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STARING DOWN THE HIP HOP PURISTS

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HALLOWEEN LOOW LOW

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WEDNESDAY 13

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PSYCHICS

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VERONICA FALLS

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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 3


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MORE MUSIC THAN EVER AND A SHITLOAD OF OTHER STUFF! 6 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013


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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 9


themusic 30TH OCTOBER 2013

#012

“I CAN SMELL SOMETHING ELSE IN HERE BESIDES THE INCENSE. I THINK IT MIGHT BE BULLSHIT.”

INSIDE FEATURES Illy

- GIULIANO FERLA GOES TO THE PSYCHIC EXPO (P34)

Jordie Lane Wednesday 13 Little Scout Bodyjar Mr Grevis Bruce Gladwin

feature

Psychic Expo Baby Animals The Screaming Jets Kid Mac Richard Murphet Veronica Falls Bonjah

“AS YOU GET A BIT OLDER, YOU NEED A BIT OF BREATHING SPACE AND SOME TIME TO REJUVENATE.”

STREAM NEW RELEASES FROM JEREMY NEALE AND MINOR ALPS. EXCLUSIVELY ON THEMUSIC.COM.AU

- GLENN MOSSOP OF BONJAH (P40)

Charlie Brooker Best Coast Stephen Halpin Morcheeba Tania Bosak Nancy Vandal The Bats Zahra Newman

REVIEWS Album: MIA

Live: Active Child Arts: The Rite Of Spring Film: Lee Daniels’ The Butler Games: Pokemon X

THE GUIDE

READ A GRIPPING EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM NEW BOOK THE YOUNGS: THE BROTHERS WHO BUILT AC/ DC BEFORE ITS RELEASE.

ON THEMUSIC.COM.AU

review

THE BREEDERS. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

“THE FEEL THE DEALS HAVE FOR THEIR AXES IS NOT OFTEN SEEN THESE DAYS – IT’S THE SUBSTANCE THAT SEALS THE BREEDERS’ SOUND.” - BRYGET CHRISFIELD REVIEWS RELEASE THE BATS (P58)

Cover: N’Fa Jones Local News Gig Guide Eat: Paleo Eating Drink: Ginger Drinks Fashion: Halloween Costumes The End: Lou Reed Obituary

review 10 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

“RYCKEWAERT BARELY SPEAKS BUT HER HONEST EXCAVATION OF THE COMMINGLING DESPAIR AND ENERGY OF ADOLESCENCE STRIKES A CHORD.”

OLIVER COLEMAN REVIEWS ALL THAT IS WRONG (P60)


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 11


CREDITS

PUBLISHER Street Press Australia Pty Ltd GROUP MANAGING EDITOR Andrew Mast EDITOR Bryget Chrisfield ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR Cassandra Fumi EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Stephanie Liew MUSO EDITOR Michael Smith GIG GUIDE Justine Lynch vic.giguide@themusic.com.au SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR Jeff Jenkins CONTRIBUTORS Aleksia Barron, Atticus Bastow, Steve Bell, Luke Carter, Anthony Carew, Oliver Coleman, Rebecca Cook, Adam Curley, Cyclone, Guy Davis, Dan Condon, Simon Eales, Guido Farnell, Sam Fell, Tim Finney, Bob Baker Fish, Cameron Grace, Tom Hawking, Andrew Hazel, Brendan Hitchens, Jeff Jenkins, Kate Kingsmill, Baz McAlister, Samson McDougall, Tony McMahon, Fred Negro, Matt O’Neill, Josh Ramselaar, Paul Ransom, Dylan Stewart, Stephanie Tell, Izzy Tolhurst, Nic Toupee, Dominique Wall, Glenn Waller, Matthew Ziccone SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Kane Hibberd PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Briscoe, Holly Engelhardt, Jay Hynes, Lou Lou Nutt

THIS WEEK THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK • 30 OCTOBER - 5 NOVEMBER 2013

attend

lol

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Brett Dayman ADVERTISING DEPT Leigh Treweek, Tim Wessling sales@themusic.com.au ART DIRECTOR Nicholas Hopkins ART DEPT Eamon Stewart, Brendon Wellwood, Julian De Bono

When is Vanilla Ice Goes Amish airing in Australia? And who knew his name was Rob? Apparently the first episode covers Ice remodelling an Amish granny’s kitchen and also shovelling shit. Let’s start a petition. This sounds like quality hungover viewing.

Fashion Torque, Australia’s only live fashion chat show hosted by Philip Boon and Jenny Bannister with different fashion industry guests, is on tonight (30 Oct) at 7pm, Hasti Bala Bar at The Carlton Hotel, Level Three, 193 Bourke Street Melbourne. Plus, it’s their annual Spring Racing Fashion show and will cost you nix! Fascinators optional.

vic.art@themusic.com.au ADMIN & ACCOUNTS Loretta Zoppolone Shelley Neergaard Jarrod Kendall Leanne Simpson accounts@themusic.com.au DISTRO Anita D’Angelo distro@themusic.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS store.themusic.com.au CONTACT US Tel 03 9421 4499 Fax 03 9421 1011 info@themusic.com.au www.themusic.com.au 584 Nicholson St, Fitzroy North 3068 Locked Bag 2001, Clifton Hill VIC 3068

Do you love a doco? What’s not to love? This week Luke Walker’s new doco Lasseter’s Bones opens at Cinema Nova 31 Oct. It’s based on the diary of Harold Lasseter – who died in 1931 – which reveals the discovery of a gold reef in the Central Australian desert. However, the gold is yet to be found. MELBOURNE

see


mo-grow

Yes, it’s Movember again, the perfect opportunity for your seedy uncle to finally fit in with your local hipster gang. Grow a mo for charity and help raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer. Just remember to actually raise some money this time, instead of using it as an excuse to keep your three-day fuzz for 30 days. You looked like a barely pubescent 16-year-old. Head to au.movember.com.

race

Fancy yourself as a problem solver? An individual that can handle all kinds of pressure in different circumstances? Are you keen to jet-set around the world, check out some of the most iconic sights on the planet and potentially win a large chunk of cash? Then you best be entering The Amazing Race Australia, which is returning to television screens in 2014. Grab your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, pet... no. Look, buddy up, enter at au.tv.yahoo.com and you could be the next Amazing Race champion.

gorge

On laughs, and icecream. The official Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues trailer has just been released, and Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 news team look set to take hilarious stupidity to the next level. And if Brian Fantana’s world famous jimmy cabinet didn’t look enticing enough, how about Ben & Jerry’s paying homage to Mr Burgundy with his very own flavour, Scotchy Scotch Scotch. As McBain once said, “Let’s get silly.”

read

After a two-year wait, Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole And A Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms Mayhem, And Other Things That Happened is finally about to occupy prime position on your shelf. It was originally a popular web comic, drawn using Paintbrush, and featuring anecdotes about the Alot, her mentally challenged dog and being a small child. It’s genuinely side-splitting and now in book format. It’s out on 1 Nov, and you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon, Random House, or Brosh herself. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 13


national news news@themusic.com.au JACK JOHNSON

STONEFIELD

WE LOVE KANE HIBBERD

Although it might be hard to tell because last week we forgot to credit the award-winning photographer for his wonderful Stonefield shoot. So, just for the record, the above shot of the band was shot exclusively for us by Kane Hibberd. (Kane, please don’t hate us.)

BLUESFEST FAIRYTALES

A regular at the festival since his first appearance back in 2002, Jack Johnson is making a welcome return to the main stage at Bluesfest 2014. Continuing his incredible worldwide success with his latest LP From Here To Now To You, the former professional surfer has plenty of new treats for Aussie fans, and slides into the bill seamlessly, as does Elvis Costello, who’ll be leading The Imposters through his legendary canon. Also added to the line-up: Passenger, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Kasey Chambers, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Trixie Whitley and The Soul Rebels, as well as television game show RocKwiz, which will happen live at the festival. Bluesfest’s 25-year anniversary celebrations take place 17 to 22 Apr, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay.

ALL HAIL THE QUEEN

Showing no signs of slowing down, Nashville country royalty Dolly Parton is set to share a few more special nights with her adoring fans Down Under, showcasing her latest record, Blue Smoke, as well as pulling favourites from a back catalogue that stretches almost half a century. She plays 11 Feb, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne; 15 Feb, Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley; 18 Feb, Sydney Entertainment Centre; 21 Feb, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; and 27 Feb, Perth Arena. Tickets are on sale this Friday.

YOUNG AND RESTLESS

Play out all your hedonistic fantasies when the 27-year-old producer Adrian Lux spins tunes (including his new stormer, Wild Child) along the east coast, playing 2 Nov, Pacha, Sydney; 8 Nov, King Street Hotel, Newcastle; 9 Nov, The Met, Brisbane; 14 Nov, Trak Lounge Bar, Melbourne; 15 Nov, Academy, Canberra; and 16 Nov, Platinum Nightclub, Gold Coast.

WARPED ATHLETES ANNOUNCED

Warped Tour isn’t just about the music – there’s also a sporting component, which features some genuinely mad skateboarders and BMX riders for your jaw-on-thefloor viewing pleasure in 2013. How’s this for a list: Steve Caballero, Renton Millar, Omar Hassan, Dennis McCoy, Neal Hendrix, Pedro Barros, Vi Kakinho, Murilo Peres and Coco Zurita. Undeniably epic times! For full event details head to The Guide on theMusic.com.au.

Headed up by a formidable trio of American metalcore heavyweights – Blessthefall, Like Moths To Flames and The Color Morale – Boys Of Summer will return in 2014, happening 8 Jan, The Rev, Brisbane; 9 Jan, Eagleby South School Hall, Brisbane (all ages); 10 Jan, Panthers, Newcastle (licensed/all ages); 11 Jan (18+) and 12 Jan (all ages), The Annandale, Sydney; 14 Jan, The Basement, Canberra; 15 Jan, Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne (all ages); 16 Jan, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 18 Jan, Amplifier, Perth; and 19 Jan, YMCA HQ, Perth (all ages) (The Color Moral don’t appear on the WA dates).

FEELINGS

EATING THROUGH THE FLESH

From their original powerviolence days back in the mid-’90s, masked San Diego punks The Locust have been brutalising anyone that cares with screeching bursts of hardcore noise and mathy time signatures. Off the map for a while, the quartet returns 5 Feb, Crowbar, Brisbane; 6 Feb, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 7 Feb, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; and 10 Feb, Amplifier Bar, Perth.

“I BET BRITNEY HAS A HARD TIME USING FEDEX” SHE PROBABLY HAS A HARD TIME WITH LOTS OF THINGS ALEC SULKIN [@THESULK]. 14 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

SHINING IN THE SUN

BATTLE OF THEMSELVES

Do you want to get weird? Feelings have just released their debut record Be Kind, Unwind and are set to launch that baby with some gigs. Standard so far, yes? Well, this is where things take a turn from the strange. The support band for all dates: Philadelphia Grand Jury, making an east coast return after a few years in hiatus wilderness. So you’ve got the same three guys, two separate bands and so much indie pop awesomeness – yeah boi. These nights of curious musical déjà vu will take place 28 Nov, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 5 Dec, The Rev, Brisbane; 6 Dec, Small Ballroom, Newcastle; and 7 Dec, The Standard, Sydney, with all shows proudly presented by The Music.


national news news@themusic.com.au AVICII

BAD//DREEMS

MORE THAN A NIGHT

It used to be just about the ARIA Awards; now, it’s about the ARIA Week! There’s loads of cracker performances in the leadup to the gala evening on 1 Dec, including Andy Bull, Chance Waters and The Cairos, Oxford Art Factory, 26 Nov; Jackie Onassis, Safia and Remi, Oxford Art Factory, 27 Nov; DZ Deathrays, Palms and I Oh You DJs, The Standard, 27 Nov; Glass Towers, Oxford Art Factory, 28 Nov; and Bliss N Eso, The Standard, 28 Nov. The Music is also hosting a couple of late nights at Upstairs Beresford, partnering with Chugg Music, 26 Nov and MGM, 27 Nov, with Bad//Dreems helping us party at the latter. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we’ll be announcing the full list of acts for both those bills!

THE FREED MEN

Fans here thought all their birthdays had come at once when Sebadoh returned in 2011, touring after a long hiatus away. Understandably, those same crew are going to be bouncing with news the American indie legends are visiting us once more, showing off their first LP in 14 years, Defend Yourself, with capital city shows. The trio play 21 Mar, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 22 Mar, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 23 Mar, The Zoo, Brisbane; and 25 Mar, Rosemount Hotel, Perth.

METRIC

THEY’RE ALIVE

Incredibly popular, though a band that still seems to fly under the radar like some amazing little secret is Metric. The secret may finally be out for good, however, with the quartet jetting across the Pacific again to shake capital cities this summer. You can spend a balmy evening with Metric when the Canadian indie new wavers play Metro City, Perth, 7 Dec; The Forum, Melbourne, 9 Dec; The Tivoli, Brisbane, 11 Dec; and Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 12 Dec. Tickets are on sale today (Wednesday).

ON ANOTHER LEVEL

At 23 years of age and standing on top of the EDM mountain, there are few beat makers as big or in demand as Swedish superstar Avicii, and next year Australia gets the producer at the height of his powers. The man responsible for mega anthems like Levels and Wake Me Up will play his first ever headline dates Down Under, bringing his inspired arena show to the following venues: Brisbane Riverstage, 24 Jan (all ages); Centennial Park, Sydney, 25 Jan (15+); Melbourne Showgrounds, 26 Jan (15+); and Perth Arena, 27 Jan (all ages). Tickets on sale noon, 8 Nov. Presented by The Music.

TRIPLE J FOR ADULTS

Adding a third notch to their belt, triple j have just taken control of ABC’s Dig Music, with a major rebrand set to take place over the next six months. The station, which is able to be streamed through digital TVs, will aim at reconnecting with an older demographic that has perhaps turned their backs on the current triple j playlist, with artists such as Sarah Blasko, Billy Bragg, Tim Rogers and Moby set to program material in the future.

“FUCKIN TERRORISTS. NOW EVERY TIME I FLY I GOTTA FIND CLEAN MATCHED DECENT SOCKS” WHAT’S WORSE THOUGH [@DEANJNORRIS], CLEAN SOCKS OR BLUE METH?

TIME IS RUNNING OUT

You’ve never experienced Muse quite like this. Muse – Live At Rome Olympic Stadium showcases one of the biggest bands in the world delivering their largest live production in 4K Ultra High Definition, the first concert film to ever use such technology. Witness the British trio through 8.8 million pixels when the film is screened around the country for one night only, 7 Nov, 7pm at Event Cinemas: George St, Sydney; Chermside, Brisbane; and Innaloo, Perth, as well as Village Cinemas: Jam Factory, Melbourne.

RECLAIMING THE DARKNESS

Rekindling over 30 years of gothic dreams, former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy will sidestep his solo outings to plough into the material that made him famous, performing an entire Bauhaus set in full band mode. These Mr. Moonlight shows will be the first time in almost a decade that Murphy has played a complete set of material from the iconic British group, taking place 10 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; 11 Dec, Manning Bar, Sydney; and 12 Dec, Corner Hotel, Melbourne. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 15


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au PARQUET COURTS

FRIGHTENED RABBIT

THE RABBIT RETURNS A DAY ON THE COURTS

From Texas via New York comes Parquet Courts. Reigniting the joy of American punk rock, Parquet Courts are a no-nonsense, four-man explosion of up-allnight energy, a whip-smart collision of ideas designed to put brains (and mosh pits) in motion. Catch them with hand-picked special guests, Total Control and Constant Mongrel, 29 Jan Corner Hotel. Presented by The Music.

Frightened Rabbit visited Australia for a national tour earlier this year off the back of their Pedestrian Verse album, playing Groovin’ The Moo Festivals and a run of sold-out east coast sideshows. Seems they love us (at least that’s what we can tell ourselves), because they’re set to come back already, performing at Laneway as well as their own headline shows. Catch the Scottish indie-rock five piece at the Palace Theatre 5 Feb. Presented by The Music.

ELECTRIFYING CINEMA

ARCHIE ROACH

The folk at Shadow Electric are back for another summer of open-air cinema, bringing their signature mix of cult classics, docos and festival favourites to the Abbotsford Convent. The program includes Karate Kid and This Is Spinal Tap, as well as rare gems from The Vinegar Syndrome crew. And, if you missed Blue Jasmine, Frances Ha or Filth the first time, this is your chance to catch ‘em. The season kicks off on 21 Nov with new food stalls and the usual bar set up.

IN THE FLESH

Che Walker’s gritty cockney play Flesh Wound has graced our shores after the script got rave reviews in the UK and won a swag of awards to boot. Set in a flat on a North London council estate, the black comedy deals with crime, honour and family ties after main character Vincent gets on the wrong side of a gangland family. Take a butcher’s hook at Goodtime Studios until 3 Nov.

EYE OF THE TIGER

Sydney’s Tigertown are hitting the road this summer, supporting Canadian four-piece Half Moon Run on their Australian tour, which also takes in the Woodford Folk Festival. Tigertown will be delivering the sweet harmonies and hooks of their Wandering Eyes EP at Karova Lounge, Ballarat on 18 Jan and the Corner Hotel on 19 Jan.

YES YOU MAY

To celebrate a successful year all ‘round and the release of a double A-side, Perth Girls from the album Kiss My Apocalypse and new track Total Control, Abbe May is hitting the road and bringing her killer live show to Howler on 6 Dec with special guests Mathas and DJ Bertie Blackman.

HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW

Celebrate Halloween in truly spine-tingling fashion by getting yourself to a Wednesday 13 show. Australian industrial metal maestros Witchgrinder will be supporting the horror punk pro (and former Murderdolls frontman) on his tour of the east coast later this month. Catch this fearsome lineup at Billboard The Venue on 1 Nov.

STARRY SUPPORT

Patrick James’ Spring Tour is coming up fast, and he’s announced special guests following the release of his new single, Wait. Joining him at Northcote Social Club 22 Nov (now sold out) is producer wunderkind and ex-The Middle East mastermind Mark Myers’ The Starry Field as well as Ariela Jacobs.

“I’M NEVER ACCIDENTALLY LATE TO SEE YOUR BAND”

JOHN VIENER @MYGIVEUP OFFERS NO EXCUSES. 16 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

ARCHIE AT AWME

Australasian Worldwide Music Expo (AWME) in Melbourne from 14 to 17 Nov has announced more high-profile speakers announced for AWME 2013 Conference Program, including iconic Indigenous artist Archie Roach in conversation with UK-based journalist Jane Cornwell as well as Bluesfest promoter Peter Noble, who will be discussing 25 years of Bluesfest in Byron Bay. The full details can be found on awme.com.au.

SMASHIN’ IT

Vaudeville Smash have annnounced their brand new EP, V-Grade Horror. An ode to the kitsch ‘80s horror films that struck fear into the hearts of the band, V-Grade Horror is a tight collection of spookalicious tracks. They launch the EP on 1 Nov at Northcote Social Club.

SCORCHER OF A DAY

Scorcher Festival, happening on 17 Nov, will now be held at The Espy in St Kilda after the closure of previous venue Noise Bar. The line-up for the spring/summer leg includes untapped potential from Empra, InColor and Swerve. All tickets bought for Noise Bar will be accepted at The Espy. More details and the full lineup can be found at scorcherfest.com.au.


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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 17


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au THE JULIE RUIN

THE BELLRAYS

CHERRY ON TOP

Much-loved venue Cherry Bar has got a sweet deal for rock’n’roll lovers, with a oneday laneway festival over two stages. The full line-up of CherryFest 2013 includes Powder Monkeys, The BellRays (USA), Kadaver (Berlin) and Chris Wilson’s Crown Of Thorns, who have reformed especially for the show. It’s all going down at Cherry Bar and in AC/DC Lane on 24 Nov.

THROUGH THE LANEWAY

The Laneway Festival sideshows are spilling out and here’s the first batch of sideshows for you to froth over. Baltimore’s Cass McCombs will play the Northcote Social Club 20 Jan with support from Ross McLennan. British brotherduo Drenge make their way to our shores for the first time, and will perform at The Tote 5 Feb with support from The Creases. London trio Daughter take on the Heavenly Sounds setting, stopping by St Michael’s Uniting Church on 10 Feb. Glaswegian trio Chvrches perform live at the Forum Theatre 29 Jan, with guest Elizabeth Rose. King Krule brings his unique rock, jazz, blues, electro sound to the Corner Hotel 28 Jan. Autre Ne Veut will be performing his neo-soul songs at Northcote Social Club 4 Feb. London all-girl post-punk four-piece Savages play at The Hi-Fi on 30 Jan, with guest Kirin J Callinan. UK electronic luminaries Mount Kimbie will take to the stage at Corner Hotel, 30 Jan. And last but not least, our own Jagwar Ma are playing a sideshow of their own at The Hi-Fi 16 Jan with Jonti.

IN THE DARK

Suburban Dark are celebrating the success of their second single Mind Reader by heading around the country on a quick pre-Christmas visit. Hugely influenced by dark hip hop, grinding drum’n’bass, electronica doused with nostalgia and straight up heavy metal, Suburban Dark’s music pushes the boundaries of Aussie hip hop. Catch them at The Laundry, 9 Nov.

JUNGLE EXPANSION

The Jungle Giants have announced the addition of a handful of new dates to their Learn To Exist Tour, plus special guest Muscles (DJ set). The new shows will be held 29 Nov, The Prince with Twinsy, Son Et Al and Bad News Toilet joining the night and 30 Nov, The Wool Exchange (Geelong) for Spin Cycle #2 with Lurch & Chief, We The People and more. 18 • THE MUSIC •30TH OCTOBER 2013

RUINING AND RIOTING

The Julie Ruin are set to tour Australia for the first time next year, stopping by Corner Hotel 15 Jan. Led by Riot Grrrl pioneer Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) and backed by her hand-picked band (including former Bikini Kill bandmate, Kathi Wilcox), The Julie Ruin is an energetic dance-punk whirlwind, the live band providing a tight musical backbone to Hanna’s iconic vocal style. Presented by The Music.

FIERCE AND FREE

Back in Melbourne after a stint in the USA, singer-songwriter Lester The Fierce has released a self-titled EP and wants to show it off with a free show at The Espy. The unique performer will be joined by equally fierce Sydney-siders She Rex and special guests. Get down to The Espy Front Bar on 16 Nov for this special one-off.

JAY WALK

Jay Brannan returns this November, performing an intimate show at The Toff In Town 28 Nov off the back of his latest release Around The World In 80 Jays. NYC-based Brannan has been writing and performing his own sweet and sad folk songs around the globe since 2006. His latest release is an acoustic collection of nine international cover songs covering six different languages.

FAIRY MAGIC

Port Fairy Folk Music Festival celebrates its 38th edition, and hasn’t it aged well? The first lineup has been announced, and among the 120-plus international and national acts performing are Madeleine Peyroux, Lúnasa, Antonio Serrano, Jaaleekaay, Pokey La Farge, Archie Roach, Ash Grunwald, Ben Salter, Bobby Alu, David Bridie & The Pills, Gleny Rae Virus & Her Playboys, JVG Guitar Method and more. The festival’s on from 7 to 10 Mar.

“THERE’S NOTHING MORE SATISFYING THAN BREAKING YOUR 3D GLASSES AFTER SEEING A $19 IMAX FILM” EVEN GRAVITY ISN’T HOLDING @HARMARSUPERSTAR BACK.

BEST IN THE WEST

This year’s Big West Festival – happening in Footscray from 22 Nov to 6 Dec – is chockers with fun things to do, including Dance Republic dance rehearsals, the Big Bike Ride to Braybrook, a haiku poetry competition, the Opening Night Parade (dress up theme: your obsession) and workshop, the Footscray Street Art Prize, the inaugural recycled art competition and present your work and stories on Mobile Radio. There’s also a call for artist submissions, closing 8 Nov. For details, visit bigwest.com.au.

DEEP DARK SECRETS

In A Forest, Dark And Deep, presented by Winterfall Theatre, returns for a second season after a critically acclaimed run in 2012. The drama, written by Neil LaBute (The Shape Of Things, Death At A Funeral) involves a brother and sister who make some unexpected discoveries about one another when they pair up to move things out of the sister’s cabin. Surprises aplenty are in store. It’s on at Theatre Husk in Northcote 2 to 23 Nov.


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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 19


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music

TIME TO GET ILL

He quietened the haters with his last album, but now Melbourne MC Illy feels comfortable to explore his unique rappinghood on Cinematic. “I love writing big hooks,� he admits to Aleksia Barron. Photos Kane Hibberd.


