# 1 2 • 3 0 . 1 0 . 1 3 • S Y D N E Y • F R E E • I N C O R P O R AT I N G
STARING DOWN THE HIP HOP PURISTS
HALLOWEEN LOOW LOW
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4 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
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themusic 30TH OCTOBER 2013
IF THEY WERE DISAPPOINTED BY THE SURPRISINGLY SMALL CROWD THEY DIDN’T SHOW IT.
THIS WEEK NEWS FEATURED
MARK HEBBLEWHITE REVIEWS STRATOVARIUS [P.59]
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Rooted Jurassic Lounge Bodyjar Bonjah Morcheeba
NEW RELEASES FROM JEREMY NEALE AND MINOR ALPS.
I WAS JUST A CONTROL FREAK AT THE START – I WAS REALLY BADLY BEHAVED. CAM BAINES OF BODYJAR [P.30]
EXCLUSIVELY ON THEMUSIC.COM.AU
Gwar Cut Copy Dyson Stringer Cloher Spit Syndicate
Live: Limp Bizkit Arts: Fly Me To The Moon Gear: Crosstown Fuzz Pedal
READ A GRIPPING EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM NEW BOOK THE YOUNGS: THE BROTHERS WHO BUILT AC/ DC BEFORE ITS RELEASE.
Cover: Halloween Costumes Local News Gig Guide Drink: Ginger Eat: Paleo Travel: Croatia
review THE RESPONSE TO THE TRAGIC DEATH OF JILL MEAGHER TEARING ITS WAY INTO YOUR HEART AND ERUPTING, MAKING THOSE DANCEFLOOR OFFERINGS SEEM ANTI-CLIMACTIC. MAT LEE REVIEWS GOSSLING [P.54]
VALE 10 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
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@ Agincourt 871 George street, Sydney City, firstname.lastname@example.org www.valvebar.com.au WED 30TH 7PM
CITY SLICKERS BAND COMP
THU 31ST 7PM
BASEMENT FRI 1ST 7PM FIRST LEVEL FRI 1ST 9PM
EXCITING COMPETITION, GREAT PRIZES
INDI ROCK SHOW FEAT: “NIGHTBUG” , “WOODLAND” , “COLLISION KINGS” , “PAPER CRANE”
STREET R’N’R SHOW WITH SUPPORT FROM: “STANDARD UNION” , “RUST” , “EAGER 13”
STR8 FROM DA HOOD
FEAT: NTER, DJ NERI, CLOUD 8, PITY LANE, JAYTWO, KORZA, HERBAVORE, 316, HFM, PROMISQUES, FORTAY AT LARGE AND MANY MORE
BASEMENT SAT 2ND 8PM
UFO CLUB’S HALLOWEEN PARTY
SAT 2ND 9PM
FEAT: “AMODUS” , “DOMINO” , “ACID NYMPH” , “COREDEA” , “NEW ALIAS” GLITCH/NEURO HOP/PSYCHEDELIC BASS FEAT: SOPE (UK), GOOSEBUMPS, FREQUENSEED, SILICON SLAVE, DAYSNATCHA
ROCKCHICK ENT PRESENTS SUN 3RD 12PM
SUN 3RD 5PM
METAL SHOW FEAT: “VENDETTA OF THE FALLEN” , “ATLANTIS OF THE SKY” , “CARBON BLACK” , “AMBER TRACE” , “SYLVAIN” , “OUR PAST DAYS” , “NEKROLOGY”
“MOONFIELD” PSYCHEDELIC ROCK SHOW WITH SUPPORT FROM: “ANCHORS OF TORTUGAS” , “GYPSY” , “JOHN EDWARDS TRIO” , “MANGROVE JACK”
Wed 6 Nov: City Slickers Band Competition ; Thu 7 Nov: Indie Alt Show feat: Melissa Jane Wylie, Joe Guitan, Michelle Maden, “Fox Company” and guests ; Fri 8 Nov: Basement: Street R’n’R Show with “The Corps” , “Dark Horse” , “Bloody Ripper” , “Oily Boys” , “Ivan & The Backpackers” , “Holiday Project”; First Level: Rumplestonskins Launch Party feat: Rumplestonskins, Poisiden, Itsu, Ryanosaurus, Phsiris and many more; Sat 9th Nov: Basement: 12pm: Core Show feat: “My City Screams” , “The Ocean The Sky” , “Under Grey Skies” , “Life Beyond” , “Spectrums” , “Rivalries” , “The World In Cinematic”; 8pm: Sydney Lunar Ritual 2013 feat: “Moon” , “Drohtnung” , “Seraphic Behest” , “Inclemency”; Sun 10 Nov: 12pm: Daybreak Showcase; 6pm: Hip Hop Show feat: Scribbling Idiots (USA), Izzy n The Proﬁt, DJ Maniak, BRB, B.O.S. , Damage & Pushr, Hard Evidence, Juxta
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THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 11
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EDITOR Mark Neilsen
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CONTRIBUTORS Adam Wilding, Andrew McDonald, Anthony Carew, Ben Meyer, Ben Doyle, Ben Preece, Bethany Cannan, Brendan Crabb, Brendan Telford, Callum Twigger, Cam Findlay, Cameron Warner, Cate Summers, Chris Familton, Chris Maric, Chris Yates, Christopher H James, Cyclone, Dan Condon, Daniel Cribb, Dave Drayton, Dominique Wall, Dylan Stewart, Glenn Waller, Guido Farnell, Guy Davis, Helen Lear, Jamelle Wells, James d’Apice, James Dawson, Justine Keating, Kris Swales, Liz Giuﬀ re, Lorin Reid, Lukas Murphy, Mark Hebblewhite, Mat Lee, Matt MacMaster, Paul Ransom, Paul Smith, Rip Nicholson, Robbie Lowe, Ross Clelland, Sam Hilton, Sam Murphy, Sarah Braybrooke, Sarah Petchell, Scott Fitzsimons, Sebastian Skeet, Sevana Ohandjanian, Simon Eales, Steve Bell, Stuart Evans, Tim Finney, Tom Hersey, Tyler McLoughlan
PHOTOGRAPHERS Angela Padovan, Carine Thevenau, Clare Hawley, Cybele Malinowski, Josh Groom, Justin Malinowski, Kane Hibberd, Peter Sharp, Sara Wills, Thomas Graham, Tony Mott
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THIS WEEK THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK • 30 OCTOBER - 5 NOVEMBER 2013
The grassroots short film fest Sandfly Film Festival has gone global, with satellite events in Paris, Berlin and New York, plus Newtown hometown rooftop screenings. That means you can spend opening night watching Ben Lee’s new music video On My Knees, French animation Mr Hublot, black comedy Magnolia and more: all with a coldie in hand and a self-satisfied grin on your face.
Head down to the annual Festival of Dangerous Ideas starting Saturday and going all weekend. It’s all about taking controversial topics into the open air, or in this case, into the Opera House, for discussion and debate. The FODI team are bringing intellectualism into the public arena and talking about topics that range from the war on drugs, women in power to criminal justice. It’ll be thought-provoking at best and yawn-inducing at worst.
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Revered photojournalist David Moore, whose work is pictured, took gorgeous pictures of the Opera House under construction - check out pictures from before its opening in 1973 at Customs House from Friday. The exhibition is one of many ways Sydney is celebrating one of our most remarkable landmark’s 40th anniversary. Head along and be inspired; we promise it’s better than the deflated Skywhale down in Canberra.
Yes, it’s Movember again, the perfect opportunity for your seedy uncle to finally fit in with your local hipster gang. Grow a mo for charity and help raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer. Just remember to actually raise some money this time, instead of using it as an excuse to keep your three-day fuzz for 30 days. You looked like a barely pubescent 16-year-old. Head to au.movember.com.
Fancy yourself as a problem solver? An individual that can handle all kinds of pressure in different circumstances? Are you keen to jet-set around the world, check out some of the most iconic sights on the planet and potentially win a large chunk of cash? Then you best be entering The Amazing Race Australia, which is returning to television screens in 2014. Grab your spouse, friend, sibling, parent, pet... no. Look, buddy up, enter at au.tv.yahoo.com and you could be the next Amazing Race champion.
On laughs, and icecream. The official Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues trailer has just been released, and Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 news team look set to take hilarious stupidity to the next level. And if Brian Fantana’s world famous jimmy cabinet didn’t look enticing enough, how about Ben & Jerry’s paying homage to Mr Burgundy with his very own flavour, Scotchy Scotch Scotch. As McBain once said, “Let’s get silly.”
After a two-year wait, Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole And A Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms Mayhem, And Other Things That Happened is finally about to occupy prime position on your shelf. It was originally a popular web comic, drawn using Paintbrush, and featuring anecdotes about the Alot, her mentally challenged dog and being a small child. It’s genuinely side-splitting and now in book format. It’s out on 1 Nov, and you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon, Random House, or Brosh herself. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 13
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WE LOVE KANE HIBBERD
Although it might be hard to tell because last week we forgot to credit the award-winning photographer for his wonderful Stonefield shoot. So, just for the record, the above shot of the band was shot exclusively for us by Kane Hibberd. (Kane, please don’t hate us.)
A regular at the festival since his first appearance back in 2002, Jack Johnson is making a welcome return to the main stage at Bluesfest 2014. Continuing his incredible worldwide success with his latest LP From Here To Now To You, the former professional surfer has plenty of new treats for Aussie fans, and slides into the bill seamlessly, as does Elvis Costello, who’ll be leading The Imposters through his legendary canon. Also added to the line-up: Passenger, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Kasey Chambers, Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes, Trixie Whitley and The Soul Rebels, as well as television game show RocKwiz, which will happen live at the festival. Bluesfest’s 25-year anniversary celebrations take place 17 to 22 Apr, Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay.
ALL HAIL THE QUEEN
Showing no signs of slowing down, Nashville country royalty Dolly Parton is set to share a few more special nights with her adoring fans Down Under, showcasing her latest record, Blue Smoke, as well as pulling favourites from a back catalogue that stretches almost half a century. She plays 11 Feb, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne; 15 Feb, Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley; 18 Feb, Sydney Entertainment Centre; 21 Feb, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; and 27 Feb, Perth Arena. Tickets are on sale this Friday.
YOUNG AND RESTLESS
Play out all your hedonistic fantasies when the 27-year-old producer Adrian Lux spins tunes (including his new stormer, Wild Child) along the east coast, playing 2 Nov, Pacha, Sydney; 8 Nov, King Street Hotel, Newcastle; 9 Nov, The Met, Brisbane; 14 Nov, Trak Lounge Bar, Melbourne; 15 Nov, Academy, Canberra; and 16 Nov, Platinum Nightclub, Gold Coast.
WARPED ATHLETES ANNOUNCED
Warped Tour isn’t just about the music – there’s also a sporting component, which features some genuinely mad skateboarders and BMX riders for your jaw-on-thefloor viewing pleasure in 2013. How’s this for a list: Steve Caballero, Renton Millar, Omar Hassan, Dennis McCoy, Neal Hendrix, Pedro Barros, Vi Kakinho, Murilo Peres and Coco Zurita. Undeniably epic times! For full event details head to The Guide on theMusic.com.au.
Headed up by a formidable trio of American metalcore heavyweights – Blessthefall, Like Moths To Flames and The Color Morale – Boys Of Summer will return in 2014, happening 8 Jan, The Rev, Brisbane; 9 Jan, Eagleby South School Hall, Brisbane (all ages); 10 Jan, Panthers, Newcastle (licensed/all ages); 11 Jan (18+) and 12 Jan (all ages), The Annandale, Sydney; 14 Jan, The Basement, Canberra; 15 Jan, Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne (all ages); 16 Jan, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 18 Jan, Amplifier, Perth; and 19 Jan, YMCA HQ, Perth (all ages) (The Color Moral don’t appear on the WA dates).
EATING THROUGH THE FLESH
From their original powerviolence days back in the mid-’90s, masked San Diego punks The Locust have been brutalising anyone that cares with screeching bursts of hardcore noise and mathy time signatures. Off the map for a while, the quartet returns 5 Feb, Crowbar, Brisbane; 6 Feb, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 7 Feb, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; and 10 Feb, Amplifier Bar, Perth.
“I BET BRITNEY HAS A HARD TIME USING FEDEX” SHE PROBABLY HAS A HARD TIME WITH LOTS OF THINGS ALEC SULKIN [@THESULK]. 14 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
SHINING IN THE SUN
BATTLE OF THEMSELVES
Do you want to get weird? Feelings have just released their debut record Be Kind, Unwind and are set to launch that baby with some gigs. Standard so far, yes? Well, this is where things take a turn from the strange. The support band for all dates: Philadelphia Grand Jury, making an east coast return after a few years in hiatus wilderness. So you’ve got the same three guys, two separate bands and so much indie pop awesomeness – yeah boi. These nights of curious musical déjà vu will take place 28 Nov, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 5 Dec, The Rev, Brisbane; 6 Dec, Small Ballroom, Newcastle; and 7 Dec, The Standard, Sydney, with all shows proudly presented by The Music.
national news firstname.lastname@example.org AVICII
MORE THAN A NIGHT
It used to be just about the ARIA Awards; now, it’s about the ARIA Week! There’s loads of cracker performances in the leadup to the gala evening on 1 Dec, including Andy Bull, Chance Waters and The Cairos, Oxford Art Factory, 26 Nov; Jackie Onassis, Safia and Remi, Oxford Art Factory, 27 Nov; DZ Deathrays, Palms and I Oh You DJs, The Standard, 27 Nov; Glass Towers, Oxford Art Factory, 28 Nov; and Bliss N Eso, The Standard, 28 Nov. The Music is also hosting a couple of late nights at Upstairs Beresford, partnering with Chugg Music, 26 Nov and MGM, 27 Nov, with Bad//Dreems helping us party at the latter. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we’ll be announcing the full list of acts for both those bills!
THE FREED MEN
Fans here thought all their birthdays had come at once when Sebadoh returned in 2011, touring after a long hiatus away. Understandably, those same crew are going to be bouncing with news the American indie legends are visiting us once more, showing off their first LP in 14 years, Defend Yourself, with capital city shows. The trio play 21 Mar, Corner Hotel, Melbourne; 22 Mar, Annandale Hotel, Sydney; 23 Mar, The Zoo, Brisbane; and 25 Mar, Rosemount Hotel, Perth.
Incredibly popular, though a band that still seems to fly under the radar like some amazing little secret is Metric. The secret may finally be out for good, however, with the quartet jetting across the Pacific again to shake capital cities this summer. You can spend a balmy evening with Metric when the Canadian indie new wavers play Metro City, Perth, 7 Dec; The Forum, Melbourne, 9 Dec; The Tivoli, Brisbane, 11 Dec; and Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 12 Dec. Tickets are on sale today (Wednesday).
ON ANOTHER LEVEL
At 23 years of age and standing on top of the EDM mountain, there are few beat makers as big or in demand as Swedish superstar Avicii, and next year Australia gets the producer at the height of his powers. The man responsible for mega anthems like Levels and Wake Me Up will play his first ever headline dates Down Under, bringing his inspired arena show to the following venues: Brisbane Riverstage, 24 Jan (all ages); Centennial Park, Sydney, 25 Jan (15+); Melbourne Showgrounds, 26 Jan (15+); and Perth Arena, 27 Jan (all ages). Tickets on sale noon, 8 Nov. Presented by The Music.
TRIPLE J FOR ADULTS
Adding a third notch to their belt, triple j have just taken control of ABC’s Dig Music, with a major rebrand set to take place over the next six months. The station, which is able to be streamed through digital TVs, will aim at reconnecting with an older demographic that has perhaps turned their backs on the current triple j playlist, with artists such as Sarah Blasko, Billy Bragg, Tim Rogers and Moby set to program material in the future.
“FUCKIN TERRORISTS. NOW EVERY TIME I FLY I GOTTA FIND CLEAN MATCHED DECENT SOCKS” WHAT’S WORSE THOUGH [@DEANJNORRIS], CLEAN SOCKS OR BLUE METH?
TIME IS RUNNING OUT
You’ve never experienced Muse quite like this. Muse – Live At Rome Olympic Stadium showcases one of the biggest bands in the world delivering their largest live production in 4K Ultra High Definition, the first concert film to ever use such technology. Witness the British trio through 8.8 million pixels when the film is screened around the country for one night only, 7 Nov, 7pm at Event Cinemas: George St, Sydney; Chermside, Brisbane; and Innaloo, Perth, as well as Village Cinemas: Jam Factory, Melbourne.
RECLAIMING THE DARKNESS
Rekindling over 30 years of gothic dreams, former Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy will sidestep his solo outings to plough into the material that made him famous, performing an entire Bauhaus set in full band mode. These Mr. Moonlight shows will be the first time in almost a decade that Murphy has played a complete set of material from the iconic British group, taking place 10 Dec, The Hi-Fi, Brisbane; 11 Dec, Manning Bar, Sydney; and 12 Dec, Corner Hotel, Melbourne. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 15
local news email@example.com THE JULIE RUIN
RUINING AND RIOTING
The Julie Ruin are set to tour Australia for the first time next year, stopping by the Factory Theatre, 17 Jan. Led by Riot Grrrl pioneer Katheen Hanna (Bikini Kill, Le Tigre) and backed by her hand-picked band (including former Bikini Kill bandmate, Kathi Wilcox), The Julie Ruin is an energetic dance-punk whirlwind, the live band providing a tight musical backbone to Hanna’s iconic vocal style. Presented by The Music.
