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themusic 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

#005

“AND THEN THERE’S THE DISTURBING STUFF. STORIES THAT WOULD MAKE DAVID LYNCH’S HAIR TURN JETBLACK AND THEN WHITE AGAIN…”

INSIDE FEATURES The Drones

The Polyphonic Spree Dark Fan Fiction Feminist Pop Culture

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The Cactus Channel

- FAN FICTION WEIRDS OUT MITCH KNOX (P40)

Jason Byrne Kvelertak Parkway Drive Red Hot Rhythmakers

“MY EXPERIENCES IN HIGH SCHOOL WERE BASICALLY JUST TRYING TO GET OUT OF IT.” - LOGAN LERMAN (P36)

Randy Feltface Logan Lerman Active Child Mac DeMarco Twelve Foot Ninja Calexico

REVIEWS Album: The Weeknd

Live: Andrew Strong & The Commitments Film: Salinger Theatre: Columbine Games: Castlevania: Lords Of Shadows Gear: Kemper Profiling Amp

“THE GREATEST THING ABOUT BIG SCARY IS THEIR CRAZY ECLECTICISM AND SEEING THEM MAKE IT ALL COHERE LIVE IS IMPRESSIVE.” - KATE KINGSMILL REVIEWS BIG SCARY (P52)

review “SWEAT-DRIPPING DICKS DANGLING MERE CENTIMETRES FROM THEIR FRIENDS’ HEADS...” - JAMES DANIEL REVIEWS WHELPING BOX (P54)

THE GUIDE

“MONÁE COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT R&B ARTIST IN DECADES; UNFORTUNATELY HER COLOSSAL MUSICAL AMBITION MIGHT JUST BE TOO GREAT FOR MAINSTREAM AUDIENCES TO EVER TRULY UNDERSTAND.”

Cover: Naysayer & Gilsun Local News Gig Guide Drink: Whisky Health: Good Fats Bad Fats Travel: Bolivian Cocaine Bar Fashion: Stylist Sport: Peddle Parties The End: Tony! Tony! Tony!

8 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

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- DAN CONDON REVIEWS JANELLE MONÁE’S THE ELECTRIC LADY (P51)


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CREDITS

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

THIS WEEK THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK • 11 SEPTEMBER - 17 SEPTEMBER 2013

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SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER Kane Hibberd PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Briscoe, Holly Engelhardt, Jay Hynes, Lou Lou Nutt NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Brett Dayman ADVERTISING DEPT Leigh Treweek, Tim Wessling sales@themusic.com.au ART DIRECTOR Matt Davis

Got a green thumb plus an urge to learn about cultivating vegetables and herbs in pots now that we’ve hit T-shirt weather? Then head on down to Docklands Community Garden, Geographe Street, on 15 Sep where you will find residents and volunteers planting up a storm – workshop 10am to 12 noon, planting thereafter. If your polling-booth banger in bread didn’t satisfy, you may wish to test out this sausage sizzle also. For more info or to register as a volunteer, email: docklandsgarden@gmail.com.

Norwegian act Ylvis release The Fox, which is supposedly the next Gangnam Style but is actually more like Crazy Frog. Sample lyrics: “Your fur is red/So beautiful/Like an angel in disguise” – now back away from YouTube immediately. We MEAN it!

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

MELBOURNE

We can finally unveil the details of the 2014 Malthouse Theatre Season (it’s malted goodness). In reframing the past, Simon Stone re-envisages Hollywood’s rom-com classic The Philadelphia Story. Frankenstein will be transformed into a realm of matriarchal hierarchy by The Rabble’s Emma Valente and Kate Davis. Guy Edmonds sustains a one-man show that re-imagines Roald Dahl’s The Witches (pictured). From the writer who brought us The Turning, which had its film adaptation feature in MIFF this year, Tim Winton’s The Riders will become an operatic experience, to be directed by Marion Potts. Calpurnia Descending is another compilation from Sisters Grimm portraying the hardships and downfalls of coveting fame and fortune; the cast includes Paul Capsis and Ash Flanders. Also featured in next year’s much awaited season is Ugly Mugs, Night On Bald Mountain, The Good Person Of Szechuan, The Book Of Loco, Walking Into Bigness and Roslyn Oades’ audio work Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday. Head to malthousetheatre. com.au for more deets on the new season.

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go

All skills with plenty of thrills, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to carry on a hoops legacy that was started way back in 1927, and these incredible athletes are bringing their one-of-a-kind sporting spectacular to Australia for the first time in almost a decade. Gear up for big slams, ridiculous moves and plenty of laughs when the hardcourt heroes roll into town. The world’s most famous basketball team will play capital city and regional shows throughout October, with tickets on sale now.

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The worst election in living memory has concluded – thank fuck. Abbott and the Coalition government have walked away as victors; only time will tell if we all end up the losers.

Do you have a really strange cousin? The kind who eats his own snot, or maybe gets hammered at Christmas and then pins his gaze to your arse? Well, we can guarantee that rapper Mac Lethal’s cousin Bennett is weirder. Bennett sends Lethal text messages about everything from the “crip life” and “hoes” to granola bars, complete with questionable grammar and lewd remarks. Texts From Bennett started as a popular Tumblr but was released this week as a novel – available now from Amazon.

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If you’ve been following the furore around Robin Thicke’s ‘hit single’ Blurred Lines, you’d know some people are not happy about its controversial subject matter. However, you also would’ve uncovered our friends from across the Tasman parodying the explicit video. As part of Auckland University’s Law Revue, three girls sing (and rap) about it in Defined Lines. Their video was then banned from YouTube for being sexually explicit. Which is funny, because the original wasn’t banned, and in this one the young men are at least wearing jocks. It’s since been re-uploaded to the website. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 11


national news news@themusic.com.au POND

BLAST OFF!

The amount of quality sounds coming out of Perth these days is verging on the ridiculous, and right now the very core of the city’s musical success can be attributed to most, if not every, member in ramshackle rockers Pond. After their celebrated release of last year, Beard, Wives, Denim, they’ve wasted no time jamming out another cracker in the way of Hobo Rocket, and are heading out on the road to tour the release. And be warned: the guys have said this will be the only headline dates for this full-length, with their minds already in motion for the next LP, so don’t miss out when Pond play 12 Dec, Metropolis, Fremantle; 14 Dec, The Zoo, Brisbane; 19 Dec, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; and 20 Dec, Metro Theatre, Sydney. All dates are proudly presented by The Music.

JACK OF ALL TRADES

Singer-songwriter, surfer, filmmaker and all around chill guy Jack Johnson will tour his brand new sixth record, From Here To Now To You, with some special shows featuring a full band as well as fellow Oahu locals Paula Fuga and John Cruz. Bliss out with Johnson’s smooth ocean vibe when he performs 7 Dec, Kings Park, Perth; 10 Dec, Opera House Forecourt, Sydney; 14 Dec, QPAC, Brisbane; and 16 Dec, The Plenary, Melbourne. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday at 9am.

SECOND SLICE FOR FALLS AND SOUTHBOUND

The Falls Music & Arts Festival has just dropped a bunch of new acts on us and it makes a pretty special bill even more brilliant. Maintaining the eclectic talents found on the first announcement, this second batch of artists features Emma Louise, Horrorshow, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Johnny Marr, Oliver Tank, The Paper Kites, The Rubens, Thundamentals, Violent Soho and The War On Drugs. All those artists will rotate between Falls’ three dates, happening at Lorne, Victoria, 28 Dec to 1 Jan; Marion Bay, Tasmania, 29 Dec to 1 Jan; and North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay, 31 Dec to 3 Jan, as well as Southbound in WA, which takes place over two days, 3 and 4 Jan.

COMFORTABLY FUN

The Aston Shuffle have been around the world and back putting together the followup to their highly fancied first full-length Seventeen Past Midnight and are finally ready to remind dancefloors across the country why their beats are recognised in all corners of the globe. Make sure the talc is down on the ground as the Canberra duo are going to make you shuffle all night long. They play 13 Sep, Parker Nightclub, Perth; 14 Sep, Toucan Club, Mandurah; 27 Sep, Oh Hello!, Brisbane; 11 Oct, Academy, Canberra; 12 Oct, Spring in The Valley, Perth; 19 Oct, Oh Buck Yeah, Park Hotel, Bathurst; 20 Oct, Marco Polo, Ivy, Sydney; 26 Oct, Fat As Butter, The Foreshore, Newcastle; 15 Nov, Elsewhere, Gold Coast; and 16 Nov, Onefiveone, Wollongong.

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The Redline Music Tour is set to make the temperature gauge soar, bringing three hip hop/R&B names to Australia in what’s set to be one of the biggest urban tours of the year. Platinum selling rapper Fabolous is heading up the bill, the New Yorker having worked with everyone from Rihanna to Jay Z. With him comes former B2K lead singer Omarion, as well as old school player Chingy, whose single Right Thurr found its way into the ARIA top ten back in 2003. Get ready to get sweaty when they take to the stage 26 Sep, Challenge Stadium, Perth; 27 Sep, Big Top, Luna Park, Sydney; 3 Oct, Arena, Brisbane; 4 Oct, AIS Arena, Canberra; and 6 Oct, Forum Theatre, Melbourne.

DEATH TO ALL HEARING There’s going to be ringing in your ears for weeks after the riffing frenzy of old school heroes Melvins and Helmet attacks your senses on Australian soil this summer. Continuing to put bands half their age to shame, the two American hard rock acts are out here for Meredith and will partner up for loads of dates, as well as playing their own headline shows. Stay with us. Both groups front up 8 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; 9 Dec, The Northern, Byron Bay; 11 Dec, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle; 12 Dec, ANU Bar, Canberra; and 15 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Sydney. The Melvins then do two more shows, 6 Dec, Metropolis, Fremantle and 17 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne, while Helmet will do their own thing 18 Dec, also at The Hi-Fi, Melbourne. Maybe they’ll be sick of each other by then? We don’t know.

TICKLING THE IVORIES

One of this generation’s most powerful entertainers and respected voices, Alicia Keys continues to uplift and inspire with her jazzy brand of R&B and soul and she’ll take centre stage this summer when she brings her Set The World On Fire Tour Down Under with special guest John Legend. The two American performers are here 5 Dec, Perth Arena; 7 Dec, Rochford Winery, Yarra Valley; 8 Dec, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne; 11 Dec, Allphones Arena, Sydney; 13 Dec, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; and 14 Dec, Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley.

“NOBODY TEXTS FASTER THAN A PISSED OFF FEMALE” A$AP ROCKY [@ASAPROCKYTRILL] FEELING THE DIGITS FLY.

DIAMONDS IN THEIR EYES

NEW EMPIRE

REBUILDING AN ARMY

Cronulla four-piece New Empire look set for a big 12 months, with the rockers about to deliver In A Breath, their first full-length in a couple of years. Jam-packed with uplifting themes of hope and affirmation, it’s a bold statement from a band that are ready to take things to the next level. They play 17 Oct, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle; 18 Oct, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney; 19 Oct, ANU Bar, Canberra; 24 Oct, Toff In Town, Melbourne; 25 Oct, Brisbane Powerhouse (all ages); and 26 Oct, Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi. Proudly presented by The Music.


national news news@themusic.com.au VOLCANO CHOIR

BILLY BRAGG

SONIC ERUPTION

TALKING ‘BOUT A REVOLUTION

Arriving in the country this week for BIGSOUND, it seems like a suitable time for Billy Bragg to announce a bunch of new headline dates for 2014. One of the greatest living songwriters of our time, he’ll return to Australia full of fire and inspiration, playing dates with Melbourne’s new favourite storyteller Courtney Barnett. Catch them 8 Mar, Perth Concert Hall; 13 Mar, Palais Theatre; 16 Mar, Sydney Opera House; 19 Oct, Canberra Theatre; and 20 Mar, The Tivoli, Brisbane. All shows are proudly presented by The Music.

BONJAH

COLOUR CODED

Back to it with brand new track Blue Tone Black Heart, the sounds of Bonjah are ready to paint your summer rad. The guys have made the call – they’re embracing their true sound. Tap into that when they lap around the country 12 Oct, Point Lonsdale School Hall (all ages); 27 Oct, Pop Culture, Melton (all ages); 2 Nov, Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne; 7 Nov, Beach Road Hotel, Sydney; 28 Dec, Solbar, Maroochydore; 29 Dec, The Northern, Byron Bay; 30 Dec, Surfers Paradise Beer Garden; 3 Jan, Torquay Hotel; 9 Jan, Prince Of Wales, Bunbury; 11 Jan, Mojo’s, Fremantle; and 12 Jan, Indi Bar, Scarborough. All dates are proudly presented by The Music.

After Justin Vernon got a bit lippy on radio last week, the announcement that his new outfit Volcano Choir will be playing their first shows in Australia as part of the Harvest Festival was fast-tracked. Their album Repave has been getting praised heaped upon it around the globe (including an album of the week nod in this very publication), and it’s going to be a captivating experience watching these tracks get fleshed out on stage. Harvest hits Werribee Park, Melbourne, 10 Nov; The Domain, Sydney, 16 Nov; and City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane, 17 Nov.

THE SECOND COMING

They’ve been off the map for a little while now, but finally fans of The Butterfly Effect can brace themselves for the band’s return. The Brissie lads have announced capital city dates for next month, however, they’ve remained tight-lipped with regards to the possibility of new material, and also the burning question – who will replace Clint Boge out front? Only one way to find out. Get effected 10 Oct, The Zoo, Brisbane; 11 Oct, Gershwin Room, Melbourne; 17 Oct, Rosemount, Perth; and 19 Oct, Annandale Hotel, Sydney.

“CAN’T BELIEVE THE KIDS AREN’T MORE INTO TONY ABBOTT’S STEAMPUNK INTERNET PLAN” WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE YOUTH JOHN SAFRAN [@JOHNSAFRAN]?

THE STENCH OF PAIN

Since 1987, Greek extremists Rotting Christ have been running amok, building a devoted underground fanbase right around the globe. Considered one of the leading metal trailblazers of their region, the quartet have returned to the fore with this year’s Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy and will squeeze every drop of blood out of that album and many others from their extensive back catalogue with three east coast shows early next year. Catch them at Crowbar, Brisbane, 16 Jan, before they knock over Heavyfest in Sydney (17 Jan, The Hi-Fi) and Melbourne (18 Jan, The Hi-Fi).

INDIE AWARDS UP FOR GRABS

Nominations for the Carlton Dry Independent Music Awards have just been announced, with electro/indie flavours setting the pace this year. Flume and Jagwar Ma have both garnered five nominations, while Big Scary snagged three, with a whole bunch more including The Drones, Vance Joy and Dick Diver all getting two. The winners get announced at a roof-raising party 9 Oct at Revolt, Melbourne, with the night also featuring performances by Archie Roach, Violent Soho, Saskwatch and Rüfüs, as well as nominees Big Scary and Seth Sentry. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 13


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au CALLING ALL CARS

JAMIE FARKAS

FACE YOUR VICE

HOWLIN’ AT THE MOON

Having been called on to support everyone from AC/DC to Foo Fighters and Green Day, Calling All Cars know a thing or two about owning it on stage, and have emerged from the studio with another hot-as-hell rocker in the way of Werewolves. This is the first taste of an as yet untitled third record. Along with Canberra political faves Super Best Friends and fellow Melburnians The Sinking Teeth, the brothers Ing and Adam Montgomery will bring the Werewolves tour to Ding Dong Lounge on 19 Oct.

PLAYING SIMS

From early formative days earning his stripes spinning hip hop, house and rave on pirate radio, and at parties around Essex and East London through the ‘90s as an ever more in demand DJ, and on into the new millennium as a label boss, producer and internationally recognised techno legend in his own right, Ben Sims has spent all his conscious life exploring all facets of underground dance music. He now comes to Brown Alley on 25 Oct.

BUSTIN’ OUT

On the eve of Kid Mac’s second album release, Head Noise, comes the explosive first single, Bustin’ Down The Door, featuring Sam Perry. The song is available as a free download on kidmacmusic.com. Having premiered the single live on Network 9’s NRL Footy Show, Kid Mac is set to take his show on the road, stopping by Torquay Hotel on 29 Nov and Ding Dong Lounge on 30 Nov.

HAVE WE METZ?

Toronto power trio Metz are making their maiden tour to Australia. Metz play like one brutally heavy instrument with three heads, slashing heavy-gauge strings, bending guitar and bass necks in weird unison, along with what is probably the loudest drumming you’ve ever heard. This is post-hardcore sludge-punk, distilled into pure, but artfully rendered chaos by one of the most brutalising bands in the world today. Metz play Howler on 5 Dec.

“LET’S GO ON TOOOOOUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRR!!!! FUCK YOU TONY ABBOTT WE ARE OUTTA HERE!” THE SMITH STREET BAND [@SMITHSTBAND]’S EXIT STRATEGY. 14 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

From Brooklyn, NY, Vice Music’s GM Jamie Farkas has been announced as a keynote speaker at this year’s Face The Music. In a time of unprecedented access to music, Farkas will focus on what it means to be a truly global artist. Other additions to the notable music personalities who have been added to the lineup are playwright, musician and multimedia artist Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets and queen of soul Renee Geyer ahead of her induction into the Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame. Face The Music will be held at the Arts Centre on 15 and 16 Nov. For details of the exciting program so far, check out facethemusic.org.au. Presented by The Music.

TOAST, FRIES AND KISSING

So Frenchy So Chic In The Park is a day of French music, food and wine on a (hopefully) perfect summer’s day. Musically, the event will feature the heartfelt folk-pop of Lou Doillon (the daughter of Jane Birkin and half-sister of Charlotte Gainsbourg). Joining her is the playful and intelligent pop duo Lilly Wood & The Prick, as well as soulful troubadour Féfe and ten-piece ska and rock band Babylon Circus. The event will be held on 12 Jan at Werribee Mansion.

MARK YOUR DIARIES

Both Laneway Festival and Groovin’ The Moo have announced their 2014 dates. Our leg of Laneway will be held at Footscray Community Arts Centre once again, on 1 Feb. Groovin’ The Moo returns to the Prince Of Wales Showground in Bendigo on 3 May. Laneway celebrates their first foray into the States and GTM expands with a South Australian leg. Stay tuned for the full line-up announcements.

FUNNY BUSINESS

Clowns release their debut album I’m Not Right this October. The title is a surprisingly poignant observation of the band itself; the rampant punk rock within promises to offend, motivate and stimulate. See them blast their brand of hardcore punk rock at Karova Lounge, Ballarat on 11 Oct; The Public Bar on 18 Oct; Yahoo Bar, Shepparton on 25 Oct; and Dive Bar, Geelong on 26 Oct.


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COMING UP TIX AVAILABLE THRU MOSHTIX:

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PORTER ROBINSON AND THE M MACHINE LIVE SUN 20 OCT

CHIC AND NILE RODGERS FRI 13 DEC

THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 15


local news vic.news@themusic.com.au STOLEN VIOLIN

CARAVANA SUN

IN A FIDDLE

Known previously as the voice of much-loved band The Middle East, Jordan Ireland has released his solo debut as Stolen Violin. The album is Temperate Touch, Tropical Tears – a collection of songs that veer from sparse and melodic to raw. Stolen Violin plays a few small solo shows to launch the album, including one at Gertrude’s Brown Couch on 26 Sep.

SUMMER FLING

GET SOME SUN

Cronulla’s gypsy fuelled ska rockers, Caravãna Sun have risen after their European tour to launch the first single Took The World from their forthcoming second album Aya. Took The World is classic Caravãna Sun, with bouncy grooves, hooky hooks, fanfare trumpet and a killer guitar riff thrown in the middle. They celebrate the launch with some shows, including one on 20 Sep at Bar Open.

Summer Flake has just released her debut album You Can Have It All, which The Music was streaming ahead of its release date. Catch Summer Flake stealing hearts as she performs at the Grace Darling Hotel on 18 Oct with guests Old Mate, A New Death and Palm Spring.

“JUST LOOKED OUT OF MY WINDOW, TO SEE A DOG POISED MID BOWEL MOVEMENT, IT WAS REALLY CLOSE, LIKE A SNAPSHOT BEFORE DEATH. I CAN’T UNSEE IT.”

A HARD LIFE

The Hard-Ons are a band whose music can be described as a series of short, exciting bursts of rock’n’roll, with elements of metal, punk, bubblegum pop and powerpop thrown in. Plus, they’ve got two brand new reissues: their LPs Smell My Finger and Dickcheese will be presented as double CD remaster sets. See Hard-Ons presenting songs from these albums live at a free show at The Espy on 5 Oct, along with Batpiss and Clowns.

GIG GAME STRONG

Having sold out two shows at the Corner Hotel, Andrew Strong & The Commitments have announced another at The Espy on 18 Sep. Based on the award-winning 1992 Alan Parker cult classic film, The Commitments is something of a rags-to-riches story that sees the group fall just short of stardom. The eightpiece band will be performing all the hits that were not only made famous from the film but received incredible chart success in Australia.

SHIT-CREEK SINGING

For torture-porn enthusiasts who don’t mind a bit of giggle, Wolf Creek, The Musical is heading to Melbourne after being a cult hit at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Take a comical journey through an alternative version of the original film, starring some of Adelaide’s best current comedians. This classic parody features hit songs such as What A Wonderful Time Not To Die. A lilting gentle theatrical ride, this is not. The show hits the Fringe Hub, Lithuanian Club from 20 Sep to 5 Oct. 16 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

SAM SIMMONS [@SAMSIMMONSS] SAW A SIDE OF NATURE THAT WASN’T PRETTY.

HOP TO IT

Jon Hopkins is returning to the country off the back of his latest LP Immunity – an album that has confirmed him as a respected artist in his own right. Known to most as an expert producer, Ivor Novello-nominated composer of film scores, remixer and long term collaborator of Brian Eno and Coldplay, he’s been able to quietly develop his own identity and sound, which he’s now bringing to the fore. He comes to The Hi-Fi on 12 Dec, and to Meredith Music Festival on 13 Dec.

ACMI IN SEPTEMBER

Rekindle your childlike imagination with Roald Dahl’s BFG. The German black and white comedy Oh Boy is a gem that deals with the happenings of an inner city Berlin law school drop out. From the award-winning director who brought you the documentary To Be And To Have, filmmaker Nicolas Philibert now presents La Maison De La Radio, a film that takes you into the world of Radio France. Also featured this month is Show Me The Magic: The Adventures Of Don McAlpine, which is a documentary about the cinematographer who worked on films such as Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet and Wolverine. Head to acmi.net.au for session times.

KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR

Taking fairytale notions from our childhood and tailoring them to an adult audience, Shining Armour connects elements of reality and fantasy. It’s is a tale including stock characters such as witches, princesses and heroes yet manages to add a mature unique flair to the storyline and transform the characters three-dimensionally. Brought to you by Trailer Park Productions, written by Ephiny Gale and directed by Karra Peppler. Runs from 19 to 28 Sep at The 1812 Theatre.


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17


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music

THINK MUSIC

Words Samson McDougall. Photo Kane Hibberd


The Drones frontman Gareth Liddiard tells Samson McDougall that when he admits to incorporating classical music into his rock’n’roll, “People will go, ‘Wow, that’s fuckin’ weird and you’re fucked in the head. You think that you’re smarter than everyone else’.”

T

he Drones’ songwriter-frontman Gareth Liddiard says that his band don’t stop in Wollongong when touring Australia. It’s no direct slur on the Illawarra town, more a general statement about the lack of popularity of the band outside the main centres in this country. It’s strange, given the band have spent years as perpetual world tourers, frequent All Tomorrow’s Parties contributors (and recent curators) and global festival mainstays, that their spleens don’t bleed much beyond the suburbs in their home country. But it doesn’t bother Liddiard much. “I would say that little towns are just like ten or 15 years behind the cities,” he says. “They’re not as savvy as other people. It’s not like anyone in a country town has ever heard of fuckin’ Die Antwoord or Lightning Bolt, you know what I mean?”

book that was read to you a long way back and now experiencing it with fresh eyes. “We wanted to have our own voice, but it’s really fuckin’ hard to be like Sonic Youth or Suicide or someone who’s just really, really, really fuckin’ original,” continues Liddiard. “So we were happy to sound a bit like this or a bit like that because, y’know, someone like Nick Cave sounds like Johnny Cash – if we sound like Neil Young then Nick Cave sounds like Johnny Cash... I couldn’t do anything else if I tried, really. The way I sound is the way I sound, you know, whether I’m playing

classical methods to blues-rock guitars and drums to deliberately subvert the rock song. “It’s as simple as it’s pretty much a standard blues guitar – if you’re talkin’ about it as an object, into an amp, the way it’s set up – but it’s playing full-tone scales that, y’know, Stravinsky would do, and that’s the bit that makes people think that it’s weird,” Liddiard says. “That’s a conscious decision. If you know what a full-tone scale is, you really have to commit to it because it gets fuckin’ odd. So in that sense, yeah totally, we’re tryin’ to be weird.” And this weirdness still perpetuates weirdness with slow-burning ballads coiling, shrinking and bursting into full-blown brain snaps and Liddiard’s lyrics stumbling drunk with grazed knees to reach their often bitter conclusions. The line-up of Liddiard, Kitschin, Noga and Luscombe has been solid for a couple of albums now, though Liddiard, as chief songwriter, can be held largely responsible for the misshapen blues or rock that spews forth. They enlisted keyboardist Steve Hesketh for I See Seaweed and his presence, more than anything else, subtly injects more oddity to an already off-kilter sound. Hesketh’s brief, according to Liddiard, was: “Pretty much, ‘You know that Rolling Stones piano, and you know that rock’n’roll piano, major/minor chords? Don’t do it’.

