerstroke 3 in order to still get enough attack without sacrificing low end, dynamic strokes and durability. Inspiration came from drumming legend Steve Smith, who realised the black dot created a lower fundamental note among different bass drum sizes and shell types, and according to Smith, the coated version – his personal favourite – provides even more low end than the clear head. Vinnie Colaiuta and Alex Rudinger are among Remo’s artists that have found their sound with the new Powerstroke 3 Black Dot bass heads, and the single ply of 10mm film, with a 10mm inlay ring and 5mm dot for 14” to 32” drums, makes them ideal for marching bands. Reza Nasseri

YAQIN MC-10L AMP

ZILDJIAN A SERIES CYMBALS

The 23” Sweet Ride is just a tone machine. The ride is nice and soft with an epic, deep crash, and musical-sounding bell. Next, the 21” Sweet Ride is still the top seller in its class with mellow tones and a bouncy, “poppy” bell. Moving onto brighter sounds, the 20” Medium Ride features a larger hammer mark for more colour and stick definition, with a bright “chimey” tone, a sharp crash and glassy-sounding bell. Next up, the 22” Medium Ride features smoother chime, a long,

dark crash with a lot of decay and a well-defined bell. Right now the big crashes seem to be popular so it’s easy to ride both the 19” Thin Crash and the 19” Medium Thin Crash. Both sound great and are defined in their tone. Finally, the 20” Thin Crash and the 20” Medium Thin Crash have been brought back into production sounding full with a quick response and long tone trail, so they’ll give you that perfect ‘70s Joey Kramer/Aerosmith sound. Reza Nasseri

WHARFEDALE TITAN 12D These are a decent offering from Wharfedale’s extensive selection. Twelve-inch active 300 watt speakers in an injectionmoulded chassis, these selfpowered boxes produce 300 watts of clean sound and are lightweight for ease of lifting onto stands yet rugged enough to be used as floor monitors.

This Class-A tube amp is a remodelling of the original Markhill MC-10L, which has long been a well-respected integrated audiophile tube amp. The stock item comes with EL-34B and 6n1p valves that can of course be upgraded with after-market valves to suit your preference. The sonic performance of this amp is exemplary: first class 52 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

sound staging, almost flawless tonal balance and sweet highs and a well-defined bottom end. This is a great amp for driving high-end speakers and will excel in a home set-up, but this is a seriously good amp that will equally be at home in a mastering setup – a heavy little number with some serious output.

The speakers are bi-amped, which gives great protection for highs and lows, and there are a bunch of connections for various inputs that even allow you to plug a mic directly into the back for PA work. The old Ds seemed a little more intense but when looking at the specs, you’ll notice a distinct reduction in distortion and a much more defined output from these new Ds. These would easily be at home in a church or community hall, will handle a local DJ with ease and deliver it all with clarity in a box that’s great value for money.

Barry Gilmour

Barry Gilmour


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54 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013


the guide fashion

eat

drink Answered by: Grant Gronewold How did you get together? We have known one another since our teens and one day we just started living together in a beautiful warehouse with, like, ten or so amazing friends and recorded stuff all the time. Sum up your musical sound in four words? Hot pink ectoplasm boyzzzzzzzzzzzz.

travel

If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? Arthur Russell in his disco phase. You’re being sent into space, no iPod, you can bring one album – what would it be? Please Stay – Major Napier. That album is extremely suitable for space travel. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? One time I ate a microdot of acid directly before I took the microphone to rap because I knew it would start kicking in just before I finished. The timing was perfect and the crowd became elastic, amorphous ambassadors of love as I spat the good words. Another time I met Keith Morris and I confused him for Greg Ginn. Oscar [Vincente SlorachThorn] has worn the labels off of our tape loops before from sweating too hard while he played. Why should people come and see your band? Because we work with some of the hottest dance crews living today, The Sissies & The Always Crew. And we care heaps about what we do so we do it real good. We will make you sweat. When and where for your next gig? On 6 Sep at The Gasometer Hotel with Wooshie, Outerwaves, Tincture and Two Bright Lakes DJs. Website link for more info? Facebook.com/brothershandmirror

politics

BROTHERS HAND MIRROR


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

FRONTLASH

LIVE THIS WEEK

ANOTHER GRAMME

Remember the punk-funk revival of 2003? Well, UK band Gramme helped start it, influencing everyone from LCD to Hot Chip. Now they finally drop their debut album Fascination and it’ll make you forget brostep ever happened.

EUROPEAN VACAY When introducing her Madonna choice on the Rage election special over the weekend, Julie Bishop announced, “It was being played everywhere [in the mid-‘80s] and we literally sang our way around Europe singing Like A Virgin.”

SINGLE LADIES (PUT A STICKER ON IT) Ordinarily, those My Family stickers really piss us off. That is until we recently clapped eyes on this out and proud single lady’s rear window sticker. Cheers!

MOUNTS OF MANIA

FAMILY OF ALIENS

The boundless sound of singersongwriter Ashleigh Mannix (pictured) floats somewhere in the realms of folk, rockabilly and blues fusion. Catch her perform songs off her album From The Mountains at the Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine) on 5 Sep.

Brothers Mark and Rob continue their rivalry as Snarski Vs Snarski (pictured) at the Flying Saucer Club on 7 Sep. They’ll be delving into the back catalogue of their shared band Chad’s Tree, as well as Jackson Code and Blackeyed Susans classics.

SCAMPS & TRAMPS

ROYAL WEDDING

Drifter headline the Reverence Hotel with their fuzzed out flannie-wearing mayhem on 6 Sep. They’re currently recording their new album and will test it out on innocent punters. Supports are Indian Mynah, Fluzies and The Knave.

Pop fuzz outfit Pretty City are launching their limited release cassette tape of the hypnotic song Take It Back at Ding Dong Lounge on 5 Sep. Joining them on the night will be The McQueens, The High Suburbans and Slow Dancer.

TONGAN TALES

WOODEN BAT

Having sung for Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama and the King of Tonga, Vika & Linda (pictured) are playing the Yarraville Club on 7 Sep. The sisters play a diverse range of soul, gospel, blues, country and the island music of their Tongan ancestry.

Melbourne songstress Tanya Batt (pictured) has a strong, hauntingly beautiful voice, complemented by ethereal, uplifting and melancholic music. She launches her EP Atlas at The Toff In Town on 4 Sep with Timberwolf and Eliza Hull.

LEGAL ALIENS

PEOPLE EATERS

The Galaxy Folk are releasing a limited, handmade EP on 10” vinyl. A blend of ambience, surf, pop and bedroom doom, they launch it at The Tote on 7 Sep with East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Strangers From Now On and Melbourne Cans debuting.

After reforming for the 25th Brunswick Music Festival, The Purple Dentists bring their dazzling versatility, based on Irish music and country-swing, to a series of shows at the Spotted Mallard. On 5 Sep they’re joined by Madeline Leman.

BACKLASH GETTING SHIRTY

Best & Less advertising dad’s rock tees (including Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones and Ramones, of course) at $20 a pop for Father’s Day. Stop! What happened to buying band merch as souvenirs at shows?

HAIR DON’T Anyone over the age of three who styles their hair into a top knot. And under-threes are only excused if they can’t speak up yet.

EURO TRASH The Wild Euro three-CD compilation promises a trip down clubber’s lane with a tracklisting that boasts old-school rippers such as Toca’s Miracle (Fragma), Snap!’s The Power and Dr Alban’s Sing Hallelujah, but then why does CD one have to remind us of all the current schlock? 56 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

THIS WEEK’S RELEASES… VIOLENT SOHO Hungry Ghost (Liberation) LONDON GRAMMAR If You Wait (Dew Process) GOLDFRAPP Tales Of Us (EMI) EMILIANA TORRINI Tookah (Rough Trade/Remote Control)

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LIVE THIS WEEK

ALBUM FOCUS

GREEN-GREY GARDEN

OMEGA-3 SUPPLEMENTS

THE TEALEAVES

Brisbane based indie-rock outfit Greenthief (pictured) are touring in support of their second single release, Rainbow, lifted off their forthcoming debut album Voyage. They’ll be supporting Jericco at The Espy front bar with Teal and Fisker on 7 Sep.

His new album Wake has been hailed as profound, inspired and bold. Now on the final stretch of his national tour, don’t miss David Bridie (pictured) & The Pills live at the Substation (Newport) on 6 Sep with Marlon Williams.

Answered by: James van Cuylenburg Album title: No More Can You Be Here Where did the title of your new album come from? It’s a lyric used twice on the album, and represents one of the main themes – understanding and accepting our mortality.

SAM BUCKINGHAM ULTIMATE GUEST If you could have any artist join you on the album, who would it be and what would they be doing? I’m reading Neil Young’s Waging Heave Peace at the moment and am growing to love him and his approach to music even more. I’d have him come and sing a song – just us and guitars.

NEVER STRIKES TWICE Head to The Espy front bar on 6 Sep to join The Mercy Kills (pictured) in launching their debut album Happy To Kill You. Supports on the night come from special guests Thunderstag, Chinatown Angels, Virtue and Dumb Blondes.

