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themusic 14TH AUGUST 2013




Dead Letter Circus


Frances Ha The Preatures The Trouble With Templeton Tavi Gevinson Clive Palmer




Obey The Brave Midnight Juggernauts Dido & Aeneas Wil Anderson Boy & Bear Ash Sindy Sinn Tough Beauty Newsted


Album: Drenge Live: Grinspoon Arts: Andy Warhol’s Grave Gear: Alhambra Guitars App: Election Apps …and more


Cover: Catherine Traicos & The Starry Night





Local News Gig Guide Eat: Breakfast Drink: Sparkling Water Travel: Seeing A Show In LA Culture: Burning Man Costumes

review 12 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013



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Street Press Australia Pty Ltd


EDITOR Mark Neilsen



MUSO EDITOR Michael Smith


CONTRIBUTORS Adam Wilding, Andrew McDonald, Anthony Carew, Ben Meyer, Ben Doyle, Bethany Cannan, Brendan Crabb, Cameron Warner, Cate Summers, Chris Familton, Chris Maric, Chris Yates, Cyclone, Dan Condon, Dave Drayton, Guy Davis, Helen Lear, Jamelle Wells, James d’Apice, James Dawson, Justine Keating, Kris Swales, Liz Giuffre, Lorin Reid, Mark Hebblewhite, Mat Lee, Matt MacMaster, Paul Ransom, Paul Smith, Rip Nicholson, Robbie Lowe, Ross Clelland, Sam Hilton, Sam Murphy, Sarah Braybrooke, Sarah Petchell, Scott Fitzsimons, Sebastian Skeet, Sevana Ohandjanian, Simon Eales, Steve Bell, Stuart Evans, Tim Finney

PHOTOGRAPHERS Angela Padovan, Carine Thevenau, Clare Hawley, Cybele Malinowski, Josh Groom, Justin Malinowski, Kane Hibberd, Peter Sharp, Sara Wills, Thomas Graham, Tony Mott

ADVERTISING DEPT Leigh Treweek, Brett Dayman, James Seeney, Andrew Lilley


wtf ?

q&a So, in writing about various exhibitions, films and other arty happenings in Manhattan, if you were James Franco, what would you do? Post a pic of yourself atop two nude, female bodies of course. There is a method to his madness of his Instagram post, as it’s in reference to the Paul McCarthy exhibit WS, where he takes aim of American myths and icons, “bombarding the viewer with a sensory overload of scatological, sexual, violent, and debaucherous imagery that boldly forces the viewer to acknowledge the twisted underside to saccharine idols in popular culture”. Think the seven dwarves and Snow White having a raucous house party.

Upstream Color is Shane Carruth’s second film after Primer. It had its Australian premiere earlier this year at SFF and will open in cinemas 22 Aug. Before its national release, filmmaker Shane Carruth will conduct a Q & A from Paris – where he is currently in pre-production for his next film, The Modern Ocean – for Popcorn Taxi post a screening on this Wednesday at Event Cinemas, Bondi Junction.

ART DIRECTOR Dave Harvey, Matt Davis

ART DEPT Eamon Stewart, Nicholas Hopkins


Glass Towers have recently released their debut album Halcyon Days and the 11 perfectly formed pop gems are an exploration of the band’s youth, but this time from the perspective of a young man standing on the doorstep of adulthood. Through songs such as Halcyon and the lustful lament of Tonight, Glass Towers are reflecting on where they have been and what might face them ahead. On their largest national headline tour to date, they play Friday at The Standard.

ADDRESS Postal: PO Box 2440 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 Street: Level 1/142 Chalmers St Surry Hills NSW 2010 Phone (02) 9331 7077



All hail the king. Walter ‘Heisenberg’ White is returning to finish off business in the explosive conclusion to Breaking Bad, a television show that’s put Albuquerque, New Mexico on the map, arguably for all the wrong reasons. Part 2 of Season 5 has just premiered in the States, and although we’ve got to wait a little to dig into that, it seems like the perfect time to immerse in the blood and blue meth from the season’s final chapter thus far. The first eight episodes are available on DVD now.


Everyone makes mistakes. But when you’re running in the federal election, you should know a little bit about your party and policies. Jaymes Diaz is the Liberal Party’s 37-year-old hopeful for the Labor held marginal seat of Greenway. But he’s now better known for providing one of the most awkwardly painful campaign interviews ever. Diaz was quizzed about his party’s six-point asylum seeker plan, with a reporter asking him to name all six-points. Fair call. A floundering Diaz skirts around the question – and even after the reporter tried a further eight times for an explanation on the policy Diaz drew blank.

Winter is turning into spring faster than we can say, “ditch the onesie”, but with some solid powder dumps on the snowfields of New South Wales and Victoria there’s plenty of reason to clip in. Mount Buller and Hotham got 20-50 cm of fresh stuff last week and Perisher still has almost 100 lifts operational; head up to the peaks and shred the gnar before it all melts for another year. Perth to Melbourne return flights from $338; Brisbane to Sydney return from $158.


Get jiggly with it! Good Samaritan Yoelsan Alfaroone was dropping his neighbour home when she decided to get loose to Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. In what’s fast becoming one of the most popular Vines of all time, she shimmies and jiggles like a pro, proving that grandma still got the moves, yo.


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national news



When you’re feeling down and low, filthy rock’n’roll is all you need. Bringing it to you in a glass on the rocks are The Delta Riggs, the Melbourne-based quintet riding high following the April release of Hex.Lover. Killer. Alongside The Walking Who, the swaggering Delta boys bring their America single tour to BIGSOUND, Brisbane, 11 – 12 Sep, before knocking over the following dates: Efterski Festival, Thredbo, 13 Sep; Karova Lounge, Ballarat, 20 Sep; The Toff, Melbourne, 21 Sep; Small Ballroom, Newcastle, 28 Sep; Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane, 3 Oct; Elsewhere, Gold Coast, 4 Oct; and The Standard, Sydney, 5 Oct.



With millions of fans right around the globe, Paramore have long stood as one of the biggest drawcards in the pop-punk world. But with their fourth record, they’ve come out and offered us so much more. As part of the bumper 2013 Soundwave bill, the band indicated a shift in musical direction, and with their self-titled album of April this year it’s clear they’re relishing in the ideals that anything is possible. Now, the Tennessee rockers will return and present the record properly with their biggest Australian headline tour ever, playing capital cities alongside British favourites You Me At Six and upcoming American pair Twenty One Pilots. The bands will get 2014 off on the right foot for fans, arriving early next year for some licensed/all ages shows, playing 9 Jan, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; 11 Jan, Allphones Arena, Sydney; 12 Jan, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne; and 16 Jan, Perth Arena. Tickets on sale from 22 Aug.


Prog metal visionary and all-round boundary pusher Steven Wilson – the mind at the centre of Porcupine Tree – will be bringing his latest acclaimed album, The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories), to our shores with a full band delivering the songs through four channel surround sound so instruments come at you from every corner of the room. Expect your mind to be pulled and twisted until you see the music. Wilson plays east coast shows at Billboard, Melbourne, 2 Oct; Metro Theatre, Sydney, 3 Oct; and The Tivoli, Brisbane, 5 Oct.



Recognised as one of Australian music’s most important voices, it’s with humble honour that BIGSOUND welcomes Gurrumul to the list of keynote speakers for 2013. Alongside Skinnyfish Music’s Mark Grose and Michael Honhen, the talk will reveal the complex mystic and creative brilliance of the great man and document his journey from Elcho Island to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. In addition, the Live side of things also welcomes a bunch of new names including Adalita, Mitzi, The Trouble With Templeton and Bad//Dreems. BIGSOUND takes place from 10 – 13 Sep, with tickets still available through the venue website.


It’s back again in 2013. Rap City will shake the foundations on Queen’s Birthday long weekend, with a bill that maintains the legendary legacy of the event. The formidable Brooklyn master Talib Kweli will head up the bill, with Homeboy Sandman and Trademark ‘Da Skydiver offering up plenty more leftfield shit for the purists. These three men build this city on 3 Oct, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne; 4 Oct, Villa, Perth; 5 Oct, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; and 6 Oct, The Hi-Fi, Sydney.


Sydney via Papua New Guinea songstress Ngaiire seems set to turn the Australian music landscape on its head with debut record Lamentations. Combining bold future soul with evocative tones and delivery, this release finds even brighter colours on stage, where a crack backing band and brilliantly alive costumes turn Ngaiire’s shows into events. Check this future icon out on 12 Sep, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; 19 Sep, Transit Bar, Canberra; 20 Sept, Baha Tacos, Rye; 21 Sep, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne; 27 Sep, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle; 28 Sept, Heritage Hotel, Bulli; 3 Oct, Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre, Brisbane; 4 Oct, Solbar, Maroochydore; and 5 Oct, The Northern, Byron Bay. The full tour is proudly presented by The Music.

national news THE JUNGLE GIANTS



After stepping up with a Big Top slot at Splendour, The Jungle Giants are tackling a big national tour with pals Northeast Party House. Catch the quartet at The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, 4 (18+) and 6 Oct (U18 matinee); Karova Lounge, Ballarat, 5 Oct; Transit Bar, Canberra, 10 Oct; The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, 11 Oct; Metro Theatre, Sydney, 12 Oct (AA); Newport, Fremantle, 17 Oct; Capitol, Perth, 18 Oct; Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, 24 Oct; Solbar, Maroochydore, 25 Oct; The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, 26 Oct; Alhambra Lounge, (U18 matinee) 27 Oct. Tickets on sale this Friday – proudly presented by The Music.


Remember a few months ago when we announced the cool-as-heck idea of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus for their forthcoming Australian tour plans? Well, after fan voting, the Choose Our Adventure tour has been locked in: The Hi-Fi, Brisbane, 7 Nov; The McEnroe Meltdown, The Racket Club, Newcastle, 9 Nov (licensed/all ages); UTS Glasshouse, Sydney, 14 Nov (licensed/all ages); and Corner Hotel, Melbourne, 15 Nov.



We’re beside ourselves after having a squiz at the line-up for Falls Music & Arts Festival 2013, with some of the best music, comedy and arts pulled from all corners of the globe. The bill as it stands now is (in alphabetical order): !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Asta, Big Scary, Bombino, Bonobo, The Cat Empire, Chet Faker, Crystal Fighters, Cyril Hahn, Flight Facilities, Gossling, Grizzly Bear, Hanni El Khatib, Hermitude, James Vincent McMorrow, London Grammar, MGMT, Neil Finn, Pond, The Preatures, The Roots, Rüfüs, Solange, Tom Odell, Vampire Weekend, Violent Femmes, White Denim and The Wombats, with the Boogie Nights section of the line-up offering up: The Correspondents, Hot 8 Brass Band, Hot Dub Time Machine, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Legs Akimbo, Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro and Tom Thum. Get along to Lorne, Victoria, 28 Dec to 1 Jan, or North Byron Parklands, New South Wales, 31 Dec to 3 Jan. Ticket ballots are open now and can be found on the event website.



Depraved Sydney five-piece Nancy Vandal return to riot once more, celebrating their 20-year anniversary with a new record – Flogging A Dead Phoenix – and a whole bunch of shows. These mother of all punk rock parties will be happening at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, 18 Oct; Dicey Rileys Hotel, Wollongong, 19 Oct; The Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, 2 Nov; The Zoo, Brisbane, Nov 8; Miami Tavern Shark Bar, Gold Coast, Nov 9; and The Lair @ The Metro, Sydney, Nov 16. Each bill has fanfucking-tastic local bands on the undercard, with tickets on sale now. The full east coast tour is proudly presented by The Music.

Guess who’s back? Back again. Mantra’s back. Tell your friends, da na na... Okay, okay – you get it. One of the most celebrated and respected voices of Australian hip hop is about ready to drop his third studio LP, Telling Scenes, and is eager to take us lot – the listeners – on a zigzagging journey through his mind and soul. Hear these new tracks play out like a great movie when the Melbourne MC works his way around the country, launching the record on these dates: 19 Sep, Flyrite, Perth; 20 Sep, Mojo’s, Fremantle; 3 Oct, Great Northern, Newcastle; 4 Oct, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 5 Oct, Beachcomber, Toukley; 11 Oct, The Evelyn, Melbourne; 17 Oct, The Tempo Hotel, Brisbane; and 19 Oct, Solbar, Maroochydore. And for Queensland and Western Australia, you get a little deal sweetener in the way of Grey Ghost who’ll be adding his flow to shows in your states – booyakasha! Tickets on sale this Thursday.


Now calling Nashville home, Mississippi raw roots troubadour Cory Branan has put together a class third record in the way of Mutt and will be bringing his new clutch of tunes out our way for some touching evenings along the east coast. The Stunts & Guitars tour will kick off at the sold out Poison City Weekender, Melbourne, 7 Sep, before he plays Crowbar, Brisbane, 11 Sep; The Loft, Gold Coast, 12 Sep; The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, 13 Sep; Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, 14 Sep; Smith’s Alternative Bookshop, Canberra, 15 Sep; Karova Lounge, Ballarat, 18 Sep; Beavs Bar, Geelong, 19 Sep; The Reverence Hotel, Melbourne, 20 Sep and Baby Black Espresso Bar, Bacchus Marsh, 21 Sep.

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local news MAMA KIN


One of the most accomplished and respected music journalists/critics of our time, Simon Reynolds (UK), will be conducting a workshop on writing about music at his only public event in Sydney. Titled Rip It Up & Start Again, it will be held at Allen & Unwin in Crows Nest on Monday 2 September. This is a valuable chance to learn from a writer who has contributed to publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Observer, The Wire and Spin.


Sydney Festival has announced its centrepiece for its 2014 program. Reigning queen of contemporary German dance-theatre, Sasha Waltz, stages a radical re-telling of Henry Purcell’s Baroque masterpiece, Dido & Aeneas. The oldest love story in English opera, this tragic tale of unrequited love is brought to life by 60 exceptional dancers, singers and musicians at the Sydney Lyric from Thursday 16 to Tuesday 21 January 2014.


It’s beard meets bongo, banjo meets burlesque, flannelette meets flamenco and above all it’s a boots’n’all banquet of quality music and experiences as Mullum Music Festival announces its 2013 line-up. Just some highlights include Mexican born blind singer/ guitarist Raul Midon (US); Melbourne cult heroes The Basics; midwest US folk poetess Pieta Brown with Australian singer/guitarist Lucie Thorne as harmony rich outfit Love Over Gold; and festival favourites Tinpan Orange, Mama Kin (pictured), Jordie Lane, Sal Kimber and Jo Jo Smith. The festival takes place over four days (Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 November) in various Mullumbimby venues and locations.


After working alongside numerous artists including Mark Ronson, Daniel Merriweather, John Butler, The Cat Empire and Owl Eyes, ARIA-nominated producer, engineer and composer Jan Skubisewski has divulged his talents into a solo project, Way Of The Eagle. Skubisewski is set to take the project out on the road for the first time. After a show at BIGSOUND, they drop by Upstairs Beresford on Friday 20 September.


Moby has announced a one-off Sydney DJ set at Chinese Laundry on Thursday 19 September. This will be a rare opportunity to see one of the most innovative and individual forces in electronic and popular music today in an intimate environment. Fresh from stand-out performances at Coachella and Detroit Movement, this Sydney exclusive DJ set is part of a three-day Australian promotional tour to launch Moby’s latest album, Innocents, out Friday 27 September.


This Friday marks the official release of Davey Lane’s debut single, the psych-rock stomper with crunching hip hop drums and a soaring chorus You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime, the first taste off Lane’s upcoming debut EP, The Good Borne Of Bad Tymes. To celebrate, Lane embarks on his first headline tour, stopping off at Heritage Hotel, Wollongong on Thursday 26 September; Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle on Friday 27; and Spectrum on Saturday 28.


For the first time ever Rolling Stone magazine will be brought to life with its own popup venue, the Rolling Stone Live Lodge. Between Wednesday 21 August and Tuesday 10 September, this bespoke bar will be open seven nights a week. You can find the Live Lodge at 197 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. Bands performing at the Lodge include Boy & Bear and The Preatures (opening night), Tonight Alive (acoustic), Pez, Pluto Jonze, Glass Towers, Thelma Plum and Melody Pool.


The Break (featuring members of will Midnight Oil, Hunters and Collectors and the Violent Femmes) will headline the launch of Art & About Sydney. From 5pm to 10pm on Friday 20 September, Friday Night Live will feature live music, food trucks, a Festival Bar and the announcement of the winner of the $10,000 Sydney Life Photography Prize. The festival runs from Friday 20 September to Sunday 20 October and more than 50 associated events will be included in the Art & About Sydney 2013 program, from interactive experiences, exhibitions and art, to workshops and photography challenges.

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local news KATCHAFIRE



NZ’s sweetest purveyors of reggae Katchafire announce their return to Australian shores to celebrate their Best So Far album release, a compilation of the cream of the crop off their four successful studio albums. They’re bringing Hawaii’s Common Kings with their rock/ reggae/R&B head-nodding beats and feelgood vibes along for the ride. Check out the shows at Penrith Panthers on Wednesday 16 October and Coogee Bay Hotel on Friday 18.


The Drones finished their I See Seaweed national album tour earlier this year by obliterating the iconic Sydney Opera House, then jumped on a plane to play Primavera Festivals in Spain and Portugal. In September they return to the stage for a second national tour to the delight of fans who missed out the first time ‘round. Even more delight is to be had, with the announcement of two extra shows: Thursday 26 September at Zierholz @ UC, Canberra with Money For Rope and Friday 22 November at the Cambridge Hotel with Harmony. ALUNAGEORGE


In the past 12 months, Emma Louise has completed her process of taking flight from emerging artist with undeniable talent, to a fully-fledged global presence with serious main-stage power. Following a swag of sold-out album launch club shows across the nation, her final shows for 2013 will be a selective theatre run. She comes to the The Studio, Sydney Opera House on Saturday 12 October.


Sydney hip hop duo Mind Over Matter are stoked to announce they’ve been signed to Shock Records’ imprint label Permanent Records. The exciting news comes before the release of their third album, which features lead single Real Life and follow-up Somebody’s Love. Mind Over Matter perform at Wilbar Lane, Cronulla on Sunday 22 September; Spectrum on Friday 4 October; The Small Ballroom, Newcastle on Saturday 5; and Captains @ Mariners, Batemans Bay on Sunday 6.




Two of Listen Out 2013’s biggest acts, AlunaGeorge and headliner Disclosure, have announced sideshows in Sydney. In the past year duo Disclosure not only soared to the top of the charts and sold out venues across the world – they’ve also changed the nature of British pop, opening the door for underground dance acts to flood the mainstream. They play an all-ages sideshow at The Hi-Fi on Tuesday 1 October. One of 2013’s most hyped acts, AlunaGeorge, are set to play their only Australian sideshow on Thursday 3 October at Oxford Art Factory. It offers fans a chance to see their unique twist on contemporary pop music up close and personal. 20 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013


Mount Warning celebrate their new single Youth Bird with a show at Brighton Up Bar on Wednesday 11 September. The Smith Street Band have announced a second show at The Annandale on Sunday 1 September as part of their Don’t Duck With Our Dreams EP Tour. Ed Kuepper has added a couple of Sydney shows to his Solo And By Request tour, playing The Vanguard on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October. Hellions will be releasing their debut album Die Young in September, with an accompanying east coast tour that stops off at Hot Damn on Thursday 19 September. Irene Cara visits Australia for the first time as The What A Feeling Tour featuring her seven-piece band Hot Caramel plays Whitlam Theatre, Revesby on Wednesday 13 November; The Juniors on Thursday 14; and Rooty Hill RSL on Friday 15. Canada’s Yukon Blonde will perform at FBi Social Club on Tuesday 10 September ahead of their BIGSOUND appearance. LA music producer and DJ Valentino Khan is coming to Oxford Art Factory for a night of trap and EDM on Saturday 14 September. Don Walker & The Suave Fucks embark on a national tour in support of new album Hully Gully, performing at Camelot Lounge on Saturday 2 November. Sures have got a new video for their song Waste and will be playing at Yours & Owls on Friday 13 September and Goodgod Small Club on Saturday 14. Pieta Brown (US) and our own Lucie Thorne have joined forces to become Love Over Gold; check them out at The Basement Circular Quay on Thursday 14 November and Street Theatre, Canberra on Friday 15.

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UNITED BY FLAMES Words Lochlan Watt. Photos Kane Hibberd

The last nine years have seen Dead Letter Circus slowly but surely smoulder into a full blown inferno of progressive rock glory. On the eve of the release of The Catalyst Fire, singer Kim Benzie details the journey to Lochlan Watt. Cover and feature pics by Kane Hibberd.


e will be not be not guided/Held apart and counted/Kept within our spaces/ Alone /Some of us have broken free/And we have chosen/Bleeding but we’re conscious/Awake”. The above lyrical excerpt from Alone Awake is representative of the greater vision expressed by Dead Letter Circus’ second full-length. Sat at a table in Gregory Park, Milton, it’s a remarkably sunny winter’s day in Brisbane. Raised in Perth but having lived in the Sunshine State for the last fifteen years, Benzie is casual all over, completely relaxed, and begins enthusiastically speaking of music, and not just his own band, well before the seated destination is reached and recorder switched on. “It’s like we’re all archaeologists in a way, all moving towards the same mountain, carving a little piece or finding the overall shape of music. I think we just got to the stage where all those points had met, and people

about an idea spreading like a fire – that spreading of change. Over the last couple of years, everyone’s become a little more aware of how the world actually works, and the mechanics of it all.” A bell rings, and within seconds the park is filled with the jubilation of uniformed primary school students. Benzie continues as though the environment hasn’t changed at all. “All those films like The Matrix make sense to everyone, and so it’s that little quest. Every conversation you have, say it’s the first time you talk to someone about that, and you would take away that idea from me and give it to someone

“Our contract expired with Warner, and we were just looking around,” he explains frankly. “We’d had offers from everyone around the country, because obviously it’s a successful business model. Something about going with a major label again, although the guys at Warner are awesome, it didn’t really feel like it fit us – a bunch of guys raging against the machine – then being part of a worldwide corporation making lots of money off musicians?” Benzie describes their experiences with UNFD so far as being “much more fair. It just feels like an even gift for what we give to them, for what they give to us. It’s not just Warner – any major label that still operates in the old format... it’s pretty brutal towards the musician. I never want to paint a bad picture of those guys, because they were really nice, but the actual company structure we didn’t vibe on.” Getting back to the music at hand, The Catalyst Fire stands to be hailed as an impossibly cohesive masterpiece of progressive rock. With three guitarists working as one conscious entity alongside a watertight rhythm section, the band effortlessly construct a deeply psychedelic and dynamic grid of blissful hyperspace noise over which some absolutely beautiful vocal melodies are applied. Although Dead Letter Circus performs as a fivepiece, with original bassist Stewart Hill, guitarist Tom

“THE CATALYST FIRE IS ABOUT THAT YEARNING FOR CHANGE THAT’S WITHIN EVERYONE. IT’S ABOUT AN IDEA SPREADING LIKE A FIRE – THAT SPREADING OF CHANGE... THAT’S THE BASIC CONCEPT OF WHAT’S GOING ON THROUGHOUT IT – THE THIRST FOR CHANGE, BURNING FROM PERSON TO PERSON AND SNOWBALLING FROM PERSON TO PERSON TO THAT MOMENT WHERE IT ACTUALLY DOES CHANGE.” were looking for the same thing,” he says of the band’s rising popularity amongst the more extreme end of heavy music fans – a fact quantified by their relationship with US metal label Sumerian Records, as well as their previous and forthcoming overseas touring with such metal acts as Animals As Leaders and Monuments, with their style having subtly influenced their latest effort through sheer subconscious proximity. “You can say that a lot of alternative rock and a lot of metal has been done now, so the quest for that thing that will stimulate your mind is a little bit harder,” he adds. It’s clear that the scope that Benzie’s consciousness embodies extends much further beyond the self. His world view is holistic, having transcended far beyond a “cellular” existence and “invisible walls” people typically build around themselves. Humanity is one, yet we do not have to follow the hive mind. He retains a polite acknowledgement of rules and borders, and despite a lack of overt preachiness his presence alone seems encouraging of respectfully usurping the status quo. “Everyone in the world right now, it’s pretty hard to not be awake to the mechanics of the way the world is, and the problems of the world, being the reserve bank, an unfair system which might have seemed fair when they conceived it years ago,” he explains, pausing momentarily to take a sip of coffee. “The big companies hold [power] over the world, and that kind of thing. The Catalyst Fire is about that yearning for change that’s within everyone. It’s 24 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

else. It’s a catalyst fire for change. That’s the basic concept of what’s going on throughout it – the thirst for change, burning from person to person, and snowballing from person to person to that moment where it actually does change.” The ethos he speaks of has even translated into the band’s business dealings. Back in 2010, Dead Letter Circus were catapulted to success by their debut album This Is The Warning, which under the banner of Warner Music Australia peaked at number two on the ARIA charts. Now in 2013, the release of The Catalyst Fire has been handled by UNFD – an independent label typically home to such metalcore acts as The Amity Affliction and Northlane.