The Sydney Festival 2014 program has landed and boy, is it a doozy. Among the treasures you can explore are the free outdoor concerts in The Domain, the world premiere of Band Of Magicians in Parramatta and the Australian exclusive of Dido & Aeneas. There’s the Festival Village, art installations and family fun. Theatre includes Jean Cocteau’s classic monologue La Voix Humaine and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Othello: The Remix, while the music component sees performances from the likes of queen of soul and funk Chaka Khan, Kurt Vile (pictured, also visiting for Laneway Festival) and Mick Harvey. For details head to sydneyfestival.org.au.
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Homebake 2013 has officially been cancelled, due to what organisers have described as the loss of the festival’s “ancestral home”, the Domain. Ticket sales suffered from the relocation to Sydney Opera House and move to a three-day format, forcing organisers to pull the pin. Paul Kelly, The Presets and Birds Of Tokyo were scheduled to appear. The Homebake website has full details of ticket refunds.
EYE OF THE TIGER
Sydney’s Tigertown are set to support Canadian four-piece Half Moon Run on their Australian tour, which also takes in the Woodford Folk Festival. Tigertown deliver the sweet harmonies and hooks of their Wandering Eyes EP on 9 Jan, The Small Ballroom, Newcastle; 10 Jan, Heritage Hotel, Bulli; 11 Jan, The Standard; and 14 Jan, Brass Monkey, Cronulla.
HALLOWEEN HORROR SHOW
Celebrate Halloween in truly spine-tingling fashion by getting yourself to a Wednesday 13 show. Australian industrial metal maestros Witchgrinder will be supporting the horror punk pro (and former Murderdolls frontman) on his tour of the east coast later this month. Catch this fearsome lineup at the Metro Theatre on 31 Oct.
STILL TO BE
Toby Schmitz is set to appear in Michael Bay’s blockbuster TV series Black Sails. The downside of this exciting news is that the shooting begins just before the end of Belvoir’s season of Hamlet, which means Ewen Leslie (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Wild Duck) will be stepping in to play Hamlet for the final two weeks of the production. Due to Leslie’s prior commitments, the 2pm matinee, 20 Nov and the Unwaged Performance, 28 Nov have been cancelled.
“I’M NEVER ACCIDENTALLY LATE TO SEE YOUR BAND”
JOHN VIENER @MYGIVEUP OFFERS NO EXCUSES. 16 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
The hottest double billing of 2014 just got hotter, with two final concerts added to the Nine Inch Nails and Queens Of The Stone Age Australia and New Zealand March co-headline tour. Fans in Sydney score another concert on 7 Mar at Sydney Entertainment Centre, the day after the first show.
IN THE DARK
Suburban Dark are celebrating the success of their second single Mind Reader by heading around the country on a quick pre-Christmas visit. Mind Reader features rapper Jeswon’s off the wall flow and lyricism over a thumping electro anthem. Hugely influenced by dark hip hop, grinding drum’n’bass, electronica doused with nostalgia and straight-up heavy metal, Suburban Dark’s music pushes the boundaries of Aussie hip hop. Catch them at Name This Bar, 14 Nov.
A DAY ON THE COURTS
From Texas via New York comes Parquet Courts. Reigniting the joy of American punk rock, Parquet Courts are a no-nonsense, four-man explosion of up-all-night energy, a whip-smart collision of ideas designed to put brains (and mosh pits) in motion. See ‘em with hand-picked special guests, Total Control and Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, 5 Feb, The Standard. Presented by The Music.
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Jay Brannan returns this November, performing an intimate show at The Basement, 29 Nov off the back of his latest release Around The World In 80 Jays. NYC-based Brannan has been writing and performing his own sweet and sad folk songs around the globe since 2006. His latest release is an acoustic collection of nine international cover songs covering six different languages.
Patrick James’ Spring Tour is coming up fast, and he’s announced special guests following the release of his new single, Wait. Joining him at Yours & Owls, 7 Nov and Oxford Art Factory, 9 Nov is producer wunderkind and ex-The Middle East mastermind Mark Myers’ The Starry Field. Maples also joins the Oxford Art Factory line-up.
MORE THROUGH THE LANEWAY
The Laneway Festival sideshows are spilling out and here’s the first batch of sideshows for you to froth over. The golden singer-songwriter of our time, Baltimore’s Cass McCombs will play Oxford Art Facto,ry 6 Feb with support from Melodie Nelson. British brother-duo Drenge make their way to our shores for the first time, and will perform at Goodgod Small Club, 4 Feb with support from The Creases. London trio Daughter take on the Heavenly Sounds setting, stopping by St Stephen’s Uniting Church on 4 Feb. Hear Glaswegian trio Chvrches’ debut album The Bones Of What You Believe performed live at the Metro Theatre, 4 Feb, with guest Elizabeth Rose. King Krule – 19-year-old Archy Marshall – is gathering excitement fast and brings his unique rock, jazz, blues, electro sound to the Oxford Art Factory, 4 Feb. Autre Ne Veut is mysterious and eccentric Brooklyn musician Arthur Ashin, and he’ll be performing his neo-soul songs at Oxford Art Factor,y 5 Feb. See the hyped live show of London all-girl post-punk four-piece Savages at the Metro Theatre on 5 Feb, with guest Kirin J Callinan. UK electronic luminaries Mount Kimbie will take to the stage at Metro Theatre, 29 Jan. And last but not least, our own Jagwar Ma are making waves here and abroad, and they’re playing a sideshow of their own at the Metro Theatre, 17 Jan with support from Jonti.
YES YOU MAY
The Jungle Giants have announced the addition of a handful of new dates to their Learn To Exist Tour, plus special guests Muscles (DJ set) and Twinsy. There is an extra show at Metro Theatre, 22 Nov. It’s all ages, with Bec & Ben joining on the night.
MusicNSW’s Sound Summit has announced the full conference program and performance schedule for the festival’s debut in Sydney from 7 to 10 Nov. They’ve revealed Q&As, panels on current local and global music issues, practical guides for artists, plus a series of hands-on workshops. Just a few of the speakers will be Paris Groovescooter (2SER), Craig Lyons (SLAM NSW ), Greg Morrow (APRA), Shaun Prescott (Crawlspace) and Joe Davies-Griffith (Royal Headache).
To celebrate a successful year all ‘round and the release of a double A-side, Perth Girls from the album Kiss My Apocalypse and new track Total Control, Abbe May is hitting the road and bringing her live show to The Standard on 30 Nov with special guest Mathas.
“THERE’S NOTHING MORE SATISFYING THAN BREAKING YOUR 3D GLASSES AFTER SEEING A $19 IMAX FILM” EVEN GRAVITY ISN’T HOLDING @HARMARSUPERSTAR BACK.
THE RABBIT RETURNS
Frightened Rabbit visited Australia for a national tour earlier this year off the back of their Pedestrian Verse album, playing Groovin’ The Moo Festivals and a run of sold out east coast sideshows. Seems they love us (at least that’s what we can tell ourselves), because they’re set to come back already, performing at Laneway as well as their own headline shows. Catch the Scottish indie-rock five piece at the Metro Theatre, 6 Feb. Presented by The Music. 18 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
FALLING EVEN FURTHER With tickets to both the Lorne and Byron Bay editions of The Falls Music & Arts Festival now sold out, more acts have just been announced. Leading the comedy components are Amos Gill, Dave Callan, David Quirk, Michael Hing, Nath Valvo and Ronny Chieng. Among the added musical acts for Lorne and Byron are Anna Lunoe, Born Ruffians, Touch Sensitive, Tyler Touche and Wave Racer. Also, Hot 8 Brass Band is unable to play Boogie Nights, with Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes stepping up to fill their spot.
PICK UP THE THRED
With the backdrop of the Thredbo mountains, many of Australia’s top folk and blues artists will be performing at this summer’s Thredbo Blues Festival. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the festival will take place over the weekend of the 17-19 Jan. Headline acts include Wendy Matthews, Jeff Lang, Kevin Borich, David Blight & The Flyers, Rick Price and Ray Beadle, with many more.
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20 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
TIME TO GET ILL
He quietened the haters with his last album, but now Melbourne MC Illy feels comfortable to explore his unique rappinghood on Cinematic. â€œI love writing big hooks,â€? he admits to Aleksia Barron. Photos Kane Hibberd.
ack in 2009, Googling “Illy” produced a page of hits related to the Italian coffee brand. The other Illy – an up-and-coming young hip hop artist from Melbourne – was only just beginning to sneak onto the radar with his debut album Long Story Short and its hit single Pictures. These days, the Illy known also as Al Murray commandeers the top few spots on Google, with the coffee brand relegated to halfway down the page. The fresh-faced young artist of 2009 is now a bona fide veteran of Australian hip hop, and he’s got plenty of gas left in the tank. He’s overcome a severe back injury, played hundreds of shows and is gearing up for the release of Cinematic, his fourth studio album and the first released on his own label ONETWO. Cinematic represents a return to stylistic form for Murray, as well as renewed confidence in his work. Laden with grandeur and packed with lush, genreskipping beats (largely courtesy of his longtime collaborator M-Phazes), it represents the evolution of Murray’s songwriting and worldview. Anyone with triple j on their radar will likely already be familiar with the album’s lead single On & On, which has enjoyed plenty of airplay over the last few weeks. Guests on the album range from hip hop royalty Drapht and Hilltop Hoods to Daniel
at least hold my own.” The album featured some of the country’s most skilled MCs, including Reason and Mantra, and there wasn’t a single singer letting loose over a big hook to be found. In departing from the safer trajectory of making another more fan-friendly album, Murray knew he might alienate his most ardent supporters. “I’m very proud of [Bring It Back], but it didn’t have the same impact that The Chase did, and I had a lot of people who were fans – where it left them a bit confused,” he says. “I knew that was going to happen, it’s the nature of what the album was, but [with Cinematic] I wanted
longtime producer and friend M-Phazes who took on the lion’s share of the work for Cinematic. According to Murray, neither of them can still quite believe the record is finished. “It’s like a weight that I’m still grappling with: the fact that it’s not there anymore,” laughs Murray. “I still have an inexplicable stress.” Cinematic is likely to delight rather than shock Murray’s longtime fans, but the biggest surprise of this album might lie in how proud he is of it. He seems to have overcome the industry-driven anxieties that compelled him to prove his old-school hip hop chops on Bring It Back, and is ready to make the case for the sort of music that he loves. Asked about his new material, he says: “They’re not ‘hip hop tracks’, they’re like songs. There are some banging tracks on this album – it’s not like it’s a pop record, but I enjoy it. I love writing big hooks. I think that’s a skill that I have that I enjoy and I think a lot of people connect with [this]. I think my best songs are when I’m in this mode.” Murray is blunt when asked how he feels about criticism of his songwriting style. “It’s harder to write this stuff, that’s why not many people do it well,” he responds firmly. “It takes more than just having flow and having lyrics and having bars. I think people will appreciate it for what it is but, if they don’t, that’s not my problem. These tracks aren’t easy to write.”
“THE KIDS THESE DAYS JUST WANT TO RAP. THEY’RE LISTENING TO EVERY GENRE, AND ALL THESE GENRES COMING TOGETHER, AND THEY’RE RAPPING OVER FLUME. THEY’RE RAPPING OVER HOUSE SHIT. THEY DON’T CARE.”
Merriweather and Amity Affliction vocalist Ahren Stringer, who lends his rock sensibilities to the album’s second single Youngbloods. Packed with likely hits, Murray’s new record feels like the follow-up to his highly successful sophomore album, 2010’s The Chase. The funny part is that Cinematic is not the follow-up at all, chronologically speaking. That would be his unexpected boom-bap record Bring It Back, which he dropped last year. “Bring It Back was a bit of a departure,” explains Murray. “I really just needed to dip my feet and remind people that I could do that sort of thing.” Despite his origins in the Crooked Eye crew, working with the universally respected M-Phazes and being signed to Obese Records when he was barely out of his teens, Murray’s career has been accompanied by a soundtrack of criticism that he doesn’t make “real” hip hop – and it only got louder as his profile increased. With the success of The Chase, which included the hits It Can Wait featuring Owl Eyes and the hip hop ballad Cigarettes, Murray became the face for a new, genreshifting style of rap that wasn’t afraid to hold hands with pop, and a target for people who wanted to see hip hop remain separate from other musical styles. Murray admits that he made Bring It Back in an effort to quieten the haters. “I felt like I needed to do that, just to remind people that I can go on a track toe to toe with the best dudes in the country and, if not own it, 22 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
to bring it back – no pun intended – to what wouldn’t surprise them.” In fact, the roots of Cinematic existed even before those for Bring It Back – Murray was performing Youngbloods as early as 2011. “I had [Youngbloods and] a couple of demos ready, and then I started working on Bring It Back and those tracks were sort of put on the backburner,” he says. “The real work [on Cinematic] started in earnest in January this year, and it really kicked into gear around February. The last six months have been flat-out with it.” The record features production from the likes of Jan Skubiszewski, Stylaz Fuego and Cam Bluff, but it’s his
In fact, the hip hop purist attitudes are less important to Murray than ever. “I think that attitude has been dying for a long time. My generation are like the third real generation of Australian hip-hop artists and we’re not the young guys anymore,” he muses. “We’re coming into our own and there’s people underneath us who don’t give a fuck about any of that shit. The kids these days just want to rap. They’re listening to every genre, and all these genres coming together, and they’re rapping over Flume. They’re rapping over house shit. They don’t care.” Cinematic is an apt title for Murray’s new album – he’s ready to put himself on the biggest screens possible, to show his work to all and sundry and proclaim that this new, boundary-pushing direction of hip hop is what he loves. The album represents his total commitment to his style, having been designed for end-to-end listening – similar to the experience of watching a film. “Cinematic feels like a really big, epic album,” he explains. “It sounds big. It has an air of grandeur about it.” Of course, nothing feels grander than owning and loving what you do, and it seems like Murray has finally arrived at that point. There won’t be any need for another throwback album now that he’s harnessed his forward momentum. WHAT: Cinematic (ONETWO)
BOYZ N THE HOOD Illy recruited some of Australia’s finest artists to work on his latest release. Aleksia Barron seeks the dirt. A particularly significant coup for Illy was getting Aussie hip hop royalty, Hilltop Hoods, to feature on the album. “One of the first shows I went to was a ‘Hoods show at the Corner,” reminisces Illy, aka Al Murray. “I got a fake ID, got snuck in – and now ten years later, to be doing a track with them, it’s crazy.” The track, Coming Down, even overcame the tyranny of distance. “We did it over two different trips to Adelaide and recorded it in Debris’ studio.” So what are the Hoods like in real life? “You know, you hear all these stories of people meeting people that they’ve looked up to for a long time, and it sucks. I’ve had that: meeting people who turned out to be dicks.” (He wouldn’t name names on the record.) “But those dudes are just kings in the truest sense of the word. They were just the most welcoming and humble dudes. They are the example for how to conduct yourself, no matter what level of success you have. It’s inspiring.” Daniel Merriweather also appears on Save Me. Merriweather has become something of the feature artist du jour in recent times, cropping up on all sorts of tracks, but Murray reckons he had dibs stretching way back. “Dan’s the guy who sort of picked me out eight or nine years ago,” he says. “I was playing a show in Brunswick to about 20 people and he was one of them. He approached me after the set and invited me down to the studio he was recording at.” In fact, that’s how Murray met the likes of Phrase, Jan Skubiszewski and, eventually, M-Phazes. M-Phazes is, after all, the yin to Murray’s yang, the Dre to his Eminem. “Phazes is a genius,” says Murray emphatically. “He’s easily the best producer in the country, by far. Without any doubt, he has always made me expect and demand better of myself as an artist. Working with him is amazing.”