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Sam Buckingham’s new album I’m A Bird is out now.

How many releases do you have now? This is our second album. How long did it take to write/record? Three years! We wanted to get the balance of songs just right. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Trying to push the songwriting in a more mature direction, steering away from the more simple, optimistic folk songs from our first album. When and where is your launch/next gig? Thornbury Theatre on 6 Sep. Website link for more info? facebook.com/ thetealeavesband

THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 57


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

SINGLE FOCUS

LIVE THIS WEEK

HAVE YOU HEARD

FULL UGLY Answered by: Nathan Burgess

HELM

AMERICAN HONEY

GALLEY ROWERS

Single title: Drove Down

Answered by: Lucas Stone

What’s the song about? It’s pretty much about driving down from Sydney to Melbourne with my mate Michael and wanting to find a girlfriend.

How did you get together? Divine intervention. Nah, just best mates, common vision, beer, surf, good music. Was actually kind of an accident. Was supposed to be one of those ‘studio projects’. Yeah, right.

The rockabilly and psychobilly influenced Wild Turkey (pictured) celebrate 25 years of performing throughout Australia and the US. Catch them at the Retreat Hotel on 7 Sep before they shortly return to the US.

Launching her twin albums Captain Captain and This Gallery Of Mine, catch Claire Birchall (pictured) swapping the fuzz-rock with acoustic sounds at the Post Office Hotel (Coburg) on 7 Sep, supported by Matt Walker.

HAIRY HAUNTS

DOUBLE RUBBLE

The debut EP from The Dead Heir consists of catchy hooks and psychedelic instrumental breakdowns. Joining them for The Workers Club launch on 8 Sep will be rock‘n’rollers The Whorls, shoegaze mind-benders Luna Ghost and Alice D.

Following the sold-out launch of the video to single Down With The Ship, blues-rockers The Groves have a run of local shows coming up, including one on 4 Sep with Stone Desert supporting Twin Ages at Bar Open.

THE LAST LAFF

HOLY WHEELS

Jae Laffer has crafted several albums with his band The Panics that embrace both stark intimacy and unapologetic grandeur. He’s playing at the NGV on 6 Sep for the last of Friday Nights at Monet’s Garden, and the The Toff In Town on 12 Oct.

On 7 Sep the Evelyn will host Helm performing their forthcoming album, Vol 3 Panthalassa in its entirety, with that trademark assault-on-thesenses they’re known for. Joining them are The Khyber Belt and Dumbsaint and Anna Salen.

How long did it take to write/record? It was originally written on banjo in maybe 20 minutes. The lead part came naturally after that. We recorded it as a band (no banjo) months later along with some other tracks in a few days. Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? Yep. It’s the first track off a 7” single coming out on 6 Sep through Bedroom Suck Records. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Um, I guess living in a new city and hanging with some new dudes. We’ll like this song if we like... Felt. Similar guitar maybe. Do you play it differently live? Nope, exactly the same. Sometimes with a longer jam at the start but that’s usually ‘cause Tom (drummer) is not ready. When and where is your launch/next gig? The launch! 6 Sep at The Tote.

Sum up your musical sound in four words? World peace committing suicide. If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? Fuck. Let’s go with the ugliest, oddest men in metal. Iron fucking Maiden. You’re being sent into space, no iPod, you can bring one album – what would it be? I’m being sent into space?! WTF? I’d have to say, right now, Kvelertak – Kvelertak. That’ll change in 15 minutes, though. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Man, I honestly don’t know? I’ve had some good’uns but I ain’t one to skite. Why should people come and see your band? Loud, tight, heavy, energetic, tight pants, ugly and facial hair. Why shouldn’t you come and see our band? When and where for your next gig? 7 Sep, Evelyn Hotel. Website link for more info? helmofficial.com

Website link for more info? facebook.com/pages/Fullugly/104284406297595

HUMAN CONDITION The new dream-pop album from Brave Face (pictured) is coloured with synth layers and shapeshifting percussion. They’re launching it on 6 Sep at the Grace Darling Hotel, supported by the silky electro-pop jams of Young Hysteria and Singing For Humans.

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the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

ART STARTER

LIVE THIS WEEK

JUMPING JACK KENNEDY

WHERE IT DON’T SHINE

Irish singer Brian Kennedy (pictured) has performed as Van Morrison’s backing singer and shared stages with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Ray Charles and more. As part of a national tour he will be playing at Wellers of Kangaroo Ground on 5 Sep.

A grassroots metal and punk rock outfit, China Vagina (pictured) freak out punters with a wickedness that’s become a hot topic in the underground scene. They play the Retreat Hotel (Brunswick) on 6 Sep following Shoot The Sun.

WITH MATT PREST

ESSENTIAL TOUR ITEM HUGH MIDDLETON FROM THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON What item must travel with you on tour? Headphones. The Trouble With Templeton’s new album Rookie is out now.

EYES IN THE DARK

BONY WRITERS

Head to Public Bar on 6 Sep for a rowdy night of nasty punk rock and garage. The line-up features Them Nights, Bad Vision (pictured) and Bits Of Shit, the last of whom will also have exclusive copies of their latest singles out for sale.

Indie pop dream-weavers Tully On Tully (pictured) launch their debut EP Weightless on 7 Sep at The Toff In Town. Their live shows brim with mesmerising vocal performances and spiralling guitar work. Supports come from Playwrite and Elisha Bones.

CREATURES CONDEMNED

VACANT GOSSIP

It’s a night of cheeky rock’n’roll at the Reverence Hotel front bar on 5 Sep. Locals Elcaset warm the stage with their grunge riffs, followed by mysterious rock-peddlers Warewolves and topped off by the mighty, incomparable Damn Terran.

Following their tour for debut single Dull, post-punk, shoegaze band Contrast will headline The Gasometer Hotel on 6 Sep. Joining them will be Hollow Everdaze, Sleep Decade and garage, psych outfit Secrets Of The Venus Horses.

FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU

A couple of words to describe Whelping Box? Raw, absurd, wild, funny, visceral. There’s nearly no words in it yet it’s not mime or physical theatre or dance. Being quite a physical performance, any injuries sustained in the process of making it? No broken bones or split organs but plenty of welts, abrasions, bruises, blisters, cuts, one strained testicle and a squashed finger. How does the closed box space add to the experience of the audience and actors? Mostly it puts the audience in close proximity to the performers and their energy of the show and implicates them in what is happening on stage.

FAVOURITE CITY LAURA IMBRUGLIA What’s your favourite city to tour and why? I like going to Sydney ‘cos I used to live there but now I don’t so everyone is just that little bit more excited to see me than they used to be. It makes me feel like I have improved when really I’m just a novelty. Laura Imbruglia’s new album What A Treat is out now.

What are the pros and cons of male friendships and competitive masculine nature? This piece isn’t about male friendships or even masculinity... We’re more interested in how far we can push ourselves and each other as performers, setting tasks that are about endurance, trust, pleasure, pain all in an attempt to reached some kind of undefined transcendence. WHAT: Whelping Box WHEN & WHERE: 4 to 8 Sep, Arts House

THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 59


opinion

OG FLAVAS

ADAMANTIUM WOLF

WAKE THE DEAD

URBAN AND R&B NEWS WITH CYCLONE

METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT

HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH SARAH PETCHELL

Tyler, The Creator is a fan. And Frank Ocean has been in the studio with him. Even Beyoncé posted a link to the geezer on Facebook. Yes, enigmatic London singer/songwriter/guitarist King Krule (aka Archy Marshall) has attracted a cult following in urban circles. Of course, Bey will laud any hip act now. She desperately wants to be Solangecool. Ironically, Marshall isn’t obviously ‘urban’. The Brit – who sings, but like an MC, in an angsty baritone voice – has been compared to The Streets’ sortarapper Mike Skinner. However, he’s also likened to punks Joe Strummer and Ian Dury plus ‘80s indie figurehead Morrissey. For all his cred rawness, Marshall, who just turned 19, attended The BRIT School – as did everyone from Amy Winehouse to... Leona Lewis. He’d begin releasing music under the handle Zoo Kid. Marshall’s debut, 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, co-produced by XL Recordings’ in-houser Rodaidh McDonald, is steeped in folk and blues as much as punk and urban (and, here, ska through to hip hop and post-dubstep). Lyrically, it’s murky. Marshall expresses the alienation and disillusionment experienced by British youth amid the government’s savage austerity measures. He’s kinda like an anti-Ed Sheeran. 6 Feet... is oft-sardonic. Yet Marshall’s street punk isn’t as overt as Kanye West’s. While the single Easy Easy is chloroformed grunge, Foreign 2 is nightbus – closer to the songs Marshall contributed to Mount Kimbie’s recent Cold Spring Fault Less Youth – as is the transitory, experimental and reverb-heavy Neptune Estate. Marshall actually goes jazz on A Lizard State. Let’s hope the world soon hears whatever it is he cut with Ocean earlier this year!