Skerlj, guitarist Clint Vincent and drummer Luke Williams, the latter two formerly of Melodyssey, Benzie explains in detail how and why the album came to be written and recorded with an extra guitarist. “On the actual CD we’ve listed six musicians as being in the band. At the very start of the record there’s a bit of a grey area where Robert [Maric, original guitarist] stopped writing for the band, and I’d started writing the songs I’d conceived with my friend Luke Palmer, who lives on the Gold Coast, and basically Luke possibly would have joined the band, but he was having a child. DLC is a style, one that has improved with the new album, and the actual style of the band is a style that can be interchanged between different guitarists. “About the same time that I was a couple of songs in with this guy, Rob left the band and we had all these tours booked, and our tour manager said, ‘Well, I know the songs, I can pretty much play them now’, so he took his broken wrist out of a cast, jumped on a plane and basically two weeks later was playing in the States on South By South West, and he did the tour over there. By the time we came back, we’d just fallen in love with him being in the band. It fit, it worked. We got back and found ourselves in this unique situation where we kind of had a guitar team, in that we had three guitarists playing on the album as a family, as a unit.” Don’t expect to see them playing live with all six members anytime soon, however. “My initial thoughts were I don’t

WHAT’S IN A PICTURE? ART, THE AMAZONS, AND AYAHUASCA The concept of The Catalyst Fire runs through not just every moment of the music, but the album’s stunning art as well – the seed of which happened to be fertilised in the jungles of Amazon. want to demystify the band or anything like that, by making it seem like there’s someone behind the scenes, but it’s actually a really nice story. He’s the only breadwinner for that family, so the state of the industry dictates that no one’s really making enough money for him to do it, but the musical chemistry is just so amazing.” Although Benzie confesses that no one in the band has had a real day job for the last eight years, their existence isn’t glamorous. He picks a spider he’s noticed off his interviewer’s shirt and explains the concept of the “kudos card”. “It’s like a credit card full of the compliments you might receive. What it’s good for – it’s good for drinks at the bar and occasional self-esteem

boosting, like when you’re picking up the home brand spaghetti at the supermarket and someone comes up to you and says, ‘I fucking love your song’, and you’re like, ‘Thanks man! I’m rich! I’m fucking rich!’” “That’s one of the awesome things about being in this genre and writing this kind of music. It’s generally the soundtrack to the intensely emotional parts of your life. It’s very personable music, and it’s not preachy because it’s more of someone figuring it out for themselves, and I just put that into the

song. I think that’s why people can connect with it. That’s probably the best thing about being in the band – it can happen anywhere.” “Deny it but know that we can end and nothing changes/Or decide it and hope that we ascend/ That we can shape at all the f ire that comes/ Or we pretend so we can hope it’s all just pictures in stone/It’s all been for progress/Will we see it fall down just like they dreamed it would?/Will we see it burn down to rise again?/We will see it fall down/Wake from this dream and know/ We must see it burn down to rise again”.

WHAT: The Catalyst Fire (UNFD) WHEN & WHERE: 4 Sep, Zierholz, Canberra; 5, Metro Theatre; 6, Waves, Wollongong; 7, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

“I actually met this amazing woman [Klara Soukalova] in the jungle. We were there on an Ayahuasca retreat, and she actually designed this tattoo of mine here. She’s this awesome shamanic artist that does these crazy, huge, intricate [pieces]; it basically looks like you’re looking at this code from an alien race. She drew me this tattoo, because she loved the message of the band, and if you live there and you’re a Westerner, then you’re there fighting for what’s going on in the Amazon. She gave us permission to use some of her symbology in her artwork, and so [with] our Australian artist Cameron Gray we spent about two months working with her just crafting this mandala, and we basically just wanted to create something that was a symbol for change, something that anyone from any walk of life could just stare into and have a bit of an experience looking at it.” Having previously themed an entire tour on the environmentally destructive issue of mining coal seam gas, or ‘fracking’ as it’s known, he reveals that the band soon plans to extend their environmental scope. “We really want to raise some awareness about the fight going on in the Amazon. The oil companies, the indigenous people and the actual river. That’s the heart of the earth. There’s more biodiversity in one hectare of the Amazon than there is in the whole of America. What’s going on there should be at the forefront of global consciousness, as they’re a more defenceless people as well. That’s what we’ll aim our sights on next.” THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 25



And the success of the film is something she couldn’t be more pleased with. “We really made exactly the film we wanted to make, and we never had any considerations towards commercial viability,” Gerwig says. “We made it out of a real purity of heart, and without any cynicism.”

What’s love got to do with it? Nothing, according to Greta Gerwig’s new movie Frances Ha. The writer and actress tells Anthony Carew about turning her back on the expected.


’m always interested in stories about women that don’t include romance, because I think that they’re so incredibly rare,” says Greta Gerwig. “And that’s not true of men. There are plenty of movies about men that have nothing to do with romance, and I think it’s important for women to have stories that have nothing to do with falling in love, or falling out of love, or being in a relationship or desperately wanting to be in a relationship.” The 30-year-old actress is talking about Frances Ha, the film that she co-wrote with boyfriend/director Noah Baumbach, in which she stars as the titular character; a 20-something dame caught in post-collegiate malaise of career dissatisfaction and living-situation confusion. In most set-ups that would mean, really, she’s lacking a man, and waiting around to find one. Gladly, Gerwig and Baumbach dodge that tendency, giving us a flawed heroine, one of the most well-rounded and singular creations to arrive on screen in aeons. “We didn’t start off with a thesis statement. Like: we want to make a film about a woman and her best friend, and ambition and failure,” says Gerwig. “It was only

Gerwig and Baumbach initially worked together on 2010’s Greenberg, which marked the first ‘major movie’ role for Gerwig. Before that, she was mumblecore’s ‘it’ girl: starring in three films with Joe Swanberg: LOL, Hannah Takes The Stairs and Nights And Weekends (the latter of which she co-wrote and co-directed), and playing key roles in the Duplass Brother’s Baghead and Ti West’s retro-horror movie The House Of The Devil. Gerwig’s star would continue to ascend, working with Woody Allen on his disastrous To Rome With Love

Not that Gerwig is ready to put any stock in the plaudits that’ve been thrown at her. “I protect my delicate ego by not reading anything written about me, or anything that I’ve done,” she laughs. “I used to, but I realised very quickly that I could not, because whether it was good or bad it’d just endlessly play on my mind. I am sensitive!” Gerwig’s even bringing her parents along for the ride – in Frances Ha, they play her parents. “We wrote that section where she goes home to visit her parents without thinking it’d be Sacramento, or my parents,” Gerwig offers. “But then, when we were planning her shoot, it felt like we could ask them to do it. We weren’t just coming to photograph their lives, we were asking them to participate in this movie we were making. And I think they were terrific! “I like it when filmmakers do things that intersect with their own lives,” continues Gerwig. “I think when you’re presented with a choice of shooting something that means something to you or shooting something that doesn’t, you should always [go with the former]. Because you’ll be able to see it – to feel it – through the screen. You don’t want every character to be played by a non-actor, but when you surround your main actors with ‘real people’, it gives the film this quality which is otherwise unattainable.” The presence of her parents conflates with the idea that Gerwig is playing a version of herself; that her Frances Ha screenplay functions as a form of creative therapy. It’s an idea she both considers and dismisses.

“I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN STORIES ABOUT WOMEN THAT DON’T INCLUDE ROMANCE, BECAUSE I THINK THAT THEY’RE SO INCREDIBLY RARE,” at some point in the writing when we realised there was no traditional heterosexual romance being told in this movie. And once we realised that, we were really excited! I was particularly excited by that, and almost protective of that idea from that point on; and so we went about making it very deliberately the case. The opening scene of the movie, where she’s having the discussion with her boyfriend about the cats and then they break up, that’s almost this moment of dismissal of that narrative. Like, it’s almost a misdirect – you think maybe we’re going to follow that relationship, but instead we pick up on this other non-romantic relationship.” Gerwig’s on-screen best friend is played, winningly, by Mickey Sumner, and Girls beefcake Adam Driver and Michael Zegen play platonic pals of the heroine. For indie-rock-spotters, there’s even an appearance by Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham; the latter having been Baumbach’s recurring collaborateur since 1997’s Mr. Jealousy. 26 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

and headlining Whit Stillman’s comeback movie Damsels In Distress. Baumbach and Gerwig were going to be working on an adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections for HBO, but when it got stuck in development hell they made Frances Ha as a low-budget, black-andwhite indie movie. So, after a long-time seeming like a starlet on the verge of a breakout, Frances Ha looks like the real deal for Gerwig, both as writer and as actor.

“I’m very different to Frances,” she says. “I think a lot of people assume that it’s just me up there, but I had a very different experience in my mid-to-late20s. It’s really an experience I didn’t have. I certainly didn’t have a lot of money, but I had a lot more encouragement from the world than Frances does, and I never made the choice to give up the dream and take the day job. In some ways, maybe I’m exploring an alternate life that could’ve happened but didn’t. Frances really feels, to me, like an outside-of-mybody comedic creation as a character. I don’t feel like her, but I feel like she’s a uniquely Greta Gerwig invention. It’s like the difference between Buster Keaton the person and Buster Keaton the character. It’s a performance, but it’s still completely genuine.” WHAT: Frances Ha In cinemas 15 Aug

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 27


FEELIN’ IT Things have been pretty sweet for Sydney band The Preatures, and with their first national tour ahead of them, it’s only getting sweeter. Natasha Lee chats with lead singer Isabella Manfredi about being the lone girl in the band, the first song she has truly loved, and pop revelations.


sabella Manfredi had no plans or desire to ever be in a band. Or so she now says. This writer remembers preparing for a school concert at the Opera House with The Preatures’ lead singer when we were both just 14. Not only could she sing, but Manfredi also had no problems holding court. She still doesn’t. “I think it’s very nice being the only girl in a band full of boys,” Manfredi admits cheekily. But this is no ordinary gang of brothers graced with a woman’s touch. The group originally began with Manfredi, Tom Champion (bass) and Jack Moffitt (lead guitar), who is also Manfredi’s partner. “We were all at the Landsdowne Hotel in Sydney one night and we were only doing covers at that stage. Then Gideon (Benson – vocals and guitar) got on stage with his band and we loved his voice. He’s got swagger, you know?” After ambushing the devilishly-coiffed Bensen postgig, Manfredi and co. managed to convince him to join their vision and so the current incarnation of The Preatures was born. Benson now shares lead vocal duties with Manfredi, the pair bouncing off each other on stage, with Bensen’s gruff growl a fitting accompaniment to Manfredi’s ethereal chant. “It’s been good having the competition with Gideon. It’s helped push us and what I’ve learnt now is that total control is overrated. Having a decided vision of a song doesn’t work so well; you need to let everyone have their autonomy and work on their part of the song rather than trying to control everything.”

However, one song Manfredi is grateful to have wielded control over is the group’s latest single, Is This How You Feel?, with an ‘80s throwback vibe that sees her and Bensen again sharing vocal duties, but allowing her subtle coo to shine. “Some of the songs are very personal and others… Others you just put them out there and let them go.” Not so with Is This How You Feel?, with Manfredi candidly admitting it’s the first song she’s ever actually “loved”. “Usually you write something, love it and then 28 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

hit a wall and hate it. But this… this is my first experience of actually writing a song and loving it. I mean still loving it. But I don’t think hating it is such a bad thing; I mean, I think it’s just part of the process where you have to love songs and then reject them so that you can go on and keep getting better and better.”

Listening to all five tracks on the EP is akin to taking a lazy trip down a fuzzy, LSD-infused ‘80s time warp. “I think there are also kick-backs on there from our earlier EP (Shaking Hands, 2012), especially on Gideon’s tracks. There’s a bit of that, and an Elvis Costello vibe on there as well with the collective stuff. For me though, I was listening to a lot of new bands, like Chairlift – I just loved the production on that record. But I also got into the pop element – I actually had a pop revelation last year, the new Justin Timberlake album, The 20/20 Experience. I love it. I absolutely love it. I was also listening to a lot of the Pretenders; I love Chrissy Hynde, just her diction and the way she phrases her words.”

Oddly enough, it was Moffitt (who also produced their new EP, Is

The next few months the quintet are gearing up for their first national headline tour to promote Is This How You Feel?, immediately after which they’ll head

“HE THOUGHT IT SOUNDED, LIKE, ALL VERY THE BOYS OF SUMMER.” This How You Feel?) who had a gripe with her first arrangement of the song: “Me and Jack fought a lot about that one, which was great, actually. It made it a better song. If someone gives you carte blanche it breeds laziness. Jack hated the guitar lines in the song. He thought it sounded, like, all very The Boys Of Summer. He’s like, ‘I hate it, it’s so lame,’ and I was like, ‘It’s on there and that’s it.’”

back into the studio to start work on their debut album. Why then dd they bother to release this EP, instead of saving the tracks for the album? “Well, it was part of our contract,” Manfredi laughs. “No, but I think we would have done it this way even if it wasn’t part of the contract. We needed another EP. After Shaking Hands, which we did in LA, we needed to do something really different. Everything we’ve done has been a reaction to something we have done before.” WHAT: Is This How You Feel? (Universal) WHEN & WHERE: 6 Sep, Oxford Art Factory; 26 Sep, Transit Bar, Canberra



The Trouble With Templeton’s Thomas Calder was already a critically acclaimed, albeit burgeoning muso when he decided to shake up his entire music make-up. He tells Natasha Lee why, and how he’s made it work.


or Thomas Calder, it all began back in 2011, when the Brisbane singer/songwriter started crafting songs in his home studio. In just over two weeks he recorded his mini-album, Bleeders, under the moniker of The Trouble With Templeton. And then boom! Unforseen critical acclaim followed, forcing Calder to take stock of his lonely boy situation and pull together a band. Enter Hugh Middleton (guitar), Betty Yeowart (keyboards), Sam Pankhurst (bass) and Ritchie Daniell (drums). “I think part of the reason I did Bleeders on my own, was because I hadn’t really met the right people,” explains Calder. It turned out to be the best decision Calder has ever made. The first offering from the new outfit was the eerie Six Months In A Cast, which nabbed the group third place in the International Songwriting Competition’s Rock category. “I know what I want in a song,” stresses Calder, “and I’m not necessarily democratic about my music. Not in an arrogant way – it’s just about me wanting to express what I do best, and I think that up until Bleeders I hadn’t really met anyone that I trusted, or liked what they did enough to hand my songs over to them.” As it happens, Calder found that in his new band members, who, he admits, have even given him a much craved for musical freedom that he couldn’t entertain before. “I feel a lot freer when I write songs now. With Bleeders I made one sort of album and obviously being myself I know that’s not the only type of music that I make. But people didn’t know that, and so the album was quickly lumped into a ‘folk’-sounding category. I had never considered the music folk in any way. But with this album, I thought having already established that genre, I don’t really need to worry about how people categorise it.” The final fruits of their collective labour is Rookie – The Trouble With Templeton’s real debut – which the band put together with producer Matt Redlich, who’s also worked with the likes of Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Ball Park Music and the ethereal Emma Louise. “I’m very cautious about letting go of control with my music – but it’s really easy when you’re working with someone [and some people] who you know [are] on the same page.”

Redlich’s fingerprints are all over Rookie. From the echoed, bleeding guitars on the triple j favourite, You Are New, to Like A Kid’s rambunctious yelling – all topped off with a scrappy, luscious acoustic sound. “Rookie is a lot bigger and a lot more expansive than Bleeders. It’s originally [what I] wanted to do with my sound. This time, I’ve also got a lot more to

this interview, but that’s okay. I’m just really passionate about my music, and I’m really proud of this [album].” He’s not the only one. First single, Six Months In A Cast, nabbed the iTunes Single of the Week in Australia and NZ. Second offering Like A Kid racked up considerable airplay on triple j. Their latest single, You Are New, is a cacophony of subtle, symphonic notes and rousing vocals. But for Calder, picking a favourite is akin to the Judgement Of Solomon: “They’re all my babies. I love them all equally,” he stresses, before a little nagging sees him confess a particular fondness for the sorrow of Flowers In Bloom. With so much praise so early, Calder could be forgiven for feeling some pressure. Not so, he

“THE SOUND IS JUST A LOT MORE EXPERIMENTAL AND A LOT MORE DARING.” listen to and to get lost in because I didn’t play every instrument. I think now the sound is just a lot more experimental and a lot more daring,” Calder suggests before correcting himself. “Not that Bleeders wasn’t daring. What I mean is that was never the main point of the record. I think now we’re just a lot more in your face and confident. “Wow,” he continues, “I feel like I’m gonna come across really arrogant in

insists: “I don’t really worry about [that] stuff. Of course we always appreciate when people like our stuff, but it doesn’t affect the way we make music. I only ever feel pressured to be true to ourselves and to do what we want to do.” The band will ride high on the coattails of Rookie’s release, embarking on a tour that Calder promises will showcase their sound in a completely different light: “I think we’re a lot more rowdy… wait, no, a lot more energetic than people expect us to be,” he laughs. “We really get into it.” WHAT: Rookie (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 22 Aug Transit Bar, Canberra; 23 Aug, GoodGod Small Club THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 29


HEY, GIRL... If you think the words ‘online publishing powerhouse’ and ‘teenager’ don’t belong in the same sentence, then you haven’t met Tavi Gevinson. Natasha Lee meets the girl who is teaching the pros how it’s done.


uick question: What were you doing at 13? Most of us were either cooped up inside playing computer games or, umm… at school. Not Tavi Gevinson. If you believe the hype, Gevinson is the face of the future of journalism, but if you talk to the now 17-year-old, you’ll find that she’s just trying to “work it all out”. At 13, Gevinson was seated next to the US Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour at Fashion Week. It caused a great brouhaha amongst the ‘fashion elite’ because, and get this, Gevinson decided to wear a bright pink bow to the event. The youngster was invited courtesy the growing popularity of her quirky blog, Style Rookie, which has now evolved into an online magazine for teenage girls, dropping the Style part in the process. “Oh, gosh, I’m trying to find a place to sit down! I’m walking on a street and there are like cars everywhere,” the insanely busy Gevinson pants. She’s on the phone from her hometown sunny LA ahead of her trip down under to wax lyrical about her “stuff ” at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Writers Festival. And, she’s kinda nervous. Despite a successful tilt at the speaking circuit thanks to a TEDxTeen talk on ‘Still Figuring It Out’ that saw her encourage all girls to “be like Stevie Nicks” (“she gave me a crescent moon necklace after that talk!” gushes Gevinson), this time around the teenager admits that she’s not as prepared. “Well, now I’m kind of still working it out. There are all these notes, and with my TED talk that was about having an idea and I kind of just stuck all these notes together, but this hasn’t been coming together as cleanly. I want to talk about a bunch of different things.” One of those things is her burgeoning interest in feminism. “Basically, I got into feminism at the end of my middle school years. I read a couple of books about feminism and pop culture and the riot grrrl movement, and it 30 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

just resonated with me. It all really started at that age when you think about your body and your image and your relationship to boys…” Gevinson drifts off before adding, “the hardest thing is just figuring out who you are and how your gender comes into that.” Entering the gender wars proved to be

own articles – is now something of a safe haven for teenage girls to escape into. There’s a mix of articles, with everything from music and movies to guides on things like How To Do Bitchface and How To Deal When You’re Caught Masturbating. “I like to explore a lot of problems and the things facing teenage girls,” Gevison says. “Of course, I have an easier time writing about the ones I have more experience dealing with, well, given my limited experience with things – I mean, I’m from a middleclass suburb and I’m a white girl. But the good thing about Rookie is that we have almost 80 staffers now and that’s a lot of people who come from different backgrounds and who can tell their own story.”

“IT ALL REALLY STARTED AT THAT AGE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR BODY AND YOUR IMAGE...” one of the smartest decisions the then 15-year-old (!) made. Sick of writing only about fashion, she expanded her online publishing empire to include anything and everything for teenage girls and, in turn, launched Rookie. The magazine – unabashedly un-airbrushed and featuring many of Gevinson’s

The online publishing wunderkind now divides her time between editing Rookie and being a (relatively) ‘normal’ teenager. When asked how on earth she managed to fit it all in, Gevinson laughs: “Someone once told me the key to not procrastinating is to do so much that you don’t have time to procrastinate, so I cut out things that aren’t interesting to me. Of course, there are some things that I have to do – I mean, I would not appreciate the irony of doing a blog about teenage girls and then quitting school.” WHAT: Melbourne Writers’ Festival WHEN & WHERE: 18 August, Sydney Opera House

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 31



When Clive Palmer has more political appeal than your prime minister you know there’s something rotten at the head of Australian politics, writes Kris Swales from deep in Clive country.


he billboard is the first sign that you’re entering Clive Palmer country. The eccentric billionaire – or just multi-millionaire, depending on whether you trust his personal value assessment of $6 billion or Forbes magazine’s more conservative $795 million estimate – beams down from the sign holding two thumbs up. His ‘she’ll be right, mate’ visage doesn’t quite match up with the ‘serious business’ image we expect from political leaders in Australia. Or anywhere, for that matter. We’re on David Low Way, between Mount Coolum and Yaroomba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, on our way to a private pre-election “Call To Action” from the mining magnate and his Palmer United Party (PUP) for his local membership base. Palmer’s corporate branding is consistent, the carpet matching the curtains from the billboard to the signage outside the nearby Palmer Coolum Resort. All the Palmer iconography is present and accounted for, from the sign for his Titanic II boat-building project as you enter the gates, to ‘Jeff ’, the full scale Tyrannosaurus Rex who stands off to one side of the hotel complex. The Universal Studios Jurassic Park ride seems a little half-baked compared to this behemoth, so one can 32 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

only imagine what scope Palmer’s recently approved dinosaur theme park will have when Jeff is joined by 159 of his favourite foods. Just a few weeks ago, the resort was alive as the Queensland State Of Origin team completed their preparations for the series decider here. Tonight, as darkness falls, a lone golfer gets in some putting practice under lights on a course that, until recently, hosted the Australian PGA Championships. Stretch golf carts ferry guests from the bitumen car park to the function room, independent Queensland MP Peter Wellington and ‘colourful’ former Sunshine Coast mayor Alison Barry-Jones (formerly Grosse) among them. Why am I here? My old man has joined the

PUP ranks – in part due to exasperation with the major parties, but in the hope of having the ear of a local powerbroker who’ll respond to his policy queries with something more substantial than the political equivalent of an email auto-response. Palmer’s PA says it’s fine for me to tag along and write what I like. After reading Max Robson’s comical assessment of the man of the hour in Fairfax’s Good Weekend supplement on the train north from Brisbane, I’m expecting something akin to a slapstick version of ABC political satire The Hollowmen. It’s a low-key affair, though, this ‘cocktail function’ sans cocktails, and the first social gathering I’ve walked into for a while where I’ve been closer to halving the average age than doubling it. Palmer is personable, working the room, moving from group to group, sipping a soft drink while shaking hands and dropping wisecracks. When he jibes that my old man and I share a similar high forehead as we shake hands, I take it on the chin and ascribe it to his obvious nerves. Bill Schoch, the PUP candidate for Fisher (Palmer is running for Fairfax, directly to the north), takes the stage with little fanfare, calling “the next Prime Minister of Australia” forward to speak. He’s warmly received by the 100-odd rank and file in the room, give-or-take one southern journalist who’s still slightly disappointed that PUP senate candidate and rugby league legend Glenn Lazarus isn’t present. What follows isn’t the rantings of a fool, though Palmer may be insane; nor a regurgitation of party rhetoric, though Palmer does drop some policy ideas. His freewheeling 15-minute speech, followed by a

10-minute addendum, feels like it’s being delivered from the heart – by a man whose heart seems driven by people rather than politics – with zero obfuscation. He reels off stats so quickly that you suspect his habit of running fast and loose with the facts (even when it comes to his own past) is in full effect, but it’s hard not to get caught up in his charisma. Like most of us, he’s fed up with the lowest common denominator political discourse in Canberra. Unlike us, he’s actually got the money to put where his mouth is.


A fortnight earlier, I found myself standing on the outside looking in at Redfern Town Hall. A crowd of several hundred spilled out of the first floor function room and down the stairwell for the A New Way: New Policies, New Politics seminar – an awareness builder for Sydney Greens candidate Dianne Hiles, but ostensibly a forum for human rights advocate Julian Burnside AO QC to elaborate on his asylum seeker solutions. Much as he wrote in his You’ve Been Misled On Boat People: Here Are The Facts piece for Fairfax Media, Burnside spoke of asylum seekers not as political pawns, but people; humans with hopes and dreams and much to offer areas of Australia that need a population boost. That keeping an asylum seeker in detention costs between $200-450k a year, but paying them Centrelink benefits is closer to $25,000 – and if they’re in a struggling regional community, much of that money goes directly back into it. Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail, Messrs Rudd and Abbott continue to promise ‘solutions’ and

announce borderline non-policies that have more to with saving their own careers than human life. In his “Call To Action” speech, Palmer references asylum seekers just once. Playing to his demographic, he says that raising the age pension is one of his priorities. “Talking to a lot of elderly people on the pension, who find that they’re getting – I think it’s $327 a week,” Palmer says. “Asylum seekers that are being paid benefits in Australia are getting $427 a week. “Not to have a shot at asylum seekers,” he adds. “It’s the system we’re talking about here.” A system where those at the top prey on the weak. Much like it was in Jeff the T-Rex’s heyday. THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 33


BRAVE WORLD They’ve been together for a little over 18 months, but already Canada’s Obey The Brave are signed to Epitaph, have a debut full-length under their belts and are smack bang in the middle of a world tour. Guitarist John Campbell talks about the wild ride with Tom Hersey.


here’s no rest for the wicked man,” Obey The Brave’s John Campbell says with a laugh. And as though to prove his point, the guitarist calls while on tour through the USA. So far, 2013 has been a wild ride for the Montreal deathcore five-piece. Formed in early 2012 by buddies from Despised Icon and Blind Witness, this year has seen the band tear it up across North American and European stages, with their debut record Young Blood earning rave reviews. But according to Campbell, the band’s amazing

business wasn’t something that they had planned. “When we started the band we weren’t quite sure what we were going to do,” Campbell explains. “The first talks we had when we got together happened when we’d all come out of bands that had toured fairly heavily, so we were thinking about starting something where we’d play some shows on weekends. As the songs came together we got more into it and decided that we wanted to do it full-time – give it 110 per cent.” As the band was writing for their debut, everything just clicked.