HALLOWEEN ALL YEAR Get your candy selection ready, Australia – horrorpunk’s chief ghoul scout Wednesday 13 will be knocking on your door shortly. Brendan Crabb tries to avoid having his house egged.
aking into account his affinity for schlocky horror flicks, theatrical rock’n’roll and overall ghoulish aesthetic presentation, there’s one annual event whereby demand for glam-punker Wednesday 13’s services must be at its zenith – Halloween. The American vocalist is surely inundated with invitations to perform on 31 October each year, which makes the band’s decision to spend the occasion touring Australia, where said American institution has but a cult following, somewhat intriguing. “We get offers all the time,” Wednesday [real name: Joseph Poole] explains, nearing the completion of a ninehour tour van drive. “Everyone wants us to play their backyard; people plan their own private Halloween parties and offer us a ton of money and stuff like that. But we just really worked on Australia the past couple of years and I think Australia deserved a Halloween show, so we couldn’t deny that. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend Halloween this year. [We want to] give them the best possible Halloween experience we can, without dying.” The aforementioned visit includes a Sydney gig on Halloween night so expectations for the (ahem) spooktacular event are high, as Wednesday and band will truly be in their element. “We played London last Halloween, and that probably set the bar as far as what we can expect from Halloween shows. I thought the only place that could even remotely, probably go head-to-head with what London brought would be Australia. So Australia, you’ve got something to prove – you’ve got London to beat. “As far as like doing anything super crazy, out of the blue for Halloween, I don’t think we’re going to do anything too different,” he continues. “We’re pretty much our own band that’s Halloween, 365 days a year, so stepping up to make it even more crazy for Halloween, I don’t know what we would do, besides set our heads on fire or something. We don’t have the production to do that, so we just kinda rely on the whole spirit of Halloween; this is Halloween night for us. I think the vibe will be in the air. Australia seems to be the most rabid, crazy place for my fans right now.” 24 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
Down Under is indeed a hotspot for the sometime Murderdolls co-leader. “I’ve just seen it build and build every year, so I don’t know if it’s just people are starting to catch on to what I do, or what. I’m not going to complain about it; I love it and it’s
“I’m not on a major label right now, [so] I kinda gotta get my name out as much as I can. I get bored a lot, and a lot of my fans see me having to play a lot of the same places over and over, so a new release for them can get older quicker than it could to us. So to constantly be able to put out an EP or something else… The next thing we’re doing right now is a DVD. We’ll have a DVD out probably in March or April. “We’re still working on it, but it’s going to basically cover our week-long tour that we did in the UK in
“WE’RE PRETTY MUCH OUR OWN BAND THAT’S HALLOWEEN, 365 DAYS A YEAR.” a good thing, it’s a good problem to have. Our fans are insane… What we’ve created is a truly unique, amazing thing.” Aside from maintaining a strong connection with his disciples via avenues such as social media, the frontman is reliably prolific, conditioning devotees to expect a new release of some description each year. Although a follow-up to latest solo disc The Dixie Dead is a little way off (“We won’t start working on new stuff until March or April”), another venture should fill the void.
March. Showing like a day in the life of Wednesday 13: what we do and how our fans are. It’s more or less a behind-the-scenes, as opposed to being a DVD with surround sound. The live clips are going to be what they are: basically show the band, and show what we do. I think that’s what fans want to see more of, as opposed to a 5.1 surround sound concert DVD. We’re not doing that. I can post videos of us playing a song that I think is a great performance, then I’ll post a video of us being stupid, throwing up and doing something dumb, and it’ll get 5000 more views than the actual concert. It seems that the fans want to see us, being ourselves, behind what they can normally see. “As far as the next musical thing Wednesday 13 does, I’m going to take my time on it… I’m hungry again, I want to feel like I’m in my youth again, when I first started writing music and had something to prove.” WHEN & WHERE: 31 Oct, The Metro
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Risky business? Maybe. No doubt some fans will resist investing 16 minutes in something that only loosely resembles the music of a band they once knew. But, hey! A western frontier-style concept album was hardly what anyone would’ve expected for their second LP, and that’s exactly what they did. Radio’s not gonna touch it, at least outside of the few community broadcasters that have already jumped on board, but that doesn’t seem to be the point. What they’ve managed to do is capture that moment we non-musicians can only dream about, and a lot of bands let slip through their fingers – the moment of spontaneous inception, the point at which a song is created. They’ve caught the energy of this on tape and laid it out for the world to see, and it’s a beautiful thing.
“The first time we played it we just sat on the same kind of groove for, like, 45 minutes and we were just like, ‘This is insane!’” continues Moore. “It was like the coolest moment we’d had jamming and we didn’t get tired of it and everyone was just in the song... Once you’ve done it once it’s hard to recapture that energy so it took us a lot of tweaking to get it back to that original vibe where everyone was like, ‘This is sick!’ the whole way through... You can just get lost in it.”
GROOVE ADDICTS King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s drummer/multiinstrumentalist Eric Moore geeks out with Samson McDougall about the jam that led to their latest single: “It was the best thing we thought we’d ever done in a song.”
here’s a new King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard song out and it’ll probably go down as the most smokin’ Australian psychedelic release of the year. Head On/Pill is actually more like two songs wrapped up under the one banner; it’s 16 minutes of flower-pop groove realisation, complete with sitar breaks, metronomic double drumming and echoed vocals buried in the deepest hallucinogenic furrow imaginable. It’s an aural acid trip to get lost in and by far the boldest statement of intent the band have made. Forget the undercooked (and at times derivative) fuzzy floppiness of their debut 12 Bar Bruise or the frontier cowboy motifs of their second album Eyes Like The Sky, with Float Along – Fill Your Lungs King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have finally arrived. Buy the ticket, take the ride. For those who are new to the band, the Victorian country kids have never shied away from revealing their influences in their music and they aimed high: Pavement and Thee Oh Sees, amongst others. If that sounds like your thing, until Head On/Pill that’s pretty well exactly what you got. Now they’ve added extra strings (both plainly and figuratively) to their bows, but the fundamentals are still there. It’s freaky outsider pop music and where the debut album trod a knife-edge of heard-it-all-before familiarity, their latest release finally establishes the band’s voice. On the impression San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees left on the band, Eric Moore, one half of the KG&TLW beats department, says, “We saw them when they first came out to Australia and they had a pretty big impact.” This impact is there in spades on their debut, but the new record’s sonic pedigree is much more diverse. “Everyone obviously had their own taste in music, lots of older stuff like Beatles, Stones – classics,” he says. “Also a lot of the garage stuff, like, the Nuggets and Pebbles comps and all these weird twisted bands from the ‘60s... I always thought that 26 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
everyone in the band’s got pretty good taste in music and that’s pretty important, I think, when it comes to actually being in a band and writing songs.” The band knew they were onto something special with Head On/ Pill. The thing grew out of a 45-minute original jam session that left the collective peaking. “When we finished that song it was like, ‘Oh wow!’ It was the best thing we thought we’d ever done in a song,” says Moore. But then they had to decide what to do with it. “We talked about putting it at the end of the album but that was pretty obvious and people would probably skip over it. As the first track it’s pretty hard to miss. We really wanted people to hear it and not think it’s just a long jam that people think is not worth listening to.” As an album opener, the song asks a heavy question: are you with them or not?
For newcomers, Float Along – Fill Your Lungs is gonna be a solid place to start. If you already know the band, the other songs on the album hinge on elements of the KG&TLW of before but there’s a breeziness to it that will further alienate some listeners and no doubt entice others. The sitar popping up throughout gives the songs a decidedly brighter attitude and the used-to-be-a-bit-brittle edges are all smoothed over.
“I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ROCK UP EXPECTING A MASSIVE SHITFIGHT BUT THERE’S A FEW TAMER TRACKS.” The flow of the album also works. When you make it through the brain melt of the opener the rest of the listen floats along in the afterglow, but there are enough little flecks of colour amongst the quartz to keep you in there. Then there’s the six-and-a-bit minutes of the title track closer that ties it all back to the start. It’s doable on repeat, and the album as a whole is made to be played live, which is exactly what the band have been doing. Having now showcased the album in its entirety to a few select audiences around the country, KG&TLW are getting a feel for the responses to the record and Moore says they’ve been strong so far. “I think a lot of people rock up expecting a massive shitfight but there’s a few tamer tracks and stuff,” he says. “I think people are comin’ around to ‘em.” And coming into summer, soon these numbers will be comin’ around to all of us. It’s time to get paisley. WHAT: Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (Flightless/Remote Control) WHEN & WHERE: 2 Nov, The Standard
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LOOK BACK IN WONDER An independent production could be expected from a recent NIDA graduate; a re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing, less so. Phil Rouse talks to Dave Drayton.
hen Phil Rouse finished the postgraduate director’s course at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2012 he did what most in his position would – directed a play at a local independent theatre. In this case, a well received production of Patrick White’s The Ham Funeral at New Theatre that hinted at his penchant for older Australian works. Then he headed to far north Queensland, Cooktown to be exact, where in association with the locals – and with Indigenous elders as dramaturges – he directed their annual re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing in the region, when he crashed the Endeavour on the coral reef and met people from Guugu Yimithirr nation.
“It was in Cooktown that I really started to think about Australian stories, and that led on to thinking about Australian playwrights.” The questions eventually led to the formation of a new theatre company, Don’t Look Away, and Rouse’s theories on the dilemma at the centre of so much debate at the moment – the lack of Australian voices on our stages. “Then as I started reading more and more Australian plays that are just astonishing, just brilliant, I thought, well, there’s no company doing just older Australian works. I feel it’s because of that that we sometimes struggle with their popularity;
it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Maybe even we just do them, and do them really, really well with contemporary theatre aesthetics and all that, maybe then we can instigate more interest.” Don’t Look Away’s inaugural production will be Alex Buzo’s 1969 social satire of consumerism and status anxiety, Rooted. Rouse will direct a cast that includes Eloise Winestock (seen in Belvoir’s Summer Of The Seventeenth Doll), and George Banders (Sport For Jove’s Hamlet) for the Parade Theatre production. “One of the things with Don’t Look Away is getting younger people to engage with these works, and Rooted is about people my age not dissimilar to what I understand but revealing very cleverly the statusbased cruelties that we inflict on one another,” Rouse explains the appeal of the work with which he’s armed himself for the return to the schoolyard. “The directing course is very intense – it’s about four years in one – and by the end of it you finish it and then you need to go away and – well, in my case, drink – and purge your system of it and let your body resettle into how you take the knowledge and techniques you’ve gained and then implement them. “There’s an odd synchronicity to it – ‘Ok, now I’m doing this and I can go back into NIDA knowing what I know and feeling how I feel’ – and I get to do that in that space again, and have another crack at it all. It’s a nice launch pad to re-leave; it brought me to the company, and there we’ll launch forward to next year.” WHAT: Rooted WHEN & WHERE: 30 Oct to 9 Nov, NIDA, Parade Theatre
BIG BANG BYE Despite ‘science’, speculation still surrounds the exact details of the dinosaurs’ extinction. The Festivalists’ Caroline Fanning tells Dave Drayton there’ll be no question how Jurassic Lounge ended.
here’s an asteroid headed for the Australian Museum. Scientists predict the time and date of impact to be 6pm Tuesday 5 Nov. This coincides perfectly with the ﬁnal hurrah of Jurassic Lounge, the party that’s occupied the Australian Museum on occasional Tuesday nights for the last three years. The asteroid is believed it may be carrying intelligent life-forms. The most up-to-date analysis indicates that these include Richard In Your Mind, performers from Umbrella Theatre, competitive pole dancers and a series of sentient beings on a mission to discover how to make history sexy. The prediction has meant The Festivalists, the team behind Jurassic Lounge, are wrapping up the sixth and ﬁnal season with this event. “It’s been around for ages, and everyone has either been to it or knows about it and is really fond of it,” explains Fanning. “But everything needs to change and we wanted to make sure we went out with a bang rather than a ﬁzzle. Because we’ve had a really amazing response from Sydney and everyone’s really enjoyed the event, we didn’t want to… We wanted to make sure that the last one was still amazing.” Having perhaps a little more warning than the dinosaurs whose skeletons decorate their events, means Jurassic 28 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
Lounge can go-all out on its way out. “We’ve used this last season to maybe try some of our more outlandish ideas and really take advantage of that – so we had a cowboy night where we had a mechanical bull in the main room for the entire night. Oh and the other one was the puppies we had on 5 Senses night. We’d really hoped to bring kittens the season earlier, so being able to bring puppies to the museum was pretty amazing. We won’t really have a chance to do that kind thing any more, so I think we’re really going out with a bang.”
Since Jurassic Lounge began with an aim to bring a younger crowd back to the museum, as its reign draws to a close, I ask Fanning if they’d achieved that, and what she hopes party palaeontologists of the future will ﬁnd looking back on Jurassic Lounge. “I think it is a matter of re-shifting the museum. For that demographic, you’ve probably been to the museum when you’re at school, so to bring the 18-35 year old crowd back to the museum you do have to oﬀer them something else as well. That kind of group of people enjoy things like arts and live music and performances and DJs and that kind of thing. “I hope people recall having a really great time, and being in a really unique space of Sydney. They’ll remember the museum itself, but in a really unique way.” WHAT: Jurassic Lounge Extinction Party WHEN & WHERE: 5 Nov, Australian Museum
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 29
COMING BACK TO LIFE After eight years away, Cam Baines has returned to Bodyjar with a fresh focus. He talks to Benny Doyle about making records without being a jerk.
ucking around with side projects. Sorting through personal stuff. Living life. The members of Bodyjar haven’t exactly been idle for the past eight years, but with the release of their first full-length since 2005’s eponymous effort, the focus has come back on what the guys are best at – being a band. “When we went back and did those reunion shows for No Touch Red, I think we really learnt a lot about ourselves as a band and what we’re good at,” explains frontman Cam Baines. “We went off in a few weird directions in 2005 on that self-titled album. I think what we’re really good at is just writing good simple punk songs with good melodies and lyrics, and not trying to create a new genre. So we stuck to the simple stuff this time and I reckon it paid off.” Supporting all-time heroes Descendents in February also helped the Melbourne four find the fire within. “They were such a massive influence on us, they produced two of our records, [and] I used to write them letters and that when I was a kid. Twenty years later we’re playing with them – we couldn’t say no,” he gushes. “And just playing with those guys and just seeing... y’know they don’t do it full-time, and they had a massive break like we did and they came back, and we just thought, ‘If those guys can do it on their own terms then we should try and do what they do’.” Baines says Role Model couldn’t have been created if the band didn’t step away from Bodyjar; however, the record was never going to be an outing for old time’s sake. The quartet weren’t willing to record again unless they had the songs: fast, energetic, catchy. They had to make a full-length that was better than the others, while still meeting expectations from a salivating fanbase by paying homage to their past. It was a balancing act, but with Tom Larkin in the producer’s chair the band found immediate focus. “He smashed the songs into form,” Baines recalls, calling the Shihad drummer a fantastic music arranger. “They were basic sketches and he polished them up. He was really handy to have around; once we got him in there it really happened quick.”
30 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
In the past, such objective ears could have been disregarded, but these days Baines is far more chilled in the studio. He remembers with a smile the menacing presence he once was when a Bodyjar album was being recorded. “I used to go in and just give producers so much shit,” he reveals. “I used to write down EQ settings
and Shihad’s festival salad days of the early ‘00S, an honest record was always going to be the end result. “They were always a band we wanted to tour with but we never got asked to do it or they didn’t want to tour with us or something. [Tom] said they were scared because we were so good! They didn’t want to go on after us,” he toys, cackling at the statement. “We’re a different style of music I guess, but they were the one big rock band that we all thought was cool, we all agreed that [1999’s] The General Electric was a fucking classic – it’s such a good album, so well recorded. We wanted to sound a bit like that back then but we couldn’t do it.”
“IF THOSE GUYS CAN DO IT ON THEIR OWN TERMS THEN WE SHOULD TRY.” so they couldn’t change them, and I was just a control freak at the start – I was really badly behaved, I’d never do that now. I used to go in and go, ‘That’s the guitar sound don’t fucking change it’, and I’d write it down and just micromanage every little fucking thing and not let anyone have their say. But when you’re young and you’re just obsessed and driven that’s what happens.” Because a relationship was already there thanks to time shared on the road during Bodyjar
Thankfully they still can’t. They still sound like Bodyjar. And whether you’re enjoying the gleeful speed and whimsical lyrics of Fairytales or the Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and Stephen Egerton (Descendents)assisted Hope Was Leaving, there’s no shaking the positive vibes of your new favourite Role Model. “I was talking to Tom about it and he was saying he thinks it’s got a really good intent,” finishes Baines. “Everyone is doing it for the right reasons and just to make good songs and create a good vibe; we all want to enjoy it, it’s not about money or stuff like that, it’s just about getting that creative stuff out and onto a CD and just enjoying that part of our lives again.” WHAT: Role Model (UNFD) WHEN & WHERE: 31 Oct, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle; 1 Nov, The Hi-Fi
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 31
portray or demonstrate a certain level of diplomacy, because otherwise things go south pretty quickly.”