KING KRULE 60 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE

It sure is hard to focus on just the music at the moment. With the threat of our nation potentially soon being led by a government driven by slow internet, a corrupt media empire, bigoted and exclusionary policies, job cutting, privatisation of the public sector, environmentally destructive incentives and the support of the Catholic church, it has been a little hard to narrow my brainwaves down enough to pull together a cohesive topic that relates to metal, hardcore and punk. Not to mention the fear of World War III, or at least the second Cold War, bustling around its Syrian nucleus, with the US salivating over a chance to further its stranglehold over The Middle East, while Russia and China stoke the fires. I’m genuinely upset about our political climate, and fearful of what the future holds. I know that on average, fans of alternative music possess a higher awareness and intelligence than the people whose musical tastes don’t extend beyond the mainstream. The more extreme and intricate the tunes, the more highly functioning the brains behind and in support of it are likely to be. To quote Australian metal-themed comedian Mitch Alexander: “Now that sleeve tatts and buzzcuts are mainstream, let’s hope that thinking is the next alternative activity appropriated”. It’s hard to not come across as making a sweeping generalisation when typing this, and believe me I know that all sorts of people come from all walks of life. Yet the majority of the most politically and socially motivated bands of all time have come from punk, hardcore and metal. We are more in tune with our humanity. We are skeptics, and rightfully so. I still can’t shake this feeling that the void of voices speaking up

through music in our current day and age, particularly in Australia, is only growing. Self-indulgence and complacence reign supreme. I haven’t seen a local band with much of a specific political slant in some time. We’re Facebook warriors and we don’t know any different. “I’m not even enrolled to vote, but here’s another social commentary meme” could sum up a lot of what I’m seeing on my feed. Our politicians get duller with every round of party intakes, and exasperated we sit back. Music is used as an escape, not a vehicle. If the climate is not yet ripe enough for a new wave of revolutionary heavy music to smash its way to the surface in this country, it would surely have to be after a year or two underneath a certain potential leadership. I dream of a heavy Australian band that takes no prisoners rising from the ranks – a collective of individuals not afraid of making enemies, but smart enough to educate and proliferate political ideas that will have some impact. There’s no shortage of people with the rage for it, and we can do more than just hit the ‘share’ button. Heavy music is bigger than it has ever been, and will only continue to grow. There’s a lot of inquiring young minds out there just waiting to be shown that they do in fact have the power to change the world for the better. Recording albums and going on tour isn’t exactly campaigning and getting into office, but perhaps that’s all we really know how to do, and we can further the real world impact that these actions have. If what I’m saying resonates with you, start a band that expresses it. Get angry about the choices made on your behalf. Vote. Fuck picking bones – we’ve got hundreds we need to shatter.

Twenty-thirteen marks ten years since Parkway Drive first started out as a band. In those ten years, these guys from Byron have arguably achieved more than any bunch of Australian hardcore dudes have ever done before. OK, so maybe they don’t slot perfectly into the mould of what hardcore should be, but the way they’ve gone about building their fanbase and releasing their music (at least initially) falls well within the ethics that we expect from hardcore bands. From youth centres to stadiums, from Hardcore to Warped Festival to Download; every time a tour gets announced or an album gets released, the question we’re all asking is how much bigger can this band get? What’s left for this bunch of guys from Byron Bay to achieve as a band? Stay a band for ten years – Check. Gold-selling albums – Check. Sold-out tours, internationally – Check. Tour places most of us will never see – Check. And throughout it all they’ve maintained their integrity and a strong sense of what and where home is. They’ve stuck by their label and their fans. They still tour domestically more than anywhere else in the world. And I guess, to me, that’s what makes them so endearing to their fans. This is all without even mentioning the music, which is that of a band that is coming into their own as songwriters, breaking free of their selfimposed constraints and exploring ways they can push their music to the next level. So cheers to Parkway Drive for ten years, and here’s to ten years more. wakethedead@themusic.com.au

PARKWAY DRIVE


opinion

BUSINESS MUSIC

GOOD TIMING

TEENAGE HATE

WHEN YOUR CLUB NEEDS A BOSS BY PAZ

DIVES INTO YOUR SCREENS AND IDIOT BOXES WITH GUY DAVIS

ROCKIN’ AND ROLLIN’, OUT OF CONTROLLIN’ WITH TIM SCOTT

SPENDA C

The Miley Cyrus VMAs performance proved one thing: twerk is the word and it’s crossed over. Did you know Todd James designed her huge teddy bears? The style crossing over is most obvious when Tinie Tempah employs classic twerk tempos on his new single Trampoline (producer: Diplo). If you crave that club clap, 100bpm twerk, it’s raging well past DJ Snake’s Bird Machine. The leading trap drop last month would have to be the hand clap of Yellow Claw’s Champion ft Yung Felix. The start is one hyped, loud hand clap followed after four bars by a huge sub bass. For big effects it then drops to the chopped “bop, bop a bop” vocal hook. The breakdown has a neat little vox from Yung Felix and is followed by a big twerk drop and Biggie Smalls cut-ups. Yellow Claw’s is all big sound and driving drops for stadiums. You can get a glimpse in a mix they released for the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. Most of the twerk action is playing out on Mad Decent and Soundcloud. Locally it is Spenda C who is well ahead of the trap/twerk soundscape after a recent mix series with the Onelove moniker, and a new collaboration with Nemo for the Killa EP plus playing support for Bro Safari’s recent tour. If you need some revision on your twerk sound, check out the Spenda C free downloads set on his Soundcloud. Twerk re-up of the Benassi classic Satisfaction keeps the club familiar.

Now I’m probably a little late in bringing this up, given that its relevance as the pop culture bete noire was quickly superseded by Miley Cyrus rimming giant teddy bears, getting molested by that Blurred Lines guy in a Beetlejuice suit and twerking what her mama gave her, but I feel it’s important we talk about the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman – Batfleck, amirite, guys? – in the upcoming Man Of Steel sequel, which unfortunately is rumoured to be titled Batman Vs Superman. Seriously, with the exception of Kramer Vs Kramer, The People Vs Larry Flynt and Godzilla Vs The Smog Monster, has there ever been a movie with the word ‘versus’ in the title that was worth a damn? Okay, that Japanese zombie movie Versus wasn’t too bad, I guess. But I digress. Myriad names were tossed about as potential cape-andcowl successors to Christian Bale. There was speculation that Joseph Gordon-Levitt might strap on the suit, as per the final moments of The Dark Knight Rises. If the franchise decided to look to Frank Miller’s seminal The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, which featured an older, embittered Caped Crusader, Josh Brolin was a popular choice among discerning nerds. Ryan Gosling’s name came up, as Ryan Gosling’s name often does these days. But Affleck came as a left-field shock. And among many dark, dank corners of fandom, there was dismay. Suddenly, all the good will Affleck had accrued thanks to his sturdy work on both sides of the camera with movies like Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the Oscar-winning Argo seemed to fade, and dirty words like Gigli and Daredevil

were uttered once again. Gigli... well, there’s no defending that one, although like many so-called fiascos it’s not really as Godawful as its reputation would have you believe. Still, it ain’t great. And Daredevil... yeah, that kinda sucks too, actually. But Affleck is far from the worst thing in it. He carries himself with as strong and imposing a physical presence as any person can when clad in a cherry-coloured leather onesie, and he does a good job of conveying The Man Without Fear’s brooding, wounded nature. You can’t blame Affleck for Daredevil; you can blame writer-director Mark Steven Johnson, a well-meaning but ham-fisted hack, for Daredevil. And that’s why I’m a tad pissedoff at dickheaded online petitions calling for Affleck to be ousted from the Batman role. Why these people are not more concerned about Zack Fucking Snyder staying at the helm of the next movie is beyond me, especially as Snyder literally seems to be getting worse with each film he directs. Still, there may be hope – Affleck’s involvement in Batman Vs Superman is said to go beyond a mere gun-for-hire acting gig, with reports stating he’ll have a hand in shaping the character not just for this film but possible involvement in the long-fermenting Justice League movie and maybe even a Batman franchise reboot. In short, I’m all for Affleck as Batman. If anything, his performance in The Town showed a fascinating mix of cockiness, vulnerability and capacity for violence and darkness that could translate well to the character. Now... all this talk about Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor. Yea? Or nay?