From the way Young Blood seemlessly marries a melodic metalcore sensibility with a brutal deathcore edge, to getting signed to punk institution Epitaph Records, it became apparent that, despite the band’s initial plans to keep things small, the opportunity to do something much bigger was beckoning. “The music is the primary reason that we all enjoy being in the band but, even if you’re 100 per cent behind your band, you might not get the opportunity to be able to travel and put a record out. So getting signed up with Epitaph just made us more driven to do this as a full-time thing, and take this band as far as we can. Just do as much as we possibly can, because it’s not an opportunity everyone gets. “And it’s one thing to write a song, but it’s a whole other thing to actually play that song live,” says Campbell. “I think there’s a whole different dynamic. Sometimes one of the least favourite songs on the record becomes one of [the best] to play live. And that all becomes good food for thought when thinking about writing a second record.” According to Campbell, that second LP is very much on the way. “Ideally it would be out early to mid next year. We’ve been writing for a while now. It is more difficult being on the road to get stuff done, but [we’re getting it] done, we’re fitting it in.” WHAT: Young Blood (Epitaph/Warner) WHEN & WHERE: 20 Aug, Pot Belly, Canberra; 21 Aug, Sohier Park Hall, Ourimbah (all-ages); 22 Aug, Hot Damn; 23 Aug, Studio Six (all-ages)

TEXAS TALES Want a guaranteed way to piss people off ? Try naming your band Millions Of Dead Cops (MDC for short). On the eve of their first ever Australian tour, Mark Hebblewhite chats with hardcore mastermind Dave Dictor to talk punk rock survival and Reagan’s America.


ave Dictor’s got a set of balls on him. It’d be one thing to start a band called Millions Of Dead Cops in today’s ‘impossible to shock’ musical environment. But doing this in 1981 – in Texas – and in the middle of Ronald Reagan’s conservative revolution? As I said – dude’s got balls. “Yeah, we pissed a whole lot of people off,” admits Dictor. “At the same time it was also very exciting because so many of us were restless and exploding inside. All these bands, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys, Agnostic Front, D.O.A., us, Circle Jerks – so many others – were doing our thing because nothing around us in popular culture interested us. “As for people hating the band because of its name – well just as we pissed them off, they pissed us off,” continues Dictor. “Down south in our neck of the woods you still had the Ku-Klux Clan viciously attacking Mexican farm workers and black churches. They did what they wanted because they were aligned with the police. And of course the police at that time would often break up hardcore shows and just start beating people for no reason. We were originally called The Stains but then we found out there was a band in LA with the same name so we had

34 • THE MUSIC • 24TH JUNE 2013

to change it. Choosing a new name was a no brainer when you considered how the police of the time behaved.” Unlike many of their contemporaries, MDC survived the ravages of time and have been an ongoing concern for 30 years. In 2006 the band got a real boost when the documentary American Hardcore generated renewed interest in the genre’s roots. “That movie really helped us,” admits Dictor. “When I was asked to be involved I said ‘cool’ and did some interviews and thought nothing of it. Then the next minute we’d be in the

middle of New Mexico or something filling up the van and people would come over and say ‘Hey are you Dave Dictor from that movie?” he laughs – “unbelievable.” That MDC are finally getting the chance to tour Australia is exciting for fans and the band alike. Dictor promises that although they are now seen as veterans, collectively they still have a hunger for hardcore. “We’re going to play our arses off for you – I can tell you that,” he says. “We’ve been wanting to come to Australia for so long and we’re really looking forward to playing the shows. Obviously we’ll be playing a lot of the early material – people seem to like that – but overall it’ll be something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. This band has lots of individual ‘eras’ and we want to show people a little bit of each one so they know what MDC is all about.” WHEN & WHERE: 16 Aug, Hermann’s Bar

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took a very interesting approach, especially in the modern age of online video and ‘content creation’.

Vincent Vendetta from the mysterious dance/prog/indie/ impossible to categorise outfit Midnight Juggernauts talks Chris Yates through the recording of their latest record Uncanny Valley, and lets him in on what else kept the band busy during their lengthy hiatus.


idnight Juggernauts do not rush things. Vendetta and his bandmates Andrew Szerkeres and Daniel Stricker have spent three years each time crafting the two records that followed their debut album Dystopia, with the newest Uncanny Valley finally being delivered. Their touring schedule for The Crystal Axis kept them busy for about a year after its release, but they have taken a long break from recording and even from playing shows – almost two years. A recent run of dates across the country to support the first single from Uncanny Valley, Ballad Of The War Machine, gave them the opportunity to hone their chops again ahead of the launch of the record proper, with Vendetta admitting he was actually pretty rusty. “Our April run was our first run of shows for a few years I suppose,” he says with an inflection in his voice suggesting he only just realised the notion himself. “It was good to get back into it because after a break like that it’s hard to tell what it feels like onstage again. We had a really good time and I guess the first few shows felt like a bit of a warm up because I’d forgotten

he reflects. “We spent a bit of time in this village in the south of France where a friend had this church that was converted into a studio. We spent a bit of time in this idyllic location writing and recording so I think the atmosphere of that place followed through onto the album. There’s some dancey elements but a lot of it is quite laidback. It’s not like it’s banging dance tunes. “[And] we like taking our time, for better or worse,” he laughs. “It means that we have a more relaxed pace for recording and

“We wanted to make a video that wasn’t a normal clip,” he explains. “We wanted the content of the video to be interesting in its own right. We had the idea of making this hybrid video that was like an informative, pseudo-doco. We’re always interested in that world and the genesis of different technologies. I was reading this book called Moving Innovations which is about the early history of computer animation, and then started researching more of these programmers and the corporations and universities that had computer labs and geniuses making these trials. A lot of the trials really weren’t that well known so we really wanted to make a visual history of that period. It was just something we did out of our own interest really.” For the album’s first single Ballad Of The War Machine, the group leaked the song as a video via a series of Russian music blogs, pretending to be a long forgotten Russian new wave dance act called The Spirit Of The Night. “We thought that since it’s been a while since we were out there, we wanted to return in an interesting way,” Vendetta says.”Putting out a song anonymously and posing as a Soviet pop band from 30 years ago seemed pretty weird. We weren’t sure it was going to be believable but when we shot it and put it out there it was quite hilarious seeing the response it was getting, from people in Russia and South America and the US. We had some Russian friends who helped us spread it through discussion boards and blogs and sites in countries who probably wouldn’t be aware of us.” Many people bought the gag wholesale as fact, with some commentators even fondly ‘remembering’ seeing

“PUTTING OUT A SONG ANONYMOUSLY AND POSING AS A SOVIET POP BAND FROM 30 YEARS AGO SEEMED PRETTY WEIRD.” how to play a lot of the songs and forgotten some of the words. Beforehand we had some pretty intensive rehearsals to get back into it. The Groovin’ The Moo tour and the Tame Impala shows which we jumped on board were all ages, and it was funny looking out in the crowd and seeing a lot of young people that were probably about seven years old when we started.” Uncanny Valley seems like the next logical progression for the band. While it’s practically impossible to pigeonhole what they do into any pre-existing genres, they inhabit a sound that is uniquely theirs and very identifiable. After recording The Crystal Axis in a remote beach house in Australia, they decided to isolate themselves once again for the follow up, albeit in completely different surroundings. “We had a direction that we wanted to go and we definitely wanted a cohesive feeling for the whole album,” 36 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

there’s not so much stress in the studio. It can be dangerous. There’s three heads in this band so it can take a while for us all to decide it’s a finished piece of music and it’s ready for the world. [But] we all felt pretty happy with the album as it was.” Video art has always played a large role in the bigger concept of Midnight Juggernauts, too. When they needed to follow up the brilliant video for Ballad Of The War Machine, they

the group back in the day, and lots more trying to research and find out more about this historical anomaly. This was largely due to the authenticity of the clip. Treated to look like a decaying VHS tape, the video was shot in various locations around Moscow including a military aircraft graveyard. “It was like a dream come true filming there. Our Russian friend spoke to the security guard and we gave him a little money and he let us sneak in. We got to climb on all the aircrafts and it was like a playground, we had so much fun!” WHAT: Uncanny Valley (Siberia/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: 14 Aug, Bar on the Hill, Newcastle; 16 Aug, Metro Theatre; 17 Aug, Zierholz, Canberra

WET MAGIC As Sydney festival unveils its 2014 centrepiece, Dido & Aeneas, lead mezzo soprano Aurore Ugolin talks to Dave Drayton.


asha Waltz’s radical new production of Henry Purcell’s Baroque opera premiered in Germany in 2005 at Staatsoper Unter den Linden (the Berlin State Opera). Waltz is at the top of her game and the dance-driven re-imaging – which features a cast of more than 50 dancers, singers, and musicians – was met with acclaim, and more than a few awed comments about the prologue, performed by dancers submerged in an enormous suspended tank of water. The score is to be performed live by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin conducted by Christopher Moulds, and the set is designed by architect Thomas Schenk.

For France-based Aurore Ugolin, a mezzo soprano who landed the lead, Dido, it’s her first big job following graduation with masters from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (superior not just because it’s in the name, it’s like France’s Julliard). “It was my first big role. During the summer I did one small role and then to have my first big role with a huge company like Sasha’s was amazing. I was very lucky!” exclaims Ugolin modestly.


So large is the scope and scale of Waltz’s production (it has been tipped as this year’s Semele Walk, the collision of couture and

opera by Vivenne Westwood and Ludger Engels that took top spot at the 2013 festival) that Ugolin is one of three Didos – Yael Schnell and Michal Mualem bring a more physical force of the lovelorn Queen of Carthage to life, while Ugolin provides the voice.


“It is richer this way, because it gives different sides of the character; all of the emotions of Dido are visible on the stage thanks to the three dimensions. The dancing provides another aspect of the character,” explains Ugolin. Likewise British baritone Reuben Willcox provides the voice for Aeneas, while Virgis Puodziunas dances as him. Perhaps the most famous piece in Dido’s repertoire throughout the tragic love opera is her final aria When I Am Laid In Earth, a tragic musing on fate that has come to be known as Dido’s Lament. Ugolin now joins the ranks of a rather eclectic bunch of musicians who have put their mark on the song (among them Jeff Buckley and Ane Brune). As it turns out, she’d been working on it since before entering the Conservatoire in 2000. “I had been working on the arias at the Conservatoire,” recalls Ugolin, “And I even presented to enter the Conservatoire of Paris the last aria, the lament, so I knew the piece already, I was already familiar. I’ve been lucky to develop it further to find a nice colour that also fit with Sasha’s idea. I found the direction; she is not complaining, and it’s not only sadness, Dido knows ‘He has gone away, but now I have to face this destiny’. There is a lot of dignity, you know, she doesn’t need to be sad or sorry for her destiny, she is going to face it.” WHAT: Dido & Aeneas WHERE & WHEN: 16 to 21 Jan, Sydney Festival, Lyric Theatre



Wil Anderson is optimistic about reaching the half-way point in his life, and explains to Liz Giuffre why he thinks his latest show, GoodWil, is his personal Dark Knight Rises.


lthough a broadcaster, writer and presenter, Wil Anderson remains once, always and forever committed to stand-up comedy. He’s about to hit the stage again with Melbourne Comedy Festival Five Star show, GoodWil, this time doing a shorter run for those of us not able to make the fest. “Last time I was in Australia there was a Western Bulldogs supporter who was Prime Minister, and much like the Western Bulldogs, she didn’t make it ‘til September,” Anderson laughs from his current digs in the States. Increasingly pushing for an international stage and forum, being home will make a nice (albeit increasingly strange) pit stop. “I’m just happy I didn’t come over here on a boat or else I might be doing all my gigs in PNG.” Still piss funny, Anderson is committed to upping the stakes each show. “While I don’t want to overstate, it is still dick jokes for cash. When it comes to comedy I want to take my work really seriously and myself not very seriously at all. That’s the balance that I’m trying to work on. And I think there’s a point that you get to in your life, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that often the most creative years in a stand-up’s life are their forties. If you look at the greats, if you look at George Carlin, if you look at Bill Cosby, if you look at Seinfeld and Billy Connolly, if you look at Ricky Gervais, if you

look at all those guys and where they really hit their peak, it was in their forties. And the reason for that is, I think, it’s about halfway through your life, an average life, and also you’re young enough that you remember what it’s like to be young, but also old enough to know that life is not black and white, it is grey, it is complex, and you’ll sometimes change your mind on things. So I’m approaching forty now, and I feel like in the last couple of years I’ve been transitioning, and if these are going to be my most creative years I wanted to work out how to do it. I needed to get my skills to catch up to my ideas.

Because to do the ambitious things that I wanted to do with my stand-up, I feel that you have to have really solid stand-up skills to be able to convey those ideas.” Explaining GoodWil and how it fits his career, he turns to one of the greatest philosophers of our time for help. “I know that I compare everything to Batman, but I feel like this show is like my Dark Night Rises. I feel like three years ago I established the things I wanted to talk about, then in the second one I turned a lot of those things on their head, even in a literal sense where I said ‘hey, you know how I was angry about this last year, but I’ve changed my mind and this is why,’ and now it’ll be like ‘this is the last thing I’m going to say about a lot of these things.’ And then next year I’m going to do something different again.” WHAT: Wil Anderson – GoodWil WHEN & WHERE: 13 Sep, Enmore Theatre and 26 Sep, Concourse Theatre THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 37



genesis to the songs on Moonfire, with its eclectic Nashville origins. “I started writing about two months after we got back from Nashville. I felt like Nashville was a little distressing at times, because I just didn’t have the motivation to start writing over there.” The album was recorded in Sydney’s iconic Alberts Studio, the spiritual home of AC/DC, and was overseen by Wayne Connolly, who has worked with the likes of Silverchair, Grinspoon and Neil Finn, the latter inadvertently responsible for the band and Connolly’s pairing, when they joined forces to work on a cover of Finn’s Fall At Your Feet.

Boy & Bear have gone through some swings and roundabouts of late, with a spot on the Splendour line-up and the departure of their bassist. Dave Hosking tells Natasha Lee about getting to a good place after learning to trust an outsider’s opinions.


ave Hosking, the frontman of sweet indie folk outfit Boy & Bear, is huddled on his flatmate’s floor, next to a window, desperately trying to get reception on his mobile phone for our interview. “There is no reception in my room!” laughs the affable Hosking, who at the time of this interview was gearing up for his band’s appearance at Splendour In The Grass. Boy & Bear are that remarkable breed of band that demolishes the award side of things, with their 2011 debut, Moonfire, nabbing five of the six ARIAs it was up for, while still remaining just on the outer of the ‘popular’ sphere – shadowdancing the charts and managing to gain a decent following while still keeping their clout. The opportunity to evolve as a band that “had nothing to prove” probably explains the laid-back and creatively spiritual attitude Hosking and his band - Killian Gavin, Tim and Jon Hart, Dave Symes and now previous bassist Jake Tarasenko (more on him later) - had when they headed back into the studio to record album number two, Harlequin Dream.

“WE WERE JUST SO DRIVEN THIS TIME AROUND TO DO IT OURSELVES.” It’s a feat the band appear to have pulled off. Their folky swagger remains, but this time there’s a multifaceted richness to the sound that seemed lacking in Moonfire, which Hosking puts down to a newfound confidence within the band.

Fuelled by a frustration over current radio trends, which Hosking describes as “not ambiguous, but just atmospheric, moody songs,” the group set out to create “easy to consume songs,” taking inspiration from just about everything – including jazz… and pop.

“I think we went into a different creative space for this album. I mean, I think in Moonfire, much of the focus of that was trying so hard not to sound like certain bands, which in itself can be quite a negative way of working, but can be quite effective, because it forces you to step outside your comfort zone.”

“I think there was a real realisation that the old stuff is really clever and ingenious, and then as we dug deeper we realised it’s not that easy to pull off,” Hosking laughs, adding, “they’re hopefully songs that people can sing along to.”

Work on Harlequin Dream began in Hosking’s living room, a markedly different

“I think this time around, we’d earned our stripes,” Hosking explains. “We decided this time to trust our instincts and do something which was meaningful. In terms of musical ideas, that meant not straying too far from what the purpose of the album was, and to not just put in things, like sound effects, just to try and make it moodier or edgy.”

“He [Wayne] brought a lot – he brought so much more than I thought he would. Not that I underestimated Wayne in any way, but… we were just so driven this time around to do it ourselves, and originally that was the plan – to just go in… the five of us with just an engineer – but our management team convinced us just to do a session with someone like Wayne, and it just went so well.” Connolly, says Hosking, effortlessly slotted in as the group’s sixth member. Or fifth, after the departure of original bass player Jake Tarasenko last year. “I mean, look, by the end of it, Jake was unhappy,” Hosking admits. “The band situation isn’t for everyone; it’s not a lifestyle that everyone enjoys and that can really take its toll on people…” he drifts off before adding, “it’s also really hard seeing someone you’ve worked with for a long time never seem content. We have a new bass player, Dave Symes. He’s a bit older and he’s been around the traps and he’s a different kind of bass player.” WHAT: Harlequin Dream (Universal Music) WHEN & WHERE: 24 Oct, ANU Bar, Canberra; 25, Enmore Theatre; 26, Fat As Butter, Newcastle; 15 Nov, Waves Nightclub, Wollongong




2 0 1 3






















be where the POWER is!









LOOK TO THE STARS Almost two decades on from making their debut record 1977, Irish trio Ash are headed to Australia to play the album frontto-back in all its boozy, girl-crazy glory. Drummer Rick McMurray takes a trip down memory lane to 1996 with Tyler McLoughlan.


s the pop-punk soundtrack to many a breakup, makeup, teenage fantasy and adventure – primarily their own – Ash’s debut record 1977 holds a dear place in the hearts of many who grew up in the ‘90s. Rick McMurray thinks back to the creation of an album that spawned five Top 20 hits – Kung Fu, Girl From Mars, Angel Interceptor, Goldfinger and Oh Yeah – and describes the sensory overload that came with revisiting 1977 as Ash prepare to visit Australia. “As you play it, it’s just like an absolute flood of memories coming back for the brain to process,” he reflects. “I guess we were just sort of getting used to being a band, and [working in a] professional studio recording properly – it was a steep learning curve. I think there was a lot of madness goin’ on as well – I think half the record was written in the studio. We’d never do that now; in a thousand pound studio a day and we’re sitting around tryin’ to write songs! It was pretty crazy but we were workin’ with Owen Morris and it’s been well documented how crazy a producer he is. He taught us a lot about songwriting, production and recording, but he also taught us a lot about partying as well.” Fresh out of school, the trio had recorded a couple of 1977’s key singles before embarking on their debut world tour and returning to the studio. They were fast learners when it came to creating rock‘n’roll memories. “For some reason everyone sort of got into crossdressing,” McMurray recalls. “We’d go down to like a charity shop and buy awful women’s clothing and we’d just get dressed and record wearing that – there were so many weird things happening. A lot of them I can’t remember, but pretty much every day we’d get up in the morning and go straight down to the pub – that’s where work would start; we’d have a couple of drinks and then sort of go back to the studio, do a little bit of work then we’d keep drinking,” he chuckles. “I’m sure we gave the record company quite a few headaches… A maniac producer plus three teenage boys let loose in the studio with loads of alcohol and drugs and it was like, ‘Okay, are you going go and make a record now guys?’” In a time when secret album tracks were a common though thrilling discovery, 1977 offered Sick Party,

40 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

a non-musical track featuring a whole lot of vomiting and giggling. “I think all of us are kind of on there in some shape or form. I think most of the actual being sick is Mark [Hamilton] our bass player,” says McMurray, drawing out his words carefully as though

screaming which is something we used to do in the band a lot – it seemed to help with the hangovers… That was just gonna be another layer to it that was going to be overdubbed on it but we ended up just not mixing the screams in.” Jokes aside, McMurray explains how it felt to have great success at such a young age. “We were kind of naïve – ‘We’ve got a number one record, we’ve made it now’ – but we didn’t realise that that was just the start of another sort of wave of media attention and touring around the world.”

“FOR SOME REASON EVERYONE SORT OF GOT INTO CROSS-DRESSING” deciding whether to admit the next insight into the making of 1977. “We were on acid; half of us were on acid and Mark was just drunk and feeling a bit weird and he was like, ‘Right let’s record this’. We listened back to it the next day and then somehow it ended up on the record. We were doing this concept piece called The Scream which is just ten minutes of us going from this quiet hum and then into this hellish

With a bond strong enough to see three Northern Irish school lads endure 21 years in the music industry together after such whirlwind beginnings, Ash are stronger than ever. McMurray is clearly enjoying the nostalgia trip, never cringing for a moment, even when it’s suggested that Sick Party must feature in the live show if 1977 is to be played properly in its entirety during Ash’s Australian visit. “I think when we first started doing these 1977 shows Mark had sort of threatened to throw up on stage but I think his wife’s also threatened divorcin’ him if he did it. I think he decided against it but I dunno if she’s gonna be in Australia so you never know. Hang around the venue for like twenty minutes afterwards,” McMurray laughs, WHEN & WHERE: 20 Aug, Metro Theatre


visual art

LIFE AS ART Ever thought about all the work that goes into a gig poster design? Sindy Sinn took the direct route and made them himself for his bands, and now he chats to Bethany Cannan about what it’s like to be a full-time freelance illustrator.


t’s a cold weekday morning in Sydney, and Sindy Sinn spies us a couple of cosy window seats at Olive Green’s, a small café with a fondness for all things organic. Next door is WorkShop, where Sinn is taking a night off later this month to run a gig poster illustration class. Sinn is obsessed with sharing ideas and being a part of the artistic community, which is why he is taking the opportunity to run a class. He explains, “There’s a specific approach to gig poster illustration. You need to be able to communicate with bands, tailor your illustration for a band, and there’s deadlines and a budget.” Sinn never studied at an art school, admitting, “I think if I had gone to art school, I would have rebelled against it, and been like, ‘fuck that, I’m going to be a lawyer, or a tradie, or a rocket scientist!’” Autodidactism suits Sinn, even though he took art seriously in high school, but was heavily involved in music. Sinn left Sydney soon after school, travelling with bands as a roadie and occasional stage manager. Eventually growing tired of life on the road, Sinn returned to Sydney, where he started a few bands locally, then realising it was easier to draw their gig posters himself, modestly adding that he didn’t think of himself


as a particularly good draughtsman at that point. But his work was noticed by other bands, who started asking after him. Sinn now works full-time as a freelance illustrator. “It’s incredibly hard. A part of me thinks there’s a really glamorous side to being an illustrator, or an artist. But the reality is that it’s really long hours ... I’ve got deadlines and I’m juggling clients and I’m trying to make sure people pay me on time and I’m trying to pay my rent and have a life.” Sinn says he has no interest in putting out “safe” art. While he feels art doesn’t

A FIGHTING CHANCE “We can say it; girls fighting is still perceived as being really sexy.” Claudia Chidiac talks to Dave Drayton about the misconceptions of female violence and why she put the issue on stage.


laudia Chidiac has long been interested in communities and an engagement with their stories, in her work and practice. “For about ten years now I’ve worked with young people in a community engagement context, and through my role as Artistic Director at Powerhouse Youth Theatre I really honed my skills on engagement, contemporary performance and working with young people,” Chidiac explains. When her tenure at PYT was coming to a close she proposed Tough Beauty, a confronting exploration of young girl-to-girl violence in Australia. Three years on, as the

theatre producer at Casula Powerhouse, Chidiac is directing Tough Beauty, the first theatre show to be produced entirely in-house at Casula. “Girl-to-girl violence has not been represented on Australian stages before, and this is an Australian response to girl-to-girl violence. We hear and we see a lot of work on stage and on screen about male identity and male violence. I don’t know a performance piece that has addressed or has looked at female violence, and it’s a gap, and there is something very serious that is taking place.” One need only to recall the 2006 case of two teenage girls beating a cab driver

42 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013


have to be offensive, he loves art that “looks crazy and interesting … and a little bit creepy.” The inspiration for his own work comes mostly from his love of cartoons and movies. I was curious about the tools Sinn uses to create his work, but apart from a computer and Wacom tablet, it’s just a sketchbook and a few pens and pencils. “I don’t have expensive pens that I have to use. I just make the best out of basic equipment. I try not to be too precious about it all.” Sinn is currently designing a collection of boys’ shirts for Mambo, and writing and illustrating children’s books, along with work for his regular bands and venues. Sinn has started painting murals, too, and his most recent work can be found at Mary’s, a bar in Newtown. WHAT: Sindy Sinn’s illustration class WHEN & WHERE: 20 Aug Work-Shop, Chippendale