B

ack in 2009, Googling “Illy” produced a page of hits related to the Italian coffee brand. The other Illy – an up-and-coming young hip hop artist from Melbourne – was only just beginning to sneak onto the radar with his debut album Long Story Short and its hit single Pictures. These days, the Illy known also as Al Murray commandeers the top few spots on Google, with the coffee brand relegated to halfway down the page. The fresh-faced young artist of 2009 is now a bona fide veteran of Australian hip hop, and he’s got plenty of gas left in the tank. He’s overcome a severe back injury, played hundreds of shows and is gearing up for the release of Cinematic, his fourth studio album and the first released on his own label ONETWO. Cinematic represents a return to stylistic form for Murray, as well as renewed confidence in his work. Laden with grandeur and packed with lush, genreskipping beats (largely courtesy of his longtime collaborator M-Phazes), it represents the evolution of Murray’s songwriting and worldview. Anyone with triple j on their radar will likely already be familiar with the album’s lead single On & On, which has enjoyed plenty of airplay over the last few weeks. Guests on the album range from hip hop royalty Drapht and Hilltop Hoods to Daniel

at least hold my own.” The album featured some of the country’s most skilled MCs, including Reason and Mantra, and there wasn’t a single singer letting loose over a big hook to be found. In departing from the safer trajectory of making another more fan-friendly album, Murray knew he might alienate his most ardent supporters. “I’m very proud of [Bring It Back], but it didn’t have the same impact that The Chase did, and I had a lot of people who were fans – where it left them a bit confused,” he says. “I knew that was going to happen, it’s the nature of what the album was, but [with Cinematic] I wanted

longtime producer and friend M-Phazes who took on the lion’s share of the work for Cinematic. According to Murray, neither of them can still quite believe the record is finished. “It’s like a weight that I’m still grappling with: the fact that it’s not there anymore,” laughs Murray. “I still have an inexplicable stress.” Cinematic is likely to delight rather than shock Murray’s longtime fans, but the biggest surprise of this album might lie in how proud he is of it. He seems to have overcome the industry-driven anxieties that compelled him to prove his old-school hip hop chops on Bring It Back, and is ready to make the case for the sort of music that he loves. Asked about his new material, he says: “They’re not ‘hip hop tracks’, they’re like songs. There are some banging tracks on this album – it’s not like it’s a pop record, but I enjoy it. I love writing big hooks. I think that’s a skill that I have that I enjoy and I think a lot of people connect with [this]. I think my best songs are when I’m in this mode.” Murray is blunt when asked how he feels about criticism of his songwriting style. “It’s harder to write this stuff, that’s why not many people do it well,” he responds firmly. “It takes more than just having flow and having lyrics and having bars. I think people will appreciate it for what it is but, if they don’t, that’s not my problem. These tracks aren’t easy to write.”

“THE KIDS THESE DAYS JUST WANT TO RAP. THEY’RE LISTENING TO EVERY GENRE, AND ALL THESE GENRES COMING TOGETHER, AND THEY’RE RAPPING OVER FLUME. THEY’RE RAPPING OVER HOUSE SHIT. THEY DON’T CARE.”

Merriweather and Amity Affliction vocalist Ahren Stringer, who lends his rock sensibilities to the album’s second single Youngbloods. Packed with likely hits, Murray’s new record feels like the follow-up to his highly successful sophomore album, 2010’s The Chase. The funny part is that Cinematic is not the follow-up at all, chronologically speaking. That would be his unexpected boom-bap record Bring It Back, which he dropped last year. “Bring It Back was a bit of a departure,” explains Murray. “I really just needed to dip my feet and remind people that I could do that sort of thing.” Despite his origins in the Crooked Eye crew, working with the universally respected M-Phazes and being signed to Obese Records when he was barely out of his teens, Murray’s career has been accompanied by a soundtrack of criticism that he doesn’t make “real” hip hop – and it only got louder as his profile increased. With the success of The Chase, which included the hits It Can Wait featuring Owl Eyes and the hip hop ballad Cigarettes, Murray became the face for a new, genreshifting style of rap that wasn’t afraid to hold hands with pop, and a target for people who wanted to see hip hop remain separate from other musical styles. Murray admits that he made Bring It Back in an effort to quieten the haters. “I felt like I needed to do that, just to remind people that I can go on a track toe to toe with the best dudes in the country and, if not own it, 22 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

to bring it back – no pun intended – to what wouldn’t surprise them.” In fact, the roots of Cinematic existed even before those for Bring It Back – Murray was performing Youngbloods as early as 2011. “I had [Youngbloods and] a couple of demos ready, and then I started working on Bring It Back and those tracks were sort of put on the backburner,” he says. “The real work [on Cinematic] started in earnest in January this year, and it really kicked into gear around February. The last six months have been flat-out with it.” The record features production from the likes of Jan Skubiszewski, Stylaz Fuego and Cam Bluff, but it’s his

In fact, the hip hop purist attitudes are less important to Murray than ever. “I think that attitude has been dying for a long time. My generation are like the third real generation of Australian hip-hop artists and we’re not the young guys anymore,” he muses. “We’re coming into our own and there’s people underneath us who don’t give a fuck about any of that shit. The kids these days just want to rap. They’re listening to every genre, and all these genres coming together, and they’re rapping over Flume. They’re rapping over house shit. They don’t care.” Cinematic is an apt title for Murray’s new album – he’s ready to put himself on the biggest screens possible, to show his work to all and sundry and proclaim that this new, boundary-pushing direction of hip hop is what he loves. The album represents his total commitment to his style, having been designed for end-to-end listening – similar to the experience of watching a film. “Cinematic feels like a really big, epic album,” he explains. “It sounds big. It has an air of grandeur about it.” Of course, nothing feels grander than owning and loving what you do, and it seems like Murray has finally arrived at that point. There won’t be any need for another throwback album now that he’s harnessed his forward momentum. WHAT: Cinematic (ONETWO)


BOYZ N THE HOOD

Illy recruited some of Australia’s finest artists to work on his latest release. Aleksia Barron seeks the dirt. A particularly significant coup for Illy was getting Aussie hip hop royalty, Hilltop Hoods, to feature on the album. “One of the first shows I went to was a ‘Hoods show at the Corner,” reminisces Illy, aka Al Murray. “I got a fake ID, got snuck in – and now ten years later, to be doing a track with them, it’s crazy.” The track, Coming Down, even overcame the tyranny of distance. “We did it over two different trips to Adelaide and recorded it in Debris’ studio.” So what are the Hoods like in real life? “You know, you hear all these stories of people meeting people that they’ve looked up to for a long time, and it sucks. I’ve had that: meeting people who turned out to be dicks.” (He wouldn’t name names on the record.) “But those dudes are just kings in the truest sense of the word. They were just the most welcoming and humble dudes. They are the example for how to conduct yourself, no matter what level of success you have. It’s inspiring.” Daniel Merriweather also appears on Save Me. Merriweather has become something of the feature artist du jour in recent times, cropping up on all sorts of tracks, but Murray reckons he had dibs stretching way back. “Dan’s the guy who sort of picked me out eight or nine years ago,” he says. “I was playing a show in Brunswick to about 20 people and he was one of them. He approached me after the set and invited me down to the studio he was recording at.” In fact, that’s how Murray met the likes of Phrase, Jan Skubiszewski and, eventually, M-Phazes. M-Phazes is, after all, the yin to Murray’s yang, the Dre to his Eminem. “Phazes is a genius,” says Murray emphatically. “He’s easily the best producer in the country, by far. Without any doubt, he has always made me expect and demand better of myself as an artist. Working with him is amazing.”


music

ANOTHER MAN’S WORDS Sydney’s Jordie Lane is a restless troubadour, and this year’s travels to North America spawned an EP. He tells Ben Preece of the journey, talks formats and these new songs.

A

s arguably one of Australia’s most acclaimed yet perhaps most underrated troubadours, Jordie Lane has been tirelessly slogging the hard yards for years now. He’s toured around the country as both aheadliner and as support for the likes of The Moody Blues, Billy Bragg and Ruthie Foster and released a pair of well-received full-length albums. So while releasing an EP at this point in his trajectory could be deemed odd, Lane still defends the album format wholeheartedly. “I think an album is a great thing to do, you know – take people on a journey – and I hope it sticks around,” Lane says. “Obviously, the singles thing has come in as being really popular, probably more in the pop industry. I’ve heard people starting to release stuff on cassette tape again, which is really funny, and I always wanted to release Blood Thinner on that because I recorded it on cassette, but I know people don’t want to waste physical materials and stuff. It’s cool that stuff is out there on digital but that will all just get lost in computers falling apart, so yeah, let’s hope the physical release sticks around.” Which leads us to Not Built To Last, five tracks recorded during his recent journey overseas where he settled in Los Angeles for a couple of months. “The inside of it is I went in with an album worth of tracks but I had two different producers I wanted to work with – one in LA and one in Nashville – so I broke it in half,” Lane explains. “We were thinking about putting them together but it was always going to be only if the songs wanted to go together. So we ended up deciding to leave them separate and get this EP out straightaway. Hopefully, there will be another one around the corner.” Flicking through the credits on the EP, the physical copy no less, it becomes quickly apparent that this is no typical affair for Lane. Well, the songwriting side of him at least. “It was a back and forth. The first track [Here She Comes] was a collaboration with a poet named Benjamin Wild who features on the front cover of my Sleeping Patterns album with dynamite strapped to his chest. He’s been sending me these poems for years and I finally had a look 24 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

through them about an hour after a flight from LA early this year and I just started singing a melody and recorded it on my iPhone. That song came out like that and was a totally different way for me, using someone’s lyrics. Showing it to him when it was all done was cool.

Dempsey. That song was always my favourite and it really spoke to me. It was the first time I felt a cover song was made for me to sing and it worked with a country band in the studio, so that one had to go on there.” Touring can be hard at the best of times, any band will testify to that. But Lane not only indulges in the exercise a lot, but he does it alone. “To be honest, I’m getting lonely,” he laughs, almost shyly. “I’m getting lonely on the road. During that last tour in Canada my SIM card wouldn’t work. So that was isolating – no Facebook, no checking out Instagram

“THE INSIDE OF IT IS I WENT IN WITH AN ALBUM WORTH OF TRACKS” “The second track [Dead Of Light] was co-written with [Brisbane’s] Clare Reynolds in Nashville in the week before recording. Lost In You I had five years ago or something that didn’t feel right at the time. I showed it to Skylar Wilson, the producer, and finished that one in Nashville as well. That final track, Think I Always Thought, was written and recorded by Brendan Welch from Melbourne; he did an album with Paul

or Facebook likes or anything. It was strangely one of the most disconnecting, confronting times in my life. It was scary, I was thinking about things that I’ve been trying to put away – those deep, dark feelings you don’t want to think about. But the sad thing was, I’d find myself looking for places each day with wi-fi and then be posting the shit out of, like, ten photos at once. But it was a good experience and I think everybody should put their phone down for a week and try and deal with some things that are going on deep down. Things I really don’t want to talk about right now.” WHAT: Not Built To Last (Vitamin Records) WHEN & WHERE: 7 Nov, Beav’s Bar, Geelong; 8 Nov, Theatre Royal, Castlemaine; 9 Nov, Thornbury Theatre; 10 Nov, Caravan Club (arvo)


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 25


music

HALLOWEEN ALL YEAR Get your candy selection ready, Australia – horrorpunk’s chief ghoul scout Wednesday 13 will be knocking on your door shortly. Brendan Crabb tries to avoid having his house egged.

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aking into account his affinity for schlocky horror flicks, theatrical rock’n’roll and overall ghoulish aesthetic presentation, there’s one annual event whereby demand for glam-punker Wednesday 13’s services must be at its zenith – Halloween. The American vocalist is surely inundated with invitations to perform on 31 October each year, which makes the band’s decision to spend the occasion touring Australia, where said American institution has but a cult following, somewhat intriguing. “We get offers all the time,” Wednesday [real name: Joseph Poole] explains, nearing the completion of a ninehour tour van drive. “Everyone wants us to play their backyard; people plan their own private Halloween parties and offer us a ton of money and stuff like that. But we just really worked on Australia the past couple of years and I think Australia deserved a Halloween show, so we couldn’t deny that. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend Halloween this year. [We want to] give them the best possible Halloween experience we can, without dying.” The aforementioned visit includes a Sydney gig on Halloween night so expectations for the (ahem) spooktacular event are high, as Wednesday and band will truly be in their element. “We played London last Halloween, and that probably set the bar as far as what we can expect from Halloween shows. I thought the only place that could even remotely, probably go head-to-head with what London brought would be Australia. So Australia, you’ve got something to prove – you’ve got London to beat. “As far as like doing anything super crazy, out of the blue for Halloween, I don’t think we’re going to do anything too different,” he continues. “We’re pretty much our own band that’s Halloween, 365 days a year, so stepping up to make it even more crazy for Halloween, I don’t know what we would do, besides set our heads on fire or something. We don’t have the production to do that, so we just kinda rely on the whole spirit of Halloween; this is Halloween night for us. I think the vibe will be in the air. Australia seems to be the most rabid, crazy place for my fans right now.” 26 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Down Under is indeed a hotspot for the sometime Murderdolls co-leader. “I’ve just seen it build and build every year, so I don’t know if it’s just people are starting to catch on to what I do, or what. I’m not going to complain about it; I love it and it’s

“I’m not on a major label right now, [so] I kinda gotta get my name out as much as I can. I get bored a lot, and a lot of my fans see me having to play a lot of the same places over and over, so a new release for them can get older quicker than it could to us. So to constantly be able to put out an EP or something else… The next thing we’re doing right now is a DVD. We’ll have a DVD out probably in March or April. “We’re still working on it, but it’s going to basically cover our week-long tour that we did in the UK in

“WE’RE PRETTY MUCH OUR OWN BAND THAT’S HALLOWEEN, 365 DAYS A YEAR.” a good thing, it’s a good problem to have. Our fans are insane… What we’ve created is a truly unique, amazing thing.” Aside from maintaining a strong connection with his disciples via avenues such as social media, the frontman is reliably prolific, conditioning devotees to expect a new release of some description each year. Although a follow-up to latest solo disc The Dixie Dead is a little way off (“We won’t start working on new stuff until March or April”), another venture should fill the void.

March. Showing like a day in the life of Wednesday 13: what we do and how our fans are. It’s more or less a behind-the-scenes, as opposed to being a DVD with surround sound. The live clips are going to be what they are: basically show the band, and show what we do. I think that’s what fans want to see more of, as opposed to a 5.1 surround sound concert DVD. We’re not doing that. I can post videos of us playing a song that I think is a great performance, then I’ll post a video of us being stupid, throwing up and doing something dumb, and it’ll get 5000 more views than the actual concert. It seems that the fans want to see us, being ourselves, behind what they can normally see. “As far as the next musical thing Wednesday 13 does, I’m going to take my time on it… I’m hungry again, I want to feel like I’m in my youth again, when I first started writing music and had something to prove.” WHEN & WHERE: 1 Nov, Billboard The Venue


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 27


music

MILD STALLIONS Conflict aversion, an edge of aggression and a considered, pragmatic and respectful approach to your fellow man – that’s what Little Scout is made of, as guitarist/vocalist Patrick Elliott tells Mitch Knox.

A

fter his band’s stint on-tour with fellow Brisbane-dwellers Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Patrick Elliott is doing the best he can to slide back into normalcy. And it’s no wonder, really – with their esteemed sophomore full-length Are You Life mere weeks old, and a tour in support of it looming on the horizon, any degree of the mundane or routine is probably a beneficial thing. “This afternoon I’ve tried to be a good human,” he announces, “and I’ve actually done my twenty minutes of exercise, which is easier than it sounds when you’ve been living the tour lifestyle for the past month or so, so I’ve sweated some of it out.” Keen observers of the band’s movements on social media would already be familiar with the vocalistguitarist’s attempts at physicality, alongside his dubious dietary choices (no judgment) and other assorted everyday musings. But it’s only through discussing his physical shortcomings that Elliott inadvertently alludes to a more useful skill he’s picked up in his time. “I was never a gifted athlete, I suppose you’d say,” he admits. “It’s not that I haven’t got an appreciation for it, but it never came naturally… I was always quite good at debating, [though], but that’s mostly because I’ve had to learn to talk my way out of situations due to my lack of athleticism.” Okay, so, it’s not exactly usual to connect debate skills with life in a rock band, but it’s served Elliott in good stead. “Look, you have to be negotiating a lot of the time with people when you’re in a band, both internally and externally,” he explains. “Internally, for me, you’re always fighting about track listing or what a particular song should sound like, or how you’re gonna afford to do this or that – so I have a particular style, I suppose, in that I’m very conflict-averse. I don’t like conflict, but I’m sort of silent but thinking the whole time in my head what I’m going to rebut with straight away. Unfortunately, I’m up against some stiff competition in the form of [fellow members] Mel Tickle and Miro

Mackie; they’re both intellectuals in their own right and present very convincing arguments, to say the least.” He’s not exaggerating – Little Scout (who are rounded out by currently absent keyboardist Kirsty Tickle and touring members Charles Sale

“Really, you’ve chosen to do this thing – this lifestyle, full-time hobby, whatever you want to call it – and you’re spending so much time with these people. Luckily, we were all friends to start with, but you do have to portray or demonstrate a certain level of diplomacy, because otherwise things go south pretty quickly.” It’s a sensible view to take, and one that came in handy during the production of Are You Life. “It’s never easy, but it was a really fun process,” Elliott says of creating the album. “We recorded it ourselves and stuff, so we had the freedom to do what we wanted and the time, for the most part, to do what we wanted, so it was just fun to explore all that. “Recording your first album’s quite daunting, in terms of putting something together on that scale,” he continues, “so we felt like we knew how to do things a bit better the second time around, but also, I guess, over the period of time, our live show was really developing as well, and we had some ideas about what we wanted to be presenting on-stage. I think that influenced the final product a little bit. I think it was… well, I’m

“YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO DO SOMETHING LIKE A BAND AND HAVE RIFTS.” on guitar and Michael Pringle on bass) are, by all measures, a band with cerebral and musical clout, with Tickle and Elliott both having been finalists for this year’s Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship. But, despite the close quarters and strong, intelligent opinions, Elliott says, there’s no room for unchecked aggression. “You can’t afford to do something like a band and have rifts,” he says.

never very good with adjectives, but… we were going for a more aggressive sound, I suppose; something that was a bit more in-your-face, and a lot more focus on the pop element of things, as well.” Of course, not everyone will love the ‘new’ Little Scout. But, true to his demonstrably philosophical form, Elliott thinks that’s a good thing, too. “It’s difficult to keep everyone happy in life. You learn that pretty quickly in life generally, but especially being in a band. At the end of the day, someone’s not going to like what you’re doing. And, in some ways, thank God for that, because it would be very boring otherwise.” WHAT: Are You Life (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: Sun 3 Nov, The Shadow Electric


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 29


music

COMING BACK TO LIFE After eight years away, Cam Baines has returned to Bodyjar with a fresh focus. He talks to Benny Doyle about making records without being a jerk.

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ucking around with side projects. Sorting through personal stuff. Living life. The members of Bodyjar haven’t exactly been idle for the past eight years, but with the release of their first full-length since 2005’s eponymous effort, the focus has come back on what the guys are best at – being a band. “When we went back and did those reunion shows for No Touch Red, I think we really learnt a lot about ourselves as a band and what we’re good at,” explains frontman Cam Baines. “We went off in a few weird directions in 2005 on that self-titled album. I think what we’re really good at is just writing good simple punk songs with good melodies and lyrics, and not trying to create a new genre. So we stuck to the simple stuff this time and I reckon it paid off.” Supporting all-time heroes Descendents in February also helped the Melbourne four find the fire within. “They were such a massive influence on us, they produced two of our records, [and] I used to write them letters and that when I was a kid. Twenty years later we’re playing with them – we couldn’t say no,” he gushes. “And just playing with those guys and just seeing... y’know they don’t do it full-time, and they had a massive break like we did and they came back, and we just thought, ‘If those guys can do it on their own terms then we should try and do what they do’.” Baines says Role Model couldn’t have been created if the band didn’t step away from Bodyjar; however, the record was never going to be an outing for old time’s sake. The quartet weren’t willing to record again unless they had the songs: fast, energetic, catchy. They had to make a full-length that was better than the others, while still meeting expectations from a salivating fanbase by paying homage to their past. It was a balancing act, but with Tom Larkin in the producer’s chair the band found immediate focus. “He smashed the songs into form,” Baines recalls, calling the Shihad drummer a fantastic music arranger. “They were basic sketches and he polished them up. He was really handy to have around; once we got him in there it really happened quick.”

30 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

In the past, such objective ears could have been disregarded, but these days Baines is far more chilled in the studio. He remembers with a smile the menacing presence he once was when a Bodyjar album was being recorded. “I used to go in and just give producers so much shit,” he reveals.

thanks to time shared on the road during Bodyjar and Shihad’s festival salad days of the early ‘00S, an honest record was always going to be the end result. “They were always a band we wanted to tour with but we never got asked to do it or they didn’t want to tour with us or something. [Tom] said they were scared because we were so good! They didn’t want to go on after us,” he toys, cackling at the statement. “We’re a different style of music I guess, but they were the one big rock band that we all thought was cool, we all agreed that [1999’s] The General Electric was a fucking classic – it’s such a good album, so well recorded. We wanted to

“IF THOSE GUYS CAN DO IT ON THEIR OWN TERMS THEN WE SHOULD TRY.” “I used to write down EQ settings so they couldn’t change them, and I was just a control freak at the start – I was really badly behaved, I’d never do that now. I used to go in and go, ‘That’s the guitar sound don’t fucking change it’, and I’d write it down and just micromanage every little fucking thing and not let anyone have their say. But when you’re young and you’re just obsessed and driven that’s what happens.” Because a relationship was already there

sound a bit like that back then but we couldn’t do it.” Thankfully they still can’t. They still sound like Bodyjar. And whether you’re enjoying the gleeful speed and whimsical lyrics of Fairytales or the Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and Stephen Egerton (Descendents)assisted Hope Was Leaving, there’s no shaking the positive vibes of your new favourite Role Model. “I was talking to Tom about it and he was saying he thinks it’s got a really good intent,” finishes Baines. “Everyone is doing it for the right reasons and just to make good songs and create a good vibe; we all want to enjoy it, it’s not about money or stuff like that, it’s just about getting that creative stuff out and onto a CD and just enjoying that part of our lives again.” WHAT: Role Model (UNFD) WHEN & WHERE: 2 Nov, Corner Hotel


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 31


music

LIVING THE DREAM After working on his debut album for most of his adult life, Perth-based MC Mr Grevis has turned his follow up My Escape around in less than a year. He tells Chris Yates why he wanted to keep the momentum rolling.

“P

eople seem to forget you pretty quickly!” Mr Grevis (born Gary McPhee) states when asked why he wanted to keep rolling after his well received debut The Sampler. He also confirms he’s very happy with how it turned out and is glad he decided to try this approach.

theatre

“Yeah 100 per cent,” he confirms. “There are so many little things I’d like to change but as soon as I listened to the master – I literally listened to my final master in my car on the way to press it – I knew it was the right decision. I didn’t expect the first one to get the response that it did. I knew I had to get to work and strike quickly. Hopefully this one is strong enough that I can take two years off and work on my next one, my masterpiece.” He laughs after this but you can tell he really wants to spend some more time on the follow-up. While the

desire to return to a much more slowly crafted process must be appealing, the spontaneity and more offthe-cuff nature of My Escape really shines through. “I would have liked to have put some more breaks and bridges in there as well but then maybe people would have thought I was trying to be a bit too musical with it,” he explains. “I definitely focused on having something for everybody...I wanted the songs to sound really different and be different with subjects and topics. Drapht is a big influence of mine and a good friend, and I find that with his stuff it sounds so different, and he’s so on point with his topics. A lot of rappers try to stay on topic but before long they start to stray and just do random bars.” He also wanted to show some other sides of himself as a rapper that he didn’t get into on the debut record. “After my first record when I had that track The Youth, I seemed to get a lot of comments from people who were at least 40 years old on my Facebook and I felt like I sort of still needed to cater a bit more to them. The only complaints I got last time were that I wasn’t doing any fast raps. I can rap fast but I just find most of the time when dudes are doing that double-time shit, generally 90 per cent of them aren’t saying anything. So I did that on the intro, and I don’t even really say anything,” he laughs. “It’s just a bunch of bars, but I really wanted to show cats that I could do that sort of stuff.” WHAT: My Escape (Obese) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Nov, Grace Darling Hotel

BACK TO THE WOODS Regularly courting controversy, cutting edge, but always considered, Back To Back theatre have proved perfect partners in crime for David Woods. He chats to Dave Drayton about helping to create a “globetrotting monster”.

“P

eople have problems with us blurring reality and fiction because you are a group of people with intellectual disabilities, who nominate themselves as being perceived to have intellectual abilities. They have an issue with that, but they don’t have an issue with non-disabled actors blurring reality or fiction, being deluded or mad.” This was a line delivered by David Woods, in the role of director of a fictional version of Back To Back, the Geelong-based theatre company with a core ensemble of artists perceived to have intellectual disabilities. The line is taken from their 2011 Ganesh Versus The Third Reich, a controversial success that continues to tour the world. The production presented a fable about Ganesh, the elephant-headed Hindu god, traveling to Nazi Germany to wrest back the swastika from Hitler, but also examined how a fictionalised version of Back To Back could present a play about such issues, and in doing so examined ideas of representation and power. Woods says they’ve honed their investigation even further with Super Discount, an examination of good and evil inspired by the world of comics and superheroes. “The very first development was prior to the premier of

32 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Ganesh in 2011, so the idea’s been around for a long time and it’s kind of grown up alongside Ganesh. Thematically there’s some similar territory, but this gets more specific into disability rather than representation in general. We’ve really honed in on what it is to put disability on stage.” With a CV rife with devised theatre it’s no surprise that David Woods was approached by Bruce Gladwin, Artistic Director of Back To Back, when the latter saw the UK expat more regularly on Melbourne stages.