MILEY CYRUS

HOAX

Great to see the iconic Matador records logo on the back of the latest Bits Of Shit single. As part of the label’s Singles Going Home Alone singles club (which also includes Dick Diver, Lower Plenty and Royal Headache) the local rabble-rousers fall further into the ‘Flag/ Greg Ginn munted punk abyss on Rider. Slowed down but still messed up. Sick Thoughts is Drew Owen, a hyperactive 16-year-old Baltimore punk who takes the spirit and snarl of Jay Reatard and churns out an amazing amount of blown-to-bits, lo-fi garage rock. He’s put more than 30 songs (mostly free) on his bandcamp and has three 7”s and an LP in the works. His thirdever show was opening for The Oblivions. Kid is winning. The self-titled/self-released LP by Hoax from Western Massachusetts is one of the rawest and most primitive in a while. With a vocalist who seems to be working out some deep anger management issues through song, they possess the same rage as Age Of Quarrelera Cro-Mags with early Mid Western bands such as Negative Approach. Plenty of blood and negativity. Brilliant. Finally, the Venom P Stinger back catalogue has been reissued on vinyl by venerable US label Drag City. Featuring Jim White and Mick Turner (who both went on to form Dirty Three), Venom were a vicious Melbourne postpunk band that wrote great songs about doing bad things. All their records are essential, particularly the 1988 Walking About 7”, which could be the best Australian punk song ever. YouTube that shit. THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 61


opinion

HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC BY JEFF JENKINS

PULLING THEIR WEIGHT

They were known as Tully & The Thief when they started out, but by the time they launched their debut single Hard To Breathe at The Toff In Town in 2011, they had become Tully On Tully. It’s an intriguing name. “Nat [singer Natalie Foster] loved the name Tully and tried in vain to make it catch on as her nickname,” keyboards player Pete Corrigan explains. “So we made it a band name instead. It represents us as a group, so Tully On Tully is us exploring and showcasing ourselves.” The new EP Weightless also does a great job of showcasing the band’s dramatic folk-rock sound – think a Melbourne version of Of Monsters & Men. Howzat! was mightily impressed after catching Tully On Tully at this year’s Push Over – they won the triple j competition to play at the festival. A reviewer at the blog Something Gold Something New described the

62 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

EP as having “the frame of mind of a unique, original, characterfilled female vocal fronting music of genuine commercial, yet leftfield, gothic-tinged drama”. “We were incredibly flattered,” Pete smiles. The EP features a duet with Hayden Calnin, Stay. “His old band played with us for a residency we did in our early days and we stayed in contact.” The disc also includes a song called The Young Ones, which had Howzat! thinking of the classic ‘80s English TV series. “Yeah, it was a brilliant show,” Pete agrees. “Sadly, I don’t think our lives quite match up to the antics in that household, but we try our best.” Tully On Tully launch Weightless at The Toff In Town on Saturday.

DANCING QUEEN

Great to see Tina Arena back home – and she’s got the dance back in her life. Tina is Howzat!’s favourite to win the next series of Dancing With The Stars and she’s releasing

TULLY ON TULLY

her autobiography Now I Can Dance in October.

been 64 today (Wednesday). He is much missed.

HE’S BACK

CHART WATCH

Reeling from the Bomber sanctions, Howzat! was rapt to see this post from the mighty Jim Keays: “I found out today that my myeloma is now in remission. The sixyear battle has been won. All your prayers and positive vibes seem to have worked … looking forward to getting back out doing gigs again.” As we celebrate this news, we sadly remember Jim’s great mate Darryl Cotton, who would have

With Boy & Bear scoring their first number one album, ten Aussie acts have topped the albums chart so far this year – the best result since 2004. But we are yet to have a local hit top the 2013 singles chart.

HOT LINE

“It’s closing time/Now there’s nowhere else to go/I lost my friends two bars ago and I’ve gone so hard since then” – Nick Batterham, Closing Time At Yah Yah’s.


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SAT 21ST SEP

Thurs 5. 6pm Loop Hole presents Kiri-Brito Meumann "Kulers"

INVOLUME ‘LIVE VIDEO SHOOT’

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SAT 16TH NOV

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THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 63


the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au Brave Face + Young Hysteria + Singing For Humans: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood

THE MUSIC PRESENTS Cloud Control: Sep 4 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 5 Star Bar (Bendigo); 6 Forum Theatre

The Jungle Giants: Oct 4, 6 The Hi-Fi; 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)

Big Scary: Sep 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 6 The Hi-Fi

Asta: Oct 4 Northcote Social Club; 5 Phoenix Youth Centre

Hungry Kids Of Hungary: Sep 5 Barwon Club (Geelong); 6 Corner Hotel; 7 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)

Yo La Tengo: Oct 18 Hamer Hall

Peace: Sep 13 Eagle Bar La Trobe University; 14, 15 Northcote Social Club

Archie Roach: Oct 18, 19 Arts Centre Playhouse Andy Bull: Oct 20 Northcote Social Club

The Drones: Sep 13, 14 The Hi-Fi

Wolf & Cub: Oct 24 Northcote Social Club

The Gangsters’ Ball: Sep 14 Forum Theatre

Active Child: Oct 26 Melbourne Recital Centre

The Paper Kites: Sep 15 The Hi-Fi; 28 Forum Theatre

The Cribs: Oct 26 Ding Dong Lounge

Illy: Sep 20 Corner Hotel Ngaiire: Sep 20 Baha Tacos; 21 Northcote Social Club

Boy & Bear: Nov 1 Wool Exchange (Geelong); 2, 3 Forum Theatre

Rudimental: Sep 21 Festival Hall

Nancy Vandal: Nov 2 Reverence Hotel

Jinja Safari: Sep 25 The Loft (Warrnambool); 26 Barwon Club (Geelong); 27 Forum Theatre; 28 Karova Lounge (Ballarat)

Dan Sultan: Nov 2 Thornbury Theatre; 9 Theatre Royal Castlemaine

Foals: Sep 26, 27 Palace Theatre

Violent Soho: Nov 4 Corner Hotel

Horrorshow: Sep 29 Ding Dong Lounge; October 17 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 18 Wool Exchange (Geelong)

Jordie Lane: Nov 7 Beav’s Bar Geelong; 8 Theatre Royal Castlemaine; 9 Thornbury Theatre; 10 Caravan Music Club Oakleigh

Xavier Rudd: Oct 2, 3 Forum Theatre

The Barons Of Tang: Nov 8 Corner Hotel

Twelve Foot Ninja: Oct 4 Corner Hotel

Face The Music Conference: Nov 15, 16 Arts Centre

WED 04

Sandwich Jesus + Edelplastik + Ben Carr Trio: 303, Northcote Jackson Firebird: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Andrew Strong & The Commitments + Loonee Tunes: Corner Hotel, Richmond Mo’Soul feat. Jen Knight & The Cavaliers + Stevie & The Sleepers + DJ Vince Peach: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Talking People At Night with Gabriel Janover: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Tulalah + Demian + Kalacoma: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Return To Youth + I Know The Chief + Nebraskatak: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room) , Collingwood Jennifer Kingwell: Jewell of Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Pretty Peepers: Lithuanian Club (Fringe Hub - Main Theatre) , North Melbourne Conversations With Ghosts feat. Paul Kelly + more: Melbourne Recital Centre (Elisabeth Murdoch Hall), Southbank Hungry Kids Of Hungary + Split Seconds + Lurch & Chief: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Teal: The Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Trjaeu + Mild Life + Peon + Di-Fy: The Curtin, Carlton Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Ashleigh Mannix + Tash Sultana: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Tanya Batt + Timberwolf + Eliza Hull: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Stonefield + Stillwater Giants + Apes: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Gator Queen: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Friday Nights at Monet’s Garden feat. Jae Laffer: National Gallery of Victoria, Southbank

GIG OF THE WEEK HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: SEP 5 BARWON CLUB (GEELONG); 6 CORNER HOTEL; 7 KAROVA LOUNGE (BALLARAT) Andrew Strong & The Commitments + Loonee Tunes: Corner Hotel, Richmond Pretty City + The McQueens + The High Suburban + Slow Dancer: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne The Moops + Lieutenant Jam + Shane Bauer + Ayleen: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North AU Review 5th Birthday Party feat. Jackson McLaren + The House of Laurence + Them Bruins + Dancing Heals + Grizzly Jim Lawrie: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy You & Your Friends + The Ahwls + Red Lantern Colony: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood

Jean Claude Van Damme Terran + Werewolves + Elcaset: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase + Various: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran The Purple Dentists + Madeline Leman: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Cloud Control + Palms: Star Bar, Bendigo

Ashleigh Mannix: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Hungry Kids Of Hungary + Little Scout + Baptism Of Uzi: Barwon Club, South Geelong The Sweethearts + DJ Vince Peach + Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Next feat. Sienna Skies + This Fiasco + Bury The Truth + Venomartyr: Colonial Hotel, Melbourne

The Dirty Protest + City Wolves + A Gazillion Angry Mexicans: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

FRI 06 Ashleigh Mannix: Babushka Bar, North Ballarat The Imprints + Rachel By The Stream: Bar Open, Fitzroy

Drifter + Indian Mynah + Fluzies + The Knave: Reverence Hotel (Band Room), Footscray Suburban Dark + Jeswon + P.Smurf + DJ Cost + Rapaport: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Waz E James: Tago Mago, Thornbury Smoke Stack Rhino + Poseidon: The Barn, Bayswater

The Deep End + Greta Mob + Deep River + Smoke Stack Rhino: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Poison City Pre-Kender Party feat. Joyce Manor + Cheap Girls + Grim Fandango + Ride The Tiger + Initials + Freak Wave: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Machine Gun Kelly + Guests: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Lucinda Lou + Little Skink + Lou Le Belle + more: The Luwow, Fitzroy Adam Hynes + Davy Simony + Lisa Hanley: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