Conflict aversion, an edge of aggression and a considered, pragmatic and respectful approach to your fellow man – that’s what Little Scout is made of, as guitarist/vocalist Patrick Elliott tells Mitch Knox.
fter his band’s stint on tour with fellow Brisbane-dwellers Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Patrick Elliott is doing the best he can to slide back into normalcy. And it’s no wonder, really – with their esteemed second full-length Are You Life mere weeks old, and a tour in support of it looming on the horizon, any degree of the mundane or routine is probably a beneficial thing. Little Scout are, by all measures, a band with cerebral and musical clout, with Tickle and Elliott both having
been finalists for this year’s Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship. But, despite the close quarters and strong, intelligent opinions, Elliott says, there’s no room for unchecked aggression. “You can’t afford to do something like a band and have rifts,” he says. “Really, you’ve chosen to do this thing – this lifestyle, full-time hobby, whatever you want to call it – and you’re spending so much time with these people. Luckily, we were all friends to start with, but you do have to
It’s a sensible view to take, and one that came in handy during the production of Are You Life. “It’s never easy, but it was a really fun process,” Elliott says of creating the album. “We recorded it ourselves and stuff, so we had the freedom to do what we wanted... so it was just fun to explore all that. “Recording your first album’s quite daunting, in terms of putting something together on that scale,” he continues, “so we felt like we knew how to do things a bit better the second time around, but also, I guess, over the period of time, our live show was really developing as well, and we had some ideas about what we wanted to be presenting on-stage. I think that influenced the final product a little bit. I think it was… well, I’m never very good with adjectives, but… we were going for a more aggressive sound, I suppose, something that was a bit more in-your-face, and a lot more focus on the pop element of things, as well.” Of course, not everyone will love the ‘new’ Little Scout. But Elliott thinks that’s a good thing. “It’s difficult to keep everyone happy in life. You learn that pretty quickly in life generally, but especially being in a band. At the end of the day, someone’s not going to like what you’re doing. And, in some ways, thank God for that, because it would be very boring otherwise.” WHAT: Are You Life (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Nov, Brighton Up Bar; 2 Nov, Transit Bar, Canberra
PAINT IT BLACK Bonjah have lost a member, which has impacted their sound, frontman Glenn Mossop tells Dylan Stewart.
t’s a nondescript weeknight in suburban Melbourne, but for the neighbours of Bonjah frontman Glenn Mossop things are about to get a little rowdy. “The boys are around, we’re going to chill out and do some writing”, he begins. Once upon a time the prospect of the five boys from Bonjah writing some tunes would not raise too many neighbourly eyebrows. However, the past couple of years have been a time of reflection and reinvention for the four-piece. Percussionist James Majernik has left the band since the release of 2011’s Go Go Chaos, so, as Mossop explains, Bonjah took the opportunity to change their musical direction. “When ‘Maj’ left, we didn’t want to just replace him with another percussionist, so instead we moved away from that rootsy sound of our earlier stuff. “Coming from New Zealand, in a way we were born into the rootsy, reggae scene. Moving to Melbourne though [the band crossed the ditch in 2006] and making the transition to a place where there’s such an eclectic sound, we’ve adapted to the sound of diverse bands and artists, and we’re taking influences from all kinds of directions.” While the writing process has dominated much of the past couple of years (alongside European and Japanese tours), Bonjah have dropped the first two singles off
32 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
the forthcoming album Evolution and, now, the straight-up rock’n’roll tune Blue Tone Black Heart. The latter was recorded with the help of producer Jan, a man whose surname Mossop needs to spell out for this confused interviewer: “I don’t even know how to spell it; I’m going to have to Google it. Hang on, I’m just going to yell out to Regan, he’ll know.” A shout cries out: “Hey Regs! How do you spell Jan’s last name?” Mossop returns to the phone: “Can I text it to you?”. Turns out he’s talking about Jan Skubiszewski, of Jackson Jackson and Way Of The Eagle fame, whose credits include The Cat Empire, Illy and Daniel Merriweather among others.
To celebrate the release of Blue Tone Black Heart, Bonjah are hitting the road. And although the tour spans across four months, it’s certainly not the most intense schedule the band has kept. “When we first arrived here we would play for six to eight weeks at a time, four nights a week. As you get a bit older, you need a bit of breathing space and some time to rejuvenate. “These days we prefer flying to piling into a van if given the chance. We did so much touring when we first arrived in Ozzie; we went through three vans in the early days. We actually left one on the side of the road. We were on our way to a gig in the middle of country Victoria and the van passed out on the way. We were still probably two hours away from the venue, so we had to cancel the fucking gig. We didn’t even have a way to get home. We had to call our manager at the time and make him drive three hours to come and pick us up. I’m hoping we’ll have no problems like that this time ‘round.” WHEN & WHERE: 7 Nov, Beach Road Hotel
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 33
34 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 35
TRIPPING ACROSS GENERATIONS Having kissed and made up a couple of years ago, the original core of Morcheeba are well and truly back, fresher than ever. The woman out front, Skye Edwards, talks to Cyclone about the new and the old.
ondon trip hoppers Morcheeba have just dropped their eighth album, Head Up High, with soulstress Skye Edwards once again out front. Some 18 years ago Edwards and the Godfrey brothers – Paul, a DJ, and Ross, a multi-instrumentalist – debuted with Who Can You Trust? The Godfreys, from Kent, had met Edwards at a warehouse party. Critics suspected Morcheeba of jumping on the trip hop bandwagon but, in a notoriously ephemeral industry, they survived, developing a sophisticated fusion of jazz, folk, worldbeat, soul, blues, psychedelia, pop and hip hop. “We were chatting about it, myself and Ross, the other day and saying how we kind of judge our music career by the ages of our children,” jokes Edwards, a mother of three. “My son is about to turn 18 in November and I was pregnant when we recorded Who Can You Trust? – and Ross has just had his first child. His girlfriend was pregnant while we were recording Head Up High. So we were thinking, ‘Oh, just imagine in 20 years’ time when your daughter’s like...’ It is pretty cool that we’re still around and still making good music.” The group broke commercially with their second album, 1998’s Big Calm – soundtracking both after hours chill-out sessions and fashionable dinner parties. Head Up High, led by Gimme Your Love, mines (post-)dubstep with songs like Make Believer – apt considering that Morcheeba foreshadowed James Blake and Jessie Ware. Crucially, this time the band aimed to record up-tempo (and radio-friendly) fare. Morcheeba have experienced internal drama. An artistically frustrated Edwards quit in 2003, taking what she politely refers to today as “that seven-year break”. The Godfreys replaced her with Noonday Underground’s Daisy Martey on The Antidote. Martey herself was then ejected – and she sued. For 2008’s ‘producer album’ Dive Deep, the Godfreys sought a random series of obscure guest vocalists, such as ‘70s singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke. Morcheeba might have fizzled out. Ross even moved to Hollywood to score films. But then, out of the blue, Edwards returned for the assured Blood Like Lemonade.
36 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
It was surprising since the east Londoner had successfully launched a solo career with 2006’s Mind How You Go. (She’s also worked with the Nouvelle Vague fold.) The mild-mannered Edwards maintains she didn’t lay down any conditions for the reunion. “It’s not my
be like before?” Edwards shouldn’t have worried. The Godfreys wanted tranquillity. “They’d grown and matured – and they were sorry.” She laughs. “We kind of worked it out... So I’m happy to be back. I never thought I would be happy back in Morcheeba, but I am very happy. We get on very well.” The creative dynamic in Morcheeba has little changed, with Edwards writing melodies, Ross composing music and Paul penning lyrics, cutting beats and producing. Nevertheless, family commitments necessitate that the trio prepare material independently. Morcheeba hired a London studio to then lay down Head Up High in two weeks.
“THEY’D GROWN AND MATURED – AND THEY WERE SORRY. WE KIND OF WORKED IT OUT.” nature to go in and say, ‘Okay, I’m only going back if...’” She simply made one request – that her bassist husband (and “best friend”) Steve Gordon, whom she’d met through Morcheeba, rejoin, too. “If I was gonna go on tour, then I would need a friend – because at that stage with Ross and Paul, we hadn’t spoken for seven years,” she admits. “I was very nervous about returning. I didn’t know how they felt about me – and was it gonna
Head Up High boasts some ultra-contemporary cameos – UK hip hoppers Rizzle Kicks show up on the darkly comic To Be, to the delight of Edwards’ teens. “It’s hard to impress your children these days. People sort of think, ‘Oh, you sing in a band, that must be really cool’. [But] it’s like, ‘Well, I’m just Mum to them – they’ve grown up with it’.” With the Godfreys’ support, the singer has sustained a solo sideline, an outlet for “personal” songs. Paul “really loved” last year’s third outing, Back To Now. “I always try to push myself melodically and lyrically – maybe that had an influence on the Morcheeba album, who knows?” Still, Edwards prefers to keep her two identities “separate”. WHAT: Head Up High ([PIAS] Australia) WHEN & WHERE: 17 Apr, The Metro, 19 & 20 Apr, Bluesfest, Byron Bay
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 37
21ST CENTURY SNAKE OIL Giuliano Ferla watches the cards turn at the Melbourne Psychic Expo.
t’s a windy and wet Sunday and I am hungover. I’m going to the Darebin Performing Arts and Entertainment Centre to see the Melbourne Psychic Expo. I am not full of faith. I’m tired and cranky, but I want to give this thing a fair chance. I sit in my car with the heater on and repeat to myself, “Keep an open mind.” I walk to the entrance and pay the five dollar admission. The smell of incense, which hits me like a perfumed brick, is a bad omen. I start poking around the foyer to see what I’m in for. The first stall I see is full of crystals and castiron dragons. A woman (the customer) sits at a table. She holds a crystal, while a man (the seller) waves his hands over the top. He wears a sombrero and a pair of Adidas button-down trackpants. He augurs. I can smell something else in here besides the incense. I think it might be bullshit. There are a bunch of free talks going on so I check the timetable. I’ve missed ‘An Introduction To Witchcraft’, which sucks, and nothing else really grabs my attention. I walk through the foyer to the main expo room where psychics’ stalls are set up in a big circle. Each psychic has their own particular divination style – tarot, palmistry, astral readings, etc. I do the lap a few times. Every stall, from Aura Photography to Zodiac Charts, is occupied, apart from the lonely Scientologist’s. Bad press seems to have followed Scientology even into this spiritually yearning, New Age crowd. I stop and take stock of what I see. 38 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
Common Words: Crystal Reiki Healing – esp. in its noun form, and then always preceded by a noun adjunct, e.g. Crystal Healing or Reiki Healing. Ancient Master (‘Free’ was an almost completely absent word. Its sole appearance was for the ‘Free Stress Tests’ at the lonely Scientologist’s stall.) Identifiable Types: The Hippy – dreadlocked, paisley-patterned. The Gypsy – headscarved, heavily eyelined, costume-bejewelled. The Suit – only one, lended him an air of authority until I saw the Phrenology bust on his table. Quack.
The Viking – never actually dressed like one, but their stalls were always cluttered with dragon (dragyn?) statues serpentinely curled around crystals. The Christian – never actually promoting Christ, but superficially informed by the Christian aesthetic, i.e. angels, demons, etc. A lot of these identifiable types were mixed. It wasn’t uncommon to see a Viking/ Christian or Hippy/Gypsy. The rest, who made up about a third, were cliché-free. I sit down at a Gypsy fortune-teller’s stall. I choose her because she seems the tackiest and therefore most entertaining. After I sit down at her table I see that she charges $40 for 15 minutes. Choking a little bit with surprise, I say, “You charge $40 for 15 minutes.” “Yes,” she says. There is a long pause as I process this information, during which a few awkward glances are shared. I get up quickly and keep walking. I pause for a little while and look out the window at the Bell Street McDonald’s. I start to process what this expo is all about. The five dollar entry fee, the $40 psychic readings, the quackery, the crystals, the hope. All these things have added up in my mind to tell me that this expo is all about commerce. Commerce is the engine that drives this entire thing. I ask myself how the McDonald’s is different from this expo, and why does this expo annoy me more? It doesn’t take me long to realise
“THIS EXPO IS A PLACE FOR PEOPLE TO SELL BELIEF, BUT SHOULD BELIEF BE SOLD LIKE THIS?”
that I am annoyed because this expo is selling things for people to believe in. The McDonald’s across the road sells food, a basic human need. And let’s just say that belief is another human need. Then this expo is a place for people to sell belief, but should belief be sold like this? Can hope be commercialised? The customers here have laboured for their dollars, dollars that are now being spent on the quest for spiritual meaning, but spirituality isn’t something that you can pay for; spirituality is something that needs to be cultivated. And that’s what really rubs me, here at the psychic expo. The crystals, the prayer beads, the aura photographs: these things are just as hokey as that pseudo-gypsy fortune teller. They’re meant to represent the soulful awareness of the purchaser. But they don’t. What they do represent is the purchaser’s desire to be perceived as soulfully aware. But in reality it comes across as cheap faker. It’s the spirituality industry. I feel I’m being a bit black and white here. To clarify, I believe that there are things in the universe that are way beyond humanity’s grasp or our capacity for understanding. For this reason I’m hesitant to completely write off things like extra-sensory perception or even foreknowledge; I’d be a fool to think that the world can be reduced to only the material and measurable. I remember going to the Mind, Body, Spirit expo with my mum. I would’ve been 17 at the time, and in deep, pubescent need of guidance and reassurance. I went to see a (free) psychic there, and she told me that I was on my path
and that I should invest in myself more, which encouraged me. And maybe encouragement and self-discovery and belief are enough of a benefit to justify the psychic industry. I did another lap of the stalls and landed again at the Scientologist’s table, the only stall that offered a free service. I sat down and chatted to the guy. His name was Mark and he built verandahs for a living. Mark manned the Scientology stall on Sundays for a few bucks an hour. I grabbed the e-meter and we started talking. He told me about the analytic and reactive minds. He asked me questions. He didn’t preach, push or ask anything of me in return. We just shot the shit for 20 minutes. He was a nice guy. THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 39
PREPARE THE BATTLEFIELD
reserved for pop mega-stars who are bland enough to not offend potential advertisers. At the time of writing, that petition had over 43,000 signatures and counting. But what does Urungus think of Gwar’s chances of actually getting to play the Super Bowl half-time show? “I’m not so interested as playing the half-time show as I am actually playing the game. And showing all these Americans just how stupid it is, by ripping apart all of the other teams. But if the human race absolutely can’t take another set by bands as terrible as The Black Eyed Peas or Bruno Mars, I suppose Gwar will step in there. Maybe with some other metal bands. I mean, it just makes fucking sense, a metal Super Bowl show.”
Gwar have pillaged and marauded throughout space and time, defeating all foolish enough to oppose them. So when lead singer Oderus Urungus gets on a roll, Tom Hersey hits record on a dictaphone and tries not to get killed.
guess I should be happy that people are interested in my band… But for some reason I’m not!” Oderus Urungus, the aeons-old space alien and lead singer of Gwar, is in a cantankerous mood. Or at least a mood more cantankerous than is usual for his quarrelsome self. He’s had to talk to a slew of goddamned music journalists in a row. How many you might ask? “Five hundred!” Urungus yells, groaning as yet another interview commences. “Ask me anything,” Urungus finally acquiesces. “About Gwar, Soundwave, Battle Maximus, the history of the universe… Anything a space asshole might know.” Well, Oderus, seeing as you bring it up, why don’t we start with the history of the universe? “That big bang, that’s bullshit. The Master created the galaxy and all forms of life. Then I was born, fully grown, and I dropped from a syntho-womb into a gladiatorial arena where I joined the Scumdogs of the Universe. The Master created the Scumdogs so he could have war and that made everything more interesting. Where it goes from here, I don’t know. Because we actually defeated The Master a few albums ago, so it’s complete chaos out there now… But don’t believe these scientists of yours, they’re full of shit.” Now that’s cleared up, there’s the new record and the band’s upcoming Soundwave run, which will mark their second Australia tour. Since the band’s last visit, Urungus and his band of Scumdogs have had to grieve the loss of guitarist Flattus Maximus. Pretending to be space aliens is all good fun, but when discussing Maximus – a character played by Cory Smoot – passing less than two years ago, Urungus lapses into the voice of Dave Brockie. “After we lost Flattus, it was a dark time for Gwar, but we decided we had to carry on and create an album that he would be proud of from the place in the cosmos where he’s looking down upon us. We weren’t going to let death stop Gwar. After a brief spell of tragic news, yes, even Gwar can have bad days, we bounced back.” As though to prove his point, Brockie quickly finds his voice as Urungus again: “When fate deals you a fuckedup set of cards, you can take that as an opportunity to
display your matchless superiority, and that’s exactly what we did.” That’s all Urungus really offers about the new record, except
Even if that show never happens – and let’s face it, chances aren’t that great – Urungus and Gwar are still going to be putting on their newest show the world over. Meanwhile, ahead of their return to Australia, Urungus breaks down what unsuspecting bohabs (Gwar-ese for ‘fan’) can expect from the Scumdogs. “We’re going to spray shit all over you. And we’re going to treat you to the most awesome rock’n’roll show out
“WHEN FATE DEALS YOU A FUCKED-UP SET OF CARDS, YOU CAN TAKE THAT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO DISPLAY YOUR MATCHLESS SUPERIORITY.” mentioning in passing that it’s probably more thrashy. Needless to say though, Battle Maximus rules. It doesn’t really require any extra promotion on the frontman’s part. And that’s partly due to the fact it received an indirect and entirely unexpected promotional push when a Gwar fan decided to start a petition to get them to play the half-time show at the 2015 Super Bowl, despite the spot generally being
there. And we’re going to steal your girlfriends and stick them in our meat grinder and we’re going to crush your skulls with our giant broadswords, and even though all of your friends will be dead and you’ll be covered in blood from head to toe, you’re still going to say ‘that was the best fucking time I’ve ever had in my life’.” What would it take to destroy Gwar? “I suppose we would have to be disintegrated by some kind of Death Star-like plasma beam. I mean, we would have to be physically killed. And that’s something that I’ve sought my entire life, my own death, but I haven’t been able to achieve it yet, so I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.” WHAT: Battle Maximus (Metal Blade/Rocket) WHEN & WHERE: 23 Feb, Soundwave, Olympic Park
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 41
SUNDAYS OVER BULLSHIT
and basketball, at least in the inner west. A Brisbane company called Ironlak is sponsoring the graffiti writers and they pretty much get to do what they want. It’s been a nice steady flow of really cool art so far.”