(it resulted in his death) or the numerous YouTube schoolyard wars to which the likes of A Current Affair have pandered over recent years to realise that Chidiac has found an issue that needs addressing. While touring schools previously with an anti-bullying show, Can You Hear Me, in partnership with South West Sydney Legal Services, Chidiac noticed a common trend among the teenage girls – a silence on the culture of violence that existed: “In an all-girls school it would take a while to get any response. At one school – it was a co-ed school – no one said anything, and then one girl put her hand up and said, ‘Look, no one is saying anything because this stuff happens at this school, and no one wants to talk about it.’ With high schools, again it was that same question, why? Why is this an option, and why aren’t we doing other things? The young women I met would say, ‘You know what, because we can, we can do it,’ and that’s what I wanted to explore, that choice. Why is the ultimate choice for you to make in that moment to hurt somebody else?” Following a series of workshops and interviews that engaged the local community, she enlisted Finegan Kruckemeyer to write a fictional script that illuminated the responses of young participants, that recreated their world. “Both Finegan and myself feel really strongly that it’s not our job as artists to give answers, and something like violence is so complex we can’t give an answer to it and so what we have done is we’ve revealed violence in the lives of four young women, young women who have made conscience choices to commit acts of violence.” WHAT: Tough Beauty WHEN & WHERE: 15 to 17 Aug, Casula Powerhouse Theatre

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WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN After burrowing underground, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted has resurfaced and unleashed namesake project, Newsted. He chats to Brendan Crabb about keeping his legacy alive and appealing to a new generation of metal fans.


he younger bands we play with come up and show respect through their words and actions, which makes me feel really good, like we’re doing something right,” Jason Newsted comments of being back on the road with metallers Newsted. “It feels almost innocent in a way, because it’s been just long enough for it to be that way; it’s kinda wiped itself clean.” It’s taken more than a decade to reach this point. After departing Metallica in 2001 following a 15-year tenure, the bassist briefly joined Ozzy Osbourne’s band, while also branching out via more melodic Echobrain, whose demise he still laments (“It could have been something; I think it was in the right place at the right time”). The less said about ill-fated supergroup Rock Star Supernova the better. A period of relative inactivity – at least in the mainstream’s eyes – incorporated injury recovery, playing with prog-thrash legends Voivod and painting. Newsted readily admits to initial naivety regarding certain changes which subsequently occurred within the music industry – the use of social media, for one. However, the reception while appearing at Metallica’s star-studded 30th anniversary celebrations was a sizeable hint that he’d been away for an adequate amount of time for fans to miss him. The outpouring of support directed at his new venture simply confirms it. Since heralding his return last year, matters rapidly snowballed for Newsted, on which he also handles vocal duties. Debut EP Metal’s release earlier in 2013 whetted appetites, quickly followed by their inaugural full-length, engagingly titled Heavy Metal Music. “Once we got the EP out, within two or three weeks we had a new manager, new label, new this, new that and everybody wanted to get on board,” he explains. The veteran readily waxes lyrical about Newsted, the band featuring drummer Jesus Mendez Jr, guitarist Jessie Farnsworth and recent addition, Staind axeman Mike Mushok. “We’ve been together five months, got 35, 40 shows under our belts, and it’s pretty cool, man. [Mushok’s] much more than just a great player. He’s a good motivator for me, and also he’s one of the only people I’ve met in my life that can calm me down. I’m a really spoiled fucker, and I was, like, conditioned to being 44 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

very spoiled in a very big band for a long, long time. So I don’t like to take no for an answer, and I don’t like that… I want to get my way. So he can talk me down from some of my maybe unreasonable shit. Now that we’re together and been doing what we’re doing, and we’ve made the moves

“As time goes on, whether you mature or not, you certainly learn other things, and you have more experiences to make you become what you are. So a lot of the things that I’m able to go through now… it just reinforces every day how grateful I am to them, as band, and as people. How proud I am to have been a part of the greatest metal thing that’s happened since Black Sabbath. All that stuff, no one can ever take that away from me. I’ll always be a part of Metallica, so I feel good about that. I walk very proud of all those things that we did; we’ve taken it to a taller mountain than anyone else ever has, as far as our kind of music. I have nothing


we’ve made recording and live-wise, this is karmatic. This is destiny; this was absolutely supposed to happen.” On the topic of planets aligning, Newsted has remarked in recent interviews that his departure from Metallica was a necessary shock to their system – that if he hadn’t made said call, the band would be dead – and likely, some members, himself including.

ever negative to say about Metallica; they gave me my chance to live a dream life, and I’ll never forget it.” It was during his inauguration into the Metallica ranks that he was introduced to Australian audiences. Despite a lengthy break from our shores, he’s thrilled to return, revealing that Newsted will appear at Soundwave 2014. “Dig up some interviews from then until now and when people ask me, ‘What’s your favourite place to play?’ my answer is always the same answer: it’s ‘Australia’s number one’. ‘Cause we were one of the first American bands playing our style,to ever get a chance to go down there and break down the walls. It’s got a very special place in my heart.” WHAT: Heavy Metal Music (Sony)

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 45

festival 1.





Atlas Genius


Lollapalooza Crowd


The Cure


Father John Misty






Icona Pop


Jake Bugg


Kendrick Lamar


Our photgrapher in the US Andrew Boyle attended the recent Lollapalooza festival at Grant Park in Chicago. He managed to snap many on the huge lineup including recent visitors here, soon to be visitors here, those we wish would visit and some who may yet visit after all.


Major Lazer


Matt & Kim


Nine Inch Nails


Queens Of The Stone Age



Thievery Corp


The Vaccines


Tegan & Sara





8. 9.

46 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

The National

festival 10.





16. 15.



THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 47

48 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013



This week: Boy & Bear are back, election related apps reviewed and our thoughts on Upstream Color.

BOY & BEAR Harlequin Dream Universal Boy & Bear have a style and they’re sticking to it. That’s not to say every song on Harlequin Dream sounds the same. It just means if you’re not on board with the album in the opening bars, there’s not much point ploughing ahead. The good news is, those opening bars make a great argument for delving deep into what’s to follow.


TRACKLIST 1. Southern Sun

7. End Of The Line

2. Old Town Blues

8. Back Down The Black

3. Harlequin Dream

9. Real Estate

4. Three Headed Woman

10. Stranger

5. Bridges

11. Arrow Flight

Harlequin Dream is full of contradictions that almost always work in its favour. The title track somehow manages to be dreamy but driving at the same time. A Moment’s Grace asks contemplative questions about mortality, while not sounding nearly as pretentious as that description would have you believe. End Of The Line almost sounds like Darren Hanlon at his most playful. While Back Down The Black – all subdued piano and restrained synth – acts as a breather before the band launch into the (marginally) more up-tempo closing tracks. Songs like Arrow Flight, with its bouncing harpsichord and lyrics of “fleeting moments” and “basking in the autumn sun” make you feel like everything’s going to be okay. In a post-Mumford & Sons world, quiet, introspective folk music can be found lying under every vintage waistcoat and tin of moustache wax. But it takes more than just whacking in a banjo or mandolin to make this style work. It takes a kind of non-pretentious sincerity that Boy & Bear deliver in spades. Harlequin Dream perfectly combines the jaunty swagger of neo-folk with real emotion and a touch of bitter sweetness for an album of real substance. Pete Laurie

6. A Moment’s Grace THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 49

album reviews





The high and instantly recognisable voice of Taylor Goldsmith kicks off LA Americana/classic rock exponents Dawes’ third album, Stories Don’t End, opening track, Just Beneath The Surface, offering a nowfamiliar display of self-reflective relationship analysis (“When you talk about me/Do you stick to the memories?”), the singer-songwriter still trying to make sense of the myriad travails incumbent in messy affairs of the heart.

Awash with atmospheric backing music, World offers a very gentle introduction to Julia Holter’s third album, Loud City Song. With Holter’s delicate and carefully paced vocals gliding over the top of this minimal musical backdrop, you’re lulled into a dreamy world that carries you away before you know it.

Stories Don’t End

The album itself is an endless highway of AOR-tinted tones – the top is down and the sky is blue – the only slight distractions from the unrelentingly smooth journey coming in the form of the occasional mildly-indulgent fretwork and the complex, close harmonies liberally littering the surrounds. Goldsmith is one of those writers adept at ringing meaning from minutiae in the rich realm of relationships (Someone Will, Something In Common, From The Right

Loud City Song

★★★ Angle), although he channels that empathy differently at times. In Most People, he uses the perspective of an ostracised female, while in Bear Witness that of both a frail, aging man and a lovelorn dog. The songwriting is uniformly strong and the pristine production from Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Norah Jones) is crisp and adds to the allure; however it all just feels a bit safe and misses the melancholy of their 2009 debut, North Hills. Nonetheless, if you grew up getting down to your parents’ Jackson Browne or LRB records you’ll find a lot to love here – the ‘70s Laurel Canyon vibe given a modern sheen. Steve Bell

Billed as her first proper studio album (her previous two records were recorded in her bedroom) Loud City Song is a mix of highly individualistic and artistic tracks and there are, at times, surreal things goings on. In terms of sound quality, though, there is not as significant a difference between her most recent songs and those she recorded on her own as you’d expect. Some of the more experimental songs such as Maxim’s 2 and Horns Surrounding Me, however, take Holter’s work to a far more out there level than on her previous outfit. The themes explored on Loud City Song take some inspiration from



Drag City/Spunk

Sub Pop/Inertia

Prodigious and prolific Bay Area garage upstart Ty Segall is only just now releasing his first album for 2013, having dropped three long-players last year, and he’s lowered the volume significantly to fly his freak flag high. Sadly, Segall’s adoptive father died late last year and the fallout found him estranged from his mother, so now Sleeper sees him using acoustic guitars and ambient arrangements to craft a seemingly cathartic response to those traumatic events.

There are some albums that should only be consumed all at once. The fourth full-length from noise rock duo No Age fits into that category. An Object sees the pair minimising the turbulent noise of its predecessors, taking heed from 2010’s Everything In Between and making a greater use of space and structure with the execution of each track operating at a much more cautious pace. While still brimming with the dissonance that their sound is known for, An Object makes a departure from the more raucous elements of previous releases, hinting at a far more analytical take on noise-rock.


It’s a meditative batch of songs but not mired in melancholy, and Segall is an accomplished enough songwriter to pull this new mood off. He touched on such relatively mellow domains to a degree on 2011’s Goodbye Bread, but here he’s taken that shift to its logical extreme, songs such as the languid psych-folk title-track, the pastoral, Bert Jansch-channelling The Keeper, the swampy blues of 6th Street and the lo-fi acoustic glam 52 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

★★★ ½ the 1944 novella Gigi, written by the French author Colette, with Holter choosing to use this inspiration in a contemporary way. The book deals, in part, with society and appearances, and Holter shines a light on our culture’s obsession with celebrity – something the LA-born musician resents. Loud City Songs is a highly inconsistent album in terms of maintaining atmosphere from one song to the next. There are times when the tracks flow together nicely and then there are times when the change is, quite honestly, jarring. This album is definitely not boring but whether or not you can make much sense of it is another matter. Dominique Wall

An Object

★★★★ number, Sweet C.C., all sounding miles removed from his past fare. Elsewhere the ‘60s-tinged builder, Come Outside, brings a welcome whiff of menace to proceedings, while reflective closer, The West – which actually refers directly to his parents – strangely ends the album on a jaunty, upbeat note (musically at any rate). This relatively dark and desolate batch of songs will almost certainly prove to be a detour rather than a new direction for Segall – expect riffs aplenty next time around – but it’s still a fascinating and quite brave new facade for this precocious young talent. Steve Bell

No Age appear to be doing a little more genre-bending with An Object, exploring the realms of no wave and post-punk with a subtle incorporation of drone. Save for the more punkoriented C’mon, Stimmung and the krautrock-esque Lock Box, the album functions at a fairly consistent timing. As a result, it

★★★ ½ guides you through from start to finish with the illusion of having barely changed tracks at all – even with the occasional abrupt transitions and sonic curveballs that present themselves throughout the album. The only setback in such fluidity is that the album’s close (Commerce, Comment, Commence) feels far too soon. No Age have taken on a lot of responsibility in having included such a veritable range of sounds in such a minimal fashion. They’ve certainly handled it in the best possible way, though it takes a couple of listens for An Object to prove itself as the musically rich and brilliantly puttogether album that it really is. Justine Keating

album reviews







Lo Five Music


Nuclear Blast Fleshgod Apocalypse’s modus operandi is a bizarre desire to meld music of two seemingly incompatible styles into one and latest release, Labyrinth, has the Italians fusing symphony with technical death metal. The classical orchestration tempers the belligerence of the metal that lies at the core of what this band does. With so much going on musically it could all have easily turned into a sloppy steaming pile of half-baked ideas, but the mix is evenly separated with all elements working together effectively. Upon hearing this musical Frankenstein’s monster, one can only proclaim: “It’s alive!”

Singularity finds funk soul brothers Lo Five taking a range of retro influences and putting a contemporary electronic spin on them. The result is 13 groovalicious tracks that swagger from sweet neo soul to sly funk. Paying homage to the late great Amy Winehouse, Heavenly Ho was reportedly written several months before her untimely passing. Amazingly, Lo Five collaborate with Aretha and Elvis’ backing singers, The Sweet Temptations; the resulting Little Man is a totally delicious soul funker. If you feel like getting your groove on, Lo Five’s Singularity will certainly help you out.

Even though it was recorded in fits and starts over almost three years, the debut, selftitled album from Drenge never sounds roughly assembled, disjointed or uncohesive. Drenge the band and Drenge the album seem to be all about no frills, simple rock’n’roll. While the idea of a rock duo is nothing novel these days, brothers Eion and Rory Loveless bring so much energy and attitude to Drenge that not one track sounds like the work of just two people. Lo-fi and no frills, gloriously raw and gritty, you can almost smell the rock and roll coming off Drenge.

Glenn Waller

Guido Farnell

Pete Laurie






Bella Union/[PIAS] Australia Portland-based chanteuse Laura Veirs’ ninth album is a wilfully diverse collection (she prefers “tapestry”, hence the title’s weaving reference) of disparate sounds, united by her gorgeous voice, intricate guitar playing and distinct sensibilities. Esteemed guests such as Neko Case and Jim James help out, but this is Veirs’ baby (almost literally, with her being heavily pregnant during recording) and the rich imagery of tracks like Sun Song, America, Dorothy of The Island and Ikaria elevates this up with the best work of her still-escalating career. Sublime indie folk stitched to perfection. Steve Bell



Conversations With Ghosts ABC/Universal A concept album, Conversations With Ghosts sounds (deliberately) haunted. Beginning with a musical adaptation of Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle Of Innisfree, the orchestration is stark and spooky; Kelly’s voice is a relief, a sign of life within the otherwise unfamiliar sounds. Some of Kelly’s own words (and sounds) have been included too and somehow it sounds otherworldly, especially on finale I’m Not Afraid Of The Dark Anymore – a simple, gorgeous concept that sees Kelly working without a safety net, but with ultimate skill. Liz Giuffre


LO CARMEN & PETER HEAD The Apple Don’t Fall Far From The Tree Independent This is the first collaborative album from Lo Carmen and her pianist father Peter Head and hopefully it won’t be the last, such is its endearing mix of country soul and late night jazz. Primarily the songs are built on Head’s elegant and melodious playing and Carmen’s playful purr of a voice that draws you deep into the songs. Much of the album is made up of covers of songs made famous by the likes of Tom Waits, Peggy Lee and Roy Orbison, making this an album high on smoky atmosphere and the ghosts of many a raised glass. Chris Familton



Ocean Avenue Acoustic Hopeless/UNFD In marking the ten-year anniversary of Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard have re-released the album entirely acoustic. With a newly-adopted fluidity that didn’t exist in the original, Yellowcard have re-invented the 2003 album without disregarding the original elements that made it so successful in the first place. The energy is toned down, but still exists in the powerful vocal delivery of Ryan Key.



The Wild Feathers Warner

Yellowcard have taken on a dangerous feat in many aspects, but they’ve pulled it off and ended up with an album of high enough standards to be completely on par with the quality of the original.

A band made up of frontmen who all sing and write; an obvious embrace of country roots; polished musicianship with a Dirty South edge; there’s plenty of comparison between The Wild Feathers and Drive-By Truckers, in the best possible way. Hailing from Nashville, the band’s selftitled debut kicks off strong with the full throttle country infused rock of Backwoods Company and never backs off. Even the slowed down and acoustic Tall Boots still has real, biting edge. The Wild Feathers pays its respects to the past, while carving out something new and pretty great.

Justine Keating

Pete Laurie THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 53

singles/ep reviews



The Wire Polydor Voices harmonise over a drum loop that sounds like it’s about to break out into The Eagles’ Heartache Tonight. Of all things.

MIDNIGHT JUGGERNAUTS Systematic Siberia Is that just enough cowbell among the machine-made wiggle? Then it wobbles a bit, “eyes” rhymes with “mesmerised”, and the conventions of synthesised pop are served.


Glory Days Liberation

EMILIANA TORRINI Speed Of Dark Rough Trade Iceland’s third, or possibly fourth, best-known musical export offers music that is perfectly wellmade and modern, but lacks that wild-eyed individual quirk of something like her splendidly tumbling Jungle Drum – which the churlish, or maybe just the honest, would suggest she’s never bettered. Other songs that will come with her upcoming Tookah album, like History Of Horses, try for that. But because you’ve noticed she’s trying, this comes off a little self-defeating. She has been more than a classy, stylish – but essentially generic – artist. Hope she can be again.



Flightless/Dot Dash Their third album in not quite two years, 30 Past 7 adds a squelchy old synth foundation for the foggy vocals echoing down from the kitchen, where the guy who didn’t quite finish his pharmaceutical chemistry degree is continuing his practical research into Owsley Stanley. If you get that reference, you’ll likely get this record. See, got through the whole review without saying ‘psychedelic’ at all. Oh. Ross Clelland

★★★ ½


Put Your Curse On Me Illusive/Liberation It’s probably been helpful for the Findlay sisters to largely go missing for a year or so; their youthful precociousness and collection of old Led Zep records probably counted a bit against them until now. The lead title track of their ‘return’ retains all the blues-to-hard rock howl, but there’s maybe a bit less self-consciousness about it. And a passing growl at a passing red HQ Holden makes things that bit closer to home. Add the gravitas of the Melbourne Mass Gospel Choir doing their Volga Boatmen thing behind, and this becomes a thing of real weight. The October-coming album could be the proof of what they’re now about. Ross Clelland

Ross Clelland

Song goes for that intimate to epic feeling that might be just a bit self-conscious for here, but may work well for the world.


You’re The Cops, I’m The Crime Field Recordings/MGM Got a bit lost as the You Am I big show geared up. Now with stylishly retro monochrome clip and such, just know he knows how to build a great pop song.


Independent Big organ/guitar runs. Yells tunefully at you. Bit of grit before plunging back into the anthem.


Big Village/Creative Vibes Nice hip hop advisory to those who need to shut up. Well put together, but may depend on how many times you hear it before the joke wears. Ross Clelland 54 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013


TIGERTOWN Wandering Eyes MGM There was always an element of wanting to like Tigertown a bit more than you did. All the elements – the family of voices, the craftsmanship in their songs and playing – were present, but somehow it just struck as underachieving just a bit. But all across this, maybe because an EP gives them the space to stretch a bit, or maybe because that song that’s been on the TV just makes them a little more familiar, it’s taken that next few steps up. Said telly song – What You Came Here For – is the shiny end of their oeuvre, but work through to My Ghost to find an even more affecting and delicate face to them. Ross Clelland

★★★ ½

★★★ ½



Independent Damn, you won’t quite fit in any of those pigeonholes we have ready. The turn of last century clothes and slicked down hair hint toward the collective fashion of festival folk, while some fans want to reference a Paramore element. But when you just listen it comes down to Natalie Foster’s voice and thoughts. She feels without resorting to melodrama and, on songs like Naked, she has the longing in her vocal swoop to suggest that when they work out what they want this band to be, it’ll be special. Throw in Stay, the duet with Hayden Calnin, and be impressed.

‘Seminal Aussie fuzz rock giants’ you say? Yep, and fair enough too. Whether it was a matter of surprising themselves – and a goodly number of those watching – when they reconstituted for that Homebake appearance a couple back, or they knew they had it in them all the time, the obvious result is to make a new record. Also showing the wisdom of experience, they didn’t rush into it, and Mountain is just roaringly damn good. It, er, tumbles along for nigh on seven minutes, and just as you think it can’t get bigger and/or churn any more, it switches gear like a Kenworth coming up The Bulli Pass and just keeps coming at you. Goes well.

Ross Clelland

Ross Clelland


Mountain Shock

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 55

56 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

live reviews

GRINSPOON, THE SNOWDROPPERS, DAVE LARKIN DARWIN THEORY The Enmore Theatre 10 Aug Props to the lads of Dave Larkin Darwin Theory, who managed to maintain a hyped and infectious energy throughout their entire trashy set, despite a sparse and plainly uninterested crowd. The Snowdroppers shook down the theatre with their eclectic mix of psychobilly, thrash rock. Frontman Johnny Wishbone had the crowd eating out of his hand;

The set saw the Grinners take the audience on a trip back down memory lane, smashing out a swag of their earlier stuff from 1998’s Guide To Better Living and 2000’s Easy. A low hush swept over the crowd as those hypnotic opening bars of Chemical Heart played out across the darkness, Jamieson’s voice a perfect mixture of pain and gruff. Lost Control buzzed into the darkness, with Jamieson as his thrash rocking best. And although no real new stuff got sampled save for a few tastes from the band’s last release, 2012’s Black Rabbits, the crowd hardly seemed to mind. A brief return for an encore saw the boys wrap up the night in a neat little – albeit beer-stained and sweat-soaked – package. Natasha Lee


treated to a delicate acoustic blues and roots performance that drew similarities with Melbourne’s Domini Forster.

acoustic guitar made for a nice night of thoughtful folk.

Dan Parsons also had trouble contending with the noise of the crowd. Perhaps a more Tarantino-sounding surf rock band might’ve won the Soda Factory over, but Parson’s brand of storytelling blues folk was certainly a treat considering entry was free.


There is something nostalgic about Parson’s music. He writes thoughtful ballads, storytelling through songwriting, that you don’t hear all that much even on alternative radio anymore. Influences like Bob Dylan and Don McLean are obvious. Parsons could also be compared to Lior or Xavier Rudd, nowhere near as beachy

Local electronica duo This Mess kept the genre fresh by mixing hints of hip hop beats and clear, soulful yet dissonant live vocals into their sample-fuelled DJ set. Heavy Head had the best distribution of layering, melody and a great steel drums effect beat while the blend of sample loops and live vocals on their remix of Archangel’s Burial was great.


his bluesy drawl with an Australiana twang soared across the steadily growing audience, who were now feeding off Wishbone’s energy.


In a fit of red-blue splashes of light, Grinspoon entered the stage. Phil Jamieson – in all his suited glory – was every inch the charismatic frontman, all scrappy, dishevelled sex appeal. With arms outstretched like some crucified rock star Jesus, Jamieson pontificated and gesticulated across and around the stage, the singer even getting friendly with a bouncer, rubbing his bald head and resting his atop. Pat Davern, meanwhile, played the role of guitar rock god to an angry tee, the yin to Jamieson’s yang, smiling and gaffing his way across from one side of the crowd to another.

7 Aug

The Soda Factory

It was pulp fiction night at The Soda Factory, and the excellent soundtrack was turned off as dozens of Vince Vegas and Mia Wallaces finished their Royales with cheese and $5 shakes. Rainee Lyleson pulled out an array of what she called eclectic folk instruments picked up through her travels and proceeded to gently exude soft folk ballads. Unfortunately Lyleson’s show was hampered by a string of technical issues, and for the most part the crowd didn’t take all that much interest. When her gear was working, those who were listening got

Cameron Warner

Wollongong Unibar 8 Aug


as the latter though, and his vocals, while solid, aren’t as silky smooth as Lior’s. South Coast locals may enjoy Shoalhaven Night, written in the Illawarra during a road trip, the track is a nice inspirational builder. Other songs, such as Oh Baby, When You Say It Like That and Out In The Atmosphere, off his new self-titled album, were enjoyable, but nothing groundbreaking; thoughtful lyrics and an acoustic guitar are nice, but have been done for quite a while now. Standing solo with his guitar made it hard to produce a sound people would take notice of; perhaps a band behind him and a different atmosphere could improve things. Parsons was technically superb; perfect vocals for storytelling and smooth

Electro-popstress Phebe Starr was echoing and ethereal… like a star. Although drawing on a Bjork/Sia type presence, there was no real bang to her set and the small Wollongong crowd became restless. Her second last ballad The Worst Part was where she really connected, showcasing her beautiful lower register and a pumping slowmo beat towards the end. The addition of a full kit of percussion to the standard rock band set-up is what set Ballarat’s Gold Fields way apart from their contemporaries. Drummer Ryan D’Sylva (wearing a Cats tee) and keyboardist/percussionist Rob Clifton traded beats back and forth and the almost constant syncopated cowbell and jungle drum rumble that fuelled their momentum in the breakdowns was uplifting. THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 57

live reviews Lead vocalist Mark Robert Fuller chipped his front tooth on the microphone a few songs in and was seemingly in a fair bit of discomfort but he pulled it together well with echoing falsetto vocals drawing on ‘80s dream pop. The band kept up a constant tirade of tracks with instrumental transitions between songs that kept the crowd dancing. From opener Thunder, with plenty of harmonies, to audience favourite, Treehouse, the band put in the energy for an explosive show and even got a pretty respectable hand clap going during You’re Still Gone. The song structures and vibe got a bit repetitive towards the end of the set but their last track Moves was on point.