HIT THE LIGHTS: SEP 7 PHOENIX YOUTH CENTRE (FOOTSCRAY); 8 CORNER HOTEL Long Holiday + Johnny Casino & The Secrets: Barwon Club, South Geelong The Russell Morris Band + Shannon Bourne: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Rock Dungeon feat. Coverdale (Whitesnake Tribute) + Manic Opera + Trigger: CBD Club, Melbourne Pretty Dulcie + Red X + Citizen: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Hungry Kids Of Hungary + Little Scout + Baptism Of Uzi: Corner Hotel, Richmond Steel Birds + Month Of Sundays: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North 1/6 + Fluent Form + Mata & Must + Maundz + Dialect & Despair + Social Change + Rawthentic Crew: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Unsealed Road: Famous Blue Raincoat, South Kingsville Vulgargrad + Katia Pshenichner: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick Cloud Control + Palms: Forum Theatre, Melbourne

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU 64 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

La Dance Macabre with Brunswick Massive + DJ Shamrocker: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy

The Cactus Channel + Guests: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Slow Club feat. Heads Of Charm + Udays Tiger + Them Bruins: The Tote, Collingwood

THU 05

Brian Kennedy: Wellers, Kangaroo Ground

Poison City Acoustic Arvo feat. Ribbons Patterns + Pinch Hitter + Lucy Wilson + Nathan Seeckts: Old Bar, Fitzroy

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

East Brunswick All Girls Choir + Yeo + Mightiest Of Guns: The Tote, Collingwood

Kickin The B at 303 feat. Stephen Bowtell Band: 303, Northcote

O Little Blood + Miles Brown + Asps: The Tote, Collingwood

Mere Noise 10th Birthday Party feat. Digger & The Pussycats + Keep On Dancin’s + Kids Of Zoo: Off The Hip Records, Melbourne

Big Scary + Courtney Barnett: Karova Lounge, Ballarat

Taste Of Indie Collective feat. Bob Crain + Pocket Perspective + Man City Sirens: Tago Mago, Thornbury

Sietta: The Workers Club, Fitzroy

Diary Day + Rara + Umbilical Tentacle: The Tote, Collingwood

The Cactus Channel + Guests: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Whoretopsy + Rezume + The Ophidian Ascension + Iconic Vivisect: The Bendigo, Collingwood The Resignators + Exit Crowd: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Poison City Weekender feat. The Smith Street Band + Joyce Manor + Cheap Girls + The Nation Blue + Hoodlum Shouts + White Walls + Blueline Medic + more: The Curtin, Carlton Altamira + Voodoocain + Red Sky Burial + Temple + Strathmore: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Thunderstag + The Mercy Kills + Chinatown Angels + Virtue + Dumb Blondes: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Venomartyr + Order Of Chaos + Three Storey Goat + To Light Atlantis: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda Brothers Hand Mirror + Wooshie + Outerwaves + Tincture + Two Bright Lakes DJs: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood


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WITH YOUR HOST BRODIE GET IN AND REGISTER FROM 7PM ONWARDS $10 JUGS OF BRUNSWICK BITTER THURSDAY THE 5TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM TILL 1AM $3 SCHOONERS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT - $5 BASIC SPIRITS

SAT 7TH

LISA MILLER TRIO With Shane Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Mara & Ash Davies Two Sets from 5 to 7 pm

SUN 8TH

THE Rockinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; DECOYS from 5 To 7 pm

COMING SOON TO THE LABOUR

JVG GUITAR METHOD CORAL LEE and THE SILVER SCREAM DUNCAN GRAHAM and the CO-ACCUSED BACKWOOD CREATURES 197A BRUNSIWCK ST FITZROY 3065 (03) 9417 5955

8PM SALTAR HYPE PRESENTS:

I AM DUCKEYE

WITH GUESTS TEAL (NSW), HOLLIAVA, PORT BAYLE FRIDAY THE 6TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM

RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER!

$15 DONATION ENTRY FEATURING: RIOT IN TOYTOWN, ARCHER AND BOW, LOW RENT, THE SAMMY OWEN BLUES BAND SATURDAY THE 7TH OF SEPTEMBER - 5PM

BLACK AND BLUE X 3 SETS 9PM

HOPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ABANDONED

WITH GUESTS BLACK SALOON COWBOYS, TWIN AGES, MY PIRANHA SUNDAY THE 8TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM

THE STORY MODEL

WITH GUESTS CHAPTER RAY, VELUDO MONDAY THE 9TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM

PASSIONATE TONGUES POETRY HOSTED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS OPEN STAGE READINGS AND SPOKEN WORD WELCOME WITH FEATURE PERFORMERS EVERY FORTNIGHT $10 JUGS OF CARLTON DRAUGHT TUESDAY THE 10TH OF SEPTEMBER - 8PM

THE BRUNSWICK HOTEL DISCOVERY NIGHT

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

THE MUSIC â&#x20AC;¢ 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 â&#x20AC;¢ 65


the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au Contrast + Hollow Everdaze + Sleep Decade + Secrets Of The Venus Horse: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood Big Scary + Courtney Barnett: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Bits Of Shit + Bad Vision + Them Nights: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Full Ugly + Milk Teddy + The Clits + Going Swimming + Chook Race + Wet Lips + Pink Tiles + more: The Tote, Collingwood Seth Sentry: The Westernport Hotel, San Remo Feelings + Jeremy Neale: The Workers Club, Fitzroy The Tea Leaves + Whitaker: Thornbury Theatre, Thornbury Broni: Wesley Anne, Northcote

SAT 07

Dali & The Paper Planes + Thomas Keft: 303, Northcote The Hello Morning: Baha Tacos, Rye Michael Yule Band + Dear Stalker + Kanvas Grey + Tequila Mockingbird: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Poison City Weekender feat. The Smith Street Band + Joyce Manor + Cheap Girls + Luca Brasi + Milhouse + Grim Fandango: Corner Hotel, Richmond Stonefield + Apes + Stillwater Giants: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Michael Planter & The Exit Keys + Midnight Caller + The Curse: Empress Hotel (3pm), Fitzroy North Dear Plastic + O A R S + Harry Coulson’s Raindogs: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Helm + The Khyber Belt + Dumbsaint + Anna Salen: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Snarski vs Snarski: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick Busy Kingdom + The Trotskies + Louis Spoils: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood

The Bullettes: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond

Yah Yah’s 5th Birthday Party feat. Clinkerfield + Slocombe’s Pussy + Plague Doctor + The Grand Rapids + Richie 1250 & The Brides Of Christ + The Wardens + The Bombing Angels + Jemma & The Wise Young Ambitious Men + The Solicitors + Mufasa & The Prophets + more: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

Hungry Kids Of Hungary + Little Scout + Baptism Of Uzi: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Yukon Blonde + Dirt Farmer + I, A Man: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Hit The Lights + Heroes For Hire + State Champs: Phoenix Youth Centre, Footscray Under the Big Top feat. Jimmy Barnes + Diesel + Mahalia Barnes + Evil J & Sail Cecilia: Prince Of Wales Showground, Bendigo TTTDC + The Hidden Venture + Long Holiday + The Underhanded: Reverence Hotel (Band Room) , Footscray

ANBERLIN: SEP 8 PALACE THEATRE Teenage Libido + Skul Hazzards: The Tote (Front Bar/4pm), Collingwood Seth Sentry: Wool Exchange, Geelong

Volumes + Prepared Like A Bride + Stories + Ocean Grove + I Valiance + Void Of Vision: Ringwood OLP (All Ages), Ringwood

Vika & Linda Bull + Special Guests : Yarraville Club, Yarraville

Black Night Crash feat. Maids + Darts: Rochester Castle Hotel, Fitzroy

Hit The Lights + Heroes For Hire + State Champs: Corner Hotel, Richmond

Bang feat. The Getaway Plan + Let’s Not Pretend + Under Vienna Skies: Royal Melbourne Hotel, Melbourne

Grizzly Jim Lawrie + Quang Dinh + more: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North

Seedy Jezus: Tago Mago, Thornbury Poison City Weekender feat. The Smith Street Band + Joyce Manor + Cheap Girls + The Nation Blue + Hoodlum Shouts + White Walls + Blueline Medic + more: The Curtin, Carlton Demarco + Zare Demus + DI Apprentice + Jumpdred + Burn City Queens + more: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Jericco + Greenthief + Teal + Fisker + Phil Para: The Espy (Front Bar), St Kilda House Party 2013 feat. Nina Las Vegas + Flight Facilities (DJ Set) + Cassian + Tyler Touche + Wave Racer: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Tully On Tully + Playwrite + Elisha Bones: The Toff In Town, Melbourne The Galaxy Folk + Strangers From Now On + Melbourne Cans: The Tote, Collingwood

SUN 08

Volumes + Prepared Like A Bride + Stories + Ocean Grove + Refractions: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Fat Freddy’s Drop: Forum Theatre, Melbourne The Timbers + Little Wise: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond Yukon Blonde: Karova Lounge, Ballarat Snarski vs Snarski: Northcote Social Club (Matinee Show), Northcote Anberlin + The Maine + William Beckett (The Academy Is) + Masketta Fall: Palace Theatre, Melbourne Chris Wilson: Rainbow Hotel (4pm), Fitzroy Poison City Weekender feat. Blueline Medic + The Bennies + Cory Branan + Lincoln Le Fevre + Like...Alaska + more: Reverence Hotel, Footscray