After a solid year acting out as Sunday Gentlemen across the country, Sydney’s Spit Syndicate are making sure they keep things interesting for their hometown crew. MC Jimmy Nice talks to Chris Yates.
n case you’ve missed it, The Vic On The Park hotel in Marrickville has been going through a renaissance period of art, music and food over the last six months, with the local community well and truly getting behind it. For Spit Syndicate and their colleagues in the One Day Crew, it seemed like the perfect venue to try out an idea they had brewing.
42 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
“We’ve had the idea bubbling away for a good year or so before we actually made it happen with the Vic,” Nice explains with regards to the One Day Sundays events. “We were just stuck for somewhere to go and a place that we could go and listen to our music in a chilled environment. In Sydney you’ve got club options and some beer gardens and courtyards but there’s nowhere you could get all the music we wanted to listen to and incorporate things like live graf
It’s a fantastic vibe; while the music is prominent and the list of guest DJs keeps getting more impressive, this is only one element. The basketball court and casual outside surroundings are familyfriendly, the basketball adds some energy and the live art acts as an entertaining focal point. But they’re not just keeping the fun confined to their own backyard. Their Money Over Bullshit national tour is already under way, and they’ve managed to squeeze in some other shows as part of the 2013 Indent Tour – a Music NSW project that gives young people the opportunity to plan and promote all ages events. “We’ve always wanted to do more underage shows or all ages shows but it’s really difficult to organise them, and more difficult than it should be,” he says. “There’s legislation and other things that stand in your way and promoters aren’t always eager to organise these sort of gigs. I just think it’s [vital] for the fans. I remember my first gig like it was yesterday and it means a lot that they get the opportunity to see live music. It’s important to give the younger fans a good experience, and it’s also important for us.” WHEN & WHERE: 31 Oct, Zierholz, Canberra; 2 Nov, The Hi-Fi (all ages); 22 Nov, Maitland Town Hall; 13 to 14 Dec, Festival Of The Sun, Port Macquarie
Â· THIS WEEK Â·
THURSDAY 31ST OCTOBER
JOEY CAPE & BRIAN WAHLSTROM [ IN TRIBUTE TO TONY SLY ] + ISAAC GRAHAM + ALEX PARTY CAT
FRIDAY 1ST NOVEMBER
THE HUNGRY MILE
+ A SKYLIT DRIVE + NO BRAGGING RIGHTS + HELLIONS
SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER
ALL AGES SHOW & 18+ SHOWS
DREAM ON DREAMER
+ SHINOBI + ER AMONG THE ETHER + THE VACANT LOT Â· COMING UP Â· WEDNESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER
FRIDAY 15TH NOVEMBER
FRIDAY 22ND NOVEMBER
Saturday 2nd November
Sunday 15th December
Friday 15th November
Saturday 16th November
New Years Eve
I=:K>AA6>CH !?DL?I?8B;IKD 7KIJ$FEB?9;I>EM !J>;@;J>HEI
I=:H8G:6B>C<?:IH Saturday 11th January !J>;IDEM:HEFF;HI
Friday 6th December
Saturday 7th December
!A7:7L;H=;HC7DO !8BK;IF?BBIIM;:;D !IKD=EB:H;FB?97 M7L;I"MEBBED=ED= '-&F_ed[[hHeWZ"JemhWZ]_(+'. &(*(.))+.. mmm$jemhWZ]_X[WY^^ej[b$Yec$Wk
THE MUSIC â€¢ 30TH OCTOBER 2013 â€¢ 43
MATTERS OF THE MIND
between one another and as a way to involve the world, these locations were (for a short while) the only places that fans were able to access the album’s title track/lead single. Hoey explains that it was also a method to “bring people together” and “get them out into the world”.
Ahead of their fourth record, Tim Hoey of Cut Copy sits down with Justine Keating and discusses the guitarist’s newfound sense of spirituality over a refreshing glass of water.
hanks to a slight navigational error (one that forced more of a jog than anticipated), The Music arrived somewhat flustered to see Tim Hoey sitting cool and tranquil. In front of him was an undisturbed mug of water, and in front of this writer’s now-seated self was a mug near-identical to his, differentiated only by the depleted quantity of water. As composure was regained, Hoey watched as a recording device was mounted and put on the ready, before commenting on the primitive nature of the piece as outdated (and underrated) technology. “It’s like we’ve gone back to the early 2000s!” His remark almost came off as hyperbolic – as though the time between then and now was not a decade ago, but a century. The rather confronting reality is that it was around this seemingly distant timeframe that Cut Copy released their debut album. Nine years later, they’ve hit record number four. “Working together changes all the time,” remarks Hoey, reflecting on the collective time they’ve spent working together from their formation in 2001 to the past year spent recording Free Your Mind. “We work more closely now than we did in the beginning. It’s always a different experience, but it’s hard to put a finger on exactly why each time is different… We’ve been fortunate in that we were friends before the band started and we’ve been able to maintain our friendship throughout the course of the career, which is amazing, because you often see bands that come and go and then they don’t talk to each other. “It was interesting this time in the beginning, because Dan [Whitford – frontman] and I were listening to completely different music, but on previous records we found that we had certain ideas or bands that we were listening to that were overlapping. This time, I was not even really interested in dance music. For the entire year, I didn’t listen to any dance music, I didn’t DJ or anything and then Dan was listening to a lot of house music and writing a lot of house tracks, whereas I was doing weird…” He pauses and momentarily racks his brain before continuing. “I don’t even know what it is. Like, very – sedated music, I guess. So rather than fight we just applied what we were doing to those ideas [for the record].”
Now with an increased variety of influences behind them, Cut Copy took to approaching nearly every aspect of this record differently. During the year leading up to the release of
“I had the idea of doing a billboard project back in art school.” With a hint of pride, Hoey explains the origins of the more grandiose of the two real world experiences offered to fans prior to Free Your Mind’s impending official release (the other being a live vinyl cutting of the album’s first single, Let Me Show You). “We had the idea last year when we were making this record that when we released music into the world, we wanted to do it differently to how we’ve done it before. We always think it’s such an anti-climax to work on this record for months or years or whatever, and then when it’s put up on YouTube or on iTunes or SoundCloud, people go and listen to it and then it goes away. It feels like it’s a very short window for it to be released
“THIS TIME, I WAS NOT EVEN REALLY INTERESTED IN DANCE MUSIC.”
Free Your Mind, Cut Copy had taken the reins for promoting the soon-to-be-released albums. In an attempt to create an experience transcending one that is simply aural, they’ve taken the album out into the real world, erecting billboards displaying the phrase Free Your Mind in six locations around the world, from the ghettos of Detroit to our very own outback backyard. Chosen based on the distance
into the world and exist before people move on, so we had this idea of using real world events.” With some reinforcement from these real world projects, Free Your Mind morphed into a concept album, linked thematically (and accidentally) by recurring notions of a sense of euphoria and a slight spiritual undercurrent. When asked if he himself is a particularly spiritual man, Hoey sits on the question. “It’s been an interesting year. There’s been so much craziness going on in and around the band. It’s very interesting that we’ve made such an uplifting and positive record.” Another pause. “But… Yeah.” WHAT: Free Your Mind (Modular/Universal) WHEN & WHERE: 8 Mar, Future Music Festival, Royal Randwick Racecourse
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 45
AFTERLIFE AS A HASHTAG Could we live beyond life through our social media footprint? This is just one thought that intrigues Charlie Brooker, as he tells Guy Davis.
CHARLIE BROOKER BEHIND THE SCENES FROM BLACK MIRROR EP1, S1
harlie Brooker would like to make it clear he hasn’t abducted a child. The intermittent cries in the background are coming from his own young son Covey, “a very upset media consumer” unhappy that his favourite Mr Men video has come to an end. After placating his child with the latest exploits of the accident-prone Mr Bump, Brooker returns to the task at hand, slightly amazed that his offspring has already become tech-savvy at an alarmingly young age. “He goes over to the TV and tries to swipe it like an iPad,” Brooker marvels. “He’s 18-monthsold and he’s probably disgusted by how lo-fi the TV is. He’s never going to sit still and watch something his dad made. Why would he?” Oh, there are plenty of reasons why, primary among them the fact that Brooker is one of the more interesting, provocative voices out there in terms of the kind of humour that adds a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Brooker being Brooker though, he does tend to lace even that sugar with a dash of strychnine. As an example, here’s the multi-talented writer, columnist and broadcaster on White Bear, an episode of Black Mirror, his series of teleplays looking at society’s complex and sometimes troubling relationship with technology: “It’s The Truman Show meets Groundhog Day meets oh my fucking God get me out of here.” That said, White Bear is probably among the least humourous of the Black Mirror storylines, and that’s saying something when you’re talking about scenarios that include a terrorist forcing the British prime minister 46 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
to fuck a pig on live television. (That was the set-up of The National Anthem, the first Black Mirror episode to air.) Still, there’s a wicked cackle in Brooker’s voice when he says Black Mirror is “designed to massively unsettle”. His view of the world, at least the way it exhibits itself in his work (such as his annual Screenwipe television specials or his columns for The Guardian newspaper), can combine the humorous and the harrowing. But he claims he’s nowhere near as caustic or cynical as he may appear. “When people meet me, and they know me from the ‘wipe shows or The Guardian columns, they think I’m going to be this furious, massively opinionated arsehole... when really I’m just an arsehole.” He laughs. “I tend to
be goofier than people expect, and probably a lot more ignorant and stupid and shallow than people expect.” Brooker is being more than a little self-deprecating here, and viewers may agree after catching any of Black Mirror, the two seasons of which are now available on DVD. Slightly futuristic in their tone and style, each Black Mirror story explores how aspects of technology – be it social media, interactive entertainment or even just our increasing reliance on mobile phones and other such gadgets – are infiltrating our lives and changing the way we relate and react to one another. (The title, Brooker says, refers to the dark screen of a computer monitor, a television or a smartphone.) In episodes like Be Right Back, for example, a grieving widow finds that she is able to communicate with her late husband through an app that uses every email he ever sent, every voicemail he ever left and every social media status update he ever posted to recreate his personality. And in White Bear, a woman wakes from a coma-like state to find some kind of virus has turned ten per cent of the population into violent killers... and the other 90 per cent into mindless zombies happy to record the carnage on their camera-phones. “There you go; there’s a feel-good parable for the modern age!” chuckles Brooker. “We like to put in at least one that will drag you down to your lowest depths, and that was it this time around.” Inspiration for the White Bear episode was drawn from a number of sources – Brooker says he was rattled by news footage of people filming the dead, desecrated body of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
STILL FROM HOW TO WATCH TELEVISION
CHARLIE BROOKER AND TV
GIVEAWAY We have two Charlie Brooker packs to give away per state.
The 11 O’Clock Show – Brooker was one of the writers of this satirical late-night sketch comedy. (Channel 4, 2000)
They include a copy of the Black Mirror collection and Dead Set. To enter, head to The Music Facebook.
The Kit – At the turn of the century Brooker was a co-host with Gia Milinovich on The Kit, a short- lived show about gadgets and technology. (BBC Knowledge 1999-2000) The Art Show – Brooker wrote an episode titled How To Watch Television for The Art Show. It’s an animated guide on how to watch television. Do you yourself a favour and head to YouTube to watch part one. (Channel 4, 2003)
TOM CULLEN (BLACK MIRROR S1)
Be Right Back, however, had its origins in Brooker’s own reliance on Twitter and other social networks for human interaction following the birth of his son.
“I TEND TO BE GOOFIER THAN PEOPLE EXPECT.”
“You spend a lot of time up late at night, and that was my only contact with the outside world. I remember thinking ‘What if this is an illusion and all these people are dead?’ And that then led to this idea about software that could mimic you based on what it knew about you. It’s quite an intriguing notion because the more you think about it, the more you think about whether it would be you. Because are you really you on social networking sites? I think the answer is no; I think it’s a performance.” A self-confessed “gadget geek and videogame nut”, Brooker admits his relationship with technology is “conflicted”. “Broadly speaking, I’m pro-technology,” he admits. “It’s an interesting frontier. But at the same time I’m a scaredy-cat and I sometimes worry that we’re creating things we can’t control. Social media, for instance, is ‘an absolute miracle’ in many ways, something that allows people to communicate and share important information almost instantaneously. On the other hand, you can have a situation where thousands of people tell a 13-year-old girl to kill herself because she recorded a song they didn’t like. So it’s the rough with the smooth. I don’t know if it’s made us any happier. It’s made us more efficient and more informed but it’s also made us more confused.”
DANIEL KALUUYA AND JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY (BLACK MIRROR S1)
Screenwipe – Created and presented by Brooker, this show ran for five seasons and most of it was filmed in his living room. (BBC Four 2006- 2008) Black Mirror – This TV mini drama series created by Brooker shows the dark side of technology and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Tom Cullen and Hayley Atwell in episodes. It just wrapped on SBS and is now out on DVD. (Channel 4, 2011 to 2013) 10 O’Clock Live – A comedy news programme presented by Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, Lauren Laverne and David Mitchell. (Channel 4, 2011 to present) Newswipe – Created and presented by Brooker, this was a news review programme. The opening credits were by electronic artist Nathan Fake. (BBC Four 2009- 2010)
WHAT: Black Mirror Collection (Madman Entertainment) THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 47
SINGING IN THREES
combined 11 albums alongside new material written especially for the occasion.
As Liz Stringer and Jen Cloher tell Tyler McLoughlan over a lengthy Skype chat, there’s safety in numbers. The Dyson, Stringer & Cloher three-woman wolfpack tour will be a power greater than their critically acclaimed parts.
n the tradition of some of the world’s best songwriters, Mia Dyson, Liz Stringer and Jen Cloher have formed a power-trio alliance to hit the roads of every state and territory of our vast country. Considering Dyson has enjoyed international acclaim with her 2012 album, The Moment, Stringer recently returned from showcasing Warm In The Darkness in Europe, while Cloher is riding high from the release of her third album, In Blood Memory, the group are tour fit and ready to bring new life to each other’s songs after a debut run in the Northern Territory. “We went out for Darwin Festival and then we went into the desert – we went to Katherine, Tennant Creek for Desert Harmony Festival, and then we finished up at Alice Springs,” says Cloher as Stringer pipes up: “It worked great actually I thought. Jen, did you think that?” “Well I didn’t think you were so great – obviously you have a very different idea of yourself,” Cloher chides playfully, showing a level of piss-taking mateship that only comes when you know someone well. “No, it was great…” she admits as the pair erupt into giggles. The impetus to team up came from a mutual love of each other’s work as well as the need to share the highs and lows with someone who knows that the life of a singer-songwriter can be a lonely one, even more so as self-managed artists. “Jen just thought it would be a really good idea for the three of us to do something like this together,” says Stringer. “We’ve all been friends for a long time; we’ve toured together, I’ve played in Mia’s band for three tours or something – it just makes a lot of sense personally but particularly musically because we’re all quite different but we come from the same school of being songwriters and the song being the centre of what we’re doing. It instantly made a lot of sense and having said that, I was pleasantly surprised particularly because we’d booked another thirty dates of the tour [after the Territory preview] that it actually did work on stage! It’s like in any band – you can have three or four fantastic musicians but it doesn’t mean that
they’ll be a great band. That was the most exciting part about the Territory [shows] and all the feedback we were getting was that people really liked that we were really different but they felt
“The fun thing is that we’ve all got really different approaches to songwriting and performance and for me Liz sits perhaps a little more in that folk world, which is really exciting for me. I don’t mean to catagorise anyone ‘cause there’s a lot of rock there as well, but Dyso’s kind of more in that blues rock world and perhaps my latest album is kind of a bit more indie rock… Plus, it feels really lovely to have two other people just front a band with you, and you don’t feel nearly as alone…” “And if you’re having a bad day or you need an hour off, you can do it whereas if it’s just your tour and you’re driving everything it’s just relentless…” Stringer offers. “Over the whole course of the tour that will make such a huge difference as far as fatigue goes and wanting to be there and not having those moments when you’re like, ‘Fuck this – everyone get in the van, we’re goin’ home’. If anyone feels like that the other two can be like, ‘Okay weirdo – you just go over there for a bit’.” She laughs, as Cloher puts on her mock telling-off voice: “‘You can go and have a little bit of van time. Go and sit in the van in the corner’.
“THE FUN THING IS THAT WE’VE ALL GOT REALLY DIFFERENT APPROACHES” that it worked well together and that’s great – that was the point. There was a chance that it wasn’t gonna work, but thank God it did!” Cloher admits she had to learn a new set of skills as a musician who had never played in someone else’s band, but each of them brings their strengths to the showcase: a selection of highlights from their
There’s a seat up the back if you’re having a really bad day – we’ll just tuck whoever’s having a bad day right up the back and they can have a little sook! “It’s great to be able to team up with other artists and do it together,” says Cloher in summary. “I think that’s the future of independent musicmaking – if you isolate you’ll be picked off like penguins. You’ve got to stay in the pack!” WHEN & WHERE: 2 Nov, Lizotte’s Newcastle; 3 Nov, Lizotte’s Kincumber; 5 Nov, Brass Monkey; 6 Nov, Clarendon Guesthouse; 7 Nov, Lizotte’s Dee Why; 8 Nov, The Factory; 9 Nov, Heritage Hotel, Bulli; 10 Nov, The Abbey, Canberra
FRI 15 NOV
COMIN G SOON
96% LOVE SONGBOOK EP TOUR STRAYING AWAY FROM THE USUAL ROCK SOUND SHE BECAME FAMOUS FOR AS THE LEAD SINGER FOR SUPERJESUS, â€˜96% LOVE SONGBOOKâ€™ IS A SOFTER MORE GENTLE OFFERING.