Back To Back thrive on devised works, and Woods had proven himself more than comfortable with the process. “In this one I’m very much just an equal actor rather than the leader of the group, and it’s a lot more of a collective, ensemble created process that we’re fictionalising this time, so there’s none of this sort of thing where I’m the director. Brian [Tilley] has written the script and the ensemble are putting it on. This time the ensemble are creating the piece together and I’m there to muck in as an equal. Devising is an interesting thing; you capture feelings of a particular time. It’s a fiddly process. It’s not anything as simple as an author writing a play but the difference is particularly that it captures that polyphony of voices, which a writer can’t do on their own. So to have this very diverse section of voices that aren’t normally heard, be heard – that’s what makes it quite powerful.” WHAT: Super Discount WHEN & WHERE: 13 Nov to 1 Dec, Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 33


culture

21ST CENTURY SNAKE OIL Giuliano Ferla watches the cards turn at the Melbourne Psychic Expo. t’s a windy and wet Sunday and I am hungover. I’m going to the Darebin Performing Arts and Entertainment Centre to see the Melbourne Psychic Expo. I am not full of faith. I’m tired and cranky, but I want to give this thing a fair chance. I sit in my car with the heater on and repeat to myself, “Keep an open mind.” I walk to the entrance and pay the five dollar admission. The smell of incense, which hits me like a perfumed brick, is a bad omen. I start poking around the foyer to see what I’m in for. The first stall I see is full of crystals and castiron dragons. A woman (the customer) sits at a table. She holds a crystal, while a man (the seller) waves his hands over the top. He wears a sombrero and a pair of Adidas button-down trackpants. He augurs. I can smell something else in here besides the incense. I think it might be bullshit.

Common Words:

There are a bunch of free talks going on so I check the timetable. I’ve missed ‘An Introduction To Witchcraft’, which sucks, and nothing else really grabs my attention. I walk through the foyer to the main expo room where psychics’ stalls are set up in a big circle. Each psychic has their own particular divination style – tarot, palmistry, astral readings, etc. I do the lap a few times. Every stall, from Aura Photography to Zodiac Charts, is occupied, apart from the lonely Scientologist’s. Bad press seems to have followed Scientology even into this spiritually yearning, New Age crowd. I stop and take stock of what I see.

Identifiable Types:

I

34 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Crystal Reiki Healing – esp. in its noun form, and then always preceded by a noun adjunct, e.g. Crystal Healing or Reiki Healing. Ancient Master (‘Free’ was an almost completely absent word. Its sole appearance was for the ‘Free Stress Tests’ at the lonely Scientologist’s stall.) The Hippy – dreadlocked, paisley-patterned. The Gypsy – headscarved, heavily eyelined, costume-bejewelled. The Suit – only one, lended him an air of authority until I saw the Phrenology bust on his table. Quack.

The Viking – never actually dressed like one, but their stalls were always cluttered with dragon (dragyn?) statues serpentinely curled around crystals. The Christian – never actually promoting Christ, but superficially informed by the Christian aesthetic, i.e. angels, demons, etc. A lot of these identifiable types were mixed. It wasn’t uncommon to see a Viking/ Christian or Hippy/Gypsy. The rest, who made up about a third, were cliché-free. I sit down at a Gypsy fortune-teller’s stall. I choose her because she seems the tackiest and therefore most entertaining. After I sit down at her table I see that she charges $40 for 15 minutes. Choking a little bit with surprise, I say, “You charge $40 for 15 minutes.” “Yes,” she says. There is a long pause as I process this information, during which a few awkward glances are shared. I get up quickly and keep walking. I pause for a little while and look out the window at the Bell Street McDonald’s. I start to process what this expo is all about. The five dollar entry fee, the $40 psychic readings, the quackery, the crystals, the hope. All these things have added up in my mind to tell me that this expo is all about commerce. Commerce is the engine that drives this entire thing. I ask myself how the McDonald’s is different from this expo, and why does this expo annoy me more? It doesn’t take me long to realise


“THIS EXPO IS A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO SELL BELIEF, BUT SHOULD BELIEF BE SOLD LIKE THIS?”

that I am annoyed because this expo is selling things for people to believe in. The McDonald’s across the road sells food, a basic human need. And let’s just say that belief is another human need. Then this expo is a place for people to sell belief, but should belief be sold like this? Can hope be commercialised? The customers here have laboured for their dollars, dollars that are now being spent on the quest for spiritual meaning, but spirituality isn’t something that you can pay for; spirituality is something that needs to be cultivated. And that’s what really rubs me, here at the psychic expo. The crystals, the prayer beads, the aura photographs: these things are just as hokey as that pseudo-gypsy fortune teller. They’re meant to represent the soulful awareness of the purchaser. But they don’t. What they do represent is the purchaser’s desire to be perceived as soulfully aware. But in reality it comes across as cheap faker. It’s the spirituality industry. I feel I’m being a bit black and white here. To clarify, I believe that there are things in the universe that are way beyond humanity’s grasp or our capacity for understanding. For this reason I’m hesitant to completely write off things like extra-sensory perception or even foreknowledge; I’d be a fool to think that the world can be reduced to only the material and measurable. I remember going to the Mind, Body, Spirit expo with my mum. I would’ve been 17 at the time, and in deep, pubescent need of guidance and reassurance. I went to see a (free) psychic there, and she told me that I was on my path

and that I should invest in myself more, which encouraged me. And maybe encouragement and self-discovery and belief are enough of a benefit to justify the psychic industry. I did another lap of the stalls and landed again at the Scientologist’s table, the only stall that offered a free service. I sat down and chatted to the guy. His name was Mark and he built verandahs for a living. Mark manned the Scientology stall on Sundays for a few bucks an hour. I grabbed the e-meter and we started talking. He told me about the analytic and reactive minds. He asked me questions. He didn’t preach, push or ask anything of me in return. We just shot the shit for 20 minutes. He was a nice guy. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 35


music

NOT THE END Baby Animals release their material independently now, but frontvixen Suze DeMarchi shares some facts and figures from the band’s major label years with Andy Hazel: “Just to keep us on the road with Van Halen for six months cost a million dollars in tour support.”

L

ooking quite possibly the same as she did when caught in the glare of the spotlight in the early ‘90s, Suze DeMarchi opines, “The music industry is a fucking nightmare. Last night we played a show at this pop-up venue for Rolling Stone in Sydney. We did a Q&A and this young girl from a band was in the audience. She asked me this question – she was so upset, so angry: ‘Can you tell me, how do you make it in this industry? It’s a joke this industry. It’s a fucking joke’. I told her, ‘First of all you have to really love music. Second, you have got to have a great team around you’. Without my first manager John Woodruff we would never have [gotten] anywhere, because we were young and just wanted to play. I felt bad for her. Now for kids… it’s difficult. We were lucky.” Luck may not play as big a part in DeMarchi’s career as she claims. Leaving school at 15, quitting a bank job at 16 and living on the road with her band Baby Animals at 17 shows a confidence and a willingness to sacrifice home comforts for experience. “Sometimes we’d do three shows a day,” she says of her beginnings as part of Perth rockers Photoplay. “We’d do a university lunchtime show then a pub gig, which would be three sets, then we’d do a nightclub gig, three sets again; three different forty-minute sets,” she laughs. “That’s where we learned how to play. I did that for two years. I got my work ethic from thinking it’s no big deal to drive [from Perth] to Geraldton to do a set or three. Now I wouldn’t want to – I have enough trouble getting through a one-hour-forty-minute set!’ Despite the lifestyle change from platinum-selling, worldtouring rockstar to mother/wife of guitar icon Nuno Bettencourt, DeMarchi claims that her new life in Sydney and the reinvention of Baby Animals doesn’t feel like a job. “When I’m onstage it doesn’t [feel like a job], the other stuff does,” she laughs. “I hate the music business. I really, really loathe it. I hate the way it’s structured. I mean, it’s changing but…” she trails off, shaking her head. ‘We’ve gone independent now because I was so tired of signing deals with labels that just fuck you over. The worst thing about it is that they have control over you forever – they own your copyright forever. This way we own it, we can share the load, you can do things that you want to do. You’re not going to reach as many people as

you would if you were on a massive label, but we’ve got the internet now.” While there are many highlights on new Baby Animals album This is Not the End, for DeMarchi, two songs stand out. “We recorded Stitch on [previous acoustic album] Il Grande Silencio, but I didn’t think we did it properly; I always wanted to give that song the right treatment. I wrote You Still Need Me with Andrew Farriss when I was talking to him about all the INXS stuff [DeMarchi was in discussion about becoming the singer for INXS before they went the reality show route] – I love that song.” September 2013 marks the 22nd anniversary of the band’s eponymous debut album; the most successful in Australian music history until the landing of Jet. “It doesn’t feel like 20 years,” DeMarchi muses. “And I think that’s a testament to that album; those songs and [producer] Mike Chapman. He very rigidly made us pull things back and just concentrate on the essence of the song rather than being fancy. Mike

was really anti-‘Ooh, look what I can play! I can play this in 7/12 timing’ or whatever. I always fucking hated that stuff. Everyone got a bit too fancy on the second album [Shaved And Dangerous],’ she pauses before returning to the debut. “Mike was the taskmaster – ‘Let me hear the hooks’. Like Early Warning: that tag at the beginning, ‘Too young to know, too old to listen ’ – Mike said, ‘I’m going to take that part of the chorus, let’s put that at the front – that’s the hook’.” Recently making the 100 Best Australian Albums Of All Time list, Baby Animals still forms the backbone of the band’s powerful live shows and DeMarchi is happy to celebrate this older material. “I’m really proud of all that stuff and it was a really good time. We did a lot of great things; we travelled everywhere and we were really lucky. We had a fledgling label that had a lot of money – they were like, ‘Take it!’, she laughs, pushing an invisible pile of money. “Just to keep us on the road with Van Halen for six months cost a million dollars in tour support; we couldn’t have done what we did without it… it’s a lot of money! It always comes back to having a good team around you; I think that’s 70 per cent of being successful.”

“I HATE THE MUSIC BUSINESS. I REALLY, REALLY LOATHE IT. I HATE THE WAY IT’S STRUCTURED.” Despite a long break from the stage, DeMarchi is comfortable back in the spotlight. “It’s like riding a bike really,” she says. “Sometimes it’s difficult, but there’s no better way to make a connection. There are people there, they wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to be, so you’re starting already ahead of the game… I remember the first time I went on stage and people clapped. I was like, ‘They fucking liked it? This is great! I can make money doing this? Not much, but I can make money?’ I never was good at any other job, and I’m not crazy about the industry – it’s a shit industry, but it’s really a very, very good job.” WHAT: This Is Not The End (Independent) WHEN & WHERE: 30 Oct, Wool Exchange, Geelong; 31 Oct, Corner Hotel


KICKING & SCREAMING

Reflecting on The Screaming Jets’ Stateside tours back in the day, frontman Dave Gleeson informs Greg Phillips his band got busy “explaining the big ‘C’ word to people” through song.

“Y

ou didn’t steal a sheep, did ya?” asked a Tamworth cop of a young Dave Gleeson, lead singer of The Screaming Jets, on one of their first ever tours. The cop entered the band’s hotel room, then took them all outside to search the Tarago. He ordered the guys to open the van and then proceeded to lift a mattress to see what hidden secrets it might reveal. “What are you looking for, mate?” Gleeson enquired. “Really? A sheep under a mattress?” Gleeson is nostalgically reflecting on just another day on the road

for a bunch of rockers in their 24th year of service to the folklore of Australian rock’n’roll. I Of the band’s loud and dangerous rep, Gleeson opines: “Not that you go out of your way to shock people, but it used to be loud, proud, in your face. Now you have people from the EPA with their noise level indicators. I remember seeing guys asleep with their heads in the W-bins, whereas now if you did that you’d be sued. I guess when you live in a society that thinks what Lady Gaga is doing is dangerous, then it’s a bit harder for a rock band to have that kind of effect on people.”

Right from the beginning, controversy and The Jets have been casual bedfellows. FRC (aka Fat Rich Cunts), a track off their debut album, caused particular grief to the more prudish sections of the community. “The thing about FRC,” explains Gleeson, “was that had the record company gone about it in a different way, maybe we would have left it off the album. When they said, ‘Categorically you can’t have it on the album,’ we then said, ‘We categorically ARE having it on the album!’ Funnily enough, the first release that they did in the United States was that song. It may or may not have helped us because when I went around the United States explaining the big ‘C’ word to people, it wasn’t floating. It was like stabbing them in the face every time you said it.”

music

It’s been five years since The Jets have released an album and with their 25th anniversary celebrations occurring in 2014, Gleeson has summoned founding member, bass player and songwriter Paul Woseen to write material for a new disc. Gleeson’s reason for handing over songwriting responsibilities to Woseen is twofold: one, Woseen is a mighty fine songwriter, and two, Gleeson is busy with his day job as radio personality for Triple M Adelaide. It’s a job that has given him a new perspective on recording artists. “It’s been very refreshing for me,” explains Gleeson. “I’ve got to interview some people who I thought were douchebags and been proved wrong and I’ve interviewed people who I thought were cool and been proved wrong as well!” WHEN & WHERE: 9 Nov, Corner Hotel; 22 Nov, Queenscliff Music Festival

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 37


music

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE

point it’s been about trying to enjoy the weekends with families and friends and not overdo it.” There’s a lot of talk about people finding it difficult to find a work/life balance, but with so many creative people, work is life.

Kid Mac, aka Macario De Souza, knows how to be productive. The part-time filmmaker and TV star has still somehow found enough hours in the day to record his second album in just over a year, and he tells Chris Yates how he manages to get it all done. he title of Kid Mac’s second album Head Noise is significant. It explains how he felt amidst the pressures of trying to feed into and make the most of every single creative idea that has popped into his head ever. At some point something had to give.

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theatre

“It really bottlenecked,” he says. “It was like I was trying to do too much. Every spare minute I had I was trying to create something, whether that be music, film, anything. I had a nervous breakdown about six months ago in the middle of trying to write a great album. I’m getting married next year and I wanted to try and give my chick the time she deserves and plan the wedding and it all just fucking hit the roof and I just lost it. Since that

“I’m like my dad, he’s a workaholic and I’m a workaholic,” he confirms. “It’s like a proper sickness! There’s not one minute goes by that I’m not thinking of something. I’m just trying to tame it over the next couple of years so I don’t lose my mind.” As well as managing an increasingly successful music career which he cites as the reason he gets out of bed in the morning, De Souza has made two extremely well received documentary films, the 2007 smash about the surf gang culture at Maroubra in Sydney, Bra Boys, and the 2011 film Fighting Fear about his two friends, prosurfer Mark Matthews and UFC fighter Richie ‘Vas’ Vaculik. The latter has since expanded into a television series for Fuel TV which has now been picked up by Channel 9’s GO! for a second series. He says the show represents a very realistic portrayal of the three protagonists as they try to get to the top of their game. “We just have camera guys follow us hoping that it turns out good,” he explains. “There’s a lot of times when something looks like it could be a fairytale ending and it turns out disastrous.” WHAT: Head Noise (Independent) WHEN AND WHERE: 28 Nov, Black Swan Hotel, Bendigo; 30 Nov, Ding Dong Lounge

KEEPING IT CONTEMPORARY

There will always be a place for the classics, but directors Richard Murphet and Robert Walton tell Matthew Ziccone they’re stoked that VCA is embracing modern works.

A

round the world, the demand on acting schools to produce the very best in future performers has never been higher and the actors coming out of the VCA have had an incredible reputation for theatre. This year’s graduating class are taking on two very complex works: Eddie Goes To Poetry City by Richard Foreman and It’s An Earthquake In My Heart, a piece originally created by the Goat Island Performance group. “We started with this very impressionistic text and have been allowed to build our own reality out of it without feeling we are cutting against his vision. His vision is a split vision, one as a director and one as a writer,” says Richard Murphet, the director of Eddie Goes To Poetry City. Murphet explains Foreman’s play, “It’s the ethic of an innocent guy suddenly being confronted by the reality of the city in the late 20th century. You can so easily do it in movies and television, and really the city we have created is the city of the imagination. It sits on the edge of feeling like an ordinary play but it keeps eluding to our ability to read it as an ordinary play. This means it’s 38 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

not weird and whacky but it eludes our ability to read it realistically.” The other piece is even more of a challenge. The director Robert Walton and his actors have taken a fairly open performance piece in It’s An Earthquake In My Heart and developed it. The work looks at human response to disaster that, Walton explains, isn’t just an earthquake. As it was created in the late ‘90s and performed in the early ‘00s, the piece had an incredible cultural impact in the US after 9/11. “This

company [Goat Island] really lived with the material for two years, and after 9/11 happened, people thought it was about that. It was kind of prophetic.” Walton and Murphet are excited by the fact that these pieces are being taken seriously by acting schools. It comes down to looking at new work that isn’t restricted by the traditional theatre rules. “The fact that the VCA are doing the two plays means that the acting schools are catching up with contemporary writing,” says Murphet. Walton sees the opportunity to create more modern actors and artists. “In the new course we are trying to find the balance between skill acquisition and really being able to contribute fully to a creative process, either as an originator or as someone who is working in a very collaborative mode. We think it’s the way to go with training in the 21st century.” WHAT: VCA Contemporary Plays Season WHEN & WHERE: 25 Oct to 1 Nov, VCA, Grant St Theatre


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 39


music

FALL FORECAST

Veronica Falls vocalist/guitarist Roxanne Clifford used to sneak into her elder sister’s bedroom to inspect her vinyl collection while she was at college, Anthony Carew learns.

W

hen your band’s core members met at a Comet Gain show, it sure means something. And so it was when Veronica Falls came into being: Roxanne Clifford and Patrick Doyle – formerly of Glasgow indie-pop bands The Royal We and Sexy Kids – striking up a conversation with James Hoare, who was then playing in the Metronomy-related outfit Your Twenties. Talk was, of course, about bands. “I’ve always been into music,” Clifford says, of a childhood spent growing up in Manchester. “My dad used to play guitar, and some of my earliest memories are listening to Bob Dylan records with him... My sister

was ten years older than me, so when she went off to college I used to go into her room, study her record collection. She had really great taste in music, so I was lucky; I got exposed to lots of ’60s pop and psychedelic records, stuff like The Velvet Underground, and then lots of ’80s UK indie bands, like Felt, The Pastels, The Smiths.” Clifford went off to college, to Glasgow, and fell into playing in bands. She founded The Royal We with vocalist Jihae Simmons (later of Neverever) and Sexy Kids followed on, Clifford and Doyle’s next band born out of a love of post-punk femmes like Kleenex and The Raincoats.

music

On what Clifford wanted to achieve through Veronica Falls, the vocalist-guitarist-chief songwriter says, “Really simple, really immediate, really melodic songs. It’s easy for a band to have a good sound; it’s much harder to write good songs. There’s a lot of bands that – I really like their style when I first hear them, but when I’m not actually listening to them I don’t remember their songs; I don’t remember the melodies, I don’t remember the words. That’s what I want to get away from. I didn’t just want this band to be about having a cool sound, or referencing the right records, I wanted to write songs that people could sing along to. It’s tricky to pull off, but it’s so satisfying when you get something that works. And it never becomes boring, trying to write a good song.” Across the band’s two LPs – their 2011 debut and 2013’s Waiting For Something To Happen – Veronica Falls have turned out plenty of memorable songs. At first they were seen as a twee combo, but Waiting For Something To Happen shows them more as an indie band committed to memorable melody, operating without a gimmick. “We got a lot of C86 references at the beginning, which we didn’t really identify with at all,” says Clifford. “Come see us live, you’ll see we’re anything but ramshackle.” Clifford admits: “I know it’s hard for journalists to find an angle on us. We’ve never been particularly overhyped, or been this flavour-of-the-month buzz band. It feels like lots of the people who’ve come to find us have done so on their own, and because of that they like us a lot. They’re not coming to our shows because they’ve been told to. They’re coming because they like the songs.”

WHEN & WHERE: 31 Oct, Northcote Social Club

PAINT IT BLACK

Bonjah have lost a member, which has impacted their sound, frontman Glenn Mossop tells Dylan Stewart.

I

t’s a nondescript weeknight in suburban Melbourne, but for the neighbours of Bonjah frontman Glenn Mossop things are about to get a little rowdy. “The boys are around, we’re going to chill out and do some writing”, he begins.

Once upon a time the prospect of the five boys from Bonjah writing some tunes would not raise too many neighbourly eyebrows. However, the past couple of years have been a time of reflection and reinvention for the four-piece. Percussionist James Majernik has left the band since the release of 2011’s Go Go Chaos, so, as Mossop explains, Bonjah took the opportunity to change their musical direction. “When ‘Maj’ left, we didn’t want to just replace him with another percussionist, so instead we moved away from that rootsy sound of our earlier stuff. “Coming from New Zealand, in a way we were born into the rootsy, reggae scene. Moving to Melbourne though [the band crossed the ditch in 2006] and making the transition to a place where there’s such an eclectic sound, we’ve adapted to the sound of diverse bands and artists, and we’re taking influences from all kinds of directions.” While the writing process has dominated much of the past couple of years (alongside European and Japanese tours), Bonjah have dropped the first two singles off the forthcoming album Evolution and, now, the straight-up rock’n’roll tune Blue Tone Black Heart. The latter was 40 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

recorded with the help of producer Jan, a man whose surname Mossop needs to spell out for this confused interviewer: “I don’t even know how to spell it; I’m going to have to Google it. Hang on, I’m just going to yell out to Regan, he’ll know.” A shout cries out: “Hey Regs! How do you spell Jan’s last name?” Mossop returns to the phone: “Can I text it to you?”. Turns out he’s talking about Jan Skubiszewski, of Jackson Jackson and Way Of The Eagle fame, whose credits include The Cat Empire, Illy and Daniel Merriweather among others. To celebrate the release of Blue Tone Black Heart, Bonjah are hitting the road.

And although the tour spans across four months, it’s certainly not the most intense schedule the band has kept. “When we first arrived here we would play for six to eight weeks at a time, four nights a week. As you get a bit older, you need a bit of breathing space and some time to rejuvenate. “These days we prefer flying to piling into a van if given the chance. We did so much touring when we first arrived in Ozzie; we went through three vans in the early days. We actually left one on the side of the road. We were on our way to a gig in the middle of country Victoria and the van passed out on the way. We were still probably two hours away from the venue, so we had to cancel the fucking gig. We didn’t even have a way to get home. We had to call our manager at the time and make him drive three hours to come and pick us up. I’m hoping we’ll have no problems like that this time ‘round.” WHEN & WHERE: 2 Nov, Ding Dong Lounge; 23 Nov, The Setts, Mildura; 3 Jan, Torquay Hotel


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 41


tv

AFTERLIFE AS A HASHTAG Could we live beyond life through our social media footprint? This is just one thought that intrigues Charlie Brooker, as he tells Guy Davis. CHARLIE BROOKER BEHIND THE SCENES FROM BLACK MIRROR EP1, S1

C

harlie Brooker would like to make it clear he hasn’t abducted a child. The intermittent cries in the background are coming from his own young son Covey, “a very upset media consumer” unhappy that his favourite Mr Men video has come to an end. After placating his child with the latest exploits of the accident-prone Mr Bump, Brooker returns to the task at hand, slightly amazed that his offspring has already become tech-savvy at an alarmingly young age. “He goes over to the TV and tries to swipe it like an iPad,” Brooker marvels. “He’s 18-monthsold and he’s probably disgusted by how lo-fi the TV is. He’s never going to sit still and watch something his dad made. Why would he?” Oh, there are plenty of reasons why, primary among them the fact that Brooker is one of the more interesting, provocative voices out there in terms of the kind of humour that adds a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Brooker being Brooker though, he does tend to lace even that sugar with a dash of strychnine. As an example, here’s the multi-talented writer, columnist and broadcaster on White Bear, an episode of Black Mirror, his series of teleplays looking at society’s complex and sometimes troubling relationship with technology: “It’s The Truman Show meets Groundhog Day meets oh my fucking God get me out of here.” That said, White Bear is probably among the least humourous of the Black Mirror storylines, and that’s saying something when you’re talking about scenarios that include a terrorist forcing the British prime minister 42 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

to fuck a pig on live television. (That was the set-up of The National Anthem, the first Black Mirror episode to air.) Still, there’s a wicked cackle in Brooker’s voice when he says Black Mirror is “designed to massively unsettle”. His view of the world, at least the way it exhibits itself in his work (such as his annual Screenwipe television specials or his columns for The Guardian newspaper), can combine the humorous and the harrowing. But he claims he’s nowhere near as caustic or cynical as he may appear. “When people meet me, and they know me from the ‘wipe shows or The Guardian columns, they think I’m going to be this furious, massively opinionated arsehole... when really I’m just an arsehole.” He laughs. “I tend to

be goofier than people expect, and probably a lot more ignorant and stupid and shallow than people expect.” Brooker is being more than a little self-deprecating here, and viewers may agree after catching any of Black Mirror, the two seasons of which are now available on DVD. Slightly futuristic in their tone and style, each Black Mirror story explores how aspects of technology – be it social media, interactive entertainment or even just our increasing reliance on mobile phones and other such gadgets – are infiltrating our lives and changing the way we relate and react to one another. (The title, Brooker says, refers to the dark screen of a computer monitor, a television or a smartphone.) In episodes like Be Right Back, for example, a grieving widow finds that she is able to communicate with her late husband through an app that uses every email he ever sent, every voicemail he ever left and every social media status update he ever posted to recreate his personality. And in White Bear, a woman wakes from a coma-like state to find some kind of virus has turned ten per cent of the population into violent killers... and the other 90 per cent into mindless zombies happy to record the carnage on their camera-phones. “There you go; there’s a feel-good parable for the modern age!” chuckles Brooker. “We like to put in at least one that will drag you down to your lowest depths, and that was it this time around.” Inspiration for the White Bear episode was drawn from a number of sources – Brooker says he was rattled by news footage of people filming the dead, desecrated body of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.