“WE WANTED TO HAVE OUR OWN VOICE, BUT IT’S REALLY FUCKIN’ HARD TO BE LIKE SONIC YOUTH OR SUICIDE OR SOMEONE WHO’S JUST REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FUCKIN’ ORIGINAL.”

I See Seaweed, the band’s sixth ‘proper’ album – they’ve amassed a fair collection of live recordings and compilations for those willing to dig – in many ways is, sound-wise, not a lot different to their breakthrough 2005 Australian Music Prize-winning album Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By. Liddiard’s bent guitar lines and always spat, sometimes awkward, vocals have maintained the spine of the band through multiple line-up shuffles and all of their recorded work. Theirs is a sound that takes time to transfuse into the bloodstream. As much as their singles Shark Fin Blues, The Minotaur and How To See Through Fog permeate the clag and find the band in almost radio-playable territory, their secreted and obscure opuses – the title track off The Miller’s Daughter, Locust off Wait Long..., I’m Here Now and Words From The Executioner To Alexander Pearce off Gala Mill, and Nine Eyes and Laika off I See Seaweed, to name a few of many – reject this notion of accessibility and challenge the listener to stay on board. “We wanted something that was ours,” says Liddiard of the inception of The Drones’ sound. And, love or hate it, from the outset they have laid claim to and owned a patch of sonic real estate like no other. As a follower of the band playing I See Seaweed for the first time, the songs felt familiar; but not in a tired and uninventive sense, more like reopening an old 20 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

guitar or singing. [It’s] the same with Fiona [Kitschin – bass], she can’t play songs on the bass, what you hear is what it is, that’s all she can do; and same with Mike [Noga – drums]. Dan [Luscombe – guitar], he’s a bit more flexible – he’s actually like a really good Hawaiian guitarist, he can play the proper traditional Hawaiian shit. But I could never do that, like, I can only do what I do. And that’s good because we can try and do different shit and try and take the whole thing forwards into areas we’ve never explored and we’ll always sound like us because we can’t help it.” Their approach brings

So then I just gave him a bunch of classical stuff and said, ‘Do that!’ If you can’t do that major/ minor stuff then you’ve got no option except to do all this augmented-diminished stuff. “After punk rock, you weren’t allowed to do all that shit. What’s fucked up about punk rock is that it made everything stupid and you had to be thick, sorta small minded... Now, if [I] say I listen to classical music and I put it in my music, my rock’n’roll, people will go, ‘Wow, that’s fuckin’ weird and you’re fucked in the head. You think that you’re smarter than everyone else’. It’s like, ‘fuck you!’ You’re not allowed to be smart, is that the new rule? You’re not allowed to use the brain nature gave you?” The subjects and themes explored on the album are broad. Liddiard revisits a remembered past in Nine Eyes – the song opens with tweaked strings and Hesketh’s distorted keys and via Liddiard’s drawl we amble down streets transformed through time. Laika treads more abstract territory – a lament for a dog shot into orbit and to its doom. On closing track, Why Write A Letter That You’ll Never Send, Liddiard ‘reads’ an email – “more impotent than important” – from a friend, which steadily veers from its path into train wreck. The songs are as disparate and disjointed as the instrumentation that


SUDDEN IMPACT Within their back catalogue, The Drones always make strong statements with their album openers. Their album closers are always epic in some way, but the openers propel you within. Samson McDougall speaks for the affirmative: Shark Fin Blues (Wait Long By The River And The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By – 2005) This has to be the most well-known Drones number of all and remains a live staple. It bears all the trademarks of classic Drones: complex riffing and structure, Liddiard’s laconic drawl, full-blown verse build-ups and beautiful backing vox by Fiona Kitschin. Listen to it now. Jezebel (Gala Mill – 2006)

carries them. If there’s anything to be gleaned it’s probably that the world is fucked, we are all alone yet united by the guilt of knowing we are leaving the planet a less healthy place than we found it – thematically challenging, standard Drones fare. “What you see is what you get, y’know,” says Liddiard of bringing together this bunch of songs for the album. Typically, he says, most Drones songs are pretty well ready to go when the band converge for recording sessions, it’s no democratic process. “It’s not like Laika goes through this process where we decide whether or not it’s gonna go here or there. The song is written and beggars can’t be choosers, it’s not like we have a million songs kickin’ around...” The Drones will now tour to release one of the more energetic songs on the album: A Moat You Can Stand In. It’s as musically discordant as anything Liddiard has recently conjured and is chockers with jabs at the rich, the church and our leaders – it’s a mud-fight that allows each component of the band to get loose. It won’t lead them to Wollongong but

it is suggestive of a band re-energised. “We had a nice big break in between [albums] and we needed it ‘cause we’d been living with each other for a long time and, y’know, I think we overdid it with the touring,” Liddiard says. “I think there’s sort of a fuel tank full of inspiration... We were on empty there for a while so it’s good to refill it.

“Some songs I don’t look forward to playing live but with all these ones I do. They’re full-on, but they’re easier to play than you’d think. Some songs are, like, you’ve gotta put a lot of effort in and you don’t get a lot out of them and, some songs: they just play themselves and they sound amazing... These are the latter.”

WHAT: I See Seaweed (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 13 and 14 Oct, The Hi-Fi; 10 Nov, Harvest Festival, Werribee Park

The aural equivalent of a door slamming on your face, Jezebel is still one of the more confronting Drones songs. “I’m recording, shut up!” yells Liddiard as dogs bark and crickets chirp in the background before the opening chords rip out like a mouthful of stones. A challenging listen and lyrical masterpiece. I See Seaweed (I See Seaweed – 2013) Following up from Havilah’s lyrically awkward Nail It Down, I See Seaweed enters as a serious contender for the pick of the lot. The song smoulders in cryptic nostalgia for the first couple of minutes then erupts into a full band assault. Fuck knows what it all means but it’s some heavy shit. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 21


culture

CREATIVE CONFLICT the upper hand. I knew who she was, but GIRL had mistaken me for someone else. It didn’t seem fair. So I started.

We pulled tentatively at the corners of my horrible fucking review. “It’s not a conscious process,” she explained, “You don’t get up on stage with this idea of how you’re going to come across, you just feel it.” I told her that I didn’t really understand that experience because I’m not an artist. I told her that I rarely consider the person on the other side of my music reviews; that nothing I write is meant to be taken seriously. But the more excuses I offered, the more disingenuous they sounded, and the points I was making were obviously beside the point. The spiralling weakness of my defence was a result of the fact that my apology was, at best, superficial. I never said, “What I wrote was wrong and I shouldn’t have written it.” My review was mean but it was honest.

“I think you mistook me for someone else before. My name is Simone Ubaldi and I write for MAGAZINE.” She looked as though she’d been slapped with a fish.

At the end of our conversation, as we got up to leave, GIRL paused and turned to me, unwilling to waste the moment. “What you wrote was incredibly hurtful to me,” she said. “And I’m not a raging feminist or anything, but it felt like I was being attacked in a very misogynistic way. I really couldn’t believe that a woman would write something like that about

What happens when a music journalist comes face to face with an artist who’s felt their critical wrath? Simone Ubaldi will tell you. (This following story is true. Names have been changed for what should be obvious reasons.)

T

he penny dropped when she called me Bianca. I was idling in a doorway at this house party-cum-record launch, casting around for someone I recognised, when a blonde girl appeared at my elbow. “You look familiar,” I said, because there is no filter between my brain and my mouth. “Bianca! Hi,” she replied, “I haven’t seen you since...“ I missed the tail end of her sentence because the penny was dropping. “You’re GIRL,” I told her. “GIRL,” I thought, “of BAND, about whom I have written terrible, terrible things.” The first time I saw GIRL she was supporting a GUY at the VENUE. It was 2009, a year since BAND’s Album had debuted, winning widespread critical acclaim and the holy grail of triple j airplay. I didn’t have a particularly strong opinion about GIRL’s music. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I had no real sense of GIRL as an artist and had no particular prejudice towards her – until I experienced her live show. In the support set, she took to the stage with a Lana Del Rey-ish sex doll malaise, drooping about the microphone like a post-fellatial junkie. Later, she played keys and made a fairly distracting show of singing along with GUY as he delivered the headline set. In both instances, GIRL was compelling people to look at her by appearing to be utterly lost in the music. It felt performative and inauthentic to me, an affected pose of arty disaffection. The next time I was sent a BAND song, I heard not one artist in a vacuum but an exemplar of a broader problem in rock’n’roll: narcissism and soullessness. I wrote a really mean review. Mean as hell, but not personal. How could it be? I didn’t know her. It was the persona and the aesthetic that was under attack, not the person. Now, I had a terrible sense of guilt. Not because of what I had written. Instead, I felt bad that in this completely neutral, private context I had

“SHE LOOKED AS THOUGH SHE’D BEEN SLAPPED WITH A FISH.” I nervously eyed the glass of champagne in GIRL’s hand. “I wanted to introduce myself and say sorry. And let you throw your drink in my face, if that’s what you want to do.” GIRL declined to take up the offer so I kept talking. I’m not entirely sure what I said, but the general tone was friendly and apologetic, and I managed to convince her at some point to join the conversation.

another woman.” I told her that was not what I intended and that I was sorry she felt that way, which was true. We shook hands and parted ways (not exactly best buds, but nobody got whupped). The question is why I bothered to stage this confrontation with GIRL (which, by combination of my self-effacing and somewhat pathetic diplomacy and her general politeness and self-control, was not actually that confrontational). I’m not sure about that. Like I said, there was a fairness issue. But more importantly, I think, I didn’t want to hide behind my keyboard. I’m not generally required to answer to musicians and I don’t seek out their company, but if fate sticks one of them next to me at a party, it seems pretty undignified to run away. I write what I write, for better or worse. The least I can do is admit it.


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17


music

WILD AND FREE

that energy that everyone brings together, that I can’t. I do like writing songs and I write all of these songs in solitude, and I do that experience of writing and recording songs in that way, but when I go to perform I think I’m best around a lot of folks. I think that’s why I’m more engaging with the audience, because I’m trying to get them up there with me.”

Tim DeLaughter wants everyone to have their moment in the sun. When you’re in The Polyphonic Spree though, that can be a bit harder than usual, especially when it’s quiet, learns Liz Giuffre.

A

fter four full-lengths, as well as notable recent soundtrack singles (an Emmy nomination for theme music for United States Of Tara), killer mini musicals (The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Splendour In The Grass) and live performances that are all-inclusive, The Polyphonic Spree return with Yes, It’s True, a record that’s more contemplative, with some beautiful, unexpectedly quiet moments. Songwriter and ringleader Tim DeLaughter admits it was hard holding his musicians back, with tracks like the finale, Battlefield, delivered with a particularly small sound for such a big group.

big band and we get the audience together, getting people to get down and get back up and before you know it everyone just experiences it together… I drove my mum crazy and my teachers – they wanted to kill me – but I made it through,” he says, laughing.

“In all fairness it’s me wanting to have everyone have their time to shine,” DeLaughter says of the group’s now characteristic epic sound, “and it’s so difficult, you know, to be restraining anybody. Because if they’re on stage they’re in the band and they should be playing the song, so that’s been something we’ve been having to work through for years, to be comfortable not playing. But

During the last few years DeLaughter did try his first solo gig, a support for Jon Anderson from Yes, no less. “I’ve never performed by myself,

It might seem strange, then, that he admits that Yes, It’s True actually started as a solo project, or at least as a plan to write for himself and maybe something un-Spree. “In that period [since last album The Fragile Army] I started writing and realised, ‘Wait, these are solo songs, this is going to be a solo record’, and I didn’t have a record deal at the time, I didn’t have any pressure for anybody telling me to go do this or that, I started writing the songs and I was like ‘I can hear this going on’ and ‘I want to record it like this’, and all of a sudden it started getting further and further away from Polyphonic Spree. I kept writing and rehearsing and just starting to have these late night jams where we’d just invite people over and just be going to 5am and just really exploring, having a lot of fun,” DeLaughter begins. He continues to explain how the few months, then years (as well as other bits and pieces for all concerned) gave more than enough material for a variety of projects. DeLaughter’s swag of songs did include enough for his jolly troupe, so after a little convincing he went to the band’s fans to make it happen. “We made the video for Kickstarter, and then got the money for that and went and made that record. And that’s what I like about this record, it showcases such a variety of songwriting and the variety of this band which has

“IT WAS JUST ME AND AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR... IT WAS LIKE, ‘HOLY SHIT, THIS IS NOT ME’.” that was purposeful for Battlefield to be stripped down like that, also with another track on the album, Golden. These are elements that this band has always had, but it’s always been me saying ‘If you want to play on this part, go ahead’, and then it’s been, sometimes, ‘I wish we could have pulled that back’. So this time it’s like ‘No, you’re just not going to play on that’, and it is what it is.” From the description above it seems that DeLaughter worries about the pressure of such a large endeavour, but he also thrives on it. Responsible for well over a football team’s worth of musicians at any given time, he’s explored other options, but there’s something about the thrill of a group. Speaking with a gorgeous Texan drawl, he recounts when the community of music-making hit him. “I’ve got a memory of me, like probably in kindergarten, I’m just realising this now as we’re talking, I was singing this song and I was getting all these other kids to follow me around and sing the song too. I’ve always had that ‘Come on, let’s go do this together’. And then I have this 24 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

because that idea just petrifies me. But I did it and it was one of the most nerve wrecking experiences I’ve ever had. I got really high anxiety, I was forgetting my chords and my lyrics… it was just me and an acoustic guitar. Once I got there it was like, ‘Holy shit, this is not me’, and I realised how much I really do enjoy having a lot of people around me. That’s what I love about Polyphonic Spree –

never really been done before. We’ve got our ‘sound’, that we created and people know as Polyphonic Spree, but there’s a wide variety of sonics here that [are] not normally displayed. You make a body of work because you need to go and make a record – usually sounds that way globally – but for this one it goes all over the place, up and down sonically, but it works under this record. Which is really hard to do without it sounding really Frankenstein-y, you know? But I think that’s the real beauty of this record is that it has so much variety but it’s cut from the same cloth and I think that’s super lucky, because it could have been the opposite.” WHAT: Yes, It’s True (Create/Control) WHEN & WHERE: 20, 21 and 22 Oct, Melbourne Festival, Foxtel Festival Hub


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 17


culture

A FOOL’S GOLDMINE SAILOR MOON

When the now-cast Fifty Shades Of Grey film eventually wraps, hits screens, and inevitably and depressingly makes Universal Pictures literal houses of money, it seems likely we’ll see more and more movies with their roots in the weird and wonderful world of fan fiction. But that’s not necessarily a great thing, as Mitch Knox explains.

D

id you know that Fifty Shades Of Grey, EL James’ cringeworthy BDSM wish-fulfilment shitfest, began life as a piece of Twilight fan fiction? Not satisfied with the spectacularly terrible story of a century-old undead guy and his insatiable lust for teen flesh as written by Mormon housewife Stephenie Meyer, James decided Bella and Edward’s relationship could be improved upon, and wrote far more than anybody should about an effeminate vampire and beige personified getting freaky with each other. And then she decided other people needed to read it, too. She called it Master Of The Universe, though it contained disappointingly little of He-Man, and published it online. The final version of Fifty Shades is revised – impossibly handsome billionaire Christian Grey and naïve grad student Anastasia Steele replace Meyer’s totally copyrighted characters, for starters – but it wears its fan fic roots on its sleeve, which perhaps it can’t help, on account of the remedial prose and dearth of synonyms down there. It’s like the book’s editor got through a chapter

26 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

and just went, ‘Screw it’, decided that grammar and a varied vocabulary are for pussies, downed a shot or six and waited for the cash to roll in. And roll in it did. Make no mistake, you made this possible. Well, not you, but people – the buying public. You snapped it up faster than the Harry Potter series, vociferously purchasing 70 million copies’ worth of mangled trees to devour the literary equivalent of a 15-yearold narrating a porno, and now it’s being turned into a goddamn movie. Fan fiction (or work that had its genesis in fan fiction) has become a credible source for movie ideas. It’s the beginning of the end. The well, for better or worse, has been sprung. Fan fiction, if you’re unaware, is the collective name for works of fiction written by fans. Fans of TV shows, movies,

anime, manga, books, plays, bands… you name it – it’s been written about by people who love it in ways which only those people with the strongest sense of social justice could reconcile in their own brains. Fan fic is a wildly varied movement, running the gamut from 300word, harmless stories about the time One Direction went to the mall all the way up to 60,000-plus-word epics about the time One Direction went to the mall and then went home and had a five-way. There’s literally something for everyone, including the kind of people you had no idea even existed. People who would write an Emperor’s New Groove/Star Wars mash-up and call it The Empire’s New Groove, or spend 10,000 words detailing John McClane’s (Die Hard) adventures on the Enterprise-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation). And then there’s the disturbing stuff. Stories that would make David Lynch’s hair turn jet-black and then white again… “Bastard!” Piglet pulled out his sword. “No, Piglet. Death is too easy. I want to savor my revenge. I’ll have my revenge! Tigger, bend him over!” “That’s what tiggers do best!” “Afraid of me even now, Pooh? Why don’t you fight me, single combat? Too cowardly to fight a cripple?” “No...” Pooh pulled down his breeches. His magnificent golden penis stood in the air like a golden statue. It made his golden hand look like dull copper. “I prefer to make you suffer!” Hey, do you remember the time Game Of Thrones’ Jaime Lannister met and was raped by Winnie the Pooh? Because Master_Jay, the guy that wrote the


CUPCAKES BY OCARINAPLAYA

BATMAN HEARTS JOKER

“THERE’S LITERALLY SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE KIND OF PEOPLE YOU HAD NO IDEA EVEN EXISTED.”

CUPCAKES BY OCARINAPLAYA

text from which the excerpt above is taken, apparently does. It gets much worse, really quickly. Those are the depths (or heights, depending on your perspective) to which fan fiction sinks (rises), sometimes. Honestly, My Little Pony fans are responsible for some of the most aggressively insane narratives ever written, such as the horrifying Sweet Apple Massacre and the truly gut-wrenching Cupcakes, in which Pinkie Pie dismembers and devours her friend Rainbow Dash, because bronies (Google it) are clearly psychopaths. Pinkie selected a large butcher knife and walked behind the blue pegasus. “Hope you don’t mind, I think I’m gonna wing it now,” Pinkie laughed. That’s not even the worst of it – but it’s just not the sort of thing you subject someone to involuntarily. Consent should absolutely be required. Speaking of, do not look up Agony In Pink. Do you understand? Aside from massive trigger warnings, all you need to know is that it involves the pink Power Ranger, the villainous Lord Zedd and someone called Tortura (“torturer”). Written and uploaded in 1994, it’s become one of fan fic’s most infamous – if not the most – and was considered so offensive by the Australian government that in 2000 its existence was specifically cited as justification to block access to the alt.sex. stories newsgroup on proto-forum Usenet. You can find it now with ease, though. But don’t. Seriously. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a condemnation of fan fiction in general as a form of artistic expression. On the contrary – it’s an incredibly vital and valid outlet for people’s personal, sexual and creative impulses. There are some tremendous, genuinely astounding end results:

for example, the world’s longest piece of literature is a piece of Super Smash Bros Brawl fan fiction. Really. It’s more than three million words – eclipsing even War And Peace, the Bible and Atlas Shrugged put together, and then some – about Nintendo characters who sometimes fight each other. Presumably. But, even so, some fan fiction is terrible. And some of it is messed up. And some of it, as you’ve seen, is completely baffling. Then again, source material being terrible, messed up or baffling has never stopped Hollywood before, and it’s certainly not going to stop it when it comes to mining fan fiction for ideas – especially now that there’s high-profile precedent and they can basically pass it off as crowdsourcing. Jack Sparrow vs Jaws: The Movie: in a cinema near you soon. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 27


music

OLD SOULS Bassist Henry Jenkins informs Guido Farnell that now The Cactus Channel have finished high school they can jam all day and night “fuelled only by Stan The Man’s souvlakis” if they so desire.

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high school band in the truest sense, The Cactus Channel are one astonishingly funky bunch. Still teenagers, the band are barely out of school but can shake it up as well, if not better, than any of the big funk bands that Melbourne has recently spawned. This month they follow up on the success of last year’s debut Haptics with a new long-player called Wooden Boy, which gyrates to the grind of heavy funk, taking in everything from Lalo Schifrin-esque blaxploitation cinematics to jazzy soul influences.

On the differences between their two albums to date, The Cactus Channel’s bass player Henry Jenkins says, “We were still in high school when Haptics came together. It was more of a collection of songs we had amassed over time. The tunes on Wooden Boy were specifically written for the album and we all had a really strong idea of what we wanted to create in terms of sound and atmosphere. It represents the evolution of our sound. Wooden Boy feels darker than our other work. It is definitely a lot better than the first album.” Confident that this album represents a big

comedy

BYRNE NOTICE Madcap Irish comic Jason Byrne is about to celebrate wrapping his BBC1 sitcom shoot with a trip to see his fans Down Under with new stand-up show, Special Eye, He chats to Baz McAlister about what audiences can expect from the sitcom. ason Byrne is well-known by legions of fans in his native Ireland, the UK and here in Australia, but he’s about to become a true household name by scoring the “holy grail”, a BBC1 sitcom which he created and stars in, titled Father Figure, about a stayat-home father of two. When he answers his phone, it’s late night in Ireland; Byrne wrapped filming on the sitcom at London’s Elstree Studios a couple of days before and is relaxing with fellow comedian Eric Lalor.

J

“I hadn’t gigged solo in months – thank fuck they were nice, it was a big weight off me,” he says. “I’d never stopped for that long in seventeen years of gigging, and I was worried I wouldn’t remember how to do it. I’m such a fucking idiot. I could have stopped for five years and it wouldn’t have mattered. I tried out loads of new material; I go to Edinburgh now for four weeks and then I’ll be so match fit when I get to Australia [with Special Eye]!” Byrne is known for his wild nights of audience participation, crazy improvisation and offthe-cuff shenanigans – anything can happen

28 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

step forward for the band, Jenkins continues: “Wooden Boy came together quickly because we were all just out of school and could spend all our days and nights jamming, fuelled only by Stan The Man’s souvlakis for sustenance [laughs]. The record is supposed to feel pretty alive and spontaneous. Most songs were done in just a few takes. Although one song took 18 goes to get it right. Sometimes things become evident in the studio that are not so obvious in a rehearsal room.” The Cactus Channel is still not quite a full-time enterprise for its members, however. “Right now a bunch of us are studying music and other things at university but we do put whatever time we have into making music,” Jenkins explains. “The logistics of getting ten people in a room to make music is a pain, but it’s the love of the music that keeps it together, apart from the fact that we are all good friends. I just love the sound that ten people can make and the energy it produces.” Jenkins cites the importance of old-school funk and soul influences on their music, but admits it was a fellow local soul outfit that showed them the way. “I was so excited to hear The Bamboos for the first time,” he enthuses. “It was hard to imagine that this amazingly funky band was from Melbourne. All of us went to an all-ages gig of theirs in the Fitzroy Gardens. It was such an awesome gig, but I came away knowing that if a bunch of white dudes from Melbourne could be funky then even we could do it.” WHAT: Wooden Boy (Hope Street Recordings) WHEN & WHERE: 18 Oct, The Loft, Warrnambool

at his gigs. Many comedians joke to the audience about mass hiding while an audience member goes to the toilet, but Byrne’s actually done it, squeezing hundreds of people behind the stage curtain to jump out on one poor weak-bladdered woman. So how did he handle the tightly-scripted world of TV? “It was weird, going from comedian to actor. The discipline of it all – having to deliver your words so the next actor wouldn’t fuck up. But it was great craic – I’d fucking do it forever! People just kept handing me lattes and drinks and asking if I was all right, and if I went to pick something up they’d be like, ‘Doooon’t pick that up! Jeeeesus! You’re irreplaaaaceable!’ If I was treated like that, imagine how Tom Cruise is fucking treated.” Byrne also says he couldn’t get over the fact that as the show’s writer, he was given an army of production minions who had to realise whatever came out of his brain. “It was weird when you arrive on a set and they’ve built everything you’ve written! I was like, ‘holy shit’. I wrote a scene where I had to fall off a roof and they built the whole top of a house! And the actual studio we shot in was where the Millennium Falcon was [for Star Wars in 1977]. Loads of Star Wars was shot in Elstree, it was hallowed ground. But then Big Brother was on at the bottom of the street, and that wasn’t very hallowed ground. I think if you threw a bomb in there you would get rid of a lot of arseholes, quite frankly – but I didn’t get time to do that.” WHAT: Jason Byrne – Special Eye WHEN & WHERE: 29 Sep, Athenaeum Theatre


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 29


going with (Converge’s) Kurt (Ballou, producer). But I never imagined that it would take off in the way it did. It’s a hobby that turned into a full-time thing and it’s paying my rent now, and I think it’s pretty good. “We’ve never really had that much time to stop and think about it since it started taking off, since we released the first album. I guess we just keep busy all the time, and it just keeps going. I don’t know how necessary it was, but it definitely didn’t hurt that we played as much as we did in between those two albums, ‘cause I just think all the experience that we got from playing live, I just think it made the second album a lot better, compared to if we put out the album and then we barely played. Then it would be a very different record.” Said hectic schedule and critical darling status show few signs of abating. Their stranglehold on the music industry hasn’t been loosened by much-anticipated follow-up, Meir. The second full-length again features the near-peerless Ballou/Baizley dream-team.

music

CONSPIRATIORIAL HEAVY Conspiracy theories, accusations of nepotism and mispronounced monikers are topics par for the course for Kvelertak, one of heavy music’s most talked-about bands. Erlend Hjelvik discusses owl penises with Brendan Crabb.