The Sons of May + Damon + Pixie & The Music Box + Horns Of Pan: Tago Mago (5.30pm), Thornbury Jimi Hocking: The Bay Hotel, Mornington Poison City Weekender feat. The Smith Street Band + Joyce Manor + Cheap Girls + The Nation Blue + Hoodlum Shouts + White Walls + Blueline Medic + more: The Curtin, Carlton Oh Pep!: The Drunken Poet (6.30pm), Melbourne Bloomin’ Heathers: The Drunken Poet (4pm), Melbourne Dale Ryder Band + Bad Boys Batucada + Ms Butt: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Right Mind + Life Of My Own + Cold Ground + XNo WordsX + XUppercutX: The Gasometer Hotel (3.30pm), Collingwood The Dark Shadows + Road Ratz + DJ Poison Dwarf: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Mick Daley & The Corporate Raiders: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Riv Ngwenya + Maeflower: The Toff In Town, Melbourne The Dead Heir + The Whorls + Luna Ghost + Alice D: The Workers Club, Fitzroy The Aretha Gospel & Soul Show feat. Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir: Thornbury Theatre (2.30pm and 7pm), Thornbury

The Bonafide Travellers: Royal Oak Hotel (4pm), Fitzroy North C3: Shamrock Hotel, Kyneton

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU

66 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

The Jacqui Walker Band: Yarra Valley Grand Hotel (Afternoon), Yarra Glen

MON 09

Andrew Gioia + Shaun Rammers + Curtin Reardon Band: 303, Northcote Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Jimeoin: Comic’s Lounge, North Melbourne The Baudelaires + Spiral Arm + Jumpin’ Jack William: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Monday Night Mass feat. Parading + Angel Eyes + Zone Out: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Clowns: The Curtin, Carlton Apart From This + Post Blue + The Dead Ends + Colossus + Born Free: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Mandek Penha + DJ Jaffle + Prophets + Friends: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

TUE 10

Mal Webb: 303, Northcote Kill Shot: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Madre Monte + Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence + Ultravibralux: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Smith Street Soul Train feat. Cactus Channel (DJ Set) + more: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Them Swoops + Guests: Northcote Social Club, Northcote


THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 67


eat/drink

CARNIVORE CARNIVAL

Sorryy vegos g and vegans, vegans g , but it seems Aussies just j can’t cant give up the meat meat. In fact fact, we’re throwing festivals over them. Brendan Hitchens gets into the thick of it.

TOP SALAMI MAKERS OF 2012 1. BGS Group Bulleen, VIC on 86 points

2. Brucio Coulo Essendon, VIC on 85 points

3. Palermo

South Morang, VIC on 84 points

4. Christiano

South Morang, VIC on 83 points

5. Siverii

North Fitzroy, VIC on 83 points

6. Salami Kings

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e it a fondness for a meat pie or a Saturday morning sausage sizzle out the front of the local supermarket, a penchant to consume our national emblems, turning down a date with Tom Cruise for mum’s Sunday roast, or the fact we have a self-appointed, and former AFL champion, as our “Lambassador’” bombarding our television screens, Australia has a strong and proud cultural tradition of meat eating. Much like the in vogue craft beer festivals, cheese exhibitions and mulled wine seminars, a carnivorous renaissance of sorts is taking place as the meat industry is being embraced by investors, government, celebrity chefs, retailers and most of all, consumers across the country, and is being led by meat focused food festivals. Rockhampton is referred to as two things: the beef capital of Australia or the gateway from the coast to the outback. As such, it’s no surprise the Queensland town hosts the cattle industry’s largest exhibition, Beef Australia. Attracting more than 85,000 people from across Australia and the world, the small town swells every three years as it’s descended upon by beef producers, industry stakeholders and meat enthusiasts. So successful is the Beef Australia event that in July, it secured $2.5 million in committed government funding for the next expo. Hosted in and around Rockhampton’s Showgrounds, the 2012 event – along with trade displays, seminars and stud cattle judging – included restaurants, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment. South Australia is home to the International BBQ Festival. Taking place in November in the Barossa Valley, the promoters proudly proclaim to be “Australia’s worst vegetarian festival, ever”. Over three days, the event hosts cooking classes in a number of categories including seafood, meat, poultry and game. It offers food stalls and a variety of sideshow entertainment including pig hock bobbing, where competitors submerge their heads under water and use only their mouths to latch onto as many pig hocks as possible in a given timed period. There’s even a sausage speed eating competition and a 1kg steak eating contest.

68 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Sydney’s Sausage Festival, or more pleasantly to avoid the obvious euphemism, Festa delle Salsicce, is truly a community event. Held at the Italian Museum at Griffith Pioneer Park, New South Wales, the annual event sees festival-goers enjoy traditional homemade Italian cuisine, local wines, folk music and lots of sausages. Held in the last week of August, this year’s event will feature special guest appearances from the Italian Consulate General, the Italian Chamber of Commerce manager, Looking For Alibrandi author Melina Marchetta, (bizarrely) orthopaedic surgeon Dr Sam Sorrenti and a live performance from The Spaghetti Cowboys, four men of Italian heritage performing old Italian classics and a mean rendition of Men At Work’s Land Down Under. Marketed as a family event, organiser Roy Catanzariti says Festa delle Salsicce is all about “the tastes, sights and sounds of Italy” and centred around meat, of course. Similarly, Melbourne is home to Salami Festa. In just its second year, the festival was so successful in its inaugural year it saw some 2,000 people converge onto High Street, Thornbury for the event. This year’s event program will include a gala dinner, a sassy Italian choir, a jazz band, taste testing and food stalls offering a variety of meatS. The central element of the festival lies around the salami making competition, and more specifically the people’s choice award, where amateur creators bring their tubes of pig parts that have hung ceremoniously in the winter months of their suburban Melbourne garages leading up to the event. “Although Italians and other European nationalities who emigrated to Australia continued and brought over this tradition with them, the coming together or celebration part of the ritual had all but vanished,” says the festivals organisers on the culture of salami making. “When people come together they share things. They share knowledge, experiences and stories. We can enrich each other and teach each other things and this is the essence of a strong community.”

North Ringwood, VIC on 81 points

7. De Fazio

Reservoir, VIC on 81 points

8. Greco 10 Preston VIC on 80 points

9. Princi

Beaconsfield, WA on 80 points Scored out of 100 and judged on colour, density, aroma and taste. To enter your salami into this years competition head to melbourne salamifesta.com enteries close 7 Sep


eat/drink

OTHER THINGS TO DO WITH A COCONUT SHELL

TROPIC HUNGER

1.

Use as a percussion instrument (*cough Monty Python *cough cough)

Fresh coconut and coconut water aren’t anything new, so why the sudden growth in interest from celebrities and us common folk alike? Simon Eales tries to crack the hard nut. Pics by Holly Engelhardt.

2.

Make a Hawaiian coconut bra (ooh la la)

3.

Boil it, fill it with water and you’ve got a new home for your pet cichlid fish

4.

Macramé around it sparingly, hang it outside, toss some bird seeds in it and voila! Fancy bird feeder.

5.

Replace the dirty containers you keep your plants in with coconut shell pots

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here’s a coconut water boom going on in Australia. Over the last couple of years the number of companies selling the stuff has proliferated following in the wake of Schweppes and Coca-Cola’s coconut water brands, which lead the now billion-dollar worldwide industry. With Vita Coco, for example, attracting endorsement from Rihanna and investment from Madonna, there’s seems to be something Vitamin Water-ish about the craze. In Australia, C Coconut Water and H2 Coco have essentially re-branded the industry that has maintained a quiet presence in our specialty health and ethnic food shops for years. You can even get non-packaged drinking nuts down at Woolies. Riding the coco-craze, Sydney brother and sister team Andrew and Cate Mathers have created Cocotap, a device that chisels a hole in the top of your nut for easy access. The Cocotap, looking a little like a bike tool, provides another path to that sweet pond of pleasure. But is it all a fad? For millennia, the coconut has been celebrated as a miraculous product of nature. Dad fried up his coconut oil-basted skin like pork crackling on the beaches of Queensland in his younger days, and Mum’s ex-husband’s sister passed a recipe for something called ‘Jallop’ on to her. It’s pretty much a baked concoction of margarine, sugar, flour and coconut. No wonder they don’t still get on. These days, coconut butter’s become a dermatological fix-all for my sister, but Nan still makes a banging coconut slice. As for the water craze and where it started, anyone who’s wandered the beach-side streets of Thailand in 40-degree heat will have some idea of what’s enamoured our market to this noble drupe. With heaps of electrolytes and only around 6 per cent sugar, there’s nothing like cracking an iced one and pulling a good, old-fashioned Mother Nature layback. Tendai Krohn of The Organic Food and Wine Deli in Melbourne’s Degraves St reckons that while