STILL FROM HOW TO WATCH TELEVISION

CHARLIE BROOKER AND TV

GIVEAWAY We have two Charlie Brooker packs to give away per state.

The 11 O’Clock Show – Brooker was one of the writers of this satirical late-night sketch comedy. (Channel 4, 2000)

They include a copy of the Black Mirror collection and Dead Set. To enter, head to The Music Facebook.

The Kit – At the turn of the century Brooker was a co-host with Gia Milinovich on The Kit, a short- lived show about gadgets and technology. (BBC Knowledge 1999-2000) The Art Show – Brooker wrote an episode titled How To Watch Television for The Art Show. It’s an animated guide on how to watch television. Do you yourself a favour and head to YouTube to watch part one. (Channel 4, 2003)

TOM CULLEN (BLACK MIRROR S1)

Be Right Back, however, had its origins in Brooker’s own reliance on Twitter and other social networks for human interaction following the birth of his son.

“I TEND TO BE GOOFIER THAN PEOPLE EXPECT.”

“You spend a lot of time up late at night, and that was my only contact with the outside world. I remember thinking ‘What if this is an illusion and all these people are dead?’ And that then led to this idea about software that could mimic you based on what it knew about you. It’s quite an intriguing notion because the more you think about it, the more you think about whether it would be you. Because are you really you on social networking sites? I think the answer is no; I think it’s a performance.” A self-confessed “gadget geek and videogame nut”, Brooker admits his relationship with technology is “conflicted”. “Broadly speaking, I’m pro-technology,” he admits. “It’s an interesting frontier. But at the same time I’m a scaredy-cat and I sometimes worry that we’re creating things we can’t control. Social media, for instance, is ‘an absolute miracle’ in many ways, something that allows people to communicate and share important information almost instantaneously. On the other hand, you can have a situation where thousands of people tell a 13-year-old girl to kill herself because she recorded a song they didn’t like. So it’s the rough with the smooth. I don’t know if it’s made us any happier. It’s made us more efficient and more informed but it’s also made us more confused.”

DANIEL KALUUYA AND JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY (BLACK MIRROR S1)

Screenwipe – Created and presented by Brooker, this show ran for five seasons and most of it was filmed in his living room. (BBC Four 2006- 2008) Black Mirror – This TV mini drama series created by Brooker shows the dark side of technology and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Tom Cullen and Hayley Atwell in episodes. It just wrapped on SBS and is now out on DVD. (Channel 4, 2011 to 2013) 10 O’Clock Live – A comedy news programme presented by Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, Lauren Laverne and David Mitchell. (Channel 4, 2011 to present) Newswipe – Created and presented by Brooker, this was a news review programme. The opening credits were by electronic artist Nathan Fake. (BBC Four 2009- 2010)

WHAT: Black Mirror Collection (Madman Entertainment) THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 43


music

BEST IN THE WEST

“Oh, maybe I am a good role model,” says Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino as she speaks to Hannah Story about feeling the pressure and crafting a second EP.

“I

know there are a lot of young girls that look up to me… and it’s a really amazing thing, and I don’t feel any pressure to not be the person that I am,” says Cosentino. However, she admits that it’s difficult not to feel pressure when you’re doing something so personal, and that she struggled with anxiety while making Best Coast’s second album The Only Place. For her latest EP Fade Away, she felt more comfortable. “I

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know making the EP was definitely a very easy process for me where I didn’t feel any sort of anxiety or anything, I was just in the studio making the songs.” It’s important for the singer-songwriter from California-based surf pop band Best Coast to stay true to herself. She focuses her songs on love and relationships, because it’s the kind of subject matter that means the most to her. “I feel like I always write about what’s going on in my life or at least things that have gone on in my life… I feel like it’s what I know best; even though I’m completely confused about almost everything all the time,” she jokes.

“I just feel inspired by real life and things that happen to people and things that are relatable to almost everybody.” Cosentino started writing songs when she was 16 and was influenced by seminal pop punk artists like Green Day and Blink-182. She thinks her age played a factor in the kind of musician she is today: “Maybe it’s the fact that I started writing music as a teenager and that’s why my music still kind of sounds like a teenager has written it – because I’m basically just a teenager in a mid 20-something-year-old’s body.” The 20-something released the EP on her own label Jewel City and, while writing, was heavily influenced by the likes of Mazzy Star and My Bloody Valentine. “I kind of wanted to do something that was really poppy and kind of simple and catchy and straightforward. I took inspiration from both of those bands in the sense that I feel like there’s a little bit more like distortion and some higher guitar parts.” Cosentino enjoyed the chance to really take the creative reins, without the influence of her former record label Mexican Summer. “I’ve always wanted to start a record label and have the freedom to do what I want to do when I want to.” Best Coast are currently in the process of writing their third album and intend to tour the world once they’ve finished up in the studio. “I want to write a lot of songs to kind of pick and choose from, because on the last two records I wrote just a record. I wrote twelve songs and then we ended up using every song and so I feel like for this experience I’ve set a goal for myself to write about 25 songs so that we can sit in the studio and choose the best and have some options for ourselves.” WHAT: Fade Away ( Jewel City/Kobalt)

RISKY BUSINESS

Groovin’ The Moo promoter Steve Halpin lets Stephanie Liew hear some of his thoughts on why some of our festivals are sinking while others sail smoothly.

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t this year’s Face The Music Conference, Halpin – who launched Groovin’ The Moo festival in 2005 with his mate Rodney Little – will join fellow festival creators Ken West (Big Day Out co-founder), Paul Sloan (Rock-It WA, Billions Australia) and Blink (Camp A Low Hum, NZ) for a special forum titled What The Festival?, where they will discuss their opinions on the recent state of festivals in Australia. “What do I think? It’s a bit hard to know, like, not being privy to all the ins and outs of what’s been happening with the festivals that are cancelled,” begins Halpin. “I guess there has been a lot of talk about the festival market being saturated. Maybe there is a bigger picture or trend, but also maybe there are reasons why certain ones have had to cancel.” In the past year, the festivals that have been cancelled include iconic Sydney music festival Homebake, Harvest Festival, Pyramid Rock, Peats Ridge, hip hop festivals Rap City, Movement (a week before its launch) and Supafest (postponed). It can be difficult for new festivals to break through. “With our show, the first year it lost money, the second year it just sort of broke even and then by the third year you could see that it was starting to become viable. I suppose by the end of our third year 44 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

if it still was making a loss, we would’ve seen the writing on the wall.” Halpin has noticed that among the “talk of doom”, as he calls it, not much mention has been made of the festivals that are still selling strongly, such as Falls Festival (which has added a third location at Byron Bay this year), Stereosonic (this year expanding to two days per city) and Soundwave. So why are some festivals at the top of their game and others are falling by the wayside? “Well, it’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? If I knew I’d be selling books on it!” Halpin laughs. “I guess shows like Falls and Splendour, I think

the shows that are established that have been going for a long time and kind of deliver the experience that festivalgoers expect, they’re obviously still going strongly.” One particular change in music consumption that Halpin has seen is that acts can blow up much more quickly these days. “Sort of this time last year when we were finalising the line-up, we booked [Flume] thinking, ‘He’s really starting to connect and that would be a good act for our crowd’. Had no idea that he would be as big as he was in six months’ time. Ten years ago, it was more predictable. You could book an established act and you knew that they would be big, and you knew that the emerging bands would be exciting but they wouldn’t be that big, but it’s all totally mixed up now.” WHAT: Face The Music WHEN & WHERE: 15 and 16 Nov, Arts Centre


THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 45


music

TRIPPING ACROSS GENERATIONS Having kissed and made up a couple of years ago, the original core of Morcheeba are well and truly back, fresher than ever. The woman out front, Skye Edwards, talks to Cyclone about the new and the old.

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ondon trip hoppers Morcheeba have just dropped their eighth album, Head Up High, with soulstress Skye Edwards once again out front. Some 18 years ago Edwards and the Godfrey brothers – Paul, a DJ, and Ross, a multi-instrumentalist – debuted with Who Can You Trust? The Godfreys, from Kent, had met Edwards at a warehouse party. Critics suspected Morcheeba of jumping on the trip hop bandwagon but, in a notoriously ephemeral industry, they survived, developing a sophisticated fusion of jazz, folk, worldbeat, soul, blues, psychedelia, pop and hip hop. “We were chatting about it, myself and Ross, the other day and saying how we kind of judge our music career by the ages of our children,” jokes Edwards, a mother of three. “My son is about to turn 18 in November and I was pregnant when we recorded Who Can You Trust? – and Ross has just had his first child. His girlfriend was pregnant while we were recording Head Up High. So we were thinking, ‘Oh, just imagine in 20 years’ time when your daughter’s like...’ It is pretty cool that we’re still around and still making good music.” The group broke commercially with their second album, 1998’s Big Calm – soundtracking both after hours chill-out sessions and fashionable dinner parties. Head Up High, led by Gimme Your Love, mines (post-)dubstep with songs like Make Believer – apt considering that Morcheeba foreshadowed James Blake and Jessie Ware. Crucially, this time the band aimed to record up-tempo (and radio-friendly) fare. Morcheeba have experienced internal drama. An artistically frustrated Edwards quit in 2003, taking what she politely refers to today as “that seven-year break”. The Godfreys replaced her with Noonday Underground’s Daisy Martey on The Antidote. Martey herself was then ejected – and she sued. For 2008’s ‘producer album’ Dive Deep, the Godfreys sought a random series of obscure guest vocalists, such as ‘70s singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke. Morcheeba might have fizzled out. Ross even moved to Hollywood to score films. But then, out of the blue, Edwards returned for the assured Blood Like Lemonade.

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It was surprising since the east Londoner had successfully launched a solo career with 2006’s Mind How You Go. (She’s also worked with the Nouvelle Vague fold.) The mild-mannered Edwards maintains she didn’t lay down any conditions for the reunion. “It’s not my

be like before?” Edwards shouldn’t have worried. The Godfreys wanted tranquillity. “They’d grown and matured – and they were sorry.” She laughs. “We kind of worked it out... So I’m happy to be back. I never thought I would be happy back in Morcheeba, but I am very happy. We get on very well.” The creative dynamic in Morcheeba has little changed, with Edwards writing melodies, Ross composing music and Paul penning lyrics, cutting beats and producing. Nevertheless, family commitments necessitate that the trio prepare material independently. Morcheeba hired a London studio to then lay down Head Up High in two weeks.

“THEY’D GROWN AND MATURED – AND THEY WERE SORRY. WE KIND OF WORKED IT OUT.” nature to go in and say, ‘Okay, I’m only going back if...’” She simply made one request – that her bassist husband (and “best friend”) Steve Gordon, whom she’d met through Morcheeba, rejoin, too. “If I was gonna go on tour, then I would need a friend – because at that stage with Ross and Paul, we hadn’t spoken for seven years,” she admits. “I was very nervous about returning. I didn’t know how they felt about me – and was it gonna

Head Up High boasts some ultra-contemporary cameos – UK hip hoppers Rizzle Kicks show up on the darkly comic To Be, to the delight of Edwards’ teens. “It’s hard to impress your children these days. People sort of think, ‘Oh, you sing in a band, that must be really cool’. [But] it’s like, ‘Well, I’m just Mum to them – they’ve grown up with it’.” With the Godfreys’ support, the singer has sustained a solo sideline, an outlet for “personal” songs. Paul “really loved” last year’s third outing, Back To Now. “I always try to push myself melodically and lyrically – maybe that had an influence on the Morcheeba album, who knows?” Still, Edwards prefers to keep her two identities “separate”. WHAT: Head Up High ([PIAS] Australia) WHEN & WHERE: 16 Apr, Corner Hotel, 19 & 20 Apr, Bluesfest, Byron Bay


AVANT GUARDIAN

“It’s not wanky,” Tania Bosak tells Matt Ziccone about her latest avant-garde production.

“I

’ve always been interested in the moment when my father said goodbye to his family, but couldn’t tell them he was defecting because it would have put them in danger. When he was just about to head off on tour, I always just imagine how intense that moment was saying goodbye but not being able to say goodbye properly – always wondering if he was going to be caught or killed.” With her latest show, Miss Jugoslavia & The Barefoot Orchestra, centred around her father’s story, Tania Bosak is challenging audiences with not only a true story but

a very personal one. Her father played for the Jedinsvto Drustvo, or ‘all nations as one’ state band throughout Europe in the 1950s. His own orchestra had 12 people informing to the state on people in their group and the decision didn’t come lightly. Bosak’s work looks deep into the heart of his story, at the cultural identity, his interrogation and the perception of self in a new land. Bosak, the Churchill Fellow, singer, musician, actor and part-owner of Open Studio in Northcote is bringing together everything she knows to communicate this extraordinary piece. Bosak is at a forefront of the creative scene here, working

with the newly named form, composed theatre. She explains “that composed theatre works are driven by compositional structures or driven by music to the extent that they are at the forefront and the focus of the story, rather than text-driven work. People assume it’s cabaret, or music theatre. For me music theatre is connected to linear narrative. There is no English; everything is sung in Croatian. There is a lot of decoding. People are entering a space where they are making up their own interpretations.”

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Composed theatre has its origins in avant-garde. Artists like Philip Glass, John Cage and Meredith Monk are the influences on creating a new approach to theatrical performance that’s rich in modes like music and writing, but that isn’t necessarily following the classic forms of narrative and text. In relation to Bosak’s piece, the form, structure, musicality, as well as the language, are acting to make this something of a personal interpretation. “Each piece is driven by a point of concentration, each piece has layers of layers of theme and story and the musicians take what they want in the moment.” It will be a raucous affair, with its Balkan Jazz influences, Bosak’s incredible charm and a story straight out of the Cold War. “I wanted to make a work that people can’t stop looking at but be totally engrossed in and interested in making their own associations of the stories. People can really go deeper into themselves and really go on a journey. And it’s not wanky. It’s really accessible for those who don’t normally see avant-garde or contemporary theatre.” WHAT: Miss Jugoslavia & The Barefoot Orchestra WHEN & WHERE: 30 Oct to 10 Nov, fortyfivedownstairs

MOVE OVER SATAN

music

Punk extroverts Nancy Vandal carved a swathe through the ‘90s with their semi-insane rhetoric and penchant for having fun, damn the expense. Guitarist/vocalist Fox Trotsky reveals to Steve Bell just why they’ve decided to revive the inanity.

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fter quite a lengthy layoff, Syndey punk miscreants Nancy Vandal are back with a vengeance to celebrate their 20 year anniversary, armed with brand new album Flogging A Dead Phoenix. Back in the day they shone like a beacon for all things irreverent and disrespectful before calling it quits in 2001, and while they’ve made a couple of subsequent forays back into the limelight, this is their first full-blown reunion since the heady days of that original incarnation. “Dr Flabio [drums] mentioned last year that this year was going to be our twenty-year anniversary since we got together, so we just started thinking about what we could do commemorate it,” explains Fox Trotsky. “I’m always a bit wary of bands getting back together to play a show and then disappearing, so I wanted to make it a bit more of a commitment on our behalf to ensure people that we’re taking it seriously. “Once we got the ball rolling it all happened pretty fast and we got into the swing of things again. It’s quite a specific mindset doing Nancy Vandal songs, and I haven’t been in that mindset for a long time so it did take a little bit of coaching to retrain whatever lobe of the brain that is. It’s the musical equivalent of method acting – you have to be the fucking idiot, you can’t just

try and write like one. You have to really embrace the persona. ” Once the Nancy Vandal crew had fully immersed themselves back into their imbecilic identities, it was just a matter of channelling their inner idiot to come up with new material. “It’s quite hard – when we started the band we were in our early20s and you’re always like that then, but when you’re a bit older you’ve got to coax it out of yourself a little bit,” Trotsky laughs. “I think the thing was that if we did a new album and it wasn’t really spunky and a

bit crazy people would go, ‘What the fuck?’ I know personally with bands that I like when they’re getting on, if they sound like they’re going through the motions you just go, ‘Oh god!’ It’s a bad look. Even with our rehearsing for this tour everyone keeps saying that we’ve got to make sure that we’re not playing songs too slow, that it’s all as it was – it’s hard work. We set a very difficult precedent back when we were young.” “I always liked watching bands who had fun and made you laugh, so that was always one of our priorities. Although that’s probably less of an act and just how we are normally – we don’t mind a bit of foolin’ around.” WHAT: Flogging A Dead Phoenix (Erotic Volcano) WHEN & WHERE: 2 Nov, Reverence Hotel, Footscray; 28 Feb, Soundwave, Flemington Racecourse THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 47


music

FLYING HIGH On The Bats’ songwriting inspiration, frontman Robert Scott informs Samson McDougall, “I like smaller things”, as opposed to philosophical themes such as “the meaning of life”.

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t was one of the big surprises as a Kiwi migrating to Australia (insert dole-queue jibes here) that many Australians have more than peripheral knowledge of the 1980s to early ‘90s South Island New Zealand music scene largely associated with the record label Flying Nun. There’s an expression back over the ditch, ‘World-famous in New Zealand’, which in a typically Kiwi self-effacing way seemed to apply to bands like The Chills, The Clean and The Bats. Yet it became clear once removed from the shaky isles that, in fact, these bands were actually pretty world-famous in certain circles. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Australia right now. Take Twerps, Songs, Boomgates, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, New Estate, etc; there’s little question these bands have spent time exploring the Flying Nun label. The Bats’ singer-songwriter/guitarist Robert Scott reckons he knew they were onto something back in the ‘80s, and he’s gratified that bands today can find stuff in their songs worth referencing, however understated the allusions may be. “It might be [that] some bands are listening to you and enjoy the music and then they go off and write their stuff and there’s elements of what we’re doing in the work. It might be subconscious as well, in terms of, y’know, when a band is referencing stuff they’re not necessarily going to be saying, ‘Oh we need to change that chord sequence [because] we want to make it sound more like The Bats’. I think it’s more that maybe they enjoy the music and take small elements or even attitude or some kind of meaning from it and then that comes through in the music... It is gratifying and it’s kind of a good indication and validation of what you’re doing, being relevant, or that people are still listening to [the music] and enjoying it and getting something from it.” Longevity is a word often associated with The Bats. The band have maintained the same line-up of Scott, guitarist Kaye Woodward, bassist Paul Kean and drummer Malcolm Grant throughout. Scott says the intermittent creative bursts of the band have been crucial to their ongoing collaboration. “We have been around for a long time but we’ve had very big gaps in

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what we do. We won’t play for, like, four or five months at a time, so that helps,” he says. The inherent Bats-iness of their tunes stems from this strength of membership and hinges largely on the guitar interplay and vocal harmonies of Scott and Woodward. “We don’t

top of it. Quite a few of my songs, if a trad rock lead player was to put their stamp on it the songs wouldn’t be nearly as good, so what Kaye and Paul and Malcolm bring to the band is a huge thing in terms of making the songs sound the way they do.” In terms of writing songs these days, Scott says growth is important to the band – much of the focus is on differentiating their new songs from their older material. When it’s suggested The Guilty Off ice of 2008 and Free All The Monsters of 2011 could possibly be the best Bats albums, Scott responds: “There’d be nothing worse than putting out records and everyone

“THERE’D BE NOTHING WORSE THAN PUTTING OUT RECORDS AND EVERYONE PREFERS THE OLDER ONES.” analyse it too much,” says Scott of the dynamic. “I’ll come up with my chord sequence and then Kaye will write some kind of pattern over that, whether it’s the lead or a set of chords. It all seems to work out, I think it’s one of those lucky accidents that when we write something it comes out like that. “Kaye, in some ways, is unconventional in her playing, so that’s a good point of difference in terms of what she chooses to put over

prefers the older ones and compares [the new ones] to the older ones and finds them lacking or wanting... “[It] can be hard because I don’t employ a lot of different tactics,” he says of writing songs these days, “I sort of draw from the same bank of chords, I s’pose. I’ve got a few more techniques and ideas that I’ve picked up over the years but basically the approach is the same... Inspiration is still pretty much the same things: people, relationships, how people interact, and also it’s landscape and physical forms around me... Seeing different things or meeting new things for the first time, that can give me ideas. Often it starts from a very small idea and grows from there. I don’t tend to, like, take a big idea like the meaning of life, I like smaller things.” WHEN & WHERE: 15 Nov, Melbourne Music Week, The Residence


ON THE MOUNTAINTOP

Giuliano Ferla chats to actress Zahra Newman about the great Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

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t’s been 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr gave his world-changing ‘I Had a Dream’ speech. It’s been 49 years since he received the Nobel Peace Prize. And it’s been 45 years since his assassination by James Earl Ray. On the evening of April, 4, 1968, King was shot while he stood on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. And, despite his message of political and social change through non-

violent protest, his death sparked a wave of race riots throughout America. This year the Melbourne Theatre Company are putting on The Mountaintop, a twoperson play written by Katori Hall. It’s a fictional account of King’s last night alive. It begins immediately after his famous, ‘I’ve Been To The Mountaintop’ speech. He arrives back to his hotel room, and a maid, named Camae, brings him a cup of coffee and a message. The story then plays out between them. Zahra Newman, who is playing Camae, gives an idea of the play’s presentation of such a huge and important

figure in history. “Mostly what Katori Hall is doing is trying to give you insight into the man, the human aspect of Martin Luther King. I think most people have some kind of idyllic image of who he was and what he stood for, the way it is with most public figures, you know? You assume you know them just because they’re quite prolific. But he was a man like anybody else, with faults, highs, lows, dreams.”

music

Bert LaBonté is playing King opposite Newman, and the two are onstage together for the entire show, which posed a challenge for Newman. She said, “It’s really intense, because it’s just you and another person onstage the whole time, so once you’re on, you’re on… Sometimes it feels like you’re trapped in a vortex, you never get to step outside the world and view it. You’re really inside it. Which is great because it’s so intimate but it also means that you feel a bit, like, ‘AH!’” But Newman trusts Labonté, and director Alkinos Tsilimidos, and they are working together to put on a show that has some significance to the world we live in today. “It’s set in ‘68 at the peak of the African-American Civil Rights movement, and there are parallels you can draw politically to any country that has people who are fighting for something. I think fundamentally though it’s about a man and his reckoning with death, his coming to terms with that and acceptance of that.” And King’s last speech does make ominous references to threats on his life coming from “our sick, white brothers”. But if the life of King is anything to go by, this play will leave us with a sense of optimism for the future. WHAT: The Mountaintop WHEN & WHERE: 1 Nov to 14 Dec, Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 49


50 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013


reviews

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

This week: watch political and historical events unfold through a different perspective in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Arcade Fire return with rhythm and reflection and Midlake steep their slowburning aesthetic in pastoral psychedelic mores.

M.I.A. Matangi Universal A dubby minimal breakdown at standard intro length signals the start of M.I.A.’s fourth album, and it’s surprisingly subdued and minimal. This creates a false sense of security however – it’s actually unsettling when the title track immediately follows, with the rhythmic drum circle broken up with short sharp, eardrum penetrating samples. By the time the track gets going, the tempo and frenetic energy continue to build until a massive tempo drop at the end brings it all crashing down in its ultimate climax.