“T

here’s been a lot of rumours about us,” Erlend Hjelvik, frontman for Norwegians Kvelertak begins. “The most recent one was that we were part of the Illuminati, because of the owls that we use. Like a secret society. I don’t remember the whole thing, but it’s like a big conspiracy thing. “We don’t respond to it; it’s more fun if people think it,” he adds, chuckling. “Then there’s another one that was there in Norway. Because we got played on the radio, there was a guy spreading rumours that one of our parents was friends with the executives at the NRK, the state channel. Just the stupid shit people are coming up with all the time. They have to think of something. “The one that people always keep saying, a lot of people think for some reason that the ‘K’ is silent, so they keep going ‘velertak’. That’s the one we’ve heard in the States. Then there’s been like the rumour going around that our name meant ‘owl penis’, so there were a lot of people believing that for a while,” he laughs again. “I’m not sure if they do anymore.” Whether anyone is still gullible enough to view such falsehoods as reality remains unknown, but given the sextet’s considerable success, they can afford to point and snigger at some of the more ludicrous claims. Not only did their 2010 self-titled debut – a rollicking, abrasively potent blend of hardcore/punk, rock, heavy metal and black metal featuring lyrics in their native tongue – create mass hysteria, it spawned other benefits too; namely, the vocalist being able to pack in his day job to pursue Kvelertak full-time. “When the first album came out, we had a tour that was coming up and I just had to quit my job anyway, because I couldn’t get enough days off. I was already asking for a lot of time off work to go and play shows wherever, but this tour was going for like five weeks, so I would have had to quit anyway. That was at the time where we weren’t making much money and just hardly getting by, 30 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

but now it’s a lot easier. “I worked in a warehouse, a freezer warehouse, where I was driving a truck and just loading frozen fish. That was great – I was really happy about quitting that job.” So, there aren’t any particular gruelling moments on tour where he secretly wishes he could rejoin the rest of us in the daily working grind? “No, I don’t think I have to go back to that anytime soon,” he quickly responds, cracking up again. Hjelvik’s sentiment is likely on the money, because in recent heavy music memory, perhaps only a certain faction of Nameless Ghouls have created a similar stir via just a debut LP. They knew they were on a winner with Kvelertak. “I knew the album was going to be good, that things would fall into place. I knew that (Baroness mainman) John Baizley was making the cover for us and that we were

“It seemed natural and we know him pretty well by now,” the vocalist says of the former. “He really wanted to do it, too, and we didn’t really think about going to anyone else this time. It just felt natural for this album, and the same with using John, just felt like the natural thing to do for an album like this, (because) this is kind of a direct follow-up. “I’m just really glad with the way it turned out, and even just in the studio was a lot more fun this time. We’ve got more experience. It was a lot more relaxed being in the studio, which made it easier this time, compared to the first time when we were pretty nervous, I think.” After being introduced to fans Down Under via their well-received stint at last year’s Soundwave

“I WORKED IN A WAREHOUSE, A FREEZER WAREHOUSE, WHERE I WAS DRIVING A TRUCK AND JUST LOADING FROZEN FISH.” Festival – as well as memorable sideshows alongside Mastodon and Gojira – there’ll be far less anxiety regarding their maiden headlining tour here. Aside from hopefully further sampling his favourite Australian brew (Foster’s), Hjelvik’s audibly enthused about their impending performances. “When we played Soundwave last time we had a great time, and I think especially the sideshows; those were some of the most awesome shows we’ve ever played. So I’m just excited and curious about seeing how it’s going to turn out when we’re headlining shows on our own. The sideshows were really crazy, like the whole place was sold out; people seemed to know the songs and were really into it. So yeah, that was awesome. I think it’s going to be good.”

WHEN & WHERE: 17 Sep, The Corner


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music

THE LONG ROAD

With a decade under their collective belt, Parkway Drive are looking back at a decade of circle pits, sleeping on floors and staging a concert that was ridiculously reported as a ‘trash metal riot’. Vocalist Winston McCall tells Tom Hersey what he can remember of the wild ride.

“I

t’s pretty nuts, hey? It’s literally twice the life expectancy than thought for the band,” the perpetually stoked-sounding Winston McCall enthuses when he sits down with The Music to talk about Parkway Drive’s phenomenal run. “The band has progressed so many times outside of the realm than we thought possible. It’s just like pressing save on a computer and then overriding the work and pressing save again. Literally since the first year of our existence it’s just been surprise after surprise, and us always thinking, ‘This is as good as it’s going to get, boys, remember this one.’ Then that just gets blitzed two months later. So now we’re just rolling with it. “I don’t remember the first [big surprise], but the one that stands out the most is playing Big Day Out and opening one of the side stages. It was like 11 o’clock in the day and I can remember standing on side of stage with Jeff and him saying, ‘This is it, boys. Remember this one because it’s not getting any bigger than this.’ And then we walked out and played the set… Then we played main stage last year and it was nuts.”

That’s basically the idea behind the band’s latest tour – to celebrate all the fun the quintet have had out on the road, and all the fun that hordes of kids have had along with Parkway. “[It’s] a celebration of those ten years. So we’re taking it back to venues that are a fair whack smaller than what we’ve been playing lately and give it a chance to bring back a little nostalgia in that respect. Also, the sets we’re playing are very much based in retrospect in the sense. We’ve practised over 26 songs for the tour,

events – metalcore was at the zenith of its popularity, the band’s second album Horizons had just been released, kids were mega-stoked to see an all-ages show – led to the venue getting destroyed and riot police swarming through the top end of the Valley, hassling anyone with a swoop fringe. The show made the front cover of MX the next day under absurd headline ‘Trash Metal Riot’. In hindsight, McCall can laugh about the crazy situation, but at the time it actually got to be pretty gnarly for the band. “That put us on the hit list for the Queensland Police for many years to come… The time after that show when we went to the Sunshine Coast they brought out like 100 police officers to this all-ages gig. There were dudes on quad bikes and sniffer dogs and drug cars, and we were like, ‘This is insane. It’s an all-ages gig, nothing’s going to happen.’ And the show was fine and then when we were coming back the newspapers were building it up like, ‘Here come the riot band!’ and that there were ‘fears of riots’ in this huge scare thing. So we met with the police and told them that we weren’t promoting any of that, and that it was just a youth event. They kind of said to us, ‘Hey, you guys are kind of cool. We want it to go ahead, too.’ And the show was fine so the next day the police put out a press release saying the band put on an incredible show and there was no problems whatsoever and they just ripped into the newspapers.” As much as this anniversary tour, and the hardcover book, 10 Years Of Parkway Drive, that the five-piece are releasing to coincide with the tour are about looking back on what the band has already achieved, McCall says there’s still plenty ahead of Parkway. “We actually sat down for the first time on the last tour and kind of said to each other, ‘So... we’re still going then? Must be time for a new record.’ We’re

“THE TIME AFTER THAT SHOW WHEN WE WENT TO THE SUNSHINE COAST THEY BROUGHT OUT LIKE 100 POLICE OFFICERS TO THIS ALL-AGES GIG.” Since their inception, Parkway’s career has been a string of seemingly improbable milestones followed by even more milestones, seemingly less probable than the ones that preceded it. Because of this, McCall says that now that the band’s ten, everybody’s been asking him about what stands out as the highlights of such an illustrious career. He says there’s too many to even try to remember them all. If not the highlights, can he remember the lowlights?

and we’re splitting it into two sets. So say you go to the two over-18 shows in Brisbane, then the sets will be completely different. So we’re playing a lot of songs, spanning the entire history of this band. It literally is ten years of Parkway.”

“There’s been very few legit lowlights. It’s been one of those things where, if people didn’t enjoy travelling and doing what they were doing, there would have been a hell of a lot of lowlights… When we put out the DVD and people saw us sleeping on the ground and driving around and doing all those weird things there were people rocking up and saying, ‘Wow, I can’t believe you did all of that.’ But we kind of liked doing it.”

As McCall talks about playing some of those smaller venues back in the day, the conversation quickly turns towards the band’s 2007 shows at the Arena, and how the confluence of

32 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

super psyched to keep doing what we’re doing. The next step for us is going to be putting together some more music and pushing ourselves really hard.” According to McCall, pushing the band is an imperative. After all, moments are betrayed by the passage of time. You’ve got to do all you can when you can still do it. “It’s pretty weird because I think Mindsnare are celebrating their 20th year this year, and we played Mindsnare’s tenth anniversary when we were just starting, and at the time we were like, ‘Holy fuck, Mindsnare have been around for ten years. That’s insane.’ And now we’re doing it and we’re thinking, ‘Hang on… Didn’t we just play Mindsnare’s ten-year anniversary?’” WHEN & WHERE: 20, 21 (under-18) and 22 Sep, Palace Theatre


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music

THEY GOT RHYTHM Red Hot Rhythmakers make music to swing to with a modern twist so that revellers needn’t dance “in the style of one era to the music from another”, band leader Michael McQuaid informs Ching-Pei Khoo.

M

ichael McQuaid reminisces about the formation of his swing band Red Hot Rhythmakers from their early days in his hometown of Canberra to a recent sold-out session at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. “Ours is the sort of music that was played in dance halls in the 1920s and ‘30s in New York and Chicago. It was the Jazz Age, it was for dancing, having a good time partying. It was exciting, energetic.” Gatsby. Squizzy. Nucky Thompson. Melbourne can’t get enough of the glamour and vibrancy

of the roaring, giltedged 1920s and ‘30s. McQuaid agrees that there has been a recent resurgence: “Ten or 20 years ago in Melbourne, swing dancing became a little more popular and younger people were getting into it, but the modern music didn’t fit – they were dancing in the style of one era to the music from another.” McQuaid manages all the compositions, but a lot of what the band write is their take on ‘old music’. “We put our own personality on it, what makes it work for modern music as well as old school.” Arriving in 2006 on the cusp of this thirst,

comedy

McQuaid’s ten-piece band, all in their late-20s, early-30s at the time, found success locally before embarking on a European tour in 2008. “We wanted to reach different audiences who maybe didn’t know jazz as well. When we played to young swing dancers in Germany and Sweden, the audiences were our own age or younger and we had fantastic nights. There was one particularly memorable evening in Stockholm where we were treated like rock stars. They hadn’t heard that sort of music before so they were really excited.” McQuaid is proud that their fanbase spans generations, but consists predominantly of young swing dancers. The band’s music also incorporates Australian jazz, which is a different take on American jazz. “The feel of the former is more laidback; they didn’t take themselves as seriously. When the late Graeme Bell, an iconic figure in the early Australian jazz scene, went to Europe with his band in the 1930s, the audience danced to his music instead of just sitting back and listening to it. Australian jazz had a big impact, the music is rhythmic and fun, and that’s what we try to do as well.” Bell, who passed away just last year, was a mentor figure for Red Hot Rhythmakers. They performed at his last-ever concert in Melbourne as his feature band, where Bell, then over 90 years old, played the piano. Guests at The Gangsters’ Ball this year can look forward to some of the band’s new material from their upcoming third album. McQuaid also promises collaborations with dance troupe Echoes Of Harlem: “They will choreograph live to our music. It’s exciting for people to come to Gangster’s Ball and listen to music they’ve never heard before, and see how exciting old-school jazz can be.” WHAT: The Gangsters’ Ball WHEN & WHERE: 14 Sep, Forum Theatre

FEELIN’ A LITTLE RANDY

Randy Feltface‘s latest show is all about trying to achieve contentment. He tells Simon Eales about his “hunger for experience” and how he wishes his life were like the Adventure Time cartoon series.

H

eath McIvor has had his hand up Randy Feltface’s rear-end for years now. It’s an intimacy that seems to have worked out for both of them. Randy, the sardonic and acerbic purple puppet, has his third solo show, The Last Temptation Of Randy, coming up at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and McIvor will be, inextricably, along for the ride. After an award-winning and hilarious pairing with comedian Sammy J, Randy’s first solo show in 2009, Randy’s Postcards From Purgatory, charted his failed marriage and attempt to run a children’s talent agency as an alcoholic. The follow-up, Randy Is Sober, as Randy says, was about, “being off the piss and doing a bit of self-development.” With this third and (maybe) final installment in the trilogy, Randy is trying to get beyond the muck. “This show is about what happens after that,” he continues. “I’ve only just realised this in the last 24 hours but what it’s about is contentment. It’s about being able to stop and just be happy, [and the fact that] I appear to be doing everything in my power to resist that temptation.” With a thriving career making people laugh and his personal life on the up, it seems remarkable that the turtle-necked, bald-headed wit can’t find peace. “I think

34 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

it’s just a general level of restlessness and hunger for experience,” he explains, contemplatively. “And that sounds sleazy, but it’s not meant to. I’ve been watching Adventure Time on YouTube. It’s just this dog and this kid, and they just have adventures. I want my life to be just like that. Just this constant string of stupid adventures with wide-eyed enthusiasm.” For the driest puppet in the industry, with the bleakest outlook on life, this looks strangely like the attitude of a real go-getter. Not the case, says Randy. “I think maybe it’s just that at the end of this little trip I’ve been on in the last

six years, I’m slightly more positive about the state of the world. But by no means have I figured it out. I’m still a little bit angry, twisted, and dark on the inside.” The Last Temptation is shaping up to be Randy’s biggest, most complete show, with stand-up, theatrics, and music. Randy weaves a story of love and compassion, and tells it to the live musical inflections of “old pirate folk maniac” Jimmy Stewart of The Miserable Little Bastards and Clinkerfield. And there could just be a neat little take-home message too. “There’s a lot in the show about death beginning at birth. But at the core of it, it’s about navigating your way through life without being an absolute jerk.” WHAT: The Last Temptation Of Randy WHEN & WHERE: 20 Sep to 5 Oct, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Fringe Hub, Lithuanian Club


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film

REACHING NEW DEPTHS Despite featuring in numerous films as a teen, Percy Jackson star Logan Lerman still had to attend public high school. He chats to Anthony Carew about hating it, bonding with fellow Perks... actors and working with director Darren Aronofsky.

“M

y father sent me photos of Happy Meals or whatever from Carl’s Jr, with my face on that,” says Logan Lerman, with a smile. “That’s pretty weird. In fact, I try not to think about it; and I never look at that stuff. There’s no way for you to think about that kind of thing and have it not be weird.” Lerman is, these days, pulling double-duty. There’s the ascendant young-Hollywood thesp, who’s set to appear in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic Noah; the one who just finished five months of rehearsal opposite Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf for David Ayer’s WWII war movie Fury. And then there’s the kid with his face plastered on movie-themed fast-food tie-ins, the lead in the ongoing (there’s now two of ’em) Percy Jackson movies. Coming from the profitable post-Potter niche of magically-themed adolescent adventures – profitable for both publishers and motion-pictures – the story involves Ancient Greek myths rewritten as 21st century high-school saga, with Lerman playing the titular character, an angry and possibly-chosen-one kid whose deadbeat dad is Poseidon. Y’know, the god of the sea. Like so many films that end up on franchise merchandise, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters features very few actual locations; but Lerman isn’t one who finds the endless green-screen work disorienting. “To me it’s just fun,” he says. “It’s just a test of your imagination. Before you shoot anything, you see a lot of key art, pre-visual animation, so you get a good idea of what you’re going 36 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

to be working with. And then you just go out and play within the shot, within the frames, give the editor options for the editing room, and you just have a blast.” Lerman made the first film in the franchise – the epically-titled Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – when he was 17, and touring the globe doing the promotional rounds was like a passport unto the world. Yet, by then, he was already a screen veteran. When he was eight, Lerman played Mel Gibson’s son in Roland Emmerich’s flag-wavin’ The Patriot and a younger version of Mel Gibson’s character in Nancy Meyer’s gender-trolling comedy What Women Want. After surviving a double dose of Mel,

playing a younger version of Ashton Kutcher (replete with Ashton Kutcher’s haircut) in the unintentionally-hilarious time-travel barney The Butterfly Effect was a piece of cake. Yet, while he kept turning up in major film productions as an adolescent – in a key role in the 3:10 To Yuma remake, and the car-crash Jim Carrey conspiracy-movie The Number 23 – Lerman still remained a high school kid. Sure, he was at Beverly Hills High School, but his recollections lack glamour. “My experiences in high school were basically just trying to get out of it,” he admits. “And feeling really lucky that I could work, that I had this other outlet that would allow me to miss school. I was at a big public school, the kind of place that’s so huge you just get lost in the masses. Maybe because there were so many people there, it was really, really competitive there, just all the time. Sports, academics, socially: everyone was competitive about everything. As much as I enjoyed my friendships there, I just really hated being there. I just wanted to be making movies.” Logan brought all that high-school angst to bear when he was cast in the lead in Stephen Chbosky’s self-directed adaptation of his novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. Its tale of social outcasts and victims of abuse at school in the ’80s has gathered a cult following behind both book and picture. “It was such a unique film to make, because everyone was so passionate about it: no one was just there like they’d shown up to work,” he says. Lerman cites it as his career highlight, as much due to


PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (2013)

3:10 TO YUMA (2007)

“MY FATHER SENT ME PHOTOS OF HAPPY MEALS OR WHATEVER FROM CARL’S JR, WITH MY FACE ON THAT. THAT’S PRETTY WEIRD.”

his own coming-of-age experiences in making it; his friendship with fellow leads Emma Watson and Ezra Miller mirroring that which was happening on screen. “We were all really isolated from the people that we knew, and we took over a wing of this one hotel; we all had connecting rooms,” Lerman recounts. “We were basically just living together, making trouble, having a blast. It was just like in the film, where [characters] Charlie and Sam and Patrick end up getting really, really close: I ended up getting really, really close with the rest of the cast. So it was really satisfying for me both personally and professionally.” The Perks Of Being A Wallflower “opened a lot of doors” for the now-21-year-old actor. “It allowed me to meet with a number of directors who, before that, probably never would have.” Like Darren Aronofsky? “Exactly,” Lerman affirms. “I have like this kind of mental list of directors who have really inspired me, who I would love to be able to work with, or even just one day meet with. And Darren Aronofsky was very, very high on that list.” Aronofsky brought Lerman aboard for Noah, his large-scale take on the famous biblical fable. Lerman plays the deliciously-named Ham, the son of Russell Crowe’s titular oracle, and he’s full of near-religious reverence when talking of the movie. He calls it his first real grown-up experience of “heavy material and heavyweight actors”, playing a key role in a prestige-picture that scans as a mortal lock for Awards Show season. Not that he can talk too much about it. “It’s still somewhat shrouded in secrecy,” Lerman says

of Noah. “Even though I’m pretty sure you know what the plot is; I don’t think we’re fooling anyone with the story. But I don’t think anyone will be able to anticipate the way it’s been told, which is in a lot of ways really unexpected. I can’t really talk too much about it, yet. But I can tell you: it’s a fucking cool movie, man. It’s Darren Aronofsky. And I think we’ve reached the point where the technology we have, in this day and age, can take this ancient story and make it feel so immersive, make it so visually stunning. I can’t wait for the world to see it.” WHAT: Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters In cinemas 19 Sep THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 37


music

FALLEN ANGEL Active Child’s Pat Grossi gets being “constantly called ‘angelic’”, but anyone witnessing him belting out Welcome To The Jungle by Guns N’ Roses at Sunday night karaoke might beg to differ, he tells Anthony Carew.

W

hen Pat Grossi has to cancel an interview because he’s losing his voice, you can feel the drama. The 30-year-old Los Angeleno grew up a choirboy and still sounds like one; his highwire warble straddling near-castrato range across his one LP (2011’s You Are All I See) and three EPs (2010’s Sun Rooms and Curtis Lane, and his forthcoming new release Rapor) of sumptuous synth pop. Grossi’s voice is his definitive instrument, his calling card and his meal ticket. Losing it seems like serious business. Until you hear how he lost it. “I spent the weekend at my best friend’s bachelor [party] in Denver,” Grossi admits, croakily, and a little sheepishly. “So, naturally, we went and sang karaoke for three hours on Sunday. I’m still recovering. I did a little Hall & Oates, a little Neil Diamond, a little Guns N’ Roses – I think that’s the one that did it. I screamed my way through Welcome To The Jungle and, after I was done, I just couldn’t talk.” While already filed in the realm of amusing nontour anecdote, Grossi’s Axl-ing of his precious vocal cords has given him pause for thought. Active Child tours have, in truth, been closer to his karaoke bender than some Mariah-like procession of endless hotel rooms with humidifiers and hot honey-and-lemon. “To be honest, I’ve always just gone out on tour and had a blast, treated my voice like it’d always be there,” Grossi says. “But I’m getting older now, and that may have to change. Growing up singing in the choir was just this amazing vocal training for me, without even realising it; my voice is really, really strong. My voice can be powerful, but at the same time I think it sounds best when it’s delicate and soft.” It was the qualities of Grossi’s voice that he had in mind when soliciting the popstar collaborateurs for his latest EP. Rapor features guest vocals from two pin-ups known to tweens worldwide: Mikky Ekko (on Subtle) and Ellie Goulding (on Silhouette); the voice of the former offering contrast, the latter sounding eerily similar. Goulding outed herself as an Active Child fan when she covered his jam Hanging On, including the version on her 2012 LP Halcyon. “When I was writing [songs for the EP], it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something with her,” Grossi explains. “She just has such an incredible voice. I was really looking for someone who would complement my own voice. I have a strange voice, in many ways; its qualities are almost more feminine, and, with the falsetto, I’m much closer to feminine range. So it was amazing to sing with her; we sat at the piano and sang together for a solid couple of hours before we were ready to record.” Both of the collaborations were recorded in-studio, Grossi wanting to avoid the filesharing collaborationby-remote. “There’s a certain amount of intimacy that occurs when you’re in the same room, and you’re actually singing together, singing back-and-forth, and throughout the chorus and into the outro,” he says. “It’s something you can only get if you’re in the one room together; you can’t get that same sense of intimacy just swapping files over the internet.” Though Grossi claims he wrote over 30 songs that could’ve been considered for Rapor, he wanted to stick to an EP to allow for more variety – “uptempo, ballad, 38 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

instrumental” – and to get it out in 2013, rather than hanging around waiting to put out an LP next year. “And besides,” he reasons, “I think a lot of times, these days, an album can just be too much for people to sit with. It’s a time in which you can really consider what counts as an official release, and how long you want it to be.” Even if Rapor has the gleam of popstar sheen, it doesn’t waver from the sound Grossi paraded over You Are All I See: with its soft synths and thrums of harp and his sky-straddling voice, it’s straight beautiful, in the rarest of fashion. “A lot of people shy away from things that seem too beautiful; that’re unabashedly sincere and heartfelt,” Grossi says. “I think, a lot of times, people seem to be uncomfortable making music that has those qualities. For me, it’s what seems most instinctual. When I sit down to make music, I want to create this world that’s lush and beautiful, and not be at all timid about it. If you’re gonna go in that direction, you’ve gotta go all the way.” Audiences respond in kind: “‘Heavenly beautiful’ is the most common catchphrase I get,” Grossi says. Which he’s fine with, even if people focusing too much on the heavenly are barking up the wrong tree. “I’m from a secular background,” explains Grossi. “I wasn’t raised religious at all. But I’m definitely drawn to the world of spirituality, to superstition, to beliefs. I studied religion when I was in university because I was curious about my own spirituality, [about] what it was

“I’M DEFINITELY NOT COMING FROM A VERY SPECIFIC RELIGIOUS PERSPECTIVE.” that I actually believed myself... I’m very interested in religion, but I could never attach myself to some specific concrete rules of belief and worship.” Yet, Grossi also knows that his ‘heavenly’ music ‘sets himself up’ for questions about his own faith, either interview or post-show. “It’s amazing how much, at shows, people will come up and talk to me from a very religious perspective, and they’ll just assume that I’m from that perspective,” he says. “Whether people are attached to my music for personal reasons or for their own spiritual reasons, it doesn’t draw me either way. It’s important for me, though, for them to know that I’m definitely not coming from a very specific religious perspective. The music has a lot of allegory to spiritual themes, and there’s my choirboy voice, and I’m playing the harp, so I get it. But to be constantly called ‘angelic’ is pretty funny. Anyone who saw me at karaoke on Sunday can tell you that.” WHAT: Rapor (Spunk Records) WHEN & WHERE: 26 Oct, Melbourne Recital Centre


music

RETURN OF THE MAC

Mac DeMarco’s shaping to get lewd, rude and hopefully a little bit nude when he brings his “jizz jazz” down under this summer. He tells Samson McDougall about letting go of the lipstick.