WED 30 OCT
KRIOLA COLLECTIVE (WORLD MUSIC WEDNESDAYS) THURS 31 OCT
JEFF DUFFâ€™S HALLOWEEN PARTY AND ALBUM SHOWCASE
FRI 01 NOV
JAMES REYNE A CRAWL TO NOW SAT 02 NOV
JAMES REYNE A CRAWL TO NOW TUE 05 NOV
WITH THE BASEMENT BIG BAND
WED 06 NOV
DEREB THE AMBASSADOR
(WORLD MUSIC WEDNESDAYS)
THU 07 NOV
JONATHAN ZWARTZ NEWS FROM THE BASEMENT COMING SOONâ€¦ SAT 9 NOV
THE COPE STREET PARADE (ALBUM LAUNCH/EARLY SHOW) SAT 9 NOV
HOME BREW (NZ/LATE SHOW) SAT 16 OCT
JORDIE LANE (EARLY SHOW) FOLLOW US: ON FACEBOOK @ THE BASEMENT & ON TWITTER @ #BASEMENTSYD RESTUARANT OPENS AT 11AM, SERVING FOOD ALL DAY
THE MUSIC â€¢ 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 â€¢ 49
MONGREL WISDOM The realisation that “your political leaders were in infant school when you were a teenager” helps one become “less engaged”, Don Walker tells Simone Ubaldi.
here is a charge to Don Walker’s latest album. The legendary Australian songwriter is now in his 60s, and much of Hully Gully is about the view from over the hill, but Walker will not go gently into that goodnight. For every reflective tune about loving well and being wise, there is a slinky blues rejoinder about playing pool and being a bit wicked. “I would hope that others see me as a fine, upstanding, circumspect conservative man, but I’m not as good at portraying that as I imagined.” Walker laughs, “Maybe there’s a little bit of
gristle peaking out.”One of the most interesting tracks on Walker’s third solo album is Young Girls, an idle fantasy in which our songwriter picks up a beautiful young hitchhiker and makes a life with her fuelled by whiskey and midnight meals – “all the steak and cigarettes that you can steal”. There is a yearning in the song for the lost folly of youth. “It was kicked off by seeing a girl on a street corner getting drunk in an irresponsible way with a number of irresponsible friends. There was a certain amount of envy on my part for the stage of life that they were at, because I was rushing somewhere to do some stuff,”
Walker explains. “At a certain stage of youth, there are less things to do and less things to worry about.” Escape is a recurring theme on the album and it punctuates Everybody, a song about loathing the world around you and looking for the back door. A version first appeared on Cold Chisel’s 2012 album No Plans, but with Walker singing instead of Jimmy Barnes the song is at once more disgusted and more resigned. “It’s just a product of being cranky at the world in general, at everything I was seeing in the papers and hearing on the radio,” Walker muses. “I wrote it back in 1998 and I’m probably a little more relaxed about things like that now.” Age has made all the difference. “More and more, the protagonists in all the stories you read are younger than you. There’s a certain stage when you realise that all your political leaders were in infant school when you were a teenager. It helps in the process of being less engaged.” Walker has always been a philosophical songwriter, but as friends around him begin “dropping off the perch”, he finds himself dishing out very specific advice on how to live. On the track Mongrelwise he suggests we stay positive, fall in love and be wary of mongrels. “Being mongrelwise, being streetwise, is not something that you pick up in academia,” he says. “I’m always very wary about advising anybody else – I have enough trouble advising myself – but I guess that’s something worth knowing.” WHAT: Hully Gully (MGM) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Nov, Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra; 2 Nov, Camelot Lounge, Marrickville; 8 Nov, Sawtell RSL, Coffs Harbour;
SHOCK THE SYSTEM
Not even mild electric shock could derail New Found Glory from recording their first live album, a proud Cyrus Bolooki tells Benny Doyle.
etting married, touring with Alkaline Trio and then venturing to Australia for Warped Tour – Cyrus Bolooki has a busy few months ahead. But as he beams, they’re “all great things”. The New Found Glory drummer is in a talkative mood, discussing the band’s new LP Kill It Live. It’s the first time the Florida pop punk mainstays have released a live record and it sees the quintet in fine form, taking control of a loud and sweaty room at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California. “Chain Reaction has a special place in our hearts,” explains Bolooki of their choice. “We’ve played there a lot, and coming from Florida, the goal was always like, ‘We want to get to California’, ‘cause that’s so far away from Florida, it’s almost as far away [in America] as you can get. But I think Chain Reaction is just that kind of place for us that’s so special and we knew we were going to get true New Found Glory fans, we were going to get kids that knew every word to every song and that were going to be just as excited to be there as we were and wanting to make it special, and that’s exactly what happened.” The band performed over two nights in March this year and have put together a veritable best-of collection from those shows. In addition, fans also get a late bonus in the way of three cracking new studio cuts. “We didn’t want to just release a three-song EP or something,” says Bolooki, “and we’d been trying to find
50 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
a way to put out these new songs. So I think what you have [here] is a great setlist – a nice little summary of our career – but also you have these three songs that a lot of people are reacting well to, and I think all in all it’s just a great release for us.” But the making of Kill It Live wasn’t without some drama. Guitarist Chad Gilbert was electrocuted on stage by a metal microphone stand about 20 minutes into the first night’s set. “It was just out of the blue, no one expected it,” Bolooki remembers. “And he hits the ground and obviously couldn’t return to the show, he had to go to hospital; he was alright and everything but he couldn’t play the show that
night. All of a sudden the first night just has this weird vibe going on, and I have no idea how Chad was able to, the next day, just put on another show. But we did the second show and luckily that went off without a hitch. “It’s just funny because for us, that’s just what seems to happen,” he chuckles, still in disbelief. “We say we’re going to do a live thing and actually try and plan it, and then something goes wrong, but you’ve always got to be ready for little curveballs like that. Luckily our crowds are awesome no matter what night it is or what we’re playing or who’s playing or any of that kinda stuff.” WHAT: Kill It Live (Violently Happy/Bridge Nine/3Wise) WHEN & WHERE: 1 Dec, Vans Warped Tour, Barangaroo; 6 Dec, Vans Warped Tour, Exhibition Park, Canberra
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
TUE 4 FEB ST STEPHEN’S UNITING CHURCH ALL AGES Tickets on sale now at www.ticketek.com.au www.heavenlysounds.com
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 51
52 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
This week: watch political and historical events unfold through a different perspective in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Arcade Fire return with rhythm and reflection and Midlake steep their slowburning aesthetic in pastoral psychedelic mores.
M.I.A. Matangi Universal A dubby minimal breakdown at standard intro length signals the start of M.I.A.’s fourth album, and it’s surprisingly subdued and minimal. This creates a false sense of security however – it’s actually unsettling when the title track immediately follows, with the rhythmic drum circle broken up with short sharp, eardrum penetrating samples. By the time the track gets going, the tempo and frenetic energy continue to build until a massive tempo drop at the end brings it all crashing down in its ultimate climax.
TRACK LISTING 1. Karmageddon 2. Matangi 3. Only 1 U 4. Warriors 5. Come Walk With Me 6. aTENTion 7. Exodus 8. Bad Girls
9. Boom Skit 10. Double Bubble Trouble 11. Y.A.l.A 12. Bring The Noize 13. Lights 14. Know It Ain’t Right 15. Sexodus
This production style creates the texture for the record, alongside the familiar elements of big drums, exotic instrument samples and her familiar vocal style. It’s a hard record to get your head around the first listen. Warriors is a great example of this – there’s barely a consistent drum beat for more than a few bars and it seems to just start over every minute or so. It’s the first instant of another unusual production flourish where there’s a really over-the-top vocal overdub like it’s a radio announcer or mixtape DJ spruiking over the top. It also happens when she delivers her anti-YOLO reincarnation anthem Y.A.L.A (You Always Live Again). Bad Girls has been out for so long that its familiarity makes it an obvious focal point of the album, but it also sits apart from most of the record due to its much more simple arrangement and production. It’s an astonishing record that mashes so many ideas culturally and musically and builds on her already impressive discography in all the right ways. Chris Yates THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 53
Even after the brilliant title track announced a new direction for Arcade Fire, it was a brave fool who’d predict what the rest of Reflektor would bring. For all the secrecy, the viral campaigns, the 22-minute, star-studded film clip (for Here Comes The Night Time – one of the record’s best tracks), though, the question remains. Is Reflektor worth the hype? The short answer is yes. Just.
Much like its cover art, Gossling’s debut LP, Harvest Of Gold, bursts with colour. Songbird Helen Croome’s catchy collection of pop tunes marks a progression from her usual folk roots to an experimentation with ambient electronica and disco – in many ways a rhythmic celebration of her long-awaited full-length release.
It’s nothing like Arcade Fire have released before, but it creates a need for future listens more than any of the band’s previous albums. Gone is the reliance on Win Butler’s lyrics; instead his voice is caught in the many layers that create a cacophony of sound for much of the record. Inspired by their time in Haiti, the rara music indigenous to the Caribbean is all over Volume I. Basslines reminiscent of Michael Jackson (We Exist) and The Clash (You Already Know) drive the disc, with steel drums and maracas providing a booty-
Harvest Of Gold
★★★★ shaking backbone. The second disc is more reflective and, despite the continued layering of sound, less dance-able. Here Comes The Night II is the antithesis of its namesake, and It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) carries a dark, Depeche Mode-y vibe with it. Months of work have gone into the track structure of Reflektor, and it shows. Where the first disc is carried by rhythm, the second is pushed along in a slow-burning, hypnotic state, culminating in the album’s apex, Afterlife. The layers will work themselves out over future listens, but there’s plenty on Reflektor to warrant further spins. Dylan Stewart
Alternating between a brooding low register and delicate top notes, opener, Big Love, is a sonic burst of vocal and musical energy that is maintained from the album’s beginning to end. It’s very easy to get swept up in the singer-songwriter’s joyous pop and forget about her velvet smooth set of pipes, six of the ten tracks easily pleasing any mover and shaker ready for a dance. However, it’s a completely different story for the four remaining songs, touching as they do on the sentimental and harking back to what fans fell in love with in 2009. While
Bella Union/[PIAS] Australia
Cut Copy’s fourth album lovingly pays homage to the second summer of love that was fuelled by acid house and rave. The big fat rubbery bump of the anthemic title track, Free Your Mind, which evolves into piano house complete with soulful female backing vocalists, takes us back to the early ‘90s when Andy Weatherall was producing Screamadelica.
When a band has a roster change, there’s a determinism from the fans that this incarnation will emulate, or indeed transcend, what has come before. When the chief songwriter and singer departs, such enthusiasm wavers and diminishes. For every Pink Floyd, there is a Phil Collinsled Genesis. 2013 sees Texans Midlake trying to buck this unenviable trend, breaking away after Tim Smith’s abrupt departure to release Antiphon.
Free Your Mind
As if taking their cue from Primal Scream, Cut Copy craft buoyant pop songs whilst toying with all the conventions of underground dance styles of that era. The lyrics across this album work over a multitude of dance music clichés as the band put their faith in the power of dancing all night long and making friends with Molly in the hope that our minds will be set free and connect with a higher plane of consciousness. If Cut Copy don’t free 54 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
★★★½ the production of Harvest Of Gold’s pop contingent is to be commended, surely nothing can compare to the symphonic beauty of Pulse, its boisterous orchestral styling fronted by Croome’s intimate and innocent storytelling. Similarly, record closer, A Lover’s Spat, is pure in its simplicity, and duet, Songs Of Summer, featuring Sparkadia’s Alex Burnett, pairs femininity with a deep masculine vocal in an effective tale of lost love. But it’s vocal masterclass Vanish that hits completely new heights, the response to the tragic death of Jill Meagher tearing its way into your heart and erupting, making those dancefloor offerings seem anti-climactic in comparison. Mat Lee
★★★½ your mind then Alexander Skarsgård in the video and Jason Pierce, who weighs in with a killer remix of the song, surely will. The joyous carefree vibes of tunes like Let Me Show You and Meet Me In A House Of Love are intoxicating. Cut Copy have loaded this album with hooks and luscious textures that are easily consumed. The view in Take Me Higher is mind-expanding; the comedown isn’t a crashlanding. It’s a visit to church for the glorious gospel-infused Walking In The Sky that feels likes the lads are jamming with Spiritualised. We emerge feeling free and reborn. Guido Farnell
From the opening title track, it’s clear the remaining members have steeped their slow-burning aesthetic in pastoral psychedelic mores. An obvious trend, seeing as so much of Midlake’s oeuvre flirts with this terrain, but a clever subterfuge – the tracks here hint at familiarity (and in Aurora Gone we have one final vestige of what came before) whilst effectively distancing themselves from Smith’s iconic harmonies and lyrical bent. The clear outré highlight is Vale, a
★★★★ sinuous instrumental that weaves its way through the band’s past before blasting forth into an elongated space breakdown. It’s breathtaking in its precision and energy. Eric Pulido’s vocal output is arresting in its own right. He rightfully avoids aping Smith’s style, instead evoking a lighter presence that complements rather than becomes the focal point, most evidently on the track The Old And The Young. The only detractor is the insistence of the band to forge ahead as Midlake. Antiphon proves the ambition that always marked them out as folk-rock outsiders burns fiercely within them still, albeit with a new, crystalline focus. Brendan Telford
MADE IN JAPAN
Tame All Those Thoughts
More widely regarded as guitarist for dearly departed Brisbane powerhouse Powderfinger, Middleton has quietly chipped away at his familiar yet maturely composed songcraft since his sleeper success with alt-rock outfit Drag. On Translations he presents that same knack for engaging melodies and driving motifs, but couples it with homespun yarns amongst a loftier, intimate setting. Opener Can’t Hide Sad sets the bar high: melancholic harmonies, string embellishments, lamenting vocal. His voice mixes croon and everyman storytelling, prominent in the blissed out Failing Now. A variety of pace and structure keeps things fresh throughout.
It was only last year these Sydney-based upstarts released their debut album, yet here they are with a solid second release of top-shelf dream-pop, sounding in no way like a rushed affair. A luscious journey across nine songs, the band has outdone themselves here and delivered what can only be touted as a solid step forward – Follow The Fool is the remarkable centrepiece, with Greenwood-esque guitar and hypnotic production overall, while the opening Community is just one of the many future favourites. Now to a show!
Thirty-five years on and Primitive Calculators are as depraved and derelict as ever. The songs on The World Is Fucked don’t mince about, keeping titles brief and abrasive, and the sonic furniture is flayed and piked for all to see and fear. Their innovative industrial punk grind is as dreadful as is intended, forever contorting convention in favour of bilious violence and pitchblack humour – an atonal mess of Cenobite proportions. They laugh harder the more painful it gets. And this is their first proper album? The end is nigh.
The World Is Fucked Chapter
MINOR ALPS Get There
Stop Start/Inertia For an album with such a bleak album cover and a lyrical focus on longing and solitude, Minor Alps’ debut record is pretty upbeat. Then again, that’s probably what happens when you combine two revered pop musicians like Matthew Caws (of Nada Surf fame) and Juliana Hatfield (of Juliana Hatfield fame) and they put their heads together. Sure, there are some quiet, reflective moments (like the final song Away Again), but with jangly, clean electric guitar and charming harmonies ever-present, Minor Alps have delivered a solid record that belies the fact that it’s their first. Dylan Stewart
The fifth proper album from electro glitch rockers 65daysofstatic is arguably their most refined to date. The record blends all of the band’s previous work into a new, cohesive sound that grooves hard and rocks harder. Fans of the skittish and wild breakbeat-influenced rock from the early days may be left disappointed, as may recent converts to the more techno-influenced vibes, but this is an album the band needed to make. Wild Light is a brilliant and mature record that never loses sight of its multifaceted goals – whether it branches out to dance, rock or noise.
The third and latest release from Danish songstress Nanna Øland Fabricius, aka Oh Land, is upbeat and instantly likeable thanks to Bird In An Aeroplane. Things go awry, however, with My Boxer. The track, where Fabricius speak-sings – almost to the point of rapping – is a little too quirky and doesn’t sit well with the rest of the record. The Brooklyn, NYC resident manages to redeem herself with the mighty fine Next Summer and Sleepy Town.
If White Denim’s albums were social activities then their first two albums would be boozy all-nighters, D would be a country ramble and their latest, Corsicana Lemonade, would be a sumptuous barbecue groover. In other words, White Denim have your entire weekend covered.
Despite a few minor drawbacks, Wish Bone, with its light, electro pop-driven tunes, is the perfect accompaniment to the coming summer months.