★★★★

TRACK LISTING 1. Karmageddon 2. Matangi 3. Only 1 U 4. Warriors 5. Come Walk With Me 6. aTENTion 7. Exodus 8. Bad Girls

9. Boom Skit 10. Double Bubble Trouble 11. Y.A.l.A 12. Bring The Noize 13. Lights 14. Know It Ain’t Right 15. Sexodus

This production style creates the texture for the record, alongside the familiar elements of big drums, exotic instrument samples and her familiar vocal style. It’s a hard record to get your head around the first listen. Warriors is a great example of this – there’s barely a consistent drum beat for more than a few bars and it seems to just start over every minute or so. It’s the first instant of another unusual production flourish where there’s a really over-the-top vocal overdub like it’s a radio announcer or mixtape DJ spruiking over the top. It also happens when she delivers her anti-YOLO reincarnation anthem Y.A.L.A (You Always Live Again). Bad Girls has been out for so long that its familiarity makes it an obvious focal point of the album, but it also sits apart from most of the record due to its much more simple arrangement and production. It’s an astonishing record that mashes so many ideas culturally and musically and builds on her already impressive discography in all the right ways. Chris Yates THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 51


album reviews

ARCADE FIRE

GOSSLING

EMI

Dew Process/Universal

Even after the brilliant title track announced a new direction for Arcade Fire, it was a brave fool who’d predict what the rest of Reflektor would bring. For all the secrecy, the viral campaigns, the 22-minute, star-studded film clip (for Here Comes The Night Time – one of the record’s best tracks), though, the question remains. Is Reflektor worth the hype? The short answer is yes. Just.

Much like its cover art, Gossling’s debut LP, Harvest Of Gold, bursts with colour. Songbird Helen Croome’s catchy collection of pop tunes marks a progression from her usual folk roots to an experimentation with ambient electronica and disco – in many ways a rhythmic celebration of her long-awaited full-length release.

Reflektor

It’s nothing like Arcade Fire have released before, but it creates a need for future listens more than any of the band’s previous albums. Gone is the reliance on Win Butler’s lyrics; instead his voice is caught in the many layers that create a cacophony of sound for much of the record. Inspired by their time in Haiti, the rara music indigenous to the Caribbean is all over Volume I. Basslines reminiscent of Michael Jackson (We Exist) and The Clash (You Already Know) drive the disc, with steel drums and maracas providing a booty-

Harvest Of Gold

★★★★ shaking backbone. The second disc is more reflective and, despite the continued layering of sound, less dance-able. Here Comes The Night II is the antithesis of its namesake, and It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) carries a dark, Depeche Mode-y vibe with it. Months of work have gone into the track structure of Reflektor, and it shows. Where the first disc is carried by rhythm, the second is pushed along in a slow-burning, hypnotic state, culminating in the album’s apex, Afterlife. The layers will work themselves out over future listens, but there’s plenty on Reflektor to warrant further spins. Dylan Stewart

Alternating between a brooding low register and delicate top notes, opener, Big Love, is a sonic burst of vocal and musical energy that is maintained from the album’s beginning to end. It’s very easy to get swept up in the singer-songwriter’s joyous pop and forget about her velvet smooth set of pipes, six of the ten tracks easily pleasing any mover and shaker ready for a dance. However, it’s a completely different story for the four remaining songs, touching as they do on the sentimental and harking back to what fans fell in love with in 2009. While

CUT COPY

MIDLAKE

Modular/Universal

Bella Union/[PIAS] Australia

Cut Copy’s fourth album lovingly pays homage to the second summer of love that was fuelled by acid house and rave. The big fat rubbery bump of the anthemic title track, Free Your Mind, which evolves into piano house complete with soulful female backing vocalists, takes us back to the early ‘90s when Andy Weatherall was producing Screamadelica.

When a band has a roster change, there’s a determinism from the fans that this incarnation will emulate, or indeed transcend, what has come before. When the chief songwriter and singer departs, such enthusiasm wavers and diminishes. For every Pink Floyd, there is a Phil Collinsled Genesis. 2013 sees Texans Midlake trying to buck this unenviable trend, breaking away after Tim Smith’s abrupt departure to release Antiphon.

Free Your Mind

As if taking their cue from Primal Scream, Cut Copy craft buoyant pop songs whilst toying with all the conventions of underground dance styles of that era. The lyrics across this album work over a multitude of dance music clichés as the band put their faith in the power of dancing all night long and making friends with Molly in the hope that our minds will be set free and connect with a higher plane of consciousness. If Cut Copy don’t free 52 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

★★★½ the production of Harvest Of Gold’s pop contingent is to be commended, surely nothing can compare to the symphonic beauty of Pulse, its boisterous orchestral styling fronted by Croome’s intimate and innocent storytelling. Similarly, record closer, A Lover’s Spat, is pure in its simplicity, and duet, Songs Of Summer, featuring Sparkadia’s Alex Burnett, pairs femininity with a deep masculine vocal in an effective tale of lost love. But it’s vocal masterclass Vanish that hits completely new heights, the response to the tragic death of Jill Meagher tearing its way into your heart and erupting, making those dancefloor offerings seem anti-climactic in comparison. Mat Lee

Antiphon

★★★½ your mind then Alexander Skarsgård in the video and Jason Pierce, who weighs in with a killer remix of the song, surely will. The joyous carefree vibes of tunes like Let Me Show You and Meet Me In A House Of Love are intoxicating. Cut Copy have loaded this album with hooks and luscious textures that are easily consumed. The view in Take Me Higher is mind-expanding; the comedown isn’t a crashlanding. It’s a visit to church for the glorious gospel-infused Walking In The Sky that feels likes the lads are jamming with Spiritualised. We emerge feeling free and reborn. Guido Farnell

From the opening title track, it’s clear the remaining members have steeped their slow-burning aesthetic in pastoral psychedelic mores. An obvious trend, seeing as so much of Midlake’s oeuvre flirts with this terrain, but a clever subterfuge – the tracks here hint at familiarity (and in Aurora Gone we have one final vestige of what came before) whilst effectively distancing themselves from Smith’s iconic harmonies and lyrical bent. The clear outré highlight is Vale, a

★★★★ sinuous instrumental that weaves its way through the band’s past before blasting forth into an elongated space breakdown. It’s breathtaking in its precision and energy. Eric Pulido’s vocal output is arresting in its own right. He rightfully avoids aping Smith’s style, instead evoking a lighter presence that complements rather than becomes the focal point, most evidently on the track The Old And The Young. The only detractor is the insistence of the band to forge ahead as Midlake. Antiphon proves the ambition that always marked them out as folk-rock outsiders burns fiercely within them still, albeit with a new, crystalline focus. Brendan Telford


album reviews

★★★★

DARREN MIDDLETON

★★★½

MADE IN JAPAN

★★★★

PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS

MGM

Tame All Those Thoughts

More widely regarded as guitarist for dearly departed Brisbane powerhouse Powderfinger, Middleton has quietly chipped away at his familiar yet maturely composed songcraft since his sleeper success with alt-rock outfit Drag. On Translations he presents that same knack for engaging melodies and driving motifs, but couples it with homespun yarns amongst a loftier, intimate setting. Opener Can’t Hide Sad sets the bar high: melancholic harmonies, string embellishments, lamenting vocal. His voice mixes croon and everyman storytelling, prominent in the blissed out Failing Now. A variety of pace and structure keeps things fresh throughout.

It was only last year these Sydney-based upstarts released their debut album, yet here they are with a solid second release of top-shelf dream-pop, sounding in no way like a rushed affair. A luscious journey across nine songs, the band has outdone themselves here and delivered what can only be touted as a solid step forward – Follow The Fool is the remarkable centrepiece, with Greenwood-esque guitar and hypnotic production overall, while the opening Community is just one of the many future favourites. Now to a show!

Thirty-five years on and Primitive Calculators are as depraved and derelict as ever. The songs on The World Is Fucked don’t mince about, keeping titles brief and abrasive, and the sonic furniture is flayed and piked for all to see and fear. Their innovative industrial punk grind is as dreadful as is intended, forever contorting convention in favour of bilious violence and pitchblack humour – an atonal mess of Cenobite proportions. They laugh harder the more painful it gets. And this is their first proper album? The end is nigh.

Ben Preece

Brendan Telford

Translations

Carley Hall

MGM

The World Is Fucked Chapter

★★★½

★★★★

★★★

MINOR ALPS Get There

Stop Start/Inertia For an album with such a bleak album cover and a lyrical focus on longing and solitude, Minor Alps’ debut record is pretty upbeat. Then again, that’s probably what happens when you combine two revered pop musicians like Matthew Caws (of Nada Surf fame) and Juliana Hatfield (of Juliana Hatfield fame) and they put their heads together. Sure, there are some quiet, reflective moments (like the final song Away Again), but with jangly, clean electric guitar and charming harmonies ever-present, Minor Alps have delivered a solid record that belies the fact that it’s their first. Dylan Stewart

★★★★

★★★★

65DAYSOFSTATIC

OH LAND

PEAK TWINS

WHITE DENIM

Bird’s Robe

ADA

Bedroom Suck

Downtown/[PIAS] Australia

The fifth proper album from electro glitch rockers 65daysofstatic is arguably their most refined to date. The record blends all of the band’s previous work into a new, cohesive sound that grooves hard and rocks harder. Fans of the skittish and wild breakbeat-influenced rock from the early days may be left disappointed, as may recent converts to the more techno-influenced vibes, but this is an album the band needed to make. Wild Light is a brilliant and mature record that never loses sight of its multifaceted goals – whether it branches out to dance, rock or noise.

The third and latest release from Danish songstress Nanna Øland Fabricius, aka Oh Land, is upbeat and instantly likeable thanks to Bird In An Aeroplane. Things go awry, however, with My Boxer. The track, where Fabricius speak-sings – almost to the point of rapping – is a little too quirky and doesn’t sit well with the rest of the record. The Brooklyn, NYC resident manages to redeem herself with the mighty fine Next Summer and Sleepy Town.

If White Denim’s albums were social activities then their first two albums would be boozy all-nighters, D would be a country ramble and their latest, Corsicana Lemonade, would be a sumptuous barbecue groover. In other words, White Denim have your entire weekend covered.

Despite a few minor drawbacks, Wish Bone, with its light, electro pop-driven tunes, is the perfect accompaniment to the coming summer months.

Peak Twins follow up various splits and 7” releases with their proper debut album and Liam, Joel and their players making good on the promises these previous releases have suggested was possible. While the album bounces between the vague structures of different styles of music ranging from ‘60s rock’n’roll sounds to proper country and whatever else, it all becomes skewed through the band’s twisted lens and turns into something else entirely – something awesome. The album is strong, but immediate highlights like China White are impressive well beyond heightened expectations.

Andrew McDonald

Dominique Wall

Chris Yates

Christopher H James

Wild Light

Wish Bone

Peak Twins

Corsicana Lemonade

Having shaken off the ambitious jazzy time signatures and occasional over-reach that characterised previous album D, White Denim have seemingly found whole new levels of expression by playing comfortably within their limits, proving that, just like my Italian cooking, things are almost always best kept simple.

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 53


singles/ep reviews

★★★½

★★★★

Go Slow

Flyying Colours

MONKS OF MELLONWAH

Holiday

Interstate 40 Music

Independent/Universal

Afraid To Die

Gaga Digi

Ideal as ‘80s-style club tracks, the contagious remixes on this restrained electronica release also stand up to private listening. Both versions of Go Slow and Sexy Polizei flaunt glittery melodies paired with deep, echoing male lead vocals in the vein of Ian Curtis. These are backed by gentle, occasionally whispered female vocals, giving the tracks a shimmering, dreamy feel. Instrumental, Games Of The XXI Olympiad, mixes a buzzing, electric didgeridoo sound with an uplifting, synth-laden melody. Though long and repetitive, gentle swells contribute to this song’s meandering, hazy vibe. They play Northcote Social Club 4 Nov.

Opener, Like You Said, conveys this outfit’s warm brand of sprawling psych rock. A strong melody line shines through a fuzzy wall of sound, while soft vocals blend into the track rather than standing out. Single, Wavygravy, has a distinctly retro feel with its long, chaotic drumming segment. The following track, She Leaves, takes a different approach, combining their vaunted scuzzy psych sound during the chorus while branching out with a jangly melody, echoing, postpunk vocals and an effective use of dynamics. Reining in the distortion, the lighter, twee Feathers demonstrates this outfit’s varied but cohesive attitude.

Gatcombe

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

BOYS BOYS BOYS! Casio keyboards, crunchy guitars, boomin’ drums and a whole lot of sass and girl-gang harmonies. Spirals at the end, but the ladies are still in control.

PARIS HILTON FT LIL WAYNE Good Time Cash Money Records “Are you havin’ a good time?” Hilton coos in a sexy-baby voice. The answer is no. Despite Lil Wayne talking about butts, you will not have a good time listening to this sugary poison.

ARCADE FIRE Afterlife

FLYYING COLOURS

★★½

BLACK CAB

Opening with the title track’s punchy alt-rock sound, overly polished R&B-inspired vocals then generate a strange but unfortunate juxtaposition of genres. With verses starkly similar to Audioslave’s Show Me How To Live, this track evokes a contrived, dated feel, drawing on melodramatic elements of ‘90s pop. The disjointed opening melody of Alive For A Minute launches into an epic swell of strings overlayed with cooing backing vocals. Restrained ballad I Belong To You forgoes harder rock elements, but subtle acoustic backing and a gentle longing melody inform the most cohesive track on this EP.

EMI Builds so slowly it’ll make you delirious with anticipation, as the upbeat combo of synths and percussion hypnotise, twist and evolve sonically before your ears, the vocals an incantation.

FOX & FOWL

★★★

★★★

★★★★

TOM KLINE

WE THE PEOPLE

WHITAKER

Vintage Loneliness

The Truth About Fables

Wichita

TK Recordings/AWAL

Independent

Independent

Unfortunately comes across as ‘90s boy band leftovers, marred by AutoTuned vocals. There’s no edge and no charisma.

Opener, Guns & Dolls, demonstrates this singersongwriter’s unusual vocal style: nasal, androgynous and exhibiting a great range. Backed by faint musical accompaniment, verses in the title track border on spoken word while also showcasing Kline’s quirky, melancholic wit with lines such as, “There’s a man playing sax to an audience of bats, of whom he sarcastically thanks in between tracks”. At times heartfelt, this offering will appeal to lovers of lyrics, while his sparse and simple instrumentation will perhaps struggle resonating with a broader audience. He plays at Evelyn Hotel on 3 Nov.

On the surface this seems like a generic pop offering featuring glossy, upbeat tracks you’ll feel like you’ve heard before. However, unique, disjointed rhythms serve to distinguish this release from many of its contemporaries, and are positively infectious. Opener, Sweetheart, incorporates shifting moods and well integrated electronic elements. Frontman James Seymour’s smooth, flexible vocals enhance these tracks, especially during occasional in-your-face moments that lack subtlety. Cushioning bass and a slower tempo on The Sea provide a nice break from the dominating bubbliness of this release. They play at The Workers Club on 7 Nov.

The lyrical single/title track soothes us into this expressive offering with rhythmic drumming and Ryan Meeking’s melodious, gentle voice, which recalls The Shins’ James Mercer, especially when double-tracked. Ukulele and acoustic guitar on Hurricane are subtly enhanced by synth notes, providing depth and colour. Though tracks on this EP’s second half are slower, they showcase the merits of a strong build. The latter half of Devil On Your Mind is punctuated by a subtle energy, conveyed through soaring, emotive vocals and folksy percussion elements driving the beat. They play 3 Nov at Evelyn Hotel, 29 Nov at Revolver Upstairs.

Stephanie Liew

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Pilot Independent Perky, major-key guitar pop with horns shouldn’t be this irritating or sound so empty.

KATY PERRY Unconditionally Universal In this ballad, sparse, quiet verse contrasts with Perry’s huge vocals, lifted higher with each thud of the drum. The formula works.

JUSTICE CREW Everybody Sony

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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 55


S G t O e D r D a b N a O C M A I D

NOV 16TH THE 64 ON SMITH STREET, FITZROY 56 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

ENTRY $22 CONCESSION $17 Early bird tickets available through FB event page


live reviews

LORDE, OLIVER TANK Corner Hotel 21 Oct Oliver Tank plays to a sizable crowd, and our anticipation is palpable as his wide-synth, ‘80stinged tunes wash over us. Ta-Ku assisted single Different Speed and a gorgeous cover of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s Beautiful bring Tank’s set home before he politely bows his way off stage. A very well chosen support act. The rapidly growing audience is brimming with excitement as showtime edges near. There’s an energy in the air, because everyone knows what they’re about to see could be something special: a young artist on the cusp of defining a sound, a year, a moment in time. Lorde appears and you can’t help but draw a

delivered perfectly, or as perfectly as a song about a man so flawed can be. Her cover is guttural and raw, and completely without the pretension and sense of irony that goes hand in hand with most hip hop-covers-by-an-indie-artist. A few songs later, Royals provides the evening’s overwhelming peak. As Lorde stalks the stage with her mane of curls falling in her face, the captivated audience scream the words to this number one Billboard smash back to her, an experience that must be absolutely mind-boggling for someone her age. 400 Lux and A World Alone bring us home, the former a slowburning celebration, the latter, simultaneously bitter and uplifting. As the venue’s sound system starts back up, the majority of the crowd remain, praying for more. It’s anyone’s guess how long they stay, desperate to see 2013’s favourite anti-pop princess one more time. Marissa Paine

LORDE @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

breath. So much is written about this young chanteuse, that for a minute it’s easy to trick yourself into believing you’re about to see an established artist, basking in legend status. When you remember that she’s barely out of the gate, it’s even more exciting. She opens with Bravado, the first cut off The Love Club EP. The sparse instrumentals allow her to really flex her vocals, proving to an already adoring crowd that she indeed has the live pipes to live up to the hype. Biting Down and Glory And Gore follow, and this is where Lorde really gets to define herself as an artist. There’s something manic, frantic and almost hellish about the way she twists and twitches to the beat, with hand gestures and a straight-outta-The Craft outfit that make her appear almost witchy. Next is Tennis Court, which provides lighter fare and is the first real sing-along tonight. The second cover of the evening, Kanye West’s Hold My Liquor is

instrumentalist Brock Fitzgerald – his irritation seems a little OTT. The pair’s recruitment into Wolf & Cub would obviously have attracted the curiosity of their previous band’s fans. And The Scare were one of this country’s finest prospects in their day. This Mess is an absolute ball-tearer and perfectly demonstrates Wolf & Cub’s full potential. They really should be where Tame Impala are, so what’s holding them back? The last beer from the band’s rider is tossed from the stage to be marked by a thirsty punter. “Eighty Eights!” shouts the same Scare fan and this time Keighran and Fitzgerald grumble insults about their previous outfit’s song and how they wish to forget it. “Seven Sevens!” yells another and we soon find out why Wolf & Cub never play this awesome, twisted track live when Byrne struggles to recall the riff before promising they’ll treat us with it “one day”. Byrne has a belt clip keychain

LORDE @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

WOLF & CUB

Northcote Social Club 24 Oct Perseverance pays off when pushing through the crowd and infiltrating the circle of fear at the front of the stage to secure a front stalls posi. Wolf & Cub are in full flight and this gig is certainly well attended. The band rock with one drummer these days, Joel Carey, and he’s a powerful force. If you closed your eyes you could imagine an octopus pummelling with eight sticks, and the patterns are very T Rex (one song is a dead ringer for Rock On). The band’s other Joel (Byrne), Wolf & Cub frontman, responds to some heckling. “What the fuck is Eighty Eights? Oh, The Scare! Wrong. Fucking. Band!” He sounds annoyed but, considering his band is rounded out by two former The Scare members – bassist Wade Keighran and multi-

and one of the more leftfield choices, Fuck Buttons are a duo never known to disappoint. This pop-up venue is packed and buzzing for an hour before the band begin, the room similarly twilit as the night outside. Thick, shifting synth chords hang in the air and the stage hosts a perfunctory table littered with Casios, synth pads, Fisher Price karaoke machines and dozens of leads running from mixers. A mirrorball hangs waist height and a large screen stands behind the table, completing the carefully arranged chaos. Andrew Hung and Ben Power wander on, deliver an acknowledging wave and then proceed to rupture the space-time continuum. Opening with the relentless drum loop and disembowelling synth of Brainfreeze, the first track from their latest album Slow Focus, the screen bursts to life with shimmering silhouettes of the

LORDE @ CORNER HOTEL. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

dangling from one loop, complete with set of keys somewhat like a high school bogan. He has charisma, but doesn’t flaunt it and there’s something about the way these musicians move about onstage that evokes limbo: caught somewhere between where they wanna be, where they are and where they deserve to be. Byrne gets excited when he spots an old school W&C tee in the crowd and points the wearer out. Their latest Heavy Weight album is world class and up there with Wolf & Cub’s best. This should be flying high and strutting with cocksuredness, but instead they seem resigned tonight.

two men looming over fractured images of the Victorian coastline. Patterns and images come, go, are refracted and mixed with unusual colours and are never less than arresting. Bass tones shudder up through your shoes and slabs of synth pad push the limits of what ears can stand, but Fuck Buttons seem to intuitively know the right frequencies to push and to which levels. Their complex layers of tone and filtered sounds clash brilliantly with the visuals; no sci-fi landscapes here, just deep, rich colours, strange shapes and silhouettes.

25 Oct

Following up with the immense and blazing Surf Solar, the duo seem to operate without any need for visual communication. Sounds like tuned fire extinguishers explode over tsunamis of ball bearings moving through aluminium canyons as Colours Move melds into Olympians – the sound of lush, violent euphoria.

One of the big drawcards at this year’s Melbourne Festival,

The swaggering beats and pinging melody loop of Slow

Bryget Chrisfield

FUCK BUTTONS

Foxtel Festival Hub

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 57


live reviews Focus highlight The Red Wing announces the arrival of the mirrorball, splattering shards of bronze light around the room. Bursts of jungle drums and Badalamenti-style refrains give a melodic depth to aural assault as the audience begin to dance as only a crushed crowd, half of whom have their eyes closed, can. Despite remaining expressionless throughout, Hung and Power raise their empty beer bottles, nod, smile slightly and depart the stage to the dying sounds of album closer Hidden XS. The crowd roar until they return, whereby the duo again annihilate us with previous album Tarot Sport’s epic track Space Mountain. Spilling out into the cool night the lingering sense of a typically Melbournian-repressed euphoria is silently communicated between rapt punters and loudly expressed amongst friends. Yet again, Fuck

BEYONCE @ ROD LAVER ARENA.

Buttons move onward, upward and outward blazing a path we’re more than happy to follow. Andy Hazel

BEYONCÉ, IGGY AZALEA Rod Laver Arena 22 Oct Of the various handmade signs littering the front section, one reads: “My sister’s name is Beyoncé.” Apart from the diehards who have probably queued before the Rod Laver turnstiles opened, the crowd is sparse when Miamivia-Mullumbimby recording artist Iggy Azalea hits the stage. Her dishevelled platinum weave, waxy complexion and ungainly way of moving represent the polar opposite of what we expect to see from tonight’s headliner. And Azalea needs to learn not to squat when wearing hotpants! Her backing dancers totally show her 58 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

up, despite Azalea being in the spotlight while they’re dancing in the dark, but even they look puffed out by the end of this short 25-minute set. One of Azalea’s tracks sounds like it incorporates a sample from 2 Unlimited’s No Limit and Work shows promise, but those who’ve timed their arrival to coincide with Queen B’s scheduled start time miss nothing. Just when the punters in stands are mastering the Mexican wave, the house lights dim. Crisp, artistic, beautiful video footage of Beyoncé lazing around looking sultry in Renaissance garb appears on the giant screens. Then suddenly Run The World (Girls) sees the stage stormed by fierce ladies: Beyoncé’s entire ten-piece backing band is female and the only two dudes onstage are French duo Les Twins. Queen B loses an earring during this strenuous chorey but nothing could make her lose composure.

are some chosen ones assembled either side of the stage and they probably all get a handshake from Her Royal B-ness throughout the show. How much did those tickets cost? BiBi McGill goes all Nikki Sixx on us during her guitar solo, with an axe that (somehow) spews sparks from both ends. When Beyoncé flies over the crowd to the stage in the middle of GA, she wears a catsuit that appears to be covered in electricblue Swarovski crystals and matching stilettos. Gold glitter trails her trajectory as if out of nowhere and brings out the tones in Beyoncé’s trademark mermaid curls. Love On Top is vocally matchless and littered with flawless key changes, but when the mic is presented to various audience members no future stars are unveiled. When she flies back over the crowd, it’s holding on with one hand while punching

RELEASE THE BATS, JONNINE STANDISH @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

Beyoncé is simply the best at everything and even outshines those impeccable backing dancers, always in towering heels us mere mortals would struggle to walk in. The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony string arrangement is a glittering update during If I Were A Boy. Video footage with affirmations narrated by our starlet keep us entertained during the evening’s many costume changes and sometimes a stage hand sweeps the stage. Even twerking looks cute when performed by Mrs Carter’s dancers, whose costumes incorporate mini-bustles to eliminate the ‘hoochie’ factor. Last time she graced our shores Beyoncé was pre-Mrs Carter (and Blue Ivy) and you can see why she has a clothing line (House of Deréon). A lime green, leopard print, fringed mini-dress sounds tack-o-rama, right? Not so when flattering Queen B’s curves. And that black sequinned cap with the cat’s ears on it? Want! There

does is classy. A true ambassador for Girl Power, she’s an inspiration to all. Mrs Carter is Irreplaceable. Bryget Chrisfield

RELEASE THE BATS

Palais Theatre & The Prince 26 Oct The Palais staff look bemused. Racing inside the theatre, it’s immediately obvious The Twerps finished early. So it’s back out into the foyer. An usher informs, “You can bring any drinks back in with you except alcohol.” There are different coloured wristbands that determine where one can sit, which makes it difficult to hang with your homies. The theatre is well populated for Pop Crimes: The Songs Of

RELEASE THE BATS, MICK HARVEY @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

the air to close out Survivor (Destiny’s Child). Crazy In Love is as brasstastic as one would expect and bootylicious booties bounce throughout the stadium. “The show ain’t over,” promises Beyoncé, to our collective relief. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) follows and single hands are raised to ape the “UH-oh-UH-oh-UH-oh-OHoh” ring-brandishing gestures. Everything onstage meticulously represents the Queen B brand and animal print prams even make an appearance during Grown Woman, which absolutely abducts our dancing vocab. Tissues are required when Beyoncé belts out I Will Always Love You (in memory of Whitney Houston), which morphs into Halo. This combo was used in memory of Michael Jackson during her last tour to similar (devastating) effect. Beyoncé spots the sign! “Your sister’s named Beyoncé? How old is she? 18?” She looks thrilled. Beyoncé is one of the greats and everything she

Rowland S Howard. Conrad Standish opens, singing The King Of Kalifornia backed by original These Immortal Souls members Genevieve McGuckin, Harry Howard and Craig Williamson plus JP Shilo (who not only admirably channels Rowland S Howard’s distinctive guitar wail but has also somehow magically transformed to resemble his late, great idol today). When it’s his turn to take the mic, Mick Harvey requests that “the lighting person” keep the lyric sheet on his music stand illuminated, confessing “I don’t know the words” to So The Story Goes. The first half of this tribute set is devoted to These Immortal Souls material, the latter, songs from Rowland S Howard’s solo albums. A particularly moving rendition transpires when Shilo tries on Crowned to spectacular effect. During the second half, Brian Hooper’s bass is breathtaking and Jonnine Standish demonstrates her formidable stage presence.