M

up and then this year has been very strange... I’ve pretty much only been on tour this year.”

“I was from a town called Edmonton, Alberta, kinda like mid-western Canada, people call it, like, the Texas of Canada,” says DeMarco of his beginnings. “I played in a bunch of bands, that’s pretty much where I got my start. I ended up moving to Vancouver when I was, like, 18 and that was where I started playing a lot of shows in town. I did a little bit of touring and then eventually

Somewhere amidst the madness DeMarco conjured 2, which in many ways grounds him as some kind of ‘serious artist’ more than continuing with the live-fast-die-young, frenetic nature of the debut and previous selfreleased stuff. “For 2 it was a big change from the first album, I went from weird rock’n’roll motif – like, stereotype leather boots, ride your Harley Davidson-style weird stuff – to, ‘Oh,

ac DeMarco’s second ‘proper’ album, 2 (he’s got, like, hundreds of other self-released recordings), has summer good times written all over it. The Canadian slacker’s just announced he’s heading our way for an early-summer tour that incorporates Victorian favourite Meredith Music Festival (“I was just on the phone with another guy,” he says, “did he say something about a naked race at the end?”). This latest record is a bit of a jump from the rawness of Rock And Roll Night Club, his ‘debut’ of last year, but his lazy aura still sprawls throughout. Truth is, the dude’s been even busier than usual. He’s a bit of a natural travelling spirit and since being snapped up by über-cool NYC label Captured Tracks, touring’s been DeMarco’s MO.

the mid-tempos and sleepy vocals on Rock And Roll Night Club harbour a kind of sadness. 2 is a much brighter affair. Where the former slips into a kind of introspective daze, the latter clips up the pace and puts on a happier face. “The Kinks and The Beatles, big bands like that,” he says of his heroes early on, but also says he lowered the bar of his own expectations by listening to plenty of more musically challenged acts. “On the one hand I have these super great amazing perfect bands and on the other hand it’s bands with great songs that are pretty sloppy but they’re really cool. “On 2 I would run these strange effects through this really clean amplifier and try and get a good tone and bring in the microphone and make sure nothing was kinda weird sounding with the other instruments on the recording. I stopped playing the guitar like an ass and started trying to play more like a bass where it’s, like, complementary to the other things on the recording rather than just being this huge shredding centrepiece where you can’t really hear anything else.” As a result, the guitar tones are bright but brittle, twanging and warbling at the borders of tuned-ness. His instrument of choice is a weathered old bash-around he’s been lugging about the countryside from the start. “I got it when I was 16 or something and it’s gone through a lot of different makeovers because it breaks all the time – it’s actually broken right now,” he says. “I’ve tried other guitars and I don’t like the way that they sound and I don’t like the way that they feel – unless I bought a $5,000 guitar or something, but if I had something like that I’d feel weird, I wouldn’t want to throw it around and stuff... [My guitar] has a problem where it breaks strings every show, the people from the label are, like, ‘You have to get a back-up guitar, you break strings every show’... I just don’t like playing anything else.”

“I STOPPED PLAYING THE GUITAR LIKE AN ASS AND STARTED TRYING TO PLAY MORE LIKE A BASS.” a couple of years later I ended up in Montreal.” Montreal proved a tougher nut to crack in terms of regular gigging and led DeMarco to spend more time messing around with recording. “It’s like nobody has jobs there ‘cause everybody’s doin’ their art project or something,” he says. “I mean, you’ve gotta play because you like playin’, y’know, it’s not about gettin’ money, but in Vancouver it just turned out I could make a substantial amount of money and support myself just from playin’ in town, which doesn’t really make any sense in the first place. So Montreal was a bit different but it gave me the opportunity to work on some other things. “I kinda slowed down a little bit because I couldn’t really hustle it with just show money anymore... I started focusing more on recording I guess and I wound up making that Rock And Roll Night Club album somewhere down the line and then Captured Tracks picked me

this is who I am and I don’t wear lipstick all the time and check it out’: that was the second album.” He says that now the relative success of the more even-tempered 2 does put a bit of pressure on him to toe a slightly straighter line, at least in his recorded work. The origins of DeMarco’s sound lie somewhere around where the fringes of punk and the outer orbits of pop music converge, though

For the purposes of touring he’s enlisted three buddies to bring his songs – which the folk at Meredith are labelling “The world’s most well crafted modern pop with brilliant duelling guitar interplay as a sub-plot”, but he refers to as “jizz jazz” – to life. His performances are famously wild affairs. “In the right circumstances it definitely can [get crazy] if the kids want it – if the kids want it, they can have it,” he says. “But if they don’t, then it probably won’t. That’s my main idea of doing shows; it’s about, like, an experience between... The kids have gotta be close; it’s for them and they’re there for me.” WHAT: 2 (Captured Tracks/Spunk) WHEN & WHERE: 11 Dec, Corner Hotel; 14 Dec, Meredith Music Festival, Supernatural Amphitheatre THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 39


music

VIRAL VIDEO KILLED THE MP3 STAR Melbourne alt-rock madmen Twelve Foot Ninja crowd-funded themselves up a world record-setting budget for a video clip. Guitarist and the clip’s director Stevic Mackay tells Tom Hersey about the video.

“W

e ran out of money at one point so the band put about ten grand into the clip after the crowd-funding stuff.”

Earlier this year, Twelve Foot Ninja launched an audacious Pozible campaign to fund a music video. The plan: get 45 grand to document the band’s fascination with the internet troll (it really is a fascination, it was almost all Stevic could speak about when he talked to The Music to promote the band’s February tour). Even though the band exceeded that target, eventually raising over $50,000, they still needed to dip into their own pockets to realise their vision. It’s a lot of money, and Stevic knows it. Some people – almost exclusively musicians – haven’t been entirely supportive of the band’s campaign, but the guitarist laughs them off. “It’s not the most sensible thing to do, from a purely pragmatic sense. And I think that’s made a lot bands pissed off… the negativity we’ve experienced about this idea has always come from bands, and I think they’re just so disgusted that we had that much money at our fingertips and we spent it on a music video. It’s almost like a frivolous exercise when you could fund an awesome album or an overseas tour with that money. But the reality is, are people interested in that sort of shit?” Taking their crowd-funding money and not spending it on an overseas tour, the band devised a clip that featured the dudes from Periphery being assailed by a basement-dwelling keyboard warrior and all sorts of mayhem resulting. As the video’s director and producer, it has to be asked of Stevic why the band didn’t go the more traditional video clip route of fire, babes and hot cars? “It doesn’t really fit into the band’s ethos to do that

like hip hop – here’s hot chicks and here’s crazy cars and we’re fucking rolling in it, that sort of image. I think that that’s cool for certain people… but like you’ll see where the band stay [in the clip], it’s shit. It matches the reality of playing a show and the venue offers

it towards making sure we had everything we needed.” As Stevic quickly realised making the clip, what the band needed to do their vision justice was no small ask. For starters, there was a prosthetic troll head that one of the guys who worked on The Hobbit constructed for Twelve Foot Ninja. And that was only the start of where the money went. “It was a ten-day shoot and we had about 30 crew. We had catering, stunt co-ordinators, CGI... Basically it was a short movie. It was huge, and stressful because I was directing, producing and playing the main character. But it’s been a very interesting process.” A massive undertaking that’s sure to pale the band’s previous, well-received clips for songs Coming For You and Mother Sky, no release date for the band’s next video has been announced. And Stevic’s in no hurry to blurt out any timeframe. “At this stage, we’re spending the time that it takes post-production and in the editing phase, just to get it perfect. So we’re working on the vibe that it’ll be done when it’s done. We’re not cutting any corners because of self-imposed deadlines, so I hope the people who contributed appreciate that we’re really finessing this as much as we can.” Like the band’s unwillingness to hurry along their latest clip’s creative vision, they’re similarly uncompromising

“I THINK THEY’RE JUST SO DISGUSTED THAT WE HAD THAT MUCH MONEY AT OUR FINGERTIPS AND WE SPENT IT ON A MUSIC VIDEO.” accommodation and you know it’s going to be the worst night’s sleep of your life so you just drink and hope that you don’t feel like ratshit the next day. I think a lot of people are preoccupied in projecting an image that’s unrealistic, so we didn’t spend our money on trying to look cool, we put

about when they’ll get into the studio to do a follow-up to last year’s excellent Silent Machine record. According to Stevic, the band’s got plans to spend the rest of the year after these upcoming shows touring across Europe and North America, but they plan to continue writing while they’re on the road. “Setting a deadline prematurely will compromise what we want to do. And we want to raise the bar. So far there’s a couple of tracks floating around that I think is some of the best stuff we’ve ever done.” WHEN & WHERE: 4 Oct, Corner Hotel


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 41


music

CAPTURING A FEELING Calexico’s music is a melting pot of exotic sounds and inspirations. Frontman Joey Burns drags Steve Bell into a place of dusty deserts and old world charm, and explains just why he thinks many Australians are so endearingly loco.

A

rizona-based Americana exponents Calexico aren’t your typical indie rock proposition. Their fluid, dusty sound is an amalgam of a raft of disparate and often exotic sounds and inspirations, nonchalantly tied together by the compositional skills and musical acumen of core players Joey Burns – vocalist and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire – and his long-term partner-in-crime, percussion virtuoso John Convertino. The pair first joined forces way back in 1990 as the rhythm section for Howe Gelb’s wonderful Giant Sand outfit, eventually becoming the go-to rhythm section for the indie rock/alt-country community before finally branching out on their own and forming Calexico in 1996. Despite becoming geographically synonymous with the desert around their home base of Tucson which partially informs their sound – as well as the border town between California and Mexico from which they took their name – in the intervening years Calexico have become globally popular, especially in Europe. This year alone has already seen them play in excess of 80 ecstatically-received European shows in support of their seventh album, Algiers. “I think it’s a timing thing. You’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot,” Burns reflects on their popularity in the old country. “We had a record come out in ’98 called The Black Light and we toured a bunch on that, and then we did Hot Rail in 2000 and we’d also just tour that consistently. There’s got to be something in the way that all of the different cultures and countries in Europe just really appreciate the arts and culture, especially the stuff that’s off the beaten path and evokes imagery from a faraway place, such as the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico. All those things combine; the fact that there’s multicultural influences, at times there’s multilingual influences going on, and we have a sophisticated thing going on with poetic elements, which melds well with the European aesthetic.” When you see Calexico perform onstage the most striking aspect is how the group of musicians operate as a single entity, but to this day the band’s creative heartbeat remains the founding pair of Burns and Convertino. “We basically started the whole thing and we make all of the decisions, and then we just decided, ‘Well, we’ll just hire people as we go’, and that’s continued to grow and grow until now

42 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

we have seven musicians in total on the road. But it’s John and I who take the brunt of the financial responsibility as well as all dealing with all of the people and their demands, plus all of the good stuff that comes with a bunch of knuckleheads being holed up in a car for too long.”

ours is not just about this region but it’s beholden to the whole word, in terms of influences. I love listening to different artists and just picking up on certain tone or instrumentation or feel, regardless of whether I understand what’s being said lyrically; it’s more about capturing a feeling and then seeing how you can incorporate that or take that idea and run with it and make it your own. It has less to do with being from the desert and more to do with just being fine-tuned to a certain set of aesthetics. There’s a jazz influence, and then that ‘50s and ‘60s brushwork that John really resonates with and incorporates that in a more college punk rock or indie rock way; that’s just

“IT HAS LESS TO DO WITH BEING FROM THE DESERT AND MORE TO DO WITH JUST BEING FINE-TUNED TO A CERTAIN SET OF AESTHETICS.” Calexico’s music has long been pigeonholed as ‘desert noir’, even though there’s far more to their music than this somewhat restrictive identifier. “Like anything there’s always going to be some sort of larger description or definition that gets people to a certain location, whether it be geographically, like, ‘Oh yeah, they’re from the desert! Not the Saharan desert, but the North American desert’,” Burns smiles. “But a band like

one aspect. I could go on and on; we look universally for influences.” Which may be why Calexico’s music has also resonated so well with Australians, although the physical similarities between the Arizona desert and the Australian outback may also partially explain this synergy. “I think that for sure the space of Australia matches up with the space of our music,” Burns nods. “Most people there stay near the coast, but I can identify with those people crazy enough to venture into the bush. There’s something crazy about Australians which suits Calexico, especially our live show. We’d be a great wedding band for all of Australia to just open up and dance.” WHEN & WHERE: 21 Sep, Meeniyan Town Hall; 24 Sep, Athenaeum Theatre; 25 Sep, Corner Hotel


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 43


44 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013


reviews

ALBUM OF THE WEEK

This week: the many uses of a cybernetic left arm (hint: offing criminals) in Killer Is Dead, a new documentary goes behind the myth of the author Salinger, plus The Weeknd continues to live up to the hype.

TRACK LISTING 1. Suite IV: Electric Overture 2. Givin Em What They Love ft Prince 3. Q.U.E.E.N. ft Erykah Badu 4. Electric Lady ft Solange 5. Good Morning Midnight (Interlude) 6. PrimeTime ft Miguel 7. We Were Rock & Roll 8. The Chrome Shoppe (Interlude) 9. Dance Apocalyptic

JANELLE MONÁE The Electric Lady Atlantic/Warner Her 2010 debut, The ArchAndroid, was one of the most elaborate R&B albums ever released and from the sweeping spaghetti western opening of Suite IV Electric Overture, it’s clear Janelle Monáe hasn’t toned down her ambition. The ensuing 67 minutes of The Electric Lady are packed with disparate ideas, all revolving in one way or another around psychedelic R&B, but nothing seems out of place. Monáe has friends in high places; Prince, Erykah Badu, Miguel and Solange Knowles add plenty to their songs, but they don’t come close to stealing her spotlight.

★★★★½ 10. Look Into My Eyes 11. Suite V: Electric Overture 12. It’s Code 13. Ghetto Woman 14. Our Favorite Fugitive (Interlude) 15. Victory 16. Can’t Live Without Your Love 17. Sally Ride 18. Dorothy Dandridge Eyes ft Esperanza Spalding 19. What an Experience

The Electric Lady makes up parts four and five of Monáe’s seven-part Metropolis suite, a lofty Afro-futurist concept expounding – among other things – the notions of love and sexuality among androids. Yep… But if you want to drag it down to its basic musical elements, the record still works. Rump shakers like Q.U.E.E.N. and Dance Apocalyptic are jubilant cuts of funk, Primetime is a devastatingly smooth slow-jam, the searing lead guitar on We Were Rock & Roll seems to cut the air and the groove of Ghetto Woman is simply watertight. The Electric Lady is, again, staggering artistry from one of the true geniuses in modern music. Monáe could be the most important R&B artist in decades; unfortunately her colossal musical ambition might just be too great for mainstream audiences to ever truly understand. Whether it’s a chart topper or not, The Electric Lady will go down as another classic for those willing to take a trip with her. Dan Condon THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 45


album reviews

MANTRA

THE WEEKND

Ten To Two

Universal

To speak of a hungry MC doesn’t get to the heart of it. Hunger is about desire: I want food. Hunger is not starvation: I need food. So to describe Mantra as hungry is to miss the point. He doesn’t want to rap. He must rap. You can hear it in the ferocity of his rapid-fire delivery. You can feel it in the way he squeezes everything he can from a rhyme scheme before moving on to the next one. You can sense it in the mini-melodies that punctuate his raps. Mantra had to make Telling Scenes this way. He had no other option.

Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd is one dangerously seductive dude. He has knack for creating songs that make you feel ashamed and dirty, yet empowered and sexy all at the same time – something he established in spades on his 2012 compilation Trilogy. Most of those tunes had been previously released in separate mixtapes so his latest offering Kiss Land seems like a whole new ball game for the singer-songwriter.

Telling Scenes

Learn Your Language is a case in point. “Ya ya ya ya ya ya ya,” and then – bang! We find ourselves in Mantra’s world of words bouncing and boombapping along. It serves as the album’s mission statement: we are here to talk about talking. The Fear has a stunning moment a little after the two-minute mark where Mantra’s melodic command roams free before

Kiss Land

★★★½ segueing back to the hypnotic hook. Break Tradition deserves its reputation as a call to arms for all white ribbon wearers. Perfect Crime is striking and powerful; comfortably the album’s best. Problems? The skits detract from the album a little more with each listen. After all, a good joke gets boring faster than a good song; an average joke, faster still – a minor quibble. Telling Scenes is a compelling achievement. It’s the album Mantra had to give us. James d’Apice

Professional has an almost trip hop feel to it, setting the tone for the record in captivating fashion. The MJ comparisons shine through on The Town while the title track is a dark

WOLF & CUB Dot Dash/Remote Control

Still, the altered direction is worth a listen, particularly on tracks like second single I Need More, the rompy All Through The Night and the dreamy What 46 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

hybrid of electro, hip hop magic. The singer also teams up with previous collaborator Drake on one of the standouts, Live For, which is classic Weeknd – changing tempos, hitting high notes and holding our attention from start to finish. Pretty is another impressive number. It highlights Tesfaye’s vulnerability and sensitivity at its best. The hype that has surrounded The Weeknd will always have some potential to disadvantage the music he puts out. But he continues to live up to it and produce the kind of avantgarde R&B that most other artists would kill to create. Sally-Anne Hurley

THE NAKED & FAMOUS

Heavy Weight

Breaking onto the scene way back in 2005, Wolf & Cub managed to achieve a lot in a relatively short space of time – getting noticed off the back of a stellar debut EP, a thumbs up from QOTSA frontman Josh Homme and being the first Australian band to land a record deal with respected Brit label 4AD. Things have slowed for the formerly Adelaide-based four-piece (whose members are now in Sydney and interstate) and on their third effort to date, the band have gone for a less laboured and naked approach. Certainly from the sounds of things the band stuff seems to be second to whatever other artistic endeavours the guys get up to in their spare time, which lends itself to the conclusion that Heavy Weight wasn’t intended as any sort of ‘comeback’ album.

But if you’re looking for a complete sound overhaul from Tesfaye on this record, you might be slightly disappointed. While he does play around with more distorted sounds on some tracks, he generally sticks to the formula that he does best: bass-heavy beats with honest, intriguing and completely unique lyrics.

★★★½

In Rolling Waves Universal

★★★ More Could I Say, all of which appear on the latter half of the record. Joel Byrnes’ vocals have also been stripped of the heavily layered coat they were subject to on the previous two albums and this has meant less of a dark psych feel on the album as a whole, but that’s okay because the result is a well measured cup of influences past and present. Adam Wilding

Those tuning into record number two for NZ’s The Naked & Famous and hoping for more of the same featured on debut Passive Me, Aggressive You might be a little taken aback. For what’s happening here is we’re truly witnessing a young and tremendously talented outfit growing up. Their tones are moodier and their songwriting has matured spectacularly. Each song begins with minimal instrumentation and builds beautifully in its own unique way. It’s actually remarkable how a ‘formula’ as such can remain quite original throughout. Opener A Stillness is the older, wiser sequel to (previous hit) Young Blood, starting with little more than an acoustic guitar strum that eventually is built upon to a steady electro throb. Preceding single Hearts Like Ours mirrors the formula but perhaps invites a little of the

★★★½ youthful naivety the band is known and adored for while upping its anthemic ideals to just the right level. The Mess builds the pace a little and, if possible, sharpens the hooks even further. The Naked & Famous haven’t changed, they’ve grown. Older, and wiser, you can sense the band making songs that they want to play onstage, slightly more organic than their first LP. In Rolling Waves is one to file under ‘moody electro’ alongside The xx, and while it probably doesn’t have the outright smashes boasted on their debut, it feels as if this one will offer The Naked & Famous some well-earned longevity. Ben Preece


album reviews

★★★½

★★★½

THE DEVIL MARK WEARS PRADA LANEGAN

★★

PLACEBO

Loud Like Love Caroline/Universal

8:18

Imitations

Roadrunner/Warner

Heavenly/[PIAS] Australia

The latest release for Dayton, Ohio’s best known Godbothering head bangers, 8:18 continues The Devil Wears Prada’s love affair with melodic metalcore. All the usual hallmarks are here: double kicks, vocals alternating between screams and soaring melodies, as well as typically compressed guitars and bass. There’s even the odd dip into technical death metal with the opening strains of First Sight and Martyrs, which keeps things interesting. With plenty of chugging breakdowns and heart-palpitating beats, this album sees TDWP at the top of their game. Glenn Waller

Listening to Imitations, it’s easy to forget one is hearing the voice that fronted Screaming Trees and has contributed to the odd Queens of the Stone Age album. However, Mark Lanegan’s decision to make a covers album of crooners appears to be an inspired one. Frank Sinatra and Andy Williams get a reworking, with the heartwrenching Greg Dulli-penned Deepest Shade seeing Lanegan’s ragged baritone put to its best use. Like a smoky single malt aftertaste, Imitations lingers and requires more than one shot to fully appreciate its charms.

Striking for their love of big, dark ‘90s-flavoured rock melodies and colourful lyricism, Placebo became progressively softer ‘round the edges in 2006’s excellent Meds, and seventh record Loud Like Love continues the trend. It’s a tough sell from the get-go; AC piano ballad ode-to-socialnetworking lead single Too Many Friends opens with a particularly nauseating: “My computer thinks I’m gay,” and, while the fuzz smack-down of Rob The Bank and stadium-sized synths of Scene Of The Crime offset this somewhat, it’s not nearly enough to save this record considering Brian Molko’s usual heart-tearing minor key melodies are largely missing.

Glenn Waller

Tyler McLoughlan

★★★★

MAN MAN On Oni Pond Anti-/Warner

★★★½

★★½

JACK JOHNSON

From Here To Now To You Universal From I Got You to Home – the first and last tracks that are especially worth mentioning, as they’re two of the high points – Jack Johnson’s new release is true to form. Johnson provides the same chilled, melodic and groovy vibes that he has offered throughout his whole career, which is either a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. If you’re one of those who are happy with where Johnson is orientated in his direction, then this’ll be enjoyable for you. If not, then maybe it’s not for you. Lukas Murphy

★★★★

★★★★

NIGHTMARES ON WAX

SEBADOH

MGMT

Domino/EMI

Sony

Warp/Inertia

MGMT continue to explore the landscape of alternative psychedelic realities on their third album. MGMT loses the dense-and-intense-ities of Congratulations to take us on a whacky and whimsical magical carpet ride. Like Flaming Lips, they stand their idiosyncratic ground to give us a flavoursome feel-good pill of psychedelic pop weirdness. From the delightful bubbles of lysergic funkiness of Alien Days to the instantly gratifying psychedelic pop hooks of Mystery Disease, it’s obvious they’re on a mission to challenge our perceptions of reality. MGMT remain galaxies away from their contemporaries. Guido Farnell

Feelin’ Good

Defend Yourself

Following in the vein of their 2011 album Life Fantastic, Man Man are running with a sound that is a touch less eccentric than that of the three albums that came before. On Oni Pond, while full of dark oddities and a collection of unusual instrumentation, is tidily put together and gloriously – yet ungratuitously – peculiar. They’ve struck an absolutely perfect balance between accessible and bizarre and have yet again proven themselves capable of producing consistently impressive and imaginative music without borrowing too much from past material.

On the downbeat hip hop/soul/ leftfield tip, George Evelyn’s Nightmares On Wax project has few peers. With Feelin’ Good, the Ibizan-based Englishman continues his twenty-year unbroken winning run, drafting in a load of musicians to add deeper, lusher dimensions. Easing in, he drops gentle chill (So Here We Are), acoustic folk (Master Plan) and slow-motion jazzy Afrohouse (Luna 2) before pushing things up with a clutch of breaks and reggae dancefloor steppers, and anthemic ‘60s soul chop-up, Give Thx. Feelin’ Good is another picture of smoked-out consistency.

Indie icons Sebadoh’s first album in 14 years harks back to the vibe of benchmark sets Bakesale (1994) and Harmacy (1996), which will make fans very happy. As always the disparate songwriting vision and execution of main songwriting protagonists Lou Barlow (reflective break-up tracks: I Will, Oxygen, Listen) and Jason Lowenstein (angsty rockers: Inquiries, Beat) complement each other perfectly, and while these self-recorded tunes are reminiscent of their ‘90s pomp they still sound vital and contemporary. A more than welcome return from a band that paved the way for so many.

Justine Keating

Darren Collins

Steve Bell

MGMT

THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 47


singles/ep reviews

★★★★

IVY ST Ten Ounces In The Sticks Gaga Digi A post-punk guitar riff spirals around increasingly desperate vocals, guided by a ticking beat counting down to the song’s descent into anxiety. A discomfort you enjoy.

CELESTE & ODESSA Clever Song Independent Celeste was more fun as half of Daphne & Celeste. This messy R&B, dance, electro half-formed thing is neither clever nor catchy.