My Way has a ‘60s repeating riff, backing vocals and stompy drum line that sounds like it was written while lazing on a sunny afternoon. Whether covering a rockabilly classic, or unveiling a new track only a few weeks old, the groove emanating from the boys had the whole joint shakin’. They ventured into some surf rock vibes on Going Down, and strutted through heavy trash alt. blues territory, before circling back to good old rock’n’roll. Banjo. Upright bass. Horns. Violin. Telecaster. Hollow-body guitar. Drums. Folk. Blues. Country. Cabaret. To say that there are many facets to Cash Savage & The Last Drinks is somewhat of an understatement. It is apt then, that the first song of their set urged the crowd


With no hint of an encore, the UniBar proved a timid audience and it was an intimate show for the rising stars. As a credit to Gold Fields, they made it work. Lorin Reid


Goodgod Small Club 4 Aug Los Tones are of the same breed as Royston Vasie, Drunk Mums, or a punked-up Little Red. They enjoy their garage rock with the slightest hint of country, they don’t shy away from pop, but most of all, it all comes down to the riff. On 58 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

bass create an alloy of strength underpinning Savage’s husky low tones. All of this, as musically high-brow as it might seem, had an eager crowd dancing from the opening bar to the end of the genuine encore. Kristy Wandmaker


Goodgod Small Club 9 Aug Perhaps it was by result of the small number of people that made up the audience, but witnessing the amount


to Let Go And See Where She Takes Me. Which the crowd did willingly. Cash Savage is unlike any other band touring Australia’s pubs and clubs. She is an Australiana soul singer with a colonial blues band, who writes songs brimming with veracity and vulnerability. All of their songs tell the story of a moment. Bareknuckle Boogie captures perfectly the brainless stupidity that can be seen any weekend, in any pub, in any town, of dickheads punching on. Early Morning Comedown Blues evokes the wince behind your eyes as the first cracks of dawn bring reality to a fantastic night out. Musically the band are balanced. The violins and banjo don’t sound like a Mumford & Sons rip off. The guitars don’t battle for solo supremacy. Meanwhile, the drum and

more predictability and a little less obscurity. By this time, the crowd had increased quite significantly, and the accessibility of Four Door was welcomed with nothing but warmth. What could’ve easily been a boring set devoid of any variety was actually a mindmelting onslaught of highly danceable hypnotic electronica. Goodgod’s Danceteria isn’t exactly a big room. With the increased consumption of alcohol coupled with spiked noise levels and more movement, the illusion of an uncomfortably crowded space becomes that much more prevalent. Standish/ Carlyon cut through all of these potential distractions with limited banter replaced for a majority of their set with


of concentration with which Horse Macgyver operated his equipment felt almost voyeuristic – it was as if he were performing privately in his bedroom, completely unaware that he was being observed intensely by a small host of people. The acute attention he paid to his craft was as visually entertaining as it was sonically, though that’s certainly not to say that what was being produced was lacking in any way. Starting with sparse and basic arrangements, he applied additional sounds, periodically offering a number of curveballs to create tracks that were anything but predictable, even with the repetitive drum beats and synth lines serving as the backbones for each track. Four Door’s performance wasn’t all that varied to what came before, save for a little


ambient interludes, demanding the attention of what was mostly a restless crowd. And who couldn’t be sucked in by their overwhelmingly cool composure? Everything from how they handled their instruments to the nonchalant choreography carried off during Nono/Yoyo was as sleek as their refined futuristic sound – a sound that even in a gritty atmosphere remained perfectly polished (save for a few moments when they embraced the rougher sound quality that a live space generally produces by implementing an abrasive wall of noise). It’s not particularly easy to stay completely focused during an entire line-up of experimental acts, but each artist proved themselves worthy of total diligence from the audience. Justine Keating

live reviews

BATTLESHIPS, SAFIA, THE DEADHEADS, MEG MAC Upstairs Beresford 8 Aug Record label The A&R Department have released their first compilation LP, Marshmallow Pavement, and to celebrate they hosted an evening of several acts featured on the record at the Beresford. Kicking things off was local R&B songstress Meg Mac. Her set was made up of her entire recorded catalogue to date (about the length of an EP, all recorded in Perth), and


and vague psychedelia, and shouted lyrics jostled for space amongst lengthy passages of crunchy guitar work. Despite the looseness of their sound there’s a strong melodic sensibility underpinning the whole thing, and it was fun to wrestle with the noise trying to extract a cleaner song. Early ‘90s guitar sounds were clearly the starting point for them, but they aren’t slaves to nostalgia or lazy affectation. Their set was great.

short though, so their upcoming headline shows will be a pleasure to catch.

Synth pop outfit Safia were disappointing. Their Facebook describes them as the “newest thing in live electronica”, but that’s so far from the truth it’s almost offensive. Their set boasted an overly simplistic and bombastic series of regurgitated sub-par

GoodGod Small Club


it was a stunning introduction to what will hopefully be a bright career. Sophisticated songwriting combined with a phenomenal voice to create the best set of the evening. Her voice effortlessly conveyed everything she needed to communicate, subtly changing emphasis and tone to adjust the levels of pathos and the thematic focus. It not only sounded great, but it boasted deep emotional resonance as well. She had a vocal dexterity that bigger names like Jessie Ware and Amy Winehouse exhibit, and the small but vocal crowd responded well. Keep an eye out for this one. Next up were scum-rockers The Dead Heads, whose scuzzy slightly-out-of-tune jams were exciting and vigorous. Their arrangements were a strong mix of garage

Matt MacMaster


Aug 7 For want a better term, a Sydney supergroup of alternative noise, Broadcasting Transmitter, wasted no time in setting the night’s mood. Two parts Dead China Doll, one


references to a range of popular styles that came out sounding more like Eurovision than anything else. Glistening synth arrangements devoid of both originality and substance fell in a vapid heap on stage and would have been completely boring if it weren’t so loud. The only glimmer of hope came when they slowed things down a little and the notes and textures had time to settle in and try and burrow into your ear instead of punching them. Too little, too late. Rounding out the night was bright young rock band Battleships, whose rich cinematic songs were a welcome antidote. Lengthy ornate passages of melancholic guitar work wove themselves around dense churning hooks, and it was arresting and powerful. It was too

the noise that makes the group amazing. Gaps between shows and albums have only made their sound more focused, honed and brilliant; noise rock-cum-psychedelic jamming into crashing waves of sound - Dead China Doll mean business and Sydney should be proud. Behind two draped black desks, overflowing with wires and antennae, Barn Owl made their inauspicious Australian live debut. Lush keyboard tones foreshadowed the coming of much darker noise. Deep throbbing bass, felt as much as heard, shimmered behind the surprisingly particularly layered sounds being placed atop one another. Interruptive static pulses and the occasional presence of soft whirring


part Laurels, the trio thrashed out an improvised, ear-piercing noise set. Free jazz-reminiscent drumming held together droning guitar and harsh, exciting electronic fuzz. Like most ‘noise’ music, certain passages lulled and weren’t too essential to the sound, but the overall effect was wonderful and frankly inspiring to hear out of the local scene. Less surprising is the continued brilliance of Dead China Doll, who remain one of Sydney’s most exciting and vital acts. With a set seemingly primarily pulled from their second LP, due later this year, Sydney’s finest in experimental rock continued to wow. Were they entirely a vocally-driven band, they’d still be wonderful, but it’s the fact that the vocal moments are used as accent points amongst

and clicking from machinery loops kept the sound from ever sounding monotonous. Impressively, the layers of sounds - from the brutal to the verging on danceable - were all so effortlessly controlled by the band it would almost have been excusable to call the compositions easy; of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The duo’s attention to subtlety behind harshness, and the juxtaposed moments of the two extremes, is what separates Barn Owl from the countless legion of lesser drone acts. From electronic post rock to drone to pulsing experimental dark wave and everything in between, the set could not have been a better presentation of group’s sound here’s hoping they’re back soon. Andrew McDonald THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 59

arts reviews


In cinemas Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) wants his piece of the American dream. And the gym junkie and self-improvement devotee isn’t above taking a few shortcuts to get it. He’s big on ego and entitlement, short on brains and morals. And his partners, fellow bodybuilders Adrian (Anthony Mackie) and Paul (Dwayne Johnson), are just as clueless – not to mention a little low on selfesteem and a little high on drugs, respectively – to think and act rationally. Transformers megadirector Michael Bay may not seem like the first choice for such material, but it’s apparently been a passion project of his for some time. And he actually proves a surprisingly good fit. While his storytelling is a little rickety on occasion, the filmmaker displays a sure grasp of black humour and does a strong job of presenting both the glitzy allure of Daniel’s cheap desires and the grime of the scenario’s reality.

of Figment, EarthCam’s live webcam tribute to Warhol’s 85th birthday, for which a camera has been erected to film his grave 24/7. Watching this midnight stream it appears the aforementioned dudes and sex workers are conducting a hulahoop-driven séance. Actually, considering the skill with which this lady is spinning hoops the ‘sex worker’ label should be revised – it’s much more likely she’s a stripper. Twelve hours later and more strippers have arrived. Either Pittsburgh is a stripper mecca or Warhol has become a stripper icon. Or perhaps this is a tribute to factory girls, but if memory serves correctly Edie Sedgwick did not wear arsebaring dresses and Perspex heels. There’s voyeuristic fun to be had in perving on a gravestone. Most of your time will be spent thinking, “Wait for it, wait for it”, with absolutely nothing happening. But occasionally you’ll think, “Wait for it, wait for it… OVERWEIGHT FEMALE ELVIS IMPERSONATOR!” You could get clever here: a tribute to both Warhol’s 15


Wahlberg’s portrayal of Daniel as the manic, musclebound mastermind of this fiasco is a wild-eyed wonder, but even better is Johnson as a big-hearted, peabrained, easily-led lug hooked on both Jesus and cocaine. Guy Davis


minutes of fame and movies in which pretty much nothing happens. That’s not to mention the ridiculousness of watching a grave; dead people don’t do much. But seriously, who needs more justification than strippers and Elvis impersonators? Helen Stringer


Live Webcam

In cinemas 22 Aug

There are three sex workers and six dudes congregating at Andy Warhol’s grave for the opening

With so many pieces to its puzzle, it’s difficult to summarise, but in a nutshell

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Upstream Color is a bio-sci-fi drama that’s part mystery, part romance. As Shane Carruth’s second feature film, it’s undeniably a commendable effort – a cinematic experience that stays ticking in your brain a while after its conclusion. However, its story and ambition outweigh the impact of the final product; Upstream Color is heavy on the allegory, yet skimps on human connection. This is due, in part, to the numb portrayals of the two protagonists, Kris (Amy Seimetz) and Jeff (Carruth) – even when they react strongly they come off wooden. Although, admittedly this is consistent with their clouded, muddled headspace after experiencing traumatic events they can’t seem to recall. It’s contradictory in that every scene – every sparse bit of dialogue, every closeup of plantation, every time the camera follows a hand’s movement – feels like it’s calculated and contributing to the film’s meaning, but nevertheless, much of the time


Enmore Comedy Club What’s fantastic about this new enterprise from Century Venues is that it shows that Australia breeds great funny people. Although an all-male bill tonight (we do funny chicks too), the locals were unfailing, diverse, from different schools but overall really strong. Particular props to Tien Tran (old school selfhate but with an awesome local twist – who says Gen Y can’t be bothered to commit?), Jared Jekyll (the type of bizarre that the Poms would love in particular) and one-liners delivered deadpan by Bruce Griffiths. After the short break the host found his stride a bit more easily, thanks to a so-bizarre-it-had-to-be-true feminine accessory, followed by the final Oz act James Smith, who also killed. Now living in the US, he was the right mix



we’re left with the impression that most of the depth is the ‘of field’ variety rather than the emotional kind. Behind every connection between the several plotlines, you can see the shadow of Carruth’s hand, nudging it lightly towards you: ‘here’s the next clue, pay attention’. Dense in thematics, Upstream Color is worth watching to be a part of its discussion, moreso than merely in and of itself. It’s a film that is ripe to be theorised and analysed but, considering many of the events that occur, is disappointingly unaffecting.

of schmick but recognisible – our loss is their gain - come back again soon, Smithy! All of this was, sadly, undone with headliner Tony Woods. It’s not often, as an audience, you feel sorry for the organisers, but tonight I think we really did. Not charmingly incoherent but just pissed and sloppy, when he trailed and we didn’t follow, he (gently) got the shits. The take-home message was keep an eye on the local scene; there are lots more interesting stuff happening there (and clearly Aussies can handle their drinks better).

Stephanie Liew

Liz Giuffre

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 61

app it up


SIZE: 10.6 MB REVIEW: If you want to be kept up to date with the latest news from either of the major parties, you can purchase 99 cent apps that act as a feed of news direct from the party in question. But, as far as keeping up with the full election scope, you’re almost certainly best off with the ABC. Our national broadcaster is making a pretty good fist of leading the pack as far as embracing new media and their free app is probably the best being offered up by a major media organisation in Australia right now. They offer the smallest amount of click bait and the most amount of real news coverage out of all the Australian news apps we tested. You can argue their bias all you like, but there is no news organisation and certainly no iPhone app that gives more in depth and balanced coverage of the Federal Election. They even have an Election 2013 tab so you can filter out other news if you wish.


REVIEW: With smartphones omnipresent in just about everyone’s life in 2013, you would think political parties would relish the opportunity to sit in your pocket or handbag all day, every day, and the chance to chirp annoyingly at you every now and then with a pesky push notification. Alas, there are very few apps from Australian political parties and those that do exist are utter tripe. This Family First app, for example, doesn’t let you do shit until you give them full access to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Yeah, nah.

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REVIEW: A vaguely humourous app that allows the user to throw sandwiches, Australian flag patterned beach balls and boots at the two major party leaders as they rattle off some of their most recent policy based diatribes. Every now and then Julia Gillard walks across the screen shouting “Misogyny! Sexism!” and that, along with the fact it’s really hard to play and kinda unresponsive, makes it one of the most confusing apps out there.


REVIEW: It is not a bad idea, but Poll Watch needs more numbers in order for it to be of any real value. Basically, you answer a couple of simple questions about current hot political issues and you see how you stand in comparison to other people around the country being asked the same thing. It’s easy to use and push notifications let you know when there’s a new topic to be voted on, but there’s just no one using it right now.


REVIEW: Australian Christian Lobby would like access to all of your contacts. Australian Christian Lobby would like to access all of your twitter accounts… Let me tell you, ACL, if your dimwitted policies about just about everything weren’t enough to make me hate you, this attempted invasion of privacy is. Fuck you, fuck your party and fuck your shithouse fucking app. Having said that, at least they have one, which is more than can be said for the mainstream parties.

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Benny Doyle discovers it’s tense in the studio as Melbourne MC Illy’s “not giving a shit” approach is challenged by the “stress” factor introduced by producer M-Phazes.

THE MIKKEY DEE SIGNATURE SNARE DRUM Mikkey Dee, best known since the ‘90s as the powerhouse drummer in rock‘n’roll‘s loudest live band, Motörhead, before which he was in King Diamond and Dokken, has been a Sonor endorsee for more than 30 years. That’s why it seemed logical to call him in to help design the Mikkey Dee Signature Sonor Snare Drum. The 14” x 7.25” drum features Dee’s favourite shell construction, a six-ply Birch shell that is known for its wide tuning range, powerful mids and highs, and well-balanced low end. Motörhead, who headlined infamous German hard rock festival Wacken last weekend, release their latest – and 21st – album, Aftershock, in a couple of months.

APPLE RELEASES LOGIC PRO X The most advanced version of Logic Pro to date, the Logic Pro X features a new interface designed for professionals, powerful new creative tools for musicians and an expanded collection of instruments and effects. The streamlined interface provides access to advanced tools and functionality for more technical tasks, or can be hidden to allow musicians to focus on being creative. 64 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013


l ‘Illy’ Murray is in a relaxed and jovial mood. However, he’s deep in another M-Phazes recording session when he gets on the phone, and there ain’t no chillin’ when the celebrated producer is on the controls. “He’s a ball breaker but he gets the results so I’m cool with it,” says Illy with a laugh. “It’s probably a good thing because if it was left up to me nothing would ever get done. So it’s a happy medium between stress and not giving a shit.” This day stands as one of the final sessions at M-Phazes’ studio in Melbourne for Illy. The MC’s been recording his vocals through a Microtech Geffel M930TS into the Portico 5012 preamp, though sometimes he’ll run them through the Portico 5042 Tape Driver for more grit. It all then goes through Cubase 7 through M-Phrazes’ Yamaha UR824 interface. You’ll hear all this on his fourth record which will soon be completed; the results of four months hard work and more than 18 months of songwriting. Although Illy is reluctant to call the record a sequel, he does admit this album will be more in line with the sound of his breakthrough 2010 record The Chase rather than last year’s Bring It Back. “I think if you go off the first single, On And On, you can sorta hear there’s a bit of familiarity with some of my previous singles – they’re sort of on that vibe.” There’s also new ground being covered, though it’s never been a conscious choice during recordings. A few things from the On And On sessions have been kept as they didn’t fit the more stripped back, traditional sounds of that 2012 release, and Illy reveals there’ll be plenty of big

hooks, beats and songs. In a sonic sense, the record is large, and a release he calls a “step up in every aspect”. “It’s definitely got Phazes’ signature sound. The drums knock from start to finish and it’s really just a very high standard of production. He’s done a number on it, it’s pretty incredible – some of his best work. “Phazes will have a beat, it will be drums and samples or something that he’s played in a real basic structure, and then I’ll usually write a hook first and if there’s something there we’ll go off that and keep working on it and refining it,” Illy expands. “If there’s not anything there we’ll toss it to the side, and that’s true for every stage. There’s been a few that we’ve worked on and rewritten and he’s fucked with the beats and then we’ve ditched them because they haven’t been up to scratch, so it’s been a pretty intense process this album, there’s really been no settling for some half-arsed shit.

“HE’S A BALL BREAKER BUT HE GETS THE RESULTS.“ “A lot of the tracks, like the beats, have probably gone through two or three changes; most of them would have actually in the time we’ve been working on this. He’ll come up with an idea, flesh it out, then build on it, then build on it again, and I kinda do the same with my stuff. We bounce back and forth; we move forward by bouncing ideas off each other when we’re working on a track. It ends up being quite a fair way from where the tracks start, but they usually end up being pretty good.” With M-Phazes acting as executive producer on the as-yet-untitled fourth record, Illy has also called on a number of other heads to throw their weight into beats and production, including Styalz Fuego, Cam Bluff and J-Skub. As far as musical collaborations and guest spots are concerned, you’ll hear some familiar voices: Fuego stretching his wings, Hilltop Hoods adding their signature flow. Your hook harmonisers include the urban smooth of Daniel Merriweather and the sassy, raging passion of Kira Puru. But then you’ve got Ahren Stringer of The Amity Affliction thrown in, whose unexpected turn could be the highlight of the whole damn thing. Illy keeps his cards close when pushed for extra info on the song, but is excited by the opportunity of extending a fanbase that already reaches wide, and challenging stylistic perceptions and tastes in the process. “As far as fans of those genres not overlapping, I totally agree. So it was a bit of a coup because I really think that the dude has a great voice and I think the fans from both sides are really passionate about their stuff so I think that it will work; I hope the hardcore people don’t get their backs up about it, but I’m sure it will be fine man because it’s a really sick track.“ WHEN & WHERE: 4 Sep, Metro Theatre (all ages)

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 6 5


NEWS SONOR IS PROLITE The core of the ProLite series of drum kits from Sonor is the sound spectrum provided by the extremely thin Vintage Maple shells with reinforcement ring. The Vintage Maple shell is characterised by a soft, warm tone that highlights the lower pitches and provides balance in the mid-range and treble, without sacrificing projection and power. Sonor ProLite shell thicknesses run at nine plies for tom toms, floor toms and snare drums, which equals four mm plus two mm Dynamic Edge reinforcement rings at the edge of the shells; and 12 plies for bass drums, which equals six mm plus two mm Dynamic Edge reinforcement rings at the edge of the shells. Guaranteeing clean tuning and crisp attack are the 2.3 mm Sonor Power Hoops on all snare drums, tom toms and floor toms. For 14” snare drums also diecast hoops are available.

NEW FROM CERWIN-VEGA The 1800SX compliments the P-Series with low frequency extension. The powered subwoofer employs an 18” woofer with a custom 2000-watt Class-D amplifier. The large woofer and matched amp are enclosed in a multi-ply hardwood cabinet. While designed for use with the P1500X, the P1800SX can also be used for low frequency extension with other Cerwin Vega tops or even other brands. Additionally, the Thru, Mix and Link outputs allow for system expandability and fast daisychaining between components. 66 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

CAREER PROFILE One of the country’s most respected higher education institutions specialising in all things music from theory to business management and more is the Sydney-based Australian Institute of Music (AIM). AIM is opening a Melbourne campus next year, and attracts students from all over the country. Graduate Mel Cheng kindly answered a few questions about her experiences.

MEL CHENG – ONE LOUDER ENTERTAINMENT What made you want to work in artist management? Whilst I was studying at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM), I started managing a Melbourne band called Dirt Farmer, who I still co-manage to this day. I had various jobs and internships in the industry – before, during and after my degree – but was most attracted to the variety and diversity of work I had within artist management roles. I really enjoy working closely with artists and being involved in their creative processes. What kind of training did you have to do to get into the f ield? One of my first experiences was selling CDs on the road for a very young Lisa Mitchell. From there, I met her managers, who gave me random work opportunities and my entrance into the industry. I studied a Bachelor of Music in Arts Management at AIM. I developed an interest in entertainment law from my AIM studies and went on to complete a Juris Doctor degree at UNSW. Whilst

I was studying I did several internships, including an internship at One Louder Entertainment, where I am now the assistant manager. One Louder is the management company for Ball Park Music, Paul Kelly, Sarah Blasko and Kate Miller-Heidke. What would a typical day at work involve? My work is varied – no day is the same! It depends on the project I am working on, or the artist I am working with, at the time. One day I could be coordinating the advertising for a tour, and another I could be pulling parts together for a CD release. I also lecture at AIM in entertainment and intellectual property law so throw that in the mix! What’s the best thing about your job? Working with interesting and lovely people and artists who I really respect.

“THE INDUSTRY IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING” What’s the most challenging aspect? The most challenging part of the job is not the actual job but things I do to keep immersed and up to date in the industry. Some weeks I may be out every night seeing gigs, which is fun and exciting, but can also be really tiring, especially when you have to get up for work the next day. What skills or attributes do you need to be good at the job? At the most basic level, I would say good communication skills and good organisation skills – you are constantly talking to people and meeting deadlines. The industry is constantly changing so you need to be flexible, adaptable and be able to think on your feet. I also think that in this day, it is an advantage to have a foundation in business – understand the basic principles of accounting, marketing and management. I also cannot iterate enough how important good networking skills are – I’ve received most, if not all, my work opportunities through people I know. Do you have any advice for readers aiming to become an artist manager? Learn everything and work hard! Be willing to do everything and anything (within reason) and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be open-minded and nice to people – anyone you meet could be a potential career opportunity. The Sydney AIM Campus is hosting an Open Day 10am-3pm Saturday 17 August. AIM will be holding an information evening between 6pm and 8pm at the Intercontinental on Collins Street Melbourne Wednesday 28 August. The first term of the Melbourne AIM campus at 120 King Street in the CBD, applications for which are now open, will commence Tuesday 28 January 2014.


ALHAMBRA GUITARS Founded in 1965, Alhambra manufactures a range of quality Spanish-made guitars that starts with a reasonably priced student model through to a reasonably priced concert instrument. They come in either spruce or cedar. Based in Melbourne, Pierre Herrero (0410 708 338) is the man who brings Alhambra guitars into Australia. The 4P is quite a good mid-range/ mid-priced guitar that serves well for home use, AMEB or Trinity College London exams, small concerts or songwriting and even just playing to your friends. The 10P, however, is a concert guitar that will do a good job at the higher end of things yet at a student price. The 10P comes with a solid red cedar top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, Honduran cedar neck, ebony fingerboards and is 650mm scale length. I myself have been playing and teaching on Alhambra for a few years.

You’d think this thing was going to take off with some gusto. With its bright red chassis and shiny gold cage, it certainly looks the part. This is a well priced tube mic, but then again it still costs more than, say, a Rode K2, and that’s not to be sniffed at. The Genesis uses a Mullard 12AT7 tube old stock but new valve and these things are highly sought after. Internal cabling is Mogami. The power supply is an external red box, well built and solid. Performance? The Genesis seems to be pretty honest, revealing detail and airiness. The mic does seem a little sensitive to rear spillage and leans a little to the hyper cardioid pattern as opposed to narrow. There’s a 150Hz; 6dB/octave low-cut filter switch located on the mic body, along with a 10dB pad switch, a 15’ seven-pin Mogami connecting cable, and a 15-foot Mogami three-pin XLR mic cable. Distributed by ELFA.

Steve Flack

Barry Gilmour


68 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013


SOUNDCRAFT SI EXPRESSION 3 Vintage Guitars, a UK-based guitar company with some serious names backing the brand like Mick Abrahams from Jethro Tull and Geoff Whitehorn from Procol Harum, have been building these reissue guitars for a while now. Prices of their guitars are pretty cheap and the quality seems solid, with genuine Wilkinson parts used in all their guitars. The Explorer shape has been around since the ‘50s and has been kept in fashion by the likes of James Hetfield of Metallica. It’s just that when I pick it up I feel like I want to look down and see Gibson or even ESP and I can’t help feeling this is influencing my judgement. I suppose with anything established, we stick with the original in our mind as being the top of the mountain. The neck here is decent and feels comfortable, the pickups are decent quality and the hardware feels reliable.