RELEASE


live reviews This perfect means for performing Howard’s legacy live needs to evolve way beyond a one-off. The Halloween dress-up theme associated with Release The Bats is a flop. The only evidence being a few cobwebs stretched across Palais Theatre’s bars, a couple of random jacko’-lanterns and flashing white skulls placed on the theatre box barriers plus a handful of punters wearing creative makeup. Back inside the theatre, cheers punctuate Television’s “live sound check”. The band play Marquee Moon, but not in tracklisted order. A disgruntled member of the stalls yells out, “They won’t let us dance!” – a cross between a town crier and a snitch. Frontman Tom Verlaine points out that a guy in the stalls obviously arrived late because he keeps calling out for songs they’ve already played. Television play with spontaneity, but they are pedantic

Palais Theatre for Fuck Buttons. Who knew some of those sounds originated from the human voice? It’s penetratingly loud, but also penetratingly awesome. You can also tell these boys would be guns in the sack, Benjamin Power and Andrew Hung soundtrack the sex of your wildest fantasies. Fuck Buttons’ manipulated live visuals are next level. Scattered people dance in the stalls, but when the houselights go up amidst generous applause not enough people in the upper sections chose to watch this startling band own it this evening. The foyer is packed as audience members fuel up before our final ATP treat. After discovering his friend didn’t make it into the theatre for FB, an old timer extols, “You should’ve seen the lighting show!” As the warning bell chimes for the last time, people quickly scull drinks. A dude gestures toward half-full wine glasses and

E THE BATS, TELEVISION @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

about tuning their instruments in between songs and the peanut gallery get restless: “Tell a story!” All musicians onstage kick serious ass, but particularly drummer Billy Ficca. Experiencing Television’s extended live version of Marquee Moon’s title track alone makes attending this event worthwhile. Time to catch the tram up (two stops) to clap eyes on Pricasso in action at The Prince. He’s just starting one of his portraits and, as well as his “special brushes”, the artist also utilises his bare buttocks to smudge out the paint that will become the face shape. Prince Rama (standing in for Forest Swords, who cancelled yesterday “due to unforeseen health issues”) provide the sounds onstage and it’s immediately clear this duo are more about the party than technique, which is hard to appreciate after Television’s virtuosity. After a quick meal break (the only onsite eating options being sandwiches or crisps), it’s back to

beyond endearing. The feel the Deals have for their axes is not often seen these days – it’s the substance that seals The Breeders’ sound. Alternating guitar riff with the same melody plucked on violin during Drivin’ On 9 is a whisper of reassurance to our souls. Wristbanded festivalgoers score a free ride at Luna Park, so a decision is made to cash this in. After managing to squeeze onto the last hoon around The Scenic Railway, a bruised elbow is secured by way of souvenir. Bryget Chrisfield

DEXTER

Foxtel Festival Hub 25 Oct Dexter used to be a scrappy DMC-reigning scratch master, dazzling 20-something hip hop fans and indie rock tourists

RELEASE THE BATS, FUCK BUTTONS @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

points out to his companion: “What’s that, 20 bucks? And it’s The Breeders, man!” They plonk the booze on a baluster and bolt up the stairs. Unexpectedly, the band play a cover before their advertised Last Splash album is delivered in full, tracklisted order. The megawattage of Kim Deal’s smile beams right up to the pink (upper circle) section. “Did you guys just get back from Sleep? Yah! They were heavy,” she shares, referring to the trio that closed The Prince stage this evening. The whole floor section is standing and rocking out, so it’s frustrating to be in the silver section where dancing is deemed a safety hazard. Lots of jobsworths keep everything ‘as per regulation’, to a ridiculous degree, which is comical later on when Deal delivers the sentiment that closes side one of the album: “I just wanna get along.” Jim Macpherson’s powerful drumming drowns out Josephine Wiggs’ tambourine and Kelley Deal’s self-confessed shyness is

with his proto-mash approach to vinyl: System Of A Down, Aphex Twin, The Beatles and Public Enemy were churned and blended in epic, rabble-rousing style with sing-along choruses and songs you know went side-by-side with obscure funk, retro-pop gems and underground hip hop. When 30-somethings were 20-somethings, a Dexter set was a cross-genre journey of slick-fingered wizardry and showmanship; a moshing goddamned spectacle of a thing. Times have changed. The Foxtel Festival Hub, affectionately known as ‘The Box’, is filled yet again with ageing hipsters, a crowd clad almost uniformly in black, closer to parenthood than adolescent abandon. These are old fans of The Avalanches, Dexter fans from way back when he was a four-time Australian DJ champion. We’re still an hour shy of midnight on a Friday,

but that’s several hours past post-work drinks and the vibe is ‘well-lubricated’, with much of the audience carrying over from the electrifying Fuck Buttons gig earlier in the night. Dexter hits the stage with his customary sartorial flair – Clark Kent specs and wicked ‘fro wound up in a bushy top knot – and kinda slumps into his set. Early on, the beat mixing seems a little off and the tunes run into each other indiscriminately – decent but unremarkable booty-shakers. The gifted turntablist is onstage, framed by a rainbow splash of lights, and the crowd faces him expectantly, but he doesn’t deliver much a show. The tunes come thick and fast – reggae, soul and hip hop – but it’s more of a club set that a scratch session and there isn’t a whole lot to see.

RELEASE THE BATS, THE BREEDERS @ PALAIS THEATRE. PIC: CHRISSIE FRANCIS

So we dance. Liquored up, we shuffle and wind to house and dancehall, gradually working up a sweat as Dexter works in a bit of colour. He slays us with some ‘70s disco, moves into ‘80s beats and at one point gets super obscure (even for Dexter) with a horn-wailing kind of Israeli dubstep concoction. We hear snippets of George Kranz with Din Daa Daa and Wu-Tang Clan with CREAM, Dre and Snoop with The Next Episode and The Jackson Five with I Want You Back. And it’s all good, all danceable, just nothing to write home about. Other than the odd ‘60s torch song, his genre hopping seems a little less adventurous than it used to be. The punk kid behind the decks is now a journeyman DJ. There is no rock, no pop, no swaggering cuts of classical music in the set and ultimately that is kind of a pity. Simone Ubaldi THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 59


arts reviews

LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER Film

In cinemas 31 Oct Inspired by an article written about Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House through eight presidential administrations, Lee Daniels’ The Butler charts the civil rights movement in America across 50 years, as seen through the experiences of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). In a film like this, which deals with such sensitive, charged and important issues, there is a lot of room to fall flat. However, by watching the political and historical events unfold through Gaines’ eyes, and balancing this equally with familial and personal storylines (loosely based on Allen’s life), the film succeeds in conveying the weight of the situation with very little heavyhandedness – no mean feat.

ROAM Theatre

Red Stitch to 9 Nov The internet is a mine for information with seemingly limitless powers of communication. But as anybody with a functioning connection will know, it is easy to get caught in the web. In ROAM, Johnny (Tim Potter) falls prey to the dangerous side of the internet while escaping his already strained relationship with Julia. He descends into the addictive virtual world of the online game ROAM and forms a strangely sexual cyber-relationship with a 13-year-old Estonian girl. He is progressively consumed by the interface to the demise of his real life and relationship, with an impressive projection display literally illustrating this throughout the performance. Award-winning playwright Adam Cass has us at once laughing and on the edge of our seats with this fast-paced and highly

ROAM

Dance

Comedy Theatre (finished) Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre’s rendition of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring/Petrushka is a visually appealing and engaging work. Both The Rite of Spring and Petrushka explore the idea of sacrifice and each have strong undertones of sexuality, fear and aggression. The large dance ensemble executes their movements with precision and actor Bernadette Iglich offers a compelling and entertaining touch to the performance. She is demanding, at times grotesque and riveting to watch. Of the two pieces The Rite of Spring is more visually interesting and entertaining. The stage design and costumes are beautiful and the choreography is sharp. Petrushka sadly lacks the vibrancy of The Rite of Spring. While

THE RITE OF SPRING

While Gaines slowly and gently gains the presidents’ trust and respect, his eldest son Louis becomes a political activist, joining the Freedom Riders. The scenes contrasting Gaines serving the elite of the white and his son protesting for black rights work in tandem; the first one hits the hardest, playing out like a waltz, with movements and dialogue overlapping and interlocking so that they apply to both contexts, yet take on different meanings.

believable play. The gaming lingo, creepy chat room situations and floundering relationship dynamics are all spot on.

Ultimately, it is the Gaines family’s hopes and struggles, rooted in matters of racial discrimination, which drive Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Stephanie Liew 60 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

THE RITE OF SPRING/ PETRUSHKA

Tim Potter is perfectly cast as the hopeless yet still somewhat affable Johnny, as are Ella Caldwell as the highly strung Julia and Ngaire Dawn as the Lolita-like Estonian. They flit across the dramatic spectrum, covering romance, drama, comedy and even physical fight scenes during the 90-minute play.

bright, the lack of change removes the excitement of finding out what is going to happen next. Furthermore, Iglich’s placing on a platform high above the stage removes her from the performance. While she has some amusing moments (eating a hard-boiled egg for one) her reduced involvement in the work definitely detracts from the flow of the piece.

ALL THAT IS WRONG Theatre

Arts Centre, Fairfax Studio (finished) All That Is Wrong is a simple conceit: 18-year-old Anna Jakoba Ryckewaert (writer and principal performer) with Zach Hatch lay out six chalk boards on the floor of the stage. Ryckewaert begins by writing ‘I’ and from there, writes all that is wrong with the world. Firstly, she lists the difficulties she is personally faced with – oversleeping, parental divorce, being an introvert. From there the map begins to grow outward. She lists the general metaphysical struggles of being alive – sex, fear, love, power – while also listing the specific maladies of the modern world – sweatshops, capitalism, corporate greed, religious conflict. Hatch assists by filming the boards which are then projected onto the back wall or filling in gaps that Ryckewaert may have left out of her mind map. The effect is captivating. Ryckewaert barely

ALL THAT IS WRONG

speaks but her honest excavation of the commingling despair and energy of adolescence strikes a chord. We see the world she is due to inherit and witness her struggle to come to terms with the question we all deal with: how does one live a good life in a world that appears so manifestly corrupt?

It’s not everyday we’re able to enjoy gripping theatre alongside montages of internet porn and masturbating Chat Rouletters, but when in ROAM…

Nevertheless, The Rite of Spring/ Petrushka is a contemporary and entertaining retelling of Stravinsky’s original work. The story is clear and the visuals created by the entire ensemble are stunning.

All That Is Wrong is the second show (the other being Teenage Riot) presented at the Melbourne Festival by Belgian performance group Ontroerend Goed, made with and performed by teenagers. Both works are extremely effective in giving a voice to a group whose voice is often undervalued, or valued only to be commercially exploited.

Grace Robertson

Ben Meyer

Oliver Coleman


games psychological experiments on the last five surviving humans on Planet Earth. Eat your heart out, GLADOS.

★★★ ½

I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM The Dreamers Guild (via Steam) PC/Mac I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream is the rerelease of the 1995 game from the now almost defunct click-and-point adventure genre, built from acerbic science fiction author Harlan Ellison’s short story of the same name. Ellison himself collaborated heavily on the game, and voices the primary antagonist, AM, a psychotic supercomputer amusing itself by conducting obscene

The player chooses the role of one of these five humans, clicking their way through a warped psychological odyssey based on the idiosyncrasies of their character’s past. In essence, I Have No Mouth… is a series of very horrible experiments involving the extreme promontories of the human psyche. Unfortunately, the brilliance of the game’s premise and narrative is hamstrung by the puzzles, which are occasionally illogical or arbitrary. Some scenes involve more patience and luck than logic, as you fall back on scanning the image with your mouse to unveil the next point of plot progression. Furthermore, like too many contemporary titles (Mass Effect, Bioshock), the game has a binary good versus evil morality system, although as the game predates the aforementioned games by 15 years it’s forgivable. Challenging, compelling and nostalgic, I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream remains a must-play title 18 years later. Callum Twigger graphic blocks posing as deadly skunks – shooting everything in sight (historically accuarate). My randomly generated posse looked vaguely Mexican, were identical and named John, John and Susan. Bring it on.

★★

SUPER AMAZING WAGON ADVENTURE Sparsevector PC In the interest of transparency, I chose to review this game because I’d had a rough day and something needed to die. The shitastically named Super Amazing Wagon Adventure looked promising in that it would be neither super, amazing or much of an adventure. As a posse of three American migrants, you set off in a wagon in the Wild West – a Wild West populated by

Oddly I developed a fondness for the idea of the game despite the pain it was causing my eyes. SAWA is actually more of a set of randomly generated minigames embedded into a storybook written with a geeky humour that would make those small clusters of eight-year-olds gathered around a shitty school computer erupt into peels of laughter. Since they are generally persistent little bastards, they would probably play SAWA to death and gather rich memories from the jokes. It’s a hard sell to a fully functioning adult, however, as the gameplay is indeed as shit as it was intended to be. Mission accomplished there. The soundtrack is killer once you make it past the excessively happy first stage, and the presence of boss-like super beasties at least gives the illusion of progress. Kids and retronauts only.

★★★ ½

POKEMON X Nintendo 3DS Pokémon X sends players out into the Kalos region, a sprawling landscape based uniquely off France. Parisian style streets and Versailles gardens give Pokémon X a style never before seen in Pokémon. The new 3D engine makes us of this, zooming out or swooping around to give the player a view of the glorious backdrops. Pokémon X tries a little bit too hard at this in Paris equivalent, Lumiose City. The camera zooms in tight, giving a street level view of the bustling metropolis. These sections are awkward to navigate and the camera flat out refuses to give you an ideal viewpoint; 3D is a real hit and miss affair. Pokémon X is the definitive multiplayer Pokémon experience. The online functionality is amazing, allowing you to link up with anyone in the world to trade, battle or share powerups. A new feature, Wonder Trade, works like a lucky dip. Players cast a Pokémon into the interwebs and receive a random Pokémon from somebody else. Results are mixed; expect a wealth of worthless level three Pidgeys before you get something noteworthy.

A slew of new mechanics changes have been implemented to great effect. Fairy type (kudos to nine year old me predicting it) makes its debut, giving the elemental matchups a real shakedown. Sporting resistance to dark, fighting and immunity to dragon, Fairy looks set to become a real powerhouse. Slight adjustments to abilities and moves are too numerous to discuss in detail; Pokémon X has changed battles for the good. Both casuals and hardcore will be happy to hear that the mathematical nightmare that is EV and IV training has been simplified. That being said, breeding and training the perfect Pokémon is still an undertaking, rewarding players who stick at it. Pokémon X also introduces megaevolutions, a battle mechanic that turns certain Pokémon ‘super-saiyan’ during battle. The cosmetic changes are impressive, as are the staggering stat boosts that will render most of these mega-behemoths banned from competitive play. If anything, mega-evolutions serve to aid in the campaign, giving the player an OP Charizard to tear through every Lass, Youngster and Hiker dumb enough to start a battle. Unfortunately, the campaign is mediocre. The characters are bland and the usually entertaining villains fail to hit the mark. As well as being too easy, the post-game content is deploringly shallow, putting a strict timer on players who don’t want to stick around for the PvP. Pokémon X is both a triumph and a letdown. For the hardcore trainers, it offers everything you’ve ever asked for in a Pokémon game. It’s a shame the campaign is so vanilla casual pokefans be warned. Andrew Sutton

Simon Holland THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 61


muso

CROSSTOWN FUZZ PEDAL The Crosstown Fuzz Pedal is a wonderful little stompbox from the people at Mojo Hand FX that combines both germanium and silicon transistors with an internal bias, allowing you to personalise the pedal’s gain structure. There are four knobs on the top for tone, gain, volume and body, and power comes either from a 9V battery or DC adapter. The first thing I did was to have a play with the internal bias. Turning the trim clockwise resulted in a bolder tone (silicon circuit), while turning anti-clockwise sounded spongier (germanium). The best tone was somewhere near the middle. I loved how responsive the elements were and how perfectly this pedal works as a clean boost and juicy fuzz. Cranking the tone and volume and reducing the gain and body sounded better for a boost, while lowering the tone, and boosting the gain and body was better suited to adding fuzz for solos. Reza Nasseri

NOVATION LAUNCHKEY MINI

Novation’s Launchkey Mini is a compact 25 key, 16 pad, eight rotary knob controller designed to plug into your iPad or computer. The USB bus-powered unit works with Novation’s free Launchpad and Launchkey apps, and with popular DAWs like Ableton Live, FL Studio, Cubase, Logic, Reason and Pro Tools. The Launchkey Mini is not only compact but is strong and durable with a hard plastic moulding on

the back and keys that feel like a real instrument rather than a toy. The pads are velocity sensitive and display three colours: green for play, amber signifying a clip is loaded and red indicating a clip is recording. This compact and powerful device is a basic all-in-one control device for electronic artists on the fly, appealing to the busy lifestyle of the modern musician. Reza Nasseri

SPL TUBE VITALIZER PSYCHOACOUSTIC ENHANCER

STRYMON TIMELINE DELAY UNIT

No one has ever really got to the bottom of psychoacoustics, but whether it be a lack of something from the stereo image, or a nod from a friend that convinces us something sounds better, there’s no doubt that exciting harmonics and enhancing dynamics work wonders for our listening enjoyment. The SPL Tube Vitalizer is a premium package of ECC83 valves, compressors and filters in a 2RU box dedicated to processing stereo signals. The Vitalizer is a little more complex than its

The Strymon Timeline is a studio-quality digital delay unit with 12 different delay types that can be stored in up to 200 preset banks with full MIDI accessibility, a 30-second looper and a powerful SHARC DSP processor. You can choose from Digital, Dual, Pattern, Reverse, Ice, Duck, Swell, Trem, Filter, Lo-fi, dBucket, and dTape types, with on-board controls for Time, Repeats, Mix, Filter, Grit, Mod Speed and Mod Depth. Each individual delay type also features its own unique set of

62 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

predecessor and you’ll need to experiment for a few hours to understand the results you can achieve with its combinations of controls. For mastering or pro recording this box is a great performer. Tubes just sound great – fact. Smooth and effortless with an expansive sound stage, when you switch this on and put it in the signal path, your recordings will take on a new lease of life. Available from Audio Chocolate at $2499. Barry Gilmour

hidden features accessed through the Value knob and an FX loop that only affects delay repeats. Personally, I view the Strymon Timeline as one of those rare pieces of gear that constantly inspires creativity. Even just by tweaking the Digital delay you’re able to emulate a whole series of different effect types, not to mention the amazing new sounds you can conjure up with the Dual, Pattern, Ice, Swell and Trem functions. Reza Nasseri


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Releasing Nationwide

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64 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013


the guide eat

drink

N’FA JONES

gigs

opinion Photo Michelle Grace-Hunder How did you get your start? N’fa Jones is a collective project spearheaded by me. The creativity comes from collaborating with creatives within Australia and also abroad when I travel. Making music is something I’ve done since childhood, and I always feel more connected to a city if I have made music there. So anytime I’m anywhere new, I tend to make music when possible. Sum up your musical sound in four words? Space Rebel Roots Music. If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? The Jimi Hendrix Experience on the off chance that I’d actually get to meet the brother. You’re being sent into space, no iPod, you can bring one album – what would it be? Donald Byrd Black Byrd – SO dope, you couldn’t get tired of it! Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? I got invited to see Gil Scott-Herron in London at the Brixton Academy. I was invited backstage before the show and hung out with the man himself for at least an hour. He was ultra cool, and such a dude. Hangin’ and chatting with Gil was so inspiring. He is such a legend, and has been through so much. He passed away a few months later. I was blessed to have spent the time and taken a pic with a guy who looks more like my dad than my dad. Why should people come and see your band? We give a lot of energy and we always have a good time. The vibe is always positive. We love to improv and freestyle so each show is personal and different to the next. When and where for your next gig? 23 Nov, Revolver Upstairs Website link for more info? nfajones.com

style


eat

PALEO IN COMPARISON Suzanne Truman explains why the Paleo way of eating has nothing to do with dinosaurs or diets. Pics Holly Engelhardt

I

t’s a glorious morning, the midday sun has only just shone and I’ve already skinned a rabbit and bludgeoned a kangaroo. And so reads my journal, The Secret Diary Of A Cave Girl. I’m going to guess that this is the first impression most Paleo converts had on their family and friends – I know I did. “Paleo... that’s the one where you eat dinosaurs, right?” Ah, stegosaurus, the staple savoury dish. Paleo gets its name from the Palaeolithic era for its return to the food groups that our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived on. I can’t speak for the entire community but we tend to forgo the loin cloths and clubs, instead lounging about in work-out gear complaining that the salmon isn’t wild-caught or the beef grass-fed. We’re likely to be found ordering a burger without the bun, and hitting up Aunt Maggie’s for coconut flour amongst the diet-modifying elite. Show me to the ghee I ask an employee (and that’s a wrap on the Paleo poetry, I promise); oh wraps, I haven’t scoffed one of you feta-filled pitas down on a rushed work break in months. But wait, just who have I become? I used to think that people who passed on the cheesecake didn’t understand the meaning of life and that the term ‘lifestyle change’ was for wankers. Now I praise the virtues of my newfound health perks including more energy, a calmer mental state, clearer skin and shedding 15kg. The Paleo way of eating – “Now, I’ll just stop you right there,” I hear anyone who’s ever unfriended a gym junkie say, “It’s a diet, mate, an Ashy Bines bullshit and all diet.” But it isn’t, I sing. It IS a lifestyle change. As I was saying, the Paleo way of eating can seem like the Everest of diet modification. No grain, sugar or dairy – just wholesome seasonal produce and lean meats, with an emphasis on healthy sources of fat like olive oil, avocado and coconut. In a nutshell, the Paleo plate is made up of unprocessed foods. It is a step, nay, giant caveman spear throw away from the hormone and additive-treated food-like products we have come to consume en masse. But these foods, the sceptical will protest, they provide comfort and happiness. Where would Liz Lemon be without her night cheese? Joey Tribbiani without his

66 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

sandwiches? Hipsters without their quinoa? The answer is somewhere between an epic tantrum and life changing health benefits.I researched Paleo for months as a way of procrastinating the change I was about to make – scared of a life without alcohol and cake, and alcoholic cake. Then around three months ago I said ciao to the tiramisu and decided to start. Apart from a few deviations, I haven’t looked back. I say deviations as some choices I have occasionally made haven’t been Paleo, but they have been exactly that – choices, not cheats or failures. Paleo preaches that when you are equipped with the knowledge of how food affects your body, everything you eat is a choice. If I make the choice to have a beer it isn’t the end of the world. I will probably get a funky tummy and then it’ll be Paleo for the next meal. No big deal. No spiral into self-loathing and ‘diet starts Monday’ bullshit. If you plan to eat in a way that nourishes you for the rest of your life, then a cookie is no cause for the devastation or health goal abandonment that accompanies the usual fad-diets. Unlike the Atkins Diet, or Weight Watchers, Paleo isn’t owned by any one person or company. It’s a body of knowledge, with a thriving internet community. As such, the Paleo way is a highly personal and tailored experiment, with widely acknowledged variations. The ‘Whole30’ by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig is a 30-day program that follows a strict and excruciatingly specific plan. Their website and book is an incredible resource for understanding the science behind Paleo eating, from the optimal digestion of food for vitamins and minerals to the effect foods have on hormones in the body. The Paleo way may sound hard, but it has benefits which make it easier. When you get past the cravings and completely omit sugar from your diet, real fruit and vegetables come alive. Their taste intensifies and satisfies. The clarity you get from the regulation of your hormones makes everything easier. Suddenly it’s just food, not reward or guilt. It simplifies eating – no counting or measuring, just responding to your body’s hunger with tasty, real food.