GLASSER Shape True Panther/Matador

★★★★

★★★

BELLTALK

LIME CORDIALE

LONDON BUREAU

Lights

Falling Up The Stairs

Fools

Independent

Chugg Entertainment

Independent

This glimmering Brisbane outfit’s delicate EP is a mature, creative debut. Lights utilises restrained synth tones, smoothly blended with gentle, cymbal-heavy drum and guitar patterns. Vocalist Caitlin von Berky’s effortlessly breezy, high-ranging voice seduces with its dramatic flair, without coming across as overplayed or stagy. This also allows for some beautifully ethereal harmonies. Electric Storm is a shimmering, operatic tune, underpinned by a multi-instrumental intensity while still maintaining an air of subtlety. This and other tracks could easily be solo piano compositions in their barest forms, but the added density of sound only serves to enhance their refined melodies.

Fresh from the Northern Beaches, the suave, indie-soul of Falling Up The Stairs casts the mind to cocktails on summer holidays. At times this brassy release seems best suited to the band room of a tropical hotel and at others evokes a smoother, lounge setting. Though Sleeping At Your Door successfully branches out with its ‘50s rock’n’roll and twee-pop sound, the rhythmic Everything Else is truly the gem of this EP. This great closing track has a certain Rasta flavour, its infectious vocal line supported by a chorus of female vocalists. They play at the Northcote Social Club on 19 Sep.

Harsh, no-nonsense vocals, crunching bass and rougharound-the-edges riffs define this heavy release. The simple melodies on Fools are shrouded in waves of distortion to create an assaulting clangour. A cross between Velvet Revolver and AC/DC with Jack White leading the vocals, this EP has an undeniable pub-rock flavour not dissimilar to the usual throng of noisy rock outfits. However, the bold female backing vocals of Fiona Schoemaker on sludgy opener Fools & Lashes and the darker Sour Puss offers the band’s traditional hard-rock sound a little something extra. They play at Ding Dong Lounge on 12 Sep.

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Enthralling experimental track that takes dark melodic pop and tweaks it; not quite discordant, yet spooky.

KARL SMITH

★★★★

I Want You LittleBIGMAN/MGM

★★★½

SOUTHBOUND SNAKE CHARMERS

THE WHORLS

Pinn’d Vagueness

The Dirty Blues

Independent

Independent

High, reedy vocals and a lack of low end do nothing to balance the shrieking barrage of guitars, which loses its pow-factor.

This debut is an exercise in dark, minimalist electronica overlayed with crooning, soulinfused vocals. Shadowy opener Rain flaunts a deep, borderline androgynous voice and disjointed beats, resulting in a swampy, ghostly feel. This cohesive EP is tantalisingly unsettling, conveying that sense of drug-induced dread and paranoia while enticing you with its otherworldly swagger. Trip hop influenced Free Time foregrounds a heavier, pounding drumbeat complemented by eerie, threatening vocals to great effect. These two Melbourne girls seem destined for interesting things ahead, here presenting a lusty offering that’s both original and instinctually gratifying.

The Dirty Blues is exactly what the title suggests. The EP places a strong emphasis on gritty, wailing vocals, a swinging beat and some howling guitar solos, all of which result in a rough, cowboys-and-bushrangers aesthetic. Root however has more of a churchy vibe; its understated, twanging melody combines with those rumbling vocals in an almost gospel fashion. While not offering much in the way of experimentation, this foottapping release will totally satisfy any country-blues enthusiasts, while perhaps converting those of us who deep down yearn for a little devil music.

This smooth alt.rock release draws on the hazy nostalgia of bygone eras. The EP recalls the classic rock of The Doors in its casual blues swagger and psych influences, as well as more recent ‘60s revivalism popularised by Tame Impala. Cardiac Dysrhythmia is a stand-out track for its steady two-step rhythm and suave vocal harmonies. The wandering, pulsating bassline is another highlight, spicing up songs that could otherwise lack dynamism. Though far from ground-breaking and somewhat flat lyrically, The Whorls ultimately scores extra points for its sweet grooves and sheer cool factor. They play at The Public Bar on 13 Sep.

Stephanie Liew

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Stephanie Tell

Cutesy, folky serenade that recalls Kimya Dawson’s Anyone Else But You (that Juno song); would work in a similar context but otherwise, skip the corniness.

THIEF Broken Boy Rabble/Shock Feathery male vocals give this minimal electro pop track a boost among its arpeggiated synths and sparingly used piano and percussion. Gorgeous.

FENIAN Evergreen The A&R Department

48 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

PINN’D

★★★½

The Whorls


live reviews

CLOUD CONTROL

Forum Theatre 6 Sep Our first taste from Cloud Control’s current, second album Dream Cave is promising from opener Scream Rave with its moody drum lead. Singer Alister Wright takes off his jacket to cheekily reveal a Cloud Control t-shirt while the band launch into Dojo Rising, the first single off the new release. The band looks as though they’re having as much fun as their Friday night audience, with Wright

At the end of the show Wright points out how well security dealt with the situation: “Thanks to Forum security for not being dicks.” In an attempt to truly test the placid security, Wright dedicates the next song to all the potential crowdsurfers in the audience, and soon we see several concertgoers bouncing around on a sea of hands. There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight concludes the main section of the show, then it’s time to cue the ‘will they/won’t they?’ encore dance. Cloud Control return to the stage as expected. Luffner reports of a backstage conversation during which Kelshaw announced, “This

CLOUD CONTROL @ THE HI FI. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

and bassist Jeremy Kelshaw jumping around like excited children and keyboardist/ vocalist Heidi Lenffer taking every opportunity to dance along with tambourine in hand. After playing Scar, Wright reveals, “That was the most fun I’ve had playing that song ever,” which only gives the audience more reason to dance amid the beer bottles strewn throughout the theatre’s floor. Songs Moon Rabbit and Just For Now lead into a cover of Kid Cudi’s Pursuit Of Happiness. The highly anticipated Gold Canary is delivered with a brilliant surprise, as the band insert a sample of Pepper by Butthole Surfers. The excitement generated by this leads two young girls to jump up on stage as the band continue to play, uninterrupted.

track fades, the remaining three female vocalists grace the stage and add icing to an already delectable neo-soul cake. With a band as headline-worthy as these guys clearly are, the second band have a lot to live up to. Are they up for the challenge? Sex On Toast most certainly are. Having raided Miami Vice’s wardrobe, square sunnies and sports jackets with turtle necks are the order of the night. The band’s infectiously playful, irreverent attitude gets the audience up and dancing. Singer Angus E Leslie stalks onstage, gesticulating wildly like a Pentecostal priest sermonising the merits of getting buck-wild. Not content with performing just

their own work, the boys serve up a Morris Day medley that carves an even deeper groove into the by-now-frothing audience. Prince would be chuffed.

Jacqueline Flynn

Tonight’s line-up couldn’t have been planned any better, aesthetically, as each successive band has more members than its predecessor. The Cactus Channel emerge, cramming ten onto the stage. Having already enjoyed critical success with first album Haptics, the band promote their latest Wooden Boy LP tonight. By now the place is rammed with booty-shakers. It’s a delight to hear older tracks such as Emanuel Ciccolini nestled alongside newer numbers. It’s an even greater delight to see them delivered to a capacity crowd that is enamoured by this young group’s collective talent. Visibly buoyed by the energy from this

Northcote Social Club 6 Sep

Filing onto the stage with minimal fuss, two thirds of The Do Yo Thangs ease gently into their set with drummersongwriter Hugh Rabinovici’s delicate vocals showcasing his multiple talents. As the opening

Drummer Hudson Whitlock shyly manages to get the crowd worked up enough for the obligatory encore, which sees the horn section shining. A brilliant rendition of Nelly’s 2002 club banger Hot In Herre concludes a night of grade-A local music. Glenn Waller

CLOUD CONTROL @ THE HI FI. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

might be the best show I’ve ever played.” This band knows how to charm an audience with equal parts joy and attention to detail.

THE CACTUS CHANNEL, SEX ON TOAST, THE DO YO THANGS

crowd, smiles abound on The Cactus Channel’s faces. They nod knowingly to each other, a honed act of professionalism. It’s easy to forget they are a purely instrumental group, such is the hypnotic quality of their music. At one point though, members from Sex On Toast are called up for a vocal cameo, highlighting the camaraderie all three billed bands share.

ANDREW STRONG & THE COMMITMENTS Corner Hotel 5 Sep This tour celebrates the 22nd anniversary of The Commitments movie and, while Andrew Strong & The Commitments isn’t the original band line-up from the movie, this doesn’t dull our desire to hear one of the most recognisable voices of the last 20-odd years. The band take to the stage, sharply dressed in black and white, suits the uniform of choice. Strong takes to the mic, simply saying, “Number two at the Corner” and jumps straight into Wilson Pickett’s In The THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 51


live reviews Midnight Hour. It’s a promising start as it’s already clear that Strong’s voice has managed to retain the power that played such a big role in redefining some of soul music’s most famous songs. Hard To Handle sees Strong pick up a guitar, which surprises those among us who were expecting only to see the 39 year-old (Yes, he’s only 39! That means he was only a teenager when he starred in The Commitments) to be chained solely to the microphone for the set’s duration. Unfortunately, Strong on guitar paves the way for several cheesy guitar solos.

tonight”, who appear to make up around half the crowd. Before the end of the evening, Strong allows for a moment of sentimentality when explaining that, despite his best efforts, it wasn’t possible for the entire original cast from The Commitments to go on tour. He tells us he hopes that the fans appreciate what he’s managed to bring to Australia regardless. Try A Little Tenderness predictably and fittingly caps off this show that, despite aforementioned limitations, has fulfilled our expectations. Jacqueline Flynn

THE CACTUS CHANNEL @ NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB. PIC: GLENN WALLER

His performance is otherwise charmingly cocky and supremely polished. Such is the strength of Strong’s vocals they render inaudible a neighbour in the crowd who belts out tune after tune in what feels like some kind of competition.

TULLY ON TULLY, PLAYWRITE

It’s disappointing to only have one female backing singer when so much of The Commitments’ charm was traditionally generated by the presence of three-part female harmonies and synchronised dance moves. Strong plays the part of this band’s heart and soul comfortably. Treat Her Right unleashes a room full of fist pumpers and Strong dedicates The Twist to “all the Irish people here

Dispelling Election Day blues within seconds of kicking off their set, Playwrite bounce their drama-laden brand of percussiondriven funk rock off the walls of this largely empty room. While claiming influences of Animal Collective and TV On The Radio, the epic grandeur of Elbow and the bongo/floor tom fury of Local Natives are more accurate likenesses, which, in these hands, is no bad thing. Clearly a massive asset to any

52 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

The Toff In Town 7 Sep

festival line-up, Playwrite deal in music to feel and dance to rather than just hear. It’s strange to see the smallish room gradually fill and the audience respond with trademark warm politeness (the kind that keeps this country on its knees); when singer Jordan White pushes his impressively powerful voice, these songs deserve an arena of fans, arms around each other and fists aloft. To fractured projections of The Wizard Of Oz, Tully On Tully take to the stage to wind up their national tour promoting new, stonkeringly good EP Weightless. Dancers push their way to the

the band comfortable to play the parts and be themselves. While highlights Quiet Company and EP opener Going On Like This noisy-up the crowd, it’s the Hayden Calnin-featuring triple j hit Stay that sees the entire room burst into singing that’s so emphatic it nearly drowns out the band. Calnin’s absent tonight but ably covered by guitarist Greg Rietwyk and keyboardist Pete Corrigan. Watching Tully On Tully share disbelieving smiles as the crowd lift their voices is the highpoint of a blazing set. It’s a powerful reminder of what music can do and, no matter

THE CACTUS CHANNEL @ NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB. PIC: GLENN WALLER

front of the now-packed room as the band launch into opener Hunt You Down. With two years of consistent gigging behind them and a solid, unchanged line-up, tonight’s gig feels like a new high for the band. TOT are always a note-perfect, formidable pop machine, but tonight they seem ready to take it to the next level. Singer Natalie Foster is a mesmerising presence live and she moves with a feline quality. Inhabiting her words she enters the audience. The band’s radio hit Naked and the sterling So Close To Over really highlight the role of Foster’s four-piece backing band – not only the musicianship but also the personalities of the band members shine through in these songs now. It’s as if two years of gigging has finally made

what happens elsewhere in the country, there are few places in the world we’d rather be. Andy Hazel

BIG SCARY, COURTNEY BARNETT The Hi-Fi 6 Sep Courtney Barnett’s rockstar mojo just keeps on rising. Back when this scribe first saw her a few years ago it was at a tiny Brunswick East gig, and even then she demonstrated an easy demeanour, a knack for chatting comfortably with her then-tiny audience and a clear talent for

ANDREW STR


live reviews writing catchy, engaging songs. Tonight Barnett plays to an impressive-sized crowd and kicks off with Lance Jr from the I’ve Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris EP, from which the bulk of the set comes. The band play some more recent tracks such as History Eraser and Avant Gardener, which was recently chosen by Pitchfork as one of their best new tracks. Barnett follows up with a track she says they wrote that morning, which displays her songwriting skills. A little bit folk, a little bit pop, a little bit garage rock and a lot fucking awesome,

even manages to keep his suit jacket on for the entire gig. They start off with the first two tracks from the album, Hello, My Name Is and Luck Now. Syme comes out from behind her kit to lend her angelic voice to Harmony Sometimes and the crowd loves it. It’d be great to see both of them play up to the crowd more. Why Hip Hop Sucks In ’13 is the only track that doesn’t work – they play along to a backing track of NYC gospel singers which feels amateurish until they start to warp and manipulate the vocals, which works better. The greatest thing about Big Scary is their crazy eclecticism

RONG & THE COMMITMENTS @ THE CORNER HOTEL. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

Courtney Barnett deserves to be one of our great rock superstars.

and seeing them make it all cohere live is impressive.

Big Scary have produced one of the best albums of the year in Not Art, so anticipation for this gig and how they’ll execute it live is high. The duo of Tom Iansek (mostly on keys and guitar) and Jo Syme (mostly on drums) are joined on stage by a pair of musicians who both play bass, synths and sax. Syme plays drums with a constant grin on her face, clearly loving it, while bouncing her whole body into it. Iansek is the more reserved orchestrator, gliding handsomely and smoothly between keys and guitar and lending his soaring Jeff Buckley-esque vocals to tracks drawn mostly from their recent album. He’s so tidy he

For the encore Big Scary plunder their varied back catalogue, including Gladiator and Leaving Home, and finish with a hectic, punch-in-theface version of Purple. Perfect. Kate Kingsmill

GOING SWIMMING, THE MIGHTY BOYS Old Bar 31 Aug Tonight’s rowdy mood is set by The Mighty Boys, who take

such great pleasure in smashing out garage-punk tunes on topics such as picking up prostitutes and getting shitty blowjobs that the mood’s infectious. Going Swimming enter the fray with Sluts Who Stole Our Palm Tree, a face-melting ode lamenting the unfortunate disappearance of their inflatable palm tree at the hands of some folk with questionable sexual morals. Thus, Old Bar is thrown into Going Swimming’s very own ocean – the surf report is choppy, unrelenting-as-fuck and held together by a sonic web of distortion, delay, reverb,

gang vocals. Ben Barclay simply does not stop on the drums. Songs off the fantastic Shark Attack EP feature throughout this powerful set as well as the band’s previous singles. RCB, an oldie but a goodie, epitomises some sort of acid-infused, Big W-purchased, boogie-boarding nightmare in 20-foot swell – it is absolutely wild. Devo’s Uncontrollable Urge is covered with significantly more balls. Going Swimming’s “biggest fan, in their smallest shirt” graces the stage to take up tambourine duties and She Hates Sports is unleashed on the

ANDREW STRONG & THE COMMITMENTS @ THE CORNER HOTEL. PIC: ANDREW BRISCOE

tremolo and whammy bar. Frontman Nicholas Leggatt is as animated as ever up on the kick drum, shaking his arse by the second song as copies of She Hates Sports (the single they launch this evening) fall over the crowd like confetti. Leggatt jovially abuses the crowd and punishes every syllable that comes from his mouth with brutal snarls, screams and yelps, in tandem with some deep, deep Nick Cave-esque creepiness/ sexiness. His bandmates are in wicked form too, guitarist Aswin Lakshman and bassist Callan Trewenack (who is also responsible for the brilliant artwork on all of GS’s releases) sandwich Leggat and assault the crowd with cool “ooo”s and wild-

crowd. Consistent in quality with Going Swimming’s previous releases, it rocks and makes you want to boogie while sounding like the kind of song that your dad would hate (if he were a backwards 1980s patriarch), but your more liberal mother would enjoy dancing to in the living room recalling Elvis and The Beatles. It ends in chaos. Although the “perfect closing line” eludes Leggatt as Going Swimming close their set, perhaps the fact that he simultaneously thanks and abuses the crowd IS the perfect finish for this thoroughly enjoyable performance. David Fegan THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 53


arts reviews

COLUMBINE Theatre

Monash Uni Student Theatre Space (season ended) With a script adapted from official documents, cultural sources and interviews relating to the Columbine massacre, Monash Uni Student Theatre’s production of Columbine is a comprehensive and powerful account of the events that happened on April 20, 1999 in Colorado, and the lingering aftermath. The story is told from various perspectives, including that of the perpetrators Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, their parents (the acted-out excerpt from Klebold’s mother’s book being particularly heartbreaking), to the victims, witnesses, politicians and the media. The narrative comprises re-enactments, monologues and choreographed performances incorporating movement, lighting, body percussion, music, singing and multiple speakers, all frantically overlapping. In a visceral and terrifying take on

With the actors dressing simply in black tops and jeans, taking on several roles each and delivering their parts with a restrained air, it allows the focus to always stay on the content itself. Handling the subject matter with sensitivity, a critical eye and imagination, Columbine captures the horror, devastation, morbid fascination and eventual hope and unity that the massacre evoked. An impressive effort in every aspect. Stephanie Liew

I’M YOUR MAN Theatre

Arts House (season ended) North Melbourne Town Hall has been converted into a boxing training room, thick with the permeating odour of sweat and deep heat and testosterone. I’m Your Man takes the audience deep into the world of boxing, presenting verbatim monologues taken straight from the mouths of the fighting elite and onto the stage. Focusing on a true representation of real life interviews, each actor is fed lines

COLUMBINE: PIC BY ALEX DYE

Nine Inch Nails’ Closer, the lights go out and the ensemble moves into the audience, shouting ragefilled lines. The music and often stark sound design component of the play are seamlessly integrated, whether it’s recorded or produced by the actors on stage, and it’s particularly effective when coupled with the spectacular lighting design. However, at times the chaos and volume make it difficult to follow the speech; occasionally this feels intentional, but in some parts it seems like valuable snippets are drowned out. The constant shifts propel us through over two hours of heavy material without the structure ever feeling muddled or disjointed. 54 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

normally like verbatim theatre, it won’t matter with this show – this is an excellent and thoroughly entertaining production with stunning acting; the headphones create distance, but the warm performances provide honest moments of interaction and connection with the audience. Very highly recommended.

The Catcher In The Rye. The lasting impression is that it is not the man that matters, but the work.

James Daniel

Live Art

SALINGER Film

In cinemas 12 Sep It is hard to know for whom Salinger – a documentary on The Catcher In The Rye author JD Salinger – has been made. Salinger aficionados are already well versed on much of what has been to put to screen. A running length that clocks in at two hours on a man who only published one novel and spent much of his life in a writing bunker will test everyone else. Filmmaker Shane Salerno does try to infuse the film with some new revelations about Salinger. To that end, the film

SALINGER

via headphones which play the original audio to them, live on stage. The technique aims for a “hyper-real” performance style that eliminates the possibility of parody, but at times it naively ignores the extent that body language and context can affect interpretation. By enforcing exact recreation of speech patterns the play occasionally caricatures other elements such as physicality, age, race or gender; this is fantastic as comedic effect, but departs from the documentary integrity that verbatim theatre can have. However, the action is engaging and non-stop while the design and direction are smooth, simple and unpretentious. If you don’t

relentlessly pursues the question: did Salinger write any other novels during his years in the bunker? The film answers that question with a grandiose climax that has been spoilt by most news media. The documentary style itself can be gimmicky: flashing up text to prepare us for never-before-seen footage of Salinger that turns out to be quite irrelevant; filling out interviews with celebrities to distract from lack of access to Salinger’s family. Much of Salinger remains a mystery and the film is effective when it evokes a Salinger myth akin to Bigfoot. The film really hooks in with glimpses of insight to a defining moment of Western culture – the release of

Samuel Hilton

WHELPING BOX Arts House (season ended) Whelping Box is the kind of performance piece that would come from a collaboration between Johnny Knoxville and Marina Abramović: an undeniably high art performance piece that is full of testosterone and occasionally puerile humour. The show is a fusion of physical theatre, dance and performance art that seems to focus on two men’s impulses to challenge, subjugate and compete with each other on very primal levels. A lot of the audience has a great time laughing at bared anuses pointed at our faces or at sweat-dripping dicks dangling mere centimetres from their friends’ heads, yet others are truly engaged in the

WHELPING BOX

physical competition of the two men and in the beauty of their movement through space. The more esoteric content is difficult to engage with, yet there are real moments of beautiful physicality and delicious sound design that more than make up for less accessible aspects of the piece. This is a production for anyone that appreciates work that flourishes and exists in a moment of time – leaving striking visual imprints on the mind – and who isn’t confronted by high art, intense performance elements or the sight of full frontal mancock and sweaty butt cracks. James Daniel


THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 55


games tough to imagine that those long nights as a little ‘un would continue in much the same way as they did – a loop of anticipation, addiction and satisfaction.

★★★★

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW Konami PC

Immortality has a new name and it is Castlevania. The legacy of the legendary franchise stretches from the dawn of 8-bit gaming through to the current incarnation Lords Of Shadow and continues to land knockout blows in terms of gameplay, story engagement and raw silicon beauty. It was

The story of the vampirical Belmont family continues much as it started: battling against an unrelenting supply of werewolves and other nightmarish beasties employed by local apocalypse merchant Dracula. Don’t let the vampire connotations detach you – the serious legacy of these bloodsuckers were established well before the concept was ridden into the ground by Twilight. It remains faithful to the original concept of conflicted romance, tragedy and terrifying violence and the perfection of the gameplay creates a pathway to tap directly into the beating pulse of the story. The graphics are jaw-dropping; a perfect blend of artistry and functionality while providing an arena in which to spill some serious blood. The fight mechanics are flawless with a gentle learning curve and depth added by level ups and bone-breaking combos. Clear your schedule for this one; it’s completely off the chain. Simon Holland

KILLER IS DEAD

★★

Suda 51

Xbox 360/PS3 It’s the future. You’re Mondo Zappa, a hired killer with a cybernetic arm that drinks blood. Mondo flies around the world to fight and kill other evil mutant killers. Aesthetically, the game is drenched in hallucinatory neon visuals evocative of Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s amazing anime Wicked City, but that’s as clever as Killer gets. Case in point: you face a

the wind and crunches underfoot. It’s a joy to emerge from your burrow – cubs in tow – and bask in your pastel playground. Clicking your mouse produces a ‘bark’, followed by five miniature yelps from your progeny; Shelter’s first five minutes will have you grinning like an idiot.

SHELTER

★★

Might & Delight PC/Mac Indie games are a terrific breed. Lacking the colossal budgets of their AAA brothers, indies often dabble in creative art direction to stand out from the pack. Enter Shelter, a playful title featuring artistic direction that oozes beauty and style. Players take control of a Badger, mother to five adorable baby badgers, on an adventure through the forest. Shelter’s world is a whimsical paper craft wonderland; the forest rustles in 56 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Despite the lovable sentiment, Shelter commits some serious game heresy. In the hour it took me to reach the credits, I endured a lack of meaningful game mechanics. The first time I took refuge in tall grass while a predatory bird circled overhead was gripping. The third time, I realised Shelter’s inspiration stops at its striking aesthetics. I’m aware of Shelter’s minimalist approach – it’s not trying to be StarCraft. The player is supposed to enjoy the game’s simplicity and admire the visuals (difficult to do when the camera keeps bugging out). Ultimately, Shelter suffers from a lack of substance. There are better indie games out there that deserve your money; if you want to enjoy Shelter’s art there’s always David Attenborough documentaries. Andrew Sutton

★★★ ½

WORMS CLAN WARS Team17 PC

When Worms debuted in 1994, its 2D gameplay was probably due to the facilities available to the developers at Team17. But with the release of Worms Clan Wars, it’s clear the simplistic layout of the series is what makes it so appealing to long-time players and the uninitiated. In 2003, a shortlived 3D version of the game surfaced; its lack of a follow-up

young woman who complains she has a back-ache. She then explodes with gore and mutates into a girl-o-pede: her thighs become mandables, her spread legs become a mouth, and a mutated mantis-head emerges from her vagina, which you have to draw out and hack off. Which could be, like, cool and metaphorical, except the game is so incoherent Mondo’s barely uttered another forgettable one-liner before you’re off to kill the next killer dead. The game’s dialogue is a mosaic of shitty clichés. Once you crack each bosses’ dodge/slash/dodge morse code, you’ve basically got a visually arresting whack-a-mole. Also, if you haven’t learned how to google “big ol’ titties”, there’s this gross mini-game called giggolo mode between missions where Mondo has to distract women at a bar via inane conversation to stare at their immense gourd-like breasts; this powers up your “love meter” or something - if you perv out for long enough you get to take them home for MA15+ video game seks. Yeah, nah. Callum Twigger was proof what fans really love about this series. In 2011, Worms: Revolution literally revolutionised the series, improving almost everything about the game, which is why it’s surprising they’ve managed to outdo themselves this time around. With Worms Clan Wars, Steam Workshop Integration allows players to customise their worms (that’s a weird thing to say), and with improved online gameplay, the game is as addictive as ever. While Team 17 stayed true to the 2D platform, the 3D engine used sees the visuals drift away from the cartoon-like classics the game used to employ. When you first run the game, you’re forced to play a ten-minute tutorial, which veterans may find annoying. Along with improved online gameplay and Stream Workshop Integration, there are also new weapons: Mega Mortar, Gravedigger, The Equilizer. There’s nothing new about the latest title in the Worms series, but that’s a good thing. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Team17 have managed to release pretty much the same game for the tenth time and keep it fresh. That’s a pretty impressive feat. Daniel Cribb


muso

STUDIO CREDITS

PRODUCERS: Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jerry Harrison

ENGINEER: John Hiler

STUDIO: EastWest Studios, Hollywood, California

MASTERING: Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood

ARTWORK: Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for R Twerk & Co

ROCKIN’ ‘CROSS THE AGES Something of a crossgenerational supergroup, The Rides – Steve Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg – cut their debut album the old way, on analogue tape, as Shepherd tells Michael Smith.