Peak Twins follow up various splits and 7” releases with their proper debut album and Liam, Joel and their players making good on the promises these previous releases have suggested was possible. While the album bounces between the vague structures of different styles of music ranging from ‘60s rock’n’roll sounds to proper country and whatever else, it all becomes skewed through the band’s twisted lens and turns into something else entirely – something awesome. The album is strong, but immediate highlights like China White are impressive well beyond heightened expectations.
Christopher H James
Having shaken off the ambitious jazzy time signatures and occasional over-reach that characterised previous album D, White Denim have seemingly found whole new levels of expression by playing comfortably within their limits, proving that, just like my Italian cooking, things are almost always best kept simple.
THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 55
LILY & MADELEINE
Lily & Madeleine
How To Carve A Carrot Into A Rose
The eponymous Baio is Vampire Weekend’s bassist Chris, who keeps himself occupied with the mostly old electronic cut-and-pastings of his second outing under this guise. As with many such sideline projects, it sometimes feels like he’s trying a little too hard to use all his ideas, and so sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Title track opener might rely a little too much on twisting the pitch-shift knob, but almost immediately redeems itself with the genuine bright pop of Welterweight. Other bits tend toward the ‘summery instrumental’ default, but he’s apparently having fun.
“I’ll sing a song that sounds like somewhere” promise teenage sisters Lily & Madeleine on the opener of their folky debut LP. Listen to their sweet sibling harmony and you’ll picture that ‘somewhere’ as a set of rolling hills of the deepest green. These former YouTube stars may be young, but songs like And Tonight and Lost Upon The Sea will convince you that there is no substitute for the vibrant hum of a melody sung by two people that have been making music together for most of their lives.
SAVAGES A year after its original incarnation, and to underline their Laneway appearance, the album version of one of the most genuinely epic ‘punk’ rackets this decade would still make Siouxsie Sioux smile.
CONVAIRE Talk In Technicolour Future Classic Indie semi-ironic disco dancing of good nature that is shiny enough to reflect off the mirror ball without checking out its own reflection too much. Has charms and hooks and squelchy synths.
Milk! Centred round the gloriously deadpan little medical drama of Avant Gardener, the words-of-thought process just seem to fall from Ms Barnett, with no control gate between brain and mouth. But maybe that’s the trick, because a line like Don’t Apply Compression Gently’s – ‘I might not be 100 per cent/ But at least I’m not with you’ – is laser-aimed, even if delivered with apparent offhandedness. The music is similarly carefully casual as it strolls behind her, or wobbles like a wonky bike wheel. Just a thing of nonchalant brilliance. Ross Clelland
Tremulous ABC Music It’s quite difficult – in a good way – to work out just what Mr Salter’s default style is. This, a kinda electronical duet with Christa V, is another individual construction that beckons you in.
BLANK REALM Falling Down The Stairs
HAIL OF BULLETS
PROTEST THE HERO
III: The Rommel Chronicles
Embassy One/Blaufield/ OneLove
Eve is a true musical journey that flows through a wave of brilliantly crafted dance music from start to finish. From the funky jazz trumpets of opening track Many Rivers to the deep house beats of first single Love Inc, each number builds and drops with a solid bassline underpinning everything. It’s impossible not to move to.
Seekae chap goes for the dangerous role-playing musical concept album thing. But, built on dark vintage keyboards and world-weary vocals, this doesn’t forget you’ve got to have songs as well.
Dutch death metal bruisers Hail Of Bullets are this generation’s Bolt Thrower. This time, the World War II-obsessed outfit turn to Rommel’s North African campaign for their latest collection of mid-paced death metal madness. And you know what? These songs sound exactly like a Panzer column slugging it out in the desert with the likes of Tobruk and DAK reinforcing that good riffs win over mindless speed every time. Add Martin van Drunen’s inhuman growls and nothing else comes close. III: The Rommel Chronicles is the death metal album of the year.
A number of uplifting vocal house tracks benefit from some perfectly chosen guest singers, including Israeli artist Yoav and techno soul vocalist Fritz Kalkbrenner, who adds his honeyed tones to the catchy Crossing Borders. It’s what Booka Shade fans will have been waiting for.
Protest The Hero have upped the ante with Volition – arguably their most assured release to date – which sees them blending genres with more finesse than ever. Lamb Of God’s Chris Adler handles drumming duties, tackling the frenetic tempo changes with ease while adding his signature jackhammer panache. From album opener Clarity it’s clear the band are trying to challenge themselves musically: punchy and mercurial, mad guitar runs prop up the vocals of Rody Walker, whose lungs have never sounded stronger. Technically progressive and with plenty of heart, Volition is a band firing on all cylinders.
Bedroom Suck A wound-tight but wonky guitar and organ noise sound like it comes from an early ‘80s Flying Nun record. Add vocals with a Dylanesque tenuous relationship to melody and it’s quite great.
ALEX CAMERON Happy Ending Crawfish
56 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
COSMO JARVIS, LIME CORDIALE The Annandale 24 Oct Every once in a while you get a gig that just ticks all the right boxes. Not only a great headliner but also solid support acts, an awesome venue, a jovial crowd and decent beers on tap. Cosmo Jarvis at The Annandale Hotel was one of those gigs. Young Sydney quintet Lime Cordiale kicked off proceedings with an energetic set chock full of infectious ska-pop melodies. New single, Sleeping At Your Door, which echoed the pop-rock sound of the 1950s, was an enjoyable little gem; as was Pretty Girl, which also allowed the boys to display their multi-instrumental
power through his performance, impressively maintaining not only his energy levels but also that of the crowd for a set that lasted over an hour and a half. The crowd happily sang along to a song about our disillusioned generation on Train Downtown and swayed side to side as Jarvis slowed down for Look At The Sky. Three of the boys from Lime Cordiale got up on stage and provided some brass back-up for the fun, fast-paced She Doesn’t Mind, which probably gained the second best reception of the night, after Jarvis’ somewhat signature track, Gay Pirates. Joyful roars of “Yo Ho Sebastian!” throughout the crowd accompanied Jarvis, plucking away at his ukulele, and solidified in many minds just how talented Jarvis is, not only as a performer, but also as a songwriter. Cate Summers
BEHEMOTH @ MANNING BAR. PIC: PETER SHARP
abilities. Massive props to a band that can have a clarinet on stage and make it look cool. The crowd within The Annandale was a good mix of really enthusiastic, really young fans and slightly older, slightly more relaxed admirers. When Cosmo Jarvis hopped on stage, supported by a back-up guitarist, bass player and drummer, and delved into opening track, Whatever, a wave of hands and young, jumping bodies began to form within the front section of the venue. By the end of his second song, the much loved, energetic Love This, you would have been hardpressed to find a soul in that venue who wasn’t bopping along to the Englishman’s songs. Jarvis comes across physically as more of a rugby player than a musician. Big muscles, strong neck – he definitely emanates a sense of power physically. He managed to channel that
claiming the Dexter finale was just slightly rubbish on the glaringly obvious understatement scale, given it was growled at a well populated room of like-minded individuals. Hour Of Penance swiftly redeemed themselves for such overly clichéd banter via an efficiently crushing display. The Italian crew’s first trek to our shores was well received, despite a muddy mix affording them few favours. Airing a new track boasting riffs tougher than a $2 steak didn’t halt their momentum, wedged in amidst favourites such as Slavery In A Deaf Decay and Incontrovertible Doctrines. A return visit would appear likely. Judging by the boisterous chants accompanying their entrance, not to mention in between many songs – easily among the loudest this reviewer has detected for a band of their ilk – it had been far
BOY & BEAR @ ENMORE THEATRE. PIC: CLARE HAWLEY
BEHEMOTH, HOUR OF PENANCE, EXEKUTE Manning Bar 26 Oct Channelling the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation and Dying Fetus, Exekute’s largely by-the-numbers, but joyously delivered brutality garnered a respectable response from a gathering attuned to their pulverising guitars and guttural vocals. Aside from inciting the evening’s inaugural circle pit, the Sydneysiders baited punters into further pit violence and nodding of approval throughout closer Genetic Monstrosity. “Are you ready for some fucking death metal?” is up there with
mask-wearing theatrics. Although rooted in taut musicianship, special mention goes to ex-Decapitated drummer Krimh for more than ably substituting for long-time sticksman Inferno. This was apparent from the outset of blistering opening onetwo punch Ov Fire And The Void and Demigod, through to Slaves Shall Serve and Lucifer inevitably capping off a stellar performance. Was this the extreme metal show of the year? Quite possibly. Brendan Crabb
BOY & BEAR, BATTLESHIPS Enmore Theatre 27 Oct On Sunday night Boy & Bear played their second Sydney
BOY & BEAR @ ENMORE THEATRE. PIC: CLARE HAWLEY
too long between drinks for the headliners. Of course, plenty has transpired within the Behemoth camp during the past few years; namely frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski’s battles with serious illness and legal strife. Taking this and the rabid reaction into account, the hooded, charismatic leader’s roar of “it feels good to be alive” surely didn’t truly encapsulate the magnitude of the experience for the corpse-painted one. Contrasting the ferocious Blow Your Trumpet, Gabriel, set for inclusion on much-anticipated, forthcoming full-length The Satanist with Moonspell Rites from their 1994 debut EP underlined the Poles’ segue from straight-up black metal fare to a blackened death juggernaut. This progression hasn’t softened the sheer intensity of their execution, either. Impressive windmill headbanging, as well as water and blood-spitting antics added to the
show of the weekend to yet another sold out crowd at the Enmore Theatre. The majority of the audience had wised up to the rewards that came with the purchase of a ticket and flooded the Enmore early to catch Sydneysiders Battleships. Though still a relatively young band, Battleships warmed up the hoards with an impressive brand of spacey indie rock. Sydney locals and indie rock darlings Boy & Bear were quick to admit that it had been too long since they last played to Australian audiences but promised they had something to show for their absence – a highly anticipated sophomore studio album titled Harlequin Dream. As to be expected, the guys worked their way through the album, nailing the new stuff and also revisiting some old favourites from their 2011 debut album Moonshine. As soon as THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 57
live reviews the indie rockers hit the stage they launched straight into Three Headed Women, the second single to be lifted off Harlequin Dream, which rolled on into Rabbit Song and then transformed into Lordy May – Dave Hosking’s voice navigating the lyrics with ease and only pausing for breath and a break at the end of the third track. His delicious, crooning vocals undoubtedly have the ability to steal any limelight when he is up on stage. It’s refreshing and a little surprising just how similar his voice sounds when he is performing live to the way it sounds on the record and it’s clear that there’s no magic or tricks producing what fans listen to on their iPod, just raw talent. What makes the live show any different to listening to Boy & Bear through your headphones is the infectious sense of energy and charisma that the quintet
was like having bread before the main meal; it’s enjoyable, but if the meal takes too long that bread starts to look pretty shitty and gets torn to pieces. Luckily Limp Bizkit soon arrived on stage, with SK3L3TOR on the decks, and exploded into their set with Rollin’. Fred Durst’s dress sense hasn’t changed, a red hat backwards, saggy jeans and a silver chain hung from the man spitting rhymes at the centre of the madness. Wes Borland looked predictably unimaginable, his body painted white with a flashing helmet that looked half Ridley Scott’s Alien, half a disco ball and entirely terrifying. The near sell-out crowd jumped and flailed violently as mosh intensity was at a level befitting a Rise Against concert. Death circles spawned all over the Sydney Entertainment Centre,
LIMP BIZKIT @ SYDNEY ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE. PIC: JOSH GROOM
bring to the stage. Though Tim Hart killed it on drums, he had competition from the crowd who kept time with a steady pulse of stamping, clapping and cheering as if they wanted to be a part of the magic that was happening in front of them. The 90-minute set was concluded with Feeding Line and that was that – Boy & Bear stuck to their own rule of no encores and although they had given the crowd ample warning of this rule, the audience was still left wanting more. Milly Mead
LIMP BIZKIT, DJ SK3L3TOR Sydney Entertainment Centre 26 Oct Having DJ SK3L3TOR warm the crowd up before Limp Bizkit 58 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
classics like Nookie, My Way, My Generation and Take A Look Around out nicely. Break Stuff was last and the crowd saw it coming – the entire standing section squatted down and drummed the sticky floor with their hands in anticipation. When it finally broke the mosh erupted for the biggest tussle of the huge night. Bravo, Limp Bizkit, you’ve still got it. Cameron Warner
SLEEP, SUMMONUS, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT Manning Bar 27 Oct If you ever find yourself driving through central Australia and getting bored of listening to
LIMP BIZKIT @ SYDNEY ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE. PIC: JOSH GROOM
and though angry and overexcited 20- and 30-somethings looked like they wanted blood there were no fights, and anybody knocked over in the madness was swiftly picked up by a friend or nearby stranger. Durst noticed and praised “a very respectful crowd”. He also dedicated the show to the spirit of Jessica, the girl tragically killed by injuries suffered at their 2001 Big Day Out set in Sydney. With a new album on the way most were expecting them to trial some fresh material (although hoping they wouldn’t). But the band stuck mostly to their pre-2003 stuff and threw in a cover of Killing In The Name. Durst is a master of lifting crowd energy and keeping it sky high. There were no bad tracks or lulls; each song was either crazy or fucking insane. They spread
retirement to churn out doom paeans that could last for up to an hour. I thought the crowd would be sparse – I couldn’t have been more wrong. When Sleep strode onto stage and Matt Pike started ringing out the sledgehammer opening to the mammoth Dopesmoker, Manning Bar was bursting to the seams with excited punters. Sure, stoners can’t be bothered getting out of bed in the morning to go to work – but give them the chance to hear the likes of Holy Mountain, Sonic Titan and From Beyond at ear-splitting levels and suddenly punctuality is a most sacred quality. Listening to this trio was like being crushed into the ground by a slow-moving concrete slab – unrelenting waves of riffage and half-paced groove just pummelled cranium after cranium into dust. Sleep doesn’t play very often and for
SLEEP @ MANNING BAR. PIC: JODIE MATHEWS
Kyuss, The Devil Rides Out is just the ticket. The Perth natives leapt on stage and offered a performance that sounded like they were still infused with the dirt they picked up off the Sturt highway on their way to Sydney. Offering up a raw, high-octane blast of bluesy stoner rock, The Devil Rides Out proved the perfect entrée for this doom-laden sonic feast. Summonus are always fun and this show was no exception. The riffs were big, the fuzz enveloped all and if you closed your eyes and listened carefully you could visualise Electric Wizard violating Celtic Frost while Black Sabbath looked on with wry amusement. It’s not the most pleasant of thoughts but then again Summonus churn out ugly music for ugly people. It was Sunday, overcast and cold and the headliners were a trio who had come out of
those in the audience who have been worshipping the pioneering trio since the early ‘90s this was clearly a religious experience. For the rest of us it was yet further proof that when you have the right riffs nothing else matters. Mark Hebblewhite
STRATOVARIUS, EYEFEAR, DARKER HALF The Hi-Fi 26 Oct Sydney locals Darker Half opened up this celebration of all things heavy with their patented brand of no-nonsense speed metal. Think Halloween on steroids and you get some idea of where the boys were coming from. The quartet offered up a
live reviews solid half hour with the clear stand-out being the poignant (and somewhat epic) Tomb Of The Unknown Solider. Melbourne’s power prog stalwarts Eyefear sounded impressive with a keyboard heavy assault that was both powerful and crystal clear. With energetic frontman Danny Cecati leading the way, the band crafted a varied set taken from across their long career. Eyefear once again proved why they are considered leading lights in Australia’s burgeoning metal scene. Yes, the cheese factor is incredibly high when it comes to power metal veterans Stratovarius. But you know what? Live, there’s a whole lot more oomph to the Finnish loons than on their somewhat ‘safe’ discography.