In the ever-expanding world of digital mixing consoles, it’s a wonder each manufacturer doesn’t have a university course for their proprietary operating systems. It’s imperative therefore that any new digital consoles on the market be as user-friendly and intuitive as possible before anything else. That’s where the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 comes in, a neat package, with a true everything everywhere set-up. The effects are hardware-based and the console has internal Lexicon hardware with a variety of effects. Above each channel is a rotary knob, which can be gain, HPF or pan, and each button is just as it would be on an analogue mixer, one function per control. The fader channels illuminate in different colours to organise FX, Stereo, Linked Mono, GEQ, POST Fade Aux, and PRE Fade Aux, there is a BSS GEQ on every bus for plenty of processing and a nice clear touch screen.

Barry Gilmour

Barry Gilmour

MADCDs cos Cos we g ive a sh it

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 69


EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION 2nd guitarist to complete lineup For Sydney metal band BLACK TRILLIUM. Gigs booked. Influences are doom/death/gothic/black metal. find us on facebook and listen to the ep on bandcamp then show us your riffs! Send all questions and enquires to

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16 chan A&H Mixwizard DR4800 4 x 15” + horn monitors on 4 sends (2400w) 2 x dbl 15” + horn full range cabs (2600w) 2 x 18” front loaded subs (1200w) FX: LexIcon PCM80, TC M1 Comps: DBX 160x x 2, Drawmer DL241 EQs: DBX2231s Mics: SM57s, 58s, Beta58 wireless, Beta52s, Rode NT5s, AT AE6100s, AT AE5400 vox condenser Tama mic stands Radial DI’s Amps: Quest QA3004s, QSC PLX1804s 12 x Chauvet par 64 LED can light show Light Emotion DMX controller Side of stage stereo mix Very experienced easy going and reliable operator Chris 0431 017 035 From $400 Sydney metro


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Run over 6 weekends this is a course for people who want to know how to use their home recording setup or how to use our mix rooms to mix their band’s recording once they have put down the tracks. The course is software neutral; we teach the concepts of recording and the students then apply this knowledge to the software of their choice. 02 9550 3977

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ONE TWO THREE FOUR!!!! Old punks never die, they just form new bands. Guitarist/singer wanted to join bass and drummer,byo songs, rehearses inner Sydney. Ph: Mark Headcase - 9982 7428 (after 5pm) Rick Vomit in your cereal - 0409 225 489 (before 5pm)


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Media Music Producer with international publishing requires Singers/Lyricists for various recording projects. In the style of Bon Ivor, Gregory Alan Isakov, Damien Rice, The National, Sia, Amos Lee, John Martyn. Only those serious about music need apply. Please email link or a small music file to Bruce at

Guitarist or bass player to start writing music with. indie, alternative Eastern Suburbs

All styles both acoustic and electric from Blind Willie Johnson and Son House to Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. tel. John 0431953178

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Singing lessons in a positive environment with a highly experienced and professional singer/songwriter. Lessons tailored to suit individual needs. Also beginners guitar. www. for more details. Inner West, Rosanna 0431 157 622.


DRUMMER WANTED DRUMMER WANTED for original, Sydney based folk punk band. Songs written. Influences: Redgum, Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg, The Pogues, The Bushwackers, The Dubliners. 0400467043


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MUSICIANS AVAILABLE DRUMMER DRUMMER NEEDED. Drummer needed for a metal based band in Sydney. Influences: Sepultura, FNM, Melvins, Ghost, Neurosis, Black Sabbath, Killing Joke, Wolfs in the throne room, Burning Witch, Slayer, et cetera. Some challenging material included. Mark 0416 551 339

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A comprehensive 2 day course that covers basic audio principles, the progression of technology, common audio components, terninology, signal flow, soldering 101, microphone and speaker placement, EQing and more. Handty reference booklet supplied. Optional third days training at a live music venue available. 02-9950-3977

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drink Answered by: Catherine Traicos – singer, songwriter, guitar How long have you been together? Just over two years. How did you all meet? Darren (lead guitar) is in one of my favourite bands, The Tucker B’s (Perth), and we became friends through my incessant hanging around at their gigs. Tim (drums) also played in the Tucker B’s and I needed to steal more of them so we lured him into the band using tasty vegan treats as an incentive. Kasper (bass) and I played in a band for a charity event in Sydney. I tried to get him to join the Tuckers as well for continuity but it didn’t work out. You’re on tour in the van – which band or artist is going to keep the most people happy if we throw them on the stereo? Well we are all fairly open to most types of music and enjoy listening to bands we haven’t heard before as well as old favourites like Johnny Cash and Neil Young. What we have learned is not to listen to bands that use loops like Laurie Anderson because that can lead to the driver falling asleep. Is your band responsible for more make-outs or break-ups? Why? Make-outs. I don’t know why; we are constantly asked to play at orgies. What’s in the pipeline for the band in the short term? We are launching the single from our recently recorded album on Thursday 22 August at The Union. Then in December we are touring the country. Website for more info? Pic by Josh Groom




the guide



It’s here! Enjoy!

GLOSSY PRINT JOBS! Look ma, no newsprint sticks to my fingers anymore!

MORE STUFF! You can read about the usual stuff and now more!




TAOS and his band The Dreamers will be showing off tracks from his forthcoming album and performing a selection of faves from his back catalogue this Thursday at the Town Hall in Newtown.

Melbourne indie rockers Skipping Girl Vinegar renew their friendship with legendary Irish pop punks Ash, whom they met at Splendour ‘11, this coming Tuesday at the Metro.

MARCUS AZON FROM JINJA SAFARI What is your staple meal when on tour? Cheap energy drinks. Jinja Safari touring nationally from September. Check The Guide for dates.




Seems like many a candidate has already been struck by prone-togaffe disease – and we’ve only just had the first week go by.

The new album from veteran Sydney post-punk noise outfit Scattered Order showcases the unclassifiable noise-making group at a new peak in their long and respected career. Off the tail end of a European tour, the outfit will be performing this new record in its entirety at GoodGod this Thursday with the support of Greta Mob, Psychlops Eyepatch, MC Filth Wizard & the Celestial Axe and DJ Octopus Pi.

ELECTION DEBATE Really? We have to choose between these two?

ELECTION PROMISES Is everyone keeping a book as to what’s been promised and what will be the first to be broken?

IN THE STUDIO ISABELLA MANFREDI FROM THE PREATURES Where did you record the album and why? Last year we took over the studio we’d shared with Seekae in Surry Hills. We wanted time to experiment and make mistakes without worrying about the right way of doing things. The Preatures’ new EP, Is This How You Feel, out August 9.



The Folk Informal returns to FBi Social on Wednesday delivering its usual selection of vital players in the folk and altcountry spectrum. This month’s instalment features performances from the new project of Wes Carr, Buffalo Tales.

With the Australian Institute of Music, FBi seek one worthy band and one producer to open their upcoming tenth birthday celebrations and host a showcase of finalists this Thursday, with Belle & The Bone People, The Electric Vogues and Bad Pony.



Recorded during their abundant touring, Bears With Guns have finished up their second EP, Only The Quick And The Hungry, and in anticipation for its release, they will be heading over to FBi this Friday to showcase with Lepers & Crooks and UASCSC.

Melbourne shoegazers Pretty City have just released a video for single, Part Of Your Crowd, and will play FBi Saturday before heading back into the studio to work on a follow-up EP. Supporting are The Carraways and The Love You Rights.


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AWAKEN SOLACE Answered by: Maree Nipperess How did you get together? Our guitarist Ellie contacted me through an ad. She introduced me to keyboardist Robert and we began writing. We later approached drummer Rodrigo, who introduced us to Jimmy in time for our first show. Sum up your musical sound in four words? Haunting, symphonic, epic, metal. If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? If we were to agree on a list it would be Nightwish, Rhapsody Of Fire, Sonata Arctica, Iron Maiden. You’re being sent into space, no iPod, you can bring one album – what would it be? Personally it would be Nightwish’s Once, closely followed by something by Rhapsody Of Fire or Faith No More’s Angel Dust for something nostalgic. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Definitely a toss up between supporting Apocalyptica and Kamelot during their Australian tours. Both were such fulfilling experiences, in terms of the crowd and sharing the stage with two of our favourite bands. A dream come true. Why should people come and see your band? We’re theatrical and engaging, a fun and unique experience even if you’re not a fan of symphonic metal.

THIS WEEK’S RELEASES… NO AGE An Object Sub Pop/Inertia TY SEGALL Sleeper Spunk/Caroline

When and where for your next gig? Saturday 17 August at The Valve Bar.

BOY & BEAR Harlequin Dream Universal

Website link for more info?


76 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013



Outer Bass celebrate their first birthday at GoodGod Friday with Mark Pritchard making an appearance, but not before B.O.O.M.A., Rubio and Tokoloshe do their thing.

Folk singer/songwriter Zoe Elliot is set to launch her most recent EP, Black Dog, this Saturday at Paddington Uniting Church,performing with a full band for the first time.



August 16 marks the 36th anniversary of the death of Elvis. Sydney’s longest-running ‘60s dance party Twist & Shout will playing all the hits from the King along with their usual selection of highly danceable stuff this Friday at the Brighton Up Bar.

Heading north to celebrate the vinyl re-release of their albums Dirt and Dead Wood, noisy Melbourne post-punk outfit The Stabs will be breaking their two-year Sydney silence with a show this Saturday at GoodGod’s Danceteria.



Following on from last week’s Ultra Romantic – the romancethemed heat of the Ultra band competition at the Valve Bar – Wednesday’s Ultra Sweaty features eight bands, including Highroads, Amalgam, Dead City Boys and more.

The result of years spent touring and aspiring to be the very best manifests itself in Red Bee’s debut album, Ictus, who have picked up the support slot for platinum-selling US hard rock band Flyleaf this Saturday at the Metro Theatre.



Celebrating the contribution of the late, great Australian folk legend Gary Shearston, Pat Drummond, Warren Fahey, Jim Lowe, Barbara Morison and Mic Conway among others will gather at Petersham Bowling Club this Sunday,

Tully on Tully will be launching their Weightless EP this Friday at the White Eagle Polish Club in Canberra. The following day, they’ll head back to Sydney where they’ll be ringing in the new EP release at Brighton Up Bar.


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BLOODS Answered by: Marihuzka Cornelius


How many releases do you have now? We’ve released five singles independently since we started recording our tunes. This is our very first ever EP, though! Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Unrequited love, distance and anger, mostly. Musically, our songs are inspired by ‘90s girl bands, garage and punk. Lyrically, we like to write about our worlds – kinda like social commentary by Bloods. What’s your favourite song on it? Probably Back To You or Language. Both came together really naturally and I think show where we’re going musically.

Sydney garage punk pop trio Bloods will be kicking off their very first headline tour at Brighton Up Bar this Friday, the same day they drop their debut EP, Golden Fang. Major Leagues and The Fabergettes will be joining them.




If you weren’t doing music, what else would you be doing? I used to be a bicycle tour guide before getting serious with music, so I’d probably still be doing that. Or I have a psychology degree, so running experiments on people somewhere.

The guitar-led Steve Edmonds Band will be playing Friday evening at the Beach Club in Collaroy, while Saturday, they’ll be gracing the Kiama Leagues Club stage before heading back up the coast to play the Corrimal Hotel on Sunday.

The 28th Counterfeit Tribute night happens Saturday upstairs at the Gaelic Club boasting a dozen acts paying tribute to the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and more, among them elafonica, Rex Havoc Banned and The Blarney Stoners.



Swamp blues singer/songwriter Johnny Cass put his musical career on hold for a decade in order to create an iconic Sydney music venue. Now he’s back and with a new album. This Sunday evening at the Botany View, he’ll be launching Tombstone Blues.

Earlier this year, post-grunge Brisbane quartet Violent Soho entered The Shed studios in Brisbane to record their new album. This Wednesday – with the support of Bearhug – they’ll be giving fans a preview of the new LP at Brighton Up Bar.



Touring new album, Spring And Fall, Paul Kelly is out on an even more extensive national tour. Due to demand, a second Wollongong show has been added, so he plays Anita’s Theatre Friday and Saturday. He’s at the Recital Hall in Sydney Wednesday.

To celebrate the release of new album, Glorious Momentum, Sydney-based folk-punk singer/ songwriter Isaac Graham and The Great Unknown are playing the Phoenix Bar Canberra Thursday and Black Wire Records Annandale Friday.


Pluto Jonze touring. Check The Guide for dates.

We’ll like this EP if we like... Music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Songs you can eat pizza to. Cats, Kevin Smith movies, ‘90s girl bands, trips to the countryside and friendship. When and where is your launch/next gig? We’re touring our EP this August and September, hitting the east coast. We kick it all off in Sydney on Friday 16 August at the Brighton Up Bar. Excited! Website link for more info?


Local boogie artist Pugsley Buzzard has just returned from a massive month of recording and performing in New Orleans and San Francisco, and plays Camelot Lounge this Thursday.

EP title: Golden Fang

ESSENTIAL TOUR ITEM RYAN GRIEVE FROM PINK GIN What item must travel with you on tour? A toothbrush. Yep, boring - but true. Pink Gin are touring. Check The Guide for dates.


the guide




Since launching their debut EP Vomit on the Dance Floor, Sydney’s Chicks Who Love Guns have made quite a stir. They’ll do the big release launch of their new single, Pencil Neck, on Thursday at Frankie’s Pizza.

Indie songstress Lo Carmen has just released an album with her father, Peter Head, titled The Apple Don’t Fall Far From The Tree. It’ll be launched this Thursday at the Vanguard with the support of an array of special guests including Jason Walker.


TOM WEST Album title? A Spark In The Dark Where did the title of your new album come from? It’s a lyric from the second track, All The Bees Fled. I think it summarises the spirit of the record.

FAVOURITE ALBUM JOSH PYKE Woah, okay, I’m going to have to say Appetite For Destruction by Guns N’ Roses. Every time I hear it, I keep thinking what a good album it is. I mean, I liked it when I first bought it and I still think the sound is great. Josh Pyke touring nationally check The Guide for dates

RETURN OF THE KING The life of the late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will be celebrated over two days at Katoomba RSL’s inaugural Blue Mountain’s Elvis Festival. The Elvis Evolution will kick off on Saturday evening, featuring Steve Kelleher, Damian Mullin and The TCB Legends Band.


Holy Holy have just dropped their debut video for the track, Impossible Like You, and will be rounding up the five-piece to help celebrate. On Thursday, they’ll be performing at High Tea, then on Friday you’ll be able to catch them at the Newsagency.

Sydney four-piece The Mountains are touring theor debut EP, Country Doors, featuring debut single, Loose Jaw, and this Thursday, you catch them at the Bedlam Bar in Glebe, while Friday they’re at the Clarendon in Katoomba.

How long did it take to write/record? I spent about a year writing the songs, and then we tracked and mixed it over about four months – most of it in a shed. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? It was great to track the album ourselves so we had the luxury of playing around and exploring with the sounds a bit. What’s your favourite song on it? The current single, Malecon. I think it’s a track I’ve been trying to come up with for a long time.


How many releases do you have now? This will be my first album. I’ve done a couple of EPs a few years back.

JO SYME FROM BIG SCARY What is your staple meal when on tour? Salad rolls. Big Scary touring nationally. Check The Guide for dates.

Will you do anything differently next time? Next time I think I’ll set myself a shorter time limit and do a bit more of the experimenting during the demo-ing process. When and where is your launch/next gig? Folk Club at The Soda Factory, Wednesday 21 August Website link for more info?









Blue-eyed soulsters have mixed fortunes – especially the guys. Not even Kanye West could turn the Brit Mr Hudson into a pop star. But this year Robin Thicke, signed to The Neptunes’ still active Star Trak Entertainment, has enjoyed his first mega-smash in Blurred Lines (featuring TI and Pharrell), which sounds like Prince circa Diamonds And Pearls. However, the song has been lambasted for its ‘rapey’ lyrics and sleazy videos that objectify women. Thicke, caught off guard, is defending it all as “fun”. Ironically, the singer – raised in Hollywood, his parents actor/ musicians – is no playa, having married his childhood sweetheart, Paula Patton (of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). In 2002 a long-haired Thicke broke out with another fluke hit, When I Get You Alone, sampling Walter Murphy’s kitsch disco A Fifth Of Beethoven. He’s consistently dropped albums, his core market US R&B listeners. Notably, Thicke’s sixth foray, again titled Blurred Lines, has the crossover appeal of Bruno Mars. Thicke adds electro (Dr Luke’s Give It 2 U, with Kendrick Lamar) to his beloved vintage soul and funk. There are generic songs from Timbaland and Certainly, he’s experienced greater success than ‘90s soulster Jon B, who self-released his sixth album, Comfortable Swagg, last year. Plus he’s upstaged Justin Timberlake, who’ll unleash The 20/20 Experience – 2 Of 2, next month, following Take Back The Night. The dark horse is Detroit neo-soulster Mayer Hawthorne. On his third album, Where Does This Door Go, he veers into Bilalstyle avant-R&B, working with not only Pharrell but also Warren “Oak” Felder (Miguel).



Welcome to The Heavy Shit. My bosses tell me that I am to give you my opinion on whatever I choose each week so long as it relates to our metal universe somehow. It’s going to be interesting… that’s for sure. I’ve talked my way into serious shit before and I’m sure I’m going to fall victim to that once more, but I also hope that what comes out of my brain and into yours actually benefits you somehow. Time will tell, and any complaints can be directed to them since this is their idea, haha.

artists involved came out and stated they knew nothing about it. The idea I had of promoters needing some kind of license or official standing is surely needed now more than ever. Nine times out of ten, when tours pop up from unfamiliar ‘promoters’ they usually fall down flat and often at the expense of willing and excited fans who have already parted with their cash. Remember the whole days of our lives saga that was the LA Guns tour a few years ago? Same shit – different band.

Since this is the first one, it’s going to take some time for me to find my groove and flow, but fear not, I will not be trawling blabbermouth only to rewrite what I find there; of course should something major happen, well, I might have no choice. You should also be looking elsewhere in the mag to check out the goings-on regarding the plethora of metal gigs happening in your world every week.

I might end the weekly rant with a kinda what I’m listening to thing – or not, depending on my remaining word count each time. This week Sydney band Recoil VOR released their prog-influenced modern metal beast of a second album, Sleep For The Masses. Which has blown away all who have heard it so far, from club promoters to national radio hosts. I’ve lived with it for a while and it has a loose concept and some mighty fine riffage and monstrous groove. The new album from Phil Anselmo is a hyper angry affair too – it kind of begins at Suicide Note Part II in terms of viciousness and goes from there. The new Carcass album, Surgical Steel, is phenomenal too. Makes you forget their last album, Swansong, came out 17 years ago. It’s on target for the best death metal album of the year; well, the last few years really.

You and your bank manager should be fully aware of the sheer amount of tours coming our way between now and year’s end, and Soundwave hasn’t even been announced yet! Quite a few of these tours are from bands taking their first trip here so I’m really not sure how you’re going to decide who to see. Power Metal coin toss? Folk metal jig-off ? Sometime last week, a Farcebook page was brought to my attention that looks like another bedroom promoter attempt to put on a tour. The logistical details were all over the place and some kind of crowd-funding method was trying to be used to get the thing happening. There’s really nothing wrong with that at all, except for the fact that the tour is total shit ‘cause the actual international

As I said, this is going to go through a little teething period before I figure out what bullshit makes the cut week after week. If you actually have any topics you want me to address, then feel free to let me know.

This last week the punk and hardcore community have been in a state of uproar over the news that Black Flag’s Greg Ginn is suing a number of his former bandmates for violation of trademark. You can read the details of the case at a number of sources online, but the question this raises for me is do we vilify Ginn for being a greedy bastard, as some members of the hardcore community have, or do we take the inherently capitalist viewpoint of this is just a guy protecting his business interests. It appears the situation began with the announcement of two incarnations of a Black Flag reunion – one led by Ginn under the Black Flag name (which you can catch touring Australia this November) and another with Keith Morris at the helm under the name of FLAG. Scepticism of aging hardcore veterans reforming bands aside, there is an argument at law that Morris and co. are in violation of intellectual property rights. Ginn also owns SST Records, who have been continuously releasing records and producing merchandise with the iconic four bars logo since 1978. It has only been this year, following the announcement of the formation of FLAG that Ginn and SST filed for ownership of the logo, which leads me to the conclusion that all these efforts are to stop FLAG from performing at all. I’m all for the protection of intellectual property, but it seems to me that Ginn is going a little over the top. A simple cease-anddesist would have done the job to prevent FLAG from performing and to stop the use of the name and logo, however, going after all the profits FLAG have made, plus three times the damages of alleged infringements, heads into excessive, megalomaniacal territory. This ain’t gonna end pretty…









In which we discuss the mixed blessing of an extended back catalogue; my inability to consider anything that is too severely hyped; the best reading material for a sauna, and Alyssa Milano as a verbal construct. J.J. CALE

It’s awfully sad to welcome you to the new, shorter, shinier and schmicker Roots Down column, only to dedicate yet another piece to the passing of one of the greats of the blues and roots world. If you’re not familiar with J.J. Cale, or all you know of him is his legendary song Cocaine, then I’d strongly recommend checking out To Tulsa and Back: On Tour with J.J. Cale, a documentary on the somewhat reclusive artist that gives a fascinating insight into a truly brilliant man. Perhaps the most telling story about Cale was his refusal to appear on the hugely popular American Bandstand program, because it would have meant him having to lip-sync and appear without his band. His song Crazy Mama was at number 22 on the charts and an appearance on the show would have almost certainly catapulted it into the top ten. He stuck by his guns and that chart position remained his highest in the US for his entire career. While Cocaine and After Midnight might be his best known songs (thanks mainly to renditions by Eric Clapton), his catalogue is wonderfully diverse and is the greatest example of the so-called Tulsa Sound (a mish-mash of rockabilly, country, rock’n’roll and blues) you’ll likely hear. There’s no shame in discovering an artist after – or, as a result of – their passing and if you find yourself in that position I’d strongly recommend digging into one of the many ‘best-of ’ collections that exists and, personally, I’d suggest the underrated 1990 Travel-Log LP for something a little more obscure. Rest In Peace.

I could do a pretty useless job of predicting the future. I couldn’t tell you Lotto numbers, or horse racing outcomes, or election results or anything else useful in advance. But I could sure as hell predict the mundane with reasonable accuracy and no intention. Accordingly (and in tribute to a tumultuous preteendom set before a TV set showing Charmed) I termed this skill ‘Alyssa Milano-ing’. A seemingly random aside: I’ve had a Time magazine subscription for the last almostthree years, and a sauna for nearly as long. The content, light paper stock and weekly delivery of Time make it the ideal reading material for the sauna. I provide you with all this history to let you know that when James Gandolfini died I, having never watched The Sopranos, confidently proclaimed to my housemates that you could guarantee the Milestone (a regular segment in Time that pays tribute to those who passed in the week past) in next week’s edition would be about him. I Alyssa Milano’d correctly. Dripping with sweat, and with the shortened reading attention span that extreme heat imposes, I opted to read the tribute, rather than some lengthier expose on God knows what. It was written by Lorraine Bracco, which meant very little to me

but who apparently played a psychiatrist called Dr Jennifer Melfi, which also meant very little to me. Through years of friends suggesting, then demanding that I watch it (and after bearing witness to a fellow honours student pick apart the show for her thesis) I continued to avoid the show, deterred and overwhelmed by the hype and the potential that the promise may be unfulfilled. And then, only a week or so ago, I found myself with a collection of these same friends as they commenced the James Gandolfini memorial viewing of The Sopranos. I was informed the drive he took in that incredible opening sequence would take three or four hours in real time. I admired the way they namedropped all the kings of the genre to subtly situate themselves as something more real than entertainment, as though this was the gritty reality. I reread Bracco’s tribute, in awe of her character and her portrayal of it. Then I remembered one of these friends, Jack, belatedly discovering The Beatles, and how he turned down a friend who offered him a CD-R with an MP3 of every Beatles album. Rather than become inundated with greatness, and have much of it lost in the onslaught, Jack opted not to take the CD-R, reasoning that he wanted to be discovering and loving new Beatles music for years to come. He paced himself, a self-imposed slow-release infatuation. I have seven seasons left of Gandolfini’s greatest.