“T

hat was very important from the get-go,” the “young gun” (36) in blues rock “supergroup” The Rides, Kenny Wayne Shepherd admits of the decision to record the group’s debut album, Can’t Get Enough, all together in the one room live to 2” analogue tape. “It was something that we all wanted to do, especially Stephen [Stills, 68, of Buffalo Springfield/Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame], and myself, ‘cause I had just finished working on a new album with my band – we did that whole album on tape as well. But this album we wanted to have a very kind of vintage sound to it, and we wanted to record it the way records used to be done, and so that approach was very important to us. To me there’s a certain fidelity there that the tape does to the instruments that you can’t get with a digital platform. There’s a certain kind of warmth that’s created, you know? And digital’s great, don’t get me wrong, but you can certainly hear the difference.” None of the members of The Rides – the third main member is keyboardist Barry Goldberg, 70, whose credits go back to 1967 and The Electric Flag, which he formed with guitarist Mike Bloomfield – had ever played together, let alone written or recorded together. Located in Hollywood, Eastwest Studios was built by audio engineer Bill Putnam in 1961 and has hosted the recording of albums by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones. Through the ‘90s, the studio changed hands and names twice but in 2006 was acquired by Doug Rogers, who brought back the original name and refurbished the non-technical

58 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

areas of the facility, while preserving the historic studios. “We looked at a lot of different studios,” says Shepherd, “but I had recently been in [Eastwest] for another session and I really liked the place, and Stephen had been in there back in the day and Barry was familiar with it as well. But one of the main reasons why we chose it is because the room is big enough for us all to play in the same room together, and also they had reverb chambers, which wanted to use instead of digital reverb.” The room they used, Studio 1, features an 80-channel Neve 8078 Console, the largest in the world, originally commissioned for the recording

“THERE’S A CERTAIN KIND OF WARMTH THAT’S CREATED.” of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum-selling album, Thriller, and is equipped with GML Automation. Each room in the facility is equipped with a DB Technologies db4496 A/D-D/A Converter and ATC house monitors along with NS10/ProAc speakers and are set up with Pro Tools HD. Stills and Shepherd share production credits on Can’t Get Enough with former Modern Lovers/Talking Heads keyboardist and guitarist Jerry Harrison. “Jerry’s really good at, like, fading into the background and listening and letting us know when we can do better or when he thinks that we’ve got the right take. And also, he’s the one that suggested [The Stooges] Search And Destroy. The punk genre is not really something that any of us are associated with, but it was a good choice because I found a way to arrange the song so that it sounded appropriate for this band.” Mostly first or second takes, Stills and Shepherd traded licks over a rhythm section comprising Shepherd’s and former Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton and CSN/Jackson Browne bass player Kevin McCormick. “I brought my ’61 Strat and my ’59 Strat and my ’58 Strat, and then I had some of my Signature Series Strats, but I also brought a 1990s Les Paul Custom that I used on a few songs. With effects pedals, I really just used a King of Tone overdrive pedal, by this guy who trades as Analogue Man, an Ibanez Tube Screamer, a vintage TS808 and another pedal called The Tube Dreamer, by a company called Jam Pedals. A lot of times I was playing straight into the amp. For my amps I was using an original 1958 Fender Bassman, an all-original ‘64 [Fender] Vibroverb and a ’65 Fender Bandmaster Ultraphonics.” Can’t Get Enough by The Rides is out on 429 Records through Universal Music.


muso

BEHRINGER UFX1604 & 1204 MIXING DESKS Behringer’s new UFX 1604 Mixer (ssp $1145) has taken versatility to the next level by integrating 16-track digital recording into the traditional desk. Now, you can record your mixes directly to a USB without your computer. There are eight Xenyx mic preamps and eight line ins, with on-board compression, British EQ (two sweepable mids) and dual studio grade FX processors for professional ‘in-the-box’ results. You can also plug the 1604 into your computer via USB or Firewire, mix down your tracks in your favourite DAW (or with the included Traktor 4 software) and as soon as it’s connected, the desk instantly becomes an audio interface and control surface via MIDI. If the 1604 is too much, then the Behringer UFX 1204 (ssp: $765) is for you, still containing the16-track on-board digital recorder, but with four Xenyx mic preamps, eight line ins and a single FX processor. Reza Nasseri

KEMPER PROFILING AMP

The Kemper Profiling Amp is one of the most exciting, revolutionary products to have ever entered the field of amplification, because nothing does what the Kemper can and that’s “profile” your own guitar amp. It does this by sending test signals and capturing different break points in the preamp, power-amp, speakers and microphone, so the profiles respond, feel and sound exactly the same. Each profile takes about 45 seconds to complete and 60 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

BEHRINGER X32 COMPACT DIGITAL MIXER

The original Behringer X32 took over three years to develop, with collaborations from Midas and Klark Teknik, so it entered the market with the confidence, technology and knowledge attained by learning from its predecessors. The new X32 Compact gives you the same desk in a smaller format that’s easier to take on the road and to fit into smaller venues. The X32 Compact (ssp: $3349) features 16 Midas-designed pre’s, six line inputs, USB input, eight XLR

outs and 17 motorised faders. You also get an additional 16 pre’s via AES50 and eight true stereo FX that you can integrate into your mix while walking around the venue making real time adjustments with the X32 iPhone app. What’s great about the X32 Compact is it can be as simple or detailed as you want it to be, with the ability to sculpt the perfect mix beforehand, or to mix on the fly as a well laid-out desk with a quick learning curve. Reza Nasseri

MATON ECW 80 HERITAGE ACOUSTIC GUITAR

if you’re unable to profile your dream rig you can jump online and download it. A powerful DSP also packs in a tonne of salivating effects on par with the best in the world. Currently you can get the original Kemper head in black or white, a rack version, Powered Head, or Powered Rack (both in black, $4199 RRP), both featuring 600 watts of Class D power, allowing you to plug into your favourite cab and use it like a regular amp.

Maton’s new ECW 80 Heritage goes back to the company’s roots, mixing the big bass of their ‘70s CW80s with today’s technology. These guitars feature AA-grade spruce tops, sepele (mahogany) back and sides, a mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard that’s amplified by their new AP5 Pro Pickup. The guitar plays, sounds and looks gorgeous in a honeystained satin finish and a retro Maton heritage logo. The neck is quite thin, with a medium depth and action suited to a wide range of styles, projecting a full, rich tone with an amazing depth of bass. Plugging in the new AP5 Pro pickup provides incredible versatility by combining an adjustable dynamic mic inside the body with a piezo pickup. The tiny circuitry of the preamp is housed on a single PCB that’s free of electrolytic capacitors (known to introduce fuzz) and is mounted directly into the body, so it won’t rattle over time.

Reza Nasseri

Reza Nasseri


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THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 61


62 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013


the guide fashion

health

drink

Answered by: Luke Neher and Sam Gill How did you get together? Gill: Luke and I ended up at the same high school, eventually bonding over a shared love of film, music and the hope that puberty would one day end.

travel

Sum up your musical sound in four words? Gill: Between headphones and club. If you could support any band in the world – past or present – who would it be? Gill: Don Rickles. Vegas. 1975.

NAYSAYER & GILSUN

You’re being sent into space, no iPod, you can bring one album – what would it be? Neher: Alcachofa – Ricardo Villalobos. Assuming we are going to die up there, I can’t think of music that better matches the cold, expansive, emotionless abyss. Greatest rock’n’roll moment of your career to date? Neher: I split my forehead open on a mantlepiece while on tour in 2012. We went to get stitches at about two in the morning and returned at four to find the hotel had been taken over by a bunch of festival affiliates who looked like they were trying to recreate the pool house from Boogie Nights. Why should people come and see your act? Neher: Every time we book our own visual show we spend a lot of time and money on projection. The projector we use retails for around $75,000. I guess it’s important to us to make it as visually refined as possible. When and where for your next gig? The Hi-Fi on 27 Sep. It’s our visual show, NGTV. We don’t do it very often. Website link for more info? naysayerandgilsun.com

sport


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

FRONTLASH

LIVE THIS WEEK

BACHELOR PARTY

It didn’t rate that well, but Australia’s premiere season of The Bachelor didn’t disappoint with the desperate slappers clambering over each other (and having pashes KBed on national television) in an effort to score a rose – compulsive viewing.

CITRUS SURPRISE Reminder that the internet is great: Babies Eating Lemons For The First Time video collage on tastefullyoffensive. com. Setting it to the soothing strains of The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony equals genius.

CLIFF HANGER He may have joined the ‘ageing rocker sporting middle-aged woman haircut’ club, but Cliff Richards has announced his 100th album, which truly is an achievement. Only Elvis Presley released more than that.

BACKLASH ETERNAL FLAME

Battery-operated, electric, flameless tea light candles. Why bother? #theoppositeofromantic.

POSTAL VOTES Political Facebook status posts. Begone.

CAPTAIN HINDSIGHT The post-election coverage has brought out the best in our political media – lots of insightful and incisive pieces have appeared since Saturday. However, where was all this in the lead-up to the election when all we got was a make-up lady’s tweet and Abbott’s exercise regime? 64 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

THIS WEEK’S RELEASES… SEBADOH Defend Yourself Domino/EMI MGMT MGMT Sony BALANCE & COMPOSURE The Things We Think We’re Missing Shock MAN MAN On Oni Pond Anti-/Warner

BUG TERMINATORS

WHITE TREES

Soul Cleansing, the wild new album from reggae-dub-soulpop outfit Kooyeh (pictured) is about to hit dance floors up and down the east coast. The nine-piece kick off their tour at the Jewell Of Brunswick on 14 Sep with El Moth.

Bringing a rootsy edge to the timeless sounds of bluegrass and alt.country, The Stetson Family (pictured) play at the Retreat Hotel early on 14 Sep followed by The Shivering Timbers and Nice Boy Tom, who’ll be launching their new single.

LORDS AND LADIES

VIOLENT MUTINY

The Dames’ debut self-titled album has been mixed by acclaimed, award winning icon of UK post-punk and ‘90s film funk music, Barry Adamson in Brighton, UK. Hear ‘em play it live at the Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine) on 14 Sep.

The Kill and Captain Cleanoff will be launching their new split 7” at the Bendigo Hotel (Collingwood) on 14 Sep. Join The Amish will also be launching their debut vinyl EP while Split Teeth and fresh meat Acid Vain will support.

CARRIER PHOENIX

NO MIDNIGHT SNACKS

The Mildura duo that bumped Lady Gaga, Jackson Firebird (pictured) return to the Cherry Bar on 11 Sep as part of their Wednesday residency for a dirty night of rock’n’roll, joined by National Evening Express.

Lunars (pictured) will be launching his new EP at the Grace Darling Hotel on 13 Sep. Happenings consists of menacing guitars, dark surf melodies, and off-kilter keys and vibraphones. Supports come from Actor Slash Model and Dane Certificate.

TRIPLE THREAT

ANARCHIC ANIMALS

Australia’s own version of the new wave of power-pop in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Little Murders return to the Lyrebird Lounge (Ripponlea) on 14 Sep to play their action packed set. They’ll be joined by the J. Gronow Trio.

Some of Melbourne’ best stoner, doom, metal and rock bands come together for an evening of pure mayhem at the Bendigo Hotel on 15 Sep. Murder Rats, Motherslug, The Superguns, The Vendettas, Selenium and Lucy’s Crown will be playing.

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the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

LIVE THIS WEEK

PUB SINGER

SPINNING RED

A singular talent, Rory Ellis has spent over a decade grinding his brand of ‘urban folk’, forged by living in a boxing gym and honed in Melbourne’s seedier pubs. Feel the rumble on the afternoon of 14 Sep at the Drunken Poet.

Death cabaret rockers Rouge Fonce (pictured) release their new single The Carousel at the Evelyn Hotel on 15 Sep. They’ll be joined by the best of Melbourne’s dark alternative art scene with Kerryx, Dear Stalker and The Garden Of Eida.

SINGLE FOCUS

BARBARION Answered by: Hugh Kendall Single title: Metalman What’s the song about? It’s about being manly and loving metal. How long did it take to write/record? It was written over a few weeks and then tweaked at rehearsals for another month or so. It took time to get that perfect mixture of power and blatant arrogance.

WIN DESERT MIRAGE The Psychedelic Coven have put together the ultimate night of psychedelic bliss and acid rock heaven at The Gasometer Hotel on 12 Sep. Headlining are mega-babes, Beaches (pictured) while Kikagaku Moyo, fresh from the Tokyo psych scene, and Dreamtime support.

We have ten season double passes to Mood Indigo up for grabs. To check out Michel Gondry’s new film, based on the novel by Boris Vian and starring Audrey Tautou, head to our Facebook page.

Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? It is a track from our recent album, Ram The World. The album also contains many more manly tracks about all sorts of cool metal stuff. What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? There was a great Lebanese cafe next door to the studio we recorded at. We ate so much food there each lunch time that we had to roll back into the studio in the afternoons. We’ll like this song if we like... Fucking sweet guitar harmonies, duelling vocals and ‘80s metal style mega drum tones.

SOCIAL-CLIMBING GIRLS

NOISY ENVIRONMENT

Sometimes folky or abrasive or even quite pretty, East Brunswick All Girls Choir (pictured) are hitting The Tote for a spring break residency spectacular. On 11 Sep they’ll be joined by Dyson Wyatt Polyamorous Tryst and Ivy St.

Ragged St Kilda outfit Howlin’ Steam Train (pictured) have travelled up and down the country, forging a reputation for a relentless, rollicking live show. Catch them at The Espy lounge bar on 13 Sep with Zoophyte, El Moth and Lebelle.

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Do you play it differently live? It is much sweatier live. Lots more naked flesh than in the recording too. The song’s pretty much the same in structure though. When and where is your launch/next gig? We are playing on Saturday 14 Sep at The Tote. It’s going to be fantastic. We have Electric Dynamite and Horizon’s Edge supporting for extra wow. Website link for more info? barbarion.net

THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 65


the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

SINGLE FOCUS

LIVE THIS WEEK

ALBUM FOCUS

HEADS OF CHARM Answered by: David Gagliardi Single title: Check Check Check What’s the song about? It plays with the idea that everything is decided by the flip of a coin. How long did it take to write/record? Some songs take 12 minutes to write, this one took 12 months! I had the chorus, but the rest of it eluded me until one day I placed an axe next to it. Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? This digital single is the follow-up to our debut EP If I Was Still General Manager Of The World You Guys Would Be Fucked!. It will appear on our forthcoming album.

DYLAN JOEL Album title: That’s Good Where did the title of your new album come from? Was built upon a regular catch phrase between the producer Otis Grey and I. Originally inspired by the outro of the record. How many releases do you have now? Just two EPs (self produced) and this 16-track free record with Otis. How long did it take to write/ record? We definitely took our time on the process. We started beat-making in September last year. I probably spent roughly five months writing and two months messing round with the feel/recording vocals.

What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. One of the most important books I’ve read.

Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Yeah, this one time my buddy called me all the way from Australia, so I wrote/titled this track called Waddup. Also on the real though, the inspiration was collectively agreed prior to starting the record!

We’ll like this song if we like... The Jesus Lizard, Shellac and McClusky.

What’s your favourite song on it? Mine is No Reason, Otis’ is Another Day.

Do you play it differently live? No.

Will you do anything differently next time? Yeah, we’ll probably call it something like Two Good and hopefully we’ll only improve, ha. So the record will be even fresher all round!

When and where is your launch/next gig? Every Wednesday night in September for our upstairs residency at The Tote. Doors 8pm, supports across the month include: Them Bruins, Udays Tiger, Ohms, Bodies, Sucks, Outerwaves, SeeSaw, On Sierra. Website link for more info? headsofcharm.com

ANIMAL CRUELTY

FLOWING FRUITS

Two of Melbourne’s finest psychobilly heavyweights, The Workinghorse Irons (pictured) and Murder Rats join forces with punk upstarts Max Goes To Hollywood and Teen Kong at the Reverence Hotel on 14 Sep.

The latest single from Anna Smyrk (pictured) & The Appetites features soaring vocals, and sax. Apocalypse launches at the Grace Darling Hotel on 14 Sep with Pear & The Awkward Orchestra and DASH.

CLOAK OF DARKNESS

LEGAL PROTEST

From a humble acoustic duo to swashbuckling psychedelic bluesrock quintet, Winter Moon have become a must see live experience. Catch them at the launch of single Me & The Devil at Ding Dong on 14 Sep with China Beach and Lisa Crawley.

A head-bangin’, heavy-rockin’ three-piece, Citizen’s sound consists of chunky stoner grooves, monster riffs, progressive trips and hooky melodies. They play at Tago Mago on 14 Sep with The Dyson Wyatt Polyamorous Tryst and The Unholy Racket.

PERMANENT FIXTURE

LOVE THE KING

Eclectic rockers Stone Clocks are bringing their stoner-rock and post-grunge grooves plus their energetic stage presence to the Revolver band room on 14 Sep. Supporting them will be hardrock outfit Forever along with Roast Goat Spit and Sideways.

The finest of music from the King himself will be soothing the stress out of the hardest of working weeks. On 13 Sep at the Flying Saucer Club (Elsternwick) Bobby Valentine & The Pearly Shells are getting their Elvis Presley on.

When and where is your launch/next gig? The Corner Hotel, 13 Sep. Launching the That’s Good record, with the homies Remi and Ry.. Website link for more info? dylanjoel.com

LOVE NOT WAR On the back of their debut album In Love, Birmingham band Peace (pictured) begin their tour of Oz at the Eagle Bar (La Trobe Uni) on 13 Sep followed by two Northcote Social Club shows on 14 and 15 Sep with Millions and Atolls.

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the guide vic.live@themusic.com.au

LIVE THIS WEEK

SINGLE FOCUS

ALBUM FOCUS

LESTER THE FIERCE RELAXED RESIDENCY

POTENTIAL DONOR

Making a triumphant return to the Retreat Hotel front bar, Charles Jenkins (pictured) and Matty Vehl are playing a series of Tuesday night concerts in September. Coming along for the ride on 17 Sep is Donnie Dureau (Blueline Medic).

Dark-psych duo O Littleblood (pictured) debut their live performance with a residency at The Tote, including a show on 12 Sep with Leisure. Their songs are loud and layered with swelling looped guitars, heavy repetitive beats and floating lyrics.

Answered by: Anita Lester Single title: Howl What’s the song about? Feeling like a ghost in a room full of people and the frustration you feel at the people you love. How long did it take to write/ record? I wrote and recorded the song in the space of three days. It was obviously something I needed to express. Is this track from a forthcoming release/existing release? Howl is from my self-titled EP. It’s a little inspired by ‘90s rock, ‘60s pop and my poetry heroes.

ATYPICAL TONES

UNREGULATED BANKS

Country-folk singer-songwriter Nigel Wearne (pictured) is playing at the Standard Hotel on 11 Sep. Equipped with personally handcrafted guitars, his music melds finger-style guitar, country twang, honkytonk and honest storytelling.

To celebrate the release of his EP, Jack Carty (pictured) is embarking on The Predictable Crisis Tour, which he’ll be touring nationally with his band. He’ll be playing at The Toff In Town on 12 Sep with Dan Parsons and Mali Mali.

DRINK UP

RECORD FAIR

The Stein comprises five young lovers of fuzz rock. They tore it up during box wars at Boogie in 2012 and after a recent Tasmanian tour with Matt Sonic & The High Times are ready to blow out the Rochester Castle with mates Drifter on 13 Sep.

Record and CD lovers rejoice, because at the Ukrainian House in Essendon on 15 Sep, 9.30am-5pm, there will be rarities, hits and bargains galore to be purchased, as well as music books, magazines, posters, memorabilia, DVDs

What was inspiring you during the song’s writing and recording? Leonard Cohen has a song called Anthem. In it is a line: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. It was more or less my point of departure. We’ll like this song if we like... ‘90s female-driven rock: The Cardigans, Hole, Garbage. It’s still its own thing, though – appropriating that era of music. Do you play it differently live? I think it’s better live. If a band is tight, music is generally better live. I think there is nothing better than having a song shake you to your core. When and where is your launch/ next gig? 20 Sep at Baha Tacos, Rye and 21 Sep, Northcote Social Club, supporting Ngaiire. Website link for more info? lesterthefierce.com

SIMONE & GIRLFUNKLE Answered by: Bridget Turner Album title: Hurry, Harry Where did the title of your new album come from? It was titled after our desperate plea to Cliff Richard (Harry Webb) to come and be our patron. It just wasn’t happening organically so we told him to hurry. How many releases do you have now? Hurry, Harry and our self-titled EP. How long did it take to write/record? The record took a lifetime to write. These are all the songs in our heads from the last 15 years. We beat the teenage angst into shape and made it into something listenable. Was anything in particular inspiring you during the making? Good friendships and peppermint tea. What’s your favourite song on it? Secret because of the use of ‘dream horns’, which are just a regular trumpets with bulk verb on them. Will you do anything differently next time? No, it was a pretty great experience. When and where is your launch/next gig? 14 Sep, Pure Pop Records and 15 Sep, The Workers Club (matinee). Website? facebook.com/ SimoneGirlfunkle

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THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 67


opinion

OG FLAVAS

ADAMANTIUM WOLF

WAKE THE DEAD

URBAN AND R&B NEWS BY CYCLONE

METAL, HARDCORE AND PUNK WITH LOCHLAN WATT

PUNK AND HARDCORE WITH SARAH PETCHELL Last weekend was one of my favourite music events of the year – Poison City Weekender. To me it represents the friendship and camaraderie of a scene that comes together every year to celebrate what makes it great. To me, this is something that makes the punk and hardcore scenes unique.

Frank Ocean abandoned a second Australian run because of vocal problems, but Miguel Pimentel almost compensated for it with a surprise promo tour. The underrated alt-R&B singer even performed intimate industry gigs. Pimentel will be back in February to open for Bruno Mars. The quiffed Californian’s sophomore, Kaleidoscope Dream, surfaced late last year but, remarkably in this high-turnover era, his Australian label, Sony, has continued to campaign behind it. That’s largely due to Pimentel’s performance of the Marvin-esque quiet storm Adorn with Wiz Khalifa at the Grammys – it went viral. Today label showcases are rare – the last Sony one OG snuck into was for Simon Cowell’s soul protégé Rebecca Ferguson – and they’re virtually unprecedented for an act of Pimentel’s status. After all, he has already won a Grammy for Adorn (‘Best R&B Song’). At Melbourne’s glunge ‘new’ venue Boney, a chatty Pimentel – diminutive, like Prince – sang four numbers accompanied by an acoustic guitarist. He started with his early Sure Thing, then selected Kaleidoscope Dream’s The Thrill and How Many Drinks?, finishing with Adorn. While the strippeddown songs obviously sounded less avant/illwavey/futuristic, they highlighted Pimentel’s velvet-smooth delivery. Since Kaleidoscope Dream Pimentel has made choice cameos. He sang on old bud J Cole’s Power Trip and Mariah Carey’s #Beautiful. The soulster pops up on Janelle Monáe’s buzzworthy The Electric Lady. And lately he’s aired another ‘remix’ of Adorn with Brit nightbus queen Jessie Ware. Love. ogflavas@themusic.com.au

68 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

HIGH TENSION

Sewercide – Condemned To Sanity. This Melbourne band has been kicking it since 2011, having previously released a demo and a split in 2012. They recently acquired former Queensland resident Harry Watson (ex-Acid Snake) on vocals and have truly elevated to the next level of deathtinged thrash metal greatness. Aggressive and energetic as hell, Condemned To Sanity is without a doubt the finest track of homegrown thrash I’ve heard all year. In just two minutes and forty seconds the band delivers everything a good metal song needs, and one listen through is not enough. Due out soon on a split-7” with Italy’s Presumed Dead, you can download the track from sewercide.bandcamp.com. The band is currently on tour across Australia with Brisbane hardcore band Sick People. High Tension – Primitives. Not to be confused with the German heavy metal band, this is another act from Melbourne – this time a little more on the punk rock/ post-hardcore side of the fence. With members of The Nation Blue and Young and Restless, so far this year High Tension have released a debut 7” and toured around a little, most recently with Sydney sludge lords Lo!. This track is like a surf rock throwback with some pretty sharp claws, and clocking in at under two minutes really leaves you wanting more – good thing their debut album Death Beat is due out on 25 Oct through Cooking Vinyl (the track is on their SoundCloud). Things have been described as “hot shit. The tits. The aural equivalent of being snap kicked in the dick.” Yeah, they have a sassy woman behind the microphone.