coconut water’s in fashion now, it has had, and will continue to have, a strong following among the health conscious. “I think the coconut water thing is linked in with raw eating and ‘superfoods’ becoming big, like with people having smoothies at breakfast, and the whole idea of the ‘health kick’,” he says. “We tell people it’s great for hydration and is a healthy drink alternative, but a lot of the time it sells itself.” Interestingly, Krohn raises the ‘food miles’ argument as a potential contradiction in coconut water’s association with clean living. While there are a bunch of small harvest growers in Australia’s tropics servicing nearby communities, most coconut water, whether packaged or shipped in-nut, is sourced from overseas. A tricky environmental hurdle, no doubt, but it’s important to remember that coconuts remain an important part of the economy in the regions that produce them. For us, the avid drinkers, healthy or not, coconut water serves another purpose. We’re all told that there’s no cure for a hangover except time. Whatever. The fact is that coconut water makes it as if the phrase Lemon Ruski has never even passed your lips, and erases the fact you cry-drank a box of goon in your bedroom watching Skins last night. Here’s a tip, though: prevention’s better than cure, so mix your booze with coconut water on a night out for best results. The Roosevelt Bar & Diner in Potts Point, Sydney is doing just that with its Polynesian Pearl Diver cocktail: a tiki smash of four rums, creamed honey, passionfruit and coconut water. I, however, can’t go past the homemade: two glugs of Appleton’s rum, a dash of Grand Marnier and a a few lime wedges in a cold, holed green coconut – it’s a winner. So, as we brush embers off our Ugg boots, wipe mulled wine stains from sofas and crank up for another seven-month sprimmer (my own portmanteau for the spring/summer party season), why not crack a nut and see what happens? THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 69


eat/drink

FOOD IS ART

WHO’S COOKIN’

MARIA LOUCA Which cafe/bar/restaurant do you cook at? Friends of Mine Cafe

FOOD TRIPPIN’ EATING AROUND THE USA WITH SOFIE MUCENIEKAS AND LLOYD HONEYBROOK

Address: 506 Swan St, Richmond Three words that describe the place? Cool and funky. What would you select from the menu? Entree: Slow cooked grilled pork with purslane, fried egg and truffled nut butter vinaigrette Served with? Gran Sasso Pinot Grigio Main: Grilled miso salmon with pumpkin puree, crisp greens and yuzu dressing Served with? Pacha Mama Riesling

GILLETTE TO SIOUX FALLS

Driving through The Badlands good food was sparse. The best we found was a BBQ joint off the highway. @lloydhoneybrook had beans, potato salad, brisket, sausage & a root beer. I had a BBQ pulled pork bun (surprisingly good), pasta salad & a root beer. #littletownslittlefoodoptions — with Lloyd James Honeybrook

70 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Dessert: Orange Bergamot NY baked cheesecake and gingerbread ice-cream Served with? SOHO organic ginger beer What’s the average price of a main? $21.90 Three ingredients everyone should have? Salt, olive oil, butter.

If your food was compared to music what style would it be? Calm, dignified and inviting – probably classical music. What music is likely to be playing in the kitchen when you’re cooking? Upbeat, energetic and modern – probably something along the lines of today’s pop from the radio. Where do you usually eat after your shift? At home with my family. What’s your dish of choice to enjoy after work? Noodle pho broths. Is your chef lifestyle more Anthony Bourdain or Pete Evans? I would say a mix of the two, perhaps leaning towards Pete. I like to watch what I eat and avoid excess where possible. It’s important to be at work feeling my best... if I let go too much then my career suffers. Structure and routine is part of any job but there are definite unknowns to my job. Website: friendsofmine.com.au

“SIPPIN’ ON GIN AND JUICE, LAID BACK WITH MY MIND ON MY MONEY AND MY MONEY ON MY MIND” GIN AND JUICE - SNOOP DOGG (SORRY... LION)


travel FACTS AND FIGURES

PRISON: RESORT: FESTIVAL

WHAT: Festival Number 6 WHERE: Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

WHEN: 13,14,15 Sep 2013 WHO: Manic Street Preachers, My Bloody Valentine, James Blake, Lianne La Havas, Daughter and more HOW: Planes, Trains and automobiles

TV addiction led Andrew Mastt to W l h resortt P t i i – now th Welsh Portmeirion the site for the boutique Festival Number 6.

CASH MONEY: Pound Sterling TALK THE TALK: Welsh and English

IF YOU LEFT TODAY

BY AIR: $2,005, Melbourne to Manchester (with KLM and Jetstar)/ $1,857, Sydney to Manchester (with Finnair)/ $2033, Brisbane to Manchester (with Finnair). Add a two-hour drive to Port Meirion.

SHELTER: Weekend Camping ticket for Festival Number 6 costs £175. EAT: Street food and drink Kraken Black Spiced Rum. WHERE: Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, UK

ritish ‘60s psychological spy drama The Prisoner was the mod soul father of psychedelic TV. In existence for a mere 17 episodes, it’s garnered a cult following attracted to its esoteric tale of Orwelliansurveillance. It’s steeped in both Cold War paranoia and the influences of 1967’s burgeoning counterculture of drugs and revolution. A former secret agent is held captive in a peculiar seaside village – location unknown. Its inhabitants are blissfully unaware of how they got there, its authorities vague about who’s in charge. ‘The Village’ was an out-of-place/out-of-time mix of straight-laced mock Tudor and escapist Italian resort. The real location was also kept secret until the final episode aired. Fans were as surprised by the finale’s ambiguous outcome as they were to discover it was filmed in Welsh village, Portmeirion.

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for uninterrupted sea views, while quaint streets of shops wind uphill to a variety of accommodation cottages.

This exotic sprawl of lush grounds, vast beachfront and eccentric architecture is located in the very un-exotic north of Wales. And, ever since the big reveal, Portmeirion’s become a mecca for devotees of The Prisoner. I visited the sacred TV location during the British autumn just days after it had been host to drug-fuelled revolutionaries such as Primal Scream and Horse Meat Disco. The inaugural Festival No 6 took its name from the lead character of The Prisoner (villagers in the show were assigned numbers, not names). Headliners New Order dressed in the iconic natty blazers worn in the show and festival street art was steeped in further references, with surveillance dishes on street corners and human chess games.

Portmeirion literature stresses the resort’s highbrow connections, with former guests said to include George Bernard Shaw, HG Wells and John Steinbeck. The continued reference to such clientele is no surprise. There is evidence that over the years, despite welcoming the hordes of unwashed attracted by TV’s spotlight, the gatekeepers of Portmeirion may have preferred them to stay away. One staffer related that it was by Williams-Ellis’ own insistence that The Prisoner’s location was kept under wraps and one historian described Portmeirion as being “under autocratic rule”. Maybe today’s open-door policy is due to a downturn in visitors. When booking into The Prisoner tour, it was evident we were the only two fans taking part. Also, The Prisoner merchandise store is no longer open daily (Portmeirion souvenir kiosk stocks the basics).

Finally I stood in what I’d once assumed was a set built by a team of tripping designers. Instead, I find Portmeirion was created by unconventional architect Clough WilliamsEllis; his take on Portofino made from other architects’ works and fragments of demolished buildings. The resort opened in 1926 and was a work-in-progress until Williams-Ellis’ death in 1978. Everywhere you turn there’s another unexpected design oddity either built around or brought in from another location: the salvaged boat-wreck affixed to the beachfront; scattered castle ruins in the surrounding woods. Central to the site is The Hotel Portmeirion, its front wall entirely windowed

Arriving in the early evening added an appropriate air of mystery – checkpoints were passed and escorts provided – before we were summoned to dine at the hotel. Portmeirion’s streets were eerily deserted but the fine-dining restaurant was not. However, it was clear these folk weren’t here for The Prisoner connect. An array of posh-ish accents could be heard in the grand lounge area, and although the menu wasn’t cheap it could be paid for in advance as part of the package. It seemed that us fantypes usually just paid ten pounds for a day-trip in. But it’s not a place you can absorb so easily. A two-day stay didn’t even allow for every corner of Portmeirion to be explored, plus, the quiet night atmosphere is a highlight.

Having seen the Disneyfied state of other UK tourist hotspots it’s understandable that Portmeirion may have wanted to avoid the tacky path taken by the likes of Merlin tie-in Warwick Castle. But with Festival Number 6 going ahead again mid-September, headlined by My Bloody Valentine, Portmeirion may have embraced the lowbrow in order to maintain the status quo. It’s an odd display of class culture but it makes a stay here all the more quintessentially British, just like The Prisoner. THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 71


culture

DON’T HATE THE PLAYER, HATE THE GAME (OR LOVE IT!)

IT’S MY PARTY... Get in the grog and fire up your outrage for this year’s election as our host Paul Ransom serves up the irony sandwiches.