If we are going to have a conversation about what rap music means these days then we should really talk about Lil Wayne. Weezy came up on the back of a great album and some solid mixtapes. He got mega-huge on the back of lots more solid mixtapes and a solid album. The other part of Weezy’s mega-hugeness came from his exposure. For the past six or seven years it has become a universal truth that, if the money’s right, Weezy will perform a guest verse for anyone. No exceptions. This is how we hear him on Kelly Clarkson songs, Limp Bizkit songs, David Guetta songs, Enrique Iglesias songs, Jennifer Lopez songs, Eminem songs, Madonna songs and whatever else. In one way it’s charming: Weezy popping in to add a touch of magic to otherwise depressing dross. On the other hand, there’s an available view that what once looked like world-embracing open-mindedness – unconfined by genre prejudice or the idea that rappers shouldn’t appear on certain types of songs – is actually just our New Orleans native not giving a shit. Shortly Wayne will be working with Ministry, those ancient pop industrial metalheads. It’s maybe a chance for us to realise that the Wayne we thought we had, an Everyman, is actually a make-believe Wayne and real Weezy simply doesn’t care who he works with. “I’m on this and that, and such and such”, rapped Wayne recently on his Limp Bizkit guest spot, one of his laziest ever. Hardly the words of someone with his heart in it. THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 81


TRAILER TRASH DIVES INTO YOUR SCREENS AND IDIOT BOXES WITH GUY DAVIS So I’m here to talk about the current state of Australian ‘genre’ cinema. A few years back, Mark Hartley’s energetic, entertaining documentary Not Quite Hollywood paid loving tribute to this bald-headedstepchild segment of the local film industry, which seemed to reach its peak in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And it ended on an optimistic note that appeared to double as a call to arms, with the doco name-checking a handful of titles that indicated a few intrepid Aussie filmmakers were taking a crack at horror, science fiction and the like. Since then it’s been a little hit and miss. The high point has been the Spierig Brothers’ Daybreakers, an inventive take on the vampire yarn that revealed itself to be a clever, well-crafted B-movie. Admittedly it imported a couple of its leads in Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe and was set in

some vaguely American locale, but the vast majority of the cast and crew were locals, so we’re justified in calling it a homegrown production. And the Spierigs have not long wrapped shooting in Melbourne on a new project, the time-travel caper Predestination – once again Hawke is toplining but he’s supported by an array of Australian actors, Noah Taylor and Sarah Snook among them. Kudos to the lads for keeping it on home soil when Hollywood beckoned post-Daybreakers. So who else is in the fray or the horizon? There’s a guy named John V Soto over in Western Australia who’s churned out a few pulpy thrillers with titles like Crush and Needle (Crush I caught – it wasn’t especially memorable – but I’ve yet to see Needle), and he’s currently in post-production on a murder mystery called The Reckoning... which stars Hemsworth and

DANCES MOVES NEW CURRENTS WITH TIM FINNEY I first started drawing for the term “Balearic” in a nonhistorical context back in about 2003: then it was to describe the early work of British duo Reverso 68, being all voluptuous laidback disco featuring frisky guitar breaks and hallucinatory flashback Yellow Magic Orchestra synths. In the ensuing ten years, Balearic dramatically expanded to become perhaps the most prominent organising principle behind revivalist tendencies in dance music, as it wormed its way through a series of micro-incarnations – space disco, yacht rock, DJ Harvey’s

“beardo” disco, edits culture and even indie-rock crossover via Studio and Destroyer. Amsterdam-based producer Young Marco is an all-tooappropriate new star in this aging galaxy, charting the outer limits of Balearic in a manner that clearly highlights its possibilities while also tracing out its limitations. Last year’s single Nonono defines the centre of his aesthetic handily, marrying a rolling disco groove to ruminative keyboard patterns for a particularly meditative dancefloor experience. But Marco’s other 2012 tunes



LaPaglia! (Wait... that’s Luke Hemsworth and Jonathan LaPaglia. Okay, as you were.) Greg McLean is making Wolf Creek 2, and while McLean’s an ace craftsman, I dunno about double-dipping the Mick Taylor well – he seemed a one-anddone character to me. After going Hollywood for a while, Jamie Blanks came home to knock out the nicely gruesome and disreputable Storm Warning and a somewhat wan remake of the nature-gets-nasty thriller Long Weekend. (And in the

(Darwin In Bahia, Video Days, Later Than U Think) are even better, all sparkling, rippling, quasi-gamelan affairs. At once geometric in construction and organically expansive, these are as evocative of (variously) Steve Reich, Jon Hassell and The Black Dog as they are of actual disco or house. Balearic revivalism has a lot of form when it comes to offering desexualised post-Tangerine Dream astral concoctions: see Prins Thomas’ remix of Hatchback’s White Diamond, or Todd Terje’s Snooze 4 Love. What distinguishes Marco’s work is how integrated and complete his vision seems, and how his productions reach these starlit climes while retaining an equatorial warmth (mostly through quasiCaribbean percussive intricacy) that most other producers would struggle to balance. Notwithstanding – or perhaps because of – its consummate blend of influences, this music definitely feels like “end point” music, the final chapter in a story rather than the start of something new, with Marco’s exquisite sonic solutions marking

clumsiest segue in Trailer Trash history, isn’t Saw boy James Wan doing well for himself ? The Conjuring is making a nice chunk of change by effectively scaring the strides off viewers, and now he’s taking a great leap forward, landing the plum gig of helming the seventh Fast & Furious flick.) Effects whiz Justin Dix showed a knack for close-quarters tension and atmosphere with his Aliens homage/ripoff Crawlspace but the screenplay could have used another draft. Or two.

the final frontiers of Balearic reterritorialisation. Of course I might be wrong about that – it’s usually impossible to properly predict the next chapter until it’s already emerging – but this ambivalent quality also emerges on Young Marco’s mostly excellent DJ mixes. When he draws for some patchouli-soaked lysergic disco-rock jam from ages past, I could be listening to just any fine Balearic DJ circa 2007. However, at their best – such as the early parts of his Juno Plus Podcast from the end of last year, or the later portions of his recent LN-CC Store mix – they can sound like a spliff-session for Morricone, Vangelis and Sakamoto at the Mos Eisley Cantina: a feverdream of overlapping keyboards, clarinets, chimes and synth burbles that out-avants even the greatest efforts of the erstwhile (and undersung) champions of Balearic boundary-walking, Ronny & Renzo. Whether this is enough to grant Balearic revivalism continuing relevance, or it’s just one final glorious victory lap, either way it makes for essential listening.

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 83

the guide Hooray For Everything: Brighton RSL, Brighton-Le-Sands


World’s End Press + Special Guests: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst Date Night At The Museum + Grand Ville + Cassie Timms + Shot In Chicago: Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills


ILLY JOSH PYKE: Aug 22 Small Ballroom Newcastle; 23 Enmore Theatre; 24 Unibar Wollongong

NGAIIRE: Sep 12 Oxford Art Factory; 19 Transit Bar Canberra; 27 Small Ballroom; 28 Heritage Hotel Bulli

THE TROUBLE WITH TEMPLETON: Aug 22 Transit Bar Canberra; 23 Goodgod Small Club

ILLY: Sep 14 Metro Theatre PEACE: Sep 17 Zierholz @ UC; 18 Beach Road Hotel; 19 Newcastle University; 20 Wollongong University; 21 Oxford Art Factory

PLUTO JONZE: Aug 23 Yours & Owls Wollongong; 24 Goodgod Small Club; 31 Small Ballroom Newcastle

RUDIMENTAL: Sep 18 UC Refectory Canberra; 24, 25 Enmore Theatre

HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY: Aug 23 Oxford Art Factory; 24 Small Ballroom Newcastle

JINJA SAFARI: Sep 18 ANU Canberra; 19 Uni Bar Wollongong; 20 Cambridge Hotel; 21 Metro Theatre

CLOUD CONTROL: Aug 28 ANU Bar Canberra; Sep 10 Wollongong Uni Bar; 11 Bar On The Hill Newcastle; 12 Metro Theatre

HORRORSHOW: Sep 19 ANU Bar Canberra; 20 Metro Theatre

THE PAPER KITES: Aug 30 Small Ballroom Newcastle; 31 Metro Theatre BIG SCARY: Aug 30 Factory Theatre; 31 Zierholz @ UC JAPANDROIDS: Aug 31 Manning Bar THE REAL MCKENZIES, THE GO SET: Sep 4 ANU Bar Canberra; 5 Manning Bar

Mingus Amongst Us: 505, Surry Hills

Matt Jones: Summer Hill Hotel, Summer Hill

Trick Finger: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

World Music Wednesday feat. The Strides: The Basement, Circular Quay

St George Scream Band Competition: Forest Inn Hotel, Bexley

Midnight Juggernauts + Kirin J Callinan + Fascinator: Bar On The Hill, Newcastle Falcona DJs: Beach Road Hotel, Bondi Beach Seekae (DJ Set) + Fishing: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach

Free The Beats: 505, Surry Hills

FBi Social Lunchbreak feat. Bears With Guns: Kings Cross Hotel (1pm), Kings Cross Live & Local: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton Live & Local feat. Alpha Omega + more: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why Andy Mammers Duo: Maloneys Hotel, Sydney Judenn Lassiter: Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta Dan Spillane: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Courtyard), Rouse Hill Bastille + Tigertown: Metro Theatre, Sydney

Alex Cannings: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Souled Out: Orient Hotel, Sydney Darren Heinrich Trio: Play Bar, Surry Hills

Scattered Order + Greta Mob + Psychlops Eyepatch + MC Filth Wizard & The Celestial Axe + DJ Octopus Pi: Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Matt Jones: Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill The Harlots + She Rex: Hotel Steyne, Manly Moving Pictures + Mask: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

Ed Colman & The Twins: Scary Canary, Sydney


Tim Finn + Special Guests: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why

Dave Seaside: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

Slumberhaze: Low 302, Darlinghurst

Tigerlily + John Glover + more: Australian Hotel & Brewery (Cool Room), Rouse Hill

Dave White Duo: Maloneys Hotel, Sydney

Silent Rose + To the Grave + The World In Cinematic + The Warehouse + Lakeside: Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt Angelene: Bar 100, The Rocks Sures + Bec & Ben + Bonez: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach The Mountains: Bedlam Bar, Glebe Bryce Cohen: Brass Monkey, Cronulla


Chicks Who Love Guns: Frankies Pizza, Sydney

Paul Kelly + Urthboy: City Recital Hall, Sydney

JP Duo: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross


THU 15

Mark Isaacs: Blue Beat, Double Bay

XAVIER RUDD: Oct 4 Big Top Luna Park

MULLUM MUSIC FESTIVAL: Nov 21 – 24 Mullumbimby

Monks Of Mellonwah: Yours & Owls, Wollongong

Ignition: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

Ben Finn Duo: Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge

THE BREEDERS: Oct 28 Enmore Theatre

Ultra Series Band Competition: Valve Bar & Venue, Tempe

DJ Dan de Caires: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach

FOALS: Sep 28, 29 Enmore Theatre

FAT AS BUTTER: Oct 26 The Foreshore Newcastle

TWELVE FOOT NINJA: Sep 12 Zierholz @ UC; 13 Waves Wollongong; 14 Manning Bar; 19 Small Ballroom Newcastle; 20 Entrance Leagues Club; 21 Mona Vale Hotel

Andy Mammers: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why

Violent Soho + Bearhug: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst

BOY & BEAR: Oct 24 ANU Bar Canberra; 25 Enmore Theatre; Nov 15 Waves Wollongong

Christie Lamb: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Caf Samba), Campbelltown

Reckless: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney

THE DRONES: Sep 26 Zierholz @ UC; 28 Metro Theatre; Nov 22 Cambridge Hotel

NANCY VANDAL: Oct 10 Cambridge Hotel; 19 Dicey Rileys Wollongong

DEAD LETTER CIRCUS: Sep 4 Zierholz @ UC; 5 Metro Theatre; 6 Waves Wollongong; 7 Cambridge Hotel

WED 14

Pugsley Buzzard: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Kye Brown: Manly Leagues Club, Brookvale Little Lovers + Restless Leg: Marlborough Hotel, Newtown Greg Agar: Marrickville Ritz Hotel, Marrickville PJ Neverland: Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta Riz Hallowes: Newport Arms Hotel, Newport Open Mic Night with Alex Hopkins: Northies, Cronulla Sarah Paton: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross



20 AUG







18 AUG



THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 85

the guide Rob Henry: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

FBi Social feat.+Bears With Guns + more: Kings Cross Hotel, Kings Cross

Watsup: Orient Hotel, Sydney

Nick Kingswell: Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point

Grooveworks + Chris Gable + Dee Donovan + more: Revesby Workers (The Whitlam Theatre), Revesby Gary Johns: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney Elliot The Bull + Jess Dunbar + Sam Mcneill: The Bucket List, Bondi Beach Ian Stephen with the Imperfectionists + Reverse Vienna Oyster: The Green Room, Enmore In Cahoots with +Briana Cowlishaw: The Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst Isaac Graham & The Great Unknown + Revellers + Pete Akhurst: The Phoenix, Civic The Getaway Plan: The Small Ballroom, Newcastle Jake Meadows: The Spice Cellar, Sydney TAOS & The Dreamers + Kaibe + The Book Of Vilah: Town Hall Hotel, Newtown Bambino Koresh: Union Hotel, Newtown Louis London: UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney Winter Gaunt + Cordea + Pitchfork + Atlantis Of The Sky: Valve Bar & Venue, Tempe

FRI 16

FANNY LUMSDEN & THE THRILLSEEKERS: 20 AUG FRONT GALLERY CANBERRA Fresh Friday feat. Peezo + Slippery MC + The Hated: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach Resident DJs: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach Deviation: Belmont 16’s, Belmont Two Good Reasons: Belmore Hotel, Maitland Johnny B: Blackbird Cafe, Sydney Mitchell Anderson + The Blondettes: Brass Monkey, Cronulla Bloods + Major Leagues + The Fabergettes: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst Twist & Shout: 60s Dance Party: Brighton Up Bar (Late), Darlinghurst Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers Show: Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills Pape Mbaye + Chosani Afrique: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Krishna Jones: Coogee Diggers, Coogee Silent Rose + To the Grave + Lakeside + The Warhorse: Corrimal Hotel, Corrimal Am 2 Pm: Courthouse Hotel, Darlinghurst Matt Jones Duo: Cronulla RSL, Cronulla Cath & Him: Crown Hotel, Sydney Black Diamond Hearts + James Fox Higgins Trio: Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest Mick Vawdon: Customs House Bar, Circular Quay Mandi Jarry: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why Holdfast + The Acid Monkeys + Old Time Glory + Emerald Scar: Dicey Riley’s Hotel, Wollongong OMG! Duo: Duke of Wellington Hotel, New Lambton

Busking On Mars feat. +Braden Evans: Mars Hill Cafe (by the front window), Parramatta Pep Romanelli: Mars Hill Cafe, Parramatta Tanith + Blessie Pica + Imposter + Smooth + Tina Del Ray + Lana Lyric + Uniq: Martini Cafe, Newtown 4 Bar Avenue: Matraville Hotel, Matraville Victoria Avenue: Mean Fiddler Hotel, Rouse Hill Midnight Juggernauts + Kirin J Callinan + Fascinator: Metro Theatre (All Ages), Sydney

Jazz Nouveau: Revesby Workers (Infinity Lounge), Revesby And_Us + Underground Airforce + Wishing Fiction: Roxbury Hotel, Glebe Uncovered Duo: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney Soul Agents Duo: Seven Hills/ Toongabbie RSL, Seven Hills SIMA feat. Damian Wright Quintet: Seymour Centre (Sound Lounge), Chippendale Out Of Context + Love Child: Silk Hotel, Maitland Brother Speed + Special Guests : Spectrum, Darlinghurst The Floating Bridges + Sundown Shamans + more: The Annandale, Annandale

Armchair Travellers Duo: North Sydney Leagues, Cammeray Heath Burdell: Northies (Sports Bar), Cronulla

Blues & Grooves feat. Phil Emmanuel + Pop Standen + Lightning Jack Ridge + Deville Kiosk + JBH Revival + Shaun Kirk: The Hi-Fi, Moore Park

Dave Phillips: O’Malleys Hotel, Kings Cross

Rubber Bullet: The Kent Hotel, Hamilton

Jennifer: Oasis on Beamish Hotel, Campsie

S Is For Spaceship: The King Street Brewhouse, Sydney

Mashed Fridays feat. DJ Tone: Oatley Hotel, Oatley

Kotadama: The Mark Hotel, Lambton

MDC: Hermanns Bar, Darlington

Dead Mans Suit + Carl Fidler + Jess Dunbar: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

Holy Holy: The Newsagency, Marrickville

Luke & Ben Duo: Hillside Hotel, Castle Hill

Shivoo: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths Reckless + James Parrino: Orient Hotel, Sydney

Tim Rossington: Absolute Thai, Charlestown

The Big Bang: Cessnock Supporters Club, Cessnock

Paul Kelly: Anitas Theatre, Thirroul

Talk of The Town: Charlestown Bowling Club, Charlestown

Acoustic Dave: General Gordon Hotel, Sydenham

Kurt Williams: Chatswood RSL, Chatswood

Angelo Pash: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater

Bro Safari + Spenda C + Ra Bazaar + more: Chinese Laundry, Sydney

The Villains: Heathcote Hotel, Heathcote

Loco: Engadine Tavern, Engadine Tim Pringle: Ettalong Beach Club, Ettalong Beach Harbour Master: Figtree Hotel, Wollongong Acoustic Craving Duo: Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor

Transience + Mandala + Mercury Sky + Domino: Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt

Franky Valentyn: Club Five Dock, Five Dock

Hornsby Hotshots feat. In 3,2,1 + Lauren Harrison + Ex Curia + more: Hornsby Kur-ing-gai PCYC, Hornsby

Gelato: Bar 100, The Rocks

Christie Lamb: Club Marconi (Lounge Bar), Bossley Park

Hey Poncho: Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond

Byron & Steve: Cock’n Bull, Bondi Junction

Craig Woodward: Huskisson Hotel, Huskisson

Panorama Duo: Parramatta Leagues (The Firehouse), Parramatta Raoul Graf: Parramatta Leagues (Trophy’s Bar & Grill), Parramatta

Ted Nash Duo: Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee


Hello Cleveland: Quakers Inn, Quakers Hill

Ready Steady Fro+Various DJs: The Green Room, Enmore

Jack Quartet: Carriage Works, Eveleigh

Matt Purcell: Bar Petite, Newcastle

K-Note: Marquee, Pyrmont

Tully On Tully: Polish White Eagle Club, Turner

Twinsanity: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay

Tabitha Omaji: 99 On York (Zabou Bar), Sydney

The Mimiks: Club Cronulla, Cronulla

Riz Hallowes + Paul Winn: Manly Leagues Club, Brookvale

Ange: Pittwater RSL, Mona Vale

Moonlight Drive: The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton

The Underground feat. Zoolanda: Candys Apartment, Potts Point

Jack Derwin + Geoff Joanes: Avoca Beach Hotel, Avoca Beach

Ed Colman & The Twins: Macarthur Tavern, Campbelltown

Rolling Stoned: Pioneer Tavern, Kingswood

Stephanie Grace: Monkey Bar, Balmain

Endless Summer Beach Party: Engadine RSL, Engadine

Ella & Duke feat. The Todd Hardy Swing Orchestra + Anita Spring: 505, Surry Hills

The Mountains + Guests: Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba

The Black Sorrows Trio: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why

Talk It Up: Penrith RSL, Penrith

Rumours - A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac: The Basement, Circular Quay

DJ Tom Annetts: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Club Lounge), Campbelltown

Brew The Sound feat. Monks Of Mellonwah + Exit Row + Clementine + Daisy Cartel + Sampy: Australian Hotel & Brewery (Cool Room), Rouse Hill

Moving Pictures + Mask: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

Yum: Penrith Gaels, Kingswood

Evie Dean + Greg Agar: Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale

Martys Place: East Hills Hotel, East Hills

DJ Sean Andrews: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle

Double Standard: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

Daniel Arvidson: Lakeside Village Tavern, Raymond Terrace

David Agius: Parramatta RSL, Parramatta

Angelene: The Palace Hotel, Haymarket Life Pilot: The Small Ballroom, Newcastle Compound feat. Zeus + Aaron Andrew + Subaske: The Spice Cellar, Sydney Glass Towers + Jordan Leser + Sures: The Standard, Surry Hills Rhythm Or Bust: The Vineyard Hotel, Vineyard

THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 87

the guide Brooke Harvey: The Windsor Castle Hotel, Newcastle

Ed Colman & The Twins: Imperial Hotel, Tamworth

Thunderstruck AC/DC Show: Three Swallows Hotel, Bankstown

OMG! Duo: Iron Horse Inn, Cardiff Blue Mountains Elvis Festival+Various: Katoomba RSL, Katoomba

Knucklehead Orchestra: Town And Country Hotel, St Peters Andy Mammers Duo: Town Hall Hotel, Balmain Gang Of Youths + DJ Bernie Dingo: Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills After Dark: Valve Bar & Venue, Tempe The Capulets: Warners at the Bay, Warners Bay Alex Hopkins + DJ Marty: Wentworthville Leagues Club, Wentworthville

FLYLEAF: 17 AUG METRO THEATRE M Seven: Blacktown RSL, Blacktown

Contraband: Corrimal Hotel, Corrimal

Muddy Waters Tribute with Dom Turner + Ian Collard + Kevin Bennett + Don Hopkins: Brass Monkey, Cronulla

One World: Courthouse Hotel, Darlinghurst

Dave Phillips: Brewhouse, Kings Park

Triple Grip: Windsor Leagues Club, South Windsor

Tully On Tully: Brighton Up Bar, Darlinghurst

Terry Batu: Woolpack Hotel, Parramatta

A Band Named Trevor: Bull & Bush, Baulkham Hills

SAT 17

Mad Cow: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Club Lounge), Campbelltown

Big Way Out: 3 Wise Monkeys, Sydney

Big Guns feat. Neon Stereo: Candys Apartment, Potts Point

DJ Matt Meler: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle

Fun Machine + Spindrift Saga + Jupiter & the Moon + Guests: Captains At Mariners, Batemans Bay

20th Century Dog: 505, Surry Hills Kurt Williams: Abbotts Hotel, Waterloo John & Mindy: Absolute Thai, Charlestown Paul Kelly + Urthboy: Anitas Theatre, Thirroul

Fatt Lipp: Carousel Inn, Rooty Hill Jack Quartet: Carriage Works, Eveleigh Matt Jones: Castle Hill RSL (Terrace Bar), Castle Hill

Jack & Beans: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly

John Field & The Epics: Castle Hill RSL (Cocktail Lounge), Castle Hill

James Englund: Australian Hotel & Brewery, Rouse Hill

Life Pilot: Chatswood Youth Centre, Chatswood

Rufflefeather + Flick The Bean + Tiger & The Rogues + Black Matches: Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt

Speedy J + Jeff Drake + Jimmy Frew + more: Chinese Laundry, Sydney

Beth Gleeson: Bar Petite, Newcastle The Seabellies + Tropical Zombie: Beach Road Hotel (Rex Room), Bondi Beach Resident DJs: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar), Bondi Beach Isbjorn + DJ Richie Ryan: Beach Road Hotel (Valley), Bondi Beach

Brahms Piano Quintet +Australian Chamber Orchestra: City Recital Hall, Sydney Heath Burdell: Clovelly Hotel, Clovelly The Beatnix: Club Cronulla, Cronulla JJ Duo: Club Mudgee, Mudgee

Michael McGlynn: Kirribilli Hotel, Milsons Point

Groovology: Penrith RSL, Penrith

End of Days: Lakeside Village Tavern, Raymond Terrace

The Acca Daiquiris: Penrith RSL (Castle Lounge), Penrith

The Black Sorrows Trio + Alex Gibson: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

Craig Thommo: Pittwater RSL, Mona Vale

Oliver Goss + Paul Winn: Manly Leagues Club, Brookvale

Moving Pictures + Mental As Anything: Revesby Workers (Whitlam Theatre), Revesby

Tony Williams: Dee Why Hotel, Dee Why

DJ Valentine + Helena: Marquee, Pyrmont

Ignition: RG McGees, Richmond

Rumours - A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac: Dee Why RSL, Dee Why

Busking On Mars feat. Dylan Orsborne + The Sweet Jelly Rolls: Mars Hill Cafe (by the front window), Parramatta

The Sphinxes: Riverwood Inn, Riverwood

Dollshay: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Courtyard), Rouse Hill

Mal Eastick Trio + Milena Barret + Adam Pringle + Kentucky Moon: Roxbury Hotel, Glebe

Ben Finn Duo: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Fiddler Bar), Rouse Hill

Moonlight Drive Duo: Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton

Acoustic Dave: Dicks Hotel, Balmain

Pop Fiction: Mean Fiddler Hotel (Woolshed), Rouse Hill

Souled Out: Scruffy Murphy’s, Sydney

Mystery Guest: Eastern Suburbs Legion Club, Waverley

The Lonely Boys: Mercantile Hotel, The Rocks

Next Best Thing: Seven Hills/ Toongabbie RSL, Seven Hills

Gus n Ella: Engadine Tavern, Engadine

Flyleaf + Breakaway + Red Bee + Carmeria: Metro Theatre (All Ages), Sydney

SIMA feat. Waldo Fabian: Seymour Centre (Sound Lounge), Chippendale

Stormcellar: Moorebank Sports Club, Hammondville

Dan Lawrence: Sir Joseph Banks Hotel, Botany

DJ Markie Mark: Mounties (Terrace Bar), Mt Pritchard

K.P.: Tattersalls Hotel, Penrith

Hard-Ons + The Veebees + Bruce! + Feeling Dave + Hollow Gods + Curious Temple + Mangrove Jack + more: Dicey Riley’s Hotel (Afternoon), Wollongong

Shaun Kirk: Entrance Leagues, Bateau Bay Kuta Groove: Ettalong Beach Club, Ettalong Beach Smooth Criminals - The Michael Jackson Show: Ettalong Memorial Bowling Club, Ettalong Jellybean Jam: Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge Dave Calandra + Ecopella + Edna Kelly & Lindsay Martin: Fairlight Folk Acoustic Lounge, Fairlight Am 2 Pm: Fitzroy Hotel, Windsor Polyminor + Chris Gillespie: Glebe Cafe Church, Glebe Pangaea: Goodgod Small Club, Sydney