PALEO PLAYERS

Check out Melissa and Dalls Hartwigs ‘Whole 30’ Program. The information, advice and forums are all free unless you want to sign up to daily emails whole9life.com/ category/whole-30/ Mark from marksdailyapple. com has a great beginners guide to Paleo; don’t let the primal label confuse you and remember girls can be Paleo too, it’s not just for male abbdefined athletes. Sarah over at everydaypaleo.com has some excellent recipes. Check out the beyond easy Paleo pulled pork, I felt like an organised mother of five prepping that bad boy in the slow cooker.

SO HUNGRY YOU COULD PUNCH A CAMEL MEAL IDEAS

I always loved a mean taco, now I just make them without the shells. I spice the meat myself (you can find recipes online) and add a heap of Paleoapproved toppings. Bacon. Bacon for dinner. Bacon for Lunch. Don’t let the old ideas from the normal western diet crush your creativity. I regularly enjoy bacon wrapped broccolini for breakfast and then fried eggs come dinner time. Keep some preboiled eggs in the fridge for an instant protein hit.


eat/drink

BAR PROFILE

FOOD IS ART

“AND, OF COURSE, THE FUNNIEST FOOD OF ALL, KUMQUATS” - GEORGE CARLIN

PUNCH LANE Answered by: Martin Pirc

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

Address: 43 Little Bourke St, Melbourne Briefly describe the design/atmosphere of the bar? A classic 120-year-old-plus building that used to be at the heart of the red light district housing wrought iron, reclaimed wood, and 1963 chairs from the Southern Cross Hotel that were sat on by The Beatles. Does the bar have a music component? Our music is driven by Sonos giving us access to millions of tracks.

NY to Philly

So we couldn’t leave NY without heading down to Williamsburg for the much anticipated breakfasting at Pies & Thighs, and I’ll tell ya this place did not disappoint! Lloyd Honeybrook & I ordered up big - we’ve got here the Carolina pulled pork sandwich with pickle & mac, above it the Bob Evans - sausage gravy, egg & cheese on a biscuit (the surprising winner!!!) and a side of burnt ends baked beans. What a feast of Southern magnificence it was! Full as we were we followed it up with a banana cream pie a la mode & a malted cream-filled raised donut. Yes! A charming farewell indeed #ForYourThighs.

What drinks are you serving? Do you have a specialty? Single malt scotches, locally crafted and international beers, French artisan gin, and of course great wines from around the world as well as homegrown local wine from the Valley and the Peninsula. Does the bar offer food? If so what style and what’s your specialty? Charcuterie and cheese are our thing. Meats from Spain, Italy, France as well as something locally crafted make up the

meat selection – perfect with a glass in your hand. Cheese has been our thing since we opened in 1995. Briefly describe the crowd that frequents your bar? Our crowd is local city dweller infused with interstaters and internationals that are looking for quality and a genuine local experience. Who’s cooking and pouring and what makes them special? Daniel Schulbert is cooking; his food is not to be missed like halloumi-peppered raisins or a prawn bon bon. James Dossan is all things beverage; his sharp palate and list of drinks are road-tested with a great degree of care. Anything out of the ordinary on the horizon? We are hosting a Yeringberg dinner on 29 Oct celebrating this 150-year-old iconic Yarra Valley vineyard, featuring Yeringberg suckling lamb and some old vintages straight from the cellar of the winery. $95 per person: four courses and wines to match. Website: punchlane.com.au THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 67


drink

THE MIGHTY GINGER There was a time when a pound p of ginger g g would h h l sheep h have costt you a whole – th thatt was 14th century England. Now your pocket change can get you a ginger beer that might change your life. Dave Drayton gets to the root of it.

A

t age 11, on a tour of Japan organised by our local rugby club, my childhood friend was struck down by gastroenteritis. A trip to the GP – translator in tow – resulted in perhaps the best prescription I’d ever heard of: drink a lot of Pocari Sweat. Pocari Sweat is like Asia’s far superior version of Gatorade, and to have a sports drink prescribed by a doctor felt like a minor miracle. There’s evidence – loosely medical, largely steeped in wives tales – that plenty of refreshing beverages also harness healing properties: a flat lemonade for a belly ache, a hot toddy for a sore throat... But there’s one ingredient, one colloquially medicinal miracle, that’s been used in drinks for thousands of years in cultures the world over – ginger. It’s not just the dusty bottle of Stones wine your gran keeps in the back of the pantry, or the surely spiked stubby of Bundy ginger beer your drunkle is wielding at 10am at the family barbecue - though both have their place – ginger’s now even at three of the juice stations in your local Westfield food court. The list of ailments ginger is reputedly a remedy for is extensive: cataracts, amenorrhea, heart disease, migraines, stroke, angina, athlete’s foot, colds, bursitis, chronic fatigue, tendinitis, flu, coughs, depression, dizziness, fever, erectile difficulties, infertility, kidney stones, Raynaud’s disease, sciatica and viral infections. You can add to all that the fact that researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre have found that ginger not only kills cancer cells, it also prevents them from building up resistance to cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Inspired by this spicy and delicious panacea, we’ve compiled a helpful little list of the best ginger-driven concoctions and the myriad maladies they’ll assist you in battling. It should go without saying that I am far from a medical professional, and much like having a can of Monster, you should probably run this by your doctor before you start foregoing medical treatment, or replacing chemotherapy with a Canada Dry. 68 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Ginger Beer – Alcoholic Ginger increases saliva and other digestive fluids, it also decreases flatulence, nausea and swelling. So even if you take a tumble on the walk home the analgesic properties of ginger will chip in to reduce the swelling of the chip on your shoulder. A hangover generally comprises dehydration, nausea and an uncomfortable amount of porcelain pollution – a ginger beer the night before may not preemptively alleviate the hangover altogether, but it will put you in much better stead. Ginger Wine Don’t let the fact that you’ve only seen gran having sips of the communion wine on Sundays fool you – ginger wine can be misleadingly serious business. At nearly 14% it’s not surprising how many of your high school friends found a bottle of Stones, then God, then a large pile of regret at the back of the kitchen cupboard... But, enjoyed responsibly, ginger wine – alongside ginger beer, and to a lesser extent, whisky and dry – allows for the rare equilibrium where the thing getting you drunk is also the thing laying the foundations for your hangover recovery. Ginger Beer – Non-Alcoholic Your guts feel rancid, you’re struggling to even hold down dry toast and like my friend in the land of rising sun, you are in need of a liquid solution. The oleoresins (or oil resin) of ginger acts as an emetic, a substance that helps inhibit nausea and vomiting, and the sugary goodness this helps you keep it down will give your bodily-fluid soaked almost-corpse some much needed energy. Ginger Tea Grab yourself a fresh ginger rhizome and shave or grate a tablespoon’s worth off and place in a mug of boiling water for a simple, effective and deliciously spicy hot tea. Popular in Jamaica, the tea is perfect if you’re the kind of enviably clean living soul who steers clear of the sleeping pills the rest of use to make long distance travel bearable.

GINGER COCKTAILS GINGER ICED TEA

A punchy version of your run of the mill alcoholic iced tea, this combines the clean living, spicy goodness of ginger tea with sugar, lemon and the notso-clean goodness of a shot of vodka once it’s cooled.

MOSCOW MULE

Invented in New York and popularised in 1950s LA during the ‘vodka craze’, this not-actuallyRussian, simple (but effective) cocktail mixes ginger beer with vodka and lime, and sometimes with mint as well.

SUMMER SANGRIA

This recipe is up to interpretation, but consider taking Martha Stewart’s advice and switching red wine for white, mixing with fresh ginger, orange liqueur, and summer fruits like mango and pineapple with fresh basil (or mint) and lemon juice.

BOURBON HIGHBALL

Though most often made with soda water, mixing this cocktail with ginger ale, bourbon and a twist of lemon is scientifically proven to be the best way to pretend you’re a film noir detective.

GINGER-CIDER SHANDY

Half ginger beer. Half cider. The perfect mix of sweet and spicy.


fashion

DARK MAGIK Feel the heebie jeebies as All Hallows’ Eve descends upon us. Pumpkins, parties, trick or treat – meh. It’s time to get creative by weaving your own dark spell of intrigue, mystery and magic.

CONCEPT AND STYLING:

Celeste Macleod Celeste.emira@gmail.com

HAIR, MAKEUP AND PHOTOGRAHPY Alexandra Anderson Alexandra Studios www.alexandrastudios.com.au

MODELS:

Kurt Medenbach, Matt Badura, Molly Arnol and Izzy Roberts-Orr

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 69


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

FRONTLASH

LIVE THIS WEEK

WELL READ

Can’t wait to read Actors Anonymous by James Franco. Apparently he gets lots of sex and beds most of his co-stars. With a head like that, who woulda thunk it, ey? ( Jokes.)

HANGING TUFF Are we way tardy to the Late Nite Tuff Guy party? Can not get off his SoundCloud page! The Love2Love rework is audio swoonage with phat beats that’d make seats redundant in the club.

WHAT WE NEED Did you catch the trailer of INXS: Never Tear Us Apart during X-Factor Australia’s grand final on Sunday night? It looks amazing! And Luke Arnold totally nails that Hutchence strut.

INXS NEVER TEAR US APART

BACKLASH ROAD BLOCK

Photography enthusiasts who set up their tripods on busy St Kilda zebra crossings. No sunset shot is worth dying for.

IT’S A NO FROM US What’s with X-Factor Australia’s judges telling contestants (we’re looking at you, Taylor Henderson) that it’s okay to fuck up (twice) in the grand final!?

WORD BURGLARS To people who post famous quotes as their Facebook status without accrediting the author/philosopher: We know you ain’t that clever so just do the right thing.

THIS WEEK’S RELEASES… 65DAYSOFSTATIC Wild Light Bird’s Robe/MGM ARCADE FIRE Reflektor EMI PEAK TWINS Peak Twins Bedroom Suck WHITE DENIM Corsicana Lemonade Downtown/[PIAS] Australia

70 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

ANIMAL HIERACHY

WORM PILE

Sydney punks Nancy Vandal celebrate 20 years of excellence by hitting the road on their Flogging A Dead Phoenix tour to launch their new record. They play at Reverence Hotel 2 Nov with Sheriff (pictured) and Wolfpack also bringing the rock.

The Maggot Fest IV features heaps of great bands in three venues, finishing up at Northcote Social Club on the afternoon of 5 Nov for Maggot Mass, featuring Cuntz (pictured), Terrible Truths, Gentlemen, Brisbane’s Sewers and Shovels.

CREATIVE TRADITION

OFF THE WAGON

Having garnered a reputation for his unique voice and highly evocative lyrics, singer-songwriter Tom Kline (pictured) will launch his debut EP Vintage Loneliness at Evelyn Hotel 3 Nov. Supports come from Whitaker and Eliza Hull.

Wagons (pictured) are bringing their ever-engaging ‘70s-inspired boogie outlaw-rock to Yarraville Club on 4 Nov. Loosening up the crowd beforehand will be Sydney’s punk-jangle seven-piece Little Bastard.

STRINGS SECTIONS

BLUE BLOODED

Classically trained in opera, piano and flute, songstress Lucy Roleff marries lush arrangements with haunting melodies on her new EP. She launches Longbows 30 Oct at Grace Darling Hotel, joined by Prudence ReesLee and Mallee Songs.

Announcing their return with Blue Tone Black Heart, Bonjah (pictured) embark on a national tour, including a show at Ding Dong Lounge 2 Nov supported by Remi, Jack Stirling and DJ Snakehips.

NORTHERN BORDERS

DRUNKS HOST DRUNKS

The Hackkets release their anticipated debut single Mexico/ LA at Reverence Hotel 31 Oct. It drifts somewhere between west coast sounds and south-ofthe-border salsa. Support comes from Rudely Interrupted.

The Drunken Poachers poach tunes, white-wash them with their brand of Irish-bluegrass-country, then declare what never belonged to them, their own. Catch them at The Drunken Poet 3 Nov.

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the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

LIVE THIS WEEK

HOSTILE WORKPLACE

SUSPICIOUS ICE-PICK

Ahead of the official launch for his new album Long Road Home, prolific blues-roots performer and producer Mr Black & Blues (pictured) will join Chris Russell and special guests from Texas, Old Gray Mule for a show at Spotted Mallard 4 Nov.

NMIT’s Bachelor Of Music Industry showcases some exciting music industry juniors’ projects at Rochester Castle Hotel 3 Nov, featuring post-punk outfit The Trotskies, the alt.folk of Discovery Of A Fox (pictured) and eclectic-pop artist Synestatic.

HALLOWEEN FOCUS

EVIL ELVIS Answered by: KC Carlisle

EL VEZ Trick or treat? Why? Treat for me, please! Treat can still mean a bottle of tequila... tricks can be treats too. What’s your favourite scary movie? Alien. Classic scary!

SOMETHING WICKED

BETTER RATIO

Drunken Moon Festival returns to The Espy, featuring Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders, Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk (pictured), La Bastard, Batpiss, Mesa Cosa, Sheriff, Guthrie, Yard Apes and more.

Following breakthrough song Bullshit Aside, Sydneybased outfit Lime Cordiale (pictured) launch their new EP Falling Up The Stairs on 2 Nov at The Toff In Town, showcasing their quirky lyrics, pop hooks and big brass licks.

MORAL DEVIANTS

SECRETLY GEEKS

Bordertown launches at Loop on 31 Oct to the sounds of Yackatoon, Wildebeest and DJ Deviant. The first issue is packed with photography, stories, poetry and illustrations dealing with subjective realities and the morally ambiguous.

Telling Secrets To Strangers, the debut EP from Dorkus Malorkus will be launched at The Toff In Town 31 Oct. Her unapologetic, hard-edged pop is at times eerily close to home. Supports come from friends Phoebe & Schina and Geryon.

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PERSONAL BEST RECORDS

What scares the shit out of you? People living in fear and forcing their beliefs on others is the scariest thing in the world. That and imagining a world without gold jumpsuits, of course! Who’s the scariest person in music at the moment and why? Miley Cyrus scariest by a long shot, for obviously unfortunate reasons. Complete this sentence: You know it’s been a good Halloween if… You wake up alone with someone else’s makeup all over your body. Buenos días! Why should we celebrate Halloween with you at your gig? I’ll be the best Mexican experience you can have in Australia! El Vez and Lucha wrestlers, Mariachis, taco truck... Arriba! When and where for your next gig? 31 Oct and 1 Nov, The LuWow.

Best record you stole from your folks’ collection? Too many to mention but one of the best was Hank Williams and Conway Twitty. Record you put on when you’re really miserable? There are many. I usually go Amy Winehouse. But I’ll even put on blues like Muddy or John Lee! For anger, I usually go hardcore psycho like my bros The Brains or metal like Pantera. Record you put on when you bring someone home? I go Elvis. Women melt when they hear his voice! Winehouse would be good for that too. Most surprising record in your collection? ABBA. Seriously, it was a joke gift but those fuckin’ Swedish bastards could write a catchy song, damn it! Last thing you bought/ downloaded? Last thing was a zombie bobblehead but in music I’d have to say it was The Monster Within by The Brains. When and where for your next gig? 10 Nov, Cherry Bar. Website link for more info? interpunk.com

Website link for more info? elvez.net

THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 71


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

ALBUM FOCUS

THE STILLSONS Answered by: Justin Bernasconi Album title: Never Go Your Way Where did the title of your new album come from? ‘Never Go Your Way’ is a line from our first single, Break And Keel. Without sounding too much of a twat, this line just encapsulates the darkness and light on this album. How long did it take to write/record? Most of the songs had already been written, and tested on the road, before we decided to record them. It took four months to record, and Ben mixed the album himself in two months... and voila! Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? We recorded the majority of the album last year in Applewood Lane, QLD. We returned in Jan to finish off the vocals and guitars. We really loved it... You can hear that on the record. What’s your favourite song on it? I think the duet Everything, written by Cat. It’s satisfying to listen back to, and we love performing it live. Will you do anything differently next time? Cat is currently finishing off her solo album with Craig Pilkington, and I’d like to release my solo guitar album that Jeff Lang produced earlier this year. Busy times ahead! When and where is your launch/next gig? 8 Nov, Northcote Social Club. Website link for more info? thestillsons.com

LIVE THIS WEEK

DRUNKEN MOON FOCUS

BROTHERS GRIM & THE BLUE MURDERS Answered by: James Grim Trick or treat? Why? Little bit of Column A and a little bit more of Column B. With us you know we’re telling the truth because we tell you we’re liars and if you believe that, I guarantee you’re in for a treat!

WILD, WILD WEST In celebration of their first birthday, Spotted Mallard have invited rocking hillbilly three-piece The ReChords (pictured) to headline a show on 2 Nov with special guests from Brisbane, West Texas Crude and Sydney’s ramshackle outfit Little Bastard.

What’s your favourite scary movie? The Exorcist. What scares the shit out of you? Growing up, day jobs, pineapple, One Direction, Nova, official letters, weddings and the phrase “we need to talk”. Who’s the scariest person in music at the moment and why? Matt from King Parrot because when he talks close and tight to the man, you listen! Definitely the most feared frontman in Australia. Complete this sentence: You know it’s been a good Halloween if… You wake up next to a zombie and your Dead Elvis costume’s missing, your head’s pounding as loudly as the police at the door and all you can think is, “How good were King Of The North last night?!”

THROWING SACKS

BOOTS TO BALLS

Representing a departure from all that’s prescribed is Dr Piffle & The Burlap Band (pictured). Their sound is concocted by an explosion of strings, bells, pots and sticks. They play at Retreat Hotel 3 Nov. Small Town Romance will play earlier.

Cup My Balls features Batpiss (pictured), TTTDC, Sun God Replica, Legends Of Motorsport, Mangelwurzel, My Left Boot, Cyberne ( Japan), Dead, Bodies, Spermaids and Them Nights at The Tote 5 Nov.

HELL OF A BEAR

DECORATIVE LIGHTS

Following the release of Helluva, Apes play Yah Yah’s 4 Nov with special guests Them Bruins (pictured), who’ll showcase their ‘70s punk showmanship, delivered with the utmost irreverence and backed by razor-sharp rock’n’roll.

Blending ‘70s psychadelia with upbeat funk and rock, the fourth album from Aurora Jane is a creative evolution. They launch Holding Pattern at Evelyn Hotel on 31 Oct with The Lovely Days (formerly Capcha) and The Imprints.

Why should we celebrate Halloween with you at your gig? We’re less about an American holiday and more about partying with some of the most fun, dynamic bands you’ve seen. When and where for your next gig? Drunken Moon at The Espy on 31 Oct is our last gig before hanging up the gloves. Website link for more info? facebook.com/ drunkenmoonfestival, facebook. com/BrothersGrimBlues

FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU 72 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013


THU 31ST

THURSDAY ACOUSTIC Featuring GUY KABLE From 8.30pm SAT 2ND

JAMES KENYON BAND Two Sets from 5.00pm to 7.00pm SUN 3RD

LITTLE(Sydney) BASTARD Full 7 Piece Band return to The Labour From 5.00pm to 7.00pm TUE 5TH

CUP DAY PARTY BIG SCREEN ROOF-TOP BBQ DRINKS SPECIALS MUSIC FROM 5.00PM

Secret Gig. Mystery Guest Band 197A BRUNSIWCK ST FITZROY 3065 (03) 9417 5955

“Live At The Lomond� THU 31ST 8.30PM

THE STETSON FAMILY (Way up country)

FRI 1ST

PRAYER BABIES

SAT 2ND

SHORT ORDER SCHEFS

9:30PM

(Adult pop !)

9:30PM

(Cookin’ R&B)

SUN 3RD 5:30PM

STRETCH N’ THE TRUTH (Alt-country n’ urban)

SUN 3RD 9:00PM

MARTY KELLY & THE WEEKENDERS (Acoustic roots)

TUE 5TH 8:00PM

IRISH SESSION (Celtic ďŹ ddlin’ & diddlin’)

 ALL GIGS   FREE  ~ EXCELLENT RESTAURANT AND BAR MEALS

+43 #2C

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THE MUSIC â&#x20AC;˘ 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ 73


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

ALBUM FOCUS

LIVE THIS WEEK

SINGLE FOCUS

LOREN KATE Album title: Moving On Where did the title of your new album come from? My mum actually named the album. She had been listening to all the songs so intensely and realised there was the common theme of ‘moving on’ in all the songs, so I went with that. How long did it take to write/record? The album took ten days to record and the songs were written over the two years prior. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? I crowd-funded to record the album and raised $16,000. Without the help from those backers the album wouldn’t have happened. I was feeling inspired by their generosity and really wanted to give something special back. What’s your favourite song on it? Henry, written on my sister’s front porch in Brunswick as I observed an elderly man across the street. Will you do anything differently next time? Surely, but not sure what! Moving On was a dream to record. The musicians and producer, Paul McKercher, were amazing to work with and the studio and gear were brilliant. When and where is your launch/next gig? 8 Nov at The Velvet Room, Thornbury Theatre. Local muso, Broni, is opening the show and I’ll have guests on stage with me including Mel Robinson on cello. Website link for more info? facebook.com/ lorenkatemusic

BROKEN BOATS MARTI BROM Album title: To Janis Martin, Love & Kisses, Marti Brom Where did the title of your new single come from? This is a vinyl 45 special pressing of two songs written by my late friend Janis Martin, a 1950s rockabilly pioneer. Love & Kisses is the title song. How many releases do you have now? Six CDs, and seven 45 records. These are on Goofin Records, Squarebird Records and Ripsaw. How long did it take to write/ record? We recorded a total of eight Janis Martin covers in three days at Cleopatra Studios in Seattle, Washington. We hope to eventually release the other songs. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? I was inspired by my friendship with Janis and my work with Rosie Flores. Rosie and I kicked off a tour at the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame to promote Janis’ final recordings The Blanco Sessions. What’s your favourite song on it? Love & Kisses is great because those are the things I want to send to Janis. The B-side is CrackerJack. Will you do anything differently next time? My next project is a full album of mostly original rock’n’roll and swinging go-go country music rather than covers. When and where is your launch/next gig? 2 Nov, The Flying Saucer Club. Website link for more info? facebook.com/martibrom

74 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Having furiously spent the last few months writing and discovering new sounds, The Ramshackle Army (pictured) launch their new single Anchors Aweigh at The Curtin 4 Nov with The Go Set, I Am The Riot and A Commoners Revolt supporting.

HELL HUNTERS

EXPENSIVE CATERPILLARS

I Oh You takes over The Workers Club 31 Oct for the Halloween House Of Hell 2013 party. Notorious for their ferocious live shows, raucous Hunting Grounds (pictured) will headline with Baptism Of Uzi and Drunk Mums also playing.

Songs From The Debt Generation, the debut album from Sydney’s indie-garage outfit The Spitfires (pictured) features their latest single Suffer Kate, boasting one bizarre music video. They play at Retreat Hotel 2 Nov.

TRICKS AND LEGENDS Heavily influenced by ‘90s punk, local four-piece Littlefoot sound like a cross between Mudhoney and Dead Moon. They launch their new EP Scarecrow at Cherry Bar 1 Nov. The Magic Bones, Poseidon and Overdose will support on the night.

SNEAKY RELEASE The Peeks launch their debut self-titled EP at Revolver Upstairs 1 Nov. This fourtrack release melds infectious melodies with soaring vocals and demonstrates the versatility shown in each of their live sets.

BLUE SHREWS

RED RUM

After five years of dubstep and grime, the Heavy Innit crew wrap up in style at The Mercat 4 Nov. Dubstep’s creme de la creme, J:KENZO plays a twohour set, alongside quality locals Affiks & A13, Kamo, Smurph, 2Fuddha and Baddums.

Myaeon (Brunswick) presents Big Red Nightmare on 2 Nov. From progressive to techno to true psychedelic trance, catch Steven Sakkas, Robert Anthony, Loosefingers, Rachel Orchard, Fractal Spiral and Wavemotion.