ALPHA-BET

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here was a time, at least in folklore, when democracy offered the promise of progress; but let’s face it, Don’s Party is over and the light on the hill is now an illuminated billboard advertising Big Brother. No wonder the electors have turned their attention to voting Jade, Tahan or Tully off the show and praying that Matt Skinner really will deliver on his promise to help us ‘drink better’ on election night. But hey, before we sink into jaded, alcoholic despair, let’s remember that Australian democracy has one last silver bullet left in its holster: election analyst Antony Green. When Green drills down into the numbers it’s the vote count equivalent of uncorking a vintage red. You can get drunk on his booth-by-booth breakdowns and end up believing that it really did matter who you voted for earlier in the day. In fact, let it be said here and now: if you’re having an election night party you’ll definitely need some Green. Beyond that though, election night parties are trickier than usual affairs. Politics is a renowned firestarter. Those wanting to turn back the boats are unlikely to make party pals with those who voted to get the NBN over to their place sooner rather later. And then there’s the very real possibility that a smug and smirking Christopher Pyne will result in half eaten canapés being hurled at the television (hosts beware). However, the obvious problem with ‘Australia Votes’ shindigs is that they are half likely to become wakes, because losing the election is worse than dipping out in the Grand Final. Democracy, unlike footy, makes you wait three years for another crack. The apocalyptic gloom of Opposition is sure to end your bash with a crash. Of course, all of this assumes that you care. Why would you hold an election soiree if you didn’t? Excuse for a piss-up? Got a thing for earnest undergrads? Or maybe you just don’t believe the hype and this is the best chance you’re gonna get to feel superior to all those fools who think it matters. Ah yes, let’s invite the local, cut/copy conspiracy nut job to the party. That’ll liven things up. We’ll get to learn about how the royal family are really 72 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013

lizards in disguise and how the evil Rothschilds have already rigged not only the election but the next thousand years of history. On a personal note, I’m certainly inviting my new chum Ra’a’a to my do because his inevitable rant about how the “five hundred thousand elect” are shortly to retire underground while the rest of us are churned up and replaced with cyborgs by the year 2025 is sure to lift the mood. Phew, that means there’s only three or four more election campaigns left to endure. Now you’re talkin’. If partisan passion and cyborg takeovers aren’t enough to get the party started, there’s always the post-result playlist to fight over. Do we hark back to the bearded ‘60s, the shaven-headed ‘70s, the Red Wedge ‘80s or even the rage rock ‘90s? Or do we get our irony out and shake it all about? Either way, we should be suitably sozzled by then because democracy and drinking are excellent marriage equality bedfellows. For the so-called progressives out there, knocking back one shot for every seat lost may well dull the pain of a conservative victory. Meanwhile, down at the Rowing Club, North Shore sorts should try snorting one line of caviar for every gloom-faced ABC journo they spy on the coverage. Sure it’s expensive but the high is really something. After the counting and carousing, however, it’s time for the post-election shag – and this year everyone’s a winner. Paid parental leave means a potential 75 grand for you and yours. That’s a lot of flat screen TVs. By jingo, you could refurb your entire house in time for election night party 2016. Maybe you could even build a bunker to hide from the cyborgs. Apart from Harvey Norman and child care centres, the big winner on Saturday night will surely be my surprise party guests. That’s right, kids, I’m inviting Julia and Tim over. Either way, they’re gonna have a fine time. I’m looking forward to Julia’s concession speech jubilation and quite possibly a free haircut to replace the dreadful one I currently sport. Change of government, change of style. Who said we don’t take democracy seriously enough these days? Besides which, one thing is abundantly clear: elections are all about the parties.

Whenever a seat that starts with the same letter as your first name is mentioned, have a drink. For example, For the Bens out there, if Batman or Bennelong get air time, bottoms up!

PIN THE DONKEY

Stick Abbottshaped ears and K-Rudd glasses to the TV screen. Whenever they line up with whoever is on screen, drink.

FEELIN’ A BIT GREEN

Drink whenever Antony Green says “The Greens”.


fashion FROM TWIGGY TO WESTWOOD: GREAT BRITISH FASHION ON FILM

DESIGNED BY NATURE Maori woman Tina Waru and emerging designer Stacie Piper, of Wurundjeri descent, talk to Cyclone about Indigenous designers as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week.

TWIGGY: THE FACE OF ‘66

Discovered by Daily Express fashion editor Deirdre McSharry at 16, Twiggy became an internationally known model reppin’ a new generation of consumers. Screening: 5 Sep, ACMI Cinemas

PAUL SMITH, GENTLEMAN DESIGNER

A doco by Stéphane Carrel about Paul Smith, a veteran of the fashion industry. “You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t then you’re not looking properly,” he says. Screening: 5 Sep, ACMI Cinemas

IN VOGUE: THE EDITOR’S EYE

A doco by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato about Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington and Hamish Bowles, as they celebrate US Vogue’s 120th birthday. Screening: 6 Sep, ACMI Cinemas

OPPOSITE IMAGE CREDITS:

Designer: Maehe Ranginui Tamihana Model: Marlikka Poelina

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ainstream Australian textile and fashion designers such as Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee have long drawn inspiration from Indigenous culture. But there’s also a rich tradition of Indigenous designers. Bronwyn Bancroft, who in the mid-’80s launched the Designer Aboriginals store in Sydney, went on to show her extraordinary fabrics in Paris. In 2014 the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week will take place in Sydney with Aboriginal supermodel Samantha Harris as its ambassador. Meanwhile, the first major Indigenous Fashion Unearthed runway was held in March during the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival to a huge response. Now the globally unique show is back for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, its theme ‘Generations’. Significantly, IFU will showcase Indigenous designers from Australia and New Zealand – among them Timmy Smith, Liana Pakinga and Darwin’s Lenore Dembski (who’s behind the Paperbark Woman line). Football hero Liam Jones will parade his grungy T-shirts. What’s more, there will be Indigenous models from across Australia (primarily Aboriginal, but also some from other Indigenous cultures, including Native American) and, backstage, Indigenous make-up artists, hairdressers and stylists. Worawa Aboriginal College students will model their own collection. Opening the event is original Sapphires member – and Aboriginal model – Lois Peeler. Maori woman Tina Waru, who’s worked in health and education, is Co-Founder and Creative Director of the IFU mentorship programme, together with internationally renowned photographer Wayne Quilliam, of Palawa (Aboriginal Tasmanian) heritage. Waru wanted IFU – which, being unfunded, is run by volunteers – to provide Indigenous creatives with an entrepreneurial “platform” and opportunity to network. Most importantly, it presents Indigenous youth with role models and possibilities or, as Waru eloquently puts it, “pathways”. Establishing an Indigenous “presence” in the occasionally “intimidating” fashion industry isn’t merely symbolic – it’s directly empowering, she

says. “It actually changes things for a lot of Indigenous communities because they get to work together – [and] get to work on well-being and confidence.” One of IFU’s emerging designers is Stacie Piper, who’ll display couture headpieces. The Melburnian was already a successful make-up artist when she began to seriously assemble accessories. “Make-up artistry is a passion I have had for many years and I was fortunate to turn it into an exciting career,” Piper says. “I am always surrounded by fashion and, being a fashion lover myself, I would make my own small garments, alter old tops, et cetera. I have also worn head jewellery and headbands and would make them out of material, beads, that I personally liked. People would comment on these, so I thought I would create [more] and start sharing them with an audience!” Piper’s foray into design was influenced by an examination of her Wurundjeri ancestry in an unlikely setting. “I happened to be invited to the museum to view my ancestors’ artefacts. I came across a headband which was woven by my great, great grandmother. It made me realise my love of headbands and creating them must stem from my history, which made me feel very connected to them.” The designs Piper will be showing at IFU relate to the land. “I have taken inspiration from nature for my headpieces in this collection. I think of totems, animals and their messages, elements. I feel the immersion of the feelings I have, the lesson I learn from nature, and the inspiration I draw from my ancestors – particularly my mother who has recently passed away – helps me create and tell a story.” Piper has her own favourite designers. “I love Linda Jackson for her quirky style and bold use of colour; it reminds me of my mother as she had a very eccentric style. Aron Katona is one of my most favourite, again for his eccentric and brave creations, which are so wearable. [And] I look up to my Elders in the Wurundjeri community who design their [own] jewellery range – their one-of-a-kind pieces come with a special story, Bunjil Creations. These are just too special.” THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 73


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SCREEN SHARKS GHOST SHARK KNOWN FOR?

Coming at you from the same people who gave us Sharknado.

DE-FIN-ING FEATURE He’s a freakin’ ghost!!!

PROS He can only appear where there is water.

CONS He can appear when there’s only a drop of water.

SHOULD YOU STAY OUT OF THE WATER? Stay out! We’d advise not even drinking it.

JAWS

KNOWN FOR? Scaring the bejesus out of filmgoers in 1975.

DE-FIN-ING FEATURE He’s a great white – hard to miss.

PROS You can usually hear him coming thanks to his signature tune: duuun dun duuun dun.

CONS There are three sequels.

SHOULD YOU STAY OUT OF THE WATER? We’d advise against skinny dipping.

JABBERJAW KNOWN FOR?

Being a Hanna-Barbera cartoon cash-in on Jaws.

DE-FIN-ING FEATURE A pair of drumsticks – he drummed with The Neptunes (no… not with Pharrell Williams… a different The Neptunes).

PROS This great white was too busy drumming to bother with eating people.

CONS Because of the above, he never ate his fellow human band members. And they were awful.

SHOULD YOU STAY OUT OF THE WATER? It’s safe to go back, the band broke up.

74 • THE MUSIC • 4TH SEPTEMBER 2013



The Music (Melbourne) Issue #4