the band has a long future ahead of them. Finishing off with the surprise inclusion of Eagleheart and crowd favourite Hunting High And Low, the band left to wild applause and promised to hurry back soon. Here’s hoping they do. Mark Hebblewhite
THE CRIBS, GLASS TOWERS Upstairs Beresford 24 Oct The sound system at The Beresford in Surry Hills is custom tailored to fit the skewed ‘C’ shape of the music venue, which demonstrates an encouraging investment and commitment to live music in the inner east. Both venue and sound system were well suited to
THE CRIBS @ UPSTAIRS BERESFORD. PIC: THOMAS GRAHAM
THE CRIBS @ UPSTAIRS BERESFORD. PIC: THOMAS GRAHAM
Classics like The Kiss Of Judas and Black Diamond sounded massively heavy and even the poppier offerings like Dragons and Fantasy boasted a nasty bottom end. Not surprisingly (these guys are regulars on the European festival circuit) the band were a tightly wound machine with not a note out of place. From manic drummer Rolf Pilve right through to venerable frontman Timo Kotipelto the entire band looked like they were having an absolute ball. If they were disappointed by the surprisingly small crowd they didn’t show it and instead relished their first trip down under with a setlist designed to cover all parts of their career. It should be noted that material from this year’s Nemesis (including the stomping Halcyon Days) went down a treat suggesting that
Cribs came out rocking their garage work ethic and the Brit three-piece (including a fourth touring guitarist who is not Johnny Marr) got straight down to business with songs from reaches of their last ten years as a band. Their ‘world’s greatest rock song’ got aired at number three (Come On, Be A No-One) while at the other end of the set, Be Safe’s unintentional influence was one of their best on the night thanks to a synced overhead projection of Lee Ronaldo’s monologue and big fat head, emphasising that not only was the sound system paying dividends, but the venue’s other technical services work a treat. An eclectic mix of expats, suits, hipsters and inner westies made up the capacity crowd, who got to see that the band can still rock, taking time out to enjoy a crowd surf or
the bands on show tonight, and Glass Towers used it to their advantage despite a couple of sound issues in the first couple of songs. The new wave sound that died a slow death in the late 2000s seems to be making a comeback and these youngsters are leading the charge, following some airplay and a slot at this year’s Splendour celebration. Unassuming despite their fledgling career, the four-man group played with a lot of enthusiasm, reflective of many a support band which tended to occasionally fall down due to the rehearsed feeling as opposed to the theatre-sports approach of headline bands. Still, plenty of people got in early and stayed for more than a look-in, which showed the band’s popularity may be destined for bigger support slots and more festivals. Returning to Sydney for the second time this year, The
three, a dig at Southern Cross tatts and “bergans”. Sweaty and inspiring – who needs Johnny Marr to have a good time? Adam Wilding
Big Top Luna Park 26 Oct The Big Top was transformed into the eeriest haunted house on the harbour, for the biggest Halloween party of the year. The night was filled with thrills and chills, as the crowd donned their most formidably frightening Halloween fancy dress and invaded Luna Park for an evening of great music accompanied by an army of circus freaks. The gorgeous Perth brothers of Bombs Away, who brought the house down with a killer set, headlined the event. Coming
off the back of consecutive number one singles in the ARIA charts, they brought with them a killer energy that had a sea of ghouls, superheroes, witches and vampires going crazy in the crowd. Highlights of their set were Party Bass, Get Stoopid and of course, Big Booty Bitches. These guys were hands down the stand-out performance of the night, and this reviewer personally can’t wait to see them in live again. The sinister soundscape also included triple j’s House Party goddess, Nina Las Vegas, who kept the beats going and the energy up with the same raw energy that has slain countless dancefloors around the country. Also taking the stage were What So Not bringing the beats that have been
STRATOVARIUS @ THE HI-FI. PIC: JOSH GROOM
seen at almost every major festival around the world and Ego with a spinetingling dual audiovisual experience, especially mixed for the Karnevil stage. Also on display were an army of circus freaks, performing jaw dropping thrills and visual horrors, including contortionists and a legion of the weird and wonderful. There were prizes for the best dressed and most terrifying costumes on the night, with some truly spectacular outfits on display, including a girl with her face ripped open, a terrifyingly convincing Freddy Krueger, Batman and an array of cowboys, Indians, witches and dead brides. Karnevil was a spectacular night of macabre thrills and epic beats, sure to become one of Sydney’s most loved inaugural events. Deborah Jackson THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 59
arts reviews by watching the political and historical events unfold through Gaines’ eyes, and balancing this equally with familial and personal storylines (loosely based on Allen’s life), the film succeeds in conveying the weight of the situation with very little heavyhandedness – no mean feat. THE BUTLER
LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER Film
In cinemas 31 Oct Inspired by an article written about Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House through eight presidential administrations, Lee Daniels’ The Butler charts the civil rights movement in America across 50 years, as seen through the experiences of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). In a film like this, which deals with such sensitive, charged and important issues, there is a lot of room to fall flat. However,
While Gaines slowly and gently gains the presidents’ trust and respect, his eldest son Louis becomes a political activist, joining the Freedom Riders. The scenes contrasting Gaines serving the elite of the white and his son protesting for black rights work in tandem; the first one hits the hardest, playing out like a waltz, with movements and dialogue overlapping and interlocking so that they apply to both contexts, yet take on different meanings. Among the star-studded cast, Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, who plays Gaines’ wife Gloria, deliver particularly stirring performances. Ultimately, it is the Gaines family’s hopes and struggles, rooted in matters of racial discrimination, which drive Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Stephanie Liew
Thursday October 31st Alice - Brisbane - Byron - Melbourne - Sydney Adelaide - Perth - Darwin - Hobart Lasseterbones.com.au facebook/LassetersBones twitter.com/Lassetersbones 60 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER Film
In cinemas 31 Oct Inspired by an article written about Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House through eight presidential administrations, Lee Daniels’ The Butler charts the civil rights movement in America across 50 years, as seen through the experiences of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker). In a film like this, which deals with such sensitive, charged and important issues, there is a lot of room to fall flat. However,
by watching the political and historical events unfold through Gaines’ eyes, and balancing this equally with familial and personal storylines (loosely based on Allen’s life), the film succeeds in conveying the weight of the situation with very little heavyhandedness – no mean feat. While Gaines slowly and gently gains the presidents’ trust and respect, his eldest son Louis becomes a political activist, joining the Freedom Riders. The scenes contrasting Gaines serving the elite of the white and his son protesting for black rights work in tandem; the first one hits the hardest, playing out like a waltz, with movements and dialogue overlapping and interlocking so that they apply to both contexts, yet take on different meanings. Among the star-studded cast, Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, who plays Gaines’ wife Gloria, deliver particularly stirring performances. Ultimately, it is the Gaines family’s hopes and struggles, rooted in matters of racial discrimination, which drive Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Stephanie Liew
THE MUSIC • 3OTH OCTOBER 2013 • 61
NEWS FSR STANDARD TELECASTER BUTTERSCOTCH BLONDE
One of Fender’s most popular Special Run guitars is back, the Butterscotch Blonde Telecaster, evoking the classic style of the 1950s, but with modern playability. The guitar’s body is ash while the 25.5” 21-fret neck is maple, in a tinted satin urethane finish, and you get two Standard Single-Coil Tele pickups, at the bridge and neck. Also now available is the Buddy Guy Standard Stratocaster guitar, featuring that unmistakable polka dot finish, soft V-shaped neck and three standard singlecoil pickups, the body alder, the 21-fret neck and fretboard maple.
VALE RAY DOLBY
He may have been born in Portland, Oregon and raised in San Francisco, California, but it was in London that American engineer Ray Milton Dolby OBE was to invent the noise reduction system that bears his name – Dolby NR. In 1965, after having spent several years as a technical advisor to the UN in India, he’d returned to England - he had studied at Cambridge and had worked at Ampex, where he had been a co-inventor of quadruplex videotape in April 1956. Founding Dolby Laboratories, he developed the Dolby Sound System, although his first US patent was not filed until four years later, in 1969. The noise-reducing and surround sound technology he developed revolutionised cinema acoustics and ushered in the modern era of high-quality, realistic film sound. The company relocated to San Francisco in 1976 and it was at his home in that city that Dolby died of leukaemia on September 12 at the age of 80.
62 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL Just how important is pre-production when you’re looking to record? Presenting a workshop on just that at this year’s Face The Music, Jimi Maroudas explains it all to Michael Smith.
ace The Music contemporary music conference, co-presented with Melbourne Music Week, returns to Arts Centre Melbourne Friday 15 and Saturday 16 Nov, for two massive days of keynote speeches, presentations, discussions, networking, workshops and ‘insightful tips and tools to grow your music career’. Among the many workshops on offer is one on pre-production being presented by engineer/ producer Jimi Maroudas. Cutting his teeth as principal assistant engineer at Melbourne’s Sing Sing Studios, Maroudas has gone on to engineer and produce recordings for Tim Rogers, The Living End, The Little Stevies, Emmy Bryce and Bertie Blackman among others, engineering Eskimo Joe’s 2009 album, Inshalla, alongside producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies), and picking up an Engineer of the Year ARIA Award for Kimbra’s single, Cameo Lover, which he also produced. “I find it’s often the most overlooked part of the whole production process,” Maroudas suggests, “but by a mile probably the most important I think. Almost every artist obviously approaches it quite differently but the common thread between all pre-production sessions for me is that you’re basically laying down the vision as to how you want the resulting production to sound, and if it’s not working in the rehearsal room, going into the studio and pressing record is not going to resolve any of the issues that are not working in the rehearsal room. “So it’s really about getting the maximum out of what you do – really making sure that the songs
are in the best shape they can be – so that comes down to looking at tempos to arrangements to things perhaps needing to be rewritten. For example, say a bridge isn’t working in a song and we need to write several new bridges to try out to see which is going to be best. Then, from looking at the song, looking at the performance – are we playing it with the right intent? What kind of emotional point are we looking at? “So even though obviously there are many different artists with many different styles of music, it’s all about getting the best out of what they do, and setting that marker in the pre-production area. To record a bad version of an average song, you can do any day of the week; to record something that is really great and have it sounding the best takes time and effort.” Having the producer with whom an act will be recording attending preproduction rehearsals also provides the act with a fresh set of ears to add a bit of objectivity to the material, and secondly, helps build those bonds of trust essential to any recording session. It’s an approach that certainly paid off for one Darwin-based five-piece.
“IT’S REALLY ABOUT GETTING THE MAXIMUM OUT OF WHAT YOU DO.” “The album’s not been released yet in Australia,” Maroudas points out, “it’s been released in Germany and Austria, but I produced a record for Worldfly, A World Gone Crazy, and they’ve just spent four months of the European summer on tour there. They’re a good example of what I find is quite common. I walked into the rehearsal room with those guys and it was very much an initial ‘getting to know’ meeting, seeing how ready they were to go into recording. “I spent four days with the band workshopping through all the songs they had on the table and at the end, they asked what my overall feeling was about how ready they were, and I said, ‘Honestly, in my ideal scenario, I don’t know how tied you are to your timeline, I would say spend the next three to six months writing more songs and then look at recording early in the New Year.’ That took a weight off their shoulders and I went back to Melbourne, they kept writing and sending me the new demos, and they came up with five or six new songs all of which ended up being key songs on the album.” Applications are now open at ww.facethemusic.org.au. The Face The Music pre-production workshop with Jimi Maroudas runs 10-10.50am Saturday 16 Nov.
MADCDs cos Cos we g ive a sh it
THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 63
CROSSTOWN FUZZ PEDAL The Crosstown Fuzz Pedal is a wonderful little stompbox from the people at Mojo Hand FX that combines both germanium and silicon transistors with an internal bias, allowing you to personalise the pedal’s gain structure. There are four knobs on the top for tone, gain, volume and body, and power comes either from a 9V battery or DC adapter. The first thing I did was to have a play with the internal bias. Turning the trim clockwise resulted in a bolder tone (silicon circuit), while turning anti-clockwise sounded spongier (germanium). The best tone was somewhere near the middle. I loved how responsive the elements were and how perfectly this pedal works as a clean boost and juicy fuzz. Cranking the tone and volume and reducing the gain and body sounded better for a boost, while lowering the tone, and boosting the gain and body was better suited to adding fuzz for solos. Reza Nasseri
NOVATION LAUNCHKEY MINI
Novation’s Launchkey Mini is a compact 25 key, 16 pad, eight rotary knob controller designed to plug into your iPad or computer. The USB bus-powered unit works with Novation’s free Launchpad and Launchkey apps, and with popular DAWs like Ableton Live, FL Studio, Cubase, Logic, Reason and Pro Tools. The Launchkey Mini is not only compact but is strong and durable with a hard plastic moulding on
the back and keys that feel like a real instrument rather than a toy. The pads are velocity sensitive and display three colours: green for play, amber signifying a clip is loaded and red indicating a clip is recording. This compact and powerful device is a basic all-in-one control device for electronic artists on the fly, appealing to the busy lifestyle of the modern musician. Reza Nasseri
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Blues & Roots, Rock & Pop. Learn piano from a professional musician and piano teacher with more than 25 years experience. Individual sessions designed around your musical requirements. Piano techniques and improvisation for BLUES, JAZZ, ROCK, POP, SOUL, FOLK, COUNTRY... Performers and songwriters get your songs and playing to the next level. Sheet music is provided. Recordings can be made. Beginners to advanced. Don Hopkins Music. email@example.com 0425 201 870 Ad ID: 1-13203
REHEARSAL ROOMS Detax will maximise your tax refund or minimise your tax liability by applying years of Entertainment & Arts industry tax knowledge. Individual Tax Returns from only $99. www. detax.com.au Ad ID: 1-12915
REHEARSAL STUDIO AT WINDSOR • 3 ROOMS WITH VOCAL PA • LARGE ROOM WITH FOLD BACK • OPEN 7 DAYS FOR ENQUIRIES & BOOKINGS: 02 4577 9777
SINGER SINGER/SONGWRITER/GUITARIST! Singer/songwriter/guitarist looking to join an originals indie/rock band. Looking to front established band or band who’s writing music with gigging intentions. Have own rehearsal/ recording studio with excellent gear. Check my current band https://www.facebook.com/blackmatches. Demo’s please if available. Looking age 20-35. Simon 0414859684 (simon.a.fyfe@ gmail.com) Ad ID: 1-13261
MUSICIANS WANTED BANDS TRUMPET/TROMBONE PLAYER WANTED Sydney originals band wants trumpet or trombone player for brass section. Our influences: The National, Calexico, The Saints. Great songs. 3 CDs out. Please call Daniel 0414810232
Ad ID: 1-13268
Ad ID: 1-13296
AAA EXPERT GUITAR TUITION All levels and most styles including: Fingerstyle guitar, open tunings, slide guitar, flat picking, improvisation, rock, country, blues guitar (acoustic and electric), folk, celtic styles, music theory, arranging, ear training, singing, bluegrass and folk style banjo and mandolin. www.acousticfingerpicking.com PHONE JOHN: 0431953178 Ad ID: 1-13256
DRUMMER $35 lessons call Hayley 0422963373 Ad ID: 1-13210
WWW.KALEIDOSCOPETUITION.COM.AU Learn to play the kaleidoscope way unique colour coded method made simple download your books and stickers and you will learn in no time www.kaleidoscopetuition.com.au have heaps of fun as well. Ad ID: 1-12551
BAND NEEDS A DRUMMER Inner west based band looking for an experienced drummer for live shows and touring. Completed EP and recently sold out shows. Contact Lex for band details lutherdburton@ gmail.com Ad ID: 1-13281
firstname.lastname@example.org (02) 8810-9504 www.rewiredmusicgroup.com 46 Macquarie St, Parramatta, NSW, 2150 Get the unbeatable Rewired Single recording deal! Get your track recorded, edited and mixed for $350 extra $50 for mastering! That’s only $400 for a completely mastered track! Mind Blown! If you ﬁnd a cheaper deal we will be happy to match it!
66 • THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013
classies classies.themusic.com.au OTHER
CONTESTANTS REQUIRED We are seeking contestants for an upcoming Talent Quest at Coogee Beach. Competition starts on Friday 1 November, 2013. Looking for singers, duos, trios. Competition will consist of 8 heats, 2 semi finals and a Grand Final. Over $3000 worth of prize money. Please contact Chrissy Lasker on 0479 034 710 or email: email@example.com
LIVE SOUND COURSE, 2 DAYS
TUITION BASS, GUITAR, DRUMS
A comprehensive 2 day course that covers basic audio principles, the progression of technology, common audio components, terninology, signal flow, soldering 101, microphone and speaker placement, EQing and more. Handty reference booklet supplied. Optional third days training at a live music venue available. www.zenstudios.com.au 02-99503977
The School of Rock offers tuition in singing, bass guitar, electric guitar, drums and song writing techniques. Our instructors have years of experience showing young musicians how to play and take that talent onto the stage. For more information visit our website at www. schoolofrockinnerwest.com.au or www. zenstudios.com.au. Ph: 9550 3977
Ad ID: 1-13280
EVERY BAND NEEDS A STAR
Full Colour Posters 100 A4 Gloss only = $40 100 A3 / SRA3 Gloss only = $80 250 SRA3 Gloss only = $150 100 A3 Matt only = $50 MANY more options www.blackstar.com.au call 9264 4776 BLACKSTAR DESIGN 104 Bathurst Street Sydney
Ad ID: 1-12768
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TUITION Full colour posters done same day. Visit www.blackstar.com.au and check out our prices.
AUDIO PRODUCTION COURSE, $660
Ad ID: 1-12996
MUSIC PROGRAMMER WANTED
A Project Team is being put together to record some chart friendly dance songs. Looking for an experienced Music Programmer with: - Dance Music Programming experience Prologic software is currently used, however any software used is welcome i.e Cubase, GarageBand etc. Highly desirable if: - Have experience assisting with production aspects Please email your interest/ resume & samples to jobs@mspcorp. com.au
Run over 6 weekends this is a course for people who want to know how to use their home recording setup or how to use our mix rooms to mix their band’s recording once they have put down the tracks. The course is software neutral; we teach the concepts of recording and the students then apply this knowledge to the software of their choice. 02 9550 3977 Ad ID: 1-12770
Ad ID: 1-13297
SINGER EXPERIENCED SINGER WANTED Working covers band paid gigs agency backed est 8 years looking for an experienced singer who can sing Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Matchbox 20 Greenday, Bon Jovi, U2 & Nickelback - who has that rock edge to play Clubs and Pubs in and around Sydney. Contact Craig 0417 411 244 Ad ID: 1-13263
THE MUSIC • 30TH OCTOBER 2013 • 67