Aversions Crown – Hollow Planet. With members now spread between the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, you may have seen this six-piece deathcore group on tour with Thy Art Is Murder, Cattle Decapitation and King Parrot back in June. Their latest single has again taken them to the next level, with interplay between their three guitarists having reached new heights of chugging brick smashes and atmospheric eeriness. The production is next level insane too. Rather than opting for the completely polished sound typical of their previous releases, the end result is gritty, like sandpaper shaping giant diamonds into spears. Conceptually they’re obsessed with aliens, as the recently launched teaser video shows. The single and video will be released to the public online this Sunday 15 Sep. I want to believe. Dumbsaint – The Auteur. While all the above tracks get their point across in well less than five minutes, here’s a brooding instrumental post-rock/metal one for those willing to give a band a fair chunk more of their attention. Part of a three-track release (the other two are remixes), the title track has just been unveiled with an accompanying short film. An auteur is, by definition, a filmmaker whose style and complete control give his productions a personal stamp. Together the powerful music and visuals tell a gripping story full of peaks and valleys – there’s a duality of youthful dreams and adult realisation and it appears to end in death. Decide for yourself at dumbsaint.net, or on the band’s current tour with the Gold Coast’s Helm.

And it’s not something that is restricted to Melbourne in September. Think Sydney in July with Hardcore weekend or Break The Ice in April back in Melbourne. Or even take it abroad to This Is Hardcore or Sound And Fury or The Fest in the United States. Yeah, you check out some fantastic music (Bane at Break The Ice, Youth Of Today at Hardcore or The Smith Street Band at Weekender) but you also get to be exposed to some of best of those bands that are starting to make an impact on the scene. At Break The Ice it was Machina Genova and at Weekender it was Apart From This. It’s an opportunity to say goodbye to some bands that you love – bands like Milhouse or A Death In The Family – with people that feel the same way about them as you do, to share in memories and defining moments. In a way the music can be secondary to the togetherness of likeminded people from all over the country. As one of my friends is so fond of saying, it’s a bunch of weirdos and outcasts coming together. You see people that you haven’t seen in months or years, you meet and make new friends, and you just have fun, with the bands acting as a soundtrack to a great time. wakethedead@themusic.com.au


opinion

DANCE MOVES NEW CURRENTS WITH TIM FINNEY

TERRE THAEMLITZ

Five years ago Terre Thaemlitz released the album Midtown 120 Blues under the “DJ Sprinkles” moniker. A gorgeous survey of deep house at its most sensuous and abstracted, Midtown 120 Blues married Thaemlitz’s political concerns (a potpourri of identity politics interventions centred around the progressive marginalisation of queer radicalism within dance music and dance music discourse) with his voluptuous production style, seeing nothing unusual about combining gently bumping house beats with rants about Madonna’s cultural imperialism. Unusually articulate and erudite, Thaemlitz gives great interview copy; so great, in fact, that it’s easy to lose sight of the radicalism of his sonic personality. This is particularly so given he seems disinterested in music production techniques as a site of direct political expression. Indeed, if anything DJ Sprinkles’ sound verges on the apolitical, presenting deep house as a soothing balm for the marginalised soul. This contrast is made beautifully clear on his latest releases, DJ mix Where Dancefloors Stand Still, and remix compilation, Queerifications & Ruins. Whereas Where Dancefloors Stand Still – effectively a love letter to deep house – pays tribute to a scene mostly more constrained than Thaemlitz’ own material, Queerifications & Ruins presents his aesthetic at its most liberated and adventurous. Even more than Midtown 120 Blues, Queerifications & Ruins reveals the startling breadth of the DJ Sprinkles aesthetic, which seems able to work through deep house armoury of tactics in order to travel far beyond the bounds of the expected.

NEW YORK CONVERSATION

GOOD TIMING

TALES FROM THE BIG APPLE WITH TOM HAWKING

A COMICS GUIDE TO COMEDY WITH KIRSTEN LAW

Back in the ‘90s, around the time people were throwing around terms like “information superhighway”, it was popular to opine that everything felt like it was moving faster, our entire society toward some sort of kinda cultural singularity. If that’s true, then in the 21st century it seems like we’re there. The entire cycle of cultural phenomena – its initial appearance, the reactions to it, the reactions to those reactions, the hopefully more considered longlead analysis, the re-evaluation, and so on – happens not so much as an iterated process as it does a simultaneous explosion of opinion. Everything happens at once. What I’m interested in talking about this month is the internet outrage machine. I’m thinking, in particular, of Miley Cyrus’s performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, about which you’ve probably read way too much already. But indulge me here. Like pretty much everyone else who makes a living out of commentating on culture, I wrote something about the Cyrus Twerkocalypse the morning after it happened. For what it’s worth, my opinion at the time was that the whole kerfuffle was silly – if Miley wants to twerk, let her make a fool of herself. It’s no more cultural appropriation than a million other examples of cultural crossover that don’t bother anyone, and if people were going to get upset about anything, it should have been the rampant slut-shaming that characterised much of the reaction to her performance, not the performance itself. But anyway, the point is that the entire cycle of commentary happened in the space of a single day. There were the initial “Miley is terrible/no she isn’t” thinkpieces appearing online within minutes

of her leaving the stage, then the responses to those pieces not long afterwards, then the responses to the responses. Then... nothing. By the end of Monday, everyone was sick of the whole sorry business. My piece kept getting pageviews for the rest of the week, its graph trailing into a graceful decline by the end of Thursday, and some token arguments continued in the comment section but, really, the whole story was over by Tuesday. The one thing that hasn’t changed, though, is that the firestorm of criticism has just as much real-world effect as it ever did. These are real people’s lives we’re talking about – no matter what you think of Miley Cyrus, it’s undeniable that the firestorm of criticism over her performance has the potential to have a material effect on her career. Similarly, I wrote last month about Dead Girlfriends, who’s since renamed his project Default Genders and largely disappeared from view after the controversy over his Stop Pretending EP. I think much of the criticism of his EP stemmed from ill-considered kneejerk reactions, reactions that ignored the subtleties of what was a deceptively complex piece of work. But that’s kinda the point: the fact that you’re required to have an opinion immediately means that thoughtful, considered analysis... well, if not impossible, is then very unlikely. It’s probably pointless to encourage everyone to stop writing think pieces straight off the bat – if you hadn’t had anything to say on Miley on Monday, you’d missed the boat – but it’s worth stopping to think that your initial reaction to something isn’t always the correct one, and that critical thinking and gut reactions are not the same thing. The internet outrage machine is out of control already.

DEAD GIRLFRIENDS

MEME

Today, I ask a question that’s been perplexing humankind for millennia since around about 1978. What. Is. Dramedy? As a follow-up to my thoughts on Orange Is The New Black in Issue #03, seriously, what is it? Is it drama with a little bit of comedy – a few giggles, a handful of guffaws, a pocketful o’laffs? Or is it comedy with pathos? Is Two And A Half Men a dramedy because it makes me cry? Is Seventh Heaven a dramedy because it makes me laugh? TVtropes.org reckons dramedy is something along the lines of M.A.S.H. that… ahem (no shout-out to Robin Thicke intended) blurs “genre lines”. Right. Wikipedia says it’s kind of like a… thingy… with “an equal or nearly equal balance of humour and serious content”. Whatever the true definition, I think it’s safe to say that dramedies are more often labelled “comedies” than “dramas”. Take Derek, Ricky Gervais’s new show, for example. ABC iView calls it a comedy, but it feels a bit jarring the first time you watch it – and not because the dialogue is clunky at times. It feels jarring because its setting in a nursing home means it forces the audience to confront the thing that most scares us: losing our independence. After three episodes, though, I like Derek, and its brilliant turn from Karl Pilkington. But now, friends, I leave you a gift. Go to YouTube and find goestoeleven. He’s recut Breaking Bad as a 1995 family dramedy, and you must watch it now. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 69


opinion

HOWZAT! LOCAL MUSIC BY JEFF JENKINS

EARTH DAY

“And, yes, I will go wherever the wind may blow me.” That’s what Mark Moldre sings on his second solo album, and the Sydney singer-songwriter is a man of his word. An Ear To The Earth is one of 2013’s tastiest trips, taking the listener on a rollicking, rootsy journey. One minute it rumbles; the next, it’s gentle and poignant. Remarkably, it all hangs together beautifully – props to producer Jamie Hutchings (of Bluebottle Kiss). “Jamie and his brother, Scott, are my oldest friends,” Mark reveals. “I’ve known him since he was about three or four.” As teenagers, they played in bands, including The Fallen Scarecrows, but never really ventured into the studio together until they made this record – live to reel-to-reel tape. “It was organised chaos,” Mark laughs. “We wondered whether half the gear was even going to power up each morning. But if I continue making records, I don’t think I’ll ever do it any

70 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

other way. It was some of the best fun I’ve had.” The release saw Mark reunite with Laughing Outlaw’s Stuart Coupe, who put out two albums by Mark’s band, Hitchcock’s Regret, in the early 2000s. The new album has seen Mark compared to Tom Waits, Ryan Adams and Willie Nelson, while The Music’s Michael Smith called it “an album Nick Cave would be proud of ”. “The Nick Cave comparison surprised me,” Mark admits. “And I’ve only just recently started listening to Willie Nelson. My voice used to be compared a lot to Peter Gabriel, which I found a little disconcerting, as I wasn’t really a fan. It made me search out his pre-So stuff. It’s an interesting way to discover new music when unexpected comparisons come up.” The Sydney Morning Herald’s Bernard Zuel hailed An Ear To The Earth “album of the week”, calling it “music to drink to”. What’s Mark’s poison? “For me, it’s gin. Jamie has always been a bit of a red

MARK MOLDRE

wine connoisseur, and for the rest of the band it was mainly Coopers during the recording.” Buy ’em a drink when they hit town this weekend (Saturday afternoon at Pure Pop, Sunday at The Workers Club). “You’ve no idea what the road has done to me,” Mark sings on the album. “The highlight of touring is definitely having a band full of old friends,” he says. And the lowlight? “Running out of gin money.”

BIRTHDAY

The great Renée Geyer was born in Melbourne 60 years

ago today (Wednesday), and she’s still heading in the right direction. Renée shares a birthday with another Howzat! fave. Ben Lee is 35 today.

HOT ASH

Ashley Naylor launches the vinyl version of his stunning solo album, High Horse, at the Thornbury Theatre on Sunday afternoon.

HOT LINE

“ You can know where you are and still be lost” – Mark Moldre, I Don’t Know What’s Become Of Her


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MOONEE VALLEY DRIFTERS (Western swing)

SUN 15TH

ANDY BAYLORS’ CAJUN COMBO (Cajun cookin’)

SUN 15TH

KEN MAHER & TONY HARGREAVES (Acoustic roots)

TUE 17TH

IIRISH SESSION (Celtic ďŹ ddlin’ & diddlin’)

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Wed 11. 7pm. Short Greek Film Festival

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the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au The Meltdown: Bennetts Lane, Melbourne

THE MUSIC PRESENTS Peace: Sep 13 Eagle Bar La Trobe University; 14, 15 Northcote Social Club The Drones: Sep 13, 14 The Hi-Fi The Gangsters’ Ball: Sep 14 Forum Theatre The Paper Kites: Sep 15 The Hi-Fi; 28 Forum Theatre Illy: Sep 20 Corner Hotel Ngaiire: Sep 20 Baha Tacos; 21 Northcote Social Club Rudimental: Sep 21 Festival Hall

Active Child: Oct 26 Melbourne Recital Centre The Cribs: Oct 26 Ding Dong Lounge Boy & Bear: Nov 1 Wool Exchange (Geelong); 2, 3 Forum Theatre

Foals: Sep 26, 27 Palace Theatre

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

Twelve Foot Ninja: Oct 4 Corner Hotel The Jungle Giants: Oct 4, 6 The Hi-Fi; 5 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) Asta: Oct 4 Northcote Social Club; 5 Phoenix Youth Centre Yo La Tengo: Oct 18 Hamer Hall Archie Roach: Oct 18, 19 Arts Centre Playhouse

WED 11

Sandwich Jesus + Tom Fryer Band + Ben Carr Trio: 303, Northcote

Songrider’s Club + Various: Baha Tacos, Rye Viva Mexico with Los Mas Altos + Nahuatl Jaguar: Bar Open, Fitzroy Open Mic + Various: Bonnie & Clydes Cafe & Cocktail Bar, Thornbury Campfire Sessions feat. Suzannah Espie + Marlon Williams: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh Jackson Firebird: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Mo Soul with Jen Knight & The Cavaliers + Jude Pearl + DJ Vince Peach: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Dizzy’s Big Band + Peter Hearne: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Venice Music + Mallee Songs: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Tulalah + The Infants + Indoor Plants: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Return To Youth + Elephant Eyes + Farrow: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood Project Broczewski + Sam Cox + Jacob Malthouse + Red Lantern Colony: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement) , Collingwood Jennifer Kingwell: Jewell of Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick

Winnebago Lounge feat. The JVG Guitar Method + Brian Nankervis: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh

New Empire: Oct 24 The Toff In Town

Nancy Vandal: Nov 2 Reverence Hotel

Xavier Rudd: Oct 2, 3 Forum Theatre

Pigeon + Airwolf + Guests: Can’t Say, Melbourne

Wolf & Cub: Oct 24 Northcote Social Club

Jinja Safari: Sep 25 The Loft (Warrnambool); 26 Barwon Club (Geelong); 27 Forum Theatre; 28 Karova Lounge (Ballarat) Horrorshow: Sep 29 Ding Dong Lounge; October 17 Karova Lounge (Ballarat); 18 Wool Exchange (Geelong)

Tonight Alive + Hands Like Houses + D At Sea: Billboard The Venue, Melbourne

Andy Bull: Oct 20 Northcote Social Club

Bonjah: Nov 2 Ding Dong Lounge

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: Nov 8 Corner Hotel Face The Music Conference: Nov 15, 16 Arts Centre Pond: Dec 19 Corner Hotel Billy Bragg: Mar 13 Palais Theatre

The Preatures + Chela + Hollow Everdaze: Northcote Social Club, Northcote The Dinner Set feat. Samantha Goldie: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Roots of Music feat The High Suburban + Friends: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Secret Good Times Club (Open Mic) + Various: Tago Mago, Thornbury Open Mic Night + Various: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Fiona Claire: The Butterfly Club (6pm), Melbourne Hotel On Mayfair + Duende + Duoux: The Curtin, Carlton Wine, Whiskey, Women feat. Kirsty Cox + Rachel Clarke: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Collage + Various: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Tonight Alive + Hands Like Houses + D At Sea: The Hi-Fi (Under 18) Melbourne Don Hillman’s Secret Beach: The Quiet Man Hotel, Flemington Nigel Wearne: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Telstra Road To Discovery feat. Dan Sultan + Ella Hooper + Hayden Calnin: The Toff In Town, Melbourne East Brunswick All Girls Choir + Dyson Wyatt + Polyamorous Tryst + Ivy Street: The Tote, Collingwood Ian Moss: Wellers, Kangaroo Ground

GIG OF THE WEEK – NORTHLANE: SEP 12 COMMERCIAL HOTEL (SOUTH MORANG); 13, 14 FERNTREE GULLY HOTEL; 15 COBURG TOWN HALL Palace Of The King: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East

THU 12

Kingpin Hammond Combo: 303, Northcote

Mark Moldre + Jamie Hutchings: Babushka Bar, North Ballarat Esc + The Octopus Ride + Hideous Towns: Bar Open, Fitzroy Kylie Auldist + The Glenroy AllStars + DJ Vince Peach + Pierre Baroni: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Northlane + Saviour + Cardinal + Good Will Hunting: Commercial Hotel, South Morang Buffalo + King Of The North + Cockfight Shootout + The Cants: Corner Hotel, Richmond

The Moonlight Flatters: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine Fiona Claire: The Butterfly Club (7pm), Melbourne A Cheeky Grin + Sooky La La + Dangerous John + Colourwaves: The Curtin, Carlton Matt Glass + Dash: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne The Deep End + Dead City Ruins + Killshott + Ablaze: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Beaches + Kikagaku Moyo + Dreamtime: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood Totally Mild + The Motifs + Sissy Socks: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood

1927: Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights Major Tom & The Atoms: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Chris Wilson: Cherry Bar (5.30pm), Melbourne Dylan Joel + Remi: Corner Hotel, Richmond The Spin + The Corsairs + Aircrafte: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne The Joe Ruberto Trio + Fem Belling: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond The Legends of GOFPOS + Natural Bull Logic + Neil Wise: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Claim The Throne + Naberus + Hadal Maw: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Northlane + Saviour: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully

London Bureau + Altitude + Avantair + Jack Runaway: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Soul Cupcake + Damien Brunton: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Arty Del Rio + Papa G & The Starcats + Alone With Tiger: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North Grad Party+DJ Rowie: European Bier Cafe, Melbourne The Spheres + Kalacoma + Humans + R.Electrique: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy The Cat Empire + Hiatus Kaiyote + Animaux: Forum Theatre, Melbourne Jantina & The Jaguars + The Melanomads + Chev Rise: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood Lanara + Guests: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Preatures + Chela + Hollow Everdaze: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Cabin Fever + FFC + Organ Donors + Scab Eater: Reverence Hotel (Band Room), Footscray The Dirty Protest + The Translucents + A Suburban Crusade: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray Melbourne Fresh Industry Showcase + Various: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran Taste Of Indie Collective feat. Acoustic Foxx + Gondola Kid + The Vocal Lotion: Tago Mago, Thornbury Arcane Saints + Captives + My Echo + The Human Electric: The Bendigo, Collingwood

GHOSTPOET: SEP 14 CORNER HOTEL Jack Carty + Dan Parsons + Mali Mali: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

The Cat Empire + Hiatus Kaiyote + Animaux: Forum Theatre, Melbourne

Slow Club feat. O Littleblood + Leisure: The Tote, Collingwood

Magic Bones + The Love Bombs + The Dark Fair: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood

July Days + The Peeks + Canos + Bell Weather Department: The Tote, Collingwood Sures + Go Violets + Warmth Crashes In: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Anna’s Go-Go Academy: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Jimmy Cupples: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East The Antoinettes + Marilyn Rose & The Thorns + These Dirty Roses: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

FRI 13

Toy Boats + Liam Daly + Luke Thomas + Jess Locke: 303, Northcote Lotek: Baha Tacos, Rye

Fitzroy Funk Collective: Bar Open, Fitzroy Mr Jimmy + Flash Company: Bella Union, Carlton South

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU 72 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

Rock Dungeon feat. Vendetta + Sub Rosa + Mannik: CBD Club, Melbourne

Lunars + Dane Certificate + Actor Slash Model: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement), Collingwood Pheasant Pluckers: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East The Preatures + Chela + Hollow Everdaze: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Terry Francis + more: Onesixone, Prahran Tuxedo Pig + Trod + Spleen: Reverence Hotel (Band Room), Footscray Tago’s Mixed Grill + Various: Tago Mago, Thornbury Cisco Ceasar + Adrian Whitehead: The B.East, Brunswick East Grouse Party feat. Geoffrey O’Connor + Ann Ominous + DJ Dirty South: The Bendigo, Collingwood Spermaids: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine


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the guide vic.gigguide@themusic.com.au Fiona Claire: The Butterfly Club (7pm), Melbourne The Snowdroppers + Gay Paris + Captive: The Curtin, Carlton Traditional Irish Music Session with Dan Bourke & Friends: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne AC/DShe + The Relatives + Pelvis + Stoneage Romeo’s: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Howlin’ Steam Train + Zoophyte + El Moth + LeBelle: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Pull Up Selector #7 feat. DJ Pit + DJ Sam + Troublemaker + DJ Smak: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda Mesa Cosa + The Kremlings + Udays Tiger + Summer Blood: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood The Naysayers + Going Swimming: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood The Drones + Harmony: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne Kele (DJ Set): The Prince (Bandroom), St Kilda The Whorls + Local Group + The No.1 Jones: The Public Bar, North Melbourne Poprocks At The Toff with Dr Phil Smith: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Wakefield Mini Fest+Various:Empress Hotel (4pm), Fitzroy North

Goddess #7: Flying Saucer Club, Elsternwick Gangsters Ball feat. Red Hot Rhythmakers + Echoes Of Harlem + more: Forum Theatre, Melbourne Anna Smyrk & The Appetites + Pear & The Awkward Orchestra + Dash: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood Red Red Krovvy + The Kremlings + Leather Towell: Grace Darling Hotel (Basement), Collingwood The Midnight Scavengers + 100 Acre Woods: Great Britain Hotel, Richmond El Moth + Kooyeh: Jewell of Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick The Preatures + Chela: Karova Lounge, Ballarat The Moonee Valley Drifters + Guests: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Peace + Millions + Atolls: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

The Living Eyes + Hierophants + Pronto + Anti Fade + Friends DJs: The Workers Club, Fitzroy

Backward Creatures: Rainbow Hotel, Fitzroy

The National Evening Express + Pilots of The Future + Alex Pass: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East The Cambodian Space Project + Richie 1250 & The Brides of Christ + Les Minijupes: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

MON 16

Northlane + Driven To The Verge: Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully

Mark Moldre: Pure Pop Records (Afternoon), St Kilda

Christopher Coleman + Zoe Elliot + Marlon Williams: Wesley Anne, Northcote

Mat Virgato: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East

Pludo + Special Guests : Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy

The Poly’s: The Vineyard, St Kilda

McAlpines Fusiliers + The Australian Kingswood Factory: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick

Ash Naylor: Thornbury Theatre (Afternoon), Thornbury

The Workinghorse Irons + Max Goes to Hollywood + The Murder Rats + Teen Kong: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray The Gun Runners + Kissing Booth + Life Of My Own + Tigers: Reverence Hotel (Band Room), Footscray

THE CAT EMPIRE: SEP 12, 13 FORUM THEATRE; 15 PALACE THEATRE

Cherry Jam: Cherry Bar, Melbourne TV Colours + A Strange Day + Deep Heat + See Saw: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood

Ken Maher & Tony Hargreaves: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Storm The Sky + Fit For A King + I See The End + Temples & Towers: Masonic Hall, Wodonga, Wodonga

The Drones + Harmony: The Hi-Fi, Melbourne

Peace + Millions + Guests: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Monday Night Mass feat. High Tea + Whitewash + Duck Duck Chop + Spermaids + Onion Engine Band: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Lanie Lane + Guests: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

The Orbweavers + Shiver Like Timbers: Northcote Social Club (1.30pm) , Northcote

Lillis + Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood + Adam Hynes: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda

The Cat Empire + Guests: Palace Theatre, Melbourne

The Black Molls: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda

Chris Wilson: Rainbow Hotel (4pm), Fitzroy

Mandek Penha + Omega & The Yeast Masters + Nose Blood Catharsis: The Toff In Town, Melbourne

Barbarion + Electrik Dynamite + Horizons Edge: The Tote, Collingwood Teenage Libido + The Impossible No Goods: The Tote (Front Bar/4pm), Collingwood Kieran Ryan + Fraser A Gorman & Big Harvest + Love Migrate: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Ol’ Timey Music Jam with Craig Woodward & Friends: Victoria Hotel (5pm), Brunswick Ben Rogers Instrumental Asylum: Victoria Hotel, Brunswick Zutroy + The Sweet Kicks + Space Junk: Whole Lotta Love, Brunswick East Sexy/Heavy + Dazook + Transistor: Yah Yah’s, Fitzroy

SUN 15

The Bakersfield Glee Club: Retreat Hotel (5pm), Brunswick A Man Called Son + Pete Carr + Mezz Colman: Reverence Hotel (Front Bar), Footscray Sumper Series Launch feat. Claptone: Revolver Upstairs (7pm), Prahran Lindsay Field + Glyn Mason + Sam See: Royal Oak Hotel (4pm), Fitzroy North Apollo Apples + Joe Oppenheimer: Tago Mago (5.30pm), Thornbury Shanakee: The Bay Hotel, Mornington

Poetry In Motion+Various: 303 (6pm), Northcote

Danger’s Birthday feat. Motherslug + The Superguns + Selenium + Lucy’s Crown: The Bendigo, Collingwood

Stone Clocks + Forever + Roast Goat Spit + Sideways: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran

Ladders To The Moon + Various: 303, Northcote

The Bellwethers: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Bang feat. Storm The Sky + Fit For A King: Royal Melbourne Hotel, Melbourne