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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 75


opinion

OG FLAVAS

ADAMANTIUM WOLF

WAKE THE DEAD

URBAN AND R’N’B NEWS BY CYCLONE

METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT

PUNK AND HARDCORE WITH SARAH PETCHELL

Before Essex homegirl Jessica Cornish became famous as urban pop divette Jessie J, she co-wrote Party In The USA – giving it to Miley Cyrus. “I kinda felt like it was cool, but it was too safe for me at the time,” Cornish told OG in 2011. Now Cyrus is topping charts with her risqué country/urban/ rave Bangerz – and Cornish’s predictable Alive, the follow-up to Who You Are, is floundering. The singles didn’t bode well – the lead-off Wild, here featuring trans-Atlantic rappers Dizzee Rascal and Big Sean, is a B-grade Beyoncé-mode party banger, Aussie hit or no. The latest, StarGate’s Thunder, is more promising, evoking the synth rock of Lady Gaga’s underrated Born This Way. While the Brit possesses a spectacular voice, she’s abandoned an R&B paradigm for a generic pop/rock/EDM mashup. Cornish is even working with the same US-based producers – Dr Luke! – as everyone else. It’s My Party is too Katy Perry. The acoustic reggae Harder We Fall is faux RiRi. And the Sia Furlerpenned ballad Breathe is a poor lass’ Wrecking Ball, complete with wub-wub. Cornish’s duet with Brandy, Conquer The World? It’s utterly forgettable. The best song is ‘80s electro-boogie Daydreamin. Cornish is reportedly prepping fresh material for a 2014 US repackage. Meanwhile, she joins Mary J. Blige on Do You Hear What I Hear? off the latter’s A Mary Christmas. ogflavas@themusic.com.au

JACK THE STRIPPER

There’s a little over a month left before we’re going to have to start brainstorming our top ten albums of the year. The frequency and high calibre of heavy music being released just isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. I’m certain some older or more jaded readers might have just scoffed, but I’m trying to stay relevant here, and dread the day when all of a sudden everything sounded better back when I was spritely and not held down by the trap of adult life. For now I ride the snowballing wave of brutality and frustration – as the world spirals further into destruction and chaos, so does its musical output. Australia is totally complicit in this too, so here’s some choice albums that the state of Victoria has produced in recent times… Jack The Stripper – Raw Nerve I had the privilege of seeing this absolutely hectic band perform a couple months back, and within minutes the vocalist was bleeding profusely from the head... because he had quite literally glassed himself in the face. The sound of Raw Nerve is pretty much on par with such a violent outburst. Their sound could be compared to such Australian noise/metal/ core/grind/whatever greats as The Rivalry, Totally Unicorn and Robotosaurus, but Jack The Stripper possess a certain level of metallic savagery that exceeds all that have come before them in the relatively obscure scene for domestic chaos. Unrelenting in power and technically staggering, this is some world class Armageddon. Circles – Infinitas

JESSIE J 76 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

Released by UK label Basick Records, the debut album from

progressive metal/djent (no point fighting it – it’s a legitimate term by now) group Circles sees them on a roster occupied by such international greats as Misery Signals, The Algorithm, Chimp Spanner and Ion Dissonance. Yeah, they’ve been with the label for a couple of smaller releases prior, but I’m more just using that as a point of reference for the level of quality we’re dealing with here. Periphery and TesseracT eat your hearts out – Circles are doing the sing/scream postMeshuggah thing as good as anyone else with Infinitas, an album that traverses a universe of sounds. The group has recently been showcasing their wares in Europe alongside this little act called The Dillinger Escape Plan – not bad at all for a band that hasn’t toured locally as much as you’d expect. Hats off! Mason – Warhead No point denying it – Australia was pretty lacking in seriously good thrash bands throughout most of the ‘00s, but in recent years the tables have done a 180, and now Melbourne in particular is just overflowing with worldclass thrash metal. Through their own self-admission I learned that Mason began as just another high school band that covered all the usuals – Pantera, Metallica, Slayer… but now their debut album Warhead sees those influences strengthened into a solid collection of originals. The title track even proclaims it: “wearing your heart on your sleeve/Fighting for what you believe!” Save for the modern production, the record is without a new-age gimmick or trend to be heard, and is retro thrash through and through.

So another band has joined the pantheon of artists that make up the Epitaph Records roster. British technical metalcore act, Architects, announced last week they would be the newest signing to the label that would be releasing their sixth record (though in Australia it is being released through UNFD). This got me thinking: what is it about labels like Epitaph that we see bands sign with? Long gone are the days of it being a label of skate punk with the likes of Bad Religion and Pennywise. The label has expanded its oeuvre to sign a whole variety of bands – some awesome, some great and some definitely not so great (I’m looking at you, Falling In Reverse). There was even a period a few years ago when a whole bunch of my favourite bands signed within a matter of a year or two – Converge, Every Time I Die and Thursday all put pen to paper and signed with them. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to interview a lot of the bands on the label and what it all seems to boil down to is that it’s a label run by musicians, with an understanding not only of the business side of things, but also the creative side. Bands on the label have the freedom to do what they want or need to with little interference. And I definitely don’t think that they’ve had a band sue them for unpaid royalties… Unlike some... *cough* Victory *cough*. It’s the kind of label that inspires loyalty – not only from its bands but also, and most importantly, from its fans. wakethedead@themusic.com.au

ARCHITECTS


opinion

TEENAGE HATE

TRAILER TRASH

BUSINESS MUSIC

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

DIVES INTO YOUR SCREENS AND IDIOT BOXES WITH GUY DAVIS

HYPNOTIC ZOUK BPM

ANGIE BERMUDA

Angie Bermuda – best known for her work in Circle Pit, Straight Arrows, Southern Comfort and Ruined Fortune – also proves to be a formidable songwriter when she steps out on her own as Angie. Her debut album Turning recorded by Straight Arrows bandmate Owen Penglis (who also played drums and percussion) brings to mind the sprawling but tough rock of Jennifer Herrema and Royal Truck. Stars And Dust reminds me of just that. Late night highway driving under a desert sky. Not to be confused with the excellent local hardcore band of a few years ago, Flesh World is a new outfit made up of members from San Francisco’s Brilliant Colors, Needless and Limp Wrist. Not a lot is known about them besides the amazing track A Sturdy Swiss Hiker that you can hear up on SoundCloud. London label La Vida Es Un Mus, who is putting out their upcoming 12”, describes them as a mix of The Mob and The Clean. Sounds good to me! Another band with limited information but a big sound is Nervous Trend, a Perth/Melbourne band featuring American and current Melbourne resident Jen Mace on vocals. Their five-song demo, available free on their Bandcamp page, is full of urgent and dark post-punk spiced with harmony and Mace’s punchy voice. Finally, a big weekend of punkand noise-related bands with Maggot Fest IV this Friday and Saturday upstairs and downstairs at The Gasometer Hotel, a free show at Town Hall Hotel on Sunday and then there’s another big free Cup Day show at Northcote Social Club with the return of Cuntz. Ticket and lineup info through the Facebook page. It’ll be big. See you there!

Television is quite horrifying at the moment. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Of course there have been shocks and scares on the small screen since television first flickered to life – you could go back to The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits if you wanted to find some old-school chills (and I recommend you do if that’s your thing) – but cast an eye over what’s broadcasting lately and you’ll find plenty to give you the creeps. What’s more, recent examples of the horror genre have ramped up the nastiness as well. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, although those with sensitive dispositions may find themselves stunned by just how crimson things have become. Take the recent Hannibal, quite possibly my favourite new show of the year so far. There were fears among fans that when the exploits of murderous psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter made their way to TV they’d be a bit tame compared to his big-screen rampage. Not the case. Hannibal pushed the envelope in terms of graphic gore, although its twisted psychology proved just as unsettling – and fascinating – as any of the grotesque crimescene tableaux. But anyone who’s caught, say, The Walking Dead over its past three seasons would probably be used to that. The return of the apocalyptic zombie drama, airing in Australia on pay-TV station FX, indicated its popularity is as strong as ever. In the US, its fourth season premiere far out-rated the muchanticipated finale of Breaking Bad. Zombies are popular the world over, it seems, with the French

putting their own spin on the undead phenomenon with The Returned, now airing on pay-TV station Studio. It’s not quite as gruesome as The Walking Dead but this tale of a small town rattled by the return of residents dead for years has an understated quality that is quietly disturbing. It’s well worth checking out if you feel like killing the lights and getting a little spooked. One of the year’s new success stories is Ten’s Sleepy Hollow, which at first glance certainly seems to have its share of horrific elements. Actually, though, the key to Sleepy Hollow’s success may not be its supernatural elements, although its bonkers mythology is shaping up as an awful lot of fun, but the crackling chemistry between its two leads, Tom Mison as time-travelling crusader Ichabod Crane and Nicole Beharie as modern-day cop Abby Mills. They’re a terrific team, whether they’re trading quips or taking on a bizarre array of baddies. But if pure, undiluted horror is what you’re after, the latest season of American Horror Story – fast-tracked from the US and airing on Ten’s digital channel Eleven – well and truly fits the bill. Titled Coven, it’s a story of witchcraft, voodoo and various other shenanigans with the crazy meter cranked up to 11. The previous two seasons of American Horror Story weren’t exactly subtle, but Coven – once again starring the great Jessica Lange, clearly having an absolute blast – goes above and beyond in the best possible way.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY

UNSOUNDBWOY

Starting his journey in the jungle and techno free parties of Melbourne then adding inspiration from dancehall, reggaeton and kuduro, I caught Unsoundbwoy on the eve of his new single. Music labels you are associated with? I’ve done music and remixes with If The Kids, Generation Bass, Warlord Dubplate, Elefant Traks, Detrimental Audio, Bludclot and now Tokay Tunes. Your studio work recently gave you the opportunity to travel to Angola, what was your highlight? Playing as backing DJ with Mais Potentes and Os Nirvanas then getting invited back to record with the crew running the party at Circuito Fechado. Is there a part of the Angolan music industry that surprised you? How common patronage from the ruling class is, and the lengths some artists will go to to stay independent, even at great personal risk, like, selling anti-government CDs on a street corner. Who are some of the artists you have collaborated with? I’ve been doing a lot with Pupilos do Kuduro from Lisbon and that’s also with Condutor from Buraka Som Sistema and DJ Maboku. From Luanda there’s Tropa Mula, Sacerdote, Dama Linda. I also have some new kuduro coming out with NaZareth and Kush Arora soon. I’m also in a downtempo/trip-hop/dubstep band called Faldum with live strings and a singer based in Hobart. Which single will you release next? I’ve got a digital dancehall record, Illusion, out on my label Tokay Tunes. It’s a collaboration with 3re and Action Fire, with a remix from Riddim Tuffa, available at Northside, Gutterhype and online. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 77


opinion

HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC BY JEFF JENKINS

SWEET DISSOLUTION

Love Migrate singer Eddie Alexander is listening to Adalita’s new album when Howzat! comes calling. “I’m really enjoying it,” he says, “especially the song Trust Is Rust.” Love Migrate have got their own new record to talk about, an impressive EP called Dissolved (out Friday on Flightless). Is the simple, one-word title a reaction to the band’s debut: Plagued Are All My Thoughts, Like White Ants In The Fence? “To some extent, yes.” Alexander smiles. “It was good to keep this release as simple as possible. The mood is a little more optimistic… whereas the album had a particular mood that suited a long title. Keeping things different with each release is a good idea.” Indeed, this is an EP that’s all about mixing things up. “I am ready for change,” Eddie sings, “I am keen to be dissolved of my past.” When pressed about his inspiration, he says, “Coming back from North America and trying to start fresh. My friends

78 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

and I also moved out of our house in Carlton and I guess I went through a bit of shit there that I wanted to forget about.” The band’s debut album, however, is worth remembering. “It may not have been that successful, but being shortlisted for the AMP and getting a lot of recognition in Europe was really flattering. Plagued Are All My Thoughts… was a hit in Italy somehow. We may have dived in a bit too early with a debut record but I’m still proud of it.” Love Migrate launch Dissolved at The Tote, 8 Dec.

LOVE MIGRATE

LOST AND FOUND

The Mavis’s were one of Howzat!’s favourite ’90s bands. Quirky but poptastic. Beki Thomas now lives in LA, while brother Matt has a band called The Blow Waves. But Beki and Matt are doing a special Mavis’s show at Yah Yah’s on Saturday. Also on the bill is Caroline No, the new group for the brilliant Caroline Kennedy (ex-The Plums and Deadstar).

ARIA SUPPLY

Congratulations to Air Supply, this year’s ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees. Long overdue, with eight Top 10 hits in the US. Only two Aussie acts –Bee Gees and Olivia NewtonJohn – have had more.

COURT IN THE ACT

Nice rave in The New York Times

about Courtney Barnett’s CMJ performance: “Songs that match terse yet wildly unpredictable storytelling with rock that works up the scrappy momentum of The Velvet Underground.”

HOT LINE

“And I need to know if I satisfy” – Ron S Peno & The Superstitions, Say It Isn’t So.


T H E

2 0 1 3

POWER 50 EDITION

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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 79


the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au

THE MUSIC PRESENTS El Vez: Oct 31, Nov 1 The LuWow Boy & Bear: Nov 1 Wool Exchange Geelong; 2, 3 Forum Theatre Nancy Vandal: Nov 2 Reverence Hotel Bonjah: Nov 2 Ding Dong Lounge Dan Sultan: Nov 2 Thornbury Theatre; 9 Theatre Royal Castlemaine Violent Soho: Nov 4 Corner Hotel Jordie Lane: Nov 7 Beav’s Bar Geelong; 8 Theatre Royal Castlemaine; 9 Thornbury Theatre; 10 Caravan Music Club Oakleigh The Barons Of Tang, The Crooked Fiddle Band: Nov 8 Corner Hotel

Catherine Traicos & The Starry Night: Dec 6 Spotted Mallard; 8 Pure Pop Records Pond: Dec 19 Corner Hotel Solange: Jan 7 The Prince The Julie Ruin: Jan 15 Corner Hotel Half Moon Run: Jan 18 Karova Lounge Ballarat; 19 Corner Hotel Avicii: Jan 26 Melbourne Showgrounds Parquet Courts: Jan 29 Corner Hotel Frightened Rabbit: Feb 5 Palace Theatre Future Music Festival: Mar 9 Flemington Racecourse Billy Bragg: Mar 13 Palais Theatre

The John Steel Singers: Nov 8 Corner Hotel; 9 Karova Lounge Ballarat

Allen Stone: Apr 12 Corner Hotel

Face The Music Conference: Nov 15, 16 Arts Centre

Jimmie Vaughan: Apr 17 Corner Hotel

Patrick James: Nov 22 Northcote Social Club

KC & The Sunshine Band: Apr 18 Palace Theatre

Philadelphia Grand Jury, Feelings: Nov 28 Corner Hotel

Aaron Neville, Dr John & The Nite Trippers: Apr 21 Hamer Hall

The Jungle Giants: Nov 29 The Prince; 30 Wool Exchange Geelong

WED 30

Cassawarrior + Dd + Ricka: E55, Melbourne Midnight Soul Ensemble + Beat Science + MzRizk: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Coq Roq + Agent 86 + Lady Noir + Joybot + Kiti + Mr Thom: Lucky Coq, Windsor New Guernica Wednesdays + Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne

GIG OF THE WEEK VIOLENT SOHO: NOV 4 CORNER HOTEL

Steve Earle & The Dukes: Apr 24 Forum Theatre

The Dinner Set feat. + Silent Jay: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

THU 31

Billboard Thursdays + Matt Dean + Matty Grant + Phil Ross: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne

Tiger Funk Live + DJ Moonshine: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy

THE OCEAN PARTY: NOV 2 BONEY

Varsity + Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Boogie Monster Halloween Party + MFP + Able8 + Amin Payne + more: Boney, Melbourne Chi Beats + Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne Grad Party Thursdays + DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne Mood + NuBody: Loop, Melbourne Overdrive + The New Pollution + The Citradels + Tan Grams: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Agent 86 + Lewis CanCut: Lucky Coq, Windsor New Guernica Thursdays + James Kane + Negative Magick + Nu Balance: New Guernica, Melbourne Le Disco Tech + Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda

3181 Thursdays with + Hans DC + Hey Sam + DJ Butters + Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Do Drop In + Kiti + Lady Noir: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne All Hallows Eve feat. + Boatfriends + Fucking Teeth + Kira Puru (DJ Set) + Mangelwurzel + Rogue Wavs + more: The Regall Ballroom, Northcote Love Story + Various DJs: The Toff In Town (11.30pm), Melbourne Good Evening with + Principal Blackman: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room / 7pm), Melbourne Midnight Express with + DJ Prequel & Ed Fisher: The Toff In Town (Carriage Room / 11pm), Melbourne The Ritz Thursdays + Cauc-Asian DJs + Joshua Gililand + Ken Walker + Lucille Croft + more: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Radionica + Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

FRI 01

Sugaryama Launch Party + Andee Frost + Chela + Bryce Lawrence + more: Boney, Melbourne Shuffle Friday Nights + Various DJs: Bridie O’Reilly’s Brunswick, Brunswick Chi Fridays + Various DJs: Chi Lounge, Melbourne

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU 80 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

CQ Fridays + Various DJs: CQ, Melbourne Weekender + Various DJs: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Badaboom Fridays + DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne The Fox Fridays + Various DJs: Fox Hotel, Collingwood Fusion Friday + Various DJs: Fusion, Crown, Southbank Faktory + DJ Damion De Silva + Durmy + K Dee + DJ Yaths: Khokolat Bar, Melbourne Meet Your Mates Fridays + Various DJs: Libation, Fitzroy Deep Fried Dub + Editors + Monkey Marc: Loop, Melbourne Get Lit + Various DJs: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Panorama + Matt Rad + Mr George + Phato A Mano: Lucky Coq, Windsor Agoraphobic + Various DJs: Onesixone, Prahran Can’t Say + Various DJs: Platform 1, Melbourne Danse Macabre with + DJ Lilstormer (Brunswick Massive): Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy I Love Old School + Shaggz & Puppet + DJ Tey + Merv Mac: Red Bennies, South Yarra


the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au Revolver Fridays presents + Alex Smoke + Mike Callander + Craig McWhinney + Matt Weir + more: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Power Love (Power Ballad Indulgence) + Various DJs: Rochester Castle Hotel, Fitzroy Crew Love + DJ Tony Sunshine: Sub Lounge, Hawthorn Sweet Nothing Fridays + Marcus Knight + DJ Xander James: Temperance Hotel, South Yarra Poprocks At The Toff with + Dr Phil Smith: The Toff In Town, Melbourne Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

SAT 02

Neo Sacrilege + DJ Nero: Abode, St Kilda Knackers + DJ Rowie: Big Mouth, St Kilda Billboard Saturdays + Frazer Adnam + Scott McMahon + Jamie Vlahos + Mr Magoo + Ziggy: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne Hot Step + Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy DJ Damion De Silva + Jay J + Ken Walker + more: Co. Nightclub, Southbank Midnight Run + Various DJs: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Saturdays + Action Sam + DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne

First Floor Saturdays + Billy Hoyle + Duchesz + MzRizk + Wasabi: First Floor, Fitzroy The Fox Saturdays + Various DJs: Fox Hotel, Collingwood Sound Empire + Tate Strauss + Joe Sofo + DJ Matty + more: Fusion, Crown, Southbank Saturday Nights + DJ Damion De Silva + Jay SIn + K Dee: Khokolat Bar, Melbourne Mixed Drinks Saturdays + Various DJs: Libation, Fitzroy Super Grande + Various DJs: Lounge Bar, Melbourne Textile + Various DJs: Lucky Coq, Windsor

VAUDEVILLE SMASH: NOV 1 NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB New Guernica Saturdays + Various DJs: New Guernica, Melbourne

South Side Hustle + Various DJs: Lucky Coq, Windsor

Saturdays At One Twenty Bar + Various DJs: One Twenty Bar, Fitzroy

Revolver Sundays + Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Why Not? + Various DJs: Pretty Please, St Kilda

Danger + George Hysteric + Rohan Bell Towers: The Carlton Hotel, Melbourne

Club Fiction + Kitty Rock & The Bad Ladies: Red Bennies, South Yarra The Late Show + Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Temperance Saturdays + Marcus Knight + DJ Xander James: Temperance Hotel, South Yarra The House deFrost with + Andee Frost: The Toff In Town (Midnight), Melbourne Strut Saturdays + Andreas + Danny Merx + Henrique + Jason Serini + Mark Pellegrini + MC Junior + more: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak Glitch This + Various DJs: Workshop, Melbourne

SUN 03

Mashtag + Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Circoloco Halloween feat. + Matthias Tanzmann + AME + Francesca Lombardo: Brown Alley, Melbourne Surrender + DJ Sergeant Slick + Adam Trace + DJ Adrian Chessari + more: Fusion, Crown, Southbank Baker Street + Brodie + Silent Auction: Lounge Bar, Melbourne

Open Decks + Various DJs: The Thornbury Local, Thornbury K-Ci + Jojo: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak

MON 04

Ibimbo + Lady Noir + Kiti: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy Freedom Pass + Phil Ross + B-Boogie + Chris Mac + Dozza: Co. Nightclub, Southbank Equestria + Wristy Nights DJs + DJ Young Slush: Loop, Melbourne Cut Eve + Various DJs: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Jungle Run + Various DJs: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Twerkers Club with + DJ Fletch: The Workers Club, Fitzroy GR Superclub + Various DJs: Trak Lounge Bar, Toorak

TUE 05

Curious Tales + Various DJs: Bimbo Deluxe, Fitzroy DJ Jaguar: E55, Melbourne Cosmic Pizza + Various DJs: Lucky Coq, Windsor

DAN SULTAN: NOV 2 THORNBURY THEATRE

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 81


obituary

LOU REED [1942-2013]

A

For Drella album in 1990 – a project dedicated to their then recently dead original mentor Andy Warhol. The original line-up of The Velvet Underground then reunited in 1992, though the volatility between Reed and Cale meant the reunion was short-lived.]

Born in Brooklyn on 2 March, 1942, Reed’s unlikely first recording was as a member of a doo-wop-style group called The Jades. However, the innate cynicism that underpinned much of his musical output began to show itself during his time as an in-house songwriter at Pickwick Records. His first minor hit single The Ostrich included the line “Put your head on the floor and have somebody step on it” – hardly the stuff of pop singles at the time.

Reed’s eponymous debut solo album, recorded in London and released in April 1972, was also ignored. But his second album Transformer, released in November that year, wasn’t ignored, co-produced as it was by that year’s biggest name, David Bowie and his Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson. The single Walk On The Wild Side got to #10 in the UK and #16 in the US Billboard charts, the album reaching #13 in the UK – Lou Reed had finally ‘arrived’ – and almost inevitably, The Velvet Underground posthumously became one of the most influential bands of all time.

merican singer-songwriter Lou Reed passed away on Sunday 27 October at a hospital in Southampton, New York State, aged 71. Having spent much of his life as a hard-drinking, heroin-soaked rock’n’roll iconoclast, Reed finally succumbed to complications from a liver transplant he’d undergone in May.

Pickwick hooked Reed up with Welshman John Cale to form a band called The Primitives. This was meant to “capitalise” on the single’s “potential”. As a viola player, Cale wasn’t an obvious pop choice. The pair got along nonetheless, The Primitives faded out and, inviting college acquaintances, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, they formed art-rock combo The Velvet Underground. Conceptual artist Andy Warhol saw something in them, decided to manage them and they became part of his various multi-media events. Hooking them up with German-singer Nico, Warhol secured the band a deal and she featured on three songs on their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, released in March 1967 to almost universal indifference. The Velvet Underground released second album White Light/ White Heat in January 1968 – minus Nico, again to universal indifference. By now, Reed and Cale’s relationship had become fractious and Cale quit in February the following year. An eponymous third album came out in March 1969 – with a live album recorded though not released until 1974 – followed by a last album, Loaded, in 1970, Reed quitting that August to pursue a solo career. [Reed and Cale collaborated together on the Songs 82 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013

A series of critically acclaimed albums followed: 1973’s Berlin, 1974’s Rock’N’Roll Animal and Sally Can’t Dance, and 1975’s Lou Reed Live. Reed then confounded fans and critics alike with the, for many, unlistenable double album, Metal Machine Music – an hour of over-modulated feedback and guitar effects. In the album’s liner notes Reed claimed to have invented heavy metal. Art music exercise, fraud or a cynical exercise in fulfilling a recording contract he wanted out of, the album remains controversial. Another 16 solo albums followed, with a few collaborations along the way, most curious perhaps the 2011 album Lulu, recorded with Metallica, while an alternative career in film, mostly as himself, kicked off in 1980 with his performance in Paul Simon’s One-Trick Pony. In an interview he gave for Rolling Stone’s 20th anniversary issue in November 1987, Reed asserted his goals as a writer were “to bring the sensitivities of the novel to rock music” or to write “the Great American Novel in a record album”. He certainly achieved the former. Michael Smith



The Music (Melbourne) Issue #12