Thunderstruck AC/DC Show: Colyton Hotel, Colyton

Replika: Greystanes Inn, Greystanes

The Mountains: Bellevue Hotel, Tuncurry

Isaac Graham & The Great Unknown + Garden Of Eida: Commercial Hotel, Milton

Creedence & Friends: Halekulani Bowling Club, Budgewoi

Harbour Master: Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee

Geoff Rana: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater

The Harlots: Coogee Diggers, Coogee

Seth Sentry: Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour Brooke Harvey: Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond

Dr Zoom Duo: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay Riz Hallowes: Newport Arms Hotel, Newport Bizarre Bazaar Folk Markets: Newtown Hotel (Morning), Newtown Nova Tone: North Sydney Leagues, Cammeray Tori Darke: Northies (Beach Bar), Cronulla Two Minds Duo: Northies (Sports Bar), Cronulla The Jacks: Oatley Hotel, Oatley Cambo + Rob Henry + Carl Fidler: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Killer On The Road Doors Tribute Show: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths Angelene: Orange Grove Hotel, Lilyfield GJ Donovan + Elevate: Orient Hotel, Sydney Eye Of The Tiger: Overlander Hotel, Cambridge Gardens


David Agius: PJ Gallaghers, Moore Park

Dave White Experience: Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest

Dave Feint: Beauford Hotel, Mayfield

Johnny B: Blackbird Cafe, Sydney

Kristy Lee: Penrith Gaels, Kingswood

Shane Nicholson: Lizottes Sydney, Dee Why

Jonathan Lee Jones: Club Tuggerah, Tuggerah

Dan Runchell & Friends: Belmore Hotel, Maitland

Macson: Parramatta Leagues, Parramatta

Kickstar: Crown Hotel, Sydney

The Stabs + The Holy Soul: Goodgod Small Club (Danceteria), Sydney

The Snape Brothers: Belmont 16’s, Belmont

Zoe Elliot + Edward Deer + Achoo! Bless You: Paddington Uniting Church, Paddington

Ryan Thomas: The Belvedere Hotel, Sydney Kotadama: The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton Counterfeit Tribute Night: 50s Rock N Roll feat. Chicko & The Rollers + Telafonica + T-Bone & The Chips + Captain Obvious + more: The Gaelic (Upstairs), Surry Hills Shame Shame Shame (70s Disco) with DJ Vu: The Green Room, Enmore Pacha feat. Sebastien Drums + Chardy + John Glover + Fingers + 1: The Ivy, Sydney Overload: The Kent Hotel, Hamilton Freetones Duo: The Mark Hotel, Lambton Caribbean Soul: The Sly Fox, Enmore Darius Bassiray: The Spice Cellar (Late), Sydney Bloods + The Fabergettes: The Terrace Bar, Newcastle The Crawford Brothers Duo: The Windsor Castle Hotel, Newcastle

the guide Alex Hopkins: The Winston, Winston Hills

Aaron Hood: Orana Hotel, Blacksmiths

The Dysfunctions + Old School Band: Town And Country Hotel, St Peters

Beatville Boys + Mojo: Orient Hotel, Sydney

Darryl Beaton & the D1 Cartel + Major Leagues + The Conversations + Hobophonics: Upstairs Beresford, Surry Hills Lycanthia + Avarin + Awaken Solace + Temtris + Head In A Jar: Valve Bar & Venue, Tempe Room 13 + 1919 + Novembers Oath + Jody + Primal Envy + Another Avenue: Valve Bar & Venue (Afternoon), Tempe Incognito Band: Warners at the Bay, Warners Bay Everlys & Idols of Rock: Wentworthville Leagues Club (Starlight Room), Wentworthville Dirty Deeds - AC/DC Show + DJ Marty: Wentworthville Leagues Club (Auditorium), Wentworthville

John Williams: Overlander Hotel (Afternoon), Cambridge Gardens

CARTEL: 18 AUG THE ANNANDALE Guess Who Duo: Budgewoi Soccer Club, Budgewoi

Greg Byrne: Mean Fiddler Hotel, Rouse Hill

Rembetika: Camelot Lounge, Marrickville

Bambino Koresh: Midnight Special, Enmore

Cath & Him: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Caf Samba), Campbelltown

Heath Burdell: Mill Hill Hotel, Bondi Junction

Paul Greene: Campbelltown Catholic Club (Club Lounge), Campbelltown Jonny Taylor: Canterbury Leagues Club, Belmore Lionel Cole: Collingwood Hotel (Afternoon), Liverpool

The Zips: Windsor RSL, South Windsor

Charles Jenkins: Coogee Diggers, Coogee

Midnight Juggernauts + Kirin J Callinan + Fascinator: Zierholz @ UC, Canberra

Fallon Brothers: Ettamogah Hotel, Kellyville Ridge

SUN 18 DJ Tone: 5 Sawyers, Newcastle Craig Thommo: Ambervale Tavern, Ambervale Blues Sunday feat. Mark Hopper: Artichoke Gallery Cafe, Manly Phonic: Bar Petite, Newcastle Andy Benke: Beach Road Hotel (Public Bar / Afternoon), Bondi Beach

Paul Robert Burton Duo: Nelson Bay Diggers Club, Nelson Bay Angelene: Newington Inn, Petersham Nick Kingswell: Northies (Beach Bar), Cronulla Reckless: Northies (Sports Bar), Cronulla

The Road Runners + DJ Grizzly Adams: Torque Bar & Grill (Afternoon), Concord Bears With Guns: Trinity Bar, Surry Hills

Curbside Twisters: Penrith RSL (Castle Lounge), Penrith

Endless Nights + Desengaged + A Moment Before + Resonance + Friend Or Foe + At The Gallows: Valve Bar & Venue (Afternoon), Tempe

Q Sound: Revesby Workers (Infinity Lounge), Revesby

Greg Lines: Western Suburbs Leagues Club, Leumeah

Stormcellar: Royal Hotel, Bondi

Victoria Avenue: Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, Woolloomooloo

Cartel + Lydia + Wake The Giants + Swing From A Streetlight + Hearts Collide + LLC: The Annandale, Annandale

MON 19

Candice McLeod: The Canteen, Bondi Beach

Mark Wilkinson + Little Bighorn: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

The Dai Pritchard Band: The Kent Hotel, Hamilton

Steve Tonge: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

The Ben Ransom Country Show+Ben Ransom + Jonny Taylor: The King Street Brewhouse, Sydney

TUE 20 Silverland/Harry Sutherland Trio: 107 Project, Redfern Old School Funk & Groove Night feat. various: 505, Surry Hills

Shaun Kirk: Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland

Open Mic Night: Avoca Beach Hotel, Avoca Beach

Andy Mammers: Harbord Beach Hotel, Freshwater Lyall Moloney: Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour

Brahms Piano Quintet + Australian Chamber Orchestra: City Recital Hall, Sydney

Dave Phillips: Horse & Jockey Hotel, Homebush

Matthew Klein: Harold Park Hotel, Glebe

The Strides: Hotel Steyne, Manly Blue Mountains Elvis Festival feat. various: Katoomba RSL, Katoomba

Backbeat Duo: Belmont 16’s, Belmont

Shane Nicholson + Ashleigh Dallas: Lizottes Newcastle, New Lambton

The Flipped Out Kicks + Missing Link: Botany View Hotel, Newtown

Paul Kelly + Urthboy: Llewellyn Hall, Canberra

DON MCLEAN: 15 AUG WIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE Bronte: Oatley Hotel (Afternoon), Oatley

Candice McLeod: The Little Guy, Glebe

Sunday Sessions +Various DJs: Oatley Hotel (Terrace), Oatley

Grand Theft Audio: The Mark Hotel, Lambton

Rob Henry + Three Wise Men: Observer Hotel, The Rocks

The Jaded Vanities+Various: The Vanguard, Newtown

Ash: Metro Theatre, Sydney Rob Henry: Observer Hotel, The Rocks Nick Kingswell: Orient Hotel, Sydney Obey The Brave + Reigner + When Giants Sleep: Pot Belly Bar & Bistro, Belconnen Joan Baez: Sydney Opera House (Concert Hall), Sydney


THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 89


BREAK(FAST)ING NEWS The most important p meal of the dayy now seems like it it’ss also the trendiest. Simon Eales p trendiest ponders whyy we re so eager to hunt down the best we’re morning dishes come the weekend. Pics By Holly Engelhardt.


unday morning, dried-out to bejesus, wiping crusty spittle from lips: there’s no remedy. Hung like a floppy jacket. Don’t touch. Shut up. Get egg in me. Two long blacks, two icy OJs, a ‘Man Juice’ (half Diet Coke, half grapefruit juice: patent pending) and a huevos rancheros down the hatch and this bloke starts feeling like he might live to see another six-pack. And who delivered this desperately required manna morsel? Not the sweet-as-pie love of my life, who, for starters, doesn’t exist and, for seconds, would be just as dirty as me right now. No, the bloody breakfast joint in (your designated area) – where all the fresh people live – did. The ‘breakfast scene’ has certainly been booming in Aussie metro centres for the last few years. Even in Canberra, just recently, My Café served me up a banging Spanish omelette and espresso. The place was packed and parliament wasn’t even sitting. So what’s with it? Why do I need poached, locally-sourced organic quail eggs on a slice of gluten-free, chia seed loaf, with braised, tarragon-seasoned Chantarelle mushrooms and a goji berry compote when I’m either underslept, still drunk, with my mum, having a nonnighttime friend ‘catch-up’, or a morning-after ‘why the fuck am I still here?’ kind of second-ish date? Louise Charlier, second-in-charge at North Melbourne’s Auction Rooms – which has taken out, ahem, ‘another media outlet’s’ coveted best coffee joint award for the last couple of years – reckons breakfast is just another opportunity to get some great food culture in ya. “I am a serial diner. I go to breakfast and go out at night, I can’t be bothered cooking!” the zesty French lady laughs. “Read the paper, have a coffee… There’s something about someone cooking your breakfast. It makes you feel so well looked after.” But, the bartenders and baristas are colluding, no doubt. The former sets you up with a “same again?” and the latter knocks you down with a “triple shot, then?” In turn, the favour’s reversed, as those zucchini fritters give you just enough chutzpah to slide down the pub for

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Panama House, Bondi – these guys take their menu inspiration from ‘south of the border’. Tacos for breakfast, anyone?


the Sunday session. Make no mistake, this business is country-wide. Brisbane barista and breakfast authority, Ashleigh Dwyer, until recently of Alfred & Constance, reels off Pearl Café, Cirque, Flamingo and Scout, the last being “real Melbourne, with a killer breaky bagel”. Sydney, with its defined breakfast districts, rocks Brickfields, Soda Pony, Three Blue Ducks, The Grounds and Reuben Hills, among a zillion others. Perth’s doing places like Mary Street Bakery, while Melbourne’s Duchess Of Spotswood, Pillar Of Salt, Pope Joan and Proud Mary spring immediately to mind. Just for a moment, let’s take a look at these names. A lot of pastoral imagery going on here – lots of cute little slightly European (but not in a daunting way) echoes and thrift-shop-religious symbols. You’d be given to think these places are gourmet (but not in a ‘90s way), have an in-house band playing bubblecup-post-electro-pop and that baby animals graze and bleat at your feet. But what’s in a name? One breakfast phenomenon from left field is pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup. Hung Vo, of I Love Pho in Melbourne, says that pho’s become a massive craze that people can smash any time of day. Pho joints usually open around 9am and don’t get the usual food-touring crowd. “You get the older, traditional Vietnamese and Asians coming in,” Vo says. “Then we also have the all-night club crew, first thing, nine o’clock on the dot… You’ll often have, like, three friends eating and one person sleeping.” A moment of disclosure: I’ve had some very successful days, after being rat-arsed the night before, just because of pho. But for all the awesome of an obscenely organic awakening, or spicy offal-and-broth party, surely the first criterion for selecting a breakfast joint has to be its capacity to nurse you into this day. The moral is go bloody local, no matter where you live. North in Carlton North is my ‘everyday’, even though Carolina’s staff is cuter, and Small Victories makes a deluxe black pudding. The guys at North know my name, entertain my obsession with professional cycling, and don’t judge my trackie daks. And it’s just a short stumble back to bed.

Centennial Park Mobile Food Van, Centennial Parklands – ride your bike there, get a bacon and egg roll, feed the swans and enjoy the view.

3. Cook And Archie’s, Surry Hills – go go granola brain. Do your body a favour and load up on their colourful fruit salad and bircher muesli.


Mickey’s Cafe, Paddington – the epic breakfast menu that includes epic regular and Japanese-inspired pancakes runs until 5pm. The perfect place to ease those all-day hangovers.


Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern/ Waterloo – homemade goodness with a Middle Eastern flavour, with things like tabouli and Iranian spiced poached dried fruit and nut compote on the menu. Just get there early.







This might not look like much but boy was this one of the best breakfasts we’ve had! On the left is the Reggie Deluxe (fried chicken, bacon, cheese, egg and gravy in a biscuit), ‘slaw, hush puppies with a tomato hot sauce, and to the right is the Pine State Fried Club (three fried grit cakes - one topped with fried chicken and honey, one with pimento cheese and fried green tomato, and one with aged white cheddar wrapped in ham), two freshly squeezed OJs and a whole lot of goofy grinning from myself and @lloydhoneybrook — with Lloyd James Honeybrook at Pine State Biscuits.


THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 91


THE HANGOVER TEST Hungover? Cassandra Fumi reaches for her favourite rehydrators.


ikipedia tells us that carbonated water, aka soda, sparkling or fizzy water is carbon dioxide gas that’s been dissolved into water at a low concentration. We can tell you that it’s the best hangover drink going. Joseph Priestley developed the carbonation process in 1767 (yeah, that Priestley, the one who ‘discovered’ oxygen). Thank you, Mr Priestley. So, with a headful of facts, and day-after aches, we headed down to the local shops to suss out which sparkling version was the best on our zoopermarket shelves.

BLACK & GOLD MINERAL WATER Cost: $0.99 Bubble O Meter: 2/10 When a label suggests it’s “quality assured” nothing is less assuring. This one is more something you mix with alcohol on your way to a hangover, rather than drink straight.

SCHWEPPES SPARKLING Cost: $1.49 Bubble O Meter: 6/10 Mr Schweppes has signed off on SS being sourced from Australian Springs if anyone has disputes. This one is on the sweet side; if you prefer your sparkling water ‘drier’ opt for the Schweppes Soda Water. 92 • THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013

FACT: Nothing will cure a hangover quicker than sparkling water.

FACT: In terms of which bottle of sparkling water to choose - size definitely matters.

SANTA VITTORIA ACQUA MINERALE Cost: $1.49 Bubble O Meter: 8.5/10 Love the 1863 painting of the Birth Of Venus by Alex Cabanel on the label. Cabanel is French but this is a product of Italy. It’s bottled in the Vicenza Veneto region of northern Italy and we can taste the view.

SAN PELLEGRINO Cost: $2.99 Bubble O Meter: 9 /10 If there was a sparkling that was seen as glamorous, it’s San Pell. Another product of Italy, it’s bottled in the province of Bergamo up north. It’s got a strong social media presence, with an active Twitter and Facebook - San Pell is the rock star of the sparkling waterworld.

VOSS Cost: $7.00 Bubble O Meter: 8/10 Now this bottle is swish, Nordic, stupidly priced and hard to find. C’mon, folks, it’s just H2O with a little gas.

FACT: Drinking sparkling water excessively is indulgent but an indulgence worth satiating.


2 0 1 3


be where the POWER is!



fashion The Burning Man is a week-long festival located in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert (also knows as “The Playa”). It kicks off Aug 27. Melbourne-based designer Celeste Macleod designed and created these magical disco lizzzards for a group of 15 punters travelling from Melbourne to Burning Man. The outfits were inspired by Australia’s own desert creature the frilled-neck lizard.

MODELS: Zoe Dealehr Milky Tomadi


Australian designer Celeste Macleod was commissioned to create 15 outfits to be worn at the upcoming Burning Man festival in the US. Photos by Holly Engelhardt.

Dandylion Donovan Oliver Coleman

STYLIST, MAKE-UP AND COSTUME: Celeste Macleod (cenqeleste.emira@


CO-ORDINATED BY: Cassandra Fumi

ACCESSORIES: The Costume Shop, Melbourne

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A TV TOURIST IN LA A gay g y skeleton robot robot,, an ex-junkie j from Scotland and George Hamilton are amongst the sights Andrew Mast finds inside LA’s Television City.


BS Television City is not a city. It’s a television studio in innercity LA. It’s also not a landmark like NBC’s Rockefeller Centre HQ in New York. CBS looks like the studio lots you see in old Hollywood films on TCM. But there’s no Hollywood glamour for those of us here for a taping of The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. We stand outside against a fence, on a busy LA street. A motley ice cream vendor wheels his trolley by - no one bothers him for an Eskimo Pie. Alongside us Australians, folk from Spain, Brazil and even Canada make up the gathering audience. But it would seem that not everyone here knows Ferguson. Most days the ticketing agency hand out passes for TV tapings to tourists along Hollywood Boulevard. Earlier in the day unsuspecting sightseers were spruiked seats to this, Russell Brand or Jimmy Kimmel tapings. Entering Television City there’s two security checks and a metal detector. Immediately outside Studio 56, phones and cameras are taken away as we are placed in a holding area for a briefing. We are directed to buy merchandise from a stall with shelves creaking under the weight of dusty How I Met Your Mother mugs. We are then led through fake laugh practice. Hustled inside 56 – single file – it’s a maze of corridors, stairwells and missed photo opportunties. While the walls outside are adorned with posters for current CBS fodder, inside is a tribute to classic Television City talent: Carol Burnett, Art Linklater, All In The Family. I’m ushered to the middle section of the bleachers the main camera would block my view of Ferguson’s monologue. We are handed a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup each by warm-up guy Chunky B. He flails us with lame jokes to test our abilities to fake laugh for any old gag. Applaud and laugh, we are instructed, even if we don’t understand the joke. A curtained enclosure is finally whisked away to reveal the show’s resident gay robot skeleton - Geoffrey Peterson, Ferguson’s version of a talk show sidekick. We applaud and cheer like our lives

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LA LA LANDMARKS 1. Beverly Hills Signs: The 90210 guitar riff goes off in your head.


depend on it. And, we keep doing so as Ferguson bounces into view and gestures us to quieten down. We’ve been warned that the gesture is to be ignored – just applaud and cheer through it.

Capitol Records Tower: Host to all sorts of music making history from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to The Beach Boys and Beastie Boys.

Ferguson, a Scottish comedian who trades off a drug-abusing past, found fame in The Drew Carey Show. An out-of-leftfield choice to take the postLetterman late night spot, he takes pleasure in not following the tonight show format. His monologue can sometimes take the form of a history lesson or a puppet show, he has no band and his guests make small talk, rarely getting promotional plugs in.

Random b-list stars: Thandie Newton whizzed out of The Grove by buggy as a handful of papz obligingly snapped.


At the taping, Ferguson is ‘as seen on TV’. He slays the monologue right off then immediately tackles the cold open (the introduction that airs before the opening credits). Often Ferguson pulls random audience members on camera at this point – but not today. My 15 minutes of chat show fame is not to be. Break. Ferguson quickly takes his place behind his desk and reads viewer emails and tweets. We laugh and applaud. Break. First guest. George Hamilton. Hollywood royalty. Tanning royalty. He discusses his own drug taking past - “in the ‘60s… just to be sociable.” Break. A chance to witness what goes on between host and guest during the ad break. But there’s no Larry Sandersstyle uncomfortable conversation… instead, nothing. And straight back into the interview. Break. Next guest. A second-rung star of network TV. Break. Regular closer ‘What Did We Learn On The Show Tonight, Craig?’. Credits. Ferguson races forward and proceeds to shatter illusions by introducing us to the voice actor behind the ‘robot’ and the ‘interns’ inside the horse. Exit Ferguson. But we have one last job. We view a taped sketch. It’s contingency-plan filler for future use and requires a real live audience laugh track. We laugh and applaud, by now fearing that if we don’t we may be forced to stay for a taping of The Price Is Right. It’s still daylight outside Television City. But later, under the cover of darkness, The Late Late Show airs. I make my American laughing and applauding debut.


Random Hollywood Walk Of Famers: “Here we come, walking down the street.”


LA County Museum Of Art: and, then there’s just drop dead awesome architecture…




MELBOURNE Monday 1000 Pound Bend, 361 Little Lonsdale St, CBD, 6.30pm Tuesday 250 George St, Fitzroy, 7.30pm Wednesday 49 Nicholson St, Brunswick East, 7pm

It works for sex so why not dancing? William Millar learns why some people prefer to bump ugly with the lights out. Pic: Paul Philipson

SYDNEY First Wednesday of every month Boxcar, 12 Dawson St, Surrey Hills, 8pm

BRISBANE Every second Monday Upstairs@199, 199A Boundary Street, West End, 8pm First Wednesday of every month Visable Ink, 5 Greensquare Close, Fortitude Valley, 6.30pm

PERTH Thursday The Chapel Space, cnr Angove St and Scarborough Beach Rd, North Perth, 8.15pm “Shake it like a bowl of soup, And make your body loop de loop”. Sam Cooke For more info head to nolightsnolycra. com


ancing around your bedroom half naked to that song you love is the most fun you’ve ever had. Don’t deny it. Hell, when you really want to you can do the MJ crotch grab–pelvic thrust all the way from the kitchen to your bedroom. But there’s a problem with your inner groove child – it doesn’t want to come out around people. Even when it does you have no recollection of it because you weren’t really all there. What could coax it out? The answer is so simple you may just kick yourself for not realising you do it all the time anyway. What’s going to get it out is pretty much just you thinking you are in your bedroom half naked dancing to that song you love, but wearing clothes and in a room with the lights off. Dance lovers Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett figured that out about four years ago and so was born the all-rhythm, alldarkness gathering No Lights No Lycra (NLNL). “After studying contemporary dance for a few years we had kind of forgotten what made us want to move to music in the first place,” says Barrett of the days pre-NLNL. “We had studied it to death and in some ways we didn’t find it fun any more. We wanted to dance like we did when we were kids again.” The premise is simple: leave your stale two-step at the door and move how the music makes you feel. There is no fear of being judged here, because no one gives a damn, and also because the lights are off. Arms flail, robots come to life, shimmies shimmy. Everyone has a good time, everyone sweats a little and then everyone goes home, some having learnt that their bodies can move in ways they didn’t even know. Walking into NLNL for the first time is a little like the first day of primary school, but with less peeing your pants and this time you think you might have a shot at being a cool kid. Then Biggie Smalls starts rapping about some “bitches in the back

looking righteous in a tight dress” and the memory of being a ginger kid gripping your mums leg evaporates and in its place you become a 150 kilo rapper from Brooklyn, having a sick one with his homies (still not the cool kid, though). A room of silhouettes jumps from here to there, there’s a bump or two and everyone starts finding their feet. The shoes eventually come off, sweat permeates the air before the smell of it becomes lost, and then the hour is over and you desperately want it back. The organisers of each event choose the music, but anyone is invited to submit a mix-tape for rotation. One moment, the ‘80s is in full effect, getting physical and what have you; the next, Darude’s Sandstorm is putting some arms and legs to serious work. A real sense of community has built up around these gatherings and more than a few dance/sweat-offs have been had between regular patrons. After a while, you can start picking out who is who amongst the shadows and people aren’t people any more – they become their moves. Since its humble beginnings NLNL has taken on cult status around the world, with different locations popping up on the regular. It can be found from here to China, up to Ireland and back again, creating what is truly an international dance community. Going global was an accident, says Barrett: “It started with a friend of ours who was visiting from New York. She loved the idea and asked if she could start one of her own. From there it has just bubbled out and we are now in 33 locations around the world.” The nonchalance in which she says this is a little surprising. Making something like NLNL that has taken off the world over is rare. But after a little more consideration it makes sense. People have always been dancing in the dark, it’s just that sometimes we get a little too caught up in the light and forget to flip the switch off. That, and no one likes lycra. THE MUSIC • 14TH AUGUST 2013 • 97

the end




KNOWN FOR? Let’s just say he’s had more than one occasion to consider The O’Jays Backstabbers as his theme.

PERSONALITY OR POLITICS? He has the personality of the creepy uncle who likes to talk about his collection of acrylic insect keyrings at family Xmas parties.

PROS? Doesn’t go near them after the trouble they caused Craig Thomson.

CONS? Ask Rupert Murdoch.

TONY ABBOTT PARTY? Foam parties – only party that has a Speedo dress code.

KNOWN FOR? Being in opposition… to everything.

PERSONALITY OR POLITICS? He has the personality of the sleazy uncle who suggests everyone gets changed into bathers for a swim at family Xmas gatherings.

PROS? Rupert Murdoch likes him.

CONS? We suspect he’s in the middle of one now.

CHRISTINE MILNE PARTY? Life’s too serious for a party.

KNOWN FOR? Not being Bob Brown.

PERSONALITY OR POLITICS? Politics. Politics. Politics.

PROS? She’s the only candidate with a solid policy platform.

CONS? No one cares about policies unless they are steeped in panic about border protection.

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DEAR READER If you are reading this now you’ve likely noticed that there’s something different about us. The buzz word around here is “evolution” but quite simply, we just decided to fuck with the formula. We wanted to find a way to stay relevant, expand the nature of our content and get more of that content in while still covering all the local music news, releases and gigs that we have always done. So, flip us over and have a nice, long read.

Andrew Mast Group Managing Editor






The Music (Sydney) Issue 1  
The Music (Sydney) Issue 1  

The Music is a free, weekly gloss magazine of newsstand quality. It features a diverse range of content including arts, culture, fashion, li...