OPA: 303, Northcote The Marionettes + Guests: Bar Open, Fitzroy

Fiona Claire: The Butterfly Club (6pm), Melbourne Run Rabbit Run: The Curtin, Carlton

Citizen + The Unholy Racket + The Dyson Wyatt Polyamorous Tryst: Tago Mago, Thornbury

Kinematic + The Naked Chiefs: Baha Tacos, Rye

Captain Cleanoff + The Kill + Join The Amish + Split Teeth + Acid Vain: The Bendigo, Collingwood

Human As Animals + Fulton + The National Evening Express: Cherry Bar, Melbourne

Suzanne Kinsella + Megan Bernard: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne

Judge Pino & The Ruling Motions: Bar Open, Fitzroy

The Dames + Jeff Williams: The Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine

Northlane + Saviour + Exposures + Acrasia + Hideaway: Coburg Town Hall, Coburg

Dale Ryder Band + Bad Boys Batucada + Ms Butt: The Espy (Lounge Bar/5.30pm), St Kilda

Luke Brennan & The Sticky Valentines + Christian Bizzarri: Empress Hotel, Fitzroy North

Syn City feat. Fortay At Large + Hed Ubd + Nter + Skeaz Lauren + Hyjak + Sesk + Top Dawg: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda

Sean Kirkwood & The Radio Show + more: 303, Northcote

Cotangent + 23AOA + Harrison Storm + more: Barley Corn Hotel, Collingwood Backsliders + Broderick Smith: Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh My Left Boot + The Battle Axe Howlers + Child: Cherry Bar, Melbourne 1927: Commercial Hotel, South Morang Ghostpoet + Oscar Key Sung: Corner Hotel, Richmond Wintermoon + Guests: Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne Roger Clark Quartet + Cate Shaw: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond

Fiona Claire: The Butterfly Club (7pm), Melbourne Bitch Prefect + Constant Mongrel + Justin K. Fuller: The Curtin, Carlton Homesick Rays: The Drunken Poet, Melbourne Miss Ink Australia Grand Final feat. The Babes + more: The Espy (Gershwin Room), St Kilda Destroy She Said + King Of The North + Arts Martial + Virtue + Phil Para:The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Mountfield Plains + Underground + Astro Turf + Evandera: The Espy (Basement), St Kilda

Rouge Fonce + Kerryx + Dear Stalker + The Garden Of Eida: Evelyn Hotel (Afternoon), Fitzroy Kingston Crown + Papa G & The Starcats + Mama Pajama + Toby & Aled: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Helen Shanahan + Meg Mac + Tiaryn + Beth Brown: Grace Darling Hotel (Band Room), Collingwood Kavisha Mazzella + Matthew Arnold: Kew Court House, Kew Andy Baylor’s Cajun Combo: Lomond Hotel (5.30pm), Brunswick East

Rory Ellis: The Drunken Poet (4pm), Melbourne

The Starry Field + The Arch Dukes + Emma Russack: The Gasometer Hotel, Collingwood The Paper Kites + Special Guests: The Hi-Fi (All Ages) , Melbourne Wayward Breed: The Post Office Hotel (4.30pm), Coburg The Large Number 12s: The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy Mark Moldre + Jamie Hutchings + Isaac De Heer: The Workers Club, Fitzroy Willow + Simone & Girlfunkle: The Workers Club (Afternoon), Fitzroy

1000S OF GIGS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. FOR MORE HEAD TO THEMUSIC.COM.AU 74 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

The Baudelaires + Foreign/ National + Neil Wilkinson: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy

The Shock Of The New: The Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs), Collingwood

Shannon Bourne + DJ Max Crawdaddy: Cherry Bar (2pm), Melbourne

SAT 14

Lebowskis Present Bat Country + Harry Coulson’s Raindogs: 303, Northcote

TUE 17

Kill Shot: Cherry Bar, Melbourne Kvelertak + Guests: Corner Hotel, Richmond Swinburne High + Lee Appleton: Dizzy’s Jazz Club, Richmond Madre Monte + Lamine Sonko & The African Intelligence + Bachu Rose: Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy Smith Street Soul Train feat. DJ Vince Peach: Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood Irish Session: Lomond Hotel, Brunswick East Them Swoops + Singing For Humans: Northcote Social Club, Northcote Them Swoops + Guests: Northcote Town Hall, Northcote Mexcali Mothers + DJ Knave Knixx + The Bluebottles + DJ Lady Blades: Spotted Mallard, Brunswick Brightside Live Music Showcase feat. Marco + Jordy & Jason + Kate McLachlan + Jaree Royce Price + Pocketwatch Knight: The Espy (Lounge Bar), St Kilda Open Mic Night with Nicolette Forte + Friends: The Prince (Public Bar), St Kilda Sisters For Sisters + Various: The Toff In Town, Melbourne


health

GOOD FATS, BAD FATS, NO FATS, NEED FATS Carolyn Jones sifts through the options. options

F

or many of us, the word ‘fat’ conjures up all sorts of negative images and feelings when it comes to what we eat. I’d never come across low-fat milk or yoghurt when I was a kid, but by the time I was a teenage girl growing up in suburban Melbourne, fat was the enemy. Supermarkets were filled with products labelled ‘lite’, ‘fat-reduced’, ‘fat-free’ etc and to even consider buying full cream milk I’d have to be insane. Even now the effects on the psyche of the adults who grew up in the fat as enemy culture are clear as they order their skinny lattes or ask for no dressing on their salad. Things have changed and are continuing to change as research is showing that previously accepted ideas about the damage dietary fats cause, including the most emotive one – that fat makes you fat – are being questioned, turning some of these long-held beliefs on their heads. Here are a few things you might want to chew over when you are making decisions on what you want to eat when it comes to fat.

oil, avocados, peanuts, cashews and almonds. Good fat plays a role in many of our body’s biological functions including skin health, mood balancing, brain function, cell and organ membrane integrity, anti-inflammatory function, hormone regulation and also assist in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

GOOD FATS VS BAD FATS

LOW FAT OR FAT-FREE PRODUCTS ARE HEALTHIER OPTIONS

Ask any dietician and they’ll tell you that saturated fats are bad, trans fats are worse but monounsaturated fats are good and polyunsaturated fats are better. If only it were that simple. Yes, trans fats are really bad, and they are generally easy to find (and avoid) as they tend to be used in commercially-baked goods (doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pastries), packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, potato chips) and fried fast food (hot chips, fried chicken). Even healthy oils, like olive oil, can convert into trans fats if reused or overheated. But hey, we all know that these foods aren’t doing us any favours anyway. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are a hot topic at the moment. Foods high in saturated fat include meat, dairy, fish, dark chocolate, coconuts, nuts and seeds. The problem is many of these foods also contain health-boosting vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated fats and fibre essential to good health. Good polyunsaturated fats are found in oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines, and also in walnuts, Brazil nuts and seeds. Good monounsaturated fats are found in olive 76 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

FAT MAKES YOU FAT Over-eating makes you fat. Not cooking for yourself makes you fat. Choosing something from a packet over something fresh makes you fat. Per gram, fat contains more kilojoules (37kJ) than carbohydrates (16kJ) or protein (16kJ). So choosing the right fats to make up your recommended daily intake of between 44-78g is the key. Make saturated fat a maximum of ten per cent of this. Increase quality fats in your diet and eliminate trans fats. Make sure the fat (and everything else you eat) is nutrient dense and minimally processed.

While regulatory bodies continue to encourage consumption of low-fat products as part of a healthy diet, the truth is that fat tastes good. Remove the fat and you have to replace it with something to replace the flavour. Sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavours are the usual replacement. These ingredients can cause inflammation and irritation to your digestive system and mess with your general health. They have not been proven to assist in weight loss or weight management in the long term. Choose the fats you eat carefully and enjoy them. As a general rule cook with the good fats that are solid at room temperature, and use the liquid ones on salads. Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact the benefits of including a wide range of good fats in our diet has been proven to improve health and reduce many of the damaging effects of the environment we find ourselves living in today. Now I’m off to get myself a full fat latte and a piece of chocolate.

TYPES OF FATS

Trans fats – avoid them all. Saturated fats – choose wisely, try replacing margarine and vegetable oil with coconut oil (my current favourite is Spiral extra virgin/ expeller pressed) in your cooking. Use organic butter – Aldi do a nice New Zealand organic butter that’s half the price of the big two supermarket offerings. Saturated fats are more stable when heated so use these for cooking. MonoUnsaturated And Polyunsaturated Fats – increase fish oils, nuts and seeds and use a good quality olive oil. Dump the margarine and vegetable oils. Try making your own nut butter, or go to a farmer’s market and grab some macadamia nut butter to have on your sourdough toast. These fats are good for cold use like salad dressings and nut butters.


eat/drink

TOP 5

I LOVE A SUNBURNT WHISKY

WHISKY BARS

Scott Fitzsimons used to drink a lot of whisky from Scotland and Japan. Then he ran into the Australians… Pics by Holly Engelhardt.

1.

Whole Lotta Love East Brunswick – Rock’n’roll whisky menu.

2.

Barranow’s Lounge Hawthorn – Ask for Elements Of Islay and your own whisky locker

3.

Whisky & Alement Melbourne – A Scotch Malt Whisky Society outpost

4.

Cure Bar Carlton – Cheese + meats + olives + whisky

5.

The Woods Of Windsor Windsor – Whisky advice is the best kind

N

o longer is whisky solely the domain of a gloriously cold and windy country called Scotland. The secret is out; the rest of the world has found the recipe and some of the world’s best ‘Scotch’ whiskies are now coming from Japan, Sweden, India, Taiwan (whose Kavalan distillery is one of the most exciting in the world right now) and – bloody oath – Australia. In the past ten years distilleries have been popping up all over the country, fuelled by back-shed – and probably not entirely legal – home distillers. Now Aussie malts are being sent all across the world, garnering influential admirers and recognised awards. A visit to the small Scottish island (and whisky Mecca) Islay has locals and travellers hounding you for information on what the hell is going on down under? Victoria has the sweet notes of Bakery Hill, the ever young Starward and steam train-inspired Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, and Western Australia has Limeburners, where diesel fuel notes are the answer to Scotland’s seaweed and peat, but it’s the cluster of Tasmanian distilleries that is really exciting everyone. Malts from Lark, Sullivan’s Cove, Overeem and Nant are world class. The Australian climate speeds up the rate in which the newly made spirit extracts flavour from the wood and expressions such as Sullivan’s Cove French Oak and Overeem’s Cask Strength Port are absolutely gorgeous. The mind-blowing flavours are sometimes even too much flavour for the old whisky guard. Bill Lark – the Godfather of whisky in Australia – is experimenting with things like apple brandy casks, just because he can. All the while Heartwood’s independent bottlings (handpicked casks bottled in one-off runs) are having a lot of fun kicking everyone’s arse at over 70 per cent alcohol. It’s not only the malts that are superb – the utterly picturesque scenery of Tasmania seems to rub off on these whisky trailblazers and they’re some of the nicest, easy-going people you’ll ever meet. Move over dickhead bartenders and wanker cocktail ‘experts’, there are no boundaries to Australian whisky and it’s opening the

doors to whole new communities. Lark, who supplies spirit to many of the Tasmanian labels and who advises on pretty much everything from still shape to marketing, even looks like an Australian Santa Claus. If Lark is the Godfather, then Dan Woolley is the punk. Having run backstage bars at festivals like Big Day Out, he’s recently assembled one of the country’s best whisky selections at his Byron Bay Roadhouse restaurant (including a bottle of Dalmore made specifically for him). “It’s a global thing,” Woolley says of the whisky market resurgence, which famously moves in soaring peaks and crushing distillery-closing lows. “In fact, we’re way behind the rest of the world with this. Most of the quality distillers throughout Scotland, the USA and Japan sell out of everything they make so it was just a matter of time before we got the call. Global trends have local impacts. “There is no more ‘norm’ demographic for the whisky consumer. All ages from 18 to 80, male and female. They might not make it to the events and shows but in all the bars and all the homes around Australia you’d be very surprised who’s taking drams.” There’s a lot of marketing that goes into whisky – it’s big business trying to sell a premium spirit that looks like urine – and so there are a lot of stories to be told. Each dram has a tale, each distillery has a history. The Australian industry is 20-years-young and at the very start of its story, right now is probably the most exciting time to discover whisky – it’s like drinking liquid history. “So you’ve tried the Ardbeg Lord Of The Isles?” Bill ‘The Godfather’ Lark asked me once at a whisky function, referencing a 25-year-old, $1,700 bottle from the famous Scottish distillery. “I’ve got a bottle back home that needs opening, remind me when you come down.” “You’re kidding, right?” “No, hold me to it. Whisky’s meant to be enjoyed and shared. I want to drink it with someone who’s going to enjoy it.” THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 77


eat/drink

WHO’S COOKIN’

CHECKOUT

PEPE SAYA HAND CHURNED BUTTER Who would have thought butter could be better than a loaf of bread, well this one is. It’s exy but ohh so worth it. Cost: $9.99 for a wheel

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

WRITER, A. A. MILNE

HUNG VO Which cafe/bar/ restaurant do you cook at? I Love Pho Address: 264 Victoria St, Richmond Three words that describe the place? Fast, tasty, filling.

SIOUX FALLS TO CHICAGO

To prepare for the ten-hour drive we ate a hearty breakfast at Phillip’s Avenue dinner in Sioux Falls. Two Bacon Benny Deluxes (biscuits, eggs, hollandaise, asparagus & hash), an OJ & about 8 coffees. Pretty darn good diner fare for a city in the middle of nowhere. With @lloydhoneybrook

FOOD IS ART

If you were a patron of your establishment what would you select from the menu? Entree: Prawn spring rolls, pork and prawn rice paper rolls Served with? Coconut water or Vietnamese iced white coffee Main: Pho Bo Tai Nam Bo Vien (Sliced beef brisket and beef ball noodle soup) Served with? Longan drink Dessert: Three colour drink What’s the average price of a main? $10 Three ingredients everyone should have in their pantry? Fish sauce, rice, instant noodles. If your food was compared to music what style would it be? I would say soul:

78 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013

“WHAT I SAY IS THAT, IF A FELLOW REALLY LIKES POTATOES, HE MUST BE A PRETTY DECENT SORT OF FELLOW.”

deep and meaningful with links to its history and traditions. Good to the very last drop. What music is likely to be playing in the kitchen when you’re cooking? Traditional and Vietnamese pop music (lol), keeping the staff happy. If I’m by myself I like hip hop and R&B. Where do you usually eat after your shift? Usually some late night Chinese or Korean place (Ling Nam, Yaki, Jang Gun, Gami). What’s your dish of choice to enjoy after work? Something simple – rice with some beef or pork and veggies is always easy, otherwise can’t go past some Korean stir-fried spicy chicken giblets and what they call Army Stew. Is your chef lifestyle more Anthony Bourdain or Pete Evans? I was hoping more Bourdain but it’s probably more Pete Evans! Website link for more info? facebook.com/ ilovephoRichmond

“I LIKE RICE. RICE IS GREAT IF YOU’RE HUNGRY AND WANT 2000 OF SOMETHING” COMEDIAN, MITCH HEDBERG


travel

TOP 5

PEDAL TO THE FLOOR

PLACES TO LEGALLY CONSUME DRUGS ON THE BEACH IN GILI TRAWANGAN

Mushroom milkshake vendors dot the main drag of this idyllic Indo island. Pick one up, then sit the fuck down.

Noble Dye drives down the fast lane at Route 36 – the world’s only ‘cocaine bar’.

IN A CANOE ON THE AMAZON

Found in the jungles of Brazil, the Sapo looks like a green tree frog on ‘roids. However, his venom’s heaps psychedelic, man, when burn into your skin.

RIDING ALONG THE CANALS OF AMSTERDAM Long seen as the legal drug Mecca, the ‘Dam lures you in with its hazy charm before spitting you back out fragile and alone. Listen to the guy behind the counter.

CAMPING IN THE MOJAVE DESERT Get some salvia, drive into the lonely Californian yonder and hold on as you embark on a journey that you’re very much not ready for.

TRAWLING THE STREETS OF ROPPONGI

The Tokyo suburb that’s designed to inflame your senses can be taken to the next level with a quick stop at one of the many head stores found in the neon maze.

T

he hostel scene at Wild Rover is colourful at barely 8pm. A cute Canadian bartender sporadically offers schnapps free pours, while global nomads shark around the pool table. We arrived at the Irish themed establishment today and already we’re feeling the pinch of an altitude assisted happy hour, my two mates and I deep into a drunken dribble session with a lairy lad from England. He says he can help us get to the infamous Route 36 tonight but we’re dubious at best because really, can you imagine a bar existing that has cocaine on the menu? Situated over 4,000 metres above sea level at its highest point, Bolivia’s legislative capital La Paz isn’t know for much except it’s head spinning elevation, accessibility to the world’s most dangerous road and a drug scene for tourists that’s unlike any on the planet. Ever since the book Marching Powder drew a global audience to the post-millennial cocaine culture here, La Paz has attracted backpackers looking to flirt with danger for a sniff of some of the most pure snow produced anywhere. But for all our research in the lead-up to this leg of our South American trek, Route 36 still seems like a myth. That is until we meet Rowdy Brit. Over a heaving mid-week party he tells of his experience; how the staff bring the coke to your table; how it only costs $14 a gram. The Englishman then explains that like many cities, information on illicit activity is kept bubbling just below the surface of regular society. He writes a Spanish translation on the back of a napkin, tells us to read it out when we jump in a cab and sends us on our way. Unbelievably, it works. Our Spanglish is deciphered by the large, moustached cabbie and five minutes later we’re standing on a badly lit street that looks like every other badly lit street in La Paz, not knowing quite what to do. Suddenly to our right a roller door crashes upwards and a man ushers us inside with what you’d call casual urgency. And then for a fleeting moment it’s just like any club in the world: we pay a fee, receive a stamp and walk down a long, snaking corridor.

The main room is fairly derelict – probably a nightclub a few years ago but it hasn’t aged well. There’s coloured cellophane stuck crudely over lights, while The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black powers out from the speakers. We grab a seat at one of the last remaining booths and take it all in. There’s maybe 20 people inside divided into around six or seven groups; talking is continual but contained. Two sounds are unmistakable though – credit cards knocking on wood and nostrils inhaling – and they’re both happening at alarmingly fast intervals. We’re still trying to get our bearings on all of this when we’re greeted by a kind looking woman – no older than 40 – who verbalises our run sheet: order drinks, order rack, repeat at your will. When she returns a few minutes later we honestly can’t believe what’s presented to us. Lying flat, next to our Heinekens and vodkas, is a well-wrapped white parcel containing the salt of the land. And so it begins. General word is that authorities have been trying to shut Route 36 down for years but due to its continually changing location – the bar moving every month or so – they’ve never been able to. This has to be bullshit. If the local policia wanted to find the bar they’d only need to locate the trail of wired foreigners released back onto La Paz’s streets each morning. Make no mistake, this is a legitimate operation, and some individual with a badge and a title is taking their cut of this foreign stimulus package. America’s ‘War on Drugs’ was lost when coca farmer Evo Morales was elected Bolivian president in 2006, and now with the plant rooting deeper into soil and society, a shady side of alternative tourism has emerged. Eight hours pass at Route 36; night’s turned into day, and now the three of us are ambling through a bustling morning market trying to compute the madness we’ve just left behind. We solved the world’s problems, if only we knew, made some amazing friends that we’ll never remember, and had a once-in-a-lifetime experience we won’t forget. THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 79


80 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013


fashion AUSTRALIAN STYLISTS GRACE HORNEMAN

Created Perth company Grace Mae Designs in 2010, and is also the creative director of Marina’s Ambrosia. She started out with a Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology and Certificate of Makeup Artistry and is capable of creating her client’s outfit, hair and make-up.

ALL DRESSED UP Bec Cole is the goth girl who grew up to be an in-demand fashion stylist. She chats to Cyclone about her contribution to the MSFW short Reflections and her “perfect sandwich” of a career.

NICOLE WARNE

Otherwise known as Gary Pepper Vintage, this 23-year-old fashion blogger/stylist has her own online store, utilises social media and blogging to her benefit, and this year is a Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia Insider.

MARGARET ZHANG

Another Sydney fashion blogger (who runs Shine By Three), stylist and photographer harnessing the greatness of online media. By day she is a law/ commerce student at the University of Sydney but in her spare time she is a Harper’s Bazaar contributor. Styled by Grace Horneman Pic by Libby Edwards

M

elbourne’s Bec Cole has a dream career as a fashion stylist, curating looks and creating ‘worlds’ for fashion campaigns. She’s also the resident stylist at Melbourne’s cosmopolitan Southgate hub. Cole served as the production designer for the adventurous Melbourne Spring Fashion Week short film Reflections, leading a workshop relating to its themes at Southgate’s Define Your Style party. But, even during MSFW, she has been in Sydney for a whirlwind shoot. “I don’t tend to do any of the runway, I do more editorial and advertorial, so I don’t get caught up in a lot of the craziness,” Cole confesses. Cole studied production design at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where she was conspicuous in her apparel. “I was a goth – I’ll own it!” she laughs, admitting to still favouring Melbourne’s black dress code. She would eventually segue from set – and costume – design into fashion styling for ads (and kitted out one Hugh Jackman along the way). “I did set design at WAAPA and that was a pretty amazing experience, but I was very, very young – and, when you’re dealing with such an elite group of people at the age of 17, it’s overwhelming. But I knew from there onwards that I wanted to help create worlds. I moved into film and television once I’d done that and worked on Australian films and worked with great directors like Craig Monahan and amazing production designers and loved creating the worlds. But I missed that fashion element, having been such a lover of fashion from a really early age – like dressing up in mum’s clothes and waking my sister up at all hours to style her! So I knew that I wanted to incorporate both.” Cole, who’s worked for iconic Melbourne accessories retailer Christine Barro, cites US Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington as an example of “a great stylist”. “They not only have the ability to put clothing together in an interesting and different way to tell a story, [but] they also help capture a different world. It’s not just the clothing – it’s the mood

around it, it’s the surroundings, it’s the settings... For me, that kind of joining of production design and background sets in with fashion was like the perfect sandwich. It gave me that opportunity to create the world – because I want control over not only the clothing, but also what’s happening around it.” Cole brought this perspective to Reflections. The surrealist film, directed by Folie à Deux and starring model (and MTV VJ) Kate Peck, depicts five female characters who “represent different fashion, but also the different Melbourne girl”. Reflections traverses high and popular culture, entails local and international designs, and journeys to disparate key locations about town. The first of its characters is the urban or ‘street’ girl, outfitted in a typically muted Melbourne colour scheme. Then the “tough” sporty girl wears Christina Exie’s “minimalist” leather vest and visor, while the party (or music festival) girl dons a bespoke transparent Limedrop dress, white LIFEwithBIRD shorts and top, and Megan Park’s boho accessories. The artistic, balletic girl follows in “lighter” and “dreamier” romantic attire (an Akira gown). Yet Cole’s favourite is the “dramatic” socialite, who struts around in a Neo Dia dress, Philip Treacy headpiece from Christine, and wicked thigh-high Alex Perry for Tony Bianco boots. She interrupts a banquet scene evoking Peter Greenaway’s decadent The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Milliner Richard Nylon cameos). Indeed, Cole revels in the fantasy and transformative aspect of fashion, like Coddington, but maintains her mystique. “I will be honest – I do shy away from a lot of fashion events,” she says. “I love sharing my craft, and I love what I do so much, but the schmoozing side of it – I’d rather create a really beautiful image and that be what I’m known for than [be a part of ] the overly social element of the industry... I’d rather be that person who is too busy on a shoot or dreaming up the next story than going to the opening of a car door! I like to try to be more grounded with it all.” THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013 • 81


the end

TONY! TONY! TONY! TONY DANZA KNOWN FOR?

Playing men called Tony: in Taxi, then in Who’s The Boss?, Hudson Street and The Tony Danza Show.

TONING UP US extreme metal band The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza always had Danza fans show up at gigs.

PROS He’s multi-skilled: boxing, tap dancing, teaching (on TV), cooking and writing about it all.

CONS People thought Elton John’s Tiny Dancer was Tony Danza (“hold me closer, Tony Danza...”).

MY LITTLE TONY Actually... he was born Antonio Salvatore.

TONY MONTANA KNOWN FOR?

That mountain of cocaine he was determined to snort in 1983’s Scarface.

TONING UP Al Pacino turned this gangster Tony into a role model for wannabe drug dealers around the world - not really sure that’s what director Brian De Palma was going for.

PROS He doesn’t lose his cool when confronted with a chainsaw.

CONS Has anger management issues.

MY LITTLE TONY Without Tony Montana we’d never have gotten Tony Soprano.

TONY STARK KNOWN FOR?

Being a playboy superhero.

TONING UP

When not being Tony, this fictional Stan Lee-created Marvel character gads about as Iron Man.

PROS No lycra.

CONS As a role model for real-life billionaires we suspect he’s the reason Richard Branson thinks he can fly into space.

MY LITTLE TONY Forbes listed Tony as the 10th richest fictional character (below Bruce Wayne and Scrooge McDuck). 82 • THE MUSIC • 11TH SEPTEMBER 2013



The Music (Melbourne) Issue #5